« AnteriorContinuar »
HENRY IV. AND SULLY.
The friendship that subsisted between Henry IV. and Sully is a singular trait in history. If the king, at any time, conceived he had distressed his minister, he was never easy, as he was heard to say, until he had asked his pardon; and Sully frequently enjoined his sovereign not to give him such proofs of favour and attachment, in order that the malcontents might suffer them quietly to promote the happiness of the people. Such were these extraordinary men, whom France did not know how to appreciate, until she had lost them. Their friendship has been immortalized by the arts. The features of the prince and his favorite have been on various occasions exhibited in the same frame, and, notwithstanding the beauty of the character of Mornay, Voltaire has greatly diminished the interest of the Henriade, by substituting him, in the place of Sully, whom we are always surprized, on reading the poem, not to see acting by the side of Henry IV. л
The artist, M. Vincent, has chosen an incident which recalls, at once, the battle of Ivry, one of the most celebrated victories of Henry IV. and the part which Sully took in the success of the day. He had two horses killed under him, and received two severe wounds.
Followed by the prisoners he had made, and surrounded by a numerous guard, he caused himself, the next day, to be conveyed, on a litter, to his estate at Rosny. Henry IV. who was then hunting in the environs of Bearons, perceiving Sully, hastened to meet him, and, alighting from his horse, he said to him, with much affection, "Mon bon ami, que je vous embrasse de mes deux bras; vous etes brave et franc Chevalier." And he immediately embraced him, in the presence of all the nobles of his suite.
M. Vincent has delineated this interesting scene with much precision. The figure of Henry IV. displays that amiable frankness which engages all hearts. The gratitude of Sully is strongly depicted in his countenance, and the warriors and courtiers surrounding the two principal personages, are very happily characterized. As to the merit of the execution, it is sufficient to- say, that it is, in every respect, equal to the beauty of the subject. The figures are of the natural size.