Marie E. Zakrzewska, M. D.,
IS CORDIALLY INSCRIBED
BY HER FRIEND.
RICHELIEU AND MAZARIN;
Life and Times of Madame de Chevreuse.
JAMES MILLER, PUBLISHER,
PREFACE BY THE TRANSLATOR.
Among the most admired of Victor Cousin's works are his "Studies of the Illustrious Women and the Society of the Seventeenth Century;" and of these none has excited so much attention as his "Life of Madame de Chevreuse." In this charming biography, which certainly reads very much like a romance, the author claims the merit of a scrupulous and exact adherence to the truth of history. He controverts many received opinions and forces the reader to abandon many established hypotheses, but he does it upon the incontestable evidence of cotemporary writers and of documents that, were supposed to be lost or not known to exist. Among these are a hitherto unknown memoir of Richelieu concerning the secret affairs of 1633, which produced the imprisonment of Châteauneuf, keeper of the seals; the unpublished examinations of La Porte and the Abbess of Val-de-Grâce in 1637; the autograph Carnets of Mazarin, explained and developed by the evidence of his secret police, and several inedited letters of Queen Anne to the cardinal which solve the question of their relations.
Madame Chevreuse coped with Richelieu in the adroit political intrigues which marked the close of the reign of Louis XIII. and excited the admiration of all Europe; and in Cardinal Mazarin's memorable struggle at the beginning of his ministry and of the regency against the "Importants" (those predecessors of the "Frondeurs"), he encountered no more powerful adversary or none who gave him more anxiety than she. The author in his romantic memoir only rapidly sketches the early and the later life of his subject, dwelling most upon her career as an actress in the great drama of 1643; and his work was intended to be not so much the story of one of the most brilliant female politicians that France has ever produced, as a revelation of the secret history of the French Court under Richelieu and Mazarin.
MADAME DE CHEVREUSE AND RICHELIEU.
Character and personal appearance of Madame de Chevreuse,—Her birth and her first and second marriages.—Intimate friendship with Anne of Austria.—Count Holland.—Prince de Chalais—First Exile.—Charles IV. Duke of Lorraine.—Return to France.—Richelieu and Châteauneuf.—Madame de Chevreuse banished again to Touraine.—Affairs of 1637.—Second Exile; flight to Spain,
Madame de Chevreuse in Spain, and in England.—Long negotiation with Richelieu to return to France.—Failure of the negotiation.—Marie de Medicis and the Duke d'Épernon.—Madame de Chevreuse in Flanders.—Conspiracy and rebellion of Count de Soissons.—Affair of Cinq-Mars.—Death of Richelieu and of Louis XIII.—Royal declaration of the 20th of April, 1643, condemning Madame de Chevreuse to a perpetual exile.—Her recall by the new regent,
MADAME DE CHEVREUSE AND MAZARIN.
Madame de Chevreuse returns to the Court and to Paris.—New Arrangements of the Queen.—Anne of Austria and Mazarin.—Efforts of Madame de Chevreuse in favor of the former Party of the Queen and against the Policy and the Partisans of Richelieu.—Her Solicitations in behalf of Châteauneuf, the Vendômes, and La Rochefoucauld.—Her Home and Foreign Policy.—Madame de Chevreuse the true Chief of the Party of the Importants.—Defeated in her efforts to gain the Queen, she resolves to have recourse to other means.—A Crisis becomes inevitable; it occurs on the occasion of the Quarrel between Madame de Montbazon and Madame de Longueville,
Conspiracy of Madame de Chevreuse and Beaufort against Mazarin.—La Rochefouoauld and Retz deny this Conspiracy.—Plan and Details of the whole Affair, as gathered from the Carnets and Letters of the Cardinal and the Memoirs of Henri de Campion,
Failure of the Conspiracy.—Arrest of Beaufort and exile of Madame de Chevreuse to Anjou.—New intrigues.—Madame de Chevreuse fears imprisonment, and quits France for the third time in 1647.—Her capture and subsequent release by the English Puritans.—She takes refuge at Liège.— Returns to Paris in 1649.—Her rôle in the Fronde.—Her reconciliation with the queen and with Mazarin.—She contributes to the downfall of Fouquet and the rise of Colbert.—Her death in 1679.