Front Page Titles (by Subject) AN ACCOUNT OF THE AFFAIRS OF FRANCE. - The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527)
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AN ACCOUNT OF THE AFFAIRS OF FRANCE. - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 4 (Diplomatic Missions 1506-1527) 
The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, tr. from the Italian, by Christian E. Detmold (Boston, J. R. Osgood and company, 1882). Vol. 4.
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AN ACCOUNT OF THE AFFAIRS OF FRANCE.
The Crown and the King of France are at this time more flourishing, rich, and powerful than they have ever been; and for the following reasons.
First, the Crown, being hereditary in the same family, has become rich; for as it happens sometimes that the king has no sons nor heirs to his properties, his states and substance have fallen to the Crown. As this has been the case with several kings, the Crown has been greatly enriched by the many states that have thus come to her. Such was the case with the duchy of Anjou, and such will happen to the present king, Louis XII., who, having no male heirs, will leave to the Crown the duchy of Orleans and the state of Milan; so that at this time all the best fiefs of France belong to the Crown, and not to private barons.
Another and most important cause of the power of this king is, that formerly France was kept disunited by the powerful barons, who dared on every occasion to take up arms against the king; as was the case with the Dukes of Guienne and of Bourbon, but who are now most submissive; and thus the Crown has become more powerful. A further reason is, that every neighboring prince did not hesitate to attack the kingdom of France; for there was always either the Duke of Brittany, or a Duke of Guienne, or of Burgundy, or of Flanders, ready to aid him, and to grant him passage through his territory and give him asylum in case of defeat. This happened whenever the English were at war with France, for they always caused the king embarrassments through the Duke of Brittany; as did the Duke of Burgundy by means of the Duke of Bourbon. But now that Brittany, Guienne, and the Bourbonese, as well as the greater part of Burgundy, are the most submissive provinces of France, the neighboring princes have no longer the same facilities for invading the kingdom of France; on the contrary, these provinces would now prove hostile to such an invader. And the king, having acquired these provinces, has himself become more powerful thereby, whilst the enemy has become weaker.
There is still the further reason that nowadays the richest and most powerful barons of France are of royal blood and lineage, so that, if the superior branch were to lack heirs, the Crown may descend to them. And therefore each maintains his good relations to the Crown, hoping that either himself or his descendants may some day attain that high rank.
To rebel, therefore, or to be mixed up in any way with such opposition, might be of greater injury than advantage to him. This came near happening to the present king, when made prisoner in the war of Brittany, in which he took part with that Duke against the French. And at the death of King Charles VIII. the question came up whether, by his defection from the Crown, he did not forfeit his rights to the succession. But the riches which he had accumulated by his economies enabled him to secure partisans; and the most immediate successor to the throne, if he had been out of the way, namely, the Duke of Angoulême, was but a child; and thus the present king received the crown, for the reasons stated, and from the general favor which he enjoyed.
The final reason is, that the properties of the barons of France are not divided amongst the heirs, as is the case in Germany and in the greater part of Italy; but they go entirely to the oldest sons, who are the real heirs. The other brothers submit patiently, but, aided by the older brother, they nearly all take to the profession of arms, and strive in that career to achieve a rank and wealth that will enable them also to purchase a state, and in this hope they live. And thence it comes that the French men-at-arms are nowadays the best, for they are all nobles or sons of lords, and count upon achieving the same rank as their fathers.
The infantry that is raised in France cannot be good for much, for it is a long time since they have had a war, and therefore they have no experience whatever. They are moreover all of the lower order and tradesmen from the country, and are so subordinated to the nobles and so abject in all their actions as to have become actually debased; and for that reason the king does not employ them in war, for they have given but poor proof of courage. There are however some Gascons amongst them whom the king employs, as being somewhat better than the others. This may be because they are from near the Spanish borders and bear some slight resemblance to the inhabitants of that country, although they have acted for some years past more like robbers than like real soldiers. Still, in the attack and defence of places they have not proved themselves bad, but in the open field they are good for nothing; differing in that respect very much from the Germans and the Swiss, who have no equals in the open field, but are not worth much in the attack or defence of a city. I believe this arises from the fact that in the two latter cases they cannot preserve the discipline and order which they keep in their camps; and therefore the king of France always employs Swiss or Lansquenets, for his men-at-arms have no confidence in the Gascons when opposed to an enemy. If the French infantry equalled in goodness their men-at-arms, then there can be no doubt but what they would defend themselves successfully against all other princes.
The French are by nature more ferocious than vigorous and adroit; and if you can resist the fury of their first onset, you will find them so depressed and so entirely discouraged, that they become cowardly like women. They do not support fatigue nor discomforts, and soon become neglectful of everything, so that it is easy to surprise them in disorder, and to overcome them. We have had repeated experience of this in the kingdom of Naples; and lately again on the Garigliano, where their forces were nearly double that of the Spaniards, so that it was supposed they could at any moment swallow them up. But so soon as winter began to make itself felt and the great rains commenced, they began to go off one by one into the neighboring places, to find more comfort. And thus their camp remained without sufficient force and in disorder, so that the Spaniards proved victorious, contrary to all expectation.
The same thing would have happened to the Venetians, who would not have lost the battle of Vaila if they had been content to observe the French for about ten days; but the impetuosity of Bartolommeo d’ Alviano encountered a still greater impetuosity. The Spaniards experienced the same thing at Ravenna; for if they had not attacked the French, these would have been disorganized from lack of discipline and want of provisions, which the Venetians interrupted in the direction of Ferrara, and which could have been cut off by the Spaniards on the side of Bologna. But as the first acted without good advice, so the other acted with even less judgment, and the French remained victorious, although at the cost of much blood. And though the struggle was great, it would have been greater still if the main strength of the two armies had been of the same character. But the strength of the French army consisted mainly in men-at-arms, whilst that of the Spaniards was chiefly in infantry; and for that reason the slaughter was not greater. Whoever, therefore, wishes to defeat the French must beware of their first onset; whilst keeping them at bay for a time will defeat them, for the above-stated reasons. And therefore Cæsar said that “at the beginning the French were more than men, but in the end less than women.”
By the extent of her territory and the advantages derived from her large rivers, France is very productive and opulent; but the abundant productions of the soil, as well as manual labor, have little or no value, owing to the scarcity of money amongst the people, who can scarcely get enough together to pay their dues to the lord proprietor, although the amounts are but very small. This arises from their not having an outlet for the productions of the soil, for every man gathers enough to sell some; so that if in any one place a man wanted to sell a bushel of grain, he would not find a purchaser, everybody having grain to sell. And of the money which the gentlemen draw from their tenants, they spend nothing except for their clothing; for they have cattle enough to give them meat, innumerable fowls, lakes full of fish, and parks with an abundance of every variety of game; and thus almost every gentleman lives upon his estates. In this way all the money accumulates in the hands of the proprietors, and their wealth is accordingly great; whilst the people, when they have a florin, deem themselves rich.
The prelates of France draw two fifths of their revenues and wealth from the kingdom, there being a good many bishoprics having incomes from temporal as well as spiritual sources. And as they have abundant supplies of all the necessaries of life, all the revenues and moneys that come into their hands never leave them again, according to the avaricious nature of prelates and churchmen; and all the money that is collected by the chapters and colleges of the Church is spent for silver, jewels, and costly church ornaments. Thus the Church properties and what the prelates possess privately in the way of money and silver plate, etc., amount to an immense treasure.
In the council for the direction and management of the affairs of the crown and the state of France, the prelates always constitute the majority; the other lords care nothing about this, for they know that the execution of the decisions always devolves upon them; and thus both are satisfied, the first with the direction, and the others with the execution; although at times old and experienced officers are called into the council, when military matters have to be discussed and decided, so that they may guide the prelates, who have no practical experience in these matters.
In virtue of a certain pragmatic sanction* obtained long ago from the Popes, all the Church benefices of France are bestowed by their colleges; so that, in case of the death of a bishop or an archbishop, the canons of the Church meet and confer the benefice upon the individual amongst themselves who seems to them to merit it most. It happens not unfrequently that this gives rise to dissensions amongst them, for there are always some who are favored on account of their riches, and others for their virtues and good works. The monks proceed in the same way in the election of their superiors. The other small Church benefices are bestowed by the bishops who have such livings in their gift. And if the king ever attempts to disparage this pragmatic sanction by appointing a bishop of his own choice, he would have to employ force to put him in possession, which the canons would refuse him; and if they had to yield to this force, they would abide the death of the king to expel that bishop from his see, and give it to the one elected by themselves.
The Frenchman is naturally covetous of other people’s goods, of which, together with his own, he is afterwards prodigal. Thus, the Frenchman will rob most skilfully, to eat, or to waste what he has robbed, or even to enjoy it together with the very person whom he has robbed; entirely different from the Spaniard, who will never let you see again what he has taken from you.
France fears the English, because she remembers the incursions and devastations by the latter in the realm; so that the very name of English is a terror to the people, who do not bear in mind that France is nowadays in a very different position from what she was in those unhappy times. For she is armed, experienced in war, and united, and has possession of those very provinces which served the English as a basis for their operations, such as the duchies of Brittany and of Burgundy. Moreover, the English are no longer disciplined, for it is a long while since they have had a war, so that none of the people now living have ever seen an enemy’s face; and then there is no one save the Archduke who would be willing to see them on the Continent.
The French would be much afraid of the Spaniards on account of their sagacity and vigilance. But every time that the king of Spain would attack France, he would have to do it at great disadvantage; for from that point in his kingdom from which his troops would have to start to the foot of the Pyrenees which stretch into France, the distance is so great and the country so sterile that if the French make a stand at the entrance of the Pyrenees by way of Perpignan or Guienne, the enemy’s army would be disorganized, if not from want of reinforcements, at least from the difficulty of obtaining provisions, which would have to be brought from a great distance. For the country which has to be traversed is uninhabited on account of its sterility, and those who do inhabit it have scarcely enough to sustain their own existence. For these reasons, the French do not fear the Spaniards in the direction of the Pyrenees.
Nothing is to be apprehended by the French of the Flemish, whose country is so cold that they cannot raise sufficient provisions, and particularly grain and wine, which they have to procure from Burgundy, Picardy, and some other provinces of France. Moreover, the people of Flanders live by the labor of their hands, and they readily sell the produce of their manufactures, as well as other merchandise, at the French fairs; chiefly at Lyons and Paris. They have no outlet for their wares by sea, nor in Germany, for the Germans produce and manufacture themselves even more than the Flemish. Thus, when their trade with France is interrupted, they have no other market for their merchandise, and thus their goods remain on their hands, and they are not able to purchase provisions; and therefore the Flemish never have war with France, unless they are forced to it.
The Swiss are much feared by the French, owing to their close proximity, and the facility with which they can make sudden and unexpected attacks, against which, owing to their rapidity, it is impossible to provide in time. These incursions of the Swiss, however, are mere predatory raids; for as they have neither artillery nor horses, and as the strong places which the French possess near the frontier are well supplied with munitions, the Swiss are not able to make much progress. And then the nature of the Swiss is better suited to battles in the open field than to sieges or to the defence of places. But the French of the frontier do not like to come to an open hand-to-hand fight with the Swiss, for they have no good infantry that can withstand the Swiss, and the men-at-arms without infantry do not amount to much. The country, moreover, is so formed that lances and other mounted men can but illy manœuvre there, whilst the Swiss go most unwillingly far from their frontiers to reach level ground; for they would leave behind them strong places well supplied with everything, as stated above. They would also be afraid to expose themselves thus to be short of provisions, and to be unable to return to their homes, after having penetrated into the open country.
There is nothing to be feared from the side towards Italy; for the Apennine Mountains and the fortresses at their base would arrest any one who wished to attack the kingdom of France. And the country behind them is so unproductive that they would starve; or they would have to leave these strongholds behind them, which would be great folly; or they would have to go to work and take these fortresses. However, France has nothing to fear from the side of Italy, for the reasons above stated, and because there is not in all Italy a prince capable of assaulting France, and Italy herself is not united, as she was in the time of the Romans.
On the south side, France is sufficiently protected by the Mediterranean, in the ports of which there are always vessels enough, belonging to the king of France or other proprietors, to be able to defend that part of the kingdom from any unexpected attack. Against a premeditated attack there is always time to prepare, for whoever contemplates it needs time to make the necessary preparations and arrangements, and this will quickly become known to everybody. And all these provinces are generally provided with a garrison of men-at-arms, for the greater security.
Little is spent in guarding the country, for the people are most obedient, so that fortresses are not needed for the preservation of quiet within the realm; and on the frontiers, where there would otherwise be some occasion for such expenditure, the garrisons of men-at-arms make such expense unnecessary. For against a great invasion there is always time to prepare, as the invader himself would need time to gather his forces for such an attempt.
The French people are submissive and most obedient, and hold their king in great veneration. They live at a very small expense, owing to the great abundance of the products of the soil; and every one has a small property to himself. They dress coarsely, in cheap cloth, and neither the men nor the women use silk in any way, for it would at once be noted by the gentlemen.
According to the last computation there are thirty-six bishoprics in France, and eighteen archbishoprics. Of parishes there are one million* seven hundred, including seven hundred and forty abbeys. Of the priories there is no account.
I have not been able to ascertain the ordinary or extraordinary revenues of the Crown; I have asked a great many persons, and they have all replied that the revenue depended entirely on the will of the king. Some one, however, has told me that a portion of the ordinary revenue, that is to say, that part which is specially called “the king’s money,” and which is derived from the gabel on bread, wine, meat, etc., yields about 1,700,000 scudi. The extraordinary revenue is derived from taxes, and these are fixed high or low according to the king’s will. And if these revenues are insufficient, then loans are resorted to, which are, however, rarely repaid. The royal letters by which these loans are called for, are drawn up in the following form: “The king, our master, recommends himself to you, and, having need of money, he begs you will lend him the sum specified in this letter.” The amount is then paid into the hands of the receiver of the place, there being one in every place, who receives all revenues, whether resulting from the gabels, taxes, or loans. The domains of the Crown have no other regulations for the payment of dues except the will of the king, as said above.
The authority of the barons over their vassals is complete. Their revenues consist of bread, wine, and meat, the same as those stated above, and so much for every hearth per year; this, however, does not exceed six or eight sous per hearth for every three months. The barons cannot raise taxes nor loans without the king’s consent, which he rarely grants.
The Crown exacts from the barons nothing but the impost upon salt, and never taxes them except on the occasion of some extraordinary necessity.
The regulations established by the king with regard to extraordinary expenses, for war as well as for other purposes, are that he commands the treasurers to pay the soldiers, and accordingly they pay the amount into the hands of those who review the troops. The pensioners and the gentlemen go to the Generals of Finance, and make them give them a discharge; that is, an order for their payment from month to month; and every three months they go to the receiver of the province where they reside, and are promptly paid.
The gentlemen of the king number two hundred; their pay is twenty scudi per month, and they are paid ut supra, and each hundred have a chief; these used to be Messire Guyon d’Amboise, the Seigneur de Ravel, and the Vidame Louis de Brézé.
The number of pensioners is not known; some of them are paid little, others much, just as it may please the king. They live in the hope of advancement, but there is nothing fixed as regards this.
The duty of the Generals of Finance is to levy so much per hearth, and so much for taxes with the consent of the King; and to see that the expenses, ordinary as well as extraordinary, are paid at the proper time, that is, the discharges, as explained above.
The treasurers keep the money, and pay it out according to the orders and discharges of the Generals of Finance.
The power of the Grand Chancellor is absolute; he can grant pardons, and can condemn at his pleasure “etiam in capitalibus sine consensu regis.” He can relieve litigants from the charge of contumacy; but he can grant pardons only with the consent of the king, for all pardons are granted by royal letters sealed with the great royal seal, and he is charged with the keeping of this great seal. His salary is ten thousand francs per year, and an allowance of eleven thousand francs for his table. By table is understood giving dinner and supper to as many members of the council as follow the Grand Chancellor, that is, to the advocates and gentlemen that are attached to him, whenever it pleases them to eat with him, which privilege they use very often.
The pension which the king of France paid to the king of England was fifty thousand francs per year; its object was the repayment of certain outlays made by the father of the present king of England in the duchy of Brittany. But this pension is now terminated, and is paid no more.
At present there is in France but one Grand Seneschal; but when there are several seneschals, — I do not mean grand, as there is only one, — then their jurisdiction extends over the ordinary and extraordinary men-at-arms, who are obliged to obey this Grand Seneschal because of the dignity of his office.
The number of governors of provinces depends upon the will of the king, who pays them what he pleases; they are named by him for life or for a year, according to his pleasure. The other governors, and even lieutenants of the small places, are all appointed by the king; and in fact all the offices of the realm are bestowed or sold by the king, and by no one else.
Every year a general statement of expenses is prepared, sometimes in August, sometimes in October or in January, according to the pleasure of the king. The Generals of Finance present an account of the ordinary revenues and expenses of the year, and then a balance is established between the receipts and the expenses, and the amount of the pensions and the number of the pensioners are increased or diminished according to the king’s orders.
The amount of distributions amongst the gentlemen and pensioners is unlimited; they do not require the approval of the Chamber of Accounts; the king’s authority is all-sufficient.
The functions of the Chamber of Accounts consist in revising the accounts of all who have anything to do with the administration of the moneys of the Crown, such as the Generals of Finance, the treasurers, and the receivers.
The University of Paris is paid from the revenues of the endowments of the colleges, but very poorly.
There are five Parliaments, namely, Paris, Rouen, Toulouse, Bordeaux, and the Dauphiné, and there is no appeal from any of them.
The best Universities are the following four: Paris, Orleans, Bourges, and Poitiers; after these come Tours and Angiers, but these are not worth much.
Garrisons are placed wherever the king wills it, and as many men as seems good to him, both of artillery and of infantry. Nevertheless, all the places have a few pieces of artillery in store. And within the last two years they have established them in a great many places in the kingdom, at the cost of the places where such depots have been formed, by increasing the taxes one penny per head of cattle or per measure of grain. Ordinarily, when the kingdom is at peace, there are only four places that are garrisoned; these are Guienne, Picardy, Burgundy, and Provence. These garrisons change places, and are increased in numbers according to the apprehensions of danger in either one or the other province.
I have made great efforts to find out what amount of money is assigned to the king for the expenses of his household and for his person, and find that he has all he asks for.
The archers are four hundred in number, and they are charged with the guard of the king’s person. Amongst them are one hundred Scotchmen; each man receives three hundred francs per year, and a doublet of the king’s livery. The king’s body-guard is composed of twenty-four men, who never leave his side; they have each four hundred francs per year; their captains are Monseigneur d’Aubigny, Crussol, and the Captain Gabriel.
The foot guard is composed of Germans, one hundred of which are paid twelve francs per month; they used to be three hundred, with ten francs per month pay; and two suits of clothing, one for winter and one for summer, that is to say, a doublet and hose of the king’s livery. The one hundred footguards used to have the doublet of silk in the time of King Charles VIII.
The fourriers are charged with providing lodgings for the court; they are thirty-two in number, and receive three hundred francs per year and a doublet of the king’s livery. In providing the lodgings they divide themselves into four sections, and each section has a quartermaster, who receives six hundred francs per year. The first section, commanded by a quartermaster, or in his absence by a lieutenant, remains in the place which the court leaves, so as to settle with the proprietors who have furnished the quarters; the second division accompanies the king; the third section proceeds to the place where the king is to arrive on the first day; and the fourth goes to where the king is to arrive on the following day. They proceed with such remarkable order that every one on his arrival finds his lodgings fully prepared, even to a woman of pleasure.
The Provost of the Palace is an officer that always follows the king’s person, and his office is one of absolute authority, and wherever the court goes, his tribunal is the first, and even the inhabitants of the place may be condemned by him, the same as by the king’s lieutenant. Those who are seized by him for any criminal cause cannot appeal to the Parliaments. His pay is ordinarily six thousand francs per year. He has two civil justices under him, who are paid by the king six hundred francs per year each. He has also a lieutenant for criminal cases, who commands thirty archers, and these are paid the same as the archers mentioned above. He decides in civil and in criminal matters, and when the complainant has been confronted with the accused in the presence of the provost, it suffices for him to decide the case.
The king has eight house stewards; but they are not all paid equally, for some have one thousand francs per year, and others less, according to the king’s pleasure. The Grand Master of the household, who has succeeded Monseigneur de Chaumont, is the Marquis de Palisse, whose father formerly held the same charge. His pay is eleven thousand francs per year; and his authority does not extend beyond commanding the other house stewards.
The Admiral of France has command of all the naval forces and all the harbors of the kingdom; he can dispose according to his pleasure of all the vessels of the fleet. The present Admiral is Monseigneur Pregent de Bedoux, and his salary is ten thousand francs per year.
The order of knighthood has no fixed number; the knights are as many as the king may choose to name. On their admission to the order they swear to defend the Crown and never to bear arms against it. They cannot be deprived of their title during their lifetime. Their pay is at most four thousand francs per year, and some have less, for they have not all the same grade.
The office of the chamberlains is to entertain the king, to precede him to his chamber, and to assist in advising him; in truth, they enjoy the greatest consideration throughout the country. They receive large pensions, — six, eight, ten, and eleven thousand francs per year; but some receive nothing, for the king often confers this title upon persons whom he wishes to honor for their services, and even upon foreigners. They have, however, the privilege of being exempt from paying any gabels in any part of the kingdom, and whilst at court they dine at the chamberlains’ table, which is the first after that of the king.
The Grand Equerry always remains near the king; his duty is to supervise the other twelve equerries of the king, the same as the Grand Master of the household, the Grand Seneschal, and the Grand Chamberlain over their subordinates. He has charge of the king’s horses, and aids him in mounting and dismounting. He has charge also of the king’s equipages, and carries the king’s sword before him.
The councillors of state have a pension of from six to eight thousand francs, as may please the king. They are now the Bishop of Paris, the Bishop of Beauvais, the Bailli of Amiens Monseigneur de Bussy, and the Grand Chancellor. But in reality Robertet and the Bishop of Paris govern everything.
Since the death of the Cardinal d’Amboise of Rouen, no one keeps open table. And as the Grand Chancellor has not been replaced, the Bishop of Paris performs the duties of that office.
The reason why the king of France claims the duchy of Milan is that his grandfather had married a daughter of the Duke of Milan who died without male heirs. The Duke Giovanni Galeazzo had two daughters, and I know not how many sons. One of the daughters was Madonna Valentina, who married the Duke Louis of Orleans, grandfather of the present King Louis XII., descendant of the race of Pepin. When the Duke Giovanni Galeazzo died, he was succeeded by his son Duke Filippo, who died without any legitimate children, leaving only an illegitimate daughter. Thereupon, according to report, the state of Milan was illegally usurped by the Sforzas; for it was said that that state should have gone to the successor and heir of Madonna Valentina. And in fact the day when the Duke of Orleans allied himself with the house of Milan, he joined to his arms of three fleur-de-lis a snake, which may be seen to this day.
Every parish in France keeps one man, who is well paid, and is called the Franc-archer, and who is obliged to keep a good horse, and be fully provided with arms and armor, whenever the king requires him to follow him to the scene of war outside of the kingdom, or for any other cause. These Franc-archers are obliged to go into whatever province in the realm is attacked or threatened. According to the number of parishes, there must be 1,700,000 of these Franc-archers.*
The fourriers and quartermasters are obliged by their office to furnish every one that follows the court with lodgings; those who are attached to the court are ordinarily lodged with the well-to-do people of the place. And to prevent any occasion for complaint, either by the owner of the house or the lodger, a tariff of prices has been established, which serves for all alike, and which fixes the price of a chamber at one sou per day; the chamber must be supplied with a bed and a couch, and these must be changed once a week. Besides this, every man pays two farthings per day for the linen; that is to say, table-cloth, towels, napkins, and for vinegar and other condiments. The linen must be changed at least twice per week; but as the people have plenty of linen, they change it more or less frequently, as may be asked by the lodger. The chambers must also be kept clean, and the beds properly made.
The price for stabling each horse is also two sous per day, and the lodger is not bound to pay anything more, except that he must have the manure removed every day. There are a good many who pay less, either because of the good nature of the proprietor, or the good disposition of the lodger; but the above is the regular tariff for the court.
The reasons for the recent pretensions of the English upon France are the following. Charles VI. married his legitimate daughter Catharine to the legitimate son of the king of England, Henry VI. No mention was made in the contract of Charles VII., who afterwards became king of France. Besides the dowry of Catharine, Charles VI. stipulated that his son-in-law, Henry VI., husband of Catharine, should become heir to the crown of France; and that in case the said Henry VI. should die before his father-in-law, Charles VI., but leave legitimate or natural male children, then these said children of Henry VI. should be the heirs and successors of Charles VI. These dispositions, however, were declared null and contrary to the fundamental law of the kingdom, because of the passing over of Charles VII. by his father. The English, on the other hand, claim that Charles VII. was the fruit of adultery.
In England there are two archbishoprics, 22 bishoprics, and 52,000 parishes.
[* ]This pragmatic sanction was anterior to the concordat between Francis I. and Leo X. It was issued by Charles VII. in 1438, and was the foundation of the liberties of the Gallican Church.
[* ]This must be an error, and probably meant one hundred thousand.
[* ]This is undoubtedly an error, the same as in one of the preceding pages when speaking of the number of parishes; it means probably 100,000, instead of 1,000,000.