3 Calvin to Bullinger, Bonnet (Eng. tr.), iii. 411; Baum, i. 317, 318.
A bishop found the signs of the true church in the bells at the sound of
which the Catholics assembled, and marks of Antichrist in the pistols and
arquebuses whose discharge was said to be the signal for the gathering of the
heretics. A third controversialist went so far as to accuse the Protestants not only
of impurity, but of denying the divinity of Christ, the immortality of the soul,
the resurrection of the body, and even the existence of God.1 Capture of Calais, January, 1558.
Meanwhile, public affairs assumed a more encouraging aspect. Francis of
Guise, recalled from Italy, where his ill-success had been the salvation
of the poor Waldenses in their Alpine valleys,2 had assumed command
of a large force, consisting partly of the troops he had taken to Italy,
partly of noblemen and gentlemen that flocked to his standard in answer
to the king's summons for the defence of the French capital. With this
army he succeeded in capturing, in the beginning of January, 1558, the
city of Calais, for two hundred years an English possession.3 The
achievement was not a difficult one. The fortifications had been
suffered to go to ruin, and the small garrison was utterly insufficient
to resist the force unexpectedly sent against it.4 But the success
raised still higher the pride of the Guises.
Registry of the inquisition edict.
Antoine of Navarre, Condé, and other princes favor the Reformation.
The auspicious moment was seized by the Cardinal of Lorraine to induce
Henry, on the ninth of January, to hold in parliament a lit de
justice, and compel the court to register in his presence the obnoxious
edict of the previous year, establishing the inquisition.5 But the
engine which had been esteemed both by Pope and king the only
1 Histoire ecclésiastique des églises réformées, i. 78.
2 Cf. the anonymous letter to Henry the Second, inserted in
La Place, Commentaires de l'estat de la religion et république (éd.
Panthéon Littéraire), p. 5; and in Crespin (see Galerie chrétienne, ii. 246).
3 Guise's glory was, according to parliament, in
registering (Feb. 15th) the king's gift to him of the "maison des
marchands" at Calais, "d'avoir expugné une place et conquis un pays que
large number of parishes adjoining this city of Caen: as in the villages
of Plumetot, Periers, Sequeville, Puto, Soliers, and many others. Seeing
which, some preachers who had come out of Geneva took possession of the
temples and churches." Les Recherches et Antiquitez de la ville de Caen,
par Charles de Bourgueville, sieur du lieu, etc. Caen, 1588. Pt. ii. 162.
2 Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 89.
Saxony, and the Marquis of Brandenburg--and from the Dukes of Deux Ponts
and Wurtemberg, bearing a powerful appeal to Henry in behalf of his
persecuted subjects, arrived in Paris.1 Such noble and influential
petitioners could not be dismissed--especially at a time when their assistance
was indispensable--without a gracious reply;2 and, in order that the
German princes might not have occasion to accuse Henry of too flagrant
bad faith, the persecution was allowed for a short time to abate.
Psalm-singing on the Pré aux Clercs.
An incident of an apparently trivial character, which happened at Paris
not long after, proved very clearly that the severities inflicted on
some of those connected with the meeting in the Rue St. Jacques had
utterly failed of accomplishing their object. On the southern side of
the Seine, opposite the Louvre, there stretched, just outside of the
city walls, a large open space--the public grounds of the university,
known as the Pré aux Clercs.3 This spot was the favorite promenade
of the higher classes of the Parisians. It happened that, on a certain
afternoon in May,4 a few voices in the crowd began to sing one of
the psalms which Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze had translated into
French. At the sound the walks and games were forsaken. The tune was
quickly caught up, and soon the vast concourse joining in the words,
either through sympathy or through love of novelty, the curious were
attracted from all quarters to listen to so strange an entertainment.
For many successive evenings the same performance was repeated. The
numbers increased, it was said, to five or six thousand. Many of the chief
personages of the kingdom were to be seen among those who took part. The
there engaged. As for his absence from the mass, he thanked God for
removing the veil of ignorance that once covered his eyes, and declared
that, with the Almighty's favor, he would never again be present at its
celebration. In fine, he begged Henry to regard his life and property as
being entirely at the royal disposition, but to leave him a free
conscience. The Cardinal of Lorraine, who alone of the courtiers was
present, here interposed to warn the speaker of the bad way into which
he had entered; but D'Andelot replied by appealing to the prelate's own
conscience in testimony of the truth of the doctrines he had once
favored, but now, from ambitious motives, persecuted.
Henry orders him to be imprisoned. Embarrassment of the court.
Greatly displeased with so frank an avowal of sentiments that would have
cost one less nobly connected his life, Henry
now pointed to the collar of the "Order of St. Michael" around D'Andelot's
neck, and exclaimed: "I did not give you this order to be so employed; for
you swore to attend mass and to follow my religion." "I knew not what it is to
be a Christian," responded D'Andelot; "nor, had God then touched my heart as
He now has, should I have accepted it on such a condition."1 Unable
any longer to endure the boldness of D'Andelot--who richly deserved the
title he popularly bore, the fearless knight2--Henry angrily commanded him to
leave his presence. The young man was arrested and taken by the archers of the
guard to Meaux, whence he was subsequently removed to Melun.3 The position of the court was, however, an embarrassing one. Henry manifested no desire to retain long as a prisoner, much less to bring to the estrapade, the nephew of the
constable, and a warrior who had himself held the honorable post of
Colonel-General of the French infantry, and was second to none in
reputation for valor and skill. The most trifling concession would be
sufficient to secure the scion of the powerful families of Châtillon and
Montmorency. Even this concession, however, could not for a considerable
time be gained. D'Andelot resisted every temptation, and his
correspondence breathed the most uncompromising determination.
D'Andelot's constancy. His temporary weakness.
In a long and admirable letter to Henry, it is true, he humbly asked
believe that, "save in the matter of obedience to God and of
conscience," he would ever faithfully expose life and means to fulfil
the royal commands. But he also reiterated his inability to attend the
mass, and plainly denounced as blasphemy the approval of any other
sacrifice than that made upon the Cross.4 To the ministers of
1 Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 91.
2 Ib., ubi supra.
3 De Thou, ii. 566, 567; Hist. ecclés., ubi supra; La Place, Commentaires
de l'estat, pp. 9, 10; Calvin, Lettres franç. (July 19th), ii. 212, 213.
4 The closing words of this letter, written probably in
May, 1558, and published for the first time in the Bull. de la Soc. de
l'hist. du prot. fr. (1854), iii. 243-245, from the MS. belonging to the
late Col. Henri Tronchin, are so brave and so loyal, that the reader
will readily excuse their insertion: "Et ce que je vous demande, Sire,
n'est point, grâces à Dieu, pour crainte de la mort, et moins encore
pour désir que j'aye de recouvrer ma liberté, car je n'ay rien si cher
que je n'abandonne fort voluntiers pour le salut de mon âme et la gloire
de mon Dieu. Mais, toutefois, la perplexité où je suis de vous vouloir
Paris he wrote, expressing a resolution equally strong; and the letters of the
latter, as well as of the great Genevese reformer, were well calculated
to sustain his courage. But D'Andelot was not proof against the
sophistries of Ruzé, a doctor of the Sorbonne and confessor of the king.
Moved by the entreaties of his wife,1 of his uncle the constable,
and of his brother the Cardinal of Châtillon, he was induced, after two
months of imprisonment, to consent to be present, but without taking any
part, at a celebration of the mass. By the same priest D'Andelot sent a
submissive message to the king, to which the bearer, we have reason to
believe, attributed a meaning quite different from that which D'Andelot
had intended to convey. The noble prisoner was at once released; but the
voice of conscience, uniting with that of his faithful friends, soon led him to
repent bitterly of his temporary, but scandalous weakness. From this time
forward he resumes the character of the intrepid defender of the Protestant
doctrines--a character of which he never again divests himself.2 satisfaire et rendre le service que je vous doibs, et ne le pouvoir
faire en cela avec seureté de ma conscience, me travaille et serre le
cueur tellement que pour m'en délivrer j'ay esté contrainct de vous
faire ceste très humble requeste."
1 Cf. Calvin's letter to the Marq. of Vico, July 19, 1558.
Bonnet, Lettres franç., ii. 213, 214: "Sa femme luy monstrant son ventre
pour l'esmouvoir à compassion du fruict qu'elle portoit."
2 Among the many important services which the French
Protestant Historical Society has rendered, the rescue from oblivion of
the interesting correspondence relating to D'Andelot's imprisonment
merits to be reckoned by no means the least (Bulletin, iii. 238-255).
Even the graphic narrative of the Histoire ecclésiastique fails to give
the vivid impression conveyed by a perusal of these eight documents
emanating from the pens of D'Andelot, Macar (one of the pastors at
Paris), and Calvin. The dates of these letters, in connection with a
statement in the Hist. ecclés., fix the imprisonment of D'Andelot as
lasting from May to July, 1558. A month later Calvin wrote to Garnier:
"D'Andelot, the nephew of the constable, has basely deceived our
expectations. After having given proofs of invincible constancy, in a
moment of weakness he consented to go to mass, if the king absolutely
insisted on his doing so. He declared publicly, indeed, that he thus
acted against his inclinations; he has nevertheless exposed the gospel
to great disgrace. He now implores our forgiveness for this offence....
This, at least, is praiseworthy in him, that he avoids the court, and
openly declares that he had never abandoned his principles." Letter of
Aug. 29th, Bonnet, Eng. tr., iii. 460; see also Ath. Coquerel, Précis de
l'histoire de l'égl. réf. de Paris, Pièces historiques, pp.
xxii.-lxxvi.; twenty-one letters of Macar belonging to 1558. If the
reformers condemned D'Andelot's concession, Paul the Fourth, on the