Front Page Titles (by Subject) 100.: On Mazarin - Judgments on History and Historians
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100.: On Mazarin - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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(I) After the terrorism of Richelieu who had had at his side an adult and, at least later, completely docile king, ruling was difficult for the female regent of a five-year-old child and for a minister, no matter who he might be. And in the beginning Anne of Austria, importuned from all sides, resisted Mazarin and sought to make shift with the Bishop of Beauvais. Her background is a blind predilection for her homeland, and as recently as 1637 she had carried on a dangerous correspondence. Richelieu, however, had virtually bequeathed Mazarin to the dynasty by using him for the most difficult and secret matters. Just as people would not have known how to carry on without Richelieu, now they cannot get along without Mazarin.
(II) This remark reveals the main traits of his personality: “Je ne suis pas esclave de ma parole” [I am not a slave to my word]; this also goes for all other active participants at that time. No matter how things stood: in the Fronde, Mazarin was the standard-bearer of the French state’s strength and independence of Spain. He could not be reached by bribes from the outside, like the Russian ministers of the eighteenth century, if only because he had learned how to make France tributary directly to himself. And for the French he has that abysmal, at times scarcely concealed, contempt which in his dealings with every person makes him ask only about his price and confiscate lampoons in order to have them sold at a high price. To be sure, his opponents can apparently not be bought—but only for as long as ambition and vanity are involved. It was Mazarin’s task to find the moment at which an individual was to be had. With the individuals whom he wanted to use, he asked, in addition to their price, about their happiness, their luck—e.g., in the case of a general: “Est-il heureux?” [Is he happy?].