Mazarin, Jules

Mazarin, Jules (properly Guilio Mazzarino), cardinal, the celebrated prime-minister of king Louis XIV of France, the successor of cardinal Richelieu, and inaugurator of a reign noted for attainments in arms, language. fine arts, literature, industry, and a superior degree of splendor, was born of a noble Sicilian family July 14,1602, most probably at Piscina, near the lake of Celano, in Abruzzo Citra, though in the letters of naturalization granted him in France in 1639 it is stated that he was born at Rome. It is certain, however, that he received his education at the Eternal City, and hence, no doubt, the mistake as to his native place. In 1619 Mazarin went to Spain to pursue the study of jurisprudence, probably intending to enter the legal profession, but, returning to Rome in 1622, a little later he entered the military service, and was given a captain's commission in 1625. Soon after this he entered the service of the Church, and was employed as companion of the papal legate to France, and in this mission displayed great political talents. In the difficulties arising out of the contested succession to the duchy of Mantua, in which France supported the pretensions of the count De Nevers, while the emperor of Germany, the king of Spain, and the duke of Savoy supported those of the duke of Guastalla. Mazarin was sent by pope Urban to Turin as the assistant of cardinal Sacchetti. The latter at once perceived his talent, gave him his entire confidence, and in fact devolved upon him the entire management of the negotiation. It was not immediately successful, for in 1629 Louis XIII in person invaded Savoy, took Suza, and forced the duke of Savoy to abandon his alliance with Spain. Finally Sacchetti returned to Rome, leaving Mazarin, with the title of "internuncio," to continue the negotiations. Cardinal Barberini, the pope's nephew, returned in Sacchetti's stead, and Barberini found Mazarin as indispensable as had his predecessor. Mazarin labored unceasingly to restore peace. He visited the contending powers; in 1630 he saw Louis XIII and cardinal Richelieu, who both formed a high opinion of him, and in 1631 he finally succeeded in effecting the treaty of Cherasco, by which peace was restored. Mazarin at this time displayed considerable trickery in favor of France. and by this unfair partiality acquired the hatred of the courts of Spain and Germany, but the thanks of Louis and Richelieu, who recommended "the able negotiator" to the favor of the pope. Shortly after he was to receive at the hands of the French cardinal and prime-minister the reward due for his great services to Louis XIII. In 1634 he was named vice-legate to Avignon, but was sent to Paris as nuncio to intercede with Louis XIII in favor of the duke of Lorraine, whose duchy the king of the French had taken possession of. Mazarin, now unequivocally drawn towards Richelieu, of course failed to accomplish the task assigned him by the holy father. Mazarin returned to Rome in 1636 as the avowed supporter of French interests, and, on the death of Richelieu's celebrated confidant, father Joseph, pope Urban was solicited by Louis XIII and his minister to bestow upon Mazarin the cardinal's hat promised for father Joseph, but, as Urban refused, Mazarin in 1639 quitted Italy for France, and there entered the service of the king as a naturalized Frenchman. In 1640 he was nominated ambassador to Savov, where, after a short war, he was enabled to restore peace, and in 1641 he was at length raised to the rank of cardinal, through the persistent efforts of his friend the cardinal and prime-minister of France. Mazarin, in France, was a faithful and useful assistant to Richelieu, especially during the famous conspiracy headed by Henri de Cinq-Mars, which ended by his execution in September, 1642. This was Richelieu's last triumph. In the following December he died, recommending on his death-bed that Louis should receive Mazarin as his own successor, and Louis, sufficiently predisposed in Mazarin's favor, gladly acceded to the last wish of his faithful friend and counselor. In 1643 Louis XIII himself died, and Alazarin's position became one of great difficulty amid the intrigues, jealousies, and strifes of the courtiers surrounding Louis XIV in his minority. By the will of the late king he had been declared the sole adviser of the queen-regent, Anne of Austria, but the latter assumed a decidedly hostile attitude towards the cardinal, and it was some time before he succeeded in acquiring the principal power in the government, as well as the confidence of the queen-regent. He used his power at first with moderation, and courted popularity by gracious and affable manners. He prosecuted the war against Spain which began under his predecessor, and in which Conde and Turenne maintained the honor of the French arms. A dispute which arose between the court and the Parliament of Paris, regarding the registration of edicts of taxation, was fomented by cardinal De Reiz into the revolt of the Parisians called "the Day of the Barricades" (Aug. 27, 1648), and was followed by the civil war of the Fronde. The court was forced to retire to St. Germain, and Mazarin was outlawed by Parliament; but, by the truce of Ruel, he still remained minister. The feeling against him, however, became still more inflamed when, at his instigation, the queen-regent caused the princes of Conde and Conti and the duke of Longueville to be arrested in January, 1650. Mazarin went in person at the head of the court troops to the insurgent provinces, and, after the victory at Rethel, showed so much insolence that the nobles and the people of the capital made common cause against him. He found it necessary to secure his safety by flight to the Netherlands. The press teemed with violent publications against Mazarin, known as Mazarinades (collected by Morean in the Bibliographie des Mazarinades [Paris, 1850- 51, 3 vols. 8vo]; a selection of them was also published by Moreau under the title Choix des Mazarinades [ibid. 1854, 2 ols. 8vo]). After the rebellion of the prince of Conde he ventured to return to France; but Paris makings his removal a condition of its submission, he retired again from the court, and it was not till Feb. 3, 1653 that he made a triumphant entry into the capital, where he was received with significant silence. Yet after a time the skill, patience, and perseverance of Mazarin triumphed, and he regained his former popularity and acquired his former power. See here article Lorus XIV, p. 526, col. 1. After governing France with great ability, and just as Louis XIV was arriving at an age when he felt the capacity and desire to sway the scepter himself; Mazarin died, March 9, 1661. In 1690 some letters, written by Mazarin during the negotiation of the peace of the Pyrenees, were published; additional letters were published in 1693, and in 1745 others were added, and the whole arranged under the title of Lettres du Cardinal Mazarin, ou l'on voit le secret de negotiation de la Pai dedes Pyrenees. "They were written for the information and instruction of the young king, and form useful examples of clearness and precision in diplomatic writings." His person was remarkably handsome, and his manners fascinating, and from an opponent he turned Anne of Austria, the queen-regent during Louis XIV's minority, into his friend, if not secretly affianced companion, as has been asserted with much appearance of truth. "Mazarin," says Mignet (Memoires relatifs la succession d'Espagne), "had a far-seeing and inventive mind, a character rather supple than feeble. His device was 'Le Temps et moi."' Under his administration the influence of France among the nations was increased, and in the internal government of the country those principles of despotism were established on which Louis XIV afterwards acted. The administration of justice, however, became very corrupt, and the commerce and finances of the country sank into deep depression. It is admitted that as a financial administrator he was far inferior to Richelieu. Mazarin was very niggardly and very avaricious, and had acquired in various ways, fair and foul, an immense fortune, amounting to 12,000,000 lives, which he offered to the king shortly before he died; afraid, it is thought, that it might be rudely seized from his heirs. Louis declined the restitution, which was perhaps what the wily minister expected. In his will Mazarin made many and large bequests to students and literary enterprises; indeed, he had always proved himself the friend and patron of learning. The College Mazarin was founded at his wish, to receive students from the provinces acquired by the "peace of the Pyrenees," and to this same institution he presented his library, of immense value and size. See the Memoir's of Mazarin's contemporaries, Retz, Madame Motteville, La Rochefoucault, Turenne, Grammont, etc.; Mmle. de Longueville, etc., by Victor Cousin; Aubery, Histoire du Cardinal Maszarin (1751); Capefigue, Richelieu, Milazarin, la Froide et la sregne lde Louis XIV (Paris, 1835,8 vols. 8vo); Saint-Aulaire, Histoire de la Fronde; Bazin, Histoire de France sous le Ministere du Cardinal Mazarin (Paris, 1842, 2 vols. 8vo); Voltaire, Siecle de Louis XIV; Gualdo-Priorato. Vita del Cardinal Mazarin (1662); John Calvert, Life of Cardinal Mazarin (1670); Sismondi, Histoire des Fmrsangais; Grammont, Memoires; V. Cousin, La Jeunesse de Mazarin; Hoefer, Nouv. Bio. Generale; Chambers, Cyclop. s.v.; English Cyclop s.v.; Fraser's Magazine, November, 1831, and February, 1832.

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