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crowned with the arched diadem of empire, raises the other hand in sign of asseveration as she repeats the obligation of marriage after the archbishop of Sens. The dress of Katherine varies in no particulars from the coronation costume; the royal mantle, with its cord and tassels, presents no difference from the mantle of her predecessors, Matilda Atheling or Joanna of Navarre. Whatsoever may be thought of the features of Katherine the Fair, it is certain that John Rous took good likenesses, since her portrait presents the style of countenance of the royal family of France. The facial line of the descendants of St. Louis was remarkable: the features somewhat slanted, and the ear followed the same line; the nose was long, and fell a little over the mouth. This peculiarity is familiar to every one, from Titian's portrait of Francis I., whose features are strongly marked with this slanting physiognomy. Those who know the portraits of St. Louis (Louis IX.) will see the same family face, but with a better expression; those who have looked upon the fine statue of Katherine's grandfather, Charles the Wise, to the left at the entrance of the library he founded, the Bibliothèque du Roi, (now in Rue-Richelieu, Paris,) will see the same features, which may be traced even in the handsome faces of Louis XIII., Louis XIV. and XV., in every one of which the nose slightly inclines over the upper lip. This physiognomy degenerates into ugliness in the face of Louis XI., and is apparent, mixed with an insane character, in that of Katherine's father, Charles VI. When joined with great brilliancy of complexion, and softened in female faces, it did not preclude the princesses Isabella of Valois and her sister Katherine the Fair from renown for beauty: in our portraits of both, the length of the nose slanting downwards over the mouth may be obserwed. If the family outline of the race of Valois does not sustain the character for beauty which the contemporaries of these queens of England chose to insist on for them, nevertheless they prove the authenticity of the portraits by coincidence with family resemblance. In the marriage group from the pencil of Rous, the royal bride of England is accompanied by her mother and sisters. King Henry resembles, in person
and costume, his portrait on the frieze round the chantry over his tomb in Westminster-abbey: his brothers and the earl of Warwick are in attendance near him. The archbishop of Sens went in state to bless the bed of the queen, and during the might a grand procession came to the bedside of the royal pair, bringing them wine and soup, because Henry chose in all things to comply with the ancient customs of France; and it appears this strange ceremonial was one of the usages of the royal family. The next day, after a splendid feast, where the knights of the English court proposed a succession of tournaments, he let them know “that playing at fighting was not to be the amusement of his wedding, but the actual siege of Sens, where they might tilt and tourney as much as they chose.” The letters written on occasion of these nuptials by Henry and his courtiers, are the earliest specimens extant of English prose. The following epistle by John Ufford affords to the reader as brief and comprehensive a view of affairs at that period as can possibly be presented:*— “WoRSHIPFUL MAISTER,
“I recommend me to you. And as touching tidings, the king our sovereign lord was wedded, with great solemnity, in the cathedral church of Troy about mid-day on Trinity-Sunday. And on the Tuesday suing [following], he removed towards the town of Sens, sixteen leagues thence, leading with him thither our queen and the French estate. And on Wednesday next ensuing was siege laid to that town—a great town, and a notable; it lieth toward Bourgoigne ward, and is holden strong with great number of Armagnacs.” The which town is worthily besieged; for there lie at that siege two kings, two queens, [Isabean, queen of France, and the newly married queen of England, four ducks," with my loord of Bedford, when he cometh hither. The which [the duke of Bedford] on the 12th day of June shall lodge beside Paris, hitherward coming. “And st this siege also are lien many worthy ladies and jantilwomen, both French and English, of the which many of them began feats of arms long time agone, but of lying at sieges now they begin first.
“I pray that ye will recommend me to my worshipful lord the chancellor, and to my lord the treasurer. And, furthermore, will ye wit [know] that Paris, with other, is sworn to obey the king our sovereign lord, as heriter and governor of France,—and so they do. And on Witsund-Monday final peace was proclaimed
in Paris, and on Tuesday was a solemn mass of Our Lady, and a solemn procession of all the great and worthy men of Paris, thanking God for this accord.
* Monstrelet. * Rymer's Foedera, vol. ix. * The party of the dauphin, the disinherited brother of Katherine, were called Armagnacs, from the count of Armagnac, kinsman and prime-minister to Charles VI., the upholder of the rights of his son. - * Dukes; but the word is thus spelt.
“And now Englishmen go into Paris oft as they will, without any safe-conduct or any letting, [giving leave]. And Paris and all other towns, turned from the Armagnac party, make great joy and mirth every holiday, in dancing and carolling. I pray God send grace to both realms of much mirth and gladness, and give you in health much joy and prosperity, long to endure.
“I pray that ye will vouchsafe to let this letter commend me to Abel Howit and Bayley, and to sir John Brockholes, and to greet well Richard Prior, (whom the fair town of Vernon on Seine greeteth well also,) and Will Albtow, and Lark and all the meiaie, and king Barbour and his wife. Written at the siege of Sens, the 6th day of June, in haste. Sens is further than Paris thirty-four leagues, and Troyes is further than Paris thirty-six leagues.
“Will ye say to my brother, maister Piers, that I send him a letter by the bringer hereof.” “Your own Servant,
Thus was the honeymoon of Katherine the Fair passed at sieges and leaguers: her bridal music was the groans of France. Horror, unutterable horror, was the attendant on these nuptials; for the cruel massacre of Montereau' took place within a fortnight of the queen's espousals. Yet Katherine was no unwilling bride; for, as her brother-in-law, Philip the Good of Burgundy, expressly declared, “She had passionately longed to be espoused to king Henry; and, from the moment she saw him, had constantly solicited her mother, with whom she could do any thing, till her marriage took Place.” But not a word, not a sign of objection to the cruelties and slaughter that followed her marriage is recorded; nor did the royal beauty ever intercede for her wretched country with her newly wedded lord. Sens received Henry and Katherine within its walls soon after the siege had commenced in form. The king and queen of England entered in great state, accompanied by the archbishop of Sens, who had a few days before joined their hands at Troyes. This prelate had been expelled from his diocese by the party of the Armagnacs, but he was reinstated by Henry V., who, turning to him with a smile as they entered the cathedral, said, "Now, monseigneur Archevesque, we are quits, for you gave i. my wife the other day, and I restore yours to you this ay.”
This sad page of history is detailed by Monstrelet. Henry V., exasperated * the desperate defence of this town for its native sovereign, butchered the on under pretence of revenging the death of John duke of Burgundy, with * death the garrison had not the slightest concern, nor was Henry in the alled upon to avenge it. * Martin's Chronicle. * Monstrelet. WOL. II. - K
While the desperate siege of Montereau proceeded, the queen of England, and her father and mother, with their courts and households, resided at Bray-sur-Seine. Here Henry paid frequent visits to his bride. After the tragedy of Montereau, the united courts removed to Corbeil, where queen Katherine was joined by her sister-in-law, Margaret duchess of Clarence, and by many noble ladies who had come from England to pay their duty to the bride of king Henry. She was with her mother and king Charles at the camp before Melun. “But indeed,” says Monstrelet, “it was a sorry sight to see the king of France bereft of all his usual state and pomp. They resided, with many ladies and damsels, about a month in a house king Henry had built for them near his tents, and at a distance from the town, that the roar of the cannon might not startle king Charles. Every day at sunrise,” continues the Burgundian, “and at nightfall, ten clarions, and divers other instruments, were ordered by king Henry to play for an hour most melodiously before the door of the king of France.” The malady of the unhappy father of Katherine was soothed by music. This was evidently the military band of Henry V., the first which is distinctly mentioned in chronicles. Henry was himself a performer on the harp from an early age. He likewise was a composer, delighting in church agrimony, which he used to practise on the organ.' That he found similar tastes in his royal bride is evident from an item in the Issue rolls,” whereby it appears he sent to England to obtain new harps for Katherine and himself, in the October succeeding his wedlock: “By the hands of William Menston was paid 8l. 13s. 4d. for two new harps, purchased for king Henry and queen Katherine.” If the reader is anxious to know who was the best harp-maker in London at this' period, complete satisfaction can be given; for a previous document mentions another harp sent to Henry when in France, “purchased of John Bore, harp-maker, London; together with several dozen harp-chords, and a harp-case.”
'Elmham's Chronicle, p. 12. Likewise a French chronicler, quoted by colonel Johnes in his notes to Monstrelet; and Dr. Henry, vol. x. p. 227. * Pages 363, 367.
At the surrender of Melun, the vile mother of queen Katherine was proclaimed regent of France through the influence of her son-in-law, who considered queen Isabeau entirely devoted to her daughter's interest. This was a preparatory step to a visit which Henry intended to make to his own country, for the purpose of showing the English his beautiful bride, and performing the ceremonial of her coronation. The royal personages of France and England now approached Paris, in order that the king and queen of England might make their triumphal entry into that city; but Henry, not knowing how the Parisians might receive them, chose to precede his wife, and take possession of the city before he ventured to trust her within its walls. “Queen Katherine and her mother made their grand entry into Paris next day. Great magnificence was displayed at the arrival of the queen of England, but it would take up too much time to relate all the rich presents that were offered to her by the citizens of Paris. The streets and houses were hung with tapestry the whole of that day, and wine was constantly running from brass cocks and in conduits through the squares, so that all persons might have it in abundance; and more rejoicings than tongue can tell were made in Paris for the peace and for the marriage of Katherine the Fair.”
The miserably exhausted state of France prevented Katherine from receiving any solid sum as her fortune; but she had an income of forty thousand crowns, the usual revenue of the queens of France, settled on her at her marriage by her father, a few scanty instalments of which proved, in reality, the only property she ever derived from her own country. This circumstance gives an exemplification, by no means uncommon in life, of the manner in which exorbitancy in pecuniary demands often defeats its own ends. Had Henry W. required a more reasonable dowry with his bride, Katherine might have been reckoned as the richest of our queens, instead of being, with all her high-sounding expectations, in reality the poorest among them all. The royal pair spent their Christmas at Paris, but at the end of the festival Henry