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Title: The Anglo-French Entente in the Seventeenth Century

Author: Charles Bastide

Release date: November 2, 2011 [eBook #37905]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Ian Deane, Ethan Kent, Josephine Paolucci and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/American







Even as a hawke flieth not hie with one wing, even so a man reacheth not to excellency with one tongue.



Printed by Morrison & Gibb Limited, Edinburgh

[Pg v]


Of late there have appeared on the literary relations of England and France some excellent books, foremost of which may be mentioned, besides the now classical works of M. Jusserand, Dr. A. H. Upham's French Influence in English Literature and Sir Sidney Lee's French Renaissance in England.

The drift of the main argument set forth in those several volumes may be pointed out in a few words. Up to the death of Louis xiv., France gave more than she received; but, in the eighteenth century, England paid back her debt in full. France, intended by her geographical position to be the medium through which Mediterranean civilisation spread northwards, continued by her contributions to the English Renaissance and the influence of her literary models on the Restoration writers, a work that historians trace back to Caesar's landing in Britain, Ethelbert's conversion to Christianity, and the triumph of the Normans at Hastings. But ere long the native genius of the people asserted itself. Thanks to a series of lucky revolutions, England reached political maturity before the other Western nations, and, in her turn, she taught them toleration[Pg vi] and self-government. The French were among the first to copy English broad-mindedness in philosophy and politics; to admire Locke and Newton; and to practise parliamentary government.

To books that lead up to conclusions so general may succeed monographs on minor points hitherto partly, if not altogether, overlooked. In the following essays will be found some information on the life that Frenchmen led in England in the seventeenth century and at the same time answers to a few not wholly uninteresting queries. For instance: was it easy to journey from Paris to London, and what men cared to run the risk? Did the French learn and, when they settled in England, did they endeavour to write, English correctly? Though the two nations were often at war, many Englishmen admired France and a few Frenchmen appreciated certain aspects of English life; how was contemporary opinion affected by these men? Though England taught France rationalism in the eighteenth century, must it be conceded that rationalism sprang into existence in England? when English divines proved overbold and English royalists disrespectful, they might allege for an excuse that Frenchmen had set the bad example. Hence the importance of noticing the impression made by the Huguenots on English thought.

Since nothing gives a stronger illusion of real life than the grouping of actual facts, extracts and quotations are abundant. They do not only concern governors and generals, Cromwell and[Pg vii] Charles ii., but men of the people, an Aldersgate wig-maker, a Covent Garden tailor, a private tutor like Coste, and poor Thémiseul, bohemian and Grub Street hack.

The danger of the method lies in possible confusion, resulting from the crowding together of details. But the anecdotes, letters, extracts from old forgotten pamphlets, help to build up a conviction in which the one purpose of the book should be sought.

The history of the relations of France and England in the past is the record of the painful endeavours of two nations to come to an understanding. Though replete with tragical episodes brought about by the ambition of kings, and the prejudices and passive acquiescence of subjects, the narrative yields food for helpful reflections. In spite of mutual jealousy and hatred, the two nations are irresistibly drawn together, because, having reached the same degree of civilisation, they have need of each other; whereas the causes that keep them apart are accidental, being royal policy, temporary commercial rivalry, some estrangement too often ending in war through the selfishness of party leaders; yet the chances of agreement seem to grow more numerous as the years roll by; and the unavoidable happy conclusion makes the narrative of past disunion less melancholy.

The fantastic dream of one generation may come true for the next succeeding ones. Did Louis xiv. and William iii. think that while their armies were[Pg viii] endeavouring to destroy each other in Flanders, and their fleets on the Channel, some second-rate men of letters, a few divines who wrote indifferent grammar, a handful of merchants and skilled workmen were paving the way for peace more surely than diplomatists? The work of those cosmopolites was quite instinctive: they helped their several nations to exchange ideas as insects carry anther dust from one flower to another. Voltaire was probably the first deliberately to use the example of a foreign nation as an argument in the controversy which he carried on against tradition and authority, and, in that respect, he proved superior to his more obscure predecessors.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the help I have received while collecting material. My thanks are due above all to M. Mortreuil of the Bibliothèque Nationale, to whose unfailing kindness I owe much; and to M. Weiss, the courteous and learned librarian of the Bibliothèque de la Société pour l'histoire du protestantisme français. Nor shall I omit the authorities of the Bodleian Library and the British Museum. I desire also to express my thanks to Mr. W. M. Fullerton, Dr. F. A. Hedgcock, Mr. Frederic Cobb, MM. Lambin and Cherel.

I must add that the chapters on the political influence of the Huguenots, that appeared some years ago in the Journal of Comparative Literature, of New York, have been rewritten.

To the readers of Anglais et Français du dix-septième Siècle an explanation is owing. If the[Pg ix] original title is retained only in the headlines, it is because, on the eve of publication, a book appeared bearing almost the same title. They will, it is hoped, hail in the short-lived Anglo-French entente of Charles ii.'s time, the forerunner of the present "cordial understanding."

[Pg xi]



Introduction v

I. From Paris to London under the Merry Monarch 1

II. Did Frenchmen learn English in the Seventeenth Century? 19

III. Specimens of English written by Frenchmen 39

IV. Gallomania in England (1600-1685) 62

V. Huguenot Thought in England (First Part) 77

VI. Huguenot Thought in England (Second Part) 114

VII. Shakespeare and Christophe Mongoye 142

VIII. French Gazettes in London (1650-1700) 149

IX. A Quarrel in Soho (1682) 167

X. The Courtship of Pierre Coste, and other Letters 176

XI. The Strange Adventures of the Translator of Robinson Crusoe, the Chevalier de Thémiseul 207

Index 229

[Pg xii]


On the Road to Calais (see p. 4) Frontispiece


The Fortune-Teller, after Arnoult 36

A French Coquette at her Toilet-Table 66

The Duchess of Portsmouth as a Leader of Fashion 70

"L'Anglais," Popular Representation of an Englishman, c. 1670, after Bonnart 74

A Scheme of the Persecution 100

Jean Claude, the Huguenot Divine 120

Louis XIV. destroys Heretical Books 140

"Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres," Number I 156

At Versailles, after Bonnart 164

The French Tailor, after Arnoult 168

Pierre Bayle, Refugee and Man of Letters 204

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Marquis de Seignelay, Secretary of State, 1690, after Mignard 222

[Pg 1]



From Paris to London under the Merry Monarch

"The French," wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "are the most travelled people. The English nobility travel, the French nobility do not; the French people travel, the English people do not." Strange as the fact appears, our forefathers in the seventeenth century, even as in the eighteenth, wandered over England as well as Spain or Italy, but they drew up their wills before setting out.

The nobility travelled little; only a royal injunction would cause a gentleman to forsake Versailles; the ambassadors left with reluctance. But there followed a suite of attachés, secretaries, and valets. One day, Secretary Hughes de Lionne had a mind to send his son to London. The young marquis was entrusted to the charge of three grave[Pg 2] ambassadors; good advice therefore he did not lack, and we must believe his journey was not altogether distasteful as he was seen to weep when the day came for him to return.[1]

Next to official envoys stood unofficial agents, gentlemen who preferred exile to a more rigorous punishment; lastly, mere adventurers.

Not a few Frenchmen came over to England on business purposes. The Bordeaux wine merchant, the Rouen printer, the Paris glovemaker, could not always trust their English agents when some difficult question arose. Cardinal Mazarin's envoy mentions in his dispatches the "numerous Bordeaux merchants in London, some of whom are Catholics."[2] At the Restoration there existed a kind of French Chamber of Commerce, and, as early as 1663, the ambassadors extol the adroitness of one Dumas, who appears to have played the part of an unofficial consul-general.[3]

But there were travellers by taste as well as by necessity. Long before the word globe-trotter was added to the English language, not a few Frenchmen spent their lives wandering about the world, to satisfy a natural craving for adventure. Men of letters had been known to travel before Voltaire or Regnard. Shall we name Voiture, Boisrobert, Saint-Amant, the author of Moses, an epic ridiculed by Boileau? Saint-Amant celebrated his journey[Pg 3] in an amusing poetical skit in which he complains of the climate, the splenetic character of the people, the rudeness of the drama. But most of the travellers preferred to note their impressions in ordinary prose. Some published guides. Those narratives enable us to find out how a Frenchman could journey from Paris to London under the Grand Monarch.

Then, as now, the travellers had the choice between the Calais and Dieppe routes. According to their social status, they would set out in a private coach, on horseback, or in the stage coach. The latter was not yet the diligence, it was a heavy cumbersome vehicle "neither decent nor comfortable," through the canvas cover of which the rain would pour.[4] It took five days to go from Paris to Calais. As travelling by night was out of the question, the traveller would put up at Beaumont-sur-Oise, Poix, Abbeville, Montreuil.

As soon as the traveller had passed the gates of the capital, his adventures began. When the Swiss servant fell off his horse, every one laughed because he received no more consideration than a "stout portmanteau."[5] Then the roads were bad: the coach might upset or stick fast in the mud. Dangers had to be taken into account as well as inconveniences: in November 1662, Ambassador Cominges quaintly congratulated himself upon avoiding "two or three shipwrecks on land," meaning that there were floods between Montreuil and[Pg 4] Boulogne.[6] Another danger arose from the highwaymen who infested the country, and, in time of war, no one dreamed of leaving the shelter of a fortress such as Abbeville or Montreuil without getting previous information on the movements of the enemy in Flanders or Artois.[7]

A traveller will always complain of the inns; in the seventeenth century they seem to have been of more than Spartan simplicity: "We were no sooner got into our chambers," writes a distinguished traveller, "but we thought we were come there too soon, as the highway seemed the cleaner and more desirable place.... After supper, we retreated to the place that usually gives relief to all moderate calamities, but our beds were antidotes to sleep: I do not complain of the hardness, but the tangible quality of what was next me, and the savour of all about made me quite forget my supper."[8]

The illustration "On the road to Calais," taken from a contemporary print, gives a good idea of what an inn, the "Tin Pot" at Boulogne or the "Petit Saint-Jean" at Calais, then looked like. The scene is dreary enough, in spite of the picturesque bare-legged turnspit by the roaring wood-fire, the furniture is scanty, there are draughts, and the litter lying about spells slovenliness and discomfort.

In such a place, one must be as wary of one's fellow-travellers as of the rascally innkeepers.[Pg 5] "One of the Frenchmen," Locke goes on to say, "who had disbursed for our troop, was, by the natural quickness of his temper, carried beyond the mark, and demanded for our shares more than we thought due, whereupon one of the English desired an account of particulars, not that the whole was so considerable, but to keep a certain custom we had in England not to pay money without knowing for what. Monsieur answered briskly, he would give no account; the other as briskly, that he would have it: this produced a reckoning of the several disbursements, and an abatement of one-fourth of the demand, and a great demonstration of good nature. Monsieur Steward showed afterwards more civility and good nature, after the little contest, than he had done all the journey before."

Those were minor difficulties next to what the traveller had to expect who was bold enough to cross the Channel. In 1609, Beaumont and Fletcher mention not without horror "Dover's dreadful cliffe and the dangers of the merciless Channel 'twixt that and Callis."[9] The passengers crossed on what would appear now a ridiculously small bark, which belonged to the English Post Office. The boat, pompously named "a packet-boat," attempted the passage twice a week, but did not always effect it. Even when the sea was calm the skipper had to wait for the tide before weighing anchor. If the tide turned in the night, the[Pg 6] passengers would set up in an inn outside the walls of Calais because the gates closed at sunset, and, as about the same time a huge chain was stretched across the harbour's mouth, they were compelled to reach by means of a small cock-boat the bark anchored in the roads.

At last, the passengers being safely on board, the sails are set. Hardly has the wind carried the packet-boat beyond Cape Grisnez when the swell becomes uncomfortably perceptible. Nowadays we cross the Channel on fast steamers, but progress which has given us speed has not done away with the chief discomfort. Even as we do, so our forefathers dreaded sea-sickness.

Locke, good sailor as he was, rather coarsely jests at his fellow-traveller, the astronomer Römer: "I believe he will sacrifice to Neptune from the depths of his heart or stomach."[10] Those who have experienced the sufferings of a bad passage will sympathise with the Frenchman Gourville. "I went on board the packet-boat," he writes, "to go to Dover; at two or three leagues out at sea, we were beset by a dead calm; as I was very ill, I compelled the sailors to let down a small skiff not ten feet long; and two of them having got into it with their oars, I had trouble enough to find room; hardly had we rowed two leagues, when a gale arose that scared my two sailors. I got to land nevertheless and, no sooner had I drained a glass of canary, than I felt well again."[11] On coming back, Fortune[Pg 7] did not favour him. The North Sea that he had thus braved, took her revenge. "I travelled post to Dover where I went on board the packet-boat. The winds being against us, I felt worse than the first time, and it took me three weeks to recover."

The time of crossing varied considerably. "The Strait of Dover," wrote Coulon, "is only seven leagues wide, so that with a fair wind one can cross from one kingdom to the other in three hours."[12] But then the wind was seldom fair. Generally it took twelve or fourteen hours to sail from Calais to Dover. The passengers always had to take the unexpected into account. "At 6 in the evening," Evelyn records in his Diary, "set saile for Calais, the wind not favourable. I was very sea sicke. Coming to an anker about one o'clock; about five in the morning we had a long boate to carry us to land tho' at a good distance; this we willingly enter'd, because two vessells were chasing us, but being now almost at the harbour's mouth, thro' inadvertency there brake in upon us two such heavy seas as had almost sunk the boate, I being neere the middle up in water. Our steeresman, it seems, apprehensive of the danger, was preparing to leape into the sea and trust to swimming, but seeing the vessell emerge, he put her into the pier, and so, God be thanked, we got to Calais, tho' wett."[13] Thus delays were frequent enough; for which fogs, contrary winds, and storms were chiefly responsible.[Pg 8] No one appears to have grumbled much at the loss of time: the age was not one of quick travelling, and worse might befall a passenger than tossing about the Channel on a cold night. Many a seventeenth-century packet-boat met with the fate of the White Ship, when it did not fall into the hands of unscrupulous privateers. Under the Protectorate, the packet-boat was escorted by "a pinnace of eight guns";[14] but the improvident Government of Charles ii. left the merchants to guard their ships as well as they might.

Happy the passenger whose title, fortune, family connections or mere impudence secured him a place on one of the royal yachts! He had nothing to fear from the insolence or greed of the seamen, and instead of setting foot on a filthy tar-bespattered deck, he found, according to the Duc de Verneuil, "rooms which were admirably clean with foot carpets and velvet beds."[15]

But the traveller lands on English shores. Hardly has he left the boat when the Custom-House officers are upon him. The alert and courteous officials one meets with nowadays at Dover or Newhaven have little in common with their predecessors of the Restoration. The latter were coarse, ill-clad wretches bent on extorting from the travellers a pay that a needy Government held back. Useless to add, that they readily succumbed to the offer of a bribe. Even the Puritan Custom-House[Pg 9] officers had been known for a consideration to wink at a forged pass. "Money to the searchers," observed Evelyn, "was as authentiq as the hand and seale of Bradshaw himselfe."[16]

When the Frenchman has got rid of these, he is confronted by the harbour-master, who demands the payment of a licence to pass over seas. Nor are his troubles at end: he needs must get the governor of the castle to affix his seal to the pass. If that exalted personage is out with the hounds, there is nothing to do but to await his return. There is not even the expedient of visiting the town to while away the time. Dover, in the seventeenth century, far from resembling the picturesque port we know closely nestling in a hollow of the white cliffs, held altogether "in one ill-paved street about a mile long" and lined with "tumbledown houses."[17]

What about the castle? "Built upon a chalky rock, very lofty and looking out to sea. It was formerly called the key to England, and, before cannon came into use, was considered impregnable; but at the present time it is used solely as a prison. It is placed too high for it to endanger any vessel, and by land it could not withstand half a day's regular siege."[18] The harassed traveller must needs bend his steps to an inn, probably the French inn, kept by one Lefort and his capable wife.[19]

[Pg 10]

Travellers never landed at Folkestone: it was then "a small poor-looking town, inhabited by fishermen."[20] Skippers seldom preferred Rye to Dover, which greatly puzzled Frenchmen. "Rye is built on a hill at the foot of which is a pretty good harbour which might accommodate all kinds of ships; but I cannot imagine why the haven is so neglected. I am sure the French or the Dutch would make it a very convenient haven, being at the mouth of a fine river. The port is blocked up by sandbanks, through the carelessness and idleness of the inhabitants and the selfish disposition of some of their neighbours, who have reclaimed from the sea a great part of the port and turned it into enclosed lands. But that is the people's business and not mine."[21]

At last the Frenchman, all formalities being disposed of, is free to pursue his journey. He may choose between a saddle horse or a coach. According to Chamberlayne, the charge for a horse was threepence a mile, besides fourpence a stage for the guide. The coach cost less: one shilling for five miles.[22] In a few hours the traveller would reach Gravesend and there he would take boat up to London Bridge.

Coulon gives a slightly different route: Dover to Gravesend via Canterbury, Sittingbourne, and Rochester; Gravesend to London via Dartford (spelt by Coulon Datford). By the way, he copies a sixteenth-century [Pg 11]guide-book, Jean Bernard's Traité de la Guide des Chemins d'Angleterre (1579).[23]

Travelling is both easier and quicker than in France, but there are dangers to look out for. "Take heed," cautions Jean Bernard, "of a wood called Shuttershyll (Shooter's Hill) or the Archers' Hill, very perilous for travellers and passers-by on account of the thieves and robbers, who would formerly take refuge there." Even under the Merry Monarch, marauders lurked about every main road.

One of the guide-book writers, the Lyonnese Payen, has handed down to us a very curious computation, which it is worth while to transcribe:—



"Dieppe: 30 leagues.
Lodge at Place Royale and pay per meal, 20 sous.
Rye: 30 leagues.
Pay for the Channel crossing, 3 livres.
Lodge at the Ecu de France and pay for meal, 15 sous.
Gravesend: 30 leagues.
Pay by post, 9 livres.
Lodge at Saint Christopher's and pay per meal, 20 sous.
London: 10 leagues.
Pay by boat on the Thames, 10 sous.
Lodge at the Ville-de-Paris, at the Common Garden, and pay for meal, 12 sous."[24]

[Pg 12]

The Ville-de-Paris was a French inn, and the landlord at the time was one Bassoneau, as Claude Mauger records in his delightful dialogues.[25]

M. Payen was a wise man; as he travelled without ostentation, he managed to get from Paris to London spending about 26 francs or a little over. In London, he could rent a room for four shillings a week.

It is interesting to compare the above account with that of Fynes Moryson, an Englishman writing some thirty-five years previously. Choosing the longer route at a time when civil wars had made the roads round Paris impassable, he took boat from Paris to Rouen, was three days going down the river and paid the boatman "one French crown" or three francs. His meals had cost him 15 sous in Paris, but he was charged only 12 for them in Rouen, and the hostler told him that before the religious wars the price of a meal was as low as 8 sous. Along the road the innkeepers asked 15 sous, the price of the supper including lodging for the night. Yet, he exclaims, "all things for diet were cheaper in France than they used to be in England." From Rouen he rode to Dieppe and there took passage to Dover for "one crown." Odd expenses he duly recorded: 10 sous for a "licence to pass over sea" plus 5 sous gratuity to the officer; 10 sous "for my part in the hire of a boat to draw our ship out of the haven." It took him fourteen hours to sail to Dover. There he had to disburse[Pg 13] sixpence for a seat in the boat that carried the passengers ashore. The rest of the journey was easy, though two little mishaps happened to him: in Dover he was taken into custody on suspicion of being a papist and brought before the Mayor; on his arrival in his sister's house in London, the servants sought to drive him from the door, not one of them recognising in the dirty, ill-clad, lean stranger the gentleman who had set out for his travels ten years before.[26]

Political changes have, as well as private misfortunes, obliged a great man to travel under conditions which to the most humble would appear trying enough. The details of Charles ii.'s flight after the defeat at Worcester are now known with the utmost accuracy. Extraordinary adventures, including the episode of the famous Boscobel oak, brought the royal outlaw to the little port of Shoreham in Sussex, where the captain of a brig bound for Poole with a cargo of coal consented to take him over to France. On 25th October 1651, about seven or eight o'clock, the tide came up and they set sail. No sooner did the boat stand to sea than Charles began playing a little comedy to avert suspicions. Drawing near the men, he told them he was a merchant fleeing from his creditors, but with money owing to him in France. He entreated them to induce the captain to sail for the coast of Normandy, and made them a gift of twenty shillings. After feigning to refuse, the captain ended by[Pg 14] listening to the men's entreaties. Next morning the coast of Normandy was sighted, but the wind failing, they had to cast anchor two miles from Fécamp. Thereupon a sail came in sight and the captain fancied it might be an Ostend privateer. A boat was instantly lowered, and the King, together with Wilmot, reached the port with all possible speed.

On the 27th, Charles and Wilmot took horses for Rouen. At the inn where they resolved to stay, they were mistaken for thieves, so disreputable was their appearance, and, no doubt, trouble would have befallen them had not some English merchants vouched for their respectability. Refreshed and supplied with new clothes more befitting their rank, the two wanderers set out for Paris, the day after, in a coach.

Forty-eight hours later, they had reached the capital. Having slept at Fleury, they arrived on the 30th at Magny, where Queen Henrietta, James Duke of York, the Duc d'Orléans and a number of gentlemen met them. Late at night Charles, much tired but always good-humoured, entered the Louvre. "His retinue," wrote the Venetian ambassador, "consisted of one gentleman and one servant; his costume was more calculated to induce laughter than respect; his appearance was so changed that the outriders who first came up with him, thought he must be one of his own servants."[27][Pg 15]

To-day, in London, one may read every morning letters from France. It was not so three centuries ago. The mails for France, the "ordinary," as it was then called, left London twice a week, on Monday and Thursday.[28] An answer would be forthcoming a fortnight later, if no mishap had taken place, that is to say, if the carrier had not been drowned on the way,[29] or if the Secretary of State had not caused the bags to be opened in his office. "Here," wrote Cominges to Louis xiv., "they know how to open letters with more dexterity than anywhere in the world; they think it the right thing to do and that no one can be a great statesman without prying into private correspondence."[30] The Record Office preserves the melancholy letters that never reached those to whom they were addressed.

The present house-to-house delivery of letters was unknown. They had to be called for at the Post Office in Lombard Street. Contemporary guides never fail to give a lengthy description of the building, and the grand court where the City merchants used to walk up and down while the officers sorted the foreign mails.

Frenchmen of rank seldom leave London. "The quarter of the Common Garden is ordinarily that of the travelling Frenchmen, more busy at Court than at the Exchange.... Most of our young Frenchmen who go to London know only that[Pg 16] region, and have ventured only as far as the Exchange by land or the Tower by water."[31]

How does the Frenchman of rank spend his time in London? Moreau de Brazey has answered the question in the most satisfactory manner: "We rise at nine, those who assist at the levees of great men have plenty to do till eleven; about twelve, the people of fashion assemble in the chocolate and coffee houses; if the weather is fine, we take a walk in Saint James's Park till two, when we go and dine. The French have set up two or three pretty good inns for the accommodation of foreigners in Suffolk Street, where we are tolerably well entertained. At the inn, we sit talking over our glasses till six o'clock, when it is time to go to the Comedy or the Opera, unless one is invited to some great lord's house. After the play one generally goes to the coffee-house, plays at piquet, and enjoys the best conversation in the world till midnight."[32]

At that late hour, the kind help of the City constable may be needed: "the watchmen or guards are so civil and obliging that they lead a foreigner to his home with a lantern; but if he rebels and is overbearing, they are content to lead him to the Roundhouse, where he spends the night till the fumes of the wine may have vanished."[33]

Though the guide-book has expatiated on the attractions of London life, the Frenchman soon gets weary. Neither the country nor the people[Pg 17] please him. The English, he thinks, are haughty, fantastic, unfriendly. Moreover, they are melancholy because their climate engenders spleen. Complaints against the fogs ever recur in the ambassador's dispatches: "What I wish," wrote the Duc d'Aumont to the Marquis de Torcy (19th January 1713), "is that the fog, the air, and the smoke did not irritate my lungs." Courtin speaks in the same strain: "an ambassador here must be broad-shouldered. M. de Cominges has an everlasting cold that will follow him to the grave or to France, and I who am by nature of delicate health, have grown hoarse for the last four or five days and feel a burning in my stomach, with great pains in the side."[34] A bad winter, a fit of influenza, were enough to make the Grand Monarch's envoys loathe a country which they did not care to understand.

Never was a king worse informed by his ambassadors than Louis xiv. None of them dreamed of forsaking the Court to study the middle classes and the people. Of the institutions of England they knew what contemporary lawyers and archæologists had to teach. The love of freedom, the insular pride, they did not even suspect. Ignorant as they were, they tried by giving advice to the king, who mocked them, and money to his ministers, to subvert parliamentary government established at the price of six years of civil war and six years of dictatorship. "The French nobility do not[Pg 18] travel"; when the gentlemen of France left Versailles they carried away with them their spirit of caste and narrow-mindedness. Forgetting nothing, they did not readily learn anything new.

But France had unofficial representatives beyond the Channel besides the royal envoys and their retinue of brainless young marquises.


[1] Jusserand, French Ambassador at the Court of Charles ii., Appendix.

[2] Guizot, Répub. d'Angleterre, i. p. 420.

[3] Jusserand, French Ambassador at the Court of Charles ii.

[4] Babeau, Voyageurs en France, p. 78.

[5] Lettres de Locke à Thoynard (ed. Ollion), p. 35.

[6] Jusserand, French Ambassador at the Court of Charles ii.

[7] Evelyn, Diary, 12th November 1643.

[8] Locke, Journal in France, November 1675.

[9] Scornful Lady, Act I. Sc. 2.

[10] Lettres de Locke, p 38.

[11] Mémoires de Gourville, p. 539 (1663).

[12] Fidèle Conducteur pour le voyage d'Angleterre (1654).

[13] Diary, 13th July 1650.

[14] Diary, 12th July 1649.

[15] Jusserand, French Ambassador at the Court of Charles II.

[16] Diary, 12th July 1650.

[17] Moreau de Brazey, Guide d'Angleterre, p. 72.

[18] Ibid. p. 73.

[19] State Papers, Dom., 1668-1669, p. 155.

[20] Moreau de Brazey, Guide d'Angleterre, p. 75.

[21] Ibid. p. 76.

[22] Angliæ Notitia, ii. p. 254 (1684).

[23] This Bernard or Bénard styles himself elsewhere: "Secretary to the King for English, Welsh, Irish, and Scotch" (es langues angloise, galoise, irlandoise, et escossoise).

[24] Voyages de M. Payen, 1663.

[25] French Grammar, 1662.

[26] Itinerary, 1617.

[27] Eva Scott, Travels of the King, pp. 279-80.

[28] Chamberlayne, op. cit. ii. p. 254.

[29] Jusserand, French Ambass. p. 206.

[30] Jusserand, idem. p. 193.

[31] Sorbière, Relation d'un voyage en Angleterre, 1664.

[32] Guide, pp. 156-58.

[33] Ibid. p. 293.

[34] Jusserand, op. cit.

[Pg 19]


Did Frenchmen Learn English in the Seventeenth Century?

It is generally supposed that no Frenchman before Voltaire's time ever took the trouble to learn English. Much evidence has been adduced in support of this opinion. In one of Florio's Anglo-Italian dialogues, an Italian traveller called upon to say what he thinks of English, answers that it is worthless beyond Dover.[35] In 1579, Jean Bernard, "English Secretary" to Henri III. of France, deplored the fact that English historians wrote in their mother-tongue, because no one understood them on the Continent.[36] Not one contributor to the Journal des Savans, then the best French literary paper, could read in 1665 the Transactions of the Royal Society. "It is a pity," wrote Ancillon in 1698, "that English writers write only in English, because foreigners are unable to make use of their works."[37] Misson, a French traveller, said: "The English think their language[Pg 20] the finest in the world, though it is spoken only in their isle."[38] "I know by experience," wrote Dennis the critic in 1701, "that a man may travel over most of the western parts of Europe without meeting there foreigners who have any tolerable knowledge of English."[39] As late as 1718, Le Clerc regretted that only a very small number of Continental scholars knew English.[40] Those who had learned to speak it out of necessity, soon forgot it when they went back to France.[41]

To Frenchmen, English appeared a barbarous dialect, most difficult to master. "Few foreigners, above all Frenchmen," said Harrison, "are able to pronounce English well."[42] A hundred years later, Le Clerc declared it "as difficult to pronounce English well as it is easy to read an English book; one must hear Englishmen speak, otherwise one is unable to master the sound of certain letters and especially of the th, which is sometimes a sound approaching z and sometimes d, without being either."

So, while the English not only watched the progress of French literature but were carefully informed about the internal difficulties of France, the French knew the English writers merely by their Latin works; and at a turning-point in history the French[Pg 21] diplomatists, through their ignorance of the real situation of James ii., were caught napping when the Revolution broke out.

No doubt all this is true; but it remains, nevertheless, a little venturesome to assert that up to the eighteenth century Frenchmen neglected to learn English. The intercourse between the two countries has always been so constant that, in all ages, English must have been familiar, if not to large sections of society, at least to certain individuals in France. In the Middle Ages, the authors of the Roman de Renart had a smattering of English,[43] and in the sixteenth century Rabelais was able not only to put a few broken sentences in the mouth of his immortal Panurge, but to risk a pun at the expense of the Deputy-Governor of Calais.[44]

In an inquiry the like of which we are now instituting, it is expedient not to lose sight of leading events. A war will make trade slack and hinder relations between the two countries; on the contrary, emigration caused by civil war or religious persecution, an alliance, a royal marriage, may bring the neighbouring countries into closer touch. Then the inquiry must concern the different classes: the nobles, the merchants and bankers, the travellers, men of letters, and artisans. Even under Charles ii., it must have been imperative in certain callings for a Frenchman to understand English.[Pg 22]

At the Court of France, it would have been thought absurd to learn English. "Let the gentleman, if he findeth dead languages too hard and the living ones in too great number, at least understand and speak Italian and Spanish, because, besides being related to our language, they are more extensively spoken than any others in Europe, yea, even among the Moors." The advice thus tendered by Faret[45] was followed to the letter. The French ambassadors in London were hardly ever able to spell correctly even a proper name.[46] Jean du Bellay wrote Guinvich for Greenwich, Hempton Court for Hampton Court, Nortfoch for Norfolk, and called Anne Boleyn Mademoiselle de Boulan. Sully, though sent twice to England, did not trouble to learn a word of the language. When Cromwell gave audience to Bordeaux, the "master of the ceremonies" acted as interpreter. Gourville, of whom Charles ii. said that he was the only Frenchman who knew anything about English affairs, acknowledges in his Mémoires that he could not understand English. M. Jusserand tells us in a delightful book[47] how one of Louis xiv.'s envoys wrote to his master that some one at Whitehall had greeted a speech by exclaiming "very well": "the Count de Gramont," he added, "will explain to your Majesty the strength and energy of this English phrase."

[Pg 23]

Ministers of State were as ignorant as ambassadors. In the Colbert papers, the English words are mangled beyond recognition. Jermyn becomes milord Germain; the Lord Inchiquin, le Comte d'Insequin; the right of scavage, l'imposition d'esdavache; and no one apparently knows to what mysterious duty on imports the famous minister referred when he complained of the English imposition de cajade.

The marriage of Henri iv.'s daughter Henrietta with an English king ought to have incited Frenchmen to learn English. We know that the Queen learned English and even wrote it.[48] She gathered round her quite a Court of French priests, artists, and musicians. There were "M. Du Vall, Monsieur Robert, Monsieur Mari,"[49] and "Monsieur Confess."[50] Even as Queen Elizabeth, Henrietta had French dancing-masters. Her mother-in-law, Queen Anne, chose Frenchmen as precentors in the Chapel Royal. Nicolas Lanier, one of these, became a favourite to Charles i., who employed him in buying abroad pictures for the Royal Gallery. When a mask was played at Court, Corseilles, a Frenchman, painted the scenery. It is owing to Queen Henrietta that French players, for the first time since the remote days of Henry vii., came over to London in 1629 and 1635 and were granted special privileges, such as the permission to perform in Lent.[51] They were not welcome to the people:[Pg 24] a riot broke out at Blackfriars on their first visit, and, for reflecting on the Queen on the occasion of their second visit, Prynne the Puritan was prosecuted and cruelly punished.

At the Restoration, Charles ii. followed his mother's example. Yet we must guard against the tendency to exaggerate in the King a gallomania dictated more by reasons of policy than determined by taste. When he came to Paris for the first time in 1646 he could not speak a word of French,[52] and later on, he often hesitated to use a language that seemed unfamiliar.[53] Yet he had been taught French by an official in the Paris Post-house, who tampered with the letters coming into his hands, and in his hours of leisure wrote pamphlets in favour of the fallen House.[54]

The Frenchmen invited over to England after the Restoration do not appear to have known English. However, the Count de Gramont was an exception to the rule. They formed in Whitehall quite a colony: Cardinal D'Aubigny was the Queen's almoner, and Mademoiselle de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, the King's mistress; Louis de Duras, Earl of Feversham, commanded one of the regiments of guards; Nicolas Lefèvre, sometime professor of chemistry in Paris, was at the head of the Royal laboratory; Blondeau engraved the English coins; Fabvollière was the[Pg 25] King's engineer, Claude Sourceau, the King's tailor; Paris players, the famous Bellerose among them, went to London and acted before the Court; Frenchmen were to be found even in the Royal kitchens, witness René Mézandieu, a serjeant in the Poultry Office.[55]

The Pepys papers yield proof of the general use then made of the French tongue. An Italian named Cesare Morelli writing to Pepys from Brussels in 1686 discards his mother-tongue; probably knows no English, so naturally uses French.

If the Frenchmen at the Court of Charles ii. did not learn English, the English summoned to Paris by Louis xiv. helped but little to make their language known. A curious thing happened: through living long in a foreign country, the exiled Englishman would forget his mother-tongue. Macaulay tells how the Irish Catholics that hurried back to England under James ii. appeared to be out of their element. Their uncouthness of expression stirred their countrymen's laughter.[56] One Andrew Pulton, returning after eighteen years' absence, asked leave, when called upon to dispute with Dr. Tenison, to use Latin, "pretending not to any perfection of the English tongue."

Colbert had occasion to reciprocate Charles ii. in inviting a few Englishmen to serve Louis xiv., such as one Kemps, "employed in the laboratory," and the portrait-painter Samuel Cooper. The[Pg 26] minister's attention was often directed towards England, in which his political genius divined latent possibilities. But the financial transactions of Charles ii. had revolted his habits of honesty, and he distrusted the English, of whom his master Mazarin had had occasion to complain.[57] So he prepared to have recourse to Frenchmen. "M. Duhamel," writes his secretary De Baluze, "says that M. de Saint-Hilaire has written a memoir on the State of the Church in England and on the diversity of religions there, and has left the paper in England; but he will send it over as soon as he gets back."[58]

On the list of payments made to scholars can be read the name of M. de Beaulieu, "busy translating English manuscripts." Others besides Colbert needed English translators: "Père de la Chaise," Henry Savile wrote to ambassador Jenkins (29th July 1679), "has had the speeches of the five last Jesuits hanged in England translated into French."[59]

The rule laid down by Colbert was followed by his successors. By the side of ambassadors it became the habit to set interpreters or unofficial agents. Such, for instance, was Abbé Renaudot, "who knew English so well that he could not only translate Lord Perth's letters, but compose in English, either letters addressed to the French agents in England, or drafts of ordinances and proclamations in the[Pg 27] name of James ii."[60] To him was due the French translation of the papers of Charles ii. and the Duchess of York, published by command of James ii.

No one about Henrietta of England, Charles ii.'s sister, wife to the Duc d'Orléans, seems to have thought of learning English. The Princess could discourse with the Duke of Buckingham about the "passion of the Count de Guiche for Madame de Chalais" without letting her voice drop to a whisper. No one among the bystanders understood what she was saying.[61] On her death-bed she summoned the English ambassador Montague and began talking English; at a certain moment she uttered the word "poison." "As the word," says Madame de la Fayette, "is common to both languages, M. Feuillet, the father-confessor, heard it and interrupted the conversation, saying she should give up her life to God and not dwell on any other consideration."[62] In her death throes, the unfortunate princess seems to have found relief in talking her mother-tongue, for it is in English that she instructed her senior waiting-woman to "present the Bishop of Condom (Bossuet) with an emerald."

The men of letters were in close touch if not with the Court at least with the nobles their patrons. In the sixteenth century, many French writers and poets crossed the Channel. The list includes[Pg 28] Ronsard, Du Bartas, Jacques Grévin, Brantôme.[63] The latter uses the word good cheer, and it is said that Ronsard learned English.

In the following century there came to London, Boisrobert, Voiture, Saint-Amant, Théophile de Viau. Saint-Evremond lived in England many years without learning more than a few words, such as those he quotes in his works: mince pye, plum-porridge, brawn, and Christmas. Albeit Saint-Evremond is credited with a free translation of Buckingham's "Portrait of Charles ii.," Johnson was probably right in saying that "though he lived a great part of a long life upon an English pension, he never condescended to understand the language of the nation that maintained him."[64] But Jean Bulteel, the son of a refugee living in Dover, adapted a comedy of Corneille to the English stage (1665).

Scholars were more curious of reading the works of their English confrères. The English then had the reputation of being born philosophers. "Among them," wrote Muralt the traveller, "there are men who think with more strength and have profound thoughts in greater number than the wits of other nations."[65] The works of Hobbes had caused a great stir on the Continent. His frequent and prolonged stays in France, his disputes with Descartes, his relations with Mersenne and Sorbière, contributed to his fame. A[Pg 29] little later, the names of Locke and Newton were known. As early as 1668, Samuel Puffendorf inquired of his friend Secretary Williamson whether there existed an English-French or English-Latin dictionary.[66] Bayle wished to read the works of those new thinkers. "My misfortune is great," he wrote, "not to understand English, for there are many books in that tongue that would be useful to me."[67] Barbeyrac learned English on purpose to read Locke.[68] Leibniz was proud enough to inform Bishop Burnet that he knew enough English "to receive his orders in that tongue"; yet, for him Aberdeen University remained l'université d'Abredon.[69]

The teachers of French in England were almost men of letters, the number and variety of books they wrote showing how vigorously they wielded the pen. We may remember here Bernard André of Toulouse, who taught Henry viii. French, Nicolas Bourbon, a friend of Rabelais, Nicolas Denisot, French master to Somerset's daughters. Then came Saint-Lien, whose productions would fill a library,[70] James Bellot,[71] Pierre Erondel,[72] Charles Maupas,[73] Paul Cougneau.[74]

After the Restoration may be noted Claude[Pg 30] Mauger,[75] Guy Miège,[76] Paul Festeau, "maître de langues à Londres,"[77] d'Abadie,[78] Pierre Bérault, "chapelain de la marine britannique." "If," wrote the latter in his quaint Nosegay or Miscellany of Several Divine Truths (1685), "any gentleman or gentlewoman hath a mind to learn French or Latin, the author will wait upon them; he lives in Compton Street, in Soo-Hoo Fields, four doors of the Myter." These men spread the taste of French manners and French books. One of the more obscure among them, Denis, a schoolmaster at Chester, taught Brereton, the future translator of Racine.

The most unpardonable ignorance was that of most of the travellers. Under Etienne Perlin's pen (1558) Cambridge and Oxford are transmuted into Cambruche and Auxonne; Dartford becomes Datford with Coulon (1654); Payen calls the English coins crhon, toupens, farden (1666); even sagacious Misson prefers the phonetic form coacres (quakers) and coacresses (quakeresses) (1698). Sorbière travelled about England, meeting some eminent men of the time, without knowing a word of English.[79] They have for excuse their extraordinary blindness. Thus Coulon does not hesitate to deliver his opinions on the English language, which he calls "a mixture of German and French, though it is thought that it was formerly the[Pg 31] German language in its integrity." As for Le Pays, he candidly owns that he would have found London quite to his taste if the inhabitants had all spoken French (1672).

If the travellers, like the ambassadors, were content to glance contemptuously at the strange country, the Huguenots, who were compelled by fate or the royal edicts to live in England, showed more curiosity. On those foreign colonies of London and the southern ports we now possess accurate information.

Let us leave aside Shakespeare's Huguenot friends;[80] we have the evidence of Bochart, minister at Rouen; the Huguenot settlers in England in the first half of the seventeenth century would learn English, attend church services, and receive communion at the hands of the bishops.[81] The earliest translations of English works came from Huguenot pens. In August 1603, Pierre De l'Estoile, the French Evelyn, records how "Du Carroy and his son, together with P. Lebret, were released from prison, where they were confined for printing in Paris the Confession of the King of England (a pamphlet by James i. setting forth his Anglican faith); whence they should have been liberated only to be hanged but for the English ambassador's intercession; so distasteful to the people was that confession, in which mass was termed an abomination."[82]

[Pg 32]

A glance at the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, the weekly French gazette published in French during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate,[83] will convince any one that the editor knew English well: in those pages there are no traces of "coacres" for "quakers." Proper names are always spelt correctly, be they ever so numerous. The readers know both languages, otherwise what use would there be to advertise in the gazette a recently-published devotional English work?[84] However, they could not be expected to help their countrymen to read Shakespeare, for they felt the Puritan's dislike for the stage; witness the satisfaction with which is recorded the arrest by Cromwell's musketeers of a company of players "at the Red Bull in St. John's Street."[85]

If the translation of Eikon Basiliké was due to Porrée and Cailloué, both Huguenots, Milton's reply was translated by a pupil of the Huguenot Academy of Sedan, the Scotsman John Dury.

After the Restoration, the information is still more abundant. In 1662, Mauger writes that "he has seen many Frenchmen in London, able to speak English well."[86] Translations become more plentiful, as the Term Catalogues testify. Then there are precise facts: for instance, the first time Evelyn met Allix, the pastor at Charenton, Allix spoke Latin, in order to be understood by Archbishop[Pg 33] Sancroft.[87] Three years later, Allix, now an English divine, was able to publish a book in English. M. de Luzancy, an ex-Carmelite, fled to England and abjured the Catholic faith at the Savoy in 1675. Becoming minister at Harwich, he had occasion to write to Pepys, and accordingly penned some excellent English. Another refugee, François de la Motte, was sent to Oxford by Secretary Williamson. A few months later, he was reported as able "to pronounce English better than many strangers who preach there," and, to show that he had not wasted his time, he wrote his benefactor a letter in English, preserved in the Record Office.[88] The quarrel that broke out in 1682 between French artisans living in Soho gave some humble Huguenot the opportunity of proving his knowledge of English.[89] When Saint-Evremond wished to read Asgill the deist's works, he had recourse to his friend Silvestre. Born in Tonneins, in South-Western France, in 1662, Silvestre had studied medicine at Montpellier, then went to Holland, and settled in London in 1688; "the King wished to send him to Flanders, to be an army-surgeon, but he preferred to stay in London, where he had many friends."[90]

After the Revolution, the number of Huguenots in England was so considerable that many of them became English authors: it is enough to quote[Pg 34] the names of Guy Miège, Motteux, and Maittaire. But we now come to the eve of the eighteenth century when England and France, as in the Middle Ages, were brought into close touch. "Whereas foreigners," wrote Miège in 1691, "used to slight English as an insular speech, not worth their taking notice, they are at present great admirers of it."[91]

The merchants had to know English even as the refugees. While the French gentlemen at Court had no need to mix with the middle or lower classes, the merchants often had to see in person their English buyers. During the sixteenth century, simple grammars and lists of words were available. The Flanders merchants might learn from Gabriel Meurier, teacher of English in Antwerp, the author of a text-book printed at Rouen in 1563. Pierre De l'Estoile mentions in 1609 one Tourval, an "interpreter of foreign languages," then living in Paris;[92] none other, most probably, than the Loiseau de Tourval who contributed to Cotgrave's famous Dictionary. In 1622, a Paris printer issued La Grammaire angloise de George Mason, marchand de Londres.[93] Three years later appeared L'alphabet anglois, contenant la prononciation des lettres avec les déclinaisons et les conjugaisons, and La grammaire angloise, pour facilement et promptement apprendre la langue angloise. These publications must have found readers.

[Pg 35]

Information on the French merchants in England is scanty. They did not care to draw attention upon business transactions which a sudden declaration of war might at any time render illicit. But something is known about the printers.

About 1488, Richard Pynson, a native of Normandy and a pupil of the Paris University, settled in England. He became printer to Henry vii. and published some French translations. From the few extant specimens we may conclude that Pynson hardly knew how to write English. But he was the first of a line of French printers in England, the most famous of whom were Thomas Berthelet and the Huguenot Thomas Vautrollier.

As in 1912 an English firm print in England for sale on the Continent our French authors, so in 1503 Antoine Vérard, a Paris printer, published English books. When Coverdale had finished his translation of the Bible, he carried the manuscript over to France and entrusted it to François Regnault. This printer seems to have been an enterprising man, having in London an agency for the sale of the English books that he set up in type in Paris. The printing of the "Great Bible" was a lengthy task. In spite of the French king and the English ambassador Bonner, Regnault got into trouble with the authorities and the clergy. The "lieutenant-criminel" seized the sheets, but, instead of having them burnt by the hangman, as it was his duty to do, the greedy official sold them to a mercer who restored them to Regnault for a consideration.[Pg 36] In the meantime presses and type and even workmen had been hurried to London, where the work was completed (1539). Nor must the provincial printers be forgotten, thus from 1516 to 1533 almost the whole York book-trade was in the hands of the Frenchman Jean Gachet.[94] Many books sold by English booksellers came from the presses of Goupil of Rouen or Regnault of Paris.

after Arnoult

The tradition of French printers in England was continued in the following century by Du Gard, the printer of certain Milton pamphlets and of the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, and Bureau, "marchand libraire dans le Middle Exchange, dans le Strand," most obnoxious to the French ambassador because a determined opponent of the French Court.

About French artisans and servants the information is, of course, of the most meagre description. There are merely allusions by the contemporary playwrights to the French dancing-master, fencer, or sweep, equally unable to pronounce English correctly, to the great merriment of the "groundlings."[95] However, a French valet, Jean Abbadie, who served many noblemen at the close of the seventeenth century, took the trouble to learn and could even write English.[96]

Now and then a name emerges from the obscure crowd. That, for instance, of "John Puncteus, a Frenchman, professing physick, with ten in his[Pg 37] company," licensed "to exercise the quality of playing, for a year, and to sell his drugs";[97] or of Madame Le Croy (De La Croix), the notorious fortune-teller,

"Who draws from lines the calculations,
Instead of squares for demonstrations,"


"Imposes on
The credulous deluded town,"[98]

and no doubt carried on the dubious trade of her countrywoman "la devineresse," as recorded by Arnoult the engraver. We may fancy Madame La Croix slyly handing the billet-doux to the daughter, under the unsuspecting mother's very eyes.

Lower still we shall reach the criminal classes: adventurers, gamblers, robbers, and murderers. If the notorious poisoner, the Marquise de Brinvilliers, stayed in England but a short time in her chequered career, Claude Du Val the highwayman became famous in his adopted country as well for his daring robberies as for his gallantry to ladies:

"So while the ladies viewed his brighter eyes,
And smoother polished face,
Their gentle hearts, alas! were taken by surprise."[99]

The State Trials have preserved the name of a French gambler, De La Rue, who in 1696 acted as informer at the trial for high treason of Charnock and his accomplices.

[Pg 38]

It is difficult to go lower than these infamous men: our inquiry is at end. We shall conclude that if it is an exaggeration to state that the French as a rule learned English in the seventeenth century, it is true that individual instances may be found of Frenchmen learning English, and even speaking and writing it.[100] Though they did not help to spread either English manners or literature in France, they contributed in a most marked manner to make the English familiar with the French language.


[35] Einstein, Italian Renaissance in England, p. 103.

[36] Guide des Chemins d'Angleterre, Preface.

[37] Jusserand, Shakespeare en France, p. 97.

[38] Mémoires et observations faites par un voyageur en Angleterre, 1698.

[39] Adv. and Ref. of Mod. Poetry, Ep. dedic.

[40] Bibliothèque choisie, xxviii., Preface.

[41] "Monsr Boyd ... has forgott, I believe, most of his English."—Original Letters of Locke, etc., p. 229.

[42] Description of Britain, bk. i. (1577).

[43] Jusserand, Histoire littéraire du peuple anglais, i. p. 149 n.

[44] Pantagruel, iii. ch. xlvii.

[45] L'honnête homme ou l'art de plaire à la cour.

[46] D'Estrades should be excepted. He knew English, so he was sent to the Hague.

[47] French Ambassador at the Court of Charles II.

[48] See Chap. III.

[49] Reyher, Masques, p. 81 sq.

[50] Ibid. p. 79.

[51] See Anglia, xxxii.

[52] Mémoires de Mlle de Montpensier, i. pp. 126, 211.

[53] Jusserand, French Ambassador, p. 203.

[54] Procès de Charles I., traduit de l'anglois, par le Sieur de Marsys, interprète et maistre pour la langue françoise du Roy d'Angleterre.

[55] Angliæ Notitia, p. 154.

[56] History of England, ch. vi.

[57] Cardinal Mazarin employed many secret agents under the Protectorate; he spoke of them as "double-dealing minds, whom no one can trust" (Correspondence, 25th April 1656).

[58] Lettres, mémoires et instructions de Colbert, vii. p. 372.

[59] Savile, Correspondence, p. 112.

[60] A. Villien, L'abbé Renaudot, p. 56.

[61] Madame de la Fayette, Histoire de Madame Henriette d'Angleterre, p. 182.

[62] Ibid. p. 205.

[63] See for details Sir Sidney Lee, French Renaissance.

[64] Life of Waller.

[65] Lettres sur les François et les Anglois, p. 10.

[66] State Papers, Dom., 1667-1668, p. 604.

[67] Lettres choisies, ii. p. 737.

[68] Essai sur l'Entendement (2nd ed.), Avis by Coste.

[69] Clarke and Foxcroft, Life of Burnet, pp. 361-62.

[70] The French Littleton, 1566; The French Schoole-Maister, 1573; A Dictionarie, 1584, etc.

[71] The French Grammar, 1578.

[72] The French Garden, 1605.

[73] A French Grammar and Syntax, 1634.

[74] A Sure Guide to the French Tongue, 1635.

[75] French Grammar, 1662.

[76] Dictionary, 1677.

[77] Nouvelle Grammaire Angloise, 1678.

[78] A New French Grammar, 1675.

[79] Relation d'un voyage, pp. 20, 169 (1664).

[80] See Chap. VII.

[81] Bochart, Lettre à M. Morley, p. 7.

[82] Journal de Henri IV., i. p. 354.

[83] See Chap. VIII.

[84] Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, p. 1550.

[85] Ibid. p. 956.

[86] French Grammar, p. 288.

[87] Diary, 8th July 1686.

[88] See the letters of De la Motte and De Luzancy, printed in Chap. III.

[89] See Chap. IX.

[90] Saint-Evremond, Works, x. xxiii.

[91] New State of England, ii. p. 15.

[92] Journal de Henri IV., p. 526.

[93] Reprinted by Dr. Brotanek, Halle, 1905.

[94] E. Gordon Duff, English Provincial Printers, p. 58.

[95] Beaumont and Fletcher, Women Pleased, Act iv. Sc. 3.

[96] See Chap. III.

[97] Gildersleeve, Government Regulations of the Elizabethan Drama, p. 70.

[98] Poems on State Affairs, ii. p. 152.

[99] Butler, Pindarick Ode to the Happy Memory of the most renowned Du Val.

[100] Chap. III.

[Pg 39]


Specimens of English, written by Frenchmen[101]


The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (1635)

The chiefest subject of this booke is, the vanity of the world and all worldly things, as wealth, honour, life, etc., and the end and scope of it, to teach a man how to submit himselfe wholly to God's providence, and to live content and thankfull in what estate or calling soever. But the booke, I doubt not, will sufficiently commend itselfe, to them who shall be able to read it with any judgement, and to compare it with all others of the same subject, written either by Christians or Heathens: so that it be remembered that it was written by a Heathen; that is, one that had no other knowledge of any God, then such as was grounded upon naturall reasons meerely; no certaine assurance of the Immortality of the soule; no other light whereby hee might know[Pg 40] what was good or bad, right or wrong, but the light of nature, and humane reason.... As for the Booke itselfe, to let it speake for itselfe; In the Author of it two maine things I conceive very considerable, which because by the knowledge of them, the use and benefit of the Booke may be much the greater then otherwise it would be, I would not have any ignorant of. The things are these: first, that he was a very great man, one that had good experience of what he spake; and secondly, that he was a very good man, one that lived as he did write, and exactly (as farre as was possible to a naturall man) performed what he exhorted others unto.

(Marcus Aurelius, His Meditations, translated out of the Originall Greeke, with Notes. London. 1635. Preface.)

On Reason (1655)

I think that man that can enjoy his natural wit and reason with sobriety, and doth affect such raptures and alienations of mind, hath attained to a good degree of madnesse, without rapture, which makes him so much to undervalue the highest gift of God, Grace excepted, sound Reason. It made Aristotle deny that any divination, either by dreams or otherwise, was from God, because not ignorant only, but wicked men also were observed to have a greater share in such, then those that were noted for either learning or piety. And truly I think it[Pg 41] is not without some providence of God that it should be so; that those whom God hath blessed with wisdome, and a discerning spirit, might the better content themselves with their share, and be the more heartily thankfull. And in very deed, sound Reason and a discerning spirit is a perpetual kind of divination: as also it is somewhere called in the Scriptures.

(A Treatise concerning Enthusiasme, London, 1655, pp. 46-47.)

[Born in Geneva, in 1599, Méric Casaubon was educated in Sedan, followed his father Isaac to the Court of James I. and settled in England where he became prebendary of Canterbury.]


Queen Henrietta of France to Prince Charles (April 15, 1646)

Deare Charles,—Having reseauved a lettre from the King[102] I have dispatch this berear, Dudley Wiatt to you, with the copie of the lettre, by which you may see the King's command to you and to me. I make no doubt that you will obey it, and suddeyneley; for sertainly your coming hither is the securitie of the King your father. Therfor make all the hast you can to showe yourself a dutifull sonne, and a carefull one, to doe all that is in your power to serve him: otherwise you may ruine the King and yourself.[Pg 42]

Now that the King is gonne from Oxford, whether to the Scotch or to Irland, the Parliament will, with alle ther power, force you to come to them. Ther is no time to be lost, therfor loose none, but come speedeley. I have writt more at large to Milord Culpepper, to show it to your Counsell. Ile say no more to you, hoping to see you shortley. I would have send you Harry Jermin but he is goinge to the Court with some commands from the King to the Queen-Regente.

Ile adde no more to this but that I am your most affectionat mother,

Henriette Marie R.

For me dearest Sonne.[103]


Extract from Claudius Mauger's French Grammar (1662)

Courteous English reader, I need not to commend you this work, having already received such a general approbation in this noble country that in eight years of time it hath been printed foure times, and so many thousands at once. Only I thank you kindly if any of my countrymen, jealous of the credit that you have given it amongst yourselves, will speak against it, he doth himselfe more harm than to me, to be alone against the[Pg 43] common voice of such a learned and heroical a Nation. Many think I beg of you. First of all be pleased to excuse me, if my English phrase do not sound well to your delicate ears. I am a learner of your tongue, and not a master; what I undertake 'tis to explain my French expressions; secondly, if any Frenchman (especially one that professeth to be a master of the Language) dispiseth it unto you, do not believe him, or if any other critical man will find faults where there are none, desire him to repair to the author, and you shall have the sport to see him shamefully convinced for some small errours of printing (although it is very exactly corrected, that cannot be hope if there be any, none but ignorants will take any advantage of them). I have added abundance of new short dialogue concerning for the most part the Triumphs of England, and a new State of France, as it is now governed, since Cardinal Mazarin's death, with two sheets, viz. the first and the last of the most necessary things belonging to the Learner, and so I desire you to make an acceptance of it. Farewell.

If anybody be pleased to find me out, he may enquire at the Bell in St. Pauls-Church-Yard, or else in Long-acre, at the signe of the French-armes at Mr. l'Anneau.

[Little is known of Claude Mauger, one of the numerous and obscure teachers of French who took refuge in London in the seventeenth century.][Pg 44]


Peter Du Moulin's Defence of the French Protestants (1675)

My angry Antagonist, to make me angry also, giveth many attacks to the French Protestants ... he saith that they had Milton's Book against our precious King and Holy Martyr in great veneration. That they will deny. But it is no extraordinary thing that wicked Books which say with a witty malice all that can be said for a bad cause, with a fluent and florid stile, are esteemed even by them that condemn them. Upon those terms Milton's wicked Book was entertained by Friends and Foes, that were Lovers of Human Learning, both in England and France. I had for my part such a jealousie to see that Traytour praised for his Language that I writ against him Clamor Regii Sanguinis ad Cœlum.

That some of the Regicides were taken in the Congregations of the French Protestants is no disgrace to them. The Churches doors are open to all commers; false Brethren and Spies enter into it. But how much they detested their act, they exprest both in their Conversation and in printed Books, as much as the English Royalists.

His Lordship supposeth that they had a kindness for Cromwell, upon this ground, that Cromwell had a kindness for them. Had his Lordship had any ground for that assertion by any act of theirs,[Pg 45] he would have been sure to have told us of it. It is true that Cromwell did them that kindness by his interest with Mazarin to make them injoy the benefits of the Edicts made in their favour. He knew that it was the interest of the King of England (which he would have been) to oblige his Protestant Neighbours, and to shew himself the Head of the Protestant Cause.

(A Reply to a Person of Honour, London, 1675, pp. 39-41.)

[Eldest son to Pierre Du Moulin, pastor at Charenton, Peter Du Moulin studied at Sedan and Leyden, was tutor to Richard Boyle, took orders, threw in his lot with the royalists, and became in 1660 prebendary of Canterbury.]


Letter to Secretary Williamson (July 20, 1676)

Since I live here[104] on the gracious effects of your liberality I think I am obliged to give you an account of my behaviour and studies, and I do it in English, though I am not ignorant you know French better than I do. I do what lies in me to be not altogether useless in the Church of England. I have got that tongue already well enough to peruse the English books and to read prayers which I have done in several churches and I have made three sermons I am ready to preach in a fortnight.[Pg 46] Some scholars I have showed them to, have found but very few faults in my expressions. I hope to do better in a short time, for I pronounce English well enough to be understood by the people, and have a great facility to write it, having perused to that end many of your best English divines, so I hope in three months to be able to preach every week. I hope your Lordship will make good my troubling you with this letter, considering I am in a manner obliged to do so to acknowledge the exceeding charity you have showed me which makes me offer every day my humble prayers to God for your prosperity.

[François de la Motte, an ex-Carmelite, came over to England, was befriended by Secretary Williamson, and owing to the latter's patronage entered the Church. The above letter is printed in Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1676-1677, p. 235. There are still extant a few sermons of this preacher.]


Apology for the Congregational Churches (1680)

I think myself here obliged to add an Apology as to my own Account, for what I have said as to the Independant Churches. I do imagine I shall be accused at first for having made the description of the Congregational way, not according as it is in effect, but in that manner as Xenophon did the Cyropædia to be the perfect model of a Prince. They will say that any other interest than that[Pg 47] of the inward knowledge I have of the goodness, truth, and holiness of the Congregational way, ought to have excited me to commend it as I have done. That I commend what I do not approve in the bottome of my heart, since I do not joyn my self to it.... To which, I answer that though I should joyn my self to their Assemblies, it would be no argument that I should approve of all the things they did, and all they believed, as they cannot conclude by my not joyning to their Congregations, that I have not the Congregational way in greater and higher esteem than any other. As I am a Frenchman, and by the grace of God of the Reformed Church, I joyn to the Church of my own Nation, to which I am so much the more strongly invited by the holiness of the Doctrines, and lives of our excellent Pastors, Monsieur Mussard and Monsieur Primerose, and because they administer the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in the same manner as Jesus Christ did it with His Disciples; not having anything to give me offence in their conduct, unless that they are not absolutely undeceived of the practice of our Pastors in France, of excommunicating in the name and authority of Jesus Christ, and of interposing the same sacred Name, and the same sacred Authority to excommunicate as St. Paul made use of to deliver the Incestuous person over to Satan....

(Conformity of the Discipline and Government of the Independants to that of the Primitive Church, London, 1680, p. 54.)

[Pg 48]

[Second son to Pierre Du Moulin, Louis Du Moulin came to England with his father, and followed the fortunes of the Independents. He was seventy-four when he published the above work. He died three years after, at Westminster, confessing his errors, according to Bishop Burnet, whose zeal in this case got the better of his discretion.]


Speech to the Duke of Ormond (1680)

I should not presume to take up any part of that time, which your Grace so happily employs in the Government and Conservation of a whole Nation; nor to divert the rest of this honourable Board from those important Affairs, which usually call your Lordships hither; were I not under an Obligation both of Gratitude and Duty, to be an Interpreter for those poor Protestants, lately come out of France, to take Sanctuary with you: and to express for them and in their names, as they have earnestly desired me, a part of that grateful sense, which they have, and will for ever preserve, of your Lordships' Christian Charity and Generosity towards them: This they have often, I assure you, acknowledg'd to Heav'n in their Pray'rs, but cou'd not be satisfied, till they had made their solemn and publick Acknowledgments to their Noble Benefactors.

(A Speech made to His Grace the Duke of Ormond, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and to the Lords of the Privy Council, Dublin.)

[Pg 49]

[Pierre Drelincourt was the sixth son of Charles Drelincourt, the author of the famous Consolations, translated into English 1675, and to a later edition of which Defoe was to append the story of the ghost of Mrs. Veal. Pierre studied in Geneva, went over to England, took Orders and became Dean of Armagh. The Doctor Drelincourt of whom Coste speaks (see Chapter X.) was Pierre's brother.]


Letter to Pepys (Jan. 18, 1688-89)

Sir,—I have bin desired by your friends to send you the inclos'd paper, by which you may easily be made sensible how we are overrun with pride, heat, and faction; and unjust to ourselves of the greatest honor and advantage which we could ever attain to, in the choice of so great and so good a man as you are. Had reason had the least place amongst us, or any love for ourselves, we had certainly carried it for you. Yet, if we are not by this late defection altogether become unworthy of you, I dare almost be confident, that an earlier application of the appearing of yourself or Sir Anthony Deane, will put the thing out of doubt against the next Parlement. A conventicle set up here since this unhappy Liberty of Conscience has bin the cause of all this. In the meantime, my poor endeavours shall not be wanting, and though my stedfastness to your interests these ten[Pg 50] years has almost ruined me, yet I shall continue as long as I live,

Your most humble and most obedient Servant,

De Luzancy, Minister of Harwich.

(Corr. of Samuel Pepys, p. 740.)

[De Luzancy, an ex-monk, came over to England and became minister to the French congregation in Harwich. The above letter refers to an election at Harwich, when Pepys was not returned.]


On England and the English (1691)

As the country is temperate and moist, so the English have naturally the advantages of a clear complexion; not sindged as in hot climates, nor weather-beaten as in cold regions. The generality, of a comely stature, graceful countenance, well-featured, gray-eyed, and brown-haired. But for talness and strength the Western people exceed all the rest.

The women generally more handsome than in other places, and without sophistications, sufficiently indowed with natural beauties. In an absolute woman, say the Italians, are required the parts of a Dutch woman from the waste downwards, of a French woman from the waste up to the shoulders; and over them an English face.

In short there is no country in Europe where youth is generally so charming, men so proper and well proportioned, and women so beautiful.[Pg 51]

The truth is, this happiness is not only to be attributed to the clemency of the air. Their easy life under the best of governments, which saves them from the drudgery and hardships of other nations, has a great hand in it.

For merchandizing and navigation, no people can compare with them but the Hollanders. For literature, especially since the Reformation, there is no nation in the world so generally knowing. And, as experimental philosophy, so divinity, both scholastick and practical, has been improved here beyond all other places. Which makes foreign divines, and the best sort of them, so conversant with the learned works of those famous lights of the Church, our best English divines.

In short, the English genius is for close speaking and writing, and always to the point.... The gawdy part and pomp of Rhetorick, so much affected by the French, is slighted by the English; who, like men of reason, stick chiefly to Logick.

(State of England, London, 1691, Part II., pp. 3-12.)

[Little is known of Guy Miège, a refugee who continued, under William iii., Chamberlayne's Angliæ Notitia.]


Against the Unitarians (1699)

I cannot but admire that they who within these few years have in this kingdom embraced[Pg 52] Socinus his opinions, should consider no better how little success they have had elsewhere against the truth, and that upon the score of their divisions, which will unavoidably follow, till they can agree in unanimously rejecting the authority of Scripture. Neither doth it avail them anything to use quibbles and evasions, and weak conjectures, since they are often unanswerably confuted even by some of their brethren, who are more dexterous than they in expounding of Scriptures.

But being resolved by all means to defend their tenents, some chief men amongst them have undertaken to set aside the authority of Scriptures, which is so troublesome to them: and the author of a late book, intitled Considerations, maintains that the Gospels have been corrupted by the Orthodox party, and suspects that of St. John to be the work of Cerinthus.

It is no very easy task to dispute against men whose principles are so uncertain, and who in a manner have no regard to the authority of Scripture. It was much less difficult to undertake Socinus himself, because he owned however the authority of Scripture, and that it had not been corrupted. But one knows not how to deal with his disciples, who in their opinion seem to be so contrary to him, and one another.

(The Judgment of the Ancient Jewish Church against the Unitarians, London, 1699, Preface.)

[Pg 53]

[Pierre Allix, born in Alençon in 1641, died in London in 1717. He was pastor at Charenton up to 1685, when he fled to England and became Canon of Salisbury. He contemplated writing a history of the Councils in seven volumes. A special Act of Parliament (11 & 12 Will. iii., c. 3) was obtained, providing that the paper for the entire work should be imported duty free.]


Upon History (1702)

Some writers barely relate the actions of men, without speaking of their motives, and, like gazeteers, are contented to acquaint us with matter of fact, without tracing it to its spring and cause; others, on the contrary, are so full of politicks and finesse, that they find cunning and design in the most natural and innocent actions. Some, to make their court to the powerful, debase the dignity of history, by cringing and adulation; whilst others, to serve a party, or faction, or merely to gratify their ill-nature, rake up all the scandal of men's lives, give a malicious turn to every thing, and libel every body, even without respecting the sacred Majesty of Princes. Another sort moralize upon every petty accident, and seem to set up for philosophers, instead of historians. And lastly, others are peremptory in their decisions, and impose on the world their conjectures for real truths.[Pg 54]

These faults I have endeavoured to avoid. When I relate matters of fact, I deduce them, as far as my informations permit me, from their true causes, without making men more politick, or subtle, than nature has made them. I commend what, in conscience I believe, deserves to be commended, without any prospect of favour, or private interest; and I censure what I think deserves to be blam'd, with the liberty that becomes a faithful unprejudic'd historian, tho' with due regard to persons, whose birth, dignity and character command the respect, even of those who disapprove their actions. I am sparing of reflections, unless it be upon those remarkable events from which they naturally result; and I never biass the reader's judgment by any conjectural impositions of my own.

Yet after all these precautions, I am not so vain as to expect to please all: for how were it possible to gain the general approbation, when people differ so much in opinion about the Prince, whose history I have attempted to write?

(The History of King William the Third, London, 1702, Preface.)

[Born in Castres in 1664, Boyer lived in Switzerland and Holland before settling in England, where he became a journalist and party-writer. He edited a French-English and English-French Dictionary which was long a classic. Swift honoured him once with the appellation of "French dog."][Pg 55]


Extract from a Letter to the Spectator (1712)

Sir,—Since so many dealers turn authors, and write quaint advertisements in praise of their wares, one who from an author turn'd dealer may be allowed for the advancement of trade to turn author again. I will not however set up like some of 'em, for selling cheaper than the most able honest tradesman can; nor do I send this to be better known for choice and cheapness of China and Japan wares, tea, fans, muslins, pictures, arrack, and other Indian goods. Placed as I am in Leadenhall-street, near the India-Company, and the centre of that trade, thanks to my fair customers, my warehouse is graced as well as the benefit days of my Plays and Operas; and the foreign goods I sell seem no less acceptable than the foreign books I translated, Rabelais and Don Quixote. This the critics allow me, and while they like my wares, they may dispraise my writing. But as 'tis not so well known yet that I frequently cross the seas of late, and speaking Dutch and French, besides other languages, I have the conveniency of buying and importing rich brocades, Dutch atlasses, with gold and silver, or without, and other foreign silks of the newest modes and best fabricks, fine Flanders lace, linnens, and pictures, at the best hand. This my new way of trade I have fallen into I cannot better publish than by an application to[Pg 56] you. My wares are fit only for such as your traders; and I would beg of you to print this address in your paper, that those whose minds you adorn may take the ornaments for their persons and houses from me....[105]

A Song

Lovely charmer, dearest creature,
Kind invader of my heart,
Grac'd with every gift of nature,
Rais'd with every grace of art!
Oh! cou'd I but make thee love me,
As thy charms my heart have mov'd,
None cou'd e'er be blest above me,
None cou'd e'er be more belov'd.
(The Island Princess or the Generous Portuguese, 1734.)

To the Audience

... So will the curse of scribling on you fall;
Egad, these times make poets of us all.
Then do not damn your brothers of the quill;
To be reveng'd, there's hope you'll write as ill.
For ne'er were seen more scribes, yet less good writing,
And there ne'er were more soldiers, yet less fighting.
Both can do nothing if they want supplies,
Then aid us, and our league its neighbouring foes defies;
Tho' they brib'd lately one of our allies.
Sure you'd not have us, for want of due pittance,
Like nincompoops sneak to them for admittance,
No; propt by you, our fears and dangers cease,
Here firm, tho' wealth decay, and foes increase,
We'll bravely tug for liberty and peace.
(The Loves of Mars and Venus, Epilogue, 1735.)

[Pg 57]

[Pierre Antoine Motteux, born at Rouen in 1660, came over to England in 1685, wrote plays and poems, translated Bayle and Montaigne, and established himself as a trader in Leadenhall street.]


Letter to Desmaizeaux

Sir,—I sometime ago acquainted my Lord of your readyness to serve his Lordship in making a Catalogue of his books. His Lordship's new Library being now near finished the Books cannot be removed thither 'till the Catalogue be made. If your health will permit you, His Lordship would be glad to see you here. Mr. Beauvais will deliver you this, and at the same time will desire you to wait upon my Lord Parker, who will inform you how you may come; either on Monday next or the next week after, in my Lord's Coach. I should be very glad to see you, being, Sir, your most humble servant,

John Abbadie.

Shirburn, 14th Nov. [17—.]

(Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 4281.)

[Jean Abbadie was a French valet. In another letter to Desmaizeaux, written in French, and dated Aug. 2, 1718, he tells how a noble Lord whom he had faithfully served dismissed him because he could not play the French horn "par la raison que je ne say pas sonner du cor de chasse"!][Pg 58]


Letter to Dr. Charlett (March 27, 1718)

Reverend Sir,—I received yours, wherein you demonstrated your friendship by overlooking all the imperfections of my poor work. I wish I could find in my style that facility and felicity of language, which your great goodness flatters me with. To write Latin, is what of all the perfections of a Scholar I admire most; but I know myself so well, as to be sensible how much I fall short of it. I have herein inclosed something that will still try your patience and goodness. 'Tis a poor copy of verses, which (after a long desuetude) I ventured to make in France, upon the occasion of presenting my last book to the King's Library; and I met with such friends, who to shew their civility to me, commanded it to be printed at the Royal Printing-house, and published their candor at the expense of exposing my faults. 'Tis ridiculous to turn poet in my old age. But you'll excuse everything in an old friend. What you mention in your letter concerning other printers, is what I am now pursuing; the work is already begun; the name is Annales Typographici; it will be three volumes in 4to. And I hope the first will come out by next midsummer.... I am come to the end of my paper, and by this time to the end of your patience; having just room enough to subscribe[Pg 59] myself, Worthy Sir, Your most humble and most obedient Servt.

M. Maittaire.

(Printed by Aubrey, Letters written by Eminent Persons, London, 1813, ii. pp. 37-39.)

[Born in France in 1668, came over to England when a boy, studied in Westminster School, of which he ultimately became a master. He died in London in 1747.]


To Lady Hervey (1725?)

Hervey, would you know the passion
You have kindled in my breast?
Trifling is the inclination
That by words can be expressed.
In my silence see the lover:
True love is best by silence known;
In my eyes you'll discover
All the power of your own.

Letter to Pierre Desmaizeaux (1725?)

I hear Prevost hath a mind to bring you a second time as an evidence against me. He sais I have told you I had given him five and twenty books for thirty guineas. I remember very well, Sir, I told you at Rainbow's Coffee-House that I had given him twenty subscription receipts for the Henriade and received thirty guineas down; but I never meant to have parted with thirty copies at three guineas each, for thirty-one pounds,[Pg 60] I have agreed with him upon quite another foot; and I am not such a fool (tho' a writer) to give away all my property to a bookseller.

Therefore I desire you to remember that I never told you of my having made so silly a bargain. I told, I own, I had thirty pounds or some equivalent down, but I did not say twas all the bargain, this I insist upon and beseech you to recollect our conversation: for I am sure I never told a tale so contrary to truth, to reason, and to my interest. I hope you will not back the injustice of a bookseller who abuses you against a man of honour who is your most humble servant. Voltaire.

I beseech you to send me an answer to my lodging without any delay. I shall be extremely obliged to you.

(British Museum, Add. MSS. 4288, fol. 229. Printed by J. Churton Collins and by Ballantyne.)

Letter to Joseph Craddock (1773)

Ferney, October 9, 1773.


Thanks to your muse a foreign copper shines
Turn'd in to gold, and coin'd in sterling lines.

You have done too much honour to an old sick man of eighty.—I am with the most sincere esteem and gratitude, Sir, your obedient servant,


(Ballantyne, Voltaire's Visit to England, p. 69.)

[Pg 61]

[With Voltaire these Specimens must end. To quote Père Le Courayer, Letourneur, Suard, or Baron D'Holbach would be unduly to prolong an argument that should stop on the threshold of the eighteenth century.]


[101] For specimens of French written by Englishmen, see Anglais et Français au XVIIe Siècle, ch. iv.

[102] Charles i.

[103] Cal. Clarendon State Papers, ii., No. 2214. See also Eva Scott, King in Exile, p. 9.

[104] In Oxford.

[105] Spectator, No. 288, 30th January 1712.

[Pg 62]


Gallomania in England (1600-85)

The English have always been divided between a wish to admire and a tendency to detest us. France is for her neighbour a coquette whimsical enough to deserve to be beaten and loved at the same time. The initial misunderstanding between the two nations endures through ages, sometimes threatening open war, more seldom ready to be cleared up. A few miles of deep sea cuts Great Britain off from the rest of Europe. As England has retained no possessions on the Continent, no intermediary race has sprung up, as is the case with most of the Western Powers on their borderlands. Thus the French and Germans are linked together by the Flemings, Alsatians, and Swiss; the Savoyards and Corsicans are a cross between the French and the Italians; and before reaching Spain, a Frenchman must traverse vast tracts of land inhabited by Basques and Catalans; but a few hours' sail from Calais to Dover, from Rotterdam or Antwerp to Harwich will bring a traveller from the Continent into an entirely new world. To avoid disagreements, in the[Pg 63] past infinite tact and patience were requisite on both sides of the Channel: our indiscreet friends made us unpopular with their fellow-countrymen. The story of English gallomania, which is amusing enough, is thus also instructive, as a few episodes will show.[106]

In the sixteenth century, Italy, just emerging from her glorious Renaissance, charmed England; but common interests, political and economical necessities, a degree of civilisation almost the same, prevented her from neglecting us altogether. In the following century, the marriage of Charles i. with a daughter of Henri iv. made French fashions acceptable for a time in Whitehall. But misfortune overtook the Stuarts. The Great Rebellion broke out, Charles i. was put to death and his son exiled. During over twelve years, the future King of England lived in French-speaking countries; when restored to his throne, he could not help bringing back our fashions, literature, manners of thinking and doing; of all the Kings of England, from Plantagenets to Edward vii., Charles ii., in spite of some diplomatic reserve and occasional outbursts of insularity, proved the most amenable to French influence: perhaps that is why his popularity was so great; the English would admire France without stint, if France were but her finest colony.

If the courtiers imitated French manners to please the monarch, the citizens did so to copy[Pg 64] the courtiers; so that, about 1632 and 1670, all the frivolous, unreflective idlers that England numbered, were bent on appearing French. Few examples are more striking of the power of the curious desire that possesses ordinary mankind to astonish simple souls by aping the eccentricities of the higher classes.

The mania was carefully studied by contemporary writers: they describe the morbid symptoms with so much accuracy and minuteness as to render all conjectures superfluous.

The disease was developed chiefly by travelling. Attracted by the mildness of a foreign climate and dazzled by the luxurious life of the nobles there, the young Englishman feels estranged from his native land and the rude simplicity of his home. When he comes back, the contrast between his new ideas and his old surroundings, the conflict waged in his own heart between Continental influence and insularity, are fit themes for a tragedy or at least a tragi-comedy. The character of the frenchified Englishman appears several times on the stage in Beaumont and Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas, in Marston's What you Will, in Davenant's Fair Favourite. Others, again, picture the young fop just back from Paris, clad in strange garments, praising foreign manners, so affected as to disregard his mother-tongue.

About 1609 or 1610, Beaumont and Fletcher sketch the man's character. "The dangers of the merciless Channel 'twixt Dover and Calais, five[Pg 65] long hours' sail, with three poor weeks' victuals. Then to land dumb, unable to inquire for an English host, to remove from city to city, by most chargeable post-horse, like one that rode in quest of his mother-tongue. And all these almost invincible labours performed for your mistress, to be in danger to forsake her, and to put on new allegiance to some French lady, who is content to change language with your laughter, and after your whole year spent in tennis and broken speech, to stand to the hazard of being laughed at, at your return, and have tales made on you by the chamber-maids."[107]

As a fervid preacher finds hearers, so the traveller induces some of his friends to share his mania. The infection spreads in spite of ridicule:

"Would you believe, when you this monsieur see,
That his whole body should speake French, not he?
That he, untravell'd, should be French so much,
As Frenchmen in his company should seem Dutch?...
Or is it some French statue? No: 't doth move,
And stoope, and cringe...."[108]

The most frequent symptom of gallomania in early, as in recent times, is to use French words in everyday conversation. So Sir Thomas More laughed at the fop who affected to pronounce English as French but whose French sounded strangely like English.[109]

[Pg 66]

In the sixteenth century, as in the Middle Ages, French was as generally used as Latin. "In England," wrote Peletier, "at least among princes and in their courts, all their discourses are in French."[110] A few years later, Burghley advised his son Thomas, then travelling on the Continent, to write in Latin or in French.[111] In schools, French was taught with great zeal, and, according to Sylvester, the future translator of Du Bartas, it was forbidden to speak English, however trivial the matter, under penalty of wearing the foolscap.

In spite of these stringent methods of education, backward pupils were not lacking. They were sent to France, but even this desperate remedy was sometimes unavailing; witness Beaumont and Fletcher's youth whose mother, asking him on his return to speak French, was shocked at hearing only a few broken words of abuse.[112]

Yet it was imperative to speak French correctly at Queen Henrietta's Court. Of course the ladies succeeded. In Blount's Preface to Lyly's plays we read that "the beautie in court which could not parley euphuisme, was as litle regarded, as shee which now there, speakes not French."[113]


[Pg 67]What was the distinctive mark of a good education under Charles i., was equally so under Charles ii. "All the persons of quality in England could speak French." The Queen, the Duchess of York spoke "marvellously well."[114] There was no need to know English at Whitehall: few French gentlemen troubled to learn it, but the English unfortunate enough not to know French had to conceal the defect. These would repeat the same foreign words or phrases; "to smatter French" being "meritorious."[115] "Can there be," exclaims Shadwell, "any conversation well drest without French in the first place to lard it!"[116] In an amusing scene, Dryden shows a coquette rehearsing a polite conversation: "Are you not a most precious damsel," she says to her teacher, "to retard all my visits for want of language, when you know you are paid so well for furnishing me with new words for my daily conversation? Let me die, if I have not run the risque already to speak like one of the vulgar; and if I have one phrase left in all my store that is not threadbare and usé, and fit for nothing but to be thrown to peasants."[117]

Fops followed the example set by coquettes. Monsieur de Paris and Sir Fopling Flutter "show their breeding" by "speaking in a silly soft tone of a voice, and use all the foolish French words that will infallibly make their conversation charming."[118]

After an interval of a hundred years, the reproaches of Sir Thomas More were repeated. If we must credit Shadwell, the youth of England[Pg 68] had forgotten their English through studying foreign languages with too much application: they return "from Paris with a smattering of that mighty universal language, without being ever able to write true English."[119] And, again, "all our sparks are so refined they scarce speak a sentence without a French word, and though they seldom arrive at good French, yet they get enough to spoil their English."[120]

From time immemorial Europe has learned from Paris polished manners and the inimitable art of good tailoring. In the sixteenth-century drama, the tailors are invariably French. Harrison deplored the introduction of new fashions, regretting the time "when an Englishman was known abroad by his own cloth, and contented himself at home with his fine kersey hosen, and a mean slop, a doublet of sad tawny or black velvet or other comely silk." Then he proceeds to inveigh against the "garish colours brought in by the consent of the French, who think themselves the gayest men when they have most diversities of jags (ribbons)" and "the short French breeches" that liken his countrymen "unto dogs in doublets." The dramatists constantly mention "French hose, hoods, masks, and sticks," thus attesting the vogue of the Paris fashions. In one of Chapman's plays, two shipwrecked gentlemen cast ashore at the mouth of the Thames think they have reached the coasts of France; seeing a couple of natives drawing near,[Pg 69] one of them exclaims: "I knew we were in France: dost thou think our Englishmen are so frenchified, that a man knows not whether he be in France or in England, when he sees them?"[121]

The lover of France was a true epicure as well as a fop. In the houses of the nobility the cooks were invariably French. "I'll have none," says one of Massinger's characters, "shall touch what I shall eat but Frenchmen and Italians; they wear satin, and dish no meat but in silver."[122] We must go to Overbury for the portrait of a French cook "who doth not feed the belly, but the palate. The serving-men call him the last relique of popery, that makes men fast against their conscience.... He can be truly said to be no man's fellow but his master's: for the rest of his servants are starved by him.... The Lord calls him his alchymist that can extract gold out of herbs, roots, mushrooms, or anything.... He dare not for his life come among the butchers; for sure they would quarter and bake him after the English fashion, he's such an enemy to beef and mutton."[123]

Gallomania quickly spread after the Restoration. The Record Office has preserved the name of the French tailor, Claude Sourceau, who helped the Englishman, John Allen, to make Charles ii.'s coronation robes.[124] As early as October 20, 1660, Pepys, dining with Lord Sandwich, heard the latter "talk very high how he would have a French[Pg 70] cooke, and a master of his horse, and his lady and child to wear black patches"; which was quite natural, since "he was become a perfect courtier"; and on December 6, 1661, My Lady Wright declared in Pepys' hearing "that none were fit to be courtiers, but such as had been abroad and knew fashions." Soon the motto at Court was to

"Admire whate'er they find abroad,
But nothing here, though e'er so good."[125]

Hamilton tells in his delightful Mémoires de Gramont how every week there came from France "perfumed gloves, pocket-mirrors, dressing-cases, apricot-jam and essences." Every month the Paris milliners sent over to London a jointed doll, habited after the manner of the stars that shone at the Court of the Grand Monarch.[126] According to M. Renan, the dreamy Breton blue eyes of Mademoiselle de Kéroualle conquered Charles ii.; but we feel inclined to think that the monarch appreciated also her brilliant success as a leader of fashion. As Butler satirically said, the French gave the English "laws for pantaloons, port-cannons, periwigs and feathers."[127] Every one spoke of "bouillis, ragouts, fricassés," bordeaux and champagne were drunk instead of national beer.[128]


[Pg 71]The City ladies tried to outdo the Court belles. One of them "had always the fashion a month before any of the Court ladies; never wore anything made in England; scarce wash'd there; and had all the affected new words sent her, before they were in print, which made her pass among fops for a kind of French wit."[129]

The movement, of course, elicited a violent opposition. Poets and dramatists were banded together in denouncing the subservience to France of a portion of English society. At times, these nationalists went perhaps too far in their praise of old manners and old fashions. Assuredly any reasonable man will side with Sir Fopling Flutter in preferring the wax candle, albeit from France, to the time-honoured tallow candle.[130]

Butler's notebooks, which were published a few years ago, reveal in the man a singularly conservative state of mind. The French are the same, he thinks, to the English nation as the Jews or the Greeks were to the Romans of old. Fashions, cooking, books, all that comes from France is to be abhorred.[131]

One day Evelyn, champion as he was of all generous ideas, determined to bring his countrymen back to their forefathers' simplicity. He accordingly wrote an "invective" against the fashions of France and proposed to adopt in their stead the "Persian costume," "a long cassock fitted close to the body, of black cloth, and pinked with[Pg 72] white silk under it, and a coat over it, and the legs ruffled with black ribbon." Under the title of Tyrannus or the Mode, the pamphlet was dedicated to the King. Apparently Charles ii. was very idle at the time: the idea pleased him and he donned the "oriental vest." Several members of the House of Commons, probably by way of protesting against the dissoluteness of the Court, had forestalled him. While Evelyn was gravely congratulating himself on the good effect of his pamphlet, the King, in the vein of irrepressible "blague" that was his characteristic trait, remarked that the "pinking upon white made his courtiers look like so many magpies." A few days after, upon hearing that the King of France had caused all his footmen to be put into vests, Charles ii. quietly reverted to the French fashion, "which," as Guy Miège wrote after the Revolution, "has continued ever since."[132]

Though beaten in that particular instance, the nationalists were to carry the day, thanks to the power of tradition and the strong individualism of the English nation. For a hundred years at least, it had been recognised as an assured principle that an Englishman ran the risk of depravation if he ventured abroad.[133] What could the fancy of a few courtiers avail against universal consent?[Pg 73] All the satirical poets—Wyatt, Gascoigne, Bishop Hall, Butler—had successfully declaimed against foreigners and frenchified Englishmen. Even Charles ii. applauded Howard's comedy, The English Monsieur. Then, as now, for the average Englishman, Paris was pre-eminently the pleasure-city. It was even worse at times: if gentlemen fought private duels, it was to copy the French.[134] A man as well-informed as the Earl of Halifax feared that the famous poisoning cases in which the Marquise de Brinvilliers and the woman Voisin were concerned, might find imitators in England, "since we are likely to receive hereafter that with other fashions."[135] As the Chinese in modern America, so the Frenchman was looked upon as a suspicious character; not altogether without cause: the cooks, tailors, and valets, the adventurers of the Gramont type lurking about the Court, were redolent of vice. Pepys, who had nothing of the saint about him, could not hide his aversion for Edward Montagu's French valet, the mysterious Eschar, most probably a spy. The great ladies had the habit, which seems so strange to us, to be waited upon by valets instead of maids. When the valet came from France, the pretext for scandal was eagerly seized upon.[136]

If anglomania was unknown to France in the seventeenth century, yet Frenchmen were found[Pg 74] who appreciated England. Some lived at Court, during Louis xiv.'s minority and later, when the King of England was in the pay of his cousin, the Grand Monarch. No doubt English literature did not profit by those good dispositions, for the simple reason that none of those Frenchmen knew English.

Both Cardinal Mazarin and the Grande Mademoiselle caused horses to be imported from England, but Colbert found them rather expensive. When he received instructions to build Versailles, the minister had to be resigned to extravagance. Henrietta of England stood in high favour with the King, and all that came from England proved acceptable; overwhelmed with work, responsible for the national finances, the navy and public prosperity, the great minister was compelled to discuss trivial details; the same year as the Treaty of Dover was signed, he corresponded with Ambassador Colbert de Croissy about the purchase for the canal at Versailles of two "small yachts." The boats were built in Chatham dockyard, sent to France, and workmen were dispatched to carve and gild the figure-heads.[137]

After Bonnart

[Pg 75]

When Locke visited Paris in 1679, he found some admirers of England. He was told that Prince de Conti, then aged seventeen, proposed to learn English.[138] No wonder the princes of the blood were anxious to know all about the allies of France. The King himself had shown as much curiosity as his exalted station allowed. He had asked his envoys to forward him reports on the government and institutions of the newly-discovered land, on the state of arts and sciences there, on the latest Court scandals. In the Colbert papers may be found reports on the state of the English navy, by superintendent Arnoul, a learned disquisition on the origin of Parliaments, and amusing bits of information, such as the following, about Charles ii.'s Queen: "She is extremely clean and takes a bath once every six weeks, winter and summer. Nobody ever sees her in her bath, not even her maids, curtains being drawn around."

When Gilbert Burnet visited Paris in 1685, he was asked on behalf of the Archbishop if he would write in English a memoir of Louis xiv. From which significant fact it may be inferred that in official circles the state of public opinion in England was beginning to be taken into account.[139]

In all these manifestations of gallomania and incipient anglomania, there is ample matter for ridicule. We should gladly give up the imitation of French fashions and French cooking and the passion for English horses and yachts, just to have once more an instance of the noble spirit of rivalry that Spenser showed when, after reading Du Bellay's poems, he exclaimed:—

"France, fruitful of brave wits."

Yet efforts were being made during the whole[Pg 76] seventeenth century to bring about an understanding between the two neighbouring nations. Unluckily the methods pursued were calculated to make France most unpopular with the larger section of the English public.


[106] See on the subject Sir Sidney Lee, French Renaissance in England; Upham, French Influence in English Literature, Charlanne, L'influence française en Angleterre au XVIIe Siècle.

[107] Scornful Lady, Act I. Sc. 1.

[108] Chalmers, English Poets, v. p. 506.


"Et Gallice linguam sonat Britannicam,
Et Gallice omnem, præter unam Gallicam,
Nam Gallicam solam sonat Britannice."
Thomæ Mori Lucubrationes (Basil, 1563), p. 209.

[110] Dialogues de l'orthografe, p. 60 (1550).

[111] State Papers, Dom., Eliz. xix. No. 35; see also The Travels of Nicander Nucius (Camden Soc.), p. 13; Paul Jove, Descriptio Britanniæ, Venice, 1548. "Aulæ et foro Gallicus sermo familiaris."

[112] The Coxcomb, Act IV. Sc. 1 (1610)

[113] Six Court Comedies, 1632.

[114] Mauger, French Grammar, pp. 189, 217, 234.

[115] Butler, On our Ridiculous Imitation of the French.

[116] Bury Fair, Act ii. Sc. 1.

[117] Marriage à la Mode, Act iii. Sc. 1.

[118] Etheredge, Man of Mode, Act ii. Sc. 1.

[119] Virtuoso, Act i. Sc. 1.

[120] True Widow, Act ii. Sc. 1.

[121] Eastward Hoe, Act ii. Sc. 1 (1605).

[122] City Madam, Act i. Sc. 1 (1632).

[123] Characters, p. 144 (1614).

[124] State Papers, Dom., 1665-1666, p. 481.

[125] Butler, op. cit.

[126] Spectator, No. 277.

[127] Hudibras, iii. 923.

[128] "Put about a cup of ale, is this not better than your foolish French kickshaw claret."—Shadwell, Epsom-Wells, Act i. Sc. 1.

[129] True Widow, Act i. Sc. 1.

[130] "How can you breathe in a room where there's grease frying? Advise My Lady to burn wax lights."—Man of Mode, Act iv. Sc. 1.

[131] Characters, pp. 419, 424, 469.

[132] See Evelyn, Diary, 18th-30th October 1666; Pepys, Diary, 15th-17th October, 22nd November 1666; Miège, New State of England, ii. p. 38; State Papers, Dom., 1666, p. 191.

[133] Ascham, The Schole-master, 1570, pp. 26 ssq.; Nash, The Unfortunate Traveller, 1587 (Works, ii. p. 300)

[134] Beaumont and Fletcher, Little French Lawyer, Act i. Sc. 1.

[135] Savile Correspondence, p. 143.

[136] Etheredge, Man of Mode, Act iv. Sc. 2.

[137] Lettres, Mémoires et Instructions de Colbert, v. p. 322.

[138] King, Life and Letters of Locke, p. 83.

[139] Clarke and Foxcroft, Life of Burnet, p. 210.

[Pg 77]


Huguenot Thought in England


From a literary point of view the intercourse between England and France in the period that immediately preceded and followed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) has been exhaustively studied by M. Texte[140] and M. Jusserand,[141] both coming after M. Sayous.[142] We propose, while tracing the progress of political speculation among the Huguenots, to discover to what extent they influenced English thought. The field of research is extensive: a mass of information on the subject lies scattered in books, some of which are scarce, and the numerous manuscript sources have been hitherto imperfectly explored. We cannot hope to do more than draw a general outline of a profoundly interesting subject.

From the dawn of the Reformation, different reasons impelled the Huguenots to look towards England. Besides the natural link formed by[Pg 78] community of thought in a matter that then pervaded life, i.e. religious belief, political necessities led the Huguenots to seek the friendship of England. Having the same household gods, the Huguenots and the English loved the same mystical Fatherland, which dangers, ambitions, and interests shared in common invested with stern reality. As the Huguenots increased, they grew from a sect to a faction which, seeking alliances abroad, sent envoys to the foreign Courts. According also to the vicissitudes of their fortunes, streams of Huguenot refugees would flow from time to time towards the neighbouring countries likely to welcome them. Thus from the first were the Huguenots represented in England, not only by their noblemen, but by their democracy.

A whole book might be written on the influence of Calvin in England, both within and without the Church. To a student of comparative literature, if the word be understood in the larger sense of intercommunication of thought among nations, the part played by Calvin in the early framing of the institutions of the English Reformation is a matter not too unimportant to be overlooked.[143]

The first mention of Huguenot refugees in England occurs under the reign of Henry viii., when in 1535-36 forty-five naturalizations were granted. When, responding to an appeal from[Pg 79] Archbishop Cranmer, Bucer and his disciple Buchlein repaired to England, in 1549, they met in the Archbishop's Palace Peter Martyr and "diverse pious Frenchmen."[144] M. de Schickler and M. Jusserand have rescued from long oblivion Claude de Saint-Lien, who, quaintly anglicising his name into Holy-Band, began earning his bread by teaching his mother tongue.

But it was only after Saint Bartholomew's Day that the Huguenot colonies in England grew to such numbers as to form congregations. Several illustrious Huguenots then found a last home in England. Admiral Coligny's brother, Cardinal Odet de Chatillon, lies buried in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1591 Du Plessis-Mornay was in London with Montgomery and the Vidame de Chartres, negotiating an alliance with Elizabeth, and, with characteristic lack of diplomacy, availing himself of his stay in England to intercede with the Queen's counsellors in favour of the Puritans.[145] Though befriended by Archbishop Parker and Sir Robert Cecil, "the gentle and profitable strangers," as Strype calls the Huguenots,[146] were not generally welcome. Popular prejudice was so strong against the newcomers that a Bill was introduced in Parliament in 1593, prohibiting them from selling foreign goods by retail.[147] The[Pg 80] settlers, averaging during the sixteenth century about 10,000, were chiefly skilled artisans, weavers, printers, binders, or ministers, physicians, and teachers. By some curious unexplained accident, Shakespeare lodged from 1598 to 1604 in the house of a Huguenot wig-maker, Christophe Mongoye by name.[148]

With James i. the political preoccupations fell into the background; the King sought the company of the most famous Continental scholars. In 1611 he invited to his Court Isaac Casaubon, and three years later, at the instance of his Huguenot physician, Sir Théodore Mayerne, Pierre Du Moulin, the minister at Charenton. In the train of the scholars came over the men of letters, among them Jean de Schélandre, the future author of the epic La Stuartide, inscribed to James I.

In 1642, on the eve of the Civil War, there died in London the notorious Benjamin de Rohan, Lord of Soubise, who had survived in exile an age that belonged to the past. With the fall of La Rochelle, the political power of the Huguenots was struck down, and there remained no further check on the path of absolute monarchy. Protestant historians are wont to lament the lukewarm faith that marked the period extending from 1629 to the Revolution. Indeed, the outward manifestations of Huguenot zeal had then ceased to be characteristic of the Church militant. The Bearnese or Languedocian gentleman no longer left his castle for the wars,[Pg 81] bearing as a twofold symbol of his sect and party the Bible in the one hand and the sword in the other; and the time was yet to come when in the wild Cévennes mountains, in the "Desert," as they said in their highly-coloured language, arose the heroic witnesses of the persecuted Church. The accidental causes that had temporarily given the Huguenots an undue influence in the State ceasing to operate, they appeared from a formidable party suddenly to shrink into insignificance. But their intellectual development meanwhile must not be overlooked. Alone in France, with those that a popular dogmatism, no doubt justified in some cases, contemptibly nicknamed libertines, they were prepared by a suitable mental training to act as a check on the natural bias of the majority regarding its own infallibility. And over the libertines they had the advantage both of general austereness of life and of a certain readiness to suffer for their convictions.

No doubt the discipline exercised by the Calvinistic organisation discouraged individual eccentricity. The struggle for emancipation over, the leaders who had upheld against the Church of Rome their right of judging in spiritual matters concluded that no further encroachments of individualism on authority were permissible. The Confession of Faith lay heavy upon the Churches; the Synod of Dort, whose decisions had become laws for the French Synods, was singularly like a Reformed Council of Trent. Still, there remained[Pg 82] in the early seventeenth century a wide difference between the mental attitude of a Huguenot and a contemporary Scotch Presbyterian. A minority in France, the Huguenot leaders could not cut off their flocks from the outer world; they mixed with the Catholics, who outnumbered them; they shared in the development of thought in their country; they were not all scholars and divines: some made bold to be men of letters, poets, even libertines.[149] In the literary coteries of the capital, in the incipient French Academy, over which the Protestant Conrart presided, abbés and pastors were reconciled in common admiration for an elegant alexandrine or a correct period.

In his own country, Calvin's system was imperfectly carried out. "The pastors," wrote Richard Simon, the Catholic Hebrew scholar, "subscribe their names to the Confession of Faith only by policy, persuaded as they are that Calvin and the other Reformers did not perceive everything, and effected but an imperfect Reformation."[150] "It cannot be denied," said Du Moulin the elder of a very influential contemporary divine, "that a third of Cameron's works are devoted to a confutation of Calvin, Beza, and our other famous Reformers."[151] Due allowance being made for the prejudice of a Roman Catholic or of an alarmed Orthodox, these statements are borne out by facts. For instance, the Huguenots had none of the Scotch Presbyterian's[Pg 83] superstition for the Calvinistic system of Church government. "I think," said Samuel Bochart, the author of the Geographia Sacra, "that those who maintain the divine right either of Episcopacy or of Presbytery are equally in the wrong, and that the heat of the dispute makes them overstate their position; if we are asked which is the better and the fitter for the Church of these two forms of government, it is as though we were asked if it is better for a State to be ruled by monarchs, the nobility, or the people, which is not a question to be decided on the spur of the moment, for that there are nations to which Monarchy is more suitable, to others Aristocracy, and to others Democracy, and that the same laws and customs are not followed everywhere."[152] When Bishop Henchman, in 1680, asked the ministers at Charenton their opinion on the respective merits of Episcopacy and Presbytery, Claude and De l'Angle answered that the question of Church government was one of expediency.[153]

The same detachment appeared in a more important matter. The Reformation, certainly against the wish of its promoters, opened the flood-gates of free inquiry. From the Church of Rome the Reformers appealed to Scripture, but underlying that appeal was a right given to reason to[Pg 84] decide what construction should be put upon the divine message. The inconvenience of the process was not felt at first. In an age of faith, reason is docile and asks no questions. On the points upon which the Reformers had made no innovation, reason accepted the traditional teaching; on the others, it had free play without arousing the suspicions of Synods. But soon the teaching of the Reformers came to be questioned. Once the horse held the bit in his mouth, he could not be restrained in his headlong progress. So it came to pass that in France, as in England and Holland, through the same cause, latitudinarians followed in natural sequence the Reformers. A Royal Edict of 1623 forbidding the students to the ministry to leave France, while severing the tie that bound the Huguenots to Geneva, hurried on the revolutionary movement. The students flocked to the Academies of Sedan and Saumur, and soon two schools of divinity flourished opposed to each other, that of Sedan upholding orthodoxy, while that of Saumur became the nucleus of French latitudinarianism. Neither Cameron nor his disciple Amyraut, the two luminaries of the latter school, were Arminians—their philosophy was an offshoot of Cartesianism; like the English latitudinarians, they drew a distinction between fundamentals and accidentals, and dreamed the generous dream—a dream at most—of a Church so comprehensive as to include all the Christians accepting the Apostles' Creed.

A little book published anonymously at Saumur[Pg 85] in 1670, under the title of La Réunion du Christianisme ou la manière de rejoindre tous les Chrestiens sous une seule Confession de Foy, sets forth in a bold ingenuous form the aspirations of this school. "Some time ago a method of reasoning and of making sure progress towards truth was proposed in philosophy.[154] To that effect it is asserted that we must rid ourselves of all preconceived notions and of all preoccupations of mind. We must receive at first only the most simple ideas and such propositions as no one can dispute who hath the slightest use of reason. Might we not imitate the process in religion? Might we not set aside for a time all the opinions that we upheld with so much ardour, to examine them afterwards with an open unimpassioned mind, adhering always to our common principle, which is Holy Scripture?"[155]

D'Huisseau, the author of the book, answered with a young man's confidence the most obvious objection. On a few simple dogmas all Christians would be agreed; there would be no difference between a "Doctor of the Church" and a poor man, since primitive Christianity is understood of all men. Then, with Gallic faith in the efficacy of State intervention, he added: "Above all, I think that those who can strike the hardest blows on that occasion, are the Princes and those who rule the States and manage the public affairs. They can add the weight of their authority to that of the[Pg 86] reasons alleged in that undertaking; and their power will be most efficacious in giving value to the exhortations of others."[156]

In spite of this appeal to secular aid, the school of Saumur furthered toleration. By the distinction they drew between fundamentals and accidentals, they tended to deprive the Churches of some pretexts for persecuting. No doubt they examined the question from the ecclesiastical and not the political point of view, but their freedom from the prejudices of their gown was a signal service to progress.

Another instance of detachment, all the more noticeable because of its consequences in England, was Daillé's attitude towards the Fathers. Published in 1632, his Traité de l'emploi des Saints-Pères pour le jugement des différends qui sont aujourd'hui en la religion was translated into English in 1651. It is no exaggeration to state that to this book was due the scant reverence shown in the seventeenth century by Protestant theology for the authority of the Fathers. The Bible, as the Saumur school desired, became the rule of faith, until in the early eighteenth century its authority came to be questioned in its turn.

The development of theological thought followed therefore in France about the same lines as in England. When considered from a merely intellectual point of view, the speculative activity of the Huguenots, in the period intervening between[Pg 87] the fall of La Rochelle and the Revocation, gives the impression of an orchard in April, in which the trees covered with blossoms promise abundance of fruit. The impending frost blasted those hopes. What fruit ripened was not gathered in France.

The relation between a critical attitude in theology and in politics has often been noticed. A common charge brought against the early Reformers was that of sedition. Though the charge was unfounded in most cases, popular instinct sharpened by enmity was right in the main. Even Protestant writers admitted the temptation of men who had rebelled against the Church to rebel against the State. Some profound observations they made on the tendency of the human mind to extend the scope of a method of reasoning, and to evolve out of a philosophical theory a programme of political reform long before the students of political science of our own time made a similar observation. "All the subtleties," said D'Huisseau, "that are called forth in religion generally make the minds of the people inquiring, proud, punctilious, obstinate, and consequently more difficult to curb into reason and obedience. Every private man pretends to have a right to investigate those controverted matters, and, bringing his judgment to bear upon them, defends his opinion with the utmost heat. Afterwards they wish to carry into the discussion of State affairs the same freedom as they use in matters of religion. They believe that since they are allowed to exercise control over the opinions of their leaders[Pg 88] in the Church, where the service of God is concerned, they are free to examine the conduct of those that are set over them for political government."[157] With still keener insight did Bayle, twenty years later, perceive the political import of certain tenets of the Reformation. The emphasis laid upon the divine command to "search the Scriptures," marked the beginning of a new era for humanity. Bidden as a most sacred duty to judge for themselves, men could not be withheld from wandering into the forbidden field of secular politics.

As the infallibility of the priest, so the infallibility of the ruler came to be questioned. But if the principle of free inquiry, or, as Bayle terms it, "l'examen particulier dans les matières de foi,"[158] would lead necessarily to civil liberty, another tenet led to equality. "When there was a pressing need, any one had a natural vocation for pastoral functions."[159] Universal priesthood drew no distinction between a caste of priests and the people, between the princes or magistrates and the rabble. In cases of necessity, leaders, political as well as religious, might spring from the ranks, as the prophets of Israel did, holding their commissions directly from Heaven.

But the seditious Huguenot negotiating against the King of France with Englishmen and Hollanders, and marching against the capital at the head of an army of mercenary Germans, had now disappeared[Pg 89] as a type. The mangled remains of the great admiral, martyred for the cause of political and religious liberty, lay in the chapel of Chatillon Castle. The Condés had gone back to Roman Catholicism. With the advent of Henri de Navarre, sedition became loyalism. Though brought up upon the works of Hotman, Languet, and Du Plessis-Mornay, the Huguenot found little difficulty in bowing, with the rest of his countrymen, before the throne of absolutism.

The Synod of Tonneins condemning as early as 1614 the doctrine of Suarez, "exhorts the faithful to combat it, in order to maintain, together with the right of God, that of the sovereign power which He has established."[160] The Synod of Vitré (1617) addresses Louis xiii. in these words: "We acknowledge after God no other sovereign but Your Majesty. Our belief is that between God and the Kings, there is no middle power. To cast doubt upon that truth is among us a heresy, and to dispute it a capital crime."[161]

The Civil War in England made it imperative for the Huguenots to frame a theory of government. Readily confounded by popular malice with English Presbyterians and Independents, they were bound to be on the alert. In 1644, complaints from the Maritime Provinces of attempts on the part of "Englishmen belonging to the sect of Independents" to spread their doctrines among the people, gave the[Pg 90] Synod of Charenton an opportunity of condemning them as "a sect pernicious to the Church" and "very dangerous enemies to the State."[162]

The relations between the Huguenots and the Puritans thus so unexpectedly revealed are still uncertainly known. As early as 1574, La Rochelle had been in close touch with the extreme Elizabethan Puritans, Walter Travers causing one of his works of controversy to be printed there.[163] In 1590 two of the Martin Marprelate tracts were issued from the presses of La Rochelle,[164] and Waldegrave, one of the factious printers, took refuge there. During the Civil War there seem to have been active negotiations going on between some of the Parliamentary leaders and the Bordeaux malcontents. These found the doctrines of the Levellers more to their taste than the more moderate schemes of Cromwell, Ireton, and the "grandees." They even sketched out for France, or at least Guyenne, a Republican Constitution. For those who have been taught to explain the French Revolution by racial theories, nothing is more disconcerting than to learn how the ancestors of the Revolutionists caught some of their most advanced ideas from their English co-religionists. They clamoured for a representative assembly, liberty of conscience, trials by jury, the abolition of privileges. "The peasant," they wrote, "is as free as a prince,[Pg 91] coming into this world without either wooden shoes or saddle, even as the king's son without a crown on his head. So every one is by birth equally free and has the power to choose his own government."[165] If it is astounding enough to hear almost a century and a half before the fall of the Bastille the cry of liberty and equality, it is startling to think that the English had raised it.

The tragedy enacted at Whitehall on 30th January 1648-49, stirred up in Europe a horror equal only to that caused nearly a century and a half later by the execution of Louis xvi. of France. "We gave ourselves up," wrote Bochart, "to tears and afflictions, and solemnised the obsequies of your King by universal mourning."[166] One of the most distinguished laymen in the Rouen congregation, Porrée the physician, declared that "all true Protestants abhorred that execrable parricide."[167]

The Doctors of the Church delivered their opinion in emphatic terms. In 1650 two works appeared exalting the royal prerogative.[168] Amyraut, the latitudinarian professor of Saumur, was the author of one of them;[169] Bochart that of the other.[170] Their argument is mainly Biblical. The kings being God's vice-regents, are accountable only to Him. To sit in judgment upon them, to inflict them bodily[Pg 92] injury, is heinous sacrilege. "Kings are absolute and depend only on God; it is never allowed to attempt their lives on any pretence whatsoever."[171] Yet Amyraut recorded a remarkable reservation in which the regicides could have found their justification: "Except there be an express command, proceeding from God directly, such as those given to Ehud and Jehu, nothing may be attempted against the kings without committing an offence more hateful to God than the most execrable parricide."[172] Dr. Gauden's Eikon Basiliké had a great success in France, two translations penned by Huguenots appearing, that of Denys Cailloué[173] in 1649, that of Porrée[174] a year later. Lastly, all students of English literature remember that Claude de Saumaise wrote the Defensio regia pro Carolo Primo, and Pierre Du Moulin the Clamor sanguinis regiæ ad cœlum contra parricidas Anglicanos (1652). The Huguenots showed zeal not only in condemning the King's execution and in vindicating his memory from the charges of the Commonwealthsmen, but in furthering the Restoration of his son, Charles ii., by proclaiming his title to the Crown of England.[175]

The Restoration coincided with the majority of Louis xiv. The Synod of Loudun, whose moderator[Pg 93] was Daillé, then an old man, proclaimed the duty of passive obedience: "Kings depend immediately on God; there is no intermediate authority between theirs and that of the Almighty."[176] "Kings in this world are in the place of God, and are His true living portrait on earth, and the footstool of their throne exalts them above mankind, only to bring them nearer Heaven. Such are the fundamental principles of our creed."[177]

Significant it is to see the divine of world-wide repute, whose youth was spent with Du Plessis-Mornay, the co-author, most probably, of the Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos,[178] solemnly recalling the duty of subjects to princes on the threshold of an era of absolutism in Europe, supposed by every one except some Fifth-Monarchy men to be of long duration.

Yet the Huguenots, with all their submissiveness, were not thought sincere. Public opinion had not forgotten the lessons of the sixteenth century. "To be candid," wrote Richard Simon to Frémont d'Ablancourt, "most of your ministers were not born for a monarchy such as that of France. They take liberties permissible only in a Republic, or in a State where the King is not absolute."[179]

The factious individualism latent in every[Pg 94] Huguenot only awaited favourable circumstances to come to light. The concessions of a vanquished party to their victors explain how political thought depended on theological thought. But among the refugees in England, the passive-obedience doctrine imbibed in the mother-country did not endure. Pierre Du Moulin, who, at the invitation of James i., had twice visited England, in 1615 and in 1623, left two sons, Peter and Lewis, who both settled in England. The elder, who accepted the living of Saint John's, Chester, and became at the Restoration chaplain to Charles ii. and Prebendary of Canterbury, is the author of Clamor sanguinis, wrongly attributed by Milton to another French pastor, of Scottish descent, Alexander Morus. A staunch Royalist, he published in 1640 a Letter of a French Protestant to a Scotsman of the Covenant, and also in 1650 a Défense de la Religion réformée et de la monarchie et Eglise Anglicane, and after the Restoration A Vindication of the Protestant Religion in the Point of Obedience to Sovereigns (1663). The younger brother, Lewis, threw in his lot with the Commonwealthsmen, was appointed Camden Professor of Ancient History at Oxford (September 1648), and deprived on the accession of Charles ii. He remained, in spite of the idle story of his recanting on his death-bed in presence of Burnet, a sturdy Independent, publishing the very year of his death an apology for Independency.[180] A more striking[Pg 95] instance of the discord which rent England during the Civil War could hardly be found. Party spirit ran high among the refugees, Jean de la Marche, the pastor of the French congregation in Threadneedle Street, being violently opposed by his flock for becoming an Independent,[181] while Hérault, the minister of Alençon, having during a stay in London vented his Royalist opinions, was compelled to seek safety in flight.[182] Another minister, Jean d'Espagne, sided with the Protector, who granted him permission to preach in Somerset House, and graciously accepted the dedication of a book.[183] At an earlier date, three French divines had sat in the Westminster Assembly.[184] About the same time, some active, intelligent Huguenot was busy publishing in London for Continental readers a French newspaper.[185]

The refugees thus took part in the internal dissensions of their adopted country. As a rule, to be favourable to the Stuarts they need be dependents on the Court or the Church; if merchants, they would usually side with the opposition, thus revealing the revolutionist ever lurking in the Calvinist. When Shaftesbury, at the time of the agitation on the Exclusion Bill, thought of making London a Whig stronghold, in view of a possible coup d'état, his main coadjutors[Pg 96] seem to have been the elected sheriffs for Middlesex, Papillon and Dubois, two refugees. The battle fought and lost, Papillon fled to Amsterdam; but not before the thought crossed his mind of returning to the beloved mother-country: "I should not," he wrote from Holland, "have taken refuge here if I could go to France and worship there freely."[186]

Such a letter helps us to realise the loss suffered by France from the exile of men like Papillon. Their talents were not uncommon; in their own country, unmolested, they would have led useful, obscure lives, open-minded enough withal to welcome the inevitable change sooner or later to take place in European politics.

In spite of the efforts of the French King[187] and the disfavour shown the Huguenots by the exiled Anglicans,[188] the intercourse between England and the Huguenots continued after the Restoration. The French churches in England formed a natural link which survived the Act of Uniformity. The Huguenots, as well as Louis xiv., had their ambassadors in London, and, in some cases, these unofficial envoys were better informed than Colbert de Croissy or Barillon, for they could speak and write English and showed little reluctance to become Churchmen. Some obtained high preferment.[Pg 97] This explains how Jurieu, called to England on leaving college by the Du Moulins, was ordained in the Church.[189]

In the precincts of the Court gathered some men of letters, refugees and scholars, Catholics and Protestants, the best known of whom is Saint-Evremond. Vossius, his "ami de lettres,"[190] was then Canon of Windsor, and to the latter's uncle Du Jon (Junius), librarian to the Earl of Arundel, who though born at Heidelberg was of Huguenot descent, England owes some of the earliest studies in Anglo-Saxon. These literati gathered round the Duchess of Mazarin, the Cardinal's niece, at her little court at Windsor, when Vossius, a pedant like most scholars in his age, would discourse on Chinese civilisation and the population of ancient Rome,[191] Saint-Evremond read a paper of verses, the Duchess speak of her interminable lawsuit with the bigoted, doting old Duke, her husband; and the company would be merry upon her recounting how he directed his grandchild's nurse to make the infant fast, in literal accordance with the Church commandments, on Fridays and Saturdays.[192] The librarian to Archbishop Sancroft, Colomiès, may have been admitted to the circle. On his arrival in England, he had found Vossius a useful friend,[Pg 98] and through the latter's exertions was ordained in the Church of England, became a thorough Episcopalian, and was, like his patron, strongly suspected of Socinianism. Their friendship for Dr. Morales, a Jew of Amsterdam and one of this literary circle, only confirmed the suspicion. But in Madame de Mazarin's salon theological disputes were infrequent. For France, anti-Protestantism then was not an "article of exportation." Far from being fanatical, the temper of these literati savours somewhat of a much later indifferentism. Perhaps the courtly scepticism of the Restoration proved contagious. For Saint-Evremond a system of ethics did very well in place of a Confession of Faith. "The Faith is obscure, the Law clearly expressed. What we are bound to believe is above our understanding, what we have to do is within every one's reach."[193]

Most of his friends were Protestants, and he never felt bitterness against them: "I never experienced that indiscreet zeal that makes us hate people, because they do not share our opinions. That false zeal takes its rise in conceit, and we are secretly inclined to mistake for charity towards our neighbour what is only an excessive fondness for our private opinions."[194]

This paragraph strikes the keynote of the temper that reigned in the French circle at Windsor. On foreign land, out of the reach of Gallican maxims of policy and priestly intrigue, the two[Pg 99] Frances, Catholic and Huguenot, not without an admixture of "libertinage," met, a picture of what might have been, had the dream of Michel de l'Hôpital and De Thou, maybe of Henri iv., been realised.

The most notable Huguenot in this circle was Louis xiv.'s ex-secretary, Henri Justel, a "great and knowing virtuoso,"[195] as Evelyn calls him, whom Charles II. appointed King's librarian in 1681. He seems to have been a very grave, courteous, and modest scholar. Having no literary ambition,[196] he went through life exciting no envy, free from envy himself. His religious convictions were sincere, and he made sacrifices to ensure them. Martyrdom, Renan said, is not so difficult after all. With nerves strung to a high pitch, fearful lest the jeering crowd should discern a sign of weakness, the victim of the Roman emperors stepped forth into the arena without the slightest tremor. Physical pain, the apprehension of death, were lost in the light of the glorious crown which the witness of Christ's word felt already encircling his brow. Some such feeling may have stirred the humble preacher that the Intendant sentenced to be hanged, or the obscure peasant whom the dragoons dragged away to the Toulon galleys. But nothing short of a very rare uprightness of mind, a sound probity towards self, could drive Justel to forsake all that a man and a[Pg 100] scholar loves—his books, his friends, his ease, his beloved country. Saint-Evremond failed to understand Justel's higher motives of conduct. "Allow me," he wrote to him, "not to approve your resolution to leave France, so long as I shall see you so tenderly and so lovingly cherish her memory. When I see you sad and mournful, regretting Paris on the banks of our Thames, you remind me of the poor Israelites, lamenting Jerusalem on the banks of the river Euphrates. Either live happily in England, with a full liberty of conscience, or put up with petty severities against religion in your own country, so as to enjoy all the comforts of life."[197]

So the tempter spoke, and, to support his hard lot, Justel had none of the martyr's incentives. To those of his own faith, his constancy must have seemed surprising. Far from encouraging him to keep within the fold, the Consistory of Charenton had grossly insulted him.[198] The great value to a country of men like that faithful scholar is their love of spiritual independence. A letter that he wrote to Edward Bernard, professor of astronomy at Oxford, on February 16, 1670, shows what a price he paid to keep his fathers' faith. After stating that Claude is preparing an answer to a book of Arnault, and wishes to adduce against transubstantiation the evidence of some modern Greeks, he says that all the libraries in France being closed to the religionists, he must perforce have recourse to the Bodleian Library and its rich collection of oriental manuscripts.[199] In this appeal of a scholar I find as much pathos as in any account of dragonnades.


[Pg 101]Yet Saint-Evremond could not understand that the prize was worth the fight. His sense of equity was undisturbed by the Revocation. The King's method of dealing with heretics was rough, but justifiable. Instead of resisting openly, the Protestants should more or less sullenly acquiesce, and count on their sharpness of wits to evade the ordinances. "Churches are opened or closed according to the Sovereign's will, but our hearts are a secret church where we may worship the Almighty."[200] "Be convinced," he wrote to Justel, "that Princes have as much right over the externals of religion as their subjects over their innermost conscience."[201]

In its far-reaching consequences, the Revocation can be compared only to the French Revolution. Both events excited in England a profound pity for the victims and a feeling of execration against their tormentors; both led to a protracted struggle with France; both, after giving France a temporary glory, plunged her into misery, humiliation, and defeat. The Huguenots fled to divers countries, some settling in New England, others in South Africa, the most considerable portion finding a new[Pg 102] home in Holland and England. In Holland they met the English Whigs, driven from their country upon the Tory reaction following the defeat of the Exclusion Bill. A close relationship was established between the Huguenots in England and in Holland, and when the crown of England was given to a Prince of Orange, the refugees in both countries formed one colony whose thoughts and aims were the same, and whose sympathy and interests were with the more liberal party in England. The sentimental impression made by the persecution strikes one the most: "The French persecution of the Huguenots," wrote Evelyn, "raging with the utmost barbarity, exceeded even what the very heathens used.... What the further intention is, time will show, but doubtless portending some revolution."[202] Several accurate accounts of the persecution, besides Claude's famous book, appeared in England, written or inspired by the refugees, and printed in a form suitable for speedy circulation.[203] The people showed themselves as eager for news from France as, at a later date, for Bulgarian or Armenian atrocities. "The people in London," Ambassador Barillon reported, "are eager to believe what the gazettes have to say on the measures resorted to in order to further the conversions in France."[204] When James ii. ascended the throne, the Whigs made capital out of the treatment of Protestants[Pg 103] by a Catholic Prince. Loyal as he was, Evelyn could not help blaming the King for the scant charity extended to the Huguenots and the silence of the Gazette about the persecution. When at the instance of the French ambassador, Claude's book was burned by the common hangman, Evelyn ominously exclaimed: "No faith in Princes." The innate anti-popish feeling of the English was easily roused, and contributed in 1687 to the unpopularity even among the higher clergy of a Royal Indulgence. "This (Repeal of the Test)," said a contemporary pamphlet, "sets Papists upon an equal level with Protestants, and then the favour of the Prince will set them above them."[205] Allusions to the persecution are innumerable. "Witness," says the anonymous hack-writer after setting forth the dangers of tolerating Popery, "the mild and gentle usage of the French Protestants by a King whose conscience is directed by a tender-hearted Jesuit." When Ken, suspected of leaning towards Roman Catholicism, preached on the persecution, Evelyn remarked that "his sermon was the more acceptable, as it was unexpected."[206]

But the official Press tried to counteract the bad impression made by the Revocation; then it was that an extreme member of the Court party roundly asserted that persecution was the only remedy that Louis xiv. could devise against losing his crown,[Pg 104] and inferred the expediency of persecuting the equally seditious English dissenters.[207] A few years later, a change coming over the policy of the Court towards the dissenters, His Majesty's intentions derived an advantageous construction from his granting relief to the French Protestants, "a kind of Presbyterians, who, because they would not become Papists, are fled hither."[208]

In rousing England against Popery, the Revocation dealt a blow at arbitrary government. The sequel to the Revocation was the English Revolution. Weakened by the Tory reaction, the Whig party, on the accession of William iii., found welcome allies in the Huguenot immigrants. It was remarked that the refugees generally sided with the Whigs. The Low Church party also found recruits in the numerous Huguenot ministers, the best known of whom are Allix, Drelincourt, Samuel de l'Angle, who all three took Anglican orders. William III., and especially Mary, showed them great favour. While the Prince of Orange was with the Dutch fleet on the way to England, in the most anxious time of her life, Mary every day attended prayers said by two refugees, Pineton de Chambrun and Ménard.[209]

The refugees enthusiastically adopted the dogmas of the Whig party, or rather of William iii.; they furthered his system of Church settlement, declaimed[Pg 105] against Popery, hated France as cordially as he.

During the debates on the Toleration and Comprehension Bills, Dr. Wake, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, published a letter in which the dissenters were blamed by French ministers for approving James ii.'s Declaration of Indulgence. "The dissenters," he adds, "ought by no means to have separated themselves for the form of ecclesiastical government nor for ceremonies which do not at all constitute the fundamentals of religion. On the other side, the Bishops should have had a greater condescension to the weakness of their brethren."[210] Even on a question of internal policy, the opinion of the persecuted Church bore weight.

Popery of course was the arch-enemy to the refugees, some of whom refused to the last to believe that the King persecuted them, ascribing their misery to the evil counsels of the Jesuits. One of the worst consequences in England of the Revocation was an intensified hatred to Popery. The policy pursued by Louis xiv. made James ii.'s indulgence impossible and thwarted all the attempts of William iii. to relax the penal laws. When the Act of 1700 was passed, making confiscation of Catholic estates a rule in England, as kind a man as Evelyn wrote: "This indeed seemed a hard law,[Pg 106] but the usage of the French King to his Protestant subjects has brought it on."[211]

The enmity that the English bore to France is a well-known fact. "The English have an extraordinary hatred to us," observed Henri iv.[212] "They hate us," said Courtin, the French envoy, at a time when French literature and French fashions were in highest favour in England. As Spain in the sixteenth century, so France in the seventeenth, embodied the power of darkness in Europe. This feeling was fostered by the refugees. A little after the Revocation, Louis xiv. received from Barillon a dispatch on the harm done him in London "by the most violent and insolent French Huguenots, minister Satur, minister Lortié, minister De l'Angle, above all a dangerous man named Bibo, who plays the philosopher, Justel, Daudé, La Force, Aimé, Lefèvre and Rosemond, and a vendor of all the wicked pamphlets printed in Holland and elsewhere against religion and the French Government. His name is Bureau, who provides every one with them and is now printing[213] in French and English a supposed letter from Niort relating a hundred cruelties against the Protestants. People talk quite freely in the London coffee-houses of all that is happening in France, and many think and say loudly that it is the consequence of England having a Catholic King[Pg 107] and that the English are thus unable to help the pretended Reformed their brethren." In England, as in Holland, the Huguenot pamphleteers organised an anti-French agitation. No doubt the ambassador was right in a sense in stating that the charges against France were exaggerated. The English during all the eighteenth century imagined the French monarch was a Western grand-signior. The stories of the Bastille, popularised by the refugee Renneville, gave an incorrect idea of the French administration.[214] This popular prejudice is ridiculed by Pope in his attack upon Dennis the critic, whom he describes as "perpetually starting and running to the window when any one knocks, crying out 'Sdeath! a messenger from the French King; I shall die in the Bastille.'"[215] With his keen eye for absurdity, Voltaire noticed the prejudice. "In England, our government is spoken of as that of the Turks in France. The English fancy half the French nation is shut up in the Bastille, the other half reduced to beggary, and all the authors set up in the pillory."[216]

The Revocation was turned to good use by the Whigs against France, James ii., and later against the Pretender. "You shall trot about," says a pamphlet almost contemporary with the advent of William iii., "in wooden shoes, à la mode de France, Monsieur will make your souls suffer as well as your bodies. These are the means he will make use of[Pg 108] to pervert Protestants to the idolatrous Popish religion. He will send his infallible apostolic dragoons amongst you.... If you fall into French hands your bodies will be condemned to irretrievable slavery, and your souls (as far as it lies in their power) shall be consigned to the Devil."[217] At the height of the Tory reaction that marked the closing years of Queen Anne's reign, the same argument was urged against a Popish successor. The Flying Post (7th March 1712-3) published one day a list of persecuted Huguenots "to convince Jacobite Protestants what treatment they are to expect if ever the Pretender should come to the throne, since he must necessarily act according to the bloody House of B(ourbon), without whose assistance he can never be able to keep possession, if he should happen to get it."

That the Whigs fully endorsed their pamphleteers' opinions seems evident from what such a judicious man as Locke once wrote to Peter King, the future Lord Chancellor, advising him as a Member of Parliament to aid William in his designs of war against France: "The good King of France desires only that you would take his word, and let him be quiet till he has got the West Indies into his hands and his grandson well established in Spain; and then you may be sure that you shall be as safe as he will let you be, in your religion, property, and trade."[218]

The influence of the refugees was due less to[Pg 109] the weavers of Spitalfields, to the army of seventy or eighty thousand Huguenots who fled to England after the Revocation, than to the intelligent sergeants of that army, the men of letters, journalists, and pamphleteers. They usually met in London at the Rainbow coffee-house, near the Inner Temple Gate, in Fleet Street. Unlike the Casaubons and Scaligers of the early Stuart period and the Justels and Colomiès of the Restoration, they were no dependents on either Court or Church, and, earning a journalist's living or with a calling exclusive of literary patronage, they forestalled more or less the modern type of the man of letters. Over their meetings presided Pierre Daudé, a clerk in the Exchequer; round that doyen gathered the traveller Misson, Rapin Thoyras, then planning his History of Great Britain, Newton's friend, Le Moivre, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Cornand La Croze, a contributor to Le Clerc's Bibliothèque universelle.

In those convivial meetings many a project was sketched for the advancement of learning. When Le Clerc, then a young man, was preaching at the Savoy, he took part in them. Later on, Pierre Coste came as tutor to the Mashams, with whom Locke then lived; later still, for the company grew less select as the years rolled by, Thémiseul de Saint-Hyacinthe, a converted dragoon, to whom France owes at least in part her translation of Robinson Crusoe;[219] and lastly, in 1726, the[Pg 110] elder Huguenots who still repaired to the familiar tavern, beheld, fresh from the Bastille, his conversation sparkling with wit that must have taught them what a change had come over France since the death of the old persecuting King, M. de Voltaire.

In coffee-houses such as this, in Rotterdam and in London, during the eventful period between the Revocation and the death of William the Third, all the eighteenth century was thought out. Alone the refugees were able to establish a fruitful exchange of ideas between England and the Continent. Men of greater learning would not have done the work so well. These alone were possessed of the indispensable qualities: the journalist's curiosity, eager to know, little caring about the relative importance of what he knows, and the teacher's lucidity, not unmixed with shallowness. Thanks to them, the literary journals of Holland circulated in England and English thought found its way into France. The correspondents of those papers anticipated the modern reporter's methods to the extent that Locke one day read a private conversation of his printed in full in the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres.[220] Coste, of course, had written down the conversation and thought it worthy of publication. Better than Bayle and Le Clerc, indefatigable Desmaizeaux corresponds with most European scholars, advertises their opinions, reviews their books, writes their obituary notices, and[Pg 111] edits their posthumous work, being withal incapable of uttering a single original idea.

One defect the refugees shared with the English Puritans, a supreme contempt of art. When Bossuet's Histoire des Variations appeared, they thought it long and tedious. "The book," exclaimed Jurieu, "will lie buried under its bulk and ruins."[221] Their knowledge, like a good reviewer's, is universal. Bayle, their leader, never wrote a veritable book, but cast his revolutionary thoughts in the mould of an encyclopædia. The masterpiece of refugee speculation is the Critical Dictionary. Nor was it the only dictionary that they produced—witness Chaufepié's Dictionary, Ancillon's Mémoires, Desmaizeaux's Lives, Le Clerc's Eloges. Their newspapers collect material for encyclopædias and their encyclopædias compile anas. Now that was exactly how the eighteenth century writers worked: neither Voltaire, Montesquieu nor Diderot cared about composing a book, as a skilful architect builds a house, to stand alone, imposing and complete. They jotted down ideas, dashed off a chapter or two, then passed on to another subject. You cannot compare the Spirit of Laws and the History of Variations, for while the latter forms a harmonious whole, whose splendid proportions inspire every one with admiration, the former is an indigested mass of research, brilliant wit, and profound criticism. To usher in the nineteenth century, a readjustment of traditional[Pg 112] doctrines was necessary, and this the eighteenth century effected by leaving in the background literature and works of imagination and taking up the foreground with anecdotes, memoirs, and various disquisitions on philosophy, ethics, divinity, and politics. But the refugees had made the task easy. To these seemingly innocent compilers must be ascribed the sudden development in Europe of the spirit of criticism. When they had made the reading public familiar with doctrines hitherto confined to the schools, they disappeared, leaving it to others in England and France to give those now popularised doctrines a literary expression.

Another trait of the refugees is their cosmopolitism. Some were born in Geneva, others in France; not unlike a Semitic tribe, they roamed about Switzerland, Holland, Germany, England. After preaching in London, Le Clerc settled in Amsterdam. Before living at Oates with the Mashams, Coste had been a proof reader in Amsterdam, and after an adventurous life in Holland and Germany, he ultimately died in Paris. A barrister in early life, Rapin Thoyras fled to England after the Revocation, then to Holland, where he became a soldier, following first the Prince of Orange in his expedition against James II., then Marshal Schomberg to Ireland, became tutor to the Duke of Portland's children, drifted back to the Hague, and ended a singularly chequered career at Wesel. Through the medium of the refugees the learned societies could correspond.[Pg 113] Such refugees as had remained on the Continent showed their desire to have information about England. "England," wrote Bayle, "is the country in the world where metaphysical and physical reasonings, spiced with erudition, are the most appreciated and the most in fashion."[222] For Jurieu, England was "the country in the world the most replete with unquiet-minded men, fond of change and aspiring to new things."[223] The refugee seeking, Narcissus-like, to see himself in his adoptive country, credited England with his own characteristics, turbulency and the thirst for scientific information.

An important fact is that these men, as their predecessors had done under the early Stuarts and the Commonwealth, learned English. No stronger contrast can be imagined than the indifference that courtly Catholic Saint-Evremond exhibited towards the language of his adoptive country, and the eagerness with which the French pastors, compelled now to read prayers and preach in the Church of England, studied English. And yet, it was after all natural that the Huguenots who took part in all the internal conflicts of their new Fatherland, should be ready to further their religious and political ideals by the tongue and the pen as well as the sword.


[140] Rousseau et le cosmopolitisme littéraire, 1895.

[141] Shakespeare en France sous l'ancien régime, 1898.

[142] Littérature française à l'etranger, 2 vols., Geneva, 1853.

[143] See Gairdner, Lollardy and the Reformation, iii. pp. 118-122; and for a bibliography of the translations of Calvin's works, Upham, French Influence in English Literature, App. A.

[144] Schickler, Eglises du refuge, i. pp. 5, 13.

[145] Ibid. i. p. 259 n.

[146] Life of Parker, i. p. 276.

[147] Sidney Lee, French Renaissance in England, p. 301. In 1586, Recorder Fleetwood warned Burghley of an intended apprentices' riot against Dutch and French settlers. See N. and Q., 1st July 1871.

[148] See Chapter VII.

[149] Théophile de Viau, for instance.

[150] Lettres choisies, iii. p. 9.

[151] Letter to the Synod of Alençon, 1637.

[152] Lettre à M. Morley, p. 4 (1650).

[153] Collier, Church History, ii. p. 399. "The French Protestants," wrote Pierre Du Moulin in the same spirit, "keepe their zeale of religion for higher matters than a Surplice or a Crosse in Baptisme" (A Letter of a French Protestant to a Scotsman of the Covenant, 1640, p. 35).

[154] Allusion, of course, to Descartes.

[155] Réunion du Christianisme, pp. 117-19.

[156] Réunion du Christianisme, p. 173.

[157] Op. cit. p. 198.

[158] Avis aux réfugiés, pp. 128, 129.

[159] Ibid. p. 155.

[160] Aymon, Actes des Synodes, 2 vols., La Haye, 1710, ii. pp. 38, 39.

[161] Ibid. ii. p. 106.

[162] Actes des Synodes, ii. p. 636.

[163] Ecclesiasticæ Disciplinæ; et Anglicanæ Ecclesiæ ... dilucida Explicatio.

[164] Penry's Appellation and Throckmorton's M[aster Robert] Some laid open in his Colours, 1590. Cf. Sir Sidney Lee, French Renaissance in England, p. 303.

[165] Mémoires de Lenet, p. 599. and Ch. Normand, Bourgeoisie française, pp. 400 ssq. See also Chapter VIII.

[166] Lettre à M. Morley, p. 112.

[167] Eikon Basiliké, Preface to translation.

[168] There had already appeared pamphlets by Vincent, minister at La Rochelle, and Hérault, minister at Alençon. Bochart, op. cit. p. 113.

[169] Discours sur la Souveraineté des Rois, Saumur, 1650.

[170] Lettre à M. Morley.

[171] Bochart, op. cit. p. 23.

[172] Discours sur la Souveraineté, p. 117.

[173] Εικων Βασιλικη, ou Portrait Royal de sa Majesté de la Grande Bretagne dans ses souffrances et sa solitude, La Haye, 1649.

[174] Εικων Βασιλικη, Le Portrait du Roy de la Grande Bretagne durant sa solitude et ses souffrances, Orange, 1650.

[175] Prédiction où se voit comme le Roy Charles ii. doit estre remis aux royaumes d'Angleterre, Ecosse, et Irlande après la mort de son père, Rouen, 1650.

[176] Aymon, Actes, ii. p. 723.

[177] Ibid. p. 734.

[178] Written 1574, published 1579. Under the pseudonym of Stephanus Junius Brutus, the author argues that the royal title coming from the people, the king who is idolatrous or defies his subjects' rights must be deposed.

[179] Lettres choisies, i. p. 420.

[180] The Conformity of the Discipline and Government of the Independents to that of the Ancient Primitive Christians, London, 1680.

[181] Schickler, Eglises du refuge, ii. pp. 110 ssq.

[182] Bochart, op. cit. p. 115.

[183] Shibboleth ou réformation de quelques passages de la Bible, dédié au Protecteur, 1653.

[184] Schickler, op. cit. ii. p. 93.

[185] See Chapter VIII.

[186] Schickler, Eglises du refuge, ii. p. 318 n.

[187] The foreign letters addressed to the Synods are commanded to be given up, with unbroken seals, to the King's commissioner. Aymon, Actes, ii. 5, 571, 636, 719, 740, etc.

[188] Bochart, op. cit. p. 2.

[189] He married the daughter of Cyrus du Moulin, sometime French pastor in Canterbury, and thus retained family ties in England. So much it is necessary to know to understand the minute knowledge of English affairs displayed in his polemical works.

[190] Saint-Evremond, Œuvres, i. p. 87 (1753).

[191] Ibid. iv. p. 323.

[192] Ibid. iv. p. 146.

[193] Saint-Evremond, Œuvres, iii. p. 272.

[194] Ibid. iii. p. 265.

[195] Diary, 13th March 1691.

[196] His only published work is the Bibliothèque de Droit canonique, edited by Guillaume Voet in 1661. See Ancillon, Mém. hist. et crit., Amst. 1709. P. 221.

[197] Saint-Evremond, Œuvres, iv. p. 309.

[198] For details on this affair, so singularly suggestive of the arrogance in the seventeenth century of the most important Consistory in France, see Ancillon, op. cit. 223.

[199] Smith MSS., viii. f. 25-27.

[200] Saint-Evremond, Œuvres, iii. pp. 266-267.

[201] Ibid. iv. pp. 319-320.

[202] Diary, 1st November 1685.

[203] Such is An Abstract of the Present State of the Protestants in France, Oxford, 1682.

[204] Schickler, op cit. ii. p. 356.

[205] A Letter to a Dissenter in England by his friend at the Hague, 1688.

[206] Diary, 14th March 1686.

[207] Toleration proved Impracticable, 1685.

[208] Some Expostulations with the Clergy of the Church of England, 1688.

[209] Lettres et Mémoires de Marie, pp. 84, 89.

[210] A Letter of Several French ministers fled into Germany upon the Account of the Persecution in France, to such of their Brethren in England as approved the King's Declaration touching Liberty of Conscience, 1689.

[211] Diary, April 1700.

[212] Writing to M. de Beaumont, 21st March 1604.

[213] He was printing at the same time: Cruelties at Montauban, and The Present Misery of the French Nation compared with that of the Romans under Domitian.

[214] Inquisition françoise ou histoire de la Bastille, Amst. 1715, 2 vols.

[215] Narrative of the Frenzy of Mr. John Dennis.

[216] Letter to Thieriot, 24th February 1733.

[217] Jacobites' Hopes Frustrated, 1690.

[218] King, Life of Locke, p. 261.

[219] See Chap. XI.

[220] Original Letters, pp. 68-69.

[221] Pastoral Letters, iii. 1. vi. p. 122.

[222] Lettres choisies, ii. p. 706.

[223] Pastoral Letters, iv. 1. xiv. p. 329.

[Pg 114]


Huguenot Thought in England


The foreign land to which the Huguenot was compelled to fly acted upon him as a mental stimulus. With such an incitement, the progress of Huguenot thought after the Revocation becomes profoundly interesting. We shall examine it from the threefold point of view of theology, political speculation, and toleration, the last question being intimately connected with the two former, and all three questions being moreover inseparably related.

Most of the men of letters with whom we are now dealing being pastors or having been trained for the ministry, theology occupied a foremost place in their thoughts. In France, the Calvinistic discipline, though it had not suppressed heterodoxy, at least made its expression very guarded. When Locke was staying at Montpellier, he remarked that there was in the land room only for Roman Catholicism or Calvinism, no other creed being tolerated. A Toleration Act in the most narrow sense of the word, the Edict of Nantes recognised[Pg 115] but one dissenting Communion. But in Holland and even in England, before the Revolution, the refugees could indulge in a certain freedom of thought. The charge of Socinianism brought against Colomiès does not seem to have indisposed against him his patron, the Archbishop. Heterodoxy spread so easily among the Huguenots in England that their orthodox brethren in Holland were alarmed: "We have learned from the good and excellent letter addressed to us by Messieurs our dearest brethren the Pastors of the dispersion at the present moment in London, that the evil has crossed the seas and spreads in England amongst the brethren of our communion and tongue."

These words are an extract from the debates of a Synod convened at Utrecht in 1690 to remedy the spread of heresy among the refugees. Not being backed by civil authority, its freely-distributed and strongly-worded anathemas fell flat. The efforts of the orthodox party were spent in petty intrigues like that which deprived Bayle of his Professorship. They endeavoured to lay a gravestone upon a living tree and were surprised to find the stone split.

This freedom in theology was exerted in two directions: the latitudinarian tenet that the Bible was the religion of the Protestants, now commonly repeated,[224] led to much regard being paid to textual criticism, and in this close study of the divine message[Pg 116] all parties were united; the heterodox in their search after truth, the orthodox in their controversy with the Catholic doctors. It was the age when Richard Simon, the Catholic founder, according to M. Renan, of modern exegesis, flourished, and Le Clerc wrote his first book to dispute his conclusions. A more dangerous method was that of Bayle. The first to lead the life of an absolute free-thinker, whose mind is entirely severed from traditional theology, dispassionate to the verge of inhumanity, a perfect example of the abnormal development of the reasoning faculty to the detriment of sensitiveness, he must not be mistaken for a Pyrrhonist albeit he poses for one from time to time.[225] The contemporary Pyrrhonist would write in the spirit of Pascal's Pensées, and showing up the futility of man's effort to fathom transcendental mysteries, submit to a higher spiritual reason "the reason of the heart that reason knoweth not." With the subtlest dialectician's skill, Bayle merely opposes reason and faith. In every Christian dogma he delights in showing up the latent logical absurdity; not sneering, however, as Voltaire was soon to do, not even hinting at the consequences of his method. The little intellectual exercise over, he passes on to another subject. In spite of his destructive criticism, once out of the professorial chair, he leads[Pg 117] the life of a good Christian and a righteous Huguenot. In the outward expression of his faith he never wavered. Unlike Montaigne, a sceptic of a different stamp, he never gave undue advantage to his personal comfort. To this day he remains, Sphinx-like, a faint smile lighting up his countenance, a psychological enigma.

In 1709 the great Dictionary was translated into English by J. P. Bernard, La Roche, and others, and again in 1739-41 by Bernard, Birch, Lockman, and others; already long familiar to English readers, who were not slow in recognising a very high literary merit in its lucidity of style and its extraordinary interest, it had thus been greeted almost on its appearance by a good judge, Saint-Evremond: "Monsieur Bayle clothes in so agreeable a dress his profound learning, that it never palls."[226] A direct influence could be traced of Bayle upon Shaftesbury, the author of the Characteristics.

But the influence of the heterodox Huguenot weighed little when compared with that of the orthodox. Much led to annul the effect of the Critical Dictionary on the mass of readers. For one thing, it came a little too late; then, a bomb exploding in the open does less damage than a bomb exploding in a closed room. Though looked upon as suspicious by an Archbishop who had never read them,[227] Bayle's works were allowed to circulate[Pg 118] freely in England. On the other hand, a larger portion of the English public read treatises of devotion bearing the names of learned and illustrious sufferers in the cause of religion. Bishop Fleetwood's translation of Jurieu's Traité de la dévotion went through no less than twenty-six editions, and Drelincourt's Consolations d'une âme fidèle was a success before Defoe appended to it as a vivid commentary the story of the ghost of Mrs. Veal. In the struggle against deism that marked the first quarter of the eighteenth century, the widespread influence of such books told against infidelity.

Politics were then a part of theology. In the same way as the Revocation helped to break up the traditional Calvinistic theology, it shattered the system of politics most in accordance with the French reformer's political creed. As long as the Huguenots enjoyed the liberties granted them by Henri iv., their doctors had preached passive obedience. When the wave of persecution broke, some faltered, while others obstinately upheld the doctrine that had then become part of their Church divinity. No doubt in showing the glaring insufficiency of the old creed to meet the facts, the Revocation had a demoralising effect. To the reflective few the sudden change of doctrine of many illustrious theologians must have seemed very distressing. One bulwark of their faith, as they had been often told, passive obedience, was being swept away. What destruction might not threaten their faith itself?[Pg 119]

Modern Protestant writers, especially in our democratic age, glory in those obscure predecessors of 1789 who asserted in the teeth of absolutism, the rights of the people; yet had the Edict of Nantes never been repealed, and the Huguenots suffered to live on, the hardy victims of petty vexations, it is highly probable that the same doctors who in Holland asserted the sovereignty of the people, would in their French Synods have hurled excommunication at any "followers of the Independents."

Jurieu's apology for his new opinion was frank and ingenuous: obedience was due to Louis xiv. as long as the Protestants were his subjects; compelled by persecution to renounce his allegiance, they obeyed another Prince who allowed them to profess other political opinions.[228] A little demoralisation must pay for every readjustment of conviction due to progress.

Up to the eve of the Revocation, the duty of passive obedience was set forth by the Huguenots. In the absence of solemn declarations issued by Synods, the last being held in 1660, we may record the individual sayings of the luminaries of the party. "Any Huguenot," Jurieu had written in 1681, "is ready to subscribe with his blood to the doctrine that makes for the safety of kings, viz., that temporally our kings depend on no one but on God, that even for heresy and schism kings may not be deposed, nor may their subjects be absolved from[Pg 120] their oath of allegiance."[229] Acting as spokesman for his co-religionists, he added: "Our loyalty is proof against any temptation, our love for our Prince is unbounded."[230] Another pastor, Fétizon, opposing the factious doctrines of the Roman Church to the loyalty of the Huguenots, showed how they supported the King's absolute powers: "Where is it commonly taught that kings depend only on God and have a divine power that may be taken away by no ecclesiastical person, no community of people? Is it not in the Protestant religion? Where is it at least allowed to believe that royalty is only a human authority that always remains subject to the people that have granted it, or to the Church that may take it back? Is it not in the Roman Church?"[231] In his famous dispute with Bossuet, Claude maintained the divine right of kings.[232] Writing in the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres for April 1684, Bayle censures Maimbourg for charging Protestantism with sedition, and alleges the Oxford decree of the preceding year condemning Buchanan and Milton. The subject visibly haunts him; again and again he reverts to it, suggesting difficulties, arguing on both sides according to his wont, but clearly inclining to obedience. The persecution shakes his political faith a little; must the Huguenots in France go to their forbidden assemblies in "the Desert"? If it be true that it is better to obey God than[Pg 121] man, who is to determine what the will of God is?[233] And again, the accession of James ii. is a good opportunity for Protestantism to show its true spirit; because the King frankly avows his Catholicism, his Protestant subjects are in honour bound to obey him. "The Protestants have never had so good an opportunity of showing that they are not wrong in boasting of their loyalty to their sovereign, whatever the religion he should follow."[234] The very year of the Revocation, Elie Merlat, a pastor who after suffering imprisonment had fled to Lausanne, published a treatise on the absolute power of sovereigns, written four years before, and which he, in spite of persecution, felt no disposition to cancel or modify. The subjects owe their king "civil adoration," and far from dictating to him, may not question his decisions. "If it is permitted to the subjects in certain cases to examine their rulers and ask them to render an account of their actions, the bond of public union is snapped asunder and the door opened to all kinds of sedition."[235] A faint echo is perceptible of Hobbes's teaching. All men are in the origin equal and free, but sin engendering a state of war, a few men, by God's design, have been instrumental in saving through their ambition mankind, whom they have reduced to obedience.[236] Absolute power, though not good in itself, is the supreme remedy devised by God to save man. The Calvinist's sombre teaching finds here its proper expression.


[Pg 122]In contradistinction with the Catholic doctrine, the Huguenot divines do not admit of an exception to the rule of obedience which they have laid down, not even that of an insurrection with religion as a motive. We have already quoted Jurieu's sweeping assertion. Like the early Christians, they wished to oppose only silent resignation to their tormentors. "The Prince," said Jurieu, "is the master of externals in religion; if he will not allow another religion besides his own, if we cannot obey, we may die without defending ourselves, because true religion must not use weapons to reign and be established."[237] "We deny," said Merlat, "that rebellion is justifiable to-day for religion's sake."[238] The same feeling of loyalty impelled the French congregation of Threadneedle Street, on 26th May 1683, to reject Lambrion, a minister at Bril, in Holland, because it was reported that he had said that "persecuting tyrants might be looked upon as wild beasts, and that any one might fall upon them."[239]

After the Revocation, a different opinion speedily obtained among the refugees. No doubt they were influenced in Holland, as Jurieu stated, by public opinion. The political education of both England and Holland was far in advance of that of France.[Pg 123] Then the question, which before had seemed merely a theme for academic discourses, became a pressing reality. By most Huguenots the Revocation was looked upon as a temporary measure due to the intrigues of some Jesuits at the Court; the King, they repeated, would not fail to revoke his reactionary decrees when better informed about his faithful subjects; once more the refugees would be allowed to return to the homes of their childhood and enjoy their restored estates. As the months went by without bringing relief, they fell into two parties: on the one side, the peaceful men of letters and diplomatists by nature advocated temporising; on the other, the great mass of the people bearing the brunt of the persecution, the fiery ministers, the army and navy officers who had forfeited their commissions, relied only on the strength of arms and entertained wild hopes of a successful insurrection. As the fall of James ii. appeared imminent, the violent party more openly discovered their sentiments. Among them, the Prince of Orange recruited his soldiers and pamphleteers, who, like sharpshooters in front of an army, spread consternation among the upholders of arbitrary power in England a few years before the Dutch actually landed at Torbay. The advent of William iii. and the war that followed helped only to strengthen the party of resistance, insomuch that Protestantism has hitherto stood in France for a synonym of Republicanism.

On all sides the pamphleteers have received[Pg 124] scant consideration: Bayle attacked them violently,[240] Jurieu declined to acknowledge them as allies;[241] yet their influence on the issue of the struggle carried on in England between the house of Stuart and the Whigs was far from inconsiderable. A press war was waged between the Prince of Orange and his father-in-law long before the official war broke out. "Several libels," reports Luttrell in the early spring of 1688, "and pamphlets have been lately printed and sent about; many are come over from Holland."[242] These were not the able productions of the London clergy, the Stillingfleets and Tenisons and Tillotsons, raising the standard of a holy war against the Catholic divinity that was pouring forth from the King's press. Scurrilous, libellous, violent leaflets came over from Holland to be eagerly devoured by the same credulous mob that believed both the Popish and the Presbyterian plots. Short, pithy, coarse, they may be read to-day, if not with the interest born of warfare in which one takes part, at least without wearisomeness. The most popular are issued in English and in French, so as to sting at one blow James ii. and Louis xiv. Such is the letter of Père de la Chaise, father-confessor to the French King, to Father Petre, James's notorious privy councillor (1688). A scheme being set on foot by the Jesuits to murder all the Protestants in France the same day, the King, to obtain absolution[Pg 125] from his confessor for a horrible crime, grants the commission to execute the design. The letters duly sealed are about to be dispatched in the provinces when Louis xiv., whose conscience smites him,—because, after all, the most blood-thirsty tyrant relents where a priest remains obdurate,—confides the secret to Prince de Condé. The latter lays a trap into which the confessor falling, must needs give up the commission. Five days later, the Jesuits poison the Prince, and the Huguenots, deprived of their protector, are delivered over to the tender mercies of the dragoons. "In England," adds La Chaise by manner of conclusion, "the work cannot be done after that fashion ... so that I cannot give you better counsel than to take that course in hand wherein we were so unhappily prevented"—that is, to cut the throats of the Protestants.[243] Another production, the offspring of a kindred pen, was the Love Letters between Polydorus, the Gothic King, and Messalina, late Queen of Albion. The struggle over, and James ii. beaten, the victor, instead of lending him murderous projects against his former subjects, makes him the butt of coarse sarcasm.

To the same period belong more serious productions, due to the fact that both parties in England were anxious to appeal to some French authority. In a Catalogue of all the Discourses published against Popery during the Reign of King James ii. (1689), out of two hundred and thirty-one[Pg 126] tracts noticed, there are no less than eleven answers to Bossuet. If Bossuet was the Catholic champion, the Protestants elected Jurieu to enter the lists against him. To the devotional works already mentioned may be added the political writings, especially the Seasonable Advice to all Protestants in Europe for uniting and defending themselves against Popish Tyranny (1689), and the Sighs of France in Slavery breathing after Liberty (1689), with the quaint information, "written in French by the learned Monsieur Juriew."

The violent party, headed by Jurieu and the moderate by Bayle, found in the fall of James ii. the occasion of fully publishing their several systems of political theology. "Formerly," said Bayle, "your writers, either in good or in bad faith, were careful not to approve of the pernicious teaching of Hubert Languet.... What are they thinking about now to publish so many books where, without circumlocution or reserve, they vent the same dogmas and push them still further?"[244] Under the same political necessities, the same doctrines, after an interval of a century, were reappearing. Religious leaders are inclined to advise their followers not to attack the secular powers, but when the inevitable conflict breaks out, a wholly different sentiment prevails. The early Christians, who had heard Saint Paul teach them to obey the Roman Emperor, soon found the denunciations of the seer of Patmos against the tyrant[Pg 127] better suited to their feelings. In spite of Calvin, the Huguenots, when persecution became violent, were prepared to listen to the Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos. Circumstances favoured a revival of the "republican" doctrines of the sixteenth century: the English Revolution needed apologists on the Continent; the Protestant hero, William iii., although a King, held his title by the will of the English people; for once Protestantism and a liberal doctrine were confronted and impugned by Catholicism and absolutism. Apologies were accordingly written, by which must be understood abler, less scurrilous works than the productions of the hired pamphleteers, but pamphlets nevertheless, because the furtherance of a political cause was their immediate pretext. For years already had Jurieu been engaged upon the task of answering the numerous controversial works issued in France, in Pastoral Letters, the circulation of which the French police were unable to stop. Together with the controversial argument, each letter contained some new information, the account of a dragonnade, the prophecy of a shepherdess, the testimony delivered by a preacher with the halter round his neck, or a galley-slave dying under the lash. With the year 1689 new tidings came every fortnight to the Huguenots who read these letters, tidings of hope after so much gloom; under the rubric affaires d'Angleterre, their spiritual comforter recounted them the wonderful fall of the popish tyrant and the triumph of the hero[Pg 128] of Protestantism and liberty. Yet the joy of some was not unmixed with scruples; was not James, after all, the Lord's anointed, and William the usurper? Was the deliverance only a snare and a pitfall into which the Saints must be wary of stumbling? To all which questions Jurieu had a ready answer.[245]

In principle all men are free and equal, but their sins make authority needful. They have chosen kings and governors to whom they have yielded sovereignty their birthright; not without reservations, however. In all cases a contract, either avowed or tacit, intervenes between rulers and subjects, the former swearing to govern according to law, and the latter to obey their governors. If the rulers break their word, the contract becomes void, and, sovereignty reverting to the people, the king forfeits his crown. If the king dies, the contract is void also, and the people have to choose another ruler. Monarchy, and in particular the French Monarchy, is therefore in its essence elective.

The origin of kingly right is popular, not divine; but God sanctions the popular choice, and, as long as the contract stands, it is sinful to disobey the sovereign. "The kings are the vice-regents of God, His vicars, His living images," and he goes on to use the comparisons of man who, though made in the likeness of God, is the son of man; in the same manner the king instituted by the people is God's representative upon earth.[Pg 129]

Why, then, has James lost his crown? because he attempted to "violate consciences," usurping a power that no man could give him, since "no man hath the right to do war unto God."

With his usual impulsiveness, there is no doubt but Jurieu, had he not been chaplain to the Prince of Orange, would have become a republican. He is ever trying to give the kings with the one hand what he withholds with the other.

As early as 1682 Shaftesbury won his admiration: "He has perhaps," he said of him in an admirable character-portrait, "a soul a little too republican to live in a monarchy, but we do not think him guilty of the cowardice which is imputed to him."[246]

The Soupirs de la France esclave, published in 1690, attacks the absolute government of Louis xiv., whom he accuses of being a usurper, sovereignty belonging to the States-General. Historically such a position is untenable, but it is a significant fact that a little before the Revolution of 1789 the same book was reprinted under the title Voix d'un patriote. Jurieu proved a century in advance of his time.

Behind the chief press a band of lesser officers. Jacques Abbadie, after preaching up passive obedience in Prussia, wrote at the desire, it appears, of William iii., an apology of the Revolution. "Kings," he began, "are the lieutenants of God ... to offend them is to show no respect for the glory of God whose image they are, and for the majesty of[Pg 130] the people in which they are clothed."[247] A subordinate's authority can never extend to a chief's. Unlike God's power, that of the king is limited. Even a conqueror, becoming the king of a conquered nation, enters upon a treaty by which he undertakes to protect their lives and property. The compact gives the king only the rights possessed by the individual free man, and these are by no means absolute. The people choose their kings, but God deposes them if they betray their trust. The desertion and abdication of James was brought about by God's Providence, and the English people freely accepting William for king, William's title is even better than that of his predecessor. Several restrictions are brought to bear upon the exercise of the right of insurrection, the most important being the denial of that right in cases of individual injustice. Limited monarchy is proclaimed the best and most perfect of governments.

The theories on which the political writers in the seventeenth century founded limited monarchy rapidly became popular among the refugees,[248] the dissentients being in small numbers. The most famous of these is Pierre Bayle, the author of the Dictionary. The development of his political theory is characteristic of his whole enigmatic mental nature. Brought up by the French Jesuits, as Voltaire was to be a few years later, afterwards a student of divinity in Geneva, and a Professor in the[Pg 131] very orthodox Academy of Sedan, with Jurieu for colleague and friend, he accepted a chair of philosophy in a small Dutch college in Rotterdam (the schola illustris). The greater part of his life was thus spent among republicans, and under republican government; in Holland his best friends were the few republicans that piously venerated the memory of the unfortunate De Witts, so much so that the Prince of Orange suspected his loyalty. Yet his faith in absolutism remained unshaken. With the aversion of the man of letters for the mob, an incapacity of sharing the general enthusiasm for William, and a very great and genuine affection for his country, he could not sympathise with the violent party. Some imperfectly known private resentment urged him to contradict Jurieu, a leader that had the completest faith in his own infallibility. Lastly, Bayle's cast of mind lent flavour to the design of exposing the error ever lurking in accepted truths, insomuch that for any one who has carefully read Bayle, the authorship of the Avis aux réfugiés is not doubtful. The famous answer to the political doctrine of the Pastoral Letters, the last able defence of absolutism, was penned by Bayle and no other. In the number of the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres for September 1684, some words about the fiction of the decision of the majority standing for that of the whole contains in germ an important argument of the Avis aux réfugiés.[249] An English dissenter is supposed to be[Pg 132] the author of the Philosophical Commentary, yet when speaking of sovereignty he leaves it an open question whether its origin is divine or popular; for, even under his disguise, Bayle did not care to renounce entirely his personal convictions.

The Avis aux réfugiés falls into two divisions: in the former, the refugees are reproached with writing libellous pamphlets against the French King; in the latter, the doctrine of the sovereignty of the people, "that pet chimera," is confronted with some weighty arguments. From the doctrine must be inferred the right of the people to revolt against their Prince, the individual being in all cases entitled to criticise the decisions of the executive. Anarchy must necessarily ensue: "If the people reserved unto themselves the right of free inquiry and the liberty of obeying or not, according as they found just or unjust the orders of those that commanded, it would not be possible to preserve the public peace."[250] The right of the majority to overrule the minority cannot obtain if the people are sovereign; should the majority use coercion, they act unjustly; nothing can be reproached the minority if they call foreign soldiers to their aid. The oath of allegiance is a farce, since the safety of the people is the supreme law. No one can deny the force of these arguments. The liberal doctrines are two-edged swords striking the tyrant down, it is true, but not without inflicting wounds on the people. France in the nineteenth century experienced some[Pg 133] of the evils resulting from the continual presence in the minds of the people of their right to remedy sometimes slight evil by insurrection. It remained, of course, to the Anglo-Saxon race to contradict the too general statement of Bayle by showing how masses under favourable circumstances could be taught the exercise of self-government.

Next to the general argument are some minor arguments drawn from the immediate events. Jeremy Collier, the non-juror, would have used them with great effect had he known them. Are the Irish Jacobites rebels or no? The refugees under Schomberg treat them as such, and yet the King of England is at their head. The answer, of course, is that Ireland, being a country added to England by conquest, is bound to acknowledge the sovereign chosen by England. If the Emperor in becoming a Calvinist were deposed by the Electors, would not the Protestants throughout Europe once again preach up passive obedience? History justifies the charges of this remarkable little book, to which there only lacks the proposition that large sections of mankind are constantly reshaping their political doctrines to meet the pressure of unforeseen events. As the expected advent to the throne of France of Henri de Navarre made the sovereignty of the people acceptable to Ultramontanes, so the English Revolution appeared to Huguenots a convincing argument in favour of the same doctrine.

Between Bayle and Voltaire, more than one[Pg 134] striking analogy can be noticed. Both in respect to French internal politics held the same opinion. Persecuted by fanatical Huguenot ministers and Catholic priests, they dreamed of an impossible alliance between the King and the free-thinking tolerant men of letters. It is certain that Bayle corresponded with Pélisson, Secretary of State to Louis xiv. In the Avis aux réfugiés he probably stretched to their utmost his concessions to the French Court. Nothing short of going to Mass was deemed sufficient to allow him to reside in France, so he brushed aside the temptation. But public opinion in France treated him well. Boileau, then a kind of sovereign magistrate in the Republic of Letters, expressed high approval of the Dictionary, and the French courts of law, contrary to the King's edicts, admitted Bayle's will to be valid.

For reasons different from Bayle, Basnage kept shy of the liberal doctrines. Although Jurieu's son-in-law, he was essentially for moderate courses. Saumaise, Amyraut, Claude, he thought, had gone too far in extolling divine right,[251] but Bayle was right in the main. Held in high esteem by the States-General, Basnage exerted himself in different diplomatic missions to wring some concessions from the French Court. Wishing his co-religionists to return to France, he thought it expedient to publish his thoughts on the subject of obedience. Like his father-in-law, he wrote, but in a less heroic strain, Pastoral Letters to the Huguenots remaining in[Pg 135] France. "Remember," he said, "only the teachings of the Gospel and the principles that we derive from Holy Scripture, and that we shall inculcate till the end of our life without change, that loyalty to the sovereign must be inviolable, not only through fear, but for conscience sake."[252] He warns them against holding large noisy assemblies in the "desert," advising family prayers in the stead: "Do not call down upon yourselves by tumultuous assemblies and indiscreet zeal, fresh misfortunes which in the present time would appear to be due to justice rather than to hatred and difference of religion." On no account are they to bear arms: "You ought to be alive to the honour of your religion ... that never authorises any one to bear and use arms for his preservation."[253]

Those diplomatic words do not reflect the general feeling of the refugees; in England they adopted, as we have seen, current Whig theories; for them the French and the Tory interest coincided. Later on, they supported the house of Hanover. In an address presented to the King a little before the rebellion of 1745 by the merchants of the City of London, out of 542 names, Rev. D. Agnew identified no less than 99 refugees. The Tories, feeling the danger accruing to them from this active Whig element, brought against them several measures. The Act of Settlement passed by a Tory administration had a clause that, ostensibly directed against the Dutch favourites of the[Pg 136] King, was detrimental to the refugees. In 1705, the Tory majority in the Commons rejected a Naturalization Bill, for fear the new-made subjects should return Whig members.[254]

The problem of toleration interests politics as well as religion. For the refugees who, driven from France, settled in England or Holland, civil toleration was in question only in so far as it referred to the French King's policy. But in the French churches abroad, the question of ecclesiastical toleration arose from the intolerance displayed by the Synods to the heterodox preachers. From those various discussions two dissimilar theories presently took shape, in which once more Bayle and Jurieu were pitted together.

Bayle, hearing how his brother had died for his religion in a French prison, dashed off against the persecutors a virulent pamphlet[255] out of which there soon grew a theory of toleration. The chief argument of the Catholic clergy was Christ's words in the parable: "Compel them to come in." Bayle set to work to show how the literal meaning of the words must be rejected, because force cannot give faith; it is contrary to Christ's meekness, it confounds justice and injustice, and is the cause of civil wars; it makes Christianity hateful in the eyes of the pagans, and is a temptation to sin, the dragoons losing their souls in carrying out[Pg 137] their master's commands; it makes the persecution of the early Christians justifiable, and entitles every sect to persecute in the name of truth, which to their belief they possess.

After that preliminary passage of arms, comes the capital argument in the book. Conscience in each individual is the sovereign judge whom he is bound to obey. Since invincible causes often prevent us from discovering truth, all that God asks of us is sincerity. If a pagan is guilty before Heaven, it is not because he is an idolater, but for crimes committed against the dictates of his conscience. The greatest crime is to disobey one's conscience, to be insincere. A heretic of good faith is entitled from a human point of view to the same respect as a sincere believer. Persecution being contrary to the order of things established by God, is not only criminal but absurd.[256]

A reply to the Commentary was dashed off by Jurieu, who always wrote at white-heat.[257] When there is, as often happens, a conflict between the revealed law of God and the dictates of the individual conscience, if our conscience is the sovereign judge, God's word is in vain. Justice, equity depending on individual caprice, the responsibility of the criminal logically disappears. A murderer like Ravaillac, who, in stabbing Henri IV., obeys his conscience, must not in strict justice be[Pg 138] put to death. No happier state there is, according to the Commentary, than that of a cannibal innocent, because his conscience is not enlightened, and free to follow the lowest instincts of man's nature. Erring conscience to Jurieu's mind has the power, not the right, to command; the fountain-head of right is justice and truth, not their counterfeit.

In a supplement to the Commentary, published in 1687, Bayle met Jurieu's attack. On the question of toleration no distinction can be drawn between orthodoxy and heresy. Suppose that, in obedience to Christ's command to give alms, a man relieves a fellow-creature feigning to be poor, he has none the less obeyed the command; therefore a heretic compelling an orthodox to renounce his belief obeys Christ's command "compel them to come in." The Protestant has the same right as the Catholic to persecute, the Pagan as the Christian, and the whole argument of the upholders of intolerance rests on worthless distinctions.

This objection Jurieu had foreseen by expounding a bold uncompromising theory. The right to persecute is a right granted by God to the Christian magistrate. No Church of Christ can hold its own in the struggle going on in this world against darkness and sin without the use of force. Early Christianity would never have won ascendancy without the help of the Christian Emperors who destroyed the Pagan temples and forbade the worship of the false deities. "It is God's will that the Kings of the world should despoil the Beast and[Pg 139] smite down its image." The King of France has no right to persecute the Huguenots, they being Christians "confessing God and Jesus Christ according to the three Creeds." Bossuet had already flung into his adversary's face the fate of Servetus. Servetus, Jurieu readily answered, was no Christian: professing "damnable errors," he was justly burned at the stake.

A complete account of the battle that raged round these two treatises it is unnecessary to give here.[258] The drift of the argument is sometimes hard to follow, as civil toleration and ecclesiastical toleration are constantly confounded. The discussion must have unsettled the convictions of the refugees. One of the best instances of the difficulties which beset a sincere believer when examining the question, is a treatise written by a minister at Utrecht, Elie Saurin,[259] who endeavoured to steer a middle course between Jurieu and Bayle. The magistrate, he urged, has received a commission from God to procure eternal happiness to his people and promote the interests of religion. But the religion thus promoted must be the true religion and none but legitimate means employed to further it. Some of these he proceeds to enumerate: the true Church is more or less a State Church, the magistrate assists the Church in carrying out her decisions, particularly in depriving heretical ministers. And, further, the magistrate exterminates atheism and[Pg 140] immoral religions. But he has no right to the individual conscience. The most honest men in the world entertain errors impossible to eradicate, they may be tolerated. "The magistrate," sums up Saurin, "must do, to establish and propagate the true doctrine and extinguish error, all that he can without offering violence to the conscience, or depriving his subjects of their natural or civil rights." A hard programme to carry out![260]

An influence might be traced of these debates on the minds of the contemporary English political writers. But Bayle's Commentary had a greater influence on French thought. While its philosophical argument appealed to Frenchmen, its lack of a political basis robbed it of popularity in England. That these refugees, with their unmistakable Gallic love for general ideas irrespective of any practical application, should end in gaining regard in their own country is not to be wondered at, but it is surprising that their opinions became popular in France only after Voltaire's visit to England. A few conversations at the Rainbow Coffee-House revealed to him what France had given up with the Edict of Nantes. The originality stamped upon the refugees' works showed that their political teaching was not entirely due to England or Holland. In truth, they either stopped short of English liberty or overstepped the bounds that the prudent Whigs had set to the sovereignty of the people. While Bayle pretty accurately represented the yet to come French eighteenth-century gentleman, a cultured free-thinking monarchist, an enemy to the priests and a conservative Gallican, with a dangerous tendency to allow seductive reasoning to run away with his judgment, Jurieu strangely anticipated the fanatical Jacobin. Under Louis xiv. France was a country in which Bayle would have chosen to live. In 1793, in the Public Safety Committee, Jurieu might have been considered by Robespierre as a trustworthy patriot.


[Pg 141]

And withal, these refugees are practically unknown in France. Lacking the needed passport to fame—the graces of style—they are forgotten; and the melancholy impression one feels in unearthing in the great public libraries their dust-eaten pamphlets, is that of disturbing the dead. The men that live in French literature are the contemporary prose-writers, Bossuet, La Bruyère; but turn to England, compare the influence of those men with that of Bayle or Jurieu, or even Drelincourt. After 1688 the influence in England of French official literature sinks to nothing, while that of the refugee literature is immense. No better justification there is of the necessity of comparative literature to discover the errors of familiar assertions, and dispel common optical illusions.


[224] By Lecène and Le Clerc, for instance, in Conversations sur diverses matières de religion, 1687, p. 216.

[225] See Renouvier, Philosophie analytique de l'histoire, iii. 537. On Bayle may be read with profit, besides Sayous, op. cit. i., studies by Sainte-Beuve, Port. Litt. i.; Faguet, Etudes du XVIIIe Siècle; Brunetière, Etudes critiques, 5e série; Delvolvé, La Philosophie de Bayle, 1906; Lenient's work, Etude sur Bayle, 1855, is worthless.

[226] Œuvres, vi. p. 292.

[227] "He said there was one Bayle had wrote a naughty book about a comet, that did a great deal of harm ... he said he had not read it."—Burnet, Own Time, vi. p. 55 n.

[228] Pastoral Letters, iii. 1. xv. p. 355.

[229] Politique du clergé de France, p. 133.

[230] Ibid. p. 75.

[231] Apologie pour les réformés, La Haye, 1683, p. 177.

[232] Avis aux réfugiés.

[233] Nouv. Rép. Lettres, vol. i. p. 141.

[234] Ibid. p. 466.

[235] Traité du pouvoir absolu des souverains, Cologne, 1685, p. 159.

[236] Ibid. p. 25.

[237] Derniers efforts de l'Innocence affligée, 1682, pp. 177, 178.

[238] P. 249, cf. "Aux rois appartient le gouvernment extérieur de l'Eglise de Dieu," Bochart, op. cit. p. 23.

[239] Schickler, quoting Bull. Soc. Prot. Franç., v. 43.

[240] Avis aux réfugiés; Lettres choisies, ii. p. 376.

[241] Droits des deux souverains.

[242] Diary, i. p. 634.

[243] The Jesuit Unmasked, 1689.

[244] Avis aux réfugiés, pp. 83, 84.

[245] Lettres Pastorales, iii. ll. xv.-xviii. (1st April-16th May 1689).

[246] Derniers efforts de l'innocence affligée, p. 214.

[247] Défense de la nation britannique, La Haye, 1693, p. 107.

[248] Bayle, Lettres choisies, ii. p. 453.

[249] Vol. ii. pp. 699, 700 (the first fifteen volumes only are by Bayle).

[250] Avis aux réfugiés, p. 88.

[251] Histoire des ouvrages des savans, April 1690, p. 368.

[252] Instruction pastorale, Rotterdam, 1719, p. 29.

[253] Ibid. pp. 21, 24.

[254] Burnet, Own Time, v. p. 199.

[255] Ce que c'est que la France toute catholique sous le règne de Louis le Grand, Rotterdam, 1686.

[256] Commentaire philosophique sur les paroles de Jésus-Christ, Contrains-les d'entrer, 1686.

[257] Du droit des deux souverains en matière de religion, la conscience et le prince, 1687.

[258] See Puaux, Précurseurs français de la tolérance.

[259] Not to be confounded with Jacques Saurin, the preacher.

[260] Réflexions sur les droits de la conscience, Utrecht, 1697.

[Pg 142]


Shakespeare and Christophe Mongoye

Viewed in the light of the most recent critical research, what we know of a certainty about Shakespeare amounts to very little. According to Professor George Saintsbury,[261] "almost all the commonly received stuff of his life-story is shreds and patches of tradition, if not positive dream work"; and he goes on to say that we know nothing either of the poet's father or wife; that it is impossible to affirm that he ever married; that the beginning of his career as a dramatist and the dates of the first production of most of his plays are still shrouded in mystery. Therefore when a scholar proclaims that he has discovered some new well-authenticated fact about Shakespeare, he deserves at least a hearing.

This is how the most significant discovery made since the time of Malone was hailed by a literary paper of wide circulation and undoubted influence: "Interesting as is this new notice of Shakespeare, it has attached to it a number of casual assumptions and a dose of sentiment which makes no appeal[Pg 143] to the serious student. The legal proceedings to which the signature is appended throw little light, if any, on Shakespeare's literary personality."[262] Those for whom the Athenæum is a guide must have come to the conclusion that they need not worry about what seemed to amount to little more than an idle story; the new signature excepted, which, after all, would merely provide an engraving for some yet unwritten book, the papers might as well have been suffered to slumber on undisturbed in their pigeon-hole at the Record Office.

Luckily for the author of the discovery, there is a spell in Shakespeare's name so potent that it is impossible to mention it, even coupled with Mrs. E. W. Gallup or Mr. W. S. Booth's conjectures, without attracting some attention.

At first the discovery was noticed in the reviews, particularly in the Observer and the National Review,[263] then scholars and critics turned their attention to it, Sir Sidney Lee mentioning the Mountjoys in a footnote to his French Renaissance in England and the Cambridge History of English Literature honouring them with a line in the bibliographical appendix. To M. Jusserand it was reserved to point out in his lecture before the British Academy the real significance of Shakespeare's intimacy with a French family living in London.

[Pg 144]

It was in Harper's Magazine that Professor C. W. Wallace of the University of Nebraska gave the first account of the documents that he had just unearthed. They consist in a bundle of papers relating to a lawsuit brought before the Court of Requests. One Christopher Mountjoy, a wig-maker in the City of London, had given his daughter Mary in marriage to his apprentice Stephen Bellott. A few months after, upon the wig-maker's wife dying, her estate was claimed at once by her husband and by her son-in-law, who, being unable to come to an agreement, brought the cause before the Court.

Stephen Bellott, it appears, had taken lodgings with the Mountjoys as early as 1598. A year after, at the request of his step-father Humphrey Fludd, the youth became an apprentice, served Christopher Mountjoy six years, then, having vainly sought to make his fortune in Spain, drifted back to his master's house, where Mary Mountjoy was awaiting him. An amusing little comedy now took place. As Stephen remained irresolute, Mary's mother decided to bring matters to a pitch: duly instructed by her, a mutual friend, then lodging with the Mountjoys, none other of course than Shakespeare, met the too shy young man, showed him the advantages of the match, persuaded him to accept, and in November 1604 the pair were married.

When the case came before the Court in 1612, a number of witnesses were called upon to give[Pg 145] evidence. The first to be examined was Joan Johnson, a former servant, who testified to Shakespeare's part in the match; then came Daniel Nicholas, apparently one of Shakespeare's friends and companions. The third whose interrogatory was taken down by the clerk was Shakespeare.

"Wm. Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon in the Countye of Warwicke gentleman of the age of forty yeres or thereabouts sworne and examined—sayeth,

"To the first interrogatory this deponent sayeth he knowethe the partyes plaintiff and deffendant and hathe knowne them bothe as he now remembrethe for the space of tenne yeres or thereabouts.

"To the second interrogatory this deponent sayethe he did know the complainant when he was servant with the deffendant and that during the time of his the complainantes service with the said deffendant he the said complainant to this deponentes knowledge did well and honestly behave himselfe, but to this deponentes remembrance he hath not heard the deffendant confesse that he had gott any great profitt and commoditye by the service of the said complainant, but this deponent sayeth he verily thinkethe that the said complainant was a very good and industrious servant in the said service and more he cannott depose to the said interrogatory."

And the clerk goes on recording questions and answers in this dull unemotional style for some time, then the witness having duly signed his[Pg 146] deposition—a most precious signature, that!—withdraws.

A question naturally arises while we read these depositions, Who were these artisans thus thrust suddenly into prominence? The issue of the suit has provided the answer. After a protracted inquiry, the Court, in accordance with the law of England that left the Ecclesiastical Courts to decide testamentary causes, referred the parties to the Consistory of the French Church. Both Mountjoy and Bellott, in spite of their names being Englished, were Huguenot refugees. There only remains to search the registers of the French Church. Sure enough, on 14th April 1603, the name of Christophe Mongoye appears as a witness to a christening, and so it should evidently be spelt.

Moreover the name of Christophe Montioy occurs in the lists of aliens resident in London in the early seventeenth century. And, finally, on 27th May 1608, Christopher Monioy, "subject of the King of France, born in Cressy," was naturalized English.[264] The humble wig-maker's life is thus quite vividly outlined.

And, again, why should Shakespeare have selected Mongoye's house to lodge in? The explanation suggested by Mr. Plomer seems acceptable. In 1579, Richard Field, a native of Stratford-on-Avon, came to London and apprenticed himself to Thomas Vautrollier, a printer in Blackfriars. This Vautrollier[Pg 147] and his wife were Huguenot refugees like the Mountjoys, "and we may well believe that the members of the French colony within the walls of the city at that time were more or less acquainted with each other." In 1586 or 1587, Vautrollier died and Richard Field, then a freeman of the Stationers' Company, married the widow and became a master printer.[265] His friendship with Shakespeare is a well-attested fact: both Venus and Adonis and Lucrece were issued by Field's press, in 1593 and 1594. What wonder then that Shakespeare should have known the Mountjoys through his friend's wife.

How long did Shakespeare lodge with the Mountjoys? In his deposition, dated 11th May 1612, he states, as we have just seen, that he has known them for the space of ten years or thereabouts, therefore since 1602.

Thanks to Professor C. W. Wallace, the site of the Mountjoys' house has been identified. It stood in Aldersgate, at the corner of Silver Street and Monkwell Street (formerly Mugwell Street). Let us add that lovers of Shakespeare need not try to summon up visions of the past before the commonplace building taking the place of what might have been a sacred pile. A passing reflection, just a rapid recollection of poor Yorick, is enough. Modern London, grey, noisy, colossal, and vulgar, ill suits the brightness and the distinction of Elizabethan England.[Pg 148]

Does the discovery throw any light on Shakespeare's character? M. Jusserand thinks so. "It shows us," he says, "Shakespeare unwittingly thrown by events into a quarrel; his efforts to minimise his rôle and to withdraw and disappear are the most conspicuous trait in the new-found documents."[266]

In conclusion, the chief fact to be remembered is that Shakespeare lived with French artisans during the most important period of his literary life. Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, perhaps Hamlet, were most probably written in the house at the corner of Silver Street. The mystery of the scene in French in Henry v. is now cleared up: the Vautrolliers, the Mongoyes and their circle taught Shakespeare French.

And yet there is about Professor C. W. Wallace's discovery something unsatisfactory that will be readily understood. The voice that reaches us over the bridge of time seems terribly disappointing: known only by the illuminating utterances in his works, the poet lived on in our memory surrounded with a halo of idealism; he was as an eagle soaring on high and whose wings were never soiled by touching earth. A pity it is that, instead of a formal deposition before a judge's clerk, chance did not bring to light a conversation with Ben Jonson. The veil is just lifted, we draw near, and the god we had figured dwindles into a mere man.


[261] Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. v. chap. viii.

[262] Athenæum, 26th February 1910.

[263] Nor let us omit Professor Morel in Bulletin de la Société pour l'étude des langues et littératures modernes, March 1910.

[264] W. A. Shaw, Denizations and Naturalizations of Aliens, 1911, p. 11.

[265] Letter to the Athenæum, 26th March 1910.

[266] What to Expect of Shakespeare, p. 14.

[Pg 149]


French Gazettes in London (1650-1700)

By a strange coincidence, Milton as well as Shakespeare had the opportunity of meeting Frenchmen in London. His connection with William Du Gard, schoolmaster and printer, dates from the time of the Civil War.

Born in 1606 in Worcestershire, William Du Gard came, as his name implies, of a family of French or Jerseyan extraction.[267] His father, Henry Du Gard, was a clergyman; his uncle, Richard, a tutor in Cambridge; his younger brother, Thomas, took orders and became rector of Barford. William devoted himself to teaching and was appointed in 1644 headmaster of Merchant Taylors' School.

The minds of the people were then in an extraordinary ferment, as ever happens when a crisis is at hand. A far-reaching change loomed over England.[Pg 150] No sheet-anchor could long withstand the heaving seas. Both in Church and State, the old Elizabethan settlement was breaking up. No wonder that new, unlooked-for thoughts rose in the minds of men and that pamphlets unceasingly flowed from the printers' presses. Perhaps the prevalent rage of idealism caught Du Gard in his turn, or maybe he acted out of ambition or mere vulgar hope of gain. About 1648, schoolmaster as he was, he set up a private press.

His first venture in this new capacity was that of a royalist. After helping to print Eikon Basiliké, he undertook to publish in England Claude Saumaise's treatise against the regicides, Defensio Regia pro Carolo Primo. But the authorities quickly took alarm and the Council of State on the same day (1st February 1649-50) deprived Du Gard of his headmastership, confined him to Newgate, confiscated his press, imprisoned his corrector Armstrong.[268]

Then the unforeseen happened: a few weeks only had elapsed when Du Gard was set free, reinstated at Merchant Taylors' School, and, having recovered press, forms, and type, professed himself a Puritan and assumed the title of "printer to the Council of State." It is alleged that his freedom was due to the friendship of Secretary Milton. We think it more simple to believe that the Council[Pg 151] wished to conciliate the only printer at the time whose literary attainments entitled him to publish abroad the answer to Saumaise's treatise which Milton was then commissioned to write. That the Council were anxious to counteract the efforts of the royalist party to inflame Continental opinion against the Parliament, we repeatedly gather from the State Papers; nor is it venturesome to assert that, when compared with the printers of Amsterdam, Cologne, or Rouen, the printers of London were mostly hacks.[269]

The sudden conversion of Du Gard seems to have had lasting effects. In 1659, the Council still trusted him.[270] In ten years' time, he had made only one mistake when, in 1652, overlooking Parliamentary zeal for orthodoxy, he printed the Racovian Catechism. Needless to add that the book was burnt by the common hangman.

At the Restoration, William Du Gard was finally deprived of his headmastership and died in 1662, having after all little cause to regret his adventures as a printer; he enjoyed a large competence, being wealthy enough to act as surety for his friend[Pg 152] Harrington, the author of Oceana, in no less than £5000.[271]

The books issued from Du Gard's press are of less interest than the weekly paper which he undertook to publish in French, from 1650 to 1657. A few numbers are preserved in the British Museum, but the nearly complete set of the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres may be consulted at the Bibliothèque Nationale. It is in that old long-forgotten paper that are to be read the earliest mentions of Milton's name in a French publication.[272]

Du Gard advertised the Defensio pro populo Anglicano in the following terms: "The reply to the scandalous and defamatory book of M. de Saumaise against this State, which has long been wished for by many worthy people and generally expected by all, is at last near ready, being now under press and pushed forward" (Feb. 1650-51). Coming from Saumaise's printer, such humble professions were well calculated to mollify the Council of State.

[Pg 153]

A few weeks later, in No. 34, we meet again with Milton's name: "The reply to the insulting book of M. de Saumaise by Mr. John Milton, one of the Secretaries to the Council of State, appeared last Monday, to the utmost content and approval of all" (March 2-9, 1650-51).

The following year, Du Gard published the French translation of Eikonoklastes, Milton's reply to Eikon Basiliké. It is thus advertised in the Nouvelles ordinaires: "This week has been issued, in this town, the French translation of Mr. Milton's book confuting the late King of England's book" (No. 125, Dec. 1652). The translator was John Dury, a Scottish minister.[273]

The last mention of Milton's name appears in a letter from Paris: "We have notice from France that M. Morus, a minister opposed to Mr. Milton (who has just published another book against him, entitled Defensio pro se), having passed through the chief Reformed Churches in France and preached everywhere to the applause of the people, has gone from Paris, where some wished to retain him as minister, and come to Rouen, leaving his friends in doubt as to his return, but that the favour shown him has as promptly subsided as it was stirred up, many marking the lack of constancy in his mind, and the ambition and avarice of his[Pg 154] pretensions" (No. 298, Feb. 1656-57). The paragraph refers to Alexander More, minister of Charenton, whom Milton had most vehemently assailed upon mistaking him for the author of the Clamor sanguinis regii ad cœlum, which had been published at the Hague in 1652. The book was by Peter Du Moulin. More replied by a defence entitled Fides publica contra calumnias J. Miltoni, and Milton then retorted by the pamphlet referred to above: J. Miltoni pro se defensio contra A. Morum.

The fact that Milton's name appears at so early a date in a French publication would alone excite curiosity about the Nouvelles ordinaires. The collection preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale comprises four hundred numbers, extending from 21/11 July 1650 to 31/21 January 1657-58; out of which only six are missing (Nos. 161-63, 202, 237, 238). The paper came out every Thursday, in one quarto sheet. "Extraordinary" numbers (entitled Nouvelles extraordinaires de Londres), such as No. 185, printing in full The Instrument of Government; No. 202, the treaty with the Dutch; No. 288, that with France; are on two quarto sheets. At the close of No. 2 may be read the following curious notice: "and are to be sold by Nicholas Bourne, at the South Gate of the Old Exchange, Tyton at the sign of the Three Daggers by Temple Gate, and Mary Constable at the sign of the Key in Westminster Hall."[Pg 155] That Du Gard's paper circulated abroad may be inferred from the quaint notice appended to No. 44: "The reader is warned that the author (who up to now has with the utmost care gathered every week these happenings for the information of the public, though what he has gained thereby up to now has not given him much encouragement to go on, on the contrary hardly defraying the cost of the printing) has received intelligence that an English printer ... issues every week in The Hague a pirated edition, reprinting the paper in same size and type, with the name of the author's own printer, which is an intolerable falsification ... the author will henceforth take care to provide M. Jean Veely, bookseller, in The Hague, at the sign of the Dutch Chronicles, with true copies from London." Since no one has ever dreamed of issuing a pirated edition of an unsaleable book, we must believe the author to have somewhat exaggerated his complaints.[274]

After all, the author may have been Du Gard himself. However that may be, the editor of the paper knew English well; that he had long resided in England is implied by the many English words and idioms in his style.[275] Names of places[Pg 156] often puzzle him, and he deals with the several difficulties in a rather awkward manner.[276] None but a Frenchman that had left his country for some time past or, as was actually the case with Du Gard, an Englishman of French descent, would venture to think of a village constable as a connétable, p. 816; of the Speaker of the House of Commons as l'orateur, p. 253; and calmly translate Solicitor-General by the absolutely meaningless expression solliciteur general, p. 305; and writ of error by the no less unintelligible billet d'erreur, p. 679.[277] Nevertheless, he spells in the most accurate way proper names, whether French or English.


[Pg 157]The gazette begins by a sort of general statement that it is worth while to quote in full: "The troubles and different revolutions that have taken place for the last ten or twelve years in England, Scotland, or Ireland, have provided us such a number of fine deeds, that, though writers, especially abroad, have unjustly tried either to stifle them by their silence or to tarnish their lustre by lessening their price or worth, nevertheless, enough has been seen, though as through a cloud, to move with admiration the best disposed minds that have heard about them. Now that the war with Scotland, that with Ireland, and the present differences with Portugal, are likely to provide us with new ones, I have deemed it not unacceptable to foreign nations, to impart in a language that extends and is understood throughout Europe, all the most signal and remarkable happenings. To that effect, should this account and the following be favourably received by the public, I propose to carry it on every week, on the same day, briefly and with what truthfulness can be obtained in things of that nature out of the several rumours that the passion of every one disguises according to his temper."

The Council of State could not but acquiesce in an endeavour to enlighten public opinion on the Continent. Du Gard kept his promise to say the truth: his paper is as unimpassioned as could well be a paper published "by authority."

If the newswriter was anxious to keep his readers well informed, he did not at the same time conceal his admiration for Cromwell. Maybe he was sincere. It was difficult not to be impressed by the soldier who had won Dunbar and Worcester.

Readers in Paris and Brussels did not only peruse the accounts of these Puritan victories, they learned also all about the flight of the Lord's anointed, young Charles II.

Such sufferings and trials were not enough: impossible to read even now without some emotion[Pg 158] the bare paragraph in which Du Gard, with official coldness and hard-heartedness, tells about the death of little Princess Elizabeth.

"Princess Elizabeth Stuart, daughter to the late King, who you know was brought together with her brother[278] to the Isle of Wight, having got overheated while playing at bowls and drenched afterwards by an unexpected fall of rain, took cold, being moreover of a weak and sickly health, and fell ill of a bad headache and fever, which increasing, she was obliged to be abed where she died on December 8th inst., though carefully attended by Mr. Mayerne, chief physician to her late Father" (September 1650, p. 41).

But the triumphs of the Parliament extend to enemies abroad; Portugal and Holland are both humbled, Barbadoes and Jamaica forced to surrender. Du Gard remained true to his promise. All Europe might peruse the famous letter, "des généraux de l'armée navale du Parlement et de la République d'Angleterre au très honorable Guil. Lenthal ecuier, orateur dudit Parlement, écrite à bord du navire le Triomfe en la baie dite de Stoake," and signed: Robert Blake, Richard Deane, George Monck. Sprung from the ranks of the people, those revolutionists used, when occasion needed, the language of patricians. "M. Bourdeaux (the French envoy) having delivered a copy of the letters accrediting him and subscribed: To our very dear and good friends, the people of the Parliament[Pg 159] of the Commonwealth of England, it was directed to be returned, for all addresses should be subscribed: To the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England" (p. 513).

Such patriotic pride must move the writer of the Nouvelles ordinaires. So in one of his very few outbursts of humour he exclaims: "The King of Portugal being unable to do us harm, had tried to frighten us, but being unable to do either, on the contrary showing the most egregious cowardice and poltroonery as ever was seen, without the slightest regard for his reputation, has tried to conceal his shame by a lying account, signed by himself; if the said King thinks he has seen what he has written, it must be said that his spectacles were set awry" (p. 45).

Religious intelligence takes up a great space in the Nouvelles ordinaires. The readers are not spared a single proclamation about days of fasting and repentance; lengthy abstracts are duly given of the sermons preached at the Abbey or St. Margaret's; nor are the wordy resolutions of the several committees on religious affairs omitted. The quakers are often spoken about. The first risings of the sect are set forth with the kind of minuteness that appeals to a modern historian. They are "evil-disposed and melancholy people" (gens malfaits et mélancoliques); most pestilent and persevering proselytisers, with an inordinate appetite for martyrdom, they appear at the same time in the most unexpected quarters; driven[Pg 160] from Boston, they cause a holy panic in Hamburgh and Bordeaux (p. 1375). Their leader, or at any rate "the chief pillar of that frenzied sect," is named George Fox. "Many think the said Fox is a popish priest, there being several of that garb among the said quakers, and what makes the opinion plausible is that he is strong for popish and arminian tenets, such, for instance, as salvation by good works." (p. 981).

With the exception of the poor Piedmont Waldenses, who had found a strenuous protector in Cromwell, the foreign Protestants interest but little the editor of the Nouvelles ordinaires: he was probably afraid of offending those in high places by more than casually alluding to the Huguenots who had shown themselves vehemently opposed to independency. Thus it would be difficult to find a more explicit piece of news than the following: "Letters from Paris say that of late divers outrages have been committed on the Reformed, under frivolous pretences quite contrary to their privileges, especially at La Rochelle, Metz, Amiens, Langres.... Local quarrels breaking out daily in divers places on the score of religion, together with the massacres of Protestants in Piedmont, make it feared lest there be a universal hidden design of the Papists to endeavour to exterminate all those that make profession of the Reformed religion in all places in the world" (p. 1057).

Mention is made of the French Churches in[Pg 161] London. "This week, the members of the French and Walloon Churches in this city have petitioned Parliament to be maintained in the enjoyment of the privileges granted to them of old; which petition being duly read, was referred to the Council of State" (p. 668); and further on: "This week, the ministers of the French Church in this city, and six of the elders of the said Church, together with the Marquis de Cugnac, came to Whitehall to congratulate His Highness" (p. 729).

The Marquis de Cugnac was then in England on behalf of the rebel Prince de Condé, bidding against Cardinal Mazarin's envoys to gain the friendship of Cromwell and the help of the English fleet. Many are the allusions in the Nouvelles ordinaires to the dark intrigues of the Frondeurs. A most characteristic one may be quoted here; in May 1653 the "city of Bordeaux sends four deputies to the Commonwealth, a councillor of Parliament Franquart, a gentleman La Cassagne, a man of the Reformed religion whose name is not stated, and a tin-potter named Taussin; with them have come a herald bearing the arms of England as they were when Guyenne was under English rule, and a trumpeter of the said city" (p. 597).

Many of Du Gard's readers are merchants; for them he prints the resolutions of Parliament concerning the Customs and Excise, the Post Office regulations, the treaties with foreign countries. No sooner is peace proclaimed with Portugal[Pg 162] than Du Gard gives information as to sending letters to Lisbon, by means of frigates building at Woolwich (pp. 1326, 1328, 1333). Warnings are issued as to pirates in the Mediterranean or the piratical practices of neutrals: "Letters from Leghorn say that Mr. Longland, an English merchant, having loaded a French ship with a cargo of tin, the captain of the said ship perfidiously gave notice to the Dutch, who forthwith came with two men-of-war and seized it" (p. 562).

Pirates and "sea-rovers" (escumeurs de mer) meet with short mercy at the hands of Du Gard: "We have notice from Leghorn that our ships on the Mediterranean have captured a French ship commanded by Captain Puille, nicknamed the Arch-pirate" (p. 194).

Robbers must be as summarily dealt with, especially Irish robbers: "Lieutenant-General Barry was taken prisoner in Ireland by the Tories and put to death. The Tories are a kind of brigands, of somewhat the same sort as the Italian banditti; they live in marshes, woods, and hills, neither till nor sow the earth, do no work, but live only on thieving and robbery" (p. 15). Fancy Cardinal Mazarin reading about the Tories!

Such is the curious French paper in which Milton's name was mentioned for the first time. Nor should we think the old forgotten publication unworthy to record the rising fame of a future epic poet. Though the style of the Nouvelles ordinaires be as rough and harsh as the manners[Pg 163] of Roundheads and Ironsides, it served to tell in Paris and Brussels and Amsterdam of lofty thoughts and splendid deeds. The utterings of a Cromwell still ring with the haughtiness and energy that remind one of Satan's speeches in Paradise Lost.

Du Gard's undertaking was remembered after the Commonwealth. To the Nouvelles ordinaires succeeded, with but a few years' interval, the Gazette de Londres, the French edition to Charles ii.'s London Gazette. The general editor was one Charles Perrot, an Oxford M.A.; the printer, a friend of Thurloe, as Du Gard had been, was called Thomas Newcombe; and the task of writing the French translation was entrusted to one Moranville. Editor, printer, and translator received their inspirations from Secretary Williamson, who, the better to see his directions obeyed, placed Mrs. Andrews, a spy, in the printing-house.

Beginning Feb. 5, 1666 (old style), the Gazette de Londres was issued under the reigns of both Charles ii. and James ii. Numbers are extant dating from William iii. and Queen Anne.

The few numbers of the Gazette that we were enabled to read, appear of much less interest than the Nouvelles ordinaires. Even a newspaper would degenerate in the hands of Charles ii. and his ministers. Here are specimens of the vague colourless political news concerning France and England: "Two of Mons. Colbert's daughters were bestowed—the elder on M. de Chevreuse, son to the Duc de Luynes, the younger on the Count[Pg 164] de Saint-Aignan, only son to the Duc of the same name" (No. 13, Dec. 1666). "Mons. de Louvois is ill with a fever" (No. 2248, May 1688). "His Majesty (James ii.) has begun to touch for the King's evil" (No. 1914, March 1684). Such news the Secretary of State thought would neither stir rebellion nor cause diplomatic complications.

The Gazette de Londres appeared twice a week, on Monday and Thursday, was printed on a half-sheet, and cost one penny.

Here is an advertisement that brings one back to the Great Fire: "All that wish to provide this city with timber, bricks, stones, glass, tiles and other material for building houses, are referred to the Committee of the Common Council in Gresham House, London" (No. 12, Dec. 1666). Another may be quoted: "An engineer has brought to this city the model in relief of the splendid Versailles Palace, with gardens and waterworks, the whole being 24 feet long and 18 wide" (No. 2222, Feb. 1687).

To Thomas Newcombe succeeded as printer, in 1688, Edward Jones, who till his death in 1705 published the Gazette, which then passed to his widow, and ultimately to the famous bookseller Tonson.

The French edition met with some mishaps. Volume ix. of the Journals of the House of Commons records a dramatic incident. On 6th Nov. 1676 a member rose in the House to point out the singular discrepancies between the Royal proclamations against the Papists printed in the London Gazette and the French translation in the Gazette de Londres. The terms had been softened down not to cause offence to the French Court.

After Bonnart

[Pg 165]

Immediately the House took fire, and summoned Newcombe and Moranville to appear on the very next day. "Mr. Newcombe being called in to give an account of the translation of the Gazette into French, informed the House that he was only concerned in the setting the press, and that he understood not the French tongue! And that Mons. Moranville had been employed in that affair for many years and was only the corrector of it. Mons. Moranville being called in, acknowledged himself guilty of the mistake, but he endeavoured to excuse it, alleging it was through inadvertency."[279]

Assemblies have abundance of energy, but seldom persevere in one course of action: since no more is heard of the case, we may suppose that both delinquents got off at little cost. Moreover, there is nothing very heroical in the Gazette de Londres. Next to the editor of the Nouvelles ordinaires, Moranville sinks into insignificance. He was most probably a refugee reduced by poverty to write for a bookseller. What could an exiled Frenchman do but teach or write French? So Moranville found many to follow his example. As late as Queen Anne's time, French journalists earned a scanty livelihood in London. The Postman was edited in English, mind! by Fonvive; the[Pg 166] Postboy by Boyer, whom Swift derisively called a "French dog."[280]

The refugees were but continuators of Théophraste Renaudot, the father of the modern press. The very name of Mercury given to the early English papers, came from France; what wonder then that French journalists should be found in London? Why some should write in French, the forewords to the Nouvelles ordinaires set forth in an illuminating phrase: French was in the seventeenth century "a language that extended and was understood throughout Europe."


[267] The few extant letters—written in Latin—of William Du Gard bear the signature: "Guil. du Gard." Now an Englishman would naturally sign "Dugard" or "Du Gard" (Bodleian MSS. Rawl. A. 9. 123). He certainly knew French and received intelligence from the Continent. The very slender clue that relates his family to Jersey is yielded by the mention of one William Du Gard, born in Jersey in 1677 (Rawl. MSS. T. 4o 6, 202).

[268] Calendars of State Papers, Dom., 1649-1650, p. 500. Three months before he had been called upon to enter into £300 recognizances. Ibid. p. 523.

[269] The following information is yielded by the State Papers: Du Gard signs an agreement on 7th March 1649-50, Dom. 1650, p. 27; the next day he gives sureties in £1000, p. 514; 2nd April, he recovers his press, pp. 76, 535; but must enter into £500 recognizances, p. 515; 11th September, he becomes once more headmaster of Merchant Taylors' School, p. 235. The Council, among other orders concerning the diffusion of Parliamentary publications abroad, directs the Customs to "permit Mons. Rosin to transport Customs free the impression of a book in French relating some proceedings of Parliament against the late king, for dispersion in foreign parts" (Dom. 1650, p. 527).

[270] Dom. 1660, p. 223.

[271] Further information on Du Gard may be found in Masson, Life of Milton, Ch. Wordsworth, Who Wrote Eikon Basiliké? and the Dictionary of National Biography. No one, however, seems to have taken the trouble to read Du Gard's letters in the Bodleian Library and to connect him with the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres.

[272] To M. Jusserand we owe the appreciation on Milton penned in 1663 by Ambassador Cominges for his royal master, Louis xiv., Shakespeare en France sous l'ancien régime, p. 107. Two letters of Elie Bouhéreau, a physician of La Rochelle, asking, in 1672, for information on Milton, were published in Proceedings of the Huguenot Society, vol. ix. pp. 241-42. I pointed out a few years ago (Revue critique, 21st November 1904) Bayle's severe strictures on Milton in the Avis aux réfugiés, 1690. The appreciation of Cominges alone is quoted both by J. Telleen, Milton dans la littérature française, and J. G. Robertson, Milton's Fame on the Continent.

[273] The book is entitled Εικονοκλαστης ou Réponse au Livre intitulé Εικων Βασιλικη ou le Pourtrait de sa Sacrée Majesté durant sa solitude et ses souffrances. Par le Sr. Jean Milton. Traduite de l'Anglois sur la seconde et plus ample édition. A Londres. Par Guill. Du Gard, imprimeur du Conseil d'Etat. 1652.

[274] Manuscript notes in the margin have recorded the names of two Paris subscribers: MM. de la Mare and Paul du Jardin. Cardinal Mazarin seems to have been a reader of the paper, for he writes to the Count d'Estrades, 23rd April 1652: "S'il est vrai, comme les Nouvelles publiques de Londres le portant, que la République d'Angleterre soit en termes de s'accommoder avec Messieurs les Etats."

[275] For instance, eaux fortes (strong waters) for eaux-de-vie, p. 167; moyens efficacieux, p. 633; toleration, p. 691; éjection des ministres scandaleux, p. 770; retaliation, p. 96; lever et presser (to press) des soldats, p. 169; sergent en loy (sergeant at law), p. 213; le récorder seroit demis (dismissed) de sa charge, p. 221, etc.

[276] Au parc dit Hide park, p. 64; la place dite Tower Hill, p. 152; la rue dite le Strand, p. 156; la paroisse dite Martin-des-Champs, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, p. 182; la prison dite la Fleet, p. 370; l'île dite Holy Island, p. 442, etc.

[277] Messenger he renders by messager, instead of huissier, p. 749. More often, through mere indolence, he suffers the English word to stand: récorder, p. 61; commission d'oyer et terminer, p. 841; ranter, p. 189; quaker, p. 1375. He indifferently writes aldermens, p. 61, and aldermans, p. 717. He apparently does not know the French word tabac, always preferring the form tobac (tobacco).

[278] The Duke of Gloucester.

[279] Journal, House of Commons, ix. 534.

[280] See Chapter III.

[Pg 167]


A Quarrel in Soho (1682)

It is a comparatively easy task to find out how Monsieur l'ambassadeur of France or a distinguished foreign author lived in London. In both cases their dispatches, memoirs, and letters, and sometimes their friends' letters, are extant. But how about the merchants who had seldom time to gossip about their private affairs; and the crowd of artisans, working-men, and servants who did not, nay could not, write? Fortunately others wrote for them, when actuated by some strong motive. Take, for instance, the following story preserved in an old pamphlet[281] and which, reprinted, needs no lengthy commentary to give insight into the life of the poorer Frenchmen whose lot it was to work and quarrel in and about Soho and Covent Garden under Charles ii.:—

"About five weeks ago, the wife of Monsieur de la Coste, a French Taylor, dwelling then at the upper end of Bow Street in Covent Garden, lying upon her death-bed, sent for Mr. Dumarest[Pg 168] (here the unknown author of the pamphlet is wrong, he should have spelt the name Du Marescq, as any one may see who cares to consult Baron de Schickler's learned work on the French churches in London) that he might comfort and pray with her before she departed; which the aforesaid minister having accordingly done, and acquitted himself of the function of his ministry (this phrase sounds strangely un-English; maybe the writer who knows so much about the French colony in London is a Frenchman himself), the sick person caused the company to be desired to withdraw, for that she had something particular to say to her husband and the minister. The company being withdrawn, she desired her husband to take care of a daughter she had by a former marriage, who lived in the house of the widow of one Reinbeau, because that she was a Papist, and that she feared that after her death she would seduce her daughter. (The construction of the sentence is confusing at first, and very ungrammatical. By using the verb 'to seduce' with the meaning of 'to convert to Romanism,' the author betrays a French Protestant descent.) The husband promised to do what his wife desired; the dying person, not content with the promise of her husband, made the same request to the minister, who assured her that he would acquit himself of his duty (s'acquitter de son devoir literally translated) in that respect.

After Arnoult

[Pg 169]

"The sick party died the day after, and the father-in-law sent immediately for the young maid, clothed her very handsomely, and told her the last will of her mother; the young maid made answer that she was born a Protestant, brought up as such, and that she would be very glad to be instructed in her religion, that she might resist and prevent falling into error. Her father-in-law finding her in that resolution, told her that it was requisite she should live in his house, to which she consented with a willing heart.

"Some days after, widow Reinbeau caused Mr. La Coste to be fetched before a Justice of the Peace for detaining from her her apprentice ('an apprentice is a sort of slave,' wrote the French traveller Misson,[282] 'he can't marry, nor have any dealings on his own account; all he earns is his master's.' Apprentices were bound by deed for a term of years, sometimes sums of money were given with them, as a premium for their instruction. If they ran away, they might be compelled to serve out their time of absence within seven years after the expiration of their contract). He appeared there accordingly and said that his wife's daughter was not an apprentice, and that though she were so, he was not willing that she should be seduced, that he knew there was such a design, but the Justice, without having regard to this, redelivered the young maid into her pretended mistress's hands.

"The father-in-law complained hereof to his friends, and while they were contriving to remedy[Pg 170] this business (imagine the excitement), the young maid went to Mr. Jehu (this is surely a misprint), a goldsmith dwelling in the house of the deceased (and no doubt an important member of the Protestant community), and weeping bitterly, desired him to use the means of having her instructed in her religion, and of getting her out of the hands of the Papists. He promised to use his endeavours for that purpose, and that he might perform his word, he went to Mr. Dumarest, a minister, and told him the business; who assured him of contributing all that lay in his power to his efforts; and they two together agreed that on Sunday, the Second of June, the young maid should go to the Greek Church (in Hog Lane, now Crown Street, Soho, a kind of chapel-of-ease to the Savoy Church), and that she should be there examined. Accordingly she went thither to that intent, but the minister being hastened to go to the Savoy Church, bid the young maid follow him, that he would discourse her on the way, and that he would after that present her to the Consistory (otherwise: the elders); which the young maid agreeing to, followed the minister (we can trace their way on an old map through the dingy ill-paved lanes lined with squalid houses and almost hear the minister 'discourse' in loud French, thus attracting notice), but they were no sooner in Newport Street, than that widow Reinbeau, a niece of hers, three of her nephews, a vintner and other Papists stopped the maid and minister in the way; and[Pg 171] the widow with an insolent tone asked the minister why he talked to that maid? The minister asked her by what authority she asked him that question? To which she said that this maid was her apprentice: The minister told her that he was assured of the contrary, but that though she were so, he had a right to instruct her, and that it was only with that intent that he spoke to her and that she followed him, that it was Sunday, and that after she had been catechized, she should return unto her house (the widow's house, of course), until it was known if she was under any obligation to her or not, which after he had said, he bid the young maid continue her way with him. (We can see Du Marescq standing in wig and gown, vainly trying to pacify the irate widow, and the small crowd of her gesticulating relations and friends gathering round.)

"The widow seeing that the young maid followed, seized her with violence, swore that she should not go with the minister; at the same time three of her bullies surrounded the minister, and after he had told them that he was amazed they should commit such violence on the King's highway on a Sunday, when the business was only the instruction of one of his subjects, being in fear of the Roman dagger, he went to a Justice of Peace called Sir John Reresby, to inform him of the whole matter. (In this little tragi-comedy, Sir John Reresby, made Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and Westminster in Nov. 1684, plays the part of the upright judge; a time-saver he appears to have been,[Pg 172] but then he was a strong anti-papist; at that moment he had just been superintending proceedings against Thynne's murderers and probably cared very little for the noisy Frenchmen.)

"The minister was no sooner gone than that Mr. Jehu being desirous to get near the young maid and speak to the widow Reinbeau, this woman without hearing him, fell upon him, tore his peruke and shoulder-knot off, and she and her myrmidons began to cry out: a French Papist (a scurvy trick!).

"This piece of malice had like to have cost the Protestant his life, for at the same time some of the mobile who were crowded about him seized him by the throat; but the populace being undeceived, and having understood the Popish trick, let go the Protestant, which the Papists perceiving, they ran into a house hard by, swearing they would cause the French Protestant to be stabbed (just after the scare caused by the Popish Plot, there was not a loyal Protestant, either English or French, who did not believe every Papist had a knife up his sleeve and was scheming a new Bartholomew's Day).

"After they were got into that house, they immediately contrived how to secure their prey: for that purpose they sent for a chair and had her conveyed away (after the manner of the Catholics in France, as every one in England knew at the time).

"During that interval Mr. Du Marest the minister having discoursed Sir John Reresby upon this[Pg 173] business, this worthy Justice of the Peace sent for a constable (deus ex machina!), and gave him a warrant. The constable performed his commission, brought the widow and her niece, but the other Papists prevented his seizing them by making their escape in the crowd.

"The Justice of the Peace examined them concerning the maid, they confessed that she was not an apprentice, but a maid they set to work, and to whom they gave twenty shillings a year; upon this, and the declaration which the young maid made, he discharged her ('apprentices to trades,' said Blackstone almost a hundred years later, 'may be discharged on reasonable cause, either at the request of themselves or masters, at the quarter sessions, or by one justice, with appeal to the sessions'), and recommended the care of her to the minister, and then proceeded to examine to the bottom ('au fond' is the French legal term which would naturally occur to the writer of this pamphlet) the violent action which the women had committed, and upon their confession, and the depositions of several witnesses, he bound them to the sessions (here should the story end, but the writer thinks it needs a moral, and so he proceeds).

"This conduct of the Papists would something startle me, if I did not daily hear of such-like violences. But when I am assured that a certain Papist called Maistre Jacques (let us hope Sir John Reresby will have him hanged at next Middlesex[Pg 174] Assizes), upon a dispute of religion, did so wound a Protestant that he is since dead of it; when people of honour assure me, that they hear Papists call the illustrious Queen Elizabeth a whore, and beat those who oppose them upon this subject; when I hear that the Papists threatened some years since, that they would set the streets a-flowing with blood (the Popish Plot again!); when that I see people that are perverted every day, and who are taken from us by force; when I see that the Papists contemn the King's Proclamations, that, instead of withdrawing according to his pleasure to some distance from London, they crowd to that degree this City and its suburbs, that one would say they designed to make a garrison of it; I do not wonder at this last insolence, and I apprehend much greater if care be not taken."

Such a pamphlet could be the production only of a Frenchman, most probably of mean condition, certainly no scholar. The interest lies less in the narrative itself, than in the frame of mind which it reveals among the humbler Frenchmen then living in London. While the Protestant refugees are in fear for their safety, their Catholic fellow-countrymen exhibit a singular arrogance in so small a minority. No doubt the effects of the French King's policy were being felt even in England, some knowledge of the secret articles of the Treaty of Dover filtering down, through the medium of priests and monks, to the ranks of the working[Pg 175] people: they now suspect Charles II. to be in the pay of Louis xiv., and hope that the King of England will soon proclaim his Catholic faith and call in the aid of the French dragoons to convert the reluctant heretics. In a similar manner are the private arrangements between Sultans and European Powers divined and commented on at the present time by the native population in Persia or Barbary. The slightest quarrel, the most commonplace street brawl are pretexts for rival factions to come out in battle array. Among men of the same race and blood, feelings of hatred and instances of perfidiousness are manifest. As is always the case in time of civil war, the aid of the foreigner, be he an hereditary enemy, is loudly called for and order is finally restored by constable, judge, and gaoler.


[281] The Relation of an Assault made by French Papists upon a Minister of the French Church, in Newport Street, near St. Martin's Lane, 11th June 1682.

[282] Mémoires et observations faites en Angleterre, La Haye, 1698.

[Pg 176]


The Courtship of Pierre Coste and Other Letters

Pierre Coste would be quite forgotten to-day if, by a singular piece of good luck, he had not translated Locke's Essay into French. Born at Uzès, in Southern France, in 1668, Coste fled to Holland at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Though accepted as a minister by the Synod of Amsterdam, he appears never to have fulfilled pastoral duties. He knew Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; he had studied divinity; so to earn a living, he became a proof reader. In spite of his precarious condition, he seems to have had friends in high places, Charles Drelincourt, for instance, professor of medicine at Leyden University, and physician in ordinary to William of Orange and Mary, and Jean Le Clerc, the author of the Bibliothèque universelle.

On the latter's advice, Coste learned enough English to translate Locke's Thoughts concerning Education. The favourable reception of the work induced him to undertake a translation of the Essay on Human Understanding: Locke heard of this and,[Pg 177] in order to supervise the work, he invited Coste to come over to England. Locke was then living with Sir Francis Masham, at Oates, in England. Coste quite naturally became the tutor to the young Mashams, none being more qualified to apply the principles of the Thoughts concerning Education than the translator.

Coste lived on at Oates till Locke's death in 1704. He subsequently became tutor to the son of the Earl of Shaftesbury, the author of the Characteristics. We can trace him to Paris, following the chequered career of a man of letters; thence he went to Montpellier and Rome, wandered about Germany and Holland, returned to England, and finally found his way back to Paris, where he died in 1747.

Like all the "Dutch journalists," with the exception of Bayle and Le Clerc, he was merely a compiler and translator. Besides Locke, he translated Newton, Shaftesbury, Lady Masham. He published editions of Montaigne and La Fontaine; he wrote a life of Condé. Original work he never sought to achieve. "I have no ambition," he writes, "if I had, I should be unable to satisfy it." He is no more than a good-tempered, careless Southerner. With nothing of the Camisard about him, he invincibly recalls one of those sunny, self-possessed sons of Provence. Surely it was an accident of birth that made him a native of the Cévennes, he should have come into the world a little lower down in the valley of the Rhone. Of course he is[Pg 178] often insolvent, but when the duns clamour, a generous patron never fails to interfere. The great people he meets do not impress him; on the contrary he laughs at their foibles most indulgently. The background in which these eminent men live lends piquancy to Coste's letters; but the difficulty of understanding the allusions is somewhat irritating. The impression is that of a black void faintly illuminated by intermittent flashes of light. There is, however, some slight compensation in the recreating work of filling up the gaps with surmises.

Coste's correspondence we do not intend to publish in full. A selection must be made. All that concerns the relations between "Dutch journalists" and English writers interests the history of comparative literature. The information about Locke and the spread of his philosophy in France, must be carefully treasured up. But there are also familiar letters which throw the most vivid light on the life of some French refugees in Amsterdam. Thanks to them we shall know something about the man as well as about his works.


Coste and the English Writers

One of the letters printed below tells how Coste came to know Locke. "Speaking of that doctor[Pg 179] (Drelincourt), I must say I have had the occasion to write to a famous English physician named Locke, of whom you have so often heard me speak. Yesterday I received a book with which he had been kind enough to present me. I shall thank him at the earliest opportunity." It appears that the success attending the operation performed by Locke on the first Earl of Shaftesbury in 1668 was not to be eclipsed by the publication of the Essay. Contemporaries spoke in the same breath of Locke and Sydenham as great physicians.

Into Coste's life at Oates we can get only a few glimpses, just some recollections jotted down long after Locke's death. Thus, on 8th January 1740, Coste wrote to La Motte, the "Dutch journalist," to complain about the "cape" with which the engraver had adorned Locke's portrait, heading an edition of the Traité de l'Education. Locke, he said, had never been a physician. "He could not bear being called a doctor. King William gave him the title and Mr. Locke begged an English lord to tell the King that the title was not his."

The anecdote clears up the mystery contained in a letter of Bayle. In the first edition of the famous Dictionary (1698) Bayle had mentioned "Doctor" Locke. For Bayle as for every one in Holland who remembered the first Earl of Shaftesbury, Locke was a celebrated physician. Locke corrected the mistake, probably through the medium of Coste; but Bayle failed to understand.[Pg 180] "I am very sorry," he answered, "that he has taken so ill the granting of a title which will do him no harm in any reader's mind."[283] Bayle was not aware that Locke had been denied in 1666 his doctorship by the hostile Oxford authorities. Locke's behaviour is a characteristic instance of hard-dying resentment.

In February 1705, there had appeared in the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres, an "éloge" or kind of obituary notice on Locke.[284] After a short account of the philosopher's life, followed some details on his character, among which it may be read that he was impatient of contradiction and easily roused to anger. "In general, it must be owned, he was naturally somewhat choleric. But his anger never lasted long. If he retained any resentment, it was against himself for having given way to so ridiculous a passion; which, as he used to say, may do a great deal of harm, but never yet did the least good. He would often blame himself for this weakness." The following passage in one of Coste's letters may serve to illustrate that general statement: "I remember that conversing one day with Mr. Locke, the discourse happening to light upon innate ideas, I ventured this objection: what must we think of birds such as the goldfinch that, hatched in the parents' nest, will fly away at last into the open in quest of food without either parent taking the least care,[Pg 181] and that, a year later, know very well where and how to find and select the material necessary for building a nest, which proves to be made and fitted up with as much or more art than the one in which they were hatched? Whence have come the ideas of those materials and the art of building a nest with them? To which Mr. Locke bluntly replied: 'I did not write my book to explain the actions of dumb creatures!' The answer is very good and the title of the book 'Philosophical Essay Concerning Human Understanding' shows it to be relevant." By the way, in alluding to the strange workings of heredity, Coste had come unawares upon the strongest argument in favour of innate ideas.

After Locke's death, a quarrel broke out among his friends. Anthony Collins, the free-thinker, loth to admit of a single objection to his master's theory such as he conceived it to be, thought that both Le Clerc and Coste were pursuing a deliberate plan of disparagement and resolved to denounce them publicly. In 1720, one of his dependents, the refugee Desmaizeaux, published a volume of Locke's posthumous works, prefaced with an attack on Coste. Le Clerc, whose explanation had been accepted, was spared.[285] "M. Coste," wrote Desmaizeaux, "in several writings, and in his common conversation throughout France, Holland, and England, has aspersed and blackened the memory of Mr. Locke, in those very respects wherein[Pg 182] he was his panegyrist before."[286] No trace remains of the written strictures. A hitherto unpublished letter explains and justifies Collins' resentment. Reviewing a pamphlet of one Carroll against Locke, the Catholic Journal de Trévoux happened to say: "Such is the idea entertained in England about Mr. Locke whom a Letter written to Abbé Dauxi by Mr. De La Coste charges us with slandering. The printed letter has been circulated in Paris.... We are pleased to see English writers judge their countrymen in the same way as ourselves. Perhaps the exaggerated praise that M. Le Clerc heaps upon his friend Mr. Locke, is a more decisive proof that we have found out the latter's impiety."[287] On receiving the review, Coste indignantly denied having written the Letter to Abbé Dauxi. The attitude of the Trévoux reviewers he failed to understand. "Their synopsis of the Essay appeared to me very good, as far as I remember, and Mr. Locke, to whom I read it, was pretty well satisfied."[288] To show that his feelings toward his patron were unchanged, Coste reprinted his "éloge" in the second edition of his translation of the Essay (1729), adding these words: "If my voice is useless to the glory of Locke, it will serve at least to witness that having seen and admired his fine qualities, it was a pleasure for me to perpetuate their memory."

[Pg 183]

In Coste's papers information abounds on the corrections he made to the several editions of his translation of Locke. It would be an invidious task to transcribe the long lists of errata that he sends to faithful La Motte, who seems to supervise the work of the press, but it may prove interesting to know the names of great people on the Continent who are to receive presentation copies of the Essay. They are "the nuntio in Brussels, the Duchesse du Maine, M. Rémond in Paris, Abbé Salier, sub-librarian to the King."[289] In 1737, he mentions the success of the Thoughts concerning Education, reprinted in Rouen, upon the fourth Dutch edition. But the Reasonableness of Christianity fell dead from the press, the Paris booksellers not having a single copy in 1739.

On the spread of Locke's ideas on the Continent, Coste's letters bear out the evidence to be gathered elsewhere, notably from the Desmaizeaux papers in the British Museum. While the Thoughts concerning Education and the Essay were eagerly read, no one seemed to care about the social compact theory, toleration, or latitudinarian theology. As early as August 1700, Bernard writes to Desmaizeaux from the Hague that "Mr. Locke's book in French sells marvellously well." In 1707, according to Mrs. Burnet, the Bishop of Salisbury's wife, the[Pg 184] Essay was extensively read in Brussels.[290] In 1721, Veissière informed Desmaizeaux that he had presented the chancellor in Paris with "a miscellaneous collection of pieces of Look, in English," and received profuse thanks. The same year, another correspondent from Paris congratulated Desmaizeaux upon the publication of "M. Look's" posthumous works, and begged for information on the meaning of the words gravitation and attraction, "the English language," he added, "not being quite unknown to me." This, of course, was before Voltaire had "discovered" either Locke or Newton and summed up for the benefit of his countrymen their respective contributions to the advancement of anti-clericalism and free thought.

But it must be borne in mind that Peter Coste was not entirely engrossed in translations of Locke. One day, he gave La Motte his appreciation on Richard Cumberland's De legibus naturæ disquisitio philosophica "written in so rude a style one does not know whether it be Latin or English.... Those defects," he added, "have disappeared from Barbeyrac's translation." But an "English gentleman, a friend of Mr. Locke, with whom he studied in the same college at Oxford," has undertaken to publish an abridged edition "ampler than the original one and still less readable."

At another time, Coste was interested in a less serious book, Richardson's Pamela. The famous novel had just appeared unsigned. With Southern[Pg 185] rashness, Coste met the difficulty of authorship with a wild guess. "I heard about Pamela in Paris, but I never read even a word of the book." However, he knows who wrote it, "'Tis M. Bernard, the son of our friend (the editor of the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres) and minister to a French Church in London. I know it as a fact. The success of the work caused no doubt the author to let out the secret, which he had kept at first by publishing his work in English."[291] The eagerness with which these cosmopolitan writers seize upon any successful book, is both amusing and instructive.

To one of his correspondents Coste wrote about the same time: "I am, have been, and will remain all my life, to all appearances, in continual torment." It was a weary old man who talked on in that way. Fortune had ceased to smile. Now let us turn to another scene: Peter Coste, in all the confident strength of early manhood, is writing a series of letters of love which the author of Pamela would have surely appreciated.


Letters of Coste to Mademoiselle Brun[292]

In 1694, one Brun, a native most probably of Languedoc, in partnership with a fellow-countryman[Pg 186] of the name of Rouvière, established himself as a trader in Amsterdam. The two merchants took a house in the most busy part of the city, the Heer-Gracht. They were both married. Madame Rouvière being still young, speedily became a confidante for the daughters of her husband's partner. Three of these lived in Amsterdam, the fourth had married a refugee, her father's business agent in London. To make this home circle complete, another name must be mentioned, Mademoiselle Durand, destined to marry a gentleman, M. de Bruguière, and according to the etiquette of old France to be henceforth styled "Madame."

It appears that Coste, the press-corrector, would be a frequent visitor at the house in the Heer-Gracht. There he met his friend, the journalist De La Motte. An intimacy naturally grew up between Coste and one of the daughters. Whenever they had to part for a time, he used to write either to her or to her sisters and friends. She answered occasionally. Only one of her letters is extant.


Mademoiselle,—(He has been ill, has delayed answering. Compliments: the letter received has delighted him.) We must love you well to rejoice in hearing how well you are diverting yourselves at the Hague, while here we drag on our miserable lives without the least pleasure.[Pg 187] You seem slow to believe us so unhappy, for you speak of our garden and the study therein as of an earthly paradise. But you are greatly mistaken if you imagine the place, which appeared so charming when you were there, is still so, when you are there no longer. It's quite another thing. Your absence has disturbed everything. Our garden yields no more fruit. Even the weeds no sooner spring but they wither.... Such desolation is not limited to our garden, all Amsterdam feels it. Which reminds me of a conversation that took place over a fortnight ago in a house where I happened to be in good company.... A Fleming who had come from the Hague two days before, told us how charming a place it was.... I know the reason well, said I to myself:

"Which proceeds neither from the magnificent throne
Of his British Majesty,
Nor from the Ambassadors that are gathered together here
To appease the upstirred hearts
Of all the princes in Europe.
One speedily sees, unless one be a mole,
That two Iris's have caused the vast change
And therefore
If in our business city
Such charms are not to be found
As in the large Dutch burgh,
It is because those Iris's are not there."

... Ah! had I been able, I should have simply laughed from Leyden to Harlem and leapt for joy[Pg 188] from Harlem to Amsterdam. But that would not have been more possible than for Mlle Durand to come into the world before Mlle Rouvière.[293] When I take thought, I reflect that at bottom you do me the favour to send me your love as well as to Mlle Prades and M. de La Motte....—Coste.[294]


[The letter is addressed to "Monsieur Convenent, conseiller d'Orange, pour rendre à Mademoiselle Durand, à la Haye." Written about the same time as the preceding.]

Mesdemoiselles,—We thought we had to thank you only for the honour you did us to inform us on Saturday that you would welcome us with pleasure in your company to Leyden.... (usual old-fashioned complimentary phrases).

You no doubt wish to know what became of us after the fatal moment of our parting from you. We went on board feeling very sad, and now talking, now holding our tongues, lying down, leaning, yawning, dozing and sleeping, we reached Harlem. Those that did not sleep, heard the nightingale and the cuckoo sing.[295] I was of the number as well as Mlle Isabeau who, hearing the cuckoo sing,[Pg 189] softly breathed quite a pretty song. She would have sung, but the glory to gain was too little with a cuckoo for a rival. As to the nightingale, she dare not try her strength against his, for fear of failure. There is risk everywhere, yet I believe that, had she had the courage to enter the lists, she would have come out victorious. As to M. Rouvière, he woke up only when compelled to leave the boat, and cross the town of Harlem. Do you know what he did to sleep so soundly? He made me promise to read him some of Madame Des Houlières'[296] poetry, paying me for my trouble, of course. He handed me an apple, on condition I should read until he fell asleep, and I won the apple very soon. I had not read six lines before I laid down the book to eat my apple, and there was no further need to take up the book.

Having crossed Harlem, we went on board once more and met in the boat a great talker, just back from England, a brother to M. Vasserot; he left us only the liberty to listen and to ask a question now and then, to compel him to change his subject. The talk was all about England....

Though I long to see you, I prefer being deprived of your presence to enjoying it, if your stay at the Hague may help Mlle Durand to recover health, which with all my heart I wish she will do.... I shall be as careful to tell you all that happens here as Mlle Durand must be to note all she feels in order to instruct M. Drelincourt. Talking of[Pg 190] that doctor, I have had occasion to write to a famous English physician, named Locke, of whom you have heard me so often speak. Yesterday I received a book with which he was kind enough to present me. I shall thank him at the earliest opportunity. If Mlle Durand thinks it proper, I shall send him an account of her sickness, begging him to point out what remedies he thinks fit.... Coste.


[From England, where Coste is staying, he writes a series of letters, by way of pastime, no doubt, when not engaged in the austerer task of translating the Essay, under Locke's immediate supervision.]

To Mademoiselle Suson and to Mesdemoiselles Isabeau and Jeannette to beg them to prevail upon Mademoiselle Suson to take up a pen.

Mademoiselle,—You love me little, in spite of your fine protests; or you know little what true friendship is. 'Tis not punctilious, as you feign to think. You are not witty enough, you say, to answer my letter. 'Tis untrue, an't please you; but even if it was so, must we be witty to write to a friend? Let us only consult our hearts, and utter what they feel. As to terms, a friend never stops to criticise them. Heavens! whoever amused himself with reading a letter from a friend with a dictionary and a grammar in his hand, to find out some obsolete word or sorry turn of phrase?[Pg 191] Friendship is not irksome, and it is one of the finest privileges a friend has when writing to a friend, to say all he chooses to say in the way he chooses without fearing anything. He ventures everything and runs no risk. That freedom is the best part of friendship; without it I should not care a button (je ne donnerois pas un clou) for that sweet union so boasted of, so rare, so seldom known.

If this is not enough to induce you to write, I shall have recourse to three or four intercessors that have more power perhaps over your mind than I.

I begin with Mlle Isabeau. The worst soldiers are always placed in front of the army, because, if they run away, all hopes are not lost. I act in the same way. I do not trust Mlle Isabeau very much. According to her temper, she will fight for or against me. Maybe she will be neither for nor against, and should I find her in that fatal frame of mind, it would be idle for me to say: "Now, Mlle Isabeau, a line or two, please. Take pity on a poor lonely man who has scarcely lived since your going away. You can make him spend some sweet moments in writing to him, send him only four lines, or at least beseech Mlle Suson to write." She does not answer. "Is it possible, Mlle Isabeau, for you to have forgotten me so? Are the promises"—She speaks to the wall. If I become more pressing, I may elicit a crushing reply. So I turn to Mlle Rouvière who will speak up for me,[Pg 192] I am sure, and in such moving terms that Mlle Suson must surrender. "Who are you talking about?" she will say. "About that Englishman who would like perhaps to be with us here. What does he want? A letter from Mlle Suson. Well, you must write to him to-day, without fail. Give me the letter, I shall get it posted. Now, there's a merchant just stepping into the warehouse, I must go and see what he wants, I shall be back in a moment, excuse me, won't you, business above all." Oh, the fatal motto, the cursed merchant! the troublesome fellow but for whom I had carried my suit. Mlle Suson said nothing. She was half convinced by Mlle Rouvière's natural eloquence, together with that good grace inseparable from whatever she says and which it is impossible to withstand.

But let us not lose heart! I have still my reserves to bring up. What Mlle Rouvière has only tried, Mlle Durand will accomplish without so much ado. "The poor fellow," she will say, "he is right. Let us write to him without haggling." And immediately, taking a large sheet of paper, she will write this or something like:

You are right to blame my sister's carelessness. Since we think of you sometimes, it is just to tell you so. That will please you, you say; I am very glad of it, and—well—you may depend upon it.

No doubt Mlle Suson will follow that example and go on with the letter. I therefore thank Mlle Durand for the four lines and all the others[Pg 193] that Mlle Suson will add, since it is through her intercession that I get them.

If you still resist, Mademoiselle, I shall send Mlle Jeannette forward as a sharpshooter that, if he dared, would fight furiously for me. But she will attempt something and say: "Why, certainly, sister, you should write to him!" She would say more but she is afraid you will reply: "Jeannette, mind your own business." If you venture as far as that, I shall tell you that you take an unfair advantage of your birthright and that she is right in advising you to keep your promise.

But we must not come to that pass. I am sure that Mlle Rouvière, Mlle Durand, and Mlle Isabeau (I write the name down with trembling) will have determined you to fulfil your promise, and that you will listen with pleasure to what Mlle Jeannette says to strengthen you in your resolve.

I had written this when I received Mr. De La Motte's last letter in which he informs me that you have begun a letter to me. So I have no doubt you wish to write to me. You have begun. 'Tis half the work. Take up the pen again and get the work over.... If you have not the leisure to write a long letter, write a short one. I shall always receive it with profit.

I beg of you to assure Monsieur your father and Mademoiselle your mother of my humblest regards. I have seen their granddaughter, your niece, a very pretty child. Whenever I go to London I shall[Pg 194] not fail to see her, as well as Mlle Gigon, whom I ask you to greet from me when you write to her. I am, etc.—Coste.


[To congratulate Mlle Durand on her marriage.]


Madame,—I shall not want many words to persuade you that I heard the news of your marriage with much joy (usual florid compliments). You have above all a kind inclination for your husband. Yes! that last is not wanting, I have it from good authority, and it was absolutely necessary. 'Tis that gives relish to marriage, which, without it, would, according to those skilled in the matter, be only a dull, insipid union.... I present my compliments to Monsieur and Mademoiselle Rouvière and wish them a happy New Year. I take part in the joy of Monsieur and Mademoiselle Brun and in that they will soon have of being once more grandparents.

N.B. Pardon me, please, Madame, the liberty I take to inclose a letter to Mademoiselle Suson.


Mademoiselle,—Though a marriage has deprived me of the so-long-wished-for pleasure of receiving[Pg 195] one of your letters, I am quite ready to write to you before receiving an answer to this letter and to those that I have already written to you to congratulate you on an adventure similar to your sister's.... I received, Mademoiselle, a very courteous letter from your good London friend, and I answered it two days later. There's a hint for you! But I wish to have the merit of perfect resignation, to suffer without complaining. Mlle Gigon mentions Messieurs Malbois and Macé as persons in good health. I do not know whether I shall be able to see them this winter.

M. De La Motte sends me word that you have received my last letter and finds I have pretty truly sketched your characters.

I do not withdraw what I said about Mlle Rouvière's natural eloquence. No one can take it from her, without taking her life too, but I know not whether she has the goodwill I credited her with in my letter. Had Mlle Rouvière spoken in my favour, she would have moved you, and the bride would not have failed to make you take up your pen, had she deigned to set you an example. But I do not see that you were either stirred by Mlle Rouvière's persuasive speech or enticed by Mme de Bruguière's example.... I thought Mlle R. would speak for me, that Mme de B. would take up a pen to encourage you to write.... As to Mademoiselle Isabeau, she cannot deny it, I have drawn her portrait after nature.... The heat of passion at seeing my letter did not last long. Like[Pg 196] a heap of straw that blazes up, it cooled down almost as soon as it burst out....

As to Mademoiselle Jeannette, I am sure she did what she could for me. I am much obliged to her for her zeal. Please excuse the blots in my letter. I have not the leisure to copy it out.... Adieu, Mademoiselle, love me always as I love you or almost.—P. Coste.


[Coste writes twice to complain of her silence.]


Mademoiselle,—I see that in friendship as in love (the two passions are much akin), who loses pays. For the last six months you have been promising to answer my last letter, and, now I am beginning to despair of seeing the wished-for answer, you tell me, "Could you not, Monsieur, write to me sometimes without exacting an answer...." You know too well the price of your letters not to lavish them upon me. You will not have them match my own in number.... I was charmed with your letter, I cannot keep silence about it, I read it over many times and shall read it again....

Your artless compliment upon the New Year, went home. It quite moved me. I am very glad to see that my tastes quite agree with your own.[Pg 197] That makes me believe I am reasonable. I have no ambition, and if I had, I should be incapable of satisfying it. I am very little encumbered with money and in no condition to amass much, however that may be necessary to the regard of the world. When I dwell on all that, I sometimes fancy it would be as well for me to leave this world quickly, as to linger on in an everlasting circle of toilsome vain occupations, but coming soon after to think that I have a few good friends in this world, I say to myself, that it is worth while living to enjoy so sweet a pleasure.—Coste.



Mademoiselle,—For your intention of writing to me, I owe you at least one letter. See how much obliged I should be to you if you deigned to carry out your intention. I do not care to reproach a friend. But I congratulate myself in mildly rebuking you, if I thereby oblige you to write. Lay your hand on your conscience. Have I not a right to complain a little? I have been writing for over a year and you have not once thought of answering me. I know that friendship does not stand upon ceremony, but can it put up with such carelessness? No, Mademoiselle. You know too well the delicacy of that charming passion, which[Pg 198] is the keenest pleasure of high-born souls, not to agree with me....—Coste.


[Two significant letters follow, one of which is the young girl's answer.]

Mademoiselle,—Having opened a few days ago one of the finest books written in this age, I read these charming words: "To be with those we love is enough. To dream, talk, keep silence, think of them, think of more indifferent things, but to be near them, is all one."

I could not see those words, Mademoiselle, without thinking of you, and I could not help adding: "What a torment it is to be far from her whom one loves." After thinking of that, I could not help writing.

I do not know whether you will take this for sterling truth; I mean to say, whether you will believe what I say. I am persuaded that you will not be in the least tempted to doubt my sincerity; but I do not know whether you will make much account of it. Here you are accused, you Dutch people, of loving only bills of exchange. As for me, I know a man who would value more highly than gold, however bright it may be, a compliment from you that would be as sincere as the one I have just paid you. I am, etc.—Coste.[Pg 199]

Oates, 6th February 1699, O.S.

Pay the bearer 99,000,000,000 and a few millions, within six days, on sight.

Mademoiselle Suson Brun, the Her-Gracht, Amsterdam.



Monsieur,—I am in receipt of yours of the 6th inst., and seeing you have drawn on me a bill of 99,000,000,000, I shall not fail to meet it when due; if there is anything in this city that I can do for you, I am yours to command. That is, Monsieur, the extent of the business gibberish I have acquired in five years' time. If you ask me only to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, you are now satisfied; but I should not be if I did not speak a language less barbarous and more intelligible than that one to persons like you and me. So I shall tell you, Monsieur, that of all the letters that I have received from you, none pleased me more than the last. You ever love me, you say, and if you read some sweet thing, you remember me; I own I did not dare expect that from you; not but that I know you to be a sincere and true friend, but I was afraid of the distance, the fine ladies you would find in England and the persons of merit[297] you see every day; but above[Pg 200] all I was afraid of human nature, unfit, it is said, for constancy; I beg your pardon, Monsieur, if I have confounded you with so many people from whom you deserve to be distinguished, as much on this score as on others already known to me ere I was convinced of the last.

If the esteem I have for you was not of the highest, it would no doubt increase on discovering in you so rare a virtue, for I terribly love kind friends, and though of a sex to whose lot levity falls, nothing would pain me more than to cease loving one I had loved: what pleasure therefore it is for me who have loved, love, and will love you all my life, to have a friend such as I should wish to have! Ever love me, dear Monsieur, and believe that the brightness of gold, though I am in Holland, will never cause me such pleasure as the mere thought of having a friend tried by time. But I know not of what I am thinking. You ask only for a compliment and I am returning professions of love and lengthily too; no matter, compliments are only compliments, that is to say speeches generally devoid of meaning and that are far from expressing the true feelings of the heart, consequently they would be unfit to express the sincerity of the friendship I entertain for you; for

Of loyal friends if the fashion is lost,
I still love as women loved of old.

I write down those lines with a trembling hand, not knowing very well how that sort of thing must[Pg 201] be put, but the lines express so fully my meaning that I thought you might overstep the rules, if the rhythm is not right; however that may be, you must be persuaded that such are the feelings of your kind friend.

(From Amsterdam, 3rd March 1699.)


[A gap in the correspondence. Two years later Coste writes the following letters.]


... Last century, you were infatuated with wit, you say, and you thought yourself bound to write in a sublime style. Don't tell me that, Mademoiselle. I know you too well to believe that of you. I know that last century your mind had depth and strength and you were strong-minded; you wrote well, knowing what tone to assume and never departing from it. If that be a fault, you are not rid of it at the beginning of this century....

As for me, I fancy that a charming shepherdess who, after talking to her shepherd about rain and fair weather, suddenly said without regard to connection in subjects: "Oh, dear Tirtis, how I love thee!" would persuade him far better than a more witty shepherdess who, coming more skilfully to the point, said: "See the lamb yonder,[Pg 202] how pretty it is, how charmingly it frisks about the grass, it is my pet, I love it much, but, dear Tirtis, less than thee!" That is more witty but not so moving, if I am to believe those skilled in the matter....

"Yes, in my heart your portrait is engraved
So deeply that, had I no eyes,
Yet I should never lose the idea
Of the charming features that Heaven bestowed on thee."



[The last letter has caused him much disquiet. Suson has fallen ill of "languor and melancholy".]

A peace-loving creature has brought you back to health; and you think yourself thereby protected against all the malicious reflections of our friend. Asses' milk may cool the blood, enliven the complexion and restore the healthful look that you had lost,

"But its effect reaches not unto the heart."

If the sickness should be in that part, you must needs be wary; you might still remain ill a long time, in spite of your asses. There are remedies against love, but none are infallible. Such is a great master's decision. See whether it would be becoming for an ass to gainsay it.... Proud as you should be and delicate to the utmost, I do[Pg 203] not think you in great danger in the country where you are. So I deem you quite cured. You may proclaim your victory, and, since you wish it, I shall proclaim it with you.... As for me, if I was to discover that you had allowed yourself to be touched by the merit of a gentleman who would feel some true tenderness for you, I should not esteem you the less, provided that love did not deprive me of your friendship. And, between you and me, I have some doubts on that score.... —Coste.


[There were grounds to the feelings of jealousy shown in the last letter. No explicit record is left of what happened. But ten years later Coste, now married to Marie de Laussac, the eldest daughter of M. de Laussac, an army chaplain in England, writes to his once dear Suson, since become the wife of one La Coste, a refugee living in Amsterdam.]


Mademoiselle,—Then it is true that you complain of my not writing. Never was a complaint more agreeable. I should have accounted it a great favour at such a moment for you to think of me sometimes and to ask Mr. De La Motte news of me when you meet him. That is all I had hoped[Pg 204] from you till Mlle. Isabeau's condition changes. But I did not yet know the extent of your generosity. I hear that, in spite of your ordinary and extraordinary business, you find time to read my letters and answer them. I own frankly that I should doubt it, had not Mr. De La Motte taken the trouble to assure me it was so; and though I dare not suspect him of wishing to make sport of me in so serious a matter, nothing can reassure me but the sight of one of your letters.

Then another motive of fear just comes to my mind: in spite of your good intentions, you might not keep your promise, under pretence that my letters need no answer....

Much love and many thanks to all your family. I mean thereby the three houses, nay, the fourth also soon to be founded. I should like to see little Marion again before setting out for Germany. I kiss her with all my heart and am, with a most particular esteem, Mademoiselle, your humble and obedient servant.—Coste. 20th June 1712. From Utrecht.

These quaint letters call for little comment: is it not better to let the curtain drop on their mysteries and leave the story its charmingly indistinct outline? One or two remarks must suffice.

After Chéreau

[Pg 205]

Pierre Coste seems very anxious to clothe his thoughts in appropriate literary dress, and his anxiety is shared by Suson. At times the tone strikes one as so conventional that Coste might be suspected of insincerity if one did not bear in mind that even the language of true love must follow the fashion. At any rate Suson is sincere, and nothing is more touching than her very awkwardness when she tries her hand at the "sublime style." It is hardly possible to improve upon this very obvious statement without venturing upon unsafe ground. These old-fashioned lovers' emotions are tantalisingly unintelligible. Mark that they write to each other quite openly without even hinting at marriage. No doubt a wealthy merchant's daughter could not wed a penniless tutor, but then the Bruns, Durands, and Rouvières are respectable members of the French congregation in Amsterdam over whom watches a Consistory as strict on questions of morality as a Scottish Kirk. So we must fall back upon the hypothesis of a platonic friendship paralleled in England by no less eminent contemporaries than Locke[298] and Bishop Burnet.[299] Perhaps these letters of Coste shed some light on Swift's Journal to Stella.

Yet another observation may be added: though the tragic element is absent, there is pathos, if it be pathetic for exiles to sigh after their native land. Pierre Bayle called Paris the earthly paradise of the scholars, Barbeyrac said that Amsterdam was fit only for merchants to live in. Coste could not brook the Dutch, and Suson laughed at[Pg 206] them in unison, instinctively regretting Languedoc and Provence. Such was the way in which the refugees, though devoid of poetic sentiment, "hanged their harps upon the willows by the rivers of Babylon."


[283] Lettres choisies, ii. p. 770.

[284] Reprinted in Locke's Works, x. pp. 161 ff.

[285] See our Influence politique de Locke, p. 346.

[286] Locke, Works, x. p. 162. The most amusing detail in this literary quarrel is that fifteen years before Desmaizeaux had actually offered Bernard, the editor of the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres, a paper vehemently criticizing Locke. But La Motte interfered, and the offer was declined. However, La Motte kept Desmaizeaux' letter and threatened to publish it. Add. MSS., 4281, fol. 144, and 4286, fol. 242.

[287] Mémoires pour l'histoire des Sciences et des Beaux-Arts (1707), ii. pp. 934-945.

[288] Letter dated 30th October 1708.

[289] Letter dated 7th January 1735.

[290] Clarke and Foxcroft, Life of Burnet, p. 429.

[291] Letter of 29th July 1743.

[292] The MSS. letters are preserved in the library of the Société pour l'histoire du Protestantisme Français.

[293] Married women, unless of noble birth, were styled before 1789 Mademoiselle.

[294] Written September 1697. In this, as in the following letters, the passages left out are merely of a complimentary nature.

[295] The touch of nature is wholly unexpected at this date.

[296] She was a contemporary writer of insipid pastorals.

[297] i.e. Locke and Mrs. Masham.

[298] Mrs. Blomer, then Rebecca Collier the quakeress.

[299] Mrs. Wharton.

[Pg 207]



If, in December 1715, a Frenchman had been asked what important events had happened in the year, he would certainly have replied the death of Louis the Great and the publication of the Chef d'œuvre d'un inconnu. In a few weeks that amusing lampoon on the scholars and commentators of the time had run through four editions. People who knew whispered the name of the man who sought to hide under the pseudonym of Doctor Matanasius; he was a cavalry officer, of mysterious birth, the Chevalier de Thémiseul. Hitherto the life of the author had been an extraordinary web of adventures diversified by scandals, lettres de cachet, imprisonment and exile. After wandering through Holland, Sweden, and Germany, the young officer had come back, adorned with a halo of bravery, learning, daring speculation, and bitter humour. He flaunted notions that the Regency was about to popularise: deism, the cult of experimental science, contempt of authority, a[Pg 208] lack of reverence for the classics. A man of culture, moreover, he knew just enough of Latin and Greek to impose upon an average reader. By an extraordinary stroke of good luck, his success, which was rapid, lasted long enough for Abbé Sabatier de Castres to exclaim fifty years later, under the impression of the witty fireworks of the Chef d'œuvre: "Irony reigns therein from beginning to end; pleasantry is handled with as much spirit as judgment, and produces effects which eloquence aiming straight at the point would have been unable to produce."

To say the truth, we know hardly more about the Chevalier de Thémiseul than the men who lived under Louis xiv. He apparently never contradicted the idle story that gave him Bossuet for father and Mademoiselle de Mauléon for mother. As fond of blague as a Paris gamin, he must have enjoyed the idea of mystifying his friends while throwing dirt on a respected prelate's character. Abbé Sabatier de Castres, wishing to unravel the mystery, went to Orléans, searched the registers of the Parish of Saint-Victor and found therein recorded, on 27th September 1684, the christening of the Chevalier, son to Hyacinthe de Saint-Gelais, master bootmaker, and Anne Mathé, his wife. Others have read the record in a different manner; Cordonnier, they say, is not the father's trade, but his name, the Chevalier is not even entitled to a de, his name is plebeian Hyacinthe Cordonnier; Paul Cordonnier, assert the brothers[Pg 209] Haag in their Dictionary, born on 24th September, the son not of a master-bootmaker, but of an officer in the army.

Now this is what one finds to-day in the register, if one takes the trouble to read it:

"To-day, Tuesday, September 26th, 1684, Hyacinthe, born on Sunday last, 24th said month, son of Jean Jacques Cordonnier, lord of Belleair, and demoiselle Anne Mathé, his wife, was christened by me Pierre Fraisy; and had for godfather Anthoine de Rouët, son to the late Antoine de Rouët and demoiselle Anthoinette Cordonnier and for godmother Marie Cordonnier, spinster."

And Saint-Hyacinthe's father signed "De Belair." The title thus added to his father's name must have given rise to the Chevalier's dreams of a noble birth.

The mystery of the birth extends to the life. In 1701, the Chevalier's mother resided at Troyes in Champagne, giving her son, thanks to the bishop's patronage, a gentleman's education that qualified him for an officer's commission in the régiment-royal. Among the noblemen living on their estates in Chalons and Reims he numbered acquaintances, and they treated him with due respect. Letters are extant which prove that he was on terms of friendship with the Pouillys and the Burignys, no mean men in their province. There is nothing to object to his conduct as a soldier. He fought bravely in Germany, and, if taken prisoner at Blenheim, it was together[Pg 210] with Marshal de Tallart and many others whose courage no one dared to question.

His captivity in Holland acted somewhat in the same manner as exile in England did later on upon Voltaire. The ideas upon which his youth had been nursed were shattered to pieces. Eventually he got free and came back to Troyes. In 1709, he turned up in Stockholm, with the intention of fighting the Moscovites under the Swedish flag, but it was too late: Charles xii. had just suffered a crushing reverse at Pultava.

Back the Chevalier went to Holland, learning meantime English, Spanish, and Italian, reading Bayle, Le Clerc, and Locke, and many other books forbidden in France. At the Utrecht congress he caused a scandal by courting the Duchess of Ossuna, wife to the Spanish plenipotentiary. The jealous husband promptly obtained an order of expulsion, and poor Thémiseul needs must take refuge once more at his mother's in Troyes.

A new scandal soon drove him thence. Being entrusted by an austere abbess with the task of teaching her young niece Italian, he fell in love with his fair pupil while they read Dante together, trying maybe to live up to the story of Francesca da Rimini. To avoid the lettre de cachet, he fled to Holland, and for prudence' sake, exchanged his name of Chevalier de Thémiseul for the less warlike one of Saint-Hyacinthe.

Under that name his literary career began. Together with the mathematician S'Gravesande,[Pg 211] De Sallengre, and Prosper Marchand the bookseller, he wrote for the Hague Journal littéraire (1713). Two years later, the sudden success of the Chef d'œuvre d'un inconnu acted upon his brain like a potent liquor, and caused all his subsequent misfortunes.

To one who reads the pamphlet to-day, the wit seems rather thin. It is difficult to realise the enjoyment that our great-grandfathers could take in laughing in that exaggerated fashion at a German commentator. An indecent French song beginning L'autre jour Colin malade is supposed to have been discovered by Doctor Matanasius, a scholar of European renown. He proclaims it a masterpiece, the work of an unknown poet of genius, and, with the help of a few hundred notes and comments, strives to gain his point. Now Doctor Matanasius is no more the laughing-stock of the literary world. His name is Renan, Gaston Paris, or Skeat. The Chef d'œuvre gives us the impression of a man loading a blunderbuss to shoot at a shadow. The productions of Swift and Voltaire, in the same vein, are infinitely better. Poor Matanasius, with his elaborate reminiscences of barrack-room raillery, seems sadly out of date; being of the earth, earthy, his song and his commentary have both crumbled to dust.

Yet he sought to build up a career of glory and wealth on the flimsy foundation. Fighting in the cause of modern learning with the headlong rashness of a dragoon charging up to the enemy's[Pg 212] guns, he wrote the Lettres to Madame Dacier, he undertook to rival the Dutch literary papers with his Mémoires littéraires; but the public who had appreciated the Chef d'œuvre, were slow in subscribing to the new paper. Unlucky Matanasius was doomed to write only one masterpiece, for all his subsequent productions fell dead from the press.

Once more in France, with brain teeming with schemes and but little money in his pocket, the man, who was now nearing forty, fell back upon his last resource, a new love-affair. The victim this time was Suzanne, Colonel de Marconnay's daughter, with whom he eloped to England (1722).

The duly-married couple remained in England twelve years. What their life and that of their children must have been, a few scattered letters help us to understand. The father-in-law declining to help the wanderers, Saint-Hyacinthe, who decidedly had renounced the Catholic faith, turned to the Huguenot community. The poorer among them eked out a scant livelihood by teaching French, writing for Dutch booksellers, translating English books; the most needy received relief—money and clothing. The brilliant dragoon, who had been feasted in Paris, did not blush to hold out his hand and accept the mite doled out by the trustees of the "Fund for the poor Protestants."

There was still in the man an inexhaustible fund of illusion. He could rail and boast and dream.[Pg 213] He seems never to have given up the hope of attaining to reputation and competence. In the blackest year of his life, he began translating Robinson Crusoe (1720), but, wearying of the task, left the Dutchman Justus van Effen to finish it. A letter of his to M. de Burigny, dated 6th September 1727, is sweetly optimistic. "Cross the Channel," he says, to his friend, "but, for Heaven's sake, come alone; don't bring your man along with you. I can manage to accommodate you with rooms in my house, and receive you at my table. What you will eat," he adds, with a flourish of liberality, "with what I am obliged to have for my own family, will not cost me more than two sous a day."[300]

In London, most probably at the Rainbow Coffee-House, then the resort of the refugees, Saint-Hyacinthe one day came upon Voltaire. The two men had met once before in Paris, when Voltaire's Œdipe was being acted. It is said that, during a performance, the Chevalier de Thémiseul, pointing out to the full house, exclaimed: "That is the completest praise of your tragedy." To which Voltaire replied with a bow: "Your opinion, Monsieur, flatters me more than that of all that audience." But times had changed. Needy Saint-Hyacinthe was no longer the successful author that a younger man is naturally anxious not to wound. "M. de Voltaire," Saint-Hyacinthe repeated later, "led a very irregular life in England;[Pg 214] he made many enemies by proceedings not in accordance with the principles of strict morality." "Saint-Hyacinthe," Voltaire retorted, "lived in London principally on my alms and his lampoons. He cheated me and dared to insult me."

It must be acknowledged that Saint-Hyacinthe struck the first blow. In 1728, having a mind to correct the mistakes that he had noticed in the Henriade, he did the work in the most thoroughly impertinent manner. Thus, to the following line:

"Aux remparts de Paris les deux rois s'avancèrent,"

he added the comment: "It is not good grammar to say s'avancer, but s'avancer vers; so the author should write:

"Vers les murs de Paris les deux rois s'avancèrent."

And further on, in a note on the expression "allés dans Albion," "it is surprising that a poet who has written tragedies, and an epic, without mentioning those miscellaneous pieces where an agreeable politeness must prevail, should not know the use of the prepositions dans and en." Then there was captiousness in some of the remarks; thus Voltaire had written

"Et fait aimer son joug à l'Anglois indompté,
Qui ne peut ni servir, ni vivre en liberté."

"M. de Voltaire," slyly added his enemy, "should not have tried in a vague and sorry antithesis to[Pg 215] give an idea of the English character that is both insulting and erroneous."

A more striking example of perfidiousness was effectually to stir Voltaire's resentment a little later. To one of the numerous editions of the Chef d'œuvre, Saint-Hyacinthe added a postscript entitled The Deification of Doctor Aristarchus Masso, in which he related the well-known anecdote of Voltaire being set upon by an officer: "'Fight,' exclaims the officer, 'or take care of your shoulders.' The poet not being bold enough to fight, the officer handsomely cudgelled him, in the hope that the sore insult might lend him courage; but the poet's caution rose as the blows showered down upon him," etc. Though not mentioned by name, Voltaire was pretty clearly pointed out. Soon after, malicious Abbé Desfontaines inserted the anecdote in his libellous Voltairomanie (1739), and all Paris began to make merry over the poet's cowardice. In spite of the provocation, Voltaire acted with characteristic forbearance, begging mutual friends to adjust the difficulty, and saying that he should feel quite satisfied if Saint-Hyacinthe would retract and solemnly declare that he had taken no part in the abbé's libel. But Saint-Hyacinthe's stubbornness drove Voltaire to retaliate, and so he threw all his venom in the following paragraph:—

"Teach the public, for example, he wrote in his Advice to a Journalist (1741), that the Chef d'œuvre d'un inconnu or Matanasius is by the late M. de Sallengre and an illustrious mathematician of a[Pg 216] consummate talent who adds wit to scholarship, lastly by all those who contributed in The Hague to the Journal Littéraire, and that M. de Saint-Hyacinthe provided the song with many remarks. But if to that skit be added an infamous pamphlet worthy of the dirtiest rogue, and written no doubt by one of those sorry Frenchmen who wander about foreign lands to the disgrace of literature and their own country, give due emphasis to the horror and ridicule of that monstrous alliance."

To that crushing blow Saint-Hyacinthe replied without delay. "Though your Temple du goût," he wrote, "has convinced me that your taste is often depraved, I cannot believe you can go the length of confounding what is the work of one with what is the work of many.... I am not so fortunate as to do honour either to my country or to literature; but I may say that if it suffices to love them to do them honour, no one surely would do so more than I.... I have never been vile enough to praise foreign countries at the expense of my own, and heap eulogies upon their great men, while undervaluing those that do honour to France."

Bitter as the reply was, it did not appease Saint-Hyacinthe's anger. Hearing that Voltaire had just been elected a member of the French Academy, "The Academy," he wrote to a friend, "will be honoured to receive among the forty a man devoid of either morals or principles, and who does not know his own tongue unless he has begun learning[Pg 217] it these few years past" (17th February 1743). His Recherches philosophiques he had inscribed to the King of Prussia and, the latter taking no notice of the work, "Voltaire," he complained, "has indisposed the king against me" (10th October 1745).[301]

The latter part of his life Saint-Hyacinthe spent at Geneken, near Breda. Thence he had launched his indignant reply to the Advice to a Journalist. His literary activity was still great. The two letters, now published for the first time, show him trying to induce Dutch booksellers to publish the manuscripts of which he possesses "two chests full." As usual, he is in dire straits, persecuted by duns and lawyers, yet none the less full of hopes. The schemes he thinks about are excellent till he is cheated by some "great rogue." One pictures to oneself an eighteenth-century Mr. Micawber, buoyant and impecunious. Nor are there missing in the background the wife and family, whose protest is brought home to us in a startling manner by the "seduction" of the eldest daughter. Here Saint-Hyacinthe refers to Mlle de Marconnay, for so she was called, who, under the patronage of the Duchesse d'Antin, retired to Troyes.[302] The fates of the two other children are unknown.

[Pg 218]



Sluys, 27th June 1742.

Monsieur,—It was with the utmost joy that I heard from M. Mortier that you were in good health and thought kindly about me. I should have had the honour to tell you sooner how pleased I was at the news had I not suddenly fallen very ill just as I was intending to do so. The attack of illness in which I battled long with death, had seized me for the second time since last September and it was thought I should not recover, as I suffered in the meantime from ague, and this has weakened me so that, though out of danger for the last two months, I can hardly walk from my room to the door of my house and am unable to attend continuously to anything however trifling. My state is the cruellest possible. Not only have I been ill ten months, but my wife and two children are ailing. I left Paris two years ago and came here to settle some money-affairs, which should have turned out well I thought, as I was allowing the income to accumulate in order to pay off a few debts. Those entrusted with the administration of the estate have contrived to settle matters to their own advantage and are appropriating all. Besides, the co-heir has brought an action against me and his attorney here—the greatest rascal I have[Pg 219] ever known—will raise quibbles on the plainest things in the world, evidently to fish in troubled waters, and have the pleasure of making me detest this country, wherein he has but too well succeeded. The judges have at last submitted the matter to arbitration and, though still unable to stand, I had myself carried here to end it. I shall see how all will turn out in a few days, after which, if my strength comes back, I shall try to spare a week or ten days to journey to Holland, especially with a view to meeting you, Monsieur, and two other persons. I shall tell you all that has befallen me since I left England. I shall tell how my eldest daughter was perverted, how the old duchess Dantin and two other ladies coming one day when her mother was dining out, carried her off to the convent of the New Catholics where the perversion still goes on. That is why I wrote to her mother to leave Paris promptly with her two other children, and am debarred from returning there. You shall see in the tale of my adventures a series of unfortunate occurrences at which one would wonder if one might wonder at what the malice of men can do.

I have spent much money here, and I can hardly receive any until after September. I have by me two chests full of MSS. by the best men; a kind favour you could do me, Monsieur, would be to find me some bookseller willing to print them. I shall tell you in confidence that I have found M. Mortier so honest a man that I should very[Pg 220] much like him to take them, and this is what I had purposed to do: to give them to him to clear an account standing between him and M. de Bavi and for which it is just he should be requited. I had even thought of proposing that after agreeing on the price of an MS. he should pay me half in money and keep the other half in deduction from what is owing to him until entire receipt of the sum, which is not considerable.

But besides his being busy printing many good books, my present situation is too pressing to allow me to make the proposal, so I have told him nothing about it. I shall always have occasion to provide him whenever he chooses. Thus, Monsieur, you may, if you think fit, offer any bookseller you like without mentioning my name the select MSS., the list of which I am taking the liberty of sending you.

I do not know whether a small volume that I printed in Paris under the title of Divers Writings on Love and Friendship, on Voluptuousness and Politeness, the Theory of Pleasant Feelings and some Miscellaneous Thoughts of the late Marquis de Charost,[303] has reached you. The book appeared, and Maréchal de Noailles and Duc de Villars complaining that they thought they had found their characters portrayed in the Miscellaneous Thoughts, the Cardinal[304] tried to stop the sale. Nevertheless,[Pg 221] two editions came out within four months. The book, in fact, has been found charming—I may well praise it since there are but two pieces of mine, all the rest being by the best authors. I am told that the book has not been reprinted in Holland. You might ask some bookseller to do so. I shall send a revised copy, and the author of the Theory of Feelings having rewritten the work, I shall write to get what I know is now a very considerable piece. The bookseller will pay only for what he prints, and I shall send him wherewith to make up a second and even a third volume of Miscellanies no less interesting; for instance:

The pamphlet by M. de la Rivierre on his marriage with Mme la Marquise de Coligny, daughter of Bussi Rabutin, which is admirably written.

The Letters of that Marquise to M. de la Rivierre.

Other Letters of M. de la Rivierre to Mme la Marquise de Lambert and others, both in verse and prose, which are quite unknown or at least known only to a few.

Essays by M. de la Rivierre on love.

A Letter of Heloise to Abelard by the same.

Sundry short Treatises and Letters by the late Mme la Marquise de Lambert.


The complete Translations and Poems of Marquis de la Fare.

The Complete Works of M. de Charlerat.

Poems by M. le Marquis de Saint-Aulaire. He[Pg 222] it was who gave them to me, but, if he is still living, I may not print them, as I am allowed to do so only after his death.

The Revolutions of the Roman Republic, by M. Subtil.

A Life of Julius Cæsar, by the same. The work is unfinished, but the fragment is valuable on the score of composition and style. I am alone to possess it, excepting the family who hold the original.

Several very curious Pieces suppressed in Paris and intended for the Remarks to the Mémoires of Amelot de la Houssaye. But they have perhaps found their way into Holland and been printed there, together with the said Mémoires, which I must find out.

Critical Researches on the vanity of Nations regarding their origins.

The Story of the Loves of Euryalus and Lucrece, translated from Æneas Sylvius, and compared with the story of Comtesse de Tende, together with a letter regarding the Latin letters of the Countess de Degenfeldt and Louis Charles Elector Palatine.

A supposed Letter from Heloise to Abelard by the late M. Raymond Descours, the translator of the former that caused so much stir.

And many other slighter pieces. If the title does not seem right, the bookseller may choose another, but as all those pieces are by well-known authors who wrote admirably, the politeness and variety of the work guarantee the sale.

After Mignard

[Pg 223]

Should a bookseller want something more serious, I have a precious collection of letters, proclamations, mémoires, edicts, lists of troops, etc., illustrating the reigns of Francis i., Henri ii., Henri iii., Charles ix., the whole copied from the original letters of those princes, Queen Catherine, constables, Secretaries of State, generals of armies. Among the papers are also to be found documents instructing the ambassadors and the letters wherein they render account of their negotiations, what France then did at the Court of Rome, and what she did in England regarding the trial of the Queen of Scotland under Queen Elizabeth. There is also such a fine series of letters from Duc de Guise that they might be entitled Mémoires. Two members of the Academy of Belles-lettres in Paris have urged me to print all this with two quarto volumes that they are publishing on the history of France, but as there are some pieces that they allege may prevent them from obtaining the privilege, and must therefore be suppressed, I have declined the proposal.

I have besides a manuscript entitled An Abridgment of Civil, Criminal, and Ecclesiastical Law and of the Principles of Government,[305] written in 1710 by a minister for M. the Dauphin Duc de Bourgogne. The treatise is extremely lucid, instructive, and it is the original work, the sole possessor of which I am.

I have other manuscripts. But it is enough[Pg 224] to begin with. I shall send them to you with all my heart, and you will be master, Monsieur, to dispose of them. The long experience I have made of your kindness, gives me the assurance that I cannot trust anything to better hands.

If you honour me with an answer, I beg of you to give me news of M. des Maizeaux, whom I love and honour, and from whom, however, I have not heard for the last ten years. Content to love one another, we do not trouble to tell each other so, and I do not like to make him pay postage. I shall receive your commands at M. Neungheer, at Sluys in Flanders. I am, Monsieur, and shall ever be respectfully and gratefully your most humble and obedient servant,




I cannot have an opportunity to write to Amsterdam, Monsieur, without availing myself of it to remind you of a man that neither time nor distance will cause to forget the gratitude he owes you nor impair the friendship he has vowed to you. Tell me the state of your health and of your eyes, about which you used to complain, and add news of M. des Maizeaux and M. Le Courayer if you have any. I dwell in a wilderness where I have intercourse only with men that died many centuries ago, and, to tell you the truth, it would suit me very[Pg 225] well if those I can do without did not study to ruin rather than serve me. That disadvantage will drive me from my refuge, and maybe I shall remove to some place nearer you.

You must have received my Philosophical Researches[306] as soon as they began to be issued. It is not a book I sent you to read. It is too badly printed and too full of mistakes. It is only a tribute that I wished to pay to friendship and esteem. I should like to have the opportunity, Monsieur, to give you further proofs of this. Hardly affected by the things of this life, I should feel that keenly. I am and shall always be, Monsieur, with inviolable devotedness your most humble and obedient servant,


Two years after writing the above letter, Saint-Hyacinthe died. We can guess what the end was. While the duns were crowding at the door, the dying man dreamed that his latest scheme would infallibly make him wealthy. A few friends stood firm, however, and honoured the memory of the dashing officer to whom fortune and Paris had once smiled. Thirty years after his death, a person of rank, one night in a drawing-room, began speaking ill of him. "Sir," exclaimed M. de Burigny, who was standing by, "please spare my feelings; you are[Pg 226] hurting me to the quick. M. de Saint-Hyacinthe is one of the men I loved the most dearly."

His biographers have questioned whether he ever abandoned the Catholic faith. The former of the two letters published above settles the doubt. But a few extracts from a very scarce posthumous publication show that the English Deists had made a lasting impression upon him:

"Diverse opinions, uncertainty of knowledge; diverse religions, uncertainty of the true one."

"The true religion is entirely contained in the duties prescribed by the law of Nature, which are within reach of every one."

"Because Jesus Christ called Himself the Son of God, we infer that He is God as His Father, and, if it be so, all men are gods, since in the strict meaning of the word we are all children of God, drawing our life from Him and being created after His likeness."

"Pure Deism is the only religion that truly exists."[308]

Strip him of the glamour of adventures and extravagant opinions, he is after all a mere journalist. Take away the Chef d'œuvre, whose success was due to an accident, and Saint-Hyacinthe falls to the level of a Coste or a Desmaizeaux. Yet he deserved better than he got. In his lust for vulgar notoriety, he twice lost sight of fame. With his journalist's insight, he had foreseen the wonderful fortune of Robinson Crusoe, and he allowed a far inferior man[Pg 227] to complete the translation. As early as 1715, in his Mémoires littéraires, he had guessed that the time had come for men of letters to make England known in France, and Voltaire his enemy reaped all the benefit of the idea. He might well have asked in later years why he had not signed the Lettres philosophiques. And so in the portrait gallery of Frenchmen who made English literature familiar to their countrymen in the eighteenth century, Saint-Hyacinthe is only a miniature, while Voltaire shines forth in all the glory of a full-length picture.


[300] Lettre de M. de Saint-Hyacinthe. Imprimée par la Société des Bibliophiles. Paris, 1826.

[301] The story of the quarrel between Voltaire and Saint-Hyacinthe is set forth in two contemporary books: Tableau philosophique de l'esprit de M. de Voltaire, 1771 and Lettre de M. de Burigny à M. l'abbé Mercier sur les démêlés de M. de Voltaire avec M. de Saint-Hyacinthe, 1780.

[302] See Haag, France Protestante, art. "Cordonnier."

[303] Recueil de divers écrits sur l'amour et l'amitié, la politesse, la volupté, les sentimens agréables, l'esprit et le cœur. Paris, 1736.

[304] Cardinal Fleury.

[305] Abrégé des matières civiles, criminelles, ecclésiastiques, et des principes du gouvernement.

[306] Recherches philosophiques sur la nécessité de s'assurer soi-même de la vérité; sur la certitude de nos connaissances; et sur la nature des êtres. Par un membre de la Société royale de Londres. Londres, 1743

[307] The two above letters are preserved in the Library of the "Société de l'histoire du protestantisme français" in Paris.

[308] Pensées secrettes et observations critiques attribuées à feu M. de Saint-Hyacinthe, Londres, 1749.

[Pg 229]


Abadie, d', teacher of French, 30.

Abbadie, Jacques, theologian, 129-130.

Abbadie, Jean, French valet, 36;
letter to Desmaizeaux, 57-58.

Ablancourt, Frémont d', 93.

Agnew, Rev. D., 135.

Aguesseau, Chancellor D', presented with one of Locke's works, 184.

Aimé, a refugee, denounced by Barillon, 106.

Allen, John, tailor, 69.

Allix, minister, 32;
extract from book in English quoted, 51-53.

Ambassadors, French, in England.
See Aumont, Barillon, Bordeaux, Colbert de Croissy, Cominges, Courtin, Estrades.

Amyraut, latitudinarian theologian, 91.

Ancillon quoted, 19;
his Mémoires, 99 n., 111.

André, B., teacher of French, 29.

Andrews, Mrs., spy, 163.

Angle, S. De l', minister, his opinion on Episcopacy, 83;
denounced by Barillon, 106.

Anglia, 23.

Angliæ Notitia quoted, 10, 15, 25.

Anne, Queen, 108, 165.

Armstrong, Du Gard's proof reader, 150.

Arnoult, engraver, 37.

Ascham, 72.

Asgill, Saint-Evremond reads, 32.

Athenæum, The, quoted, 143, 147.

Aubigny, Cardinal D', Queen's almoner, 24.

Aubrey quoted, 59.

Aumont, Duc d', ambassador, quoted, 17.

Aymon, Actes des Synodes, quoted, 89, 90, 96.

Babeau, Voyageurs en France, quoted, 3 n.

Ballantyne, 60.

Baluze, letter to Colbert, 26.

Barbeyrac, 184;
learns English in order to read Locke, 29.

Barillon, ambassador, quoted, 106.

Bartas, Du, visits England, 28;
translated by Sylvester, 66.

Basnage, minister, his advice to the Huguenots, 134.

Bassoneau, proprietor of the Ville-de-Paris inn, 12.

Bayle regrets he knows no English, 29;
quoted, 88;
opinion of English writers, 113;
definition of his scepticism, 116;
political opinions, 120, 126, 130-136;
on toleration, 136-137;
authorship of Avis aux réfugiés discussed, 131;
the Critical Dictionary mentions Locke, 179;
eulogised by Saint-Evremond, 117;
[Pg 230]translated into English, 117.

Beaulieu, de, 26.

Beaumont and Fletcher quoted, 5, 36, 62, 64, 66, 73.

Bellay, Du, quoted, 22, 75.

Bellerose, the actor, 25.

Bellot, Jacques, teacher of French, 29.

Bellott, Stephen, apprentice, 144.

Bérault, P., teacher of French, 30.

Bernard, Edward, professor of astronomy, Justel's letter to, 100.

Bernard, Jacques, minister, letter to Desmaizeaux, 183.

Bernard, J. P. the younger, 117;
supposed authorship of Pamela, 185.

Bernard, Jean, English secretary to Henri iii., 11, 19.

Berthelet, printer to Henry viii., 35.

Bible, The Great, printed in Paris, 35.

Birch, 117.

Blake, 158.

Blondeau, engraver, 24.

Blount, 66.

Bochart, scholar and divine, 31, 83, 91, 95.

Boisrobert visits England, 28.

Bordeaux Frondeurs in England, 161.

Bordeaux, President, ambassador, 158-159.

Bossuet, Henrietta of England and, 27;
dispute with Claude, 120;
Histoire des Variations judged by Jurieu, 111;
answered in England, 126;
contrasted with Esprit des Lois, 111.

Bouhéreau, Elie, on Milton, 152 n.

Bourbon, N., teacher of French, 29.

Boyer, Abel, refugee and author, quoted, 53-54, 166.

Brantôme visits England, 28.

Brereton, 30.

Brun, French refugees of that name settled in Amsterdam, 185.

Bulletin de la Société du Protestantisme Français, 122 n.

Bulteel translates Racine, 28.

Bureau, printer, 36, 106.

Burghley, 66, 79 n.

Burigny, de, friend of Saint-Hyacinthe, 213, 217, 225.

Burnet, Bishop, visits Paris, 75;
at Louis du Moulin's death-bed, 48, 94;
Mrs. Wharton and, 205;
quoted, 117.

Burnet, Mrs., letter of, 183.

Butler ridicules the imitation of the French, 67, 70, 71;
writes an ode to the memory of Du Val the highwayman, 37.

Cailloué translates Eikon Basiliké, 32, 92.

Calvin, influence in England, 78.

Cambridge History of English Literature, 142.

Cameron, latitudinarian divine, 82.

Casaubon, Isaac, 80.

Casaubon, Méric, prebendary of Canterbury, quoted, 39-41.

Chaise, Père de la, pamphlet concerning, 125;
gets English pamphlets translated, 26.

Chalmers, 65.

Chamberlayne quoted, 10, 15;
continued by Miège, 51.

Chambrun, Pineton de, 104.

Channel-crossings, experiences of, 6;
dangers, 8;
vessels, 5;
charges, 11.

Chapman's Eastward Hoe quoted, 69.

Charlanne, 63.

Charles i. summons French artists to his Court, 23;
[Pg 231]stir caused in France by his execution, 91-92.

Charles ii., flight to France, 13;
letter to, 41;
knows little French, 24;
his gallomania discussed, 63;
adopts the "Persian vest," 71-72;
his Queen, 24, 67, 75;
his Court, 69-70;
his coronation robes, 69.

Charlett, Dr., letter to, 58-59.

Charost, Marquis de, 220.

Chatillon, Odet de, 79.

Chaufepié, 111.

Cherel, viii.

Clarke and Foxcroft quoted, 75, 184.

Claude, minister, on Episcopacy, 83;
the divine right of kings, 121;
disputes with Bossuet, 120;
his book on the persecution, 102;
how received in England, 103.

Clerc, Le, on the English language, 20;
visits London, 109;
his life, 112;
befriends Coste, 176.
See Lecène.

Coaches, 10.

Cobb, Frederic, viii.

Colbert, ignorance of English, 23;
inquiry about English institutions, etc., 26;
distrusts the English, 26;
his daughters' marriage mentioned in the Gazette de Londres, 163;
buys horses in England, 74;
causes a yacht to be built there, 74.

Colbert de Croissy, ambassador, 74.

Collier, 83.

Collins, Anthony, 181.

Collins, J. Churton, 60.

Colomiès, 97.

Cominges, ambassador, 3, 17, 152 n.

Condé, Prince de, intrigues in England, 161;
pamphlet concerning, 125;
Coste writes his life, 177.

Condom, Bishop of. See Bossuet.

Conti, Prince de, learns English, 74.

Cooks, French, in England, 25, 69.

Cooper, Samuel, portrait-painter, in France, 25.

Corseilles at the Court of Charles i., 23.

Cost of journey from Paris to London, 11.

Coste, his life, 109, 176-178;
his letters about English writers, 178-185;
to Mlle Brun, 185-206.

Cotgrave, 34.

Cougneau, teacher of French, 29.

Coulon, traveller, quoted, 7, 30.

Courayer, Le, 61, 224.

Courtin, ambassador, 106.

Coverdale, 35.

Cranmer, Archbishop, 79.

Croix, De La, fortune-teller, 37.

Cromwell anxious about the safety of Channel packet-boats, 8;
victories recorded in the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 157;
book inscribed to, 95.

Croze, Cornand La, 109.

Cugnac, Marquis de, 161.

Culpepper, 42.

Cumberland, Richard, mentioned by Coste, 184.

Customs, English, 8.

Dacier, Mme, ridiculed by Saint-Hyacinthe, 212.

Daillé, divine, influence in England of his work on the Fathers, 86;
accepts the divine right of kings, 93.

Daudé, refugee, mentioned in Barillon's dispatches, 106;
presides over meetings of refugees, 109.

Davenant, 64.

Defoe, 49, 118.

Denisot, teacher of French, 29.

Dennis quoted, 20;
[Pg 232]ridiculed by Pope, 107.

Desfontaines, Abbé, 215.

Deshoulières, Mme, soporiferous influence of, 189.

Desmaizeaux, estimate of his work, 110;
attacks Le Clerc and Coste, 182;
letters to, 57-58, 183;
mentioned, 224.

Dover described by Moreau de Brazey, 9.

Drelincourt, Charles, minister, 118.

Drelincourt, Charles, the younger, physician in Leyden, 176, 189.

Drelincourt, Pierre, dean of Armagh, quoted, 48-49.

Dryden, comedy quoted, 67.

Dubois, refugee, sheriff of Middlesex, letter of, 96.

Du Gard, schoolmaster and printer, his life, 149-152;
prints Milton's pamphlets, 152-153;
the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 36, 154-163.

Dumoulin, Pierre, visits England, 80, 94;
quoted, 82.

Dumoulin, Pierre (or Peter), the younger, sides with the royalists, 94;
extract from one of his works quoted, 44-45;
blames the Covenanters, 83 n.

Dumoulin, Louis, Camden professor of history, 94;
writes an apology for the Independents, 94;
remains true to his Huguenot faith, 94;
quoted, 46-48;
Burnet at his death-bed, 48, 94.

Duras, Louis de, 24.

Dury, John, 32, 153.

Edict of Nantes, estimate of, 114.

Effen, Justus van, translates Robinson Crusoe, 213.

Eikon Basiliké, 153;
translated, 32, 92;
Milton's reply to, 153.

Einstein, L., 19.

Elizabeth, Princess, death recorded, 158.

Elizabeth, Queen, 90.

England, as seen by foreigners, 16-17;
gallomania in, 62-73;
opinion of Jurieu and Bayle on, 113.

English Custom-House officers, 8;
horses in France, 74;
insularity, 71;
opinion of Henri iv. and Courtin, 106;
travellers abroad.
See Burnet, Locke, Moryson.

English idioms in Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 155-156.

English language not spoken in Europe, 19;
at the French Court, 22-27;
change after the Revolution, 34;
difficult to pronounce, 20;
the refugees learn it, 113.

Erondel, teacher of French, 29.

Eschar, valet to Charles Montague, 73.

Espagne, Jean d', minister, inscribes a book to the Protector, 95.

Estoile, Pierre De l', 31, 34.

Estrades, D', ambassador, 22.

Etheredge quoted, 67, 71, 73.

Evelyn, his Diary quoted, 4, 7, 8, 32, 72, 99, 102, 103.

Fabvollière, engineer, 24.

Fare, Marquis de la, 221.

Faret, 22.

Fayette, Mme de la, quoted, 27.

Festeau, teacher of French, 30.

Fétizon, divine, on the divine right of kings, 120.

Field, Richard, printer, 146-147.

Fonvive, French journalist in London, 165.

Force, La, 106.

[Pg 233]Fortune-tellers, French, in England, 37.

Fox, George, mentioned in the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 160.

Francis i. furthers the printing of The Great Bible, 35.

French, ambassadors.
See Ambassadors;
cooks, 25, 69;
fortune-tellers, 37;
highwayman, 37;
journalists, 163-166;
merchants, 79, 135;
milliners, 70;
players, 23;
printers, 35;
quacks, 36;
tailors, 25, 68-69;
See Teachers; travellers.
See Travellers.

French churches in London, 161.

French fashions in England, 68, 70-72.

French language predominant in Europe, 166;
extensively used in England, 66.

French literature, classical, slight influence of, in England, 141.

French wines, 70.

Frenchmen in England. See French, etc.

Fullerton, W. M., viii.

Gachet, Jean, 36.

Gairdner, James, 78.

Gallomania described, 63-70;
ridiculed, 70-73;
its decline, 73.

Gascoigne, 73.

Gauden, 92.

Gazette de Londres, 163-166.

Gildersleeve, V. C., 37.

Goupil, Rouen, printer, 36.

Gourville, his Mémoires quoted, 6, 22.

Gramont, 24, 70.

Grévin in England, 28.

Guide-books, 3, 7, 9, 10, 16, 30, 31.

Guizot quoted, 2.

Haag, 209, 217.

Halifax, Earl of, letter to Henry Savile quoted, 73.

Hall, Bishop, 73.

Hamilton, his Mémoires de Gramont quoted, 70.

Harrington, 152.

Harrison, Description of Britain quoted, 20, 68.

Hedgcock, F. A., viii.

Henchman, Bishop, 83.

Henri iv., opinion on the English, 106.

Henrietta of England, her influence at the French Court, 26;
her death, 27.

Henrietta of France, furthers the French influence, 23, 66;
letter to Prince Charles quoted, 41;
meets Charles ii. in France, 14.

Henry vii., 23.

Hérault, minister at Alençon, 91 n., 95.

Highwayman, French, in England 37.

Hobbes in France, 28.

Holyband. See Saint-Lien.

Horses, English, in France, 74.

Houssaye, Amelot de la, 222.

Howard, 73.

Huguenots, relations with England under Henry viii., 78;
Elizabeth, 79-80, 90;
the early Stuarts, 80-98;
the Commonwealth, 89-92;
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and, 101-104;
William of Orange and, 105;
political ideas of, 119-134;
opinion on Episcopacy, 83;
on toleration, 136-139;
become Whigs, 104;
take anglican orders, 104;
bankers and merchants in London, 79, 135;
[Pg 234]divine quoted in England, 105.

Huisseau, D', quoted, 85-86, 87-88.

Independents censured by a French Synod, 90.

Inn, interior described, 4;
French inn at Dover, 9;
in London, 12.

James i., 31, 80.

James ii., 27, 123, 129.

Jermyn, 23.

Johnson, Dr., on Saint-Evremond, 38.

Jon, Du (Junius), 97.

Jones, Edward, 164.

Journalists, "Dutch," 110;
French, in London, 163-166.

Journey from Paris to London, 3-13.

Jurieu, his life, 97;
opinion on England, 113;
on the Revocation, 129;
on Bossuet, 111;
on toleration, 137-139;
discusses the divine right of kings, 119, 122, 127-129;
his Pastoral Letters, 127;
devotional work translated into English, 118;
political works translated, 126.

Jusserand, French Ambassador at the Court of Charles ii., quoted, 2, 4, 8, 15, 22, 24;
Shakespeare en France sous l'ancien régime quoted, 19, 77, 152 n.;
What to expect of Shakespeare quoted, 148;
Histoire littéraire du peuple anglais quoted, 21.

Justel retires to England, 99;
letter to Edward Bernard, 100;
discusses conformity with Saint-Evremond, 100-101;
his character, 99.

Kemps, Englishman, employed by Colbert, 25.

Ken, Bishop, and the Revocation, 103.

Kéroualle, Mlle de, at the Court of Charles ii., 24;
a leader of fashion, 70;
what M. Renan thought about her, 70.

King, his Life of Locke quoted, 108.

Lambert, Mme de, 221.

Lambin, viii.

Lanier, N., 23.

Latitudinarians in England and France. See Amyraut, Huisseau, Rationalism,

Lecène, 115.

Lee, Sir Sidney, quoted, 28, 63, 79, 90, 143.

Lefèvre, chemist, 24.

Lefort, inn-keeper, 9.

Leibnitz understands English, 29.

Lenet, his Mémoires quoted, 91.

Lenthal, Speaker, 158.

Libertines in France, 81;
relations with the Huguenots, 82.

Lionne, Hughes de, Secretary of State, 1.

Literature, slight influence in England of French classical, as compared with devotional and theological literature, 141.

Locke travels in France, 3, 4, 5, 29, 74;
admiration of Barbeyrac for, 29;
conversation of his reported in a Dutch paper, 110;
his works translated by Coste, 176-177;
sale of the Essay in France, 183-184;
anecdotes on, 181-182;
Original Letters quoted, 20;
mentioned by Coste, 190.

Lorthié, minister, denounced by Barillon, 106.

Louis xiv. badly informed by his ambassador, 17;
[Pg 235]justified in revoking the Edict of Nantes, according to an English pamphlet-writer, 103-104;
inquires about England, 75.

Luttrell, Diary quoted, 124.

Luzancy, De, 32, 49-50.

Lyly, 66.

Macaulay, 25.

Maine, Duchesse du, receives presentation copy of Locke's Essay, 183.

Maittaire, 34;
letter to Dr. Charlett, 58-59.

Marchand, Prosper, bookseller, 211.

Marconnay, Colonel de, 212.

Marconnay, Mlle de, 207.

Marescq, Du, minister, 168.

Marston, 64.

Marsys, de, 24.

Mary II., 104.

Masham, Lady, 177.

Mason, La grammaire de, 34.

Massinger, 69.

Masson, 152 n.

Mauger, teacher of French, his Grammar quoted, 12, 30, 32, 42-43, 67.

Maupas, teacher of French, 29.

Mayerne, Théodore de, physician to James I. and Charles I., 80, 158.

Mazarin, Cardinal, 2, 26, 74, 155 n.

Mazarin, Mme de, in England, 97;
her salon at Windsor, 98-99.

Ménard, chaplain to Mary ii., 109.

Merlat, Elie, on the divine right of kings, 121-122.

Mersenne, Jesuit, corresponds with Hobbes, 28.

Meurier, Gabriel, teacher of languages, 34.

Mézandieu, René, in the Poultry Office, 25.

Miège, Guy, teacher of French, 30, 72;
extract from New State of England, 50-51.

Milliners, French, in England, 70.

Milton, pamphlet translated by John Dury, 32, 153;
mentioned in Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 152-154;
opinion of Bouhéreau on, 152 n.;
attacked by Bayle, 152 n.;
Du Gard prints his pamphlets, 152-153.

Misson, traveller in England, 19, 30, 109, 169.

Moivre, Le, 109.

Montague, Charles, has a French valet, 73.

Montesquieu, 111.

Morales, the Jew, 98.

Moranville writes the Gazette de Londres, 163;
in trouble, 165.

More, Sir Thomas, ridicules the imitation of the French, 65.

Moreau de Brazey, author of guide-book, describes Dover, 9;
Rye, 10;
the life of a Frenchman in London, 16.

Morel, Professor L., 143 n.

Morelli, Cesare, writes to Pepys, 25.

Mornay, Du Plessis, in London, 79;
author of Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos, 93.

Mortreuil, viii.

Morus, Alexander, minister, attacked by Milton, 154;
mentioned in Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 153.

Moryson, Fynes, traveller, 13.

Motte, François de la, letter to Secretary Williamson, 45-46.

Motte, La, "Dutch" journalist, letters to, 178-185.

Mutteux, Pierre, refugee, letter to Spectator, 55-56;
song and prologue quoted, 56.

[Pg 236]Muralt, traveller, 28.

Nash, 72 n.

Newcombe, prints Gazette de Londres, 163;
in trouble, 165.

Newspapers, "Dutch," 110.

Newspapers, French, in London, 149-166.

Newton, 29, 184.

Normand, Charles, 91.

Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 154-163.

Ollion, his edition of Locke's Letters to Thoynard, 3, 4, 5.

Orange, Prince of. See William iii.

Overbury, 69.

Packet-boat, Dover, in the seventeenth century, 5.

Pamphlet-writers, Huguenot, 123;
their influence, 124;
attacked, 124.

Papillon, refugee, sheriff of Middlesex, 96.

Passive obedience, ideas of Huguenots on, 93, 119.

Payen, traveller, 11, 30.

Pays, Le, traveller, 31.

Peletier quoted, 66.

Penry, 90.

Pepys' Diary quoted, 69, 72;
Correspondence quoted, 50.

Perlin, author of guide-book, 30.

Perrot, editor of the Gazette de Londres, 163.

Persecuting, Divine right of, 138-139.

Persecutions of Huguenots and Waldenses recorded, 160.

Petre, Father, attacked, 125.

Plomer, letter to The Athenæum, 147.

Pope quoted, 107.

Porrée, 32, 91, 92.

Portsmouth, Duchess of. See Kéroualle, Mlle de.

Post-Office in the seventeenth century, 15.

Printers, French, in England, 35.

Prynne, 24.

Puaux, 139.

Puffendorff inquires about an English Dictionary, 29.

Pulton, Andrew, Jesuit, forgets his English, 24.

Puncteus, a French quack, 36.

Puritans, relations with the Huguenots, 90.

Pynson, French printer in England, 35.

Quack, French, in England, 36.

Quakers mentioned by Misson, 30;
in the Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 159.

Rabelais writes English, 21;
puns in English, 21.

Rainbow coffee-house, 31, 109, 213.

Rationalism in France, 81-88, 115;
in England, 117;
how far encouraged by the refugees, 110, 117.

Refugees, 78-80; 96-100; 104-107;
learn English, 113;
take part in English civil dissensions, 95;
proofs of unpopularity, 79;
why forgotten in France, 141.

Regnault, François, Paris printer, 35.

Renaudot, Abbé, secret agent, 26.

Renneville, refugee, writes about the Bastille, 107.

Reresby, Sir John, and the Frenchmen in Soho, 171.

Revocation of Edict of Nantes, 101;
stir caused in England, 102-104;
far-reaching consequences, 105, 108.

[Pg 237]Revue Critique, 152 n.

Reyher, 23.

Richardson, 185.

Robertson, F. G., 152 n.

Roche, La, 117.

Rohan, Benjamin de, Huguenot leader, 80.

Römer, astronomer, 6.

Roman de Renart, 21.

Ronsard visits England, 28.

Rosemond, 106.

Rosin, Frenchman in the employ of the Commonwealth, 151 n.

Rousseau, J.-J., quoted, 1, 18.

Rue, De La, gambler, 37.

Sabatier de Castres, Abbé, extols Saint-Hyacinthe, 208.

Sallengre, 211, 215.

Saint-Amant visits England, 28.

Saint-Aulaire, Marquis de, 221.

Saint-Evermond at Windsor, 98-99;
urges Justell to conform, 100-101;
learns no English, 28;
quoted, 33, 117.

Saint-Hilaire writes on England, 26.

Saint-Hyacinthe, birth, 208-209;
adventurous life, 209-227;
in England, 109;
quarrel with Voltaire, 218-217;
letters to La Motte, 218-225;
his Chef d'œuvre d'un inconnu, 211;
becomes a Protestant, 212;
and a Deist, 226;
a posthumous work quoted, 226.

Saint-Lien, teacher of French, 29.

Saintsbury, Professor George, quoted, 142.

Sancroft, Archbishop, interview with Allix, 32;
chooses Colomiès as librarian, 97.

Sandwich, Lord, 69.

Satur, minister, in London, 106.

Saumaise, scholar, attacks the regicides, 92, 150;
answered by Milton, 152.

Saumur, latitudinarian school of, 84-85.

Saurin, divine, on toleration, 139.

Savile Correspondence quoted, 26, 73.

Sayous, 77.

Schélandre in England, writes an epic, 80.

Schickler, Les églises du refuge quoted, 79, 95, 96, 102.

Scott, Eva, quoted, 14, 42.

Sea-sickness, Gourville on, 6;
Locke records unfortunate experiences of a fellow-traveller, 6.

Sedan, orthodox Academy of, 84.

S'Gravesande, 210.

Shadwell, his comedies quoted, 67, 68, 70, 71.

Shaftesbury, the first Earl, 95, 129, 179.

Shaftesbury, the third Earl, 177.

Shakespeare gives evidence before Court of Requests, 145;
lodges in London with the Mountjoys, 146;
his poems printed by Richard Field, 147.

Silvestre helps Saint-Evremond to read Asgill, 32.

Simon, Richard, Hebrew scholar, 82, 93.

Sorbière in England, 16;
relations with Hobbes, 28.

Sourceau, Claude, tailor to the king, 25;
helps to make the coronation robes, 69.

Spenser quoted, 75.

Spirit of Laws, Montesquieu's, contrasted with Bossuet's History of Variations, 111.

Suard, 61.

Subtil, 222.

[Pg 238]Sully, minister to Henri iv., knows no English, 22.

Swift, 54, 166, 205.

Sylvester translates Du Bartas, 66;
tells how he learned French, 66.

Synodes, Actes des. See Aymon.

Tailors, French, in England, 25, 68, 69.

Teachers of French. See Abadie, André, Bellot, Bérault, Bourbon, Boyer,
Cougneau, Denisot, Erondel, Festeau, Mauger, Maupas, Miège, Saint Lien.

Telleen, F., 152 n.

Texte, 77.

Thoyras, Rapin, 109.

Throckmorton, 90.

Toleration retarded in England by the persecution of the Huguenots, 105;
how practised in France, c. 1680, 114;
opinion of Huguenots on, 136-139.

Tonson, 164.

Torcy, 17.

Tories mentioned in Nouvelles ordinaires de Londres, 162.

Tourval, L'Oiseau de, teacher of foreign languages, contributes to Colgrave's Dictionary, 34.

Travellers, English, in France. See Burnet, Locke, Moryson (Fynes).

Travellers, French, in England. See Coulon, Muralt, Misson, Moreau de Brazey,
Payen, Pays Le, Perlin.

Upham, A. H., 63, 78.

Val, Du, highwayman, 37.

Valets, French, 73. See also Abbadie, Jean.

Vautrollier, printer, 35, 146.

Vérard, Antoine, printer, 35.

Verneuil, Duc de, ambassador, 8.

Versailles, model of palace exhibited in London, 164.

Veissière, 184.

Viau, Théophile de, 28, 82.

Villien, 27.

Voiture, 28.

Voltaire drags the example of England into his controversies, vii;
at the Rainbow Coffee-house, 31, 213;
quarrels with Saint-Hyacinthe, 213-217;
the latter anticipates him in the use he makes of English models, 227;
letters and verses in English quoted, 59-60;
opinion on the English, 107.

Vossius at Windsor, 67.

Wake, Archbishop, 105.

Waldegrave, 90.

Wallace, Professor C. W., discovers documents on Shakespeare, 144.

Weiss, N., viii.

Wharton, Mrs., 205.

Whigs and refugees, 104, 108.

William iii., 105, 123, 127, 131.

Williamson, Secretary, 29, 163;
letter to, 45-46.

Wilmot, accompanies Charles ii. in his flight, 13.

Wines, French, 70.

Wordsworth, Ch., 152 n.

Wyatt, 73.

Yachts, Royal, described, 8.

York, Duchess of (daughter to Lord Clarendon), speaks French, 67.

York, Duke of, 14.

[Pg 239]


By Clare Howard. With 12 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. Price 7s. 6d. net.

A good sub-title to this book would be "The Grand Tour in the 16th and 17th centuries." We have a series of most interesting extracts from, and comments on, the innumerable little volumes of directions for foreign travellers issued during the 16th and 17th centuries for the guidance of English youths about to venture on the Continent. Miss Howard shows the various purposes which travellers had in their minds in setting out on their journeys in successive generations, how at one time it was mainly in the pursuit of learning, at another the acquirement of the more courtly arts, at another a kind of glorified athleticism, and latest of all a sort of dilettantism. Thus "English Travellers of the Renaissance" is without doubt a pleasing novelty among books.


The Original Memoirs of Elizabeth Baroness Craven, afterwards Margravine of Anspach and Bayreuth and Princess Berkeley of the Holy Roman Empire (1750-1828). Edited, with Notes and a Bibliographical and Historical Introduction containing much unpublished matter, by A. M. Broadley and Lewis Melville. With over 50 Illustrations. In 2 vols. Demy 8vo. 25s. net.

Elizabeth Berkeley, who was born towards the end of the reign of George II. and lived almost until the end of the reign of George IV., was one of the most beautiful, as well as the cleverest, wittiest, and most versatile woman of the age in which she flourished. She came of an ancient family claiming Royal descent, and, while still a girl, was given in marriage to the sixth Lord Craven. She bore him an heir and several other children. Between 1770 and 1780 she was not only a persona grata at Court, but the friend of Garrick, Johnson, Fox, and all the great political, literary, and social personages of the period. Between 1780 and 1790 came that period of wandering through Europe which enabled her to record personal experiences of Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, Frederick the Great, the Empress Catherine, the King and Queen of Naples, and other Royal and illustrious personages.

In 1791 she married the Margrave of Anspach and Bayreuth. Returning to London she became at Brandenburgh House and Benham Park, Newbury, the centre of a great social circle. A little later the Emperor Francis II. made her a Princess in her own right of the Holy Roman Empire. For a whole decade the theatricals and concerts at Brandenburgh House were the talk of the town. In the year 1806 her husband died. Some fifteen years later the "Beautiful Lady Craven" settled in Naples, where she built a delightful palace. There she died in 1828. Some four years before her death she published (at the suggestion of Louis XVIII.) her memoirs. Mr. Broadley and Mr. Melville have discovered many new facts, a large number of unpublished letters and MSS. (many of them in Mr. Broadley's collection), which have enabled them to elaborate an historical introduction of extraordinary and fascinating interest.

The illustrations have been taken from existing portraits in private and public collections and the contemporary engravings in Mr. Broadley's possession.

The authors have received valuable aid from Lady Helen Forbes—herself a great granddaughter of the Margravine of Anspach—and many experts in 18th century history. The book as it now stands forms one of the most lifelike and absorbingly interesting records of high life in Europe between 1770 and 1820, which has appeared during the present century.

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By Marie Catherine Baronne d'Aulnoy. Translated from the original French by Mrs. William Henry Arthur. Edited, Revised, and with Annotations (including an account of Lucy Walter) by GEORGE David Gilbert. With Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 16s. net.

Daily Telegraph.—"The Editor of this work has unearthed a genuine literary treasure. That it should have lain so long hidden, in its entirety at least, from English eyes is amazing. The narrative is as graceful as it is vivid."

Vanity Fair.—"A splendid piece of work, and one that will take high rank among the best chronicles of the Seventeenth Century."

World.—"One of the sprightliest and most entertaining works of the period that it is possible to read."


By Esmé C. Wingfield Stratford, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. In 2 vols., with a Frontispiece to each volume (1300 pages). Demy 8vo. 25s. net.

Daily Chronicle.—"A book which is designed to be a landmark in historical literature."

Times.—"Mr. Wingfield-Stratford's book is of great and abiding interest."

Outlook.—"A great achievement, nothing less indeed than the rescue of history from the hands of the pedant and the archæologist and its restoration to its true position as a living, emotional art."

Daily Telegraph.—"A work which for fulness at once of range and detail is little short of astounding."