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quite becoming upon the atrocities of which he was confessedly guilty, and dwells with complacency upon the cause of his favour with his nobles, his servants, and his troops. It is, indeed, undeniable that his blood-thirsty disposition had not made him unpopular. His courage dazzled, and his facility attracted, those about him especially who enjoyed his entire confidence when they had it at all. His popularity only affords another instance of the want of reflection and want of regard for either humanity or justice, which the people too often show in their estimate of men's merits and their feelings towards men's persons. His whole history may be examined, and it will be found to exhibit no marks of good feeling, if it be not the great anxiety which he showed to vindicate himself from the charge of the Orleans murder, an anxiety which seems inconsistent with the rest of his conduct. It is described as so entirely possessing him, that during his last occupation of Paris he was much more engrossed with obtaining a decree of the Parliament to reverse the sentence against his defender, Maistre J. Petit, than with any of the other matters which pressed upon his attention. That Doctor had been dead some years; his defence had been condemned by the Council of Constance.
We have had occasion to mark the conduct of this wicked man at Paris. The assassination, and subsequently the league with the authors of the massacres, are no doubt the parts of his life most commonly referred to with abhorrence; but the butchery of the Liegeois at the battle of Hatsbaine exceeded greatly all he was ever guilty of in France. That people had revolted, not against him, but his brother-in-law, their lay bishop, of whose oppressive and unlawful conduct they had good right to complain. But had their resistance been ever so unjustifiable, and the conduct of their prince been ever so unexceptionable, the dreadful vengeance inflicted by his ally is almost
It is, perhaps, a mark of the liking which the people had for him that they gave him familiarly the appellation of Hanneton (Le Hanneton de Flandres), as we should say giddy-goose or mad-cap, probably from his high spirit and carelessness of danger.
without example even in that ferocious age. He attacked them with inferior numbers, no doubt, but his men (including a body of Scots under Mar) were completely armed, with abundance of cavalry, of which the insurgents were nearly destitute, and though their gallant defence made the battle a severe one, the loss he sustained in no wise justified the course he pursued. He strictly forbade giving any quarter. When, in spite of this order, several thousand prisoners had been made, probably from the extreme desire of ransom, the appearance of a body of men, as at Agincourt, supposed to meditate another attack, was alleged as the pretence for issuing an order that all prisoners should be instantly put to death, and the immediate massacre of them ensued. The field was covered with from twenty-four to twenty-six thousand bodies, by his own account, though he omits all mention of this number including the murdered captives. For several days after the battle the brothers were occupied in putting to death such of the citizens of Liege as had taken part in the revolt or were suspected of having done so. The Duke and the Bishop presided in person over this renewed massacre. In their presence the wretched victims were either beheaded or thrown into the river by the dozen and the score. “Il s'acharna," says Fabert, a strong Burgundian partisan, speaking of the Bishop, “non seulement sur les coupables et sur les chefs, mais sur les femmes, sur les enfans, sur les prêtres, et sur les religieux. On ne voyait autour de Liege et des villes qui en dépendent que des forêts de roues et des gibets, et la Meuse regorgeoit de la multitude des corps de ces malheureux, qu'on y jetoit deux à deux liés ensemble” (Hist. des Ducs de Bourgogne, 'i. 41). These atrocities were ascribed chiefly to the Bishop, who from thence obtained the name of Jean-sans-Pitié; but the Duke, “ Notre Intrépide,” as Fabert calls him, had his full share in them, and the massacre at the battle was his special work. It was from the courage he showed on this occasion that he got his name of Jean-sans-Peur. Some have connected it with the fatal battle of Nicopolis, where the French knights, whose crusade he led against Bajazet, were defeated, and their leader, then Count de
Nevers, taken prisoner ; but this was not the occasion. The Livre de Faits et Gestes de Boucicault, cited in a former Note, gives a full account of the expedition (ch. xxiii. to ch. xxviii.), and of the cruelties committed at the siege, where, under the Burgundian's orders, the Turkish prisoners, who had surrendered on promise of being spared, were all massacred upon the approach of Bajazet to relieve the place. It seems a prophecy was reported to have been made that Bajazet would do well to spare the Burgundian, who was destined to kill more Christians than he had Turks. This is not mentioned by the chronicler of Boucicault, who describes the pain suffered by the Burgundian on seeing his companions put to death_“Si grand douleur avoit au coeur luy qui est un très bon et benin seigneur ;” and he compares the killing of these Frenchmen, who had come to invade the Turk and had brought the utmost scandal on the name of their country by the shameless profligacy of their lives during their pious expedition, to the massacre of the Innocents by Herod (ch. xxvi.)
Another staunch Burgundian, in the service of Philip le Bon, Olivier de la Marche, extols Jean-sans-Peur for the affair of Liege, but states the number of killed at only “about 15,000.” In recounting his exploits he makes mention of the Orleans murder thus gently, “Ce que j'appelle plus grande chose que grand bien” (Mém. de Messire Olivier de la Marche, part i., ch. 2).
When we contemplate the life of this man, and reflect on the general abhorrence in which his memory is held, it is difficult to avoid the observation that men's judgments are ever determined rather by the circumstance of some single deed against an individual than by the greater atrocity of such crimes committed against great numbers. The murder of the Duke of Orleans certainly dwells far more upon all men's minds than either the wholesale butcheries of Paris or the massacre of the Liegeois and the Turks. We may further observe, that even in those abominable cruelties there was little more to be reprobated than in Henry V.'s at Agincourt, perhaps nothing so much to be abhorred
as the Black Prince's conduct at Limoges; yet these two princes have ever been regarded with admiration for their courage, certainly not greater than the Burgundian's, and their victories, far more prejudicial to the interests of their own country, as well as more cruel towards that of their adversaries, than any of the Burgundian's successes.
Note LXIII.—p. 318. Such interferences of popular clamour with the course of the Government and against the best interests of the country are not confined to the fifteenth century. The unavoidable ignorance of the multitude upon delicate questions of foreign policy has often been noted as a sufficient reason for all statesmen being very slow to follow the dictates of the public voice on these important subjects-important, indeed, when it is considered that neither more nor less than the question of peace or war is involved in their discussion. Two remarkable illustrations of this danger have been afforded in the history of England, the one a century, the other half a century ago. After Walpole's truly wise administration had preserved the peace of the country at home and abroad, as well as its free government, for twenty years, he was reluctantly driven into hostilities with Spain by a war-whoop which his adversaries raised for merely factious purposes ; they afterwards admitted to Mr. Burke that they had not the shadow of a case against Spain or against Walpole ; they acted entirely through the clamour of the ignorant multitude. Again, in 1803, the clamour of the country, acting through, and excited by the Press in the attacks upon Napoleon, if it did not occasion, certainly hastened the war which raged for eleven years, and from the burthens of which we shall not recover for a century to come. It may be added that Lord Chatham had a decided opinion in favour of exchanging Gibraltar against Minorca, by which sacrifice he expected to obtain the inestimable advantage of Spain's co-operation against France; but his letters remain, in which
the boldest of ministers, and the least under dread of the people, betrays the excess of his apprehensions that such a proposal would raise a popular outcry enough to overwhelm himself and his ministry.
It is not a sound view of these important subjects which should conclude that the public opinion ought to have no weight on questions of this description. The just inference is that all pains should be taken to diffuse as much as it is possible to diffuse accurate knowledge, and inculcate right opinions respecting them, while statesmen are bound to exercise their own judgment, formed upon their better opportunities of discussion and ampler means of information, and fearlessly to resist clamour which they know to be groundless, proceeding, as too often it does, from some temporary delusion.
Note LXIV.—p. 327. In 1788, the precedents on the subject of a Regency were examined by Committees of both Houses of Parliament. The Report of the Lords is to be found in their Journals, Vol. xxxviii. 277, “Precedents respecting proceedings on the prevention or interruption of the Royal authority by infancy, sickness, infirmity, or otherwise.”
In each House two questions were raised, the power of providing for the defects of the Royal authority, and the mode of exercising that power, — whether the Regent should be appointed by address or an Act of Parliament; and whether the Act should confer the government with or without restrictions. Upon both questions, but especially upon the former, the arguments, as far as precedents were concerned, turned mainly upon those of Henry VI.'s reign. Mr. Pitt, 16 Dec., 1788, after adverting to those of Edward III. and Richard II., which were of Councils appointed to exercise the Royal authority, relied chiefly upon Gloster's having called the Parliament, and the Act mentioned in the text having been passed to ratify the assembling