feature in the character of the Primate of Gaul, was his courtier spirit and unswerving devotion to the powers that be. One may imagine the innumerable perplexities in which these two relationships involved him, and through what temporal shoals he had to steer his spiritual bark in order to avoid being wrecked either on Louis or on Charles, that Scylla and Charybdis which had swallowed up both the Duke of Nemours and the Constable of Saint-Pol. Heaven be praised, however, he had managed the voyage well, and had come safely to anchor in Rome without mishap. Yet, although he was in port, and precisely because he was in port, he never recalled without a qualm of uneasiness the many changes and chances of his long and stormy political voyage, and he often said that the year 1476 had been for him both black and white; meaning that in that year he had lost his mother, the Duchess of Bourbonnais, and his cousin, the Duke of Burgundy, and that the one death had consoled him for the other.

For the rest, he was a proper gentleman; led the pleasant life befitting a cardinal, was ever willing to make merry on the royal vintage of Chaillot, had no objection to Richarde de la Garmoise and Thomasse la Saillarde, would rather give alms to a pretty girl than an old woman, for all of which reasons he was high in favour with the populace of Paris. He was always surrounded by a little court of bishops and abbots of high degree, gay and sociable gentlemen, never averse to a thorough good dinner; and many a time had the pious gossips of Saint-Germain d’Auxerre been scandalized in passing at night under the lighted windows of the Hôtel de Bourbon, to hear the selfsame voices which erstwhile had chanted vespers for them now trolling out, to the jingle of glasses, the bacchanalian verses of Benedict XII (the Pope who added the third crown to the tiara) beginning “Bibamus papaliter” (Let us drink like Popes).

Without doubt it was this well-earned popularity which saved him from any demonstration of ill-will on the part of the crowd, so dissatisfied but a moment before, and but little disposed to evince respect towards a Cardinal on the very day they were going to elect a Pope of their own. But the Parisians bear very little malice; besides, having forced the performance to commence of their own authority, they had worsted the Cardinal, and their victory sufficed them. Moreover, Monseigneur was a handsome man, and he wore his handsome red robe excellently well; which is equivalent to saying that he had all the women, and consequently the greater part of the audience, on his side. Decidedly it would have shown great want both of justice and of good taste to hoot a Cardinal for coming late to the play, when he is a handsome man and wears his red robe with so handsome an air.

He entered then, greeted the audience with that smile which the great instinctively bestow upon the people, and slowly directed his steps towards his chair of scarlet velvet, his mind obviously preoccupied by some very different matter. His train, or what we should now call his staff, of bishops and abbots, streamed after him on to the platform, greatly increasing the disturbance and the curiosity down among the spectators. Each one was anxious to point them out or name them, to show that he knew at least one of them; some pointing to the Bishop of Marseilles—Alaudet, if I remember right —some to the Dean of Saint-Denis, others again to Robert de Lespinasse, Abbot of Saint-Germain-des-Près, the dissolute brother of a mistress of Louis XI, all with much ribald laughter and scurrilous jesting.

As for the scholars, they swore like troopers. This was their own especial day, their Feast of Fools, their Saturnalia, the annual orgy of the Basoche1

and the University—no turpitude, no foulness of language but was right and proper to that day. Besides, there was many a madcap light o’ love down in the crowd to spur them on—Simone Quatrelivres, Agnés la Gadine, Robine Pièdebou. It was the least that could be expected, that they should be allowed to curse at their ease and blaspheme a little on so joyful an occasion and in such good company—churchmen and courtesans. Nor did they hesitate to take full advantage thereof, and into the midst of the all-prevailing hubbub there poured an appalling torrent of blasphemies and enormities of every description from these clerks and scholars, tongue-tied all the rest of the year through fear of the branding-iron of Saint-Louis. Poor Saint-Louis, they were snapping their fingers at him in his own Palais de Justice. Each one of them had singled out among the new arrivals some cassock—black or gray, white or violet —Joannes Frollo de Molendino, as brother to an archdeacon, having audaciously assailed the red robe, fixing his bold eyes on the Cardinal and yelling at the pitch of his voice, “Cappa repleta mero!” Oh, cassock full of wine!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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