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Ravaillac

knife, king and henri

RAVAILLAC, FrtANceas, a native of the French province of Angoulihne, where he was b. in 1578, has acquired an obnoxious reputation as the murderer of lieu ri IV. of France, In early life Ravaillac was in turn clerk to a notary and master of a school; but having fallen into debt, he was thrown into prison, the confinement and restraint of which preyed upon his health, and produced hallucinations of mind. Under the influence of this men tal excitement, lie renounced all secular pursuits; and on his release from prison, after having served for a time in the order of the Feuillants, he fell under the influence of the Jesuits, through whose instrumentality it is believed that his insane hatred of the Hugue nots, as the enemies of the church, was directed more especially against Henri of Navarre, their former leader. Having resolved to assassinate the king, he eagerly watched his opportunity, and on May 14, 1610, as the king was passing in Iris coach through the nar row street of La ferronnerie, got upon the right Milder-wheel of the carriage at the moment that its further advance was hinderedby a heavy wagon in front of it, and leaning for ward, he plunged a knife into the breast of the king. The first blow glanced aside, but

at the second thrust the knife entered the heart. Ravaillac escaped in the confusion, but being soon captured with the knife still in his hand, he admitted his guilt; and having been formally tried and condemned, he was put to the torture; and suffered death on May 27, in the Place de Grove, wider circumstances of great cruelty; his body being torn asunder by horses. Ravaillac refused to the last to acknowledge whether he had had instigators or abettors, and hence the widest scope was given to conjecture, suspicion being in turn directed to the queen, Marie de' Medici, and her favorites, the Concini, to the due d'Epernon, and to the Spanish court and their Jesuit advisers, but there is no good ground for such suspicions. M. Henri Martin (Histoire de Fiance) and 31. Poirson (Ilistoire de Henri 1V., tome II.) have examined the particulars of the process instituted against Ravaillae with scrupulous impartiality, and have come to the conclusion that the real cause of the crime was fanaticism degenerated into monomania.