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deemed guilty of treason. He therefore obeyed; but his answers gave great offence; and Bellay, bishop of Paris, declared he was an heretic, and ordered him to be delivered up to the secular power.
He appealed from this harsh sentence to the archbishop of Sens, by whom it was confirmed. He next appealed to cardinal de Tournon, who, as might have been expected, also confirmed the frightful sentence. After this, he was degraded, deprived of his pastoral office, condemned to death, and delivered into the hands of his tormentors; who first strangled him, and afterwards burnt his body to ashes. Thus died Du Bourg, in the thirty-eighth year of his age.
Some have said, that when his fiery trial approached, he was alarmed and irresolute; but other catholics assert; that before his judges, and at the place of execution, he shewed a calmness and tranquillity of soul, which seemed to be only the effect of a firm belief that he died in a good cause. Chalons says, that his punishment, instead of intimidating or discouraging the protestants, confirmed them in, (what he is pleased to call) their errors, and encouraged them to support with constancy, the persecutions to which they were then
The dutchess de Valentinois, who hated Du Bourg, was now treated with contempt. The queen, who had suffered much from that imperious wo
man, remembered her evil deeds; commanded her to withdraw from court, and deprived this fine lady of the greatest part of her iniquitous possessions. Instantly the dutchess, who had made her-, self many enemies, was abandoned by those who had paid her the greatest homage; not excepting even the duke d’Aumale, brother to the duke of Guise, though he had espoused one of her daughters. ; :
As factions increased, and intrigues abounded, many withdrew from court to their own estates. Of that number were the prince of Condé, the Colignys, and other persons of distinction..
In 1560, the conspiracy at Amboise was discovered. The first authors of it are not known; but the visible leader of this revolt, was Renaudie, a young gentleman, who wanted neither courage nor conduct for such an undertaking. This conspiracy was formed against the Guises, with whose dominion almost every one was dissatisfied. An ime mense number, therefore, of all conditions, and from most of the provinces in France, entered into this conspiracy, under the popular pretences of great regard for religion and liberty.
Many of these misguided people were roman catholics; but the far greatest part of them were protestants. The plot had long been kept a secret, and was not suspected till it was ripe for execution.
It is said, this affair was discovered by Avenelle, an advocate of parliament, and by Lignicres, one of the conspirators. The king immediately invested the duke of Guise with the sovereign command of his armies. Troops were instantly sent against the rebellious; Renaudie was slain; his adherents fled; many fell by the sword; and many by torments too dreadful to describe. The streets of Amboise, were deeply stained with blood; and the river Loire suffocated hundreds, who preferred that death to those , torments which others were compelled to endure.
These sad scenes so affected the chancellor, Oliver, that he died with grief and regret, when he heard of those proceedings. He was succeeded in his important office, by Michael l'Hospital; and, some have said, he could not have had a more able successor. Be that as it may, since l'Hospital, by his promotion, became devoted to the queen, who can be surprized if he did not always act uprightly?
The massacre at Amboise, by no means contented the most zealous catholics. They were determined to have an inquisition in France; and that frightful tribunal must have been erected, had it not have been strenuously opposed by the chancellor. In truth, he could but in part, prevent the intended mischief; for he was obliged to submit to an unfair request, viz. that those who were in fu. ture accused of heresy, should be tried by clerical judges that had no inclination to do them justice.
· Soon after these severities, more moderate mea. sures, were in appearance, adopted. In a council, held at Fontainbleau, the bishops of Vienne and Valence, spake favourably in behalf of the reformed; at the same time, admiral Coligny presented a request, in the name of persécuted protestants, for liberty of conscience, and was heard with attention. After some debates, it was agreed, that the best remedy under the present disorders, would be to .call a national council; and that till it could be assembled, persecutions should be suspended, and that speaking evil of one another should be prohibited.
Under this pleasing change, the hearts of protestants rejoiced, and they ventured to meet publicly for devotion, in many of the provinces of France. But, in an unexpected moment, this satisfaction ceased, for the prince of Condé was suddenly arrested, and thrown into prison, and by that act, they were again brought into a state of alarm and confusion.
The trial of the prince of Condé was rapidly hurried on; his guilt was taken for granted; and his condemnation hastily signed by all his judges, except the chancellor: while he demurred, Francis the second died, in the eighteenth year of his age, and in the second of his inglorious reign.
As the king fell sick, on the evening of the day fixed for pronouncing and executing the decree of
death upon the prince of Condé, surmises abounded, and rumours were multiplied, that the king was poisoned: but, upon examination, it was found he had an abscess in his head, which broke, and, by its uncommon discharge, brought his life into danger.
The king, growing worse and worse, the Lorraine princes pressed the queen mother to hasten the death of the prince, and the king of Navarre; but, the counsels of the chancellor, de l'Hospital, and of the duchess de Montpensier, had, on political grounds, given to the queen very different sentiments: for perceiving the queen's predominant passion was a desire to command, they told her she ought to preserve the prince and the constable, to check the ambition and power of those who had already deprived her of almost all authority. These remonstrances made a great impression on her mind, and saved the life of the prince of Condé, who otherwise 'must have lost his head. Such èvents deserve the notice of the serious reader; and of such revolutions David has said, Whoso is wise, and will observe them, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.