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Such too were the state and disposition of the United King. dom at that time, with regard to politics and religion, that we much doubt whether Solomon himself, had he been a Roman. catholic, could have exercised an influence over Charles I, with out serious detriment to his affairs,
Though the French attendants of the queen were dismissed, a good understanding between her and the king was notimmediately established; and the complaints of Henrietta to her mother, were so frequent and serious, that the latter at length sent over the Duc de Bassompierre, a brave old comrade of Henri IV., and a man of talents and prudence, to inquire on the spot into the causes of the queen's dissatisfaction, and to take all necessary measures for removing them. He had so much regard for the daughter of his old friend, that finding the fault to be principally on her side, with perfect candour, and without regarding for the time her royalty, he treated her as a woman, remonstrated with her on her folly in constantly picking quarrels with the king, and treated her to a good sound lecture on the duties of a wife; and she, on her part, when her anger was over, had the good sense to perceive the value of his counsel, and to act accordingly: in consequence of which she secured the affections of her husband, and a life of uninterrupted domestic happiness for the next sixteen years.
In 1628 the queen gave birth to a son, who died, however, on the same day; but on the 29th of May, 1630, Henrietta presented her royal consort with another prince, afterwards Charles 11., a remarkably plain child, who, with more consistency than he showed on most other points, grew up as ugly as he was born. The queen, herself, was fully conscious of his lack of comeliness; and there is an amusing letter written by her, to her former attendant, Madame St. George, in which she very candidly describes what Miss Strickland not unaptly calls
the solemn ugliness of her fat baby. As this is the first record extant concerning Charles II., having been written by his own mother in the first year of his life, we give the few lines of her letter in which it is embodied.
"Mamie st. GEORGE,—The husband of the nurse of my son going to France about some business of his wife, I write you this letter by him, believing that you will be very glad to ask him news of my son, of whom I think you have seen the portrait that I sent to the queen my mother. He is so ugly, that I am ashamed of him ; but his size and fatness supply the want of beauty. I wish you could see the gentleman, for he has no ordinary mien : he is so serious in all that he does, that I cannot help deeming bim far
Wiscous in alle gentleman, supply the
than myself._he does, that has
· In 1663 the Duke of York was born, and named James, after his grandfather. From this time the royal pair lived happily together ; the queen learned English, and studied to please her husband, and was rewarded with that success which ladies generally achieve when they make it their business to do so.
The destiny which overshadowed the house of Stuart, appears to have directed their good, as well as their had, actions, to their disadvantage. The reception given by Charles to Mary de Medicis, the mother of his queen, when she was driven from France by the tyranny of her former creature, Richelieu, appears to have excited the hatred, and, of course, the uncompromising hostility of that base and cruel churchman. It operated to the disadvantage of the king in another and more important quarter, also—that of the people of England. The plague of French locusts, which had accompanied Henrietta to this country, had made its second advent in the train of her mother.
· Henrietta related, with tears, to Madame de Motteville, 'how dreadfully the king was embarrassed by the extravagance of her mother's attendants; and when he could not find means to satisfy their rapacity, they had the folly and malignity to carry their complaints to parliament, and petition for larger allowances—that parliament which had viewed the visit of the queen-mother with inimi. cal feeling, and had considered the circumstance of a second estab. lishment for the Catholic worship at court with angry disgust.'— p. 75.
In after life, Henrietta Maria dictated to her friend, Madame de Motteville, a tract, entitled, 'Abrégé des Revolutions d’Angleterre;' from which the following statement is taken by Miss Strickland, and to which we beg the attention of our readers, as shewing the opinion of Charles 1., of the book of Common Prayer :
*Henrietta declares, that when a vast number of books of Common Prayer were prepared to be sent to the Scotch (at the time of the liturgy being forced on that unwilling people), her husband, glad to take the opportunity of her attention being then forcibly drawn to the subject, brought her one of the Common Prayer Books, and sat down hy her for a whole evening, and prevailed on her to examine it with him. He pressed on her notice the fact, which no living creature can deny, that though there is much in the mass-book not to be found in the Common Prayer Book, yet there are very few pages in the Common Prayer which are not supplied from the massbook and breviary. Henrietta's prejudices were scarcely neutralized by this conviction, for she adds directly, it was this fatal' book which occasioned the first revolt in Scotland. –p. 76.
In the critical aspect which the king's affairs began to assume, his difficulties were, on more than one occasion, much enhanced by the unguarded manner in which the queen allowed
herself to speak of state affairs. Perhaps no single incident contributed more to the final rupture between the king and the parliament, than the attempt of the former to arrest the fire members of the commons, and its failure—and that failure was brought about entirely by the imprudence of the queen.
She only, was aware of the intention of the king to arrest the five members : to her he had said on leaving her, “If you find one hour elapse without hearing ill news from me, you will see me, when I return, the master of my kingdom. The queen sat with her watch in her hand till the hour had expired, and then, no longer able to contain herself, exclaimed to the lady in wait. ing, the Countess of Carlisle, “Rejoice with me, for at this hour the king is, as I have reason to hope, master of his realm ; for Pym and his confederates are arrested before now !! Lady Car. lisle happened to be connected with, and in the interest of, some of these members of the parliamentary party; and having reason to believe that the king had not yet accomplished his treacherous and unconstitutional purposes, gave prompt notice to the parties concerned, of his intention. They escaped, and the king succeeded only in exposing himself to the opened eyes of his parliament, in all the wakedness of baffled tyranny. It would have been well,' says Miss Scrickland, if Henrietta had heard and heeded the warning axiom of the Countess Tertsky, in Wallenstein, regarding the portentous nature of shouts before victory.'"*
Affairs soon afterwards took such a turn, that the king, on 23rd February, 1641-2, accompanied the queen to Dover, on her way to Holland, whither she betook herself, for the purpose of raising supplies for her husband, to enable him to resist the measures of the parliament. It was during her absence that Sir John Hotham refused to admit the king into the town of Hull, on which he had marched, for the purpose of securing the stores and magazines. This was the first overt act of the parliament against the king.
Into the politics of the day, or the course of the civil war, we cannot enter ; but shall select a few of the most striking incidents in which the queen was concerned, by way of illustrating her character. Two of these incidents may serve to show us, the one, that she inherited some portion of that magnanimity which characterised her illustrious father; the other, that the influence of a Stuart atmosphere had somewhat clouded her perceptions as to the difference between meum and tuum.
On her return to England, under the convoy of Van Tromp,
• They are not the words of the Countess Tertsky, but those of Wallenstein himself, addressed to the Countess. Vide the Piccolomini,' act fourth, scene seventh-the end.
she landed at Burlington bay, and took up her quarters in the town. The parliamentary admiral, Batten, who had been cruizing off Newcastle with five ships of war, entered the bay during the night, and at break of day opened a furious canmonade on the house in which the queen was sleeping. She escaped in haste, through considerable peril, to the outside of the town, and sheltered herself in a ditch till the cannonade was over, the admiral retreating at the ebbing of the tide. Soon afterwards, one of the captains of Batten's squadron, who had directed the cannon against the queen's house, was seized on shore, tried by a military tribunal (royalists, of course), and condemned to be hanged. The queen happened to meet the procession, when he was being conducted to execution, and insisted on knowing what it meant. She was told : 'Ah,' said she, .but I have forgiven him all that; and, as he did not kill me, he shall not be put to death on my account. The captain was set at liberty by her command, and she entreated him not to persecute one who would not harm him when she could. The captain,' adds the narrative, was so deeply touched by her generosity, that he came over to the royal cause, and moreover persuaded several of his shipmates to join him.' This act, if true,* was worthy of a queen-of the daughter of Henry the Great; what follows was unworthy of the daughter of a pawn. broker.
Henrietta, while in Yorkshire (according to tradition), established her head quarters at Boynton Hall, near Burlington, the seat of Sir William Strickland, a stanch leader of the puritan party, whose brother Walter had recently been ambassador from the parliament to the States of Holland, where he had fiercely argued against the queen’s being furnished there with the munitions of war. Notwithstanding, the queen asked and received hospitality and shelter for herself and her train, at the native hall of these inimical brethren (no small practical compliment, by-the-bye, to the honour and gentlemanly feeling of the 'puritans.')
How did she repay this chivalrous hospitality? As follows :
• During her majesty's entertainment a great display was made of heavy family plate, for the honour of the house. This the queen observing, took occasion, at her departure, when she returned thanks for her entertainment, to say, that she feared it would be thought that she was about to make an ungenerous return for the courtesies she had received ; but, unbappily, the king's affairs had (through the
• It rests on the authority of Bossuet, intellectually a great man, but morally a great Jesuit. It was he who was employed to satisfy James II., that he might lawfully swear to uphold the English church, though at the same time it was his fixed intention to subvert it.
disaffection and want of duty on the part of some of those who ought to have been among his most loyal supporters) come to that pass that he required pecuniary aid. The parliament had refused to grant the supplies requisite for maintaining the honour of the crown, and therefore money inust be obtained by other means, and sbe was sorry to be under the necessity of taking possession of the plate she had seen during her visit for his majesty's use.' (So much for tbe honour of the crown!) · She should,' she added, 'consider it as a loan, as she trustel the king would very soon compose the disorders in those parts, when she would restore the plate, or, at any rate, its value in money, to Sir William Strickland; and, in the meantime, she would leave at Boynton Hall her own portrait, both as a pledge of her royal intentions, and a memorial of her visit.'pp. 98, 99. Unfortunatcly,' says Miss S., Boynton Hall was soon afterwards completely pillaged by a marauding party, who followed on the Queen's track ; and Sir William Strickland and his brother became confirmed roundheads,'
We are not sure whether the residence of the queen in France, both before and after the death of her husband, may not be looked upon as those parts of her life which show her to the greatest advantage; though sullied in one remarkable instance by a degree of bigoted intolerance, which was not only highly blameable in itself, but which compromised, in an emi. nent degree, that love and respect for the memory of Charles I., which is represented as one of the brightest ornaments of her character. We shall presently advert to this. In other respects, and while the king was living, Henrietta appears to have shumed no sacrifice which would contribute to his welfare. Her sister-in-law, Anne, of Austria, conducted herself in the most feeling and generous manner towards her; supplying her wants in a truly royal style, though to little purpose as far as Henrietta was concerned, as she systematically devoted her utmost means to the assistance of her husband, then engaged in the civil wars at home. That she suffered for a time under absolute and great privations, is not to be attributed to any want of sympathy or liberality on the part of her relation, nor was her state of: destitution of that long continuance which many have supposed; it lasted only during the wars of the Froude or a part of them, for which period the royal family of France itself was subjected to the same necessities. After the death of Charles her occupations were chiefly such as might have been expected from her education and associates. She founded a convent of nuns at Chaillot, and with them the greater part of her time was passed ; at least, at all those seasons in which the human heart is forced to cast itself upon its ultimate resources. However highly the queen may have appreciated the conso