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WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY CORBOULD.
G. ROUTLEDGE & CO., FARRINGDON STREET.
THE pieces of which this volume consists, have for
their aim the entertainment and the improvement of
the Reader. The Writer, possessing a mind of a prac-
tical tendency, has naturally given a practical tone to
his compositions. Such a tone will hardly be a discom-
mendation with the English Public, of which earnest-
ness is a chief characteristic. Under the general aim,
and as contributory to it, the Writer has studied to give
his materials a direct bearing on questions which, at
the present moment, occupy and interest the public
mind. Accordingly, he has introduced into the volume
Tales, Essays, and Narratives, which exhibit the horrors
of despotism, which illustrate the value and enforce
the necessity of mutual toleration; which portray
lives or describe events that have exerted a great
influence on the passing era; which explain great
social and domestic movements; and which depict
peculiarities of individual character, or exemplify
casual duties and permanent obligations.
Hugh Aubriot, the Founder of the Bastille . 1
Jeannette of Domremy; or, the Maid of Orleans 92
Francis Seldon. . . . 118
DuPuits; or, the False Key . . 135
Masers de Latude. . . 147
Mohamed; or, the Illustrious . .. .168
Sir Walter Raleigh . . .. 175
The Wandering Jew . . .. .196
The Trial of Johann, Heinrich, and Jakob Staufl for the
Murder of the Countess von GBrlitz . .199
Jean Fabre; or, Filial Devotement . .. .221
The Princess Orsini; or, Female Influence in Politics. 283
Daniel Defoe, the True Englishman . ... 259
Napoleon Bonaparte's Dangers and Escapes: related by himself 289
Ellis and Acton Bell; or, Difficulties of Authorship 800
Washington; or, True Patriotism . .. .804
The Manchester Botanists; or, Science in Humble Life 28
Sand, the Assassin of Kotzebue . .. .831
Madame de Caen; or, Domestic Mystery .. 336
Pius VII.; or, the Popedom humiliated . .. 35
Marie Durand; or, an Extraordinary Gaol Delivery 376
Marie Louise and Longwood . .. .385
Antonio Viterbi; or, Self-Starvation . .. .402
HUGH AUBRIOT, THE FOUNDER OF THE BASTILLE.
a 1pcture of 1arti in tbe jourtutt nt6 turp.
ONE fine morning in the month of September, 1377,
the city of Paris was in great agitation. Monks, noble-
men, citizens, tradesmen, scholars, watchmen, men-at-
arms under the orders of the Provost of the city; the
whole military, civil and religious population were seen
confusedly crossing each other, and pressing each other
forward in every way in the numerous streets, and
pouring forth from the alleys contained in the last in-
closure of Stephen Marcel, then recently fortified by the
famous Hugh Aubriot, the founder of the Bastille
Saint-Antoine. The houses were deserted-left to the
protection of the infirm-old women and children; busi-
ness was suspended, the shops were closed. Magnifi-
cent weather favoured the curiosity of the Parisians.
An animated picture was the city inundated with sun,
hurrying to the sight which was getting ready, with the
eagerness and yet with the carelessness and giddiness
by which it has always been characterized. Whilst its in-
habitantswere spreading on all sides, they did not observe
that they were closely watched, and that the popular
effervescence was allowed free course, perhaps in hope
of some disorder which would be severely punished;
free to come and go, to clap their hands, to shout;
apparently sovereign master in the streets, the squares,
the alleys, the crowd was unaware that its space was
restricted, and that cannon presented their mouths on
the interior of the city. The tumult was specially
extreme in the district called Outre-Petit-Pont, where
was to be celebrated that day the annual festival of the
fair Lendit, the origin of which was lost in the night of
time, and which brought together all the young men of
Some moments before the impatiently waited-for
ceremony commenced, the processional movement of
the crowd towards one single point, namely, the square
of Saint-Etienne du Mont, of a sudden stopped at a
piece of news which was circulating, to the effect that
a show of a very different kind, and quite as attractive,
was about to take place in an opposite part of the city.
A great number of persons thereupon turned back their
steps, and hastened towards the street Saint-Martin,
where, it was said, the Provost of Paris was about to
carry a sentence of the parliament into execution. The
example would doubtless have been contagious, if the
sounds of drums and fifes had not announced the arrival
of the actors in the Lendit festivities. The crowd
undergoing an oscillatory movement, opened a passage
for the Rector of the University, followed by his officers.
A large space was kept free in the middle of the square,
and watchmen and the Provost's guards held back the
On the day of the fair of Lendit the Rector was
accustomed to receive the payments due to the gover-
nors of the University. The ceremony took place with
pomp and in a solemn manner.
The Rector appeared, attended bythree mace-bearers,
or beadles, two of whom carried before him maces with
silver heads, similar to those which were carried before
the King and the Chancellor of France; for at that time
the University, the depositary of the knowledge and in-
telligence of the period, and strong in the protection
successively granted to it by several kings and several
popes, represented a separate power in the state. The
third mace-bearer, who walked behind the Rector, car-
ried the arms of the University a hand extended
down from heaven, holding a book surrounded by three
golden lilies on an azure ground. Then came the
apostolic protector of the privileges of the University,
the syndic, the clerk, the treasurer; the deans of the
several faculties of theology, law and medicine; the
censors and the queestors of each nation composing the
tribunal of the University; afterwards the students,
divided into four bodies, which were severally guided
by four standard-bearers on horseback.
The Rector took his place, having his officers at his
side. The four standard-bearers were thus arranged: ,
The first on the Rector's right-hand, was the student
Etienne Guidomare, a young scape-grace, twenty years
of age, tall and flexible in body, with chestnut hair
running into ringlets, a light brown complexion-the
certain sign of an ardent temperament; his lips thick
and of a vermilion hue, which, when they opened,
showed teeth white as enamel; his look saucy and pro-
voking, which would make the boldest cast down their
eyes. Always ready to embark in a new adventure,
Guidomare drew back before no peril. Brave and in-
solent, he had always ready on his lips a bitter and dis-
dainful repartee; as ready with his poignard was his
hand. More frequently did he show his admiration of
female beauty than of the beauties of Cicero; and no
one. had had more quarrels with the police-none had
run greater risks of leaving his body in nocturnal broils
in the streets. But in all things he was as fortunate as
in love. In a case in which a less cautious person
would have been taken, Guidomare escaped like a bird
which oversets the snare with his wing and flies away
singing; his numerous misdeeds, his rows, his carry-
ing-off of women-which, however, could not-such
was his adroitness-be proved against him, had
acquired for him such a reputation, that there was no
disturbance, no complaint, but the blame thereof was
thrown on his back. His comrades tacitly acknowledged
his superiority. He was their king-a distinction
which they sometimes found of service. Meanwhile,
the extravagance of his conduct formed a plea in his
excuse. One person could not be equal to all the tricks,
assaults, and love adventures set down to his account.
The same individual could not be in the four corners ot
the city at the same time. There must be, at least, two
Guidomares-one of reality, the other legendary. But
which was which? The true history was confounded
with the fabulous. Neither, in consequence, could be
distinctly apprehended. Hid in the colours of poetry,
Guidomare enjoyed a sort of general impunity.
He was, however, followed by an enemy-a for-
midable, astute, and patient enemy, whom failure did
not discourage, and who had sworn to effect his ruin.
This enemy was the Provost of Paris, Hugh Aubriot,
who directed a power which was a rival to the power of
the University, the privileges of which conflicted with
his authority, and consequently excited his hatred and
opposition. The animosity which he bore toward the
whole learned corporation, before which he had often
been compelled to humble his pride, and lower the
ensigns of his power, he concentrated on a single indi-
vidual-on him whom, to all appearance, he would the
most easily catch tripping. Perhaps, too, he was jealous.
Favours which had been gratuitously granted to Guido-
mare he, probably, had been obliged to purchase at a
great price. Not that Hugh Aubriot thought of the
money-his official exactions brought him wealth in
abundance; but it wounded his self-love to find a pre-
ference accorded to the young, giddy student.
The second standard-bearer, who was on the same
side of the Rector, and who seemed placed there to act
as a foil to Guidomare, was Jean Petit. In all the
company of the students a less prepossessing person
could not be found; not that he was worse built than
others, or positively ugly, but he was awkward in all
his movements; in his face was the expression of a
base hypocrite; and there too you saw pusillanimity
mixed with instincts of cruelty. His eyes were not
for an instant quiet; his cheeks were lank, his nose
pointed, his forehead narrow; at the first view he
looked like a bird of prey; and his oily shining hair,
divided into shapes like ears of corn, and parting on the
head like the owl's, completed the resemblance.
On the Rector's right, and in front of Guidomare,
was the third standard-bearer, Eustache de Pavilly, a
young man of a tall stature, with a haughty and confi-
dent look, but without insolence, whose regular figure
had a remarkable character of firmness.
The fourth was named Guillaume Coquastre, and in
some sort was the fac-simile and image of Guidomare;
the same kind of beauty, the same physiognomy, the
same attractiveness, the same provoking look, the same
tastes, and the same morals-but in all somewhat infe-
rior. He had taken Guidomare for his model, but, like
other imitators, had fallen short of the original. He
was one of those sequacious natures which always walk
behind some one, as the shadow follows the body; and
which as invariably are condemned to play secondary
The standard of the nation of France, borne by
Guidomare, had for its device, Honoranda Gallorum
natio,-" the honourable nation of the French;" that
of Picardy, supported by Eustache de Pavilly, Fidelis-
sima Picardorum natio; that of Normandy, intrusted
to Jean Petit, Veneranda Normanorum natio; that of
Germany, which Guillaume Coquastre held, Constan-
tissima Germanorum natio.
When every one had taken his place, the drums
began to beat, and Guidomare and Coquastre waved
their standards with a martial air; that movement was
followed by de Pavilly, with a simple gesture, and by
Jean Petit, with all his natural awkwardness. As
soon as the drums had ceased, the four scholars lowered
their standards before the Rector, who with a sign of
the hand invited those who wished to speak with him
An old man came out of the crowd, leaning on the
arm of a person about thirty years of age; and said to
the Rector, -"This is my son, Pierre Gardin; I
am aged and infirm; my sight has been nearly lost in
copying manuscripts, and it is only trembling lines that
my hand can now trace; I wish to pass the little time
that remains to me in this life, in penitence and prayer,
in order to obtain remission of the sins I have com-
mitted; for perhaps Ihave had too much pleasure in read-
ing pagan writers, and, too much occupied with acquir-
ing and diffusing a profane science, I have neglected
the science of salvation. My son has been brought
up by me and with me, and I wish him to succeed me
in my profession. I beg the very honourable Rector
and the very illustrious University to admit him into
the number of the booksellers of Paris."
The Rector turned toward Pierre Gardin, and said,
"Your father has always lived honourably, and his
request will be conceded, if you take the required
I am ready," replied the young man.
After a moment's silence, the Rector, raising his
voice, resumed-" You swear, under all circumstances,
to acknowledge the legitimate power of the University,
and never to attempt to withdraw yourself from its
"I swear it."
"You also swear not to purchase any book on your
own account, before the expiration of a delay of two
months, during which you will give public notice of
the book and its price, in order that those who may
wish to possess it may be sufficiently informed; for you
must not retain and keep to yourself the knowledge
which belongs to all, and make it a source of illicit
"I swear it."
You swear to be satisfied with the profit of four
"I swear it."
Many other persons came forward in turn and took
the same oath. Then the drums again beat, the fifes
again played, the standards were again waved and
lowered. This being done, the Rector proceeded to
receive the dues of the University. Next, the Rector
administered the oaths to the bachelors of arts recently
elected; who swore that they would always be on the
side of the secular teachers; that they would never
admit to the honours of the University ecclesiastics of
any kind whatever; and that they would give their
lessons to their scholars orally, without reading to
them anything except on festival days.
The oath being taken, a youth of scarcely fifteen
advanced toward the Rector, who asked in Latin to be
admitted to the rights of a scholarship. The extreme
youth of the applicant, his timid air, his soft figure,
covered with long hair of a pale yellow, the fairness of
his skin, the delicacy of his limbs, excited many a
smile. Guidomare, from the height of his own grandeur,
examined him with a curiosity of a not very protecting
nature, and Coquastre, exaggerating the expression of
his master's manner, thrust out the lower lip as a token
of contempt. A gossip of good appearance, who for
half an hour had been laughing, adjusting her garments,
putting herself into enticing postures, and giving her-
self all the trouble imaginable, in order to get noticed
by the handsome student, cried out, By Saint Landry,
you may well grant him what he asks, there is no fear
of his causing trouble,-poor lamb, he wishes to live
among wolves: a nice young lady disguised as a scholar;
my word, were he to try to run away with me, I'd
whip him up under my arm in a trice."
The speech called forth a burst of laughter; the
youth blushed and cast down his eyes.
Behind him stood another person, from thirty-five to
thirty-six years of age; grave and severe, he had not
shared in the general hilarity. Like the professors, he
was clad in a round black cloak, which, as the rule
required, would have extended down to his heels, had
not time and use shortened it by some inches; but by
this diminution the wearer gained the opportunity of
letting it be seen that he was quite orthodox in another
article of his apparel, for clear enough was it that he
did not wear shoes with turned-up points. This per-
sonage was Jean de Ronc6, master in theology, one of
the most learned of his class.
The Rector addressed the youth: You solicit thi
rights of scholarship; are you a lawful scholar, so as tU
be in a condition to enjoy the privileges granted to the
pupils of the University? You know the attestation
of a master is necessary."
"Here is a person who is ready to answer on my
"I," said Jean de Ronce, "attest that this young
man is a lawful scholar;" and, as if he wished to make
up to him the disdain excited by his small person and
poor appearance, he added,-" and, moreover, I pre-
sent him as one who will some day be an honour to the
University of Paris, who will be as learned as Guil-
laume de Champaux, as Pierre Lombard, the master of
the sentences, who, like Abelard, will possess the
trivium* and the quadrivium,t and who, if the spirit
of God leave him not, will equal in wisdom and
humility the wisest and the humblest."
"I hope," said the youth, "that pride, which was the
ruin of Satan, will never make me forget to refer to
God what I am and what I shall be,-my thoughts as
well as my actions,-the memory with which he has
The trivium comprised grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
t The quadrivium comprised arithmetic, astronomy, geo-
metry, and music. The union of the two constituted the most
extended knowledge of the day.
endued me, the tongue which he has given me in order
that I might teach and spread his law and his precepts,
my love of my neighbour, and my horror of lying and
While thus speaking he held upraised toward heaven
his fine blue eyes, a moment since timid and cast down,
but at present radiant with an almost divine light.
"What," asked the Rector, "is your name?"
My name is Jean Charlier, generally called
Gerson, from the name of the village of Champagne,
where I was born."*
Jean Charlier Gerson," resumed the Rector; "you
know what are the privileges which scholarship con-
fers? Philippe Auguste determined that the scholars of
the University of Paris should be exempt from secular
justice in criminal causes; that those whom they might
accuse should be forbidden to defend themselves by
the ordeal of water or by judicial combat; that their
abode should be inviolable by civil justice; that the
Provost of Paris, the provost of the trades, and the
commander of the watch, should, on entering their
office, swear to respect, and, in case of riot, to defend
those privileges; but," added he, on throwing his eyes
over the assembly, and fixing them on Etienne Guido-
mare, "those privileges impose on the persons that
enjoy them, the obligation of showing themselves
worthy thereof; they have been granted to protect
science and piety, and not to secure impunity to the
spirit of riot and debauchery. You promise to live
honourably and holily?"
Jean Charlier Gerson, I confer on you the right
of scholarship. Let no chancellor of N6tre Dame
Jean Charlier Gerson, Chancellor of the Church and of the
University of Paris after Pierre d'Ailly, became Bishop of Cambrai
and a cardinal, and wrote, as is believed, the celebrated work on
"The Imitation of Christ," commonly ascribed to Thomas &
10 FIRESIDE STORIES.
require of you a sum for your licence without being
reprimanded; let every citizen denounce and arrest
whoever may strike you; let no king or regent of the
kingdom subject you to the taxes and dues from which
Philippe le Bel has set the members of the University
free; let no farmer-general levy on you an impost for
the provisions necessary for your subsistence, or which
shall grow on your own land; let no bishop or cardinal
put you under excommunication without permission
from the Holy See."
Guidomare was vexed at the lesson he had received;
but he dared not give expression to it in any other way
than by looking contemptuously on the youth, who in-
voluntarily had occasioned the public admonition. The
Rector observing the look, and noticing that it was
reflected from the features of Coquastre, feared that
Gerson would in consequence be made to suffer. He
therefore in a loud voice, declared, "I remind you all
that footing-cheer is abolished; let no one under any
pretext presume to revive the custom. Jean Charlier,
if by your care and prudence you have saved a sum of
money beyond what you need, keep it as a fund for
relieving mendicants. Alms give bread to those who
want it on earth, and the kingdom of heaven to those
who bestow them."
The Rector was giving the signal for proceeding to
the plain of Saint Denis, where he was to bestow his
benediction on the fair of Lendit, when a great tumult
arose in the direction of the streets Saint Jean de Latran
and Saint Hilaire. Before knowing what the cause
was, Guidomare and Coquastre seated themselves firmly
on their horses, and many a scholar ascertained that his
poignard was ready for use. The noise increased. At
first there was a buzz, mixed with shouts; soon the
rolling of drums burst forth, and announced the coming
of a military force. The crowd received a violent
shock from a great multitude which entered the square;
for a moment the ranks were broken, and soldiers and
citizens were thrown together; but the guards of the
provost of the city came up, and forcibly aiding the
former, promptly restored order, without any other
harm than some hard knocks and harder words.
The procession which had arrived had traversed Paris
from Saint Martin-street. It was the same as in the
morning had drawn off a part of the population, and, in
truth, there was in the exhibition something of a na-
ture to please the curious. A woman, named Agnes
PiBdeleu, was its heroine. Agnes, keeping in Saint
Martin-street a house of ill fame, had scandalized her
neighbours. Her reputation was worse than was com-
mon with such persons. Hitherto, however, she had
got off by paying inconsiderable fines. But about the
month of April of this year 1377, she was accused of
an infamous crime. A young girl, well known for her
modesty as well as loveliness, was, under a pretext,
enticed to the house of Agnes, and in the dead of night
given up in a dark chamber to a man whom she had
seen only masked, and who must have been very rich,
for to purchase her favours and her silence he offered
her an enormous sum of money. The maiden, after a
long struggle, in which she was overcome, effected her
escape, and hastened to her parents, who sought redress.
Agnes PiBdeleu was arrested, and put on her trial.
Avowing the crime, she declared that the man for
whom she had acted, and who thought himself unknown
to her, was the very person by whom she had been ap-
prehended, the Provost of Paris, Hugh Aubriot, a
licensed libertine, and a hypocritical debauchee." She
adduced corroboratory evidence. Aubriot contented
himself with a haughty and contemptuous denial. Most
unequal was the contest. No wonder that a woman
known to lead an infamous life was unanimously found
guilty. The execution of the verdict, entrusted to the
provost, had been repeatedly postponed. At length it
was fixed for the fair of Lendit, when, amid general
confusion, Aubriot thought that he should gain an ad-
vantage against the University.
Behind a guard of soldiers of the watch, armed up to
the teeth, rode Hugh Aubriot, with his head aloft, his
carriage confident. He was a man of lofty stature, of a
severe and hard physiognomy, whose unbending move-
ments disclosed an inflexible character, and the habit of
command. Right and left he threw over the crowd
looks full of pride, the insolentjoy of triumph, a secret
provocation to his enemies. His attire was that of the
peers of the realm, and he carried a commander's baton
covered with silver. But neither he nor his officers
drew attention. All eyes were fixed on Agnes Pid-
deleu. That unhappy creature, with her hands fastened
behind her back, her ankles bound with iron rings,
with which was connected a chain too short to allow
her to step forward with her ordinary pace, made her
way as well as she could, stripped of all her clothes,
according to the sentence. Her real crime had fallen
into the background, and her guilt in accusing the pro-
vost filled every one's mouth. On her forehead they
had put a broad parchment band, on which was written,
in large characters, this one word-FALsE-ACCUSER.
Behind Agnes, chained and naked like her, walked four
citizens, whom she had brought forward on her trial
as witnesses on her behalf. Soldiers closed the pro-
cession, and a double rank placed at the sides kept the
crowd at a distance. A shocking sight, indeed, did
Agnes present. Pity and disgust must have been felt
by many, even then, when such an exposure was ren-
dered possible by the state of public opinion. The
poor wretch was covered with mud and dust; for often
during the long way she had been dragged, had she
fallen, partly from the constraint of her chains, partly
from the intoxication in which in the morning she had
been permitted to indulge; and there howling, like a
savage beast which struggles against its bonds, she lay
rolling on the street.
The Provost entered the circle formed by the
scholars, and placed himself before the Rector, whilst
the prisoners went round. Agnes, singling out young
Gerson, who turned away his eyes, exclaimed, Come,
my pigeon, let me embrace you. You blush: 01
I am naked; well! you will soon cure of that ob-
jection. You are in good company to lose your mo-
desty; take lessons of that tall fellow who is at your
side. Good day, my poor Etienne; you find me
changed, don't you? and there, too, are you, Coquastre.
Why, you won't let me be led to the pillory, will you,
my friends ? I have supplied you with fine birds before
now. Mr. Rector, bid the drums beat, and bid your
scholars get their knives ready."
Hugh Aubriot listened without frowning to this
provocation to revolt. Whilst the Rector arose, amid
tumult, shouts and laughter, Jean Petit said to Guido-
mare, in a low voice, Is it not a pity to leave that
creature in that condition? we are strong; a sign from
you will effect her deliverance; give the signal."
"You are a fool, Jean Petit," replied Guidomare;
"count the soldiers that are around us."
'* How long is it since you began to regard the num-
ber of your enemies?"
Ever since cowards became warlike. Do you know,
master John, if I did not think you a fool, I should
think you a traitor."
"Mel Jesus Maria!"
Yes, you; by Jove, my hand itches more than
yours; but were we to deliver that woman, what, tell
me, should we do with her?"
"Place her in the College of Saint Nicolas du
"0! anywhere; but you know the way into the
The Rector having at last obtained a moment's
silence, addressing Aubriot, said, Mr. Provost, why do
you not order that woman to hold her peace? She is
not to insult the masters and the scholars of the Uni-
versity. Strange that the magistrate, whose business
it is to enforce order, does not discharge his duties
It might have been thought that Aubriot expected
this reproof; for a secret joy shone in his eyes. Imme-
diately resuming his passionless and haughty air, he
was preparing to reply; but Agnes Pi6deleu inter-
He! he order me to hold my peace; he, the traitor!
for two hours has he been dragging me through the
streets, and this is the first time he has dared to look me
in the face! Yes, my children, I told the judges truth,
and these four honest men also declared the truth.
Yes, it was for the Provost of Paris that I drew that
young girl to my house; he it was that was there
masked; he said he must have her, and gave me thirty
pounds for my trouble. And yet you will let me be taken
to the pillory? Break my cords, break my chains, put
on his forehead the charge of falseness, which I bear
on mine. On you, my children, I have depended; else
never could I have borne being dragged so far. Out
with your daggers; quick, Guidomare!-What! art
thou paralyzed, my son? Well, I want no aid!"
Hurried away by rage, her eyes inflamed, her mouth
foaming, Agnes made a dart at Aubriot. But she had
forgotten her chain. In the violence of her effort, she
was dragged backward by it, and rolled on the ground,
uttering furious cries, and lacerating her fair thin limbs
against the flints of the highway. What a hideous
sight was that naked woman, covered with blood,
struggling convulsively, and with a hoarse, half-stifled
voice, mingling imprecations with the foulest terms
of her infamous trade. The crowd seemed on the
point of rising against her torturers. An incident
tranquillized it. "Drink!" cried Agnes, in trying to
get up; "drink! I am burning." Jean Charlier Ger-
son advanced towards her; and aiding her with his
feeble limbs, put her on her knees; then he pressed
HUGH AUBRIOT. 15
out on her fevered lips a few drops of a lemon. He
stopped the blood which flowed from a wound she had
given herself in the head, and then, with the calm and
the authority of an old man, said, Woman, thank
God for your sufferings, and they will prove an expia-
tion for your sins; bewail your misdeeds; seek pardon
and pity from Heaven, and balm will be shed upon
Whether it was exhaustion or contrition, Agnes
asked, Will God forgive me?"
Yes, if you sincerely repent."
"I do repent."
Are you sorry for having led an unchaste life?"
"And for belying the Provost of Paris?"
"I have not belied him; he is a perjured man."
Every eye turned toward Hugh Aubriot. Let her
be whipped," he said. The crowd murmured loudly.
"Let her be whipped, I say." Two men approached
"Mr. Provost," cried the Rector, "the sentence
does not declare that the woman shall be whipped; you
have no authority -"
"I take the authority," replied Aubriot, with an in-
sulting smile; "besides, you bad me enforce order;
This is too much," shouted Jean Petit.
The impudent scoundrel!" grumbled Guidomare,
on whom the other students had their eyes fixed, and
who involuntarily dashed his spurs into his horse's
flanks, which reared and caused confusion.
"To arms, soldiers; disperse the crowd," Aubriot
"Let no person stir," replied the Rector, who saw
that the Provost wished to bring on a collision. "Let
no one stir; it is a trap-beware."
More and more heated were the people and the
soldiers growing, when the Rector said, Mr. Provost,
the University of Paris, the eldest daughter of France,
enjoins you by my voice to open a passage before
her, and to protect her against the orders which your
soldiers may have received from some one whom I
will not name; remember the oath which you, like
your predecessors, have taken to the University."
Aubriot could not conceal his vexation. He replied:
" The University is not a prisoner; let it proceed to
the plain of Saint Denis, if such is its intention; but
my soldiers do not ground their arms until sunset.
Remember, students, Boyer and Leger, who were
hanged for their misdeeds."
"And do you remember the Provost Thomas, who
suffered perpetual imprisonment for having struck five
At a sign from the Provost they raised Agnes Pie-
deleu; and whilst the cavalcade of the University was
passing through the ranks, the clerk, as he had repeat-
edly done before, read the sentence of the parliament,
which enumerated the wretched woman's crimes. At
the moment when the reading came to an end, Etienne
Guidomare passed in front of the Provost; the two
measured each other from top to toe, as enemies who
were forced to a suspension of arms, but who were to
have a meeting shortly. Aubriot threw a defiance at
the student, whom, in his mind, he had fixed on to be
the first occupant of the Bastille. Thus, in spite of
their privileges," said he, "shall all libertines be
His last words were drowned by the noise of the
drums. The procession proceeded towards the plain
of Saint Denis, where it was waited for by the dealers
Master Jean," said Guidomare, "whether it suits
you or not, you don't quit my side all the day."
You do me too much honour," Jean replied, with
an ill grace. "Whence," continued he, "this sudden
"I like to see your handsome visage."
"That of the bird in the cage is more to your taste.
Does the linnet refuse to sing?"
Who told you that a young lady entered the College
de Saint Nicolas du Louvre yesterday? Have you in-
formed any one?"
"Well, sir, that young lady is a cousin of mine.
Do you know what will happen if any one forces his
company on her?"
"I am not a diviner. What ?"
I will break every bone in his body. Take care!"
When the Rector and his attendants had departed,
Aubriot commanded his troops to march to the market,
where was the pillory. Making a sign to two of his
officers, he said to one of them, Take that woman to her
punishment; I am going to the plain Saint Denis." Then
speaking to the other officer aside, he added, "Go
with four men to the College de Saint Nicolas du
Louvre. If necessary, break open the gates, and get
possession of a young lady who was placed there
ABOUT seven o'clock on the' morning following the
scene described in the last chapter, the gates which
closed the extremities of the Rue au Feurre were
opened for the exit of the professors of the faculty of
arts, who had terminated their classes. It appeared as
if the place, hitherto so quiet, had only waited for their
departure to become noisy and tumultuous. The
bundles of straw on which the students had been seated
during the lectures, were spread before the doors of
the class-rooms, and the young men were stretched
upon them, at breakfast, like a troop of gipsies. Mean-
time, traders of all sorts entered and offered their pro-
visions to the sturdy morning appetites of the con-
sumers. Some cried roasted game, goslings, pigeons,
fish from the sea and from the ponds of Bondi; others
offered grapes of Melita or Malta, all kinds of fruits,
vegetables, pastry, highly-seasoned dishes and wines.
There were also workmen who offered their services,
inquiring for torn clothes to mend, dilapidated cloaks,
hats, or trousers which needed replacing. The small
enclosure was like a hive; drinking, eating, bargaining,
singing, combined to cause an immense disturbance,
above which was heard occasionally the shrill voices
of the people, who raised cries of joy or misery before
the houses in the neighboring streets; of millers who
inquired for corn to grind, and of a man clothed in
black, and carrying a bell, who called on the people to
pray to God for the souls of the departed. The schools
of the Rue an Feurre were, at the period of which we
write, the most frequented in Paris, and there were
assembled many of the students who had been con-
cerned in the proceedings of the last evening. Eustache
de Pavilly was talking in the midst of a group; Jean
Petit, with a hypocritical air, was catechising and in-
structing the young Gerson; Guillaume Coquastre,
with halfa dozen of his companions, was very earnestly
occupied in a corner about some employment, which
from time to time excited their mirth. But the prime
mover of every frolic, the hero of all university exploits,
Etienne Guidomare, was absent. The group around
Coquastre were busily employed in kneading up mud,
heating and softening pieces of wax, the materials for
the work in which they were engaged. One of them
thus addressed the lieutenant of Guidomare:
"Why is not Etienne here this morning? Did you
not tell him what we were going to do? We cannot
enjoy anything without him."
"He should have been here," replied Coquastre,
"but I am afraid he met with some disaster last night.
That cursed provost bears ill-will against him, as he
does against all of us, my friends: did you not see how
he tried to excite us to revolt yesterday?"
Doubtless if we had moved-and his insolence was
certainly enough to destroy our patience-several of us
would now have been inmates of the dungeons of Petit-
Chitelet, which Aubriot has had built at the southern
end of the Petit-Pont, opposite to the schools, to brave
us, to keep us in order, and which the traitor has had
the impudence to call, in derision, the Rue au Feurre
and the Clos Bruneau!"
It was certainly a trap," replied the former. What
do you think I heard last night, on my return from the
fair of Lendit, from one of the watchmen who was
drunk? Some time since Hugh Aubriot had secretly
conveyed to the arsenal of the Parloir aux Bourgeois
three thousand mallets of iron and of lead. These were
not for use against enemies; since, thank God, the
wisdom of our monarch, Charles V., and the valour of
the Constable, have driven them away. It was for
our benefit that he collected such a number of weapons,
and we should have experienced their temper yesterday
if there had been any disturbance. Pardieu! It will
be a pretty day for us when we give any pretext to his
ill-will. But tell me, Coquastre, what reason have you
to fear for Guidomare? Has he been on some fresh
love adventure? Has some fair one's eye crossed his
He has an amour on foot, and the Provost pursues
him so closely, that he will, perhaps, succeed in cap-
turing him. Exercise and the fresh air made me ex-
ceedingly thirsty, and gave me a ravenous appetite,
yesterday. I went to sup with Louise la Bricharde. I
went to her house at the hour of curfew, and I was so
hungry that I did not come away again until about
three o'clock, some minutes before her husband, who,
you know, is one of the watch, returned home. Well,
my sons, I almost fell in with the night patrol. At
the corner of a street I heard hasty steps; I saw, in
the shade, at a little distance, two people in flight, a
man and a woman, and I could swear that the woman
was young and pretty, for I could also swear that the
man was Guidomare, and our comrade has too good a
taste to act as escort to any respectable matron. I
would have run after them, but just then the watch
came up, and I had scarcely time to crouch down under
my cloak in the dark corner of a house. The soldiers
marched quickly, and in the direction taken by the
fugitives. Heaven grant that nothing has happened
Have you nearly finished, master sculptors?" cried
a voice from a distance, to Coquastre and his com-
In a moment," answered the student.
"Ah, my children!" said another of the workmen,
"we must beware of false brethren and traitors. Who
are those two people whom the Rector brought to class
this morning? They attended the lecture, and are
talking aside there with Eustache de Pavilly. One of
them is more than sixty years old. I do not think that
at that age, and with his feet all swelled with the gout,
he has come to enter his name on the list of students."
That is a pity, truly. Notwithstanding the Rector's
prohibition, we would have revived the custom of foot-
ing' on purpose for him, and I think we should have
had a regal gala. That old man's pockets are made of
gold. I saw him take out a handful just now, and give
four dollars for a glass of wine and a piece of broiled
He would not have any quarrels with the Provost,
"No; but the young man who accompanies him has
quite the appearance of a young scapegrace, and he
would give some trouble to master Aubriot."
"Do you know their names?"
"They have not given them. They are, I think,
German gentlemen. The elder is an old student of
the University, and what he here sees reminds him of
his youth. See, how heartily he laughs. His son
pleases me; I am sure he would make a pleasant
Yes; but perhaps it would be prudent to ask them
Bah!" replied Coquastre; thou art always afraid.
Good faith is written in the faces of those two strangers,
and I will trust them as I would friends of my child-
The two persons to whom these observations referred,
seemed, in fact, to take great pleasure in the animated
scene around them. Their appearance, their manners,
their simple, but elegant costumes, showed that they
were wealthy and repelled every suspicion-every idea
of treason on their part. The elder one had eaten his
student's breakfast with a forced appetite, and like a
man long accustomed to more rare viands and more
delicate wines. His countenance was grave and noble;
all his movements were marked by a gentle dignity,
which characterized the young man also, though his
manner was more animated, his curiosity more lively,
and his repartees more spirited and pointed than those
of his father. Coquastre was right; neither of these
persons was likely to repay by treachery the frank and
cordial hospitality which they received.
"It is finished!" cried Coquastre. Among shouts
of laughter from all the students, he and his comrades
brought forward a figure, rudely modelled, of clay and
wax, which they placed on a table in the middle of the
street. It was a bust of the Provost of Paris. Such
caricatures were at that time known by the name of
volts. They were made as much as possible to resemble
the person it was intended to injure, and to aid the
talent of the artists, the name was written upon parch-
ment and placed above. This was often a very useful
precaution, but in the present instance the students had
been inspired; they had fashioned, not badly, an ex-
travagant and ludicrous portrait of Hugh Aubriot,
whose strongly-marked features formed a good subject
for such an attempt. The chef-d'auvre was therefore
received with universal applause.
After the volt had been baptized, and invocations
and formulas of magic had been made before it, those
who had any complaint against the person thus repre-
sented, approached and offered it a thousand insults
and tortures, mutilated and pierced it with stilettos and
poignards, spat in its face, believing that the original of
the caricature would feel these insults without knowing
the authors of them. The students had frequently, after
their quarrels, made a volt of Hugh Aubriot. The
Provost of Paris, it is true, had never felt the worse
for it, nor complained of the blows inflicted on his
image; but the manufacturers of it were not the less
convinced of the efficacy of their vengeance. The
students, in the first row of whom were the stranger
and his son, Gerson, Jean Petit-who every now and
then cast restless glances towards the gates of the
street-pressed round the table, as did also the traders.
The whole merry assembly, with necks outstretched
and gaping mouths-the less climbing on the shoulders
of the taller and stronger, waited for the commence-
ment of the ceremony.
"Messire Hugh Aubriot," said Coquastre, doffing
his cap before the waxen figure, "if you will permit
me, I will be your godfather, and I will baptize you
with this water, which is neither pure nor limpid.
Who will be my gossip and act as godmother to the
Provost ? Little one," said he to Gerson, "does the
office suit your taste ?"
The boy made a sign of dissent. The young
stranger, though his father tried to hold him back,
advanced towards the table. "Will you have me ?"
said he to Coquastre ; "on the faith of a gentleman I
will be a good gossip."
"Here is the godmother; make way! make way!"
suddenly cried a voice well-known to the students. It
was that of Guidomare, who had just entered the Rue
au Feurre, and forced his way through the crowd, by
dealing blows to the right and the left. He supported
a young girl of seventeen or eighteen years of age,
tall and well made, who, terrified by the noise and dis-
turbed by the many looks which she encountered, en-
deavoured to conceal her charming and blooming face
under the folds of her cloak.
"Whence comest thou?" asked Coquastre, "and
where hast thou been since yesterday? We were
anxious about thee."
Whence do I come," replied the student; "I come
from the chace; but, unfortunately, I was not one of
the hounds. I was the stag, my children, and here is
the hind that was hunted with me. This young lady,
who does me the pleasure and the honour of loving
me,-lift up your hood, Julienne, there is no reason to
blush, and you are here among brothers and friends,-
this young lady, then, preferred my society and my
conversation to that of her uncle, an honest cobbler of
the Faubourg St. Marcel, Martin Brfilefer by name-an
excellent man, I allow, but apparently not of a disposi-
tion agreeable to young girls. Would you believe that
the Provost of Paris is displeased at that ? Yesterday,
he ordered one of his lieutenants to violate the fran-
chise of the College of St. Nicolas du Louvre, where
he hoped to find Julienne. But, fearing some evil in-
tention on his part, I had already placed my treasure
in security. When I left the fair of Lendit, I went to
join her, and we had both of us need to be alert and
agile, for the people of the Provost pursued us all
night, and gave us no respite or quiet. At last, at day-
break, by a trick which would do honour to the most
cunning animal in the forest of our lord the king, I
deceived the hounds. We rested for some hours, to
breathe after our long race, and here I am, my sons,
safe and sound, again ready to enrage the Provost;
and claiming, as the price of the beautiful godmother
I bestow on him, the right of being the first to strike
him, and to pierce his traitorous heart with this stiletto,
after which I shall turn day into night, and sleep until
the next lecture, while you watch over me. Where is
the holy ointment prepared expressly by you, that I
may anoint the head of this miscreant ?"
He had scarcely finished speaking, when a great
noise, proceeding at once from both ends of the street,
attracted general attention. The cause was soon ap-
parent. Soldiers suddenly entered, and driving before
them some students, who endeavoured in vain to re-
sist them, closed the gates, being thus masters of
the two only entrances, and rendering every attempt
at flight vain. This bold movement, directed on one
side by the lieutenant of the Provost, and on the other
by Hugh Aubriot in person, at first intimidated the
bravest among them. There followed' a general con-
fusion and disturbance. The table on which the volt
was placed was overturned, and the image itself broken
into a thousand pieces. On the first alarm, Julienne
had left the arm of Guidomare; the ranks opened before
her, and she took refuge in one of the lecture rooms,
before which Coquastre and some others placed them-
selves, determined to resist force by force.
When the panic was over, Eustache de Pavilly pre-
pared to address the Provost; but that dignitary, with
an imperious gesture, commanded him to be silent,
and declared that he would not permit any remon-
strance; that he was not come to listen to speeches, and
that the Rector in person should not prevent him from
executing his purpose. A hundred voices were raised
at once, exclaiming, "Depart, you and your soldiers;
you have violated our privileges !"
Your privileges !" replied Aubriot, in a contemp-
tuous tone; "you should have known how to defend
them better, and to prevent my entrance. You are
taken by assault, my masters, and you must submit to
the law of the conqueror."
Violent murmurs arose at this answer. The elder
stranger approached Hugh Aubriot, and said to him,
Whatever may be the motive which brings you here,
you are not ignorant that the abode of the students of
the University of Paris is inviolable. This was the
case forty years since, when I studied here, and I have
never heard that the privilege has been revoked."
"It still exists !" cried the crowd.
"I suppose, then," continued the stranger, "that
you have a special order from the king. Why do you
not show it ?"
This question was asked in so decided a tone of
authority, and accompanied by a look so confident and
haughty, that, in spite of himself, Aubriot for a moment
felt disconcerted. But he soon recovered himself, and,
measuring the questioner with his eye, said, "Who
are you, then, to question me in this way?"
"You do not answer my question, Mr. Provost?"
"Nor you mine."
"It is enough for you to know that you would pro-
bably be hung up high enough if you raised your hand
"I am almost inclined to try," replied the Provost.
"Do so," continued the stranger, calmly; "do so,
and you will soon be reminded of the protection you
owe to a foreigner, and the guest of the king of France."
"It is some ambassador, perhaps," thought Aubriot,
"some envoy from the court of Germany, or of Rome,
who is come this morning to visit the schools incognito.
I must not make an unnecessary disturbance: I have
nothing to do with him."
"Well! your order, Mr. Provost?"
"I have none."
"And if they refuse to obey you, what will you do ?"
"What I think I ought to do."
"And I think that I ought to declare that, since he
whose business it is to make the law respected, does
not respect it himself, we are not bound to submit."
An assenting acclamation followed these words.
"Truly," exclaimed Aubriot, when the noise had
subsided, "the world is turned upside down. Yester-
day, on the mountain Sainte Genevieve, a child spoke
like an old man; and to-day, an old man speaks like a
young fool, and preaches rebellion."
"I do not preach rebellion, Mr. Provost," replied
the stranger, with a peculiar and melancholy smile; "I
am not one of those who wish for the reign of force
and injustice. Seventeen years ago, when my eldest
son came into the world, I sent the infant's weight in
gold to a chapel of the Virgin. Thirteen years before,
I had been arrested for a miserable sum of money by my
butcher, and I remained his prisoner until I had paid
my debt. When I was set at liberty, I might have
made my creditor pay dear for his hardihood, but I
would not do so because he had right on his side.
Believe me, Mr. Provost, since that is not your case,
you had better withdraw."
Thank you for your advice, but I shall remain."
Remember that you do so at your own risk and
We have had quite enough of useless speeches.
I am not accustomed to listen to such long ones."
"Tell us then your motive for coming here. Whom
do you seek?
The notary unfolded a roll of parchment, and read
In the name of the Provost of Paris, the student,
Etienne Guidomare, is commanded to yield himself pri-
soner into the hands of the said Provost; and all those
who have given him refuge, or know the place of his
retreat, are commanded to give him up without delay
to the justice of the king."
What is the crime imputed to this young man?"
asked the stranger.
That of having seduced, and carried off from her
uncle's house, a young girl, named Julienne Brflefer.
Guidomare and Julienne, whom I had pursued all night,
took refuge here a few minutes since, I know."
Aubriot fixed his eyes on a group on his right, and
met those of Jean Petit, who gave him a sign from the
corner of his eye that he was not mistaken. But at
the same time Coquastre cried, Guidomare is not
come to the Rue au Feurre this morning, and as for the
young girl you mention, we know not what you mean,
This falsehood was repeated by a thousand voices.
It bore at that moment, at least, the guise of truth, for
Guidomare had disappeared, and it might be hoped
that during the discussion between the Provost and
the stranger, he had found a way of escape by the
"Etienne Guidomare," resumed the notary, by the
command of his master, "I summon you to appear,
warning you that every moment of delay adds to the
severity of the penalty which you have incurred."
If he were here," cried Coquastre again, "we
would not give him up. He knows that he can de-
pend upon us all. Is it not so, my friends ?"
"Yes, yes, on us all!"
"And if you use force, we shall know how to defend
The notary, immovable amidst the general agita-
tion, waited until silence was restored, and then said,
"For the third time, Etienne Guidomare, I summon
you to appear, and if you do not obey, the blood that is
shed be upon your head."
The guards of the Provost lowered the points of
their lances, ready to march on the first signal. The
students, almost all armed with knives and poignards,
made them glisten in the light.
"Enter this lecture room," said Aubriot to the sol-
diers, pointing to that of which Coquastre guarded the
door. The stranger approached, and seizing him by
the arm, said,
"Revoke that order, Mr. Provost-revoke it, or I
swear that you shall repent of having given it."
"Guards, listen to me only," said Aubriot. But
at the moment when they were advancing, Etienne
Guidomare appeared. When he saw him, Aubriot's
face lighted up suddenly-at last he held his prey,
who could no longer escape him. As to the student,
critical as was his position, he seemed to have lost
none of his habitual effrontery, and his face was smil-
ing and jocose, as if the business in hand were a party
of pleasure. This confidence, this inexplicable secu-
rity, seemed to extend also to Coquastre and his com-
panions, who, though just now their eyes had sparkled
with rage, seemed to be seized with a sudden and vio-
lent desire to laugh. Guidomare, placing himself in an
easy and confident posture, thus addressed the Provost
in a clear voice and a tone of raillery:-
"Will you permit me, Messire Aubriot, to make a
little speech to you ?"
Babble as you like, buffoon," said the Provost, in a
low tone, I have thee now, and thy insolence alone
would be sufficient to justify my conduct."
I will be brief and conclusive," continued Guido-
mare. I beg your pardon, Messire, for having made
you wait, and for not having responded sooner to the
summons of the hoarse owl who transmitted your orders
to me. Do not be offended by the comparison, honest
notary, it proves how well I have studied. The owl
was the bird of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. I
was sleeping soundly, and the only fault of these brave
students was that they did not awake me immediately.
It was certainly not worth the trouble of fighting about,
and I present myself to prevent the loss of life. There
is less generosity on my part than you perhaps may
think, for if I slept, it was because I have a clear con-
science. I have been told that you expect to find a
young girl here: you do me too much honour, messire,
in imagining that she can have been brought hither by
no other person than myself, if, indeed, she be here,
which I should be inclined to deny altogether. Our
morals, thank God, are known to a good many, and the
schools are not places of debauchery. Then, sir, since
the crime of which you accuse me is totally false, and
you can convince yourself that it is so, I entreat you
to order your guards to raise the points of their hal-
berds, and, on my part, I request the students to allow
you to enter and search the class-rooms, and to shut up
But, if this young girl is here, notwithstanding
your impudent denial," said Aubriot, if she has been
brought by you, if her name be Julienne Brflefer, will
you allow yourself to be taken quietly to prison ?"
I will follow you, sir, wherever you may be pleased
to conduct me, either to the dungeons of the Chatelet,
or to those of the Bastille, which I believe you have
had built with a view to my special convenience."
You should then, Mr. Buffoon, have recommended
Julienne to conceal herself better. If the schools be
not places of debauchery, how long is it since young
girls have attended the classes? Turn your head this
way, look towards the ground, and you will see in the
midst of this group the folds of a garment which never
I believe belonged to a man."
The fool!" cried Guidomare, in vexation, "not
to remain where.I put her, and place me in such an
awkward position, merely for the pleasure of seeing
what was going on! Curiosity ruined the first woman,
and all of them, to the last, will commit the same sin.
No resistance, my friends, it is useless."
Guidomare was obeyed, like a king: no one moved.
Aubriot, in the excitement of triumph, rushed towards
the group, put some of the students out of the way, and
seized the young girl by the pelisse. She, with her
face entirely concealed, allowed herself to be dragged in
front of Guidomare. She seemed to feel the most
acute grief. The convulsive movements which agitated
her from beneath her garments betrayed her shame and
her fears. She fell on her knees in a supplicating
"Come, my child," said the student, "we must be
resigned to our fate. I pardon thy imprudence, Ju-
lienne; it is the excess of thy love which has ruined
us; return to thy uncle and do penance, my fair widow.
Weep, to drown the brightness of thine eyes, and if
some imprudent person should find thee still more beau-
tiful in thy tears-tear thy face with thy nails rather
than seek to please him."
Be quiet," said Aubriot. Julienne Brulefer shall
do penance as you advise; I will take care that she
profits by the lesson. Bid her adieu."
"Adieu, Julienne!" Then addressing himself with
a pitiful and contrite air to Coquastre, he said, Adieu,
Guillaume, my other self; thou seest, by my example,
my son, whither bad passions lead. Retire from the
world, become a hermit, for I know thee: as often
as thou art tempted to do evil thou wilt yield to it,
and it is much better to live in solitude than in the
dungeons of the Bastille."
By Satan!" murmured the Provost, "I think that
the buffoon is joking! This sudden conversion and
repentance do not appear to me natural. There is some
mystery beneath it-ill-luck to him!"
The young girl's sobs were redoubled.
"Julienne," said Guidomare, "before parting, for a
long time, perhaps, wilt thou not let me see thy charm-
ing face once more ?"
She hung her head still lower down. Aubriot com-
pelled her to raise it, and, spite of her resistance, he
drew aside the pelisse, which she had folded and kept
round her head. The Provost uttered a cry of rage,
and stood motionless, and, as it were, petrified by sur-
prise, on discovering, instead of a girl, the face of a
young man, decorated with a pair of fair and well-kept
moustaches, a lively eye, a cunning smile, without the
least appearance of anxiety respecting the consequences
of this daring mystification.
"Venceslas !" cried the stranger, on recognizing his
son under this disguise. His first impulse was to ad-
minister a severe reproof; but the Provost, furious as
he was, had an air of such comical stupefaction, and all
around laughed so heartily, that he yielded to the
general humour, and laughed quite as much, if not
more, than the others. The mirth was prolonged and
increased, when Guidomare, pretending to wipe away
tears of happiness, opened his arms to the pretended
Julienne, who rushed passionately into them. This
last act of the masquerade put the finishing stroke to
the scene. Aubriot roused himself from his astonish-
ment, and violently striking the young man, said, in a
voice trembling with anger, Since you have so much
pleasure in each other's society, you shall not be
The stranger interrupted him. "Softly, Mr. Pro-
vost : I claim this young man as my son. Remove the
hand which detains him, or I will do as I said just
now; and the King of France would not refuse satis-
faction to his uncle, Charles of Luxemburg, King of
Bohemia and Emperor of Germany, and to his cousin
Venceslas, elected King of the Romans, at Rentz, a
"Sire I" stammered Aubriot, "I bow before your
majesty, and I entreat pardon for an involuntary
offence. I yield to you my prisoner, sire; but this
one," added he, pointing to Guidomare, "this one
belongs to me."
"You will pardon him as well as myself, Mr. Pro-
vost," said Venceslas. "It is I who have been most
to blame, and I am made sufficiently sensible of the
fault which youthful folly has led me to commit, by
being obliged to speak as a king under this ridiculous
costume. When you had entered, and my father was
speaking to you, I followed into this lecture-room the
student Guidomare and the young girl whom you
seek. To avoid a bloody quarrel and elude your vigi-
lance, I took this dress, which is hers, after telling her
who I was, and answering for all the consequences of
this masquerade. I have acted like a fool in exposing
to public derision the authority with which you are in-
vested. You have raised your hand against a crowned
head; the king pardons you, on condition that you
are not more severe than he is, and that you respect
the promise which he has made, imprudently per-
haps, but which, like all royal promises, ought to be
"You speak well, Venceslas," said Charles IV.,
"and I think that Mr. Provost will not make any
serious objection. In the general compromise, the
guilty will be benefited."
The idea that Guidomare would once more escape
him so angered Aubriot, that he replied in no very
measured terms of vexation and pride. He claimed
his prisoner with a haughtiness which offended Charles
IV.; he forgot himself so far as to tell the Emperor
that by his indulgence he encouraged the vices of
youth, already too prone to disorder; and that by this
fatal example he would render all future restraint im-
possible-that therefore he, Aubriot, would fulfil and
even exceed his duties, in spite of the interference of
an Emperor and a King.
You will at least wait," said Charles IV., "until I
have brought this matter before my nephew, the King
of France. By the Almighty God, who gave me the
imperial crown, I swear that I would have permitted
the free exercise of your justice, even upon my son, to
show to all the respect due to authority, had your
authority had any right to claim obedience. Your
power ceased on the threshold of these doors; and you
entered here by force and stratagem, without the order
of him who confers and revokes privileges. The
Emperor, who knows how to appreciate and reward
faithful and zealous servants, cannot forget, in the pre-
sent instance, that he himself was a pupil of the Uni-
versity, and that implacable severity is not the wisest
means of correcting youth. Let this be a lesson to
you, Mr. Provost. Withdraw your soldiers instantly,
and retire yourself, if you would not be obliged to
make me your first prisoner. I will take care that the
tranquillity of the town shall not be disturbed; and let
every one clearly understand that, in accusing you of
having violated this sanctuary, I do not mean to justify
the guilty, who will be punished afterwards, if there is
cause for it. I return to the King, and while awaiting
his royal decision, I take Etienne Guidomare, Julienne
Brdlefer, as well as every person here present, under
my protection. Go, Mr. Provost: and give orders for
the carriage which brought us here this morning."
"And I," added Venceslas, throwing down Julienne's
head-dress and pelisse, I entreat one of my comrades
of the University of Paris to bring me my cloak, or
else lend me his own."
Guidomare knelt down, and with a gesture and
tone of mingled dignity and bravado, the peculiar
characteristic of his eloquence, said,-"Accept this
cloak, sire, in exchange for your own, which I promise
to keep as a title of honour, as a mark of nobility, and
which I will bequeath to my posterity, should God
confer on me the joys of paternity. In gratitude for
the assistance which you have rendered me, and to
prove that I am worthy to hear the noble words which
a powerful emperor has spoken on my behalf, I promise,
without waiting for the decree of our lord the King,
to restore, this evening, Julienne to her family; and,
as my inclinations do not lead me to a religious life,
I hope that peace will long reign between our two
countries, so that I, your obliged servant, may never be
compelled to bear arms against the house of Germany."
The Emperor and Venceslas smiled at this extrava-
gant peroration, which the students thought magnifi-
cent. Guidomare fastened his cloak on the shoulders
of the young king, and offered him his cap; Charles
signed to the Provost to have the gates opened and to
precede them. Aubriot frowned, and clenched his fists,
but he could not prolong the struggle. He obeyed,
but did so swearing, that even if he must sacrifice his
fortune and risk his life, he would sooner or later have
a signal revenge on his enemy, and enjoy the satisfac-
tion of sending him to rot in the Bastille.
THREE years had passed away, and the hatred of Hugh
Aubriot was still unextinguished ; each day increased
it, but an opportunity for gratifying it had never again
presented itself. The protectors, whom the good star
of Guidomare had so opportunely sent him, were too
powerful not to obtain the pardon of the culprit. Au-
briot had quite understood what would be the result of
such an interference. When the matter was brought
before Charles V., the avowed protector of the Uni-
versity, he decided it by a judgment which affected
both parties, and condemned at once the irregularities
caused by the franchise, and the violation committed
by the Provost. The privileges were revoked, and
Hugh Aubriot was condemned to pay a fine of a
thousand lives to the University. This fine, though
considerable for the period, was not regretted by
Aubriot, so much as the salutary warning given to the
students. Since they had no longer the security of
impunity, and were deprived of the shelter and pro.
section of their privileges, they had become, if not
better and more strict in their morals, at any rate more
prudent. There had indeed been some few quarrels
and occasional disturbances, but no public scandals.
Had Aubriot treated these trifling faults with severity,
it might have appeared extraordinary and suspicious,
and would have too openly displayed his ill-will and
malice. ,He waited impatiently; and this stifled hatred,
which could not openly display itself, poisoned all his
joys, and, like remorse, mingled in all his pleasures.
Moreover, he was compelled to exercise a great restraint
over himself. Though he had surrounded himself by
mystery, he had not been able entirely to deceive public
opinion. Vague reports, tales, probably incorrect, but
repeated and received by the malignity of the Parisians,
were circulated respecting certain orgies, certain de-
baucheries carried on in darkness; the accusation of
Agnes Piedeleu remained in all memories, and even
gave a degree of certainty to these reports. Though
he had preserved his power, though from the past, his
possessions were immense, he had lost the moral autho-
rity which he had formerly enjoyed; he felt this, and
thought it wise to restrain himself until he could strike
a decisive blow.
On the same evening, as he had promised, Guido-
mare had restored Julienne to her uncle Martin Bra-
lefer. It is true that a year afterwards Julienne dis-
appeared again, and no one knew what had become of
her. But this time the cobbler made no complaint.
His niece was an expense to him; he had to feed and
clothe her, and it was highly improbable that any
honest man would be found so little scrupulous on the
point of honour as to take as a wife the avowed mistress
of the handsome student. With this prospect of use-
less expense in view, Martin abandoned the young
girl to her fate.
Charles V. died September 19th, 1380, at the age
of 44, leaving the kingdom to the ambition and cupidity
of his three brothers, the Due d'Anjou, Jean de Berri,
Philippe de Bourgogne, and thirty-six princes of the
blood then living, without including the sovereigns of
Hungary, of Portugal, and of Naples.
On the 15th of November, 1380, the Provost had
returned, about an hour before the close of day, to the
Petit Chitelet, after traversing the city and surveying
himself the preparations for the fete which was to take
place on the morrow. The Petit Chitelet was an
abode which he liked, perhaps on account of its
proximity to the school. He often spent whole hours
with his eyes fixed on the Rue au Feurre, like a
hunter who watches for his prey. The recollection
of the affront which he had received was still alive in
his heart. The noise and shouts of laughter which
had accompanied his failure sounded in his ear, and
sometimes drew from him exclamations of rage. He
stamped his foot on the echoing arches, underneath
which extended the Clos Bruneau and the Rue au
Feurre, dungeons which still remained empty, and
whose names, which he had been too eager in restoring,
were equivalent to the public confession of his shame
and want of power.
On this day Aubriot was in a mood even more
gloomy than usual. He had commanded that if any
one appeared at the gates of the Chitelet they should
be told that he was not to be seen. He waited im-
patiently for the light of day to disappear, that he
might secretly repair to a house in the city, where, if
he did not find a consolation for his melancholy, he
would at least have some relief in debauchery; and he
was already preparing the dress which he generally
wore on such expeditions. The shadows crept slowly
along the wall of the apartment. He approached the
narrow window from which he saw the town. All
objects were becoming dim in the distance, and dis-
appeared one by one beneath the black mantle of the
night. Grey clouds, laden with snow, were blown
rapidly along by the west wind. The streets were
deserted; and all noises were hushed with the approach
of night. Aubriot was fastening on his shoulders the
cloak which was to secure his incognito during his
nocturnal expedition, when he heard some one speak-
ing roughly at the outside gate, which was opened and
immediately afterwards again closed. His surprise
and displeasure were extreme on seeing one of his
servants, carrying a lighted torch, enter the apartment.
This man preceded a person whose presence saved the
servant from being roughly addressed by Aubriot.
The Provost bent respectfully before the new comer,
and they were left alone.
Your highness," said he, did not announce to me
the honour of this visit. An instant later and I should
not have been here to receive it."
"I left the Court an hour since. It lies to-night at
St. Denis, as you know. They thought that I had re-
tired to my tent; but as no danger threatens the young
king, I was able to absent myself without failing in the
watchfulness and duty imposed by my double position
uncle of Charles VI., and Regent of the kingdom."
"I hope," said Aubriot, "I hope that the entry of
our monarch into his capital to-morrow will not be
disturbed by any tumult. I have taken good care that
the enthusiasm of the Parisians shall be a sufficient
answer to those who pretend that, in returning from
Rheims, the Court has avoided passing through towns
from a fear lest it should be received with complaints
rather than signs of joy."
Who has said so ?" inquired the Duc d'Anjou.
"No one, monseigneur, because every one says so.
In such a case, a magistrate must close his ears-watch
"Are the people discontented, then?"
"The people always complain; and the more they
are listened to, the more they murmur; the more one
gives them, the more they ask. But now they confine
themselves to talking," added he, with a sigh. "The
most turbulent become orators, fools are grown wise;
and it is a pity, for the prisons are large, and the walls
thick and solid. There are under our feet, monseig-
neur, dungeons which would stifle their cries, and which
wait for prisoners. May it please your highness to
inform me of the purpose of your visit ?"
Let us be seated, Mr. Provost." They took seats.
The Duke of Anjou continued-" I know you to be a
good counsellor, and well informed respecting all that
passes. Answer me without fear. I do not come
here, when I might have summoned you to me in the
midst of the Court, to hear flattery, but to know what
you believe to be true. Is the discontent great ?"
"I believe so, monseigneur."
"What is the principal cause of it ?"
"And whom do the people accuse and hate most ?"
"The Regent, who has re-established them."
"You are certain of it, Mr. Provost ?"
"Quite certain, monseigneur; and, if you doubt it,
I can summon one of my agents, who mingles with all
groups, is present at every meeting where seditious
discourses are held, and who faithfully reports to me
what is said and done. No one suspects him; he is a
sly fox, who has the reputation of a holy man; and,
the better to conceal his muzzle and tail, he has for
some months worn the dress of a Franciscan friar. Do
you wish me to send for Jean Petit, monseigneur ?"
At that moment another knock was heard at the gate.
"It is doubtless he of whom I was speaking," said
Aubriot. "He comes here at all hours, and enters
whether I am at home or not. I will keep him here,
or send him away, just as it may please your
"Let him come; he is in your confidence, and we
can speak before him."
"As before myself, monseigneur. At the least
suspicion of treason, Jean Petit would descend to the
floor beneath, and he would not easily remount the
The friar entered. They signed to him to be seated.
This is Monseigneur the Due d'Anjou," said
Aubriot, who does me the honour of consulting me
about his plans, and who is willing to admit you into
Jean Petit bowed low, and stammered forth some
protestations of zeal and devotedness.
"No nonsense," interrupted the Provost. "I have
warned monseigneur ; he knows as well as I do that
you are a hypocrite, and that your oaths are so many
lies and perjuries. Serve him as you serve me, from
fear and interest."
The friar bowed again.
"I have told monseigneur," continued Aubriot,
"that the re-establishment of the gabelles, abolished by
the late king a short time before his death, excited
great discontent among the people."
"It is true. They hold nocturnal meetings."
"Is there any symptom of insurrection? You have
come this evening without being summoned; have you
anything new to tell me ?"
Nothing important, nothing new, except that
Martin Brdlefer, the uncle of Julienne, you remember,
messire, has suddenly become a sort of Demosthenes,
and makes harangues amidst great applause from the
Then," said the Duke, "you think that it would
not be prudent to increase the taxes?"
"Yes, monseigneur; it will be quite sufficient to
keep them as they are."
"Nevertheless, Messire Aubriot, I am in want of
money, and I have come to consult you on the means
of procuring it. I shall not remain long in France; as
soon as possible I shall give up the regency to the coun-
cil charged with the education and care of the young
40 FIRESIDE STORIES.
king, who is about to be consecrated. You both
know that Urban VI., Pope of Rome, has declared
schismatic, and guilty of treason, Joan, Queen of
Naples, who, together with France, has recognized
Clement VII., the rival claimant of the tiara; that he
has confiscated the territory of Joan, and bestowed it
on Charles de Durazzo, cousin of the king of Hungary.
Joan, a descendant of the house of Anjou, by Charles,
brother of the sainted king Louis IX., and at her age
no longer hoping for children, has looked to me to help
her in defending her crown, and has adopted me her
heir. I have been accused of appropriating the trea-
sure amassed by the late king; but I did not do it from
avarice. I need a powerful and numerous army to
maintain my rights against Charles de Durazzo and
Pope Urban VI.; and to raise and maintain this army,
I must have gold, much gold. Can the money of
France be better employed than in placing a crown on
the head of one of her princes, and in taking possession
of a kingdom which will be her ally? We will speak
again of the taxes presently. There is another matter
which I first wish to settle with you, Mr. Provost.
Do you think that the Jews of Paris are disposed to
make me fresh advances?"
"Your highness already owes them considerable
Some hundred thousand livres. You negotiated
that affair," said the Duke, in a disdainful tone, with-
out my wishing to know what agents you employed
with these heretics, the mere contact with whom is de-
filement, and I will charge you with this second loan.
Do you think you shall succeed?"
Monseigneur," replied Aubriot, "a Jew never re-
sisted the temptation of gain, but an unfulfilled pro-
mise makes him distrustful; and permit me to tell you
that the time fixed by your highness yourself has long
since elapsed, and not a dollar has yet been restored to
their coffers. Many lords of the Court are likewise
their debtors, and never think of paying. The privi-
leges successively granted to them under former reigns
are no longer respected. The testimony of an informer
is sufficient to condemn them; the people have pillaged
their shops, and massacred their wives and children."
The Duke of Anjou drew from beneath his double
a roll of parchment, and gave it open to the Provost.
"Well, messire, giving, giving. I expected this
answer, and here is the prolongation of their privi-
leges-the right of domicile for all, and, for the richer
ones, exemption from wearing the roue.* This is
worth a million. Do the business."
"I will try, monseigneur."
"You must not say I will try,' Mr. Provost, but I
will succeed.' I want this money, and I will have it
in my possession in eight days from this time."
He then turned towards Jean Petit, who listened
with a sanctimonious air, and felt a kind of joy in
hearing the Duke thus snub the Provost, who on all
occasions made him feel his superiority very rudely.
What nation do you belong to?"
To Normandy, monseigneur."
The nation of Normandy has not taken part with
those of England and Picardy, for Urban VI."
It is true; but since we are speaking freely here, I
ought to tell you that the members of the University,
who have embraced the cause of Clement VII., regret,
perhaps, what they have done;"
What do they say? I wish to know all."
They complain that Clement-VII., who, to main-
tain his court and satisfy the greediness of thirty-six
cardinals, has hardly any other resource than France;
usurps all the considerable benefices, from which he
excludes the clients and friends of the University,
frames all sorts of impositions upon the clergy, and
repays your protection by repeated tithes."
A particular badge which the Jews were compelled to wear,
consisting of a piece of red or yellow cloth on the shoulder and
Brother Jean Petit," said Aubriot, has already
told me all these things in the same terms; but I think
that he exaggerates the discontent. I have known the
time, and that not long since, when the University was
not so patient. They talked less and did more."
Whence is this change ?" asked the Duke of Anjou.
"Is there any one to whom they listen-whose advice
they follow ?"
Yes, monseigneur; a young man of eighteen,
named Gerson. His words and his precocious wisdom
have acquired a great authority, and have more than
once stifled the flame ready to break forth. After
him are distinguished Jean de Ronc6, doctor of theology,
and the Carmelite, Eustache de Pavilly. All three of
them make speeches, irritate minds, but restrain
The students, unless I am mistaken," replied the
Duke, used to recognize another chief. I have heard
of an adventurous and quarrelsome young fellow, by
name, I think, Etienne Guidomare, who used frequently
to disagree with you, Mr. Provost."
Yes, monseigneur; and he would long since have
been an inmate of the Bastille, a fate merited by his
misdeeds, but there arrived express from Germany, an
emperor and a king to protect him."
What has become of this Guidomare?"
He remains what he was, a debauchee, whom the
danger which he has run has made prudent. I watched
him at the obsequies of the late King, when the Rector
wanted to walk by the side of the Bishop of Paris, who
claimed the right of closing the procession of the clergy
by himself. There was some trouble: the archers, by
my orders, made some of the students prisoners. But
it was only the privates who fought. The officers
also held off. Guidomare remained quiet. While the
skirmish was going on, the buffoon, with his nose
turned up and his saucy face, whistled a satirical song
in my ears, as if to show his contempt for me. I have
laid twenty snares for him, into which he would formerly
have run head foremost, but which he now blows out
of his way."
It is, doubtless, love," said Jean Petit, "which has
worked this miracle. He loved Julienne, madly, and
I am sure that it was for him that the young girl left
her uncle a second time. But no one knows where he
has concealed her. I have not dared to question him
about this, because he is a little distrustful of me; and
I humbly entreat monseigneur, of whose plans I am
ignorant, not to look to me for a negotiation of this
nature. I should not be of any use to him, since
Guidomare would, upon the first suspicion, break my
"His loves are nothing to me," replied the
Duke. I only wished to know the state of feeling.
Listen to me, Mr. Provost: The University of
Paris has extravagant privileges; it pays no taxes.
If its members were driven to revolt-if some striking
misdeed were to draw upon one of them an exemplary
punishment-would it not then be possible to lessen
those privileges, and compel them to pay taxes, like
every other part of the nation? Is there no means of
re-awakening in this Guidomare the spirit of rebellion
and the taste for adventures?"
Perhaps," said the Provost, whose favourite idea
quite coincided with the projects of the Duke, "per-
haps," repeated he several times. He then became
thoughtful, as if forming a plan of attack and defence,
and smiling in his own mind at the hope of a speedy
The Duke left him for some minutes to his reflections.
Aubriot raised his head.
Monseigneur," said he, "let us speak and act
openly. You give up to me the University, powerful
and strong, that I may return it to you lowered and
enfeebled. To-morrow will be the entry of the King;
to-morrow, as usual, I shall be ready to maintain order.
We will raise a disturbance; Jean Petit, who under-
stands that business, will excite discord, and will urge
on Guidomare, who assuredly will not fail to be present
on such an occasion; but that is not all. There must
be a culpable action, a fault unworthy of pardon.
Leave me the choice of the crime, and I promise you
that before a month our common enemy shall be ar-
rested, tried, and condemned without a voice being
raised in his defence. It is a plan of which I have
often dreamed-a bold plan, and one which pleased me
from its boldness, but I needed some support in the
execution of it. This support you offer me; I accept it,
and I claim your promise first, your signature after-
wards. Do you promise me, monseigneur, to grant
the pardon of a person whom I will afterwards name,
if she is threatened and I am unable to save her my-
self? Without her I can do nothing."
I do promise."
Will your highness have the goodness to put your
signature to the bottom of this parchment ?"
You ask my signature to a blank paper, Mr.
Provost! After I have signed, it will be as easy for
you to fill it up with figures as with a name, and lay
my savings under contribution as well as my cle-
Don't let that stand in the way, monseigneur, I
will soon remove your fears."
He wrote and read:
I, Louis, Duke of Anjou, Regent of the kingdom
of France, promise to secure the life of -- if
the Provost of Paris, Hugh Aubriot, to whom I give
this document, calls on me to honour my signature;
and this promise will hold good, whoever may be the
person in favour of whom the said Provost may claim
it, and whatever accusation may be brought against
You do not except," interrupted the Duke, "even
a crime against the King, or the princes his uncles."
"It was an omission, monseigneur, and one easily
made, since I was not thinking either of murder or
poison. I will repair it, however, to satisfy your high-
He took up the pen again, and added these words-
" The present agreement does not include any attempt
by weapons, or injurious substances, on the life of King
Charles VI., or the members of the royal family."
The Duke signed and rose.
"In a few days, monseigneur, the Jews of Paris will
let you have a million. As to the University, you shall
have what you wish, if not immediately, before long.
I will find a means of making the scholar Guidomare
forget his prudence, and I know by what snares to
catch birds of that sort."
"Farewell, Mr. Provost."
I humbly salute your highness."
Hugh Aubriot took the torch from the hands of a
servant, and accompanied the Regent. He returned
with joy in his looks and a smile upon his lips. Not
appearing to notice Jean Petit, he walked about with
It is too late," said he, "to go where I am ex-
pected; but no matter-I have not lost my evening.
Vengeance is better than pleasure. And stretching
his hand towards the window, in the direction of the
Rue au Feurre, he said, We are about to settle our
accounts at last, insolent ones!" Then, after walking
again, he continued- Shall I get her consent ? She
must give it! she cannot refuse me anything. Yes,
yes, she will give it. Oh! I shall sleep to-night."
Jean Petit watched all his movements. The eyes of
the Provost fell upon him.
"I had forgotten that you were there."
"And I dared not remind you of it, lest I should
disturb your reflections," answered the friar. I was
awaiting your instructions for to-morrow."
My instructions? Hold, Jean Petit, I have an
46 FIRESIDE STORIES.
idea," said Aubriot, walking straight up to him, and
taking him by his dress, an idea which I think ex-
"What is it, messire?"
"It is to send you to prepare the lodgings which I
intend for Guidomare."
To the Bastille!" cried the friar, recoiling; and
whence comes this idea? You have often had better
A suspicion passed through my mind," continued
the Provost, looking steadily at him; it was like a
flash of light, a presentiment, and I think I should do
wrong in not attending to it. I have given you my
confidence, you know my plans, perhaps even the name
of the person of whom I spoke just now." The face of
Jean Petit, whether from ignorance or self-command,
You are my confidant," continued Aubriot; well!
a secret voice tells me now that you will betray me.
Upon my honour, this is the first time I have thought
of such a thing, and it appears to me so probable, that
I am tempted to regard it as a fact."
Let it be as you will, messire: you must admit,
however, that for a faithful servant, I am in an embar-
rassing position. You fear that I am likely to betray
you for the scholar Guidomare, and Guidomare enter-
tains a similar opinion of me. I serve the one and I
deceive the other, but I cannot, with justice, incur
punishment from both, because I am sold to the one,
and I sell the other."
You reason admirably, and I have no reply to
make. I am sorry that I have had this idea, which
torments me, and will torment me again: however, no
more of this. You are warned that I have my eye
"My conduct will justify me, messire. What are
your orders for to-morrow?"
The Provost and Jean-Petit remained some time in
consultation. It was agreed that if an occasion of dis-
pute should present itself on the morrow, one of those
quarrels which frequently arose on a question of prece-
dence between the Rector and the clergy, Jean Petit
should raise a disturbance, and to avert suspicion the
archers should even arrest him first. That then he
should call on the University for assistance, and that
Guidomare should be compelled to take part in the
quarrel, by being pointed out as the author of the dis-
turbance, even though he should not stir. Their plan
being well arranged, they separated. The Provost went
to enjoy repose, which he had not known for a long
time. Jean Petit passed a less quiet night. The
prospect of a prison terrified him; but as he feared the
anger of the Provost still more than that of Guidomare,
he resolved, after having weighed and calculated all
the chances, to continue his part of spy and provoker,
reserving the right of changing according to his interest
On the following day the young king made his entry
into Paris. The procession was magnificent; the
luxury of the court formed an insulting contrast to the
misery of the people, who were in a state of starvation;
while some public fountains, at a great expense, were
playing milk, wine, and rose-water. But it is not
while they behold the riches displayed by their masters,
that the people feel hunger: the sight of gold, jewels,
and precious stones, seems to feed them. Curiosity
appeases and silences the torments of their stomachs,
and it is not until the sights are over that they demand
The University in a body was present at the fete.
Guidomare appeared in a new cloak of the best taste,
which he wore with the air of a lord. His good car-
riage, his fine hair, curled naturally, the fire of his
looks, distinguished him from the mass, excited the
jealousy of the men, the attention and glances of the
women. Jean Petit followed him, like a dog trotting
behind his master, his head dejected, his eyes and ears
open and alive. The group to which they belonged
was surrounded, and could on the first signal be de-
tached from the rest of the procession by some archers,
who had the word of command. At one point the
march was rudely interrupted. Some hundreds of
persons had stopped before a scaffold, where some
people, accompanied by music, were acting a mystery.
The consequence was a great crush, cries, and insults,
the preludes to violence. Jean Petit, whom no one
had touched, turned sharply round, and complained of
having been struck behind. Some men-at-arms ap-
proached. Guidomare drew his cap over his eyes in a
resolute manner, turned up his moustache, and-took
to his heels. He was already at a distance when the
Provost came hastily up. While Aubriot and Jean
Petit exchanged signs of disappointment, the handsome
scholar passed rapidly through the almost deserted
streets. After a quarter of an hour he stopped to make
sure that he had not been followed. He then raised
his eyes to a window, near which was seated, in a pen-
sive attitude, a young woman, who blushed, was con-
fused, and rose hastily on seeing him. Guidomare
pushed open the door of the house, which was situated
in a street of the city, and entered.
IN three leaps he passed the stairs, and found himself
before a door of oak, painted black, and encased with
carvings. The door was closed; he knocked; there
was no answer. But an obstacle did not discourage
him. Drawing an instrument from beneath his cloak,
he began to force the lock, at the same time placing his
poignard between his teeth; for as it was the first time
he had ever entered the house, and his visit was wholly
unexpected, he did not know whether the lady was
alone, or how his visit might be received. The fasten-
ing resisted, and he was proceeding to apply more
force, when it was opened from within. He pushed it
so violently, that, notwithstanding its weight, it turned
completely on its hinge, and swung against the wall.
Before him was the chamber, the window of which
looked out on to the street; but there was no one there.
He closed and bolted the door. At the right was
another apartment, darker than the first, towards which
he proceeded, with his poignard in his hand. In this
chamber was a woman, trembling, and unable to speak
from emotion and terror, who signed to him to with-
draw. In answer, the audacious scholar advanced two
steps, closed the second door as he had closed the first,
cast a hasty glance around him, and, with wonderful
coolness, proceeded to make a domiciliary visit. He
raised, without ceremony, the heavy curtains of the
bed, behind which any one might easily have been con-
cealed; moved two immense chests which stood in the
corners of the room, at each side of the bed, and had
an empty space between them and the wall, and satis-
fied himself that the rich stuffs of gold and silver,
which hung in great folds from the ceiling to the
ground, did not cover any secret door or mysterious
recess. He was alone with the woman, into whose
presence he had intruded, as if into a conquered
If there could have been any excuse for this brutal
proceeding, it would have been found in the extreme
beauty of the lady. A more charming creature it would
be impossible to find. She appeared to be not more
than twenty. Her skin was brown, but of a texture
so delicate and transparent, that it seemed to be change-
able. She blushed, or turned pale, with equal rapidity,
upon the least emotion; thick hair, of an ebon black-
ness, surmounted her forehead, which was of exquisite
form and purity; and under the arch of her eyebrows
shone large eyes, whose brilliancy was softened by long
lashes. Her neck, shoulders, and arms, which, con-
trary to the custom of the day, were uncovered, were
models of perfection. But though not much injured,
her beauty was not in its first bloom. Vice had not yet
destroyed it, but it had sullied it. Her whole manner
and appearance bore too visibly the signs that she was
no longer innocent. It seemed that she had sold her
virtue dear, for every luxury and refinement of the age
were gathered around her. But the student had too high
an opinion of himself to be the least disconcerted. He
finished his search with perfect grace and ease, without
receiving any opposition from the female. Her eyes
followed him with more emotion than anger; and she
changed colour, and her bosom was more violently
agitated, when Guidomare again approached her. He
uncovered himself, and, kneeling, said,-
Pardon me if, on entering this chamber, I did not
at first assume the humble posture in which I now am,
and which becomes one who is the slave of your charms.
My temerity is great, I admit; I have almost forced
myself into your presence: I deserve punishment, but
it is from your hand alone that I will receive it. I
have no other weapon than this poignard: I lay it at
your feet,-take it, and strike me if my crime is in-
excusable in your eyes,-if I am guilty of having sought
to see you again,-if I have been unable to forget you
since the day when I saved your life."
At the same time he presented her the poignard, with
an air of resignation. But it was very evident that
he ran no great risk, and that he had not to fear that
she would make use of it. As he excelled in the art
of saying in a tone of conviction what he did not
think, he continued, with a deep sigh,-
"I see what stops you, madam; you think me un-
worthy of pardon; but after having killed me, it would
be necessary to conceal my corpse; you would have to
tell your servants-perhaps your lover-to remove
it. It is, then, for me to punish myself, and avenge
you. I will wound myself before you, and go elsewhere
He raised his arm, and directed the point of the
poignard towards his bosom. She uttered a great cry.
Fear nothing," said he, pretending to mistake the
feelings which drew the exclamation from her; Fear
nothing," continued he, "I will stop the blood which
flows from my wound, and will keep strength enough
to drag myself hence."
He repeated the same movement, in a still more de-
cided manner than before. The gleam from the weapon
was crossed by the fire which glanced from her eyes.
She threw herself upon him, seized the poignard, and
threw it to a distance. An expression of surprise and
delight passed over the face of the scholar, and, while he
remained silent, and as if overwhelmed by unexpected
happiness, he said within himself, May the devil twist
my neck if the creature is not in love with me!" Guido-
mare was right. She had fallen back upon her seat,
and her beautiful eyes bent on him a look full of passion,
against which struggled a sort of reserve,-a kind of
fear and sadness, rather than expiring modesty. He
approached her, and sat down at her feet.
You will not that I die, then, my fair queen? To
pardon my offence you must have held me in remem-
brance for two years."
Yes," replied she; and she put into this one word
such expression, and accompanied it by a smile so sweet
and charming, that it was a complete confession. Her
voice gained more confidence, and, composing her
features, she said, "I have not forgotten the protection
you gave me, on the day when the furious people
pillaged the shop of a Jew, where I was nearly trodden
Two years before this time, a Jewish merchant
had been accused of the murder of a child. The people
went to his shop; with shouts and insults they came to
execute justice with their own hands upon one, whom
false reports, probably, had marked as an object of
their vengeance. The unhappy Jew, his wife and
daughter, were seized, dragged by the hair into the
street, and pitilessly massacred. At the height of the
tumult, chance conducted Guidomare to the spot. He
had scarcely had time to learn the cause of the dis-
turbance, when a young girl, with dishevelled hair and
torn garments, threw herself into his arms, entreating
him to save her. It was not necessary to repeat such
a request to Guidomare. He vigorously fought with
those around, whom he would otherwise have heartily
joined, for he shared all the popular prejudices of the
time against the Jews, whom he regarded as unclean
animals. He soon opened a passage, and carried away the
young girl, half dead with terror. He did not stop until
he reached a deserted street, and was obliged to take
breath. He then perceived, by the fading light of day,
that she was remarkably beautiful. Her eyes were
shut, and she appeared to have fainted. Guidomare
looked at her attentively, until her features were
graven upon his memory. He placed her on the
ground, supporting her against himself, and spoke to
her; but she gave no answer, and remained immovable.
The student, embarrassed at first, had recourse to a
strange expedient to restore her. He imprinted on the
lips of the fair girl a kiss which would have made a
corpse leap. She opened her eyes, and, whether from
gratitude, or from ignorance of the means which had
been employed, she showed no anger against her pre-
server. She gently disengaged herself from his arms,
and thanked him. Guidomare, who was as proud of his
name as the richest and haughtiest feudal lord in the
world, told her who he was, and offered his services to
conduct her whithersoever she might wish to go. As
soon as he mentioned his name, the young girl was
disturbed, and again grew pale. She hesitated for a
few instants, and, hearing the noise of the tumult,
which seemed to draw nearer, she begged him to go to
the end of the street to see if she could escape on that
side without danger. But scarcely had he moved away,
and disappeared round the first turning, than she
hastily fled. When the scholar returned, in the course
of a few minutes, he sought her in vain. All night he
traversed the town; on the following days his search
was equally unsuccessful. This adventure and inex-
plicable disappearance dwelt in Guidomare's memory
and excited his curiosity. But he was content to wait
until some chance should bring about a second meeting
with his protigee, if, indeed, they were ever to meet
again, which he hardly hoped for after so many useless
But the day before the king's entry, as he passed
through this street, walking thoughtlessly along, he saw
the young girl at the window. His first impulse was to
attract her notice and ascend. However, as he did not
know how he might be received, or whether she had
any protector who might quarrel with him, he put off
his attempt until the morrow, thinking that then the
Provost of Paris and his agents would be too busy
elsewhere to trouble him. Guidomare, who had a
kind of police at his command, and was almost as well
obeyed as Aubriot, gave instructions to Coquastre, who
transmitted them to his subordinates. In the evening,
the student learned that the young girl was called Mar-
garet; that she lived alone with an old servant; that
she went out but very seldom; she was not known to
have any brother, uncle, or lover. A man often came
to see her after curfew; but the servant said that it
was her father, a very rich lord, whose true name she
did not know, and who was obliged by the jealousy
of his wife to conceal with such precaution and mys-
tery the fruit of his illegitimate love. Some seconds
before leaving the procession, Guidomare had been in-
formed, by one of his confidants, that the old servant
had gone out and left Margaret alone. He did not be-
lieve in the story of her father, and, therefore, as we
have seen, prepared for attack and defence. The ab-
sence of this mysterious person, who, like himself, might
have profited by a favourable moment, did not alter his
opinion. He was convinced that if the interview were
to terminate in a quarrel, his opponent would be an
offended lover, and not a father avenging the honour of
his child. But who was this lover ? He knew not, and
cared little to know.
I find you again at last," said he. I have not
allowed a day to pass without seeking you-without
thinking of you. Your image has not quitted me.
What became of you on the evening when I carried
you fainting in my arms-when I saw you restored to
I was afraid," replied she, "and I took flight with-
out knowing what I did."
And why were you unwilling to receive me to-
"I did not know what were your intentions."
"Do you not guess them ?"
"You come, doubtless, to seek a second reward?"
"Yes," said Guidomare, taking her hand, which
trembled in his own, and he added, with wonderful im-
pudence, Whatever pleasure I may feel in reading in
your beautiful eyes what you would not, perhaps, dare
to confess, close them if you fear to blush too much,
and let me take a second time my reward."
But," said she, withdrawing her hand, it appears
to me that it is for me to offer what I choose to give."
Do not make me languish," replied Guidomare, I
love you-you know it-and moments are precious;
your servant may return; your father will come."
"Who told you that I received visits from my fa-
ther?" asked she, with some emotion.
"I have sought you in vain for two years; do not
accuse me of indifference or forgetfulness, but I could
not penetrate into the interior of houses-my eyes could
not see through the walls. Yesterday only did I see
you, and since yesterday I have learnt who you are."
What have you learnt?"
That you live alone; that you receive only a man,
said to be your father; and that you are named Mar-
garet. I told you my name before, and you left me
without letting me know yours."
"It is all that you know?"
"Have I been deceived?"
"No, my name is Margaret; I have no other name,
and do not believe those who would give me another."
Well, Margaret, do you love me?"
"Why do you ask such questions? We must never
meet again; and if he knew that I have received you,
he would kill me."
Your father will know nothing, if your heart agrees
with mine. But, Margaret, is it true that it is your
If I were to yield to your wishes," said she, "the
first condition I should make, would be that you should
never question me, either on my conduct, my senti-
ments, or my past life. I should tell you-go, or come,
and you should do so, without knowing why I sum-
moned you or sent you away. You must love me
without being unquiet or jealous; you must, with your
heart, give me your will, your confidence, and leave me
absolute mistress of my actions as well as your own.
This is not what you ask; you are accustomed to cause
tears, to make vows which you do not keep, to hear
entreaties instead of entreating yourself."
Without exactly losing his confidence, the scholar
heard her with astonishment. It seemed as if the
woman who spoke was no longer she who had received
him trembling and terrified, and over whom he had
flattered himself that he should easily triumph. He
felt, with secret vexation, that he fell to the position of
a common lover, and, for the first time in his life, when
in a critical position, he remained silent. She con-
"Come, Guidomare! I will be sincere with you.
The sight of you has troubled me-you know it, and I
do not attempt to deny it. Ask me not if I love you;
you entered here, and I might have closed the doors as
you have closed them. Yes, in the long hours of my
solitude, my captivity-for I am a captive-I have
often thought on you who saved me: without seeking
you, I have wished to see you, and this is the reason
why, when I saw you, I could not find words to com-
mand you to withdraw. But this love is foly; it
would be fatal to one of us, perhaps to both. Fly,
fly, and forget me, if it is true that you love me!"
"If I love you, Margaret! But how could I prove
it to you? You would not believe the oaths I might
make. Tell me what you require from me. The sac;i-
fice of a rival? This rival does not exist."
Guidomare," said she, I asked you nothing; why
do you lie?"
I do not lie, on my honour!" replied he, and I
will be as sincere as you have been. I know now only
a mysterious being of whom you could be jealous. It
is a woman-at least I suppose so, for I know nothing
of her but her writing; it is a woman who doubtless
bears me some affection, and who warns me of danger
by some words without signature. This is the last note,
which I received this very morning."
"Give it me," said Margaret, and, after reading it,
she continued, It is, indeed, the writing of a woman.
She warns you that a disturbance will be raised on the
king's entry, and that on the first sound or movement
from you, the guards of the provost are ordered to
Yes; and I have received such warnings twenty
"If you had not had this, what would you have
done ? Do I owe it to this that I have seen you ?
Was it the danger which threatened, and which you
had to avoid, which recalled me to your mind ?"
My resolution was taken yesterday, Margaret-I
swear it. I should have come here, even if instead of
going to the Bastille I could have sent there my
mortal enemy, Hugh Aubriot."
"You hate him, then ?"
"As much as he hates me; and I think I cannot say
more than that."
And you do not know who the woman is who is
thus interested for you ?"
"No. It is doubtless some high and powerful lady,
who has noticed my good carriage."
"Perhaps, also, some poor obscure girl, who loves
How could a girl of low station know the plans of
the provost ?"
"They are no mystery to any one; and love is
capable of all miracles and devotedness. Suppose a
young girl whom you have betrayed, and who, not-
withstanding, loves you still. She is young, beautiful,
she changes her name, she becomes the mistress of the
provost, she has all the secrets of his hatred, and she
betrays them to you! Is it impossible? tell me!"
You know her name ?" interrupted Guidomare.
If it were," replied Margaret, with a dark and
steady look-" if it were-"
"Julienne!" cried the scholar, laughing heartily;
"Julienne the mistress of the provost !-Never, unless
to cut his head off, as Judith did for Holofernes."
He stopped short, and bit his lips. Guidomare,
accustomed, like a brave soldier, to carry all before
him, had run headlong into the snare, and, still quite
confused, he said, Who may be this Julienne Brf-
After his involuntary avowal, it was a foolish ques-
tion. A sad smile was Margaret's reply. They re-
mained some time in silence, she endeavouring to con-
quer her emotion-he, confused and embarrassed. At
last she said, You still love her, then?"
"I cannot manage lying," replied the scholar, "as you
may see, Margaret. This is the truth: Julienne's hands
are too fair for her uncle's trade, and after a year's
separation she rejoined me. I thought of her no longer;
but she threw herself on my neck, laughed and cried
both together. She was like a madwoman, and I was
softened. A few days afterwards, Margaret, I saw
you, and for a month Julienne was jealous; she shed
many tears. But you were but a fleeting apparition.
How to see you again, where to find you, I knew not; I
therefore continued to pretend that I loved her. To-day
this semblance of love has vanished beneath your looks;
it is you only who are beautiful! Margaret! it is you
that I love! And you love me more than you have
told me, for you are jealous. Yes-yes, you love me!
Swear a thousand times to the contrary, and a thousand
times will your eyes say that you do; a thousand
times will your hand on mine draw me to you, instead
of repelling me. Margaret, my lovely Margaret, thou
Guidomare had recovered all his advantages. The
woman was enamoured of his beauty. Still jealous,
restrained by fear, sure of being abandoned and despised
by him, she nevertheless yielded to his voice, to his
looks, which troubled her-to the feeling which threw
her into his arms, distracted, panting, and giddy.
A step was heard on the staircase; a bolt moved in
the entrance-door. Margaret turned pale as death.
The student seized his poignard, which still lay on the
"Perhaps it is your servant?" said he.
"No," replied Margaret, in terror, and leaning
towards the door.
The noise of the bolt was repeated. She took a
I love thee, Guidomare!" said she, love thee like
a madwoman; and I am going to see if thou lovest
me. Conceal thyself there, see what passes, hear what
is said, and let my fate be decided!"
Without allowing him time to answer, she pushed
him with irresistible force towards the bed, closed the
curtains upon him, and left the room. After a few
seconds she returned, accompanied by a man. All had
passed so rapidly, and Margaret had been so decided
and energetic, that Guidomare had been unable to offer
any opposition; still it seemed disgraceful to conceal
himself. The voice of the man, who was complaining of
having had to wait, suddenly changed his resolution,
and nailed him to the place with surprise. However,
curiosity soon overcame his prudence, for though he
heard everything, he saw nothing; and the man seemed
to address some other woman than Margaret. He said,
" Why has your servant left you, Rachel? I do not
like her running about the streets in this way, espe-
cially on fete-days. Old women are babblers."
Guidomare had gently raised one of the curtains.
There was no other woman in the room than Margaret-
so pale, that the blood had left her lips. Standing by
the man, who sat with his back towards the bed, she had
seen the movement of the scholar, and bent on him a
look full of entreaty, love, and terror. He let the
curtain fall. Her face cleared up; the leaden colour
of her features gradually disappeared; she raised her
eyes to heaven, and her breast heaved as if relieved
from a great weight. She owed no thanks to Guido-
mare: it was not her look which had stopped him; it
was not for her that he remained motionless-his hand
on his poignard, his ear open, and his breath suspended.
"Rachel!" said he-" it is a Jewess! and he who
calls her Rachel-he who alone knows her real name
-who is, doubtless, her lover-is Hugh Aubriot!"
"Rachel," continued the provost, "you were shut
in; you are disturbed and trembling; your hand is cold;
has any one interrupted your solitude?"
"No, messire, but I was anxious; you did not come
last evening, as you promised."
I was detained at the Chatelet."
"The king has made his entry to-day? Has there
been any disturbance?"
"It must have been a splendid fete; but such spec-
tacles are not for me."
The Jews are about to obtain new privileges from
the Duke of Anjou. Perhaps some day we shall no
longer be under such restraint. I do not share the
contempt for those of thy religion-thou must be sure
of that, fair Jewess! thou, for whom I brave so many
dangers-so many enemies, sworn to ruin me. If
it were known that the man who visits thee in the
evening is the Provost of Paris-if it were known that
I am here now, and that I, a Catholic subject of the
most christian king, kiss, without remorse, thy hands
and face-and that I commit this sacrilege before the
crucifix, which I have placed here, lest some indiscreet
person should enter, as a striking testimony of thy devo-
tion-if this were known, I should soon feel the cord
round my throat!"
The abominable profligate!" murmured Guidomare;
"compared with him, I am a holy man-to make the
image of Jesus the shield of his debauchery-the sign
of false piety!"
Do not complain, Rachel," continued the provost,
"of the captivity in which I keep you; of what use
would liberty be to you? it would only expose you to
the insults of the people, and perhaps even to death.
Thou knowest in what danger thou wast two years
ago; thou saidst that an unknown man saved thee. I
allowed thee to go out then, and the wretches had nearly
killed thee! Thou seest that I am right in shutting up
my treasure Thou hast never seen this man again,
"Never," replied she, casting a glance towards the
bed-the curtains were quite still-" never. Why do
you ask me this question? it is the first time you have
done so, since the day when I told you of the peril I
had escaped from."
It was because I noticed that thou wast sad; it is
because 1 fear that thou entertainest some secret visit: I
am wrong, no doubt. I took thee poor, without family,
despised, at the mercy of misery and hunger-and, in
default of love, gratitude or interest secures me thy
fidelity. But I love thee, Rachel! and it is by love
that I wish thee to repay my love. Thou must devote
thyself for me-who expose my fortune, my honour,
and my life, in loving thee! We must unite our des-
tinies, by equal love for each other-equal hatred of
those whom I hate. Thou hast often told me that I
dreamed of impossible vengeance; well, my vengeance
is no longer a dream, Rachel, it is a reality. I hold it
in my hands, and I have need of thee in order to
She started, and said, in terror, What, then, must
"It is but a little thing that thou hast to do; it is
only to write a few lines, which I will dictate."
"To him who has so often braved me-who has ex-
posed my authority and my name to the sarcasms and
insults of the University-to him who appears-by what
means I know not-by what treachery I cannot un-
ravel-to guess my plans, and who, this morning, again
has escaped a snare which I had laid for him."
You need not name him, messire," thought Guido-
mare, who remained quite quiet in his place; "heaven
assuredly protects me." He listened with increased
"Rachel," said Aubriot, "if I knew that danger
threatened thee, dost thou think that I would save
thee? all the efforts, all the sacrifices, which a rich
and powerful man would be capable of making for a
woman-dost thou think that I would make them for
Yes; but of what danger do you speak? It is not
I who have to fear; it is not I whom you hate-it is he,
Etienne Guidomare, is it not? of whom you have so
often talked to me. How can I aid your plans? I
know him not; I have never seen him. Tell me all,
messire; conceal from me nothing."
Aubriot, little knowing the secret cause of her
words, thanked her, and continued.
Guidomare has lost the taste for quarrels; but he
is young, vain, and very good looking. You must
write to him, Rachel, without signature, saying that a
woman who has seen him expects him at a place and
hour on which we shall agree. The place and the hour
shall be chosen so as to promise him secrecy; he will
come, will be with you, and I shall get him into my
power. Say not that the plan is foolish-that I risk my
happiness and yours. I have reflected, and my resolu-
tion is taken. The matter involves not only my ven-
geance and my hatred, but also a great political event-
the humiliation of my rival in power, the University
bf Paris, which will be disgraced in the shame of one
of its members, and be obliged to humble its pride, and
resign its privileges; for you understand well what will
be the crime of Guidomare."
She certainly did understand; but, in order to make
Aubriot speak, she pretended ignorance.
No," replied she; "explain yourself. I know only
how to love, and devote myself for him I love; provided
he believes in my love, I care for nothing else. I
wait to be tried."
He will be condemned to be hanged as the lover
of a Jewess."
Thou, Rachel? I will convey thee away; I will
"Like Agnes Piddeleu?"
Do not remind me of that. I did not love that
woman; she wished to ruin me-I ruined her! But I
will save thee, I say; thou shalt live in some other
retreat, under another name than that of Margaret;
and if thou dost not believe that I have the power to
fulfil my promise, read this, Rachel; it is thy pardon,
He presented to her the parchment signed the even-
ing before by the Duke of Anjou.
Thinkest thou," added he, that the protection of
the Provost of Paris and of the Regent of the kingdom
She turned again her eyes towards the bed, which
she did whenever she felt weak; and the thought of
him who was concealed there gave her strength and
Then, messire, the culprit, whoever he may be,
were it even Guidomare himself, whose name shall be
written on this parchment, is sure of safety. Punish-
ment cannot touch one who is protected by the signa-
ture of the regent."
The Bishop of Paris himself could not obtain his
I will do what you wish. If I cling to life, it is
not for myself. What day do you choose?"
The fourth from the present. I know an isolated
and now uninhabited house near the Prd aux Clercs.'
I will take you there secretly the evening before."
Four in the afternoon; it is the hour when the
day begins to close. Write, RacheL"
Give me that parchment."
"You shall have it afterwards."
Give it me now."
What do you want with it?"
Give it me."
He looked at her with surprise, and an air of dis-
trust which made her tremble. She thought she
heard a noise behind her, and dared not turn round.
Aubriot's expression grew milder.
Art thou afraid that I shall refuse to write thy
name? See how unjust thy suspicion is."
He advanced towards a table, on which were pens
"Do not write," she cried, and endeavoured to stop
"Leave me alone," said he, pushing her away;
"thou hast suspected me unjustly, and I will make
thee blush for thy suspicions."
He filled up the blank with the name of Rachel.
The unhappy girl stifled a cry of despair. Her eyes
filled with tears; and while Aubriot wrote, she
stretched her hands towards Guidomare's retreat, as if
to ask his forgiveness for having allowed the pardon
she had intended for him to escape. Aubriot returned
towards her, and gave her the parchment.
A sudden thought seized her. She answered,-
I will not write."
"Rachel! ah! thou lovest me not! Dost thou mean,
then," said he, seizing her by the arm, and shaking
her violently, "dost thou mean me to be jealous?
Take care of thyself, if I am so! Why dost thou look at
me so? why are thine eyes fixed, thy lips half open
with that strange smile, which seems to brave and mock
me when I threaten thee. Answer, what art thou
Aubriot," said she, I love you, and you know it
well; I am your slave; you can abandon me, kill me if
it be your pleasure, without being called to account by
any one. But when you make me the instrument of
your designs-when I am no longer the mere tool of
your pleasures-when you regard not merely mybeauty,
but my devotion to your vengeance-when, in a word,
I must share your hatred as well as your love, I can-
not submit and obey like a slave. You ask me what I
think Oh! it is a thought which has often occurred
to me, to bind you to me as lam attached to you! You
are rich, powerful, glorious: I am despised-disgrace
follows and crushes me. If I showed to the people
this person, which you call charming, they would cast
on it mud and insults! I am weary of so many humi-
liations. I must raise myself in my own eyes!"
Thou art mad, Rachell"
No, no; let us preserve the mystery which sur-
rounds us; conceal me still; fasten again my chain-I
consent; it is not liberty which I demand, but equality
In crime! what dost thou mean?"
"You are guilty in loving me, but I am more so
than you. For you, Aubriot, I have forgotten the
hatred which the victim bears to the executioner: your
race strikes, proscribes, and robs mine, and I have re-
membered nothing of your insults or your cruelties! A
girl without shame and without a heart, I have kissed
the hand which scourged me; I have accepted from
you a different name from that which my mother gave
me; I have been false to the religion of my fathers, to
the faith which I drank in with my mother's milk, and
for which the blood of our martyrs flows; and, the better
to conceal my infamous love, I have pretended to
kneel before the image of him whom we crucified!
This is what I have done. Well, Aubriot, I wish you
to be as impious as myself! I wish that you should
give yourself up to me as I have given myself up to
you, that I may be able to ruin you as you can ruin
me! Then I shall be sure that you love me,-I shall
no longer fear your contempt. You will raise me to
yourself in lowering yourself to me; our destinies will
be united, and I shall belong to you. I will ruin your
enemies; I will do all the shameful actions which you
shall ask; I will draw into your snares all those whose
death you have sworn, and I will tear this pardon,
which I shall no longer need to believe you." She
rushed towards the crucifix, unfastened it, and, with her
face on fire, her voice and hands trembling, she gave
it to him. Blaspheme your God," said she, "as I
have blasphemed the God of Moses; strike it, spit in
its face, and let other sacrilegious words, other perjuries
besides my own, delight my earl"
He raised his hand against the crucifix, struck it, and
threw it on the ground, crying, "I insult thee, be-
cause she wishes it; I trample thee under foot, because
thou art only a vain idol, and because there is nothing
real for wise men except power, vengeance, and the
kisses of a lover."
It is well," said Rachel. "Dictate now-I will
When the letter was finished she gave it to Aubriot,
who was excited by the violence of this strange scene,
and who, notwithstanding his habits of vice and hypo-
crisy, was, as it were, terrified at what he had just
said and done. It seemed as if he were just recovered
from a furious intoxication, and he looked around him
with a curiosity full of terror for the evidence of his
delirium. The crucifix, half broken, lay on the ground
between them. Aubriot turned away his head.
Adieu, Rachel," said he; "I will come and see you
"Aubriot: the scholar Guidomare, that he maycome,
must have no suspicion. How will you send him
I will give it this evening to one in whom I have
confidence-to the friar, Jean Petit. Adieu, Rachel,
come and embrace me." She almost fainted under his
kiss, and would have fallen had he not passed his arm
around her. They went out of the room; the en-
trance door was opened and closed again. Rachel re-
appeared just as Guidomare had come from behind the
The most skilful pencil, the most eloquent pen,
would be unable to give expression to the different
feelings depicted on the face of Rachel. Love, hope,
and fear were mingled there. She smiled, while great
tears filled her eyes; she tottered in walking, and sank
down upon herself, as if all the springs of her body had
been broken, and she was sustained only by the wish to
Making a last effort, and driving away the horrible
doubt which tormented her, she said to Guidomare-
" I have delivered to thee thine enemy, Etienne; I
have made him blaspheme before thee, whom he wishes
to ruin, that thou mayest denounce and ruin him. I
should not be believed if I spoke, but they will believe
thy evidence; thou needest no longer fear his ven-
geance and his anger; thou wilt say that he has struck
and trampled on his God, and I will say the same.
They will beat me with rods; they will drag my torn
limbs through the streams! What matters it if I die,
if by my death, I prove to thee that I loved thee; if
my punishment redeems my stain in thy eyes; if thou
givest a tear to the unhappy Jewess? Was I not in-
spired to act so? Answer me, Guidomare, why dost
thou shudder? Ah! I guess why. The idea of my
death terrifies thee. But be assured, if thou lovest me,
I will not die; thou canst save me, as he would save
me ..... I have my pardon; and then why need we
wait for this appointment? On leaving me, thou wilt go
to the Bishop, and I will conceal myself. Dost thou
know a safe retreat? I will go where thou wilt-where
thou hast concealed Julienne, and I will say nothing;
I will not be jealous; I will wait till thou comest to
see me. See, I am patient; I can wait and wish with-
out complaint. Well, Etienne, what wouldst thou that
I should do?"'
She might have been speaking to a statue. The
scholar, with his arms hung down, his looks vacant,
and his mouth half open, remained motionless, and, as
it were, petrified. Notwithstanding all the scandals of
his own life, Aubriot's action appeared to him a
monstrous sacrilege. There was in Guidomare's con-
duct more youthful folly, more love and want of
pleasure, than deep-seated wickedness and actual im-
piety. He had the gross vices, the violent sensual
appetites, and all the prejudices of his day; and he
who, in the ardour of his passions, respected neither
the sanctity of marriage, nor weakness, nor innocence,
shuddered at the very thought of intercourse with the
race of Israel. He sincerely believed that they were
rejected and cursed for ever, and that it was meri-
torious to despise, to shun, and even, if necessary, to
Rachel, seeing that he did not answer, approached
and touched his hand. He recoiled, as if from the icy
touch of a reptile.
Leave me-leave me alone, Jewess!" he cried.
Rachel read her fate in that one word. She twisted
her arms, put her hands to her forehead, as if to keep
her reason from escaping. Then, overcoming her grief,
Thou drivest me away,Guidomare!-I horrify thee
now! But just before thou toldest me I was beautiful,
-that thou lovedst me,-and thou drewest me to
thee! What has happened, then? All is changed
because thou knowest that I am a Jewess; but I have
not remembered who thou art. What I said to that
man of my baseness, of my devotedness, of my infinite
love, of my forgetfulness of insults and contempt, I said
for thee; and if I did not seek thee,-if I did not fly
from his arms into thine, it was because I feared this
which now befals me. I have loved thee since the day
when I felt my heart beat against thine. I am that
unknown woman watching over thee; it is I who have
written to thee-two years since, a year since, at the
funeral of Charles V., yesterday,-always when danger
threatened thee. When Aubriot came to me and said,
'To-morrow he will not escape me,' and I listened
laughing, I flattered his hopes,-I pitied him when he
returned, with rage in his heart and on his lips; and I
thought that some day, perhaps, thou wouldst know
and thank me. I fled from thee at first, when I heard
thy name: Aubriot had often pronounced it before me,
and I was afraid,-I, the mistress of the Provost of
Paris-lest I should be found with thee: did I fear for
thee, or for myself, then? I know not now, but I
think it was for thee, Etienne, for it seems to me that
I have always loved thee! I was a child-poor, ill-
treated; I was taken by Aubriot, but I remember
nothing,-my life commences from the moment when I
saw thee! Thou must not repulse me because on that
day I did not love thee as I love thee now. I have
well repaired my indifference,-thou knowest what I
have done. Take me away,-I will become thy ser-
vant, or Julienne's, if necessary,-the servant of all
the women thou shalt prefer to me, provided that I
see thee. Take me away,-take me away!"
Many times while she spoke the student had sought
to disengage himself from her embraces, and that word
which he considered infamous-that word Jewess-had
pierced the heart of Rachel like a pointed iron. The
last time he pronounced it, it was with such an accent
of fury and contempt, that she recoiled in terror, and
fell upon the floor. Guidomare rushed towards the
door: she dragged herself there,-her hair all dis-
ordered. her hands in supplicating posture,-and clung
to his knees.
Hear me again!" said she.
There was so much wretchedness in her voice, so
much grief and entreaty in her look, that he stopped.
She stretched out her hand and seized the crucifix.
Martyr, whom the fathers of my fathers have mis-
understood,-Messiah, who has redeemed man,-Son
of God, whom I have insulted, I efface with my tears
and my kisses the insults which thou hast received; I
abjure my faith and belief! Purify me, in return for
the oath which I make to adore thy divinity,-purify
me from my stain, that I may no longer be to him an
unclean creature, and that he may tell me again that
he loves me!"
And she kissed the crucifix,-she struck her fore-
head,-she raised herself up, stretching her arms out to
Guidomare. He bent on her a cold look, which froze
her very bones. Her blood stopped-her voice was
choked-her eyes became fixed, and, without uttering
another cry, or shedding another tear, she fell to the
ground, and remained there-motionless, breathless,
broken, dead,-and as if buried under her long black
The scholar departed.
THE festivities which had celebrated theentry of Charles
VI. were prolonged during the whole of the next day.
In the morning there was a meeting in the Rue au
Feurre. Guidomare had assembled Coquastre and
some intimate friends, who were curious to know how
his adventure with the fair Margaret had terminated.
The student related every detail, and the reader may
imagine with what interest the tale was heard. There
were exclamations of joy, cries of triumph, when they
heard of Aubriot's impiety; and they already spoke of
going to the Bishop of Paris, and bringing the fact
before the Ecclesiastical Tribunal. Guidomare was
preparing to tell them what part Jean Petit acted with
the provost, when the friar appeared at the end of the
street. Seeing that only the friends of Guidomare
were there, he turned back, though he had come ex-
pressly to speak to the handsome student. Guidomare
called him, and told the others to allow him to speak
alone, and conduct the questioning as he pleased.
Jean Petit came with a smile on his lips. Guidomare
took him by the hand, pushed him rudely with his
back against the wall, and, while the students stood in
a semicircle round them, he said, with very signifi-
cant gestures, in the full face of the friar,-
"Brother Jean Petit,-I used to think you an im-
postor and a hypocrite; what was a suspicion is now
become a certainty. I have promised to break your
bones, and I am going to keep my promise."
The friar felt himself grow faint, and swore that
Guidomare had not a more sincere friend.
I will make you the judges," said the student to
the others, "for I should be sorry if any one could
accuse me of an unjust action, and of having inflicted
on him a punishment which he does not deserve. What
brings you here, my reverend brother?"
"I was passing accidentally."
"Lie the first. You came here intending to speak to
one of us,-to which, if you please? Was it to Coquastre,
to Urbain, to Robert, to Savoisy, to Thomas de Cour-
celle, to Boudeville-all here present, or to myself?"
"To no one, I swear, because-"
"Lie the second. Take care, brother: you will
die in a state of sin. But, after all, it is an affair to
be settled between you and the devil, whose property
you are,-I wash my hands of it, and continue. It
was to me that you wished to speak."
It was to you, Etienne; since you appear convinced
of it, I will not contradict you. But what had I to
say to you?-I cannot agree to that, because I do not
"I will tell you: you have to give me a letter."
"A letter!" said Jean Petit, stupified.
Yes,-a letter, which was given you last evening."
"It is singular" murmured the friar; where did
he learn that?"
You would have told me that you had found this
letter at your house this morning, with a request to
transmit it to me; or any other lie which you might
have imagined. This letter you have, and you have
received it from the Provost of Paris."
Let my frankness at least secure my absolution.
All that you have said is true,-here is the note."
"Do you know who wrote it?"
"Be it so: it was a woman. Do you know what it
"It is closed."
"Well, open it, and read: I will repeat it to you
word for word."
Jean Petit, more and more surprised, unfolded the
letter, and read as Guidomare repeated it.
A woman who loves you, and who has, perhaps,
from her beauty, some right to be loved, expects you
next Friday, at sunset, in a house of the Pr6 aux
Clercs. You will know the house by the handkerchief
which will be tied to the second window, overlooking
the river. Silence and discretion."
"It is wonderful," said Jean Petit; "you have not
forgotten a syllable."
"Listen to me, now, without interruption. This
appointment is a snare. I have every reason to believe
that the woman will not be there; but I am not the less
indebted to the Provost of Paris. This woman is a
Jewess, with whom he carries on a secret and a criminal
"Jesu Maria! what do you tell me?" said the friar,
making the sign of the cross. He has a Jewess for
his mistress! But you can have him hanged, my good
"I hope to find no obstacle to doing so. But, while
hoping to see our dear provost moving his great arms
and legs between heaven and earth, I will settle with
you, who have been his agent, and who have for many
years sold our secrets to him."
The imminent peril gave Jean Petit a little courage.
"My masters," cried he, "I entreat you to give me
a quarter of an hour to make my confession, and, as I
am perhaps near my last moments, be sure that I shall
tell the truth-nothing but the sacred truth."
"It was I who told the provost that Julienne
Brflefer had taken refuge in the College of St. Nicolas
du Louvre,-I confess it. I confess, also, that upon
every occasion that has offered I have tried, as he
commanded me, to excite quarrels between him and
you,-as I did yesterday, for example. But I did not
know that it was a woman who wrote this letter, nor
that a Jewess was Aubriot's mistress. In this respect
I am as innocent as the provost is guilty. He does
not tell me all; I do not possess his confidence as you
suppose. The day before yesterday, he thought of
sending me to the Bastille. He feared, he said, some
treason on my part; and, I must add, that his presen-
timent did not deceive him, for to-day I feel quite dis-
posed to join you against him."
The offer does not tempt me," replied Guidomare,
in a disdainful tone; "I do not need a spy."
"Perhaps so. I am suspected by you,-I know it
well; and you may believe that I speak thus only to
save my life. But if I have not all the secrets of the
provost, I have some of which you are ignorant, and
which it would be important for you to know. Are
you aware that the Duke of Anjou has given him a
"Fine news, indeed! I know it as well as you."
"But if Aubriot is in danger, he will write his
name above the duke's signature."
"The time is past for that: he has already written
the name of this Jewess."
"Oh!" said Jean Petit, quite disappointed. He con-
sulted the looks of those who stood by, and thinking
that he read there some hesitation,-notwithstanding
the brief and hitherto decisive answers of Guidomare,
"This explains certain things which I did not
understand. I know now what the provost meant
when he said, the day before yesterday, to the Duke
of Anjou, 'I know by what snares such birds are
caught.' It was a bold project indeed. It falls back
upon himself, and that is just. You will accuse Au-
briot, but he will defend himself. This Jewess will
not bear witness against him; he will remove her, or,
if she is questioned-if she agrees in the accusation,
she will not be believed any more than Agnes Piddeleu
was believed. This is what we have to fear."
One of the students gave a sign of assent. Jean
The provost is powerful; he has friends, he has
creatures, protectors, everywhere,-at court, near the
throne. We ought to be sure that he will be aban-
doned by them,-we ought to ruin him in their opinion.
Have you any means of doing so?"
"The friar speaks sensibly," said Savoisy.
"Hast thou thought of that, Guidomare?" asked
"No, indeed. Have you this power, Mr. Hypo-
"Yes," answered the monk, decisively.
"Well, tell us, then; and if it is good, we will see
about inflicting a lighter punishment upon you."
Do you see, Etienne?" replied the other, wishing
to keep alive Guidomare's curiosity-" there is another
part to play. The dispute is not between you only and
the provost; it is between the provost and the Univer-
sity, which can and ought to gain a complete triumph.
In your place, I should wish Aubriot to be unani-
mously condemned-that all his support should fail at
once, and that he should fall without power to save
"Speak out, then."
"I do not know how you have discovered what you
know concerning this Jewess-how and by whom you
have been informed of what passed in the Petit Cha-
telet between the Duke of Anjou, the provost, and
myself. It is your secret-every one has his secrets
-and it is an advantage which I leave to you with
pleasure, for at least you cannot suppose that on this
point I shall betray you."
"A saint could lose his patience in listening to you,
and mine is long since exhausted. I see what you
want; it is a promise from me to forgive and forget:
well, I consent to a truce. Now, master hypocrite,
tell us what plot you have hatched?"
"It will take some time to explain to you, and this
place does not appear to me well chosen for a secret
conference; let us go elsewhere. Come, my masters, I
shall need you all, and will unfold my plan to you. If
it does not succeed, I commend my soul to God, and
abandon myself, defenceless, to your anger!"
They repaired to a house in the Clos Bruneau, where
their conference was long and animated. Jean Petit
explained in detail his plan of attack, which was
approved of, for he left Guidomare's power in safety.
They parted, if not friends, at least allies.
It had been agreed that the conspiracy should re-
main secret, and that no one should be admitted to it
except Guidomare and his six friends. Jean Petit told
Aubriot that he had given the letter to Etienne, who
had no suspicion. The provost waited impatiently
for the appointed day: he occupied the tedious interval
in fulfilling his promise to the Duke of Anjou. The
Jewish merchants emptied their coffers in return for
the renewal of their privileges; nor was this the only
contribution levied upon them: when it was known
that the Duke of Anjou was raising a loan, the lords
of the court, his partisans, his favourites, followed his
example, and contracted new debts. This Jean Petit
had foreseen, and it formed the principal and decisive
part of his plot against Aubriot.
Rachel did not recover her senses until long after
Guidomare's departure; her old servant, Claude, found
her in a swoon: Rachel told her all, and was so des-
perate as even to talk of suicide. Claude had great
trouble to calm her a little, and prove to her that it is
quite time enough to die when all other resources have
In the night, between Thursday and Friday, Au-
briot conducted Rachel to the house in the Pr6 aux
Clercs, and on the morrow concealed himself there with
his people. The handkerchief was tied to the window.
Rachel was convinced that Guidomare would not come,
and yet he made his appearance in the street: the poor
girl, forgetting his danger, imagined that he repented
his harshness, and wished to make some amends for it.
The real truth was, that Jean Petit, who, abused and
despised as he was by his companions, had contrived to
make himself head and chief of the conspiracy, thought
that if Guidomare did not go to the rendezvous, Au-
briot would suspect something; and as their plans were
not as yet ripe for execution, it was necessary to prevent
this. It was so arranged, therefore, that as Guidomare
entered the street, he was met by Robert, Boudeville,
and Savoisy, who bantered him on account of his good
fortune, and declared loudly that they would see his
mistress. This, Guidomare swore as loudly he would
not permit, and that he would rather give up his
appointment. They all went away together, laughing
over the success of their stratagem, and the disappoint-
ment of the provost.
Neither entreaties nor threats could induce Rachel
to write another letter. She said that notwithstand-
ing the duke's pardon, she should risk her life in doing
so; and she preferred to meet any fate to which Au-
briot's anger might condemn her, rather than expose
herself to what she considered certain death.
Meanwhile, popular discontent went on increasing.
The cupidity of the Duke of Anjou was not yet satisfied.
Pope Clement VII. had made a new distribution of
benefices, to the detriment of the University; and the
money foolishly spent in the recent fetes rendered it
necessary to increase the taxes, which already over-
whelmed the nation. The discontent was universal;
the University complained, the citizens murmured, the
people assembled tumultuously; authority was weak-
ened by division. The Duke of Anjou was compelled to
yield, in some degree, to the claims of his brothers;
and the tendency was to dismember the monarchy, by
destroying its unity, and substituting partial powers,
each ready to sacrifice the public good to private in-
terest. In adjusting these rival claims, the people
were forgotten, and now that the pageants were over,
they began to feel hungry. The states-general had
been abolished by Charles V.; they alone could have
found a remedy for the evil, and, by the confi-
dence they would have inspired, suppressed rebellion.
But the princes would convoke only the states of the
Langue d'Oyl, or that part of France to the right of the
Loire; they knew that in them they should meet with
less opposition to their guilty designs. Their tyranny
must have been very flagrant, since this assembly,
chosen on account of its moderation, maintained the
abolition of the taxes imposed by Charles V., and de-
manded that the king should declare the nation re-
established in its liberties, franchises, and immunities.
The people were not duped by these inadequate re-
parations; their magistrates, even those whose autho-
rity and character they respected, could no longer
restrain them: they went in arms to the palace, where
they received from the regent promises which he had
not any intention of keeping.
Hitherto, Aubriot had manoeuvred so as to avoid
compromising himself with either party.
One day, Jean Petit presented himself to him.
"Messire," said he, "all is ready."
It is time," answered the provost, "to prove your-
self good for something. I promised the Duke of
Anjou to deliver the University into his power, and I
depended upon you to engage the student in some im-
prudent enterprise. But, I think, instead of acting as
you promised, you preach peace and concord. They
were never more quiet than they have been since the
day when you undertook to excite them to rebellion.
The Duke of Anjou reminds me of my promise, and is
angry at its non-fulfilment. Take care, that before I
incur his displeasure, I do not remember what I was
tempted to do with you."
"Displeasure, messire?" replied the friar; "on the
contrary, you were never more secure of his favour.
All is succeeding as you would wish. At this moment
Jean de Roned, doctor of theology, is haranguing the
duke in the name of the University. It was at first
intended that his old pupil, Jean Charlier Gerson,
should do it, but he excused himself on account of his
extreme youth, which would have lessened the influ-
ence of his speech. The orator of the University is to
renew the demand made to the late king, and to propose
to the regent to convoke a General Council, to put an
end to the schism which divides the Church. This is
as much as to ask him to recognize Urban VI., and,
consequently, the right of Charles de Durazzo to the
throne of Naples. You may easily imagine in what
way this proposition will be received, especially as the
language is anything but moderate, and there are other
complaints as well."
"But," said Aubriot, "how does this concern me?"
"Patience, messire; will you read this note?"
"What does this mean?" asked the provost. "The
duke orders me to arrest Jean de Ronc6 this evening.
Yes; but you tell me that he is at this moment
haranguing the duke."
"It is true; his speech cannot yet be finished."
"How, then, comes it that this order is already
written? How can punishment precede the fault?"
"I told you, messire, that I knew of this harangue,
and I even had some phrases introduced at my sugges-
tion. These I repeated to the regent, who wished to
refuse an audience, and I persuaded him that it would
be better to punish a piece of foolish insolence than to
appear unwilling to do justice to complaints, which, if
he did not hear them, would be considered legitimate
and well founded."
So, to my certain knowledge, rascal, you have
played three parts in the same affair. Perhaps you have
taken a fourth also."
Yes, messire, and it is one which will not displease
you, I hope. I have gradually removed all Guido-
mare's suspicions of me, and he trusts me now so fully,
that he has made me the confidant of his amours.
I told you that it was love which kept Guidomare
in order. I know where he conceals Julienne; her
power over him is incredible; she has made him swear
to avoid all disputes, and he has kept his word, as you
Where does she live?"
Rue du Mont St. Hilaire; I know the house."
"It was at the time when Martin Brdlefer demanded
his niece that we should have seized Guidomare. Since
then, I have thought I should meet with some new
opportunity, but I am certainly unfortunate in my
"Why do you complain? You are able to do it
"There is no longer any scandal. No one makes an
But suppose a circumstance, of which I have not
yet informed you, were to restore all your advantages."
What is it?"
"This evening you will arrest Jean de Ronc6-this
will excite the students to rebellion; and at the very
time when they are embroiled with the government,
you will have an opportunity of arresting their chief
for a flagrant misdemeanor. His disgrace will recoil
on the whole University. The day after to-morrow
Guidomare will pass with Julienne and some loose
companions. That he may suspect nothing, do you
accompany the duke to the palace, and entrust his
arrest to your first-lieutenant. Myself will conduct it,
The provost felt humiliated at being thus under the
direction of one of his creatures. He hesitated for
some time, but Jean Petit was necessary to him, and at
last he yielded.
"Come to me again this evening," said he. "I
know not whether I can trust any one but myself with
the arrest of Guidomare. I will reflect about it."
Jean Petit retired, muttering-" Whatever he may
intend, he must accompany the duke to the palace."
Before going to the provost, the friar had passed
through the city. He had seen a handkerchief tied to
the window of a house where the evening before a
letter had been sent, ending with these words:-" If
you consent to what is asked, repeat the signal from
the house of the Pr6 aux Clercs."
On this consent depended the issue of the trial of
strength between Aubriot and Guidomare.
Jean de Ronce was arrested that evening, and
lodged in the prisons of the Petit Chktelet. On the fol-
lowing day the University suspended its lectures, and
declared that their lecture-rooms were closed until such
time as they should obtain redress. The body de-
manded an audience of the regent, who would have
summoned them to appear before him, even if they had
not done so. On the second day after De Ronc6's
arrest, the Duke of Anjou went to the palace, accom-
panied by the principal nobles of the court, and Hugh
Aubriot, who had been summoned that morning. As
soon as they arrived, the first-lieutenant of the pro-
vost, under the guidance of Jean Petit, went with an
escort of ten men to the Rue du Mont St. Hilaire.
The great hall of the palace presented a curious and
animated scene. It was there that the king received
ambassadors and gave public festivals, and there were
celebrated the marriages of the French princes. It
contained the statues of all who had reigned since Pha-
ramond, and under each of them was inscribed the name
of the king, the length of his reign, and the date of his
The site of this hall had formerly been occupied by
a chapel, dedicated by Robert to St. Nicholas. Its
most remarkable feature was the famous marble table,
so often mentioned by historians and chroniclers,
which was broken at the time of the fire of 1618. It
was placed at one end of the hall, and reached almost
from one side to the other, though composed entirely
of one piece of marble. It was on this table that the
royal feasts were given, and the kings, or their repre-
sentatives, took their seats on it, when giving audience
and communicating their will to their people. The
crowd was agitated and noisy, as if possessed with the
spirit of rebellion. Men passed from one group to
another, speaking in a low tone, and giving instructions.
Guidomare's friends were scattered here and there,
leaning carelessly against the majestic statues. Guil-
laume Coquastre was astride on the shoulders of Hugh
Capet. An immense noise, sometimes subdued, and
sometimes breaking out, filled the whole place. The
rector appeared, and took his place before the marble
table, which was ascended soon afterwards by the
Duke of Anjou.
The duke had on his right, the new chancellor, De
Dormans; on his left, Hugh Aubriot. Behind him
was a crowd of nobles, who exchanged looks of in-
telligence with some of the individuals talking in
groups below. It was long since the provost's face
had worn such an expression of pride and triumph.
The Duke of Anjou leaned towards him, and said,
pointing to the students, "Who are those young buf-
foons, who display themselves in that way?"
They are the intimate friends and confidants of
Guidomare. Leave them, monseigneur, in that posi-
tion, which is neither becoming nor respectful to your
highness. It is the last act of insolence of which they
will be guilty. They will certainly take the part of
their chief, and instead of one prisoner, we shall have
Are your measures well taken this time, Mr. Pro-
This time I will answer for success with my
Meanwhile the chancellor rose, and waited for
silence. He then read an edict, announcing to the
citizens that the king consented to abolish the taxes
imposed by Philippe le Bel. The court, as cowardly
as it was avaricious, yielded to the popular discontent;
and in doing so from fear, lost all dignity of language.
The edict declared, that this abolition of taxes was
the just reward of the obedience and fidelity of the
Parisians. It even added, that no monarch could be
authorized by the example of Philippe le Bel, to levy
arbitrary contributions, and that the French nation had
never ceased to enjoy its franchises. This was, in fact,
an avowal of defeat; but concessions cost nothing to
perfidious powers, who, while they are forced to make
them, think at the same time of how they shall again
withdraw them. To the great surprise of the regent
and of Aubriot, who secretly disapproved of these
marks of weakness, the edict was not received with the
noisy acclamations which they expected. The chan-
cellor then addressed the rector, and told him to say
why he had sought an audience.
The rector demanded the liberation of Jean de
Ronc6, and declared that the lectures would not be
HUGH AUBRIOT. 83
resumed until the doctor of theology was restored to
We will pardon him," replied the duke, "if he
will acknowledge Pope Clement VII."
That, monseigneur, is an affair of conscience; and
it appears to me that the late king, whose memory and
wisdom we all honour, did not think that his authority
extended so far. He did not regard as an act of dis-
obedience, the opinions submitted to him on this ques-
tion by the University. Far from that, he thanked
the body, and said that it deserved his protection."
The late king could not esteem learning and study
more highly than we do. But the knowledge of books
does not always give those who possess it, knowledge
of life and of men, and the right of deciding in po-
litical questions. We know how to render to each the
justice which is due, and we have just given a strik-
ing proof of it. What induced the University to send
a deputy to us, two days ago? Of what have you to
Our complaints, monseigneur, are as just as those
of the people to which you have listened."
You forget, Mr. Rector, that the University pays
Such is our privilege, monseigneur, and if there
is any wish to deprive us of it, let it be openly con-
The Duke of Anjou was about to answer. Aubriot
whispered-" Do not commit yourself any more with
these malcontents -let me speak to them in your
The duke gave a sign of assent, and the provost
rose. But before he could utter a word, a thousand
voices cried at once, Down with the Jews! down with
What could be the cause of this cry, wholly un-
connected with the affairs of the University and the
taxes? The surprise of Aubriot and of the regent,
was extreme, but it did not appear to be equally so
on the part of the other occupants of the marble table.
At the first cry, the provost looked towards the places
where he had seen Coquastre and the other students,
doubting not that they had given the signal for the
tumult. They were no longer there, but had mixed
with the crowd, and the cries ceased as suddenly as
they had been raised. It appeared as if an invisible
agency directed them at its pleasure, and they sounded
like a warning-like the signal gun, which announces
and precedes a battle. Aubriot again tried to speak.
The same cries were raised from the same quarters as
before; they were violent, but not tumultuous, and
were evidently subject to control and a preconcerted
He again made a sign with his hand: the same
shouts were raised. There was a movement near the
entrance. Aubriot turned to the regent, and said,
onseigneur, here is the culprit."
You are the culprit!" answered a voice to the
right of the marble table.
You are the culprit!" repeated another voice to
the left. And the same words were re-echoed by four
other voices at a greater distance. The nobles looked
at each other, while Aubriot, pale with anger and con-
fused, notwithstanding his habitual audacity, bent looks
of inquiry on the crowd below.
The regent muttered, "What does this mean, Sir
Provost? Is it thus that you keep your promises?
You ought to deliver up to me a criminal, and when
you point him out, the accusation is returned upon
Patience, monseigneur, patience," replied Au-
briot, who had now recovered his self-possession.
Preceded by Jean Petit, surrounded by the guards
of the provost, and supporting a woman, who could
hardly drag herself along, and seemed more dead than
alive, Etienne Guidomare appeared before the marble
table. At the same instant the six students returned
to their places, and, as if charged with the maintenance
of order, commanded silence by their gestures. They
were obeyed; the noise ceased suddenly.
These cries, interruptions, and threats,-all these
strange incidents-revealed to the provost the existence
of a conspiracy. But what definite charge could they
bring against him? It was, he thought, a desperate
resource on the part of the students. The reading of
the edict, the remarks which accompanied it, the words
interchanged .between the regent and the rector, all
this had taken time. They had perhaps seen Guido-
mare's arrival at the palace; the report of his arrest
had probably been spread before he entered the hall,
and his friends tried to excite a sort of tumult, hoping
that he might escape in the midst of the confusion.
Aubriot now spoke in a loud voice-and this time no
one interrupted him-a dead silence reigned through
the hall, like the calm upon the waves before a
Before Monseigneur, the Duke of Anjou, regent of
the kingdom, I, Hugh Aubriot, Provost of Paris, do
here solemnly accuse the student, Etienne Guidomare,
of seduction, rape, and debauchery. I formerly heard
the complaint of a relation of this girl; she pretended
to repent, and to return to a better life, but she went
back to her lover, and to-day they were surprised
together. I demand that the student Etienne Guido-
mare, so long notorious for his ill deeds, be delivered
up to the justice of the king, which I represent, and
be condemned to end his days in prison,"
Aubriot expected a great tumult to follow this de-
claration. No one stirred or spoke. All eyes were
fixed upon Coquastre and his companions, who re-
mained motionless and silent. The Rector of the
University then spoke as follows:-
If your accusation be proved true, I declare, in
the name of the University of Paris, that I will not
seek to shield the culprit from justice. I have already
had occasion to say, and I repeat it now, that our pri-
vileges were granted us for the protection of learning
and piety, not to secure impunity to brawling and
debauchery. If, then, the accused cannot clear him-
self, I say that the Provost of Paris has acted wisely
this time; that no voice shall be raised against him;
and that, while the University demands, and ever will
demand, the liberty of Jean de Ronc6, so does it with-
draw its protection from those of its members who are
unworthy of it; and it is the first to require 'their
punishment, so that the faults of some may not fall
upon others, that the good may not be purposely con-
founded with the bad, nor the sacred rights which we
claim, with the abuses which we repudiate."
Aubriot, more and more astonished by the silence
around him, addressed his lieutenant and Jean Petit:-
Was it not in a house of Rue du Mont St.
Hilaire, that you arrested the student Guidomare?"
Yes, messire," replied the friar; "it was I who
conducted your guards."
And now," continued the provost, "shall not the
accusation be proved, if it is true that this young girl
be Julienne Brflefer?"
And if it be not Julienne?" said Guidomare. I
demand a hearing: in my turn, I accuse Hugh
Aubriot, Provost of Paris, of impious and dissolute
morals. I accuse him of having unjustly condemned
Agnes Pi6deleu: I accuse him of having a Jewess
as his mistress: I accuse him of having struck and
trampled under foot the image of Christ; and for these
crimes, I demand that he be cited before the tribunal
of the Bishop."
Monseigneur," cried Aubriot, "will you permit a
magistrate to be thus insulted?"
Monseigneur," continued Guidomare, on his side,
"I have not yet finished."
Monseigneur, let him speak," said the duke's
favourites, pressing behind him.
I affirm that Guidomare tells the truth!" cried
I affirm it also!" replied Savoisy, on the other
The four others made the same declaration, and
Jean Petit, raising his hand, confirmed it by an oath.
At the same moment the crowd shouted, "Down with
the Jews-death to the Jews!"
Aubriot trembled; he now understood the meaning
of that threat of death, just now so inexplicable, and
saw that, betrayed by Jean Petit, he was already
abandoned by the court. Yet, as he had never told
any one of the scene between himself and Rachel, he
wondered how Guidomare had become acquainted
with it-and why, if he had joined the party of the
students, Jean Petit had assisted in this arrest. His
last doubts were soon solved. Guidomare continued:
I have seen and heard what I say. On the day
of the king's entry, I was with Rachel, who I did not
know to be either a Jewess or the mistress of the pro-
vost. Concealed behind the curtains of the bed, I
heard Aubriot say that he had ruined Agnes Piddeleu,
because she wished to ruin him. I saw him strike the
crucifix, because Rachel told him to insult the image of
God. I heard him dictate to this woman a letter
appointing me a meeting in a house near the Pr6 aux
I affirm that it was I who gave the letter to the
student Guidomare," said Jean Petit; "and I received
it from Hugh Aubriot."
Guidomare continued: To avert the suspicions of
the provost, until what we considered to be a favour-
able opportunity, such as the present, I pretended to
keep the appointment where I was to be surprised."
It is true," said Boudeville, Savoisy, and Robert.
Aubriot was like a drunken man. Objects became
confused before his eyes. He started and trembled at
each of these accusations, so suddenly brought against
him. He was entangled in them, and unable to struggle
Lies! lies!" said he, in a voice full of rage.
The provost would have accused me," continued
Guidomare, of having intercourse with a Jewess;
after ruining me, he would have saved his mistress,
Rachel. He had secured the means of doing so. My
lord regent, did you not give the provost a blank par-
don, signed by your own hand?"
Yes," said the Duke of Anjou.
"Here is that pardon-and the name written on it by
Aubriot is that of Rachel; and, finally, to convince those
who hear me, if the word of Louis D'Anjou, my oaths,
and those which others are ready to take for me, be not
sufficient evidence, here is a witness who will speak for
us all. This woman, lying at my feet,weeping and hiding
her face in the dust, is not Julienne Brflefer. It is a
woman who loves me, and whom I do not love; who,
deceived by her love, kept an appointment which I
made with her, and whom I bring hither to confound
this man. At the same time, I place her under your
protection, monseigneur, and remind you, that since
she has made no attempt on the life of the king or any
of the princes, no one has a right to injure her. It is
Aubriot's mistress-it is Rachel, the Jewess!"
With the assistance of Jean Petit, he raised her up,
and uncovered her face. A corpse could not have
been paler, and the same livid pallor overspread the
face of Aubriot, who remained with his eyes fixed-
silent, and motionless.
Yes," said she, in a piercing tone, "I am Rachel
the Jewess. Yes, I loved this young man, who does
not love me, and who repulsed me with horror when
he knew who I was."
And then she related how she came to know Guido-
mare, and every circumstance of their acquaintance,
including the scene between herself and Aubriot.
L i \'
FALSE ACCUSATION. DEATH OF RACHEL.
"Each has his own belief and faith, which become
more vivid and more sincere in the hour of death. My
religion, like yours, forbids falsehood, and punishes
perjury; and I, who am about to die, I say that
Etienne Guidomare, who has ruined me, is not conta-
minated by intercourse with a Jewess. I pardon what
he has done; I return to Monseigneur the Due
D'Anjou the pardon which he signed for me without
knowing me, and I entreat him to grant it to him
whom I still love. I need it not for myself."
She turned towards Guidomare, fixed her beautiful
eyes on him, drew from her bosom a poignard, which
she buried in her heart, and fell dead at his feet. Co-
quastre cried, and the others repeated after him,
" Death to Aubriot! Death to the Jews!"
"Monseigneur," said one of the duke's friends, "it
is impossible to protect this man, without compromis-
ing the king's authority and your own. Give him up
to the justice of the Bishop. The people demand that
he shall be punished for his crimes; and, in revenge,
they are going to set at liberty, by pillage, all the
debtors of the Jewish merchants. To-morrow there
will not remain a trace of the obligations under which
we now lie to them."
Death to Aubriot!-Death to the Jews!" cried the
people, with renewed violence.
Aubriot stood with his arms crossed, resigned to his
fate, and awaiting his sentence. He smiled bitterly
when he heard the advice given to the Duke of Anjou,
and he cast a look of contempt on Jean Petit, perceiv-
ing clearly that it was he who had formed this odious
plot. The friar had, in fact, prepared all; lie had pro-
mised the courtiers to make the students, supported
by the people, demand the pillage of the Jewish stores,
if, on their side, they would abandon Aubriot. The
bargain had been made-it was now being executed.
Jean Petit had not the smallest doubt of success, for,
without the knowledge of the courtiers, he had com-
municated this project to the Duke of Anjou, whose
avarice had eagerly seized on this means of paying his
debts; and who, as hypocritical as he was dishonest
and corrupt, had pretended to know nothing of the
affair. The regent rose and said,-
"Hugh Aubriot,-you have heard the accusation
made against you; you are a prisoner, and you will be
tried by the Bishop of Paris."
"You may spare me the tedium of a trial, mon-
seigneur," replied Aubriot; I know now what my fate
will be; and I will at least deserve your severity, by
here declaring aloud what is the cause of it-"
He could not continue; his efforts to speak were
vain, among the furious cries which rose on all sides.
Four men took away the body of Rachel; four others
took the provost into custody, without any resistance
on his part. The duke, followed by his courtiers, left
the marble table, without, indeed, giving permission
for the pillage and massacre of the Jews; but, in such
a case, not to forbid was equivalent to a permission.
History tells how fully the populace availed them-
selves of it; and most brutally did they give vent to
their fury. Hugh Aubriot was cited before the eccle-
siastical tribunal, "established by the clergy for the
suppression of crimes against religion," says M. Duval,
"and which long usurped the civil jurisdiction, under
the pretext that every crime is a sin."
Convicted of the crimes of heresy, impiety, and de-
bauchery, he was condemned to be burned alive; but,
in acknowledgment, doubtless, of his services as a
magistrate, his sentence was commuted to perpetual
imprisonment. He was conducted to a scaffold erected
before Notre Dame, where he knelt before the Rector
of the University, the Inquisitor of the Faith, and the
Bishop of Paris, and then listened to his sentence.
"Hugh Aubriot," so it runs, as recorded by the
anonymous historian of Charles V., is condemned to
do perpetual penance, with the bread of sadness and
the water of grief, as a favourer of Jewish infidelity,
as a contemner of the sacraments of our religion, as
a heretic," &c., &c. He asked pardon for his sins, and
having received absolution from the bishop, was im-
prisoned in the Bastille, May 1st, 1381.
"They that take the sword," says Scripture, shall
perish by the sword."
A few more words will finish the history of Hugh
Aubriot. In a revolt, excited by the continued oppres-
sion and tyranny of the princes of Anjou, the people
remembered the store of leaden mallets, laid up by the
former provost. They broke open the town hall,
where they were, possessed themselves of them, and,
from the terrible use which they made of these formid-
able weapons, the event is known to this day as the
Revolt of the Maillotins." They remembered, too,
that Aubriot was a man of energy and resolution, and,
as they needed a chief, they wished to take him from
his dungeon and place him at their head; thinking,
justly, that he must feel irritated against that court
which had so basely abandoned him to the vengeance
of the University. Aubriot had been removed from
the Bastille to the dungeons of the Petit Ch&telet, the
Clos Bruneau, and the Rue au Feurre, which he had
built purposely for the students. Thus nothing was
wanting to his humiliation.
He took advantage of the freedom restored to him
by the Maillotins, only to escape during the night. He
took refuge in Burgundy, the place of his birth; and
there ended his days in complete obscurity.
The Revolt of the Maillotins was fruitless. The
people, divided among themselves, were easily subdued,
and the only consequences of their attempt were fresh
bloodshed and new exactions.