Secret History Of Charles The First, And His Queen Henrietta by Isaac Disraeli

Story type: Literature

The secret history of Charles the First, and his queen Henrietta of France, opens a different scene from the one exhibited in the passionate drama of our history.

The king is accused of the most spiritless uxoriousness; and the chaste fondness of a husband is placed among his political errors. Even Hume conceives that his queen “precipitated him into hasty and imprudent counsels,” and Bishop Kennet had alluded to “the influence of a stately queen over an affectionate husband.” The uxoriousness of Charles is re-echoed by all the writers of a certain party. This is an odium which the king’s enemies first threw out to make him contemptible; while his apologists imagined that, in perpetuating this accusation, they had discovered, in a weakness which has at least something amiable, some palliation for his own political misconduct. The factious, too, by this aspersion, promoted the alarm they spread in the nation, of the king’s inclination to popery; yet, on the contrary, Charles was then making a determined stand, and at length triumphed over a Catholic faction, which was ruling his queen; and this at the risk and menace of a war with France. Yet this firmness too has been denied him, even by his apologist Hume: that historian, on his preconceived system, imagined that every action of Charles originated in the Duke of Buckingham, and that the duke pursued his personal quarrel with Richelieu, and taking advantage of these domestic quarrels, had persuaded Charles to dismiss the French attendants of the queen.[201]

There are, fortunately, two letters from Charles the First to Buckingham, preserved in the State-papers of Lord Hardwicke, which set this point at rest: these decisively prove that the whole matter originated with the king himself, and that Buckingham had tried every effort to persuade him to the contrary; for the king complains that he had been too long overcome by his persuasions, but that he was now “resolved it must be done, and that shortly!”[202]

It is remarkable, that the character of a queen, who is imagined to have performed so active a part in our history, scarcely ever appears in it; when abroad, and when she returned to England, in the midst of a winter storm, bringing all the aid she could to her unfortunate consort, those who witnessed this appearance of energy imagined that her character was equally powerful in the cabinet. Yet Henrietta, after all, was nothing more than a volatile woman; one who had never studied, never reflected, and whom nature had formed to be charming and haughty, but whose vivacity could not retain even a state-secret for an hour, and whose talents were quite opposite to those of deep political intrigue.

Henrietta viewed even the characters of great men with all the sensations of a woman. Describing the Earl of Strafford to a confidential friend, and having observed that he was a great man, she dwelt with far more interest on his person: “Though not handsome,” said she, “he was agreeable enough, and he had the finest hands of any man in the world.” Landing at Burlington-bay in Yorkshire, she lodged on the quay; the parliament’s admiral barbarously pointed his cannon at the house; and several shots reaching it, her favourite, Jermyn, requested her to fly: she safely reached a cavern in the fields, but, recollecting that she had left a lap-dog asleep in its bed, she flew back, and amidst the cannon-shot returned with this other favourite. The queen related this incident of the lap-dog to her friend Madame Motteville; these ladies considered it as a complete woman’s victory. It is in these memoirs we find, that when Charles went down to the house, to seize on the five leading members of the opposition, the queen could not restrain her lively temper, and impatiently babbled the plot; so that one of the ladies in attendance despatched a hasty note to the parties, who, as the king entered the house, had just time to leave it. Some have dated the ruin of his cause to the failure of that impolitic step, which alarmed every one zealous for that spirit of political freedom which had now grown up in the Commons. Incidents like these mark the feminine dispositions of Henrietta. But when at sea, in danger of being taken by a parliamentarian, the queen commanded the captain not to strike, but to prepare at the extremity to blow up the ship, resisting the shrieks of her females and domestics. We perceive how, on every trying occasion, Henrietta never forgot that she was the daughter of Henry the Fourth; that glorious affinity was inherited by her with all the sexual pride; and hence, at times, that energy in her actions which was so far above her intellectual capacity.

And, indeed, when the awful events she had witnessed were one by one registered in her melancholy mind, the sensibility of the woman subdued the natural haughtiness of her character; but, true woman! the feeling creature of circumstances, at the Restoration she resumed it, and when the new court of Charles the Second would not endure her obsolete haughtiness, the dowager-queen left it in all the full bitterness of her spirit. An habitual gloom, and the meagreness of grief, during the commonwealth, had changed a countenance once the most lively; and her eyes, whose dark and dazzling lustre was ever celebrated, then only shone in tears. When she told her physician, Sir Theodore Mayerne, that she found her understanding was failing her, and seemed terrified lest it was approaching to madness, the court physician, hardly courtly to fallen majesty, replied, “Madam, fear not that; for you are already mad.” Henrietta had lived to contemplate the awful changes of her reign, without comprehending them.

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Waller, in the profusion of poetical decoration, makes Henrietta so beautiful, that her beauty would affect every lover “more than his private loves.” She was “the whole world’s mistress.” A portrait in crayons of Henrietta at Hampton-court sadly reduces all his poetry, for the miraculous was only in the fancy of the court-poet. But there may be some truth in what he says of the eyes of Henrietta:–

Such eyes as yours, on Jove himself, had thrown
As bright and fierce a lightning as his own.

And in another poem there is one characteristic line:–
—- such radiant eyes,
Such lovely motion, and such sharp replies.

In a MS. letter of the times, the writer describes the queen as “nimble and quick, black-eyed, brown-haired, and a brave lady.”[203] In the MS. journal of Sir Symonds D’Ewes, who saw the queen on her first arrival in London, cold and puritanic as was that antiquary, he notices with some warmth “the features of her face, which were much enlivened by her radiant and sparkling black eye.”[204] She appears to have possessed French vivacity both in her manners and her conversation: in the history of a queen, an accurate conception of her person enters for something.

Her talents were not of that order which could influence the revolutions of a people. Her natural dispositions might have allowed her to become a politician of the toilet, and she might have practised those slighter artifices, which may be considered as so many political coquetries. But Machiavelian principles, and involved intrigues, of which she has been so freely accused, could never have entered into her character. At first she tried all the fertile inventions of a woman to persuade the king that she was his humblest creature, and the good people of England that she was quite in love with them. Now that we know that no female was ever more deeply tainted with Catholic bigotry, and that, haughty as she was, this princess suffered the most insulting superstitions, inflicted as penances by her priests, for this very marriage with a Protestant prince, the following new facts relating to her first arrival in England curiously contrast with the mortified feelings she must have endured by the violent suppression of her real ones.

We must first bring forward a remarkable and unnoticed document in the Embassies of Marshal Bassompierre.[205] It is nothing less than a most solemn obligation contracted with the Pope and her brother the King of France, to educate her children as Catholics, and only to choose Catholics to attend them. Had this been known either to Charles or to the English nation, Henrietta could never have been permitted to ascend the English throne. The fate of both her sons shows how faithfully she performed this treasonable contract. This piece of secret history opens the concealed cause of those deep impressions of that faith which both monarchs sucked in with their milk; that triumph of the cradle over the grave which most men experience; Charles the Second died a Catholic, James the Second lived as one.

When Henrietta was on her way to England, a legate from Rome arrested her at Amiens, requiring the princess to undergo a penance, which was to last sixteen days, for marrying Charles without the papal dispensation. The queen stopped her journey, and wrote to inform the king of the occasion. Charles, who was then waiting for her at Canterbury, replied, that if Henrietta did not instantly proceed, he would return alone to London. Henrietta doubtless sighed for the Pope and the penance, but she set off the day she received the king’s letter. The king, either by his wisdom or his impatience, detected the aim of the Roman pontiff, who, had he been permitted to arrest the progress of a Queen of England for sixteen days in the face of all Europe, would thus have obtained a tacit supremacy over a British monarch.

When the king arrived at Canterbury, although not at the moment prepared to receive him, Henrietta flew to meet him, and with all her spontaneous grace and native vivacity, kneeling at his feet, she kissed his hand, while the king, bending over her, wrapped her in his arms, and kissed her with many kisses. This royal and youthful pair, unusual with those of their rank, met with the eagerness of lovers, and the first words of Henrietta were those of devotion; Sire! je suis venue en ce pays de votre majeste pour etre usee et commandee de vous.[206] It had been rumoured that she was of a very short stature, but, reaching to the king’s shoulder, his eyes were cast down to her feet, seemingly observing whether she used art to increase her height. Anticipating his thoughts, and playfully showing her feet, she declared, that “she stood upon her own feet, for thus high I am, and neither higher nor lower.” After an hour’s conversation in privacy, Henrietta took her dinner surrounded by the court; and the king, who had already dined, performing the office of her carver, cut a pheasant and some venison. By the side of the queen stood her ghostly confessor, solemnly reminding her that this was the eve of John the Baptist, and was to be fasted, exhorting her to be cautious that she set no scandalous example on her first arrival. But Charles and his court were now to be gained over, as well as John the Baptist. She affected to eat very heartily of the forbidden meat, which gave great comfort, it seems, to several of her new heretical subjects then present: but we may conceive the pangs of so confirmed a devotee. She carried her dissimulation so far, that being asked about this time whether she could abide a Huguenot? she replied, “Why not? was not my father one?” Her ready smiles, the graceful wave of her hand, the many “good signs of hope,” as a contemporary in a manuscript letter expresses it, induced many of the English to believe that Henrietta might even become one of themselves! Sir Symonds D’Ewes, as appears by his manuscript diary, was struck by “her deportment to her women, and her looks to her servants, which were so sweet and humble!”[207] However, this was in the first days of her arrival, and these “sweet and humble looks” were not constant ones; for a courier at Whitehall, writing to a friend, observes that “the queen, however little of stature, yet is of a pleasing countenance, if she be pleased, otherwise full of spirit and vigour, and seems of more than ordinary resolution;” and he adds an incident of one of her “frowns.” The room in which the queen was at dinner, being somewhat over-heated with the fire and company, “she drove us all out of the chamber. I suppose none but a queen could have cast such a scowl.”[208] We may already detect the fair waxen mask melting away on the features it covered, even in one short month!

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By the marriage-contract, Henrietta was to be allowed a household establishment, composed of her own people; and this had been contrived to be not less than a small French colony, exceeding three hundred persons. It composed, in fact, a French faction, and looks like a covert project of Richelieu’s to further his intrigues here, by opening a perpetual correspondence with the discontented Catholics of England. In the instructions of Bassompierre, one of the alleged objects of the marriage is the general good of the Catholic religion, by affording some relief to those English who professed it. If, however, that great statesman ever entertained this political design, the simplicity and pride of the Roman priests here completely overturned it; for in their blind zeal they dared to extend their domestic tyranny over majesty itself.

The French party had not long resided here ere the mutual jealousies between the two nations broke out. All the English who were not Catholics were soon dismissed from their attendance on the queen, by herself; while Charles was compelled, by the popular cry, to forbid any English Catholics to serve the queen, or to be present at the celebration of her mass. The king was even obliged to employ pursuivants or king’s messengers, to stand at the door of her chapel to seize on any of the English who entered there, while on these occasions the French would draw their swords to defend these concealed Catholics. “The queen and hers” became an odious distinction in the nation. Such were the indecent scenes exhibited in public; they were not less reserved in private. The following anecdote of saying a grace before the king, at his own table, in a most indecorous race run between the catholic priest and the king’s chaplain, is given in a manuscript letter of the times.

“The king and queen dining together in the presence,[209] Mr. Hacket (chaplain to the Lord Keeper Williams)[210] being then to say grace, the confessor would have prevented him, but that Hacket shoved him away; whereupon the confessor went to the queen’s side, and was about to say grace again, but that the king pulling the dishes unto him, and the carvers falling to their business, hindered. When dinner was done, the confessor thought, standing by the queen, to have been before Mr. Hacket, but Mr. Hacket again got the start. The confessor, nevertheless, begins his grace as loud as Mr. Hacket, with such a confusion, that the king in great passion instantly rose from the table, and, taking the queen by the hand, retired into the bedchamber.”[211] It is with difficulty we conceive how such a scene of priestly indiscretion should have been suffered at the table of an English sovereign.

Such are the domestic accounts I have gleaned from MS. letters of the times; but particulars of a deeper nature may be discovered in the answer of the king’s council to Marshal Bassompierre, preserved in the history of his embassy; this marshal had been hastily despatched as an extraordinary ambassador when the French party were dismissed. This state-document, rather a remonstrance than a reply, states that the French household had formed a little republic within themselves, combining with the French resident ambassador, and inciting the opposition members in parliament; a practice usual with that intriguing court, even from the days of Elizabeth, as the original letters of the French ambassador of the time, which will be found in the third volume, amply show; and those of La Boderie in James the First’s time, who raised a French party about Prince Henry; and the correspondence of Barillon in Charles the Second’s reign, so fully exposed in his entire correspondence published by Fox. The French domestics of the queen were engaged in lower intrigues; they lent their names to hire houses in the suburbs of London, where, under their protection, the English Catholics found a secure retreat to hold their illegal assemblies, and where the youth of both sexes were educated and prepared to be sent abroad to Catholic seminaries. But the queen’s priests, by those well-known means which the Catholic religion sanctions, were drawing from the queen the minutest circumstances which passed in privacy between her and the king; indisposed her mind towards her royal consort, impressed on her a contempt of the English nation, and a disgust of our customs, and particularly, as has been usual with the French, made her neglect the English language, as if the queen of England held no common interest with the nation. They had made her residence a place of security for the persons and papers of the discontented. Yet all this was hardly more offensive than the humiliating state to which they had reduced an English queen by their monastic obedience: inflicting the most degrading penances. One of the most flagrant is alluded to in our history. This was a barefoot pilgrimage to Tyburn, where, one morning, under the gallows on which so many Jesuits had been executed as traitors to Elizabeth and James the First, she knelt and prayed to them as martyrs and saints who had shed their blood in defence of the Catholic cause.[212] A manuscript letter of the times mentions that “the priests had also made her dabble in the dirt in a foul morning from Somerset-house to St. James’s, her Luciferian confessor riding along by her in his coach! They have made her to go barefoot, to spin, to eat her meat out of dishes, to wait at the table of servants, with many other ridiculous and absurd penances. And if they dare thus insult (adds the writer) over the daughter, sister, and wife of so great kings, what slavery would they not make us, the people, to undergo!”[213]

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One of the articles in the contract of marriage was, that the queen should have a chapel at St. James’s, to be built and consecrated by her French bishop; the priests became very importunate, declaring that without a chapel mass could not be performed with the state it ought before a queen. The king’s answer is not that of a man inclined to popery. “If the queen’s closet, where they now say mass, is not large enough, let them have it in the great chamber; and, if the great chamber is not wide enough, they might use the garden; and, if the garden would not serve their turn, then was the park the fittest place.”

The French priests and the whole party feeling themselves slighted, and sometimes worse treated, were breeding perpetual quarrels among themselves, grew weary of England, and wished themselves away: but many having purchased their places with all their fortune, would have been ruined by the breaking up of the establishment. Bassompierre alludes to the broils and clamours of these French strangers, which exposed them to the laughter of the English court; and we cannot but smile in observing, in one of the despatches of this great mediator between two kings and a queen, addressed to the minister, that one of the greatest obstacles which he had found in this difficult negotiation arose from the bedchamber women! The French king being desirous of having two additional women to attend the English queen his sister, the ambassador declares, that “it would be more expedient rather to diminish than to increase the number; for they all live so ill together, with such rancorous jealousies and enmities, that I have more trouble to make them agree than I shall find to accommodate the differences between the two kings. Their continual bickerings, and often their vituperative language, occasion the English to entertain the most contemptible and ridiculous opinions of our nation. I shall not, therefore, insist on this point, unless it shall please his majesty to renew it.”

The French bishop was under the age of thirty, and his authority was imagined to have been but irreverently treated by two beautiful viragos in that civil war of words which was raging; one of whom, Madame St. George, was in high favour, and most intolerably hated by the English. Yet such was English gallantry, that the king presented this lady on her dismission with several thousand pounds and jewels. There was something inconceivably ludicrous in the notions of the English, of a bishop hardly of age, and the gravity of whose character was probably tarnished by French gesture and vivacity. This French establishment was daily growing in expense and number; a manuscript letter of the times states that it cost the king L240 a day, and had increased from threescore persons to four hundred and forty, besides children!

It was one evening that the king suddenly appeared, and, summoning the French household, commanded them to take their instant departure–the carriages were prepared for their removal. In doing this, Charles had to resist the warmest entreaties, and even the vehement anger of the queen, who is said in her rage to have broken several panes of the window of the apartment to which the king dragged her, and confined her from them.[214]

The scene which took place among the French people, at the sudden announcement of the king’s determination, was remarkably indecorous. They instantly flew to take possession of all the queen’s wardrobe and jewels; they did not leave her, it appears, a change of linen, since it was with difficulty she procured one as a favour, according to some manuscript letters of the times. One of their extraordinary expedients was that of inventing bills, for which they pretended they had engaged themselves on account of the queen, to the amount of L10,000, which the queen at first owned to, but afterwards acknowledged the debts were fictitious ones. Among these items was one of L400 for necessaries for her majesty; an apothecary’s bill for drugs of L800; and another of L150 for “the bishop’s unholy water,” as the writer expresses it. The young French bishop attempted by all sorts of delays to avoid this ignominious expulsion; till the king was forced to send his yeomen of the guards to turn them out from Somerset-house, where the juvenile French bishop, at once protesting against it, and mounting the steps of the coach, took his departure “head and shoulders.”[215] It appears that to pay the debts and the pensions, besides sending the French troops free home, cost L50,000.

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In a long procession of nearly forty coaches, after four days’ tedious travelling, they reached Dover; but the spectacle of these impatient foreigners so reluctantly quitting England, gesticulating their sorrows or their quarrels, exposed them to the derision, and stirred up the prejudices of the common people. As Madame George, whose vivacity is always described as extravagantly French, was stepping into the boat, one of the mob could not resist the satisfaction of flinging a stone at her French cap; an English courtier, who was conducting her, instantly quitted his charge, ran the fellow through the body, and quietly returned to the boat. The man died on the spot; but no farther notice appears to have been taken of the inconsiderate gallantry of this English courtier.

But Charles did not show his kingly firmness only on this occasion: it did not forsake him when the French Marshal Bassompierre was instantly sent over to awe the king; Charles sternly offered the alternative of war, rather than permit a French faction to trouble an English court. Bassompierre makes a curious observation in a letter to the French Bishop of Mende, he who had been just sent away from England; and which serves as the most positive evidence of the firm refusal of Charles the First. The French marshal, after stating the total failure of his mission, exclaims, “See, sir, to what we are reduced! and imagine my grief, that the Queen of Great Britain has the pain of viewing my departure without being of any service to her; but if you consider that I was sent here to make a contract of marriage observed, and to maintain the Catholic religion in a country from which they formerly banished it to make a contract of marriage, you will assist in excusing me of this failure.” The French marshal has also preserved the same distinctive feature of the nation, as well as of the monarch, who, surely to his honour as King of England, felt and acted on this occasion as a true Briton. “I have found,” says the Gaul, “humility among Spaniards, civility and courtesy among the Swiss, in the embassies I had the honour to perform for the king; but the English would not in the least abate of their natural pride and arrogance. The king is so resolute not to re-establish any French about the queen, his consort, and was so stern (rude) in speaking to me, that it is impossible to have been more so.” In a word, the French marshal, with all his vaunts and his threats, discovered that Charles the First was the true representative of his subjects, and that the king had the same feelings with the people: this indeed was not always the case! This transaction took place in 1626, and when, four years afterwards, it was attempted again to introduce certain French persons, a bishop and a physician, about the queen, the king absolutely refused even a French physician, who had come over with the intention of being chosen the queen’s, under the sanction of the queen mother. This little circumstance appears in a manuscript letter from Lord Dorchester to M. de Vic, one of the king’s agents at Paris. After an account of the arrival of this French physician, his lordship proceeds to notice the former determinations of the king; “yet this man,” he adds, “hath been addressed to the ambassador to introduce him into the court, and the queen persuaded in cleare and plaine terms to speak to the king to admit him as domestique. His majesty expressed his dislike of this proceeding, but contented himself to let the ambassador know that this doctor may return as he is come, with intimation that he should do it speedily; the French ambassador, willing to help the matter, spake to the king that the said doctor might be admitted to kiss the queen’s hand, and to carrie the news into France of her safe delivery: which the king excused by a civil answer, and has since commanded me to let the ambassador understand, that he had heard him as Monsieur de Fontenay in this particular, but, if he should persist and press him as ambassador, he should be forced to say that which would displease him.” Lord Dorchester adds, that he informs M. de Vic of these particulars, that he should not want for the information should the matter be revived by the French court, otherwise he need not notice it.[216]

By this narrative of secret history, Charles the First does not appear so weak a slave to his queen as our writers echo from each other; and those who make Henrietta so important a personage in the cabinet, appear to have been imperfectly acquainted with her real talents. Charles, indeed, was deeply enamoured of the queen, for he was inclined to strong personal attachments;[217] and “the temperance of his youth, by which he had lived so free from personal vice,” as May, the parliamentary historian expresses it, even the gay levity of Buckingham seems never, in approaching the king, to have violated. Charles admired in Henrietta all those personal graces which he himself wanted; her vivacity in conversation enlivened his own seriousness, and her gay volubility the defective utterance of his own; while the versatility of her manners relieved his own formal habits. Doubtless the queen exercised the same power over this monarch which vivacious females are privileged by nature to possess over their husbands; she was often listened to, and her suggestions were sometimes approved; but the fixed and systematic principles of the character and the government of this monarch must not be imputed to the intrigues of a mere lively and volatile woman; we must trace them to a higher source; to his own inherited conceptions of the regal rights, if we would seek for truth, and read the history of human nature in the history of Charles the First.

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Long after this article was published, the subject has been more critically developed in my “Commentaries on the Life and Reign of Charles the First.”

[Footnote 201:
Hume, vol. vi. p. 234. Charles seems, however, to have constantly consulted his favourite minister, the Duke of Buckingham, on the subject, though his letters express clearly his own determination. In Harleian MSS., 6988, is a letter written to Buckingham, dated Hampton Court, 20th November, 1625, he declares, “I thought I would have cause enough in short time to put away the Monsieurs,” from the quarrels they would ferment between himself and his wife, or his subjects, and begs of him to acquaint “the queen-mother (Mary de Medicis) with my intention; for this being an action that may have a show of harshness, I thought it was fit to take this way, that she to whom I have had many obligations may not take it unkindly.” In another long letter, preserved among the Rawlinson MSS. in the Bodleian Library, he enters minutely into his domestic grievances–“What unkindnesses and distastes have fallen between my wife and me”–which he attributes to the “crafty counsels” of her servants. On 7th August, 1626, he writes a final letter to the duke, ordering him to send them all away, “if you can by fair means (but stick not long in disputing), otherwise force them away, driving them away like so many wild beasts, until ye have shipped them, and so the devil go with them.” ]

[Footnote 202:
Lord Hardwicke’s State-papers, II. 2, 3. ]

[Footnote 203:
Sloane MSS. 4176. ]

[Footnote 204:
Harl. MSS. 646. ]

[Footnote 205:
Ambassades du Marechal de Bassompierre, vol. iii. p. 49. ]

[Footnote 206:
A letter from Dr. Meddus to Mr. Mead, 17th Jan. 1625. Sloane MSS. 4177. ]

[Footnote 207:
Sir S. D’Ewes’s “Journal of his Life,” Harl. MS. 646. We have seen our puritanic antiquary describing the person of the queen with some warmth; but “he could not abstain from deep-fetched sighs, to consider that she wanted the knowledge of true religion,” a circumstance that Henrietta would have as zealously regretted for Sir Symonds himself! ]

[Footnote 208:
A letter to Mr. Mead, July 1, 1625. Sloane MSS. 4177. ]

[Footnote 209:
At Hampton Court there is a curious picture of Charles and Henrietta dining in the presence. This regal honour, after its interruption during the Civil Wars, was revived in 1667 by Charles the Second, as appears by “Evelyn’s Diary.” “Now did his majesty again dine in the presence, in ancient style, with music and all the court ceremonies.” ]

[Footnote 210:
The author of the Life of this Archbishop and Lord Keeper, a voluminous folio, but full of curious matters. Ambrose Phillips the poet abridged it. ]

[Footnote 211:
A letter from Mr. Mead to Sir Martin Stuteville, October, 1625. Sloane MSS. 4177. ]

[Footnote 212:
There is a very rare print, which has commemorated this circumstance. ]

[Footnote 213:
Mr. Pory to Mr. Mead, July, 1626. Harl. MSS. No. 383. The answer of the king’s council to the complaints of Bassompierre is both copious and detailed in vol. iii., p. 166, of the “Ambassades” of this marshal. ]

[Footnote 214:
A letter from Mr. Pory to Mr. Mead contains a full account of this transaction. Harl. MSS. 383. ]

[Footnote 215:
A letter among Tanner’s MS. in the Bodleian Library notes–“When they were turned away from Somerset House the passage was somewhat rough;” and adds, “I know not what revilings took place betwixt them and the king’s guard, but one of the soldiers told me that for furious speech, he would rather have taken common thieves to prison.” A stanza of a popular song of the day testifies to the joy of the Commons of England on the event:–

Harke! I’ll tell you news from court;
Marke, these things will make you good sport.
All the French that lately did prance
There, up and downe in bravery,
Now are all sent back to France,
King Charles hath smelt some knavery.

[Footnote 216:
A letter from the Earl of Dorchester, 27th May, 1630. Harl. MSS. 7000 (160). ]

[Footnote 217:
The letters he sent to Buckingham are full of tender respect for the queen, lamenting her (certainly unwarrantable) neglect of reciprocity of attention, and silly squabbles in favour of her servants. ]

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