The Life of the Truly Eminent and Learned Hugo Grotius
by Jean Levesque de Burigny
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About a year after this dispute between the Venetian Ambassador and Grotius, when they both were waiting in a hall for the King, the Introductors of Ambassadors placed their seats in such manner, that the Swedish Ambassador might be dissatisfied. They expected a quarrel, which would have afforded them diversion. Grotius disappointed them by chusing rather to stand, than take the seat intended for him. It was on this occasion he wrote to the High Chancellor, desiring him to consider, whether, to avoid all those difficulties, it would not be most expedient to have only a Resident at Paris: but Oxenstiern thought his honour and duty was the more concerned in protecting Grotius, as his strong attachment to the honour and interest of his Masters was the reason of his being harrassed.


[303] Puff. l. 8.

X. The war which was at this time ravaging Europe gave the greater uneasiness to the Court of Rome, as there was ground to apprehend that the success of the Swedes, who were the allies of France, might greatly prejudice the Roman-Catholic Religion in Germany. Pope Urbin VIII. ardently desired the re-establishment of Peace, and offered his mediation for attaining that laudable end. The City of Cologn was chosen for the place of holding the conferences. The Pope deputed Cardinal Ginetti in quality of Legate and mediator between the Roman Catholic Princes; and the Emperor and the King of Spain sent thither their plenipotentiaries: all this was done without consulting the Dutch and the Swedes. The great point was, to gain their consent, without which nothing could be done. The Count de Berlise was ordered to talk with the Swedish Ambassador on this head. Accordingly he made him a visit, November 12, 1636[304], and after conversing some time asked Grotius whether Sweden intended to send plenipotentiaries to Cologn. The Ambassador made answer, he concluded from the High Chancellor's letters that the President of the kingdom, to whom that matter had been referred, would determine it; that the Pope's mediation would be objected to; but that difficulty, however, might be got over; and then Oxenstiern would chearfully come himself to Cologn, if business permitted him, in order to act in concert with the French Plenipotentiaries, who, he did not doubt, would be persons of the greatest merit.

Grotius was of opinion that the Swedes ought not to accept of the Pope's mediation, or send Ministers to Cologn. He wrote a letter about it to the High Chancellor, Dec. 12, 1636[305], in which he acquaints him, that talking with Lord Scudamore, Ambassador in ordinary from England, he told his Lordship that he foresaw the Protestant Plenipotentiaries would suffer many mortifications in a city where the Pope was held in so great consideration, and the dignity of Cardinal so much respected.

The Venetian Ambassador, who, agreeably to the intention of his Masters, ardently desired that the congress might take place, came to make Grotius a visit: he told him that the Protestants apprehensions of ill offices from the Pope were without foundation; that he knew from the Nuncio that the Legate was ordered to concern himself only with the affairs of the Roman Catholic Princes, and had no intention to intermeddle with those of the Protestants: he added, that Pessaro, whom the Republic of Venice had nominated her Plenipotentiary to the Congress, was extremely well affected to the Swedes. Grotius could not discover whether the Venetian came of himself, or was sent by the French Ministry: he suspected that Cardinal Richelieu, who wanted him [Grotius] out of the kingdom, wished he might go to Cologn.

The learned Godefroy[306], whom the Court of France nominated to accompany and direct the Plenipotentiaries, had several conferences with Grotius concerning the peace which they seemed desirous to conclude. The Swedish Ambassador gave the High Chancellor an account of them in a letter of the 22d of January, 1637. [307]He acquaints him that Godefroy himself thought the Swedes ought not to send Plenipotentiaries to Cologn. He gave for his reasons, that the whole town hated the Swedes; that the Legates had such aversion to the Protestants, that at Vervins the Legate declared he would withdraw rather than admit the English Ministers to the conferences; and that the disputes, which would infallibly arise between the Plenipotentiaries concerning precedency, would serve only to sour their minds.

This discourse from one, who was only to speak agreeable to the intentions of the French Ministry, made Grotius doubt whether Cardinal Richelieu ever sincerely desired peace. Godefroy also insinuated that the King of France ought to have the first place after the Emperor, in political assemblies. Grotius would not allow this claim: he maintained that the rank granted to Princes in Ecclesiastical Councils ought not to serve for a rule in Congresses, because in the former regard was only had to the time of their embracing Christianity; and that the Archbishop of Upsal had proved at the Council of Basil that the Kingdom of Sweden, on account of its antiquity and extent, the two most decisive arguments that could be used in this matter, ought to take place of all others. Godefroy opposing to them the French King's possession of the precedency, Grotius, like a zealous Minister of Sweden, maintained, that that title could only serve against such as had never disputed it; that in former times the Kings of Sweden had no transactions of this kind but in the North, where they never yielded the precedency to any person; and that since they had affairs with France, they always treated upon an equality. Such were Grotius's pretensions, the validity of which remain to be proved.

The minds of the contending parties were not yet disposed to conform to the good intentions of the Pope: and the congress of Cologn did not take place because the Swedes positively refused to send thither Plenipotentiaries[308].


[304] Ep. 632. p. 277 & 278.

[305] Ep. 690. p. 284.

[306] Ep. 699. p. 288.

[307] Ep. 709. p. 296.

[308] Ep. 389. p. 865

XI. Some time after, the Republic of Venice acted in conjunction with the Pope in order to procure peace to Europe. She made an offer of her mediation to the Swedes[309], and engaged to send an Ambassador to Cologn, who would be less suspected of partiality than the Pope's Legate. The Doge, writing on this subject to the Queen of Sweden, in the titles given to her omitted that of most powerful: this gave great offence to the Swedes[310]; and the Venetian Ambassador being informed of it, came to visit Grotius in order to discuss the point. He told him that the Republic had followed the ancient ceremonial in the titles given to the Queen; that she gave the King of France only the title of most serene and most christian, and to the King of Spain that of most serene and catholic, without adding most powerful. Grotius answered, that, without presuming to prescribe to the Senate, he would only observe, that as the Kings of France and England gave the King of Sweden the title of most serene and most powerful, it did not become any other Prince, much less a Republic, to treat him with less distinction. He added several facts tending to give a high idea of the dignity of the Swedish nation. The Venetian promised to write about it to his Masters. The Queen of Sweden[311] declared that she would accept of the mediation of the Venetians provided the Republic gave her the honours that were due to her. Christina had at length satisfaction[312], and the Venetian Ambassador promised to conform to her intentions.

The name of this Venetian Minister was Corraro. Grotius had reason to be dissatisfied with him[313]: he had been to visit him, and the Venetian gave him not the title of Excellency, nor the precedency due to an Ambassador of Sweden. Grotius determined to cease visiting him for some time. One thing, however, embarrassed him: as the Republic of Venice was to be mediator for a general peace it was necessary he should confer with Corraro: for this reason he wrote to the High Chancellor to know, whether, in consideration of the public good, he ought to dissemble his grounds of complaint against the Venetian Ambassador. He had not time to receive Oxenstiern's answer when Corraro came to visit him[314], and gave him satisfaction; he assured him, that if he had given him any offence, it was not from design, but through ignorance and want of attention. Grotius informed the High Chancellor of this, adding that he accepted of Corraro's excuses; that he would go to see him, and do all in his power to gain his friendship. Accordingly he visited him some days after, and no notice was taken of what had passed, the conversation turning wholly on public affairs and the projects of a peace.


[309] Bougeant l. 4. n. 30. Puffendorf l. 10. n. 63.

[310] Grotii Ep. 851. p. 374.

[311] Ep. 949. p. 421.

[312] Ep. 1014. p. 457.

[313] Ep. 947. p. 419.

[314] Ep. 960. p. 429.

XII. There happened at this time a more considerable broil between the English and Swedes at Paris. Pau the Dutch Ambassador in France being recalled, Oostervich, Ambassador of the United Provinces at Venice, was appointed to succeed him[315]. He had been formerly very intimate with Grotius; and signified to him by their common friends that he intended to renew their ancient friendship, and live with him in that good understanding which ought to subsist between the Ministers of allied powers. Grotius made a proper answer to these advances. Oostervich preparing to make a public entry into Paris, informed the Swedish Ambassador of it, February 16, 1637, by his Secretary, asking him at the same time to send his coach to his entry on the second day following, according to custom[316]. Grotius sent to make his compliments to the Dutch Ambassador, and to tell him that he would not fail to send his coach. He sent it accordingly. There were at that time at Paris an Ambassador in ordinary and an Ambassador extraordinary from England, who both sent their coaches, with a great number of their attendants. The Swedes took the precedency of the English and kept it some time. They quarrelled; and swords were drawn. The Swedes were worsted, for the English were much more numerous. The Marshal de la Force, who conducted the Dutch Ambassador, came to make up the quarrel. The Swedes maintained that they ought to have the precedency of the English, because the kingdom of Sweden was more ancient than that of England. The Marshal de la Force pretended that this question had been decided in the reign of Henry III. in favour of the English. The Swedes being unequally matched, agreed to the Marshal's proposal, that the coach of the English Ambassador in ordinary and that of Grotius should withdraw, without prejudice to the rights of Sweden.

On the nineteenth of February the two Ambassadors from England sent to Grotius, to know if it was by his order that his attendants had acted and spoke in the dispute they had with the English. Grotius answered, that he had ordered them to support the dignity of the kingdom of Sweden the most ancient and extensive in Christendom; but that he had no intention to offend the English; that in the treaties which Sweden made with France there was always one copy in which Sweden was named first; that if his people had transgressed in point of form, it was not by his order; that the small number he sent to the entry, was a demonstration he did not think the quarrel ought to be determined by strength; that as to the accommodation, he had no power to make it, nor consequently given any order on the subject: that he was desirous of maintaining the good understanding between the two kingdoms, and to live well with the two English Ambassadors. The Deputies, without making any reply to this answer, civilly withdrew.

The quarrel was mentioned in the Gazette of France[317]; and Renaudot, in the account he gave, named the English before the Swedes, and spoke of the affair as accommodated. Grotius was very angry at this: he sent to tell him, to name the Swedes first in another Gazette, and to retract what he had said of the accommodation: Renaudot was even threatened, that if he did not give this satisfaction to the Swedes, he would be made to feel to his cost that Sweden was powerful enough to do herself justice. The Gazetteer replied, that he was obliged to obey only the King and the Cardinal.

This grand dispute did not hinder[318] the English Ambassador from visiting Grotius on public business. The Earl of Leicester[319], Ambassador extraordinary from England, had a long conference with him concerning their quarrel: he pretended that what Grotius advanced in favour of the precedency of the Swedes, was a thing unheard of. The Ambassador from Sweden replied, that the same facts had been already maintained in the Council of Basil; and took occasion to set forth the extent and antiquity of the kingdom of Sweden. Leicester said, that they had been of the same opinion formerly in France, since they decided against the Swedes. Grotius answered, that he much questioned this decision, and that at the time it was pretended to be made he did not think there was any Ambassador in France from Sweden, which nation was little known to those of the South: The English Ambassador wanted to avail himself of the Pope's authority in favour of his nation: Grotius rejected it. Leicester insisted that England had been converted to Christianity before Sweden: Grotius replied, that this was a very bad reason for precedency; and the employing it might be a prejudice to the Christian religion by hindering the conversion of the Pagans and Mahometans.

The King of England was not offended with Grotius on account of this dispute; for after it happened Lord Scudamore, Ambassador in ordinary from King Charles, told him from his Master, that he would be glad to see him in England to restore the union between the English and Swedes. The Earl of Leicester, who had the affair of the precedency much at heart, had another conferrence on that subject with Grotius, of which the latter gives an account to the High Chancellor, July 26, 1637. The English Minister represented, that as the Danes and Norwegians, whose kingdoms were very ancient, yielded the precedency to England, the Swedes ought to follow their example. Grotius answered, that he did not know how the Danes and Norwegians acted; but their conduct ought not to prejudice the rights of Sweden. Leicester asked, how high the antiquity of Sweden reached. Grotius answered, that it was older than the most ancient annals; that, without going higher, it was sufficient to mention the testimony of Tacitus, who speaks of the Swedish nation as very powerful by sea and land. Leicester replied, that a long space of time had elapsed since Tacitus wrote, in which no mention was made of the Swedes. Grotius shewed him that in every age they were spoken of by the Germans, French, and English; and that even if less frequent notice had been taken of them, it would not be matter of surprise, since in those times the Swedes had no disputes but with the Russians, the Sclavonians, the Danes, and Norwegians; that their embracing Christianity late could not prejudice the dignity of the kingdom, or the claims of the Swedes. The Ambassador of Sweden afterwards asked Leicester what rank the English pretended to give the Czar, to whom the Kings of Sweden would never yield the precedency. He added, that many people were surprised when the truce was negociating at Holland, that the French always preceded the English, who contented themselves with a writing, signifying that it was without prejudice to their rights. Leicester said he did not see how it was possible to assemble a congress of ministers of Princes who would all have the first place. Grotius made answer, that several expedients might be found to save the claim of each.

This quarrel, from which a rupture between the two nations was apprehended, had no bad consequence, and did not even lessen the friendship which subsisted between the Ministers of the two kingdoms. Lord Scudamore's lady being brought to bed at Paris, the lady of the Swedish Ambassador stood godmother[320] to the child in the month of March, 1638, that is, during the height of the quarrel.


[315] Ep. 718. p. 302.

[316] It is surprising that Father Bougeant, after reading the DCCXVIIIth letter of Grotius, should contradict him so manifestly by placing this quarrel in 1639. Hist. l. 5. n. 5.

[317] Ep. 719. p. 304.

[318] Ep. 722. p. 305.

[319] P. 306. & epist. 395. p. 866.

[320] Ep. 919. p. 406.


Grotius, notwithstanding his resolution to abstain from visiting Cardinal Richelieu, often paid his court to the King, and was well received. His Majesty returning to Paris after the campaign of 1636, Grotius went on the 22d of November[321] to compliment him. The speech he made was short, such as Kings love. It is in these terms he speaks of it to the High Chancellor, to whom he sent it. He has preserved to us the substance of his Majesty's answer. "The King, says he, answered me with great goodness, that the success of the Swedes would always give him much pleasure; that they began the year well, and the French followed their example; that the Spaniards made great efforts, but were nevertheless driven out of Picardy and Burgundy; that Cardinal Richelieu deserved thanks for what he did in the recovery of Corbia, and that the Marshal de Chatillon also behaved well: he concluded with complaining of the Germans, who did not observe their treaties."

The divisions in the court being healed up for some time, by the reconciliation of Gaston of France with the King, who was returned to Paris, Grotius, at an audience of his Majesty on the 23d of February, 1637[322], complimented him on the restoration of peace in the Royal Family. The King assured him that he and his brother were on the best terms, and that this reunion gave him the highest satisfaction: he promised to make very great efforts against the common enemy, and never to separate his interests from those of Sweden. The Ambassador did not fail to represent[323] in strong terms to his Majesty all the pains taken by the High Chancellor to keep together the allies, who were oppressed by such a burthensome war; and took occasion to beseech the King to redouble his assistance, that they might extricate themselves with honour from so great embarrassments.

The King going in August, 1637, to Chantilli, Grotius went thither[324] to compliment him on the success of the Campaign; and at the same time recommended to his Majesty the sending a reinforcement of men to the Duke of Weymar, who had crossed the Rhine, that so he might be enabled to make farther progress, and to keep the German allies of the two crowns from joining with their enemies. He assured him recruits were raising in Sweden for Marshal Bannier's army, that he might make an invasion into Silesia or elsewhere; and that the Swedes had rejected all the proposals of peace made to them, because they believed the intention of the enemy was to sow division between them and the French. The King answered, that he most sincerely wished the prosperity of the Queen his sister; and that he would send the Duke of Weymar as many troops as the state of his affairs would permit; adding, that the enemy laboured chiefly to divide them, against which they could not be too much upon their guard.

September 23, in the same year, 1637, Grotius[325], agreeable to the orders received from the Queen of Sweden, demanded an audience of the King, which he obtained at St. Maur. He represented to his Majesty, that the Queen had nothing so much at heart as the success of the common cause; and that she hoped her zeal would induce the King to make powerful efforts to triumph over their enemies. He gave a particular account of what the High Chancellor had done, and the marvelous resistance of Marshal Bannier, besieged as it were by five armies, against which, however, he could not make head much longer without speedy and powerful succours. He assured him that Sweden was making numerous levies, but would be obliged to keep a part of her troops at home on account of the frequent broils she had with the Poles, the Danes, and the Russians. He then enlarged on the interest which France had in maintaining the Swedes in Germany; for no sooner would they quit it, he said, than the Austrians would turn all their efforts against France. He shewed, that, besides being in possession of the Imperial crown, the house of Austria was very powerful by the hereditary dominions of Hungary, Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia, Lusatia, Tirol, Carinthia, Dalmatia, and Croatia, which furnished her with large supplies of men and money; that the branch which ruled in Spain had dominions in the four parts of the world; that the Emperor knew well France was the greatest obstacle to his projects of ambition; that he would leave nothing unattempted to destroy a power which gave him so much umbrage; that the Emperors, even before the empire came into the house of Austria, had always regarded the Kings of France as their Rivals and Enemies; that this hatred and jealousy were much increased since the Austrian family obtained the Imperial throne; that it was so difficult to make any accommodation with them, they would not consent to peace even if the King yielded up his late conquests, since they had the assurance to claim the three bishoprics, and to demand that the kingdom of Arles, comprehending the three best provinces of the kingdom, the dutchy of Burgundy, Provence, and Dauphiny, should be re-annexed to the empire. He represented the importance of making great efforts, and carrying the war into the enemy's country before their armies should be augmented. He beseeched his Majesty to make such a powerful diversion as might oblige the Austrians to recall a part of the army sent against the Swedes: and shewed that nothing was more easy, since the Duke of Weymar had fortified himself beyond the Rhine; that it was only sending him a powerful reinforcement, the princes and towns which groaned under the Austrian yoke would then be seen joining themselves to the French and Swedes; and that the Swedes, no longer so hard pressed, would return into the heart of Germany or penetrate into the hereditary estates. After this harangue, the Swedish Ambassador presented a letter from the Queen, adding that her Swedish Majesty begged of the King to make speedy efforts worthy of himself, and he might depend on the Queen's doing all that could be expected from a steady and magnanimous Princess. He concluded with complimenting his Majesty on the happy success of affairs in Italy, the transactions on the Rhine, and the retaking of Capella. The King sometimes interrupted him during this long Speech; but it was only to approve of what he said, to confirm the facts, and acknowledge that his reflections were most judicious. He assured him that he had already sent succours to the Duke of Weymar, that he was resolved to augment the troops of that Prince in order to enable the Swedes to enter Germany; and that Marshal de Chatillon would have already been on the banks of the Rhine if the siege of Ampvillers had not detained him. He ended with protesting that it was his earnest desire to be more closely united with the Queen his most gracious sister; which his future actions would shew. Grotius gave an account of this audience in a letter to the Queen of the 26th of September, 1637, a copy of which he sent to the High Chancellor. By the letter that he wrote the same day to Oxenstiern we are informed, that the Count de Berlise, Introductor of the Ambassadors, came to him before he had this last audience of the King, to know if he would not first have a conference with Chavigny, Secretary of State for foreign affairs, agreeable to the usage of the Ministers from England, Venice, and Savoy. Grotius replied, that he understood from the English Ministers themselves they did not always observe this custom; which Berlise acknowledged. The Ambassador added, that at another time he would consider what would be most proper; but, on the present occasion, having a letter from the Queen to the King, he thought it his duty to give the first notice of it to his Majesty; that he was afraid if he acted otherwise the King might be offended; but if, after reading it, his Majesty were desirous he should confer with his Ministers, he would not fail to wait upon them.

The Swedes being still very hard pressed in Germany, the Queen sent fresh orders to her Ambassador at Paris to represent their situation to the King. Grotius demanded an audience, which he obtained on the 1st of October, 1637, at St. Germains. He assured his Majesty, that it was not without reluctance he so frequently laid the necessities of the allies before him, and the importance of their being assisted by France, but he did it by express order; that he was particularly charged with two things; first, to compliment his Majesty on the advantages gained in Piccardy and Burgundy; and secondly to solicit him to send speedily a powerful force over the Rhine. He added, that the Queen would not have thought this request necessary, had she received the letters in which he gave her a particular account of what passed at the last audience he had of his Majesty. He beseeched the King to be pleased to give orders that the promises, which he had graciously made, might be speedily executed. He represented, that if succours were not immediately sent into Germany, the Austrians, after vanquishing their enemies, would go and overpower the Duchess of Savoy the King's sister, and penetrate into France. He afterwards shewed that the Swedish army was in great danger of being overwhelmed, if a powerful diversion were not speedily made. After this speech, Grotius presented a letter from the Queen, of the 19th of August, 1637. Lewis XIII. replied to the Swedish Ambassador, that he was determined to fulfil his promises; that he had already sent some troops to the Duke of Weymar; that he would speedily send him a farther reinforcement, and employ all the forces of his kingdom in defence of his sister the Duchess of Savoy.

The Duke of Weymar began the campaign of 1638 in a very brilliant manner[326]: he gained a signal victory over the Imperialists on the 2d of March; and, what was very remarkable, all the enemy's generals were taken in this engagement, and among the rest the famous John de Vert, whose name was become the terror of the Parisians. The King, on receiving this important news, immediately sent notice of it to Grotius; signifying that he knew no body would receive it with more pleasure. March 16[327], he had an audience of the King, at which he thanked his Majesty for sending him the first news of the victory gained in Germany, and doing him the justice to believe that it would give him infinite satisfaction: he added, that it was a happy prognostic for the rest of the campaign: that God had confounded the pride of the Imperialists, who publicly gave out that they intended to come to pillage Paris[328]. He said he had certain advice by letters from the army, that the enemy's generals had been at great pains to provide themselves with maps of France, in order to examine at what part they could best enter it. He pressed the King to put the Duke of Weymar in a condition, by sending him immediately a considerable reinforcement, to make a proper advantage of this happy beginning of the campaign; and concluded his compliment with good wishes for the King's happiness and that of his posterity, of which there began to be then some hope. People flattered themselves the Queen was with child; and she was actually in the third month of her pregnancy. The King received this compliment with great gaiety: he promised to send immediately five or at least three thousand foot to the Duke of Weymar, with some horse, under the command of the Count de Guebriant. Grotius had a fresh audience of the King on the 19th of April, 1638[329]. He represented to his Majesty, that though the Duke of Weymar had begun the year well, he could not make great progress if an additional force were not sent him: that by proceeding so slowly in this measure, the enemy had got time to recruit their army: and if it were not now taken with great expedition, they would lose the fruits of their late advantages, and the affairs of the allies suffer much; that her Swedish Majesty was in the same disposition with the King, and had no other view than to procure an equitable, honourable, and lasting peace; that the only way to obtain this great end was by making the most powerful efforts: that the Queen, agreeable to his Majesty's desire, would accept of the mediation of the Venetians, provided the republic would treat her with due respect: that his most Christian Majesty being of opinion that a long truce would lead to a peace, the Queen, who was sensible of his great prudence, had given her Ambassador in France full power to treat of this affair, and to draw up a plan of it in conjunction with such persons as the King should nominate. After this speech Grotius delivered to Lewis XIII. a letter from the Queen, acquainting him at the same time, that had her Swedish Majesty been informed of the Queen's pregnancy, she would undoubtedly have ordered him to signify to the King her extreme satisfaction at such important news; that he knew the Queen and all the Swedes passionately desired that the posterity of St. Lewis, of Henry the Great, and Lewis the Just, might long govern France; and that under them the kingdom might flourish in piety, increase in power, and be established in justice. The King received these good wishes with much satisfaction, and desired Grotius to acquaint her Swedish Majesty that the Queen was certainly with child. He farther assured him that the Count de Guebriant was already on his march to join the Duke of Weymar, and he was going to give orders for sending an additional reinforcement, and seconding that Prince's efforts. He desired him to press her Swedish Majesty to send numerous recruits to her armies: adding, that he hoped the Venetians would do nothing derogatory to the dignity of the crown of Sweden; that he would attend to that point himself; and would nominate Chavigny to confer with him in relation to the truce. Grotius also set forth on this occasion what pains the High Chancellor had taken for the advancement of the common cause; and the King did justice to the merit of that great Minister. The Queen's pregnancy being declared at court, Grotius's lady went to make her compliments: on the 8th of May, 1638[330], he himself waited on her Majesty for the same end: he had demanded an audience for this purpose as soon as it was publicly known that she was with child. He told the Queen, that, being eager to express his joy, he could not think of waiting for orders from his court, to make his compliment; that well knowing the sentiments of the Queen his mistress he could affirm, with great certainty, that her Majesty and all her subjects were filled with the highest joy; that he had lately met with a Greek inscription in honour of a Queen, containing a very short but very emphatical encomium: it was said of this Princess, that she was the daughter, sister, wife, and mother of a King, yet without any pride in so high elevation: that this modesty was the more to be admired in the Queen of France, as she was much above the Grecian Queen, and even all other Queens, since she was the consort of a King, whose provinces and even towns were equivalent to kingdoms; that she had a King for her father, and was descended from Kings and Emperors who conquered and long possessed kingdoms in the four parts of the world; in fine, that she was sister of a most powerful King; that only one thing was wanting to her happiness, to be mother not of a King, since France and all the friends of France wished that the King might attain to the most advanced age, but of a Prince capable of ruling over a great nation; that God had at length granted her this felicity, and rendered her fruitful when it was no longer expected, as happened formerly to an illustrious woman of the same name mentioned in Scripture; that history sacred and prophane informs us, that children born at a time when they are no longer expected are designed by God for great things; that in reflecting on the Queen's pregnancy he attended to what the Naturalists teach, that the tumbling of the Dolphin [Fr. Dauphin] predicted the end of the tempest, and fine weather; that there was reason to hope peace would re-appear in the world at the birth of a Dauphin, which was so passionately desired; and what increased this hope was, that at the time her Majesty's pregnancy was declared he received orders to confer with the French Ministers on the means of obtaining a peace, or at least a truce, if the conclusion of a peace met with too many difficulties; that he laboured in it with the more chearfulness, as he knew he would be aided by the Queen's prayers, the efficacy of which was so great that they could obtain of heaven things almost miraculous; that her Swedish Majesty would shew that the Great Gustavus and she had never any other intention, than to insure the quiet and tranquillity of Christendom; that he earnestly wished the negotiation for a peace might turn out well; that the Queen might have a happy delivery, and be the mother of a Prince, whose glory and posterity would continually increase. The Queen answered, that she did not doubt of the sincerity of her Swedish Majesty's wishes; that she reciprocally desired the prosperity of that Princess, and offered her all that was in her power.

In the beginning of June, 1638[331], Grotius waited on the King at St. Germains: he first thanked his Majesty for intimating to him the Queen's pregnancy; and afterwards enlarged on the praise of justice, and on the title of Just which the King had merited by the laws he enacted, particularly that for abolishing duels, and the protection granted to foreign princes. He entered into a detail of the favours which the King had received from Providence since his accession to the throne: the extinction of the civil wars, the restoration of the royal authority, the successes both by sea and land, the passage of the Alps forced, and the frontiers of the kingdom enlarged. He added, that after such a series of felicity, the only thing left to be desired was that his Majesty's posterity might long reign in France; and for this her Majesty's pregnancy entitled them to hope; that the Swedes entertained the same sentiments, and flattered themselves a perfect harmony would always subsist between the two kingdoms. He concluded with soliciting the King to augment the Duke of Weymar's troops, against whom the Imperialists made the greatest efforts; and to procure Marshal Horne's liberty, who was made prisoner at the battle of Nordlinguen: he represented that his Majesty might obtain it when he pleased, since he had so great a number of the enemies generals in his power, and assured him that the Queen his mistress would take it as a very high obligation. The Ambassador presented afterwards letters from the Queen of the twelfth of April, and concluded with observing, that he had reason to think a considerable body of troops would be sent from Sweden into Germany this same month of June. The King replied, that he had a great friendship for the Queen of Sweden, and had already given proofs of his good disposition towards her; that he had sent succours to the Duke of Weymar, and would send still more considerable ones if necessary; that as to the exchange of Marshal Horne, there was only John de Vert with whom it could be made; and that General was not his prisoner, but the Duke of Weymar's, to whom he had promised to deliver him on demand. Grotius replied, that he did not doubt but the Duke of Weymar would shew all possible deference to the King's inclination, if he should find his Majesty disposed to procure Marshal Horne's discharge, and that the Queen had written to the Duke on that subject.

Some days after this audience, Chavigny[332] informed the Swedish Ambassador that John De Vert was the King's prisoner, though Lewis XIII. had said the contrary.

Grotius had another audience of the King in the middle of July 1638[333]. He complimented his Majesty on the happy success of the French arms on the frontiers of Spain, and exhorted him to set about the recovery of Navarre, which belonged to him of right, and was unjustly usurped by Spain; he also recommended to him the Duke of Weymar's affairs, and gave reason to hope that something great would be done by General Bannier, who had just received reinforcements from Sweden. At this audience the Ambassador presented Crusius to the King as a Swedish Nobleman who was returning to Stockholm, and would soon be employed in public affairs, and might contribute to strengthen the union between the two kingdoms. The King received him very graciously, and desired him to make his compliments to the High Chancellor.


[321] Ep. 688. p. 281.

[322] Ep. 719. p. 303.

[323] Ep. 720. p. 303.

[324] Ep. 813. p. 354.

[325] Ep. 327. p. 363.

[326] Ep. 923. p. 408.

[327] Ep. 926. p. 410.

[328] Ep. 927. p. 411.

[329] Ep. 949. p. 421.

[330] Ep. 957. p. 426.

[331] Ep. 968. p. 434.

[332] Ep. 971. p. 495.

[333] Ep. 988. p. 447.

II. Grotius had always been attentive to cultivate the friendship of the Prince of Conde: they visited one another often. The Swedish Ambassador relates in one of his letters[334] that the Prince having been nominated to command in Paris in the absence of the King and Cardinal Richelieu, he waited on him in the beginning of February 1637: the Prince returned his visit soon after. The conversation turned on the marriage of Monsieur, which the King had hitherto considered as void, because it was made without his consent. Gaston's constancy in persisting to keep his wife had in the end obliged the King to approve of the match. The Prince told Grotius that he had always thought this marriage valid, and did not doubt but he was of the same mind. Grotius answered, that the opinion of those who regarded such marriages as good, was without doubt most generally received. They afterwards talked of Divinity: the Prince had been well educated, and loved this kind of conversation. The grand controversies concerning the Eucharist and the Pope's authority came under consideration; but we know not the particulars.


[334] Ep. 714. p. 299.

III. The Pope, foreseeing that the conclusion of a peace was still very distant, proposed a truce, in hopes that while it continued they might labour more effectually in bringing about a peace. France[335] and Sweden discovered no reluctance to suspend for some time the operations of the war; and Grotius received orders, as we have already seen, to confer with the French Ministry in order to settle the subsidies to be given Sweden, and the conditions of the truce. Chavigny was nominated to treat with the Swedish Ambassador on this matter. He visited Grotius on the twenty-seventh of April, 1638[336], and the Swedish Minister telling him, that he had full powers from the Queen to examine, in concert with the Minister whom the King should nominate, what was necessary to obtain an advantageous truce; Chavigny asked if he had also power to conclude the truce. Grotius answered, if France and Sweden could agree, he had in that case permission to sign the truce. Chavigny replied, that Cardinal Richelieu had learnt from Schmalz, lately arrived from Sweden with instructions for Grotius, that the Swedes wanted to have the same subsidies during the truce as they had during the war; which appeared very surprising; that he did not doubt but Grotius himself would think the claim unreasonable, since the truce was to be of long continuance, and the expence would be much less than in the time of war. Grotius answered, that the truce would be attended with as much expence as the war, since the Swedes could not keep the countries, of which they were in possession, without great armies. Chavigny replied, that the number of troops to be kept on foot during the truce might be settled: upon which Grotius observed, that during the truce between the Spaniards and the United Provinces the latter preserved the liberty of maintaining as large garrisons as they thought necessary for their security; and that the King, after the example of Henry the Great his father, furnished them with the same succours during the peace as in time of war. Chavigny maintained that the Swedes would have nothing to fear from their enemies whilst the truce lasted, on account of the great number and power of its guarantees: to which Grotius answered, that the countries possessed by the Swedes were so distant from their allies, that if they did not continue in arms to guard against any unlooked-for invasion, those countries would be lost before they could receive assistance.

The King was gone to Chantilly, and from thence he was to proceed to Compeigne. Chavigny, who was to follow him, but had not yet fixed the time of his departure, told Grotius he would speak to Cardinal Richelieu to know whether the conferences in relation to the truce were to begin before he went to Chantilly, or after his return, and would signify to him the Cardinal's intentions. Grotius answered, that he would bring Schmalz with him, because he knew the sentiments of the Swedish Ministry, and that he might make an exact report of what passed at his return to that kingdom. Schmalz was present at this conversation: he was Secretary of the High Chancellor and his confident: Grotius till now had numbered him among his friends.

April 30, Chavigny sent to acquaint Grotius that if he pleased they would hold a conference the next day. They accordingly met on the first of May[337], 1638, at Chavigny's house. Grotius asked that Minister what conditions of truce the King would have. Chavigny answered, that the conditions were not yet agreed upon; that a truce had only been barely proposed, and that his Majesty, as a good friend and faithful ally, was willing the Queen of Sweden should be informed of it; that the custom in truces was, that each one should keep the countries of which he had possession; that it was proper the Princes who had been driven from their estates should receive a decent pension during the truce, to be paid by those who enjoyed their country; that it was the King's opinion they ought not to be too hasty, but wait with patience for the proposals of the mediators. Grotius said, if the King would signify on what conditions he would agree to the truce, it would be highly agreeable to the Swedish Ministry. Chavigny assured him that he had no instructions on that head; but if he would acquaint him with the intentions of the Swedes, he would lay them before the Cardinal. They entered on the business. In the claims of the Swedes there were two articles which met with much difficulty: they took it for granted that France should continue the same subsidies whilst the truce lasted, and wanted not only to keep that part of Pomerania which they had already, but that the other should also be ceded to them. These proposals were put in writing. Chavigny promised to send them to the Cardinal, and to give a speedy answer. May 18[338], Chavigny went to Grotius's house, who immediately sent for Schmalz: the matter under consideration was the amount of the subsidies: Chavigny said the Swedes asked too much for a time of truce; that the King could only give three hundred thousand florins a year whilst it lasted. Grotius maintained that the sum was too small in proportion to the expence which the Swedes were obliged to be at; and that in one word he could consent to no diminution of the subsidies. Pomerania was next brought on the carpet. Chavigny pretended that the King neither ought, nor could with decency propose to the enemy to yield to Sweden what they still held in Pomerania. Grotius maintained that Sweden's right to that province was not founded on force, but supported by treaties made with the Duke and the people; that, besides, Sweden was in no hurry about a truce; that it would even be burdensome to her if she were not furnished with sufficient subsidies for paying her garrisons; and if she were not left in the possession of all Pomerania. He added, that to enable the Swedish Ministry to judge whether the truce would be of advantage to the kingdom, they must first be made acquainted with its conditions. The conference was concluded by a promise from Chavigny that he would communicate the King's intentions to Grotius in writing. Schmalz in the mean time did Grotius all the ill offices he could: he wrote to Court that they could no longer refuse the instances of France to recall the Ambassador: but it was from jealousy or hatred that he acted in this manner; for at the same time that he was seeking to hurt Grotius, the Count de Feuquieres waited on him from the Cardinal, to tell him that they were extremely well pleased with him in France, and that far from desiring he should be recalled, his Eminence would solicit his stay at Paris.

Schmalz, displeased with Grotius's firmness[339], went privately and told Chavigny, that the Ministry of Sweden had resolved to consent to a considerable diminution of the subsidies: which he could prove by their letters written in Swedish. Grotius was informed of this, and complained to the High Chancellor; at the same time assuring him, that Schmalz had presumed to vent the highest menaces against him and his wife, because (says he) we oppose his unjust designs.

Chavigny falling ill, Desnoyers[340], Secretary at war, was appointed to confer with Grotius: He came to his house, and after making him the King and the Cardinal's compliments, delivered an answer to the memorial he had given Chavigny; acquainting him that every thing was settled between the Cardinal and Schmalz. On reading this answer, Grotius said, that before he explained himself he must speak with Schmalz, who was joined with him in this negotiation; and therefore it was improper for him to act alone. Desnoyers being withdrawn, Grotius informed Schmalz of his visit. Schmalz maintained that he had settled nothing, and had made only a draught of a convention; which he at the same time pressed Grotius to approve of, because, he said, it was agreeable to his Swedish instructions, which empowered him to accept of two hundred thousand florins. Grotius answered, that as this article was directly contrary to his instructions, he would, give them the preference; especially as he did not understand Swedish. The dispute grew warm[341]; Schmalz asserted that he had full powers to act independently of Grotius not only in this negotiation, but even in every affair which regarded his embassy: "If it be so, the latter writes to the High Chancellor, the French will make a jest of him and of me: they, will look on me as Ambassador only in name; and on him as Ambassador in fact, though he has not the name: nay he actually allows himself to be treated at home as if he were Ambassador, and to be written to as if he had the title. It is indeed very hard that I, who am advanced in years, should have disputes with a hot-headed youth." This quarrel gave him great uneasiness: he writes to Oxenstiern[342], "I beg it as a favour of your Sublimity, that if I can be of any use to you, you would be pleased to protect me, as you have done hitherto. I have had nothing in view in all I have done but the welfare of Sweden; and it has cost me much pains to raise, by my words and actions, the credit of a nation hitherto little known in this country. If I cannot serve with utility, I had much rather return to the condition of a private man, than be a burden to the kingdom, or dishonour myself."

Schmalz lived on very ill terms with Crusius, a Swedish Lord, whom Grotius, as we have just seen, had presented to the King. Notwithstanding the grounds of complaint which the Ambassador had against Schmalz, he thought the public service required him to reconcile them, and for this end he often made them dine with him. One day, at the Swedish Banker's, both rose from table after dinner heated with wine, and came together to Grotius's: there was only his lady at home. They quarrelled, and Schmalz had the impudence to call Crusius several times a rascal; with the addition of some threatening gestures. Crusius, highly provoked, gave him a box on the ear, and an English colonel in company was so enraged against Schmalz, that had it not been for Grotius's lady he would have run him through. Notwithstanding this gross insult, Schmalz and Crusius[343] were reconciled at Grotius's house; but Schmalz still continued his extravagancies. He had the indiscretion one time to let his tongue loose against the Duke of Weymar: Baron Erlac, who was attached to that Prince, was highly incensed, and the consequences might have been very fatal. Grotius again employed his good offices to pacify Erlac. But this wrought no change in Schmalz's behaviour towards the Swedish Ambassador. In a letter of the sixteenth of October, 1638[344], Grotius observes: "It is near two months since Schmalz was to see me, though I have been ill; his reasons I neither know nor enquire. I am conscious he has no subject of complaint against me; but I have much to complain of him. He will return to you richer than he came out: I do not envy him the money, which, it is said, he received above two months ago from the French; being firmly resolved to adhere to the rule I have laid down, and hitherto observed, to accept of nothing from them." Schmalz continued to seek every opportunity of injuring Grotius[345], who, he said, was a burden on Sweden; and Grotius[346] was persuaded that Schmalz had betrayed the secret of affairs to the French Ministry in order to prejudice him. Schmalz returned to Sweden, where his misconduct being made manifest, he incurred the displeasure of the Ministry[347]. He afterwards embraced the Roman Catholic Religion, privately abjuring Lutheranism in Baron Roste's chapel, the French Resident at Stockholm. The Regency hearing of it, complained bitterly that the Resident should suffer it. Schmalz was thrown into gaol under pretence of some malversation; but had the good fortune to make his escape, and took refuge in Germany, entering into the service of the Emperor.

To return to the truce. The negotiation not succeeding at Paris, it was transferred to Hamburg, to be managed by D'Avaux and Salvius; but as it was very coldly desired either by the French, the Swedes, or even by the Imperialists, the conditions could not be settled, and the project was dropt.


[335] Bougeant, l. 5. n. 33.

[336] Ep. 950. p. 421.

[337] Father Bougeant Hist. l. 5. n. 35, places this negotiation in 1639, in which he contradicts Grotius. See Ep 954. p. 424.

[338] Ep. 960. p. 428.

[339] Ep. 974. p. 438.

[340] Ep. 976. p. 439.

[341] Ep. 976. p. 440.

[342] Ep. 982. p. 444.

[343] Ep. 993. p. 450.

[344] Ep. 1046. p. 472.

[345] Ep. 1111. p. 500.

[346] Ep. 1237. p. 560.

[347] Ep. 1263. p. 573. & 1301. p. 590. Bougeant l. 6. n. 32.

IV. As Grotius was returning from the audience of the King, at which he introduced Crusius, there happened a melancholy adventure which had like to have cost them both their lives. In passing through a village where a great crowd was assembled to see the execution of some highwaymen[348], one of the Swedish Ambassador's domestics on horseback, to make the mob give way for his master's coach, struck some of them with his whip: the alarm was instantly given that they were persons come to rescue the prisoners: upon which some shot were fired at the coach: the coachman received two balls in his body, of which he died some days after: the balls passed within two inches of the Ambassador's head. On calling out who they were, the tumult ceased. The King being informed of this outrage, ordered Count Brulon, one of the Introductors of Ambassadors, to wait on Grotius, and assure him that he was extremely sorry for his misfortune; and that as soon as the offenders were taken, they should receive the punishment they merited. Count Berlise, the other Introductor of Ambassadors, came also to visit Grotius, and acquaint him that the King was greatly concerned at the danger he underwent, and that his Majesty had ordered the Chancellor to prosecute the offenders with the utmost rigour. Grotius answered, he was so far from being animated by a spirit of revenge, that he intended to solicit a pardon for the offenders; but that it was proper, however, the King should publickly express his indignation, both for the safety of Ambassadors, and from a regard to the Law of Nations.

In consequence of his Majesty's orders the Chancellor[349] sent to the Swedish Ambassador's to take the depositions; and seven or eight persons of the village where the crime was perpetrated were taken up and thrown into prison at Paris. The Lady of the Manor came to Grotius, to solicit for the prisoners: he told her she must have patience till the trials were over, and then he would employ his interest in behalf of those who should be found guilty. He informed the High Chancellor of all these particulars; observing to him that he was very glad the King gave public proofs that he had the safety of Ambassadors at heart; and that for his part he would do all in his power to save the offenders from capital punishment.

The most guilty had had the precaution to abscond[350]: these, for their contempt of the court, were condemned to be broke on the wheel: but the sentence was not made public, because the Judges imagined they might suffer themselves to be taken if the affair seemed to be dropt. Some Lords, however, who had got notice of the sentence[351], were preparing to ask their forfeited effects: the Count de Berlise informed Grotius of it, and the Ambassador desired him to beg the favour of the King not to dispose of their effects, but to order them to be sequestrated, that he might restore them to the owners, when the time of their pardon came. "I have the honour to inform you of this, he writes to the High Chancellor, that it may not be thought I wanted to take advantage of the misfortune of these wretches, as some here are wicked enough to believe."

The sentence was at length executed on them[352]: but it was only in effigie; for none of the offenders had been taken. Grotius was then ill of an ague[353], and postponed his application for their pardon till his recovery. As soon as he could go abroad[354] he asked an audience; at which, after thanking the King for doing justice on them, which proved how much his Majesty had the respect due to Ambassadors at heart, he entreated him to grant a pardon to the offenders, and not only spare their lives, but also restore their effects; of which he claimed no part, though the King had left them to his disposal. Lewis XIII. seeing him earnest in his request, made answer, that he would give directions to the Chancellor that their pardon should pass the seals. Grotius promised to go to that Magistrate to solicit it; which he did accordingly[355], and the Chancellor promised to finish the affair agreeable to his desire.


[348] Ep. 988. p. 447.

[349] Ep. 993. p. 450.

[350] Ep. 438. p. 879.

[351] Ep. 1025. p. 462.

[352] Ep. 1028. p. 463.

[353] Ep. 1043. p. 470.

[354] Ep. 1038. p. 468.

[355] Ep. 1041. p. 469.

V. It was on the first of October, 1638, that Grotius went to solicit the King in favour of those who had insulted him: the Court was then in great joy for the happy birth of the Dauphin[356], who came into the world on the 5th of September. The Swedish Ambassador saw the King, the Queen, and the Dauphin, and made them his compliments such as the occasion required, though it was not the principal object of his journey as he could not have received orders on the subject. He recommended to the King the affairs of the Duke of Weymar, whom the Imperialists were going to attack with a force infinitely superior. His Majesty promised to augment that Prince's army as much as his other affairs would permit. Grotius having represented of what advantage an extraordinary gratification might be to the good of affairs in Germany, the King exclaimed against the great expences with which he was overpowered, but gave hopes that he would advance a sum of money beyond what he engaged to furnish. November 10, 1638[357], Grotius had another audience of the King, to entreat him not to abandon the Duke of Weymar in his present extremity: he assured his Majesty that he had precise orders to recommend to him the affairs of that Prince with the same zeal as those of Sweden. The King contented himself with giving a vague answer, which did not satisfy the Ambassador. December 4[358], he waited on the King and Queen to compliment them, by order of the Queen of Sweden, on the birth of the Dauphin. A letter written by him next day to Queen Christina relates all that passed at these audiences. After observing that he had publicly expressed his joy for the desired birth of the young Prince by bonfires, entertainments, and distributions of wine to all the neighbourhood, he tells her that he had seen the King, whom he informed of the entertainments made in Sweden on occasion of the birth of the Dauphin of France; that he observed to his Majesty, if it were true, as the Ancients believed, that names were not given by chance, one ought to prognosticate great things of the Dauphin [Anglice Dolphin]; that the signs which surrounded the Constellation bearing his name, denote the most happy presages; that it was surrounded by the Eagle, Pegasus, Sagittarius, Aquarius, and the Swan; that the Eagle denoted a superior genius; Pegasus presaged that he would be powerful in cavalry, Sagittarius in infantry, and Aquarius in naval force: the Swan signified that his great actions would be celebrated by poets, historians, and orators: that the nine stars in the sign of the Dolphin denoted, according to astrologers, the nine Muses, who were to render the Prince illustrious and receive lustre from him: that the Dolphin being near the Equator, signified that the King's justice would be hereditary to his son; that naturalists had remarked three properties in the Dolphin, which ought to be considered as happy presages of what the Dauphin of France would be: that it loved men; that it came quickly to maturity; and had much activity.

Grotius, it is probable, had recourse to these unnatural and consequently ridiculous allegories in compliance with the bad taste of the age. It is to be presumed that such an elevated genius, who knew the rules of eloquence, and disapproved of the wretched strain of the advocates of that time, was not pleased with himself on this occasion. He concluded his harangue with beseeching the King to be persuaded that her Swedish Majesty would faithfully execute her treaties; that nothing would be more agreeable to her, than to live in the best understanding with the King, and to hear of the prosperity of his kingdom; and that she would chearfully employ all her forces to encrease the power of France. He afterwards excused the Queen for not sending an Ambassador extraordinary to compliment the King, giving as a reason, that such a commission could only be executed by one of the first Lords of the Kingdom, who were all employed in the army, or in the ministry; and the Queen presumed his Majesty would like better that they should discharge their duty, than undertake so long a journey. The King seemed much pleased with the conclusion of this compliment. He promised to be constant in his friendship, and faithful in the execution of his treaties, and to continue the war with the fame ardour as his good sister.

Grotius afterwards waited on the Queen, to whom he said, that his complimenting her so late on the part of the Queen of Sweden, was owing to the distance of Stockholm: he observed to her that Gothland was a province of Sweden, from which the Kings of Spain were not ashamed to derive their origin: he expressed his joy at seeing on the throne of France a Queen descended from the Goths, and who had brought forth a Prince who by his mother belonged to that nation: he assured her that of all the Princes who had borne the name of Deodatus, none deserved it so well as the Dauphin, whom Providence had given to the prayers of the kingdom almost against all hope; that he was born on the day of the Sun, which presaged that by his heat and light he would confer happiness on France, and the friends of France, among whom her Swedish Majesty held the first rank; that he was born in Autumn, the season of the year abounding most in fruit, which denoted that with him would be found the fruit of all virtues. The Queen received the compliment with great politeness, and made an offer of her services to her Swedish Majesty.

The important fortress of Brisac having been obliged to surrender to the Duke of Weymar in the end of the year 1638[359], Grotius went to compliment the King on that event: he first thanked him for sending reinforcements to the Duke, and afterwards enlarged on the advantages of taking Brisac, the conquest of which contributed to the security of Burgundy and Champaigne, facilitated the preservation of Lorain, the towns of Alsace, and the liberty of the Swiss, and, in fine, enabled them to make farther progress in Germany: he concluded with beseeching his Majesty to order the money promised, to be paid to the Swedes, that they might put Marshal Bannier in a condition to accomplish what might be of service to the King. Lewis assured him, that he would take care the money should be remitted.

Grotius having asked an audience of the King in the month of March, 1639[360], Count Brulon, Introductor of Ambassadors, waited on him to know what he purposed to say to the King, under pretence that when his Majesty was not previously apprised of certain affairs, he was too much affected by them. Grotius answered, that he should say nothing disagreeable to the King. Brulon wanting to enter into farther particulars, the Ambassador told him, he would follow his orders. The audience, however, was granted: he remonstrated to the King the necessity of sending speedy succours to the Duke of Weymar to enable him to penetrate into the heart of Germany, whilst Marshal Bannier did the same on his side: and assured him, that the Queen was determined to embark the recruits and provisions for that General's army as soon as the season would permit. The King answered, that he had affairs in so many places he could not do at once all that he desired.

Grotius ascribed the King's explaining himself so coldly to the offence taken by Cardinal Richelieu at the Duke of Weymar. His Eminence wanted to prevail with that Prince to come and pass the winter at Paris, in order to enter into a closer connection with him, and to get from him the possession of Brisac. The Duke, who was informed of his intentions, chose rather to remain in Germany, than to be near an absolute Minister whom it was dangerous to contradict. It is said that from this time the Cardinal resolved to obstruct the progress of a Prince, whose ambition and valour filled him with apprehensions. Grotius had a new audience of the King in the middle of April following, to represent to him the necessity of augmenting the army commanded by the Duke of Weymar, who had sent Erlac to court to obtain speedy succours. The King promised that Erlac should be satisfied.


[356] Ep. 1038. p. 468.

[357] Ep. 1064. p. 480.

[358] Ep. 1079. p. 485.

[359] Ep. 1090. p. 490. & 1093. p. 491.

[360] Ep. 1137. p. 514.

VI. These were only vague promises which the Ministry never intended to fulfil. The Cardinal had made no secret[361] of his desire to gain the Duke of Weymar by giving him his niece in marriage: the Prince's refusal and his desire to keep Brisac had so much offended his Eminence, that he even told Erlac that the Duke hearkened to bad counsels, and that his behaviour to France was not such as gratitude and civility required. The malevolence of the French Minister[362] chagrined the Duke so much that he fell ill: it was only a slight indisposition, but, however, he did not long survive it[363]: a violent fever seized him at Neubourg, which on the fourth day cut off a Prince, whom Grotius calls the honour and last resource of Germany[364]: the tenth of July, 1639, was the last of this illustrious personage. It was at that time very doubtful[365] whether he died of the plague, which prevailed in those parts, or of poison. Grotius tells us[366], that the Duke himself thought they had shortened his days: he even cites on this subject the Prince's funeral oration delivered at Brisac, wherein the author was not afraid of advancing this anecdote. Grotius was also persuaded[367] that the Prince died by poison: he mentions it in a letter to the High Chancellor of the 10th of October, 1639. "The more I reflect on the Duke of Weymar's death, the more I am persuaded that he had on his body no marks of the plague, and that it was not in his house: accordingly the reports of his being poisoned again prevail, and the suspicion falls upon the Geneva physician, who was brought to remove his cholic."

As this Prince's victories made even his allies uneasy, they were accused of contributing to his death. Cardinal Richelieu's enemies spread the report, without ground, that it was he who caused the poison to be given to the Duke, that he might get Brisac more easily; and the Swedish historian[368] seems inclined to think he was poisoned, without imputing it, however, to the Cardinal. "At the time of the Duke of Weymar's death, says he, there was a grand negotiation on foot to know whether Brisac should be yielded to France. Grotius pressed the Prince to keep it; and the refusing to yield that place disgusted France. He died soon after, not without suspicion of poison. The court of Vienna[369], to whom his death was of great advantage, was also accused of committing the crime: but these were all vague and ill-grounded reports, which consequently merit little attention." The Duke of Weymar's death[370] occasioned the greatest consternation among the Swedes; the army was left without a leader, the towns without a master, and for some time there was nothing but anarchy in the country where he commanded. This Prince placed the greatest confidence in Grotius, who had for him the most perfect esteem. When at Paris he was most intimate with the Swedish Ambassador[371], and deposited with him some valuable things which he would neither intrust to the King, nor to any of his subjects.


[361] Grotii Ep. 1153. p. 524.

[362] Ep. 1140. p. 516.

[363] Ep. 1226. p. 548.

[364] Ep. 1207. p. 549. & 1224. p. 553.

[365] Ep. 1223 p. 557.

[366] Ep. 1254. p. 569.

[367] Ep. 1249. p. 566.

[368] Puffendorf, l. 11. sec. 39.

[369] Le Vassor, l. 45. p. 265, 266.

[370] Ep. 1216, p. 548.

[371] Ep. 876 p. 384.

VII. When the Duke of Weymar's death was publicly known, Charles Lewis, Elector Palatine, son of the unfortunate King of Bohemia, purposed to get the Weymarian army to acknowledge him for their General. This negotiation could not be carried on without a large sum of money. The Elector went to his uncle the King of England, from whom he got 25000 l. sterling, with the promise of a larger sum in case of need. He might have returned into Holland, and would in all probability have succeeded in his project, but the King of England, it is said, advised him to act in concert with France, whose interest was connected with his, and without whose assistance he would have much difficulty to accomplish his design. King Charles spoke of it to Bellievre[372] the French Ambassador at London: he told him the Elector was determined to go to France, and lodge with the Earl of Leicester, the English Ambassador at Paris, that he might have an opportunity of conferring with the King. Bellievre, who was informed of the intentions of the French Court, and those of the Elector, represented to the King, that the Prince, before he embarked for France, ought to get a passport from the Court, otherwise he would be in danger of being arrested by the Governor of the first town. Bellievre was desired to write to France about it: the Ministry were in no hurry to give him an answer, because they disliked the prince's project. The Elector in his impatience resolved to go over incognito to France. M. Pelisson assures us[373] it was Montreuil, one of the first Academicians, at that time employed by France in England, who gave the Court notice of the Elector's design. That Prince managed his matters with so little address, that his journey was a secret to no body. He went on board publicly[374], suffered the English ships to salute him at his departure, and on landing him at Boulogn, the King his uncle's ships, which escorted him, made a general discharge of their great guns.

After coming on shore[375] he set out with five of his servants for Paris; and, changing his name, would not lodge with the Earl of Leicester; but took the road to Lyons, where the King was, and travelled very slowly. His design was to turn off to Switzerland, and proceed from thence to the Weymarian army. The Cardinal, who was informed of his rout, suffering him to advance into the heart of the kingdom, caused him to be arrested at Moulins in the Bourbonoise. He denied at first that he was the Elector Palatine; but was at last obliged to own it. [376]He was confined in the citadel; where he was civilly treated, till orders should be received from the King. He was from thence carried to Vincennes[377], where he was permitted to see no body, and denied the use of pen and ink. For six days he was not suffered to walk in the garden. The Prince had two brothers at Paris, Maurice and Edward, who came there to learn Riding and Fencing. They were narrowly watched, and ordered not to leave Paris; and their Governor was charged to attend them wherever they went. About a month after the Elector's confinement, they were permitted to see him[378]; but it was in presence of witnesses: the Elector was also suffered to walk sometimes in the garden on condition that the guard went with him.

Cardinal Richelieu and the French Ministers, to justify this conduct, gave out that it was not allowable for a foreign Prince to pass through the kingdom without the King's permission; that the Elector's conduct shewed that he had some bad design; that they knew he wanted to go to Geneva, to proceed from thence to the Duke of Weymar's army, to seize the towns of Alsace, and exchange them afterwards with the Emperor in order to obtain restitution of the Palatinate; and that such a project must be very prejudicial to France, to whom the conquest of Alsace had cost so many men and so much money. This imprisonment made a great noise in Europe: the Earl of Leicester, Ambassador from England, demanded the Prince's release; and Christiern King of Denmark used some strong expressions. The King of England wrote to the French King, that it was he who sent his nephew into France to confer with his Majesty on the state of his affairs; and that if the King would not give him an audience he ought at least to send him back to England. This letter having produced no effect, the English applied to the Queen of Sweden to intercede for the discharge of the captive Elector; and the King declared at last that he would let Grotius treat with the Ministry about the accommodation of this affair. He drew up a plan, in concert with the Earl of Leicester, for giving satisfaction to the Court of France that the Prince might be set at liberty. The Elector was to give it under his hand, that he never intended to negotiate with the Duke of Weymar's army without the concurrence of the Queen of Sweden and the most Christian King: and on making this declaration he was to remain at Paris, giving his parole not to leave it without the King's permission; and the English Ambassador was to be security for the observance of it.

Grotius, in communicating this project to Camerarius the Swedish Ambassador in Holland, acquaints him that he was persuaded nothing could have greater weight with the French Ministry than what he had suggested; and that he expected letters from the Queen his mistress, who was much affected with the Elector's misfortune. Chavigny made two visits on the subject of this negotiation to Grotius, who communicated to him what he had concerted with the English Ambassador.

As the French Ministry had need of Grotius in this affair[379], he was now treated by them with more civility. Chavigny came to him, by order of the King, about the middle of January, 1640[380], and told him that his Majesty and the Cardinal esteemed him highly, and for the future would treat him with friendship and candour; that if any thing had happened formerly, which might displease him, it was wholly owing to Father Joseph; and that Cardinal Richelieu was now sensible he had been injustly blamed. Grotius returned his thanks for these civilities; he assured Chavigny that the Ministry might expect from him all that could be hoped for from an honest man; that he knew the disgusts he had received proceeded from the Dutch, who, after having treated him unjustly, still continued to persecute him; and that he had determined to meddle no otherwise in their affairs than as they were connected with those of Sweden. Chavigny commended this resolution; adding, that the King intended to employ him in accommodating the affair of the Elector Palatine; which might be accomplished, if the Prince would only declare, that he had not proposed to himself any views on the Duke of Weymar's army but with the King's consent, whom he designed to consult; and if he would promise to carry on no intrigue for the future in that army without the approbation of the Queen of Sweden and the French King; that he might then be permitted to remain at Paris, after giving his parole, and engaging the English Ambassador to give his, that he should not leave it without the King's permission. Grotius answered he would be always glad to serve the King. After this conversation Grotius visited the Earl of Leicester, and communicated the project to him as his own; for Chavigny had desired him not to speak of the conversation which they had together: he assured the English Ambassador, that he knew for certain if he approved of the proposal the Prince would not only obtain his liberty, but might also hope to recover his dominions if his Britannic Majesty would bestir himself for that purpose; and that he hoped his mediation would not be less agreeable to the King of England, than to the French King. The Earl of Leicester answered, that he had orders to demand the Elector's discharge without any condition; that he would write to England; and till he received an answer must exactly follow his instructions. He asked Grotius to continue his good offices in this affair, assuring him that they would be most agreeable to the King of England. The Swedish Ambassador informed the High Chancellor of these particulars, in a letter dated Jan. 22, 1640[381].

Chavigny soon returned to Grotius to know what had passed between him and the English Ambassador: and on this occasion assured him of the Cardinal's favourable disposition towards him. Some time after, a person belonging to Chavigny brought Grotius some papers relating to the accommodation of this affair; in which the Weymarian army was supposed to belong to the King of France, because he alone paid it. Grotius, on the contrary, was persuaded that that army belonged to Sweden and the confederate Princes of Germany; and that the Duke of Weymar, as he himself had several times said, received the French subsidies in quality of ally of that crown, as the Landgrave did in his life-time. On reading these papers he told the person who brought them, they would not please the English; and asked permission to make some alteration in them. Chavigny's Secretary answered, that he had orders to leave them with him, that he might shew them to the Earl of Leicester. Grotius replied, that he would first examine them farther, and see what was to be done. Some days after, Chavigny sent another Secretary, asking him to confer as soon as possible with the Earl of Leicester. Grotius answered, that he had read the papers with attention; and finding in them some things to the prejudice of Sweden, he would consult the Queen that he might do nothing to the prejudice of her rights; that he was sorry the distance would not permit him to receive her orders soon, but if the other Ambassadors who had offered their good-offices in this affair could obtain the Prince's liberty he would be well satisfied.

These papers differed in many places from what had been settled between Chavigny and Grotius. They had agreed that the Elector, on coming out of Vincennes, should remain at Paris: the new regulation obliged him to follow the Court, that he might be more easily observed; besides, it only made mention of the King of France, and said nothing of Sweden. The French Ministry would absolutely[382] have the Weymarian Army to be the King's; and that it was a high offence against him to attempt to get the command of it without his consent. The Landgravine of Hesse[383], Amelia Elizabeth of Hanau, whose uncommon merit and attachment to France had gained her the greatest confederation at Court, wrote to the King in favour of the captive Prince, assuring him, that all Germany was under affliction on account of his situation. The Queen of Bohemia[384], the Elector's mother, approved of the difficulties started by Grotius; and Queen Christina ordered him to demand an audience of the King to present a letter from her, dated Dec. 19, 1639[385]. It was some time before he could obtain this audience, the King being ill of the gout. Some imagined this was only a pretext, and that his Majesty refused to see him because the Ministers were treating directly with the Elector, who was to be set at liberty as soon as they could agree with him, without its appearing to be done at the solicitation of any foreign Prince.

The 18th of February, 1640, was at last appointed for the audience: Grotius told the King that by clemency men approached nearest to the Divinity, and that it became no Prince so well as him who bore the title of Most Christian King; that the Kings of France had always distinguished themselves by this virtue, particularly Henry IV; and that he himself had on several occasions given signal proofs of his clemency. He afterwards set forth the ancient splendour of the Palatine house, the most illustrious of the empire, whose heir was now in captivity, without lands, without subjects, and reduced to seek shelter among strangers: he shewed that his house was ever closely attached to France; that it defended with all its forces the rights of Henry the Great to the Crown when unjustly disputed; that the Austrians were always declared enemies of this house, and now kept the second Prince of it in prison; that the Courts of Vienna and Madrid ardently desired the continuation of the Elector's captivity; that this Prince deserved the better treatment in France, as during his minority he was ever an ally of the Crown of Sweden, and those, who managed his affairs in his youth, conformed with the greatest zeal and fidelity to all the desires of the King's Ministers, and contributed much to the success of their demands in the diets of Hailbron, Francfort, and Worms; that his Majesty, by setting the Prince at liberty, would not only do a great pleasure to Germany, but her Swedish Majesty would consider it as a high obligation, and take every opportunity to express her gratitude. The King seemed to be affected with this discourse. He said, Grotius was not ignorant of his reasons for arresting the Elector Palatine; that the good of the common cause induced him to do it; that he had always had the restoration of the Palatine house much at heart, and caused it to be mentioned to the King of England, whom this affair regarded more, and had made several proposals on the subject to the Earl of Leicester. Grotius replied, that it did not become him to enter into a dispute concerning the reasons which determined so great a King to act as he had done; but if, without breach of the respect due to his Majesty, he might be permitted to speak his sentiments, he thought the best measure that could be taken was to forget what was passed, and attend only to the advantage of the common cause; adding, that some allowance must be made for the Prince's youth, and it ought to be considered, that the bad situation of his affairs did not permit him to engage in his service such as were most capable of giving him good advice. The King said, he had heard what the Ambassador represented, and that he was going to read the Queen of Sweden's letters. The audience concluded with the Swedish Ambassador's instances, that the King would remember clemency and goodness. Grotius acquainted the Queen of Sweden with all these particulars, in a letter dated the 3d of March, 1640[386].

As soon as it was known in France, that Grotius had received orders to intercede for the Prince, he was confined more closely; so that those of his family, who were at Paris, had no communication with him, as before; hence it was concluded, that the French Ministers wanted to negotiate directly with him, and prevent his holding any correspondence with such as might divert him from giving the King the satisfaction he desired. These suspicions were well grounded[387]: Chavigny was treating at Vincennes with the Prince, who, tired of his confinement, signed the declaration which the King wanted, namely, that he had no design to get the command of the Weymarian troops contrary to his Majesty's inclination, and would not leave France without his permission. The King alone was mentioned in this writing, and no notice taken of the Swedes.

The Court being satisfied[388], Chavigny went on the 13th of March, 1640, at night, to Vincennes, and brought the Prince to the Earl of Leicester's house; where he staid incognito till the Hotel of the Ambassadors Extraordinary, then occupied by Prince Casimir, should be empty. In this manner the Prince recovered his liberty[389], which he owed to the powerful solicitation of the Queen of Sweden, and the good-offices of her Minister. Grotius informed the Queen, that the Prince was come out of Vincennes, by a letter of the 7th of April, 1640[390]. He went to pay his compliments to his Highness, and gave him all the honours due to an Elector, though he was not treated as such by the French, because they were in negotiation with the Duke of Bavaria, who was invested with the title of Elector, which the Palatine house enjoyed before the troubles in Bohemia. But Sweden had still continued to regard the Prince as if he had been in possession of his electorate. Grotius held a correspondence with him before this event: we have a letter of that Ambassador, written on the 16th of November, 1638, to the Elector Palatine, in which he allures him, that he had spoken to the Most Christian King and his Ministers, and to the English Ambassador, for the restoration of the Palatine house; and that he had also written about it to the Queen of Sweden and the Grandees of the kingdom.

The Elector came to make Grotius a visit[391], and begged he would recommend him to the favour of the Queen of Sweden. Grotius demanded an audience of the King, to thank him for the regard he had shewn to the Queen his Mistress's recommendation.

The Prince made his court so well to the King, and so managed the French Ministry, that he at last got the title of Elector. He was extremely well received at Court: but grew weary, however, of France, and was desirous of obtaining full and entire liberty by the Queen of Sweden's credit. He spoke of it to Grotius; who promised him his good-offices. The uneasiness, which the protracting of this negotiation gave the Prince, threw him into an ague. At length, after much ado, he obtained full liberty. July 25, 1640, the King gave him permission to go where he pleased, after giving assurances, that he would adhere to the writing signed at Vincennes, by which he engaged to do nothing against the interest of France. He came to acquaint Grotius with this agreeable news; adding, that he was resolved to go to Holland, and continue there till the troubles in Scotland were ended. It was not then foreseen that they would last so long, and still less that they would bring the King to the block.


[372] Ep. 1876. p. 578.

[373] Hist. de l'Acad. p. 162.

[374] Ep. Grot. 1629. p. 575.

[375] Ep. 1250. p. 576.

[376] Ep. 1271. p. 576.

[377] Puffendorf, l. 11. sec. 60.

[378] Ep. 1283. p. 581.

[379] Ep. 1311. p. 593.

[380] Puffendorf, l. 11. sec. 78.

[381] Ep. 1312. p. 594.

[382] Ep. 1313, p. 595.

[383] Ep. 1317. p. 596.

[384] Ep. 1320. p. 598.

[385] Ep. 1319. p. 597.

[386] Ep. 1328. p. 601.

[387] Ep. 1333 p. 613.

[388] Ep. 1337. p. 607. Puffendorf, l. 12. sec. 52.

[389] Ep. 1338. p. 607.

[390] Ep. 1344. p. 609.

[391] Ep. 1548. p. 611.

VIII. Grotius was at this time engaged in another very delicate negotiation at the Court of France. Marshal Horn, the High Chancellor's son-in-law, had been taken at the battle of Nordlinguen, and Sweden was most desirous to recover her General. The famous John de Vert was at the same time prisoner at Vincennes[392]: nothing seemed more natural or easy than the exchange of these two great Captains: it was obstructed, however, by two considerable difficulties. The Duke of Weymar pretended that John de Vert was his Prisoner, and that he only sent him into France to be kept there till he should redemand him. Besides, the French Court were afraid that Marshal Horn's return would be rather hurtful, than advantageous to the common cause: there was no longer any employment for the Marshal in the army, and as he was supported by the credit of his father-in-law, his return to it might occasion a dangerous division, the consequences whereof were to be apprehended even by France herself. Grotius[393] nevertheless was ordered to solicit the King in favour of this exchange: he spoke of it first to Bullion[394], who frankly promised to do all in his power for Sweden in the affair. He afterwards spoke of it to the King at an audience in the beginning of November, 1639; an account of which he sends to the Queen, in a letter of the 9th of November. He tells her, that, having pressed the King to procure the Marshal's liberty, Lewis discovered great readiness to do it, and promised to propose it in council. The Ambassador, to engage the King more warmly for this exchange, represented to his Majesty, that the late Duke of Weymar designed the generals John de Vert and Enkefort to be exchanged for Marshal Horn: that the Prince thought his glory concerned in making this exchange; that he had mentioned it to the Queen of Sweden; and often written to his Majesty about it, and several times employed others to solicit it, and that he died in these sentiments.

Marshal Horn's liberty could not be obtained without the consent of another Prince, the Duke of Bavaria, with whom he was a prisoner. That Prince, being spoke to, readily gave his consent to the exchange. Marshal Horn wrote this to Grotius, in a letter delivered to him by John de Vert: and the Ambassador immediately wrote to the High Chancellor, May 16, 1640, that he thought the Queen should make new instances by letter to the King, and give him [Grotius] fresh orders on the subject.

The taking of Arras furnishing an occasion to compliment the King, Grotius went to St. Germains in the beginning of November, 1640. He expressed to his Majesty the joy he received by his happy return, his good health, and the conquest of such a considerable town as the capital of the Artois: he added his sincere wishes for the further increase of the prosperity of France, and the happy delivery of the Queen, who was then with child of the Duke of Anjou, afterwards Duke of Orleans. The King seemed to be pleased with this compliment, and mentioned some of the difficulties which attended the siege of Arras. Grotius afterwards spoke to the King of Marshal Horn: he told his Majesty that he had received letters from him, assuring that the Duke of Bavaria consented to his being exchanged for John de Vert. The Ambassador added, that the Duke of Weymar always desired the exchange: and that, if his Majesty would do Sweden this pleasure, John de Vert might be sent to Benfeld, and Marshal Horn to Landau, and both be afterwards set at liberty at Basil. The King answered, that he would think seriously of it.

In fact, Chavigny came soon after to see Grotius, and told him that the King, after reflecting on the proposals he had made to him concerning Marshal Horn's release, had resolved to send John de Vert to Nancy as soon as the troops were in winter quarters, that he might be sent back with a more considerable escort; that he consented the Marshal should be exchanged for John de Vert, on condition, however, that the treaty between France and Sweden should be renewed. Chavigny added, that the King, having learnt that Grotius complained of the Chancellor Seguier for denying him the honours due to an Ambassador, had signified his intentions, that he should be treated as the other Ambassadors of crowned heads. Grotius having made a visit a little before[395] to the Chancellor of France, he had neither advanced to meet him, according to custom, nor given him the place that was due to him, nor re-conducted him on coming away. The Ambassador complaining of it, Count Brulon came and told him in presence of the Chancellor's servants, that if any offence had been given him, it proceeded from inattention, and not from design; for the King would have him treated with the same honours as other Ambassadors of Kings. Grotius replied, that he expected to receive the same treatment as the English Ambassador: on which Count Brulon said, France gave to each power the honour due to its rank.

The exchange, however, was not executed. Grotius made a journey to Rheims, where the King was, to speak to him of it[396]. The King gave him the most positive promises, and engaged to give John de Vert his liberty, if the Duke of Bavaria sent Marshal Horn to Landau. Grotius wrote to the Court of Bavaria; John de Vert was conducted to Selesdad: and at last the exchange was made at Strasbourg. Grotius wrote a letter[397] of compliment on it to the Marshal, and desired him to come and lodge with him, if he purposed to pass through Paris in his way to Sweden.


[392] Bougeant, l. 6. sec. 14.

[393] Ep. 1259. p. 371.

[394] Ep. 1263. p. 573. 1276. p. 578.

[395] Ep. 1414. p. 645.

[396] Ep. 1512. p. 685. 1517. p. 687. 1523. p. 690 & 1532. p. 693

[397] Ep. 1565. p. 708.

IX. The renewal of the treaty of alliance between France and Sweden, which was almost expired, was now on the carpet. This grand affair was negotiating at Hamburg between Claude de Meme count d'Avaux, and John Adler Salvius, Vice-Chancellor of Sweden. Grotius[398], who was attentive to give such counsels as might be useful to the crown of Sweden, wrote to the High Chancellor on the 29th of September, 1640, that if the subsidies made the only difficulty to the conclusion of the treaty, he knew the Cardinal would augment them. And accordingly, instead of a million, which France promised to Sweden by the last[399] treaty, by this she gave her twelve hundred thousand Francs. The negotiation meeting with many obstacles, it was drawn into a great length and not concluded till the last of June, 1641.

In the beginning of November in the preceding year, Chavigny came to acquaint Grotius, that the King was astonished that nothing was done in the eight months that the renewal of the alliance had been negotiating at Hamburg; that it would seem the regents of Sweden imagined by these delays to obtain better conditions; but the King could add nothing to the former subsidies by reason of his exorbitant expences both on his own account and that of the allies; that he was desirous of being speedily informed of the intentions of the Swedish Ministers; that the renewal of the treaty would contribute to the obtaining a good peace; that if they would not renew it, it was time the King should know it, that he might take his measures; and that the peace was greatly retarded by the hopes which the enemy entertained of a difference between France and Sweden. He added, that if a separate treaty should be set on foot, France could obtain better terms than Sweden. The whole drift of this discourse was to let Grotius know they were not ignorant that he had written to Sweden, advising the Regency to take advantage of the present occasion to obtain more advantageous conditions from France; which would be granted. The Swedish Ambassador answered Chavigny, that he had received a letter from the Queen for his Majesty, which he purposed to deliver immediately; that the war was very burdensome to the Swedes, who had so many enemies to combat with, especially this year and last; and that as to the renewal of the treaty, he had nothing to say to it; for that affair did not concern him, but Salvius.

He demanded an audience; but it was denied on several pretexts[400]; because they wanted farther information of what was doing at Hamburg. It was at last granted[401] on the 16th of November, 1640. He saw the Queen first, whom he complimented on the birth of the Duke of Anjou: he afterwards saw the King, and delivered to him the Queen's letters of the 10th of September. He congratulated him on the advantages gained last campaign, and on the birth of a second son of France; and entreated his Majesty to send a greater force into Germany as the only means to obtain a glorious peace. The King promised it, and afterwards repeated to Grotius what Chavigny had said; that the treaty of alliance would soon expire; that he would be glad to renew it on the former conditions; but that if her Swedish Majesty disliked them, he wished to know it immediately, that he might regulate his measures accordingly. He often repeated that it was not in his power to augment the subsidies, though the Ambassador proved that he could never make a better use of his money. Grotius informed the Queen of what passed at this audience by a letter of the 17th of November, 1640, in which he assures her that the true reason why the King deferred seeing him was his waiting for Cardinal Richelieu, with whom he wanted to concert the answer he should make. He acquainted this Princess at the same time, that it was from the Superintendant's own friends he understood the Swedes might hope for an increase of the subsidies on renewing the alliance.

Salvius informed Grotius of the state of the negotiation[402], that they might act in concert. The Vice-Chancellor was the primum mobile of this great affair: Grotius was subordinate to him, and did him great service by the instructions which he sent him.


[398] Ep. 1420. p. 647.

[399] Bougeant. l. 6. n. 38.

[400] Ep. 1440. p. 653.

[401] Ep. 1442. p. 654.

[402] Ep. 1472. p. 666.

X. Cardinal Richelieu died the year after the renewal of the treaty of alliance between France and Sweden, on the 4th of December, 1642. This famous Minister was not much regretted by the Swedish Ambassador: independent of the grounds of complaint which Grotius thought he had against the Cardinal, it is not surprising that he should have no great veneration for him; they were of too different sentiments to esteem, or perhaps to do one another justice.

Lewis XIII. did not long survive his Prime Minister; the fourteenth of May, 1643, was his last. Anne of Austria, his widow, was Regent of the Kingdom during the minority of her son Lewis XIV. She told the Swedish Ambassador by Chavigny, and repeated it herself, that the King's death would make no change in the alliance between France and Sweden; that she would follow the intentions of the late King in every thing, and observe with the greatest fidelity the treaties made with the allies.

The Duke of Orleans and the Prince of Conde were of the same sentiments[403]. Cardinal Mazarin soon gained all the Queen's confidence, and the principal part in the Ministry: he pretended to support the dignity of Cardinal with the same grandeur as his predecessor: which made Grotius resolve[404] to wait for orders from Sweden before he saw his Eminence. September 26, 1643, he writes to Salvius[405], "I received with great pleasure your Excellency's letters. I caused them to be delivered to Cardinal Mazarin, whom I have not seen, nor will see, unless the Queen order it. He takes the precedence of the Ambassadors of Kings; and though the title of Eminence be given him, he refuses that of Excellence to Ambassadors." Sweden having declared war against the King of Denmark[406], who had taken several Swedish ships trading in the Sound, Grotius communicated the Queen of Sweden's motives to the French Queen[407], without having orders for it, in an audience which he had of her Majesty about the middle of April, 1644; acquainting her that justice and necessity obliged Sweden to have recourse to arms against the Danes; he also shewed her the declaration of war, which he translated into Latin, and printed at Paris. Some time after, Christina sent him orders to inform the Queen of France of the reasons which obliged the Swedes to enter into a war with Denmark; which Grotius did accordingly at an audience in the beginning of June, 1644.

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