Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/429

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allied with Charles, then Duke of Normandy, his armies occupied the western half of that province, the close of Louis' reign showed him distinctly weaker. The character of the last Duke, Francis II, was not such as to qualify him for making the best of a bad position. Weak, unwarlike, and easily influenced, he provoked a hostility which he was not man enough to meet.

In the intrigues against the government of Anne of Beaujeu during the minority of Charles VIII, Francis of Britanny was leagued with the Duke of Orleans, the Count of Angouleme, Rene of Lorraine and other discontented princes. Unfortunately the Duke's confidential minister, Landois, by his corrupt and oppressive rule, alienated a large part of his subjects, and provoked a revolt, which was supported by the Court of France. The Duke of Britanny was helpless. Louis of Orleans, who was already scheming for a divorce and an aspirant for the hand of Anne of Britanny, could render little assistance, and his undeveloped character was unequally matched with the political wisdom of Madame de Beaujeu. English aid was hoped for; but Richard III was fully occupied at home. Bourbon and d'Albret, who supported the coalition, were too distant to render effective aid. Thus the only result of the "Guerre Folle" was that Landois fell into the hands of the rebels, and was hanged. The hollow Peace of Beaugency and Bourges (1485) decided nothing, but gave the government time to strengthen its position. Henry Tudor, who had in the interval established himself in England, was indebted to France for opportune support and protection, and remembered his obligation for a time.

Landois removed, the Bretons remained disunited. French influence was disliked by all, and annexation to France abhorred. The Estates of Britanny (February, 1486) declared that the succession to the duchy belonged to the Duke's two daughters in order of birth, thus barring the rights of the House of Penthievre*, which Louis XI had purchased in 1480. But the Duke's attachment to his French advisers kept in vigour the Breton opposition, which was forced to lean upon the Court of France, and hoped nevertheless (by the Treaty of Chateaubriant, 1487) to secure the liberties of Britanny. For his part the Duke allied himself with Maximilian, recently elected King of the Romans, who began hostilities on the northern frontier of France in the summer of 1486, and, later in the same year, with Orleans, Lorraine, Angouleme, Orange, and Albret. Dunois, Lescun (now Comte de Comminges and Governor of Guyenne), Commines, and others, lent the weight of their experience and personal qualities. Bourbon this time stood aloof, and the French government promptly threw its whole force on the south-western Powers, who were forced to submit. Lescun was replaced in the government of