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ment which you had promised her, and, notwithstanding all her diligence and exertions, she met with nothing but delays, caused by the means of the aforesaid traitor, his friends, and adherents, as shall be more fully explained hereafter.
“However, most redoubted lord, I know for certain, that your inclinations were very willing to do us justice, and that they still remain the same. Our most afflicted mother, attended by me Charles of Orleans, again returned; and we renewed our request to have judgment executed on the assassins of our late lord and father. We also caused to be most fully detailed before my lord of Aquitaine, your eldest son, and by you commissioned as your lieutenant on this occasion, and before the queen, every circumstance relative to the murder, and the infamous charges urged by way of exculpation by the murderer, and the causes why he had committed this atrocious crime. We, at the same time, fully replied to what had been argued in his defence; and after this, our lady-mother caused conclusions to be drawn against the aforesaid traitor, according to the usual customs of your reign, and required that your attorney should join with her in the further prosecution of the criminals, so that they might be brought to justice. When this was done, our very redoubted lord the duke of Aquitaine, by the advice of the princes of your blood and divers others of your council, then present at the Louvre, made answer to our lady-mother, that, as your lieutenant, he and the princes of the blood, and the members of your council, were satisfied, and pleased with the justifications offered by our lady-mother in behalf of your brother, our much redoubted father, whose soul may God pardon 1 and that they considered him as fully innocent of the charges brought against him; and added, that substantial justice should be done to her satisfaction.
“Notwithstanding all these promises, there was much delay in their execution, insomuch that she frequently renewed her solicitations to you, the princes of your blood, and to your council, and used various other means to obtain justice, the recital of which would tire you : nevertheless, she could never gain the assistance of your attorney-general in prosecuting the aforesaid criminals to judgment, which circumstance is lamentable to think on. For the aforesaid traitor, well knowing your inclination to execute justice, knowing also that his crime could by no means be justified, in order to prevent matters being pushed to extremity, (notwithstanding your positive orders to him, to forbid his appearing at Paris, with any body of men-at-arms) came thither with a powerful force, composed of foreigners, and several who had been banished your realm, who did great mischief to the countries through which they passed, as is notorious to every one.
“You and our lady the queen, with the duke of Aquitaine, your son and heir, and the princes of the blood, were forced to quit your capital before he arrived there. He remained, therefore, in your town of Paris lord paramount, and conducted himself in a tyrannical manner, subversive of your dominion, and contrary to the interests of the people. To avoid greater inconveniences and oppressions on your subjects from him and his men-at-arms, it was judged expedient that you, the royal family and council of state should, according to his good pleasure, come to Chartres, and there grant him whatever he should ask. Thus he thought he should be acquitted of all the traitorous acts and murders which he had committed, by trampling your justice under his feet. Consequently he refuses to suffer any of your officers to take cognizance of his crimes, and has not condescended to humiliate himself before you, whom he has troubled and offended more than can be told. He is not, therefore, capable of receiving any grace by law or reason, nor worthy of being admitted to your presence, and having any favours shown to him or to his dependants and friends. He should have presented himself before you in all humility and contrition for his offences; whereas he has done precisely the contrary, and has so obstinately persisted in his wickedness that he has had the boldness to avow to yourself publicly, and before so great an assembly as met at Chartres, that he put your only brother to death for your welfare and that of the state. He wishes also to maintain, that you told him you were not displeased that it had been done. This has shocked every loyal ear that has heard it, and will shock still more the generations to come, who shall read and learn that a king of France (the greatest monarch in Christendom) should not have been displeased at the most inhuman and traitorous murder of his only brother.
WOL. I. N
“This is so manifestly treason of the deepest dye against your own honour, and that of your crown and kingdom, that scarcely any punishments ordered by law and justice are capable of making reparation for it. It is also greatly prejudicial to the far-famed justice of your courts of law. Notwithstanding the excuses which he made to you, that the murder of your brother had been committed for your personal security, and the good of your kingdom, it is notorious, that it had been plotted a very long time, through his immeasurable anbition of obtaining the government of your realm, as I have before stated. He has declared to several of his dependants and officers, that there never before was committed in this country so base a murder; and yet, in his defence, he says it was done for the public good, and for your personal safety. It is therefore very clear, according to law and equity, that everything done at Chartres on that day is null and void; and what perhaps is as deserving of punishment as the commission of the crime itself is, that he never deigned to pay you any honour, respect, or condolence for such a loss as that of your brother, nor ever once solicited pardon, or any remission for his offence whatever. And he wishes to maintain, that without confessing his guilt, and without demanding pardon, you have remitted all further proceedings against him, which is contrary to all equity and written laws, a mere illusion, or rather a derision of justice, namely, thus to leave a murderer, without taking any cognizance of his crime, without penitence or contrition, and to prosecute no inquiry into his conduct, and, what is worse, when such a criminal obstinately perseveres in his wickedness, even in the presence of his sovereign lord. On that same day, however, he fell into a manifest and apparent contradiction; for he says that he has done well, and consequently he assumes to himself merit, and requires remuneration,-and, nevertheless, he pretends to say that you have given him pardon and remission, which circumstance implies not good deeds and merit, but a crime and offence. He has never offered any prayers for the salvation of the soul of the deceased, nor any remuneration to those who have suffered from the loss caused by him; and this you ought not, and cannot in any manner pardon.
“Thus it clearly appears, that what was done at Chartres was contrary to every principle of law, equity, reason and justice; whence it again follows, that from this, and other causes too long to be detailed, all the proceedings at Chartres are null and of no effect. Should any one maintain, that the treaty made at Chartres is good and binding, it may very easily be shown, that this aforesaid traitor has infringed the articles of it in various ways, and has been the first to violate it. Although you had ordered, that henceforth he should in no way act to our prejudice, and although he had sworn to observe it, nevertheless he did directly the contrary; for, thinking to damn the good fame of our very redoubted lord and father, he caused your grand-master of the household, whose soul may God receive 1 to be arrested, thrown into close imprisonment, and inhumanly tortured, so that his limbs were broken, and made him suffer other martyrdom that he might, through the severity of torture, force him to confess that our ever-to-be-regretted lord and father, and your only brother, whose soul may God pardon! was guilty of some of the charges which he had falsely brought against him, so that his crimes might be excused, and that he might for ever destroy the honour of our family. He had the grand-master carried to the place of execution, who there, when death was before his eyes, declared, on the damnation of his soul if he told a falsehood, that he had never in his life seen anything treasonable in the conduct of the late duke of Orleans, or anything that tended to the hurt of any individual,—but that he had always most loyally served you: and should he have said anything to the contrary when under torture, it must have been his sufferings that forced him to utter what he thought would please histormentors. What he now said was the real truth, and he uttered it on the peril of damnation; and this he persevered in to the moment of his execution, in the hearing of many knights and other respectable persons. This plainly demonstrates, that the duke of Burgundy's conduct was precisely the reverse to what he had sworn to observe when at Chartres.
“He has received into his hotel and supported, and continues daily so to do, the murderers who slew your brother, although they were especially excepted out of the treaty concluded at Chartres. He likewise, as is notorious, troubles the officers and servants of our late lord and father, who now appertain to us, and dismisses them from all the employments which they held under your government, without any other cause whatever but his hatred to us and to our house, and to those servants who are attached to us. He even attempted not only to ruin them in their fortunes, but to take away their lives by means too tedious to relate ; but the facts are notorious. The traitor, therefore, sensible of the horror of his criminal cruelty, and that he could not by any means palliate it, has usurped the government of your kingdom (for the sole cause of his murdering your brother was his unbounded ambition), and, by so doing, effectually prevents your officers of justice from taking cognizance of his crimes, and likewise creates infinite grief to all your loyal subjects and wellwishers.
“He detains your royal person, as well as that of my lord the duke of Aquitaine, in such subjection that no one, however high his rank, can have access to you, whatever may be his business, without first having obtained permission from those whom he has placed around you, and has thus driven from you and your family several faithful and valiant servants long attached to you, and filled their places with his own creatures, and in great part with foreigners and persons unknown to you. In like manner, he has acted toward my lord of Aquitaine. He has also displaced your officers, in particular, such as held the principal posts in your realm; and as for your finances, he has lavished them here and there according to his will and pleasure, but greatly to his own advantage, and not at all for the good of yourself, or for the relief of your people, which has caused much discontent against you. The underlings in office he has sorely vexed, under feigned pretences of justice, and has robbed them of their fortunes, which he has applied to his own proper use, as is well known throughout Paris and elsewhere. In short, he has introduced such a licentiousness of manners into the kingdom that all sorts of crimes are committed, without inquiry or punishment following them; and thus, from default or neglect of justice being done on this enormous and detestable murderer, many other murders have been committed with impunity in different parts of the realm, since the melancholy death of our much-regretted lord and father, murderers and other criminals saying, “Our crimes will be passed over, since no notice has been taken of him who slew the king's brother.’
“On this account, most redoubtedlord. my lord of Berry your uncle, the duke of Bourbon, the count d'Alençon, the counts de Clermont and d'Armagnac, and I Charles of Orleans, wishing to testify our loyalty to you, as we are bound by parentage, and being your very humble subjects, had intended coming to you last year to lay before you the damnable government of your kingdom, and to remonstrate, that should it continue longer, it must end in the destruction of yourself, your family, and your realm. In order, therefore, that you may hear us as well as such as may maintain the contrary, let there be chosen a sufficient number of discreet men to examine into the grievances we complain of; and let a remedy be applied to them, providing first for the security of your royal person, and for that of my lord of Aquitaine. This was more fully explained in the proclamations issued previously to our coming to Paris, when, for our personal safety, we were accompanied by our friends and vassals, all of them your subjects; and our only object in thus coming was the welfare of yourself and your kingdom. We offered to wait on you with very few attendants, but we could never obtain access to you, nor have a single audience, through the obstructions of this traitor, who was always by your side; and he alone prevented the goodness of our intentions being made known to you, from his persevering ambition and his boundless desire of seizing the government of yourself and realm. We, therefore, finding all hopes of seeing you fruitless, in consequence of agreements concluded with your council, returned home; but to avoid, if possible, the destruction of your country, we must again confederate.—We faithfully observed all the articles of the agreement; but we were no sooner at a distance than our enemy violated them in the most essential part. It had been settled that your new ministry should be composed of men of unblemished characters, who were not partisans or servants, or pensioners to either side; but he has kept those that were attached to him in power, so that he has now a majority in the council, and consequently rules more despotically and more securely than when he held the reins of government in his own hand. These grievances are increasing, and will increase, unless God shall direct your mind to provide a remedy to them.
“Pierre des Essars, who had been provost of your good town of Paris, and minister of finance, was to be deprived of these offices, and of every employment he held under your name. This was done for a short time, but he has since obtained for him, by letters sealed with your great seal, a re-appointment to the provostship, under pretence of which the said Pierre des Essars has returned to Paris, and has attempted by force to execute the duties of that office. He came, in fact, to the court of the Châtelet, seated himself on the judgmentseat, and took possession of his office with the knowledge and connivance of the duke of Burgundy, and it was not his fault, if he failed in success. Hence it appears plainly, that the late arrangements have been by him, and those of his party, violated; and that he never had any real intentions of keeping the treaty, is clear from his having consented to the dismission of Pierre des Essars, and then secretly procuring his restitution. It was also stipulated in this treaty, that all who had been deprived of their offices for having been in the company of me, Charles d'Orleans, and the other lords, at the hotel of Winchester, should be restored to them; and that, by your orders, and those of your council, sir John de Charencières was to be replaced in his government of your town and castle of Caen,_ nevertheless, the duke of Burgundy, in opposition to these your orders, had him displaced, and solicited the appointment for himself, from hatred to sir John de Charencières, and having obtained it, now holds it, which is another infringement of the treaty.
“Notwithstanding, most redoubted lord and sovereign, all the diligence and exertions of our much-loved mother, whose soul may God pardon to obtain justice on the murderers of our late very dear father, four years have now elapsed without any judgment being passed on such enormous criminals, although she pursued every means in her power. In consequence of this failure or neglect, I, Charles of Orleans, have of late most humbly supplicated you to grant me warrants against these aforesaid murderers, addressed to all your justices, that they might, on due examination of the charges, imprison and punish, according to the exigency of the case, all or any who may have been implicated in this abominable crime. In this I made not any extraordinary request; for justice is due to all your subjects, and cannot be refused them: you cannot believe that any man, however low his rank in your kingdom, would have a similar request neglected by your courts of justice, for I know it could not be refused. However, in spite of every exertion I could make, I have never yet been able to obtain these warrants, the reason of which is, as I suppose, that some of your new ministers are implicated in the crime I am anxious to have punished, and therefore will not suffer such warrants to be issued.
“For this reason, therefore, most redoubted lord, have I of late earnestly supplicated you, that you would, from personal considerations, and for the good of your realm, dismiss from your service, the persons named in my letter, for I therein charged them with having obstructed public justice and disturbed the peace of the country. When this should be done, I declared to your ambassadors, that I was willing, from my love to your person and attachment to your kingdom, to make publicly known my future intentions, and that my conduct should be such as would have the approbation of God and of your majesty; but notwithstanding this, I have not yet had any satisfactory answer to all my repeated solicitations for justice on the murderers of my late regretted lord and father. We, therefore, most redoubted lord, again make our petitions that the aforesaid criminals may be brought to that justice which is due to them for the enormity of their offences; the principal having made a public confession of his guilt in the presence of my lord of Aquitaine, who presided, in your absence, at the meeting held at his request in the hôtel de St. Pol, and before a numerous body of the nobility, clergy and others; and the traitor cannot deny that this his confession was made before a competent judge, and in the presence of such witnesses as the king of Sicily and my lord of Berry, your uncle. He had before privately confessed to these two persons, that he had committed the murder without any cause whatever, but through the instigation of the enemy of mankind. This confession, according to every law, ought to be to his prejudice, nor should he be suffered to offer any excuse in extenuation of a crime thus publicly and privately avowed; for he has condemned himself, and ought to have judgment passed on him accordingly. It is very apparent, that such confession requires not any further proceedings but the passing of that sentence which the enormity of the crime deserves. Notwithstanding this, our much-regretted lady-mother and ourselves have never been able, with all our exertions, to overcome the premeditated delays to obstruct justice; for three years and a half are elapsed since we first brought the matter before you, and we are not one step more advanced to the attainment of judgment than we were then. It is painful to consider what may be the consequence of this wilful delay of justice to the welfare of your kingdom, and that the most dangerous consequences may ensue, unless a speedy and decisive remedy be applied. “May it therefore please your grace to do your loyal duty, in executing this act of justice, in obedience to God your Creator, to whom judgment appertains, and from whom you hold your authority. Have regard also to the good government of your realm, and exert yourself to put an end to every obstacle in the way of a just punishment on the traitor. We most earnestly supplicate you to comply with this our request as soon as possible, for we are bounden to press you to it, to the utmost of our powers, under pain of not being reputed the children of our late lamented father, and of being disgraced, and unworthy of bearing his name and arms, and of succeeding to his honours and estates: such dishonour we will never endure, but would rather suffer death, as ought to be the determination of every man of noble heart, of whatever rank or estate he may be. We therefore entreat you, with all possible humility, that for this purpose, and also in order to resist and oppose his wicked intention to destroy us by any means whatsoever, it may please you, from your benignant grace, to aid, assist, and abet by your power, us to whom God hath vouchsafed so great favour as to cause us to be born your relations, even of your own kin, and your true nephews, children of your only brother, or, to speak more properly, assist your only brother, who has fallen a martyr to the ambitious views of this traitor. Most redoubted lord, there is no man so poor, who, having had his brother murdered, will not prosecute the murderer to death, and the more earnestly as the criminal displays greater obstinacy. This is exemplified in the conduct of our traitor; for it is notorious, that he has dared to write, and to declare to many respectable persons, that he slew your brother, whom God pardon : our much-redoubted lord and father, fairly and meritoriously. In answer to which, I Charles of Orleans say, that he lies, and I at present decline to make a more ample reply,–for it is very manifest, as I have before explained, that he is a liar, and a false disloyal traitor, and that, through the grace of God, I am, and ever will be without reproach, and a teller of truth. Since, therefore, such things cannot fail of being very prejudicial to your realm and to the public welfare, we beseech you most humbly to do us that justice which you are bounden to do, and to assist us by every means in your power, that we may have full and ample reparation for the wrongs done us and our family, and that this murder may be punished in the manner it deserves. In acting thus, you will acquit yourself toward God our Creator, and execute justice, of which you are the supreme head, to whom we must have recourse after God. “That you, our most redoubted lord, may be assured that the contents of this letter are from our free will and knowledge, we, Charles, Philip, and John, your most humble children and nephews, have each of us signed it with our own hands. Written at Gergeau, the 10th day of July, in the year 1411.” This letter was sent, by a herald of the duke of Orleans, to the king at Paris, and was laid before the whole of the council, where different opinions were held as to the contents. Some wished that the brothers should have their requests complied with, and that the duke of Burgundy should be summoned, that they might hear what he had to say in his defence to the charges which they should make against him. But at length the business was postponed, and the duke of Orleans could not obtain any favourable answer; for the greater part of those who ruled the king and the duke of Aquitaine were favourers of the duke of Burgundy, to whom they shortly after sent a copy of the above letter. The duke of Burgundy, on reading it, was convinced that the family of Orleans and their friends would very soon declare war against him; and in consequence, he immediately began to make every preparation to oppose them, by forming magazines of stores, and engaging a numerous body of men-at-arms, in various parts of his possessions. The duke of Orleans and his brothers had not only written to the king of France, and to the princes of the blood, but also to the principal towns, making complaint against the duke