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ment ploroit ; car, combien qu'elle feust joyeuse dont son fils estoit en voye de parvenir, amour de mere l'admonnestoit de larmoyer. Toutefois, apres qu'on luy fut venu dire, Madame, si voulez venir veoir vostre fils, il est tout à cheval prest à partir.' La bonne gentil femme sortit par le derriere de la tour, et fist venir son fils vers elle, auquel elle dist ces parolles : Pierre mon amy, vous allez au service d'un gentil prince. As far as a mother can command her child, I command you to observe three things, and if you fulfil them, be assured that you will live with honourin this world, and that God will bless you. The first is, that you fear God, serve him and love him, without ever offending him, if that be possible. It is he who has created us, in whom we live, and by whom we are preserved. It is by him that we shall be saved. Without him and without his
grace we should never be able to perform the smallest good action. Be particular to pray to him every day, both morning and evening, and he will assist you. The second is, that you be gentle and courteous towards the nobility, that you evince neither hauteur nor pride towards any person, that you be ready always to oblige every person, that you avoid deceit
, falsehood, and envy,—these are vices unworthy of a Christian ; that you be sober, faithful to your word, and above all, charitable to the poor, and God will return to you again whatever you for the love of him. Particularly console the widows and orphans as much as will be in your power. Finally, avoid flatterers, and take care that you never become one of them. It is a character equally odious and pernicious. The third thing which I recommend to you is again, charity. That will never bring you to poverty; and believe me whatever alms you give for the love of God will be profitable to both body and soul. Behold, this is all that I have to say to you.
your father have a long time to live. God grant that before we die we may hear news of you which may bring honour upon ourselves and upon you. I commend you to the Divine Goodness."1
· Compare this simple lesson with the celebrated advice of Madame de Lambert to her son, and how cold and formal will appear the lecture of the accomplished Marchioness, how little worthy of a Christian mother, how strained and unnatural, how incapable of either
Attend now to the modest reply of Bayard. My lady mother, I thank you with all my heart for these good lessons which
you have given to me; and I hope, by the grace of Him to whom you commend me, dearly to preserve them in memory, and to give you satisfaction by my faithful practice.”
When Louis IX. was on his death-bed he commanded his family to be summoned, and with his own hand he wrote out the following instructions, which he committed to the prince who was to succeed him :
“ Beau fils, la premiere chose que je t'enseigne et commande à garder, si est, que de tout ton cueur et sur toute rien, tu aymes Dieu, car sans ce nul homme ne peult estre sauvé. Et te garde bien de faire chose qui lui desplaise : c'est à savoir peché. Car tu deverois plutost desirer à souffrir toutes manieres de tourmens que de pécher mortellement.” .“ If God shall visit
with adversity, receive it humbly, and be grateful, and consider that you have well deserved it, and that the whole will tend to your good. If he shall give you prosperity, be thankful with humility, and take care that you be not corrupted by pride, for we should not employ the gifts of God in service against him. Let your confessor be a wise and good man, who can instruct you in religion; and take care that your confessors, your relations, and acquaintances, may be able boldly to reprove your fault, whatever it may be. Attend the service of God and of our holy mother church devoutly, and with the service of heart and lips. Have a gentle and pitiful heart for the poor; comfort and assist them as much as you can. Maintain the good customs of your kingdom, and correct the bad. Be on your guard against covetousness, and against great taxing and subsidies, unless the defence of your kingdom shall require them. If your heart be
convincing the understanding or of affecting the heart! Well has Madame de Stael observed, in allusion to the effect of such lessons, “ La religion reste dans les idées, comme le roi restoit dans la constitution que l'assemblée constituante avoit décrétée. C'étoit une république, plus un roi.'
1 La Vie de Bayard, par Berville. See also La tres joyeuse, plaisante et recreative hystoire composée par le loyal serviteur des faiz, gestes, triumphes et prouesses du bon chevalier sans paour et sans reprouche le gentil Seigneur de Bayard; of which there is an excellent English translation.
sad or in trouble, lay it open to your confessor, or to some good person who is discreet, and so you will be enabled to endure your misery. Be sure that you employ in your company good and loyal men, who are not covetous, whether ecclesiastics or others. Fly from evil company; and oblige yourself to hear the words of God, and retain them in your heart. Continually desire prayer, instruction, and pardon. Love
your honour. Take heed that no man may be so hardy as to utter in your presence any word which might tend to excite others to sin; that none should slander the absent, or abuse those who are present. Never permit any thing to be uttered disrespectful towards God, the holy Virgin, or the saints. Thank God often for his grace, and for your prosperity. Exercise justice to all, to the poor as well as to the rich. Let your servants be loyal, liberal, and decisive in speech, that they may be feared and loved as their master. If any dispute shall arise, be exact in searching for the truth, whether it be for or against you. Love and honour churchmen and all ecclesiastics, and take care that no person shall deprive them of their revenues, gifts, and alms, which your ancestors have given to them. I have been told that King Philip, my grandfather, replied to a minister who said to him that the churchmen caused him to lose many rights and liberties, and that it was a matter of wonder how he permitted it, That he believed it to be so, but that God had bestowed
him so much grace and goodness, that he had rather lose his wealth than have any dispute or contest with ministers of the holy church. Honour and reverence your father and mother, and take care not to grieve them by disobedience to their commands. Bestow the benefices which belong to you upon good persons and of pure manners. Take heed how you go to war with a Christian man without deep reflection, and unless the case is of necessity; and on these occasions take care that neither the clergy nor those who have not injured you may suffer. Take care also that no sin shall prevail in your kingdom, nor any blasphemy or heresy. And, finally, be mindful of me and my poor soul. And now I bestow all the blessings that a father can give his child, praying to the whole Trinity of Paradise, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that he may keep and defend you from all evil, and especially from dying in mortal sin : so that after this
life ended, we may meet again before God, to praise him, and return thanks for ever in his kingdom of Paradise. Amen."
He then received the sacraments, and caused himself to be placed on a bed of ashes. “ La croiz estoit mise devant son lit et devant ses yeux, et la regardait moult très-souvent, et adreçoit vers elle ses yeux. De rechef en sa dite maladie, il rendoit souvent grace à Dieu son Créateur, et disoit trèssouvent Pater Noster et Miserere et Credo." His brave and affectionate knights stood round him weeping. He did not speak for four days, remaining with his eyes raised to heaven, and his hands joined : but from Sunday at nones till Monday at tierce, says the King Thibaud of Navarre, who was an eye-witness, he uttered many prayers for his people, saying, “ Esto, Domine, plebi tuæ sanctificator et custos.” About the hour of tierce he lost his speech, but looked at all the people about him with great kindness, and he smiled sometimes : between tierce and midday he seemed to sleep with eyes closed. All remained kneeling in mournful silence; at length he opened his eyes, raised them to heaven, and said, “ Introibo in domum tuam, adorabo ad templum sanctum tuum.” Onques puis il ne parla, et entour eure de nonne il trepassa."
1. -Pitieuse chouse est,” cries Joinville, “ et digne de pleurer, le trespassement de ce saint prince, qui si saintement a vesqu et bien gardé son royaume, et qui tant de beaux faitz envers Dieu a faitz.” Velly has described the character of Saint Louis in few words : “ He possessed at once the sentiments of a true gentleman and the piety of the most humble Christian.” The testimony of an infidel to the virtues of this great king is striking. Louis IX. appeared a prince destined to reform Europe, if that had been possible, to render France victorious, and to be in all things the model for men. His piety, which was that of an anchorite, deprived him of no virtue belonging to a king : a wise economy interfered not with his liberality. He knew how to reconcile a profound political sagacity with an exact justice; and perhaps he is the only sovereign who merits this praise. Prudent and firm in counsel, intrepid in battle without rashness, pitiful as if he had always been unhappy, it is not given to man to
1 La Gaule Poetique.
arrive at higher virtue. “ Il n'est pas donné à l'homme de pousser plus loin la vertu.” Attacked by the plague before Tunis, he caused himself to be stretched upon ashes, and expired in his 55th year, with the piety of a monk and the courage of a great man. How deplorable to reflect, that we can neither love nor reverence the master who has bequeathed this portrait to posterity!
It is impossible to read without being moved the simple account which has been delivered down to us of the death, the prayer, and the last words of the incomparable Bayard, a name which the hero will never pronounce without reverence and love. When he received the fatal wound, his first cry was,
“ Jesus! ah, mon Dieu, je suis mort!” then he kissed the handle of his sword, for want of a cross : he changed colour, and his men seeing him stagger, ran, and were about to carry him out of the press : his friend D'Alègre endeavoured to persuade him, but he would not permit it. “ It is all over with me,” he said; “I am a dead man: I should be sorry in my last moments, and for the first time in my life, to turn my back to the enemy.” He had still the strength to order à charge, when he saw that the Spaniards were beginning to advance. Then he caused himself to be placed by some Swiss, at the foot of a tree, so that “I
These were his words. His maître d'hotel, who was a gentleman of Dauphiny, named Jaques Jeoffre de Milieu, burst into tears by his side, as did also the other attendants, whom Bayard endeavoured to console. “It is the will of God,” said he, “to draw me to himself; he has preserved me long enough in this world, and he has bestowed upon me more mercy
grace than I have ever deserved.” Then, in the absence of a priest, he made his confession to his gentleman, whom he commanded to take care that he was not moved, since the least motion occasioned insupportable pain. The Seigneur D'Alègre, mayor of Paris, asked what were his last wishes, and he received them; and immediately John Diesbac, a Swiss captain, proposed to remove him, for fear that he should fall into the hands of the enemy; but he replied to him, as he did to all the officers who stood around,
Leave me to think of my conscience for the few moments I have to live. I beseech you to retire, lest you should be made prisoners, and that would be an addition to my pain.