France – Luynes

A little later, at the opening of a side valley to the north, we came upon the Castle of Luynes standing on its rock, reminding one of Charles d’Albret, another favourite of Louis XIII. I do not know whether the Duke ever came to his castle. He was probably too busy at Court, fighting the battles of the young King against the machinations of his mother, Marie de Medicis, Richelieu, and the Marechal d’Ancre.

I remember reading somewhere how skilled he was in training hawks, and that the boy King, who had so little to occupy or amuse him, first grew to love the handsome young Duke on account of the splendid hunting birds he gave him. The King found other uses for him later. Do you remember the story of the murder of the Marshal? That was Luyne’s work. He and the King had planned it between them.

” And now,” said little Louis, half crying for joy, as the shouts of ” Vive le Roi! ” told him that the plot had succeeded, and that his enemy was really dead; ” and now I am King! I have always been King, but for the future I shall be King more than ever.”

Alas, poor Louis!

The village lying at the foot of the rock is picturesque, with the blacksmith’s shop beside the entrance to the steps leading up the castle, and an old wooden market-hall, such as one now seldom sees in this part of France. And in its broad, stony bed the river keeps turning and twisting, like a restless sleeper unable to make up his mind on which side to lie.