Abbildungen der Seite

regaining the ascendant, of which the Constable's death had deprived the party, while they disguised the enormity of the act by the sophistry that it was retaliating upon the Bourguignons the blow which their murder of Orleans, the Dauphin's uncle, had inflicted upon the Armagnacs.

The probability, no doubt, is that the plot originated with the more violent leaders of the party, those attached to Orleans. Tanneguy had stood high in his favour, holding by his appointment the place of Provost of Paris; Narbonne, Loire, Bataille, had been in his service, the latter present at his assassination; and some accounts describe him as having, when he struck the Duke, taunted him with the murder of his master—" You cut off his hand, and I will cut off yours."! The vehemence of Tanneguy's hatred to the Burgundian, as well as of his zeal for Orleans, is recorded by all writers; and it seems impossible to avoid joining in the belief which has ever since generally prevailed, that he was the ringleader in the conspiracy, as well as the most prominent actor in its execution.

No sooner was the Duke despatched than his followers, who during the affray had shut themselves up in the castle, were summoned to surrender, and refused unless terms were granted. An attempt was then made to gain them over; they were promised a share in the offices of state under the Dauphin, but this they all rejected with indignation; and as soou

1 Juv. des Urs., 373.

as they were certain they could retire in safety, they marched out, none remaining with the other party, except Giac and one Jossequin, a man raised from the lowest rank by the Burgundian's favour. These, with the wife of the former, naturally enough feared to accompany the rest; for there can be no doubt that they had been accomplices in the murder. An act of singular meanness was added to the more atrocious parts of this tragedy; the Duke's property, which he had brought to Montereau, consisting probably of money and jewels, was seized by the Dauphin as if it had been spoil taken in war.1

That Prince and his advisers now found it necessary to make a public defence of their conduct. Letters were addressed by him or in his name to Paris and the other great towns, throwing the blame upon the Burgundian, who was charged with having used unbecoming language and drawn his sword against the Dauphin, and was represented as having been "put to death on the spot for his mad conduct." No credit whatever was given to this story. Montague, one of the Burgundian lords, on his return to Bray-sur-Seine, despatched to various places a full account of what had passed, accusing the Dauphin and his adherents of the murder; but even without a formal contradiction, their statement was universally disbelieved, and the only difference in this respect between the two parties which divided the country was, that the Armagnacs excused their chief


as having been a passive instrument in the hands of others, while the Burgundians regarded him as one of the conspirators, if not their leader.

The consternation and the horror which seized the whole people as soon as the affair of Montereau was made known may easily be conceived. Men's minds in these times had become accustomed to the most sanguinary catastrophes, so that deeds of mere cruelty did not very powerfully excite their feelings; but the spirit of the age made acts of treachery be regarded with peculiar aversion; and the assassination of a great chief while attending a conference with the ally who had plighted his faith by the most solemn oaths upon the Eucharist itself, outraged every feeling of honour, all sense of religion. The general reprobation which was called forth wrought an incalculable injury to the cause and to the character of the Dauphin. The allowance which calmer judges were after a while disposed to make for his youth, and in consideration of the influence exercised over him by his imperious counsellors, was at first wholly withheld even by the bulk of his own party. But it was at Paris, so devoted to his adversaries, that the public indignation most vehemently broke forth; and the desire of revenging their leader's death instantly filled all men's minds, denying access to every counsel of prudence and every feeling of patriotism.

But first there was an outrage on all justice committed by the government; many persons known to be of the Arrnagnac party were seized and cast into prison; and some of them were put to death with little regularity of procedure and upon no evidence of guilt.1 Then a communication was opened with the English ;2 a truce was soon agreed upon; a deputation was sent to Philip, Count of Charolais, Duke John's son, who succeeded him in his principality. Morvilliers, President of the Parliament, was the bearer of an urgent entreaty from the chief office-bearers and most distinguished inhabitants of the capital that he would, by all the means in his power, bring his father's murderers to justice; all men renewed their oaths of fidelity to the Crown and against its enemies; and exhortations to follow the same course were despatched into the other towns which adhered to the Court. Philip, the new duke, on his part was entirely filled with the same sentiments; the desire of revenging his father's death ruled him with undivided sway; and the Queen, wholly dead to maternal affection, as well as enraged at the loss of her most powerful ally, fully shared in feelings which were so much more natural, if not more excusable, in the victim's son. Without any delay a communication was opened between the Court at Troyes and Henry. Philip entered willingly into negotiation with him, and received his proposals. The terms upon which the English prince agreed to an alliance, and to aid in making war on "the invaders,"1 as the treaty called them, were plainly enough stated. Not only he demanded the Princess Catherine in marriage, but he must have the Regency of France during the King's life, and after his decease the Crown of France absolutely to him and to his heirs for ever; and he further required that all the dignitaries of the realm, whether 1419. civil or ecclesiastical, should swear alleNov 2n giance t° him as Regent now, as Sovereign Dec. 2. hereafter. This proposition, the possibility of making which afforded an awful commentary on the state of the kingdom, was dated on the 24th of October, was received at Martinmas, and was accepted on the 2nd December. Three weeks later Henry became bound by a separate convention to aid Philip in bringing the murderers to justice, and to grant him, when the Regency should commence, certain districts in France, bordering on Burgundy, to be holden as a fief under the Crown. These contracts form the treaty of Arras, and the foundation of that which was afterwards more formally made with Charles and his queen at Troyes. In order to explain the close friendship which, as the transaction proved, had been cemented between Henry and Philip, a reference is carefully made in the instruments to the connexion by marriage which would make them brothers-in-law, the Duchess of Burgundy being Catherine's sister.

1 Monstrelet, ch. ccxiv.

* The news of the assassination reached Paris 11th September, and before the 24th Henry was in communication with the governors and chiefs at Paris, and with the Court at Troyes. Rym., ix. 797.

1 In the treaties between Henry and Philip this is the expression. The Dauphin's illegal and rebellious conduct only is mentioned in those with Charles VI. Rym., ix. 81fi. 825.

« ZurückWeiter »