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VOL. 111. 



Bp C. RoKorth, Bell-yard, Templfbmr. 







X HE following Pieces have already been noticed 
m the Introduction to the First Volume. Many 
of them were juvenile performances; and under 
the persuasion that they w ill be candidly received 
as such, they are now delivered to the Press. 
They certainly are entitled to greater indulgence 
than could be claimed for Compositions more 
finished and elaborate, and written at the time 
of mature age. 

The minute account of Mr. Gibbon's studies 
each dav, extracted from the Journal of his ac- 
tions and opinions, and bis observations on the 
several Works he had perused, evince a singular 
and unremitting industry. 

In that view^ they may afford an useful lesson 
and example to such young readers as shall not 
alreadv be convinced of the necessitv of assi- 
duous application in the acquisition of every kind 
of leamin|^. 



My first intention was, to liavo given only a 
short specimen of the observations made hy Mr. 
Gibb<»n, in the conrse of liis reading; but I found 
them so interesting, that 1 could not desist, so 
soon as I intended, from making Extracts; and, 
upon tiie \vhoh\ I thought that the part to be 
published wouUl be more curious, if given ex- 
actlv as it stands in the Journal. 

I hope I shall not be thought to have published 
too much: in truth, there still remain in my 
possession many Papers which I think equally 
worth attention. 

Mr. (Jibbons manuscript Observations were 
much detailed, from the year 17->1 to 176-1; and 
he afterwards continued to write remarks and 
hints on all subjects, in various common-place 
books, on detached papers, and even on cards, 
till a short time before his death, althouu:h not 
SO copiously, nor so regularly aiul methodically, 
after his return from Italy, in the year 17*35. 
His common-place books are voluminous. One 
of the largest has for title, ^^ Conunon-place 
Book; in which I propose to write what 1 iind 
most remarkable in my Historical Readings; 
begun at Lausanne the 19th of March 17o->/' In 
this he introdu('(*s a ffreat variety of Observa- 
tions on almost e\ery subject, particularly <»n 

In another Book, dated the 19th of January, 

17 oiu 


1756, he says, ^* J'ai pris la resolution de lire de 
suite tous les Classiques Latins, les partageant 
snivant les inati^res qu'ils out traits. 1. Les 
Historiens. 2. Les Poetes. 3. Les Orateurs; 
dans laquelle classe je renfermerai tous les autres 
auteurs qui out 6crit en prose, sans 6tre ni Phi-^ 
losophes ni Historiens. 4. Les Philosophes." 
He begins with Observations on Sallust; then 
proceeds to the Commentaries of Cajsar, Corne- 
lius Nepos, Livy, always mentioning the edition 
which he used. 

Hiere are other Books, containing various 
Dissertations on ancient and modern Weights, 
Measures, Monies, Coins, Finance, Number of 
the People, Chronology, ancient Geography, and 
on several States of the ancient and modem 
World. — " M^moire sur la Monarchic des M^des, 
pour servir de Supplement aux Dissertations de 
Messieurs Freret et de Bougainville." — " Du 
Gouvemement F6odal, surtout en France." — 
" Remarks on, and an Abridgment of, Black- 
stone s Commentaries." — " Remarques Critiques 
sur le Nombre des Habitans dans la Cit6 des 
Sybarites." — " Remarques Critiques sur le nou- 
Teau Syst^me de la Chronologic de Newton." — 
'' Remarques sur quelques Prodiges." — " Re- 
marques Critiques sur les Dignit^s Sacerdotales 
de Jules Cesar." — " Remarques sur quelques 
Passages de Virgile." — " Sur un Passage de 



Plautc."— " Examen de la Mort du Poete Ca- 
tulle.-—" Reflexions sur I'Etude des Belles Let- 
tres, (i. e.) des Anciens, et de FAntiquit^ Grec- 
que et Latine." — " Remarques sur les M^moires 
de TAcademie des Belles Lettres." — A very con- 
siderable Work on Ancient Italy, intitled, " No- 
mina Gentesque Antiquse Italiae/' with many 
curious Dissertations on several Parts of that 
interesting Country. — " Observations on the 
Churches, Palaces, Pictures, Artists, Antiqui- 
ties, &c. of Italy." — " Index Expurgatorius." — 
" Chronological Tables." — Many loose sheets of 
Geography,* the Greek and Arabian Cosmo- 
graphy, the Navigation of the Portuguese, &c. — 
" Digression on the Character of Brutus." — " In- 
troduction h, THistoire Gen^rale de la R^publique 
des Suisses." — Detached sheets on the subject of 
the Antiquities of Brunswick, and many frag- 
ments on separate papers. 

His well-known and acknowledged learning 
may have made this display of the proofs of his 
industry unnecessary; but it may be acceptable 
to many to have a short sketch of the very vari- 
ous subjects on which he had occupied himself. 

* His attention to Geography had always been very great, and 
few were better informed in that science. His friend Major 
Rennell was of that opinion, and I cannot cite a higher autho- 




of the History of the World— The Ninth Century 
^ to die Fifteenth incli&ive. (Written in Mr. Gibbon's 

early handwriting between 1758 and 1763.) - I 

Uemoire sor la Monarchic des M^des, poor servir de Sup- 
plement aux Dissertations de MM. Freret et de Boogain- 
TiUe. (In Mr. Gibbon's early handwriting between 1758 
and 17«3) S6 

Les Principales Epoques de lUbtoire de la Gr^ce et de 
VEgypte, suivant Sir Isaac Newton, comparees avec les 
Chronologies ordinaires, et Remarques critiques sur TOu- 
▼rage de Newton. Jan. 13, 1758 - - - 150 

Extrait de trois Memoires de M. L*Abbe de la Bleterie sur 
la Succession de TEmpire Romain et d'un sur le Prxnom 
d'Aoguste. Fev. 20, 1758 - - - I69 

Semarques Critiques sur le Norobre des Habitans dans la 
Cite des Sybarites. Date uncertain; early writing. 178 

(TOQTemeinent Feodal, surtout en France. Date uncertain, 
hot in Mr. Gibbon's e^ly writing between 1758 and 17^3 183 

Relation des Noces de Charles Due de Bourgogne avec la 
Princesse Marguerite, Soeur d'Edouard IV. Roi d'Angle* - 
tcrrc. Date uncertain - - - - 202 

Critical Researches concerning the Title of Charles the 
Eighth to the Crown of Naples. Written 17^1 - 206 

An Accoant of a Letter addressed to Cocchi by Chevalier 
L. G. Aretino respecting spme Transactions in the Cisal- 
pine Gallic War, A. U. C. 529. Written 176A - 222 

a 2 An 


An ExaroinatioD of Mallet's Introduction to the History of 

Denmark. July 14th, 1764. - - - 231 

Introduction ^ I'llistoire generale de la Rcpublique des 

Suisses. Writtenl767 - - - - Q39 

Remarques touchant les Doutes Historiques sur la Vie et 1e 
U^gne du Roi Richard III. Par M. Horace Walpole. 
Written 1768 - - - - - 331 

Antiquities of the House of Brunswick. — Written 1790. In- 
troductory Letter to M. Langer - • - 353 
Section L — The Italian Descent - - 359 
Section II. — The German Reign - - 393 
Section III. — The British Succession of the House 

of Brunswick - - - 423 

Section IF, — Additional to the above Sections -178 
An Address recommending Mr. John Pinkerton as a Person 
well qualitied for conducting the Publication of the 
" Scriptores Rerum Anglicarum,** our Latin Memorials 
of the Middle Ages. Written 1793 - - 559 

Appendix to an Address explanatory, &c. by Mr. Pinkerton 578 


I^tetorical anti Critual 




The more civilized part of the globe was divided 
between the Christians sxxd tlie M ahdfnetans ; the 
former under two emperors, the latter under two 
caliphs. 1. The newly-erected empire of the 
Franks extended over France, Germtoy, and Italy, 
and even the Christian princes of Britain and the 
mountains of Spain respected the power and dig- 
nity of Charlemagne. 2. The empire of tlie 
Greeks, or as they vainly styled it, of the Romans, 
had preserved only Macedonia, Thrace, and Asia 
Minor. 3. The caliphs of the house of Ommiyah 
reigned in Spain. 4. Africa, Egypt, Syria, Arabia, 
and Persia, were subject to the Abassides. What- 
ever lay bej'ond the limits of these four empires 
was still pagan, and, excepting China, still bar- 

The overgrown monarchy of the Abassides soon 
declined. The powerful viceroys of great and dis- 
tant provinces gradually usurped the prerogatives, 

VOL. III. B though 


though they still respected the dignity of the caliph. 

7it^: The reigns of Al Rashid, Al Mamttn, and Al Motas- 

***— ^^' sem were, however, wise and prosperous : but 
their feeble successors, immersed in the luxury of 
the seraglio, resigned the guard of their throne and 
person to a body of Turkish mercenaries, who, as 
their interest or passions might dictate, deposed, 
massacred, and created the lieutenants of the pro- 

^0^' phet. At length they began to experience the dire 
*^- effects of the enthusiasm to which tliey owed their 
grandeur. A sect of desperate fanatics, called Kar- 
mathians, disturbed Irack and Arabia. The assas* 
sins of Syria, so much dreaded during the crusades, 
were the la»t remains of them. 

The ruin <9f the French empire was more preci- 
pitate and attended with greater calamities. It is 
chiefly to be ascribed to the fierce spirit^ of the 
Franks, unable to support either an arbitrary or a 

•14--S40. legal gpvemment; to tlie incapacity of Lewis the 
D^bonnaire, and to the ambition of his four sons, 
who, in one battle, destroyed a hundred thousand 
of their subjects. The dignity of the throne and 
blood of Cliarleniagne was eclipsed, as every prince 
divided his dominicHis among his children ; and the 
S7^ spirit of union was irrecoverably lost. Charles the 
- Bald disgraced the imperial purple by acknowledg- 
ing tliat he held it from tlie favour of his subject 
tlie bishop of Rome. Another Charles, as un- 
worthy as the former, was deposed by his subjects, 
and the .vacant empire usurped by the kings of 
Fnmce, of Burgundy, of Aries, of Germany, and 
of Italy, all stiangers to the family of Charlemagne. 



The dukes and the ^ counts who had served their 
ambition, converted their governments into here* 
ditary possessions, which they shared among their 
barons, and these again among their followers; 
the superior still reserving the faith, hoqfiage, and * 
military service of his vassal. The people, both 
erf* the cities and country, was reduced to a state of 
slavery. The clergy sometimes imitated, and some- 
times moderated the tyranny of tlie military order. 

In the mean while the Normans from the Norths 
the Hungarians from the East, and the Arabs, or 
Saracens finom the South, assaulted this defenceless 
empire on- every side. Rome and Paris were be- •*• 
sieged, and these invaders often met each otlier in 
the centre of the ruined provinces. The Normans ^^• 
especiallyi animated by the Saxons, great numbers 
of whom had retired into Scandinavia to escape die 
bloody baptism of Charlemagne, inflicted a dread- 
ful revenge on the persons and property of the 
Ciiristian priests. 

The union of the Saxon heptarchy was effected 
bv Egbert, king of the West Saxons, who had 
been trained to arms and policy in tlie school of 
Charlemagne ; for it was scarcely yet cemented, 
when England experienced the same calamities as 
the Continent from the Danes^or Normans. They 
were with much difficulty expelletl, or subdued^ by 
the victories of Alfred. Amidst the deepest gloom 
of barbarism, the virtue of Antoninus, the learning 
and valour of Ca&sar, and the legislative genius of 
Lycurgus, shone forth united in that patriot king. 
Several of lib institutions have survived the Nor- 

B S man 


man conquest, and contributed to form the £n^ 
lish constitution. 

The Arabs, whether subject to the house of 
Abbas or to that of Ommiyah, foimed but one 
people. The Christians of the western and eastern 
empires had scarcely any common resemblance, 
except of religious superstition. The Franks had 
almost forgotten to read or wxite, in the most literal 
sense of these words. The GTeeks preserved their 
ancient authors without attempting to imitate them. 
But the Arabs were poets and philosophers ; bewil- 
dered themselves very ingeniously in the maze of 
metaphysics, and improved the more useful sciences 
of physic, astronomy, and the mathematics. The 
arts, which minister to the convenience and luxury 
of life, were knou^n only in the East, and at Con- 

From these arts the Arabs derived their splen- 
dour, and the Greeks their existence. A people 
without valour or discipline, and a throne per- 
petually stained with blood and occupied by weak 
princes, could not long have witlistood the nume- 
rous enemies which on every side surrounded 
them. Constantinople alone, attracting by its si- 
tuation and industry the commerce of Europe and 
Asia, supplied the absolute monarch with an inex- 
haustible source of wealth and power. 

90(^^000. . THE TENTH CENTURY. 

Out of respect to Charlemagne's memory, 
Charles the Simple and his descendants to the thif4^ 
generation, were permitted to hoM the crown of 

France : 


: but it was a crown without either power 
or splendour. Italy, with the imperial dignity; 
Germany, with the neighbouring provinces of Lor* 
nine, Alsace, Franche Conit6, Dauphin6, and Pro^ 
Tcnce, were separated from the French monarchy. 
The last Carlovingian prmces, reduced to the city 
of Laon, beheld the misery of their country, and 
die wars among their great vassals. Of these the 
roost powerful were the dukes of France, of Nor- 
mandy, of Burgundy, and of Acquitain; the counts 
of Fhnders, of Champagne, and of Thoulouse. 
RoUo, the first duke of Normandy, acquired that 9is. 
fertile province by conquest and by treaty: his 
fasrbarian followers readily adopted the French 
manners, religion, and language. Hugh Capet, 967—996. 
duke of France, and- count of Paris and Orleans, 
wrested from the last of the Carlovingians the 987. 
sceptre, which still remains in the hands of his 
posterity' ; but his new regal title scarcely gave 
him any authority over his peersj and his ample 
Sefs composed a ver}' inconsiderable kingdom. 

Tlie Germans, freed from the French yoke, 
elected for their king Conrad duke of Franconia, pia— 956. 
and after him a line of Saxon princes. Henry the 
Fowler chastised the Hungarians, civilized his rude 
subjects, and was the first founder of cities in the 
interior parts of Germany. His son, Otho the 
Great, passed the Alps, gave laws to Italy and to 
die popes, and for ever fixed the imperial dignity 
in the German nation. He imposed a tribute on 
the vanquished Danes and Bohemians, and since 
that time the King of Bohemia has acknowledged 

B 3 himself 


himself the first vassal of the German empire, 
which was treated with contempt by the Greeks, 
reluctantly submitted to by the Italians, but re- 
975— f^s. spected by the rest of Europe. The second and 
ws— icof. ^jj.j Otho, son and grandson to the first, supported, 
though with less vigour and capacit}-, the claims 
which he transmitted to them. 

Spain flourished under the happy government of 

the Ommiades more Hian in any former or later 

period. Their capital, Cordovo, is said to have 

contained two hundred thousand houses, and the 

adjacent countiy twelve thousand villages. The 

active genius of the Arabs was at once employed 

in war, science, agriculture, manufactures, and 

commerce. The annual revenue of the caliph 

9if— 961. Abdoubrahman III. exceeded six millions sterling, 

976—1006. and probably surpassed that of all the Christian 

kings united. Under the reign of his grandson, 

^ the viziers became masters of the palace, and the 

governors of their provinces. 

Tlie Christian princes of Gothic or Gascon ex- 
traction, who had maintained their independence 
in the Pyrenean and Astufean mountains, and of 
wliom the King of Leon was the most considerable* 
prepared to take advantage of the intestine di\'i- 
sions of the Mahometans. 

A new empire arose in Africa. Obeidollali, who 
styled himself the descendant and avenger of Ali, 
reduced under his obedience the whole country 
from the Atlantic ocean to the frontiers of Eg^'pt, 
together with the island of Sicily ; and founded 
^^ the dynasty of the Fatimite caliph. Moez Ledi* 



Billa, the fburdi in descent and succession from 
him, conquered Egypt and Syria, and built Grand 
Cairo on the banks of the Nile^ which soon be-/ 
came one of die first cities of the world. But in 
pfOj^Mrtion as the Fatiihite caliphs extended their 
conquests towards the East, their western domi- 
nions of Africa escaped from their yoke. Iii the 
mean while the Arabs of Mauritania, who still re- 
tuqed their pastoral life, spread the terror of their 
arms and the law of Mahomet among the negro 
nations in the interior parts of Africa. 

The empire of the Abassides was dismembered ^u* 
by twenty dynasties, Arabs, Turks, and Persians. 
The caliph of Bagdad, a prisoner in his palace, en- 
joyed the. vain honour of being named first in the 
paUic prayers, and of granting the investiture of 
his provinces to every fortunate usurper. The 
Greeks seized the favourable opportunity, reco« 
^ered Antioch, and once more extended their 
power as far as the banks of the Euphrates. 

As England formed a separate world, which 
maintained very little intercourse with other na- 
tions, it may be resented for the last place. Ed- 9oa— n 
vard the elder and Athelstan inherited the military 9t4-w 
rirtues of Alfred. The great grandson of that 959—97 
prince, Edgar, is celebrated by the monks for his 
profuse devotion to their order; and by rational 
men, for the attention he gave to the naturai 
strength of his kingdom, a maritime power. Tlie 
Danes, who since the time of Alfred had respected 
die coasts of Eugland, renewed their attacks as 

b4 soon 


soon as they discovered the weakness of young 
^thelred, the son of Edgar, 
ra— 101& WliUe the ^fu^ubnans, notwitlistanding their 
intestine troubles, preserved the light of science, 
Europe ^unk still deeper into ignorance, hart]^aDfw 
and superstition. The Benedictine abbeys, though 
they nursed the ^st , of tliese monsters, opposed 
som^ , faint resistance against the two former. They 
transcribed ancient books, improved their lands, 
and opened an asylum for the slaves of feudal ty- 
ranny, which had every where erected fortified 
castles on the ruins of cities and villages. The in- 
habitants of the rocks of Genoa, and of the marshes 
of Venice, began to seek, first a subsistence, and 
soon afterwards wealth and power, in the useful 
employments of trade and navigation. 


ooo-iioo. The general history of this age may be compre- 
hended under four great events. 1. The empire 
of the Turks in Asia. 2. The disputes between 
the emperors and the popes. 3. The conquest of 
England and Naples by the Normans ; and 4. The 
crusades against the Mahometans. 

1. Mahmud of Gjisna was the first prince, who, 
under the empire of the caliphs, assumed the title 
of Sultan- He reigned over the eastern parts of 
Persia, and invaded the rich and peaceful nations 
of Hindostan, several of which lx)wed to his yoke, 
and to that of the Alcoran. As he had occasion 
for great armies, he invited into his ser>ice the 



tribe of Seljuk, one of the bravest and most nurne- 
I0U8 among the Turks. They served the father, 
but rebelled against the son. Tlie several dynas- losi- 
ties of Persia fell successively before tlie sword of 
Tegrul Beg, their first sovereign. Tlie. feeble ca- losa-iMS. 
liph of Bagdad was obliged to grant him the inve^ 
titure of his conquests, and to receive a Turk for 
his protector and his son-in-law. Alp Arslan, the loe^iort. 
successor of Togrul, took the Emperor Romanus 
Diogenes prisoner in a great battle, and treated 
him with a generous courtesy that would have 
doDe honour to the most civilized nations* Asia iobo. 
Minor, a part of the Greek empire, and Syria and 
Fdestine, then subject to the caliphs of Egypt, 
were subdued by the victorious Turks. The eni- 
pire of Malek Shah extended from India to the io7t-io9«. 
Hellespont I his court was the seat of learning, 
justice, and magnificence. The Turks, who had 
adopted the religion and manners of the Arabs, 
studied to conceal from the nations of Asia that 
they liad changed theu* masters. 

2. The Emperor Otho III. was succeeded by ioo«-iot4. 
his cousin Henry II. surnamed the Saint, because 1024-1043. 
lie chose to be the last of his family. The Fran- io4s-io56. 
conian princes, Conrad the Salic, Henry III. and io56-iio«. 
Henry IV. succeeded to the house of Saxony. 
These emperors possessed as much power as was 
compatible with the feudal system. Their great 
Tassals were more accustomed to order and obedi- 
ence than those of Frauce. They enjoyed a large 
domain and revenue in Germany. Italy, once the 
mistress, and since tlie slave of the nations, was 



treated as a conquered country. The right of 
granting the investiture of benefices; and even of 
tlie see of Rome, became in their hands an inex- 
haustible source either of power or of profit Gre> 

¥»-tm$. gory VII. a monk of a daring and obstinate spirit, 
embraced the pretence of abolishing simony, and 
the opportunity of delivering himself and his suc- 
cessors from an odious yoke. The emperor was 
excommunicated and deposed, and these spiritual 
arms were seconded, either from interested or pious 
motives, by the Normans, by the Countess Matilda, 
by th^ princes of Germany, and even by the sons 
of Henry. Though he defended himself widi 
vigour, and was victorious in sixty-six battles, the 
church still maintained the war with new re- 
sources, and infiexible resolution; and the Roman 
Pontiff exalted his mitre above all the crowns in 

3. In this centuF}*, England was twice subdued 
by foreign invaders. Swe^-n tke Dane ravaged 

t«is-toM. the country ; but his son Canute, who had em- 
braced Christianit}\ was acknowledged king by 
tlie nation, and shewed himself as mild m peace as 
he had been terrible in war. The dominion of the 
Danes expired with the sons of Canute, and Ed^ 
ward the Confessor ascended without opposition 
the vacant throne. The more than douMnl tes- 
tament of this weak prince, the last of the Saxon 
li]ie« was however the best pretence with w*hich 
William the bastard, Duke of Normandv, could 
ookmr his invasion of England. In the decisive 
battle of (iastii^rs the ^-akrar of tlie English was' 



iioable to withstand the flower of Europe's chivalry, 
]ed on by an experienced general, and supported 
by the thunder of a papal excommunication. Wil- i^'^^^^*^* 
liam secured his conquest, at first by the most 
gentle, afterwards by the most violent measures. 
He attempted«to abolish the laws and language of 
the Anglo-Saxons, and divided their country 
among the companions of his victory. Fourteen 
hundred manors, which he reserved for the crown, 
formed an ample and independent revenue. Sixty 
thousand knights were bound by duty and interest 
to support the throne of their benefactor. The 
government was military ; and a military govern- 
ment always verges towards despotism. The only 
compensation which England received for so many 
calamities, was a system of manners somewhat 
more polished, and a more extensive influence- on 
the Continent. The power of William the Con- losr-iioo, 
queror and of his son, William Rufus, eclipsed 
their sovereigns the kings of France. Robert, 996— losu 
Henry I. and Philip I. the successors of Hugh lo^i-iofio. 
Capet in lineal descent, wanted both talents and io6o-iio«» 
opportunity to wrest the prerogatives and pro- 
vinces of their crown from the great vassals on 
whose usurpations time had almost bestowed a 
legal sanction. 

The Normans were at that time renowned in 
arms beyond all the European nations. A few ^^^^ 
private gentlemen of Normandy, who visited the 
snnthem parts of Italy as pilgrims, and served 
there as mercenaries, soon formed themselves into 
a little army of conquerors, and erected a formida- 1057- lOtt 



ble power on the ruins of the Greeks, the Arabs, 
and the Lombards. Robert Guiscard, the greatest 
of their chiefs, who passed the Alps with only six 
horsemen and thirty foot, attained the honour of 
protecting Gregory VII. and of seeing both the 
emperors of the West and of the East successively 
fly before him. His vast projects against the lat- 
ter of these empires were interrupted only by an 
untimely death. The devotion, or tlie policy of 
the Normans, engaged them to put their con- 
quests under the protection of St. Peter; and, 
since that time, the kingdom of Naples has been 
a fief of the church of Rome. 
1058. 4. As soon as the caliphate of Spain was de- 
stroyed, the Christians emerged from obscurity, 
and in their turn attacked the Moors or Arabs, 
now divided into twenty petty sovereignties. 
While each Mahometan prince defended himself 
separately, all were van(|uished, but the victor}' 
was long doubtful and bloody. Every district 
*«^ cost a battle : every city a siege. The siege of 
Toledo lasted a year, and the reputation of the 
Spianish general, celebrated in history and romance 
under the name of the Cid, attracted the bravest 
knights of Italy and France to his standard. The 

1065-1109. dominions of his master, Alfonso VI. compre- 
hended both the Castiles, Leon, Biscay, Astureas, 
and Gallicia. The Spanish princes of Navarre, 
Arragon, and Catalonia were still confined between 
lort. the Ebro and the Pyrenees. About the same 
time Count Roger, the Norman, brother of Robert 

^- Guiscard, 


Giiiscard, expelled the Arabs from the island of 
Sicily, and pursued them to the coast of Africa. 

These advantages were preludes to the great 
enterprise of the crusades. When we recollect 
that arms and devotion were the ruling passions of . 
the independent barons and their numerous fol- 
lowers, and that fame, riches, and Paradise were 
held tbrtfa as the sure rewards of this holy warfare 
we shall be the less surprised that more than a 
million of men enlisted under the banner of the 
Cross. Of this undisciplined multitude, the far 
greater part perished in Hungary and Asia Minor. 
Godtrey of Bouillon, and the other Christian 
leaders, arrived on the banks of the Jordan with 
with only tw^enty thousand foot and fifteen hnn- 
died horse; but even this handful of warriors was io99» 
iufficient to recover the holy sepulchre, and to 
establish a feeble and transitorj' dominion over 
Jerusalem, Anrioch, Tripoli, and Edessa. The 
French and Normans had the greatest share in the 
ibiJy and glorj' of the first crusade, which roused 
Europe from its long and profound lethargv', and 
'^^s productive of much unforeseen benefit to the 
»pe:*, the kings of France, and the commercial 
states of Italv. 

Denmark, Xonvay, Sweden, Poland, Bohemia^ 
ind Hungary adopted the Christian, or rather 
Popish faith, a more civilized life, and the first ru- 
iiments of feudal policy. The conversion of 
Russia was the work of the Greek church. The 
Sclavonian tribes on the coasts of the Baltic, from 



the Elbe to the gulph of Finlandf still preserved s 
their ancient religion and savage independence. ] 


loo-ifoo. THE TWELn'H CENTURV. ' 

The popes prevailed against their ancient sove- ^ 

reigns the emperors of Germany, and deprived the n 

1106. unfortunate Henry IV. of his dominions, his repu« | 

io6-ne5. tation, his life, and the last honours of a grave. To | 

escape a similar fate, Henry V. resigned- the long- :, 

contested right of investitures, which was gradu^ -, 

twi. ally usurped by the Roman Pontiff. The clergy, ^ 

instead of regaining their liberty, soon experi- ^ 

enced a yoke, still heavier when imposed by out ^ 

of their own order. The fictitious donation of ^ 

Constantine, and the will of Matilda, were like- .. 


wise asserted by the popes, but with less success^ , 
and they found it easier to shake the thrones of 
other princes than to establish their own temporal 
dominion. A jealous truce subsisted between the ^ 
it5-ii5r. church and empire during the reigns of Lotliaiie 
II. and Conrad III. the latter of whom was the firsi 
157-1152. of the house of Swabia. The war was renewed 
15S-1190. between the Emperor Frederic I. sumamed Ikurba* 
rossa, and Pope Alexander III. each of whom pre* 
tended that the other was his creature and vassaL 
Tiie cities of Lombardy, enriched by commerce 
and aspiring to liberty, ranged tliemselves under 
the papal banner. Though Frederic maintained 
his lofty claims with the greatest resolution and 
ability ; though he set up an anti-pope, marched six 



imcs into Italy; besieged ! and levelled Mikb 

rith the ground, yet he waB last obliged to bend 
lefime the thnme of Aleas i r, id obnfinn all the iit^* 
nununities of the Italian c< ie zy^ 

This empercMr and his s y Henry VI. were, ii9a-ti9ii 
Miwerer, dreaded and oIm |red in Germany, now^- 
0ged by the forced conversion of the Vandals of 
liecklenbnigh and Pomerania. In the north of 
[taly the Imperial andiority was almost lost : but 
m die south, Henry .VI. acquired the kingdom- of 
dhe Two Sicilies, by b irryi Constantia^ the 
liaghter of Roger L wh united the Nomtaa' 

Qooquests, and assumed t r pil titile. A power- ^^^ 
hi party was unaUe to n t the right and die 
mns of Henry, but he sul' i his victory widi 
oniel^ and avarice. ^^^ 

The kings of France still remained the feeble 
beaub of a great body. In private quarrels, the 
most inconsiderable baron was able to wage war 
igainst his sovereign: but when. Lewis VI. as- i^<*-ii»* 
Kmbled the national force s^ainst a foreign enemy, tiu. 
two hundred thousand men af^peared under the 
banner of the Oriflamme. Lewis VII. was a iisr-iiso. 
prince of slender abilities, who lost the great duchy 
of Aquitain by divorcing his wife Eleanor on a 
fealous suspicion. His minister Suger, and his ii^'i<>^ 
am Philip Augustus, deserve to be considered as 
the founders of the French monarchy. The for- 
mer was an honest statesman and a monk, with- 
oat the prejudices of a convent. The fortune of 
the latter was equal to his genius. 

In England the weak title of Henry L youngest iioo-tias/ 



son of the conqueror, his marriage with a Saxon 
princess, and above all the hand of time, gradu- 
ally uniting the Normans and the Ejiglish into 
one people, contributed to abolish the memory of 
the conquest, and to relax the chains of despot- 

1155-1154. ism. After the death of Henry, England was 
afflicted with a civil war between his daughter 
Matilda and his nephew Stephen, till at length the 

1154-1189. contending parties acknowledged Henry II. the 
son of Matilda, an active, powerful, and fortunate 
monarch. From his mother he inherited England 
and Normandy; from his father, Fulk Plantage- 
nct, the counties of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine. 
By the marriage, which he most eagerly contract- 
ed with the repudiated Eleanor, he obtained the 
provinces of Aquitain and Poitou. He disposed 
of the duchy of Britanny in favour of his third son 
Jeffrey. Tlie King of Scotland did hi;n homage, 
the Welch dreaded his power, and to the adven- 
^^^*' turous valour of some subjects he was indebted 
for the sovereignty of Ireland ; a conquest at that 
time of little \*alue, but which now contains more 
wealth and industry than the extensive empire of 
Henry II. His reign was however disturbed by 
^^^^' the ambition, and still more by the murder of 
Becket; by the intrigues of the French king, and 

1189-1199. by the ingratitude of his sons. Richard the First, 
the second of them, possessed only the personal 

1199-1216. courage of a soldier. John, the youngest, (who 
usurped the crown in prejudice to his nephew 
Arthur, the son of Jeffrey,) was even devoid of that 


UlS-rbRf O^ THE WOALD. 17 

VttJgiar merit. Th« crusade and captivity of Richard 
exhausted Englaml, and impoverished the crown. 

The Christians of Spain acquireiH a manifest 
superiority over the lutidels. The kingdom of 
Castile was already a considerable power, and Al« 
fimso VIII, vainly styled himself Emperor of Spain, ttss^ 
The little kingdom of Navarre still remained among 
die Pyrenees; but the kings of Arragon (one of 
whom married the heiress of Catalonia) descended ii6t. 
horn the mountains into the plain^ took Saragossa, 
and carried their arms to the frontiers of Castile and iiit^ 
Valentia. The progress of the kingdom of Portu- 
gd was still more rapid. A prince of the house of 
France had received from Alfonso VI. the city of 
Porto Calkf with the title of count; his successor nsg^ 
assumed that of king, took Lisbon, with the assist- 
ance of some English artd Flemish crusaders, and 
subdued the western coast of Spain, from Gallicia 
to the Algar\'es. All these victories were attended 
with the greater difficulty and glory, as the Moors, 
both of Spain and Africa, were united under the 
empire of the Miramolins ; in whom were revived 
die zeal, the valour, the leaniing, and the magni- 
ficence of the caliphs. Their capitals, Fez and 
Morocco, were superior to any cities in Christen- 

Each state, unconnected with its neighbours, 
had its own revolutions; but the expeditions to 
Palestine were the common business of Europe. 
Though the sermons of St. Bernard excited a 
leoond crusade more formidable than the first, the 
far greater part of the numerous armies which fol- 

voL- III. c lowed 


lowed the Emperor Conrad and Lewis VIL oS 
France, perished by the artifices of the Greeks, and 
the arms of the Turks ; and those monarchs appeared 
in tlie Holy Land ratlier as pilgrims than as con- 
querors. The most dangerous enemy of the Chris^ 

uru tians was Saladin, who abolished the Fatimite 
caliphs, and raised himself from a private station to 
the sovereignty of Egypt and Syri^ Zeal and 
policy forbade him to suffer a Christian kingdom 
in the heart of his dominions. Jerusalem yielded 

1187. to his arms, and the Christians experienced a gene- 
rous treatment, as Unexpected as it was undeserved. 
The news of this loss filled Europe with sham^ 
grief, and indignation. Suspending their domestic 

^130^ quarrels, the military force of Germany, France^ 
and England, marched into the East, under their 
respective monarchs. Frederic Barbarossa died in 
Asia Minor, in a career of useless victories. Philip^ 
Augustus, and Richard I. who preferred the safer 
but more expensive method of transporting their 
troops by sea, took the inconsiderable town of St» 
John D'Acre. after a siege of two years. This 

1191. third crusade was followed by the deaUi of Saladin, 

1193. who left a name admired in Asia, dreaded and 
esteemed in Europe. 

Tlie provinces beyond the Tigris no longet 
obeyed the house of Scljuk. New princes (to use 
the Eastern expression) had arisen from the dust 
before their throne. A race of slaves, the gover-^ 
nors, afterwards sultans of Carizme, enriched by 

1191. their favour, and spared by their clemency, de- 
1136-1160. prived the la^t of these monarchs of his sceptre and 


AistoAt op the world. 19 

life The caliphs of Bagdad, with a juster title, 
had recovered their independence and the adjacent 
provimres of Irak. Two younger branches of the 
hoose of Seljuk still reigned in Kerman and Asia 

Under the feudal system, the rights, natural as 
well as civil, of mankind, were enjoyed only by the 
nobles and ecclesia&tics, who scarcely formed the 
tfaouaondth part of the community. In this cen- 
tny they were gradually diffused among the body 
ef ibft people.^ The cities of Italy acquired full 
Bbcrty : the greater towns of Germany, England, 
Fiance und Spain became legal corporations', and 
pmchased immunities more or less ccmsiderable ; 
even tiie peasant began to be distinguished from 
the test of the cattle on his lord's estate. 

Witii the liberty of Europe its genius awoke ; 
bat tbe first efforts of its growing strength were 
amsnmed in vain and fruitless pursuits. Ignorance 
was succeeded by error. The civil and canon 
jurispnidence were blindly adopted, and labori- 
ously perverted. Romances of chivalry, and monk- 
ish k^gends still more fabulous, supplied the place 
of history. The dreams of astrology were dignified 
liA the name of astronomy. To discover the 
philosopher's stone was the only end of chemistr}\ 
Superstition, instead of flying before the light of 
trie philosophy, was involved in thicker darkness 
by the scholastic phantom which usurped its 
honoars. The two great sources of knowledge, 
iBtme and antiquity, were neglected and for- 

c « THE 



We may nMV contemplate two of the greatest 
powers that have ever given laws to mankind ; the 
one founded on force, the other on opinion: I 
mean the Tartar conquerors, and the Roman pon- 
The Moguls. Birth-right, election, personal merit, force of 
arms, and some claims to a divine mission, invested 
Zingis Khan with the absolute command of all the 
Tartar and Mogul tribes. As soon as he had intro-- 
duced a degree of order and discipline among his 

uiu barbarous host, he invaded the empire of China, 
took Pekin, and subdued the northern provinces. - 

1218. From thence he marched into Pei^sia against Mo- 
hammed, sultan of Carizme, whOj by putting to* 
death the Mogul ambassadors, drew ruin on him- 
self, his family, and his dominions. From the' 
Jaxartes to the Tigris, notliing could withstand the 
numbers and fury of the Moguls. Carizme, fio-^ 
cara, Samarcand, &c. were levelled with thegroundt 
and the rich provinces to the east and to the south 
of the Caspian Sea were changed lh>m a garden to' 

tnr. ^ a desert. Zingis died loaded with the spoils and* 
curses of Asia. His successors trod in the same* 

tiSi, paths of rapine and conquest. About the same* 
time, one army of Moguls completed the reduc** 
tion of the northern empire of China, and pene** 
trated to the farthest point of Corea, almost within' 
sight of the shores of Japan ; a second over-nm 
Russia, Poland, and Hungary, threatened Con-- 
stantinople, and won the battle of Lignitz in Sile-' 


sia : a third anny took Bagdad, destroyed the em- 
pire of the Caliphs, and laid waste Asia Minor and i«». 
Syria. The Mogul princes of Persia and the West- 
cm Tartaiy long hesitated between the Gospel and 
ihe Alcoran. Their conversion would have been 
of greater benefit to the cliurch than all the cru- 
sades ; bat at length they preferred the faith of 
JAahofmctj and renounced all intercourse with the is92« 
^reat Khan, who still adhered to the worship of tvs. 
the Dalai Lama. Cublai Khan, the grandson and 
Sduitfa soceessor of Zingis, united, by the exrinc- 
erf* the dynasty of the South, the wfiole Chi- 
monarchy with Eastern Tartary, adopted the 
and manners of the conquered people, encou- 
la^rd the arts and artists of ever\' nation, and is 
leckcHied by the Chinese themselves among their 
htst eoiperors. 

The Roman pontiffs claimed an universal mo-iiiepop«. 
aa;ch% y temporal as well as spiritual ; and main- 
tained that all inferior powers, emperors, kings, 
lad bishops, derived from tlie chair of St. Peter 
tfacir delegated authority. Of all the Popes, none 
linerted these lofty pretensions with more spirit 1199.1216. 
sad saccess than Innocent III. By establishing 
tae doctrine of Transubstantiation, and the tribu- 
fil €>f the Inquisition, he obtained the two most 
Bcmofable victories over the common sense ^nd 
oommoa risrhts of mankind. He reduced tlw schis- 
matic Greeks, exterminated the Albigeois heretics, 
despoiled Raymond, count of Thoulouse, of his do- 
■EDODS, excommunicated t\vo emperors, a king of 
Fnaoe, apd a ki|ig of England ; the last of whom 

c 3 confessed 


confessed himself the vassal and tributary of the 
see of Rome. Innocent reigned in Rome as the 
successor of Constantine, and in Naples as the na- 
tural guardian of young Frederic the son of Henry 
the Sixth; who, after Philip of Suabia and Otho 
IV., was acknowledged Emperor of Germany, 
ifi^^ma ^^^ superior abilities of Frederic II., his Italian 
education, the Imperial sceptre, the kingdom of 
the two Sicilies, and the vast possessions of the 
House of Suabia, rendered him formidable to the 
Popes, who, unmindful of their accustomed policy, 
had rather assisted than checked his elevation. 
This fatal error could be retrieved only by the de- 
iff7-i268. 9txuction of the House of Suabia, and the design 
was prosecuted during more than forty years with 
a constancy worthy of the ancient senate. The 
Roman pontiffs seized the first ground of dispute^ 
rejected all terms of peace, and convinced both 
their friends and their enemies that they were re- 
solved either to perish or to conquer. The parties 
of the church and of the empire, under the names 
of Guelphs and Ghibellins, divided and desolated 

iHS. Italy. Amidst this confusion, Innocent IV. so- 
lemnly deposed Frederic in the council of Lyons, 
and pursued that unfortunate monarch to the 

ii5o. grave. After his decease, the name of emperor 
was assumed for a short time by his son Conrad IV. 
and the kingdom of Naples was defended by his 
bastard Mainfroy, till the papal arms were entrusted 
to Charles count of Anjoii, the brother of Lewis 

1266. IX. Followed by the bravest and most pious Mrar- 
liors of Christendom, that active prince passed the 



Alps, and in a single battle deprived Mainfroy of 
his sceptre and his life. Conrfidin, the grandson 
of Frederic, and the last of that unhappy line, lost ttes. 
his head on a scaffold at Naples, after a brave, but 
imsuccressful attempt to recover the throne of his 
ancestors. His blood was soon revenged by the 
blood of eight thousand Frertch in the Sicilian ves- ^^gf, 
pers, who fell just victftns of their licentious inso^ 
lence. A long and bloody quarrel commenced be- 
tween the House of Arragbn, which was called by 
the oppressed people to the throne of Sicily, and 
the House of Anjou, which still remained in posses- 
sion of Naples. 

The free cities of Italy, now delivered from the itiij. 
German yoke, began to enjoy and to abuse the 
Uessings of wealth and liberty. Of a hundred in- 
dependent republics, every one, except Venice, 
was destitute of a regular government, and torn by 
civil dissensions. The Guelphs and the Ghibel- 
lins, the nobles and the commons, contended for 
the sovereignty of their country. The most trifling 
incident was sufficient to produce a conspiracy, a 
tumult, and a revolution. Among these troubles, 
the dark, insidious, vindictive spirit of the Italians 
was gradually formed. 

In Geimany, the death of Frederic II. was Gtmany 
succeeded by a long anarchy. The prerogatives ^^^^^^ 
and domains of the emperors were usurped by the 
great vassals. Every gentleman exercised round 
his castle a licentious independence; the cities 
were obliged to seek protection from their walls 
and confederacies; and from the Rhine and Da- 

c 4 nube 


nube to the Baltic the names of Peace and Justice 
were unknown. It was at length discovered, that 
without an appearance of union the Germanic 
body could not subsist. The great princes, who 
b^gan to assume the title of elect ors^ agreed to 
invest a first magistrate with the dignity, but not 

w^-u9l. with the power, of their ancient emperors. Their 
* jealous caution successively fixed on Rodolph count 
of Ilapsburgh, and Adolph count of Nassau; 
whose fortune was far inferior to their birth and per- 
soilal merit. The former, however, who was father 
of the House of Austria, transmitted to his son Al- 
beit such ample hereditary dominions, as enabled 
him to form a party against the emperor Adolph, 

29a>iM8. to wrest from him the sceptre, and toilisplay that 
ambitious pride which has ever since been the cha- 
racteristic of that family. 

rraace. The aggrandisement of the French monarchy 

i80-i2t3. bore the appearance of an act of justice. Philip 
Augustus summoned John, king of England and 

if03. peer of France, before the parliament of Paris, to 
justify himself of the murder of his nephew Ar- 
thur. The parliament punished the contumacious 
vassal by the confiscation of his fiefs, and the king 
executed the sentence before the indignation of 
the other peers could subside into a sense of their 

1904. common interest. Normandy, Anjcu, Maine, and 
Poitou were united to the. crown. Aquitain, or 
Guyenne, still remained in the hands of.tlie 
English. The victory of Philip over the empire was 

isi4. more splendid, but less useful. In tlie decisive 
and well-fought battle of Bo vines, he defeated 



Otho IV. at the head of two hundred thousand 
Germans. His navy threatened England ; and his ^^^^ 
6on Lewis, afterwards Lewis VIII., was for a time 
acknowledged king by the English nation. The isid. 
feign of that prince was short and inglorious : but 
France owes as much to the laws of Lewis IX. as ins-isK. 
to the arms of Philip Augustus his grandfather. 
Lewis IX., notwithstanding he has been disgraced tt«6-iiro. 
by the title of Saint, possessed uncommon virtues 
and abilities. To abolish private hostilities and 
judicial combats; to introduce an uniform and 
equitable jurisprudence; to receive appeals from 
the barons' courts ; to protect and extend the liber- 
ties of the people ; to acquire the esteem and con- 
fidence of his neighbours, were the honest arts of his 
wise policy. Notwithstanding his mad passion for 
the crusades, (the only blemish of this accomplished 
character,) he left his son, Philip III. sumamed i«7©-hb5. 
the Bold, the most flourishing kingdom of Europe, itri. 
which was soon auormeuted bv the reunion of the 
rich county of Thoulouse. Philip III. was sue- iMS-isis. 
ceeded by his son Philip IV. sumamed the Fair. 

To break the fetters which had been forged at EagUod. 
the Xorman conquest was the great business of the 
English barons. John, whose misfortunes deserve 
no pity, lost his reputation and foreign power by 
his contests with Rome and France; and his do- 
mestic autliority, by signing Magna Cluirta, which ^*^ 
c*ontains the rude outlines x)f British freedom. The 
fifty-six years of his son Henry III. were a long ine-tm. 
minority; during which, the reins of government 
were successively resigned to foreign favourites, 



1258. and usurped by the turbulent barons, under their 
leader Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester. EaU 
ward I. then only the heir apparent, rescueil his 
father, vanquished Montfort and his adherents in 

1965. the field, and restored the royal authority ; but his 
itn-iaor. good sense soon taught him to respect the new bar- 
riers raised against it, to confirm Magna Charta, 
and to desist from a rash attempt to resume the 
alienated crown-lands. Amidst these troubles, the 
House of Peers • became less numerous and more 
powerful ; the Commons were admitted to a share 
of the legislature, the common law and courts of 
justice received their present form, and the first 
statutes were enacted against the avarice of Rome. 
Edward the First, to whose wisdom we owe many 
of those advantages, conceived, and almost exe- 
cuted, the great design of uniting the whole island 

tew. under one dominion. The Welsh lost their ancient 
independence, but for several ages preserved tlicir 

it9i. savage manners. The throne of Scotland was dis- 
puted, almost with equal claims, by several candi- 
dates. Edward, who was acknowledged as umpire, 

^•^ awarded the crown to Baliol, the most obsequious 

1996. of the competitors, treated him first as a vassal, and 
soon afterwards as a rebel ; endeavoured by every 
expedient to break the spirit of a haughty nation, 

i«9a. and sullied his glorious end, by the injustice and 
cruelty of the means which he used to attain it. 

Spwn- Tlie empire of the Miramolins was destroyed by 

Mit. (he greatest battle ever fought between the Moors 

and the Christians. The latter pursued their ad- 

1236-1248. vafitage : Seville and Cordova were taken, and the 



provinces of Estramadura, Andalusia, and Murcia 
were, in about forty ye^rs, annexed to the crown 
of Castile. The kings of Arragon were not less 
successful. They wrested from the Moors the fer- ^««' 
tile kingdom of Valencia, and established a naval 
power by the conquest of the islands of Majorca ift9. 
and Minorca. The bravest of the Moors took re- 
fuge in the kingdom of Grenada, and displayed as 
much industry in the improvement, as they exerted 
valour in the defence of this last remnant of their 
extensive conquests. The kings of Castile who 
acquired the greatest reputation were Ferdinand i«ir-ij5 
III. and Alphonso the Astronomer; the former for i«5«-i28 
his political wisdom, the latter for his speculative 

Four great crusades, besides many smaller expe- Tb« cm- 
ditions, were undertaken in this century; but *** 
though Palestine was still the object of the war, it 
was no longer the scene of action. The French 1204. 
and Venetians of the fourth crusade turned their 
arms against tlie schismatic Greeks, took Constan- 
tinople, and divided the empire. Constantinople ^^^^ 
was indeed recovered by the Greeks, but the trade 
and dominions which had once belonged to that 
capital were irretrievably lost. Jolm de Brienne, a ^^^^ 
soldier of fortune, and titular king of Jerusalem, 
invaded Egjpt, took Damietta (the old Pelusium) 
after a siege of two years ; but soon thought 
himself happy to purchase a safe retreat, by sur- 
rendering tliat important place. The crusade of i^*ft» 
Lewis IX. was more splendid at first; but in the 
end more unfortunate. It seemed impossible that 


Egypt, subdued as often as it had been attacked, 
should withstand a young hero, at the head of sixty 

isa. thousand valiant enthusiasts. The army was, how- 
ever, destroyed, and the French monarch remained 
a prisoner among the infidels. Rather from a 
vague passion of combating the Maliometans, than 
from any rational prospect of recovermg the Holy 

fTo. Land, Letvis IX. led another crusade to Africa, 
and died of the plague under the walls of Tunis. 

*^- Xhe few places yet held by the Christians on the 
coast of Syria were swept away by the sultans, the 
successors, but no longer the descendants of Sala- 
din. The Mamalukes, a body of Circassian and 
Tartar slaves, had dethroned their masters, usurped 

tto. the sovereignty of Egypt and Syria, and established 
a military government, oppressive at home, but 
fonnidable abroad. 

Of Uiese seven great armaments, which shook 
Asia, and depopulated Europe, nothing remained 
except the kingdom of Cyprus in the House of 

^^' Xrusignan, and the three militaiy orders. The 
Templars, by their luxury and pride, hastened 
their dissolution. The Hospitallers and Teutonic 
Knights preserved themselves by their valour. 

^^^* The former conquered Rhodes, and are still settled 

{7-1509. at Malta : the latter formed a great dominion in 
Prussia and Courland, at the expense of the idola- 
ters, whom they compelled to become Christians 
and subjects. A great part of the old nobility of 
Europe perished in the crusades, their fiefs reverted 
to their lords, and their place was supplied by new 
men, raised by wealth, merit, or favour; and who 



soon imbibed the vanity, thpiigh not the indepen- 
dence, of their predecessors. 

The numerous vermin of mendicant friars, Fran- i^^^^t 
ciscans, Dominicans, Augustins, Carmelites, who 
swarmed in this century, with habits and institu- 
tions variously ridiculous, disgraced religion, learn- 
ing, and common sense. They seized on scho- 
lastic philosophy as a science peculiarly suited to 
their minds; and, excepting only Friar Bacon, 
they all preferred words to things. The subtle, the 
profound, the irrefragable, the angelic, and the se- 
raphic Doctor acquired those pompous titles by 
filling ponderous volumes with a small number of . 
technical terms, and a much smaller number of 
ideas. Universities arose in every part of Europe, 
and thousands of students employed their lives 
upon these grave follies. The love-songs of the 
Troubadours, or Provencal bards, were follies of 
a more pleasing nature, which amused the leisure 
of the greatest princes, polished the southern 
provinces of France, and gave birth to the Italian 


Both the popes and tlus emperors, the con-^^>o-i^ 
querors and the vanquished, witlidrew from Italy, iso^ 
their field of battle. The former, invited by the 
kings of France, and disgusted with the rebellious 
spirit of the Romans, established the papal resi- 
dence at Avignon during more than seventy years. 
These French pontiffs were . more strongly pos- 


sessed by the love of money than the loveof power. 

11^1534. John XXII., by the sale of benefices, indulgencies, 
and absolutions, accumulated a treasure of twenty- 
, i^ve millions of gold florins. At the repeated so- 
licitations of the Romans, who felt tlieir error 

1377. when it was too late, Gregory XL returned to h\» 
capital; but his eyes were scarcely closed, wlicn 

isrs. *^^ enraged people surrounded the conclave, 
threatening the cardinals with instant death unless 
they chose an Italian pontiff. The affrighted 
Frenchmen vielded to their fury, but were no 
sooner at liberty, than they protested against their 
first election, and nominated one of their own 
countr}'men. Europe was divided between the 
two rivals. Italy, Germany, and England acknow- 
ledged the Pope of Rome : France and Spain sided 
with the Pope of Avignon. Each had his ad- 
herents, his doctors, his saints, and his miracles; 
but their mutual excommunications, which at 
another time* might have produced a battle of 
swords, only occasioned a war of pens. 

Mtape- Emperors, whose authority in Germany was so 
much circumscribed, could not invade with any 
success the confirmed liberty of the Italians. 

0^1515. Henry VII. of Luxembourg, and Lewis V. of 

14-UI7. Bavaria, entered Rome in triumph; but their 
triumph was not attended with any solid or permar 
nent advantages, llie grandson of Henry of Lux- 

47-137S. embourg, Charles IV., Emperor and King of Bo- 
hemia, was invited by the eloquent Petrarch to 
assume the station and character of the ancient 
Cesars. The Bohemian Caesar marched into Italy ; 



but it was only to see himself excluded from evexy 
fortified city as an enemy, or cautiously received 
as a prisoner. He was crowned at Rome, but 
quitted it the very day of his coronation; meanly, 
or perhaps wisely, resigning to the popes all the 
ancient rights which he derived from Charlemagne 
and Otho. His son Wenceslaus would glady (to ^^^-lioa 
Mse his own expression) have relinquished the em- 
pire, with its remaining prerogatives, for a few 
hogsheads of Rhenish or Florence wine. 

Although neither leisure, independence, nor in- ^^^' 
genuity were wanting to the Italians, they were 
never able to connect themselves into a system of 
union and liberty. Naples flourished under the, 
administration of Robert, the grandson of Charles 1309-131& 
of Anjou, but was almost ruined by his grand- 
daughter Joan. By the murder of her first hus- 
band Andrew, she drew do^vn the vengeance of his tS45-i3S9^ 
brother, the stem king of Hungary ; by adopting 
Lewis Duke of Anjou, the brother of Charles V., 
entailed on her dominions acivil war, of which she 
was herself the first victim. Rome saw, for a mo- 1347^ 
ment, her tribunes, her freedom, and her dignity 
restored by Nicholas Rienzi, whose extraordinary 
character was a compound of the hero and the buf- 
foon. Florence, like Athens, experienced all the 
evils incident, or rather inherent, to a wild de- 
mocracy. The Venetians and the Genoese wasted 1350-1355. 
each other's strength in naval wars, which allowed 
not the latter a moment's respite from their intes- 1377-1381. 
tine dissensions. The free cities of Lombardy and 
Romagna were oppressed by domestic tyrants, un- 


der the specious titles of vicars of the church ot 
isir. of the empitc; but these petty usurpers were gra- 
1395. dually swallowed up in the power of the Visconti, 
first lords, and afterwards dukes oi Milan. 
Oermanj. The Hiorc phlegmatic Germans, though poor 
and barbarous, maintained, and even improved, tl^ 
form of their constitution. Whatever concerned 
the election and coronation of the emperors, the 
most fruitful source of civil discord, was finally re- 
1346, gulated by the golden bull published by Charles 
IV. in a general diet. The titic and power of 
clectoi-s were confined to seven great princes^ the 
Archbishops of Mentz, Treves, and Cologne, the 
King of Boliemia, the Duke of Saxony, the Mar* 
. i«w. grave of Brandcnburgh, and the Count Palatin. 
Tliese electors soon asserted over the Emperof 
Wenceslaus their right of deposing an unworthy 
SMsN- The Swiss owe their reputation to their free- 

dom, and their freedom to their valour. The pea- 
sants of three vallics among the Alps, Uri, Schwitz, 
1906. ^^^ Undcrwald, oppressed by the officers of the 
Emperor All)crt, entered into a strict alliance, at 
first for seven years, and afterwards for ever. Leo^ 
pold duke of .Vustria, and son of Albert, marched 
against them at the head of twenty thousand men; 
1315. but was overthrown in the battle of Morgarten 
by 1300 Swibs. The httle communities of Zug 
and Claris, and the cities of Lucerne, Zurich, and 
Berne, gradually acceded to the confederacy whicU 
1986. was cemented with the blood of another Duke 
Leopold, who fell, with the flower of the Austrian. 


listDCiacv, which time and circumstances have 
r much strengthened. The whole common- 
tth, disclaiming the tyranny of the House of 
tiia, retained their ancient allegiance to the 
man empire. 

be constitution of the French monarchy re- Jrmnce. 
ed new strength and harmony from the fol- 
ing events : 1 . In the memorable quarrel be- tsos. 
en Pope Bcniiface VIII. and Pliilip the Fair, 
greater part of the French clergy remembered 
: diey were subjects as well as priests. The 
rties of the Gallican church were asserted with 
it and success; and the croM^ was in some de- 
* delivered from a ser%*ile dependence on a 
^;n prelate. 2. The States General^ composed 1301. 
be derg}-, the nobilitj', and the commons, were 
mbled by Philip the Fair, for the first time 
c the decline of the Carlovingian race. As 
r meetings were short and irregular, they never 
liied the authority of legislators, and their tu- 
tnous opposition commonly subsided into an 


was supplied by the bishops, the barons^ and the 
principal officers, whose noble tgnorance was di- 
rected by some plebeian assessors. The servant! 
gradually supplanted their masters, combated the 
violence of the nobility with the subtilties of law, 
and laboured to erect a pure monarchy on the 
ruins of the feudal system. For a long time these 
magistrates held their places only during the king's 
pleasure. 4. ITie Mic law^ though of the most 
lasting benefit to the monarchy, occasioned the 
long and destructive wars between France and 
England. After a series of eleven kings, in lineal 
1314-1317. and male descent from Hugh Capet, Lewis X. 
isi7-i3j«- Hutin, was succeeded by his brothers Philip V* 
iS2t-i3f8. ^j^j Charles IV., and afterwards by his first cousin, 
isf8-i55a Philip VI. of Valois, on the acknowledged prin<^ 
pie that females were incapable of inheriting the 
crown of France. Whether that principle bi-ad* 
mitted or rejected, the claim of Edward III. of 
England is equally indefensible. The questioa 
was not, however, decided by arguments, but bf 
arms. Both nations signalized their \*alour in ikm 
4346-iS56i battles of Crecy and Poitiers; but the discipline c# 
the English triumphed over the numbers of the 
1550-1364.* French. The captivity of John, who had succeedU 
ed to the crown and misfortunes of his fatfacf^ 
Philip, exposed France to a total dissolution ci 
government, with all its attendaiit calamiticSr 
However, though Edward was able to ruin, he wm 
1360. unable to conquer that great kingdom. By ^im 
treaty of Bretigny, he accepted of three miliioi» 
of gold crowns, the city of Calais, and seven {Wk 


vinces adjacent to Guyenne; but the last were tse9. 
soon wrested from bim by the arms and policy of 
Charies V., whose wise administration healed the ise^isao. 
wounds of his country. They bled afresh under i38o*i4w. 
lus unhappy son Charles VI. : first a minor, and 
afterwards deprived of his senses, he was ever a 
victim o£ the ambition and avarice of his uncles. 
In diis century, Champagne and Dauphin6^ the 
by inheritance and treaty; the second by do- 
, were re-united to the crowTi. 
The iron fetters, in which Edward I. seemed for KngiMxt 
to have bound Scotland, were broken by the ^*^ 
Talour and fortune of Robert Bruce, a descendant 
of die ancient kings. To resist the heroic leader 
of a brave nation, combating for freedom and a 
required all the powerful genius of Ed- 
I., and ^as a task bv far too arduous for his 
feeMe son. The victor}- of Bannocks Boarn se- isor-istr. 
cored to Robert a sceptre, which, by the marriage isii^ 
of his daughter, was transmitted to the house of 

Edward II., vanquished by his enemies, isru 
by his subjects, governed by his favour- 
betrayed by his brother, his wife, and his son, 
descended from a throne to a prison, and from a 
prison to an untimely grave. The English dwell 
liA rapture on the trophies of Edward III. and issr-iJTf^ 
ks gallant son the Black Prince ; on the fields of 
Ciecy and Poiriers ; and on the Kings of France 
2&d Scotland, at the same rime prisoners in Lon- 
ioQ. To a thinking mind, Edward's encourage- 
of the woollen manufacture is of greater value 
all these barren laurels. Richard II., son of 

v2 the 


1577-1399. tiie Black Prince, affords the second instance in 
this century of an EngHsh king deposed and mur- 
dered by his subjects. The House of Commons 
acquired its present form, and a dignity unknown 
to the third estate in any other countiy, by the 
junction of the knights of shires, or representatives 
of the lesser nobility, who, about this time, separa- 
ted themselves from the peers. After the deposition 
1399. ^£ Richard, JJcniy IV., son of John of Gaunt, 
duke of Lancaster, the third son of Edward III., 
usurped the crown. The posterity of the second 
son, Lionel of Clarence, was disregarded, but still 
existed latent in the House of York. 

iSpain. The Mahometan kingdom of Grenada, and the 

four Christian monarchies of Castile, Arragon, Na- 
varre, and Portugal, preserved their respective laws 
and limits. The constitution of the Christim 
states was suited to the haughty and generous 
temper of the people. The justiciary of Arragon, 
a name dreadful to royal ears, possessed the noble 
but dangerous privilege of declaiing a;Ae/i the sub- 
jects were justified in taking arms against their 
sovereign. Tlie Castilians, without waiting for 
the sentence of a magistrate, knew how to resist a 
tyrant, either in the Cortes or in the field. The 

13(5^1368. civil war between Peter the Cruel, King of Castile, 
and his brother, occasioned a great revolution, in 
which France and England took the opposite sides, 
rather from a wild love of enterprise, than from 
any rational motives of policy. After several turns 
of fortune the bastard was victorious, transmitted 
the crown to his posterity, and ratified a strict 



imion widi his French allies ; binding France and 
Castile to each other, king to king, people to peo^ 
pie, and man to man. 

Africa, relapsing into its native 4>arbarism, no 
noger m^its our attention. Fgypt and Syria 
cootinaed to groan under the tyranny of the Ma- 
malukes ; although some of those sultans correct- 
ed, by Aeir personal virtues, the defects of their 
institution. In the East, two formidable powers 
arose. The greatness of the Othman Turks was 
gradual and permanent ; the conquests of Timur 
were rapid and transitory. 

During the anarchy which overspread Asia xhe Turks. 
Minor on the fall of the Seljukian dynast\% the 
Greeks recovered many of the maritime places, 
aid every Turkish emir made himself independent 
within his jurisdiction. Othman first erected 1300-13^^. 
?as standard near Mount Olympus in Bithynia; 
2nd as he commanded only a small tribe of shep- 
herds and soldiers, he was branded with the name 
«?c robber. A more numerous armv, and the re- 
nhiction of Xice, Nicomeda, and Prusa, bestowed ^^^^^^^ 
'HI his son Orcan the appellation of Conqueror. 
The imprudent Greeks, in the madness of civil 
isscord^ invited the Turks, opened the Hellespont, 
2ad betrayed Christendom. Adrianople became 
4e capital of the Othman power in Europe ; and 
tbe Eastern empire, reduced to the suburbs of Con- 1350-1389. 
«t£ntinople, was pressed on either side by the anns 
of Amurath I. That sultan instituted the janiza- 
lics- a body of infantry', from their arms, discipline, 
sad enthusiasm, almost invincible. Tlie flower of 

D 3 the 


the Christian youth, torn in infancy from thei# 

parents, were gradually aggregated tx) the Turki^l 

nation, after they had lost, in the severe education 

of the seraglio, all memory of their former countiy 

1389-1402. ^jjj religion. Bajazet I. deserved his surname ^ 

Ilderim, or Lightning, by the rapid impetuosi^ 

with which he flew from the Euphrates to the Dfti 

nube. lie triumphed by turns over the MahonMi 

tans of Asia Minor, and the Christians of Bulgarii^ 

W9d. Ser\'ia, Hungary, and Greece; and the total d#> 

feat of an armv of French in the battle of Nico^ 

polis, spread the terror of his name to the moil 

remote parts of Europe. 

Tiawr. Timur, or Tamerlane, raised himself from a |Ni 

1369-1405. ^'^^^, though not a mean condition, to the throoi 

of Samarcand. His first dominions lay betweoi 

the Jaxartcs and the Oxus, in the country calW 

Sogdiana by the ancients, Maurenahar by modeifl 

Pci-sians, and by the Tartars Zagatay, from one d 

the sous of Zingis. The lawful successor of Zft 

gatay, rather mindful of his situation than of hi 

descent, served with humble fidelity in the arm] 

of the usurper. After reducing the adjacent pio 

vinces of Carizme and Khorasan, Timur invadfll 

Persia, and extinguished all the petty tyrants whi 

had started up since the decline of the Houses 

J555. Zingis. The khan of the Western Tartary (wh 

ruled the kingdoms of Cazan and Astracan, an 

exacted a tribute from the Grand Duke of Miu 

covy) was unable to elude the pursuit, or to resii 

the arms of Timur. From the deserts of Siberi 

he marched to the banks of the Ganges, and n 


HI810ET OF TflE WOULD. i§ 

9d from Delhi to Samarcifnd. laden with the 
ures of Hindostan. He knew bo^ to reign 
ell as how to conquer. Ah^ugh very pro- 
of the blood of his enemies, he was careftil of 
ives and property of his subjects. He loved 
nificence and socie^: encouraged the arts, 
iras versed in the Persian and Arabian litera- 
His zeal for the Mussulman faith inflamed 
natural cruelty against the Gentoos of Inctia 
the Christians of Georgia. 

te empire of the Moguls in China, founded ^^^^ 
^lence, and maintained by policy, was at 
tfa dissolved by its own wedcness. The Chi- 
^laced a dynasty of their countrydien on the 
Be, whilst the Tartars, returning to the pastoral 
if ^e desert, gradually recovered the martial 
t which they had lost amidst the arts and lux- 
>f the conquered provinces. 

more diffusive commerce began to connect the Commeict^ 
»pean nations by their mutual wants and con- 
ences ; the discovery of the compass inspired 
g;ators with greater boldness and security. The 
seatic cities of Prussia and Saxony formed a 
crful association, engrossed the fishery, iron, 
, timber, hides and furs of the North; and 
ended for the sovereignty of the Baltic with 
Kings of Denmark and Sweden. The ex- 
ige of money, the finer manufactures, and the 
* of the East were in the hands of the Italians, 
merchants of Venice and of Dantzic met at 
rommon mart at Bruges, which soon became 
varehouse of Europe. The Flemings, animated 

D 4 by 


by the spectacle of wealth and industry, applied 
themselves with great ardour to the useful artSi 
and particularly to the making broad cloth, lineiit 
and tapestry, 
Litcratuc The advantages of trade were common to several 
nations ; but the pleasures and glory of literature 
were confined to the Italians, or rather to a few 
men of genius, who emerged from an ignoraul 
and superstitious multitude. The writings <^ 
Dante, Boccace, and Petrarch, for ever fixed the 
Italian language. The first displayed the powem 
of a wild but original genius: the Decameron c^ 
the second contains a just and agreeable picture 
of human life. A few stanzas on Laura and Rome 
have immortalised the name of Petrarch, who wa$ 
a patriot, a philosopher, and the first restorer of 
the Latin tongue, and of the study of the ancientac 
If any barbarian on this side the Alps deserves to 
be remembered, it is our countrjman Chaucer^ 
whose Gothic dialect often conceals natural hu- 
mour and poetical imagery. 



TbDur. After breaking the power of the Mamaluke^ 
and ruining the cities of Bagdad, Aleppo, and 
Damascus, Timur advanced towards the frontiers 
of Bajazet. llie situation and character of the 
two monarchs rendered a war inevitable. The ar- 

140S. niies met in the plains of Angora, and the contest 
was decided in the Tartar's favour, by the total de- 
feat and captivity of his rival. After this victory* 






tiie empire of Hmur extended from Moscow to 
te Gidph of Persia, and from the Hellespont to 
^ Granges ; but his ambition was yet unsatisfied : 
death 8uq>rizdd him as he was preparing to invad^ 
China, to assert the cause of his nation and of his 
riigion. His feeble successors, far from meditat* 
pg new conquests, saw province after province 
padually escape from their dommion, tiil a few 
dties near the Oxus were the only patrimony that 
remained to the House of Timur. 

The Turks had been defeated, but not subdued. Hm tma 
JU soon as Timur was no more, they collected 
dnr scattered forces, replaced their monarchy on 
in former basis, and under the conduct of Maho- i4is-i4fi, 
met I. were again victorious both in Europe and 
Alia. Amurath II. swayed the Othman sceptre liti-MSi. 
viA the abilities of a great monarch, and twice 
resigned it with the moderation of a philosopher. 
He was forced from his retreat to chastise the per- 
fidy of Ladislaus king of Hungary, who, at the in- 
ttigation of the court of Rome, had violated a so- 
lemn truce. That act of justice was most com- 
pletely executed in the decisive battle of Wama, 
which was fatal to the king, to the papal legate, 
tad to the whole Christian army. The easy but 
inportant conquest of Constantinople was reserved 
far Mahomet II. The little empire of Trebizond, i4M-148i. 
and tKe other independent provinces of Greece and 
Asia Minor, soon experienced the same fate. 
Though Mahomet was obliged \o raise the sieges 
of Belgrade and Rhodes, though he was for a long 
toe stopped by Scanderbeg in the mountains of 






Albania, yet his anus were generally successfii 
from the Adriatic to the Euphrates, on the bank 
of which he vanquished Uzun Hassan, a Turcomai 
prince, who had usurped Persia IVom the posterit 
of Timur. The conquest of Rome and 'Italy wi 
the great object of Mahomet's ambition ; and 
Turkish army had already invaded the kingdom o 
Naples, when the Christians were delivered fron 
this imminent danger by the seasonable death o 
Mahomet, and the inactive disposition of his soi 

I48i-i5it. Bajazet 11. But the valour and discipline of th 
Turks were still formidable to Christendom, an 
the passion for crusades had ceased at the ver 
time when it might have been approved by reascM 
and justice. 

Pttpet mod Xhe council of Pisa, by the election of a thin 


1409. pontiff, multiplied, instead of extinguishing, tb 
evils of the great schism. The council of Ccm 
8tance, in which the five great nations of Europi 
were represented by their prelates and ambassador! 
acted with greater vigour and effect. They it 
jected the defective title of two pretenders, an 
judicially deposed the third, by whose authorit 
they were assembled. The election of Martin V 
restored peace to the church ; but the spirit of ii 
dependence, which had animated the fathers 
i4Sf-i443. Constance, revived in the council of Basil. Th 
assembled bishops of Christendom attempted t 
limit the despotic power which the bis]K)p of Rom 
had usurped over his brethren ; but the treasure 
of the church, distributed with a skilful hand, si 
lenced the opposition ^ and nothing remains o 



thoie famous councils but a few decrees, revered 

H Paris, detested and dreaded at Rome. Aniongst 

dKse disorders, the laity of some countries disco- 

itred as much discontent at the riches of the clerg}% 

u the clergy expressed at the power of the popes. 1415, 

John Huss and Jerom of Prague, two Bohemian 

doctorSy who taught principles not very different 

fiom tbose of the protestants, were committed to 

the flames by the council of Constance, before 

which they appeared under the sanction of the 

public faith. From their ashes arose a civil war, 

ii which tlie Bohemians, inflamed by revenge and 

enthusiasm, for a long time inflicted and suffered 

the se\'erest calamities. 

Italy, undisturbed by foreign invasions, main- luiy. 
taned an internal balance, through a series of art- 
fid negociations and harmless wars, attended witli 
Karcelv anv effusion of blood. The sword, which 
hd fallen from the hands of the Italian sovereigns, 
ws taken up by troops of iiulependent merceua- 
riejw who acknowledged no tie but their interest, 
nor any allegiance except to leaders of their own 
diDice. The five principal powers \n ere, the popes, 
die kings of Naples, the dukes of Milan, and the 
irpablics of Florence and Venice. 1. Tiie popes, 
dter the council of Constance and Basil, applied 
Aemselves to reconcile the Roman people to their 
pr\emment, and to extirpate the petty usurpers of 
tbc ecclesiastical state. 2. Their great fief the 
imgdom of Naples was the theatre of a long civil 
1^ between the Houses of Anjou and AiTagon. 1442-14^8. 
h flourisiied under the administration of Alphonso 



1458-1491. the Wise, who preferred Italy to his Spanish dor 
nions. Ferdinand his natural son succeeded h 
in Naples only, oppressed the barons, protect 
the .people, and was delivered by a seasonal 
death from the arms of Charles VIII. king 
144a. France. 3. After the death of the last of the V 
conti, the duchy of Milan, superfor in value to 1 
veral kingdoms, was claimed by the duke of C 
leans in right of his mother ; but was usurped 

1450-1466. Francis Sforza, the bastard of a peasant, and o 

of the most renowned leaders of the mercena 

• bands; who, with a policy equal to his valour, I 

Milan the peaceable inheritance of his family. 

The elevation of the Medici was the more gradi 

i4S»-i464. effect of prudence and industry : Cosmo the fatl: 

1472-1493. of his country, and Lorenzo the father of t 
muses, in the humble station of citizens and m 
chants, revived learning, governed Florence, a 
influenced the rest of Italv. The old forms of t 
commonwealth were preserved, and it was only 
an unusual tranquillity that the Florentines con 
be sensible of the loss of their freedom. 5. T 
wisdom of the Venetian senate, the arts and oj 

lence of Venice, an extensive commerce, a fon 


dable navy, the possession of a long tract of » 
coast in Dalmatia, with the islands of Candia, C 
prus, &c. formed the natural strength of arepub 
respected in Europe as the firmest bulwark agaii 
the Turkish arms. The imprudent conquests 
Lombardv, from which the \''enetians were n 
able to refrain ; the Friul, Padua, Vicenza, Veror 
Brescia, and Bergamo, drained the treasury of i 


• a %^M ^^\^KX.J\^iAM,M,\^\,y tl,40 (AVA 1 tl ■ 1,1,10 VI UrVAVT AX «T CftO IMlrllV^A «-«avf-A1 

tlian active. After his death, tlie Imperial 

returned for ever to the House of Austria, 
I the person of Albert 11. and then of Frede- t'43d-i44o. 
I. ; the latter possessed the title of emperor 1440-1495. 

half a century without either authority or 
Ltion. Germany was without influence in 
e; but judicious foreigners began to disco- 
ic latent powers of that great body, when 
oused into action by the necessity of its own 
re. The levity of Maximilian I. engaged 1495-1519. 
Q perpetual wars and treaties, which com- 
' ended in his disappointment and confusion. 
ver, he mav be considered as the founder of 
iistrian greatness, by his marriage with Mary 
-gundy ; and as the founder of the public law^ 

useful institutions of the circles and of the 
ial cliamber. 

usurpation of the House of Lancaster was fingiaod. 
ted by the fortune and abilities of Henry 
His warlike son Henry V. asserted, by the 
r of Azincourt, the claim of the Plantagenets 



ordinarj' efforts to render England in the end a ] 
province of France. The vindictive spirit of 5 
Queen Isabella, and of Phihp duke of Burgundy, 1 
betrayed their country and posterity. The Eng* i 
lish monarch was solicited to sign the. treaty of % 
Troyes, and to accept, with the hand of the Prin- j 
cess Catharine, the quality of regent and heir of <; 
France. His infant son Henry VI. was proclaim- '\ 
ed at Paris as well as at London. His reign was a % 
series of weakness and misfortunes. The French ^ 
conquests Were gradually lost, and the English ^ 
barons returned into their island exasperated |^ 
against each other, habituated to the power and ^ 
licence of war, and as much discontented wiA ^ 
the monkish virtues of Henry, as with the masctt* ^ 
line spirit and foreign connections of his Queea ,, 
Margaret of Anjou. The pretensions of Richaid . 
duke of York, and of his son Edward IV., in* „ 
flamed the discontent into civil war. Hereditarf-^ 
right was pleaded against long possession ; tht ^ 
banners of the white and red roses met in many a ^ 
bloody field, and the votes of parliament varied* 
with the chance of arms. Edward of York at^,, 
sumed the title of king, revenged the death of hit- ' 
father, and triumphed over the Lancastrian partydL 
but no sooner was the imprudent youth seated oip 
the throne, than he cast away the friendship eP 
the great Earl of Warwick, and with it the Eng^, 
lisli sceptre. Tliat warlike and popular nobteman, 
impatient of indignities, drove Edward into exile^ 
and brought back Henry (scarcely conscious of th^ 
change) from the tower to the palace. Edward*a 


HISTORY 6p the wobld. 47 

cthitv soon retrieved his indiscretion. He landed 
a England with a few followers, called an army to 
■standard, obtained the decisive victories of Bar- 
it and Xewksburv, and suffered no enemv to live 
vfe miglit interrupt the security and pleasure of 
■future reign. The crimes of Richard III., who 
Bcmded the throne by the murder of his two 
icphews (£dward V. and his brother), reconciled 
it parties of York and Lancaster. Henry Tudor, 
■1 of Richmond, was invited over from Britanny 
itbe common avenger, vanquished and slew the 
nant in the field of Bosworth, and uniting the 
fo roses, by his marriage with the eldest daugh- 
Br of EUw^ard IV., gave England a prospect of 
days. The kingdom had however suflered 
might be expected from the calamities of 
ml y/rsar. The frequent revolutions Avere decided 
wmhc or two battles; and so short a time was 

in actual hostilities as allowed not any 
power to interpose his dangerous assist- 
no cities were destroyed, as none were 
fortified to sustain a siege. The churches, 
even the privilege of sanctuaries were respect- 
dL aad the revenge of the conquerors was com- 
y confined to the princes and barons of the 
party, who all died in the field or on the 
CifckL The power and estates of this old nobi* 
% were gradually shared by a multitude of new 
ftailiLi enriched bv commerce, and favoured by 
it wise pohcy of Henry VII.; but between the 
o of the aristocracy and the rise of the 




commons, there was an interval of unresisted c 
rrtnce. The factions of Burgundy and Orleans, v 
disputed the government of Charles VI., fil 
France with blood and confusion. Tlie Duke 
Orleans was trtocherously murdered in the str€ 
of Paris, and John duke of Burgundy, who avc 
ed and justitied the deed, was some years afl 
wards assassinated in the presence, and proba 
with the consent of the young Dauphin. T 
prince, persecuted by his mother, disinherited 
the treaty of Troy es, and on every side pressed ; 
surrounded by the victorious English, assumed 
title of Charles VII. on his father's deaths and 
pealed, though with little hopes of success, to C 
and his sword. The French monarchy was on 
brink of ruin, but, like the Othman empire in 
same century, rose more powerful from its i 
A generous enthusiasm first revived the natio 
spirit, and awakened the young monarch from 
indolent despair. A shepherdess declared a div 
commission to raise the siege of Orleans, am. 
cit)wn him in Rheims. She performed her pro 
ses ; and the consternation of the English was i 
greater than their real loss. The genius of Char 
seconded by his brave and loyal nobility, seen 
to expand with his fortune. The Duke of I 
gundy was reconciled to his kinsman and sc 
reign, Paris opened its gates with willing subr 
sion, and at length, after some years of lang 
operations or imperfect truces, the French 



covered Normandv and Guvenne, and left the 
Ensrlish no footing in their countiy beyond the 
walls of Calais. The last vears of Charles Vllth's 
reign were employed in reforming and regulating 
the state of the kingdom. He is the first modem 
prince who has possessed a military force in time 
of peace, or imposed taxes by his sole authorit}\ 
The former were composed of 1500 lances, who 
with their followers made a Ixxly of 9000 horse. 
The latter did not exceed 360,000 pounds sterling. 
This great alteration was introduced without op- 
position, and felt only by its consequences, which 
gradually affected all Europe. 
The feudal system, weakened, in France, by 
innovations, was annihilated bv the severe 
sm of Lewis XL, into whom the soul of 
Tflicriiis might seem to have passed. As it was 
Ids constant policy to level all distinctions among 
Ks subjects, except such as were derived from his 
6vour, the princes and great nobility took up 
irms. and besieged him in Paris: but their con- 
Sttkracy. sumamed of the public good, was soon 
dissolved by the jealousy and private views of the 
few of whom afterwards escaped the re- 
ef a tvraht, alike insensible to the sanctitvof 
iiths. the law of justice, or the dictates of humani- 
tr. The Gendarmerie of the kinordom was in- 
ncased to 4O00 lances, besides a distiplined militia, 
ilaree bodv of Swiss infantrv% and a considerable 
tram of artillerj', the use of which had already 
filtered the art of war. The revenue of France was 
aised to ncarlv a million sterlino:, as well bv extra- 
VOL. III. K ordinary 


ordiuar}' impositions, as by the union of AnjoUi 
Maine, Provence, Roussillon, Burgundy, Franche- 
Comt^, and Artois, to the body of the French 
monarchy, which, under this wise tyrant, began to 
improve in domestic policy, and to assume the first 
station in tlie great rjepublic of Christendom. 

The revolution which restored Burgundy to the 
French monarchy merits more than common atten- 
tion. Charles the Bold of the house of France, 
duke of Burgundy, and sovereign of the Nether- 
lands, was the natural and implacable enemy of 
Lewis XL His subjects of Burgundy were brave 
and loyal ; those of Flanders, rich and industrious ; 
his revenue was considerable ; his court magnifi- 
cent; his troops numerous and well disciplined; 
and his dominions enlarged by the acquisition of 
Guelders, Alsace, and Lorraine. But his Ywht* 
projects of ambition were far superior either to his 
power or his abilities. At one and the same time 
he aspired to obtain the regal title, to be elected 
King of the Romans, to divide France with the 
English, to invade Italy, aiul to lead a crusade 
against the Turks. The Swiss Cantons, a name 
till tlurn unknown in Europe, humbled his pride. 
l^Iany writers, more attentive to the moral precept 
tlian to historic truth, have represented the Swi» 
as a liarmless people, attacked without jusrice or 
provocation. Those rude mountaineers were, on 
the contrary, the aggressors: and it appears by 
authentic documents, that French intrigues, and 
even French money, liad found a way into the 
senate of Bemc. Lewis XL, who in his youth 


had experienced the valour of the Swiss, inflamed 

the quarrel till it became irreconcileable, and then 

sat down the quiet spectator of the event; The 

Gendarmerie of Burgundy was discomfited in 

three great battles, by the firm battalions of Swiss 

mfantry, composed of pikemen and musqueteers« 

At Granson, Charles lost his honour and treasures; 

at Morat, the flower of his troops ; and at Nancy, 

hb life. He left only an orphan daughter, whose 

rich patrimony Lewis might perhaps have secured 

by a treaty of marriage^ Actuated by passion, 

rather than sound policy, he chose to ravish it by 

conquest* Burgundy and Aitois submitted with^ 

out much difficulty ; but the Flemings, exasperated 

by the memory of ancient injuries, disdained the 

French yoke, and married their young Princess 

' Ifaiy to Maximilian, son of the Emperor Frederic 

IIL The low countries became the inheritance of 

the House of Austria, and the subject, as well as 

theatre, of a long series of wars, the most celebrated 

that have ever disturbed Europe. 

Such was the growing prosperity of France, that 
even the disturbances of a minority proved favoura- 
ble to its greatness. Britanny, the last of the great 
ficfe, escaped a total conquest only by the marriage 
of Anne, heiress of that great duchy, with Charles 
VIII., son and successor of Lewis XI. The ex- 
pedition of Charles VIIL into Italy displayed his 
character, and that of the nation which he com- 
manded. In five months he traversed affrighted 
Italy as a conqueror, gave laws to the Florentines 
and the Pope, was acknowledged King of Naples, 

E 2 and 


and assumed the title of Emperor of the East. 
Every thing yielded to the first fury of the Frencli ; 
every thing was lost by the imprudence of their 
councils. The Italian powers, rocovcre<l from 
their astonishment, formed a league with Maxi- 
milian and Ferdinand, to intercept the return of 
Charles VIII. The kingdom of Naples escaped 
from his hands, and the victory of Femova only 
served to secure his retreat. He died soon after- 
wards, leaving his kingdom exhausted by this 
rash enterprizc, and weakened by the imprudent 
cession of Roussillon to the Spaniards, and of 
Franche^Comt^ and Artois to the house of Austria. 
Sp«D. Spain was hastening to assume tlic form of a 
powerful monarchy. Castile and Arragon were first 
united under the same family, and not long after- 
wards under the same sovereigns. Henry IV., 
King of Castile, a prince odious for his vices, and 
contemptible for his weakness, was solemnly de- 
7>08ed in a great assembly of his subjects ; who, 
despising the suspicious birth of his daughter Ju- 
anna, placed the crown on the head of Isal)ella, his 
sister. The marriage of tliat princess with Ferdi- 
nand of Arragon completed the salutary revolution. 
The Spaniards celebrate, with reason, the united 
administration of those monarclis; the manly vir- 
tues of Isabella, and the- profound policy of Fer- 
dinand the Catholic, always covered with the veil 
' of religion, though often repugnant to the princi- 
* pies of justice. After a ten years' war, they exe- 
cuted the great project of delivering Spain from 
the infidels. The Moors of Grenada defended that 



last possession with obstinate valour, and stipu- 
Iated» by that capitulation, the free exercise of the 
Mahometan religion. Public faith, gratitude, and 
policy ought to liave maintained this treaty ; and 
it is a reproach to the memory of the great 
Ximenes that he urged his masters to violate it. 
The severe persecutions of the Mahometans, and 
the expulsion of many thousands of Jewish fami* 
lies, inflicted a deep but secret wound on Spain, in 
the midst of its glory. The prosperity of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella was embittered by the death of 
their only son. Their daughter Juanna married 
die Archduke Philip, (son of the Emperor Maxi- 
milian, and of Mary of Burgundy,) and the great 
successions of the houses of Austria, of Burgundy, 
rf Arragon, and of Castile, were gradually accu- 
mulated on the head of Charles V., the fortunate 
ofl&pring of that marriage. 

The dominion of Spain was extended into a new 
hemisphere, which had never yet been visited by the 
nations placed onoursidc of the planet. Christopher 
Columbus, a Genoese, obtained from the ministers 
of Isabella, after long solicitations and frequent re- 
pulses, three small barks and ninety men, with 
which he trusted himself to the unknown Atlantic. 
His timid and ignorant sailors repeatedly exclaimed, 
that he was carrying them beyond the appointed 
limits of Nature, whence thev could never return. 
Columbus resisted their clamours, and at the end 
of thirty-three days from the Canaries, shewed 
them the Island of Hispaniola, abounding in gold, 
snd inhabited by a gentle race of men. In his 

E 3 subse- 



subsequent voyages, lindertaken with a more con- 
siderable force, he discovered many other islands, 
and saw the great continent of America, of whose 
existence he was already convinced from specula- 

The discoveries of Columbus were the effort of 
genius and courage ; those of the Portuguese, the 
slow effect of time and industr}\ They sailed 
round the continent of Africa ; found, by the Cape 
of Good Hope, a new and more independent route 
to the East Indies, and soon diverted the commerce 
of the east from Alexandria and Venice to Lisbon. 

A new world was opened to the studious as well 
as to the active part of mankind. It was scarcely 
possible for the Italians to read Virgil and Cicero, 
without a desire of being acquainted with Homer, 
Plato, and Demosthenes. Their wishes were gra- 
tified by the assistance of many learned Greeks, 
who fled from the Turkish arms. The manuscripts 
which they had saved, or which were discovered in 
old libraries, were quickly diffused and multiplied 
by the useful mvention of printing, which so much 
facilitated the acquisition of knowledge. For some 
time, however, the genius of the Italians seemed 
overpowered by this sudden accession of learning. 
Instead of exercising their own reason, they acqui- 
esced in that of the ancients ; instead of transfusing 
into their native tongue die taste and spirit of the 
classics, they copied, \nth the most awkwanl ser- 
vility, the language and ideas suited to an age so 
difl^arent from their own. 

If we turn from letters to religion^ the Christian 



must grieve, and the philosopher will smile. By 
a propensity natural to man, the multitude haid 
easily relapsed into the grossest polytheism. The 
existence of a Supreme Being was indeed acknow- 
ledged ; his mysterious attributes were minutely, 
and even indecently, canvassed in the schools; but 
he was allowed a very small share in the public 
worship, or the administration of the universe. 
The devotion of the people was directed to the 
Saints and the Virgin Mary, the delegates, and 
almost the partners, of his authority. From the 
extremities of Christendom thousands of pilgrims, 
laden with rich offerings, crowded to the temples 
and statues the most celebrated for their miracu- 
lous powers. New legends and new^ practices of 
superstition were daily invented by the interested 
diligence of the mendicant friars ; and as this re- 
ligion* had scarcely any connection with morality, 
every sin was expiated by penance, and every pe- 
nance indulgent Ij/ commuted into a fine. The popes, 
bishops, and rich abbots, careless of the public 
esteem, were soldiers, statesmen, and men of plea- 
sure ; yet even such dignified ecclesiastics blushed 
at the grosser vices of their inferior clergy. 


c 4r MflMOIRt 

( 56 ) 




Parmi les savans qui ont ose penetrer dans la nuit 
du terns pour y decouvrir les origiues dcs nations de 
rOrient, Ton doit distinguer M. Freret de TAca- 
demie des Belles Lettres. Cet habile homnie, 
^gal aux Scaliger et aux Marsham par son erudi- 
tion, a su substituer h, leurs vues bomees, a leurs 
conjectures hasardees, et a leurs hypotheses par- 
tiales et defectueuses, un esprit de syst^me, de 
critique, et de philosophic. II a rassemble toutes 
les autorit<^'s qui nous sent parvenues. II les a 
^tudi^y appr^ci^, rapproche et compart. De ce 
travail il a vu sortir une masse de luini^ic qui 
^claire sans nous eblouir. Je vais exposer son sys- 
t^me. Dans ces sortes d'^tude nous devons chcr- 
cher la v^rit^ et nous contenter de la vraisem- 
^j»[^» 1. Lan 1968 avant J^sus Christ est I'^poque radi- 
kad.tom. calc dc Tempire des Assyriens. Ce peuple et leurs 
£ "" successeurs les Medes, les Perses et les Macedoniens 
ont r^gn^ I905 ans. Lan 63 le Grand Ponipee 
d^pouilla le deniier des Seleucides de Kh^ritage de 
ses pires et fit passer TAsie sous les loix de la rc- 

S. Velleius 

* Ce ffBgincnt est curieux. Mais il y a bien quelque chose 
k dive. 1. Nous ne coiiiioia«oiii point cet Emilc Sura. 2. 


S. Velleius Paterculus place la r6volte d'A - ^^^fV^ 
boce 1070 apres le r^gne de Ninus. Dans son tcr.1.1. 
propre syst^me, c'est 898 ans avant J. C. La voix 
unanime de Tantiquit^ nous rapproche de cette 

3. Castor, fameux chronologiste de Tantiquit^, 
assignoit 1280 ans de dur^e k cet empire. lis nous 
conduisent k 688 ans avant J. C. C'est Tann^e 
que les MMes d'H^rodote enlevferent aux Assy- 
riens Tempire de TAsie. 

4. Ctesias nous donne 1360 ans jusqu'a la de- 
struction totale de Nin^ve et la mort du dernier de 
ses rob. Lon trouve par les combinaisons les 
plus sures que Tan avant Christ 6O8 fut cel&i de 
cette grande revolution. 

Trob souverains de cette djTiastie ont port£ le 
com de Sardanapale, et la ressemblance des noms^ 
jointe a celle des ev^nemens, a r^pandu sur les r^cits 
des Grecs une confusion, dont une critique ^clair^e 
peut scule nous garantir. 

Xous sommes parsenus a i'aurore, mais cette v.deBoo- 
iij^ore est couverte de nuages. M. Freret n a point S*PA«dL' 
eisaye de Jes dissiper. Mais le premier de ses ^p-^"" 
liiciples, M. de Bougainville, son confrere, son 
•uccesseur, son interprfete et son ami, a voulu con- 
•ommer ce grand ouvrage. Dun coup d'oeil sfir 
e: lumineux il a parcouru le tableau de TAsie sou- 

Lpne a soup^ooDe que cet endroit n'est pas du texte de Vel- 
V^-L^ 3. II y a des variantes quant au nombre. II faut opter 
tstrt 19^5 et 1995. 4. Cet auteur semble indiquer I'epoquc 
^ la dciaite de Philippe et d'Antiochus plutut que ceile des con- 
HrfTCf 6e Pompee. 



mise aux MMes. II a vu que les deux dynasties 
de Ctesias et d'H^rodote ^toient essentiellement 
difFiJrentcs, et que Ics loix de la critique nous per- 
mettoient aussi peu de les rejetter que de les ac- 
corder. Un seul parti lui restoit. Son heureusc 
siniplicit6 Tavoit d^rob6 k tous les yeux. II su]>- 
pose que les deux historiens ont parl6 de deux 
monarchies difF(6rcntes et que les successeurs d'Ar- 
bace r^gnoient i Suse lorsque D^joce jetta les 
fondemens d'Agbatane. M. de Vignoles avoit d6jk 
propose cette explication, mais il 6toit r6serv6 k 
M. de Bougainville de changer en syst^me rai- 
sonn6 ce qui n'^toit encore qu'une conjecture ha- 
sard^e. II lui restoit encore le soin de d^veloppcr 
Torigine, la liaison, et les revolutions des deux 
dynasties, et de montrer que cette distinction met- 
toit dans lliistoire ancienne un accord et une har- 
monic qu'on chercheroit vainement ailleurs. II se 
proposoit de remplir cette tAche dans un second ni6- 
moire, Ses occupations et ses maux auront re- 
cul6 rex6cution de sa promesse, et la mort, qui la 
en1ev6 k la soci6t6 et aux lettres, ne permet plus 
d'csp^rance. Je me propose de poursuivre ses 
id6es. Je donnerai quelques coups de crayon au 
tableau imparfait d'un grand mattre. Ce mattre 
6toit mon ami. Je gofite un triste plaisir dans cette 
occupation qui me retrace si vivement tout ce qu'il 
k 6te, ct tout ce qu'il n est plus. 

Je crois devoir m'arrftter un instant pour r6- 
fl^chir sur le caract^re de Ctesias, et sur le d^gr^ 
de foi que m^ritent ses annales. On peut le fixer 
en peu de mots. Ctesias se servoit aa^ez mal des 



rxoeUens mat^riaux qu'il avoit sous les yeux. Un 
s^Jour de cRx-sept ans k la cour de Perse et la fii- 
veur d'Aitaxerxe dont il 6toit le m^decin, lui ou- 
Tiirent toutes les archives dc la monarchie, et lui 
donnent un avantage d6cid6 sur les historiens qui 
n ont reinpli leurs ouvrages que des traditions po- 
pulaires qu'ils avoient recueilli dans leurs voyages. . , 
llais r6solu de s'^lever sur les debris de la reputa- 
tion d'H^rodote, il ne sacrifioit • que trop souvent 
les int6r£ts de la v^rit^ k Ten vie de plaire k sa na- 
tion toujours avide de nouveaut^s et de fables. 
Voiia rid^ que les plus habiles critiques de Tan- Voy. Fhoi 
tiquit^ nous ont donn^ de cet ^crivain ; mais ils p. 157.1s 
ont cm en mSme terns que son imagination a ton- j^^J^ 
jours respect^ les grands principes de Thistoire de **Ac«d«" 
Tofient ; et les ouvrages nationaux qui ont pani 850, ton. 
sous les successeurs d' Alexandre n'ont jamais ^^ 
ebranle le systfirae de Ctesias sur Torigine, la du- 
ree, et la mine des empires des ]VfMes etdes Assy- 
riens. Une critique modeste et impartiale poumoit 
decomposer le tissu des r^cits de cet historien, d6* 
meler la v^rite, et eclaircir souvent la source des 
erreurs. Une pareille recherche exigeroit sans 
doute un examen attentif et detaille. Je dirai 
seulement ici qu'au lieu de rejetter ou d'adopter 
en gros son histoire orientale, je distinguerois plu- 
sieurs classes de faits, d opinions et de fables ; trfes 
independentes par leur nature et leur autorit^ et 
reunies seulement dans la narration de Ctesias. 
1. Les traits vraiment historiques qu'il a puis6 
dans les annales et qui portent tous les caract^res 
de r^%adence. 2. Les traditions fabuleuses des 



peuples (jui font partic de leur syst^me religieux, 
ou (jui servcnt i\ orner le bcrccau des empires. Lc 
plus sage lies historiens les rapporte. Le lecteur 
sourit ; ii ies detaclie sans peine du corps de This- 
toire, et la croix de Constantin ne lui fait point 
jj^j^ gj^ rejetter la detaite de Maxence. Je citerois ici 
.s. M16. la naissance et T^ducation de S^miramis. 3. Les 
* inteq)r^tations que Ctesias k donn^es k ses inat6- 
riaux. Nous ignorons la nature precise des secours 
qu'il a eu, si les ^crivains originaux de Nin^ve ex- 
istoient encore, s'il a travaill^ sur des abr^g^s faits 
sous ladynastie des M^des ou m£nie sous celle des 
Perses. II se voyoit oblig^ de rendre dans unc 
langue ^trang^re des noms de dignit^s, de lieux, 
et mille id^es devenues obscures dans le si^cle de 
Ctesias. Quelle source ftconde d erreurs ! II vou- 
loit composer une histoire g^*n^rale par la reunion 
de plusieurs chroniques particuli^rcs; mais peu 
accoutumd aux Etudes rhronologiqucs, destitu6 
d*une epoquegcncrale, egare par la dift'crcnceou par 
la ressemblance des noms, il marchoit en avcugle 
ct nous autorise <\ dii^tinguer entre les faits parti- 
culiers qu'il rapporte, et le systfime de chronologic 
par leciucl il les ras.^cmble. 4. A Texemple de ses 
dev{incicr*j il interrompt souvent son recit par des 
K ii. p. digressions m^*nagecs avec art et liees avec son su- 
WMS6, jc^ principal : mais cette liaison qui existe dans 
29 u^' fesprit de riiistorien u'a point de fondcment dans 
la nature des choses. A foccasion des grands tra- 
vaux de Semiramis, Ctesias decrit la plApart des 
monumens que la tradition attribuoit k cette prin- 
cesse. Alais Tautoriti^ de ces traditions, ct la v6rit6 



dcs descriptions n'ont rien de commuri avec la foi 

des anciennes annales qui constatent Texistence 

d une S^miraniis et les grands 6v^nemens de son 

rigne. 5. Je sens, et jelavoue sans peine, qu'il y 

avoit des fictions aussi bien que des erreurs dans 

les ouvrages de Ctesias. 11 a souvent quitt6 le 

personnage d'historien pour celui de rh^teur et 

m^me de poete. Je mets, sans balancer, dans Lu.^ltl 

cette classe Toracle d'Ammon, et le secours qu'un 

roi d'Assyrie cnvoya aux Troyeus. J'accorderai, 

si Ton veut, que les arm6es de Ninus et de S^mira- ^''P^^' 

190, aom 

mis sont trop nombreuses, et que nous pournons 
donner un pea moins d'6tendue k leur empire. 6. 
Si Tdtivrage de Ctesias subsistoit encore nous n*au- 
rions point k craindre de nouS tromper sur ses v6- 
ritables sentimens. Mais nous ne le connoissons 
plus que par rAbri^g6 de Photius,* et par les ex- 
traits d^taill^s de Diodore de Sicilc, de Nicolas de 
Damas, &c. L'on nc sent que trop combien nous 
sommes portes a m^ler nos id^cs avcc celles que 
nous rapportons et k faire dcs changemcns dont 
nous ne voyons pas la consecjuencc. Diodore de 
Sicile doit en gen^Tal nous tenir d'un original qu'il 
suit de pr^s, dont il rapporte souvent les paroles, et ^ ^ .. 
qull a cependant alter^ plus d'unc fois. Mais je ^^f^\ 
nc puis soufFrir qu'on relive les erreurs d'un abbr^- not eo. 
viateur, d'un Justin copistc de la troisi^mc main et 

• II est assez surprenant que ce patriarche sc soit contente phot. Bibl. 
dlndiquer les six premiers livres de Ctesias qui contenoient I'liis- P* ^^»^^' 
toire des M^des et des Assyriens, et qu*il n'ait commence son ex- 
trait que par le septleme. II avoit lu tous les vingt-trois livres de 
cet historien. 



qu on les Employe centre Tautorit^ de Ctesia^. 
Labbr^viateur lui a fait dire que Ninus fut le pre- 

Jvttio, "^'^^ V^^ ^^ ^^ guerre i ses voisins. H^las ! ce ne 
I. !• c t, fut pas Ninus, ce fut ce sauvage que enleva le pre- 
mier k son fr^re le gland qu'il venoit de cueillir ! 
On a d6velopp6 toute rabsurdit6 d'une proposition 
qui ren verse m^me le syst^me de son auteur. Mais 
VIM. ficttU cet auteur n'est point Ctesias. Le Ctesias de Dio- 
"* ^ dore avoit dit seulement que Ninus est le premier 
dont riiistoire nous ait conserve les exploits. 
Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona 

La foule des savans a voulu encore opposer au 
systfime de Ctesias lautorit^ d'Herodotc, qui i>'a ja- 
mais cxpos^ ses sentimens sur les grands principes 
de rhistoire Asiatique, etdont le t^moignage h&t\ sur 
Tobservation et sur la tradition s affoiblit en s'^loi- 
grnant du si^cle dans lequcl il a vecu. Mais encore 
je d^m^le dans c^tte obscurity le systSme assez 
conforme a celui de Ctesias, qu*il aura suivi dans 
ses Assyriaques. Je di^veloppeiai cctte proposition 
avec d autant plus de plaisir, que la tradition g6- 
n^rale y rendra t6moignage k la haute antiquity de 
la domination Assyrienne. 
Sfftb.Oeo. 1 . I-e nom de Syrie ou Assy rie n a point M bom6 
c^ikiSi^^' i cettc petite province sur les l>ordsdu Tigre dont 
Geo. Aotiq. Niui^ve cst lu capitalc. II s'^tcndoit, selon Stra- 
f^twt. bon, depiiis lefond de la Babylonie jusquau Pont 
Euxin. Les habitans de la Chald^e, de TAturie, 
de la AK'sopotamie, et de la Syrie propre, dtoient 
les Syriens noirs ou de la haute Syrie. Ceux du 
Pont et de la Cappadoce, plus avanc^s que les pre- 



mien (lu c6ti du nord et de la mer M6diterran^i 
« appelloient les Syriens blancs ou de la basse Sy- 
ne. Plusieurs auteurs out regards le fleuve Ha* 
lys comme la borne occidentale du nom Syrien, 
mais il est constant qu'il s'^toit ^tendu dans la 
Phrygie majeure. 2. On ne peut rendre raison de ^^HJJJST 
ce nom commun qu en supposant une domination i- ▼>• p- ^ 
commune k toutes ces provinces. Tons les anci- 
ens ont pens^ que les Assyriens de Nincve ont . 
communique leur nom aux pays dans lesquels ils 
ont port6 Icurs armcs victorieuses. 3. On voit 
qu'ils plafoient cette conqufetc dans ce terns ob* 
acur que les Grecs ont nomm6 fabuleux mais 
qui ne T^toit que pour eux. H^rodote nous ap- ^f^'- 
prendque les Ph^niciens, transplant^s des bords de c. i. 
ia Mer Rouge k leur nouvelle demeure, comment* 
(erent aussit6t k faire de longs voyages de mer, et k 
porter les marchandises d'Eg^'pte et d'Assyrie dans 
les ports les plus ^loign^s et en particulier k. celui 
d'Arsros d ou ils enlev^rent la fille du roi Inachus. 
Du terns dlnachus, c'est k dire 1 800 ans avant J. 
C* les Assyriens ^toient d^jk (dans le sentiment 
d'H^rodote) une nation qui poss^doit une c6te ma- 
ntime, et qui alloit de pair avec les Egyptiens 
pour la reputation, le luxe, et les arts. 4. On me 
demandera peut-^tre pourquoi le nom d'Assyrie ne 
?*est jamais ^tendu aux provinces Orientales dc 
! empire? Jc n'en sais rien, mais je r(:pondrois 
volonticrs que les fondateurs de la monarchic ont Ea»cfc. 


* Phoronee, fib d'Inachus, etoit contemporain d'Ogyges qui a I- x. & 9. 
'ecu 1020 ans avani la premiere Olympiade, c'cst kdire 79^*a«w i^Jt^^M^m^c 
ivici {"ere Chrttienne. TAcad. toi 

obscurci *• p* ^^* 


obscurci la gloire de leurs successeiirs qui ont sub- 

jugu6 ces provinces long terns aprfes eux, Cctte 

conjecture expliqueroit tr^s bien les 520 ans de 

id.LLc.9l rtgne qu'H^rodote accorde aux Assyriens sur Ics 

MMes. II parolt que le dernier roi des Assyriens* 

avoit re^u de ses pferes un empire qui s'^tendoit 

V.Fkwft, depuis les fronti^res de Tlmle jusqu'i TEuphrate 

UnAntm. et THalys. La Syrie propre s en ^toit d^tachte 

vloJt^' depuis cent cinquante ans, et les extr^niites de la 

JowiIlAii. ^oi^arcliie, telles que TArm^nie et Tes cdtes de la 
tiq. iTTiL Mer Rouge, etoient encore plong^es dans ia bar- 
Arrks. baric la plus grossi^re. 
40. ^^' Avec lempire Sardanapale avoit h^rit6 de la 

moUessc de ses pferes. Depuis long terns on ne 

voyoit plus les rois d'Assyrie k la tfite des armies. 

La chasse leur ^toit aussi inconnue que la guerre. 

Renferm^s dans leur palais, ils ne r^gnoient plus 
T^or. q\xe sur un s^rail dans lecjuel tout, jusques aux 
D. 137. ' plaisirs, nerespiroit que la langucur, la contrainte 
n^ in et la servitude. Mais lour noin r6gnoit encore sur 
xlS^ TAsie, et les sages institutions des premiers mo- 
P- ^ . narques sembloient assurer la puissance de leurs 
c «. foibles successeurs. Unc arm6c nomhrcuse, com- 

p. 135." pos6e de toutes les provinces, se rassemhloit tous 
Ori^nfd^ lesansi Nin^ve ; politique adroite, (|ui environnoit 
J^? *5l le trdne d'une prarde formidable, et (|ui la disper- 

soit sans lui donner le tcnt^ do connoJtre ses forces. 
Ce fut cependant dans le sein de ces troupes que 

la revoke se forma. Arbace, (jui commandoit les 

* Dernier roi selon TinterpKitationdeCtesias. C'cNt le Smrdm- 
napale de Vtlleius Paterculus, le premier des trois que M. Frerel 
a distingues. 



troupes de la province de M^die poss^doit la faveur 
publique et la m^ritoit par toutes les vertus oppo- 
se aux \*ices de son matt re. Ce guerrier, qui se 
aentoit digne de donner des loix, rougissoit d'en 
recevoir 4'u<i souverain qu'il m^prisoit. II ne 
cherchoit que les moyens de s'en aflfranchir, et les 
cooseik de son ami Bclesus achev^rent de d^ve- iKodtr. 
iopper le gemie d'une r^volte qui cliangea la face p. lar. 
de TAsie. Ce chef Chald6en lui annou^a liardi- 
ment cet empire que les astres (dont il se disoit Tin- 
terprfete) lui desrinoient. Arbace, ^bloui lui-meme 
par les promesses de cet art trompeur, ou charm6 
den eblouirles autres, le crut sans peine. D^s ce 
moment il ne s'occupa plus qu'^ inspirer ses senti* 
mens k tons les chefs de Tarmac II ne seroit pas 
dilficiie de composer la harangue d'Arbace. La 
iBollesse de Sardanapale, la honte de lui ob^ir, la 
facilite de la revoke, le bien public ^tal^ avec 
beaucoup de pompe, et les avantagcs particuliers 
insipu^s avec art: — telles furcnt sans doute les 
raisons qu'il employa. A force d'intrigucs, de 
promesses et de pr^seus, il associa k ses des- id. ^ iw. 
seins les MMes, les Persans, les Babyloniens, 
et quelques tribus d*Aral)es qui reconnoissoient 
ia sup^riorite plutot que le joug de I'empire. Au 
rommencement de Tannic suivante, tous ces 
corps s avanc^rent vers la capitale sous pr^texte de 
liire leur »er^'ice. Les anciennes troupes se joi- 
^cirent a celles qui les relevoient. Arbace arbora 
I'eteiulard de la liberty, et se campa pr^s de Nin^ve 
2 la tete de 400,000 hommes composes dc ces qua- 
ne nations. 
VOL. III. F A la 


A la nouvelle de la r6 volte Sardanapale se r^ 
veilla de sa lethargic, et brisa les liens de la mollesse, 
des piaisirSy et de Thabitude. II assembla bientAt 
une arm^e nombreuse, marcha k la rencontre des 
rebelles, les attaqua^ les battit aprfes un combat 
sanglant, et leschassa jusquau pied des montapnes 
qui terminent la plaine dc Nin^vc. Apr^ avoir 
vainement mis <\ prix les t6tes d'Arbace et de Be- 
lesus, il livra une seconde bataille aux troupes 
d'Arbace, et remporta une autre victoire plus deci- 
sive que la premiere. Ces d^faites r^it^r^es 
^^*m! n'^branl^rent point la Constance du chef des r^vol- 
tfe, qui se montra digne de soutenlr Tentreprise 
qu'il avoit commenc^e ; mais les autres conjures, 
d^courages |)ar le malheur, parloient d^ji d'^viter 
par la fuite la vengeance d'un prince irrit^, d'occu- 
per les forteresses de Icurs pays respectifs, et d y at- 
tcndre tranquillement un moment plus propicc. 
Arbace avoit inutilement employ^ toutes les res- 
sources de la politique ; mais celles de la sup^isti- 
tion sont in^puisables. Belesus annouj^a k Tann^e 
constem^ que les dieux les ^prouvoient pour cou- 
ronner enfin leur constance. Le fanatisme ranima 
le courage des chefs et des soldats, mais il ne leur - 
donna point la victoire. Sardanapale les battit un« 
troisi^me fois, s empara de leur camp, et les pour- , 
suivit jusqu aux fronti^res de la Babylonie. Lc 
ghkivBl des M^des fut bless^ dans ce dernier com- . 
bat apr^ s y 6tre distingu^ par mille actions de v»- , 
leur. Les confifd^r^s, eflray^s par la constance dc 
leur infortune, r^solurent de se retirer; mab lc 
prophite Cliald^n, qui sentoit que Tinstant de , 



leur separation seroit celui de leur destruction com- 
mune, tenta encore de les arrfeter. II y r6ussit. 
II passa la nuit enti^re a observer les astres. " Les 
Dkmx (leur dit-il le lendemain) vous annoucent 
par ma voix une revolution subite et inesp^ree, un 
grand secours que vous n attendez point. Dans ^ 
cinq jours vous verrez raccomplissement de leur 
parole.^ Belesus et Arbace savoient sans doute 
que les troupes de la Bactriane s'avan^oient au se- 
cours de la capitale. Ce dernier, accompagn6 d'un 
corps choisi, alia k leur rencontre. II eut Tart de . 
lier une n^gociation avec eux, son Eloquence et 
ses intrigues leur firent ais6ment pref(6rer le parti 
de la liberty k celui du t^ran : il les ramena avec 
lui au camp des confed^res, et sans donner le tems 
aux ennemis d'apprendre cette nouvelle, il attaqua 
rarm6e Assyriennc, enivr^e encore de sa dcmifere 
victoire et plong6e dans la d^bauche et la n6gli- I(L p. i40^ 
gence. II en fit un carnage excessif, tua Saloe- 
mene, beau-fr^re du roi et g6n6i*al des Assyriens ; 
et poursuivit leurs debris disperses jusqu aux portes 
de la capitale. 

Le roi v attendit Tennemi sans crainte : il se 
oonfioit dans la force de la viile, aux anciennes pro- . 
ph^ties, et aux secours qu'il esp^roit de recevoir 
des autrcs provinces de Tempire. Le si^gc, ou 
plutdt le blocus de Nin^ve, dura deux ans ; et elle 
ne seroit peut-^tre jamais tomb^e sous la puissance 
des Mfedes si le Tigre, en se d^bordant avec une 
violence extreme, n eut renvers6 vingt stades des 
niurs. Sardanapale vit alors que loracle ^toit id. p. 141. 
lonpli puisque le fleuve 6toit devenu ennemi de 

F 2 k 


la ville, et qu'il ne lui restoit plus qu'^ choisirentrc 
la mort et la captivity. II fit dresser un vaste bu- 
cher dans la cour du S^rail, le couvrit de tout cc 
qu'il avoit dc plus pr^cieux, d'un nombre infini dc 
robes de pourpre, cent cinquantc lits d'or, et un tr6- 
sor incroyable.* II s y cnfcrma (dans unc cham- 
bre qu'il avoit fait \ykt\v) arec toutes ses femmes. 
Ses cunuques y mirent le feu et Tincendie dura 
quinze jours. Cependant les ennemis entr^rent 
par la br^che, se rendirent maltres de Ninfeve, et 
une assembl^e g^n^rale des chefs salua Arbace 
TKit.Hift. comme roi. Telle fut la fin de Sardanapale qui v^cut ct qui mourut comme Othon. Tous les deux 
cnTif. ^'* montr^rent k Tunivers que la moUesse peut 
6toufFer des vertus qu ellc n'^teint pas. Tel fut 
encore le sort de cette dynastie Assyrienne ; voici 
le tableau 6nergique et vrai d'un homme qui voy- 
oit beaucoup d*histoire dans une seule reflexion. 
Esprit dci " Apr^s les trois ou quatre premiers princes, la cor- 
or. ' niption, le luxe, roi»iyet6, les d^lices sempareni 
des successeurs; ils senferment daiijs leur palais, 
leur esprit s aftbiblit, leur vie s'accourcit, la famille 
d<^*cline, les grands s'616vent, les eunuques s accrWi- 
tent : on ne met sur le trdne que des enfans, Ic 
palais devient enncmi de Tempire, un peuple oisif 


Iterodot. * ^^ trcsor ctoit cclebre. Ilerodote en fait mention. Mais 

l.ii.c.150. je crois qu* Albciu'c ou plutot Ctesias se sont laissc eblouir par 

Ifcipootop. une exagrmtioii orientale, qui designoit plut6t un nombre infini, 

I. lU. quelle ne fixAt une somme particuli^re. Ce nombre est de mille 

nyriades dc taleni d*or, et de dix mille myriades de taleiis d'ar- 

gent. A n'omploycr que des talcns Attiques, et une proportion 

decuple, 11 nous donncra plus de quarantc quatre milliards de 

iivrf*» sterling ; 4 toute rigucur, iJ44,l 7-^,999^^0. 

• qui 


qui lliabite ruine celui qui travaille, Tempcreur est 
m^, ou d^truit par un usurpateur, qui fondc une 
iainille dont le troisi^me ou quatri^ine successeur 
va dans ce inline palais se renfermer encore." 

Dans ce r^cit abr^g^ je ne me suis point arr&t6 
a corriger une erreur de mes originaux qui, dans 
plus d'un endroit, placent la villc dc Ninfeve sur les 
bords de FEuphrate. Elle i6toitsitu^e sur ceux du 
Tigre. Plusieurs critiques ont d^jk relev6 cette 
meprise que je ne saurois attribue. k Ctesias. II y P"*^^ 
a des fautes g^ographiques qu'un homme qui a 
parcouru I'Asie, d'Eph^sc jus({u aux Indes, ne peut 
jamais commcttre at les commettre encore sans 
motif et sans int^ret. Je ne craimlrois pas de la 
reprocher a un Diodore qui ne se perdoit que trop 
souvent dans Timmensit^ de son ouvrage et dans 
rabondance de ses mat^riaux. Mais qu'il mc soit 
Dermis de conjecturerquclquc expression Equivoque 
^-ont Ctesias aura pu se scr\ ir ct ([ui laissoit quelque 
incertitude dans Tcspritdc Diodore; IcsOrientaux 
'iisent souvent le grand fleuve, le flcuvc royal, en 
parlant de la riviere qui baigne les niurs dc la capi- 
t2;e. Si Ctesias avoitcouscrve cctte phrase, la nie- 
priacdu Sicilien seroit des phisnaturcUes. Si Ctesias 
2-*oit employ^ le nom Assyricn, ou Persan, du 
Tlsrre. s'il Tavoit ni(^mc exprini^* par un nom vague 
-ui dcbignoit toutes les grandes rivieres qui sortent 
«^is montaunes de rArmcnie; la situation de Dio- 
core auroit ete encore plus cmbarrassante. II est 
liiiSciled'expliquer plusieurs desanciens sans sup- 
pO!>er que le Xiphates (nom dune chainc dc mon- cdiar %, % 
lisrnes dans la graudc Arm^nie) avoit au»5i ce scus ^ * *'^* 

F 3 vairuc 


straKp. vague ct g^n^ral. Tzctes, qui lisoit encore ITiis- 
r«7. toirc dc Ctesias ou du moins les recueils de Con- 

pii»n.iiiv. stantiii P6rphyrog^ncte, confirnie ma conjecture, 
jomtisat. ^^ rench^rissant sur rcireur de Diodore ; il ne met 
g.p-409. point TEuphrate k la place du Tigre : il y met le 

CanB.iL9. Nil. 

Bocetdtt Mais il y a unc erreur bicn plus importante, et 

2!J^5J^, qu'on doit iniputer ^ Ctesias lui-ni^me: c'est 

J^"^ • d avoir fix^ k la mort de Sardanapale, la deniiere 

490. Vow. ruine de Nineve ct dc rempirc Assvrien. Les mo- 

Crac. i.ii numcus les plus purs de lantiquite nous assu rent 

^' *^ ' que Vun ct Tautre ont subsist^ quoique avec un 

^clat atlbibli jusqu'ii Tan 608 avant J. C. et pr^de 

trois sicclcs apr^s cettc revolution. M. Freret a 

prouvc tr^s solidemcnt cfuil y a eu trois Sardana- 

pales, et que sous le premier et le dernier de ces 

princes les M^des ct les Babyloniens ont renvers^ 

la puissance Assyrienne. Tant de conformit^s 

auront ^bloui Ctesias ou ses interpr^tes, au point de 

lui faire confondre sous la m^me ^pcxjue la revoke 

d'Arbnce, et la ruine finajc de Tempire de Nineve. 

Dans cettc confusion il nous est trts difficile d en 

i>»««o'. s^parcr les traits dd^tach^s. Je crois pourtant qu' 

p.i4«. Arbace, jaloux dc la force de cettc capitale, qu'il 

avoit ^prouvc lui-m(yme, la fit raser de fond en com- 

blc, ** Tfi¥ it iroXiyt ik tix^o; xotrtOTix^iv.*^ Lcs villcs 

de TAsie, (jui ne sont bAtics (jue dc briques cuites, 
, se di:truiscnt ct se rcbatisscnt avec une facilite 
merveilleuse. Nous voyons repai*oitre apr^s les 
ravages aftreux des Mogols toutes ces villcs qu'ils 
avoient d^truites, et Ton ne sera pas etonn6 de re- 
trouver Nincvc dans Ic si^cle suivant. Arbace 


sum LA UOXARCHIE DES ]f£D£S. ^1 

ua <les droits de la victoire avec une mod^ratioa 
qui fit aimer son joi\g aux vaincus; en d^truisant 
Xincve il 6pargna les biens des citoyens, il se cotk- 
tmta de les disperser dans les bourgs du pays. 
Helas! qu*un Arbaceseroit utile k Londres ou k 
Paris! Cette moderation du vainqueur nous per- 
met de croire qu^il laissa a quelque prince du sang 
lora] une autorit^ subalteme sur Tancien h^tage 
de Xinus, qu'il lui confera m^me le titre de roi, et 
que c ot par ces d\'nastes que les anciens ont con- 
tinue la Ibte des monarques Assyriens.* 

hsL moderation d'Arbace ^lata encore plus k 
regard des compagnons de sa victoire. Lorsqu'ils 
prirent les armes il leur avoit promis la liberty. Sa 
pfomesse ne fut pas vaine. Mais il est bon de 
fixer lld6e precise d*un mot toujours vague en lui- 
m^me, et assez Stranger au langage des Orientaux. 

1. Aux gouvemeurs des provinces, Arbace 

♦ Qu*oo me passe encore une conjecture. Un passage 
/Atbeoee (copie sur Cte^ias) a toujours fait de la peine aux 

2e co.-mpTeiMl comment Sariianapale, Roi de Nineve, a pu envoyer 
Ks caiMns aa Roi de Nintrve. Voici mon interpretation de cet 
:ro!t qa' A thence a tres bien pu giter en I'abrtrgeant. Sardana- 
e rtoit t^soIq de perir. roais le sort de ses enfans Ic touchoit. 
L ic» nt sortir du sereil dont I'enceinte etoit peut-etre distinguee 
«e ceiic de U Tille, et il les fit conduire aux pieds du vainqueur 
lai estroit deja dans la capitale et qu'il regardoit avec raison 
r^e&QC ]e sonv^eraiode Nin^ve. Si j'ajoutois qu' Arbace, toucbe 
c\ OLaiheur de ces jeuncs princes, leur laissa le royaume d'Assjrie, 
je Je dirois saos preuves, mais le caractere d'Arbace me justi- 
I dam cette idee. 

F 4 donna 


donna une autorit^ plus grande que celle dont ils 
jouissoient. II les distribua parmi ses amis. On 
devine sans peine les d^gr^s succcssifs par lesquels 
ces satrapes s'attribu^rent tons les droits r^galiens 
€t secou^rent cnfin jusqu'au noni dc la d^pen- 
dance. II parott mfime qu'^Vr^iace accorda k ses 
capitaines le privilege important dc ne jamais per- 
dre la vie on leur satmpie que par la sentence 
d'une assembl(5e g^n^rale des capitaines leurs pairs. 
Arbace suivit du moins cettc r^gle k regard dc 
Belesus k qui il avoit donn(5 la satrapie de Baby- 
i^iodor. Sic. lone. Son avarice lui fit enlevcr les cendrcs du 

. IL p. 141. 

fficoL Dam. buchcr dc Sardauapalc. II f ut condamn6 k perdre 
rai.'^^'. la t6te, mais Arbace oubliason crime, nesesouvint 
que de ses services, et lui rendit jusqu'ci son gou- 
vemcment et le tr^sor m6me qu'il avoit d6rob^. 

S. Les chariots des Scythes, les tentes des Arabes, 
et toutes les branches du Taurus et du Caucase 
ont toujours renferm^ une multitude de sauvages 
fiers de leur pauvret^ et de leur ind^pendance 
ftroce. De tems en tems ils sortent de leurs re- 
traites pour subjuguer les peuples amollis par le 
luxe, pour se corrompre et pour p^rir comme eux. 
II seroit aussi difficile qu'inutile d'indiquer toutes 
les nations k qui Arbace se contenta de feire re- 
connoitre sa souverainet^. On y pent distinguer 
les Cadusicns, les habitans d'une partic de la Per- 
side, quelquesmontagnards de la M^dic, et plusieurs 
peuplades des Scythes en def a de I'Ojlus connues 
sous le nom de Parthes, de Saques, de Derbiccs, 
lC. 89p. 1. Arbace se soutint sur le tr6ne par les m^mes 



vertus auxquelles il le devoit II gouvema TAsie p»?^ Sm»l 
vmgt-huit ans et laissa Tempire k sa mort k son fils 

8. Mandauces r^gna vingt ans, ou cinquante selon a. c. 87o. 

3. Sosarme r^goa trente ans. a. c aso. 

4. Attycas r^gna* trente ans, ou cinquante selon a. c sio. 

5. Arbianes r^gna vingt-deux ans. a. c. r90. 
Je n'ai point d'^v^nemens pour remplir ces cmq 

r^nes des premiers rois des MMes et de I'Asie. 
Ctesias n'avoit rien trouv6 dans les annates, ou 
Diodore s'est pen souci6 de conser\'er ses details. 
Je vois tr^ clairement que ce copiste a n€glig6 
plusieurs faits des plus ijit^ressans, que nous trou- 
vons ailleurs. Sa liste des rois est d^fectueuse, 
peat^tre m6me remplie de fautes. Je iui trouve 
dans cette partie de sa biblioth^que une sorte d'im- 
patience. II s'^toit fort 6tendu sur le rhgne de 
Semiramis, les merveilles de Babylone et la science 
des Chald^ens ; ce grand morceau avoit d^j^ pass6 
les bomes que la proportion g6n6rale de son ou vrage 
Iui prescrivoit. II se d6dommage aux d^pens de 
la monarchie des M^des. 

On n'est pas en droit d'exiger que je remplisse 
ce vuide : il y en a tant dans ces si^cles recul^s. 

*■ Diodore a done comptc 282 ans au lieu des 232 de Jules 
Africain cite par les chronologistes Chretiens. J 'ai sui vi I'cxemple 
de >L de Bougainville; mais je trains qu'un certain petit 
.nteret de sjstdrae n'ait contribue ^ cette preference que nous 
*zd donnoQs. Artee, le sixit^me roi de la dynastie, devoit regncr 
«*ant I'ere de Nabonassar. 



Mais je sens que Ic syst^me que jc propose devien- , 
dra bien plus vraiseniblable et plus lumiueux si . 
je r^ussis ii d^couvrir quelques traces de cet& , 
monarchie etde ses premiers rois, dans les traditions ; 
des compatriotes et des couteniporains, je veux dire ; 
dans celles des Perses modemes et des anciens ,. 

Je ne connois Thistoire Persanne que par le* ^ 
extraits que nos savans nous en ont donnas, et par- ^ 
ticuliferement par la Biblioth^que Orientale dc , 
M. d'Herbelot.* Cette ignorance nie donne unc 
sorte de nitrite ; c'est celui de Timpartialit^. Mon .^ 
amour-propre n'est point int^ress^ a justifier une . 
science dont rac(|uisition ne m'a rien cout^. Voici 
en pen de mots Tidec que je me suis fait de Tau* ' 
thenticit^ de cette histoire. 

Dans cc long intervalle de cinq sit^cles qui ^ 
s'^coula depuis la destruction de la premiere monar- ^ 
chie des Perses jusquW Tctablissenient de la seconde, 
la haute Asic ^'toit retombee dans la barbaric. 
jiiitiii.Hiir. Les Parthes, ses maitres, conserverent toujours la 
A|«tiiias. fi6rocit6 de leurs ayeux Scythes. Le luxe cor- 
c!*fci." rompit leurs moeui*s sans les adoucir. lis oppri- ^ 
Hiit^aif*. moient les Persans et se rendoient odieux k tous " 

^M. de les vrais Mages par mille superstitions ^trang^res ' 
tom.Lp.i65. qu'ils avoicut introduites dans le culte dc Zoroastre. 
Les malheureux n ont d'asile que Tavenir et le ^ 
pass^. Les prMictions et les fables les consolent 
de leur misJ^re actuelle. Lorsqu'Ardshir Balia- - 

• Sur toute ccilc histoire, v. Biblioth. Orient, aux mots Pis^ v 
€kadiens et Caianides^ et a ccux dc chaque roi en particulicr.— 
Universal Hist. Edd. Fol. torn. ii. p. 172—240. 



lendit Tempire 9ux Perses, les poemes histo- 
liqaes qiri sembioient renfeimer les origines de la 
Bation furent re^^us sans critique et sans contra- 
ificbon. Ecrits dailleurs d'une mani^re int^res- 
sntc ; ils franchirent bientdt les homes de rempire. 
On les ecoutoit avec autant d aWdit^ h la Af ecque 
qu a Madvan. Enfin les Arabes panirent et subiu- BiUiotk. 

Oi Li__i ■■ 

current la Perse. L'ignorance et le fanatisme bocitm 
inarch^rent derant eux : ils d^truisirent partout indite. 
i Its monuinens d'un culte Stranger. Au bout de X^S^ 
liois sidles les arts avoient ci\nlis6 ces barbares ; ^ ii^ 
ft ils ne cherch^rent plus qu*^ r^parer les ravages 
de ieurs anc^tres. Ferdoussi, fameux poete Per- BaiCotk. 
san. composa un poeme historique de 30,000 vers Mt Fo^ 
sur Ics debris des vieux romans qu'il avoit re- ^J^^ 
cueillis. Mais Ferdoussi ^toit poete et Musulman. 
On peut croire que dans cette premiere quality il 
preteroit toujours le mer\'eillcux au vjaisemblable, 
et que c'est a la derni^re que nous devons Abra- 
ham, Salomon, et tous les prophi^tes Juifs. Fer- 
ijoussi est cependant la source oii la plftpart des 
imtoriens et des poetes ont puis^. Mirkhond et 
Khondemin deux historiens Persans de la fin du 
qumzieme si^cle, sont, pourainsi dire, les seulsori- 
?inaux que nos savans sont accoutum^s k citer. 

Je passe aux caract^res internes de cette histoire. 
Je n y vois rien de plus vraisemblable. C'est un 
issemblage de fictions grossi^resl Nulle geogra- 
phic nulle chronologic, des paladins, des genies, 
des fees et des monstres. Nous avons surtout un 
excellent moyen de comparaison dans les deux 
rleclcs depuis Cyrus jusqu'a Darius. Les Grecs 



contemporains, sujets ou ennemis du grand roi, 
ont pu prendre de faiisses id^es sur les revolutions 
int^rieures et sur Ics caract^res de ces prince^ mais 
ils connoissoient sans doute leurs noms, la dur^ 
de leurs r^gnes, leurs successions, et les grands 
^v^nemens qui Ics regardoient eux-mc^mes. Les 
relations dUerodote, de X^nophon et de Ctesias, 
n'ont avec celles de Mirkhond que ce rapport qui 
suffit pour nous convaincre combien les idees de ce 
dernier ^*toient confuses et defectueuses. 

De cet anias de traditions, tout imparfait qu'il 
est, nous pouvons neanmoins extraire quelques Ve- 
ritas utiles. Les 6v6i\eniens gen^raux se gravent 
dans le souvenir des homnies, Tidee des grands 
^tablissemens passe a la posterite, et Timagination 
bom^e et sterile de cette creature singulifere, qui 
nepeutsoufFrirni la verit^ni le inensonge, alt^re plus 
de faits qu elle n'en invente. Je tAcherai de choisir 
quelques uns de ces traits saillans. Dhs que je n en- 
treprends point dejustifier tout Tenchainemcnt des 
petits faits, la bonne critique me defend d en tirer 
avantage dans les occasions ou ils. me seroient fa* 
vorables. Je m arrfeterai a trois chefs principaux. 
1. L'id^e g{*n^rale de chaque dynastic. 2. Les 
monumens de Persepolis. 3. La reformation du 

1. R^duisons Thibtoire ancionne de la Perse a 
cette proposition generale et simple, '* Que quatre 
dynasties differcntes y out r^gn^* dans ces si^lc^ 
qui ont precede la conquete des Arabes; c'est i 
dire les Pisdiadiens, la Caiauides, les Asch- 
khaniens, et les Sassanides, et que la tradition ;\ 



coasen'6 les noms, Torigine, la mine, et le caractfere 
fles trois premieres races."* Je respecte peu la foi 
de la tradition, mais je ne crois pas Tavoir charg6 
d'un d^pdt au-dessus de ses forces. Nous connois- 
sons les Sassanides. Les Parthes sont d^sign^s 
assez clairement sous le iiom d'Aschkhaniims. Da- 
rab, le dernier des Caianidcs, fut vaincu par Isken- 
der le fils de Filikous : ce sont les noms sous les- 
quels les Orientaux connoissent Darius Codamany 
Alexandre, et son p^re Philippe. La dynastie des 
prM^esseurs de Darab remonte au-del^ du r^gne 
de Cyrus, et scmble comprendre les MMes d'H6- 
rodote. II ne reste qu'^ chercher la place de la 
dynastie des Pischadiens, la plus ancienne, et peut- 
etre la plus illustre de celles qui ont gouvem^ la Chroooio- 
Perse. Le Chevalier Newton y a cru reconnoitre S93, sre. 
les Assyriens. Mais ce grand horn me avoit peu r€- 
flechi sur le g^nie de Thistoire Persanne. Les 
Mages ^toient les seuls d^positaires de la v6rite et 
des fables. lis ne connoissoient de souverains le- 
gitimes de la Perse que ceux qui en avoient pro- 
fess^ la religion. Une identity, ou du moins une 
ressemblance de culte, soutcnoit la chaine de la 
succession. Tons les idolAtrcs n'^toient a leurs 
yeux que des usurpateurs dignesd'unoubli^temel; 
les h^r^tiques (tels que les Aschkhaniens) passoient 

* Je db des trois preroiei-es. L'authenticite de Thistoire des 
SHSuades n'a besoin de preuves. Un habile homme, qui nous 
iGSDeioit one bonne histoire de cette race, fondee sur la combi- 
zjuaon des ecrivains Persans et Arabes avec les historiens de 
refill et du bas empire, enricheroit la littcrature sacrce et pro- 
fiat d'un ouvrage tr^ intcressant. 


k la post^ril^ sans eloge et sans detail.* Nous con- 
noissons la religion des Assyriens : c'^toit le sabisme, 
Ic culte le plus ennemi de celui des Mages, Tadora- 
tion des astres, des images, et peut-6tre enfin Tapo- 
th^sedes h^ros. Mais, si ramourd'un systfeme (qui 
n'est pas-le mien) ne m'^blouit point, tous les grands 
caract^res de cette dynastie conviennent avec tout 
autant de justesse aux Mi^des de Ctesias quails se- 
roient deplac^s a Tegard des Assyriens de Nin^ve 
BBiiiotik ou de Baby lone. Les Pischadiens ^toient MMes 
■otCua- doriginc; Sousterct Istekhar (Susc et Persepolis) 
J2^' ^ 6toient leiir denieure ordinaire. lis se distinguoient 
JJ^^^j. par la magnificence de leur cour et par Tetendue de 
P.176.S05. leur empire; mais c'est encore plus k la saecesse dc 
Connexioo, leurs loix, k unecouduitc moder^e et populaire qu1ls 
— 1«^ *^' ont dd leur grandc reputation. lis ont soutenu de 
longues gucrres contrc les Scythes jusqu'^ ce qu en- 
fin ces barbares, inondant l\\sie, ont d^truit cettc 
dynastie dont les malheurs ont 6te venges, et leni- 
pire retabli, par les princes du nom de Cai, ou Cy, 
qui descend^rent des montagnes de Ijt M6die pour 
chasser les barbares. Je n entreprcnds point d*ex- 
pliquer les exp6ditions de Thamurath dans le Gin- 
nistan, et les guerres de Huschenk contre les peu- 
ples de Mahiser, qui avoient des t^tes de poisson, et 
qui n'^toient peut-^tre que des ictyophages. M. 
dllerbelot ne cite ici que les romans modemes, 
dont le gotit et le principe sont toujours tr^ jdiff%- 

Merodot * UapplicatioD de ce principe jettcroit beaucoL^ !<: lumite 

L i. c tiO. gy,. 1^ ^ndroits les plus obscurs. Elle rendroit une sorle dc rmi* 

•on du silence etonnant qu*ils ont garde k Tegard de Cyrus. J*ai 

de bonnes raisons pour croire qu'il netoit pas Mage. Je at 

citerai que le t^moignage formel d'Hcrodote. 



rens de ceux des anciens poemes, qui tenoient lieu 
d annales. On peut remarquer que les Persans ont 
plac£ sous ces premiers rois rinvention des arts les 
plus n^cessaires. . Vanit^ insens^e ! mais commune 
a tous les peuples ; qui ont voulu confondre Tori- 
gine de leur nation, ou de leur secte, avec celle du ' 
s:enre humain. 

2. Tous les voyageurs ont ddcrit les fameux v.Unim- ' 
restes de la grandeur de Persepolis, et M. le Comte tij^ 
de CayluSy dont Toeil attentif et p^n^trant suit par ^[^f 
tout Ic progr^s des arts, leur naissance et leur per- S|^-^ 
fection, a rassembl6 dans un excellent m6moire le Bdkt utti 
precis de nos connoissances sur une mati^re aussi ^ iis-149. 
int^ressante. Accoutum^ depuis longtems k tous 
les prodiges de Tarchitecture, il ne pense qu'avec 
tonnement k cette vaste esplanade taill6 dans un 
roc de marbre, aux canaux qu'on y avoit creus6s, 
a la hardiesse du dessein, k la grandeur des masses, 
et a Textr^me perfection de toutes ses partie;. II 
rend justice aux beautes r^ellcs de louvrage tout 
61oign6e$ qu'elles sont des regies des Grecs. Tout 
sy ressentit (a son avis) du goAt Egyptien qui a 
passer au fond de I'orient et sur les c6tes de I'Etrurie 
dans le terns que la Grfece n'6toit remplie que de 
cabanes. M. de Caylus voit partout dans ces debris 
Tempreinte de Tarchitecte, mais il n'en voit aucune 
dufondateur. Ilfaitsentir mfimc qu'on rencontre 
des ^fficult^s insurmontables lorsqu on veut les 
xttribuer aux dynasties qui ont r^gn6 sur la Perse 
dans ces si^cles que nous nommons historiques* 
lis subsistoient sans doute avant les Sassa- 
udes. La tribu connue sous le nom de Parthes, 



d^truisoit Ics villes mais n'en b&tissoit pas. ht 

r^gne de la barbaric n a rien de commun avec cclui 

Xenoph. dcs aits. Lcs Aclicm^nidcs n ont jamais ^tabli 

K vil?p.545. leur sejour k Persepolis. lis parjageoient I'ann^ 

ritit!m!rii. entre Suse, Babyloiic, et Agbatane. l-ics temples, 


Mtm ***" ^^* palais, et lcs tombeaux de Persepolis supposent 

HiitckiiiflOD. Ja residence ordinaire d'un giand roi. M. de Caylus 

expose scs difticult^s, et en laisse la solution k quel- 

qu'un plus habile ou plus heureux que lui. Peut^ 

g2S?***^ ^^^^ serois-je plus heureux. Je vois que les Per- 

OdauL M sans attribuent la construction de Persepolis k la 

•chki, pw dynastic des Piscliadiens. Un fait aussi simple a 

^^ pu sc conscrx'cr. Lc souvenir du fondateur sem- 

bloit li6 avec celui d'up monument ^temel. Je 

pardonne sans peine ^ quclqucs omemens que la 

tradition a acquis en vicllissant, et m^me k Ten- 

v.d*AnWUe cciutc (Ic douzc parasan&:es (36 niilles Romains) 

wirnitio^ quc Giamscuid donna a sa capitale. Je ne saia 

m^me si ellc a bcsoin de pardon, puis qu elle ren- 

fermoit des maisons de plaisance, des champs, des 

bois et des villages entiers. Je suis encore trts 

content, que les g^nies n y soient entr^s pour rien 

dans ces grands ouvrages.* Si Ton me permet de 

lier rhistoire orientale avec celle des Grecs, et dc 

supposcr que les Pischadiens n'etoient pas differens 

des Arbacides, nous aurons trouve les vrais fonda- 

teurs de Persepolis. Je nc vois rien qui ne s ac- 

* Ctiux qui lisent avec quelque attention Thistoire Pemnne 
peuvent remarquer que les gonies et les prodiges ne sont point 
dans le tableau, et qu'ils en ornent seulement le quadre. On doil 
sentir le poids de cettc distinction. 



torcle avec cette id^e. Le sifecle d' Arbace est celui 
de la grandeur et du goAt Egyptien. Leurs ar* 
idiitectes venoient d'achever les pyramides.* La 
nonarchie des MMes, qui s'6tendoit d'abord sur 
TAsie de Tlnde k TEuphrate, n'^toit point au-des- 
sous de cette entreprise, et sa splendeur a assez 
dur6 pour trouver k toute rigueur les deux cens 
ans que M. de Caylus exige pour Fachevcr. 

Mais a-t-il droit de I'exiger ? Je respecte infini- 
ment 1 autorit6 de cet habile acad^micien, mais je 
ne sais s'il a assez r^fl^chi sur la combinaison de la 
pui^!sance despotique avec la grandeur, les tr6sors, 
et la resolution de triompher de tons les obstacles. 
J ai encore devant les yeux, les restes augustes de 
Famphithe^tre de Vespasien, des bains de Titus, v. Nardu 
de la colonne Trajane, des arcs de triomphe de Ti- tica. dI>iii 
tus et de Trajan, du temple de paix, et de cent Vctu8?&! 
autres ouvrages qui luttent encore contre le terns art^deT* 
et la barbaric. Troiiveroit-il ces ouvrages indignes 
detre compares avec les monumens de Persepolis? 
Prononceroit-il qu'il a fallu deux sifecles entiei-s 
pour les elQver ? Personne ne sait mieux que lui 
que leur construction n a pas coiit6 une cinquan- 
taine d'ann^es. 

3. L'^rc de Yezdegerd est aussi fameuse en 
Perse que celle des S61eucides la 6t6 parmi les 
Grecs, oii I'h^gire pamii les Musulmans. Celle-ci, 
cli^e aux Musulmans, et r6pandue dans la vaste 

* Diodore de Sicile, qui vecut ud peu avant la naissance de J. 
C. place la fondation des pyraraides 1000 ans auparavant. — Voyez 
Diodor. Sic. lib. i. p. 72. Greaves, Pyramidographia, dans ses 
oorr. Tom. i. p. 23, &c.- Voss. de Histor. Graec. ]. ii. c. 2. 

VOL. III. e ^tendue 


^tendue de leurs conqu^tes, n'a point aboli Tusage 
de la premiere dans ces provinces qui ont consenr^* 
la langue Persanne. L'^poque radicale de T^re de 
Yezdegerd nous est connue avcc la plus giande 
pr^ision. Tons les astronomes de Torient la fixent 
au 16 Juin, Tan de J. C. 63S ; c est aussi la pre- 
miere ann^e du regitb de ce prince qui lui a donn^ 
son nom. Mais quelle est Forigine de ce p6- 
' node, est-il civil ou astronomique ? £n fkut*il 
chercher la source dans les cieux ou sur la terre? 
Je crois qu'il faut la chercher dans les cieux. Je 
ne puis y voir aucun des caract^res d'un p^riode 
civile et historique. Toutes ces feres ont com- 
mence par quelque grand ^v^nement int^ressant et 
flatteur pour la soci^t^ qui les a ^tabli ; des ^v^ne- 
mens qui sembloient annoncer un nouvel ordre de 
choses. La dur^e du p^riode se mesure sur celle 
du peuple, et si la premiere survit au dernier, oe 
n'est que lorsqu^un long usage lui a fait prendrt 
des racines fortes et in^branlables. 
kiSr**" Lorsqu'une conjuration des grands du royaumc 
Oricot M mit Yezdegerd sur le tr6ne, la Perse, d^chue dt 
md, p,4»L son ancienne splendeur depuis la mort de Khot^ 
Hktl^'the ^^^^ ^^ dediir^e pas ses discordes civiles, alloit sucf 

. . comber sous la fortune des Arabes. Cette nation 

Iff & f«4» avoit d6jk remport^ une grande victoire sur V€titm 

Abd^ de Tarm^e Persanne. EUe fituichissoit sans pemt 

Sw. fT*' toutes les barriferes qu on lui opposoit. L'av^e» 

n^ii6. ^^^^ ^^ Yezdegerd ne ramena point la victoire 

aux drapeaux Sassanides ; ses premieres ann^ xm 

se comptoient que par ses revers. £n 637 let 

Arabes s'emparferent de sa capitale et de son paUii» 



U JC cantDnna dans les montagnes de la Sogdiancv 
oa il se soudnt jusqu'en 65 1 . Avec lui on vit 
p^rir pour jamais la gloire et Tempire des Perses. 
Les lochers du Mazanderan et les sables du Ker- 
nian furent les seuls asiles que les vainqueurs 
hbs^ient aux sectateurs de Zoroastre. Sur ces 
princtpes je me crois en droit de conclure que Vbre 
de Yead^;ejxl n'est point une ^poque arbitraire que 
let hommes ont imaging, mais un p^riode astrono- 
Otti|iie, quelordrenaturel du tems ramenoit au point 
de ja pmni^re institution. 

Ccstau "savant Docteur Hyde que nous devons v.ieM^* 
b coonoissance praise de ce p^riode, ou du grand Vnttt dam 
dc 1440 ans employ^ par les Perses pour ra- un^ntmn. 

Itui ann6e vague a la vraie ann6e solaire. ^'^Jcr. 

i Persanne 6toit compos6e de 365 jours, c'est ^^^ 

adncde 12 mois chacun de 30 jours avec cinq GfeaTc,&c 

pais ^pagom^nes ou sumum6raires. Mais leurs 

aitioiiomes 6toient encore parvenus a savoir que 

cette annee avoit un quart de jour de moins que 

Eam^ solaire. lis n^gligeoient ces quarts de 

pendant 120 ans pour les rassembler alors, et 

en faire un mois de 30 joui:s, qui devenoit ainsi 

Ic troisieme mois de la 120me ann^e. Le grand 

cycle 6toit compost de douze de ces petits cycles, 

ie mois intercalaire changeoit de place, et avan^oit 

ijours un mois dans le calendrier.* II lui falloit 


^ IL Prcfet se fonde sur quelqoes details obsctirs et pea deci- Mfm. de 
de cette intercalation, pour croire que du tems dc L«tt.tom. 
il ne Setoit ecoule qu'une portion du grand cycle de ^ 
SfesM. Ce cycle a done commence: qq 329 A. C. avec le r^gne 

G 2 d'Aiexandre 


une dur6e de 1440 ans pour parcourir Tann^ 
entifere et pour achever la grande r^'olution. 
Puisque Vhve de Yezdegerd a commence une de ces 
revolutions, elle fait remonter le p^riode pr^c^dent 
k Tan 809 avant J. C. C'est aussi T^poque radi- 
cale que M. Hyde lui a donn^e. Dans le syst^me 
de Ctesias, Attycas, quatri^me roi des MMes, 
r^gnoit alors sur TAsie. Les Persans, qui ont con- 
nu r^tablissement de ce grand cycle, le placent sous 
Bibiiot. le r^gne de Giamschid, *quatri^me roi de la dynas- 
B^is^ tie des Pischadiens. Ce synchronisme trouv6 sans 


^S!'^ effort me flatte beaucoup. J y vois I'identit^ des 
MMes de Ctesias avec les Pischadiens, prouv6e 
par les faits. Je reconnois dans cette reformation 
du calendrier une nation polic^e et eclair6e; et 
dans toutes les c^r^monies qui laccompag^oient je 
retrouve jusqu'a la bont^ populaire des Arbacides. 

25ijrf^ Pendant les six jours du Neurouz* le monarque sc. 

p«fMr. livroit k ses sujets. II leur rendoit justice, man* 
geoit avec eux, les b^nissoit et recevoit d^eux des 
pr^sens de fruits et de grains, le gage et les pr£* 
mices de labondance. A ce spectacle int^resfant on 
ett cru voir un p^re cultivateur au milieu de sa 

Tojei ^'Alexandre sur la Peree, et le cycle precedent remonte jusquVn 
daGomt ^^^^ avant J. C. dans un terns G\i les notions astroQoiiii<|iMS 
•arfongine ^toient bien cloiguees de la justesse d'une ann^e Julienne. J^ 
artal^'ckT ^^^^^ '* raison et M. Hyde d'un c6t6, Freret scul de Tautra. 
MMooM. Cependant je iMtlanfois encore. t.'autorit6 de Freret n 
linL^ rassoit, jusqu'au moment que je I'ai vu changer 4'opiiuoa et 
xui. ' brasser lui mdme le syst^me de mon compatriote. 
* La fCte du nouvel an. 


Les Arbacides ne sont plus, mais Torient en a 
conserve la m^moire sous le nom de Pischadiens. 
n est encore plein des monumens de leur grandeur, 
de leur g^nie, et de leurs vertus. Je pense bien 
que ces rois ne se sont pas uniquement occup^ 
des loix, des sciences, et des beaux-arts. L'huma- 
mt6 seroit trc^ heureuse si ses iastes n'^toient 
remplis que de pareils ^v6nemens. Si cette histoire 
s*etoit conserv6e, on y liroit, comme dans touted les 
autres, les vices des grands, et les malheurs des 
peuples ; on y^ verroit ce triomphe perp6tuel de la 
vioience et de rintrigue sur la justice, qu'elles ou- 
tragent en la violant, et qu'elles outragent cent 
fois davantage en se servant impun^ment de son 
oom sacr6. Les traditions Persannes ont effective- 
ment conserve un grapd nombre de ces faits qui 
ne sont que trop vraisemblables ; niais je ne sais 
par quel art je pourrois les s^parer de cet alliage 
grossier dont on les a charg6. Je ne demanderois ' 
grace que pour un seul fait. Giamschid, le fonda- 
teur de Persepolis et le reformateur du calendrier, J^^b^^^oT 
fiit chass6 enfin de son trdne par un usurpateur 2^]®°|K^ 
Aiabe. Ce tj^ran lassa par ses cruaut^s la patience jk 395. 
dun peuple soumis a ses maitres. II courut aux p. 948. 
armes, un forgeron se mit k la t6te des s^ditieux, d6- ^'^^"' 
fivra sa patrie du joug des Arabes, et rendit le sceptre 
a son h^ritier legitime. Cette revolution m^rita de 
passer k la post6rit6 par une f^te solemnelle qu'on 
c^broit tons les ans : et c est en sa faveur que 
fai demand6 cette exception particuli^re. Je 
m'etonne toujours que, si le tablier du forgeron 
mrichi de pierres pr^cieuses devint efFectivement 

G 3 Tori- 


roriflaniine de la Persic, il ae soit pas tomb6 cntrc 
xipkde les mains d'Alexandre, et que tous les historiens 
r?i!'di!u°i. 9"^ ^^^ d^crit I'aigle d or qu on portoit k la tfctc 
»^^ des armies, n'ayent jamais fait mention d'un drapeau 
i6sa. ton. aussi sinfi:ulier que celui-ci. 

Je passe aux Grecs. A t ravers les nuages r6- 
pandus sur tout lorient, et qui ne se sont dissip^ 
qu'au r^giie de Cyrus, les Grecs, plus anciens que 
ce prince, out entrevu lempire des successeurs 
d'Arbace. Mais ces si^cles, t(6conds pour eux en 
poetes, ^toient encore destitu^s d'historiens. Je ne 
puis esp^rer de d^couvrir quelque v^rit6 qu en 
creusant la source des fables. 
J*'^^^ Strabon ^toit admirateur ^clair6 du g^uie et 
F^ rs5w m^me des connoissances dllom^re, dont il pr£f%- 
roit souvent lautorit^ a celle des historiens les plus 
c^l^bres. Ce grand geographe remarque avec sou 
bon sens ordinaire, que le poete qui connoissoit les 
richesses de Thebes, et le commerce des Ph6- 
niciens, n'avoit jamais entendu parler de la gran* 
deur des Assyriens. II le prouve parcequ'il a parli 
des uns, et qu*il n a rien dit des autres. La tbrce 
de cet argument n^gatif ^chappera k ceux qui Ae 
lapprofondisseiit pas. flom^re parloit k des peu* 
pies encore grossiers, qui out toujours plus de cu- 
riosity que de goftt, et qui ^*outent avec avidity 
les actions merveilleuses de leurs h^ros, et les rela» 
tions singuli^res et ^loignces.. La construction de 
ses ouvrages lui donnoit une facility extreme pour 
y faire entrer tout ce qu'il avoit recueilli dans ses 
voyages. Toutes les nations se sont assemble 
sous les murs de Troye. Ulysae et M^n^his ont 


Iliad, ix. T 



parcouni toutes les mers. Rempli de son objet, il 
V sacrifie jusqu'aux regies de I'art, et celles de la 
nature. Dans quel moment ne suspend-t-il pas 
le courroux d'Achille pour lui faire d^crire assez 
froidement les cent portes de Tli^bes ! Ce m6me ?^5?1^ 
Achille, qui ne rentre au combat que pour immoler 
tous les Troyens aux m&nes de son ami^ 6coute 
avec une patience admirable la g^n^logie deis 
lois d'llium depuis Dardanus jusqu'^ Priam. 
L'homme de goftt s'impatiente; I'homme curieux 
sy instniit Le philosophe jette un coup d'oeil 
SOT les contemporains d'Homfere, et reconnott que 
la premiere loi d'un poete est celle de leur plaire. 

Hom^re n'a conserve qu'un seul 6v^nement qui 
paioisse avoir trait aux affaires de Torient: c'est 
lliistoire ou fable de M emnon ; qu'il n'a touch^e 
m£me qu'en peu de mots. La voici dans sa puret6 
originale, telle que nous^la trouvons en rapproj:;hant 
plusieurs endroits d^tach^s. " Tithon 6toit fils ^'^ «• ' 
de Laom^don et fr^re de Priam. II fut aim6 de la Odyw.iv.i 

188 xL 

d^esse Aurore, dont il eut un fils nomm6 Memnon, ». 5«i. 
qui se distingua k la guerre de Troye par sa beaut^ 
ct sa valeur." Cette histoire n'a rien que'de vrai- 
semblable, si Ton suppose que Tithon, cadet de la 
maison de Dardanus, passa dans Torient pour y 
chercher fortune, qu'il y 6pousa une princesse, et 
que leur fils Memnon conduisit les forces de leurs 
nouveaux 6tats au secours de son oucle. Le poete 
tt'a d6sign6 ce pays que par le nom vague de I'Au- 
rore, mais ce terme ^toit permis k la licence de la 
poesie ; et I'ignorance des Grecs sur Tint^rieur de 
TAflie Hous oblige seulement a le reculer un peu au- ad ^es&ok 

a 4 del^ ow!* "^^ 


dela dc FAsie mineure ctdes c6tcs de la Phteicie. 
Sous le nom dllemathionqira donn^ H^siode au 
frferede Memnon, M. le Clerc a cm voir la viiledc 
Hemath en Sy ric. La conjecture me paroi t tr^s na- 

Cette histoire ou fable (je ne la garantis point) nc 
^«w- conserva pas longtems sa premiere simplicity. Cent 
9U. ' vingt ans apr^ Homfere,* H^siode a donn^ sa g^n^- 
ration des Dieux, le premier syst^me «uivi de la 
mythologie Grecque. II vouloit indiquer le nom 
de la nation sur laquelle ce fils de TAurore avoit 
r^gn^. II nomma les Ethiopiens orientaux, peu- 
ple limitrophe de llode, et situ6 aux bords de 
Toc^an. Ces Ethiopiens u'etoient point inconnus 
^^' ^ Homfere. II les connoissoit avec une pr^ision 
tfu. singuli^re, mais il ne les a peints que sous les traits 
Pjth?od.6. de la^pi^t^ en vers les dieux, de la simplicity de 
oijmp. od. nioeurs, et d'un extrfeme ^loignement ou le nom de 
NcmOdid '^^^y^ n'etoit jamais parvenu. La Table de Mem- 
▼.8f. non reussit trhs bien; on lui trouva bientdt un 
^•JJ^"'*''* trepas digne d'un tel h^ros. Sa mort (dit on) fiit 
^?^^ le plus beau des triomphes d'Achille. Ce combat 
MesirUe ^toit repr^8ent6 sur le fameux cofFre des Cypselides, 
trastfOvidc, monument tr^s ancien de la sculpture Grocque, et 
JSo/'^ qui remonte jusqu'ii la fin du huiti^me si^cleavant 
JJ;;^JJ^ Jesus-Christ. L'imagination continua toujours k 
Chtoaicp, ens^velir la v^rit^, ou du moins la vraisemblance 

etUMAteofi- primitive, sous une foule domemens ^tranerers. 
rccaeiiuet. Eufiu Ics antiquaircs des Ptol^m6^ d6terr^rent en 
deMtT' Egypte je ne sais quelle torse miraculeuse, qu'ils 

m4 edi- * On est trt*s peu d'accord sur Tage d'H^iode. J'ai suivi )• 

VdLFkter. ^^^ ^^ Velleius qui paroit avoir suivi de tr^ bons m^rooires. 

*• !• trouvirent 


troor^rent k propos de nommer Memnon. Les 
6crivaiii8post6rieurs, qui semblent avoir perdu Yid6c 
des Eduopiens de Tlnde, adopt^rent avidement un 
prodige qui transportoit cette fable dans I'Ethiopie 
occidentale, peut-^tre dans TEgypte ni^me. — Mais 
je m'arrtte ; je n'ai besoin ici que de connoltre les 
sentiiiieiis des premiers Grecs. 

Dis que les colonies de TAsie mineure avoient v. Mw- 
pris qnelque consistence dans leurs nouvelles de- Cfarook. p. 
raeuies^ lliuineur active et inqui^te des Grecs les 
pOTta k se r6pandre sur toutes les c6tes de la M6di- 
terran6e, et k fonder des villes depuis Tembouchure 
du Tanais jusqu'^ celle du Nil. Le commerce, la 
curiosity, Je service militaire, Tesclavage m^me, 
aonmt souvent conduit des particuliers de la na- 
dcm dians les cours de la haute Asie. Le caractire 
national les suivoit partout; c'^toit un goC^t vif 
pour les. ouvrages de leurs poetes. et un vanit6 ex- 
trhne qui rapportoit les antiquit^s de toutes les 
nations a leur mythologie. Par tout Forient un 
vrai Grec ne cherchoit que les vestiges des Argo- 
nautes, de Bacchus et de Memnon. S4l a cm 
ODuverle royaume de Memnon, jedirai qu'il a vu un 
aouverain puissant qui r^gnoit sur les Ethiopiens 
orientaux, et dont Tempire s'etendoit jusqu'i 
rocean, j'en conclurrai I'existence de ce monarque, ^ 
et Terreur des Grecs m'assurera d'une v^rit^ histo- h««n't Ec- 
hque. Lorsque les Portugais ont voulu faire du Hiatory. t. 
Negus d'Abyssinie, le Pr^tre Jean si prdn6 par les \e^i^^ 
missionnaires Nestoriens, on dira tout ce qu'on j^^*^?** 
vcut du Pr^tre Jean, mais la m^prise mfime des ^^<*» ^^ 
Portugais m'apprend que dans le quinzi^me si^ie Voyages ' 

•| par Raina^ 

lis MO. 


ik ont trouv^ au fond de TAfrique un empire puis- 
flant et Chretien. 
^^*^ ^ C'cst k Suse que les Grecs ont 6x6 la denieure 
53»34.L nL de Mcmnon longtems avant qu'elle est devenue U 
EHihyi. ia capitale des Rois de Perse. Suse se nommoit dijk 
la Ville Memnonienne ; c'^toit d6jk la denomina- 
tion par laquelle les Grecs ddsignoient son palai% 
sa citadelle, et son enceinte. £n un mot, pour 
rdsumer mon argument, je crois pouvoir conchire 
que dans le septi^me et le huiti^me si^cle avant 
J. C. Suse 6toit la capitale d'un empire qui 
s'^tendoit jusqu*^ Toc^an et la fronti^re de Tlnde; 
et cet empire n a pu 6tre que celui des successeurs 
d'Arbace. Cet 6clat de Suse, qui a pr6cM6 le r^;iie 
de Cyrus, nous explique parfaitement la raisoa 
pourquoi cctte ville a partag^ la residence de ce 
prince avec Babylone et Agbatane. 

En quittant pour quelques instans les MMes de 
CtesiaS) j'ai essay 6 d'en prouver Texistence par 
des autorit^ ^trang^res, et de remplir en partie ce 
▼uide de cent trente ans qui a dt £tre le moment 
le plus brillant de leur histoire. Je vais reprendie ' 
ce fil historique que Diodore nous en a laiss6, mais 
qui seroit bien imparfait sans le secours de Nicolas ^ 
de Damas. 
Avwtj.c. Art6e fut le sixi^me roi des MMes.* Je dois ici * 
^^ raconter un ^v^uement, petit dans son origine^ ^ 

bisarre par ses effets, mais dont les consequences ^ 

^ Cette histoire se trouve dans les fragmens de Nicolas d« 
Damas tir^ du Recueil de Conttantio Porphyrogen^te et puUifs " 
par M. de Valois, p. 4,26^437. ^ 

^branl^rent^ i 


^fannl^reiit, et enfin renvers^rent le trtee dcs 
AAayddcs. Parsondas, qui sortoit d'une famiUc 
Pemnne, se distinguoit parmi les favoris du roL 
Un cboix aussi judicieux faisoit ^galement lHm> 
■ear aa maltrc; et au sujet; sous les traits d'un 
Adonis, Parsondas avoit I'^me d'un h^ros. Adrah 
diBs tous ses exeicices, infatigable k la chaise^ 
intr^pide k la guerre, il sembloit form^ pour la 
omtr, le conseil, et le camp. Un seul vice temissoit 
racist dc tant de vertus : c'6toit I'orgueiL Fier 
it son m^te et dtf Tamiti^ du monarque, il se com* 
fBocit souvent avec le Satrape de Babylone, Nany'- 
fanis, dont la moliesse, qui surpassoit celle des 
ftmtaeSf le rendoit indigne de gouvemer la plus 
bdle province de Tempire. II la demanda au roi 
pour lui-mtoie. Art^e montra dans cette occasion 
me vertu d'autant plus respectable qu elle est rare 
parmi les souverains Asiatiques.* II fit taire Tamiti^ 
poor n^^couter que les loix. II respecta les insti* 
tntions d'Arbace, et ces institutions assuroient 
Fetat des satrapes. Nanybrus n'^toit que m^pri- 
mkHe^ II n'^toit point coupable. £tonn6 d'un 
fcfiis auquel il ne s'attendoit pas, Parsondas ne se 
rebata point, mais le roi opposa aux instances 
reitCT^cs de son favori une fermet6 qui le r^uisit 
enfin au silence. Ces intrigues de cour parvinrent 
SKTilement k la connoissance de Nanybrus. II 
ivtfft tout a craindre des importunitds de son rival. 
II ne lui restoit que la ressource dangereuse de 
pievenir les desseins de Parsondas en s'assurant de 
s peraonne. Tous ses oiiiciers, animus par Tespoir 
des recompenses, ne clierchoient qu'une occasion 



favorable, lorsque Ic hasard les servit mieux que 
toute leur Industrie. Parsondas, qui suivoit le roi 
k la chasse, se laissa emporter un jour k son ardeur, 
perdit de vue toute sa compagnie, et se trouva vers 
le d^clin du jour aupr^s d'un endroit oil les gens 
de Nanybrus dressoient les tentes de leur maltre, 
ct pr^paroient son souper. Dfes qu'ils apper^urent 
leur proye, qui se jettoit ainsi dans leurs filets, ils 
lui oflrirent avec la politesse la plus empress^e tous 
les rafraichissemens, qui ne pouvoient fetre qu'agr6- 
ables au chasseur fatigu6 et affatn6. Parsondas se 
laissa bientdt vaincre par la douce violence des 
Babyloniens. II accepta m6nl& un repas exquis 
qu'on lui servit. Les vins les plus recherch^s 
agirent bientdt sur un corps ^chaufF6 par un exercice 
aussi violant, et le Persan, qui vouloit toujours 
monter k cheval pour rejoindre le roi, fut enfin 
convaincu que la nuit ^toit trop avanc^, et qu*il 
feroit mieux d attendre le retour du jour dans les- 
tentes de Nanybrus. Les belles* Babylonienries 
qu'on lui pr^senta, ne contribuferent pas peu ^ cette 
r^Iution. Parsondas s endormit dans les bras de 
Tamour. Son r^veil fut terrible. II se trouva 
charg^ de fers et au pouvoir de son plus cruel 
ennemi. Conduit k Babylonc, il soutint avec 
fennet6 les rcproches du satrapc. " J'ai voulu 
tenlever ton royaume (lui dit-il fi^rcment) parce- 
qu'une femme n est pas digne de r^gner sur les 
hommes, et que les recompenses de la vertu ne 
sont pas faites pour les Iftches." Nanybrus sentit 
vivement que son ennemi le braveroit encore au 
milieu de supplices. Par un raftinement de ven- 


geance il pr^f(6ra de le laisser vivre, mais de le 

dfpouiUer de sa superbe vertu, de Tavilir k ses 

pn^»es yeux et de jouir de sa mis^re. II le confia 

a iVunuque cliarge du soin des chanteuses de son 

sciail, avec un ordre d'habiller en fille ce jeunc 

homme, et d'^puiser sur lui tx)us les arts de la 

iBoUesse Asiatique.* > L'eunuque remplit les 

Oldies et les intentions de son maitre avec un 

sacd^ extraordinaire. Parsondas fut forc6 de s'y 

ftttcT. La fratcheur de la plus belle jeunessc 

aoqait un nouvel ^at; ses talens se d^velopp^rent; 

haentdt cette nouvelle V^nus auroit enlev6 k toutes 

compagnes le prix du chant, de la niusique, et 

ds la beaut^. Art6e fut ^tonn6 de ne plus 

levoir son favori. Les recherches les plus exactes 

fineDt inutiles. Le roi crut enfin qu'il avoit p^ri 

a la 4^ia86e ; il le pleura sept ans ; et ce secret seroit 

moit dans les obscurer profondeurs du s^rail de 

Bafaylone sans Tinfidelit^ d'un eunuque qui en 

toiit instruit. Outr6 d'une punition qu'il avoit 

fe^oe, cet esclave ^couta facilement les s^uctions 

de Parsondas qui lui proposa de se sauverdu palais, 

de se rendre k la capitale^ et d'instruire le roi du 

triste sort de son ami. Ce prince en re^ut la 

noavelle avec une joie nifelte d'^tonnement et de 

dooleur. Sur le cliamp il fit partir un ministre 

&d^ pour le tirer des mains de Nanybrus. On 

* Nicolas de Damas decrit ces arts. Je ro etonne que Nany- 
ottbiia one precaution, aviiissante pour sob captif, et necesr 
poor rassorer la jalousie. 



peut s'imaginer quelle 6toit la surprise de ce rus^ 
Babylonien. II assura le ministre royal qu'il igno- 
roit avec le reste du public le sort de Parsondas 
depuis 'le jour qu'il avoit disparu. Cette ignoraiice 
pr^tendue ne trompa point le souverain. II ren* 
voya un second ministre d'un rang tr^s sup6riiur au 
premier avec ordre de lui retrouver son ami, ou de 
rapporter la t^e du satrape de Babylone. ^^ Plus 
de renvois, (lui dit-il,) plus d'excuses. S'il balance, 
prenez-le par la ceinture et conduisez-le sur le 
champ k la mort.". On reconnoit ici le style d un 
despote, et le changement de la mod^ratioq en 
fureur, si naturel k ceux dont on a m^pris^la trop 
facile bont6. II fallut ob^ir; Nanybrus promit dc 
remettre son prisonnier k Tenvoy^ du roi, aux yeux 
de qui il n'6toit point embarass6 (disoit-il) ^ justifier 
tout ce qu'il avoit fait. Le soir le satrape regain 
magnifiquement le ministre. Cent cinquantc 
chanteuses et musiciennes ^gay^rent ce ffsstiii, 
jorsque Nanybrus, qui s appercevoit lattention avec 
laqueUe Tenvoy^ consideroit ce spectacle riant, lui 
demanda lobjet de son choix ; C est celle-1^ lui dit 
le ministre. Apr^s avoir joui quelques instam 
d'un embarras qu'il se plaisoit k augmenter, Le 
voil^ lui ditril, vous avez choisi ce Parsondas qUe 
vou^ cherchez. Je ne d^crirai point I'^tonnemmit 
et la joie qui suivirent cette recpnnoissaaoe; 
Parsondas fut ramen6 k Suse ok le roi faisoit sa 
demeure actuelle. Art^e ne reconnut pas d'aboid 
cette chanteuse qu on lui pr^senta k U place du 
guerrier qui s'^toit distin^u^ k la t£te de ses arm^esi. 



D setMmoit que ce giiarrier n'eut pas pref<6r6 la 
fl0rt k tant dlnfamie. ^^ Seigneur, (lui r6p(Hidit le 
Fenm,) ^ deux idees consolantes m'ont toujours 
looiao an milieu de mes malheurs; Vesp^rancc 
de te reroir et celle de me venger un jour de mon 
lichc pcis^cuteur. Je jouis d^j^ de la premiere. 
La justice ne me trompera point sur raccomplisse- 
t de la demiere."* Le caract^re d'^Vr^ Ic 
tDujours k cet esprit de moderation dont 
3 ne s*^tDit ^cart^ qu*un instant. II renvoya 
rcxamcn de cette afiaire importante k la visite pro* 
dbine qui} faisoit a Babylone. Le Peraan atten- 
iait avec impatience le moment de la vengeance, 
ct wemfXi de c^ espoir il reprit, avee les habits de 
c^ oet exterieur gueirier qu'il avoit peidu 
kmgtems. Le roi les fit enfin comparoitre 
son tribunal. Parsondas exag^ra r^nonnit^ 
€mn attentat qui attaquoit sous les yeux du roi les 
aMdemens de la surete publique. Namybrus fit 
vakiir la clemence avec laquelle il avoit trait^ un 
^^^T"*' qui cherchoit a le d^pouiiler de ses ^tatset 
it la vie. Cette clemence dans lexercice d'un droit 
balan^oit encore dans 1 esprit d*Art6e la 
et Tamiti^. II renvoya au dixi^e jour 
k decision finale de cette affaire. Le satrape de 
Idijrlone profita de cet intervalle pour faire agir 
in icuorts les plus efficaces dans toutes les cours. 
fi s*addresse a leunuque Mitrapheme, un de ces 
ietms domestiques dont Tautorit^ ne Temporte 
<pe trop souvent sur celle des premiers de F^tat. 
Aax pr^ qu'il lui offroit, il joignoit des dons 

ur le roi, si ce prince daignoit lui 



conserver la vie et la province de Babylone.* La 
facility naturelle d'Art6e ne put r^sister aux vives 
instances de son favori; peut-^tre fut-il encore 
6bIoui par Tappas s6ducteur des richesses. Mais 
en pardonnant la faute de Nanybrus il n'oublia 
point les int6r£ts de Parsondas. II imposa au 
premier une amende de cent talens en iaveur de 
Toffense. Cette I^g^re satisfaction n'appaisa point 
le courroux du Persan, et les conseils de Teunuque 
ne servirent qu'^ Tirriter. II refusa cet or qu'on lui 
apportoit. " P^risse le premier (s'^cria-t-il avec 
indignation) qui a trouv^ ce funeste m^tail ! C'est 
par lui que je deviens aujourdhui le jouet d'un 
vil Babylonien." II ne rouloit plus dans son esprit 
que des projets de vengeance. II y r^ussit enfin 
■ Mais nous ignorons de quelle ik^^on il 

y r6u8sit. L'Extrait de Nicolas de Damas, que 
nousavons suivi jusquHci, esttir^du livre des Vices 
et des Vertus du grand Recucil de Constantin For- 
phyrog^n^te; mais le compilateur nous Mnvoie 
pour la suite de cette aventure au livre des Strata^ 
g^mes, et ce livre n'est plus. M. de Valois a d6terr6 
fort heureusement une citation de Suidas qui nous 
permet de continuer le fil de Fhistoire, mais ce 
lexicographe, qui par goAt et par 6tat pr^f6roit les 

• II acbetoit la faveur de )'eunuque avec dix talens dor, 
cent talens d'argent ; dix gobeiets d or, deux cens d'argen^ et 
beaocoop de vestes precieuses. Il offroit au roi cent talem d'or, 
mille d'argent; cent gobelets d'or, trois cens d'argent, ef une 
g^erobe prodigieuse. Lc seul argent ;nonnoy6 de ces present' 
(y compris le cent talens d'aroende) se raontoient h pr^ de six 
cens mille livres sterling ; £592^ 6S9 selon les principes du savairt 
Ev^ue Hooper. V. Inquiry into tbe state of Ancient Mettsures^ 
ktym 8to. London, 1721. 


sua LA MOX ARCHIE D£S M£D|:S. 97. 

toots aux kli6es, n'a rapport^ ici qu'un sens obscur 
et imparfait II y parott cependant que Parsondas 
(qui aura tromp6 ses ennemis par une reconciliation 
simul^) invita le Satrape Nanybrus et TEunuque 
Mitrapheme k un repas qulil leur donna chez lui ; 
qull enferma sans bruit les portes sur leur suite ; et 
que, dans les exc^s dWe d^bauche ^ laquelle il 
encourageoit se^ convives, Parsondas se m^nagea. 
toujours avec art, et ne buvoit qu'avec moderation. 
C'est k nous k ^uppl^er le reste ; mais le caract^re de 
Parsondas et les consequences de sa vengeance 
me persuadent qu'elle fut sanglante, et que Nany- 
Wus et Mitrapheme en furent les victimes. 
Diodore de Sicile ne s'^toit point arr^t^ sur la i>iodor» 

O* I la* 

premie partie de cette histoire singulifere, mais p!746.' ** 
nous luidevons la connoissance de son denouement. 
C'est lui seul que je suivrai d^sormais. Parsondas 
avoit satisfait k sa juste fureur, mais il craignoit la 
%ikv€nt€ des loix et la colore d'un maifre irrite. II 
assembla promptement mille cavaliers et trois mille 
fimtassins ; et se retira avec ce corps tout d^vou^ 
k sa fortune, dans le pays des Carduches. Ces 
peuples habitoient les montagnes situ^es entre 
TAssyrie et I'Armenie. Ce pays, fortifie par la na- 
ture, lui paroissoit un sAr asyle. Mais peu content 
d'etre mis k couvert des poursuites d'Artee, il 
voulut encore punir ce foible prince, qui avoit pr^- 
ftr6 un eunuque h un ami tel que lui. Parsondas 
s'etablit bient6t dans sa retraite par une alliance 
qu'il contracta avec la maison d'un des chefs des 
Carduches. Ses intrigues reunirent les tribus divi- L. up. 147; 
s^es, son indignation contre les MMes passa dans 

VOL. III. H tous 

98 SUR LA ttOtfAnCHIE i3tS MttJft^i ' 

tous les coeurs, ct la nation cntifere, toujours enne- 
tnie du repos, ne craignit point de declarer la gacrre 
au Grand Roi. Le feu de la revoke se r6pandit 
peut-Atre dans toutes les montagnes de TArm^nie 
ct des provinces liniitrophes. Jc le soup^onne, suf 
le nombre de 200,000 hommes qui coururcnt aux 
drapeaux de Parsondas, et qui me paroit trop fort 
pour un pays sterile qui n'avoit que sept joum^ 
Boopboiit. de largeur. Cette ann6e, toute nombreuse qu'elle 
SlJfj^^ 6toit, paroissoit encore bicn foible contre une mul- 
titude de 800,000 homines, qu'Art^e rassembla 
dans r^tendue de son empire pour marcher 4 
leur t6te contre les rebelles; mais hi nature du 
pays, th^&tre de la gnerre, offroit h chaque in« 
stant des ressources que Parsondas ne n6gligea 
point. Les Carduches se trouvoient partout, dans 
les d6fil6s, et sur les bords des precipices dont cc 
pays, qu'ils connoissoient parfaitement, 6toit h6* 
riss6. De ccs postes avantageux ils ^crasoient 
leurs ennemis par les rochers 6normcs qn'ils leur 
rouloient sur la tfetc, ou ils les perf oient k tracers 
leurs boucliers et cuirasses avec ces flftchcs longues 
de deux coud^es qu'ils tiroient avec une force ct 
ime adrcsse inconcevable. A chaque pas fl falloit 
rccommencer un combat toujours in^gal pour une 
ami^e accabl6e de ses propres forces et retard^e 
par tout I'attirail du luxe Asiatique. Un g^n^ral 
asscz adroit pour surmonter tous ces obstacles nc 
\t)it plus dennemis. Les retraites soutcrraincs 
des barbares lui sont inconnues. La nature ao* 
' corde a peine k ccs tristes contr^es quelques fruits 
sauvages. S'il ose s'arr6ter dans ccs montagnes, 


torn LA IfOVARCHIB DE8 MED£i. 99 

tB hirer cncxire plus rigoureux dans un pays qui 
a'a pomt de bois, ach^ve bientdt 1 ouvrage de la 
foBL, Une retnute paisible devient sa seule esp6- 
mioe. Ueureux si elle lui ^est encore pennise. 
Dtfios, X^nophon, et Artaxerxe ^prouverent ces ^"2^*^ 
dMfeiito6s qu* Artie avoit ^rouv^ avant eux. II ^^^*™*" 
le letiia avec la honte de sa d^faite et la perte de i^naiMsu- 
SOjOOO hommes de ses meilleures troupes. Parson — ^m^ 
dfts profita de sa rictoire pour iaire des courses 
dans Ics provinces encore sujettes A Tempire. Le ^J*' 
leste de sa vie ne fut rerapli que des avantages i.n.p.147. 
joomaliers quil remportoit sur les MMes« Ce 
gnerrier SKMirut dans une vieiilesse assez avanc^ 
aa milieu des regrets d^une nation qui le regardoit 
comme son libirateur. II exhorta ses successeurs 
k snivre 9on exemple, et k (aire passer k la post6^ 
me son amour pour b liberty et sa haine des 
Medes. Jamais les demi^res volontes dun prince 
x! ont 6t€ plus religicusement obsen-^es, mais aussi 
Tzmab prince n'en donna de plus contbnnes au g6* 
iiSe de sa nation. 

Tout ce recit me montre assez clairement que 
Tcmpire des Arbacides conserva son premier eclat 
fa la revoke de Parsondas. Les armees nom- 
d' Artec, les richesses et la mas^ificence de 
!<s vassaux, et lautorite despotique qu'il exerfoit k 
fsfss ^said ; tout m'annonce dans sa personne un 
::y.Qarquc souverain de I'Asie. Mais la revolte de 
pE^sindas etoit proprc a faire naiti^e partout des 
ie::thnens d'independance, et les defaites honteuses 
T. rtiter6es d'Artee avilissoient la majeste du tr6ne, 
iecouvroicnt tous les \nces du gouvemeraent, et 

H S divir 



di^dsoient les forces de T^tat. N'est il pas permit 
de croire que cette revoke brisa le joug que dea 
satrapes puissans et €loign6s supportoient k regret ? 
et lorsque nous retrouvons des rois d'Assyrie et <le 
Baby lone sous le r^gne d'Art^e, ne peut-on pas con- 
jecturer qu'ils ^toient du nombre de ces satrapes 
ambitieux ? 

^ ^' 1 . Tons les savans ont consid6r6 avec raison Yhrc 
de Nabonassar conune une de ces 6poques pr6cieu- 
ses qui lient I'histoire de la terre avec celle des 
cieux, et qui en assurent par ce moyen la certitude. 
Elle nous est encore plus utile pour la chronologie 
Orientale, puisqu'elle sert de l^tse au canon astro- 
nomiquede Ptol6m6e, qui contient une suite exacte 
et non-interrompue des rois de Baby lone, de Perse, 
d*£gypte, et des empereurs Romains, depuis le com- 
mencement du r^gne de Nabonassar le S6 F^vrier 

. scaiigcr. avant J. C. 747. Cette liste estaussi d^nu^e de fkits, 

luTrm. quelle est foumie de caract^res cluronologiques. 

^i/* Le Syncelle cependant nous apprend ^e ne sais par 
quel droit) que Nabonassar fit br(iler tons les anci- 
ens livres et qu*il t&cha d'6teindre la m^molre d^ 
ses pr6d6cesseurs. Ce fait n'est vraisemblable que 
du fondateur d*une dynastie nouvelle, et son ^re, 
qui n'est ccrtaincmentpas un p^riode astronomique, 
confirmeroit assez cette id6e. £Ile a du moins asse^ 
d apparehce pour donner quelque avantage au sys- 
t£me qui rend raison de ce nouveau royaume de 
Baby lone. M. de Bougainville avoit pr^vu eel 
^vantage. Je t&che de suivre les traces des id^es, 
qu*il s'est content^ de montrer de ioin, mais je sens 
ici qu'il a vu quelque chose de plus que moi, et que 


je voudruis voir aussi. II n'auroit pas sCkrement 
conjecture que Nabonassar (6toit fils de Nai^ybnis, 
qull ne pardonnoit point k Art6e la mOrt de son 
p^re, et que ce prince subit le sort 
ceux qui choisissent les partis mitoyens ? — Non— 
M. de Bougainville n'^crivoit pas un roman. Un 
critique judicieux respecte toujours ces bomes qui 
s^parent la conjecture pennise de la supposition 
arbitraire ; bomes sacr^, que des mains t^m^raires 
ont taut de fois arrach^es. Les loix de la critique 
m^autorisent seulem^nt k soup^onner que Nabo- 
oassar, successeurdeNanybrus, mais d'un caract^re 
bien different, profita habilement de la confusion 
oil la revoke de Parsondas avoit jette Tempirc 
Mede, pour en d^membrer la grande satrapiede 
Baby lone, et pour y fonder uh royaume ind^pen- 
dant qui ne futd^truit que par lesconqu^tes de Cy- 
ras. Pendant longtems ce royaume languissoit 
dans Toubli ; dans le terns m£me que la nouvelle 
dynastie Assyrienne remplissoit I'Asie du bruit de 
ses exploits, celle de Babylone n'opposoit k sa 
grandeur renaissante qu'une vaine jalousie et des * *^"' 
Begociadons fi ivoles. Les discordes civiles et un !»»«. . 
trdne mal-assure afFoiblissoient peut-6tre les forces Pndeaux's 
de la monarchic. J'en juge sur les deux inter- voi.i^ie. 
regnes, et les onze r^gnes qui rcmplissent les soix- 
ante-six premieres ann^es du Canon de Ptol^m^e. 
Dans une succession aussi rapide j'entrevois des tra- 
hisons, des conjurations, des massacres, 

et infidos agitans Discordia fratres. 

]^Iai$ enfin deux grands rois connurent les 
forces de Babylone et les fircnt sentir k I'Asie. 
Xabuchodonosor recula les bomes de ses ^tats Atwh c. 

, €07. 

n 3 jusquaux 

Avant C. 


jusqu aux extr^mit^s de TOrient, et par .un sort 
assez commun Ics successeurs d'Arbace devin* 
rent les vassaux de leurs esclaves r^volt^s. Dans 
tout ce p^riode, Baby lone ^toit le centre des sci- 
ences, des artSj du commerce et du luxe. On y 
voyoit r^gner des moeurs douces et des loix sages. 
J'invite ceux qui ont quelque .gout pour la philo- 
^r^s^' ^P^^icde rhistoire k lire la description qu' H^rodote 
^^ nous a laiss^e de Babylone, de ses ouvrages, et de 
ses habitans. Au lieu de ce faiseur de contes qu on 
leur a si souvent annonc6, ils seront 6tonn^ d y 
trouverunobscrvateurdontle coup d'ocil penetrant 
et juste ne voit que les grands objets, qui les voit 
de sang-froid, et qui les peint avec chaleur. 

2. Le Chretien doit un respect aveugle aux livres 
gaints qui renferment le d^p6t de la foi. Le cri- 
tique ^lair^ mais profane doit pr6f<6rer leur t^moi- 
gnage des affaires d orient k celui des premiers his- 
toriens de la Gr^e. Les Juifs ont sur eux Tavan- 
tage de la proximity des terns et des lieux, la con- 
formity de langue, et la liaison intinie qui subsiste 
entre Tesclave et le mattre. L en vie extreme qu ont 
eu la pKipart des chronologistes, de concilier Ctesias 
avec TEcriture, a produit mille hypotheses forc^ et 
arbitraires, qui d^figurent I'Une et lautre, en vou- 
lant les expliquer. Le Chevalier Newton, qui 
n avoit que trop 6tudi^ les proph^tes, a tir6 de leurs 
^its aussi bien que des livres historiques, Tid^ 
simple et naturelle dc la monarchic Assyrienne telle 
que les Juifs Tout connue sous les successeurs de 
AtC.8M. David. Vers Tan 830 avant J. C. lautorit^ du 
Roi de Nin^ve ne s'^tcndoit qu'aux environs de aa 



capitale. Cette capitale ne contenoit que 120,00^ 
habitansy ^t la foiblfsse de ce petit royaume ne 
iui rendoit les menaces de Jonas que trop vrai^ui- 
blables. Vers Tan 770, Pul, roi d'Assyrie, soumit Anucr? 
les pTO\dnces voisines, et se montra le premier en 
de(a de TEuphrate. Le royaume de Damas tomba. Aii^c.74 
sous les armes de Tiglath-Pelas$ar ; celui de Sa- 
marie fiit d6truit par Salmaneserf Sennacherib Anuari 
berita des ^tats et de lambition de se$ p^res. Fier 
de Ictus succ^ il attaqua k la fois la Jud^ et 
TEgypte. Un re^^ers terrible et subit fit ^chouer 4nt-C.7i 
txMis ses desseins. Les £g}'ptiens et les Juifs se df^u'* 
di^ntent la destruction de son arm6e au nom de r. i. p. n 
kuis dieux respectifs. Cette histoire entre sans ^^^ 
peine dans le s^st^me que j*adopte. Arbace, qui 
laisse subsister les dynastcs de Nin^ve, lour pemiet 
bientot de r6tablir leur ville. La puissance des 
Medes d6rline, celle de Xin^ve se renouvelle. Elle 
leznet sous ses loix une partie de son aucien patri- 
iBoine. £lle brille quclques instans. Mais les 
cffets ruineux de cette splendeur passag^re ne font 
que hater sa destructioD. H^rodote lui-meme 
nous coniinnc un trait de cette histoire; c*est le 
Kgne et ladcfaite de Sennacherib. Lorsqu*il ap- 
pdlc ce monarque Roi des Assyricns et des Arabcs, 
a nous indique une des principales causes dc la 
gTandeur nouvelle de Xiueve. Ses princes surent 
reunir sous leurs drapeaux un grand nombre des 
liibus Arabcs. En un mot mon systemc me per- 
&et d'adopter le troi^ieme cliapitre de Newton 
presqu'en son entier; s*il veut me permettre d ap- Chn»oioj 
peller rcnouvellement. ce qu*il regarde comme le Km^^ 

H 4 premier p*^"^ 


premier ^tablissement de rempire Assyrian. Le 
silence de TEcriture ne me le defend point Lc 
royaume de Damas, fond6 du tems de David, for- 
moit une barrifere entre la Jud^e et TAssyrie que 
les foibles pr6d^cesseurs de Sardanapale n'essayoient 
jamais de briser. Sur les si^cles ant^rieurs nous 
n'avons rien que le livre des Juges, abr^g^ fiddle 
mais imparfkit; son t^moignage est d'un grand 
poids, mais on ne peut rien conclurre de son silence. 
Uind^pendance des rois de Nin^ve et de Baby- 
lone remonte jusqu au r^gne d'Art^e, sixj^me roi 
des MMes. Nous avons fix6 I'^poque, et devin6 
Toccasion de leur revolte. II y cut sans doute 
plusieurs autres satrapes qui profit&rent des vie- 
toires de Parsondas. J'oserois nommer ceux de 
TArm^nie, du Pont et de la Cappadoce. , II semble 
que vers le m£me tems une nation Scythique tr^ 
nombreuse, que les Persans ont nomm^ Saques, 
s*est ^tabli en de^a de I'Oxus, et que la Perse a 
beaucoup souffert des ravages de ces barbares* 
J*ai promis de ne me point servir des details qui se 
sont conserves de ladynastie des Pischadiens. Ua 
critique plus hardi que moi feroit sentir que sout 
*"*Jq- le r^ne de Manougeher, sixi^me roi de. la pre* 
■oc Ma* mi^ race, les provinces de I'occident et de 1 orient 
ST^**^ se sont r^volt^es, et que les successeurs de ce prince 
n'ont r^gn^ que sur les pays places entfe ces deux 
c T18. Le r^gne d'Artynes, successeur d'Art6e, fut de 
vingt-deux ans. Lliistoire n*en a point conserve 
les ^^nemensy mais la chronologic y fixe T^poque 
de D^joc^; et noub laisse entre voir combien la 



des Arbacides perdoit tous les jours de 
ancienne grandeur. 
Asdbansy huiti^e successeur d*Arfaace, oc- a. c roe. 
capa le trdne de Suse quarante ans. Son r^gne 
fkt &idsiga€ par la r^volte des Parthes, nation i>»dor. ; 
beffiqneuse et inconstai e, qui conservoit trop bien |i. i^r/i^a 
rMe dc son origine \ jrthique pour ne pas pr6- 
fiber la domination des S |ues k celle des M^es^ 
Cette defection causa une guerre sanglante entre 
ks deux empires, qui fit r^pandre tr^ inutilement 
beanooap de sang, et qui finit enfin par T^uise- 
mtaA des deux partis. I^ trait^ de paix rendit 
ks Ftftlics k leurs anciens mattres, et les deux 
se jurirent une amiti^ 6temelle. Cette 
qui resemble k tant d'autres, ne sert qvtk 
fidte cannottre les forces qui restoient encore 
m trAne diancelant de Suse. Diodore de Sicile 
B9BS a <?onserv6 le caract^e int6ressant de la sou* 
Tcoiiie qui r^gnoit alors sur les Saques: elle 
iappeUmt Zarine.* Avant son r^gne sa nation 
caoit le m^ris de ses voisins. Elle en devint la 
torcnr. Sa force et sa valeur ^tonnoient ces bar^ 
parmi qui une Mucation rude, et des tra- 
peq>dtueb ^galisoient les deux sexes. Mais 
k% vertus inconnues dans ces climats les 6ton- 
limit bien davantage. £Ue adoucit les moeurs 
^ses sojets. Des villes florissantes s^^lev^rent 
VB ses auspices, et les Saques ^prouv^rent poiir 
^ fffcmi^re fbis les douceurs de la paix et dirs arts. 

de Czar et de Czarioe appaitieniieiit aux laogues Vohaiie 

PierreL t. 
La 1.P.6S. 


La reconnoissance ^temelle de son peuple, un torn-^ 
beau supcrbe, et des honneurs divins furent la re- 
compense de ces bienfaits, Telle fut Zarine. Ce 
point de vue sous lequel nous lavons considi6re est 
T^icoi. grand sans 6tre romanesque. Je rougis d y m^ler 
une intrigue amoureuse sur laquelle Ctesias s'est 

436-^ ^tendu avec la complaisance d'un rh^teur Grec, et 

Valet. ^ que M. Boivin rain6 nous a donn^e de nouveau 
SihDoirtfl ^^^^^ ^^ **y^^ pr^cieux et digne du grand Scuderi 
&e uttkn. ]ui-m^e. lA voici cependant en peu de mota. 

tore, t tup. 1, A .1 1*1 

64—80. otryangee, gendre dAstibaras, commandoit Ics 
armies M^des dans la guerre contre les Saques. 
Dans une .bataille il sauva la vie k Zarine. lU 
ft'aim^rent Apr^s la guerre ils se virent k la capi- 
tale des Saques; mais le M^e amoureux exigca 
un prix de ses services que la prinoesse^ aussi ver- 
tueuse qu elle 6toit belle, ne voulut jamais lui ac^ 
corder. Stryang^e se livra k son d^sespoir, lui 
^crivit ses dcmiers rcproches, et se tua. Cet 
amour d^ romans, Stranger aux mocurs de Ibrienti^ 
a rarement decide des ^v^ncmens de la politique 
et du destin des grands bommes. La gloire, Tii^ 
t^r^^t, la vcrtu quelquefois; voil^ leurs tyrans. Jjt 
Dieu de lamour se retire, en soupirant, k 1 oisivet£ 
d'une vie obscure et priv^e. 
DiJdof^ Astibaras laissa le trdne des MMes i- son fill 
sfcoL I. u. Aspadas. Si nous en croyons Diodore, ce prinoe 
n'est pas diff(6rent d*Astyagc, laycul du grand Cy* 
rus. Mais il parolt que Diodore na cberck^ id 
quk concilier deux auteurs, qu*il entcndoit mat, 
0t que cctte identity pr^tenduc n est point appuy^ ' 
sur Tautorit^ de Ctesias. Cet historien, qui au^ 


sum LA HOKARCHXE I>£S M£D£i. 107 

voit one ortographe diir<6rentc de cclle des Grecs, 
a i^^aid du nom d'Astyage, ne s'en 6cartoit ce- 
pendant qu'en le nommant Astiagas. Dans notre pim^- bu 
sTst^me Ic r^e d'Aspadas a pr^c^d^ de 106 ans, ^ '"*• 
cdui de Cyrus. II semble que rhistx)rien n'a 
ocNnpt^ lexistence des ^tats que par leur grandeur, et 
qa il <i6daignoit de continuer une suite de rois dont 
le lustre s^^lipsoit tous les jours devant la dynastie 
Baissante d^Agbatane. Je va\s y porter toute men 
ittention ; sans perdre de vue ces rois d*£lain ou 
de Sase dans lesquels je retrouve toujours les suc- 
ocsscurs d^Arbace.* 

Ccst ici qu'H^rodote va nous tenir lieu de 
Ctesias. Une curiosity insatiable avoit conduit cet 
kfitorien aux extr^mit^s de TAsie : il a interrog^ 
ttmtes les nations sur leur origine et leur histoire ; 
Ks ccrits sont encore le d^p6t pr6eieux de leurs 
traditions, de leurs fables et de leurs pr^jug^. 

*■ Je liob une explication generale au lecteur. Tout ce S3rs«- 
oeae, je le regarde com roe assez vraiseroblable. Mais j y dM-> 
rc^BC tres dairement plusieurs degres de vraisemblances, qoi 
net en diminuaiit. Les voici tels qulls se sont places dans moo 
1. Vers Tan 90O, Arbace, general des M^des, fonda un 
tret puissant dans la haute Asie sur les debris de celui det 
Cet empire s'aifoiblit vers Tan 7^ ; cent ans apr^ 
keritoit plus d'attention des bistoriens. 2. Cette dynastie 
<ieCtcsia$y est la race Pischadienne des Persans. 3. Suse 
csaitla capitate decet empire, que les Grecs ont nomme Mem- 
4. II se reduisit enfin au royaume d'Elam ou de Suse; 
ies Babyoniens selon TCcriture et Xenophon. Si Ton 
iTadopter ces dernieres consequences, on pent sarr^ter ^ 
k miueniey a la seconde, ou roome a la premiere qui a pr^le atix 
plus de forces qu elles n'eo re^ oiu 



Void les id^es qu'il nous a laiss^es de la formation 
Hmdoi. de la monarchic des MMes: " Les Assyriens (dit il) 
^toient maitres de la haute Asie, depuis cinq cehs 
vingt ans, lorsque les MMes donnerent les premiers 
Fexcmple de la revoke. I-,eur liberie fut le prix 
de plus d'une victoire, mais cette liberty ne fiit 
pour eux qu'une licence efFr^n^e, ou plut6t qu*une 
c 96. anarchic sans loix et sans magistrats ; dans laquelle 
personne n'^toit ind^pendant parceque chacun vou- 
loit Tfetre. Partout la violence fouloit aux pieds 
la timide ^quit6, et Thomme rendu k sa premiere 
^galit^, apprit qu'un maitre est pour lui-m6m^ un 
frein n^ccssaire. Des talens extraordinaires'atti- 
roient sculs un hommage volontaire. La jeunesse 
ob^issoit k ce chef, parcequ'il s'^toit d^j^ distingu^ 
k leur t£te ; les particuliers soumettoient leurs dif- 
f(6rens k la decision de cet autre vieiHard, dont ib 
T^v^roient la vertu et rexp^rience. D^joce sc 
distinguoit parmi ces demiers. Sa voix sembloit 
Atre Torgane de la justice. Bient6t sa r^putaticMi 
franchit les limites du canton qu'il habitoit« De 
tous c6t^s on voyoit accourir les MMes k son tri- 
bunal. Sans force, sans licteurs, il ^toit devenu 
Funique juge de la nation. Cet homme hatHk^ 
qui cachoit sous une simplicite apparente une am- 
bition extreme, sentit sans peine combien il ^it 
H^rodot. n^cessaire k ses compatriotes. Pour leur fitire con- 
noitre un bien par sa privation, il se d^robe tout 

d un coup aux importunity des plaideurs, qui V 
eabloient (disoit-il) d'affaires, qui lui ^toient ^tnuH 
g^res. La retraite d*un seul homme d^chaine dc 
nouveau la licence et Ic crime. Une assembl^e 



• • , . *^ 

g^n^rale fut enfin conyoqu6e/ pour d^couvrir un 
Ttmhdc efficace aux maux qu'on ne pouvoit plus 
endurer. Tout se disposoit k une revolution, et les 
amis de D^joce paroissoient Ceux de la nation, 
brsqu^ proposferent I'^lection d'un roi, dont le 
r^ne ne seroit que celui des loix. Ce conseil fut 
rcf u avec Tacclamation g^n^rale de lassembl^e ; et 
Dd}oce consentit enfin k se charger du fardeau pe- c. 98. 
^antde la royaut^. II fonda la ville d'Agbatane, d6- c. 99. 
fendue par sept enceintes, f|ui s'^levoient les unes au- 
dessus des autres. Ce fut dans la demi^re que ce 
prince 6tablit son s6jour. Pendant un long r^gne 
decinquante-trois ans, les Mfedes ne le voyoient plus ; 
mais son esprit actif et £clair6 sembloit ^tre present 
partout, et animoit toutes les parties de son gou- 
vemement. Un pareil systfeme de politique n'est pas 
cclui d'un conqu^rant. D^joce ne le fut point. II c. 100. 
nc laissa k son fils Phraorte que des peuples que le c. 101. 
respect et Tamour lui avoient soumis. lis ^toient 
partag^s en six tribus : les Buzse, Paretaceni, Stu- 
chates, Arizanti, Budii et Magi." Voil^ Tabr^g^ 
du recit d'H6rodote, pur et sans melange Stranger. 
Avant <iue de prononcer sur le systfime d'un auteur 
il feut r^tudier en lui-mfeme; maximeasscz simple, 
mab qu on a rarement suivie. Qu'il me soit per- 
mis k present d'y joindre quelques reflexions. 

1. H^rodote n'a point indiqu6 la dur^e de cet 
itiit d'anarchie parmi les M^des. II doit avoir fini 
par r^lection de D^joce I'an 710 avant J. C. 
mais nous n avons rien qui nous aide a fixer le 
terme auquel il a commence. Dans cet extrait 
infid^Ie, que Diodore nons a laiss6 du systfime Diod.sicni. 

d'H^rodote, ii^/' "^ 


d'H6rodote, il accorde k cette autonomic unc durte 

dc plusieurs generations : les critiques modemes, 

aussi avates du terns que les anciens en 6toient pro- 

u«erBAii- digiics, Tout extrfimement retr^ci. Usserius r6- 

747 et 710! duit cet intcrrfegne k trente-sept ans, et Pridcaux lui 

CwMrtkL ^signe k peine une ann6e entifere. Le calcul dc 

vou.p.«o. Diodore n'est fond^ que sur un sort de convenance. 

Le r^cit d'H6rodote le remplit tr^ bien et parott 

mSnie I'exiger. Ceux qui cherchent h concilier 

cet historien avee son rival Ctesias, doivent trouver 

ici leur point de reunion. II n est pas difficile k le 

saisir. Cet Arbace, destructeur de Tempire de IsTi^ 

nfeve, aura suivi dans toutes ses actions cet esprit 

de moderation qui le distingue de tous les usurps- 

teurs. II aura accord6 i ses compatriotes la liberti, 

digne prix de ce sang qu^ls avoient yers6 pour le 

placer sur le trdne de I'Asie.* 

2. Si nous joignons aux lumi&res dc la critique, 
la connoissance de Thomme, nous vcrrons sans 
peine qu'un vaste pays tel que la M6die, n*a jamab 
pu rentrer dans T^tat de la nature apr^s vl\x>\t port^ 
pendant plus de cinq si^cles le joug des loix. Lei 
revolutions changent Ic contrat politique, mais elles 
n'ont jamais brise les liens du contrat social. Le 
premier n'est appuye que sur la crainte ou le pre- 
juge, L'habitude et I'inter^t de chacun assurent la 

IXodor.Sic. * ^^*^' ""® circonstancc qui fortifie notre conjecture. Dio- 
Lii. p. 138, dore nous assure qu'Arbace aftira les Persans dans la fC'^olte par 
Nkol. Du- I'^P^^'' ^^ ^^ liberte. Selon cc m(^roe historien Parsoodas eloit ' 
■MS. in Ki. Persan, Nicolas de Damas en fait un Mede. Si nous aviuoa an- > 
cvpc.\aJ. ^Qj^ j^ jg^j^ j^ Cte«as, nous y verrions peut-(^tre qu'Arbaot - 
afiranchit ses compatriotes plut6t que les Persaos. 



^ jrw 6temelle du second. D^s qui! est fonn6 il 
fait partie de la constitution de l*homme, qtii y 
tacnt ^galement et par ses vices et par ses vertus: 
IVwrrcndre la ATaiseniblance au r^cit d'H^rodote, jc 
•iris supposer qui! ne s*agit que de quelques tribus 
de borbares, enfenn^ dans les for^s et les mon- 
ta^ncs de la Medie, qui n'avoient jamais fonn6 une 
loci^te politique, et que ces sauvages belliqueux, 
excites par la voix d'Arbace, descendirent en foule 
cms la plaine pour briser leurs fers, et ceux de 
TA-^c entiere. lis y rapport ^rent, avec la gloire 
&s sacc^ le principe des vices qui les forcferent 
cafin a pr^ferer la tjraniiie k I'anarchie. Cette 
fxplication naturelle en elle-m^me n'a rien que de 
trcs analogue au tableau g6n6ral de FAsie. Le 
r steme de if. de Bougain\nIIe s'y prfite tr^ heu- 
."risement. II y acquiert meme un air de fran- 
:hi«e et daisance, dont il avoit besoin. D^ 
qu on etablit la distinction des MMes, on y voit Ic 
zenxze des deux dvnasties coUaterales ; les MMes 
'ics montagnes sont ceux d'H^rodote, pendant que 
is Medes de la plaine (c'est a dire de la partie la 
}.ii etendue de la proWnce) ont pass^ sous les 
/jix dWrbace, et qu'ils ont donne leur nom k la 
fTnastie de Ctesias dont ce prince est le fondateur. 
Cjiiias est desceridu de Xinus a Aspadas, en sui- 
•r.: le nl de Thistoire; Hcrodote est remonte de 
Cttj^ a Dejoce, en suivant celui de la tradition, 
C>^ ieux lignes parallMes ne se sont jamais toucher 
tt car une erreur asscz naturelle, chacun des ecri- 
T^his a cm qu*il n'existoit rien au-del^ de ce qu'il 

3. Dans 


3. Dans le r6cit d'H^rodote tout est naturel 
et instructif : ce pacte solennel entre le prince et 
It peuple, que les philosophes supposent partout 
ailleurs, mais que lliistorien ne trouve que dans 
r^lection de D6joce; ranarchie qui se change 
tout d un coup en despotisme par rimp^tumit^ d'un 
peuple barbare, quine sent jamais que le mal actuel, 
et qui ne sait pas se d^pouiller d'une partie de sa 
puissance : enfin Tart railing du nouveau monarque 
qui cache aux regards profanes Fhonime et set 
foiblesses, pour ne leur montrer dans un lointain 
obscur et r6v^r6 que le juge etle souverain. 

4- La chronologic de cette dynastie n'est pas 
cependant sans difficult^s. Si le texte d'H^rodote 
n'est pas corrompu, cet historien se contredit en 
nous laissant deux calculs contradictoires. II est 
certain que la somme collective des r^gnes de ses 
quatre rois ne monte qu'ci 150 ans. D^joce, le 
premier, en rcmplit 53; il en reste 97 pour le 
r^gne de Pbraorte et de ses deux successeurs, c^est 
k dir6 pour la dur^e de Tempire des MMes sur la 
haute Asie, puisqu'H^rodote lui-m£me nous assure 
Hf'***'^ de trois fa^ons diiF(6rentcs, que ce Phraorte fiit le 
lot. premier conquerant de la dynastie. Cependant 

ce m£me H^rodote nous apprend, que lorsque 
u I. L Astyage fut d^trdn^ par Cyrus, les Medes avoient 
r^gn^ sur la liaute Asic 128 ans. II faut choisir. 
Jc choisis sans peine le calcul g^n^ral,* Mais il 
est permis d embrasser Thypothise qui cbncilie les 

♦ Voici roa ruison. Ce oombre unique peut 6tre erronf; je 
le sais, mais des quatre membres du calcul particulier cbacn 
peut ViiTc. J ai trois d6gr6s de vraiseoiblaiice contre ob. 





deux calcuk aVec la tnoindre erreur possible. C*est 
aiosi que j'adopte les quatre termes particuliers des 
qiutre r^gnes de la dynastie, en supposant seule- 
ment que la m^moire d'H^rodote la tromp^ sur 
leur application. Selon ce principe de la saine 
critique, jevois clairement que D6jocea r^gn6 vingt- 
deux ans au lieu de Pliraorte^ II est effectivement 
issez peu naturel qu'un vieillard, dont la sagesse et 
r6quit^ ont prepaid la grandeuf, ait pu r^gner 53 
ana. II nous reste pour les trois autres r^gnes les 
1S8 dont nous avons besoin. Tous les details du 
r^ne de Cj^axare nous convaincront, combien il a 
de droits aux ann^ de D6joce. On ne pent que 
laisser k Astyage ses 35 ans de r^gne. Les 40 qui 
restent k Phraorte sufiisent pour les conqu^tes de 
ce prince guerrier. Je vais mettre devant les yeux, 
cette nouvelle chronologie de la dynastie, et Ton 
decidera sur la hardiesse et la n^cessit6 de mes 

Chronologie vulgaire. Ma Chronologie. 

710 D^joce - - 53 710 D^joce - - 22 

657 Phraorte - 22 688 Phraorte - 40 

Empire des M^des 128 ans. 
635 Cyaxare - 40 548 Cyaxare - 53 

595 Astyage - 35 595 Astyage - 35 

560 Cyrus. 

5. Voili des difficult^s qui nc sont que trop 
rtdles; 'niais il y en a d'imaginaires qui ont 
embarrass^ les plus grands hommes de ce si^cle* 
Efichyle ^crivit les Perses de la m6me main avec 
laquelle il avoit combattu aux rivages de Salamine. 

VOL. III. I J'admire 


J'admire avec les hommes de g6me la v6rit6 6ner- 

gique de cette trag^die, et j'oublie en sa favcur 

cette r^gle timide du goAt qui defend de traiter 

Ics sujets contemporains. On y a cru voir je ne sais 

quel d6nombrement des pr^d^cesseurs de Cyrus, 

qui ne s'accdrde pas avec la chronologie d'H6rodote. 

Eh bien, Eschyle, poete et soldat, s'^toit tromp^ en 

recueillant sans attention les premiers bruits de la 

renomm^e! Au lieu de prendre un parti atissi 

iironoiogy uaturel, le Chevalier Newton a suppos6 qu'Asy tage 

ingdont. ^toit fils de Phraorte, et pfere du Cyaxare d'H^ro- 

r^l^^' dote. Le Chevalier Marsham sy est pris avec bien 

V^, plus d'artifice. II a cr€€ deux Cyaxares, deux 

604, Astyages, et un royaume des Medo-Perses inconnu 

k toute Tantiquit^. II seroit facile do miner ce9 

deux syst£ines, mais il n'est pas n^cessaire. Les 

Edifices b&tis sur le sable s'^roulent par leur 

propre poids. 

j^^^ Phraorte, successeur de D^joce, ne se contents 

i c lof. point des ^tats de son p^re. Les Persans furent 

sa premiere conqu£te ; et cette nation belliqueuse 

se rangea sous ses drapeaux, et lui pr^para de nou- 

velles victoires. Nous avons des prcuves que dis 

Fan 670, r Arm^nie, le Pont, et la Cappadoce recon- 

noissoient ses loix. Ce fut ainsi qu'il jetta les fon- 

demens d'un empire qui s'^tendoit du fleuve 

Halys, jusqu'aux deserts de la Parthie. On peut 

Conjecturer que la vaine ombre qui restoit encore 

de la monarchic des Arbacides, sobscurcissoit k 

la vue de ses progr^ ; mais il sembleroit que le roi 

d'Ecbatane 6pargna leurs debris, et qu*il pr^f<6ra U 

gloire de porter les demiers coups k Tancieu empire 



dt Xin^e. Un revers afireux Tattendoit sous les 
man de cette capitale. Les Assyriens ne comp- 
taient plus tous les peuples de lorient au nombre 
de leuis esclaves; mais il leur restoit encore des 
fiMoes et du courage. lis march^rent k la rencontre 
dei M^des. Phraorte perdit dans une seule bataille 
k fruit de toutes ses victoires. II y p^rit avec la 
plus grande paitie de son ann6e. 

Un sjmchionisme aussi bien constat^ qu'il est ^^^^ 
MtfacaBa nt se pr^sente ici, et nous sert k lier tir.pwttf; 
fliisiDire de la Grfece avec celle de TAsie. La MAdam. 
Bbatt Messdnienne luttoit depuis quatre-vingt ans ^^^^^ 
coHtie la tyrannic des Spartiates. Aristom^e ^ 
footenoit seul la cause chancelante de sa patrie; n^feosede 
muM ce grand homme se vit enfin r^uit h sortir Andam^* 
it cct asyle, la citadelle d'Ira, qu'il avoit d6fendu ^ 
pendamt onze ans. II laissa partir la jeunesse de 
McsshnCj sous la conduite de son fils, pour aller 
diercher un 6tablissement sur les c6tes de ritalie. 
Fdot lui il se retira k Rhodes, mais non point y 
gDuter les douceurs du repos. II n'avoit sur\'6cu k 
a patrie que pour la venger, et pour susciter dans 
tout runivers des ennemis aux Spartiates. II se 
pr6paioit k passer aupr^ d' Ardyes, roi de Lydie, et 
de Phraorte, roi des MMes. II esp^roit d'int^resser 
oes princes k sa querelle ; et d armer tout roricnt 
CQDtie les destructeurs de Mess^e. La mort 
aotea tous ses projets. II seroit inutile de recher- 
dicr si cette expedition auroit eu un sort plus 
hcnenx que celle de Xerxes. Qu'il nous suffise 
ici de remarquer, que la r6putation de Phraorte, 
a puissance, et ses victoires, sont Stabiles par la 

I s seule 


seule id6e d'Aristomfene, qui d^testoit trop 1^ 

Spartiates pour leur preparer un triomphe iaciie. 

Nous n avons rien de mieux constat^ dans Thistoire 

ancienne que la seconde guerre de Mess^ne, dont 

les details sont appuy^s du t^moignage des con- 

temporains* £lle finit Tan 668 avant J. C. et la 

mort d'Aristomfene la suivit de fort pvhs. 

Ante. 648. La uouvelle monarchie des M^es 6toit perdue 

-c^toi si le ills de Phraorte n'avoit pas 6ti un grand 

homme. Cyaxare vit bien qu'il ^toit n6ce^saire 

d ajouter la discipline k la valeur. A\^nt lui, les 

arm6es n'6toient qu*une foule de soldats, distingu^s 

seulement par nations, et par tribus. Ce prince 

introduisit parmi ses troupes les loix d'une nou- 

velle tactique. Chaque arme eut sa place marquee, 

et Ion vit, pour la premiere fois, des corps de 

cavalerie, d'archcrs, ct de ceux qui se servoient du 

javelot. Cette tactique itoit cependant bien gros- 

si^re, et la mani^re de combattre des Asiatiques 

annon^oit . aussi peu dart que de bravoure. La 

joum^e se passoit i\ se tirer de loin, jusqu'i ce que 

le plus foible se retir^t, sans avoir jamais vu 

lennemi de pr^s. Cyaxare a dd employer, pour 

le moins, quatre ans k tous ces travaux importans 

ct pr^liminaires ; k ranimer le courage des M^es, 

k former sa nouvelle arm^e, k la discipliner, et k lui 

inspirer une confiance, avant-coureur de la victoire, 

AiiLa6i4. Sans perdrc de vue Fid^e d*agrandir sa puissance, 

en vengeant la mort de son pfere, il voulut com- 

mencer par essayer ses forces contre des ennemb 

moins redoutables que les Assy nens« . Ilparcourut 

toutes les provinces de acm empire, qu^ii soumit 


aux loik qu'elles avoient m^pris^es depuis la mort 
de Phraorte. Enfin il osa attaqucr les Assyriens, 
les vainquit dans un grand combat et mit le sihge 
devant Nin^ve. Cette ville fufr sur le point de 
saccomber, lorsque Cyaxare fut rappell^ k la c. iu4. ' 
defense de se* 6tats par une irruption des Scythes. ^nt.c.604. 
Ces barbares enleverent Tempire de la haute Asie 
aux M^es, et p6n6tr&rent m6me jusqu'aux fron- 
tiires de I'Egypte. Cyaxare souiFrit avec impar c. to5. ' 
tience le joug dr ce peuple f^roce pendant vingt- 
huit ans. li p.tcendit le moment de la vengeance. 
II le trouva enfin dans un festin, qu'il pr^parapour c. toe. 
les chefs de la nation. lis y furent massacres, et 
cette d-marche hardie et bien soutenue rendit k Ant.c.612. 
Cyaxare cet empire qu'il avoit perdu. II s'en ser- 
vit pour reprendre ses projets contre les Assyriens, 
qu'il n'avoit jamais perdus de vue. II se fortifia 
par une alliance avec le Roi de Babylone, etr^unis- 
«ant ses forces avec les siennes, ijs form^rent de 
concert le sifege de Nineve. Ce fut alors que la Antc.aos, 
monarchie et la ville de Ninus perirent pour ne se 
jamais r6tablir ; aprfes avoir subsist^ 1 360 ans depuis 
leur premiere fondation. Je me suis content^ . 
dindiquer ces faits. Je nc pouiTois rien ajouter 
aux 6claircissemens de plusieurs de nos savans ; et v. SoJigcr, 
je n ai pas envie de les r^p^ter. Par la mfime raison, pridTaui, 
je passerai sous silence la guerre des MMes contre ^.^d^' 
Alyatte, roi de Lydie. L'inqui^tude ct la jalousie J^j'^c^ 
V donnerent lieu. On se battit six ans de suite. 
La lassitude et la superstition disposfcrent enfin les Ante. 597. 
sprits a la paix. Cyaxare mourut bien tot apr^s. Ante. 595. 
II laissa un empire afFermi ct un nom illustre. II c.^iot!' 

i3 le 


le m^ritoit par la fermet^ pleine d'habilet^ et de 
ressources avec laquelle il avoit soutenu et la 
prosp^rite ct les revers. 

Jc ne m arr^te qu*un instant sur rirruption des 
Scythes. C cj^t en \-ain qu on a voulu refuser aux 
peuples du Nord cette force et ce courage phy- 
sique, qui les a rendus tant de fois maltres de la 
terre.* Dans les conqu^tcs des Romains ou des 
Arabes, je ne vois qu'un courage d'institution, et 
des vertus dautant plus hcroiques, qu elles sont 
Touvrage d'une legislation sublime. Les Scythes 
ont rarement connu d autres loix que celles des 
lions de leurs deserts ; le sentiment de leur force, 
et la soif du carnage. Un conqu^rant s'elive sur 
les bords glacis des niei's de la Cor^e ; le tonnerre 
gionde, la terre s'ebranle, niille nations se pr^ipi- 
tent les unes sur les autres, et les demiers des fuy- 
ards ^crasent le midi, Torient et Toccident. 1a^ 
hommes amoUis par les arts, par le luxe, et par Ic 
climat, cherchent vainement une retraite contre la 
cavalerie rapide et les filches inevitables des Scythes. 
La resistance et la fuite leur sont ^galement fatales. 
C'est ainsi que, prec^d^s de la terreur, arm^s du 
glaive destructcur et suivis de la desolation, Ta- 
merlan, Jenghiz, et avant eux le Madyes d'Hero- 
dote, ont parcouru TAsie etonnec. Cest ainsi 
qu'avec cet enthousiasme qui fait les poetes et k\s 

^ Ecoutons Lucain. 

Omnis, in Arctois, populus, quicunque pruini^ 
Na&citur ; indoroitus bellis, et Martis amator. 
Quidquid ad Eoos tracttts, muodique leporem 
Labitar, emoUit geates dementit oali. 



pfophbtes J^rdmie lea a d^rit: ^' Des hommes ^-.^^^^i^ 
£bmxs, doot le langage inooimu ressemble au bruit 

drs flots irrit^ qui ne connoissent ni la crainte tii 
la piti^ et domt le carquois redoutable est un 
tombeau toujtours ouvert pour les nations." . 

U me parolt que la m^oioire de cette premie 
expedition s^^toit conserve dans les traditions 
Tartures, et que leur Oguz Khann'est pas diiGSrent 
da Madyes des Giecs. On y voit que ce conqu6- HkOci^ 
mat, ^rte avoir soumis les Indes et le Turkistan, ^~]||£ 
passa rOxns avec une arm6e nombreuse ; et se ifiouKM 
icndit maitre^ de toutes les provinces jusqu'auK a. 
fiooti&res de r£gypte. II s'arr£ta longtems dans 
la viile de Damas, oh il d^signa les successeurs de 
sou vaste empire. II inourut enfin accabld d'ans et 
de gloire. Ses enfans partag^rent les conqu6tes 
da pfere, et il n'est plus fait mention de ces con- 
qufttes. Toutes ces circonstances conviennent 
parfaitement avec Thbtoire de Madyes, et ne con- 
viennent qiik lui. Dans le dernier trait on apper- 
(oit la cause de la chute de cet empire. Cyaxare 
avoit redout^ les Scythes, r6unis sous les drapeaux 
de l^ladyes ; divis^s par ses foibles successeurs, il 
ks d^truit sans peine. 

Je sens qu'^ cette conjecture Ton se recriera Tigno- 
lance des Tartares, et Tincertitude de leur histoire 
jusqu'au r^ne de Jenghiz Klmn. Je n'opposerai k 
oe pr6jug6 qu'un fait unique dans son esp^ce, puis- 
jpi'il nous permet de consid^rer le m£me 6v6nement vov. 

oonfi^ k la tradition d'un peuple borbare, et racont^ <]i 7d 

dans les amudes contemporaines de ses voisins ; c'est ,£ |^S| 
le rdtaUissement de I'empire Turc ou Mogol dans 

1 4 le 


le septi^me si^cle ; ces barbares avoient fidel^ment 
conserve tous les grands traits de cette revolution ; 
la destruction de Tempire Mogol, Tasyle que les 
debris de la nation trouv^rent dans les montagnes, 
le terme precis de 458 ans qu'ils y pass^rent, et 
leur sortie qui arriva vingt generations, c est k dire 
700 ans avant la naissance de Jenghiz. L'histoire 
Chinoise et Grecque les justifie sur tous ces de- 
tails, et n'enlive qu'un vemis merveilleux, dont 
les Mogols avoient embelli une circonstance assez 
humiliante pour leurs anc^tres. Dans nos sy st^mes 
de critique ou de logique nous etablissons trbp aise- 
ment des regies generates, sur notre fa9on de sen- 
tin Nous ne concevons pas assez qu'une jeunesse 
passionnee pour la gloire militaire ecoutoit avec 
transport les exploits de scs ayeux, qu elle br(iloit 
de surpasser ; et que ces recits se gravoient avec 
des traits de feu dans ces &mes fortes, simples, et 
peu chargees d'idees etrangferes. 

II me parol t que ce m^me Madyes, TOguz des 

Tartares, est aussi cet Apherasiab si fameux dans 

les remans Persans: mais cet esprit de fiction^ 

qvii dedaigne la verite historique, ne pennet point 

bdoc BUii. de compter sur les details de ses exploits, et feroit 

IJrttAfrll^ presque douter de son existence. II semble pour- 

JjJ^^- tant que cet Apherasiab detruisit la premiere dyr 

l^iu ^^^^i€, et qu'apr^s avoir ravage impunement la 

p.ts5,etift Perse, il fut enfin detruit par Kai Kaus, dans les 

TCit Cm«- montagnes de la IViedie. Si les Piscliadiens s*identi- 

^t^Eof ^^^^ ^^'^^ '^* Arbacides, je vois ici un evenement 

JJ^ tr^s naturel. L'irruption des Scythes ebranla tous 

les tr6nes dc TAsie; la jeunesse vigoureuse de 



c de fiabylone et d'Agbatane, les soutint au 
m de rorage, mats la premiere dynastie des 
Ics^ dijk foible et languissante, ne se releva ja- a. c. 6it.' 
» de sa chute. La pliipart des romanciers Per* 
semblent avoir v6cu dans les provinces orien- 
L ■ L'empire y p^rit sans retour ; mais semblah 
i celui des successeurs de Constantin, il perdoit 
I ks jours une partie de son existence^ Jusqu'au 
le fatal que les fauxbourgs . de sa capitale de- 
nent sa fronti^re. C'est ainsi que la dynastie 
rfaace se vit enfin renferm^e dans la petite pro- )^ q ^^ 
9 de la Susiane ou d'Elymais ; lorsque Nabu- jmoAb, 
kmosor, roi de Baby lone, en fit la conqu^te. II s9, 
mtenta cependant d'y ^tablir un roi tributaire o!^^^ 
gouvemoit^ soumis k son autorit^, les tristes p|^^7^' '' 
ris de ce vaste empire. Les proph^tes Juifs, ^'%^p?J^ 
innon^^rent cette revolution, ont exalt6 la 11^814. 
sance et la reputation du royaume d'Elam ; sa 
re pass^e ne servoit qu'i rendre sa chute plus ^^^^ ^^ 
lofable. Nous lisons dans Alexandre Polyhis- ETaMg.1.9. 
que le grand Nabuchodonosor invita Astibares, ^- ^' *^ 
des M^des, k I'accompag^er dans sa guerie 
tre les Juifs. Dans ce nom d' Astibares, on ne 
t pas meconnoltre les M^des de Ctesias. Lors- . 
; le Roi de Babylone assembla ses forces, pour 
rcher contre la Palestine et la Ph^nicie ; il 6toit ^» 
I naturel qu'il convoqu&t tons les princes, vas- 
X de son empire. Si Ton veut mettre Astibaras 
ce nombre, on auroit de la peine ^hd trouver 
e ntuation aussi vraisemblable que celjb 4^ roi / 
Uam^ ou de Suse. Si Tam^ur d une systtviit ne 
I sMuit point, je vois ici un enchainement de 



faits qui unit la d^faite de Sardanapale avec Ics 
conqu^tes de Nabuchodonosor et de Cyrus. 
A. c. 590. Astyage, le fils de Cyaxare, remplit sans gloire 
un tr6ne qu'il devoit aux vertus de ses pferes. II 
est mieux connu par sa quality de pr^d^cesseur dc , 
Cyrus ; de ce Cyrus qui r^unit sous ses loix les 
monarchies de M6die, de Lydie, et de Babylone, et ^ 
qui laissa dans toute TAsie un nom qui a surv^u k ^ 
la mine de son empire. On connoit les relations j 
contradictoires qu'H^rodote, Ctesias, et X6nophon ^ 
nous ont transmis de ses exploits. II y a pen dc j 
lectures aussi int^ressantes et aussi utiles que la , 
Cyrop^die du dernier de ces 6crivains. La phi- ^ 
losophie s y montre par6e de la main dcs graces. ^ 
Mais la muse de I'histoire a-t-elle preside a cc tra- 
vail r N'y doit-on chercher que la morale, a la- , 
quelle son auteur a pvM les attraits d'une fiction ^ 
ingcnicuse? C'eet une question qui a toujoun , 
partag6 les esprits ; mals a laqucUe on ne peut re- , 
pondre, qu apres un examcn r^flechi de Touvrage ,^ 
et des vues de I'^crivain. Je ni en occuperai quel- 
ques instans; mon sujet principal my conduit; et 
nous rapporterons, de cette recherclie, quelques 
id^es de goftt et de philosophic, propres k nous d^ 
dommager de ces details chronologiques auxquels 
il a fallu se livrer. 

Retir^ depuis longtems du bruit des armes, - 
X^nophon cultivoit en paix les lettres. Sa pre- 
miere ^tude ^toit celle de Thomme. Uhistoiie, ^ 
rexpcrience, et la reflexion Ttelairoient dans cetic ^ 
science ; qui est d*4Utant plus difficile qu'elle pft* ^ 
ro!t ais^ aux obscrvateurs superficiels. T6raoin de ^' 

tous ^ 

r les plus heureux et les plus sages des hommes. 
e lemarquoit point cet esprit indocile, parmi 
troapeaux tranquilles, qui paissoient dsuis les 
ipagiies de Scillus. De tous les animaux 
noit*iI) lliomme est le plus difficile k conduire. 
s lorsqu'il sc rappelloit TexeiTiple de Cyrus qui CjrropwJ. 
oroit I'amour et la terreur k cent nations ob^- 
ates et h^ureuses ; ah ! qu'il est ais6 (se disoit-il) 
gouvemer les hommes lorsque la prudence 
t les r^nes de lempire. La conclusion 6toit 
t-etre un peu pr^cipitee. Cyrus r6gnoit sur 
peuples accoutum^s a porter le joug de la ser- 
Mle, qui trembloient devant un maltre s^vdre, 
|iii versoient des larmes de reconnoissance sur 
nadn qui les prot^geoit. Cette fiert6 d'^me 
nspire la liberty, n'est que trop sourent capri- 
ise, cruelle et inconstante. L'admiration de 
M>phon lui fit naitre une curiosity naturelle 
aminer lliistoire de Cyrus, et les institutions 
lesquelles il avoit forme un empire ; d^hu, k 
rrit^, d^puis sa niort, mais qui ^toit encore la 
isance la plus formidable, qui eut jamais r6gn£ 
la terre. La Cyrop^die est le fruit de ces re- 

/n • ff X"*" 


portantes m^ritent un plus grand cl6veloppcment. 
Essay onsde le leur donner. 

Si nous consid^rons la Cyrop6die sous ce point 

de vue, qui est celui de son auteur, nous sentirons 

d'abord qu'un philosophe, qui cherohc k rendrc 

raison dun ph6nom^ne historique, nappuyeroit 

jamais cette explication sur la fable. Une lecture 

r^fl^chie de cet ouVrage, est seule capable de nous 

convaincre, que c'est par une histoire s^rieuse, que 

X^nophon k pretendu remplir cet objet, aussi in- 

t^ressant pour ses compatriotes.* Dans cette fa- 

meuse- expedition, dans laquetle notre historien 

s'immortalisa avec les dix mille Grecs, qu'il 

ramena victorieux au sein de leur palrie, il avoit 

parcouru Tempire Persan les aimes k la main. II 

avoit ^tudi^ les loix, les moeurs, et Thistoire de 

cette pation c^l^brc; qui ne conservoit de sa 

premiere puissance que le nom et Torgueil. Nous 

CytopmA. lisons cucorc le r^sum^ de ces connoissances dans 

i^^^^' le tableau 6nergique par lequel il achfeve la 

Hoickin. Cyrop^die. Les moeurs de la cour d'Artaxerxe y 

sont partout contrast^es avec la discipline ver- 

* Encore un trait: il me teroit facile de les multiplier. L'ex- 

p6dition Arm^.nienne de Cyrus paroit avoir Tair d'un romaiH 

CjffmmA, ^^^^ ^^ romancier n'auroit jamais reroarquc que les articles de 

L lii. p. tot. la paix que ce prince fit signer aux AVmcniens et aux Chaldceni 

tubsistoient encore, et qu'il ctoit du devoir dtt»tatrape d'Arm^nie 

de les (aire observer. Cest une aUeotion que X^oopbon a 

iouvent, de coostater les traits historiquet qu'il rapporte par let 

vestiges qui s'en etoient conserves.' On voit ailleurs que let 

chansons par Icsquelles les barbares cclebroient les exploits de 

Cvfopttd. Cyrus ne lui avoient pas ^cbappe. Sans doute qu'il lettvoit 

L Lf. 6. toyvent entendu dam sa marche avec rannte Pananiie. 



taeose des compagnons de Cynis, et la corruption 
qull d^rit des meilleures institutions de ce 
prince, suppose et prouve Texistence de ces insti- 
tutions; qui sont li^ avec I'histoire et le carac- 
xkrc du fbndateur. 

Un historien qui ofienseroit k cliaque instant la 
geogiaphie et la chronologie, m^teroit peu de 
confiance. C'est un reproche qu'on a souvent fait 
k X^nophqn, et que le grand Freret n a pas d6- 
daien^ d'examiner. II a prouv^, de la mani^e la v. set dis. 
plus victorieuse, que la g^graphie de la CyropMie'cjropMie 
oc diff^re de celle qu on suit comniun6nient que bknics de 
parceque son auteur avoit des connoissances plus J^J^^J^ 
appiofondies, et plus particuli^es, sur T^tat de ijf"*?- 
TAsie. II n'en est pas de m^me de sa chronologie, u. 
que M. Freret sacrifie avec justice peut-Stre, mais 
avec un peu trop de rigueur. X^nophon n'a 
point niarqu6 les ^poquesdes conqu^tes de Cyrus; 
mais dans la chaleur de sa narration, il semble les 
avoir rapproch^ un peu trop les unes des autres. 
La critique doit respecter les homes des difF(6rens 
genres; et ne pas exigcr d'un ouvrage de gofkt, 
cette precision s^v^re quelle s'attend k trouver 
dans une dissertation chronologique. H^rodote ^2^?^ 
ne seroit pas.moins coupable que X^nophon. La cs?— w. 
revolution de la M^die, le dessein de Cr^sus d'en 
Dier vengeance^ les ambassades, la guerre, et la 
prise de Sard^s, se succ^dent avec une telle ra- 
pidity que rhistorien semble a peine accorder trois 
a qnatre ans k tous ces 6venemens, qui en ont 
rempli une quinzaine. Un censeur un peu in- 
dulgent pardonneroit k Tauteur de la Cyrop^die, 



d'avoir conserve aussi longtems qu'il Ta pu un air 
de jeunesse au conqu6rant de TAsie. A cet age 
les veitus sont plus aimables, et les sacrifices qu'on 
leur fait sont d'un plus grand prix. 

Je n ai garde cependant de penser, que Xeno- 
phon se soit content^ du r61e d'un historien. Aux 
yeux d'un philosophe, les faits composent la partic 
la moins int^ressante de Thistoire. C'est la con- 
noissance de Thomnie, la morale, et la politique 
qu'il y trouve, qui la reinvent dans sou esprit. 
TAchons de suivre cctte id6e, et de voir jusqu'^ 
quel point elle conduiroit un ^crivain, qui ne voit 
dans les faits particuliers que la preuve de ses 
principes g^n^raux. 

1. Tout homme de g^nie qui ^crit I'histoire, y 
r6pand^ peut-6tre sans s'en appercevoir, le carac- 
thrc de son esprit. A travers leur variety infinie 
de passion et de situation, ses personnages semblent 
n avoir qu'une fa^on de penser et de sentir; et 
cette fa^on est celle de Tauteur. Le g^nie de 
Socratc 6toit pass6 dans T^me de X^nophon: il 
r^gne encore dans la Cyrop^dic, ct lon.pourroit 
croire que le fondateur de I'enipire Persan avoit 
6tudi^ dans lacad^mie d' A thanes. II y a appris 
cette m^thode ing^nieuse, qui perce jusqu'aux 
premiers principes; et qui transporte les id^es 
philosophiques dans tons les arts. Ses raisoone* 
mens consistent dans cette suite artificieuse de 
questions, par laquelle le plus sage des hommes 
conduisoit ses ^l^ves aux conclusions qu'il vouloit 
leur inspirer. On y sent tons les agr^meus de sa 
logique, sa simplicity, son ^l^gance, et sa modestie 



toojoiiis victorieuse. On y reconnott, jusqu'^ ses 
d^&atSy sa marche foible, timide et tntinante ; peu 
hii/c pour les grands mouvemens de YkmCj in- 
capaUe d*ane Eloquence vigoureuse, et plus propre 
a refiiter des sc^histes, qu'^ animer des soldats. 
L^^prit de cette ^ole n'^it que trop conforme 
ai caiact^ de X6nophon, qui avoit des talens 
subiiines, d^pounnis des passions fortes qui sem- 
blent £tre leur aliment naturel. Sa composition 
est grande et r^guli^re, son colons est doux et 
^r6able, son dessein est pur, mais son expression 
est finble. U d^crit les passions plus qu'il ne les 
peint, et il ks peint plus qu'il ne les sent. Si 
Fen^n avoit eu a traiter T^pisode da la guerre 
d'Arm^nie, il auroit efl[ac6 Tesprit que X^ophon 
T a mis pour substituer le sentiment* . Dans un 
moment important et terrible, Cyrus ne se seroit kSTpTu 
pas amus^ i - 6couter les sophismes du jeune 
Tigrane, afin de se manager le plaisir de les r6- 
filter. De T^cote de Socrate, X^nopbon 6toit 
pass^ a Tarm^. On ne reconnoit que trop le 
soldat, et le soldat Grec k toutes les plaisanteries v.Entiea 
grossiires, que la licence des camps, et la franchise pcd. l s. 
militaire enfantoient tons les jours; mais qui nous ^^^'^^ 
paroissent froides, d^o(itantes, et indignes d'un 
ouvrage philosophique sur Fhistoire. L'^crivain 
ne pouvoit les rendre au lecteur a<!compagn^s de 
toutes les ctrconstances du moment et du caract^re, 
qui leur avoient donn6 une sorte de chaleur et 

* Feneloii aaroit consenre un trait de eel Episode. Malheur 
IB Icctcar k qui il fiulie Hiidiquer ! 

2. Lors- 

128 9V& LA kfOXARCHIE D£S M£D£8. 

S. Lorsqu'il s agit d'une histoire, dont les varia* 
tioiis permettent quelque libeit^ ^ la critique, et 
ni£me ^ la conjecture; Thistorien philosophe 
choisira parmi les faits contest^s, ceux qui s ac- 
cordent le micux avcc ses principes, et ses vues. 
Le d^sir de les employer, leur donnera in£me uii 
d^gr6 d'^videuce qu'ils n out pas ; et la logique du 
coeur ne Temportera que trop souvent sur celle de 
] esprit. Lorsque la chronologic proscrivoit un 
ti-aitde morale, Plutarque m^prisoit la chronologic ; 
et Voltaire est pcu ditlicile sur ses autorit^s, quand 
il s agit de peindre les artifices des pr^tres, les bi* 
sarrcries de la superstition, et lea contradictions de 
I'esprit humain. II y avoit plusieurs relations de 
la vie de Cyrus; celle qui se pr^toit davantage 
aux vues de X^nophon lui parut sans doute la 
plus vraisemblable. 

3. Les histoires les plus particiili^res laisseot 
beaucoup ^ d^irer au lecteur curieux. Lorsqu'elles 
d^rivent les fuits, il souhaiteroit de connottre les 
causes les plus cach6es qui les ont produit II 
voudroit p^n^trer dans les conseils, et jusqu a dam 
la pens^e de leurs auteurs,. pour y voir les circon- 
stances qui ont fait 6clorre les plus grands desseins, 
le but qu'ils se proposoient, les obstacles qu'ils ont 
rencontr^, et les arts par lequels il les ont vaincu. Un 
esprit philosophique se plait ^ supplier tous ces 
termes interro^diaires; et 4 tirer du vrai, te vrai- 
semblable et le possible. S*il donne ^ses reflexions 
la forme d^une histoire, il est oblig^ de prendre un 
ton plus ferme. Ses hypotheses deviennent des 
fkits, qui semblcnt d^couler des faits g^ndraux et 




&T^r6s. Je t^cherai d'6claircir cette id6e, en suivant 
la marche naturelle de I'esprit de X^nophon, lore- CyrofMBd. L 
4jull ddcrit rinstitution de la cavalerie Pereanne. ^ ^ 
II savoitque le pays des Perses €t6it rude et plein 
de montagnes, que les chevaux y 6toient tr^s rares^ l. l p. so. 
et que les troupes de cette nation, dans le terns 
qu'elle entreprit ses conqu^tes, n'ont pu consister 
qu^en infanterie. II voyoit cependant que deji HerodotL 
S0U3 le r^gne de Cyrus, Jeur cavalerie 6toit nom- 
breuse et bien disciplin^e, que les premiere de la 
nation ne paroissoient jamais qu*^ cheval, et que 
cet art faisoit un objet des plus importans de I'^du- 
cation de leur jeunesse. Sans doute (se disoit-il) 
leur fbndateur, grand capitaine et prince habile, fiit 
lauteur de cette institution, si n6cessaire pour 
donner i ses troupes, k tons 6gards, la superiority 
sur les autres peuples de 1' Asie. H aura choisi (con- 
tinua-t-il) un moment favorable k ses desseins. he 
lendemain (par exemple) d'une victoire, qui leur 
avoit livr^ un camp cnnemi rempli d'excellens 
chevaux, quand les fantassins Persans s'impati* 
entoient de voir la cavalerie des allies, qui rentroit 
diarg^ du butin, qu'elle avoit fait k la poureuite 
des ennemis, si dans cet instant, Cyrus avoit as- 
semble les chefs de Tarm^e, s'il leur avoit mis de- 
vant les yeux, leiirs besoins, la facility d'y satisfaire, 
etles^avantages qui en resulteroicnt; \oilk I'^poque 
de la cavalerie Persanne. X^noplion a devin6 ]^s 
drconstances d'un fait, tel qu'il a dfl arriver; les 
coDJoctures d'un philosophe, qui connoissoit This- 
U)ire, les hommes, et la guerre, sont d'un poids peu 
voi^ HI. K infcrieur 


iiif6rieur au t^moignage d un 6crivain partialy on 

Je reconnois en mfiine tems, qu'un homme d^e*^ 

prit poussera trop loin les consequences de sea 

conjectures; et que les vues de ses per80niiage% 

s'^tendront aussi loin que les siennes. Cyrus aeti^ 

tit qu'il ne pouvoit multiplier ses forces, quVn 

C jnni«i .L c^hangeant la nature de ses armes. II forma une 

dec infanterie, dont les armes pesan^tes n'^toient re^ 

dbutables que de pr^s. II disciplina bient6t cette 

phalange, par les loix d une nouvelle tactique, qui 

r^uliissoit la 16giret6 des mouvemens avec la 

solidite* des masses. Je crains que X^noplum^ 

rempli de son objet, ne leur ait pr&t6 tous les raf- 

' finemens de la phalange Spartiate, auxquels ccs 

barbares ne parvinrent jamais, 

4. L'historien d'un grand homme est pretque 
toujours son ami. Le sculpteur se prosteme de^ 
vant son ouvrage. Ce ratiinement d amour-proprt 
est aussi connu qull paroit singulier. Lorsqvt 
rhistorien philosophe * se propose un syst^me dt 
politique, ou de morale, les exceptions particuli^res 
qu une yMt€ odieuse lui montre, Taccablent dt 
leurpoids importun; il lesaflbiUit, il les dissimutei 
ii les fait enfin disparottre, pour ne voir que k 
genre de faits qui convient k so» but On est ea 
ciroit de supposer cette foiblesse au philosophe. C« 
philosophe est homme et ^rivain. Mais en 
s'6cartant de la V^rite, il la re^cte toujours; il 
&e s'en ^loigne qu'ji regret; il ne se permet qui 
des erreurs douces, insensibles et n^cerauret. Lt 



foBdateur de reinpire Persan offroit le plus beau 
module des vertus guerri^res et politiques. En 
rassembiant les traits, dont H^rodote et les autres Hcrodot. u 
oistoriens ont compose son portrait ; nous y de- ui. c 89, 
couvrirons un grand homme, qui n'a dd son 616va- dLiof. 
ticm prodigietise qu'4 lui-m6me, • ik son activity, k Fragment. 
80D Eloquence, k sa connoissance profonde de Tart ^'"'«'»- p- 
de la guerre; un prince dont la prudence afFermit nicoL Da- 
son Bouvel empire; et dont la modulation lui m6- v!!l'p.461' 
rita le dtre glorieux de P^re de ses sujets. Frapp6 
de ce caract^re sublime, X^nophon s est attache k 
(Kvelopper le plan qu'il a suivi, et k trouver dans 
iDute son histoire, Tart de vaincre et de r^gner. 
Cette id6e syst^matique I'a bientdt ^gar^ : elle a 
&it disparottre des succ^s de Cyrus le kasard, .rer- 
reur, la foiblesse et les revers. Un juste ^quilibre 
t^tabiit entre chaque 6v6nement, et sa cause; et 
cettc^ cause se retrouve toujours dans les vues. ex* 
actes et r^fl^chies de ce h6ros. Voilk ce qu'on a 
osi6 nommer un systfime vraisemblable. Un homme 
par&itcmeiit sage et parfaitcment hcureux seroit 
un monstre cent fois plus chini6rique que ceux 
dOvkie. Mais il n'est pas n^cessaire d embrasser 
cette id^e dans toute sa rigueur. X^nophon ad- 
miroit avec raison un corps lumineux; Tesprit 
dans lequel il le coiisid^roit, no lui permettoit pas 
d en observer les taches. 

On a cru que X^nophon a voulu rassemblcr dans 
le caract^re de ('yrus, les vertus d'un sage, aussi 
bien que les talens d'un conqu^rant, et d'un 16- 
gislateur. H61as ! s'il I'eut fait, X^nophon ne seroit 
que trop bien convaincu de n'avoir compos6 qu'un 

K 2 roman. 


roman. La pliipart des modemes ont adopts cette 
id^e, sur la foi d'un orateur, dont les eloquens ou- 
vrages se ressentent quelquefois d un travail pr^*- 
^•?'- cipit^. Cic6ron a dit que sous le nom du rfegiie 
rntjttm.iC de Cyrus, X6nophon a voulu d^crire celui de la 
■ justice. Chacun a r6p6t6 ; sous le nom du rfegnc, 
de Cyrus, X^nophon a voulu d^crire celui de la 
justice. Cet ^cho s'est perp^tu6 de sitele en sifecle ;* 
et le bon Rollin lui-m£me, cet ennemi jur6 dcs 
vertus payennes, ne parle qu'avec enthousiasme 
de cette vertu parfaite,<iui ne sVst jamais d^mentie 
:un seul instant II parolt pr^t k s eerier, Sonde 
CyrCj ora pro nobis. J'ose cependant m opposer h sa 
canonisation sur Tid^e qu'une lecture attentive de 
la Cy rop^dic' ma donn6 de son caracthe moral. 

On pent me citer des propos tr^s honn£tes, et des 
auctions vertueuses de ce prince. Je le sens; ja 
i avoue ; je comprends m^me, comment Ton e%t 6b- 
loui d'un air de moderation et de bont^, qui r^gne 
dans toute sa conduite. Mais c'est dans le principt 
de sa conduite qu'il faut chercher le caract^re dc 
sa vertu. Cyrus n avoit point T&me de Henri IV. 
dont on n'a jamais lu I'histoire sans attendrisse- 
ment; dc ce prince qui pleuroit lotristesort de ses 
sujets rebelles,etqui almoit son peuple, comme les 
^utres rois ont aim6 la gloire ; jamais le sentiment 
n^a 6mu le caract^re froid du Persau. 
Jamais un trait n'est parti de son coeur. La rai- 

BnMB. in * ^^ <Iois excepter Erasroe, qui litoit les anciens dans an autre 
]l2!*-2s*^ esprit que la plApart des sa\'ans. II a tr^ bien vu que ** Xeno- 

phon, vafrum qaendaro, et cysvP^mr expretsit potius, qoais 

fere prndentem ac saluUrem principem/' 



son conduisoit toutes ses d-marches; mais cette 
raison n'avoit rien de commun avec celle de Marc 
Aurfele; qui consultoitla volont^ des dieux, la na- 
ture de ITiomtne, et I'ordre de Tunivers, et qui pr6- 
fi^roit la vertu : la raison de Cyras n'6toit que la* 
connoissance de ses int^tr^s. II 6toit juste, humain, 
et bienfaisant; parceque la justice, Thumanit^ et la 
bienfaisance nouS attirent cette estime g^n^rale, 
dont il avoit besoin. VoWk la source de toutes ses 
vertus sp^cieuses. C'est d6jk une v6rit6 importante, 
que le conqu^rant et son historien ont enseign^ 
aux princes ; que la vertu n'est qu'une politique 
-bien . entendue ; mais cette politique chancelante 
doit se d^mentir dans quelques occasions, et se 
contenter presque toujours d'un fext^rieur imposant. 
Pour examiner celle de Cyras, je vais le consid6rer 
sous ses trois relations difF(6rentes, i'"""* de vain- 
queur de TAsie; 2"*" dalli^ des Mfedes, et 3""* 
de g^n^ral des Persans. Sa conduite envers ses 
ennemis, ses amis, et ses sujets, ne peut que nous 
^lairer sur son veritable caractere. 

1 . La guen-e a ses droits comme la paix, qui ne 
sont pas moins sacr6s pour avoir €t€ m^connus on 
viol& par la plApart des conqu6rans. Lorsque le 
jeune Cyrus prit le commandement de I'arm^e, c^ropjed. 
son p^re lui commun iqua dans une instruction g6- ]^^ ^ ^^"^ 
nerale, tout le fruit de ses reflexions, et de son ex- 
p^ence. C'est un chef d'oeuvre de raison politique ; 
et je ne connois rien de plus propre k former un 
general et un homme d'etat Mais on peut lui 
reprocher d'avoir ^tendu trop loin les droits de la 
guerre; ou plut6t de ne leur avoir point donn6 dc 

K 3 boraes. 


lH-'*^ borncQ. 'f Les devoirs (dit-il) n'existent qu'envcrs 

^ nos amis. L'injustice, le mensonge, la calomnie, 

sont des arts qu on ne doit point rougir d employer 
contre les ennemis. La chasse est Timage de la 
guerre ; tout moyen est permis qui nous y fait r6- 
ussir." Jen'ai pas besoin de faire sentir toutes les 
exceptions, que la philosophic mettroit k cette doc- 
trine g^n^rale. 

Si nous examinons la conduite de Cyrus, i! nous 
tiendra lieu d'un commentaire aux lemons de son 
p^re. Dfes sa premiere jeunesse, je Ic vois d^vori 
d'une ambition, qui ne pent s assouvir que par la 
conqu^te de TOrient II nous instruit assez claire- 
ment de ses vues, dans ce discours dlnauguration, 
qu'il tient devant V^lite de la jeunesse Persanne. 

Li. ^61. II s*6tonne de la stupidity de Icurs ayeux, qui ont 
cultiv6 la vertu sans y trouver leur avantage ; " de 
quel prix seroit-elle, cette inutile vertu; si ellc 
n*ofFroit pas des recompenses qui distinguent la 
bravoure de la lAchet^ ? La vertu, T^loquCTce, la 
science militaire, sont autant de moyens. Nous- 
m^mes et notr6 patrie nous allons y trouver la 
gloire, les richesses, et 1ft honneurs." Ces id^es sc 
concilient assez mal avec celle d une guerre defen- 
sive, que Cyrus alloit entreprendre ; cependant tt 
ne les perd jamais da vue. Apr^s la premiere 

LAr.^Mo. victoire sur les Assyriens, il sollicite une aug* 
mentation de troupes pour ex^cuter son deft> 
sein de r6duire TAsie sous ses loix, et sous celles 
des Persans. II ne connott de paix que la victoire^ 
et ne con^oit jamais que la guerre puisse finir que 

mT* ^ p^ la soumission de tous ses ennemis, qui doh*cQt 


fua LA honahcuije: pes medes. 13^ 

fle croire heureux, si le maitre legitime de tout ce 
qa'ils poss^dent daigne encore leur en laisser 
quelque portion. Assis enfin sur les tr6nes de 
Saides et de Babylone, ses voeux ne sont point Cyrojmd. 
combl^s. II leve une ann6e nombreuse, et soumet e^'^^s 
tout I'Orient, depuis la SyrieetrEthiopie,jusqu'i 
rOc^in. Mille nations entendirent pour la p;*e« 
mi^re fois le nom de leur vainqueur, et ses con- 
qudtes furent k peine arr^t^es par les obstacles que 
la nature y opposoit. Telle fut la justice et la mo- 
deration de Cyrus en vers ses ennemis. Montague EuaU d« 
la tr^s bien appr^ci^. " Et certes la guerre (dit-il) ^^^^^^ 
a beaucoup de privileges raisonnables au prejudice 
de la raison ; — mais je m'^tonne de T^tendue que 
X^nophon leur donne, et par les propos et par 
lexemple de son parfait empereur; auteur de 
merveilleux poids en telles choses ; comuie grand 
capitaine, et philosopb/s des premiers disciples de 
Socrate ; et ne coiisens pas k la mesure de sa dis<^ 
pense en tout et partout." La morale reldch^e de 
X^nophon auroit moins ^tonn^ Montague, s'il eut 
r^fi^hi que ce philosophe ^toit du nombre de ces 
aventuriers merc^naires, (jui vendent leur sang au 
plus ofirant ; et qui uc s'informent jamais de la 
justice du parti qu'ils embrassent. Ce n'est pas 
d*un colonel Suisse qu'on doive esp^rer un traits 
«ur le droit des gens.* 

• Cyrus envoye demaiulcr de Targent au Roi des Tndiens, c-rowed 
prince neutre et indopendant. S'il I'accorde (disott-il k ses amis) i.iiL p.SO 
BOOS loi en devrons de ia rcconnoissance. S'il le refuse, n^us se- 
•oas en droit de ne consulter que notre avantage, dans notce 
fiQIKiiMtc k fon egard. Ce droit me paroit assez plaisant ! 

K 4 Jc 



Je reconnois cependant avec plaisir, que la poll* 
tique, et peut-^tre le caract^re de Cyrus, n^avoit 
rien de la tl^rocit^ d'un conqu^rant Tartare. II exer- 
foit une cl^nience qui feroit honneur aux sidles 
les plus ^clair^s : il ^pargnoit le sang des vaincuSy 
et ne portoit point le flambeau dans les villes 
prises d'assaut. Trop sage pour miner oe qu'il 
regardoit comme son bien ; il n ajouta jamais au 
courage des ennemis, Taiguillon puiss;uit du d^ses* 
poir. Je n ai pas le loisir de m'arrfetcr sur cette 
^^^ partie int^ressante de son histoire. II me suftit 
T.p.376- d'indiquer son traits avec le Roi d'Assyrie, par le- 
quel il exceptoit les cultivateurs des horreurs de la 
guerre ; sa bont^ 6clair6e envers les Egyptiens k la 
^j. joum^e de Thymbr6e, et sa conduite apr^ la prise 
^^ de Sardes. Au lieu de'permettre k ses soldats de 

c. s'enrichir par la destruction de cette capitale, il se 

contenta d exiger des citoyens une forte contribu- 
tion; qu'il versa ensuite parmi les copipagnons de 
sa victoire. Les uns le regard^rent comme un 
dicu sauveur; les autres comme un bienfaiteur 
g^n6reux, qui ne laissoit jamais la valeur et la 
fid^lit^ sans recompense. On peut dire que la for- 
mation d\m grand empire n a jamais co{it6 si peu 
k rhumanit^. • 

2. Pour juger de la conduite de Cyrus envers 
Cyaxare et les MMes, il est n^cessaire de con- 
nottre ses relations avec eux. Dans le syst^me de 
Xenophon, les Persans ne d^pendoient point des 
MMes ; avec lesquels ils ^toient unis par les liens 
d une ^troite alliance. Cyaxare leur demande un 
'p 67, ^Qjp3 jg troupes, pour se d^fendre contre les 


8im LA MON ARCHIE £>£S MEDES; 137 

fiesseios ambitieux de TAssyrien, leur ennemi 
comniuii. Le grand conseil de la nation lui accorda 
treote mille hommes, dont Cyrus fut nomni^ 
g^i^ial. Ces troupes n'6toient point auxiliaires, 
ils ^toient merc^naires, et ce mot seul nous instruit cj^ropiid. 
dc toutes les obligations de cette espfece de servi^ J^^' **• ^^' 
tude niparfaiie. Cyrus devint le soldat de Cyaxare, jj]^^ - 
qui poitoit le fardeau de la guerre, et qui devoit en ct Pads, - 
lecueillir tout Tavantagc. Pendant quelque terns 
le nouveau g^6ral se distingua par son ob^issance 
et sa fid^lit^. Mais on pent d6couvrir le germe de 
llnd^pendanee,^ j usque dans son empressement Cyroped. 
affect^, son refus de prendre une robe M^de, et ^155! 
rostentation avec laquelle il 6tala aux yeux des 
ambassadeurs Indiens, le contraste du roi et du 
guerrier. Sa valeur, son bumeur populaire, et sa 
conduite artificieuse, lui donn^rent bient6t un parti 
dans la cour d'Ecbatane; le roi d'Arm^nie lui 
devoit le trdne et la vie ; et son arm^e, form^e par 
ses soins, ^toit d^vou^e k sa fortune. Enhardi par 
ces avantages, il commence k prendre un ton plus 
Irbre. C'est k la t^te de ses mille capitaines, qu'il^, 
\*a proposer au roi de porter la guerre dans le pays 
des ennemis. On ne refuse rien k une pareille 
deputation. Les allies se mettent en marche, ils 
livrent une bataille, et la gagnent. Cyrus veut 
profiter de sa victoire. Prfet k suivre lennemi k 
la tele des Persans, il demande au roi la permission 
d y ajouter les volontaires M^es. L'arm^e entifere 
part avec lui ; et Cyaxare demeure seul, avec un 
petit nombre de ses gardes. II envoye un ordre 
pour rappeller les M^es, dont il »e croyoit au 



nioins le maitre. Mais Cyrus avoit pris^un si grand 
ascendant sur ces troupes, qui le traitoient d^j^ de 
roi, qu'ils r^solurent unanimement de no point 
abandonner ses drapeaux. II r^pondit aussit6t k 
Cyaxare; k qui il n avoit encore donn^ aucune 

'r**?^ nouvelle dc sa situation. Son ton est celui d'un 

-^. homme, qui sent ses forces et qui m^prise son 
maitre. Apr^ ^voir exag^r^ des services, ainsi 
r^compens^, il finit sa lettre par une menace assez 
mal d^guis^ : " Ne r^voqucz point (lui dit-il) ce 
que vous avez accord^; un semblable proc^de 
changera en ennemis vos amis. N'ensei^ez point k, 
vos sujets, par vos plaintes d^placees,^ vousmi^priser. 
Quant k nous, lorsque nous aurons mis fin, k une 
entreprise utile pour le bien commun, nous t4che- 
rons de nous rendre aupr^ de votre personne.*' 
Sur le champ, il fait partir un ministre fiddle pour 
lever quarante mille autres Persans, que Cyaxare 
ne demandoit point, et pour les conduire en I^I^die. 

.T.p.3S9. Enfin Cyrus ramena son arm^e vtctorieuse d'une 
expedition dans laquelle il p^n^tra jusqu aux portes 
de Babylone. L oncle et le neveu se vjrent, et 
r^laircissement ne se passa point sans difficulte. 
Cyaxare sentoit son humiliation, et la comparoit 
tristement avec T^lat naissant d'uu alli^ qui ne le 
seroit pas long-terns. La v^rit^ perce k tiavers 
I'art de I'^crix'ain; et chaque lecteur plaint le 
triste soit de cc monarque, qu on a voulu rendre 
m^risable. II se rend cependant aux sophismes 

- V. pw 401. ^loqucns que Cyrus daigne encore employer ; ^ 
aux assurances qull lui donne qu*il ne l&isoit des 

conqu^tes que pour son avantage. flatt^ par ses 




tsuiances, et par le respect que Cyrus permit aux 
MMes de lui rendre, il consentit sans peine k tous Cjmpfed. 
ses projcts. Le roi des MMes, avec latroisiiine '•'^J^**' 
partie de Taring, se chargea de la garde du pays; 
pendant que le g^n^ral Persan marchoit oontre 
Fennemi k la t£te du -reste. Cyrus ne doit jamais 
oublier quHl est le soldat de Cyaxare, ou du mcMns de 
la cause commune. Depuis ce moment, je ne vois 
plus qu^un prince ind^pendant, qui fbnde un empire 
pour lui-m£me. II soumet les deux monarchies de 
Lydie et d'Assyric. Partout il agit en mattre. l^j 
Les gouvemeurs, les g^dnisons, les tr^rs, il ^^* 
sempare de tout, et r^t tout par sa volont^ 
supreme. Pendant qu'il se fait couronner roi de u^m.^ 
Babylone, sa politesse attentive prepare k Cyaxare l!ws.p^ 
un polais, propre k le recevoir, lorsqu'il voudra faire 
visile k son neveu, dans ses nouveaux 6tats. Ce 
neveu lui permet m6me d achever ses jours sur le 
tr6ne d'Ecbatane. II se contente d'^pouser sa fille JUTin.p.62 
unique, et derecueillir son heritage apr^s sa mort. 
Tel est le Cyrus de X^nophon. Mais j ai de la 
peine k croire, que Cyrus ait gard6 jusqu'A ce point 
les dehors de la moderation. H6rodote-et Ctesias Herodotj 
(je ne parle po'mt de leurs copistes) nous assurent J;^*?~^ 
que ce prince prit les armes contre son souverain, •p«i pho 
et que la victoire transfera Tempire des M^des aux ^ 
Persans. II n est gu^i-es possible que ces deux 
bbtoriens se trompent. Le t^moignage de Ctesias 
est celui des archives qu'il avoit consult^es, et 
lorsqu^H^rodote voyagca en Asie, la tradition de 
ce grand ^v^nement ^toit gravee dans tous les 
csprits^ disons mieux, dans tous les ^urs. L or- 


140 Mvn LA MOXAltCmE D£S «I£D£S. 

gufil des vainqueurs, et la douleur des vaincus, 

ne retrajoient que trop fid^lement la r^volutioii, 

qui avoit mis les uns dans les fers, et les autres sur 

le trdne. Si Tempire ne s'6toit form6 que par 

Tupion volontaire des deux nations, leur sort se- 

roit-il d^venu aussi diflterent? Les Persans, mai- 

Hefod. Kiii. tres de Tetat ^toient libres ct exempts de tout 

tribut: la M^die 6toit confondue dans la foule des 

,8tr«b.Geog. provinccs. Les ^crivains post^rieurs, Strabon et 

Xeoi^n/ X^nophon lui-mfemc, ont retrouv6 des vestiges dc 

f2!^?^^ cette guerre, des endroits qu'elle avoit rendu c^- 
*^* lebres. II sembleroit que cette flamme civile em- 

brasa tous les pays des bords du Tigre jusqu au 
fond dc la Perside. L'existence de cette guerre 
ne me parolt point douteuse. II en r^sulteroit 
que X^nophon a respect6 son h6ros plus que la 
v^rit6, ct qu il a efFac6 un trait d'injustice et de 
violence, qui auroit depart la douce politique dc 
Cyrus. L'^crivain na pas voulu pcrmettre k 
rhomme de sortir un instant de son caracti'rc 
g^n6ral. Mais en reconnoissant cc silence affect^, 
ne pei'dons point de vue uos principes. Essayons 
jusqu'^ quel point une hypoth^se naturelle pour- 
roit adoucir 3a faute, et rapprocher deux historiens 
dent on ne voit r^loignement qu avec une sorte de 
Herod. L L Cyrus u'abusa point de son victoire. H^rodote 
CtlSimpttd f^^' r^loge de sa cl^mcnce, k regard d'Astyage. 
FboLp.ioe. Ctesias y ajoute un melange assez singulier, mais 
tr^ naturel, de rigueur ct de bont^. D^ qu'il se 
vit mattre d'Agbatane, il met k la torture la far 
mille enti^i:^ d'As^age, pour leur arracher Taveu 



de sa retraite. La g^n^rosite de ce prince malbeu- 
mix, rendit inutile la constancede ses amis. II sortit 
de son asyle pour terminer leurs tourmens. D^ 
cet instant Cyrus s'assura de sa personne ; mais le 
rraita toojoiirs avec ie respect d'un fils ; il ^pousa 
meme sa tillc et se donna par Ik quelque titre 1^- 
^nie au tr6ne des M^es. Je suppose done qu'il 
iui laissa le \'aiu titre de Roi, et que se r6servant 
imtorit^ souveraine, sous le nom de son g^n^ral, 
oa de 5on premier ministre, il 6blouit sans peine 
ma peuple attach^ k la race de D^joce, et qui ne v. boiGoi 
s'appancevoit point qu'il eut chang^ de maitre. La P^J" 
pcditique dc Tamerlan ne seroit pas indigne de Cy- ^JJ- ^ 
rus. Ce prince Tartare 6toit maitre absolu de Totam. 
Tempire de Zagatai: bient6t il le fut de TAsie. H^de^i 
Un oidie de sa bouche an6antissoit la maison de ^sdb^ 
Jeoghiz Khan. II la respecta, il se contenta des ^- ^^ 
«res naodestes de g^n^ral et d'alli6 des princes, E^re* 
d par un management adroit pour les pr6jug6s de 
aa nation^ il conser\'a toujours aux d^scendans de 
jcut Icgislateur, les noms sacr6s de Khan et de Sul- 
tan. Astyage sur%^^cut a la prise de Sardes. II 
pent alors d'une fa^on, qui laissoit soup^onner ^tvha 
que Tusurpateur ^toit Tassassin. II ne pouvoit p* ^^ 
:ziieux se justifier de ce reproche, qu'en pla^ant un 
Cyaxare, fils du d^funt, sur le tr6ne pr^tendu d'Ag- 
batane. II n'est pas ^tonnant qu'Herodote et Ctesias 
ayent ignor^ I'existence de ce fant6me, qui dispa- 
joissoit k mesure que Tautorit^ de Cyrus s^^ffermis- 
ioit; et quils ayent 6x6 T^poque du r^gne de ce 
odoqu^jant par la defaite d^'Vstyage. II Test en- 
core moins, que X^nophon ait profit^ de la con- 


14d %VK LA MONARCHiE t>tS M£D£4. 

duite politique de ison h^ros, et qu en suivant son 
exemple il ait tAch^ de faire 6vanouir toutes les 
traces d'une guerre aussi odieuse^ Je ne sais si 
Foa doit attribuer au dessein, ou au hasard, cette 
erreur chronologique, sur la niort d'Astyage, qu - 
assur^ment il a avanc6 de plusieurs amines : le con- 
sentement unamine de Tantiquit^ me persuade 
que c'est k Astyagc et non k Cyaxare, que Cyrus 
a arrach6 le sceptre; et lautorit^ de Ctesias me 
prouve que c'est la lille d' Astyagc qu'il a ^pous^. 
Ce d^placement r^pand quelque contusion sur ia 
Cyrop^die, qui pr6sente d'ailleurs un tableau tr^ 
vraisemblable de T^levation du prince Persan, 
jusqu ^ rinstant qu elle jette Un voile fa\'orabIe 
sur le denouement de ses intrigues. 
'Cjrapvd. 3^ Lgg douze tribus dcs Persans, qui montoient 
a peme au nonibrc de 120,000 honimes, n'occu- 
poient qu'une portion sterile de la province, k la^ 
' quelle ils out donn^ le nom de Perside.* Lor9* 
qu on voit une peuplade aussi peu uonibreuse sub- 
jug^er TAsie en moins de tientc ans; nous sou- 
haiterions de connoitre les causes, qui leur ac^ui- 
rent une sut^^riorit^ aussi d^cid^e sur les autrea 
cjrop!^ nations. C'6toicut un gouvemement libre, et une 
1.1 pmtim. ^ucation perfcction^c ; les deux moyens les plus 

v. Stnlmi. * On dUtingtioit dans U Penide, 1. La c6te tnarilime, qni 
^^1, Arl ^^taride, tabloneiAe, et bHileepar les chalrurs excessives. 2. 
riau. India La partie tcrap^ree. C ctoit la plus belle plaioe du roonde. 3. 
M U2k ^ P&rtJe septenuionale, froide, sterile et rcroplie de roontagnes. 
Lii. adfin. C^toit la patrie des Persans. Tb\ n^ligc le roroan de Ja nais- 
J*^jPJj2^- sauce el de HUucation de Cyrus ; qu' H6rodote a ecril a?ec aiH 
Ikvi. p.MS. taot d'agyciinens que de iii6pris pour U vraasemblance. 



propres k Clever r^me, et k former de grands^ 
homioes. X^nophon a peut-£tre trop consult^ la 
l^g^lation Spaitiate lorsqu'il a compost sou ta- 
bleau vraiment philosopbique de celle des Per^* 
sans ; niais la conformite de ses id^es avec les oI> 
lervations d'H^rodote, me persuade qu'il a travaill6 iT^tTiso 
sur un fond tr^s historique ; et que la r^publique ""^*** 
Persanne se distinguoit pap des loix et des vertud 
inocmnues aux vils troupeaux d'esclaves, qui cou- 
vraieiit le reste de TAsie. La formation d'un sembla^ 
Ue ^tat doit avoir ^t^ accompagn^e de circonstances 
sisguli^res, mais nous ignorons jusqu au nom de 
ce g^ie sublime, qui en fut Fauteur. Le jeune v. Cyr». 
Cyrus apprit dans cette ^cole a m6priser la moit et iu!l3!^* 
i ne craindre que les loix. Dans toutes ses guerres, ^^^^ 
il aembloit n'6tre que le compagnon de cette jeu- 
Dcsse, dont il ^toit le premier dans un jour de com* 
bat. La raison, I'^loquence, la plaisanterie, des 
recompenses; voiU les seuls moyens qu''l em- 
ployoit pour s'assurer lob^issance d'une arm6e 
nombreuse. Ennemi du faste et des pTaisiis, il 
totttenoit par ses lemons et par son exemple, les 
institutions rigoureuses de sa patrie. line pareille 
discipline mattrisa la fortune, Cyrus se vit enfin 
assis sur les debris sanglans de tous les tr6nes de 

La victoire ne T^blouit point ; mais il dccouvrit 
d^ lors le plan r^fl^chi d'un gouverncment despo- 
tique, qu'il avoit form6 depuis longtems. II d6- L.vii.p.58i 
butapar la ruse ordinaire aux ambitieux; en fai- ""^^' 
sant sentir aux grands tous les inconv^niens d'une 
d^mocratie, qui les laissoit dans la foule des citoy- 



ens. Dhs qu'il les vit int^ress^s dans ses pTOJeto, 
et convaincus qu'il valoit mieux ^tre les esclaves 

1.^.^' d'un maitre, que de la multitude, il changea tout 

h!rui p. ^'^^ coup de conduite. A son ancienne simplicity 

*9S, fitc. ii substitua la parure des M^des, qu'il avoit m6- 
pris^, et tout le luxe Babylonien. Ses maniires 
populaires et aflablcs avoient fait place k Torgueil 
des rois de TOrient. La jalousie marche a c6t6 
du despotisme. Ce guerrier, qui n avoit jamais 
connu la crainte, commeni(:oit k se d^fier des com- 
pagnons de ses victoires. II ne paroissoit plus en 
public, qu'environn^ d'uue garde de dix mille 

L. ni. ^ hommes. II ne confioit plus sa personne qu'aux 

L. vk. p. eunuques de son palais. II esp6roit que, m6pris^ 
de tons les hommes, ils se devoueroient au maltre 
qui les prot^geoit. Cyrus sentoit cependant qu'il 
devoit chercher ailleurs, un appui solide de son 

L.vrup. empire. II rassembla T^lite des Persans, et des 
' ^ allies; qu'il formoit continuellement aux fa- 
tigues de la guerre et de la chasse: toujours 
exerc^s sous ses yeux, ils jouissoient des richesses 

LTyfuL p. cle rOrient, sans en fitre corrompus. Aux pottes 
de son palais ils se faisoient une habitude de la 
bravoure, de la temperance, mais surtout de 
lob^issance, la premiere des vertus aux yeux de 

UTiii^p. Cyrus. S'ils n^^'gligeoicnt ce ser\'ice, le roi Icur 
faisoit enlever leurs biens ; et leur montra que ses 
seuls courtisans avoient droit k sa faveur, ou m6me 

JjJ"^^ k sa justice. Les Persans apprirent pour la pr^- 
mi^re fois k Tadorer. Jaloux des hommages de aes 
sujctSy il r^toit encore de leur amour mutuel. 

[^j^ p- Pendant que ses bienfaits lui assuroient I'attache- 




de ses g^eniers ; il favorisoit parmi eux une Cjwfmd, 
qui les rendoit moins redoutables. Voili p. 5^ 
fei prinopes que Cyrus 6tablit dans son gouveme- 
matt, €t que chacun de ses satrapes imitoit dans 
m piovmce. Tout s y rappoitoit au prince, rien i. Wu. p. 
m peuple. ^^' 

Nc dissimulons cependant point, que Cyrus re- ^fSL p. 
tDujours la liberty Persanne dans sa source 
Le citoyen Persan jouissoit, au sem de sa 
de llnd^pendance et de la pauvret^, s'il 
lei ]>r^rer aux grandeurs serviles de la cour. 
Je pcnse que la Perside se d^peuploit tons les 

QaH fttt le genre de mort de ce h6ros ? Je ne Hcfodoc 
point son exp^ition Scy thique, et la vie- Jtu. 


• ^ f *- 

tDire de Xomyris. Je ne parlerai pas non plus de 
cette mort douce, tranquille, et digne de Socrate CmpBd. 
4aot la faveur des dieux couronna son bonheur. p ^|J|!^ 
Hciodote et X6nophon sont entre les mains de 
iMt le monde ; mais on a fait peu d'attention au 
redt vraisembiable et conciliant de Ctesias. Cyrus ctnM% 
troit pris les armes contre les Derbices, nation bar- BibLp.i8s 

qui erroit dans ces vastes plaines a Torient de 
h mer Caspienne. Au pliis fort de la m^l^, le 
dieral de Cyrus, effray6 d'une odeur d'^l^phant, 
^"3 ne connoissoit pas, se xenverse avec son 
Un Indien le blesse avec un javelot. Les 
Temportent au camp ; mais d^ounig€s par 
k Uessare de leur g6n6ra1, iis sont repouss^ avec 
Wbe perte tr^ considerable. A la nouvelle de cette 
4e£ute, Amorges, ami et auxiliaire de Cyrus, ac- 
OBuut 3l la tftte d^une arm^ de Saques : il se Uvra 
▼OL. uc i^ une 


une bataille sanglante, mais decisive en iaveur det 
Persans. Cyrus ne snrv^cut k sa blessure que trob 
jours. II mourut au milieu de ses amis, apr^ 
avoir distribu^ ses ^tats k ses fils, qu'il exhortoit 4 
s'aimer toujours. C'est 1^ a mon avis, . la mort di 
Cyrus. Chacun des autres historiens n'a voultt 
voir que la portion qui convenoit k ses vues philo* 
aophiques. H^rodote vouloit prouver Texisteiiqi 
d'une puissance toujours jalouse du bpnheur dct 
hommes. X^nophon vouloit soutenir jusqu'^| 
dernier moment la fortnne de son h^ros ; Touvn^ 
et la recompense. de sa prudence. *i^- 

II a fallu se livrer k une discussion un.pcK 
Ipngue, pour appr^ier le vrai caract^re de Cyrut 
et de la Cy rop^ie ; qu on a envisage d'une mani^ 
assez confuse. Elle nous a aid6 k d^m^ler la dm 
struction de la dynastie des MMes, dont H6rodolij 
nous 'a conserve I'histoire. Nous y decouvriroMI. 
aussi ces rois de Suse, les tristes Successeurs di, 
Tempire d'Arbace, que nous avons perdu de vi|| 
depuis longtems. lis vont briller un instant, fottl. 
se perdre k jamais dans la nuit de Foubli. ^ 

X^nophon, d'accord avec nos ^crivains 8acr6L 
nous repr^sente le petit royaume de Suae conmrilt. 
etant soumis aux loix des Babyloniens. Le prinni 
tributsure qui le gouvemoit, se nommoit Aboi 
.date. Hinder des vertus d'Arbace, sans T^tre 4l 
sa fortune, il soufiroit impatiemment Torgueil d*4|. 
mattre. Ce maitre osa m£me jetter un ceil t^niiB 
raire sur la Princesse Panth6e, son Spouse et mm 
amante, dont la vertu le rassuroit autant que4| 
bcaute lui inspiroit d'inqui^tudes. Dans le teoM 



Imdate dtpit parti du camp des Assyriens, 
cntaqier une n^;ociation avec les Bactriens, 
itaiUe se donne; les As^riens y soat d^&ite, 
or campy rempli de leurs tr^n, de leurs 
m^ et de leurs enfans, tombe au pouvoir des Cjnpma^ 
piciiis^ Lorsque ceux-d firent le partage du l ^'p^m^* 
^ on r^rva Panth6e pour Cyrus lui-m6me. ^^' 
hn belle femme de TAsie devoitr couronner 
de ses gueiriers. Araspe lui annon^a 
goAt vif^ les plaisirs qu'U alloit goiitsr 
bras. II lui fit une description touchante 
capdyCf de sa beaut6, de sa dignit6 modeste^ 
mm dtaespoir. Cyrus fut insensible auk at- 
de bi Yolupt6, et aux mouvemens de la piti6. 
p6 de ses desseins politiques^ il lui r^pondit 
^ qull ne verroit point cette captive; 
appas pourroient Tehgager k r£p£ter sa vi- 
ctque ses affaires ne lui laissoient pas un 
ent pour ses plaisirs." II confia Panth^e khL^^p-^n. 
I d^Ansfc Ce jeune MMe ne la vit point ' 
indiffi^rence ; et essaya vainement d'6branler 
xmstance fond^ sur Tamour et sur la vertu. ub. vL 
duction fit place aux menaces; et la reine de ^ ^^' 
we vit enfin oblig6e d'instruire Cyrus de Tin-^ 
b£y et de la foiblesse d'Araspe. Ce prince le 
entAt rougir d'une faute, que la violence de 
rendoit presqu'in6vitable, et que son re- 

r cffii^oit. II la lui pardonna, mats cet 6talage ^^^% 
lifanence se termina dans une s^v6rit6 plus 
6c. Cyrus osa charger son and d'une com- 
on . bonteose, . qui I'exposoit k une mort 
le et infiune, et qui devoit Favilir k jamab k 
■ . l2 ses 


ses propres yeux. Araspe paasa au camp des Ly» 
' diens, et chacun cnit qu'il avoit ivit^ par cettt 
desertion, la juste trolirc de son souverain. 

Panthee fut tromp^ cotnmc Ics autres, PfiA ' 

2S!^* . trfe des bont^s de son ^'amqueur, elle nc iwiM ' 

^•^•^ pas qu'il rcgrcttAt Mn ami perfide. EHc ^ ti yf lt 

k son ipcnxxy qu'eHe tenoit de Cyrus &a vie ct sm 

honnenr; Abradate partit sur le champ, k la t^' 

p. ^. dc deux mille chevaux ; et vint se d^voucr an 

vice de ce vainqueur bienfaisant. Attentif 4^ 

ses d-marches, il vit que ce g^n^ral changtoit* 

forme de ses chariots de guerre^ et qu'aux wm 

il substituoit des chariots d'une nouvclle 

jj^ ^ tion, et qui 6toient arm^s de faux tranchant 

hj^ AussitAt il en fit faire cent, sur le m^e priiict|ldt^ 

B. 46t. Ce fut h la t^ de ce corps de troupes, qull meimP 

^40^. Vavant-garde k la batailte de Thymbr6e. PantMUl 

larma de ses mains, d'une armure d*or massif dodh 

elle lui fit present; elle Texhorta k m^riter Testrflfl^ 

ct les bienfeils de Cyras, le vit mooter sur sdl 

p. 4»!l char, et s'^vanouit £xcit6 par la gloire, riiiuu<il|i 

et la reconnoissance, Abradate se pr^cipita sur Nk 

phalanges Egyptiennes, qui occupoient le ceiitlki 

de Tarm^e ennemie; mais son imp6tuosit6 se hnii^ 

contre la fermet^ de ces masses profbndes. HiM 

Pj;^ g^es sur cent de hauteur, elles lui pr^sentfcraib 

par tout, lordre serr^ de leurs tongues piques. IIh 

lA. A c^^ d' Abradate fut renvers^ ; et les ennemts %m 

^ *•*• perc^rent de mille coups. II y p^it avcc la pHk 

part de ses comps^ons. *■ 

^^*- ^ Apr^s les premiers soins de la vfctoirc et la praF 

' de Sardes, Cyrus s'informa du sort Ki'Abradale 



li dit, que Panth^c avoit retir6 son corps de 
I6e; et quelle le feisoit ensevelir sur les bords 
LCtoIe. Aussitdt il moute k cheval, poiu lui 
i les demiers honneui*s. It ta trouve assise 
e, suppoitaiit suF ses geRoux la ttte 4e son 
:, et s'accusant de lui avoir doun6 la mort. 
ince Persan veut prendre la main de son ami: 
main se s^pare du corps auquel les tristes 
de PaBtWc Favoicnt r6uni. Attendrr par ce 
cle^ il lui offra tout ce qui peut soulager sa 
ilr. EUe I'entend k peine; d^vor^e de son 
pair elle ne connoiit qu'uixreni^e k sea maux. 
ndbirafise son ^poux peur la demi^re &i% se 
^ ct expioe sut son seia. Trots de aes eut 
» imitent Texemple de leur maHresw. Un 
f tombeau re^oit ces aman^. Le monceau 
xe qAii leur tenoit lieu de mausol^, se vojoit 
e du tem& de X^nophon. Leurs noQ)s> en 
i Syriaqu^ ^toient gvav^Sr, sur uae colonne. 
^toit accompagnee de trois autres colonnes, 
m VH plus bas, et qui portoient les titres des 
jues. lis partagoient la gloire de leurs mal* 
omme ils avoient partag^ leur mort. 
ec Abradate p6rit la dynastije des j^bacid^s.** 
empire, a pass^, leur n^n si'af^p^ficevok k 
dans les t6n^bres de Fantiquit^. Je in'ose j^as 
itter d'avoir port^ dans ces tin^brei^ )e flam- 
ie la critique et de la philosophic. 

B ne sail point sll laissa d'enfans ; mais if est siltr que Cyrus 
la de ^ ctat«, et que Suse devint une de. ses capita|e9. 

l3 " LES 

( 150 ) 

Lftosanne, Janvier i3y 175S 


Dans la ^ou^elle Ckronologie du Chevatier Newtoitf cougar 

ovee.Us Ckronohgiet ordinaires. 







ConquAte de TEgypte par les pasteurs 
Ph^nicicns, que Newton regarde 
comme des Canaii6eiis qui fuyoient 
devant Josu6 

Phoroneus civilise les peuples du P61o- 

£mn^ et b&tit Argos 
rops, Egyptien de Sais, arrive en 
Grece et fonde le royaume d'Athtees 
1*^ expulsion des pasteurs«par Amosis 




Cadmus le Ph^nicien fonde le roy- 
aume de Thebes ; Newton croit que 
son voyage, aussi bien que celui de 
quelques autres, ^toit une suite de la 
prise de Sidon par les Edomites qui 
fuyoient devant Davide 

Le d61uge de Deucalion, oii Newton 
place le commencement des quatre 

Etablissement du cpnseil des Amphic- 

Institution des mystires de C6^ k 

Rj^g^ de Minos dans Tl^e de Crtt^ 

9 i 


ai o 































Expedition de S6sostris en Asie. Mais 
Newtonnon seulement convientavec 



Af arsham ;* mais encore il croit que 



S^sostris 6toit le Bacchus des Grecs 

et 1 Osiris des Egyptiens, et son 

phre le Jupiter Ammop de TAfrique : 

au lieu que, suivant M&rsham, Osiris 

^toit le m^e que Menes ou Mez- 

raim, et Jupiter Hammon que Cham 




Danaiis fuyant son fr^re Sesac ou Da- 



naiis vient k Argos 



Exp^ition des Argonautes 




2^ expulsion des pasteurs par Ame^ 


Prise de Troye 









Homfere et H^siode fleurissent 









Retour des H^raclides dans le P61o- 

La migration des loniens dans lAsie 








Pul ou Belus jette les fondemens de 


Tempire d'Assyrie sur les ruines de 



celiii d'Egypte 




La r* Olympiade dlphitus 
Lycurgue donne des loix k Sparte 







1*'* guerre de Messfene 




Fondation de Rome 




Solon donne des loix a Athfenes. 




Mort de Cyrus 


♦ Pour confondre S^sostrin avec Setac; 

L 4 

( \S9 y 

Lausaiine, Jan\ierC3, IJSB. 


Le nom de Newton reveille I'id^e d'un r^nv 
profond, lumincux, pt original. Son syst^me A 
chronologie suflfiroit seal pour lui assurer Tiin 
mortality. II le composa pour satisfaire k la nobl< 
curiosity d'une princesse, qui avoit rhonneur d'to 
de ses amies, et qui en 6toit digne. 

Magnum reginae sed entm misenitua amorem 
Dasdalus, ipse dolos teed ambagesque reaolvit 
jEw^^ Csca regena filo vestigia. ( 1 ) 

L*exp6rience et Tastronomie, voil^ le fil de M 
Newton. De ces deux principes simples, com 
bin^s avec les monumens les plus pures de Tanti 
quit^, il avu naltre une foule de consequences let 
plus singuli^res. Ses r^sultats difi^renl de oeux di 
aes pr^d^cesseurs, sou vent de plusieviFS sidles 
presque toujonrs d un grand nombre d^ann^es. O 
seroit peu connoitre les hommesy de croire qu'ils 
ayent facilement renonc6 k leurs anciennes id^ 
Ce syst^me a 6t6 vigoureuseroent attaqu^ en An- 
(f) Par v. gleterre(2) et en France. (3) Je vak fyire quelque 
^Jj|jj2j;;3^ rem^ques sur les principaux points de ce syst^e 

OOParM. ^^^^ ^^* remarques telles que les put dieter Ic 

«j*<^ simple amour de la v^rit^ : je m* contredirai peut- 

te 6tre : ici je paroltrai ardent d^fenseur du syatftme, 

Ik armi pour sa ruine, Je peserai indiff^renuneni 



toittes les raisons qui se pr^senteront, quelle que 
wit Icur origine et quel que soit leur but. Pour 
de jugement n'en attendez point. Auguste nc trou- 
TOft que trois homines qui pouvoient 6tre candidats 
pour Tempire. L'un y aspiroit sans le m^ter, un 
second le m^ritoit sans y aspirer. Un seul r^unis- 
loit les talens a Tambition. (4) II en est de m^me (4) 
icL II iaut connoltre pen et la trempe de ces c.%x 
mati^res, et celle de son esprit^ pour pr^ipiter sa 
decision. Dans les sciences oii nous n'avons que 
la simple probability pour guide, la v^rit6 ne se 
tioiiTe que par la comparaison de toutes les cir- 
Constances qui peuvent se rapporter k Tobjet qu on 
^yamtiM*^ et dont bcaucoup en paroissent d'abord 
fort iloign^es. Quel travail assez grand pour ras- 
semUer toutes ces circonstances ? Quelle main 
assez delicate pour les peser avec impartiality ? Je 
commencerai par montrer les points de vue les plus 
iaTorables de ce nouveau syst^me, et quelques unes 
des piincipales raisons qui peuvent Tappuyer, apr^ 
qnoi j exposeiai avec la m^me franchise mes doutes 
et mes objections. 

I. Un synchronisme des plus connus des gens 
de goAt et des plus combattus des savans, c'est 
celui de Didon ct £n^e. Un poete aussi distingu6 
par ses connoissances que par ses talens, les a\'oit 
hit contemporains, quoique les chronolog^stes les 
^ioignent Tun de 1 autre de plus de 300 ans. On 
xnt assez que Tenvie de rapprocher les fondateurs 
de Rome et de Carthage pouvoit avoir tent^ le 
poete, mais on ne con^oit pas comment, de tant de 
critiques que les quatre sidles suivans out produit^ 



aucun ne se soit apperipu d'une licence extiaordi- 

naire, et que Macrobe ait 6t€ le premier ^ la re- 

prooher k Virgile. Dans le nouveau syst^me, 

Virgile n'en mdrite point Trove fut prise Tan 

904 avant J. C. Didon acheva de b^tir Cartilage 

/5^ewti»^ Tan 884, (5) En6e et Didon furent bien contempo- 

lutem,' rains, et quoique peut-^tre ils ne se soient jamais 

Uif Cm- ^us, encore moins aim^s, il y a bien de la difference 

^J'JJ;*^ *• entre se servir des privileges de son art et attribuei 

des actions k des personnages qui ne les ont jamaii 

fait, mais qui auroient pu les faire, et renversei 

tout 1 ordre des terns pour produire des situations 

frappantes ; entre faire voyager Henry IV. en An- 

(<)Cos«e gleterre (6) et manager une entrevue entre le Due 

de Guise et la Pucelle d'Orl6an& Les Romaina 

ont bien suivi la chronologic technique pour leui 

propre histoire; mais puisqu^ils s'en sont 6cart^dani 

un article aussi essentiel, il est naturel de croire 

que les archives de Carthage leur ont foumi des m6- 

moires oppos^ k ceux des Grecs et que ces demien 

CO punt ignoroient. La fameuse sc^ne de Plaute (7) prouvc 

V. ae. i.'^ que la langue Punique ^toit assez commune k Rome 

pour leur faciliter Fusage de ces monumens, et 

^Uoit I'exemple de Saluste(8) fait voir combien ik 6taient 

guth. cTir. dispos^ d'en profiter. 

IL La tradition ancienne de Tltalie domioit 

Pythagore pour maitre k Numa. La chronologic 

ordinaire met entr'eux un si^le d'intervaUe, et 

les 6crivains suivans ont mieux aim4 suivre cettc 

WQ ser. chronologic que la tradition.(9) Newton la rtoiblit, 

^iSllit. cet tradition. Numa monta sur le trAne en 6IO au 

TkJuwXi. fP^ ^^ nouveau systdme. Mais quoi qu'en disc 

••^^ M. £reit^ 


M. Freret,(10) F^poque la plus incontestable de la ^^^^^ 
Tie de Pythagore, c*est I'observation qu'il fit de la dans toma 
planite V6nus en 612.(11) L'imagination seroit nViiL^dc 
f^h^ de perdre ce synChronisme : elle aime k en- ^k^ ilt 
visager le l^gislateur aux pieds du philosophe, et ^- p^^ 
i r^trouver dans le g6nie et Texp^rience de ce Hirt.N«tBi 
grand maitre le germe de ces institutions qui ont 
rendu le peuple Romain nialtre de tons les pen-* 
pleSf La raison n'oae Fabandonner; sans son se- 
GOUTS elle auroit trop de peine k rendre r^tison 
d'une conformity de doctrine aussi singuli^re que 
celle de ce^ deux grands hommes. Cette con-i 
fmnit^ brille dans plusieurs institutions Romaines, 
(18)mais encore mieux dans ces livres de Numa (if)TeBe 
qu'on d^terra plusieurs sidles apr^s la xnort de ce ?^de dST 
prince, et qui contenoient la philosophie Pytha- vS^'liS 
gQricieiuie.(13) Elle n'oseroit jamais pr^tei^dre p««'I* 
que Numa dans sa campaene Sabine, sans livres, cis) ptin. 
sans commumcation, et sans voyager, se soit ren- i. xm. c 19 
ooQtr^ avec Pythagore dans tout ce que la philo- ^iJi.^ ;i. 
aophie a de plus sublime. Plus les dogmes de ce yJer^MEx 
dernier ^toient abstrus, 6loign6s de la route com- i« 
mune, plus ce ph^om^e devient difficile k ex- 

III. Quiconque a lu ce qui nous r^te sur This- 
toire ancienne de TEgypte n'a vu qu'un chaos com- 
post d'^16mens qui se d6truisent les uns les autres. 
Si cet homme s'est trouv^ quelque talent, il a es- 
say^ de le d^hrouiller, mais pour pen qu'il ait eu 
de bonne-foi, il a reconnu bientdt la vanit6 de ses 
efibrt& Cependant dans ces deserts on avoit, mais 
en petit nombre, quelques indices qui paroisse^t 



devoir guider le voyageur avec surety. £n voic 

deux qui regardent le terns de S^stris, epoqui 

de la grandeur Egyptienne. L'un lie Thistoin 

d'£g}'pte avec celle de la Gr^e> en nous assuran 

que le Sdsostris des Egyptiens ^tx)it TEg^'ptus de: 

<i4)foMpii. Grecs, et son fr^re Armais le m^e que Danaiis. ( 1 4 

Apeoa. L i. L'autxe regarde les affaires des H^breux. Toutes le 

p. 109$. circonstanccs concourent k nous engager k nc poini 

s^parer S^sostris, conqu^rant d^Asie, d avec Sem 

qui pilla Jerusalem du terns de Rehoboam. Lab 

mvofeph. torit6 de Jos^phe y met le sceau.(15) Ces deui 

j«^iac.L synchronismes ont partag^ les savans. Suivant 

(i6)Co«iDe leursgo(itsdiiKrens,iesuns(l6)se sont attach^ ai 

i{^^^^ premier, les autres(17) ont hkti leur chronologpi 

^JJ* J^ Egyptienne avec Ic secours de ce dernier. Le sys 

(tTX^oM tdmc de M. Newton adopte ces deux ^poques k h 

ShMkibd, fois, les iait rencontrer au m£me tems, et r^concilk 

tous ces savans en litige, en profitant de ce que leun 

diflRirens systdmes peuvent foumir de aolide. 

IV. Rien de plusc61^bre parmi les poetes, c^esl 

k dire parmi les historiens de lantiquit^ que le 

quatre ages du genre humain, qu on distinguoit pai 

C^^- les noms des m^taux.( 1 8) Les lavans de nos jours 

Ohmhcc y ont trouv^, les uns des chim^res poetiques, la 

PMia^pni! autres des vestiges de Thistoire que les (i^brcux 

J^^Q^ nous ont laiss^ des premiers siecles. Rien de plw 

jH^UJ^ 1^ ^ foTc6 et de plus vague que tout cela. Rien de pliu 

ir.sMcc. naturel ni de plus pr^is que les idees de M. New* 

ton. Ces quatre siecles sont les quatre g6n^ni* 

tions^ ou les cent quarante ans entre Tarriv^e dc 

Cadmus en Gr^ et la prise de Troye, penduit 

lesquelles la Gr^ a penlu ks mceurs k sieaurc 


qu*elle a mpat les arts de TEgypte et de la Ph6- 

Bicic;(i9) 2^15:; 

V. Lc Bacchus des Grecs. disons mieux des ^^fH^^^ 
Egyptiens, n^est plus une personne all^gorique ni 
mtaie un prince dont F^poque se perd dans I'ob- 
icurit^ des terns, et dont la plApart des actions 
dmvent sVxpIiquer en les rappo!rtant k ses attri- 
buts ;(20) c*est un prince qui civilisa Torient, t6- (JJiSSS 
IMmdit les arts de n^dessit^ et dasnr^ment dans etFabia,t 
toute r^tendue de ses conqudtes, qui poussa jus- 
qa*aux Indes, souffrit beaucoup de la part du Roi 
dc Thrace, et dont il feut placer T^poque, comme 
ks Grecs ont fait, une g^^ration ou deux apr^ 

Voili quelques avantages du nouveau systfemc. 
Peat-toe on ajouteroit facilement plusieurs autres. 
Avant qu^ de passer aux endioits foibles, remar* 
quons tims choses. 

I. On est d abord r^volt^ de la hardiesse de M. 
Newton. On est surpris de voir un Anglois deux 
millc ans apr^s que les Grecs avoient r^gl^ leur 
cfaronologie, venir accuser les Acusilaus, les Ephores, 
les Eratosthenes, les Apollodores, &c. d avoir ig- 
nore les premiers 61^niens de la chronologic de leur 
patrie. Mais dissipons Tillusion ; ce n'est point des 
temoins qu'il rejette, c'est des cririques dont il d6- 
tniit les supputations. lis avoient fonn6 leurs 
calculs long-tems apr^s T^v^nement, et ils s^^toient 
icn'is d'un principe erron6 en les formant.(21) («;)."» 
M. Newton lui en substitue un autre. Feut-^tre rcgnes 
lenrs raisons valent-elles mieux que les siennes, ^S^SL 
mais ce sera leurs raisons qui vaudront mieux et 


158 8CE LA yOUVEtLE CHRONOk)bit 

non point leur autorit^i Je me retracterois ce- 
pendant si je voyois la n^crologie origtnale des 
pr^txesses d'Amydes, dont nous parle M. Freret, et 
que M. TAbb^ Fourmont doit avoir apport^ en 
22PJJ*^ France.(S2) Mon ^loignement de Paris me laisse 

*^S^lZ, ^S^^^^^ ^^ ^^ voyage de ce savant est d^venu public 

m,t.z.p. II. Ne pourroit-on pas substituer k la fkmeuse 

di\^sion des terns de Varron, une autre qui auroit 

au moins cet avantage qu'on en sentiroit d'abord 

les raisons? La voici; le terns inconnu sera celui 

pendant lequel les Grecs n'ont point eu de lettres, 

ou jusqu'i Tarriv^e de Cadmus. La tradition pent 

,conserver les principaux 6v^nemens, rarement les 

cifconstances, et presque jamais les dates. Le 

terns fkbuleux s'6tendra jusqu'k la mort de Cyrus. 

Les Grecs pendant cet espace ont eu des dcrivains 

et des monumens, mais point dliistoriens« Les 

pr^tres et les poetes corrompirent la religion qui 

n'^toit que I'histoire des premiers sidles. Le terns 

historique commence avec les premiers historienSi 

:ts)i(Meph. Cadmus de Milfete, H6cat6e, et H6rodote-(23) 

i|Moii.i.L III. Quand je parle de cet esprit original qui 

Elfcwton's brille dans Touvrage de Newton, je ne pr^tei^ 

fcJlTc L% P^lcr q w^ ^^ deu X premiers chapitres. Les autres, 

Zidm io ^^ '* ^^^^ regler Thistoire des Assyriens, des Baby- 

loniens, des M^des, et des Perses, n'est plus la 

m^me chose. Ce n'est pas qu*on n'y trouve bien 

des remarques curieuses. Mais Time de Newton 

^toit faite pour fonder et pour d^truire des empires 

et non pour 6plucher des details minutieux. Je 

pense m^me que pcu de lecteurs se rendront k la 

transposition de Cyaxare et d'Astyage; et que 




beauicoop souluuteront qu'il eut cit6 quelquefois le 
Chevalier Marsham.(24) (f4)Mafw 

Je vais ^ pr^nt proposer mes objections. Elles wm Ono. 

ne serviiont peut-^tre pas ^ ^laircir la question, x^iL p^ w 
mais elles pounont toujours faire sentir combien ^^ 
die est difficile ^ 6claircir. 

I. Je disois que M. Xewton s'est send de 

Fexp^rience pour Clever son nouveau systdme. 

Voiei comment il raisonnoiL Les Grecs ont 

fi»m^ leur chronologic en donnant ^ leurs lois les 

ans avec les autres 35 a 40 ans de r^gne. Or 

rcxp^ence fait voir que ce nombre est beaucoup 

Imp grand. Les rois d'Angleterre, de France, 

ft presque tons les autres qui ont r^gn^ dans les 

tons Tiaiment historiques, n ont r^gnd qu'environ 

diz-lmit ^ \nngt ans chacun. II faut done rabattre 

aivifuu la moiti^ de la dure^ qu on attribue a leur 

histoire; (25) ou pour parler plus exacteraent, il [^\3^ 

mt iaire cette reduction dans la proportion de R«fonii.L 

quatze ^ sept. (26) II nV auroit rien ^ mordre (f6) iden 

cc raisonnement ; il faudroit d'abord lui ac- ^' '^ 

qull vaut mieux consulter la nature que les 

s'il 6toit question d*une suite de rois qui 

eat r6gn^ dans tout autre tems que dans ces sidles 

recalls. Mais le cas est un peu di£f46rent, et les 

sappntations de Newton ne suffisent point ici. 1. 

Si <m doit ajouter quelque foi aux monumens les 

pins leqiectables, la vie des hommes, et par con- 

ittpient leurs r^gnes, 6toit beaucoup plus longue 

la n6tre. Suivant la chronologic ordinaire, 

6toit contemporain de Jacob, Cecrops de 

lloysc^ et Cadmus et Danaib de Josue. Les 



H^Eftreux de ce terns 1^ approch&rent preaqtiif 
touj6urs des cent ans et souvent les passcMent. Aa 
dire d'Ephore les anciens rois d'Arcadie vivoient 
trois cens ans; c'est beaucoup, quand ce ne aeroit 

dtem^Bit. ^**^ ^^* ann6es lunaires. (27) I^ nature parott 
8wr- P»- ni^me avoir obser\'6 une cibrtaine gradation en 
Eicfdiit. r6duisant la vie de l*hotnnie au niveau d aujour- 
j€t^!*An. dhuL Honi^re reconnolt une grande diif(6rence 
^J^Vo" ^^^'rc les h^ros du siege de Trove et les homines 
^* de son terns, et quoiqu'il parle proprement de la 

force du corps, il est k croire que la nature ne se 
<u?w^.T? bomoit pas li. (28) Ce nest proprement que du 
^•SJT"^ tems de Solon que la vie ordinaire des hommes 

dent rili- ^ 

•de. ^toit fix^ k 70 ans. (29) Or on sent d'abord le 

doe.i.L^ pcu d'^quit^ du proc^6 dc M, Newton* C'est 
^^ jugcr des hommes sur des loix toutes diff(6rente8 

de celles qu'ils ont suivies. 8. Non seulement U 
nature avoit tr^ bien pourvu k la conservation de 
ces princes, mais le genre de vie qu'ils menoient * 
^toit propte k leur assurer une toute autre dur6e 
que celle de nos rois. La vie de ceux-ci est 
toute propre k les conduire bient6t au tombeauf; 
les plaisirs les plus recherch^s mfenent peu k peu 
le faineant. I^s fatigues les plus excessives d^ 
truisent dans peu le h^ros. Ainsi nos princes soot 
ordinairement ceux de leur royaume qui viveiit le 
moins. En voici un exemple pris sur un assei 
grand nombre. Les trente rois de France de la 
troisi^me race ont v^cu 1427 ans en tout. Ce 
n'est que 47i pour la vie de chaque roi. Que le 
sort de leurs sujets est diff(6rent ! Voyona combien 
une trentaine de gens de lettres, dont la vie 6tDit 



Simple, quoique les travaux fussent grands, Tont 
emport^ sur euxk cet 6gard. Prenons les trente 
premiers de la liste que M. de Voltaire a mis k la 
fin de son si6cle de Louis XIV. A mcttre leurs vies 
a la suite les unes des autres la somme sera de 
1919 ans, qui en font presque 64 pour la vie de 
chaque savant. Or la vie des princes Grecs 
6toit trfes difF6rente de celle des ndtres, on ne se 
tromperoit pas mSme en assurant qu'elle 6toit 
encore plus amie de Thomnie que celle des gens 
dc lettres. Peu de travaux, encore moins de 
luxe. La petitesse de leurs 6tats ne leur laissoit 
que la d^ision de ce petit nombre de disputes qui 
doivent s'^lever parmi un peuple simple et sans 
richesse, et le commandement de ces armies qui 
faisoient des guerres, ou plut6t des incursions, dans 
le pays de leurs voisins. Aussi la plApart sont 
morts dans un age fort avanc6 cntre les bras de 
leurs sujets. Vous ne voyez pas une seule minority 
dans la liste des rois d'Ath^nes, et seulement deux 
dans celle des rois de Sparte. 

11. On a de la peine a se prfiter au nouveau 
syst&me au sujet des rois d'Egypte qui ont ref u 
rapoth^ose, Ammon, Osiris, &c. Peut-on se 
persuader qu'ils n'ont 6t6 connus en Egypte que 
cinq cens ans avant H^rodote, du terns de qui les 
pritres avoient recul6 les rogues de leurs dieux de 
plus de quinze mille ans, et avoient convert leur 
histoire dun voile all^gorique, sans que des 
m^moires de families, sans que des genealogies des 
compagnons de S^sostris y apportassent le moindre 
obstacle, et cela dans un terns ou la connoissance 

vojL III. M des 


dcs lettres foumissoit ties movens de transihettre 

les ^v6nemens k la po9t6rit6 tout autrement sftrs 

i^em^w et precis que les hi^roglyphesr(30) M. Newton 

krtreiioas paroit n'avoir 6t6 sur ses gardes contre la vanit6 

des Egj'ptiens que pour niieux se latsser ^blouir 

j>ar celle des Grecs. Ce peuple, dont Torgueil sur 

son origine n'^toit ^gal6 que par son ignorance, ne 

pouvant par s'^lever au niveau dcs Egjptiens, 

rabaissoit ceux-ci au sicn, et t^choient de fairc 

croire premi^rement que les dieux Egyptiens 

SliJ'ifili^ ^toient descendus de ses heros;(31) ensuite, par 

^iiaadis uue fable un pcu moins t^rossi^rc, qu'ils en 6toient 

apod Ovid. . ^ ' \ 1 

Meunorph. contcmporauis. On pourroit nieme dans ces 

^v. dM» fjii^j^g trouver de quoi ^branler le nouve«au syst^me. 

C^crops de Sais en Egypte apporta en Gr^e le 

tML^it' c^l^c ^c Minerve(32) adorec depuis long tems en 

F*J»<«c Egypte. Cecrops alK)rda en A ttique 1 080 ans avant 

ill. p. 57. J. C. suivant M. Newton, mais Minervc ou Mvrine 

n'etoit, suivant ce mfeme M. Newton, que cctte 

reine des Aniazones, (jui en 974 acconipagna 

(as) New- Osiris dans ses exp^ditions.(33) Mars et Ncp- 

iUfonii,caL tune plaid^rent devant TAr^^opage sous le r^gnede 

(S4)ciiro- Cranaus.(34) Je ne conclus rien de cette fable, 

Jfji^jj^ sinon que sous le regne dc ce prince les personnes 

et le culte de Neptune et de Mars ^toient d^ja 

conn us dans la Gr^ce; mais cette conclusioa n'est 

pas compatible avec les principes de M. Newton, 

puisque Mars et Neptune, autrement appelles 

Osiris et Typhon, ne devinrent fameux que prcs 

(3») New- de cent ans apr^s le r^eme de Cranaus. (35) 

t«i,Chron. / ^ ^ \ ^ 

Kefom^p. 111. J ai dit, il y a un moment, que le synchro- 
p. 161^ ^ nisme de Danaiis et d'£g}'ptus avec Sesac, l^ve de 



grandes difficult6s ; mais il faat avouer aussi qu'il 
en fait naltre d autres non moins ccmsid^rables; II 
£iot Tacheter par le bmileyerseinent tx>tal de la 
gtn^alogie des rois d'Argos. Abas, le p^re d'Acii* 
sius et le bisajeul de Pers^, qu'bn a tdujours 
rrganl6 comme fib de Lyncetis et petit-neveu de 
I^naiis, se trouvera beaucoup plos ancien que 
cdui-ci, d*une famille tr^ diff^rente, et le m^me - 
qa*iin autre Abas qui vint s'6tablir dans Fisle 
d'Eob^e. II n*y a personne peut-^tre qui ajoute 
moins de foi que moi aux genealogies du tems fa* 
boleiix ; mais ceux qui veulent les prendre pour 
Ftgle le plus souvent, et qui essayent d en tirer 
des preuves Victorieuses, ne doivent pas les fouler 
aox pieds, sur-tout lorsqu'il est question d^une des 
genealogies les plus anciennes^ et les plus illustres 
de la Grfece, dont par consequent la succession a 
di se conserver avec plus de purete que les autres; 
Le sarant M. Freret a fort bien senti combien le 
«rstenic de Newton etoit foible de ce c6te Ia.(36) (se) Mt 

IV. Hom^re et Hesiode ont vecu 400 ans avant« 
Herodote. Get historien le dit lui-nieir.e,(37) la ^^^^ 
Chronique de Paros en tombe d'accord, et M. New- p- ^^' 
tan sefeiicitede se rencontrer avec lep^re de This- dot. Histor. 
Kwe/SS) lis vecurent done environ Ian 870 (38)New.' 
knntJ^.'C *Mais cette epoque ne tombe, suivant ^^^^^ 
\L Newton, que 34 ans apr^ ia prise de Trove, p- **• 
Or a qui persuadera-t-il qu'Hom^re (car je ne dis 
rien d'Hesiode) n ait veco qu'une generation apres 
ct £uneux evenement? S'il y en aquelqu'un, qu'il 
ftcoutc un ancien auteur qui la refute d avance 
ivec autaflt de solidite que deiegance. '^ Hie 

Bi 2 longius 


longius k temporibus belli quod composuit Troicfi 
quam quidam rentur, abfuit : nam ante annos non- 
gentos quinquaginta floruit, intra mille natus est, 
quo nomine non est mirandum qu6d sspe illud 

^^u'd^ ^s"*"?*' ^'•» "''•' PpoTo* f»Vi,(39) hoc enim ut homi- 
cctniou pv num ita sseculorum notatur difFerentia."(40) On est 
op) \t\u s(ir de plus que dans quelque endroit des colonies 
Rom?i. i.'*^ que naquit Homfere, il y naquit apr^s Tetablisse- 
^* ^ ment des Grecs dans ce pays 1^. Or la premiere 
migration qui se fit de la Gr^ce dans TAsie mineure, 
savoir celle des Eoliens, nc se fit que quinze ans 
i^Lc^tr^ apr^s le retour des H^raclides,(41) ou en 810 
Biciiriacsv suivant Ics principes de M. Newton. 


dthnde, V. Parmi ces premiers Grecs qui civilis^rcnt 

^^* ritalie, Evandrc tient un rang distingu^. II ap- 

porta dans cc |)ays la connoissance des lettres, et 

M) Tacit quantity d'arts utile8.(42) On Ten r^compensa en 

c. 7. reconnoissant sa mere Carmenta pour une divi- 

Hbt. R^ nit^.(43) Get Evandre vint en Italic 60 ans a\-ant 

Tb^id. ^^ guerre Troyenue, suivant Denys de Halicar- 

L«iu.Y^is. nassc,(44) ou 39 ans suivant M. Newton.(4o) Her- 

Antiquii. " cule fut Tlidtc dc cct Evaudrc ; ce fut chcz lui qu* 

].».» ts8. apr^s avoir d^fait Cacus, il abolit les sacrifices hu- 

fiSicwJr^' mains qu' QLnotrus, lils dc Lycaon, avoit apport^ 

J-jj Pj^* en Italic.(46) Newton croit qu'il est question de 

ton,Cbraa. THerculc Egyptien, ct rapporte cette action k 

JK19. S^sostris qui rcvint en Egypte par les Gaules ct 

liSiS^^*' ritalie apr^s avoir d^fait les fils de Ger}'on en 

iLp. 16. Espagne vers Tan 1008. Cette conjecture se cou- 

firme par la coutume rcconnue des rois d'Egj-pte 

depuis lexpulsion des pasteurs, d*abolir partout 

ces sacrifices abominables; mais conmient pcut-on 


la concilier avec la chronologic, puisqu' Evandre 
nc Viat en Italic que 65 ou du moins que 44 ans 
apr^s S^sostris ? Au rcstc ccttc rcmarque nc portc 
point autant sur Ic corps du syst^mc que Ics quatrc * 
premieres- Peut-6trc mfeme, qu'on y r^pondroit 
facilement par un 16gcr changement. 

J'allois finir; mais unc reflexion sest dabord 
offerte k mon esprit ; jc me rappcllois ayec com- « 
bien d art M. Hooke avoit voulu r^glcr Thistoire 
Romaine sur les principes de Newton, et combieu 
d'argnmens sp^cieux il avoit apport6 pour faire 
voir que les sept rois dc Rome n avoient regn6 
que 119 ans au lieu dcs S44 qu'on leur donne ordi* 
nairement. (47) J ai voulu faire le m^me essai sur W J<!"«^ 
lliistoire dcs Latins, et montrer aii moins que dcs tom.m 
auteurs anciens paroissoicnt appuyer k cet 6gard 
Ic nouveau systfemc. 

Virgile met dans la bouchc dc Jupiter unc ma- 
gnifique prediction dc la future grandeur dcs Ro- 
mains. En parlant dc leurs ancfitrcs les Troyens, 
ii dit qu' Ente sera toujours victorieux pendant 
trois ans, 

Terda dum Latio regnantem viderit sestas, 

Teroaque transieriiit Rutulis hibema 8ubacti8.(48) (48) virgi 

Qu' ensuitc Ascanius foiidcra Albe, (trcnte ansi.Lct65. 
apr^ rarriv^c d'En^e en Italic,) ex quecette villc 
sera le si^ge dc renipire pendant trois cens ans. 

Hie jam tercentum totos regnabitur annos 

Gente sub Hectore'a.(49) (49) Idcn 

I. L ▼. 27t 

Arritons-nous : Albe fut done d6truite, suivant 

M 3 Virgile, 


Virgile, 330 ans apr^s rarriv^e d'En^e en Italie, ou 
337 ans apr^s la prise de Troye, puisque selon ce 
ni6me Virgile, JEu6e erra sept ans, avant que d'ar- 
river k la teiTe propiisc ; 

50) VirciL ^ ^^°™ ^ J*"* scptima portat 

^ Omnibus errantem terris et fluctibus aesta8.(30) 

.' L ▼• 755. 

Mais suivant les chronologies ordinaires Virgile 
- auroit fait ici une b6vue singuli^re, puisqu'elles 
disent qu'Albe fut d^truite vei^s le milieu du r^gne 
de Tullus Hostilius, environ cent ans apr^s la fon- 
dation de Rome, ^poque qui tombe 43S2 ans apres 
la prise de Troye. Une difF(6rence de 232 ans sur 
cinq k six sifecles n est pas k m^priser. Le syst^me 
de Newton est aussi favorable k Virgile que les 
autres lui sont contraires. 337 ans apr^s la destruc- 
tion de Troye nous conduisent k Fannie 567 avant 
J. C. ^poque qui coincide bien avec le r^gne 
d'Hostilius: car ce prince 6toit le troisi^me sue- 
cesseur de Romulus dont nous fixons T^poque i 
[M?a!rao. ^'^^ !^27- (51) II y a mfime quelque chose de plus 
^fS^^'^ precis. Plutarque nous a conserve Tancienne tra- 
dition sur le terns de Numa, lorsqu'il dit qu'on 
d^ terra les livres de Numa 40Q ans apr^ sa mort. 
On les deterra en 181 ; done il mourut en 581, et 
son successeur pouvoit bien r^gner encore en 567. 
Qui est-ce qui pent lire ce morceau de Virgile, sans 
sentir le dessein et Tart du poete, qui dans le tems 
mfeme qu'il conduit iEn^e chez Didon, r^pond k ses 
critiques de la seule mani^re que la rapidity de sa 
marche, et la grandeur de son sujet pouvoit lui 
permettre, en leur fkisant sentir qu'il suivoit ua 






systfime de chronologie (que Newton n'a fait que 
r^tablir) oA ce synchronisme d'iEn^e et de Didon 
n'6toit plus une licence poetique ? 

Virgile n'est pas le seul qui r^voque en doute 
la chronologic vulgaire des rois de Latium. Justin 
en r^duit la dur^e k trois cens ans. " Albam 
longam condidit quse trecentis anni6 caput regni 
fiiit-"(52) L'autorit6 de Justin sera peu de chose W.f"*^; 
si Ton veut, ihais celle de Trogue Pomp^e, qu'il ne 
fait qu abr^ger, sera toujours regard^ commc du 
plus grand poids. Les anciens mettoient cet historien 
dans la classe des Tacites, des Tite Lives, et des 
Sallustes.(53) Tite Live lui-ni6me, ce p^re de This- (53) fi. 
toire Romaine, qui fait parottre quelquefois tant 
d'attachement pour la chronologic ordinaire,(54) et 
qui la prenoit pour sa rfegle invariable dans les i^Wit.t 
terns qui ont suivis Ja fondation de Rome, parolt y «tmiibi 
ajouter peu de foi pour les si^cles ant^rieurs. Rien ^f*""^* 
dc plus naturel k un historien Romain que de 
marquer la dur^e du r^gne de chaque roi Latin dont 
il rapporte le nom.(55) II se tait sur cet article. (55)Tit.i 
Rien de plus necessaire que de niarquer au moins *'*^*^' 
rintervalle entre la prise de Troye et le r^gne de 
Romulus. II ne le fait point. Bien plus, parlant 
de la destruction d'Albc, il dit qu'elle suivit de 
quatre cens ans sa fondation.(56) Albc ( je lai d^ja (36)Tit.i 
dit) fut d^truite par les Roniains environ cent ans ^'-^^ 
apr^s la fondation de Rome suivant la chronologic 
deTite Live. Get auteur ne difffere pas de beaucoup 
de Virgile, ce qui est d6jk d'un grand poids, mais 
il ne se rencontre pas pr^cis^ment avec l^i, ce qui 
csX bicn davantage. 

M ^ Quelqu'un 


Quelqu'un qui voudra comparer ma citation de 
Virgile avec le texte de cet auteur, trouvera peut- 
fetre que je I'ai tronqu^, et que la suite feit bieu 
^oir qu'il faut entendre ces 300 ans de Tinten-alle 
entre la fondation de Rome et celle d'Albe, et non 
entre la fondation de cette derni^re ville et sa 
ruine. Quiconque me fait cette difficult^, je le 
prierai de peser ces deux r^ponses, et de choi&ir 
entr elles. 

I. Que la licence d'un poete dispensoit bien 
Virgile de cette exactitude g^nante. II suit plutAt 
lordre des choses que celui des terns, et il pensoit 
qu'il n'^toit permis quh Tannalistc d'intcrroraprc 
son discours par une parenth^se, pour apprendre k 
son lecteur que, quoique les rois d'Albe ayent bien 
T6gn6 en tout 300 ans, n^anmoins il faut compter 
60 de ces ans depuis la fondation de Rome. Y 
a-t-il quelqu'un d'assez peu de go6t pour en bl^er 
Virgile? S'il y en a qu'ils sachent qu'ils bl&ment 
du plusau moins tous les grands poetes. ^' Quos hie 
noster auctores habet, quorum asmulari exoptat 
negligentiam, potius quam istorum obscuram dili- 

(sryrerent. gentiam.(57) 

Aiidfi^v.i9 II. Qu'en avouant que Virgile s est tenu dans 
les bomes quVm lui prescrit,on pent le d^fendre en 
disant quil na voulu parler que des ann^ 

WP*^ Albanes de dix moiset de 304 jours seulement. (58) 

lUNMB-Mb Romulus les introduisit k Rome mais Numa lea 

SjbLai. "* abolit. Virgile pent avoir trouv^ ces ^poques dans 
"^^ RoiB. ^^^ monumens Latins ou Romains qui conservoient 

'• 'J^ ^' le vieux calendrier. Les premiers 37 ans jusqu*^ 
la fondation de Rome se r^duisent ^ 31|^ et les 300 


suR LA SUCCESSION, &c. l6g 

suivans k environ S499 ^^ tout S80. Or la prise 
dc Troye tombe en 904, suivant Newton. 280 
ans nous conduisent jusqu'^ Tan 624, ^poque 
qui ne diff^re que de deux ou trois ans de celle de 
la fondation de Rome selon la nouvelle chrono- 

Quand Touvrage posthume de M . Freret paroltra, 
on peut esp^rer de voir 6claircir des mati^res que 
je n^ai qu'effleur^. Les questions en litige auront 
re^a tout le d^r6 de lumi^re dont elles sont sus- 
ceptibles^ par les combats de ces deux grands 

Lausanne, 20 Fevrier, 175S. 


r. les Mfmoires de CAcademie des Belles Lettres, tome 
m. p. S57^-44t, avec des Remarques Critiques. 

Ce sont de vrais modules dans ce genre que les 
Mfmoires de M. TAbb^ de la Bleterie. Porter un 
esprit denettet^ dans les t6n^bres de Tantiquit^suifit 
pour lliomme de lettres qui veut s'instruire ; jon- 
cbcr desfleurssur les Opines de la science, arrfete le 
bd esprit qui ne cherche qu'^ s'amuser. R6unir 
lutile k Tagr^able; voil^ tout ce que le lecteur le 
l^us difficile peutdemander : qu'il le demande hardi- 
ment k M. de la Bleterie. II pourra peut-6tre lui 



reprocher quelqiies details, mais s1l a du gofit, il 
les lui pardonnera avec plaisir, et s'il connoit la 
nature de ces discussions, il sentira qu on ne pouvoit 
gu^res les 6viter. 

Notre auteur croit que Tempire a toujours it& 
^lectif sans avoir jamais M ni patrimonial ni h^r^ 
ditaire ; que le S^nat conjointement avec le pcu- 
ple avoit def6r6 Tempire h Auguste et k TiWre, et 
que par labolition des Cornices sous ce dernier, 
le s^nat se trouvoit seul d^positaire tlu droit d'^lire 
ses souverains. Pour ^tablir sa th^se d'une fa^on 
incontestable, il se propose de parcourir les Elections 
dc tous les empercurs. Mais les trois m^moires 
que j'abr^ge ne remplissent qu'une petite partie dc 
ce vaste objet. Voici les prcuves principales qu elle 
lui fournlL 

I. Nous ne voyons nulle part une stipulation 
te}le qu*il en auroit fallu pour d^pouiller le peupie 
Romain des droits de se donner des maitres. Nous 
connoissons en detail toutes les dignit^s, tous les 
titres dont ia politique, la flatterie, la reconnoissance 
avoient combl^ Octavien. Bien ioin que cbacun 
de scs dignit^s fiit h^r^ditaire, sous la r^publique, 
elles n'^toient pas mfimc perp^tuelles. On sent 
combien leur lassemblasce donnoit d'6clat k celui 
qui en ^toit rev6tu ; mais poux-oit-il les d^naturer 
au point de les rendre le patrimoine d'une seule 
famille? Tout ce qu'une longue prescription pour* 
roit faire, ce seroit de rendre Tempire h^r^itaire 
de fait. Mais si le fait et le droit se confondent 
aux yeux du politique, ils sont bien diff6rens k 
ceux du jurisconsulte. 

II. On 



II. On connolt la politique d' Auguste. On sait 
avec combien d art il pr6sentoit toujours aux Ro- 
mains-resclavage sous Timage de la liberty. Pre- 
mier citoyen, homme de IsL nation il n'avoit accept^ 
la commission de r^tablir I'ordre, que pour s'en d6- 
mettre lorsque son ouvrage ^roit achev6. Un 
prince de ce caractire auroit-il jamais fait sentir 
aux' Romains que de souverains du monde ils 
^toient d^venus esclaves d'une famille de chevaliersi 
sans avoir. m6me conserve le. pouvoir de ehoisir 
leur? tyrans? Auroit-il accept^ un droit qui le ren- 
dbit plus odieux sans le rendre plus puissant? 

III. Les faits viennent appuyer les raisonne- 
mens. L'an 7S7 Auguste fit mine de vouloir ren- 
dte la liberty aux Romains. Mais il se rendit en- 
fin aux instances du s^nat qui ch6rissoit sa servi- 
tude. Ce fut alors que se fit la c^lfebre division 
des provinces. Augtiste ne voulut recevoir Fempire 
que pour dix ans ; et sous son rfeghe le peuple Romain 
tint cinq fois son prince, quoiqu'i la v6rit6 n choisit 
toujours la mSme personne. Croira-t-on qu'un 
pouvoir ait €t6 h^r^ditaire qui n'^toit pas m£me 

IV. I^e commencement dc Thistoire imp6riale 
n'ofFre qu'une suite de comedies dont la plaisan- 
terie ^toit encore rehauss^e par la gravity qui s'y 
m£loit. Tib^re est d€jh reconnu pour empereur 
par les arm^e^ et par les provinces. II entre au 
s6naty il y joue le r61e de particulier. Le s^nat le 
prie de se charger du gouvemement de I'empire. 
II all^gue sa vieillesse, il refuse, il capitule, il c^de. 
pans un ^tat h^r^ditaire auroit-il jamais pris oe 



r61e? II auroit pu paroitre voul6ir abdiquer, mais 
il e(it avoue qu'il r^gnoit. Le s^nat auroit-il jamais 
avou^ que la r^publique ^toit sans chef? — Non — 
r^quit^, dc concert avec la flatterie, auroit fait valoir 
les principes du droit public, les droits de Tib^re, 
ceux de Drusus, et .de Germanicus. La force ren- 
doit hommage aux loix. Tib^re, maltre de vingt- 
cinq legions, craignoit de paroltre empereur avant 
que d avoir obtenu laveu du s6nat. 

II faut voir dans notre auteur lui-m^me, avec 
combicn de precision, il r^pond aux objections. 
£n voici les deux principales, 1. Que le s^nat 
avoit rendu Tempire h6r^ditaire dans la fkmille de 
Jules C^sar. 2. Que Tib^re en disposa par sou 
testament. J aurai cependant la hardiessc d'en 
proposer quelques autres, apr^s avoir pos^ un prin* 
cipe qui me parolt incontestable: c'est que le 
t^moignage d'un historien contemporain est d'une 
toute autre autorit6 dans ces mati^res que les in- 
ductions que nous autres Francois pouvons tirer 
des faits qui se rencontrent dans leurs Merits. La 
xaison en est claire. C est que nous ne voyons 
rhistoirc de ces tems qu'en gros, au lieu qu*ils la 
voyoient en detail: et c'est de ce detail que tout 
depend dans des discussions aussi d^licates que 
celles-ci. Le spectacle de T^tablissement de Tern- 
pire se montroit tout entier k leurs yeux. Tout 
leur en rappelioit, la constitution, les actes du 
s^nat, les sermens de fid^lit^, les exemples dont ils 
^toient t^moins. A peine nous en est-il par\'cnu 
quelques foibles rayons de lumi^res. Or je vais 
faire voir que Su^tone, Tacite, et Dion croyoient 



rempire h6r6ditaire, au moins-dans les commence- 

L Voici de quelle fa^on le premier de ces 6ci> 
Tains sexprime au sujet de FEmpereur Titus. 
" Fiatrem insidiari sibi non desinentem, $ed pene 
ex professo soUicitantem exercitus, meditantenl 
Aigam, nee occidere neque seponere ac ne in honore 
quidem minori habere sustinuit: sed ut a primo 
imperii die consort em successoremque testari perse- 
veraoii.{y) Un prince qui pouvoit disposer de ses (i) Si|et«i. 
^tats comme de son patrimoine auroit fait un TitOkc9. 
present magnifique k son fr^re. Une telle declara- 
tion dans un ^tat h^r^itaire lui rendoit justice. 
Mais dbms une monarchie Elective elle renferme un 
outrage, une violation 'des dioits du peuple, dont 
j*ai peine k croire Titus capable. L'ami du genre 
hmmin F^it s&rement aussi des loix qui y main- 
tiennent Fordre, et qui en resserrent les noeuds. 

II. Ecoutons parler Tacite ou plutdt FEmpereur 
Galba ; c'est de Fadoption de Pison qu'il d^lib^re 
avec ses amis. Apr^ avoir form6 des voeux 
nnpuissans pour le r^tablissement de la liberty, 
•^ Sob Tiberio et Claudio et Caio unius familiae 
quasi hereditas fuimus, loco libertatis erit quod . 
digi coepimus.''(2) Qui est-ce qui ne reconnolt («)T*dt. 
pas deux propositions dans ce passage ? 1 une que 
foos Tib^re, Caligula, et Claude, Fempire avoit €t€ 
her6ditaire, Fautre que Galba fut le premier qui 
songea k le rendre ^lectif. J'entrevois quantity 
d'entorKS qu'un homme d'esprit peut donner k ce 
passage ; mais qu'il se souvienne qu'il est de Tacite, 
c'est k dire de F^rivain* dont tons les faits sont 



exacts, toutes les id^es profondes, et tontes lc3 
expressions precises. 

III. Dion est le dernier dont je citerai le t^moi- 

gnage. Cet historien dit que Brittannicus avoit un 

droit incontestable k 1 empire commc fils de Claude, 

et que si N6ron y pouvoit pr^tendre, c'etoit comme 

(3) Won. fils adoptif de ce mfime Claude.(3) Ce texte na 

Hist. Ron. t ' ^ f • 

LULp.687. pas besom de commcntane. Je sais au restc que 
rien n'est plus commode, ni en m^me terns plus 
incommode, que Tautorit^ de Dion : nous est il favo- 
rable ? — c est un homme du monde et du cabinet 
qui poss6da les plus grandes dignit^s de Tempire, et 

^u^Motbe ^^^ employa vingt-deux ans a ^crire sonliistoire.{4) 

kVmjrer, Nous coudamnc-t-il ? — cest un ennemi de toutc 

' liberty et de toute vertu, Sme auti-r^publicaine, 

anti-romaine, et remplie des pr^jug^s d'un Grec 

^UBkit. Asiatique.(5) Quou decide une fois pour toutde 

«»*y M*"- son d^gr6 de poids, mais que ce ne soit pas le 

dnBeiiet. bcsoiu du systemc qui en decide. 

xiLp.^' £ii attendant que M. de la Bleterie ^claircisse 
ces difficult^s, tenons nous toujours k son systeme. 
II est clair, plausible, et bien li6. Si c'est une 
crreur, c est une de ces crreurs qui ^clairent lesprit 
en le trompant. En le supposant prouv^ je vais 
hasarder quelqucs id^es sur ^a pait qu avoient les 
soldats au choix dcs empereurs. J en tends de la 
part qu'ils y avoient conjointcmcnt avec le s^nat, 
ct de laveu dc ce memc senat; car il seroit aussi 
ridicule de consid(!'rcr tant de princes massacr^s^ 
Tempircmfime mis il Tcucliere, conmie des actes de 
pouvoir legitime dc la part de la niilice, qu'il le 
seroit de r^gler nos notions des droits des enipe- 


BS L*£lfPIltE ROMAIK. 175 

reurs sur les exc^ d'un N^ron. Je trouve que le 
s^nat'revdtissoit'le nouveau prince de ses titres, et' 
que les ann^s confinnoient son choix par leur 
consentement Etablissons le fait, et cherchons enr 
les raisons. 

La grande ^e de C^sar en imposoit aiix 
soldats. La politique delicate d'Auguste les con* 
tenoit dans leurs devoirs. lis d6testoient et ils 
cTa%noient Tib^re.(6) Ils aimoient dans Caiusy Opy^Tuk. 
la m^oire de Germanicus et de Drusus. (7) pfwot! 
D uUeurs Auguste, qui forma les cohortes pr^to- (^Jsocton. 
riennes, les ^loignoit toujours de Rome.(8) TiWre b^^'y^ 
les y rassembla dans un camp.(9) lb devinrent J:^*-^- 
redoutables, et ils sentirent qu'ils T^toient. Cains, AnMLHr. 
aprte avoir v^u en monstre, p6rit en ty ran. Aussi- ^ 
tdt les soldats deterrent Claude dans le palais. II 
demande la vie, on lui oflre rempire^ Le mot de 
liberty rassemble le s6nat: il croit £tre dans le 
si^le des Scipions, ii commande ; il se souvient 
qu'il est dans celui des C6sars, il snpplie; les 
deputes du s6iat all^guent lautorit^ des loix,*(10) O^^*^**- 
Claude ne se pr^vaut que de celle des armes/ Celle- Liix.p.669. 

nion. Hilt. 

ci Temporte, et Claude est empereur. Cependant Rom. i. u. 
jusqu'ici les soldats ne font valoir d autres droits que ^J^ i ^^ 
cclur des brigands, mais nous allons voir que dans ^ ^^• 
pen de terns Tusagle s'^rige en droit, et que, pour 
parler avec Tacite, " Morem accommodari prout 
conducat, et fore hoc quoque in his qua? mox 
usurpentur."(l 1) (ii)Tacit. 

c. 6, 
ji r? ^vyoJn^o Ce sont 1^ les paroles de Josephe. 


176 sua LA SUCCESStOir - 

A la premiere vacance du trdne, on voit X^ron, 
qui y monta. II Imrangue le s^nat le lendemain 
de son Election. II parte avec piaisir de 1 autorit^ 
du s^nat, niais ii y joint le consentement des 
soldats. " De auctoritate patrum, et consensu 

<if) Tacit, ^il*^^"^ praefatus."(12) On sent assez la cons^ 
AnnaLxiii quence dc cettc expression* quand on r^fl^chit, 
qu elle se trouve dans une harangue d appareil, et 
qui se fit devant le senat m^me. 

Je ne nie propose pas de parcourir toute Thistoire 
Roniaine pour y chercher des preuves de ma th^. 
Cepcndant je ne puis pas me dispenser de parler dc 
la singuli^re contestation entre Tarm^e et le s^nat 
(13) y.Vo- aprfes la mort de TEmpereur Aur61ien.(13) On y 
Kdt voit deux corps assez mod^r^s pour se c6der leurs 
droits respectils, assez avou^s dans leurs preten- 
sions pour pouvoir le faire avec biens^ance. 

Quand I'origine et Ics pr^tcxtcs de ce droit se 
d^roberoient k notre vue, nous ne devrions pas en 
£tre surpris. Quicouque est maitre des anncs 
Test k la fin de tout. Mais ici nous n avons pat 
I>esoin de cette maxime. Les soldats pouvoient 
fonder leur droit sur des raisons aussi sp^ieuses 
qu elles ^toient peut-^tre pen solides. 

I. lis repr^sentoient en quelque sorte le peuple 

Romain. Les Comices ne subsistoient plus, le 

peuple de la ville ne demandoit que du pain et des 

(u)Vide spectacles.(14) Autrefois toute la nation ^toit tol- 

* II scmble que I'expression coAsciuui miUtum devint la fomittle 
ordinaire, du moi ns Pison s*en tervit ausd en parlant de son 
adoption par Galb«« 



datSy et toute la nation 61isoit ses chefs ; sous les 
empereurs la partie la plus choisie I'^toit, iet cette 
partie sembloit avoir succ^d^ aux droits du tout, 
et devoir concourir avec le seuat dans^ T^lection de 
ses princes. Par cette raison, les pr^toriens habi*^ 
tans de Rome crojoient y avoir plus de droit que 
les 16gionnaires, qui n'^toient que citoyens Ro- 
Hiains, et que ceux-ci en excluoient tout k fait les Du bm, 
auxiliaires. (15.) dehiS^*. 

II. Sous la r^publique, les soldats, dans de cer- l"^'^^ 
taines occasions, avoient ^lu leurs cliefs : t^moin (|g) xi^. 
le brave Martius. (16) II est vrai que cette 61ec- J^,^^^, 
tion passoitpour ill^gitime. (17) Mais dans des* ^^^j j^^^^ 
usages qui favorisent nos pretensions nous nous ^ **^- ^ *• 
souvenons de la pratique, et nous oublions sa con- 

III. L'6quivoqufe du motmd'Imperator leur four- 
nissoit une nouvelle raison; je crois mfeme que 
cest celle qui a eu le plus 'de poids. Les soldats 
oonf(6roient le titre A'lmperator^ imperatorem saluta- 

l§Htj comme auparavant,(18) mais ce mot avoit (is) ri«fc 
bien cbang6 de signification. Sous la r6pubiique il Aotiq*. tub* 
n ^toit que le titre d'un g^n^ral vainqueur, sous ^°** ^^'* 
Tempire il avoit ajoute k squ ancien sens un autre 
lien plus relev^, c'^toit le nom de la premiere dig- 
nit^ de T^tat; lapersonne qui Tavoit re^u d^yenoit 
geoeralissime absolu de toutes les armies. (1 9) ^j^^^^ 
Xouvel exemplede Tattachcment des hommcs aux i »»"• 
noms, et de leur negligence pour les id^cs qu'ils 

II faut (suivant M. de la Bleterie) considerer le 
litre d'Auguste sous trois points de vue differens. 

VOL. III. y 1. 


1 . Pour Octavien, c'^toit un titre personnel; comme 
Pius, Magnus, FelLr. Les Romains lui recon* 
noissoient par-l^ quelque chose sup^rieure k 
rhomme, qui tenoit de la divinit6. 2. Pour Ti- 
l>^re, pour Livie, pour Caius, c'^toit un nom cie hr 
mille. S. II devint un titre de dignity sous les 
empereurs suivans. Cependant il conservoit tou- 
jours quelques niarques de son origine personnelle. 
C'^toit le seul titre que gardoient les princes qui 
avoient abdiqu^s. C'6toit le seul qu*on oommu- 
niquoit aux femnies des empereurs. 



BoiLEAU apprit k Racine Fart de rimer difficile 
ment. Je voudrois que M. Wallace m efit Tobli- 
gation de luL avoir appris k croire difticilement 
II en auroit assez bcsoin. Les trois cens'mille com* 
battans de Sybaris ne lui font aucune peine. Quel 
Pyrrhonien que ce M. Hume ! La seule incrMi- 
bilit^ du nombre le lui fait rejetter.* Entrons ce- 
pendant dans la pens^ de ce M. Hume, et fkisons 
voir que le territoire de Sybaris n'a jamais pu ♦tie 
peupl^ k ce point 1^. La litt^rature ne comporte 
gu^res les demonstrations. Quel bonheur pour 
nous, si nous en trouvions ! 

* Vide Wallace upoD the Nambers of Haaldiid, p. 305. 



Crotone, rennemie de Sybaris, en 6toit 61oign^e 
cTenTiron deux cens stades du cdt^ du midi.* 
Ces deux cens stades aont done la plus grande 
ftendue possible de Ik cit6 de Sybaris. H^racl^, 
sujctte aux Tarentins, remp^choit de s^^tendre 
beaucoup ])Ius loin vers le septentrion.f La met 
qui baignoit ses inurs'formoit sa fronti^re orientale, 
et Ton n*a qu'i jetter les yeux sur la carte pour 
voir combien Tltalie, r^tr^ie elle-m6me, lui four- 
nissoit peu de conquStes occidentales. Pour 
mettre les Sybarites k leur aise, accordons-leur un 
cercle dont le rayon soit de deux cens stades. 

Lc stade Grec est conipos6 de six cens pieds. 
Or, comme le pied Grec est au pied de roi en 
nison de 23 h H;^ 600 pieds nous donnent 575 
pieds' de roi. Lc rayon du cercle en a 155,000, et 
par les operations ordinaires, la circonf(6rence 
974,286, et Tespace circonscrit par le cercle con- 
tiendra 37,997,154,000 pieds quarr^s. 28,800 pieds 
quarr^ des Romains, ou 24,365 pieds de roi for- 
moient lejugerum. Ce cercle contenoit 1,559,498 

Du terns de la fondation de Rome deux jugera 
snflisoient pour I'entreticn d'une famille^ compos^e 
fc sept personnes. || Le territoire de Sybaris, cul- 
fif^ de la mftme niani^re, en auroit pu nourrir 

• Stnbon, I. vi. p. 404. 

t Vojex Mazochii Comment, in Tub. Heracleens. ap. Journal 
^oSftvans, NoTembre, 17<38, p. l6. 
; Eisenschid. de Poudcribus et Mensur. Velerum, p. 110. 
§ Plio. Hist« Natural. 1. xviii. c. 2. 
I Wallace, page II9. 

y 2 5,458,243, 



5,458,243. Malheureusement les r^cits dc Dio* 
dore et de Strabon* nous obligent d'en trouver prc»- 
qu'une fois autant. Trois cens mille hommes 9e 
mirent en campagne centre ceux de Crotx)ne, C'^ 
toit tout au plus la moiti6 des Sybarites en £tat de 
porter les armes. Ceux-ci ^toient au nombre de 
600,000 ; toutes les personnes libres de 8,400,000, 
et tous les habitans de 9,600,000 : comptant la pro- 
portion des esclaves aux mattres comme trois k un. 

L'on sentira assez combien toutes les supposi- 
tions ont ^t€ faites favorables aux Sybarites. J'ai 
suppos^ tout leur territoire cultiv^, villes, deserts, 
rivieres, tout a 6t6 supprim^. Je n'ai point fisut at- 
tention ^u luxe et a la moUesse des Sybarites. 
Je ne leur ai pas donn6 plus d esclaves qu k ces 
Romains dont les consuls cux-mSmes b^hoieot la 
terre. Jc leur ai suppos6 la m£me simplicity, la 
m^me patience, la mdme assiduity aU travail qu'4 
ces pdtres qui s exer^oient k conqu^rir TuniveiB. 

Que sera-ce encore si le fondement de cette sup- 
position est ruineux, si les Romains eux-m£nies oe 
pouvoient pas nourrir une famille du crti de deux 
jugera ? On exagfere avec tant de plaisir. Les 
Romains sont-ils pauvres?— deux jugera entretien- 
nent une famille. Sont-ils riches? — leurs bains 
couvrent des provinces. Mais venons k quelque 
chose de plus precis. Du tems de la simplicity 
Grecque et Romaine, un chomix par jour, ou qua- 
tre modii k pen pr^s par mois, nourrissoient une 
personne. C'^toit T^troit n^cessaire. On le don** 

* Diodor. 1. xii. c. 9- Strab. 1. vi. p. 404. 



Hoit aux esclaves* Or quel 6toit le produit 
dun jugerum? Cic6ron nous Tapprend de la 
campagne de Leontium; dix medimni, les bon- 
nes ahn6es, — huit, ann6e commune.t Mais cette 
campagne, distingu^e par sa fertility, J ne doit 
point servir de module pour toutes les autres. Si 
nous leur accordons, aux unes portant les autres, 
cinq medimniy ce sera beaucoup. II en faut encore 
dMuire un medimnus d'eusemenccment, reste k 
quatre medimni k vingt-quatre modii. Deux ju- 
gera ne suffisent done qu a I'entretien d'une seule 
personne ; et le territoire de Sybaris, en supposant 
les deux tiers cultiv^s, pouvoit en nourrir cinq 
ccns vingt mille, pas la seizi^me partie de ceux 
que Diodore, Strabon, et M. Wallace y ont places. 
Je ne d^ciderai pas s'il les nourissoit en effet. 

Votre raisonnement seroit juste,' me dira-t-on, si 
ks Sybarites ne se nourissoient que du produit de 
Icurs terres. Mais il faisoient venir du grain de 
ehez r^tranger. Cette ressource est commode. 
Elle garantit les Sybarites de la disette, et leurs 
pan^gyristes des objections. . II faut cependant 
prendre garde de ne pas I'employer trop souvent, 

♦ V. HoFtensius dc Re Frument. apud Ciceron. Qlivet. 
Tom. iv. p. 605. 

t Cicero in Verr. Actio 11. I. ill, c, 47. In jugere Leontini 
•gri, roedimnum fere tritici, perpetui et sequabili satione, ager 
cflkit, cum octavo, bene ut agatur ; ut omoes Dii adjuvent cunt 

J Cicero, in Verr. Actio II. 1. iii. c. IS. 

Quod caput est rei frumciitarioe, campus Leontinus, cujus 
aotea species erat, ut cum obsitum vidisses, annonae caritatcm 
fldD vererere. 

N 3 de 


de peur de faire entrer du bled dans tous les pays 
sans en faire sortir d'ancun. Les importations de 
cette esp^ce ne se peuvent faire que chez des 
peuples riches et commeri^ns. Les cxportations 
annoncent k coup stir une contr^e moins peupl^e 
qu'elle ne pourroitT^tre; et si la fertility du terroir, 
ou Tart des habitans n y suppl^ent en partie, un 
pays assez d^garni d'habitans. Cependaat, selon 
les admirateurs«des anciens, les environs de Syba* 
lis, la Gr^ce, Tltalie, la Sicile, TAfrique regor- 
geoient alors de monde. 

Mais que les Sybarites ayent fait venir du g^n, 
leur commerce n a pas surement surpass^ celui 
d'Ath^nes, le si^ge de Tempire et des arts, Celui- 
ci nalloit qu'^ 1,600,000 medimni tout au plus» 
peut-^tre k la moiti6 seulement.* 200,000 pcr- 
sonnes out pu subsister de ce commerce, et Ion 
pourroit trouver dans la cit^ i^e Sybaris 720,000 
4mes ; la douzi^me partic du nombre requis. 

Puisque deux auteurs estim^s opt pu convcnir 
d'unfait impossible, que la population de Tanti- 
quit6 nous devient suspecte ! II est si peu de faits 
appuy^s sur des autorit^s aussi bonnes. £n tout, 
hormis* la religion, il vaut micux ne pas croire 
assez, que de croire trop. 

♦ Wallace, p. SJl. 


( 183 ) 



La terre (disoit le Jupiter d'Homere) est sus- Homer. 
pendue dalis les airs, par une chaine dor; seul je jll^*®^^ 
soutiens ce poids immense. L'efFort r^uni des 
dieux ne sauroit me Tarracher. Cette chaine d'or 
c*est le systfeme f(6odal, mais il sVn falloit bien que 
son chef put tenir le m^me langage. 

Des millier* de l^gistes ont comment^ tous les 
details minutieux dc ce systfeme. Depuis uu 
si^Ie, et surtout en France, on a voulu re- 
chercher son origine et ses princip^s. Les para- 
doxes hardis du Comte de Boulainvilliers, et les 
sophismes adroits de TAbb^ Du Bos sont assez 
connus. Le President de Montesquieu, toujours 
brillant et toujours profond, y a |K)rt6 ses vues 
syst^matiques et philcftophiques. L' Abb6 de Mably 
vient de nous donner sur cette mati^re un ouvrage 
utile et bien ^crit.* L'csprit juste et m^thodique 
cmprurite les conjectures du genie, et lui rend -des 
critiques. Instruit par Mably, on lit ^lontesquieu 
avec plus de fruit et de surety ; Ton marche sans 
s'egarer k la lucur dc ses ^clans. Ces hommes 
ceKbbres ont ouvert la carriere; je les suis en 

N obscurcissons point nos idees sous pr6texte 

♦ V. Le Comte de Boulainvilliers sur Tancien gouvemement de 
it Fnoce; TAbbe du Bos, HistDire Critique de TEtablissenient 
4e U Meftarchi« Fran^oise ; I'Esprit des Loix, livres xxx et xxsd ; 
Ofaservatioxs s«r THistoire de France de TAbbe de Mably, 6cc, &c. 

N 4 de 


do les simplifier. Le syst^me f(6odal, assemblage 
monstrueux de tant de • parties, que le terns et le 
hasard ont r^unies, nous ofFre un objet tr^s com- 
pliqu6 ; pour I'^tudier il faut le decomposer. 

J 'examine la France au commencement du 
douzi^me si^cle, lorsque le gouvemement f(6odaI 
avoit acquis un peu de tranquillity sans rien perdre 
de sa vigueur, j'y vois, 1. Une hi^rarchie prc^ 
qu'infinie, qui ne laisse k son chef qu'un vaiu 
fantdme de pr^-^minence, et dont chaque merobre, 
k la fois suzerain et vassal, exerce tous les droits 
de la puissance publique, en d^membrant T^tat 
3. La foi et riiommage, seuls liens de ce grand 
corps. 3. Le service militaire que chaque vassal 
doit k son seigneur pour le fonds qu'il reconnoit 
tenir de sa bont^. 4. Des millions de paysans 
enchain^s k la terre qu'ils cultivent, 
. ]' Les anciens Germains resoectoient la naissance, 

1 et hom* r ^ * 

««• mais ils n ob^issoient qu au m^rite ; et ne connois- 
soient de m^rite que la valeur. Leurs chefs, aussi 
barbares qu'eux, sentirent cependant cette v^rit^ 
et ils appell^rent de bonne heure les niceurs au 
secours des loix. Rois, ils pr^sidoient k peine dans 
ce champ de Mars toujours convert dorages; guerricrs, ils surent rassembler autour deux une 

sni^iior. troupe de jeunes gucrriers qui Icur juroient un 
d^vouement sans homes parcequ'il 6toit volontaire. 
Ils ^toient craints et respect^s k proportion du 
nombre et de la bravoure de cette escorte, dans 
laquelle la npblesse la plus illustre du pays ne 

E«pritdei rougissoit point de s'inscrire. La foi, Tamiti^ 
''"* I'amourde la gloire, la honte de survivre k Icur 



chef; voili^ les liens des compagnons. Ce chef leur 
derott sa protection, son exemple aux combats, et 
des dons grodsiers et militaires, des isepas, des 
aimes, etda chevaux de bataille. Dans ce tableau 
^aergique que Tacite nous a trac^ des moeurs des 
GCTmains, je crois qu'il faut principalement eu- 
tendre .les peuples Sicambres, plus voisins de 
Fen^Hie. que la ligue Su^ve. Cettd conf(6d6ration 
Sieaonbrique se renouvella dans le troisi^me si^le, 
sous le nom de Francois. L'institution de ces 
compagnons d'armes, qui arrachoit T^lite de la 
jeunesse 4 la patrie pour la consacrer au prince, 
auroit dd faire trembler la r^publique pour sa 
liberty. Mais les Francis 6toient d^jk lagers et 
iooons^quens ; et Tamour de Tind^pendance ^toit 
gav€c dans tous les cceurs. Cet esprit, plus fort 
que les loix, arrdtoit ^galement les uns et les 
aatres, et les 6mp£choient de former des projets 
manniques, d y consentir, ou de les craindre, 
Mais Ton pent deviner, (et j'ose mfime I'assurer,) 
que ces associations militaires et domestiques n'en* 
tioient point dans Tordre politique de la nation* 
EUesavoient leur grade dans la maison du prince, 
ans en avoir dans Tassembl^e des citoyens. Le 
dmnp de ^tars nommoit les chefs des commu- 
fiaut^ et les juges des cantons. Je pense que les 
lassaux avoient droit d y pr^tendre, mais ce droit 
ctnerai, fond^ sur leur quality de Frani^ois, ne 
licvoit point exclurre les autres Francois leurs 

Jc passe* rapidement sur les objets connus. 
Pourquoi rappeller la decadence de Tempire et les 



coixju^es des Fran9ois? Les rois s'agrandirent 
•vec la nation. Les vassaux- partag^nt la for- 
tune de leur seigneur, d^sontiais en ^tat de leur 
prodiguer les richesses des vaincus. Du terns de 
Tacite les nations Germ^iiques avoient plusAeiin 
chefs qui partageoient les coeurs et le service de la 
jeunesse, et qui sHnspiroient mutuellemea^ unc 
crainte salutaire pour T^tat. Le terns, les r- volu- 
tions, et Tavantage commun avoient enfin r^uiii 
chaque nation sous les drapeaux d'un seul g^a^nl 
qui devint bientdt Tunique Hoi. On salt d'aiUeurs 
que la liberty s afFermit dans les r6voltes et se peid 
dans les conquites.* 

On e6t dit que les Francois ne formuient qu'unc 
MaUj, 1 1. soci^t^ de brigands, qui ne se connotssent plus 

Ca ^ra 4'* Cm 0« 

apr^s le partage du butin. lis parurent dans ks 
Gaules, envahirent tout et se disperserent. Chaque 
citoyen exer^it k son gr^ sa tyrannie sur les 
vaincus, et assouvissoit sa veBgeancc contre ses 
concitoyens. Les champs de Mars ne s^assem- 
bloient plus, et le roi, par cette dissolution de la 
r^publique, ^toitd^venu la seuLe autorit6 legitime: 
Cest depuis cette 6poque que les vassaux, coiuiub 
sous les noms deLeitdeSyd'Jntrusthns et de FidhkM^ 
paroissent rev6tus cfune -noblesse persounclle 
r^v^r6e des peuples, et reconnue par les loix. Lc 
roi ne leur distribuoit plus que des terres coin 
sid^raUes qu on nommoit benefices. CoDJoinle- 
roent avec les 6v^ques, ils composoient le gpimi 
conseil de letat, qui s'assembloit quelquefoia, maia 
dont la politique adroite imitoit bien mal la. Iibert6 
guerri^ des champs de Mars. Le prince choi- 



sissoit lui*m6ine les juges et lea centeniers des 
villages, mais ces villages ^toient d^venues des 
provinces, et leurs chefs portoient les noms de 
dues et de comtes. Je vois sana surprise que le 
]»ince les prenoit toujours parmi ces homines 
fiddles que ses bienfaits et leur serment de fid^lit6 
sembloient consacfer k son service. 

Mais les ty rans n'ont jamab d'amis, et le prix de 
la sMuction m^rite peu de reconnoissancea. Ces 
Leudes, d^venus courtisans depuis que les enfans 
de Clotaire I. ne paroissoient plus k la t6te des 
ann6es, ne song^rent qu'k assurer leur 6tat auK 
d^pens de leur hienfaiteur. Les b^n6fices ^toient 
amovibles ; bient6t ils les rendirent perp^tuels et 
enfin h^r6ditaires. Le trait6 d'Andely autorisa 
eette aristocratie h6r6ditaire qui s'^tafalis&oit sau L'Sapnida 
miKeu de T^tat. II fut confirm^ par Clotaire IL et i» t. "^ 
soell^ du sang de la mallieureuse Brunehaut. C'est 
de cette assembl6e de Paris en 615 qu'on pent MaWj.ii. 
(later Thumiliation des rois de la premiere mce. ^-^'^ 
C'est aussi k la succession h6r^ditaire des b^n6- 

^ fices .qu'on pent fixer I'origine de la noblesse, 
Pran^oise comme un ordre de I'^tat. Assur^ment 
il y avoit d^jk des families distingu^es dans Tordre 
civil et dans 1 esprit de la nation.* Les autres 
Francois s'empress^rent k donner leurs alleux pour 

^ les reccvoir ^rig^s en b^n^fices, et pour partager 
les avantages attaches k ce grade,, dont la possession 
d'un b^n^fice paroissoit le caract^re distinctif bien 

* Parmi les Grecs et les Romains il y avoit one noUesse tr^ 
ireile, respectce dc la natioo, mw igooree des loix. 

^.m, I « « ^ 


plus que la prestation du sennent. Je pense m^me 
que les b6n6ficiers avoient su profiter de ce change- 
ment dans les id^es, pour s attribuer une pretension 
exclusive aux giandes dignit^s. Une Equivoque 
de mots a sufii pour changer peu k peu la face de 
la terre. 

Lesbeneficiers,devenus seigneyrs, s'aiTranchirent 
facilement du nom m^me de reconnoissance ; mais 
I'id^e subsista dans la nation, se d^veloppa avec 
le syst^me des fiefs, imagina rhommage lorsque le 
serment de fid^lit^ 6toit d6venu gen^rsil, ^t im- 
posa au seigneur et au vassal un syst^me de de- 
voirs pur, g^n^reux et r6ciproque. 
n. La foule des historiens nous ont trac^ le plan 

MiUtaira. g^n^ral de Tinstitution des fiefs avec une simplicity 
V. cmi^ salisfaisante k Tesprit, et qui 6vite les difiicult6s ept 
r£c«Md« ^vitant les details. Les barbares (disent-ib) qui 
^"^^^5^ envahirent les pfovinces de Tempire song^rent aux 
^ ^ ^ moyens les plus propres k conserver ce qu'ils 
aiiiae. avoient acquis. lis partag^rent les terres des 
vaincus, le g^n^ral prit pour lui un domaine con- 
siderable. Les commandans des principaux .corps 
en re^urent aussi, k condition de le servir dans ses 
guerres. Ceux-ci k leur tour s'assur^rent par une 
semblable distribution de la fid^lit^ des soldats. 
Les terres tenoient lieu de solde, et larm^e subsis- 
toit toujours cantonn6e dans le pays, et pr^te k se 
rassembler au premier signal de ses ofticiers« 

Quand cette institution seroit plutdt le r^ultal 
des faitsque Ic fruit de I'imagination, elle surpren- 
droit le philosophe qui seroit forc^ de Tadopter. Une 
subordination aussi r^guli^re dans une nation qui 



Be cherchoit qu'i jouir d'une ind^pendance person- 
nelle, et qui daignoit k peine faire des loix g^n^- 
lales ! Une arm^e qui ne recevoit point de solde» 
et qui se fait donner des terres au lieu de cette 
solde; des vues aussi r^fl^chies dans une soci6t6 de 
brigands ! Un chef, le premier de ses pairs/ qui dis- 
tribue les recompenses de T^tat, et qui les reprend 
a son gr^ ! • 

Rappellons-nous enqore que le service militaire 
cfaez les nations nombreuses et policies, est anim^ 
par un esprit bien diff(6rent de celui que r^gne chez 
les peoples libres, pauvres, et guerriers. Ce n'est 
que chez les premiers qu on est oblig6 de choisir 
panni les citoyens un ordre permanent de soldats, 
et d'entretenir par de§ recompenses une ardeur ton- 
jours pr£te k s'^teindre. Uhomme civilis6 craint les 
perils et les fatigues, Thomme sauvage les recherche. 
Chez les barbares tout est soldat ; lamour de la 
patrie^ celle de la gloire, le plaisir d'assouvir sa 
ftrocite, et I'esperance du butiri — voili ses chefs et 
ses loix. II rejetteroit avec m^pris une indigne 
exemption du service ; et sa femme, ses enfa^is, 
ses foyers domestiques, il ne les defend que par- 
cequ'iU lui sont chers. Tel est I'esprit qui s'est 
r^pandu du nord au niidi, depuis les fronti^res de la 
Chine jusqu'au fond de TAfrique. II a dii s'afFoi- 
blir par la moUesse du climat, les melanges des 
nations, et les revolutions des etats ; mais quelle 
nation de barbares a pr^vu des inconveniens qui ne 
sc feroient sentir qxx'k leur posterity, et un syst^me 
de moeurs eloign^ de toutes leurs id^es ? 

Je combine I'experience avec le raisonnement. 



J'ouvre Ics codes dc ccs peuples qui renvers^rent 
Tempire. Dans Ics uns il est question d*un par- 
tage des tcrres des vaincus* Les autres n'en font 
pas niention,t mais tous, sans exception, se taisent 
sur ce service militairc impost h leurs propri6taircs; 
service qui auroit dft reparoltre k chaque instant 
dans les loix de ces peuples dc guerriers. J*ouvrc 
leurs annates, je nc vols que des hommes libres 
qui suivent les drapcaux d'un roi, d'un due, ou 
d'un comte. Enfin j'apper^ois Taurore de la nou- 
vellc institution, j en fixe la date, jc niarquc sc$ 
progrfes. Je la vois sortir de la tcrrc, cette pltnte 
foible et tardive. L'arbrc s'61^ve. II couvre TEu- 
rope enti^re de son ombre. 

*Dans rintervalle du quinzi^e si^^cleau huiti^me, 
les barbares (jc parle surtout des Francois) 6toicnt 
d^venus plus corrompus sans fttre plus ci vilisfe. Leur 
humeurguerri^reavoit perdu dc sa vigueur, ct leur 
gouvemementciviWtoitrudeet infonnc; lorsqueles 
Arabes passirent Ics Pyrcnn^es et senibloient leur 
preparer le sort des Visigoths. Lc gout n*appcl- 
loit plus les Francois i leurs drapcaux ; la patrie 
n*6toit qu'un vain nom, ct la n^cessit6 fie se df- 
fendre agissoit avcc moins d'efficace que Tesp^rancc 
fcubijr.i.i. dacqu^rir. La France 6toit perdue, mais Charles 
L'liprifdei gouvcmoit. Ce grand homme (que son 
1^15!*"* int6r^t personnel ^clairoit peut-Atre sur celui dc 
r^tat) institua une milice consacr^e au ser\'icc dc la 
monarchic. II d^pouilla le clerg6 de la plus grande 
partie de ces terres qu'il devoit k ses artifices et k la 

* Les Visigoths, et les Bourguignoiis. 

t Let AUemanoi, les Franfois, les Lombardsi &c. 



devotion des Francois ; et les ' distribua k ses capi- 
taines. II se cnit auteris^ sans doute k employer 
Iw tresors dela religion, i la defense de cette m^me 
religion contre les plus cruels de ses ennemis. 

I.*es premiers monumens de cette institution c^- 
l^bre sont perdus ; mais au d^faut des diplomes de 
Charles ^fartel, nous pouvons puiser dans les 
annates du terns et dans les capitulaires des rois 
Cariovingiens, une id^e assez sdre de la nature de 
CCS nouveaux Wn^fices, et des obligations des b^n6- 
ficiers. On y voit clairement que, 1 . Au'lieu de 
cette reconnoissance vague dont les anciens vassaux 
s'^ient si facilement dispenses, Charles *Martel 
leur imposa des devoirs precis, de s'attacher k la 
personne du prince, de le servir dans le palais, et 
it le suivre dans ses guerres; qu*on exigeoit 
s^rieuaement ces devoirs, et que le vassal negligent 
ou infid^le perdoit son fief,* par une sentence au- 
tuit plus a craindre qu'elle ^toit rev^tue de toute« 
les fbrmalit^s de la justice. 2. II ne s'agissoit plus 
de choisir quelques braves, pr^ts k mourir avec leur 
prince. Ce maire politique vouloit donner un 
parti k sk maison et une arm6e k T^tat. Chaque 
vassal ^toit k la foi soldat et capitaine. Sa troupe, 
plus ou moins nombreuse, marchoit sous sa ban- 
ni^, ct remplissoit k son ^gard les m^mes 'devoirs 
que le prince attendoit de lui. Aussi ce n'est que 

* Selon TAbbe de Mably on n'a connu le mot de fief que sous 
Ckaries le Simple. M. Muratori pense qu'on s'en est tr^s peu 
lori ftvant Ian 1000. — V. Mably, 1. ii. c. 1. rem. 1. et Muratori, 
iopra le Antichite Italiane. Dissert, xi. 



SOUS Pepin et Charlemagne que nous trouvons 
premiere mention des arri^re-vassaux. Dans 1 
suite cette chaine s'^tendit presqu'^ llnfini. 3. Poi 
mettre les grands vassaux en 6tat de soudoyer a 
troupes, il falloit leur donner des terres consid 
rabies, des maisons, des m^tairies,et des seig^eurie 
Je vois dans les capitulaires des b^n^fices de f C 
maisons, Louis le D^bonnaire donne au fits c 
rimp^ratrice Judith un fief dans la haute Bavi^ 
de 4000 manoirs, 48,000 arpens. Je cherche vain 
ment dans les diplomes le nombre de soldats qi 
chaque vassal devoit foumir. J en conclus qu\ 
rapport general, qui nous est inconnu, fixoit ui 
proportion entre I'^tendue du fief et le service qu 
devoit* Ce rapport seroit-il difF<6rent de celui qi 
Guillaume, due de Normandie, ^tablit en Ang^ 
terre lorsqu'il porta dans ce pays tout le syst^ 
V. Home'! f(6odal ? Cliaquc fief de quatre hides de terre (c 
EnfbDd, 4 k 500 arpens) devoit entretenir un chevalic 
wd^Srf*^ c'est k dire un gendarme bien mont^, arm6 c 
toutes pieces, et suivi de son ^cuyer et de trois 
quatre solilats. On peut remarquer que le servi< 
militaire simple et g^n^ral dans les premiers tem 
ne pouvoit donner que des iantassins. La ca>*aler 
exigeoit trop de soins et de frais^ EUe convene 
mieux aux seigneurs des fiefs et k leurs vassau: 
L experience saccorde avec les conjectures: 111 
fanterie, scule force des armies Francoises sous 
V, Heriuit, premiere race, saitbiblitd^j^ sous Pepin, et disp 
LhroS. rut sous les succcsseurs de Charlemagne. 

Les. institutions conformes au g^nie et aux b 
soins d'un si^cle s'^tablissent sans peine ct s^^tei 


• « 

Bmaaur £ir fhakcc. ins 


ftcmpiditA. Les r^leniens da4a HlaicKm i^ 
mte du Maire du palais devinrmt bientdt le 
olitique de FEtuope. Pepin dimna pkis de 
HBce au syst£m^ des fiefs, qui prit*dte ioito de 
acines dans le royaume des FrUifi^Mf cVtt 
iOBs la France, la Suisse, les Fny%* Bta, et 
le giande paitie de I'Allemagne. II se r6« 
avec les conqu^tes de CbarieBMgBe jusqn'- 
mtiiies de la Pologne et de la TrsuuilvaBie^ 
Beneventum dans la fond de Tltalie,^ ea 
le jusqu'^ I'Ebre. Les loia^de Navarre et 
jof^ en .firent la loi ootttonme de tons ces 
br^tiens qui s'dv^rent sur les debris des 

1^ Nonnands I'adqptbicnt Oi Nenstrie,^ 
^lent avec leurs aimes victorieuses en Ang^ 
•en Iiiande, en Na{des, €k en Sioile. Les 

r^tablirent aux rives du Bosphcne, du 
in, et de TEuphrate. Les royaumes du Noid 
at leurs voisins d^ qu'ils les amnuient. lis 
it les fiefs avec le christianisme et les arts, 
les Martel avoit suivi la politique de Septi- -jJJ^K. 
kre. Sa situation ^toit la mdme, et leurs peUtiqM. 
res avoient beaucoup de rappoitv II ne m^ 
. que ses soldats, k qui il permettoit tout,^ k 
prodiguoit tout, et qu'il regaidmt oomme 
; appui d'un trdne usurps. II humilioit la 
e, d6pouilloit le clerg^, opprimoit le peuple, 
emoit impun^ment d'un sceptre de fer une 
libre.- Msus il nourrissoit en secret une 
oce, terrible k ses ennemis, redoutable k son 

Ces grands vassaux, possesseuis des phis . 
beires ^u royaume, juges et capitaines des 
ui. hommes 


hommes qui les cultivoient, suivis d'une maisoii 
niilitaire qui oublia bientdt la source premiere de 
V. M«Wjr. Icurs bienfaits, ^toieut peu faits pour respecter les 
loix, dhs qu*ils pouvoient les violer iinpun^ment. 
Charlemagne lutta vainement contre son si^le. 
Ce grand homme, qui sentit comme Pierre I. qu'il 
J^^JP^**^ n'etoit qu'un barbare, trouva dans son g^nie tout 
la. i9< ce que le Russe cherclia dans TEurope civilis^. 
Les arts se r^veillerent ^ sa voix. II fit respecter 
aux Francois les loix qu'il respectoit lui-m^me. II 
rendit au clerg^ sa discipline et sa dignity, il es- 
saya de soulager et de ranimer un peuple abruti 
par ses nialheurs^ II contemploit avec plaisir li 
face d'une nation libre r^unie enfin dans ses diettes 
g^n^rales. Je crois d^meler qu'il pr6voyoit tous 
les dangersde la milice f<6odale. Dans le terns m£me 
qu'il r^gloit ses droits et ses devoirs, il lui oppofioit 
ccs troupes d'hommes libres qui marchoient sous 
les etendards de leur comt6. II tichoit de les ren- 
dre k la fois plus utiles et plus respectables. Lau- 
torit^ de ses loix, et plus encore celle de son g^nie, 
tenoit tout immobile pendant se vie. Pour assurer 
la tranquillity de ses peuples, il se vit obligi de 
troubler celle de ses voisins. Des troupes tou- 
jours en campagnc et toujours victorieuses connois- 
sent rarement la sedition. 

Do tous les empires, cclui des Romains s*cst 
^lev^ le plus lentement et s'est soutenu Ic plus 
longtems. Voila k la fob la cause et leifet. Cha- 
que province subjugu^e 6toit d€jk pr^par^ k se 
I>erdre dans le nom Romain. Les autres monar* 
clues se sont ^tablies et se sont aJSfoiblics avec k 

•UETOUT EH FttAlrC£. 'ISS ^^ 

npidit^. La vfe de lear fondatetir a mar- 
p^riode de leur grandeur, souvent celle de 
£istence« Les conqufites peuvent rauembler 
ations div^rses, le tems seul et les k>ix pei^- 
cs unir ; et cette harmonie, cette correspond 
des parties ^loign6es d'un vasta empire exi- 
les lumi^res et des institutions que le si^le 
ariemagne ne pouvoit ni imaginer ni sup- 
. • Ce prince se fit sur le gouvemement de ses 
nes un systSme different ile celui de ses pr6- 
eurs. II supprima ces dues puissans qui 
istroient des provincea^ ftrt ^tenduies, pour 
tagefchacune en phisieurs cantons, r^is'par 
: de comtes ; ceuxK» ne reoeyoientd'ordre que 
ayerain lui-m^me, ou'de ses miniiitres, ({uf 
iroient Tempire pour tenir les 6tats de chaque 
m. II se rappelloit sans doute que les maires 
trasie, de Bourgogne, et de Neiistrie, avoi" 
2cabl6 le trdne des Mesovingiens sous le 
de leur puissance. Mais sa nouvelle instrtu'^ 
erdit T^tat pour ne prolonger que de quel- 
instans I'existence foible et pr6caire de ses 
idans. Sous ses indignes successeurs le 
>*de Mars n'offroit plus que I'image d'une d6- 
tie tumultueuse. Tous ces comt6s s'exci^ 
mutuellement k m^priser une autorit6 trop 
pour 6touffer une hydre qui ren'aissoit sous 
»as. Peu redoutables par leur nombre et le 
'^ndue de leurs juridictions, personne nc 
>it k usurper Tempire, chactin k le d6mem- 
k s'attiibuer tous les droits r^galieqs dans le 
1 auquel il bomoit son ambition, et k let^aire 

o S passer 


passer-^ sa post^rite. * Ce ne fut qu'en Allemaj 
que IXmpcreur laissa subsister les dues 
Saxons, Bavarois, &c. qui gouvemoient sous 
auspices des nations entities. Ces sujets foi 
dables rejett^rent bient6t des princes indignei 
r^gner sur eux, mais ils respect^rent les droits c 
trdne sur lequel chacun d eux esp^roit de moi 
unjour. Voil^ce qui conserva dans la Germi 
rid6e d'un corps politique, dans le terns m^me qu' 
sembloit se perdre panni les Frani^ois. 

Partout les gouvemeurs vouloient se faire ( 
verains ; partout les vassaux cherchoient ^ se 1 
dre ind^pendans. De ce confiit il auroit pu t6 
ter un ^uilibre capable de soutenir encore 
empire chancelant. Mais tout tendoit k r^unir 
int6r£ts des deux syst^mes, et k confondre m^ 
les personncs. 1 . A Icxemple du souverain, 
conites se iirent bient6t des vassaux qui ne 
pendoieut que deux, et ^ qui ils distribuoi 
quelquc partie de leur domaine. 2. On Icur ] 
L'Es|>ritdci Hiit dc conf(6rer les b^n^^tices publics. 3. Cha 
\m, XXXI. yassal (peut-^trc m^me chaque homnie librc) p 
voit se choisir un seigneur ; d^s lors le prince n 
plus ni sujets ni vassaux. Dans ces terns- d*a] 
chic tout le monde pr^f(6roit un gouvemeur puiss 
Mahi^j. ii. ^ un monar(|uc toible ct ^loign^. Charles 
Chauvc acconla bient6t Thir^dit^ des fiefs. Bi 
tot il donna cette vaine ombre d'autorit^ qui 
rcbtoit encore. II confimia aux comtes la pos 
sion her^ditaire dc leurs ^tats. Toutcs les par 
dc la mouai'chic se plii^rent k ce nouveau systdi 
Les ul&es f^odalcs domin^rent dans cette r^vc 



tion. Le roi devint suzcnrin, et les comtes n'etoient 
jrfas que des fiefs. L'id^e d'un hommage ne s ef- 
fii(a jamais, et cette idee conserva les debris de la 
BKmarchie. Un petit nombre de seigneurs se d^ 
loba k cette nouvelle fomie, osa se dire souverain, 
cC pendant quelque tems ne r^levoit de Dieu et de 
fenr ^p^. Un plus grand nombre de gentils- 
kymmes, qui poss6doient des terres en roture, vi* 
tment au milieu d une patrie qui leur sembloit 
toang^re, et se d^fendoient k peine centre des 
seigneurs qui ne connoissoient gu^res de milieu 
cntre le vassal et le serf. 

Uempire porta dans son sein ces principes de 
destruction. La discorde des enfans de Louis le 
Deboivnaire les d^veloppa de bonne-heure, et les 
courses des Normands leur donn^rent une nou- 
relle force. Les barbares, qui mena^oient et qui 
rtVagoient k la fois TEurope entiere, d^tachoient 
pour ainsi dire) chaque partie du corps politique 
j»ur fixer son attention sur ses propres malheurs. 
Des villes presque ruin^es, des monasteres brul^, 
des campagnes desol^es, etoient ouvertes a ces bri- 
srands domestiques plus criiels encore, qui oppri- 
moient sans peine quclqucs malheureux 6chapp^s 
au carnage. Des forteresses selevoicnt partout, 
et ces forteresses deviurent bientdt les asvles de la 

Les demiers successeurs de Charlemagne, tristes 
spectateurs de tons ces malheurs, conser\oient a 
peine lindignc honneur de consacrer des usurpa- 
tions et de prater leur nom aux attentats d'un 
vassal puissant qui daignoit remployen Ce nom 

o 3 ^toit 


^toit encore respectable a la nation, et la foiblesse 
de Charles le Simple et de Louis d'Outremer d6- 
tachoit le respect des Francois de la personne du 
rjp^ roi pour le fixer au trdne. Le clerge riche, mais 
SmUm sans force, conservoit le d6p6t de la tradition ; il 
Mtdiii fBppelloit aux grands qu'un roi 6toit le premier, 
'*^* magistrat de son peuple ; qu en braves guerriers ib 
devoient de la reconnoissance au suzerain dont ib 
tenoient leurs fiefs ; et qu'il ^toit de leur int^rdt de 
conser\'er k la monarchic un chef, et d'en r^unir let 
forces contre ses ennemis communs. Ce corps 
nonibreux de pr&tres, r^pandu dans toutes les pro* 
vinces de T^tat, tenoit partout le m6me langage, et 
luttoit contre cette anarchic dont il 6toit la pre- 
miere victime. Ses Merits, ses sermons, les decrets 
de ses conciles, ne travailloient qu'^ adoucir la fi6ro- 
cit6 des seigneurs, et k donner quelques homes k 
leur ind^pepdance. On pent voir quails ne tra- 
vailloient point sans fruit, par Tesprit qui subsistoit 
en France sous Timb^cile Charles le Simple. RoHo, 
^tnotjn ^^^ ^^^ Normands, se fit c6der une g^rande pro- 
•iknw,^ vince. Mais ce payen vainqueur des Francois 
sentit que sa souverainet6 ind^pendaute r^volteroit 
un peuple qu il vouloit se concilier. II se mit i 
genoux devant ce phont^me dont il avoit ^branl6 
le trdne, et lui jura sans peine un hommage qu'il 
itoit maltre de violer k son gr6. Ce grand exem- 
ple, qui multiplioit ceux de la r^volte, fortifia la 
th^orie de la vassalit^, et lorsque Hugue Capet 
unit un grand fief a la couronne, elle ^toit recon* 
nue de la nation enti^re. Les grands ^-assaux se 
fioumcttoient 1^ suivre Ic suzerain dans les guerrc« 




qai int^rcssoicnt le bien commun de son fief. Dans MaUj.Lu 

^qnflques circonstances ils lui faisoicnt des dons 

r giatuits. lis composoient sa cour de judicature, et 

cette cour d^cidoit souverainement de tout ce qui 

icgardoit les devoirs, llionneur, et la dignity dc 

oette pairie^ Les services qu*ils rendoient au roi 

ib les exigeoient de leurs barons, qui y assujettis- 

mcnt a leur tour les gentilshommes et seigneurs 

; pordcniliers ; et ce poids, dont la v61ocit6 s augmen- 

toitdans sa chute, accabloit enfin le peuple sous le 

joug de tous les ordres de F^tat. 

On a toujours cherch6 k rassembler les mem- j^^l^ 
bres ^pars du syst^me f6odal, et k les rapporter k ^» p^^pie. 
une cause unique et g^n^rale. Les barbares, (dit- 
on,) qui ont bris6 la t}'rannie des empereurs, ont 
apport^ k la fois la liberty et la servitude. Leur 
orgu^ les a persuade qu'ils ^toient seuls dignes 
d'etre libres, et les malheureux h^bitans des pro- 
vinces ont 6chang^ Tesclavage politique contre 
Tesclavage civil. 

Mais ne se souvient-on plus de la fi^re aristo- 
cratie des Gaulois, oil la puissance des nobles n'^toit 
balanc6e que par la puissance eccl^iastique? A-t- 
on oubli^ que le peuple n'y ^toit rien, et qu'une 
partie nombreuse de la nation ob^issoit k des maitres 
qui exer^oient sur elle tous les droits d'un maltre 
uu ses esclaves ? Xc connoit-on plus ces troupeaux 
sans nombre dc malheureux qui cultivoient dans 
les fers les terres des Romains, et qui laissoient k 
peine des habitans libres k Tltalie? Cet usage a dd 
passer les Alpes avec les richesses et le luxe, et 
laccToltre dans une province frontiire qui profitoit 

o4 de • 


tie toutes les d^faites des barbares. Lorsqi 

detL^?"* Bourguigiion et Ic Romain ont fait ce Ian 

MX. 9* partage qui respire T^quit^ bien plus que la 

lencc, avec les terrcs ils ont partag^ les serf 

les cultivoieut. 

Les Gcrmains traJnoient avec eux des prison 

d^venus esiclaves par le droit de la guerre ; ch 

chef en a beaucoup trouve sur les domaines 

s est ^tabli. II aura r^gi cet empire domesl 

Tacit de selon Ics inaximcs de sa nation ; souvent des ; 

Mor. uer> 

■Mu. de cruauteetde violence; jamcus un syst^me 
de tyrannic. II aura almndonne a ses- serfs 
partie des fruits de ses chainps, et content dc 
sister sans travail il n'aura point demande k 
richir: les besoins du barbare sont simples < 
petit nombre; ceux de Thomme corrompu 
sans bomes. L'anarchie de T^tat sous la < 
deuce des deux j)remi^res races multiplia le 
Mabiy. 1. brc dcs scrfs. Les uns depou ill^s dc tout achet 
Bfanton. Icur paiu aux depens de la liberte ; les autres 
2*^ **'• naces par la violence, se donnoient un niaitre 
bSTgS y trouver un protecteur plus puissant que les 
vi. ii. et la marchc lente du terns, ramcnant les m 
causes c[ue C^sar avoit appcr^ues, ramenoit 
les monies effets. 

Tant dc servitudes volontaires ou forcees 
bientot fait naitre plusieurs classes differentes f 
les hommes qui rcconnoissoient un m^me seigfi 
Des contrats, ou des coutumes, fix^rent bientdt 
6tat, leurs devoirs, ct Icurs droits. Je passe 
silence plusieurs nuances que nous distingu< 
peine, pour mVrfitcr k la difference reconnt 


serf et du vilain. Les droits du second d^pendoient 
moins du caprice du seigneur ; sa personne ^toit 
plus sacr^e, et ses enfans pouvoient sortir de leur 
mis^re, et monter k des grades sup^rieurs. Le 
rilain 6toit le dernier des hommes, le serf 6toit 
line b6te de somme qui difF6roit peu, dans I'esprit 
de son maltre, du boeuf son compagnon de travail. 

Le mattre d^vinf bientdt juge. Int6ress6 k 
maintenir la police sur ses terres, h pr^venir tous 
les d6sordres qui pouvoient survenir parmi des mil- 
liers de rustres, que leur mis^re rendoit encore plus 
ffroces, il ^toit peu dispos6 k c^der au magistrat de 
la province Tintendance de sa famille. Ses preten- 
sions sembloient raisonnables. Bient6t les loix les 
autoris^rent, et il ^tendoit tous les jours les droits 
de sa terre sous Tombre de sa juridiction domes- 
tique. Voili Torigine la plus naturelle des jus- 
tices seigneuriales qiii sont connus en France depuis 
le commencement du septi^me si^cle. 

On pent croire, et on le sait, qu'un grand nom- 
bre de ces malheureux qui fuyoient la violence se 
refugiferent au pied des autels, et que St. Martin 
ou St. Denys leur parurent des mattres dont la 
protection 6toit as'sur^e, et le service doux et hono- 
rable. Les 6glises avoient 6tendu partout le nom- 
bre dc leurs serfs et la juridiction de leurs terres. 
Lorsque Charles IMartel depouilla les eccl^sias- 
tiques, ces serfs et cette juridiction pass^rent entre 
les mains de ses vassaux, et la justice devint un 
des caract^res les plus essentiels d*un fief. 

Je m'arrftte : j'ai consid^r6 le syst^^me feodal, Conclusion. 
Ghi^nurchie politique, la foi et ITiommage, le 



servic^militaire, et Tesclavagc du peuple. Cc fleuvc 
rapide, grossi de mille eaux ^trang^res, inondoit 
encore TEurop^ dans le douzi^me si^cle. 

J'entrevois une nouvelle carrifere plus vaste et 
plus utile encore : la decadence de ce syst^me, et 
ceux qui se sont ^lev6s sur ses debris, sa chute 
rapide ^t terrible en Italie, son d^p^rissement lent 
ct trauquille en Angleterre ^t en France, et la 
solidity qu'il s>st procur6 en AHemagne. 

Rappellons seulement quelques id^es de la poli- 
tique des rois de France depuis Louis le Gros, 
jusqu'^ Charles VII. Les barons ^toient puissans 
parcequ*ils poss6doient seuls toutes les richesses, 
Fautorit^ et les forces de I'^t^t A la richesse des 
terres les rois out oppos^ celles du commerce et des 
arts ; ils ont suscit6 des tribunaux civils et eccl6- 
siastiques contre les justices seigneuriales. Enfin 
ils ont remplac6 par des troupes r^l^ la milice 


On doit une sorte de reconnoissance au^ histo- 
riens qui nous ont conser\'^ les details aouvent 
minutieux, mais qui nous peignent les moeurs d'un 
si^cle, son go{it pour les arts, et 1« genre ct 
r^tendue de son commerce. II y a plus de 



ymit6 et souvent plus construction dans ces objets 
que dans la relation d une bataille, ou d un tiait^ de 

Olivier de la Marche nous a laiss6 une description 
fort d6taill^e des f(&tes qui se donn^ent k Toccasion 
de ces noces, dans lesquelles Charles ^tala toutes 
la pooipe et toute T^tiquette de la maison de Bour- 
gogne. Olivier en 6toit parfaitement instruit. II 
^it alors premier maitre d'hdtel du due ; c'est k 
son bon ami et confrere Gilles du Mas, premier 
maitre dlidtel du Due de Bretagne, qu'il adresse 
sa relation dont je choisirai les traits qui me parois- 
sent les plus curieux. 

Apr^ une longue n^gociation dans laquelle le tier. 
Roi d'Angleterre et le Due de Bourgogne ne sacrie- 
fierent qu'avec beaucoup de peine leur inclination 
a leur politique, ils conchirent enfin un trait6 * 
d*alliance et de commerce, et le confirmferent par 
le mariage de Charles avec la soeur d'Edouard. 

La Princesse Marguerite arriva au port de I'Ecluse i468. 
aupres de Bruges, le 25 Juin, 1468. Pendant les 
huit jours qu elle y passa, elle ref ut les visites du 
due son ^poux fuUir, de la Duchesse douaiifere, 
de la Princesse Marie, et des principaux person- 
nages de la cour. Lorsque tout fut pr6par6 pour 
sa reception, elle partit de I'Ecluse. Le due 
alia au devant d elle jusqu'aDam, petite ville sur le 
chemin de Bruges, ou il T^pousa, aprfes quoi il 
retira dans sou h6tel, et croy que tandis que les 
€utres cirimonies sejirent, il Jit provision de dormir^ 
comme s^il eust hfaire aucun guet ou escouade pour 
la nuict avenir. La princesse continua sa route et 


fit son entree solemnclle dans Bruges. Elle avoit 
amen^ un cortege nombreux de la cour d'Angle- 
terre: on y voyoit la Duchesse de Norfolk, 
TEv^que de Winchester, le Lord Scales, frfere dc la 
Reine d'Angleterre, et sa femme; quarante ou 
cinquante dames et demoiselles ; quatre-ving^ k 
cent gentilshommes ; et plus de dix-huit cens per- 
sonnes de leirr suite: la cour nombreuse du Due de 
Bourgogne, les gens d'^glise" qui portoient les 
reliques,' et les magistrats de la ville augment^rent 
r^lat de cettc procession, qui 6tala encore un 
genre de magnificence propre k la premi^r^ ville 
commerfante de TEurope, c'^toient les compa- 
gniesde negocians Strangers qui rench^rissoient les 
unes 6ur les autres par la richesse de leurs Equipages, 
les V^n6tien8, les G^nois, les Florentins, et les villes 
Hans^atiques. Marguerite ^toit portde dans tine 
liti^re qu'accompagnoient k pied les premiers 
seigneurs des deux ^ours. De ses dames les unes 
^toient mont^es -sur des haquen^es blanches ; les 
autres la suivoient dans cinq * chariots. La pro- 
cession finit k rh6tel du Due de Bourgogne. 

Pendant les dix jours que dur^ront les tl&tes, on 
ne vit k Bruges qu'un enchainement de luxe et de 
plaisir. Les banquets et les toumois sont ce qui 
nous int^resse le plus. 

Je passe sous^ silence la maison ouverte que le 
due tint pendant tout ce tems Ik avec une magni- 
ficence digne des plus grands rois. Des ibntaines 
de vin couloient dans les rues, les Strangers etpient 
servis en vaisselle d'argcnt k sept tables difl(6rentes, 
dont les seigneurs dc la cour leur faisoient les lion- 



oeurs. Plus de six cens personnes travailloient dans 
les differens offices du palais.* 

On avoit ^lev6 une. tr^ grande salle de bois, 

teodue d une belle tapisserie en sole et en or qui 

repr^ntoit Thistoire des Argonautes; sv^et que 

I'oidre de la toison d'or .mettoit fort k la mode k la 

cour de Bourgogne. EUe ^toit 6clair^e par un. 

grand nombre de cand^labres de bois peints en 

blanc, mais surtout par deux grands chandeUers 

suspendus vers les deux bouts de la salle. C'^toient 

des chateaux places sur des rochers et des mon- 

tagnes, panni les sentiers desquelles on voyoit des 

hommes et des b£tes, qui montoient ou qui descen- 

doient. Le fond ^toit compost de sept miroirs qui 

renvoyoient Timage de tout ce qui se passoit dans 

ia salle. Ces chandeliers 6toient I'ouvrage d'un 

chanoine de Lisle ; qui y avoit m^nag^ au-dedans 

une place pour le machiniste qui faisoit toumer le 

chandelier en faisant sortir du chateau des dra^rons 

qui vomissoient des flammes. Le buffet ^toit dress6 

en forme de losange au milieu de la salle. La 

riche vaisselle d'or et d'argent enrichie de pierreries 

y etoit disposee avec gout. EUe passoit le poids de 

soixante mille marcs. La grande table, qui occu- 

poit en forme de potence le fond da la salle, 6toit 

toujours couverte de trois senices magnifiques, dont 

la decoration pr^sentoit des coups d ceil aussi varies 

qu'agr^bles. Au premier souper Ton y vit trente 

* A la cuisine 500 ; k la saulserie 80 ; k Teschansonerie et 
pAQDCteriey pour chacune 60 ; k I'espicerie quinze ; et gen^rale- 
aent tous les offices etoient fort foumis de gens. 



vaisseaux qui repr6seiitoient autant dc seigneuries 
de la maison de Bourgogne, et qui en poitoient 
les armoirics. lis etoient enrichis de peinture et 
de doiure ; leur cordages Etoient d or et leurs ban- 
nitres de soye. Quatre chaloupes, qui portoient 
le fruit et les ^piceries, accompagnoient chacun des 
vaisseaux ; trente gros p&t6s en tbrme de chateaux, 
annon^oient le ni^me nombre de gmndes villes qui 
ob^issoient au Due Charles. Uue autre fois la 
table repr^sentoit un camp compost d'un grand 
nombre de pavilions et de tentes qui couvroient 
tons les plats ; ou bien un jardin dont les arbres, 
les fruits, et les feuilles, Etoient travaill^ tr^ ar- 


fftte!!^ Natural and civil law has, each of them, its 
^wooef principle; but by what maxim shall we regulate 
the succession to states? The rules of private suc- 
cession cannot apply to them, their object being so 

• I meditate a history of the expedition of Charles VIII. into 
Italy; an event which changed the face of Europe. Should I 
ever underUke such a work, these researches will find their plact 
in it, but written with more care and precision. At present, both 
leisure and books are wanting; for which reason, being unable to 
cite the original historians, I think it better to trust to the no- 
toriety of the transactions, than to refer the reader to compila* 



difierent. Public agreements are rarely sufficiently 
determinate; treaties are liable to chicane; exam* 
pies are wanting; and each party rejects those ex- 
amples which are not iuvourable to his tausc. 

The kingdom of Naples, and Europe itself, were 9"r^^ 
often distracted by the quarrels between the houses of Anfou 
of Anjou and Arragon. Victory remained long ^ "^ 
doubtful. I am going to examine by which of 
the contending parties it was merited. The con- 
test is at an end. In the treaties of Madrid and of 
Cambray, the house of France solemnly renounced 
its pretension3; and even Father Daniel* was not 
obliged to maintain them. 

Let us first discover some proposition acknow- '"^«^«V* 
ledffcd by both parties. Before the council of n.wMh%i 

fill Kin* ol 

Lyons, the Emperor Frederic II. was lawful king Napi«/ 
of Naples; regarded as such by the pope his liege 
lord or superior, by his own subjects, and by all 
the princes of Europe. Through his mother he 
inherited all the rights of the Norman family. 
Tlie Greek emperors, who would have been his 
only competitors, were no more. 

Ferdinand, whose title was called in question by J^^J^ 
Charles VIII. descended from the house of Arra- des^iJed 
gon. He asserted the right of inheritance. Peter Thdrnght 
I. of Arragon, his ancestor, had married Constance, 
the daughter of Mainfroy, the grandchild of the 
Emperor Frederic 11. and the sole heiress of the 
house of Swabia: a title incontrovertible, had it 

♦V. la Grande Histoire du P. Daniel, tome v. p. 196, et p. 


fiOB 6y tHE tItLE OF CHARLES Vtlt. 

been pure; but Ferdinand s blood was defiled by 
two bastardies, that of Mainfroy, and his own. 
whJ*Sw- '^^ institution of marriage is necessary in ci- 
ST**-^ vilised comtries. Hereditary property in land ini- 
tbe right of plies thc appropriation of women : since the best 
means of transmitting property is by proximity of 
blood; which must therefore be ascertained by 
marriage, thc public engagement of one man with 
one woman, whose children are regarded as his 
successors. Whoever violates this law ought to 
be punished in his descendant, whose birth, being 
an outrage to society, he cannot be considered as 
its child, nor participate in the property of which it 
secures the suocession. Sucli are the laws which 
Th^du- reason has dictated to all nations. Manners, often 

ppbiic o^ more powerful than laws, here corroborate and con- 
firm them ; condemning to perpetual ignominy the 
unhappy bastard, whose father must ever be un- 
certain, and who knows his mother only by her 
crime : a cruel, but salutary punishment, since on 
it depend the chastity of women, the education of 
ThejcMi- children, and the peace of the community. If 
tokiiif. then l)oth laws and manners declare bastards inca- 
pable of inheriting private estates, on what princi- 
ple ought they to succeed to kingdoms? The ritlc 
of a sovereign cannot be too clear, nor his birth too 
much respected. 

I^ws are deaf to ever}- voice but that of justice 
and the public good. Uut it belongs to princes to 
judge, acconling to circumstances, whether they 
ought to soften, or rigorously to enforce the laws. 
^Vhen thc repentance of his mother, or his own 


.9 • 


merit, have efficaciously pleaded for an illegitimate 
son, the clemency of a prince may remove the stain 
irom his birth, and thus restore him to society and 
his rights. 

But in applying this maxim to th^ house of Ar- DHBcoiUet 
ragon a multitude of difficulties occur, of which it Sl^n^iT* 
is impossible not to feel the force. 1 . By what ^^^^ 
means is legitimation by a prince to be ascertained ? 
Ferdinand was legitimated by a solemn act ; but 
I know not whether that was the case with Main- 
ftoy: his father indeed bequeathed to him the 
principality of Salerno, and even the inheritance 
of the kingdom. It remains to determine, whe- 
ther a prince, entitled to perform an act of favour 
and mercy, actually does so by conferring an office 
of dignity, which cannot be enjoyed unless the act 
of mercy has previously been obtained ; that is to 
say, whether the substance ought to prevail over 
the fomL, or the form over the substance.* 2. Can q^^ 
a prince legitimate his own children ? Being sub- ^'j^^'j^ 


♦ The following is an example where the same reasoning oc- 
curred. Sir Walter Raleigh was conderaned to death lor treason. 
Alter a cor.tiDement of many years in prison, he received from 
Janie^y I. the command of a fleet to be employed in discovering a 
Z'/ii mine in South America. The enterprise failed; and, at Sir 
Walter's return home, James ordered his head to be cut off, ac- 
cording to the sentence formerly passed against him. The nation 
marmured loudly, asserting that the commission of admiral was 
equivalent to a formal pardon, since it was impossible to bestow 
that auttiority and confidence on a traitor condemned to dcath.f 

* Vojex Rapin, Hist. d'Angleteire, tome vii. page I'it ; et Hume, History cf 
^uc Moarts. ToL i. page 74. Howell's Letters, vol. L s. 1, letter ir. 

VOL. III. p ject 


jcct to the laws, he cannot violate them without 
being amenable to justice ; though the public good 
requires that his person should not be liable to 
punishment. But, in the supposed case, his vio- 
lation of tho laws may be punished in the persons 
of those who are most dear to him ; it cannot sure- 
ly be said, that he is obliged to submit to a punish- 
and cau itieut whicli his own pardon can forgive. 3. Docs 
^I^J^*** this legitimation extend to the right of succession 
^^ "*■ to the crown r* 4. Do legitimated children recover 
hdnf completely the rights of lawful offspring, and of 
the nearest heirs to the crown ; or rather, ought 
they not to be the last in the order of succession 
aifter all the collateral branches ? It is not fit that 
we should be bountiful before we have been just- 
Even Lewis XIV. when he trampled on the rights 
of the nation, still respected those of the princes 
of the blood, 
johntiie This liist question is extremely important. Al- 
fS^faMod. phonzo, the father of Ferdinand, left a brother 
named John, who succeeded to him in the king- 
dom of Arragon. John did not indeed dispute his 
nephew's right of succession to the kingdom of 
Ctnt Naples, but could his renunciation bind his postc- ^ 
noooce'for ritv ? Tliis is a (lucstion, with the decision of ' 
rityT^^ which we shall not now meddle, since it was for- 
merly the occasion of so many disputes-f 

* Tbis question depends on the same principles with that of « 
adoption, uhich I shall shortly examine. 

t I'hih question was much agitated half a century ago« in the - 
husine<>s of the Spanish succession, which Lewis XIV. renounced 
by the trt'Uty of the Pyrenees, but which his family afterwards - 
claimed and \ indicated. 


^ TH£ tiROtTK OF NAPX.ES. fipl 

Hi^ keflc^ptipns create just suspicions concernr 
f[ the titfe of the bouse of Arragon, particularly 
' Ferdiiiand : but in tbe ages of iron when this 
potest arose, the prevalent customs of the times 
ere more favourable to their claim. In those 
;es, as wicked as they were Ignorant, princes dis- 
Boed themselves by a .jlife of profligacy ; and 
hen they had not any Intimate children, their ^n th* 
nous were .easily prevail^ on to acknowledge \Zu^ 
e rights of their bastards. How could the barons "^^^ 
s^ise an appellation which they often prided 
emselves in bearing,* or disavow a right which 
18 often their own ? A partisan of the house of 
njou could not attack the title of his rivals, with- 
it challeng^g the rights of the kings of England, u> ^Ssafn^ 
and PortugaLt In matters merely con- Fart^iT* 

sitional, examples are more powerful than prin- 

ples. Amidst the light of the XVIIIth century, 

e pretensions of the!iiouse of Arragon may ap- 

ar extremely unjustifiable ; but might have worn 

rery different aspect during the ignorance of the 


I am not sensible of omitting any of the arffu- Maiufroj'i 

ents either for or agamst the title of tliat house, not usurp. 

aiflfrby indeed usurped the crown, to the preju- he'biinsitf 


* Wc sometimes read in old charters, E^o — bastardus. 

e appellative became a surname. In the time of Philip Co- 
■es, there was little distinction made in Italy between natural 
i Intimate children. 

1^ fo the Xlth century, William the Conqaeror; and in the 
Vth, Henry of Trastamare, and John, Grand Master of the 
der of Am, were all bastards. 

p 2 dic^ 


dice of his nephew Conradin ; but as Conradin died 
childless, Mainfroy's crime was merely personal, 
and extended not to his posterity. 
Therighu The rights of Charles VIII. were far more com- 
viiL ^ plicated. The deposition of JVederick II. by the 
pope, and the investiture of Naples granted by 
him to Charles I. formed the title of the first house 
of Anjou. The adoption of Lewis of Anjou by 
queen Joan transmitted this title to the second 
branch, from which Charles VIII. received it by 
the testament of Charles, the last count of Pro- 
vence, and titular king of Naples. These are the 
three links of the chain, which must be separately 
Tiie degwi- The deposition of Frederick 11. by pope Inno- 
derickii. ccnt IV. Stirred up Europe against that unhappy 
5l!d.*^i^45! prince. The multitude commenced a salutary se- 
verity, which did not spare even sovereigns them- - 
selves, when thev became the enemies of the 
church. A very few only condemned the pope's 
sentence, not as unjust, but as too harsh : they - 
thought that his holiness took away crowns with 
too little ceremony, but tliey acknowledged that j 
he had the right of taking them away.* J 

Prindpiei Souud philosophv would teach us to sntile at ^ 
•ophy.**" this pretended right, had it not been productive of " 
too melancholy consequences. The most nume- ^ 
, rous portion of every community determines thft > 

* Observe the equivocal cunduct of Lewis IX. He blamed the . 
pope's severity ; he endeavoured to makepeace; but the council 
of Lyons he always considered as a tribttoal from which Frede- * 
rick was not entitled to appeal. 



ne reliffion : the sovereijm establishes mi- Tbecborch 
to practise its rules, and to teach its pre- the state. 
) the people : the sovereign also regulates 
tions, hierarchy, and appoihtments ; eccle- 
being not less subject to his authority than 
and soldiers. But without recurring to Maihuof 
es which would not be universally admitted, ^h^^"^ 
tims of the Gallican church afford a suffi- 
iswer to those transalpine pretensions. Ac- xbedwgj't 
to these maxims, the church, it is true, is entireij 
ind in ol>edience to the state ; but neither *^'"* 
former any controul over the latter. They 
I independent, but allied, powers; which 
Iways to contribute their mutual assistance, 
: ever infringing their reciprocal rights. 
pe can no more depose the emperor, than '"»«i»p* 
^eror can pass decisions of faith. £xcom- ^epow a 
tion is of a nature entirely spiritual ; and 
son excommunicated, though no longer a 
m, ceases not to be a father, a master, or a 
The emperor Frederick II. was not less 
' Naples after the council of Lyons than be- 
nd whatever was done on the supposition 
and his family were divested of the rights 
reignty, was completely null. 
f Innocent could not, as sovereign pontiff. The pope 
Frederick : yet, as lord paramount of the ^Vr^e- 
m of Naples, he could deprive a rebellious r^* •» •*" 
tf his fief. This right is far more specious, nwunt. 
orman conquerors, through devotion or po- 
id consented to hold their Italian possessions 
of the Holv See: which conferral their in- 

p 3 vestiture 


vestiturc on those princes, and on the Swabian 
emperors, their successors. 
Antwenof Yet in examining this right of sovereigfnty by 
pvtiMni, the principles of the feudal law, I know not whe- 
ther Frederick's partisans needed to have given up 
J\][2*'*^"^ ^^^ cause. They might have said, 1. It belonged 
ijinhUcha- to the popc to show by his conduct, whether he 
pope. ^ really acted as lord paramount. Is it by a solemn 
excommunication, in a general council of bishops, 
and by absolving subjects from their oaths of fide- 
lity, that a superior condemns his vassal ? In such 
condemnations is it usual to join with the crime of 
felony, the accusations of perfidy, sacrilege, and 
heresy ? An assembly of peers, and of all the great 
vassals of the Holy See, with a king of England at ' 
their head, was the only tribunal to which Frede- 
rick was amenable ; and felony was the only crime ^ 
of which that tribunal could take cognizance* But - 
in the council of Lyons, Innocent IV. appears ■ 
under no other character than that of sovereign ' 
t. The len- pontiff. 2. Ncvcr did any court of justice less dc- 
in«gdlir serve the name. It heard neither the accusation ■ 
nor the defence ; and refused to grant to the per- = 
son accused the smallest delay, although his mini** i 
ters, entrusted with full powers, hastened to 
Lyons. Sentence was pronounced before their " 
arrival ; a sentence founded neither on acknow- - 
ledged law, nor on judicial evidence, but on i 
pretended notoriety of facts, vague reports, and 
.Tand public rumours. 3. The substance was not less 
defective than the form. Frederick had not de- 
Dutiet of A served to be stripped of his fief. Though a vassal 



of the Holy See, he was not its subject. The vassal 
of a great fief reigned over it with absolute sove- 
reignty; owing nothing to his paramount but 
homage, military ser\'ice, and the negative duty of 
not bearing arms against his liege lord. These 
duties, besides, were defined so loosely, that it was 
difficult to convict him of their violation. If his 
superior refused to do him justice, he might assert 
it bv force of arms : and his own immediate vassals 
were bound to follow him iuto the field against a 
prince, of whom they were themselves the rear- 
vassals.* By still stronger cogency of reason, the Frederick 
vassal, when attacked by his lord, was entitled to defendid 
defend himself by arms. But the pope surely was *'"*^^ 
the aggressor; if this appellation could be merited 
by excommunicating Frederick, by offering his 
states to all the princes of Europe, and by openly 
exciting the revolt of his subjects in the IVf ilanese, 
Ravenna, and the Trevisan march. 4. If the pope 4.FmiertG 
could at pleasure assume the character of sovereign ^^^,,f ji 
pontifif, or of prince paramount of the kingdom of po^**""* 
Naples, Frederick also was justified in using the ouhim,«i 
same right of option between his titles. As king *™^~'' 
of the two Sicilies, he held of the court of Rome; 
but as emperor of the Romans, he was subject to 
God only; and in a quarrel between the church 
and empire about Sardinia, he had not any account 
to give of the employment of his arms. He was 
even entitled, consistently with his duty, to make 

* llaioault, Abrege Chronol. de THist. de France, p. 6l7. 

P 4 use 


use of the forces of Naples itself, when that king* 
dom was not the object of dispute. These dis- 
tinctions appear to be too subtle, and even con- 
tradictor}'. They may really be so ; but they are 
deducible from that work of barbarism and chance, 
the feudal system, which admitted that a sovereign 
SrSJlSof "™'gl^^ '^^ ^l^c vassal of his own subject, M'ithout 
^K^^ supposing this, let it be explained, how the kings 
Noimaudjr. of England since William I. to Edward III. could 
levy war against France. As dukes of Nonnandy 
or Aquitaine, they were vassals of that kingdom; 
yet these wars were acknowledged as lawful, since 
in the treaties of peace which followed them, there 
is not any mention of pardon or amnesty. 
The inTCfti. On thc justucss of Frederick's deposition depends 
Chviei of that of the investiture of Charles of Anjou. The 
peidaat on kingdom of Naples was then indeed possessed by 
liSL^oT*" ^^ usurper ; but if Conradin could not lose his title 
Frederick by the crimc of his li^randfathcr, the authoritv of 
the pontiff* could not be lawfully exerted but in 
restoring his inheritance to that young prince. 2. 
^Charles acquired the kingdom of Naples, and left it 
to his posterity. He was ancestor, the fourth in 
ascent, to Joan, so well known by her infamous 
debaucheries. This princess, when ready to he 
overwhelmed bv the arms of her cousin Charles de 
la Paix, and dissatisfied with her nearest relations, 
applied for assistance to Lewis Duke of Anjou, 
brother to Charles V. king of France; and by 
letters patent, dated from the castle of Oeuf at 
Naples, the 29th June, 1380, adopted him for her 



, and appointed him heir to all her posses-' 

fay I be permitted, however, to inquire, whe- Cbaai 
' an European prince is entitled to make so fair ^/^ 
resent; and whether he enjoys the right of™ 
^ting for himself a son and a successor ? The 
le of king is universally used ; but in different 
fttries it is taken in very different acceptations, 
tmg the natives of the East, a king is the vige- An 
mt of Heaven, invested nvftH despotic power wbf? 
' the lives and propertibs^^ his subjects. 
ler such governments a king can dispose of his 
lie for the same reason that a shepherd can 
oae of his flock. They are his property. But 
e are other nations, more deserving, the name 
iqp, who see in a sovereign nothing more than 
Brst magistrate, appointed by the people for the"" 
lose of promoting public happiness, and respon- 
* to the people for his admiqistration. Such a a 
istrate cannot transfer to another, a power with jj^ 
ch he is entrusted only for his own life. At. 
iemise, this power, if the government be elec- 
, returns to the people ; if the government be 
ditan*, the same power devolves on the nearest 
, according to the law of the land ; and should 
royal family be extinct, the people would re- 
c all their rights. These maxims, surely, pre- 
sd among the northern nations, who founded 

In mj compilation the consent of the states to this adoption 
: mentioned. This, however, was a very essential circum- 
e. Bat I have since found, that the accurate Giannone is 
lilent respecting it. 



almost all the kingdoms of Europe. Obsen'e the 
steps by which they rendered their kings, though 
always subject to the laws, hereditar)\ These 
cameiMfe. kiugs Were originally only temporary and occa- 
4^J2^^ sional chiefs. By degrees they came to hold their 
offices for life. Gratitude confined the sphere of 
election to some distinguished family ; the son 
commonly succeeded to the father, but the so- 
lemnity of an election was still requisite ; silence 
and obedience were finally thought to imply the 
consent of the nation ; which always, however, re- 
sumed to itself the right of changing the order of 
succession, when the public good demanded an 
J^^PJ^ I perceive a glimpse of this liberty even among 
j*n« king, people languishing in the vilest servitude. Tlie 
•modg monarchs of the East, who name their successors, 
iUTish'n*. must choose him from the royal family ; and their ' 
y«"tbe na- subjects would not obey a stranger, though in- 
^t^^ vested with authority by their late king. They " 
•«w>w- have a confused perception that the law ought to ' 
power. be above the prince. Yet (for I am in search only 
meat of of the truth) it may be observed on the other side, 
2*^12,.^ ^^^^ the authority of European princes has been • 
acknowledged to extend to the power of transfer- 
ring their dominions. Charles II. of Spain, be-^ 
lieving himself entitled to appoint his successor, •" 
named Philip of liourbon. France accepted thc^ 
testament; Spain submitted to it, and the allies- 
felt the necessity of calling its authenticity in ^ 
Theiutho. question. Without acknowledging a power of 
SIofwL*" thi^ J^i^^J in princes, I know not how we can jusrc: 




fy tfxxBe treaties^ in which a kii^ transfers, not 

f a kmsman or friend, but to a stranger or enemy^ 

le obedience of a portion of his subjects,* The ; X 

ablic law of Europe considers those subjects as ^ 

rbels, when they refuse to submit to their new 

rince. The famous chstinction between domain 

id frontier, when examined to the bottom, will 

t found to contain more sound than sense. 

3. By the adoption of Joan I. the second branch Ta^tmak 
r the house of Anjou obtained hnly the county of cimkf i? • 
tovence. After contending witffthe eldest branch ^ ^"^ 
r their family about the crown of Naples, they 
nmd'themselves unable to defend it against the 
ouse of Arragon. They fled into France, making 
mn thence various expeditions that were unsuc- 
sssful. Ben^, the inrandson of Lewis L had no Cbukt 
dier choice to make than that of Charles his bio* hm. 
ler^s son, or that of Ren6 of Vaudemont, duke of 
orraine, the son of his daughter. He preferred 
le former ; and this Charles, titular king of Na* 
teSy and count of Provence, dying. without chil- 
ran, bequeathed all his rights to Lewis XI. king 
r Fiance, and father of Charles VIII. 

An attentive perusal of a chapter of Philip Co- 
tines (Mem. L. viii. c. 1 .) suggests the following 
nqxMitions, which appear to me incontestible. 
. Ren£ of Anjou appointed his nephew Charles, ^2ot£L 
id Charles appointed Lewis XI. heirs to all their bispretea. 
ghts. 2. The king of France acknowledged that croimor 
lese princes were not entitled to alter the order * 
f succession by their testaments. 3. Lewis XL 
id Charles VIII. took possession of Provence 



Theorarcof j^^y^ ^jjy legitimate claim. 4. Instead of disput- 
j^^^^v, ing the title of the duke of Lorraine to the king- 

onlv because it was a male lief: and that the male 
line being extinct, Ren^ of Vaudemont could not 



dom of Naples, where the Salique law was un- 
known, the court of France ordered its ambassa- 
dors to espouse his cause, and permitted him to 
lead his company of an hundred lances in the expe- 
TbttaiiM. dition against that country. 5. A discovery is 
poMfouid. wiade of ancient testaments of Charles I. and 
J^^JJII^ other princes of the house of Anjou, by which 
they irrevocably unile the kingdom of Naples and 
the county of Provence ; but the authenticity of 
these testaments was never clearly ascertained. 6. 
Charles VIII. concluded, that because lie was 
count of Provence bv the testament of Charles IV. 
of Anjou, failing his male issue, he therefore also 
became lawful king of Naples. From this time, 
thei^e was no longer any mention of the rights of 
the duke of Lorraine. Vet this duke, so much 
despised, might surely have asked, since the two 
states were to be subject to the same law of suc- 
cession, why the county ought to sen'e as a rule 
for the kingdom, rather than the kingdom for the 
^hjher couutv ? Would it uot liavc been more consistent 

the Suique . ." . . 

Uw ought with justice to reject the Salique law in ascertain- 
becii re- uig the succcssion to Provence, because that law 
i^!enc«/>r ^^as uuknown in Naples, than to introduce a new 
tt^a^ law at Naples because it was admitted in Pro- 
vence ? 
Maiimof But wc nccd Only adopt a maxim of Father 
Kid *' *" Daniel, to terminate the controversy at once. The 



duke of Lorraine liad not force to maintain his '^ 
right; the king of France had; an^ this force 
entitled him ta a preference. Yet I know not 
whether we can justly adopt a maxim, which may 
be thus expressed in general terms. ^^ If a lawful ctpkbed. 
heir cannot maintain his pretensions, they become 
of course extinct; and the next person in the 
order* of succession may assume his place, assert 
and obtain the inheritance for himself and his 

Such are the principal titles of the houses of odwr titii 
Anjou and Arragon to the crown of Naples. It ^^^ 
belongs to the reader to pronounce sentence ; after 
first casting his eye on some other rights of both . 
parties, too weak or uncertain to merit a long dis- 
cussion. . 1 . The house of France might assert The ici o 
that by the pope's investiture of Charles I. the ofCbaria 
rights of that prince devolved to the family of 
Anjou. I pretend not to decide. The monk who 
prepared that act with scholastic formality, suc- 
ceeded so well in perplexing it, that I cannot 
perceive whether those rights returned thereby to 
the pope, or descended to the family of Bourbon 
or to that of Valois. 

2. The right of conquest, an odious right, fit jugbt of 
only to make illustrious criminals; which alter- *^**""'i''^' 
oately favoured both parties. 

3. The right of adoption by queen Joan II. Right of 
But as she successively adopted Lewis of Anjou qucenTo 
and Alphonzo of Arragon, the one of those quah- *'* 
tities, to speak in the language of algebra, destroys 

the other. 

4. The 

sn ON rit tnxE of CBAKtiss flit. 

Bjginyf 4. The right of possession. The house of Ar- 

' '" '* TBgon enjoyed it sixty years. Yet the house of 

Anjoif had never relinquished its pretensions ; but, 
on the contrary, seized every opportunity of as- 
serting them. 
Tide ftiiwig fi. The consent of the subjects, the fairest of all 
people's titles. The princes of the house of Artagon might 
**"'* allege the universal obedience paid to their au- 
thority ; but, according to the opposite party, the 
cruelties exercised by that house, and the murmurs 
of the people, clearly proved their obedience to be 



Theon'j The right of conquest is only made for wild 

ikbietuob- beasts. The laws of succession, though well 

^******' contrived in themselves, are destitute of fixed 

principles. Tlie only title not liable to objection, 

is the consenting voice of a free people. 


Respecting some Transactions in the Cisalpine 

Gallic Ifar. A. U. C. 529. 

Florence, 6th August, 17^- 

I iiAVK been reading a little work, intitled, A 
Critical Letter of the Chevalier Lorenzo Guazzesi 
Aretino, to Doctor Anthony Cocchiy Physician and 
Antiquary (f his Catholic Majesty; respecting 



some trmuactions in the Cisalpine Gallic tVar, in 
the year of Rome 529 ; ArezzOj 1 752 ; in 1 2mo. pp. 
103. I find in this little work, erudition, good 
sense, sound criticism, with much local knowledge. 
Its chief faiilt is that of the Chevalier's country, an 
Asiatic style, prejudicial to strength, precision, and 
brevity. I shall unite, under one point of view, 
what I have learned from him on the subject, and 
the additions Avhich mv own reflections have made 
to it. This sketch would be less imperfect, had \ 
1 Polvbius at hand. 

1. I cannot imagine any event that would have 
more endangered the greatness of Rome than the 
union of the Gauls and Carthaginians in the first 
Punic war. Both these nations were formidable to 
that ambitious republic ; and in both the projects 
of vengeance would have been directed by the 
wisest policy. Each would have brought with it 
the ad\*antages in which its ally was deficient. 
Carthage was powerful in wealth, shipping, and 
military discipline. The populousness, valour, and 
advantageous situation of the Gauls made the 
Romans alwavs consider a Gallic war as an event 
big with alarm and danger. Had the allies suc- 
ceeded, the difference of their views and character 
would have facilitated the friendlv division of their 
conquests, and cemented their union. But the 
cautious and narrow policy of the Carthaginians, 
and the lazy insensibility natural to improvident 
Barbarians, delivered the Romans from the danger 
of this alliance. .The republic, I imagine, who 
knew how to dissemble her hatred as well as her 



ambition, was careful to keep on good terms with 
the Gauls ; and, before provoking their resent-^ 
ment, patiently waited until they should have no 
other resource than in themselves. 

In the vear of Rome 470, the Galli Scnones were 
almost extirpated. The colonies of Castrum and 
Sena were sent into the country extending from 
the jEis'is to the Ufens ; and the whole of their 
territory, the Ager Gallicus, was added to the 
dominions of the state. ^I'ifty-eight years after- 
wards, a tribune, ambitious of popularity, obtained 
a law for dividing this public property among the 
citizens. It is difficult to perceive why this dis- 
tribution of lands, which had ceased to belong to 
the Gauls, should at once provoke a war as fierce , 
as it was general: all tliat I understand is, that the . 
neighbouring Boii enjoyed the right of public 
pasturage, on paying a small quit-rent called Scrip- . 
tura; and that the lands were perhaps subtarmed . 
by individuals. The avarice of the new proprieton . 
may be supposed to have expelled the feeble rem- . 
nant of the Senoncs, which the wise moderation of ^ 
government had left unmolested. The neighbour- . 
hood of the Romans would grow more formidable 
to the Gauls, in proportion as that frontier was 
fortified and peopled by a rival and warlike colony. * 

M'hatever were the reasons, it is certain that this * 

law spread dismay and fury through the whole of ^ 

Cisalpine Gaul. These nations tlew to arms, and "" 
invited into Italv numerous mercenaries from 
beyond the Alps. The Romans prepared for re- 
sisting the storm. By an euumeration of their 


1£TT£R TO COCCHK ' 885 

fbires in Italy, they fbimd tliey CDuld send into 
the field 700,000 ibot and 70,000 hone* The con- 
soi JEmilius, at die head of a numerous army, lock 
post at Ariminum, to defend the Ager Gallicus, the 
otgect of tile war; and one of the pnetors was 
entrusted with the defence of Tuscany.^ Atilies, 
the other tonsul, had sailed to Sardinia, with ariew 
of oooquering the barbarians of that' island. • 

It is not material to determine by wliat route 
the barfaaiians penetrated into •fitruria; .which they 
dKHigfat fit to render the fiiatftheatre of the war. 
The pnetor had naturaihr.po^ed iiimseif near to 
AiezzD/ the principal fortress of the Romans in 
Tnscainr. If they nrarched by the sea-side, the 
Ganls might have deoeiired his vigilance; if they 
pursoed the road of Bologna ^d Valdimugetlo,* 
the general must have been too weak to resist 
them, and therefore felt the necessity of allowing 
them to ravage with impunity the rich Tuscan 
pastmes.'f They got possession of an immense 
booCT in cattle and slaves. Proud of following the 
feoC!$teps of their ancestors, they advanced to Clu- 
siom, on the straiglit road to the capital. There 
they hcatd that the praetor, who had perhaps re- 
a rernforcement, pursued them by forced 
They changed their direction, in drder 
to meet him ; and on the evening of the fir#t day's 
march, die two armies were in sight of each other. 
Both sides fivrtified their camp. If we examine 
die load by Clusium to Arezzo in the Vaklichiana, 

♦ Luseim Crit p. 57. t Id. p. 39. 

VOL- III. Q we 

SUB CH£.VALttB t. a« AEUTt 170^9 

we shall find the villages of Lucignana and Sina* 
lunga situated at a convenient distaace.* The 
Romans had occupied an excellent camp; and 
this barbarians, notwithstandii^ their impetuosity, 
• thought it wiser to withdraw them from it by stra- 
tagem, than to dislodge them by force. They 
marched with their whole infantry, left liieir fires 
burning to deceive the Romans, as welt as their 
cavalry, who might continually harass them witil 
they were drawn to the place to which tli^ widied 
to decoy them. The pnetor fell into the snare, 
and was punished for his credulity by a bloody de- 
feat. He with much difficulty retired to an emi- 
nence, and defended himself till the arrival of the 
consul iEmilius, who by forced marches had passed 
the Appennines. His arrival saved the pnetor ; and 
the Gauls now thought only of securing their booty 
and making their retreat along the sea coast. The 
.narrative of Poly bins is clear; and if Casaubon had 
taken the sense of tlie passageas well as Mr. Guazacsi, 
the text of this great historian would no longercon- 
tain any geographical difficulties. He says of the re- 
treat of the Gauls, tl^mvafu^ti ni» iw9Xf»fw*9f «Sr ivi v«Xi» 
feio-^Aar. If wc translate die wonds Fittuku t€ih 
dunt we suppose the Gauls to perform a march al* 
most incredible, and to make a movement altc^pt- 
ther abttord, since it implies that tlie Romana pof* 
sued tlieir ca^'alry sixty miles without puttti^ 
.them to tlie rout. Tliese difficulties are increased 
when we follow the Galub to Fsuuke and to tbe 

* Littera Crit |k 54.. . ' • 

- foot 

UrC£]» TO <K>CCHi« fl97 

foot of the Appetmine^; andus it i$ mposaihle to 
understand how they can retreat to Telaroon, we 
adc^t the opmion of Cluverius^ in preferring on 
tfab occasion the authority of Orosius to that of 
Plolybius, and supposing thtf the last battle was 
fought near to Ar^zzo. Why should not the woids 
•p on f«bciXa» versus Fcssulas be translated in the 
Sreetion (^ Fassula^ according to the most natu- 
ral signification and the easiest construction? Tbp 
Gauls then pursued the road from Clusium to 
Fcsobe, but had scarcely concealed themselves be- 
hind the chain of hills which separates the duchy 
of Tuscany irom the district of Sienna, when they 
were oUiged to come to an engagement. Thanks 
to die happy discovery of Mr. Guazzesi, the whole 
piaa of die campaign is unravelled * The Romans 
fctired to one of those hills ; and by dispatching 
oooriers across the thick woods by which they 
were covered, communicated the news of their 
situation to the Consul. 

Why did the Barbarians prefer the road by the 
coast to that of Valdimugello, which is far sliorter? 
Why did they not traverse the country in a right 
faie^ in order to arri*'e at the mouth of the AmO| 
and then follow the coast to the openings of the 
kiHs of Valdimagra? We are sure that Port Telar 
aHiQ is nearer .than the mountains of Sienna to 
Aome. Mn Guazzesi well explains these diifi- 
culties, by the changes which time has effected in 
ike nature of the country, and by our ignoranct 

* V. putkiilsrly Littera Crit. p. 41— 5S. 

Q S whether 

*SM CHEtAUEE 1. 6. AEttlVO^tf 

whether diis route was not the onfy one prai 
ble for an army ; by the preference given Ir 
Gauls to the plain country, where they ooukl 
themselves of their numerous cavalry, and b; 
hope of mecfting with piratical vessels belos 
to their own nation or the Ltgurians, in m 
they might transport their booty without diffii 
or danger. But I believe it will be necesaai 
penetrate into the motives by which the Bai 
ans were actuate before we can fairly apprc 
their conduct in passing from fiiry to dismay; 
in marching up to their enemies, merely that 
might fly before them, especially after they 
just tasted the sweets of victon*. The Gallic ; 
was governed by two principles extremelj 
ferent The Cisalpine nations perceived that 
a war could only terminate in their own dca 
tion or that of the Romans. They ioughl 
n^n, who had their dearest interests at stake: 
their allies the Gesatse were not animated 
similar spirit. These troops were not a na 
t>ut rather an assemblage from different nat 
who had passed the Alps merely for the sal 
plunder, and who wished to secure their boot 
ia speedy retreat, without longer exposing 
persons in a war which did not concern t 
Their leader Anocrestes was the first who pro^ 
this measure; and as the age was ignorant o 
principles of geography, and the Barbarians 
tmacqu^nted both with the country and the 
guage, tliey could only shape tlieir route b^^ 
course of those rivers whicbi swelled to torr 

• ' LS'PEEa TO CPCCHI. 229 

had forced their passage through the least ob- 
structed. vaUies. They were theu neai* the source 
of the Umbro ; and as that river flows from the 
footh-west, they must have approached Rome, as 
diey came to its mouth near Port Telamon. If 
die Cisalpioe Gauls, who were better acquainted 
wkfa the country^ were loath to leave it, there if 
leason .to think that they would with pleasure 
avail themselves of this circumstance. 

I aay that they followed the course of the Umbro 
till they came to its mouth, although Port Tela^ 
BKm be eighteen miles nearer to Rome. But we 
learn, from a passage of Frontinus's. Stratagemq^ 
&afc Aey entered the plain at Colonia;: and that 
die Boil posted, ten thousand men in a wood in 
dat neighbourhood. The , consul jEmilius dis^ 
covered the ambush, and cut the enemy in pieces. 
Critics, to whom the n^pae of Colonia was un- 
known, have endeavoured in their ^usual wpy. tQ 
explain or correct it. Thi^ pl^c^ iiow Colonna, 
was called Columjiata in tlie middle ages ; it i^ it 
village ip the territory of Grossetto, between.the 
iXMith of the Umbro . and . Lake Qastiglipne, or 
Aprilis;* and was the scene of the battle, which 
doives Its name from Port Tciauion, a place fs^ 
better known. 

History informs us, that the consul £milia9 
oontiiiued to follow the army of the Barbarians 
widioat venturing to provoke them to a battle; 
and that, by a singular chance^ his cpUeagu^& 

* Littera Crit. p. 77—87. 

Q 3 Atilius, 


Atilius, who had disembarked his anny at Pisa, in 
expectedly fell in with their vanguard; that a bal 
tie ensued, in which that consul was slain; whil 
£milius, on his side, having also attacked tb 
enemy, obtained a complete \nctor}', destroyed th 
whole Barbarian army, doid gave the mortal wooni 
to the liberty of the Cisalpme Gauls. Of all thot 
circumstances, I find most difficulty in understand 
ing the surprise of AtiUus. He could not hav 
left hib province of Sardinia without the orders o 
the senate. > His instructions must have requiie 
him to gain injfotmatbn, both of the motions o 
die enemy and of those of his colleagues, in om 
cert with whom he was to act. This- dnty wa 
easily performed in a friendly country, whert tii 
consternation of the people and the flight of tb 
peasants loudly proclaimed the approach of tb 
Barbarians. In whatever manner this may be ex 
plained, the Gallic army, attacked in front an 
rear by two Roman consuls, advancing in contrar 
directions, will always, in my opinion, * wear tb 
aspect of a well-combined project, rather than of 
military neglect, hardly conceivable. • • • 

Afr. Guazzesi* is of opinion that Tuscany ton 
merly abounded in forests ; and that the distriol 
of Cortona, Arezzo, and Fiesuls were entirfel; 
covered with diem. The extent of the Ctminiai 
wood is well known. In the year of the city 441 
Livy telb us, that there was a forest near' ClnaiitiB 
During the Punic wars, the Romans brought thd 

' • Litten Crit p. 59*-^ 



tiinker for ship-tnitlding from Rusellae, Penigiay 
lod Clusium; and wood abounded in the teiti-' 
teries of Sienna, Volaterra, v>flnd Popnkmiunijl 
whose inhabitants wrought the iron fiom the. 
iflaad of Elba. Fhmus Vopiscus observes, that 
in-the time of Aurelian there was a great quantity 
of wood near die Aurelian ift*a.y; and Stafao* 
csrtcnds the remark to all Tuscany. By digging 
into the Valdichiana^ even near the sur&ce, the: 
workmen stilt find trees of a prodigious ske^ which' 
aie now petrifiecL Need we appeal to the ancje&t 
names and epithets of the country , la Fameim^ 
JUem^y Frauinetto^ Cento, la Sdve; jot h> the' 
oUigations imposed on the communities in those 
parts, aslate as the eleventh century, of inmiBhing 
yisafiy 10 thev lords a certain number of wild boars? 


July 14, 1764.]— I read Mr. MalUfs Intraduc- 
imm to the UUtory of Denmark, with a Tran^latiom 
tfike Edda, the sacred book of the ancient Celts. 
We have now half a dozen of bible% if we include 
•BT own* A valuable work might be written, gi^Hng 
a philosophical picture of religions, their genius, 

and influence on the nuuiners, govem- 

t, philofiophy, and pioetr}' of their respective. 

Mr. Mallet is a man of sense and 

Q 4 candour; 


candour; he has -carefiilly exammed hia$u)gect» 
but treata it with more per^icuity than elegance. 
Hia great; pk'inciple, .that the religion of Odin 
formed ^at character of the northern nations, 
whose diects are still perceptVble among ourselves, 
is judicious, in many respects well founded, and 
per&Gtly well illustrated. He makes excellent 
obserrations on the populousness of the North; 
tending to shew that the numerous swarms which 
issued ixom it in ancient times do not prove it to 
havir been more populous than it is at present 
The £dda supplied him with copious materials on 
the subject, of religion and morala* In treatiAg of 
goveimnentti he has not a voucher equally au* 
tbentic,:athd is obliged to have recourse to Tacitus 
and anakgy. These guides are not always to be 
trusted. Tacitus indeed comprehended Scandi^ 
navia under the. name of Qermany; but in his 
general description of the Germanic institutions, 
he h^ chi^fiy in view the patious ^yi^.whi^h he 
was best afrquaiated, those situ|ite i^^ar \)^e Rhine 
and the Panube. Besides, it is not certain that 
the religion of Odin is as old as the time of 
Tacitus* Wtien that historian takes it for a troth 
certain and incontrovertible, * that the Germans 
were indigenous, and that thepurity Of Iheir blood 
was never corrupted by- any foreign adipixture^ 
there is some dithculty in conceiving how be could 
be ignorant that a great Scythian colony ^ad 
conquered Scandinavia one hundred and 6fty yeais 
before his own times. I would rather suppose 
with Dalin, that Odin's migration happened m the 



leigii of TnjaoL That conqueror s desi^ miiM 
hsve been gready faciUtated by the weakness <^ 
the Cimbri, and the slavery of the Sinones, suffix 
dently indicated in Tacitus. This spra toids to 
diew tiiatthe poverty of human invention, as 
well as the policy of prophets, always obliges them 
to enrich new religions at the expense of the old, 
and to mould them • conformably to the natiimal 
cfaaiacter. A religion inculcating the fear of 
death would have met with a very unfavourable 
reception among the Celts. The genius of Odin*s 
snperstition and morals prevailed among the 
Ciaabrit who were long anterior to that .1^^- 
latnr; and amcmg the Celtiberians, who probably 
never heard of his name. As to the country fiom- 
whidi the atilhor of the £dda came, I would adopt 
the common tradition which fixes his ancient seat 
in the neighbourhood of the Tanais and the Palus 
HjDOtia. I am uot frightened at the greatness q{ 
die tlistance. Great joumies are accomplished by 
Bvage nations;, and their scanty geographical 
knowledge is often extended by accident. A Scy- 
dnm of the tribe of Asse, taken prisoner by his 
\ui% may have passed through successive 
to the shore of the Baltic. At his return, 
he would describe the advantageous situation of 
ihe country, and the facility with which its con- 
qnert might be effected. Odin (we must suppose 
him a man of genius) would perceive, that the na- 
tions bordering on the empire were less ignorant, 
and more warlike, than those removed at a greater 
<iitrancr ; and that the leader of a^small tribe, who 


i • 

. *:miti t 


wished to found a great kingdom, musf march 
against tiie northern extremity. The intennediald 
nations would gladly deliver themselves from a 
dangerous invader by granting to him a iree pas- 
sage ; a fkvour which^ in an age little skilled in 
the art of fortification, is of small importance; and 
which the heroical sincerity of barbarians seldom 
permitted them to abuse. The courses of the great 
riverB must have much facilitated his journey. He 

■ _ 

Woiild sail up the Tanais and the Volga, to de- 
scend Avith the stream of the Dina to die iwigh- 
bourhood of Riga. The sources of those rifvers are 
myt widely distant from each other; and when die 
land was less elevated by seventy-eight feet than it 
is at present, there may have been communica* 
tions^ now lost, between neighbouring seas. Odin 
established liis worship in Scandinavia. Thence 
it S|M*ead amdhg the northern nations of GenMSay 
called SaxoBS, by whom it was carried into Eng- 
land in- the fifth century. In those countries only, 
I think, we ought to look for it : Mr. Mallet's 
system supposes it too extensive. I do not find in 
die Edda that Odm the conqueror of the North, 
and th^ priest of a god also naaned Odin, wished ever 
to pass himself for a divinity; nor diat the Scandi- 
navians ever worshipped deified men; a woiship 
much rarer than is commonly imi^ned. Odin 
the* conqueror boasted of being a magician ; a pre- 
tension altogetlier inconsistent with that of his 
divinity. , * 

• July 16.] — I did not wish to proceed with Mr. 
Mallet's large history, which followed his mtrodoc* 

tion ; 


tion ; this would have diverted me too much from 
my present pursuits; but I could not deny myself 
die pleasure of reading a detached part, relative ta 
the coinversion of Scandinavia, in order to see the 
do#iifidl of Odin's superstition, of which I had 
beheld the establishment, and examined the prin- 
ciples. Tliis subject is treated dryly, and with^nA 
taste. An important quiestion occurs, why the 
inhabitants of the North should have so obstinately 
re|ected Christianity, while their countrymen est*r 
bUshed in the empire embraced it with the utfnrosl 
readiness. Mr. Mallet will answer, that the lattJer 
consisted only of unsteady young men who faad 
left their native country before they w6re tho- 
roughly confirmed in the prejudices of their ances^ 
tors. Yet he well knows that several of those mi- 
grations were made by communities at large ; and 
that the young men M'^ere accompanied by mffn far 
advanced in years, whose hearts and principles 
were no longer susceptible of change ; by women 
whose weakness and timidity render them pecu- 
liarly prone to superstition ; as well as by bards, 
priests, and prophetesses, who combated the new 
worship by every weapon that either custom, fear, 
or honour could supply. This explanation, there- 
fore, will not answer the purpose. Neither do I 
think It probable that the leaders of the Barbarians 
embraced Christianity through policy, and ven* 
tured to provoke the conquerors, in order to ingra- 
tiate themselves with the conquered, whom they 
despised. Besides, those leaders of the Vandals 
and Burgundians embraced Arianism. Policy 



would not hare taught them to adopt the 3enti^ 
meats of the smallest portion of their subjects. . I 
believe the true reason for . tfafp difteteiice. arose 
merely from this circumstance, that; tlie one 
class left their country, whereas the. other itswiMd 
at home. I speak not the Saitfw u ji.wbo 
knew Christianity only by baf tism and p.u^iab- 
ment; and whose love of liberty ^ejie^ted that 
religion as a badge of the in^rfou# ^ws im« 
posed by Charlemagne. I have in y\iew only 
those nations among whom Christianity; appear* 
ed not as a conqueror or persecutor, but aa a 
supplicant All religions depend in some degree 
on local circumstances. The least supei;stitioitt 
Christian would feel more devotion on Mount Qd* 
vary than in London. Among learned nations 
reading and reflection, and among the pations of 
the East a natural warmth of fisuicy, supply, in 
some measure, the real presence, of objects, and 
give to them in all times and in all places, a mental 
existence. But mental representations are too 
subtile to make an impression on the phlegnuuic 
insensibility of Scandinavians ; and a missionaiy 
must have combated their fsuth with great disad* 
vantage in their native countr}-. The temple of 
Vpsal in which tliey liad purchased the fiivour of 
Odin by thousancb of human victims; those rocks 
which the ancient Scaldi had covered with Runic 
characters, the more venerable because unintelli* 
gible; those mounts which religion, h^d raised to 
the glor}' of their anccfstors, and by which they 
hoped that their own wqu14 be pc|;ge tutted : — all 


- THE aiSWRT OW t^ZHfUAlUis tSf 

these oli^ts kept possessbn of their mmds, be- 
cause they were continually striking their senses. 
But the nations of Germany, when transported 
into soudiem countries, lost hold of die ^rmest 
fiHindation of their faith. Temples, altars, toaibs, 
and consecrated ^places were all on the side of a 
new n^ligicHi, which naturally insinuated itself into 
the Toid of credulity left craving in their mmds. 
They first\ wondered, and then believed. The 
changes produdsd by anew cKmate in their modes 
q£ lifoi ^3>ui in • the education of their children, 
tooided to estrange them from a superstition better 
idipte^ to theibauks of the Elbe than. to those of 
the Xaigus^ iahd to forests than to cities. A baiba- 
rkm,' who had, tasted the wine of Falemum, would 
wot feel mudh desire of intoxicating himself with 
hydrOmel' ati Odiums festival ; and when he panted 
under an African sun, a hell open to the north 
wind would not greatly excite his terror. His un- 
dc i s U ui ding would be improved, and his heart soft- 
encd^ in his perpetual intercourse with the vzor 
quished ; and every cause would concur to make 
him quit a mode of worship founded on ignoraince 
and barbarism, and to substitute in its stead a re- 
ligion connected with a scil^nce which he b^an to 
relish^ and inculcating the virtues of humanity 
which he began to value. He was besides sur- 
bv a nation of missionaries, whose zeal 
animated by a.pej:x>nalinterest in the conver- 
sion of their masters, that those fierce tigers might 
be confined in the chains of religion. Bishops, 
priests, and tv'omen, who mingled caresses with 


, I ; 1 1 1 : • r « I 

controvereyi were sedulous to convert the princes 
andgreat men, whose example was easily followed 
hy that of the careless multitude. Such means of 
conversion are far more efficacious than those with 
which a few Benedictines are furnished, who travel 
into the woods of Sweden to pre&ch patience, hu- 
Aiiiity, and faith to numerous bands of pirates. 
These warriors either massacred the priests, or 
spared them through mere contempt An apparent 
exception to this theory tends really to oonfirm it : 
the Saxons, who settled in England, were not con- 
verted till one hundred and fifty jrears after their 
establishment in that country. This happened, 
because they drove the ancient inhabitants into 
Wales ; because the climate of England was not 
widely different from their own ; and because diis 
kingdom was the least polished of all die Roman 
provinces. But the same causes operated on the 
Saxons, though more slowly ; and when they began 
to enjoy tranquillity at home, they readily embraced 
Christianity as taught them by the Roman mission- 

A Protestant would also observe, that the Chris- 
tianity of the tenth century is of far more difiicnlt 
digestion than that of the fifth. It certainly is so 
to a man who reasons. 



( «39 ) 



Etai de VAUemagM et dela Suiss^^^La Maison d'Avtriehe 
--rLa Noble$te-^Le Clerge — Le$ Filiet libre^-^Ln 
irois Cantons papulaires — Ambiiion d^ Albert /. — Tjy- 
rannie de ses Gouverneun — Cofguration — SouUvement 
des Suitses—Mort f Albert L— Henri FIL—Frideric 
d^Autriche et Louis de Baviire — Bataille de Morgarten 
— Alliance perpituelle des trois Cantons — Fondation du 
Corps Hdvitique, 

La Suisse est situ^e au milieu de TEurope, entre 
la France, Tltalie, et rAllemagne. Sa largeur,- de- 
puis Basle jusqu'au mont St. Bernard, estd'environ 
quarante^leux lieues, et sa plus grande 6tendue de 
Geneve jusqu'au lac de Constance ne surpasse 
point soixante-dix lieues. Toute la partie m^ri- 
dionale et oriestale de cette province est couverte 
par la masse ^nomie des Alpes, et compose le sonn 
met de cette chaine de montagnes qui s'6tend de 
la mer Adriatique jusqu'^ la M6diterran^e. C'est 
dans le sein de ces montagnes que les eaux du 
ciel se sont creus^es mille r^ser>oirs in6puisables, 
dont les canaux vont porter Tabondance jusques 
dans les extr^mit^s de I'Europe. D'un cdt6, le 



Rhin^ qui sort du pied du mont St. Godard, em* 
brasse dans les replis de son cours tranquille une 
grande partie du contour de la Suisse qu'il s^pare 
ftujourdhui de TAUemagne. Sorti du lac de Con- 
stance ir repoit le tribut de i'Aar, de la Reuss, et du 
Limmat, qui se ri^unissent apr^ avoir arros^ Tint^ 
rieur dcs terres. II se tourne enfin du c6t^ du 
Nord, et se perd dans les sables* de la HoUande. 
Au midi le Rhone se pr^cipite avec fureur de la 
m^me montagne, et court, ^ travers le lac ik Ge- 
neve, joindre sous les murs de Lyon ses eaux ra- 
pides aux eaux lentes de la Sadne. Les Alpes 
s'abaissant insensiUement forment des c6teaux 
moins ingrats, fertilises par des mains libres et in- 
dustrieuses. Ces montagnes se reinvent enfin de 
nouveau pour former cette chaine qui s'^tend sous 
le nom de Jura depuis le Rhone jusqu'au Rhin, et 
qui sert de rempart h la Suisse contre la Bour- 

Vers ia fin du treizi^me si^le, la Suisse ^tok 
encore »ne province de Tempire d'Allemagne. Cc 
grand corps sortoit de Tanarchie, et sa constitution 
politique preaoit d^s lors la forme singuli^re 
qu'elle a conserv6e jusqu'^ nos jours. L'autorit^ 
imp^riale fut la victime d*une revolution que les 
^^nemens pr^paroient depuis longtcms. Frederic 
IL etoit digne d'un autre si^cle et cFun sort plus 
heureux, mais il combattit avec plus de Constance 
que de bonheur contre Tambition des grands, le 
fanatisme des peuplcs, et la politique de la cour de 
Rome. Les villes Italienncs, devenue% riches de 
leur commerce^ et fibres de leuis richesses, se ran- 


|>£ LA ^PUbUUVE D£S 8UI8SE8. 841 

geoient avec ardeur sous I'^tendard des pontifes 
qui itoit pour eux celui de la libert^^ Pendant 
que rempereur poursuivoit en Italie un iantdme 
de puissance qui lui dchappoit toiy ours ; les princes 
d'AUemagne briserent les foibles liens qui les at- 
tacboient encore k leur souverain, usurp^rent ses 
droits, ses domaines, et ses revenus ; et s'arrog^rent 
dans leurs provinces respectives une autorit^ ind6- 
pendante et h^r^ditaire. La mort de Fr^eric mit 
le comble aux d6sordres publics ; et Tempire sembla 
rentrer dans cet ^tat de nature, dans lequel chacun, 
libie du frein des loix, est I'ennemi de son sembla- 

Apr^ un interr^gne de ^nngt-cinq ans les elec- ^f^* 
teurs* c^erent avec r^ugnance au cri de la nation *'^2" 
qui leur demandoit un chef. lis s'assembl^rent enfin Geraaii. 
a Fnmcfbrt, et ce fut Rodolphe, Comte de Habs- GeiOiiMn 
bourg, qui r6unit les sufirages d^une assembl^e dont g^ i ^l 
il m^ritoit Testime et dont il nexcitoit point la *•""' 
jalousie. Ses vertus justifierent leur choix. Son 
administration, k la fois douce et ferme, rendit bicn- 
tot la paix a Tempire, et la vigueur aux loix. II 
ne se laissa jamais s^duire par la vaine ambition 
de faire valoir sur Tltalie les droits d*un empire 
Romain qui n'existoit plus. 11 respecta toujours 
les droits et m^me les usurpations des princes, et 

* Let empcreors etoient aDcienncment choisis par le corps 
niicr de la noblesse All eraande. Vers ce teras-ci les sept grands 
officien de b maison imperiale, qui avoient toujours eu une part 
diftinguee dans les trlections, commen^oient k y pretendre un 
droit exdoiif. La pretension leur reussit et fut enfio confirmee 
la bolle d'or. 

VOL. III. R pr^f6ra 


pr^ftra sagement son repos et celui de la patrie, 

aux pretensions anibitieuses d'une dignit^, qui 

alloit peut-itre passer en des mains ^trang^rcs. II 

borna tons ses projets k T^tablissement de sa mai- 

son : les empereurs conservoient encore le droit dc 

conffrer de nouveaii Tinvestiture des fiefe toutes 

les fois qu'ils etoicnt devolus k Tempire. Les mal- 

heurs de ce si^cle offrirent k Rodolphe les plus 

heureuses occasions pour exercer ce droit en fkveur 

de ses enfans. Lorsqu'il cut affcimi son autorit^ par 

dix ans de victoire, il assenibla tous les ordres de 

V. Strati r^tat dans la diette d'Augsbourg; sous les yeux 

j^jG^ de cette assembl^c, Albert et Rodolphe,* ses deux 

^^^ fils, ref urent de leur p^re les duch^s d'Autriche et 

■^•^ de Suabe; deux provinces qui n'avoient plus de 

GiMnone, mattrc depuis la niort de Frederic et de Conradin, 

<fiNmiL qu6 Icur malheureux destin avoit conduits k Na- 

^T^^ pics pour y p^rir sur un ^chafaud. Ces jeunes 

princes Etoicnt les demiers rejetons des anciennes 

maisons de Suabe et d'Autrichc. 

Sji. I^ duch6 d'Autriche 6toit un des plus beaux 

Frtderic ficfs dc Tempire. Ses plaines fertiles ^toient cou- 
lee 'Edit, vertes d'un peuple nombreux, accoutum^ aux 
^'^****^ arines par les guerres continuelles qu'il avoit k 
soutenir contre les Hongrois et les Boh^miens. La 
iMpionu Kb^ralit^ de Frederic Barberousse av/Rt afinmchi 

ad caJcetn 

jEMmSyit. les souvcraius crAutriche de tous les devoirs ou6- 
^ reux d'un membre de Tempire; pendant qulls en 

conservoient les lionneurs et tous les avantages. 

* Le Dae Rodolphe moymt avant toa pile. 


bm LA EliroBLiQUE !>£$ aullfeSEftl ' SMS 

Le duch^ de Suabe ou d'Allemannie ^it d*une 
gnuode itendue ; puisqu il comprenoit les payu 
dans lesqueb les anciens Allemans s'^toient ^tablis; tkh^&m, 
le ccicle de Suabe; TAlsace, et la plus graiide^^^^ 
partie de la Suisse. Ses dues donn^rent souveat 
la coufonne iinp6riale, et la port^rent eux-miines ^^^^^ g^ 
pendant plus d'un si^cle. L'Empereur Philippe de ^^™^ 
Suabe acheta le premier la fid^lit6^ de ses vSssaux p.4sx 
au prix de ses droits et de ses domaines qu'il leur 
abandonnoit. Frederic II. se vit attaqu6 par une 
foule dVnnemis qui vouloient m^riter le ciel ma 
d^hiiant le patrimoine d*un tynm condainD6 par 
r^liae* ' Le parti des pontifes se croyoit en droit 
de lui tout anacher ; ses amis se contentoient d^ 
lui tout demander. L'interrigne anndantit les ^^T^ 
d6bris de lautorite des dues de Suabe: et lorsqiie iM«ctj a» 
les fils de Rodolphe furent rev£tus de ce vain titre, rtiirtyin 
ik ne refurent qu'un domaine difficile k retrouver ^"^ **.^ 
et une souverainet6 qu on ne reconnoissoit plus. 
Une seule circonstance rendoit ce^ ^tablissement 
dun grrand prix aux yeux des comtes de Habs- 
boui]g« lis y ^toient situ^s au sein de leur patrie« 
Vers le concours de TAar et de la Reuss, s'61evoit v.OmiB. 
un ancien chdteau bati sur les masures de Vin- HainiMr* 
donisse plus ancienne encore.* Par la foible lueur 


* Une Msez petite enceinte contient des monnniens de tous les V.GsSik 
ftecles. On pent tracer encore les niin(» de Vindonissey ville ^^^^^^a. 
Roauune, niinie au quatrii^roe si^le par les Allemans contre ttfianm^ 
lesqoeb elleavoit serti de reropart. FJIe 6toitIe si^gtf de la vingt- vti/lF^ 
Qjiieme legion, et des premiers ev^ques de Constance. Un peu O^fims^a 
plus loio le donjon de Habsbourg nous offire llmage de la tyrannie ^^^**^ 

M 2 ftodale p. 1741^ 



qui ^claire ces terns t^n^breux, on peut y d^cou- 
yrir lei ayeux de Rodolphe vers le commencement 
du onzi^me si^clc, et suivre sans interruption les 
progr^s d'une noblesse qui se d^montre par les 
preuves ordinaires, par les croisades, les toumois, 
les brigandages, et les fondations pieuses. Au bien 
de ses p^res,* Rodolphe avoit ajout6 le riche heri- 
tage cfe sa m^re, fiUc unique du dernier des anciens 
Sablb^"* comtes de Kybourg. Un domaine qui s'6tendoit 
1. vi. sur la plus belle partie de la Suisse, T^clat de la 
dignity imp^riale, et des conjonctures heureuses lui 
permirent d esp^rer qu'il pourroit un jour faire re- 
connoitre les loix de la maison d'Autriche depuis 
le lac de Constance jusqu'^ celui de Geneve.t 


tiodale et le berceau de vingt empereurs. Les debris encore 
plus considerables de Tabbaye de Konigsfeld nous montrent les 
tropbees abattus de hi superstition. Knfin la petite ville de Brack, 
^ui termine le paysage, nous prosente dans son Industrie et sa 
proprete un objet de comparaison assez favorable au si^le dans 
kquel nous vivons. 
V* TKbodS, ♦ Rodolphe possedoit cinq des plus beaux comtes de la haute 
Alleroagne ; savoir, ceux de Habsbourg, de Kybourg, de Lenti* 
bourg, de Bade, et de Frobourg, avec les villes de Biemgarten, 
Mellingen, Siers^e et Sempach ; celles de Zoffinguen, Arau et 
Bruck dans TArgew, les villes de Winterthur, de Frowenfeld, et 
de Diessenhofen dans la Turgovie, avec les pays de Gastern et 
de 2ug, et beaucoup d'autres bourgs et villages. Le comte de 
Bade et le canton de Zug ont toujour^ conserve leurs ancienoes 
limites ; TArgew et la Turgovie sont assez connues. l\ est diffi- 
cile de designer avec clart6 les autres territoircs qui sont englouti^ 
dans les cantons de Zurich et de Lucerne dont its coroprenoicni 

VsGttiDi* P"^"C ^^^^ ^^ P^*^ pays. 

■MkdaBcw t Les Altemands et les Bourguignons partag^^ent la Suisse, 
S t j^ ^^*^ depuis le cinqui^me si^de, en deux portions tMes ioegales, mais 
I. tL ui. qui 

BB JLA R^UBUaUE D£S 8UI8SE8. 845 ^ 

Trente ans d'intrigues et de combats lui avoient 
d^velopp^ cette vari6t6 confuse de moeurs^ d'int6» 
T&tSj et de pr^jug^ qu'on n'^prouve que parmi lei 
peuples libres ; et lui avoient enseign6 Tart de les * 
ramener toujours k un seul point quHl ne perdoit 
jamais de vue. II conserva sur le trdne imperial v. k Oin* 
lliumble simplicity de son premier ^tat. Mattre jJode 
des esprits, il les subjuguoit 6galement par 1 amour taaen ' 
et par la terreur ; et son ambition artificieuse 6toit 2^[|L 
d'autant plus redoutable qu'elle ne se montroit jar n^^^-^ 
mais que sous les dehors de la franchise et de la 
moderation. La conqu£te importante qu'il m6di- 
toit ne pouvoit £tre le fruit que du terns et de la 
patience. L'Empereur Rodolphe ne travailla point 
sans succ^ ; la mort enfin Tobligea de laisser k son is9i. 
fils Albert ses desseins imparfaits, son exemple, et 
ses.maximes. Mais la politique depend moins de 
la raison que du caract^re. De celui de son p^re, Al- 
bert n'avoit1)6rit6 que Tambition et la valeur. Un 
naturel dur et f(6roce, qui se d^veloppa en lui d^-s sa 
piusi tendjre jeunesse, ^ffiuyatous les ^lecteurs et v. strur. 
donna la pr^f(6rence <\ son rival Adolphe, comte dp ^ Qmi- 
Nassau ; mais la cguduite imprudente du nouvel ^ 

qoi fureiit toujours distinguees par les loix et le langage ; la Reuss De W«tl»%' 
et^ emuite I'Aar roarquoient leure fronti^res. UAllemannie' fif JjflT^p^'^Sl 
toujoon partie du royauroe d'Austrasie, et ensoite de Tempire. deration 
La Bourgogne Transjurane, (c'est ainsi qu'elle se nommoit,) con- Helvet. 
quae par les Francois, eut ensuite ses rois particuliers, dont le der- * . 
nier le laissa par testament k r£ropereur Conrad le Salique en ^^^ 
1032. Les dues de Zeringen la gouvem^rent longtems au nom 
de Tempire. Dans Tanarchie qui suivit la mort de Berchtold V. 
dernier due de Zeringen, ces divisions de la Suisse commen^oient if 1S> 
inaeDsiblement k se confon^re. * ^ 

. H 3 empereur 


empereur les fit bient6t repentir du choix qu'ils 
vcnoicnt de faire. Albert sut profiter du mfeon- 
tentement g6n6ral pour soulever toute rAUemagne 
contre un prince qu elle m^prisoit Une guerre 
civile d^eida de leurs droits, et le malheureux 
Adolphe p^rit par la main du due d'Autiiehe qui 
fut reconnu par toute Tempire pour son souverain 
legitime. Mais il apporta sur le tr6ne lorgueit 
4'un vainqueur et tons les pr^jug^s d'un chef de 
paiti, et sa conduite se ressentit souvent de Tinflu- 
ence de ces passions. 

Une noblesse aussi nombreuse qu'indipendantc 

formoit le premier obstacle aux desseins ambitieux 

Lea. Die- dc Rodolphc ct dc son Ills. Cinquante comtes, 

Higtoriqoe ' ccut ciuquaute barons, et pr^s de mille gentils- 

j^ct hommes, ^crasoient du poids de leurs chateaux la 

terre qui les portoit, et ils se faisoient tous une gloire 

de ne relever que de Tempire et de Igur ^p^. II 

^toit plus ais6 de flatter que de dompter lorgucil 

de cet ordre guerrier, tour k tour esclave et ri\'al 

de ses princes, mais toujours ennemi du peuple, 

V.iWnA des loix, et de la liberty.* Les dues d'Autriche 

mM.Si«iier, sc plaisoicut k Ic rasscmblcr souvent k leur cour 

^J[J^yJ,^ dans des toumois brillans, k adoucir la grossi^retc 

*«n-*5- de ses mosurs par les institutions vertueuses de la 

che valeric, k le conduire aux combats et k la vie- 

toire.t Combl^*s (riionneurs et de richesses, ces 


* Je dois bientot parler d'unc exceplion rare ct peut-^tre 
unique k cette inaxime gt-ntrale. 
GoflBatB. f- Des son berceau la inaison d'Autriche a adopte la maxiinc 
«!l!^c5. ^^ tyrans, de gagner les militaires et de m^priser le peuple. Wer- 
ner, eY6c|ue de Strasbourg, avoit doonf ^ ven Tan 10^, une somme 



fiers gentiishommes revoyoieut enfin leurs foyers 
domestiques; pleins dattachement pour leur bien- ^^^ 
cuteur, et de mepris pour leur triste ind^pendance^ >> 5 

lent 9Uil 

dont les avantages ne subsistoient que par le mal- d« Sc '^ 
heur public. Les chateaux ^toient les asyles de ^^^* 
llnjustice, et le commerce ^toit interrompu par un 
brigaodage honteux. Rodolpbe et son fits fur^ 
threat bientdt ce d^sqrdre par Ja destruction d'un 
grand nombre dcs forteresses des plus coupables. 
Tout Tempire applaudit k leur punition, et lauto- 

rit^ des dues d'Autriche se confondoit avec celle 


des loix. Tout fl^cliit sous leur joug, et se recon* 
nut vassal de la maison de Habsbourg, k Texception 
d^un tr^ petit nombre de comtes panni lesquels 
nous devous distinguer les comtes de Savoye, qui 
s'6toient rendus maltres du pays de Vaud, et qui 
jettoient dans le silence les fondemens de leur 
giandeur future. 

L ordre eccl^siastique avoit plus acquis par la 
politique que la noblesse n'avoit arrach6 par la 
violence. Les ^v^ques de Basle et de Constance 
ftoieut au rang des plus grands princes ; plusieurs 
abb^ leur c^oient k peine, et la Suisse 6toit rem* 
plie de maisona religieuses sur lesquelles la sainte 

tf^ coQskierable k son fr^re Ratbot pour constnxire le chAteau de 
Habsboar|u Lorsqu'il le visita peu de terns apr^ il se mootra 
pea content de la diligence de son fr^re. Attendes, lui dit Ratbot, 
k demaiD. Le lendemain matin, T^v^que vit avec effroi une 
troupe nombreuse et armee qoi entouroit le ch4teaa. Cette. 
tiDope, liii dit son frere, est compost de toate la noblesse des 
environs qae mes largesses ont attach^ k notre maison. Voili 
ki fortificatjoQs que vous dairies. £n coDDoissea voos de plus 


r4 profusion 


profusion cles fiddles avoit vers6 les biens dc la 
tcrre. Ces eccl^siastiques m^prisoient tous les 
arts auxquels leiirs pr^d^cesseurs avoient dA leur 
grandeur; et le peuple nc Ics distinguoit des 
laiques que par la superiority do leur faste et de 
leur orgueil. II auroit ^t6 cependant dangereux 
de les d^pouiller de ces biens consacr^s par la su- 
perstition, s'ils n avoient pas eux-mfemes consent! 
k les remettre aux dues d'Autriche. Les uns 
leur vendirent le patrinioine de T^glise pour en- 
richir leurs families aux depens de Tordre. Les 
autres les rejurcnt pour maitres sous le nom 
d'Avou^s ou Ministrcs.* L'^v^que de Basle, 
Tabb^ de St. Gall et labbesse de Zurich, eurent 
cependant le courage de r^sister aux menaces et 
aux insinuations dc Rodolphe et de son fils. 

Si r^glise poss^doit des richesses immenses, This-, 
toirc, qui juge les hommes sans faveur ct sans nia» 
lignite, doit avouer que leur source n a pas tou- 
jours it€ impure, et que leur emploi a souvent eti 
utile aux hommes. Dans le terns qu une noblesse 

Muratori* • Pour se former une id^ des causes de la grandeur ecclesK 

oi topm fts^JRUC et de sa decadence, j use renvoyer mes lecteurs aux dis» 

Antichttm sertations du savant Muratori sur les Antiquites Italiennes. lis 

~5"*? y trouveront une Erudition profonde, une bonne critique, ct one 

sage hardiesse. II a ecrit pour Tltalie, mais ses grands priocipcs 

et m^me la piiipart de ses details sont communs k tous les pa)*9 

qui ont compose Tempire de Charlemagne. II sembleroit que 

dans ces siecles barbares deux passions opposees regnoient k la 

fois: Tunc de tout donner ^ T^glise; et I'autre de lui toui ar- 

racber. Le m^me homme eprouvoit souvent toutes les deux; ci 

la vieillesse n'etoit occupee qu^ rcstiluer les sacril^es de la 





bnboie ne se livroit qu'aiix' travaux destnicteurs 
de k gucne et de la chasse, le flambeau 8acr6 des 
aits ae conservoit entre les mains des pr^tres. Des 
teires consid^iables, quelquefois des provinces en* 
tihes, devenoient la recompense de leurs arts pieux, 
mais c'^ient, pour la plApart, des marais a des* 
s^cher, des for£ts k dtfricher, des d^rts quil 
fiilloit cultiven La tenre changea bient6t de fkce; 
des milliers d'esclaves qui fiiyoient de toutes parts 
la tyrannie de leurs maitres, se r^fugioient au pied 
des auteb et se consacroient eux et leur postMt6 
au service du saint, protecteur de F^glise. Des 
communaut^ nombreuses se formoient autour de 
ces ^lises. On \4t naltre des citoyens, des loix, 
et des remparts. La pliipart des viUes de TAlle- 
magne et de la Suisse n'ont point d'autre origine: 
Lliumanit^ dirai-je, ou la politique, de leurs mat* 
Ires les afiranchit bientdt de la servitude k laquelle 
eHess^^ientcondamn^es, et Tindustrie, qui marche 
a la suite de la liberty, leur foumit le moyen de se 
racheter des devoirs les plus on^reux. Leurs pri- 
vileges n'^toient point les m^mes. Les unes, d6- 
cordes du titre imposant de villes imp^riales, parois- 
soient libres et souveraines. Les autres d^pendoient 
piesqu'en tout de leur ^vdque ou de leur abb6; 
mais elles avoient toutes un conseil qui rendoit la 
justice, et une banni^rc qui rassembloit la bour- 
geoisie lorsqu'elle vouloit prendre les armes. Con- 
vaincues des avantages de leur situation, plusieurs 
de ces communaut^s avoient stipule que ]eur prince 
DC les c^eroit jamais k de nouveaux maltres; mab 

cette conditipii n'cmp£cha point Tabb^ de Mur- 




SOI mou 
de Rebw 

oroiD* I. iu. 
c. 8 et 9. 
Simkr dfl 

HciiFcc p. 


bach de vendre k TEmpereur Albert la ville de 
Lifcerae ; et ce fut au m^pris de ses sermenft que 
Tabbesse de Seckingen re^ut ce prince et ses 
descendans pour ses avou^s perp6tuels dans le pays 
de Glaris. fiosle, Zurich, Soleure, St Gall, Schaif- 
hausen, et plusieurs autres villes de la Suisse, ne 
subirent point le m^me joug. EUes en furent 
sauv^es par leurs propres forces ou par la fid61it6 des 
pr^lats qui les gouvernoient. 

Les deux villes de Berne et de Fribourg jouis- 
soient d'une liberty encore plus enti^re, et dont 
lorigine commune remontoit k leur fondateur 
Berchtold V. due de Zeringen. Ce prince, dans 
le dessein de sen faire un rempart contre la 
noblesse de ses ^tats, leur donna une situation 
avantageuse, des privileges sans homes, et une con- 
stitution toute militaire. II mourut apr^s leur 
avoir recommand6 de s aimer toujours et de nc 
jamais pardonner k ces barons qui avoient tait 
p^rir la maison de leur bienfaiteur. Fribourg, la 
moins puissante des deux villes, oublia bient5t 
un conseil aussi dangereux, et chercha le repos 
et la suret6 dans la soumission k la maiton 
d'Autriche. Berne soutint son ind^pendance avec 
plus de fermet^, se choisit plus d'une fois des pn> 
tecteurs, mais ne voulut jamais de mattre, s'exer^a 
aux vertus militaires et politiques, remporta des 
victoires sur les seigneurs qui lentouroient, osa 
r6sister m^me k TEmpereur Rodolphe, et vit 
^houer au pied de ses remparts la fortune de ce 

Toutes ces villes 6toient le fruit lent du terns et 


DX UL REPUBLiaUZ D£8 8UI8t£8. 251 

des tnvaux humains; mais il existoit dans le fond 
dcs Alpes, des soci^^s obscures, dont la liberty 
mile et vigoureuse sembloit 6tre rou\Tage de la 
scole nature. Les trois cantons d'Uri, de Schwitz, J-^^T^ 
ct d^Underwald, fonnoient un pays qui s'^tendoit ■«- £*i^ 
pr^ de seize lieues du nord au midi, et dont la 
{Jos grande lai^ur d'orient en Occident ^toit de 
dooze lieues. Le Mont St Godard, borne m^ri- 
dionale de ce territoire, parmi les eaux qu'il verse 
sur TEurope enti^re, laisse ^happer un torrent qui 
traverse, sous le nom de Reuss, le long et 6troit 
vdkm dX^ri, et se jette enfin dans un lac qui 
s^pare le canton de Schwitz de ceux d'Underwald 
et de Lucerne. Tout ce pays est couvert de 
nxMitagnes, dont les sommets ne d^cou\Tent h la 
vne que des rochers escarp^s et des forSts de 
sapins toujours courb^ sous le poids des neiges. 
Leurs cdtes oifrent cependant en €t€ une nour- 
riture abondante aux troupeaux de b^tail qui 
font la richesse du paysan, et une branche assez 
lucrative de son commerce rustique.* On a port6 
rindustrie jusqu'a semer du bled dans les vallons 
les moins st^riles; mais leur r^colte foible et incer- 
tune trompe souvent Tesperance du laboureur, et 

* Oswald MyconiuSy de Lucerne, nous a donnc, au commence- y | 
da seizi^me si^cle, an commentaire fort utile sur an tres et 

pocroe de son ami Henri Glareanus. II s'extasie $af !c jYttt^mm 
^xad oomroerce de beurrc et de fromage que font ses compa- HbtoriB 
UKites en Boui^ogne, en Suabe et en Italie. Suivanl son calcul ^Vl^^^ 
an !io«ipeaa de vin^ vaches rapporte k son proprictaire une i7S5w 
%c»mme claire et nette de cent i*cus par an. Ce trait est bien fort 
poor le fetsieiBe si^cie. 



le contraint de rccourir aux secours 6trangers. Un 
air vif, une terre ingrate, une vie dure avoient 
form6 le caractfere de ce peuple. II Icurdevoit un 
corps grand et robuste, des passions imp^tueuses, 
des app^tits grossiers mais vigoureux, des moeurs 
simples et vertueuses. La Suisse ch^rissoit sa 
famille et ses compagnons, respectoit la religion et 
les loix, m^prisoit la fatigue, bravoit la mort, et ne 
craignoit que I'infamie. La liberty lui ^toit ch^re, 
et cette ind^pendance qui nait de Tegalite des 
fortunes et du sentiment de ses forces, ^toit Ic 
^premier ressort de son 4me. Le gouvemement 
des trois cantons ^toit celui de la nature, et cc 
gouvemement s est perp^tu^ jusques k nos jours. 
Le pouvoir 16gislatif se conservoit dans rassemblee 
g^n^rale des citoyens. Tons les rangs y 6toient 
confondus, tons les suffrages y 6toient ^gaux, et cc 
peuple roi, jaloux de sa dignity, ne confioit k ses 
magistrats annuels que lautorit^ necessaire au 
maintien des loix ct dc Tordre. Lc noble et Ic 
ridradi, paysan, confondus dans ces assemblees, apprenoient 
otf. a se respecter mutuellcmcnt, ct s'accoutumoient i 

penser que la premiere distinction pamii les 
hommcs est cclle des talens utiles k la soci^t^. 

Je pardonnc aux historiens Suisses les fables 
dont ils ont cru embellir les premiers tems de I'hiv 
toire de leur nation, mais je dois ^pargner k un 
si^cle philosophe les Taurisqucs, les Huns, les 
Goths, parmi lesquels ils leur ont cherch6 des an- 
c^tres. Ce n est qu au commencement du dou- 
1114. zi^me si^cle que j apperf ois les cantons d'Uri, de 
SchwitZy et d^Undcrwald, distingu^ en trois com- 



munaut^ Itbres et alli^es, ind^pendantes mais sou- ^ ^ 
mises k Tempire, et k son chef, qui leur envoyoit HktonqMw 
quelquefois des juges pour decider en dernier res- ShSL 
sort des aflaires criminelles. Un arr^t que l-Em- 
pereur Conrad III. rendifcontre eux, leur parut un 1144, 
actc dlnjustice qu'ils ne devoient point supporter; 
lis lut annon^^rent par une declaration publique, TsdiiK^ 
" Quails s'^toient mis volontairement sous la pro- 
tection de Tempire ; qu'ils Tavoient m6rit6, cette 
protection, par des services iniportans; qu elle leur 
(levenoit inutile et dangereuse; etqu'ils y renon- 
^ent k jamais pour eux et pour leur posterity/' 
Hs persist^rent plus d'un si^cle dans cette resolu- 
tion qui bravoit Tautorite imperiale. Othon IV. 
ct Frederic II. les engagiirent enfin k recevoir de 
leurs mains des juges et baillifs. Ce fut alors i?49. 
qulis obtinrent ce diplome cel^bre qui reconnoit 1. u. ^T? 
leur independance, re^oit leurlibre hommagc ct pro- 
met de ne les jamais s^parcr du corps de Tcmpire. 
Pendant le grand inten*^gne ils*|)rireiit Rodolphe de 
Habsbourg pour leur d^fenscur, ct ce prince, lors- ^^^ ^^ 
qull fiit monte sur le trone imperial, leu*" con- R«p«b.Hei- 
tinua sa protection, ct n attenta jamais a leurs pri- inter Soip. 

-I « tores Jbe- 

Alleges. nuxL 

Son fils Albert avoit concu des desseins bien 129a 
differens. II voyoit dun ceil d'indignation qu'au mi- toLip!it7. 
lieu m^me de ses ^tats une poign^e de montagnards ^^ 
oiit encore se nommer libre. II resolut d'employer 
a lafbia toutes les forces de sa maison et toute Tau- 
torite de sa place pour les r^duire sous le joug 
Autrichien. II ^toit assez injuste pour les re- 
procher la fid^lit6 qu'ils avoient gard^e k IXmpe- 



L il c 16* 

reur Adolphe, et dans sa colore il lui ^toit 6chapp 
une menace de les punir aussi bien que de lei 
soumettre. Ce fut en vain que les trois cantoni 
travail l^rent h regagner sa bienvieliance et k ol>> 
tenir la confirmation de leurs privileges qu'ils lui 
^emand^rcnt par des deputations reit^r^es. Pen- 
dant qu'il renvoyoit cet acte de justice, sous les 
pr^textes les plus frivoles, il traitoit secr^tcmcnt 
avec les corps cccl^siastiqucs qui possedoient des 
droits ou des terres dans ces pays. Le college dc 
Munster lui remit toutes scs pretensions dans k 
canton d'Underwald, et labbayc dc Wettingen lui 
vendit tons les ser\'ices qu'une partie des habitans 
de Schwitz devoit ^ son ^glise. La prefecture du 
val d'Urseren, dont il conftra en m^me terns U 
fief k son fils, le rendoit maltrc du passage da 
monts et dc tout le commerce du canton d'Uri. 
II se flattoit encore que les Suisses, accoutum^ i 
passer souvent sur ses terres, puiseroient dans U 
conversation de sesiBujets des idecs plus favorable! 
k rautorit6 souveraine. 

Ces projets auroicnt peut-ftrc r^ussi, si le canic 
tooLLpwtts. t^re impatient dWlbcrt lui cut pennis d en attendri 
le fruit- Dejj\ persuade que tons les obstacles 
6toient Icv^s, et que les trois cantons ^toient db 
pos6s k le reconnoitre pour leur souverain, il leui 
envpya une ambassade compost des ministres let 
plus distingu^s de sa cour, et charg^e de rece%'OU 
leur hommas:e et leurs sermens. lis 6toient instruiU 
de toutes les raisons qu'ils devoient employer ; la 
forces de la maison d'Autriche, la foiblesse dc Tern 
pire Germanique, tous les avantages d*une sou 





misskm volontaire, et les droits aifreux d'une con^ 
qatte, k laquelle ils ^toient hors d'etat de s'oppo- 
ser. lb devoient ajouter que les droits doHt Tern* 
pereur avoit fait I'acquisition embrassoient dans 
leur totality le pays entier, et lui deviendroient plus 
ncominodes que les services qu'un grand roi exige 
de ses vassaux. On entendit les ministres imp^riaux 
dans les assemblies g^n^rales de chaque canton, 
la r^ponse qu on leur fit, fut la m^me partout, et 
fitrtout unanime : ^^ Que les Sutsses acceptoient 
ivec plaisir lamiti^ de la maisoii d'Autridie, quails 
rev^roient la majesty imp^riale, mais qu'ils n'^toient 
loumis qu'4 lempire, dont ils avoient tantde ibis 
loutenu k gloire et les int^rfets. Qu'il ne leur ^toit 
pas peimis de d^lib^rer sur les propositions d'Albert 
Qalls en appelloient aux constitutions de Tempire^ 
aux dtpldmes de ses pr^d^cesseurs, k la ni6moire de 
Km p^re, et k ses propres devoirs. Qu'ils ^toient 
pr£ts k rendre aux maisons religieuses tons les ser- 
vices auxquels la piet6 de leurs ayeux les avoit as- 
lajettis, mais qu'ils ne pcrmcttroient point qu'on 
Temlit la liberty des hommes et nc sacrifieroient 
junais celle de leur post^rit^/' 

Albert fut vivement irrit6 d'un refus aussi na- Tadmfi, 
tmel, mais qu'il n'att'endoit point: cependant la ^^^j^^ 
prudence I'engagea k dissimuler son indignation. G«iiii«Mo. 
Les Suisses avoient fait valoir le titre de membres 
fibres de Tempire, titre autrefois m6prisable k leurs 
yeox, mais que la puissance Autrichienne leur ren- 
doit maintenant tr^s pr^cieux. £n attaquant un 
people reconnu libre et qui invoquoit ce nom sa- 
Qc^ il risquoit d'alarmer la jalousie de toute TAUe* 



magne. Le feu de la discorde couvoit sous 
cendre ct Ic sort d'Adolphe 6toit une le^on dfira 
ante pour son successeur. Sans perdre de vue s 
desseins sur les trois cantons, ce prince orgueillet 
ne d^daigna point de substituer Tart k la fore 
Apr^ avoir vainement essay6 de soumettre I 
Suisses k ses tribunaux de Lucerne et de Zug, et < 
confondre la juridiction Autrichienne avec celled 
Tempire, it leur accorda enfin ce que leurs instanc 
1304, r6it^r6es lui demandoient depuis six ans, — des go 
vemeursqui d^cictessent leurs causes criminellcsJ 
nom de Tempire. II Icur en donna effectivcmci 
mais q\ii ne ressembloient que par le nonj a cei 
que ses pr^d^cesseurs leur avoient envoy^s. Cc\i 
ci 6toient tir^s de la premiere noblesse des provi 
ces voisincs et nc visitoient jamais le pays d 
Suisses que lorsqu ils y ^toient appell^s pour tci 
leurs assises g^n^rales. A la place de ces minisb 
bienfaisans de la paix et de lordre, les Suiss 
virent arriver avec eftVoi deux satellites du tyra 
gentilshommes a la veiite, niais encore plus d 
pos<*s, par cctte qualite, a ccraser un peuple qu 
m^prisoient. Ge$ler, Tun de ces gouvemea 
avoit le d^partement d'Uri et de Schwitz. Li 
dcnlx^rg, son coUegue, devoit contenir le cant 
d'Underwald. Ils s*<^tablirent dans les plus fb 
chilteaux du pays dont la maison d'Autriche av< 
isoi, 2c& fait lacquisition, travaill^rent k r^tablir leurs f<N 
fiaitions/et les assur^rent par de bonnes gamisc 
de troupes merc^naircs. 

On voit avec surprise que les Suisses se sok 
Boumisi sans la moindre r^sistance,^ un jougqui 



ir kissoit qu'un vain nom de liberty. Mais il y ism^ ko^' 
des occasions oii les nations semblent oublier 
ircaractire. L'autorit6 de I'empire, les forces 
; TAutriche, et la hardiesse adroite avec la- GoiiimiaiL 
idle Albert se servoit de Tun et de Tautre ^ton- Hc?Lffi.e. 
jfCDt leur courage et ne leur laiss^rent que le ^^^ ^ 
Btiment de leur mis^re. lUpaL* 

Les premieres d-marches des gouvemeurs parois^ 5. 
icat dict^ par un esprit dliumanit^ et de cl6- ^t^ 
mce; mais lorsqu'iis virent que leurs artifices ne ^^' 
pdvoi^it point I'esprit grossi^rement libre de ces 
ontagnards, ils se li\T^rent avec plaisir k leurdu- 
tj6 naturelle et aux instructions de leurs maltres. 
II despotisme militaire succ6da aux loix douces 
^;alesque ies Suisses avoient revues de leurs an- 
Ires. On violoit joumellement tons leurs anci- 
s piivil^es ; des fautes l^g^res ou supposdes ^toi- 
t punies par des amendes excessives et arbi- 
dies ; les citoyens, arrach^s du sein de leurs fa- 
lUcs, g^missoient au fond des cacbots, pendant 
he leurs compatriotes, accabl6s sous le poids des 
ip^Vts et des corv6es, ^toient contraints k travailler 
X ibrteresses qui montroient et confirmoient leur 
davage. A I'oppression, que le peuple pent 
idquefbis pardonner, les ministres de la tyrannie 
Btrichienne ajout^rent encore le m6pris qu'il ne 
inkmne jamais. Sur la place publique d'Altorf; 
Kug principal du canton d'Uri, Gesler fit dres- 
r une perche sur laquelle on posa son chapeau. 
pr^tendoit que tous les passans rendisscnt k ce 
lapeau les m£mes honneurs qu'ils eussent rendus 
la personne de Tempereur ou k celle de son re* 
vou III. s pr6sentant. 


ts^ &e. pr^sentant. Cctte c^r^monie humiliante aervoit k 
la fois k sathifaire I'orgueil ricUcule d un tyian et k 
d^ouvrir ces kme^ libres qui cooservoient enoore 
1^ sentim^ns et la fiert^ de Icqr premier ^tat, 
r«dra<i. On sattachoit surtout k couuoitre ceux dontles 

^''P' conseils avoieut d^toum^ leurs concitoyens de se 
soumettre k Tempereur, et qui jouiasoient parmi eux 
de la consideration que leurs vertusavoient m^rit^ 
Uestime publique d^non^a au gouvemeur d'Uo- 
derwald, Henri de Melchtal pour sa premiere vic- 
time. Ce paysan respectable cultivoit en paix le 
champ de ses p^res, lorsqu'un ministre de LandcD- 
berg lui declam qu'il venoit enlever les bceufa de 
sa cliarrue, comme lamende impost k une finite 
qu avoit commis son fils ain6. Get officier s'ac- 
quitta de sa commission avec tout 1 oi;gueil de h 
servitude^ et meua^ les pay sans de leur ^iie 
trainer eux-m^mes la charruc. Le sage vieillard 
soupira et se tut ; mais son fils, excit^ par Tardeur 
aveugle de la jeunesse^ r^sista k lofficier qui alloit 
emmener les bceufs, lui cassa le doig^ d un coup de 
b4ton, et se r^fugia par une fuit^ pr^ipit6 dans 
le canton d*Uri. II fut assez puni en laLssant 
malheureux p^ie expos^ k toute la cruaut^de 
denberg. Le gouvemeur le fit air^ter dans le 
espoir de d^couvrir la retraite de son fila» mais cd- 
^^1,0^ fin furieux de voir qu'il ne pouvoit lui amcfacr 
^'^ oe secret, ilconfisqua son bienet lui fitcrever lei 
»• ' yeux« 

Llionneur des femmes tient aux scntimens les 
plus d^licats du cceur humain; et les attentats 
qui portent le trouble et Taoiertume daoa le sein des 



families ont donn6 naissance k plus d'une rdvolu- iso^^ 

tbiL Le jeune Wolfenscheissen de Rotzberg, sous 

Ics ordres de Landenberg, traversoit le pays suivi 

seulement de deux domestiques, lorsqu'il apperi^t 

li femme d'un paysan qui travailloit dans un pr^. 

D s'arr^ta un moment pour la consid^rer, et ne vit 

point sans Amotion une beaut6 modeste, embellie 

par la joie, la sant6, et la pudeur. II commen^a 

Fentretien par lui demander des nouvelles de son 

mari. Le bon Boumgiarten ne travailloit que dans 

Ic bois voisin, mais son Spouse craintive, qui voyoit 

dans le baillif un ministre de vengeance plut6t que 

de graces, supposa un voy^e dont elle ignoroit, 

dis(Ht*elle, et Fobjet et la dur^e. Charm6 d'une 

occasion aussi heureuse, le gouvemeur la pria de 

le conduire chez elle pour lui donner quelque 

lafraichissement dont il avoit besoin. Ce fut Ik 

qull lui ddclara les dfeirs qu'elle lui avoit inspires, 

la pressa de les satisfaire, la ftlicita de se voir 

associ^ aux plaisirs de son mattre, et lui laissa 

cntrevoir le danger d'un refus imprudent. Elle le 

aentoit elle-mftme, et son effroi, qui avoit chang^ 

d'ol^et, 6toit Tunique sentiment de son &me. Elle 

tent seule, elle connoissoit la puissance du gouver- 

neoT, elle n'ignoroit point son caract^re, et se crut 

enfin perdue lorsqu'il lui commanda de lui pr6parer 

nnbain et d y entrer avec lui. L'art est naturel 

anx femmes; heureuses qui ne la font servir 

qu^aux int^'rits de la vertu ! Seigneur, lui r6pondit- 

elle, en bsussant les yeux, 6pargnez la pudeur 

d*iine femme qui vous aime. C'est ma premiere. 

foiblesse — nous ne sommes pas seuls — vos doine»- 

s 2 tiques— 


t$04B 4c tiques Je vais les renvoyer, lai dit le gouvernein 

transport^. D^s qu'elle les vit partis elie ne vou- 
loit se d6shabiller que dans une chambre voisine du 
bain. Elle obtint sans peine cette grace d^uo 
amant qui m6nageoit une pudeur dont il alloit 
txiompher* Elle en profita pour s'6chapper de la 
maison et pour courir du c6t6 du bois, lorsqu'elk 
vit son mari qui quittoit son travail pour revenir ji 
la maison. Le d^rdre de sa femme^ ses soupirs, 
et ses mots entrecoup6s, lui apprirent le -dangei 
auquel elle s'^toit d6rob6. Dieu soit b^ni, lui 
dit-il, ma ch^re Spouse ! aujourdhui il t'a conserve 
rhonneur et k moi le repos. Uinsolent— roais la 
vengeance est juste et je cours I'acliever. II trouvc 
le gouvemeur d^j^ au bain, nud et sans armes, et 
lui fend la t£te d'un coup de sa hache« Le canton 
d'Uri devint son asyle et le cacha aux yeux de ses 
ennemis< Le gouvemeur de Landenberg voulut 
persuader aux autres seigneurs de Wolfenscheissen 
de poursuivre le meurtrier de leur fr^re, mais Us lui 
r^pondirent que leur fr^re avoit m6nt€ son sort, et 
le courroux d'un mari irrit^, condamn6 par les loix. 
fut justifi6 par les sentimens d*un peuple vertueux. 
Tachttdi. La mort de Wolfenscheissen avoit d^livr^ le pays 
^^2. d*un tyran ; mais il g^issoit toujours sous le poidi 
de la tyrannic. Les trois cantons prirent en£n la 
resolution de fkire un dernier effort auprfes de 
Tempereur. Leurs d^put^s 6toient charges de repr6- 
,3^ . senter Texc^ de leur maux, et dt Mipplier Albert 
de rappeller ses ministres, et de ne plus raettre sa 
gloire k opprimer un peuple qui le respectoit toa* 
joi^^ Ce prince orgueiUeux ne daigna point les 



voir; mais il les renvoya k son conseil dont le ^*^^- 
tondur et inflexible n'annonipoit que trop clairement 
les dispositions de leur maitre. On leur dit sans 
d6tour, que pour marker les bienfaits de Tern* 
pereur il falloit reconnoitre son autorit^, mais qu'ils 
6prou veroient son indignation, aussi longtems qu'ils 
oieroient reclamer leur liberty pr6tendue. 

}je retour des deputes r6pandtt1e d6sespoir dans 

tout le pkys ; mais le d^sespoir d'un peuple guerrier 

est voisin de la fureur. On entendoit partout les 

cris d'une indignation qu'on ne daignoit plus dissi- 

muler. '^ Pourquoi fli6chir plus longtems sous le 

joug d'un maitre dont Torgueil s accroit avee notre 

liche patience ? On viole nos privileges ; on nous 

d^pouille de nos biens, mais il nous reste desarmes; 

nous sommes libres d^ que nous voulons T^tre." 

Les malheurs de la patrie»faisoient Tentretien de 

tons les bons citoyens. lis pleuroient ces malheurs, 

mais ils craignoient la puissance Autrichienne. 

Tous les esprits ^toient disposes k la r^volte, mais 

ii leur manquoit encore un esprit sup6rieur qui 

donndt le mouvement k cette grande entreprise. 

Werner de StaufFacher sortoit d'une des premieres Len, Div 
fiuniUes du pays de Schwitz, qui respectoit encore HUtori^w 
h m^moire de son p^re, k qui la communaut6 5","^^, 
devoit un traits avantageux conclu par ses soins 
avec« la ville de Zurich. Son fils avoit h^rit6 de 
lui une fortune assez consid^rablej'estime publique, 
ct Tamour de la patrie. Ce sentiment 6toit devenu 
triste et am^re pour un citoyen qui ne pouvoit lui 
donner que des regrets impuissans. Un jour, assis 
devant sa maison, il vit passer le Gouvemeur Gesler 

s 3 qui 


tjor. qui s'arr^ta pour lui demander d'un ton fier le nom 
SfciViw. ^" propri^taire. Une r^ponse pleine dc respect et 
de sagesse ne lui foumit point le pr^texte qail 
cherchoit pour perdre un iiomme vertueux qull 
d^testoit: mais il semporta vivement contre lui 
et lui dit que Fempereur ou son repr6scntant 6toit 
Tunique propri^taire du pays, et quon sauroitbicn 
r6duire lorgueil ct lopulence de ces paysans qui 
se pr^tendoient nobles. 

Ces discours remplirent Ic cceur de Werner do 
honte et dindignation. II versa ses chagrins dans 
le sein de son Spouse, dont il connoissoit la tsen- 
dresse, la prudence et le courage. II n h^sita point 
k lui communiquer le dessein qu'il avoit con^u de 
sonder les esprits, et d'^prouver si la liberty n avoit 
pas encore des ressources dans les coeurs^des Suisses. 
^^ Oui, cher ^poux," lui ci^pondit cette femme vertXL^ 
euse, " tes jours me sont chers, ta gloire mc Test 
davantage. Un vrai citoyeu ne doit jamais sur« 
vivre k sa patrie : venge-la, ou p^ris avcc elle. Nos 
tyrans ont des ennemis partout oil il existe de la 
veitu. Tu trouverez parmi eux des amis dignes 
d'etre associ^s k tes desseins g^n^reux. Vous 
aurez pour vous le t^moignage de la conscience, 
lapprobation de TEtre Supreme, les vceux de tous 
Icd gens de bicn, et la reconnoissance de la post^rit^/ 
Elle le conseilla ensuite de concerter ses mesnres 
avec ses amis d'Uri. II suivit son oonaeil, ct fit 
bient6t apr^ ce voyage sans exciter la defiance 
de ses maltres. 

II examina d'un oeil attentif les dispoaitio&s de 
ce pays, et vit sans peine que le nom Aotrichien 



J itoit en^horreur. II entendit le Barou d'Attmg* %s»^ 
hauseiiy premier magistral du canton, qui se plaig* 
Doit de rinsolence de Gcsler; il fut t^moin de Tin- Tfcbndi, 
dignation de «on propre n6veu le seigneur de oSiSS 
ftudentz. II craignoit cependant de leur com- hJ^\| 
muniquer des projets aussi dangereux que les siens. ci«. 
II ne s'en ouvrit qu'^ son a:ncien ami Walter Furst, 
qui justifia sa confiance, et lui proposa d'y associer 
le jeune Arnold de Melchtal, ennemi jur6 de leurs 
lyrans, et dont le credit leur seroit utile pour attirer 
dans leur parti le canton d^Underwald. Ces trois 
hommes s'engag^rent par un serment assez inutile, 
i tout soufirir et k tout entreprendre pour briser 
leurs fers, mais k s'acquitter toujour)^ des devoirs 
que la justice exigeoit d'eux. 

Les trois conjur^ se s^par^rent apr^ avoir fbrm6 
ces liens. Chacun d eux se rendit dans son pays 
f)Our y jetter les fondemens de leur diiance. Le 
noble et Je roturier, unis par leurs malheurs com- 
muns, g^issoient sous le m6me joug et le d^testoient 
^galement; niais il falloit une prudence extreme 
pour distinguer pamii ces m6contens le petit nom- 
bre de ceux dont la fid61it6 et le courage les ren- 
doient dignes de cette confiance. II les amenferent 
sans bruit au rendez-vous g^n^ral qu'ils avoient 
choisi k Rutlin, lieu 6cart6 sur les bords du lac, et 
trte propre k tromper la vigilance de leurs ennemis. 
Li on leur d6couvrit ce secret important, d^pdt 
sacr^ de la vie de leurs amis et Tesp^rance f\iture 
de la Suisse. lis se devou^rent par les m^mes ser- 
mens aux principes g^n^reox de leur I'alliance, et k 
leur retour ils travaillfeient avec la mfime pr6cautioi> 

s4 k 


aor* k les r^pandre. Leur nombre croissoit k chaqiie 
a^sembl^e ; et cette soci^t^, unie par les nceuds de !& 
vertu et de ramitd^) devenoit tous les jours plus 
redoutable* lis sentirent enfiu- que leurs forces 
6toient suffisantes et qu'il ne s'agissoit plus que de 
idiiidi, les employer. lis ^'assembl^rent pour la demi^re 
^oJ^' foi$ au nombre de 112 citoyeiis pour fixer le 
^ moment de leur entreprise et pour en choisir les 

moyens. Les unsvouloient prendre les armes sur 
le champ, et commen^oient d€jk k rougir de leur 
patience, mais cette impetuosity c^da aux sages 
conseils de leurs chefs, dont le courage plus rare et 
plus tranquiile voyoit sans s'^tonner toute I'^tendue 
du danger. lis repr^sent^rent k Tassembl^e qu'une 
telle entreprise n'avoit qu'un instant, et que cet 
instant pr^cieux drvoit embraser le pays entier 
d-un m£me feu ; qu*il. falloit surtout enlever aux 
tyrans ces asy les odieux qu'ils avoient fortifies avec 
tant de soins, mais qu*au lieu d*un si^ge dangereux 
et incertain, Ton devoit prqfiter des premiers 

^ lis se donnoient le nora d'Eidgenossen, qui dgpifie alli^ psc 

serment; terme dont on s'cst ensuite servi pour dMgner U nalioo 

emigre. L'on doit effectivenient regarder cette conjuration comme 

le gerroe de la conf)&d6ration Helv^tique. Les ^rivains etrangers 

ont reproch^ aux Saisses la bassesse de leurs premiers conjures, 

qui n etoiedt, disent-ib, que des paysans obscurs. Le reproche est 

k la fois ridicule et injuste. Ua assec grand nombre d^ nobleste 

eut rhonneur d%tre admis parmi ces hommes respectables, les 

laUUmta. Barons d'Attinghausen, d'Utzingen et de Schwintzberg, les Seig- 

•R^v . ncurs de Rudentz, d'lberg, de Staufiacber, et pliitiears autres dont 

, 1^ le lecteur me dispensera de rapporter les noms barbares. II ne 

me pardonneroit point si j'oubUois le boo Boumgprten, qui lut 

associ6 aux premiers coi\jures. 



Himneiis de la surprise pour s'en rendre maltres. ^^^' 
lis conseill^eiit surtout k leurs amis d'Underwald 
de songer aux moyens les plus propres pour y 
r^ussir;* et pour leur en douner le terns iLs convin- 
rcnt de renvoyer Tcntreprise au premier jour de 
Tan ; et pendant Tintervalle, de n'opposer aux in^ 
justices de leurs maitres que le respect et lasouniis- 
sion. Cet intervalle 6toit encore de deux mois, 
mais Us ne craignirent point de confier k la discre- 
tion de plus de cent personnes Ic poids importun 
d^un secret aussi dangereux. 

Un seul des conjures risqua, dit-on, par son or- 
gueil le salut de tous ses compagnous ; mais son 
imprudence, soutenue par la hardiesse et couronnde 
par le succ^ est devenue la source de sa gloire, et 
par une injustice assez bisarre, le nom de Guillaume 
Tell a obscurci les noms des vrais fondateurs de la 
libert6 Helv6tique. Je ne rappellerai point toutes 
les ciiconstances d'une aventure aussi singuli^re 
quelle me paroit douteuse. Personne n'ignore 
que par la cruaut6 du gouvemeur Autrichien, Tell 
fiit expose k une ^prcuve terrible pour Tamour pa- 
temd, que son adresse Ten tira heureusement, mais 
qu'une r^ponse intrepidc plutot que sage le rejetta 
dans de nouveaux dangers. L'on sait assez que le 
baillif leconduisoit au chateau de Kusnacht, lors- 
qu'un orage, qui s'^leva sur le lac, lobligea k lui 
confier le gouvemail du bateau. Le bonheur de 
Tell, sa fuite, et sa vengeance sont assez c^l^bres. 
Mais notre si^le, qui suhstituc un doute ^clair^ k 

* Les deax chateaux de Sarnen et de Rotzberg etoient situes 
iv3i Icar terriloire. 



la cr6dulit6 de nos ancfetres, semble reprouvcr unc 

fable qui n'a pas mferne le m^rite de Tinvention ; ct 

ne voit dans Guillaume Tell que rimitation assez 

grossi^re*dun h^ros Danois aussi fabuleux peut- 

6trc que lui. Quoiqu'il en soit, Taventure de ce 

citoyen n a point influ6 sur la revolution ^^n^raie. 

Tons les conjures attendirent dans le silence le 

commencement d'une ann6e qui devoit ser\'ir de 

signal a leur entreprise et d'^poque k la liberty des 


1308. Enfiu ce jour arriva ; tous les associds, fiddles k 

Tithadi, leurs sermens, prircnt les armcs k la fois dans les 

p!f59!f40. trois cantons; lis trouv^rent par tout des ennemis 

£*fur"' ^^dormis par le luxe et par Ibrgueil; et qui ne 

Hdveti.iu. 8*attendoient point k des efforts aussi hardis dune 

Simierde tfoupc dc paysaus qu'ils osoient m^priscr. Les 

Tct. 1.L deux forteresscs de Rotzberg et de Samen, qui 

tiomuire conteuoicnt le pays d'Undcrvvald, furent surprises 

sJlic^M* •^^^ difficult^. La premiere fiit trahie par lamour. 

^ . Une fiUe du chAteau avoit donn6 rendez-vous k son 

Uri, Under- amaut DOur la nuit du premier de Janvier, mats cct 

wmid 8«r- . . . 

nen/Rou. Rmaut 6toit Tuu dcs conjures. II monta sang bruit 
berg,&c. ^ j^ faveur d'une corde quelle lui tendit dc la 
fen^tre. Vingt de ses compagnons se servirent du 
m^me moyen pour le suivre, se r^pandirent dans la 
forteresse sans perdre un instant, d^sarm^rent la 
gamison, et se saisirent de la personne du baillif. 
Us donn^rent aussit6t avis de leur succ6s k leurs 
amis qui les imit^rent k Samen, ch&teau plus 
considerable encx)re par la force de la gamison et par 
la residence du gouverneur principal. Trente con- 


jHr£s se post^rent dans un petit bois aupr^ de Sar- not. 
BCD, pendant que vingt autres satairent le moment 
on le baillif, suivi d'une garde uombreuse, ^toit 
aoiti pour aller k T^lise. lU se pr^sent^rent k la 
poite du cMteau charg^ de' ces pr^sens nistiques 
que la^tyrannie des Autrichiens exigeoit au pre- 
nuer jour de Tan. Les sentinelles leur permirent 
de passer sans la moindre defiance; mais jetter leurs 
£udeaux, armer leurs gros batons des pointes de fer 
qulls tiroient de leur sein, attaquer la garde avec 
fureur, et sonner du cor pour appeller leurs com- 
pagnons, ne fut pour ces braves paysans que Tou- 
viage d*un moment. Leurs compagnons accoum- 
lent au signal, et la forteresse fiit prise. Lq gon- 
vcmeur se sauva du c6t6 de Lucerne le long de la 
montagne et au milieu des neiges. Sa fuite fiit 
apper^ue des Suisses sans en 6tre inqui^t^. Le 
soulevement des citovens d*Uri et de Schwitz ne 
Alt pas moins heureux. lis s'empar^rent sans peine 
des forts qui s*ele\'oient dans leur pays, et sur le 
cfaamp ils ras^rent avec transport ces monumens 
odieux de leur servitude. La moderation iait 
rarement entendre sa voix dans les fureurs d une 
revolution populaire; mais les Suisses s'^toient 
piomis de respecter les personnes de leurs tyrans, 
dans llnstant mSmc qu*ils puniroient leur tyrannic. 
On se contenta de les renvover avec les domes- 
tiques et les soldats qui les avoient accompagn^ ; 
et pour d^montrer qu'une justice desint^ress^e 6toit 
le principe de la conjuration, ils ne touch^rent 
point k leurs triors d^pouill^ du pays et fruit de 



i3Qt. I'oppression. Quelques auteurs ont ajout6 qu iU 
cxig^rent d eux le sermcnt de ne jamais rentrer sur 
les terres des Suisses, mais ce seiment supposoit 
une estime qu'iU avoient assez peu m^rit^e. Peu 
M Jan- de jours apr^s la revolution les trois cantons s'en- 
voyferent des d^put^s pour se ftliciter miltiielle- 
ment, et pour jurer une alliance de dix ans. La 
conjuration devintun traits solemnel^ mais les con- 
ditions en 6toient toujours le^ m^mes. 
Afrii.. Un prince du caractfere d' Albert dut Atre vive- 
m.}. ment irrit^ d une revoke qui blessoit ^galement 
lraB.p.15. son orgueil et son ambition. II se consoloit cepen- 
dant par Tidte d*une vengeance terrible ; et cette 
vengeance lui ^toit trop chfere pour la confier 4 des 
mains ^trang^res. II se rendit lui-m^me k Bade, 
ville principale de ses etats Helv6tiques. Ui dans 
une assembl6e tr^s nombreuse de sa noblesse il 
exag6ra le crime des paysans qui avoient indigne- 
ment chassis les officiers de leur prince, la n^ces- 
sit6 de ch&tier leur aiidace, et les secours qull at- 
tendoit de la fid^lit^ de ses vassaux. II leur or- 
donna k tous de rassembler leurs troupes et de le 
suivre dans une exp^ition qui int^ressoit les droits 
de tous les seigneurs. Les Suisses virent avec in- 
quietude mais sans efFroi lorage qui se formoit cen- 
tre eux dans toute r^tendue des pays Autrichiens ; 
ils exerc^rcnt leur jeunesse aux armes, fortifi^rent 
par de bonnes lignes les endroits les plus exposes 
de leur frontifere, et se pr^par^rent k vivrc ou k 
mourir libres. Un ev^nemeut impr^vu sauva leur 
r^publique naissante de la destruction qui la mena- 
(oit. L empcrcur fut assassin^ par son neveu Jean, 


1>£ lA nivVBLlOVE, D£8 SVI88ES. ^ SjSg 

due de Suabe, dans le terns qull alloit porter le fer i3ot. 
et le feu sur les terres des Suisses. Injuste enyei9 
les siens comme envers les Strangers, Albert rete-* 
Boit depuis longtems Th^ritage de son neveu sous 
le nom de tutelle, et lui refusoit toujours, avec un 
m^prb plus dur que le refus, la restitution d'un 
bien qu'il ^toit encore trop foible pour gouvemer. 
La conduite du jeiine prince justifia ce m^pris- 
d une manifere fatale k tous les deux, U se livra 
aux conseils pemicieux et int^ress^ de quelques 
fkvoris; il saisit le moment oh I'empereur, qui avoit 
pass^ la Reuss, se trouvoit s^par^ de son arm^, et 
le fit poignarder dans le champ de Konigsfeld« 
Telle fut la fin malheureuse d' Albert I. ' dont I'am- 
bition avoit inqui6t6 Tempire pendant plus de 
dix ans. 

Ses projets p^rirent avec lui. La famille imp6- Ttchodi, 
riale, qui ^toit rassembl6e aupr^ de son chef, le vit ^4^ 
massacrer sous ses yeux sans pouvoir le secourir. 
Dans les premiers momens de consternation et de 
defiance qui suivirent un pareil attentat, elle ne 
songea qu'^ conserver ses amis et qu'^ manager ses 
cnnemis. L'lmp^ratrice Elizabeth fit partir un 
ministre pour assurer les trois cantons de sa bien- 
veillance, et pour les prier de se joindre k la maison 
d'Autriche pour punir les assassins du premier des 
iouverains. La r^ponse des Suisses fut celle d un 
peuple qui connoissoit k la fois ses int^r^ts et ceux 
de la justice : ^^ Qu'ils ^toient bien doign^ d'ap- 
prouver le crime du Due de Suabe, qu'ils plai- 
gnoient le triste sort de Tempereur, et qulls le plai* 
gnoient surtout de I'avoir m6nt€: mais que ce 



tt'^toit point k eux k venger la mort d'un prince 
qu'ils n'avoient jamais connu que par ses injus- 
tices.'' lis dissip^rent cependant les soup^ons 
auxquels cette r6ponse donnoit lieu, en rejettant 
avec m^pris toutes les propositions avantageuses 
que leur faisoit le Due Jean. On se contenta de 
lui faire dire qu une r^publique libre ne seroit ja- 
mais Tasyle des meurtriers. Ce prince, malheu* 
reu$ autant que coupable, qui n'avoit de hardiesse 
que pour le crinle, se trouva seul, sans appui, sans 
ressource, abandonn^ k lui-m^e et ^ ses remolds. 
II se retira en Italic et (init ses tristes jours dans 
le fond d*un cloltre. 
wi.\ito- La mort d'AIbert ftit venjs:^ par sa veuve et par 
ses enfans avec unc cruaut6 qui efiVaya m6nie ce 
si^clc barbare. lis imput^rent k toute la noblesse 
Helv^tique It crime d*un tr^ petit nombre; et 
firent ^galement p^rir dans » les supplices, les cou- 
pables et les innocens. Quarante-cinq gentils- 
horames furent ex^utes dans le chAteau d'Alburen 
par Tordre du Due Leopold. Soixante-trois antresi 
pris dans la forteresse de Arwangen, furent d^- 
pit^s malgr^ la foi des capitulations ; et la Reine 
Agn^s, fille de rempereur, t^moigna unc joic af- 
(reuse a voir couler sous ses yeux le sang le pins 
CO, Die- pur de la Suisse. Cette princesse acquit dans la 
^^^ suite une haute reputation de saintet6 pour avoir 
U^^^ fond^ labbaye de Konigsfeld. Uambition ap- 
k"^ prouvoit ces horreurs dont les sentimens m^me 
de la nature ne justifioient pas I'exc^. Tant dc 
chateaux ras^s partout la Suisse confirmoient la 
puissance de la maison dAutriche^ pendant que les 



term de leurs anciens propri^taires augmentoient 
son doqilune. Les Suisses, k qui leurs ennemis 
ont toujours reproch^ la destruction de la noblesse 
Helv6tique, savent r6pondre que toutes leurs 
guirres lui ont 6t6 moins funestes que la ven- 
geance sanguinaire des enfans d' Albert. 

Henri, comte de Luxembourg, fut ^lu Empe- 
reur apr^ la mort d' Albert. Les auteurs coutenoD- 
porains attribuent ce choix aux intrigues du. Pap« 
Clement V. qui craignoit de voir passer la cou- 
ronne imp^riale dans la maison de France. Ce 
pontife connoissoit mal les honimes ; cet empereur 
qu'il avoit fait, ne travailla qxik r^t^blir les anciens 
droits de Tempire sur Rome et I'ltalie. 

Les Suisses se h^t^rent de feliciter Leur nbuveau 
aouverain. lis lui envoy^rent une deputation so- 
lemnelle pour exposer leurs droits, justifier leur 
conduite, et implorer sa justice et sa protection. 
Henri VIL les 6couta avcc bont6 et leur accorda 1509. 
par un diplome semblable k celui de Frederic 11. Ttchadi, 
la confirmation de tous leurs privileges. Cepen- p.'J^lJ, &c 
dant la prudence lui dictoit de grands m^nagemens 
pour les dues d'Autriche, dont la puissance orgueil- 
leuse bravoit son maitre et nienafoit I'cmpire d'une 
guerre civile. Dans une dispute qui survint k gtniv.Corp. 
Toccasion de leur investiture ils osferent rappeller Hirt.Oerni. 
a Tempereur que FAutriche avoit d6j^ coiit6 la 
rie k six rois. Henri se rendit k cette menace, et 
conclut un traits avec le Due Leopold qui le suivit 
en Italic k la t6te de deux ccns chevaux. Trois 
cens Suisses furent aussi de rexp^dition Romaine 
qui procura a leur r^publique naissante un calme 


i7i iNTRbDucTiox A l'histoire oisikALE 

}>r6cieux de cinq ans. Ce calme resserra lea lUEud^ 

de leur union, les accoutuma k jouir de la liberty, 

leur en fit sentir le prix, et les disposa ^ tout risquer 

pour la conserver. 

1314. La mort de Henri VII. empoisonni, diton, 

en Italie, fiit suivie d'une guerre civile. Louis, 

due de Bavi^re, et FrMeric le beau, due d'Au- 

triche, disput^rent par les armes la couronne imp^- 

riale qu'ils pr6tendoient avoir obtenue par les suf* 

fVages des ;6Iecteurs. L'Allemagne fut divisfe et 

d^hir6e par ces deux princes ; les succ^ se balan- 

(oient, et leur foiblesse respective, qui les empfchoit 

de fkire des efforts d^cisifs, sembloit 6temiser les 

malheurs de Tempire.* Leopold, frfere de FrWcric 

roML vuo- d'Autriche, ^toit le plus fort appui de son parti. 

Chnmic. in Un corps petit ct mal fait, qu'il ne relevoit point 

^ 18.^' P^ 1^ parure, cachoit une &me cnielle et intr^pide. 

II avoit acquis le nom d*un guerrier distingu6 ; il 

justifia sa reputation en traversant rAUemagne k 

la t£te de 80,000 hommes pour fair reconnoitre lau- 

torit6 de Frederic. Louis de Bavi^re n*avoit pas 

os^ tenir la campagne contre lui, et il vit br(iler 

1315. sous ses yeux, Landsberg et plusieurs autres villes 

* M. de Voltaire nous a trace d*un pinceau 16ger le tableae 

de I'histoire g^n^rale de TEurope. Le colons ea est toi^ioan 

brillant, mais le dessein est soovent tr^ incorrect* Ce Leopold, 

dit-il, eat le m^me qui viola si Idcheroent le droit de rhotpitaliti 

Den? ret de dans la personne de Richard Coeur de Lion. IX>is-je mWr^ter i 

tomlxiT' pTouver qu'un due d'Autriche qui regnoit en 1193 ne fut poinc 

p. 67. battu h Morgarten en 1 3 15, cent vingt-denx ant apr^ f Llmagioa- 

tion de M. de V^oltaire I'a eroportc. Nous serioDS pourtul Odib 

qu*il en eut moins. 


1>£ LA fi£Pr^LIQU£ D£S SUISSES. • 276 

de ses pays h^r^ditaires. Leopold alloit peut-^tre ;»siSi 
triompher du rival de sa maison, lorsqu'un courroux 
indiscretlui fit touraer ses armes contre les Suisses, 
qui avoienl assez naturellement embrass^ le parti 
des ennemis de TAutriche. 

Les moines de Tabbayed'Eiiisidlen* 6toient les Tadmdr, 
anciens ennemis du canton de Schwitz, et leur ^ ""^ 
nouvelle liaison avec les princes Autrichiens qui j^i,^^ 
les avoient pris sous leur protection, les rendoit ^^^*^ 
plus implacables que jamais. Ces religieux, qui s. in The- 
ne r^toient que de nom, insultoient tons les Suisses udw. 
qui passoient sur leurs terres, les battoient, et les 
d^pouilloient. Ces bonnes gens souffrirent long- 
tems sans se plaindre, se plaignircnt enfin, n'obtin- 
rent point la justice qu'ils demandoient, et r^lu- 

licet de la 

* Cetle €d>baye, riche pi u tot que puissante, subsista avec eclat ?<"**^ *oa^ 
depui^ halt slides. Le contrastc de ses batimens magnifiques h Jtoire de 
avec le pays aifreux qui les entoure fait naitre Hdce des palais '• R^fomie* 
enchant es qui paroissoient tout h coup au milieu des d^rts. Suisw per 
La magie d'Einsidlen est celle de la superstition qui lui attire en- Rachat. 
cofe de toutes les provinces voisines une foule de pelerins et dof- ^q ^^' ^ 
fraodes. Ce que Valentin Compar, secr6taire d etat du canton 40f. 
dX'ri, ecrivit au Reformateur Zuingle, peut nous donner qnelque R^fo„,^J* 
idee de ses richesses ; richesses qu'elle avoit rassemblees dans le tion deU 
pays le plus pau%Te de TEurope. Je connois(dit il) une abbaye j """Sj?"* 
(Einsidlen) k laquelle on a donnc plus d*un million dor ; et qui 7,000,006 
pov^de tant de bijoux et de choses precieuses qu'il n'y a point de h^^^'*^^ 
prince qui put en payer la dixieme partie. II est assez si ngulier OrdresRr* 
que ces religieux ayent pu goiter la doctrine des Reformateurs SFf"* ^ 
qui precboit Hnutilite des pelerinages. Mais il ne Test point too. ▼]. p. 
qalls ayent venonce bientot ^ une erreur aussi detestable. Uab- '^- 
faaye d'Einsidlen est k present une des neuf maisocs de la Con- 
gregation Benedictine Helvetiqoe. Pour le tcmporel «lle recon- 
ooit la protection du canton de Schwitz. 

VOL. III. T rent 


1515. rent de se la faire eux-m^mes. lis entrbrent daw 
le couvent k main arm6e, y commirent de grands 
d^sordres, et emmen^rent avec eux beaucoup dc 
b^tails, aussi bien que six moines, auxquels ils ne 
rendirent la liberty qu'assez longtems apr^. L'on 
coni^oit assez qui T^glise d'Einsidlen lan^ oontre 
ces sacrileges les anathfemes les plus effrayans; 
mais I'usage trop frequent de ces foudres leur avoit 
fait perdre leur force dans I'esprit m^me des peu- 
pies, et les moines furent obliges de recourir k leur 
protecteur. Leopold 6couta avec plaisir des plaintes 
qui rautorisoient k confbndre les injures de sa 
fiimille avec celles de la religion. II marcha contre 
les Suisses plein de fureur et de confiance, r^lu 
de consommer la vengeance que la mort avoit en- 
lev^ k son p^re. II alloit, disoit-il, k la chasse de 
ses paysans rcl)elles, et se faisoit suivre par uu 
grand nombre de charettes charges de cordes pour 
emmener les captifs et le b^tail, seuls tr^sors du 
pays pauvre et agreste qu'il alloit subjuguer.* 
Jmii. ru*. Tant de pr^omption n'^toit point extraordinaire. 
t5»f6. II se voyoit k la tf^te de plus dc 1300 cavaliers 
ton.! . p converts de fer, accoutum^s k la victoire et tir^s 
^^^ dc la premiere noblesse dc la Suisse, de TAlsace. 

Yttl. i. 

jj^^jJJIJ^^jj * Suivant Ictiquettc des cours barbam Leopold se faisoit ac- 

flwc Jbr- compagner de son ostrologue et de son bouflfon. La folic da 

^s^adL premier se parol t.toujours des dehors de la sagene. lie masque 

coraique du second cachoit assez souvent I'ctpril el Im imisoD. 

L'un annon^a h, son maitrc les succ^ les plus Platans ; Taotre 

temoigna de Hnquiotudc de ce qu'il ne voyoit point les pr^paratiit 

ntxessaires pour sortir des montagnes de Schwitx aussi bien qot 

pour y cnlrer. 



e la Suabe. £0^000 fantassins bieu discipline ^^a. 
|MMoient le reste d'une ann^e k laqueile TAlle- 
;iie avoit pu k peine opposer des forces ^gales. 
a perte des Suisses paroissoit inevitable. Le 
I d'Autriche avoit fait ses dispositions pour les 
qu^r k la foi3 par tons les c6t6s accessibles. 
Comte de Strasb^ 6toit chaig^ de rassembler 
croupes de Hasli, de Frulingen, et du Sibenthal, 
lombre de 4000 hommes, pour entrer k la pointe 
our dans le canton d'Underwald, tandis que 
9 Luc^mois, traversant le lac sur des bateaux, se 
droient k lui dans le cccux du pays. LeopoW 
nftme marchoit du c6t€ de Zug pour attaquer le 
ton de Schwitz, et il t^choit par des ma- 
ivres assez adroites de faire abandonner aux 
oes le village de Morgarten. C'6toit le d^fil^ 
lequel il comptoit d^boucher comme Ip, .moins 
cile de ceux qui couvroient les terre^ de la R^ 
lique. Le Comte de Toggenbourg, serviteur 
due, fut touch^ du triste sort de ces hommes 
3s et vertueux dont le malheur et Tinnpcence 
avoit acquis des amis dans rarm6e Autri- 
;nne. II se jetta aux pieds de Leopold pour 
jemander la permission dc leur repr^senter leur 
ger et de leur ofFrir le pardon et la paix. Ce 
iCe, longtems inflexible^ consentit enfin k leur 
irder la vie et les biens k condition qu'ils re- 
Dussent Fr^eric son fr^re pour l^itime £m- 
rur, et eux-m£mes pour sujets de la maison 
utricbe. Charg^ de ces pouvoirs le Comte de 
[genbourg se rendit au camp des Suisses. Ce 
pie g^i^reux le remercia avec une vive recon- 

T 2 noissance 


tstsi noissance des efforts qu'il faisoit en sa faveur ; maii 
il lui d^clara qu'ils ^toient inutiles, et que les 
Suisses p^riroient jusqu'au dernier d entr eux plu- 
tdt que d'accepter des conditions aussi honteuses. 
Qu'il s^avance, (s'teriirent-ils,) ce fier ennemi, il 
apprendra peut-6tre ce que peuvent le desespoir et 
la liberty contra ses armies fSrmidables. Le comte 
les plaignit et se retira. On croit m6me que la 
piti6 lui fit oublier le devoir, et qu'il leur conn 
muniqua tout le plan des attaques. II est s&r que 
les citoyens de Schwitz, instruits du lieu et du 
moment deleur danger, command^rent 600 hommes 
pour se joindre sur le champ aux 700 qui oceu- 
poient d^j^ le poste important de Morgarten. Its 
4 Nofva- envoyirent en m6me tems avertir leurs allies du 
besoin qu'ils avoient de leur secours. Ceux d*Uri 
leur envoy^rent 400 hommes qui arriv^rent ven 
I'entr^e de la nuit. Les habitans d'Underwald, 
attaques dans leurv propres foyers, ne purent 
leur donner que 300 hommes qui parvinrent vers 
le minuit au camp de Morgarten. Cette petite 
troupe ainsi r^unie* passa la nuit dans le jeune 
et la pri^e, occupa toutes les hauteurs, et ne mit 

* Od voatqu'elle ctuit composce de deux mille hommcsy mal- 
gr6 les efforts de ceux qui ont cherch^ k diminuer ce nombre 
poor augroenter le merveilleux de ractioh. 11 fiiuty ajooler en- 
core cinqaante citoyens bannis poor leurs ofienses; k qai Ton re- 
fusa llionneur de mourir pour la patrie, man qui mirit^reot leur 
grace par kur valeur. Pour peu qu'on rettchiae sur let circoo- 
stances de cette guerre on se pcrsuadera sans peine que ces de«x 
mille hommes faisoient pr^s de la moiti6 de ceux qui (toient ea 
^tat de porter les armes, et que par consequent les trois cantons 
He reaiermoient pas vingt mille dmes du temt de la r^volatioii. 



scm espoir que dans sa valeur et dans la protec- ^^: 
tioii de cet Eire qui aime la justice, et qui punit 

Leopold 6toit parti de Zug vers le milieu de la 
nuit. II se flattoit d'occuper sans resistance le d6- 
fil^ de Morgarten qui . ne per^oit qu'avec difficult^ 
entre le lac Mgr6 et le pied d'une montagne es* 
carpde. U marchoit k la t£te de sa gendarmerie. 
Une colonne profonde d'infanterie la stlivoit de 
pr^ et les uns et les autres se promettoient une 
victoire facile si les paysans osoient se propter k 
leur rencontre. lis ^toient k peine entr^s dans 
un cbemin rude et 6troit, et qui ne permettoit qu'a 
tiois ou quatre de marcher de front, qu'ils se seur 
tirent accabl^ d'une gr^le de pierres et de traits. 
Bodcriphe de Reding, landamman de Schwitz et 
g^^ral des conf6d6res, n'avoit oubli^ aucun des 
avantages que lui ofFroit la situation des lieux. II 
avoit ^t couper des rochers ^normes, qui en 
s*6branlant d^ qu'on retiroit les foibles appuis qui 
les soutenoient encore, se d^tachoient du sommet 
de la montagne et se prdcipitoient avep un bruit 
afireux sur les bataillons serr6s des Autrichiens.* 
Dijk les chevaux s'effrayoient, les rangs se qoi^- 
fondoient, et le d^sordre ^garoit le courage et le 
rendoit inutile, lorsque I^ Suisses descendirent dela 
montagne en poussant de grands cris. Accoutum^s 
k poursuivre le chamois sur les bords glissans des^ 

^ Les habitans de TEng^ine employerent un semblable artifice y. de Bd 
ibnt la gaerre de Suabe. Bilibandus Pirckhqiner le decrit as- HelireLn, 

• «> so. in Tin 

fcj jobment. ^^^^ 

T 3 precipices, 

ji78 iNTitoDtretioir a l'histoirs 6iSifi!itALE 

1515. precipices, ils couroient d'un pas assure au milieQ 
des neiges. lis 6toient arm^s de ces grosaes et 
pesantes hallebardes auxquelles le fer le minix 
tremp6 ne resistx)it point. Les soldats de Leopedd, 
chancelans et d^ourag^s, c^^rent bient6t aust c& 
fbrts d^sesp^r^s d'une troupe qui combattoit pour 
tout ce qu'il y a de plus cher aux homines. 
L'abb6 d'Einsidlen, premier auteur de cette guerre 
malheureuse, et le comte Henri de Montfort, don- 
n^rent les premiers Texemple de la firite. Le d6- 
sordre devint g^n^ral, le carnage fut afireux, et 
les Suisses se livroient au plaisir de la vengeance. 
A neuf heures du matin la bataille ^toit gagn^. 
Un g^nd nombre d'Autrichiens se pr^ipitant les 
uns sur les autres, cherch^rent vainement <ian8 le 
lac un asyle contre la fureur de leurs enneinis* lb 
y p6rirent presque tons. Quinze cens hommes 
rest^rent sur le champ de bataille. lis ^toient 
pour la plApart de la gendarmerie qu'une valeur 
malheureuse et une armure pesante arr^toient duis 
un lieu o{i Tun et lautre leur 6toient kmtiles. 
Longtems apr^s Ton s'appercevoit dans toutes les 
provinces voisines que T^lite de la noblesse aToit 
p^ri dans cette fatale joumte,* L*iniknterie, 
beaucoup moins engagde dans le d^fil^, vit ea 
tremblant la d^faite des chevaliers qui passoient 

o«i.Vito- * Un hittorien contempoimin assure que toogtCBit api^ k 
^•°- P* gendarmerie noble (mUkia) etoit rare dans les provinces voisines. 
•cfaodi. On vit pt^rir dans cette joumce le Comte Rodolphe de Habsbourg, 
"■- ^ P- trois barons de Bonsletten, deux seigoeun de Halevil, deux 

Gesler, et beaucoup d'autre noblesse cle TArgau, de laTurgovie, 

et de TAlsace. 


•l - 

D£ LA R£PUBUQU£ D£S 8U($S£S. . £70 

ir invincibles, et dont les escadrons efiray^s se ^^, 
vc^soient sur elle. EUe s'arrSta, voulut se re- 
T, et dans Tinstant cette retraite devint une fuite 
iteuse. Sa parte fut assez peu considerable, 
is les historiens de la nation ont conserve la m^r 
ire de cinquante braves Zuriquois dont on 
jva les rangs couches morts sur la place. Leo- 
d lui-m^me fut entrain^ par la foule qui le por- 
; du c6t6 de Zug. On le vit rentrer dans sa /oul vho- 
e'de Winterthuh La frayeur, Ij^ honte, et Tin- t^' ^ 
nation ^toient encore peintes sur son front 
s que la victoire se fut d^clar^e en faveur des 
sses, ils s'assembl^rent sur le champ de bataille, 
nbrass^rcnt en versant des. larmes d allegresse, et 
lerci^rent Dieu de la grace qu'il venoit de leur 
e et qui ne leur avoit coiit^ que quatorze de 
rs conipagnons« 

ku milieu de la joie commune les citoyens Tichudi, 
oderwald songeoient au danger de leur patrie. ^^'^^' 
ne perdirent pas un moment pour marcher k 
secours. Bientdt ils apprirent qu'elle ^toit 
6c k toute la fureur des d^tachemens Autri- 
*ns. Animus par cette nouvelle, ils pr^cipi- 
;nt leur marche, travers^rent le lac, joignirent 
Lucemois, les repouss^rent jusques dans leurs 
»ux, et savanc^rent dans la partie sup6- 
ire du pays pour s'unir avec ceux de leurs com- 
riotes qui faisoient t£te au Comte de Strasberg. 
deux banni^res que ce g^n^ral apper^ut parmi 
troupes ennemies le remplirent d'un juste effroi. 
X)mprit que Tune de ces banni^res avoit com- 
tu k Alorgarten : il trembla pour son maitre et 

t4 pour 



1515. pour lui-m£me ; et se retira avec la perte de 300 

hommes et celle de tout son butin. Le m^ine jour 

suffit k ces trois victoires. 

idMi^ La Suisse ^toit sauv^e par les mains de la vkv 

sU^de toire. II ne s agisspit plus que de la rendre utile 

^ ^*^^- et que d'assurer k jamais la liberty pour laquelle 

Ton ayoit cpmbattu. Les sentiment de la nation 

et la situation des affaires demandoient ^ga\ement 

que les trois cantons formassent une union ^roite 

et indissoluble. Lorsqu'un traits est dict6 par 

ramit6 et la bonne fpi il est facile d'en rfkliger les 

conditions. L*acte solemnel de cette alliance fiit 

confirm^ par une assembl^e g^n^rale des Suisses un 

u plus de trois semaines apr^s la bataille. Je 

ois donner une id^e juste d'une pi^e qui a tour 

jours fait la base de la Confederation Helv^tique. 

Tou9 les hommes d'Uri, de Schwitz, ct d*Uii- 
derwald se promettent une amiti^ k r^pTeuve du 
tems et des malheurs. lis unissent k jainais pour 
le bonheur g^n^ral leurs forces et leurs conseib. 
Uon pent d^couvrir ici la premiere ^bauche de b 
spciet6 civile, et ce contrat social, qlie taut d*<cri- 
vains, mieux instruits des droits de lliomme que de 
son histoire, ont vainement cherch^ dans les grands 
6tats. lis jurent de se soutenir mutuellement en- 
vers et contrc tous. lis s'engagent k sacrifier leurs 
vies pour la defense commune, k ne jamais pcr- 
ftiettrc qu\m Suisse soit mal-trait^ ou opprim^, k 
le secourir ou k le venger. lis consentent k sou- 
mettre k des arbitres impartiaux tous les difiR^rcns 
qui pourroient un jour trbubler cette harmonic; et 
ils 6tablissent le troisieme canton juge naturel de 



toutcequipouiToitdiviserlesdeuxautres. Convain* i^<i^ 
cos que Tamiti^ ne peut subsister parmi Tinjustice 
et les crimes, iU d^ceraent la peine de mort contre 
les homicides volontaires, et celled'un exil peq>^el 
contre les voleurs. lis s'assujettissent ^tous les de- 
voirs qu'onavoit droit dexigerd'euxavant lar^volu^ 
tion, mais ils ne reconnoissent plus ceux que la 1y- 
numie a an^anti et qu'une paix Equitable peut seule 
restitaer k la maison d'Autriche.* Ces devoirs on6- 
reux, et qui blessoient Imd^pendance d'un €tat libie^ 
leur 6tCMent cependant odieux. I Is ne veulent point 
en contracter de nouveaux, et ils d^fendent k 
cfaacun d*engager son hommage, sa parole ou ses 
biens, sans le consentement de tous les autres con^ 
feder^. Ils finissent par denoncer k tous les con- 
trevenans, la honte du parjure, un exil perp^tuel, 
etia confiscation de leurs biens. 

La premiere d-marche de la nouvelle r^publique suer^de 
fiit dlnstruire TEmpereur Louis de Bavi^re de tout i. l 
ce qui s'^toit pass^ parmi eux. Ce prince, par deRdbAi- 
goikt ct par politique, ^toit Tami des Suisses. II J^^*** 
leur avoit dijk terit pour les plaindre, pour les con- 
soler, ct pour leur faire esp^rer un avenir plus fo* 
vorable. Trop foible lui-m^me pour les secourir 
dime mani^re efiicace, il les fit du moins relever 
par Tautorit^ sup^rieure de Tarchev^qne de May- 
encc de toutes les censures eccl6siastiques qu'ils 
avoient encourues. 

II apprit avec joie que son ennemi le plus re- 

* L'oD peoi troover dans le dicdonuaire de Leu, les exemplet 
dt plusieufs senritudes dont les cantons se racbet^rent longtems 
3 Dm la rhroliitian. 



doutable avoit perdu sa gloire et T^lite de scs 
troupes dans la joum^e de Morgarten. II se h&te 
de confirmer tous les privileges des trois cantonsi 
d'approuver leur alliance, et de confisquer en leur 
faveur tout ce que la maison d'Autriche poss^doit 
encore au milieu deux. Les Suisses re^urent 
sans difficult^ de sa main un pr^fet imperial qui 
jura de respecter leurs droits et de les d^fendre 
contre tous leurs ennemis. Cette magistratuie, 
Fombre d'une autorit^ r6v6r6e, disparut insensible- 
ment, et les empereurs suivans accord^rent aux 
Suisses le privilege de choisir des m^gistrats qui 
fussent en m£me terns les ministres du peuple et 
de Tempire. 

Je viens de tracer d'une plume foible mais im- 
partiale Thistoire d'unc revolution obscure qui a 
chang^ le sort de quelques paysans des Alpes. 
£lle m^rite n6anmoins Tattention du philosophe qui 
cherche Fhomme dans la chaumi^re plut6t que 
dans les palais. II sait quele nom sacr6 de liberte 
a presque toujours d^sign^ les pr^gatives iiyustes 
d*un petit nombre de citoyens, et que les nations 
SfMuites ou entrain^es par leurs chefs out mille foii 
oombattu avec fureur pour des int^r^ts qui leur 
itoient Strangers. II parcourt d'un ceil attentif-le 
tableau de TEurope dans les sidles barbares dc 
Tanarchie f^odale. Qu'il est triste, ce tableau, pour 
un ami des hommes ! Des barons et des 6v£ques 
qui disputent k leur roi la d^pouille sanglante des 
communes ; ces communes malheureuses qui sV- 
roent quelquefois de leurs fers, mais dont la fu- 
reur incertaine et aveugle d^shonore par ses exc^ 



one libeit6 dont dies ne savent point jouir;* 
^odqntt r^publiques p<^ulaires au fond de lltalie^ 
Ji6cYm€es par une discorde toujours renaissante, €t 
qui ae livrent avec la m^Rie ardeur k leurs tribimt 
et leim tyians. Qu'il recOBOoisse ici un spectadt 
ftuB fare et plus digne de la nature humaine ; ^vat 
peuple Tertueux, qui a d^fendu les droits les ptiia 
nints par les moyens les plus legitimes ; qui a ett 
de la fermet^ dans le p^ril et de la moderation apr^ 

Chapitre n. 

JOimmee de Liteerm — Guerre de Loiq^en — Origme de 
Zmriek — RcvobUian dam mm Gouvernemeni — Rodalpke 
BruHj baurgmemesire — Conjuration d^ Exilii — Guerre 
meec FAutriche — Combat de Tatwyl — Alliance de Claris 
-^AlKanee de Zug — Siige de Zurich par FEmpereur 
Ckarlet IV — TrHe — Alliance de Berne. 

La bataiUe de Morgarten humilioit Torguetl 
Autrichien ; les forces de cette maison n'^ient 
cqiendant point 6puis6eSy et les Suisses avoient tout 
i craindre d^un ressentiment irrit6 par la honte et 

* Lei eoBimaoes attroopces en Angleterre sous Utchard II. f Chnm^ 
de grands (^sordfes. L'huroanitc I'remit au recii des ^ ^^t 
de la Jacquerie h qui le desespoir mit les amies i la p^iyi pn, 
min a|ir^ la bataille de Poitiers. I^lais les paysans qui desol^ p- it9.&c. 
rent de rAUemagne sous le nom d'Anabaptistes surpaas^rent les ^cdefi^&m 

bofTetm da nns et des autres. lis ^tablissoient le royauffle dd caiUiit.ToL 

•^ u.r — '- 



par le malheur. Mais ces forces etoient di vis^es, ct 
ce ressentiment se toumoit centre- le Due de 
Bavi^re qui disputoit rempire k Fr^eric et aes 
ir^res. Apr^ avoir vaincu cet ennemi qui par(MS« 
aoit le plus redoutable, ils se proposoient de punir 
leg Suisses de leur premiere r6volte et de la victoire 
qu'ils avoient os^ remporter sur leurs maltres. Le 

%Ht 8ucc^ ne r^pondit point k leur attente. Frederic 
le beau perdit enfin la liberte avec la bataille de 
Mulhdorfy et ne sortit de prison qu'apr^ avoir 
8ign6 un traits qui lui accordoit des avantages 
assez considerables k la place d'un empire auquel 
il renon^oit k jamais. L'inflexible Leopold soutint 
son parti encore quelque terns avec plus d'opinii- 
tret^ que de gloire, roais sa roort et celle de 

^*** Fr^eric assur^rent le repos de TAllemagne. Otbon 
et Albert h^rit^rent des ^tats de leurs frfefet, sam 
h^riter de leurs talens et de leur ambition. Louis 
de Bavi^re fut reconnu par tout le corps Oer- 
manique malgr^ les anath^mes du PsLpe Jean 
XXII. qui s'indignoit que TAUemagne n'e&t pomt 
attendu le consentement du Saint Si^gc pour se 
donner un souverain. 

Cette guerre malheureuse et T^tat de fbiblessc 
auquel elle r6duisit la maison d'Autriche ne leur 
permit point de se venger des Suisses. Elle se 
contentoit de les inqui^ter dans la jouissance de 
cette liberty qu elle ne pouvoit pas leur arracher. 
Elle d^fendit a ses sujets, qui habitcuent les riches 
campagnes de I'Argau et dc la Turgovic, de fbumir 
k ce peuple rebelle le bled, le vin^ les ^toffes, ct 
tout ce que lui refusoit la nature du pays et son 


1>C LA R£PUBUaU£ D£S SUISSE^. 28il 

Ignorance des arts. Les Suisses sentirent la triste 
v^rit^, que lliomme est esclave par ses besoins; 
mais ils deploy^rent en m^me terns les ressources 
presqu'infinies de la patience et de la moderation. 
La &]m les obligea quelqnefois k sortir de leurs 
letraites les armes k la main, et dans ces coursed 
qulls faisoient sur les terres de rAutrichey its 
enleroient les moissons, d6truisoient tout ce qu'ils 
ne pouvoient emporter, et poussoient la desolation 
et reflFroi jusques aux portes de Zug et de Lucerne. 
La gend^merie que Ton avoit jett^ dans ces places 
importantes se joignoit aux milices du pays pour 
airtter ces montagnards, et mille petits combats 
plus sanglans que d^cL^ifs ne servoient qu'^ ac- 
crottre leur haine mutuelle. Un historien Suisse 
contemporain, mais d^voue k la maison d'Autriche, 
g^mit des cruaut^s qui signaloient cette mal- 
heureuse guerre dans laquelle Ton n^^pargnoit 
jamais les prisonniers. La tyrannic des Autrichiens, 
la durete grossi^re des Suisses, et le droit afTreux 
des repr^sailles me pef^uadent que ses plaintes 
n'^toient que trop legitimes. Ces malheurs 
etoient communs aux deu?^ partis, mais leurs 
sentimens ^toient bien diff(6rens. Les Suisses 
payoient sans regret le prix de leur liberty. Les 
Autrichiens s'indignoient d'etre les victimes d'une 
ambition aussi pemicieuse k eux-m£mes qu'^ leurs 

Nous avons d^j^ vu que la ville de Lucerne, si- 
ta€e sar le ix)rd occidental du lac de ce nom, avoit 
i^partenue k I'abbaye de Murbach en Alsace, et 
qu*au m^prisde leurs senhens, ces maitres, eioign^s 



iM. et imliff^rens, Tavoient vendue a TEinpereur Al- 
bert;* L^ citoyens s oppos^rent longtems k cette 
^trausactiony mais lis se rendirent enfin k la crainte 
de la puissance AutrichienAe, et aux assuranoei 
*4u'on leur donnoit qu'ils ne connottroieut jamaiB 
cette puissance que par la protection et les hieor 
faits. lis ue la connurent jamais* que par leun 
malheurs. A ceux dont j ai d^j4 parl^, ii faut 
ajouter Finterruption totale d'un comBMOce qui 
avoit fond^ Lucerne et qui la faisoit enpore sub* 
•ister avec ^lat Plac^e entre Tltalie et I'AUe- 
magne sa situation avantageuse la rendoit Tentie- 

issi. p6t de ces deux pays. La Reuss, qui coule au pied 
jde ses murs, recevoit toutes les marchandises qu ob 
avoit voitur^ sur le Mont St. Godard et ks venoit 
dans le Rhin; uiais depuis le commencement dc 
cette guerre destructive les habitans d'Uri avoieat 
ferm^ ce passage dont ils 6toient les maltres. La 
Autrichiens ne furent point touch^ du triste sort 
d'un peuple dont la foi donn^e k regret ne s^^toit 
cependant jamais d^menlie; au fl^u de la guent 
ils ajout^rent celui de la tyrannic. La viUe joui** 
soit des plus beaux privileges que lui avoicnt ac- 
cord^ les abbes de Murbach. Le gouvemement 
£toit entre les mains d'un s^nat qui se tiroit de li 
noblesse, et loiiicier du prince qui y assiitait 
^coutoit leurs deliberations, mais il ne les dUrigeoit 
point. Sous les dues d'Autricbe le s^nat ne fiit 
plus qu un vain simulacre, et Tofficier du prince 
devint un gouvemeur arm^ de toutes les teneim 
du despotisme et soutenu par la gamiaon non* 
breuse du chateau de Rottembouig. Au poidi 



d'une guerre qui d^soloit leur pays depuis vii^;t> .aii|. 
^oatre aos, les Lucemois avoient eu la ooin]daisaiice 
dajouter celui d'une exp^tion ^loignie. S6duit8 
par les promesses qu'on leus piodig^oit ils avoient 
icndu les plus grands services^ la maisoud'Autriche 
dans la guerre de Cohnar: mais k leur retour Us 
aoUicitferent vainemcnt la recompense de leurs tra- 
vaux. Ils ne reipurent pas m£me la solde qu'om 
feor deroit. La mauvaise monnoie, que les dues 
d'Autridie r^pandoient dans leurs 6tats, acheva de 
ki ^uiser. Ces princes nc rougirent point d'em- 
pbyer un artifice aussi vil qu'il est commun, et de ^ 
inmiprr la confiance pu blique dont le d^p6tsacr6 leur 
teMt remis entre les mains. Les Lucemois soufiii- 
ffCBt loi^tems sans sepermettred'autresaimes que la 
patience et les plaintes les plus req>ectQeuses. Las 
enfin d*un joug qui s a|^>esantissoit tons les joura 
war leurs tiles, ils os^rent se servir de leurs droits 
pour mterdire la monnoie Autrichienne, et pour 
CDBclurre avec les trois cantons une tr^ve de vingt 
ms qui ranimoit leur commerce, et qui leur pro- 
coroit du moins uncalme passager. 

Mais ils sentirent bient6t que par une d-marche 
assi mesur^ ils avoient fait trop et trop pen. Ils 
8C virent exposes k toute rindignation de leur 
awi ver ain, sans itre assures de Tappui des Suisses. 
Diuis une situation aussi critique ils jett^rent les 
sur cette r^publique qulls avoient si long- 
combattu parcequ elle avoit su briser les fers 
i|a'euaL-m£mes portoient k regret. Pleins d'admi- 
laticHi pour leur courage, les Lucemois voulurcnt 
le sort heureux qu'il leur avoit m6nt6. lb 
aux trois cantons la proposition de les re- 



usf. cevoir comme un quatri^me membre de leur alii* 
ance perp^tuelle, pour d^fendre leur liberty com- 
mune contre ceux qui oseroient Tattaquer. la 
n^gociation 6prouva peu de difficult^s. Le senti- 
ment de leurs avantages r^ciproques ramena bien- 
t6t les esprits des deux partis qui s'^toient toujours 
estim^; ils se jur^rent une amiti^ ^temelleavcc 
une joie qui paroissoit sincere et unanimc. 

Le mdme esprit qui avoit inspire la prfemi^ 
conf<6d^ration dicta dans celle-ci les m£mes condi- 
tions; Tunion perp6tuelle, le secours mutuel, Tob^ 
sance aux magistrats, la haine des tyrans. L'od 
employoit les in£mcs prtotutions pour pr^venir ki 
diff(6rens ou pour les t^ininer. Le corps Hd- 
v^tique semble d^j^ avoir pris de la contistenoe. 
On le reconnott au style de ce traiti. Ce ne soat 
plus des hommes libres qui s'unissent par un en- 
gagement volontaire, ce sont des ^tats ind^peo- 
dans qui s'allient par un acte politique^ et dont ks 
loix et les privileges s^par6s ne sont point con- 
ibndus dans un melange aussi intime. La politique 
juste et respectueuse des Lucemois conaerra cfi* 
core i la maison d*Autriche tons ses droits l^gittmes 
en laissant au terns et k la fortune TinterprtotioD 
de ces droits. 

Cette maison redoutable avoit encore k Lucerne 
uh parti nombreux. Ceux qui possMoient des 
fiefs dans les 6tats Autrichiens pr^f(6roient cet in- 
t^r^t personnel au bien g^n^ral; une jeunesat 
aveugle et imprudente regrettoit encore la cour 
d'un maltre, scs honneurs et ses bienfaits, T^galit^ 
d*une r^publique et la s^v^rit^ sourde et inflexible 


les loix paroissoient ^ letirs yeux le plus mde es- isA. 
elavage. Cette partie tn^prisable dti petiple t6u«- 
jours mdig&e de la liberty incapable d'ob^ir, J^^^ 
noitses clameurs k leurs murkifiuFes. Mais leiifs 
vams efforts n'efFray^rent point ie parti plus nom- 
breux encore dcs bons citoyens* Aux entreprises 
dont lis pr^voyoient Tobjet sans di^m^ler les moyen^ 
ib oppos^rent la barri^re d'une loi nouvelle, qui 
d^on^oit Texil perp^tuel et une amende de vingt , 

marcs centre quiconque seroit cause que la r^pub^ ^ 
lique re(ut du dommage ;-^loi singuli^fe et daii^ 
gereuse, qui- pennet au magistrat Ie choix des crimes 
et des victimes: un gouvemement Kbre y pent 
tnmver son salut, mais elle deviendroit entre les 
nains d'un tyran rinstrument Ie plus terrible du 

Cette loi nHntimida point les pattisans de rAu-^ 
tnche; ils se m^nag^rent des intelligences avec! 
ks gouvemeurs des garnisons dont Tenceinte resser- 
loit la ville» Ils convinrent d'une nuit dans 
liquelle ils ouvriroient les port^s aux troupes^ 
(|tti s approcheroient sans bruit, tandis qu'ils pren^ 
dioient les armes dans la ville et qu1ls feroient 
p^r, par un massacre g^n^ral, tous les amjs des 
Suisses et de la liberty. L'indiscr^ticm trahit ce 
projet afFreux peu de momens avant son execution ; 
an citoyen entendit par hasard la conversation de 
qnelques conjures qui se croyoient seuls, il la com- 
muniqua sur le champ au magistrat, qui assembla 
k bpurgeoisie, s'assura des portes, et fit arr^ter tous 
les conjures, qui n'dtoient point pr^par^s k la resis- 
tance. Les manches rouges, signal dont ils s'^toient 
voi^ iji. u convenus 

d90 iKTao]>i7cnqv a L'auroiRE gekualb 

tss3> convenus pour se distinguer dans la confusion d* 
tuimulte nocturae, servoient k les d6couvrir k la 
ennemis. Apr^ avoir fortifi^ la r6publique pari 
seoours de trois cens Suisses que leurs nouvea] 
"* allies leur envoy^rent k la premiere r^quisitk 
lesLucemois jug^rent les criminels dont Icurs p 
sons ^toient remplies. Partag^s entre rhorreurt 
crime, et la compassion qu'inspiroient le nombie 
la quality des coupables, ils craignoient dgalemc 
de les punir ou de leur pardonner. Ils accordbt 
leur g^ce aux d^put^s des trois cantons qui ! 
prioientde ne point souiller les commencemens de 
liberty par le sang mdme des plus criminels. Deto 
ces conjur^ qui avoient jur^ la mine de la pab 
aucun ne perdit la vie. On se contenta d'exij 
d'eux une amende considerable et un seroM 
solemnel de m^riter la cl^mence qu'ib avmi 
^rouv6e. On d^fendit en m£me terns, par u 
loi de r^tat, toutes les assemblies secrettes, et 
fut ordonn6 qu'un citoyen n engageroit sa fid^ 
qn'k la communaut^, et que tout serment pai 
culier seroit puni comme un crime. Cette sail 
et salutaire jalousie des loix auroit epargn6 
g^erres civiles k plus d un pays. 

Les dues d'Autricbe, indignds de la re volte c 
Lucemois, ^toient cependant trop foibles pour '. 
r6duire. L orgueil leur fit pendant quelque tei 
soutenir contre eux une guerre languissante. I 
succ^ 6toient balances, jusqu & ce qu enfin < 
princes, humili^s au point de rechercher Vapf 

13H. ^ ^^'^> port^rent devant le tribunal de TEmperc 
leurs plaintes am^res de tons les attentats que cei 

. noiivc; 


tsjT. . geance qu'il leur avoit command^e et qui ae coin 
cilioit si bien avec les intir^ts de son ambition. 
La noblesse de la Bourgogne Transjuran6e voyoit 
avec 6tonnement cette ville ennemic qui s'^levoit 
au milieu d'eux, qui bravoit d6^k leur puissance, et 

1338. mena^oit de leur donner un jour des loix. La 
crainte qui succMe au m^pris est toujours accom- 
pagn^e de la h^e. Celle des seigneurs fut le ci- 
ment d'une ligue redoutable qui x proposoit pour 
objat 4:'an6antissement du pouvoir Bernois. Parmi 
le grand nombre decomtes, de barons, etdegentils- 
bommes qui form^rent cette alliance, Ton distin- 
guoit les comtes de Neufchatel, d'Arberg, de Ni- 
dau, de Gruy^re et de Kybourg ; ce dernier, d'une 
branche cadette de la maison de Habsbourg, maitre 
de Berthoud et de Thun, tenoit la ville de Berne 
comme assi^g^e au milieu de ses terres, et pr^ten- 
doit que le fonds mdme sur lequel elle avoit €i6 
bfttie n'^toit qu'une usurpation de son doroatne. 
Friboui^, qui jouissoit d'une assez grande ind^pen- 
dance sous la protection de TAutriche, eut la foi- 
blesse trop naturelle it une rivale malheureuse; 
elle ^couta la votx de la jalousie plut6t que celle 
de la raison, et joignit ses forces k eel les d^une no- 
blesse dont les int^r^ts n'avoient rien de commun 
avec les siens. La maison d'Autriche, toujours en- 
nemie des villes libres, envoyaordre k son gouver- 
neur de TArgau de faire marcher ses troupes au sc- 
cours des conf6d^res pendant qu'on voyoit par une 
fatalit^ assez singuli^re TEmpereur Louis de Ba- 
vi^re qui appuyoit le m£me parti. II ^toit m^con- 
tent des Bernois, dont la politique dinu-je, ou la su^ 



perstilion lui refusoit le respect quVm devoit au iM( 
chef de TempirCy et d6f<6roit aux anath^es du pon- 
tife Romam plut6t qu'au choix de rAlleroagne. 
Une n^gociation inutile ne fiit qu'un prelude de la 
guerre. Les Bemois cherchoient k conjurer Forage 
qui les menai^oit, mais il leur ^toit impossible de 
souscrire aux conditions dures et humiliantes qu'on 
exigeott deux. Chacun des alli^ leur redemandoit 
des droits hypoth^u^ des terres acquises depuis 
knigtemsy et une foule de sujets qu'ils avoient d€* . 
rob6s k la tyrannic f6odaIe pour les recevoir au ^^^• 
nombre de leurs citoyens. Apr^ avoir justifi<6 
leur conduite par cette d-marche, les princes rasr 
sembl^rent leurs troupes qui ^toient d^ja prates, et 
parurent devant Lauppen, dont ils form^rent le 
si^e avcc une arm^e de 3000 cbevaux et de plus 
de 15,000 fantassins. 

Les *Bemois ne voyoient autou^ d eux que- des . 
ennemis d^clar^s ou des amis foibles et peu siirs. 
La ville de Soleure eut cependant le courage de 
leur envoyer un secours de 80 gendarmes; 300 
paysacs desmontagnesde Hasli accounirent iilaban- 
ni^redes maitres qu'ils s'^toient choisis, et le Baron 
de Weissembourg se signala par une fid^lit^ encore 
plus singuliere. Ennemi des Bemois, il avoit 
^rouv^ depuis peu leur valeur et leur cl^ence ; 
apr^ I'avoir vaincu ils le refurent panpi leurs ci^ 
toyens ; ils se montra digne de ce titre et servit sa 
Qouvelle patrie k la tete de 150 de ses vassaux. 
Ces ressources ^toient encore foibles et en petit 
nombre; et les Bemois, etonn^ de la force de 
Wurs ennemis, saddress^rent enfin aux cantons 

u 3 Suisses 

Sd4 iifTfiODUCTiosi A h'unroi^M aiNUULE . 

us^ Suisses avee lesquels ils n'avoient point d'autre liat^ 
son que celle de Thumanit^. Cette liaison leur 
suffit, et les trois cantons d'Uri, de Schwitz, et 
d*Underwald leur accord^rent sur' le champ 9OO 
hommes, secours moins considerable par le nombrc 
que par la quality des troupes qui le composoient 
Je suis surpris que les Suisses, toujours attaches k 
leur protecteur Louis de Bavi^re, ayent embra8s6 
avec chaleur le parti de ses ennemis. Mais les 
^tats populaires se gouvement autant par passion 
que par politique; et la passion des Suisses 6toit It 
haine de I'Autriche, des nobles, et de Tinjustice. 
Ils se mirent en marche, travers^rent une assez 
grande ^tendue des terres des confM6res, sans qu'- 
on os&t les attaquer, et arriv^rent a Berne oii ils fu- 
rent repus coihme des dieux tfut^laires. On les 
en fit aussit6t sortir pour profiter du premier feu 
de leur courage et pour ^viter les d^sordres qu'au* 
roient pu commettre des hommes pen accoutum^ 
au s^jour des villes. Apr^ avoir confix aux vieil- 
lards la garde de la capitale, la jeunesse Bemoise 
avec ses auxiliaires, au nombre de 5S00 hommes, 
marcha k 1 ennemi encore occup6 au si^e de Laup- 
pen, dont la gamison se d^fendoit avec une con- 
stance intrepid e. Les chefs de la r^publique avoi- 
ent employ^ tout ce que la raison et la superstition 
peuvent contribuer au salut de la patrie. Ils 
avoient remis toute Tautorit^ de I'itat k Rodolphe 
d'Erlach sous le nom de dictateur. II m^ritoit ce 
d^pdt important par ses talens militaires, par la re- 
putation qu'il avoit acquise dans six batailles, et par 



le sacrifice qu'il venoit de faire de tdus les avanttgei tm\ 
dont il jouissoit au service du comte de Nidaiu^ 
Apr^ avoir examine sa situation et celle des cnne* 
mis il r^lut de les attaquer sur le chanip sans 
leur donner le terns de recevoir les secoars Autrit 
diiens qulls atteudoient de TArga^. A cot£ du die* 
tateur maichoit le doyen de T^Use coll^;iale ; il 
portoit 1 eucharistie k la main ; il narangua les aoU 
datet les remplit de cet enthousiasme qui Utrt 
iliomme au-dessus de lui-m^me et leur donna sa 
b^6diction pour le signal du combat. Les Ber* 
nois ^toient opposes aux Fribourgeois et k Tinfim^ 
terie des alli^ ; ce fiit k r^ret qu*ik se content^ 
rent de oe poste, mais ils n avoient pu refuser aux 
rives instances des Suisses llionneur dangereux de 
OMnbattre la gendarmerie ; dont ik 6toient accoi^ 
tum6sy disoient-41s, k abattre I'orgueiL Leur fer- 
met6 ne r^sista cependant point au premier chot 
de ces escadions h6riss6s de lances et months sur de 
grands chevaux de bataille ; leurs rangs en furent 
elnanl^ ; mais ils se r^tablirent dans Finstant et re^ 
nouvell^rent le combat avec fureur. Les Bemois 
de leur c6t€ pouss^rent vivement llnfiuiterie des 
amf<6d^r^ et la mirent en d^ute. La iage va- 
leur du dictateur ne leur permit point, de s'^arer 
dans une poursuite vaine ; il les remena au seoours 

* Cccte maison, qui subsisfe encore 4 Berne, y jouit d'ane coo* 
mdlkrmiionj que la naissaDce et la ricbcste ne saaroient lai proeil* 
rer. Elle Cut preave d'une noblesse reconnue dant les toarnois da 
dooxi^iDe si^le, mais elle y ajoute nne gloire plos rare et plus 
t^ritable, oelle d'avoir deux fois sanv^ sa patrie et de hu aToir 
es tool tens les serrices les plus distiagiti. 

v'4 de 

t96 hfnmecnoK a l'histoibe gxkkrale 

de letus amis. Ils^toieiit dijk victorieux, et la no* 
bleau de la Bourgogne fuyoit de toutes parts de« 
vant let Suisses. Quatorze comtes et quatre>\iiigt 
chevaliets qui portoient les casques couronn^s, per^ 
dirent la vie dans cette journ6e decisive. Les Ber* 
iiois profit^reut de leur victoire, et les Suisses re- 
toura^rent dans leur patrie coutens de la gloire 
qu'ils avoient acquise et de la reconnoissance de 
leurs amis qu'ils avoient sauv^s. L'^urope apprit 
pour la premiere fois qu'une infanterie de paysans 
avoit battu en rase campagne la geudamierie 
plus formidable encore par son courage que par 
Tarmure pesante dont elle 6toit couverte« 

'Ce fut dans cette guerre de Lauppen que les 
Suisses e^ les Bernois apprirent k se connottre. 
L'estime mutuelle, et les services quails avoieat 
rendus et re(:us, ies pr^paroient insensiblement k 
lalliance perp^uelle qu'ils contract^rent bieutdt 
apr^ ; mais avaut que de la voir il faut arr^ter 
les yeux sur unc revolution qui changea par ses 
oons^uences la face de THelv^tie. Pour cet eftet 
je dois remonter jusqu*^ I'origine de Zurich, et par- 
courir lliistoire de cette viUe, qui devint la pre^ 
mi^re de la confederation Helvetique, 

Layille de Zurich est sttuee k la t£te du lao de ce 
jiom, an '.milieu d'un pays fertile et deiicieux. 
On pretend que les ancicns Ilclvetieus ;avoient re- 
marque les avantages d'uu lieu que la nature sem- 
ble avoir forme pour Ic sejour de Thomme, et qu'ils y 
avoient bAti unc de lours bourgades qui fut bifiiee 
lorscju'ils softirent de leur pati ie pour chercher dc 
noiivelles liajuU^iaus, retabdic ensuiteipar ce peu- 



pie apr^ son retour, embellie par ks R6inaiiis, et .7 
ddtniite par les AUemans vers le commencement 
,da quatri^me si^le. £lle demeura quelque terns 
d^serte et ruin^, jusqu'^ ce que la superstition fit 
sortir de ses masures un^; autre vilie plus consid6- 
rabie que la premiere. II s'^toit r^pandu une opi* 
nion que quelques soldats de la legion Th^bienne 
avoient souiFert le marty re k Zurich. On y d^couvrit 
bientAt leurs tombeaux ; ces tombeaux devinrent 
des ^lises c^l^bres, et le bruit des prodiges dont 
elies i6to]ent le th^Atre, attira des habitans de toute 
la contr^ voisine, qui se fixirent sous la protection 
immediate des saints Felix et- R^ula. Charle^ 
magne paya aux pr^jug^ de son si^le, et peut-^tre 
aiix sienSy le tribut d'une ^glise de clianoines qu^il 
consacra avec les plus beaux pri\il^ges au ser\nce 
de ces martyres. Louis, Roi de Germanic, son petit 
fils, les bonora encore davantage par une ab- 
have de religieuses qu'il tonda en iaveur de sa fiUe •53. 
Uildegarde. II accorda aux Saints Martyrs, et aux 
idigieuses qui les repr6>entoient, le domaine utile 
de Zurich, aussi bien que du pays d'Uri, et leur c6da 
a perp^uit^ ces terres avec tons les serfe qui leur 
ftoient attaches, et tons les droits et revenus que 
le ^ouverain en retiroit. D'une donation aussi li- 
h^ralf^ il semble navoir exci pt6 que la suzerainet6 
m^e. Les dues de Suabe n avoieut rien k pr^ 
tiendre sur une vilie enclav^e dans leur gouveme- 
ment, mais qui ne d^pendoit que d^un pr^fet imp6- 
rial prfpot^ pour veiller a la fois aux droits de 
Icoipire et a ceux de T^glise. Les enipereurs eux- 
y tenoient souvent leur cour, et c'^toit la 


298 iKTBOnucnoN A l'histoike OSirUAL£ 

855. qu'ils ^tablissoient leur tribunal toutes les fbi 
qu'ils 6voquoient les causes des Italians en dt^k dc 
Aipes. Tant d'homieur^ et de privileges avoien 
fait de Zurich une des plus belles villes de la haul 
Allemagne. Les historiops du douzi^me sihcht oo 
rendu t^moignage k sa grandeur, sar beauty et; 
iabbndance qui y r^gnoit. Cependant dans k 
diplomes des princes Carlovingiens elle n'est dd 

^^^8- sign^e que par le nom de bourg et m^me de village 
Elle ne fut entour^e de muraiiles que sous le r^;n 
de Fr^errc II et son territoire fut toujours born 
k Fenceinte de ces muraiiles. Le principe de ae 
richesses ^toit en elle-m^me et dans Tindustri 
d'un peuple nombreux et infatigable. Je ne tai 
si je dois assurer que Zurich a poss6d^ one de 
premieres manufactures de soie qu'on ait vu ei 
Europe, manufacture que ses guerres civiles In 
enleverent pour la transporter k Come dans le Mi 
lanois ; mais il est constant que la pliipart des tn 
vaux utiles y fleurissoientdepuis les premiers tenu 
et qu'elle s'enrichissoient en r^pandant sur les con 
tr^ voisines le fruit de son indnstrie. Cette ii 
dustrie 6toit k la v^rit6 tr^ inf(6rieure k celle dc 
Italiens. Les Zuriqoois, simples et grossiers, se coi 
tentoient d'un n^cessaire assez abondant et tt 
connurent point le besoin et les agr^roens de 
beaux arts. 

Les objets les plus g^n^raux n'existent pour k 
hommesque relativement k leurs idto particuliire 
C'est ainsi que chaque ordre porle dans la soci^ 
les moeurs et les pr^jug^s de son 6tat Lt nobte n 

ate !▲ REFUBUQUx 0Xi ntMn^ . t99 

daigne jetter les yeux que mat ua petit i^&ubrt 
dliommes destin^ par le droit de la ^absancd 4 
r%iier but la multitiide. Pour le militaire la wdM 
politique n'est quW camp toujours ann6 conUe ses 
voiBina et qui ne reconnoit d'aatres loix que les 
volenti de Bon chef. Le prfttre q)per^it partout 
des institutions divines et le don de la terre que 
Dieu a fait k ses 6ius. Le n6gociant seat que des 
bommes libres par leur nature sont unis par leun 
befloins r6ciproques. L'esprit du commeice est 
celui de la liberty, et le comnierce ne peut fleurir 
(fotk Tombre des loix. Celui de 2kirich Vaccrut 
srec les privileges qui se multiplioieat tons lei 
jourg sous la douce administratioa des abbesses. 
L'£mpereur Frederic IL xnit enfin le sceau k sa 
liberty en confirmant tons ses droits et en la 
declarant ville imp6riale et inalienable. 

Dans Fobscurit^ r6pandue sur le premier age de 
iUstoire Ton entrevoit assez confus6ment la forme 
de k r^uUique Zuriquoise : elle 6toit gouvem6ei 
lelon Fopinion la plus probable, par un conseil de 
trente-^ix personnes, choisies k U v^rit^ par le corps 
de la bourgeoisie^ mais dont les places 6toient per^ 
p6tuelles et rautorit6 k peu pr^ souveraine. lis 
6toient partag6s en trpis chambres, qui se succd' 
doient; et chaque chambre se voyoit k la tdte de 
r^tat pendant quatre mois de rann6e. Dans les 
afiaires difficiles elle s'associoit led lumi^res de ses 
GC^igues, et dans celles qui sembloient int6resser 
la communaut6 entifete elle s'autorisoit par le 
nifiiage d'un nombre considerable des bourgeois. 
Cette ai^tocratie gouvema ^ongtems avec une jus- 

15S5. tice^t une tranquillity qui fournit peu d'6v^iieiiie 
k rhistoire ; mais eufiii elle fiit corrompue pir 
vice de son institution. Ces conseillers, abnsi 
de leur pouvoir, se crurent les mattres d un peu] 
dout ils n 6toient que les nainistres. Les graces 
mSme la justice n'6toit que pour ceux dont 
bassesses briguoient leur faveur et flattoient li 
orgueil. Leur avarice et leur profusion 6puis<u< 
le tr^sor public, et le peuple n'^toit instruit de k 
infid^lit^ que par les nouveaux impdts qu< 
exigeoit de iui. II sentit le triste ^tat auquel 
magistrats lavoient r6duit, et n'esp^roit point 
aveuir plus heureux* L'espritdu conseilsep 
p^tuoit dans tous ses membres^ et les ZuriquoiS|4 
chaugeoieut leurs tyrans trois fois par an, 6pr 
voieiiit toujours la m^me tyrannie. 

Uu seul citoyeu aspira k la gloire de lib^rmt 
de sa patrie. 11 sappelloit Rodolphe Brun, n 
consacr^ par la reconnoissance de la post^riti. 
naissance et son m^rite Iui avoit donn6 une pli 
dans le couscil ; tnais sa prudence et peut-^tie 
vertu Iui dicta des maxinies tr^s opposees k ce 
de ses collogues. II pr^vit que cette puissai 
fondle sur Tinjustice alloit bient6t s'^rouler 
qu en se declarant le vcngcur de leurs crimes il 
Iui seroit pas difficile de s'^lever sur leur chute 
lieu de la partager. Des mceurs populaires et \ 
reputation sans tiche pr^venoient d€}k ses c 
citoyens en sa fa\ eur, et il employoit, pour gag 
leur coufiance, tous les arts de Tambitioii 
s humilie. II s'interessoit k toutes leurs afiii 
^coutoit leurs plaintcs avec une .bont€ atteati 


I>E tA REPUBLB^UE DZS 8UI88X8. . 301 

fVtftendiissoit sur leurs maux, lenr nppelloit leur9 issa. 
droits et k bonheur de leurs anc^tres, exdg^tiit la 
dtiiet£ du conseil et ne leur laissoit d'esp6rance 
qu'en eux-m^mes. ^^ Ami du peuple, et des loix^ 
jai souvent ^lev^, leur disoit-il, ma foible voix 
omtre Toppression qu'on d6guise ici sous le nom de 
justice. Mes efforts out ^t^ inutiies k mes citoyens 
et pemicieux k moi-m£me. J'ai tout k craindre 
de rintmiti^ des mes collogues. Je Tai m^rit^ pour 
iYoir d^endu un peuple qui ne sait se d^fendre 
hii-m^me/' Ses discours d^couvroientaux Zunquois ' 
le secret de leurs forces et de la foiblesse du con- 
teiL Leur m^pris pour ces maltres quails avoient 
u longtems r^v6r6s, s'augmentoit tous les jours avec 
leur admiration pour ce grand homme qui avoit 
rmirn^ leur courage. Guides par ses sivis, les 
dtoyens refus^rent k la cliambre qui entroit en 
oflfee au commencement du mois de Mai, le 
i ci ui c al de fid^lit6 qu'elle exigeoit d eux. Avant 
que de reconnoitre son autorit^, ils pr^tendoient 
qu'elle rendlt un compte de sa demi^re adminis* 
tration, et de tous les revenus publics qui lui ^toient 
pass^ par les mains; ils d^claroient hautement 
qulls pr^paroient le m^me examen pour les deux 
lutres chambres, et qu'ils ne souffriroient plus les 
exc^ honteux qui ne leur laissoient qu'un vain 
nom de r^publique. Les conseillers, ^tonn^s d'une 
audaoe k laquelle ils ^toient si peu accoutum^s, 
essay ferent encore de se soutenir par la hauteur, et 
commen^^rent, sans ^gard aux remontrances des 
boufgeois, k s'acquitter des fonctions de leurs 
tmpkns; mais la hauteur irrite toutes les fois qu'elle 


M4 iKTaoDucndH a L'HiaroiaE osKiftALi: 

i^9»^ acdamatibn g^^rale^ et gouvemavingt-quatreaBS 
phis encore par la consid^tion peraonneUe que 
par la dignity de sa place. Mais ses succetseun, 
qui n'avoient que cette dignity, ue purent cooservti 
des prerogatives aussi excessives, qui n ^toient pliu 
n^essaires au salut de T^tat et qui mena^ieiit si 
' liberty. On partagea bientAt Tautorit^ en ^tablis 
sant deux bourguemestres^ qui ae succ^doient A 
la m£me mani^re que les autres officiers de i 
r^publique; ils furent d^pouill^s de ta nomioatioi 
du s^nat, et Ton dispensa les citoyens du sennei 
de fid^lit^. L'esprit populaire, qui se fortifioit toa 
les jours, epargna aussi peu les privil^;e8 del 
noblesse que les droits de bourguemestre. Le 
tribus se plaignoient qu'un s^nat trop peu ncm 
breux ramenoit les terns de Icur ancienne arv 
tocratie. El les voulurent r^g^er; mats sensibk 
encore aux defauts d'une multitude qui nc sait i 
d^lib^rer ni agir, elles se contcntferent d^^tablir u; 
conseii de deux cens personnes ckoisiesdans toutc 

139S. les tribus par les suftrages des bourgeois. lis a 
repos^rent sur ce conseii, la creature et Timage d 
peuple, des soins d'une autorit^ qu'ils ne savoiei 
exercer eux-mfimes. lis lui confitrent le choix di 
bourguemestres et du senat, et toute la puissam 
ex^cutrice. Dc la puissance legislative ils n'e: 
cept^rent que les affaires qui int^rcssoient la r 
ligion, Tempirc, et la conftd^ration Helv^tiqu 
dont la connoissance ^toit r^serv^e aux assemble 
g^u^rales du peu pie. Tous les grands traits i 
cette constitution subsistent encore k Zurich, ma 
lexception est oubli^e ou abolie, et'lon dc 



encore, et qui n'^toient plus qu'un t^moigBage 
honteux de la premiere servitude des bourge<MS. 

Occup^s de cette r^volutiiHiy nous avons perdn 
de vue le sort des mauvais citojens qui Foccasioii- 
n^rent. On les jugeaavec rigueur, mass lemn arrets 
portent le caract^re de la justice dans rexactitude 
scrupuleuse avec laquelle on y prepoitkMine les 
punitions aux crimes. Les uns sont punis ptr 
les amendes. On impose aux autres un exil plus 
6u moins long ; on fl^trit le nom des plus coupdiks 
en interdisant k eux et k leurs enfans Tenti^ des 
charges publiques. Quelques conseillers, qui pr6- 
f^roient un repos assur6 k une vengeance hlcc^ 
tune, se soumirent k leur sentence, reconnurent la 
nouvelle r^publique, et s'6tudi^rent k mieux ob^ 
qu'ils n avoient command^. Tons les autres se re* 
tirferent aupr^s du Comte de Raperschwyl, qui «e 
trouvoit par la situation de ses 6tats ami tr^ utile 
ou ennemi dangereux des Zuriquois, dont la poli- 
tique avoit eu soiu de manager peu aupara^'ant avec 
lui une alliance 6troitc. Mais ce prince, sorti de 
la maison d'Autriche, ^toit trop sensible au plaisir 
d'aifoiblir une ville libre et puissante pour ne pas 
accueillir tant de ses citoyens m^contens qui la 
d^chiroient de leurs propres mains. II leur accorda 
le chilteau de Raperschwyl pour retraite, ct leur 
permit de travailler k la ruine de leur patrie. Aussi- 
t6t que la nouvelle dc leur revoke fut port^ k 
Zurich, le s^uat confisqua tous leurs biens, et 
leur d^nonf a un exil perp^tuel. Irrit6 enfin par 
la mauvaise foi du comte e^par la protection qull 
accordoit toujours k leurs sujets rebelles, il voulut 



Ten punir. Les citoyens, rassembl^s sous la ban- issr. 

nihre de la ville, montirent sur leurs bateaux, 6t 

vogu^rent sur le lac de Zurich du c6t6 de Raper- 

sdiwyL Les exiles joignirent leur d^sespoir au 

courage des habitans ; les assaillans furent repouss^^ 

ct le Comte de Toggenbourg, qu'une querelle par- 

ticuli^re avoit engag6 k joindre ses armes k celles 

des'Zuriquois, demeura prisonnier entre les mains 

dei ennemis. Le Comte de Habsbourg assi^geoit 

akxrs la petite ville de Grynau situ6e k rextr^mit6 

dtt lac, et les Zuriquois s'avari^^rent jusques l^ pour 

se renger sur sa personne de T^choc qu'ils avoieht 

te(u devant sa capttale. L'entreprise futlieureuse ; 

le comte fut tu6 apr^ un combat opini&tre qui fit 

p6rir la pliipart des siens. Les Zuriquois rentr^rent 

dans leur ville contens et victorieiix, mais leur 

joie fut trouble par le triste sort de leur alli^. II 

fiit la victime de la furcur de ceux de Raperschwyl, 

qui croyoient signaler leur amour pour leur prince, 

en sacrifiant k ses manes ce prisonnier malheureux, 

qui fut coup^ en mille morceaux : la r^publique 

dc Zurich profita de la premifere terreur quln- 

spir^rent ses succ^s pour d^truire plusieurs chateaux 

qui rincommodoient, et fit des alliances avec Tabb^ 

it la ville de St. Gall, et les villes de Basle, de 

Schaffouse, et de Constance. £lle r^ussit aussi k 

attirer dans son parti un grand nombre de maisons 

des chevaliers de Rhodes, aujourd'hui de Malte, 

dont la foi et la valeur ont ^t6 les m^mes dans tons 

les sidles. 

Zurich jouit d'une assez grande tranquillity *''*•• 
pendant Venfance du jeune Comte de Habsbourg, 

xS fil0 


*^*^ fils de celui qui avoit 6t6 tu6 au combat de Grynau, 
mais sa jeunesse fut empoisonn^e sans peine par Ics 
conseils int6ress^s des exiles qui lui r^p^toient 
toujours qu'il avoit k la fois son p^re et sa gloiie i 
venger. Trop foible cependant pour prendre les 
armes il choisit une vengeance 14che et perfide. 
Les exiles avoient toujours entretenu des intelli- 
gences secre ttes dans leu r ancienne patrie. Toutes 
les r^publiques renfemient des mfcontens k qui 
les magistrats sont odieux, des coupables qui craig- 
nent les loix, des hommes ruin^s qui n'esp^rcnt 
que dans la confusion gen^rale, et des esprits ambi- 
tieux qui travaillent k fonder leur grandeur sur 
cette confusion. lis se r^unirent tons par les in- 
trigues des exiles, se devou^rent k leurs int6r£ts, et 
promirent de les ramener dans Zurich embras^ et 
inond^ du sang de tons les partisans du bouigue- 
mestre et du s^nat. Huit cens soldats du comte se 
gliss^rent dans la ville k la faveur de leurs d^uise- 
mens et se dispers^rent dans les maisons de leun 
partisans^ Une cavalerie choisie s'approchoit de 
toutes les portes, pendant que plusieurs •chmloupes 
armies se pr^paroient k entrer dans le port k la 
faveur de la nuit. Le Comte de Habsbourg avoit 
communique ses desseins k un grand nombre de 
gentilshommes qui ne rougirent point d*£tre les 
complices des assassins. II gardoit encore quelques 
dehors de biens^*ance avec les citoyens de Zurich, 
et Ion ne fut point surpris de le voir arriver dans la 
ville avec une suite tri^s uombreuse de nobles etde 
militaires. Quelques uns des exiles eurent la bar- 
diesse de le suivre^ le s^nat ne voulut pas les voir, et 



Ic peuple s'imagina qu'ils venoient pour faire leur 1350. 
somhission et pour recevoir la grace que leur pro- 
tecteur avoit tant de fois soUipit^e pour eux. Le «*FcTrier. 
complot se tramoit avec uii secret qui d^roboit aux 
yeux vigilaris du bourguemestre les manqeuvres 
des conjures, dont aucun ne fiit 6branl6 ni par la 
crainte ni par les remords. Un jeune garf on fut 
Ic sauveur de I'^tat. Le hasard lui fit entendre les 
discours de quelques soldats du Comte de Habs- 
bourgy qui se communiquoient mutuellement les 
ordres qu'ils avoient ref us de prendre les armes k 
une heure aprfes minuit, de s'emparer de la maison 
de vHle, et de massacrer Rodolphe Brun et toute sa 
faction. II apprit jusqu'au mot de rallieinent qui 
servoit i distinguer les s6ditieux. D^ja I'heure 
approche, le terns presse, et le danger croit k chaque 
instant. Ce jeune homme court chez le bourgue- 
mestre, le fait lever, etlui apprend que dans pende 
momens, la liberty et les amis de la liberty vont 

* perir. Brun prend son parti avec ce courage tranr 
quille qui voit le danger et ne s'en ^tonne point. 
II change d'habit avec son valet, traverse les flots 

r s^itieux, qui remplissent d^j^ les rues et qui n at- 
tendent que le signal du carnage, perce ju3qu'^ 
ITidtel de ville, s'enferme dans le clocher, et sonne 
le tocsin. R^ veill^s par ce bruit terrible, les citoyens 
effray^ s'arment, sortent de leurs maisons, et vo- 
lent au secours de leur chef qui se d^fendoit dans 
la maison de ville, dont les conjures travailloient k 
enfoncer les portes. L allarme se r^pandit dans 
tons les quartiers de la ville, et Ton combattoit dans 
les t^n^bres de la nuit, sans trop connoltre son 

X 3 dangey 


^^90. danger ni ses ennemis. Les bouchers terrassme 
avec leurs grandes baches tout ce qui se pr^senti 
devant eux. Les pr&tres de la cath^iule inti 
rompbent Toffice pour courir au secours de la pat 
avec les armes qu'ils trouv^rei^t dans la sacrbt 
Bient6t la voix du bourguemestre fit connottre ai 
ci toy ens les objets de leur juste terreur. Mi 
flambeaux s'allumoient dans toutes les rues, 1 
conjur^ furent accabl^s du liaut des maisc 
d'une gr^le de pierres et de traits. Le jour pai 
enfin et d^couvrit le spectacle affreux du cama 
d'un combat nocturne. Mais les Zuriquois victoriei 
virent avec transport leurs enncmis ^tendus k lei 
pieds, le petit nombre qui restoit encore, charg6 
fers, les campagnes rempljes d'une cavaterie <j 
fuyoit avec precipitation, et le lac couvert des d^b 
des bateaux qui s'^toient bris^ dans la confu» 
de leur retraite. Les corps morts des conjur^i 
meur^rent sans sepulture, abandonn^s k la fureur 
aux insultes de la populace. Les prisonniers ne 1 
rent ^pargn^s que pour ^prouver le supplice qu 
avoicnt si bien m^rit^. Dix-sept d'entre eux furc 
exposes sur la roue devant leurs maisons ; dix-hi 
furent d^capit^s devant Thdtel de viUe. Le Coa 
de Toggeubourg avoit p^ri dans le lac. Le Bar 
de Mazingen et un Seigneur de Landenbcrg furc 
tu^s les armes k la main. Le Comte de Hal 
bourg lui-m6nie avec le Baron de Bonstctt 
^toient du nombre des prisonniers, mais an 
$pecta encore en eux la naissance qu'ils avoic 
d^shonor^e, et Ion se contenta de les garder ^troi 


Le Bouiguemestre Brun ne laissa point k re- 
fondir llndignation publique. II profita de sa 
premiere fiireur pour conduire la banni^re de Zu- 
licfa devant la ville de Rapersch w>'l dont le voisinage 
hii avoit toujouis ^t^ uicommode. l>es ZuriquoU 
hpiirent par capitulatioD, d^truisirent ses murs 
ft a citadeUe, devast^rent toutes les terres da 
Comte de Habsbourg, et obligerent tous ses sujety 
i ]gu pr^r serment de fid^lit^. 

Det sacc^ aussi rapides 61ev^rent la gloire de 
Zuiich : le people, qui passe avec tant de facility 
de la consternation a la fiert^, fut 6bloui de cette 
glcMie, pendant que son sage magistrat n'en voyoit 
(pit les perils. U savoit que le sang on Tint^r^ 
imisioient le Comte de Habsbourg k la maison 
(TAutrkiie et a toute la noblesse Heh'^que. Four 
sontenir le choc de tant d>nnemisy que Tindigna* 
tkm, la honte, et la jalousie alloient armer contre 
a patrie,. il lui cherche un nouveau rempart. La 
fin et la %'aleur des Suisses lui etoient connues; pour 
ks mt^iesser en sa iaveur, il proposa aux quatre can* 
tons de recevoir Zurich dans leur confederation 
perpetuelle. Les Suisses eurent la sage hardiesse 
de m^priser le danger actuel et de le sacrifier aux 
avantages futurs et a Tbonneur que leur promettCHt 
ane pareille alliance. lis I accept^rent sans h&iter, 
ct pour temoigner leur respect a la premiere ville 
de TH^v^ie, ils lui accord^rent cette primaut^ 
dont elle jouit encore dans la confederation. 

Le fond de cette alliance est le m£me que dans ^^psu 
ks tiait^ pr^cedens, maison s'apper^oit que les liens 
de lamiti^ se relacbent en s'etendant. An lieu d'une 

X 4 obligation 


p9i. obligation simple de marcher avec toutes scs fort 
k la premiere requisition d'un alli^, une diet 
g^n^rale doit juger de Tobjet, du p6ril, et du I 
cours qu il exige, et le canton qui a re^u les avi 
tages de ce secpurs doit fournir aux ftais de Tex] 
dition. Les allies ne se d^pouillent point du dn 
de prendre des engagemens avec les puissanc 
^trahgcres; maisilsjurentque ces engagemens n'j 
ront jamais rien de contraire k ceux qu'ils vienne 
de contracter. Les quatre cantons, attaches k Ici 
premiers noeuds, d^clarent qu'ils auront toujoura 
preference sur cette alliance plus r6cente el moi 
etroite * Elle porte cependant les caractires saa 
d'une union intime, ^gale et perpetuelle, qui d 
tingue la Confederation Helvetique de tons 1 
autres traites, tristes monumens de Tambition et < 
la perfidie de Thomme. 

Les craintes des Zuriquois n-avoient point i 
sans fondement. Le Due d'Autriche se decia 
leur ennemi ; c'etoit Albert, sumomme le be 
teux, seul fils qui restoit encore de TEmperei 
Albert. Etranger k la Suisse, qu-il ne visitoit qi 
tr^ rarement, il meconnut, aussi bien que les autr 
princes de sa maison, la force et la foiblesse de s 
etats eioignes. II temoigna son indignation < 

.Tachodi, • C'cst dans ce traitc qu'il faut chercher la premiere idee 

^Wfttte- ^^ qu'on a ensuite noram^ droit Helvetique, aaquel chaque ci 

Ue, Htif . ion et chaque individu etoit tenu k soumettre ses difierens. L 

^^^ deux partis noramoient quatre arb'tret tir^ du corps Helvcciqi 

elvMioe, Ccs juges assermentes prononfoient leur arr^t. S'ilsse trouvoic 

■^P-***- partag^ ils choisissoient un sur-arbitre qui n'avoit que le dn 

d'opter entre les deux avis. Lorsque la patrie des arbitres i 

trouvoit intereasee, on avoit la pr^aution de les dispenser du st 

neat de fideiite qu'ils lui avoieat prtti. 



lattentat que Jes Zuriquois avoient os6 qommettre j 
il r^clama hautement la personne et les droits du 
Comte de Habsbourg, son parent et son vassal^ et 
il exigea encore qu'apr^s lui avoir rendu la liberty,* 
ils expiassent, par une amende considerable, les ou- 
trages qu'il avoit spufFerts. Les Zuriquois repr6- 
scntirent vainement qu'ils avoient suivi la pre- 
mie des loix; qu'ils n'^toient coupables que 
d'avoir d^tourn^ le glaive de Tassassin ; et que le 
Comte de Habsbourg, cet assassin, leur devoit la vie 
qui! avoit m^rit^ de perdre. On leur r^pondit 
qu'il falloit choisir de la soumission ou de la guerr^. 
Ils choisirent la guerre, et se pr^parferent h la soute- 
nir. Les Suisses, leurs nouveaux allies, leur en- 
voy^rent un sccours de quinze cens hommes qui 
ne d^mentirent point la gloire de la nation. D'un 
autre cdt^, la noblesse Helv^tique, qui se prAtoit 
avec une sorte d'enthousiasme au ressentiment de 
leur due, le mit bient6t en 6tat de lever une arm^ 
nombreuse et de marcher en personne contre la 
ville de Zurich. 

Ce fiit dans cette guerre que le Due Albert as- 
si^gea deux fois cette capitale. C est ainsi du 
moms que les historiens de la nation ont design6 
des operations militaires qui ressemblent assez peu 
inos sieges. Larm^e Autrichienne s'approchoit 
de la place pour Tinvestir, ceux qui cherchoient k 
signaler leur bravoure savan^foient jusqu'aux portes 
pour d^fier les habitans au combat. Les Zuriquois, 
tranquilles sur leur foibles remparts, rioient des ef- 
forts impuissans d'un enncnii destitu6 de tout ce 
que Tart a invent^ pour les attaquer. Quelquefois 


314 iNXit09U€Tiov A l'histoiks senehale 

^^^ . irrit^ de leurs insultes ils y r^pondoient avec au- 
dace. Ils ouvroient les portes pour inviter lap- 
procbe des Autrichiens, et la pr^ venoient par des tor* 
ties fr^uentes, qui ne produisoient que des combats 
sanglans et inutiles. Le courage de cette noblesse 
iad^pendante s'animoit dans le p^ril et c^doit assei 
iacilement aux difficult^s. £Ue se d^goCitoit bien^ 
t6t d'un si^ge qui ne lui annon^oit que Tennui et 
la fatigue, se retiroit et entralnoit dans sa retraite 
le Due d'Autriche, dont les forces principales con* 
sistoient dans le service volontaire de ses vassaux, 
Ce due, trop foible pour vaincre, 6toit n^anmoins 
aasez fort pour nuire. Les habitans de cette tristf 
contr^e distinguoient Icur niarche et leur retraite 
par leurs villages enibras^s, leurs moissons enlev^ 
leufS vignes arrach^es, et par les cris des malheu- 
reux qui ^prouvoient la fureur du sbldat livr^% lui* 
m^me. Le Due All>ert avoit anient de TAutriche 
quince cens liongrois, do at la ferocity naturelle 
ignoroit ^galement les loix de la discipline et cellei 
de rhumauit^. Je ne m appcsanterai point sur te 
detail de ces horreurs qui effrayent sans instniire. 
L'objct dc riiistoire, c est 1 homme; on doit T^tudier 
jusques dans les exces qui d^slionorent sa nature; 
mais ces exc^s renouvell^s dans tons les si^cles nous 
ont d^j^ depuis longteins appris combien il est foi* 
ble et m^chant. 

Les Zuriquois souffroient beaucoup (run ^nn^ml 
qui poussoit scs ravages jusquaux pieds de leun 
murs, mais ils goCkt^rentquelquefois letriste plaisir 
d une vengeance qui ne s exer^oit k la v^rit^ que sur 
les sujets innocens d'un prince coupable en vers eux. 


I3i£ LA KEPUPUQUE DS8 S|JIS8£8t 315 

une de ces courses que fit le bourguemestre k ^^^ 
s de 1900 hommes, il briila les bains de Bade 
irasta tout le pays des environs. Chai^ da 
, il avoit repris le chemin de Zurich loraqu'U 
igea daps le d^fil6 de Tatwyl sans avoir re* 
L les hauteurs qui le dominoient ' £U$$ 
^toccup^s par les Autrichiens, qui Tattoqu^- 
lans le m^me instant de tous cAc6i avec une 
mce et u^e impetuosity qui sembloieat an* 
T et assurer la victoire. Rodolphe Bnin fit 
lans cette occasion, qu'il y a des momens de 
se et de terreur dans lesquels F^e la plus 
^st trahie par les sens. II oublia le d6p6t 
tant que lui avoit confix la patrie, et pour se 
er ^ un p^ril ipcertain il se condamna k rinfiunie 
oursuit toujours la l^het^. Les Zuriquoas» 
iiag^s par la fuite de leur chd^, se crurent 
s. lis r^toient en effet, si son Lieutenant, 
r de Mannes, n eut r^tabli Fordre et la con- 
' par un artifice lieureux. ^^ La grande ban* 
de la r^publique, s'6cria-t-il» s'avance pour 
d^gager. Notre bourguemestre nous a qu itt6 
pf^piter sa marche. Mais si vous m'en 
Ey notre salut et la gloire de cette joum^ ne 
t louvrage que de nos mains.*' Aussit6t il 
>ar tous les rangs, il donne au bataillon Zuri* 
la forme serr6e et pointue d'un coin, pousse les 
chiens, ^branl^s d'un effort aussi impr^vu, les 
ce et se fait un chemin sanglant pour sortir du 
Le combat recommen^ dans la plaine aveo 
ouvelle opiniitreti^, mais avec plus d'^galit^ 
f une circonstance heureuse seconda la valeur 



des Suisses. Une petite troupe de cent cinquante 
homnles parut tout a coup et donne sur Ic flanc d« 
Autrichiens. L'imagination troitip^e fit voir aux 
deux partis la grande arm^e de Zurich, dont cette 
troupe ne formoit que Tavant-gardc. Les Autri- 
chiens c^^rent le champ de bataille qu'ils avoient 
si bien dispute. Sept cens morts y demeurferent, 
ct les vainqueurs recueillirent soixante-cinq casque* 
couronn^s, avec les bannieres de Brenigarten, Mel- 
lingen, &c. Roger de Mannes rentra dans Zurich 
parmi les acclamations des citoyens qui apprirent 
en m6me tems son danger et sa victoire. 

^u milieu de la joie publiqne le malheureux 
bourguemestre, cach6 dans une maison de cam- 
pagne, fuyoit la lumi^re et les hommes. Mais It 
reconnoissance de ses compatriotes leur fit oublier 
une faute que les pcuples guerriers ne savent pap 
donner. Toute la bourgeoisie, assembl6e sous 
la banni^re, alia le chercher avec une compassioD 
respectueuse, et le ramena dans une • ville qull 
avoif sauv^ deux fois. On le remercia de n'avoir 
pas expos6 I'^tat en sa personne. La politique des 
Zuriquois, rempliede justice etdliumanit^ pgrdonna 
sa foiblesse k ses ser\'ices, et lui conserva Testime 
publique dont il avoit besoin pour r^parer cette 
foiblesse, et pour fetre toujours utile k la r^pub- 

Les combats les plus c61^bres sont bient^t ou- 
bli6s, ce sont de petits traits qui se confbndent 
avec mille traits semblables dans le grand tableau 
des mis^res humaines. Mais on ne doit point ou« 
blier que de la confusion de cette guerre sortirent 


ieux 6tatslibres qui furent ajout^ ^laconf<6d6ratiaii 
3elv6tique par. les victoires et par la mod^ratioii 
les Suisses. # 

Le pays de Glaris a de grands rapports avec les 
antcms de Schwitz et d'Uri, dont U n^est s6par£ 
)iie par de hautes montagnes. Le ciel et la terre 
nut les m6mes ; et Ton sait assez combien lliomme 
Bit esclave du climat. Dans le terns que la haute 
lUemagne n'^toit qu un vaste desert parsem6 d*un 
ledt nombre de bourgs et de villages^ un de ses 
bcs donna le territoire de Glaris avec tous ses serfs 

St. Fridelin, et ce moine transporta ce pr6sent 
ssez peu considerable aux religieuses de Seckin- 
sur le Rhin, dont il ^toit le directeur. Les abr 
ne firent jamais sentir a leurs nouveaux su- 
18 le poids de la servitude. Elles ue se reserve 
nut que la haute j.u$tice et des redevances assez 
lodiques. La liberty de Glaris se fonnoit entre 
!uis mains, et ses habitans ^tablirent, sous la pro- 
sctkm de Tabbaye, une r^publique populaire. 
ious avons deja vu que qes bons paysans, contens 
'mie liberty obscure, avoient obtenu de leur souve- 
nne la promesse de ne les jamais aligner, et qu au 
i6pris de ses sermens elle les c^da aux dues d'Au- 
idbCj en nommant ces princes avocats h^r^ditaires 
a protecteurs de Tabbaye dans le pays de Glarb. 
es citojens, qui pr^teroient Texil aux fers, se re- 
r^ient les uns a Zurich, les autres dansjes cantons 
Dpulaires. L'on arracha a ceux qui rest^rent 
ms le pays un serment de fid^lit^ qu'ils ne violfe- 
ait jamais, et la maison d'Autriche trou voit parmi 
IX le secours utile d*une infanterie impenetra- 


asu bk.* Cettemaisonpayaleurs services avec la reOQ 
noissance ordinaire des princes : — le m^pris, VofffH 
sion et \m injustices. Les inip6ts et les corvte 
multipli^rent L'on cnleva aux habitans le ck 
de leur premier ms^istrat qui fut remplac^ ptf 
gouverneur Stranger. Le feu qui prit au d^ 
des archives avoit d^truit un grand nombre des i 
ciens diplomes sur lesquels s^ fondoit la liberti 
Claris. Ses nouveaux mattres leur refus^rent 
permission qu'ils soUicitoient de les faire retail 
et ne cach^rent plus le dessein qu'its avoient fon 
d'^teindre jusqu'ii la m^moire de leurs anciens | 
vil^ges. Leurs voisins les Suisses, instrnito 
Tesclavage sous lequel ils g^missoient, prirent 
r^lution d'affbiblir leur ennemi, en lui enlef] 
des sujels qu'il n'^toit pas digne de gouvemer. 
entr^rent dans le pays de Claris avec des foit 
assea considerables. Les officiers du due s* 
fuirent k leur approche, le peuple vint au den 
de ses lib^rateurs, renon^a aux noeuds qu*av 
bris6 la tyrannic, et pr^ta avec transport le aenn 
de fidelity qu on exigeoit de lui au nom des qvi 
premiers cantons. Assures de leur ob^issance^ 
Suisses ne command^rcnt aux vaincus que de 
prendre leur liberty et de la m^riter. Bicnt6t 
les eievirent au rang de leurs allies par un tn 

Chm. « En 1330 le Due Othon assi^oeoit la ville de Colmar ca 

•ace« Voiei les paroles d'un histonen contemporaio : ** 

F> S9« hemuB pertrmnsiens per circuitura castronim Ducit» et fm 

niensmd aciem vironim de Glanis, vidensqoe illorum iiutnuM 
bellica, et vasa interfectionis dicta Getia, io vulgari Helnbarl 
admirans ait, O quam terribilis est aspectus istios cmict, I 
sttb intnimeiitis horribilibas et ooo modicum metucDditr 



i)ui fit de GlariH un des cantons divcorps Helv^tique. i*^ 
Oa reccmnolt cependant dans ce trait^ des concUh 
ioiis in^gales qui ne furent dict^es que par une 
oflte crainte des partisans cach^ de la maisoa 
TAutriche) et qui disparurent d^ que cette crainte 
le subsistoit plus. Les quatre cantons se r^servent 
interpretation de toutes les difficult^, et s attri- 
loent jusqu'au pouvoir de changer par kur con- 
entement unanime les articles de cette alliance. 
h d^pouillent le canton de Claris du droit de 
ncndre des engagemens avec les puissances ^tran- 
jjhcs, mais ils assujettissent ce canton k toutes les 
Uigations qu'ils trouveront k propos de contracter 
ux-ni^mes. On retrouve dans ce trait6 Texcep- 
km de tons les droits de la maison d'Autriche, et 
exception plus sincere des services que le pays 
levoit k Tabbaye de Seckingen et dont il se racheta 
nfin quelques ann6es apr^s. 

Eabardb par ce premier succ^s, les Suisses ne iS5f. 
Qi^^ent qu*^ pousser leurs avantages contre un 
nnemi qui ne savoit supporter ni la paix ni la 
;;iierre. lis s'avauf ^rent dans le territoire de Zug 
t mirent le si^ge devant cette villc, dont la situar 
ion et la force Tavoient rendue une place d armes 
r^ importante qui menafoit lafrontifere des Suisses, 
t qui ne leur laissoit qu'une communication assez 
fifficile avec leurs nouveaux allies de Zurich. . Le 
ays de Zwg est une plaine favoris^e par la nature, 
sab il n'avoit jamais connu les douceurs de la li- 
iert6. Ce patrimoine des anciens comtes de Lentz- 
ouTg, ^toit entr6 dans la maison d'Autriche avec 
^ succession des comtes de Kybourg ; et le peuple 



XM* soumis au jougTCspectoit ses princes par devoir et 
par habitude. La patience et Ic devouement qu. 
font I'h^roisme de la servitude lui tenoient lieu di 
Tamour d'une patrie qui n'existoit point pour lui. 
Rempli de cet esprit, il r^sista avec courage aux 
Suisses et supporta sans murmures tons les maux 
d uu si^ge opiniAtre. Lorsque les habitans se vi- 
rent enfin prfets k succomber aux efforts des assi^ 
geans ils leur demand^rent une tr^ve de trois joun 
pour instruire leur souverain de leur danger. Ix 
Due Albert se promenoit dans les cloitres de Ko- 
nigsfeld lorsque les d^put6s de Zug Tabord^reni. 
Au lieu de Taccueil qu'il devoit k de pareils sujets, 
il se plaisoit k leur marquer un m^pris qui ne d^ 
honoroit que lui-mSme. II ^couta leurs plaintes 
d'un air distrait, les interrompit pour donner des 
ordres k ses fauconniers, et leur dit, avec une indif- 
ference hautaine, qu'ils n avoient qu'^ se rendre, et 
qu'il sauroit bicn les rcprendre. Les citoyens de 
Zug ne profit^rent qu'^ regret des droits que leui 
prince leur avoit rendus : mais il fallut c^der k h 
n^ccssit^ et traiter avec les Suisses, qui leur pro 
posirent de signer, au lieu d'une capitulation humi* 
liante, une alliance perp^tuelle. La modc^ration dc 
cette r^publique naissante n'etoit point encore 
corronipue par le goiit des conqu^tes; 6clair^e sui 
ses vrais int^rfits, ellcpr^f(6ra lamiti^ d'un peupk 
brave et libre au triste soin de gardcy des en- 
claves; Zug deviut un nouveau canton du corpi 
Helv^tique. Les peuplcs de son territoire ^ti- 
blirent un gouvemement populaire, que Tunion da 
bourg principal tempera dun melange d^aristo 



cratie, qui laissoit dans sa constitution le germe de ^^^ 
h discorde civile. 

Jai rassembI6 les traits principaux d'une guerre 
qui fut plus d'une fbis suspendue par les n^gocia- 
tkms ct int^rrompue par les troves. Albert se voyoit 
d^uillerde ses ^tats WrWitaires par les Suisses; 
pendant que Zurich oppoioit toujours h, sa fureur 
im rempart imp^^trable. Ce prince foible et 
rnqnict traitoit avec un ennemi qu*il ne sav*oit 
trincre, Tioloit les trait^s qu'il venoit de signer, et 
acbetoit la guerre et la paix aux d^pens de sa gloire. 
ientrevois dans une de ces n6gocnations une scene 
aitez singuliire mais que les historiens ont mal 
m d^velopper. Le due d'Autriche et les Suisses 
nt pouvant pas s'accorder au sujet de leurs pr6ten- 
nons mutuelles convinrent de s'en rapporter au 
jogement des arbitres. Agn^, Reine de Hongrie, 
«ear du Due d'Autriche et fille de TEmpereur 
Albert premier, fut choisie pour decider entre sa 
frmille et une nation ennemie. Cet honneur fut 
d6fi^r6 k quarante ans de retraite et i sa r^piutation 
de saintet^ ; mais elle montra par sa conduite que 
cette saintet^ n'avoit rien de commun avec la jus- 
tice. Les int^rfets de son fr^re dict^rent la sentence 
qui Ini accorda tout ce qull avoit demands, et qui 
csigeadesZuriquois seize de leurs premiers citoyens 
pour lui r^pbndre de Tex^cution du trait6. La 
coofiance excessive des Suisses ne paroit aujourdliui 
qu*une imprudence assez ridicule, mais ce ridicule 
est celui d'un peuple qui croit k la vertu dans un 
sMe Gorrompu. lis se pr^paroient k remplir les 
OODditions dures et injustes quon leur avoit 
voi^ III. r impos^es, 


les portes, et se campa fi^rement sous les remparts i^^ 
ila vue d^un ennemi 6totin^ de son audace, qui 
n^^toit point une imprudence t^m^raire. II savoit 
que cette arm6e nombreuse cachoit dans son sein 
le priacipe de sa foiblesse et de sa destruction ; 
qu eiie 6toit sans union et sans ob^issance, et que 
ce souverain de la Chr6tient6 ne trainoit k sa 
mite tant de princes puissans que pour ^prouver h 
chaque instant leur discorde et leur indocilit6. 
L^v^neroent ne trompa pas les esp^iances de ce 
s^ mag^trat. ^Le point dlionneur, ce principe 
utile et dangereux, qui sacrifie Tint^rltt g^n6ral k 
h gloire de 1 individu, fit naitre une m^intelli* 
genoe entre les nations dHf<6rentes de Tarm^e de 
rempire, qui se disputoient Thonnenr et le dangerde 
la premiere attaq ue. Les Boh^miens demandoient k 
le sigiialer sous les yeux de leur prince ; TEv^que 
de Constance d^claroit au nom des Suabes qu'ils ne 
cideroient jamais le privilege que Cliarlemagne 
trcitSLCCOTd€ k Icurs aycux. Les Autrichiens in- 
sstoient que c'^toit a eux de venger leurs injures 
ct celles de leur souverain. L assaut ne se donna 
point et Zurich futsauv6. Les troupes des villes 
se firent de leur cot^ que des efforts assez foible. 
La vuc de T^tendard de Tempire, que le bourgue- 
i^stre avoit arboresur les murs, les fitrougir de la 
Iftche complaisance avec laquellc elles avoientsui- 
vi lesdrapeaux dune foule de princes, ennemis de 
bpibert^ et de toute viile imp^riale. Elles se reti- 
thrent nialgr6 les remon trances de I'Empereur et du 
Due d'Autriche. L'Empereur lui-m^me suivit 
bientdt leur exemple ; il reprit le chemin de la Bo- 

T 3 h^me, 


iM4^ hfeme, et laissa sans gloire une entreprise sur laquelle 
rAllemagne avoit les yeux ouverts. Le Due Al- 
bert s opinisltra encore, mais ses efforts impuis- 
sans ne servirent qu'^ redoubler sa honte. 

Charles sentit bientdt qu'il avoit d6shonor^ la 
majesty imp^riale par une d-marche assez contraire 
k ses vrais int6r6ts. Peu content de lui-mftme, il 
cherchoit k hair le Due d'Autriche, Tauteur dc sa 
faute et de son repentir. L'ancienne jalousie de 
leurs deux maisons s'aigrissoit par leurs reproches 
mutuels, et la haine ne succMe que trop facilement 
k la vaiue amiti6 des grands. UEmpereur, m^con- 
tent d'Albert, vit d'uu ceil moins s6v^re cctte oon- 
f(6d^ration ennemie de TAutriche. II s'oifiit de 
nouveau pour mMiateur avec une sinc^rit^ qui 
persuada aux Suisses de lui rendre une partie de 
leur confiance. Mais ce prince, ami timide et 
ennemi peu redoutable, m^nagea toujours le Due 
d'Autriche qu'il n'aimoit plus, et nosa jafnais 
prononcer Tarrdt clair et d^finitif quon lui deman* 
doit. Toiites ses sentences portoient le caract^re 
de la foiblesse et de lobscurit^, et la vari6t^ din- 
terpr^tations dont elles ^toient susceptibles sem- 
bloit faite pour 6temiser les n^gociations ct la 
discorde. l^s ministres Autrichiens mirentdans 
ces n^gociations toute la subtilit^ quon nomnie 
prudence dans les cours ; mais leurs arts insidieux 
se bris^rent contrc la franchise ferme et simple des 
Suisses. Je n engagerai point mon lecteur dans les 
sombres labyrinthcs d'une politique inutile; il lui 
suffira de savoir qu' Albert, accabl^ d'age et d'in- 
firmit^, quitta enfin les r^nes du gouvemement, et 



que ses deux fils Rodolplie et Leopold, qui avoient ism. 
moins de pr^jug^s k vaincre que leur p^re, con- 
durent avec les cantons une tr^ve de qnze ans qui 
fut renouvell^ plusieurs fois dans la suite. Zug 
et Gl^s y conservent leur alliance avec le corps 
Helv^tique, sans renoncer aux services qu'ils doi- 
.vent k la maison d'Autriche, et cette maison pourra 
oommer parmi les citoyens le premier magistrat du 
fiays. Ces deux r^publiques avoient bris6 leurs 
iers ; mais il leur restoit encore des noeuds qui ne 
fiirent d61i6s que par les mains de la vicloire. 

II y avoit longtems que les Bemois connois- 
floient les Suisses, et qu'ils sentoient tout le prix de 
leur amiti6, mais ce ne fut qu au milieu de cette 
guerre qu'ils recherch^rent leur alliance. Elle 
fut prepar^e par un 6v6nement qui n'annon^oit 
que la discorde. Quelques paysans, sujets des 
Bemois, se plaignirent de leurs injustices, et sollici- 
t^nt la protection de leurs voisins du canton 
d'Underwald, un appui que la g^n6rosit6 plutdt 
que la politique leur accorda assez facilement. Les 
Bemois march^rent en force pour r^duire ces 
peuples r6volt6s et les trouv^rent campus aux 
environs du lac de Brientz avec un secours assez 
considerable qu'ils avoient re^u du pays dX^nder- 
wald. Apr^s un combat opini^tre I'avantage se 
d^clara in faveur de ceux de Berne; les rebelles se 
soumirent, les Suisses se retir^rent dans leurs mon- 
tagnes, et port^rent leurs plaintes de\^nt la diette 
g^n^rale de leurs compatriotes des trois premiers 
cantons. Les Bemois pararent dans cette as- 
6embl6e. lis parl^rent en vainqveurs mais en 

T 4 vainqueurs 

^H. >*ainqiieurs qui ne cb^rchoient que la paix et la 
justice. Leur ton i(e raison et de fiuuchise d^rma 
1^ counpu^ des Suisses : '^ lis ne rougirent point 
de rappeller toutes les obligations quails leur 
^.voient, et ne refus^rent point de prendre poui 
m^iateur et pour juge un peuple dont ils connois^ 
soient T^quit^." Les esprits se rapprpcb^rent, on 
yit renaitre Tamiti^ et la confiance. Lon avoit 
cpnimenc^ par les plaintes, on faiit par une allianee 
6troite et perp^tuelle qui associa Berne k la con- 
f(6d^ration Helv6tique. Je ne rappellerai point \t$ 
conditions de ce trait^, il ne diif(6roit d^ premiers 
eugagemens des Suisses que par une circonstance 
qui f ut dict^e par T^loignement des lieux. C^est 
la solde d'un sous par jour que' les con£kl^r^ 
promettoient aux troupes de leurs alli^ dbnt ils 
demandcroient le secours. Lies Bemois ne con- 
tractent cette alliance quavec les trois premiers 
cantons, mais ces cantons devieunent un point de 
reunion qui joint les int^rSts de Berne k ceux 
de Lucerne et de Zurich ; ils s engagent les uns et 
les autres k se fournir des secours mutuels sur la 
requisition de leurs amis commuus. L ex^utiou 
de ce dernier article fut n^anmoins suspendue, et 
la banni^re de Berne suivit k regret les drapeaux 
de TEmpereur et de TAutriche jusques sous les 
murs de 2^urich. 

Lall;ance des Bemois ajouta un grand poids 4 
la confi6(kration, dont les racines profondes s^^ten* 
doient depuis le lac de Constance jus(|u*4 celui de 
Neufch4tel, et qui se trouvoit conipos^e de cinq 
communaut^ P|Opulaires et de trois villes des plus 



iid^rables de THelv^tie. Celle de Berae ^toit 
L la plus puissante des trois ; mais cette puissance 
i^e et mal-assur^e n'annon^oit qu'assez foible- 
&t $a grandeur future. £lle ne consistoit alors 
dans une bourgeoisie aguerrie plutdt que nomr 
186, dans la possession des deux petites villes 
rberg et de Lauppen, et dans les services aux- 
b les paysans de Hasli et du Bas Sibental, avec 

Seigneur le Baron d^ Weis^embourg, s'^toient 
g^ envers eux. Mais elle avoit droit de 
: esp^rer de la sagesse de ses magistrats et 
^esprit de son peuple. Uamour de la patrie 
loit au fond de tous les coeurs, et par une illu- 
1 qui fait la vertu des r^publiques le citoyen 
fondoit ses int^r&ts avec la gloire et le bien de 
it. Berne apporta dans les conseils des Suisses 

politique plus ferme, plus r^fl^chie et plus 
kir^e ; mais elle y apporta en m^me terns ses 
;eins iut^ress^s, le goiit des conquStes, et une 
Htionmoins soumise aux loix de la justice qu'A 
es de h, prudence. 

ff the passage relating to William Tell, Mr. Gibbon id the 
oal- manuscript marked an intention of introducing a Note 
rcting a Publication by M. Teophile Emanuel de Haller^ 
t son of M. Albert de Haller, which however he omitted, or 
fcted to insert. M. de Haller, the son of Teophile Emanuel,^ 
favoured me with the following account: That his father 
isbed a speech, liibich he made as orator of an assembly of 
ig patricians of Berne, called L'Etat Exterieur: an inati- 
n well calculated to prepare and bring forward in eloquence 
who from their hereditary rank might aspire to the 
ipal offices of state. In the speech, M. de Haller disputed 



the authenticity of the 8tory of William Tell, more for the 
purpose of exercising his talent for discussion, than because he 
doubted the fftct, of which so many testimonials and cha|>eU 
erected at the time on the spot, and other documents, left little 
doubt. It was usual for the speakers to embrace either side of a 
tinestion according as they thought they could best dtstingotsh 
jtheroselvea. The Canton of Uri, however, was highly offended, 
and demanded satisfaction from the Canton of Berne. M. de 
Haller absented himself from Berne for some time, and afterwards 
wrote another tract to prove the authenticity of the story ; whick 
tatitBed the Canton of Uri, and the afllair was forgotten. M. de 
Haller addt, conceming the suggestion that the story of William 
Tell was taken from the Danish history, that it is very iai* 
probable, even if such a circumstance had occurred in a veiy 
remote period in Denmark, that it should have been known in 
Switzerland at the time of TelU in IS079 when that country had 
no connexion whatever vrith distant nations. 

Mr. Coxe, in his interesting account of Switaerland, iuppotti 
the ttoiy of William Tell, but seems to admit that the circtun* 
Stance respecting the apple may be doubtful, and that it nay 
have been borrowed from the probably fabulous story of Toko, 
mentioned by Saxo Orammaticus, and said to have happened io 
965. But the most intelligent, and those best acquainted 
the affiurs of Swiuerland, and the two late and most ei 
historians of that country, Muller and Planta, seem to be io 
general satisfied of the authenticity of the story of the man who 
has been for ages universally considered throughout the cantom 
as their great deliverer from Austrian tyranny. Mr. Plants 
observes that the popular tale of the apple, which Tell was 
ordered to shoot at on the head of his infant son, is wholly 
omitted by Muller. 

The story of Toko, as related by Saxo Grammaticus, is not 
^exactly the same as that of William Tell ; and the opinion of M. 
de Haller seems well founded, that at that early period, the 
Swiss had not the slightest intercourse with, nor probably any 
knowledge of, the roost northern nations of Europe ; and as it 
was before the invention of printing, such communication of 
Danish history was still more improbable. S. 


( 331 ) , 


Walpole est fils cadet du c^l^bre ministre 
de ce nom. Sa naissance et ses talens lui ouvroient 
la route des premiers emplois ; inais il a pr6f6r6, 
aux vaines poursuites de Tambitioii, les plaisirs 
plus surs et plus doux de la soci6t6 et des lettres. 
Ses ouvrages dimagination sont marques par le 
go6t, la l^^ret^, et par le ton d'un homme de con- 
dition qui semble badiner avec les muses. Mais 
il s'est dist]Dgu6 par deux ouvrages plus conside- 
rables, et d'un genre nouveau qu'il a cr^ lui- 
m^me. Avant lui lliistoire litt^ndre, abandonn6e 
aux man(£u\Tes de la lilt^rature, n*avoit pr6«ent6 
que des nomenclatures s^ches, ou des recbercbes 
minutieuses et pu^riles. La noblesse savante de 
M. Walpole a amus^ les gens du monde, et a m6rit6 
1 attention des philosophes. Des traits int^ressans 
mais ignor^y des vues fines et nouvelles sont em- 
bellies par le plus s^duisant coloris. Les grands 
noms de Bacon, de Clarendon, et de Shaftesbury, 
y sont dignement c^l^bres, et une foule d'^crivains 
oubli^s des longtems, re^oit des mains de son his- 
torien une immortality qu elle se promettoit vaine- 
ment de ses propres travaux. A cet ouvrage M. 
Walpole en a fait succWer un second, c'est ITiis- 
toire des artistes Anglois, sujet tr^ ingrat pour tout 

• This was written by Mr. Gibbon, in the year 1768, for the 
Memoires Britanniqaes, a periodical work. 



autre que pour lui. L'Angleterre, qui adopte Hol- 
bein et Vandyck, n a jamais eu une ^cole de pein- 
ture, et les efforts qu elle fait encore annoncent ses 
voeux plut6t que ses succ^s. Un antiquaire labo- 
rieux(M. Vertue)avoit employ 6 un travail de trente 
aiis k rhistoire des arts de son pays, 1 1 ses recueilsi 
dont M- Walpole fit I'acquisition, lui inspirirent 
rid^e de les mettre en oeuvre. C est raimable 
Fontenelie qui devient Tinterpr^te du savant Van- 
dale. Aux ^loges qui conviennent 6galement aui 
deux ouvragesde notre auteur, il faut ajouter pour 
celui-ci Tamour et la connoissance des beaux arts 
qu'il a toujours aim^s et prot^g^s. Avec tant de 
mdrite, il est perniis d avoir quelques d^fauts, et 
ce sont pr^is6ment les d^iauts d'un homme d*es- 
prit que les Anglois out r^proch^ k M. Walpoki 
despeus^es trop recherch^es, un style coup^ et ^pi- 
grammatique, des auti theses un peuitrop fr^uentes. 

Ces critiques peuvcnt avoir quclquetbis raison. 
L'imagiuation (rOvide Fa trahi assez souvent. Le 
pmceau du Guide nest pas toujours correct; mais 
rhomme de gout, frappe des graces vives et tou- 
cliautcs qui brillcnt dans leurs productions, oublie 
sans peine leurs d(*tauts menus. 

Pour donner k nos lectcurs une id^e juste de la 
mani^rede cct agr^ablc ccrivain, nous lui comrou- 
ni<]uoiis en enticr la preface de sonouvrage. £Ue 
reutermc d ailleurs des reflexions ing^nieuseSi sur 
riiistoire en g^u^rcil, r^tlexions'plus int^rcssantes 
pour les Strangers, (|ue les discussions particuli^res 
sur rhistoire d'Anglctcrrc.* 

* For the prtfacc set; Mr. WalpoM original work. 

M. Wal- 


M. Walpole s'est propose un dessein digne du'n 
antiquaire curicux et d un ami de la justioe. U 
yeut justiiier llichai*d III. Roi d'Angleterre, des 
accusations aflfrcuses, dont la post6rit6 a charg6 sa 
m^oire. Des historiens, selon notre critique, 
trop cr^dules ou trop pr^venus, lui ont impute le 
meurtre de Henri VI. du jeune Prince de GaUes, 
de son propre fr^re le Due de Clarence, deses 
neveux le Roi Edouard V. et le Due d'Yorc, et 
cnfin celui de sa femme la Reine Anne. lis 
comptent encore parmi les assassinats. les ex6cn- 
tions de Hastings, de Rivers, de Yaugfaan, et de 
Grey, dans lesquels ce tyran n^gligea jusqn'aux 
apparences de la justice. Pour achever ce noir 
portrait, ib associent en sa personne toutes les dif- 
formit^ du corps avec tous les vices de Tdme. 
Shakespeare a ajout6 de nouveaux traits k ce ca«- 
nuTt^re effirayant, et les crimes de Richard, repre- 
sent^ sur nos th^^tres depuis un si^cle et demi, se 
sont ^tablis dans tous les esprits avec une autorit6 
que lliistoire seule ne leur auroit donn6. Un 
seul critique (Buck) sest €lev6 contre le senti- 
ment g^n^ral; mais son ton de pan^gyriste a r6- 
volt^ tous les esprits. M. Walpole defend la m£me 
cauM avec plus de moderation et plus d'habilet^. 

II remarque d'abord qu'il n y a que trois histo- 
riens de Richard qui puissent m^riter le nom d€ 
contemporains ; Jean Fabian, Tauteur de la Chro- 
tiique de Croyland, et le fameux Thomas More. 
Les deux premiers n'ont que le seul m^rite de 
Tfetre. Cetoient un moine et un bourgeois, I'un 
et Tautre ramassoient tous les bruits populaires sans 



examen et sans choix. Apr^s avoir t^moign^ uii 
juste m6pris pour des autorit^s aussi minces, M. 
Walpole essaye de miner celle de More. II veut 
nous faire regarder son histoire du r^gne d'Edouard 
V. comme le pendant de son Utopie, conmie U 
premiere tentative d'un jeune homme qui essayoit 
aes forc^ imitoit les historiens de Tantiquit^ dent 
il s'^toit nourri, et qui s attachoit k T^l^gance bien 
plus qvCk I'exactitude. Notre critique remarque 
que rArchev6que Morton/qui prot^gea la jeunesse 
de More, mourut lorsque celui-ci n'avoit que 
vingt ans, et qii'enfin ce pr61at ^toit int^ress^ a 
noircir le caract^ du prince malheureux que ses 
intrigues avoient perdu. 

Ces souppons sont tr^s ing^nieux ; peut-Atre k 
aontrils un peu trop. Si Ton rejette le t^mo^nage 
des auteurs parcequ'ils sont int^ress6s, et celui des 
spectateurs parcequ'ils sont peu exacts, toute lliis- 
toire deviendra un probl^me, ou plutdt un roman. 
Grafton, HoUinshed, Stowe, &c. tie sont que des 
copistes, dont chacun a cependant ajout^ quelquet 
nouveaux traits^ ceux qu'il a trouv6^ dans Toriginal. 

Nous ne suivrons point M . Walpole dans son 
examen de la pi Apart des crimes de Richard; exa- 
men qui montre avec avantage toute la vaxiM de 
ses connoissances et les ressources de son esprit. 
Des crimes imputes h Richard, les uns ^toient inu- 
tiles aux int^r^ts de son ambirion: les autres y 
^toient m^me contraires. II y en a qui sont en 
contradiction avec les dates les mieux ^blies. II 
r^ulte enfin de cet examen que nous sommes tr^ 
peu autoris^ k regarder Ricliard comme le meur- 



trier de Henry VI. du Prince de Galles, du Due dc 
Clarence, et de la Reine Anne. L'assassinat de ses 
jeunes neveux, crime plus atroce en lui-m^e, 
mieux ^tabli et suivi des cons^uences les plus 
importantes, ni6rite de nous arr6ter plus longtems. 
Dans le tableau historique de la conduite de 
Ridiard que nous allons tracer, M. Walpole, bien 
loiii de reconnoitre Tassassin, veut k peine y apper- 
cevoir Tusurpateur. 

Edouard IV. Roi d'Angleterre, mourut le 9 
April, 1483. De ses deux fils, Edouard I'ain^ 
avoit treize ans ; Richard Due d' Yore le cadet n en 
avoit que neuf. Deux partis puissans pr^tendoient 
au gouvemement du jeune roi et du royaume. 
La Beine M^re avoit joui d'un credit immense sous 
le i^^gne d'un ^poux qui lavoit tir^ de robscurit6 
poor la placer sur le tr6ne. £lle avoit profit^ de sa 
&veiir pour enrichir sa famille ; mais ce credit et 
ces richesses avoient r^volt^ Tancienne noblesse, 
qui envioit k la fois et qui m^pnsoit ces hommes 
waveaux. £lle se r^unit aupr^s de Richard Due 
de Glocester. Ce prince rus6 et ambitieux n eut 
pas beaucoup de difficult^ k tromper la Reine 
Mire. II Tengagea k cong6dier les troupes assem- 
hues pour escorter le jeune roi dans son voyage 
de Ludlow Castle k Londres, laccompagne lui- 
mtmt avec de grandes demonstrations de respect 
se rend bientdt maltre de sa personne ; et fait ar- 
rttet le Comte de Rivers et les autres parens de la 
Retne. Justement efiray^e des dangers qui la me- 
naoenty cette princesse se r^fiigie dans T^glise de 
Westminster avec son fils cadet. Mais toujours 



foible et ifr^aolue, elle renonce aux privileges qu on 
n'auroit jamais os6 violer, et les remet entre les 
mains du Protecteur ; c'est ainsi qu'il faut d^r- 
mais nommer le Due de Glocester, qui prit cc litre 
et Tad ministration de T^tat avec le consentement 
du conseil priv^. Les exteutions du Ccmte dc 
Rivers, de Vaughan, et de Grey, servirent ^ cimcn- 
ter sa nouvelle puissance, mais tout le monde fut 
6tonn^ de la mort du Lord Hastings, lami du Pro- 
tecteur, qui Tavoit as$oci6 k ses desseins. Tout 
^toit violent, subit et irr^gulier dans cettie execu- 

Jusques ici notre critique est assez content de la 
conduite de Richard. Sa naissance lut donnott un 
juste titre k la r^genci&, et Tautorisoit k employer 
les moyens les plus violens contre ceux qui vou- 
loient la lui disputer. L execution des parent de 
la reine est excus^e par la n^cessit6 et par les 
moeurs d'un si^cle barbare. Quant k celle de 
Hastings, M. Walpoie suppose avec un peu trop 
d'indulgence, que Richard nauroit jamais sacrifi^ 
le meilleur de ses amis, si cet ami perfide n avoit pas 
tram6 unc conjuration contre sa personne. 

Cette supposition me paroit des plus gratuites, 
et la mort de Hastings ne pent s*expliqucr que 
d'une mani^re peu favorable k Ricliard. Ce 
seigneur ^toit ennemi de la reine, mais it coIlsc^ 
voit un fort attachement pour les enians d^Edouard. 
II ne pouvoit se trouver en opposition avet TamlM* 
tion du Due de Glocester, que lorsque ce prince, 
peu content de la r^gence, aspiroit k la couronne. 

Les moyens dont il se servoit, selon More, pour 

y par- 


y parvenir, sont a la fois violens, inddcens et ridi- 
cules. Un pr^icateur merc^naire (le Docteur 
Shaw) avan^ dans un sermon, que par Tadult^re 
de la m^re d^Edouaid IV^. et par un premier con- 
tiat de ce prince avec Elizabeth Lucy, le Due de 
GlOoester ^toit le seul h^ritier de la maison d^orc ; 
que le Due de Buckingham harangua. les boui^ 
gcma de Londres, qu'ils le re^urent tr^ froide- 
ment; que liklessus le maire ofirit la couronne k 
lUchardy qui fit quelques difficult^ avant que de 

Tout ce r^cit porte aux yeux de M. Walpole les 
caiactibres d'un roman, et d'un roman tr^mal 
iouigm^; que Richard ait voulu fl6trir llionneur de 
sam&iCy princesse vertueuse,pour laquelle il eutdans 
la suite beaucoup d'^ards; qu'une troupe de 
booigeiMs ait donn^ la couronne d'Angleterre. 
D'aiUeurs, More ne pent ici se concilier avec les 
monumens les plus assures. Un registre du Par- 
lement, d^terr^ depuis pea, nous assure que le pre- 
mier coutrat d'Edouard ne- regardoit point Eliza- 
b^i LttcVy maitresse reconnue de ce prince; mais 
Lady Eltonore Butler d'une des premieres families 
du ioyaume. Ce m^nie titre ajoute que le Pro- 
teeteur accepta la couronne qui lui fut def6r6e par 
oue assemble des trois ordres de T^tat. Toijt se 
passa dans les regies, et ce grand ^v^nement ne 
icssemble pas nial k la revolution de 1688, qui mit 
le Prince d'Orange sur le trdne. Telle e$t du 
moins la comparaison de M. Walpole. 
. Les princes d6pos6s passent assez rapidement du 
tKVne au tbmbeau; tel aussi a ^6 le sort des en- 

vot. III. z fans 


fans d'Edooard, si nous en croyons More et la 
fbule des historiens. A leor t^moignage notre in* 
g^nieux critique oppose lea r^exions sidvantes. 
1. Dans les premiers jours de son r^gne, Bidiard 
timoignoit beaucoup d'^ards pour son neveu; 
mais de ccs ^gards qui montroient une 86vMti6 di* 
daigneuse. Un registre de la garderobe, qu^on a 
communique k M. Walpole, indique le detail do 
robes et autres omemens destin^ k Tusage du 
Seigneur Edouard, fib du feu Roi Edouard IV. 
.pour la c^r^monie du sacre de son oncle. Ce titie 
est effectivement des plus singuliers ; mais la con- 
sequence qu'on en veut tirer me parott des moins 
d£cisives. S. Le r6cit de More est peu justJeet 
pen vraisemblable. Richard confie ses inqui^todei 
k un page, qui lui recommande un certain Jacques 
Tyrell, dont Tambttion mal r^compensee le laidoit 
propre k tout. Richard goAte rid6?, appelle ce Ty* 
rell, le fait chevalier, et lenvoye k Londres pour 
assassiner ses neveux. Cependant nous savora 
d'ailleurs que ce Tyrell ^toit d6jk Chevalier et 
Grand Ecuyer du Roi. 3. Henri VII. si int6iess6 
k noircir son rival, paroit peu assur^ de ce crime. 
L acte du Parlement qui condamne le meurtre de 
Richard, lui reproche seulement et en termes 
vagues, d avoir r^pandu le sang des enfans. - On ne 
fit point d'enqudtes alors, et celles qu*on fit dans la 
suite paroissent tr^ suspectes. Get argument a 
beaucoup de poids, et Ic silence de Henri VIL et dt 
son Parlement est assur^ment tr^ difiicile k expln 
quer. 4. More lui-m£me avoue qu'on donta Umg- 
tems si cet enfans p^iirent du terns de RtchiRL 

^AR M. HOllACi: WALPOLE* 33$ 

6. La Chronique de Croyland suppose que ce^ 
jeunes princes vivoient encore lorsque Richard se 
fit sacrer de riouveau k Yoic. Le registre du Par- 
lenxent semble insinuer la m^me chose. Selon 
More oette c(6r6monie suivit I'assassinat des enfant, 
ct le peu d'exactitude de cet auteur doit affoiblir 
aon^t^moigoage. Mais la curiosity inquiete des 
lecteurs demandera toujours : ^^ Si ces enfaus n'ont 
pas 6x6 les victimes de la cruaut^ de leur oncle, 
lendes-nous compte de leur sort, que sont-ils deve- 
nusy pQurquoi ont-ils disparu ?*' &c. Toute hypo- 
thhse qui ne satisfait point k ces questions parottra 
foible etd^fectueuse. M. Walpole essaye de ga- 
rantir la sienne de cet inconvenient. Edouard V. 
a pu mourir k la Tour de mort naturelle ; sa sant^ 
£tott mauvaise et chancelante, et le chagrin ne con* 
tribue k raifermir. D'ailleurs on soupiponnoit du 
tems de More que ce jeune prince surv^cut k Ri- 
chard. Si Fusurpateur Henri le trouva vivant, le 
caract^re de ce tyran jaloux et cruel nous annonce 
assez clairement le sort du malheureux Edouard. 
Je Grains qu'on ne reproche k notrc Pyrrhonien, qui 
r6duit partout ailleurs les faits a des probl^es, de 
convertir ici ses soupfons en certitudes. Quant k 
Richard Plantagenet, le lecteur instruit pent pr6- 
voir sans difficult^ I'hypoth^se de M. Walpole. 
Pcrkin Warbeck, ce jeune pr6tendant qui ^branla 
plus d'une fois le tr6ne de Henri VII. est a ses 
yeux le vrai Due d'Yorc. Voici les principaux ti- 
tres qui ont engag^ notre savant critique k le re- 
connoitre. 1. Warbeck paroissoit tout ce que le 
Jeuae Plantagenet auroit dA 6tre. La ressemblanc^ 

2 2 avec 


avec Edouard IV. le souvenir exact de la cour An- 
gloise, &c. ; tout sembloit annoncer'en lui le vrai 
h^ritier de la maison d'Yorc. 2. II r^ussit par- 
tout k inspirer une confiance qu'un imposteur n'au- 
roit jamais obtenue. Le Roi d'Ecosse lui donna en 
manage une de ses parentes, la Duchesse de Bour- 
gogne le reconnolt pour son neveu, et soutint ses 
int^r^ts avec chaleur. Le Chevalier Guilbaime 
Stanley, qui avoit mis la couronne sur la tttc 
de Henri, aussi bien que plusieurs autres partisansde 
la Rose blanche, abandonn^rent le roi pour suivre 
le fils de leur bienfaiteur, et p6rirent sur un ^ha- 
iaud toujours convaincus qu'il Titbit. 3. Henri 
lui-m£me se conduisit k regard de Perkin (lorsqu'ii 
fut entrc ses mains) de la mani^re la plus propre k 
con firmer toutes les pretensions de ce jeune homme. 
Tout ^toit incertain, obscur, et myst^rieux dans k 
proc^de du roi, qui sembloit craindre de d^couvrir 
la v^rit^. II nosa jamdi» le confronter avec li 
Heine m^re, ses filles, et les seigneurs de la cour. 
C'^toit cependant le moyen le plus sAr et le plus 
naturcl'dcxposer Timposture; c'^toit encore celui 
que Henri lui-m<ime avoit employ^ k regard de 
Lambert Simnel dont personne n'a depuis ^pous^ 
les int^rfrts. 4. Le conte que Henri d^bita cnfin 
sous Ic nom de THistoire de Perkin Warbeck est 
pleine d'^bsurdit^s et de contradictions. M. Wal- 
pole en relive quclques unes avec beaucoup de force 
ctde vivacity. II remarque m6me que le Chance- 
lier Bacon, historien fort estim^ de Henri VII. en a 
€t^ si peu content qu'il a bien voulu inventer un 
autre qui n'est pas plus vraisemblable* Tons les 



^crivains ont cependant adopts I'id^e d'une impos- 
ture n6cessaire k la gloire de Henri, et M. Carte 
6toit le seul qui cut encore os6 s'61oigner du senti- 
ment g^n^ral. 

II est difficile de quitter M. Walpole, mais ilfaut 
le quitter. Observons spulement qu'il r^duit la 
difibrmit^ monstrueuse de Richard ^ quelques d6- 
iauts assez lingers. II 6toit petit de taille, son 
visage 6toit court, et ses ^paules un peu in^gales. 
Un dessein fort ancien que M, Walpole a fait 
graver, et le t^moignage d'un moine tri^s passionn6 
k regard de Richard, lui foumissent. ces traits 
adoucis. La vieille Comtesse de Desmond le d6- 
peignoit d'une mani^re encore pliis favorable. EUe 
se souvenoit d avoir dans6 avec lui et se rappelloit 
qu*«t son fr^re Edouard prfes, il ^toit I'homme le 
mieux fait de Tassembl^e. M. Walpole n'a donn6 
ses obser\^ations que sous le titre modeste de Doutes 
Historiques. Get aimable critique doit sentir mieux 
que personne que dans un sujet aussi obscur, la 
v6rit6, et m6me la vraisemblance, sont envelopp^es 
de milles nuages, que tout y est probl^me, doute, 
objection et r^ponse. Cest surtout aux yeux d'un 
homme de genie, instruit de Thistoire de son pays, 
que les points de vue se multiplient a Tinfini. 
Les argumens de M. Walpole nous avoient 6bloui 
sans nous convaincre. Les reflexions suivantes 
nous ont ramen6 au sentiment g^n^ral; elles 
sont de M. Hume, qui nous les a communiqu^es 
avec la permission d'en enrichir nos M^moires. 

II r^gne en g6n6ral une grande obscurity sur les 
circonstances des guerres entre les deux Roses; 

z 3 mais 


mais la narration de Thomas More jette beauoonp 
de lumi^res sur toutea les transactions du r^gne 
de Richard, et sur le meurtre des deux jeunes 
princes ses neveux. La magnanimity, la probit6, 
et le grand sens de cet auteur rendent son t6moi- 
gnage assur6; et il n'y a point d'historien ancien ou 
modeme qui doive avoir plus de poids. On peut 
aussi le regarder au juste titre commc contem- 
porain ; car quoiqu'il n'eut que cinq ans lorsque les 
deux princes furent massacres, il v^cut et fut 
€\ev€ parmi les principaux acteurs du r^gne de 
Richard ; et on voit clairement par son r^cit qui est 
souvent tr^s circonstanci^, qu'il en tenoit les par- 
ticularit^s des t^mpins oculaires eux*m£mes. On 
ne sauroit done se refuser h son autorit^, et elle 
doit emporter la balance sur cent lagers doutes, 
scrupules, et objections, car on n*a point fbnn6 
contre lui d'objection solide, eton n'a pu le con- 
vaincre encore d aucune erreur, II dit, k la v^rit^, 
que les partisans du Protecteur, et en particulier le 
Docteur Shaw, r^pandirent le bruit d'un premier 
contrat d'E^ouard IV. avec Elizabeth Lucy, tandis 
qu'il paroit par des titres qtie le Parlement d^lara 
les enfans d'Edouard ill^gitimes, sous pr6texte d*un 
premier contrat avec Lady El^onore Butler. Mais 
il taut remarquer qu on n cssaya pas seulement dc 
prouver Tun ou lautre deces contrats; et pourquoi 
les flatteurs et partisans du Protecteur n auroient- 
ils pas r^pandu tantdt un bruit, tant6t un autre? 
More les cite tous les deux, et les traite aussi 
l^g^rement qu'ils le m^ritent M. Carte trouvc 
incroyable que Richard ait engag^ le Docteur 



Shaw k caiomnier la Duchesse dTorc sa m^re, 
avec laquelle il ^toit en tr^ bonne intelligence. 
Mab si Ton trouve e0ectivement de la difficulte i 
le cioiie, pourquoi ne supposeroit-on pas que le 
Docteur Shaw ayant pris Tid^ g^n^rale de son 
aennon du Protecteur ou de ses amis, cboisit lui- 
mjftme les chefs particuliers et les choisit avec ibrt 
pen de jugement? La disgrace qu'il ^prouva 
ensuite parolt appuyer cette supposition. 

S. Si Ion refuse k More la quality de con- 
temporain relativement au protectorat du Due de 

_ ■ 

Glocester, ou ne pent la lui disputer quant k 
llmposture de Pcrkin ; il 6toit alors homme fait, 
et il avoit toutes les facilit^s n^cessaires pour 
connoltre, examiner, et se d^idcr sur la v^rit^ ; 
ainsi en nous assurant que Richard fit massacrer 
le Due d'Yorc, il nous assure, en effet, de la 
mani^re la plus claire, que Perkin qui prit son 
nom ^toit un imposteur. 

3. Un autre grand g^nie a trait^ avec soin 
ce point d'histoire; g^nie qui est regard^ avec 
justice comme un de ceux qui fait le plus dlion- 
neur k notre nation, et qui est effectivement un 
des g^nies les plus sublimes; c*est le Chancelier 
Bacon dont je veux parler. II fait au long ITiis- 
toire de Perkin Warbeck, et le traite positivement 
dlmposteur, sans t^moigner le moindre doute k 
cet ^gard. Si Ton nous objecte que Milord Bacon 
n'^toit pas con tern porain, et que nous devons 
former nos jugemens, non daprfes les mat6riaux 
que lui-mAme employa, nous r^pondrons qu'il 
parolt clairement que Bacon cemposa son histoire, 

z 4 histoire 


histoire exacte et travaill6e arec soin, sur plusieors 
papiers et titrcs qui sont maintenant perdus, et 
qu'en consequence en doit toujours le citer comme 
un 6crivain original. Suppose que l!opinion de 
M. Carte fAt fondle, il seroit bien Strange que 
parmi tons les papiers que M.- Bacon parcourut, il 
n'eut pas trouv^ la moindre raison de soup^onner 
Perkin d'etre le vrai Plantagenet. On navoit 
plus d'int^r^t alors k noircir Richard III. et 
d'ailleurs fiacon est un historien droit, qui n'est 
point partial pour Henri, puisque c'est de lui sent 
que nous tenons les d^taib du gouvemement 
tyrannique de ce prince. Tout ce que Ton pcut 
seulement lui reprocher, c'est quen tra^ant son 
caract^re, il ne la pas blam6 aussi fortement que le& 
iaits qu il rapporte paroissent Texiger. Qu'on me 
permette de remarquer en passant, conune une 
singularity, combien Thistoire Angloise doit k 
quatre grands hommes qui ont poss6d6 la premiere 
dignity de la magistrature, More, Bacon, Cla- 
rendon, et Whitlocke. 

4. Mais si Ton exige des t6moignages content- 
porains, on pent sur cet article en pr6senter des 
plus forts, et des moins suspects. La reine, son 
fils le Marquis de Dorset, homme d*un grand sens; 
le Chevalier Edouard Woodville, fr^re de la rdne; 
le Chevalier Thomas St Leger, qui avoit ^pous^ 
la soBur du roi ; le Chevalier Robert Willoughby ; 
le Chevalier Giles d'Aubeney ; le Chevalier Tho- 
mas Arundel; les Courteney; les Cheyney; les 
Talbot ; les Stanley ; et en un mot tons les par- 
tisans de la maison d'Yorc, parmi lesquels on 



omnpte les personnes les plus illustres de la natioo, 
^toient si persuades du meurtre des deux princes 
qulls Yadress^rent au Comte de Richmond, Ten- 
nemi mortel cie leur femille, et de leur parti. lb 
fimn^rent le projet de le placer sur le tr6ne ; pro- 
jet insiens^ et qui les perdoit si le prince ^tt 
vivant ; et ils promirent de lui donner en mariage 
la Princesse Elizabeth, conraie h^riti^re de la cou- 
nmotj qui n'y avoit de droit que par la mort de ses 
irferes. Y a-t-ilune seule de ces personnes qui, en 
£crivant les m^moires de son tems, n*eut assur^ que 
Richard avoit fait mourir ses neveux ? £t qu^avqns 
nous besoin de leurs 6crits? — leurs actions nous 
montient, bien plus siirement encore, leurs y6ri* 
tables sentimens. 

5. Mais nous avons une autre autorit6 contem- 
poraine plus siire encore, et d'une personne des 
plus int6ress6es k connottre la verity, c'est celle de 
Richard lui-m^me. II r^solut d'6pouser sa niice 
(alliance tr^ extraordinaire en Angleterre) pour 
unir par la son titre au sien propre. II savoit done 
que cette princesse avoit un droit r^l k la con- 
nnine ; car pour ce qui regarde sa pr^tendue ill6- 
^timit^, comme on n en donna jamais de preuves, 
et qu^on n'essaya pas m^me d'en donner, la nation 
en traita la declaration avec le plus grand m6pris, 
et sur le m^me pied que. quantity d'actes parle- 
mentaires, si fr^quens dans ce p6riode, qui ^toient 
scandaleux, et sans aucune autorit^. On ne son- 
gea m£me pas k casser cet acte lorsque Henri et 
Elizabeth furent sur le trdne. 

6. Nous devons aussi regarded comme im t^moi- 



gnage contemporain ropinion generalement re^e^ 
et dans le pays et chez l*6tranger. On ^toitti per- 
suade du meurtre des deux princes, que lonquc 
Richard notifia k la cour de France son av^nement au 
trdne, cette cour fut frapp^e d'horreur de Tabomi- 
nable parricide qu'il avoit comrois en faisant mourir 
aes neveux, ainsi que nous Tapprend Philippe de 
Comines ; et ces sentimens se manifest^rent avec 
force, puisque comme nous le dit le m6me auteur, 
la cour ne voulut pas faire la moindre r^ponse i la 
notification du niinistre. 

7. Les m^mes raisons qui persuad^rent aux con* 
temporains la v^rit^ de ce parricide subsistent en- 
core, et doivent 6tre pour, nous les preuves les 
plus claires. Ces deux jeunes princes, apr^ avoir 
disparu tout d'un coup de la Tour, ne se montr^ 
rent point ailleurs. Chacun disoit : ^^ lb n ont pas 
ichapp^ k leur oncle, puisqu'il ne fait aucune re- 
cherche ; il ne les a point fait transporter ailleurs. 
sans quoi il led^clareroit poursejustifier de 1 accu- 
sation de les avoir fait mourir. II ne s exposeroit 
pas inutiiement k rinfamie, et au danger attache 
au nom de ineurtrier, sans acqu^rir la s^urit6 qui 
est le prix de ce crime ; ils ^toient sous sa garde, 
c'cst k lui k en r^pondre ; s'il ne les repr^nte point, 
comme il a un inter^t bien clair k leur mort, Ic 
bon scn^ doit nous engager k le regarder comme 
leur mcurtrier. Son usurpation manifests, et ses 
autres actions pertides et cruelles ne nous font rien 
attendre de mieux de sa part. II ne pouvoit pas 
dire comme Cain, * Suis-je le gai*de de mes neveux ?*'' 
Ci^s raisonnemens, soiides d^ le commencement. 




prenoient de jour en jour une nouvelle force, par le 
silence soutenu de Richard, et la.profonde igno^ 
ranee oil Ton 6toit sur le s^jour de$ princes. II 
s'6coula deux ans depuis cette 6poque jusqu'^ la fin 
du r^gne du roi, et il n'aiiroit pu certainement 
mieux renverser les projets du Comte de Riche- 
mond, et justifier son propre caract^re, qu'en pro* 
duisant les princes ses neveux. 

8. Si apr^s des Evidences aussi lumineuses, il 
^toit n^cessaire de produire des preuves, qui dans 
tout autre cas paroltroient considerables et plus 
vaiides, je citerois les t^moignages de Dighton, et 
de Tyrell ; il n'est pas naturel surtout que ce der- 
nier, qui 6toit gentilhomme, se soit expos6 lui- 
m^me aux justes reproches que lui attiroit un si 
grand crime, par une imposture, qui ne parolt pas 
mfime lui avoir acquis la faveur de Henri. 

9' Le Due d' Yore ne pouvoit k I'age de neuf ans 
s'^chapper sans I'assistance de quelques personnes 
plus ag6es que lui. N'auroient-elles pas averti sur 
le champ de ce grand 6v6nement la Reine Doua- 
ri^re sa mfere, la Duchesse de Bourgogne sa tante, 
et tons ceux qui ^toient attaches k la maison 

10. Le silence total qui a r6gn6 sur ceux qui 
avoient aid^ au Due d'Yorc dans sa fuite, et sur 
le lieu de sa residence pendant neuf ans, est encore 
une preuve suffisante de Timposture de Perkin. . 

11. Le r^cit m6me de Perkin est destitu6 de 
toute vraisemblance. II dit que les assassins massa- 
cr^rent son frfere ; mais qu'ils eurent compassion de 
lui, et lui pennirent de s'enfuir. On trouve ce 
r^cit dans tous les historiens de ce tems-la. 

12. Per- 


13. Perkin fit lui-m^me une cnti^rc confession 
He son imposture, et ne la fit pas moins de trois fbis. 
La premiere lorsqu'il fut mis au carcan k la cit^ et i 
Westminster ; et la troisi^me (qui fait une preuvc 
bien complette) au pied de la potence oil il fut 
pendu. On ne trouve pas la moindre insinuation 
que ces confessions lui aycnt €t€ arrach^es par la 
torture, et lorsqu'ii fit la demi^re il n'avoit certaine- 
ment rien de plus k redouter. 

IS. Si Henri n'avoit pas 6t6 bien convaincu que 
Perkin ^toit un ridicule imposteur, d^savou6 par 
toute la nation, il ne lauroit pas laiss6 vivre une 
heure depuis qu'il Teut en son pouvoir; encore 
moins lui auroit-il pardonn6 deux fois. La ma- 
^nifere dont il traita Tinnocent Comte de Warwick, 
qui n'avoit aucun droit au tr6ne, donne bien de la 
force *i cette raison. 

14. Nous trouvons bien clairement la source 
de8 impostures de Perkin dans les intrigues de la 
Duchesse de Bourgogne. EUe avoit reconnu et 
support^ auparavant Lambert Simnel, reconnu g6- 
n6ralement pour imposteur. Nous remarquons 
que M. Carte, pour conserver le poids du t^moi- 
gnage de la duchesse en faveur de Perkin, supprime 
cnti^rement ce fait important : effet bien frappant 
des pr^jug^s de parti, et preuve de Ten vie qu avoit 
cet auteur de noircir Henri, qui n'avoit pas un 
droit h^r^ditaire a la couronne. 

15. On ne produisit jamais dans le terns m^me 
la moindre preuve que Perkin fut Richard Planta- 
genet. Richard disparut k Fage d'environ neuf ans : 
Perkin ne parut pas avant d'etre homme fait; 



quelqu'un k sa vue pouvoit-il &tre convaincu qu'il 
^toit Richard ? Perkin savoit, k la v^rit6, quelques 
anecdotes sur Tenfance de Richard et la couf 
d'Angleterre ; mais tout ce qu'un enfant de neuf ans 
pouvoit avoir retenu lui avoit 6t£ sugg6r^ fort 
ais^ment par la Duchesse de Bourgogne, Frior, se- 
cretaire de Henri, ou quiconque avoit ^t^ a la cour 
dans ce tems-1^ II est vrai que plusieurs per- 
sonnes de distinction y furent d abord tromp^es; 
mais le m6contentenient qu'inspiroit le gouveme- 
ment de Henri, et Tenthousiasme g^n^ral qu'on 
avoit pour la maison d'Yorc, rendent assez raisoa 
de cette illusion passag^re. Tons les yeux 6toient 
ouverts longtems avant le supplice de Perkin. 

16. La circonstance de la d6couverte que Ton 
dt i la Tour de deux corps morts, sous le r^gne de 
Charles II. n'est certainement point indiff(6rente. 
On les trouva dans la mfeme place ou More, Bacon, 
et d autres anciens ^crivains nous assurent que les 
deux jeunes princes furent enterr^s. Les os de 
ces cadavres etoient d'une grosseur proportionn^e 
a Tage des princes. La place secrette et irr^ulifere 
(puisquelle n'etoit pas en terre sainte) od ils furent 
enterres, prouve que ces enfans avoient €t^ assas- 
sines secrettement. Et quels enfans, except^ ceux 
qui touchent de pr^s k la couronne, pourroient 
etre exposes, dans la Tour, a une mort \nolente? 
En comparant toutes les circonstances, nous avons 
raison d'inf(6rer que ces cadavres Etoient ceux 
d'Edouard et de son fr^re, et telle fut aussi linft- 
rence qu on en tira dans le tems de la d^couVerte. 





» « 

( 353 ) 

%e following Leiier, from Mr. Gibbom, wiihoui any Ad^ 
drtu to iij vas found mih the Mamucripi of ike And- 
quities of the House of pninswick: there can belittle 
doubt of its being the Copy of a Letter to M. Langer, 
Librarian to the Ducal Library o/* Wolfenbuttel; and it 
is here inserted as relating to them. 

Mr. GiBBOK to Mr. Langer. 

Sift, Rolle, 12th October, 1790. 

I SHOULD have acknowledged sooner your kind- 
less in procuring for me the Origines Guelfitutj if 
had not been told by our obli^g bookseller, 
Jr. Pott, that you were on a journey, while I my- 
elf was confined with the longest and most 
evere fit of the gout that I ever experienced. But 
re sue now, both of us, restored to our ordinary 
tftte; I can walk, and you no longer travel post. 

suppose by this time you are thoroughly es* 
ablished, and deeply immured in your immense 
ibrary. Your curiosity, perhaps your friendship, 
rill desire to know what have been mv amuse- 
cents, labours, and projects, during the two years 
hat have elapsed since the last publication of my 
^eat work. To indiscreet questions on this sub- 
ect, with which I am often teased, I answer 
aguely or peevishly ; but from you I would keep 
tothing concealed ; and to imitate the frankness 
a which you so much delight, will freely confess, 
hat I more readily trust you with my secret, be- 
ause I greatly need your assistance. After re- 
uming from England, the first months were spent 
Q the enjo^nent of my liberty and my librarj' ; 

VOL. 111. A A and 


and you will not be surprised that I should have 
renewed my familiar acquaintance with the Greek 
authors, and vowxd to consecrate to them daily a 
portion of my leisure. I pass over in silence the 
sad hours employed in the care of my friend, and 
in lamentation for his loss. When the agitation of 
my mind abated, I endeavoured to find out for my- 
self some occupation more interesting and more in- 
vigorating than mei*e reading can afford. Butthe re- 
membranceofa servitude of twenty years frightened 
me from again engaging in a long undertaking, 
which I might probably never finish. It would 
be better, I thought, to select from the historical 
monuments of all ages, and all nations, such sub- 
jects as might be treated separately, both agreeably 
to their owu nature, as well as to my taste. When 
these little works, which might be entitled Histo- 
rical Excursions, amounted to a volume, I would 
offer it to the public; and the present might be 
repeated, until either the public or myself were 
tired; for as each volume would be complete in it- 
self, no contiti nation woivld be requisite; and in- 
stead of being obliged to follow, like the stage 
coach, the high road, I would expatiate at large in 
the field of histor}', stopping to admire every beau- 
tiful prospect that opened to my view. One in- 
convenience, indeed, attends this design. An im- 
portant subject grows and expands with the labour 
bestowed on it. I might thus be carried beyond 
my prescribed bounds; but I should be carried 
gently, without foresight and without constraint. 
This suspicion was justified in my first excur- 



sioD, the subject of which will explain ihe reason 
why I was so earnest to procure the Origines 
Gue^cm. In my History, I had given an account 
of two illustrious marriages; the first, of the soil 
of Azo, Marquis of Est^ with the daughter of 
Bobert Guiscard; and the secmid, of a Princess of 
Bninswick with the Greek Emperor. The firrt 
view of the antiqui^ and grandeur of the House 
of Brunswick excited my curiosity, and made me 
think that the two nations, whidi I esteem the 
most, might be entertained by die history of a &• 
mily, which sprung from the one, and reigns over 
the other. But my researches showed me not 
only the beauty, but the extent and difficulty of 
my sutgecL Muratori and Leibnitz have suffici*. 
ently explained the origin of the Marquisses of 
Liguria, and perhaps of Tuscany: I am well ac- 
quainted with the history and monuments of Italy, 
during the middle ages; and I am not dissatisfied 
with what J have already written concerning that 
brmch of the family of Este, which continued to 
reside in its hereditary possessions. I am not un- 
acquainted with the ancient Guelphs, nor incapa- 
ble of giving an account of the power and down- 
fidl of their heirs, the Dukes of Bavaria and Saxony. 
The succession, of the House of Bninswick to the 
Crown of Great Britain will doubtless form the 
most interesting part of my narrative; but the 
authors on this subject are in English; and it 
would be unpardonable in a Briton not to have 
studied the modem history and present eonstitu- 
ti<m of hb QQipntry. But there is an interval of 

A A 2 four 


four hundred and fifty years between the first 
Duke of Brunswick and the first Elector of that 
family; and the design of my work compels me to 
follow in obscurity a rough and narrow path; 
where, by the division and subdivision of so many 
branches and so many territories, I shall be in- 
volved in the mazes of a genealogical labyrinth. 
The events, which are destitute of connection as 
well as of splendour, are confined to a single pro- 
vince of Germany ; and I must have reached near 
the end of the period, before my subject will Ixj 
enlivened by the reformation of religion, the war 
of thirty years, and the new power acquired by 
the Electorate. As it is my purpose, rather to 
sketch memoirs than to write history, my narrative 
must proceed with rapidity ; and contain rather re- 
sults than facts — rather reflexions than details ; but 
you are aware how much particular knowledge is 
requisite for this general description, the author of 
which ought to be far more leanied than his work. 
Unfortunately, this author resides at the distance 
of two hundred leao:ues from Saxonv; he knows 
not the language, and has never made the history 
of Ciennany his particular study. Thus remote 
from the sources of infonnation, he can think of 
only one channel by which they may l>e made to 
flow into his librarj-; which is, by finding in the 
country itself an accurate correspondent, an en- 
lightened guide, in one word, an oracle, whom he 
may consult in every difficulty. Your learning 
and character, as well as your abilities and situa- 
tion, singularly qualify you for gratifying my 



wishes ; and should you point out to me a substi- 
tute equally well qualified with yourself, yet I 
could not have equal confidence in the assistance 
of a person unknown to me. I would tease you 
with questions, and new questions would often be 
suggested by your answers; I would request you 
to ransack your vast library, and to supply me 
with books, extracts, translations, and information 
of every kind, conducive to my undertaking. But 
I know not how far you are inclined to sacrifice 
your leisure and your favourite studies to a labori- 
ous correspondence, which promises neither fame 
nor pleasure. I flatter myself, you would do some- 
thing to oblige me; you would do more for the 
honour of the family with which you are connect- 
ed by J'our employment. But what title have I to 
suppose that any work of mine can contribute to 
its honour? I expect. Sir, your answer; and re- 
quest that it may be speedy and frank. Should 
you condescend to assist my labours, I will imme- 
diately send you some interrogatories. Your re- 
fusal, on the other hand, will make me lay aside 
the design, or at least oblige me to give it a new 
form. I venture, at the same time, to entreat that 
the subject of this letter may remain a profound 
secret. An indiscreet word would be repeated by 
an hundred mouths; and I should have the un- 
easiness of seeing in the foreign journals, and soon 
afterwards in the English newspapers, an account, 
and that, perhaps, an unfaithful one, of my lite- 
rary projects, the secret of which I entrust to you 

A A 3 ANTI- 




CHAP. I. SECT. 1. 

As English subject may be prompted, by a just 
and liberal curiosity, to investigate the ori^ and 
story of the House of Brunswick, which, after an 
alliance with' the daughters of our kings, has been 
called by the voice of a free people to the legal 
inheritance of the crown. From George the First 
and his father, the first Elector of Hanover, we 
ascend, in a clear and regular series, to the first ' 
Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburgh, who re- 
ceived his investiture from Frederick the Second, 
about the middle of the thirteenth century. If 
these ample possessions had been the gift of the 
Emperor to some adventurous soldier, to some 
faithful client, we might be content with the an- 
tiquity and lustre of a noble race, which had been 
enrolled neaily six hundred years among the 
Princes of Germany. But our ideas are raised, 
and our prospect is opened^ by the discovery, that 
the first Duke of Brunswick was rather degraded 
than adorned by his new title, since it imposed the 
duties of feudal service on the free and patrimonial 

A A 4 estate^ 


estate, which alone has been saved in the ship- 
wreck of the more splendid fortunes of his House. 
His ancestors had been invested with the powerful 
duchies of Bavaria and Saxony, which extended 
far beyond their Umits in modem geography : from 
the Baltic Sea to the confines of Rome they were 
obeyed, or respected, or feared ; and in the quarrel 
of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the former appel- 
lation was derived from the name of their progeni- 
tors in the female line. But the genuine masculine 
descent of the Princes of Brunswick must be ex- 
plored beyond the Alps : the venerable tree, which 
has since overshadowed Germany and Britain, was 
planted in the Italian soil. As far as our sight can 
reach, we discern the first founders of the race in 
the Marquisses of Este, of Liguria, and perhaps of 
Tuscany. In the eleventh century, the primitive 
stem was divided into two branches; the elder 
migrated to the banks of the Danube and the 
Elbe; the younger more humbly adhered to the 
neighbourhood of the Adriatic: the dukes of 
Brunswick, and the kings of Great Britain, are the 
descendants of the first ; the dukes of Ferrara and 
Modena were the offspring of the second. 

This short review may explain and justify the 
threefold division of these Memoirs, which appro- 
priates a separate lK>ok to — I. The Italian De- 
scent; II. The German Reigx; and III. The 
British Succession of the House of Brunswick. 
Tlie obscure interval, from the first duke to the 
first elector, Mill be connected on either side with 
the more splendid scenes of their ancient and mo- 
deru history. The comparative date and diguitv 



of their pedigree will be fixed by a fair parallel 
with the most illustrious families of Europe. Even 
thw? flowers of fiction, so profusely scattered over 
the cradle of the princes of Este, disclose a remote 
and decreasing light, which is finally lost in the 
darkness of the fabulous age. But it will be pru- 
dent, before we listen to the rude or refined tales 
of invention, to erect a strong and substantial edi- 
fice of truth on the learned labours of Leibnitz and 

The genius and studies of Leibnitz have ranked 
his name with the first philosophic names of his 
age and country; but his reputation, perhaps, 
would be more pure and permanent, if he had not 
ambitiously grasped the whole circle of human 
science. As a theologian, he successively con- 
tended with the sceptics, who believe too little, 
and with the papists, who believe too much, and 
with the heretics, who believe otherwise than is 
inculcated by the Lutheran confession of Augs- 
burgh. Yet the philosopher betmyed his love of 
union and toleration : his faith in Revelation was 
accused, while he proved the Trinity by the prin- 
ciples of logic ; and in the defence of the attributes 
and providence of the Deity, he was suspected of 
a secret correspondence with his adversary Bayle. 
The metaphysician expatiated in the fields of air : 
his pre-established harmony of the soul and body 
might have provoked the jealousy of Plato ; and 
liis optimism, the best of all possible worlds, seems 
an idea too vast for a mortal mind. He was a phy- 
Micianj in the large and genuine sense of the word : 
like his brethren, he amused himself with creating 

a globe; 

362 aktiquities of tbz 

a globe; and his Protogaaj or Primitive Earth, 
has not been useless to the last hypothesis of Bu&n, 
which prefers the agency of fire to that of watt*. 
I am not worthy to praise the mathematician : but 
his name is mingled in all the problems and disco* 
veries of the times ; the masters of the art were his 
rivals or disciples : and if he borrowed fix>ni Sir 
Isaac Newton the sublime method of fluxions, 
Leibnitz was at least the Prometheus who imparted 
to mankind the sacred fire which he had stolen 
from the gods. His curiosity extended to every 
branch of chemistry^ mechanics, and the arts; and 
the thirst of knowledge was always accompanied 
with the spirit of improvement. The vigour of 
his youth had been exercised in the schook of 
jurisprudence; and while he taught, he aspired to 
reform, the laws of nature and nations, of Rome 
and Germany. The annals of Brunswick, of the 
empire, of the ancient and modem world, were 
present tb the mind of the historian; and he could 
turn from the solution of a problem, to the dusty 
parchments and barbarous style of the records of 
the middle age. His genius was more nobly di- 
rected to investigate the origin of languages and 
nations ; nor could he assume the character of a 
grammarian^ without forming the project of an 
universal idiom and alphabet These various studies 
were often interrupted by die Occasional politics 
of the times ; and his pen was always ready in the 
cause of the princes and patrons to whose service 
he was attached : many hours were consumed in a 
learned correspondence with all Europe: and the 
|>hilosopher amused bis leisure m the cooEiposition 


of French and Latin poetry. Such an example 
may display the extent and powers of the human 
understanding, but even his powers were dissi* 
pated by the multiplicity of his pursuits. He at- 
tempted more than he could finish; he designed 
more than- he could execute : his imagination was 
too easily satisfied with a bold and rapid glance on 
the subject which he was impatient to leave f and 
Leibnitz may be compared to those heroes, whose 
empire has been lost in the ambition of universal 

When he was about thirty years of age, (li576,) 
the merit of Leibnitz was discovered and adopted 
by the dukes of Hanover, at whose court he spent 
the last forty years of his life, in free and honour- 
able service. In this station he soon became the 
author, or at least the architect of a monument, 
which they were ambitious of raising to the glory 
of their name. With the view of preparing the 
most authentic documents for the History of the 
House of Brunswick, he travelled over the pro- 
vinces of Germany and Italy, their ancient seats. 
In this learned pilgrimage, he consulted the living 
and the dead, explored the libraries, the archives, 
the monasteries, and even the tombs, and diligently 
collected or copied the books, the manuscripts, and 
the charters of every age. As the curiosity of the 
historian had not been limited to the proper bounds 
of his subject, the various treasures which he had 
imported were published in several volumes, with 
as much speed aiid care as the multitude of his 
avocations would allow; and it may be deemed 




either a praise or a reproach, that the raw mate- 
rials are often less valuable tlian the observations 
and prefaces of the editor himself. In the year 
1695, the nuptials of the Prince of Modena with a 
Princess of Hanover engaged him to dispel the 
errors and fables of preceding genealogists, and to 
restore the true connection of the kindred branches, 
whidi were thus united, after a separation of more 
than six hundred years. This occasional pamphlet 
was designed as the prelude of the great Latin 
work which he meditated on the Brunswick anti- 
quities. With a genius accustomed to draw lines of 
communication between the most distant sciences, 
he traced, in his Introduction, the revolutions of 
the country and its inhabitants^ of the country, from 
the natural remains of fossils and petrifactions ; of 
the inhabitants, from the national vestiges of lan- 
guage and manners. The story of a province and 
of a family swelled, in his capacious mind, into the 
annals of the western empire : the origins of the 
Guelphs of Bavaria, and the Marquisses of £ste, 
would have been interwoven in their proper place; 
and the narrative would have been deduced from 
the reign of Charlemagne (A. D. 769,) to the last 
emperor of the Saxon line (1025.) But the term 
of an antediluvian life would have been scarcelv 
adeciuate to the labours and projects of Leibnitz: 
the imperfect manuscript of his annals was buried 
in the library of Hanover; and the impression^ 
though long since promised, is still refused to the 
curiosity of the public. But the ideas and papers 
of that great man were freely communicated to his 


MOUSE OF BRuyswiCK. 365 

disciple and successor Eccard, and the researches 
niore particularly belongmg to the house of Bruns- 
wick have formed the basis of the Origines GiM- 
ficiE^ which were compiled bv the industrious his- 
toriographer. The rashness of Eccard, who changed 
his service and religion, condemned his work, till 
tiwy and malevolence had subsided, to a long ob- 
livion ; nor was it till many years after his decease 
that the Orig'mes GuelfioB were printed in five 
volumes in folio, by the care of the Electoral libra- 
rians. The hands of the several workmen are ap- 
parent ; the bold and original spirit of Leibnitz, 
the crude erudition and hasty conjectures of Ec- 
card, the useful annotations of G ruber, and the 
critical disquisitions of Scheid, the principal editor 
of this genealogical history. 

In the construction of this domestic monument, 
Ae Elector of Hanover, ten years after the return 
of Leibnitz, had dispatched a second missionary 
(1700) to search the archives of his Italian kins- 
men. Their archives were in the most deplorable 
state : but the princes of Este were awakened by 
shame and vanit}', and their subject Muratori was 
recalled from Milan, to reform and govern the du- 
cal librarv of ^lodena. The name of Muratori will 
be for ever connected with the literature of his 
country : above sixt\- years of his peacefiil life 
were consumed in the exercises of study and devo- 
tion; his numerous writings on the subjects of his- 
tory, antiquities, religion, morals, and criticism, 
are impressed with sense and knowledge, with 
moderation and candour: he moved in the narrow 



■ - 1 


circle of an Italian priest ; but a desire of freedom, 
a ray of philosophic light sometimes breaks through 
hp own prejudices and those of his readers. In the 
cause of his prince, he was permitted, and even 
encouraged, to explore the foundations, and to 
circumscribe the limits, of the temporal power of 
the bishops of Rome : and his victorious argu- 
ments in the dispute for Commachio accustomed 
the slave to an erect posture and a bolder step. 
One of his antagonists, the learned Fontanini, had 
been provoked, in the heat of controversy, to cast 
some reflections on the family of £ste, as if they 
had been no more than simple citizens of Padua, 
who, in the thirteenth century, were invested by 
the popes with the title and ofiice of Marquis of 
of Anconia. Truth and honour required an an- 
swer to this invidious charge ; and the 6rmest an- 
swer was a simple and genuine exposition of facts. 
The courts of Brunswick and Modena were joined 
in the same family interest ; and their trusty libra- 
rians, Leibnitz and Muratori, corresponded with 
the confidence of allies and the emulation of rivals. 
But the speed of the German was outstripped in 
the race by the perseverance of the Italian : if the 
conjectures of Muratori were less splendid, his dis- 
coveries were more sure ; and he could examine, 
with the leisure of a native, the monuments and 
records which his associate had formerly viewed 
with the haste of a traveller. After a diligent io- 
quir}' of three years, both at home and abroad, be 
gave to the world the first volume of the Anikhiii 
Esten^Cy a model of genealogical criticism ; and in 



tiie second volume, 'which was delayed above 
twenty years, he continires the descent and series 
to his own times. The more strenuous labours of 
his life were devoted to the general and particular 
histwy of Italy. His Antiquities, both in the vul- 
gar and the Latin tongue, exhibit a curious picture of' 
the laws and manners of the middle age; and a 
correct text is justified by a copious Appendix of 
andientic documents. His Annals are a faithful 
abstract oi the twenty-eight folio volumes of origi- 
aal historians ; and whatsoever faults may be no- 
ticed in this great collection, our censure is dis^ 
armed by the remark, that it was undertaken and 
finished by a single man. Muratori will not aspire 
to die Ame of historical genius : his modesty majf^ 
I be content with the solid, though humble praise 
of an impartial critic and indefatigable compiler. 

With such guides, with the materials which they 
have provided, and with some experience of the 
iray, I shall boldly descend into the darkness of 
the middle age ; and while I assume the liberty 
of judgment, I shall not be unmindful of the du- 
ties of gratitude. 

An old charter of the reign of Charlemagne and 
the b^^ning of the ninth century, has casually 
preserved the memory of Boniface the Bavarian; 
the count or governor of Lucca, the father of the 
marquisses of Tuscany, and the first probable an- 
cestor of the house of Este and Brunswick. His 
name and country, his title and province, I shall 
separately consider : and these considerations will 



explain the state of Italy in his time, and that of 
his immediate descendants. 

]. In the origin of human speech, a method 
must have been wanted, and sought, and found, o( 
discriminating the several individuals of the same 
tribe, who were mingled in the daily offices, even 
of savage life. In every language the invention of 
proper and personal names must be at least as an- 
cient as the use of appellative words. The truth 
of this remark is attested by the ancient continent 
fiDm India to Spain, from the lakes of Canada to 
the hills of Chili, the same distinctions were fami- 
liar to the inhabitants of the New World; and our 
navigators who have recently explored the islands 
of the South Sea, add their testimony to tHfe gene- 
ral practice of mankind. As soon as a new-bom 
infant has enjoyed some days, and begins to pro- 
mise some years of life, he is distinguished as a 
social being from his present and future compa- 
nions : the friends of the familv are convened to 
congratulate the parents and to welcome the stran- 
ger ; and the festival has l>een usually connected 
with some religious ceremony ; the sacrifices of the 
Greeks, Romans, and barbarians; the circumci- 
sion of the Jews, and the baptism of the Christians. 
Tlie primitive choice of every word must have liad 
a cause and a meaning: each name was derived 
from 3ome accident or allusion, or quality of the 
mind or body ; and the titles of the savage chiefs 
announced their wisdom in council, or their \'alour 
in the field. Such in tlie book of nature and anti- 
quity are the heroes of Homer; and the happy 



flexibility of the Greek tongue can express in har- 
monious sounds all possible combinations of ideas 
and sentiments. But in the lapse of ages and 
idioms, the true signification was lost or misap- 
pli^ : the qualities of a man were blindly trans- 
ferred to a child, and chance or custom were the 
only motives tliat could direct this arbitrary impo- 
sition. The Christians of the Roman empire were 
a mixture of Jews, of Greeks, and of Latin pro- 
vincials: their profane names were sanctified by 
baptism ; those of the Bible were respectable and 
familiar; and the casual affinity with an apostle or 
martyr might encourage the pious youth to imitate 
his virtues. But in the three centuries which pre- 
ceded the reign of Charlemagne, the western 
world was overwhelmed by a <leluge of German 
conquerors. After their conversion to Christianity, 
they long adhered, from pride or habit, to the 
idiom of their fathers ; and their Teutonic appella- 
tions, with a softer accent and a Latin termination, 
were almost exclusively used in the baptism of 
princes and nobles. Till the tenth or twelfth cen- 
tury, the Old was abandoned to the Jews, and the 
New Testament to the people and clergy-. Adam 
and David, Peter and Paul, John and James, 
George and Francis, were neglected as unknown, 
or despised as plebeian ; and Boniface is the only ' 
name of ecclesiastical origin which the chiefs of 
barbaric race condescended to assume. This ho- 
nourable exception may be justly ascribed to the 
fame and merit of St. Boniface the First, archbi- 
shop of Mentz or Mayence, the missionary of 
VOL. III. B B Rome, 


Rome, the reformer of France, and the apostle of 
Germany, who lost his life in preaching the Gos- 
pel to the Frisians. He was born in England, 
and in his own baptism he had been styled Winlrid : 
but with the episcopal character the Saxon re- 
ceived the more Christian appellation of Boniface, 
which had been illustrated by a martjT and a pope. 
Of the Hessians, Thuringians, and Bavarians, 
whom he reclaimed from idolatry, many were am- 
bitious even of a nominal conformity with their 
patron : and from his age and country, the count 
of Lucca might be one of the fortunate infants 
who were baptized by the apostle of Bavaria. 

2. The Christian priests who subdued the con- 
querors of the West, had inculcated the duty of 
damning their idolatrous ancestors, and persecuting 
their dissenting subjects. But the toleration which 
they denied to religious prejudice, was freely ex- 
tended to the institutions of civil or barbaric life. 
The Romans of Italy, the great body of the clerg)' 
and people, were still directed by the codes of 
Theodosius and Justinian. The laws of the Lbm- 
bards were promulgated for their own use ; after 
the fall of their kingdom, they still preserved their 
national jurisprudence ; and the victorious Franks 
enjoyed the benefit without imposing the obliga- 
tion of the Salic and Ripuarian codes. The three 
great nations who successively reigpied in Italy, 
were every where mingled, and every where sepa- 
rate. A similar indulgence was granted to the 
smaller colonies of Goths, Alemanni, or Bacari- 
MM ; and so perfect was the practice of civil tole- 


atton, that every freeman, according to his birth 
»r choice; mi^t embrace the law by which he 
itmself and his family would be tried. In the acts 
Rrhich have escaped to our times, Count Boniface 
ind his descendants profess to hve according to the 
lation and law of the Bavarians : but this profes- 
km rather defines the origin of his blood, than the 
>Iace of his nativity ; and it is possible that some 
Ipenerations of his ancestors might have already felt 
he milder influence of climate and religion. The 
lame of the Bavarians first rises into notice amidst 
he dying agenies of the Western Empire : but 
he tribe or troop of adventurers which assumed 
liat name, soon swelled to a powerful kingdom, 
ind covered the province of NorictRn from the 
Danube to the Alps. The vicinity of Italy pro- 
roked their desires ; the alliance of the Lombards 
mcouraged their hopes : they joined the standard 
>f the invader ; and on the confines of Modena and 
Tuscany the memory of their ancient settlement is 
not totally extinct. If we compare, howe%^er, the 
nnallness of the colony with the numbers of the 
nation, it may seem more probable that Count 
Boniface was bom in Bavaria, perhaps of noble 
ind idolatrous parents ; and that his services were 
rewarded by Charlemagne with the government of 
in Italian province. The eye of the vigilant and 
sagacious emperor pervaded the vast extent of his 
dominions; and the merit, of every subject, in 
whatsoe\xr country or condition he had been cast, 
was assigned to the station most beneficial for 
himself and the state. While the kingdoms of the 

BBS West 


West obeyed the same sceptre, a native Frank 
might command on the banks of the Tyber ; the 
frontiers of Britanny were guarded by a loyal Lom- 
bard, and the Saxon proselyte would signalize his 
new zeal for Christianity against the Saracens of 
Spain. Charlemagne affected to consider all his 
subjects with the impartial Ibve of a father : but 
he was not unwilling to transplant a powerful 
chief into a foreign soil, and he cherished a secret 
preference of the men and the nations whose sole 
dependence was on the royal favour. The Franks 
were jealoui of the elevation of an equal; the 
Lombards might not easily forgive the triumph of 
a conqueror; but the Alemanni and Bavarians, 
who had been long oppressed, were devoted, by 
loyalty and gratitude, to the service of their be- 

3. I am ignorant of the parents of Boniface the 
Bavarian ; of his character and actioBs I am like- 
wise ignorant. But his official title describes him 
as one of the principal ministers and nobles of the 
kingdom of Italy. The Latin appellations of dukes 
and counts were transferred with the latitude of 
foreign words to the judges and leaders of the 
Barbarians : these differen^t titles were applied to 
the same person or station : they varied according 
to the fashion of the age and country ; and it was 
not till after the ninth century that the dukes, 
assuming a clear pre-eminence of dignity and 
power, stood foremost on the steps of the throne. 
In the vulgar and legal idiom, the temporal peers 
{I anticipate the expression of more recent times) 

• were 


were styled princes, and in their families the kings 
and emt>erors of the West might solicit a wife, or 
bestow a daughter, without degiading the majesty 
of their rank. It was at once their privilege and 
their duty to attend the national council; -nor 
could any law acquire validity or eWcct without 
the consent and authority of these powerful nobles. 
In their respective districts of ample or narrow 
limits, each duke or count was invested with the 
plenitude of civil and military power, and this 
uilion of characters must be ascribed rather to the 
imperfection of the ^rts than tx) the t^ents of the 
me9. Tbey presided in open courts of justice, 
and determined all criminal and civil causes, with 
the advice of their plebeian assessors, their scabini^ 
who were somewhat less illiterate than the judge 
himself. At the royal summons they feared their 
standard, assembled their freemen and vassals, and 
marched at their head on every occasion of danger 
and honour. Such taxes as could be levied on a 
rude and independent people were shared between 
the supreme and subordinate chief, and there 
exists an agreement by which a Lombard duke 
was permitted to reserve a moiety of the revenue 
for his public and private use. The prerogative of 
appointing and recalling these provincial magis- 
trates was esteemed a sufficient pledge of their 
obedience ; and the servants of Charlemagne might 
obey without reluctance the first of mankind. But 
the memory of a favour was lost in the grant of an 
office ; and the grant of an office was insensibly 
consolidated into the right of a freehold possession. 

B B 3 Tbg 


The counts and dukes were amenable to the cir 
cuits of the missi, or royal inquisitors : but the} 
were more able to maintain, than willing to suffer 
an 4Ct of injustice ; and it was gradually admittec 
^s a constitutional maxim, that they could not \h 
deprived of their dignity without a charge, a trial 
and a conviction of felony. The founder of th^ 
Western Empire m\ght sometimes reward the soi 
by the gift or the reversion of his father s province 
a dangerous reward, which was often extorter 
from the fears, rather than from the bounty of sue 
ceeding princes. They could not despoil the legi 
timate heir of his lands, his followers, and his po 
pular name, and it was deemed more prudent U 
secure the public peace by the indulgence of hi 
priv-ate ambition. 

4. The province entrusted to the vigilance o 
Count Boniface is one of the most fertile and foi 
tunate spots of Italy. It is bounded by the river 
Magra and Amo, by the sea and the Apennine 
and in the old days of independence, this tract o 
country had been the debateable land between tb 
Ligurians and Etruscans, till it vras finally annexes 
by Augustus to the region of Etruria. The hat 
hour of Luni is capable of sheltering the navies o 
Europe; the circumjacent hills of Carara hav» 
supplied an inexhaustible store of white marble fc 
the noblest works of sculpture and architectuR 
and Lucca itself is situate almost on the banks o 
the Ausar and Serchio, a river which, flowing tei 
miles farther to the south, is finally lost under A 
walls of Pisa, in the waters of the Amo. In tb 



best age of the common wealth, the sixth century 
of Rome, an allotment of sixty thousand acres was 
divided among two thousand citizens, who were 
soon associated with the ancient natives : but the 
colony of Lucca finally preferred the title and pri- 
vileges of a municipal town. After suffering some 
injury from the barbaric storm, Lucca appears to 
revive and flourish under the Lombards, as the seat 
of a royal mint, ^d the metropolis of the whole 
provmce of Tuscany. The republic, less exten- 
sive, as it should seem, than the command of Bo- 
niface, now contains one hundred and twenty 
thousand inhabitants, who are enriched by the ex- 
portation of oil and silk. But their riches are the 
fruits of industry, and their industry is guarded by 
liberty and peace. I am inclined to believe, that 
this small and happy community is more wealthy 
and populous than was formerly the Tuscany of 
Charlemagne ; and even in its decay the state of 
Tuscany still possesses more inhabitants and more 
treasure, than could have been found in the disor- 
derly and desolate kingdom of the Lombards. 

From the interposition of Ildenrand, Count of 
Lucca, it may be suspected that at the time of his 
Other's decease, Boniface the Second had not ac- 
quired sufficient strength and maturity for the va- 
cant office : but these friends, or rivals, who had 
exercised the government of Lucca, were soon su- 
.perseded by the establishment of the lawful heir ; 
and the youth approved himself worthy of his 
name and honours. The example and impunity 
of treason could never tempt his loyalty; and 

B B 4 while 


while the empire of Lewis the Pious was relaxed 
by weakness, or agitated by discord, Boniface as- 
serted the glory of the French and the Christian 
arms. He had been entrusted with the defence of 
the maritime coast and the isle of Corsica against 
the Mahometans of Africa, and his right to com- 
mand the service of the neighbouring counts may 
entitle him to the appellation of Duke or Marquis 
of Tuscany, which was assumed by his descen- 
dants. With a small fleet he sailed from Pisa, in 
search of the robbers of the sea ; they had va- 
nished on his approach: he cast anchor on the 
friendly shores of Corsica, and after providing 
himself with expert pilots, he steered his intrepid 
course for Africa,, and boldly landed on the coast 
between Carthage and Utica. The Aglabites, who 
reigned in Africa as the nominal vicegerents of the 
caliphs, were astonished and provoked by the in- 
solence of the Christians, whose valour had been 
hitherto confined to a defensive war. Their camp 
was immediately surrounded by a formidable host 
of Arabs and Moors : five times did thev mount to 
the assault: they were repulsed five times with 
slaughter and shame. The field wa3 covered with 
the bodies of their slain ; in the hot pursuit some 
adventurous Franks l)ccam6 the victims of their 
own rashness ; but the more prudent chief was ssr 
tisficd with N'ictory ; he embarked the troops, the 
captives, and the spoil, and returning in triumph 
t6 the port of Luni, or the mouth of the Amo, 
left an example of successful enterprise which was 
long remembered by the Moslems of Afiric, and 



seldom imitated by the Christians of Italy. The 
birth, character, and adventures of the Empress 
Judith, will be introduced with more propriety in 
the story of the Guelphs, and I shall only observe, 
that after his abject fall and fortunate restoration, 
Lewis the Pious might still tremble for the safety 
of a beloved wife. She was confined in a monas- 
tery of Tortona, in the power of a rebellious son ; 
and if the ambition of Lothaire was disappointed, 
the blood of a step-mother might be a grateful of- 
fering to his revenge. Boniface, with some loyal 
subjects, perceived her danger, and flew to her re- 
lief. By their celerity and courage Judith was 
rescued from prison, and they guarded her passage 
over the Alps till she met the embraces of an im- 
patient husband. This gallant act, which deserved 
die gratitude of the emperor, exposed the Count 
of Lttoca to the displeasure of Lothaire, who was 
still master of the kingdom of Italy, and who de- 
nied the investitufe of their fiefs to all the accom- 
pUces of the escape of Judith. Boniface retired 
to France, where his exile was alleviated by the 
most honourable employments. In the civil wars, 
after the death of Lewis, he might secure his par- 
don without forfeiting his allegiance ; and there is 
teastm to believe, that he ended his days in the go- 
vernment of Tuscany. The sword of chivalry 
was consecrated to the service of religion and the 
feir; and the African victor, the deliverer of the 
empress, had fulfilled the duties of a perfect 
His son and successor, Adalbert the First, has a 


more unquestionable right to the appellation of 
Duke and Marquis of Tuscany. The title of 
Marquisy or rather Margrave, was introduced into 
Italy by the French emperors ; the Teutonic ety- 
mology of the word implies the count or gover- 
nor of a march of a frontier province: his sta- 
tion gave him at least a military command over 
several of his equals; and in the division of the 
monarchy the number and importance of these 
hostile limits was continually multiplied. Yet the 
life of Adalbert is much less pure and illustrious 
than that of his father : either an historian was 
wanted to his actions, or his actions afforded no 
materials for history ; and it is only by the glim- 
mering of old charters, that, during thirty years, 
his existence is visible. The decay of genius and 
power in each imperial generations had confirmed 
the independence of the hereditary governors ; till 
the failure of the eldest branch, in the person of 
Lewis the Second, concluded a* century of domes- 
tic peace, and opened an endless series of revolu- 
tions. The election of tlie kings of Italy was de- 
cided by the voices and by the swords of the fac- 
tious nobles : they chose the object, the measure, 
and the term of allegiance ; and the name of the 
candidate whom they supported, was a sufficient 
apology for every act of violence and rapine. . A 
pope of an active and ambitious spirit, John VIII^ 
most bitterly complains of the two marquisses, or 
tyrants, of Lambert of Spoleto, and of Adalbert 
of Tuscany, who were brothers in alliance, in arms, 
and in sacrilege. They solicited the aid of the 



ifiiscreant Saracens, iiiYaded the ecclesiastical State, 
entered the city, profaned the churches, extorted 
an oath of fidelity from the Romans, and dared to 
imprison the successor of St. Peter. After tlie de- 
parture of these public robbers, as they are styled, 
widiout much injustice, by the pontiff, he affected 
to display their guilt and his own danger : the sa- 
cred relibs were transported from the Vatican to the 
Lateran palace : the altar was clothed in sackcloth, 
and the doors of the temple were inho^itably shut 
against the devotion of the pilg^ms. By llie ap- 
prehension of a second insult John VIII. was dri- 
ven from the apostolical seat ; he fled by sea to die 
usual asylum of France, offered the two worlds to 
whosoever would avenge his quarrel, and in the 
Synod of Troyes proclaimed the vices and .pro* 
nounced the excommunication of the two tear* 
quisses of Spoleto and Tuscany, the enemies of 
God and Man. Some political events gave a new 
turn to his interest and language ; the most glorunu 
Adalbert and his wife (so lately a robber and an 
adulteress) are recommended in his epistles to the 
love and protection of the friends of the chureh. 
From such invective and such praise it might be 
inferred that calumny is a venial sin, or that every 
an 18 obliterated by a reconciliation with the Pope, 
A casuist less indulgent, I shall not so easily ab^ 
wive the sacrile^ous Marquis of Tuscany : he 
lived in an age of the darkest superstition, and his 
assault on the Vatican is truly criminal, since it 
was condemned by the prejudices of his own con-? 

580 AyriQUiTiEs of the 

In the dignity of Duke an*d Marquis of Tuscaoj 
he was succeeded by his son, the second Adalbert, 
who has been only distinguished from the first by 
the nice microscope of chronological criticism. 
Such and so great was the pre-eminence of his 
wealth and power, that he alone among the princes 
of Italy was distinguished by the epithet of the 
rich; an epithet of ambiguous praise, since it 
expresses the liberality of fortune rather than of 
nature. He married Berta, the daughter of Lo- 
thaire king of Austrasia op Lorraine, who was the 
great grandson of Charlemagne: a distinctioii 
rather honourable than singular; since many of 
the princes of the age were descended by the 
females from the Imperial stem. His indepeih 
dence was built on the ruins of the empire of 
Charlemagne : the failure of lawful heirs enlarged 
the scene of contention: the sceptre was alter- 
nately won and lost in a field of battle, and the 
Italians, from a maxim of policy, entertained the 
competition of two kings. The dukes of Friuli 
and Spoleto long disputed the crown ; and. while 
Berengarius reigned at Verona, his rivals Guido 
and l^ambert were seated on the throne of Pavia. 
These princes, the father and son, were the UQcle 
and cousin of Adalbert; but he support^ or 
deserted their standard with licentious perfidy, apd 
one of his attempts did not much redounfl to the 
honour or advantage of the Marquis of Tuscany. 
He marched to surprize Lambert, who hunted 
without suspicion in a forest near Placentia: but 
he forgot that discipline and sobriety are most 



isscntial to secret enterpfize. The tents of the 
Tuscans, who deemed themselves secure of their 
ayal game, resounded with drunken and lascivious 
ongs; their intemperance subsided in sleq>; and 
It the dead of night they were surprized by the 
rigilant Lambert, at the head of no more than one 
mndred horse. The Marquis, who could neither 
^ht nor fly, was dragged from his shelter among 
lie mules and asses of the baggage, and his shame 
ras embittered by the rude . [Peasantry of the 
xmqueior. " Thy wife Berta," said he, " had 
»iomised that thou shouldest be either a king or 
in ass. A king thou art not, but thy second title 
[ shall not dispute ; and wisely hast thou chosen a 
dace of refuge among the animals of a similar 
ipecies.^ The death of Lambert restored the 
active to liberty and dominion: but the character 
if Adalbert was still the same, and the state of 
[tdy long fluctuated with the vicissitudes of his 
nterest or passions. Berengarius, who was op- 
iressed bv his service, sometimes accused and 
ometimes imitated the example of his ingratitude. 
i new pretender, Lewis king of Aries, was defeated, 
nd dismissed, and recalled, and again established 
nd again dethroned as he was the friend or enemy 
£ the Marquis of Tuscan}*. In a moment of 
■rniing concord, the new sovereign visited Lucca, 
ifaere he was entertained with the ostentation of 
xpCDse, which vanity will often extort from 
rarice and hatred. As Lewis admired the nu- 
Dcrous and well-dressed ranks of the Tuscan 
oidiers, the attendance of the palace, and the 



luxury of the banquet, he softly whispered, " This 
Marquis is indeed a king, and it is only in a vain 
title that I am Superior to my vassal.'' By the 
diligence of flattery or malice this whisper was 
re-echoed : the pride of Berta was offended, her 
fears were alarmed; she alienated her husbands 
mind; he conspired with the disaffected nobles; 
and a hasty, perhaps a harnjless saying deprived 
the unfortunate king of Aries of the crown of 
Italy and his eye& Adalbert the Second died at 
Lucca, in a mature age, and his real or imaginary 
virtues are inscribed on his, tomb. We are so- 
licited to believe, that he was formidable to his 
enemies, liberal to his soldiers, just to his subjects, 
and charitable to the poor ; that his memory was 
embalmed in the tears of a grateful people ; and 
that the public happiness was buried in his g^ve. 
An epitaph is a feeble evidence of merit ; yet an 
epitaph on the dead may prove somewhat more 
than a panegyric on the living. 

Adalbert the Second left behind him three 
children, two sons, Guido and Lambert, the eldest 
of whom was acknowledged as Duke and Marquis 
of Tuscany, and one daughter, Hermenegarda, 
who married and survived a prince of equal rank 
on the confines of Piedmont The pride and 
power of Berta were not impaired by her hustiand i 
death ; and to her passions I should impute aa 
unequal contest with the emperor and king of 
Italy, who by fraud or force imprisoned the mother 
and her son in the fortress of Mantua. But her 
faithf\d clients refused to surrender the cities and 



castles committed to their trust: a treaty was ne- 
gociated; the captives were released; their pos- 
sessions were restored; smd I must a^laud the 
moderation, perhaps the courage, of Guido, who 
sincerely submitted to forgive and to be forgiven. 
Of the death of the emperor, Berengarius, wIk) was 
stabbed in his palace by a private villain, Guido 
was neither the author nor the accomplice : but in 
the subsequent election his voice had a free and de* 
cisive weight ; and the laudable motives of filial 
or fraternal tenderness might prompt him to gratify 
his mother, by supporting the claim of Hugh, or 
Hugo, Count of Provence, her son by a former 
husband. The Marquis commanded the sea-ports 
of Tuscany; his sister, an active and popular 
widow, could shut or open the passes of the Alps. 
A TCfya pretender, Rodulph of Burgundy, was 
chased beyond the mountains : by the unanimous 
choice of the nobles, Hugh was invited and pro- 
claimed : he landed at Pisa ; and the sons of Adal- 
bert were proud ta salute their brother as king of 
Italy. But this event, which seemed to conso- 
lidate the fortunes, was the immediate cause of 
die downfal of their house. The new monarch 
insensibly betrayed a faithless and ungrateful 
diaracter: his vices were scandalous, his talents 
mean; and if his ambition was sometimes checked 
by fear, it was never restraint by humanity or 
justice. The cfeath of Berta dissolved the union 
between the children of her first and her second 
nuptiab. The nwld and moderate G uido expired 
in the prime of life. The Duchy of Tuscany 



was occupied by Lambert: but in a hasty ami 
indecent marriage with Marozia, his brothers 
widow, the king of Italy trampled on the pre- 
judices of mankind. Hugh was already conscious 
of the public hatred and contempt : he might 
justly dread the courage, the ambition, the popu- 
larity of the Marquis; and his avarice was stimu- 
lated by the hopes of a rich forfeiture. Regardless 
of a mother's fame, he invented, or encouraged die 
report, that the obstinate barrenness of the wife of 
Adalbert had tempted that impious woman to 
procure and substitute two male infants, whom 
she educated as her own: and the arbitrary 
sentence of the king, who disclaimed Lambert as 
a brother, must have denied his right to the suc- 
cession of Tuscany. Had this cause been argued 
before a tribunal of law and reason, the advocate 
for the Marquis would have pleaded the long and 
tranquil possession of his name and state, and have 
deprecated the injustice of a charge, which was 
not advanced till after the decease of botli his 
parents. The orator would have painted in the 
most lively colours, the absurdity of the suppo- 
sition, the difficulty of fascinating the eyes and 
silencing the tongues of a jealous court, and the 
strong improbability that the Duchess of Tuscany 
should have twice risqued the danger and shame 
of a discovery. He would have authenticated the 
circumstances of her pregnancy arid delivery ; and 
after establishing his defence on argument and 
fact, he might have tried to awaken the tender 
and indignant feelings of the audience. Instead 



of such a tedious process, the intrepid Lambert 
cast down liis gauntlet, and challenged to single 
Dombot the false accuser of his own and his 
motherV iame. The challenge was accepted ; a 
dianipion arose ; the lists were opened ; and such 
iFas the goodness of his cause, or the vigour of his 
inn, that the Marquis obtained an easy victory in 
the judgment of God. Even this judgment was 
DOt respected by the n^rant. Instead of embracing 
bis genuine brother, he loaded die conqueror with 
irons, confiscated his dominions, and deprived him 
vf his eyes; while the nobles of Italy, who so 
[iften resisted the execution of the laws, most 
basely acquiesced in this act of cruelty and in- 
justioe. The unhappy prince survived his mis- 
foftune many years, but he was already dead to 
Ins enemies and the world. In a ci^dlized societv, 
die mind is more powerful than the body ; and 
the influence of strength or dexterity is far less 
extensive than that of eloquence and wisdom. 
But among a people of barbarians, the blind 
varrior, who is no longer capable of managing a 
bone, or of wielding a lance, must be excluded 
frnn all the honours and offices of public life. 

Such were the five descents in the Bavarian line 
of the Counts of Lucca and Marquisses or Dukes 
of Tuscany. The foiirth generation rf the poste- 
rity of Boniface coincides with the age of the 
Marquis d' Adalbert, who may be st}*led the third 
of that name, if we can safelv rivet this inter- 
mediate link of the genealogical chain. After a 
kmg hesitation and various trials, the active curio- 

VOL. III. c c sity 


sity of Leibnitz subsided in the opinicm that 
Adalbert the Third, the unquestionable father of 
the House of Este and Brunswick, was the aon of 
the Marquis Guido, and the grandson of Adalbert 
the Second : and that his right of succession to the 
Duchy of Tuscany, which had been superseded by 
his tender years, was finally lost in the calamity of 
his uncle. In a mind conscious of its powers, and 
indulgent to its productions, this idea struck a deep 
^nd permanent root As an historian, Leibnitz 
was acquainted with the stubborn character of 
facts: as a critic, he was accustomed to balance 
the weight of testimony : as a mathematician, he 
would not prostitute the name of demonstration: 
but he affirmed that his opinion was probable in die 
highest sense; and the philosopher could not 
patiently tolerate a sceptic. These historical in- 
quiries he compared to the labour of an astronomer, 
who frames an hypothesis, such as can explain all 
the known phenomena of the heavens, and dien 
exalts his hjrpothesis into truth, by exposing the 
errors of every other possible supposition. From 
the library of Hanover, the discovery was trans- 
mitted to that of Modena, with an earnest desire 
of literary, or at least of political union, and tbe 
pedigree of Adalbert the Third was ratified by the 
consent of Leibnitz and Muratori. Yet in this 
dark and doubtful step of genealogy, impartial 
criticism may be allowed to pause, and even tbe 
silence of a contemporary writer may incline the 
scale against many loose and floating atoms of 
modern oonjccture. The first fifty years of the 



tenth century are illustrated by the labour and 
eloquence df Liutprand, bishop of Cremona, who 
exposes, with a free and often satirical pen, the 
characters and vices of the times. He relates the 
death of Guido, and the succession of Lambert, 
widiout insinuating that the former left any chil- 

, dren, or that the latter was appointed guardian of 
dieir minority. He deplores the fate of Lambert, 
without informing the reader of the escape of his 

^ nephew; by what resources of flight or defence, 
of prayer or negociation, he escaped the cruelty of 
the tyrant, and lived to propagate the glories of his 
race. The Marquis Otbert, the undoubted son of 
Ad^bert the Third, is honourably mentioned ; and 
it might be reasonably expected, that some hint 
should have been given of his lineal descent from 
the Tuscan princes, whose names and actions had 
been already celebrated in the history of Liutprand. 
Nor can the order of time, that infalUble touchstone 
of truth, be easily reconciled with the hypothesis of 
Leibnitz. Guido^ Marquis of Tuscany, was the 
third husband of the insatiate Marozia : her second 
was killed in the year nine hundred and twenty- 
five ; and ten or twelve months must be granted 
for the shortest widowhood, the term of pregnancy, 
and the birth of her son Adalbert. No more than 
thirty-six years after his birth, his son, the Marquis 
Otbert, appears in the world as a statesman and a 
patriot. Such a precipitate succession, which 
crowds two generations into one, is repugnant to 
the whole experience of ages : a fact so strange 
and improbable could only be forced on our belief 

c c 2 by 


l)y the absolute power of positive and authentic 

In this inquir}% I should disdain to be influenced 
by any partial regard for the interest or honour of 
the House of Brunswick : but I can resign, with- 
out a sigh, the hypodiesis of Leibnitz, which might 
seem to exhibit the nominal rather than the natural 
ancestors of the son of Guido. This doubtful ex- 
pression is not founded on the absurd and malicious 
table, that the two last>iarquisses of Tuscany were 
stolen, in their infancy, from an obscure, and per- 
haps a plebeian origin : Berta u^as their genuine 
mother ; and their pedigree would not be tainted 
with suspicion, if the right of the father could be 
ascertained with the same clearness and certainty. 
But in these barbarous times, the valour of the 
men appears to have been maintained with more 
high and jealous care than the cliastity of the 
women; and such was the peculiar infelicity of 
the Marquis Guido, that his wife, his mother, and 
his two grandmothers, are all accused, in their 
respective generations, of a slight, or scandalous 
deviation from the line of virtue. In the Pon- 
tifical Epistles, the wife of Adalbert I. is branded 
with the opprobrious name of adulteress; and 
without insisting on. the Pope s infallibility, it may 
be fairly urged, that as tlie cliaracter of a public 
robber ^vas applied to the sacrilegious enemy of 
Home, the vices of llotilda must have aflforded 
Mme ground or colour for private reproach. The 
mother of Berta, the famous V^aMnub, long fluc- 
tuated t)etwecn the state of u wife and the shame 



iciibme. She might be innocent, in the 
it of conscience and reason ; but her pre- 
narriage with Lothaire, King of Lorraine, 
^tedly annulled by the sentence of the 
Pontiff. By an obstinate resistance, her 
^ht have been preserved : a false and fruit- 
itence could only aggravate her sin ; and 
me alike guilty in the eyes of the church 
le public, when she continued to dwell in 
•aces of her lover, after a lawful queen had ^ 
tofed to the honours of his throne and bed. 
asures of Berta were subservient to her 
I ; and Adalbert the Second appears to have 
lowed with the patient virtues of a husband, 
iberal freedom with which she imparted to 
es of Tuscany every gift in . her power to 
the duchess secured their grateful attach- 

the hour of danger; and at the age of 
re, she might be justly vain that her &vours^ 
ecious, her lovers fond, her friends and 
till mindful of their past obligations. As 
lelity of Hermenegarda could sully only 
d of another family, it is almost needless to 
that the daughter of Berta most faithfully 
le example of her mother. But the sati- 
]uence of Liutprand is unable to paint the 

Marozia, wife of the Marquis Guido : 
her early youth," (exclaims the bishop,) 
d been inflamed by all the fires of Venus; 
n and again did she exact from her lovers 
ment of their debts." Her family was 
I at Rome : by the corruption of Marozia^ 

c c 3 of 


of her mother, and of her sister, the church and 
state were polluted and oppressed : their favourites, 
and their children, were successively promoted to 
the throne of St. Peter; and in the spiritual 
Babylon, the city of the Seven Hills, a more inqui- 
sitive age would have detected the scarlet whore of 
the Revelations. The son of Marozia, tlie grand- 
son of* Berta, and the great-grandson of Rotilda, 
might be perplexed in the discovery or the choice 
of his true progenitors. 

The hypothesis, that Adalbert III. was the scm 
of the Marquis Guido, will not endure the test of i 
critical inquiry : but I am disposed to embrace the 
general opinion of Leibnitz and Muratori, and to 
believe with them, that the families of Este and 
Brunswick are descended from a younger branch 
of 'the House of Tuscany. A charter commemo- 
rates the name of Boniface, son of Adalbert I. and 
brother of Adalbert II.: his existence is certain; 
his marriage probable ; and, according to the custom 
of nations, the respectable name of a grandfather 
and uncle would be naturally repeated in the person 
of his son. In the last years of the ninth ccntur}', 
we may fix the birth of Adalbert III. who will 
stand, in the corresponding degree, as the first 
cousin to the Marquis Guido : the order of nature 
will be restored, and in the succeeding generation 
a sufficient space will be left for the growth and 
maturity of Otbert I. By this eariy separation 
from the original stem, we avoid the more scaa- 
dalous vices of Berta and Marozia. The silence of 
Liutprand will no longer surprise or embarrass the 



critic : Boniface, and his son Adalbert the Third, 
were neither the sovereigns nor the heirs of Tus- 
cany : their private fortunes were less splendid, and 
more secure, than those of the Marquisaes, their 
elder kinsmen ; and their names, not conspicuous, 
perhaps, by crimes or virtues, might escape the 
memory or the pen of the general historian. As 
the objections diminish, the presumptive proofs of a 
connection between the Houses of Tuscany and 
Este leave a deeper impression on the mind. The 
repetition of the name of Adalbert has already been 
noticed as a family feature. In the kingdom, the 
name of Adalbert was less rare, however, than the 
title of Marquis, of such recent use and such local 
application, but which was uniformly used, from 
the tenth to the fifteenth century, as their here* 
ditary and proper style, by the Princes of Este. 
The military governors, who commanded on the 
Alpine or Greek limits, do not suggest any traces 
of conformity ; and our ignorance of the province 
which was ruled by Adalbert III. and his imme*- 
diat« descendants, will be tempted to believe, that 
the vague appellation of Marquis, which was com- 
mon to all, might be cherished by their vanity, as 
a perpetual attribute and memorial of the long-lost 
dominion of Tuscany. But the circun^stance of 
the clearest and most substantial presumption arises 
from the rent-roll of their ancient estates, which 
were spread over the heart of Tuscany, the coun- 
ties of Lucca and Luna, and even the Isle of Cor- 
sica, a remote dependance of the government of 
Boniface 11. Tradition has preserved the name 

c c 4 and 


and limits of the Terra Oberienga, so often cited 
in old charters as the lands of the Marquis Otbert 
L; and if he received them from his father, it will 
not be difficult to suppose that they were originally 
granted to Boniface III. as the portion or patrimony 
of a younger brother. The perfect and easy coa* 
lition of the Marquisses of Tuscany and £ste is 
resisted only by a single obstacle; and the resis- 
tance is less insuperable than it may appear at the 
first glance: the former adhered to die law and 
nation of the Bavarians, whilst the nation and law 
of the Lombards was professed by the latter. But 
•we must not forget, -that in the barbaric jurispru^ 
dence of Europe, a national character might be 
either conveyed by descent, or adopted by clKHce; 
and that each family, each individual, might select 
and renounce the name and institutions of these 
political sects. The Bavarians, a minute colony, 
were almost invisible in the mighty kingdom of 
the Lombards : their decreasing numbers could not 
secure a regular supply of judges and witnesses : 
an Italian prince would be desirous of obliterating 
the remembrance of his foreign origin, and the 
smaller rivulets were gradually lost in the master- 
stream. Such a change of law and nation is 
agreeable to reason and practice ; but in this par- 
ticular instance, it may not be presumed, it cannot 
be proved ; and the objection must be allowed to 
counterbalance some grains of probability in the 
opposite scale. 



Section II. 

A JUDICIOUS critic may approve the Tuscan de- 
scent of the families of £ste and Brunswick ; but 
a sincere historian will pronounce, that the Marquis 
Adalbert is their first unquestionable ancestor; 
that he flourished in Lombardy or Tuscany in the 
beginning of the tenth century ; that his character 
and actions are buried in oblivion; and that his 
name and title alone can be placed at the head of 
an illustrious pedigree. 

This pedigree is animated by his son the Marquis 
Otbert I., and his life is connected with the revo- 
lutions of Italy. If the records of the times were 
more numerous, they might confirm the probabi- . 
lity of his descent from the Marquisses of Tuscany, 
since the earliest date of his name and honours co- 
incides with the fall of their oppressors, and the 
first year, or even month of a new reign. The ty- 
rsuit Hugh had fled beyond the Alps, loaded with 
die curses and treasures of the Italians : his son 
Lothaire, a- feeble youth, had passed away like a 
shadow, and after a vacancy of twenty-four days, 
the Marquis Berengarius, grandson to the empe- 
ror of the same name, was exalted to the throne. 
A grant of four castles was made to the bishop of 
Modena; and in the original deed of gift the new 
monarch is pleased to declare, that the advice and 
request of his trusty and well-beloved the Marquis 
Otbert had moved him to this act of liberalitv or dc- 
votion. His power at trourt may be ascribed to the 



recent merits of the election ; and the advocate on 
the behalf of Others would not be mute or unsuc- 
cessful in his own cause. Of the favours which he 
received, or of the services which he performed, I 
am alike ignorant : but at the end of nine years, 
the counsellor and favourite pf Berengarius vrss 
transformed into a fugitive and a rebel, who es- 
caped to the Saxon court, inflamed the ambition 
of Otho, and soon returned with an army of Ger- 
mans, to dethrone a sovereign, perhaps a benefac- 
tor, pf his own choice. His conduct appears, at 
the first glance, to be tainted with ingratitude and 
treason ; and his guilt may be aggravated by the 
reflexion, that he imposed a foreign yoke on his 
country, and prepared the long calamities of ty« 
ranny and taction. At the distance of eight cen- 
turies, I shall not vindicate the pure and rigid pa- 
triotism of the father of the House of Brunswick. 
According to the experience of human nature, we 
may calculate a hundred, nay a thousand chances, 
against the public virtues of a statesnuin : the Mar« 
quis viewed the King of Italy, first as an equal, 
and afterwards as an enemy; and in the loose govern- 
ments of the feudal system, the duties of allegiance 
were proudly violated by the members of an armed 
and lawless aristocracy. 

Yet our imperfect view of the history of the 
times will afford some apology, and may allow 
some praise for the flight and rebellion of Marquis 
Otbert. I. The patriot who, in the cause qf poli- 
tical freedom, is false to gratitude and honour, 
offends against the natural ieelings of mankind ; 



but if those feelings are violated by a tyrant, thqr 
applaud the sword of the rebel, or even the dagger 
of the conspirator. Berengarius was a bad subject, 
and a worse prince : and the most opposite vices were 
reconciled in the dissolute and flagitious character 
of his wife Villa. From the revenge or justice of 
his predecessor, he had been saved by the blind 
humanity of Lothaire the son of Hugh, who che- 
rished the faithless enemy of his crown and life. 
His jsuspicious death was followed by the persecu* 
tion of his widow Adelais, the sister of the King of 
Burgundy. At the age of eighteen a beautiful 
and innocoit princess was stripped of her land, her 
jewels, and her apparel, exposed to the brutal re* 
petition of blows and insults, and cast into a sub* 
terraneous dungeon, where she endured, above 
four months, the last extremities of distress and 
hunger. A pleasing and pathetic tale might be 
formed of her miraculous escape with a damsel and 
a priest ; of their concealment among the rushes 
of the lake Benacus, where they were supported 
many days by the cliarity of a fisherman ; and of 
her rescue by a generous knight, wlio conducted 
the princess to his impregnable fortress of Canossa, 
and defied the vengeance of the King of Italy. 
The romance would conclude with the arrival of a 
victorious lover, a royal deUverer: the nuptials of 
Otho and Adelais were celebrated at Pavia, and 
her singular adventures were a prelude to the fu- 
ture glories of the Empress and the Saint. The 
arms of Otho had been seconded by the revolt of 
the Itahans ; but in this revolt the name of Otbcrt 



18' not mentioned; and we should rather accuse 
than admire the patient loyalty of the Mai*^uis^ 
Before he renounced his obedience and gratitude, 
the unrepenting tyrant had accomplished the mea- 
sure of his sins ; the church and state, the rich and 
the poor, were the indiscriminate victims of the 
cruelty and avarice of Berengarius. 2. In his first 
victorious expadition, the prudence ox magnani* 
mity of Otho had declined the rigour of absolute 
conquest, and was content to be styled the Pro- 
tector of an injured nation. A prostrate enemy 
was spared and forgiven : after waiting three days 
before the palace gates, Berengarius was admitted 
to the royal presence, and the golden sceptre of 
the kingdom of Italy was again delivered to his 
hands. But he pronounced an oath of fidelity, a 
sotemn engagement, that he would be ready, in 
council and in the field, to obey the commands of 
his sovereign, and that he would govern his people 
with more equity and mildness than he had hi- 
therto displayed. By this unequal treaty% the 
right of Otho was established, to judge and punish 
the crimes of his feudatory : the Marquis Otbert is 
no longer a rebel, who solicits the aid of a foreign 
prince, and all the vassals of Italy might lawfully 
appeal from their immediate to their supreme lord. 
S. The appeal was urged by the most respectable 
deputies of the church and state, and their voice 
was the voice of the kingdom of Italy, llie Ro- 
man pontiff dispatched his apostolical legates to 
complain of the temporal and spiritual wrongs 
which St. Peter and St. Paul bad long suffered 


BOUSE OF mwiWtck. ^isff 

from the tjrranny of Berengarius* An Archbishop 
of l^filan stood before the Kmg of Germany, to 
ddiver the senthnents of the oppressed clergy. 
The illustrious Marquis Otbert (I copy the words 
of the historian) spoke in the name and in the cause 
of his peers ; and the powers of these ambassadors 
were ratified by the secret letters and messengers 
of abnost all the counts and bishops of Italy. 4. In 
the second^ as in the first expedition, Otho yielded 
lo the call of justice and freedom: but in the 
passes of the Trentine Alps, his march was stopped 
a day and a night by the seeming opposition of 
sixty thousand Italians. The suspicions of Beren- 
garius had been appeased by their ready obedience 
to his summons ; and in this martial assembly they 
were the masters of the throne and the representa- 
tives of the peopfe. A temperate negociation was, 
however, proposed : the timely abdication of the 
fedier might have softened their fiatred ; and they 
had consented to acquiesce under the government 
of his son Adalbert. The obstinate despair of the 
c^ king provoked them to abjure his name and 
family : they sheathed their swords, and opened 
their gates : a hundred banners waved round the 
royal standard of Saxony : the deliverer was saluted 
king of Italy, and he received the Iron Crown in 
die cathedral of Milan. The pope confirmed the 
revolution; and after a vacancy of twenty-eight 
years, the title of Emperor of the Romans was re- 
vived in the person of Otho the OreaL 5. The 
benefits or mischiefs whigh might arise from the 
union of Italy and Gemianv could be decided only 


9^ A#Vf<ltJItl£8 Of THB 

by experience ; nor could the foresight of the Mar- 
quis Otbert anticipate the experience of three hun- 
dred years. It was enough for a mortal statesman 
to obey the wishes, and consult the happiness^ of 
the present generation, by placing in the liands 
of wisdom and power the sceptre of the Italian 

In one of the annual odes which still adorn or 
disgrace the birth-days of our British King, the 
Laureat, with some degree of courtly, and even 
poetic art, has introduced the founder of the Bruns- 
wick race : 

'' When btbert left the Italian plain. 
And 8oft Ateste's green domain, 
Attendant on Imperial sway, 
Where Fame and Otho led the way, 
The genius of the Julian hills, 
(Whose piny summits nod with snow, 
Whose Naiads pour their thousand rills 
To swell th' exulting Po,) 
An eager look prophetic cast. 
And haird the hero as he pass'd.** 

By a lofty prediction of fame and empire, this be- 
nevolent genius exalts the courage of the hero, 
and displays the future greatness of his postcrit}*, 
from the nuptials of Azo, to the succession of Bri- 
tisli kings : 

'^ Proceed. Rejoice. Descend the vulc. 

And bid the future monarchs hail! 

Hail, all hail, the hero cried, 

And Echo, on her airy tide, 
Pursued him, murmuring, down the mountain's side." 

I shall 


I shall not presume to inquire whether such dis- 
tinct and distant views of futurity may not surpass 
the prescience of a mountain god : but I am com- 
pelled to vindicate my own accuracy, by observing 
some geographical and historical errors of the mor- 
tal bard. The possessions of Otbert were not situ- 
ate in the Venetian plain, but among the moun- 
tains of Tuscanv ; and we shall ,soon discover, 
that the green domain of Este, or Ateste, was ac- 
quired by the marriage of his grandson. In his 
attendance, " where .Fame and Otholed the way,** 
he would have passed, not the Julian, but the 
Rhsetian Alps ; he must have followed the high 
road of Verona and Trent, the great and customary 
passage between Italy and Germany. The name 
of the Julian Alps is confined to a low range of 
hills, soon bounded by the north eastern extremity 
of the Adriatic, and which opposed, in the tenth 
century, a feeble barrier to the inroads of the wild 
Hungarians. The streams which issue from those 
hills are lost in the sea, or intercepted by the neigh- 
bouring rivers ; and of their thousand rills, not a 
drop can be mingled with the waters of the Po. 
Even the motive and the date of the passage of 
Otbert are wantonly corrupted. The patriot, en- 
trusted with the cause of Italy, is degraded into an 
adventurer, who seeks his fortune in the Empe- 
ror's service : and he bids an everlasting farewell 
to the country which he was most impatient to 
revisit and deliver. The poet may deviate from 
the truth of history, but every deviation ought to 



be compensated by the superior beauties of fancy 
and fiction. 

Among the followers of his triumphal car, the 
servants of his fortune, Otho could distinguish the 
patriot fugitives who had risqued their lives and 
estates to assert his rights, and the freedom of 
Italy. The most illustrious of these, the Marquis 
Otbert, was rewarded with riches and hcmours; 
and there is some reason to believe that his vague 
title was applied to the province of Liguria, which, 
according to the Roman geography, included the 
cities of Milan and Genoa. But the descendant 
of Adalbert I. might advance an equitable, thougb 
not a legal claim, to^he Duchy of Tuscany: and 
some suspicion will taint the pedigree of a favour* 
ite, who neglects to ask, or fails to obtain, the 
restitution of a patrimonial dignity. Our surprise 
will be increased and removed by the discovery of 
the sanw fact. Hugh, King of Italy, had granted 
the Tuscan Duchy, first to his brother, and then 
to his bastard ; it was inherited bv the son of that 
bastard : and succeeding monarclis, the t}'rant Be* 
rengarius, and the German Otho, respected the 
possession of these fallen and unpopular princes. 
So strange an indulgence must have been founded 
on some secret, but powerful motive; and the 
same motive, could it now be revealed, might ex- 
plain either the modest indifference, or the un- 
availing request, of Otbert himself. But the &lar- 
quis (shall I say ?) of Liguria was invested with an 
office far more worthy of his stbilities, and tar nu>re 
expressive ( f the roval conficleDce. Tlie Count 



t>f the sacred palace was the prime minister of the 
kingdom of Italy ; and it was observed, in classic 
style, that the Dukes, the Marquisses, and the 
Counts submitted to the pre-eminence of his con- 
sular Fasces. In an age, when every magistrate 
was a noble, and every noble was a soldier, the 
Count Palatine often assumed the command of 
armies ; but in his proper station, he represented 
the judicial character of the Emperor, and pronoun- 
ced a definitive sentence, as the judge of all civil 
and criminal appeals. The city of Pavia, and the 
castle of Lomello, were his ordinary residence: 
but he visited the provinces in frequent circuits^ 
aiid all local or subordinate Jurisdiction was sus- 
pendjed in his presence. This important office was 
exercised above twelve years by the Marquis Ot- 
bert : the public acts, the few that have escaped, 
announce the proceedings of his tribunal at Lucoi, 
Verona, &c. ; and he continued to deserve and en- 
joy the favour of the Emperor. If, in the decline 
of life, the lassitude of camps and courts had 
tempted him to seek a cool and independent soli<- 
tude, I should praise the temper of the philoso- 
pher ; but the firmest minds are enslaved by the 
prejudices of the times, and the retreat of Otbert 
was inspired by the basest superstition. Under 
the monastic habit, in a Benedictine abbey which 
he had richly endowed, the Marquis laboured to 
expiate the sins of his secular life. Pride and amr 
bition are the vices of the world : humility is the 
first virtue of a monk ; and the descendant of 
princes, the favomite of kings, the^judge of nar 
VOL. III. D D tions, 

KM Aimauinzs or thb 

tkms, wte conspicuous among his brethren in die 
idaily labour of collecting and feeding the hogs of 
the monastery. His sanctity was applauded : but 
if he listened to that applause, the penitent was 
entangled in a more subtle snare of the dsemon of 

After the resignation of the Count Palatine, hii 
(rflice was given to favour or merit : but his patri- 
monial estates were inherited by the Marquis Ot- 
bert, who can only be distingui^ed by the epithet 
6f the Second, from the similar name and title ctf 
his father. The life of the second Otbert was 
tranquil or obscure : he was rich in lands, in vas- 
sals, and in four valiant sons, Azo, Hugh, Adal- 
bert, and Guido: but their valour embittered his 
old age, and involved the family in treason and 
disg^race. The reigns of the thcee Othos, a period 
of forty years, had been a transient season of proi- 
perity and peace. But on the failure of their di- 
rect line, the Germans maintained their right of 
conquest, the Italians revived the claim of inde* 
pendence, and both were ambitious and resolute to 
^establish a king of their own nation and cboioe. 
The princes and lords of Italy were all of barbaric 
<t>rtgin ; but as it happens, in the prog^ress of nobi- 
lity, the strangers of the second were despiaed by 
those of the third or fourth generation : and dii 
bid settlers, who could boast some ages of usurpa- 
tion, esteemed themselves the ancient natives, tlit 
true proprietors of the soil. In the hostile diets of 
Mentz and Pavia, two hostile kings were elected 
Henry the Saxon, and Ardutn the Lombard; and 



tiiQr disputed the Iron Crown in a civil, or rather 
m wcial war, of ten years. The German invaders 
were long checked, and sometimes defeated, la 
the passes of the Alps: but their strength and 
numbers finally prevailed. The fortunate Henry 
obtained the title of Emperor, and afterwards of 
Saint ; Arduin was degraded and saved by the mo- 
uatic habit : and his adherents were pardoned or 
pynished, according to the measure of their guilt 
or power. Among these ^herents, the first to 
erect the standard, and the last to bow the kne^ 
were the Marquis Otbert IL, his four sons, and 
his grandson A20 1 1., the immediate founder of the 
lines of Brunswick and £ste. The distance of 
their fields of battle may prove the extent of their 
influence, and the obstinacy of their stru^le; 
tiiqr naade a vigorous stand in the neighbourhood 
of Pavia, they raised a dangerous insurrection at 
Rooie, and they were vanquished and made pri- 
in the plains of Apulia. A judicial act re- 
tbeir crimes, and pronounces their condemna- 
tiim. The six Marquisses were convicted, by the 
law of the Lombards, of conspiring against the 
kill's life : and such conspiracy was punished, ac- 
onding to the same law, with confiscation and 
death. Their collateral offences, murder, rapine, 
and sacril^e, are the inevitable consequences of 
civil war : but the violation of some oath which 
iad been extorted in the hour of distress, exposed 
tfacan to the more ignonUnious reproach of treason 
and perjury. Yet their lives were spared by the 
demency of the pipus Emperor: the portion of 

D D 2 their 

404 ANtlQUlTlES or 'tut 

their lands which had been dedicated to pioiM 
uses, he could not restore ; but he generously for- 
gave the ample forfeiture which had devolved to 
the state : and when they resumed their seats in 
the assembly of the peers, they professed them- 
selves the grateful and loyal servants of their be- 

But as the Saxon Heniy left neither children 
nor kinsmen to inherit their obedience and grati- 
tude, the sons of Otbert II. used, or abused, their 
freedom^nd again opposed the election of Conrad 
the £ail^, emperor of the Frauconian line. In the 
hope of foreign aid they offered the iron crown, 
and promised the Roman Empire, to Robert, King 
of France: and the Marquis Hugo, the second 
brother, was entrusted with this important embas- 
sy : but the son of Hugh Capet was of an inactive 
temper : his new kingdom was unsettled ; and with 
his approbation, the Italian deputies transferred 
their offer to William of Aquitain, a vassal not less 
powerful than his sovereign. The Duke of Aqui- 
tain behaved, on this momentous occasion, with a 
just temperance of courage and discretion. He 
accepted the crown for his family, protesting that 
under his reign Italy should enjoy such days as 
she had never known. His foremost troops'were 
dispatched beyond the Alps, and he visited Rome 
under the pretence of a pilgrimage. But on t 
Jiearer prospect of the scene, the Duke of Aqui- 
tain was satisfied that hcvcould neither encounter 
his antagonist, nor confide in his party. The tem- 
poral peers were inclined to his cause, but tlic 



ArchlHshop of ^lilan, and the raost important pre- 
lates, had been promoted by the House of Saxony : 
Aey were steady to the German mterest; and Wil- 
liam rejected the sole effectual measure, that of 
filling their vacant seats with his own ecclesiastics. 
He prudently withdrew from the unequal and 
ruinous contest. In a farewel epistle, he a^crknow- 
leches the truth and constancy of ow Italian lord, 
and this singular expression involves the sons of 
Otbert in the national reproach of levity or false- 
hoed. During his embassy in France, the Mar- 
quis Hugo had been pressed by the monkf of Tours 
to restore some abbey lands which he had usurped 
in die iieighbourhood of Milan. At the distance 
ef six hundred years and six hundred miles, that 
superstitious rebel was subdued by the apprehen- 
wxi'S^ the vengeance of St. Martin. 

By such exploits the memory, or at least the 
names of the four sons of Otbert II. has been pre- 
served from oblivion. Azo I. the eldest brother, 
propagated the race ; and by his first marriage with 
the niece of Hugo, Marquis of Tuscany, that chief 
acquired a rich patrimony, ^nd a commanding ia- 
flnenoe in the Venetian province. The character 
of Hugo, hi3 power, and his long reign, had given 
him a respectable place among the princes of the 
times : but the title of Greats the title of Alexan- 
der, Pompey, and Charlemagne, becomes ridiculous 
when it is necessary to ask, and difficult to find, the 
reason of the appellation. From the upper to the 
lower sea, his command extended over the middle 
regions of Italy: with the right he grasped the 

D D 3 Duchy 

406 AiTTKiuiTiEi or TUS 

Duchy of Tuscany, with th^ left that of Spoletof 
till on the voluntary or compulsive resignatioii c( 
the latter, he contracted his dprnaip within die li* 
mits of hereditary sway. In the exercise of arraa 
Hugo was strong and fortunate, and in the siege 
and chastisement of Capua he appeared with dignity 
as the minister of imperial justice ; but the bum 
sword might be turned against his sovereign ; and 
Otho III. is said to have betrayed a secret satiaiac- 
tion when death delivered him from so formidable 
a vassal. Far different were the feelings of the 
clergy arifl people of Tuscany. The former be- 
wailed an humble votary and a liberal benefactor ; 
a convent at Florence, in which his tomb has been 
long shewn, is one of the seven monasteries which 
he richly endowed with lands, slaves, and gold and 
silver plate, for the service of the altar, (n die 
opinion of the age these virtues were more pleas- 
ing in the eye of the Deity than the justice and 
humanity which he displayed in his temporal ad- 
ministration. The Marquis of Tuscany loved 
praise, and hated flattery : a nice touchstone which 
discriminates vanity from the love of fame. In 
the chase, on a march, he often rode away from hts 
attendants ; visited the cottages ; conversed with 
the peasants and passengers, to whom his person 
was unknown; questioned them freely concerning 
the character and government of their prince; and 
enjoyed the sincere and simple effusions of their 
gratitude and veneration. The birth of Hugo may 
at once be styled base and illustrious; since he was 
the doubtful offspring of the bastard son of die 


H0P8E OF BHUir^WICX. 407 

Sing of luUy of the same name; but his life was 
deemed of such importance to mankind, that the 
Imowledge of its approaching tenn was communis 
eated from heaven to earth bjr a special revelatioiL 
After his decease, the Duchy of Tuscany was dcr 
li^ated to a stranger ; but a female might succeed 
to lus private estates ; and his sister had married 
Peter Candianus, the fourth Doge or Duke of 
Venice, of his^name and family. In that early pe* 
riod of the repubUc the magistrates were arbitrary 
and feeble, and the elective Dukes were alternately 
the tyrants and victims of a tumultuous democracy. 
By diis connection with the Tuscan Marquis, doe 
pride of Candianus was elated : he assumed the 
manners of a feudal lord ; levied a body of Italians^ 
and insulted a free city with the arms and licen* 
tioosness of his maxrenary guanL A furious mul^ 
titude encompassed his palace : the gates and the 
soldiers resisted their assault : they fired the adja« 
cent houses, and in the attempt to Escape, the 
Duke and his infant son were transpierced with a 
thousand wounds. Such scenes were then ire* 
quent at Venice : they may reconcile our minds to 
the silent and rigid order of the modem aristocracy. 
The duties of the widow of Peter Candianus were 
to revenge an husband, and to educate a daughter, 
of the same name as her own. The daughter, 
Valdrada, became the wife of the Marquis Albert- 
A20 the First; and it is apparent, from the date of 
the birth of their eldest son, Albert-Azo II. that 
these nuptials were oonsummated in the lifetime 
and a{^roved by the consent of a wealthy and 

p D 4 childless 

408 AimaVITIEd OF TH£ 

childless uncle, who could only hope to live in the 
posterity of his niece. 

The north-eastern region of Italy, which began 
to be vivified by the rising industry and splendour 
of Venice, extends from the shores of the Adriatic 
to the foot of the Alps. Had experience confirmed 
the prolific virtues of the climate; did the Vene- 
tian hens lay one or two eggs every day ; did the 
ewes drop their lambs twice or thrice in a year; 
were the women delivered of two or three infants 
a| a birth, the land must soon be overstocked and 
exhausted. After translating the Greek fables 
into simple truth, we shall still acknowledge one 
of the most pleasant and plentiful regions of Italy, 
a soil productive of grass, com, and vines, a gene- 
rous breed of horses, and innumerable flocks of 
sheep, more precious by the fineness of their wool. 
Padua, the first of the fifty cities of Venetia, had 
been so often trampled by the passage of the bar- 
barians, that few vestiges remained of the ancient 
^leudour which, in the tide of human afikirs, she 
afterwards recovered and surpassed. Fifteen miles 
to the south of Padua, Albert-Azo the first fixed 
his permanent and principal seat in the castle and 
town of Ateste, or Este^ formerly a Roman colony 
of some note : and by an harmless anticipation we 
may apply to his descendants the title of Marquis 
of Este ; which thev did not however assume till 
the end of the t\velfth century. From Este, their 
new estates, the inheritance of Hugo the Great, 
extended to the Adige, the Po, and the Mincius. 
Their iurms and cattle were scattered over the 




plain : many of the heights, Montagnana, Mouse* 
lice, &c. were occupied by their forts and garrisons'; 
and they possessed a valuable tract of marsh land, 
the island (as it may be styled) of Rovigo, which 
almost reaches to the gates of Ferrara. The first 
step in the emigrations of the family was from the 
neighbourhood of the Tuscan to that of the Adri- 
atic sea. 

The name and character 6f the Marquis Albert- 
Azo the Second, shine conspicuous through the 
gloom of the eleventh century. The most re* 
maricable features in the portrait are, 1. His Ligu- 
rian marquisate; 2. His riches; 3. His long life; 
4. His marriages; 5. His rank of nobility in the 
public opinion. The glory of his descendants is 
reflected on the founder ; and Azo II. claims our 
attention as the stem of the two great branches of 
the pedigree ; as the common father of the Italian 
and German princes of the kindred lines of Este 
and Brunswick. 

1 . The fair conjecture that the two Otberts, the 
father and son, commanded at Milan and Genoa 
with the title and office of Marquis, acquires a 
new degree of probability for Azo I. and ascends to 
the level of historic truth in the person of Azo II. 
Before the middle of the eleventh century the 
niins of Genoa had been restored ; its active inha- 
bitants excelled in the arts of navigation and trade: 
^heir arms had been felt on the African coast, and 
their credit was established in the ports of Egj'pt 
snd Greece. Their riches increased with their 
''^dustry, and their liberty with their riches. Yet 



they continued to obey, or at least to revere, the 
majesty of the emperors. In an act, as it should 
seem, of the year one thousand and forty-eight, the 
Marquis Albert- Azo presides at Genoa in a court 
of justice, and his assessors, the magistrates of the 
eity, are proud to style themselves the consuls and 
judges of tlie sacred palace. The royal dignity of 
Pavia was gradually eclipsed by the wealth and 
populousness of Milan, the first of the Italian cities 
that dared to erect the standard of independence. 
Tht government of Milan was divided between 
the two representatives of St Ambrose and of 
C«sar. The veneration of the flock for the shep- 
herd was fortified by the temporal state and privi- 
leges of the archbishop, and his annual revenue of 
fourscore thousand pieces of gold supplied an aift* 
pie fund for benevolence or luxury. The civil 
tnd military powers were exercised by the Duke 
or Marquis of Milan, (for these titles were promis- 
cuously used,) and the voice of tradition is clear 
•ad positive that this hereditary oflice was vested 
in the ancestors of the house of £ste. Some of the 
prerogatives which they assumed are expressive of 
the rigour of the feudal system: they were the 
heirs of all who died childless and intestate, and a 
fine was paid on the birth of each infismt who de» 
feated their claim : their officers levied a tax on the 
markets, and their minute inquisitiop exacted the 
first loaf of bread from each oven, and tlie first log 
of wood from every cart-load that entered the 
gates. Yet an old historian, more forcibly affected 
with the calamities of his own days, deplores the 


Umg lost felicity of their golden age, which had 
been equally praiaed by the blessings of the feeble 
and the curses of the strong. They drew their 
swoids for the service of the prince and people^ 
but their reign was distinguished by kmg intervals 
of prosperity and peace. The distant possessions 
and vsirious avocations of the Duke or Marquis 
often diverted him from the exercise of this muni* 
cipal trust : his powers were devolved on the vis- 
counts and captains of Milan; these subordinate 
tyrants formed an alliance, or rather conspiracy, 
with the wthassars^ or ^lobles of the first class ; and 
the people was afflicted by the discord or the union 
of a lawless oligarchy. A private insult exaspe^ 
rated the patience of the plebeian(s ; they rose in 
arms, and their numbers and fiiry prevailed in the 
bloody contest. The captains and noUes retired ; 
bnt they retired with a spirit of revenge; collected 
rtieir vassals and peasants of the adjacent country; 
encompassed the city with a circumvallation of six 
fortresses, and in a siege or blockade of three years 
reduced the inhabitants to the last extremes of 
famine and distress. By the interposition of the 
Emperor and the Archbishop, the peace of Milan 
was restored : the factions were reconciled ; they 
wisely refused a garrison of four thousand Ger- 
mans; but they acquiesced in the civil govern* 
ment of the empire. The Marquis again ascended 
his tribunal, and that Marquis is Albert-Azo the 
Second. A judicial act of the year one thousand 
and forty-five attests his title and jiirisdiction ; and 
as the representative of the Emperor, he imposes 

a fine 


a fine of a thousand pieces of gold. The progress 
ci Italian liberty reduced his office to the empty 
name of Marquis of Liguria, and such he is styled 
by the historians of the age. In the next centun% 
his grandson, Obizo I. is invested by the Emperor 
Frederick I. with the honours of Marquis of Milan 
and Genoa, as his grandfather Azo held them of 
tiie empire ; but this splendid grant commemorates 
the dignity, without reviving the power, of the 
House of Este. 

S. Like one of his Tuscan ancestors, Azo the 
Second was distinguished among the princes oi 
Italy by the epithet of the Rich. The particulars 
of bis rent-roll cannot now be ascertained : an oc- 
casional, though authentic deed of investiture, 
enumerates eighty-three fiefs or manors w^hich he 
held of the empire in Lombardy and Tuscany, 
from the marquisate of Este to the count}* of 
Luni : but to these possessions must be added the 
lands which he enjoyed as the vassal of the church, 
the ancient patrimony of Otbert (the Terra Ober^ 
tenga) in the counties of Arezzo, Pisa, and Lucca, 
and the marriage portion of his first wife, which, 
according to the various readings of tlie manu- 
scripts, may be computed either at twenty, or at 
two hundred thousand English acres. If such a 
mass of landed property were now accumulated on 
the head of an Italian nobleman, theannal revenue 
might satisfy the largest demands of private luxury 
or avarice, and the fortunate owner would be rich 
in the improvement of agriculture, the maimtac- 
tures of industry, the refinement of taste, and the 


ffOUSE OF B&UKSiriCK. 41 & 

extent of commerce. But the barbarism of ^t 
eleventh century diminished the income, and ag^ 
gravated the expense, of the Marquis of £ste. In 
a long series of war and anarchy, man, and the 
works of man, had been swept away ; and the in^ 
troduction of each ferocious and idle stranger had 
been over-balanced by the loss of five or six pei^ 
haps- of the peaceful industrious natives. The 
mischievous growth of vegetation, the frequenting 
undations of the rivers, were no longer checked by 
the vigilance of labour; the face of the country 
was again covered with forests and morasses ; of 
'the vast domains which acknowledged Azo for 
their lord, the far greater part was abandoned to 
the wild beasts of the field, and a much smaller 
portion was reduced to the state of comtant and 
productive husbandry. An adequate rent may be 
obtained from the skill and substance of a free 
tenant, who fertilizes a grateful soil, and enjoys 
the security and benefit of a long lease. But faint 
is the hope, and scanty is the produce of those 
harvests, which are raised by the reluctant toil of 
•peasants and slaves, condemned to a bare sub- 
sistence, and careless of the interests of a rapacious 
master. If his granaries are full, his purse is 
^mpty; and the want of cities or commerce, the 
difficulty of finding or reaching a market, obliges 
him to consume on the spot a part of his useless 
stock, which cannot be exchanged for merchan- 
dize or money. The member of a well-regulated 
society is defended from private wrongs by the 
laws, and from public injuries by the arms of the 


414 AxmonjiniM of tun 

ftete; a«id the tax which he pays is a just equiva* 
lent ibr the protection which he receivea* But the 
guard of bis life, his honour, and his fortune waa 
idiiancloned to the private sword of a feudal chief; 
4uid if his own temper had been inclined to modt* 
cation and patience, the public contempt wouhl 
have roused him' to deeds of violence and revcBge« 
Hie entertainment of his vassals and soldiers, tbek 
pay Bad rewards, their arms and horses, surpassed 
the measure of the most oppressive tribute, and 
the destruction which he inflicted on his neigh* 
bours was ofken retaliated on his own landSi 
The costly riegance of palaces and gardens was 
anperseded by the laborious and expensive con- 
ftruction of strong castles, on the sununits of the 
most inacoessiUe rocks ; and some of these, like the 
fortress of Canossa in the Apennine, were buik 
and provided to sustain a three years siege against a 
foyal army. But his defence in this world was less 
burthensome to a wealthy lord than liis salvation ia 
the next : the demands of his chapel, his priests^ 
his alms, his offerings, his pilgrimages, were in- 
cessantly renewed ; the monastery chosen for his 
sepulchre was endowed with his fairest possessions, 
and the naked heir might often complain, that his 
father's sins had been redeemed at too high a prica 
The Marquis Azo was not exempt from the ooft- 
tagion of the times : has devotion was amused and 
inflamed by the frequent miracles whidi were per- 
formed in liis presence; and the monks of Vanga- 
diaza, who yielded to his request the arm of a dead 
lainty were ignorant of the value of that inesti* 



mabk jewel. After satisfying the demands of wafr 
and Buperstitbn, he might appropriate the rest oi 
his revenue to use and pleasure. But the Italkm 
of the eleventh century were imperfectly skilled" m 
the liberal and mechanic arts : the objects of foreign 
luxury were furnished at an exorbitant price by the 
merchants of Pisa and Venice ; and the superfluous 
wealth, which could not purchase the real comforts 
of Jife, was idly wasted on some rare occasions. of 
vanity and pomp. Such were the nuptials of Boh 
niface, Duke or Marquis of Tuscany, whose fa- 
mily was long afterwards united with that of Afl), 
hy the marriage of their children. T^liese nuptials 
were celebrated on the banks of the Mincius, which 
the fancy of Virgil has decorated with a more beau- 
tifVd picture. The princes and people of Italy 
were invited to the feast, which ccmtinned three 
months : the fertile meadows, which are intersected 
by the slow and winding course of the river, were 
covered with innumerable tents, and the bride- 
groom disj^layed and diversified the scenes of 
his proud and tasteless magnificence. All the 
utensils of service were of silver, and his horses 
were shod with plates of the same metal, loosely 
naiied, and carelessly dropped, to indicate his con- 
tempt of riches. An image of plenty and profu- 
sion was expressed in the banquet : the most deli- 
cious wines were di-awn in buckets from the well; 
and the spices of the east were ground in water- 
mills like common flour. The dramatic and musi- 
cal arts were in the rudest state ; but the Marquis 
had summoned the most popularsingers, harpers, and 



buffoons, to exercise their talents on this splendid 
theatre. Their exhibitions were applauded, and they 
applauded the liberality of their patron. After this 
festival, I might remark a singular gift of the same 
Boniface to the Emperor Henry III., a chariot and 
oxen of solid silver, which were designed only as a 
vehicle for a hogshead of vinegar. If such an exam- 
ple should seem above the imitation of A20 himself* 
the Marquis of £ste was at least superior in wealth 
and dignity to the vassals of his compeer. One of 
these vassals, the Viscount of Mantua, presented 
the German monarch with one hundred falcons, 
and one hundred bay horses, a grateful contribu* 
tion to the pleasures of a royal sportsman. In that 
age, the proud distinction bet\i'een the nobles and 
^princes of Italy was guarded with jealous cere- 
mony: the Viscount of Mantua had never been 
seated at the table of his immediate lord ; he yielded 
to the invitation of the emperor ; and a stag s akin, 
filled with pieces of gold, was graciously accepted 
by the Marquis of Tuscany as the fine of his pre- 
' sumption. 

3. The temporal felicity of Azo was crowned by 
the long possession of honours and riches : he died 
in the year one thousand and ninety-seven, aged 
upwards of an hundred years ; and the term of his 
mortal existence was almost commensurate with 
the lapse of the eleventh centuiy . Tlie character, 
as well as the situation of the Marquis of Este, 
rendered him an actor in the revolutions of that 
memorable period : but time has cast a veil over 
the virtues and vices of the man, and I must be 



tontent to mark some of the seras, the mile-stone^ 
of his life, which measure the extent and intervals 
of the vacant way. Albert- Azo the Second was no 
more than seventeen when he first drew the sword 
of rebellion or patriotism, when he was involved, 
with his grand-father, his father, and his three 
uncles, in a common proscription. In the vigour 
of manhood, about his fiftieth year, the Ligurian 
marquis governed the cities of Milan and Genoa, 
as the minister of imperial authority* He was up-^ 
wards of seventy when he passed the Alps to vin- 
dicate the inheritance of Maine for the children of 
his second marriage. He became the friend and 
servant of Gregory VII* and in one of his epistles, 
that ambitious pontiff recommends the Marquis 
Azo as the most faithful and best beloved of the 
Italian princes; as the proper channel through 
which a king of Hungary might convey his peti- 
tions to the apostolic throne. In the mighty con- 
test between the crown and the mitre, the Marquis 
Azo and the Countess Matilda led the powers of 
Italy, and when the standard of St. Peter was dis- 
played, neither the age of the one, nor the sex of 
the other, could detain them fiom the field. With 
these two affectionate clients the Pope maintained 
his station in the fortress of Canossa, while the 
emperor, barefoot on the frozen ground, fasted and 
prayed three days at the foot of the rock : they 
were witnesses to* the abject ceremony of the 
penance and pardon of Henry IV. ; and in the tri- 
umph of the church, a patriot might foresee the 
deliverance of Italy from the German yoke. At 
VOL. III. E E the 


the time of this event the Marquis of Estc was 
above fourscore ; but in the twenty following years 
he was still alive and active amidst the revolutions 
of peace and war. The last act which he sub* 
scribed is dated above a century after his birth ; and 
in that act the venerable chief possesses the com* 
mand of his faculties, his family, and his fortune. 
In this rare prerogative of longevity Albert- Aro IL 
stands alone ; nor can I recollect in the amthentic 
annals of mortality a single example of a king or 
prince, of a statesman or general, of a philosopher 
or poet, whose life has been extended beyond the 
period of an hundi'ed years. Nor should this oh* 
servation, which is justified by universal expe* 
rience, be thought either strange or surprising. It 
has been found, that of twenty-four thousand new- 
bom infants, "seven only will sur\Mveto attain that 
distant term ; and much smaller is the proportion 
of those who will be raised by fortune or genius, 
to govern or afflict, or enlighten, their age or 
countr}'. The chance that the same individual 
should draw the two great prizes in the lottery of 
life, will not easily be defined by the powers of 
calculation. Three approximations, which will not 
hastily be matched, have distinguished the present 
centur}', Aurungzeb, Cardinal Fleur}', and Fonte- 
iielle. Had a fortnight more been given to the 
philosopher, he might have celebrated his secular 
festival ; but the lives and labours of the Kfogui 
king and the French minister were terminated be- 
fore they had accomplished their ninetieth year. 
A strong constitution may be the gift of nature; 


ttOl73£ OF BRUNSWICK. 419 

but the few who survive their contemporaries must 
have been superior to the passions and appetites 
which urge the speedy decay and dissolution of the 
tnind and body. The Marquis of Este may be pre- 
sumed, from his riches and longevity, to have un- 
derstood the economy of health and fortune. 

4. I remember k Persian tale of three old Inen, 
who were successrvely questioned by a traveller 
as he met them on the road. The youngest bro- 
ther, under the load of a wife and a numerous fa- 
niilyy was sinking into the grave before his rime. 
The second, though much older, was far less infirm 
and decrepid: he had been left a widower and 
without children. But the last and eldest of the 
three iMDthers still preserved, at an incredible age, 
the vigour and vivacity of the autumnal season : 
he had always preferred a life of celibacy. The 
enjoyment of domestic freedom could not however 
contribute to the longevity of the Marquis Azo : 
he married three wives ; he educated three sons ; 
and it is doubtful whether chance or prudence de- 
layed his first nuptials till he had at least accom- 
plished the fortieth year of his age. These nup- 
tials were contracted with Cuniza, or Cunegonda, 
a German maid, whose ancestors, by their nobility 
and riches, were distinguished among the Suabian 
and Bavarian chiefs ; whose brother was invested 
by the Emperor Henry III. with the Duchy of 
Carinthia, and the Marquisate of Verona, on the 
confines of the Venetian* possessions of the House 
of Este. The marriage of Azo and Cunegonda 
was productive of a son, who received at his bap- 

£ £ S tism 


tism the name of Guelph, to revive and perpc* 
tuate the memory of his uncle, his grandfather^ 
and his first progenitors, on the maternal side. I 
have already defined the ample domain which was 
given as a marriage-portion to the daughter of the 
Guelphs: but on the failure of heirs male, her for- 
tunate son inherited the patrimonial estates of the 
family, obtained the dukedom of Bavaria, and be 
came the founder of the eldest, or German branchy 
of the House of Este, from which the Dukes of 
Brunswick, the Electors of Hanover, and the Kings 
of Great Britain, are lineally descended. Af^cr 
the decease of Cunegonda, who must have deput- 
ed this life in the flower of her age, the Marquis 
of Este solicited a second alliance beyond the Alps: 
but his delicacy no longer insisted on the choice 
of a virgin ; the widower was contented with a 
widow; and he excused the ambiguous stain 
which might adhere to his bride by a divorce from 
lier first husband. Her name was Garsenda, tlie 
daughter, and at length the heiress of the Counts 
of Maine; She became the mother of two sons^ 
Hugo and Fiilk, and the younger of these is the 
knowlcdgcd parent of the Dukes of Ferrara and 
Modcna. Tlw same liberal fortune which had 
crowned the oflfspring of the first, seemed to at- 
tend the children of the second nuptials of dur 
Marquis Azo : but their fortune was hollow and 
fallacious, and after the loss of their Gallic inhe- 
ritance, the sons of Garsenda reluctantly acqui- 
esced in some fnigments of their Italian patrimony. 
Matilda, tlie tliird wife of Azo, was another widow 


of noble birth, since she was his oavti cousin in the 
fourth degree: but this consanguinity provoked 
the stem and impartial justice of Gregory VII* 
His friend was summoned to appear before a synod 
at Rome : the inflexible priest pronounced a sen- 
tence of divorce, and whatsoever idea may be 
formed of the Marquis's vigour, at the age of 
seventy-eight, he might submit, without much ef- 
fort;, to the canons of the church. Besides his 
three sons, Azo had a daughter named Adelais, 
who w^ educated in the family of the Countess 
Matilda. But the damsel is only mentioned to 
attest the miraculous virtue of Anselm, Bishop of 
Lucca: she was relieved in the night from a violent 
fit of the cholic, by the local application of a pil- 
low, on which the Saint had formerly reposed his 

V. A wealthy Marquis of the eleventh century 
must hsLVt commanded a proud hereditary rank in 
civil society. In the judgment of the Pope, the 
Emperor, and the Public, Albert-Azo was distin- 
guished among the princes, and the first princes, 
of the kingdom of Italy. His double alliance in 
Germany and France may prove how much he- was 
known and esteemed among foreign nations ; and 
he strengthened his political importance by a do- 
mestic union with the conquerors of Apulia and 
Sicily. I shall not repeat the story of t' ? Norman 
adventurers, nor shall I again delineate ihe charac- 
ter and exploits of Robert Guiscard, which, to the 
readers of the History of the Decline and Fall of 
the Roman Empire, are sufficiently familiar. But 

E E 3 as. 


&s Duke Robert had four daughters, the choice of 
his other three sons-in-law may ser\'e as a test, a 
touchstone, of the comparative weight and value 
of the House of Este. Michael, Emperor of the 
Greeks, was the first name in the Christian world. 
Raymoml, Count of Barcelona, was the indepen- 
dent sovereign of a warlike people; and the mean- 
est of the three,^ French Baron, of military renown, 
'wa£| the cousin of the Kings of France and Jerusa- 
lem, the brother-in-law of the King of Navarre and 
Arragon. Such were three of the sons, by aliiance^ 
of the Norman conqueror, who had previously ie»' 
jected a proposal for the eldest son of the Emperor 
Henry IV. : the marriage^f a fourth daughter will 
be most accurately represented in the words of 
the Apulian poet : ^^ While the hero resided witfam 
the walls of the Trojan city, he received the visit 
of a certain noble Lombarc| Marquis, accompanied 
by many nobles of his countr}\ Azo was his 
name. Tlie object of his journey was to request 
that the Duke's daughter might be granted as a 
wife to Hugo, his illustrious son. Tlie Duke con- 
vened an assembly of his chiefs, and with their 
consent and advice, the daughter of Robert was 
delivered to the son of Azo. The nuptial rites 
were solemnized in due form, and the festival was 
celebrated with gifts and banquets. After the 
consummation of the marriage, die Duke solicited 
his Counts and powerful %'assals to bestow a free 
pft, which might grace the joyful departure of 
the bride and bridegroom, and he enforced his de- 
mand, by reminding them that no subsidy whal- 



floeirer had been given to her sister, the Greek 
£n)pf€Sis. The demand of a tribute was enter- 
tauned with a murmur of surprise and discontent ; 
but all opposition wasi fruitless, and they presented 
their sovereign with mules and horses, and various 
offerings. He bestowed them on the husband of 
his daughter, with an addition from his own trea- 
SBies : a fleet was prepared, and both the father 
aod son were transported with ^eat honour to their 
Bflitive shores.** This evidence of a contemporary 
poet, or rather historian, who had no temptation 
to flatter the Princes of Este, would alone be suf^ 
fictent to establish the nobility and splendour of 
dbeir fionily, the £imily of Brunswick, beyond the 
distuit term of seven hundred years. If the Mar- 
quis A20 were the first of his race whose name 
and memory had been preserved, we might ac- 
quic^oct in our ignorance, with a just persuasion of 
the dignity and power of his unknown ancestors. 
Of these illustrious ancestors, the zeal and dili- 
gence of Leibnitz and Muratori have discovered 
four probable, and four certain degrees. After the 
examination of their proofs, a scrupulous critic may 
suspect, that in deriving the Marquisses of Este 
from those of Tuscany, ^^ the ascent of reason haa 
been aided by the wings of imagination ;" but he 
must confess, that since the banning of the tenth 
century, the series of generations flows in a clear 
and unbroken stream. 

Section IIL 

The eldest of the three sons of the Marquis 

£ £ 4 Azo^ 


Azo, the fortunate Guelph, was transplanted from 
his native soil, to become the root of the German, 
and, in the fulness of time, of the British line;, of 
the lamily of Este. By his two younger brothers, 
Hugo and Fulk, the Italian succession was props* 
gated : but the race of Hugo expired in the second 
degree ; the posterity of Fulk still survives in the 
twentieth generation. The ancestors of Guelph, 
on the father s and the mother's side, and the series 
of his descendants in Bavaria and Saxony, form 
the antiquities of the House of Brunswicki and 
the proper subject of this historical discourse : bm 
our curiosity will naturally embrace the colhlenl 
branch of the Princes of Este, Ferrara, and Mo- 
dena, who have not been unworthy of th^ fint 
progenitors, and more powerful kinsmen. Widh 
out confining myself to the rigid servitude of an* 
nals, without resting on every step of a long pedi- 
gree, t shall concisely display the most interesting 
scenes of their various fortunes. 

As the right of female succession began to pre* 
vail in the feudal system of France, Garsenda, the 
second wife of Azo, might claim the duchy or 
county of Maine, which had been successively 
possessed by her fatlier, her brother, and her ne- 
phew. Her pretensions were legitimate ; but the 
heiress of Maine had been married into a distant 
land: her arms were feeble, her vassals factious, 
her neighbours unjust- AVilliam, Duke of Nor- 
mandy, a famous name, was tempted by the proj 
spect of a fertile and adjacent territorj^ : he mut- 
tered some pretence of a gift or alliance : but am- 


3ition was his only motive, and his only title was 
iuperior strength. Four years the Cenomani, the 
>eople of Maine, reluctantly bowed under his iron 
Kreptre ; but after the forces of Normandy had 
iieen transported beyond the sea, they were en- 
couraged by the absence, rather than awed by the 
mccess and glory of the conqueror of England. 
rhey solicited the Marquis of Liguria to assert the 
rights of his wife and son. Azo listened to their 
call : after the expulsion or massacre of the Nor- 
nuns, the cities and. castles were delivered into 
Ihb hands, the Bishop escaped to the English court, 
md his new subjects admired the riches and libe- 
oli^ of their deliverer. But in a short time the 
mgn of a stranger became odious and contempti- 
ble to the haughty Franks : they discovered that 
his treasures were exhausted; he perceived that 
their faith was wavering; and Azo fondly ima- 
ged that all discontents would be appeased, and 
riiat all parties would be reconciled by his own 
departure. In the vain hope that the Cenomani 
would be attached *to th6 daughter and the heir of 
dieir ancient princes, he left Garsenda and her in- 
fant Hugo under the care of a powerfiil baron, the 
guardian of his son, aind the husband, as it were, 
of his wife. But this suspicious or scandalous* 
connection provoked the indignation of the people ; 
die young prince was dismissed to Italy; Garsenda 
disappears ; and the county of Maine was torn by 
domestic feuds, till the presence of the conqueror 
united his rebels in the calm of servitude. Azo 
rtill retained a bitter remembrance of his loss and 

disgrace ; 



disgrace ; and liis enemy the Bishop, on a pilgrim- 
age to Rome, was arrested by the revenge, and 
released by the piety, of the Ligurian Marquis. 
The death of King William, and the discord of 
his sons, revived the spirit of the Cenomani, and 
their deputies invited the sons of Azo to resume 
the peaceful possession of their lawful inheritance. 
Hugo again passed the Alps ; but the first aocli^ 
mations again degenerated into the munnuis of 
tlie people, and the anathemas of the clergy. The 
new Count was destitute of every resource tbtt 
could reward the service, engage the estieem, or 
enforce the obedience, of his turbulent vassals. 
The honour of his alliance witli the daughter of 
Robert Guiscard had been soon obliterated by die 
shame and scandal of a divorce ; his countiymcii 
exposed him, with pleasure, to the tpib and dan- 
gers of a transalpine reign ; and the warlike natives 
of Gaul despised the effeminate manners of an 
Italian lord. His fears were increased, and his 
flight was hastened, by the artful eloquence of a 
rival, wlio insinuated that his mild and moderate 
temper was ill-formed to struggle with the furious 
passions of the Barbarians. The son of Garsenda 
trembled at the approach or the sound of an hun- 
dred thousand Normans, sold his patrimony lor a 
sum of ten thousand pounds, and escaped to Italy, 
where he soon lost a battle and an army, in the 
ser\'ice of the Countess Matilda. A writer of the 
times, who has preserved the memory of this ig* 
nominious event, contrasts the treason or coward- 
ice of the man with the nobility of his mcc. I 



must retract the assertion, that all the Princes of 
Estc have been worthy of their name and ancestry ; 
Hugo is an exception ; but in the space of seven 
hundred years Hugo is a single exception. 

After the decease of his father Azo, the star of 
the Houae of Este appears '^ shome of its beams ;** 
dieir riches and power are visibly diminished , and 
f^Marquiues of that name no longer stand fore- 
nost in the revoluticms of Italy. In the annals of 
the twelfth century their actions are seldom re- 
omded : and as this obUvion coincides with the 
SBcreaaiig light of history, we must seek the pio- 
lidble causes in the division of their property, and 
the aacendant of the municipal republics. 1 . After 
die acquisition of the Duchy, or rather kingdom 
of Bavaria, Guelph, the son of A20, might have 
gcoerousty waved the ri^t of primogeniture, and 
le^^ned to his younger brothers the Italian estates 
of the family, as an equri^alent for the loss of their 
Gallic inheritance. But such generosity is seldom 
found in the selfish conduct of princes or brothers ; 
and ingtcad of offering, or accepting, an equal and 
equitable partition, be claimed as his own the 
entire property of their common parent I f G uelph 
were an hypocrite, he might colour his avarice by 
a pious attachment to the relics of his fathers: 
and a demand so repugnant to the maxims of na- 
tural justice, seems, however, to have been sup- 
ported by the matrimonial contract of his mother 
Cunegonda, which had left no provision for the 
children of a second marriage. In that lawless 
age, a civil process was decided by the sword. 



Hugo and Fulk had the advantage of actual poih 
session and personal influence, and the latter of 
these princes was the heir, the sole heir, of the 
courage of their ancestors : they armed their vas- 
sals, occupied the passes of the Alps, and opposed 
the descent of the Duke of Bavaria, though be 
was assisted by the allied powers of the Duke of 
Carinthia and the Patriarch of Aquileia. The sons 
of Garseuda yielded at length to the weight of 
numbers; but their resistance procured more fie 
vourable conditions. They preserved a rich do- 
main, from the banks of the Mincius to the Adrift* 
tic sea ; they resigned the ample estates of Lorn* 
bardy and Tuscany to their elder kinsmen, die 
German Guelphs, and their supreme dominion wis 
acknowledged by tlie Marquisses of Este, till the 
yoke was lightened and removed by time and 
distance, and the rapid downfall of Henry the LioB. 
The law of the Lombards, which was srill professed 
in the Italian branch, disclaimed all right of primo- 
geniture, and the portion of Hugo and Fulk was 
again divided into equal lots among their eight 
sons. In the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
these collateral lines were indeed united in the 
person of Azo VI., the great grandson of Fulk ; 
but he was far from unitin^s: the whole inheritance 
of his ancestors. Many feudal possessions had 
devolved on the failure of heirs male to tlie supe- 
rior lord : manv allodial estates had been convev- 
ed, by marriage, into strange families. Much 
wealth had been consumed, much land had been 
alienated, to supply the expense of luxury and war : 



snd of all that had been consecrated to pious uses, 
not an atom could revert to the temporal successor. 
2. As I am not writing the history of Italy, I shall 
not here attempt to delineate the rise and progress 
of the republics, which revived in that country the 
spirit of popular freedom and commercial industry. 
Their revolt against the Csesars of Germany was 
embraced as a national cause: in the successful 
war against Frederic Barbarossa, their independence 
was maintained by the authority of the church, and 
the arms of the nobles ; and among the nobles, the 
Mavquisses of Este were still conspicuous in their 
decay* Obizo the youngest, but the last survivor 
of the five sons of Fulk, appeared at the congress 
of Venice with a retinue of an hundred and eighty a.d. utt. 
^followers : he had been engaged in the league of 
Lombardy ; and such was his patriotic guilt, that 
when the emperor had yielded every thing in the 
peace of Constance, the pardon of the Marquis 
Obizo was one of the last acts of his clemency, a.d. nsx 
As we may not suspect these feudal lords of any 
tender regard for the liberties of mankind, it may be 
fairly supposed that they acted from the passion or 
the interest of the moment, without discerning thai 
they themselves would be trampled under the feet 
of the plebeian conquerors. Their pride was in- 
sulted, and their poverty was exposed, by the pri- 
vate and public luxury of trade: their subjects of 
the open countr}^ were encouraged to rebel, or 
tempted to desert; and as soon as the prejudice of 
rank had been dissolved, the scale of power was 
rudely weighed down by the last and most nume- 

430 AXTlQUIttE* Ot tnt 

rous class of society. Even the inhabitants of £stf^ 
his peculiar patrimony, presumed to dispute the 
jurisdiction of the marquis : and at the distance of 
fifteen miles, they found an example and a support 
in the populous city of Padua, which was able to 
levy an army, and to support a loss of eleven thou* 

sand of her sons. The institution of the universitv 


must have contributed to the wealth, and perhaps 
the improvement, of Padua: from the proyinccs 
of Italy, from the kingdoms of France, Spain, and 
England, many thousand students were anniially 
attracted by the reputation of the various proftt* 
sors; and more than five hundred houses were re* 
quisite for the accommodation of the strai^pers. 
The lessons of the schools might ser\'e only to per- 
petuate the reign of prejudice, but the inhabitmnti 
were enriched and enlightened by a familiar inter- 
course with the nations of Europe- In this city, 
the liaughty ancestors of Obizo I. had erected 
their tribunal, as the lieutenants of the emperor: 
but Obizo himself was honoured by the choice of 
a free people, who elected him their podesia^ or su- 
preme magistrate. In the time of his great-gprand- 
son Aldobrandino, a dispute had arisen between 
the city of Padua and the Marquis of Este. The 
Paduans raised an armv, summoned their alliens of 
Vicenza. invaded his tcrritor}', besieged the castle 
of Este, battered the walls, and even the palace. 
with their military engines, and imposed the temu 
of a hard and humiliating capitulation, llie mar- 
quis was reduced to adopt the name and obligations 
of a simple burgher, to swear that he would faith- 


fit Ily obey the laws and ordinances of the commons, 
and to reside some months or weeks of every year 
within the walls of a democracy, in which th6 
lowest magistrate was his superior, and the poorest 
fellow-citizen his equal. The shame of this tem- 
porary submission could only be alleviated by the 
example of his equals : the Patriarch of Aquileia, 
with two suffragan bishops, had solicited the ho- 
nour of being admitted among the citizens of Pa- 
dua; and the^Count of the Sacred Palace, the im- 
mediate representative of Imperial majesty, was 
detained as a captive and a subject, within the 
walk of Pavia. The popular states of Lombardy 
triumphed in the fall of the aristocracy ; and the 
Marquis of Montferrat was the only noble who 
had strength and courage to maintain his here- 
ditaiy independence. 

Liberty had raised the minds of the Italians ; but 
faction, her ugly and inseparable sister, corrupted 
the peace and prosperity of the growing republics. 
They fought against the Emperor, against their 
neighbours, against themselves: the necessity of 
order and discipline compelled them to name a 
foreign dictator ; and the nobles, most eminent in 
«ms, in policy, in power, often became the cap- 
tains, and sometimes the tyrants, of the indepen- 
dent cities. The Marquisses of Este, and the Ec- 
celins of Romano, were the two leading families 
of the Trevisane or Veronese March: the memory 
of their ancestors, and the habits of command, in- 
spired that lofty and martial demeanour which 
struck the plebeian with involuntary awe; and 



they were sure to gain the hearts of the multitude!^ 
when they softened their pride into artful and po- 
pular condescension. The first £ccelin was a 
gallant knight and a dexterous politician : in Pa- 
lestine and Lombardy he was elected standard* 
bearer or general of the confederate armies ; and 
in the great rebellion against Frederic !• he de- 
served the confidence of the cities, without forfeit- 
ing the esteem of the Emperor. The civil and 
military virtues of his son, Ecceli^ the Second, 
were adorned with the gifts of Eloquence: he 
was the public and private adversary of the House 
of Este ; and as soon as the Marquis Azo VI. had 
declared himself chief of the Guelphs, the Ghi- 
belline faction acknowledged the Count of Ro- 
mano for their leader. When the Emperor Otho 
IV. descemled into Italy, his court was attended 
by the rival chiefs ; and their inten'iew describes 
the manners of the time. Eccelin complained, 
that in a neutral city, in a moment of truce or 
friendship, his life had been treacherously attacked. 
*' I was walking," said he, " with the Marquis of 
Este, on the place of St. Mark in Venice. On a 
sudden I was assauhed by the swords and daggen 
of his followers: mv friends were slaiu or made 
prisoners in my sight ; and it was with extreme 
difficulty that I could disengage my right arm from 
the strong grasp of my pcrtidious c*ompanion.*' 
The Marquis explained or denied the fact; but in 
these hostile altercations, Azo twice declined a chal- 
lenge of single combat. He could uot draw hb 
sword against Eccelin, without violating the majesty 



>f tbe Imperial presence ; and amoi^ his vassals 
le had many more noble than Salinguerra. His 
reasons might be good ; his courage was unques- 
ionable ; but — Azo twice declined a challenge of 
ingle combat. The next day, as the two leaders 
¥ere riding on either side of the Emperor, he com* 
Banded them to salute each other. ^^ Sir Eccelio, 
lalute the Marquis; Sir Marquis, salute Eccelin;'' 
ind the command was given in the French tongue, 
rhich even in that age appears to have been the 
itahionable dialect They obeyed : but the supe- 
fior dignity of the Marquis was maintained, by his 
[eceiving and returning the compliment without 
railing his bonnet to the humble salute of £cce- 
lin. They soon joined in familiar converse ; and 
before they had rode two miles, the suspicious 
Emperor, who had been alarmed by their discord, 
\fegsui to be apprehensive of their union^ His ap- 
prehensions were groundless; and their -deadly 
feuds, in council, in the field, in the cities, con* 
tanued to rage, with alternate success, till they 
both slept in the tranquillity of the grave. Theii 
possessions and their quarrels were inherited by 
their sons, Azo VII. and Eccelin the Third; but 
b a contest of forty years the Marquis of Este was 
kmg oppressed by the genius and fortune of his 
rival. The excommunication of Frederic U. exas- 
pierated and justified the hostilities of the two fac^ 
tionsp From a sermon, a bull, or a crusade, tbe 
chief of the Guelphs, the friend of the Pope, might 
ieriye some occasional aid : but the leader of the 
Chibellines was more strongly supported by the 
VOL. III. F F power, 


power, and often by the presence, of a warlike 
Prince, who filled the Trevisane March with his 
armies of Germans and Saracens. By the autho- 
rity of the Emperor, his own arts, and the assist- 
ance of foreign troops, Eccelin became the captain 
and tyrant of the cities of Verona, Vicenza, Padua, 
Trevigi, Feltri, Belluno, Trent, and Brescia : after 
the loss of his patron, he maintained ten years his 
independent reign, and proudly boasted, that since 
Charlemagne, no prince had possessed such abso- 
lute sway over the Lx)mbard states. The utmost 
efforts of his malice and revenge were directed 
against the Marquis of Este. '^ Strike the head 
of the serpent, and you are master of the body," 
was his frequent exhortation ; from a hill near 
Padua, he pointed to the towers of Este, and shew- 
ed the Emperor the hostile territories which were 
spread over the plain. Destitute of strength and 
succour, Azo was compelled to solicit pardon, to 
swear fidelity, and to purchase a precarious respite, 
by the captivity, perhaps the deatli of Rinakk), 
his only son, who was delivered as an hostage, into 
the hands of Frederic the Second. Tlie town and 
castle of Este were at length besieged by the 
forces of Eccelin : his artillery consisted of four- 
teen great battering engines, which cast stones of 
twelve hundred pounds weight ; and his pioneers, 
who were drawn from the silver mines of Carin- 
thia, opened a subterraneous passage for the en- 
trance of five hundred soldiers. The garrison ca- 
pitulated ; and instead of a total ruin, the tbrtifica- 
tions were repaired by Eccelin, who affected to 



nfrvcrence the dignity of the place. He had been 
{Haised as an hero ; *he was gradually, and at length 
generally, abhorred as a tyrant. The seeming vir- 
tues of his youth were stained by the jealous and 
unrelenting cruelty of his old age: and whatsoever 
deductions may be allowed on a list of fifty thou* 
sand victims, his name will be for ever recorded 
with the sa>'age monsters of Sicily and Rome. 
The hatied of mankind began to prevail over their 
fears ; and after a long persecution, and a firm re- 
sistance Azo found the moment of victory and 
revenge. His odious rival had been invited by one 
of the factions of Milan : the conspiracy was dis- 
covered, the enterprize failed : but on his return to 
Brescia, in the passage of the Adda, at the well- 
known bridge of Cassano, he was intercepted by 
the troops of Mantua, Cremona, and Ferrara, un- 
der the banner of the Marquis of Este. After a 
short comlmt, the valiant Eccelin (he deser\'es that 
praise) was wounded in the foot, and taken pri- 
soner : the few remaining days of hb life were em- 
bittered by the insults of the multitude, and the 
more insulting pity of the conqueror. Azo VII. 
was hailed as the saviour of Lombardy : but he 
derived more glorj*^ than advantage from the ty- 
rant's fall. The cause of the Ghibellines revived 
under new leaders: the cities of the Tre\Tsane 
March were usurped by the new families of Scala 
and Carrara ; and instead of asserting their ancient 
right to the government of Milan, the rising ambi- 
tion of the Visconti was promoted by the arms and 
alliance of the marquisses of Este. 

F f2 Jt 


It was in the state of Ferrara that they first esta- 
blished a princely dominion, on the basis, and 
finally on the ruins, of a popular government. 
The flat country, which is intersected by the 
branches of the Po, liad tbrmerly been a wild mo- 
rass, impervious to the Roman highways. About 
the middle of the seventli century, twelve solitary 
villages coalesced into a fortified town, on tlie 
banks of the river : the safe and conveni^t situa- 
tion attracted a crowd of settlers ; their labours 
were rewarded by the conversion of the fens into 
rich and productive land; and the rising colony 
was distinguished by the seat of a bishop, and the 
privileges of a city. After the death of the Coun- 
tess Matilda, Ferrara tasted the blessings and the 
mischiefs of lilx^rty : the patricians and the ple- 
beians, the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, disputed, 
inarms, the command of the republic: thirty-two 
towers of defence were erected within the walk; 
and in forty years the factions were ten times 
alternately expelled. Among the tliirty-four noble 
families of Ferrara, the pre-eminence of wealth and 
power was claimed by the rival houses of the Ade- 
lardi and Taurelli. About the year one thousanil 
one hundred and eighty, the former were reduced 
to an infant daughter : the proposal of a concilia- 
tory marriage was rejected by their adherents : the 
heiress was delivered into the hands of Obizo I. : 
and his grandson Azo VI. was elected as the fu- 
ture husband of the maid ; and the future chief of 
the name and party of the Adelardi. Marchesella 
died at the age of eight years, before nature would 



allow her to produce a'^ild, or the law would 
permit her to subscribe a ^v^ll : but the whole inhe- 
ritance of her fathers was yielded to the Marquis of 
Este, and his gratitude, or ambition, distributed 
the fiefs among his friends and followers. By this 
step, he acquired a commanding influence at Fer- 
rara: Azo VI. was declared perpetual lord and go- ^•^- ^'^ 
vemor of the republic ; and the act, which is stiU 
extant, betrays the madness of party, by the grant 
of absolute and unconditional power. From this 
power, his son was degraded to the humiliating 
permission of an annual visit ; a popular and pros- 
perous state was again established by the Ghibel- 
lines, and it was not till after thirty-two years of 
re\'olutions that the sovereignty of the House of 
Este was fixed bv the valour and conduct of 
the seventh Azo. At the head of the confe- 
derated forces of the Pope, of Venice, and of a.d. iwi 
Bologna, he marched against Ferrara : but a hu- 
mane conqueror might lament that the revolution 
was effected by the calamities of a siege, and con- 
demned by the retreat of fifteen hundred citizens. 
These evils were indeed compensated by the wis- 
dom and justice of twenty-four years: his funeral a.d. i?ft 
was honoured by the tears of the opposite faction ; 
and at the age of seventeen, his grandson, Obizo II. 
succeeded to the office, or rather the inheritance, 
of his father. The reputation of Obizo II. en- 
gaged the turbulent republics of Modena and Reg- 
gio to accept him for their prince; and at the time 
of his decease, three populous cities, with their 
ample territories, were subject to the sway of the 

F F 3 mar- 


marquisses of Este. Mofkna and Reggio were in- 
deed lost by the imprudence of his son, tlie levity 
of the people, and the arts of the Ghibellines ; and 
the separation lasted thirty years in the one, and 
an hundred in the other, before the rebellious 
children were reconciled to their parent. But the 
submission of Ferrara was pure and permanent, 
and the lapse of time insensibly erased the fonm 
and maxims of the old republic. After the death 
pf Azo VIII., whose last will preferred a bastard 
D. ISM. to a brother, Ferrara was oppressed by the avarice 
of the Venetians, tlxe ambition of the pope, and 
the Catalan mercenaries of the king of Naples: 
but the spirit of patriotism and loyalty still lived 
in the hearts of the citizens, and they soon rose to 
the deliverance and defence of their country under 
the banner of the white eagle. This constant af- 
fection is at once the praise of the subject and 
sovereign. This praise is the more precious, as it 
must almost be confined to the subjects, of the mar- 
quisses of Este. They were ranked among the 
princes of Italy at a time when the families which 
, afterwards emerged to greatness were confounded 
with the meanest of the people. They were the 
first who after the twelfth century acquired by po- 
pular election the (lominion of a free city. And 
they still subsist with splendour and dignity, 
while the tyrants more conspicuous in their day 
have left only a name, and for tlie most part an 
odious name, to the annals of their country. 

The states of Ferrara, Modeiia, and Reggio were 
fairly won and recovered by the labour and fortune 



of the Marquisses of Este. . But the liberality of 
the popes and emperors was an easy and profitable 
virtue : they granted the right ,to those who had 
the actual possession, bestowed the title where the 
substance was lost, and confirmed their pretensions 
by resigning to others what they were unable to 
obtain or to hold for their own use. The court of 
Home was informed of the merit and reputation of 
Azo VI. ; and he accepted from the two sovereigns 
of Christendom, from pope Innocent III. and the 
emperor Otho IV. a double investiture of the mar- 
quisate of Ancona, which e^ctended over twelve 
dioceses and counties between the Adriatic and the 
Apennine. But this splendid gift was no more 
than the right without the power of subduing a 
warlike people, in strong opposition to the church 
and the empire. This enterprize, which might 
seem above the strength of Azo, was vigorously 
prosecuted by his eldest son the Marquis Aldobraur 
dino, who raised the supplies of the war by pawn- 
ing his younger brother to the usurers of Florence. 
The war Avas suspended by his untimely death; 
the conquest was never achieved ; the pledge was 
never redeemed, and in the third generation the 
A-ain titl# of Marquis of Ancona was silcQtly dis- 
missed. The fens of Ferrara might have been 
included within the limits of the exarqhate, the 
successors of St. Peter might allege the donations 
of Constantine, of Pepin, of Charlemagne, and of 
the Countess Matilda: but in the first century 
after their election, the Marquisses of Este ac^ 
knowledged no superior, save God and the people^ 

F F 4 It 

440 AsmauiTiEs of th^k 

It was in a inoment of distress and exile, that ther 
accepted from Clement V. the title of Vicars of 
the Church: that they submitted to hold the 
feudatory possession of Ferrara by an annual 
payment of teti thousand gold florins. Ther 
regai(^ed their sovereignty without the aid, and 
against the efforts, of the court of Rome : the 
treaty was however ratified, and if the tribute to^ 
fered some occasional abatement, they could neref 
break the chain of feudal dependence, which was 
at length fatal to the house of Este. After the re- 
covery of Modena and Reggio, they obtained on 
more easy terms the title of vicars of the empire: 
and the natives of Italy, like those of India, con- 
tinued to reverence the seal and subscription of 
their impotent king. Before the end of the four- 
teenth century, the German emperors, who had 
been accustomed to the traffic of avarice and vanity, 
were tempted to revive in Italy tlie long-forgotten 

EX 1595. title of duke : and at the price of an hundred 
thousand gold florins tlie Visconti of Milan were 
exalted above the heads of their equals. Twenty- 
two years afberwards, the exclusive dignity of die 
Dukes of Milan was somewhat impaired by the 

D. wir. similar honours of the Dukes of Savoy. The third 
candidate was Borso Marquis of Este, the twelfth 
« in lineal descent from the old Marquis Albert-Aro 
the Second : his reign was wise and fortunate, and 
the proverb which he left behind him, '^ This is 
not the time of Duke Borso," is far more glorions 
than all the trappings of mortal pride. In the year 
one thousand four hundred and fifty-two, by the 



£iiiperor Frederic the Third, he was created Duke 
of Modena and Reggio. Eighteen years after^ 
wards the ambitious imitation of Pope Paul the 
Sccxxnd conferred on Borso the superior title of 
Duke of Ferrara; and the crowns, the mantles; 
and the sceptres used in these pompous investi- 
tures, were second only to the majesty of kings; 
In the sixteenth century, a Duke was imposed on 
the republic of Florence by the arms and authority 
of Charies V. ; and the genius of the great Cosmo 
soon gave him a rank in the political system of 
Europe. A dispute for precedency arose betweeir 
the Dukes of Ferrara and Florence ; and if the 
Este could boast the nobility of their race, and the 
priority of their creation, the Medici might plead 
tiie wealth, the extent, and perhaps the indepen* 
dence, of the state over which they reigned. The 
cborts of Rome and Vienna lolig balanced their 
respective claims without risking a final sentence ; 
and the dispute could be appealed only by the in* 
ventidn of the new title and prerogatives of Grand 
Duke of Tuscany. In this frivolous contest the a. d. tses 
powers of France and Spain were interested, and 
had it been decided by arms, such a war A\'ould 
We added a chapter to the annals of human 

While the honours of the House of Este were mul- 
tiplied by popes and emperors, a republic insulted 
and almost oppressed the Dukes of Ferrara. Had 
Venice been prudent, Venice would have been 
content with the riches of commerce and the com- 
mand of the sea. But this maritime empire served 



only to stimulate the ambition of an Italian con- 
quest : discipline and wealth obtained an easy vic- 
tory over weakness and discord ;'and in the fif- 
teenth century the provinces of Terra Firma were 
added to the dominion of St.»Mark. Nicholas the 
Third, Marquis of Este, and Lord of Ferrara, made 
a feeble elfbrt to assist the Carrara princes, and to 

A.!>. 1405. save the important barrier of Padua. The Vene- 
tians instantly filled the Po with armed vessels; 
' his territories were ravaged ; his capital was starved, 
till he left his allies to their fate; implored the 
mercy of the senate, and resigned himself to such 
conditions as resentment and avarice could impose. 
After a servitude of fourscore years, his son Her- 
cules I. was accused of a generous, or criminal re- 
volt : the superior forces of Venice encompassed 
Ferrara by sea and land, and if a league of the Ita- 
lian powers protected him from total ruin, the duke 
was bound by the new treaty in a closer and more 

A. D. 148S weighty chain. 1 . A superior title, and more 

"" ample sway, might compensate for the loss of pro- 

perty and command in the neighbourhood of Pa- 
dua. But Este was still dear and sacitxl to the 
princes of that name: the transient recover}' of 
the castle, the town, and the fief, had delighted 

A.D.1S89. their hereditary pride, and it was not without re- 
gret that the/ beheld that ancient possession* the 
source of their title, for ever melted into the ^>ne• 
tian state. The PoUsine^ or island of Roviga 
which had once been mortgaged for sixty thousand 
ducats to the Venetians, was irrevocablv ceded bv 
Rercules I. ; and not a vestige remained of the 



atrimonial estates to the north of the Po, which had 
leen acquired five hundred years before by the mar-^ 
iage of Albert-Azo I, 2. The goods and persons of 
lie Venetians who descended the Po, were exempt 
rem all tolls and duties whatsoever: every strainger 
ira3 shielded under that respectable name; and 
ven the peasants of the borders began to claim 
he immunities of St. Mark. The same grievance 
irhich impaired the revenue, attacked the sove- 
eignty of the Duke of Ferrara, since he was for- 
bidden to rai$e any forts or barriers, %vhich might 
obstruct a free passage through his territories either 
ny land or water. 3. With the avarice of a trading 
K)wer, Venice aspired to a monopoly of salt in 
he Adriatic gulf. The duke was rigorously de* 
>rived of the use and profits of his salt-works of 
!]lommachio ; and his subjects were compelled to 
>urcha$e in a foreign market one of the necessaries 
>( life, which nature had so profusely scattered on 
heir own shores. 4. A citizen of Venice resided 
it Ferrara with the title of Vicedominus ; he was 
he proper judge of his countrymen ; but the arro- 
gance of his behaviour insulted the prince, his daily 
isurpations interrupted the course of justice, and 
lis last act was tlic imprisonment of a native and a 
)riest. Peace was oppressive; but war might have 
)een fatal to the House of Este. The three last so- 
vereigns of Padua, a father and his two sons, had 
)een strangled in the prisons of Venice ; the remains 
)f the Carrara and Scala families were proscribed; 
md the deliberate cruelty of the senate was justi- 
^ed by the examples of ancient Rome. 



Twenty-five years after the last treaty of Her- 
cules I. his son and successor Alphonso I. embraced 
the fairest hope of liberty and revenge. In the 
league of Cam bray, the four great potentates of 
Europe united their arms against a single republic; 
the Pope, Julius II.; thc*Empci*or, Maximilian of 
Austria; Lewis XII. King of France and Duke of 
Milan ; and Ferdinand, King of Arragon and Naples. 
Each of the allies had suffered some injuries, had 
lost some territories, and they all considered the 
prosperity of Venice with the same sentiments of 
indignation and envy which are excited in the 
breast of a noble by the luxurv and insolence of a 
wealthy merchant. While Maximilian delayed, 
while Ferdinand dissembled, while the Pope pro- 
nounced his excommunications, the Kingof France, 
at the head of his invincible cavalr}*, had passed 
the Alps, and on the Iwrnks of the Adda, the mer- 
cenary bands of St. Mark were trampled under 
their horses' feet. The firmness of Rome after a 
great defeat was not imitated by the senators of 
Venice : they despaired of the republic, evacuated 
in a day the conquests of an age, and abandoned to 
the confederates the division of the spoil. Under 
the wing of these confederates, Alphonso, Duke of 
Ferrara, had acceded to the league of Cambray, 
and accepted the office, or rather the title, of 
Standard-bearer or CJeneral of the Church. The 
first act of hostility was to vindicate his indepen* 
dence : the county of Rovigo yielded to his attack ; 
and he received from the Emperor the invcstitureof 
Este. In this public shipwreck Venice was saved 



; zeal of her nobles, and the fidelity of her 
ts: the nobles saerificed their lives, or at 
heir fortunes, in their own cause ; the sub- 
without speculating on the theory of govern- 

had long enjoyed, and now regretted the 
m and justice of a parental aristocracy. The 
polis was impregnable and rich; the trans- 
2 provinces were untouched ; the navy was 
; new annies were purchased; the allies 

to feel suspicion, and to affect pity; and 
eliverancc of Padua announced the rising 
es of the republic. While tlie Venetians 

to resist or disann their more formidable 
es, the rebel Alphonso (such was the style of 
Date) was marked as the object of vengeance, 
ich his station exposed him on every side. 
St the advice of their wisest counsellors, their 
i\ Angelo Trevisano, with eighteen gallies, 
train of brigantines, entered the mouth of 
>, spread desolation on either bank, and pre- 
with forts and bridges the passage of the 
and the siege of Ferrara. But the army was 

away by a seasonable diversion; and the 
ras destroyed by the valour and conduct of 
^uke himself, and his brother the Cardinal 
>Uto. Under the shelter of the dikes tliey 
anted their long batteries, which supported 
:essant lire; and the affrighted Venetians 
suddenly oppressed by tlie armed vessels 

issued from the city. The admiral ignomi- 
y fled with the great standard of St. Mark; 
allies escaped, three were burnt or sunk, and 



the remaining thirteen followed the triumph oftbt 
conqueror, who immediately assaulted and demo* 
lished all the works of the siege. His victory might 
be ascribed to his superior artillery, and that supe- 
riority was the effect of his own skill and industry. 
Three hundred cannons were cast in his founderv, 
and deposited in his arsenal; he liberally enter- 
tained the best engineers ; and the well-adapted 
fortifications of stone, of earth, and of water, had 
rendered Ferrara one of the strongest places in 
Italy.- The French, who served with their ally, 
celebrate the politeness, the knowledge, the mag*' 
nificence of the Duke : and Alphonso expended 
above three hundred thousand ducats to ren^ard 
the ser\'ice, and to secure the friendship, of the 
Gallic chiefs. 

But their friendship soon became dangerous to 
the House of Este, when the same confederates 
who had joined with France for the destruction of 
Venice, conspired with Venice for the expulsion 

^D.i6io. of the French. The new league was formed and 
sanctified by Julius H., who secretly aspired to de- 
liver Italv from the barbarians : and the fidelitv of 
the Duke of Ferrara to his first engagements exas- 
perated the fiercest and most ambitious of the suc- 
cessors of St. Peter. Alphonso was degraded from 
the rank of a vassal and a Christian : his rich for- 
feiture was devoured by the avarice perhaps of a 
papal nephew, ancl his sentence of condemnation 
was extended to both worlds. Against him the 
temporal and spiritual arms of Rome were equally 

4.D.1M1. directed: his city of Modena was occupied: in 



epth of a seve?re winter the presence of Julius 

ated the troops, and the aged father of the 

itians pressed the siege of Mirandola with the 

ir of a youthful soldier. Ferrara however was 

I by its own strength and the Gallic succours : 

miyof Lewis XII. invaded the ecclesiastical 

under the command of his nephew, the valiant 

5n of Foix : in the battle of Ravenna the fury A.D.i5it. 

e French cavalry was encountered by the firm* 

of the Spanish infantry, ancj the success of 

ay might be attributed in some degree to the 

5 of Ferrara, who led the vanguard, and 

ted the infantry. But after the loss of Gaston, 

trange retreat of the victorious army, and the 

evacuation of Italy, the solitary and humble 
t of France remained without defence under 
land of a merciless oppressor. While he 
d as a suppliant in the Vatican, his city of 
:io was sui*prised and stolen ; he was insulted 
e proposal of yielding Ferrara for a poor and 
rious exchange ; and even the validity of his 
ronduct was questioned by a perfidious court, 
iberty, and perhaps the life of Alphonso were 
ed by the grateful friendship of the Colonna : 
forced the Lateran Gate, lodged him in the 

of Marino, and watched over his escape in 
arious disguises of a huntsman, a ser\ant, and 
r. A single event could suspend his ruin; AJ).i5:s. 
y that event was his ruin suspended. Julius 
:pired : his passions were buried in his tomb ; 
is policy with a milder aspect still reigned in 
ouncils of his successors. Leo X. was too 



generous to l>e just ; and the ambition of his family 
was concealed by the sacred veil of tlie honour and 
interest of the church. After the victoiy of 
A.D.i5t5. lyiarignan, Francis I. might have dischaiged his 
obligations by an act of equity and power : but in* 
stead of commanding he negociated with the court 
qf Rome. The restitution of Modena and Reggie 
to bis long-suffering ally, was often promised, and 
as often eluded : the failure of a secret conspiracy 
provoked the Roman pontiff to thunder a new 
sentence of excommunication and forfeiture ; and 
one of the medals of Alphonso attests his miraculous 
deliverance from the lion's paw. Adrian VL had 
a conscience, a faculty long dormant in the vican 
of Christ : but his scruples were ren^oved by the 
Italian casuists: and he found it more easy to 
absolve the sins than to restore tlie states of the 
House of Este. Clement VII. an illegitimate 
son, adopted the politics of the Medici ; and had 
his ,arts been successful, Alachiavel, who was still 
alive, might liave been proud of his disciple. 
After a tedious and treacherous delay, the sword ol 
AlphonbO'\'indicated his own rigl\ts; and his pru- 
dence seized the fortunate moments of the conclave 
and the captivity of Clement VII. Tlie g^tes of 
Modciia and Reggio were joyfully opened to their 
native prince : and on a payment to die Pope of an 
hundred thousand ducats, his possession was con- 
firmed by the sentence of the Emperor Charles V. 
whose interest prompted him tq establish the peace 
of Italy. During these revolutions the Duke of 
Feii^a concluded a truce« and finally a treaty, 



vith the Venetians^ his patrimonial estates of 
£ste and Rovigo were for ever lost: but he no 
kmger felt or feared the tyranny of a republic 
which had been tramed to moderation in the school 
of adversity. 

Among the noble marriages of the £ste, two 
princes, Azo VIII. and Hercules I. had been 
allied to the crown of Naples in the rival houses 
of Anjou and Arragon. But these lofty con- 
nexions had not been productive of any solid 
benefit, and the Venetians signified their dis- 
pleasure that the Duke of Ferrara had preferred 
the daughter of a king, instead of choosing a 
senator for his father and patron. In the next 
generation, the House of Este was sullied by a 
sanguinary and incestuous race; by the nuptials 
of Alphonso I. with Lucretia, a bastard of Alex- 
ander VL the Tiberius of Christian Rome. This 
modem Luo-etia might have assumed with more 
pn^riety the name of Messalina ; since the woman 
who can be guilty, who can even be accused, of a 
criminal commerce with a father and two brothers, 
must be abandoned to all the licentiousness of 
venal love. Her vices were highly coloured by a 
contempt for decency : at a banquet in the apos* 
tolical palace, by the side of the Pope, she beheld~ 
witiu>ut a blush the naked dances and lascivious 
postures of fifty prostitutes : she distributed . the 
prizes to the champions of Venus, according to 
the number of victories which thev achieved in 
her presence. Hercules I. was tmwilling to accept 
such a consort for his eldest son, but he was 

VOL. III. G o apprehensive 


apprehensive of the bulls and daggers of the 
Borgia family : he was tempted by the sum of one 
liundred and twenty thousand ducats, the city and 
district of Cento, and the reduction of his annual 
tribute to a slight quit-rent of an hundred florins. 
The marriage articles were signed ; and as- the bed 
of Lucretia was not then vacant, her third hasbond, 
a royal bastard of Naples, was first stabbed, and 
afterwards strangled in the Vatican. Perhaps the 
youth of Lucretia had been seduced by example; 
perhaps she had been satiated with pleasure; 
perhaps she was awed by the authority of hw new 
parent and husband : but the Duchess of Ferran 
lived seventeen years without reproach, and 
Alphonso I. believed himself to be the father of 
three sons. The eldest, his successor, Hercules 
II. expiated this maternal stain by a nobler choice; 
and his fidelity was rewarded by minglmg the 
blood of Este with that of France. By his second 
marriage witli Anne Duchess of Britanny, Lewi> 
XII. left only two daughters : Claude, the eldest 
became the wife of his successor Francis I. and 
Rcn^e her younger sister, who had once been pro- 
0iised to Charles V. was bestowed on Hercules H. 
hereditary prince, and after his father's decease. 
Duke of Ferrara. Her portion of two hundred 
and fifty thousand crowns was paid in a territorial 
equivalent, tlie dukedoms of Chartres and Montar- 
gis : but Ren6e was perhaps the true heiress of 
Britanny, since the agreement which secured the 
perpetual independence of the duchy mi^t be 
applied with as much reason ta a second daught^ 


M to a, second son. The French princess, whose 
mind was more beautiful than her person, con-^ 
tinned above thirty years to adorn the court of 
Ferrara : her liberal understanding was improved 
by the learning of the age; nor was it her fault if 
in the learning of the age she discovered and 
!U;udied the vain science of astrology. During a 
long exile she cherished a tender remembrance of 
her native country : every Frenchman, according 
to his degree, who visited Ferrara, either praised 
her munificence, or blessed her charity : and the 
relics of a Neapolitan expedition, ten thousand 
naked and hungry fugitives, were relieved by the 
profuse alms of the Duchess. When her treasurer 
represented the enormous expense, " they are my 
countrymen," Ren6e generously replied, " and had 
God given me a beard, they would be now my 
subjects." But these virtues were the splendid 
sins of a heretic. From her cradle and in her 
marriage, the daughter of Lewis XII. the daughter- 
in-law of Alphonso I. had learned to hate the 
tyranny of the Pope : her firm and curious under- 
standing was not afraid of religious inquiries ; and 
she listened to the new teachers, who professed to 
revive the old truths of the gospel. Clement, 
Marot, and John Calvin were hospitably enter- -A. d. issi 
tained at Ferrara; in the conversion of the Duchess, 
the eloquence of the preacher was seconded by 
the wit of the poet ; and the apostle of Geneva 
Was proud to spread his conquests on the verge of 
the realm of Antichrist. But this spark, which 
might have kindled a flame in Italy, was quickly 

G G 2 extinguished 


extinguished by the diligence of the inquisitoia, 
and Hercules II. was apprehensive of the temporal, 
as well as the spiritual punishment of the guilt of 
heresy. Calvin and Marot fled beyond the moun- 
tains: Ren6e heard with sullen constancy the 
sermons of the popish doctors ; but after suffering 
the dismission of her French servants, and the 
hardships of a prison, she submitted with a sigh to 
wear the mask of dissimulation. A more open 
profession of Calvinism after her husband^s death, 
determined and liastened her departure from 
Ferrara: and the last fifteen years of Ren^ of 
France were spent in her native country. In the 
bloody scenes of persecution and war, the Dudiesi 
maintained her dignity and protected her brethren. 
Her castle of Montargis, near Paris, was a sure 
asylum for the Huguenots; and when it wis 
threatened with a siege, she boldly replied, " the 
Catholics may assault my residence, they will find 
me standing in the breach, and prepared to try 
whether they will fire on the daughter of a king 
of France." She was the daughter of a king; but 
the wife'of her son Alphonso II. was the daughter 
and sister of two emperors, of Ferdinand I. and 
Maximilian II. of the House of Austria. 

The five Dukes of Ferrara, Borso, Hercules I. 
Alphonso I. Hercules II. and Alphonso II. seem 
to have been magnified in the eyes of Europe, far 
beyond the measure of their wealth and power. 
Their merit was superior to their fortune ; they 
supported with firmness tlie calamities of war; 
they improved and enjoyed the prosperi^ of peace. 



Near a century before the end of their reign, 
Alexander VI. in- his bull of investiture, applauds 
the usefiil labours of Hercules I. which had in- 
creased the numbers and happiness of his people,' 
which had adorned the city of Ferrara with strong^ 
fortifications and stately edifices, and which had 
reclaimed a large extent of unprofitable waste. 
The vague and spreading branches of the Po were 
confined in. their proper channels by moles and 
dikes ; the intermediate lands were converted to 
pasture and tillage ; the fertile district became the 
granary of Venice ; and the com exports of a 
single year were exchanged for the value of two 
hundred thousaind ducats. The triangular island 
or delta of Mesola, at the mouth of the Po, had 
been recovered from the waters by Alphonso II* 
who surrounded it with a wall nine miles in cir- 
cumference: a palace, with its dependencies of 
stables and gardens, arose in this new creation, and 
it was reserved by the founder for his favourite 
amusements of hunting and fishing. Ferrara 
became one of the most flourishing of the Italian 
cities : the walls and buildings have survived the 
loss of the inhabitants, which are now reduced 
fiom fourscore thousand to a tenth part: the 
works of superstition were enriched by each 
generation : the arsenal, in a long peace, was suc- 
ceeded by theatres and palaces, and if the hand of 
the princely architect be most conspicuous, many 
vacant houses are the monuments of private 
opulence and taste. Modena and Reggio, more 
favourably treated by nature, were not abandoned 

G G 3 bv 


by the House of E$te : the course of the Po 
opened much inland, and some foreign trade; and 
a colony of Flemish exiles attempted to revive the 
declining arts of the loom. I am not instructed 
to deiSne the revenue of the Dukes of Ferrara: 
tmt it is the praise of Alphonso I. that he left a 
treasure, without increasing his taxe»; it is the 
reproach of Alphonso II. that, with an increase of 
taxes^ he left behind him a considerable debt. 
The court of these princes was at all times polite 
and splendid : on extraordinary occasions, a birth, 
a marriage, a journey, a festival, the passage of an 
illustrious stranger, they strove to surpass their 
equals, and to equal their superiors ; and the vanity 
of the people was gratified at their own expense. 
Seven hundred horses were ranged in Bocsoa 
stables; and in the sport of hawking, the Duke 
was attended to the field by a hundred falconers. 
In his Roman expedition, to receive the ducal 
investiture, his train of five hundred geutlemen, 
his chamberlains and pages, one hundred menial 
servants, and one hundred and fifty mules, were 
clothed, according to their degree, in brocaile, 
velvet, or fine cloth : the bells of the mules were 
of silver, and the dresses, liveries, and trappings, 
were covered with gold and silver embroidery. 
The martial train of Alphonso II. in his campaign 
in Hungary, consisted of tlu*ee hundred gentlemen, 
each of whom was followed by an esquire and two 
arquebiuiers on horseback; and the anns and 
apparel of this gallant troop were such as might 
provoke the envy of the Germans^ and the avarice 



€]f the Turks. Did I possess a book, printed 
umler the title of the Chivalries of FerrarOj I 
should not pretend to describe the nuptials of the 
same Duke with the Emperor's sister : the balls, 
the feasts, and tournaments of many busy days ; 
and the final representation of the Temple of Lov^ 
which ^'as erected in the palace garden, with a 
stnpendoiis scenery of porticos and palaces, of 
woods and mountains. That the last shew should 
oontinue six hours, without appearing tedious to 
the spectators, is perhaps the most incredible cir* 
cnmstance. In each generation of the House of 
Este, a younger brother, with the rank of Cvdinal, 
held some of the richest bishoprics and abbies in 
Italy and France. These noble and wealthy 
ecclesiastics were the patrons of every art: the 
VUla Estense at Tivoh, near Rome, is the work of 
Cardinal Hippolitus, brother to Hercules II. the 
palace, gardens, and water-works, exhibit, in their 
present decay, the spirit of a prince and the taste 
<rf* the age. 

A philosopher, according to his temper^ may 
hngh or weep at this ostentatious and oppressive 
splendour; nor will he be disarmed by the patronage 
and perfection of the finer arts, which flourished in 
Italy in the sixteenth centur)\ But he will ap- 
prove the modest encouragement of learning and 
genius, an expense which can never drain the 
treasures of a prince. An university had been 
founded at Padua bv the House of Este, and the 
scholastic rust was polished away by the revival of 
^ literature of Greece and Rome. The studies 

G G 4 of 


of Fcrrara were directed by skilful and eloquent 
professors, either natives or foreigners: the ducal 
library was filled with a valuable collection of 
manuscript and printed books ; and as soon at 
twelve new comedies of Plautus had been found 
in Germany, the Marquis Lionel of Este was im- 
patient to obtain a fair and faithful copy of that 
ancient poet. Nor were these elegant pleasures 
confined to the learned world Under the reign 
of Hercules I., a wooden theatre, at the modeiate 
cost of a thousand crowns, was constructed in the 
largest court of the palace : the scenery represented 
some houses, a sea-port, and a ship, and the Me- 
nechmi of Plautus, which had been translated into 
Italian by the Duke himself, was acted b^oie a 
numerous and polite audience. In the same Ian* 
guage, and with the same success, the Amphj^tricm 
of Plautus, and the Eunuch of Terence, were suc- 
cessively exhibited; and these classic modehi 
which formed the taste of the spectators, excited 
the emulation of the poets of the age. For the 
use of the court and theatre of Ferrara, Ariosto 
composed his comedies, which were often pUyed 
with applause, which are still read with pleasure: 
and such was the enthusiasm of the new arts» that 
one of the sons of Alphonso I. did not disdain to 
speak a prologue on the stage. In the Intimate 
forms of dramatic composition the Italians have 
not excelled : but it was in the court of Ferrara 
that they invented and refined th^ pastoral comafy^ 
a romantic arcadia, which violates the truth of 
manners, apd the simplicity of nature, but which 



(uiiands our indulgence, by the elaborate luxury 
eloquence and wit. The Aminta of Tasso was 
itten for the amusement, and acted in the pre- 
oe, of Alphonso II.; and his sister Leonora 
^t apply to herself the language of a passion, 
ich disordered the reason, without clouding the 
lius, of her poetical lover. Of the numerous 
tations, the Pastor Fido of Guarini, which alone 
I vie with the fame and merit of die original, is 
; work of the Duke's secretary of state : it was 
libited in a pnvate house at Ferrara : but the 
neat of the author from the service of his native 
Dce, has bestowed on Turin the lK>nour of tiie 
t public representation. The father of 'die 
Man muses, the sublime, but unequal Dante, 
1 pibnounted that Ferrara was never honoured 
h the name of a poet: he would have been 
mished to behold the chorus of baids, of melo* 
us swans, (their own allusion,) who now peo- 
d the banks of the Po. In the court of Duke 
HBO and his successor, Boiardo, Count of Scandi- 
I, was respected as a noble, a soldier, and a 
olar: his vigorous fancy first celebrated the 
es«and exploits of the Paladin Orlando ; and his 
le has at once been preserved and ecljpsed by 
iMighter glories of the continuation of his 
ric* Ferrara may boast, that on her classic 
und, Ariosto and Tasso lived and sung ; that 
lines of the Orlando FuriasOy and the Gerusa- 
me Liberata^ were inscribed in everlasting cha- 
ters under the e}'e of the first and second AI- 
ipso. In a period of near three thousand years, 



five great epic poets have arisen in the world: and 
it is a singular prerogative, that two of the five 
should be claimed as their own, by a short age, 
and a petty state. 
k?hi*^' But the glory of Ferrara, and perhaps the legiti- 
mate race of the Este, expired ^^ ith Alphonso II. 
As he left neither children nor brothers, his first 
cousin, Don Csesar, the son of a younger son of 
Alphonso I., was the next in the lineal order of de- 
scent. His claim to the succession was ratified by 
the will of the late Duke, who bad obtained from 
the Emperor, though not from the Pope, the privi- 
lege of choosing an heir in his own family. And 
the senate of Ferrara, which still preserved a sem- 
blance of election, presented him, with apparent 
loyalty, the sword of justice, and the sceptre of 
dominion. The people submitted to a prince, 
who seemed to unite the various titles of birth, 
donation, and of the public choice ; the accession 
of Don Caesar was announced to the comts of 
Italy and Europe; and his reign might have been 
peaceful and prosperous, had not the ambition ot' 
Clement VIII. revived the design of restoring 
Ferrara to the ecclesiastical state. In the confi- 
dence of right, or at least of power, the Roman 
pontiff sternly rejected the ambassador and obedi- 
ence of a pretended Duke, who had not expected 
the approbation of the Holy See. A monitory, or 
summons, to appear in fifteen days, was afiixed on 
the church doors ; and the Apostolical Chamber 
demanded the possession of the fief, till the vassal 
should have cleared his birth and title in tlie court 



bds supreme lord. It was in vain that the Duke 
Ferrara solicited a delay, that he provoked an 
uiiy, that he negociated a compromise, that he 
mitted his cause to the arbitration of a neutral 
ge. " The honour and interest of the Church,** 

I the inexorable pontiff, ^^ must not be deserted, 
the vindication of St. Peter's patrimony, I will 

the last chalice of the altar; I am ready to 
rch in person against the sacrilegious rebel; 

I I would die in the ditch of Ferrara, with the 
Y sacrament in my hands." This generous re- 
Jtion was applauded by the Cardinals, and they 
tested, that if Clement VIII. should be taken 
n the world, they would impose, by a common 
\%f the same obligation on the future pope. 
De forms of judicial proceeding were hastily dis- 
died; and before two months had elapsed from 

death of Alphonso IL, a tremendous bull of 
ieiture, excommunication, and interdict, was 
ndered against the pretended Duke and his 
lious adherents. At the same time, the military 
parations were urged with incessant >igour, 
I an army of sixteen thousand horse and foot, 
ich &me had soon magnified to .twenty-five 
usand, was assembled near Faenza, under die 
unand of Cardinal Aldobrandini, the pope s 
hew and legate. The state of Europe was 
St favourable to the ambition of Rome, and the 
spectsof Don Csesar were on all sides black 
(comfortless. The Emperor Rodolph II. might 
a well-wisher to the House of Este, but his 
lote and insufficient forces were occupied by 



the Turks in Hungary. If the rival monarchs of 
France and Spain should deign to interfere in this 
pigmy war, the enmity of the one would not en- 
sure the support of the other. Henry IV. had 
been persuaded, by a selfish agent, to prove the 
sincerity of his conversion, in the sacrifice of an 
old and faithful ally; Philip II., the demon of the 
south, was now anxious to leave his son and his 
dominions in peace; but the revolution was con- 
summated before he could signify his intentions : 
and the Spanish ministers in Italy were suspected 
of a secret conspiracy against the Imperial fiefs of 
Reggio and Modena. The Italian princes balanced 
between fear and envy : Venice was least desirous 
of th^ neighbourhood, and least apprehensive of 
the resentment, of the pope : but her words were 
ambiguous, and her actions were slow. Don Cesar 
had been left without troops or treasures : the for- 
tifications of Ferrara were neglected in a kmg 
peace: the people was aggrieved by taxes; the 
clergy was seduced by the prejudice of conscience, 
or the hopes of preferment; the emissaries of 
Rome were busy and persuasive; and the ancient 
loyalty to the House of £ste was corrupted by the 
promise of a golden age. 

fiat the instant cause x)f his ruin was in the cha- 
racter of the Duke hhnself. Had Don Cfl»ar 
been endowed with the spirit and constancy of his 
ancestors, he might have been saved by the reso- 
lution to fall. Had he listened to the advioe of a 
veteran, a bold sally on the half-formed camp of 
Faeiiza might have dissipated the pope s soldiers, 



who would cease to be formidable, when they 
ceased to be feared. The siege of Ferrara was an 
arduous enterprize : courage would have given him 
time, time would have given him friends; the 
Venetians would have armed for his interest and^ 
their own; many brave adventurers of France and 
Italy would have drawn their swords in his quar- 
rel ; and the novelty of danger, the lassitude of 
war, the weight of expense, the chances of morta- 
lity,^ would have inclined his enemies to a safe and 
honourable peace. Far different were the feelings 
of the successor of Alphonso : He had been edu- 
cated remote from the council and the field, in the 
bosom of luxury and devotion : his mild and timid 
disposition was astonished by the thunder of spi- 
ritual and temporal arms ; nor could he expect 
from others the support which he denied to him- 
self. When he entered the cathedral, the priests 
* interrupted their rites, and fled from the altars; 
his venal ministers exaggerated the danger, and 
conceided the resources; he was alarmed each 
hour by the intelligence of secret treason ; and a 
Jesuit persuaded him that Modena and Reggio, 
that his life, and even his soul, could only be 
saved by an immediate capitulation. The terms 
were dictated in the camp by the imperious legate : 
That Don Cssar should deliver his eldest son as an 
hostage, resign the ducal sceptre in the presence 
of the magistrate, divide his artillery with the 
pope, and surrender the possession of the duchy 
of Ferrara, with all its dependencies ; and that in 
return for his submission, he should be absolved 



froih all eccleisiastical censuil^s, and permitted to 
enjoy the Diamond Palace, with the personal 
effects and allodial estates of th^ House <^ Este. 
After the conclusion of the treaty, the conqueror 
was eager to reign, and the exile was anxious to 
depart. On the twenty-eighth of January, one 
thousand five hundred and ninety-eight, Don 
Csesar evacuated a city, in which his ancestors 
had reigned near four hundred years. A splendid, 
but mournful procession, of his family and house- 
bold, passisd slowly through the streets t the Duki^ 
of Modena (his ftmaining title) was seated in an 
open coach ; his eyes were cast down oti a letter 
which he seemed to read> as if desirous of escaping 
the view of those objects which he must see no 
more. The minds of the people were already 
changed: their curiosity was melted into pity: 
they had neglected the defence, they deplored the 
loss, of their native price; and the first evening of 
his departure, five thousand pefsons were deprived 
of their daily bread, which they received from the 
charity or munificence of the ducal court. These 
melancholy reflections were suspended by the 
triumph of the legate, and the s|>eedy visit of 
Clement \'^III., who was impatient to behold his 
new concjuest. But as soon as tl)e festival of the 
revolution had subsided, Ferram was left to the 
solitude and poverty of a provintial town, under 
the government of priests: a citadel was erected, 
to fix the inconstancy of the inhabitants; and 
wit bin seventeen years after the death of Alphonso 
II., a fourth of his capital was already in ruins. 



Nor were the losses of Don Caesar confined to the 
sacrifice of Ferrara : the territory, salt-works, and 
fishery of Commachio, an Imperial fief, were seiz- 
ed by the hand of power: his allodial property was 
dimmished and disputed by^-the chicanery of law. 
Even the duchy of Chartres, and the mortgages 
of the House of Este in France, were withheld 
from the heir and creditor, under pretence that he 
was a foreigner. It .was a just observation of the 
Grand Duke of Tuscany, that his brother-in law 
Don CsBsar might have resisted his enemies, if the 
millioii and a half of gold,* which his predecessors 
trusted to the Most Christian King, had been 
safely deposited in the treasury of Ferrara. 

In this singular transaction, ambition and avarice 
were the motives of Rome. Her forms of judicial 
proceeding were precipitate, and violent : without 
evidence or trial, she judged in her own cause, she 
pronounced in her own favour, and she forcibly 
seized, for her own use, the valuable object in dis- 
pute. But as it is possible, and barely possible, 
that truth and justice may be supported by the 
means most adverse to their nature, I shall freely 
examine the descent of Don Csesar, and his right 
of Succession, withouUany interest to corrupt, or 
any prejudice to mislead, th^ equitj- of my decree. 
After the decease of Lucretia Borgia, his second 
wife, Alphonso L, who was still in the manly 
vigour of life, embraced a decent mode of satisfy- 
ing his passions, without injuring his family. In- 
stead of seeking a third alliance in the courts of 
fiwopc, he purchased a maiden of Ferrara, of 



obscure parentage and exquisite beauty* Laura 
was entertained several years in the state of a coih 
cubine : but this illegal union might in some degree 
be excused by the dignity of her lover, and her 
own imitation of conjugal virtue. She became the 
mother of two sons, Don Alphonso and Don 
Alphonsino, a title and a name which had been 
lately introduced into Italy by the prevailmg 
influence of the Spaniards. Their birth is acknow- 
ledged to have been illegitimate. In the testament 
of their father, which is dated fourteen months 
before his death, they simply are styled the diildreii 
of a free man by a free woman ; nor did he add, 
in his last illness of several weeks, any clause or 
codicil to declare a change of their condition. That, 
according to the laws of the church and state, these 
bastards were legitimated by a subsequent mar- 
riage, is supposed by their advocates; but the sup- 
position cannot be justified by the regular proof of 
a contract, a certificate, or a witness. In default 
of such evidence, Muratori produces a laige body 
of presumptions and circumstances : \vith an artful 
suggestion, that much more would have been found 
by a more early scrutiny : but it was the interest 
as well as the duty of Launi to establish her bwn 
marriage, and the legitimacy of her sons ; and if 
her neglect be not ascribed to conscious guilt, it 
must not, however, militate, as an argument in her 
behalf. Her faithful champion, the librarian d 
Modena, has collected many testimonies of poets, 
orators, historians, and genealogists, some of wliom 
could not mistake the truth, aUd others could not 



any temptation for falsehood : and from thdr 
rat he infers the belief and tradition of the 
ii that the concubine of Alphbnso I. was 
ly promoted to the rank of his wife. The 
'• &vourable conclusion may be drawn from the 
un which she was permitted to enjoy near 
' years, under the reigns of his successors ; the 
Ihtion, dress, and attendance of his relict or 
•w; the guardianship of her cliildren; die 
3ely style of Most Excellent and Illustrious; 
above all, the family name of Eate, which she 
mbcd on all public and private occasions. 
title of Duchess of Ferrara was alone wanting ; 
when pride and envy were no more, that title 
bestowed in the solemn pomp of her funeral, 
h was attended by the Duke Alphonso II. his 
ler the Cardmal, the court, the clergy, and the 
CM" corporations of the city. The five sons of 
Mmso I., with the sole distinction of primoge- 
"e, were educated as equals and companions. 
Alphonso, the first bom of Laura, was treated 
prince, both at home and abroad : he wns in- 
xl with the ^larquisate of Monteccbio, and 
French order of St. Michael; and his wife, the 
ler of Don Caesar, was the daughter of the 
ling Duke of Urbino. The same honours were 
mitted to Don Csesar himself: he obtained an 
ice still more splendid, the sister of the Grand 
e of Tuscany : and, both in his life-time and 
s death, Alphonso II. acknowledged him as his 
in and successor. Could we divest oxir minds 
secret suspicion, arising from the indulgence 
»L. III. H H which. 


which, in so many courts and countries, has been 
lavished on the bastards of princes, such presump- 
tions might amount to the moral, if not the h^gal 
proof of a legitimate descent. But ihe interest, 
though not the honour, of the Dukes of Modena, 
reposes on a firmer basis, which would not be shaken 
by the quality of their female ancestor. The Vape^ 
are pleased to forget that they first granted tlie 
Duchy of Ferrara to Borso, a natural son of the 
Marquis Nicholas III., and that the bull of Akx- 
ander VI. extends the right of succession to. all the 
descendants whatsoever of Hercules I. They were 
compelled to renounce the possession of Ferrara, 
but they have never ceased to assert the justice of 
their claim. The arguments which the oourt of 
Rome has disdained, may one day be heard in die 
louder tone of the Austrian cannon, and a severe 
account may be required of the arrears and damages 
of two hundred years. 

The abdication of Don Caesar is related by Mura- 
tori, a loyal ser\'ant, under the name of the Tragedy 
of Ferrara: and in the melancholy tale I have 
myself been affected by the sympathy which we so 
generously indulge, to the real or imaginary dis- 
tresses of the great. Yet, on a cooler sur\ey, I am 
inclined to doubt whether the last Duke of Fer- 
rara M'as the most unfortunate of men. His life 
and liberty were safe: he was neither beheaded on 
the public scaffold, nor dragged at the chariot 
wheels of the conqueror, nor cast into a deep and 
perpetual dungeon. By the soldiers and statesmen 
of the age he was indeed despised, for the feeble 



defence and hasty desertion of his ancient seat. 
But as contempt is seldom deserved where it is felt, 
it is seldom felt where it is deserved : Don Cassar 
was unconscious of the public reproach, and the 
orators of his reign reserved their paneg^^ric for the 
milder virtues of discretion and patience. He had 
lost the most precious jewel of his family' : but an 
easy journey of two daj's conveyed his court from 
the palace of Ferrara to that of Alodena, where he 
lived, in prosperity and peace, above thirt}' years : 
by the Tuscan Princess he became the father of six 
sons and three daughters ; and the reigning Duke 
is the fourth in descent, and the sixth in succes- 
sion, from the eldest of his sons. In this last 
period of decline, the House of Estc has still pre- 
ser\'ed the external advantages of rank, riches, and 
power : and these advantages were illustrated by 
the antiquity of their name and title. At the 
beginning of the seventeenth centurj^, an Emperor 
and six Kings were respected as the chiefs of the 
Christian republic: but the Dukes of Modena 
maintained an honourable place in the second class 
of the Princes of Europe. Their pride was seldom 
mortified by the presence of a superior : as long as 
the isles of Sicilv and Sardinia were attached to 
the Spanish monarchy, Italy was not dignified with 
a regal title ; a profane layman Avas not degraded 
by kneeling to the Pope, or yielding the prece- 
dency to his Cardinals: nor was the native pre- 
eminence of hereditary rank disputed by the minis- 
terial honours of a doge or a vicerov. After the 
loss of Ferrara, the successors of Alphonso 11. con- 

H u 2 tinned 


tinued to reign over the united duchies of Modena 
and Reggio; and their territory, about thirty 
leagues in length, about ten in breaddi, was after* 
wards enlarged by the lordship of Corregio, and 
the duchy of Mirandola. Their revenue is vaguely 
computed at one hundred thousand pounds ster- 
ling, a sum inadequate to the extraordinary de- 
mands of war, but which might support, with de- 
cent economy, the expenses of a court and go- 
vernment Perhaps the latter were sometimes sa- 
crificed to the former. When Addison traversed 
the principalities of Modena and Parma, he was 
scandalized by the magnificence of those petty 
courts : he was amazed to see such a profusion of 
wealth laid out in coaches, trappings, tables, cabi- 
nets, and the like precious toys, in which there are 
few princes in Europe who equal them, while, at 
the same time, they have not had the generosit}- to 
make bridges over the rivers of their countries, for 
the convenience of their subjects as well as stran- 
gers. Yet the annals of Modena describe many 
public works of use as well as ornament: the 
plenty of gold and silver is expressed in a single 
coinage of Francis I., of near half a million ster- 
ling : but I am ignorant whether the t^o hundred 
and thirty thousand ducats, and the tAvo hundred 
thousand Spanish doubloons, which were paid to 
the Emperor for the investitures of Corregio and 
Mirandola, should be placed to the account of 
treasure or of debt. In the narrow sphere of their 
dominions, the Este princes were absolute ; nor do 
I find any example of resistance to their reason or 



ission. The vanity of the human heart is flat- 
ted by die degree, rather than by the extent, of 
ithority : and if the sovereign was conscious of 
5 duties, the man might tremble at acc^ting the 
List -of one hundred and fifty thousand of his 
juals. His equab by nature, they were many of 
em his superiors in merit : die natives of Mode^ 
I were distinguished in the arts and sciences; and 
ce the pastoral comedy, the mock-heroic poetry 

* the Italians was invented by Tassoni, a subject 

* the House of Este. The state of such a prince 
ould perhaps be the most desirable in human life, 

it were accompanied with that domestic security 
hich a wealthy nobleman enjoys under the pro- 
ction of a great empire. The long peace of 
dy, in the seventeenth century, was interrupted 
ily by some short and bloodless hostilities : but 
the three great wars bet\veen the Austrian and 
>urbon powers, the Duke of Modena has been 
rice reduced to the alternative of slaver}' or 
ile. His neutrality was violated, his dominions 
?re occupied by foreign troops, his subjects were 
pressed by military contributions, and the mis- 
ievous expense of fortifications only served to 
pose his cities to the calamities of a siege. 
I have long delayed, and I should willingly sup- 
?8S, three disgraceful anecdotes, three criminal 
dons, which sully the honour of the name of 
te : of these, the first and the third ok piously 
isembled by the Librarian of Modena. 1. In 
i descent to the infernal regions, in the ninth 
cle of hell, the poet Dante beheld the condem- 

H H 3 nation 

470 ANTIQlflTIE^ yF THE 

nation of sanguinary and rapacious men : they 
were deeply immersed in a river of blood, and their 
escape was prevented by the arrows of the cen- 
taurs. Among the tyrants, he distinguished the 
ancient forms of Alexander and Dionvsies: of 
his own countrymen, he recognized the black Ec- 
celin, and the fair Obizo of Este, the latter of 
whom was dispatched by an unnatural son to this 
place of torment. This Obizo can be no other 
than the second Marquis of that name, who died 
only seven years before the real or imaginary date 
of the Divine Comedy (A. D. 1300): his life does 
not afford the character of a tyrant, but he was 
one of the pillars of the Guelph faction; and 
were he not associated with ji Ghibelline chief, we 
might impute his sentence to the prejudices, radier 
than the justice, of the Tuscan bard. But the par- 
ricide of his son, a crime of a much deeper dye, i"^ 
attested by the commentary of Benvenuto of 
Imola, who observes from an old chronicle, that 
Azo VHI. was apprehensive of the same treatment 
which he had inflicted on his father. It must be 
added, that this commentar\' on Dante, which was 
composed only fourscore years after the event, i^ 
dedicated to Nicholas II., Marquis of Este, and 
great-grandson of Obizo II., who tacitly subscribes 
to the guilt of his ancestors. 2. Under the reign 
A.D. 1455. of Nicholas III., Ferrara was polluted with a do- 
mestic tragedy. By the testimony of a maid, and 
his own observation, the Maiquis of Este discovered 
the incestuous loves of his wife Paiisina, and Hugo 
his bastard son, a beautifiil and valiant youth. 

* Thcv 


They were beheaded in the castle, by the sentence 
of a father and husband, who published his shame, 
and survived their execution. He was unfortu- 
nate, if thpy were guilty : if they were innocent, 
he was still more unfortunate : nor is there any pos- 
sible situation in which I can sincerely approve the 
last ^act of the justice of a parent. 3. Guicciar- 
dini, the gravest of the Italian historians, records 
a bloody scene which, in his own time, had sullied ^' ^- ^^ 
the court of Ferrara ; the deed might revive the 
memory of the Theban brothers ; " and the mo- 
tive was still more frivolous, if love," says he, " be 
a more frivolous motive than ambition." The Car- 
dinal Hippolito was enamoured of a fair maiden of 
his own family : but her heart was engaged by his 
natural brother; and she imprudently confessed to 
a rival, that the beauteous eves of Don Julio were 
his most powerful attraction. The deliberate cru- 
elty of the Cardinal measured the provocation and 
the revenge : under a prctjence of hunting, he drew 
the unhappy youth to a distance from the city, and 
there compelling him to dismount, his eyes, those 
hated eyes, w^ere extinguished by the command, 
and in the presence of an amorous priest, who 
\'iewed with delight the agonies of a brother. It 
may however be suspected that the work was 
slightly performed by the less savage executioners, 
3incethe skill of his physicians restored Don Julio 
to an imperfect sight. A denial of justice pro- 
voked him to the most desperate counsels : and the 
revenge of Don Julio conspired with the ambition 
of Don Ferdinand against the life of their sove- 

H H 4 reign 


reign and eldest brother Alphonso I. Their de- 
signs were prevented, their persons seized, dieif 
accomplices were executed ; but their sentence of 
death was moderated to a perpetual prison, and in 
their fault the Duke of Ferrara acknowledged his 
own. These dark shades in the annals of the 
House of £stc must not be excused by the exam- 
ple of the Italian tyrants ; whose courts and fami- 
lies were perpetually defiled with lust and bkxxl, 
with incest and parricide ; who mingled the cmeltY 
of savages with the refinements of a learned and 
polite age. But it may be fairly obser\'ed, diat 
single acts of virtue and of vice can seldom be 
weighed against each other: that it is far more 
easy to fall below, than to rise aborci the commoo 
level of morality : that three or four guilty days 
have been found in a period of two hundred years : 
and that, in the general tenor of their lives, the 
Marquisses of Este were just, temperate, and hu- 
mane ; the friends of each other, and the fatiiers 
of their people. 

In a more superstitious age, 1 should boldly op- 
pose to the sins of twenty generations the monastic 
virtues of Alphonso III*, the son and successor of 
Don Csesar. Yet even these virtues were pro- 
duced by the blind impulse of repentance and fear. 
The nature of Alphonso was impetuous and 
haughty, and a deep, indignant rq^t fo^ the 
loss of Ferrara was the first sentiment of his chikl- 
hood. As soon as he had released himself from the 
authority of a governor whom he hated, and a fa- 
ther whom he despised, the hereditary prince be- 


DC the slave 'of his passions and the terror of 
xlena : his appetite for blood was indulged in 
t chace, and the city ; and he soon considered 
* life of a man and of a stag as of equal value. 
le of the most considerable private families in 
ly (such is the dark language of Muratori) was 
evoked by some secret motive to form a design 

assassinating Alphonso. Their dagger ^vas 
ned aside from his breast; their chief was sacri- 
xlto his justice; he threatened to extirpate the 
lole race ; nor could the intercession of princes, 
of the Pope himself, avert the rage of persecu- 
u and revenge. The only voice that could sooth 
( passions of the savage was that of an amiable 
1 virtuous wife, the sole object of his love ; the 
ce of Donna Isabella, the daughter of the Duke 
Savoy, and the grand-daughter of Philip II. 
ag*of Spain. Her dying words sunk deep into 

memory : his fierce spirit melted into tears, and 
sr the last embrace, Alphonso retired into his a.d.i626. 
imber, to bewail his irreparable loss, and to me* ^"*"'* **' 
ite on the vanity of human life, fiut instead of 
living to expiate his sins, and to seek his sal^ 
ion in the public felicity, he was • persuaded 
t the habit and profession of a Capuchin were 
; only armour that could shield him from hell- 
. The two years from the death of his wife to 
: decease of his father, were dedicated to prayer 
I penance, and no sooner had Alphonso attained 

rank of a sovereign, than he^ispired to descend 
ow the condition of a man. With the approba- 
1 and blessing of the Pope, who might possibly 



smile at this voluntary sacri6ce, the Duke of Mo 
dena, after a reign of six months, resigned the 
sceptre to* Francis his eldest son, a youth of nine- 
teen years' of age, and secretly departed to a Fran- 
ciscan convent among the mountains of Trent. 
By a special privilege, his noviciate and profession 
were consummated in the same dav : the austere 
and humble friar atoned for the pride and luxur}* 
of the prince, and it was the wish of brother John 
Baptist of Modena to forget the world and' to be 
for ever forgotten. But obedience was now his 
first duty, and the noble captive, for the honour 
of the order and of religion, was exhibited to the 
Emperor, the Archdukes, and the people of the 
Austrian provinces, by whom he was contemplated 
with curiosity and devotion. Three years he wan- 
dered between Venice and Vienna as an itinerant 
preacher : he had the pleasure in one of his joftmies 
to be lialf drowned in a river, and half starved on 
a rock, and he vainly hoped to convert the heretics 
• of the North, or to receive from their hands the 
A.D.i63f. crown of martyrdom. During the last twelve 
years he was stationed in the convent of Modena. 
the humble slave of the subjects of his son : the 
city and country were edified by his missions and 
sermons ; and as often as he appeared in the pul« 
pit, the contrast of his dignity and dress most 
eloquently preached the contempt of this worid. 
The conversion of the Jews, the reformation of 
manners, the maintenance of the poor, afibrdcd a 
daily exercise to the zeal of tlie abdicated Duke: 
but tliat zeal Iva.^ always chargeable, often trouble* 



le, and sometimes ridiculous : his death was a 
ef to the court and people ; nor have the Princes 
£ste been ambitious of adorning their family 
h the name and honours of a saint. The Ca- 
rhin might behold, perhaps with pity, and per- 
is with envy, the temporal prosperity of his 
. In peace and war, in Italy and Spain, in the 
strian and French alliance, the Duke of Mo- 
la supported the dignity of lus character : and 
Acis I. in a lars:er field, would have ranked a. d. i6t9 

o ' _ 1658. 

ong the generals and statesmen of an active 

[lie name of Rinaldo, a name immortalized by 
so in epic song, had been applied to the 
mgestson of Duke Francis I. : Jie nfight faintly 
lember the last davs of his father, and the short 
^emment of his brother Alphonso IV. ; but he 
J no more than seven years of age when his in- 
t nephew Francis II. succeeded to the ducal 
?. In his early youth Rinaldo was propased as 
indidate for the crown of Poland, a wild, and 
i it not failed, a ruinous attempt: the example 
io many of his kinsmen suggested a more ra- 
lal pursuit ; and in the thirty-second year of his 
he was promoted lo the dignity of Cardinal, at 
request of James II. King of Great Britain^ 
o had married his niece. The long reign and 
rt life of her brother Francis II. was an helpless 
:e of minority and disease : he died ^without 
Idren, j^nd had the right of female succession pre- 
led, the unfortunate race of the Stewarts might 
e found a safe and honourable refuge in the 



inheritance of Modena. But as the order of inves- 
titure preferred the more distant males, Cardinal 
Rinaldo ascended without a question the vacant 
throne of his nephew. The resignation of his hat 
was accepted by the Pope ; but he might marn-. 
without a dispensation, a princess of Brunswick, 
his cousin in the nineteenth degree ; and tliis alii* 
ance was soon dignified by the nuptials of her sis- 
ter with Joseph King of the Romans, the son and 
successor of the Emperor Leopold. The life of 
Rinaldo I. Duke of Modena, was extended be- 
yond the term of eighty-three years : in the vari- 
ous fortunes of his long reign he supported a 
double exile with fortitude and patience ; and in 
the intervds of peace the country was restored by 
a wise and paternal government. His son Fran- 
cis III. was of a more active spirit. He signalized 
his valour in the wars of Hungary ; followed the 
standard of the House of Bourbon ; commanded, 
or seemed to command, in several battles and 
sieges, and extorted the confession, that, bail his 
advice been followed, the events of the war would 
have been more successful. His wife was a prin- 
cess of Orleans, the daughter of the regent : she 
was noble, beautiful, and rich; but in the tmc 
estimate of honour the meanest virgin amon*; his 
subjects would have been a more worthy consort. 
Their son Hercules HI. the reigning Duke, ac- 
quired a valuable and convenient territory with 
the heiress of Massa Carrara. Their onlv dauifh- 
ter, by the command of his inexorable father, wa^ 
delivered to the Archduke Ferdinand, the Empc 



brother; the marriage has been fruitful in 
h*en of both sexes, and the Duchies of Mo- 
, Reggie, and Mirandola, will soon be the 
mony of a younger branch of the new family 
Lustria. In the decline of life, Hercules III. 
le sole remaining male of the House of Este, 
the long current of their blood must speedily 
ist in a foreign stream. 






































with equal confidence the manuscript remains of 
Pellegrino Priscian.* The JVar of Atiila^ a Pro- 
vencal romance of the fourteenth century, appear- 
ed in his eyes a genuine and contemporary work of 
Thomas the Scribe of Nicetas, patriarch of Aqui* 
leia-t He was probably deceived by the Lives of 
the Emperors which the Count Boyardo, with more 
than poetic licence, has imposed as an Italian ver- 
sion of the Latin original of Ricobaldus.J The 
spurious fragments had I>ecn gradually consolidated 
by the public credulity: fictions were changed 
into iacts, traditions into truths, and conjectures 
into realities. The materials were prepared ; and 
while he added the last varnish to the pleasing tale, 
the consQence of Pigna might applaud without ^ 
much scruple his own veracity and innocence. 

(lo66)tbe Duke's orders to Count Girolamo Faleti, whose MS. 
ftDoals at the time of his death had been only earned down to 
Azo IX. (1216—1240.) 

• Pellegrino Prisciano, keeper of the archives to Hercules I, 
fl495) had collected and written many volumes concerning the 
house of Elste. Muratori, who praises his fidelity, complains that 
the far greater part of his MSS. had been shamefully consumed 
ID fire-u'orks. (Antichita Estense, torn. i. c. ix. p. 69.) 

t See Muratori's preface to the Antichita Estense, p. xix. I 
have neither the Provenfal romance which is presened in MS. 
in the library of Modena, nor the Italian abridgment printed in 
1568. But Pigna (1. i. p. 11 — 30,) has extracted the most im- 
portant and least improbable circumstances. 

I After much hesitation Muratori has published in the ninth 
%X/lume of his Scriptores Rerum Italicarum (p. 279 — 423,) this 
work of Ricobaldus or Boyardo. The mention of the Garter may 
prove that it was not composed till Hercules I. Duke of Ferrara 
had been invested with that order by Edward IV. I^ing of England. 

I I 2 I am 


I am fatigued with tlie repetition of fables, but 
an illustrious race must always be crowned uTth 
its proper -mythology. After fixing on the earth 
the solid foundations of the House of Este-Bruns- 
wick, I am desirous of proving that we are not 
less able to build in the air. 

Before the name of Atys was invented by Vir- 
gil, before the Attian family was propagated to 
modern times, a fabulous tradition had connected 
the princes of Troy with the dukes of Ferrara and 
Brunswick. But the manufactures even of the 
Italians in the thirteenth century were coarse and 
clumsy, and they could only devise tliat Marthus, 
an unknown Trojan, besieged Milan, and founded, 
after liis own name, a small city in the Milanese; 
and that, of four brothers who sprang . from thb 
chief, the eldest was the father of the future Mar- 
quisses of Este.* It was not till after the year 
fourteen hundred that the romances of French 
chivalry passed the Alps and the Pyrennees ; and 
I am inclined to adopt the sentence of Cervantes,t 

^ Muratori, Antichitk Estense, torn. i. c* ix. p. Gjt €8. Thb 
tradition of Paulus Marrus (1280) is preserved by GuaU-an de U 
Flamma (1320) in his great Chronicle of Milan, which Muratori 
(torn. xi. p. 634.) disdained to publish among his Scriptores KenuD 

t See Don Quixote, part I. c. vi. p. 35. of the small edition of 
Madrid. The roost grateful incense is the praise which one mso 
of genius bestows on another ; we are sure that he feels the merit 
that he applauds. Yet I do not clearly conceive the epithet of 
Christiano as it is applied to the most pleasing but least Chrisiiin 
of poets. 



wrishes to forgive the lies of Archbishop Tur- 
Charlemagne and his twelve Peers, from the 
Hil reflection that thev afforded the first hints 
J invention of Bovardo, from which the CAw- 
poet Ludovico Ariosto has so finely com- 
his inimitable web. Such a nngician as 
to can annihilate time and space ; and he dis- 
s, by the prerogative of genius; with the laws 
torv, nature, and his own art. 
crording to the wild though delightful fictions 
^ Italian bards,* the house of Este-Bninswick 
rended from the race of the Trojan kings. As- 
■, the son of Hector, was saved by an artifice 
the victorious Greeks : Sicily gave him a re- 
ind a kingdom ; and the valiant youth avenged 
gos and Corinth the injuries of his country, 
[ore, the son of Astyanax, fixed his residence 
labria, and Flovian, the grandson of Polydore, 
rf chronolog}' !) was the first of the race of 
tr wIk) settled at Rome. By his two sons 
oble branches arose from the same stem : the 
. decorated by the Imperial titles of Constan- 
nd Charlemagne ; the other after a long and 
lid succession is illustrated by the name of Rug- 
or Roger, the favourite hero of Ariosto and 
iders. In the spirit of chivalr)' his strength 
alour are his first virtues : the adverse ranks 

e original pedigree i» recorded, and perhaps iDTented by 
Matteo Bovardo. (Orlando Inamorato, 1. iii. c. v.) but I 
gravely refer to all the passages of Ariosto who should be 
to every reader of taste. 

I I 3 of 


of battle are pierced by his lance or shivered by 
his sword; and the effects of his resistless charge 
are compared to the explosion of the Gran Dimcoh^ 
a thundering piece of ordnance in the arsenal of 
Ferrara In more e(]ual combat he stands invin- 
cible against the foremost pnladins of France; and 
the two pagan champions, Mandricardo the Tartar, 
and Rodomonte the African, arc slain after tuo 
desperate encounters by the hand of Roger. Thcj* 
martial terrors are softened bv youth and beautv, 
by the generosity of his temper, his courteous man- 
ners, and the tenderness of his heart. He bums 
with a pure and honourable tlamc for the fair ama- 
zon Bradamante, and if he is seduced bv the arts 
of Alcina, if he is fired bv the naked charms nt 
Angelica, his affections arc constantly fixed on liis 
noble spouse, the destined mother of the house of 
Este. Their white eagle was depicted on his shield, 
as the hereditarv svmbol of the Troian line : the 
arms of Hector he possessed by the double claim 
of inheritance and con(}uest ; and if his liorsc 
Fronting and his sword Balisardiiy were ubtainai 
by less worthy means, Roger was guiltless of the 
theft, and thev became his own since ho was able 
to defend them. But the hero disdained the use 
of .supernatural aid : and indignantly cast into a 
well, the niaj^ic shield which dazzled the evcj 
and ])enuml>ecl the senses of all beholders. 

By his mother, a Saracen princess, the unU)m 
Roger was transported from Italy to Africa, and 
the helpless infant was saved and educated by tlio 
enchanter Atlas, His lirst arms were iiointt-*! 



the monsters of the desert, and he passed 

under the imperial standard of Agramante, 
vaded France with all the powers of the 
)r Mahometan world. The destinies of the 
[)f Estc require his conversion; but the 
i artfully delayed, and the trembling balance 
ended by the master-hand of the poet. 

of his life, and careless of his fame, the 
. magician presumes to oppose the decrees 
ven; secludes his pupil from the world, 
tes his e}es, sends him to wander through 
on a hippogiif and dissolves his courage in 

of luxurj' and love. The example of his 
in ancestors is a weighty argument for an 
e soldier ; and he assures his mistress that 
sake he is ready to undergo a baptism not 
' water but of fire. But a man of honour, 
knight, is apprehensive of the reproach of 
ig his benefactor and his party, an unfor- 
benefactor, and a falling party, A season- 
mnd allows the Christians to vanquish under 
Us of Paris ; but in a single combat which 
eterniinc the World's Debate, the lover of 
lante is forced to encounter her brother Ri- 
till he is delivered from the fatal conflict by 
icher\^ and flight of the African monarch. A 
eck, a desert island, an hennit, and a pro- 
assist the operation of grace : every scruple 
Sed, every duty is accomplished, every ob- 
s removed ; and the poem concludes with the 
Is and last victory of the Christian hero, 
as the poet has used and abused the privi- 

I I 4 leg^ 


lege of anticipation, he displays in a variety of 
pictures the fortunes of Roger and his descendantn. 
Seven years after his baptisn> the Paladin will be 
slain by a perfidious assassin; his widow will be 
delivered of a son in the fruitful country between 
the Adige and the Brenta; ancj the warlike youth, 
after he has avcUged his father, will be invested by 
the Emperor with the Lordship of £ste, and ac* 
cepted as their native prince by the remaining 
Trojans of the colony of Antenor. The visionary 
forms of her future progeny pass in rapid succes- 
sion before the eyes of Bradamante, and a friendly 
sage fortels tiieir names and actions in a mixed 
strain of history and fable. According to the po- 
pular opinion/ the establishment of the Saxon 
branch is ascribed to the marriage of Albert-Azo, 
in the tenth centur^% with an imaginar)- daughter 
of the Emperor Otho the Great* The Italian states 
of the princes of Este arc described, Ferrarii, amidst 
the waters of the Po, the soft Reggio, and the 
turbulent Modcna ; their wars against the Vene- 
tians and the Popes are discreetly announced; and 
the prospect is always closed by the fame, the vir- 
tues, and the fraternal union of Alphonso I. and 
Cardinal Ipj>olit(). The Duke was the sovereign, 
the Cardinal affected to be the patron, of Ariosto: 
they will live in the everlasting life of their poet. 
•* Myriads, perhaps, of heroic names, are plunged 

• Sor Ricobaldo or rather Uoyardo, (lorn. ix. p. 314. Scriptor. 
Rerum Italic.) and Pigiia, (4. i. p. 73—76.) Yei Pigiia had learned 
from C'. unl Falcti the true descent of the dukes of Saxonv and 



ne Hito the stream of oblivion : whilst a few 
ived by the grateful and melodious swans, 
onourabi y deposited in the temple of immor- 



:!Oiding to the philosophers, who can discern 
dless involution of germs or organized bodies, 
itjire animal exists in the female parent ; and 
ale is no more than an accidental cause which 
lates the first motion and energy of life. The 
Jogist wIk) embraces this system should con- 
is researches to the female line — ^the series of 
rrs ; and scandal may whisper that this mode 
xreeding will l3e always the safest and most 
id. But the moral connexion* of a pedigree 
erentlv marked bv the influence of law and 
ns: the male sex is deemed more noble than 
male ; the association of our idea pursues the 
u- descent of honours and estates fit)m father 
i: and their wives, howsoever essential, are 
lered o Iv in the lisrht of forei^rn auxiliaries, 
ule, indeed, will be sometimes broken bv 
ception; the sole remaining daughter of an 
It and powerful family will assume the cha- 
of a son, and her children, who inherit the 
les, may be assimilated to the name, of her 
ncestors. The origin of her less conspicuous 
nd may gradually disappear; but if she be 
rd to an equal, their common posterity will 
ate the union of two illustrious houses, 
s last remark may be applied to the family 

* Hume'i Essavs, vol. ii. p. 1 32, 193. 



of EsTK-BucNswiCK whicli SO prosperously graft- 
ed the fruits of Italy on a German stem. Tlie 
antu|uity and importance of the (ruelphs, to \vlM>»e 
name and possessions they succeeded, is acknow- 
ledged in the twelfth century (lloiS) by t)lii«» 
Bishop of Frisingen.* •* In the Roman empire 
(says that contemporary writer) two famous fami- 
lies have ttourished till the presi^nt time on the con- 
fines of Gaul and Germany; the Ilenrw of Guei- 
belinga and the (juelphs of Altdorf, the one pro- 
ductive of emperors, tl>e other of great dukes. By 
the contests of such men, armed with powen and 
ambitious of renown, has the peace of the reputv 
lic been often endangered/* xVn equal opposition 
to the Franconian and Swabian emperors must re- 
dound to the honour of a subject family, and the 
praise is the less questionable, as the historian hiin* 
self was issued from the riyal house. This cuugi!> 
passage unfolds the seeds of the two factious ot 
the church and the empire; and it likewise ap- 
pears that the name of Guelph, as well as of Hen- 
n', \vas no more than a personal and Christian ap»* 
pellation, the frequent use of which might denote, 
in the language of posterity, the succession of an 
entire dynasty. Between the ascending aud de- 
scending series of the Guelphs the connexion is 
formed by the marriage of Cunegonde, the daugh- 
ter of the first, and the mother of the second race 
The nobility and riches of Azo were not inferior 
to thosC of his consort ; but, after their sons auii 

* Otiio. rii>ini:i'n5^, 1. ii. c. t2. in Muratori Script. Rrrna 

Iialrc. turn. \i. p. 6yo, 700. 



grandsons had been invested with die duchies of 
Bavaria and Saxony, the distant fame of an Italian 
marquis was gradually lost; and these princes, ad- 
hering to their maternal ancestors, assumed the 
more popular chaiacter of native Gerinans. 

About the end of the twelfth century a short 
chronicle was composed by a monk of Weingarten, 
to immortalize in this world, as well as in the next, 
the Lords of Altdorf, the founders and benefactors 
of his convent.* After a diligent search into such 
chronicles and charters as were then extant, he 
fairly confesses that his visible horizon is bounded 
by the age of Charlemagne, by the well-known 
Welf or Guelph, the fatherof the Empress Judith. 
But he is persuaded that the ancestors of his first 
hero were men of valour and renown, 

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnoiia, 

that, for ages, before the introduction of Christiani- 
ty, they flourished in riches and honours; that 
they governed their own people, and tliat their 
name went forth into foreign lands. Such pre- 
sumptions are more satisfactory to a rational mind, 
than his romance of a Trojan colony and descent, 
than an absurd marriage with Kathilina, the daugh- 
ter of a Roman senator, whose name might be 
translated into JVhelp in the Geniian or English 
idioms. The conjectures' of Leibnitz, or his dis- 
ciple Eccard, are follies of a graver kind; they 

♦ Chronicon Weingartense, from the Vienna MS. in Origines 
Guelficae, torn. v. p. 31, 32, Z3, It had been published less cor- 
rectly by Canisius and Leibnitz. 



build without materials an edifice of character^ 
and adventures, and grasping some shadowy sem- 
blances, they forcibly derive the Guelphs from a 
brother of Odoacer, King of the Heruli, who ex- 
tinguished the Roman empire (476) in Italy and 
the West. From the beginning of the historic 
period the chronicle of Weingarten enumerates 
only six generations, Guelph the father of Judith, 
£thico, Henry, Rodolph, and the two last Guelphs 
the father and brother of Cunegonde; a number 
scarcely sufficient for an interval of two hundred 
and fifty years. The probable chasms have indeed 
been supplied by the industry of Leibnitz and 
Eccard. The names of Guelph or Welf I., Ethico 
I., Welf or Wolf hard II., Ethico-IL, Hcnr>\ Ro- 
dolph I. the brother of St. Conrad, Welf III., Ro- 
dolph II., Welf or Wolfhard IV., and Welf V. arc 
enrolled in their list; but a descent of ten genera- 
tions reverses the difficulty, and the scene is now 
crowded by the new actors. At the two extremi- 
ties, the chain of the ancient Guelphs is strongly 
rivetted in truth ; but the intermediate links can- 
not be discriminated with clearness and certaintv.* 
The nuptials of Azo had transplanted the Este 
familv from Italv to Germany, from the Po to the 
D.inubc. His grandson Henry the Black, andhi> 
great-grandson Henry the Proud, acquiretl by mar- 
riage new and ample possessions on the Elbe and 
Wescr: and Henry the Lion, the heir of these pos- 
sessions, is the first of his race to whom the title of 

^ .^' ( the first and fifth books of the Origincs Gueldcx. 



'XswiCK can be strictly appropriated. The 
a was the tenth male in lineal descent from 
Marquis Adalbert : and his maternal pedigree 
ht be derived from the dukes j the emperors^ and 
hero of Saxony.* 

The genius of Henry the Fowler might 
sm the kingdom of 'Germany with one hand, 
the duchv of Saxonv with the other : and the 
and cities of that savage region are ascribed to 
K>litical institutions. Otho I. by a rare felicity 

not inferior in personal merit to his father : 
the majest}' of a Roman empire appeared in- 
patible with the oflice of a provincial duke ; 
pursuit of Italian realms carried him far away 
le south ; and his ancient patrimony was left 
jsed to the inroads of the Slavi and the Danes, 
lecame necessary to station a soldier on the 
cs of the Elbe; nor would that soldier have been 
red by the Saxon chiefs, unless the splendour 
is birth, and the extent of his property had al- 
y given him a leading influence in the country. 
ut the middle of the ninth century the noble 

of Billing, an indigenous chieftam or prince^ 
s the first ray of historic light : his blood was 
^led with that of the French conquerors, 

Francomm clari de stirpe poteotiim, 

his daughter Oda is celebrated as the grand- 

or these Saxon genealogies, see the Dissertations of Eccard, 
the annotations of Scheidius, in the fourth volume of the 
Des Gaelficx, and the Prolegomena of ihe latter especially. 
'vL p. 10, £cc. 



mother of Hcnrv the Fowler. The valiant Hcf- 


man, the son of the sceond, and the great-gprandson 
of the first Billinp:, was appointed military gover- 
nor, and at lenirth ereatcd hereditarv Duke of Sax- 
ony bv his cousin Otho the Great (960) : and four 
descents, Bernard I., Uernaixl II.. OrdulpK anil 
Magnus, continued tlie lineal succession till the 
Ixrginning of the twelfth century. In their wars 
against the northern barbarians, these duke.H wore 
seldom successful; but thev asserted their oMn 
prerogatives and the liberties of the nation ; their 
indepemlence sometimes pmxokeil the jealousy ot 
the emperors ; nor did the royal maids of Norway 
and Hungary disdain the alliance of such |X)wer- 
ful vassjds. The male line of the Billings was ex- 
tinct in Duke Magnus (1 106) : his eldest daughter 
Wullilda had been ";iven to Henry the Black, after- 
wanls Duke of Bavaria : the modern duchies 
of Luneburgh and Saxe-Luwenburgh were Iut 
princely inheritance : and her children, of the fa- 
mily of the Kste-(iuelphs, succeeded to these ter- 
ritories on either side of the EIIh?, which are still 
enjoyed bv the Electoral branch of the House ot' 

n. Vvtnu their original patrimony the five Saxon 
Em|>enM>i, Henry the Fowler, the three Oihos, and 
Henry the Saint may be styled without impropriety 
of tlie ancient House of Brunswick. But their 
conncxi<m with the Este-Ciuelphs can Ixr fountl 
only in temale alliance?* ; and their blood may luu' 
Ix'cn transfuscil by three streams of imperfect clear- 
ne>s. Their common source is derived from Heiir%' 




vler, the King at least of Germany, and the 
1 grandson of the Dukes of Saxony, Otho 
id Ludolph (858). Otho enjoyed the glory 
}ing the crown ; and of Ludolph it may be 
lit to atlirni, that he was the sole hope and 
of an illustrious race, that his birth was 
o liis fortune, his virtue to his bisth, and 
utv to his virtue. We have reason to be- 
lough we have not a right to assert, that his 
icbcrt was sanctified in thechaste embraces 
[da ;* that his father Bruno is the founder 
is wick (Brunonis vicus) ; and tliat his grand- 
an elder Bruno, was the friend of Witikind, 
honi he fought under the standard of free- 
ad with whom he yielded to the God of the 
ans. In the fifth ascending, degree the pro- 
nust be the progenitor of a Saint, of Bruno, 
hop of Cologne and brother of the Emperor 
. His domestic biographer thus describes the 
of this Saxon family : " As far as reaches 
mory of man, the grandsires of the grand- 
e all most noble : nor would it be easy to 
obscure or degenerate member in the whole 


w return to the three channels of commu- 

n between the old and the new House of 

/ick, between the Saxon Emperors and the 

uelphs. 1. According to the monk of 

artcu, the father of Cunegonde, Guelph IV. 

original Life of St. Ida is published by Leibnitz, Script. 
'. torn. i. p. 175 — 184, 
tgerus apud Struvium, Corpus Hist. Gennaoicae^ p. 21 6. 



was the son of Count Rodolph of Altorf, aud of 
his wife Itha, the daughter of Richlinda, daughter 
of the Emperor Otho L But the ehildren, alas! of 
the great Otho are conspicuous in history ; Rich- 
linda is invisible ; and her existence can onlv be 
saved by degrading her to the rank of an illegiti- 
mate daughter, whose alliance, however, might be 
an object of ambition to the proudest vassal of 
Germany. 2. Tlic matrimonial conquest of Henr\' 
the Black had extended over Luneburgh and the 
Elbe ; Brunswick and the Weser were embraced bv 
those of his son Henry the Proud, whose nuptials 
with Gertrude, the daughter of Richenza and the 
Emperor Lothaire II. (1126) enriched and illus- 
trated the Guelphic line. Richenza, the female 
parent of an heiress, was herself an heiress, and the 
daughter of an heiress. From her father, Duke 
Henry, she claimed the county or principality of 
Nordheim in the southern part of the Electorate of 
Hanover; from her mother, Gertrude, she derived 
the city and country of Brunswick, which had been 
enjoyed by four successive generations of her 
ancestors. Gertrude alone represented her child- 
less brother Ecbert II. Margrave of Misnia and 
Brunswick : he was the son of Ecbert I. of LudolpK 
of Bruno II., and of Bruno I.; whose pedigree 
would emerge into a brighter day, as the younger 
son of Henry, Duke of Bavaria, a younger brother 
of the Emperor Otho I. This highest step trem- 
bles indeed under our feet : yet the cvi<lence of 
local chronicles must not be despised : inheritance 




the most natural mode of possession ; and in the 
mth centurj' the Margrave Bruno I. possessed the 
itrimonial estate of the ancient House of Bruns- 
ick. 3. Our last and best dependence is on the 
aternal grandfather of Henry the Lion; on 
othaire II. who was successively Count of Sup- 
ingeburgh, Duke of Saxony, King of Germany, 
id Emperor of the Romans. His fatlier. Count 
ebehard, fell in battle (1075), and is numbered 
nong the slain with the first princes of the 
npire. It is almost certain tliat he was the son 
' Otho, Duke of Swabia: it is absolutely certain 
lat the father of Duke Otho was Ezo, Count 
datine, a noble courtier, who obtained in mar- 
age Matilda, the daughter of the Emperor Otho 
!., by the fortune, as it is fabled, of a game at 
ce. The slight defect in the genealogy of 
othaire II. is overbalanced by the general cou- 
nt of the twelfth century that he was the heir, 

well as the successor, of Otho the Great; and the 
ree probable connexions of the ancient and new 
luses of Brunswick will be consolidated into one 
tional belief. It may not be superfluous to add 
at the Empress Theophano, the consort of Otho 
., was a Greek princess of the Basilian or Mace- 
»nian dynasty ; which held the sceptre of Con- 
mtinople, and derived a splendid and specious 
igin ftom the royal race of the Arsacides of 
uthia. Reason may suspect, and fancy will 
onouhce, that the French colours, on the fields 
' Minden, were presented to the descendant of a 
VOL. III. K 1L king, 


king, who had received the Roman eagles, after the 
defeat of Crassus * 

III. After a brave resistance and a prudent sub- 
mission, Witikind, the Saxon hero, ended his life 
in the bosom of peace and Christianity. His son 
Wicbert was not less eminent in the church than 
in the state : his grandson Walbert was educated 
in the manners, and promoted to the dignities of the 
French court. After a chasm of one or t^'o gene- 
rations, four brothers of the race of Witikind 
appear with the title of Count, in his native coun- 
try of Westphalia. Among these Theoderic is 
illustrated by the temporal and spiritual honours 
of his daughter St. Matilda, the Queen of Henn 
the Fowler, aaid the mothei't^f the Saxon Empcror5.t 
By this female descent the Este-Guelphs and many 
other noble families participate of the blood of 
Witikind: but his male posterity is extinguished 
or lost; and in the tenth, eleventh, and ti^xlfth 
centuries, I cannot discover anv name which i^ 
connected by the writers of the time, with the 
name of the hero. Yet some fabulous chiims were 
cherished in silence, and four hundred years after 
his death, the chronicle of a French monk deduces 
from the four brothers, the father and uncles of St. 
Matilda, the nobility of all Saxony, Italy, Germany, 
Gaiil, Normandy, Bavaria, Swabia, Hungar\% Bo- 

* History of the Decline and Tall of the Roman Elmpire, rJ- 
V. p. 1 48. 
t Vita S** Mathild. in Leibnitz. Script. Drons. tom. i. p. I?^- 




[lia, Tuscany, and Poland,* a strange profiision, 
ich much debases the value of the gift. Vanity 
y gra^p these ideal trophies; the electors of 
ony and the Dukes of Savoy may embrace the 
Jes of their visionary Withers, but the hundred 
ds of the male children of Witikind dissolve 
I air, as soon as they are touched by the spear 

>ur accurate knowledge of the ori^n, estaUish* 
It, and alliances of the Este-Guelphs may now 
le at the errors and fables of a darker age. 
er the separation of the House of £ste by the 
» marriages of the Marquis Azo, the two diverg- 

branches of his posterity insensibly became 
ngers and aliens to each other : the intercourse 
the distant nations of Europe was rare and 
ardous ; and the fall of the empire had separated 

worlds of Italy and German v. A tradition 

sur\'ived in the court of Ferrara, that in some 
lote age, an hero of their blood had transported 

hopes and fortune beyond the Alps-: but the 
?, the characters, and the consequences of his 
gration were soon obliterated by ignorance and 
plied by .fiction-f In the tenth centurv', the 
ant Azo, an Italian noble, attended the standard 

deser\'ed the esteem of Otho the Great. Alda, 
itural daughter of the Emperor, was the reward 
[lis ser\'ices : she was endowed with the imagi- 

Alberic. triam Fontium. Chron. in Leibnitz. Accessionea 

oricae, torn. ii. p. 257« 

Ricobald. in Muratori. Script. Rerum Jtalic. ton. ix. p. 315 — 


K K 2 narv 


naiy fief of Fausburch or Friburgh in Saxony, and 
the twins, Fulk and Hugo, were tlie offspring of 
their marriage. Hugo returned to his native coun- 
try, and propagated the race of the Ajarquisses of 
Este, Dukes of Ferrara and Modena ; M'hiie Fulk 
remained in Germany, supported the falHng house 
of Saxony, and transmitted to his descendant some 
great county or duchy, in the unknown regions of 
the north. The Dukes of Brunswick, on the other 
hand, preserved a faint remembrance of dicir 
Italian origin: the title of their ancestors was 
familiar to their ear; but they had forgotten the 
name of Este, and their misguided tenderness con- 
founded the Marquisses of Montferrat or Mantua 
with their real kinsmen.* About the middle of the 
sixteenth century the mist was in some measure 
dispelled by the inquiries of Count Faleti, who 
had been sent into Germany by Hercules II. Duke 
of Ferrara, and the- perfect connexion of the two 
branches was finally restored by the faithful ser- 
vice of Leibnitz and Muratori. 

Of the first Guelph the rank is ascertained and 
the name is illustrated by the marriage of his 
daughter Judith with the Emperor Lewis the 
Pious, the son and successor of Charlemagne.t The 
magnitude of the French empire had almost ex- 

♦ Leibnitz. Opp. lorn, iv, p. ii. p. 83. Edit. Dutems. 

t The Chronological and Alphabetical indexes of the sixth 
volume of the Historians of France, will direct the more curious 
reader to all the orif»inal texts which speak of the Empre» Juditb. 
The best proofs of the nobility of Cuielph arc the testimonies of 



^ the choice of a foreign princess : nor could 
^ers of a wariike nation disdain the alliance 
* peers whose judgment had raised them to the 
le. The father of Judith was of the noblest 
jf the Bavarians : the nobilitv^ of her Saxon 
er was equally conspicuous; Guelph is indif- 
tly described by the stjle of Count, or Duke, 
ince ; and the more honourable appellation of 
nan (vir egregia Ubertatis) may be applied 
le situation as well as the character of the 
)endent chief. After the decease of his first 
Lewis the Pious invited the fairest and most 
5 damsels : the heart, or rather the heart of the 
eror was disputed in these nuptial games ; and 
eauty of Judith was rewarded with a fond and 
e husband, whom she continued to govern till 
ast hour of his life. The loud praises of her 
nd learning, her courage and piety, announce 
ist the pretensions of the Empress ; and she 
t excuse the invectives that were pointed 
ist the dangerous sq^uction of her graces and 
ns. During ten years (81 9 — 830) of specious 
>eritj% the daughter of Guelph enjoyed and 
^IJished the feasts of an itinerant court. But 
ices of the state and the calamities of the age 
gradually ascribed to her influence : Bernard, 
e of Septimania, was known to be her favourite, 
was believed to be her lover; she wished 
ovide a kingdom for her infant Charles : and 

^ Cp- 79)t of the Astronomer (p. 102), of the Anoab of 
irii (p. 178), of those of St. Bertin (p. 207), and of the 
Chronicle (p. 219). 

K K 3 the 


the three sons of Lewis, by his first wife, conspired 
against the stepmother whom they liad provoked. 
By the successful rebels she was twice torn from 
the palace, and immured, under the monastic veil, 
in the cloisters of Poitiers and Tortona (830-834). 
The Emperor was twice restored : he embraced hi^ 
wife with the credulitv of love : Judith and her 
favourite asserted their innocence with oaths zuA 
challenges : her days were concluded (843) in peace 
and honour ; and the posterity of Guelph reigned 
in France (840 — 987) till the sixth generation. 

Conrad and Rodolph, two of the sons of Guelph, 
had abandoned their paternal seat to share the 
prosperous and adverse fortunes of tlieir sister. 
M'hen she was degraded to a nun they were shaven 
^ priests : but they stood beside the throne a& 
princes of the blood. Conrad I, had t\^-o sods 
Conrad II. and Hugh, from his ecclesiastical bene- 
fices surnamcd the Abbot. Their ambitious spirit 
maintained their hcrcditarj- rank, and they appear 
conspicuous in the goveoiinent of proviiR*es, and 
in the annals of peace and war. According to 
some learned antiquaries, Conrad I. left a thin! son, 
the famous Robert the Strong, the lather of the 
kings of France, of the third race. Their opiui<>n 
will not sustain the rigour of critical im|uiry : but 
the text of an original chronicle is allegetl in it^ 
favour ; and a series of an hundred kings still hanu*^ 
by the various reading of a single vowel.* 


* Frairrt or Fratm is the question, of whieh Uie oppositf ^^^ 



Yet a kingdom may be found to which the 
mrest history will assert the title of the Guelphic 
ine. Conrad II. and his son Rodolph were Dukes 
»r Marquisses of the Trans-Jurane Burgundy 
irhich includes the Pays de Vaud^ and the happy 
pot where I am now writing. In the shipwreck 
f the Carlovingian monarchy (888), Rodolph, with 
he applause of his bishops and nobles assumed a 
oyal crown at the abbey of St. Maurice; his 
ceptre was the martyr s lance, enriched with a 
tail of the true cross, and the second kingdom of 
burgundy which he founded, subsisted one hundred 
nd forty-four years in a lineal succession of four 
irinces. The independence of Rodolph I. (888 — 
H2) was confirmed by two victories, and finally 
.cknowledged in a diet of the German empire, 
lis son Rodolph II. (912 — ^937) twice attempted 
he conquest of Italy, and his retreat was pur- 
:hased by a fair equivalent; his dominion ex- 
ended over the French or western part of Switzer- 
and, Franche-Comt6, Savoy, Dauphin^, and Pro- 
vence ; and the country between the Rhone and 
he Alps adopted the new appellation of the 
dngdom of Aries. The long reign (i)37-^993) of 
!>)nrad the son of Rodolph II. was glorious and 
>acific, and the friendship of the great Otho was 
he finuest bulwark of his tln*one. His son 
iodolph III. surnamed the Lazy, was the spec-' 

re strongly argued by Foncemagne (M^moires de I'Acad^mie 
es Inscriptions, torn. xx. p. 558 — 567) and Scheidius (Pnefat. ad 
)ngin. Guelfic. torn. ii. p. ^4—43.) 

K K 4 tator, 


tator, perhaps the cause of the decay and disso* 
lution of his government, (993 — 1032). After his 
death, the sovereignty of the kingdom of Aries or 
Burgundy devolved as a fief or legacy to his 
nephew the Emperor Conrad the Salic ; the effec- 
tive power was usurped by the vassals, but the 
regal titles of thia collateral line may reflect some 
dignity on the fathers of the house of Brunswick.* 
While the ancestors of the kings of Burgundy 
pursued the path of ambition, their kinsmen, the 
elder branch of the Guelphs, preferred a life of 
independence in the free possession of their allodial 
estates of Bavaria and Swabia. From Guelph the 
father of the Empress Judith, these estates de- 
scended to the first or second Ethico, whose lofty 
Spirit is commemorated in a curious tale by the 
monk of M'^eingarten-f As soon as Henrys the son 
of Ethico, had attained the age of manhood, the 
aspiring youth, without his father's privity or 
consent, attached himself to the Emperor, obtained 
his favour, deserved his esteem, and attended with 
assiduous zeal the long circuits of the court and 
army. By the advice of the princes, and at the 
solicitation of his sovereign, the son of Ethico 
consented to receive a fief or benefice of four 

• See tbe fourth book of the Origincs Guelficap, (torn, ii.) and 
the Baron de Zurlauben, (Hist, de TAcademie, torn, xxxri. p. 
142— 15<).) 

t In this imperfect review of the history of the Guelphs, the 
Chronicle of Wein^jiiten (Origines Guelficas, torn. v. p. 3*2 — 35) 
may be c<»nsidered as the text, and the Originc* Gueliicx ^tona. 
»i. 1. 4 and 5,) as the Commentary. 



tiousand mansi or measures of land, in tbe Upper 
ta\*aria, and to perform the homage of a faithful 
lient. Henry, sumamed of the golden chariot, 
mg flourished in the wealth and dignity of the 
alace; but his father was deeply wounded by 
lis sacrifice of honour to interest, by this base 
bdicarion of the nobility and freedom of the 
ruelphic name. After pouring a complaint into 
le bosom of his friends, the high-minded Ethico 
^solved to conceal his shame from the world. He 
uitted (says the monk) his regal edifices, and 
eh possessions, rerired with only twelve com- 
mions to the solitary mansion of Ambirgo, amidst 
le mountains, and there ended his days without 
»ing or forgiving his degenerate son. The 
rquisition in the ninth century of su\^ a fief as 
thico disdained, would satisfy the pride of the 
[>blest family in Europe. 

Had a rent-roll of the Guelphic possessions been 
reserved, an uncouth list of castles and villages 
hich have long been tranferred to new owners, 
ould offend the ear, without informing the mind 
r the English reader. The authors of the family 
ere of Bavarian extraction ; but their principal 
was in Swabia, in the neighbourhood of the 
of Constance, and the Austrian prefecture of 
Itorf and Ravcnsperg* is derived from the 
icient Guelphs, who, according to the fashion of 
le times, liad abstailied from the use of any local 

♦ See Geograpbie de Buscbing, torn. Tii. p. 130 — 137, and 
ta- ^iii. p. 64| — 6^7- 



denominations. Their various estates, as tlie}- 
might be acquired by donation, marriage, or pur- 
chase, were scattered over the wide extent of 
Bavaria and Swabia, from the mountains of Tirol 
to the plains of Alsace; and several free com- 
munities of the Grisous were once the slaves of 
these powerful landlords. In their household they 
displayed the pomp and pride of regal economy : 
and the domestic offices of stewards, butlers, 
marshals, chamberlains, and standard-bearers, Mere 
exercised by counts, or by nobles of an equal 
rank. Their first officer, the Advocaiey represented 
tlieir person and maintained their cause in the 
imperial or ducal court; and they enjoyed tlie 
singular privilege of protecting, without eifusion 
of blood, all persons who were legally proscribed 
till thev had answered or satisfied the demands of 
justice. The episcopal churches of rrisingen, 
Augsburgh, Constance, and Coire, and the monas- 
teries of popular sanctity, were endowed by tlieir 
devotion with liberal grants of lands and pea:»ants. 
Even the humiliating tribute which the kings oi 
Burgundy and the Guclphs of Altorf were bouml 
to offer at the shrine of St. Othmar, was an annual 
commemoration of the anticjuity of their housi' 
Thev made atonement for the sjuilt of then 
ancestors, who, in the eighth century, had go- 
verned the Duchv of Alemannia, and had abunii 
their power in the persecution of the saint. 

The darkness of German histor\' in the ninth 
and tenth centuries, has cast a veil over the live> 
and characters of the ancient Guelphs. But it 



ay be presumed that they were illiterate and 
diant; that they plundered churches in their 
)uth and restored them in their old age ; that 
ley were fond of arms, horses and hunting ; and 
lat they resisted with equal spirit the exercise of 
bitrary and legal power. St. Conrad,* alone of 
s race (892 — 976) by seeking a place in heaven, 
IS deserved a memorial on earth. After his 
lucation in the school, and his service in the 
lapter of Constance, he was raised by a free 
ection to the Episcopal chair (934) which he 
mtinued to fill forty-two years. The church was 
iriched by his patrimony and defended by his 
indred: the Bishop of Constance did not affect 
le austere life of an hermit, and his temperate 
lanners were those of a German noble ; but his 
lastity was immaculate from sin or scandal, he 
as assiduous in prayer, and his religious merits 
ere crowned by the pilgrimage of Jerusalem. t 
he miracles of St. Conrad are fancied with some 
egree of taste: he voided harmless, a spider 
hich he had bravely swallowed in the com- 
iunion-<:up ; and he delivered two souls, who, in 
ic fonn of birds, were enduring their purgatoiy 

♦ The Life of St. Conrad (Leibnitz Scriptores Reruni Bruns 
Icensium, torn. ii. p. i — 14,) may be illusirated by the Origines 
uelficse, (torn, ii. p. 206 — 212,) and the proofs or documents of 
e fifth Book (No. 7, 8, 9.) 

t From the word tertio in the Life (»f St. Conrad, (c, vi.) it is 
ipposed that he thrice ^visited Jerusalem. I am more inclined 
suspect that mense has been dropt by a careless transcriber: 
iree pilgrimages are useless and improbable. 



in the water-fal^^^f the Rhine. But the most 
marvellous scene was exhibited at the church and 
abbey of Einsidlen, the Loretto of Switzerland, 
which, under the name of our Lady of the Hennits, 
is annually visited by many thousand pilgrims.* 
.The clergy, nobility, and people, had flocked to 
the feast of the dedication, (948); hut at the 
midnight hour of the vigil, the Bishop of Constance 
was fkvoured with an extraordinary vision. Tlie 
heavens were opened ; Jesus Christ arrayed in the 
episcopal habit, accompanied by the Virgin Mar}', 
and attended by a choir of angels, descended from 
on high to officiate at his own altar: the saints 
and martyrs assumed the characters of priests and 
deacons, and the whole consecration was performed 
according to the ritual of the church. In the 
morning the bishop arose, he related his dream ; a 
voice from the sky or the roof, announced that 
the place was already holy ; and this visionary act 
has been acknowledged by the decrees of Rome. 
One hundred and forty-seven years after his death, 
Conrad was canonized hy Pope Calixtus II. (1 123): 
the Guelphic name was honoured by this celestial 
kinsman, and the liberal devotion of Henrv the 
Black, Duke of Bavaria, declared him the worthy 
nephew of the saint. 

As soon as St. Conrad was received into heaven 

^ One kundrfd thousand according to the mactrra/e calculation ot 
Mr. Coxe ! The English traveller lashes our Lady of the Hermits 
with the Npirit of a protesunt rather than of a philosopher; and 
his excellent translator corrects him with the eotbusia»m» not ol 
a bigot, but of a poet. 


he should have secured an act of indemnity for 
the obsolete sins of his family. But St. Othmar 
was still inexorable, and the effects of his revenge 
were felt by the tenth generation of the Guelphs. 
By the grand-daughter, perhaps, of the Emperor 
Otho I. Rodolph II. of Altorf, had two sons, Henry 
and Guelph. The eldest, an impatient youth, 
denied the annual payment of his sin-offering ; but 
the denial was soon followed by his untimely 
death. After hunting the roe-buck in the moun- 
tains, he reposed his wearied limbs under the . 
shadow of a rock, an huge fragment fell on his 
head, and the vindictive saint might behold him 
rolling down the precipice. The submission of 
his brother Guelph IV. was rewarded with a 
longer and more glorious life. Rich in lands and 
potent in arms, he long tormented his neighbour 
the Bishop of Frisingen, attended the Emperor to 
his coronation at Rome, and afterwards joined 
against him in a successful rebellion. His nuptials 
with Imiza, daughter of the Count of Luxenburgh, 
and niece of the Empress St. Cunegonde, were 
productive of two children, of Guelph V. who 
succeeded his father, and of Cunegonde or Cuniza 
the future heiress of her family, who was given in 
marriage to the Marquis Azo, with eleven hundred 
or eleven thousand 7nansi of land* in the valley of 


♦ From tbe customs and charters of Lombardy Muratori at- 
tempts to determine the usual mansus (Antichitk Estense, tom. i. 
p. 3 — 5;) and his evaluation would produce two hundred, or 
more probably twenty thousand English acres. But he finds 



Elisisa in Lombardy.* The portion appears to 
have been worthy of a prince; but the situation, 
tliC measure, and the vahie of the estate, cannot 
now be exactly defined. 

After Europe was moulded into the feudal 
system, an independent chieftain would liave stood 
naked and alone; the fearof injury was stimulated 
by the ambition of favour, and the descendants of 
Ethico and Henry were more inclined to follow 
the example of the son, than to sympathize with 
the feelings of the fatlier. G uelph V. tlic brother 
of Cunegonde, was invested with the Duchy of 
Carinthia, and the Marquisate of Verona (1047); 
an important province, which included the country 
of Tirol, and commanded the passage of the 
Rhietian Alps. But the servant of Henry HI. 
maintained the vigour of his character, and the 
pride of his birth. An Italian diet was sum- 
moned according to custom in tlie plain of Ron- 
caglia. G uelph, at the head of his vassals, waited 
three davs without seein«r or hearins: from the 
Emperor: on the fourth he sounded the trumpet 
of retreat, and, though he met Henry on the way, 
neither tlneats, nor prayers, nor promises, could 

that some were of more ample dimensions; and \ couIJ 
acfjuiesre in the loose dctiintion of as much land as ^iil maintiin 
a peasant with hh family. 

* Leibnitz understands the Val d'EUa in Tuscany, and hb 
opinion isapprovtd by Kccard and Tontanini ; (OriginesGuclftoTt 
torn. ii. p. '223, 2'2i,) But Gruber dis&ents from kis text; ftnd 
?tluratori wishes to read l^ailu Lusuia, the village and manor ol 
Lusia in the \'eronese territory, which soon aftem^ards appear in 
the possession of the Marquis Aio. 



jvail on him to return. An arbitrary tax of a 
>usand marks had been imposed on the citizens 
Verona; their Marquis in arms flew to their 
ief} and the concessions of the Emperor could 
Tcely purchase an ignominious escape. This 
of patriotism or rebellion, for which he is said 
have testified some remorse, concludes the story 
die Duke of Carinthla. He died (1055) child- 
j, in the prime of life, the last male of his family. 
isirous-T)f exchanging the temporal goods which 
was about to lose, for an everlasting possession 
heaven, Guelph endowed the Abbey of Wein- 
ten with the rich gift of his estates and vassals. 
ro of his principal servants accepted the tes- 
nent ; but ^after his funeral they were resisted 
the execution of this rash and unjust deed, 
lich offended even the prejudices of the age. 
iza his mother was not ignorant that her 
ighter Cunegonde had left a son : she dis- 
x^hed messengers into Italy, and the youth on 
arrival annulled the donation, and asserted his 
n right, as the true and legitimate heir of the 
:ient Guelphs. 

Two streams of noble blood, the two families of 
te and the Guelphs, were united in the son of 

and Cunegonde, who obtained the maternal 
me of his grandfather and uncle. By the mar- 
^e settlement, which seems to have excluded 
* younger children, Guelph VI. was assured of 

1 patrimony of his father : he already possessed 
J inheritance of his mother (1055) : his fortune 
s adequate to his birth, and his warlike, ambi- 


tious spirit soared above his fortune. An Italian 
by nature and education, he was a German bv 
adoption ; and from the age of manhood the Lord 
of Altorf had fixed his residence and his hopes in 
the country that was the seat of government. In 
the diet of Goslar (1071) he was invested by the 
Emperor Henry IV. with the duchy of Bavaria, 
which in that age extended to the confines of Hun- 
gary, and his nuptials were celebrated with Judith 
the daughter of Baldwin, count of Flanders, and 
the widow of a titular King of England.* These 
titles are illustrious: but the Brunswick princes, 
who are lovers of truth and freedom, will pennit 
me to observe that they were dearly purchased bv 
the sacrifice of virtue. His first wife w^as Eihe- 
linda the daughter of Henry, duke of Bavaria: 
their alliance was consecrated by oaths, and while 
fortune smiled Guelph was a tender husband and 
a pious son. But after Henry, in the storms of 
faction, had been proscribed by the Emperor, the 
Lord of Altorf deserted the father, repudiated the 
daughter, and basely solicited the spoils of a friend 
with whom it was his duty to fall. Gold and sil- 
ver are the idols of a venal court ; the Guelphic pa- 
trimony was injured by his profuse ambition; and 
his ascent to one of the most eminent dignities of 
the republic was cHsgraced by the public reproach 

of ingratitude and perjury .f By the early 'and ob- 

* Of Tostus, son of Earl Godwin and younger brother uf Ha- 
rold, against whom, with a Norwegian army he had un»ucccs»- 
fully disputed the crown. 

t Cunctib detestantibus, quod clarissimam et inopioatisumajn in 



stinate revolt of the Duke of Bavaria against His 
imperial benefactoiv these reproaches will be tinged 
with a blacker dye, if the defence of the church 
does. not absolve i\om all moral obligations^ What-^ 
soever were his sins they were expiated, however, - 
by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land : the greater pari; 
of his aimy was buried in the plains of Asia Minor-j 
and he died on his return, at Paphos, in the Isle of 
Cyprus (HOI). His life had been prolonged to aii 
advanced period ; yet he survived only four years 
the longevity of his father the Marquis Azo. The 
articles of settlement were rigorously exacted by the 
Bavarian duke : but the sons of the second mar-» 
riage, Fulk and Hugh, opposed their elder brother 
in the passes of the Alps, and his insatiate avarice 
yielded to a more equal treaty of partitiqp. 

By the Queen Dowager of England, the first 
Guelphic duke of Bavaria had two sons, Guelph 
VII. and Henry, sumamed the Black. The eldest 
at the age of seventeen (1089) was sent into Italy, 
and commanded by his parents to ascend the nup- 
tial bed of Matilda the Great Countess of Tuscanv, 
who had attained the autumnal ripeness of forty- 
thre? years. Tliis heroine, the spiritual daughter 
of Gregory VII. was twice married : but interest 
rather than love directed her choice, and her vir- 
ginity was twice insulted by a crooked dwarf, and 
an impotent boy. ********** 

Reput>lica dignitatem tam faed^ ambitione polluisset, says Lam- 
bert, with a sense and style far above the eleventh century. 

VOL. III. L L Their 


Their conjugal union was hopeless ;* but six yean 
(1089—1095) elapsed between the marriage and 
the divorce ; and the government of Tuscany was 
administered in their joint names, till the imperious 
temper of Matilda provoked the grandson of Azo 
to reveal a secret which her pride would have con- 
cealed from the world. On his father's decease 
Guelph VII. succeeded to the duchy of Bavaria 
(1 101) of which he had already obtained tbe rever- 
sion : his power ranked him among the first princes 
of Germany ; and when he represented Ac ma- 
jesty of the empire, a sword of state was carried 
before him. The Bavarians applauded the iniki- 
ness of his sway, and his paternal care in the edu- 
cation of the noble yoiith. At Rome he app^red 
with dignity as tiie mediator between the Emptm 
and the Pope. The French who saw him it 
Troyes, at the head of a great embassy, were asto- 
nished by the huge corpulence and sonorous voice, 
which, in his person, however, were not the attri- 
butes of manhood. After a reign of nineteen years 
he died (1 ISO), most assuredly, without children; 
and his younger brother Henry the Black reunited 
all the subordinate fiefs and allodial estates of the 
femily in Germany and Italy .f 

* For more particular information see Cosmas, Dean of^t 
cburch of Prague, whom I only know by the Abrv^ Chrooolo- 
gique de THistoire d'ltalic of the roost accurate Sc. Marc (toB* 
iv. p. 1253). Some faults and fahles may weaken bit ctedtt, 
but of the impotence of Guelph VII. I cannot entertain a doabt. 

t See the two first Guelphs of Bamha in the sixth book of the 
Origino Guelfics, torn. ii. 


HOUSE OF BtttJNSWiCX. * 515 

the beginning of the twelfth centuiy .the 
icial honours of the Marquisses of Este^ the 
of Altorf, and even the Dukes of Bavaiia 
liose of a private though illustrious family ; 
le series of their names and actions must b^ 
ily extracted from the occasional hints of 
rs and chronicles. During a subsequent 
of an hundred years the Este^uelphs^ the 
s of the Brunswick line, are the fii^t] actors 

revolutions of the empire : their lives and 
^ters are deeply impressed on the annals of 
mes ; and our loose memorials will assume 
oe of an historical narrative, 
or the death of his elder brother, Henry the 
p son of Guelph VL and grandson of the 
lis AzOj had succeeded to the duchy of Bar 
and the estates of the &mily. He survived 
ux years (1 ISO— 1126); but his political 
t on a vacancy of the throne contributed to 
i right of election in the German aristocracy. 
)yal funeral of Henry V. was solemnly per- 
1 ; and the Duke, witli tlie sacerdotal and 
attendants, subscribed a writ of summons 
speaks the language of liberty and resent* 

The diet was held in the neighbourhood 
entz; the separate tribes, the Franks^ the 
ans, the Bavarians, encamped on either »de 
Rhine, and tlie immediate vassals with their 
t>us and warlike followers, composed an 
\Ay or rather army of sixty thousand soldiers 
reemen. But the archbishop, a dexterous 

L L S statesman. 

sit AKTiaUITlES or THE 

As the eldest son was dead to the world, the 
feudal and allodial estates were divided between 
the two surviving brothers, Henry the Proud and 
Guelph VIII. ; but the right of primogeniture 
was eonsidered, and Henry alone, in his twenty- 
fifth year, succeeded to the title and office of Duke 
of Bavaria. His character may be estimated by 
the first acts of his government in the provincial 
diet of Ratisbon ; • eveiy complaint was heard, 
everj^ wrong redressed, every crime punished ; and 
the civir judge was protected by the military com- 
mander. In a circuit round the province he re- 
conciled the quarrels of his vassals, and exacted 
the most effectual sureties of oaths and pledges 
for the suspension of private war ; the eastks of 
the disobeclient were demoli^ed, their persons 
were proscribed, and Bavaria enjoyed a respite of 
ten years (1 126 — 1 136) from the disorders of the 
feudal system. The duke had levied a tax on the 
citizens of Ratisbon, but the produce was surely 
inadequate to the expense of a stone bridge of fif- 
teen arches, which he constructed over the deep 
and rapid stream of the Danube. Churches and 
convents are the monuments of the middle age ; 
and a >york of public use attests the sense as well 
as the riches of the founder. 
. The marriage of Gertrude, the daughter and 
heiress of the Emperor Lothaire, with Henry the 
Proud, was not accomplished till after his fiither's 
death ; but it may be presumed that his desertion 
of a brother-in-law for a stranger was purchased 



Their power extended from the Upper Danube 
to the Lower Rhine ; the artificial strength of the 
province had suggested a vulgar saying, that the 
dukes of Swabia never moved without a castle at 
their horses tail ; but their best reliance was on 
the firm and faithful support of the cities of Spires 
and Ulm. The reduction of these cities may be 
ascribed to the valour and conduct of the Guelphic 
prince: he surprized and vanquished his uncle 
Fredeiuc who was advancing to the relief of Spires ; 
and the walls, even the buildings of Ulm were 
levelled to the ground by his irresistible assault 
After a series of losses and defeats the Ghibelline 
brothers resigned their pretensions, and implored 
their pardoB, and Lothaire, without a rival, was 
acknowledged sole monarch of the German Em* 

From Lothaire II., and his consort Richenza, 
the inheritance of Brunswick would legally de- 
scend to their daughter, whose husband, the Duke 
of Bavaria, already enjoyed in right of his mother 
the Saxon patrimony of the House of Billing. 
Before his accession their ducal office had been 
exercised by the emperor himself: he now wished 
to devolve it on some faithful client ; and what 
client could be more faithful than his adoptive 
son ? The Guelphs, by their female alliance, pos- 
sessed a natural command on the banks of the 
Elbe and Weser ; the genius of Henry the Proud 
was equal to the double administration of Saxony 
and Bavaria ; precedents might be found of a simi- 


tinion; and the complaint of pluralities was 
-ruled by affection and silenced by authority. 

Christian kings in the twelfth century could 
with the power and dominion of the Duke of 
my and Bavaria, Supreme Governor of the 
ish, Slavic, and Hungarian borders; nor was 
ir occasion neglected of% restoring an Italian 
ince to the elder branch of the Marquisses of 
, and, perhaps, of Tuscany. As the repre- 
itive of the Caesars, and the King of die Lorn- 
B, Lothaire II. contested the illegitimate do- 
m of the Countess Matilda to the Roman 
rch; but he accepted,' as a compronuse, the 
ititure of her patrimony, which was widely 
sed from the Adriatic and the Po to the Tiber 
the Tuscan sea. An anniial quit-rent of one 
Ired marks of silver declared the supremacy of 
x>pe, and the reversion was granted to Henry 
?roud on condition that he should swear fide- 
and perform homage to the Apostolic See. 
fortunate Henry was now raised above the 

of a subject: he is addressed by his august 
T as the presumptive heir of the monarchy, 
had Lothaire returned victorious from die 
lian war, a loyal diet might have gratified his 

in the election of a successor. The House of 
iswick misrht at this dav be seated on the 
le of Germany; and if the sense and spirit of 
Guelphs liad kept inviolate their hereditary 
iins, they might liave rekindled the lustre of 
Imperial Crown, and asserted the prerogatives 

tho and Charlemagne. 



While Lothaire II. accomplished the indispenai- 
ble pilgrimage of his Roman coronation^ his aoo- 
in-law was left behind to maintain peace or to pro- 
secute war in the Teutohic kingdom (1 133). In a 
second expedition, the £mperor prepared to yindi- 
cate the altar and the throne from the schism of an 
anti-pope, and the rebellion of a King of Sicily. 
The powers of Germany obeyed his sununons 
(1 136) ; fifteen hundred knights and men at inw 

marched under the banner of the Duke of Saxony 


and Bavaria ; Henry the Proud appeared as the 
second person in the host ; the Italians beheld 
their future sovereign; and instead of the ootd 
service of a vassal or mercenary, he diapbycd 
the active consciousness that he was labouring fer 
himself. On the first descent from the Rfartiui 
Alps the great grandson of the Marqub Ajr> 
stormed the castles of the lakes and mountains, 
visited the patrimony of his fathers, and gianted, 
as the superior lord, the fief of Este to his coiisim 
of the younger branch. From Verona to Turin, 
and from Turin to Ravenna, he led or foUowcd 
the royal standard, oppressed the proud, interceded 
for the prostrate, and subscribed the feudal lawi 
which Lothaire promulgated in the Diet of Ron- j 
caglia. After celebrating the festival of Christ- j 
mas, the Emperor (1 137) divided his forces; witii \ 
the main body he marched along the Adriatic coast ^ 
into the heart of Apulia, while Henry die Prood j 
passed the Apennine at the head of three thoosand 
German horse. The bishops and magistrates who 



i been expelled by popular insurrection were 
Qstated by his arms: Florence was besieged^ 
cca was pardoned: he inflamed the territory 
1 burst the gates of Sienna : the provinces were 
uced ; and to his Saxon and Bavarian honours 
nry added a third title of Duke of Tuscany, 
the vassal of St. Peter he conducted Pope Inno- 
it II. from the synod of Pisa to the siege of 
ri, a march of five hundred miles through a 
ismatic people, an hostile country, a line of 
tified towns, and the garrisons of Normans and 
acens in the service of Roger, King of Sicily. 
t powers of Henry were inadequate to the siege 
Elome ; but in his progress to the south, the 
ley of Mount Cassin, the principality of Capua^ 
I the ecclesiastical province of Beneventum 
« compelled to acknowledge their lawful gover- 
». In the most perilous assaults his Germans 
*€ guided, and rallied, and checked by the hand 
a master, and against the pontiff himself his 
lal presumed to vindicate the rights of conquest 
1 of the empire. After the interview of Lo- 
ire and Innocent, the Teutonic army moved 
n the Upper to the Lower sea; the prudent 
3mr of the Duke Avas equally conspicuous in the 
ccssfiil sieges of Bari and Salerno, and he might 
m an ample share in the glory of his father, 
yse epitaph proclaims that he had driven the in- 
to from the continent of Italv. . 
)ut these conquests were preserved only in the 
atph which was speedily to be inscribed on the 



sepulchre of Lothaire. An Apulian suminer had 
melted the strength of the hardy Germans ; their 
retreat was spiritless and slow, and the Emperor, 
who felt the decay of life, had scarcely descended 
from tlie Alps when he expired (Dec, 3, 1137,) in 
a nameless village of Bavaria, leaving the posses- 
sion of Saxony and the hope of the empire to his 
adoptive son. The claims of Henry were founded 
on the superior advantages of merit and fortune. 
But the epithet of the proud betrays a vice in his 
character most offensive to a free-lwrn people: 
and his monopoly of power alarmed the jealousy 
of his peers who were, apprehensive that the lord 
of so many provinces might subvert the balance of 
the constitution. The conspiracy of the eccle«as- 
tical and secular princes was encouraged by the 
policy of Rome, alike unmindful of ancient inju- 
ries and recent services. The Guelphs, who repre- 
sented the House of Saxony, were sacrificed to the 
heirs of the Ghibelline or Franconian line; and 
the ambitious Conrad, who had abdicated the 
royal title, again ascended the steps of the thmne 
(1138). An hasty, irregular meeting, anticipated 
the summons and the forms of election, but their 
choice was ratified by the consent of die natioa 
The Empress dowager Richenza aud her Saxon 
vassals were compelled to attend the diet, and to 
renounce the cause of their own candidate.. Even 
Henry himself desisted from the fruitless ocmtest, 
and the imperial ohiaments wluch he had received 
from his dyini; fitther were delivered with many a 




sigh, after many a delay, into the hands of a ri^aL 
A barbarous people is attached to visible symbols : 
nor could the Germans acknowledge their lawful 
sovereign unless they beheld the crown and scep- 
tre, the sword and the lance, which had been con- 
secrated by ancient use and popular superstition. 

But the pride and power of Henry could nei- 
ther stoop to obey nor expect to be forgiven. The 
question was agitated whether two duchies could 
legally be vested in the same person, and it was 
soon decided in the negative by those w^ho wished 
to oppress, and those who aspired to succeed the 
reining duke. Perhaps Henry might have been 
allowed to retain either Saxony or Bavaria : but 
his spirit scorned the ignominious option : his 
refusal was interpreted as a crime ; by the sentence 
of revenge, envy and avarice assembled in a diet, 
he was stripped of ail his possessions, and the head 
of the rebel was proscribed with the tremendous 
ceremonies which accompany the ban of the em- 
pire. The duchies of Saxony and Bavaria were 
respectively granted to their first and most power- 
ful vassals, to Albert the Bear, Margrave of Bran* 
deiilmrgh, and to Leopold, Margrave of Austria. 
Lec^M^ was the half-brother of die Emperor, and 
as the father of Albert had married a younger 
daughter of Duke Magnus, he disputed with the 
Guelphs the inheritance of the house of Billing. 
Bavaria, from the impulse of fear or affection, sub- 
mitted on the first approach of the Austrians, and 
10 rapid was the revolution, so universally was he 
deserted, that Henry the Proud, with oidy four 



followers, escaped from the banks of the Danube 
to those of the Weser and the Elbe. There indeed 
he made a vigorous and successful stand. Richenxa 
embraced her daughter, and appealed to her fii- 
thers: the Saxons were impatient of a foreign 
master, the allodial estates of BninsAvick and Lune* 
bui^h poured forth a swarm of soldiers ; and no 
sooner had they recovered from their first astonisb* 
ment, than the Guelphic vassals of Swabia and 
Bavaria resorted in crowds . to the standaid of 
their lord. The son-in-law of Lothaire found ai 
.army, and that army had a general ; his pride wii 
stimulated by shame and resentment ; the Bear fled 
before the Lion, (I use the quaint lai^ui^ of the 
age,) and Albert of Brandenburgh sought a refoge 
in the court of hia benefactor. Exaispeiatcd bjr 
this haughty defiance, Conrad himself mardied 
against the rebel at the head of a royal army : but 
on a nearer survey of his strength the £inperor 
halted, doubtful of the evcut; a parley wis 
sounded, a negociation was opened, a diet was 
announced. In a general, pcrliaps a mare tmpartiai 
assembly, Henry prepared to defend tlie justice of 
his cause by arguments as well as by arms, wfaeD« 
after a short illness in his thirty-seventh year 
(1 139) his worldly contentions were temunatedby 
the hand of death. A death thus premature, thus 
sudden, thus seasonable, might awaken suspicioQi 
of poison : and these suspicions have been propi- 
gated and believed by the aeal of party : but tbej 
are not justified by the character of the times, ol 
the nation, or of the personal adversaries of the 



Duke of Saxony. The Gennans of the twelfth 
century might be often crael, but they were sel-? 
dom perfidious. 

After the decease of Henry the Proud, (II 39) the 
eld^t hope of the Guelphic line reposed on his 
only son, the third Henry, an orphan of ten yeani 
of age, who afterwards claimed the royal appella- 
tion of the Lion, either from his father, his cha« 
lacter, or his armorial ensigns. The pei^onal re- 
sentments which had been excited by the pride of 
the late duke might be disarmed by the tender 
innocence of his successor; but political enemies, 
and some of them were bishops, are rardy moved 
by generosity or compassion, and the young Lion 
must have been caught in the toils had not his 
farave and faithful Saxons defended with perseve* 
ring arms the child of the nation. His grand-mo- 
ther Richenza, a woman as it should seem of sense 
and spirit, possessed the affection, and assumed the 
regency of the country : but her daughter Gertrude, 
a blooming and impatient widow, was too soon 
(1 141) persuaded to form an hostile connexion, and 
her Mcond marriage with Henry, Margrave of 
Austria, the brother and successor of Leopold, ap- 
peared* to countenance the usui*pation of Bavaria. 
Yet this alliance was productive of a truce and a 
treaty, and the' son of Gertrude, renouncing by his 
mother's advice the Bavarian duchy, was acknow- 
ledged as Duke of Saxony by the Emperor and 
empire ; a specious act, which ensured some years 
of domestic peace, without any material injury to 
the right of the minor. The education of Henry 

528 ANTiQumKs or the 

the Lion was that of a Saxon and a soldier, to 
support the inclemency of the seasons, to disdain 
the temptations of luxury, to manage the horse 
and the lance, to contend with his equals in the 
exercise«of military and even civil virtues, and to 
disguise the superior gifts of fortune, perhaps of 
nature, by the winning graces of modesty and gen- 
tleness. At eighteen (1 147) the Duke of Saxony 
and, as he still deemed himself, of Bavaria, was 
introduced at the diet of Frankfort into an assem- 
bly of men and princes ; and the recent institution 
of knighthood supplied the national custom of de- 
livering the sword and spear to a noble youth. 
Europe Avas then agitated by the preparations of 
the second crusade : the Emperor Conrad and the 
King of France had listened to the voice of St 
Bernard, and while the flame of enthusiasm was 
kindled in'cvery martial bosom, the spirit of Henry 
would prompt him to march, and might lead him 
to perish in the dangerous adventure. But the 
northern states of Gcimianv,- with their allies of 
Denmark .'md Poland, preferred an holy warfare 
less remote, more benelicial, and equally merito- 
rious, against the idolatrous Slavi of the Baltic 
coast ; and one hundred and sixty thousand sol* 
diers of Christ M^cre speedily enrolled to convert or 
exterminate his enemies. The Duke of Saxonv. 
witli a numerous body of his vassals and subjects^ 
unfurled die Ixmner of the cross ; and although 
this first campaign was neither successful nor glo- 
rious, he shewed himself on a splendid theatre to 
the Christians and Pagans of the Nortlu After 



the return of the Em|>eror from the Holy Land, 
Henry the Lion endeavoured, without success, to 
M'^rest Bavaria from his Austrian competitor ; but 
while he was detained on the Danube, a messenger 
announced that Conrad had entered Saxony with 
a great army. " Command my vassals (replied the 
dauntless chief) to assemble at Brunswick : on 
Christmas-day they shall find me at their head/' 
The term was short, the distance was long, the 
passes were guarded ; yet the Duke was faithful 
to his appointment. Disguising his person, with 
only three attendants, he darted swift and secret 
through the hostile country, appeared on the fifth 
day in the camp of Brunswick, and forced his im- 
perial adversary to sound a precipitate retreat 

During the minority of Henry, a valiant uncle, 
Guelph VIII. asserted in arms the cause of his 
nephew : but if the proscription of* the father and 
the renunciation of the son were admitted as legal 
arts, he claimed Bavaria as the patrimony of his 
ancestors. His reasons were specious; his troops 
were drawn from the hereditary estates of Swabia 
and Italy; the subsidies of the Kings of Sicily and 
Hungary fomented the rebellion; he often pre- 
vailed in the battles and sieges of a ten years war ; 
and if Guelph was sometimes crushed by the 
weight of imperial power his invincible spirit rose 
more terrible from every defeat. It was at one of 
these battles that the contending shouts oi Hyc 
Guelph ! Hye Ghibelline ! produced the names of 
the two factions so famous afterwards and so fatal 

VOL. III. H M in 


in the annals of Italy. It was in one of these 
sieges that a splendid example was displayed of 
conjugal tenderness aiid faith. As an offended 
sovereign, Conrad had refused all terms of ca^utu- 
lation to the garrison of Winesberg; but as a cour- 
teous knight he permitted the women to depart 
with such of their precious effects as they them- 
selves could transport The gates of the town 
were thrown open ; and a long procession of ma- 
trons, each bearing a husband, or at least a man, 
on her shoulders, passed in safety through the ap- 
plauding camp. This moral story, which is toM 
(if I am not mistaken) by the spectator/ may be 
supported, however, by ancient evidence: but the 
wife of Guelph, the Duchess Ita, must be excluded 
from the honourable list ; since her husband wis 
Actually in the field, attempting with insuffi- 
cient forces the relief of .^\'inesberg. After seven 
campaigns, (1140 — 1147,) these destructive hosti- 
lities were suspended by the engagement of the 
rival chiefs in the second crusade ; but no sooner 
had they reached Constantinople, than Guelph. 
under the pretence of sickness, deserted the ser- 
vice of the holy sepulchre. He returned by sea: 
and, after a secret conspiracy with the King of Si- 
cily and the senators of Rome, passed through 
Italy, descended from the Alps, and resumed an 
impious war against the absent servants of the 
cross. In the battle of Flocberg (1150) against 
Henry, the son of Conrad, he strove to cover the 
retreat of his fainting troops ; their heavy armour 
protected tliem from mortal wounds; but three 



hundred of his knights were made prisoners ; the 
treatment of their leader, a supposed captive, was 
debated in the Emperor's council, and his triumph 
was announced to the east and west The captive 
alas! was still free and vigorous, and obstinate. 
Instead of suing for pardon, he stipulated a treaty 
(115 1) ; and the favours of the court were the re- 
ward of his long opposition. But the mind of 
Guelph was still hostile to the persecutors of his 
family, and he joined with his peers, who refused 
to attend their unpopular sovereign in his Roman 

After the decease of Conrad, the unanimous 
election of his nephew Frederic Barbarossa (1 152) 
appeared to open a new prospect of concord and 
peace. The aspiring monarch, who already grasp- 
ed the kingdoms of Italy, embraced the Margrave 
of Austria and the Guelphic princes as his fiiends 
and kinsmen, and sincerely laboured to terminate 
their Bavarian quarrel by an amicable compromise, 
or a judicial sentence. The claimant pressed a 
speedy decision ; but the actual possessor inter- 
posed so many evasions and delays, that the final 
settlement was postponed till the Emperor should 
return from his Roman coronation. Frederic pass- 
ed the Alps with a court and army not unworthy 
of the successor of Charlemagne (1 154) : the uncle 
and the nephew were desirous of showing their 
power and proving their loyalty, and the gallant 
squadrons that marched under the banner of the 
JUon were equal in number to those of the Em-^ 
p^ror himself. From the siege of Tortona and the 

M M 2 camp 


camp of Milan, in which the name of Henry is 
mentioned with honour, I hasten to the Vatican^ 
(1155). A transient harmony prevailed bet^'een 
the spiritual and temporal monarchs of Christen- 
dom : but the imperial crown had scarcely been 
placed on the head of Frederic, when the alarm- 
bell rang from the Capitol, and the august rites 
were disturbed by an assault of the Romans from 
the bridge St. Angelo. The Germans stood in 
arms, and battle-array; after a conflict of some 
hours, they slew or drove into the river a thousand 
rebels, without losing a single man; and the glory 
of the day was ascribed to the Duke of Saxony, 
who fought in the foremost ranks. At his entreaty 
the Pope relaxed the strictness of ecclesiastical 
discipl'ne: the Emperor declared him the firmest 
pillar of his throfte ; and as Frederic was young 
and brave he might express the genuine feelings 
of aftection and esteem. On his first entrance 
into Italy, Henry had exercised the rights of pri- 
mogeniture and dominion, in renewing the prece- 
ding grants to his cousins the Alarquisses of £ste. 
The son of Cunegondc was many years older than 
the children of Garsenda : and the descendant of 
the former was already in tlie fourth, while the 
posterity of the latter was only in the second, de- 
gree- from their common parent. 

Without involving Gennany in a civil war, the 
restitution of Bavaria could no longer be delayed. 
The Emperor had pledged his word ; the diets 
had pronounced their sentence ; and the perform- 
ance was imperiously urged by the arguments, the 



services, and the power of Hrtiry the Lion, who 
bad received the homage of the nobles, and the 
oaths and hostages of the city of Ratisbon. A 
feir compensation, however, was yielded to his 
fether-in-law, the uncle of Frederic Barbarossa, as 
soon as he desisted from a possession of eighteen 
years; and the agreement, which had been dis- 
cussed in many private assemblies, was consum- 
mated by a public ceremony in the plain of Ratis- 
bon (1 156). Henry, Margrave of Austria, resign- 
ed the seven banners, or symbols, of the Bavarian 
duchy, into the hands of the Emperor, who deli- 
vered them to Henry the Lion: but the Guelphic 
prince immediately returned two of these banners 
which were used by Frederic in the investiture of 
his uncle. The Margrave of Austria was created 
an independent duke : his territories, with the addi- 
tion of three neighbouring counties, were for ever 
enfranchised from the dominion of Bavaria : the 
light of succession was extended to his female heirs, 
and his extraordinary privileges seemed to raise 
him above a subject of the empire. By this act 
the circle of the Duke of Bavaria was circum- 
scribed: but the bishops of the province still attend- 
ed his courts ; and he stretched a real or nominal 
jurisdiction over the three remaining marches of 
Tirol, Styria, and Istria, as far as the shores of the 
Adriatic gulf. 

After his return to allegiance, Guelph Vni.had 
been content with the vague appellation of Duke, 
till it was fixed and realized by the acquisition of 
the Italian provinces, in which his elder brother> 

M M 3 bis 

534 AvnauiTiES or th£ 

his uncle, and peif^aps his more distant ancestors, 
had fonnerly reigned. From the liberality of his 
nephew, Frederic Barbarossa, (1153,) he received 
the titles and possessions of Duke of Spoleto, 
Marquis of Tuscany, Prince of Sardinia, and Lord 
of the house or patrimony of the Countess Matilda, 
against wlwse donation, as the heir of her second 
husband, he might lawfully protest. Her allodial 
estates on either bank of the Po, on either side of 
the Apennine had been dilapidated by waste and 
rapine; but the power of the Emperor, and die 
prudence of Guelph, reduced them into the form 
of a well regulated and productive domain. At 
the head of a strong army he perfbrmeSd the circuit 
of the Duchy and the Marquisate ; invested xvm 
Counts with as many banners; garrisoned the 
castles with his faithful vassals, dictated his charten 
to his own notaries, revived in his parliaments the 
authority of the royal laws, and bridled, widi i 
firm hand, the ambitious independence of the 
Tuscan cities. Pisa alone was a free and flourishing 
republic : but the Pisans, in every division, adhered 
to the Emperor; they respect^ the dig^nity of 
his Lieutenant, and it was only through the 
medium of their maritime conquests that Guelph 
could assume the title of Prince of Sardinia. 

The prosperity of Henry the Lion had now 
reached its summit, and he might justly fear the 
revolution of the descending wheel. A sovereign, 
the most opulent and fortunate of his age, was 
reduced to the state of a culprit, a suppliant, an 
exile; and the last fifteen years of his lifi? (1 180 



1 195,) exemplified the sage remark of antiquity, 
that no man should be pronounced happy before 
the hour of his death. 

To the resentment, legitimate or unjust, of the 
Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, the cause of his ruin 
must be ascribed. The long union of these princes 
had been apparently cemented by a singular con- 
formity : they had both passed the middle season 
of life without any male posterity. On both 
sides they entertained and encouraged a fond hope 
of surviving and inheriting; but amidst their 
professions and professions, each was temgted to 
hate and despise the other for indulging the same 
wish which he secretly cherished in his own bosom. 
The Duke of Saxony was first awakened from 
this dream of ambition, and his prospects were 
blasted by the birth (1 165) of a royal infant, who 
at the age of four yeais was crowned King of 
Germany and heir apparent of the Roman Empire. 
Such a natural event, such a just exclusion might 
disappoint a presumptive successor; but he could 
loudly complain of the avarice and treachery of 
his friend, who grasped with disingenuous arts the 
inheritance of their common-uncle. I have already 
enumerated the titles and possessions of Guelph 
VIII. who reigned in the middle provinces of 
Italy, and aspired to found in its native soil a 
second dynasty of the house of Este-Brunswick. 
His designs were seconded by the fair promise of 
« son, the ninth and last of his respectable name. 
Tlie youth was educated in the arts of policy and 
war ; during his father's absence beyond the sea 

M M 4 ox 


or the mountains, he supported the weight of 
government ; and his firm humanity protected the 
Italian subjects against the rapine and violence of 
the German soldiers. But this new Marcellus was 
only shewn to th^ world. The father liad retired 
to the banks of the Danube, apprehensive of losing 
the merit of a pilgrimage in the guilt of a schism : 
the son was permitted to lead his forces and to 
follow the Emperor: but Guelph IX. perished in 
this unfortunate campaign, a premature victim not 
of the enemy's sword, but of the epidemical 
disease which swept away so many thousands at 
the siege of Rome. After this irreparable loss 
the Tuscan prince considered Henry the Lion as 
the sole representative of the Guelphic name: a 
will was drawn in favour of his nephew ; but as 
the Caesar of the twelfth century was always 
prodigal and often poor, he re(iuired, for the av 
surance of so many provinces, the grateful retri- 
bution of a gift, a loan, or a fine. The demand 
could not be refused, but the ill-timed parsimony 
of the new Cato so long hesitated, that the peevish 
old man was offended by the hesitation which 
bespoke a doubt of his honour or the expectation 
of his speedy death. So fair an opportunity of 
supplanting his cousin was seizetl by the vigilant 
and dexterous Frederic; he stepped forwards with 
an immediate offer of the monev ; the otfer was 
eagerly accepted ; the pride of family yielded to 
tlie impulse of passion, and Guelph VIII. sui^ 
rendered to a Cihibelline heir, all his feudal and 
allodial estates in Italy and Swabia, reserving only 



the enjoyment of them during his own life. The 
mortification of Henry was embittered by a tardy 
sense of his own folly ; his wounded spirit was 
inflamed by fresh injuries and new suspicions, and 
he accused the Emperor of tampering with his 
servants to betray their trust and deliver his castles, 
as sooYi as they should hear of their master's death 
or his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 

While this deep animosity rankled in his breast, 
Henry the Lion was summoned (1174) to attend 
the Emperor beyond the Alps, and to draw his 
sword against the rebels of Lombardy. He dis- 
obeyed the summons, and his disobedience might 
be justified by the spirit of the times and of the 
constitution. The strict military duty of a vassal' 
was confined to the defence of Germany, and the 
imperial coronation at Rome. At the coronation 
of Frederic, the Duke had signalized his valour 
and fidelity. In a second voluntary expedition he 
had freely exposed his person and his troops ; but 
he could not submit to be the perpetual slave of 
obstinacy and ambition, to join in the oppression 
of an innocent and injured people, to persecute a 
Pope who was acknowledged by the greatest part 
of Christendom, and to prepare, by the conquest of 
Italy, the future servitude of his country. The 
complaint of age and infirmity may seem ill-adapted 
to the ripe manhood of forty-six years; but a 
soldier might express no dishonourable fear of the 
climate, the diseases, and perhaps the poison which 
had been fatal to the bravest of his nation and 
family. The government of the two great duchies 



tnember what has passed, and God will remember 
it one day!"" The admonition was needless, at 
ieaat' for the temporal monarch. All his 8ul> 
sequent misfortunes, the failure before Alexandria 
(1175), the loss of the battle of Lignano, (1176X 
the ignominious treaty of Venice (1177), were 
imputed to the desertion of Henry the Lion ; and 
the Emperor accused him in a pjiblic assembly of 
an indirect conspiracy agsunst his life and honour. 

After the revolt of Italy the genius and fortune 
of Frederic still commanded the obedience of the 
Germans; and the ruin of the Guelphic house 
was the first aim of his policy and revenge. The 
pride of Henry has been arraigned for refusing an 
9ct of obUvion at the moderate price of five thou- 
sand marks of silver ; but such a fine would have 
been a confession of guilt rather than a pledge of 
safety ; and the artful Ghibelline, after sacrificing 
his private resentments, would have maintained 
the character of an inflexible Judge. 

In the portraits of the uncle and the nephew, 
of Guclph VIII., and Henry the Lion, a contem- 
porary (1158) has presumed to borrow the pencil 
of Sallust ; and Radevic observes with satisfaction, 
diat €bc sublime characters of Caesar and Cato had 
been revived in his own age. Such indeed was 
tile diflPerence of the times and the countries that 
the comparison could not be very perfect or pre- 
cise : the Cato of the twelfth century could not be 
animated by the patriotism of a citizen and the 
phik)0ophy of a Stoic : nor coifld the new Caesar 



&e moHntains and the sea : yet so rapid was his 
motion, so vigorous his command, that the absent 
prince was still present to the hopes of his subjects 
and the fears of his enemies. His valour had been 
signalized at Rome : in the second expedition of 
Frederic into Italy, the distress, or at least the 
difficulties of the Emperor, were relieved by the 
welcome arrival of the Guelphic troops: the Tus- 
cany and Swabians of the uncle, the Bavarians and 
Saxons of the nephew, almost doubled his army : 
and their seasonable succour determined the suc- 
cess of the siege of Crema, one of the most de- 
^>erate actions of the war of Lombardy. Henry 
vbited Bavaria as often as he was called (and he 
was often called) to redress injuries and pacify 
tumults ; and the foundation of Munich is a flou- 
rishing proof of his discernment and munificence. 
But Henry kept his principal residence in Saxony : 
Brunswick was his capital : the statue of a lion 
oommemorates his name and dominion ; he fortified 
the city with a ditch and wall; and, according to 
the balance of attack and defence, such fortifica- 
tions might afford a respectable protection. The 
nlver mines of the Hartz, which have been im- 
proved by his successors, were already worked by 
his peasants, and in the scarcity of precious metals, 
diis singular advantage rendered him one of the 
richest sovereigns in Europe. Jealous or envious 
of his greatness, the ecclesiastic and secular princes 
ocmspired on all sides against the Saxon Duke: 
fiom Bremen and Cologne to Magdeburgh they 
Riccessively fell before him ; and a sentence of the 



diet pronounced the injustice of their fkUcn mrms 
( 1 1 66.) A King of Denmark was expelled by two 
competitors : he had acknowledged the supremacy 
of the empire; and the eloquence of prayers or of 
gold prevailed on Henry to vindicate his cause. 
The Duke passed the wall of the limits (1156)» 
pillaged the city of Sleswick, and ad\'anced four- 
teen days march into the country : the approadi 
of the Danes, the want of provisions, or the holy 
season of Lent compelled him to retreat ; but the 
vessels of his Slavic subjects transported Swcno to 
the isles, and the fugitive was reinstated in a thind 
part of his kingdom. After the reunion of the 
Danish monarchy, Henry contracted a public and 
private alliance with Waldemar I. : these ambitious 
princes had several personal interviews ; and tbdr 
confederate arms invaded by sea and land the 
Slavic idolaters of the Baltic coast. 

The alternative of death or baptism had formerly 
been proposed to the Saxon ancestors of Henry 
the Lion. He presented the same alternative to 
the idolatrous Slavi, and a superstitious age ap- 
plauded the triumph of the Catholic hero. At the 
end of ten years (1I60— 11/0) of an holy war, 
interruptetl however by some truces, the powerful 
and obstinate tribe of the Obotrites, who occupied 
the present duchy of Mecklenburgh, were re- 
duced to accept the laws and religion of tlie con- 
queror. In the open field, in fair battle^ they 
could not struggle with the arms and discipline of 
the Germans; and such rude bulwarks as the 
natives could raise were soon overthroM n bv the 



engines that had been used in the sieges of Italy. 
But they often prevailed in the surprise and strata- 
gems of excursive hostility ; and the traces of their 
footsteps were lost in the impervious woods and 
morasses which overspread the face of the country.. 
Qn the sea they were dexterous and daring pirates ; 
and unless the mouths of the rivers were carefully 
guarded, they manned their light brigantines, and 
ravaged with impunity the isles of Denmark and 
the adjacent coasts. To the first summons, Niclot, 
King or great prince of the Obotrites, returned an 
answer of ironical submission, that he would adore 
Henry, and that Henry, if he pleased, might adore 
his Christ; a profane mockery, since the pagans 
themselves reconciled the worship of idols with 
the belief of a supreme deity. After the failure 
of a sally, the barbarian upbraided the effeminacy 
of his two sons: it was incumbent on him to 
upbraid them by his own success ; but he fell in 
the rash attempt; his head, as a grateful present, 
was sent to the Danish King ; and a third son, who 
served in the Christian army, applauded with 
savage zeal the justice of his father's punishment. 
The two brothers, Pribislaus and Wertislaus, suc- 
ceeded to the command, and delayed the servitude 
of the nation. In the siege of their most important 
fortress, the elder hovered round the Saxon camp, 
while the younger assumed the more dangerous 
task of defending the place. After refusing an 
honourable capitulation, Wertislaus threw himself 
on the mercy of the conqueror, who sent the royal 
captive to Brunswick, ignominiously bound in 


£44 A)^TI<lUITI£t or THE 

fetters of iron. A treaty soon placed him in the 
more responsible situation of an hostage: the 
Obotrites, perhaps by his secret instigation, again 
rose in aims ; but Wertislaus himself was the victim 
of rebellion, and as soon as the Duke of Saxony 
entered the Slavic territory, he shewed the King 
hanging on a gibbet. This act of cruelty may 
perhaps be justified by the maxims of war or policy : 
but if the Duke appealed to the recent massacre 
of Mecklenburgh, the rebels perhaps might plead 
the retaliation of some prior injuries. Tlie fortune 
of the younger brother was less disastrous; after a 
brave defence of his country and his gods, Pribtslaus 
submitted, like Witikind, to the yoke of necessit}% 
and embraced, with apparent sincerity, the religion 
and manners of the victorious Germans. IIenr)% 
who esteemed his valour, restored to the Christian 
vassals the greatest part of the dominions which he 
had wrested from the pagan adversary; and the 
reigning family of the dukes of Mecklenburgh is 
lineally descended from Pribislaus, the last king of 
the Obotrites. The Slavic provinces beyond tlie 
Elbe were possessed by Henry the Lion, not as a 
portion of the Germanic empire, but as an abso- 
lute and independent conquest which he alone had 
been able to achieve. The Guelphic duke was 
styled the prince of princes, and legislator of 
nations, and the three new bishops of the Obotrites 
received from his hand their pastoral crosier, a pre- 
rogative which Rome had denied to the emperors 

I observe with a mixture of pain and pleasure 



the beneficial consequences of war and persecution^ 
The improvement of agriculture and the arts alle- 
viated in some degree the servitude of the Christian 
proselytes. The Saxon castles of Henry and his 
vassals were gradually incorporated into flourish- 
ing towns. By the institutions of churches and 
convents the first rays of knowledge were diffused ; 
and from Holland, Flanders, and Westphalia, the 
vacant desert was replenished with industrious co- 
lonies who have almost extinguished the manners 
and language of the Slavic race. The foundation 
of Lubeck is a memorable event in the history of 
commerce. Near the mouth of the river Trave, 
that falls into the Baltic, that convenient station 
had been discovered and used by some Christian 
merchants : but their infant settlement was repeat- 
edly destroyed by fire, and the sword of the Pagans : 
and its progress was discouraged by the jealousy of 
Henry the Lion, till he had acquired (1 157) from 
his vassal, the Count of Holstein, the absolute and 
immediate property of the soil. Under the shadow 
of his power, Lubeck arose on a broad and per- 
muient basis : the establishment of a mint and 
a.custom-hous^ declared the riches and the hopes 
of the sovereign : the seat of a bishop was transit 
ferred to the rising city ; and the grant of a muni- 
cipal government secured the personal, and pre- 
pared the political liberty of the burghers. The 
proclamation of the Duke of Saxony to the Danes 
and Norwegians, the Swedes and Russians, dh^. 
covers a liberal knowledge of the advantages of 
trade and the methods of encouragement They 
VOL. III. X N N are 


are invited to frequent his harbour of Wisby, with 
tlie assurance that the ways shall be open and secure 
by land and water ; that they shall be hospitably 
entertained and may freely depart ; that the impo^ 
sition of duties shall be light and easy : that their 
persons and property shall be guarded from injury ; 
and that in case of death the effects of a stranger 
shall be carefully preserved for the becefit of Im 
heirs. The charter of Henry to the merchantl of 
the isle of Gothland is still extant; the first outiine 
of the maritime code of Wisby, as famous in the 
Baltic as the Rhodian laws. had been formerly in 
the Mediterranean. This judicious policy was 
rewarded witli a large and rapid increase : but the 
arts of cultivation have far less energy and effiect 
than the spontaneous vigour of nature and freedom. 
The commerce and navigation of his favourite 
colony increased with her growing independence, 
and before the end of the thirteenth century, 
Lubeck became the metropolis of the sixty-four 
cities of the Ilanseatic league. That singular 
republic, so widely scattered, and so loosely con- 
nected, was in possession, above two hundred 
years, of the respect of kings, the naval dominion 
of the Baltic, the Herring fishery, and the monopoly 
of a lucrative trade. Novogorod in Russia, Bergen 
in Norway, London in England, and Bruges in 
Flanders were their four principal factories or 
staples. The large ships of their numerous and 
annual fleets exported all the productions of the 
North, and sailed homewards richly laden with 
the precious commodities and mmvfiicturea of the 

-^ aouthem 


southern climates. Lubeck, an imperial city, was 
soon enfranchised from the dominion of the House 
of Brunswick ; but Henry the Lion was revered as 
a founder ; and his great gr&ndson, Duke Albert, 
obtained from Henry III. (1266) the first English 
charter of the Hanseatic towns. 

The baptism^or the blood, of so many thousand 
pagans might have expiated the sins of the Catho- 
Uc hero: but his conscience was still unsatisfied, 
his salvation was still doubtful, and it was in the 
ikirest season of \nctory and peace (117^ that he 
accomplished the fashionable devotion of a pilgri- 
mage to the Holy Land. His first attendant Prif 
bislaus. King of the Obotrites, exhibited to the 
world his own faith and the fame of the conqueror : 
die Bishop of Worms, the imperial ambassador, 
accompanied him as far as Ck)nstantinopIe ; several 
eminent persons of the clergy and nobility imi- 
tated his example; their fivilowers were numerous: 
a train of horses and waggons transported the bag* 
gage and provisions, and the camp was guarded 
by twelve hundred knights or soldiers exercised in 
Ac use of arms. After leaving Ratisbon, and the 
confines of Bavaria, the Guelphic prince was kind- 
ly entertained/ by Henry, Duke of Austria, their 
former difierences were buried in oblivion, and 
fliey mingled their tears at the tomb of a mother 
and a ^wife. Hungary was the kingdom of a 
ChriMbn ally; and the journey was continued by 
bud and water from Vienna to Belgrade: the 
Aike {^referred the more easy, though perilous, na- 
vigaticm of the Danube ; but his progress was mea- 

N N 2 sured 


sured by the march of the caravan which joined 
him every evening on the banks of the river. From 
Belgrade to Nissa he painfully advanced through 
the woods and morasses of Seryia and Bulgaria, 
whose wild inhabitants, the nominal subjects of 
Christ and the Greek emperor, were more inclined 
to claim the privilege of rapine, than to exercise 
the laws of hospitality : they attacked his camp in 
the night; their feeble arms were repelled by his 
vigilance, and his genuine piety disdained the 
temptation of revenge. In the journey beti^een 
Nissa and Constantinople, the way-worn pilgrims 
enjoyed the comforts of a civiHzed and friendly 
province, and the Emperor Manuel, who had sent 
an embassy to Brunswick, received Henry as the 
equal of kings. The wealth and luxury of the 
Byzantine court were ostentatiously displayed, and 
after the pleasures of the chace and banquet, 
the Saxon or his chaplains disputed with the 
Greeks on the procession of the Holy Ghost. The 
friendship of the two princes was confirmed by 
mutual gitts, and the Russian furs were, perhaps, 
overbalanced by the horses and arms, the scariet 
cloth and iine linen of Germany. A stout ship 
was provided for the duke and his peculiar retinue, 
and the voyage from Constantinople to St, John 
of Acre, on the cx)ast* of Palestine, was disturbed 
by a storm, and is embellished by a miracle. At- 
ter a short journey by land he reached JenliUem, 
and was saluted in solemn procession by the patri- 
arch and the militarv orders. Henry the Uon 
visited the holy sepulchre and all the customarv 


ridUSE OF ^RUKSWlbk. ^4^ 

^lab^^ of devotion in the city and coiintty: the 
churches were adorned with the silver of the Saxdh 
mines; and he presented the Templars with a 
thousand marks fbt the service of their perpetual 
crusade. Palestine applauded his liberal and mag- 
nanimous spirit, and had he not been prevented 
by secret jealousies, his valour might have beed 
felt by the Turks and Saracens. 

In his return by a different way the Duke of 
Saxony was actuated by Inotives of convenience 
rather than of curiosity. He followed fhe sei 
coast of Syria to the ndrthward : from the harbour 
of Seleucia of St. Simeon the vessels of the Prince 
or Antioch transplanted hiih over the gttlf to 
the river of Tarsus in Cilicia; arid by this short 
|Ki8skge he escaped the territories of a faithless 
Emir. From Tarsus to Constantinople his march 
intersected in a diagonal line the extent of Asia 
Minor: the mountains wete of laborious ascent; 
the sandy plain was destitute of water and provi^ 
sons ; the more populous country was full of dan- 
ger, suspicion, and Mahometan zeal : and Henry 
Urss the only pilgrim who, as a peaceful traveller, 
jntlGeeded in safety through the Turkish domini^ 
dn^ But the Sultan of Iconium, Kilidge Arslan 
Hi, of the race of SeljUk, watched over his safety, 
Wkbraced him as a friend, praised his religion, and 
dumed on the mother's side a distant affinity with 
Ae H<[Hise of Saxony. His presents, in the ori- 
e&tal style, were adapted to the accommodation 
tad amusement of the noble stranger ; a caftan or 
%omrD% robe of silk embroidery, the choice for 

N N 5 himself 


himself and his followers of eighteen hundred 
horses, of whom thirty most sumptuously capari- 
soned were selected for his peculiar use; six tents 
of felt, and six camels to carry them; two wellr 
trained leopards with the proper horses and ser- 
vants for that singular mode of hunting. Such 
gifts might be accepted without a blush; some 
precious gems, more precious for the workmanship 
than the materials, might be honourably received 
from the Greek Emperor : but the duke rejected the 
gold and silver of the Byzantine court, declaring in a 
tone of lofty politeness that of such metak his own 
treasury was sufficiently provided. The avarice of 
Henry was confined to the acquisition of hdly 
relics, and of these he imported an ample store 
from Palestine and Greece: but the reformatioo 
has annihilated their ideal value; the bits of wood 
or bone have been thrown away ; and the empty 
cases alone are preserved for their curious and 
costly ornaments. The journey from Constanti- 
nople to Ratisbon and Brunswick is not marked 
by any accident or event. On his return home, 
after a year's absence ( 1 1 73)) the Duke of Saxony 
found his name illustrious, his ser\'ants faithful 
his enemies silent, his dominions in a peaceful and 
prosperous state : and to the merits of his pilgrim- 
age he would reasonably impute this fair prospect 
of public and private felicity. 

Henry the Lion was twice married: but his 
first wife Clementia, of the ducal House of Zanin- 
gen, gave him only a daughter, who; after being 
long considered as an heiress, was reduced feo<rom- 


fort herself on the throne of Denmark. His desh'e 
of male posterity, the wish of vanity and ambition, 
at length determined Henry to solicit a divorce ; 
some bar of remote and invisible consanguinity 
afforded the pretence : eveiy defect of law or evi- 
dence was supplied by the all-sufficient oath of the 
emperor: the sentence was pronounced (1 l6S) by 
the spiritoar court of Constance: and, without 
any stain on her own honour or her daughter's le^ 
gitimacy, Clementia found a second husband in 
the princely family of Savoy. The policy of Fre- 
deric Barbarossa had eagerly .solicited the separa- 
tion ; he wished to connect himself and his friend 
* wilii the most powerful and illustrious of our Eng- 
lish kings; and the imperial ambassadors de- 
manded Matilda, eldest daughter of Henry II., for 
Ac Duke of Saxony and Bavaria. The fame of 
Henry the Lion, of his birth and merit, his riches 
and dominion, obtained from the father an easy 
consent and an ample dower : the Princess Royal 
of England embarked for Germany with a splen- 
did train : the marriage ceremony Avas performed 
(1168) at Minden in Westphalia ; as the bride was 
no more than twelve years of age, the consumma- 
tion was delayed, but she remained pregnant at the 
departure of her husband for the Holy Land. In 
his absence the duchess kept her court at Bruns- 
^ck, and administered a nominal regency, under 
the guard and guidance of his liiost faithful ser* 
vants : but her private virtues were her own ; the 
genuine lustre of meekness, purity, and benevo- 
laice was enhanced in the popular esteem by de- 

X X 4 vout 


vout prayers and frequent masses; and " she was 
l>eautified (says an historian with some elegance) 
by the comeliness of rehgion." After the retum 
of Henry her riper age soon blessed him with a 
numerous progeny. Besides two, or perhaps three 
daughters, Matilda became the mother of four sons, 
Henry, Lothaire, Otho, and William, from the 
youngest of whom all the princes of Brunswick 
are lineally derived. By this alliance they num- 
ber among their ancestors the Plantagenets, Counts 
of A]:\jou, the Dukes of Aquitain and Normandy, 
the Kings of Scotland whose origin is lost in a 
Highland mist, and the Kings of England, the de- 
scendant$ of the Saxon conquerors, who drew dieir 
fabulous pedigree from the God Woden. The 
male posterity of Henry II. soon withered, almost 
to the root : the eldest son of the Princess Matikla 
was the presumptive heir of his uncle King John; 
and af&r the birth of Henry III. no more than a 
single life, the precarious life of a boy, stood be- 
tween his title and the throne of England. Ac- 
cording to the probable order of events the child- 
ren of Henry the Lion should have reigned over 
us five hundred years before the accession of the 
Hanover family. 

The fkir anticipation of the name of Este- 
Brunswick may denote the venerable stem be- 
fore its separation into the German and Italian 

A generation of mankind, the common interval 
between thp birth of a father and that of his son, 
is fixed by Herodotus at the term of about thirty- 


three years, at the computation of three genera^ 
tions for one century. The experience of modem 
times has confirmed the reckoning of the Greek 
historian: and^ though a royal marriage may be 
hastened for the important object of succession^ 
yet the same rule has been verified in the famihes 
of sovereigns and subjects.* It is strictly just in 
the twent}'-t\vo generations and the seven hun- 
dred and sixty-six years (996 — 1762) which have 
elapsed from the birth of the Alarquis Azo to that 
of the Prince of Wales ; and if the collateral lines 
of Brunswick and Modena afford no more than 
twenty-one, and twenty generations, the difference 
might be explained by some peculiar circumstances 
of their respective history. 

Twenty-two generations, seven or eight hundred 
Tears, occupy a small place even in the historical 
[ period of the world. But all greatness is relative; 
\ and there are not many pedigrees, in Europe or 
I Asta, which can establish, by clear and contem- 
penary proofs, a similar antiquity. If the ancestors 
of the Marquis Azo are lost, as they must be finally 
lost; in the darkness and disorder of the middle 
9gc^ it will be remembered that the use of here- 
ditary names and armorial ensigns was upkno^n ; 
diat the descent of power and property was fre- 
quently violated ; that few events were recorded, 
and that few records liave been preserved. Yet 
human pride may draw some comfort from the re- 

^1 * See Herodotus, I. ii. c. 142. and his justification by Freret. 
*^ I Krtoifc de rAcademie des Inscriptioos, torn. sir. p. 15 — 20. 



flectkm that the authors of the race of Este-Bruns- 
wick can never be found in a .private or plebeian 
rank : their first appearance is with the dignity of 
princes ; and they start at once, perfect and in 
anns, like Pallas from the head of Jupiter. 

(The reader will probably regret, with the editor, that Mr. 
Gibbon did not complete this interesting disquisitioo — so &r, 
at least, as to make it reach the auspicious event of the 
settlement of the House of Hanover on the British Thiooe. 
That the reader may not be wholly dissappointed, the editor 
has inserted, in this place, an Extract from Mr. Butler's 
Succinct History of the Geographical and Political Revolmtiom* 
cftke Empire of Germany ^ which gives some account of the 
House of Brunswick, from the period at which Mr. Gibbon 
leaves it, till the period we have mentioiied, after which 
it is fiuniliar to every British reader.] 

" Henry the Black was the founder of the 
German Principalities possessed by his family. 
He married Wolphidis, the sole heiress of Herman 
of Billung, the Duke of Saxony, and of his pos- 
sessions on the Elbe. His son, Henry the Proud, 
married Gertrude, the heiress of the duchies of 
Saxony, Brunswick, and Hanover. Thus Hcniy 
the Proud, 

"1st As representing Azo, his great-grand- 
father, — inherited some part of the Italian 
possessions of the j-oungcr branch of the 
Estesine family: they chiefly lay on the 
southern side of the fall c^ the Po into the 

«ad. As 


" Sd. As representing Count Boniface^ the 
father of the* Princess Mechtildis — he in- 
herited the Italian possessions of the elder 
branch of the Estesine family ; they chiefly 
lay in Tuscany : some part of the posses^ 
sions of the Princess Mechtildis also de* 
volved to him : 
'^ 3d. As representing Cunegunda, his grand- 
mother — ^he inherited the possessions of the 
Guelphs at Altorf : 
"^4th. As representing his mother, the sole 
heiress of Herman of Billung — he inherited 
the possessions of the Saxon family on the. 
" 5th. And through his wife — he transmitted 
the duchies of Saxony, Brunswick, and 
^' All these possessions descended to Henry the 
Lion, the son of Henry the Proud. He added to 
them Bavaria, on the cession of Henry Jossemar-i 
gott, and Lunenburgh and Mecklenburgh by con- 
quest Thus he became possessed of an extensive 
territory, — he himself used to describe it in four 
German verses which have been thus translated : 

** Henry the Lion is my name: 
Tlirough all the earth, I spread my fame, 
For, from the Elbe, unto the Rhine, 
From Hartz, unto the sea, — ^All's mine. 

*^ In other words, his possessions filled a consi-^ 
derable portion of the territory between the Rhine, 
the Baltic, the Elbe, andtheTyber. 

" Unfortunately for him, in the quarrels * be* 


$o6 AllTTIQUltlES OF tHt 

tween the Pope and the Emperor Barbarossa, he 
sided with the former. The enipcror confiscated 
his possessions, but returned him his allodial estates 
in Brunswick, Hanover, and Lunenburgh ; he died 
in 1 195. By his first wife he had no issue male: 
his second wife was Maud, the daughter of Henry 
the Second, King of England. By her he had 
several sons, all of whom died except Willianii 
called of Winchester from his being bom in that 
city* William of Winchester had issue Otho, 
called Puer, or the boy. 

" At the decease of Otho Puer, the partition of 
this illustrious house commences. The subject 
of these sheets leads only to the Lunenburgh 
branches of the Guelphic shoot of the Estesine line. 

" On the death of Otho the boy, Brunswick 
and Lunenburgh, the only remains of the splendid 
possessions of his grandfather, William the Proud, 
were divided between his two sons, John and AU 
bert: Lunenburgh was assigned to the former, 
Brunswick to the latter. Thus the former became 
the patriarch of, what is called, the Old House of 
Lunenburgh. Otho his son received Hanover as 
a fief from William Sigefred, the Bishop of Hil- 
desheini. Otho had four sons; Otho his first son 
succeeded him, and dying without issue was sec- 
ceeded by his brotjier William with the large feet, 
He died in 1369, without issue male; the two 
other sons of Otho the father also died without 
male issue* 

*^ Thus there was a general failure of issue male 
of John^ the patriarch of the old house of Lunen- 


burgh* By the influence of the Emperor Charles 
the Fourth, Otho, elector of Saxony, who had 
married Elizabeth, the daughter of William, suc- 
ceeded to the duchy. He died without issue, and 
left it, by his will, to his uncle Winceslaus^ elector of 
Saxony. It was contested with him by Torquatus 
Magnus, duke of Saxony ; the contest ended in a 
compromise ; under which Bernard, the eldest son 
of Torquatus Magnus, obtained it, and became the 
patriarch of the Middle House of Ltmenburgh ; he 
died in 1434. After several descents, it vested in 
Ernest of Zell, who introduced the Lutheran re- 
ligion into his states. 

^^ After his decease, his sons Henry and William 
for some time reigned conjointly; but William 
persuaded his brother to content himself with the 
country of Danneburgh ; while he himself reigned 
over all tlie rest, and thus became the patriarch of 
the new House of' Brunswick-Lunenburgh. 

" He left seven sons ; they agreed to cast lots 
which should marry, and to reign according to 
their seniority. The lot fell to George, the sixth 
of the sons. Frederick was the survivor of them. 

" On his decease, the duchy descended to 
Ernest Augustus, the son of George, with whom 
the Electoral House of Lunenburgh commences. 
His reign is remarkable for two circumstances: 
his advancement to the electoral dignity, and his 
wife Sophias being assigned, by an act of the 
British parliament, to be the royal stem of the 
Protestant succession to the throne of Great Britain 
and Ireland. 



'^ On the demise of Queen Ann, George his son, 
in virtue of this act of parhanient, succeeded to 
the British monarchy. 

" The house of Brunswick-Lunenburgh is now 
divided into branches, the Gennan and the English. 
The former, under the title of Brunswick-Lunen- 
burgh and Wolfenbuttel, possesses the duchies oF 
Brunswick and Wolfenbuttel, and the countries of* 
Blackenburgh and Reinskin, and reckons 160,009 
subjects. The English, under the title of Bruna* 
wick-Lunenburgh and Hanover, possesses, with 
the electoral dignity, the electorate of Hanover^ 
the duchies of Lunenburgh, Zell, Calembeig, 
Grubenhagen, Deepholt, Bentheim, Lawenbui^g;!), 
Bremen, and Verdun, and counts 740,000 subjeclB.'* 


( 559 ) 



That History is a liberal and usefiil study, and 
that the History of our own country is best de- 
serving of our attention, are propositions too clear 
for argument, and too simple for illustration. Na- 
ture has implanted in our breasts a lively impulse 
to extend the narrow span of our existence by the 
knowledge of the events that have happened on 
the soil which we inhabit, of the characters and 
actions of those men from whom our descent, as in- 
dividuals or as a people, is probably derived. The 
lame laudable emulation will prompt us to review, 
and to enrich our common treasure of national 
gloiy : and those who are best entitled to the es- 
' t^m of posterity, are the most inclined to cele- 
: Inate the merits of their ancestors. The origin 
; aiul changes of our religion and government, of 
our arts and manners, afford an entertaining and 
often an instructive subject of speculation ; and 
^ the scene is repeated and varied by the entrance of 
the victorious strangers, the Roman and the Saxon, 
; the Dane and the Norman, who have successively 
feigned in our stormy Isle. We contemplate the 
gradual progress of society from the lowest ebb of 
; primitive barbsM^ism, to the full tide of piodem ci- 
I vilization, 

560 AX ADDRESS, &C. 

vilization. We contrast the naked Briton, who 
might have mistaken the sphere of Archimedes for 
a rational creature,* and the contem|X)rary of 
Newton, in who^e school Archimedes himself 
would have been an humble disciple. And we 
compare the boats of osier and hides that floated 
along our coasts with the formidable navies which 
visit and command the remotest shores of the 
ocean. Without indulging the fond prejudices of 
patriotic vanity, we may assume a conspicuous 
place among the inhabitants of the earth. The 
English will be ranked among the few nations who 
have cultivated with equal success the arts of war, 
of learning, and of commerce : and Britain per- 
haps is the only powerful and wealthy state which 
has ever possessed the inestimable secret of uniting 
the benefits of order with the blessings of free- 
dom. It is a maxim of our law, and the constant 
practice of our courts of justice, never to accept 
any evidence unless it is the very best which, un- 
der the circumstances of the case, can possibly be 
obtained. If this wise principle be transferred 
from jurisprudence to criticism, the inquisitive rea- 
der of English History will soon ascend to the 
first witnesses of every period, from whose testi- 
monies the moderns, however sagacious and clo- 

* I allude to a passage in Cicero (de Katurd Deorum, 1. ii. 
c. 34.) Quod si in Britanniam, sphaeram aliquis tulerit hanc, 
quam nuper familiaris noster efiecit Posidonius, cujus singubeL 
conversiones idem efficiuntin sole, et in luna, et in quinque stel- 
lis crrantibus, quod eflicitur in calo singulis diebus et noctibus: 
quis in ilia barbaric dubitet, quin ea spbera tit perfecta rationed 



quent, must derive their whole confidence and cre- 
dit. In the prosecution of his inquiries, he will 
lament that the transactions of the Middle Ages 
fiave been imperfectly recorded, and that these re- 
cords have been more imperfectly preserved : that 
the successive conquerors of Britain have despised 
or destroyed the monuments of their predecessors ; 
and that by their violence or neglect so much of 
our national antiquities has irretrievably perished. 
For the losses of history are indeed irretrievable : 
when the productions of fancy or science have 
been swept away, new poets may invent, and new 
philosophers may reason ; but if the inscription of 
a single fact be once obliterated, it can never be re- 
stored by the united efforts of genius and indus* 
try. The consideration of our past losses should 
incite the present age to cherish and perpetuate 
the valuable relics which have escaped, instead of 
condemning the monkish historians (as they 
are contemptuously styled) silently to moulder in 
the dust of our libraries; our candour, and even 
our justice, should learn to estimate their value, 
and to excuse their imperfections. Their minds 
were infected with the passions and errors of their 
times, but those times would have been involved 
in darkness, had not the art of writing, and the 
memory of events, been preserved in the peace 
and solitude of the cloister. Their Latin style is 
far removed from the eloquence and purity of Sal- 
lust and Li vy ; but the use of a permanent and 
general idiom has opened the study, and connected 
the series of our ancient chronicles, from the age 

VOL. III. QQ of 

562 AN ADDRESS, &C. 

of Bede to that of Walsingham. In the eyes of 
a philosophic observer, these monkish historians 
are even endowed with a singular though acciden- 
tal merit ; the unconscious simplicity with which 
tliey represent the manners and opinions of their 
contemporaries : a natural picture, which the most 
exquisite art is unable to imitate. 

Books, before the invention of printing, were 
separately and slowly copied by the pen ; and the 
transcripts of our old historians must have been 
rare; since th? number would be proportioned to 
the number of readers capable of understanding a 
Latin work, and curious of the history and anti: 
quities of England. The gross mass of the laity, 
from the baron to the mechanic, were more ad- 
dicted to the exercises of the bodv tlian to thoie 
of the mind : the middle ranks of society were 
illiterate and poor, and the nobles and gentlemen, 
as often as they breathed from war, maintained 
their strength and activity in the cliace or the 
tournament. Few among them could read, still 
fetter could write; none were acquainted with 
the Latin tongue ; and if they sometimes listened 
to a tale of past times, their puerile love of the 
marvellous would prefer the romance of Sir Laun- 
celot or Sir Tristram to*the authentic narratins 
most honounible to their country and their ances- 
tors. Till the period of the Reformation, the ig- 
norance and sensuality of the clergj' were conti- 
nually increasing : the ambitious prelate aspired to 
pomp and power ; the jolly monk was satisfied with 
idleness and pleasure ; and the few students of the 

^ ecclesiastical 


ecclesiastical order peq>lexed rather than enlight- 
ened their understandings with occult science and 
scholastic divinity. In the monastery in which a 
chronicle had been composed, the original was de- 
posited, and perhaps a copy ; and some neighbour- 
ing diurshes might be induced, by a local or pro- 
fessional interest, to seek the communication of 
these historical memorials. Such manuscripts were 
not liable to suffer from the injun' of use; but the 
casualty of a fire, or the slow progress of damp and 
worms, would often endanger their limited and 
precarious existence. The sanctuaries of religion 
were sometimes profaned by aristocratic o,fpies- 
sion, popular tumult, or military licence ; and al- 
though the cellar was more exp<^ed than the lilntk- 
*y, the enyy of ignorance will riot in the spoil of 
those treasures which it cannot enjoy. 

After the discover}' of printing, which has be- 
stowed immortality on the works of man, it might 
be presumed that the new art would be applied 
without delay, to save and to multiply the remains 
(tf our national chronicles, (t might be expected 
fliat the English, now waking from a long slumber, 
should blush at finding themselves strangers in their 
natiye country ; and that our princes, after the ex- 
ample of Charlemagne and Maximilian I. would es- 
teem it their duty and glory to illustrate the history 
of the people over whom they reigned. But these 
rational hopes have not been justified by the event 
It was in the year 1474 that our first press was 
established in Westminster Abbey, by William 
Caxton: but in the choice of his authors, that 

o o 2 liberal 


liberal and industrious artist was reduced to com* 
ply with the vicious taste of his readers ; to gratify 
the nobles with treatises on heraldry, hawking, and 
the game of chess, and to amuse the popular cre- 
dulity with romances of fabulous knights, and le- 
gends of more fabulous saints. The father of print- 
ing expresses a laudable desire to elucidate the his- 
tory of his country ; but instead of publishing the 
Latin chronicle of Radulphus Higden, he could 
only venture on the English version by John dc 
Trevisa; and his complaint of the difficulty of find- 
mg materials for his own continuation of that work, 
sufficiently attests that even the writers, which we 
now possess of the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies, had not yet emerged from the darkness of 
the cloister. His successors, with less skill and 
ability, were content to tread in the footsteps of 
Caxton; almost a century elapsed without pnh 
ducing one original edition of any old English his- 
torian ; and the only exception which I recollect is 
the publication of Gildas (London 1526) by Poly- 
dore Virgil, an ingenious foreigner. The presses 
of Italy, Germany, and even France, might plead 
in their defence, that the minds of their scholars 
and the hands of their workmen, were abundantly 
exercised in unlocking the treasures of Greek and 
Roman antiquity ; but the world is not indebted 
to England for one first edition of a classic author. 
This delay of a century is the more to be lamented, 
as it is too probable that many authentic and valu- 
able monuments of our history were lost in the dis- 
solution of religious houses by Henry the Eighth. 


Air ADDRESS, Scc. 565 

The protestant and the patriot must applaud our 
deliverance : but the critic may deplore the rude 
havoc that was made in the libraries of churches 
and monasteries, by the zeal, the avarice, and the 
neglect, of unworthy reformers. 

Far different from such reformers was the learned 
and pious Matthew Parker, the first protestant 
Archbishop of Canterbury, in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth. His apostolical virtues were not in- 
compatible with the love of learning, and while he 
exercised the arduous office, not of governing, but 
of founding the Church of England, he strenuously 
applied himself to revive the study of the Saxon 
tongue, and of English antiquities. By the care 
of this respectable prelate, four of our ancient his- 
torians were successively published : the Flores of 
Matthew of Westminster (1570;) theHistoria 
Mofor of Matthew Paris (1571 ;) the Fiia Elfridi 
RegiSj by Asserius ; and the HUtoria Breois^ and 
Upodigma NeusiriiBj by Thomas Walsingham. 
After Parker's death, this national duty was for 
some years abandoned to the diligence of foreign- 
ers. The ecclesiastical history of Bede had been 
printed and reprinted on the continent as the 
oommoa property of the Latin church ; and it 
was again inserted in a collection of British writers 
(Heidelberg 1587,) selected with such critical 
skill, that the romance .of Jeffrey of Monmouth, 
and a Latin abridgment of Froissard, are placed 
on the same level of historical evidence. An 
edition of Florence of .Worcester, by Howard, 
(1592,) may be slightly noticed; but we should 

o o 9 grate- 


gratefully commeiiKHate the labours of Sir Henry 
Sayille, a man distinguidbed among the schoiars of 
the age by his profound knowledge of the Greek 
language and mathematical sciences. A just in- 
dignation against the base and plebeian authors of 
our English chronicles, had almost proToked him 
to und^take die task of a general and le^timate 
history: but his modest industry* declinii^ the 
character of an architect, was content to prepaie 
materials for a future edifice. Some of the moft 
valuable writeia of the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries were rescued by his hands from dirt, and 
dust, and rottenness f r sUu squalort ci pukerc,) 
and hb collection, under the common title of Scri/h 
tifres past Bedamj was twice printed ; first in Lcm- 
don (lid6,) and afterwards at Frankfort (1601.) 
During the whole of the seventeenth, and the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth centuries, the same 
studies were prosecuted with vigour and success: 
a miscellaneous volume of the Anglica Normamica^ 
&c. (Frankfort 1603,) and the Hist or ia Naca of 
Eadmer (London 1633,) were produced by CanMkn 
and Selden, to whom literature is indebted for 
more important services. The names of Wheeler 
and Gibson, of Watts and Warton, of Dugdaleand 
Wiikins, should not be defrauded of their due 
praise : but our attention is fixed by the elabonte 
collections of Twysden and Gale : and their titles 
of Decern aud Quindecim Script ores announce thit 
their readers po:)sess a segues ef twenty-five of our 
old English historians. The last who has dug deep 
into the mii^e was Thomaa Heame, a clerk of Ox- 


ford, poor in fortune, and indeed poor in under- 
standing. His minute and obscure diligence, his 
voracious and undistinguishing appetite, and the 
coarse vulgarity of his taste and style, have ex- 
posed him to the ridicule of idle wits. Yet it can- 
not be denied that Thomas Heame has gathered 
many gleanings of the harvest ; but if his own pre- 
faces are filled with crude and extraneous matter,^ 
his editions will be always recommended by their 
accuracy and use. 

I am not called upon to inquire into the merits 
of foreign nations in the study of their respective 
histories, except as far as they may suggest a useful 
lesson, or a laudable emulation to ourselves. The 
patient Germans have addicted themselves to every 
species of literary labour: and the division of their 
vast empire into many independent states would 
multiply the public events of each country, and 
the pens, however rude, by which they have been 
saved from oblivion. Besides innumerable editions 
of particular historians, I have seen (if my memory 
does not fail me) a list of more than twenty of the 
voluminous collections of the Scriptores Rerum 
Germanicarum ; some of these are of a vague and 
miscellaneous nature ; others are relative to a cer- 
tain period of time ; and others again are circum- 
scribed by the local limits of a principality or a 
province. Among the last I shall only distinguish 
the Scriptores Rerum Brun^wicensium, compiled 
at Hanover in the beginning of this century by the 
celebrated Leibnitz. We should sympathize with 
a kind of domestic interest in the fortunes of a 

o o 4 people 

568 AN ADDRESS, tcC. 

people to whom we are united by our obedience to 
a common sovereign ; and we must explore with 
respect and gratitude the origin of an illustrious 
family, which has been the guardian near fourscore 
years of our liberty and happiness. The antiqua- 
rian, who blushes at his alliance with Thomas 
Heame, will feel his profession ennobled by the 
name of Leibnitz. Tl^t extraordinary genius em- 
braced and improved the whole circle of human 
science; and after wrestling with Newton and 
Clark in the sublime regions of geometry and me- 
taphysics, he could descend upon earth to examine 
the uncouth characters and barbarous Latin of i 
chronicle or charter. In this, as in almost eveiy 
other active pursuit, Spain has been outstripped 
by the industry of her neighbours. Tlie best col- 
lection of her national hbtorians was published in 
Germany : the recent attempts of her Royal Aci- 
demy have been languid and irregular, and if some 
memorials of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 
are lately printed at Madrid, her five oldest chro- 
nicles after the invasion of the Moors still sleep in 
the obscurity of provincial editions (Pamplona, 
1615, 1634; Barcelona, 1663.) Italy has been 
productive in every age of revolutions and writers; 
and a complete series of these original writers^ 
from the year five hundred to the year fifteen hun- 
dred, are most accurately digested in the Scripiara 
Rerum Italicarum ofMuratori. This stupenckms 
work, wliieh fills twenty-eight folios, and overtlovs 
into the six volumes of the Antiquitaics Iiali€ 
Medii JEvi^ was achieved in years by one 


AK ADDRESS, &C. 569 

man; and candour must excuse some defects in the 
plan and execution, which the discernment, and 
perhaps the envy of criticism has' too rigorously 
exposed. The antiquities of France have been 
elucidated by a learned and ingenious people: the 
original historians, which Duchesne had under- 
taken to publish, were lefk imperfect by his death, 
yet had reached the end of the thirteenth century ; 
and his additional volume (the sixth) comes home 
to ourselves, since it celebrates the exploits of 
the Norman Conquerors and Kings of England. 
About years ago the design of publishing 

Lcs HUtoriens des Gaules et de la France^ was re- 
sumed on a larger scale, and in a more splendi4 
form; and although the name of Dom Bouquet 
3tands foremost, the merit must be shared among 
the veteran Benedictines of the Abbey of St. Ger- 
main des Prez at Paris. This noble collection may 
be proposed as a model for such national works: 
the original texts are corrected from the best ma- 
nuscripts; and the curious reader is enlightened, 
without being oppressed, by the perspicuous bre- 
vity of the prefaces and notes. But a multitude 
of obstacles and delays seems to have impeded the 
progress of the undertaking; and the Historians 
of France had only attained to the twelfth cen- ' 
tury, and the thirteenth volume, when a general 
deluge over\vhelmed the country, and its ancient 
inhabitant3. I might here conclude this enumera- 
tion of foreign studies, if the Scriptores Rerum 
Danicarum of Langebek and his successors, which 
have lately appeared at Copenhagen, did not re- 

i70 AK ADDRESS, &C. 

mind me of the taste and miuitficence of a court 
and country, whose scanty revenues might have 
apologized for their neglect. 

It is long, very long indeed, since the success of 
our neighbours, and the knowledge.of our resources, 
have disposed me to wish, that our Latin me- 
morials of the Middle Age, the Scriptores Rerum 
AngHcarum, might be published in England, in a 
manner worthy of the subject and of the countfy. 
At a time when the Decline and Fall of the Roman 
Empire has intimately connected me with the first 
historians of France, I acknowledged (in a note) 
the value of the Benedictine Collection, and ex- 
pressed my hope that such a national work would 
provoke our own emulation. My hope has failed, 
the provocation was not felt, the emulation was 
not kindled ; and I have now seen, without an at* 
tempt or a design, near thirteen years, which might 
have sufficed for tl\c execution. During the 
greatest part of that time I have been, absent from 
England : yet I have sometimes found opportuni- 
ties of introducing this favourite topic in conversa- 
tion with our literary men, and our eminent book- 
sellers. As long as I expatiated on the merits of 
an undertaking, so beneficial to history, and so 
honourable to the nation, I was heard with atten* 
tion ; a general wish seemed to prcvaiT for its suc- 
cess : but no sooner did we seriouslv consult about 
tlie best means of promoting that success, and of 
reducing a pleasing theory into a real action, than 
we were stopped, at the first step, by an insup6* 
rable difiiiculty — tlie choice of an editor. Amoi^ 


AN ADDRESS, kc. 571 

t£e authors already known to tlie public, none, 
after a fair review, could be found, at once pos- 
sessed of ability and inclination. Unknown, oi* 
at least untried abilities could not inspire much 
reasonable confidence : some were too poor, others 
too rich ; some too busy, others too idle : and we 
knew not where to seek our English Muratori ; in 
the tumult of the metropolis^ or in the shade of 
the university. The age of Herculean diligence, 
which could devour and digest whole libraries, is 
passed away ; and I sat down in hopeless despon- 
dency, till I should be 'able to find a person en- 
dowed with proper qualifications, and ready to 
employ several years of his life in assiduous labour, ' 
without any splendid prospect of emolument or 

The man is at length found, and I now renew 
the proposal in a higher tone of confidence. The 
name of this editor is Mr. John Pinkerton ; but as 
that name may provoke some resentments, and re- 
vive some prejudices, it is incumbent on me, for 
his reputation, to explain my sentiments without 
reserve ; and I have the satisfaction of knowing 
that he will not be displeased with the freedom and 
sincerity of a friend. The impulse of a vigorous 
mind uiged him, at an early age, to write and to 
print, before hiS taste and judgment 'had attained 
to their maturity. His ignorance of the world, the 
love of paradox, and the warmth of his temper, 
betrayed him into some improprieties, and those 
juvenile sallies, which candour will excuse, he 
himself is the first to condemn, and will perhaps 


572 Air ADpi^Ess; ioo. 

be the last to fprget, Repentanoe has long since 
propitiated the mild divinity of Virgil, against 
^hom the irash youth, under a fictitious name, had 
darted the javelin of criticism. He smiles at his 
reformation of our English tongue, and is ready to 
confess, that in all popular institutions, ^e laws 
of custom must be obeyed by reason herself. The 
Goths still continue, to be his chosen people, but 
he retains no antipathy to a Celtic savage ; and 
without renouncing his opinions and arguments, 
he sincerely laments that those literary arguments 
have ever been embittered, and perhs^ps enfeebled, 
by an indiscreet mixture pf anger and contempt. 
By some explosipns of this kind, tlie volatile and 
fiery particles of his nature have been discharged, 
and there remains a pure and solid substance, en- 
dowed with many active and useful energies. His 
recent publications, a Treatise on Medals, and the 
edition of the early Scotch Poets, discover a mind 
replete with a variety of knowledge, and inclined 
to every liberal pursuit; but his decided propensity, 
such a propensity as made Bentley a critic, and 
Rennel a geographer, attracts him (o the study of 
the History and Antiquities of Great Britain ; and 
he is well qualified for this study, by a spirit of 
qriticism, acute, discerning, and suspicious, ^is 
^ition of the original Lives of the Scpttish Saints 
has scattered some rays of light over the darkest 
age of a dark country : since there are so many cir- 
cumstances in which the most daring Iqpendaiy 
will not attempt to remove the well-known land- 
marks of truth. His Dissertation on the Origin of 


AK ADDE£S8, &c. 57S 

the Goths, with the Antiquities of Scotland, are^ 
in my judgment, elaborate and satisfactory works; 
and were this a convenient place, I would gladly 
enumerate the important questions in which he 
has rectified my old opinions concerning the mi- 
grations of the Scythic or German nation fix)m the 
neighbourhood of the Caspian and the Euxine to 
Scandinavia, the eastern coasts of Britain, and the 
shores of the Atlantic ocean. He has since under- 
taken to illustrate a more interesting period of the 
History of Scotland ; his materials are chiefly drawn 
from papers in the British Museum, and a skilful 
judge has assured me, after a perusal of the manu- 
script, that it contains more new and authentic 
information than could be fairly expected from a 
writer of the eighteenth century. A Scotchman 
by birth, Mr. Pinkerton is equally disposed, and 
even anxious, to illustrate the History of England: 
he had long, witliout my knowledge, entertailied 
a project similar to my own; his twelve let- 
ters, under a fictitious signature, in the Qentle- 
man's Magazine (1788), display the zeal of a pa- 
triot, and the learning of an antiquarian. As soon 
as he was informed, by Mr. Nicol the bookseller, 
of my wishes and my choice, he advanced to meet 
me with the generous ardour of a volunteer, con- 
scious of his strength, desirous of exercise, and 
careless of reward ; we have discussed, in several 
conversations, every material point that relates to 
the general plan and arrangement of the work ; 
and I can only complain of his excessive docility 
to the opinions of a man much less skilled in the 


574 AN ADDRESS, &C. 

subject than himself. Should it be objected, dot 
such a work will surpass the powers of a single 
man, and that industry is best promoted by the 
division of labour, I must answer, that Mr. Pinker- 
ton seems one of the children of those heroes, 
whose race is almost extinct ; that hard assiduous 
study is the sole amusement of his independent 
leisuie; that his warm inclination will be quick- 
ened by the sense of a duty resting solely on him- 
self; and that he is now in the vigour of age and 
health ; and that the most voluminous of our his- 
torical collections was the most speedily finished 
by the diligence of Mumtori alone. I must add, 
that I know not where to seek an associate ; dot 
the operations of a society are often perplexed by 
the division of sentiments and characters, and ofin 
retarded by the degrees of talent and application ; 
and that the editor will l)e always ready to recetre 
the advice of judicious counsellors, and to employ 
the hand of subordinate workmen. 

Two questions will immediately arise, concetn- 
ing the title of our historical collection, and the 
period of time in which it may be circumscribed. 
The first of these questions, whether it should be 
styled the Scriptores Rerum Britatmkarum, or 
the Scriptores Rerum Anglicarum, will be pro- 
ductive of more than a verlial difference: tbe 
former imposes the duty of publishing all original 
documents that relate to the history and antiquities 
of the British islands; the latter. is satisfied with 
the spacious, though less ample, field of England 
The ambition of a conqueror might prompt hiin tD 


AN ABDRESS, &C. 575 

grasp the whole British world, and to think, with 
Csesar, that nothing was done while any thii^ re- 
mained undone. 

Nil actum reputans diim quid superesset agenduin. 

But prudence soon discerns the inconvenience 
of increasing a labour already sufficiently arduous^ 
and of multiplying the volumes of a work, which 
must unavoidably swell to a very respectable size. 
TThe extraneous appendages of Scotland, Ireland, 
and even Wales, would impede our progress, vio- 
late the unity of design, and introduce into a La- 
tin text a strange mixture of savage and unknown 
idionL For the sake of the Saxon Chronicle, the 
editor of the Scripiorts Rerum Anglicarum will 
probably improve his knowledge of our mother 
tongue ; nor will he be at a loss in the recent and 
occasional use of some French and English memo- 
rials. But if he attempts to hunt the old Britons 
among the islands of Scotland, in the bogs of Ire- 
land, and over the mountains of Wales, he must 
devote himself to the study of the Celtic dialects, 
without being assured that his time and toil will 
be compensated by any adequate reward. It seems 
to be sdmost confessed, that the Highland Scots 
do not possess any writing of a remote date ; and 
the claims of the Webh are faint and uncertain. 
The Irish alone boast of whole libraries, which 
they sometimes hide in the fastnesses of their 
country, and sometimes transport to their colleges 
abroad: but the vain and credulous obstinacy 
irith which, amidst the light of science, they 



cherish the Milesian fables of their in&xio% mav 
teach us to suspect the existence, the age, and the 
value of these manuscripts, till they shall be fairly 
exposed to the eye of profane criticism. This ex- 
clusion, however, of the countries which have 
since been united to the crown of England must 
be understood with some latitude : the Chronicle 
of Melross is common to the borderers of both 
kingdoms: the Expugnatio Hibernut of GitMub 
Cambrensis contains the interesting story of our 
settlement in the western isle; and it may be 
judged proper to insert the Latin Chronicle of Ca- 
radoc, (which is yet unpublished,) and the code of 
native laws w^hich were abolished by tlie con- 
queror of Wales. Even the English transactioiis 
in peace and war with our independent neigb* 
hours, especially those of Scotland, will be best 
illustrated by a fair comparison of the hostile nar- 
ratives. Tlie second question, of the period of 
time which this Collection should embrace, ad- 
mits of an easier decision ; nor can we act more 
prudently, than by adopting the plan of Muratori, 
and the FrencH^fienedictines, who confine them- 
selves witl|(i[k tlie limits of ten centuries, from the 
year five hundtod to the year fifteen hundred of 
the Christian sera. The former of these dates coin- 
cides with the most ancient of our national wri- 
ters ; the latter approaches within nine years of 
the accession of Henry VIIL, which Mr. Hume 
considers as the true and perfect sera of modern 
history. From that time we are enriched, and 
even oppressed, with such treasures of contempo- 


rary and authentic documents in our own lan- 
guage, that the historian of the present or a future 
age will be only peq)lexed by the choice of facts, 
and the difficulties of arrangement. Exoriatur 
aliquis — a man of genius, at once eloquent and 
philosophic, who should accomplish, in the ma- 
turity of age, the immortal work which he had 
conceived in the ardour of youth.. 

VOL. III. p p AP* 

( 578 ) 




In the Advertisement to the first edition of 
Mr. Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works, it is observcdi 
that the Address, which recommends the publicah 
tion of our Latin memorials of the middle ageS| 
the Scriptores Rerum Anglicarum, in a manner 
worthy of the subject and of the countr}% was in- 
terrupted by death. It appearing to me to be 
highly desirable that interesting design should be 
promoted, I took the liberty of applying to Mr. 
Pinkerton for an explanation of the plan arranged 
by him with Mr. Gibbon : he has favoured nic 
ivith the following Letter and Extract, 

Londw, *i4tk October, J 8 14, 

My Lord, 

Is compliance with your desiit^ 
I send the papers necessary to illustrate Mr. Gib- 
bons '* Address/' ou the publication of our ancient 



national historians; consisting of my Address^ 
which was to have accompanied his, and of some 
of the Letters in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1788, 
which he said contributed to engage his attention, 
to the subject. Your lordship will perceive that, 
in his letter to me, he rather objected to the ap- 
pearance of hi^ name, as he was only to lend his 
advice, and to write a General Introduction ; which 
would have been a master-piece of historical criti- 
cism, a Corinthian capital to this national column, 
consecrated to the memory of our ancestors. But 
our plan was chiefly arranged in conversations; 
and he afterwards consented that his name should 
appear as conjunct editor. He seemed to regard 
this collection as a favourite pursuit; and said he 
still hoped for twenty years of existence, so that 
be might live to see its completion. How vain the 
views and hopes of man ! For he died, alas ! on the 
very day that our joint Prospectus was to have 

Spirantesque crocos, et in aroa perpetuum verl 

The transcendent merit of Mr. Gibbon was, that 
his mind always rose superior to his vast erudition, 
which often oppresses the mental energies, but in- 
vigorated his. The stomach was so strong, that 
all food became salutary. In the works of Hume 
or Robertson, we see that they had read what was 
necessary for their subject; but in those of Gibbon 
we are surprised with lights from every department 
of universal literature. 

No man of extensive learning, or gemiine taste, 

p p 2 will 


will object to the pomp and magnificence of Gib- 
bon's histcMTical diction. The more a reader is 
conversant in the diversified styles of the Greek 
and Roman classics, the len will 1^ be disposed 
to blame a manno* majestic as its subject* The 
grandeur of the Roman empire, in which modem 
kingdoms were but provinces, recfuired a corre- 
spondent elevation of thought and language, which 
might be justly objectionable, if employed on a 
more confined topic, on the history even of the 
chief among European sovereignties. 

That Gibbon exceb in the epistc^ary style is 
allowed by alL The letters of Pope are the af- 
fected themes of a school-boy ; and those of his 
fiur antagonist. Lady M. W. Montague, are more 
indebted to the topics than the language : in rapid 
description, brilliant thought, sudden flashes of 
wit, effusions of the heart, intuition of human li£r, 
condensed views of cliaracters and manners, she 
can never be compared with Madame de Sevign^. 
Our epistolary eminence is shared among a trium- 
virate, Gray, Gibbon, and Cowper : the last being 
preferred by many; though his style be more 
feeble and relaxed, and his topics more confined, 
both by his personal and chorographic situarion. 
lie had, however, an excellent heart, which g^vcs 
an ineffable charm to any composition. 

Your lordship will pardon this little tribute to 
the memory of our eminent friend. His last great 
plan would not have expired with him, if a war of 
twent}'-one years had not engaged the whole at- 
tention of those distinguished characters, who 



could alone promote such an expensive design. 
At present, it is hoped, it might be resumed with 
some prospect of success ; and, among our monu- 
ments of triumph, this literary temple might be 
erected to the ancient glory of our country. Esio 
perpetua I 

I have the honour to be, with every sentiment 
of respect and esteem, 

Your lordship's 

Most faithful servant, 


p p 3 J?x- 

( 582 ) 

Extract from an Address to the Eminent^ the 
Learned, and the Laocrs of the early Literature 
and History of England, concerning an intended 
Publication to be intituled " Rerum Anglicarum 
ScriptoresT or a Collection of the Original His- 
torians of England, chronologically arranged; 
collated with the Manuscripts, illustrated with 
Notes, Chronological Tables, Maps, Complete 
Indexes, 8^c. — By John Pinkerton, 1792. 

The Germans, ever to be applauded as the in- 
ventors of what is most useful in arts and sciences, 
instituted, it is believed, the first memorable ex- 
ample of assembling national historians; but, as is 
usual in first attempts, only in a small number. 

In 1566, Schardius published at Frankfort four 
of the ancient German writers, collected into one 
Volume; and in 1574 the work was enlarged to 
three volumes. Pistorius l>egan his collection in 
1583, but the third volume was not published till 
1607. Reuber's curious assemblage appeared in 
1584 ; that of Urstisius in 1585 ; of Freher in I6OO; 
of Goldastin I6O6. 

Italy l>eing divided into numerous small states 
no general collection of the writers of that countiy 
deserving notice appeared, till, in the present cen- 
tury, Muratori's great design was executed with 
singular rapidity. Some of the Spanish historians 
were printed at Frankfort, tlie great literary mart of 



turope in 1579, published from the library of Mr. 
Bell, an Englishman: but Schott's collection, com- 
menced in 1603, is superior. 

Though Spain has begun to publish her con- 
temporary chronicles from the fourteenth century, 
yet she still neglects an accurate republication of 
her earlier writers : as, for instance, the Chronicles 
of the four Bishops, in the eighth, ninth, tenths 
and eleventh centuries, published by Sandoval^ 
at Pampeluna, in 16 15 — 1634; not to mention 
the histoiy of Dulcidius, written about 883, and 
committed to the press by Pellizer, at Barcelona, 

But next to Germany, France must be regarded 
as claiming precedence in this department of lite- 
rature. The collection of Pithou, in 1588, was 
confined ; that of Du Chesne, in 1636 — I64I, wa3 
ample; and had not his death occasioned the failure 
of the plan, it would have been nearly complete. 
The grand collection by Bouquet, Historiens de 
France^ which extends to twelve or thirteen vo- 
himes in folio, was begun in 1738; and, though 
objectionable in some parts of the plan, is a model 
of' accuracy and typography. 

Having thus briefly considered the progress of 
this study in the other chief countries of Europe,* 
let us proceed to watch its dawn in England. 
Of Beda there are several early editions in foreign 
countries :t and to Polydore Virgil we are indebt- 


The Historians of Brukkwick, collected by the celebrated 
and universal Leibnitz, and those of Denmark by Langebek, de* 
lerve especial praise, 
t Argent. 1500, 1514. Hagen. 1506. 

1* F 4 cd 


ed for the first edition of Gildas, London, 1596^ 
12mo. But after this no edition of any early hlv 
torian is recollected till 1571, when the able work 
of Mathew Paris issued from the London press, 
soon followed by Mathew of fVtstmwster ; and in 
1574 by IValsingham and Asserius. 

In 1587> the earliest collection of English histo- 
rians appeared at Heidelberg, or, as some of the 
title-pages bear, at Lyons. The writers contained 
in it -are Geofrey^ Gildasy Beda^ fFilliam of Nop- 
burghy and an abstract of Froissart. 

In 1592 Howard published Florence of Ww^ 

At length Sir Henry Saville, in 1596, gave his 
valuable collection ; the London edition of which 
is inaccurately printed, but far from being so faulty 
as that of Frankfort, 1601, which Spelman justly 
execrates; nor is Camden's Collection, Frankfort, 
1602, much superior in the important typog^phy 
of proper names. 

During the seventeenth centuiy many valuable 
editions appeared. Particular commemoration is 
due to fVhelocs first publication of a Saxon Chro- 
nicle, at the end of his Beda, 1643; and to the ex- 
cellent collections of Twysden and GaUj the latter 
in particular deserving eminent praise among our 
learned editors of early history. 

Nor has this interesting study relaxed its eiforti 
till within these fifty years, down to which period 
fresh treasures have gradually accumulated. Among 
the editors Htarne deserves especial notice. En- 
dued he was with singular industry ; but his prv- 



faces, and articles of subsidiaty compilation, vio- 
lated the dignity of the useful works which he 
published. The insignificance, the indiscrimina- 
tion of his antiquarian pursuits, justly excited the 
ridicule of contemporary wits: and, by a sin- 
gular fatality, the editor is mentioned with neglect 
or contempt, while the editions, though loaded 
with extraneous matter, are allowed to possess 
every praise of exactness and utility. 

It is almost unnecessary to remind the reader, 
that most of the valuable works, above mentioned, 
are now arrived at an exorbitant price ; which, in 
a complete collection, far exceeds that proposed 
for this chronological and uniform compilation. 

The defects of preceding editions of our histo- 
rians are too well known to men of letters. In the 
publications of Saville and Twysden,and not rarely 
even in that of Gale and Fulman, the names of 
persons and places are so mangled, as hardly to be 
intelligible even to the skilful. The various read- 
ings which, when important, should have been 
annotated, rarely appear ; and indeed few MSS., 
and those sometimes not the best, have been con- 
sulted. Amid similar instances of neglect shall be 
selected one specimen. The Saxon Chronicle (im- 
properly so called, for there are many Saxon Chro- 
nicles) is perhaps the most important of all our 
historical monuments, as being the only civil history 
of England preceding the year 1100 ; not to men- 
tion that no nation can boast of so valuable a 
remain of ancient language. Yet in the publica- 
tion of this invaluable piece the grossest inattention 



appears. Gibson only used the MSS. at Oxford^ 
where he resided; and has omitted toconsultthe two 
best, in the Cotton Library, Tib. B. i. and Tib. B.iv. 
upon collating which near fifty pages were re- 
covered, unknown to him, though amounting to 
more than a fifth part of his pubUcation. 

Tliis neglect of our early historians is the more 
unpardonable, as their merits equal, if they do not 
exceed, those of any other modem country in 
Europe. And it will be difticult to name rivals to 
William of Malmesbury, Simeon of Durham, the 
Abbot of Peterburgh, Walsingham; far less to 
the ample and authentic Hoveden, and the un* 
daunted truth of Mathew Paris. 

It would be prolix and unnecessary tD give 
more enlarged details concerning the plan of the 
new publication : but a brief view shall now be 
submitted to those patrons of our literature, by 
whose encouragement alone so large and expensive 
a design can proceed. 

The first volume, as containing all the writen 
preceding the Conquest, may be regarded as com- 
plete in itself. The plan of Bouquet will not be 
followed, in respect to the extracting so much 
from each author as belongs to a reign, or a cen- 
tury ; but every author will be given at once, with 
the additions made to his w ork, if any such occur. 
In this part of the plan. Bouquet's edition, thoagb 
perliaps more advantageous to the modem conh 
piler of history, presents many embarrassments to 
the reader, or consulter, of ancient liistorians ; and 



each production appears in such a state of mutila- 
tion, as not only to give additional labour, but 
some distrust that there may be a defect. 

In the compilation of a work intended to be 
complete in itself, and to present to the reader an 
nniversal body of ancient English history, it has 
appeared indispensable, and is consonant to the 
c^inion of the best judges, that those parts of the 
Greek and Roman writers, which relate to this 
island, should be extracted, as has been done with 
regard to Gaul in the edition of the French histo- 
rians. But even this part will not be deficient in 
new advantages. The extracts from Csesar shall 
be collated with the Editio Princeps, and others, 
the best editions : nor shall a similar care be want- 
ing in regard to Strabo, Tacitus, Herodian, the 
Panegyrists, Ammianus Marcellinus, &c. 

Of Ptolemy's Geography, the original of which 
was published from a bad MS. by Erasmus, valua- 
ble variations have been printed by Montfaucon in 
his Bibliotheca Coisleniana : and the third volume 
of the minor Greek geographers presents various 
readings of Guido of Ravenna; all of which, and 
in short all the latest discoveries concerning the 
extracts used, shall be carefully given. 

To the extracts from the Greek and Roman 
writers succeed Gildas, Nennius, Beda, with the 
chronicle at the end, collated with that in the 
Heidelberg edition; some passages of Alcuin; Ed- 
dius, Fredegod, Asserius: extracts from ancient 
lives of Saints, the lives of Offa, Edward the Con- 
fessor, Emma. These are to be followed by two 



of the largest Saxon Chronicles, translated by skil- 
ful hands, and collated with all the others ; with 
fac similia of the autographic Chronicle begun in 
891, and continued by divers hands till 9S4, and 
after to 1075. This invaluable monument is pre- 
served in Bennet College, Cambridge, whence it 
was published by Wheloc, but in a careless manner. 
Extnjicts from the Icelandic authors, but only in the 
Latin translations, shall next be given, with any 
other passages, though rare, to be found in extra- 
^neous writers concerning Britain during this period. 
Nor shall the Saxon laws be neglected, nor such 
genuine charters and coins as illustrate history. 

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries tlie ori- 
ginal historians of England are numerous and in- 
telligent ; and many of them eminent in st}'le and 
ability. The fourteenth century rather declines; 
but after Walsingham, the last of our eariy Latin 
writers, deserving the name even of an annalist, 
the series closes almost in darkness, just before the 
dawn of the revival of letters. Hence, of the 
domestic transactions of the fifteenth century, 
during the reigns of Henry VI. Edward IV. 
Richard III. and a part of that of Henry VI L or 
from 1422 to 1500, we have but little and unsa- 
tisfactory evidence. The French contemporary 
writers supply a great part of the chasm. Falnaii, 
and the other early chroniclers of the sixteenth 
century, must likewise be extracted ; but any MS. 
annals of those reigns are of singular value, and 
every care shall be exerted to procure them, and 
print them in the manner that Godefroy has pub- 


lished the French historians during this, the fif- 
teenth, century. 

At the year 1500 the compilation will finally 
close, there being no occasion to throw further 
light on centuries completely luminous. 

The manuscripts and editions shall all be care* 
fully collated, and any variations of consequence 
annotated at the bottom of the page. Numerous 
chronicles and historic articles still remaining in 
MS. shall be inserted in their proper places, and 
no research shall be spared in libraries, foreign and 
domestic, to recover any valuable documents. 

As the work is national, and can interest only a few 
curious foreigners, to whom tlie English language 
is known, and as many matters both important 
and minute, can be far more clearly conveyed to 
the English reader in his own speech, than in the 
Latin, the editor has been advised to give the 
prefaces, chronological tables, and illustrations, in 
English ; but the Latin shall be preferred, if more 
agreeable to the favourers of the publication.* 

To the first volume will be prefixed a general 
review of the early English historians; and a 
preface to each volume will present a literary notice 
of the authors contained in it, their lives, periods, 
works; editions and manuscripts consulted. A 
large chronological table of all the events will be 
prefixed to each volume : and in addition to the 
indexes, on the plan of Bouquet's, and which, as 

* Mr. Gibbon insisted on the English* 


in a book of consultation, shall be very ample, 
one will be added of manners and customs. 

The names of Du Chesne, Leibnitz, Muratori, 
Bouquet, Langebek, editors of vast works of this 
nature, sufficiently indicate that the united toib of 
a society are so far from essential to a publication 
of early historians, that, on the contrary, scarce one 
can be named produced by a literary association. 
The want of unanimity, the delays incident to de- 
mocracies of all kinds, the power of accident, 
more extensive when spread over a wide surface, 
present obstacles to the labours of many, which 
are unknown to the industry of one. Yet as- 
sistance will be called in when necessary or expe- 
dient, and the advice of the best judges will be 
requested and venerated. 



( 591 ) 





Extraetedfrom the Gtntlemm't Magaaae, 1788. 


%^ Some of these letters are omitted as merely iDtrodactory, 

^ or as relatiYe to Welch, Scotish, and Irish history. The two 

last present a proposal for the foundation of an Historical 

Society. The following may be considered as having chiefly 

engaged Mr. Gibbon's attention. 


If our National History be not neglected, these 
letters would be absurd ; and it is therefore proper, 
in the first place, to shew that it is neglected, and 
to a d^ree capable of exciting surprise and regret 
m every mind at all interested in the glory of the 

To evince this neglect, it is proper to turn our 
eyes upon foreign countries. Were the neglect 
general, there would be no occasion to complain ; 
but this is so far from being the case, that Britain, a 
country from its wealth, free government, and su- 
perior abilities of its natives, entitled to take the 
lead of most countries, is here about a century 
behind all ; nay, yields to Russia, a country' where 
Hterature was unknown till the present century! 



That this is no bold assertion, will appear from a 
slight deduction from what has been done, and is 
doing, for their history, by some other countries; for 
to dwell upon allj would occupy more room than 
these letters will admit. 

Let us begin with France, our great fivzl in 
sciences, arts, and arms: — but, alas! in this all 
rivalship ceases. Next to . the glory of national 
arms, is that of national history ; without which 
the greatest actions arc as if they had never been. 
Britain, which ought to have led the example, is 
so far behind France in the cultivation of her his- 
tory, that the utmost exertion will hardly com- 
pensate for the inglorious remission. In poctr)', 
philosophy moral and natural, mathematics, divi- 
nity, medicine, law, the belles lettrcs, and the arts 
Britain is, it is believed, superior to France. But 
so fatal is the term History to this island, tliat we 
liave no Natural History anywise comparable with 
BuiFon's. Our Gibbons and Robertsons perhaps 
exceed any modern French historians, though no 
Frenchman will allow this. But historiography is 
foreign to my sulyect, which concerns the foundor 
tions of historiography, the publication awl illus- 
tration of the original writers and documents. 

One would have imagined tliat, upon the inven- 
tion of printing, the first care, in every nation, 
would have been to publish their historical docu- 
ments. For the very nature of history demanded 
this attention; inasmuch as every other science 
can recover its materials, when lost, except histoiy 
alone. If poetry perish, as good may again ap* 



ear : if natural or moral philosophy, mathematics, 
ivinity, medicine, tlie belles lettres, the arts, &c« 
ere lost, they may be recovered, nay exceeded, 
; nature and man remain the same. But if on£ 


ct this irrefragable consideration was, as usual, 
reed to yield to the fashionable writing of the 
ly : and near a ccnturj' elapsed, after the inven- 
3n of printing, before any attention was paid to 
te publication of the original historians of modem 
itions« France distinguished herself among the 
"St; and Du Chesnes Bibliotheque Historiquede 

France J published in 16199 contains a list of 
iblished historians^ which England cannot ex^ 
ted at present. Since that time France has been 
instantly proceeding in that noble pursuit ; and 
irdly a learned man of France can be mentioned^ 
ho did not contribute somewhat to illustrate the 
icient history of his own country, while our lite- 
ti were lost in the antiquities of Greece, Rome, 
tdia, China ; and, in short, of every country but 
eir own. — But, not to dwell on this, it is suffi- 
snt to observe, that in the year 1738, half a 
ntury ago, that magni6cent collection of all the 
i French historians was begun, of which twelve 

thirteen large volumes in folio have now ap- 
ared ; and, compared to which, all our historic 
bours, put together, appear as nothing. Every 
ilume contains original writers and documents^ 
:ncrally for one century ; and the elegance, accu* 
zy^ and completeness of the work, exceed all 
aise. It must also be added, that our polite 
VOL. I IT. Q Q scholars 


scholars and men of genius, our Lowdis, Wartona, 
Joneses, Gibbons, Jortins, Waiburtons, &c. iie\'cr 
think our history worthy notice ; whereas m 
France, Du Bos and Montesquieu, to name no 
more, have deeply examined the early history of 
their country. 

To avoid prolixity, let us pass the great labours 
of Leibnitz, &c. in German history; of Muratori, 
&c. in Italian ; and let us turn our eyes upon king- 
doms which in other matters of science we infi- 
nitely exceed. Yes, let us shew that Denmark, ^ 
remote and unwealthy state, and Russia, whose 
sciences are of yesterday, excel Britain in atten- 
tion to national history ! Denmark, in fact, rivals 
France, by the elegant edition of her ancient -his- 
torians, published by Langebek and now going 
on. Why mention the Society appointed by Ac 
King to publish all the Icelandic monuments of 
Danish history ? Why mention the expenses of the 
Princes of the Blood in Denmark upon such pub- 
lications, and institute odious comparisons? For 
who does not know, that the whole study of the 
Danish nobility, gentry, and literati, is bent upon 
their history ? And surely no stronger proof of a 
solid and manly mind, and of true patriotism, can 
be given, than this pursuit. 

If we pass to Russia, we shall find the present 
Empress the patroness of history, as of other sci- 
ences. Let the works of Muller, the pubiicatkmi 
of Nestor's Chronicle, and that of Sylvester in 
1767, under the title of Letopis Nestorova, Strit 
ter*s Mcmwi(£ Fopulomm, ^c. and other works, 



ik the present attention of Russia to her his- 


.nd what is Britain doing? Nothing. — Her 
lished historians are lost in slovenly-printed 
ions; and many remain unpublished. Bold 
rtions ! But where are the proofs ? Tlie proofs 
to be found in every bookseller's shop ; and in 
catalogues of the Bodleian, Harleian, Cotto- 
I, and other libraries. Yet, after a prefatory 
ark or two, one instance shall be given, which 
of itself prove, that our history is neglected to 
gree exceeding all belief. 
.ver since the time of Thomas Heame, of black- 
er memory, carbone notanduSy the publication 
•ur old historic writers has been discontinued. 
: names of Saville, Camden, Selden, Gale, are 
t respectable in this line ; but such is the effect 
''eakness, that it dishonours all it touches ; and 
ly a weaker man than Tom Hearne never ex- 
i, as his prefaces, so called, lamentably shew. 

Pox on't, quoth Time to Thomas Hearae, 
Whatever I forget you learn. 

«ad of manly erudition, thought, and elegance, 
1 as became a publisher of important works, his 
aces shew the most trifling and abject pursuits 
.ntiquarian baubles. We are forced to despise 
man to whose labours we are obliged : and it 
ispected that the notorious character of Heame 
not a little contributed to the contempt into 
ch our history has lately fallen, for great events 
n spring from small causes. Tliis remark was 

Q Q 2 thought 


thought necessary here, as those very publications 
of Hearne, which might be urged as a proof that 
our history is not neglected, on the contrary afford 
a lamentable proof that it is, and has long been. 
For in no other countiy would he have l>een forced 
to publish a few copies, by an extravagant sub- 
scription, of books important to national histor}\ 
and of course interesting to all. Old plays, and 
dead pamphlets, are greedily fed on, perhaps in 
other countries as well as this ; for it is not to be 
conceived thajt literary disease, and mental sick- 
ness, are confined to Britain : in other countries 
virtuosi and collectors of toys also abound. Yet 
it seems certain, that the curse foretold by Dr. 
Browne, in his Estimate of the Manners and Prin- 
ciples of the Times, has come to pass ; that wcait 
not vicious, but insignificant; that we are ina- 
pable of that exertion in w hich either vice or \iitnc 
consists ; and that our taste has, as he foretold, 
become trifling even to childishness; and so weak- 
ened, as to be incapable of wholesome gratification. 
Hence our greediness for the silliest literary 
baubles ; and our neglect of the manly and austere 
provinces of literature. Such, indeed, are the 
effects of great wealth and luxury in all countries, 
cner^'ating both body and mind. Herodotus finely 
calls poverty, " the nurse of Greece;" and the ef- 
fects of \vealth on Roman literature may be seen 
in the dialogue on the causes of the decline of elo- 
quence, ascribed to Tacitus, though most probaUy 
by Quintilian. 
Let us now proceed to the instance formerly 




romised, to shew at once that our history is ncg- 
jcted to a surprising degree. It is well known 
hat Italy, France, and Germany, are the only 
ountries in Europe which exceed England in the 
gfies of early historians. From Gregory of Tours, 
rho wrote A. D. 591, France has historians of 
irery centur}'. England, on the contrary, has no 
btorian after Beda, who wrote in 731, till the 
ear 1 100. For Ethel werd certainly did not write 
ill that time ; and his work is a mere translation 
f the Saxon Chronicle : and Asser gives only the 
fe of Alfred. I say, no English historians are 
>und from 731 till 1 100, except the Saxon Chro- 
icle. Nay, Beda, who alone precedes, is merely 
a ecclesiastical historian, as his title, Historia Ec- 
ksiastica Auglorum^ and his whole work, declare. 
o that the Saxon Chronicle is, in fact, the oxlt 
ivil history of England preceding the year 1 100 : 
ad witliout it we should know nothing of English 
istory for sevex centuries. The English histo- 
ans, who begin to be numerous after the year 
100, borrow all their intelligence of preceding 
mes from it, as Gibson shews; who also deser- 
edly remarks, that no nation can boast of so var 
lable a monument of their ancient language. 
This noble monument is therefore chosen as an 
istance of the shameful neglect shewn in publish- 
ig our ancient historians. It was natural to ex- 
ect, that our best literati should exert themselves 
L translating and collating this work. But how 
as it been done r — Gibson confesses, in his pre- 
tce, that he was not much versed in the Saxon 

Q Q 3 language* 


language. This may be modesty ; but — ^if true! 
Supposing him qualified, how has he executed his 
work ? He only used five manuscripts. 

1 . The Laudian, a fine one upon vellum. 

2. The one he oddly calls CantuariensU, also for- 
merly belonging to Laud ;. on paper, and very bid 
in all respects. 

3. One in Bennet college, Cambridge. 

4. One in the Cotton library. 

These tvvo were transcripts of one another; and 
Gibson used them not, but tells us, he copied 
Wheloc, who, at the end of his Saxon Beda, pub- 
lished a Chronologia Saxonica from these imp^ect 

5. Another in the Cotton library, also never seen 
by Gibson, but only various readings which Ju- 
nius had taken from it. 

Thus we see, that Gibson, living at Oxford, 
publishes the most valuable monument of our his- 
tory from two MSS. left by Archbishop Laud to 
that university; and is too lazy to go to Cambridge 
or London to collate MSS. but quotes them at 
second-hand ! So much appears from the face oi 
his book, from his own preface ! But this is no- 

Tliere are other MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle, 
never seen by Gibson, though most easily acces- 
sible. In the Cotton librarv there are four: Tib. 
B. L— Tib. B. IV.— Tib. A. VL— Doni. A. VIII. 
The two last, and worst, are those he mentions. 
The two first he never heard of, as appears fmra 
bis edition. Upon collating these two with Gib- 


son, and extracting the additions they have, they 
were found to amount to Fifty pages; and his 
book has only 244 ! Both were written in the ele- 
venth centurj- ; and superior to the Laudian in 
antiquity. It need not be mentioned, that these 
fifty pages contain at least as many facts in our 
ancient history, either unknown, or narrated with 
new circumstances. 

Moreover, in Corpus Christi or Bennet college 
at Cambridge, is the autograph of the Saxon 
Chronicle, from which all the rest are taken ; be- 
gun in 891, by King Alfred's orders, as would 
seem, and WTitten up to that year by one hand ; 
continued by divers to 924; and after to 1075. 
See Wanleys Catalogue, (Hickes's Thesaurus.) I 
know not if this be the one in Bennet college 
published by Wheloc. But certain it is, that 
this invaluable autograph of the chief monument 
of our history should be published literatim^ by 
itself, without any additions from other copies; 
^nd illustrated with JaC'Similia of every various 
hand- writing in it. 

It need hardly be mentioned, that a precious 
part of the Saxon Chronicle is published in Lye's 
Saxon Dictionary, from Mr. Astle's library, which 
much illustrates the history of the eleventh cen- 
tury. Instead of Saxon Chronicle, wc should 
indeed say Chronicles ; for the copies are written 
in different places, and vary in dates and events. 
The two fullest copies, which vary most, should 
be published apart; and the differences of the 
ethers thrown into the notes. Philistor. 




In my last it was shewn that our history is neg- 
lected, from the carelessness and inaccuracy dis- 
covered in the publication of one of its most 
important monuments. It shall not be asserted, 
that our other ancient historians are published 
with equal inattention, and want of literary skill. 
But ceitain it is, that all of them should be col- 
lated afresh with the MSS. several of which have 
come to light, and passed into public libraries, since 
the publications w^re made. The spirit of philo- 
sophy and criticism was hardly known in antiqui- 
ties till the present century ; and the vast supe- 
riority of the recent publications of ancient monu- 
ments over the former is uuivei'sally felt in all 
foreign countries. 

That many important remains of our history still 
lurk in MS. is well known, and evinced from the 
catalogues of great libraries. Some may also be in 
private hands, That every care should l>c exerted 
to recover and print such pieces, needs not \)e in- 
sisted on. But there is anotlier matter which 
claims consideration, as a convincing proof that 
our history is neglected ; and, after stating this^ 
it may be presumed that the reader \\\\l be con- 
vinced that these letters- are not groundless : and, 
of course, this preliminary l>eing adjusted, the 
other parts of the plan may be considered in their 
order. This otherproofthatour history is neglected, 
consists in the amazing deficiency of dissertations 



hy our literati, upon curious or intricate points of 
ancient English histon'. 

In most foreign countries, the works of this sort, 
M-ritten by the most eminent writers, arc very nume- 
rous. If the reader will look into the Historical 
Libraries, published for the several countries, he will 
be struck with astonishment to see that English 
works of this kind, compared with those of France, 
Germany, Italy, nay, the Xorthem kingdoms, are in 
number about as one to one hundred. Let him only 
take up the large Historical Catalogue, in four vo- 
lumes, at the end of LengletDu Fresnoy's Methodc 
pouretudierrHistohre^cd. 1772, 15 vols. 12 mo, he 
will find all the works published on English history 
thrown into a few pages ; while those on French, 
German, Italian, almost fill volumes. It is believed, 
that single works of Selden, Verstegan, ^heringharo, 
and Langhome, form almost the sum total of books 
expressly written to illustrate our histor)' : and all 
of them published before criticism was introduced 
into antiquities, and before we had got so far up 
the hill of science as to discover much around us. 
Selden was indeed a man whose erfldition, inde- 
pendently of his other great merits, does high ho- 
nour to his countr}\ But he was quite immersed 
in Oriental learning; and his works on English 
antiquities are by far his worst, and abound with '^ 
passages which cannot stand against sound criti- 
cism. The antiquities of the middle ages were but 
beginning to be studied in Selden s time. No Du 
Cange nor Muratori had appeared. The diplo- 
matic science, in particular, was unknown: and 



Dugdale, another very eminent antiquary, has, in 
his Monasticon Anglicanunty published charters, 
which Germon, De Re diplomatica, has evinced 
to be forgeries, from marks so gross as to need no 

Unfortunately, we have begun quite at the 
wrong end of our history. We abound in general 
histories; but want the proper authorities and 
proofs, the foundations upon which they should 
stand. Tlie object is, first to settle the grounds of 
our history; and, after that, build the fabric who 
will. A hundred points of the greatest conse- 
quence remain to be treated in detached disserta- 
tions, to be examined to the bottom by severe cri- 
ticism, and all the authorities produced. Suppose, 
as parallel instances to similar dissertations of fo- 
reign writers, we had disquisitions. On the Com- 
merce of the Phenicians and Greeks in Britain: 
Whether any British Nation paid Tribute to the 
Romans before the time of Claudius: On the an- 
cient Languages in Britain : On the Use of the 
I^tin Tongue in Britain; and how it comes to 
pass that Britain did not furnish one Latin Writer 
in the Roman Times, while Gaul and Spain pro- 
duced many: If Severus built any Wall in Britain: 
What was the real Cause of the Arrival of the 
lutes in Kent, Chance or Invitation : The Extent 
and History of each Heptarchic Kingdom: The 
Form of Saxon Government: Of Regal Power 
among the Saxons : Of the Power of the People : 
The Private Life of the Saxons : From what Year, 
and what Time of the Year, our old Historians 



Teckon the Christian Era, &c. &c. &c« These iur 
stances are only given as thpy flow from the pen; 
and the reader may easily suggest to himself other 
subjects more important and curious. It shall 
only be added, that such pieces would, in the 
hands of dull and illiterate writers, become insipid, 
as all other subjects would ; but that, in iweign 
countries, such dissertations not only i^pear, but 
are produced by writers of the greatest learnings 
literary experience, and critical sagacity; oft«a 
yrith every charm of elegant and vivacious lanr 
guage. Tlie latter qualities are, indeed, more 
pleasing than necessary in treating subjects of in- 
struction ; and in which truth becomes suspicious 
if arrayed in the gorgeous dress of eloquence, so 
often worn by falsehood. Let this point be closed 
with enumerating a very few names of foreigners 
distinguished by the illustration of their national 
histon\ that we mav consider what we have to 
oppose to them. The Germans boast of Cluverius, 
Conringius, Schard, Reineccius, Freher, Linden- 
brog, Schilter, Heinack, Leibnitz, Mascou. Schocp- 
flin, &c. Tlie French of Vignier, Pasquier, Du 
Chesne, Valois, Fauchet, Mezeray, La Cany, 
^^lasson, Hottoman, Pithou, Petau, Baluze, le Due 
d'Espemon, Du Cange, Montesquieu, Du Bos, Le 
Gendre, Labb^, &c. Italy has so numerous names 
for each pettj' state, that the difficulty lies in the 
choice; but let Sigonius and Muratori be selected^ 
names equal to a thousand. 

Topography mav be considered as an historical 



department, which has thriven much in Britain of 
late, chiefly by the fostering cares of the author of 
the British Topograph}/, and the editor of the 
Bibliotheca Topographica. It gives great pleasure 
to see.that, in this branch at least, we are perhaps 
equal to other nations. But the wannest admirers 
o£ topography will not put it on a par with the 
general histor}% or even geography, of a whole 
kingdom. Local history, however, may contribute 
materials for general history ; though, in the run 
of our topographers, the historical part be seldom 
profoundly treated. It is also remarkable, that 
while Germany has Cluverius and Cellarius ; and 
France her Sansons, De Tlsles, and D'Anvilles; 
Britain cannot boast of any geographer who has 
obtained the smallest fame. In chronology, Usher 
and Simson yield to none. 

As it is believed that the reader will allow, from 
the two grand considerations already stated, to wit, 
deficiency in the publication of our historical mo- 
numents, and deficiency in modem works illustra* 
tive of our ancient history, that these letters arc 
not unfounded; but that our national history is 
really neglected ; this preliminary shall be consi- 
dered as allowed; and other parts of the little 
plan, laid down in the first letter, shall be entered 






In considering the next part of our plan, name* 
ly, wherein the neglect of our history chiefly lies, 
it will be proper to point out, Jirsty the period of 
our history which has been least illustrated; and, 
secondly y the particular provinces of historical re- 
search, which have been least cultivated among us. 

The period of our history which has been least 
illustrated, strikes at once, as being that preceding 
the Norman conquest. It is, indeed, a mortifying 
reflection, that Englishmen should think the his- 
tory of their own ancestors of no moment, in com- 
parison w4th that of the Norman princes and their 
followers, who settled in this countrj^; should 
seem to think England of no account till it became 
a prey to Norman ravagers ! Perhaps it may be 
said, that the want of materials for our history, 
preceding the Conquest, is a sufficient excuse for 
our neglect of^that period. Certain it is, that 
these materials are not large, being almost confined 
to the Saxon Chronicles above-mentioned ; while, 
after the Norman settlement, our numerous histo- 
rians, chiefly of Nonnan race, or under Norman 
patronage, throw a blaze of light around them, 
which renders even minute parts of our history 
conspicuous. But the attachment of these writers 
to the Normans made them pass the more ancient 
history of England with an invidious pai^mony, 
while they regale us with every incident of Nor- 
man times in full display. This partiality of our 
original writers has affected our antiquaries and 



historiographers ; who, instead of running counter, 
«s they ought, to this disposition, have been drawn 
into its vortex. Yet it is certainly a matter of the 
easiest conception, and most palpable truth, that 
the most obscure period of our history was exactly 
that which required the most illustration. So that 
our antiquaries, who have confined what little re^ 
searches they have made to the Norman and later 
periods of our history, have acted in diametrical 
opposition to their duty, both as patriots and as 

Another reason for neglecting the earlier parti 
of our history is, tlie difficult^' arising fiDm the 
heptarchic division. It is certainly a matter of 
some difficulty to give a clear histbr}' of six or 
seven small kingdoms; but, as the Greek proverb 
bears, all excellent things are difficult; and the 
greater the difficulty, there is the more merit in 
good execution. All modem kingdoms present 
the same difficultv, in their earlv historv, and trc- 
nerally to a far later period than England : but 
their antiquaries have only been excited, by this 
difficultv, to exert the greater accuracv and care. 
Our heptarchic history is not only totally neglect- 
ed; but our writers think proper to apologise for 
their own indolence,, bv informinsr us that it is not 
worth writing. Mr. Hume, sensible of the great 
carelessness with which he had sketched this part 
of English liistor}% quotes Milton, as saying, that 
the wars of the heptarchic states are not more im- 
portant than those of crows and kites. But this is 
like many of Mr. IIume*s quotations ; for Milton, 



in that passage, speaks not of heptarchic wars, but 
of a paltry squabble between two noblemen of that 
time. Take his own words, p. 183, edit. I67I, 4to. 
of his history of England : " The same day Ethel- 
mnnd at Kinneresford, passing over with the Wor- 
cestershire men, was met by Weolstan, another 
nobleman, with those of Wiltshire, between whom 
happened a great fra^, wherein the Wiltshire men 
overcame, but both dukes were slain, no reason of 
thir quarrel writ'n; such bickerings to recount, 
met oft n in these our writers, what more worth is 
it than to chronicle the wars of kites, or crows, 
flocking and fighting in the air?** The fact is, 
that the smallest of the heptarchic kingdoms was 
superior in size and power to any one of the 
heroic kingdoms of Greece, whose history wc 
read with so much attention; and the whole Gre- 
cian story, till the period of Alexander, is not in 
itself more important or interesting than our hep- 
tarchic. The genius of the authors makes all the 
difference; and this genius, it is hoped, will not 
always be wanting in our's. Those, who think 
history becomes important in proportion to the 
size of the country concerned, should confine 
themselves to study the Asiatic empires, and leave 
real history to those who know its nature. It is in 
minute history that we find that picture of humaQ 
society which most interests the philosopher. 

It is suspected that a third reason why the pe- 
riod preceding the Conquest, by far the most im- 
portant of our history, is neglected, originates from 
the writings of an English philosopher — Lord Bo- 




liiigljiukc. In liis Letters on History, this writer 
considers the early history ot'aiiy (.'ountry as quire 
useless, ami rc{]; the niodern part, Iwginniiig at 
the Kniperor Charles V. as alone worth study. 
This supertieial opinion, of a onee tushionablc au- 
thor, had perhaps great weight with those who 
knew not that it is impossible to have any real 
knowledge of the niotlern historj' of any countiy 
without licginning the study at its fouutaias, in 
ancient events and manners. One might as welt 
think of building a house by beginning at the 
garrets. Nay more, the fountlation is not only to 
be liegun at the proper place; but, as cvety put 
of the superstructure ultimately rests upon dwi 
foundation, this radical |>art must be examtnai- 
with tar more care and attention than any of tlw - 
rest. Mr. Hume began his history 
Stuarts, and so wrote backwanls. Thie ,< 
(juencc is, that he has quite mUtaken 
glaring features of our coiuUtutian. utd* 
the despotism of tlie Stuarts along with hi 
through all our history. Nor can any pioblcm 
mathematics be more certain than tlul it t^ tnipot' 
sible cither to write or re^il hUtury pmpcth 
rcti-ogression. 'I'W •'nn.i'i.^i.ji. of the 

is not only ni.> 
un<lerstaud the 
ancient part 
to be 
it must 

^It; but] 


tory alone are found those great incidents, and 
total revolutions, which elevate and surprise. Th^ 
modem history of Europe consists merely of wars 
which end in nothing, and in the filthy chicane of 
politics, so disgusting to every ingenuous mindl 
Since the eleventh century, the several kingdoms 
and states of Europe remain almost the same; and 
any radical revolutions which have happened might 
be comprised in a few pages. The period of gr^at 
events begins at the fall of the Roman empire, and 
lasts till the eleventh century. 

The History of England, excluding that of the 
Romans in Britain, falls into two periotls; from 
the arrival of the Saxons to the Conquest; and 
from the Conquest till now. Each period contains 
about seven centuries. In Greek or Roman His- 
tory, either period would occupy much about the 
same room. But the proportion in ours is, that 
the former part fills half a volume; the latter, se- 
ven volumes and a half ! In Mezeray, the part of 
French history preceding the year 1066 fills two 
volumes and a half; that succeeding, four volumes 
and a half. TJtiis latter proportion is superior to 
ours; and we might at least allot two volumes out 
of eight for the period preceding the Conquest. 
As it is, every one may judge that the former pe- 
riod of our history must be miserably abridged in- 
deed; and it is much to be wished that some able 
writer would give us an history of England pre- 
ceding the Conquest, at due length. Materials he 
will find not wanting, if he brings industry to dis- 
cover and to use them. Philistor. 


610 APȣNDIX TO AN ADDEE88, kc 


Some other particular provinces of our history^ 
which have been peculiarly neglected, remain to 
be briefly hinted at, before proceeding to another 
part of this subject, namely, the causes which may 
have contributed to the neglect of our national 
history, and which shall be entered upon in the 
next letter. 

The chronology of our history may be regarded 
as a neglected department. Events, narrated by 
our ancient writers, are frequently put, with a va- 
riation of one, two, or more years. This often de- 
pends merely upon the different modes they follow- 
ed in calculating the commencement of the year. 
Some began it in the month of March, and ante- 
dated events near a year: thus the year 1000 with 
them begins 25th March, 999. Others began the 
year in March, and yet retarded it three months ; 
reckoning for example, the space of the year 1000, 
preceding 25th March, as belonging to the year 
999' Others began the year 25th Dec. Others, 
at Easter, and varied its commencement as Easter 
varied. Some, who compute from 1st Jan. still 
reckon one or two more years from Christ's birth, 
than we do. Gcrvase of Canterbury, who lived in 
the thirteenth century, tells us in the Preface to his 
Chronicle: " Inter ipsos etiam chronica scriptores 
nonnulla dissentio est. Nam, cum omnium unica 
et pra^cipue sit intentio, annos Domini, eorumque 
continentias, supputatione veraci enarrare; ipsos 
Domini annos, diversis modis, et terminis, nume- 



rant: sicque in ecclesiam Dei multam mendaciorum 
confusioTiem inducunt. Quidam enim annos Do- 
mini incipiunt computare ab Annunciatione; alii a 
Nativitate; quidam a Circumcisione; quidam ver6 
a Passione." 

The industrious and exact authors of L' Art de 
verifier les DateSy from which work the above re- 
marks are borrowed, have done every thing to 
adjust and settle, even to month and day, the 
events of French history. But a large and labo- 
rious work on the chronology of ancient English 
history is nmch wanted. 

Another neglected province is the geography of 
Britain and Ireland in the middle ages. The No- 
titia Galliarum of ValesiuSy or Valois, 3 vols, folio, 
may be proposed as an example for sufa a work. 
Hardly a village or castle can be found in ancient 
French historians, but its situation is adjusted^id 
illustrated in that great work, published last cen- 
tury ; while to this day we have only Somner's Glos- 
sary at the end of Twysden's Decern Scriptores, and 
Gibson s at the end of the Saxon Cluonicle ; pro- 
ductions equally meagre and erroneous. Instead 
of solid and elaborate works on a subject so radi- 
cally necessary to the understanding of our history, 
it is risiljte to see many of our antiquaries dealing 
in etymology of names; a matter of all others the 
most puerile, uncertain, and uninteresting. Our 
old writers drew all names from the Latin ; J5ri- 
tanniUy from Brutus, &c. ; and though their etymo- 
logies were little better than his, who derived Se- 
neca from se necans, because he killed himself, 



yet they were fully as rational as the Hebrew and 
Phenician etymology of names introduced by Uo- 
chart, or the Celtic etymology now in fashion. 
Of the Celtic dialects we have no ancient remains; 
and to derive ancient names from a language in its 
mo<lem state seems complete absurdity. Swift, 
who ironically gives etymologies of Greek and 
Latin names from the English, may be regarded as 
the prophet of this new frenzy. 

The diplomatic line has also been neglected by 
our writers, though the works of Madox deser%'e 
high praise. In England, the numl>er of ancient 
charters preser\'ed is amazing; and perhaps no 
country in Europe can boast of equal treasures in 
this line. If only the most valuable and curious 
were published, they would fill many volumes in 
folio. Ry mer's Collection of Historical Muniments 
doe* honour to the nation; and Prjnne's compila* 
tion has its value. But a collection of those pre- 
ceding the Conquest is still wanting ; and special 
dissertations on their authenticitv, &c. Of later 
times, many valuable and curious charters remain 
unpublished; which, though perhaps of little im- 
portance to our history, might, nevertheless, illus- 
trate 'incient laws and manners. 

END OF VOL. in. 

II«ll->arJ, rrapir-B«r. 

14. >*^