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lies, beggared by confiscations, unskil. favourable to the growth of the Chrisled in any craft, art, or science that tian graces on any side; and we must would procure them a maintenance recollect the prevalence of ideas of among sober citizens ; too proud to which we now can scarcely form a just stoop to what they would call servile estimate, and the state of education drudgery; too poor to be able to and of the community, so different emigrate and “seek their fortunes" from that to which we are accustomed. abroad; the brand of " caste ” upon An honourable exception to the false them to mar and thwart their exertions principles that actuated so many unforat home; trained to field exercises, un- tunate persons, is found in Christopher erring marksmen, dashing riders, un- Fleming, twentieth Lord Slane. At tiring runners, brave, athletic, hardy, the time of the battle of the Boyne, he the life of a freebooter in an unsettled was but a minor; he took no part in country like Ireland suggested itself of the civil wars, but he extended the course--what else could be expected hospitality of his roof, for one night, from them ?- what else remained ? to James II., whom he had been What were ruined Roman Catholic taught to regard as his lawful sovegentlemen to do, when they could not reign, and who had been the friend of get into some foreign military service ? his family. For such venial transPoor, haughty, untaught to earn their gression, this harmless offender, and bread, otten prevented from trying to unrebelling “rebel," forfeited all he learn; sorely tried by natural heart- possessed, even his title.
With a burnings at seeing themselves driven heavy heart this disinlerited and disdestitute from the lands, the homes, titled stripling must have passed nay, the very tombs of their fathers, to through the gate that shut him out for make room forstrangers--then followed ever from that lovely vale, watered by the train of reasoning by which they the Boyne, where stood the castle persuaded themselves of the justice, that, from the twelfth century, had nay, almost the duty, of reprisals. The never lacked a Fleming for its lord, speech of Roderick Dhu ("* Lady of the and where the tomb of his mother still Lake," Canto 5), in defence of his
pre- exists, amid the ruins of St. Erc's datory habits, is as applicable to the hermitage. But he wreaked no vencondition and actuating motives of geance on society; he warred not with the gentlemen outlaws of Ireland, the laws that he might have considered forced to fly to rocks and moun- as warring with him-he submitted to tains, as if Scott had them in his mind their authority, and became a good when he wrote.* We seek not to servant of the English crown. In 1707, justify their transgressions : to trace Queen Anne granted him a pension of their cuuses, with a charitable allow- £500 a-year " for his military services :" ance for human temptation and human and in consideration of his youth, at frailty, is but to account for, not to the period of the confiscation, he was justify. Well would it have been for restored in blood, but not to the lands society and for themselves, had these and title of his fathers, from which he inisguided men been able to apply the was barred by a former act of the Irish Christian precept--" In your patience Parliament. As indemnity, he was possess ye your souls ;” but the wild created Viscount Longford, in 1713. times of Ireland's commotions were not Thus guided by well-regulated sentiments, he won his way to distinction songs composed on them, were handed by those martial qualities which others down by tradition to posterity; and perverted to a wretched career of around their graves the peasantry still brigandage.*
**. These fertile plains, that soften'd vale,
Were once the birthi-right of the Gael;
Pent in this fortress of the north,
gather in groups after mass, or after a But though that particular genus of funeral, to talk of the old times. Thus outlaws of which we speak has passed they do round a tomb in the rural away, the influence their career exer- churchyard of Syddan (Meath), emcised over the minds of the peasantry blazoned with armorial bearings, now has not, even yet, died out. To that much defaced, but still bearing an ininfluence we may clearly trace the scription to the purport, that « This general sympathy of the lower class monument was erected by Geralıl (especially in the south and west) for Fleminge, son of Patrick Fleminge offenders, and their anxiety to screen and Mary Hussey, in memorial of his them from justice. When a forfeited grandfather; and his uncles, James and ruined gentleman had become a and Patrick Fleninge, of Syddan ; and freebooter, all the compassionate feel. for himself and his posterity, 1687." ings of a naturally warm-hearted and These Fleminges sprang from the same romantic people were enlisted in his stock as the Flemings, Barons of Slane, favour. They saw in him the repre- and forfeited in the civil wars. The sentative of a family to whom they “ uncles," James and Patrick Fle. had ever looked up with affection and minge, became celebrated freebooters, respect (for the Irish peasant always and are still remembered and lamented observed the Oriental, nay Scriptural as “ the poor gentlemen that were rule of reverence to superiors; he could forced to turn highwaymen." not degrade himself to the coarse blus- The peasantry, when once they had ter of the low English bully, who sets been accustomed to sympathise with his arms a-kimbo at a gentleman with, men under ban, and to support and “ I'm as good as yourself any day”); abet them, continued to cherish the they saw one who had been reared in inclination, though the objects of their affluence a fallen man, worse than a interest had become degraded from the beggar, because more sensitive to pri- romantic outlaw (now extinct) to the vations; then would they recount the vulgar ruffian, the inere robber and former glories of the race “ that had murderer ; wanting the power of just lived among them for ages, and al- discrimination, they classed all alike, ways kept the warm house and the
as “poor fellows in trouble." The open hand,” and descant on the per. feeling which originally sprung from fections and the wrongs of their heir, virtues, from fidelity, generosity, and “ turned out for a stranger, and forced respect, has tended downwards to utter to shelter among the woods and rocks, degradation—such is the danger of hosand to starve, or help himself by the tility, under almost any circumstances, strong hand.” So, respecting his birth, to established and recognised authopitying his adversity, admiring his rity. Like some plants—whose root is bravery, abetting his wild deeds, and medicinal, but whose flowers are often. aiding him to baffle pursuit, they clung sive, or whose berries are poisonousto the man of fallen fortunes (on such the sentiment which at its birth was the genteel world turns its back) with respectable, in its maturity has become a kind of feudal loyalty; amid all their vicious. own poverty gold could not bribe them We seem to have rambled away from to betray the head consecrated in their the “ Poets of Munster” in particular, eyes by misfortune.
Res est sacra to the bandits of Ireland in general ; miser, said a Roman sage ; but the but the text from which our gloss has axiom was never so true anywhere as extended was finished by one, who, among the Irish peasants in the old celebrating his own wild life in song, troubles.
combined the characters of the outlaw The feats of the outlaws, and the and the poet, Edmund O’Ryan.
* His lordship dying, about 1728, without male issue, the style and title of Fleming, Viscount Longford, became extinct.
AGNES SOREL AND HER COTEMPORARIES.
At the commencement of the fifteenth resembled each other. Agnès, who century, the long contests between the was the clder by one year, was rerival houses of Lorraine and Bar markable for her gentleness and winseemed likely to be terminated by the ning sweetness of deportment. Isaextinction of both families. The sole bello had more vivacity, and greater representative of the latter house was brilliancy. They were both beautiful, the Cardinal of Bar, an aged prelate; but the same distinction might be obwhile the destinies of Lorraine hung served in the style of their personal on the life of a feeble infant, daughter charms. Isabelle, though without the of its chivalrous duke, Charles, and shadow of vanity, pride, or hauteur, his exalted consort, Margaret of Ba- si looked every inch a queen;" the varia.
noble blood of the great Charlemagne The little Isabelle, on whose frail flowed in her veins, and the high-born existence much depended, was lady, destined to command, was appatended, cherished, almost idolised, by rent in every movement and gesture. her future subjects, as well as by her Agnès has been likened to the “Madonfond parents. As she grew in years na" of Raffaelle. Iler fair and slender and bodily vigour, the faculties of her form, her large, soft, pleading eyes, precocious mind were developed under bespoke a soul gentle, timid, and the judicious care of her wise mother trusting. Yet Agnès was not a weak and gifted father. Charles of Lorraine or insipid character.
The most acwas the most accomplished prince of complished woman of her day— the his day. He had proved himself a brave most delightful converser-so much so, and skilful warrior in his campaigns that even at that epoch, so fruitful in in Germany and Ilungary. He had illustrious ladies, she was looked on as commanded the forces of the Teutonic a prodigy—she owed her great and Knights in Prussia, and had been the endlaring influence more to her mental main stay of the Hungarian monarch qualities than to her personal attracin his war with the Turks. The Duke tions. She fascinated all who came of Lorraine was no less skilled in the within her sphere; and occupying, arts of peace. A poet of no nican ex- though she afterwards did, a most cellence, his refined and liberal mind, anomalous and questionable position, his elegant tastes, and his graceful and she never made a personal enemy,
but winning manners, are praised by the gained and retained the affectionate historiographers of his own time, who good-will of those who, we should ever found a welcome at his hospitable naturally suppose, would have recourt.
garded her elevation to power and inUnder these beneficent influences fluence with envious and indignant the little Isabelle passed her childhood feelings. and early girlhood, not quite com- The aged Cardinal of Bar, feeling panionless, for her playmate from the himself on the verge of the grave, cradle-to whom she was ever fondly anxiously desired to terminate, by a attached_was the fair and gentle marriage between Isabelle and his Agnès Sorel, whose singular adven- grand-nephew René, the strife which tures we are about to narrate.
had for generations been waged beThe “ Demoiselle de Fromenteau," tween the houses of Bar and Loras she was styled, though of very
raine. The young prince, destined inferior rank 'to her friend, could for this alliance, was the second son scarcely be regarded as a dependant. of Louis of Anjou and Yolande of Her father, the Seigneur de Saint Arragon, whose mother had been a Gérand, was attached to the service of princess of the house of Bar. The the Count de Clermont; and his little Cardinal had adopted and educated Agnès was tended and educated by René, with the design of making him the Duke and Duchess of Lorraine with his heir, and had spared no pains to the same care as their own daughter. perfect him in those arts and exerIn many traits of character the girls cises befitting his high rank and future position; and although in some re- moi,” replied the brave old soldier ; spects his nephew might scarcely aspire “ Dieu merci, j'ai toujours vécu sans to the hand of the heiress of Lorraine, reproche; et encore aujourd'hui on still the pretensions of the young count verra si c'est la crainte on le bon conseil were not inconsiderable. His sister, qui me font parler de la sorte." Marie, was married to the Dauphin The result justified his prediction : Charles, heir-apparent to the crown of René, baving done all that a brave France. His father, titular King of man could do, and received many hoNaples and Sicily, although he had nourable wounds, fell into the hands failed in establishing himself in this · of his enemy. When Isabelle learned inheritance, bequeathed by Queen the tidings of this disastrous fight, and Joanna, could yet transmit l.is title to heard that her beloved lord was in these rich possessions, which his chil captivity, she hastened to Chinon, to dren might hope eventually to inherit. entreat Charles's aid and mediation Influenced, perhaps, less by these con- with the Duke of Burgundy to prosiderations, than by his personal merits, cure the freedom of her husband. But the Duke and Duchess declared them- René owed his liberation from capti. selves in favour of René's suit ; and vity to a more romantic cause than the their youthful daughter became his intercession of his royal brother-inbride ere she had attained her fifteenth law. Philip of Burgundy having year.
visited his captive, found him employed When Isabelle bade adieu to her in painting. René had executed on native Lorraine, and accompanied her glass very charming and faithful porhusband to Provence, she did not part traits of Philip and his father, Jeanfrom the friend of hur girlhood. Aquès sans-peur.
The kind-hearted Duke Sorel shared the joys, and sympathised was touched and interested : he conin the sorrows of her wedded life. At versed frequently with the accomfirst the horizon was bright and cloud. plished prince, and restored to less. Isabelle, who was ever an adored him his liberty, only stipulating that wife, became the proud mother of four he should surrender himself a captive children, “ the most beautiful ever the following year, if the conditions seen”-so the cotemporary chroniclers annexed as the price of his freedom assure us; but when her father's death should not have been complied with. made her heiress of Lorraine, the The visit of Isabelle to Chinon was, gathering clouds of war, and its attend- nevertheless, productive of important ant miscries, cast their lurid shadows results. Agnès Sorel had accomaround her: her cousin, Antoine de panied her; and, in the interview Vandemont, contested the succession, which the princess of Lorraine and Bar asserting that Lorraine was too nolile had with her Sovereign, the grace and a fief to descend to a female. Singu- beauty of the “Demoiselle de Frolarly enough, the question had never menteau" struck the ardent fancy of before arisen: Charles of Lorraine the young Charles. The impression was the first prince who had not left she had made was observed by the behind him male heirs. The Duke of wife and mother-in-law of the king. Burgundy supported the claims of The latter, Yolande of Anjou, wiis a Antoine de Vandemont; and René, woman of masculine mind; she swayed after bravely fighting for the inheri- the careless monarch, and, uncon. tance of his wife, was taken prisoner sciously to him, had long guitled his at the battle of Bulligneville, and con- counsels. The pasion alike of Yolande, demned to a rigorous captivity in the of her daughter, Queen Marie, and of castle of Dijon.
the beautitul stranger, was patriotism. This fatal battle was lost by the rash France was in subjection. Charles impetuosity of the young nobles of its king, and who ought to have been Lorraine and Bar, who fought in the its deliverer, was insensible of his disranks of their Duke René. The honour, or too much devoted to pleaveteran general Barbazan had ear- sure, to make the necessary exertion nestly entreated his master to act on for his country's safety. Marie, beauthe defensive.
tiful and amiable, was not beloved. Quand on a peur des feuilles, il ne The influence which alone could stir faut pas aller au bois,” said a young Charles to noble resolves, should gallant, contemptuously.
spring from a passion which Yolande “ Ces paroles ne sont pas pour perceived her daughter could never
excite. She conceived the singular, sighted and ambitious woman, unscru. we may say the mexampled (esign of pulous, as we have seen, in the choice exciting it by the churrms of Agnès of means which might enable her to Sorel. Wonderful force of the senti- obtain a desired on. When the forment of love of country! Marie, tws of Charles were at their lowest stranger still to record, assented. ebb, she had never despaired, but couHopeless herself of influencing Char- ragcously cheered and animated him les through his affections, and quite to exertion. Let us cast a rapid glance conscious of his passion for the beau- at Charles's past career. The imbeci. titul stranger, Queen Marie listened lity of his father, King Charles VI., without disapproval to the suggestions and the hatred which his unnatural of the vigorous-minded Yolande, that mother had conceived for him, had they should
the voluptuous made the Dauphin, in his earlier years, monarch from his effeminate indolence an outcast from the sweet charities of and unworthy favoritism, by giving home. The tragical murder of Jeanhim as companion and friend, one who, sans-peur of Burgundy, on the bridge they both saw, was gifted with a high of Montereau, had drawn down on his and commanding intellect, and a head the intense hatred of the Burgentle nature and constant heart. gundian party, then the most powerful Surely we cannot wonder that such an in France. Well might Francis I. age was rich in noble enthusiasm, exclaim, when he gazed, in the Charwhen it witnessed a sacrifice of pride treuse of Dijon, on the effigy of the and feeling so extraordinary in per- murdered dake, “ Through that gash,” sons so exalted. The disinterested. pointing to the wound which disfigured ness of friendship has nothing to com- the forehead, " the English entered pare with this astonishing instance of France !" The Dauphin always aspatriotic devotion. But still we must serted, probably with truth, that he not estimate the sacrifice at more than, was innocent of this foul murder. in truth, it was worth; or suppose even Tannegui du Châtel struck the fatal these heroines capable of impossibili- blow; but Charles had expressly inties. Marie had had frequent occasion vited the Duke of Burgundy to this to lament her husband's infidelities ; ill-fated conference, and the assassinaher conjugal love could not be further tion was accomplished in his presence. outraged by the substitution of a Philip le Bon, son of the murdered comparatively virtuous attachment for Duke, thirstiny for revenge, threw the those ephemeral amours which had weight of his vast power and influence hitherto marred the happiness of her into the opposing scale, and allied wedded life. That intiuence over the himself with the enemies of his coun. mind of Charles which she had failed try to avenge his father's death. By in securing might, she findly hoped, the conference at Arras (1419) he be so wielded by the beautiful and paved the way for the infamous treaty spirituelle friend of the high-min:leil of Troyes (1420), which disinherited Isabelle of Lorraine, as to change the the Dauphin, and transferred the royal destinies of the hapless realm of diadem to the English invadler, Henry France. She asked from her brother's V. In the treaty, by which Charles wite permission to promote the fair VI. thus disowned his son, the followAgnès to be her maid of honour. ing insulting clause occurs, which must Isabelle felt keenly the unavoidable have been peculiarly galling to the separation from her friend, should she Dauphin :-yield to the Queen's entreaties; but she could not allow her selish aflec
6 Considérant les horribles et énormes tion to be a barrier to the advance
crimes et délits commis par Charles, soi-diment of Agnès Sorel. The young
saut Dauphin (le Viennois, il est accordé que
nous, notre dit fils le roi, ct aussi notre trèsgirl, ignorant of all that was designed
cher fils Philippe, Duc de Bourgoyne, nous for her, was from thenceforth to live
ne traiterons aucunement de paix et de conat court, attached to the person of corde avec le dit Charles, si non du consenteMarie of Anjou, who even personally ment et du conseil de tous et de cliacun de had conceived a warm regard for one nous trois, et des trois états du royaune," whom she designed to make, if pos. sible, her own rival.
Two years later and the Dauphin Queen Yolande, for she was titular found himself King, though he had but sovereign of the two Sicilies, was a far- a scanty territory, and few adherents.