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most unwilling to quit, and went away at last with many "wild outeries and grimaces,” taking with them “all the queen's clothes as perquisites, leaving her without a change of linen, and not without difficulty being persuaded to give an old satin gown for her immediate use.

This ejection made a strange sensation in the French court, and ultimately led to an open rupture. King Charles was accused by the French of having broken the marriage article ; and by his own people of losing money and men in affairs with which they had no concern. On both sides the feeling ran high, and “Dog Steenie," the Duke of Buckingham, having been

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refused an audience of the king of France, was uncontrollable in his wrath, and swore he would visit Paris sword in hand.

The cause of the Huguenots at Rochelle offered an excellent opportunity for a quarrel with France. Emissaries were despatched to the French Protestants to concert measures for revolt; emissaries were received in England with the same object in view. It was finally determined that Charles should send a fleet and army to Rochelle, which the Duke of Rohan should join with four thousand men. “It was rumoured that it was planned for a protestant state to be established between the Loire and

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the Garonne, at the head of which Buckingham should be placed. That there was some great scheme of this kind is certain, for Charles, in dismissing ambassadors from his uncle the king of Denmark, said that he kept his full intent from them, "for," he says, "I think it needless, or,


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rather, hurtful, to discover my main intent in this business, because divulging it, in my mind, must needs hazard it.”

The expedition of Buckingham was kept as closely as possible; so closely in fact, that the Huguenots themselves seemed to have no idea of

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when it would arrive. On the 27th of June, 1627, the English fleet sailed out of Portsmouth. It consisted of forty-two ships of war, thirtyfour transports, and carried seven regiments of infantry of nine hundred men each, a squadron of cavalry, and a numerous body of French Protestants—together about seven or eight thousand men. That it might succeed, Buckingham took the command of it, for in his self-conceit he attributed former failures to his not being on the spot in person to give the troops the advantage of his consummate genius and experience; the whole of his military genius, if he had any, being yet to be discovered, and the whole of his experience amounting to having seen soldiers on parade.”

When the expedition arrived off Rochelle on the 11th of July, the Huguenots refused to permit the English to land. They had not as yet made any hostile demonstration against Louis XIII., and distrusted the profession of King Charles. In addition to this, the people of Rochelle did not feel themselves at liberty to enter into an alliance with the English without the consent of the French Protestants generally; and besides this, it was harvest time and they were busy, having no mind to turn their sickles into swords. Soubise and Sir William Porcher were permitted to enter the town and to have an interview with the council, but all their eloquence failed to change the determination of the citizens, and so Buckingham was shut out by those whom he had come to relieve.

Unwilling to return without a laurel, the Duke of Buckingham determined, in opposition to the express desire of the citizens, to make a descent on the islands of Ré and Oleron, which the Huguenots had some time before surrendered to the king. This sudden diversion took Toiras, the governor, by surprise. Hastily summoning a few troops he endeavoured to prevent the landing; but this effort was overcome, after a fierce skirmish in which about four hundred French and five hundred English were slain. Among those who fell on the side of France was the Baron de Chautal, father of Madame de Sevigné and nephew of the celebrated Montaigne. On the retreat of the French, Buckingham, instead of following in pursuit, applied himself to the landing of the remainder of his troops and stores, an employment so leisurely conducted that five days elapsed before he made any further advance against Toiras. Toiras, on the contrary, immediately availing himself of the opportunity, stored up an ample supply of wine, provisions, and ammunition in the strong citadel of the town of St. Martin-where "stony strength would laugh a siege to scorn.”


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