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devinez qui ? Je vous le donne en quatre, je vous le donne en dix, je vous le donne en cent. Madame de Coulanges dit, -voila qui n'est pas bien difficile à deviner ; c'est Madame de la Valière. Point du tout, Madame. C'est donc Mademoiselle de Retz ? Point du tout, vous êtes bien provinciale. Ah! vraiment, nous sommes bien bêtes, dites-vous, c'est Mademoiselle Colbert. Encore moins. C'est assurément Mademoiselle de Créqui. Vous n'y êtes pas. Il faut donc à la fin vous le dire : il épouse dimanche au Louvre, avec la permission du Roi, Mademoiselle Mademoiselle de-Mademoiselle, devinez le nom.Il épouse Mademoiselle, MADEMOISELLE, la grande Mademoiselle, Mademoiselle fille de feu MONSIEUR, Mademoiselle, petite fille de Henri iv., Mademoiselle d'Eu, Mademoiselle Dombes, Mademoiselle de Montpensier, Mademoiselle d'Orléans, Mademoiselle, cousine-germaine du Roi, Mademoiselle, destinée au trône, Mademoiselle, le seul parti de France qui fût digne de MONSIEUR. Voilà un beau sujet de discourir. Si vous criez, si vous êtes hors de vousmême, si vous dites que nous avons menti, que cela est faux, qu'on se moque de vous, que voilà une belle raillerie, que cela est bien fade à imaginer ; si enfin vous nous dites des injures, nous trouvons que vous avez raison ; nous en avons fait autant que vous. Adieu ; les lettres qui seront portées par cet ordinaire vous feront voir si nous disons vrai ou non.
The following description of James iv. of Scotland, and of the condition of his kingdom, is contained in a letter from the Prothonotary Don Pedro de Ayala to Ferdinand and Isabella, dated 25th July 1498. The letter is embraced in the first volume of Bergenroth's Calendar of Letters, Despatches, and State Papers, in the Archives at Simancas and elsewhere' (1862):
The King is 25 years and some months old. He is of noble stature, neither tall nor short, and as handsome in complexion and shape as a man can be. His address is very agreeable. He speaks the following foreign languages : Latin, very well; French, German, Flemish, Italian, and Spanish ; Spanish as well as the Marquis, but he pronounces it more distinctly. He likes very much to receive Spanish letters. His own Scotch language is as different from English as Aragonese from Castilian. The King speaks, besides, the language of the savages who live in some parts of Scotland and on the islands. It is as different from Scotch as Biscayan is from Castilian. His knowledge of languages is wonderful. He is well read in the Bible and in some other devout books. He is a good historian. He has read many
Latin and French histories, and profited by them, as he has a very good memory. He never cuts his hair or his beard. It becomes him very well.
He fears God, and observes all the precepts of the Church. He does not eat meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. He would not ride on Sundays for any consideration, not even to mass. He says all
Before transacting any business he hears two masses. After mass he has a cantata sung, during which he sometimes despatches very urgent business. He gives alms liberally, but is a severe judge, especially in the case of murderers. He has a great predilection for priests, and receives advice from them, especially from the Friars Observant, with whom he confesses. Rarely, even in joking, a word escapes him that is not the truth. He prides himself much upon it, and says it does not seem to him well for kings to swear their treaties as they do now. The oath of a King should be his royal word, as was the case in bygone ages. He is neither prodigal nor avaricious, but liberal when occasion requires. He is courageous, even more so than a King should be. I am a good witness of it. I have seen him often undertake most dangerous things in the last wars. I sometimes clung to his skirts, and succeeded in keeping him back. On such occasions he does not take the least care of himself. He is not a good captain, because he
begins to fight before he has given his orders. He said to me that his subjects serve him with their persons and goods, in just and unjust quarrels, exactly as he likes, and that, therefore, he does not think it right to begin any warlike undertaking without being himself the first in danger. His deeds are as good as his words. For this reason, and because he is a very humane prince, he is much loved. He is active, and works hard. When he is not at war he hunts in the mountains. I tell your Highnesses the truth when I say that God has worked a miracle in him, for I have never seen a man so temperate in eating and drinking out of Spain. Indeed, such a thing seems to be superhuman in these countries. He lends a willing ear to his counsellors, and decides nothing without asking them ; but in great matters he acts according to his own judgment, and, in my opinion, he generally makes a right decision. I recognise him perfectly in the conclusion of the last peace, which was made against the wishes of the majority of his kingdom.
“When he was a minor he was instigated by those who held the government to do some dishonourable things. They favoured his love intrigues with their relatives, in order to keep him in their subjection. As soon as he came of age, and understood his duties, he gave up these intrigues. When I arrived, he was keeping a lady with great state in a castle. He
visited her from time to time. Afterwards he sent her to the house of her father, who is a knight, and married her. He did the same with another lady, by whom he had had a son. It may be about a year since he gave up, so at least it is believed, his lovemaking, as well from fear of God as from fear of scandal in this world, which is thought very much of here. I can say with truth that he esteems himself as much as though he were Lord of the world. He loves war so much that I fear, judging by the provocation he receives, the peace will not last long. War is profitable to him and to the country. .
“The country is large. Your Highnesses know that these kingdoms form an island. Judging by what I have read in books and seen on maps, and also by my own experience, I should think that both kingdoms are of equal extent. In the same proportion that England is longer than Scotland, Scotland is wider than England; thus the quantity of land is the same. Neither is the quality very different in the two countries, but the Scotch are not industrious, and the people are poor. They spend all their time in wars, and when there is no war they fight with one another. It must, however, be observed that since the present King succeeded to the throne they do not dare to quarrel so much with one another as formerly, especially since he came of age. They have learnt by experience that he executes the law