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A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time

Fourteen carriages conveyed to Marly fifty magistrates


M.

d'Argenson made no mistake; the era of a great foreign policy had passed away for France. A king, who was frivolous and indifferent to his business as well as to his glory; a minister aged, economizing, and timid; an ambitious few, with views more bold than discreet,--such were henceforth the instruments at the disposal of France; the resources were insufficient for the internal government; the peace of Vienna and the annexation of Lorraine were the last important successes of external policy. Chauvelin had the honor of connecting his name therewith before disappearing forever in his retreat at Grosbois, to expend his life in vain regrets for lost power, and in vain attempts to recover it.

Peace reigned in Europe, and Cardinal Fleury governed France without rival and without opposition. He had but lately, like Richelieu, to whom, however, he did not care to be compared, triumphed over parliamentary revolt. Jealous of their ancient, traditional rights, the Parliament claimed to share with the government the care of watching over the conduct of the clergy. It was on that ground that they had rejected the introduction of the Legend of, Gregory VII., recently canonized at Rome, and had sought to mix themselves up in the religious disputes excited just then by the pretended miracles wrought at the tomb of Deacon Paris, a pious and modest Jansenist, who had lately died in the odor of sanctity in the parish of St. Medard. The cardinal had ordered

the cemetery to be closed, in order to cut short the strange spectacles presented by the convulsionists; and, to break down the opposition of Parliament, the king had ordered, at a bed of justice, the registration of all the papal bulls succeeding the Unigenitus. In vain had D'Aguesseau, reappointed to the chancellorship, exhorted the Parliament to yield: he had fallen in public esteem. Abbe Pernelle, ecclesiastical councillor, as distinguished for his talent as for his courage, proposed a solemn declaration, analogous, at bottom, to the maxims of the Gallican church, which had been drawn up by Bossuet, in the assembly of the clergy of France. The decision of the Parliament was quashed by the council. An order from the king, forbidding discussion, was brought to the court by Count Maurepas; its contents were divined, and Parliament refused to open it. The king iterated his injunctions. "If his Majesty were at the Louvre," cried Abbe Pernelle, "it would be the court's duty to go and let him know how his orders are executed." "Marly is not so very far!" shouted a young appeal-court councillor (_aux enquetes_) eagerly. "To Marly! To Marly!" at once repeated the whole chamber. The old councillors themselves murmured between their teeth, "To Marly!" Fourteen carriages conveyed to Marly fifty magistrates, headed by the presidents. The king refused to receive them; in vain the premier president insisted upon it, to Cardinal Fleury; the monarch and his Parliament remained equally obstinate. "What a sad position!" exclaimed Abbe Pernelle, "not to be able to fulfil one's duties without falling into the crime of disobedience! We speak, and we are forbidden a word; we deliberate, and we are threatened. What remains for us, then, in this deplorable position, but to represent to the king the impossibility of existing under form of Parliament, without having permission to speak; the impossibility, by consequence,


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