Morgues, Matthieu De, Sieur De St Germain

Morgues, Matthieu De, Sieur de St. Germain a noted French Roman Catholic pulpit orator of the 16th century, was born at Vellai, in Languedoc, in 1582, of no inconsiderable family. He turned Jesuit at first, and had several pupils at Avignon, in the Jesuits' college there, but afterwards got disgusted with the Jesuits and quitted their order. He preached at Paris with great success, and in 1613 was made preacher to queen Margaret. He was nominated to the bishopric of Toulon by Louis XIII, but never could obtain his bulls from Rome. Some impute this to his talking too freely about the liberties of the Gallican Church; but others are of opinion that his grant was stopped by the secret artifices of Richelieu. Upon the imprisonment of Mary de Medici he retired from court to his father's house, where Richelieu took measures to seize him. The commission bore "that they should take St. Germain dead or alive; that they should seize him without making an inventory of the papers they should find, and that they should send the said papers to bishop Bueaucaire, while the prisoner should be conducted to Mande to be put into the bishop's hands." It is believed that Beaucaire, who had been a domestic of the cardinal, would have caused him to be quietly strangled, if secured. But fortunately Morgues was apprised of the design of his persecutors, and he retired into the most uncultivated parts of France, where he lay concealed for six weeks under all the inconveniences his health could be exposed to. "What was the most insupportable circumstance," says he, "of this whole proceeding, was the uneasiness which the presence of the officers gave my father and mother, who were much advanced in years; for by this time I, the youngest of eight children, was beginning to have gray hairs." It is very probable that the cardinal, who had the weakness to be infinitely sensible of satire, was afraid of St. Germain's pen, and aware of the severities it would inflict; for we see that in all the negotiations for recalling the queen-mother, he made it a condition "that St. Germain, who by his defamatory libels had forgotten nothing to ruin his reputation, should be delivered up to the king." Meanwhile the queen-mother, coming from Compiegne, and being desirous to publish an apology for herself. sent in quest of St. Germain, and ordered him to write an answer to a pamphlet entitled La Defense du Roi et de ses Ministres, whose author, it seems, had taken great freedom with that princess's honor. In 1631 he published an answer to the queen's satisfaction, but afterwards wrote several pieces against the creatures of Richelieu. This obliged him to quit the kingdom when Mary left France, and he did not dare to return until after the death of the cardinal. Morgues died in 1670. He left in MS. a complete history of Louis XIII, by him surnamed "the Just." See Genesis Biog. Dict. s.v.; Bayle, Hist. Dict. s.v.

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