« ZurückWeiter »
The project of a marriage, which afterwards took place and was then debated, between Philip's sister and Bedford,1 is also set forth as forming an additional tie.
Although everything of any moment in this extraordinary transaction had been settled at Arras between the real parties, a considerable time elapsed before the negotiation between Philip's instruments, the Court at Troyes, and Henry's ambassadors, ended in the treaty which was to be public and binding on all parties.2 It was not till the 9th April that the preliminaries were April 9, signed, and they bore evidence of the 1420causes from which the delay had arisen. The unheard-of proceeding by which two foreigners, Philip and the Queen, while the King was suffering under mental derangement, took upon themselves, for the gratification of their own vindictive passions, to alienate the Crown of France, transferring it to a stranger, and that stranger the King of England, enemy of the country, was enough to rouse the most indifferent of French subjects, to startle the most zealous of Burgundian partisans. Of this enormity it was a serious, though in the comparison perhaps an unimportant aggravation, that the fundamental law of the monarchy was rudely broken through,
1 Rym., ix. 521.
* The substance of the treaty of Arras had been allowed to transpire; for, on the 24th Feb., 1420, Henry refers to his expectation of his succeeding to the crown in his answer to an address from Paris. Rym., ix. 854.
which suffered on no account a female to fill the throne or transmit the inheritance of it. Half the kingdom, too, at the time of making this general conveyance of it, was in the hands, not of the parties to the transaction, but of the heir apparent, whose title no one affected to doubt, while Philip's adherents, even if they unanimously approved of the surrender, formed only one party in any portion of the country. The four months, then, that elapsed between the treaty of Arras and the preliminaries of Troyes must have been spent in attempting to smooth away the difficulties which it was naturally enough expected that the feelings of the people would create as soon as the whole affair should be known, and in obtaining from Henry something like concessions by which the general indignation might be allayed. Accordingly we find that beside putting forward the release of all claim to portion with the Princess, and dwelling on the filial relation in which Henry was in future to stand towards the King and Queen of France, there are provisions introduced which were not in the treaty of Arras, and which might seem calculated in some degree to disarm the public jealousy. A considerable jointure1 was settled on the Princess; the rights of the Parliament, and of the nobles, cities, and individuals, were to be preserved; no taxes were to be levied except such as the public service required, and these according to the customs of the realm; all conquests made during the Ee1 Equal to 50,000?. of our money.
gency were to be made for the Crown; and the Duchy of Normandy was to be restored to France immediately on Henry's accession at the King's decease. Finally, Henry was on no account to take the title of King during Charles's life. This last stipulation was the more necessary because he had hitherto always in his proclamations called himself "King of France and England," and had probably given offence by this wanton and useless act . It is to be observed that while these articles affect to provide a security for the rights of the French people by words nugatory and inoperative, they impose no obligation whatever to employ Frenchmen rather than Englishmen in the public service. We can hardly doubt that some such provision was pressed upon Henry; and the silence of the preliminaries only shows that he would listen to no such proposition. But there was retained the most offensive part of the Arras treaty, by which all persons were to swear allegiance to him and his heirs as Kings of France.1 It is probably in reference to this provision that a contemporary writer, after stating the principal matters in the treaty, speaks of "certain other things which for their iniquity and wickedness must not be mentioned."2
It affords a singular proof of the degree to which Henry's ambition, buoyed up by the dazzling success of his arms, had infected those about him, perhaps
1 Eym., ix. 877.
* Juv. des Urs., 377: "promesses qu'il ne faut pas reciter pour l'iniquitl et mauvaiset« d'ycelles."
his people at large, that when these preliminaries were laid before his English Council many objections were raised, turning for the most part upon the abandonment of his style as King of France, and the postponement till Charles's death of his accession to the French crown. Led away by the dream of his hereditary right, these thoughtless men were alarmed lest it might be impeached by being waived for a time. The King himself, as we may well suppose, satisfied with a success in obtaining the substance, beyond his most sanguine hopes, was wholly regardless of the shadow, and proceeded to the completion of the transaction undisturbed by the remonstrances of his advisers, which he probably conceived might proceed in part from adulation mingling itself with their folly. He repaired to Troyes with a considerable army,1 May 14, ar,d made his entry with a splendid retinue 1420. 0f courtiers and officers richly caparisoned, himself displaying, as he had done at Rouen, beside his armorial bearings, an emblazoned fox-tail, the emblem of that craft to which, not less than to his arms, he fondly ascribed his success.2 A week was now spent in finishing the transaction; some slight changes were made in the preliminary articles, particularly by adding an obligation binding both the French Court and the Burgundian, as well as Henry, never to make a separate peace with the Dauphin, or without the assent of the States of the realm, and by providing that when England and France should be united under one sovereign, each should be governed by its own laws.1
1 Some accounts say 1000, some as many thousands.* Hoi., iii. 113.
* It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the amicable appearance of things, such were the apprehensions of treachery then prevalent, especially after the late assassination, that the preliminaries contained an article binding each party to use no fraud or force against the other.
On the 21st of May was finally ratified and signed by all the parties this, the most disgraceful treaty that was ever made by a civilized nation, which the French people have justly in all times regarded as fixing upon the reputation of their country a stain not to be effaced; for if it was the work of factious and selfish leaders, it was also acquiesced in by their numberless adherents; and even those of the opposite party must bear their full share of the blame, inasmuch as the divisions by which the nation was distracted made the general resolution prevail rather to receive a foreign yoke than fall under the dominion of adversaries at home. On Trinity Sunday, a june 2 few days after the ratification, the marriage 142°of Henry with Catherine was solemnized with great pomp, according to the rites of the Gallican Church.2 The treaty was some months after, with a base exultation, accepted and registered by the States of the Realm as the "law of the Monarchy ;"3 and Dec. 1420. a little later, with a somewhat more natural, Jan-1421if not very considerate satisfaction, it was approved by the English Parliament.4
Whether it was that this connexion with the House
1 Rym., ix. 902, 3. « Juv. des Urs., 377.
8 Rym., x. 30. * Rot. Par., iv. 135.