attention. Standing between the other two orators, he delivered a speech
of great length and insufferable arrogance. He admitted that the clergy
might need reformation; but the Church with its hierarchy must not be
touched--that was the body of Christ. Charles must defend the Church
against heresy--against that Gospel falsely and maliciously so called,
which consisted in profaning churches, in breaking the sacred images, in
the marriage of priests and nuns. He must not suffer the Reformation to
affect the articles of faith, the sacraments, traditions, ordinances, or
ceremonial. Should any one venture to resuscitate heresies long dead and
buried, he begged the king to declare him a champion of heresy and to
proceed against him. He insisted on the presumption in favor of the
Catholic Church, and demanded the unconditional submission of its
opponents. "They must believe us, without waiting for a council; not we
them." He was warm in his praise of the Emperors Theodosius II. and
Valentinian III., who confiscated the goods of heretics, banished them,
and deprived them of the right of conveying or receiving property by
will. He raised his voice particularly
1 La Place, Commentaries, 89-93; De Thou, iii. (liv.
xxvii.) 8-10, Hist. ecclés., i. 277-279.
2 La Place, Commentaires, 89; De Thou, iii. (liv. xxvii.)
8-10; Hist. ecclés., i. 277, 279. None of these authors give more than a
very imperfect sketch of L'Ange's harangue. Beza, in the letter more
than once referred to above, says: "Nobilitatem ferunt valde fortiter et
libere locutam, sed plebs imprimis graviter et copiose disseruit de
rerum omnium perturbatione, de intolerabili quorundam potentia, etc....
adeo ut omnes audientes valde permoverit." Baum, Theod. Beza, ii., App.,
in behalf of Burgundy and of his own diocese of Autun, whose inhabitants
"were well-nigh drowned by the much too frequent inundations of pestilent
books from the infected lagoons of Geneva."1 Temporal interests. Sad straits of the clergy.
A word for the down-trodden people.
In the midst of this tirade against the inroads of Calvinism, the
Latin, after the fashion of other parts of his mongrel address:
"Desplicet aures vestras et os meum fœdasse vocabulo tam probroso,
sed ex ecclesiarum præscripto cogor." La Place, 101.
which that so good, so obedient people had long borne patiently, and not
to suffer this third foot of the throne to be crushed or broken.1 When
the crown had returned to this course of just action, the Church would pray
very devoutly in its behalf, the nobility fight valiantly, the people obey
humbly. It would be paradise begun on earth.2
The clergy alone makes no progress.
Thus spoke the chosen delegates of the three orders when summoned into
the royal presence for the first time after the lapse of seventy-seven
years. The nobility and clergy vied with each other in extolling their
own order; the people made little pretension, but had a large budget of
grievances demanding redress. Nearly forty years had the Reformation
been gaining ground surely and steadily. It had found, at last,
recognition more or less explicit in the noblesse and the "tiers état."
But the clergy had made no progress, had learned nothing. The speech of
Quintin, their chosen representative, on this critical occasion, was long
and tiresome; but, instead of convincing, it only excited shame and disgust.3
Indeed, an allusion of his to the favorers of heresy daring to present
petitions in behalf of the Huguenots, who demanded places in which to
worship God, was taken by Admiral Coligny as a personal insult to
himself, for which Quintin was compelled to make a public apology.4 Coligny presents a Huguenot petition.
The incredible supineness of Antoine of Navarre prevented the
States from demanding with much decision that the regency
ennuyeux.... rempli de lonanges fades, et de flatteries outrées, fit
rougir, et ennuya les assistans." De Thou, iii. 11, 12. Quintin's
address drew forth from the Protestants a written reply, directed to the
queen, exposing his "ignorance, calumnies, and malicious omissions." It
is inserted in Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 275-277.
4 La Place, 109, 112; De Thou, iii. 12, 14; Hist. eccl., i. 280.
should be entrusted in the hands of him to whom it belonged of right. For how
could enthusiasm be manifested in a matter regarding which the person chiefly
interested showed such utter indifference? But the religious demands of
the Huguenots were made distinctly known. As expressed in a petition
presented in their name to the queen mother by the Admiral's hands,
these demands were comprehended under three heads: the convocation of a
free universal council, which should decide definitely respecting the
religious questions in dispute; the immediate liberation of all
prisoners whose only crime was of a religious character--even if
disguised under the false accusation of sedition; and liberty of
assembling for the purpose of listening to the preaching of God's word,
and for the administration of the sacraments, under such conditions as
the royal council might deem necessary for the prevention of
disorder.1 So gracious was Catharine's answer, so brilliant were the
signs of promise, that there were those who hoped soon to behold in
France a king "very Christian" in fact no less than in name.2 The estates prorogued. Meanwhile prosecutions for religion to cease.
It was, however, no easy matter to grant these reasonable requests. The
Roman Catholic party resisted, with all the energy of desperation, the concession of any places for worship according to the reformed faith. Catharine was loth to
take the decided step of disregarding their remonstrances. It seemed more
convenient to avail herself of the representations of the majority of the delegates
of the "tiers état," who regarded it as necessary to apply for new powers from their
constituents, in consequence of the death of the monarch who had summoned them. The estates were accordingly prorogued to meet again at Pontoise on the first of May.3 The
1 Beza, Letter to Bullinger, Geneva, Jan. 22, 1561; Baum,
Th. Beza, ii., App., 21, 22; Calvin to Ministers of Paris, Lettres franç., ii. 348.
2 "Hanc supplicationem, scribitur ad nos, Regina ex
Amyraldi manu acceptam promisisse se Concilio exhibituram, et magna
omnium spes est nobis omnia hæc concessum iri, modo privatis locis et
sine tumultu pauci simul conveniant.... Ita brevi futurum spero ut
Gallia tandem Regem et nomine et re christianissimum habeat." Beza, ubi supra.
3 Catharine's fears that the States would enter upon the discussion of matters affecting
her regency undoubtedly had much to do with this action (Hist. ecclés. des églises
réf., i. 280: "qu'on craignoit vouloir passer plus outre en d'autres affaires qu'on ne
vouloit remuer"). Ostensibly in order to avoid confusion and expense,
each of the thirteen principal provinces was to depute only two
delegates to Pontoise.
matter of the "temples" was adjourned until that time. Meanwhile, in order
to conciliate the Huguenots, orders were issued that all prosecutions for
religious offences should surcease, and that the prisoners should at once be liberated, with the injunction to live in a Catholic fashion for the future.1 This concession, poor as it was, met with opposition on the part of the Parisian parliament, and was only registered--after more than a month's refusal--because of the king's express desire.2 But it was far from satisfying the Protestants; for, in answer to their very first demand, they were referred to the Council of Trent, which the pontiff had recently ordered to reassemble at the coming Easter. Such a convocation--neither convened in a place of safe access, nor consisting
of the proper persons to represent Christendom, nor under free conditions3 --could not be recognized by the Huguenots of France as a competent tribunal to
act in the final adjudication of their cause. They must refuse to appear either at
Trent or at the assembly of French prelates, to be held as a preliminary to their proceeding to the universal council, in accordance with the resolutions of the notables at Fontainebleau.4
Return of the fugitives.
Yet, as contrasted with the earlier legislation, the provisional
1 Letter of Charles IX., Jan. 28, 1561, Mémoires de Condé, ii. 268.
2 March 1st, "puysque la volunté du Roy est," Mém. de
Condé, ii. 273. When the secretary of state, Bourdin, brought to
parliament the mandates of Charles and Catharine from Fontainebleau, of
Feb. 13th and 14th, ordering its registry, he stated that Charles had
granted this document "at the urgent prayer of the three estates, and in
order to obviate and provide against troubles and divisions, while
waiting for the decision of the General Council granted by the Pope." On
the 22d of February a new missive of the king was received in
parliament, enjoining the publication of the letter of January 28th,
with the modification that any of the liberated prisoners that would not
consent to live in a Catholic fashion must leave the kingdom under pain
of the halter. Mém. de Condé, ii. 271, 272.
3 Calvin, Mémoire aux églises réf. de France, Dec., 1560,
Lettres franç. (Bonnet), ii. 350.
4 Letter of Calvin to brethren of Paris, Feb. 26, 1561,
ap. Baum, ii., App., 26; Bonnet, Lettres fr. de Calvin, ii. 378, etc.
dispositions of the royal letter were highly encouraging. They permitted
years old (page 542), the author says that he is now eleven and a
half. The proximate date would, therefore, seem to be January or
February, 1562. Throkmorton wrote to the queen, Paris, Nov. 14, 1561,
that "the Venetians had sent Marc Antonio Barbaro to reside there, in
the place of Sig. Michaeli Soriano." State Paper Office MSS.
or by their principal ministers, as well as by an infinite number of defamatory
pamphlets, which these preachers had disseminated far and wide throughout
the kingdom. To them were directly traceable the recent commotions. He
therefore called on the magistracy to recall these sowers of discord,
and threatened in no doubtful terms to take vengeance on the city should
the same course be continued after the receipt of the present
warning.1 Never was accusation more unjust, never was unjust
accusation answered more promptly and with truer dignity. On the very
day of the receipt of the king's letter (the twenty-eighth of January)
the magistrates deliberated with the ministers, and despatched, by the
messenger who had brought it, a respectful reply written by Calvin
himself. So far, they said, from countenancing any attempts to disturb
the quiet of the French monarchy, it would be found that they had passed
stringent regulations to prevent the departure of any that might intend
to create seditious uprisings. They had themselves sent no preachers
into France, nor had their ministers done more than fulfil a clear
dictate of piety, in recommending, from time to time, such as they found
competent, to labor, wherever they might find it practicable, for the
spread of the Gospel, "seeing that it is the sovereign duty of all kings
and princes to do homage to Him who has given them rule." As for
themselves, they had condemned a resort to arms, and had never
counselled the seizure of churches, or other unauthorized acts.2
1 Gaberel, Histoire de l'église de Genève, i., pièces
just., p. 201-203, from the Archives of Geneva; Soulier, Histoire des
édits de pacification (Paris, 1682), 22-25.
2 Gaberel, Hist. de l'église de Genève, i. (pièces