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French philosopher and author
pseudonym of François-Marie Arouet

born Nov. 21, 1694, Paris, France
died May 30, 1778, Paris

one of the greatest of all French writers. Although only a few of his works are still read, he continues to be held in worldwide repute as a courageous crusader against tyranny, bigotry, and cruelty. Through its critical capacity, wit, and satire, Voltaire’s work vigorously propagates an ideal of progress to which people of all nations have remained responsive. His long life spanned the last years of classicism and the eve of the revolutionary era, and during this age of transition his works and activities influenced the direction taken by European civilization.

Heritage and youth
Voltaire’s background was middle class. According to his birth certificate he was born on November 21, 1694, but the hypothesis that his birth was kept secret cannot be dismissed, for he stated on several occasions that in fact it took place on February 20. He believed that he was the son of an officer named Rochebrune, who was also a songwriter. He had no love for either his putative father, François Arouet, a onetime notary who later became receiver in the Cour des Comptes (audit office), or his elder brother Armand. Almost nothing is known about his mother of whom he hardly said anything. Having lost her when he was seven, he seems to have become an early rebel against family authority. He attached himself to his godfather, the Abbé de Châteauneuf, a freethinker and epicurean who presented the boy to the famous courtesan Ninon de Lenclos when she was in her 84th year. It is doubtless that he owed his positive outlook and his sense of reality to his bourgeois origins.

He attended the Jesuit college of Louis-le-Grand in Paris, where he learned to love literature, the theatre, and social life. While he appreciated the classical taste the college instilled in him, the religious instruction of the fathers served only to arouse his skepticism and mockery. He witnessed the last sad years of Louis XIV and was never to forget the distress and the military disasters of 1709 nor the horrors of religious persecution. He retained, however, a degree of admiration for the sovereign, and he remained convinced that the enlightened kings are the indispensable agents of progress.

He decided against the study of law after he left college. Employed as secretary at the French embassy in The Hague, he became infatuated with the daughter of an adventurer. Fearing scandal, the French ambassador sent him back to Paris. Despite his father’s wishes, he wanted to devote himself wholly to literature, and he frequented the Temple, then the centre of free-thinking society. After the death of Louis XIV, under the morally relaxed Regency, Voltaire became the wit of Parisian society, and his epigrams were widely quoted. But when he dared to mock the dissolute regent, the Duc d’Orléans, he was banished from Paris and then imprisoned in the Bastille for nearly a year (1717). Behind his cheerful facade, he was fundamentally serious and set himself to learn the accepted literary forms. In 1718, after the success of Oedipe, the first of his tragedies, he was acclaimed as the successor of the great classical dramatist Jean Racine and thenceforward adopted the name of Voltaire. The origin of this pen name remains doubtful. It is not certain that it is the anagram of Arouet le jeune (i.e., the younger). Above all he desired to be the Virgil that France had never known. He worked at an epic poem whose hero was Henry IV, the king beloved by the French people for having put an end to the wars of religion. This Henriade is spoiled by its pedantic imitation of Virgil’s Aeneid, but his contemporaries saw only the generous ideal of tolerance that inspired the poem. These literary triumphs earned him a pension from the regent and the warm approval of the young queen, Marie. He thus began his career of court poet.

United with other thinkers of his day—literary men and scientists—in the belief in the efficacy of reason, Voltaire was a Philosophe, as the 18th century termed it. In the salons he professed an aggressive Deism, which scandalized the devout. He became interested in England, the country that tolerated freedom of thought; he visited the Tory leader Viscount Bolingbroke, exiled in France—a politician, an orator, and a philosopher whom Voltaire admired to the point of comparing him to Cicero. On Bolingbroke’s advice he learned English in order to read the philosophical works of John Locke. His intellectual development was furthered by an accident: as the result of a quarrel with a member of one of the leading French families, the Chevalier de Rohan, who had made fun of his adopted name, he was beaten up, taken to the Bastille, and then conducted to Calais on May 5, 1726, from where he set out for London. His destiny was now exile and opposition.

Exile to England
During a stay that lasted more than two years he succeeded in learning the English language; he wrote his notebooks in English and to the end of his life he was able to speak and write it fluently. He met such English men of letters as Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and William Congreve, the philosopher George Berkeley, and Samuel Clarke, the theologian. He was presented at court, and he dedicated his Henriade to Queen Caroline. Though at first he was patronized by Bolingbroke, who had returned from exile, it appears that he quarrelled with the Tory leader and turned to Sir Robert Walpole and the liberal Whigs. He admired the liberalism of English institutions, though he was shocked by the partisan violence. He envied English intrepidity in the discussion of religious and philosophic questions and was particularly interested in the Quakers. He was convinced that it was because of their personal liberty that the English, notably Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke, were in the forefront of scientific thought. He believed that this nation of merchants and sailors owed its victories over Louis XIV to its economic advantages. He concluded that even in literature France had something to learn from England; his experience of Shakespearean theatre was overwhelming, and, however much he was shocked by the “barbarism” of the productions, he was struck by the energy of the characters and the dramatic force of the plots.

Return to France
He returned to France at the end of 1728 or the beginning of 1729 and decided to present England as a model to his compatriots. His social position was consolidated. By judicious speculation he began to build up the vast fortune that guaranteed his independence. He attempted to revive tragedy by discreetly imitating Shakespeare. Brutus, begun in London and accompanied by a Discours à milord Bolingbroke, was scarcely a success in 1730; La Mort de César was played only in a college (1735); in Eriphyle (1732) the apparition of a ghost, as in Hamlet, was booed by the audience. Zaïre, however, was a resounding success. The play, in which the sultan Orosmane, deceived by an ambiguous letter, stabs his prisoner, the devoted Christian-born Zaïre, in a fit of jealousy, captivated the public with its exotic subject.

At the same time, Voltaire had turned to a new literary genre: history. In London he had made the acquaintance of Fabrice, a former companion of the Swedish king Charles XII. The interest he felt for the extraordinary character of this great soldier impelled him to write his life, Histoire de Charles XII (1731), a carefully documented historical narrative that reads like a novel. Philosophic ideas began to impose themselves as he wrote: the King of Sweden’s exploits brought desolation, whereas his rival Peter the Great brought Russia into being, bequeathing a vast, civilized empire. Great men are not warmongers; they further civilization—a conclusion that tallied with the example of England. It was this line of thought that Voltaire brought to fruition, after prolonged meditation, in a work of incisive brevity: the Lettres philosophiques (1734). These fictitious letters are primarily a demonstration of the benign effects of religious toleration. They contrast the wise Empiricist psychology of Locke with the conjectural lucubrations of René Descartes. A philosopher worthy of the name, such as Newton, disdains empty, a priori speculations; he observes the facts and reasons from them. After elucidating the English political system, its commerce, its literature, and the Shakespeare almost unknown to France, Voltaire concludes with an attack on the French mathematician and religious philosopher Pascal: the purpose of life is not to reach heaven through penitence but to assure happiness to all men by progress in the sciences and the arts, a fulfillment for which their nature is destined. This small, brilliant book is a landmark in the history of thought: not only does it embody the philosophy of the 18th century, but it also defines the essential direction of the modern mind.

Life with Mme du Châtelet
Scandal followed publication of this work that spoke out so frankly against the religious and political establishment. When a warrant of arrest was issued in May of 1734, Voltaire took refuge in the château of Mme du Châtelet at Cirey in Champagne and thus began his liaison with this young, remarkably intelligent woman. He lived with her in the château he had renovated at his own expense. This period of retreat was interrupted only by a journey to the Low Countries in December 1736—an exile of a few weeks became advisable after the circulation of a short, daringly epicurean poem called “Le Mondain.”

The life these two lived together was both luxurious and studious. After Adélaïde du Guesclin (1734), a play about a national tragedy, he brought Alzire to the stage in 1736 with great success. The action of Alzire-in Lima, Peru, at the time of the Spanish conquest—brings out the moral superiority of a humanitarian civilization over methods of brute force. Despite the conventional portrayal of “noble savages,” the tragedy kept its place in the repertory of the Comédie-Française for almost a century. Mme du Châtelet was passionately drawn to the sciences and metaphysics and influenced Voltaire’s work in that direction. A “gallery” or laboratory of the physical sciences was installed at the château, and they composed a memorandum on the nature of fire for a meeting of the Académie des Sciences. While Mme du Châtelet was learning English in order to translate Newton and The Fable of the Bees of Bernard de Mandeville, Voltaire popularized, in his Éléments de la philosophie de Newton (1738), those discoveries of English science that were familiar only to a few advanced minds in France, such as the astronomer and mathematician Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis. At the same time, he continued to pursue his historical studies. He began Le Siècle de Louis XIV, sketched out a universal history of kings, wars, civilization and manners that became the Essai sur les moeurs, and plunged into biblical exegesis. Mme du Châtelet herself wrote an Examen, highly critical of the two Testaments. It was at Cirey that Voltaire, rounding out his scientific knowledge, acquired the encyclopaedic culture that was one of the outstanding facets of his genius.

Because of a lawsuit, he followed Mme du Châtelet to Brussels in May 1739, and thereafter they were constantly on the move between Belgium, Cirey, and Paris. Voltaire corresponded with the crown prince of Prussia, who, rebelling against his father’s rigid system of military training and education, had taken refuge in French culture. When the prince acceded to the throne as Frederick II (the Great), Voltaire visited his disciple first at Cleves (Kleve, Germany), then at Berlin. When the War of the Austrian Succession broke out, Voltaire was sent to Berlin (1742–43) on a secret mission to rally the King of Prussia—who was proving himself a faithless ally—to the assistance of the French Army. Such services—as well as his introduction of his friends the brothers d’Argenson, who became ministers of war and foreign affairs, respectively, to the protection of Mme de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV—brought him into favour again at Versailles. After his poem celebrating the victory of Fontenoy (1745), he was appointed historiographer, gentleman of the king’s chamber, and academician. His tragedy Mérope, about the mythical Greek queen, won public acclaim on the first night (1743). The performance of Mahomet, in which Voltaire presented the founder of Islām as an imposter, was forbidden, however, after its successful production in 1742. He amassed a vast fortune through the manipulations of Joseph Pâris Duverney, the financier in charge of military supplies, who was favoured by Mme de Pompadour. In this ambience of well-being, he began a liaison with his niece Mme Denis, a charming widow, without breaking off his relationship with Mme du Châtelet.

Yet he was not spared disappointments. Louis XV disliked him, and the pious Catholic faction at court remained acutely hostile. He was guilty of indiscretions. When Mme du Châtelet lost large sums at the Queen’s gaming table, he said to her in English: “You are playing with card-sharpers”; the phrase was understood, and he was forced to go into hiding at the country mansion as the guest of the Duchesse du Maine in 1747. Ill and exhausted by his restless existence, he at last discovered the literary form that ideally fitted his lively and disillusioned temper: he wrote his first contes (stories). Micromégas (1752) measures the littleness of man in the cosmic scale; Vision de Babouc (1748) and Memnon (1749) dispute the philosophic optimism of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Alexander Pope. Zadig (1747) is a kind of allegorical autobiography: like Voltaire, the Babylonian sage Zadig suffers persecution, is pursued by ill fortune, and ends by doubting the tender care of Providence for human beings.

The great crisis of his life was drawing near. In 1748 at Commercy, where he had joined the court of Stanisław (the former king of Poland), he detected the love affair of Mme du Châtelet and the poet Saint-Lambert, a slightly ludicrous passion that ended tragically. On September 10, 1749, he witnessed the death in childbirth of this uncommonly intelligent woman who for 15 years had been his guide and counsellor. He returned in despair to the house in Paris where they had lived together; he rose in the night and wandered in the darkness, calling her name.

Later travels
The failure of some of his plays aggravated his sense of defeat. He had attempted the comédie larmoyante, or “sentimental comedy,” that was then fashionable: after L’Enfant prodigue (1736), a variation of the prodigal son theme, he adapted William Wycherley’s satiric Restoration drama The Plain-Dealer to his purpose, entitling it La Prude; he based Nanine (1749) on a situation taken from Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela, but all without success. The court spectacles he directed gave him a taste for scenic effects, and he contrived a sumptuous decor, as well as the apparition of a ghost, for Sémiramis (1748), but his public was not captivated. His enemies compared him with Prosper Jolyot, sieur de Crébillon, who was pre-eminent among French writers of tragedy at this time. Though Voltaire used the same subjects as his rival (Oreste, Sémiramis), the Parisian audience preferred the plays of Crébillon. Exasperated and disappointed, he yielded to the pressing invitation of Frederick II and set out for Berlin on June 28, 1750.

At the moment of his departure a new literary generation, reacting against the ideas and tastes to which he remained faithful, was coming to the fore in France. Disseminators of the philosophical ideas of the time, such as Denis Diderot, Baron d’Holbach, and their friends, were protagonists of a thoroughgoing Materialism and regarded Voltaire’s Deism as too timid. Others had rediscovered with Jean-Jacques Rousseau the poetry of Christianity. All in fact preferred the charm of sentiment and passion to the enlightenment of reason. As the years passed, Voltaire became increasingly more isolated in his glory.

At first he was enchanted by his sojourn in Berlin and Potsdam, but soon difficulties arose. After a lawsuit with a moneylender, and quarrels with prominent noblemen, he started a controversy with Maupertuis (the president of Frederick’s academy of science, the Berlin Academy) on scientific matters. In a pamphlet entitled “Diatribe du docteur Akakia” (1752), he covered him with ridicule. The King, enraged, consigned “Akakia” to the flames and gave its author a thorough dressing down. Voltaire left Prussia on March 26, 1753, leaving Frederick exasperated and determined to punish him. On the journey he was held under house arrest at an inn at Frankfurt, by order of the Prussian resident. Louis XV forbade him to approach Paris. Not knowing where to turn, he stayed at Colmar for more than a year. At length he found asylum at Geneva, where he purchased a house called Les Délices, at the same time securing winter quarters at Lausanne.

He now completed his two major historical studies. Le Siècle de Louis XIV (1751), a book on the century of Louis XIV, had been prepared after an exhaustive 20-year interrogation of the survivors of le grand siècle. Voltaire was particularly concerned to establish the truth by collecting evidence from as many witnesses as possible, evidence that he submitted to exacting criticism. His desire was to write the nation’s history by means of an examination of its arts and sciences and of its social life, but military events and politics still occupy a large place in his survey. The Essai sur les moeurs, the study on customs and morals that he had begun in 1740 (first complete edition, 1756), traced the course of world history since the end of the Roman Empire and gave an important place to the Eastern and Far Eastern countries. Voltaire’s object was to show humanity slowly developing beyond barbarism. He supplemented these two works with one on Russian history during the reign of Peter the Great, Histoire de l’empire de Russie sous Pierre le Grand (1759–63), the Philosophie de l’histoire (1765), and the Précis du siècle de Louis XV (1768).

At Geneva, he had at first been welcomed and honoured as the champion of tolerance. But soon he made those around him feel uneasy. At Les Délices his presentation of plays was stopped, in accordance with the law of the republic of Geneva, which forbade both public and private theatre performances. Then there was his mock-heroic poem “La Pucelle” (1755), a most improper presentation of Joan of Arc (La Pucelle d’Orléans), which the booksellers printed in spite of his protests.

Attracted by his volatile intelligence, Calvinist pastors as well as women and young people thronged to his salon. Yet he soon provoked the hostility of important Swiss intellectuals. The storm broke in November 1757, when volume seven of Diderot’s Encyclopédie was published. Voltaire had inspired the article on Geneva that his fellow philosopher Jean d’Alembert had written after a visit to Les Délices; not only was the city of Calvin asked to build a theatre within its walls but also certain of its pastors were praised for their doubts of Christ’s divinity. The scandal sparked a quick response: the Encyclopédie was forced to interrupt publication, and Rousseau attacked the rational philosophy of the Philosophes in general in a polemical treatise on the question of the morality of theatrical performances, Lettre à d’Alembert sur les spectacles (1758). Rousseau’s view that drama might well be abolished marked a final break between the two writers.

Voltaire no longer felt safe in Geneva, and he longed to retire from these quarrels. In 1758 he wrote what was to be his most famous work, Candide. In this philosophical fantasy, the youth Candide, disciple of Doctor Pangloss (himself a disciple of the philosophical optimism of Leibniz), saw and suffered such misfortune that he was unable to believe that this was “the best of all possible worlds.” Having retired with his companions to the shores of the Propontis, he discovered that the secret of happiness was “to cultivate one’s garden,” a practical philosophy excluding excessive idealism and nebulous metaphysics. Voltaire’s own garden became Ferney, a property he bought at the end of 1758, together with Tourney in France, on the Swiss border. By crossing the frontier he could thus safeguard himself against police incursion from either country.

Achievements at Ferney
At Ferney, Voltaire entered on one of the most active periods of his life. Both patriarch and lord of the manor, he developed a modern estate, sharing in the movement of agricultural reform in which the aristocracy was interested at the time. He could not be true to himself, however, without stirring up village feuds and went before the magistrates on a question of tithes, as well as about the beating of one of his workmen. He renovated the church and had Deo erexit Voltaire (“Voltaire erected this to God”) carved on the facade. At Easter Communion, 1762, he delivered a sermon on stealing and drunkenness and repeated this sacrilegious offense in the following year, flouting the prohibition by the bishop of Annecy, in whose jurisdiction Ferney lay. He meddled in Genevan politics, taking the side of the workers (or natifs, those without civil rights), and installed a stocking factory and watchworks on his estate in order to help them. He called for the liberation of serfs in the Jura, but without success, though he did succeed in suppressing the customs barrier on the road between Gex in the Jura and Geneva, the natural outlet for the produce of Gex. Such generous interventions in local politics earned him enormous popularity. In 1777 he received a popular acclamation from the people of Ferney. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna halted the annexation of Ferney to Switzerland in his honour.

His fame was now worldwide. “Innkeeper of Europe”—as he was called—he welcomed such literary figures as James Boswell, Giovanni Casanova, Edward Gibbon, the Prince de Ligne, and the fashionable philosophers of Paris. He kept up an enormous correspondence—with the Philosophes, with his actresses and actors, and with those high in court circles, such as the Duc de Richelieu (grandnephew of the Cardinal de Richelieu), the Duc de Choiseul, and Mme du Barry, Louis XV’s favourite. He renewed his correspondence with Frederick II and exchanged letters with Catherine II of Russia.

There was scarcely a subject of importance on which he did not speak. In his political ideas, he was basically a liberal, though he also admired the authority of those kings who imposed progressive measures on their people. On the question of fossils, he entered into foolhardy controversy with the famous French naturalist Comte de Buffon. On the other hand, he declared himself a partisan of the Italian scientist Abbé Lazzaro Spallanzani against the hypothesis of spontaneous generation, according to which microscopic organisms are generated spontaneously in organic substances. He busied himself with political economy and revived his interest in metaphysics by absorbing the ideas of 17th-century philosophers Benedict de Spinoza and Nicolas Malebranche.

His main interest at this time, however, was his opposition to l’infâme, a word he used to designate the church, especially when it was identified with intolerance. For mankind’s future he envisaged a simple theism, reinforcing the civil power of the state. He believed this end was being achieved when, about 1770, the courts of Paris, Vienna, and Madrid came into conflict with the pope; but this was to misjudge the solidarity of ecclesiastical institutions and the people’s loyalty to the traditional faith. Voltaire’s beliefs prompted a prodigious number of polemical writings. He multiplied his personal attacks, often stooping to low cunning; in his sentimental comedy L’Écossaise (1760), he mimicked the eminent critic Élie Fréron, who had attacked him in reviews, by portraying his adversary as a rascally journalist who intervenes in a quarrel between two Scottish families. He directed Le Sentiment des Citoyens (1764) against Rousseau. In this anonymous pamphlet, which supposedly expressed the opinion of the Genevese, Voltaire, who was well informed, revealed to the public that Rousseau had abandoned his children. As author he used all kinds of pseudonyms: Rabbi Akib, Pastor Bourn, Lord Bolingbroke, M. Mamaki “interpreter of Oriental languages to the king of England,” Clocpitre, Cubstorf, Jean Plokof—a nonstop performance of puppets. As a part-time scholar he constructed a personal Encyclopédie, the Dictionnaire philosophique (1764), enlarged after 1770 by Questions sur l’Encyclopédie. Among the mass of writings of this period are Le Blanc et le noir (“The White and the Black”), a philosophical tale in which Oriental fantasy contrasts with the realism of Jeannot et Colin; Princesse de Babylone, a panorama of European philosophies in the fairyland of The Thousand and One Nights; and Le Taureau blanc, a biblical tale.

Again and again Voltaire returned to his chosen themes: the establishment of religious tolerance, the growth of material prosperity, respect for the rights of man by the abolition of torture and useless punishments. These principles were brought into play when he intervened in some of the notorious public scandals of these years. For instance, when the Protestant Jean Calas, a merchant of Toulouse accused of having murdered his son in order to prevent his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, was broken on the wheel while protesting his innocence (March 10, 1762), Voltaire, livid with anger, took up the case and by his vigorous intervention obtained the vindication of the unfortunate Calas and the indemnification of the family. But he was less successful in a dramatic affair concerning the 19-year-old Chevalier de La Barre, who was beheaded for having insulted a religious procession and damaging a crucifix (July 1, 1766). Public opinion was distressed by such barbarity, but it was Voltaire who protested actively, suggesting that the Philosophes should leave French territory and settle in the town of Cleves offered them by Frederick II. Although he failed to obtain even a review of this scandalous trial, he was able to reverse other judicial errors.

By such means he retained leadership of the philosophic movement. On the other hand, as a writer, he wanted to halt a development he deplored—that which led to Romanticism. He tried to save theatrical tragedy by making concessions to a public that adored scenes of violence and exoticism. For instance, in L’Orphelin de la Chine (1755), Lekain (Henri-Louis Cain), who played the part of Genghis Khan, was clad in a sensational Mongol costume. Lekain, whom Voltaire considered the greatest tragedian of his time, also played the title role of Tancrède, which was produced with a sumptuous decor (1760) and which proved to be Voltaire’s last triumph. Subsequent tragedies, arid and ill-constructed and overweighted with philosophic propaganda, were either booed off the stage or not produced at all. He became alarmed at the increasing influence of Shakespeare; when he gave a home to a grandniece of the great 17th-century classical dramatist Pierre Corneille and on her behalf published an annotated edition of the famous tragic author, he inserted, after Cinna, a translation of Julius Caesar, convinced that such a confrontation would demonstrate the superiority of the French dramatist. He was infuriated by the Shakespearean translations of Pierre Le Tourneur in 1776, which stimulated French appreciation of this more robust, nonclassical dramatist, and dispatched an abusive Lettre à l’Académie. He never ceased to acknowledge a degree of genius in Shakespeare, yet spoke of him as “a drunken savage.” He returned to a strict classicism in his last plays, but in vain, for the audacities of his own previous tragedies, timid as they were, had paved the way for Romantic drama.

It was the theatre that brought him back to Paris in 1778. Wishing to direct the rehearsals of Irène, he made his triumphal return to the city he had not seen for 28 years on February 10. More than 300 persons called on him the day after his arrival. On March 30 he went to the Académie amid acclamations, and, when Irène was played before a delirious audience, he was crowned in his box. His health was profoundly impaired by all this excitement. On May 18 he was stricken with uremia. He suffered much pain on his deathbed, about which absurd legends were quickly fabricated; on May 30 he died, peacefully it seems. His nephew, the Abbé Mignot, had his body, clothed just as it was, swiftly transported to the Abbey of Scellières, where he was given Christian burial by the local clergy; the prohibition of such burial arrived after the ceremony. His remains were transferred to the Panthéon during the Revolution in July 1791.

Voltaire’s name has always evoked vivid reactions. Toward the end of his life he was attacked by the followers of Rousseau, and after 1800 he was held responsible for the Revolution. But the excesses of clerical reactionaries under the Restoration and the Second Empire rallied the middle and working classes to his memory. At the end of the 19th century, though conservative critics remained hostile, scientific research into his life and works was given impetus by Gustave Lanson. Voltaire himself did not hope that all his vast quantity of writings would be remembered by posterity. His epic poems and lyrical verse are virtually dead, as are his plays. But his contes are continually republished, and his letters are regarded as one of the great monuments of French literature. He bequeathed a lesson to humanity, which has lost nothing of its value. He taught his readers to think clearly; his was a mind at once precise and generous. “He is the necessary philosopher,” wrote Lanson, “in a world of bureaucrats, engineers, and producers.”

René Henry Pomeau





Voltaire's Condide was influenced by various atrocities of the mid-eighteenth century, most notably an earthquake in Lisbon, the outbreak of the horrific Seven Years' War in the German states, and the unjust execution of the English Admiral John Byng. This philosophical tale is often hailed as a paradigmatic text of the Enlightenment, but it is also an ironic attack on the optimistic beliefs of the Enlightenment. Voltaire's critique is directed at Leibniz' principle of sufficient reason, which maintains that nothing can be so without there being a reason why it is so. The necessary consequence of this principle is the belief that the actual world must be the best of all possible worlds, since anything else would be inconsistent with the creative power of God.
At the opening of the novel, its eponymous hero, the young Candide, schooled in this optimistic philosophy by his tutor Pangloss, is ejected from the magnificent castle in which he is raised. The rest of the novel details the multiple hardships and disasters which Candide and his various companions meet in their travels. These include war, rape, theft, hanging, shipwreck, earthquake, cannibalism, and slavery. As these experiences gradually erode Candide's optimistic belief, the novel mercilessly lampoons science, philosophy, religion, government, and literature. A caustic and comic satire of the social ills of its day, Candide's reflections on human injustice, disaster, suffering, and hope remain as pertinent now as ever.



Type of work: Novel
Author: Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire, 1694-1778)
Type of plot: Social satire
Time of plot: Eighteenth century
Locale: Europe and South America
First published: Candide: Ou, LOptimisme, 1759 (English translation, 1759)


This most popular of Voltaire's works is a masterful satire on the follies and vices of men, particularly of the belief embodied by Pangloss that "All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds!' The author, through the outrageous misadventures of his hero, disproves this theory utterly, taking to task all of man's most prized institutions: science, philosophy, religion, government, and romance.


Principal Characters

Candide (kan-ded1), a gentle, honest, and pleasant young man, reputed to be the illegitimate son of the sister of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh and a decent man she was too proud to accept as a husband. Expelled from the Baron's castle after exploring the mysteries and pleasures of love with Cunegonde, the Baron's daughter, Candide travels all over the world. A dutiful young man who has been taught that this is the best of all possible worlds, Candide searches the globe for proof, meeting old friends and acquaintances in unexpected places and unusual circumstances. During his travels he has many misadventures and endures many hardships and pains. Impressed into the Bulgarian army, he discovers the horrors of war. He lives through the Lisbon Earthquake and is ordered flogged by officers of the Inquisition. He finds and loses his sweetheart Cunegonde. He discovers wealth and loses it. He kills men when he does not mean to do so. All of these experiences slowly convince Candide that this is really not the best of all possible worlds. After years of wandering he retires to a little farm where he lives with a small group of friends and his wife, Cunegonde, now old and far from pretty.
Cunegonde (kii-na-gond'), the beautiful daughter of the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. With Candide she explores love, only to have her young lover dismissed violently from the castle. After his dismissal she endures much pain and many adventures. She is captured by the Bulgarians, raped, and wounded. She makes her way to Portugal, where she becomes the mistress of two men, a Jew and an officer of the Inquisition. She is reunited with Candide, only to be separated from him by another series of unhappy adventures. At last she and Candide are reunited. Married, they settle down on a small farm. By that time his ardor for her has been cooled by the adventures she has undergone and the effect they have had upon her. She becomes adept as a pastry cook, happy in that humble occupation.
Pangloss (pan-glos'), Candide's tutor, a professor of metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology—in other words, abstract nonsense. Despite the terrible adventures that befall Candide and Pangloss' other friends, he is unwilling to forego theorizing or to admit that this is not the best of all possible worlds. He settles down with Candide on the latter's farm after undergoing many misadventures, including being hanged unsuccessfully by the Inquisition.
Baron Thunder-Ten-Tronckh (tondartentronk). Cunegonde's brother, who inherits his father's title. He is a proud young man, even in adversity and poverty. and he refuses again and again to give his consent to a marriage between his sister and Candide. Tired at last of the Baron's refusals, uttered with no regard for what Candide has endured on behalf of Cunegonde or the girl's changed condition, Candide causes the proud Baron to be shipped as a galley slave.
Jacques (zhak')- a kindly Anabaptist who befriends Candide in Holland and travels with him to Portugal. only to be drowned at the time of the Lisbon Earthquake.
Martin (mar-tan), a friend Candide meets in Surinam. Martin, accused by the church of being a Socinian heretic, admits to Candide that he is a Manichee. though none are supposed to be left in the world. Martin travels with Candide on the latter portion of Candide's wanderings and settles down with Candide on the young man's little farm.
Paquette (pa-ket'), a maid to the Baroness Thunder-ten-tronckh. Loved by Pangloss, she gives him venereal disease. After many misadventures of her own she turns up again in Candide's life and becomes a member of the little colony on his farm, where she earns her living by doing embroidery.
Friar Giroflee (je-ro-fla'), a discontented friar who falls in love with Paquette during her travels and leaves his order for her sake. Befriended by Candide, he joins the colony on Candide's farm and turns carpenter.
The Old Woman, Cunegonde's servant. She relates that she was once a beautiful princess, the daughter of the Princess Palestrina and a fictional pope, Urban X. The splendid life she expects is lost when she is captured by Moroccan pirates and condemned to a hard life as a slave. She clings to Cunegonde and Candide and settles with them on Candide's farm.
Cacambo (ka-kam'bo), Candide's servant. Separated from Candide in South America, he turns up later in Venice as a slave belonging to the deposed Sultan Ach-met III. Through Cacambo's intercession Candide and his party are allowed to visit Turkey.
A Contented Old Man, who has learned that hard work and minding one's own business are the best means to happiness. He avoids boredom, vice, and need by working a twenty-acre farm. Following his advice, Candide settles with his friends on a farm of his own.


The Story

Candide was born in Westphalia, the illegitimate son of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh's sister. Dr. Pangloss, his tutor and a devout follower of Liebnitz, taught him meta-physico-theologo-cosmolonigology and assured his pupil that this is the best of all possible worlds. Cunegonde, the daughter of the baron, kissed Candide one day behind a screen. Candide was expelled from the noble baron's household.
Impressed into the army of the king of Bulgaria, Candide deserted during a battle between the King of Bulgaria and the king of Abares. Later, he was befriended by James the Anabaptist. He also met his old friend, Dr. Pangloss, now a beggar. James, Pangloss, and Candide started for Lisbon. Their ship was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Portugal. James was drowned, but Candide and Pangloss swam to shore just as an earthquake shook the city. The rulers of Lisbon, both secular and religious, decided to punish those people whose wickedness had brought about the earthquake, and Candide and Pangloss were among the accused. Pangloss was hanged, Candide thoroughly whipped.
While he was smarting from his wounds, an old woman accosted Candide and told him to have courage and to follow her. She led him to a house where he was fed and clothed. Then Cunegonde appeared. Candide was amazed because Pangloss had told him that Cunegonde was dead. Cunegonde related the story of her life from the time that she last saw Candide to their happy meeting. She was being kept by a Jew and an Inquisitor, but she held both men at a distance. Candide killed the Jew and the Inquisitor when they came to see her.
With the old woman, Cunegonde and Candide fled to Cadiz, where they were robbed. In despair, they sailed for Paraguay, where Candide hoped to enlist in the Spanish army which was fighting the rebellious Jesuits. During the voyage, the old woman told her story. They learned that she was the daughter of Pope Urban X and the princess of Palestrina.
The governor of Buenos Aires developed a great affection for Cunegonde, and through his scheming Candide was accused of having committed robbery while still in Spain. Candide fled with his servant, Cacambo; Cunegonde and the old woman remained behind. When Candide decided to fight for the Jesuits, he learned that the
commandant was in reality Cunegonde's brother. The brother, however, would not hear of his sister's marriage to Candide. They quarreled, and Candide, fearing that he had killed the brother, took to the road with Cacambo once more. Shortly afterward, they were captured by the Oreillons, a tribe of savage Indians, but when Cacambo proved they were not Jesuits, the two were allowed to go free. They traveled on to Eldorado. There life was simple and perfect, but Candide was not happy because he missed Cunegonde.
At last he decided to take some of the useless jeweled pebbles and golden mud of Eldorado and return to Buenos Aires to search for Cunegonde. He and Cacambo started out with a hundred sheep laden with riches, but they lost all but two sheep and the wealth these animals carried.
Candide approached a Dutch merchant and tried to arrange passage to Buenos Aires. The merchant sailed away with Candide's money and treasures, leaving Candide behind. Cacambo then went to Buenos Aires to find Cunegonde and take her to Venice to meet Candide. After many adventures, including a sea fight and the miraculous recovery of one of his lost sheep from a sinking ship, Candide arrived at Bordeaux. His intention was to go to Venice by way of Paris. Police arrested him in Paris, however, and Candide was forced to buy his freedom with diamonds. Later, he sailed on a Dutch ship to Portsmouth, England, where he witnessed the execution of an English admiral. From Portsmouth he went to Venice. There he found no Cacambo and no Cunegonde. He did, however, meet Paquette, Cunegonde's waiting maid. Shortly afterward, Candide encountered Cacambo, who was now a slave and who informed him that Cunegonde was in Constantinople. In the Venetian galley which carried them to Constantinople, Candide found Pangloss and Cunegonde's brother among the galley slaves. Pangloss related that he had miraculously escaped from his hanging in Lisbon because the bungling hangman had not been able to tie a proper knot. Cunegonde's brother told how he survived the wound which Candide had thought fatal. Candide bought both men from the Venetians and gave them their freedom.
When the group arrived at Constantinople, Candide bought the old woman and Cunegonde from their masters and also purchased a little farm to which they all retired. There each had his own particular work to do. Candide decided that the best thing in the world was to cultivate one's garden.


Critical Evaluation

Candide, Voltaire's tour de force, goes beyond most other famous satires. Like Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock (1714), it attacks the pretentiousness of the upper classes; like George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945), it undercuts political systems; like Jonathan Swift's ambitious Gulliver's Travels (1726), it sheds sharp light on man's grossness, his cupidity, and his stupidity, as well as on his crude and frequently cruel institutions. It goes beyond man and his society, however, to examine the entire world in which man finds himself. Its thesis is contrived in explicit response to Leibnitzian optimism that this is "the best of all possible worlds."
The problem of the existence of evil in the world has bothered man ever since he dared speculate about the nature of things. It is treated in the literature of the West at least as early as the book of Genesis, which attributes evil to man's disobedient nature. St. Augustine and, later, John Milton enlarged on this theory, claiming that God limited his own interference in the world when he created man "sufficient to stand though free to fall." The Book of Job in the Bible centers more specifically on the problem of suffering. Its answer is essentially no answer except for God's overwhelming (some have said obscene) demonstration of power, which humbles Job into acceptance. A third century Persian philosopher, Mani, devised the theory that earth is a field of dispute between two nearly matched powers—one of light, one of darkness—with man caught in the middle.
Most later explanations appear to be variations on these three. The seventeenth century Frenchman Blaise Pascal believed, like the author of Job, that man's vision cannot perceive the justice of God's overall plan. Gottfried Wil-helm von Leibnitz developed this explanation further. In his Theodicee, published in 1710, he described a harmonious universe in which all events are linked into a chain of cause and effect, and in which apparent evil is compensated by some greater good which may not be evident in the short run to the limited human mind. The English poet Alexander Pope expressed similar views in rhymed couplets:

All Nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, in spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear: Whatever IS, IS RIGHT.

In his early life, Voltaire had been generally optimistic. Beginning in 1752, however, his writings evidence growing pessimism. On November 1, 1755, an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed thirty to forty thousand people. This catastrophe provided Voltaire with a perfect springboard for his skepticism about the basic goodness of this world. "If Pope had been at Lisbon," he wrote, "would he have dared to say All is well?" His fellow Frenchman Jean Jacques Rousseau responded that man, not God, is to blame for evil, including earthquakes: that man brings misfortune upon himself by congregating in cities instead of living naturally in the country.
Voltaire continued the debate by composing Candide. He created a young, impressionable protagonist and set him upon an incredible series of adventures, many of which are drawn from real life, for example, the Lisbon earthquake and subsequent auto-da-fe; the political chaos of Morocco; and the execution of an admiral (Voltaire had tried to intercede in just such a situation). Like such other wandering heroes as Gulliver and Huckleberry Finn, Candide is naive. For a time, like a schoolboy, he reacts to such events as torture, war, and catastrophe by recalling the favorite principles of his tutor, Pangloss: "Every effect has a cause," and "All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds." As horror piles on horror, however, his doubts increase. Pangloss reappears periodically to soothe his pupil with the most illogical logic imaginable, but hard experience takes its toll.
Candide's visit to Eldorado, the famed lost city of the New World, is a high-water mark. Here all is placid and serene. People live in absolute harmony. Suffering and poverty are unknown. There is no greed; the natives smile at Candide's interest in the gold and jewels which lie on the ground as "clay and pebbles." Eldorado is Utopia— as J. G. Weightman has put it, "a sunny interlude between two series of disasters to show us how happy and pious we might have been had God not given us our ungovernable natures and put us into a world containing inexplicable evil." In his desire to regain his lost love, Cune-gonde, Candide leaves Eldorado; but having seen a truly harmonious world, he can no longer accept cruelty, catastrophe, and suffering as necessary ingredients for a universal good.
In the final chapter, Candide and his little band— including his former tutor, Pangloss; his more recent friend, the pessimistic Martin; and Cunegonde, now grown old and ugly—settle on a small farm "till the company should meet with a more favorable destiny." There they become almost as distressed by boredom as they previously were by disaster. Two neighbors, however, bring enlightenment to them. A dervish, questioned about the existence of evil, responds, "What signifies it whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the rats in the vessel are at their ease or not?" This echo of a metaphor Voltaire had contrived as early as 1736 briefly asserts the notion that the world may in the view of the "divine architect" be excellent indeed—but it is not designed for man, the "mouse" in the hold, any more than noses were designed for spectacles.
The second neighbor, a contented old farmer, advises Candide's group of the worthwhileness of labor, which "keeps off from us three great evils—idleness, vice, and want." For once, those philosophical opposites, Pangloss and Martin, agree; the little community settles down to work in earnest, each member doing his part with a good will and deriving satisfaction therefrom.
Candide, then, while an attack on philosophical optimism, is not a pessimistic work: Its ending, with the hero remarking that "we must cultivate our garden," reminds the reader of the words of another realistic, but hopeful, man, Anton Chekhov, who was to observe more than a century later, "If everyone in the world did all he was capable of on his own plot of land, what a beautiful world it would be!"



Illustrations Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune













Translated by William F. Fleming




How Candide was brought up in a magnificent castle and how he was driven thence.

In the country of Westphalia, in the castle of the most noble baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, lived a youth whom nature had endowed with a most sweet disposition. His face was the true index of his mind. He had a solid judgment joined to the most unaffected simplicity; and hence, I presume, he had his name of Candide. The old servants of the house suspected him to have been the son of the baron’s sister, by a very good sort of a gentleman of the neighborhood, whom that young lady refused to marry, because he could produce no more than threescore and eleven quarterings in his arms; the rest of the genealogical tree belonging to the family having been lost through the injuries of time.

The baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia; for his castle had not only a gate, but even windows; and his great hall was hung with tapestry. He used to hunt with his mastiffs and spaniels instead of greyhounds; his groom served him for huntsman; and the parson of the parish officiated as his grand almoner. He was called My Lord by all his people, and he never told a story but every one laughed at it.

My lady baroness weighed three hundred and fifty pounds, consequently was a person of no small consideration; and then she did the honors of the house with a dignity that commanded universal respect. Her daughter was about seventeen years of age, fresh colored, comely, plump, and desirable. The baron’s son seemed to be a youth in every respect worthy of the father he sprung from. Pangloss, the preceptor, was the oracle of the family, and little Candide listened to his instructions with all the simplicity natural to his age and disposition.

Master Pangloss taught the metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology. He could prove to admiration that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of all possible worlds, the baron’s castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and my lady the best of all possible baronesses.

It is demonstrable, said he, that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn, and to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best.

Candide listened attentively, and believed implicitly; for he thought Miss Cunegund excessively handsome, though he never had the courage to tell her so. He concluded that next to the happiness of being baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, the next was that of being Miss Cunegund, the next that of seeing her every day, and the last that of hearing the doctrine of Master Pangloss, the greatest philosopher of the whole province, and consequently of the whole world.

One day when Miss Cunegund went to take a walk in a little neighboring wood which was called a park, she saw, through the bushes, the sage Doctor Pangloss giving a lecture in experimental philosophy to her mother’s chambermaid, a little brown wench, very pretty, and very tractable. As Miss Cunegund had a great disposition for the sciences, she observed with the utmost attention the experiments, which were repeated before her eyes; she perfectly well understood the force of the doctor’s reasoning upon causes and effects. She retired greatly flurried, quite pensive and filled with the desire of knowledge, imagining that she might be a sufficing reason for young Candide, and he for her.

On her way back she happened to meet the young man; she blushed, he blushed also; she wished him a good morning in a flattering tone, he returned the salute without knowing what he said. The next day, as they were rising from dinner, Cunegund and Candide slipped behind the screen. The miss dropped her handkerchief, the young man picked it up. She innocently took hold of his hand, and he as innocently kissed hers with a warmth, a sensibility, a grace—all very particular; their lips met; their eyes sparkled; their knees trembled; their hands strayed. The baron chanced to come by; he beheld the cause and effect, and, without hesitation, saluted Candide with some notable kicks on the breech, and drove him out of doors. The lovely Miss Cunegund fainted away, and, as soon as she came to herself, the baroness boxed her ears. Thus a general consternation was spread over this most magnificent and most agreeable of all possible castles.



What befell Candide among the Bulgarians.

Candide, thus driven out of this terrestrial paradise, rambled a long time without knowing where he went; sometimes he raised his eyes, all bedewed with tears, towards heaven, and sometimes he cast a melancholy look towards the magnificent castle, where dwelt the fairest of young baronesses. He laid himself down to sleep in a furrow, heartbroken, and supperless. The snow fell in great flakes, and, in the morning when he awoke, he was almost frozen to death; however, he made shift to crawl to the next town, which was called Wald-berghoff-trarbk-dikdorff, without a penny in his pocket, and half dead with hunger and fatigue. He took up his stand at the door of an inn. He had not been long there, before two men dressed in blue, fixed their eyes steadfastly upon him. “Faith, comrade,” said one of them to the other, “yonder is a well made young fellow, and of the right size.” Upon which they made up to Candide, and with the greatest civility and politeness invited him to dine with them. “Gentlemen,” replied Candide, with a most engaging modesty, “you do me much honor, but upon my word I have no money.” “Money, sir!” said one of the blues to him, “young persons of your appearance and merit never pay anything; why, are not you five feet five inches high?” “Yes, gentlemen, that is really my size,” replied he, with a low bow. “Come then, sir, sit down along with us; we will not only pay your reckoning, but will never suffer such a clever young fellow as you to want money. Men were born to assist one another.” “You are perfectly right, gentlemen,” said Candide, “this is precisely the doctrine of Master Pangloss; and I am convinced that everything is for the best.” His generous companions next entreated him to accept of a few crowns, which he readily complied with, at the same time offering them his note for the payment, which they refused, and sat down to table. “Have you not a great affection for—” “O yes! I have a great affection for the lovely Miss Cunegund.” “May be so,” replied one of the blues, “but that is not the question! We ask you whether you have not a great affection for the king of the Bulgarians?” “For the king of the Bulgarians?” said Candide, “oh Lord! not at all, why I never saw him in my life.” “Is it possible! oh, he is a most charming king! Come, we must drink his health.” “With all my heart, gentlemen,” says Candide, and off he tossed his glass. “Bravo!” cry the blues; “you are now the support, the defender, the hero of the Bulgarians; your fortune is made; you are in the high road to glory.” So saying, they handcuffed him, and carried him away to the regiment. There he was made to wheel about to the right, to the left, to draw his rammer, to return his rammer, to present, to fire, to march, and they gave him thirty blows with a cane; the next day he performed his exercise a little better, and they gave him but twenty; the day following he came off with ten, and was looked upon as a young fellow of surprising genius by all his comrades.

Candide was struck with amazement, and could not for the soul of him conceive how he came to be a hero. One fine spring morning, he took it into his head to take a walk, and he marched straight forward, conceiving it to be a privilege of the human species, as well as of the brute creation, to make use of their legs how and when they pleased. He had not gone above two leagues when he was overtaken by four other heroes, six feet high, who bound him neck and heels, and carried him to a dungeon. A court-martial sat upon him, and he was asked which he liked better, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls? In vain did he remonstrate to them that the human will is free, and that he chose neither; they obliged him to make a choice, and he determined, in virtue of that divine gift called free will, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times. He had gone through his discipline twice, and the regiment being composed of 2,000 men, they composed for him exactly 4,000 strokes, which laid bare all his muscles and nerves from the nape of his neck to his stern. As they were preparing to make him set out the third time our young hero, unable to support it any longer, begged as a favor that they would be so obliging as to shoot him through the head; the favor being granted, a bandage was tied over his eyes, and he was made to kneel down. At that very instant, his Bulgarian majesty happening to pass by made a stop, and inquired into the delinquent’s crime, and being a prince of great penetration, he found, from what he heard of Candide, that he was a young metaphysician, entirely ignorant of the world; and therefore, out of his great clemency, he condescended to pardon him, for which his name will be celebrated in every journal, and in every age. A skilful surgeon made a cure of the flagellated Candide in three weeks by means of emollient unguents prescribed by Dioscorides. His sores were now skinned over and he was able to march, when the king of the Bulgarians gave battle to the king of the Abares.



How Candide escaped from the Bulgarians, and what befell him afterwards.

Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutred, so brilliant, and so finely disposed as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made such harmony as never was heard in hell itself. The entertainment began by a discharge of cannon, which, in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men on each side. The musket bullets swept away, out of the best of all possible worlds, nine or ten thousand scoundrels that infested its surface. The bayonet was next the sufficient reason of the deaths of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and concealed himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.

At length, while the two kings were causing Te Deums to be sung in their camps, Candide took a resolution to go and reason somewhere else upon causes and effects. After passing over heaps of dead or dying men, the first place he came to was a neighboring village, in the Abarian territories, which had been burned to the ground by the Bulgarians, agreeably to the laws of war. Here lay a number of old men covered with wounds, who beheld their wives dying with their throats cut, and hugging their children to their breasts, all stained with blood. There several young virgins, whose bodies had been ripped open, after they had satisfied the natural necessities of the Bulgarian heroes, breathed their last; while others, half burned in the flames, begged to be despatched out of the world. The ground about them was covered with the brains, arms, and legs of dead men.

Candide made all the haste he could to another village, which belonged to the Bulgarians, and there he found the heroic Abares had enacted the same tragedy. Thence continuing to walk over palpitating limbs, or through ruined buildings, at length he arrived beyond the theatre of war, with a little provision in his budget, and Miss Cunegund’s image in his heart. When he arrived in Holland his provision failed him; but having heard that the inhabitants of that country were all rich and Christians, he made himself sure of being treated by them in the same manner as at the baron’s castle, before he had been driven thence through the power of Miss Cunegund’s bright eyes.

He asked charity of several grave-looking people, who one and all answered him, that if he continued to follow this trade they would have him sent to the house of correction, where he should be taught to get his bread.

He next addressed himself to a person who had just come from haranguing a numerous assembly for a whole hour on the subject of charity. The orator, squinting at him under his broad-brimmed hat, asked him sternly, what brought him thither and whether he was for the good old cause? “Sir,” said Candide, in a submissive manner, “I conceive there can be no effect without a cause; everything is necessarily concatenated and arranged for the best. It was necessary that I should be banished from the presence of Miss Cunegund; that I should afterwards run the gauntlet; and it is necessary I should beg my bread, till I am able to get it: all this could not have been otherwise.” “Hark ye, friend,” said the orator, “do you hold the pope to be Antichrist?” “Truly, I never heard anything about it,” said Candide, “but whether he is or not, I am in want to something to eat.” “Thou deservest not to eat or to drink,” replied the orator, “wretch, monster, that thou art! hence! avoid my sight, nor ever come near me again while thou livest.” The orator’s wife happened to put her head out of the window at that instant, when, seeing a man who doubted whether the pope was Antichrist, she discharged upon his head a utensil full of water. Good heavens, to what excess does religious zeal transport womankind!

A man who had never been christened, an honest anabaptist named James, was witness to the cruel and ignominious treatment showed to one of his brethren, to a rational, two-footed, unfledged being. Moved with pity he carried him to his own house, caused him to be cleaned, gave him meat and drink, and made him a present of two florins, at the same time proposing to instruct him in his own trade of weaving Persian silks, which are fabricated in Holland. Candide, penetrated with so much goodness, threw himself at his feet, crying, “Now I am convinced that my Master Pangloss told me truth when he said that everything was for the best in this world; for I am infinitely more affected with your extraordinary generosity than with the inhumanity of that gentleman in the black cloak, and his wife.” The next day, as Candide was walking out, he met a beggar all covered with scabs, his eyes sunk in his head, the end of his nose eaten off, his mouth drawn on one side, his teeth as black as a cloak, snuffling and coughing most violently, and every time he attempted to spit out dropped a tooth.



How Candide found his old master Pangloss again and what happened to him.

Candide, divided between compassion and horror, but giving way to the former, bestowed on this shocking figure the two florins which the honest anabaptist, James, had just before given to him. The spectre looked at him very earnestly, shed tears and threw his arms about his neck. Candide started back aghast. “Alas!” said the one wretch to the other, “don’t you know your dear Pangloss?” “What do I hear? Is it you, my dear master! you I behold in this piteous plight? What dreadful misfortune has befallen you? What has made you leave the most magnificent and delightful of all castles? What has become of Miss Cunegund, the mirror of young ladies, and nature’s masterpiece?” “Oh Lord!” cried Pangloss, “I am so weak I cannot stand,” upon which Candide instantly led him to the anabaptist’s stable, and procured him something to eat. As soon as Pangloss had a little refreshed himself, Candide began to repeat his inquiries concerning Miss Cunegund. “She is dead,” replied the other. “Dead!” cried Candide, and immediately fainted away; his friend restored him by the help of a little bad vinegar, which he found by chance in the stable. Candide opened his eyes, and again repeated: “Dead! is Miss Cunegund dead? Ah, where is the best of worlds now? But of what illness did she die? Was it of grief on seeing her father kick me out of his magnificent castle?” “No,” replied Pangloss, “her body was ripped open by the Bulgarian soldiers, after they had subjected her to as much cruelty as a damsel could survive; they knocked the baron, her father, on the head for attempting to defend her; my lady, her mother, was cut in pieces; my poor pupil was served just in the same manner as his sister, and as for the castle, they have not left one stone upon another; they have destroyed all the ducks, and the sheep, the barns, and the trees; but we have had our revenge, for the Abares have done the very same thing in a neighboring barony, which belonged to a Bulgarian lord.”

At hearing this, Candide fainted away a second time, but, having come to himself again, he said all that it became him to say; he inquired into the cause and effect, as well as into the sufficing reason that had reduced Pangloss to so miserable a condition. “Alas,” replied the preceptor, “it was love; love, the comfort of the human species; love, the preserver of the universe; the soul of all sensible beings; love! tender love!” “Alas,” cried Candide, “I have had some knowledge of love myself, this sovereign of hearts, this soul of souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. But how could this beautiful cause produce in you so hideous an effect?”

Pangloss made answer in these terms: “O my dear Candide, you must remember Pacquette, that pretty wench, who waited on our noble baroness; in her arms I tasted the pleasures of paradise, which produced these hell-torments with which you see me devoured. She was infected with an ailment, and perhaps has since died of it; she received this present of a learned cordelier, who derived it from the fountain head; he was indebted for it to an old countess, who had it of a captain of horse, who had it of a marchioness, who had it of a page, the page had it of a Jesuit, who, during his novitiate, had it in a direct line from one of the fellow-adventurers of Christopher Columbus; for my part I shall give it to nobody, I am a dying man.”

“O sage Pangloss,” cried Candide, “what a strange genealogy is this! Is not the devil the root of it?” “Not at all,” replied the great man, “it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds; for if Columbus had not caught in an island in America this disease, which contaminates the source of generation, and frequently impedes propagation itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have had neither chocolate nor cochineal. It is also to be observed, that, even to the present time, in this continent of ours, this malady, like our religious controversies, is peculiar to ourselves. The Turks, the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese, and the Japanese are entirely unacquainted with it; but there is a sufficing reason for them to know it in a few centuries. In the meantime, it is making prodigious havoc among us, especially in those armies composed of well-disciplined hirelings, who determine the fate of nations; for we may safely affirm, that, when an army of thirty thousand men engages another equal in size, there are about twenty thousand infected with syphilis on each side.”

“Very surprising, indeed,” said Candide, “but you must get cured. “Lord help me, how can I?” said Pangloss; “my dear friend, I have not a penny in the world; and you know one cannot be bled or have a clyster without money.”

This last speech had its effect on Candide; he flew to the charitable anabaptist, James; he flung himself at his feet, and gave him so striking a picture of the miserable condition of his friend that the good man without any further hesitation agreed to take Doctor Pangloss into his house, and to pay for his cure. The cure was effected with only the loss of one eye and an ear. As he wrote a good hand, and understood accounts tolerably well, the anabaptist made him his bookkeeper. At the expiration of two months, being obliged by some mercantile affairs to go to Lisbon he took the two philosophers with him in the same ship; Pangloss, during the course of the voyage, explained to him how everything was so constituted that it could not be better. James did not quite agree with him on this point: “Men,” said he “must, in some things, have deviated from their original innocence; for they were not born wolves, and yet they worry one another like those beasts of prey. God never gave them twenty-four pounders nor bayonets, and yet they have made cannon and bayonets to destroy one another. To this account I might add not only bankruptcies, but the law which seizes on the effects of bankrupts, only to cheat the creditors.” “All this was indispensably necessary,” replied the one-eyed doctor, “for private misfortunes are public benefits; so that the more private misfortunes there are, the greater is the general good.” While he was arguing in this manner, the sky was overcast, the winds blew from the four quarters of the compass, and the ship was assailed by a most terrible tempest, within sight of the port of Lisbon.



A tempest, a shipwreck, an earthquake; and what else befell Dr. Pangloss, Candide, and James the Anabaptist.

One-half of the passengers, weakened and half-dead with the inconceivable anxiety and sickness which the rolling of a vessel at sea occasions through the whole human frame, were lost to all sense of the danger that surrounded them. The others made loud outcries, or betook themselves to their prayers; the sails were blown into shreds, and the masts were brought by the board. The vessel was a total wreck. Every one was busily employed, but nobody could be either heard or obeyed. The anabaptist, being upon deck, lent a helping hand as well as the rest, when a brutish sailor gave him a blow and laid him speechless; but, with the violence of the blow the tar himself tumbled headforemost overboard, and fell upon a piece of the broken mast, which he immediately grasped. Honest James, forgetting the injury he had so lately received from him, flew to his assistance, and, with great difficulty, hauled him in again, but, in the attempt, was, by a sudden jerk of the ship, thrown overboard himself, in sight of the very fellow whom he had risked his life to save, and who took not the least notice of him in this distress. Candide, who beheld all that passed and saw his benefactor one moment rising above water, and the next swallowed up by the merciless waves, was preparing to jump after him, but was prevented by the philosopher Pangloss, who demonstrated to him that the roadstead of Lisbon had been made on purpose for the anabaptist to be drowned there. While he was proving his argument a priori, the ship foundered, and the whole crew perished, except Pangloss, Candide, and the sailor who had been the means of drowning the good anabaptist. The villain swam ashore; but Pangloss and Candide reached the land upon a plank.

As soon as they had recovered from their surprise and fatigue they walked towards Lisbon; with what little money they had left they thought to save themselves from starving after having escaped drowning.

Scarcely had they ceased to lament the loss of their benefactor and set foot in the city, when they perceived that the earth trembled under their feet, and the sea, swelling and foaming in the harbor, was dashing in pieces the vessels that were riding at anchor. Large sheets of flames and cinders covered the streets and public places; the houses tottered, and were tumbled topsy-turvy even to their foundations, which were themselves destroyed, and thirty thousand inhabitants of both sexes, young and old, were buried beneath the ruins. The sailor, whistling and swearing, cried, “Damn it, there’s something to be got here.” “What can be the sufficing reason of this phenomenon?” said Pangloss. “It is certainly the day of judgment,” said Candide. The sailor, defying death in the pursuit of plunder, rushed into the midst of the ruin, where he found some money, with which he got drunk, and, after he had slept himself sober he purchased the favors of the first good-natured wench that came in his way, amidst the ruins of demolished houses and the groans of half-buried and expiring persons. Pangloss pulled him by the sleeve; “Friend,” said he, “this is not right, you trespass against the universal reason, and have mistaken your time.” “Death and zounds!” answered the other, “I am a sailor and was born at Batavia, and have trampled four times upon the crucifix in as many voyages to Japan; you have come to a good hand with your universal reason.

In the meantime, Candide, who had been wounded by some pieces of stone that fell from the houses, lay stretched in the street, almost covered with rubbish. “For God’s sake,” said he to Pangloss, “get me a little wine and oil! I am dying.” “This concussion of the earth is no new thing,” said Pangloss, “the city of Lima in South America, experienced the same last year; the same cause, the same effects; there is certainly a train of sulphur all the way underground from Lima to Lisbon. “Nothing is more probable,” said Candide; “but for the love of God a little oil and wine.” “Probable!” replied the philosopher, “I maintain that the thing is demonstrable.” Candide fainted away, and Pangloss fetched him some water from a neighboring spring.

The next day, in searching among the ruins, they found some eatables with which they repaired their exhausted strength. After this they assisted the inhabitants in relieving the distressed and wounded. Some, whom they had humanely assisted, gave them as good a dinner as could be expected under such terrible circumstances. The repast, indeed, was mournful, and the company moistened their bread with their tears; but Pangloss endeavored to comfort them under this affliction by affirming that things could not be otherwise than they were: “For,” said he, “all this is for the very best end, for if there is a volcano at Lisbon it could be in no other spot; and it is impossible but things should be as they are, for everything is for the best.”

By the side of the preceptor sat a little man dressed in black, who was one of the familiars of the Inquisition. This person, taking him up with great complaisance, said, “Possibly, my good sir, you do not believe in original sin; for, if everything is best, there could have been no such thing as the fall or punishment of man.”

“I humbly ask your excellency’s pardon,” answered Pangloss, still more politely; “for the fall of man and the curse consequent thereupon necessarily entered into the system of the best of worlds.” “That is as much as to say, sir,” rejoined the familiar, “you do not believe in free will.” “Your excellency will be so good as to excuse me,” said Pangloss, “free will is consistent with absolute necessity; for it was necessary we should be free, for in that the will—”

Pangloss was in the midst of his proposition, when the inquisitor beckoned to his attendant to help him to a glass of port wine.



How the Portuguese made a superb auto-da-fé to prevent any future earthquakes, and how Candide underwent public flagellation.

After the earthquake, which had destroyed three-fourths of the city of Lisbon, the sages of that country could think of no means more effectual to preserve the kingdom from utter ruin than to entertain the people with an auto-da-fé, it having been decided by the University of Coimbra, that the burning of a few people alive by a slow fire, and with great ceremony, is an infallible preventive of earthquakes.

In consequence thereof they had seized on a Biscayan for marrying his godmother, and on two Portuguese for taking out the bacon of a larded pullet they were eating; after dinner they came and secured Doctor Pangloss, and his pupil Candide, the one for speaking his mind, and the other for seeming to approve what he had said. They were conducted to separate apartments, extremely cool, where they were never incommoded with the sun. Eight days afterwards they were each dressed in a sanbenito, and their heads were adorned with paper mitres. The mitre and sanbenito worn by Candide were painted with flames reversed and with devils that had neither tails nor claws; but Doctor Pangloss’s devils had both tails and claws, and his flames were upright. In these habits they marched in procession, and heard a very pathetic sermon, which was followed by an anthem, accompanied by bagpipes. Candide was flogged to some tune, while the anthem was being sung; the Biscayan and the two men who would not eat bacon were burned, and Pangloss was hanged, which is not a common custom at these solemnities. The same day there was another earthquake, which made most dreadful havoc.

Candide, amazed, terrified, confounded, astonished, all bloody, and trembling from head to foot, said to himself, “If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others? If I had only been whipped, I could have put up with it, as I did among the Bulgarians; but, oh my dear Pangloss! my beloved master! thou greatest of philosophers! that ever I should live to see thee hanged, without knowing for what! O my dear anabaptist, thou best of men, that it should be thy fate to be drowned in the very harbor! O Miss Cunegund, you mirror of young ladies! that it should be your fate to have your body ripped open!”

He was making the best of his way from the place where he had been preached to, whipped, absolved and blessed, when he was accosted by an old woman, who said to him: “Take courage, child, and follow me.”



How the old woman took care of Candide, and how he found the object of his love.

Candide followed the old woman, though without taking courage, to a decayed house, where she gave him a pot of pomatum to anoint his sores, showed him a very neat bed, with a suit of clothes hanging by it; and set victuals and drink before him. “There,” said she, “eat, drink, and sleep, and may our blessed lady of Atocha, and the great St. Anthony of Padua, and the illustrious St. James of Compostella, take you under their protection. I shall be back to-morrow.” Candide struck with amazement at what he had seen, at what he had suffered, and still more with the charity of the old woman, would have shown his acknowledgment by kissing her hand. “It is not my hand you ought to kiss,” said the old woman; “I shall be back to-morrow. Anoint your back, eat, and take your rest.”

Candide, notwithstanding so many disasters, ate and slept. The next morning, the old woman brought him his breakfast; examined his back, and rubbed it herself with another ointment. She returned at the proper time, and brought him his dinner; and at night, she visited him again with his supper. The next day she observed the same ceremonies. “Who are you?” said Candide to her. “Who has inspired you with so much goodness? What return can I make you for this charitable assistance?” The good old beldame kept a profound silence. In the evening she returned, but without his supper; “Come along with me,” said she, “but do not speak a word.” She took him by the arm, and walked with him about a quarter of a mile into the country, till they came to a lonely house surrounded with moats and gardens. The old conductress knocked at a little door, which was immediately opened, and she showed him up a pair of back stairs, into a small, but richly furnished apartment. There she made him sit down on a brocaded sofa, shut the door upon him, and left him. Candide thought himself in a trance; he looked upon his whole life, hitherto, as a frightful dream, and the present moment as a very agreeable one.

The old woman soon returned, supporting, with great difficulty, a young lady, who appeared scarce able to stand. She was of a majestic mien and stature, her dress was rich, and glittering with diamonds, and her face was covered with a veil. “Take off that veil,” said the old woman to Candide. The young man approached, and, with a trembling hand, took off her veil. What a happy moment! What surprise! He thought he beheld Miss Cunegund; he did behold her—it was she herself. His strength failed him, he could not utter a word, he fell at her feet. Cunegund fainted upon the sofa. The old woman bedewed them with spirits; they recovered—they began to speak. At first they could express themselves only in broken accents; their questions and answers were alternately interrupted with sighs, tears, and exclamations. The old woman desired them to make less noise, and after this prudent admonition left them together. “Good heavens!” cried Candide, “is it you? Is it Miss Cunegund I behold, and alive? Do I find you again in Portugal? then you have not been ravished? they did not rip open your body, as the philosopher Pangloss informed me?” “Indeed but they did,” replied Miss Cunegund; “but these two accidents do not always prove mortal.” “But were your father and mother killed?” “Alas!” answered she, “it is but too true!” and she wept. “And your brother?” “And my brother also.” “And how came you into Portugal? And how did you know of my being here? And by what strange adventure did you contrive to have me brought into this house? And how—” “I will tell you all,” replied the lady, “but first you must acquaint me with all that has befallen you since the innocent kiss you gave me, and the rude kicking you received in consequence of it.”

Candide, with the greatest submission, prepared to obey the commands of his fair mistress; and though he was still filled with amazement, though his voice was low and tremulous, though his back pained him, yet he gave her a most ingenuous account of everything that had befallen him, since the moment of their separation. Cunegund, with her eyes uplifted to heaven, shed tears when he related the death of the good anabaptist James, and of Pangloss; after which she thus related her adventures to Candide, who lost not one syllable she uttered, and seemed to devour her with his eyes all the time she was speaking.



Cunegund’s story.

“I was in bed, and fast asleep, when it pleased heaven to send the Bulgarians to our delightful castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh, where they murdered my father and brother, and cut my mother in pieces. A tall Bulgarian soldier, six feet high, perceiving that I had fainted away at this sight, attempted to ravish me; the operation brought me to my senses. I cried, I struggled, I bit, I scratched, I would have torn the tall Bulgarian’s eyes out, not knowing that what had happened at my father’s castle was a customary thing. The brutal soldier, enraged at my resistance, gave me a wound in my left leg with his hanger, the mark of which I still carry.” “Methinks I long to see it,” said Candide, with all imaginable simplicity. “You shall,” said Cunegund, “but let me proceed.” “Pray do,” replied Candide.

She continued. “A Bulgarian captain came in, and saw me weltering in my blood, and the soldier still as busy as if no one had been present. The officer, enraged at the fellow’s want of respect to him, killed him with one stroke of his sabre as he lay upon me. This captain took care of me, had me cured, and carried me as a prisoner of war to his quarters. I washed what little linen he possessed, and cooked his victuals: he was very fond of me, that was certain; neither can I deny that he was well made, and had a soft, white skin, but he was very stupid, and knew nothing of philosophy: it might plainly be perceived that he had not been educated under Doctor Pangloss. In three months, having gambled away all his money, and having grown tired of me, he sold me to a Jew, named Don Issachar, who traded in Holland and Portugal, and was passionately fond of women. This Jew showed me great kindness, in hopes of gaining my favors; but he never could prevail on me to yield. A modest woman may be once ravished; but her virtue is greatly strengthened thereby. In order to make sure of me, he brought me to this country-house you now see. I had hitherto believed that nothing could equal the beauty of the castle of Thunder-tentronckh; but I found I was mistaken.

“The grand inquisitor saw me one day at mass, ogled me all the time of service, and when it was over, sent to let me know he wanted to speak with me about some private business. I was conducted to his palace, where I told him all my story; he represented to me how much it was beneath a person of my birth to belong to a circumcised Israelite. He caused a proposal to be made to Don Issachar, that he should resign me to his lordship. Don Issachar, being the court banker, and a man of credit, was not easy to be prevailed upon. His lordship threatened him with an auto-da-fé; in short, my Jew was frightened into a compromise, and it was agreed between them, that the house and myself should belong to both in common; that the Jew should have Monday, Wednesday, and the Sabbath to himself; and the inquisitor the other four days of the week. This agreement has subsisted almost six months; but not without several contests, whether the space from Saturday night to Sunday morning belonged to the old or the new law. For my part, I have hitherto withstood them both, and truly I believe this is the very reason why they are both so fond of me.

“At length to turn aside the scourge of earthquakes, and to intimidate Don Issachar, my lord inquisitor was pleased to celebrate an auto-da-fé. He did me the honor to invite me to the ceremony. I had a very good seat; and refreshments of all kinds were offered the ladies between mass and the execution. I was dreadfully shocked at the burning of the two Jews, and the honest Biscayan who married his godmother; but how great was my surprise, my consternation, and concern, when I beheld a figure so like Pangloss, dressed in a sanbenito and mitre! I rubbed my eyes, I looked at him attentively. I saw him hanged, and I fainted away: scarce had I recovered my senses, when I saw you stripped of clothing; this was the height of horror, grief, and despair. I must confess to you for a truth, that your skin is whiter and more blooming than that of the Bulgarian captain. This spectacle worked me up to a pitch of distraction. I screamed out, and would have said, ‘hold, barbarians!’ but my voice failed me; and indeed my cries would have signified nothing. After you had been severely whipped, how is it possible, I said to myself, that the lovely Candide and the sage Pangloss should be at Lisbon, the one to receive a hundred lashes, and the other to be hanged by order of my lord inquisitor, of whom I am so great a favorite? Pangloss deceived me most cruelly, in saying that everything is for the best.

“Thus agitated and perplexed, now distracted and lost, now half dead with grief, I revolved in my mind the murder of my father, mother, and brother, committed before my eyes; the insolence of the rascally Bulgarian soldier; the wound he gave me in the groin; my servitude; my being a cook-wench to my Bulgarian captain; my subjection to the hateful Jew, and my cruel inquisitor; the hanging of Doctor Pangloss; the Miserere sung while you were being whipped; and particularly the kiss I gave you behind the screen, the last day I ever beheld you. I returned thanks to God for having brought you to the place where I was, after so many trials. I charged the old woman who attends me to bring you hither as soon as was convenient. She has punctually executed my orders, and I now enjoy the inexpressible satisfaction of seeing you, hearing you, and speaking to you. But you must certainly be half-dead with hunger; I myself have a great inclination to eat, and so let us sit down to supper.”

Upon this the two lovers immediately placed themselves at table, and, after having supped, they returned to seat themselves again on the magnificent sofa already mentioned, where they were in amorous dalliance, when Señor Don Issachar, one of the masters of the house, entered unexpectedly; it was the Sabbath day, and he came to enjoy his privilege, and sigh forth his passion at the feet of the fair Cunegund.



What happened to Cunegund, Candide, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Jew.

This same Issachar was the most choleric little Hebrew that had ever been in Israel since the captivity of Babylon. “What,” said he, “thou Galilean slut? the inquisitor was not enough for thee, but this rascal must come in for a share with me?” In uttering these words, he drew out a long poniard, which he always carried about him, and never dreaming that his adversary had any arms, he attacked him most furiously; but our honest Westphalian had received from the old woman a handsome sword with the suit of clothes. Candide drew his rapier, and though he was very gentle and sweet-tempered, he laid the Israelite dead on the floor at the fair Cunegund’s feet.

“Holy Virgin!” cried she, “what will become of us? A man killed in my apartment! If the peace-officers come, we are undone.” “Had not Pangloss been hanged,” replied Candide, “he would have given us most excellent advice, in this emergency; for he was a profound philosopher. But, since he is not here, let us consult the old woman.” She was very sensible, and was beginning to give her advice, when another door opened on a sudden. It was now one o’clock in the morning, and of course the beginning of Sunday, which, by agreement, fell to the lot of my lord inquisitor. Entering he discovers the flagellated Candide with his drawn sword in his hand, a dead body stretched on the floor, Cunegund frightened out of her wits, and the old woman giving advice.

At that very moment, a sudden thought came into Candide’s head. If this holy man, thought he, should call assistance, I shall most undoubtedly be consigned to the flames, and Miss Cunegund may perhaps meet with no better treatment: besides, he was the cause of my being so cruelly whipped; he is my rival; and as I have now begun to dip my hands in blood, I will kill away, for there is no time to hesitate. This whole train of reasoning was clear and instantaneous; so that, without giving time to the inquisitor to recover from his surprise, he ran him through the body, and laid him by the side of the Jew. “Here’s another fine piece of work!” cried Cunegund. “Now there can be no mercy for us, we are excommunicated; our last hour is come. But how could you, who are of so mild a temper, despatch a Jew and an inquisitor in two minutes’ time?” “Beautiful maiden,” answered Candide, “when a man is in love, is jealous, and has been flogged by the Inquisition, he becomes lost to all reflection.”

The old woman then put in her word: “There are three Andalusian horses in the stable, with as many bridles and saddles; let the brave Candide get them ready: madam has a parcel of moidores and jewels, let us mount immediately, though I have lost one of nature’s cushions; let us set out for Cadiz; it is the finest weather in the world, and there is great pleasure in travelling in the cool of the night.”

Candide, without any further hesitation, saddled the three horses; and Miss Cunegund, the old woman, and he, set out, and travelled thirty miles without once halting. While they were making the best of their way, the Holy Brotherhood entered the house. My lord, the inquisitor, was interred in a magnificent manner, and master Issachar’s body was thrown upon a dunghill.

Candide, Cunegund, and the old woman, had by this time reached the little town of Avacena, in the midst of the mountains of Sierra Morena, and were engaged in the following conversation in an inn, where they had taken up their quarters.



in what distress Candide, Cunegund, and the old woman arrive at Cadiz; and of their embarkation.

“Who could it be that has robbed me of my moidores and jewels?” exclaimed Miss Cunegund, all bathed in tears. “How shall we live? What shall we do? Where shall I find inquisitors and Jews who can give me more?” “Alas!” said the old woman, “I have a shrewd suspicion of a reverend father cordelier, who lay last night in the same inn with us at Badajoz; God forbid I should condemn any one wrongfully, but he came into our room twice, and he set off in the morning long before us.” “Alas!” said Candide, “Pangloss has often demonstrated to me that the goods of this world are common to all men, and that everyone has an equal right to the enjoyment of them; but, according to these principles, the cordelier ought to have left us enough to carry us to the end of our journey. Have you nothing at all left, my dear Miss Cunegund?” “Not a maravedi,” replied she. “What is to be done then?” said Candide. “Sell one of the horses,” replied the old woman, “I will get up behind Miss Cunegund, though I have only one cushion to ride on, and we shall reach Cadiz.”

In the same inn there was a Benedictine friar, who bought the horse very cheap. Candide, Cunegund, and the old woman, after passing through Lucina, Chellas, and Letrixa, arrived at length at Cadiz. A fleet was then getting ready, and troops were assembling in order to induce the reverend fathers, Jesuits of Paraguay, who were accused of having excited one of the Indian tribes in the neighborhood of the town of the Holy Sacrament, to revolt against the kings of Spain and Portugal. Candide, having been in the Bulgarian service, performed the military exercise of that nation before the general of this little army with so intrepid an air, and with such agility and expedition, that he received the command of a company of foot. Being now made a captain, he embarked with Miss Cunegund, the old woman, two valets, and the two Andalusian horses, which had belonged to the grand inquisitor of Portugal.

During their voyage they amused themselves with many profound reasonings on poor Pangloss’s philosophy. “We are now going into another world, and surely it must be there that everything is for the best; for I must confess that we have had some little reason to complain of what passes in ours, both as to the physical and moral part. Though I have a sincere love for you,” said Miss Cunegund, “yet I still shudder at the reflection of what I have seen and experienced.” “All will be well,” replied Candide, “the sea of this new world is already better than our European seas: it is smoother, and the winds blow more regularly.” “God grant it,” said Cunegund, “but I have met with such terrible treatment in this world that I have almost lost all hopes of a better one.” “What murmuring and complaining is here indeed!” cried the old woman: “If you had suffered half what I have, there might be some reason for it.” Miss Cunegund could scarce refrain from laughing at the good old woman, and thought it droll enough to pretend to a greater share of misfortunes than her own. “Alas! my good dame,” said she, “unless you had been ravished by two Bulgarians, had received two deep wounds in your belly, had seen two of your own castles demolished, had lost two fathers, and two mothers, and seen both of them barbarously murdered before your eyes, and to sum up all, had two lovers whipped at an auto-da-fé, I cannot see how you could be more unfortunate than I. Add to this, though born a baroness, and bearing seventy-two quarterings, I have been reduced to the station of a cook-wench.” “Miss,” replied the old woman, “you do not know my family as yet; but if I were to show you my posteriors, you would not talk in this manner, but suspend your judgment.” This speech raised a high curiosity in Candide and Cunegund; and the old woman continued as follows:



the history of the old woman.

“I have not always been blear-eyed. My nose did not always touch my chin; nor was I always a servant. You must know that I am the daughter of Pope Urban X.4, and of the princess of Palestrina. To the age of fourteen I was brought up in a castle, compared with which all the castles of the German barons would not have been fit for stabling, and one of my robes would have bought half the province of Westphalia. I grew up, and improved in beauty, wit, and every graceful accomplishment; and in the midst of pleasures, homage, and the highest expectations. I already began to inspire the men with love. My breast began to take its right form, and such a breast! white, firm, and formed like that of Venus of Medici; my eyebrows were as black as jet, and as for my eyes, they darted flames and eclipsed the lustre of the stars, as I was told by the poets of our part of the world. My maids, when they dressed and undressed me, used to fall into an ecstasy in viewing me before and behind: and all the men longed to be in their places.

“I was contracted in marriage to a sovereign prince of Massa Carara. Such a prince! as handsome as myself, sweet-tempered, agreeable, witty, and in love with me over head and ears. I loved him, too, as our sex generally do for the first time, with rapture, transport, and idolatry. The nuptials were prepared with surprising pomp and magnificence; the ceremony was attended with feasts, carousals, and burlettas: all Italy composed sonnets in my praise, though not one of them was tolerable. I was on the point of reaching the summit of bliss, when an old marchioness, who had been mistress to the prince, my husband, invited him to drink chocolate. In less than two hours after he returned from the visit, he died of most terrible convulsions. But this is a mere trifle. My mother, distracted to the highest degree, and yet less afflicted than I, determined to absent herself for some time from so fatal a place. As she had a very fine estate in the neighborhood of Gaeta, we embarked on board a galley, which was gilded like the high altar of St. Peter’s, at Rome. In our passage we were boarded by a Sallee rover. Our men defended themselves like true pope’s soldiers; they flung themselves upon their knees, laid down their arms, and begged the corsair to give them absolution in articulo mortis.

“The Moors presently stripped us as bare as ever we were born. My mother, my maids of honor, and myself, were served all in the same manner. It is amazing how quick these gentry are at undressing people. But what surprised me most was, that they made a rude sort of surgical examination of parts of the body which are sacred to the functions of nature. I thought it a very strange kind of ceremony; for thus we are generally apt to judge of things when we have not seen the world. I afterwards learned that it was to discover if we had any diamonds concealed. This practice has been established since time immemorial among those civilized nations that scour the seas. I was informed that the religious knights of Malta never fail to make this search whenever any Moors of either sex fall into their hands. It is a part of the law of nations, from which they never deviate.

“I need not tell you how great a hardship it was for a young princess and her mother to be made slaves and carried to Morocco. You may easily imagine what we must have suffered on board a corsair. My mother was still extremely handsome, our maids of honor, and even our common waiting-women, had more charms than were to be found in all Africa. As to myself, I was enchanting; I was beauty itself, and then I had my virginity. But, alas! I did not retain it long; this precious flower, which had been reserved for the lovely prince of Massa Carara, was cropped by the captain of the Moorish vessel, who was a hideous negro, and thought he did me infinite honor. Indeed, both the princess of Palestrina and myself must have had very strong constitutions to undergo all the hardships and violences we suffered before our arrival at Morocco. But I will not detain you any longer with such common things; they are hardly worth mentioning.

“Upon our arrival at Morocco we found that kingdom deluged with blood. Fifty sons of the emperor Muley Ishmael were each at the head of a party. This produced fifty civil wars of blacks against blacks, of tawnies against tawnies, and of mulattoes against mulattoes. In short, the whole empire was one continued scene of carnage.

“No sooner were we landed than a party of blacks, of a contrary faction to that of my captain, came to rob him of his booty. Next to the money and jewels, we were the most valuable things he had. I witnessed on this occasion such a battle as you never beheld in your cold European climates. The northern nations have not that fermentation in their blood, nor that raging lust for women that is so common in Africa. The natives of Europe seem to have their veins filled with milk only; but fire and vitriol circulate in those of the inhabitants of Mount Atlas and the neighboring provinces. They fought with the fury of the lions, tigers, and serpents of their country, to decide who should have us. A Moor seized my mother by the right arm, while my captain’s lieutenant held her by the left; another Moor laid hold of her by the right leg, and one of our corsairs held her by the other. In this manner almost all of our women were dragged by four soldiers. My captain kept me concealed behind him, and with his drawn scimitar cut down everyone who opposed him; at length I saw all our Italian women and my mother mangled and torn in pieces by the monsters who contended for them. The captives, my companions, the Moors who took us, the soldiers, the sailors, the blacks, the whites, the mulattoes, and lastly, my captain himself, were all slain, and I remained alone expiring upon a heap of dead bodies. Similar barbarous scenes were transacted every day over the whole country, which is of three hundred leagues in extent, and yet they never missed the five stated times of prayer enjoined by their prophet Mahomet.

“I disengaged myself with great difficulty from such a heap of corpses, and made a shift to crawl to a large orange-tree that stood on the bank of a neighboring rivulet, where I fell down exhausted with fatigue, and overwhelmed with horror, despair, and hunger. My senses being overpowered, I fell asleep, or rather seemed to be in a trance. Thus I lay in a state of weakness and insensibility between life and death, when I felt myself pressed by something that moved up and down upon my body. This brought me to myself. I opened my eyes, and saw a pretty fair-faced man, who sighed and muttered these words between his teeth, O che sciagura d’essere senza coglioni!



the adventures of the old woman continued.

“Astonished and delighted to hear my native language, and no less surprised at the young man’s words, I told him that there were far greater misfortunes in the world than what he complained of. And to convince him of it, I gave him a short history of the horrible disasters that had befallen me; and as soon as I had finished, fell into a swoon again. He carried me in his arms to a neighboring cottage, where he had me put to bed, procured me something to eat, waited on me with the greatest attention, comforted me, caressed me, told me that he had never seen anything so perfectly beautiful as myself, and that he had never so much regretted the loss of what no one could restore to him. ‘I was born at Naples,’ said he, ‘where they make eunuchs of thousands of children every year; some die of the operation; some acquire voices far beyond the most tuneful of your ladies; and others are sent to govern states and empires. I underwent this operation very successfully, and was one of the singers in the princess of Palestrina’s chapel.’ ‘How,’ cried I, ‘in my mother’s chapel!’ ‘The princess of Palestrina, your mother!’ cried he, bursting into a flood of tears. ‘Is it possible you should be the beautiful young princess whom I had the care of bringing up till she was six years old, and who at that tender age promised to be as fair as I now behold you?’ ‘I am the same,’ I replied. ‘My mother lies about a hundred yards from here cut in pieces and buried under a heap of dead bodies.’

“I then related to him all that had befallen me, and he in return acquainted me with all his adventures, and how he had been sent to the court of the king of Morocco by a Christian prince to conclude a treaty with that monarch; in consequence of which he was to be furnished with military stores, and ships to enable him to destroy the commerce of other Christian governments. ‘I have executed my commission,’ said the eunuch; ‘I am going to take ship at Ceuta, and I’ll take you along with me to Italy. Ma che sciagura d’essere senza coglioni!’

“I thanked him with tears of joy, but, instead of taking me with him into Italy, he carried me to Algiers, and sold me to the dey of that province. I had not been long a slave when the plague, which had made the tour of Africa, Asia, and Europe, broke out at Algiers with redoubled fury. You have seen an earthquake; but tell me, Miss, have you ever had the plague?”

“Never,” answered the young baroness.

“If you had ever had it,” continued the old woman, “you would own an earthquake was a trifle to it. It is very common in Africa; I was seized with it. Figure to yourself the distressed condition of the daughter of a pope, only fifteen years old, and who in less than three months had felt the miseries of poverty and slavery; had been debauched almost every day; had beheld her mother cut into four quarters; had experienced the scourges of famine and war; and was now dying of the plague at Algiers. I did not, however, die of it; but my eunuch, and the dey, and almost the whole seraglio of Algiers, were swept off.

“As soon as the first fury of this dreadful pestilence was over, a sale was made of the dey’s slaves. I was purchased by a merchant who carried me to Tunis. This man sold me to another merchant, who sold me again to another at Tripoli; from Tripoli I was sold to Alexandria, from Alexandria to Smyrna, and from Smyrna to Constantinople. After many changes, I at length became the property of an aga of the janissaries, who, soon after I came into his possession, was ordered away to the defence of Azoff, then besieged by the Russians.

“The aga, being very fond of women, took his whole seraglio with him, and lodged us in a small fort, with two black eunuchs and twenty soldiers for our guard. Our army made a great slaughter among the Russians; but they soon returned us the compliment. Azoff was taken by storm, and the enemy spared neither age, sex, nor condition, but put all to the sword, and laid the city in ashes. Our little fort alone held out; they resolved to reduce us by famine. The twenty janissaries, who were left to defend it, had bound themselves by an oath never to surrender the place. Being reduced to the extremity of famine, they found themselves obliged to kill our two eunuchs, and eat them rather than violate their oath. But this horrible repast soon failing them, they next determined to devour the women.

“We had a very pious and humane man, who gave them a most excellent sermon on this occasion, exhorting them not to kill us all at once; ‘Cut off only one of the steaks of each of those ladies,’ said he, ‘and you will fare extremely well; if you are under the necessity of having recourse to the same expedient again, you will find the like supply a few days hence. Heaven will approve of so charitable an action, and work your deliverance.’

“By the force of this eloquence he easily persuaded them, and all of us underwent the operation. The man applied the same balsam as they do to children after circumcision. We were all ready to give up the ghost.

“The janissaries had scarcely time to finish the repast with which we had supplied them, when the Russians attacked the place by means of flat-bottomed boats, and not a single janissary escaped. The Russians paid no regard to the condition we were in; but there are French surgeons in all parts of the world, and one of them took us under his care, and cured us. I shall never forget, while I live, that as soon as my wounds were perfectly healed he made me certain proposals. In general, he desired us all to be of a good cheer, assuring us that the like had happened in many sieges; and that it was perfectly agreeable to the laws of war.

“As soon as my companions were in a condition to walk, they were sent to Moscow. As for me, I fell to the lot of a boyard, who put me to work in his garden, and gave me twenty lashes a day. But this nobleman having about two years afterwards been broken alive upon the wheel, with about thirty others, for some court intrigues, I took advantage of the event, and made my escape. I travelled over a great part of Russia. I was a long time an innkeeper’s servant at Riga, then at Rostock, Wismar, Leipsic, Cassel, Utrecht, Leyden, The Hague, and Rotterdam: I have grown old in misery and disgrace, living with only one buttock, and having in perpetual remembrance that I am a pope’s daughter. I have been a hundred times upon the point of killing myself, but still I was fond of life. This ridiculous weakness is, perhaps, one of the dangerous principles implanted in our nature. For what can be more absurd than to persist in carrying a burden of which we wish to be eased? to detest, and yet to strive to preserve our existence? In a word, to caress the serpent that devours us, and hug him close to our bosoms till he has gnawed into our hearts?

“In the different countries which it has been my fate to traverse, and at the many inns where I have been a servant, I have observed a prodigious number of people who held their existence in abhorrence, and yet I never knew more than twelve who voluntarily put an end to their misery; namely, three negroes, four Englishmen, as many Genevese, and a German professor, named Robek. My last place was with the Jew, Don Issachar, who placed me near your person, my fair lady; to whose fortunes I have attached myself, and have been more concerned with your adventures than with my own. I should never have even mentioned the latter to you, had you not a little piqued me on the head of sufferings; and if it were not customary to tell stories on board a ship in order to pass away the time. In short, my dear Miss, I have a great deal of knowledge and experience in the world, therefore take my advice: divert yourself, and prevail upon each passenger to tell his story, and if there is one of them all that has not cursed his existence many times, and said to himself over and over again that he was the most wretched of mortals, I give you leave to throw me head-foremost into the sea.”



how Candide was obliged to leave the fair Cunegund and the old woman.

The fair Cunegund, being thus made acquainted with the history of the old woman’s life and adventures, paid her all the respect and civility due to a person of her rank and merit. She very readily acceded to her proposal of engaging the passengers to relate their adventures in their turns, and was at length, as well as Candide, compelled to acknowledge that the old woman was in the right. “It is a thousand pities,” said Candide, “that the sage Pangloss should have been hanged contrary to the custom of an auto-da-fé, for he would have given us a most admirable lecture on the moral and physical evil which overspreads the earth and sea; and I think I should have courage enough to presume to offer (with all due respect) some few objections.”

While everyone was reciting his adventures, the ship continued her way, and at length arrived at Buenos Ayres, where Cunegund, Captain Candide, and the old woman, landed and went to wait upon the governor Don Fernando d’Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza. This nobleman carried himself with a haughtiness suitable to a person who bore so many names. He spoke with the most noble disdain to everyone, carried his nose so high, strained his voice to such a pitch, assumed so imperious an air, and stalked with so much loftiness and pride, that everyone who had the honor of conversing with him was violently tempted to bastinade his excellency. He was immoderately fond of women, and Miss Cunegund appeared in his eyes a paragon of beauty. The first thing he did was to ask her if she was not the captain’s wife. The air with which he made this demand alarmed Candide, who did not dare to say he was married to her, because indeed he was not; neither did he venture to say she was his sister, because she was not: and though a lie of this nature proved of great service to one of the ancients, and might possibly be useful to some of the moderns, yet the purity of his heart would not permit him to violate the truth. “Miss Cunegund,” replied he, “is to do me the honor to marry me, and we humbly beseech your excellency to condescend to grace the ceremony with your presence.”

Don Fernando d’Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, twirling his mustachio, and putting on a sarcastic smile, ordered Captain Candide to go and review his company. The gentle Candide obeyed, and the governor was left with Miss Cunegund. He made her a strong declaration of love, protesting that he was ready to give her his hand in the face of the church, or otherwise, as should appear most agreeable to a young lady of her prodigious beauty. Cunegund desired leave to retire a quarter of an hour to consult the old woman, and determine how she should proceed.

The old woman gave her the following counsel: “Miss, you have seventy-two quarterings in your arms, it is true, but you have not a penny to bless yourself with: it is your own fault if you do not become the wife of one of the greatest noblemen in South America, with an exceeding fine mustachio. What business have you to pride yourself upon an unshaken constancy? You have been outraged by a Bulgarian soldier; a Jew and an inquisitor have both tasted of your favors. People take advantage of misfortunes. I must confess, were I in your place, I should, without the least scruple, give my hand to the governor, and thereby make the fortune of the brave Captain Candide.” While the old woman was thus haranguing, with all the prudence that old age and experience furnish, a small bark entered the harbor, in which was an alcayde and his alguazils. Matters had fallen out as follows:

The old woman rightly guessed that the cordelier with the long sleeves, was the person who had taken Miss Cunegund’s money and jewels, while they and Candide were at Badajoz, in their flight from Lisbon. This same friar attempted to sell some of the diamonds to a jeweller, who presently knew them to have belonged to the grand inquisitor, and stopped them. The cordelier, before he was hanged, acknowledged that he had stolen them, and described the persons, and the road they had taken. The flight of Cunegund and Candide was already the towntalk. They sent in pursuit of them to Cadiz; and the vessel which had been sent to make the greater despatch, had now reached the port of Buenos Ayres. A report was spread that an alcayde was going to land, and that he was in pursuit of the murderers of my lord, the inquisitor. The sage old woman immediately saw what was to be done. “You cannot run away,” said she to Cunegund, “but you have nothing to fear; it was not you who killed my lord inquisitor: besides, as the governor is in love with you, he will not suffer you to be ill-treated; therefore stand your ground.” Then hurrying away to Candide, she said: “Be gone hence this instant, or you will be burned alive.” Candide found there was no time to be lost; but how could he part from Cunegund, and whither must he fly for shelter?



the reception Candide and cacambo met with among the jesuits in paraguay.

Candide had brought with him from Cadiz such a footman as one often meets with on the coasts of Spain and in the colonies. He was the fourth part of a Spaniard, of a mongrel breed, and born in Tucuman. He had successively gone through the profession of a singing boy, sexton, sailor, monk, peddler, soldier, and lackey. His name was Cacambo; he had a great affection for his master, because his master was a very good man. He immediately saddled the two Andalusian horses. “Come, my good master, let us follow the old woman’s advice, and make all the haste we can from this place without staying to look behind us.” Candide burst into a flood of tears: “O, my dear Cunegund, must I then be compelled to quit you just as the governor was going to honor us with his presence at our wedding! Cunegund, so long lost and found again, what will now become of you?” “Lord!” said Cacambo, “she must do as well as she can; women are never at a loss. God takes care of them, and so let us make the best of our way.” “But whither wilt thou carry me? where can we go? what can we do without Cunegund?” cried the disconsolate Candide. “By St. James of Compostella,” said Cacambo, “you were going to fight against the Jesuits of Paraguay; now let us go and fight for them; I know the road perfectly well; I’ll conduct you to their kingdom; they will be delighted with a captain that understands the Bulgarian drill; you will certainly make a prodigious fortune. If we cannot succeed in this world we may in another. It is a great pleasure to see new objects and perform new exploits.”

“Then you have been in Paraguay?” asked Candide. “Ay, marry, I have,” replied Cacambo; “I was a scout in the college of the Assumption, and am as well acquainted with the new government of Los Padres as I am with the streets of Cadiz. Oh, it is an admirable government, that is most certain! The kingdom is at present upwards of three hundred leagues in diameter, and divided into thirty provinces; the fathers there are masters of everything, and the people have no money at all; this you must allow is the masterpiece of justice and reason. For my part, I see nothing so divine as the good fathers, who wage war in this part of the world against the troops of Spain and Portugal, at the same time that they hear the confessions of those very princes in Europe; who kill Spaniards in America and send them to heaven at Madrid. This pleases me exceedingly, but let us push forward; you are going to see the happiest and most fortunate of all mortals. How charmed will those fathers be to hear that a captain who understands the Bulgarian military drill is coming among them.”

As soon as they reached the first barrier, Cacambo called to the advance guard, and told them that a captain wanted to speak to my lord, the general. Notice was given to the main guard, and immediately a Paraguayan officer ran to throw himself at the feet of the commandant to impart this news to him. Candide and Cacambo were immediately disarmed, and their two Andalusian horses were seized. The two strangers were conducted between two files of musketeers, the commandant was at the further end with a three-cornered cap on his head, his gown tucked up, a sword by his side, and a half-pike in his hand; he made a sign, and instantly four-and-twenty soldiers drew up round the newcomers. A sergeant told them that they must wait, the commandant could not speak to them; and that the reverend father provincial did not suffer any Spaniard to open his mouth but in his presence, or to stay above three hours in the province. “And where is the reverend father provincial?” said Cacambo. “He has just come from mass and is at the parade,” replied the sergeant, “and in about three hours’ time you may possibly have the honor to kiss his spurs.” “But,” said Cacambo, “the captain, who, as well as myself, is perishing of hunger, is no Spaniard, but a German; therefore, pray, might we not be permitted to break our fast till we can be introduced to his reverence?”

The sergeant immediately went and acquainted the commandant with what he heard. “God be praised,” said the reverend commandant, “since he is a German I will hear what he has to say; let him be brought to my arbor.”

Immediately they conducted Candide to a beautiful pavilion adorned with a colonade of green marble, spotted with yellow, and with an intertexture of vines, which served as a kind of cage for parrots, humming-birds, guinea-hens, and all other curious kinds of birds. An excellent breakfast was provided in vessels of gold; and while the Paraguayans were eating coarse Indian corn out of wooden dishes in the open air, and exposed to the burning heat of the sun, the reverend father commandant retired to his cool arbor.

He was a very handsome young man, roundfaced, fair, and fresh-colored, his eyebrows were finely arched, he had a piercing eye, the tips of his ears were red, his lips vermilion, and he had a bold and commanding air; but such a boldness as neither resembled that of a Spaniard nor of a Jesuit. He ordered Candide and Cacambo to have their arms restored to them, together with their two Andalusian horses. Cacambo gave the poor beasts some oats to eat close by the arbor, keeping a strict eye upon them all the while for fear of surprise.

Candide having kissed the hem of the commandant’s robe, they sat down to table. “It seems you are a German,” said the Jesuit to him in that language. “Yes, reverend father,” answered Candide. As they pronounced these words they looked at each other with great amazement and with an emotion that neither could conceal.

“From what part of Germany do you come?” said the Jesuit.

“From the dirty province of Westphalia,” answered Candide. “I was born in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh.”

“Oh heavens! is it possible?” said the commandant.

“What a miracle!” cried Candide.

“Can it be you?” said the commandant.

On this they both drew a few steps backwards, then running into each other’s arms, embraced, and wept profusely. “Is it you then, reverend father? You are the brother of the fair Miss Cunegund? You that was slain by the Bulgarians! You the baron’s son! You a Jesuit in Paraguay! I must confess this is a strange world we live in. O Pangloss! Pangloss! what joy would this have given you if you had not been hanged.”

The commandant dismissed the negro slaves, and the Paraguayans who presented them with liquor in crystal goblets. He returned thanks to God and St. Ignatius a thousand times; he clasped Candide in his arms, and both their faces were bathed in tears. “You will be more surprised, more affected, more transported,” said Candide, “when I tell you that Miss Cunegund, your sister, whose belly was supposed to have been ripped open, is in perfect health.”


“In your neighborhood, with the governor of Buenos Ayres; and I myself was going to fight against you.” Every word they uttered during this long conversation was productive of some new matter of astonishment. Their souls fluttered on their tongues, listened in their ears, and sparkled in their eyes. Like true Germans, they continued a long while at table, waiting for the reverend father; and the commandant spoke to his dear Candide as follows:



how Candide killed the brother of his dear Cunegund.

“Never while I live shall I lose the remembrance of that horrible day on which I saw my father and mother barbarously butchered before my eyes, and my sister ravished. When the Bulgarians retired we searched in vain for my dear sister. She was nowhere to be found; but the bodies of my father, mother, and myself, with two servant maids and three little boys, all of whom had been murdered by the remorseless enemy, were thrown into a cart to be buried in a chapel belonging to the Jesuits, within two leagues of our family seat. A Jesuit sprinkled us with some holy water, which was confounded salty, and a few drops of it went into my eyes; the father perceived that my eyelids stirred a little; he put his hand upon my breast and felt my heart beat; upon which he gave me proper assistance, and at the end of three weeks I was perfectly recovered. You know, my dear Candide, I was very handsome; I became still more so, and the reverend father Croust, superior of that house, took a great fancy to me; he gave me the habit of the order, and some years afterwards I was sent to Rome. Our general stood in need of new recruits of young German Jesuits. The sovereigns of Paraguay admit of as few Spanish Jesuits as possible; they prefer those of other nations, as being more obedient to command. The reverend father-general looked upon me as a proper person to work in that vineyard. I set out in company with a Polander and a Tyrolese. Upon my arrival I was honored with a subdeaconship and a lieutenancy. Now I am colonel and priest. We shall give a warm reception to the king of Spain’s troops; I can assure you they will be well excommunicated and beaten. Providence has sent you hither to assist us. But is it true that my dear sister Cunegund is in the neighborhood with the governor of Buenos Ayres?”

Candide swore that nothing could be more true; and the tears began again to trickle down their cheeks. The baron knew no end of embracing Candide, he called him his brother, his deliverer.

“Perhaps,” said he, “my dear Candide, we shall be fortunate enough to enter the town, sword in hand, and recover my sister Cunegund.”

“Ah! that would crown my wishes,” replied Candide; “for I intended to marry her; and I hope I shall still be able to effect it.”

“Insolent fellow!” cried the baron. “You! you have the impudence to marry my sister, who bears seventy-two quarterings! really, I think you have an insufferable degree of assurance to dare so much as to mention such an audacious design to me.”

Candide, thunderstruck at the oddness of this speech, answered: “Reverend father, all the quarterings in the world are of no signification. I have delivered your sister from a Jew and an inquisitor; she is under many obligations to me, and she is resolved to give me her hand. My master, Pangloss, always told me that mankind are by nature equal. Therefore, you may depend upon it that I will marry your sister.”

“We shall see to that, villain!” said the Jesuit baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, and struck him across the face with the flat side of his sword. Candide in an instant drew his rapier and plunged it up to the hilt in the Jesuit’s body; but in pulling it out reeking hot, he burst into tears.

“Good God!” cried he, “I have killed my old master, my friend, my brother-in-law; I am the best man in the world, and yet I have already killed three men; and of these three two were priests.”

Cacambo, who was standing sentry near the door of the arbor, instantly ran up.

“Nothing remains,” said his master, “but to sell our lives as dearly as possible; they will undoubtedly look into the arbor; we must die sword in hand.”

Cacambo, who had seen many of this kind of adventures, was not discouraged. He stripped the baron of his Jesuit’s habit and put it upon Candide, then gave him the dead man’s three-cornered cap and made him mount on horseback. All this was done as quick as thought.

“Gallop, master,” cried Cacambo; “everybody will take you for a Jesuit going to give orders; and we shall have passed the frontiers before they will be able to overtake us.” He flew as he spoke these words, crying out aloud in Spanish, “Make way; make way for the reverend father-colonel.”



what happened to our two travellers with two girls, two monkeys, and the savages, called oreillons.

Candide and his valet had already passed the frontiers before it was known that the German Jesuit was dead. The wary Cacambo had taken care to fill his wallet with bread, chocolate, some ham, some fruit, and a few bottles of wine. They penetrated with their Andalusian horses into a strange country, where they could discover no beaten path. At length a beautiful meadow, intersected with purling rills, opened to their view. Cacambo proposed to his master to take some nourishment, and he set him an example.

“How can you desire me to feast upon ham, when I have killed the baron’s son and am doomed never more to see the beautiful Cunegund? What will it avail me to prolong a wretched life that must be spent far from her in remorse and despair? And then what will the journal of Trévoux say?” was Candide’s reply.

While he was making these reflections he still continued eating. The sun was now on the point of setting when the ears of our two wanderers were assailed with cries which seemed to be uttered by a female voice. They could not tell whether these were cries of grief or of joy; however, they instantly started up, full of that inquietude and apprehension which a strange place naturally inspires. The cries proceeded from two young women who were tripping disrobed along the mead, while two monkeys followed close at their heels biting at their limbs. Candide was touched with compassion; he had learned to shoot while he was among the Bulgarians, and he could hit a filbert in a hedge without touching a leaf. Accordingly he took up his double-barrelled Spanish gun, pulled the trigger, and laid the two monkeys lifeless on the ground.

“God be praised, my dear Cacambo, I have rescued two poor girls from a most perilous situation; if I have committed a sin in killing an inquisitor and a Jesuit, I have made ample amends by saving the lives of these two distressed damsels. Who knows but they may be young ladies of a good family, and that the assistance I have been so happy to give them may procure us great advantage in this country?”

He was about to continue when he felt himself struck speechless at seeing the two girls embracing the dead bodies of the monkeys in the tenderest manner, bathing their wounds with their tears, and rending the air with the most doleful lamentations.

“Really,” said he to Cacambo, “I should not have expected to see such a prodigious share of good nature.”

“Master,” replied the knowing valet, “you have made a precious piece of work of it; do you know that you have killed the lovers of these two ladies?”

“Their lovers! Cacambo, you are jesting! It cannot be! I can never believe it.”

“Dear sir,” replied Cacambo, “you are surprised at everything; why should you think it so strange that there should be a country where monkeys insinuate themselves into the good graces of the ladies? They are the fourth part of a man as I am the fourth part of a Spaniard.”

“Alas!” replied Candide, “I remember to have heard my master Pangloss say that such accidents as these frequently came to pass in former times, and that these commixtures are productive of centaurs, fauns, and satyrs; and that many of the ancients had seen such monsters; but I looked upon the whole as fabulous.”

“Now you are convinced,” said Cacambo, “that it is very true, and you see what use is made of those creatures by persons who have not had a proper education; all I am afraid of is that these same ladies may play us some ugly trick.”

These judicious reflections operated so far on Candide as to make him quit the meadow and strike into a thicket. There he and Cacambo supped, and after heartily cursing the grand inquisitor, the governor of Buenos Ayres, and the baron, they fell asleep on the ground. When they awoke they were surprised to find that they could not move; the reason was that the Oreillons who inhabit that country, and to whom the ladies had given information of these two strangers, had bound them with cords made of the bark of trees. They saw themselves surrounded by fifty naked Oreillons armed with bows and arrows, clubs, and hatchets of flint; some were making a fire under a large cauldron; and others were preparing spits, crying out one and all, “A Jesuit! a Jesuit! we shall be revenged; we shall have excellent cheer; let us eat this Jesuit; let us eat him up.”

“I told you, master,” cried Cacambo, mournfully, “that these two wenches would play us some scurvy trick.”

Candide, seeing the cauldron and the spits, cried out, “I suppose they are going either to boil or roast us. Ah! what would Pangloss say if he were to see how pure nature is formed? Everything is right; it may be so; but I must confess it is something hard to be bereft of dear Miss Cunegund, and to be spitted like a rabbit by these barbarous Oreillons.”

Cacambo, who never lost his presence of mind in distress, said to the disconsolate Candide: “Do not despair; I understand a little of the jargon of these people; I will speak to them.”

“Ay, pray do,” said Candide, “and be sure you make them sensible of the horrid barbarity of boiling and roasting human creatures, and how little of Christianity there is in such practices.”

“Gentlemen,” said Cacambo, “you think perhaps you are going to feast upon a Jesuit; if so, it is mighty well; nothing can be more agreeable to justice than thus to treat your enemies. Indeed the law of nature teaches us to kill our neighbor, and accordingly we find this practised all over the world; and if we do not indulge ourselves in eating human flesh, it is because we have much better fare; but for your parts, who have not such resources as we, it is certainly much better judged to feast upon your enemies than to throw their bodies to the fowls of the air; and thus lose all the fruits of your victory. But surely, gentlemen, you would not choose to eat your friends. You imagine you are going to roast a Jesuit, whereas my master is your friend, your defender, and you are going to spit the very man who has been destroying your enemies; as to myself, I am your countryman; this gentleman is my master, and so far from being a Jesuit, give me leave to tell you he has very lately killed one of that order, whose spoils he now wears, and which have probably occasioned your mistake. To convince you of the truth of what I say, take the habit he has on and carry it to the first barrier of the Jesuits’ kingdom, and inquire whether my master did not kill one of their officers. There will be little or no time lost by this, and you may still reserve our bodies in your power to feast on if you should find what we have told you to be false. But, on the contrary, if you find it to be true, I am persuaded you are too well acquainted with the principles of the laws of society, humanity, and justice, not to use us courteously, and suffer us to depart unhurt.”

This speech appeared very reasonable to the Oreillons; they deputed two of their people with all expedition to inquire into the truth of this affair, who acquitted themselves of their commission like men of sense, and soon returned with good tidings for our distressed adventurers. Upon this they were loosed, and those who were so lately going to roast and boil them now showed them all sorts of civilities; offered them girls, gave them refreshments, and reconducted them to the confines of their country, crying before them all the way, in token of joy: “He is no Jesuit, he is no Jesuit.”

Candide could not help admiring the cause of his deliverance. “What men! what manners!” cried he; “if I had not fortunately run my sword up to the hilt in the body of Miss Cunegund’s brother, I should have certainly been eaten alive. But, after all, pure nature is an excellent thing; since these people, instead of eating me, showed me a thousand civilities as soon as they knew I was not a Jesuit.”



Candide and his valet arrive in the country of el dorado—what they saw there.

When they got to the frontiers of the Oreillons, “You see,” said Cacambo to Candide, “this hemisphere is not better than the other; now take my advice and let us return to Europe by the shortest way possible.”

“But how can we get back?” said Candide; “and whither shall we go? To my own country? The Bulgarians and the Abares are laying that waste with fire and sword; or shall we go to Portugal? There I shall be burned; and if we abide here we are every moment in danger of being spitted. But how can I bring myself to quit that part of the world where my dear Miss Cunegund has her residence?”

“Let us return towards Cayenne,” said Cacambo; “there we shall meet with some Frenchmen; for you know those gentry ramble all over the world; perhaps they will assist us, and God will look with pity on our distress.”

It was not so easy to get to Cayenne. They knew pretty nearly whereabouts it lay; but the mountains, rivers, precipices, robbers, savages, were dreadful obstacles in the way. Their horses died with fatigue and their provisions were at an end. They subsisted a whole month on wild fruit, till at length they came to a little river bordered with cocoa trees; the sight of which at once revived their drooping spirits and furnished nourishment for their enfeebled bodies.

Cacambo, who was always giving as good advice as the old woman herself, said to Candide: “You see there is no holding out any longer; we have travelled enough on foot. I spy an empty canoe near the river side; let us fill it with cocoanuts, get into it, and go down with the stream; a river always leads to some inhabited place. If we do not meet with agreeable things, we shall at least meet with something new.”

“Agreed,” replied Candide; “let us recommend ourselves to Providence.”

They rowed a few leagues down the river, the banks of which were in some places covered with flowers; in others barren; in some parts smooth and level, and in others steep and rugged. The stream widened as they went further on, till at length it passed under one of the frightful rocks, whose summits seemed to reach the clouds. Here our two travellers had the courage to commit themselves to the stream, which, contracting in this part, hurried them along with a dreadful noise and rapidity. At the end of four-and-twenty hours they saw daylight again; but their canoe was dashed to pieces against the rocks. They were obliged to creep along, from rock to rock, for the space of a league, till at length a spacious plain presented itself to their sight. This place was bounded by a chain of inaccessible mountains. The country appeared cultivated equally for pleasure and to produce the necessaries of life. The useful and agreeable were here equally blended. The roads were covered, or rather adorned, with carriages formed of glittering materials, in which were men and women of a surprising beauty, drawn with great rapidity by red sheep of a very large size; which far surpassed the finest coursers of Andalusia, Tetuan, or Mecquinez.

“Here is a country, however,” said Candide, “preferable to Westphalia.”

He and Cacambo landed near the first village they saw, at the entrance of which they perceived some children covered with tattered garments of the richest brocade, playing at quoits. Our two inhabitants of the other hemisphere amused themselves greatly with what they saw. The quoits were large, round pieces, yellow, red, and green, which cast a most glorious lustre. Our travellers picked some of them up, and they proved to be gold, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds; the least of which would have been the greatest ornament to the superb throne of the Great Mogul.

“Without doubt,” said Cacambo, “those children must be the king’s sons that are playing at quoits.” As he was uttering these words the schoolmaster of the village appeared, who came to call the children to school.

“There,” said Candide, “is the preceptor of the royal family.”

The little ragamuffins immediately quitted their diversion, leaving the quoits on the ground with all their other playthings. Candide gathered them up, ran to the schoolmaster, and, with a most respectful bow, presented them to him, giving him to understand by signs that their royal highnesses had forgot their gold and precious stones. The schoolmaster, with a smile, flung them upon the ground, then examining Candide from head to foot with an air of admiration, he turned his back and went on his way.

Our travellers took care, however, to gather up the gold, the rubies, and the emeralds.

“Where are we?” cried Candide. “The king’s children in this country must have an excellent education, since they are taught to show such a contempt for gold and precious stones.”

Cacambo was as much surprised as his master. They then drew near the first house in the village, which was built after the manner of a European palace. There was a crowd of people about the door, and a still greater number in the house. The sound of the most delightful instruments of music was heard, and the most agreeable smell came from the kitchen. Cacambo went up to the door and heard those within talking in the Peruvian language, which was his mother tongue; for every one knows that Cacambo was born in a village of Tucuman, where no other language is spoken.

“I will be your interpreter here,” said he to Candide. “Let us go in; this is an eating-house.”

Immediately two waiters and two servant-girls, dressed in cloth of gold, and their hair braided with ribbons of tissue, accosted the strangers and invited them to sit down to the ordinary. Their dinner consisted of four dishes of different soups, each garnished with two young paroquets, a large dish of bouillé that weighed two hundred weight, two roasted monkeys of a delicious flavor, three hundred humming-birds in one dish, and six hundred flybirds in another; some excellent ragouts, delicate tarts, and the whole served up in dishes of rockcrystal. Several sorts of liquors, extracted from the sugar-cane, were handed about by the servants who attended.

Most of the company were chapmen and wagoners, all extremely polite; they asked Cacambo a few questions with the utmost discretion and circumspection; and replied to his in a most obliging and satisfactory manner.

As soon as dinner was over, both Candide and Cacambo thought they should pay very handsomely for their entertainment by laying down two of those large gold pieces which they had picked off the ground; but the landlord and landlady burst into a fit of laughing and held their sides for some time. When the fit was over, “Gentlemen,” said the landlord, “I plainly perceive you are strangers, and such we are not accustomed to charge; pardon us, therefore, for laughing when you offered us the common pebbles of our highways for payment of your reckoning. To be sure, you have none of the coin of this kingdom; but there is no necessity of having any money at all to dine in this house. All the inns, which are established for the convenience of those who carry on the trade of this nation, are maintained by the government. You have found but very indifferent entertainment here, because this is only a poor village; but in almost every other of these public houses you will meet with a reception worthy of persons of your merit.” Cacambo explained the whole of this speech of the landlord to Candide, who listened to it with the same astonishment with which his friend communicated it.

“What sort of a country is this,” said the one to the other, “that is unknown to all the world; and in which Nature has everywhere so different an appearance to what she has in ours? Possibly this is that part of the globe where everything is right, for there must certainly be some such place. And, for all that Master Pangloss could say, I often perceived that things went very ill in Westphalia.”



what they saw in the country of el dorado.

Cacambo vented all his curiosity upon his landlord by a thousand different questions; the honest man answered him thus: “I am very ignorant, sir, but I am contented with my ignorance; however, we have in this neighborhood an old man retired from court, who is the most learned and communicative person in the whole kingdom.” He then conducted Cacambo to the old man; Candide acted now only a second character, and attended his valet. They entered a very plain house, for the door was nothing but silver, and the ceiling was only of beaten gold, but wrought in such elegant taste as to vie with the richest. The antechamber, indeed, was only incrusted with rubies and emeralds; but the order in which everything was disposed made amends for this great simplicity.

The old man received the strangers on his sofa, which was stuffed with humming-birds’ feathers; and ordered his servants to present them with liquors in golden goblets, after which he satisfied their curiosity in the following terms:

“I am now one hundred and seventy-two years old, and I learned of my late father, who was equerry to the king, the amazing revolutions of Peru, to which he had been an eye-witness. This kingdom is the ancient patrimony of the Incas, who very imprudently quitted it to conquer another part of the world, and were at length conquered and destroyed themselves by the Spaniards.

“Those princes of their family who remained in their native country acted more wisely. They ordained, with the consent of their whole nation, that none of the inhabitants of our little kingdom should ever quit it; and to this wise ordinance we owe the preservation of our innocence and happiness. The Spaniards had some confused notion of this country, to which they gave the name of El Dorado; and Sir Walter Raleigh, an Englishman, actually came very near it about three hundred years ago; but the inaccessible rocks and precipices with which our country is surrounded on all sides, has hitherto secured us from the rapacious fury of the people of Europe, who have an unaccountable fondness for the pebbles and dirt of our land, for the sake of which they would murder us all to the very last man.”

The conversation lasted some time and turned chiefly on the form of government, their manners, their women, their public diversions, and the arts. At length, Candide, who had always had a taste for metaphysics, asked whether the people of that country had any religion.

The old man reddened a little at this question.

“Can you doubt it?” said he; “do you take us for wretches lost to all sense of gratitude?”

Cacambo asked in a respectful manner what was the established religion of El Dorado. The old man blushed again, and said: “Can there be two religions, then? Ours, I apprehend, is the religion of the whole world; we worship God from morning till night.”

“Do you worship but one God?” said Cacambo, who still acted as the interpreter of Candide’s doubts.

“Certainly,” said the old man; “there are not two, nor three, nor four Gods. I must confess the people of your world ask very extraordinary questions.”

However, Candide could not refrain from making many more inquiries of the old man; he wanted to know in what manner they prayed to God in El Dorado.

“We do not pray to him at all,” said the reverend sage; “we have nothing to ask of Him, He has given us all we want, and we give Him thanks incessantly.” Candide had a curiosity to see some of their priests, and desired Cacambo to ask the old man where they were. At which he smiling said:

“My friends, we are all of us priests; the king and all the heads of families sing solemn hymns of thanksgiving every morning, accompanied by five or six thousand musicians.”

“What!” said Cacambo, “have you no monks among you to dispute, to govern, to intrigue, and to burn people who are not of the same opinion with themselves?”

“Do you take us for fools?” said the old man. “Here we are all of one opinion, and know not what you mean by your monks.”

During the whole of this discourse Candide was in raptures, and he said to himself, “What a prodigious difference is there between this place and Westphalia; and this house and the baron’s castle. Ah, Master Pangloss! had you ever seen El Dorado, you would no longer have maintained that the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh was the finest of all possible edifices; there is nothing like seeing the world, that’s certain.”

This long conversation being ended, the old man ordered six sheep to be harnessed and put to the coach,6 and sent twelve of his servants to escort the travellers to court.

“Excuse me,” said he, “for not waiting on you in person, my age deprives me of that honor. The king will receive you in such a manner that you will have no reason to complain; and doubtless you will make a proper allowance for the customs of the country if they should not happen altogether to please you.”

Candide and Cacambo got into the coach, the six sheep flew, and, in less than a quarter of an hour, they arrived at the king’s palace, which was situated at the further end of the capital. At the entrance was a portal two hundred and twenty feet high and one hundred wide; but it is impossible for words to express the materials of which it was built. The reader, however, will readily conceive that they must have a prodigious superiority over the pebbles and sand, which we call gold and precious stones.

Twenty beautiful young virgins in waiting received Candide and Cacambo on their alighting from the coach, conducted them to the bath and clad them in robes woven of the down of humming-birds; after which they were introduced by the great officers of the crown of both sexes to the king’s apartment, between two files of musicians, each file consisting of a thousand, agreeable to the custom of the country. When they drew near to the presence-chamber, Cacambo asked one of the officers in what manner they were to pay their obeisance to his majesty; whether it was the custom to fall upon their knees, or to prostrate themselves upon the ground; whether they were to put their hands upon their heads, or behind their backs; whether they were to lick the dust off the floor; in short, what was the ceremony usual on such occasions.

“The custom,” said the great officer, “is to embrace the king and kiss him on each cheek.”

Candide and Cacambo accordingly threw their arms round his majesty’s neck, who received them in the most gracious manner imaginable, and very politely asked them to sup with him.

While supper was preparing orders were given to show them the city, where they saw public structures that reared their lofty heads to the clouds; the market-places decorated with a thousand columns; fountains of spring water, besides others of rose water, and of liquors drawn from the sugarcane, incessantly flowing in the great squares; which were paved with a kind of precious stones that emitted an odor like that of cloves and cinnamon. Candide asked to see the high court of justice, the parliament; but was answered that they had none in that country, being utter strangers to lawsuits. He then inquired if they had any prisons; they replied none. But what gave him at once the greatest surprise and pleasure was the palace of sciences, where he saw a gallery two thousand feet long, filled with the various apparatus in mathematics and natural philosophy.

After having spent the whole afternoon in seeing only about the thousandth part of the city, they were brought back to the king’s palace. Candide sat down at the table with his majesty, his valet Cacambo, and several ladies of the court. Never was entertainment more elegant, nor could any one possibly show more wit than his majesty displayed while they were at supper. Cacambo explained all the king’s bons mots to Candide, and, although they were translated, they still appeared to be bons mots. Of all the things that surprised Candide, this was not the least. They spent a whole month in this hospitable place, during which time Candide was continually saying to Cacambo:

“I own, my friend, once more, that the castle where I was born is a mere nothing in comparison to the place where we now are; but still Miss Cunegund is not here, and you yourself have doubtless some fair one in Europe for whom you sigh. If we remain here we shall only be as others are; whereas, if we return to our own world with only a dozen of El Dorado sheep, loaded with the pebbles of this country, we shall be richer than all the kings in Europe; we shall no longer need to stand in awe of the inquisitors; and we may easily recover Miss Cunegund.”

This speech was perfectly agreeable to Cacambo. A fondness for roving, for making a figure in their own country, and for boasting of what they had seen in their travels, was so powerful in our two wanderers that they resolved to be no longer happy; and demanded permission of the king to quit the country.

“You are about to do a rash and silly action,” said the king. “I am sensible my kingdom is an inconsiderable spot; but when people are tolerably at their ease in any place, I should think it would be to their interest to remain there. Most assuredly, I have no right to detain you, or any strangers, against your wills; this is an act of tyranny to which our manners and our laws are equally repugnant; all men are by nature free; you have therefore an undoubted liberty to depart whenever you please, but you will have many and great difficulties to encounter in passing the frontiers. It is impossible to ascend that rapid river which runs under high and vaulted rocks, and by which you were conveyed hither by a kind of miracle. The mountains by which my kingdom are hemmed in on all sides, are ten thousand feet high, and perfectly perpendicular; they are above ten leagues across, and the descent from them is one continued precipice. However, since you are determined to leave us, I will immediately give orders to the superintendent of my carriages to cause one to be made that will convey you very safely. When they have conducted you to the back of the mountains, nobody can attend you farther; for my subjects have made a vow never to quit the kingdom, and they are too prudent to break it. Ask me whatever else you please.”

“All we shall ask of your majesty,” said Cacambo, “is only a few sheep laden with provisions, pebbles, and the clay of your country.”

The king smiled at the request, and said: “I cannot imagine what pleasure you Europeans find in our yellow clay; but take away as much of it as you will, and much good may it do you.”

He immediately gave orders to his engineers to make a machine to hoist these two extraordinary men out of the kingdom. Three thousand good machinists went to work and finished it in about fifteen days, and it did not cost more than twenty millions sterling of that country’s money. Candide and Cacambo were placed on this machine, and they took with them two large red sheep, bridled and saddled, to ride upon, when they got on the other side of the mountains; twenty others to serve as sumpters for carrying provisions; thirty laden with presents of whatever was most curious in the country, and fifty with gold, diamonds, and other precious stones. The king, at parting with our two adventurers, embraced them with the greatest cordiality.

It was a curious sight to behold the manner of their setting off, and the ingenious method by which they and their sheep were hoisted to the top of the mountains. The machinists and engineers took leave of them as soon as they had conveyed them to a place of safety, and Candide was wholly occupied with the thoughts of presenting his sheep to Miss Cunegund.

“Now,” cried he, “thanks to heaven, we have more than sufficient to pay the governor of Buenos Ayres for Miss Cunegund, if she is redeemable. Let us make the best of our way to Cayenne, where we will take shipping and then we may at leisure think of what kingdom we shall purchase with our riches.



what happened to them at Surinam, and how Candide became acquainted with Martin.

Our travellers’ first day’s journey was very pleasant; they were elated with the prospect of possessing more riches than were to be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa together. Candide, in amorous transports, cut the name of Miss Cunegund on almost every tree he came to. The second day two of their sheep sunk in a morass, and were swallowed up with their lading; two more died of fatigue; some few days afterwards seven or eight perished with hunger in a desert, and others, at different times, tumbled down precipices, or were otherwise lost, so that, after travelling about a hundred days they had only two sheep left of the hundred and two they brought with them from El Dorado. Said Candide to Cacambo:

“You see, my dear friend, how perishable the riches of this world are; there is nothing solid but virtue.”

“Very true,” said Cacambo, “but we have still two sheep remaining, with more treasure than ever the king of Spain will be possessed of; and I espy a town at a distance, which I take to be Surinam, a town belonging to the Dutch. We are now at the end of our troubles, and at the beginning of happiness.”

As they drew near the town they saw a negro stretched on the ground with only one half of his habit, which was a kind of linen frock; for the poor man had lost his left leg and his right hand.

“Good God,” said Candide in Dutch, “what dost thou here, friend, in this deplorable condition?”

“I am waiting for my master, Mynheer Vanderdendur, the famous trader,” answered the negro.

“Was it Mynheer Vanderdendur that used you in this cruel manner?”

“Yes, sir,” said the negro; “it is the custom here. They give a linen garment twice a year, and that is all our covering. When we labor in the sugar works, and the mill happens to snatch hold of a finger, they instantly chop off our hand; and when we attempt to run away, they cut off a leg. Both these cases have happened to me, and it is at this expense that you eat sugar in Europe; and yet when my mother sold me for ten patacoons on the coast of Guinea, she said to me, ‘My dear child, bless our fetiches; adore them forever; they will make thee live happy; thou hast the honor to be a slave to our lords the whites, by which thou wilt make the fortune of us thy parents.’ Alas! I know not whether I have made their fortunes; but they have not made mine: dogs, monkeys, and parrots are a thousand times less wretched than I. The Dutch fetiches who converted me tell me every Sunday that the blacks and whites are all children of one father, whom they call Adam. As for me, I do not understand anything of genealogies; but if what these preachers say is true, we are all second cousins; and you must allow that it is impossible to be worse treated by our relations than we are.”

“O Pangloss!” cried out Candide, “such horrid doings never entered thy imagination. Here is an end of the matter; I find myself, after all, obliged to renounce thy Optimism.”

“Optimism,” said Cacambo, “what is that?”

“Alas!” replied Candide, “it is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.” And so saying he turned his eyes towards the poor negro, and shed a flood of tears; and in this weeping mood he entered the town of Surinam.

Immediately upon their arrival our travellers inquired if there was any vessel in the harbor which they might send to Buenos Ayres. The person they addressed themselves to happened to be the master of a Spanish bark, who offered to agree with them on moderate terms, and appointed them a meeting at a public house. Thither Candide and his faithful Cacambo went to wait for him, taking with them their two sheep.

Candide, who was all frankness and sincerity, made an ingenuous recital of his adventures to the Spaniard, declaring to him at the same time his resolution of carrying off Miss Cunegund from the governor of Buenos Ayres.

“O ho!” said the shipmaster, “if that is the case, get whom you please to carry you to Buenos Ayres; for my part, I wash my hands of the affair. It would prove a hanging matter to us all. The fair Cunegund is the governor’s favorite mistress.” These words were like a clap of thunder to Candide; he wept bitterly for a long time, and, taking Cacambo aside, he said to him, “I’ll tell you, my dear friend, what you must do. We have each of us in our pockets to the value of five or six millions in diamonds; you are cleverer at these matters than I; you must go to Buenos Ayres and bring off Miss Cunegund. If the governor makes any difficulty give him a million; if he holds out, give him two; as you have not killed an inquisitor, they will have no suspicion of you. I’ll fit out another ship and go to Venice, where I will wait for you. Venice is a free country, where we shall have nothing to fear from Bulgarians, Abares, Jews, or Inquisitors.”

Cacambo greatly applauded this wise resolution. He was inconsolable at the thoughts of parting with so good a master, who treated him more like an intimate friend than a servant; but the pleasure of being able to do him a service soon got the better of his sorrow. They embraced each other with a flood of tears. Candide charged him not to forget the old woman. Cacambo set out the same day. This Cacambo was a very honest fellow.

Candide continued some days longer at Surinam, waiting for any captain to carry him and his two remaining sheep to Italy. He hired domestics, and purchased many things necessary for a long voyage; at length Mynheer Vanderdendur, skipper of a large Dutch vessel, came and offered his service.

“What will you have,” said Candide, “to carry me, my servants, my baggage, and these two sheep you see here, directly to Venice?”

The skipper asked ten thousand piastres, and Candide agreed to his demand without hesitation.

“Ho, ho!” said the cunning Vanderdendur to himself, “this stranger must be very rich; he agrees to give me ten thousand piastres without hesitation.” Returning a little while after he tells Candide that upon second consideration he could not undertake the voyage for less than twenty thousand. “Very well; you shall have them,” said Candide.

“Zounds!” said the skipper to himself, “this man agrees to pay twenty thousand piastres with as much ease as ten.” Accordingly he goes back again, and tells him roundly that he will not carry him to Venice for less than thirty thousand piastres.

“Then you shall have thirty thousand,” said Candide.

“Odso!” said the Dutchman once more to himself, “thirty thousand piastres seem a trifle to this man. Those sheep must certainly be laden with an immense treasure. I’ll e’en stop here and ask no more; but make him pay down the thirty thousand piastres, and then we may see what is to be done farther.” Candide sold two small diamonds, the least of which was worth more than all the skipper asked. He paid him beforehand, the two sheep were put on board, and Candide followed in a small boat to join the vessel in the road. The skipper took advantage of his opportunity, hoisted sail, and put out to sea with a favorable wind. Candide, confounded and amazed, soon lost sight of the ship. “Alas!” said he, “this is a trick like those in our old world!”

He returned back to the shore overwhelmed with grief; and, indeed, he had lost what would have made the fortune of twenty monarchs.

Straightway upon his landing he applied to the Dutch magistrate; being transported with passion he thundered at the door, which being opened, he went in, told his case, and talked a little louder than was necessary. The magistrate began with fining him ten thousand piastres for his petulance, and then listened very patiently to what he had to say, promised to examine into the affair on the skipper’s return, and ordered him to pay ten thousand piastres more for the fees of the court.

This treatment put Candide out of all patience; it is true, he had suffered misfortunes a thousand times more grievous, but the cool insolence of the judge, and the villainy of the skipper raised his choler and threw him into a deep melancholy. The villainy of mankind presented itself to his mind in all its deformity, and his soul was a prey to the most gloomy ideas. After some time, hearing that the captain of a French ship was ready to set sail for Bordeaux, as he had no more sheep loaded with diamonds to put on board, he hired the cabin at the usual price; and made it known in the town that he would pay the passage and board of any honest man who would give him his company during the voyage; besides making him a present of ten thousand piastres, on condition that such person was the most dissatisfied with his condition, and the most unfortunate in the whole province.

Upon this there appeared such a crowd of candidates that a large fleet could not have contained them. Candide, willing to choose from among those who appeared most likely to answer his intention, selected twenty, who seemed to him the most sociable, and who all pretended to merit the preference. He invited them to his inn, and promised to treat them with a supper, on condition that every man should bind himself by an oath to relate his own history; declaring at the same time, that he would make choice of that person who should appear to him the most deserving of compassion, and the most justly dissatisfied with his condition in life; and that he would make a present to the rest.

This extraordinary assembly continued sitting till four in the morning. Candide, while he was listening to their adventures, called to mind what the old woman had said to him in their voyage to Buenos Ayres, and the wager she had laid that there was not a person on board the ship but had met with great misfortunes. Every story he heard put him in mind of Pangloss.

“My old master,” said he, “would be confoundedly put to it to demonstrate his favorite system. Would he were here! Certainly if everything is for the best, it is in El Dorado, and not in the other parts of the world.”

At length he determined in favor of a poor scholar, who had labored ten years for the booksellers at Amsterdam: being of opinion that no employment could be more detestable.

This scholar, who was in fact a very honest man, had been robbed by his wife, beaten by his son, and forsaken by his daughter, who had run away with a Portuguese. He had been likewise deprived of a small employment on which he subsisted, and he was persecuted by the clergy of Surinam, who took him for a Socinian. It must be acknowledged that the other competitors were, at least, as wretched as he; but Candide was in hopes that the company of a man of letters would relieve the tediousness of the voyage. All the other candidates complained that Candide had done them great injustice, but he stopped their mouths by a present of a hundred piastres to each.



what befell Candide and Martin on their passage.

The old philosopher, whose name was Martin, took shipping with Candide for Bordeaux. Both had seen and suffered a great deal, and had the ship been going from Surinam to Japan round the Cape of Good Hope, they could have found sufficient entertainment for each other during the whole voyage, in discoursing upon moral and natural evil.

Candide, however, had one advantage over Martin: he lived in the pleasing hopes of seeing Miss Cunegund once more; whereas, the poor philosopher had nothing to hope for; besides, Candide had money and jewels, and, notwithstanding he had lost a hundred red sheep laden with the greatest treasure outside of El Dorado, and though he still smarted from the reflection of the Dutch skipper’s knavery, yet when he considered what he had still left, and repeated the name of Cunegund, especially after meal times, he inclined to Pangloss’ doctrine.

“And pray,” said he to Martin, “what is your opinion of the whole of this system? what notion have you of moral and natural evil?”

“Sir,” replied Martin, “our priest accused me of being a Socinian; but the real truth is, I am a Manichæan.”

“Nay, now you are jesting,” said Candide; “there are no Manichæans existing at present in the world.”

“And yet I am one,” said Martin; “but I cannot help it. I cannot for the soul of me think otherwise.”

“Surely the devil must be in you,” said Candide.

“He concerns himself so much,” replied Martin, “in the affairs of this world that it is very probable he may be in me as well as everywhere else; but I must confess, when I cast my eye on this globe, or rather globule, I cannot help thinking that God has abandoned it to some malignant being. I always except El Dorado. I scarce ever knew a city that did not wish the destruction of its neighboring city; nor a family that did not desire to exterminate some other family. The poor in all parts of the world bear an inveterate hatred to the rich, even while they creep and cringe to them; and the rich treat the poor like sheep, whose wool and flesh they barter for money; a million of regimented assassins traverse Europe from one end to the other, to get their bread by regular depredation and murder, because it is the most gentlemanlike profession. Even in those cities which seem to enjoy the blessings of peace, and where the arts flourish, the inhabitants are devoured with envy, care, and inquietudes, which are greater plagues than any experienced in a town besieged. Private chagrins are still more dreadful than public calamities. In a word,” concluded the philosopher, “I have seen and suffered so much that I am a Manichæan.”

“And yet there is some good in the world,” replied Candide.

“May be so,” said Martin, “but it has escaped my knowledge.”

While they were deeply engaged in this dispute they heard the report of cannon, which redoubled every moment. Each took out his glass, and they spied two ships warmly engaged at the distance of about three miles. The wind brought them both so near the French ship that those on board her had the pleasure of seeing the fight with great ease. After several smart broadsides the one gave the other a shot between wind and water which sunk her outright. Then could Candide and Martin plainly perceive a hundred men on the deck of the vessel which was sinking, who, with hands uplifted to heaven, sent forth piercing cries, and were in a moment swallowed up by the waves.

“Well,” said Martin, “you now see in what manner mankind treat one another.”

“It is certain,” said Candide, “that there is something diabolical in this affair.” As he was speaking thus he spied something of a shining red hue, which swam close to the vessel. The boat was hoisted out to see what it might be, when it proved to be one of his sheep. Candide felt more joy at the recovery of this one animal than he did grief when he lost the other hundred, though laden with the large diamonds of El Dorado.

The French captain quickly perceived that the victorious ship belonged to the crown of Spain; that the other was a Dutch pirate, and the very same captain who had robbed Candide. The immense riches which this villain had amassed, were buried with him in the deep, and only this one sheep saved out of the whole.

“You see,” said Candide to Martin, “that vice is sometimes punished; this villain, the Dutch skipper, has met with the fate he deserved.”

“Very true,” said Martin, “but why should the passengers be doomed also to destruction? God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest.”

The French and Spanish ships continued their cruise, and Candide and Martin their conversation. They disputed fourteen days successively, at the end of which they were just as far advanced as the first moment they began. However, they had the satisfaction of disputing, of communicating their ideas, and of mutually comforting each other. Candide embraced his sheep with transport.

“Since I have found thee again,” said he, “I may possibly find my Cunegund once more.”



Candide and Martin, while thus reasoning with each other, draw near to the coast of France.

At length they descried the coast of France, when Candide said to Martin, “Pray Mr. Martin, were you ever in France?”

“Yes, sir,” said Martin, “I have been in several provinces of that kingdom. In some, one-half of the people are fools and madmen; in some, they are too artful; in others, again, they are, in general, either very good-natured or very brutal; while in others, they affect to be witty, and in all, their ruling passion is love, the next is slander, and the last is to talk nonsense.”

“But, pray, Mr. Martin, were you ever in Paris?”

“Yes, sir, I have been in that city, and it is a place that contains the several species just described; it is a chaos, a confused multitude, where everyone seeks for pleasure without being able to find it; at least, as far as I have observed during my short stay in that city. At my arrival I was robbed of all I had in the world by pickpockets and sharpers, at the fair of St. Germain. I was taken up myself for a robber, and confined in prison a whole week; after which I hired myself as corrector to a press, in order to get a little money towards defraying my expenses back to Holland on foot. I knew the whole tribe of scribblers, malcontents, and fanatics. It is said the people of that city are very polite; I believe they may be.”

“For my part, I have no curiosity to see France,” said Candide; “you may easily conceive, my friend, that after spending a month in El Dorado, I can desire to behold nothing upon earth but Miss Cunegund; I am going to wait for her at Venice. I intend to pass through France, on my way to Italy. Will you not bear me company?” “With all my heart,” said Martin; “they say Venice is agreeable to none but noble Venetians; but that, nevertheless, strangers are well received there when they have plenty of money; now I have none, but you have, therefore I will attend you wherever you please.” “Now we are upon this subject,” said Candide, “do you think that the earth was originally sea, as we read in that great book which belongs to the captain of the ship?” “I believe nothing of it,” replied Martin, “any more than I do of the many other chimeras which have been related to us for some time past.” “But then, to what end,” said Candide, “was the world formed?” “To make us mad,” said Martin. “Are you not surprised,” continued Candide, “at the love which the two girls in the country of the Oreillons had for those two monkeys?—You know I have told you the story.” “Surprised?” replied Martin, “not in the least; I see nothing strange in this passion. I have seen so many extraordinary things that there is nothing extraordinary to me now.” “Do you think,” said Candide, “that mankind always massacred one another as they do now? were they always guilty of lies, fraud, treachery, ingratitude, inconstancy, envy, ambition, and cruelty? were they always thieves, fools, cowards, gluttons, drunkards, misers, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, and hypocrites?” “Do you believe,” said Martin, “that hawks have always been accustomed to eat pigeons when they came in their way?” “Doubtless,” said Candide. “Well then,” replied Martin, “if hawks have always had the same nature, why should you pretend that mankind change theirs?” “Oh,” said Candide, “there is a great deal of difference; for free will—” and reasoning thus they arrived at Bordeaux.



What happened to Candide and Martin in france.

Candide staid no longer at Bordeaux than was necessary to dispose of a few of the pebbles he had brought from El Dorado, and to provide himself with a post-chaise for two persons, for he could no longer stir a step without his philosopher Martin. The only thing that gave him concern was the being obliged to leave his sheep behind him, which he intrusted to the care of the academy of sciences at Bordeaux, who proposed, as a prize subject for the year, to prove why the wool of this sheep was red; and the prize was adjudged to a northern sage, who demonstrated by A plus B, minus C, divided by Z, that the sheep must necessarily be red, and die of the mange.

In the meantime, all the travellers whom Candide met with in the inns, or on the road, told him to a man, that they were going to Paris. This general eagerness gave him likewise a great desire to see this capital; and it was not much out of his way to Venice.

He entered the city by the suburbs of St. Marceau, and thought himself in one of the vilest hamlets in all Westphalia.

Candide had not been long at his inn, before he was seized with a slight disorder, owing to the fatigue he had undergone. As he wore a diamond of an enormous size on his finger and had among the rest of his equipage a strong box that seemed very weighty, he soon found himself between two physicians, whom he had not sent for, a number of intimate friends whom he had never seen, and who would not quit his bedside, and two women devotees, who were very careful in providing him hot broths.

“I remember,” said Martin to him, “that the first time I came to Paris I was likewise taken ill; I was very poor, and accordingly I had neither friends, nurses, nor physicians, and yet I did very well.”

However, by dint of purging and bleeding, Candide’s disorder became very serious. The priest of the parish came with all imaginable politeness to desire a note of him, payable to the bearer in the other world. Candide refused to comply with his request; but the two devotees assured him that it was a new fashion. Candide replied, that he was not one that followed the fashion. Martin was for throwing the priest out of the window. The clerk swore Candide should not have Christian burial. Martin swore in his turn that he would bury the clerk alive if he continued to plague them any longer. The dispute grew warm; Martin took him by the shoulders and turned him out of the room, which gave great scandal, and occasioned a procèsverbal.

Candide recovered, and till he was in a condition to go abroad had a great deal of good company to pass the evenings with him in his chamber. They played deep. Candide was surprised to find he could never turn a trick; and Martin was not at all surprised at the matter.

Among those who did him the honors of the place was a little spruce abbé of Périgord, one of those insinuating, busy, fawning, impudent, necessary fellows, that lay wait for strangers on their arrival, tell them all the scandal of the town, and offer to minister to their pleasures at various prices. This man conducted Candide and Martin to the playhouse; they were acting a new tragedy. Candide found himself placed near a cluster of wits: this, however, did not prevent him from shedding tears at some parts of the piece which were most affecting, and best acted. One of these talkers said to him between the acts. “You are greatly to blame to shed tears; that actress plays horribly, and the man that plays with her still worse, and the piece itself is still more execrable than the representation. The author does not understand a word of Arabic, and yet he has laid his scene in Arabia, and what is more, he is a fellow who does not believe in innate ideas. Tomorrow I will bring you a score of pamphlets that have been written against him.” “Pray, sir,” said Candide to the abbé, “how many theatrical pieces have you in France?” “Five or six thousand,” replied the abbé. “Indeed! that is a great number,” said Candide, “but how many good ones may there be?” “About fifteen or sixteen.” “Oh! that is a great number,” said Martin.

Candide was greatly taken with an actress, who performed the part of Queen Elizabeth in a dull kind of tragedy that is played sometimes. “That actress,” said he to Martin, “pleases me greatly; she has some sort of resemblance to Miss Cunegund. I should be very glad to pay my respects to her.” The abbé of Perigord offered his service to introduce him to her at her own house. Candide, who was brought up in Germany, desired to know what might be the ceremonial used on those occasions, and how a queen of England was treated in France. “There is a necessary distinction to be observed in these matters,” said the abbé. “In a country town we take them to a tavern; here in Paris, they are treated with great respect during their life time, provided they are handsome, and when they die we throw their bodies upon a dunghill.” “How?” said Candide, “throw a queen’s body upon a dunghill!” “The gentleman is quite right,” said Martin, “he tells you nothing but the truth. I happened to be at Paris when Miss Monimia made her exit, as one may say, out of this world into another. She was refused what they call here the rites of sepulture; that is to say, she was denied the privilege of rotting in a churchyard by the side of all the beggars in the parish. They buried her at the corner of Burgundy street, which must certainly have shocked her extremely, as she had very exalted notions of things.” “This is acting very impolitely,” said Candide. “Lord!” said Martin, “what can be said to it? it is the way of these people. Figure to yourself all the contradictions, all the inconsistencies possible, and you may meet with them in the government, the courts of justice, the churches, and the public spectacles of this odd nation.” “Is it true,” said Candide, “that the people of Paris are always laughing?” “Yes,” replied the abbé, “but it is with anger in their hearts; they express all their complaints by loud bursts of laughter, and commit the most detestable crimes with a smile on their faces.”

“Who was that great overgrown beast,” said Candide, “who spoke so ill to me of the piece with which I was so much affected, and of the players who gave me so much pleasure?” “A very good-for-nothing sort of a man I assure you,” answered the abbé, “one who gets his livelihood by abusing every new book and play that is written or performed; he dislikes much to see any one meet with success, like eunuchs, who detest every one that possesses those powers they are deprived of; he is one of those vipers in literature who nourish themselves with their own venom; a pamphlet-monger.” “A pamphlet-monger!” said Candide, “what is that?” “Why, a pamphlet-monger,” replied the abbé, “is a writer of pamphlets—a fool.”

Candide, Martin, and the abbé of Périgord argued thus on the staircase, while they stood to see the people go out of the playhouse. “Though I am very anxious to see Miss Cunegund again,” said Candide, “yet I have a great inclination to sup with Miss Clairon, for I am really much taken with her.”

The abbé was not a person to show his face at this lady’s house, which was frequented by none but the best company. “She is engaged this evening,” said he, “but I will do myself the honor to introduce you to a lady of quality of my acquaintance, at whose house you will see as much of the manners of Paris as if you had lived here for forty years.”

Candide, who was naturally curious, suffered himself to be conducted to this lady’s house, which was in the suburbs of St. Honoré. The company was engaged at basset; twelve melancholy punters held each in his hand a small pack of cards, the corners of which were doubled down, and were so many registers of their ill fortune. A profound silence reigned throughout the assembly, a pallid dread had taken possession of the countenances of the punters, and restless inquietude stretched every muscle of the face of him who kept the bank; and the lady of the house, who was seated next to him, observed with lynx’s eyes every play made, and noted those who tallied, and made them undouble their cards with a severe exactness, though mixed with a politeness, which she thought necessary not to frighten away her customers. This lady assumed the title of marchioness of Parolignac. Her daughter, a girl of about fifteen years of age, was one of the punters, and took care to give her mamma a hint, by signs, when any one of the players attempted to repair the rigor of their ill fortune by a little innocent deception. The company were thus occupied when Candide, Martin, and the abbé made their entrance; not a creature rose to salute them, or indeed took the least notice of them, being wholly intent upon the business in hand. “Ah!” said Candide, “my lady baroness of Thunder-ten-tronckh would have behaved more civilly.”

However, the abbé whispered in the ear of the marchioness, who half raising herself from her seat, honored Candide with a gracious smile, and gave Martin a nod of her head, with an air of inexpressible dignity. She then ordered a seat for Candide, and desired him to make one of their party at play; he did so, and in a few deals lost near a thousand pieces; after which they supped very elegantly, and every one was surprised at seeing Candide lose so much money without appearing to be the least disturbed at it. The servants in waiting said to each other, “This is certainly some English lord.”

The supper was like most others of its kind in Paris. At first every one was silent; then followed a few confused murmurs, and afterwards several insipid jokes passed and repassed, with false reports, false reasonings, a little politics, and a great deal of scandal. The conversation then turned upon the new productions in literature. “Pray,” said the abbé, “good folks, have you seen the romance written by the Sieur Gauchat, doctor of divinity?” “Yes,” answered one of the company, “but I had not patience to go through it. The town is pestered with a swarm of impertinent productions, but this of Dr. Gauchat’s outdoes them all. In short, I was so cursedly tired of reading this vile stuff that I even resolved to come here, and make a party at basset.” “But what say you to the archdeacon T—’s miscellaneous collection,” said the abbé. “Oh my God!” cried the marchioness of Parolignac, “never mention the tedious creature! only think what pains he is at to tell one things that all the world knows; and how he labors an argument that is hardly worth the slightest consideration! how absurdly he makes use of other people’s wit! how miserably he mangles what he has pilfered from them! The man makes me quite sick! A few pages of the good archdeacon are enough in conscience to satisfy any one.”

There was at the table a person of learning and taste, who supported what the marchioness had advanced. They next began to talk of tragedies. The lady desired to know how it came about that there were several tragedies, which still continued to be played, though they would not bear reading? The man of taste explained very clearly how a piece may be in some manner interesting without having a grain of merit. He showed, in a few words, that it is not sufficient to throw together a few incidents that are to be met with in every romance, and that to dazzle the spectator the thoughts should be new, without being far-fetched; frequently sublime, but always natural; the author should have a thorough knowledge of the human heart and make it speak properly; he should be a complete poet, without showing an affectation of it in any of the characters of his piece; he should be a perfect master of his language, speak it with all its purity, and with the utmost harmony, and yet so as not to make the sense a slave to the rhyme. “Whoever,” added he, “neglects any one of these rules, though he may write two or three tragedies with tolerable success, will never be reckoned in the number of good authors. There are very few good tragedies; some are idyls, in very well-written and harmonious dialogue; and others a chain of political reasonings that set one asleep, or else pompous and high-flown amplifications, that disgust rather than please. Others again are the ravings of a madman, in an uncouth style, unmeaning flights, or long apostrophes to the deities, for want of knowing how to address mankind; in a word a collection of false maxims and dull commonplace.”

Candide listened to this discourse with great attention, and conceived a high opinion of the person who delivered it; and as the marchioness had taken care to place him near her side, he took the liberty to whisper her softly in the ear and ask who this person was that spoke so well. “He is a man of letters,” replied her ladyship, “who never plays, and whom the abbé brings with him to my house sometimes to spend an evening. He is a great judge of writing, especially in tragedy; he has composed one himself, which was damned, and has written a book that was never seen out of his bookseller’s shop, excepting only one copy, which he sent me with a dedication, to which he had prefixed my name.” “Oh the great man,” cried Candide, “he is a second Pangloss.”

Then turning towards him, “Sir,” said he, “you are doubtless of opinion that everything is for the best in the physical and moral world, and that nothing could be otherwise than it is?” “I, sir!” replied the man of letters, “I think no such thing, I assure you; I find that all in this world is set the wrong end uppermost. No one knows what is his rank, his office, nor what he does, nor what he should do. With the exception of our evenings, which we generally pass tolerably merrily, the rest of our time is spent in idle disputes and quarrels, Jansenists against Molinists, the parliament against the Church, and one armed body of men against another; courtier against courtier, husband against wife, and relations against relations. In short, this world is nothing but one continued scene of civil war.”

“Yes,” said Candide, “and I have seen worse than all that; and yet a learned man, who had the misfortune to be hanged, taught me that everything was marvellously well, and that these evils you are speaking of were only so many shades in a beautiful picture.” “Your hempen sage,” said Martin, “laughed at you; these shades, as you call them, are most horrible blemishes.” “The men make these blemishes,” rejoined Candide, “and they cannot do otherwise.” “Then it is not their fault,” added Martin. The greatest part of the gamesters, who did not understand a syllable of this discourse, amused themselves with drinking, while Martin reasoned with the learned gentleman; and Candide entertained the lady of the house with a part of his adventures.

After supper the marchioness conducted Candide into her dressing-room, and made him sit down under a canopy. “Well,” said she, “are you still so violently fond of Miss Cunegund of Thunder-ten-tronckh?” “Yes, madam,” replied Candide. The marchioness said to him with a tender smile, “You answer me like a young man born in Westphalia; a Frenchman would have said, ‘It is true, madam, I had a great passion for Miss Cunegund; but since I have seen you, I fear I can no longer love her as I did.’ ” “Alas! madam,” replied Candide, “I will make you what answer you please.” “You fell in love with her, I find, in stooping to pick up her handkerchief which she had dropped; you shall pick up my garter.” “With all my heart, madam,” said Candide, and he picked it up. “But you must tie it on again,” said the lady. Candide tied it on again. “Look ye, young man,” said the marchioness, “you are a stranger; I make some of my lovers here in Paris languish for me a whole fortnight; but I surrender to you at first sight, because I am willing to do the honors of my country to a young Westphalian.” The fair one having cast her eye on two very large diamonds that were upon the young stranger’s finger, praised them in so earnest a manner that they were in an instant transferred from his finger to hers.

As Candide was going home with the abbé he felt some qualms of conscience for having been guilty of infidelity to Miss Cunegund. The abbé took part with him in his uneasiness; he had but an inconsiderable share in the thousand pieces Candide had lost at play, and the two diamonds which had been in a manner extorted from him; and therefore very prudently designed to make the most he could of his new acquaintance, which chance had thrown in his way. He talked much of Miss Cunegund, and Candide assured him that he would heartily ask pardon of that fair one for his infidelity to her, when he saw her at Venice.

The abbé redoubled his civilities and seemed to interest himself warmly in everything that Candide said, did, or seemed inclined to do.

“And so, sir, you have an engagement at Venice?” “Yes, Monsieur l’Abbé,” answered Candìde, “I must absolutely wait upon Miss Cunegund;” and then the pleasure he took in talking about the object he loved, led him insensibly to relate, according to custom, part of his adventures with that illustrious Westphalian beauty.

“I fancy,” said the abbé, “Miss Cunegund has a great deal of wit, and that her letters must be very entertaining.” “I never received any from her,” said Candide; “for you are to consider that, being expelled from the castle upon her account, I could not write to her, especially as soon after my departure I heard she was dead; but thank God I found afterwards she was living. I left again after this, and now I have sent a messenger to her near two thousand leagues from here, and wait here for his return with an answer from her.”

The artful abbé let not a word of all this escape him, though he seemed to be musing upon something else. He soon took his leave of the two adventurers, after having embraced them with the greatest cordiality. The next morning, almost as soon as his eyes were open, Candide received the following billet:

“My Dearest Lover—I have been ill in this city these eight days. I have heard of your arrival, and should fly to your arms were I able to stir. I was informed of your being on the way hither at Bordeaux, where I left the faithful Cacambo, and the old woman, who will soon follow me. The governor of Buenos Ayres has taken everything from me but your heart, which I still retain. Come to me immediately on the receipt of this. Your presence will either give me new life, or kill me with the pleasure.”

At the receipt of this charming, this unexpected letter, Candide felt the utmost transports of joy; though, on the other hand, the indisposition of his beloved Miss Cunegund overwhelmed him with grief. Distracted between these two passions he took his gold and his diamonds, and procured a person to conduct him and Martin to the house where Miss Cunegund lodged. Upon entering the room he felt his limbs tremble, his heart flutter, his tongue falter; he attempted to undraw the curtain, and called for a light to the bedside. “Lord, sir,” cried a maid servant, who was waiting in the room, “take care what you do, Miss cannot bear the least light,” and so saying she pulled the curtain close again. “Cunegund! my dear Cunegund!” cried Candide, bathed in tears, “how do you do? If you cannot bear the light, speak to me at least.” “Alas! she cannot speak,” said the maid. The sick lady then put a plump hand out of the bed and Candide first bathed it with tears, then filled it with diamonds, leaving a purse of gold upon the easy chair.

In the midst of his transports came an officer into the room, followed by the abbé, and a file of musketeers. “There,” said he, “are the two suspected foreigners;” at the same time he ordered them to be seized and carried to prison. “Travellers are not treated in this manner in the country of El Dorado,” said Candide. “I am more of a Manichæan now than ever,” said Martin. “But pray, good sir, where are you going to carry us?” said Candide. “To a dungeon, my dear sir,” replied the officer.

When Martin had a little recovered himself, so as to form a cool judgment of what had passed, he plainly perceived that the person who had acted the part of Miss Cunegund was a cheat; that the abbé of Périgord was a sharper who had imposed upon the honest simplicity of Candide, and that the officer was a knave, whom they might easily get rid of.

Candide following the advice of his friend Martin, and burning with impatience to see the real Miss Cunegund, rather than be obliged to appear at a court of justice, proposed to the officer to make him a present of three small diamonds, each of them worth three thousand pistoles. “Ah, sir,” said this understrapper of justice, “had you committed ever so much villainy, this would render you the honestest man living, in my eyes. Three diamonds worth three thousand pistoles! why, my dear sir, so far from carrying you to jail, I would lose my life to serve you. There are orders for stopping all strangers; but leave it to me, I have a brother at Dieppe, in Normandy; I myself will conduct you thither, and if you have a diamond left to give him he will take as much care of you as I myself should.”

“But why,” said Candide, “do they stop all strangers?” The abbé of Périgord made answer that it was because a poor devil of the country of Atrebata heard somebody tell foolish stories, and this induced him to commit a parricide; not such a one as that in the month of May, 1610, but such as that in the month of December, in the year 1594, and such as many that have been perpetrated in other months and years, by other poor devils who had heard foolish stories.

The officer then explained to them what the abbé meant. “Horrid monsters,” exclaimed Candide, “is it possible that such scenes should pass among a people who are perpetually singing and dancing? Is there no flying this abominable country immediately, this execrable kingdom where monkeys provoke tigers? I have seen bears in my country, but men I have beheld nowhere but in El Dorado. In the name of God, sir,” said he to the officer, “do me the kindness to conduct me to Venice, where I am to wait for Miss Cunegund.” “Really, sir,” replied the officer, “I cannot possibly wait on you farther than Lower Normandy.” So saying, he ordered Candide’s irons to be struck off, acknowledged himself mistaken, and sent his followers about their business, after which he conducted Candide and Martin to Dieppe, and left them to the care of his brother. There happened just then to be a small Dutch ship in the harbor. The Norman, whom the other three diamonds had converted into the most obliging, serviceable being that ever breathed, took care to see Candide and his attendants safe on board this vessel, that was just ready to sail for Portsmouth in England. This was not the nearest way to Venice, indeed, but Candide thought himself escaped out of hell, and did not, in the least, doubt but he should quickly find an opportunity of resuming his voyage to Venice.



Candide and Martin touch upon the english coast—what they see there.

“Ah Pangloss! Pangloss! ah Martin! Martin! ah my dear Miss Cunegund! what sort of a world is this?” Thus exclaimed Candide as soon as he got on board the Dutch ship. “Why something very foolish, and very abominable,” said Martin. “You are acquainted with England,” said Candide; “are they as great fools in that country as in France?” “Yes, but in a different manner,” answered Martin. “You know that these two nations are at war about a few acres of barren land in the neighborhood of Canada, and that they have expended much greater sums in the contest than all Canada is worth. To say exactly whether there are a greater number fit to be inhabitants of a madhouse in the one country than the other, exceeds the limits of my imperfect capacity; I know in general that the people we are going to visit are of a very dark and gloomy disposition.”

As they were chatting thus together they arrived at Portsmouth. The shore on each side the harbor was lined with a multitude of people, whose eyes were steadfastly fixed on a lusty man who was kneeling down on the deck of one of the men-of-war, with something tied before his eyes. Opposite to this personage stood four soldiers, each of whom shot three bullets into his skull, with all the composure imaginable; and when it was done, the whole company went away perfectly well satisfied. “What the devil is all this for?” said Candide, “and what demon, or foe of mankind, lords it thus tyrannically over the world?” He then asked who was that lusty man who had been sent out of the world with so much ceremony. When he received for answer, that it was an admiral. “And pray why do you put your admiral to death?” “Because he did not put a sufficient number of his fellow-creatures to death. You must know, he had an engagement with a French admiral, and it has been proved against him that he was not near enough to his antagonist.” “But,” replied Candide, “the French admiral must have been as far from him.” “There is no doubt of that; but in this country it is found requisite, now and then, to put an admiral to death, in order to encourage the others to fight.”

Candide was so shocked at what he saw and heard, that he would not set foot on shore, but made a bargain with the Dutch skipper (were he even to rob him like the captain of Surinam) to carry him directly to Venice.

The skipper was ready in two days. They sailed along the coast of France, and passed within sight of Lisbon, at which Candide trembled. From thence they proceeded to the Straits, entered the Mediterranean, and at length arrived at Venice. “God be praised,” said Candide, embracing Martin, “this is the place where I am to behold my beloved Cunegund once again. I can confide in Cacambo, like another self. All is well, all very well, all as well as possible.”



Of Pacquette and Friar Giroflée.

Upon their arrival at Venice Candide went in search of Cacambo at every inn and coffee-house, and among all the ladies of pleasure, but could hear nothing of him. He sent every day to inquire what ships were in, still no news of Cacambo. “It is strange,” said he to Martin, “very strange that I should have had time to sail from Surinam to Bordeaux; to travel thence to Paris, to Dieppe, to Portsmouth; to sail along the coast of Portugal and Spain, and up the Mediterranean to spend some months at Venice; and that my lovely Cunegund should not have arrived. Instead of her, I only met with a Parisian impostor, and a rascally abbé of Périgord. Cunegund is actually dead, and I have nothing to do but follow her. Alas! how much better would it have been for me to have remained in the paradise of El Dorado than to have returned to this cursed Europe! You are in the right, my dear Martin; you are certainly in the right; all is misery and deceit.”

He fell into a deep melancholy, and neither went to the opera then in vogue, nor partook of any of the diversions of the carnival; nay, he even slighted the fair sex. Martin said to him, “Upon my word, I think you are very simple to imagine that a rascally valet, with five or six millions in his pocket, would go in search of your mistress to the further end of the world, and bring her to Venice to meet you. If he finds her he will take her for himself; if he does not, he will take another. Let me advise you to forget your valet Cacambo, and your Mistress Cunegund.” Martin’s speech was not the most consolatory to the dejected Candide. His melancholy increased, and Martin never ceased trying to prove to him that there is very little virtue or happiness in this world; except, perhaps, in El Dorado, where hardly anybody can gain admittance.

While they were disputing on this important subject, and still expecting Miss Cunegund, Candide perceived a young Theatin friar in St. Mark’s Place, with a girl under his arm. The Theatin looked fresh-colored, plump, and vigorous; his eyes sparkled; his air and gait were bold and lofty. The girl was pretty, and was singing a song; and every now and then gave her Theatin an amorous ogle and wantonly pinched his ruddy cheeks. “You will at least allow,” said Candide to Martin, “that these two are happy. Hitherto I have met with none but unfortunate people in the whole habitable globe, except in El Dorado; but as to this couple, I would venture to lay a wager they are happy.” “Done!” said Martin, “they are not what you imagine.” “Well, we have only to ask them to dine with us,” said Candide, “and you will see whether I am mistaken or not.”

Thereupon he accosted them, and with great politeness invited them to his inn to eat some macaroni, with Lombard partridges and caviare, and to drink a bottle of Montepulciano, Lacryma Christi, Cyprus, and Samos wine. The girl blushed; the Theatin accepted the invitation and she followed him, eyeing Candide every now and then with a mixture of surprise and confusion, while the tears stole down her cheeks. No sooner did she enter his apartment than she cried out. “How, Mr. Candide, have you quite forgot your Pacquette? do you not know her again?” Candide had not regarded her with any degree of attention before, being wholly occupied with the thoughts of his dear Cunegund. “Ah! is it you, child? was it you that reduced Doctor Pangloss to that fine condition I saw him in?”

“Alas! sir,” answered Pacquette, “it was I, indeed. I find you are acquainted with everything; and I have been informed of all the misfortunes that happened to the whole family of my lady baroness and the fair Cunegund. But I can safely swear to you that my lot was no less deplorable; I was innocence itself when you saw me last. A cordelier, who was my confessor, easily seduced me; the consequences proved terrible. I was obliged to leave the castle some time after the baron kicked you out from there; and if a famous surgeon had not taken compassion on me, I had been a dead woman. Gratitude obliged me to live with him some time as a mistress; his wife, who was a very devil for jealousy, beat me unmercifully every day. Oh! she was a perfect fury. The doctor himself was the most ugly of all mortals, and I the most wretched creature existing, to be continually beaten for a man whom I did not love. You are sensible, sir, how dangerous it was for an ill-natured woman to be married to a physician. Incensed at the behavior of his wife, he one day gave her so affectionate a remedy for a slight cold she had caught that she died in less than two hours in most dreadful convulsions. Her relations prosecuted the husband, who was obliged to fly, and I was sent to prison. My innocence would not have saved me, if I had not been tolerably handsome. The judge gave me my liberty on condition he should succeed the doctor. However, I was soon supplanted by a rival, turned off without a farthing, and obliged to continue the abominable trade which you men think so pleasing, but which to us unhappy creatures is the most dreadful of all sufferings. At length I came to follow the business at Venice. Ah! sir, did you but know what it is to be obliged to receive every visitor; old tradesmen, counsellors, monks, watermen, and abbés; to be exposed to all their insolence and abuse; to be often necessitated to borrow a petticoat, only that it may be taken up by some disagreeable wretch; to be robbed by one gallant of what we get from another; to be subject to the extortions of civil magistrates; and to have forever before one’s eyes the prospect of old age, a hospital, or a dunghill, you would conclude that I am one of the most unhappy wretches breathing.”

Thus did Pacquette unbosom herself to honest Candide in his closet, in the presence of Martin, who took occasion to say to him, “You see I have half won the wager already.”

Friar Giroflée was all this time in the parlor refreshing himself with a glass or two of wine till dinner was ready. “But,” said Candide to Pacquette, “you looked so gay and contented, when I met you, you sang and caressed the Theatin with so much fondness, that I absolutely thought you as happy as you say you are now miserable.” “Ah! dear sir,” said Pacquette, “this is one of the miseries of the trade; yesterday I was stripped and beaten by an officer; yet to-day I must appear good humored and gay to please a friar.”

Candide was convinced and acknowledged that Martin was in the right. They sat down to table with Pacquette and the Theatin; the entertainment was agreeable, and towards the end they began to converse together with some freedom. “Father,” said Candide to the friar, “you seem to me to enjoy a state of happiness that even kings might envy; joy and health are painted in your countenance. You have a pretty wench to divert you; and you seem to be perfectly well contented with your condition as a Theatin.”

“Faith, sir,” said Friar Giroflée, “I wish with all my soul the Theatins were every one of them at the bottom of the sea. I have been tempted a thousand times to set fire to the convent and go and turn Turk. My parents obliged me, at the age of fifteen, to put on this detestable habit only to increase the fortune of an elder brother of mine, whom God confound! Jealousy, discord, and fury, reside in our convent. It is true I have preached often paltry sermons, by which I have got a little money, part of which the prior robs me of, and the remainder helps to pay my girls; but, at night, when I go hence to my convent, I am ready to dash my brains against the walls of the dormitory; and this is the case with all the rest of our fraternity.”

Martin, turning towards Candide, with his usual indifference, said, “Well, what think you now? have I won the wager entirely?” Candide gave two thousand piastres to Pacquette, and a thousand to Friar Giroflée, saying, “I will answer that this will make them happy.” “I am not of your opinion,” said Martin, “perhaps this money will only make them wretched.” “Be that as it may,” said Candide, “one thing comforts me; I see that one often meets with those whom one never expected to see again; so that, perhaps, as I have found my red sheep and Pacquette, I may be lucky enough to find Miss Cunegund also.” “I wish,” said Martin, “she one day may make you happy; but I doubt it much.” “You lack faith,” said Candide. “It is because,” said Martin, “I have seen the world.”

“Observe those gondoliers,” said Candide, “are they not perpetually singing?” “You do not see them,” answered Martin, “at home with their wives and brats. The doge has his chagrin, gondoliers theirs. Nevertheless, in the main, I look upon the gondolier’s life as preferable to that of the doge; but the difference is so trifling that it is not worth the trouble of examining into.”

“I have heard great talk,” said Candide, “of the Senator Pococuranté, who lives in that fine house at the Brenta, where, they say, he entertains foreigners in the most polite manner.” “They pretend this man is a perfect stranger to uneasiness. I should be glad to see so extraordinary a being,” said Martin. Candide thereupon sent a messenger to Seignor Pococuranté, desiring permission to wait on him the next day.



Candide and Martin pay a visit to seignor pococuranté, a noble venetian.

Candide and his friend Martin went in a gondola on the Brenta, and arrived at the palace of the noble Pococuranté. The gardens were laid out in elegant taste, and adorned with fine marble statues; his palace was built after the most approved rules of architecture. The master of the house, who was a man of affairs, and very rich, received our two travellers with great politeness, but without much ceremony, which somewhat disconcerted Candide, but was not at all displeasing to Martin.

As soon as they were seated, two very pretty girls, neatly dressed, brought in chocolate, which was extremely well prepared. Candide could not help making encomiums upon their beauty and graceful carriage. “The creatures are well enough,” said the senator; “I amuse myself with them sometimes, for I am heartily tired of the women of the town, their coquetry, their jealousy, their quarrels, their humors, their meannesses, their pride, and their folly; I am weary of making sonnets, or of paying for sonnets to be made on them; but after all, these two girls begin to grow very indifferent to me.”

After having refreshed himself, Candide walked into a large gallery, where he was struck with the sight of a fine collection of paintings. “Pray,” said Candide, “by what master are the two first of these?” “They are by Raphael,” answered the senator. “I gave a great deal of money for them seven years ago, purely out of curiosity, as they were said to be the finest pieces in Italy; but I cannot say they please me: the coloring is dark and heavy; the figures do not swell nor come out enough; and the drapery is bad. In short, notwithstanding the encomiums lavished upon them, they are not, in my opinion, a true representation of nature. I approve of no paintings save those wherein I think I behold nature herself; and there are few, if any, of that kind to be met with. I have what is called a fine collection, but I take no manner of delight in it.”

While dinner was being prepared Pococuranté ordered a concert. Candide praised the music to the skies. “This noise,” said the noble Venetian, “may amuse one for a little time, but if it were to last above half an hour, it would grow tiresome to everybody, though perhaps no one would care to own it. Music has become the art of executing what is difficult; now, whatever is difficult cannot be long pleasing.

“I believe I might take more pleasure in an opera, if they had not made such a monster of that species of dramatic entertainment as perfectly shocks me; and I am amazed how people can bear to see wretched tragedies set to music; where the scenes are contrived for no other purpose than to lug in, as it were by the ears, three or four ridiculous songs, to give a favorite actress an opportunity of exhibiting her pipe. Let who will die away in raptures at the trills of a eunuch quavering the majestic part of Cæsar or Cato, and strutting in a foolish manner upon the stage, but for my part I have long ago renounced these paltry entertainments, which constitute the glory of modern Italy, and are so dearly purchased by crowned heads.” Candide opposed these sentiments; but he did it in a discreet manner; as for Martin, he was entirely of the old senator’s opinion.

Dinner being served they sat down to table, and, after a hearty repast, returned to the library. Candide, observing Homer richly bound, commended the noble Venetian’s taste. “This,” said he, “is a book that was once the delight of the great Pangloss, the best philosopher in Germany.” “Homer is no favorite of mine,” answered Pococuranté, coolly; “I was made to believe once that I took a pleasure in reading him; but his continual repetitions of battles have all such a resemblance with each other; his gods that are forever in haste and bustle, without ever doing anything; his Helen, who is the cause of the war, and yet hardly acts in the whole performance; his Troy, that holds out so long, without being taken: in short, all these things together make the poem very insipid to me. I have asked some learned men, whether they are not in reality as much tired as myself with reading this poet: those who spoke ingenuously, assured me that he had made them fall asleep, and yet that they could not well avoid giving him a place in their libraries; but that it was merely as they would do an antique, or those rusty medals which are kept only for curiosity, and are of no manner of use in commerce.”

“But your excellency does not surely form the same opinion of Virgil?” said Candide. “Why, I grant,” replied Pococuranté, “that the second, third, fourth, and sixth books of his “Æneid” are excellent; but as for his pious Æneas, his strong Cloanthus, his friendly Achates, his boy Ascanius, his silly king Latinus, his ill-bred Amata, his insipid Lavinia, and some other characters much in the same strain, I think there cannot in nature be anything more flat and disagreeable. I must confess I prefer Tasso far beyond him; nay, even that sleepy taleteller Ariosto.”

“May I take the liberty to ask if you do not experience great pleasure from reading Horace?” said Candide. “There are maxims in this writer,” replied Pococuranté, “whence a man of the world may reap some benefit; and the short measure of the verse makes them more easily to be retained in the memory. But I see nothing extraordinary in his journey to Brundusium, and his account of his bad dinner; nor in his dirty, low quarrel between one Rupillius, whose words, as he expresses it, were full of poisonous filth; and another, whose language was dipped in vinegar. His indelicate verses against old women and witches have frequently given me great offence: nor can I discover the great merit of his telling his friend Mæcenas, that if he will but rank him in the class of lyric poets, his lofty head shall touch the stars. Ignorant readers are apt to judge a writer by his reputation. For my part, I read only to please myself. I like nothing but what makes for my purpose.” Candide, who had been brought up with a notion of never making use of his own judgment, was astonished at what he heard; but Martin found there was a good deal of reason in the senator’s remarks.

“O! here is a Tully,” said Candide; “this great man I fancy you are never tired of reading?” “Indeed I never read him at all,” replied Pococuranté. “What is it to me whether he pleads for Rabirius or Cluentius? I try causes enough myself. I had once some liking for his philosophical works; but when I found he doubted everything, I thought I knew as much as himself, and had no need of a guide to learn ignorance.”

“Ha!” cried Martin, “here are fourscore volumes of the memoirs of the Academy of Sciences; perhaps there may be something curious and valuable in this collection.” “Yes,” answered Pococuranté; “so there might if any one of these compilers of this rubbish had only invented the art of pin-making: but all these volumes are filled with mere chimerical systems, without one single article conducive to real utility.”

“I see a prodigious number of plays,” said Candide, “in Italian, Spanish, and French.” “Yes,” replied the Venetian; “there are I think three thousand, and not three dozen of them good for anything. As to those huge volumes of divinity, and those enormous collections of sermons, they are not all together worth one single page in Seneca; and I fancy you will readily believe that neither myself, nor anyone else, ever looks into them.”

Martin, perceiving some shelves filled with English books, said to the senator: “I fancy that a republican must be highly delighted with those books, which are most of them written with a noble spirit of freedom.” “It is noble to write as we think,” said Pococuranté; “it is the privilege of humanity. Throughout Italy we write only what we do not think; and the present inhabitants of the country of the Cæsars and Antonines dare not acquire a single idea without the permission of a Dominican father. I should be enamored of the spirit of the English nation, did it not utterly frustrate the good effects it would produce by passion and the spirit of party.”

Candide, seeing a Milton, asked the senator if he did not think that author a great man. “Who?” said Pococuranté sharply; “that barbarian who writes a tedious commentary in ten books of rumbling verse, on the first chapter of Genesis? that slovenly imitator of the Greeks, who disfigures the creation, by making the Messiah take a pair of compasses from heaven’s armory to plan the world; whereas Moses represented the Deity as producing the whole universe by his fiat? Can I think you have any esteem for a writer who has spoiled Tasso’s hell and the devil; who transforms Lucifer sometimes into a toad, and at others into a pygmy; who makes him say the same thing over again a hundred times; who metamorphoses him into a school-divine; and who, by an absurdly serious imitation of Ariosto’s comic invention of firearms, represents the devils and angels cannonading each other in heaven? Neither I nor any other Italian can possibly take pleasure in such melancholy reveries; but the marriage of Sin and Death, and snakes issuing from the womb of the former, are enough to make any person sick that is not lost to all sense of delicacy. This obscene, whimsical, and disagreeable poem met with the neglect it deserved at its first publication; and I only treat the author now as he was treated in his own country by his contemporaries.”

Candide was sensibly grieved at this speech, as he had a great respect for Homer, and was fond of Milton. “Alas!” said he softly to Martin, “I am afraid this man holds our German poets in great contempt.” “There would be no such great harm in that,” said Martin. “O what a surprising man!” said Candide, still to himself; “what a prodigious genius is this Pococuranté! nothing can please him.”

After finishing their survey of the library, they went down into the garden, when Candide commended the several beauties that offered themselves to his view. “I know nothing upon earth laid out in such bad taste,” said Pococuranté; “everything about it is childish and trifling; but I shall have another laid out to-morrow upon a nobler plan.”

As soon as our two travellers had taken leave of his excellency, “Well,” said Candide to Martin, “I hope you will own that this man is the happiest of all mortals, for he is above everything he possesses.” “But do not you see,” answered Martin, “that he likewise dislikes everything he possesses? It was an observation of Plato, long since, that those are not the best stomachs that reject, without distinction, all sorts of aliments.” “True,” said Candide, “but still there must certainly be a pleasure in criticising everything, and in perceiving faults where others think they see beauties.” “That is,” replied Martin, “there is a pleasure in having no pleasure.” “Well, well,” said Candide, “I find that I shall be the only happy man at last, when I am blessed with the sight of my dear Cunegund.” “It is good to hope,” said Martin.

In the meanwhile, days and weeks passed away, and no news of Cacambo. Candide was so overwhelmed with grief, that he did not reflect on the behavior of Pacquette and Friar Giroflée, who never stayed to return him thanks for the presents he had so generously made them.



Candide and Martin sup with six sharpers—who they were.

One evening as Candide, with his attendant Martin, was going to sit down to supper with some foreigners who lodged in the same inn where they had taken up their quarters, a man with a face the color of soot came behind him, and taking him by the arm, said, “Hold yourself in readiness to go along with us; be sure you do not fail.” Upon this, turning about to see from whom these words came, he beheld Cacambo. Nothing but the sight of Miss Cunegund could have given him greater joy and surprise. He was almost beside himself. After embracing this dear friend, “Cunegund!” said he, “Cunegund is come with you doubtless! Where, where is she? Carry me to her this instant, that I may die with joy in her presence.” “Cunegund is not here,” answered Cacambo; “she is in Constantinople.” “Good heavens! in Constantinople! but no matter if she were in China, I would fly thither. Quick, quick, dear Cacambo, let us be gone.” “Soft and fair,” said Cacambo, “stay till you have supped. I cannot at present stay to say anything more to you; I am a slave, and my master waits for me; I must go and attend him at table: but mum! say not a word, only get your supper, and hold yourself in readiness.”

Candide, divided between joy and grief, charmed to have thus met with his faithful agent again, and surprised to hear he was a slave, his heart palpitating, his senses confused, but full of the hopes of recovering his dear Cunegund, sat down to table with Martin, who beheld all these scenes with great unconcern, and with six strangers, who had come to spend the carnival at Venice.

Cacambo waited at table upon one of those strangers. When supper was nearly over, he drew near to his master, and whispered in his ear, “Sire, your majesty may go when you please; the ship is ready”; and so saying he left the room. The guests, surprised at what they had heard, looked at each other without speaking a word; when another servant drawing near to his master, in like manner said, “Sire, your majesty’s post-chaise is at Padua, and the bark is ready.” The master made him a sign, and he instantly withdrew. The company all stared at each other again, and the general astonishment was increased. A third servant then approached another of the strangers, and said, “Sire, if your majesty will be advised by me, you will not make any longer stay in this place; I will go and get everything ready”; and instantly disappeared.

Candide and Martin then took it for granted that this was some of the diversions of the carnival, and that these were characters in masquerade. Then a fourth domestic said to the fourth stranger, “Your majesty may set off when you please;” saying which, he went away like the rest. A fifth valet said the same to a fifth master. But the sixth domestic spoke in a different style to the person on whom he waited, and who sat near to Candide. “Troth, sir,” said he, “they will trust your majesty no longer, nor myself neither; and we may both of us chance to be sent to jail this very night; and therefore I shall take care of myself, and so adieu.” The servants being all gone, the six strangers, with Candide and Martin, remained in a profound silence. At length Candide broke it by saying, “Gentlemen, this is a very singular joke upon my word; how came you all to be kings? For my part I own frankly, that neither my friend Martin here, nor myself, have any claim to royalty.”

Cacambo’s master then began, with great gravity, to deliver himself thus in Italian. “I am not joking in the least, my name is Achmet III. I was grand seignor for many years; I dethroned my brother, my nephew dethroned me, my viziers lost their heads, and I am condemned to end my days in the old seraglio. My nephew, the Grand Sultan Mahomet, gives me permission to travel sometimes for my health, and I am come to spend the carnival at Venice.”

A young man who sat by Achmet, spoke next, and said: “My name is Ivan. I was once emperor of all the Russias, but was dethroned in my cradle. My parents were confined, and I was brought up in a prison, yet I am sometimes allowed to travel, though always with persons to keep a guard over me, and I am come to spend the carnival at Venice.”

The third said: “I am Charles Edward, king of England; my father has renounced his right to the throne in my favor. I have fought in defence of my rights, and near a thousand of my friends have had their hearts taken out of their bodies alive and thrown in their faces. I have myself been confined in a prison. I am going to Rome to visit the king my father, who was dethroned as well as myself; and my grandfather and I have come to spend the carnival at Venice.”

The fourth spoke thus: “I am the king of Poland; the fortune of war has stripped me of my hereditary dominions. My father experienced the same vicissitudes of fate. I resign myself to the will of Providence, in the same manner as Sultan Achmet, the Emperor Ivan, and King Charles Edward, whom God long preserve; and I have come to spend the carnival at Venice.”

The fifth said: “I am king of Poland also. I have twice lost my kingdom; but Providence has given me other dominions, where I have done more good than all the Sarmatian kings put together were ever able to do on the banks of the Vistula; I resign myself likewise to Providence; and have come to spend the carnival at Venice.”

It now came to the sixth monarch’s turn to speak: “Gentlemen,” said he, “I am not so great a prince as the rest of you, it is true, but I am, however, a crowned head. I am Theodore, elected king of Corsica. I have had the title of majesty, and am now hardly treated with common civility. I have coined money, and am not now worth a single ducat. I have had two secretaries, and am now without a valet. I was once seated on a throne, and since that have lain upon a truss of straw, in a common jail in London, and I very much fear I shall meet with the same fate here in Venice, where I came, like your majesties, to divert myself at the carnival.”

The other five kings listened to this speech with great attention; it excited their compassion; each of them made the unhappy Theodore a present of twenty sequins, and Candide gave him a diamond, worth just a hundred times that sum. “Who can this private person be,” said the five princes to one another, “who is able to give, and has actually given, a hundred times as much as any of us?”

Just as they rose from table, in came four serene highnesses, who had also been stripped of their territories by the fortune of war, and had come to spend the remainder of the carnival at Venice. Candide took no manner of notice of them; for his thoughts were wholly employed on his voyage to Constantinople, where he intended to go in search of his lovely Miss Cunegund.



Candide’s voyage to constantinople.

The trusty Cacambo had already engaged the captain of the Turkish ship that was to carry Sultan Achmet back to Constantinople, to take Candide and Martin on board. Accordingly they both embarked, after paying their obeisance to his miserable highness. As they were going on board, Candide said to Martin, “You see we supped in company with six dethroned kings, and to one of them I gave charity. Perhaps there may be a great many other princes still more unfortunate. For my part I have lost only a hundred sheep, and am now going to fly to the arms of my charming Miss Cunegund. My dear Martin, I must insist on it, that Pangloss was in the right. All is for the best.” “I wish it may be,” said Martin. “But this was an odd adventure we met with at Venice. I do not think there ever was an instance before of six dethroned monarchs supping together at a public inn.” “This is not more extraordinary,” said Martin, “than most of what has happened to us. It is a very common thing for kings to be dethroned; and as for our having the honor to sup with six of them, it is a mere accident, not deserving our attention.”

As soon as Candide set his foot on board the vessel, he flew to his old friend and valet Cacambo; and throwing his arms about his neck, embraced him with transports of joy. “Well,” said he, “what news of Miss Cunegund? Does she still continue the paragon of beauty? Does she love me still? How does she do? You have, doubtless, purchased a superb palace for her at Constantinople.”

“My dear master,” replied Cacambo, “Miss Cunegund washes dishes on the banks of the Propontis, in the house of a prince who has very few to wash. She is at present a slave in the family of an ancient sovereign named Ragotsky, whom the grand Turk allows three crowns a day to maintain him in his exile; but the most melancholy circumstance of all is, that she is turned horribly ugly.” “Ugly or handsome,” said Candide, “I am a man of honor; and, as such, am obliged to love her still. But how could she possibly have been reduced to so abject a condition, when I sent five or six millions to her by you?” “Lord bless me,” said Cacambo, “was not I obliged to give two millions to Seignor Don Fernando d’Ibaraa y Fagueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza, the governor of Buenos Ayres, for liberty to take Miss Cunegund away with me? and then did not a brave fellow of a pirate gallantly strip us of all the rest? And then did not this same pirate carry us with him to Cape Matapan, to Milo, to Nicaria, to Samos, to Petra, to the Dardanelles, to Marmora, to Scutari? Miss Cunegund and the old woman are now servants to the prince I have told you of; and I myself am slave to the dethroned sultan.” “What a chain of shocking accidents!” exclaimed Candide. “But after all, I have still some diamonds left, with which I can easily procure Miss Cunegund’s liberty. It is a pity though she is grown so ugly.”

Then turning to Martin, “What think you, friend,” said he, “whose condition is most to be pitied, the Emperor Achmet’s the Emperor Ivan’s, King Charles Edward’s, or mine?” “Faith, I cannot resolve your question,” said Martin, “unless I had been in the breasts of you all.” “Ah!” cried Candide, “was Pangloss here now, he would have known, and satisfied me at once.” “I know not,” said Martin, “in what balance your Pangloss could have weighed the misfortunes of mankind, and have set a just estimation on their sufferings. All that I pretend to know of the matter is that there are millions of men on the earth, whose conditions are a hundred times more pitiable than those of King Charles Edward, the Emperor Ivan, or Sultan Achmet.” “Why, that may be,” answered Candide.

In a few days they reached the Bosphorus; and the first thing Candide did was to pay a high ransom for Cacambo: then, without losing time, he and his companions went on board a galley, in order to search for his Cunegund on the banks of the Propontis, notwithstanding she was grown so ugly.

There were two slaves among the crew of the galley, who rowed very ill, and to whose bare backs the master of the vessel frequently applied a lash. Candide, from natural sympathy, looked at these two slaves more attentively than at any of the rest, and drew near them with an eye of pity. Their features, though greatly disfigured, appeared to him to bear a strong resemblance with those of Pangloss and the unhappy baron Jesuit, Miss Cunegund’s brother. This idea affected him with grief and compassion: he examined them more attentively than before. “In troth,” said he, turning to Martin, “if I had not seen my master Pangloss fairly hanged, and had not myself been unlucky enough to run the baron through the body, I should absolutely think those two rowers were the men.”

No sooner had Candide uttered the names of the baron and Pangloss, than the two slaves gave a great cry, ceased rowing, and let fall their oars out of their hands. The master of the vessel, seeing this, ran up to them, and redoubled the discipline of the lash. “Hold, hold,” cried Candide, “I will give you what money you shall ask for these two persons.” “Good heavens! it is Candide,” said one of the men. “Candide!” cried the other. “Do I dream,” said Candide, “or am I awake? Am I actually on board this galley? Is this my lord baron, whom I killed? and that my master Pangloss, whom I saw hanged before my face?”

“It is I! it is I!” cried they both together. “What! is this your great philosopher?” said Martin. “My dear sir,” said Candide to the master of the galley, “how much do you ask for the ransom of the baron of Thunder-ten tronckh, who is one of the first barons of the empire, and of Mr. Pangloss, the most profound metaphysician in Germany?” “Why, then, Christian cur,” replied the Turkish captain, “since these two dogs of Christian slaves are barons and metaphysicians, who no doubt are of high rank in their own country, thou shalt give me fifty thousand sequins.” “You shall have them, sir; carry me back as quick as thought to Constantinople, and you shall receive the money immediately—No! carry me first to Miss Cunegund.” The captain, upon Candide’s first proposal, had already tacked about, and he made the crew ply their oars so effectually, that the vessel flew through the water, quicker than a bird cleaves the air.

Candide bestowed a thousand embraces on the baron and Pangloss. “And so then, my dear baron, I did not kill you? and you, my dear Pangloss, are come to life again after your hanging? But how came you slaves on board a Turkish galley?” “And is it true that my dear sister is in this country?” said the baron. “Yes,” said Cacambo. “And do I once again behold my dear Candide?” said Pangloss. Candide presented Martin and Cacambo to them; they embraced each other, and all spoke together. The galley flew like lightning, and soon they were got back to port. Candide instantly sent for a Jew, to whom he sold for fifty thousand sequins a diamond richly worth one hundred thousand, though the fellow swore to him all the time by Father Abraham that he gave him the most he could possibly afford. He no sooner got the money into his hands, than he paid it down for the ransom of the baron and Pangloss. The latter flung himself at the feet of his deliverer, and bathed him with his tears: the former thanked him with a gracious nod, and promised to return him the money the first opportunity. “But is it possible,” said he, “that my sister should be in Turkey?” “Nothing is more possible,” answered Cacambo, “for she scours the dishes in the house of a Transylvanian prince.” Candide sent directly for two Jews, and sold more diamonds to them; and then he set out with his companions in another galley, to deliver Miss Cunegund from slavery.



What befell Candide, Cunegund, Pangloss, Martin, etc.

“Pardon,” said Candide to the baron; “once more let me entreat your pardon, reverend father, for running you through the body.” “Say no more about it,” replied the baron; “I was a little too hasty I must own; but as you seem to be desirous to know by what accident I came to be a slave on board the galley where you saw me, I will inform you. After I had been cured of the would you gave me, by the college apothecary, I was attacked and carried off by a party of Spanish troops, who clapped me in prison in Buenos Ayres, at the very time my sister was setting out from there. I asked leave to return to Rome, to the general of my order, who appointed me chaplain to the French ambassador at Constantinople. I had not been a week in my new office, when I happened to meet one evening with a young Icoglan, extremely handsome and well made. The weather was very hot; the young man had an inclination to bathe. I took the opportunity to bathe likewise. I did not know it was a crime for a Christian to be found naked in company with a young Turk. A cadi ordered me to receive a hundred blows on the soles of my feet, and sent me to the galleys. I do not believe that there was ever an act of more flagrant injustice. But I would fain know how my sister came to be a scullion to a Transylvanian prince, who has taken refuge among the Turks?”

“But how happens it that I behold you again, my dear Pangloss?” said Candide. “It is true,” answered Pangloss, “you saw me hanged, though I ought properly to have been burned; but you may remember, that it rained extremely hard when they were going to roast me. The storm was so violent that they found it impossible to light the fire; so they hanged me because they could do no better. A surgeon purchased my body, carried it home, and prepared to dissect me. He began by making a crucial incision from my navel to the clavicle. It is impossible for anyone to have been more lamely hanged than I had been. The executioner was a subdeacon, and knew how to burn people very well, but as for hanging, he was a novice at it, being quite out of practice; the cord being wet, and not slipping properly, the noose did not join. In short, I still continued to breathe; the crucial incision made me scream to such a degree, that my surgeon fell flat upon his back; and imagining it was the devil he was dissecting, ran away, and in his fright tumbled down stairs. His wife hearing the noise, flew from the next room, and seeing me stretched upon the table with my crucial incision, was still more terrified than her husband, and fell upon him. When they had a little recovered themselves, I heard her say to her husband, ‘My dear, how could you think of dissecting a heretic? Don’t you know that the devil is always in them? I’ll run directly to a priest to come and drive the evil spirit out.’ I trembled from head to foot at hearing her talk in this manner, and exerted what little strength I had left to cry out, ‘Have mercy on me!’ At length the Portuguese barber took courage, sewed up my wound, and his wife nursed me; and I was upon my legs in a fortnight’s time. The barber got me a place to be lackey to a knight of Malta, who was going to Venice; but finding my master had no money to pay me my wages, I entered into the service of a Venetian merchant, and went with him to Constantinople.

“One day I happened to enter a mosque, where I saw no one but an old man and a very pretty young female devotee, who was telling her beads; her neck was quite bare, and in her bosom she had a beautiful nosegay of tulips, roses, anemones, ranunculuses, hyacinths, and auriculas; she let fall her nosegay. I ran immediately to take it up, and presented it to her with a most respectful bow. I was so long in delivering it that the imam began to be angry; and, perceiving I was a Christian, he cried out for help; they carried me before the cadi, who ordered me to receive one hundred bastinadoes, and sent me to the galleys. I was chained in the very galley and to the very same bench with the baron. On board this galley there were four young men belonging to Marseilles, five Neapolitan priests, and two monks of Corfu, who told us that the like adventures happened every day. The baron pretended that he had been worse used than myself; and I insisted that there was far less harm in taking up a nosegay, and putting it into a woman’s bosom, than to be found stark naked with a young Icoglan. We were continually whipped, and received twenty lashes a day with a heavy thong, when the concatenation of sublunary events brought you on board our galley to ransom us from slavery.”

“Well, my dear Pangloss,” said Candide to him, “when you were hanged, dissected, whipped, and tugging at the oar, did you continue to think that everything in this world happens for the best?” “I have always abided by my first opinion,” answered Pangloss; “for, after all, I am a philosopher, and it would not become me to retract my sentiments; especially as Leibnitz could not be in the wrong: and that pre-established harmony is the finest thing in the world, as well as a plenum and the materia subtilis.



In what manner Candide found Miss Cunegund and the old woman again.

While Candide, the baron, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo, were relating their several adventures, and reasoning on the contingent or non-contingent events of this world; on causes and effects; on moral and physical evil; on free will and necessity; and on the consolation that may be felt by a person when a slave and chained to an oar in a Turkish galley, they arrived at the house of the Transylvanian prince on the coasts of the Propontis. The first objects they beheld there, were Miss Cunegund and the old woman, who were hanging some tablecloths on a line to dry.

The baron turned pale at the sight. Even the tender Candide, that affectionate lover, upon seeing his fair Cunegund all sunburnt, with blear eyes, a withered neck, wrinkled face and arms, all covered with a red scurf, started back with horror; but, recovering himself, he advanced towards her out of good manners. She embraced Candide and her brother; they embraced the old woman, and Candide ransomed them both.

There was a small farm in the neighborhood, which the old woman proposed to Candide to make shift with till the company should meet with a more favorable destiny. Cunegund, not knowing that she was grown ugly, as no one had informed her of it, reminded Candide of his promise in so peremptory a manner, that the simple lad did not dare to refuse her; he then acquainted the baron that he was going to marry his sister. “I will never suffer,” said the baron, “my sister to be guilty of an action so derogatory to her birth and family; nor will I bear this insolence on your part: no, I never will be reproached that my nephews are not qualified for the first ecclesiastical dignities in Germany; nor shall a sister of mine ever be the wife of any person below the rank of a baron of the empire.” Cunegund flung herself at her brother’s feet, and bedewed them with her tears; but he still continued inflexible. “Thou foolish fellow,” said Candide, “have I not delivered thee from the galleys, paid thy ransom, and thy sister’s, too, who was a scullion, and is very ugly, and yet condescend to marry her? and shalt thou pretend to oppose the match! If I were to listen only to the dictates of my anger, I should kill thee again.” “Thou mayest kill me again,” said the baron; “but thou shalt not marry my sister while I am living.”




Candide had, in truth, no great inclination to marry Miss Cunegund; but the extreme impertinence of the baron determined him to conclude the match; and Cunegund pressed him so warmly, that he could not recant. He consulted Pangloss, Martin, and the faithful Cacambo. Pangloss composed a fine memorial, by which he proved that the baron had no right over his sister; and that she might, according to all the laws of the empire, marry Candide with the left hand. Martin concluded to throw the baron into the sea; Cacambo decided that he must be delivered to the Turkish captain and sent to the galleys; after which he should be conveyed by the first ship to the father-general at Rome. This advice was found to be good; the old woman approved of it, and not a syllable was said to his sister; the business was executed for a little money; and they had the pleasure of tricking a Jesuit, and punishing the pride of a German baron.

It was altogether natural to imagine, that after undergoing so many disasters, Candide, married to his mistress and living with the philosopher Pangloss, the philosopher Martin, the prudent Cacambo, and the old woman, having besides brought home so many diamonds from the country of the ancient Incas, would lead the most agreeable life in the world. But he had been so robbed by the Jews, that he had nothing left but his little farm; his wife, every day growing more and more ugly, became headstrong and insupportable; the old woman was infirm, and more ill-natured yet than Cunegund. Cacambo, who worked in the garden, and carried the produce of it to sell at Constantinople, was above his labor, and cursed his fate. Pangloss despaired of making a figure in any of the German universities. And as to Martin, he was firmly persuaded that a person is equally ill-situated everywhere. He took things with patience. Candide, Martin, and Pangloss, disputed sometimes about metaphysics and morality. Boats were often seen passing under the windows of the farm laden with effendis, bashaws, and cadis, that were going into banishment to Lemnos, Mytilene and Erzerum. And other cadis, bashaws, and effendis, were seen coming back to succeed the place of the exiles, and were driven out in their turns. They saw several heads curiously stuck upon poles, and carried as presents to the sublime porte. Such sights gave occasion to frequent dissertations; and when no disputes were in progress, the irksomeness was so excessive that the old woman ventured one day to tell them, “I would be glad to know which is worst, to be ravished a hundred times by negro pirates, to have one buttock cut off, to run the gauntlet among the Bulgarians, to be whipped and hanged at an auto-da-fé, to be dissected, to be chained to an oar in a galley; and, in short, to experience all the miseries through which every one of us hath passed, or to remain here doing nothing?” “This,” said Candide, “is a grand question.”

This discourse gave birth to new reflections, and Martin especially concluded that man was born to live in the convulsions of disquiet, or in the lethargy of idleness. Though Candide did not absolutely agree to this, yet he did not determine anything on that head. Pangloss avowed that he had undergone dreadful sufferings; but having once maintained that everything went on as well as possible, he still maintained it, and at the same time believed nothing of it.

There was one thing which more than ever confirmed Martin in his detestable principles, made Candide hesitate, and embarrassed Pangloss, which was the arrival of Pacquette and Brother Giroflée one day at their farm. This couple had been in the utmost distress; they had very speedily made away with their three thousand piastres; they had parted, been reconciled; quarrelled again, been thrown into prison; had made their escape, and at last Brother Giroflée had turned Turk. Pacquette still continued to follow her trade; but she got little or nothing by it. “I foresaw very well,” said Martin to Candide, “that your presents would soon be squandered, and only make them more miserable. You and Cacambo have spent millions of piastres, and yet you are not more happy than Brother Giroflée and Pacquette.” “Ah!” said Pangloss to Pacquette, “it is heaven that has brought you here among us, my poor child! Do you know that you have cost me the tip of my nose, one eye, and one ear? What a handsome shape is here! and what is this world!” This new adventure engaged them more deeply than ever in philosophical disputations.

In the neighborhood lived a famous dervish who passed for the best philosopher in Turkey; they went to consult him: Pangloss, who was their spokesman, addressed him thus: “Master, we come to entreat you to tell us why so strange an animal as man has been formed?”

“Why do you trouble your head about it?” said the dervish; “is it any business of yours?” “But, my reverend father,” said Candide, “there is a horrible deal of evil on the earth.” “What signifies it,” said the dervish, “whether there is evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the rats in the vessel are at their ease or not?” “What must then be done?” said Pangloss. “Be silent,” answered the dervish. “I flattered myself,” replied Pangloss, “to have reasoned a little with you on the causes and effects, on the best of possible worlds, the origin of evil, the nature of the soul, and a pre-established harmony.” At these words the dervish shut the door in their faces.

During this conversation, news was spread abroad that two viziers of the bench and the mufti had just been strangled at Constantinople, and several of their friends empaled. This catastrophe made a great noise for some hours. Pangloss, Candide, and Martin, as they were returning to the little farm, met with a good-looking old man, who was taking the air at his door, under an alcove formed of the boughs of orange-trees. Pangloss, who was as inquisitive as he was disputative, asked him what was the name of the mufti who was lately strangled. “I cannot tell,” answered the good old man; “I never knew the name of any mufti, or vizier breathing. I am entirely ignorant of the event you speak of; I presume that in general such as are concerned in public affairs sometimes come to a miserable end; and that they deserve it: but I never inquire what is doing at Constantinople; I am contented with sending thither the produce of my garden, which I cultivate with my own hands.” After saying these words, he invited the strangers to come into his house. His two daughters and two sons presented them with divers sorts of sherbet of their own making; besides caymac, heightened with the peels of candied citrons, oranges, lemons, pineapples, pistachio nuts, and Mocha coffee unadulterated with the bad coffee of Batavia or the American islands. After which the two daughters of this good Mussulman perfumed the beards of Candide, Pangloss, and Martin.

“You must certainly have a vast estate,” said Candide to the Turk; who replied, “I have no more than twenty acres of ground, the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us three great evils—idleness, vice, and want.”

Candide, as he was returning home, made profound reflections on the Turk’s discourse. “This good old man,” said he to Pangloss and Martin, “appears to me to have chosen for himself a lot much preferable to that of the six kings with whom we had the honor to sup.” “Human grandeur,” said Pangloss, “is very dangerous, if we believe the testimonies of almost all philosophers; for we find Eglon, king of Moab, was assassinated by Aod; Absalom was hanged by the hair of his head, and run through with three darts; King Nadab, son of Jeroboam, was slain by Baaza; King Ela by Zimri; Okosias by Jehu; Athaliah by Jehoiada; the kings Jehooiakim, Jeconiah, and Zedekiah, were led into captivity: I need not tell you what was the fate of Crœsus, Astyages, Darius, Dionysius of Syracuse, Pyrrhus, Perseus, Hannibal, Jugurtha, Ariovistus, Cæsar, Pompey, Nero, Otho, Vitellius, Domitian, Richard II. of England, Edward II., Henry VI., Richard III., Mary Stuart, Charles I., the three Henrys of France, and the emperor Henry IV.” “Neither need you tell me,” said Candide, “that we must take care of our garden.” “You are in the right,” said Pangloss; “for when man was put into the garden of Eden, it was with an intent to dress it: and this proves that man was not born to be idle.” “Work then without disputing,” said Martin; “it is the only way to render life supportable.”

The little society, one and all, entered into this laudable design; and set themselves to exert their different talents. The little piece of ground yielded them a plentiful crop. Cunegund indeed was very ugly, but she became an excellent hand at pastrywork; Pacquette embroidered; the old woman had the care of the linen. There was none, down to Brother Giroflée, but did some service; he was a very good carpenter, and became an honest man. Pangloss used now and then to say to Candide, “There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had you not been kicked out of a fine castle for the love of Miss Cunegund; had you not been put into the Inquisition; had you not travelled over America on foot; had you not run the baron through the body; and had you not lost all your sheep, which you brought from the good country of El Dorado, you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts.” “Excellently observed,” answered Candide; “but let us take care of our garden.”




How Candide quitted his companions, and what happened to him.

We soon become tired of everything in life; riches fatigue the possessor; ambition, when satisfied, leaves only remorse behind it; the joys of love are but transient joys; and Candide, made to experience all the vicissitudes of fortune, was soon disgusted with cultivating his garden. “Mr. Pangloss,” said he, “if we are in the best of possible worlds, you will own to me, at least, that this is not enjoying that portion of possible happiness; but living obscure in a little corner of the Propontis, having no other resource than that of my own manual labor, which may one day fail me; no other pleasures than what Mrs. Cunegund gives me, who is very ugly; and, which is worse, is my wife; no other company than yours, which is sometimes irksome to me; or that of Martin, which makes me melancholy; or that of Giroflée, who is but very lately become an honest man; or that of Pacquette, the danger of whose correspondence you have so fully experienced; or that of the hag who has but one buttock, and is constantly repeating old wives’ tales.

To this Pangloss made the following reply: “Philosophy teaches us that monads, divisible in infinitum, arrange themselves with wonderful sagacity in order to compose the different bodies which we observe in nature. The heavenly bodies are what they should be; they are placed where they should be; they describe the circles which they should describe; man follows the bent he should follow; he is what he should be; he does what he should do. You bemoan yourself, O Candide, because the monad of your soul is disgusted; but disgust is a modification of the soul; and this does not hinder, but everything is for the best, both for you and others. When you beheld me covered with sores, I did not maintain my opinion the less for that; for if Miss Pacquette had not made me taste the pleasures of love and its poison, I should not have met with you in Holland; I should not have given the anabaptist James an opportunity of performing a meritorious act; I should not have been hanged in Lisbon for the edification of my neighbor; I should not have been here to assist you with my advice, and make you live and die in Leibnitz’s opinion. Yes, my dear Candide, everything is linked in a chain, everything is necessary in the best of possible worlds. There is a necessity that the burgher of Montauban should instruct kings; that the worm of Quimper-Corentin should carp, carp, carp; that the declaimer against philosophers should occasion his own crucifixion in St. Denis street; that a rascally recollet and the archdeacon of St. Malo should diffuse their gall and calumny through their Christian journals; that philosophy should be accused at the tribunal of Melpomene; and that philosophers should continue to enlighten human nature, notwithstanding the croakings of ridiculous animals that flounder in the marshes of learning; and should you be once more driven by a hearty kicking from the finest of all castles, to learn again your exercise among the Bulgarians; should you again suffer the dirty effects of a Dutchwoman’s zeal; be half drowned again before Lisbon; to be unmercifully whipped again by order of the most holy Inquisition; should you run the same risks again among Los Padres, the Oreillons, and the French; should you, in short, suffer every possible calamity and never understand Leibnitz better than I myself do, you will still maintain that all is well; that all is for the best; that a plenum, the materia subtilis, a pre-established harmony, and monads, are the finest things in the world; and that Leibnitz is a great man, even to those who do not comprehend him.”

To this fine speech, Candide, the mildest being in nature, though he had killed three men, two of whom were priests, answered not a word; but weary of the doctor and his society, next morning at break of day, taking a white staff in his hand, marched off, without knowing whither he was going, but in quest of a place where one does not become disgusted, and where men are not men, as in the good country of El Dorado.

Candide, so much the less unhappy as he had no longer a love for Miss Cunegund, living upon the bounty of different people, who were not Christians, but yet give alms, arrived after a very long and very tiresome journey, at Tauris, upon the frontiers of Persia, a city noted for the cruelties which the Turks and Persians have by turns exercised therein.

Half dead with fatigue, having hardly more clothes than what were necessary to cover that part which constitutes the man, and which men call shameful, Candide could not well relish Pangloss’ opinion when a Persian accosted him in the most polite manner, beseeching him to ennoble his house with his presence. “You make a jest of me,” cried Candide to him; “I am a poor devil who has left a miserable dwelling I had in Propontis because I had married Miss Cunegund; because she is grown very ugly, and because I was disgusted; I am not, indeed, able to ennoble anybody’s house; I am not noble myself, thank God. If I had the honor of being so, Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh should have paid very dearly for the kicks on the backside with which he favored me, or I should have died of shame for it, which would have been pretty philosophical; besides, I have been whipped ignominiously by the executioners of the most holy Inquisition, and by two thousand heroes at three pence halfpenny a day. Give me what you please, but do not insult my distress with taunts which would deprive you of the whole value of your beneficence.” “My lord,” replied the Persian, “you may be a beggar, and this appears pretty plainly; but my religion obliges me to use hospitality; it is sufficient that you are a man and under misfortunes; that the apple of my eye should be the path for your feet; vouchsafe to ennoble my house with your radiant presence.” “I will, since you desire it,” answered Candide. “Come then, enter,” said the Persian. They went in accordingly, and Candide could not forbear admiring the respectful treatment shown him by his host. The slaves anticipated his desires; the whole house seemed to be busied in nothing but contributing to his satisfaction. “Should this last,” said Candide to himself, “all does not go so badly in this country.” Three days were passed, during which time the kindness of the Persian still continued; and Candide already cried out: “Master Pangloss, I always imagined you were in the right, for you are a great philosopher.”



What befell Candide in this house—how he got out of it.

Candide, being well fed, well clothed, and free from chagrin, soon became again as ruddy, as fresh, and as gay as he had been in Westphalia. His host, Ismael Raab, was pleased to see this change; he was a man six feet high, adorned with two small eyes extremely red, and a large nose full of pimples, which sufficiently declared his infraction of Mahomet’s law; his whiskers were the most famous in the country, and mothers wished their sons nothing so much as a like pair. Raab had wives, because he was rich; but he thought in a manner that is but too common in the East and in some of our colleges in Europe. “Your excellence is brighter than the stars,” said the cunning Persian to the brisk Candide one day, half smiling and half suppressing his words. “You must have captivated a great many hearts; you are formed to give and receive happiness.” “Alas!” answered our hero, “I was happy only by halves, behind a screen, where I was but half at my ease. Mademoiselle Cunegund was handsome then—Mademoiselle Cunegund; poor innocent thing!” “Follow me, my lord,” said the Persian. And Candide followed accordingly. They came to a very agreeable retreat, where silence and pleasure reigned. There Ismael Raab tenderly embraced Candide, and in a few words made a declaration of love like that which the beautiful Alexis expresses with so much pleasure in Virgil’s Eclogues. Candide could not recover from his astonishment. “No,” cried he, “I can never suffer such infamy! what cause and what horrible effect! I had rather die.” “So you shall,” replied Ismael, enraged. “How, thou Christian dog! because I would politely give you pleasure—resolve directly to satisfy me, or to suffer the most cruel death.” Candide did not long hesitate. The cogent reason of the Persian made him tremble; for he feared death like a philosopher.

We accustom ourselves to everything in time. Candide, well fed, well taken care of, but closely watched, was not absolutely disgusted with his condition. Good cheer and the different diversions performed by Ismael’s slaves gave some respite to his chagrin; he was unhappy only when he thought; and thus it is with the greatest part of mankind.

At that time one of the most stanch supporters of the monkish crew in Persia, the most learned of the Mahometan doctors, who understood Arabic perfectly, and even Greek, as spoken at that day in the country of Demosthenes and Sophocles, the Reverend Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk, returned from Constantinople, where he had conversed with the Reverend Mamoud-Abram on a very delicate point of doctrine; namely, whether the prophet had plucked from the angel Gabriel’s wing the pen which he used for the writing of the Koran; or if Gabriel had made him a present of it. They had disputed for three days and three nights with a warmth worthy of the noblest sages of controversy; and the doctor returned home persuaded, like all the disciples of Ali, that Mahomet had plucked the quill; while Mamoud-Abram remained convinced, like the rest of Omar’s followers, that the prophet was incapable of committing any such rudeness, and that the angel had very politely made him a present of this quill for his pen.

It is said that there was at Constantinople a certain free-thinker who insinuated that it was necessary to examine first whether the Koran was really written with a pen taken from the wing of the angel Gabriel; but he was stoned.

Candide’s arrival had made a noise in Tauris; many who had heard him speak of contingent and non-contingent effects imagined he was a philosopher. The Reverend Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk was told of him; he had the curiosity to come and see him; and Raab, who could hardly refuse a person of such consequence, sent for Candide to make his appearance. He seemed to be well pleased with the manner in which Candide spake of bad physics, bad morals, of agent and effect. “I understand that you are a philosopher, and that’s all. But it is enough, Candide,” said the venerable recluse. “It is not right that so great a man as you are should be treated with such indignity, as I am told, in the world. You are a stranger; Ismael Raab has no right over you. I propose to conduct you to court, there you shall meet with a favorable reception; the sophi loves the sciences. Ismael, you must put this young philosopher into my hands, or dread incurring the displeasure of the prince and drawing upon yourself the vengeance of heaven; but especially of the monks.” These last words frightened the otherwise undaunted Persian, and he consented to everything; Candide, blessing heaven and the monks, went the same day out of Tauris with the Mahometan doctor. They took the road to Ispahan, where they arrived loaded with the blessings and favors of the people.



Candide’s reception at court and what followed.

The Reverend Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk made no delay in presenting Candide to the king. His majesty took a particular pleasure in hearing him; he made him dispute with several learned men of his court, who looked upon him as a fool, an ignoramus, and an idiot; which much contributed to persuade his majesty that he was a great man. “Because,” said he to them, “you do not comprehend Candide’s reasonings, you abuse him; but I, who also comprehend nothing at all of them, assure you that he is a great philosopher, and I swear to it by my whisker.” Upon these words the literati were struck dumb.

Candide had apartments assigned him in the palace; he had slaves to wait on him; he was dressed in magnificent clothes, and the sophi commanded that whatever he should say, no one should dare to assert that he was wrong. His majesty did not stop here. The venerable monk was continually soliciting him in favor of his guest, and his majesty at length resolved to rank him among the number of his most intimate favorites.

“God be praised and our holy prophet,” said the imam, addressing himself to Candide. “I am come to tell you an agreeable piece of news; that you are happy, my dear Candide; that you are going to raise the envy of the world; you shall swim in opulence; you may aspire to the most splendid posts in the empire. But do not forget me, my friend; think that it is I who have procured you the favor you are just on the point of enjoying; let gayety reign over the horizon of your countenance. The king grants you a favor which has been sought by many, and you will soon exhibit a sight which the court has not enjoyed these two years past.” “And what are these favors?” demanded Candide, “with which the prince intends to honor me?” “This very day,” answered the monk, quite overjoyed, “this very day you are to receive fifty strokes with a leathern lash on the soles of your feet, in the presence of his majesty. The eunuchs named for perfuming you for the occasion are to be here directly; prepare yourself to go cheerfully through this little trial and thereby render yourself worthy of the king of kings.” “Let the king of kings,” cried Candide in a rage, “keep his favors to himself, if I must receive fifty blows with a lash in order to merit them.” “It is thus,” replied the doctor coldly, “that he deals with those on whom he means to pour down his benefits. I love you too much to regard the little temper which you show on this occasion, and I will make you happy in spite of yourself.”

He had not done speaking when the eunuchs arrived, preceded by the executor of his majesty’s private pleasures, who was one of the greatest and most robust lords of the court. Candide in vain remonstrated against their proceedings. They perfumed his legs and feet, according to custom. Four eunuchs carried him to the place appointed for the ceremony through the midst of a double file of soldiers, while the trumpets sounded, the cannon fired, and the bells of all the mosques of Ispahan jingled; the sophi was already there, accompanied by his principal officers and most distinguished personages of his court. In an instant they stretched out Candide upon a little form finely gilded, and the executor of the private pleasures put himself in a posture for entering upon his office. “O! Master Pangloss, Master Pangloss, were you but here!” said Candide, weeping and roaring out with all his force; a circumstance which would have been thought very indecent if the monk had not given the people to understand that his guest had put himself into such violent agitations only the better to divert his majesty. This great king, it is true, laughed like a fool; he even took such delight in the affair that after the fifty blows had been given, he ordered fifty more to be added. But his first minister having represented to him, with a firmness not very common, that such an unheard of favor with regard to a stranger might alienate the hearts of his subjects, he revoked that order, and Candide was carried back to his apartments.

They put him to bed, after having bathed his feet with vinegar. The grandees came round him in order to congratulate him on his good fortune. The sophi then came to assist him in person, and not only gave him his hand to kiss, according to the custom, but likewise honored him with a great blow of his fist on his mouth. Whence the politicians conjectured that Candide would arrive at extraordinary preferment, and what is very uncommon, though politicians, they were not deceived.



Fresh favors conferred on Candide; his great advancement.

As soon as our hero was cured, he was introduced to the king, to return him his thanks. The monarch received him very graciously. He gave him two or three hearty boxes on the ear during their conversation, and conducted him back as far as the guard-room, with several sound kicks on the posterior; at which the courtiers were ready to burst for envy. Since his majesty had been in a drubbing humor, no person had ever received such signal marks of his majesty’s favor in this way as did Candide.

Three days after this interview, our philosopher, who was enraged at the favors he had received, and thought that everything went very bad, was nominated governor of Chusistan, with an absolute power. He was decorated with a fur cap, which is a grand mark of distinction in Persia. He took his leave of the sophi and departed for Sus, the capital of his province. From the moment that Candide made his appearance at court the grandees had plotted his destruction. The excessive favors which the sophi had heaped on him served but to increase the storm ready to burst upon his head. He, however, applauded himself on his good fortune; and especially his removal from court; he enjoyed in prospect the pleasures of supreme rank, and he said from the bottom of his heart:

“How blest the subject from his lord removed!”

He had not gone quite twenty miles from Ispahan before five hundred horsemen, armed cap-a-pie, came up with him and his attendants and discharged a volley of firearms upon them. Candide imagined at first that this was intended to do him an honor; but the ball which broke his leg soon gave him to know what was going on. His people laid down their arms, and Candide, more dead than alive, was carried to a castle remote from any other dwelling. His baggage, camels, slaves, white and black eunuchs, with thirty-six women which the sophi had given him for his use, all became the prey of the conqueror. Our hero’s leg was cut off for fear of mortification, and care was taken of his life, that a more cruel death might be inflicted on him.

“O Pangloss! Pangloss! what would now become of your optimism if you saw me short of one leg in the hands of my cruelest enemies; just as I was entering upon the path of happiness, and was governor, or king, as one may say, of one of the most considerable provinces of the empire of ancient Media; when I had camels, slaves, black and white eunuchs, and thirty-six women for my own use, and of which I had not made any?” Thus Candide spoke as soon as he was able to speak.

But while he was thus bemoaning himself, everything was going for the best for him. The ministry, informed of the outrages committed against him, had detached a body of well-disciplined troops in pursuit of the mutineers, and the monk Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk took care to publish by means of others of his fraternity that Candide, being the work of the monks, was consequently the work of God. Such as had any knowledge of this atrocious attempt were so much the more ready to discover it, as the ministers of religion gave assurance on the part of Mahomet that every one who had eaten pork, drank wine, omitted bathing for any number of days together, or had conversed with women at the time of their impurity, against the express prohibitions of the Koran, should be, ipso facto, absolved, upon declaring what they knew concerning the conspiracy. They soon discovered the place of Candide’s confinement, which they broke open; and as it was a religious affair the party worsted were exterminated to a man, agreeably to custom in that case. Candide, marching over a heap of dead bodies, made his escape, triumphed over the greatest peril he had hitherto encountered, and with his attendants resumed the road to his government. He was received there as a favorite who had been honored with fifty blows of a lash on the soles of his feet in the presence of the king of kings.



How Candide became a very great man, and yet was not contented.

The good of philosophy is its inspiring us with a love for our fellow-creatures. Paschal is almost the only philosopher who seems desirous to make us hate our neighbors. Luckily Candide had not read Paschal, and he loved the poor human race very cordially. This was soon perceived by the upright part of the people. They had always kept at a distance from the pretended legates of heaven, but made no scruple of visiting Candide and assisting him with their counsels. He made several wise regulations for the encouragement of agriculture, population, commerce, and the arts. He rewarded those who had made any useful experiments; and even encouraged such as had produced some essays on literature.

“When the people in my province are in general content,” said he with a charming candor, “possibly I shall be so myself.” Candide was a stranger to mankind; he saw himself torn to pieces in seditious libels and calumniated in a work entitled “The Friend to Mankind.” He found that while he was laboring to make people happy he had only made them ungrateful. “Ah,” cried Candide, “how hard it is to govern these beings without feathers, which vegetate on the earth! Why am I not still in Propontis, in the company of Master Pangloss, Miss Cunegund, the daughter of Pope Urban X., with only one cushion, Brother Giroflée, and the most luscious Pacquette!”



The pleasures of Candide.

Candide, in the bitterness of his grief, wrote a very pathetic letter to the Reverend Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk. He painted to him in such lively colors the present state of his soul, that Ed-Ivan, greatly affected with it, obtained permission of the sophi that Candide should resign his employments. His majesty, in recompense of his services, granted him a very considerable pension. Eased from the weight of grandeur, our philosopher immediately sought after Pangloss’ optimism, in the pleasures of a private life. He till then had lived for the benefit of others, and seemed to have forgotten that he had a seraglio.

He now called it to remembrance with that emotion which the very name inspires. “Let everything be got ready,” said he to his first eunuch, “for my visiting my women.” “My lord,” answered the shrill-piped slave, “it is now that your excellency deserves the title of wise. The men for whom you have done so much were not worthy of employing your thoughts, but the women—” “That may be,” said Candide modestly.

At the bottom of a garden, where art had assisted nature to unfold her beauties, stood a small house of simple and elegant structure, very different from those which are to be seen in the suburbs of the finest city in Europe. Candide could not approach it without blushing; the air round this charming retreat diffused a delicious perfume; the flowers, amorously intermingled, seemed here to be guided by the instinct of pleasure, and preserved, for a long time, their various beauties. Here the rose never lost its lovely hue; the view of a rock, from which the waters precipitated themselves with a murmuring and confused noise, invited the soul of that soft melancholy which is ever the forerunner of pleasure. Candide entered trembling into a chamber, where taste and magnificence were united; his senses were drawn by a secret charm; he cast his eyes on young Telemachus, who breathed on the canvas in the midst of the nymphs of Calypso’s court. He next turned them to Diana, half-naked, flying into the arms of the tender Endymion; his agitation increased at the sight of a Venus, faithfully copied from that of Medici; his ears were struck with a divine harmony; a company of young Circassian females appeared, covered with their veils; they formed round him a sort of dance, agreeably designed, and more graceful than those trifling jigs that are performed on as trifling stages, after the representation of the death of Cæsar and Pompey.

At a signal given they threw off their veils and discovered faces full of expression, that lent new life to the diversion. These beauties studied the most seducing attitudes, without appearing to intend it; one expressed in her looks a passion without bounds; another a soft languor which waits for pleasures without seeking them; this fair one stooped and raised herself precipitately to disclose to view those enchanting charms which the fair sex display in such full scope at Paris; another threw aside a part of her cymar to show a form, which alone is capable of inflaming a mortal of any delicacy. The dance ceased and they remained in profound silence.

This pause recalled Candide to himself. The fire of love took possession of his breast; he darted the most ardent looks on all around him; imprinted warm kisses on lips as warm, and eyes that swam in liquid fire; he passed his hand over globes whiter than alabaster, whose palpitating motion repelled the touch; admired their proportion; perceived little vermilion protuberances like those rosebuds which only wait the genial rays of the sun to unfold them; he kissed them with rapture, and his lips for some time remained glued thereon.

Our philosopher next admired for a while a majestic figure of a fine and delicate shape. Burning with desires, he at length threw the handkerchief to a young person whose eyes he had observed to be always fixed upon him, and which seemed to say, “Teach me the meaning of a trouble I am ignorant of”; and who, blushing at the secret avowal, became a thousand times more charming. The eunuch then opened the door of a private chamber consecrated to the mysteries of love, into which the lovers entered; and the eunuch, addressing his master, said: “Here it is, my lord, you are going to be truly happy.” “Oh!” answered Candide, “I am in great hopes of it.”

The ceiling and walls of this little retreat were covered with mirrors; in the midst was placed a divan of black satin, on which Candide threw the young Circassian and caressed her in silent ecstasy. The fair one gave him no other interruption but to imprint kisses, full of fire, on his lips. “My lord,” said she to him in the Turkish language, which she spoke perfectly, “how fortunate is your slave, to be thus honored with your transports!” An energy of sentiment can be expressed in every language by those who truly feel it. These few words enchanted our philosopher; he was no longer himself; all he saw, all he heard, was new to him. What difference between Miss Cunegund, grown ugly, and violated by Bulgarian freebooters, and a Circassian girl of eighteen, till then a stranger to man. This was the first time the wise Candide enjoyed her. The objects which he devoured were repeated in the mirrors; wherever he cast his eyes he saw upon the black satin the most beautiful and fairest body possible, and the contrast of colors lent it new lustre, with round, firm, and plump thighs, an admirable fall of loins, a—but I am obliged to have a regard to the false delicacy of our language. It is sufficient for me to say that our philosopher tasted, by frequent repetitions, of that portion of happiness he was capable of receiving, and that the young Circassian in a little while proved his sufficing reason.

“O master, my dear master!” cried Candide, almost beside himself, “everything here is as well as in El Dorado; a fine woman can alone complete the wishes of man. I am as happy as it is possible to be. Leibnitz is in the right, and you are a great philosopher. For instance, I engage that you, my lovely girl, have always had a bias towards optimism, because you have always been happy.” “Alas! no,” answered she. “I do not know what optimism is; but I swear to you that your slave has not known happiness till to-day. If my lord is pleased to give me leave, I will convince him of it by a succinct recital of my adventures.” “I am very willing,” said Candide. “I am in a position to hear an historical detail.” Upon which the fair slave began as follows:



The history of Zirza.

“My father was a Christian, and so likewise am I, as far as I have been told. He had a little hermitage near Cotatis, where, by his fervent devotion and practising austerities shocking to human nature, he acquired the veneration of the faithful. Crowds of women came to pay him their homage and took a particular satisfaction in bathing his posteriors, which he lashed every day with several smart strokes of discipline; doubtless it was to one of the most devout of these visitants that I owe my being. I was brought up in a cave in the neighborhood of my father’s little cell. I was twelve years of age and had not yet left this kind of grave, when the earth shook with a dreadful noise; the arch of the vault fell in, and I was drawn out from under the rubbish half dead when light struck my eyes for the first time. My father took me into his hermitage as a predestined child. The whole of this adventure appeared strange to the people; my father declared it a miracle, and so did they.

“I was called Zirza, which in Persian signifies ‘child of providence.’ Notice was soon taken of my poor charms; the women already came but seldom to the hermitage and the men much oftener. One of them told me that he loved me. ‘Villain,’ said my father to him, ‘hast thou substance sufficient to love her? This is a great gift which God has intrusted to me; He has made His appearance to me this night, under the shape of a venerable hermit, and He forbade me to give up the possession thereof for less than a thousand sequins. Get thee gone, poor devil, lest thine impure breath should blast her charms.’ ‘I have,’ answered he, ‘only a heart to offer her. But say, barbarian, dost thou not blush to make sport of the Deity, for the gratification of thine avarice? With what front, vile wretch, darest thou pretend that God has spoken to thee? This is throwing the greatest contempt upon the Author of beings, to represent Him conversing with such men as thou art.’ ‘O blasphemy!’ cried my father in a rage, ‘God Himself has commanded me to stone blasphemers.’ As he spoke these words, he fell upon my lover, and with repeated blows laid him dead on the ground, and his blood flew in my face. Though I had not yet known what love was, this man had interested me, and his death shocked me, and rendered the sight of my father insufferable to me. I took a resolution to leave him; he perceived it. ‘Ungrateful,’ said he to me, ‘it is to me thou owest thy being. Thou are my daughter—and thou hatest me; but I am going to deserve thy hatred, by the most rigorous treatment.’ He kept his word but too well with me, cruel man! During five years, which I spent in tears and groans, neither my youth nor my clouded beauty could in the least abate his wrath. Sometimes he stuck a thousand pins into all the parts of my body; at other times, with his discipline, he made the blood trickle down my body.” “This,” said Candide, “gave you less pain than the pins.” “True, my lord,” answered Zirza. “At last,” continued she, “I fled from my father’s habitation; and not daring to trust myself to anybody, I flung myself into the thickest part of the woods, where I was three days without food, and should have died were it not for a tiger which I had the happiness to please, and who was willing to share with me the prey he caught. But I had many horrors to encounter from this formidable beast; and the brute had moods as changeable and dangerous as those which render men, in certain conditions, the prey of brutal passions which degrade their humanity. Bad food gave me the scurvy. Scarcely was I cured, when I followed a merchant of slaves, who was going to Tiflis. The plague was there then, and I took it. These various misfortunes did not absolutely affect my features, nor hinder the sophi’s purveyor from buying me for your use. I have languished in tears these three months that I have been among the number of your women. My companions and I imagined ourselves to be the objects of your contempt; and if you knew, my lord, how disagreeable eunuchs are, and how little adapted for comforting young girls who are despised—in short, I am not yet eighteen years of age; and of these I have spent twelve in a frightful cavern; undergone an earthquake; been covered with the blood of the first good man I had hitherto seen; endured, for the space of four years, the most cruel tortures, and have had the scurvy, and the plague. Consumed with desires, amidst a crew of black and white monsters, still preserving that which I have saved from the fury of an awkward tiger; and, cursing my fate, I have passed three months in this seraglio; where I should have died of the jaundice, had not your excellency honored me at last with your embraces.” “O heavens!” cried Candide, “is it possible that you have experienced such great misfortunes at so tender an age? What would Pangloss say could he hear you? But your misfortunes are at an end, as well as mine. Everything does not go badly now; is not this true?” Upon that Candide resumed his caresses, and was more than ever confirmed in the belief of Pangloss’ system.



Candide’s disgusts—an unexpected meeting.

Our philosopher, in the midst of his seraglio, dispensed his favors equally. He tasted the pleasures of variety, and always returned to the “child of providence” with fresh ardor. But this did not last long; he soon felt violent pains in his loins, and an excruciating colic. He dried up, as he grew happy. Then Zirza’s breast appeared no longer so white, or so well placed; her thighs not so hard, nor so plump; her eyes lost all their vivacity in those of Candide; her complexion, its lustre; and her lips that pure vermilion which had enchanted him at first sight. He now perceived that she walked badly, and had an offensive smell: he saw, with the greatest disgust, a spot upon the “mount of Venus,” which he had never observed before to be tainted with any blemish: the vehement ardor of Zirza became burdensome to him: he could see, with great coolness, the faults of his other women, which had escaped him in his first transports of passion; he saw nothing in them but a bare-faced impudence; he was ashamed to have walked in the steps of the wisest of men; and he found women more bitter than death.

Candide, always cherishing Christian sentiments, spent his leisure time in walking over the streets of Sus; when one day a cavalier, in a superb dress, came up to him suddenly and called him by his name. “Is it possible!” cried Candide, “my lord, that you are — it is not possible; otherwise you are so very like the abbé of Périgord.” “I am the very man,” answered the abbé. Upon this Candide started back, and, with his usual ingenuousness, said, “Are you happy, Mr. Abbé?” “A fine question,” replied the abbé; “the little deceit which I have put upon you has contributed not a little to gain me credit. The police had employed me for some time; but, having fallen out with them, I quitted the ecclesiastical habit, which was no longer of any service to me. I went over into England, where persons of my profession are better paid. I said all I knew, and all I did not know, about the strength and weakness of the country I had lately left. I especially gave bold assurances that the French were the dregs of the world, and that good sense dwelt nowhere but in London. In short, I made a splendid fortune, and have just concluded a treaty at the court of Persia which will exterminate all the Europeans who come for cotton and silk into the sophi’s dominions, to the detriment of the English.” “The object of your mission is very commendable,” said our philosopher; “but, Mr. Abbé, you are a cheat; I like not cheats, and I have some credit at court. Tremble now, your happiness has arrived at its utmost limits; you are just upon the point of suffering the fate you deserve.” “My lord Candide,” cried the abbé, throwing himself on his knees, “have pity on me. I feel myself drawn to evil by an irresistible force, as you find yourself necessitated to the practice of virtue. This fatal propensity I have perceived from the moment I became acquainted with Mr. Wasp, and worked at the Feuilles.” “What do you call Feuilles?” said Candide. “Feuilles,” answered the abbé, “are sheets of seventy-two pages in print, in which the public are entertained in the strain of calumny, satire, and dulness. An honest man who can read and write, and who is not able to continue among the Jesuits, has set himself to compose this pretty little work, that he may have wherewithal to give his wife some lace, and bring up his children in the fear of God; and there are certain honest people, who for a few pence, and some bottles of bad wine, assist the man in carrying on his scheme. This Mr. Wasp is, besides, a member of a curious club, who divert themselves by making poor, ignorant people drunk, and causing them to blaspheme; or in bullying a poor simple devil, breaking his furniture, and afterwards challenging him. Such pretty little amusements these gentry call ‘mystifications,’ and richly deserve the attention of the police. In fine, this very honest man, Mr. Wasp, who boasts he never was in the galleys, is troubled with a disposition which renders him insensible to the clearest truths; and from which position he can be drawn only by certain violent means, which he sustains with a resignation and courage above conception. I have worked for some time under this celebrated genius; I have become an eminent writer in my turn, and I had but just quitted Mr. Wasp, to do a little for myself, when I had the honor of paying you a visit at Paris.” “Though you are a very great cheat, Mr. Abbé, yet your sincerity in this point makes some impression on me. Go to court; ask for the Rev. Ed-Ivan-Baal-Denk; I shall write to him in your behalf, but upon express condition that you promise me to become an honest man; and that you will not be the occasion of some thousands having their throats cut, for the sake of a little silk and cotton.” The abbé promised all that Candide requested, and they parted good friends.



Candide’s disgraces, travels, and adventures.

No sooner had the abbé got access to court than he employed all his skill in order to ingratiate himself with the minister, and ruin his benefactor. He spread a report that Candide was a traitor, and that he had spoken disrespectfully of the hallowed whiskers of the king of kings. All the courtiers condemned him to be burned in a slow fire; but the sophi, more favorable, only sentenced him to perpetual banishment, after having previously kissed the sole of his accuser’s foot, according to the usage among the Persians. The abbé went in person to put the sentence in execution: he found our philosopher in pretty good health, and disposed to become happy again. “My friend,” said the English ambassador to him, “I come with regret to let you know that you must quit this kingdom with all expedition, and kiss my feet, with a true repentance for your horrid crimes.” “Kiss your feet, Mr. Abbé! certainly you are not in earnest, and I do not understand joking.” Upon which some mutes, who had attended the abbé, entered and took off his shoes, letting poor Candide know, by signs, that he must submit to this piece of humiliation, or else expect to be empaled. Candide, by virtue of his free will, kissed the abbé’s feet. They put on him a sorry linen robe, and the executioner drove him out of the town, crying all the time, “Behold a traitor! who has spoken irreverently of the sophi’s whiskers! irreverently of the imperial whiskers!”

What did the officious monk, while his friend, whom he protected, was treated thus? I know nothing of that. It is probable that he was tired of protecting Candide. Who can depend on the favor of kings, and especially that of monks?

In the meantime our hero went sadly on. “I never spoke,” said he to himself, “about the king of Persia’s whiskers. I am cast in an instant from the pinnacle of happiness into the abyss of misery; because a wretch, who has violated all laws, accuses me of a pretended crime which I have never committed; and this wretch, this monster, this persecuter of virtue—he is happy.”

Candide, after travelling for some days, found himself upon the frontiers of Turkey. He directed his course towards the Propontis, with a design to settle there again, and pass the rest of his days in the cultivation of his garden. He saw, as he entered a little village, a great multitude of people tumultuously assembled; he inquired into the cause of it. “This,” said an old man to him, “is a singular affair. It is some time ago since the wealthy Mahomet demanded in marriage the daughter of the janissary Zamoud; he found her not to be a virgin; and in pursuance of a principle quite natural and authorized by the laws, he sent her home to her father, after having branded her in the face. Zamoud, exasperated at the disgrace brought on his family, in the first transports of a fury that is very natural, with one stroke of his scimitar clove the disfigured visage of his daughter. His eldest son, who loved his sister passionately, which is very frequent in nature, flew upon his father and plunged a sharp poniard to his heart. Afterwards, like a lion who grows more enraged at seeing his own blood flow, the furious Zamoud ran to Mahomet’s house; and, after striking to the ground some slaves who opposed his passage, murdered Mahomet, his wives, and two children then in the cradle; all of which was very natural, considering the violent passion he then was in. At last, to crown all, he killed himself with the same poniard, reeking with the blood of his father and his enemies, which is also very natural.” “What a scene of horrors!” cried Candide. “What would you have said, Master Pangloss, had you found such barbarities in nature? Would not you acknowledge that nature is corrupted, that all is not—” “No,” said the old man, “for the pre-established harmony—” “O heavens! do ye not deceive me? Is this Pangloss?” cried Candide, “whom I again see?” “The very same,” answered the old man. “I knew you, but I was willing to find out your sentiments before I would discover myself. Come, let us discourse a little on contingent effects, and see if you have made any progress in the art of wisdom.” “Alas!” said Candide, “you choose your time ungenerously; rather let me know what has become of Miss Cunegund; tell me where are Brother Giroflée, Pacquette, and Pope Urban’s daughter.” “I know nothing of them,” replied Pangloss; “it is now two years since I left our habitation in order to find you out. I have travelled over almost all Turkey; I was upon the point of setting out for the court of Persia, where I heard you made a great figure, and I only tarried in this little village, among these good people, till I should gather strength to continue my journey.” “What is this I see?” answered Candide, quite surprised. “You want an arm, my dear doctor.” “That is nothing,” replied the one-handed and the one-eyed doctor; “nothing is more common in the best of worlds than to see persons who want one eye and one arm. This accident befell me in a journey from Mecca. Our caravan was attacked by a troop of Arabs; our guard attempted to make resistance, and, according to the rules of war, the Arabs, who found themselves to be the strongest side, massacred us all without mercy. There perished about five hundred persons in this attack, among whom were about a dozen pregnant women. For my part I had only my skull split and an arm cut off; I did not die, for all this, and I still found that everything went for the best. But as to yourself, my dear Candide, why is it that you have a wooden leg?” Upon this Candide began and gave an account of his adventures. Our philosophers turned together towards the Propontis and enlivened their journey by discoursing on physical and moral evil, free will and predestination, monads and pre-established harmony.



Candide and pangloss arrive at the propontis—what they saw there—what became of them.

O Candide!” said Pangloss, “why were you tired of cultivating your garden? Why did we not still continue to eat citrons and pistachio nuts? Why were you weary of your happiness? Because everything is necessary in the best of worlds, there was a necessity that you should undergo the bastinado in the presence of the king of Persia; have your leg cut off, in order to make Chusistan happy, to experience the ingratitude of men, and draw down upon the heads of some atrocious villains the punishment which they had deserved.” With such talk as this they arrived at their old habitation. The first objects that presented themselves were Martin and Pacquette in the habit of slaves. “Whence,” said Candide to them, “is this metamorphosis?” after embracing them tenderly. “Alas!” answered they, sobbing, “you have no more a habitation; another has undertaken the labor of cultivating your garden; he eats your preserved citrons, and pistachios, and we are treated like negroes.” “Who,” said Candide, “is this other?” “The high admiral,” answered they, “a mortal the least humane of all mortals. The sultan, willing to recompense his services without putting himself to any expense, has confiscated all your goods under pretext that you had gone over to his enemies, and condemned us to slavery.” “Be advised by me, Candide,” added Martin, “and continue your journey. I always told you everything is for the worst; the sum of evil exceeds by much that of good. Begone, and I do not despair but you may become a Manichæan, if you are not so already.” Pangloss would have begun an argument in form, but Candide interrupted him to ask about Miss Cunegund, the old woman, Brother Giroflée, and Cacambo. “Cacambo,” answered Martin, “is here; he is at present employed in emptying slops. The old woman is dead from a kick given her by a eunuch in the breast. Brother Giroflée has entered among the janissaries. Miss Cunegund has recovered her plumpness and former beauty; she is in our master’s seraglio.” “What a chain of misfortunes,” said Candide. “Was there a necessity for Miss Cunegund to become handsome only to make me a cuckold?” “It matters little,” said Pangloss, “whether Miss Cunegund be beautiful or ugly, in your arms or those of another; that is nothing to the general system. For my part, I wish her a numerous progeny. Philosophers do not perplex themselves by whom women have children, provided they have them. Population—” “Alas!” exclaimed Martin, “philosophers might much better employ themselves in rendering a few individuals happy, than engaging them to multiply the number of sufferers.” While they were thus arguing, a great noise was heard on a sudden; it was the admiral diverting himself by causing a dozen slaves to be whipped. Pangloss and Candide, both frightened, with tears in their eyes, parted from their friends, and in all haste took the road to Constantinople.

There they found all the people in a great stir. A fire had broken out in the suburb of Pera; five or six hundred houses were already consumed, and two or three thousand persons perished in the flames. “What a horrible disaster,” cried Candide! “All is well,” said Pangloss, “these little accidents happen every year. It is entirely natural for the fire to catch houses built of wood, and for those who are in them to be burned. Besides, this procures some resources to honest people, who languish in misery.” “What is this I hear?” said an officer of the sublime porte. “How, wretch, darest thou say that all is well when half Constantinople is in flames. Dog, be cursed of our prophet, receive the punishment due to thy impudence!” And as he uttered these words he took Pangloss by the middle and flung him headlong into the flames. Candide, half dead with fright, crept on all fours as well as he could to a neighboring quarter, where all was more quiet; and we shall see what became of him in the next chapter.



Candide continues his travels.

“I have nothing left,” said our philosopher, “but to make myself either a slave or a Turk. Happiness has forsaken me forever. A turban would corrupt all my pleasures. I shall be incapable of tasting tranquillity of soul in a religion full of imposture, into which I enter merely from a motive of vile interest. No, I shall never be content if I cease to be an honest man; let me make myself then a slave.” Candide had no sooner taken this resolution than he set about putting it into execution. He chose an Armenian merchant for his master, who was a man of a very good character, and passed for virtuous, as much as an Armenian can be. He gave Candide two hundred sequins as the price of his liberty. The Armenian was upon the point of departing for Norway; he took Candide with him, in the hope that a philosopher would be of use to him in his traffic. They embarked, and the wind was so favorable for them that they were not above half the usual time in their passage. They even had no occasion for buying a wind from the Lapland witches, and contented themselves with giving them some stock-fish, that they might not disturb their good fortune with their enchantments; which sometimes happens, if we may believe Moréri’s dictionary on this head.

The Armenian no sooner landed than he provided a stock of whale-blubber and ordered our philosopher to go over all the country to buy him some dried salt fish; Candide acquitted himself of his commission in the best manner possible, returned with several reindeer loaded with this merchandise, and made profound reflections on the astonishing difference which is to be found between the Laplanders and other men. A very diminutive female Laplander, whose head was a little bigger than her body, her eyes red and full of fire, a flat nose and very wide mouth, wished him a good day with an infinite grace. “My little lord,” said this being (a foot and ten inches high) to him, “I think you very handsome; do me the favor to love me a little.” So saying, she flew to him and caught him round the neck. Candide pushed her away with horror. She cried out, when her husband came in with several other Laplanders. “What is the meaning of all this uproar?” said they. “It is,” answered the little thing, “that this stranger—Alas! I am choked with grief; he despises me.” “So, then,” said the Lapland husband, “thou impolite, dishonest, brutal, infamous, cowardly rascal, thou bringest disgrace upon my house; thou dost me the most sensible injury; thou refusest to embrace my wife.” “Lo! here’s a strange custom,” cried our hero; “what would you have said, then, if I had embraced her?” “I would have wished thee all sort of prosperity,” said the Laplander to him in wrath; “but thou only deservest my indignation.” At uttering this he discharged on Candide’s back a volley of blows with a cudgel. The reindeer were seized by the relatives of the offended husband, and Candide, for fear of worse, was forced to betake himself to flight and renounce forever his good master; for how dared he present himself before him without money, whaleblubber, or reindeer?



Candide still continues his travels—new adventures.

Candide travelled a long time without knowing whither he was going. At length he resolved to go to Denmark, where he had heard that everything went pretty well. He had a few pieces of money about him, which the Armenian had made him a present of; and this sum, though inconsiderable, he hoped would carry him to the end of his journey. Hope rendered his misery supportable to him, and he still passed some happy moments. He found himself one day in an inn with three travellers, who talked to him with great warmth about a plenum and the materia subtilis. “This is well,” said Candide to himself, “these are philosophers. Gentlemen,” said he to them, “a plenum is incontestable; there is no vacuum in nature, and the materia subtilis is a well-imagined hypothesis.” “You are then a Cartesian?” cried the three travellers. “Yes,” answered Candide, “and a Leibnitzian, which is more.” “So much the worse for you,” replied the philosophers. “Descartes and Leibnitz had not common sense. We are Newtonians, and we glory in it; if we dispute, it is only the better to confirm ourselves in our opinions, and we all think the same. We search for truth in Newton’s tract, because we are persuaded that Newton is a very great man.” “And Descartes, too, and Leibnitz and Pangloss likewise,” said Candide; “these great men are worth a thousand of yours.” “You are a fool, friend,” answered the philosophers; “do you know the laws of refraction, attraction, and motion? Have you read the truths which Dr. Clarke has published in answer to the vagaries of your Leibnitz? Do you know what centrifugal and centripetal force is? and that colors depend on their density? Have you any notion of the theory of light and gravitation? Do you know the period of twenty-five thousand nine hundred and twenty years, which unluckily do not agree with chronology? No, undoubtedly, you have but false ideas of all these things; peace then, thou contemptible monad, and beware how you insult giants by comparing them to pygmies.” “Gentlemen,” answered Candide, “were Pangloss here, he would tell you very fine things; for he is a great philosopher; he has a sovereign contempt for your Newton; and, as I am his disciple, I likewise make no great account of him.” The philosophers, enraged beyond measure, fell upon poor Candide and drubbed him most philosophically.

Their wrath subsiding, they asked our hero’s pardon for their too great warmth. Upon this one of them began a very fine harangue on mildness and moderation.

While they were talking they saw a grand funeral procession pass by; our philosophers thence took occasion to descent on the foolish vanity of man. “Would it not be more reasonable,” said one of them, “that the relatives and friends of the deceased should, without pomp and noise, carry the bier themselves? would not this funeral act, by presenting to them the idea of death, produce an effect the most salutary, the most philosophical? This reflection, which would offer itself, namely, ‘the body I carry is that of my friend, my relative; he is no more; and, like him, I must cease to be in this world;’ would not this, I say, be a means of lessening the number of crimes in this vile world, and of bringing back to virtue beings who believe in the immortality of the soul? Men are too much inclined to remove from them the thoughts of death, for fear of presenting too strong images of it. Whence is it that people keep at a distance from such a spectacle as a mother and a wife in tears? The plaintive accents of nature, the piercing cries of despair, would do much greater honor to the ashes of the dead, than all these individuals clad in black from head to foot, together with useless female mourners, and that crowd of ministers who sing funeral orations which the deceased cannot hear.”

“This is extremely well spoken,” said Candide; “and did you always speak thus well, without thinking proper to beat people, you would be a great philosopher.”

Our travellers parted with expressions of mutual confidence and friendship. Candide still continued travelling towards Denmark. He plunged into the woods; where, musing deeply on all the misfortunes which had happened to him in the best of worlds, he turned aside from the road and lost himself. The day began to draw towards the evening, when he perceived his mistake; he was seized with dismay, and raising his eyes to heaven, and leaning against the trunk of a tree, our hero spoke in the following terms: “I have gone over half the world; seen fraud and calumny triumphant; have only sought to do service to mankind, and I have been persecuted. A great king honors me with his favor and fifty blows. I arrive with a wooden leg in a very fine province; there I taste pleasures after having drunk deep of mortifications. An abbé comes; I protect him; he insinuates himself at court through my means, and I am obliged to kiss his feet. I meet with my poor Pangloss only to see him burned. I find myself in company with philosophers, the mildest and most sociable of all the species of animals that are spread over the face of the earth, and they give me an unmerciful drubbing. All must necessarily be for the best, since Pangloss has said it; but nevertheless I am the most wretched of all possible beings.” Here Candide stopped short to listen to the cries of distress which seemed to come from a place near him. He stepped forward out of curiosity, when he beheld a young woman who was tearing her hair as if in the greatest despair. “Whoever you are,” said she to him, “if you have a heart, follow me.” He went with her, but they had not gone many paces before Candide perceived a man and a woman stretched out on the grass. Their faces declared the nobleness of their souls and origin; their features, though distorted by pain, had something so interesting that Candide could not forbear informing himself with a lively eagerness about the cause which reduced them to so miserable a situation. “It is my father and mother whom you see,” explained the young woman; “yes, these are the authors of my wretched being,” continued she, throwing herself into their arms. “They fled to avoid the rigor of an unjust sentence; I accompanied them in their flight, happy to share in their misfortune, thinking that in the deserts where we were going to hide ourselves my feeble hands might procure them a necessary subsistence. We have stopped here to take some rest; I discovered that tree which you see, whose fruit has deceived me—alas! sir, I am a wretch to be detested by the world and myself. Arm your hand to avenge offended virtue, and to punish the parricide! Strike! This fruit I presented to my father and mother; they ate of it with pleasure; I rejoiced to have found the means of quenching the thirst with which they were tormented—unhappy wretch! it was death I presented to them; this fruit is poison.”

This tale made Candide shudder; his hair stood on end and a cold sweat ran over all his body. He was eager, as much as his present condition could permit, to give some relief to this unfortunate family; but the poison had already made too much progress; and the most efficacious remedies would not have been able to stop its fatal effect.

“Dear child, our only hope!” cried the two unhappy parents, “God pardon thee as we pardon thee; it was the excess of thy tenderness which has robbed us of our lives. Generous stranger, vouchsafe to take care of her; her heart is noble and formed to virtue; she is a trust which we leave in your hands that is infinitely more precious to us than our past fortune. Dear Zenoida, receive our last embraces; mingle thy tears with ours. Heavens! how happy are these moments to us! Thou hast opened to us the dreary cave in which we languished for forty years past. Tender Zenoida, we bless thee; mayest thou never forget the lessons which our prudence hath dictated to thee; and may they preserve thee from the abyss which we see ready to swallow thee.”

They expired as they pronounced these words. Candide had great difficulty to bring Zenoida to herself. The moon enlightened the affecting scene; the day appeared, and Zenoida, plunged in sorrow, had not as yet recovered the use of her senses. As soon as she opened her eyes she entreated Candide to dig a hole in the ground in order to inter the bodies; she assisted in the work with an astonishing courage. This duty fulfilled, she gave free scope to her tears. Our philosopher drew her from this fatal place; they travelled a long time without observing any certain route. At length they perceived a little cottage; two persons in the decline of life dwelt in this desert, who were always ready to give every assistance in their power to their fellow-creatures in distress. These old people were such as Philemon and Baucis are described to us. For fifty years they had tasted the soft endearments of marriage, without ever experiencing its bitterness; an unimpaired health, the fruit of temperance and tranquillity of mind, mild and simple manners; a fund of inexhaustible candor in their character; all the virtues which man owes to himself, formed the glorious and only fortune which heaven had granted them. They were held in veneration in the neighboring villages, the inhabitants of which, full of a happy rusticity, might have passed for honest people, had they been Catholics. They looked upon it as a duty not to suffer Agaton and Sunama (for so the old couple were called) to want for anything. Their charity extended to the newcomers. “Alas!” said Candide, “it is a great loss, my dear Pangloss, that you were burned; you were master of sound reason; but yet in all the parts of Europe and Asia which I have travelled over in your company, everything is not for the best. It is only in El Dorado, whither no one can go, and in a little cottage situated in the coldest, most barren, and frightful region in the world. What pleasure should I have to hear you harangue about the pre-established harmony and monads! I should be very willing to pass my days among these honest Lutherans; but I must renounce going to mass, and resolve to be torn to pieces in the Journal Chrétien.”

Candide was very inquisitive to learn the adventures of Zenoida, but compassion withheld him from speaking to her about it; she perceived the respectful constraint he put upon himself, and satisfied his impatience in the following terms:



The history of Zenoida—how Candide fell in love with her.

“I am come of one of the most ancient families in Denmark; one of my ancestors perished at that horrid feast which the wicked Christiern prepared for the destruction of so many senators. The riches and dignities with which our family has been distinguished have hitherto served only to make them more eminently unfortunate. My father had the presumption to displease a great man in power by boldly telling him the truth; he was presently accused by suborned witnesses of a number of crimes which had no foundation. His judges were deceived. Alas! where is that judge who can always discover those snares which envy and treachery lay for unguarded innocence? My father was sentenced to be beheaded. He had no way left to avoid his fate but by flight; accordingly he withdrew to the house of an old friend, whom he thought deserving of that truly noble appellation; we remained some time concealed in a castle belonging to him on the seaside; and we might have continued there to this day, had not the base wretch with whom we had taken refuge attempted to repay himself for the services rendered us in a manner that gave us all reason to detest him. This infamous monster had conceived a most unnatural passion for my mother and myself at the same time; he attempted our virtue by methods the most unworthy of a man of honor; and we were obliged to expose ourselves to the most dreadful dangers to avoid the effects of his brutal passion. In a word, we took to flight a second time, and you know the rest.”

In finishing this short narrative, Zenoida burst into tears afresh. Candide wiped them from her eyes, and said to her, by way of consolation, “Madam, everything is for the best; if your father had not died by poison he would infallibly have been discovered, and then his head would have been cut off. The good lady, your mother, would in all probability have died of grief, and we should not have been in this poor hut, where everything is as comfortable as in the finest of possible castles.” “Alas! sir,” replied Zenoida, “my father never told me that everything was for the best; but he has often said, ‘We are all children of the same divine father, who loves us, but who has not exempted us from sorrows, the most grievous maladies, and an innumerable tribe of miseries that afflict the human race. Poison grows by the side of the efficacious quinquina in America. The happiest of all mortals has some time or other shed tears. What we call life is a compound of pleasure and pain; it is the passing away of a certain stated portion of time that always appears too long in the sight of the wise man, and which every one ought to employ in doing good to the community in which he is placed; in the enjoyment of the works of Providence, without idly seeking after hidden causes; in squaring his conduct by the rules of conscience; and, above all, in showing a due respect to religion. Happy is he who can follow this unerringly!’

“These things my ever-respected father has frequently inculcated in me. ‘Ill betide those wretched scribblers,’ he would often say, ‘who attempt to pry into the hidden ways of Providence. From the principle that God will be honored from thousands of atoms, mankind has blended the most absurd chimeras with respectable truths. The Turkish dervish, the Persian brahmin, the Chinese bonze, and the Indian talapoin, all worship the Deity in a different manner; but they enjoy a tranquillity of soul amidst the darkness in which they are plunged; and he who would endeavor to enlighten them, does them but ill service. It is not loving mankind to tear the bandage of prejudice from their eyes.’ ”

“Why, you talk like a philosopher,” said Candide; “may I ask you, my pretty young lady, of what religion you are?” “I was brought up in the Lutheran profession,” answered Zenoida. “Every word you have spoken,” said Candide, “has been like a ray of light that has penetrated to my heart, and I find a sort of esteem and admiration for you, that—but how, in the name of wonder, came so bright an understanding to be lodged in so beautiful a form? Upon my word, Miss, I esteem and admire you, as I said before, so much that—” Candide stammered out a few words more, when Zenoida, perceiving his confusion, quitted him, and from that moment carefully avoided all occasions of being alone with him; and Candide, on his part, sought every opportunity of being alone with her, or else remained alone. He was buried in a melancholy that to him had charms; he was deeply enamored of Zenoida; but endeavored to conceal his passion from himself. His looks, however, too plainly evinced the feelings of his heart. “Alas!” would he often say to himself, “if Master Pangloss was here, he would give me good advice; for he was a great philosopher.”



Continuation of the loves of Candide.

The only consolation that Candide felt was in conversing with Zenoida in the presence of their hosts. “How happens it,” said he to her one day, “that the monarch to whom you have access has suffered such injustice to be done to your family? Assuredly you have sufficient reason to hate him?” “How!” said Zenoida, “who can hate their king? who can do otherwise than love that person to whose hand is consigned the keen-edged sword of the laws? Kings are the living images of the Deity, and we ought never to arraign their conduct; obedience and respect is the duty of a subject.” “I admire you more and more,” said Candide; “indeed, madam, I do; pray, do you know the great Leibnitz, and the great Pangloss, who was burned, after having escaped a hanging? are you acquainted with the monads, the materia subtilis, and the vortices?” “No, sir,” replied Zenoida; “I never heard my father mention any of these; he only gave me a slight tincture of experimental philosophy, and taught me to hold in contempt all those kinds of philosophy that do not directly tend to make mankind happy; that give him false notions of his duty to himself and his neighbor; that do not teach him to regulate his conduct, and fill his mind only with uncouth terms, or ill-founded conjectures; that do not give him a clearer idea of the author of nature than what he may acquire from his works, and the wonders that are every day passing before our sight.” “Once again, Miss, you enchant me; you ravish me; you are an angel that heaven has sent to remove from before my eyes the mist of Master Pangloss’ sophistical arguments. Poor wretch that I was! After having been so heartily kicked, flogged, and bastinadoed; after having been in an earthquake; having seen Doctor Pangloss once hanged, and very lately burned; after having been outraged by a villainous Persian, who put me to the most excruciating torture; after having been robbed by a decree of the divan, and soundly drubbed by the philosophers; after all these things, I say, to think that everything was for the best! but now, thank heaven! I am disabused. But, truly speaking, nature never appeared half so charming to me as since I have been blessed with the sight of you. The melody of the rural choristers charms my ears with a harmony to which they were till now utter strangers; I breathe a new soul, and the glow of sentiment that enchants me seems imprinted on every object; I do not feel that effeminate languor which I did in the gardens of Sus; the sensation with which you inspire me is wholly different.” “Let us stop here,” said Zenoida; “you seem to be running to lengths that may, perhaps, offend my delicacy, which you ought to respect.” “I will be silent, then,” said Candide; “but my passion will only burn with the more force.” On saying these words, he looked steadfastly at Zenoida; he perceived that she blushed, and, as a man who was taught by experience, conceived the most flattering hopes from those appearances.

The beautiful Dane continued a long time to shun the presence of Candide. One day, as he was walking hastily to and fro in the garden, he cried out in an amorous ecstasy, “Ah! why have I not now my El Dorado sheep! why have I not the power to purchase a small kingdom! ah! were I but a king!” “What should I be to you?” said a voice which pierced the heart of our philosopher. “Is it you, lovely Zenoida?” cried he, falling on his knees. “I thought myself alone. The few words I heard you just now utter seem to promise me the felicity to which my soul aspires. I shall, in all probability, never be a king, nor ever possessed of a fortune; but, if you love me—do not turn from me those lovely eyes, but suffer me to read in them a declaration which is alone capable of confirming my happiness. Beauteous Zenoida, I adore you; let your heart be open to compassion—what do I see! you weep! Ah! my happiness is too great.” “Yes, you are happy,” said Zenoida; “nothing can oblige me to disguise my tenderness for a person I think deserving of it: hitherto you have been attached to my destiny only by the bands of humanity; it is now time to strengthen those by ties most sacred; I have consulted my heart, reflect maturely in your turn; but remember, that if you marry me, you become obliged to be my protector; to share with me those misfortunes that fate may yet have in store for me, and to soothe my sorrows.” “Marry you!” said Candide; “those words have shown me all the folly of my conduct. Alas! dear idol of my soul, I am not deserving of the goodness you show towards me. Cunegund is still living—” “Cunegund! who is that?” “She is my wife,” answered Candide, with his usual frankness.

Our two lovers remained some moments without uttering a word; they attempted to speak, but the accents died away on their lips; their eyes were bathed in tears. Candide held the fair Zenoida’s hands in his; he pressed them to his breast, and devoured them with kisses; he had even the boldness to carry his to the bosom of his mistress; he found her breath grew short; his soul flew to his lips, and fixing his mouth with ardor to that of Zenoida, he brought the fair one back to those senses which she had nearly lost. Candide thought he read his pardon in her eyes. “Dearest lover,” said she to him, “anger would but ill suit with the liberty which I myself have given. Yet hold, you will ruin me in the opinion of the world; and you yourself would soon cease to have an affection for me, when once I was become the object of contempt. Forbear, therefore, and spare my weakness.” “How!” cried Candide, “because the ill-judging vulgar say that a woman loses her honor by bestowing happiness on a being whom she loves, by following the tender bent of nature, that in the first happy ages of the world—” But I will forbear to relate the whole of the interesting conversation, and content myself with saying that the eloquence of Candide, heightened by the warmth of amorous expression, had all the effect that may be imagined on a young, sensible, female philosopher.

The lovers, who till then had passed their days in tedious melancholy, now counted every hour by a fresh succession of amorous joys. Pleasure flowed through their veins in an uninterrupted current. The gloomy woods, the barren mountains, surrounded by horrid precipices, the icy plains and dreary fields, covered with snow on all sides, were so many continual mementoes to them of the necessity of loving. They determined never to quit that dreadful solitude, but fate was not yet weary of persecuting them, as we shall see in the ensuing chapter.



The arrival of Wolhall—a journey to Copenhagen.

Candide and Zenoida amused themselves with discoursing on the works of the Deity, the worship which mankind ought to pay Him, the mutual duties they owe to each other, especially that of charity, the most useful of all virtues. They did not confine themselves to frivolous declamations. Candide taught the young men the respect due to the sacred restraints of the laws; Zenoida instructed the young women in the duties they owed their parents; both joined their endeavors to sow the hopeful seeds of religion in their young hearts. One day, as they were busied in those pious offices, Sunama came to tell Zenoida that an old gentleman with several servants was just alighted at their house; and that, by the description he had given her of a person of whom he was in search, she was certain it could be no other than Zenoida herself. This stranger had followed Sunama close at her heels, and entered, before she had done speaking, into the room where were Candide and Zenoida.

At sight of him Zenoida instantly fainted away; but Wolhall, not in the least affected with the condition he saw her in, took hold of her hand, and, pulling her to him, with violence, brought her to her senses; which she had no sooner recovered than she burst into a flood of tears. “So, niece,” said he, with a sarcastic smile, “I find you in very good company. I do not wonder you prefer this habitation to the capital, to my house, and the company of your family.” “Yes, sir,” replied Zenoida, “I do prefer this place, where dwell simplicity and truth, to the mansions of treason and imposture. I can never behold but with horror that place where first began my misfortunes; where I have had so many proofs of your black actions, and where I have no other relative but yourself.” “Come, madam,” said Wolhall, “follow me, if you please; for you must accompany me, even if you should faint again.” Saying this, he dragged her to the door of the house, and made her get into a post-chaise, which was waiting for him. She had only time to tell Candide to follow, and to bestow her blessing on her hosts, with promises of rewarding them amply for their generous cares.

A domestic of Wolhall was moved with pity at the grief in which he saw Candide plunged; he imagined that he felt no other concern for the fair Dane than what unfortunate virtue inspires: he proposed to him taking a journey to Copenhagen, and he facilitated the means for his doing it. He did more; he insinuated to him that he might be admitted as one of Wolhall’s domestics, if he had no other resources than going to service. Candide liked his proposal; and had no sooner arrived than his future fellow-servant presented him as one of his relatives, for whom he would be answerable. “Rascal,” said Wolhall to him, “I consent to grant you the honor of approaching a person of such rank as I am: never forget the profound respect which you owe to my commands; execute them if you have sufficient sagacity for it: think that a man like me degrades himself in speaking to a wretch such as you.” Our philosopher answered with great humility to this impertinent discourse; and from that day he was clad in his master’s livery.

It is easy to imagine the joy and surprise that Zenoida felt when she recognized her lover among her uncle’s servants. She threw several opportunities in the way of Candide, who knew how to profit by them: they swore eternal constancy. Zenoida had some unhappy moments. She sometimes reproached herself on account of her love for Candide; she vexed him sometimes by a few caprices: but Candide idolized her; he knew that perfection is not the portion of man, and still less so of woman. Zenoida resumed her good humor. The kind of constraint under which they lay rendered their pleasures the more lively; they were still happy.



How Candide found his wife again and lost his mistress.

Our hero had only to bear with the haughty humors of his master, and that was purchasing his mistress’ favors at no dear rate. Happy love is not so easily concealed as many imagine. Our lovers betrayed themselves. Their connection was no longer a mystery, but to the short-sighted eyes of Wolhall; all the domestics knew it. Candide received congratulations on that head which made him tremble; he expected the storm ready to burst upon his head, and did not doubt but a person who had been dear to him was upon the point of accelerating his misfortune. He had for some days perceived a face resembling Miss Cunegund; he again saw the same face in Wolhall’s courtyard: the object which struck him was poorly clothed, and there was no likelihood that a favorite of a great Mahometan should be found in the courtyard of a house at Copenhagen. This disagreeable object, however, looked at Candide very attentively: when, coming up to him, and seizing him by the hair, she gave him the smartest blow on the face with her open hand that he had received for some time. “I am not deceived!” cried our philosopher. “O, heavens! who would have thought it? what do you do here, after having suffered yourself to be violated by a follower of Mahomet? Go, perfidious spouse, I know you not.” “Thou shalt know me,” replied Cunegund, “by my outrageous fury. I know the life thou leadest, thy love for thy master’s niece, and thy contempt for me. Alas! it is now three months since I quitted the seraglio, because I was there good for nothing further. A merchant has bought me to mend his linen, he takes me along with him when he makes a voyage to this country; Martin, Cacambo, and Pacquette, whom he has also bought, are with me; Doctor Pangloss, through the greatest chance in the world, was in the same vessel as a passenger; we were shipwrecked some miles from here; I escaped the danger with the faithful Cacambo, who, I swear to thee, has a skin as firm as thy own: I behold thee again, and find thee false. Tremble then, and fear everything from a provoked wife.”

Candide was quite stupefied at this affecting scene; he had suffered Cunegund to depart, without thinking of the proper measures which are always to be taken with those who know our secrets, when Cacambo presented himself to his sight. They embraced each other with tenderness. Candide informed him of the conversation he had just had; he was very much affected by the loss of the great Pangloss, who, after having been hanged and burned, was at last unhappily drowned. They spoke with that free effusion of heart which friendship inspires. A little billet thrown in at the window by Zenoida put an end to the conversation. Candide opened it, and found in it these words:

“Fly, my dear lover, all is discovered. An innocent propensity which nature authorizes, and which hurts no one, is a crime in the eyes of credulous and cruel men. Wolhall has just left my chamber, and has treated me with the utmost inhumanity: he is gone to obtain an order for thee to be clapped into a dungeon, there to perish. Fly, my ever dear lover; preserve a life which thou canst not pass any longer near me. Those happy moments are no more, in which we gave proofs of our reciprocal tenderness. Ah! my beloved, how hast thou offended heaven, to merit so harsh a fate? But I wander from the purpose: remember always thy precious, dear Zenoida, and thou, my dear lover, shalt live eternally within my heart—thou hast never thoroughly understood how much I loved thee—canst thou receive upon my inflamed lips my last adieu! I find myself ready to join my unhappy father in the grave; the light is hateful to me; it serves only to reveal crimes.”

Cacambo, always wise and prudent, drew Candide, who no longer was himself, along with him; they made the best of their way out of the city. Candide opened not his mouth, and they were already a good way from Copenhagen, before he was roused from that lethargy in which he was buried. At last he looked at his faithful Cacambo, and spoke in these terms:



How Candide had a mind to kill himself, and did not do it—what happened to him at an inn.

“Dear Cacambo, formerly my valet, now my equal, and always my friend, thou hast borne a share in my misfortunes; thou hast given me salutary advice; and thou hast been witness to my love for Miss Cunegund—” “Alas! my old master,” said Cacambo, “it is she who has served you this scurvy trick; it is she who, after having learned from your fellow-servants, that your love for Zenoida was as great as hers for you, revealed the whole to the barbarous Wolhall.” “If this is so,” said Candide, “I have nothing further to do but die.” Our philosopher pulled out of his pocket a little knife, and began whetting it with a coolness worthy of an ancient Roman or an Englishman. “What do you mean to do?” cried Cacambo. “To cut my throat,” answered Candide. “A most noble thought!” replied Cacambo; “but the philosopher ought not to take any resolution but upon reflection: you will always have it in your power to kill yourself, if your mind does not alter. Be advised by me, my dear master; defer your resolution till to-morrow; the longer you delay it, the more courageous will the action be.” “I perceive the strength of thy reasoning,” said Candide; “besides, if I should cut my throat immediately, the Gazetteer of Trévoux would insult my memory: I am determined, therefore, that I will not kill myself till two or three days hence.” As they talked thus they arrived at Elsinore, a pretty considerable town, not far from Copenhagen; there they lay that night, and Cacambo hugged himself for the good effect which sleep had produced upon Candide. They left the town at daybreak. Candide, still the philosopher, (for the prejudices of childhood are never effaced) entertained his friend Cacambo on the subject of physical good and evil, the discourses of the sage Zenoida, and the striking truths which he had learned from her conversation. “Had not Pangloss been dead,” said he, “I should combat his system in a victorious manner. God keep me from becoming a Manichæan. My mistress taught me to respect the impenetrable veil with which the Deity envelopes His manner of operating upon us. It is perhaps man who precipitates himself into the abyss of misfortunes under which he groans. From a frugivorous animal he has made himself a carnivorous one. The savages whom we have seen, eat only Jesuits, and do not live upon bad terms among themselves. These savages, if there be one scattered here and there in the woods, only subsisting on acorns and herbs, are, without doubt, still more happy. Society has given birth to the greatest crimes. There are men in society, who are necessitated by their condition to wish the death of others. The shipwreck of a vessel, the burning of a house, and the loss of a battle, cause sadness in one part of society, and give joy to another. All is very bad! my dear Cacambo, and there is nothing left for a philosopher but to cut his own throat with all imaginable calmness.” “You are in the right,” answered Cacambo; “but I perceive an inn; you must be very dry. Come, my old master! let us drink one draught, and we will after that continue our philosophical disquisitions.”

When they entered the inn they saw a company of country lads and lassies dancing in the midst of the yard, to the sound of some wretched instruments. Gayety and mirth sat in every countenance; it was a scene worthy the pencil of Watteau. As soon as Candide appeared a young woman took him by the hand, and entreated him to dance. “My pretty maid,” answered Candide, “when a person has lost his mistress, found his wife again, and heard that the great Pangloss is dead, he can have little or no inclination to cut capers. Moreover, I am to kill myself to-morrow morning; and you know that a man who has but a few hours to live, ought not to lose them in dancing.” Cacambo, hearing Candide talk thus, addressed him in these terms: “A thirst for glory has always been the characteristic of great philosophers. Cato of Utica killed himself after having taken a sound nap. Socrates drank the hemlock potion, after discoursing familiarly with his friends. Many of the English have blown their brains out with a pistol, after coming from an entertainment. But I never yet heard of a great man who cut his own throat after a dancing bout. It is for you, my dear master, that this honor is reserved. Take my advice, let us dance our fill, and we will kill ourselves to-morrow.” “Have you not remarked,” answered Candide, “this young country girl? Is she not a very pretty brunette?” “She has something very taking in her countenance,” said Cacambo. “She has squeezed my hand,” replied the philosopher. “Did you notice,” said Cacambo, “how that in the hurry of the dance, her handkerchief falling aside, disclosed two admirable little rosebuds? I took particular notice of them.” “Look you,” said Candide, “had I not my heart filled with Miss Zenoida—.” The little brunette interrupted him, by begging him to take one dance with her. Our hero at length consented, and danced with the best grace in the world. The dance finished, he kissed his smart country girl, and retired to his seat, without calling out the queen of the ring. Upon this a murmuring arose; everyone, performers as well as spectators, appeared greatly incensed at so flagrant a piece of disrespect. Candide never dreamed he had been guilty of any fault, and consequently did not attempt to make any reparation. A rude clown came up to him, and gave him a blow with his fist upon the nose. Cacambo returned it to the peasant with a kick in the belly. In an instant the musical instruments were all broken, the girls lost their caps; Candide and Cacambo fought like heroes, but at length were obliged to take to their heels, after a very hearty drubbing.

“Everything is embittered to me,” said Candide, giving his arm to his friend Cacambo; “I have experienced a great many misfortunes, but I did not expect to be thus beaten to a mummy for dancing with a country girl at her own request.”



Candide and cacambo go into a hospital—whom they meet there.

Cacambo and his old master were quite dispirited. They began to fall into that sort of malady of the mind which extinguishes all the faculties. They fell into a depression of spirits and despair, when they perceived a hospital which was built for strangers. Cacambo proposed going into it; Candide followed him. There they met with the most obliging reception, and charitable treatment. In a little time they were cured of their wounds, but they caught the itch. The cure of this malady did not appear to be the work of a day, the idea of which filled the eyes of our philosopher with tears; and he said, scratching himself, “Thou wouldst not let me cut my throat, my dear Cacambo; thy unwise counsels have brought me again into disgrace and misfortune; and yet, should I cut my throat now, it will be published in the journal of Trévoux, and it will be said this man was a poltroon, who killed himself only for having the itch. See what thou hast exposed me to, by the mistaken compassion thou hadst for my fate.” “Our disasters are not without remedy,” answered Cacambo. “If you will but please to listen to me. Let us settle here as friars; I understand a little surgery, and I promise you to alleviate and render supportable our wretched condition.” “Ah!” cried Candide, “may all asses perish, and especially asses of surgeons, who are so dangerous to mankind. I will never suffer that thou shouldst give out thyself to be what thou art not: this is a treachery, the consequences of which I dread. Besides, if thou didst but conceive how hard it is, after having been viceroy of a fine province, after having seen myself rich enough to purchase kingdoms, and after having been the favorite lover of Zenoida, to resolve to serve in quality of friar in a hospital.” “I concede all that you say,” replied Cacambo; “but I also realize that it is very hard to die of hunger. Think, moreover, that the expedient which I propose to you is perhaps the only one which you can take to elude the inquiries of the bloody-minded Wolhall, and avoid the punishment which he is preparing for you.”

One of the friars was passing along as they talked in this manner. They put some questions to him, to which he gave satisfactory answers: he assured them that the brothers wanted for nothing, and enjoyed a reasonable liberty. Candide thereupon determined to acquiesce in Cacambo’s counsels. They took the habit together, which was granted them upon the first application; and our two poor adventurers now became underlings to those whose duty it was to perform the most servile offices.

One day, as Candide was serving the patients with some wretched broth, an old man fixed his eye earnestly upon him. The visage of this poor wretch was livid, his lips were covered with froth, his eyes half turned in his head, and the image of death strongly imprinted on his lean and sunken cheeks. “Poor man,” said Candide to him, “I pity you; your sufferings must be horrible.” “They are very great indeed,” answered the old man, with a hollow voice like a ghost; “I am told that I am hectic, phthisicky, asthmatic, and poxed to the bone. If that be the case, I am indeed very ill; yet all does not go so badly, and this gives me comfort.” “Ah!” exclaimed Candide, “none but Dr. Pangloss, in a case so deplorable, can maintain the doctrine of optimism, when all others besides would preach up pessim—” “Do not pronounce that abominable word,” cried the poor man; “I am the Pangloss you speak of. Wretch that I am, let me die in peace. All is well, all is for the best.” The effort which he made in pronouncing these words cost him the last tooth, which he spit out with a great quantity of corrupted matter, and expired a few moments after.

Candide lamented him greatly, for he had a good heart. His obstinate perseverance was a source of reflection to our philosopher; he often called to mind all his adventures. Cunegund remained at Copenhagen; Candide learned that she exercised there the occupation of a mender of old clothes, with all possible distinction. The humor of travelling had quite left him. The faithful Cacambo supported him with his counsels and friendship. Candide did not murmur against Providence. “I know,” said he, at times, “that happiness is not the portion of man; happiness dwells only in the good country of El Dorado, where it is impossible for anyone to go.”



New discoveries.

Candide was not so unhappy, as he had a true friend. He found in a mongrel valet what the world vainly looks for in our quarter of the globe. Perhaps nature, which gives origin to herbs in America that are proper for the maladies of bodies on our continent, has also placed remedies there for the maladies of our hearts and minds. Possibly there are men in the new world of a quite different conformation from us, who are not slaves to personal interests, and are worthy to burn with the noble fire of friendship. How desirable would it be, that instead of bales of indigo and cochineal, all covered with blood, some of these men were imported among us! This sort of traffic would be of vast advantage to mankind. Cacambo was of greater value to Candide than a dozen of red sheep loaded with the pebbles of El Dorado. Our philosopher began again to taste the pleasure of life. It was a comfort to him to watch for the conservation of the human species, and not to be a useless member of society. God blessed such pure intentions, by giving him, as well as Cacambo, the enjoyment of health. They had got rid of the itch, and fulfilled with cheerfulness the painful functions of their station; but fortune soon deprived them of the security which they enjoyed. Cunegund, who had set her heart upon tormenting her husband, left Copenhagen to follow his footsteps. Chance brought her to the hospital; she was accompanied by a man, whom Candide knew to be Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. One may easily imagine what must have been his surprise. The baron, who saw him, addressed him thus: “I did not tug long at the oar in the Turkish galleys; the Jesuits heard of my misfortune, and redeemed me for the honor of their society. I have made a journey into Germany, where I received some favors from my father’s heirs. I omitted nothing to find my sister; and having learned at Constantinople, that she had sailed from there in a vessel which was shipwrecked on the coasts of Denmark, I disguised myself, took letters of recommendation to Danish merchants, who have correspondence with the society, and, in fine, I found my sister, who still loves you, base and unworthy as you are of her regard; and since you have had the impudence to lie with her, I consent to the ratification of the marriage, or rather a new celebration of it, with this express proviso, that my sister shall give you only her left hand; which is very reasonable, since she has seventy-one quarters, and you have never a one.” “Alas!” said Candide, “all the quarters of the world without beauty—Miss Cunegund was very ugly when I had the imprudence to marry her; she afterwards became handsome again, and another has enjoyed her charms. She is once more grown ugly, and you would have me give her my hand a second time. No, upon my word, my reverend father, send her back to her seraglio at Constantinople; she has done me too much injury in this country.” “Ungrateful man,” screamed Cunegund, with the most frightful contortions; “be persuaded, and relent in time; do not provoke the baron, who is a priest, to kill us both, to wipe out his disgrace with our blood. Dost thou believe me capable of having failed in intention to the fidelity which I owed thee? What wouldst thou have had me do against a man who found me handsome? Neither my tears nor my cries could have softened his brutal insensibility. Seeing there was nothing to be done, I disposed myself in such a manner as to be violated with the least brutality possible, and every other woman would have done the same. This is all the crime I have committed, and does not merit thy displeasure. But I know my greatest crime with thee is having deprived thee of thy mistress; and yet this action ought to convince thee of my love. Come, my dear spouse, if ever I should again become handsome; if ever my breasts, now lank and withered, should recover their roundness and elasticity; if—it will be only for thee, my dear Candide. We are no longer in Turkey, and I swear faithfully to thee never to suffer any violation for the future.”

This discourse did not make much impression upon Candide; he desired a few hours to make his resolution how to proceed. The baron granted him two hours; during which time he consulted his friend Cacambo. After having weighed the reasons, pro and contra, they determined to follow the Jesuit and his sister into Germany. They accordingly left the hospital and set out together on their travels, not on foot, but on good horses hired by the baron. They arrived on the frontiers of the kingdom. A huge man, of a very villainous aspect, surveyed our hero with close attention. “It is the very man,” said he, casting his eyes at the same time upon a little bit of paper he had in his hand. “Sir, if I am not too inquisitive, is not your name Candide?” “Yes, sir, so I have always been called.” “Sir, I flatter myself you are the very same; you have black eyebrows, eyes level with your head, ears not prominent, of a middling size, and a round, flesh-colored visage; to me you plainly appear to be five feet five inches high.” “Yes, sir, that is my stature; but what have you to do with my ears and stature?” “Sir, we cannot use too much circumspection in our office. Permit me further to put one single question more to you: Have you not formerly been a servant to Lord Wolhall?” “Sir, upon my word,” answered Candide, quite disconcerted, “I know nothing of what you mean.” “Maybe so, sir, but I know for certain that you are the person whose description has been sent me. Take the trouble then to walk into the guard-house, if you please. Here, soldiers, take care of this gentleman; get the black hole ready, and let the armorer be sent for, to make him a pretty little set of fetters of about thirty or forty pounds weight. Mr. Candide, you have a good horse there; I am in want of such a one, and I fancy he will answer my purpose. I shall make free with him.”

The baron was afraid to say the horse was his. They carried off poor Candide, and Miss Cunegund wept for a whole quarter of an hour. The Jesuit seemed perfectly unconcerned at this accident. “I should have been obliged to have killed him, or to have made him marry you over again,” said he to his sister; “and all things considered, what has just happened is much the best for the honor of our family.” Cunegund departed with her brother, and only the faithful Cacambo remained, who would not forsake his friend.



Consequence of Candide’s misfortune—how he found his mistress again—the fortune that happened to him.

“O Pangloss,” said Candide, “what a pity it is you perished so miserably! You have been witness only to a part of my misfortunes; and I had hoped to prevail on you to forsake the ill-founded opinion which you maintained to your last breath. No man ever suffered greater calamities than I have done; but there is not a single individual who has not cursed his existence, as the daughter of Pope Urban warmly expressed herself. What will become of me, my dear Cacambo?” “Faith, I cannot tell,” said Cacambo; “all I know is, that I will not forsake you.” “But Miss Cunegund has forsaken me,” said Candide. “Alas! a wife is of far less value than a menial servant who is a true friend.”

Candide and Cacambo discoursed thus in the black hole. From there they were taken out to be carried back to Copenhagen. It was there that our philosopher was to know his doom: he expected it to be dreadful, and our readers, doubtless, expect so, too; but Candide was mistaken, as our readers will be, likewise. It was at Copenhagen that happiness waited to crown all his sufferings: he was hardly arrived, when he understood that Wolhall was dead. This barbarian had no one to regret him, while everybody interested themselves in Candide. His irons were knocked off, and his freedom gave him so much the more joy as it was immediately followed by the sight of his dear Zenoida. He flew to her with the utmost transport. They were a long time without speaking a word; but their silence was infinitely more expressive than words. They wept, they embraced each other, they attempted to speak, but tears stopped their utterance. Cacambo was a pleased spectator of this scene, so truly interesting to a sensible being; he shared in the happiness of his friend, and was almost as much affected as Candide himself. “Dear Cacambo! adorable Zenoida!” cried Candide; “you efface from my heart the deep traces of my misfortunes. Love and friendship prepare for me future days of serenity and uninterrupted delight. Through what a number of trials have I passed to arrive at this unexpected happiness! But they are all forgot, dear Zenoida; I behold you once more! you love me; everything is for the best in regard to me; all is good in nature.”

By Wolhall’s death, Zenoida was left at her own disposal. The court had given her a pension out of her father’s fortune which had been confiscated; she shared it with Candide and Cacambo; she appointed them apartments in her own house, and gave out that she had received several considerable services from these two strangers, which obliged her to procure them all the comforts and pleasures of life, and to repair the injustice which fortune had done them. There were some who saw through the motive of her beneficence; which was no very hard matter to do, considering the great talk her connection with Candide had formerly occasioned. The greater part blamed her, and her conduct was only approved by some few who knew how to reflect. Zenoida, who set a proper value on the good opinion even of fools, was nevertheless too happy to repent the loss of it. The news of the death of Miss Cunegund, which was brought by the correspondents of the Jesuit merchants in Copenhagen, procured Zenoida the means of conciliating the minds of people. She ordered a genealogy to be drawn up for Candide. The author, who was a man of ability in his way, derived his pedigree from one of the most ancient families in Europe; he even pretended his true name was Canute, which was that of one of the former kings of Denmark; which appeared very probable, as “dide” into “ute” is not such a great metamorphosis: and Candide by means of this little change, became a very great lord. He married Zenoida in public; they lived with as much tranquillity as it is possible to do. Cacambo was their common friend; and Candide said often, “All is not so well as in El Dorado; but all does not go so badly.”


King Louis XIV of France, painting by Rigaud, 1701

Age of Louis XIV



Voltaire Age of Louis XIV. Vol. XII—part I

Introduction to the Age of Louis XIV.

Chapter I.: The States of Europe Before Louis XIV.

Chapter II.: Minority of Louis XIV.—THE Victories of the French Under the Great Conde, Then Duke of Enghien.

Chapter III.: The Civil War.

Chapter IV.: Continuation of the Civil War, Till the End of the Rebellion In 1654.

Chapter V.: France, Till the Death of Cardinal Mazarin, 1661.

Chapter VI.: Louis XIV. Governs Alone—he Obliges the Spanish Branch of the House of Austria to Yield Him the Precedency Everywhere, and the Court of Rome to Give Him Satisfaction—he Purchases Dunkirk, Sends Aid to the Emperor, the Dutch, and the Portugues

Chapter VII.: The Conquest of Flanders.

Chapter VIII.: Conquest of Franche-comtÉ—peace of Aix-la-chapelle.

Chapter IX.: Magnificence of Louis XIV.—CONQUEST Of Holland.

Chapter X.: Holland Evacuated—franchÉ-comte Conquered a Second Time.

Chapter XI.: The Glorious Campaign and Death of Marshal Turenne.

Chapter XII.: From the Death of Turenne Till the Peace of Nimeguen, In 1678.

Chapter XIII.: The Taking of Strasburg—the Bombarding of Algiers—the Submission of the Genoese—the Embassy From the Emperor of Siam—the Pope Braved In Rome—the Succession to the Electorate of Cologne Disputed.

Chapter XIV.: James II. Of England Dethroned By His Son-in-law, William III., And Protected By Louis XIV.

Chapter XV.: The Continent While William III. Was Invading England, Scotland, and Ireland, Till the Year 1697—burning of the Palatinate—victories of Marshals Catinat and Luxembourg.

Chapter XVI.: Treaty With Savoy—marriage of the Duke of Burgundy—peace of Ryswick—state of France and Europe—death and Last Will of Charles II., King of Spain.

Voltaire Age of Louis XIV. Vol. XII—part II
Chapter XVII.: The War of 1701—conduct of Prince Eugene, Marshal Villeroi, the Duke of VendÔme, the Duke of Marlborough, and Marshal Villars; Until the Year 1703.

Chapter XVIII.: Loss of the Battle of HÖchstÄdt, Or Blenheim.

Chapter XIX.: Losses In Spain—the Battles of Ramillies and Turin, and Their Consequences.

Chapter XX.: Losses of the French and Spaniards Continued—louis XIV. Humbled; His Perseverance and Resources—battle of Malplaquet.

Chapter XXI.: Louis XIV. Continues to Solicit Peace, and to Defend Himself—the Duke of VendÔme Secures the King of Spain On His Throne.

Chapter XXII.: Victory Gained By Marshal Villars At Denain—the Affairs of France Retrieved—the General Peace.

Chapter XXIII.: Private Anecdotes of the Reign of Louis XIV.

Notes to Chapter XXIII.

Chapter XXIV.: Anecdotes Continued.

Notes to Chapter XXIV.

Chapter XXV.: Additional Memoirs.

Notes to Chapter XXV.

Chapter XXVI.: Last Years of Louis XIV.

Notes On Chapter XXVI.

Chapter XXVII.: Government, Commerce, Laws, Military Discipline, Under Louis XIV.

Chapter XXVIII.: Finance Under Louis XIV.

Chapter XXIX.: Progress of the Sciences.

Chapter XXX.: The Polite Arts In Europe At the Time of Louis XIV.

Chapter XXXI.: The Children of Louis XIV.—THE Sovereign Princes Contemporary With Him—his Generals and Ministers.

Chapter XXXII.: Celebrated Artists and Musicians.

Voltaire Age of Louis XIV. Vol. XII—Part I


It is not only the life of Louis XIV. that we propose to write; we have a greater object in view. We mean to set before posterity not only the portrait of one man’s actions but that of the spirit of mankind in general, in the most enlightened of all ages.

Every age has produced heroes and politicians; all nations have experienced revolutions, and all histories are nearly alike to those who seek only to furnish their memories with facts; but whosoever thinks, or, what is still more rare, whosoever has taste, will find but four ages in the history of the world. These four happy ages are those in which the arts were carried to perfection, and which, by serving as the era of the greatness of the human mind, are examples for posterity.

The first of these ages to which true glory is annexed is that of Philip and Alexander, or that of a Pericles, a Demosthenes, an Aristotle, a Plato, an Apelles, a Phidias, and a Praxiteles; and this honor has been confined within the limits of ancient Greece; the rest of the known world was then in a state of barbarism.

The second age is that of Cæsar and Augustus, distinguished by the names of Lucretius, Cicero, Titus, Livius, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Varro, and Vitruvius.

The third is that which followed the taking of Constantinople by Mahomet II. Then a family of private citizens was seen to do that which the kings of Europe should have undertaken. The Medici invited to Florence the learned, who had been driven out of Greece by the Turks; this was the age of Italy’s glory. The polite arts had already recovered a new life in that country; the Italians honored them with the title of “Vertu,” as the first Greeks had distinguished them by the name of Wisdom. Everything tended toward perfection; a Michelangelo, a Raphael, a Titian, a Tasso, and an Ariosto flourished. The art of engraving was invented; elegant architecture appeared again as admirable as in the most triumphant ages of Rome; and the Gothic barbarism, which had disfigured Europe in every kind of production, was driven from Italy to make way for good taste.

The arts, always transplanted from Greece to Italy, found themselves in a favorable soil, where they instantly produced fruit. France, England, Germany, and Spain aimed in their turn to gather these fruits; but either they could not live in those climates, or else they degenerated very rapidly.

Francis I. encouraged learned men, but such as were merely learned men; he had architects, but he had no Michelangelo, nor Palladio; he endeavored in vain to establish schools for painting; the Italian masters, whom he invited to France, raised no pupils there. Some epigrams and a few loose tales made the whole of our poetry. Rabelais was the only prose writer in vogue in the time of Henry II.

In a word, the Italians were in possession of everything that was beautiful, excepting music, which was then in but a rude state, and experimental philosophy, which was everywhere equally unknown.

Lastly, the fourth age is that known by the name of the age of Louis XIV., and is perhaps that which approaches the nearest to perfection of all the four; enriched by the discoveries of the three former ones, it has done greater things in certain kinds than those three together. All the arts indeed were not carried farther than under the Medici, Augustus, and Alexander; but human reason in general was more improved. In this age we first became acquainted with sound philosophy; it may truly be said that from the last years of Cardinal Richelieu’s administration, till those which followed the death of Louis XIV. there has happened such a general revolution in our arts, our genius, our manners, and even in our government, as will serve as an immortal mark to the true glory of our country. This happy influence has not been confined to France; it has communicated itself to England, where it has stirred up an emulation, which that ingenious and deeply learned nation stood in need of at that time; it has introduced taste into Germany, and the sciences into Russia; it has even re-animated Italy, which was languishing; and Europe is indebted for its politeness and spirit of society to the court of Louis XIV.

Before this time the Italians called all the people on this side of the Alps by the name of Barbarians; it must be owned that the French in some degree deserved this reproachful epithet. Our forefathers joined the romantic gallantry of the Moors with the Gothic rudeness: they had hardly any of the agreeable arts among them, which is a proof that the useful arts were likewise neglected; for when once the things of use are carried to perfection, the transition is quickly made to the elegant and agreeable; and it is not at all astonishing that painting, sculpture, poetry, eloquence, and philosophy should be in a manner unknown to a nation who, though possessed of harbors on the Western Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea, were without ships; and who, though fond of luxury to an excess, were hardly provided with the most common manufactures.

The Jews, the Genoese, the Venetians, the Portuguese, the Flemish, the Dutch, and the English carried on in their turn the trade of France, which was ignorant even of the first principles of commerce. Louis XIII., on his accession to the crown, had not a single ship; the city of Paris contained not quite four hundred thousand men, and had not above four fine public edifices; the other cities of the kingdom resembled those pitiful villages which we see on the other side of the Loire. The nobility, who were all stationed in the country, in dungeons surrounded with deep ditches, oppressed the peasants who cultivated the land. The high roads were almost impassable; the towns were destitute of police, and the government had hardly ever any credit among foreign nations.

We must acknowledge that, ever since the decline of the Carlovingian family, France had languished more or less in this infirm state, merely for want of the benefit of a good administration.

For a state to be powerful, the people must either enjoy a liberty founded upon laws, or the royal authority must be fixed beyond all opposition. In France the people were slaves till the reign of Philip Augustus; the noblemen were tyrants till Louis XI., and the kings, always employed in maintaining their authority against their vassals, had neither leisure to think about the happiness of their subjects nor the power of making them happy.

Louis XI. did a great deal for the regal power, but nothing for the happiness or the glory of the nation. Francis I. gave birth to trade, navigation, and all the arts; but he was too unfortunate to make them take root in the nation during his time, so that they all perished with him. Henry the Great was on the point of raising France from the calamities and barbarisms in which she had been plunged by thirty years of discord, when he was assassinated in his capital in the midst of a people whom he had begun to make happy. The cardinal de Richelieu, busied in humbling the house of Austria, the Calvinists, and the grandees, did not enjoy a power sufficiently undisturbed to reform the nation; but he had at least the honor of beginning this happy work.

Thus, for the space of nine hundred years, our genius has been almost always restrained under a Gothic government, in the midst of divisions and civil wars; destitute of any laws or fixed customs; changing every second century a language which still continued rude and unformed; the nobles were without discipline, and strangers to everything but war and idleness. The clergy lived in disorder and ignorance, and the common people without industry, and stupefied in their wretchedness. The French had no share either in the great discoveries or admirable inventions of other nations: they have no title to the discoveries of painting, gunpowder, glasses, the telescope, the sector, compass, the air-pump, or the true system of the universe; they were making tournaments while the Portuguese and Spaniards were discovering and conquering new countries from the east to the west of the known world. Charles V. had already scattered the treasures of Mexico over Europe, before the subjects of Francis I. had discovered the uncultivated country of Canada; but, by the little which the French did in the beginning of the sixteenth century, we may see what they are capable of when properly conducted.

I propose in this place to show what they have been under Louis XIV., and it is to be wished that the posterity of this monarch, and that of his subjects, equally animated with a happy emulation, may use their endeavors to surpass their ancestors.

It must not be expected to meet here with a minute detail of the wars carried on in this age: this would be an endless task; we are obliged to leave to the compilers of annals the care of collecting, with exactness, all these small facts, which would only serve to divert the attention from the principal object. It is their province to point out the marches and countermarches of armies, and the particular days on which the trenches were opened before towns which were taken and retaken again by force of arms, or ceded and restored by treaties. A thousand circumstances which are interesting to those who live at the time are lost to the eyes of posterity, and disappear, to make room for the great events which have determined the fate of empires. Every transaction is not worthy of being committed to writing. In this history we shall confine ourselves only to what is deserving of the attention of all ages, what paints the genius and manners of mankind, contributes to instruction, and prompts to the love of virtue, of the arts, and of our country.

We have already seen what France and the other kingdoms of Europe were, before the birth of Louis XIV.; we shall now describe the great political and military events of his reign. The interior government of the kingdom, as being an object of more importance to the people, shall be treated of by itself. The private life of Louis XIV. and the particular anecdotes of his court and reign shall hold a principal place in this account. There shall be other articles for the arts and sciences, and for the progress of the human mind in this age. Lastly we shall speak of the Church, which has been so long connected with the government, has sometimes disturbed its peace, and at others been its defence; and which, though instituted for the inculcating of morality, too frequently gives itself up to politics and the impulse of the human passions.

For a long time past the Christian part of Europe—Russia excepted—might be considered as a great republic divided into several states, some of which were monarchial, others mixed, some aristocratic, and others popular; but all corresponding with one another; all having the same basis of religion, though divided into several sects, and acknowledging the same principles of public and political equity, which were unknown to the other parts of the world. It is from these principles that the European nations do not make slaves of their prisoners; that they respect the persons of their enemies’ ambassadors; that they agree together concerning the pre-eminence, and some other rights belonging to certain princes; such as the emperor, kings, and other lesser potentates: and particularly in the prudent policy of preserving, as far as they are able, an equal balance of power among themselves; by continually carrying on negotiations, even in the midst of war, and keeping ambassadors, or less honorable spies, at one another’s courts, to give notice to the rest of the designs of any single one, to sound the alarm at once over all Europe, and to prevent the weaker side from being invaded by the stronger, which is always ready to attempt it.

After the death of Charles V. the balance of power inclined too much on the side of the house of Austria. This powerful house was, in the year 1630, possessor of Spain, Portugal, and the riches of America; the Netherlands, the duchy of Milan, the kingdoms of Naples, Bohemia, Hungary, and even Germany—if we may say so—were a part of its patrimony: and had all these states been united under one single head of this house, it is reasonable to believe that he would, at length, have become master of all Europe.

The Empire of Germany is the most powerful neighbor which France has; it is nearly of the same extent; there is not, perhaps, so much money in it, but it abounds more with sturdy men inured to labor. The Germanic nation is governed, with but little difference, as France was under the first kings of the Capetian race, who were chiefs of several great vassals. by whom they were frequently ill obeyed, and of a great number of lesser ones. There are sixty free cities, called imperial; about as many secular princes; nearly forty ecclesiastical ones, as well abbots as bishops, nine electors, among whom we may reckon four kings; and lastly, the emperor, who is head of all these potentates: these at present compose this great Germanic body, which, by the phlegmatic disposition of its members, is maintained in as much order and regularity as there was formerly confusion in the French government.

Each member of the empire has his particular rights, privileges, and obligations; and the knowledge of such a number of laws, which are frequently disputed, makes what is called in Germany “the study of the public law,” for which that nation is so famous.

The emperor should not in fact be much more powerful or rich than a doge of Venice. Germany being divided into cities and principalities, nothing is left for the chief of such a number of states, but the pre-eminence, accompanied with the supreme honors, without either demesnes or money, and consequently without power. He does not possess a single village in virtue of his title of emperor. Nevertheless this dignity, often as vain as supreme, has become so powerful in the hands of the Austrians that it has frequently been feared that they would convert this republic of princes into an absolute monarchy.

The Christian part of Europe, especially Germany, was then, and still is, divided into two parties or sects. The first is that of the Catholics who are all more or less subject to the authority of the pope; the other is that of the enemies to the spiritual and temporal power of the pontiff, and the prelates of the Church of Rome. These latter are called by the general name of Protestants, though divided into Lutherans, Calvinists, and other sects, who all hate one another as much as they do the Church of Rome.

In Germany, the states of Saxony, Brandenburg, the Palatinate, a part of Bohemia and Hungary, the houses of Brunswick and Würtemberg followed the Lutheran religion, which is by them called the evangelical. All the free cities of the empire have likewise embraced this sect, as seemingly more agreeable to a people jealous of their liberty than the religion of the Church of Rome.

The Calvinists, who are scattered among the Lutherans, form but an inconsiderable party. The Roman Catholics constitute the rest of the empire; and, having at their head the house of Austria, they are without doubt the most powerful.

Not only Germany but all the Christian states were still bleeding with the wounds of the many religious wars in which they had been engaged; a madness peculiar to Christians, and unknown to idolaters, and which was the fatal consequence of that dogmatic turn, which had for so long a time been introduced among all ranks of people. Almost every point of controversy occasioned a civil war; and foreign nations—nay perhaps our own posterity—will one day be at a loss to comprehend how their ancestors could have thus butchered one another, while they were preaching the doctrine of patience.

I have already shown how near Ferdinand II. was to changing the German aristocracy into an absolute monarchy. and how he was on the point of being dethroned by Gustavus Vasa. His son, Ferdinand III., who inherited his politics, and like him made war from his cabinet, swayed the imperial sceptre during the minority of Louis XIV.

Germany was not then so flourishing as it has since become. Not only was every kind of luxury wholly unknown there, but even the conveniences of life were very scarce in the houses of the greatest noblemen, till the year 1686, when they were introduced by the French refugees who retired thither and set up their manufactories. This fruitful and well-peopled country was destitute of trade and money: the gravity of manners and the slowness peculiar to the Germans deprived them of those pleasures and agreeable arts which the more penetrating Italians had cultivated for many years, and which the French industry began now to carry to perfection. The Germans, though rich at home, were poor everywhere else; and this poverty, added to the difficulty of uniting in a short time so many different peoples under one standard, made it then, nearly as at this day, impossible for them to carry the war into their neighbor’s dominions, or support it there for any time. Accordingly, we almost always find the French carrying on a war against the empire within the empire. The difference of government and genius makes the French more proper for attacking, and the Germans for acting on the defensive.

The Spanish nation, governed by the elder branch of the house of Austria, after the death of Charles V., made itself more formidable to Europe than the Germanic Empire. The kings of Spain were infinitely more absolute and rich than the emperors: and the mines of Mexico and Peru furnished them with treasures sufficient to purchase the liberties of Europe. You have already seen the project of universal monarchy, or rather universal superiority on the Christian continent, begun by Charles V. and carried on by Philip II.

The Spanish greatness under Philip II. became a vast body without substance, which had more reputation than real strength.

Philip IV., who inherited his father’s weakness, lost Portugal by his neglect; Roussillon by the inferiority of his arms; and Catalonia by the abuse of his absolute authority. Such princes could not long continue successful in their wars against France. If our errors and divisions gave them some few advantages, they soon lost the fruits of them by their own want of capacity. Besides, they had a people to command whose privileges gave them a right to serve ill. The Castilians, for instance, had a privilege by which they were exempted from serving out of their own country. The Aragonese were continually opposing their liberties to the orders of the king’s council; and the Catalans, who looked upon their kings as their enemies, would not even suffer them to raise militia in their provinces.

Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, Spain, by being united to the empire, threw a very formidable weight into the balance of Europe.

At this time Portugal was again made a kingdom. John, duke of Braganza, who passed for a weak prince, had wrested this province from a king who was weaker than himself. The Portuguese, through necessity, cultivated trade, which the Spaniards, through pride, neglected, and had, in 1641, entered into a league with the French and Dutch against Spain. France gained more by the revolution in Portugal than she could have done by the most signal victories. The French ministry, without having in the least contributed to this event, reaped without any trouble the greatest advantage that can be wished for over an enemy; that of seeing him attacked by an irreconcilable power.

Portugal, which thus threw off the Spanish yoke, extended its trade, and augmented its power, puts us in mind of Holland, which enjoyed the same advantages, though in a very different manner.

This small state, composed of seven united provinces, a country abounding in excellent pasturage, but destitute of all kinds of grain, unhealthy, and in a manner buried in the sea, was for about half a century almost the only example in the world of what may be done by the love of liberty and unwearied labor. These poor people, few in number and inferior in military discipline to the meanest of the Spanish militia, and of no account in the rest of Europe, made head against the whole collected force of their master and tyrant, Philip II., eluded the designs of several princes who offered to assist them, in hopes of enslaving them, and founded a power which we have seen counterbalancing that of Spain itself. The desperation which tyranny inspires first armed these people; liberty raised their courage, and the princes of the house of Orange made them excellent soldiers. No sooner did they become conquerors of their masters than they established a form of government which preserves, as far as possible, equality, the most natural right of mankind.

This state was soon from its first foundation intimately attached to France: they were united by interest, and had the same enemies. Henry the Great and Louis XIII. had been its allies and protectors.

England, a far more powerful state, arrogated to itself the sovereignty of the seas, and pretended to preserve a balance between the powers of Europe; but Charles I., who began his reign in 1625, was so far from being able to support the weight of this balance, that he found the sceptre already falling through his hands: he had attempted to render his power independent of the laws of England, and to make a change in the religion of Scotland. He was too headstrong to be diverted from his projects, and too weak to carry them into execution. He was a good husband, a good master, a good father, and an honest man, but an ill-advised prince; he engaged in a civil war which lost him his throne and made him end his life on a scaffold, by an unparalleled revolution.

This civil war, which was begun in the minority of Louis XIV., prevented England for some time from taking part in her neighbor’s concerns: she lost her credit in Europe, with her quiet at home; her trade was obstructed, and other nations looked upon her as buried beneath her own ruins, till the time that she at once became more formidable than ever, under the rule of Cromwell, who had enslaved her with the gospel in one hand, the sword in the other, and the mask of religion on his face; and who in his administration concealed, under the qualities of a great king, all the crimes of a usurper.

The balance which England had so long flattered herself with the hope of keeping up by her superior power, Rome endeavored to maintain by her politics. Italy was divided, as she now is, into several sovereignties; that which is possessed by the pope is sufficiently great to render him respectable as a prince, and too small to make him formidable. The nature of the government does not contribute to the peopling of his country, which also has very little trade or money. His spiritual authority, which is always mixed with something of the temporal, is slighted and abhorred by one-half of Christendom: and though he is considered as a father by the other half, yet he has some children who resist his will at times with reason and success. It is the maxim of the French government to look upon him as a sacred and enterprising person whose hands must sometimes be tied, though they kiss his feet. We still see in all the Catholic countries the traces of those steps which the court of Rome has frequently made toward universal monarchy. All the princes of the Romish religion, upon their accession, send an embassy to the pope, which is termed the embassy of obedience. Every crowned head has a cardinal at his court, who takes the name of protector. The pope grants bulls for filling up all vacant bishoprics, and expresses himself in these bulls as if he conferred these dignities by his own pure authority. All the Italian, Spanish, Flemish, and even some of the French bishops, style themselves bishops by divine permission, and that of the holy see. There is no kingdom in which the pope has not several benefices in his nomination; and he receives as a tribute the first year’s revenue of consistorial benefices.

The religious orders, whose principals reside at Rome, are again so many immediate subjects to the pontiff, scattered over all states. Custom, which does everything, and which occasions the world to be governed by abuses as by laws, has not always permitted princes to put an entire stop to this danger, which in other respects is connected with things useful and sacred. To swear allegiance to any other than the sovereign is a crime of high treason, in a layman; but in a convent it is a religious act. The difficulty of knowing how far we are to carry our obedience to this foreign sovereign, the ease with which we suffer ourselves to be seduced, the pleasure there is in throwing off a natural yoke for a voluntary one, the spirit of discord and the unhappiness of the times, have but too often prevailed on whole bodies of religious orders to serve the cause of Rome against their own country.

The enlightened spirit which has reigned in France for this past century, and which has communicated itself to people of all ranks, has proved the most effectual remedy against this abuse. The excellent books which have been written on this subject have done real service both to kings and people; and one of the great changes which was wrought by this means in our manners, under the reign of Louis XIV., is that the religious of all kinds begin now to be persuaded that they should be subject to their king, before they are servants to the pope. The juridical power, which is the essential mark of sovereignty, still remains with the Roman pontiff; and even the French government, notwithstanding all the liberties of the Gallican Church, allows a final appeal to the pope in all ecclesiastical causes.

If anyone is desirous of obtaining a divorce, of marrying a near relation, or of being released from his vows, application is to be made to the court of Rome, and not to the bishop of the diocese; there all indulgences are rated, and the individuals of all states may there purchase dispensations at all prices.

These advantages, which are by many people looked upon as the consequences of the greatest abuse, and by others as the remains of the most sacred rights, are always artfully preserved; and modern Rome employs as much policy in keeping up its credit as the ancient republic did in conquering one-half of the known world.

No court ever knew better how to act agreeably to men and times. The popes are almost always Italians, grown gray in public affairs, and divested of those passions which make men blind to their interest; their council is composed of cardinals, who resemble them, and who are all animated with the same spirit. This council issues mandates which reach as far as China and the extremes of America, in which sense it may be said to take in the whole universe; and we may say of it as a stranger formerly said of the Roman senate: “I have beheld an assembly of kings.” Most of our writers have with reason inveighed against the ambition of this court; but I do not find one who has done sufficient justice to its prudence, neither do I know if any other nation could have so long maintained itself in the possession of so many privileges continually contested; any other court might probably have lost them, either by its haughtiness, its effeminacy, its sloth, or its vivacity; but that of Rome, by an almost constant proper use of resolution and concession, has preserved all that was humanly possible for her to preserve. We have seen her submissive to Charles V.; terrible to our king, Henry III.; by turns the friend and foe of Henry IV.; acting cunningly with Louis XIII.; openly opposing Louis XIV. at a time when he was to be feared; and frequently a private enemy to the emperors, of whom she was more distrustful than even of the Turkish sultan.

Some rights, many pretensions, patience and politics are all that Rome has left now of that ancient power which six centuries ago attempted to subject the empire and all Europe to the triple crown.

Naples is still an existing proof of that right which the popes formerly assumed with so much art and parade, of creating and bestowing kingdoms; but the king of Spain, who is the present possessor of that kingdom, has only left the court of Rome the dangerous honor of having an overpowerful vassal.

As for the rest, the pope’s dominions were situated in a peaceable country, which had never been disturbed but by a trifling war, of which I have already spoken, between the cardinals Barberini, nephews to Urban VIII., and the duke of Parma.

The other provinces of Italy were biassed by various interests. Venice had the Turks and the emperor to fear, and could hardly defend its dominions on the continent against the pretensions of Germany, and the invasion of the Grand Seignior. It was no longer that city which was formerly the mistress of the trade of the whole world, and which one hundred and fifty years before had excited the jealousy of so many crowned heads. The wisdom of its administration continued the same as formerly; but the destruction of its great trade deprived it of almost all its strength, and the city of Venice was by its situation incapable of being conquered, and by its weakness incapable of making conquests.

The state of Florence enjoyed tranquillity and abundance under the government of the Medici; and literature, arts, and politeness, which they had first introduced, still flourished there. Tuscany was then to Italy what Athens had been to Greece.

Savoy, after having been rent by a civil war, and desolated by the French and Spanish armies, was at length wholly united in favor of France, and contributed to weaken the Austrian power in Italy.

The Swiss nation preserved, as at this day, its own liberty, without seeking to oppress its neighbors. They sold the service of their troops to nations richer than themselves: they were poor and ignorant of the sciences, and of all the arts which are begotten by luxury; but they were wise, and they were happy.

The Northern nations of Europe, viz.: Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and Russia, were like the other powers, always distrustful of and at war with one another. In Poland, both the manners and government were, as they now are, nearly the same as those of the ancient Goths and Franks. The crown was elective; the nobles had a share in the supreme authority; the people were slaves; the infantry was weak; and the cavalry was wholly composed of nobles; there were no fortified towns, and scarcely any trade. These people were attacked at one time by the Swedes, or the Muscovites, and at others by the Turks.

The Swedes, who were a freer nation by their constitution which admits even the lowest class of the people into the assembly of the general estates, but who were at that time more subject to their kings than the Poles, were almost everywhere victorious. Denmark, which had formerly been so formidable to Sweden, was no longer so to any power; and Muscovy had not yet emerged from barbarism.

The Turks were not what they had been under their Selims, their Mahomets, and their Solymans. The seraglio, though corrupted by effeminacy, still retained its cruelty. The sultans were at the same time the most despotic of sovereigns, and the least secure of their throne and life. Osman and Ibrahim had lately been strangled, and Mustapha had been twice deposed. The Ottoman Empire, tottering from these repeated shocks, was also attacked by the Persians; but when it had enjoyed a little respite from them, and the revolutions of the seraglio were at an end, this empire became again formidable to Christendom, and spread its conquests from the mouth of the Boristhenes to the Adriatic Sea. Muscovy, Hungary, Greece, and the Archipelago fell alternately a prey to the Turkish arms; and from the year 1644 they had constantly carried on the war of Candia, which proved so fatal to the Christians.

Such, then, were the situation, strength, and interests of the principal European nations, about the time that Louis XIII. of France departed this life.

France, who was in alliance with Sweden, Holland, Savoy, and Portugal, and had the favorable wishes of the other nations who remained inactive, was engaged in a war against the empire and Spain, which proved ruinous to both sides, and particularly fatal to the house of Austria. This war was like all those which have been carried on for so many centuries between Christian princes, in which millions of men have been sacrificed, and whole provinces laid waste to obtain a few frontier towns, the possession of which is seldom worth the expense of conquering them.

The generals of Louis XIII. had taken Roussillon; and the Catalans had given their province to France, as the protectress of that liberty which they defended against their kings; but all these successes had not prevented the enemy from making themselves masters of Corbie, in the year 1637, and advancing as far as Pontoise. Fear had driven one-half of the inhabitants out of Paris; and Cardinal de Richelieu, in the midst of his mighty projects for humbling the Austrian power, had been reduced to lay a tax upon the houses with great gates in the city of Paris; every one of which was obliged to furnish a footman armed, to drive the enemy from the gates of the metropolis.

The French there had done the Spaniards and Germans a great deal of mischief, and had suffered as much themselves.

The wars had produced several illustrious generals, such as a Gustavus Adolphus, a Wallenstein, a duke of Saxe-Weimar, a Piccolomini, a John de Werth, the marshal de Guébriant, the princes of Orange, and the count d’Harcourt; nor was this age less famous for ministers of state. Chancellor Oxenstiern, the famous duke Olivarez, and especially the cardinal duke de Richelieu, had drawn the attention of all Europe upon them. There never was an age which had not some famous statesmen and soldiers: politics and arms seem unhappily to be the two professions most natural to man, who must always be either negotiating or fighting. The most fortunate is accounted the greatest, and the public frequently attributes to merit what is only the effect of a happy success.

War was then carried on differently from what it afterward was in the time of Louis XIV. There were not such numerous armies; since the siege of Metz by Charles V., no general had been at the head of fifty thousand men. They did not make use of so many cannon in besieging and defending places as at present. The art of fortification itself was then in its infancy. Spears and short guns were then in use, as well as the sword, which is now entirely laid aside. One of the old laws of nations was still in force, namely, that of declaring war by a herald. Louis XIII. was the last who observed this custom: he sent a herald at arms to Brussels to declare war against Spain, in the year 1635.

Nothing was more common at that time than to see armies commanded by priests: The cardinal Infante, the cardinals of Savoy, Richelieu, and la Valette, and Sourdis, archbishop of Bordeaux, had put on the cuirass and waged war in person. A bishop of Mendes had been frequently intendant of the army. The popes sometimes threatened these military prelates with excommunication. Pope Urban III., being incensed against France, sent word to Cardinal la Valette, that he would strip him of the purple if he did not lay down the sword; but when the pontiff came afterward to be reconciled to France, he loaded him with benedictions.

Ambassadors, who are equally the ministers of peace with churchmen, made no difficulty of serving in the armies of the allied powers, to whom they were sent. Charnacé, who was envoy from the court of France to Holland, commanded a regiment there in 1637; and some time afterward, even the ambassador d’Estrades was a colonel in the Dutch service.

France had not in all more than eighty thousand effective men on foot. Its marine, which had for some centuries fallen to decay, and had afterward been a little restored by Cardinal de Richelieu, was ruined under Mazarin. Louis XIII. had not more than forty-five millions of real ordinary revenue; but money was then at twenty-six livres the mark, consequently these forty-five millions amounted to nearly eighty-five millions of the present currency, when the arbitrary value of the silver mark is carried to forty-nine and a half livres—an exorbitant numerical value, which justice and the interest of the public forbid ever to be increased.

Trade, which is so universal at present, was then in a very few hands; the police of the kingdom was entirely neglected, a certain sign of a bad administration. Cardinal de Richelieu, wholly taken up with his own greatness, which was linked with that of the state, had begun to render France formidable outside its borders, but had not been able to make it flourishing within. The roads were neither kept in repair nor properly guarded; they were infested by troops of robbers. The streets of Paris, which were narrow, badly paved, and covered with disagreeable filth, swarmed with thieves. It is proved by the registers of parliament that the city watch was at that time reduced to forty-five men, badly paid, and who frequently did no duty at all.

Ever since the death of Francis I., France had been continually rent by civil wars, or disturbed by factions. The people never wore the yoke in a voluntary or peaceable manner. The nobles were trained up from their youth in conspiracies; it was the court art, the same as that of pleasing the sovereign has since been.

This spirit of discord and faction spread itself from the court into the smallest towns, and took possession of all public societies in the kingdom; everything was disputed, because there was no general rule; the very parishes in Paris used to come to blows with one another; and processions have fought together about the honor of their banners. The canons of Notre Dame were frequently seen engaged with those of the Holy Chapel; the parliament and the chamber of accounts battled for the upper hand in the church of Notre Dame, the very day that Louis XIII. put his kingdom under the protection of the Virgin Mary.

Almost all the public corporations of the kingdom were in arms, and almost every individual was inflamed with the fury of duelling. This Gothic barbarism, which was formerly authorized by kings themselves, and had become the distinguishing character of the nation, contributed as much as the foreign and domestic wars to depopulate the country. It is not saying too much, to aver that in the course of twenty years, of which ten had been troubled by war, more French gentlemen died by the hands of Frenchmen than by those of the enemy.

We shall not take any notice of the manner in which the arts and sciences were cultivated: this part of the history of our manners will be found in its proper place. We shall only remark that the French nation was plunged in ignorance, without excepting even those who look upon themselves as removed above the common people.

Astrologers were much consulted, and greatly confided in. All the memoirs of this age, to begin with the history of the president de Thou, are full of predictions: even the grave and rigid duke of Sully himself, very seriously relates those which were made to Henry IV. This credulity, which is the most infallible mark of ignorance, prevailed so much at that time that care was taken to keep an astrologer concealed in Queen Anne of Austria’s chamber, while she was in labor of Louis the XIV.

It is hardly credible, though we find it related by the abbot, Vittorio Siri, a contemporary writer of great authority, that Louis XIII. had the surname of Just given him from his childhood, because he was born under the sign Libra, or the balance.

The same weakness that first brought this absurd chimera of judicial astrology into vogue occasioned a belief in fascinations and witchcrafts; it was even made a point of religion, and nothing was to be seen but priests driving out devils from those who were said to be possessed. The courts of justice, composed of magistrates who should have had more understanding than the vulgar, were employed in trying witches and sorcerers. The death of the famous curate of Loudun, Urbain Grandier, will ever be a stain on the memory of Cardinal de Richelieu. This man was condemned to the stake as a magician, by commissioners appointed by the council of state. We cannot without indignation reflect that the minister and the judges should have been so weak as to believe in the devils of Loudun, and so barbarous as to condemn an innocent man to the flames; and it will be remembered with astonishment by posterity that the wife of Marshal d’Ancre was burnt in the Place de la Grève for a witch.

There is still to be seen, in a copy of some registers of the Châtelet, a trial which was begun in the year 1601, on account of a horse, which his master had with great pains taught to perform tricks, as we now see some every day at our fairs. They wanted to burn both master and horse.

We have already said enough to give an idea of the manners and spirit of the age which preceded that of Louis XIV.

This want of understanding in all orders of the state did not a little to encourage, even among the best people, certain superstitious practices, which were a disgrace to religion. The Protestants, confounding the reasonable worship of the Catholics with the abuses introduced into that worship, were more firmly fixed in their hatred to our Church; to our popular superstitions, frequently intermingled with debaucheries, they opposed a brutal sternness and a ferocity of manners, the character of almost all reformers. Thus was France rent and debased by a party spirit, while that social disposition, for which the nation is now so deservedly famous and esteemed, was unknown among us. There were then no houses where men of merit might meet in order to communicate their ideas to one another; no academies, no theatres. In a word, our manners, laws, arts, society, religion, peace, and war had no resemblance to what was afterward seen in that age known by the name of The Age of Louis XIV.

Cardinal de Richelieu and Louis XIII. were lately dead, the one admired and hated, the other already forgotten. They had left the French, who were at that time a restless people, in a fixed aversion to the very name of a ministry, and with very little respect for the throne. Louis XIII. had, by his will, settled a council of regency. This monarch, so ill obeyed when he was living, flattered himself with meeting with more observance after his death; but the first step taken by his widow, Anne of Austria, was to procure an arret of the Parliament of Paris for setting aside her husband’s will. This body, which had been so long in opposition to the court, and which under Louis had with difficulty preserved its right of making remonstrances, now annulled its monarch’s will with the same ease as it would have determined the cause of a private citizen. Anne of Austria applied to this assembly to have the regency unlimited, because Mary de Medici had made use of the same court after the death of Henry IV., and Mary de Medici had set this example because any other method would have been tedious and uncertain; because the parliament being surrounded by her guards, could not dispute her will; and that an arret issued by the parliament and the peers seemed to confer an incontestable right.

The custom which always confers the regency on the king’s mother appeared to the French at that time as fundamental a law as that by which women are excluded from the crown. The Parliament of Paris having twice settled this point, that is to say, having by its own authority decreed the regency vested in the queen-mothers, seemed in fact to have conferred the regency; it considered itself, not without some show of reason, as the guardian of our kings, and every counsellor thought he had a part in the sovereign authority. By the same arret, Gaston, duke of Orleans, brother of the late king, had the vain title given him of lieutenant-general of the kingdom, under the queen-regent, who was absolute.

Anne of Austria was, upon her first assuming the reins of government, obliged to continue the war against her brother, Philip IV., king of Spain, whom she affectionately loved. It is difficult to assign any positive reason for the French having undertaken this war; they claimed nothing from Spain, not even Navarre, which should have been the patrimony of the kings of France. They had continued at war ever since the year 1634, because Cardinal de Richelieu would have it so, and it is to be supposed that he was desirous of it in order to make himself necessary. He had engaged in a league against the emperor with the Swedes and Duke Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, one of those generals whom the Italians called condottieri, who sold the service of their troops. He also attacked the Austrian Spanish branch in those ten provinces which we now call by the general name of Flanders; and he had divided this country with the Dutch, at that time our allies, though it was not yet conquered.

The stress of the war lay on the side of Flanders; the Spanish troops marched from the frontiers of Hainault to the number of twenty-six thousand men, under the command of an old experienced general, whose name was Don Francisco de Mello, fell upon and ravaged the borders of Champagne, and attacked Rocroi, and thought soon to advance to the very gates of Paris, as they had done eight years before. The death of Louis XIII., and the weakness of a minority, raised their hopes, and when they saw only an inconsiderable army opposed to them, and that commanded by a young man of only twenty-one years of age, these hopes were changed into full security.

This inexperienced young man, whom they so much despised, was Louis of Bourbon, then duke of Enghien, known since by the name of the great Condé. Most great generals have become so by degrees, but this prince was born a general. The art of war seemed in him a natural instinct. There were only he and the Swede, Torstenson, who, at twenty years of age were possessed of this talent which can dispense with experience.

The duke of Enghien had received, together with the news of Louis XIII.’s death, orders not to risk a battle; Marshal de L’Hôpital, who had been given him as counsellor and guide, backed these timid orders by his own caution; but the prince heeded neither the court nor the marshal: he intrusted his design to no one but Field-Marshal Gassion, a person worthy of being consulted by him. They together obliged the marshal to give his assent to the battle.

It is observed of the prince that, having made all the necessary dispositions the evening before the battle, he slept so soundly that night that the people were obliged to wake him to begin the engagement. The same thing is related of Alexander. It is very natural for a young man, exhausted with the fatigue which must attend the preparations for such a day, to fall into a sound sleep; it is likewise as natural that a genius formed for war, and acting without confusion, should leave the body sufficiently calm for sleep. The prince gained the battle himself, by a quickness of sight, which at once made him discern the danger, and the means of preventing it; and by a cool activity, which carried him to every place at the time his presence was wanted. In person, at the head of the cavalry, he fell upon the Spanish infantry, till then deemed invincible, which were as strong and compact as the ancient phalanx, so greatly esteemed, and could open much more quickly than the phalanx could, in order to give room for the discharge of eighteen pieces of cannon which were placed in its centre. The prince surrounded this body, and charged it three times successively; at length he broke it, and no sooner was he assured of the victory, than he gave orders to put a stop to the slaughter. The Spanish officers threw themselves at his feet for protection against the fury of the victorious soldiery. The duke of Enghien was as assiduous in securing them as he had been in conquering them.

The old count de Fuentes, who commanded this body of foot, was slain on the field of battle; on hearing which, Condé said he should have wished to die like him, if he had not conquered.

The high esteem in which the Spanish arms had till then been held by all Europe was now lost, and those of the French began to gain repute. They had not for a century past gained so great a victory; for the bloody day of Melegnano, which was rather disputed than gained by Francis I. over the Swiss, was as much owing to the black bands of Germany as to the French.

The battles of Pavia and St. Quentin were again two fatal eras to the reputation of France. Henry IV. had the misfortune to gain great advantages only over his own nation. In the reign of Louis XIII., Marshal de Guébriant had had some inconsiderable successes, but they were always counterbalanced by losses. Gustavus Adolphus was the only one at that time who fought those great battles which shake a state, and remain forever in the memory of posterity.

The battle of Rocroi became the era of the French glory, and of the great Condé’s. This general knew how to conquer, and to make the most of conquest. The letters he wrote made the court resolve on the siege of Thionville, which Cardinal Richelieu had not dared to hazard; and when his couriers returned they found everything ready for the expedition.

The prince of Condé marched through the enemy’s country, eluded the vigilance of General Beck, and at length took Thionville; from there he hastened and laid siege to Cirq, which he also reduced. He obliged the Germans to repass the Rhine, followed them over that river, and came upon the frontiers, where he repaired all the defeats and losses which the French had sustained after the death of their commander de Guébriant. He found the town of Freiburg in the enemy’s possession, and General Mercy under its walls, with an army superior to his own. Condé had under him two marshals of France, Gramont and Turenne, the latter of whom had been made marshal about a month before, in consideration of the services he had rendered against the Spaniards at Piedmont, where he laid the foundation of that great reputation which he afterward acquired. The prince with these two generals attacked Mercy’s camp, August 31, 1644, which was intrenched upon two eminences. The fight was renewed three times on three successive days. It is said that the duke of Enghien threw his commander’s staff into the enemy’s trenches, and marched to retake it, sword in hand, at the head of the regiment of Conti. There may sometimes be a necessity for such bold actions in leading on troops to attacks of so dangerous a nature. This battle of Freiburg, rather bloody than decisive, was the second victory the prince had gained. Mercy decamped four days afterward; and the surrender of Philippsburg and Mentz were at once the proofs and fruits of this victory.

The duke of Enghien then returned to Paris, where he was received amidst the acclamations of the people, and demanded of the court the rewards due to his services; he left the command of his army to Marshal Turenne; but this general, notwithstanding his great military skill, was defeated at Marienthal, in April, 1645. Upon this the prince hastens back to his army, resumes the command, and to the glory of commanding the great Turenne, added that of repairing his defeat. He attacked Mercy in the plains of Nördlingen, August 3, 1645, and gained a complete victory. Marshal Gramont was taken; and General Glen, the second in command to Mercy, was also made prisoner, while Mercy himself was among the number of the slain. This general, who was esteemed one of the greatest captains of his age, was interred on the field of battle with this inscription on his tomb: “Sta, viator, heroem calcas”—“Stop, traveller, thou treadest on a hero.”

The name of the duke of Enghien now eclipsed all others. He afterward laid siege to Dunkirk, October 7, 1646, in sight of the Spanish army, and was the first who added that place to the French territories.

These many successes and services, which were looked upon with a suspicious eye by the court, rather than properly rewarded, made him as much feared by the ministry as by his enemies. He was therefore recalled from his theatre of conquest and glory, and sent into Catalonia with a handful of bad troops, as badly paid; then he besieged the town of Lérida, but was obliged to quit the siege. He is accused by several writers of a foolish bravado, in having opened the trenches to the sound of musical instruments. They do not know that this was the custom in Spain.

It was not long, however, before the ticklish situation of affairs obliged the court to recall him to Flanders. Archduke Leopold, the emperor’s brother, was then besieging the town of Lens in Artois. Condé, as soon as he was restored to those troops who had always conquered under his command, led them directly against the Archduke Leopold. This was the third time he had given battle with the advantage of numbers against him. He addressed his soldiers in this short speech: “My friends, remember Rocroi, Freiburg, and Nördlingen.” This battle of Lens put the finishing touch to his reputation.

In person he succored Marshal Gramont, who was giving way with the left wing, and took General Beck prisoner. The archduke with great difficulty saved himself, with the count of Fruensaldagna. The enemy’s army, which was composed of the imperialists and Spaniards, was totally routed, August 20, 1648. They lost upward of a hundred stands of colors and thirty-eight pieces of cannon, which at that time was a considerable number; there were five thousand men taken prisoners, and three thousand slain; the rest deserted, and the archduke was left without an army.

While the prince of Condé was thus numbering the years of his youth by victories, and while the duke of Orleans, brother of Louis XIII., maintained the reputation of a son of Henry IV. and that of his country by the taking of Gravelines, Courtray, and Mardyke, the viscount of Turenne reduced Landau, drove the Spaniards out of Trier, and restored the elector.

He gained the battles of Lavingen and Sommerhausen with the Swedes, and obliged the duke of Bavaria to fly out of his dominions, when almost eighty years old. The count d’Harcourt took Balaguier, and beat the Spaniards. They lost Portolongone in Italy, and their fleet was defeated on that coast by twenty ships of war and as many galleys, which was the whole of the French navy, then newly restored by Cardinal de Richelieu.

This was not all; the French army took Lorraine from Duke Charles IV., a warlike, but fickle, imprudent, and unfortunate prince, who at the same time saw his dominions seized on by the French, and himself a prisoner of the Spaniards. The Austrian power was hard pressed by the allies of France in the north and the south. The duke of Albuquerque, the Portuguese general, gained the battle of Badajoz against the Spaniards. Torstenson defeated the imperialists near Tabor, and gained a complete victory; and the prince of Orange, at the head of his Hollanders, penetrated as far as the province of Brabant in Flanders.

The Spanish king was beaten on all sides, and saw Roussillon and Catalonia in the hands of the French. Naples had lately revolted against him, and thrown itself into the hands of the duke de Guise, the last prince of that branch of a house which had teemed with so many illustrious and dangerous men. This prince, who was deemed only a rash and bold adventurer, because he did not succeed, had however the glory of passing alone in a boat through the midst of the Spanish fleet, landing in Naples, and defending it without any other assistance than his own valor.

At the view of so many misfortunes pouring upon the house of Austria, and such a train of victories gained by the French, and seconded by the successes of their allies, one would imagine that Vienna and Madrid only waited the moment when they should be obliged to throw open their gates, and that the emperor and the king of Spain must shortly be almost destitute of dominions; nevertheless, five years of excessive good fortune, hardly chequered by one disappointment, produced but very few real advantages, cost an infinite deal of blood, and brought about no change; or if there was one to be apprehended, it was rather on the side of France, which was bordering upon its ruin, in the midst of so many apparent successes.

Queen Anne of Austria, the absolute regent, had made Cardinal Mazarin master of the kingdom and of herself. He had that power over her, which every artful man must have over a woman weak enough to be governed, and resolute enough to persist in the choice she has made of a favorite.

We read in some of the memoirs of those times that the queen made choice of Mazarin for her confidant only because of the inability of Potier, bishop of Beauvais, whom she had at first chosen for her minister, and who is represented as a man of no mean capacity. This might possibly have been the case, and the queen might have made use of this man for some time as a cipher not to exasperate the nation by the choice of another cardinal, and he a foreigner: but we can never believe that Potier began his short administration by declaring to the Dutch that they must become Catholics if they were desirous of continuing in alliance with France; he might as well have made the same proposal to the Swedes. We find this piece of absurdity related by almost all our historians, because they have read it in the memoirs of some of the courtiers and those concerned in the civil war; there are, however, but too many passages in these memoirs either falsified by prejudice, or related on the authority of popular rumor. Puerilities should never be quoted, and absurdities can never be believed.

Mazarin exercised his power with moderation at the beginning. It is necessary to have lived a long time with a minister to be able to draw his character, to determine what degree of courage or weakness there was in his mind, or how far he was prudent or knavish; therefore, without pretending to guess at what Mazarin really was, we shall only say what he did. In the first days of his greatness he affected as much humility as Richelieu had displayed haughtiness. Instead of taking a guard for his person, and appearing in public with royal pomp, he had at first a very modest retinue, and substituted an air of affability, and even of softness, in all things where his predecessor had shown an inflexible pride. The queen was desirous to make the court and the people fond of her person and authority, in which she succeeded. Gaston, duke of Orleans, brother of Louis XIII., and the prince of Condé supported her power, and had no emulation but that of serving the state.

It was found necessary to levy taxes in order to maintain the war with Spain and the empire; some were accordingly imposed, which were in fact very moderate, compared with those which we have since paid, and very insufficient to the wants of the crown.

The parliament, who had the power of authenticating the edicts for these taxes, strongly opposed that of the tariff, and gained the confidence of the people by continually thwarting the schemes of the ministry.

In short, the creation of twelve new places of masters of requests, and the withholding of about eight thousand crowns from the salaries of the superior companies, caused an insurrection among all the people of the long robe, and with them of all Paris; and what at this time would hardly be of consequence enough to make a paragraph in a newspaper, then stirred up a civil war.

Broussel, counsellor-clerk of the upper chamber, a man of no capacity, and whose only merit was that of being the foremost to open all arguments against the court, having been put under arrest, the people expressed more concern than they had ever shown at the death of a good king. The barricades of the league were now revived, the flame of sedition burst out in an instant, and raged so fiercely as hardly to be quenched, being industriously fed by the coadjutor, afterward Cardinal de Retz; this was the first bishop who had ever excited a civil war without a religious pretext. This extraordinary man has given us his own portrait in his memoirs which are written with an air of greatness, an impetuosity of genius, and an inequality, which form a perfect image of his conduct. He was a man who, in the midst of the most debauched course of life, and still languishing with the consequences it produces, had the art of haranguing the people with success, and making himself idolized by them; he breathed nothing but faction and conspiracy. At the age of twenty-three he had been at the head of a conspiracy which was hatched against the life of Cardinal de Richelieu; he was the contriver of the barricades; he always urged the parliament on to cabals, and the people to seditions. What is most extraordinary is that the parliament, wholly guided by him, set up their standard against the court, even before they had the countenance or assistance of any prince.

This assembly had for a long time been looked upon in a different light by the court and the people. According to the declaration of all the ministers of state, and of the court itself, the Parliament of Paris was a court of justice set apart for trying causes between the subjects: this prerogative it held purely from the will of our kings, and had no other pre-eminence over the other parliaments of the kingdom than that of seniority. It was a court of peers only because the court generally resided at Paris: it had no greater right to make remonstrances than the other bodies in the state, and this right was a matter of pure indulgence. It had succeeded those parliaments which heretofore represented the French nation, but it retained nothing more of those ancient assemblies than the bare name; an incontestable proof of which is, that the general estates were actually substituted in the place of the national assemblies; and the Parliament of Paris no more resembled the ancient parliaments held by our first kings, than a consul of Smyrna or Aleppo resembles a Roman consul.

This single mistake in the name served as a pretext to the ambitious pretensions of a body of men in the long robe, all of whom, by having purchased their seats, looked upon themselves as entitled to fill the places of the conquerors of the Gauls, and the lords of crown fiefs. This body has at all times abused the power which a chief tribunal, always existing in a capital, necessarily arrogates to itself. It had the boldness to issue an arret against Charles VII., and to banish him from his kingdom. It began a criminal process against Henry III. It always, to the utmost of its power, opposed its sovereigns; and in this minority of Louis XIV., under the most mild of governments, and the most indulgent of queens, it attempted to raise a civil war against its prince, after the example of the English Parliament, which at that time kept its king a prisoner, and condemned him to lose his head. Such was the manner of speaking, and the thoughts of the cabinet!

But the citizens of Paris, and all those connected with the long robe, looked upon the Parliament of Paris as an august body, that dispensed justice with a laudable integrity; that had the good of the state only at heart, which it cherished at the hazard of its own fortune; that confined its ambition to the glory of curbing the aspiring designs of favorites; that preserved an equal conduct between the prince and the people; and the people, without inquiring into the origin of its rights or authority, supposed it possessed of the most sacred privileges and indisputable authority; and when they saw it maintaining the public cause against ministers whom they hated, gave it the title of “The Father of the State;” and placed a very small difference between the right by which the kings hold their crowns, and that which gives the parliament a power to lay a restriction upon the wills of kings.

It was impossible then to hit upon a medium between these two very opposite extremes, for in short there was no other fixed law but that of time and circumstances. Under a vigorous administration the parliament was nothing; under a weak king it was all-powerful; and that is very applicable which was said by M. de Guimené, when this body, in the reign of Louis XIII., complained of the deputies of the noblesse for having taken precedence of it: “Gentlemen, you will have ample revenge in the minority.”

We shall not repeat in this place all that has been written concerning these troubles, nor copy whole volumes to recall to observation the numerous circumstances which were then thought so important and dear and are now almost buried in oblivion; it is our business to speak of what characterizes the spirit of the nation, and not dwell so much upon what relates to the civil wars in general as to what particularly distinguishes that of the Fronde, as it was called.

Two powers, which were instituted wholly for the maintenance of peace and harmony amongst mankind, namely, an archbishop and a parliament, having begun these troubles, the people looked upon themselves as justified in the greatest extravagances. The queen could no longer appear abroad without being insulted in the grossest manner; she was called by no other name than that of Dame Anne, or if any other title was added, it was generally an injurious one. The populace reproached her in the most virulent terms with her fondness for Mazarin; and, what was yet more insufferable, her ears were filled in all places where she went with ballads and lampoons, the monuments of low ribaldry and malice, which seemed calculated to convey a lasting suspicion of her virtue.

She was now obliged to fly—Jan. 6, 1649—from Paris with her children, her minister, the duke of Orleans, and even the great Condé himself, and to retire to St. Germain, and reduced to pawn the crown jewels for subsistence; the king was frequently in want of necessaries, the pages of his bedchamber were dismissed, because they could no longer be maintained. At that time even Louis XIV.’s aunt, the daughter of Henry the Great, and consort to the king of England, who had taken refuge in Paris after having been expelled from her own kingdom, was then reduced to the utmost extremities of poverty; and her daughter, who was afterward married to the brother of Louis XIV., lay in bed for want of clothes to keep her warm, while the people of Paris, blinded with their mad rage, paid not the least attention to the sufferings of so many royal personages.

The queen, with tears in her eyes, besought the great Condé to protect the young king. The conqueror of Rocroi, Freiburg, Lens, and Nördlingen could not belie those great services. He found himself agreeably flattered with the honor of defending a court which had been ungrateful to his merits, against rebels who sought his assistance. The parliament then had the great Condé to encounter, and yet dared to carry on the war.

The prince of Conti, brother to the great Condé, who was as jealous of his elder brother as he was incapable of equalling him, the dukes of Longueville, Bouillon, and Beaufort, all animated with the same restless spirit as the coadjutor, all fond of novelties, full of the hopes of aggrandizing themselves on the ruins of the state, and of making the blind motions of parliament subservient to their own private interests, went in a body and offered their services to that prelate. The high chamber then proceeded to appoint generals for an army which was not yet raised. Everyone taxed himself to raise troops. There were twenty counsellors possessed of new posts, which had been created by Cardinal de Richelieu; their brethren, by a meanness of spirit of which every society is susceptible, seemed to wreak their vengeance against the memory of Cardinal Richelieu upon them. They gave them a thousand mortifications, would hardly look upon them as members of the parliament, and obliged each of them to pay fifteen thousand livres toward the expense of the war, and to purchase the forbearance of those of their own body.

The high chancellor, the courts of inquests and requests, the chamber of accounts, and the court of aids, who had so loudly inveighed against a trifling and necessary tax which did not exceed a hundred thousand crowns, now furnished a sum amounting nearly to ten millions of our present money, for the subversion of their country. Twelve thousand men were raised by an arret of parliament; every house with a great gate furnished a man and a horse, whence this body of horse got the name of “The Great-Gate Cavalry.” The coadjutor had a regiment of his own, which was called the regiment of Corinth, because he was titular archbishop of Corinth.

Had it not been for the names of the king of France, the great Condé, and the capital of the kingdom, this war of the Fronde would have been as ridiculous as that of the Barberini; no one knew for what he was in arms. The prince of Condé besieged five hundred thousand citizens with eight thousand soldiers. The Parisians came out into the field dressed in ribbons and plumes of feathers, and their evolutions were the sport of the military people; they took to their heels at the sight of two hundred men of the king’s army. All this was made a subject of raillery; the regiment of Corinth having been beaten by a small party of the king’s troops, this little repulse was called “The first of the Corinthians.”

The twenty counsellors who had furnished fifteen thousand livres apiece, had no other distinction than that of being called the Twenty Fifteens.

The duke of Beaufort, who was the idol of the people, and the instrument made use of in stirring them up to sedition, though a popular prince, had but a narrow understanding, and was a public object of raillery both with the court and those of his own party. He was never mentioned but by the name of the “King of the Mob.” The Parisian troops, after sallying out of the city, and always coming back beaten, were received with peals of laughter. They repaired the repulses they met with by sonnets and epigrams; the taverns and brothels were the tents where they held their councils of war, in the midst of singing, laughing, and the most disolute pleasures. The general licentiousness was carried to such a height that one night some of the principal officers of the malcontents, having met the holy sacrament, which was being carried through the streets to a sick person whom they suspected of being a Mazarinian, they drove the priest back again with the flat of their swords.

In short, the coadjutor, coming to take his seat in parliament as archbishop of Paris, the handle of a poniard was seen sticking out of his pocket; upon which some one cried out, “Behold our archbishop’s breviary.”

In the midst of all these troubles, the nobility assembled in a body at the convent of the Augustine friars, appointed syndics, and held public sessions. It might have been supposed this was to remodel the government and convoke the general estates, but it was only to settle a claim to the tabouret, which the queen had granted to Madame de Pons. Perhaps there never was a stronger proof of that levity of mind of which the French were then accused.

The civil discords under which England groaned at the very same time may serve to show the character of the two nations. There was a gloomy desperation and a sort of national rage in the civil wars of the English. Everything was decided by the sword; scaffolds were erected for the vanquished; and their king, who was taken prisoner in a battle, was brought as a culprit before a court of justice, examined concerning the abuse he was said to have made of his power, condemned to lose his head, and executed in sight of all his subjects with as much regularity and with the same forms of justice as if he had been a private man condemned for a crime; while, during the course of these dreadful troubles, the city of London was not even for a moment affected with the calamities incident to a civil war.

The French, on the contrary, ran headlong into seditions through caprice, laughing all the time. Women were at the head of factions, and love made and broke cabals. The duchess of Longueville, in 1649, prevailed on Turenne, lately made a marshal of France, to persuade the army which he commanded for the king to revolt. Turenne failed, and quitted like a fugitive the army of which he was general, to please a woman who made a jest of his passion. From general of France, he descended to be the lieutenant of Don Estevan de Gamara, with whom he was defeated at Rethel by the king’s troops. Everyone knows this billet of Marshal d’Hoquincourt to the duchess of Montbazon: “Perrone belongs to the fairest of the fair;” and the following verses, which the duke of Rochefoucauld wrote on the duchess of Longueville, when he received a wound by a musket at the battle of St. Anthony, by which he was for some time deprived of sight:

Pour mériter son cœur, pour plaire à ses beaux yeux,
J’ai fait la guerre aux rois, & l’aurais faite aux Dieux.
The war ended and was renewed again at several different times; and there was not a person who had not frequently changed sides. The prince of Condé, having brought the court back in triumph to Paris, indulged himself in the satisfaction of despising those he had defended; and thinking the rewards bestowed on him unequal to his reputation and the services he had done, he was the first to turn Mazarin into ridicule, to brave the queen, and insult a government which he had disdained. He is said to have written in this style to the cardinal: “To the most illustrious scoundrel;” and that, taking his leave of him one day he said, “Farewell, Mars.” He encouraged the marquis of Jarsai to make a declaration of love to the queen, and pretended to be angry that she was affronted with it. He joined with his brother, the prince of Conti, and the duke of Longueville, who quitted the party of the malcontents. The party formed by the duke of Beaufort at the beginning of the regency had been nicknamed “the Self-Sufficients;” Condé’s faction was called “the Petits-Maîtres,” because they wanted to be masters of the state. There are no other traces left of all these terms except the name of “petit-maître,” which is nowadays applied to young men of agreeable persons, but badly educated, and that of “frondeurs,” or “grumblers,” which is given to those who censure the government.

The coadjutor, who had declared himself an implacable enemy to the adminstration, was privately reconciled to the court, in order to obtain a cardinal’s hat, and sacrificed Condé to the minister’s resentment. In a word, this prince who had defended the state against its enemies, and the court against the rebels; Condé, at the summit of his glory, and who always acted more like the hero than the man of prudence, saw himself arrested, together with the prince of Conti and the duke of Longueville. He might have governed the state, if he would only have endeavored to please; but he was contented with being admired. The people of Paris, who had made barricades for a counsellor-clerk, hardly a degree removed from a fool, made public rejoicings when the hero and defender of France was hurried away to the dungeon of Vincennes.

A year afterward the very men who had sold the great Condé and the other princes to the dastardly revenge of Mazarin, obliged the queen to open the gates of their prisons, and drive her prime minister out of the kingdom. Condé now returned amidst the acclamations of that very people who had shown such hatred to him, and by his presence occasioned new cabals and dissensions.

The kingdom remained for some years longer in this tumultuous situation. The government, always the dupe of weak and uncertain councils, seemed now on the point of ruin; but dissension, which had always prevailed among the rebels, saved the court. The coadjutor, who was sometimes a friend, and at others an enemy, to the prince of Condé, stirred up a part of the parliament and people against him, and boldly undertook at the same time to serve the queen by opposing this prince, and to insult her by obliging her to banish Cardinal Mazarin, who retired to Cologne. The queen, by a contradiction too common to weak administrations, was obliged at once to accept of his services, to put up with his insults, and to nominate to the purple this very man, who, when coadjutor, had been the author of the barricades, and had caused the royal family to quit their capital and besiege it.

At length Condé determined upon a war, which he should have begun in the time of the rebellion, if he was desirous of being master of the state, or never to have undertaken, if he meant to live as a subject. He quitted Paris, armed the provinces of Guienne, Poitou, and Anjou, and applied for aid against his own country to those Spaniards, of whom he had so lately been the most dreadful scourge.

Nothing can better show the madness of these times, and the confused manner of proceeding, than what then happened to this prince. A courier was sent to him from Paris, with proposals for engaging him to return and lay down his arms. The courier by a mistake, instead of going to Angerville, where the prince then was, went to Augerville. The letter came too late; Condé declared that if he had received it sooner he would have accepted the proposals for peace; but since he was now at such a distance from Paris, it was not worth while to go back. Thus, by the mistake of a courier, and the mere capriciousness of this prince, France was once more plunged in a civil war.

And now Cardinal Mazarin, who, while an exile at the farther end of Cologne, had still continued to govern the court, returned to France, in December, 1651, rather like a sovereign who returns to take possession of his dominions, than like a minister coming to resume his post; he was escorted by a small army of seven thousand men, raised wholly at his own expense; that is to say, with the government’s money, which he had appropriated to his own use.

The king, in a declaration at this time, is made to say that the cardinal actually raised those troops with his own money; which at once overturns the opinion of those writers who say that when he first left the kingdom he was very poor. He gave the command of his small army to Marshal d’Hoquincourt; all the officers wore green sashes, which was the color of the cardinal’s livery. Each party at that time had its particular sash. The king’s was white, and the prince of Condé’s yellow: it was surprising that Cardinal Mazarin, who had all along affected so much humility and modesty, should have had the arrogance to make a whole army wear his livery, as if he had been of a different party from the king, his master; but he could not resist this emotion of vanity. The queen approved of it, and the king, who was then of age, with his brother, went to meet him.

On the first news of his return, Gaston, duke of Orleans, brother of Louis XIII., who had insisted upon his being banished, began to raise troops in Paris without well knowing how he was to employ them. The parliament renewed its arrets, proscribed Mazarin, and set a price upon his head. They were obliged to consult the registers for the price paid for the head of an enemy to the state, and they found that in the reign of Charles IX. the sum of fifty thousand crowns had been promised by arret to any person who should produce Admiral Coligny alive or dead. It was, therefore, seriously determined to act according to form, by setting the same price on the assassination of a cardinal and prime minister. No one, however, was tempted to gain the fifty thousand crowns offered by the proscription, which, after all, would never have been paid. In any other nation, or at any other time, such an arret would have met with persons to put it in execution; but now it served only to afford new subject of raillery. Blot and Marigni, two witty writers, who mingled gayety with these tumults and disorders, caused a paper to be fixed up in the public places of Paris, offering a reward of one hundred and fifty thousand livres, divided into shares; so much to the person who should cut off the cardinal’s nose, so much for an ear, so much for an eye, and so much for the person who would make him a eunuch. This raillery was the only effect produced by this proscription. The cardinal, on his side, made no use of either poison or assassination against his enemies; and notwithstanding the rancor and madness of so many factions, and their hatred, no very great crimes were committed on any side. The heads of parties were not inclined to cruelty, nor were the people very furious, for it was not a religious war.

The whimsical spirit which prevailed at that time had taken such thorough possession of the body of the Parliament of Paris that, having solemnly ordered an assassination which was laughed at, they issued an arret, by which a certain number of counsellors were ordered to repair to the frontiers and take depositions against the army of Cardinal Mazarin, that is to say, the king’s army.

Two of these counsellors had the imprudence to take some peasants with them, and break down the bridges over which the cardinal was to pass: they were taken prisoners in the attempt by a body of the king’s troops, but were released again, without any further punishment than that of being laughed at by all parties.

At the very time that this body was running into these extremes against the king’s minister, it declared the prince of Condé, who had taken up arms solely to oppose this minister, guilty of high treason; and by a strange reverse of judgment, which nothing but their former actions could render credible, they ordered the fresh troops which had been raised by Gaston, duke of Orleans, to march against Mazarin, and at the same time prohibited any sums to be taken out of the public funds to pay them.

Nothing else could be expected from a body of magistrates which, thrown quite out of its proper sphere, ignorant of its own rights and real power, and as little acquainted with state affairs and war, meeting in a tumultuous manner, and passing decrees in hurry and confusion, took measures which it had not thought of the day before, and which afterward astonished it.

The Parliament of Bordeaux, which was at that time in the prince of Condé’s interest, observed a more uniform conduct, because, being at a greater distance from the court, it was not so much agitated by opposite factions.

But objects of greater importance now engrossed the attention of all France.

Condé, in league with the Spaniards, appeared in the field against the king; and Turenne, having deserted those Spaniards with whom he had been defeated at Rethel, had just made his peace with the court, and commanded the king’s army. The finances were already too much drained to allow either of the two parties to keep large armies on foot; but small ones were sufficient to decide the fate of the kingdom. There are times when an army of one hundred thousand men is barely sufficient to take two towns; and there are others in which eight thousand men may subvert or establish a throne.

Louis XIV., who was brought up in adversity, wandered, with his mother, his brother, and Cardinal Mazarin, from province to province, with not nearly so many troops to attend his person as he afterward had in time of peace for his ordinary guard; while an army of five or six thousand men, part sent from Spain, and part raised by the prince of Condé, pursued him to the very heart of his kingdom.

The prince of Condé, in the meantime, made quick marches from Bordeaux to Montauban, taking towns and increasing his numbers in every place.

All the hopes of the court were centred in Marshal Turenne. The king’s army was at Guienne, on the Loire, and the prince of Condé’s a few leagues distant, under the command of the dukes of Nemours and Beaufort. The misunderstanding between these two generals nearly proved fatal to the prince’s party. The duke of Beaufort was unfit for the least command. The duke of Nemours passed for a brave and amiable, rather than a skilful general. The army was ruined by them both together. The men, who knew that the great Condé was a hundred leagues distant from them, looked upon themselves as lost; when, in the middle of the night, a courier presented himself to the main guard in the forest of Orleans: the sentinels presently discovered this courier to be the prince himself, who had come post from Agen, through a thousand adventures, and always in disguise, to put himself at the head of his army.

His presence did a great deal, and this unforeseen arrival still more: he knew that men are elated with whatever is sudden and unexpected; he therefore took immediate advantage of the confidence and boldness with which his presence had inspired his troops. It was this prince’s distinguishing talent in war to form the boldest resolutions in an instant, and to execute them with equal prudence and promptitude.

The royal army was divided into two corps. Condé attacked that which lay at Bléneau, under the command of Marshal d’Hoquincourt, which was shattered almost as soon as attacked. Turenne could not receive advice of this. Cardinal Mazarin, struck with a panic, flew to Gien in the midst of the night to awaken the king and acquaint him with this news. His little court was struck with consternation: it was proposed to save the king by flight, and convey him privately to Bourges. The victorious Condé advanced toward Gien, and the fear and desolation became universal. Turenne, however, quieted the apprehensions of the people by his steadiness, and saved the court by his dexterity. With the few troops he had left he made such dexterous movements, and so well improved his ground and time, that he prevented Condé from prosecuting the advantage he had gained. It was difficult at that time to determine which of these two generals had acquired the most honor; Condé by the victory he had gained, or Turenne by having snatched the fruits of his victory from him. It is certain that in this battle of Bléneau, which for a long time continued to be famous in France, there were not above four hundred men killed: nevertheless, the prince of Condé was on the point of making himself master of the whole royal family, and of getting his enemy, the cardinal, into his hands. There could not well be a smaller battle, greater concerns depending, or a more pressing danger.

Condé, who did not flatter himself with the notion of surprising Turenne as he had done Hoquincourt, made his army march to Paris, and hastened to enter that city, and enjoy the glory he had acquired in the favorable dispositions of a blinded people. The admiration of this last action, which was exaggerated in all its circumstances, had raised in all ranks of people the general hatred to Mazarin, and the name and presence of the great Condé seemed at first to make him absolute master of the capital: but in fact the minds of the people in general were divided, and each party was split into different factions, as is the case in all civil troubles. The coadjutor, now Cardinal de Retz, who had apparently been reconciled to a court that feared him, and whom he equally distrusted, was no longer master of the people, nor acted the principal part in these transactions. He governed the duke of Orleans, and opposed Condé. The parliament fluctuated between the court, the duke of Orleans, and the prince; but all sides joined in crying out against Mazarin: every one in private took care of his own concerns. The people were like a stormy ocean, whose waves were driven at hazard by many contrary winds. The shrine of St. Geneviève was carried in procession through Paris to obtain the expulsion of the cardinal minister; and the populace did not in the least doubt that the saint would perform this miracle in the same manner as she grants rain.

Nothing was to be seen but negotiations between the heads of parties, deputations from the parliament, meetings of the chambers, seditions among the people, and soldiers all over the country. Guards were mounted even at the gates of convents. The prince had called in the Spanish to his assistance. Charles IV., duke of Lorraine, who had been driven out of his dominions, and who had nothing left but an army of eight thousand men, which he sold every year to the Spanish king, advanced with this army toward Paris: but Cardinal Mazarin offering him more money to return than he was to have from the prince of Condé for advancing, the duke soon withdrew from France, after having laid the countries waste in his march, and carried off a handsome sum of money from both sides.

Condé then remained in Paris, where his power was every day growing weaker, and his army dwindling away, while Turenne conducted the king and his court toward the capital. The king, who was then fifteen years old, beheld from the heights of Charonne, the battle of St. Anthony, in which these two generals, with a handful of troops, performed such great things as considerably increased the reputation of both, which already seemed incapable of addition.

The prince of Condé, with a few noblemen of his party, and a small number of soldiers, sustained and repelled the efforts of the king’s army. The king himself, attended by Cardinal Mazarin, beheld this fight from a neighboring eminence. The duke of Orleans, uncertain which side to take, kept within his palace of Luxembourg, and Cardinal de Retz remained in his archbishopric. The parliament waited the issue of the battle to enact new decrees. The people, who at that time were equally afraid of the king’s troops and the prince’s, had shut the city gates, and would not suffer anyone to come in or go out, while the most noble blood of the kingdom was streaming in the suburbs. There it was that the duke de La Rochefoucauld, who was so famous for his courage and wit, received a blow over his eyes, which deprived him of his sight for some time. Nothing was to be seen but young noblemen killed or wounded, being carried to St. Anthony’s gate, which was kept shut.

At length the daughter of the duke of Orleans, taking Condé’s part, whom her father had not dared to assist, ordered the gates to be opened for the wounded, and had the boldness to fire the cannon of the Bastille upon the king’s troops. The royal army retired. Condé gained only glory; but mademoiselle ruined herself forever with the king, her cousin, by this imprudent violence; and Cardinal Mazarin, who knew the great desire she had to espouse a crowned head, observed that those cannon had killed her husband.

Most of our historians amuse their readers only with accounts of the battles fought, and the prodigies of valor and politics displayed on these occasions; but whoever is acquainted with the shameful expedients which were put in practice, the wretchedness which was brought upon the people, and the meanness to which all sides were reduced, will look upon the glory of the heroes of these times with more pity than admiration; as we may judge from what we find related by Gourville, a man who was devoted to the prince of Condé. This writer acknowledges that he himself, in order to procure money for the prince on a pressing occasion, was obliged to rob a receiver’s office; and that he went one day and seized a director of the posts in his own house, and obliged him to purchase his liberty with a sum of money; he relates all these outrages as common occurrences at that time.

After the bloody and indecisive battle of St. Anthony, the king could neither enter Paris, nor could the prince of Condé think of remaining there much longer. A commotion of the populace and the deaths of several citizens, of which he was thought to be the author, had made him hateful in the eyes of the people. Nevertheless, he had still a party in the parliament. This body, who had then little to apprehend from the resentment of a wandering court driven, as it were, from their capital, being pressed by the duke of Orleans and the prince’s cabals, issued an arret declaring the former lieutenant-general of the kingdom, though the king was then of age. This was the title that had been conferred on the duke of Mayenne in the time of the league. The prince of Condé was appointed generalissimo of the forces. The court, incensed at these proceedings, ordered the parliament to remove itself to Pontoise, which some few of the counsellors did; so that there were now two parliaments, who disputed each other’s authority, enacted contradictory decrees, and would by this means have fallen into universal contempt, had they not always agreed in demanding the cardinal’s expulsion: so much was a hatred to that minister looked upon at that time as the essential duty of a Frenchman.

At that time all parties were alike weak, and the court was as much so as the rest. They all wanted men and money. Factions were daily increasing: the battles which had been fought on both sides had produced only losses and vexations. The court found itself obliged once more to give up Mazarin, whom everyone accused of being the cause of these troubles, while he was in fact only the pretence. Accordingly he quitted the kingdom a second time; and, as an additional disgrace, the king was obliged to issue a public declaration, by which he banished his minister, while he commended his services and lamented his exile.

Charles I. of England had lately lost his head upon a scaffold, for having, at the beginning of his troubles, sacrificed the life of his friend and counsellor, the earl of Strafford, to his parliament’s resentment. On the other hand, Louis XIV. became the peaceable master of his kingdom by agreeing to the banishment of Mazarin. Thus the same weakness had very different successes. The king of England, by giving up his favorite, emboldened a people who delighted in war, and had a hatred to all kings: and Louis XIV.—or rather the queen-mother—by banishing the cardinal, took away all pretence for a revolt from a people who had grown weary of war, and had an affection for the royal character.

No sooner had the cardinal departed on his way to Bouillon, the place fixed for his new retreat, than the citizens of Paris, of their own accord, sent deputies to the king to beseech him to return to his capital, which he accordingly did; and everything appeared so peaceable, that it would have been difficult to suppose that a few days before all had been in confusion. Gaston of Orleans, ever unfortunate in his undertakings, for want of spirit to carry them through, was banished to Blois, where he passed the rest of his days in repentance; and he was the second of the great Henry’s sons who died without glory. Cardinal de Retz, who was perhaps as imprudent as he was bold and aspiring, was arrested in the Louvre, and after being carried from prison to prison, he for a long time led a wandering life, which at length ended in retirement, where he acquired virtues which his high spirit had made him a stranger to, amidst the tumults of his fortune.

Some counsellors of the parliament who had most abused their power paid the forfeit of their faults by banishment; the rest were restricted within the proper limits of the magisterial function; and some were encouraged to do their duty by a yearly gratification of five hundred pounds, which was paid them privately by Fouquet, procureur-general, and comptroller of the finances.

In the meantime the prince of Condé, abandoned in France by almost all his partisans, and but weakly seconded by the Spaniards, still carried on an unsuccessful war on the frontiers of Champagne. There were still some few factions in Bordeaux, but they were soon quelled.

The calm which the kingdom now enjoyed was owing to the banishment of Cardinal Mazarin. Yet scarcely was he expelled by the general cry of the French nation, and by the royal declaration, than he was recalled by the king, and to his infinite surprise, entered Paris once more in full power, and without the least disturbance, in March, 1653. The king received him as a father, and the people as a master. A public entertainment was made for him at the town-house, amidst the acclamations of the citizens: he distributed money among the populace on this occasion; but amidst all the satisfaction he received in this happy change, he is said to have shown a contempt for our levity and inconstancy. The parliament, who had before set a price upon his head as a public robber, now sent deputies to compliment him; and this very parliament, a short time afterward, passed sentence of death on the prince of Condé for contumacy; a change common in such times, and which was the more base, as by this decree they condemned the very man in whose crimes they had been so long partakers.

The cardinal, also, who urged this condemnation of the great Condé, was soon afterward seen to give one of his nieces in marriage to the prince of Conti, Condé’s brother, a proof that this minister’s power would soon become boundless.

While the state was thus torn in pieces within, it had been attacked and weakened from without. All the fruits of the victories of Rocroi, Lens, and Nördlingen were lost, the important fortress of Dunkirk was retaken by the Spaniards, who had also driven the French out of Barcelona, and retaken Casale, in Italy. Yet, notwithstanding the tumults of the civil broils, and the weight of a foreign war, Mazarin had, in 1648, been fortunate enough to conclude the famous Peace of Westphalia, by which the emperor and the empire sold the sovereignty of Alsace to the king and the crown of France for three millions of livres—about six millions of our present money—to be paid to the archduke, which became the basis of all future treaties. A new electorate was created in favor of the house of Bavaria. The rights of all the princes and cities of the empire, and even the privileges of every private gentleman, were settled at this peace. The emperor’s power was restricted within very narrow limits, and the French, in conjunction with the Swedes, became the lawgivers of Germany. The glory accruing to France was in part owing to the Swedish arms; Gustavus Adolphus had first begun to shake the empire. His generals had also pushed their conquests quite extensively, under the government of his daughter, Christina. General Wrangel was ready to enter into Austria; Count Königsmarck was master of one half of the city of Prague, and was laying siege to the other half, when this peace was concluded: and to overwhelm the emperor in this manner cost France only a million a year in subsidies to the Swedes.

And indeed the Swedes gained more advantage from this treaty than the French. They had Pomerania, several fortified places, and a considerable sum of money. They obliged the emperor to deliver into the hands of the Lutherans certain benefices which belonged to the Roman Catholics. The court of Rome set up the cry of impiety, and loudly declared that the cause of God and religion was betrayed. The Protestants boasted that they had sanctified the work of peace by stripping the Papists. Everyone speaks as interest dictates.

The Spanish court did not accede to this peace, and with good reason; for seeing France overwhelmed with its civil wars, the Spanish ministry hoped to profit by our dissensions. The German troops, which were now disbanded, served as a fresh reinforcement to the Spaniards. The emperor, after the Peace of Münster, sent thirty thousand men into Flanders, in the space of four years. This was a manifest violation of treaties; but they are seldom executed in any other manner.

The ministers of the court of Madrid had the address in this Treaty of Westphalia to make a separate peace with the Dutch. The Spanish monarchy, in short, thought itself happy to have no longer for enemies, and to acknowledge as sovereigns, those whom they had so long treated as rebels, unworthy of pardon. These republicans increased their wealth, and secured their tranquillity and greatness, by thus treating with Spain without breaking with France.

They were so powerful that, in 1653, in a war which they had with England, they sent a hundred ships of the line to sea: and victory long remained doubtful between Blake, the English admiral, and Tromp, who commanded the Dutch fleet, who were both at sea what Condé and Turenne were on shore. France had not at that time ten ships of fifty guns fit to send to sea; and her navy was every day falling more and more into decay.

Louis XIV. then saw himself, in 1653, absolute master of the kingdom which was still affected by the shocks it had received; full of disorder in every branch of the administration, but abounding in resources; without any ally, except the duke of Savoy, to assist it in carrying on an offensive war, and having no foreign enemies but Spain, which was then in a worse condition than France itself. All the French who had been concerned in the civil war were subjected, except the prince of Condé and some few of his partisans, of which one or two remained faithful to him, through friendship and gratitude, as the counts de Coligny and Bouteville; and some others, because the court would not buy their services at an exorbitant price.

Condé, now made general of the Spanish forces, could not recruit a body which he himself had weakened by the destruction of its infantry in the battles of Rocroi and Lens. He fought with new troops, of which he was not master, against the veteran regiments of the French, who had learned to conquer under him, and were now commanded by Turenne.

It was the fortune of Condé and Turenne to be always conquerors when they fought together at the head of the French, and to be beaten when they commanded the Spaniards. Turenne had with great difficulty saved the shattered remains of the Spanish army at the battle of Rethel, where, from being general to the king of France, he became lieutenant to Don Estevan de Gamarra.

The prince of Condé met with the same fate before Arras: he and the archduke were besieging that town; Turenne came and besieged them in their camp, forced their lines, and the archduke’s troops were put to flight. Condé, with only two regiments of French and Lorrainers, sustained the attack of all Turenne’s army; and, while the archduke was flying, he beat Marshal Hoquincourt, repulsed Marshal de la Ferté, and covered the retreat of the defeated Spaniards, upon which the Spanish king wrote to him in these terms: “I have heard that all was lost, and that you have saved all.”

It is difficult to say by what battles are lost or won; but it is certain that Condé was one of the greatest military geniuses that had ever appeared, and that the archduke and his council refused to do anything that day which Condé had proposed.

Though raising the siege of Arras, forcing the enemy’s lines, and putting the archduke to flight, reflected the highest glory on Turenne, it was observed that in the letter written in the king’s name to the parliament upon this victory, the whole success of the campaign was attributed to Cardinal Mazarin, without the least mention of Turenne’s name. The cardinal was actually within a few leagues of Arras with the king. He had even gone into the camp at the siege of Stenai, a town which Turenne had taken before he relieved Arras. Several councils of war had been held in the cardinal’s presence: on this he founded his pretension to the honor of these events; and by this piece of vanity he drew ridicule upon himself, which not all the authority of prime minister could efface.

The king was not present at the battle of Arras, though he might have been so; he had been in the trenches at the siege of Stenai; but the cardinal would not suffer him to hazard a person on which the tranquillity of the state and the power of the minister seemed alike to depend.

This war, which was but weakly supported, was carried on in their masters’ names, on one side by Mazarin, who was absolute master of France and its young monarch; and on the other by Don Luis de Haro, who governed the Spanish kingdom under Philip IV. The name of Louis XIV. was not then known to the world, and the king of Spain had never been spoken of. There was no crowned head at that time in Europe who enjoyed any share of personal reputation. Queen Christina of Sweden was the only one who governed alone, and supported the dignity of the throne, which was abandoned, disgraced, or unknown in other kingdoms.

Charles II., king of England, then a fugitive in France, with his mother and brother, had brought thither his misfortunes and his hopes; a private subject had subdued England, Scotland, and Ireland. Cromwell, that usurper so worthy of reigning, had prudently taken the title of Protector, and not that of King, as he knew that the English were acquainted with the extent of the royal prerogative, but did not so well know the limits of a protector’s authority.

He strengthened his power by knowing when to restrain it: he made no attempt upon the rights of the people, of which they were always jealous; he never quartered soldiers upon the city of London, nor imposed any tax which might occasion murmurings; he did not offend the public eye with too much pomp; he did not indulge himself in any pleasures; nor did he heap up riches: he took care that justice should be observed with that stern impartiality which knows no distinction between the great and small.

The brother of Pantaleon Sá, the Portuguese ambassador in England, thinking that he might act as he pleased with impunity, because the person of his brother was sacred, had committed an outrage upon some citizens of London, and afterward caused some to be assassinated by his own people, in revenge for the opposition he had met with from the rest; for this he was condemned to be hanged. Cromwell, though he had it in his power to save him, suffered him to be executed, and the next day signed a treaty with the ambassador.

Never had the trade of England been in so free and so flourishing a condition, nor the state so rich. Its victorious fleets made its name respected in every sea, while Mazarin, wholly employed in governing and heaping up riches, suffered justice, trade, navigation, and even the revenue itself, to languish and decline in France. As much master in France as Cromwell was in England, after a civil war, he might have procured the same advantages for the country which he governed as Cromwell had done for his; but Mazarin was a foreigner, and though of a less cruel disposition than Cromwell, wanted his greatness of soul.

All the nations of Europe, who had neglected an alliance with England during the reigns of James I. and Charles, solicited it under Cromwell. Queen Christina herself, though she had expressed her detestation at the murder of Charles I., entered into an alliance with a tyrant whom she esteemed.

Mazarin and Don Luis de Haro vied with each other in exerting their politics to engage the protector in an alliance; and he had for some time the satisfaction of seeing himself courted by the two most powerful kingdoms in Christendom.

The Spanish minister offered to assist him to take Calais; Mazarin proposed to him to besiege Dunkirk, and to put that place into his hands. Cromwell had then at his option the keys of France and Flanders. He was also strongly solicited by the great Condé; but he would not enter into a negotiation with a prince who had nothing to depend upon but his name, and who was without a party in France, and without power among the Spaniards.

The protector then determined in favor of France; but without making any particular treaty, or sharing conquests beforehand: he was desirous to render his usurpation illustrious by great undertakings. He had formed the design of taking America from the Spaniards, but they had timely notice of his intention. His admirals, however, took the island of Jamaica in May, 1655, which is still in possession of the English, and secures their trade in the new world. It was not till after the expedition to Jamaica that Cromwell signed his treaty with the French king; and then no mention was made of Dunkirk. The protector treated with the French king as a prince with his equal, and obliged him to acknowledge his title of Protector. His secretary signed before the French plenipotentiary on the copy of the treaty which remained in England; but he treated as a real superior when he obliged the French king to compel Charles II. and his brother, the duke of York, both grandsons of Henry IV., and to whom France consequently owed an asylum, to quit his dominions.

While Mazarin was engaged in this treaty, Charles II. asked one of his nieces in marriage: but the bad condition of this prince’s affairs, which had obliged him to take this step, was the cause of his meeting with a refusal; and the cardinal was even suspected of an intention to marry the very niece, whom he had refused to the king of England, to Cromwell’s son. This, however, is certain, that when he afterward found Charles’s affairs take a more favorable turn, he was for setting this match on foot again; but then he met with a refusal in his turn.

The mother of these two princes, Henrietta of France, daughter of Henry the Great, who was left in France destitute of all assistance, saw herself reduced to beg of the cardinal to intercede with Cromwell, that she might at least receive her jointure. It was certainly the most extreme and grievous of all humiliations, to be obliged to sue for subsistence to the man who had spilled her husband’s blood on a scaffold. Mazarin, after some few remonstrances in the queen’s favor to the English court, acquainted her that he had not been able to obtain anything. She therefore continued in poverty at Paris, and with the shame and mortification of having implored Cromwell’s pity, while her sons went into the army commanded by the prince of Condé and Don John of Austria, to learn the art of war against France, which had abandoned them.

The children of Charles I., thus driven out of France, took refuge in Spain. Upon this the Spanish ministry loudly inveighed, both by word of mouth and writing, in all courts, and especially at Rome, against the behavior of the cardinal, who, they said, had sacrificed all laws, divine and human, all honor and religion, to the murderer of a king, and had driven out of France Charles II. and the duke of York, though cousins of Louis XIV., to please their father’s executioner. No other reply was made to these outcries of the Spaniards, than the production of the very offers which they themselves had made to the protector.

The war was still carried on in Flanders with various success. Turenne having laid siege to Valenciennes, together with the marshal de la Ferté, experienced the same reverse of fortune which had befallen Condé before Arras. The prince, seconded at that time by Don John of Austria, more worthy of fighting by his side than the archduke had been, forced Marshal de la Ferté’s lines, took him prisoner, and delivered Valenciennes, July 17, 1656. Turenne then did what Condé had done before in a like defeat. He saved the routed army, made head everywhere against the enemy, and in less than a month afterward went and laid siege to and took the small town of La Capelle: this was perhaps the first time that a defeated army had dared to undertake a siege.

This march of Turenne’s, which was so greatly admired, and after which La Capelle was taken, was eclipsed by a still finer march of Condé’s. Turenne had hardly sat down before Cambray, when Condé, at the head of two thousand horse, penetrated through the army of the besiegers, and, after having routed everything that attempted to stop him, threw himself into the town on May 30, 1658; he was received by the citizens on their knees as their deliverer. Thus did these two great men display all the power of their military genius in opposition to each other. They were equally admired for their retreats, for their victories, for their good conduct, and even for their faults, which they always knew how to repair. By their talents they alternately checked the progress of the two monarchies whom they served; but the disordered state of the finances, both in France and Spain, still proved a great obstacle to their success.

At length France acquired a more distinguished superiority, by the league it had made with Cromwell. On one hand Admiral Blake went and burned the Spanish galleons at the Canary Islands, and thus deprived them of the only treasures with which they could carry on the war; and, on the other, twenty sail of English ships blocked up the port of Dunkirk, while six thousand veteran soldiers, who had been concerned in the revolution in England, were sent to reinforce Turenne’s army.

And now Dunkirk, the most important place of all Flanders, was besieged by land and sea. The prince of Condé and Don John of Austria having assembled all their forces, presented themselves before the city to raise the siege. The eyes of all Europe were attentively fixed on this great event. Cardinal Mazarin carried Louis XIV. into the neighborhood of the theatre of war, without suffering him to act a part therein, though he was then upward of twenty years old. The king remained in Calais while his army attacked that of Spain, and gained, on June 14, 1658, the most glorious victory which had been known since that of Rocroi.

The prince of Condé’s genius could do nothing that day against the superior forces of France and England. The Spanish army was destroyed, and Dunkirk capitulated soon after. The king and his minister repaired thither, to see the garrison march out. The cardinal would not permit Louis XIV. to appear either in the light of a king or a warrior. He had not money to distribute among the soldiers, and indeed had hardly proper attendants: whenever he went with the army, he used to eat at Mazarin’s, or at the viscount Turenne’s table.

This neglect of the royal dignity was not the effect of any contempt that Louis XIV. had for show and parade, but from the bad state of his affairs, and the care taken by the cardinal to arrogate all splendor and authority to himself.

Louis took possession of Dunkirk only to deliver it up to Lockhart, Cromwell’s ambassador. Mazarin endeavored, by some finesse, to elude the treaty, and prevent the place being given up to the English; but Lockhart’s threats and the English resolution got the better of Italian cunning.

It has been asserted by several persons that the cardinal, who had arrogated to himself the affair of Arras, wanted to prevail on Turenne to yield him likewise the honor of this battle. Du Bec-Crespin, count of Moret, was sent, they say, in the minister’s name, to propose to the general to write a letter, by which it might appear that the cardinal himself had laid down the whole plan of operations. Turenne received these insinuations with the contempt they deserved, and would not consent to avow a thing which would have brought disgrace on a general, and ridicule on a churchman. Mazarin, after this weakness, had that of continuing at enmity with Turenne till the day of his death.

Some time after the siege of Dunkirk, Sept. 13, 1658, Cromwell died, aged fifty-five years, in the midst of the vast projects he had formed for the establishment of his own power and the glory of the nation he governed. He had humbled the Dutch, dictated the conditions of a treaty with the Portuguese, conquered Spain, and forced France to solicit his protection. Not long before his death, on being informed of the haughty manner in which his admirals behaved at Lisbon, “I am resolved,” said he, “to make the English republic as much respected as that of Rome was in former times.” He was interred like a lawful sovereign, and left behind him the reputation of a great king, which threw a veil over the crimes of the usurper.

Sir William Temple pretends that Cromwell designed before he died to enter into an alliance with Spain against France, and to recover Calais by the help of the Spanish arms, as he had got Dunkirk by those of France. Nothing was more agreeable to his character and politics; he would have rendered himself the idol of the English, by thus stripping, one after another, two nations whom they equally hated. Death, however, at once overturned his great designs, his tyranny, and the English greatness. It is observable, that the court of France went in mourning for Cromwell; and that the daughter of the duke of Orleans was the only person who refused to pay this mark of respect to the memory of the murderer of a king, her kinsman.

Richard Cromwell succeeded his father in the protectorship, without any opposition, and in the same manner as a prince of Wales would have succeeded a king of England.

Richard was a proof that the fate of a kingdom frequently depends upon the character of one man. His genius was wholly different from that of his father, Oliver; he was possessed of all the meek virtues which make the good citizen, and had none of that brutal intrepidity which sacrifices everything to its own interests. He might have preserved the inheritance which his father had acquired by his labors, if he would have consented to put to death three or four of the principal officers of the army, who opposed his elevation; but he chose rather to lay down the government than to reign by assassination, and lived retired, and almost unknown, till the age of ninety, in a country of which he had once been the sovereign. After quitting the protectorship he made a voyage to France, where being one day at Montpellier, the prince of Conti, brother of the great Condé, discoursing with him, without knowing who he was, observed: “Oliver Cromwell was a great man, but his son Richard was a poor wretch, not to know how to enjoy the fruits of his father’s crimes.” This Richard, however, lived contented, whereas his father had never known what happiness was.

Some time before, France had seen another much more extraordinary example of the contempt of a crown in the famous Christina of Sweden, who came to Paris. Everyone admired a young princess, so worthy of reigning, who had resigned the sovereign authority for the sake of leading a life of ease and freedom. It is shameful in the Protestant writers to assert, without the least shadow of proof, that she resigned the crown only because she could keep it no longer. She had formed this design from the time she was twenty years of age, and had allowed seven years to bring it to maturity. A resolution so much above all vulgar conception, and which had been formed for such a length of time, should stop the mouths of those who reproach her with levity of disposition, and of having been compelled to this abdication. One of these accusations destroys the other: but everything great and noble is sure to be attacked by narrow minds.

The extraordinary turn of mind of this princess is sufficiently shown by her letters. In that which she wrote to Chanut, who had formerly been ambassador from France at her court, she thus expresses herself: “I wore the crown without ostentation, and I resign it with readiness: after this you have nothing to fear for me, my happiness is out of the reach of fortune.” She wrote thus to the great Condé: “I think myself as much honored by your esteem as by the crown I have worn. If after having resigned that, you shall think me less deserving of the other, I will own to you that the tranquillity I have so much desired will appear dearly bought; but I shall never repent of having purchased it at the price of a crown; nor will ever sully an act which to me appears so glorious, by a mean repentance: and if perchance you should condemn what I have done, I shall only tell you in excuse, that I should never have resigned the possessions which fortune bestowed on me, had I judged them necessary to my happiness; and should even have aspired to the sovereignty of the world, could I have been as certain of succeeding or dying in the attempt as the great Condé would have been.”

Such was the soul of this extraordinary personage, and such her style in our language, which she was but rarely accustomed to speak. She understood eight different languages; she had been the friend and pupil of Descartes, who died in her palace at Stockholm, after having in vain tried to obtain a pension in France, where his works were even forbidden to be read, on account of the only good things which were in them. She invited into her kingdom all who were capable of bringing any knowledge into it; and the vexation of finding no men of learning among her own subjects had given her a dislike to reigning over a people who were unacquainted with everything but arms. She judged it more eligible to live privately among thinking men than to rule over a people who had neither learning nor genius. She patronized and cultivated all the arts, in a country where they were till her time unknown, and designed to make Italy the place of her retreat, where she might indulge herself in the midst of them; and, as they had but just begun to make their appearance in France, she only passed through that kingdom on her way to Rome, where her inclination determined her to fix her abode; and with this view she quitted the Lutheran religion for the Catholic. Equally indifferent to either, she made no scruple of outwardly conforming to the sentiments of a people among whom she was desirous of passing her life. She quitted the throne in 1654, and publicly performed the ceremony of her abjuration at Innspruck. She was admired at the French court, though she surpassed all the women there in understanding. The king saw her, and did her the greatest honors; but he did not discourse much with her. He had been bred in ignorance, and his natural good sense made him bashful.

The only extraordinary thing that the ladies and courtiers remarked in this philosophical queen was that she did not dress after the French fashion, and that she danced badly. The learned found nothing to condemn in her except the murder of Monaldeschi, her master of horse, whom she caused to be assassinated at Fontainebleau in the second journey she made to France, for some fault he had been guilty of toward her. As she had laid down the sovereign authority, she had no longer a right to impose a sentence. She could no longer be considered as a queen who punished a misdemeanor of state, but as a private woman who ended a love affair by a murder. This infamous and cruel action sullied that philosophy which had made her quit a throne. Had she been in England, she would have been punished; but the court of France winked at this insult against the royal authority, the law of nations, and humanity.

After Cromwell was dead, and his son Richard deposed, England continued for a year in anarchy and confusion. Charles Gustavus, to whom Queen Christina had resigned the kingdom of Sweden, made himself formidable in the North and in Germany. Emperor Ferdinand died in 1657. His son, Leopold, who was seventeen years old, and was already king of Hungary and Bohemia, had not been chosen king of the Romans during his father’s lifetime. Mazarin endeavored to have Louis XIV. chosen emperor. This was a wild scheme: he should have compelled or corrupted the electors to his interest; but France was not in itself sufficiently powerful to seize on the empire, nor rich enough to purchase it; consequently the first overtures of this kind, made at Frankfort by Marshals de Gramont and Lionne, were laid aside almost as soon as proposed, and Leopold was chosen emperor. All that Mazarin’s policy could then effect was to engage the German princes in a league for securing the observance of the Treaties of Münster, and to curb the emperor’s authority in the empire.

After the affair of Dunkirk, France became powerful abroad by the reputation of her arms, and the bad condition to which other nations were reduced; but she suffered greatly at home; she was drained of money, and in want of peace.

In Christian monarchies the state itself is seldom interested in its sovereign’s wars. Mercenary armies, raised by the order of a minister, and commanded by generals blindly devoted to his will, carry on several destructive campaigns, without the princes in whose name they fight having the least expectation or even intention of depriving each other of their whole patrimony. The people of the victorious state reap no advantage from the spoils of those who are conquered. They pay all expenses, and are alike sufferers, whether their country be prosperous or unsuccessful. Peace, therefore, is as necessary to them, even after the greatest victory, as if their enemies were in possession of all their frontier places.

There were two things wanting for the cardinal to finish his administration happily: the one was to bring about a peace, and the other to secure the tranquillity of the nation by marrying the king. The young monarch had been dangerously ill after the campaign of Dunkirk, insomuch that his life was despaired of. The cardinal, who knew he was not liked by the king’s brother, had some intention, at this dangerous juncture, of securing his immense riches, and preparing for a retreat. These considerations determined him to marry his royal pupil as soon as possible. Two parties presented themselves at that time; the king of Spain’s daughter and the princess of Savoy. The king’s heart, however, had been previously engaged in a different way; he was desperately in love with Mademoiselle de Mancini, one of the cardinal’s nieces, and as he was by nature amorous, positive in his will, and void of experience, it was not unlikely that in the warmth of his passion, he might have determined to marry his favorite mistress.

Madame de Motteville, the queen-mother’s confidante, whose memoirs carry a great air of truth, pretends that Mazarin was tempted to give way to the king’s passion, and place his niece on the throne. He had already married one of his nieces to the prince of Conti, and a second to the duke of Mercœur; and she whom Louis XIV. was so fond of had been demanded in marriage by the king of England. These were so many encouragements to justify his ambition. Being one day alone with the queen-mother, he artfully attempted to sound her on this subject. “I am afraid,” said he, “that the king has a strong inclination to marry my niece.” The queen-mother, who knew the cardinal perfectly well, presently conjectured that he wished what he affected to fear, and with all the haughtiness of a princess of the Austrian blood, the daughter, wife, and mother of kings, and full of resentment against a minister who seemed to have shaken off all dependence upon her, she made him this reply: “Were the king himself capable of such a meanness, I would instantly put myself, with my second son, at the head of the people against the king and you.”

It is said that Mazarin never forgave the queen for this spirited answer: but he was wise enough to fall in with her sentiments, and made a merit of opposing the king’s passion; his power did not stand in need of a queen of his own blood to support it. He was even apprehensive of his niece’s disposition, and thought he should more effectually secure the authority of his place by shunning the dangerous glory of too greatly exalting his family.

He had in the year 1656, sent Lionne into Spain to bring about a peace, and demand the infanta in marriage; but Don Luis de Haro, sensible that weak as Spain was, France was not much stronger, had rejected the cardinal’s offers. The infanta, who was the child of a former marriage, was destined for young Leopold. The Spanish king had at that time only one son by his second wife, and this young prince was of so infirm a constitution, that it was imagined he could hardly live. It was therefore determined that the infanta, who was likely to become heiress to such large dominions, should transfer her claims to the house of Austria, rather than to the family of an enemy: but Philip IV. having afterward another son (Don Philip Prospero), and his queen being again with child, there did not appear so much danger in giving the infanta to the French king; besides, the battle of Dunkirk had made him wish for a peace.

The Spanish court then promised the infanta to Louis XIV., and desired a cessation of arms. Mazarin and Don Luis de Haro met on the frontiers of the two kingdoms, on the Isle of Pheasants. Notwithstanding that the design of their meeting was no less than that of settling the marriage of the king of France, and a general peace, a whole month was taken up in determining the disputes which arose about precedence, and in adjusting certain points of ceremony. The cardinals insisted upon being equal with kings, and superior to other sovereign princes. France with more justice pretended to the pre-eminence over all other kings. However, Don Luis de Haro kept up a perfect equality between Mazarin and himself, and between the crowns of France and Spain.

The conferences lasted four months, in which Don Luis and Mazarin displayed the whole strength of their politics. The cardinal excelled in finesse, Don Luis was remarkable for his deliberation. The former never spoke but with a double meaning, the latter very sparingly. The Italian minister’s talent lay in endeavoring to surprise; that of the Spaniard, in guarding against a surprise. It is reported that in speaking of the cardinal he said: “There is one great fault in his politics, he is always endeavoring to deceive.”

Such is the vicissitude of human affairs that there are hardly two articles of this famous Treaty of the Pyrenees now subsisting. The French king kept Roussillon, which he would always have kept without this peace; but with respect to Flanders, the Spanish monarchy has now nothing left there. The court of France was at that time necessarily in friendship with Portugal; we are now no longer so; everything is changed. Though Don Luis de Haro accused Cardinal Mazarin of deceit, the world has since acknowledged that he had the gift of foresight. He had for a long time formed the design of an alliance between France and Spain; witness that famous letter of his which he wrote during the conferences at Münster. “If his most Christian majesty could have the Low Countries and Franche-Comté, as a marriage portion with the infanta, in that case we might aspire to the Spanish succession, notwithstanding any renunciation made in the infanta’s name; neither would it be a very distant prospect, seeing that there is only the life of the prince, her brother, to exclude her from it.” This prince was Balthazar, who died in 1649.

It is plain that the cardinal was deceived, in supposing that the court of Spain would give the Low Countries and Franche-Comté with the infanta. There was not a single town stipulated for a dowry with her; on the contrary, we restored several considerable towns to the Spanish monarchy, which we had taken from it during the course of the war; such as St. Omer, Ypres, Menin, Oudenarde, and some other places. The cardinal, however, was right in supposing that the renunciation would one day be of no effect; but those who give him the honor of this prediction, suppose him to have likewise foreseen that Prince Balthazar would die in 1649; that afterward the three children by the second wife would all die in the cradle; that Charles, the fifth of all these male children, would die without issue; and that this Austrian king would one day make a will in favor of Louis XIV.’s grandson. But the truth is, that Cardinal Mazarin foresaw what value would be set upon a renunciation, in case the male issue of Philip IV. should all fail; and this was justified by a series of extraordinary events, above fifty years afterward.

The infanta Maria Theresa, who might have had for her dowry those towns which France by this treaty of marriage was obliged to restore, instead of that had only five hundred thousand golden crowns for her fortune: it cost the king more to go and receive her on the frontiers. However, these five hundred thousand crowns, worth at that time about two million five hundred thousand livres, were the subject of much altercation between the two ministers, and at last we never received more than one hundred thousand francs.

So far was this marriage from being of any real present advantage, excepting that of peace, that the infanta renounced forever all right or claim to any of her father’s territories, and Louis XIV. ratified this renunciation in the most solemn manner, and caused it to be registered in parliament.

These renunciations, and a portion of five hundred thousand crowns, seemed to be customary clauses in the marriage contracts between the infantas of Spain and the kings of France. Queen Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III., was married to Louis XIII. on the same conditions; and when Isabella, daughter of our Henry the Great, was married to Philip IV., king of Spain, there were no more than five hundred thousand crowns agreed upon for a portion with her, and no part of that was ever paid; so that there did not seem at that time to be any great advantage in these grand marriages.

Charles IV., duke of Lorraine, of whom France and Spain had great reason to complain, or rather who had great reason to complain of them, was included in this treaty; but on the footing of an unfortunate prince, whom they punished because he could not make himself feared. France restored him his dominions, after dismantling Nancy, and prohibiting him from keeping any troops. Don Luis de Haro obliged Cardinal Mazarin to procure the prince of Condé’s pardon, threatening otherwise to bestow on him the sovereignty of Rocroi, Châtelet, and other places in which he was in possession. Thus France at once gained these towns and the great Condé. However, he lost his post of master of the household to the king, and returned with little else than glory.

Charles II., the titular king of England, who was still more unfortunate than the duke of Lorraine, came to the Pyrenees, while they were negotiating the peace, to implore the assistance of the cardinal and Don Luis de Haro. He flattered himself that their kings, who were his cousins-german, being now in alliance, would, as Cromwell was no more, have the courage to avenge a cause which concerned every crowned head; but he could not even obtain an interview with either of the ministers. Lockhart, Cromwell’s ambassador, was at St. John de Luz, and made himself still respected, notwithstanding the death of his master; and the two ministers fearing to disoblige him, refused to see Charles. They thought it impossible that he should ever be restored, and were persuaded that all the English factions, though at variance among themselves, would unanimously join to exclude forever the kingly authority; but herein they were both deceived, and fortune a few months afterward brought about that which these ministers might have had the honor of undertaking. Charles was recalled by the English, without a single potentate having interfered, either to prevent the murder of the father, or the son’s restoration. He landed at Dover, and was received by twenty thousand of his subjects on their knees. I have been told by some old people who were on the spot, that almost every one present was bathed in tears. There never was perhaps a more affecting sight, nor a more sudden revolution. This change was brought about in less time than the Treaty of the Pyrenees took in concluding; and Charles II. was in quiet possession of the English throne before Louis XIV. was even married by proxy.

And now Cardinal Mazarin conducted the king and his new consort back to Paris. His behavior on this occasion was like that of a father who had married his son, without allowing him to have the management of his estate. This minister returned more powerful and more jealous of his authority and dignity than ever. He no longer gave the upper hand to the princes of the blood, in a third place, as formerly; and he who had behaved toward Don Luis de Haro as his equal, attempted to treat the great Condé as his inferior. He now appeared in public with royal pomp, having, besides his ordinary guard, a company of musketeers, the same which is now the second company in the king’s musketeers. There was no longer any access to be had to the royal person; and whosoever was so little of a courtier as to apply to the king for any favor, was surely ruined. The queen-mother, who had so long been this minister’s firm protectress against the whole French nation, saw herself left without credit, as soon as he was no longer in want of her assistance. The king, her son, who had been brought up in a blind submission to this minister, was unable to throw off the yoke she had imposed upon him as well as herself: she had a respect for her own work, and Louis XIV. never dared to reign while Mazarin was alive.

A minister is excusable for the evil he may do when the helm of the government is forced into his hands by storms of state; but when there is a calm, he is answerable for all the good he does not do. Mazarin did good to no one but himself and those related to him; of the eight years of absolute and undisturbed authority which he enjoyed, from his last return till the day of his death, not one was distinguished by any honorable or useful establishment; for the college of the four nations was erected only in consequence of his last will. He managed the finances like a steward whose master is immersed in debt.

The king would sometimes ask Fouquet for money, who used to answer: “Sire, there is none in your majesty’s coffers, but my lord cardinal can lend you some.” Mazarin was worth about two hundred millions, according to the present value of money. It is said, in several memoirs, that he acquired a great part of his wealth by means which were beneath the dignity of his post; and that he obliged those who fitted out privateers to allow him a share in the profits of their cruises; this has never been proved; but the Dutch suspected him of something of this nature, a suspicion they could never have entertained of his predecessor, Cardinal Richelieu.

It is said that he was troubled with some scruples of conscience on his death-bed, though he died apparently with great courage. He was certainly in apprehension for his riches, of which he made a full donation to the king, supposing that his majesty would restore them to him again; in this he judged right, for three days afterward the king returned his deed of gift. Soon afterward he died, seemingly unregretted by anyone except the king, who had already learned the art of dissembling. The yoke began to sit heavy on his shoulders, and he grew impatient to reign; nevertheless, he thought it prudent to wear the appearance of concern for a death which put him in possession of his throne.

Louis XIV. and his court went into mourning for the cardinal; a very extraordinary mark of honor, and what Henry IV. had paid to the memory of the fair Gabrielle d’Estrées.

We shall not undertake in this place to examine whether Cardinal Mazarin was a great minister or not; we leave his actions to speak for him, and posterity to judge; but we cannot forbear opposing that mistaken notion, which ascribes a more than common understanding, and an almost divine genius, to those who have governed great kingdoms with tolerable success. It is not a superior share of penetration that makes statesmen, it is their particular character; anyone that has a tolerable degree of understanding can usually discern what is to his interest. A common citizen of Amsterdam or of Berne knows as much on this head as Sejanus, Ximenes, Buckingham, Richelieu, or Mazarin: but our conduct and our undertakings depend wholly upon the temperament of our souls, and our successes depend upon fortune.

For example: if one with a genius like that of Pope Alexander VI. or his son, Borgia, had undertaken to reduce Rochelle, he would have invited the principal citizens of the place into his camp, under the sanction of the most solemn oaths, and then have murdered them all. Mazarin would have got possession of the town two or three years later, by gaining over some of the citizens, and sowing dissension among the rest. Don Luis de Haro would never have hazarded the undertaking. Richelieu, after the example of Alexander, built a mole in the sea, and entered as a conqueror; but a stronger tide than usual, or a little more diligence on the part of the English, would have saved Rochelle and have made Richelieu pass for a mad adventurer.

We may judge of a man’s character by the nature of his undertakings. We may safely affirm that Richelieu’s soul was full of pride and revenge; that Mazarin was prudent, supple, and avaricious; but to know how far a minister is a man of understanding, we must either have frequently heard him discourse, or have read what he has written. That which we every day see among courtiers frequently happens among statesmen. He who has the greatest talents often fails, while he who is of a more patient, resolute, supple, and equable disposition succeeds.

In reading Mazarin’s letters, and Cardinal de Retz’s memoirs, we may easily perceive de Retz to have been the superior genius; nevertheless, the former attained the summit of power, and the latter was banished. In a word, it is a certain truth, that, to be a powerful minister, little more is required than a middling understanding, good sense, and fortune; but, to be a good minister, the prevailing passion of the soul must be a love for the public good; and he is the greatest statesman who leaves behind him the noblest works of public utility.

Never was a court so full of intrigues and expectations as that of France, while Cardinal Mazarin lay dying. Those among the women who had any claim to beauty, flattered themselves with the hopes of governing a young prince, who was only twenty-two years old, and whom love had already influenced to make a tender of his crown to a favorite mistress. The young courtiers imagined that they should easily renew the reign of favorites. Every one of the officers of state thought that he should fill the first place in the ministry, not one of them suspecting that a king who had been brought up in such an ignorance of state affairs would venture to take the burden of government upon his own shoulders. Mazarin had kept the king in a state of nonage as long as he was able, and had not till very lately let him into the mystery of reigning, and then only because he had insisted upon being instructed.

They were so far from wishing to be governed by their sovereign that of all those who had been concerned with Mazarin in the administration, not one applied to the king to know when he would give them an audience; on the contrary, every one asked him to whom they were to apply, and were not a little surprised when Louis answered, “To me;” their astonishment was still increased, on finding him persevere. He had for some time consulted his own strength, and made a trial in secret of his capacity for reigning. His resolution once taken, he maintained it to the last moment of his life. He appointed every minister proper limits to his power, obliging them to give him an account of everything at certain hours, showing them as much confidence as was necessary to give a proper weight to their office, and carefully watching over them to prevent their abuse of it. He began by restoring order in the finances, which had been miserably mismanaged through a continuance of rapine.

He established proper discipline among the troops. His court was at once magnificent and decent; even the pleasures appeared there with a degree of lustre and greatness. The arts were all encouraged and employed, to the glory of the king and kingdom.

This is not the place for painting his character in private life, nor in the domestic government of his kingdom; we shall reserve this for a part by itself. It is sufficient to say that the people, who, since the death of Henry IV. had never seen a true king, and who detested the authority of a prime minister, were filled with admiration and hope, when they saw Louis XIV. do, at twenty-two years of age, what Henry did at fifty. Had Henry IV. had a prime minister, he would have been lost, because the hatred against a private man would have awakened twenty different factions, which would have become too powerful. If Louis XIII. had not had a minister, that prince, whose feeble and sickly constitution made his soul weak and enervated, would have sunk beneath the weight of government; Louis XIV. might or might not have had a prime minister without any danger. There were not the least traces left of the old factions which had distracted the state. There was now only a master and subjects in France; Louis, at the very beginning, showed that he aspired after glory, and that he was resolved to make himself respected at home and abroad.

The ancient kings of Europe had always pretended to an exact equality with each other; this was natural; but the kings of France always claimed that precedence which was due to the antiquity of their race and kingdom; and if they yielded place to the emperors, it was because mankind have hardly ever the courage to abolish a long-established custom. The head of the German republic, though an elective prince, with very little power of his own, has undoubtedly the precedence of all kings, in virtue of his title of Cæsar and heir to Charlemagne. His German chancery does not even give the title of majesty to any other crowned head. The kings of France might dispute the precedence with the emperors, as France had founded the real western empire, of which the name only subsists in Germany. They could plead not only the superiority of a hereditary crown over an elective dignity, but the advantage of being descended in an uninterrupted succession of sovereigns, who reigned over a great monarchy several centuries before any of those houses who are now in possession of crowns had attained to the least degree of dignity. However, they were determined to assert their right of precedence over all the other potentates of Europe. They alleged in support of their claim the title of “Most Christian,” to which the Spanish kings opposed theirs of “Most Catholic;” and since Charles V. had had a king of France prisoner at Madrid, the Spanish pride had made them more tenacious than ever of their rank. The English and Swedes, who pleaded none of these surnames at present, acknowledged as little as was possible this superiority.

Rome was the place where these pretensions were formerly canvassed; the popes, who disposed of kingdoms by a bull, imagined they had a much greater right to settle the rank among crowned heads. This court, where everything passes in ceremony, was the tribunal for trying these varieties of greatness. France had always had the superiority there when she was more powerful than Spain; but since the reign of Charles V. Spain had let slip no opportunity of maintaining an equality. The dispute was left undetermined; the precedence at a procession, or an elbow-chair placed near the altar, or opposite the pulpit, were matters of triumph, and established titles to that precedence. The chimerical point of honor in these articles was at that time carried to as great extremes among crowned heads as duels were among private persons.

It happened, in 1661, that at the entry of a Swedish ambassador at London, Count d’Estrade, ambassador from France, and Baron Watteville, ambassador from the court of Spain, disputed the way. The Spaniard, having more money and a greater train of servants, gained the English populace over to his interest, who began to kill the French ambassador’s coach horses, and soon afterward fell upon his people, who being wounded took to their heels, and left the Spaniards to proceed in triumph with their swords drawn.

Louis XIV. being informed of this insult offered to his ambassador, immediately recalled the minister he had at Madrid, and ordered the Spanish ambassador to leave France; broke off the conferences which were then in progress in Flanders, on the subject of the limits, and sent word to his father-in-law, Philip IV., that, unless he acknowledged the superiority of the French crown, and repaired the affront which had been offered its ambassador, by a public satisfaction, he would instantly renew the war. Philip IV. was not willing to plunge his kingdom into a fresh war for the sake of an ambassador’s precedence; he sent the count of Fuentes to declare to the king at Fontainebleau, in presence of all the foreign ministers who were then in France, that the Spanish ministers could no longer dispute the precedence with those of France. This was not clearly acknowledging the king’s pre-eminence, but it was a sufficient avowal of the weakness of the Spanish court. This court, which still preserved its haughtiness, murmured for a long time at its humiliation. Since then several Spanish ministers have renewed their old pretensions, and actually obtained an equality at Nimeguen; but Louis XIV. at that time acquired by his resolution a real superiority in Europe, by convincing all the powers how much he was to be feared.

He had scarcely concluded this small affair with so much dignity, when he showed still more on an occasion in which his glory seemed not so much interested. During the long wars carried on against the Spaniards in Italy, the behavior of the young French gentry had inspired the cautious and jealous Italians with the notion of their being a headstrong and impetuous people. The Italians looked upon all the nations by whom theirs was overrun as barbarians, and the French as barbarians more gay, but at the same time more dangerous, than the rest, as they introduced, into all families where they came, a taste for pleasures, with an air of contempt, and debauchery with outrage; in short, they were dreaded everywhere, and especially at Rome.

The duke de Créqui, the French ambassador at the pope’s court, had greatly displeased the people of Rome by his arrogant behavior; his servants, a set of people who always carry the faults of their masters to extremes, committed the same disorders in Rome as the unbridled youth of France did in Paris, who at that time prided themselves in attacking the city watch every night.

Some of this nobleman’s servants took it into their heads to fall, sword in hand, upon a party of the Corsi—who are the city guard at Rome—and put them to flight. The whole body of the Corsi, incensed at this ill usage, and cheered by Don Mario Chigi, brother of Alexander VII., the reigning pope, who hated the duke de Créqui, went with a multitude of his followers in arms, and besieged the duke in his own house. They even fired upon the ambassadress’s coach, as she was driving into her palace, killed one of her pages, and wounded several of her other servants. The duke de Créqui left Rome, loudly accusing the pope’s relatives, and even his holiness himself, of having countenanced this insult and murder. The pope deferred giving him satisfaction as long as he possibly could, in the belief that it requires only a little temporizing with the French, for everything to be forgotten. At the end of about four months he caused one of the Corsican guard, and a sbirro, to be hanged, and banished the governor of Rome, who was suspected of having authorized these violent proceedings: but he was in no small consternation when he learned that the French king threatened to lay siege to Rome; that he had already ordered troops to be transported into Italy for that purpose; and that Marshal du Plessis-Praslin was appointed general. This affair had become a national quarrel, and the king was determined to support the dignity of his crown. The pope, before he could be brought to make the concessions demanded of him, implored the mediation of all the Catholic princes, and at the same time did all in his power to stir them up against Louis XIV., but the situation of affairs was at that time unfavorable for the holy father. The emperor was attacked by the Turks; and Spain was engaged in an unsuccessful war against the Portuguese.

The court of Rome therefore only irritated the king, without being able to hurt him. The Parliament of Provence summoned the pope to appear, and seized upon his county of Avignon. At any other time such an insult upon the papal dignity would have been followed by a peal of excommunications from the Vatican, but those arms were now equally useless and ridiculous. The holy father found himself under the necessity of giving way, and was obliged to banish his own brother from Rome; to send his nephew, Cardinal Chigi, in character of legate a latere, to render the king satisfaction; to break the Corsican guard; and to erect a pillar in the city of Rome, with an inscription expressing the injury and reparation.

Cardinal Chigi was the first legate who had ever been sent from the papal court to ask pardon. Before that, the legates had always been sent to give laws, and impose the tax of the tenth penny. The king did not content himself with accepting these temporary ceremonies in return for an injury offered, nor yet with monuments which are equally so—for, some years afterward, he permitted this pyramid to be destroyed—but he obliged the court of Rome to restore Castro and Ronciglione to the duke of Parma; to indemnify the duke of Modena for his claims on Commachio; and thus, from an insult offered him, he derived the solid honor of being the protector of the Italian princes.

While he thus supported his dignity, he forgot not to increase his power. The good management of his finances, under Colbert, enabled him to purchase Dunkirk and Mardyke of the king of England, for five millions of livres, at twenty-six livres ten sous the mark. Charles II., who was a spendthrift and a beggar, to his eternal disgrace, sold this place, which his subjects had purchased with their blood. Lord-Chancellor Hyde, who was accused of having advised or connived at this meanness, was banished on Oct. 27, 1662, by the English Parliament, who frequently punish the crimes of favorites, and sometimes even pass sentence upon its kings.

In 1663, Louis set thirty thousand men to work to fortify Dunkirk both toward land and sea. A large basin was dug between the town and the citadel, capable of containing several men of war; so that the English had hardly sold this place, when it became the object of their terror. A short time afterward, in 1663, the king obliged the duke of Lorraine to give him up the stronghold of Marsal. This unfortunate prince, who, though he had a reputation as a soldier, was of a weak, fickle, and imprudent disposition, and had lately made a treaty, by which he gave the duchy of Lorraine to France after his death, on condition that the king should permit him to raise a million upon the territory; and the princes of the blood-royal of Lorraine should take rank as princes of the blood of France. This treaty, which was in vain registered by the Parliament of Paris, served only to produce new instances of levity on the side of the duke, who in the end thought himself very happy to give up Marsal, and throw himself upon the king’s clemency.

Louis increased his dominions even in peace, and always kept himself in readiness for war, fortifying the frontier towns, augmenting the number of his troops, keeping them well disciplined, and frequently reviewing them in person.

The Turks were then a very formidable people in Europe; they attacked the emperor and the Venetians at one and the same time. It has been a maxim in politics with the kings of France, ever since Francis I., to be in alliance with the Turkish emperors, not only on account of the advantage arising to their trade, but for the sake of preventing the house of Austria from becoming too powerful. However, a Christian king could not well refuse his assistance to the emperor, when so hard pressed. It was to the interest of France that the Turks should raise disturbances in Hungary, but not that they should get possession of it; and, lastly, the treaties in which Louis was engaged with the empire made this step as indispensable as it was honorable to him.

Louis then sent six thousand men into Hungary, under the command of the count of Coligny, the only remaining branch of the family of Coligny, formerly so famous in our civil wars, and who perhaps deserves to be as much renowned as the admiral for his valor and virtuous qualifications. He was strictly connected by friendship with the great Condé; and not all the offers of Cardinal Mazarin could ever make him fail in what he owed to his friend. He was accompanied by the flower of the French nobility; and, among others, by the young Feuillade, a man of enterprising disposition, and unquenchable thirst for riches and glory. These went together into Hungary, to serve under General Montecuculi, who was making head against the Turkish vizier, Kiuperli, and who afterward, when he served against France, counterbalanced the reputation of the great Turenne. A great battle was fought at Saint Gothard, on the banks of the Raab, between the Imperial and Turkish armies, in which the French performed such prodigies of valor that the Germans themselves, who were not fond of them, could not help doing them justice. The Germans, however, are not treated with the same justice by those writers who pretend to ascribe the honor of the victory wholly to the French.

The king, while he thus settled his greatness in openly assisting the emperor, and raising the glory of the French arms, made a point of politics in secretly aiding the Portuguese against the king of Spain. Cardinal Mazarin had solemnly given up the cause of Portugal by the Pyrenean treaty; but the Spanish court, having been guilty of several little tacit infractions of that treaty, the French, in their turn, made a more bold and decisive one. Marshal Schomberg, a foreigner, and a Huguenot, was sent over to Portugal with four thousand French soldiery, who, under pretence of being in the pay of the Portuguese, were in fact maintained by the French king’s money. These French troops, in conjunction with a body of Portuguese, gained a complete victory over the Spanish army at Villa Viciosa, in June, 1664, by which the house of Braganza was fixed on the throne of Portugal. Louis now began to be looked upon as a warlike and politic prince; and Europe stood in dread of him even before he had declared war.

By the same policy, he eluded the performance of the promises he had made, to join the few ships he had at that time with the Dutch fleet. He had entered into an alliance with the states-general, in the year 1662, about which time that republic had renewed a war with England, on the vain and idle subject of the honor of the flags, and its real claim to a trade in the Indies; Louis beheld with pleasure these two maritime powers sending fleets of a hundred sail every year to destroy each other, by the most obstinate fights that had ever been known, which only tended to the weakening of both sides. One of these engagements lasted for three days, and here it was that the Dutch admiral, de Ruyter, acquired the reputation of being the greatest seaman that had yet appeared. This was the man who burned the finest ships the English nation had, in their own harbors, not above four leagues distant from London. He made the Dutch flag triumphant at sea, where the English had hitherto always been the masters, and where Louis XIV. was as yet nothing.

The empire of the sea was for some time divided between these two nations. They were then the only people who rightly understood the art of building ships, and employing them either for trade or war. France, during Richelieu’s ministry, thought herself powerful at sea, because, out of about threescore vessels, which was then the whole of its marine, it had about thirty fit to send to sea, the largest of which mounted only seventy guns. In Mazarin’s administration, they purchased what few ships they had from the Dutch. They were in want of sailors, officers, and manufactories, both for building and fitting out ships. The king with incredible diligence set about repairing the ruined condition of the marine, and to supply his kingdom with all it wanted; but in 1664 and 1665, while the English and Dutch covered the ocean with nearly three hundred sail of large men of war, he had not above fifteen or sixteen and those of the smallest rates, which were employed under the duke of Beaufort against the Barbary corsairs; and when the states-general pressed Louis XIV. to join his fleet to theirs, there was only one fireship in Brest harbor, which it was shameful to send, till upon their repeated remonstrances it was at last sent. This was no small disgrace to the French nation; but Louis, by his extraordinary vigilance, speedily and effectually removed it.

But he furnished the states with much more essential and honorable assistance by land; he sent six thousand French to defend them against the bishop of Münster, a prelate of a warlike disposition, and implacable in his enmity, who was paid by England to distress the Dutch; but Louis made them pay dearly for this assistance, and behaved toward them like a great man in power, who sells his protection to a body of rich merchants. Colbert made them accountable, not only for the pay of these troops, but even for the charges of an embassy which was sent to England to conclude a peace for them with Charles II. Never was aid given with a worse grace, nor accepted with less thankfulness.

The king, having thus exercised his troops in martial discipline, formed a number of good officers by the campaigns in Hungary, Holland, and Portugal, and asserted the honor of his name, and made it respected at Rome, beheld not a single potentate of whom he had occasion to stand in awe. England, visited by a plague, which laid waste the whole kingdom, and London reduced to ashes by a fatal conflagration, which was falsely charged on the Roman Catholics; the prodigality and continual indigence of Charles II., which proved as fatal to his affairs as the scourges of pestilence and fire, made France perfectly easy with respect to that nation. The emperor had scarcely recovered the losses he had suffered in the war with the Turk. The Spanish king, Philip IV., being on the point of death, and his kingdom in as weak a condition as himself, Louis XIV. remained the only powerful and formidable sovereign in Europe. He was young, rich, well served, blindly obeyed, and impatient to signalize himself and to become a conqueror.

The king was not long without an opportunity he so earnestly desired. His father-in-law, Philip IV., died; this prince had by his first wife, sister of Louis XIII., the princess Maria Theresa, who was married to her cousin, Louis XIV., by which match the Spanish monarchy fell at length into the house of Bourbon, which had been so long its enemy. By his second marriage, he had Charles II., a weak and unhealthy child, but who lived to inherit his father’s crown, being the only surviving of three male children, the other two having died in their infancy. Louis XIV. pretended that Flanders and Franche-Comté, two provinces belonging to the kingdom of Spain, should by the laws of those provinces devolve to his wife, notwithstanding her former renunciation. Were the causes of kings to be tried by the laws of nations, before an impartial tribunal, perhaps this affair might have appeared a little doubtful.

Louis submitted his claims to the examination of his council and the body of theologians, who declared them indisputable; but the council and confessor of Philip IV.’s widow, thought them very ill founded. This princess had a very powerful argument in her favor, the express law made by Charles V.; but Charles V.’s laws were very little attended to by the court of France.

One of the pretexts made use of by the French king’s council was, that the five hundred thousand crowns which had been granted in dowry with his wife, had never been paid; but they had forgotten at the same time, that the marriage portion of Henry IV.’s daughter had likewise never been paid. The two courts at first waged a paper war with each other, in which the nicest calculations and most learned arguments were displayed on both sides; but reasons of state silenced all other pleas.

The king, considering more in strength than arguments, marched in person into Flanders, in 1667, at the head of thirty-five thousand men; while another body of eight thousand was despatched toward Dunkirk, and a third, consisting of four thousand, to Luxemburg. Turenne had the command of this army, under his majesty. Colbert had multiplied the resources of the state, to furnish the necessary expenses. Louvois, the new secretary at war, had made immense preparations for carrying on the campaign, and magazines of all kinds were distributed over the frontiers. He was the first who introduced the advantageous method of supplying the army by magazines, which the weak condition of the government had hitherto rendered impracticable. Whatever place the king chose to lay siege to, or whithersoever he turned his arms, he was sure of finding supplies and subsistence ready. The quarters for the troops were all fixed, and their marches regulated. The officers were all kept close to their duty, by the strict discipline which this minister caused to be observed among them: and the presence of a young monarch, who was the idol of his army, made the strictness of their duty light, and even pleasing to them. The military degree became a right more inviolably observed than even that of birth. It was the man’s services, and not his family, that was considered; a thing which had hitherto been rarely seen. By this means an officer, however inconsiderable in point of birth, met with the encouragement due to his merit; and those of the most exalted rank had no reason for complaint. The infantry, who sustained all the weight of the war, since the disuse of lances, shared with the cavalry in those rewards of which they had till then been in sole possession. These new maxims in the government inspired everyone with a new kind of courage.

The king, assisted by a general and minister of equal abilities, both jealous of each other, and striving who should best serve him, at the head of the best troops in Europe, and newly engaged in an alliance with Portugal, with all those advantages, attacks an ill-defended province of a ruined and distracted kingdom. He had only his mother-in-law, Philip IV.’s widow, to deal with, and she a weak woman, whose unfortunate administration left her kingdom defenceless. She had made her confessor, one Father Nitard, a German Jesuit, prime minister, a man as fit for lording it over his penitent, as he was unfit for governing a state, having nothing of the minister or the churchman but haughtiness and ambition. He had the insolence one day to say to the duke of Lerma, even before he came into the administration: “It is you who ought to show me respect, since I have every day your God in my hands, and your queen at my feet.” With all this insolence, so contrary to true greatness of mind, he suffered the treasury to remain without money, all the fortifications in the kingdom to go to ruin, the harbors to be without shipping, and the army without discipline, destitute of generals, badly paid, and still worse commanded, in presence of an enemy who possessed all the requisites which Spain wanted.

The art of attacking places was not as perfect as it now is, because that of fortifying and defending them was not so well known. The frontiers of Spanish Flanders were almost destitute of fortifications, and even garrisons.

Louis then had nothing more to do than to present himself before them. He entered Charleroi as he would Paris; Ath and Tournay were taken in two days; Furnes, Armentières, and Courtrai made as little resistance. The king entered the trenches before Douay, July 6, 1667, and the next morning it capitulated. Lille, which was the finest town in that country, and the only one well fortified, having a garrison of six hundred men, capitulated after nine days’ siege. The Spaniards had only eight thousand men to oppose a victorious army, and even the rear guard of this small body was cut in pieces by the marquis, afterward marshal, de Créqui: the remainder hid itself within the walls of Brussels and Mons, leaving Louis to carry on his conquests, without striking a blow.

This campaign, which was made in the midst of abundance, and had been attended with such easy successes, seemed a party of pleasure made by a court. High living, luxury, and pleasures were then first introduced into our armies, at the same time that the strictest discipline was established. The officers performed military duty much more exactly than before; but with every kind of convenience. Marshal Turenne had for a long time been served only upon iron plates, when in camp. Marquis d’Humières was the first, at the siege of Arras, in 1658, who was served in plate in the trenches, and had different courses at his table. But in this campaign of 1667, where a young monarch, who was fond of magnificence, held the most brilliant court amidst the fatigues of the field, everyone prided himself in showing a taste for splendor, elegant living, dress, and equipage. This luxury, the certain mark of riches in a great state, and frequently the cause of ruin to a small one, was nothing in comparison with what has been seen since. The king, his generals, and ministers, then went to the rendezvous of the army on horseback; whereas now, there is not a captain of horse, nor the secretary of a general officer, but has his postchaise hung on springs, in which he travels with greater ease and convenience than in those days a person could make a visit from one part of Paris to another.

This delicacy in the officers did not hinder them from going into the trenches with their steel caps and cuirasses: the king himself set the example. This prudent precaution preserved many a great man. It has been too much neglected since by our young people, who are naturally tender and effeminate, though courageous, and who seem to dread fatigue more than danger.

The rapidity of the king’s conquests filled Brussels with alarm. The inhabitants already began to remove their effects to Antwerp. All Flanders might have been conquered in a single campaign. The king only wanted a sufficient number of troops to put into those places which were ready to open their gates at his approach. Louvois advised him to put large garrisons into the conquered towns, and to fortify them; and Vauban, one of the many great men and surprising geniuses who appeared in this century, for the service of Louis XIV., was appointed for this purpose. He constructed the fortifications on a new method of his own, which is now the standard for all good engineers. It was a matter of surprise to see towns surrounded by walls which were almost on a level with the neighboring country. The old lofty and menacing ramparts were only more exposed by their height to the force of the artillery; but by making them sloping or shelving, they were the less liable to this inconvenience. He built the citadel of Lille on these principles. At that time—1686—the government of a town and its citadel were among the French always vested in the same person; but now an innovation was made in favor of Vauban, who was the first governor of a citadel: and here we may observe that the first of those plans in relief, which are to be seen in the gallery of the Louvre, was that of the fortifications of Lille.

The king now hastened back to Paris to enjoy the acclamations of his people, the adorations of his courtiers and mistresses, and partake of the splendid entertainments which he gave to his court.

The whole court was taken up with the diversions at St. Germain, when, in the midst of winter, in the month of January, everyone was surprised to see troops in motion on all sides, and several bodies coming and going on the road to Champagne, in the three bishoprics. Several trains of battering cannon, and wagons loaded with ammunition, stopped under different pretences on the route which leads from Champagne to Burgundy. This part of France was the scene of movements, of which no one could conjecture the cause. Foreigners, through interest, and the courtiers, through curiosity, exhausted themselves in surmises; Germany was alarmed; but everyone was alike ignorant of the object of these vast preparations and irregular marches. Never was more secrecy observed in a conspiracy than in this expedition of Louis XIV. At length, on February 2, the king himself set out from St. Germain, with the young duke of Enghien and some of his courtiers, the other officers being at the place of rendezvous appointed for the troops. He made long journeys on horseback, and arrived at Dijon. Twenty thousand men, who had been assembled on different routes, met the same day in Franche-Comté, some leagues from Besançon, and the great Condé appeared at their head, having his friend Bouteville-Montmorency for his lieutenant-general, lately made duke of Luxembourg, and who had always preserved an inviolable attachment to him through every change of his fortune. Luxembourg had studied the art of war under the great Condé, and his great merit obliged the king, who did not love him, to employ him.

The springs of this unforeseen expedition were these: the prince of Condé was jealous of Turenne’s reputation; and Louvois of his favor with his master. Condé’s jealousy was that of a hero, Louvois’s that of a minister. The prince, who was governor of Burgundy, which borders on Franche-Comté, had formed the project of making himself master of this province during the winter season, in as short a time as Turenne had taken in the foregoing summer to make the conquest of French Flanders. He immediately communicated his scheme to Louvois, who eagerly embraced it, glad of an opportunity of removing Turenne to a distance, and making him useless, and at the same time of serving his master.

This province, which was then very poor, but extremely well peopled, is forty leagues long, and twenty broad. It was called Franche-Comté—the free country—and was actually so; for the Spanish kings were rather its protectors than its masters: and though this country was in the government of Flanders, yet it was very little dependent on it. The administration was divided and disputed between the parliament and the governor of Franche-Comté. The people enjoyed many privileges, which the court of Madrid were cautious of infringing on, being desirous to keep fair with a province that was jealous of its rights, and so near a neighbor to France. Never did people live under a milder government, or were more attached to their sovereigns. They had preserved an affection for the house of Austria for almost two generations; but this was rather the love of their liberty.

In a word, Franche-Comté was happy, though poor; but as it was a kind of republic, there were necessarily some factions among its inhabitants; and notwithstanding what is said by Pellisson, Louis did not confine himself merely to force on this occasion.

He began by gaining over some of the inhabitants, by presents and promises. He made sure of the abbot, John Watteville, brother of him who, having insulted the French ambassador at a public entry into London, had by this outrage occasioned the humiliation of the Spanish branch of the house of Austria. This abbot, who had formerly been an officer, then a Carthusian friar, afterward a Turk, and last of all a churchman, had the promise of being made high dean, and of having several other preferments in the church. The count of St. Amour, the governor’s nephew, was likewise bribed, and the governor himself at last proved not inflexible. A number of the counsellors of the parliament were bought at a reasonable rate, and these private intrigues were at their very beginning seconded by an army of twenty thousand men. Besançon, the capital of the province, was invested by the prince of Condé. Luxembourg marched to Salins; and the next day Besançon and Salins surrendered. Besançon insisted on no other terms of capitulation than that it should remain in possession of the holy handkerchief, which was held in great reverence in that city, and which was readily granted them. The king having arrived at Dijon, Louvois, who had hastened to the frontiers to direct all the marches, informed him that these two towns were besieged and taken. The king hastened to show himself to fortune, who did everything for him.

In person, he next laid siege to Dôle, a place reputed very strong, in which the count of Montrevel commanded; a man of distinguished valor, who was faithful to the Spanish government, which he hated, and a parliament which he despised. His garrison consisted of no more than four hundred soldiers and the inhabitants of the place, and yet he bravely resolved to defend it. The trenches were not carried on in form; for no sooner were they opened than a crowd of young volunteers, who had followed the king, flew to attack the counterscarp, on which they made a lodgment. The prince of Condé, whose age and experience gave him a more sedate courage, supported them properly, and by sharing in their danger extricated them from it. This prince was everywhere with his son, and went to give an account of all that passed to the king, as if he had been an officer who had his fortune to make. The king remained in his quarters, where he displayed the dignity of a monarch in his court, rather than that impetuous ardor which is by no means necessary. The same ceremonials were observed there as at St. Germain. He had his great couch and his lesser one; he had his drawing-rooms, his public audience-hall in his tent, and never stooped from the dignity of the throne in any other respect than that of permitting his general officers and aides-de-camp to dine at the same table with him. He never was seen to expose himself to the ruder fatigues of war, nor to show that rash courage for which Francis I. and Henry IV. were so famous, who greedily sought after danger in all shapes. He was contented with not fearing it himself, and with encouraging all about him to rush into it with ardor for his service. He entered Dôle after four days’ siege, and twelve days after his departure from St. Germain, and in less than three weeks the whole province of Franche-Comté was reduced. The Spanish council, both amazed and incensed at the small resistance which had been made, wrote the governor that, “the French king should have sent his valets to take possession of the province, instead of marching against it in person.”

So much ambition and good fortune roused Europe from its lethargy. The empire began to stir, and the emperor to raise troops. The Swiss nation, who are neighbors to the people of Franche-Comté, and who have nothing to depend upon but their liberty, trembled for themselves. The rest of Flanders might be invaded the ensuing spring; the Dutch, whose interest it had always been to have the French their friends, shuddered at the thoughts of having them for neighbors. Spain had then recourse for protection, and actually received it from that inconsiderable nation, which it had hitherto looked upon as a contemptible and rebellious people.

Holland was then governed by John de Witt, who had been chosen grand pensionary, when he was only twenty-five years old; a man who had the freedom of his country as much at heart as his own personal greatness; wedded to the old republican principles, frugality and moderation, he kept only one man and a maid, and always went on foot at The Hague, while in the negotiations of Europe his name was ranked with that of the most powerful kings: he was a person of unwearied application, of the greatest regularity, prudence, and assiduity in public affairs; an excellent citizen, a great politician, and yet in the end very unfortunate.

He had contracted a friendship with Sir William Temple, the English ambassador at The Hague, which is rarely to be found between statesmen. Sir William was a philosopher, who blended a taste for literature with public affairs, and an honest man, notwithstanding that Bishop Burnet has reproached him with atheism. He was born with a prudent republican genius, and loved Holland like his own country, because it was the seat of liberty, of which he was as jealous as the grand pensionary himself. These two excellent members of the community, joined with Count Dohna, the Swedish ambassador, to stop the French king’s progress.

This period was distinguished by rapid events. French Flanders had been taken within three months and Franche-Comté in the space of three weeks. The treaty entered into between Holland, England, and Sweden, for maintaining the balance of power in Europe, and bridling the ambition of Louis XIV., was proposed and concluded in five days.

The French monarch was not a little incensed that a pitiful state like that of Holland should have presumed to think of setting bounds to his conquests, and being the arbiter between crowned heads; and still more so, that it was in a condition to do it. He was sensibly affected by this indignity put upon his greatness by the Dutch, which he was obliged to swallow for the present; but for which he from that instant meditated revenge.

Ambitious, powerful, and incensed as he was, he yet found it most prudent to divert the storm which began to gather from all parts of Europe. He, himself, made the first overtures for peace. Aix-la-Chapelle was selected by the courts of France and Spain for the place of conference, and Pope Clement IX. was chosen mediator.

The court of Rome, to cover its weakness with a show of credit, earnestly contended for the honor of being the arbiter between crowned heads. It had been disappointed at the Peace of the Pyrenees; but it seemed to have carried its point at this of Aix-la-Chapelle. A nuncio was sent to the congress, to be a phantom of an arbiter between phantoms of plenipotentiaries. The Dutch, who already felt a thirst for honor, would not share that of concluding what they had begun with any other. Accordingly everything was in fact settled at St. Germain, by their ambassador, Van Beuning. What had been privately agreed upon there with him was sent to Aix-la-Chapelle to be signed in great pomp by the ministers assembled at the congress. Who could have supposed thirty years before, that a burgher of Holland would oblige the kings of France and Spain to abide by his arbitration?

This Van Beuning, who was burgomaster of Amsterdam, had all the vivacity of a Frenchman, with the pride of a Spaniard. He took pleasure in thwarting the king’s imperious disposition on all occasions; and opposed a republican inflexibility to the magisterial tone, which the French ministers began to assume. “Do you doubt the king’s word?” said M. de Lionne to him, one day at a conference. “I know not what the king may intend,” said Van Beuning, “I only consider what he may do.” In short, at the court of the proudest monarch in the world, a simple burgomaster concluded by his own authority a peace by which the king was obliged to restore Franche-Comté. The Dutch would have been much better pleased had he restored Flanders, by which they would have been freed from so formidable a neighbor: but all Europe thought the king showed sufficient moderation in parting with Franche-Comté. However, he was a greater gainer by keeping the towns in Flanders, as by this means he opened himself a way into Holland, whose destruction he meditated even while he appeared to make the greatest concessions.

Louis XIV., being obliged to remain peaceable for some time, continued, as he had begun, to regulate, fortify, and embellish his kingdom. His example showed that an absolute prince, who has good intentions, can compass the greatest things without difficulty. He had only to command; and the successes in the administration were no less rapid than his conquests had been. It was a thing truly wonderful to see the seaports, which were in a manner desolate and in ruins, now surrounded with works which served at once for their ornament and defence, full of shipping and seamen, and containing upward of sixty large vessels, which might occasionally be fitted for war. New colonies were every day sailing from all the ports in the kingdom, under the protection of the French flag, for America, the East Indies, and the coast of Barbary. At the same time, thousands of hands were employed at home under the king’s eye, in raising immense edifices, and in all the arts which architecture introduces; while those of the more noble and ingenious kind embellished the court and capital, and diffused a degree of delight and fame over the kingdom, of which the preceding age had not even an idea. Literature flourished, and good taste and sound reasoning made their way into the schools of error and barbarism. But a more circumstantial account of these things, which made the happiness and glory of France, will be found in their proper place in this work; at present we must confine ourselves to general and military affairs.

At this period Portugal exhibited a strange spectacle to the rest of Europe. Don Alphonso, the unworthy son of the fortunate Don John of Braganza, reigned in that kingdom. He was a weak and hot-headed man. His wife, a daughter of the duke of Nemours, had conceived a passion for his brother, Don Pedro, and had the boldness to form a design of dethroning her husband and marrying the man she loved. The brutality of her husband in some measure justified this bold attempt of the queen’s. Alphonso was of a more than common bodily strength: he had had a child by a courtesan, whom he publicly acknowledged for his own: he had for a long time cohabited with his wife, and yet, notwithstanding all this, she accused him of impotence, and having by her dexterous management acquired that authority in the kingdom which her husband had lost by his mad frenzy, she shut him up in a prison, and obtained a dispensation from the pope to marry her brother-in-law. It is not in the least surprising that the court of Rome should grant these dispensations; but it is extraordinary that those who have the power in their own hands should stand in need of them. This event, which affected only the royal family, and caused no revolution in the kingdom of Portugal, nor produced any change in the affairs of Europe, merits our attention only on account of its singularity.

France soon afterward gave asylum to a king who descended from the throne in another manner; this was John Casimir, king of Poland, who renewed the example of Queen Christina. Tired by the fatigues of government, and desiring to live happily, he chose Paris for the place of his retreat, and retired to the abbey of St. Germain, of which he was abbot. Paris, which had for some years past been the abode of all the arts, afforded a delightful residence for a prince who sought the enjoyment of social pleasures, and was a lover of learning. He had been a Jesuit and a cardinal, before he was king; and now, equally disgusted with the regal and ecclesiastical state, was only desirous of living as a private person and a philosopher, and would never suffer the title of majesty to be given him at Paris.

But an affair of a more interesting nature took up the attention of all the Christian potentates.

The Turks, who, though not so formidable as under their Mahomets, their Selims, and their Solymans, were still dangerous, and strengthened by our divisions, had been laying siege to the island of Candia for over two years, with all the forces of the empire. We can hardly say whether it was more astonishing that the Venetians made so long a defence, or that the princes of Europe should have abandoned them.

Times were greatly changed. Formerly, when Christendom was in a barbarous state, a pope, or even a monk, could send forth millions of Christians to make war upon the Mahometans in their own empire: our dominions were stripped of men and money, to make the conquest of the wretched and barren province of Judæa; and now that the island of Candia, deemed the bulwark of Christendom, was overrun by sixty thousand Turks, the Christian kings looked on with indifference while it was lost. A few galleys sent by the Maltese and the pope were the only reinforcements this republic received to defend itself against the whole Ottoman Empire. The senate of Venice, with all its prudence, was unable with such weak aid to withstand the grand vizier, Kiuperli, who was an able minister, a still more able general, and master of the Turkish Empire, assisted by a formidable army, and even provided with good engineers.

Louis vainly attempted to set the other princes of Europe an example in assisting Candia. The galleys and ships of war which he had newly built in the port of Toulon transported thither seven thousand men, under the command of the duke of Beaufort: but this assistance proved too weak in this dangerous juncture, no other court choosing to imitate the generosity of France.

A private French gentleman, named la Feuillade, did an action on this occasion which had no example but in the old times of chivalry. He carried nearly three hundred gentlemen over to Candia at his own expense, though he had but a moderate fortune. If any other nation had assisted the Venetians in the same proportion with la Feuillade, it is more than probable that the island might have been saved. These reinforcements, however, only served to retard its fall for some days, and to spill a great deal of blood to no purpose. The duke of Beaufort was killed in a sally; and the city, reduced to a heap of ashes, capitulated on Sept. 16, 1669.

At this siege, the Turks had showed themselves superior even to the Christians, in the knowledge of the military art. The largest cannon which had hitherto been seen in Europe were cast in their camp. They were the first who drew parallel lines in the trenches. It is from them that we learned this custom; but they were indebted for it to an Italian engineer. It is certain that a victorious people, such as the Turks were, with their experience, courage, riches, and that unwearied perseverance which was their distinguishing characteristic, might have conquered Italy, and made themselves masters of Rome in a very little time; but the dastardly emperors they have since had, their bad generals, and their faulty administration have preserved Christendom.

The king, little affected with these distant events, waited only for the ripening of his grand project of conquering all the Netherlands, and beginning by Holland. The opportunity became every day more favorable. This little republic was mistress of the seas, but by land nothing could be more weak. In alliance with England and Spain, and at peace with France, she placed too much security in treaties, and the advantages accruing from an immense trade: and with a well-disciplined and invincible naval power her land forces were as badly provided and contemptible. The cavalry was composed only of burghers, who never stirred out of their houses, and paid the dregs of the people to do duty in their stead. The infantry was nearly upon the same footing. Commissions in the army, and even the command of garrison towns, were given to children, or to the relations of burgomasters, brought up in idleness and inexperience, who considered their posts in the same light as priests do their benefices. The pensionary, John de Witt, endeavored to reform this abuse; but he did not endeavor sufficiently, and this was one of the great faults of this famous republican.

In order to facilitate Louis’s scheme, it was previously necessary to detach England from its alliance with the Dutch, whose ruin seemed inevitably to follow upon their being deprived of this support. The king found it no difficult matter to persuade Charles II. to concur in his designs. This monarch was not much affected by the disgrace thrown upon his reign and the English nation, when his ships were burned in the river Thames by the Dutch fleet. He entertained no thoughts of revenge or conquest. He was desirous of enjoying a life of pleasure, and reigning as much as possible without control. This was his weak side; accordingly Louis, who had only to speak the word, and be supplied with what money he had occasion for, promised Charles a very considerable sum, who was not able to raise any himself without the concurrence of his parliament. This secret alliance between the two kings, which was formed in 1670, was known to no one in France but to the king’s sister-in-law, to Louvois, and Turenne.

A young princess, then, who was only twenty-five years of age, was the plenipotentiary pitched upon to put the finishing hand to this treaty with Charles. A visit which the king was to make to his new conquests of Dunkirk and Lille served as a pretence for his sister-in-law’s journey over to England. The pomp and grandeur of the ancient kings of Asia were nothing in comparison with the magnificence of this excursion. The king was always preceded or followed by thirty thousand men while on the road, some of whom were destined to reinforce the garrisons of the conquered countries, others to work at the fortifications, and the rest to level the roads. His majesty was also accompanied by the queen, his consort, all the princesses of the blood, and the most beautiful ladies of his court, among whom his sister-in-law shone with a superior lustre, and secretly enjoyed the glory and satisfaction of all this parade, which was wholly on her account. It was one continual feast from St. Germain to Lille.

The king, willing to gain the hearts of his new subjects, and to dazzle the eyes of the neighboring states, distributed his liberalities wherever he came, to a degree of profusion. The most magnificent presents were lavished on everyone who had the least pretext for speaking to him. Princess Henrietta embarked at Calais to pay a visit to her brother, who had already come as far as Canterbury to receive her. Charles, blinded by the love he bore his sister, and the great sums promised him from France, signed everything that Louis XIV. desired, and laid a foundation for the ruin of Holland, in the midst of feastings and diversions.

The loss of the duchess of Orleans, who died in a sudden and shocking manner, immediately upon her return from England, drew great suspicions upon the duke of Orleans, her husband, but made no alteration in what had been resolved upon between the two kings. The spoils of the republic they had devoted to destruction were already shared by the secret treaty between them, in the same manner as Flanders had been shared between the Dutch and the French in 1635. Thus states frequently change their views, their alliances, and their enmities, and are not unfrequently disappointed in all their projects. The rumor of this approaching expedition began to spread abroad, but Europe listened to it without being stirred. The emperor, taken up with seditions in Hungary, the Swede lulled asleep by negotiations, and the Spanish monarchy still weak and ever irresolute and slow in its determinations, left Louis XIV. to follow the career of his ambition uninterrupted.

To complete its misfortune, Holland was at that time divided into two factions, the one composed of rigid republicans, to whom the least shadow of absolute authority seemed a monster contrary to the laws of human society; the other of republicans of a more moderate disposition, who were desirous of investing the young prince of Orange, afterward the famous William III., with the posts and dignities of his ancestors. The grand pensionary, John de Witt, and his brother Cornelius, were at the head of the rigid sticklers for liberty; but the young prince’s party began to gain ground. The republic was more attentive to its domestic dissensions than to the danger which threatened it from without, and thus contributed to its own ruin.

Louis not only purchased the king of England, but he brought over the elector of Cologne, and the famous Van Galen, bishop of Münster, who was greedy for war and plunder, and was naturally an enemy to the Dutch. Louis had formerly assisted them against the bishop, and now joined with him for their destruction. The Swedes, who had joined with the republic in 1668, to check the progress of a conqueror who had then no designs against them, abandoned her as soon as they saw her threatened with ruin, and renewed their old connections with France, on condition of receiving the former subsidies.

It is somewhat singular and worthy of remark that of all the enemies who were about to fall upon this petty state, there was not one that could allege a lawful pretext for entering into the war. This was much such an undertaking as the league between Louis XII., the emperor Maximilian, and the king of Spain, who entered into a covenant to destroy the republic of Venice, only for being rich and haughty.

The states-general, in the utmost consternation, wrote to the king, beseeching him in the humblest manner to let them know if the great preparations he was making were really destined against them, his ancient friends and faithful allies. They asked how they had offended him, or what satisfaction he required. To these remonstrances he returned the answer that he should employ his troops in such manner as became his dignity, for which he should be accountable to no one. All the reasons his ministers could give were that the writer of the Dutch Gazette had been too insolent, and that Van Beuning was said to have caused a medal to be struck reflecting upon the honor of Louis XIV. Van Beuning’s Christian name was Joshua. A taste for devices prevailed at that time in France. Louis XIV. had taken a sun for his, with this legend: “Nec pluribus impar.” Now, it was pretended that Van Beuning, in the medal in question, which, however, never had existence, was represented with a sun, and these words for the motto: In conspectu meo stetit sol: “At sight of me the sun stood still.” It is certain that the states-general had ordered a medal to be struck, expressing all the glorious deeds of the republic in the following legend: “Assertis legibus, emendatis sacris, adjutis, defensis, conciliatis regibus, vindicata marium libertate, stabilita oribis Europæ quiete:” “The laws asserted, religion amended, princes succored, defended, and reconciled; the freedom of the ocean vindicated, and peace restored to Europe.”

In all this they boasted of nothing more than they had done, and yet they ordered the mould of this medal to be destroyed in order to appease Louis’s anger.

The king of England on his side pretended that their fleet denied the honors due to the English flag, by refusing to lower their topsails to an English pleasure-boat, and complained of a certain picture in which Cornelius de Witt, the pensionary’s brother, was painted with the ensigns of a conqueror. On the background the painter had exhibited a representation of ships on fire. The truth is, that Cornelius de Witt, who bore a considerable share in the maritime exploits against England, had indulged himself in this trifling monument of his fame; but the picture itself was in a manner unknown, and hung in a room where hardly anyone ever entered. The English ministers, who had transmitted their master’s pretended grievances in writing to the states-general, made mention of certain “abusive pictures.” Now, the Dutch, who always translate the memorials of foreign ministers into French, had rendered the term “abusive,” by the French word fautis, trompeurs, false or lying pictures; upon which they answered that they did not know what was meant by “lying pictures;” in short, they never once conceived that it related to this portrait of their fellow-citizen, nor could they imagine this to be a pretext for the war.

All that the efforts of ambition and human foresight could devise for the destruction of a nation was put in practice by Louis XIV. The history of mankind hardly furnishes us with an instance of such formidable preparations being made for so small an expedition. Of all the different conquerors that have invaded a part of the world, not one ever began the career of conquest with so many regular troops and so much money as Louis employed in subduing the petty state of the United Provinces. No less than fifty millions, which were worth ninety-seven millions of our present currency, were expended in these pompous preparations. Thirty men of war, of fifty guns each, joined the English fleet, consisting of a hundred sail. The king, accompanied by his brother, the duke of Orleans, marched at the head of one hundred and twelve thousand men toward Maestricht and Charleroi, on the frontiers of Spanish Flanders and Holland. The bishop of Münster and the elector of Cologne had about twenty thousand more. Prince Condé and Marshal Turenne were the generals of the king’s army, and the duke of Luxembourg commanded under them. Vauban had the direction of the sieges. Louvois was present in all places, with his customary vigilance. Never was there an army so magnificent, and at the same time so well disciplined; but the king’s household troops, which were newly reformed, made a most glorious spectacle. They consisted of four companies of gardes du corps, or body-guards, each company composed of three hundred gentlemen, among whom were a considerable number of young cadets, who served without pay, but were equally subject to strict military discipline with the rest; two hundred gendarmes of the guard, two hundred light horse, five hundred musketeers, three hundred chosen gentlemen remarkable for their youth and handsome appearance, twelve companies of gendarmerie, since augmented to the number of sixteen; even the hundred Swiss regiment accompanied the king on this occasion, and the royal regiment of French and Swiss guards mounted before the house where he took up his residence, or at the door of his tent. These troops, the greater part of whom were covered with gold and silver, were at once the object of terror and admiration to a people who were strangers to all kinds of magnificence; and the exact discipline which was kept up in this army made it appear in a different light from any that had yet been seen. There were at that time no inspectors of the horse and foot, as there have since been; but these offices were performed by two men who were singular in their way. Martinet put the infantry upon the footing of discipline in which we now see it; and the chevalier de Fourilles did the same by the cavalry. Martinet had, a year before, introduced the use of the bayonet among some of the regiments: before him it had never been made use of in a constant or uniform manner. This last effort of what perhaps is the most terrible of the whole military art was already known, but had been little practised, because spears were still much in use. This same officer likewise invented copper boats for bridges, which might easily be transported in wagons, or on horseback. The king, confident of success and glory from all these advantages, carried along with him a historian to write his conquests. This was Pellisson, of whom mention will be made in the article of polite arts, a person whose talent lay more in good writing than avoiding flattery.

Against the great Condé, Turenne, Luxembourg, Vauban, an army of one hundred and thirty thousand men, an incredible train of artillery, and immense sums of money to bribe the fidelity of those who commanded garrison towns, what had the republic of Holland to oppose? A young prince of weak constitution, who had never seen a battle or a siege, and about twenty-five thousand bad soldiers, which were all the strength of the country. William, prince of Orange, who was about twenty-two years old, had lately been elected captain-general of the land forces, in spite of the opposition of John de Witt, who could no longer withstand the wishes of the nation. This prince, under the Dutch phlegm, concealed an ardent ambition and love of glory, which ever afterward manifested itself in his conduct, without ever appearing in his discourse. He was of a cold and sour disposition, but of an active and penetrating genius. His courage, which never abandoned him, supported his feeble and languid body under fatigues which seemed above his strength. He was valiant without ostentation, ambitious without being fond of vainglory, and endowed by nature with a phlegmatic obstinacy, formed for combating adversity. He delighted in war and politics, and was equally a stranger to the joys of society, or the pleasures attendant upon greatness; in a word, he was in almost every respect the direct opposite to Louis XIV.

He was at first unable to stem the torrent which overflowed his country; his forces were but inconsiderable, and even his authority was greatly limited by the states. The whole power of France was ready to fall upon a republic which had nothing to defend it. The imprudent duke of Lorraine, who endeavored to raise troops in order to join his fortune with that of the republic, had just beheld his country seized upon by the French troops, with as much facility as they can seize upon Avignon on any quarrel with the papal see.

In the meantime the king caused his armies to advance on the side of the Rhine, into those countries which border upon Holland, Cologne, and Flanders. He ordered money to be distributed among the inhabitants of all the villages which were likely to suffer from the march of his troops through them. If a private gentleman made the least complaint to him, he was sure of being dismissed with a present. An envoy being sent from the governor of the Netherlands to make a representation of some disorders committed by the soldiers, the king with his own hand presented him with his picture, richly set in diamonds, and valued at over twelve thousand francs. This behavior attracted the admiration of the people, and made them stand more in awe of his power.

The king was at the head of his household, and a body of his choicest troops, in all amounting to thirty thousand men. Turenne had the command under him. Prince Condé was likewise at the head of as strong an army. The other corps, commanded alternately by Luxembourg and Chamilly, occasionally formed separate armies, which could all join one another in case of necessity.

The campaign was opened by the siege of four towns at once, Rheinberg, Orsoi, Wesel, and Borbeck; names which merit a place in this history only on account of the event. These were taken almost as soon as they were invested; Rheinberg, which the king thought proper to besiege in person, did not stand a single attack; and, in order to make more sure of its reduction, means had been found to corrupt the lieutenant of the garrison, one Dosseri, an Irishman, who, after having been base enough to sell his trust, was so imprudent as to retire to Maestricht, where the prince of Orange punished his treachery with death.

All the strongholds on the Yssel capitulated. Some of the garrisons sent the keys of their town as soon as they perceived two or three squadrons of the French appear in sight. Several officers fled from the towns where they were in garrison, even before the enemy had entered their territories: in short, the consternation was general. The prince of Orange had not a sufficient force to take the field. All Holland prepared to submit to the yoke as soon as the king should cross the Rhine. The prince of Orange caused lines to be drawn with the utmost haste on the other side the river; and even after he had done this, he was sensible how impossible it was for him to defend them. Nothing now remained but to discover, if possible, in what part the French intended to throw over a bridge, in order to oppose their passage. In fact, it was the king’s intention to pass the river on a bridge of those little copper boats, invented by Martinet. At that time the prince of Condé had received information from some of the country people that the dryness of the season had formed a ford on a branch of the Rhine, near an old castle, which served as an office for the toll-gatherers, and was called Toll Huis, or the Toll-house. The king ordered this ford to be sounded. According to Pellisson, who was an eye-witness of the whole, there was not above forty or fifty paces to swim over in the midst of this arm of the river. This was in fact nothing, for a number of horses abreast entirely broke the current of the water, which was of itself very weak. The landing on the opposite side was very easy, as it was defended only by four or five hundred horsemen, and two weak regiments of foot, without any cannon. The French artillery played upon those in flank, while the household troops, and some of the best of the cavalry, crossed the river without any hazard, to the number of fifteen thousand men. Condé crossed at the same time in one of the copper boats. Some few Dutch officers, who at first made a show of advancing into the water in order to oppose their landing, took to their heels the instant the French troops drew near to the shore, unable to stand before the multitude which came pouring on them. The foot immediately laid down their arms, and called for quarter. This passage was effected with the loss of only a few drunken horsemen, who had swum out of their depth; and there would not have been a single life lost that day—June 12, 1672—had it not been for the imprudence of the young duke of Longueville, who, being, it is said, overheated with wine, fired his pistol at some of the enemy’s people, who had laid down their arms and were begging their lives, crying out, “Give the scoundrels no quarter;” and drawing his trigger, shot an officer dead. Upon this the Dutch infantry, in a fit of despair, instantly flew to their arms and made a general discharge, by which the duke of Longueville himself was killed. A captain of their horse, named Ossembrouk, who had not fled with the rest, rode up to the prince of Condé, who had just reached shore and was going to mount his horse, and pointed his pistol at his head. The prince, by a sudden motion of his body, turned aside the piece, and received only a wound in his wrist, which was the first wound he had ever received in all his campaigns. The French immediately fell upon the small body, sword in hand, who began to fly on all sides. In the meantime the king crossed the river with the rest of the army, on a bridge of boats.

Such was the passage of the Rhine; an action which made a great noise, was singular in its kind, and was celebrated at that time as one of those great events which ought to occupy the memory of mankind. The air of greatness with which the king performed all his actions, the rapid success of his victories, the glory of his reign, the adulation of his courtiers, and, lastly, the fondness which the common people, especially those of Paris, have in general for everything that appears extraordinary, or else that ignorance of military operations, which prevails among those who pass a life of idleness in great cities, made this passage of the Rhine appear a prodigy. It was the common opinion, that the whole army swam across the river in presence of the enemy, intrenched on the opposite side, and in defiance of the fire from an impregnable fortress, called the Toll-house. It is a certain truth, that the enemy themselves were greatly imposed upon in this affair, and that if they had had a body of good troops on the other side of the river, the attempt would have been extremely dangerous.

As soon as the French army had passed the Rhine, it took Doesborgh, Zütphen, Arnheim, Nosembourg, Nimeguen, Skenk, Bommel, and Crèvecœur, and there was hardly an hour in the day in which the king did not receive the news of some fresh conquest. An officer, named Mazel, sent Turenne word that, if he would send him fifty horse, he would engage to make himself master of two or three places.

The inhabitants of Utrecht sent the keys of their city to the conqueror, and it capitulated, together with the whole province which bears its name. Louis made his entry into this city in triumph, on June 20, 1672, accompanied by his high-almoner, his confessor, and the titular bishop of Utrecht. The high church was with great solemnity delivered up to the Catholics; and the bishop of Utrecht, who had hitherto only held the empty title, was now for a little time put in possession of the real dignity.

The provinces of Utrecht, Overyssel, and Guelders were actually reduced, and Amsterdam only waited the hour of its slavery or destruction. The Jews settled there made interest with Gourville, the prince of Condé’s confidant and chief manager of his affairs, to accept two millions of florins, to save them from being plundered.

Naarden, which is in the neighborhood of Amsterdam, was already taken. Four horsemen, who were on a marauding party, advanced to the very gates of Muiden, which is not above a mile from Amsterdam, and where are the sluices by which the country may be laid under water. The magistrates, struck with a panic at the sight of these four soldiers, came out and offered them the keys of the town; but at length perceiving that no other troops came up, they took back the keys and shut the gates again. A moment’s more diligence would have put Amsterdam into the king’s hands. This capital once taken, not only the republic itself must have fallen, but there would no longer have been such a republic as Holland, and even the country itself would have been annihilated. Some of the richest families, and those who were most zealous lovers of liberty, were preparing to fly to the extremity of the globe, and embark for Batavia. There was actually a list made out of the shipping fit for undertaking this voyage, and a calculation of the numbers they would carry; when it was found that fifty thousand families might be thus transported into their new country. Holland then would have existed only in the East Indies: its provinces in Europe, who purchase their corn wholly with the riches they import from Asia, who subsist wholly upon their commerce and their liberty, if I may use that expression, would have been almost in an instant depopulated and ruined. Amsterdam, the staple and warehouse of Europe, where three hundred thousand souls are daily employed in cultivating arts and trade, would have become one vast marsh. All the lands round about require an immense expense and thousands of men to raise their dikes: those would, in all probability, have been stripped at once of their inhabitants and riches, and at length buried under water.

The distresses of the state were still further increased by the divisions which commonly arise among unfortunate people, who impute to one another the public calamities. The grand pensionary, John de Witt, thought there was no other way left to save what remained of his wretched country but by suing to the victors for peace. Full of a republican spirit, and jealous of his personal authority, he dreaded the aggrandizement of the house of Orange still more than the conquests of the French king; on this account he had obliged the prince of Orange himself to swear to the observance of a perpetual edict, by which he, the prince, was excluded from the stadtholdership. Honor, authority, party spirit, and interest all combined to make de Witt a strenuous asserter of this oath; and he chose rather to see his country subdued by a victorious king, than under subjection to a stadtholder.

The prince of Orange, on his side, who had more ambition than de Witt, was as much attached to his country, more patient under public calamities, and expecting everything from time and his own unshaken constancy, tried all means to obtain the stadtholdership, and opposed a peace with as much vehemence as de Witt promoted it. The states, however, resolved to sue for peace in spite of the prince, but the prince was raised to the stadtholdership in spite of de Witt.

In 1672, four deputies arrived in the king’s camp, to implore mercy in the name of a republic, which, six months before, looked upon itself as the arbiter of kings. Louis’s ministers did not receive the deputies with that French politeness which blends the mildness of civility with the severity of government. Louvois, who was of a haughty and arrogant disposition, and seemed better suited to serve his master well than to make him beloved, received the suppliants in a disdainful manner, and even with insulting raillery. They were obliged to go back and forth several times before the king would deign to make his will known to them. At length they were told that his majesty decreed that the states-general should give up all the places they were in possession of on the other side of the Rhine, with Nimeguen, and several other towns and forts in the heart of their country; that they should pay him twenty millions of livres; that the French should be masters of transporting merchandise on all the principal roads in Holland, both by land and water, without ever paying any duty; that the Roman Catholic religion should be everywhere established; that the republic should send an extraordinary embassy to the French court every year, together with a golden medal, on which should be engraved a legend, importing that they held their freedom of Louis XIV.; lastly, that they should make satisfaction to the king of England, the elector of Cologne, and the bishop of Münster, who had joined in the desolation of their country.

A peace on these conditions, which were little better than articles of slavery, appeared insupportable; the haughtiness of the conqueror inspired the vanquished with a desperate courage, and it was unanimously resolved to die fighting. The hearts and hopes of everyone were now fixed upon the prince of Orange. The populace grew furious against the grand pensionary, who had asked for peace. The prince, by his politics, and his party, by their animosity, increased the ferment. An attempt was made upon the grand pensionary’s life; and afterward his brother Cornelius was accused of a design to murder the prince, and was put to the rack. In the midst of his tortures he repeated the beginning of this ode of Horace, “Justum & tenacem propositi virum,” which perfectly well suited with his condition and courage, and which may be thus translated, for the sake of those who do not understand Latin:

The man in conscious virtue bold,
Who dares his secret purpose hold,
Unshaken hears the crowd’s tumultuous cries,
And the impetuous tyrant’s angry brow defies.
Let the loud winds that rule the seas
Tempestuous their wild horrors raise;
Let Jove’s dread arm with thunders rend the spheres;
Beneath the crush of worlds, undaunted he appears.

On Aug. 20, 1672, the two brothers were massacred at The Hague, by the mad multitude, after one of them had governed the state for over nineteen years, with the most unspotted integrity, and the other had defended it at the hazard of his life. The most shocking cruelties that could enter into the imagination of a furious populace were exercised upon their dead bodies. These barbarities are common in all nations; the French themselves had exercised them upon Marshal d’Ancre, Admiral Coligny, and others, for the populace is almost everywhere the same. They wreaked their revenge on all the pensionary’s friends; even de Ruyter himself, the republic’s admiral, and who was the only one who fought her battles with success, had his house at Amsterdam surrounded by assassins.

In the midst of this disorder and desolation the magistrates gave an example of integrity rarely found in republics. Those private persons who were possessed of bank notes, ran in crowds to the Bank of Amsterdam, apprehending that the public stock had been broken in upon: everyone was for being paid with the little money supposed to be left. The magistrates immediately ordered the vaults to be opened, when it was found entire, as it had been deposited there for more than sixty years. The money was still black and discolored, with the fire which had burned down the town-house several years before. The bank notes had been negotiated till that time, and the money had never been touched; everyone that chose to receive it was then paid with this money, in lieu of notes. So much integrity and so powerful a resource were at that time the more admirable, as Charles II. of England, not satisfied with the money he had received from France, and wanting a further supply to carry on his war against the Dutch and answer the expense of his pleasures, had lately turned bankrupt. If it was shameful in this monarch thus to violate public faith, it was no less glorious in the magistrates of Amsterdam to preserve it, at a time when they might have had a plausible excuse for failure.

To this republican virtue they added that courageous spirit which resorts to the utmost extremities in irremediable evils. They ordered the dikes which kept out the sea to be thrown down. The country seats, which are in prodigious numbers about Amsterdam, the villages, and the neighboring cities of Leyden and Delft, were in an instant laid under water. The peasant beheld his flocks drowned in the pastures, without once murmuring. Amsterdam stood like a vast fortress in the midst of the waves, encircled by ships of war, which had water enough to ride all around the city. The people suffered great want; they were particularly distressed for fresh water, which sold for six sous a pint; but these extremities seemed less grievous than slavery. It is a thing worthy of observation that Holland, thus distressed by land, and no longer a state, still retained its power at sea, which was this nation’s true element.

While Louis XIV. was crossing the Rhine, and reducing these provinces, the Dutch admiral, de Ruyter, with a hundred sail of men of war and fifty fireships, sailed for the English coast in quest of the combined fleets of the two sovereigns, who, notwithstanding they had united their forces by sea, were not able to fit out a naval armament superior to that of the Dutch. The English and Dutch fought like people accustomed to dispute the empire of the sea with each other. This battle, which was fought on June 7, 1672, near Solebay, lasted a whole day. De Ruyter, who gave the signal for beginning the engagement, attacked the English admiral’s ship, in which was the duke of York, the king’s brother. De Ruyter gained all the glory of this single combat; the duke of York was obliged to go on board another ship, and never faced the Dutch admiral afterward. The French squadron, consisting of thirty ships, had little share in this action; and so decisive was the fortune of this day, that it put the coast of Holland out of danger.

After this battle, de Ruyter, notwithstanding the fears and contradictions of his countrymen, conveyed the fleet from the East Indies safe to Texel; thus defending and enriching his country on one side, while she was falling, overwhelmed with ruin, on the other. The Dutch even kept up their trade, and no colors but theirs were to be seen in the Indian seas. One day the French consul told the king of Persia, that his master, Louis XIV., had conquered almost all Holland. “How can that be,” replied the monarch, “when there are now in the port of Ormus twenty Dutch ships for one French?”

The prince of Orange, however, had the ambition of being a good citizen. He made an offer to the state of the revenues of his posts, and of all his private fortune, toward the support of the common cause. He overflowed all the passes by which the French could penetrate into the rest of the country. By his prompt and secret negotiations he raised the emperor, the empire, the Spanish council, and the government of Flanders, from their lethargy: he even disposed the English court to listen to peace. In a word, Louis had entered Holland in May, and by the month of July all Europe was in confederacy against him.

Monterey, governor of Flanders, sent a few regiments privately to the assistance of the United Provinces. The emperor Leopold’s council likewise despatched Montecuculi, at the head of twenty thousand men; and the elector of Brandenburg took the field with twenty-five thousand troops, whom he kept in his own pay.

The king now quitted his army, as there were no more conquests to be made in a country that was overflowed. It was even become difficult to keep the provinces which had been conquered. Louis, desirous to secure the glory he had acquired, contented himself with having taken such a number of towns in the space of two months; and leaving Turenne and Luxembourg to finish the war, he returned to St. Germain about the middle of the summer, to enjoy his triumphs. But while his subjects were everywhere erecting monuments of his conquests, the powers of Europe were at work to snatch them out of his hands.

We think it necessary to advise those who may read this work that they are to remember it is not a bare relation of campaigns, but rather a history of the manners of mankind. There are already a sufficient number of books filled with the minute particulars of military actions, and details of human rage and misery. The design of this essay is to describe the principal characters of these revolutions, and to remove the multitude of trifling facts, in order to set to view those only which are considerable, and the spirit by which they were actuated.

France was at that time in the zenith of her glory. The names of her generals inspired veneration. Her ministers were regarded as geniuses superior to the counsellors of other princes; and Louis XIV. seemed almost the only king in Europe. As to the emperor Leopold, he never appeared with his armies. Charles II., king of Spain, son of Philip IV., was as yet a child; and the king of England showed no activity but in the pursuit of his pleasures.

The princes of Europe and their ministers were all guilty of great blunders. England acted against the common principles of reason in joining with France to aggrandize a power which it was to her interest to weaken.

The emperor, the empire, and the king of Spain’s council committed still a greater error in not opposing this torrent in the beginning; and even Louis himself was as blamable as any of them, for not rapidly pursuing conquests which were so easily made. Condé and Turenne were for demolishing the greatest part of the fortified places taken from the Dutch, alleging that states were not to be taken by garrisons but by armies; and that, keeping one or two strongholds only for a retreat, they should proceed immediately to complete the conquest of the whole country. Louvois, on the contrary, was for making every place a garrison or fortress. This was his peculiar genius, and it was likewise the king’s own taste. Louvois had by this means more employments in his disposal, and increased his ministerial influence; besides, he took a pride in thwarting the two greatest captains of the age. Louis implicitly believed what he said, by which he was deceived, as he afterward acknowledged. He let slip the opportunity of entering the capital of Holland; he weakened his army by dividing it into too many detachments, and gave the enemy breathing time. The history of the greatest princes is frequently a narrative of human errors.

After the king had quitted the army, affairs took a different turn. Turenne was obliged to march into Westphalia, to oppose the imperialists. Monterey, the governor of Flanders, whom the Spanish council were afraid of countenancing openly, reinforced the prince of Orange’s small army with about ten thousand men, by which the prince found himself strong enough to oppose the French till the winter. It was doing a great deal to be able to hold fortune in suspense. At length winter came on, and covered the overflowed country of Holland with ice. Luxembourg, who commanded in Utrecht, carried on a new kind of war, to which the French themselves were strangers, and threw the Dutch into a fresh dilemma, as terrible as anything they had yet experienced.

One night he got together nearly twelve thousand foot soldiers, drawn from the neighboring garrisons; and having ordered every man to be furnished with a pair of skates, he put himself at their head, and began his march over the ice toward Leyden and The Hague: a thaw came on, which saved The Hague; and his little army, surrounded by the waters, knowing no longer which way to go, and being destitute of provisions, was on the point of perishing. There was a narrow and muddy dike, where four men could barely walk abreast, which he was obliged to march over before he could get back to Utrecht; and there was no way to get at this dike, but by attacking a fort which seemed impregnable without artillery; and had those who were in it defended it but for a single day, the French army must inevitably have perished with hunger and fatigue. Luxembourg now looked upon himself as lost; but the same good fortune which had preserved The Hague saved his army, through the cowardice of the commandant of the fort, who abandoned his post without the least reason. There are a thousand events in war, as in civil life, which are altogether incomprehensible, and this was of the number. This expedition was productive of nothing but a piece of cruelty, which rendered the French name completely odious in this country. Bodegraven and Swammerdam, two considerable villages, each well peopled, and as large as some of our middling towns, were given up to the soldiery for plunder, as a reward for the fatigues they had undergone. They immediately set fire to both towns, and indulged themselves by the light of the flames in all the excesses of debauchery and cruelty. It is surprising that the common soldiers among the French can be so barbarous, seeing they are commanded by officers who have with justice the reputation of being as humane as they are brave. The sacking of these two places was so exaggerated that I myself, above forty years afterward, saw some Dutch books in which children were taught to read, where this affair was recapitulated, in order to inspire the rising generation with a hatred to the French.

In 1673 the king cut out work for the cabinets of all Europe, by his negotiations. He gained over the duke of Hanover. The elector of Brandenburg, in entering into the war, had made a treaty which he soon broke. There was not a court in Germany where Louis had not some pensioners. By his emissaries in Hungary he fomented the troubles of that province, which had been severely treated by the emperor’s council. He lavished great sums on Charles II. of England, to engage him to declare war once more against the Dutch, notwithstanding the outcries and murmurs of all his subjects, who were filled with indignation at being made tools to raise the French king’s greatness, which it was to their interest and desire to humble. In a word, Louis disturbed all Europe by his arms and negotiations; but, after all, he could not prevent the emperor, the empire, and Spain from joining the Dutch, and publicly declaring war against him. He had so far changed the course of things that the Dutch, who were his natural allies, were become friends to Spain. The emperor Leopold sent aid slowly; but he showed great animosity against the French. It is reported that, as he was going to Eger to see the troops, which were there assembled, he took the sacrament on the road, and that after having communicated, he took a crucifix in his hand, and called God to witness the justice of his cause. This action would have done very well in the time of the Crusades; however, the emperor’s invocation did not in the least stop the progress of the French king’s arms.

It was soon apparent how greatly his marine was improved. Instead of thirty ships, which had been sent the year before to join the English fleet, he now sent forty, without reckoning fireships. The officers had learned from the English the judicious manner of working their ships in their engagements with the Dutch. The duke of York, afterward King James II., was the person who first invented the method of giving orders in a naval fight by the different dispositions and motions of flags. Till that time the French did not know how to draw up a fleet in line of battle. All their experience consisted in fighting ship to ship, without knowing how to make a number move in concert, or to imitate at sea the evolutions of armies on shore, whose several different corps mutually sustain and assist each other. In this they resembled the Romans, who in one year’s time learned the art of fighting at sea from the Carthaginians, and soon became equal with their masters.

The vice-admiral, d’Estrées, and his second in command, Martel, did honor to the industry of the French nation in three successive engagements, which were fought in June, 1673, between the Dutch fleet and the combined squadrons of France and England. Admiral de Ruyter was more admired than ever in these three engagements. D’Estrées, in a letter to Colbert, expressed himself in these terms: “I would willingly have died to purchase the glory which de Ruyter has acquired.” D’Estrées deserved that Ruyter should have said the same by him. In short, the valor and conduct were so equal on both sides that it remained doubtful which had the victory.

Louis, having thus made seamen of his French subjects, through the diligence of Colbert, improved the art of war on land by the industry of Vauban. He went in person to lay siege to Maestricht, at the time that these three naval battles were fought. Maestricht was the key of the Low Countries and the United Provinces. The place was prodigiously strong, and defended by an intrepid governor, named Farjaux, a Frenchman by birth, who had gone into the Spanish service, and afterward into the Dutch. The garrison consisted of five hundred men. Vauban, who had the direction of the siege, made use for the first time of the parallel lines, which were invented by the Italian engineers in the service of the Turks at the siege of Candia. To these he added the places d’armes, or parade of arms, which is made in the trenches, for ranging the troops in order of battle, and better rallying them in case of sallies from the besieged. Louis, in this siege, showed himself more strict and assiduous than he had ever yet done. By his example he accustomed his subjects to endure labor patiently, who had hitherto been regarded as a nation which had only an impetuous courage that is soon exhausted by fatigues. Maestricht surrendered, June 29, after a week’s siege.

The desire of establishing strict military discipline among his troops carried him rather to an excess of severity. The prince of Orange at first had only a few officers without emulation, and soldiers without courage, to oppose the rapid conquests of the French arms, and therefore was obliged to employ the utmost rigor in training them, and to hang everyone who quitted his post. The king likewise made use of punishments. Naarden, the first place he lost, a very brave officer named du Pas gave up to the prince of Orange. It is true, he held out only four days, but he did not give it up till after an obstinate engagement of five hours on bad works, and to prevent a general assault, which it would have been impossible for him to have sustained with a weak and dispirited garrison. The king, incensed at this first affront which his arms had received, ordered du Pas to be led through Utrecht by the common hangman, with a shovel in his hand, and to have his sword broken before his face. This ignominious treatment was perhaps not altogether necessary, as the French officers have too nice a sense of honor to need being governed by the fear of disgrace. It is to be observed that, according to the tenor of his commission, the governor of a fortress is obliged to stand three assaults; but this is one of those laws which are hardly ever put in force.

But not all the king’s diligence, Vauban’s genius, Louvois’s strict vigilance, the knowledge and great military experience of Turenne, nor the active intrepidity of the prince of Condé were sufficient to repair the fault which had been committed in keeping such a number of places, weakening the army, and missing the opportunity of taking Amsterdam.

The prince of Condé in vain attempted to penetrate into the heart of Holland, which was all under water. Turenne could neither prevent the junction of Montecuculi with the prince of Orange, nor hinder the latter from making himself master of the town of Bonn. The bishop of Münster, who had sworn the destruction of the states-general, was himself attacked by them.

The English Parliament obliged its king to enter seriously into a treaty of peace, and to cease being the mercenary instrument of aggrandizing France. And now the French were obliged to evacuate the three Dutch provinces as rapidly as they had conquered them; but not till they had made them pay dearly for their deliverance. The intendant, Robert, had raised in the single province of Utrecht in one year, no less than sixteen hundred and sixty-eight thousand florins. So great was their hurry to evacuate the country which they had overrun with such rapidity, that twenty-eight thousand Dutch prisoners were restored at a crown a man. The triumphal arch of St. Denis’s gate, and the other monuments of Louis’s conquests, were hardly finished when those conquests were already abandoned. During the course of this invasion, the Dutch had the honor of disputing the empire of the sea, and the dexterity to remove the theatre of the war out of their own country. Louis XIV. was considered throughout Europe as one who had enjoyed the glory of a transient triumph with too much precipitation and pride. The fruits of this expedition were, that he had a bloody war to support against the united forces of the Empire, Spain, and Holland; saw himself abandoned by England, and at length by the bishop of Münster, and even the elector of Cologne; and left the countries he had invaded and was compelled to quit, more hated than admired.

The king maintained his ground alone against all the enemies he had drawn upon him. The foresight of his administration and the strength of his kingdom appeared to much greater advantage, when he had so many combined powers and great generals to defend himself against, than even when he took French Flanders in a party of pleasure, and Franche-Comté, and one half of Holland, from a defenceless enemy.

It now appeared how great an advantage an absolute sovereign, whose finances are well managed, has over all other kings. He at one and the same time furnished Turenne with an army of twenty-three thousand men, against the imperialists; Condé, with one of forty thousand, against the prince of Orange; and a body of troops was stationed on the borders of Roussillon. A fleet of transports, full of soldiers, was sent to carry the war among the Spaniards, even to the gates of Messina; while he himself marched in person to subdue Franche-Comté a second time. In a word, he at once defended himself, and attacked his enemies on every side.

As soon as Louis began his expedition against Franche-Comté, the superiority of his administration showed in the fullest manner. It was necessary to bring over, or at least to amuse, the Swiss nation, who are as formidable as poor, are always in arms, jealous to an excess of their liberty, invincible on their own frontiers, and who already began to murmur and take umbrage at seeing Louis a second time in their neighborhood. The emperor and the court of Spain warmly solicited the thirteen cantons to grant a free passage to their troops, who were going to the assistance of Franche-Comté, which had been left defenceless by the negligence of the Spanish ministry; but the emperor and the Spaniard were only lavish in arguments and entreaties. The French king, on the contrary, by a million of livres in ready money, and the assurance of six hundred thousand more, prevailed on those people to do as he pleased. They refused to grant a passage to the Spanish troops. Louis, accompanied by his brother and the great Condé’s son, laid siege to Besançon. He was fond of this part of war, which he understood perfectly well, and left the care of the campaign to Condé and Turenne. Besides, he never laid siege to a town without being morally sure of taking it. Louvois made such excellent preparations; the troops were so well found in everything; Vauban, who had almost always the direction of the sieges, was so great a master in the art of reducing places, that the king was secure of his reputation. Vauban directed the attacks against Besançon, which was taken in nine days; and, at the end of six weeks, all Franche-Comté submitted to the king. It has ever since remained in the hands of France, and seems to be forever annexed to it, a monument of the weakness of the Austro-Spanish ministry, and of the vigor of that of Louis XIV.

While the king was proceeding in the conquest of Franche-Comté, with that rapidity, ease, and glory which seemed inseparably annexed to his arms, Turenne, who was only defending the frontiers toward the Rhine, displayed all that was great and consummate in the art of war. Our esteem for men is generally measured by the difficulties they surmount; and this it was that gained Turenne such great reputation in this campaign.

In the first place, in June, 1674, he made a long and hasty march, passed the Rhine at Philippsburg, marched all night to Sinsheim, which he took by storm, and at the same time attacked and routed the emperor’s general, Caprara, and the old duke of Lorraine, Charles IV., a prince who had spent his life in losing his dominions and raising troops; and who had lately joined his little army to a part of the emperor’s. Turenne, after having defeated him, pursued him, and routed his cavalry at Ladenburg; then he, by hasty marches, came up with the prince of Bournonville, another of the imperial generals, who was only waiting for fresh troops to open a way into Alsace. Turenne prevented him from being joined by these troops, attacked him, and obliged him to quit the field of battle.

The empire now assembled all its forces against him; seventy thousand Germans occupied Alsace and blocked up the towns of Breisach and Philippsburg. Turenne’s army did not consist of over twenty thousand effective men; but having received a small reinforcement of cavalry from the prince of Condé, who was then in Flanders, in December, 1674, he crossed the mountains covered with snow, marched through Tanne and Belfort, entered Upper Alsace, and appeared in the midst of the enemy’s quarters, who thought him lying inactive in Lorraine, and looked upon the campaign as already finished. He beat up the quarters at Mülhausen that resisted, and made two thousand of them prisoners. He then marched to Colmar, where the elector of Brandenburg, who was called the great elector, and was at that time general of the armies of the empire, had his headquarters, and came upon him just as he and the rest of the princes and general officers were going to sit down to dinner. They had hardly time to escape, and in one instant the country was covered with the flying.

Turenne, who thought he had done nothing while there was anything left to be done, lay in wait near Türkheim, for a party of the enemy’s foot who were to march that way. He had chosen so advantageous a pass that he was certain of success: accordingly he entirely defeated this body. In short, this army of seventy thousand men was beaten and dispersed almost without any great battle. Alsace fell into the king’s hands, and the generals of the empire were obliged to repass the Rhine.

All these actions, following so rapidly upon one another, conducted with so much art, managed with such patience, and executed with so much promptitude, were equally admired by France and her enemies. But Turenne’s reputation received a considerable addition when it was known that all he had done in this campaign had been done without the consent of the court, and even against the repeated orders sent to him by Louvois, in the king’s name. It was not the least instance of Turenne’s courage, nor the least memorable exploit of this campaign, thus to oppose the powerful Louvois, and take upon himself the consequences, in defiance of the outcries of the court, his master’s orders, and the hatred of the ministry.

It is certain that those who had more humanity than esteem for military exploits were greatly displeased at this glorious campaign; which was as much distinguished by the miseries of the private people as by the great deeds of Turenne. After the battle of Sinsheim he laid waste with fire and sword the Palatinate, a level and fertile country, full of rich cities and villages: and the elector palatine, from his castle at Mannheim, beheld two cities and twenty-five villages burned before his eyes. This unhappy prince, in the first emotions of his rage, wrote a letter to Turenne, filled with the bitterest reproaches, and defying him to single combat. Turenne having sent this letter to the king, who forbade him to accept the challenge, he made no other return to the elector’s reproaches and defiance than an empty compliment, which signified nothing. This was agreeable to the general behavior and style of Turenne, who always expressed himself in a cool and ambiguous manner.

He, in the same cold blood, destroyed the ovens and burned all the corn-fields in Alsace, to prevent the enemy from finding subsistence. He afterward permitted his cavalry to ravage Lorraine, where they committed such disorders that the intendant, who, on his side, laid waste that province with his pen, wrote to desire the marshal to put a stop to the excesses of the soldiery; who always replied coolly: “I shall take notice of it in the orders.” Turenne was better pleased to be esteemed the father of the men who were entrusted to his care, than of the people who, according to the rules of war, are always the victims. All the evil he did seemed necessary: his reputation covered everything; and, besides, the seventy thousand Germans whom he prevented from entering France would have done more mischief there than he did in Alsace, Lorraine, and the Palatinate.

The prince of Condé, on his side, fought a battle in Flanders, which was much more bloody than all the victories of Turenne, though it proved neither so fortunate nor decisive; or rather because he had abler generals and better troops to encounter. This was the battle of Seneffe. The marquis of Feuquières insists that it should be called only a fight; because it was not an action between two armies drawn up in battle array, and that the corps were not all engaged; but it seems generally agreed to give the title of battle to this hot and bloody day. It is always the importance of an affair which determines its appellation. Had three thousand men, ranged in battle array, been engaged with each other, and even all their different corps been in action, it would have been only called a fight.

The prince of Condé, who was to keep the field with only forty-five thousand men, against the prince of Orange with more than sixty thousand, waited for the enemy’s army to pass a defile at Seneffe, near Mons, and fell upon a part of the rear guard, composed of Spaniards, over whom he gained a considerable advantage. The prince of Orange was blamed for not having taken sufficient precaution in passing through this defile; but everyone admired the dexterous manner in which he repaired this accident; and Condé himself was censured for attempting to renew the fight against an enemy so strongly intrenched. The combat was renewed three different times. The two generals, in this medley of errors and great deeds, equally distinguished themselves by their presence of mind and courage. Of all the battles in which the great Condé had been engaged, there was no one in which he hazarded his own life and that of his soldiers so much as in this. After having sustained three bloody attacks, he was for attempting the fourth. “The prince of Condé,” said one of the officers who was there present, “seemed to be the only person who had an inclination for fighting.” What was most remarkable in this action was that both armies, after having stood the most obstinate and bloody engagement, were seized with a sudden panic in the night, and took to flight. The next day they retreated, without either side having kept the field of battle, or claimed the victory; both being equally weakened and defeated. There were about seven thousand killed, and five thousand made prisoners, on the side of the French; and the enemy’s loss was nearly equal. This useless carnage prevented either army from undertaking anything of moment against the other: but the appearance of advantage was at that time so necessary that the prince of Orange, in order to make the world believe that he had gained the victory, laid siege to Oudenarde; however, the prince of Condé soon showed that he had not lost the battle, by obliging him to raise the siege, and pursuing him in his retreat.

It was the practice with the French and the allies to observe the idle ceremony of giving public thanks for a victory they had not gained; a custom established to keep up the spirit of the populace, who must always be deceived.

Turenne, with his little army, continued to make some progress in Germany, by the mere efforts of his military genius. The Council of Vienna not daring to trust any longer the fate of the empire to princes who had made so bad a defence, once more delivered the command of its armies to General Montecuculi, who had defeated the Turks in the battle of St. Gothard, and who, in spite of the endeavors of Turenne and Condé, had effected a junction with the prince of Orange, and checked the career of Louis’s conquest, after he had reduced three of the seven United Provinces.

It has been elsewhere remarked that the empire had been frequently indebted to Italy for its greatest generals. This country, though in a state of degeneration and slavery, still produces men who put us in mind of what it has once been. Montecuculi was the only person fit to be opposed to Turenne. They had both brought war to an art. They spent four months in following and observing each other in their marches and encampments, which were held in greater esteem by the French and Germans officers than even victories. Each of them judged what his adversary had in view, by the very steps which he himself would have taken on the same occasion, and they were seldom deceived. They opposed each other with perseverance, cunning, and activity. At last they were on the point of coming to an engagement, and staking their reputations on the fate of a battle near the village of Saltzbach, when, on July 27, 1675, Turenne was killed by a cannon ball as he was going to fix upon a place for erecting a battery. Everyone is acquainted with the particulars of this great man’s death; but we cannot refrain from repeating some of the principal circumstances of an event which continues to be spoken of to this day. There is one indeed which it is hardly possible to repeat too often. The ball which deprived Turenne of his life carried off the arm of St. Hiliare, lieutenant-general of the artillery, whose son threw himself down by his side in a flood of tears. “Weep not for me,” said that brave officer, “but for that great man,” pointing to Turenne. These words are equal to anything that history has consecrated as most heroic, and form the worthiest eulogium of the great Turenne. It is seldom that in a despotic government, where everyone is wholly taken up with his own private concerns, those who have served their country die regretted: nevertheless, Turenne was lamented by his own soldiers and by the people. Louvois was the only one who rejoiced at his death. Everyone knows that the king caused the greatest honors to be paid to his memory; and that he was interred at St. Denis, as the constable du Guesclin had been, to whom the public voice declares him as much superior as the age he lived in was superior to that of the constable.

Turenne had not always been successful in the field. He had been beaten at Mariendal, Rethel, and Cambray; he had likewise been guilty of some faults, and was great man enough to own them. He had never gained very striking victories, nor fought any of those pitched battles which decide the fate of one or the other nation; but by always repairing his defeats, and doing a great deal with a little, he passed for the ablest general in Europe, in an age when the art of war was better understood than ever it had been. In like manner, though he had been accused of having deserted his party in the civil wars, and though, when almost sixty years of age, he had suffered love to make him reveal a secret of state, and had exercised some unnecessary barbarities in the Palatinate, yet he still preserved the character of an upright, prudent, and honest man; because his virtues and great talents, which were peculiar to himself, made the world forget those weaknesses and failings which were common to the rest of mankind. If we were to compare him to anyone, we might venture to say that of all the generals of past ages, Gonsalvo de Cordova, surnamed the Great Captain, was the person whom he most resembled.

He was born a Protestant, but in 1688 he embraced the Roman Catholic religion. It was not supposed by either Protestant or philosopher that this change was the effect of mere persuasion only, in a warrior and a statesman of fifty years old who still kept mistresses. It is well known that Louis XIV., when he created him marshal-general of his armies, spoke to him in these very words, which we find related by Pellisson in his letters, and others: “I wish you would lay me under an obligation of doing more for you.” These words—according to these writers—might, together with time, have been the means of bringing about this conversion. The place of constable might perhaps have entered into an ambitious mind; it is also possible that this conversion might be sincere. The human heart frequently unites politics, ambition, religious sentiments, and amorous weaknesses; but the Catholics, who triumphed in this change, would never be persuaded that the great soul of Turenne was capable of double dealing.

The turn which affairs took in Alsace immediately after the death of Turenne made his loss more sensibly felt. Montecuculi, who had for three months been kept on the other side of the Rhine by the French general, passed that river the instant he knew he no longer had Turenne to fear; he then fell upon a part of the army, which remained thunderstruck with its loss, under the command of the two lieutenant-generals, de Lorges and Vauban. Though the French defended themselves with great valor, they could not hinder the imperialists from penetrating into Alsace, from which Turenne had always kept them at a distance.

The army stood in need of a leader not only to conduct it, but also to retrieve the late defeat which had happened to Marshal de Créqui, a man of enterprising genius, capable at once of the noblest and rashest actions, and equally dangerous to his country and its enemies. He had, through his own fault, been beaten at Consarbruck, August 11, 1675, and his little army routed and cut to pieces by a body of twenty thousand Germans, who were laying siege to Trier. Hardly one-fourth of his troops escaped. After this accident, he marched with the utmost precipitation through a thousand dangers, and threw himself into Trier, which he defended with the greatest valor; whereas he should have relieved it by a prudent management. He resolved to bury himself in the ruins of the place before he would give it up; and even when a breach was made practicable, he still continued to hold out. The garrison began to murmur at this obstinacy; and one Captain Bois-Jourdan, who was at the head of the mutineers, repaired to the breach, and proposed a capitulation. Never was cowardice carried on with so much boldness; he threatened to kill the marshal, unless he would sign the capitulation; Créqui upon this retires, with some officers who remained faithful to him, to a neighboring church, and chose rather to be a prisoner at discretion than to capitulate.

To recruit the great loss of men which the kingdom had sustained by so many sieges and battles, Louis XIV. was advised not to confine himself to the usual levies from among the militia, but to issue his orders for assembling the ban and arrière-ban. By an ancient custom, which is now laid aside, all those that held lands in fee were obliged to serve their lords paramount in the wars, at their own expense, and to continue in arms for a certain number of days. This service was one of the principal laws of our barbarous nations. Things are at present on a very different footing in Europe: every kingdom now raises soldiers, who are kept in constant pay, and form a regular and disciplined body.

Louis XIII. had once, during his reign, assembled the nobility of his kingdom; Louis XIV. now followed his example. The body of nobility took the field under the command of the marquis, afterward marshal, of Rochefort, and marched to the frontiers of Flanders, and thence to the borders of Germany; but this body was neither great in its numbers, nor useful in its operations, nor indeed could be rendered so. The gentlemen who had a military turn, and were fit for service, had all commissions in the army; those whom age or discontent had kept at home remained there; and the rest, who were employed in improving their estates, came with repugnance, to the number of about four thousand. In short, they were far from having the appearance of military troops. They were all differently mounted and accoutred, void of experience, ignorant of discipline, and either incapable or averse to regular service; so that they caused only confusion, and were forever laid aside. This was the last trace of ancient chivalry which appeared in our regular armies, of which those armies were formerly composed, and which, though possessed of all the courage natural to their nation, never fought well.

Turenne dead, Créqui beaten and a prisoner, Trier taken, and Montecuculi laying all Alsace under contribution, the king thought that the prince of Condé alone was able to revive the drooping spirits of the army, discouraged by the death of Turenne. Condé left Marshal Luxembourg to support the French in Flanders, and hastened to check the progress of Montecuculi. On this occasion, he showed as much coldness as he had shown impetuosity at Seneffe; and, with a genius which conformed itself to everything, he displayed the same art as Turenne had done. By two encampments only, he stopped the progress of the German army, and obliged Montecuculi to raise the sieges of Haguenau and Saverne, during August and September, 1675. After this campaign, which was indeed less brilliant but more esteemed than that of Seneffe, this prince no longer appeared in the character of a warrior. He was desirous of having his son appointed to the command in his stead, and offered to assist him with his advice; but the king did not choose to have either young men or princes for generals; it was even not without reluctance that he had employed the prince of Condé, who owed his being at the head of the army to Louvois’s jealousy of Turenne, as much as to his own great reputation.

The prince retired to Chantilly, and rarely came to Versailles, to see his glory eclipsed in a place where the courtier regards only favor. During the remainder of his life he was greatly tormented with the gout; but he consoled himself in the midst of his anguish and disgrace, by the conversation of men of genius of all kinds, with which France then abounded. He was truly worthy of their acquaintance, being himself acquainted with most of the arts and sciences in which they excelled. He still continued the object of admiration, even in his retirement; till at length that devouring fire, which had in his youth made him the impetuous hero and subject to a number of passions, having by degrees consumed the vigor of a body, which was by nature formed rather active than robust, he experienced a total decay before his time; and his mind growing as weak as his body, nothing of the great Condé remained during the last two years of his life. He died in 1680. Montecuculi retired from the emperor’s service about the time that the great Condé resigned the command of the armies of France.

Notwithstanding that Turenne was dead, and the prince of Condé withdrawn from the army, the king still continued the war against the emperor, the Spaniards, and the Dutch, with as much success as before. He had a number of officers who had been trained up under these great men; he had Louvois, who was as good as a general to him, because, by his ready foresight, he furnished the generals with means of undertaking everything they desired; and the troops, by a long series of victories, retained that ardor with which the presence of a monarch, ever fortunate in his undertakings, had inspired them.

During the course of this war, he in person took Condé, Bouchain, Valenciennes, and Cambray. He was accused by some of having been afraid to engage the prince of Orange, who, at the siege of Bouchain, presented himself with an army of fifty thousand men, in order to relieve the place. The prince of Orange was reproached with not having given battle to Louis, when he might have done it; for such is the fate of kings and generals, that they are always blamed for what they do, and for what they do not do; but neither the king nor the prince of Orange was in the least to blame: the former did not give battle, although he was desirous of it, because Monterey, who was governor of the Netherlands, and who was then in his army, did not choose to expose his province to the chance of a decisive action; and the honor of the campaign was undoubtedly on the king’s side, since he did what he pleased, and took a town in sight of his enemy.

With regard to the town of Valenciennes; it was taken by assault, by one of those singular events which characterize the impetuous courage of the French nation.

The king carried on this siege, assisted by his brother and five marshals of France, namely, d’Humières, Schomberg, La Feuillade, Luxembourg, and de Lorges. The marshals had each their day of command in turn, and Vauban had the direction of all the operations.

They had not yet made themselves masters of any of the outworks of the place. The first thing to be done was to attack two half-moons; behind which was a large crown-work, guarded with palisades and friezes, and surrounded by a ditch, intersected with several traverses. Within this crown-work was another work, surrounded by another ditch. When all these intrenchments were carried, there was still a branch of the Scheldt to be passed. Even after this, there remained another work, called a pâté; behind this pâté ran the main stream of the Scheldt, which was very deep and rapid, and which serves as a ditch to the town wall, which was defended by strong ramparts. All these works were covered with artillery, and a garrison of three thousand men promised a long resistance.

The king held a council of war about attacking the outworks. It had always been a custom to make these attacks in the night, in order to steal upon the enemy unperceived, and save the lives of the men. Vauban proposed to make the attack in the day. This proposal was strongly opposed by the marshals, and Louvois joined in condemning it; Vauban, however, maintained his opinion, with the confidence of a man who is sure of what he advances: “You are desirous,” said he, “of saving your men as much as possible; you will certainly do this much better by day, when they will be able to fight without confusion and tumult, or being apprehensive of one party firing upon another, as too often happens in attacks by night. We want to surprise the enemy, who are always on their guard against an attack by night; we shall therefore effectually surprise them if we oblige them to stand the attack of our fresh troops, after they have been wearied out by the fatigue of the night’s watch. Add to this, that if there are any of our men who want courage, the night favors their backwardness; but, in day, the eye of the master inspires them with courage, and makes them surpass themselves.”

The king was convinced by Vauban’s arguments, and agreed to his proposal, notwithstanding the objections of the five marshals of France.

At nine o’clock in the morning, on March 17, 1677, the two companies of musketeers, a hundred grenadiers, a battalion of the guards, and another of the regiment of Picardy, mounted the great crown-work on all sides. Their orders were only to make a lodgment there, and this was a great deal; but some of the black musketeers having found entrance by a private passage into the inner intrenchments which were in this work, presently made themselves masters of it; at the same time the gray musketeers made way through another passage; these were followed by the battalion of guards, who fell upon the besieged, killed some of them, and put the rest to flight. By this time the musketeers had let down the drawbridge which joined this work to the rest: they followed the enemy from one intrenchment to another, both on the greater and lesser branch of the Scheldt. The guards pressed on in crowds, and the musketeers were in possession of the town before the king knew that the first work, which he had ordered to be attacked, was carried.

But this was the least considerable part of the action. It is likely enough that a number of young musketeers, inflamed with the ardor of success, might fall upon the troops or burghers whom they met in the streets, and lose their lives, or else plunder the town; but what is most extraordinary in this affair is, that these young men, under the command of a cornet called Moissac, drew up in rank behind some wagons, and while the rest of the troops who came in were forming with deliberation, other musketeers took possession of the neighboring houses, and covered with their fire those who were in the street. Hostages were now exchanged on each side; the town council assembled and despatched a deputation to the king, and all this was transacted without pillage, confusion, or the least outrage of any kind. The king made the garrison prisoners of war, and entered Valenciennes with astonishment. The singularity of this action engaged us to enter into this minute detail.

The king gained additional honor by the taking of Ghent in eight days, and Ypres in seven. His generals met with still greater success.

In Germany, indeed, the duke of Luxembourg, at the beginning of the war, suffered Philippsburg to be taken in his sight, after a fruitless attempt to relieve it with an army of fifty thousand men. The general who took Philippsburg was Charles V., the new duke of Lorraine, who succeeded his uncle, Charles IV., and was, like him, stripped of his dominions. He had all the good qualifications of his unhappy uncle, without any of his faults. He commanded the armies of the empire with great renown; but, notwithstanding that he had reduced Philippsburg, and was at the head of an army of sixty thousand men, he could never get possession of his dominions; and it was to no purpose that he carried these words on his colors: “Aut nunc aut nunquam”—“Now or never.” Marshal Créqui, now ransomed from his confinement, and rendered more prudent by his defeat at Consarbruck, always kept the entrance into Lorraine shut from him. He beat him in a small skirmish at Kokersberk, in Alsace, on October 7, 1677, and continually harassed him in his marches. He took Freiburg in his sight on November 14, 1677, and beat a detachment of his army at Rheinfelden, in July, 1678. He passed the river Keres in his view, pursued him to Offenburg, fell upon him in his retreat, and having immediately afterward carried the fort of Rethel, sword in hand, he proceeded to Saarburg, where he burned the bridge by which that city, which was still free, had so many times afforded a passage for the imperial troops into Alsace. Thus did Marshal Créqui make amends for the imprudence of one day, by a series of successes which were wholly owing to his prudence; and, had he lived some time longer, it is probable he would have acquired an equal reputation with Turenne.

The prince of Orange was not more successful in Flanders than the duke of Lorraine had been in Germany; he was not only obliged to raise the siege of Maestricht and Charleroi, but, after having suffered Condé, Bouchain, and Valenciennes to fall into the hands of Louis XIV., he lost the battle of Montcassel, against the king’s brother, in attempting to relieve St. Omer. The marshals Luxembourg and d’Humières were in command. It is said that the gaining of the battle was owing to an error committed by the prince of Orange, and a dexterous movement made by Luxembourg. Monsieur (as the brother of Louis XIV. was at that time called) fought with a courage and presence of mind that was never expected from so effeminate a prince. There could not be a stronger proof that valor is not incompatible with delicacy. This prince, who frequently used to go dressed like a woman, and who had the same inclinations, behaved on this occasion like a general and a soldier. It is said that the king was jealous of the reputation he acquired. He took very little notice of the victory he had gained, and did not so much as go to see the field of battle, though he was near by. Some of the staff of the duke of Orleans, who were more discerning than the rest, prophesied to him then that he would never again have the command of an army, and their predictions were verified.

The taking of so many towns, and the gaining of so many battles, were not the only successes which attended the arms of Louis XIV. during this war. The count of Schomberg and Marshal Navaille beat the Spaniards in the Lampourdan, at the foot of the Pyrenees, and attacked them even in Sicily.

This island, since the time of the tyrants of Syracuse, under whom it was of some note in the world, has always fallen a prey to foreigners: it has been successively enslaved by the Romans, the Vandals, the Arabians, the Norman princes, vassals to the popes, the French, the Germans, and the Spaniards; still hating its masters and rebelling against them, without making any noble efforts to gain their liberty, and continually engaged in fresh seditions, only to change its chains.

The magistrates of Messina had lately stirred up a civil war against their governors, and called in the French to their assistance. Their harbor was blocked up by a Spanish fleet, and they were reduced to the last extremities of famine.

The chevalier de Valbille was immediately sent with a few frigates to their assistance. He passed through the Spanish fleet, and threw a supply of provisions, arms, and men into the city. Soon after, the duke of Vivonne arrived with seven men of war of sixty guns, two of eighty, and a number of fireships; engaged the enemy’s fleet, which he defeated, and entered the harbor of Messina in triumph, February 9, 1675.

The Spaniards were obliged to have recourse to the Dutch, their ancient enemies, who were still looked upon as masters of the sea, to help them to defend Sicily. De Ruyter sailed from the Zuyder Zee, passed the mole of Messina, and reinforced the Spanish fleet of twenty ships with twenty-three large men of war.

And now the French, who, when joined with the English, had not been able to beat the Dutch fleets, gained a victory alone over the combined squadrons of Spain and Holland, on January 8, 1676. The duke of Vivonne, who was obliged to remain in Messina to restrain the populace, who already began to be displeased with their defenders, left the care of this engagement to Duquesne, his lieutenant-general, who was a man as extraordinary in his way as de Ruyter; he had, like him, risen to the command entirely by merit, but had never before had the management of a naval armament, having hitherto signalized himself rather in the character of a captain of a privateer than as the commander of a regular fleet. But whosoever possesses a genius for his art, and for carrying command, passes with great ease and quickness from the little to the great. Duquesne showed himself a very able officer in this action against de Ruyter, even though he only gained a small advantage over this experienced Hollander. He gave battle a second time to the enemy’s fleets off Aosta, March 12, 1676. In this engagement, de Ruyter received the wound which put an end to his glorious life. He was one of those men whose memories are still held in great veneration by the people of Holland. On his first entrance into sea life he was only a cabin boy, or captain’s servant, which makes him so much the more respectable. His name is equal with those of the princes of Nassau. The Spanish council gave him the title and patent of duke, an odd and ridiculous dignity to confer on a republican; the patent, however, did not arrive till after he was dead, when his children, proving themselves worthy of such a father, refused a title which is so earnestly sought after in our monarchies, but which is by no means to be preferred to the name of a good citizen.

Louis XIV. had too noble a soul not to be concerned at his death; and, when some of his courtiers represented to him that he was now rid of a troublesome and dangerous enemy, he replied: “Nevertheless, I cannot help being afflicted with the loss of a great man.”

Duquesne, the de Ruyter of the French, attacked the combined fleets a third time, immediately upon the death of the Dutch admiral, and sank, burned, and took several of their largest ships. The marshal, the duke of Vivonne, had chief command in this action; but it was nevertheless Duquesne who gained the victory. Europe stood amazed to see France, in so short a space of time, become as formidable on sea as on land. It is certain that these armaments and victories only served to spread the alarm through every state. The king of England, having entered upon the war to support the interest of France, was now desirous of joining the prince of Orange, who had lately married his niece. Besides, the great reputation gained in Sicily cost too much money, and lastly, the French evacuated Messina April 8, 1678, at the very time when they were thought to be on the point of making themselves masters of the island. Louis XIV. was greatly blamed for having, during the course of this war, undertaken many things which he could not go through with, and for quitting Messina, as he had done Holland, after a fruitless conquest.

However, it must be allowed that a prince is very formidable who is no other way unsuccessful than in not being able to keep all his conquests. He pressed his enemies in every part of Europe. The war in Sicily had not cost him nearly so much money as it did the Spaniards, who were distressed and beaten in every place. He likewise raised up new enemies against the house of Austria; he fomented the troubles in Hungary, and his ambassadors at the Ottoman Porte pressed the sultan to carry the war into Germany, though at the same time common decency would have obliged him to send aid against those very people whom his politics had called in: for, at that time, the Swedes, his old allies, were engaged in an unsuccessful war against the elector of Brandenburg. This elector, father of the first king of Prussia, had begun to exalt his country to that degree of reputation which has since received so considerable an addition. He had just then taken Pomerania from the Swedes.

It is remarkable, that during the course of this war, there were almost continual conferences held for peace; first at Cologne, upon the fruitless mediation of the Swedes, and afterward at Nimeguen, by the equally useless interposition of the English, whose mediation was almost as idle a piece of ceremony as the arbitration of the pope. At the Treaty of Nimeguen, Louis XIV. was actually the only real arbiter: he made proposals for a peace, April 9, 1678, in the midst of his victories, and gave the enemy till May 10 to accept of them. He afterward allowed the states-general six weeks longer, upon their asking it in the most submissive manner.

He now entirely laid aside all ambitious views upon Holland; that republic had been so lucky, or skilful, as to appear only as an auxiliary in a war which was begun for its destruction; while the empire and Spain, who were at first only auxiliaries, were at length the principal parties.

The king greatly favored the trade of the Dutch by the conditions which he imposed upon them; he restored to them the city of Maestricht, and gave the Spaniards some towns to serve as barriers to the United Provinces; as Charleroi, Courtrai, Oudenarde, Ath, Ghent, and Limburg: but he reserved Bouchain, Condé, Ypres, Valenciennes, Cambray, Maubeuge, Aire, Saint Omer, Cassel, Charlemont, Popering, and Bailleul, which made a great part of Flanders. To these he added Franche-Comté, which had been already twice conquered; and these two provinces were no despicable fruits of the war.

He demanded nothing more of the empire than Freiburg or Philippsburg, which he left to the emperor’s choice. He reinstated the two brothers Fürstemberg in the bishopric of Strasburg, and their family estate, of which they had been stripped by the emperor, who still detained one of them in prison.

He protected his allies, the Swedes, unhappily joined with him against the king of Denmark and the elector of Brandenburg. He insisted that Denmark should give up all it had taken from Sweden, lower the toll duties in the Baltic Sea; that the duke of Holstein should be restored to his dominions; that the elector of Brandenburg should give up Pomerania, which he had lately conquered; and that every article of the Treaty of Westphalia should be again renewed. His will was law throughout Europe; the elector of Brandenburg in vain wrote a letter to him, in the most submissive terms, in which he styles him “Lord and Master,” humbly entreating that he might be permitted to keep what he had conquered, with many assurances of his zeal and future service; but his submission proved as useless as his resistance, and the conqueror of the Swedes was obliged to restore all he had taken from them.

And now the ambassador of France insisted upon taking the upper hand of the electors. Brandenburg proposed every kind of modification, in order to settle a conference with the count, afterwards marshal, d’Estrades, who was ambassador to the states-general; but the king would never suffer a person who represented him to yield to an elector, and the count d’Estrades could not treat.

Charles V. had put the grandees of Spain in the same rank as the electors, consequently the peers of France had pretensions to the same equality. At present, we see that things are changed in every point, since in the imperial diets the ambassadors of electors are now recognized as those of crowned heads. As to Lorraine, Louis offered to restore the new duke, Charles V., but insisted upon remaining master of Nancy, and all the great roads.

These conditions were imposed with the haughtiness of a conqueror; but yet they were not so unreasonable as to drive his enemies to despair, or oblige them to join together against him, as the only thing left. He at once dictated to Europe as a master, and acted as a politician.

At the conferences at Nimeguen he found means to sow jealousy among his allies. The Dutch were in haste to sign, despite the prince of Orange, who resolved at all events to carry on war, alleging that the Spaniards were too weak to assist them, should they refuse to sign.

The Spaniards, seeing that the Dutch had accepted terms of peace, followed their example; alleging that the empire did not seem hearty in the common cause.

In the last place, the Germans, abandoned by Spain and Holland, signed after all the others, ceding Freiburg to the king, and confirming the Treaties of Westphalia.

There was no alteration made in the conditions prescribed by Louis XIV. The enemy in vain affected to make some extravagant proposals, in order to disguise their own weakness. He gave laws and peace to all Europe. The duke of Lorraine was the only one who refused to accede to a treaty which appeared to him in so oppressive a light. He chose rather to be a prince, and wander through the empire, than to be a sovereign without power or honors in his own dominions; and waited in expectation, till time and his own courage should bring about a favorable change of fortune.

During the conferences at Nimeguen, and four days after the plenipotentiaries of France and Holland had signed the treaty of peace, the prince of Orange showed how dangerous an enemy Louis XIV. had in him. Marshal Luxembourg, who was then besieging Mons, had lately received an account of the conclusion of the peace; upon which he lay lulled in full security in the village of St. Denis, and dined that day with the intendant of the army. The prince of Orange, with his whole army, attacked the marshal’s quarters, and forced them: a long and bloody engagement ensued, from which the prince had the greatest reason to expect the most signal victory; for he not only gave the attack, which is a great advantage, but he attacked an army which depended upon the faith of treaties, and grew remiss in their military rigor. Marshal Luxembourg could with great difficulty resist the fury of this attack; and if the advantage lay on any side, it was with the prince of Orange, whose foot remained master of the field of battle where they had fought.

Did ambitious men pay any regard to the lives of their fellow creatures, the prince of Orange would not have fought this battle. He certainly knew that the peace was already signed, or on the point of being so; he knew that this peace would prove advantageous to his country, and yet he hazarded his own life, and that of thousands of men besides, as the first fruits of a general peace, which was then so far advanced that, had he even beaten the French army, it would have made no alteration in the congress. This act, as inhuman as it was glorious, and which at that time was more esteemed than blamed, did not produce one single additional article in the treaty; and the lives of two thousand French, and as many of the enemy, were thrown away to no end. By this peace we may see how much projects are contradicted by events. Holland, against whom alone the war was undertaken, and whose destruction seemed inevitable, lost nothing at all; on the contrary, she gained a barrier, while every other crowned head who had preserved it from destruction, lost by it.

The king was now at the height of his greatness. He had been victorious ever since he came to the throne; never had besieged any place without taking it; was superior in all things to those in league against him; the terror of Europe for six years together; and at length the arbiter and peace-maker: he added to his estates Franche-Comté, Dunkirk, and one-half of Flanders; and, what he should have looked upon as one of the greatest blessings, he was king over a happy kingdom, now the model for all other nations.

Some time afterward—in 1680—the town-house of Paris solemnly bestowed upon him the epithet of “Great,” and ordered this title alone to be placed upon all public monuments. Several medals had been struck as early as 1673, with this surname on them; and Europe, though jealous of his glory, did not cry out against these honors. Nevertheless, the name of Louis XIV. has prevailed among the public more than that of Great. Custom governs all things. Henry, who had the surname of Great conferred on him after his death, is commonly called Henry IV., and that name alone is sufficiently expressive. The prince of Condé is always called the Great Condé, not only on account of his heroic deeds, but from a lucky facility of distinguishing him by that means from the other princes of Condé. Had he been called Condé the Great, that title would never have remained with him. We say the great Corneille, to distinguish him from his brother. We do not say the great Virgil, the great Horace, or the great Tasso. Alexander the Great is now only known by the simple name of Alexander. Charles V., whose successes were more dazzling than those of Louis XIV., had never the surname of Great. It continues to be given to Charlemagne, only as a proper name. Titles are of no use to posterity; the name of a man who has done great things commands more respect than the most sounding epithet.

The general peace proved no restraint upon Louis’s ambition. The empire, Spain, and Holland disbanded their extraordinary troops, but he still kept his in pay. Peace was to him a time of conquests. He was so secure in his power at that time that he established courts of jurisdiction in Mentz and Breisach for annexing to the crown all the territories which were formerly dependent upon Alsace or the three bishoprics; but which had from time immemorial been in the hands of other masters. Several sovereign princes of the empire, the elector palatine, the king of Spain himself, who had several bailiwicks in these countries, and the king of Sweden, as duke of Deux Ponts, were summoned before these courts, to do homage to the king of France, under pain of having their possessions forfeited. He was the only prince since the time of Charlemagne who had acted thus like the lord and judge of crowned heads, and conquered countries by judicial decrees.

The elector palatine, and the elector of Trier, were dispossessed of the lordships of Falkenberg, Germersheim, Velden, etc. They carried their complaints before the diet of the empire, assembled at Ratisbon, but in vain; for that assembly contented itself with entering protests against these proceedings.

The king did not think it sufficient to be thus master of ten free cities of Alsace, by the same titles which the emperors formerly had: no one dared even to mention liberty in any of those cities. Strasburg yet remained a great and opulent city, and mistress of the Rhine, by means of the bridge which it had over that river; of itself a powerful republic, and famous for its arsenal, which contained nine hundred pieces of cannon.

Louvois had for a long time cherished the design of putting this city into his master’s hands. He had already prepared the way by bribery, intrigues, and menaces. The magistrates were seduced, and the people were struck with consternation at seeing their ramparts on a sudden surrounded by twenty thousand French; their forts, by which they were guarded on the side of the Rhine, attacked and taken in an instant; Louvois at their gates, and their burgomasters talking of surrendering, which Louvois accepted, taking possession of the town on Sept. 30, 1681. Vauban has since fortified it in such a manner that it has become the strongest barrier of France.

The king kept no better measures with Spain; he claimed the town of Alost, in the Netherlands, together with its whole bailiwick, which, as was pretended, his ministers had ministers had forgotten to insert in the articles of peace; and upon the Spanish court making some hesitation in complying with his demand, he ordered the city of Luxemburg to be blockaded.

At the same time he purchased the city of Casal of the petty duke of Mantua, who would have sold all his dominions to supply his pleasures.

Europe began to be alarmed at seeing a power which thus extended itself on all sides, and had acquired in the midst of peace more than ten preceding monarchs of France had gained by all their wars. The emperor, the Dutch, and even the Swedes themselves, finding great reason to be displeased with Louis’s proceedings, entered into a treaty of association. The English threw out some threats, the Spaniards resolved on war, and the prince of Orange left no stone unturned to fan the flame; but no power as yet dared to strike the first blow.

The king, who was feared everywhere, sought only how to make himself more formidable. He increased the power of his marine beyond the most sanguine hopes of his subjects, or the liveliest apprehensions of his enemies. He had sixty thousand sailors in pay; and this rude body of men were kept to their duty by laws as severe as those observed with respect to the military forces. The English and Dutch, on the contrary, though such powerful maritime nations, had neither so many seamen, nor such good regulations. Several companies of cadets and marine guards were formed and stationed in the frontier towns and the seaports, who were trained in all the arts requisite to their profession, under the care of masters paid out of the public treasury.

The harbor of Toulon, in the Mediterranean, was formed at immense expense, capable of containing a hundred ships of war, with an arsenal and magnificent storehouses. The port of Brest was formed in the western ocean at an equal expense. Dunkirk and Havre-de-Grâce were filled with shipping, and nature herself was forced at Rochefort.

At length Louis had above a hundred ships of the line, of which several mounted a hundred guns, and others more. These were not suffered to lie idle in port. His squadrons under the command of Duquesne cleared the seas of the Algerine and Tripoline pirates which infested them, and punished Algiers by the help of a new art, the discovery of which was owing to the care he took to encourage all kinds of genius in his reign. This fatal but admirable art is that of bomb-vessels, with which seaport towns may be reduced to ashes. There was a young man named Bernard Renaud, better known by the name of Little Renaud, who, by mere strength of genius, became an excellent mariner, without ever having served on board a ship. Colbert, who found out merit wherever it was hidden, had frequently sent for this man to the council of marine, even when the king was present: it was in pursuance of his diligent observations and instructions that they afterward devised a more uniform and easy method of building ships. Renaud had the boldness to propose in council to bombard Algiers with a fleet of ships. Everyone present started at the proposal, not having the least conception that a mortar could be fired anywhere but on solid ground: in short, he underwent all the raillery and contradiction which one must expect who offers a new invention; but his firmness, and that eloquence which naturally accompanies those who are forcibly struck with their own invention, prevailed upon the king to permit a trial of this new project.

Renaud then caused five vessels to be built of a lesser size than common, but much stronger, without any upper decks, and only a platform or false deck on the keel, in which hollow spaces were formed for receiving the mortars as in beds. Thus equipped he set sail under the command of old Duquesne, who had charge of this expedition, from which he expected little success: but the effect of the bombs filled both the admiral and the Algerines with surprise, half of the town being beaten down and laid in ashes, on Oct. 28, 1681. However, this art being soon communicated to other nations, served only to multiply the calamities of humankind, and proved more than once fatal to France, where it was invented.

This improvement in the marine within a few years was wholly owing to the care and vigilance of Colbert. Louvois was continually employed in fortifying upward of one hundred citadels; besides building the new ones of Hüningen, Saarlouis, the fortresses of Saarburg, Mont-Royal, and others, and while the kingdom was acquiring this exterior strength, the arts flourished within, and pleasure and abundance reigned everywhere. Strangers came in crowds to admire the court of Louis XIV. whose name was carried to the most distant nations of the earth.

His glory and success received a further addition from the weakness of most of the other crowned heads in Europe, and the miserable state of their people. The emperor Leopold was at that time in fear of the rebellious Hungarians, and especially of the Turks, whom they had called in to their assistance, and were preparing to invade Germany. Louis thought it politic to persecute the Protestants of his own kingdom, in order to prevent them from being able to create any disturbance; but he underhandedly protected the Protestants and rebels in Hungary, because they might be of service to him. His ambassadors at the Turkish court had importuned the sultan to fit out an armament before the Peace of Nimeguen. The divan by an unaccountable singularity has almost always waited till the emperor was at peace to break with him. The war in Hungary was not begun until 1682, and the ensuing year the Turkish army of two hundred thousand men, reinforced by several bodies of Hungarian troops, meeting with no fortified towns, such as there are in France, nor any regular army to oppose its progress, advanced to the very gates of Vienna, after laying all waste in its march.

The emperor Leopold, at the approach of the Turks, quitted Vienna with the utmost precipitation, and retired to Linz; and when he heard that they had invested his capital, he only retired to a still greater distance, to Passau, leaving the duke of Lorraine at the head of a small army, which had already been attacked by the Turks in their march, to defend the empire as well as he could.

No one had the least doubt that the grand vizier, Cara-Mustapha, who commanded the Ottoman army, would soon be master of Vienna, a badly fortified city, abandoned by its sovereign, and defended only by a garrison of ten thousand effective men, though called sixteen thousand. In short, a dreadful revolution was momentarily expected.

Louis XIV. had the greatest reason to expect that Germany, thus distressed by the Turks, and having no resource but in a chief whose flight had increased the general terror, would soon be forced to fly to the protection of France. He had an army on the borders of the empire ready to defend it against those very Turks whom he had brought thither by his former negotiations. By this means he hoped to become protector of the empire, and to make his son king of the Romans.

At first, when the Turks threatened Austria with an invasion, he added generosity to his political views; not that he sent help a second time to the emperor, but he declared that he would not attack the Low Countries; but would leave the Austrian-Spanish branch at liberty to assist that of Germany, which was on the point of being overwhelmed. All that he asked in return for lying quiet was to be satisfied with respect to some disputable points in the Treaty of Nimeguen, and chiefly relating to the bailiwick of Alost, which had by mistake been omitted in the treaty. He actually ordered the blockade of Luxemburg to be raised in 1682, without waiting to be satisfied, and abstained from all hostilities for one whole year. But he did not observe the same generosity afterward, during the siege of Vienna. The Spanish council, instead of soothing, incensed him; and he renewed hostilities in the Netherlands, at the very time that Vienna was on the point of falling into the hands of the Turks: this was in the beginning of September; but, contrary to all expectation, Vienna was relieved. The presumption, effeminacy, ignorance, and slothfulness of the grand vizier, together with his brutal contempt for the Christians, proved his ruin. Nothing less than such a combination of faults could have preserved the capital of the empire. John Sobieski, king of Poland, had time to march to its relief; and having joined the duke of Lorraine, he presented himself before the Ottoman army on Sept. 12, 1683, who fled at his first appearance. The emperor returned to his capital, grieved and astonished at having quitted it. He entered just as his deliverer was coming out of the high church, where they had been singing Te Deum, and the preacher had taken these words for his text: “There was a man sent from God, and his name was John.” You may have already observed that the same words were applied by Pope Pius V. to Don John of Austria after the victory of Lepanto. You know that what at first appears new is frequently no other than a repetition. The emperor Leopold was at once triumphant and humbled. The French king, having no longer any measures to keep, bombarded Luxemburg, and seized upon Courtrai and Dixmude, in Flanders: he then made himself master of Trier, and demolished its fortifications; and all this, as he said, to fulfil the spirit of the Treaty of Nimeguen. The Imperialists and Spaniards entered into a negotiation with him at Ratisbon, while he was taking their towns; and the Treaty of Nimeguen, which had been infringed, was changed into a truce for twenty years, by which the king was left in possession of the city of Luxemburg, and its principality, which he had lately conquered.

Louis was still more formidable on the coast of Barbary, where, till his time, the French had been known only by some of their nation, which fell into the hands of the barbarians, and were made slaves.

The inhabitants of Algiers, after their city had been twice bombarded, sent deputies to make their submission, and demand peace. They delivered up all the Christian captives in their possession, besides paying a considerable sum of money, which is the greatest punishment that can be inflicted on a corsair.

Tunis and Tripoli made like submission; and here it may not be impertinent to relate the following anecdote. One d’Amfreville, captain of a French ship of war, having come to Algiers to release all the Christian captives there, in the French king’s name, found several Englishmen among them, who, after they were on board, insisted to d’Amfreville that it was on the king of England’s account that they had been set at liberty; upon which the French captain sent for the Algerine officers, and putting the English into their hands again, said: “These people pretend that they are released wholly in their own king’s name; mine, therefore, will not take the liberty of offering them his protection; I therefore deliver them up to you again. It now remains with you to show what you owe the king of England.” The English were carried back to their former slavery. This anecdote may serve to show the pride of the English, the weakness of Charles II., and the respect which all nations had for Louis XIV.

This respect was so general that new honors were granted to his ambassador at the Ottoman Porte, the same as to the sufis, at the very time that he was humbling the people of Barbary, who are immediately under the protection of the Grand Seignior.

The republic of Genoa humbled itself before him still more than that of Algiers. The Genoese had sold powder and bombs to the Algerines; they were also building four galleys for the service of the king of Spain. The king sent St. Olon, one of his gentlemen in ordinary, in character of an envoy, to forbid their launching those galleys, threatening them with instant punishment if they did not comply with his will. The Genoese, incensed at this attempt on their liberties, and reckoning too much upon the assistance of Spain, refused to give the king any satisfaction. Immediately fourteen large ships, twelve galleys, six bomb-vessels, and several frigates set sail from the port of Toulon, having on board the new secretary of the marine, Seignelay, son of the famous Colbert, who had procured him this post before his death. This young man was full of ambition, courage, wit, and vivacity, and wanted to be at once the soldier and the minister; he was greedy for honor, ardent in all his undertakings, and knew how to blend pleasures with business, without impeding either. Old Duquesne had the command of the large ships, and the duke of Mortemart of the galleys; but they were both dependents on the secretary of state. The fleet arrived before Genoa on March 17, 1684, and the ten bomb-vessels threw fourteen thousand shells into the town, by which a part of those noble marble buildings, whence Genoa had its name of superb, were reduced to ashes. Four thousand men were then landed from the fleet, who advanced to the gates of the city and burned the suburb of St. Pietro d’Arena. The inhabitants now found it necessary to submit, in order to avoid total ruin. The king insisted that the doge and four of the principal senators of Genoa should repair to his palace at Versailles, there to implore his clemency; and lest the Genoese should elude the required satisfaction, and diminish his glory on this occasion, he further insisted that the doge should be continued in his office, notwithstanding a perpetual law in Genoa, by which any doge who is absent but a moment from the city is deprived of his dignity.

Imperialo Lescaro, doge of Genoa, accompanied by senators Lomelino, Garebardi, Durazzo, and Salvago, arrived in Versailles Feb. 22, 1685, to perform all that the king demanded of them. The doge, dressed in his robes of state, with a red velvet cap on his head, which he frequently took off while he spoke, made his submission; the words and gestures he used on this occasion were all dictated by Seignelay. The king gave him audience sitting, and covered; but, as in every action of his life he always joined politeness with dignity, he behaved toward Lescaro and the senators with as much goodness as pomp. His ministers, Louvois, Croissi, and Seignelay, treated them more haughtily, which made the doge say: “The king deprives our hearts of liberty, by the manner in which he receives us; but his ministers restore it to us again.” This doge was a man of great wit and understanding. Everyone knows the answer he made to the marquis of Seignelay, when he asked him what he thought most remarkable at Versailles: “To see myself there,” replied he.

The great fondness which Louis XIV. had for pomp and show was still more gratified by an embassy which he received from Siam, a country which, till that time, had never heard of such a kingdom as France. It happened by one of those extraordinary events which prove the superiority of the Europeans over all other nations, that a Greek, named Faulcon Constance, the son of a tavern-keeper at Cephalonia, was made barcalon, that is prime minister, or grand vizier, of the kingdom of Siam. This man, desirous of strengthening and increasing his authority, wanted for that purpose to call in some foreign assistance, but did not dare to trust either the Dutch or the English, who are dangerous neighbors in the Indies. The French had lately settled some factories on the coast of Coromandel, and had brought the fame of their monarch with them into that extreme part of Asia. Constance thought Louis XIV. a proper person to be flattered by homage coming from so distant a place, and so little expected. Religion, which is the master-spring of worldly politics from Siam to Paris, proved subservient to his design; accordingly in 1684 he sent a solemn embassy and magnificent presents, in the name of the king of Siam, his master, to Louis XIV., to acquaint him that the Indian monarch, charmed with his fame, was resolved to enter into a treaty of commerce with no other nation than the French, and that he even had some thoughts of becoming a Christian. The king thus flattered in his greatness, and deceived on the side of religion, engaged to send the king of Siam two ambassadors and six Jesuits, to whom he afterward added some officers and eight hundred soldiers. But the pomp of this embassy was all the fruit it produced. Constance, four years afterward, fell a victim to his own ambition. Part of the French who remained with him were massacred, and the rest were obliged to fly; while his widow, after having been on the point of becoming queen, was, by the king of Siam’s successor, condemned to serve in his kitchen as a cook, an employment which suited her birth.

That thirst for glory which led Louis XIV. to distinguish himself in everything from other kings, showed itself again in the haughty manner with which he affected to treat the court of Rome. Odescalchi, the son of a banker of Milan, was at that time in the papal chair, with the name of Innocent XI. He was a virtuous man, a prudent pontiff, a middling divine, and a courageous, resolute, and magnificent prince. He assisted the empire and the Poles against the Turks with his money, and the Venetians with his galleys. He blamed Louis XIV., in the severest terms, for joining with the Turks against the Christians. It was surprising to see a pope thus warmly espousing the cause of the emperors, who style themselves kings of the Romans, and would, if they could, establish the seat of their empire in Rome; but Odescalchi was born under the Austrian dominion, and had even made two campaigns in the army of Milan. All men are governed by habit and humor: his pride was hurt by the haughtiness of Louis XIV., who on his side did everything to mortify him that a king of France can do to a pope, without absolutely separating from his communion. An abuse had prevailed for a long time in Rome, which was the more difficult to be eradicated as it was founded on a point of honor upon which the Catholics piqued themselves. Their ambassadors at Rome extended the right of franchise and asylum belonging to their palaces to a great distance, under the general name of quarters. These privileges, which were strictly maintained, made one-half of Rome an asylum for all kinds of villainy. By another abuse, whatever was brought into Rome under the ambassador’s name was free from all duty. By this means trade suffered, and the state was impoverished.

At length Pope Innocent XI. prevailed on the emperor, the kings of Spain and Poland, and on the new king of England, James II., who was a Catholic, to give up these odious privileges. The nuncio Ranucci proposed to Louis to concur with these princes in restoring the peace and good order of Rome; but Louis, who in his heart hated the pope, returned for answer that he never regulated his conduct by the example of others, who rather ought himself to serve as an example for them. He then sent the marquis de Lavardin on an embassy to Rome, purposely to insult the pope. Lavardin accordingly made his entrance into that city in November, 1687, in spite of the pope’s prohibition, and escorted by four hundred of the marine guards, the same number of volunteer officers, and two hundred men in livery, all armed. He immediately went and took possession of his palace, the quarters thereunto belonging, and the church of St. Louis, round which he ordered sentinels to be placed, and to go the rounds as in a garrison. The pope is the only sovereign to whom such an embassy can be sent; for the superiority which he always affects over crowned heads makes them always desirous of humbling him, and the weakness of his dominions permits them to insult him with impunity. All that Innocent XI. could do was to attack the marquis de Lavardin with the worn-out weapon of excommunication, a weapon which is now as little regarded in Rome as elsewhere, but which nevertheless was employed by an ancient ceremonial, in the same manner as the pope’s soldiers carry arms, merely for form’s sake.

Cardinal d’Estrées, a man of sense, but generally unfortunate in his negotiations, was at that time resident from the court of France at Rome. D’Estrées, being obliged to make frequent visits to the marquis de Lavardin, could not afterward be admitted to an audience of the pope without receiving absolution; he in vain endeavored to evade this ceremony; Innocent persisted in giving it to him, in order to keep up an imaginary power, by the customs on which it was founded.

Louis, through the same motives of pride, though secretly supported by politics, endeavored to make an elector of Cologne. Full of the scheme of dividing or making war with the empire, he thought to confer this electorate on Cardinal Fürstemberg, bishop of Strasburg, his creature and the victim of his interests, and an irreconcilable enemy to the emperor, who had ordered him to be imprisoned in the preceding war as a German who had sold himself to France.

The chapter of Cologne, like all the other chapters of Germany, has a right to nominate its bishop who by that becomes elector. The person who then filled this see was Ferdinand of Bavaria, formerly the ally, and afterward the enemy, of Louis, as many other princes had been. He now lay at the point of death. The king, by money, intrigues, and promises, prevailed on the canons to choose Fürstemberg coadjutor; and after the death of Ferdinand he was chosen a second time by a majority of votes. By the Germanic concordat the pope has the right of conferring the bishopric on the bishop-elect, and the emperor that of confirming him in the electorate. The emperor and Pope Innocent, persuaded that to leave Fürstemberg in possession of the electoral dignity was the same as if they had given it to Louis XIV., joined together to bestow this principality upon young Bavaria, brother to the deceased prince. The king avenged himself on the pope by taking Avignon from him in October, 1688, and made preparations for a war against the emperor. At the same time he disturbed the elector palatine, on account of the rights of the princess palatine, second wife of the duke of Orleans, rights which she had renounced by her marriage articles. The war began in Spain, in the year 1667, on account of the claims of Maria Theresa, notwithstanding that a like renunciation made, which plainly proves that contracts can only bind private persons.

In this manner did the king, in the height of his greatness, perplex, strip, or humble almost all the princes of Europe, but they in return almost all joined in league against him.

The prince of Orange, still more ambitious than even Louis XIV., had conceived vast designs, which might appear chimerical in a stadtholder of Holland, but which he justified by his great abilities and courage. He wanted to humble the king of France and dethrone the king of England. He found no great difficulty in getting the powers of Europe to join with him against France; the emperor, some princes of the empire, the Dutch, and the duke of Lorraine had at first entered into a private league at Augsburg, in 1681, and were soon after joined by Spain and the duke of Savoy. The pope, without being actually one of the confederates, set them all to work by his intrigues. The Venetians, without openly declaring themselves, favored their designs in secret, and all the princes of Italy were sympathetic. In the North, Sweden at that time sided with the imperialists, and Denmark was a useless ally to France. Upward of five hundred thousand Protestants, who had been driven out of France by the persecution of Louis, and had carried with them their industry and an irreconcilable hatred to the French king, were as a new body of enemies, who dispersed themselves through all the courts of Europe, and animated the confederate powers, already inclined to war. We shall speak of the flight of these people in the chapter on religion. The king was surrounded by enemies on all sides, and had no friend but King James of England.

James II., who succeeded his brother, Charles II., was a Catholic; but Charles did not consent to become a Catholic till toward the latter part of his life, and then only out of compliance with his mistresses and his brother. In fact, he acknowledged no other religion but that of pure deism. His perfect indifference in those points which divide mankind in their disputations had contributed not a little to render his reign peaceable among the English. James, on the contrary, attached by strong persuasion to the Roman Catholic religion from his youth, joined to his belief the spirit of party and zeal. Had he been a Mahometan, or of the religion of Confucius, the English would never have disturbed his reign; but he formed a design to establish the Roman Catholic religion in his kingdom, which was looked upon with the utmost horror by these republican royalists, as a religion of slavery. It is sometimes a very easy matter to establish a religion in a country; Constantine, Clovis, Gustavus Vasa, and Queen Elizabeth did, without any danger, introduce a new religion into their kingdoms by different methods, and had it received by the people; but to bring about changes of this kind there are two things absolutely necessary—a depth of politics, and a lucky concurrence of circumstances, both of which were wanting here.

He could not without indignation reflect that so many kings of Europe were despotic; that those of Sweden and Denmark had lately become so; and, in a word, that Poland and England were the only kingdoms in the world where the liberty of the people subsisted at the same time with royalty. He was encouraged by Louis XIV. to render himself absolute at home, and the Jesuits persuaded him to restore their religion, and with it their credit; but he took such unfortunate measures to compass this that at his first setting out he turned all hearts against him. He began as if he had already obtained the end he aimed at: he entertained a nuncio from the pope publicly at his court, with a train of Jesuits and Capuchin friars; he threw seven English bishops into prison, whom he should have won over by gentle means; deprived the city of London of its privileges, instead of indulging it with new ones; and overturned the laws with a high hand, which he should have secretly undermined; in a word, he acted with so little discretion that the cardinals at Rome used to say of him by way of jest that he ought to be excommunicated, as a person who was going about to destroy the little Catholic religion that remained in England.

Pope Innocent XI. conceived such indifferent hopes of James’s projects that he never would grant a cardinal’s hat, which that prince solicited for his confessor, Father Peters. This Jesuit was a hot-headed, intriguing man who, mad with the ambition of becoming a cardinal and primate of England, pushed his master to the brink of the precipice. The principal persons of the kingdom combined in secret to prevent the king’s designs, and sent a deputation to the prince of Orange. They conducted their plot with such prudence and secrecy that the court was lulled into full security.

The prince of Orange fitted out a fleet, on board of which were to be embarked between fourteen and fifteen thousand men. This prince, who was only an illustrious private person, and had hardly five hundred thousand livres a year of his own estate, was nevertheless so happy in his politics that he saw himself master of money, a fleet, and the hearts of the states-general. He was truly a king in Holland by his skilful conduct, while James lost all regal power in England by his precipitate rashness.

It was at first stated that this armament was designed against France. The true destination was kept a profound secret, though intrusted to more than two hundred persons. Barillon, the French ambassador at London, a man of pleasure, and more conversant in the intrigues of James’s mistresses than those of Europe, was the first imposed upon. Louis XIV., however, was not to be thus deceived; he saw what was going forward, and offered his assistance to his friend and ally, who, thinking himself secure, rejected that aid which he afterward solicited when it was too late, and the prince of Orange’s fleet was under sail. He had been wanting to himself, and he now found everything fail him at once. He in vain wrote to the emperor Leopold; that prince returned for answer, “Nothing has befallen you but what we had foretold.” He depended on his fleet, but his ships suffered those of the enemy to pass them. He might, however, have defended himself by land; he had an army of twenty thousand men, and if he had led them on without giving them time for reflection, it is probable they would have done their duty; but instead of that, he gave them leisure to fix their determination. Several of his general officers abandoned him, and among the rest the famous Churchill, who afterward proved as fatal to Louis as he had done to James, and became so illustrious under the name of the duke of Marlborough. He was the favorite of James, his creature, brother of his mistress, and a lieutenant-general in his army; notwithstanding which he left him, and went over to the prince of Orange at his camp. James saw himself abandoned by his son-in-law, the prince of Denmark, and even by his own daughter, the princess Anne.

And now finding himself attacked and pursued by one of his sons-in-law, abandoned by the other, deserted by his own daughters and bosom friends, and hated even by those of his subjects who were of his own party, he looked upon his fortune as desperate; and, without waiting for the issue of a battle, resolved upon flight, the last resource of a vanquished prince. At length, after being stopped in his flight by the populace, ill-treated by them, and carried back to London, receiving submissively the orders of the prince of Orange in his own palace, seeing his guard relieved by that prince’s, without the least resistance, driven from his house, and made a prisoner at Rochester, he took advantage of the liberty purposely given him to quit his kingdom, and sought an asylum in France.

This was the epoch of the true English liberty. The nation, represented by its parliament, fixed the long-contested limits of the royal prerogative, and the privileges of the people; and having prescribed to the prince of Orange the conditions on which he was to reign, chose him for their king jointly with his wife, Mary, the daughter of King James. From that time this prince was acknowledged by the greater part of Europe as the lawful king of England, by the name of William III., and the deliverer of that nation; but in France they considered him only as the prince of Orange, the usurper of the dominions of his father-in-law.

In January, 1689, the fugitive king came with his wife, the daughter of the duke of Modena, and their son, the prince of Wales, as yet an infant, to implore the protection of Louis XIV. The queen of England, who arrived a little before her husband, was astonished at the splendor with which the French monarch was surrounded, and that profusion of magnificence which she beheld at Versailles; and still more so at the reception she met with from the king, who went as far as Chatou to meet her. “I now do you a melancholy service, madam,” said he, “I hope, before very long, to render you one more considerable and fortunate.” He then conducted her to the palace of St. Germain, where she met with the same attendance as the queen of France herself would have had, and was furnished with everything that ministers to convenience or luxury; presents of all kinds, in gold, silver, plate, jewels, and rich stuffs.

Among other presents she found a purse of ten thousand louis d’or laid on her toilet. The same attention was paid to her husband, who arrived just one day after her; he had six hundred thousand francs a year settled on him for the expenses of his household, besides an infinite number of presents which were made him. He had the king’s own officers and guards. But this noble reception was little, in comparison with the preparations which were made for restoring him to his throne. Never did monarch appear so grand as Louis on this occasion, and James seemed as mean. Those of the court and city, by whose opinions the reputations of men are decided, conceived very little esteem for him. He saw nobody but Jesuits. He alighted at their college in the Rue St. Antoine in Paris; he told them that he was a Jesuit as well as themselves; and, what is still more extraordinary, he said the truth. He had got himself admitted into this order with certain ceremonies, by four English Jesuits, when he was only duke of York. This weakness of mind in a prince, joined to the manner in which he had lost his crown, rendered him so despicable that the courtiers diverted themselves every day with making songs about him. He was driven from England and ridiculed in France, where no one gave him any credit for being a Catholic. The archbishop of Rheims, brother of Louvois, the minister, said openly in his antechamber at St. Germain: “There’s a good man, who has given up three kingdoms for a mass.” From Rome he received only indulgences and pasquinades. In a word, throughout the whole of this revolution, his religion was of so little service to him that when the prince of Orange, who was the head of the Calvinists, set sail to go and dethrone his father-in-law, the Catholic king’s minister at The Hague ordered masses to be said for the success of his expedition.

In the midst of the humiliations which befell this fugitive prince, and the liberality of Louis XIV. toward him, it was a spectacle worthy of attention to see James touching for the king’s evil in the little convent of the English nuns—whether the kings of England have arrogated this singular privilege to themselves, as pretenders to the crown of France, or that this ceremony has been established among them since the time of the first Edward.

The king soon sent him over to Ireland, where the Roman Catholics still formed a strong party; a squadron of thirteen ships of the first rate lay in Brest road, ready to carry him over. All the officers, courtiers, and even the priests who had repaired to James at St. Germain, had their passage to Brest defrayed at the French king’s expense. An ambassador—M. d’Avaux—was nominated to attend the dethroned king, and followed him in great state. Arms and ammunition of all kinds were put on board the fleet, and every sort of utensil, from the meanest to the most valuable. The king went to St. Germain to take his leave of him; where, for the last present, he gave him his own suit of armor, and embracing him affectionately, said: “The best thing I can wish you is never to see you here again.” James had scarcely landed in Ireland with this great preparation, when he was followed by twenty-three more large ships, and a prodigious number of transports, under the command of Château-Renaud. This fleet having, on May 12, 1689, engaged and dispersed the English squadron, which attempted to oppose its passage, and landed the troops in safety, on its return fell in with and took seven Dutch merchantmen, and came back to Brest victorious over the English, and laden with the spoils of the Dutch.

Shortly after, in March, 1690, a third supply set sail from the harbors of Brest, Toulon, and Rochefort. The ports of Ireland and the English Channel were covered with French ships. At length Tourville, vice-admiral of France, with seventy-two sail of large ships, fell in with the English and Dutch fleet of sixty sail, and a fight ensued which lasted ten hours; on this occasion Tourville, Château-Renaud, d’Estrées, and Nemond signalized themselves by their courage and skill, and reflected honor on the French navy, to which it had till then been a stranger. The English and Dutch, who till then had been masters of the ocean, and from whom the French had but a little time before learned the art of fighting their ships in line of battle, were totally defeated. Seventeen of their ships dismasted, or rendered useless, were run ashore and burned by themselves; the rest took refuge in the Thames, or on the banks of Holland. In this whole engagement the French lost but one small vessel. And now, what Louis had been wishing for upward of twenty years, and which seemed so little probable, came to pass; he had the empire of the sea, an empire which indeed was but of short duration. The enemy’s ships of war fled before his fleets; Seignelay, who dared to attempt the greatest things, brought the galleys of Marseilles upon the main ocean; and the seacoast of England beheld this kind of vessel for the first time; by the help of these galleys a descent was made at Tynemouth, and upward of thirty merchant-ships burned in that bay. The privateers of St. Malo and the new harbor of Dunkirk enriched themselves and the state by continual prizes. In a word, for the space of two years there was not a ship to be seen on the sea but those of France.

King James did not second in Ireland these great efforts made by Louis in his favor. He had with him nearly six thousand French, and fifteen thousand Irish soldiers. The river Boyne ran between his army and King William’s: this river was fordable, the water not being higher than the men’s shoulders; but after it was passed there was a deep marsh to cross before they could attack the Irish army, after which a steep ground presented itself, which formed a kind of natural intrenchment. William made his army pass the river in three places, and began the battle in July, 1690. The Irish, who are known to be such good soldiers in France and Spain, have always behaved ill in their own country. There are certain nations which seem made to be subject to another; the English have always been superior to the Irish in genius, riches, and arms. Ireland has never been able to throw off the English yoke since first subdued by an English nobleman. The French stood their ground at the battle of the Boyne; the Irish gave way and fled. King James, who had not once made his appearance during the engagement, either at the head of the French or Irish, was the first to retreat, and yet he had given proofs of great courage on other occasions; but there are times when valor is lost in dispiritedness. King William having had his shoulder grazed by a cannon-ball before the battle, it was reported and believed in France that he was killed. This false report was received in Paris with a scandalous and indecent joy. The citizens and populace, encouraged by some of the under magistrates, made illuminations, rang the bells, and, in several quarters of the town, they burned figures made of osier, to represent the prince of Orange, in the same manner as they burn the pope in London. The cannon of the Bastille were fired, not by the king’s order, but through the indiscreet zeal of the commandant. It might be supposed, from these great marks of satisfaction, and from what is said by a number of writers, that this mad joy at the supposed death of an enemy was the effect of the great dread they had of him. Almost every writer, French and English, has observed that these rejoicings were the greatest panegyric that could be made on William III. Nevertheless, if we only consider the circumstances of the times, and the spirit which then reigned, we shall presently discover that these transports of joy were not produced by fear. The lower class of citizens and the populace know not what it is to fear an enemy, unless when he threatens their city. Far from dreading the name of William III., the common people in France were so unjust as to despise him. He had almost always been beaten by French generals. The vulgar were ignorant how much real glory that prince had acquired even in his defeats. William, the victor of James in Ireland, did not yet appear, in the eyes of the French, an enemy worthy of Louis XIV. The people of Paris, who idolized their monarch, thought him absolutely invincible. The rejoicings then were not the effect of fear, but hatred; most of the Parisians, who were born under the reign of Louis, and moulded to despotic sway, looked upon a king at that time as a demigod, and a usurper as a sacrilegious monster. The common people, who had seen James going every day to mass, detested William as a heretic. The idea of a son-in-law and a daughter, Protestants, driving their father, a Catholic, from his throne, and reigning in his stead, together with that of an enemy to their king, transported the Parisians to a degree of fury; but prudent people were of a more moderate way of thinking.

James returned to France, leaving his rival to gain new battles in Ireland, and settle himself on the throne. The French fleets were then employed in bringing back their countrymen, who had fought to no purpose, and the Irish Roman Catholics, who, being extremely poor in their own country, chose to go over to France and subsist upon the king’s liberality.

Fortune had apparently very little share in any part of this revolution, from the beginning to the end. The characters of William and James did everything. Those who delight to trace the causes of events in the conduct of men will remark that King William, after his victory, caused a general amnesty to be published; and that King James, on the contrary, on his way through a little town called Galway, hanged some of the inhabitants, who had advised shutting the gates against him. Of two men behaving in this manner, we may easily perceive who would be more likely to prevail.

There were still some towns in Ireland that remained in James’s interest, and among the rest Limerick, in which there were above twelve thousand soldiers. The French king, who still persevered in supporting James’s desperate fortunes, ordered three thousand regular troops to be transported to Limerick; and by an additional generosity he sent all provisions necessary for the maintenance of a numerous garrison. Forty transport vessels, under the convoy of twelve ships of war, carried over every needful supply of workmen’s tools, carriages, engineers, gunners, bombardiers, with two hundred masons, a number of saddles, bridles, and harnesses for upward of twenty thousand horse; cannon with their carriages; muskets, pistols, and swords for twenty-six thousand men; besides provisions and clothing, even to shoes. Limerick, though besieged, being thus abundantly furnished with supplies of every kind, hoped to see its king fight in its defence; but James not appearing, Limerick surrendered, and the French ships returned once more to the coast of Ireland, and brought back to France about twenty thousand soldiers and inhabitants.

What is perhaps more extraordinary than all the rest is, that Louis was not discouraged by these continued disappointments; and though he had a difficult war to support against the greatest part of Europe, he nevertheless endeavored once more to change the fortune of the unhappy king of England, by the decisive stroke of making a descent in England with twenty thousand men which were assembled between Cherbourg and La Hogue. More than three hundred transport vessels lay ready to receive them at Brest. Tourville, with forty-four capital ships, cruised off the coast of Normandy to wait for them. D’Estrées arrived in the port of Toulon with thirty ships more, on July 29, 1692. As there are some misfortunes which arise from bad conduct, so there are others that can only be imputed to fortune. The wind, which was at first favorable to d’Estrées’ squadron, changed, and made it impossible for him to join Tourville, who with his forty-four ships was attacked by the combined fleets of England and Holland, consisting of nearly a hundred sail: the French were obliged to yield to superior numbers, but not till after an obstinate fight of ten hours. Russell, the English admiral, pursued him for two days. Fourteen large ships, of which there were two that carried one hundred and four guns, ran ashore, and the captains set fire to them, to prevent their being burned by the enemy. King James, who was a spectator of this disaster, from the neighboring shore, saw all his hopes at once swallowed up.

This was the first check which had been given to the power of Louis XIV. at sea. Seignelay, who after the death of Colbert, his father, had continued to improve the French navy, died in 1690. Pontchartrain, who had been raised from the place of first president of Brittany to that of secretary for the marine department, did not suffer it to decay under his jurisdiction. The same spirit still continued in the administration. France had as many ships at sea after the fatal blow at La Hogue as she had before; for Tourville commanded a fleet of sixty ships of the line, and d’Estrées one of thirty, exclusive of those which were in harbor; and not more than four years afterward—in 1696—the king fitted out another armament, still more formidable than any of the former ones, to transport James over to England, at the head of twenty thousand French. But this fleet only made its appearance on the coast, for the measures of James’s party in London were as ill concerted as those of his protector were well laid in France.

The dethroned king’s party had now no hope left but in hatching plots against the life of his rival; and almost all those who were concerned in these attempts suffered by the hands of the executioner: besides, it is more than probable that, had they succeeded, he would never have recovered his kingdom. He passed the remainder of his days at St. Germain, where he lived on Louis’s bounty, and a pension of seventy thousand francs, which he was mean-spirited enough to receive privately from his daughter Mary, who had been accessory in dethroning him. He died at St. Germain in the year 1700. Some Irish Jesuits pretended to assert that miracles were performed at his tomb. They even talked at Rome of canonizing after his death a prince whom they had abandoned when living.

Few princes were more unhappy than James; nor have we an example in history of a family for so long a time unfortunate. The first of the kings of Scotland, his ancestors, who bore the name of James, after having been detained for eighteen years a prisoner in England, was murdered, together with his queen, by his own subjects. James II., the son of this prince, was killed in battle against the English, at nineteen years of age. James III., after being imprisoned by his subjects, was slain by the rebels in fight. James IV. fell in a battle which he lost. Mary Stuart, his granddaughter, after being driven from her throne, and forced to take refuge in England, where she languished eighteen years in prison, was at length condemned to die by English judges, and lost her head on a scaffold; Charles I., grandson of this Mary, and king of England and Scotland, was sold by the Scots, sentenced to death by the English, and executed publicly as a traitor. His son, James, the subject of this chapter, was driven from three kingdoms, and, to crown the misfortunes of the family, even the birth of his son was disputed. This son, by the efforts he made to recover the throne of his fathers, brought many of his friends to an untimely end; and of late days we have seen Prince Charles Edward, in whom the virtues of his ancestors and the valor of King John Sobieski, his grandfather by the mother’s side, were in vain united, performing exploits, and suffering calamities almost beyond the reach of credit. If anything can justify those who believe in an unavoidable fatality, it must be the continued series of misfortunes which have befallen the family of the Stuarts for over three hundred years.

Not having been willing to break in upon the chain of affairs in England in the preceding chapter, I now return to what passed on the continent.

While Louis was thus forming a maritime force that had never been exceeded by any state, he had to make head against the emperor and princes of the empire, Spain, the two maritime powers of England and Holland become both more formidable under one chief, Savoy, and almost all Italy. One such enemy as England and Spain would have been quite sufficient in former times to ruin France; and yet all of them united would not now make any impression upon her. The king had almost constantly five different armies on foot during the course of this war; sometimes six, but never less than four. The armies in Germany and Flanders frequently amounted to one hundred thousand effective men. The frontier places were at the same time provided with garrisons. Louis had four hundred and fifty thousand men in arms, including the marine troops. The Turkish Empire, so powerful in Europe, never had so great a number; and even the Roman Empire had not more; nor were there ever so many wars carried on at a time. Those who blame Louis XIV. for having made himself so many enemies cannot but admire the measures which he took to defend himself, and even to be beforehand with his enemies.

These had not as yet entirely declared themselves, nor were they all united. The prince of Orange had not yet sailed from Texel on his expedition against his father-in-law, when France had armies upon the frontiers of Holland, and on the borders of the Rhine. The king had sent his son, the dauphin, who was called Monseigneur, into Germany, with an army of twenty thousand men. This prince was gentle in his manners, modest in his deportment, and seemed greatly to resemble his mother. He was then twenty-seven years old, and this was the first time he had been intrusted with a command, after his behavior had given sufficient proofs that he would not make an ill use of his power. The king spoke to him in public thus, at his departure: “My son, in sending you to command my armies, I give you an opportunity of making your merit known; go and display it to all Europe, that when I depart this life it may not be perceived that the king is dead.”

The prince had a special commission for this command, as if he had been only a private general whom the king had made choice of. The king’s letters were directed “To our son, the dauphin, our lieutenant-general, commanding our armies in Germany.”

Everything had been so ordered and disposed beforehand, that the son of Louis XIV. who assisted in this expedition with his name and presence, might not be apt to meet with an affront. Marshal de Duras had in fact the command of the army. Bouflers had a body of troops on this side of the Rhine, and Marshal d’Humières another near Cologne, to watch the movements of the enemy. Heidelberg and Mentz were taken: the siege of Philippsburg, which is always the first step to be taken when the French make war in Germany, was already begun, under the inspection of Vauban. Such matters as were not in his department fell to the share of Catinat, then lieutenant-general, a man capable of everything, and formed for all exploits. Monseigneur arrived six days after the trenches had been opened. He exactly observed his father’s conduct, exposing his person as much as was necessary, but never rashly; treating everyone with affability, and extending his liberality even to the private soldier. The king felt a sincere joy in having a son who thus imitated, without exceeding him, and who made himself beloved by everyone, without giving his father any occasion to fear him.

Philippsburg was taken in nineteen days, and Mannheim in three; Frankenthal surrendered in two; and Spires, Trier, Worms, and Oppenheim threw open their gates at the first approach of the French.

The king had resolved to make a desert of the Palatinate as soon as those towns were taken. His design in this was rather to cut off all means of subsistence from the enemy, than to take vengeance on the elector, whose only crime was that of having done his duty in joining with the rest of Germany against France. An order came to the army from the king, signed Louvois, to reduce the whole country to ashes. The French generals were then obliged to obey; and though it was in the very midst of winter, caused notice to be sent to the inhabitants of all these flourishing towns, and the villages round about, and to the masters of above fifty castles, to quit their dwellings; that they were going to destroy everything with fire and sword. Upon this dreadful summons, men, women, old people, and children, hurried out in the utmost haste: some of whom wandered up and down in the fields, and the rest took refuge in neighboring countries, while the soldiery, who always exceed commands of rigor, and seldom or never execute those of clemency, burned and pillaged their country. They began with Mannheim, the residence of the electors, whose palaces they levelled to the ground, as well as the private houses of the citizens; broke open their very tombs, thinking to satisfy their avarice with the immense treasures they expected to find there, and scattered their ashes abroad. This was the second time that this beautiful country had been laid waste by Louis’s orders; but the burning of two cities and twenty villages by Turenne was but a spark in comparison to this conflagration. All Europe was struck with horror at this action. The very officers who executed it were ashamed of being the instruments of such cruelty. The blame was thrown on the marquis of Louvois, who had contracted that insensibility of heart which arises from a long administration. He was certainly the person who advised this proceeding; but Louis had it in his power to reject or follow his counsel. Had the king been a witness to this spectacle, he would have gone in person to extinguish the flames. From his palace in Versailles, where he was surrounded by pleasures, he signed the destruction of a whole country, because he there beheld only his own glory and the fatal right of conquest in the order he gave; but had he been nearer to the spot, he would have seen all the horror of it. The nations, who till then had only blamed his ambition, and admired his other qualifications, now cried out against his cruelty, and even condemned his politics: for had his enemies penetrated into his dominions, as he did into theirs, they would have set all the cities in his kingdom on fire.

Nor was this a very remote danger; Louis, in covering his frontiers with one hundred thousand soldiers, taught Germany to make the same efforts. This country, being better peopled than France, may be able to raise larger armies. They have more difficulty indeed in raising, getting together, and paying them, and they are longer before they take the field; but their strict discipline and patience under fatigues make them at the end of a campaign as formidable as the French are at the beginning. The army of the empire was commanded by the duke of Lorraine, Charles V. This prince, who was still kept out of his dominions by Louis XIV., had preserved the empire for Leopold, and given him the victory over the Turks and Hungarians. He now came, with the elector of Brandenburg, to put a check to the success of the French king’s arms. He retook Bonn and Mentz, two towns which were very badly fortified, but defended in a manner which was esteemed a model for the future defence of places. Bonn did not surrender till after a siege of nearly four months, and the baron d’Asfeld who commanded there, was mortally wounded in a general assault.

The marquis d’Uxelles, afterward marshal of France, a most prudent and wary general, had made such excellent dispositions for the defence of Mentz, that his garrison suffered hardly any fatigue in the great service it performed: besides the care he took to provide for the safety of the place, he made twenty-one sallies on the enemy, and killed over five thousand of their men. He sometimes made one or two sallies in open daylight: in short, he maintained the place for seven weeks, and surrendered at length only for want of powder. This vigorous defence deserves a place in history, both on account of its own merit, and the approbation it met with from the world. Paris, that immense city, whose indolent inhabitants pretend to judge of everything, and who have so many ears and tongues, with so few eyes, looked upon d’Uxelles as a timorous man, and deficient in judgment. When this great commander, on whom every good officer will bestow just praise, after his return from the campaign, went to the theatre, the populace hooted him, and cried out “Mentz!” upon which he was obliged to retire, not without heartily contemning, as every wise man must, a people who are such bad judges of merit, and whose praise, nevertheless, is so greedily sought after.

About the same time—June, 1689—Marshal d’Humières was beaten at Walcourt, on the Sambre, in the Netherlands, by the prince of Waldeck; but this check, though it hurt his reputation, very little affected the French arms. Louvois, whose creature and friend he was, found himself under the necessity of taking from him the command of this army, which was conferred on Marshal Luxembourg, whom neither the king nor Louvois liked; but their regard for the state got the better of their aversion to the man, and they made use of his services, though with some repugnance. He was therefore appointed commander in the Netherlands. Louvois was remarkable for correcting a too hasty choice, or for making a good one. Catinat was sent with a command into Italy. Marshal de Lorges defended himself everywhere in Germany. The duke de Noailles had some little success in Catalonia; but under Luxembourg in Flanders, and Catinat in Italy, there was a continual succession of victories. These two generals were at that time esteemed the greatest in Europe.

The marshal duke of Luxembourg, in some parts of his character, resembled the great Condé, whose pupil he was in the art of war. He had a fiery genius, a prompt execution, a quick discernment, a mind greedy for knowledge, but too extensive and irregular: he was continually engaged in intrigues with the ladies, always in love, and frequently beloved, though deformed and ill-favored, and had more of the qualifications of a hero than a wise man.

Catinat had an application and activity in his disposition that made him capable of everything, though he never piqued himself upon any one particular qualification. He would have been equally as good a minister and chancellor as he was a general. In the earlier part of his life he followed the law; but quitted that profession at the age of twenty-three, because he lost a cause in which he had justice on his side. He then took up arms, and was at first an ensign in the French guards. In the year 1667, at the attack on the counterscarp of Lille, he performed an action in the presence of the king, which required both understanding and courage. The king took notice of him, and this was the beginning of his good fortune. He rose by degrees, without making any interest: he was a philosopher in the midst of war and grandeur, those two fatal rocks to moderation; exempt from all kind of prejudice, without the affectation of appearing to despise them too much; and an utter stranger to gallantry and the arts of courts, but a sincere friend, and an honest man. He lived a professed foe to interest and vainglory, and was equally the philosopher in all respects at the hour of his death that he was through the course of his life.

Catinat commanded at that time in Italy, where he was opposed by Victor Amadeus, duke of Savoy; who was then a wise, politic, and still more unfortunate prince; a warrior of remarkable courage, who always led his own armies, and exposed his person like a common man; no one better understood that deceitful kind of war which is carried on in a mountainous and uneven country, such as his was; he was active, vigilant, a lover of order, but sometimes guilty of errors, both as a prince and a general. He is said to have committed an essential one in the bad manner in which he drew up his army in presence of that of Catinat. The French general took advantage of his mistake, and gained a complete victory over him, in sight of Saluzzo, near the abbey of Stafarola, from which that battle took its name. When there are a number of men killed on one side and hardly any on the other, it is a certain proof that the army which is beaten was drawn up on a ground where it must necessarily be overpowered. The French had only three hundred men killed, and the allied army, commanded by the duke of Savoy, more than four thousand. After this battle, all Savoy, except Montmêlian, submitted to the king. Catinat then marched into Piedmont, in 1691, forced the enemy’s intrenchments near Susa; took that town, together with Villafranca, Montalban, Nice, deemed impregnable, Veillano, and Carmagnola, and returned to Montmélian, of which he made himself master after an obstinate siege.

After all these successes the ministry lessened the army which he commanded, and the duke of Savoy augmented his. Catinat, inferior in numbers to his conquered enemy, remained a long time on the defensive; but at length having received reinforcements, he descended the Alps, near Marsala, and there, on Oct. 4, 1693, gained a second pitched battle which was the more glorious, as Prince Eugene of Savoy was then one of the enemy’s generals.

At the other extremity of France, toward the Netherlands, Marshal Luxembourg gained the battle of Fleurus, and by the confession of all the officers, this victory was entirely owing to the superiority of genius in the French general over Prince Waldeck, who then commanded the allied army. Eight thousand men taken prisoners, six thousand killed, two hundred stands of colors, almost all the cannon and baggage, and the flight of the enemy, were sufficient proofs of the victory.

King William had just returned from his victory over his father-in-law. This great genius, ever fertile in resources, made more advantage of the defeat of his party than the French often did of their victories. He had been obliged to have recourse to intrigues and negotiations, to procure men and money sufficient to oppose a king who had only to say, “I will.” Nevertheless, after the defeat at Fleurus—Sept. 19, 1691—he came to meet Marshal Luxembourg with an army as strong as that of the French.

They each consisted of about eighty thousand men; but the marshal had already invested Mons, when William thought the French had hardly left their winter quarters. Louis himself came to be present at the siege, and entered the town the ninth day after opening the trenches, in sight of the enemy’s army. After that he returned to Versailles, and left Luxembourg to dispute the field during the whole campaign, which ended with the battle of Liège, a very extraordinary action, in which twenty-eight squadrons of the king’s household troops and the gendarmerie defeated seventy-five squadrons of the enemy’s army.

The king next repaired to the siege of Namur, the strongest place in the Netherlands, both by its situation, which is at the confluence of the Sambre and the Meuse, and by its citadel, which is built on rocks. He took the town in eight days, and the castles in twenty-two, while the duke of Luxembourg prevented King William from passing the Mehaigne, at the head of eighty thousand men, to raise the siege. After this conquest Louis returned again to Versailles, and Luxembourg still continued to make head against the enemy’s force. Now it was that the battle of Steinkirk was fought, so famous for the art and courage displayed therein. A spy, whom the French king had sent to watch the motions of King William, was discovered, and compelled, before he was led to execution, to write false information to Marshal Luxembourg, who, immediately upon receipt of this intelligence, made such dispositions as must necessarily bring on a battle. His army was attacked at daybreak, while everyone was asleep, and one entire brigade cut to pieces before the general knew anything of the matter. Without the extremest diligence and bravery, all would have been lost.

It was not enough to be a great general to prevent a total defeat; it likewise required well-disciplined troops, capable of rallying in an instant, general officers sufficiently skilful to recover these troops from the disorder into which they were thrown, and willing to do their duty; for a single officer of rank who had a mind to take advantage of the general confusion to cause his general’s defeat might easily have done it without exposing himself to detection.

The marshal was then ill, a fatal circumstance, at a time when uncommon activity was required; but the greatness of the danger restored him to his strength: it was necessary to perform prodigies not to be overcome, and he performed them; he changed his ground, gave a field of battle to his army, which before had none, recovered the right wing, which was all in confusion, rallied his men three times, and three times charged at the head of the household troops, and all this in less than two hours. He had with him in his army the duke of Chartres, afterward regent of the kingdom, a grandson of France, who was then not above fifteen years old. He could be of no service in striking a decisive blow; but it contributed not a little to animate the soldiers, when they saw a grandson of France charging at the head of the king’s household troops, and, though wounded in the fight, returning again to the charge.

A grandson and grandnephew of the great Condé both served in this army as lieutenant-generals; one of these was Louis of Bourbon; called Monsieur, the duke, and the other Armand, prince of Conti, both rivals in courage, wit, ambition, and fame. Monsieur was of a more austere disposition, and had perhaps more solid qualifications, and the prince of Conti more brilliant ones. Being both called by the public voice to the command of armies, they earnestly longed for that honor, which, however, they never obtained; because Louis, who was as well acquainted with their ambition as their merit, always remembered that the prince of Condé had made war against him.

The prince of Conti was the first who recovered the army from its confusion, by rallying some of the brigades, and making the rest advance. Monsieur did just the same, without standing in need of emulation. The duke of Vendôme, grandson of Henry IV., was also a lieutenant-general in this army; he had served ever since he was twelve years of age, and though he was then over forty, he had never yet commanded in chief. His brother, the grand prior, was by his side.

It was necessary that all these princes should put themselves at the head of the king’s household troops in order to drive a body of English from an advantageous post, on which the success of the battle depended. The French household troops and the English were the best troops in the world. The slaughter was great; but the French, animated by the crowd of princes and young noblemen who fought about the general’s person, at length carried the post; and when the English were defeated, the rest were obliged to yield.

Bouflers, who was afterward marshal of France, flew with a body of dragoons from a place where he was, at some distance from the field of battle, and his arrival completed the victory. King William, after having lost about seven thousand men, retired in as good order as he had attacked; and always beaten, and always formidable, he still kept the field. This victory, which was due to the valor of the young princes and the flower of the nobility of the kingdom, produced an effect at court, in the city, and in the provinces, that no former victory had ever done.

Monsieur, the duke, the prince of Conti, M. de Vendôme, and their friends, on their return home from this campaign, found the roads lined with people, whose acclamations and expressions of joy were carried even to a degree of madness. The women all strove to attract their regard. The men at that time wore lace cravats, which took some time and pains to adjust. The princes, having dressed themselves in a hurry, threw these cravats negligently about their necks. The ladies wore handkerchiefs made in this fashion, which they called Steinkirks. Every new toy was a Steinkirk. Any young man who happened to have been present at this battle was looked upon with delight. The populace followed the princes everywhere in crowds, and they were the more beloved because the court did not show them favor equal to their reputation and merit.

In the ensuing campaign the same general, the same princes, with the same troops, who had been surprised and yet victorious at Steinkirk, made a forced march of seven leagues, and came unexpectedly upon William at Neerwinden, and beat him. Neerwinden is a village near the Layette, a few leagues distant from Brussels. William had time to put his army in order of battle. Luxembourg and the princes carried the village, sword in hand, two different times, and the instant the marshal turned another way, the enemy retook it; at length the general and the princes carried it a third time, and the battle was won, on July 29, 1693. Few actions proved more bloody. There were about twenty thousand killed on both sides; the allies lost twelve thousand, and the French eight. On this occasion, it was said there was more room to sing De profundis, than Te Deum.

These numerous victories were productive of much glory, but few great advantages. The allies, though defeated at Fleurus, Steinkirk, and Neerwinden, had never been completely beaten; King William always made fine retreats; and, in a fortnight’s time after one battle it was necessary to fight another with him to be master of the campaign. The cathedral of Paris was filled with colors taken from the enemy. The prince of Conti called Marshal Luxembourg “the Upholsterer of Notre Dame.” Nothing was talked of but victories, and yet Louis XIV. had formerly conquered one-half of Holland and Flanders, and all Franche-Comté, without fighting a single battle; whereas now, after the greatest efforts and the most bloody victories, they could hardly force an entrance into the United Provinces; they could not even lay siege to Brussels.

Marshal de Lorges had also gained a considerable advantage over the allies near Spirebach, and had even taken the old duke of Würtemberg prisoner, and penetrated into his country; but, after having invaded it as a conqueror, he was obliged to quit it again. Monseigneur took and plundered the city of Heidelberg a second time, which the enemy had retaken, and after all was obliged to act upon the defensive against the imperialists.

Marshal Catinat, notwithstanding his great victory at Stafarde, and his having conquered Savoy, could not prevent the duke of that country from making an irruption into Dauphiny, nor, after his victory at Marsala, could he save the important city of Casale.

In Spain Marshal de Noailles gained a battle on the banks of the Ter, on May 27, 1694; he took Gironde and some small places; but his army was weak, and he was obliged, after his victory, to retire from before Barcelona. The French, everywhere victorious, and weakened by their successes, had a hydra to engage in the allies, that was continually rising up afresh. France began to find it difficult to raise recruits, and still more so to procure money. The rigor of the season, by which the fruits of the earth were at that time wholly destroyed, brought on a famine. Numbers perished for want, while the whole kingdom resounded with Te Deums and rejoicings. The spirit of confidence and superiority, which had been the soul of the French troops, began visibly to diminish. Louis XIV. no longer appeared at their head. Louvois was dead, and Barbésieux, his son, was generally disliked by them. To crown all, the death, in January, 1695, of Marshal Luxembourg, under whom they thought themselves invincible, seemed to put an end to the rapid victories of the French.

The art of bombarding towns with ships now turned upon its inventors; not that the engine called “Infernal,” with which the English attempted to burn St. Malo, and that failed of success, was of French invention; machines of this kind had been for a long time in use in Europe. It was the art of throwing bombs with as much certainty from a moving vessel as from the solid ground, that the French invented; and it was by this art that the English had from their ships bombarded the towns of Dieppe, Havre-de-Grâce, St. Malo, Dunkirk, and Calais; Dieppe, as being the most easy of access, was the place which suffered the most damage. This town, which was now so delightful on account of the regularity of its buildings, and which seems to owe its beauty to its misfortunes, was almost reduced to ashes. There were not above twenty houses beaten down and burned in Havre-de-Grâce; but the fortifications of the place were entirely destroyed. In this sense it is that the medal struck by the Dutch is true, notwithstanding that so many French writers have inveighed against its falsity. In the exergue we find these words in Latin: “The harbor of Havre burned and destroyed,” etc. This inscription does not tell us that the town was burned; that would have been false; it only says that the harbor was burned, which is true.

Soon afterward the French lost Namur, which they had taken. The nation had lavished encomiums on Louis XIV., for having conquered this place; and the most indecent sallies had been thrown out against King William for not having succored it with an army of eighty thousand men. William at length became master of it, by the same manner in which it had been lost. He attacked it in the face of an army much stronger than his own was at the time that Louis XIV. laid siege to it. He now met with new fortifications of Vauban’s raising. The French garrison which defended this town was an army of itself; for while they were preparing matters to invest it, Marshal Bouflers found means to throw himself into it with seven regiments of dragoons; so that Namur was not only defended by sixteen thousand men, but was daily in expectation of being relieved by an army of a hundred thousand.

Marshal Bouflers had a great share of merit, was an active and diligent general, and a good citizen, who had nothing so much at heart as the welfare of the service, to promote which he valued neither his pains nor his life. The marquis de Feuquières, in his memoirs, accuses him of several faults in the defence of the town and citadel, and even blames his conduct in the defence of Lille, by which he gained so much honor. Those who have written the history of Louis XIV. have servilely copied Marquis de Feuquières in military matters, and Abbé de Choisi in private anecdotes. They could not know that Feuquières, who was an excellent officer, and perfectly well versed both in the theory and practice of war, was of a disposition as morose as discerning, and sometimes the Aristarchus, sometimes the Zoilus of generals. He alters facts, to have the pleasure of censuring; he complains of everyone, and everyone of him; he was esteemed the bravest man in Europe, because he slept quietly in the midst of a hundred thousand of his enemies. His merit not having been rewarded with the staff of marshal of France, he employed his talents too much against the servants of the state, which would have been extremely useful, had he been as mild and charitable as he was discerning, diligent, and bold.

He charged Marshal de Villeroi with a greater number of faults, and those more essential, than even Bouflers. Villeroi, at the head of twenty thousand men, was to have relieved Namur; but even had the two marshals, Villeroi and Bouflers, done everything, generally speaking, they might have done—which is very seldom the case—the situation of the ground was such that Namur could not be relieved, and must be taken sooner or later. An army of observation posted along the banks of the Mehaigne had prevented King William from bringing up his reinforcements; the same thing now necessarily happened to Marshal Villeroi.

Though Marshal Bouflers, the count de Guiscard, governor of the town, the count de Laumont du Châtelet, commandant of the infantry, and all the officers and soldiers in the place defended it with remarkable obstinacy and bravery, it retarded the capitulation only two days. When a town is besieged by a superior army, when the works are well carried on, and the season favorable, they can judge nearly within what time it will be taken, be the defence ever so vigorous. King William made himself master of the town and citadel in September, 1695, though not in so short a time as Louis XIV.

The king, while he was thus losing Namur, bombarded Brussels; a poor revenge, which he took on the emperor for his towns which had been bombarded by the English; all this occasioned a war equally ruinous and fatal to both parties.

One of the effects of human industry and fury, of these two centuries past, has been that of not confining the havoc of war to our own continent of Europe. We drain ourselves of men and money to carry destruction against each other in Asia and America. The Indians, whom we have compelled by force or artifice to admit our settlements among them, and the Americans, from whom we have wrested their continent, after having dyed it with their blood, look upon us as the foes of humankind, who came from the farthest part of the globe to butcher them, and afterward to destroy one another.

The French had no other colony in the East Indies but Pondicherry, which had been formed by Colbert with great pains, and at an immense expense, and whence no considerable advantage could be drawn for several years; the Dutch easily made themselves masters of it, and thus destroyed the trade of the French in the East Indies, almost in its infancy.

Our plantations in San Domingo were destroyed by the English, in 1695, and one of the Brest privateers laid waste theirs at Gambia, on the coast of Africa. The privateers of St. Malo carried fire and sword into the eastern part of Newfoundland, of which they were in possession; and our squadrons insulted their island of Jamaica, took and burned their shipping there, and ravaged the coast.

Pointis, commander of a squadron of ships of war and some privateers off America, sailed as far as the line, and surprised the town of Cartagena, the magazine and staple for the Spanish treasures, which come from Mexico, in May, 1697; the damage he did there was computed at twenty million livres, and the booty he got at about half that sum. There is always some deduction to be made from such calculations, but little or none from the grievous calamities occasioned by these glorious expeditions.

The French privateers, and especially Duguay-Trouin, were every day making prizes of the English and Dutch merchant ships. This man was very extraordinary in his way, and wanted only a numerous fleet to have acquired as great reputation as Dragut or Barbarossa. The enemy made less rich prizes from the French, because they had less to be taken. Our trade was greatly impaired by the death of Colbert and the war.

A general misery was the result of these expeditions by sea and land. Those who delight more in humanity than politics will readily observe that in this war Louis XIV. took up arms against his brother-in-law, the king of Spain, against the elector of Bavaria, to whose sister he had married his son, the dauphin, and against the elector palatine, whose country he ravaged, though his brother was married to the princess palatine. King James was driven from his throne by his son-in-law and his own daughter; and since that time we have seen the duke of Savoy in league against France, where he had one daughter a dauphiness, and against Spain, where another was queen. Most of the wars between Christian princes are, in some sort, civil wars.

The most criminal enterprise in all this war proved the only truly fortunate one; William was perfectly successful in England and Ireland; in other places the successes were more equal. When I call this a criminal undertaking, I do not examine whether the nation, after having shed the blood of the father, were right or wrong in banishing the son, and maintaining its religion and privileges; I only say that, if there is any justice on earth, the daughter and son-in-law of King James should not have driven him from his throne and kingdom.


France still maintained her superiority over all her enemies; some she had crushed, as the duke of Savoy and the elector palatine, and she carried the war to the frontiers of the others, like a powerful and robust body, fatigued with long resistance, and exhausted by its victories; a well-directed blow would have made her stagger. Whoever has a number of enemies at once can at last find safety only in their division, or in a peace. Louis XIV. obtained both.

Victor Amadeus, duke of Savoy, was a prince easily persuaded to break his engagements, when his interest was concerned; to him the court of France addressed itself. The count de Tessé, afterward marshal of France, an amiable and able man, of a genius formed for pleasing, which is the first qualification of a negotiator, had begun a private treaty at Turin; and Marshal Catinat, who was equally capable of making peace and war, put the finishing hand to the affair. There did not want two such able men to determine the duke of Savoy to accept of what was to his advantage; they restored him his country, gave him a sum of money, and proposed a marriage between the young duke of Burgundy, son of the heir apparent of France, and his daughter. Matters were soon agreed upon: in July, 1696, the duke and Catinat concluded the treaty at Our Lady of Loretto, whither they went under pretence of a pilgrimage of devotion, which, however, imposed on no one. Pope Innocent XIV. entered heartily into this negotiation. His view was to deliver Italy at once from the invasions of the French, and the taxes which the emperor was continually levying to pay his troops. It was thought necessary that the imperialists should evacuate Italy, and leave it neutral; this the duke of Savoy engaged himself by the treaty to observe. The emperor gave a flat denial at first; for the court of Vienna rarely came to a determination, but at the last extremity. Upon the emperor’s refusal, the duke joined his troops to the French army; and, from generalissimo to the emperor, became, in less than a month, generalissimo to Louis XIV. His daughter, who was only eleven years of age, was carried into France to be married to the duke of Burgundy, who was thirteen. After the defection of the duke of Savoy, it happened, as at the Peace of Nimeguen, that each of the allies thought proper to treat. The emperor agreed to leave Italy neutral. The Dutch proposed the castle of Ryswick, near The Hague, as the place for holding the conferences for a general peace. Four armies, which the king had on foot, contributed not a little to bring matters to a speedy conclusion. There were eighty thousand men in Flanders under Villeroi; Marshal de Choiseul had forty thousand men on the banks of the Rhine; Catinat had another army in Piedmont; and the duke of Vendôme, who had at length attained the rank of general, after having passed through all the degrees, from that of the king’s guard, like a private soldier of fortune, commanded a body of troops in Catalonia, where he gained a battle, and took Barcelona. These new efforts and successes proved the most effectual mediation. The court of Rome offered its arbitration, which was refused, as at Nimeguen. Charles XI., king of Sweden, was the mediator. At length the peace was concluded in October, 1697; no longer with that haughty superiority and those advantageous conditions which had distinguished the greatness of Louis XIV., but with a condescension and concession of rights on his side, that equally amazed the French and the allies. It was long believed that this peace had been concerted with the deepest policy.

It was pretended that the French king’s grand design was, what it certainly should have been, to prevent the entire succession of the vast Spanish monarchy from devolving upon the other branch of the house of Austria. It is said he entertained hopes that the house of Bourbon might at least come in for a share in the dismemberment, and perhaps one day succeed to the whole. The formal renunciations made by his wife and mother seemed no other than trivial agreements, which should give way to new conjunctures. In this light, to aggrandize the house of France, it was necessary to show some moderation toward Europe; not to incense so many powers, who were still full of suspicions. The peace gave him time to form new alliances, settle the finances, gain over those whom he had occasion for, and to form new bodies of militia in the kingdom. It was necessary to give up something, in hope of obtaining much more.

These were thought to be the private motives of the Peace of Ryswick, which in the event actually procured the throne of Spain for the grandson of Louis XIV. This notion, probable as it may appear, is not, however, true; neither Louis XIV. nor his council had the views that they should have had in this affair. It is a strong example of the connection of the revolutions in this world, which govern men, by whom they seem to be conducted. The obvious interest of quickly possessing Spain, or at least a part of that monarchy, had not the least influence in the Peace of Ryswick; this is acknowledged by Marquis de Torci, in his manuscript memoirs. They made peace merely because they were weary of the war, and this war itself had been carried on without any particular object; at least on the side of the allies: it was only from the idle desire of humbling the greatness of Louis; and in that monarch it was merely the consequence of that greatness which would not hearken to concessions. King William had drawn over to his cause the emperor, the empire, Spain, the United Provinces, and Savoy; Louis XIV. found himself too far engaged to recede. The finest part of Europe had been laid waste, because the French king made use of the advantages he gained by the Peace of Nimeguen in too haughty a manner. The league was formed rather against his person than the kingdom of France; the king thought himself secure in the reputation he had gained by arms, and was now desirous of adding that of moderation; the weakness which began to be sensibly felt in the finances made him more ready to adopt such a method.

The political affairs were debated in the king’s council, and the resolutions taken there; Marquis de Torci, then young, was only charged with the execution of them. The whole council was for peace, especially the duke of Beauvilliers, who set forth the miseries of the people with such energy, that Madame de Maintenon was affected by it, and the king himself appeared not insensible; and it made the more impression, as they had fallen from that flourishing state to which the minister Colbert had raised the kingdom. The great establishments of all kinds had cost immense sums, and no economy had been used to retrieve the confusion occasioned by these extraordinary expenses. This inward calamity astonished everyone, because it had never been felt since Louis XIV. had governed alone: these were the true causes of the Peace of Ryswick, though doubtless some virtuous sentiments had an influence in it. Those who think that kings and ministers incessantly, and without bounds, sacrifice everything to their ambition, are no less mistaken than he who thinks they continually sacrifice to worldly happiness.

The king then restored to the Spaniards all those places near the Pyrenees that he had taken from them, and likewise the conquests he had made in Flanders during the last war, as Luxemburg, Mons, Ath, and Courtrai. He acknowledged William III. lawful king of England, whom he had till then treated as prince of Orange, a tyrant, and an usurper. He promised not to assist his enemies for the future; and King James, whose name was left out in the treaty, remained at St. Germain with the empty title of king, and a pension from Louis XIV. Thus sacrificed by his protector to the necessity of the times, and already forgotten in Europe, he ceased to publish any new manifestoes.

The sentences which the courts of Breisach and Metz had awarded against so many sovereigns, and the reunions made at Alsace, those monuments of a dangerous power and pride, were abolished, and the bailiwicks that had been seized upon by form of law were restored to their right masters.

Besides these concessions, Freiburg, Breisach, Kehl, and Philippsburg were restored to the empire; the king even submitted to destroy the fortress of Strasburg on the Rhine, Fort Louis, Traerbach, and Mount Royal, works on which the great Vauban had exhausted his art, and the king his treasury. Europe was surprised, and the French displeased, to see Louis XIV. make peace as if he had been conquered. Harlai, Créci, and Callières, who signed this peace, dared not show themselves either at court or in the city; they were loaded with reproaches and derision, as if they had taken a single step they had not been ordered by the ministry; they were reproached by the court with having betrayed the honor of the French nation, and afterward they were applauded for having, by this treaty, prepared the way for the succession to the Spanish monarchy: but in truth, they deserved neither censure nor praise.

It was by this peace, that France at length restored Lorraine to the family which had been in possession of it for more than seven hundred years. Duke Charles V., the prop of the empire, and conqueror of the Turks, was dead; his son Leopold, at the Peace of Ryswick, took possession of his sovereignty, with the loss indeed of his real privileges, he not being allowed to have ramparts to his capital; but they could not deprive him of a much more noble privilege, that of doing good to his subjects; a privilege of which no prince ever made a better use than himself.

It were to be wished that latest posterity may be informed, that one of the least powerful sovereigns in Europe was he who did the most good to his people. He found Lorraine a desert waste; he repeopled and enriched it, and preserved it in peace, while the rest of Europe was desolated by war. He had always the prudence to keep well with France, and to make himself beloved in the empire; happily preserving that just medium, which hardly any prince, without power, has ever been able to maintain between two great potentates. He procured his people plenty, to which they long had been strangers; his noblesse, reduced to the last degree of wretchedness, were raised to a state of opulence, solely by his benefactions. If he saw the family seat of a gentleman in ruins, he rebuilt it at his own expense; he paid their debts, portioned out their daughters, and lavished presents with that art of giving which raises them even above benefactions; bestowing his gifts with the magnificence of a prince, and the politeness of a friend. The arts, which were held in the highest honor throughout his little province, produced a new circulation, which makes the riches of a state. His court was formed after the model of that of France, and the traveller hardly perceived a change of place in going to Lunéville from Versailles. After the example of Louis XIV. he advanced the belles-lettres; he established a kind of university, without pedantry, at Lunéville, where the young German nobility went to be formed. The true sciences were there taught in schools, where the theory of natural philosophy was demonstrated to the eye by the most curious apparatus. He sought out men of talents even in the shops and in the woods, brought them to light, and was himself their patron and rewarder. In a word, the whole business of his reign was to procure his nation tranquillity, riches, knowledge, and pleasure: “I would quit my sovereignty to-morrow,” said he, “if I could no longer do good.” Accordingly he tasted the satisfaction of being beloved, and I myself saw, long after his death, his subjects shed tears in mentioning his name. When he died he left an example to be followed by the greatest kings; but he could not, during his life, be instrumental in preparing the way for his son to the throne of the empire.

At the time that Louis XIV. was managing the affair of the Peace of Ryswick, which was to give him the Spanish succession, the throne of Poland became vacant. This was the only regal crown, then elective, in the world; natives and foreigners had equally a right to pretend to it, but to retain it required either a merit sufficiently striking, and properly supported by intrigues, to engage the suffrages—as was the case with John Sobieski, the late king—or else, money enough to buy the kingdom, which is almost always put up at auction.

The abbé, afterward cardinal, Polignac, had at first the art to engage the suffrages in favor of the prince of Conti, known by the valiant actions he had performed at Steinkirk and Neerwinden. He never had the command in chief, nor was he admitted into the king’s councils. The duke of Bourbon had an equal reputation as a warrior, the duke of Vendôme a still greater, and yet his fame surpassed that of all others, by the great art of pleasing, and making himself of consequence, which no one possessed in a more eminent degree than himself. Polignac, whose talent lay in persuasion, determined the minds of the people in his favor; and, by dint of eloquence and promises, counterbalanced the money which Augustus, elector of Saxony, lavished among them. Louis Francis, prince of Conti, was elected king by the majority of the nation, and proclaimed by the primate of the kingdom, on June 17, 1697. Augustus was elected two hours afterward by another party, inferior in numbers; but he was a sovereign prince, and powerful, and had a body of troops in readiness on the frontiers of Poland. The prince of Conti was absent, destitute of money, men and power, and had nothing on his side but his name, and Cardinal de Polignac. It was necessary that Louis XIV. should either prvent his accepting the crown, or furnish him with proper assistance to get the better of his competitor. It was thought that the French ministry did too much in sending the prince of Conti over, and too little in furnishing him with only a small squadron of ships and a few bills of exchange, with which he arrived in the road of Dantzic; this was acting with that lukewarm policy which begins an affair only to quit it again. They would not even receive the prince at Dantzic, and his bills of exchange were protested. The intrigues of the pope and the emperor, and the money and troops of Saxony, had already secured the crown on his rival’s head; he returned then with the glory of having been chosen king, and France had the mortification of having made it appear that she was not sufficiently powerful to make a king of Poland.

This disgrace which befell the prince of Conti did not interrupt the peace which subsisted between the Christian powers of the North. The south of Europe was soon afterward restored to its tranquillity by the Peace of Ryswick.

There was no longer any war but that which the Turks carried on against Germany, Poland, Venice, and Russia; and here the Christians, though under a bad administration, and divided among themselves, had the superiority. The battle of Zenta, in 1695, in which Prince Eugene beat the Grand Seignior in person, and remarkable by the deaths of the grand vizier, seventeen pashas, and upward of twenty thousand Turks, humbled the Ottoman pride, and brought about the Peace of Carlowitz, in 1699, in which the Turks submitted to the laws imposed by the conquerors. The Venetians had the Morea, the Muscovites Azov, the Poles Kamenets-Podolski, and the emperor Transylvania. All Christendom was then happy and tranquil, the sound of war was no longer heard, either in Asia or Africa, and the whole world was at peace during the last two years of the seventeenth century, an epoch, alas! of too short duration.

The public calamities were soon awakened again. The peace of the North was disturbed in the year 1700, by two men the most extraordinary the world ever produced; one was Czar Peter Alexeievitch, emperor of Russia, the other young Charles XII., king of Sweden. Czar Peter, though born a barbarian, became a great man, and by his genius and surprising labors, was the reformer, or rather founder, of his empire. Charles XII., more courageous than the czar, and yet less serviceable to his subjects, formed to command soldiers but not nations, was the first hero of his age, but died with the character of an imprudent king. The desolation the North underwent during a war of eighteen years, owed its rise to the ambitious politics of the czar and the kings of Denmark and Poland, who wanted to take advantage of the youth of Charles XII. to strip him of a part of his dominions; but Charles, at the age of sixteen, conquered all three. He was the terror of the world, and was already esteemed a hero, at an age in which other men have hardly finished their studies. He was for nine years the most formidable monarch in the world, and for nine years the most miserable.

The troubles of the South arose from another cause. The king of Spain lay at the point of death, and it was in dispute who should share the spoils he was to leave behind him. The powers, who already devoured in imagination this immense succession, did, on this occasion, what we frequently see practised during the illness of a rich old man who has no children; the wife, the relatives, the priests of the sick king, and even the officers appointed to receive the last commands of those who are dying, beset him on all sides to get a favorable word from him. Some of the inheritors agree to divide the spoils, and others prepare to dispute them.

Louis XIV. and the emperor Leopold were both grandsons of Philip III., and both had married daughters of Philip IV., therefore monseigneur the dauphin, the king’s son, and Joseph, king of the Romans, son of the emperor, were doubly in the same degree. The right of eldership was in the house of France, the king and monseigneur being sons of the elder daughters: but the imperial house reckoned as rights, first, the formal renunciation to the crown of Spain, made and ratified by Louis XIII. and Louis XIV. with the name of Austria; the blood of Maximilian, whence Leopold and Charles II. were descended; the almost perpetual union which had subsisted between the two branches of the house of Austria; the still more constant hatred of those two branches against the Bourbons; the aversion which the Spanish nation had at that time to the French; and lastly, the secret springs of the policy which governed the Spanish council.

Nothing at that time seemed more natural than to perpetuate the throne of Spain in the house of Austria; all Europe expected this before the Peace of Ryswick, but the weakness of Charles II. had disturbed this order of succession in the year 1696, and the Austrian house had been already sacrificed in secret. The king of Spain had a grandnephew, son of the elector of Bavaria; the king’s mother, who was still living, was great-grandmother of this young prince of Bavaria, who was then about four years old; and this princess, notwithstanding that she herself was of the house of Austria, being a daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III., prevailed on her son to disinherit the imperial family, in consequence of a pique she had entertained against the court of Vienna. She therefore cast her eyes on the prince of Bavaria, though hardly out of his cradle, and destined him for the Spanish monarchy, and that of the new world. Charles II., who was then entirely governed by her, made a private will in the year 1696, in favor of the electoral prince of Bavaria; but having afterward lost his mother, he was governed by his wife, Mariana, of Bavaria Neuburg. This Bavarian princess, who was a sister-in-law of the emperor Leopold, had as great an attachment to the house of Austria as the Austrian queen-mother had to that of Bavaria. Thus the natural course of things was all along inverted in this affair, which concerned the most extensive monarchy in the world. Mariana of Bavaria procured the destruction of that will by which the young prince of Bavaria was called to the succession, and obtained a promise from the king that he would never have any other heir than a son of the emperor Leopold, and would not name the house of Austria. Matters were on this footing at the Peace of Ryswick. The kings of France and Austria were equally fearful and suspicious of each other, and had likewise Europe to fear. England and Holland, two powerful states, whose interest it was to maintain the balance of power between crowned heads, would never consent that the head which wore the crown of Spain should wear that of France or the empire.

It is not positively known who it was that first conceived the notion of making the premature and unheard-of partition of the Spanish monarchy, during the lifetime of Charles II. Most probably it was the minister, Torci, for it was he who first opened it to Bentinck, earl of Portland, ambassador from William III. to Louis XIV.

King William entered with great alacrity into this new project; and in concert with the count de Tallard, at The Hague, disposed of the Spanish succession. To the young prince of Bavaria they gave Spain and the East Indies, without knowing that Charles II. had before that bequeathed to him all his dominions. The dauphin, son of Louis XIV., was to have Naples, Sicily, and the province of Guipuzcoa, together with some few towns. The archduke Charles, second son of the emperor Leopold, had only the duchy of Milan given him, and nothing was allotted for the archduke Joseph, Leopold’s eldest son, and heir to the empire.

The destiny of a part of Europe and the half of America thus settled, Louis promised by this treaty of partition to renounce the entire succession to the Spanish dominions; the dauphin promised and signed the same thing. France thought to make an addition to its territories; England and Holland had in view the settlement of peace of a part of Europe; but all these politics were vain. The dying king, being informed how they were tearing his monarchy in pieces during his lifetime, was filled with indignation. It was generally expected that, upon hearing this news, he would declare either the emperor or one of his sons his successor, as a reward for his not having intermeddled in this shameful partition; and that he would make such a will as the house of Austria should dictate to him. He did indeed make a will, but he, a second time, declared the prince of Bavaria sole heir to his dominions. The Spanish nation, who dreaded nothing so much as the dismembering of its monarchy, applauded the disposition the king had made, which seemed calculated to bring about a peace. This hope proved as vain as the treaty of partition. The prince of Bavaria, the intended king, died at Brussels.

The house of Austria was unjustly charged with the sudden death of this prince, merely from the probability that those to whom the crimes are useful will be guilty of crimes, and new intrigues began to be revived again at the courts of Madrid, Vienna, Versailles, London, The Hague, and Rome.

Louis XIV., King William, and the states-general disposed once more of the Spanish monarchy in idea in March, 1706, and assigned to Archduke Charles, the emperor’s youngest son, that part which they had before given to the infant, lately dead.

They gave Milan to the duke of Lorraine, and Lorraine, so often invaded, and so often restored again to France, was to be annexed to it forever. This treaty, which set the politics of all the princes at work, to thwart or support it, proved as useless as the first. Europe was again deceived in its attempt, as almost always happens.

When this treaty of partition was offered to the emperor to sign, he refused, because he hoped to get the entire succession. The French kings, who had strongly pressed the signing of it, waited in uncertainty for the event.

The king of Spain, who saw himself at the point of death in the flower of his age, was for bestowing all his dominions on the archduke Charles, his queen’s nephew, and second son of the emperor Leopold; he did not dare to leave them to the eldest son, so prevalent was the system of a balance of power in all minds, and so certain was it that the apprehension of seeing Spain, the Indies, the empire, Hungary, Bohemia, and Lombardy in the same hands, he was about to arm all Europe. Charles II. wanted the emperor Leopold to send his second son, Charles, to Madrid, at the head of ten thousand men; but neither France, England, the states-general, nor Italy would have permitted such a step to be taken at that time; everyone was for the partition. The emperor would not send his son alone, to be at the mercy of the Spanish council, and he could not transport ten thousand men thither; he only wanted to march troops into Italy to secure that part of the Austrian-Spanish monarchy. There now happened in the most important of concerns between two great princes, what happens every day between private persons in the most trifling affairs; they disputed, they grew warm; the Castilian haughtiness was offended by the German pride. The countess of Perlitz, who governed the wife of the dying king, alienated the minds of those in Madrid, whom she should have won over, and the court of Vienna disgusted them still more by its haughtiness.

The young archduke, who was afterward Emperor Charles VI., never mentioned the Spaniards but with some opprobrious appellation. He then experienced how incumbent it is on princes to weigh all their words. The bishop of Lérida, who was ambassador from the court of Madrid to that of Vienna, on some occasion of dislike against the Germans, collected these expressions and transmitted them with exaggerations to his court in his despatches, and even treated the Austrian council more injuriously in his letters than the archduke had done the Spaniards by his speeches. “Leopold’s ministers,” said he, “have understandings like the horns of the goats in my country, small, hard, and crooked.” This letter was made public. The bishop of Lérida was recalled, and on his return to Madrid he doubly increased the aversion which his countrymen had to the Germans.

While the Austrian party made itself thus hated by the court of Madrid, the marquis, afterward marshal, duke d’Harcourt, the French ambassador, gained all hearts by his prodigious magnificence, his dexterity, and perfect knowledge in the art of pleasing. He was the first who changed into benevolence that antipathy which the Spanish nation had nourished against the French, ever since the reign of Ferdinand the Catholic, and by his prudent conduct laid the foundation for that period, when France and Spain renewed the ancient bonds by which they were united before the time of that Ferdinand. “Crown with crown, nation with nation, and man with man.” He brought the Spanish court to have an affection for the house of France, its ministers to be no longer startled at the renunciations made by Maria Theresa and Anne of Austria, and the king himself to waver between his own house and that of Bourbon. He was, therefore, the primum mobile of the greatest change in the administration and the minds of the people in general. But this change was yet at a considerable distance. The emperor employed entreaties and threats. The king of France represented his rights, but without venturing to ask the entire succession for his grandson.

The Council of Madrid were as yet undetermined which side to take, and Charles II., who was every day drawing nearer to his grave, was in equal uncertainty. Leopold, in a pique, recalled his ambassador, the count de Harrach, from Madrid, but soon afterward he sent him back again, and then the hopes in favor of the house of Austria were revived. The king of Spain wrote to the emperor that he would choose the archduke for his successor. Then the French king threatened in his turn; assembled an army on the frontiers of Spain, and the marquis d’Harcourt was recalled from his embassy, to command these forces, leaving only an officer of foot at the court of Madrid, who had served as secretary to the embassy, and now remained in quality of resident, as de Torci tells us. Thus the dying king, threatened alternately by those who pretended to the succession, and plainly perceiving that the hour of his death would be that of a bloody war, and that his dominions were on the point of being torn in pieces, drew toward his end comfortless, irresolute, and involved in disquietudes.

In this violent crisis of affairs, Cardinal Portocarrero, archbishop of Toledo, the count of Monterey, and others of the Spanish grandees, determined to save their country, and joined together to prevent the dismembering of the monarchy. Their hatred of the Austrian government added a double weight to reasons of state in their breasts, and did the court of France the most essential service without her knowing it. They persuaded Charles II. to prefer the grandson of Louis XIV. to a prince at so great a distance from them, and incapable of defending them. This was not an invalidation of the solemn renunciations of the Spanish crown made by the mother and wife of Louis XIV., because these had been made only to prevent the elder sons of their descendants from uniting the two kingdoms under one rule; and here it was an elder son that was chosen. It was at the same time doing justice to the rights of blood, and preserving the Spanish monarchy from a partition. The scrupulous king caused all his divines to be consulted on this head, who were all of opinion with the council; and ill as he was, wrote a letter with his own hand to Pope Innocent XII., proposing the same case to him. The pope, who thought the liberty of Italy depended upon the weakening of the house of Austria, wrote back to the king that the laws of Spain and the good of Christendom required of him to give the preference to the house of France. This letter of the pope’s was dated July 16, 1700. He treated this case of conscience proposed by a sovereign as an affair of state; while the king of Spain made a case of conscience of an important affair of state.

Louis XIV. was informed of these dispositions by Cardinal de Janson, who then resided at Rome, and this was all the share that the court of Versailles had in this event. Six months had passed without there being any ambassador at the court of Madrid. This was perhaps a fault; but perhaps also this very fault secured the Spanish monarchy in the house of France. The king of Spain then made his third will, that was for a long time thought to be the only one, by which he bequeathed all his dominions to the duke of Anjou.

It was generally thought in Europe that this will of Charles II. had been dictated at Versailles. The dying king consulted only the interest of his kingdom, and the wishes and even fears of his people; for the French king had ordered his troops to advance to the frontiers, in order to secure to himself a part of the inheritance at the time the dying king determined to leave him the whole. Nothing is more true than that the reputation of Louis XIV. and the notion of his power were the only negotiations that completed this great revolution.

Charles of Austria, after having signed the ruin of his house, and the aggrandizement of that of France, languished about a month longer, when he ended, at the age of thirty-nine, the obscure life he had led while on the throne. It may perhaps not be altogether useless toward giving an insight into the human mind, to mention that this monarch, a few months before his death, caused the tombs of his mother and his first wife, Maria Louisa of Orleans, to the poisoning of whom he was suspected to have been privy, to be opened, and kissed the remains of their dead bodies. In this he either followed the example of some of the ancient kings of Spain, or was willing to accustom himself to the horrors of death, or from a secret superstition thought that opening these tombs would retard the hour in which he was to be carried to his own.

This prince was from his birth as weak in mind as body; and this weakness had spread itself through his dominions. It is the fate of monarchies to have their prosperity depend upon the disposition of a single man. Charles II. had been brought up in such profound ignorance that when the French were beseiging Mons, he thought that place had belonged to the king of England. He neither knew whereabouts Flanders lay, nor what place belonged to him there. This king left the duke of Anjou all his dominions without knowing what he had given him.

His will was kept so secret that the count de Harrach, the emperor’s ambassador, still flattered himself that the archduke would be acknowledged his successor. He waited a long time for the issue of the great council, which was held immediately upon the king’s death; at length seeing the duke of Abrantes coming toward him with open arms, he made sure in that instant that the archduke was king, and when the duke embraced him, accosted him thus: “Vengo á expedirme de la casa de Austria”—“I am come to take leave of the house of Austria.”

Thus, after two hundred years of war and negotiations for some few frontier towns of the Spanish dominions, the house of France, by the single stroke of a pen, was put in possession of the whole monarchy, without treaties, without intrigues, and even without having entertained hopes of the succession. We thought ourselves obliged to bring to light the simple truth of a fact which has till now been obscured by so many statesmen and historians, led away, by their own prejudices and by appearances, that are almost always fallacious. What we find related in a number of books concerning the sums of money distributed by Marshal d’Harcourt, and the bribing of the Spanish ministers to get this will signed, may be ranked in the number of political lies and popular errors. But the king of Spain, in choosing for his successor the grandson of a king who had so long been his enemy, had always in view the consequences that naturally follow from a notion of a general equilibrium of power. The duke of Anjou, Louis XIV.’s grandson, was called to the Spanish succession only because he could never pretend to the crown of France; and in this very will, by which, in default of younger children of the blood of Louis XIV., the archduke Charles—afterward the emperor Charles VI.—is called to the succession, it is expressly declared, that the empire and Spain shall never be united under one sovereign.

Louis XIV. might still have abided by the treaty of partition, which was profitable for France, or he might have accepted the will, which was to the advantage of his family. This matter was actually in debate in an extraordinary council, held Nov. 11, 1700. The chancellor, Pontchartrain, and the duke of Beauvilliers, were for abiding by the treaty, as they foresaw the danger of having a new war to support. Louis saw nothing like this; but he was accustomed not to fear war. He therefore accepted the will, and as he was coming out of the council, meeting the princess of Conti, with madame, the duchess; “Well,” said he to them, smiling, “on which side are you?” and then, without giving them time to reply, “Whichsoever side I take,” added he, “I am sure to be blamed.”

The actions of kings, though often extravagantly flattered, are also liable to the severest strictures, insomuch that the king of England himself underwent the reproaches of his parliament, and his ministers were prosecuted for having been concerned in the treaty of partition. The English, who reason better than any other nation, but who frequently suffer the rage of party spirit to extinguish that reason, exclaimed unanimously against William, who had made this treaty, and against Louis, who had broken it.

Europe at first seemed lost in surprise, and unable to bestir itself when it saw the Spanish monarchy become subject to France, whose rival it had been for over three hundred years. Louis XIV. seemed the most fortunate and powerful monarch in the world. He saw himself, at the age of sixty-two, surrounded with a numerous posterity, and one of his grandsons going to rule, under his orders, the kingdom of Spain, America, one half of Italy, and the Low Countries. The emperor as yet could do nothing but complain.

King William, now fifty-two years of age, infirm and feeble, no longer appeared the formidable enemy he had been. He could not make war without the consent of his parliament; and Louis had taken care to send sums of money over to England with a view to purchasing several votes in that assembly. William and the Dutch, not being strong enough to declare themselves, wrote to Philip V., as to the lawful king of Spain. Louis XIV. was sure of the elector of Bavaria. This elector, who governed the Netherlands in the name of the deceased king, Charles II., immediately secured the possession of Flanders to Philip V., and left a passage open for the French army through his electorate to the capital of Germany, in case the emperor should venture to declare war. The elector of Cologne, brother of the elector of Bavaria, was as intimately connected with France as his brother, and these two princes seemed to act with reason on their side. The party of the house of Bourbon was at that time the strongest. The duke of Savoy, father-in-law of the duke of Burgundy, and prospective father-in-law of the king of Spain, was to have the command of the French forces in Italy. It was hardly imagined then that the father of the duchess of Burgundy and the queen of Spain would ever make war upon his two sons-in-law.

The duke of Mantua, who had been sold to France by his minister, now sold himself, and received a French garrison into Mantua. The duchy of Milan acknowledged Louis’s grandson without hesitation; and even Portugal, who was naturally the enemy of Spain, immediately joined with it. In a word, from Gibraltar to Antwerp, and from the Danube to Naples, all seemed to be at the disposal of the Bourbons. The king was so elated with his prosperity that, talking with the duke de la Rochefoucauld one day on the subject of the proposals which the emperor made him at that time, he expressed himself thus: “You will find them still more insolent than you have been told.”

King William, who to the hour of his death continued an enemy to Louis XIV., promised the emperor to arm England and Holland in his cause: he likewise engaged the court of Denmark in his interest; at length, in September, 1701, he signed at The Hague that league which had been already set on foot against the house of France. The king, however, was not much surprised at this, and depending upon the divisions he hoped to cause in the English parliament by the money he had sent over, and still more on the united forces of France and Spain, seemed to despise his enemies.

At this time King James died at St. Germain. Louis might on this occasion have paid what appeared due to decency and good politics in not too hastily acknowledging the prince of Wales for king of England, after having already acknowledged William’s title by the Peace of Ryswick. He was at first determined, from an emotion of pure generosity, to give the son of King James the consolation of a title and dignity which his unfortunate father had borne till the hour of his death, and which the Treaty of Ryswick did not take from him. The principal ministers of the council, however, were of a different opinion. The duke of Beauvilliers, especially, set forth in the most eloquent manner the many scourges of war which were likely to be the consequence of so dangerous a magnanimity. This nobleman was governor to the duke of Burgundy, and in everything thought like that prince’s preceptor, the famous archbishop of Cambray, so well known by his humane maxims of government, and the preference he gave to the interests of the people over the grandeur of the monarch. The marquis de Torci enforced as a politician what the duke de Beauvilliers had advanced as a citizen. He represented how impolitic it was to incense the English nation by so rash a step. Louis yielded to the opinions of his council, and resolved not to acknowledge the son of James II. as king. The same day Mary of Modena, widow of the deceased James, went to Madame de Maintenon’s apartments to speak with Louis XIV. She found him there, and with a flood of tears conjured him not to treat her son, herself, and the memory of a king he had protected, with so much indignity as to refuse a title, the only remains of all their former greatness. She observed that as her son had always received the honors of a prince of Wales, he ought to be treated as king after the death of his father; and that even William himself could not complain of this, provided he was left to enjoy his usurpation. To these arguments she added others, which concerned the interest and glory of Louis XIV. She represented to him that whether he acknowledged the son of James II. or not, the English would nevertheless declare against France; and that he would only feel the vexation of having sacrificed the most noble sentiments to a fruitless precaution. These representations and tears were powerfully seconded by Madame de Maintenon. The king resumed his former sentiments, and the noble resolution of protecting distressed kings to the utmost of his power. In a word, James III. was acknowledged the same day that it had been determined in council not to acknowledge him.

The marquis de Torci has frequently owned this remarkable anecdote; he has not indeed inserted it in his memoirs, because, as he himself observes, he thought it was not to the honor of his master to be prevailed upon by two women to alter a resolution which had been taken in his council. Some English gentlemen have told me that, had it not been for this step, their parliament might not perhaps have taken part against the houses of Bourbon and Austria; but that this acknowledging as their king a person whom they had banished appeared an insult offered to the nation, and an attempt toward exercising an absolute authority over Europe. The spirit of freedom which then prevailed among the English, which was not a little increased by the hatred they bore to Louis, on account of his great power, made the nation contribute with cheerfulness to all the supplies which William demanded.

It appears more probable that the English would have declared war against Louis XIV., even though he had refused the empty title of king to the son of James II. His grandson’s being in possession of the Spanish monarchy seemed alone sufficient to arm all the maritime powers against him. A few members of the house of commons bribed to favor his cause, could never have opposed the torrent of the nation. It remains to be decided whether Madame de Maintenon judged better than the French council, and whether Louis XIV. was in the right to indulge the pride and sensibility of his soul.

The emperor Leopold first began this war in Italy in the spring of the year 1701. Italy has always been the favorite object in all the concerns of the emperors. He knew his arms could more easily penetrate here through the Tyrolese and the Venetian states; for Venice, though neutral in appearance, still inclined more to the house of Austria than to that of France, and, moreover, being obliged by treaties to allow a passage to the German troops, she found no great difficulty in accomplishing these treaties.

The emperor, before he ventured to attack Louis XIV. on the side of Germany, waited till the Germanic body began to stir in his favor. He had correct reports from the Spanish court, and even a party there; but neither of these could prove of service without the presence of one of his sons, and he could not be transported thither but with the assistance of the English and Dutch fleets. King William hastened the necessary preparations; his soul more active than ever, in a feeble and almost lifeless body, set everything in motion; not so much with a view to serving the house of Austria as to humbling Louis XIV.

He was to have headed the armies himself, at the beginning of the year 1702, but death prevented his design. A fall from his horse completed the disorder of his enfeebled organs, and a slight fever carried him off March 16, 1702. He died without making any reply to what the English clergymen who attended at his bedside said to him in relation to their religion, and showed no concern but for the affairs of Europe.

He left behind him the character of a great politician, though he was never popular, and a formidable general, though he had lost so many battles; always circumspect in his conduct, and spirited only in the day of battle; he reigned peaceably in England merely because he did not attempt to be absolute; he was called the English stadtholder and the Dutch king; he understood all the European languages, but spoke none of them well, as he had a much greater share of reflection than imagination; he affected to hate flatterers and flattery, perhaps because Louis XIV. seemed to take rather too much pleasure in them. His reputation was of a different kind from that of the French monarch; those who admired most the advantage of having acquired a kingdom without any natural right, and of maintaining the rule over a people without being beloved by them; of having governed Holland with all the authority of a sovereign, without enslaving it; of having been the soul and head of half of Europe, without possessing the talents of a general or the courage of a soldier; of never having persecuted anyone on the score of religion; of having a contempt for the superstitious prejudices of mankind; of having been simple and moderate in his manners, such, I say, will doubtless give the title of great to William, rather than to Louis: while those who are more delighted with the pleasures of a brilliant court, with magnificence, with the protection given to the arts, with a zeal for the public good, a thirst for glory, and a talent for reigning, who are more struck with the lofty manner in which ministers and generals added whole provinces to France, only on an order from their king; who are more astonished to see a single state prevail against so many powers; who have greater esteem for a king of France who procures the kingdom of Spain for his grandson, than for a son-in-law who dethrones his wife’s father; in a word, those who admire more the protector than the persecutor of King James, will give Louis the preference.

William III. was succeeded by Princess Anne, daughter of King James by the daughter of Lawyer Hyde, afterward chancellor and one of the principal men of the kingdom. She was married to the prince of Denmark, who ranked only as the first subject in the kingdom. As soon as she came to the crown she adopted all the measures of her predecessor, King William, though she had been at open variance with him during his life. These measures were those of the nation. In other kingdoms, a prince obliges his people to enter blindly into all his views; but in England a king must enter into those of his people.

The dispositions made by England and Holland for placing, if possible, the archduke Charles, son of the emperor Leopold, on the throne of Spain, or at least to oppose the establishment of the Bourbon family, were such as perhaps may be said to merit the attention of all ages.

The Dutch on their side were to maintain an army of one hundred and two thousand men in pay, either in garrison or in the field. This was much more than the vast Spanish monarchy could furnish at that time; a province of merchants, who, thirty years before, had been almost totally subdued in the space of two months, could now do more than the masters of Spain, Naples, Flanders, Peru, and Mexico. England promised to furnish forty thousand men. It happens in most alliances that, in the long run, the parties concerned fall short of their promised quotas; but England, on the contrary, furnished fifty thousand men the second year instead of forty, which she had promised; and, in the latter part of the war, she had to pay, on the frontiers of France, in Spain, Italy, Ireland, America, and on board her fleet, more than one hundred and twenty thousand fighting men, soldiers and sailors, partly her own troops, partly those of her allies; an expense which appears almost incredible to those who reflect that England, properly so called, is not a third as large as France, and has not half the quantity of coin; but will appear probable in the eyes of those who know what trade and credit can do. The English always bore the greatest share of the burden in this alliance; while the Dutch insensibly lessened theirs; for, after all, the republic of the states-general is only an illustrious trading company, whereas England is a fruitful country, abounding in merchants and soldiers.

The emperor was to furnish eighty thousand men, exclusive of the troops of the empire and those allies whom he hoped to detach from the house of Bourbon; and yet the grandson of Louis XIV. was already seated peaceably on his throne at Madrid, and Louis, at the beginning of the century, was at the zenith of his power and glory: but those who penetrated into the resources of the several courts of Europe, and especially that of France, began to fear some reverse. Spain, which had been weakened under the last kings of the race of Charles V., was still more feeble during the early part of the reign of the Bourbons. The house of Austria had partisans in several provinces of this monarchy; Catalonia seemed ready to shake off the new yoke, and acknowledge the archduke Charles. It was impossible that Portugal, sooner or later, should not side with the house of Austria. It was plainly to its interest to encourage a civil war among the Spaniards, its natural enemies, that might turn to the advantage of Lisbon. The duke of Savoy, lately become father-in-law to the new king of Spain, and linked to the Bourbons by ties of blood as well as by treaties, seemed already displeased with his sons-in-law. Fifty thousand crowns a month, afterward raised to two hundred thousand francs, did not appear a sufficiently valuable consideration to bind him to their interest; he wanted Montferrat, Mantua, and a part of the duchy of Milan. The haughty treatment he met with from the French generals, and from the ministry at Versailles, made him apprehensive, and not without reason, that he should soon be held for nothing by his two sons-in-law, who kept his dominions surrounded on every side. He had already quitted the emperor for France without any ceremony; and it seemed more than probable that, finding himself so little regarded by the latter, he would change sides the first opportunity.

As to the court of Louis XIV. and his kingdom, discerning spirits already perceived a change in them, which is only visible to the grosser ones when the decline is far advanced. The king, now over sixty years of age, was more retired, and consequently knew less of mankind; he saw things at too great a distance, and with eyes less discerning, and dazzled with prosperity. Madame de Maintenon, with all the amiable qualities of which she was mistress, had neither the strength, greatness, nor courage of mind requisite for supporting the glory of a state; she was instrumental in procuring the management of the finances in 1698, and the department of war in 1701, for her creature, Chamillard, who was more of the honest man than the minister, and had ingratiated himself with the king by his discreet conduct, when employed at St. Cyr; but, notwithstanding an outward appearance of modesty, he had the misfortune to think himself capable of bearing two burdens, which Colbert and Louvois had with difficulty supported separately. The king, depending on his own experience, thought that he could successfully direct his ministers; and when Louvois died, he said to King James: “I have lost a good minister, but neither your affairs nor mine shall go the worse for it.” When he made choice of Barbésieux to succeed Louvois as secretary of war, he said to him: “I formed your father, and I will form you.” He expressed himself much in the same manner to Chamillard. A king who had been so long engaged in public affairs, and with such great success, seemed to have a right to talk in this manner.

In regard to the generals whom he employed, they were frequently confined by the strict orders they received from him, like ambassadors who must not depart from their instructions. He and Chamillard directed the operations of the campaign in Madame de Maintenon’s closet. If a general was desirous of executing any great undertaking, he was frequently obliged to despatch a courier to court for permission, who at his return found the opportunity lost, or the general beaten.

Military rewards and dignities were profusely lavished under Chamillard’s administration; numbers of young persons, hardly out of their leading-strings, were allowed to purchase regiments, which, with the enemy, was the reward of twenty years’ service. This difference was very sensibly felt on many occasions, in which an experienced officer might have prevented a total rout. The cross of the Knights of St. Louis, a reward invented by the king in 1693, and then the object of emulation among the officers, was exposed to sale in the beginning of Chamillard’s ministry, and could be bought for fifty crowns apiece, at any of the war offices. Military discipline, the soul of service, which had been so strictly kept up by Louvois, had degenerated into a fatal remissness; the companies were not complete in their number of men nor the regiments in their officers. Hence arose a defect, which, supposing an equality in other respects, must infallibly occasion the loss of all their battles; for to have an equal extent of front with that of the enemy, they were obliged to oppose weak battalions to strong and numerous ones. The magazines were no longer so well provided, nor at such convenient distances, nor were the arms so well tempered as formerly. Those, therefore, who perceived these defects in the administration, and knew what generals France had to deal with, trembled for her, even in the midst of those first advantages which seemed to promise her greater success than ever.




Voltaire Age of Louis XIV. VOL. XII—Part II

The first general to put a check to the superiority of the French arms was a Frenchman, for so we should call Prince Eugene, though he was the grandson of Charles Emanuel, duke of Savoy: his father, the count de Soissons, had settled in France, where he was lieutenant-general of the king’s armies, and governor of Champagne, and had married Olympia Mancini, one of the nieces of Cardinal Mazarin. From this match, so unfortunate in other respects, was born this prince, who afterward proved so dangerous an adversary to Louis XIV., and was so little known to him in his youth. He was known at first in France by the name of the Chevalier de Carignan; he afterward took the petit collet, and was called the Abbot of Savoy. It is said that he asked the king for a regiment, which his majesty refused him, on account of his being too much connected with the princes of Conti, who were then in disgrace. Not being able to succeed with Louis XIV., he went to serve the emperor against the Turks in Hungary, in 1684, together with the princes of Conti, who had already made a glorious campaign there. The king sent an order to the princes of Conti, and all those who had accompanied them in this expedition, to return home. The abbot of Savoy was the only one who refused to comply with this mandate: he continued his journey, openly declaring that he renounced France forever. The king, when he was told of this, said to his courtiers, “Don’t you think I have had a great loss?” and these gentlemen gave it as their opinion that the abbot of Savoy would always be a mad-headed fellow, and fit for nothing. They founded their judgment on certain sallies of youth, by which we are never to judge of men. This prince, who was held in so much contempt at the court of France, was born with all the qualifications which form the hero in war and the great man in peace. He had a just and lofty mind, and the necessary courage, both in the field and cabinet. He was guilty of faults, as all generals have been, but these were lost in the number of his great actions. He shook the greatness of Louis XIV. and the Ottoman power: he governed the empire, and in the course of his victories and ministry showed an equal contempt for vainglory and riches. He cherished, and even protected, learning, as much as could be done at the court of Vienna. At this time he was about thirty-seven years of age, and had the experience of his own victories over the Turks, and the faults which he had seen committed by the imperialists in the late wars in which he served against France. He entered Italy by the country of Trent, in the territories of Venice, with thirty thousand men, and with full liberty to make such use of them as he pleased. The court at first forbade Marshal Catinat to oppose the passage of Prince Eugene, either because they would not commit the first act of hostility, which was bad policy when the enemy had already taken up arms, or else because they would not disoblige the Venetians, who were, however, less to be feared than the German army. This first mistake in the court occasioned Marshal Catinat to commit others. That person rarely succeeds who follows a plan that is not his own; besides, we well know how difficult a matter it is, in a country cut through with rivers and streams, toprevent a skilful enemy from passing them. Prince Eugene, to a great depth of scheming, added a lively promptitude of execution. From the nature of the ground on the banks of the Adige, the enemy’s army was more compact, while that of the French was more extended. Catinat was for marching to meet the enemy; but the generals started difficulties and formed cabals against him. Instead of making them obey him, he gave way; the mildness of his disposition led him to commit this great error. Eugene began on July 9, 1701, by forcing the post of Carpi, near the White Canal, which was defended by St. Fremont, who neglected the general’s orders in some respects, and occasioned his own defeat. After this success, the German army had the command of all the country between the Adige and the Adda, and penetrated into Bressan, while Catinat retreated behind the Oglio. Several good officers approved of this retreat, which, in their opinion, was a very prudent one; to which we may further add, that the failure of the provisions and ammunition promised by the ministry rendered it absolutely necessary. The courtiers, and especially those who had hopes of succeeding Catinat in the command, represented his behavior as a scandal to the French name. Marshal Villeroi persuaded them that he could retrieve the honor of the nation. The confidence with which he spoke, and the liking the king had for him, procured him the command in Italy; and Marshal Catinat, notwithstanding his former victories at Staffarde and Marseilles, was obliged to serve under him.

The marshal duke de Villeroi was son of the king’s governor; had been brought up with his royal master, and always enjoyed a principal share of his favor; he had been with him in all his campaigns, and made one in all his parties of pleasure; he was of an agreeable and engaging figure, extremely brave, a very worthy man, a good friend, sincere in his connections and magnificent in all his actions. But his enemies said he was more taken up, after he came to be general, with the honor and pleasure of commanding than with the schemes of a great captain, and reproached him with being so much wedded to his own opinion as to slight the advice of everyone else.

He now repaired to Italy, to lord it over Catinat, and disgust the duke of Savoy. His behavior showed that he thought a favorite of Louis XIV. at the head of so powerful an army was infinitely superior to a prince. He never called the duke by any other name than M. de Savoy, and treated him like a common general in the pay of France, and not like a sovereign. In a word, the friendship of this prince was not regarded so much as was necessary, considering that he was master of the barriers which nature had placed between France and Italy. The court thought that fear was the surest knot to bind him; and that a French army, surrounding about six or seven thousand Piedmontese, was a sufficient pledge for his fidelity. Marshal Villeroi behaved to him as his equal in common correspondence, and his superior in the command. The duke of Savoy had the empty title of generalissimo, but Marshal Villeroi was so in fact. He immediately gave orders for attacking Prince Eugene in the post of Chiari, near the Oglio. The general officers were of opinion that it was against all the rules of war to attack this post, for these essential reasons: that it was of no consequence; that the intrenchments were inaccessible; that nothing could be gained by forcing them, and that, if they failed, the reputation of the whole campaign would be lost. Villeroi, however, told the duke of Savoy that he must march, and sent an aide-de-camp to order Marshal Catinat in his name to begin the attack. Catinat made the messenger repeat the order to him three different times; then turning toward the officers who were under his command: “Come on then, gentlemen, we must obey.” They marched directly up to the intrenchments, and the duke of Savoy fought like a person who had no subject of complaint against France. Catinat fought everywhere for death; he was wounded, but nevertheless, on seeing the king’s troops repulsed, he made a retreat; after which he quitted the army, and returned to Versailles, to give an account of his conduct to the king, without complaining of any one.

Prince Eugene always maintained his superiority over Marshal Villeroi; at length, in the heart of the winter of 1702, one day when the marshal was sleeping in full security in Cremona, a strong town, and provided with a very numerous garrison, he found himself awakened with the noise of a discharge of small arms; upon which he rose in haste, mounted his horse, and the first thing he met with was a squadron of the enemy. The marshal was immediately made prisoner and led out of the town, without knowing anything that had passed there, and unable to conceive the cause of so extraordinary an event. Prince Eugene was already in the town of Cremona; a priest called Bozzoli, provost at St. Mary la Nova, had introduced the German troops through a common sewer. Four hundred men having been conveyed through this sewer into the priest’s house, immediately killed the guard at the two gates, which were opened, and Prince Eugene entered the city with four thousand men. All this was done before the governor, who was a Spaniard, had the least suspicion, or Marshal Villeroi was awake. The whole affair was conducted with the greatest secrecy, order, and diligence. The Spanish governor, on the first alarm, appeared in the street with a few soldiers, but was presently shot dead; all the general officers were either killed or made prisoners, excepting Lieutenant-General Count de Revel, and the marquis du Prâlin. Chance, however, confounded the prudent measures of Prince Eugene.

It happened that the chevalier d’Entragues was that day to review the regiment of marines, of which he was colonel; the soldiers were assembled at four o’clock in the morning, in one of the outskirts of the city, exactly at the time that Prince Eugene entered at the other part; d’Entragues began to run through the streets with his soldiers; he repulsed those of the enemy that came in his way, and by this means gave the rest of the garrison time to repair thither. The streets and squares were filled with officers and soldiers, confusedly mingled together, some with arms, some without, and others half naked, without any commander at their head. The fight began in the utmost confusion, and they intrenched themselves from street to street, and from square to square. Two Irish regiments, that made part of the garrison, checked the efforts of the imperialists. Never was greater prudence shown in the surprise of a town, nor more valor in defending it. The garrison consisted of about five thousand men; Prince Eugene had as yet introduced only four thousand; a large detachment of his army was to have joined them by the bridge over the Po; the measures were well concerted, but another stroke of chance rendered them all fruitless. This bridge, which was guarded only by a hundred French soldiers, was to have been seized upon by the German cuirassiers, who were ordered to go and make themselves masters of it, the instant Prince Eugene entered the town. For this purpose, as they came in by the south gate, next to the common sewer, they were to go out into the country of Cremona at the northern part of the city, through the Po gate, and then immediately make the best of their way to the bridge. As they were going through the city, the guide who conducted them was killed by a musket-shot from a window; the cuirassiers mistook one street for another, and wandered out of their way. During this interval, the Irish assembled at the Po gate, attacked and repulsed the cuirassiers; and the marquis du Prâlin, seizing this lucky moment, ordered the bridge to be broken down; the aid which the enemy expected could not cross, and the town was saved.

Prince Eugene, after having fought the whole day, and constantly keeping possession of the gate by which he entered, at length retired, taking with him Marshal Villeroi, and most of the general officers prisoners, but disappointed in taking Cremona, which his activity and prudence, together with the negligence of the generals, had once made him master of; and which chance, and the valor of the French and Irish troops, had snatched from him again.

Marshal Villeroi, who was extremely unhappy on this occasion, was condemned by the courtiers at Versailles, with all the severity and acrimony that his share of the royal favor, and the loftiness of his character, which was taken by them for vanity, could inspire. The king, who blamed but did not condemn him, was not a little displeased to find his choice so highly censured, and in the heat of his resentment suffered these words to escape him: “They take a pleasure in abusing him, because he is my favorite;” a term that he never before in his life made use of in regard to anyone. The duke of Vendôme was immediately ordered to go and take the command in Italy.

The duke of Vendôme was grandson of Henry IV., and like him, intrepid, mild, beneficent, and humble; a stranger to hatred, envy, and revenge; he showed pride only among princes, and behaved with equality to everyone else: he was the only general under whom the common men were not led to fight merely from principles of military duty, and that mechanical instinct which obeys the orders of an officer. They fought for the duke of Vendôme; and would have laid down their lives to extricate him out of a false step into which his fiery genius sometimes hurried him. He was thought not to equal Prince Eugene in the coolness and depth of his designs, and the art of subsisting his troops; he was too apt to neglect little matters, and suffered military discipline to languish in his army; he gave too much time to sleep and the pleasures of the table. This overindulgence put him more than once in danger of being carried off: but in the day of battle he made amends for all these faults, by a presence of mind and discernment which seemed to grow from danger; these opportunities he was continually seeking, being not so well qualified for a defensive war as Prince Eugene, but fully equal to him in the offensive.

The same disorder and negligence that he introduced into the army were visible to a surprising degree in his household, and even in his own person. From his great aversion to show or ostentation he contracted a slovenliness almost unparalleled; and disinterestedness, the most noble of all virtues, became in him a fault, by making him lose more by carelessness than he would have expended in acts of bounty. He has been often known to want even common necessaries. His brother, the grand prior, who commanded under him in Italy, had all his faults, which he carried to a still greater excess, and made amends for by the same valor. It is surprising to see two generals never rising from bed till four o’clock in the afternoon, and two princes, grandsons of Henry IV., neglecting their persons in a manner that the meanest soldier would have thought shameful.

What is still more surprising is that mixture of activity and indolence with which Vendôme carried on so smart a war against Eugene; a war of artifice, surprises, marches, crossing of rivers, petty skirmishes, often as fruitless as bloody; and murderous battles, in which both sides claimed the victory; such as that of Luzzara—Aug. 15, 1701—for which Te Deum was sung both at Paris and Vienna. Vendôme always came off conqueror, when he had not to deal with Prince Eugene in person; but as soon as that general appeared at the head of his troops, the French had no longer the advantage.

In the midst of these battles, and the sieges of so many towns and cities, private intelligence was brought to Versailles that the duke of Savoy, grand-nephew of Louis XIV., father-in-law of the duke of Burgundy and Philip V., was going to quit the Bourbon interest, and was actually in treaty with the emperor. Everyone was astonished that he should at once leave two sons-in-law, and give up what appeared to be his true interest: but the emperor had promised him all that his sons-in-law had refused him: Montferrat, Mantua, Alexandria, Valencia, and the countries between the Po and the Tanaro, with more money than he received from France. The money was to be furnished by England, for the emperor had hardly sufficient to pay his troops. England, the richest of all the allies, contributed more than any of them toward the common cause. Whether the duke of Savoy showed any regard for the laws of nature and nations is a question in morality which has very little to do with the conduct of sovereigns. The event, however, proved in the end that he was not at all wanting to the laws of policy in the treaty he made; but he was wanting in another very essential point of politics, in leaving his troops at the mercy of the French, while he was treating with the emperor. The duke of Vendôme ordered them to be disarmed; they were indeed no more than five thousand men, but this was no inconsiderable object to the duke of Savoy.

No sooner had the house of Bourbon lost this ally, when she heard that Portugal had likewise declared against her. Peter, king of Portugal, acknowledged the archduke Charles for king of Spain. The imperial council, in the name of this archduke, dismembered, in favor of Peter II., a monarchy, in which he was not as yet master of a single town; and, by one of those treaties which are never executed, ceded to him Vigo, Bayonne, Alcantara, Badajoz, a part of Estremadura, all the countries lying to the west of the river La Plata in America; in a word, he made a partition of what he had not to give, in order to acquire what he might.

The king of Portugal, the prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, minister to the archduke, and the admiral of Castile, his creature, implored the assistance of the king of Morocco. They not only entered into a treaty with these barbarians, supplying them with horses and corn, but they likewise asked for a body of troops. The emperor of Morocco, Muley Ismael, the most warlike and politic tyrant at that time in the Mahometan nation, would not send his troops but on such terms as were dangerous to Christendom, and shameful to the king of Portugal; he demanded a son of that king’s as a hostage, together with a certain number of towns. The treaty did not take place; and the Christians contented themselves with tearing each other to pieces with their own hands, without calling in barbarians. The assistance of Africa would not have done the house of Austria so much service as that of England and Holland did.

Churchill, earl, and afterward duke, of Marlborough, was declared general of the confederate armies of England and Holland, in the year 1702. This man proved as fatal to the French greatness as any that had appeared for many ages. He was not one of those generals to whom a minister delivers the plan of the campaign in writing, and who, after having followed the order he has received from the cabinet, at the head of his army, returns home to solicit the honor of being employed again. He at that time governed the queen of England; both by the occasion she had for his service, and by the authority his wife had over her affections. He had the command of the parliament by his powerful interest, and by that of the treasurer, Godolphin, whose son married one of his daughters. Thus having the direction of the court, the parliament, the war, and the treasury, more a king than ever William had been, as great a politician, and a much greater general, he exceeded the most sanguine hopes of the allies. He possessed in a degree superior to any general of his time that tranquil courage in the midst of tumult, and serenity of soul in danger, which the English call a cool head. It is perhaps to this qualification, the principal gift in nature for a commander, that the English are indebted for their victories over the French in the fields of Poitiers, Crécy, and Agincourt.

Marlborough, who was indefatigable as a warrior during the campaign, was no less active a negotiator in the winter; he went to The Hague, and visited all the courts of Germany; he persuaded the Dutch to drain themselves to humble France; he roused the resentment of the elector palatine; he flattered the pride of the elector of Brandenburg, who wanted to be king, by which he drew from him a supply of eight thousand men. Prince Eugene, on his side, had no sooner finished one campaign than he went to Vienna to make preparations for another. We may easily judge whether an army is better supplied, where the general is at the same time the prime minister.

These two great men, who had sometimes the command jointly, sometimes separately, always understood each other. They had frequent conferences at The Hague, with the grand pensionary, Heinsius, and the secretary, Fagel, who governed the United Provinces with equal abilities, and better success than the Barneveldts and DeWitts. They, in concert, continually set the springs of one-half of Europe in play against the house of Bourbon; and the French ministry was at that time much too weak to oppose those combined forces for any length of time. The plan of operations for the campaign was always kept an inviolable secret. They settled their designs among themselves, and did not intrust them even to those who were to second them until the instant of execution. Chamillard, on the contrary, being neither a politician, a warrior, nor even acquainted with the management of the revenue, and who yet acted as prime minister, was unable to plan any designs of his own; and was, therefore, obliged to be dependent on inferior people for their assistance. His secret was almost always divulged, even before he himself knew exactly what was to be done. Of this the marquis de Feuquières accuses him with great justice; and Madame de Maintenon acknowledges, in her letters, that she had made choice of a man who was not fit for the ministry. This was one of the principal causes of the misfortunes which befell France.

Marlborough, as soon as he came to the command of the allied army in Flanders, showed that he had learned the art of war of the great Turenne, under whom he had in his younger days made his first campaigns as a volunteer. He was then known in the army only by the name of the handsome Englishman: but Turenne soon perceived that this handsome Englishman would one day be a great man. He began his command by raising several subaltern officers in whom he had discovered merit, and who were till then unknown, without confining himself to the order of military rank, which we in France call the order of the Tableau. He was sensible that, when preferment is only the consequence of seniority, all emulation must perish; and that an officer is not always the most serviceable because the most ancient. He presently formed men. He gained ground upon the French without hazarding a battle. Ginkel, earl of Athlone, the Dutch general, disputed the command with him the first month, and, before six weeks were at an end, was obliged to yield to him in every respect. The king of France sent his grandson, the duke of Burgundy, against him, a wise and upright prince, born to make a people happy. The marshal de Bouflers, a man of indefatigable courage, commanded the army under the young prince. But the duke of Burgundy, after having seen several places taken before his face, and being by the skilful marches of the English, obliged to retreat, returned to Versailles before the campaign was half over, leaving Bouflers to be a witness to Marlborough’s successes, who took Venlo, Ruremonde, and Liège, and continued advancing without losing the superiority one instant.

When Marlborough returned to London at the close of this campaign, he received all the honors that could be bestowed in a monarchy and a republic. He was created duke by the queen; and, what was still more flattering, he received the thanks of the two houses of parliament, who sent deputies to compliment him at his own house.

But now there arose a person who seemed likely to restore the drooping fortunes of France. This was the marshal duke de Villars, then lieutenant-general, and whom we have since seen, at the age of eighty-two, commander-in-chief of the armies of France, Spain, and Sardinia; this man was bold and confident, and had himself been the architect of his own fortune, by his unwearied perseverance in the discharge of his duty. He sometimes offended Louis XIV., and what was still more dangerous, his minister, Louvois, by speaking to them with the boldness with which he served. He was accused of not having a modesty becoming his courage. But at length it was seen that he had a genius formed for war, and to command Frenchmen. He had been greatly advanced within a few years, after having been left a long time unnoticed.

Never was there a man whose preferment created more jealousy, and with less reason. He was marshal of France, duke, and peer, and governor of Provence: but then he had saved the state; and others who had ruined it, or had no other claim but that of being courtiers, had met with as great rewards. He was even upbraided with the riches which he acquired by contributions in the enemy’s country, a just and reasonable reward for his valor and conduct; while those who had amassed fortunes of ten times the value by the most scandalous methods continued to enjoy them with the approbation of the public. He did not begin to taste the sweets of the reputation he had acquired till he was nearly eighty; and he must have outlived the whole court to have enjoyed it undisturbed.

It may not be amiss to acquaint the world with the reason of this injustice in mankind. It was owing to the want of art in Marshal Villars: he had not enough to make himself friends, with integrity and understanding; nor to set a proper value upon himself, by speaking that of himself which he deserved that others should say of him.

One day as he was taking leave of the king, he said to him before the whole court: “Sire, I am going to fight against your majesty’s enemies, and leave you in the midst of mine.” He said to the courtiers of the duke of Orleans, regent of the kingdom, who had all grown rich by that subversion of the state called system: “For my part I never got anything but by the enemies of my country.” These speeches, which were accompanied by the same courage as his actions, were too humbling to those who were already sufficiently incensed at his good fortune.

At the beginning of the war he was one of the lieutenant-generals who had the command of the detachments in Alsace. His army was at that time in the mountains of Breisgau, which border on the Black Forest; and this immense forest separated the elector of Bavaria’s army from the French. Catinat, who commanded in Strasburg, had too much circumspection in his conduct to think of attacking the prince of Baden at such a disadvantage; as in case of a repulse, the French army must be hopelessly lost, and Alsace laid open. Villars, who had resolved to be marshal of France, or to die in the attempt, hazarded what Catinat did not dare to undertake. He wrote to court for permission; and then marched toward the imperialists at Friedlengen, with an inferior army, and fought the battle of that name, Oct. 14, 1702.

The horse engaged in the plain, the foot climbed up to the top of the hill, and attacked the German infantry which was intrenched in the woods. I have more than once heard Marshal Villars himself say, that after the battle was won, and as he was marching at the head of his infantry, a voice was heard crying out, “We are cut off;” upon which the whole body immediately took flight. He directly ran up to them, crying out, “What is the matter, friends? we have gained the victory, God bless the king.” The soldiers, all pale and trembling, repeated, “God bless the king,” and began to fly as before. He declared that he never met with more difficulty than in rallying the conquerors, and that if only two of the enemy’s regiments had showed themselves at that instant of general panic, the French would have been beaten; so frequently does the fate of battles depend on mere chance.

The prince of Baden, though he lost three thousand men, with all his cannon, was driven out of the field of battle, and pursued for two leagues, through woods and defiles, while as a proof of his defeat, the fort of Friedlengen capitulated. Nevertheless, he wrote to the court of Vienna that he had gained the victory, and ordered Te Deum to be sung, which was more shameful to him than even the loss of the battle.

The French recovered from their panic, proclaimed Villars marshal of France on the field of battle; and a fortnight later the king confirmed the title which the soldiers had conferred on him.

Marshal Villars, having joined the elector of Bavaria with his victorious army, found him also a conqueror, gaining ground of the enemy, and in possession of the imperial city of Ratisbon, where the assembly of the empire had lately vowed his destruction.

Villars was better qualified to serve his country when acting only according to his own genius than in concert with another. He carried, or rather dragged, the elector across the Danube; but no sooner had they passed that river than the elector began to repent of what he had done, perceiving, that on the least check, he should be obliged to leave his dominions at the enemy’s mercy. The count of Styria, at the head of nearly twenty thousand men, was marching to join the grand army under the prince of Baden, near Donauwörth. The marshal told the elector that this must be prevented, by marching directly and attacking Styria. The elector, willing to temporize, replied that he must consult his ministers and generals on that head. “Am not I your minister and general?” answered Villars. “Do you want any other counsel but me when you are to give battle?” The prince, realizing the danger which threatened his dominions, still kept back, and even grew angry with the general. “Well, then,” said Villars, “if your electoral highness will not embrace this opportunity with your Bavarians, I will begin the battle with the French;” and immediately gave orders for the attack. The prince was incensed, and regarded Villars as a madman, but was obliged to fight against his will. This was in the plains of Höchstädt, near Donauwörth.

After the first charge there appeared another instance of the effect of chance in battles. Both armies were seized at the same time with a panic, and fled; and Marshal Villars saw himself left alone for some minutes on the field of battle; however, he rallied his troops, led them back to the charge, and gained the victory. Three thousand of the imperialists were left dead on the field, and four thousand taken prisoners, with their cannon and baggage. The elector made himself master of Augsburg. The road to Vienna was open, and it was even debated in the emperor’s council whether he should quit his capital.

The emperor was excusable for his apprehensions; he was beaten everywhere. The duke of Burgundy, with Marshals Tallard and Vauban under him, had just taken old Breisach; and Tallard had not only taken Landau, but had also defeated the prince of Hesse, afterward king of Sweden, near Spires, as he was attempting to relieve the town. If we believe the marquis de Feuquières—a most excellent officer and competent judge in the military art, though rather too severe in his decisions—Marshal Tallard won the battle by a fault and a mistake. However, he wrote thus to the king from the field of battle: “Sire, your majesty’s army has taken more standards and colors than it has lost private men.”

In this action there was more execution done by the bayonet than in any other during the war. The French have a singular advantage in the use of this weapon, on account of their natural impetuosity; but it has become more menacing than fatal; quick and close firing has prevailed in its stead. The English and Germans were accustomed to fire in divisions with greater order and readiness than the French. The Prussians were the first who loaded with iron rammers. The second king of Prussia taught his troops such an exercise, that they could fire six times in a minute, with great ease. Three ranks discharging their fire at once, and then advancing briskly, decide the fate of the battle nowadays. The field-pieces produce a no less formidable effect. The battalions who are staggered with the fire do not wait to be attacked with the bayonet, and are completely defeated by the cavalry; so that the bayonet frightens more than it slays, and the sword is absolutely useless to the infantry. Strength of body, skill, and courage are no longer of any service to a combatant. The battalions are great machines, and those which are best formed naturally bear down all that stand in their way. This was the very thing which gave Prince Eugene the victory over the Turks in those famous battles of Temiswar and Belgrade; while the latter would in all probability have had the advantage from their superiority of numbers, had these battles been what we called mixed fights. Thus the art of destroying each other is not only entirely different from what it was before the invention of gunpowder, but even from what it was a century ago.

As the French arms maintained their reputation with such success at first in Germany, it was presumed that Marshal Villars would carry it still further by an impetuosity which would disconcert the German phlegm: but the qualifications which made him a formidable chief rendered it impossible for him to act in concert with the elector of Bavaria. The king would not suffer his generals to show haughtiness to any but his enemies; and the elector of Bavaria unhappily wrote for another marshal of France.

Villars then, whose presence was so necessary in Germany, where he had gained two battles, and might possibly have crushed the empire, was recalled and sent into the Cévennes, to make peace with the rebellious peasants. We shall speak of these fanatics in the chapter on religion. Louis XIV. had at this time enemies that were more terrible, successful, and irreconcilable than the inhabitants of the Cévennes.

The duke of Marlborough returned from the Low Countries in the beginning of 1703, with the same conduct and the same success. He had taken Bonn, the residence of the elector of Cologne. Thence he marched and retook Huy and Limburg, and made himself master of all the Lower Rhine. Marshal Villeroi, now returned from his confinement, commanded in Flanders, where he had no better success against Marlborough than he had had against Prince Eugene. Marshal Bouflers, with a detachment of his army, had indeed gained a small advantage in the fight of Eckeren, over the Dutch general, Opdam; but an advantage which has no consequences is no advantage at all.

And now the house of Austria was undone, unless the English general marched to the assistance of the emperor. The elector of Bavaria was master of Passau. Thirty thousand French, under the command of Marshal Marsin, who had succeeded Villars, overspread the countries of the other side of the Danube. There were several flying parties in Austria. Vienna itself was threatened on one side by the French and Bavarians, and on the other by Prince Ragotski, at the head of the Hungarians, fighting for their liberty, and supplied with money by the French and the Turks. In this situation of affairs, Prince Eugene hastens from Italy to take command of the armies in Germany: he had an interview with the duke of Marlborough at Heilbronn. The English general, whose hands were at full liberty, being left to act as he pleased by his queen and her allies, the Dutch, marched with reinforcements into the heart of the empire, taking with him ten thousand English foot, and twenty-three squadrons of horse. He made forced marches, and arrived on the banks of the Danube, near Donauwörth, opposite the elector of Bavaria’s lines, where about eight thousand French and as many Bavarians lay intrenched, to guard the country they had conquered. After an engagement of two hours, Marlborough forced the lines, at the head of three battalions of English, and routed the Bavarians and French. It is said that he killed six thousand of the enemy, and lost as many himself. A general concerns himself little about the number of slain, provided he succeeds in his enterprise. He then took Donauwörth, July 2, 1704, repassed the Danube, and laid Bavaria under contribution.

Marshal Villeroi, who attempted to follow him in his first marches, lost sight of him, and knew not where he was, till he heard the news of his victory at Donauwörth.

Marshal Tallard, who with a corps of thirty thousand men, had marched by another route to oppose Marlborough, came and joined the elector. At the same time Prince Eugene arrived and joined Marlborough.

At length the two armies met within a small distance of Donauwörth, and nearly in the same place where Marshal Villars had gained a victory the year before. I know that the marshal, who was then in the Cévennes, having received a letter from Tallard’s army, written the night before the battle, acquainting him with the disposition of the two armies, and the manner in which Marshal Tallard intended to engage, wrote to his brother-in-law, the president de Maisons, telling him that if Marshal Tallard gave the enemy battle in that position, he must inevitably be beaten. This letter was shown to Louis XIV. and afterward became public.

The French army, including the Bavarians, consisted of eighty-two battalions, and one hundred and sixty squadrons, which made in all nearly sixty thousand men, the corps being then not quite complete. The enemy had sixty-four battalions, and one hundred and fifty-two squadrons, in all not more than fifty-two thousand men; for armies are always made more numerous than they really are. This battle, which proved so bloody and decisive, deserves particular attention. The French generals were accused of a number of errors; the chief was, having brought themselves under a necessity of accepting a battle, instead of letting the enemy’s army waste itself for want of forage, and giving time to Marshal Villeroi, either to fall upon the Netherlands, then in a defenceless state, or to penetrate farther into Germany. But it should be considered in reply to this accusation, that the French army being somewhat stronger than that of the allies, might hope for the victory, which indeed would have dethroned the emperor. The marquis de Feuquières reckons up no less than twelve capital faults committed by the elector, Marsin, and Tallard, before and after the battle. One of the greatest was not having placed a large body of foot in their centre, and having separated the two bodies of the army. I have often heard Marshal Villars say, that this disposition was unpardonable.

Marshal Tallard was at the head of the right wing, and the elector, with Marsin, at the left. Tallard had all the impetuous and sprightly courage of a Frenchman, an active and penetrating understanding, and a genius fruitful in expedients and resources. It was he who had made the partition treaties. He was allied to glory and fortune by all the ways of a man of genius and courage. The battle of Spires had gained him great honor, notwithstanding the animadversions of Feuquières; for a victorious general never appears culpable in the eyes of the public, while he who is beaten is always in the wrong, however just or prudent his conduct may have been.

But Marshal Tallard labored under a malady very dangerous to a general; his sight was so weak that he could not distinguish objects at the distance of twenty paces from him. Those who were well acquainted with him have told me, moreover, that his impetuous courage, quite the reverse of the duke of Marlborough’s, growing still warmer in the heat of the action, deprived him sometimes of the necessary presence of mind. This defect was owing to a dry and inflammatory state of the blood. It is well known that the qualifications of the mind are chiefly influenced by the constitution of the body.

This was the first time that Marshal Marsin had the chief command. With a great deal of wit and a good understanding, he is said to have had rather the experience of a good officer than of a general.

As to the elector of Bavaria, he was looked upon not less as a great general than as a valiant and amiable prince, the darling of his subjects, and who had more magnanimity than application.

At length the battle began, between twelve and one o’clock in the afternoon. Marlborough, with his English, having passed a small rivulet, began the attack upon Tallard’s cavalry. That general, a little before, had ridden toward the left wing to observe its disposition. It was no small disadvantage to Tallard’s corps from the beginning to be obliged to fight without its general at its head. The corps commanded by the elector and Marsin had not yet been attacked by Prince Eugene. Marlborough began upon our right nearly an hour before Eugene could have come up to the elector at our left.

As soon as Marshal Tallard heard that Marlborough had attacked his wing, he immediately posted thither, where he found a furious action begun; the French cavalry rallied three times, and was as often repulsed. He then went to the village of Blenheim, where he had posted twenty-seven battalions, and twelve squadrons. This was a little detached army that kept a continual fire on Marlborough during the whole time he was engaged with Tallard’s wing. After giving his orders in this village, he hastened back to the place where the duke, with a body of horse and battalions of foot between the squadrons was driving the French cavalry before him.

M. de Feuquières is certainly mistaken in saying that Marshal Tallard was not present at this time, but was taken prisoner as he was returning from Marsin’s wing to his own. All accounts agree, and it was but too true of him, that he was actually present. He received a wound in the action, and his son was mortally wounded by his side. His cavalry was routed before his face. The victorious Marlborough forced his way between the two bodies of the French army on one side, while on the other his general officers got between the village of Blenheim and Tallard’s division, which was also separated from the little army in that village.

In this cruel situation, Marshal Tallard flew to rally some of the broken squadrons; but the badness of his sight made him mistake a squadron of the enemy for one of his own, and he was taken prisoner by the Hessian troops that were in English pay. At the very instant that the general was taken, Prince Eugene, after having been three times repulsed, at length gained the advantage. The rout now became total in Tallard’s division; everyone fled with the utmost precipitation; and so great was the terror and confusion throughout that whole wing, that officers and soldiers ran headlong into the Danube, without knowing whither they were going. There was no general officer to give orders for a retreat; no one thought of saving those twenty-seven battalions and twelve squadrons of the best troops of France, that were so unfortunately shut up in Blenheim, or of bringing them into action. At last Marshal Marsin ordered a retreat. The count du Bourg, afterward marshal of France, saved a small part of the infantry by retreating over the marshes of Höchstädt; but neither he, Marsin, nor anyone else thought of this little army, which still remained in Blenheim, waiting for orders which were never sent them. It consisted of eleven thousand effective men, from the oldest corps. There are many examples of less armies that have beaten others of fifty thousand men, or at least made a glorious retreat; but the nature of the post determines everything. It was impossible for them to get out of the narrow streets of a village, and range themselves in order of battle, in the face of a victorious army, that would have overwhelmed them at once with a superior front, and even with their own artillery, which had all fallen into the victors’ hands.

The general officer who commanded here was the marquis of Clérembaut, son of the marshal of that name: he was hastening to find Marshal Tallard, to receive orders from him, when he was told that he was taken prisoner; and seeing nothing but people running on all sides, he fled with them, and in flying was drowned in the Danube.

Brigadier Sivières, who was posted in this village, ventured on a bold stroke: he called aloud to the officers of the regiments of Artois and Provence, to follow him: several officers even of other regiments obeyed the summons, and rushing out of the village, like those who make a sally from a town that is besieged, fell upon the enemy; but after this sally they were obliged to return again. One of these officers, named Des Nonvilles, returned some few moments afterward on horseback, with the earl of Orkney. As soon as he entered the village, the rest of the officers flocked round him, inquiring if it was an English prisoner that he had brought in. “No, gentlemen,” replied he, “I am a prisoner myself, and am come to tell you, that you have nothing left but to surrender yourselves prisoners of war. Here is the earl of Orkney, who has come to offer you terms.” At hearing this, all these old bands shuddered with horror: the regiment of Navarre tore its colors, and buried them. But at length they were obliged to yield to necessity; and this whole army laid down its arms without having struck a blow. My lord Orkney has told me that it was impossible for them to do otherwise in their confined situation. Europe was struck with astonishment that the best troops in France should have suffered such disgrace. Their misfortune was at first imputed to cowardice; but a few years afterward the same thing happening to fourteen thousand Swedes, who surrendered at discretion to the Muscovites, in the open field, fully justified the French.

Such was this famous action of Aug. 13, 1704, which in France was known by the name of the battle of Höchstädt, and by the English and Germans was called the battle of Blenheim. The victors had nearly five thousand killed and eight thousand wounded; the greatest part of which loss fell on the side of Prince Eugene. The French army was almost entirely cut to pieces. Of sixty thousand men, who had been so long victorious, not more than twenty thousand could be gathered together after the battle.

This fatal day was distinguished by the loss of twenty thousand men killed, fourteen thousand made prisoners, all the cannon, a prodigious number of standards, colors, tents, and equipages, with the general of the army, and twelve hundred officers of note in the hands of the conquerors. The runaways dispersed themselves on all sides; and more than a hundred leagues of country were lost in less than a month. The whole electorate of Bavaria, now fallen under the yoke of the emperor, experienced all the severity of Austrian resentment, and all the cruelties of a rapacious soldiery. The elector, on his way to Brussels, whither he was flying for refuge, met with his brother, the elector of Cologne, who like him was driven out of his dominions; they embraced each other with a flood of tears. The court of Versailles, accustomed to continual successes, was struck with astonishment and confusion at this reverse. The news of the defeat arrived in the midst of the rejoicings made on account of the birth of a great-grandson of Louis XIV. No one would venture to acquaint the king with this cruel truth. At length Madame de Maintenon took upon her to let him know that he was no longer invincible. It has been affirmed both by word of mouth and in writing, and the same has been repeated in above twenty different histories, that the emperor ordered a monument of this defeat to be erected on the plains of Blenheim, with an inscription greatly to the dishonor of the French king; but no such monument ever existed.

The English erected one to the honor of their duke of Marlborough. The queen and the parliament built an immense palace for him on one of his principal estates, to which they gave the name of Blenheim, where this battle is represented in most curious paintings and tapestry. The thanks of the two houses of parliament, and of the cities and boroughs, and the general acclamation of the people, were the first fruits he received from his victory. But the poem written by the famous Addison, a monument more durable than the palace of Blenheim, is reckoned by this warlike and learned nation, among the most honorable rewards bestowed on the duke of Marlborough. The emperor created him a prince of the empire, bestowed on him the principality of Mindelsheim, which was afterward exchanged for another; but he was never known by that title; the name of Marlborough being now the most noble he could bear.

By the dispersion of the French army an open passage was left to the allies from the Danube to the Rhine. They passed the latter and entered Alsace. Prince Louis of Baden, a general famous for his encampments and marches, invested Landau. Joseph, king of the Romans, eldest son of the emperor Leopold, came to be present at this siege; Landau was taken, and afterward Traerbach.

Notwithstanding the loss of a hundred leagues of country, the French extended their frontiers. Louis XIV. supported his grandson in Spain, and his arms were victorious in Italy. It required great efforts to make head against the victorious Marlborough in Germany, which, however, he did; the scattered remains of the army were gathered together, the garrisons were ordered to furnish men, and the militia were ordered to take the field. The ministry borrowed money everywhere. At length an army was got together; and Marshal Villars was recalled from the heart of the Cévennes to take the command. He came and joined the army at Trier, where he found himself in presence of the English general with an inferior army. Both sides were desirous of giving battle; but the prince of Baden not coming up soon enough to join his troops to those of the English, Villars had the honor of obliging Marlborough to decamp, in May, 1705. This was doing a great deal at that time. The duke of Marlborough, who had a sufficient esteem for Marshal Villars to wish to be esteemed by him again, wrote him the following billet while he was decamping: “Do me the justice, sir, to believe, that my retreat is entirely the prince of Baden’s fault, and that I esteem you even more than I am angry with him.”

The French had still some barriers in Germany. The enemy had not yet done anything in Flanders, where Marshal Villeroi, now at liberty, had the command. In Spain King Philip V. and the archduke Charles were both in expectation of the crown, the former from the powerful assistance of his grandfather, and the good will of the greater part of the Spaniards; the latter from the assistance of the English, and the partisans he had in Catalonia and Aragon. This archduke, afterward emperor, second son of the emperor Leopold, went, toward the latter part of 1703, without any retinue, to London, to implore the assistance of Queen Anne.

Now the English power appeared in all its glory. This nation, which had in fact so little to do with this quarrel, furnished the Austrian prince with two hundred transport ships, thirty ships of war, joined to ten sail of the Dutch, nine thousand men, and a sum of money, to go and conquer a kingdom for himself. But notwithstanding the superiority which power and benefits confer, the emperor, in his letter to Queen Anne, which the archduke presented, would not give this princess, his benefactress, the title of majesty, but only that of serenity, agreeable to the style of the court of Vienna, which custom alone could justify, and which reason has since changed, when pride has been obliged to stoop to necessity.

One of the first exploits performed by these English troops was the taking of Gibraltar, a place justly deemed impregnable. A long chain of steep rocks forbade all approach to it by land; it had no harbor, but only a long bay, very wild and unsafe, where ships lay exposed to storms and to the artillery of the fortress and mole; the inhabitants of the town were alone sufficient to defend it against a fleet of a thousand ships and a hundred thousand men. But this very strength was the cause of its being taken; there were only a hundred men in garrison, but these were more than sufficient, had they not neglected a duty which they looked upon as useless. The prince of Hesse had landed with eighteen hundred soldiers on the northernmost neck of land, behind the town; but the steepness of the rock made an attack upon the place impracticable on that side. The fleet in vain fired more than fifteen thousand shot; at length a body of sailors, in one of their merry-makings, happened to row close under the mole in their boats, the cannon of which might have sunk them all, but not a gun was fired; upon this they mounted the mole, made themselves masters of it, and fresh troops flocking in on all sides, this impregnable town was at length obliged to surrender, on Aug. 4, 1704. It is still in possession of the English; and Spain, now again become a formidable power under the administration of the princess of Parma, second wife of Philip V., and lately victorious in Africa and Italy, beholds with an impotent grief, Gibraltar in the hands of a Northern nation, that had hardly a single ship in the Mediterranean two centuries ago.

Immediately after the taking of Gibraltar, the English fleet, now mistress of the sea, attacked the count de Toulouse, admiral of France, in view of the castle of Malaga. This battle, Aug. 26, 1704, though not a decisive one, was the last epoch of the maritime power of Louis XIV. His natural son, the count de Toulouse, admiral of the kingdom, had fifty ships of the line and twenty-four galleys under his command. He made a glorious retreat, with very little loss. But the king afterward sent thirteen ships to attack Gibraltar, while Marshal de Tessé laid siege to it by land; this double rashness proved the ruin of both army and fleet. Some of the ships were destroyed by a storm, others were boarded and taken by the English after a most noble resistance, and another part of them burned on the coast of Spain. From that day the French had no longer any large fleets either in the Western Ocean or the Mediterranean. The marine returned nearly to the state from which Louis XIV. had raised it, as well as many other glorious things which rose and set under his reign.

The English, who had taken Gibraltar for themselves, in less than six weeks conquered the kingdom of Valencia and Catalonia for the archduke Charles. They took Barcelona by an event of chance, which was owing to the rashness of the besiegers.

The English were at that time commanded by one of the most extraordinary men ever produced by that country, so fruitful in proud, valiant, and whimsical minds. This was the earl of Peterborough, a man who, in every respect, resembled those heroes with whose exploits the imagination of the Spaniards has filled so many books. At fifteen years of age he left London, to go and make war against the Moors in Africa; at twenty he was the first who set on foot the revolution in England, and went over to the prince of Orange; but, lest the true reason of his voyage should be suspected, he took passage for America, and then went over to The Hague in a Dutch vessel. He parted with all his fortune more than once. He was now carrying on the war in Spain almost at his own expense, and maintained the archduke and all his household. It was this extraordinary man, who, with the prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, was laying siege to Barcelona. He proposed to the prince to make a sudden attack on the intrenchments which covered Fort Montjoie and the town. These intrenchments were carried, sword in hand; the prince of Darmstadt fell in the attack. A bomb falling upon a magazine of powder in the fort, blew it up. The fort was taken, and the town thereupon capitulated. The viceroy came to one of the gates of the town to confer with Lord Peterborough; but the articles were not yet signed, when their ears were suddenly struck with loud cries and shrieks. “You have betrayed us, my lord,” said the viceroy to Peterborough; “we made a fair capitulation, and there your English have entered the city over the ramparts, and are killing, robbing, and plundering everyone.” “You are mistaken,” replied Lord Peterborough, “it must certainly be the prince of Darmstadt’s troops. There is no other way left to save your town, but to let me enter immediately with my English. I will make everything quiet, and return again to the gate to sign the capitulation.” He spoke this with an air of truth and grandeur that, added to the present danger, entirely persuaded the governor, who immediately let him enter. He flew through the streets with his officers, where he presently found the Germans and Catalans busy in plundering the houses of the principal citizens; he drove them off, and made them quit their booty. After this he met with the duchess of Popoli in the hands of some soldiers, who were going to dishonor her; he took her from them, and delivered her to her husband. At length, having made everything quiet, he returned to the gate according to his promise, and signed the capitulation. The Spaniards were confounded to find such magnanimity in the English, whom the populace had always been taught to look upon as merciless barbarians, because they were heretics.

To the loss of Barcelona succeeded the mortification of a fruitless attempt to retake it. Philip V., though he had the greater part of Spain in his interest, had neither generals, engineers, nor hardly soldiers. The count of Toulouse returned to block up the harbor with twenty-five ships of war, the whole remains of the French navy; Marshal de Tessé formed the siege by land with thirty-one squadrons of horse, and thirty-seven battalions of foot; but the English fleet appearing, that of France was obliged to retire, and de Tessé raised the siege with precipitation, May 2, 1706, leaving an immense quantity of provisions behind him in his camp, and one thousand five hundred wounded to the mercy of Lord Peterborough. These were heavy losses; and it was hard to say whether it had cost France more to conquer Spain than it did now to assist it. Nevertheless, the grandson of Louis XIV. still kept his ground, through the affection of the Castilians, whose greatest pride is their fidelity, and who, on this occasion, continued firm to the choice they had made.

In Italy affairs wore a better aspect; Louis was avenged on the duke of Savoy; the duke of Vendôme had, in the beginning, repulsed Prince Eugene with some glory, in the battle of Cassano, near the Adda; this proved a bloody day, and one of those drawn battles for which both sides sing Te Deum, and that serve only to destroy men without advancing the affairs of either party. After the battle of Cassano he gained a complete victory at Cassinato, on April 19, 1706, in the absence of Prince Eugene; and that prince, arriving next day, saw another detachment of his army entirely routed; in short, the allies were obliged to give ground everywhere before the duke of Vendôme. Turin alone remained to be taken; they were already on the march to invest it, and there appeared no possibility of relieving it. Marshal Villars pushed the prince of Baden in Germany. Villeroi, with an army of eighty thousand men in Germany, hoped to indemnify himself on Marlborough for the ill success he had met with against Prince Eugene. His too great confidence in his own abilities proved now more fatal than ever to France.

Marshal Villeroi’s army was encamped near the river Mehaigne, by the head of the little Ghette; his centre was at Ramillies, a village since as famous as that of Blenheim. It was in his power to have avoided a battle: he was advised to do so by his general officers; but a blind passion for glory prevailed over every other consideration. It is said that the disposition he made for the battle was such that everyone of the least experience foresaw the fatal consequence. His centre was composed of newly raised troops, neither complete nor acquainted with military discipline. He left the baggage between the lines, and posted his left wing behind a morass, as if he intended to prevent it from coming near the enemy.

On May 23, 1706, Marlborough, who observed all these mistakes with a careful eye, drew up his army in such a manner as to take advantage of them; he perceived that the left wing of the French army could not come up to attack his right; he, therefore, made drafts from that part of his army, in order to fall on the enemy’s centre, at Ramillies, with a superior force. Monsieur de Gassion, the lieutenant-general, observing these movements, cried out to the marshal: “You are undone, sir, if you do not instantly change the order of battle. Make a draft from your left wing, that you may have an equal force to oppose the enemy. Close your lines more. If you lose a minute, you are irrecoverably lost.” This salutary advice was backed by several of the other officers; but the marshal would not believe them. When Marlborough began the attack, he found the army drawn up in the very manner in which he himself would have posted it for a defeat. This was publicly declared through all France, and history is partly a relation of the opinions of men; but may it not be alleged that the troops of the confederates were better disciplined, and that the confidence they had in their generals, and their past successes, inspired them with superior boldness? Were there not some of the French regiments who did not do their duty? And do we not know that those battalions who can best stand fire decide the destiny of states? The French army did not maintain its ground for half an hour; at Höchstädt the fight lasted for eight hours, and the French killed over eight thousand men; but, at the battle of Ramillies, they killed only two thousand five hundred. The defeat was general; the French lost twenty thousand men, together with the honor of their nation, and every hope of recovering the advantage. Bavaria and Cologne had been lost by the battle of Blenheim, and all Spanish Flanders was now lost by this of Ramillies; Marlborough entered victorious into Antwerp and Brussels, took Ostend, and Menin surrendered to him.

Marshal Villeroi, in despair, did not dare to acquaint the king with this defeat; he waited five days before despatching a courier. At length he wrote a confirmation of this news, which had already filled the court of France with consternation; and when he returned to Versailles to present himself to the king, that monarch, instead of reproaching him, only said: “Monsieur le maréchal, people at our time of life are not fortunate.”

The king immediately sent to Italy for the duke of Vendôme, where he thought his presence not necessary, in order to replace Villeroi in Flanders, and repair, if possible, his disgrace. He still entertained hopes, and with just reason, that the taking of Turin would make him amends for all these losses. Prince Eugene was at too great a distance to come to its relief; he was on the other side the Adige, and a long chain of intrenchments that lined the river on this side seemed to make a passage impracticable. Forty-six squadrons and a hundred battalions formed the defence of this great city.

The duke de la Feuillade, who commanded this army, was the gayest and most amiable man in the kingdom; and, though son-in-law of the minister, he was the darling of the people; he was a son of that marshal de la Feuillade who erected the statue of Louis XIV. in the square des Victoires. He appeared to have as much courage as his father; the same ambition; the same magnificence; and more understanding. He expected the staff of marshal of France as a reward for his taking Turin. Chamillard, his father-in-law, who loved him tenderly, had left nothing undone to secure him success. The imagination stands appalled at the detail of the preparations made for this siege. Those readers who have it not in their power to inform themselves of these matters, may perhaps not be displeased to meet here with an account of this immense and fruitless undertaking.

There were a hundred and forty pieces of cannon, and it is to be observed, that each large cannon, mounted on its carriage, costs about two thousand crowns; one hundred and ten thousand balls, one hundred and six thousand cartridges of one form, and three hundred thousand of another; twenty-one thousand bomb-shells, twenty-seven thousand seven hundred hand grenades, fifteen thousand sandbags, thirty thousand pioneering tools, and twelve hundred thousand pounds of powder, besides lead, iron, tin, cordage, with everything proper for the miners, sulphur, saltpetre, and implements of all kinds. It is certain that the expense of all these preparations for destruction was more than sufficient to have founded a numerous colony, and put it into a flourishing condition. Every siege of a great town requires the same prodigious expense, and yet when a little village is to be repaired at home, it is neglected.

The duke de la Feuillade, full of ardor and activity, inferior to no one in undertakings where courage alone was required, but incapable of conducting those that called for art, reflection, and time, hurried the siege against all rules. Marshal Vauban, the only general perhaps who loved his country better than himself, had proposed to the duke de la Feuillade to come and direct the siege as an engineer, and to serve in his army as a volunteer; but the pride of la Feuillade made him take this offer for insolence, concealed beneath the appearance of modesty, and was piqued that the best engineer in France should presume to give him advice. He wrote back to him, in a letter which I have seen: “I hope to take Turin by Cohorn.” This Cohorn was the Vauban of the allies, an excellent engineer, and a good general, who had taken several places that had been fortified by Vauban. After such a letter it was necessary to take Turin; but having begun the attack by the citadel, which was the strongest part, and the city not being completely surrounded, an opening was left for men or provisions to be thrown in, or for the duke of Savoy to sally out. In short, the greater impetuosity the duke de la Feuillade showed in his repeated and fruitless attacks, the more tedious was the siege.

The duke of Savoy came out of the town with some squadrons of horse, in order to amuse the duke de la Feuillade. The latter immediately quitted the direction of the siege to run after the prince, who, being better acquainted with the ground, baffled his pursuit. Thus la Feuillade missed the duke, and the business of the siege suffered by it.

All our historians, almost to a man, assert, that the duke de la Feuillade had no intention of taking Turin, and pretend that he had sworn to the duchess of Burgundy to respect her father’s capital; they likewise tell us that this princess prevailed upon Madame de Maintenon, to cause such measures to be taken as would save the town. It is certain that almost all the officers in this army were for a long time persuaded of the truth of this; but it was only one of those popular rumors which are the disgrace of the novelist, and the dishonor of the historian; besides, how contradictory it was, that the general who would not take Turin should endeavor to seize on the person of the duke of Savoy!

From May 13 till June 20 the duke of Vendôme had been posted on the banks of the Adige, to cover this siege, and thought himself competent, with seventy battalions and sixty squadrons, to stop all the passages against Prince Eugene.

The imperial general was in want of men and money. The mercers’ company of London loaned him about six millions of our livres; he then sent for a supply of men from the circles of the empire. The slowness of these reinforcements might have proved the ruin of Italy; but the slowness of the siege of Turin was still greater.

Vendôme was already appointed to go and repair the losses in Flanders; but, before he left Italy, he suffered Prince Eugene to cross the Adige, to pass the White Canal, and even the Po itself, a river larger, and in some places more difficult of passage than the Rhine; and before he himself left the banks of the Po, he saw Prince Eugene in a condition to advance even to Turin. Thus he left affairs in the most critical state in Italy, while in Flanders, Germany, and Spain, they appeared desperate.

The duke of Vendôme then went to Mons to assemble Villeroi’s scattered forces; and the duke of Orleans, nephew of Louis XIV., was sent to command his army on the banks of the Po. He found these troops in as much disorder as if they had suffered a defeat. Eugene had passed the Po in sight of Vendôme; he now crossed the Tanaro in view of the duke of Orleans, took Sarpi, Correggio, and Reggio; stole a march on the French, and at length joined the duke of Savoy near Asti. All that the duke of Orleans could do was to march and join la Feuillade in his camp before Turin. Prince Eugene followed with the utmost diligence. The duke of Orleans had now two alternatives, either to wait for Prince Eugene in the investing lines, or to march and meet him while he was yet on the other side of Veillane. He called a council of war, at which were present Marshal Marsin, who had lost the battle of Blenheim, the duke de la Feuillade, Albergoti, St. Fremont, and other lieutenant-generals, to whom he thus addressed himself: “Gentlemen, if we remain in our lines we lose the battle. The lines of circumvallation are above five leagues in length; it will be impossible for us to line all these intrenchments. On one hand here is the regiment of marines, that is not above two men deep; and, on the other hand, there are many places left entirely naked. The Doire, which runs through our camp, will prevent our men from marching readily to the assistance of one another; besides, when the French know they are attacked, they lose one of their principal advantages, that impetuosity and instantaneous ardor which so frequently decide the fate of battles. Believe me, it is to our interest to march directly to the enemy.” The lieutenant-generals immediately cried out, one and all: “Let us march.” Then Marshal Marsin drew the king’s order out of his pocket, which left everything to his decision in case of an action, and it was his choice to remain in the lines.

The duke of Orleans was not a little incensed to find that he was sent to the army only as a prince of the blood, and not as a general; however, he was obliged to follow Marsin’s advice, and made the necessary preparations for this disadvantageous action.

The enemy seemed at first to intend to make several attacks at once; and the variety of their movements threw the French camp into confusion. The duke of Orleans proposed one thing, Marsin and la Feuillade another; they disputed, and concluded upon nothing; till at length they suffered the enemy to pass the Doire, and advance in eight columns, each twenty-five men deep. There was an immediate necessity of opposing them with battalions of equal thickness.

Albergoti, who was posted at a distance from the main army, on the Capucins hill, had twenty thousand men with him, and only a body of the enemy’s militia to oppose, who did not dare to attack. They sent from the camp for a detachment of twelve thousand men; but he said that he could not weaken his division, and gave some specious reasons. Time was lost in these altercations. Prince Eugene attacked the intrenchments, and in two hours forced them, on Sept. 7, 1706. The duke of Orleans was wounded, and had retired to have his wound dressed; but he had scarcely gotten to the surgeon’s tent when word was brought him that all was lost, that the enemy was master of the camp, and that the defeat was general. Nothing remained but immediate flight; the trenches were abandoned, and the whole army dispersed. All the baggage, provisions, and ammunition, together with the military chest, fell into the hands of the conquerors. Marshal Marsin himself was wounded in the thigh, and made prisoner. One of the duke of Savoy’s surgeons cut off his thigh, and he died a few minutes after the operation. Sir Paul Methuen, ambassador from England to the court of Turin, the most generous and brave man that his country had ever employed in her embassies, fought by the duke of Savoy’s side during the whole action. He was present when Marshal Marsin was taken prisoner, and was near him in his last moments; and he told me that the marshal, when he was dying, spoke to him in these very terms: “Be persuaded, sir, that it was contrary to my judgment that we waited for you in our lines.” These words seem positively to contradict what passed at the council of war, and may, nevertheless, be true; for Marsin, when he took leave of the king at Versailles, represented to his majesty that it would be proper to march and attack the enemy, in case they should appear to relieve Turin; but Chamillard, intimidated by so many former defeats, had afterward decided that the army should wait in the lines, and not offer battle: and this order given at Versailles occasioned the defeat of sixty thousand men.

The French had not more than two thousand men killed in this engagement; but we have already seen that a panic does more than even slaughter. The impossibility of finding subsistence, which would make an army retire after a victory, brought back the troops to Dauphiny, after their defeat. Everything was in such disorder that the count of Medavy-Grancei, who was at that time in Mantua with a body of troops, and beat the imperialists at Castiglione, on Sept. 9, 1706, under the command of the prince of Hesse, afterward king of Sweden, gained only a fruitless victory, though it was complete. In a word, the duchies of Milan, Mantua, Piedmont, and lastly the kingdom of Naples, were all lost within a very little time of one another.

The battle of Höchstadt, or Blenheim, cost Louis XIV. a fine army, and the whole country from the Danube to the Rhine; and the elector of Bavaria all his dominions. All Flanders was lost to the very gates of Lille, by the fatal day of Ramillies; and the defeat at Turin drove the French out of Italy, which had always happened to them in every war since the time of Charlemagne. They had still some troops left in the duchy of Milan, and the little victorious army under the count of Medavy. They were also still in possession of some strong places. They offered to give up all these to the emperor, provided he would permit these troops, which amounted to about fifteen thousand men, to retire unmolested. The emperor accepted of the proposition, and the duke of Savoy gave his assent. Thus the emperor, with a dash of his pen, became peaceable possessor of Italy. The kingdom of Naples and Sicily was guaranteed to him, and everything that had formerly been feudal was now treated as subject to a supreme power. He imposed a tax of one hundred and fifty thousand pistoles on Tuscany; forty thousand on the duchy of Mantua; and Parma, Modena, Lucca, and Genoa, notwithstanding they were free states, were included in these impositions.

The emperor, who had all these advantages on his side, was not that Leopold, the ancient rival of Louis XIV., who, under a show of moderation, had secretly cherished the most ambitious views. It was the fiery, sprightly, and passionate Joseph, his eldest son, who was not so good a soldier as his father. If ever there was an emperor who seemed formed to enslave Germany, it was this Joseph; his dominions stretched beyond the Alps, he laid the pope under contribution, and, by his sole authority, in 1706, had the electors of Bavaria and Cologne put under the ban of the empire, and then stripped them of their dominions. He kept Bavaria’s children in prison, and took away from them even their name. Their father had nothing left but to retire to France and the Low Countries, afterward, in 1712; Philip V. ceded to him all Spanish Flanders. If he could have kept this province, it would have been a better settlement for him than even Bavaria, and have freed him from his subjection to the house of Austria; but he could get possession only of the cities of Luxemburg, Namur, and Charleroi, the rest being in the hands of the victors. Everything now seemed to threaten Louis XIV., who had so lately been the terror of all Europe. There was nothing to oppose the duke of Savoy’s entering France. England and Scotland had lately become one kingdom, by the union; or, rather, Scotland, now a province of England, increased the power of its ancient rival. In 1706 and 1707 all the enemies of France seemed to have acquired new strength, and that kingdom to be on the verge of ruin. She was assailed on all sides, both by sea and land. Of the formidable fleets which Louis XIV. had raised, scarcely twenty-five ships were left remaining. Strasburg still continued to be the barrier town toward Germany; but by the loss of Landau, all Alsace lay exposed. Provence was threatened with an invasion by sea and land, and the losses already sustained in Flanders made us tremble for what was left; and yet, notwithstanding all these disasters, the body of the kingdom had not yet been attacked; and, unsuccessful as the war had been, we only lost what we had before conquered.

Louis XIV. still opposed his enemies; and though beaten almost everywhere, he continued to resist, protect, and even attack on all sides. But affairs were as unsuccessful in Spain as in Italy, Germany, and Flanders. It is said that the siege of Barcelona was still worse conducted than that of Turin.

The count of Toulouse had hardly made his appearance with his fleet, when he was obliged to sail back again. Barcelona was relieved, the siege raised, and the French, after having lost half their army, were forced, for want of provisions, to march back into Navarre, a little kingdom that they kept from the Spaniards, and of which our kings take the title by a custom that seems beneath their dignity.

To these disasters was added yet another, which seemed to be the finishing stroke. The Portuguese, together with a body of English, under the command of Lord Galloway, a Frenchman, formerly Count de Ruvigni, lately created a peer of Ireland, took every place they came to and had advanced even into the province of Estremadura; while the duke of Berwick, an Englishman, who commanded the troops of France and Spain, in vain attempted to stop their progress.

Philip V., uncertain of his fate, was in Pampeluna; while his competitor, Charles, was increasing his party, and augmenting his forces in Catalonia.

He was master of Aragon, the province of Valencia, Cartagena, and part of the province of Granada. The English took Gibraltar for themselves, and gave him Minorca, Ivica, and Alicant: besides, the road to Madrid was open to him; and Lord Galloway entered that city without any resistance, and proclaimed the archduke Charles king on June 26, 1706; a single detachment sent from the army proclaimed him in Toledo. In short, Philip’s affairs seemed so desperate that Marshal Vauban, the first of engineers, and the best of citizens, a man continually engaged in schemes, some useful, others impracticable, and all of them singular, actually proposed to the French court to send Philip over to America to reign there. In this case all the Spaniards in Philip’s interest would have left their country to follow him. Spain would have been left a prey to civil factions. The French would have had the whole trade of Peru and Mexico, and France would have been aggrandized even by the misfortunes of Louis XIV.’s family. This project was actually under consideration at Versailles; but the perseverance of the Castilians, and the oversights of the enemy, preserved the crown upon Philip’s head. The people loved him as the king of their choice; and his queen, the duke of Savoy’s daughter, had gained their affections by the pains she took to please them; by an intrepidity above her sex, and an active perseverance under misfortunes. She went in person from city to city, animating the minds of her subjects, rousing their zeal, and receiving the donations which they brought in on all sides; so that in three weeks’ time she remitted her husband more than two hundred thousand crowns. Not one of the grandees who had taken the oath of fidelity proved false. When Lord Galloway proclaimed the archduke in Madrid, the people cried out, “Long live King Philip;” and at Toledo they mutinied, and put to flight the officers who were going to proclaim Charles.

The Spaniards had till then made very few efforts in support of their king; but when they saw him thus distressed, they exerted themselves in a surprising manner; and on this occasion showed an example of courage quite the reverse of that of other nations, who generally set out in a vigorous manner, but shrink back at last. It is very difficult to impose a king upon a nation against its will. The Portuguese, English, and Austrians that were in Spain were miserably harassed wherever they came, suffered much for want of provisions, and were guilty of errors almost unavoidable in a strange country; so that they were beaten piecemeal. In short, Philip V., three months after his leaving Madrid like a fugitive, entered it again in triumph, and was received with as much joy and acclamation as his rival had met with coldness and aversion.

Louis XIV. redoubled his efforts when he saw the Spaniards bestir themselves; and while he was obliged to provide for the safety of the seacoasts of the Western Ocean and the Mediterranean, by stationing militia all along shore; though he had one army in Flanders, another at Strasburg, a body of troops in Navarre, and one in Roussillon, he sent a fresh reinforcement to Marshal Berwick in Castile.

It was with these troops, seconded by the Spaniards, that Berwick gained the important battle of Almanza—April 25, 1707—in which he beat Galloway. Neither Philip nor the archduke was present at this action, on which the famous earl of Peterborough, who was singular in everything, observed: “It is excellent, indeed, to fight against one another for them.” The duke of Orleans, who was to have the command in Spain, and who was very desirous of being present, did not arrive till the day after the battle; however, he made all possible advantage of the victory, by taking several places, and among others Lérida, the rock on which the great Condé had split.

On the other hand, Marshal Villars, now replaced at the head of the armies in Germany, because the government could not do without him, made amends for the fatal defeat at Hochstädt. He forced the enemy’s lines at Stollhofen, on the other side the Rhine, dispersed their whole body, levied contributions for fifty leagues round, and advanced as far as the Danube. This momentary success gave a better face to affairs on the frontiers of Germany; but in Italy all was lost. The kingdom of Naples, entirely defenceless, and accustomed to a change of masters, was under the yoke of the conquerors; and the pope, unable to refuse a passage to the German troops through his dominions, saw, without daring to murmur, the emperor make him his vassal against his will. It is a strong instance of the force of received opinions, and the power of custom, that Naples may always be seized upon without consulting the pope, and yet the possessor is always obliged to do him homage for it.

While the grandson of Louis XIV. was thus deprived of Naples, the grandfather was on the point of losing Provence and Dauphiny. The duke of Savoy and Prince Eugene had already entered those provinces by the narrow pass of Tenda; and Louis XIV. had the mortification of seeing that very duke of Savoy, who a twelvemonth before had hardly anything left but his capital, and Prince Eugene, who had been brought up at his court, on the point of stripping him of Toulon and Marseilles.

Toulon was besieged, and in danger of being taken; the English fleet lay before the harbor, and bombarded the town. A little more diligence, precaution, and unanimity, would have carried Toulon. Marseilles, then left defenceless, could have made no resistance, and France seemed likely to lose two provinces; but what is probable seldom happens. There was time to send relief; a detachment had been made from Marshal Villars’ army, as soon as these provinces were threatened; and the advantages in Germany were made to give way to the safety of a part of France. That part of the country by which the enemy entered was dry, barren, and hilly; provisions were scarce, and a retreat difficult. A sickness, which made great havoc in the enemy’s army, proved favorable to Louis XIV. The siege of Toulon was raised, and soon afterward the enemy evacuated Provence, and Dauphiny was out of danger; so seldom does an invasion prove successful, unless there is an intelligence with the people of the country. Charles V. failed in the same design, and of late days the queen of Hungary’s troops have been disappointed in their attempts against this country.

However, this invasion, which cost the allies so dear, proved of no small importance to the French. The country had been spoiled, and our forces divided.

Europe little expected that, while the French nation thus exhausted, thought itself happy in having escaped an invasion, Louis XIV. was sufficiently great and fruitful in expedients to attempt an invasion in Great Britain, in spite of the weak state of his maritime forces and the powerful fleets of the English that covered the seas. This expedition was proposed by some of the Scotch, in the interest of James III. The success was doubtful; but Louis thought the very attempt sufficiently glorious; and actually declared afterward, that he was determined as much by this motive as his political interest.

To carry the war into Great Britain at that time, when we could with difficulty support the burden of it in so many other places, and to endeavor to replace the son of James II. on the throne of Scotland, at least while we could hardly support Philip V. on that of Spain, was a noble idea, and after all, not quite destitute of probability.

Those of the Scotch who had not sold themselves to the court of London, were grieved to see themselves reduced to a state of dependence on the English, and privately with one accord called upon the offspring of their ancient kings, who in his infancy had been driven from the throne of three kingdoms, and whose very birth had been contested by his enemies. They promised to join him with thirty thousand men, if he would only land at Edinburgh with some few men from France.

Louis XIV., who in his time of prosperity, had made such efforts in behalf of the father, now did the same for the son, though his fortunes were in the decline. Eight ships of war and seventy transports were got ready at Dunkirk, and six thousand men put on board, in March, 1708. The count de Gacé, afterward Marshal Matignon, had the command of the troops, and the chevalier de Forbin Janson, one of the best sailors of his time, had that of the fleet. Everything seemed favorable for their design: there were but three thousand regular troops in Scotland, England was left defenceless, its soldiers being all engaged in Flanders, under the duke of Marlborough. The difficulty was to get there; for the English had a fleet of fifty ships of war cruising at sea. This expedition was exactly like the late one in 1744, in favor of the grandson of James II. It was discovered by the government, and impeded by several unlucky accidents; insomuch that the English ministry had time to send for twelve battalions out of Flanders. Several of the most suspected persons were seized in Edinburgh. At length, the Pretender having showed himself on the Scottish coast, and not seeing the signals which had been agreed upon, nothing was left but to turn back again. The chevalier Forbin landed him safely at Dunkirk, and by his prudent retreat saved the French fleet; but the expedition was entirely frustrated. Matignon was the only one who gained anything on this occasion: having opened his orders after he came out to sea, he there found a patent for marshal of France, a reward for what he meant to do, but could not perform.

There cannot be a more absurd notion than that of some historians, who pretend that Queen Anne had a correspondence with her brother in this affair. It is absolute folly to suppose that she would invite her competitor for the crown to come and dethrone her. They have confounded the time, and imagined that she favored him because she afterward looked upon him in private as her successor: but what prince would choose to be driven from the throne by his successor?

While the French affairs were every day growing worse and worse, the king thought that, by sending the duke of Burgundy, his grandson, to head the army in Flanders, the presence of the heir presumptive to the crown would excite the emulation of the troops, which began to droop. This prince was of a resolute and intrepid disposition, pious, just, and learned. He was formed to command wise men: he loved mankind, and endeavored to make them happy. Though well versed in the art of war, he considered that art rather as the scourge of human kind, and an unhappy necessity, than the source of real glory. This philosophical prince was the person sent to oppose the duke of Marlborough, and they gave him the duke of Vendôme for an assistant. It now happened, as it too frequently does: the experienced officer was not sufficiently listened to, and the prince’s counsel frequently carried it over the general’s reasons. Hence arose two parties; whereas, in the enemy’s army, there was but one, that of the public good. Prince Eugene was at that time on the Rhine; but when he and Marlborough were together, they had but one opinion.

The duke of Burgundy had the superiority in numbers; France, which Europe looked upon as exhausted, had furnished him with an army of one hundred thousand men; and the allies at that time had not quite eighty thousand. He had, moreover, the advantage of sympathy on his side, from a country which had been so long under the Spanish dominion, was tired out with Dutch garrisons, and where a great part of the inhabitants were inclined to favor Philip V. By his correspondence in Ghent and Ypres, he became master of these two places; but the schemes of the soldier soon rendered fruitless those of the politician. The disagreement in the council of war already began to distract their operations; so that now they began to march toward the Dender, and two hours afterward turned back again toward the Scheldt, to go to Oudenarde. In this manner they lost time, while the duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene were making the best of theirs, and acted in concert with each other. The French were routed near Oudenarde on July 11, 1708. This was not a great battle; but it proved a fatal retreat. Error was added to terror. The regiments were suffered to wander at random without receiving any orders, and more than four thousand men were made prisoners on the road, by the enemy’s army, only a few miles from the field of battle.

The army, in despondency, retreated without any order, part under Ghent, part under Tournay, and part under Ypres, and quietly suffered Prince Eugene, now returned from the Rhine, to lay siege to Lille with an inferior army.

To sit down before so large and well-fortified a town as Lille without being master of Ghent, obliged to send for provisions and ammunition as far as Ostend; and these to be brought over a narrow causeway, at the hazard of being every moment surprised, was what Europe called a rash action; but which the misunderstanding and irresolution that prevailed in the French army rendered very excusable, and was justified in the end by the success. The grand convoys which might have been intercepted, arrived safe. The troops that escorted them, and which should have been defeated by a superior number, proved victorious. The duke of Burgundy’s army, that might have attacked that of the enemy before it was complete, remained inactive; and Lille was taken, to the astonishment of all Europe, who thought the duke of Burgundy in a condition to besiege Marlborough and Eugene, rather than those generals to besiege Lille. Marshal Bouflers defended the place nearly four months.

The inhabitants became so familiar with the noise of cannon, and all the horror that attended a siege, that public diversions were carried on as in time of peace; and though a bomb one day fell very near the theatre, it did not interrupt the entertainment.

Marshal Bouflers had made such judicious dispositions that the inhabitants of this great city remained perfectly secure in his vigilance. The defence he made gained him the esteem even of his enemies, the hearts of the inhabitants, and a reward from the king. Those Dutch historians, or rather writers, who affect to blame him should remember that, to contradict the public voice, a person must have been a witness, and an intelligent one, or prove what he advances.

In the meantime, the army that had looked on while Lille was taken, began to diminish by little and little, and suffered Ghent to be taken next, and then Bruges, and all the posts one after another. Few campaigns have proved more fatal than this. The officers in the duke of Vendôme’s interest laid all these faults to the duke of Burgundy’s council, who blamed them on the duke of Vendôme. All minds were soured with misfortune. One of the duke of Burgundy’s courtiers said one day to the duke of Vendôme: “Thus it is, never to go to mass; you see how misfortunes follow us.” “Do you think then,” replied the duke of Vendôme, “that Marlborough goes there oftener than we?” The emperor Joseph was puffed up with the rapid successes of the allied army; he saw himself absolute in the empire, master of Landau, and the road to Paris in a manner open, by the taking of Lille. A party of Dutch soldiers had the boldness to advance as far as Versailles, from Courtrai, and carried off the king’s first equerry from under the castle windows, thinking it was the dauphin, the duke of Burgundy’s father. Paris was filled with terror; and the emperor entertained as strong hopes of settling his brother Charles on the throne of Spain as Louis XIV. had of keeping his grandson in possession of it.

This succession, which the Spaniards had wanted to render indivisible, was already split into three parts. The emperor had taken Lombardy and the kingdom of Naples to himself. His brother Charles was still in possession of Catalonia, and a part of Aragon. The emperor at that time obliged Pope Clement XI. to acknowledge the archduke for king of Spain. This pope, who was said to resemble St. Peter, because he owned, denied, repented, and wept, had, after the example of his predecessor, acknowledged Philip V., and was attached to the house of Bourbon. The emperor, to punish him, declared several fiefs, which at that time were held from the popes, subject to the empire, particularly Parma and Placentia; laid waste several lands belonging to the holy see, and seized on the town of Comacchio. In former times, a pope would have excommunicated any emperor who had attempted to dispute with him the most trifling privileges; and that excommunication would have driven the emperor from his throne: but the power of this see was now reduced within its proper bounds. Clement XI., at the instigation of France, had ventured to unsheathe the sword; but he had no sooner taken up arms than he repented of it. He perceived that the Romans were incapable of wielding the sword under a sacerdotal government. He therefore laid down his arms, left Comacchio in the emperor’s hands as a pledge of his future peaceable conduct, and consented to write to the archduke with the style of “Our dearest son, the Catholic king in Spain.” A fleet of English ships in the Mediterranean and a German army in his dominions soon made him glad to write, “To our dearest son, Charles, king of Spain.” It was thought that this suffrage of the popes, though of no service in the German Empire, might have some effect on the Spanish populace, who had been made to believe that the archduke was unworthy to reign, because he was protected by heretics, who had taken Gibraltar.

There yet remained to the Spanish monarchy beyond the continent, the two islands of Sardinia and Sicily: an English fleet had taken Sardinia, and given it to the emperor; for the English were not willing that the archduke should have anything more than Spain. At that time they made treaties of partition with their arms. The conquests of Sicily they reserved for another time, choosing to employ their ships at sea in capturing Spanish galleons, rather than in conquering new territories for the emperor.

France was now as much humbled as Rome, and more in danger; resources began to fail, credit was at a stand, and the people, who had idolized their monarch in his prosperity, began to murmur against him when unfortunate.

A set of men to whom the ministry had sold the nation for a little ready money to supply the immediate call grew fat on the public calamity, and insulted the sufferings of the people by their luxurious manner of living. The money they had advanced was spent; and had it not been for the bold industry of certain traders, particularly those of St. Malo, who made a voyage to Peru, and brought home thirty millions, half of which they lent to the government, Louis XIV. would not have had money to pay his troops. The war had ruined the kingdom, and the merchants saved it; this was the case in Spain. The galleons which had escaped being taken by the English helped to support Philip V., but this resource, which was only of a few months’ duration, did not facilitate the raising of recruits. Chamillard, who had been made treasurer and secretary of war, resigned the latter post in favor of M. Voisin, afterward chancellor, who had formerly been an intendant on the frontiers. The armies were as badly supplied as before, nor did merit meet with more encouragement. Chamillard afterward resigned the management of the treasury; but Desmarets, who succeeded him, was not able to restore a ruined credit. The severe winter of 1709 completed the despair of the nation. The olive trees, which bring in a great deal of money in the south of France, were all destroyed; almost all the fruit-trees were killed by the severe frost; there were no hopes of a harvest; and there was very little corn in the granaries; and what could be bought at a very great distance, from the seaport towns of the Levant, and the coast of Barbary, was liable to be taken by the enemies’ fleets, to whom we had hardly any ships of war to oppose. The scourge of this dreadful winter was general all over Europe; but the enemies had more resources, especially the Dutch, who had been so long the factors for other nations, had magazines sufficiently stored to supply the strongest armies the allies could bring into the field, in a plentiful manner, while the French troops, diminished and disheartened, seemed ready to perish for want.

Louis XIV., who had already made some advances toward a peace, determined under these fatal circumstances to send his chief minister, the marquis Torci Colbert, to The Hague, assisted by the president Rouillé. This was a humbling step. They first met at Antwerp, with two burgomasters from Amsterdam, named Buis and Vanderhussen, who talked like conquerors, and returned to the ministers of the proudest of all princes all the arrogance with which they themselves had been treated in 1672.

The states-general had chosen no stadtholder since the death of King William; and the Dutch magistrates, who already began to call their families “the patrician families,” were so many petty kings. The four Dutch commissaries, who attended the army, behaved with the utmost insolence to more than thirty German princes, whom they maintained in their pay. “Send Holstein hither,” said they; “tell Hesse to come and speak to us.” In this manner did a set of merchants express themselves, who, all plain in their garb, and abstemious in their way of living, took a pleasure in trampling upon German haughtiness in their pay, and mortifying the pride of a king who had formerly been their conqueror. They were not contented with showing the world by these external marks of superiority, that power is the only real greatness, but they insisted on having ten towns in Flanders given them in sovereignty, and among others Lille, which was already in their hands; and Tournay, which was not yet taken, Thus the Dutch wanted to reap all the fruits of the war, not only at the expense of France, but also at that of the house of Austria, whose cause they had been fighting, in the same manner as the republic of Venice had formerly augmented its territories with those of its neighbors. The republican spirit is in the main fully as ambitious as the monarchial.

This plainly appeared a few months afterward; for when this shadow of a negotiation had vanished and the allied army had gained some fresh advantages, the duke of Marlborough, at that time more absolute in England than his royal mistress, having been gained over by the Dutch, concluded a treaty with the states-general in 1709, by which they were to keep possession of all the frontier towns which should be taken from the French; were to have garrisons in twenty fortresses in Flanders, to be maintained at the expense of the country, and to have Upper Guelders in perpetual sovereignty. By this treaty they would have become actual sovereigns of the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands, and have had supreme rule in Liège and Cologne. In this manner did they want to aggrandize themselves by the ruin even of their allies. They were full of these lofty projects when the chief minister of France came to them to ask for peace; we must not therefore be surprised at the disdainful reception he met with.

After these first steps of humiliation, Louis’s minister went to The Hague, where he received in his master’s name the last degree of insult. He there saw Prince Eugene, the duke of Marlborough, and the pensionary, Heinsius, who all three were for continuing the war—the prince, because it at once gratified his glory and his revenge; Marlborough, because he gained both reputation and immense riches, of which he was equally fond; the third, who was guided by the other two, looked upon himself as a Spartan humbling the pride of a Persian monarch. They proposed instead of peace a truce, and during that truce a full satisfaction for all their allies, without taking any notice of the king’s, provided the king should assist in driving his grandson from the throne of Spain, within two months; and that as a surety for his performance of the treaty, he should begin by ceding to the states-general forever, ten towns in Flanders, restore Strasburg and Breisach, and renounce the sovereignty of Alsace. Louis little expected, some years before, when he refused a company of horse to Prince Eugene, when Churchill was only a colonel in the English army, and the name of Heinsius was hardly known, that one day these three men should impose such terms upon him. The marquis de Torci took his leave without negotiating, and returned to carry the king the orders of his enemies. Louis XIV. now did what he had never before done toward his subjects. He justified his conduct in a circular letter, which he addressed to them, in which, after acquainting his people with the added burdens he was obliged to lay upon them, he endeavored to rouse their indignation, honor, and even pity. The politicians said that Torci went to The Hague in that suppliant manner, only to throw the whole blame upon the enemy, to justify Louis XIV. in the eyes of Europe, and animate the French to a just resentment; but the fact is that he went there purely to demand peace. The president Rouillé was left some few days at The Hague, to endeavor to get more favorable conditions; but all the answer he received to his remonstrances was an order from the states-general to leave Holland in twenty-four hours.

Louis XIV., when he heard the rigorous terms imposed upon him, said to Rouillé: “Well then, since I must make war, I would rather it should be against my enemies than my children.” He then made preparations to try his fortune once more in Flanders; the famine, which had laid waste the countries round, proved a resource for the war; those who wanted bread enlisted for soldiers. Many lands lay untilled; but we had an army. Marshal Villars, who had been sent the preceding year into Savoy, to command a few troops whose ardor was revived by his presence, and who had met with some little successes, was recalled into Flanders, as the person in whom his country placed all her hopes.

Marlborough had already taken Tournay; and with Prince Eugene, who had covered the siege, marched to invest Mons. Marshal Villars advanced to prevent them, having with him Marshal Bouflers, a senior officer, but who had desired to serve under him. Bouflers had a true affection for his king and country; he proved on this occasion—notwithstanding what has been said by a very sensible man—that there are virtues in a monarchical state, especially under a good master. There are doubtless as many as in a republic, with less enthusiasm perhaps, but with more of what is called honor.

As soon as the French advanced to oppose the investing of Mons, the allies on their side advanced to attack them near the wood of Blangies and the village of Malplaquet, Sept. 11, 1709.

The two armies consisted of about eighty thousand men each; but the allies had forty-two battalions more. The French brought eighty pieces of cannon into the field, the allies one hundred and forty. The duke of Marlborough commanded the right wing, composed of the English and German troops in English pay; Prince Eugene was in the centre; Tilli and the count of Nassau at the left, with the Dutch.

Marshal Villars took the command of the left wing of his army, and left the right to Marshal Bouflers; he had intrenched his army in haste, a method perhaps most suitable to his troops, that were inferior in numbers, and had been a long time unsuccessful, and consisted of one-half recruits; it was most suitable likewise to our condition at that time; as an entire defeat would have ruined the nation. Some historians have found fault with the disposition made by the marshal: “He should,” say they, “have passed a large hollow, instead of having it in his front.” Is it not being rather too discerning to judge thus from our closet of what passes on a field of battle?

All that I know is, that the marshal himself said, that the soldiers who had had no bread for a whole day, and had just had their allowance distributed among them, threw half of it away, to make the greater haste to come to action. There has not been for many ages a longer or more obstinate battle; none more bloody. I shall say nothing touching this action but what has been universally acknowledged. The enemies’ left wing, where the Dutch fought, was almost entirely cut to pieces; and we pursued them with fixed bayonets. Marlborough, at the right, made and withstood surprising efforts. Marshal Villars had occasion to thin his centre to oppose Marlborough; at that very instant the centre was attacked, the intrenchments which covered it were carried, the regiment of guards who defended them making no resistance. The marshal, in riding from his left wing to his centre, was wounded, and the day was lost; the field of battle was covered with the bodies of thirty thousand men, killed and dying.

The loss of the French in this battle did not amount to more than eight thousand men; the enemy left nearly twenty-one thousand killed and wounded, but the centre being forced, and the two wings cut off, those who had made the greatest slaughter lost the day.

Marshal Bouflers made a retreat in good order, with the assistance of the prince of Tingri-Montmorency, afterward Marshal Luxembourg, inheritor of the valor of his ancestors. The army retired between Quesnoy and Valenciennes, carrying with them several standards and colors they had taken from the enemy. Louis XIV. comforted himself with these spoils, and it was esteemed a victory to have disputed the day so long, and to have lost only the field of battle. Marshal Villars, at his return to court, assured the king that, if he had not been wounded, he should have gained the victory. I know the general was persuaded of this, but I know very few people besides who believe it.

It may seem surprising that an army which had destroyed nearly two-thirds more men than it lost itself should not endeavor to prevent those who had gained no other advantage but that of lying in the midst of their dead, from going to lay siege to Mons, The Dutch were fearful for the success of this enterprise, and hesitated for some time; but the conquered are frequently imposed upon, and disheartened, by the name of having lost the battle. Men never do all that they might do, and the soldier who is told he is beaten, fears to be beaten again. Thus Mons was besieged and taken, and all for the Dutch, who kept possession of this town, as they had done of Lille and Tournay.

The enemy not only continued thus advancing by degrees, and levelled all the barriers of France on this side, but they pretended with the assistance of the duke of Savoy, to surprise Franche-Comté, and penetrate at once by both ends to the heart of the kingdom. General Merci, who was charged with facilitating this enterprise, by entering into Upper Alsace by the city of Basel, was happily stopped near the isle of Newburg on the Rhine, by the count, afterward Marshal, Dubourg. By an unaccountable fatality, all those of the name of Merci have been as unsuccessful as esteemed. This one was defeated most completely. Nothing was undertaken on the side of Savoy, but much was apprehended in regard to Flanders; the domestic affairs of the kingdom were in so languid a state that the king once more solicited peace like a suppliant; he offered to acknowledge the archduke for king of Spain; to withdraw all assistance from his grandson, and leave him to his fate; to deliver up four places as securities; to restore Strasburg and Breisach; to resign the sovereignty of Alsace, reserving only the prefecture; to demolish all the fortified places between Basel and Philippsburg; to fill up the long formidable harbor of Dunkirk, and demolish its fortifications; and to leave Lille, Tournay, Ypres, Menin, Furnes, Condé, and Maubeuge, in the hands of the states-general. These were in part the articles proposed, to serve as a basis for the peace which he solicited.

The allies, determined to have the triumph of discussing the submissive proposals of Louis XIV., permitted his plenipotentiaries to come to the little town of Gertruydenberg, in the beginning of the year 1710, to present their master’s supplications. Louis made choice of Marshal d’Uxelles, a man of great coolness and taciturnity, and of a disposition rather prudent than elevated or bold; with him was joined Abbé, afterward cardinal, Polignac, one of the brightest wits, and most eloquent orators of his age, and of a most engaging person and address; but wit, prudence, and eloquence are of no service in a minister, when the master is unsuccessful. It is conquest that makes treaties. The ambassadors of Louis XIV. were rather confined in Gertruydenberg than received there. The deputies came to hear their proposals, which they transmitted to The Hague to Prince Eugene, the duke of Marlborough, and Count Zinzendorf, ambassador from the emperor. These proposals were almost always received with contempt. The plenipotentiaries were insulted by the most abusive libels, the work of French refugees, who were more inveterate enemies to the glory of Louis XIV. than even Prince Eugene or the duke of Marlborough.

Though the French plenipotentiaries carried their submission so far as to promise for the king, that he should furnish money to dethrone Philip V., they were not listened to. It was insisted upon as a preliminary, that Louis XIV. should engage alone to drive his grandson out of Spain by force of arms. This absurd piece of inhumanity arose from fresh successes.

While the allies were thus treating Louis XIV. like masters irritated against his pride and greatness, the city of Douay fell into their hands; and soon afterward Béthune, Aire, and St. Venant; and Lord Stair proposed to send parties to the gates of Paris.

The archduke’s army, commanded by Guy Staremberg, the nearest in military reputation to Prince Eugene of all the German generals, gained a complete victory near Saragossa, on Aug. 20, 1710, over that army in which Philip and his adherents had placed their hopes, and that was commanded by the marquis de Bay, an unfortunate general. Here again it was observed that the two rival kings, though within reach of their armies, were not present at this battle. Of all the princes for whom Europe was then up in arms, the duke of Savoy was the only one who fought his own battles. It was a melancholy consideration, that he could acquire his glory only by fighting against his two daughters, one of whom he endeavored to dethrone, in order to gain a small spot of ground in Lombardy, about which the emperor Joseph already began to make some difficulties, and of which he would have been stripped at the very first opportunity.

This emperor, who was successful everywhere, showed no moderation in his good fortune. By his own pure authority he dismembered Bavaria, and bestowed the fiefs thereof on his relatives and creatures. He despoiled the young duke of Mirandola of his dominions in Italy, and the princes of the empire maintained an army for him on the Rhine, without thinking that they were laboring to cement a power of which they stood in dread; so much did the old reigning hatred for the name of Louis XIV. occupy every mind, as if their chief interest had been concerned therein. Joseph had also the good fortune to suppress the rebellious Hungarians. The court of France had set up Prince Ragotski against him, who came armed with his own pretensions and those of his countrymen. Ragotski was beaten, his town taken, and his party ruined. Thus Louis XIV. was equally unfortunate abroad and at home, by sea and by land, in his public negotiations and his private intrigues.

It was believed by all Europe at that time, that the archduke Charles, brother of the fortunate Joseph, would reign without a competitor in Spain. Europe was threatened with a power more formidable than that of Charles V. and the English, so long the declared foes of the Austrian-Spanish branch, and the Dutch, its revolted slaves, were those who exerted themselves to establish it. Philip V., who had taken refuge in Madrid, quitted it again, and retired to Valladolid, while the archduke Charles made his entry as a conqueror.

The French king could no longer supply his grandson with aid; he had been obliged to do that partly through necessity which the allies had exacted of him at Gertruydenberg, to abandon the cause of Philip, by sending for those troops that were yet in Spain, for his own defence, being hardly able to make head against the powerful efforts of the enemy in Savoy, on the Rhine, and in Flanders, where the stress of the war chiefly lay.

Spain was in a still more deplorable situation than France. Almost all its provinces had been laid waste by its enemies and friends. It was attacked by Portugal. Its trade was destroyed. There was a general dearth throughout the kingdom; but this was more severely felt by the victors than by the vanquished, because the common people throughout this great country gave all in their power to Philip, for whom they had an affection, and refused everything to the Austrians. Philip had no longer a general or troops from France; the duke of Orleans, by whom his drooping fortune had been a little raised, instead of commanding his army, was his enemy. It is certain that, notwithstanding the affection the inhabitants of Madrid had for Philip, and the fidelity of the grandees and all Castile, he had still a powerful party against him in Spain. The Catalonians, a warlike and headstrong nation, were, to a man, obstinately attached to his rival. One-half of Aragon had likewise been gained over. One party of the people waited the outcome of affairs, and the other hated the archduke more than they loved Philip. The duke of Orleans, the namesake of Philip, disgusted with the Spanish ministry, and still more displeased with the princess Orsini, who governed affairs, began to think that he might secure for himself the country which he was sent to defend; and when Louis XIV. himself proposed to give up his grandson, and an abdication was already talked of in Spain, the duke of Orleans thought himself worthy of filling the throne which Philip V. would be obliged to resign. He had some pretensions to that place, which had been left unnoticed in the king of Spain’s will, and which his father had supported by a protest.

By means of his agents he made an agreement with some of the grandees, who engaged to place him on the throne, in case Philip V. should quit it. In this case, he would have found many of the Spaniards ready to enlist under the standard of a prince who was so complete a warrior. This scheme, had it succeeded, could not have displeased the maritime powers, as there would have been less apprehension of seeing the kingdoms of France and Spain united in one person, and fewer obstacles to the peace. The project was discovered at Madrid about the beginning of 1709, while the duke of Orleans was at Versailles, and his agents in Spain were imprisoned. Philip V. never forgave his cousin for thinking him capable of abdicating, and endeavoring to succeed him. In France the whole kingdom cried out against the duke of Orleans. The dauphin, father of Philip V., proposed in council to bring the offender to justice; but the king chose to pass in silence this abortive and pardonable scheme, rather than to punish a nephew, at the time that a grandson was on the verge of ruin.

In fine, about the time of the battle of Saragossa, the Spanish council and most of the grandees, finding they had no leader to oppose to Staremberg, whom they looked upon as a second Eugene, wrote in a body to Louis XIV. requesting him to send them the duke of Vendôme. This prince, who had retired to Anet, set out immediately, and his presence was as good as an army. The Spaniards were struck with the great reputation he had gained in Italy, which the unfortunate campaign of Lille had not been able to impair. His affability, openness, and liberality, which latter qualification he carried to a degree of profusion, and his love for his soldiers won him all hearts; the moment he set his foot in Spain there happened to him what had formerly happened to Bertrand du Guesclin; his name alone drew a crowd of volunteers. He wanted money; the corporations of the towns and villages, and the religious communities supplied him. The nation was seized with a spirit of enthusiasm. The scattered troops left after the battle of Saragossa assembled together under him at Valladolid, in August, 1710. Every place exerted itself in furnishing recruits. The duke of Vendôme, without allowing time for this fresh ardor to cool, went in pursuit of the conquerors, brought the king back to Madrid, obliged the enemy to retire toward the frontiers of Portugal, followed them thither, made his army swim the Tagus, took General Stanhope prisoner in Brihuega with five thousand English, came up with General Staremberg at Villaviciosa, and gave him battle the next day—Dec. 9, 1710. Philip V., who had not accompanied any of his former generals to the fight, animated with the duke of Vendôme’s spirit, put himself at the head of the right wing, while that general took the left. A complete victory was gained over the enemy; and, in less than four months, this great general who had been called in when things were at the last extremity, retrieved all, and secured the crown forever on the head of Philip V.

While the allies remained confounded at this surprising revolution, one of a more secret kind, though equally important, was preparing in England.

Sarah Jennings, duchess of Marlborough, governed Queen Anne, and the duke, her husband, governed the state. He had the treasury at his command, through the means of the lord high treasurer, Godolphin, whose son had married one of his daughters. His son-in-law, Sunderland, who was secretary of state, submitted everything in the cabinet to him, and the queen’s household, where his wife had an unlimited authority, was at his devotion. He was master of the army, while he had the disposal of all offices.

England was at that time divided between two parties, the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs, at whose head he was, did everything that could contribute to his greatness; and the Tories had been forced to admire him in silence. It is not unworthy of history to add, that the duke and duchess were the two handsomest persons of their time; and that this advantage contributes not a little to impose on the multitude, when accompanied with dignities and honor.

The duke had more interest at The Hague than the pensionary; and had great influence in Germany, had always been successful as a negotiator and general, and enjoyed a more extensive share of power and reputation than had ever been the lot of any one private man. He could likewise strengthen his power by the immense riches he had acquired during his having command. I have heard his widow say that, after he had given fortunes to his four children, he had remaining, independent of any gifts from the crown, seventy thousand pounds a year clear money, which makes about one million five hundred thousand of our livres. Had not his frugality been equal to his greatness, he might have formed a party in the kingdom that Queen Anne could not easily have overthrown; and had his wife been a little more complaisant, the queen would never have broken her chains. But the duke could never get the better of his thirst for riches, nor the duchess of her capricious temper. The queen loved her with a tenderness that went even to submission, and a giving up of all will. In attachments of this nature, we generally find that dislike begins first on the side of the monarch: caprice, pride, and an abuse of superiority are the things which first make the yoke felt, and all these the duchess of Marlborough heaped upon her mistress with a heavy hand. The queen, who could not do without a favorite, turned her eyes on Lady Masham, one of the ladies of her bedchamber. The duchess could not conceal her jealousy; it broke out on a thousand occasions. A pair of gloves of a particular fashion which she refused the queen, and a jar of water that she let fall in her presence upon Lady Masham’s gown, by an affected mistake, changed the face of affairs in Europe. Matters grew warm between the two parties. The new favorite’s brother asked the duke for a regiment; the duke refused it, upon which the queen gave it to him herself. The Tories seized this opportunity to free the queen from her domestic slavery, humble the power of the duke, change the ministry, make peace, and if possible replace the Stuart family on the throne of England. If the disposition of the duchess would have allowed her to make some concessions, she might still have retained her power. The queen and she had been used to write to each other every day, under borrowed names: this mysterious familiarity always left the way open for a reconciliation; but the duchess made use of this resource only to make things worse. She wrote to the queen in the most insolent terms; and, among other expressions made use of the following: “Do me justice, and make me no answer.” She soon repented of what she had done, and went to ask pardon of the queen with tears in her eyes; but her majesty answered: “You have ordered me not to answer you, and I shall not answer you.” After this the breach was irreparable; the duchess appeared no more at court, and some time afterward, Sunderland, the duke’s son-in-law, was removed from the ministry, as the first step toward turning out Godolphin, and then the duke himself. In other kingdoms this is called a disgrace; in England it is only a change of affairs; but this was a change very difficult to be brought about. The Tories, though masters of the queen, were not of the kingdom; they found themselves obliged to have recourse to religion. At present there is little more religion in Great Britain than what is just sufficient to distinguish factions. The Whigs inclined to Presbyterianism. This was the faction that had dethroned James II., persecuted Charles II., and brought Charles I. to the block. The Tories were in the Episcopal interest, that favored the house of Stuart, and wanted to introduce the doctrine of passive obedience to kings, because the bishops hoped, by that means, to have more obedience paid to themselves. A clergyman was procured to preach up this doctrine in St. Paul’s cathedral, and to set forth, in the most odious light, the administration of the duke of Marlborough, and the measures of the party who had given the crown to King William; but notwithstanding that the queen secretly favored this preacher, she could not prevent his being silenced for three years by the two houses, assembled in Westminster hall, who ordered his sermon to be burned by the hands of the common hangman. She felt her want of power still more sensibly, in not daring to indulge the calls of blood in opening a way for her brother to that throne which the Whigs had barred against him. Those writers who say that Marlborough and his party fell the instant the queen ceased to support them with her favor, know nothing of the affairs of England. The queen, though now desirous of peace, did not dare to remove Marlborough from the command of her armies; and, in the spring of 1711, he was still pursuing his conquests over France, though in disgrace at his own court. A private agent from France was sent to London, to propose conditions of peace underhand; but the queen’s new ministry did not dare to accept them as yet.

A new event, as unforeseen as the others, completed this great work. The emperor Joseph died, April 17, 1711, and left the dominions of the house of Austria, and the German Empire, together with the pretensions to Spain and America, to his brother Charles, who was elected emperor some months afterward.

On the first news of his death, the prejudices which had put arms into the hands of so many nations began to be dissipated in England by the care of the new ministry. “The war,” said they, “was begun to prevent Louis XIV. from governing Spain, America, Lombardy, and the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, in the name of his grandson; why, then, should we endeavor to unite all these kingdoms in the family of Charles VI.? Why must the English nation exhaust its treasures? We have paid more to the war than Germany and Holland together. The expenses of this year alone amount to seven millions sterling; and is the nation to ruin itself for a cause it has no concern with, and to procure a part of Flanders for the Dutch, our rivals in trade?” All these arguments emboldened the queen, and opened the eyes of a great part of the nation, and a new parliament being called, the queen was at liberty to prepare matters for the peace of Europe.

But though she might do this privately, she could not as yet publicly break with her allies; so that while they were negotiating in the cabinet, Marlborough was carrying on the service in the field. He still continued advancing in Flanders, where he forced the lines that Marshal Villars had drawn from Montreuil to Valenciennes, took Bouchain, advanced as far as Quesnoy, and from thence was proceeding in September, 1711, toward Paris, which had not a single rampart to oppose him.

It was at this unfortunate period that the famous Duguay-Trouin, who had not as yet any rank in the sea service, and owed everything to himself, by his own courage, and the assistance of some merchants who furnished him with money, fitted out a small fleet, and sailed to Brazil, where he took one of the principal cities called St. Sebastian de Rio Janeiro. He and his crew returned home loaded with riches, and the Portuguese lost even more than he had gained; but the mischief that he had done in Brazil did not alleviate the miseries of France.

The negotiations which were now openly set on foot in London proved more salutary. The queen sent the earl of Strafford, ambassador to Holland, to communicate to the states the proposals made by Louis XIV. Marlborough’s leave was no longer asked. The earl of Strafford obliged the Dutch to name plenipotentiaries, and to receive those of France.

Three private persons still continued to oppose the peace; these were Marlborough, Prince Eugene, and Heinsius, who persisted in their intention of crushing Louis XIV., but when the English general returned to London, at the close of the campaign in 1711, he was deprived of all his prestige; he found a new house of commons, and had no longer the majority in the house of lords. The queen, by creating a number of new peers, had weakened the duke’s party and strengthened the crown interest. He was now accused, like Scipio, of malfeasance; and, like that hero, extricated himself by his reputation, and by retiring. He was still powerful, though in disgrace. Prince Eugene himself came over to London purposely to strengthen his party. This prince met with the reception due to his birth and reputation, but his proposals were rejected. The court interest prevailed; Prince Eugene returned to end the war alone, with the fresh incentive of a prospect of victory, without a companion to divide the honor.

While the congress was assembling at Utrecht and the French plenipotentiaries, who had been so ill used at Gertruydenberg, now returned to treat upon more equal terms, Marshal Villars lay behind his lines to cover Arras and Cambray. Prince Eugene took the town of Quesnoy, and overspread the country with an army of a hundred thousand men. The Dutch had exerted themselves; and though they had never before furnished their whole quota toward the necessary expenses of the war, they had this year exceeded their contingent. Queen Anne could not as yet openly disengage herself from them; she had sent the duke of Ormond to join Prince Eugene’s army with twelve thousand English, and still kept in pay a number of German troops. Prince Eugene, after burning the suburbs of Arras, advanced toward the French army, and proposed to the duke of Ormond to give them battle; but the English general had been sent with orders not to fight. The private negotiations between England and France drew toward a conclusion: a suspension of arms was proclaimed between the two crowns. Louis XIV. put Dunkirk into the hands of the English, as a security for the performance of his engagements. The duke of Ormond then retired toward Ghent: he endeavored to take with him the troops that were in the queen’s pay; but none would follow him except four squadrons of the regiment of Holstein, and one regiment of Liège. The troops of Brandenburg, Saxony, Hesse, and Denmark remained with Prince Eugene, and were paid by the Dutch. The elector of Hanover himself, who was to succeed Queen Anne on the throne of England, notwithstanding her remonstrances, continued his troops in the pay of the allies, which plainly showed that the pretensions of his family to the crown of England did not depend on Queen Anne’s favor.

Prince Eugene, though deprived of the assistance of the English, was still superior by twenty thousand men to the French army; he was likewise superior by his position, by the great plenty of magazines, and by nine years of continued victories.

Marshal Villars could not prevent him from laying siege to Landrecy. France, exhausted of men and money, was in consternation, and people placed no great dependence on the conferences at Utrecht, which might be all overthrown by the successes of Prince Eugene. Several considerable detachments had already entered Champagne and ravaged the country, and advanced as far as the gates of Rheims.

The alarm was now as great at Versailles as in the rest of the kingdom. The death of the king’s only son, which occurred this year, the duke of Burgundy, the duchess, his wife, and their eldest son, all carried to their graves the same day, and the only remaining child at the point of death; all these domestic misfortunes, added to those from without, and the sufferings of the people, made the close of Louis XIV.’s reign considered as a time pointed out for calamities, and everyone expected to see more disasters than they had formerly seen greatness and glory.

Precisely at this period the duke of Vendôme died in Spain. The general despondency which seized upon the French nation on this occasion, of which I remember to have been a witness, filled them with apprehensions, lest Spain, which had been supported by the duke of Vendôme, should fall with him.

As Landrecy could not hold out long, it was debated at Versailles whether the king should retire to Chambord. On this occasion he told Marshal d’Harcourt that, in case of any fresh misfortune, he would assemble the nobility of his kingdom, lead them in person against the enemy, notwithstanding he was now over seventy, and die fighting at their head.

A fault committed by Prince Eugene delivered the king and kingdom from these dreadful disquietudes. It is said that his lines were too much extended; that his magazines at Marchiennes were at too great a distance; and that General Albemarle, who was posted between Denain and the prince’s camp, was not within reach of assisting him soon enough, in case he was attacked. I have been assured that a beautiful Italian lady, whom I saw some time afterward at The Hague, and whom Prince Eugene then kept, lived at Marchienne-au-Pont; and that it was on her account that this was made a place for magazines. It is doing injustice to Prince Eugene to suppose that a woman could have any share in his military arrangements; but when we know that a curate and a counsellor of Douay, named le Fevre d’Orval, walking together in those quarters, first conceived the idea that Denain and Marchienne-au-Pont might easily be attacked, this will better serve to prove by what secret and weak springs the great affairs of this world are often directed. Le Fevre communicated his notion to the intendant of the province, and he to Marshal Montesquieu, who commanded under Marshal Villars; the general approved of the scheme, and put it into execution. To this action, in fact, France owed her safety more than to the peace she made with England. Marshal Villars misled Prince Eugene; a body of dragoons were ordered to advance in sight of the enemy’s camp, as if going to attack it; and while these dragoons retired toward Guise, the marshal on July 24, 1712, marched towards Denain, with his army drawn up in five columns, and forced General Albemarle’s intrenchments, defended by seventeen battalions, who were all killed or made prisoners of war, with two princes of the house of Nassau, the prince of Holstein, the prince of Anhalt, and all the officers of the detachment. Prince Eugene marched in haste to their assistance; but did not come up till the action was over, and, in endeavoring to get possession of a bridge that led to Denain, he lost a number of his men, and was obliged to return to his camp, after having been witness of this defeat.

All the posts along the Scarpe, as far as Marchienne-au-Pont, were carried, one after another, with the utmost rapidity; the army then pushed directly for Marchienne-au-Pont, which was defended by four thousand men; the siege was carried on with the greatest vigor, and in three days the garrison were made prisoners of war; and all the ammunition and provisions that the enemy had laid up for the whole campaign fell into our hands. The superiority was now wholly on the side of Marshal Villars; the enemy discouraged, raised the siege of Landrecy, and soon afterward saw Douay, Quesnoy, and Bouchain retaken by our troops. The frontiers were now in safety. Prince Eugene drew off his army, after having lost nearly fifty battalions, forty of whom were made prisoners between the fight of Denain and the end of the campaign. The most signal victory could not have produced greater advantages.

Had Marshal Villars been possessed of the same share of popular favor as some other generals, he would have been publicly called the restorer of France, instead of which they hardly acknowledged the obligations they were under to him, and envy prevailed over the public joy for this unexpected success.

Every step of Marshal de Villars hastened the Peace of Utrecht; Queen Anne’s ministry, as answerable to their country and to Europe for their actions, neglected nothing that concerned the interest of England and its allies, and the safety of the public weal. In the first place, they insisted that Philip V., now settled on the throne of Spain, should renounce his right to the crown of France, which he had hitherto constantly maintained; and that the duke of Berry, his brother, presumptive heir to that crown, after the only remaining great-grandson of Louis XIV., then at the point of death, should likewise renounce all pretensions to the crown of Spain, in case he should come to be king of France. They exacted the same on the part of the duke of Orleans. The late twelve years’ war had shown how little men are to be bound by such acts; there is no one known law that obliges the descendants of a prince to give up their right to a throne because their father may have renounced it. These renunciations are of no effect, except when the common interest is in concert with them; however, they served to calm, for the present, a twelve years’ storm; and it is probable that one day several nations may join to support these renunciations that are now the basis of the balance of power and the tranquillity of Europe.

By this treaty the island of Sicily was given to the duke of Savoy, with the title of king, and on the continent the towns of Fenestrelles, Exilles, with the valley of Pragilas; so that they took from the house of Bourbon to aggrandize him.

The Dutch had a considerable barrier given them, which they had always been aiming at; and if the house of Bourbon was despoiled of some territories in favor of the duke of Savoy, the house of Austria was, on the other hand, stripped to satisfy the Dutch, who were, at its expense, the guaranties and masters of the strongest cities of Flanders. Due regard was paid to the interest of the Dutch, with respect to trade; and there was an article stipulated in favor of the Portuguese.

The sovereignty of the ten provinces of the Spanish Netherlands was reserved for the emperor, together with the advantageous lordship of the barrier towns. They also guaranteed to him the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, with all his possessions in Lombardy, and the four ports on the coast of Tuscany. But the court of Vienna would not subscribe to these conditions, as thinking she had not sufficient justice done her.

As to England, her glory and interest were sufficiently secured. She had obtained the demolition of the harbor and fortifications of Dunkirk, which had been the object of so much jealousy. She was left in possession of Gibraltar and the island of Minorca by Spain. France ceded to her Hudson’s Bay, the island of Newfoundland, and Acadia; and she procured greater privileges for her American trade than had been granted even to the French, who placed Philip V. on the throne. We must also reckon among the glorious acts of the English ministry its having engaged Louis XIV. to consent to set at liberty those of his subjects who were confined in prison on account of their religion; this was dictating laws, but laws of a very respectable nature.

Lastly, Queen Anne, sacrificing the rights of blood, and the secret inclinations of her heart, to the desires of her country, secured the succession to the crown of Great Britain to the house of Hanover.

As to the electors of Bavaria and Cologne, the former was to keep the duchy of Luxemburg and the county of Namur till his brother and himself should be restored to their electorates; for Spain had ceded those two sovereignties to the elector of Bavaria, as a consideration for his losses, and the allies had taken neither of them during the war.

France, who demolished Dunkirk, and gave up so many places in Flanders that her arms had formerly conquered, and that had been secured to her by the treaties of Nimeguen and Ryswick, got back Lille, Aire, Béthune, and St. Venant.

Thus did the English ministry to all appearance do justice to everyone; but this was denied them by the Whigs; and one-half of the nation reviled the memory of Queen Anne, for having done the greatest good that a sovereign possibly could do, in giving peace to so many nations. She was reproached with not having dismembered France, when it was in her power to do it.

All these treaties were signed, one after another, in the course of the year 1713; but whether it was owing to the obstinacy of Prince Eugene, or to the bad politics of the emperor’s council, that monarch did not enter into any of these negotiations. He would certainly have had Landau, and perhaps Strasburg, had he at first fallen in with the views of Queen Anne and her ministry; but he was bent on continuing the war, and so got nothing.

Marshal Villars, having secured the rest of French Flanders, marched toward the Rhine, and, after making himself master of Spires, Worms, and all the adjacent country, he took Landau, which the emperor might have had by acceding to the peace, forced the lines that Prince Eugene had ordered to be drawn from Breisgau, defeated Marshal Vaubonne, who defended those lines; and, lastly, besieged and took Freiburg, the capital of Upper Austria.

The council of Vienna pressed the circles of the empire to send the reinforcements they had promised, but none came. They now began to be sensible that the emperor, without the assistance of England and Holland, could never prevail against France, and resolved upon peace when it was too late.

Marshal Villars, after having thus put an end to the war, had the additional honor of concluding the peace with Prince Eugene, at Rastatt. This was, perhaps, the first time that two generals of opposite parties had been known to meet together at the close of a campaign to treat in the names of their masters. They both brought with them that openness of character for which they were distinguished. I have heard Marshal Villars relate that one of the first things he said to Prince Eugene was this: “Sir, we do not meet as enemies; your enemies are at Vienna, and mine at Versailles.” And in fact both of them had always cabals to combat at their respective courts.

In this treaty there was no notice taken of the pretensions which the emperor still maintained to the Spanish monarchy, nor of the empty title of Catholic King, that he continued to bear after Philip V. was in quiet possession of the kingdom. Louis XIV. kept Strasburg and Landau, which he had before offered to give up, Huninguen, and New Breisach, which he had proposed to demolish, and the sovereignty of Alsace, which he had offered to renounce. But what was still more honorable for him, he procured the reinstatement of the electors of Cologne and Bavaria in their ranks and dominions.

It is a remarkable circumstance that France, in all her treaties with the emperors, has constantly protected the rights of the princes and states of the empire. She laid the foundation of the Germanic liberties by the Peace of Münster; and caused an eighth electorate to be erected in favor of this very house of Bavaria. The Treaty of Westphalia was confirmed by that of Nimeguen. By the Treaty of Ryswick she procured all the estate of Cardinal Furstemberg to be restored to him. Lastly, by this Peace of Utrecht, she obtained the re-establishment of the two electors. It must be acknowledged that, throughout the whole negotiation which put an end to this long quarrel, France received laws from England, and imposed them on the empire.

The historical memoirs of those times, from which so many histories of Louis XIV. have been compiled, say that Prince Eugene, when he had finished the conferences, desired the duke de Villars to embrace the knees of Louis XIV. for him, and to present that monarch, in his name, with assurances of the most profound respect of “a subject toward his sovereign.” In the first place, it is not true that a prince, the grandson of a sovereign, can be the subject of another prince, because he was born in his dominions; and in the second place, it is still less so that Prince Eugene, vicar-general of the empire, could call himself the subject of the king of France.

And now each state took possession of its new rights. The duke of Savoy got himself acknowledged in Sicily without consulting the emperor, who complained of it in vain. Louis XIV. procured entrance for his troops into Lille, the Dutch seized on their barrier towns, and the states of the country gave them one million two hundred and fifty thousand florins a year to continue masters in Flanders. Louis XIV. filled up the harbor of Dunkirk, razed the citadel, and demolished the fortifications toward the sea, in presence of the English commissary. The inhabitants, who saw their whole trade ruined thereby, sent a deputation over to London to implore the clemency of Queen Anne. It was a mortifying circumstance to Louis XIV. that his subjects should go to ask favors of a queen of England; but it was still more melancholy for these poor people to meet with a refusal from the queen.

The king some time afterward enlarged the canal of Mardyke, and by means of sluices formed a harbor there, which was thought already to equal that of Dunkirk. The earl of Stair, ambassador from England, complained of this in warm terms to the king. It is said in one of the best books we have that Louis XIV. made him this reply: “My lord, I have always been master in my own kingdom, sometimes in those of others; do not put me in remembrance of it.” I know of my own certain knowledge that Louis XIV. never made so improper a reply; he was far from ever having been master in England: he was indeed master in his own kingdom; but the point in question was, whether he was master of eluding a treaty to which he owed his repose, and perhaps the greatest part of his kingdom. This, however, is true, that he put a stop to the works of Mardyke, and thus yielded to the remonstrances of the ambassador, instead of braving them. The works of the canal of Mardyke were demolished soon afterward, during the regency, and the treaty accomplished in every point.

Notwithstanding the Peace of Utrecht and that of Rastatt, Philip V. was not yet in possession of all Spain: he still had Catalonia to conquer, and the islands of Majorca and Ivica.

It is necessary to know that the emperor Charles, having left his wife at Barcelona, and finding himself unable to carry on a war in Spain, and yet unwilling to give up his claim, or accept of the Peace of Utrecht, had nevertheless made an agreement with Queen Anne for a squadron of English ships to bring away the empress and the troops, now useless in Catalonia. In fact, Catalonia had been already evacuated; and Staremberg, when he quitted that province, had resigned his title of viceroy; but he left behind him all the seeds of a civil war. Those who had the most credit in that province imagined that they might be able to form a republic under a foreign protection; and that the king of Spain would not be strong enough to subdue them. On this occasion they displayed that character which Tacitus gave them so long since, who calls them “an intrepid people, that count their lives for nothing when not employed in fighting.”

If they had made half the efforts for Philip V., their king, that they then did against him, the archduke would never have disputed Spain. By the obstinate resistance they made, they proved that Philip, though delivered from his competitor, was not able to reduce them by his own power. Louis XIV., who, during the latter part of the war, had not been able to assist his grandson with either ships or soldiers, against his rival, Charles, now sent him aid against his rebellious subjects. A fleet of French ships blocked up the harbor of Barcelona, and Marshal Berwick laid siege to it by land.

The queen of England, faithful to her treaty, would not assist this city. The emperor made a vain promise of relief. The besieged defended themselves with a courage that was fortified by fanaticism. The priests and monks ran to arms, and mounted the trenches, as if it had been a religious war. A phantom of liberty rendered them deaf to all the advances made to them by their master. More than five hundred ecclesiastics died during this siege, with their arms in their hands: we may judge whether by their speeches and examples they helped to animate the people.

They hung out a black ensign on the breach and withstood several assaults; at length, the besiegers having made their way into the town, the besieged disputed street after street; and having retreated into the new town, after the old one was taken, they offered to capitulate on condition of being allowed all their privileges; but they obtained only their lives and estates. Most of their privileges were taken from them. Sixty monks were condemned to the galleys, and this was the only vengeance taken by the conquerors. Philip V. had, during the war, treated the little town of Xativa much more severely, by ordering it to be razed from the foundation, as an example; but though he might do this to a town of no importance, he would not destroy a large city that had a fine seaport and was of use to the state.

This fury of the Catalans, that had not exerted itself while Charles VI. was among them, and which transported them to such extremes when they were left without assistance, was the last spark of that flame which had been lighted up by the will of Charles II., king of Spain, and had so long laid waste the most beautiful part of Europe.

Anecdotes are a sort of confined field, where we glean after the plentiful harvest of history: they are small narratives, which have long been secreted, whence they receive the name of anecdotes, and when they concern any illustrious personages, are sure to engage the public attention.

Plutarch’s “Lives” is but a collection of anecdotes, rather entertaining than true; how could he have procured faithful accounts of the private life of Theseus or Lycurgus? Most of the maxims which he puts into the mouths of his heroes advance moral virtue rather than historical truth.

The secret history of Justinian, by Procopius, is a satire dictated by revenge; and though revenge may speak the truth, this satire, which contradicts his public history, has not always the appearance of it.

We now are not allowed to imitate even Plutarch, much less Procopius. We admit as historical truths none but what are well supported. When contemporaries like the cardinal de Retz and the duke de Rochefoucauld, inveterate enemies to each other, confirm the same transaction in both their accounts of it, that transaction cannot be doubted: when they contradict each other, we must doubt them; what does not come within the bounds of probability can deserve no credit, unless several contemporaries of unblemished reputation join unanimously in the assertion.

The most useful and most valuable anecdotes are those secret papers which great princes leave behind them, in which their minds have thrown off all reserve. Such are those I am now going to relate of Louis XIV.

Domestic occurrences amuse only the curious; the discovery of weaknesses entertains only the malignant, except where these weaknesses instruct, either by their fatal consequences, or those virtues which prevented the impending misfortune.

Secret anecdotes of contemporaries are liable to the charge of partiality; they who write at any considerable distance of time should use the greatest circumspection, should discard what is trifling, reduce what is extravagant, and soften what is satirical.

Louis XIV. was so magnificent in his court, as well as in his reign, that the least particulars of his private life seem to interest posterity, as they drew the attention of all the courts of Europe, and of all his contemporaries. The splendor of his government threw a light on his most trivial actions. We are more eager, especially in France, to know the transactions of his court than the revolutions of other states. Such is the effect of a great reputation! We had rather be informed of what passed in the cabinet and court of Augustus, than hear a full detail of the conquests of Attila or Tamerlane.

Hence all who have written the history of Louis XIV. have been very exact in dating his first attachment to the baroness of Beauvais, to Mademoiselle d’Argencourt, to Cardinal Mazarin’s niece, who was married to the count of Soissons, Prince Eugene’s father; and quite elaborate in setting forth his passion for Maria Mancini, that prince’s sister, who was afterward married to Constable Colonne.

He had not assumed the reins of empire when these amusements busied and plunged him into that languid state in which Cardinal Mazarin, who governed with a despotic sway, permitted him to remain. His bare attachment to Maria Mancini was an affair of great importance; for he was so passionately fond of her as to be tempted to marry her, and yet was sufficiently master of himself to quit her entirely. This victory which he gained over his passion made the first discovery of the greatness of his soul; he gained a more severe and difficult conquest in leaving Cardinal Mazarin in possession of absolute sway. Gratitude prevented him from shaking off that yoke which now began to grow too heavy. It was a well-known anecdote at court that, after the cardinal’s death, he said: “I do not know what I should have done, had he lived any longer.”1

He employed this season of leisure in reading books of entertainment, and especially in company with the constable, who, as well as his sisters, had a facetious turn. He delighted in poetry and romances, which secretly flattered his own character, by pointing out the beauty of gallantry and heroism. He read the tragedies of Corneille, and formed that taste which was the result of solid sense, and of that readiness of sentiment which is the characteristic of a real genius.

The conversation of his mother and the court ladies contributed very much to give him this taste and that peculiar delicacy which began now to distinguish the court of France. Anne of Austria had brought with her a kind of generous and bold gallantry, not unlike the Spanish disposition in those days; to this she had added politeness, sweetness, and a decent liberty, peculiar to the French only. The king made greater progress in this school of entertainment from eighteen to twenty than he had all his life in that of the sciences under his tutor, Abbé Beaumont, afterward archbishop of Paris; he had very little learning of this last sort. It would have been better had he at least been instructed in history, especially the modern, but what they had at that time was very indifferently written. He was uneasy at having perused nothing but idle romances, and the disagreeableness he found in necessary studies. A translation of Cæsar’s “Commentaries” was printed in his name, and one of Florus in that of his brother; but those princes had no other hand in them than having thrown away their time in writing a few observations on some passages in those authors.

He who was chief director of the king’s education under the first Marshal Villeroi, his governor, was well qualified for the task, was learned and agreeable, but the civil wars spoiled his education; and Cardinal Mazarin was content he should be kept in the dark. When he conceived a passion for Maria Mancini, he soon learned Italian, to converse with her, and at his marriage he applied himself to Spanish, but with less success. His neglect of study in his youth, a fearfulness of exposing himself, and the ignorance in which Cardinal Mazarin kept him, persuaded the whole court that he would make just such a king as his father, Louis XIII.

There was only one circumstance from which those capable of forming a judgment of future events could foresee the figure he would make; this was in 1655, after the civil wars, after his first campaign and consecration, when the parliament was about to meet on account of some edicts: the king went from Vincennes in a hunting dress, attended by his whole court, and entering the parliament chamber in jack-boots, and his whip in his hand, made use of these very words: “The mischiefs your assemblies produce are well known; I command you to break up those you have begun upon my edicts. M. President, I forbid you to permit these assemblies, and any of you to demand them.”

His height, already majestic; his noble action, the masterly tone and air he spoke with, affected them more than the authority due to his rank, which hitherto they had not much respected: but these blossoms of his greatness seemed to fall off a moment after; nor did the fruits appear till after the cardinal’s death. <