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vengeance of enemeis, but rather of loue and plesure in wickitnes. This kynd of men dois not onlie dishonour to nobilitie in steillyng, and to theifis in purspyking, but also to the whole natioun of Scotland, geujng opiuioun to strangeris, that sum of the Scottis be of sa law courage, that men amangis tham, aspiring to the hiest estait of a kingdome, haue crouchit tham selfis in the mayst law ordour of knaifis.
Now, my lordis, ye may consider, how thay, that slayis sa cruellie kyngis and thair lieutennentis, will be mercyfull to you; and, quhen thay fall haue put you downe, that craifis reuenge of the Kyngis blude, ye may vnderstand how few dar craif iustice of your slaughter. Ye may se how cruell thay will be in oppressioun of the poore, hauing cut of you, quhilk, beyng of the mayst nobill and potent housis of this realmc, sufFeris throw yoursleuthfulnes euery pairtof this countrie to be maid worse then Liddisdaill, ane Annanderdaill; and not onlie suffcris the purspykaris of Cliddisdaill to exercise thift and reif as a craft, but nurisis and authorisis, amangis you, the chief counsellaris of all misordour, as ane edder in your bosum. Of all this ye may lay the wyte on na vther, but vpon your selfis, that haue sufficient power to repres thair insolencie and proudnes, hauying in your hand the same wand that ye have chastisit tham with of befoir; for ye haue your protectour the same God this yeir, that was the yeiris past, unchangeabill in his cternall counsellis, constant in promeis, potent in punising, and liberall in rewarding; ye haue your trew freindis and seruandis, that wer with you of befoir; ye ar delyuerit of dissimulat brethren, that had thair bodyis with you, and thair hartis with your enemeis; . that subscribit with you, and tuik remissioun of your aduersaris; that stuide with you in battel 1, luikyng for occasioun to betray you, had not God bene your protectour. Ye haue a great number of new freindis alienat from tham, for their manifest iniquitie in deid, wickednes in worde, and treasoun in hart; ye haue of the same enemeis that ye had then sa many, as hes thair hartis herdinnit, and thair myndis bent agaynst God and lawfull ingraitis; ye haue the same actioun that ye had then, accumulat with recent murther and tresoun, to prouoke the ire of the eternall agaynst tham. How far God hath blindid tham, blind men may se, that, hauying sa euill ane actioun, and so many enemeis at haine, yit be houndyng out of small tratouris of thair wickid conspyracie, men execrable to thair awin parentis, quhome amangis vtheris thay haue diueris tymes spoylit; be houndyng out, I say, of sic persounis, to burne, murther, reif, and steill. Thay prouoke the Quenis Majestic of Ingland, to 6eik vengeance of thair opprvssioun agaynst hir realme and subiectis; quhilk vengeance iustice and honour craifis of hir sa instantlie, that sche can not ceis but persew tham, thair ressetiaris and mAntenaris, yntill sche git sic exempill to vtheris, that, althoght thay will not respect vertew, yet, for fear of punitioun, thay sail be content to lyue in peace with nichbouris; quhairin her heighnes hath alredy renewit the memorie of hir experimentit liberalitie, and tender loue to this natioun, seiking, on hir proper charges and trauell of hir subjectis, the punitioun of sic, as we on our charges should haue punished; 1 mene not onlie of our tratouris, but also ressettaris.of hir maiestcis tratouris, and in doing of this seikis pacifkatioun amangis tham that violatid peace with hir without prouocatioun; seueryngthe puniscbement of sic ar gillie in offendyng, from the subjectis that hes not violatid the peace. And, as sche kepis peace and iustice amangis hir awin subjectis in Ingland,sa vnrequyrit sche offerid support to the same end in Scotland, and not onlie geuis remedie to our present calamiuis, but cuttis the rooteof troublis to cum, andpreuenis the wickid cuunsall of sic, as prouokis Inglismen, and solistis Frenchmen to cum in this jrealme, to the end that, these twa natiounis enterit in barres, the ane agains the vthcr, thay may saciat thair cruell hartis of blude, thair obstinat will of vengeance, thair bottomles couatise of spoyle Mod thift.
Tbairfoir, seyng God haue so blindit your eacmeis wittis, my lordis, be in gude hope that he sail also cast the spruit of fear and disperatioun in thair indurat hartis, and prosper your gude actioun, to the qabitk he comfortis you with his redy helpe, exhortis you by his worde, and constraints you by the dewtie of your estait, and necessitie of preseruyrng of your lyfis and honouris. For, promeis beyng neglcctk, faith violatid, subscriptioun set at noght, thair is na raeane way left but outlier to do or suffer: and, seyng that baith ar misenibill, amangis sic as should be freindis, yit better it is to slay iustlie, then to be slayae wrangfullic. For the executioun of iustice, in punising the wickid, is approuid by God and man; and sleuthfulnes, in defence of iustice, can not be excused of tresoun. And, besides that God schawis him sn mercyfull and liberall to you, in sending you freindis, by procuiring of your enemeis, also the persounis maist recommendit of God craitis the same; for saikles blude, oppressioun of the pure, and of the fatherlcs, cryis continually to the heuin for auengeancc, quhilk God committis to your handis, as his lieutennentis and speciall officiaris in that pairt; and, euin as he rewairdis faith and diligence in obedience of his eternall will, sa he will not neglect to punische sleuthfulnes in iust executioun of his commandementis.
Thairfoir, my lordis, as ye wald that God should remember on you and your posteritie, quhen they sail call on him in their neccssitie, remember on your king our souerane, and on my lord regentis pupillis, committit to you in tutorie, by the reason of your office and estait, ancnt persounis that ar not in age nor power to helpe tham selfis, and ar recommendit spcciallie to all Christianis by God in his holy scripture; and defend sic innocent creaturis, as may nouther do nor speike for tham selfis, from the crueltie of vnmercyfull wolfis; neglect not the occasioun, nor refuse not the helpe send to you by God, but recognose thankfullie his fauour towardis you, that causis your enemeis to procure your helpe; neglect not the offer of friendis. In cais gif ye lat slip this occasioun, ye sail craifitin vane in your necessitie. Think itua les prouidence in your heuinlie father, then if he had send you ane legioun of angellis in your defence; and remember that he schew hia» telle neuer mari freiudfull and succurable to na pepill, than he hath done to you; and traist weill, if ye will perseueir in obedience awl •recognoscence of his grace, he will multiplie his bencfitis to you and your posteritie, and sail neuer leif you, vntill ye forget him first.
TRUE AND PLAIN REPORT*
FURIOUS OUTRAGES OF FRANCE,
And the horrible and shameful slaughter of
DIVERS OTHER NOBLE AND EXCELLENT MEN,
AMD OF THE . I
WICKED AND STRANGE MURDER OF GODLY PERSONS, Committed in man; Cities of France, without any respect of >ort, kind, age, or degree.
BY ERNEST VARAMUND OF FRIESELAND.
Printed at Stirling in Scotland, 1573. Duodecimo, containing one hundred and forty-three pages.
YOU must cease to marvel, my good countrymen of Scotland, that I have caused this book printed in our country of Scotland to be published altogether in the English phrase and orthography. For the language is well enough known to our countrymen: and the chief cause of my translating it was for our good neighbours the Englishmen, to whom we are so highly bound, and upon whose good Queen, at this present, in policy dependeth the chief stay of God's church in Christendom. I know not what respects have stayed the learned of that land from setting out this history: therefore, supposing the cause* to be such as I conceive them, I have been bold to set it forth in their language in our country. And you, good countrymen, that have re-, ccived so honourable succours from England, and from whence all Christendom hopeth for charitable assistance, must be content to yield that this is framed to serve their understanding. Ye Englishmen our good neighbours, friends, brethren, and patrons, I pray you to construe rightly of my labour, that my purpose is not here to offend any amity, nor violate any honour, nor prejudice any truth, but to set before you a story, as I found it, referring the confirmation thereof to truth, and proof, as in all historical cases is lawfully used. How many histories written in Latin, Italian, and French, by Jovius, Paradine, Belleforest, and others, are printed in Italy, France, and Flan
• Vide the rjfith article ia the Catalogue of Pamphlets m the Harlcian library.
ders, and published and freely had and read in your land, although they contain matter expressly to the slander of your state and princes? Matters of that nature are published, the burden of proving resteth upon the author, the judgment pcrtaineth to the reader, there is no prejudice to any part, books are extant on both parts. The very treatises of divinity are not all warranted that be printed; you must take it as it is, only for matter of report on the one part, so far to bind credit . as it carrjeth evidence to furnish your understandings, as other books do that make rehearsals of the acts and states of princes, commonwealths, and peoples. But, howsoever it be, good Englishmen, thank God that you have such a sovereign, under whom you suffer no such things; and, by the noble and sincere aid that your Queen hath given us in Scotland, I pray you gather a comfortable confidence, that, in respect of such honourable charity to his church in Scotland, God will not suffer you at your need to be succourless in England, as by daily miracles in preserving your Queen he hath plainly shewed t and the rather ye may trust hereof, if ye be thankful and faithful to God and her, and that ye pray heartily to God, either by mediate operation of your Queen's justice, or by his own immediate hand-working, to deliver his church and people from the common peril to both these realms, and to the state of all true religion in Christendom. Farewel, and God long preserve both your good and our hopeful Sovereign to his glory. Amen,
IT were to be wished, that the memory of the fresh slaughters, and of that butcherly murdering, that hath lately been committed, in a manner, in all the towns of France, were utterly put out of the minds of men; for so great dishonour, and so great infamy, hath thereby stained the whole French nation, that the most part of them are now ashamed of their own country, defiled with two most filthy spots, falshood and cruelty; of the which, whether hath been the greater, it is hard to say. But, forasmuch as there flee every-where abroad pamphlets, written by flatterers of the court, and men corruptly hired for reward, which do most shamefully set out things feigned and falsly imagined, instead of truth; I thought myself bound to do this service to posterity, to put the matter in writing, as it was truly done in deed, being well inabled to have knowledge thereof, both by my own calamity, and by those that, with their own eyes, beheld a great part of the same slaughters.
In the year of our Lord 156), when there seemed to be some peril of troubles to arise, by reason of the multitude of such as embraced the religion which they call reformed (for, before that time, the usual manner of punishing such, as durst profess that religion, was, besides the loss and forfeiture of all their goods to the King's use, to burn their bodies) at the request of the great lords, there was held an assembly of the estates in the King's house, at St. Germain's en Laye, near to the town of Paris; at which assembly, in the presence, and with the royal assent of King Charles the Ninth, who now reigneth, it was decreed, 1 That, from thenceforth, it should not be prejudicial to any man to profess the said religion; and that it should be lawful for them to have publick meetings and preachings for the exercise thereof, but in the suburbs of towns only.
At this assembly, Francis Duke of Guise, being descended of the house of Lorrain, and at that time grand-master of the King's houshold, was not present; but, when he was informed of this decree, he boiled with incredible sorrow and anger, and, within a few days after, at a little town in Champaign?, called Vassey, while the professors of the said religion were there at a sermon, he, accompanied with a" band of soldiers, set upon them, and slew men and women, to th« Lumber of two hundred.
There was among these of the religion (for so hereafter, according to the usual phrase of the French tongue, we intend to call them) Lewis of Bourbon, of the blood royal, commonly called Prince of Conde, after the name of a certain town, a man of great power, by .reason of his kindred to the King; therefore, when the Duke of Guise most vehemently strove against that law, and, as much as in him lay, did utterly overthrow it, and troubled the common quiet thereby established, Gaspar de Coligni, Admiral of France, and Francis d'Andelot his brother, captain of the infantry, and other princes, noblemen, and gentlemen of the same religion, come daily by heaps to the Prince of Conde, to complain of the outrageous boldness, and intemperate violence of the Duke of Guise.
At that time, Catharine de Medicis, Pope Clement's brother's daughter, and mother of King Charles, born in Florence, a city of Italy, had the governance of the realm in the King's minority r for, though, by the law of France, neither the inheritance, nor the administration of the realm, is granted to women, yet, through the cowardly negligence of Anthony, King of Navarre, the said Catharine de Medicis, the King's mother, against the custom of the realm, was joined with him in that office of protectorship. She, fearing the presumption and fierce pride of the Guisians, wrote to the Prince of Conde, with her own hand; which letters are yet remaining, and, at the assembly of the Princes of Germany at Francfort, held under Ferdinand the Emperor, were produced and openly read about ten years past; wherein she earnestly besought him, in so great hardness and distress, not to forsake her, but to account both the mother and the children, that is, both herself and the King, and the King's brethren, committed to his faith and natural kindness, and that he should with all speed provide for their common safety; assuring him, that she would so imprint in the King's mind his pains taken in that behalf, that he should never be a loser by it.
Within a few days after, the Duke of Guise, well knowing how great authority the name of the King would carry in France, and to the intent that he would not seem to attempt any thing rather of his own head, than by the privity of the King, and having attained fit partners to join with him in these enterprises, he got the King into his power. Which thing being known abroad, and many hard incumbrances thereupon suddenly rising, and a great part of the nobility of France marvellously troubled with it, the Prince of Conde, by advice of his friends, thought it best for him to take certain towns, and furVol. t. i f