Rohan, Henry Duke De

, peer of France, prince of Leon, colonel general of the Swiss and Grisons, one of the greatest men France produced in his age, was born August 21, 1572, at the castle of Blein, in Bretany. He | distinguishcd himself at the siege of Amiens when but sixteen, in presence of Henry IV. who had a sincere regard for him, and alter the death of that prince he hccame chief of the French protestants, to whom he rendered the most important services, both at the head of their armies, and in negociations. He fought with success in Holland, Germany, Italy, and France, and carried on three wars against Louis XIII. in favour of the protestants; the last, however, ended to the advantage of the catholics, in the capture of llochelle. But notwithstanding the consternation into which this event threw the duke’s party, he supported himself by those copious resources with which his prudence furnished him, refusing to surrender but on advantageous terms, and these were granted by the peace of 1629. The civil wars with the protestants being thus terminated, he regained the favour of Louis XIII. but not choosing to live at court, retired to Venice, and was chosen by that republic for their generalissimo, after the unfortunate battle of Valleggio, against the Imperialists, but the treaty of Querasque, concluded June ’2[, 1631, rendered his plans useless. The king of France afterwards employed him as ambassador extraordinary to the Orisons, to assist them in reducing to obedience the Valteline, and counties of Bormio, and Chiavenes, which were supported in rebellion by the Spaniards and Imperialists. The Orisons immediately declared him their general, and their choice was confirmed by Louis XIII. who appointed him in 1632, ambassador extraordinary to the Helvetic body; but early in 1635, he received orders to return to Venice, and having staid there some months, was sent back to the Orisons, and seized the passages of the Valteline, took Bormio, Chiavenes, and Riva, and defeated the Germans and Spaniards. The Grisons having rebelled some time after because France delayed to withdraw its forces, he made a new treaty with them March 26, 1637, which did not please the court, and this circumstance obliged him to retire to Geneva, that he might avoid the resentment of cardinal Richelieu; but he left that city in January 1638, to join his friend the duke of Saxe Weimar, who was going to engage the Imperialists near Rhinfeld. The duke of Jiohan placed himself at the head of the Nassau regiment, broke through the enemies’ ranks, was woundcd, Feb. 28, 1638, and died of his wounds, April 13 following, aged fifty-nine. He was the author of many works, among which are, 1. “Memoirs,” the most complete edition of which | is in 2 vols. 12mo, containing the transactions of trance from 16 10 to 1629. 2. “Les intérésts des Princes,” 12mo. 3. “Le parfait Capitaine, ou P Abregé des Guerres des Commentaires de Cesar,” 12mo. 4. “Memoires” and Letters, relative to the war of the Valtelines, 3 vols. 12mo; vol. I. contains the “Memoirs;” the two others, the “Pieces Justificatives,” the greatest part of which had never been printed before. From the preface we learn the following anecdote: This nobleman being at Venice, was informed that the grand signor would sell him this kingdom of Cyprus, and grant him the investureof it, on condition of his giving the Porte two hundred thousand crowns, and agreeing to pay an annual tribute of twenty thousand crowns. The duke being a protestant, intended to purchase this island, and settle the protestant families of France and Germany there. He negociated the affair skilfully with the Porte, by means of the patriarch Cyril, with whom he was much connected; but that patriarch’s death, and other unexpected incidents, prevented the execution of his design. The above anecdote originated in the memoirs of the duchess of Rohan, Margaret de Bethune, daughter of the great Sully, who married at Paris, Henry de Rohan, February 7, 1605. This lady, who was a protestant, rendered herself celebrated by her courage. She defended Castres against the marechal de Thémines, 1625, lived in strict conjugal harmony with the duke her husband, and died at Paris, Oct. 22, 1660. The French biographers tell us that all Henry de Rohan’s works are excellent, and extremely proper to form good soldiers: he writes like a great general and able politician, and his letters on the war of the mountains are very instructive. The duke trod in the steps of Sertorius, which he had learned from Plutarch, and the marechal de Catinat trod in those of the duke. To all these uncommon talents, the duke joined great sweetness of temper, the most affable and pleasing manners, and a degree of generosity seldom seen. He discovered neither pride, ambition, nor selfish views; and frequently said, that glory and zeal for the public welfare, never encamp where private interest is the commander. We have two good lives of this great man, one by Fauvelet du Toe, Paris, 1666, 12mo, the other by the Abbé Perau, Paris, 1767, 2 vols. 12mo. Some notice may be taken of Benjamin de Rohan, brother of the preceding, who supported the duke’s undertakings during the protestant war, after having learned the military art in | Holland under prince Maurice of Nassau. He made himself master of Lower Poiton, 1622, and went into England soon after to solicit help for the Roohellers. In 1625, he took the isle of Rhe, and ravaged the whole coast from the mouth of the Garonne to that of the Loire, by the capture of several merchant ships. M. Rohan was driven from the isle of Rhe some time after, then from that of Oleron, and forced to retire into England, where he was active in procuring the succour sent to Rochelle; but that city being taken, notwithstanding these succours, he would not return to France, and died in England 1630, leaving no children. 1