DU PLESSIS-MORNAY, du''ples''si'-mor''ne', PHILIPPE.
:. Early dressed to the Cardinal of Chatillon, Life and gained him the friendship of that Education. prelate, at whose advice he undertook in 1588 a long journey abroad for the purpose of completing his education under the best foreign teachers. Through Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and England he traveled, devoting his time with characteristic seriousness of purpose to linguistic and juridical studies, acquainting himself with political, ecclesiastical, and social life and the great men of the different countries, and preserving the results of his observations is a carefully kept diary.
At Cologne he came into contact with Dutch refugees, whose accounts of Alva's rule stirred the ardent young Protestant to vehement hatred against Roman Catholic Spain and convinced him of the unity of interests between the adherents of the Reformed faith in France and Holland. Two pamphlets addressed to the Dutch people, exhorting them to cast off the Spanish yoke, gained him the attention end friendship of William the Silent. Co.
took part in the unsuccessful Huguenot attempt at Saint Germain in Mar., 1574, was defeated at Nantes, went on a diplomatic mission to Louis of Nassau, and was taken prisoner in the battle of Dormans in Oct., 1575, but escaped recognition and, ransomed for a small sum, took up his residence at Sedan. There he made the acquaintance of Charlotte Arbaleste, a young widow of deeply pious character and an ardent Huguenot, whom he married in Jan., 1576. It was characteristic of her that she requested a literary dissertation as a marriage gilt, and Du Plessis accordingly composed his Discours de la vie et de la morE (Lausanne, 1576; Eng. transl. Discourse of Life anal Death, by Edward Aggas, London, 1577, six later editions).
In the sixth civil war, which broke out in 1577, Du Plessis took little share. La Noue had presented him to Henry of Navarre, who sent him on a mission to England, where he remained for more than a year, composing his Troitk de l'6glise London, 1578; Eng. transl. A Treatise of the Church, by I. Feilde, 1579, 2d ed., 1581). From1578 to 1583, with the exception of 3. Enters a brief sojourn in England, he rep- Service resented the interests of Henry of
of Henry of Navarre in the Netherlands, residing Navarre. at Antwerp, and, after 1580 at Ghent.
In the latter city he completed an ambitious theological work, the TraitE de la verity de la religion chrétienne contre les AthEes, Epicuriens, Payees, Juifs, Mahumedistes, et autres In fe deles (Antwerp, 1581; Eng. transl. A )Forks Concerning the Treumesse of the Christian Religion, by Sir Philip Sidney and A. Golding, London, 1587,4th ed., 1617). In 1582 he was reoalled to France by the king of Navarre, and from that time dates the friendship between the two that was to last until Henry's conversion to Roman Catholicism. With consummate energy and fine literary talents he became Henry's mouthpiece and public defender. He was his most trusted counselor and a fearless, though respectful, critic where he believed the prince untrue to himself. His presence at court was felt in a general chastening of manners, and a monument of his peculiar part in this friendship was the remarkable essay, Reglement de la fogon de vivre, composed for the king in Jan., 1583. In the differences existing between the heads of the Huguenot party and Henry of Navarre, Du Plessis acted as a mediator. At the Synod of VitrS in May, 1583, suspicion of Henry's ambitions was rife among the delegates, whose views were largely tinged with the spirit of Calvinistic democracy; Du Plessis was instrumental in bringing about the IV-3
agreement that a number of deputies of the synod should be assigned to the presence of the prince to be consulted on all ecclesiastical affairs. The project of a union of the Protestant churches of Europe which received some discussion at the same synod was very close to his heart, and at the synods of Gap in 1603, La Rochelle in 1607, and Tonneina in 1614 he was an ardent advocate of the scheme, although he achieved not the slightest success.
The death of the Duke of Anjou in June, 1584, brought Henry of Navarre next in succession to the throne, and the health of the childless Henry III. was such as to make his death at any moment a probable event. By the mesa of the French nation the accession of a Protestant king was regarded as out of the question, and the League, in alliance with Spain, entered on a period of
4. Defense renewed activity. In the war of of Henry's pamphlets that ensued, Du Plessis Claim to naturally appeared as the most promi-the Suc- nent defender of the legitimate claims cession. of Henry of Navarre. With untiring energy he pouiid forth a succession of state documents, letters, instructions, and for mal argumentations, all expressive of devoted faith in a prince to whom he looked as the coming disseminator of Evangelistic teaching throughout the world. In the war of the Three Henrys which followed the Edict of Nemours in 1585, Du Plessis acted as governor of the important fortress of Montauban and took part in the battle of Contras (Oct. 20, 1587), Henry's first great victory, and in the unsuccessful siege of Saint-Nazaire. At the political assembly of the Huguenots at La Rochelle in 1588, he exercised his accustomed function of mediator between Henry and the Protestant leaders, and was elected president of the council entrusted with the management of the affairs of the party and its representation at court. The assassination of the Guises at Blois in December of the same year led to a temporary alliance between Henry III. and the king of Navarre against the League, negotiated by Du Plessis, who received the command of the important city of Saumur, which had been assigned as a stronghold to the Huguenots. He fought by the side of Henry of Navarre at Ivry (,March 14, 1590) and was present at the siege of Rouen, in the course of which he made a journey to England to solicit the aid of Elizabeth.
The resistance of the League had convinced Henry of Navarre that the crown of France was not to be gained so long as he remained a Protestant, and the problem became one merely of rendering his change of religion as little odious as possible. In the negotiations that preceded the king's abjuration of the Huguenot faith Du Plessis appears as the victim of Henry's double dealing. Fond as he was of theological disputation, he felt convinced that an open debate on the rival merits of the warring confessions, could not but serve to strengthen the king in his hereditary faith, and in this spirit of confidence he negotiated with the representative of the League a treaty by which Henry agreed to place himself under Roman Catholic instruction in order to test the truth of the
In July, 1598, Du Plessis published at La Roshells De l'institution, usage et doctrine du saint sacrement dk l'eucharistie en l'eglise aneienne (Eng. transl., The Institution, Usage, and Doctrine of the HoLySttc rament, London, 1600), a work representing many years of labor and comprising in addition to the main attack on the mass, a polemic against other Roman Catholic doctrines. Over 5,000 quotations from the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and the medieval theologians constituted a formidable array of evidence and bore testimony to the learning of its author. It was regarded not only as 6. His a monumental apology for the Re Great formed faith, but as the reply of the Polemic. Protestants to the king's conversion. The Roman Curia and the Sorbonne expressed their condemnation of the work and many rejoinders were published. In 1600 Davy Duperron, bishop of Evreux, formulated the charge against Du Plessis that a large proportion of the citations adduced by him were either entirely false or incor rectly quoted. Du Plessis thereupon challenged his critic to a public disputation which occurred in the presence of the king and his court at Fontaine bleau on May 4, 1600. Du Plessis, as a matter of fact, had not made use of the best editions in com piling his references and was, moreover, unequal in theological learning and dialectic to his opponent;
but what principally led to the letter's triumph was the disingenuous action of the authorities in allowing Du Plessis a single night for the preparation of his side of the case. Deeply humiliated by the result of the disputation, Du Plessis retired to Saumur, where he busied himself with the recastingI of his work, which, sanctioned by a general synod, appeared in a second edition at Saumur in 1604.
The death of his only son in 1605 and that of his wife in the following year were severe blows, although they did not draw him away from the sphere of active church politics. After the assassination of Henry IV. (1610), he persevered in his attitude of loyalty to the royal house y. His In- notwithstanding the machinations of fluence the regent Mary de' Medici against the and Im- Huguenots. His influence was still portance. exerted for peace, and when CondS took up arms in 1615, he was suc cessful in restraining the majority of the Prot estants from resorting to violence. The court showed little gratitude. On the outbreak of the religious war of 1621 Du Plesais, in spite of his well-known pacific attitude, was de prived of his governorship of Saumur. Wounded in spirit and half-blind, he retired to his castle of La Fort-sur-Sesvre where he died two years later. His principal works, in addition to those men tioned above, were as follows: Lacrimce (Paris, 1606; Eng. transl. by J. Henley, London, 1609), a threnody on the death of his son; Le mysore d'iniquit6, e'est d dire, l'histoire de la petpatttk (Saumur, 1611; Eng. transl., The Mysterie of Iniquitie that is Historic of the Ptxpacie, by S. Leonard, London, 1612); and Diseouraet meditations chrÃ©tiennes (3 vols., Saumur and La For6t, 1609-24). His religious writings show no original contributions in the field of theology; he was too much the polemist to be the pioneer. His importance rests rather in the multifarious activities of his eventful life and in the high example be set of unselfish and steadfast devotion to a cause of the merits of which he was thor oughly convinced.
Bibliography: The Sources are: D. Licques, Histoire de la vie do . . . Phitippa de Mornay, Leyden, 1847; MÃ©moires et exroepondance . . . do la Fontenelk, vols. i.-ui., Paris, 1824-25; earlier collections of MÃ©moires appeared at La For2t, 1824-52, sad Amsterdam, 1852-1853; a complete collection of the letters is a desideratum. The beat account of the life is in E. 3tehelin, Dar UebertritE . . . Heinrich's IV. . . our kalholischen Kirche, Basel . 1858; for English readers, H. M. Baird, The Huguenots and Henry of Navarre, New York, 1888, is very valuable and is detailed. Consult also: G, de Ftrliee, Hist. de prottatante do France, Paris, 1850; E, and A. Haag, La France Protestants, vol. vii. ib. 1857; P. de F_liee, Les Protestants d'autrefoie, 4 vols., Paris, 1897-1902. His literary activity is well characterized in A. fiavous, -0tudu ZittErairea our les &aavaina do la Reforma tion, vol. ii.. Paris, 1841.
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