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: Catherine de' Medici saved the crown of France; she maintained the royal authority in the midst of circumstances under which more than one great prince would have succumbed. Having to make head against factions and ambitions like those of the Guises and the house of Bourbon, against men such as the two Cardinals of Lorraine, the two Balafres, and the two Condes, against the queen Jeanne d'Albret, Henri IV., the Connetable de Montmorency, Calvin, the three Colignys, Theodore de Beze, she needed to possess and to display the rare qualities and precious gifts of a statesman under the mocking fire of the Calvinist press. Catherine had, in the highest degree, the sense of royalty, and she defended it with admirable courage and persistency. The reproaches which Calvinist writers have cast upon her are to her glory; she incurred them by reason only of her triumphs. Could she, placed as she was, triumph otherwise than by craft? The whole question lies there.