The death of the Prince of Conde, which occurred in the spring of 1588,
by depriving me of my only patron, reduced me to such straits that the
winter of that year, which saw the King of Navarre come to spend his
Christmas at St. Jean d'Angely, saw also the nadir of my fortunes. I did
not know at this time--I may confess it to-day without shame--wither to
turn for a gold crown or a new scabbard, and neither had nor discerned
any hope of employment.