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William Robertson, The Works of William Robertson. Vol. 5. The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, books 8-12 [1840]

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William Robertson, The Works of William Robertson, D.D. To which is Prefixed, An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, by Dugald Stewart. In Eight volumes. (London: T. Cadell, 1840). Vol. 5. The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, books 8-12. https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2778

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About this Title:

This is vol. 5 of an 8 volume edition of The Works of William Robertson (1840). It contains his major works of history: The History of Scotland (1759) in vols. 1 and 2; A View of the Progress of Society in Europe in vol 3; The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V (1769) in vols. 3-5; The History of America (1777), vols. 6-8; and An Historical Disquisition concerning Ancient India (1791) in vol. 8.

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Edition: current; Page: [i]
THE WORKS of WILLIAM ROBERTSON, D.D to which is prefixed, AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF THE AUTHOR,
by DUGALD STEWART, F.R.S. Edin.
IN EIGHT VOLUMES.
VOL. V.
HISTORY OF CHARLES V.
LONDON:
PRINTED FOR T. CADELL, STRAND;
longman, orme, brown, green, & longmans; w. t. clarke; j. m. richardson; hatchard & son; j. g. f. & j. rivington; j. bohn; j. carpenter; duncan & malcolm; whittaker & co.; simpkin, marshall, & co.; w. h. allen & co.; e. hodgson; bigg & son; t. bumpus; j. dowding; j. bain; smith, elder, & co.; h. washbourne; j. templeman; houlston & stoneman; w. h. reid; r. mackie; h. g. bohn; james bohn; f. macpherson; w. morrison; g. routledge; j. bickers; l. booth; c. dolman: and j. parker, oxford: and j. & j. j. deighton, cambridge.
1840.
Edition: current; Page: [ii] Edition: current; Page: [iii]

THE

HISTORY

of the

REIGN

of the

EMPEROR CHARLES V.

with

A VIEW OF THE PROGRESS OF SOCIETY IN EUROPE,

from the subversion of the roman empire to the beginning of

the sixteenth century.

BY WILLIAM ROBERTSON, D.D.

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. III.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR T. CADELL, STRAND;

longman, orme, brown, green, & longmans; w. t. clarke; j. m. richardson; hatchard & son; j. g. f. & j. rivington; j. bohn; j. carpenter; duncan & malcolm; whittaker & co.; simpkin, marshall, & co.; w. h. allen & co.; e. hodgson; bigg & son; t. bumpus; j. dowding; j. bain; smith, elder, & co.; h. washbourne; j. templeman; houlston & stoneman; w. h. reid; r. mackie; h. g. bohn; james bohn; f. macpherson; w. morrison; g. routledge; j. bickers; l. booth; c. dolman: and j. parker, oxford: and j. & j. j. deighton, cambridge.

1840.

Edition: current; Page: [iv] Edition: current; Page: [1]

The Works of William Robertson, D.D. Vol. V

THE

HISTORY OF THE REIGN

of the

EMPEROR CHARLES V.

BOOK VIII.

1546.While appearances of danger daily increased, and the tempest which had been so long a gathering was ready to break forth in all its violence against the protestant church, Luther was saved, by a seasonable death, from feeling or beholding its destructive rage. Having gone, though in a declining state of health, and during a rigorous season,Death of Luther. to his native city of Eysleben, in order to compose, by his authority, a dissension among the Counts of Mansfield, he was seized with a violent inflammation in his stomach, which, in a few days, put an end to his life, in the sixty-third year of his age. As he was raised up by Providence to be the author of one of the greatest and most interesting revolutions recorded in history, there is not any person, perhaps,Feb. 18. whose character has been drawn with such opposite colours. In his own age, one party, struck with horror and inflamed with rage, when they saw with what a daring hand he overturned every thing which they held to be sacred, or valued as beneficial, imputed to him not only all the defects and vices of a man, but the qualities of a demon. The other, warmed with the admiration Edition: current; Page: [2] and gratitude, which they thought he merited as the restorer of light and liberty to the Christian church,BOOK VIII.lf1681-05_figure_001.jpg ascribed to him perfections above the condition of humanity, and viewed all his actions with a veneration bordering on that which should be paid only to those who are guided by the immediate inspiration of heaven. It is his own conduct, not the undistinguishing censure or the exaggerated praise of his contemporaries, that ought to regulate the opinions of the present age concerning him. Zeal for what he regarded as truth, undaunted intrepidity to maintain his own system, abilities,His character. both natural and acquired, to defend his principles, and unwearied industry in propagating them, are virtues which shine so conspicuously in every part of his behaviour, that even his enemies must allow him to have possessed them in an eminent degree. To these may be added, with equal justice, such purity and even austerity of manners, as became one who assumed the character of a reformer; such sanctity of life as suited the doctrine which he delivered; and such perfect disinterestedness as affords no slight presumption of his sincerity. Superior to all selfish considerations, a stranger to the elegancies of life, and despising its pleasures, he left the honours and emoluments of the church to his disciples, remaining satisfied himself in his original state of professor in the university, and pastor of the town of Wittemburg, with the moderate appointments annexed to these offices. His extraordinary qualities were allayed with no inconsiderable mixture of human frailty and human passions. These, however, were of such a nature, that they cannot be imputed to malevolence or corruption of heart, but seem to have taken their rise from the same source with many of his virtues. His mind, forcible and vehement in all its operations, roused by great objects, or agitated by violent passions, broke out, on many occasions, with Edition: current; Page: [3] an impetuosity which astonishes men of feebler spirits, or such as are placed in a more tranquil situation. By carrying some praiseworthy dispositions to excess, he bordered sometimes on what was culpable, and was often betrayed into actions which exposed him to censure. His confidence that his own opinions were well founded, approached to arrogance; his courage in asserting them, to rashness; his firmness in adhering to them, to obstinacy; and his zeal in confuting his adversaries, to rage and scurrility. Accustomed himself to consider every thing as subordinate to truth, he expected the same deference for it from other men; and, without making any allowances for their timidity or prejudices, he poured forth against such as disappointed him in this particular, a torrent of invective mingled with contempt. Regardless of any distinction of rank or character when his doctrines were attacked, he chastised all his adversaries indiscriminately, with the same rough hand; neither the royal dignity of Henry VIII., nor the eminent learning and abilities of Erasmus, screened them from the same gross abuse with which he treated Tetzel or Eckius.

But these indecencies of which Luther was guilty, must not be imputed wholly to the violence of his temper. They ought to be charged in part on the manners of the age. Among a rude people, unacquainted with those maxims, which, by putting continual restraint on the passions of individuals, have polished society, and rendered it agreeable, disputes of every kind were managed with heat, and strong emotions were uttered in their natural language, without reserve or delicacy. At the same time, the works of learned men were all composed in Latin, and they were not only authorized, by the example of eminent writers in that language, to use their antagonists with the most illiberal scurrility; but, in a Edition: current; Page: [4] dead tongue, indecencies of every kind appear less shocking than in a living language, whose idioms and phrases seem gross, because they are familiar.

In passing judgment upon the characters of men, we ought to try them by the principles and maxims of their own age, not by those of another. For, although virtue and vice are at all times the same, manners and customs vary continually. Some parts of Luther’s behaviour, which to us appear most culpable, gave no disgust to his contemporaries. It was even by some of those qualities, which we are now apt to blame, that he was fitted for accomplishing the great work which he undertook. To rouse mankind, when sunk in ignorance or superstition, and to encounter the rage of bigotry armed with power, required the utmost vehemence of zeal, as well as a temper daring to excess. A gentle call would neither have reached, nor have excited those to whom it was addressed. A spirit more amiable, but less vigorous than Luther’s, would have shrunk back from the dangers which he braved and surmounted. Towards the close of Luther’s life, though without any perceptible diminution of his zeal or abilities, the infirmities of his temper increased upon him, so that he grew daily more peevish, more irascible, and more impatient of contradiction. Having lived to be a witness of his own amazing success; to see a great part of Europe embrace his doctrines; and to shake the foundation of the papal throne, before which the mightiest monarchs had trembled, he discovered, on some occasions, symptoms of vanity and self-applause. He must have been, indeed, more than man, if, upon contemplating all that he actually accomplished, he had never felt any sentiment of this kind rising in his breast.a

Edition: current; Page: [5]

Some time before his death he felt his strength declining, his constitution being worn out by a prodigious multiplicity of business, added to the labour of discharging his ministerial function with unremitting diligence, to the fatigue of constant study, besides the composition of works as voluminous as if he had enjoyed uninterrupted leisure and retirement. His natural intrepidity did not forsake him at the approach of death; his last conversation with his friends was concerning the happiness reserved for good men in a future life, of which he spoke with the fervour and delight natural to one who expected and wished to enter soon upon the enjoyment of it.b The account of his death filled the Roman catholic party with excessive as well as indecent joy, and damped the spirits of all his followers; neither party sufficiently considering that his doctrines were now so firmly rooted, as to be in a condition to flourish independent of the hand which had first planted them. His funeral was celebrated by order of the Elector of Saxony with extraordinary pomp. He left several children by his wife, Catharine à Boria, who survived him. Towards the end of the last century, there were in Saxony some of his descendants in decent and honourable stations.c

The emperor endeavours to amuse and deceive the protestants.The emperor, meanwhile, pursued the plan of dissimulation with which he had set out, employing every art to amuse the protestants, and to quiet their Edition: current; Page: [6] fears and jealousies. For this purpose, he contrived to have an interview with the Landgrave of Hesse, the most active of all the confederates, and the most suspicious of his designs.March 28. To him he made such warm professions of his concern for the happiness of Germany, and of his aversion to all violent measures; he denied in such express terms his having entered into any league, or having begun any military preparations which should give any just cause of alarm to the protestants, as seem to have dispelled all the landgrave’s doubts and apprehensions, and sent him away fully satisfied of his pacific intentions. This artifice was of great advantage, and effectually answered the purpose for which it was employed. The landgrave, upon his leaving Spires, where he had been admitted to this interview, went to Worms, where the Smalkaldic confederates were assembled, and gave them such a flattering representation of the emperor’s favourable disposition towards them, that they, who were too apt, as well from the temper of the German nation, as from the genius of all great associations or bodies of men, to be slow, and dilatory, and undecisive in their deliberations, thought there was no necessity of taking any immediate measures against danger, which appeared to be distant or imaginary.d

Proceedings of the council against the protestants.Such events, however, soon occurred as staggered the credit which the protestants had given to the emperor’s declarations. The council of Trent, though still composed of a small number of Italian and Spanish prelates, without a single deputy from many of the kingdoms which it assumed a right of binding by its decrees, being ashamed of its long inactivity, proceeded now to settle articles of the greatest importance. Having begun with examining the first and chief point in controversy between the church of Edition: current; Page: [7] Rome and the reformers, concerning the rule which should be held as supreme and decisive in matters of faith, the council, by its infallible authority,April 8. determined, “That the books to which the designation of apocryphal hath been given, are of equal authority with those which were received by the Jews and primitive Christians into the sacred canon; that the traditions handed down from the apostolic age, and preserved in the church, are entitled to as much regard as the doctrines and precepts which the inspired authors have committed to writing; that the Latin translation of the scriptures, made or revised by St. Jerome, and known by the name of the Vulgate translation, should be read in churches, and appealed to in the schools as authentic and canonical.” Against all who disclaimed the truth of these tenets, anathemas were denounced in the name and by the authority of the Holy Ghost. The decision of these points, which undermined the main foundation of the Lutheran system, was a plain warning to the protestants what judgment they might expect when the council should have leisure to take into consideration the particular and subordinate articles of their creed.e

This discovery of the council’s readiness to condemn the opinions of the protestants was soon followed by a striking instance of the pope’s resolution to punish such as embraced them. The appeal of the canons of Cologne against their archbishop having been carried to Rome, Paul eagerly seized on that opportunity, both of displaying the extent of his own authority, and of teaching the German ecclesiastics the danger of revolting from the established church. As no person appeared in behalf of the archbishop, he was held to be convicted of the crime of heresy, and a papal bull was issued,April 16. depriving him of his ecclesiastical dignity, inflicting on him the sentence of excommunication, Edition: current; Page: [8] and absolving his subjects from the oath of allegiance which they had taken to him as their civil superior. The countenance which he had given to the Lutheran heresy was the only crime imputed to him, as well as the only reason assigned to justify the extraordinary severity of this decree. The protestants could hardly believe that Paul, how zealous soever he might be to defend the established system, or to humble those who invaded it, would have ventured to proceed to such extremities against a prince and elector of the empire, without having previously secured such powerful protection as would render his censure something more than an impotent and despicable sally of resentment. They were, of course, deeply alarmed at this sentence against the archbishop, considering it as a sure indication of the malevolent intentions not only of the pope, but of the emperor, against the whole party.f

Charles, about to commence hostilities against the protestants,Upon this fresh revival of their fears, with such violence as is natural to men roused from a false security, and conscious of their having been deceived, Charles saw that now it became necessary to throw aside the mask, and to declare openly what part he determined to act. By a long series of artifice and fallacy, he had gained so much time, that his measures, though not altogether ripe for execution, were in great forwardness. The pope, by his proceedings against the Elector of Cologne, as well as by the decree of the council, had precipitated matters into such a situation, as rendered a breach between the emperor and the protestants almost unavoidable. Charles had, therefore, no choice left him, but either to take part with them in overturning what the see of Rome had determined, or to support the authority of the church openly,negotiates with the pope; by force of arms. Nor did the pope think it enough to have brought the emperor Edition: current; Page: [9] under a necessity of acting; he pressed him to begin his operations immediately, and to carry them on with such vigour as could not fail of securing success. Transported by his zeal against heresy, Paul forgot all the prudent and cautious maxims of the papal see, with regard to the danger of extending the imperial authority beyond due bounds; and in order to crush the Lutherans, he was willing to contribute towards raising up a master that might one day prove formidable to himself as well as to the rest of Italy.

concludes a truce with Solyman;But, besides the certain expectation of assistance from the pope, Charles was now secure from any danger of interruption to his designs by the Turkish arms. His negotiations at the Porte, which he had carried on with great assiduity since the peace of Crespy, were on the point of being terminated in such a manner as he desired. Solyman, partly in compliance with the French king, who, in order to avoid the disagreeable obligation of joining the emperor against his ancient ally, laboured with great zeal to bring about an accommodation between them; and partly from its being necessary to turn his arms towards the East, where the Persians threatened to invade his dominions, consented without difficulty to a truce for five years. The chief article of it was, “That each should retain possession of what he now held in Hungary; and Ferdinand, as a sacrifice to the pride of the sultan, submitted to pay an annual tribute of fifty thousand crowns.”g

gains Maurice and other princes in Germany;But it was upon the aid and concurrence of the Germans themselves that the emperor relied with the greatest confidence. The Germanic body, he knew, was of such vast strength, as to be invincible if it were united, and that it was only by employing its own force that he could hope to subdue it. Happily for him, the union of the several members in this Edition: current; Page: [10] great system was so feeble, the whole frame was so loosely compacted, and its different parts tended so violently towards separation from each other, that it was almost impossible for it, on any important emergence, to join in a general or vigorous effort. In the present juncture, the sources of discord were as many, and as various, as had been known on any occasion. The Roman catholics, animated with zeal in defence of their religion proportional to the fierceness with which it had been attacked, were eager to second any attempt to humble those innovators, who had overturned it in many provinces, and endangered it in more. John and Albert of Brandenburg, as well as several other princes, incensed at the haughtiness and rigour with which the Duke of Brunswick had been treated by the confederates of Smalkalde, were impatient to rescue him, and to be revenged on them. Charles observed, with satisfaction, the working of those passions in their minds, and counting on them as sure auxiliaries whenever he should think it proper to act, he found it, in the mean time, more necessary to moderate than to inflame their rage.

holds a diet at Ratisbon.Such was the situation of affairs, such the discernment with which the emperor foresaw and provided for every event, when the diet of the empire met at Ratisbon. Many of the Roman catholic members appeared there in person, but most of the confederates of Smalkalde, under pretence of being unable to bear the expence occasioned by the late unnecessary frequency of such assemblies, sent only deputies. Their jealousy of the emperor, together with an apprehension that violence might, perhaps, be employed, in order to force their approbation of what he should propose in the diet, was the true cause of their absence. The speech with which the emperor opened the diet was extremely artful. After professing, in common form, his regard for the prosperity of the Germanic Edition: current; Page: [11] body, and declaring, that, in order to bestow his whole attention upon the re-establishment of its order and tranquillity, he had at present abandoned all other cares, rejected the most pressing solicitations of his other subjects to reside among them, and postponed affairs of the greatest importance; he took notice, with some disapprobation, that his disinterested example had not been imitated; many members of chief consideration having neglected to attend an assembly to which he had repaired with such manifest inconvenience to himself. He then mentioned their unhappy dissensions about religion; lamented the ill success of his past endeavours to compose them; complained of the abrupt dissolution of the late conference, and craved their advice with regard to the best and most effectual method of restoring union to the churches of Germany, together with that happy agreement in articles of faith, which their ancestors had found to be of no less advantage to their civil interest, than becoming their Christian profession.

By this gracious and popular method of consulting the members of the diet, rather than of obtruding upon them any opinion of his own, besides the appearance of great moderation, and the merit of paying much respect to their judgment, the emperor dexterously avoided discovering his own sentiments, and reserved to himself, as his only part, that of carrying into execution what they should recommend. Nor was he less secure of such a decision as he wished to obtain, by referring it wholly to themselves. The Roman catholic members, prompted by their own zeal, or prepared by his intrigues, joined immediately in representing that the authority of the council now met at Trent ought to be supreme in all matters of controversy; that all Christians should submit to its decrees as the infallible rule of their faith; and Edition: current; Page: [12] therefore they besought him to exert the power, with which he was invested by the Almighty, in protecting that assembly, and in compelling the protestants to acquiesce in its determinations. The protestants, on the other hand, presented a memorial, in which, after repeating their objections to the council of Trent, they proposed, as the only effectual method of deciding the points in dispute, that either a free general council should be assembled in Germany, or a national council of the empire should be called, or a select number of divines should be appointed out of each party to examine and define articles of faith. They mentioned the recesses of several diets favourable to this proposition, and which had afforded them the prospect of terminating all their differences in this amicable manner; they now conjured the emperor not to depart from his former plan, and, by offering violence to their consciences, to bring calamities upon Germany, the very thought of which must fill every lover of his country with horror. The emperor, receiving this paper with a contemptuous smile, paid no farther regard to it. Having already taken his final resolution, and perceiving that nothing but force could compel them to acquiesce in it, he dispatched the Cardinal of Trent to Rome,June 9. in order to conclude an alliance with the pope, the terms of which were already agreed on; he commanded a body of troops, levied on purpose in the Low Countries, to advance towards Germany; he gave commissions to several officers for raising men in different parts of the empire; he warned John and Albert of Brandenburg, that now was the proper time of exerting themselves in order to rescue their ally, Henry of Brunswick, from captivity.h

The protestants alarmed.All these things could not be transacted without the observation and knowledge of the protestants. Edition: current; Page: [13] The secret was now in many hands; under whatever veil the emperor still affected to conceal his designs, his officers kept no such mysterious reserve; and his allies and subjects spoke out his intentions plainly. Alarmed with reports of this kind from every quarter, as well as with the preparations for war which they could not but observe, the deputies of the confederates demanded audience of the emperor, and, in the name of their masters, required to know whether these military preparations were carried on by his command, and for what end, and against what enemy? To a question put in such a tone, and at a time when facts were become too notorious to be denied, it was necessary to give an explicit answer. Charles owned the orders which he had issued, and, professing his purpose not to molest on account of religion those who should act as dutiful subjects, declared, that he had nothing in view but to maintain the rights and prerogatives of the imperial dignity; and, by punishing some factious members, to preserve the ancient constitution of the empire from being impaired or dissolved by their irregular and licentious conduct. Though the emperor did not name the persons whom he charged with such high crimes, and destined to be the objects of his vengeance, it was obvious that he had the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse in view. Their deputies considering what he had said as a plain declaration of his hostile intentions, immediately retired from Ratisbon.i

The emperor’s treaty with the pope.The Cardinal of Trent found it no difficult matter to treat with the pope, who, having at length brought the emperor to adopt that plan which he had long recommended, assented with eagerness to every article that he proposed.July 26. The league was signed a few days after the cardinal’s arrival at Rome. The pernicious heresies which abounded in Germany, the obstinacy Edition: current; Page: [14] of the protestants in rejecting the holy council assembled at Trent, and the necessity of maintaining sound doctrine, together with good order, in the church, are mentioned as the motives of this union between the contracting parties. In order to check the growth of these evils, and to punish such as had impiously contributed to spread them, the emperor having long and without success made trial of gentler remedies, engaged instantly to take the field with a sufficient army, that he might compel all who disowned the council, or had apostatized from the religion of their forefathers, to return into the bosom of the church, and submit with due obedience to the holy see. He likewise bound himself not to conclude a peace with them during six months without the pope’s consent, nor without assigning him his share in any conquests which should be made upon them; and that, even after this period, he should not agree to any accommodation which might be detrimental to the church, or to the interest of religion. On his part, the pope stipulated to deposit a large sum in the bank of Venice towards defraying the expence of the war; to maintain, at his own charge, during the space of six months, twelve thousand foot, and five hundred horse; to grant the emperor, for one year, half of the ecclesiastical revenues throughout Spain; to authorize him, by a bull, to alienate as much of the lands belonging to religious houses in that country as would amount to the sum of five hundred thousand crowns; and to employ not only spiritual censures, but military force, against any prince who should attempt to interrupt or defeat the execution of this treaty.j

Endeavours still to conceal his intentions from the protestants.Notwithstanding the explicit terms in which the extirpation of heresy was declared to be the object of the war which was to follow upon this treaty, Charles still endeavoured to persuade the Germans that he Edition: current; Page: [15] had no design to abridge their religious liberty, but that he aimed only at vindicating his own authority, and repressing the insolence of such as had encroached upon it. With this view, he wrote circular letters in the same strain with his answer to the deputies at Ratisbon, to most of the free cities, and to several of the princes who had embraced the protestant doctrines. In these he complained loudly, but in general terms, of the contempt into which the imperial dignity had fallen, and of the presumptuous as well as disorderly behaviour of some members of the empire. He declared that he now took arms, not in a religious, but in a civil quarrel; not to oppress any who continued to behave as quiet and dutiful subjects, but to humble the arrogance of such as had thrown off all sense of that subordination in which they were placed under him as head of the Germanic body. Gross as this deception was, and manifest as it might have appeared to all who considered the emperor’s conduct with attention, it became necessary for him to make trial of its effect; and such was the confidence and dexterity with which he employed it, that he derived the most solid advantages from this artifice. If he had avowed at once an intention of overturning the protestant church, and of reducing all Germany under its former state of subjection to the papal see, none of the cities or princes who had embraced the new opinions could have remained neutral after such a declaration, far less could they have ventured to assist the emperor in such an enterprise. Whereas by concealing, and even disclaiming, any intention of that kind, he not only saved himself from the danger of being overwhelmed by a general confederacy of all the protestant states, but he furnished the timid with an excuse for continuing inactive, and the designing or interested with a pretext for joining him, without exposing themselves to the infamy of abandoning their own Edition: current; Page: [16] principles, or taking part openly in suppressing them. At the same time, the emperor well knew, that if, by their assistance, he were enabled to break the power of the Elector of Saxony and the landgrave, he might afterwards prescribe what terms he pleased to the feeble remains of a party without union, and destitute of leaders, who would then regret, too late, their mistaken confidence in him, and their inconsiderate desertion of their associates.

The pope disconcerts his plan.The pope, by a sudden and unforeseen display of his zeal, had well nigh disconcerted this plan, which the emperor had formed with so much care and art. Proud of having been the author of such a formidable league against the Lutheran heresy, and happy in thinking that the glory of extirpating it was reserved for his pontificate, he published the articles of his treaty with the emperor, in order to demonstrate the pious intention of their confederacy, as well as to display his own zeal, which prompted him to make such extraordinary efforts for maintaining the faith in its purity. Not satisfied with this, he soon after issued a bull, containing most liberal promises of indulgence to all who should engage in this holy enterprise, together with warm exhortations to such as could not bear a part in it themselves, to increase the fervour of their prayers, and the severity of their mortifications, that they might draw down the blessing of heaven upon those who undertook it.k Nor was it zeal alone which pushed the pope to make declarations so inconsistent with the account which the emperor himself gave of his motives for taking arms. He was much scandalized at Charles’s dissimulation in such a cause; at his seeming to be ashamed of owning his zeal for the church, and at his endeavours to make that pass for a political contest, which he ought to have gloried in as a war that had no other object than the defence Edition: current; Page: [17] of religion. With as much solicitude, therefore, as the emperor laboured to disguise the purpose of the confederacy, did the pope endeavour to publish their real plan, in order that they might come at once to an open rupture with the protestants, that all hopes of reconcilement might be cut off, and that Charles might be under fewer temptations, and have it less in his power than at present, to betray the interests of the church by any accommodation beneficial to himself.l

The emperor, though not a little offended at the pope’s indiscretion or malice in making this discovery, continued boldly to pursue his own plan, and to assert his intentions to be no other than what he had originally avowed. Several of the protestant states, whom he had previously gained, thought themselves justified, in some measure, by his declaration, for abandoning their associates, and even for giving assistance to him.

The preparation of the protestants for their own defence.But these artifices did not impose on the greater and sounder part of the protestant confederates. They clearly perceived it to be against the reformed religion that the emperor had taken arms, and that not only the suppression of it, but the extinction of the German liberties, would be the certain consequence of his obtaining such an entire superiority as would enable him to execute his schemes in their full extent. They determined, therefore, to prepare for their own defence, and neither to renounce those religious truths, to the knowledge of which they had attained by means so wonderful, nor to abandon those civil rights which had been transmitted to them by their ancestors. In order to give the necessary directions for this purpose, their deputies met at Ulm, soon after their abrupt departure from Ratisbon. Their deliberations were now conducted with such vigour and unanimity, as the imminent danger which threatened them required. The contingent of troops, which each of the confederates Edition: current; Page: [18] was to furnish, having been fixed by the original treaty of union, orders were given for bringing them immediately into the field. Being sensible, at last, that, through the narrow prejudices of some of their members, and the imprudent security of others, they had neglected too long to strengthen themselves by foreign alliances, they now applied with great earnestness to the Venetians and Swiss.

They solicit the aid of the Venetians;To the Venetians they represented the emperor’s intention of overturning the present system of Germany, and of raising himself to absolute power in that country by means of foreign force furnished by the pope; they warned them how fatal this event would prove to the liberties of Italy, and that by suffering Charles to acquire unlimited authority in the one country, they would soon feel his dominion to be no less despotic in the other; they besought them, therefore, not to grant a passage through their territories to those troops, which ought to be treated as common enemies, because by subduing Germany they prepared chains for the rest of Europe. These reflections had not escaped the sagacity of those wise republicans. They had communicated their sentiments to the pope, and had endeavoured to divert him from an alliance, which tended to render irresistible the power of a potentate, whose ambition he already knew to be boundless. But they had found Paul so eager in the prosecution of his own plan, that he disregarded all their remonstrances.m This attempt to alarm the pope having proved unsuccessful. they declined doing any thing more towards preventing the dangers which they foresaw; and in return to the application from the confederates of Smalkalde, they informed them, that they could not obstruct the march of the pope’s troops through an open country, but by levying an army strong enough to Edition: current; Page: [19] face them in the field; and that this would draw upon themselves the whole weight of his as well as of the emperor’s indignation. For the same reason, they declined lending a sum of money, which the Elector of Saxony and landgrave proposed to borrow of them, towards carrying on the war.n

of the Swiss;The demands of the confederates upon the Swiss were not confined to the obstructing of the entrance of foreigners into Germany; they required of them, as the nearest neighbours and closest allies of the empire, to interpose with their wonted vigour for the preservation of its liberties, and not to stand as inactive spectators, while their brethren were oppressed and enslaved. But with whatever zeal some of the cantons might have been disposed to act when the cause of the reformation was in danger, the Helvetic body was so divided with regard to religion, as to render it unsafe for the protestants to take any step without consulting their catholic associates; and among them the emissaries of the pope and emperor had such influence, that a resolution of maintaining an exact neutrality between the contending parties was the utmost which could be procured.o

of Francia I. and Henry VIII.Being disappointed in both these applications, the protestants, not long after, had recourse to the Kings of France and England; the approach of danger either overcoming the Elector of Saxony’s scruples, or obliging him to yield to the importunities of his associates. The situation of the two monarchs flattered them with hopes of success. Though hostilities between them had continued for some time after the peace of Crespy, they became weary at last of a war, attended with no glory or advantage to either, and had lately terminated all their differences by a peace Edition: current; Page: [20] concluded at Campe near Ardres. Francis having with great difficulty procured his allies, the Scots, to be included in the treaty, in return for that concession he engaged to pay a great sum, which Henry demanded as due to him on several accounts, and he left Boulogne in the hands of the English, as a pledge for his faithful performance of that article. But though the re-establishment of peace seemed to leave the two monarchs at liberty to turn their attention towards Germany, so unfortunate were the protestants, that they derived no immediate advantage from this circumstance. Henry appeared unwilling to enter into any alliance with them, but on such conditions as would render him not only the head, but the supreme director of their league; a pre-eminence which, as the bonds of union or interest between them were but feeble, and as he differed from them so widely in his religious sentiments, they had no inclination to admit.p Francis, more powerfully inclined by political considerations to afford them assistance, found his kingdom so much exhausted by a long war, and was so much afraid of irritating the pope, by entering into close union with excommunicated heretics, that he durst not undertake the protection of the Smalkaldic league. By this ill-timed caution, or by a superstitious deference to scruples, to which at other times he was not much addicted, he lost the most promising opportunity of mortifying and distressing his rival, which presented itself during his whole reign.

Protestants take the field with a great army.But, notwithstanding their ill success in their negotiations with foreign courts, the confederates found no difficulty at home in bringing a sufficient force into the field. Germany abounded at that time in inhabitants; the feudal institutions, which subsisted in full force, enabled the nobles to call out their numerous Edition: current; Page: [21] vassals, and to put them in motion on the shortest warning; the martial spirit of the Germans, not broken or enervated by the introduction of commerce and arts, had acquired additional vigour during the continual wars in which they had been employed, for half a century, either in the pay of the emperors or the kings of France. Upon every opportunity of entering into service, they were accustomed to run eagerly to arms; and to every standard that was erected volunteers flocked from all quarters.q Zeal seconded, on this occasion, their native ardour. Men on whom the doctrines of the reformation had made that deep impression which accompanies truth when first discovered, prepared to maintain it with proportional vigour; and among a warlike people, it appeared infamous to remain inactive, when the defence of religion was the motive for taking arms. Accident combined with all these circumstances in facilitating the levy of soldiers among the confederates. A considerable number of Germans, in the pay of France, being dismissed by the king on the prospect of peace with England, joined in a body the standard of the protestants.r By such a concurrence of causes, they were enabled to assemble in a few weeks an army composed of seventy thousand foot and fifteen thousand horse, provided with a train of a hundred and twenty cannon, eight hundred ammunition-waggons, eight thousand beasts of burden, and six thousand pioneers.s This army, one of the most numerous, and, undoubtedly, the best appointed of any which had been levied in Europe during that century, did not require the united effort of the whole protestant body to raise it. The Elector of Saxony, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Duke of Wurtemberg, Edition: current; Page: [22] the Princes of Anhalt, and the imperial cities of Augsburg, Ulm, and Strasburg, were the only powers which contributed towards this great armament: the Electors of Cologne, of Brandenburg, and the count palatine, overawed by the emperor’s threats, or deceived by his professions, remained neuter. John, Marquis of Brandenburg Bareith, and Albert of Brandenburg Anspach, though both early converts to Lutheranism, entered openly into the emperor’s service, under pretext of having obtained his promise for the security of the protestant religion; and Maurice of Saxony soon followed their example.

The inequality of the emperor’s forces to theirs.The number of their troops, as well as the amazing rapidity wherewith they had assembled them, astonished the emperor, and filled him with the most disquieting apprehensions. He was, indeed, in no condition to resist such a mighty force. Shut up in Ratisbon, a town of no great strength, whose inhabitants, being mostly Lutherans, would have been more ready to betray than to assist him, with only three thousand Spanish foot, who had served in Hungary, and about five thousand Germans, who had joined him from different parts of the empire, he must have been overwhelmed by the approach of such a formidable army, which he could not fight, nor could he even hope to retreat from it in safety. The pope’s troops, though in full march to his relief, had hardly reached the frontiers of Germany; the forces which he expected from the Low Countries had not yet begun to move, and were even far from being complete.t His situation, however, called for more immediate succour, nor did it seem practicable for him to wait for such distant auxiliaries, with whom his junction was so precarious.

They imprudently negotiate instead of acting.But it happened, fortunately for Charles, that the confederates did not avail themselves of the advantage Edition: current; Page: [23] which lay so full in their view. In civil wars, the first steps are commonly taken with much timidity and hesitation. Men are solicitous, at that time, to put on the semblance of moderation and equity; they strive to gain partisans by seeming to adhere strictly to known forms; nor can they be brought, at once, to violate those established institutions, which, in times of tranquillity, they have been accustomed to reverence; hence their proceedings are often feeble or dilatory, when they ought to be most vigorous and decisive. Influenced by those considerations, which, happily for the peace of society, operate powerfully on the human mind, the confederates could not think of throwing off that allegiance which they owed to the head of the empire, or of turning their arms against him, without one solemn appeal more to his candour, and to the impartial judgment of their fellow-subjects. For this purpose, they addressed a letter to the emperor, and a manifesto to all the inhabitants of Germany. The tenour of both was the same. They represented their own conduct with regard to civil affairs as dutiful and submissive; they mentioned the inviolable union in which they had lived with the emperor, as well as the many and recent marks of his good-will and gratitude wherewithal they had been honoured; they asserted religion to be the sole cause of the violence which the emperor now meditated against them; and, in proof of this, produced many arguments to convince those who were so weak as to be deceived by the artifices with which he endeavoured to cover his real intentions; they declared their own resolution to risk every thing in maintenance of their religious rights, and foretold the dissolution of the German constitution, if the emperor should finally prevail against them.u

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The emperor puts them under the ban of the empire.Charles, though in such a perilous situation as might have inspired him with moderate sentiments, appeared as inflexible and haughty as if his affairs had been in the most prosperous state. His only reply to the address and manifesto of the protestants, was to publish the ban of the empire against the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse,July 20. their leaders, and against all who should dare to assist them. By this sentence, the ultimate and most rigorous one which the German jurisprudence has provided for the punishment of traitors, or enemies to their country, they were declared rebels and outlaws, and deprived of every privilege which they enjoyed as members of the Germanic body; their goods were confiscated; their subjects absolved from their oath of allegiance; and it became not only lawful, but meritorious, to invade their territories. The nobles, and free cities, who framed or perfected the constitution of the German government, had not been so negligent of their own safety and privileges as to trust the emperor with this formidable jurisdiction. The authority of a diet of the empire ought to have been interposed before any of its members could be put under the ban. But Charles overlooked that formality, well knowing that, if his arms were crowned with success, there would remain none who would have either power or courage to call in question what he had done.x The emperor, however, did not found his sentence against the elector and landgrave on their revolt from the established church, or their conduct with regard to religion; he affected to assign for it reasons purely civil, and those too expressed in such general and ambiguous terms, without specifying the nature or circumstances of their guilt, as rendered it more like Edition: current; Page: [25] an act of despotic power than of a legal and limited jurisdiction. Nor was it altogether from choice, or to conceal his intentions, that Charles had recourse to the ambiguity of general expressions; but he durst not mention too particularly the causes of his sentence, as every action which he could have charged upon the elector and landgrave as a crime, might have been employed with equal justice to condemn many of the protestants whom he still pretended to consider as faithful subjects, and whom it would have been extremely imprudent to alarm or disgust.

They declare war against Charles.The confederates, now perceiving all hopes of accommodation to be at an end, had only to choose whether they would submit, without reserve, to the emperor’s will, or proceed to open hostilities. They were not destitute either of public spirit, or of resolution to make the proper choice. A few days after the ban of the empire was published, they, according to the custom of that age, sent an herald to the imperial camp, with a solemn declaration of war against Charles, to whom they no longer gave any other title than that of pretended emperor, and renounced all allegiance, homage, or duty, which he might claim, or which they had hitherto yielded to him. But previous to this formality part of their troops had begun to act.Their first operations; The command of a considerable body of men, raised by the city of Augsburg, having been given to Sebastian Schertel, a soldier of fortune, who, by the booty that he got when the imperialists plundered Rome, together with the merit of long service, had acquired wealth and authority which placed him on a level with the chief of the German nobles; that gallant veteran resolved, before he joined the main body of the confederates, to attempt something suitable to his former fame, and to the expectation of his countrymen. As the pope’s forces were hastening towards Tyrol, in order to Edition: current; Page: [26] penetrate into Germany, by the narrow passes through the mountains which run across that country, he advanced thither with the utmost rapidity, and seized Ehrenberg and Cuffstein, two strong castles which commanded the principal defiles. Without stopping a moment, he continued his march towards Inspruck, by getting possession of which he would have obliged the Italians to stop short, and with a small body of men could have resisted all the efforts of the greatest armies. Castlealto, the Governor of Trent, knowing what a fatal blow this would be to the emperor, all whose designs must have proved abortive if his Italian auxiliaries had been intercepted, raised a few troops with the utmost dispatch, and threw himself into the town. Schertel, however, did not abandon the enterprise, and was preparing to attack the place, when the intelligence of the approach of the Italians, and an order from the elector and landgrave, obliged him to desist. By his retreat the passes were left open, and the Italians entered Germany without any opposition, but from the garrisons which Schertel had placed in Ehrenberg and Cuffstein, and these, having no hopes of being relieved, surrendered after a short resistance.y

and ill conduct.Nor was the recalling of Schertel the only error of which the confederates were guilty. As the supreme command of their army was committed, in terms of the league of Smalkalde, to the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse with equal power, all the Edition: current; Page: [27] inconveniences arising from a divided and co-ordinate authority, which is always of fatal consequence in the operations of war, were immediately felt. The elector, though intrepid in his own person to excess, and most ardently zealous in the cause, was slow in deliberating, uncertain as well as irresolute in his determinations, and constantly preferred measures which were cautious and safe to such as were bold or decisive. The landgrave, of a more active and enterprising nature, formed all his resolutions with promptitude, wished to execute them with spirit, and uniformly preferred such measures as tended to bring the contest to a speedy issue. Thus their maxims, with regard to the conduct of the war, differed as widely as those by which they were influenced in preparing for it. Such perpetual contrariety in their sentiments gave rise, imperceptibly, to jealousy, and the spirit of contention. These multiplied the dissensions flowing from the incompatibility of their natural tempers, and rendered them more violent. The other members of the league considering themselves as independent, and subject to the elector and landgrave only in consequence of the articles of a voluntary confederacy, did not long retain a proper veneration for commanders who proceeded with so little concord; and the numerous army of the protestants, like a vast machine whose parts are ill compacted, and which is destitute of any power sufficient to move and regulate the whole, acted with no consistency, vigour, or effect.

The pope’s troops join the emperor.The emperor, who was afraid that, by remaining at Ratisbon, he might render it impossible for the pope’s forces to join him, having boldly advanced to Landshut on the Iser, the confederates lost some days in deliberating whether it was proper to follow him into the territories of the Duke of Bavaria, a neutral prince. When at last they surmounted that Edition: current; Page: [28] scruple, and began to move towards his camp, they suddenly abandoned the design, and hastened to attack Ratisbon, in which town Charles could leave only a small garrison. By this time the papal troops, amounting fully to that number which Paul had stipulated to furnish, had reached Landshut, and were soon followed by six thousand Spaniards of the veteran bands stationed in Naples. The confederates, after Schertel’s spirited but fruitless expedition, seem to have permitted these forces to advance unmolested to the place of rendezvous, without any attempt to attack either them or the emperor separately, or to prevent their junction.z The imperial army amounted now to thirty-six thousand men, and was still more formidable by the discipline and valour of the troops than by their number. Avila, Commendador of Alcantara, who had been present in all the wars carried on by Charles, and had served in the armies which gained the memorable victory at Pavia, which conquered Tunis, and invaded France, gives this the preference to any military force he had ever seen assembled.a Octavio Farnese, the pope’s grandson, assisted by the ablest officers formed in the long wars between Charles and Francis, commanded the Italian auxiliaries. His brother, the Cardinal Farnese, accompanied him as papal legate; and, in order to give the war the appearance of a religious enterprise, he proposed to march at the head of the army, with a cross carried before him, and to publish indulgences wherever he came to all who should give them any assistance, as had anciently been the practice in the crusades against the infidels. But this the emperor strictly prohibited, as inconsistent with all the declarations which he had made to the Germans of his own party; and the legate perceiving, to his astonishment, that the exercise of the protestant religion, the Edition: current; Page: [29] extirpation of which he considered as the sole object of the war, was publicly permitted in the imperial camp, soon returned in disgust to Italy.b

The arrival of these troops enabled the emperor to send such a reinforcement to the garrison at Ratisbon, that the confederates, relinquishing all hopes of reducing that town, marched towards Ingoldstadt on the Danube, near to which Charles was now encamped. They exclaimed loudly against the emperor’s notorious violation of the laws and constitution of the empire, in having called in foreigners to lay waste Germany, and to oppress its liberties. As in that age, the dominion of the Roman see was so odious to the protestants, that the name of the pope alone was sufficient to inspire them with horror at any enterprise which he countenanced, and to raise in their minds the blackest suspicions, it came to be universally believed among them, that Paul, not satisfied with attacking them openly by force of arms, had dispersed his emissaries all over Germany, to set on fire their towns and magazines, and to poison the wells and fountains of water. Nor did this rumour, which was extravagant and frightful enough to make a deep impression on the credulity of the vulgar, spread among them only; even the leaders of the party, blinded by their prejudices, published a declaration, in which they accused the pope of having employed such antichristian and diabolical arts against them.c These sentiments of the confederates were confirmed, in some measure, by the behaviour of the papal troops, who, thinking nothing too rigorous towards heretics anathematised by the church, were guilty of great excesses in the territories of the Lutheran states, and aggravated the calamities of war by mingling with it all the cruelty of bigoted zeal.

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The confederates advance towards the imperial army.The first operations in the field, however, did not correspond with the violence of those passions which animated individuals. The emperor had prudently taken the resolution of avoiding an action with an enemy so far superior in numberd, especially as he foresaw that nothing could keep a body composed of so many and such dissimilar members from falling to pieces, but the pressing to attack it with an inconsiderate precipitancy. The confederates, though it was no less evident that to them every moment’s delay was pernicious, were still prevented, by the weakness or division of their leaders, from exerting that vigour, with which their situation, as well as the ardour of their soldiers, ought to have inspired them. On their arrival at Ingoldstadt,August 29. they found the emperor in a camp not remarkable for strength, and surrounded only by a slight entrenchment. Before the camp lay a plain of such extent, as afforded sufficient space for drawing out their whole army, and bringing it to act at once. Every consideration should have determined them to have seized this opportunity of attacking the emperor; and their great superiority in numbers, the eagerness of their troops, together with the stability of the German infantry in pitched battles, afforded them the most probable expectation of victory. The landgrave urged this with great warmth, declaring, that if the sole command were vested in him, he would terminate the war on that occasion, and decide by one general action the fate of the two parties. But the elector, reflecting on the valour and discipline of the enemy’s forces, animated by the presence of the emperor, and conducted by the best officers of the age, would not venture upon an action which he thought to be so doubtful as the attacking such a body of veterans on ground which they themselves had chosen, and while Edition: current; Page: [31] covered with fortifications which, though imperfect, would afford them no small advantage in the combat. Notwithstanding his hesitation and remonstrances, it was agreed to advance towards the enemy’s camp in battle array, in order to make a trial whether by that insult, and by a furious cannonade which they began, they could draw the imperialists out of their works.The emperor declines a battle. But the emperor had too much sagacity to fall into this snare: he adhered to his own system with inflexible constancy; and, drawing up his soldiers behind their trenches, that they might be ready to receive the confederates, if they should venture upon an assault, calmly waited their approach, and carefully restrained his own men from any excursions or skirmishes which might bring on a general engagement. He rode along the lines, and addressing the troops of the different nations in their own language, encouraged them not only by his words, but by the cheerfulness of his voice and countenance; he exposed himself in places of greatest danger, and amidst the warmest fire of the enemy’s artillery, the most numerous that had hitherto been brought into the field by any army. Roused by his example, not a man quitted his ranks; it was thought infamous to discover any symptom of fear when the emperor appeared so intrepid; and the meanest soldier plainly perceived, that their declining the combat at present was not the effect of timidity in their general, but the result of a well-grounded caution. The confederates, after firing several hours on the imperialists, with more noise and terror than execution, seeing no prospect of alluring them to fight on equal terms, retired to their own camp. The emperor employed the night with such diligence in strengthening his works, that the confederates, returning to the cannonade next day, found that, though they had now been willing to venture upon such a bold experiment, Edition: current; Page: [32] the opportunity of making an attack with advantage was lost.e

The Flemish troops join the emperor.After such a discovery of the feebleness or irresolution of their leaders, and the prudence as well as firmness of the emperor’s conduct, the confederates turned their whole attention towards preventing the arrival of a powerful reinforcement of ten thousand foot and four thousand horse, which the Count de Buren was bringing to the emperor from the Low Countries. But though that general had to traverse such an extent of country; though his route lay through the territories of several states warmly disposed to favour the confederates; though they were apprised of his approach, and, by their superiority in numbers, might easily have detached a force sufficient to overpower him, he advanced with such rapidity, and by such well-concerted movements, while they opposed him with such remissness, and so little military skill,Sept. 10. that he conducted this body to the imperial camp without any loss.f

Upon the arrival of the Flemings, in whom he placed great confidence, the emperor altered, in some degree, his plan of operations, and began to act more upon the offensive, though he still avoided a battle, with the utmost industry. He made himself master of Neuburg, Dillingen, and Donawert on the Danube; of Nordlingen, and several other towns, situated on the most considerable streams which fall into that mighty river. By this he got the command of a great extent of country, though not without being obliged to engage in several sharp encounters, of which the success was various, not without being exposed, oftener than once, to the danger of being drawn into a battle.State of both armies. In this manner the whole autumn was spent; neither party gained any remarkable Edition: current; Page: [33] superiority over the other, and nothing was yet done towards bringing the war to a period. The emperor had often foretold, with confidence, that discord and the want of money would compel the confederates to disperse that unwieldy body, which they had neither abilities to guide nor funds to support.g Though he waited with impatience for the accomplishment of his predictions, there was no prospect of that event being at hand. But he himself began to suffer from the want of forage and provisions; even the catholic provinces being so much incensed at the introduction of foreigners into the empire, that they furnished them with reluctance, while the camp of the confederates abounded with a profusion of all necessaries, which the zeal of their friends in the adjacent countries poured in with the utmost liberality and good will. Great numbers of the Italians and Spaniards, unaccustomed to the climate or food of Germany, were become unfit for service through sickness.h Considerable arrears were now due to the troops, who had scarcely received any money from the beginning of the campaign; the emperor experiencing on this, as well as on former occasions, that his jurisdiction was more extensive than his revenues, and that the former enabled him to assemble a greater number of soldiers than the latter were sufficient to support. Upon all these accounts, he found it difficult to keep his army in the field; some of his ablest generals, and even the Duke of Alva himself, persevering and obstinate as he usually was in the prosecution of every measure, advising him to disperse his troops into winter-quarters. But as the arguments urged against any plan which he had adopted rarely made much impression upon the Edition: current; Page: [34] emperor, he paid no regard to their opinion, and determined to continue his efforts, in order to weary out the confederates, being well assured that, if he could once oblige them to separate, there was little probability of their uniting again in a body.i Still, however, it remained a doubtful point, whether his steadiness was most likely to fail, or their zeal to be exhausted. It was still uncertain which party, by first dividing its forces, would give the superiority to the other, when an unexpected event decided the contest, and occasioned a fatal reverse in the affairs of the confederates.

Schemes of Maurice of Saxony.Maurice of Saxony having insinuated himself into the emperor’s confidence, by the arts which have already been described, no sooner saw hostilities ready to break out between the confederates of Smalkalde and that monarch, than vast prospects of ambition began to open upon him. That portion of Saxony, which descended to him from his ancestors, was far from satisfying his aspiring mind; and he perceived with pleasure the approach of civil war, as, amidst the revolutions and convulsions occasioned by it, opportunities of acquiring additional power or dignity, which at other times are sought in vain, present themselves to an enterprising spirit. As he was thoroughly acquainted with the state of the two contending parties, and the qualities of their leaders, he did not hesitate long in determining on which side the greatest advantages were to be expected. Having revolved all these things in his own breast, and having taken his final resolution of joining the emperor, he prudently determined to declare early in his favour; that, by the merit of this, he might acquire a title to a proportional recompense. With this view, he had repaired to Ratisbon in the month of May, under pretext of attending the diet; and after many conferences with Edition: current; Page: [35] Charles or his ministers, he, with the most mysterious secrecy, concluded a treaty, in which he engaged to concur in assisting the emperor as a faithful subject;His league with the emperor. and Charles, in return, stipulated to bestow on him all the spoils of the Elector of Saxony, his dignities as well as territories.k History hardly records any treaty that can be considered as a more manifest violation of the most powerful principles which ought to influence human actions. Maurice, a professed protestant, at a time when the belief of religion, as well as zeal for its interests, took strong possession of every mind, binds himself to contribute his assistance towards carrying on a war which had manifestly no other object than the extirpation of the protestant doctrines. He engages to take arms against his father-in-law, and to strip his nearest relation of his honours and dominions. He joins a dubious friend against a known benefactor, to whom his obligations were both great and recent. Nor was the prince who ventured upon all this one of those audacious politicians, who, provided they can accomplish their ends, and secure their interest, avowedly disregard the most sacred obligations, and glory in contemning whatever is honourable or decent. Maurice’s conduct, if the whole must be ascribed to policy, was more artful and masterly; he executed his plan in all its parts, and yet endeavoured to preserve, in every step which he took, the appearance of what was fair, and virtuous, and laudable. It is probable, from his subsequent behaviour, that, with regard to the protestant religion at least, his intentions were upright; that he fondly trusted to the emperor’s promises for its security; but that, according to the fate of all who refine too much in policy, and who tread in dark and crooked paths, in attempting to deceive others, he himself was, in some degree, deceived.

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His artifices in order to conceal his intentions.His first care, however, was to keep the engagements into which he had entered with the emperor closely concealed; and so perfect a master was he in the art of dissimulation, that the confederates, notwithstanding his declining all connections with them, and his remarkable assiduity in paying court to the emperor, seemed to have entertained no suspicion of his designs. Even the Elector of Saxony, when he marched at the beginning of the campaign to join his associates, committed his dominions to Maurice’s protection, which he, with an insidious appearance of friendship, readily undertook.l But scarcely had the elector taken the field, when Maurice began to consult privately with the King of the Romans how to invade those very territories, with the defence of which he was intrusted. Soon after, the emperor sent him a copy of the imperial ban denounced against the elector and landgrave. As he was next heir to the former, and particularly interested in preventing strangers from getting his dominions into their possession, Charles required him, not only for his own sake, but upon the allegiance and duty which he owed to the head of the empire, instantly to seize and detain in his hands the forfeited estates of the elector; warning him, at the same time, that if he neglected to obey these commands, he should be held as accessory to the crimes of his kinsman, and be liable to the same punishment.m

This artifice, which it is probable Maurice himself suggested, was employed by him in order that his conduct towards the elector might seem a matter of necessity but not of choice, an act of obedience to his superior, rather than a voluntary invasion of the rights of his kinsman and ally. But in order to give some more specious appearance to this thin veil with which he endeavoured to cover his ambition, he, soon after Edition: current; Page: [37] his return from Ratisbon, had called together the states of his country; and, representing to them that a civil war between the emperor and confederates of Smalkalde was now become unavoidable, desired their advice with regard to the part which he should act in that event. They having been prepared, no doubt, and tutored beforehand, and being desirous of gratifying their prince, whom they esteemed as well as loved, gave such counsel as they knew would be most agreeable; advising him to offer his mediation towards reconciling the contending parties; but if that were rejected, and he could obtain proper security for the protestant religion, they delivered it as their opinion, that, in all other points, he ought to yield obedience to the emperor. Upon receiving the imperial rescript, together with the ban against the elector and landgrave, Maurice summoned the states of his country a second time; he laid before them the orders which he had received, and mentioned the punishment with which he was threatened in case of disobedience; he acquainted them that the confederates had refused to admit of his mediation, and that the emperor had given him the most satisfactory declarations with regard to religion; he pointed out his own interest in securing possession of the electoral dominions, as well as the danger of allowing strangers to obtain an establishment in Saxony; and upon the whole, as the point under deliberation respected his subjects no less than himself, he desired to know their sentiments, how he should steer in that difficult and arduous conjuncture. The states, no less obsequious and complaisant than formerly, professing their own reliance on the emperor’s promises as a perfect security for their religion, proposed that, before he had recourse to more violent methods, they would write to the elector, exhorting him, as the best means, not only of appeasing the emperor, but of preventing his dominions Edition: current; Page: [38] from being seized by foreign or hostile powers, to give his consent that Maurice should take possession of them quietly and without opposition. Maurice himself seconded their arguments in a letter to the landgrave, his father-in-law. Such an extravagant proposition was rejected with the scorn and indignation which it deserved. The landgrave, in return to Maurice, taxed him with his treachery and ingratitude towards a kinsman to whom he was so deeply indebted; he treated with contempt his affectation of executing the imperial ban, which he could not but know to be altogether void by the unconstitutional and arbitrary manner in which it had been issued; he besought him, not to suffer himself to be so far blinded by ambition, as to forget the obligations of honour and friendship, or to betray the protestant religion, the extirpation of which out of Germany, even by the acknowledgment of the pope himself, was the great object of the present war.n

He invades the territories of the Elector of Saxony.But Maurice had proceeded too far to be diverted from pursuing his plan by reproaches or arguments. Nothing now remained but to execute with vigour, what he had hitherto carried on by artifice and dissimulation. Nor was his boldness in action inferior to his subtlety in contrivance.November. Having assembled about twelve thousand men, he suddenly invaded one part of the electoral provinces, while Ferdinand, with an army composed of Bohemians and Hungarians, over-ran the other. Maurice, in two sharp encounters, defeated the troops which the elector had left to guard his country; and improving these advantages to the utmost, made himself master of all the electorate, except Wittemberg, Gotha, and Eisenach, which, being places of considerable strength, and defended by sufficient garrisons, refused to open their gates. The news of these rapid conquests soon reached the Edition: current; Page: [39] imperial and confederate camps. In the former, their satisfaction with an event, which it was foreseen would be productive of the most important consequences, was expressed by every possible demonstration of joy: the latter was filled with astonishment and terror. The name of Maurice was mentioned with execration, as an apostate from religion, a betrayer of the German liberty, and a contemner of the most sacred and natural ties. Every thing that the rage or invention of the party could suggest, in order to blacken and render him odious; invectives, satires, and lampoons, the furious declamations of their preachers, together with the rude wit of their authors, were all employed against him: while he, confiding in the arts which he had so long practised, as if his actions could have admitted of any serious justification, published a manifesto, containing the same frivolous reasons for his conduct, which he had formerly alleged in the meeting of his states, and in his letter to the landgrave.o

The confederates make overtures of accommodation to the emperor;The elector, upon the first intelligence of Maurice’s motions, proposed to return home with his troops for the defence of Saxony. But the deputies of the league, assembled at Ulm, prevailed on him, at that time, to remain with the army, and to prefer the success of the common cause before the security of his own dominions. At length the sufferings and complaints of his subjects increased so much, that he discovered the utmost impatience to set out, in order to rescue them from the oppression of Maurice and from the cruelty of the Hungarians, who, having been accustomed to that licentious and merciless species of war which was thought lawful against the Turks, committed, wherever they came, the wildest acts of rapine and violence. This desire of the elector was so natural and so warmly urged, that the deputies at Edition: current; Page: [40] Ulm, though fully sensible of the unhappy consequences of dividing their army, durst not refuse their consent, how unwilling soever to grant it. In this perplexity, they repaired to the camp of the confederates at Giengen, on the Brenz, in order to consult their constituents. Nor were they less at a loss what to determine in this pressing emergence. But, after having considered seriously the open desertion of some of their allies; the scandalous lukewarmness of others, who had hitherto contributed nothing towards the war; the intolerable load which had fallen of consequence upon such members as were most zealous for the cause, or most faithful to their engagements; the ill success of all their endeavours to obtain foreign aid; the unusual length of the campaign; the rigour of the season; together with the great number of soldiers, and even officers, who had quitted the service on that account; they concluded that nothing could save them, but either the bringing the contest to the immediate decision of a battle, by attacking the imperial army, or an accommodation of all their differences with Charles by a treaty. Such was the despondency and dejection which now oppressed the party, that of these two they chose what was most feeble and unmanly, empowering a minister of the Elector of Brandenburg to propound overtures of peace in their name to the emperor.

which he rejects.No sooner did Charles perceive this haughty confederacy, which had so lately threatened to drive him out of Germany, condescending to make the first advances towards an agreement, than, concluding their spirit to be gone, or their union to be broken, he immediately assumed the tone of a conqueror; and, as if they had been already at his mercy, would not hear of a negotiation, but upon condition that the Elector of Saxony should previously give up himself and Edition: current; Page: [41] his dominions absolutely to his disposal.p As nothing more intolerable or ignominious could have been prescribed, even in the worst situation of their affairs, it is no wonder that this proposition should be rejected by a party, which was rather humbled and disconcerted than subdued. But though they refused to submit tamely to the emperor’s will, they wanted spirit to pursue the only plan which could have preserved their independence; and, forgetting that it was the union of their troops in one body which had hitherto rendered the confederacy formidable, and had more than once obliged the imperialists to think of quitting the field, they inconsiderately abandoned this advantage, which, in spite of the diversion in Saxony, would still have kept the emperor in awe; and, yielding to the elector’s entreaties,The troops of the confederacy separate. consented to his proposal of dividing the army. Nine thousand men were left in the dutchy of Wurtemberg, in order to protect that province, as well as the free cities of Upper Germany; a considerable body marched with the elector towards Saxony; but the greater part returned with their respective leaders into their own countries, and were dispersed there.q

Almost all the members of it submit to the emperor.The moment that the troops separated, the confederacy ceased to be the object of terror; and the members of it, who, while they composed part of a great body, had felt but little anxiety about their own security, began to tremble when they reflected that they now stood exposed singly to the whole weight of the emperor’s vengeance. Charles did not allow them leisure to recover from their consternation, or to form any new schemes of union. As soon as the confederates began to retire, he put his army in motion, and though it was now the depth of winter, he resolved to keep the field, in order to make the most of that favourable juncture for which he had waited Edition: current; Page: [42] so long. Some small towns in which the protestants had left garrisons, immediately opened their gates. Norlingen, Rotenberg, and Hall, imperial cities, submitted soon after. Though Charles could not prevent the elector from levying, as he retreated, large contributions upon the Archbishop of Mentz, the Abbot of Fulda, and other ecclesiasticsr, this was more than balanced by the submission of Ulm, one of the chief cities of Suabia, highly distinguished by its zeal for the Smalkaldic league. As soon as an example was set of deserting the common cause, the rest of the members became instantly impatient to follow it, and seemed afraid lest others, by getting the start of them in returning to their duty, should, on that account, obtain more favourable terms. The elector palatine, a weak prince, who, notwithstanding his professions of neutrality, had, very preposterously, sent to the confederates four hundred horse, a body so inconsiderable as to be scarcely any addition to their strength, but great enough to render him guilty in the eyes of the emperor, made his acknowledgments in the most abject manner. The inhabitants of Augsburg, shaken by so many instances of apostacy, expelled the brave Schertel out of their city, and accepted such conditions as the emperor was pleased to grant them.

The Duke of Wurtemberg, though among the first who had offered to submit, was obliged to sue for pardon on his knees, and, even after this mortifying humiliation,1547. obtained it with difficulty.s Memmingen, and other free cities in the circle of Suabia, being now abandoned by all their former associates, found it necessary to provide for their own safety, by throwing themselves on the emperor’s mercy. Strasburg and Frankfort on the Maine, cities far removed from the seat of danger, discovered no greater steadiness than Edition: current; Page: [43] those which lay more exposed. Thus a confederacy, lately so powerful as to shake the imperial throne, fell to pieces, and was dissolved in the space of a few weeks, hardly any member of that formidable combination now remaining in arms but the elector and landgrave, to whom the emperor, having from the beginning marked them out as victims of his vengeance, was at no pains to offer terms of reconciliation.The rigorous conditions imposed by the emperor. Nor did he grant those who submitted to him a generous and unconditional pardon. Conscious of his own superiority, he treated them both with haughtiness and rigour. All the princes in person, and the cities by their deputies, were compelled to implore mercy in the humble posture of supplicants. As the emperor laboured under great difficulties from the want of money, he imposed heavy fines upon them, which he levied with most rapacious exactness. The Duke of Wurtemberg paid three hundred thousand crowns; the city of Augsburg a hundred and fifty thousand; Ulm a hundred thousand; Frankfort eighty thousand; Memmingen fifty thousand; and the rest in proportion to their abilities, or their different degrees of guilt. They were obliged, besides, to renounce the league of Smalkalde; to furnish assistance, if required, towards executing the imperial ban against the elector and landgrave; to give up their artillery and warlike stores to the emperor; to admit garrisons into their principal cities and places of strength; and, in this disarmed and dependent situation, to expect the final award which the emperor should think proper to pronounce when the war came to an issue.t But, amidst the great variety of articles dictated by Charles on this occasion, he, in conformity to his original plan, took care that nothing relating to religion should be inserted; and to such a degree were the confederates humbled or overawed, Edition: current; Page: [44] that, forgetting the zeal which had so long animated them, they were solicitous only about their own safety, without venturing to insist on a point, the mention of which they saw the emperor avoiding with so much industry. The inhabitants of Memmingen alone made some feeble efforts to procure a promise of protection in the exercise of their religion, but were checked so severely by the imperial ministers, that they instantly fell from their demand.

The Elector of Cologne, whom, notwithstanding the sentence of excommunication issued against him by the pope, Charles had hitherto allowed to remain in possession of the archiepiscopal see, being now required by the emperor to submit to the censures of the church, this virtuous and disinterested prelate, unwilling to expose his subjects to the miseries of war on his own account, voluntarily resigned that high dignity.Jan. 25. With a moderation becoming his age and character, he chose to enjoy truth, together with the exercise of his religion, in the retirement of a private life, rather than to disturb society by engaging in a doubtful and violent struggle in order to retain his office.u

The elector returns to Saxony, and recovers possession of it.During these transactions, the Elector of Saxony reached the frontiers of his country unmolested. As Maurice could assemble no force equal to the army which accompanied him, he, in a short time, not only recovered possession of his own territories, but over-ran Misnia, and stripped his rival of all that belonged to him, except Dresden and Leipsic, which, being towns of some strength, could not be suddenly reduced. Maurice, obliged to quit the field, and to shut himself up in his capital, dispatched courier after courier to the emperor, representing his dangerous situation, and soliciting him, with the most earnest importunity, to march immediately to his relief. But Charles, busy at that time in prescribing terms to such Edition: current; Page: [45] members of the league as were daily returning to their allegiance, thought it sufficient to detach Albert, Marquis of Brandenburg-Anspach, with three thousand men, to his assistance. Albert, though an enterprising and active officer, was unexpectedly surprised by the elector, who killed many of his troops, dispersed the remainder, and took him prisoner.x Maurice continued as much exposed as formerly; and if his enemy had known how to improve the opportunity which presented itself, his ruin must have been immediate and unavoidable. But the elector, no less slow and dilatory when invested with the sole command than he had been formerly when joined in authority with a partner, never gave any proof of military activity but in this enterprise against Albert. Instead of marching directly towards Maurice, whom the defeat of his ally had greatly alarmed, he inconsiderately listened to overtures of accommodation, which his artful antagonist proposed with no other intention than to amuse him, and to slacken the vigour of his operations.

The emperor prevented from attacking the elector and landgrave.Such, indeed, was the posture of the emperor’s affairs, that he could not march instantly to the relief of his ally. Soon after the separation of the confederate army, he, in order to ease himself of the burden of maintaining a superfluous number of troops, had dismissed the Count of Buren with his Flemingsy, imagining that the Spaniards and Germans, together with the papal forces, would be fully sufficient to crush any degree of vigour that yet remained among the members of the league. But Paul, growing wise too late, began now to discern the imprudence of that measure, from which the more sagacious Venetians had endeavoured in vain to dissuade him. The rapid progress of the imperial arms, and the ease with which Edition: current; Page: [46] they had broken a combination that appeared no less firm than powerful, opened his eyes at length, and made him not only forget all the advantages which he had expected from such a complete triumph over heresy, but placed in the strongest light his own impolitic conduct, in having contributed towards acquiring for Charles such an immense increase of power, as would enable him, after oppressing the liberties of Germany, to give law with absolute authority to all the states of Italy.The pope recalls his troops. The moment that he perceived his error, he endeavoured to correct it. Without giving the emperor any warning of his intention, he ordered Farnese, his grandson, to return instantly to Italy with all the troops under his command, and at the same time recalled the licence which he had granted Charles, of appropriating to his own use a large share of the church lands in Spain. He was not destitute of pretences to justify this abrupt desertion of his ally. The term of six months, during which the stipulations in their treaty were to continue in force, was now expired; the league, in opposition to which their alliance had been framed, seemed to be entirely dissipated; Charles, in all his negotiations with the princes and cities which had submitted to his will, had neither consulted the pope, nor had allotted him any part of the conquests which he had made, nor had allowed him any share in the vast contributions which he had raised. He had not even made any provision for the suppression of heresy, or the re-establishment of the catholic religion, which were Paul’s chief inducements to bestow the treasures of the church so liberally in carrying on the war. These colours, however specious, did not conceal from the emperor that secret jealousy which was the true motive of the pope’s conduct. But, as Paul’s orders with regard to the march of his troops were no less peremptory than unexpected, it was impossible to prevent their retreat. Charles Edition: current; Page: [47] exclaimed loudly against his treachery, in abandoning him so unseasonably, while he was prosecuting a war undertaken in obedience to the papal injunctions, and from which, if successful, so much honour and advantage would redound to the church. To complaints he added threats and expostulations. But Paul remained inflexible; his troops continued their march towards the ecclesiastical state; and in an elaborate memorial, intended as an apology for his conduct, he discovered new and more manifest symptoms of alienation from the emperor, together with a deep-rooted dread of his power.z Charles, weakened by the withdrawing of so great a body from his army, which was already much diminished by the number of garrisons that he had been obliged to throw into the towns which had capitulated, found it necessary to recruit his forces by new levies, before he could venture to march in person towards Saxony.

A conspiracy to overturn the government of Genoa.The fame and splendour of his success could not have failed of attracting such multitudes of soldiers into his service from all the extensive territories now subject to his authority, as must have soon put him in a condition of taking the field against the elector; but the sudden and violent eruption of a conspiracy at Genoa, as well as the great revolutions which that event, extremely mysterious in its first appearances, seemed to portend, obliged him to avoid entangling himself in new operations in Germany, until he had fully discovered its source and tendency. The form of government which had been established in Genoa, at the time when Andrew Doria restored liberty to his country, though calculated to obliterate the memory of former dissensions, and received at first with eager approbation, did not, after a trial of near twenty years, give universal satisfaction to those turbulent and factious republicans. As the entire administration of affairs Edition: current; Page: [48] was now lodged in a certain number of noble families, many, envying them that pre-eminence, wished for the restitution of a popular government, to which they had been accustomed;The object of the conspirators. and, though all reverenced the disinterested virtue of Doria, and admired his talents, not a few were jealous of that ascendant which he had acquired in the councils of the commonwealth. His age, however, his moderation, and his love of liberty, afforded ample security to his countrymen that he would not abuse his power, nor stain the close of his days by attempting to overturn that fabric, which it had been the labour and pride of his life to erect. But the authority and influence which in his hands were innocent, they easily saw would prove destructive, if usurped by any citizen of greater ambition, or less virtue. A citizen of this dangerous character had actually formed such pretensions, and with some prospect of success. Giannetino Doria, whom his grand uncle Andrew destined to be the heir of his private fortune, aimed likewise at being his successor in power. His temper haughty, insolent, and overbearing to such a degree as would hardly have been tolerated in one born to reign, was altogether insupportable in the citizen of a free state. The more sagacious among the Genoese already feared and hated him as the enemy of those liberties for which they were indebted to his uncle; while Andrew himself, blinded by that violent and undiscerning affection which persons in advanced age often contract for the younger members of their family, set no bounds to the indulgence with which he treated him; seeming less solicitous to secure and perpetuate the freedom of the commonwealth, than to aggrandize that undeserving kinsman.

But whatever suspicion of Doria’s designs, or whatever dissatisfaction with the system of administration in the commonwealth, these circumstances might have occasioned, they would have ended, it is probable, in Edition: current; Page: [49] nothing more than murmurings and complaints, if John Lewis Fiesco, Count of Lavagna, observing this growing disgust, had not been encouraged by it to attempt one of the boldest actions recorded in history.Fiesco, Count of Lavagna, the head of the conspiracy. That young nobleman, the richest and most illustrious subject in the republic, possessed, in an eminent degree, all the qualities which win upon the human heart, which command respect, or secure attachment. He was graceful and majestic in his person; magnificent even to profusion; of a generosity that anticipated the wishes of his friends, and exceeded the expectations of strangers; of an insinuating address, gentle manners, and a flowing affability. But, under the appearance of these virtues, which seemed to form him for enjoying and adorning social life, he concealed all the dispositions which mark men out for taking the lead in the most dangerous and dark conspiracies; an insatiable and restless ambition, a courage unacquainted with fear, and a mind that disdained subordination. Such a temper could ill brook that station of inferiority, wherein he was placed in the republic; and, as he envied the power which the elder Doria had acquired, he was filled with indignation at the thoughts of its descending, like an hereditary possession, to Giannetino. These various passions, preying with violence on his turbulent and aspiring mind, determined him to attempt overturning that domination to which he could not submit.

Intrigues and preparations of the conspirators.As the most effectual method of accomplishing this, he thought at first of forming a connection with Francis, and even proposed it to the French ambassador at Rome; and, after expelling Doria, together with the imperial faction, by his assistance, he offered to put the republic once more under the protection of that monarch, hoping in return for that service to be intrusted with the principal share in the administration Edition: current; Page: [50] of government. But having communicated his scheme to a few chosen confidents, from whom he kept nothing secret, Verrina, the chief of them, a man of desperate fortune, capable alike of advising and executing the most audacious deeds, remonstrated with earnestness against the folly of exposing himself to the most imminent danger, while he allowed another to reap all the fruits of his success; and exhorted him warmly to aim himself at that preeminence in his country, to which he was destined by his illustrious birth, was called by the voice of his fellow-citizens, and would be raised by the zeal of his friends. This discourse opened such great prospects to Fiesco, and so suitable to his genius, that, abandoning his own plan, he eagerly adopted that of Verrina. The other persons present, though sensible of the hazardous nature of the undertaking, did not choose to condemn what their patron had so warmly approved. It was instantly resolved, in this dark cabal, to assassinate the two Dorias, as well as the principal persons of their party, to overturn the established system of government, and to place Fiesco on the ducal throne of Genoa. Time, however, and preparations were requisite to ripen such a design for execution; and while he was employed in carrying on these, Fiesco made it his chief care to guard against every thing that might betray his secret, or create suspicion. The disguise he assumed, was, of all others, the most impenetrable. He seemed to be abandoned entirely to pleasure and dissipation. A perpetual gaiety, diversified by the pursuit of all the amusements in which persons of his age and rank are apt to delight, engrossed, in appearance, the whole of his time and thoughts. But amidst this hurry of dissipation, he prosecuted his plan with the most cool attention, neither retarding the design by a timid hesitation, nor precipitating the execution by an excess of impatience. Edition: current; Page: [51] He continued his correspondence with the French ambassador at Rome, though without communicating to him his real intentions, that, by his means, he might secure the protection of the French arms, if hereafter he should find it necessary to call them to his aid. He entered into a close confederacy with Farnese, Duke of Parma, who, being disgusted with the emperor for refusing to grant him the investiture of that dutchy, was eager to promote any measure that tended to diminish his influence in Italy, or to ruin a family so implicitly devoted to him as that of Doria. Being sensible that, in a maritime state, the acquisition of naval power was what he ought chiefly to aim at, he purchased four galleys from the pope, who, probably, was not unacquainted with the design which he had formed, and did not disapprove of it. Under colour of fitting out one of these galleys to sail on a cruise against the Turks, he not only assembled a good number of his own vassals, but engaged in his service many bold adventurers, whom the truce between the emperor and Solyman had deprived of their usual occupation and subsistence.

While Fiesco was taking these important steps, he preserved so admirably his usual appearance of being devoted entirely to pleasure and amusement, and paid court with such artful address to the two Dorias, as imposed not only on the generous and unsuspicious mind of Andrew, but deceived Giannetino, who, conscious of his own criminal intentions, was more apt to distrust the designs of others. So many instruments being now prepared, nothing remained but to strike the blow. Various consultations were held by Fiesco with his confidents, in order to settle the manner of doing it with the greatest certainty and effect. At first, they proposed to murder the Dorias and their chief adherents, during the celebration of high mass in the principal church; but as Andrew was Edition: current; Page: [52] often absent from religious solemnities, on account of his great age, that design was laid aside. It was then concerted that Fiesco should invite the uncle and nephew, with all their friends whom he had marked out as victims, to his house; where it would be easy to cut them off at once without danger or resistance; but as Giannetino was obliged to leave the town on the day which they had chosen, it became necessary likewise to alter this plan. They at last determined to attempt by open force, what they found difficult to effect by stratagem, and fixed on the night between the second and third of January for the execution of their enterprise. The time was chosen with great propriety; for, as the doge of the former year was to quit his office, according to custom, on the first of the month, and his successor could not be elected sooner than the fourth, the republic remained during that interval in a sort of anarchy, and Fiesco might with less violence take possession of the vacant dignity.

The conspirators assemble to execute their plan.The morning of that day, Fiesco employed in visiting his friends, passing some hours among them, with a spirit as gay and unembarrassed as at other times. Towards evening, he paid court to the Dorias with his usual marks of respect, and, surveying their countenance and behaviour with the attention natural in his situation, was happy to observe the perfect security in which they remained, without the least foresight or dread of that storm which had been so long a gathering, and was now ready to burst over their heads. From their palace he hastened to his own, which stood by itself in the middle of a large court, surrounded by a high wall. The gates had been set open in the morning, and all persons, without distinction, were allowed to enter, but strong guards posted within the court suffered no one to return. Verrina, meanwhile, and a few persons trusted with the secret of the conspiracy, after conducting Fiesco’s vassals, as well as Edition: current; Page: [53] the crews of his galleys, into the palace in small bodies, with as little noise as possible, dispersed themselves through the city, and, in the name of their patron, invited to an entertainment the principal citizens whom they knew to be disgusted with the administration of the Dorias, and to have inclination as well as courage to attempt a change in the government. Of the vast number of persons who now filled the palace, a few only knew for what purpose they were assembled; the rest, astonished at finding, instead of the preparations for a feast, a court crowded with armed men, and apartments filled with the instruments of war, gazed on each other with a mixture of curiosity, impatience, and terror.

Fiesco’s exhortations to them.While their minds were in this state of suspense and agitation, Fiesco appeared. With a look full of alacrity and confidence, he addressed himself to the persons of chief distinction, telling them, that they were not now called to partake of the pleasure of an entertainment, but to join in a deed of valour, which would lead them to liberty and immortal renown. He set before their eyes the exorbitant as well as intolerable authority of the elder Doria, which the ambition of Giannetino, and the partiality of the emperor to a family more devoted to him than to their country, was about to enlarge and to render perpetual. “This unrighteous dominion,” continued he, “you have it now in your power to subvert, and to establish the freedom of your country on a firm basis. The tyrants must be cut off. I have taken the most effectual measures for this purpose. My associates are numerous. I can depend on allies and protectors if necessary. Happily, the tyrants are as secure as I have been provident. Their insolent contempt of their countrymen has banished the suspicion and timidity which usually render the guilty quick-sighted to discern, as well as sagacious to guard against, the Edition: current; Page: [54] vengeance which they deserve. They will now feel the blow, before they suspect any hostile hand to be nigh. Let us then sally forth, that we may deliver our country by one generous effort, almost unaccompanied with danger, and certain of success.” These words, uttered with that irresistible fervour which animates the mind when roused by great objects, made the desired impression on the audience. Fiesco’s vassals, ready to execute whatever their master should command, received his discourse with a murmur of applause. To many, whose fortunes were desperate, the licence and confusion of an insurrection afforded an agreeable prospect. Those of higher rank, and more virtuous sentiments, durst not discover the surprise or horror with which they were struck at the proposal of an enterprise no less unexpected than atrocious; as each of them imagined the other to be in the secret of the conspiracy, and saw himself surrounded by persons who waited only a signal from their leader to perpetrate the greatest crime. With one voice, then, all applauded, or feigned to applaud, the undertaking.

His interview with his wife.Fiesco having thus fixed and encouraged his associates, before he gave them his last orders, he hastened for a moment to the apartment of his wife, a lady of the noble house of Cibo, whom he loved with tender affection, and whose beauty and virtue rendered her worthy of his love. The noise of the armed men who crowded the court and palace, having long before this reached her ears, she concluded some hazardous enterprise to be in hand, and she trembled for her husband. He found her in all the anguish of uncertainty and fear; and, as it was now impossible to keep his design concealed, he informed her of what he had undertaken. The prospect of a scene so full of horror as well as danger, completed her agony; and foreboding immediately in her mind the fatal issue of it, she endeavoured, Edition: current; Page: [55] by her tears, her entreaties, and her despair, to divert him from his purpose. Fiesco, after trying in vain to soothe and to inspire her with hope, broke from a situation into which an excess of tenderness had unwarily seduced him, though it could not shake his resolution. “Farewell!” he cried, as he quitted the apartment; “you shall either never see me more, or you shall behold to-morrow every thing in Genoa subject to your power.”

They attack the city.As soon as he rejoined his companions, he allotted each his proper station; some were appointed to assault and seize the different gates of the city; some to make themselves masters of the principal streets or places of strength: Fiesco reserved for himself the attack of the harbour where Doria’s galleys were laid up, as the post of chief importance, and of greatest danger. It was now midnight, and the citizens slept in the security of peace, when this band of conspirators, numerous, desperate, and well armed, rushed out to execute their plan. They surprised some of the gates, without meeting with any resistance. They got possession of others after a sharp conflict with the soldiers on guard. Verrina, with the galley which had been fitted out against the Turks, blocked up the mouth of the Darsena, or little harbour where Doria’s fleet lay. All possibility of escape being cut off by this precaution, when Fiesco attempted to enter the galleys from the shore, to which they were made fast, they were in no condition to make resistance, as they were not only unrigged and disarmed, but had no crew on board, except the slaves chained to the oar. Every quarter of the city was now filled with noise and tumult, all the streets resounding with the cry of Fiesco and Liberty. At that name, so popular and beloved, many of the lower rank took arms, and joined the conspirators. The nobles and partisans of the aristocracy, astonished or affrighted, shut the gates of Edition: current; Page: [56] their houses, and thought of nothing but of securing them from pillage. At last, the noise excited by this scene of violence and confusion reached the palace of Doria. Giannetino started immediately from his bed, and, imagining that it was occasioned by some mutiny among the sailors, rushed out with a few attendants, and hurried towards the harbour. The gate of St. Thomas, through which he had to pass, was already in possession of the conspirators, who, the moment he appeared, fell upon him with the utmost fury, and murdered him on the spot. The same must have been the fate of the elder Doria, if Jerome de Fiesco had executed his brother’s plan, and had proceeded immediately to attack him in his palace: but he, from the sordid consideration of preventing its being plundered amidst the confusion, having forbid his followers to advance, Andrew got intelligence of his nephew’s death, as well as of his own danger; and, mounting on horseback, saved himself by flight. Amidst this general consternation, a few senators had the courage to assemble in the palace of the republic.a At first, some of the most daring among them attempted to rally the scattered soldiers, and to attack a body of the conspirators; but being repulsed with loss, all agreed that nothing now remained, but to treat with the party which seemed to be irresistible. Deputies were accordingly sent to learn of Fiesco what were the concessions with which he would be satisfied, or rather to submit to whatever terms he should please to prescribe.

Cause of their miscarriage.But by this time Fiesco, with whom they were empowered to negotiate, was no more. Just as he was about to leave the harbour, where every thing had succeeded to his wish, that he might join his victorious companions, he heard some extraordinary uproar Edition: current; Page: [57] on board the admiral’s galley. Alarmed at the noise, and fearing that the slaves might break their chains, and overpower his associates, he ran thither; but the plank which reached from the shore to the vessel happening to overturn, he fell into the sea, whilst he hurried forward too precipitately. Being loaded with heavy armour, he sunk to the bottom, and perished in the very moment when he must have taken full possession of every thing that his ambitious heart could desire. Verrina was the first who discovered this fatal accident, and, foreseeing at once all its consequences, concealed it with the utmost industry from every one but a few leaders of the conspiracy. Nor was it difficult, amidst the darkness and confusion of the night, to have kept it secret, until a treaty with the senators should have put the city in the power of the conspirators. All their hopes of this were disconcerted by the imprudence of Jerome Fiesco, who, when the deputies of the senate inquired for his brother, the Count of Lavagna, that they might make their proposal to him, replied with a childish vanity, “I am now the only person to whom that title belongs, and with me you must treat.” These words discovered, as well to his friends as to his enemies, what had happened, and made the impression which might have been expected upon both. The deputies, encouraged by this event, the only one which could occasion such a sudden revolution as might turn to their advantage, assumed instantly, with admirable presence of mind, a new tone, suitable to the change in their circumstances, and made high demands. While they endeavoured to gain time by protracting the negotiation, the rest of the senators were busy in assembling their partisans, and in forming a body capable of defending the palace of the republic. On the other hand, the conspirators, Edition: current; Page: [58] astonished at the death of a man whom they adored and trusted, and placing no confidence in Jerome, a giddy youth, felt their courage die away, and their arms fall from their hands. That profound and amazing secrecy with which the conspiracy had been concerted, and which had contributed hitherto so much to its success, proved now the chief cause of its miscarriage. The leader was gone; the greater part of those who acted under him knew not his confidents, and were strangers to the object at which he aimed. There was no person among them whose authority or abilities entitled him to assume Fiesco’s place, or to finish his plan: after having lost the spirit which animated it, life and activity deserted the whole body. Many of the conspirators withdrew to their houses, hoping that, amidst the darkness of the night, they had passed unobserved, and might remain unknown. Others sought for safety by a timely retreat; and, before break of day, most of them fled with precipitation from a city, which, but a few hours before, was ready to acknowledge them as masters.

Tranquillity re-established in Genoa.Next morning every thing was quiet in Genoa; not an enemy was to be seen; few marks of the violence of the former night appeared, the conspirators having conducted their enterprise with more noise than bloodshed, and gained all their advantages by surprise, rather than by force of arms. Towards evening, Andrew Doria returned to the city, being met by all the inhabitants, who received him with acclamations of joy. Though the disgrace as well as danger of the preceding night were fresh in his mind, and the mangled body of his kinsman still before his eyes, such was his moderation as well as magnanimity, that the decree issued by the senate against the conspirators did not exceed that just measure of severity which was requisite for the support of government, Edition: current; Page: [59] and was dictated neither by the violence of resentment nor the rancour of revenge.b

The emperor, alarmed at this conspiracy,After taking the necessary precautions for preventing the flame which was now so happily extinguished from breaking out anew, the first care of the senate was to send an ambassador to the emperor, to give him a particular detail of what had happened, and to beg his assistance towards the reduction of Montobbio, a strong fort on the hereditary estate of the Fiesci, in which Jerome had shut himself up. Charles was no less alarmed than astonished at an event so strange and unexpected. He could not believe that Fiesco, how bold or adventurous soever, durst have attempted such an enterprise, but on foreign suggestion, and from the hope of foreign aid. Being informed that the Duke of Parma was well acquainted with the plan of the conspirators, he immediately supposed that the pope could not be ignorant of a measure which his son had countenanced. Proceeding from this to a farther conjecture, which Paul’s cautious maxims of policy in other instances rendered extremely probable, he concluded that the French king must have known and approved of the design; and he began to apprehend that this spark might again kindle the flame of war which had raged so long in Italy.suspends his operations in Germany. As he had drained his Italian territories of troops on account of the German war, he was altogether unprovided for resisting any hostile attack in that country; and, on the first appearance of danger, he must have detached thither the greatest Edition: current; Page: [60] part of his forces for its defence. In this situation of affairs, it would have been altogether imprudent in the emperor to have advanced in person against the elector, until he should learn, with some degree of certainty, whether such a scene were not about to open in Italy as might put it out of his power to keep the field with an army sufficient to oppose him.

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THE

HISTORY OF THE REIGN

of the

EMPEROR CHARLES V.

BOOK IX.

1547.The emperor’s dread of the hostile intentions of the pope and French king did not proceed from any imaginary or ill-grounded suspicion. Paul had already given the strongest proofs both of his jealousy and enmity. Charles could not hope that Francis, after a rivalship of so long continuance, would behold the great advantages which he had gained over the confederate protestants, without feeling his ancient emulation revive. He was not deceived in this conjecture.Francis, jealous of the emperor’s power and success, Francis had observed the rapid progress of his arms with deep concern, and though hitherto prevented, by circumstances which have been mentioned, from interposing in order to check them, he was now convinced that, if he did not make some extraordinary and timely effort, Charles must acquire such a degree of power as would enable him to give law to the rest of Europe. This apprehension, which did not take its rise from the jealousy of rivalship alone, but was entertained by the wisest politicians of the age, suggested various expedients which might serve to retard the course of the emperor’s victories, and to form by degrees such a combination against him as might put a stop to his dangerous career.

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BOOK IX.lf1681-05_figure_001.jpgWith this view, Francis instructed his emissaries in Germany to employ all their address in order to revive the courage of the confederates, and to prevent them from submitting to the emperor. He made liberal offers of his assistance to the elector and landgrave, whom he knew to be the most zealous, as well as the most powerful, of the whole body; he used every argument,negotiates with the protestants; and proposed every advantage, which could either confirm their dread of the emperor’s designs, or determine them not to imitate the inconsiderate credulity of their associates, in giving up their religion and liberties to his disposal. While he took this step towards continuing the civil war which raged in Germany, he endeavoured likewise to stir up foreign enemies against the emperor.with Solyman; He solicited Solyman to seize this favourable opportunity of invading Hungary, which had been drained of all the troops necessary for its defence, in order to form the army against the confederates of Smalkalde. He exhorted the pope to repair, by a vigorous and seasonable effort, the error of which he had been guilty in contributing to raise the emperor to such a formidable height of power.with the pope and Venetians; Finding Paul, both from the consciousness of his own mistake, and his dread of its consequences, abundantly disposed to listen to what he suggested, he availed himself of this favourable disposition which the pontiff began to discover, as an argument to gain the Venetians. He endeavoured to convince them that nothing could save Italy, and even Europe, from oppression and servitude, but their joining with the pope and him, in giving the first beginning to a general confederacy, in order to humble that ambitious potentate, whom they had all equal reason to dread.

with the Kings of Denmark and England.Having set on foot these negotiations in the southern courts, he turned his attention next towards those in the north of Europe. As the King of Edition: current; Page: [63] Denmark had particular reasons to be offended with the emperor, Francis imagined that the object of the league which he had projected would be highly acceptable to him; and, lest considerations of caution or prudence should restrain him from joining in it, he attempted to overcome these, by offering him the young Queen of Scots in marriage to his son.a As the ministers who governed England in the name of Edward VI. had openly declared themselves converts to the opinions of the reformers, as soon as it became safe upon Henry’s death to lay aside that disguise which his intolerant bigotry had forced them to assume, Francis flattered himself that their zeal would not allow them to remain inactive spectators of the overthrow and destruction of those who professed the same faith with themselves. He hoped that, notwithstanding the struggles of faction incident to a minority, and the prospect of an approaching rupture with the Scots, he might prevail on them likewise to take part in the common cause.b

While Francis employed such a variety of expedients, and exerted himself with such extraordinary activity, to rouse the different states of Europe against his rival, he did not neglect what depended on himself alone. He levied troops in all parts of his dominions; he collected military stores; he contracted with the Swiss cantons for a considerable body of men; he put his finances in admirable order; he remitted considerable sums to the elector and landgrave; and took all the other steps necessary towards commencing hostilities, on the shortest warning, and with the greatest vigour.c

The emperor greatly alarmed.Operations so complicated, and which required the putting so many instruments in motion, did not escape the emperor’s observation. He was early informed of Francis’s intrigues in the several courts of Edition: current; Page: [64] Europe, as well as of his domestic preparations; and, sensible how fatal an interruption a foreign war would prove to his designs in Germany, he trembled at the prospect of that event. The danger, however, appeared to him as unavoidable as it was great. He knew the insatiable and well-directed ambition of Solyman, and that he always chose the season for beginning his military enterprises with prudence equal to the valour with which he conducted them. The pope, as he had good reason to believe, wanted not pretexts to justify a rupture, or inclination to begin hostilities. He had already made some discovery of his sentiments, by expressing a joy altogether unbecoming the head of the church, upon receiving an account of the advantage which the Elector of Saxony had gained over Albert of Brandenburg; and as he was now secure of finding, in the French king, an ally of sufficient power to support him, he was at no pains to conceal the violence and extent of his enmity.d The Venetians, Charles was well assured, had long observed the growth of his power with jealousy, which, added to the solicitations and promises of France, might at last quicken their slow councils, and overcome their natural caution. The Danes and English, it was evident, had both peculiar reason to be disgusted, as well as strong motives to act against him. But above all, he dreaded the active emulation of Francis himself, whom he considered as the soul and mover of any confederacy that could be formed against him; and, as that monarch had afforded protection to Verrina, who sailed directly to Marseilles upon the miscarriage of Fiesco’s conspiracy, Charles expected every moment to see the commencement of those hostile operations in Italy, of which he conceived the insurrection in Genoa to have been only the prelude.

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But while he remained in this state of suspense and solicitude, there was one circumstance which afforded him some prospect of escaping the danger.Entertains hope from the declining state of Francis’s health. The French king’s health began to decline. A disease, which was the effect of his inconsiderate pursuit of pleasure, preyed gradually on his constitution. The preparations for war, as well as the negotiations in the different courts, began to languish, together with the monarch who gave spirit to both. The Genoese,March. during that interval, reduced Montobbio, took Jerome Fiesco prisoner, and putting him to death, together with his chief adherents, extinguished all remains of the conspiracy. Several of the imperial cities in Germany, despairing of timely assistance from France, submitted to the emperor. Even the landgrave seemed disposed to abandon the elector, and to bring matters to a speedy accommodation, on such terms as he could obtain. In the mean time, Charles waited with impatience the issue of a distemper, which was to decide whether he must relinquish all other schemes, in order to prepare for resisting a combination of the greater part of Europe against him, or whether he might proceed to invade Saxony, without interruption, or fear of danger.

The good fortune, so remarkably propitious to his family, that some historians have called it the star of the house of Austria, did not desert him on this occasion. Francis died at Rambouillet,Death of Francis, and reflections on his character and rivalship with Charles. on the last day of March, in the fifty-third year of his age, and the thirty-third of his reign. During twenty-eight years of that time, an avowed rivalship subsisted between him and the emperor, which involved not only their own dominions, but the greater part of Europe, in wars, which were prosecuted with more violent animosity, and drawn out to a greater length, than had been known in any former period. Many circumstances contributed to this. Their animosity Edition: current; Page: [66] was founded in opposition of interest, heightened by personal emulation, and exasperated not only by mutual injuries, but by reciprocal insults. At the same time, whatever advantage one seemed to possess towards gaining the ascendant, was wonderfully balanced by some favourable circumstance peculiar to the other. The emperor’s dominions were of greater extent, the French king’s lay more compact; Francis governed his kingdom with absolute power; that of Charles was limited, but he supplied the want of authority by address: the troops of the former were more impetuous and enterprising; those of the latter better disciplined and more patient of fatigue. The talents and abilities of the two monarchs were as different as the advantages which they possessed, and contributed no less to prolong the contest between them. Francis took his resolutions suddenly, prosecuted them at first with warmth, and pushed them into execution with a most adventurous courage; but being destitute of the perseverance necessary to surmount difficulties, he often abandoned his designs, or relaxed the vigour of pursuit, from impatience, and sometimes from levity. Charles deliberated long, and determined with coolness; but having once fixed his plan, he adhered to it with inflexible obstinacy, and neither danger nor discouragement could turn him aside from the execution of it. The success of their enterprises was suitable to the diversity of their characters, and was uniformly influenced by it. Francis, by his impetuous activity, often disconcerted the emperor’s best laid schemes; Charles, by a more calm but steady prosecution of his designs, checked the rapidity of his rival’s career, and baffled or repulsed his most vigorous efforts. The former, at the opening of a war or of a campaign, broke in upon his enemy with the violence of a torrent, and carried all before him; the latter, waiting until he saw the force Edition: current; Page: [67] of his rival begin to abate, recovered in the end not only all that he had lost, but made new acquisitions. Few of the French monarch’s attempts towards conquest, whatever promising aspect they might wear at first, were conducted to an happy issue; many of the emperor’s enterprises, even after they appeared desperate and impracticable, terminated in the most prosperous manner. Francis was dazzled with the splendour of an undertaking; Charles was allured by the prospect of its turning to his advantage.

The degree, however, of their comparative merit and reputation has not been fixed, either by a strict scrutiny into their abilities for government, or by an impartial consideration of the greatness and success of their undertakings; and Francis is one of those monarchs who occupies a higher rank in the temple of fame than either his talents or performances entitle him to hold. This pre-eminence he owed to many different circumstances. The superiority which Charles acquired by the victory of Pavia, and which from that period he preserved through the remainder of his reign, was so manifest, that Francis’s struggle against his exorbitant and growing dominion was viewed, by most of the other powers, not only with the partiality which naturally arises for those who gallantly maintain an unequal contest, but with the favour due to one who was resisting a common enemy, and endeavouring to set bounds to a monarch equally formidable to them all. The characters of princes, too, especially among their contemporaries, depend not only upon their talents for government, but upon their qualities as men. Francis, notwithstanding the many errors conspicuous in his foreign policy and domestic administration, was nevertheless humane, beneficent, generous. He possessed dignity without pride, affability free from meanness, and courtesy exempt from deceit. All who had access to Edition: current; Page: [68] him, and no man of merit was ever denied that privilege, respected and loved him. Captivated with his personal qualities, his subjects forgot his defects as a monarch; and, admiring him as the most accomplished and amiable gentleman in his dominions, they hardly murmured at acts of male-administration, which, in a prince of less engaging dispositions, would have been deemed unpardonable. This admiration, however, must have been temporary only, and would have died away with the courtiers who bestowed it; the illusion arising from his private virtues must have ceased, and posterity would have judged of his public conduct with its usual impartiality; but another circumstance prevented this, and his name hath been transmitted to posterity with increasing reputation. Science and the arts had, at that time, made little progress in France. They were just beginning to advance beyond the limits of Italy, where they had revived, and which had hitherto been their only seat. Francis took them immediately under his protection, and vied with Leo himself in the zeal and munificence with which he encouraged them. He invited learned men to his court, he conversed with them familiarly, he employed them in business, he raised them to offices of dignity, and honoured them with his confidence. That order of men, not more prone to complain when denied the respect to which they conceive themselves entitled, than apt to be pleased when treated with the distinction which they consider as their due, thought they could not exceed in gratitude to such a benefactor, and strained their invention, and employed all their ingenuity in panegyric. Succeeding authors, warmed with their descriptions of Francis’s bounty, adopted their encomiums, and even added to them. The appellation of father of letters, bestowed upon Francis, hath rendered his memory sacred among historians; and they seem to Edition: current; Page: [69] have regarded it as a sort of impiety to uncover his infirmities, or to point out his defects. Thus Francis, notwithstanding his inferior abilities, and want of success, hath more than equalled the fame of Charles. The good qualities which he possessed as a man, have entitled him to greater admiration and praise than have been bestowed upon the extensive genius and fortunate arts of a more capable but less amiable rival.

Effects of Francis’s death.By his death a considerable change was made in the state of Europe. Charles, grown old in the arts of government and command, had now to contend only with younger monarchs, who could not be regarded as worthy to enter the lists with him, who had stood so many encounters with Henry VIII. and Francis I., and come off with honour in all those different struggles. By this event he was eased of all disquietude, and was happy to find that he might begin with safety those operations against the Elector of Saxony, which he had hitherto been obliged to suspend. He knew the abilities of Henry II., who had just mounted the throne of France, to be greatly inferior to those of his father, and foresaw that he would be so much occupied for some time in displacing the late king’s ministers, whom he hated, and in gratifying the ambitious demands of his own favourites, that he had nothing to dread, either from his personal efforts, or from any confederacy which this unexperienced prince could form.

Charles marches against the Elector of Saxony.But as it was uncertain how long such an interval of security might continue, Charles determined instantly to improve it; and as soon as he heard of Francis’s demise, he began his march from Egra on the borders of Bohemia. But the departure of the papal troops, together with the retreat of the Flemings, had so much diminished his army, that sixteen thousand men were all he could assemble.April 13. With this Edition: current; Page: [70] inconsiderable body he set out on an expedition, the event of which was to decide what degree of authority he should possess from that period in Germany; but as this little army consisted chiefly of the veteran Spanish and Italian bands, he did not, in trusting to them, commit much to the decision of chance; and even with so small a force he had reason to entertain the most sanguine hopes of success. The elector had levied an army greatly superior in number; but neither the experience and discipline of his troops, nor the abilities of his officers, were to be compared with those of the emperor. The elector, besides, had already been guilty of an error, which deprived him of all the advantage which he might have derived from his superiority in number, and was alone sufficient to have occasioned his ruin. Instead of keeping his forces united, he detached one great body towards the frontiers of Bohemia, in order to facilitate his junction with the malecontents of that kingdom, and cantoned a considerable part of what remained in different places of Saxony, where he expected the emperor would make his first impression, vainly imagining that open towns, with small garrisons, might be rendered tenable against an enemy.

Progress of his arms.The emperor entered the southern frontier of Saxony, and attacked Altorf upon the Elster. The impropriety of the measure which the elector had taken was immediately seen, the troops posted in that town surrendering without resistance; and those in all the other places between that and the Elbe, either imitated their example, or fled as the imperialists approached. Charles, that they might not recover from the panic with which they seemed to be struck, advanced without losing a moment. The elector, who had fixed his head-quarters at Meissen, continued in his wonted state of fluctuation and uncertainty. He even became more undetermined, in proportion Edition: current; Page: [71] as the danger drew near, and called for prompt and decisive resolutions. Sometimes he acted as if he had resolved to defend the banks of the Elbe, and to hazard a battle with the enemy, as soon as the detachments which he had called in were able to join him. At other times he abandoned this as rash and perilous, seeming to adopt the more prudent counsels of those who advised him to endeavour at protracting the war, and, for that end, to retire under the fortifications of Wittemburg, where the imperialists could not attack him without manifest disadvantage, and where he might wait in safety for the succours which he expected from Mecklenburg, Pomerania, and the protestant cities on the Baltic. Without fixing upon either of these plans, he broke down the bridge at Meissen, and marched along the east bank of the Elbe to Muhlberg. There he deliberated anew, and, after much hesitation, adopted one of those middle schemes, which are always acceptable to feeble minds incapable of deciding. He left a detachment at Muhlberg to oppose the imperialists, if they should attempt to pass at that place, and, advancing a few miles with his main body, encamped there in expectation of the event, according to which he proposed to regulate his subsequent motions.

Passes the Elbe.Charles, meanwhile, pushing forward incessantly, arrived the evening of the twenty-third of April on the banks of the Elbe, opposite to Muhlberg. The river, at that place, was three hundred paces in breadth, above four feet in depth, its current rapid, and the bank possessed by the Saxons was higher than that which he occupied. Undismayed, however, by all these obstacles, he called together his general officers, and, without asking their opinions, communicated to them his intention of attempting next morning to force his passage over the river, and to attack the enemy wherever he could come up with them. They Edition: current; Page: [72] all expressed their astonishment at such a bold resolution; and even the Duke of Alva, though naturally daring and impetuous, and Maurice of Saxony, notwithstanding his impatience to crush his rival the elector, remonstrated earnestly against it. But the emperor, confiding in his own judgment or good fortune, paid no regard to their arguments, and gave the orders necessary for executing his design.

Early in the morning a body of Spanish and Italian foot marched towards the river, and began an incessant fire upon the enemy. The long heavy muskets used in that age, did execution on the opposite bank, and many of the soldiers, hurried on by a martial ardour in order to get nearer the enemy, rushed into the stream, and, advancing breast-high, fired with a more certain aim, and with greater effect. Under cover of their fire, a bridge of boats was begun to be laid for the infantry; and a peasant having undertaken to conduct the cavalry through the river by a ford with which he was well acquainted, they also were put in motion. The Saxons posted in Muhlberg endeavoured to obstruct these operations, by a brisk fire from a battery which they had erected; but as a thick fog covered all the low grounds upon the river, they could not take aim with any certainty, and the imperialists suffered very little; at the same time, the Saxons being much galled by the Spaniards and Italians, they set on fire some boats which had been collected near the village, and prepared to retire. The imperialists perceiving this, ten Spanish soldiers instantly stripped themselves, and holding their swords with their teeth, swam accoss the river, put to flight such of the Saxons as ventured to oppose them, saved from the flames as many boats as were sufficient to complete their own bridge, and by this spirited and successful action, encouraged their companions no less than they intimidated the enemy.

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By this time, the cavalry, each trooper having a foot soldier behind him, began to enter the river, the light horse marching in front, followed by the men at arms, whom the emperor led in person, mounted on a Spanish horse, dressed in a sumptuous habit, and carrying a javelin in his hand. Such a numerous body struggling through a great river, in which, according to the directions of their guide, they were obliged to make several turns, sometimes treading on a firm bottom, sometimes swimming, presented to their companions, whom they left behind, a spectacle equally magnificent and interesting.e Their courage, at last, surmounted every obstacle, no man betraying any symptom of fear, when the emperor shared in the danger no less than the meanest soldier. The moment that they reached the opposite side, Charles, without waiting the arrival of the rest of the infantry, advanced towards the Saxons with the troops which had passed along with him, who, flushed with their good fortune, and despising an enemy who had neglected to oppose them, when it might have been done with such advantage, made no account of their superior numbers, and marched on as to a certain victory.

Ill conduct of the elector.During all these operations, which necessarily consumed much time, the elector remained inactive in his camp; and from an infatuation which appears to be so amazing, that the best-informed historians impute it to the treacherous arts of his generals, who deceived him by false intelligence, he would not believe that the emperor had passed the river, or could be so near at hand.f Being convinced, at last, of his fatal mistake, by the concurring testimony of eye-witnesses, he gave orders for retreating towards Wittemberg. But a German army, encumbered, as usual, with baggage and artillery, could not be put suddenly in motion. Edition: current; Page: [74] They had just began to march, when the light troops of the enemy came in view, and the elector saw an engagement to be unavoidable.Battle of Mulhausen. As he was no less bold in action, than irresolute in council, he made the disposition for battle with the greatest presence of mind, and in the most proper manner; taking advantage of a great forest to cover his wings, so as to prevent his being surrounded by the enemy’s cavalry, which were far more numerous than his own. The emperor, likewise, ranged his men in order as they came up, and, riding along the ranks, exhorted them with few but efficacious words to do their duty. It was with a very different spirit that the two armies advanced to the charge. As the day, which had hitherto been dark and cloudy, happened to clear up at that moment, this accidental circumstance made an impression on the different parties corresponding to the tone of their minds: the Saxons, surprised and disheartened, felt pain at being exposed fully to the view of the enemy; the imperialists, being now secure that the protestant forces could not escape from them, rejoiced at the return of sunshine as a certain presage of victory. The shock of battle would not have been long doubtful, if the personal courage which the elector displayed, together with the activity which he exerted from the moment that the approach of the enemy rendered an engagement certain, and cut off all possibility of hesitation, had not revived in some degree the spirit of his troops. They repulsed the Hungarian light-horse who began the attack, and received with firmness the men at arms who next advanced to the charge; but as these were the flower of the imperial army, were commanded by experienced officers, and fought under the emperor’s eye, the Saxons soon began to give way, and the light troops rallying at the same time and falling on their flanks, the flight became general.The elector defeated, and taken prisoner. A small body of chosen soldiers, among Edition: current; Page: [75] whom the elector had fought in person, still continued to defend themselves, and endeavoured to save their master by retiring into the forest; but being surrounded on every side, the elector wounded in the face, exhausted with fatigue, and perceiving all resistance to be vain, surrendered himself a prisoner. He was conducted immediately towards the emperor, whom he found just returned from the pursuit, standing on the field of battle in the full exultation of success, and receiving the congratulations of his officers, upon this complete victory obtained by his valour and conduct. Even in such an unfortunate and humbling situation, the elector’s behaviour was equally magnanimous and decent. Sensible of his condition, he approached his conqueror without any of the sullenness or pride which would have been improper in a captive; and conscious of his own dignity, he descended to no mean submission, unbecoming the high station which he held among the German princes. “The fortune of war,” said he, “has made me your prisoner, most gracious emperor, and I hope to be treated—” Here Charles harshly interrupted him:His harsh reception by the emperor. “And am I then, at last, acknowledged to be emperor? Charles of Ghent was the only title you lately allowed me. You shall be treated as you deserve.” At these words he turned from him abruptly with a haughty air. To this cruel repulse, the King of the Romans added reproaches in his own name, using expressions still more ungenerous and insulting. The elector made no reply; but, with an unaltered countenance, which discovered neither astonishment nor dejection, accompanied the Spanish soldiers appointed to guard him.g

Charles’s progress after his victory.This decisive victory cost the imperialists only fifty men. Twelve hundred of the Saxons were killed, Edition: current; Page: [76] chiefly in the pursuit, and a greater number taken prisoners. About four hundred kept in a body, and escaped to Wittemberg, together with the electoral prince, who had likewise been wounded in the action. After resting two days on the field of battle, partly to refresh his army, and partly to receive the deputies of the adjacent towns, which were impatient to secure his protection by submitting to his will, the emperor began to move towards Wittemberg, that he might terminate the war at once, by the reduction of that city. The unfortunate elector was carried along in a sort of triumph, and exposed every where, as a captive, to his own subjects; a spectacle extremely afflicting to them, who both honoured and loved him; though the insult was so far from subduing his firm spirit, that it did not even ruffle the wonted tranquillity and composure of his mind.

Invests Wittemberg.As Wittemberg, the residence, in that age, of the electoral branch of the Saxon family, was one of the strongest cities in Germany, and could not be taken, if properly defended, without great difficulty, the emperor marched thither with the utmost dispatch, hoping that while the consternation occasioned by his victory was still recent, the inhabitants might imitate the example of their countrymen, and submit to his power, as soon as he appeared before their walls. But Sybilla of Cleves, the elector’s wife, a woman no less distinguished by her abilities than her virtue, instead of abandoning herself to tears and lamentations upon her husband’s misfortune, endeavoured, by her example, as well as exhortations, to animate the citizens. She inspired them with such resolution, that, when summoned to surrender, they returned a vigorous answer, warning the emperor to behave towards their sovereign with the respect due to his rank, as they were determined to treat Albert of Brandenburg, who was still a prisoner, precisely in Edition: current; Page: [77] the same manner that he treated the elector. The spirit of the inhabitants, no less than the strength of the city, seemed now to render a siege in form necessary. After such a signal victory, it would have been disgraceful not to have undertaken it, though, at the same time, the emperor was destitute of every thing requisite for carrying it on. But Maurice removed all difficulties, by engaging to furnish provisions, artillery, ammunition, pioneers, and whatever else should be needed. Trusting to this, Charles gave orders to open the trenches before the town. It quickly appeared, that Maurice’s eagerness to reduce the capital of those dominions, which he expected as his reward for taking arms against his kinsman, and deserting the protestant cause, had led him to promise what exceeded his power to perform. A battering train was, indeed, carried safely down the Elbe from Dresden to Wittemberg; but, as Maurice had not sufficient force to preserve a secure communication between his own territories and the camp of the besiegers, Count Mansfeldt, who commanded a body of electoral troops, intercepted and destroyed a convoy of provisions and military stores, and dispersed a band of pioneers destined for the service of the imperialists. This put a stop to the progress of the siege, and convinced the emperor, that, as he could not rely on Maurice’s promises, recourse ought to be had to some more expeditious as well as more certain method of getting possession of the town.

The emperor’s ungenerous treatment of the elector.The unfortunate elector was in his hands, and Charles was ungenerous and hard-hearted enough to take advantage of this, in order to make an experiment whether he might not bring about his design, by working upon the tenderness of a wife for her husband, or upon the piety of children towards their parent. With this view, he summoned Sybilla a second time to open the gates, letting her know that if she again Edition: current; Page: [78] refused to comply, the elector should answer with his head for her obstinacy. To convince her that this was not an empty threat, he brought his prisoner to an immediate trial. The proceedings against him were as irregular as the stratagem was barbarous. Instead of consulting the states of the empire, or remitting the cause to any court, which, according to the German constitution, might have legally taken cognizance of the elector’s crime, he subjected the greatest prince in the empire to the jurisdiction of a court-martial,May 10. composed of Spanish and Italian officers, and in which the unrelenting Duke of Alva, a fit instrument for any act of violence, presided. This strange tribunal founded its charge upon the ban of the empire, which had been issued against the prisoner by the sole authority of the emperor, and was destitute of every legal formality which could render it valid. But the court-martial presuming the elector to be thereby manifestly convicted of treason and rebellion, condemned him to suffer death by being beheaded. This decree was intimated to the elector while he was amusing himself in playing at chess with Ernest of Brunswick, his fellow-prisoner.The elector’s magnanimity. He paused for a moment, though without discovering any symptom either of surprise or terror; and after taking notice of the irregularity as well as injustice of the emperor’s proceedings: “It is easy,” continued he, “to comprehend his scheme. I must die, because Wittemberg will not surrender; and I shall lay down my life with pleasure, if, by that sacrifice, I can preserve the dignity of my house, and transmit to my posterity the inheritance which belongs to them. Would to God, that this sentence may not affect my wife and children more than it intimidates me; and that they, for the sake of adding a few days to a life already too long, may not renounce honours and territories Edition: current; Page: [79] which they were born to possess!”h He then turned to his antagonist, whom he challenged to continue the game. He played with his usual attention and ingenuity, and, having beat Ernest, expressed all the satisfaction which is commonly felt on gaining such victories. After this, he withdrew to his own apartment, that he might employ the rest of his time in such religious exercises as were proper in his situation.i

The distress of his family.It was not with the same indifference, or composure, that the account of the elector’s danger was received in Wittemberg. Sybilla, who had supported with such undaunted fortitude her husband’s misfortunes, while she imagined that they could reach no farther than to diminish his power or territories, felt all her resolution fail as soon as his life was threatened. Solicitous to save that, she despised every other consideration; and was willing to make any sacrifice, in order to appease an incensed conqueror. At the same time, the Duke of Cleves, the Elector of Brandenburg, and Maurice, to none of whom Charles had communicated the true motives of his violent proceedings against the elector, interceded warmly with him to spare his life. The first was prompted to do so merely by compassion for his sister, and regard for his brother-in-law. The two others dreaded the universal reproach that they would incur, if, after having boasted so often of the ample security which the emperor had promised them with respect to their religion, the first effect of their union with him should be the public execution of a prince, who was justly held in reverence as the most zealous protector of the protestant cause. Maurice, in particular, foresaw that he must become the object of detestation to the Saxons, and could never hope to govern them with tranquillity, if he were considered by them as Edition: current; Page: [80] accessory to the death of his nearest kinsman, in order that he might obtain possession of his dominions.

His treaty with Charles, by which he surrenders the electorate;While they, from such various motives, solicited Charles, with the most earnest importunity, not to execute the sentence, Sybilla, and his children, conjured the elector, by letters as well as messengers, to scruple at no concession that would extricate him out of the present danger, and deliver them from their fears and anguish on his account. The emperor, perceiving that the expedient which he had tried began to produce the effect that he intended, fell by degrees from his former rigour, and allowed himself to soften into promises of clemency and forgiveness, if the elector would shew himself worthy of his favour, by submitting to reasonable terms. The elector, on whom the consideration of what he might suffer himself had made no impression, was melted by the tears of a wife whom he loved, and could not resist the entreaties of his family.May 19. In compliance with their repeated solicitations, he agreed to articles of accommodation, which he would otherwise have rejected with disdain. The chief of them were, that he should resign the electoral dignity, as well for himself as for his posterity, into the emperor’s hands, to be disposed of entirely at his pleasure; that he should instantly put the imperial troops in possession of the cities of Wittemberg and Gotha; that he should set Albert of Brandenburg at liberty without ransom; that he should submit to the decrees of the imperial chamber, and acquiesce in whatever reformation the emperor should make in the constitution of that court; that he should renounce all leagues against the emperor or King of the Romans, and enter into no alliance for the future, in which they were not comprehended. In return for these important concessions, the emperor not only promised to spare his life, but to settle on him and his posterity the city of Gotha Edition: current; Page: [81] and its territories, together with an annual pension of fifty thousand florins, payable out of the revenues of the electorate; and likewise to grant him a sum in ready money to be applied towards the discharge of his debts.and remains a prisoner. Even these articles of grace were clogged with the mortifying condition of his remaining the emperor’s prisoner during the rest of his life.j To the whole, Charles had subjoined, that he should submit to the decrees of the pope and council with regard to the controverted points in religion; but the elector, though he had been persuaded to sacrifice all the objects which men commonly hold to be the dearest and most valuable, was inflexible with regard to this point; and neither threats nor entreaties could prevail to make him renounce what he deemed to be truth, or persuade him to act in opposition to the dictates of his conscience.

Maurice put in possession of the electoral dominions.As soon as the Saxon garrison marched out of Wittemberg, the emperor fulfilled his engagements to Maurice; and, in reward for his merit in having deserted the protestant cause, and having contributed with such success towards the dissolution of the Smalkaldic league, he gave him possession of that city, together with all the other towns in the electorate. It was not without reluctance, however, that he made such a sacrifice; the extraordinary success of his arms had begun to operate, in its usual manner, upon his ambitious mind, suggesting new and vast projects for the aggrandizement of his family, towards the accomplishment of which the retaining of Saxony would have been of the utmost consequence. But as this scheme was not then ripe for execution, he durst not yet venture to disclose it; nor would it have been either safe or prudent to offend Maurice, at that juncture, by such a manifest violation of all the promises, Edition: current; Page: [82] which had seduced him to abandon his natural allies.

Negotiations with the landgrave.The landgrave, Maurice’s father-in-law, was still in arms; and, though now left alone to maintain the protestant cause, was neither a feeble nor contemptible enemy. His dominions were of considerable extent; his subjects animated with zeal for the reformation; and if he could have held the imperialists at bay for a short time, he had much to hope from a party whose strength was still unbroken, whose union as well as vigour might return, and which had reason to depend, with certainty, on being effectually supported by the King of France. The landgrave thought not of any thing so bold or adventurous; but being seized with the same consternation which had taken possession of his associates, he was intent only on the means of procuring favourable terms from the emperor, whom he viewed as a conqueror to whose will there was a necessity of submitting. Maurice encouraged this tame and pacific spirit, by magnifying, on the one hand, the emperor’s power; by boasting, on the other, of his own interest with his victorious ally; and by representing the advantageous conditions which he could not fail of obtaining by his intercession for a friend, whom he was so solicitous to save. Sometimes the landgrave was induced to place such unbounded confidence in his promises, that he was impatient to bring matters to a final accommodation. On other occasions, the emperor’s exorbitant ambition, restrained neither by the scruples of decency, nor the maxims of justice, together with the recent and shocking proof which he had given of this in his treatment of the Elector of Saxony, came so full into his thoughts, and made such a lively impression on them, that he broke off abruptly the negotiations which he had begun; seeming to be convinced that it was more prudent to depend for safety on his own Edition: current; Page: [83] arms, than to confide in Charles’s generosity. But this bold resolution, which despair had suggested to an impatient spirit, fretted by disappointments, was not of long continuance. Upon a more deliberate survey of the enemy’s power, as well as his own weakness, his doubts and fears returned upon him, and together with them the spirit of negotiating, and the desire of accommodation.

The conditions prescribed by the emperor;Maurice, and the Elector of Brandenburg, acted as mediators between him and the emperor; and after all that the former had vaunted of his influence, the conditions prescribed to the landgrave were extremely rigorous. The articles with regard to his renouncing the league of Smalkalde, acknowledging the emperor’s authority, and submitting to the decrees of the imperial chamber, were the same which had been imposed on the Elector of Saxony. Besides these, he was required to surrender his person and territories to the emperor; to implore for pardon on his knees; to pay a hundred and fifty thousand crowns towards defraying the expences of the war; to demolish the fortifications of all the towns in his dominions except one; to oblige the garrison which he placed in it to take an oath of fidelity to the emperor; to allow a free passage through his territories to the imperial troops as often as it shall be demanded; to deliver up all his artillery and ammunition to the emperor; to set at liberty, without ransom, Henry of Brunswick, together with the other prisoners whom he had taken during the war; and neither to take arms himself, nor to permit any of his subjects to serve against the emperor or his allies for the future.k

to which he submits.The landgrave ratified these articles, though with the utmost reluctance, as they contained no stipulation with regard to the manner in which he was to be treated, and left him entirely at the emperor’s mercy. Edition: current; Page: [84] Necessity, however, compelled him to give his assent to them. Charles, who had assumed the haughty and imperious tone of a conqueror, ever since the reduction of Saxony, insisted on unconditional submission, and would permit nothing to be added to the terms which he had prescribed, that could in any degree limit the fulness of his power, or restrain him from behaving as he saw meet towards a prince whom he regarded as absolutely at his disposal. But though he would not vouchsafe to negotiate with the landgrave, on such a footing of equality, as to suffer any article to be inserted among those which he had dictated to him, that could be considered as a formal stipulation for the security and freedom of his person; he, or his ministers in his name, gave the Elector of Brandenburg and Maurice such full satisfaction with regard to this point, that they assured the landgrave, that Charles would behave to him in the same way as he had done to the Duke of Wurtemberg, and would allow him, whenever he had made his submission, to return to his own territories. Upon finding the landgrave to be still possessed with his former suspicions of the emperor’s intentions, and unwilling to trust verbal or ambiguous declarations, in a matter of such essential concern as his own liberty, they sent him a bond, signed by them both, containing the most solemn obligations, that if any violence whatsoever was offered to his person, during his interview with the emperor, they would instantly surrender themselves to his sons, and remain in their hands to be treated by them in the same manner as the emperor should treat him.l

He repairs to the imperial court.This, together with the indispensable obligation of performing what was contained in the articles of which he had accepted, removed his doubts and scruples, or made it necessary to get over them. He repaired, Edition: current; Page: [85] for that purpose, to the imperial camp at Hall in Saxony, where a circumstance occurred which revived his suspicions, and increased his fears. Just as he was about to enter the chamber of presence, in order to make his public submission to the emperor, a copy of the articles which he had approved of was put into his hands, in order that he might ratify them anew. Upon perusing them, he perceived that the imperial ministers had added two new articles; one importing, that if any dispute should arise concerning the meaning of the former conditions, the emperor should have the right of putting what interpretation upon them he thought most reasonable; the other, that the landgrave was bound to submit implicitly to the decisions of the council of Trent. This unworthy artifice, calculated to surprise him into an approbation of articles to which he had not the most distant idea of assenting, by proposing them to him at a time when his mind was engrossed and disquieted with the thoughts of that humiliating ceremony which he had to perform, filled the landgrave with indignation, and made him break out into all those violent expressions of rage to which his temper was prone. With some difficulty, the Elector of Brandenburg and Maurice prevailed at length on the emperor’s ministers to drop the former article as unjust, and to explain the latter in such a manner, that he could agree to it, without openly renouncing the protestant religion.

The manner in which the emperor received him.This obstacle being surmounted, the landgrave was impatient to finish a ceremony which, how mortifying soever, had been declared necessary towards his obtaining pardon. The emperor was seated on a magnificent throne, with all the ensigns of his dignity, surrounded by a numerous train of the princes of the empire, among whom was Henry of Brunswick, lately the landgrave’s prisoner, and now, by a Edition: current; Page: [86] sudden reverse of fortune, a spectator of his humiliation. The landgrave was introduced with great solemnity, and, advancing towards the throne, fell upon his knees. His chancellor, who walked behind him, immediately read, by his master’s command, a paper which contained an humble confession of the crime whereof he had been guilty; an acknowledgment that he had merited on that account the most severe punishment; an absolute resignation of himself and his dominions, to be disposed of at the emperor’s pleasure; a submissive petition for pardon, his hopes of which were founded entirely on the emperor’s clemency; and it concluded with promises of behaving, for the future, like a subject whose principles of loyalty and obedience would be confirmed, and would even derive new force, from the sentiments of gratitude which must hereafter fill and animate his heart. While the chancellor was reading this abject declaration, the eyes of all the spectators were fixed on the unfortunate landgrave; few could behold a prince, so powerful as well as high spirited, suing for mercy in the posture of a suppliant, without being touched with commiseration, and perceiving serious reflections arise in their minds upon the instability and emptiness of human grandeur. The emperor viewed the whole transaction with a haughty unfeeling composure, and, preserving a profound silence himself, made a sign to one of his secretaries to read his answer; the tenour of which was, that, though he might have justly inflicted on him the grievous punishment which his crimes deserved, yet, prompted by his own generosity, moved by the solicitations of several princes in behalf of the landgrave, and influenced by his penitential acknowledgments, he would not deal with him according to the rigour of justice, and would subject him to no penalty that was not specified in the articles which he had already subscribed. Edition: current; Page: [87] The moment the secretary had finished, Charles turned away abruptly, without deigning to give the unhappy suppliant any sign of compassion or reconcilement. He did not even desire him to rise from his knees, which the landgrave having ventured to do unbidden, advanced towards the emperor with an intention to kiss his hand, flattering himself that his guilt being now fully expiated, he might presume to take that liberty. But the Elector of Brandenburg, perceiving that this familiarity would be offensive to the emperor, interposed, and desired the landgrave to go along with him and Maurice to the Duke of Alva’s apartments in the castle.

He is detained a prisoner.He was received and entertained by that nobleman with the respect and courtesy due to such a guest: but after supper, while he was engaged in play, the duke took the elector and Maurice aside, and communicated to them the emperor’s orders, that the landgrave must remain a prisoner in that place, under the custody of a Spanish guard. As they had not hitherto entertained the most distant suspicion of the emperor’s sincerity or rectitude of intention, their surprise was excessive, and their indignation not inferior to it, on discovering how greatly they had been deceived themselves, and how infamously abused, in having been made the instruments of deceiving and ruining their friend. They had recourse to complaints, to arguments, and to entreaties, in order to save themselves from that disgrace, and to extricate him out of the wretched situation into which he had been betrayed by too great confidence in them. But the Duke of Alva remained inflexible, and pleaded the necessity of executing the emperor’s commands. By this time it grew late, and the landgrave, who knew nothing of what had passed, nor dreaded the snare in which he was entangled, prepared for departing, when the fatal orders were Edition: current; Page: [88] intimated to him. He was struck dumb at first with astonishment; but, after being silent a few moments, he broke out into all the violent expressions which horror at injustice accompanied with fraud naturally suggests. He complained, he expostulated, he exclaimed; sometimes inveighing against the emperor’s artifices as unworthy of a great and generous prince; sometimes censuring the credulity of his friends in trusting to Charles’s insidious promises; sometimes charging them with meanness in stooping to lend their assistance towards the execution of such a perfidious and dishonourable scheme; and, in the end, he required them to remember their engagements to his children, and instantly to fulfil them. They, after giving way for a little to the torrent of his passion, solemnly asserted their own innocence and upright intention in the whole transaction, and encouraged him to hope, that, as soon as they saw the emperor, they would obtain redress of an injury which affected their own honour no less than it did his liberty. At the same time, in order to soothe his rage and impatience, Maurice remained with him during the night, in the apartment where he was confined.m

The Elector of Brandenburg and Maurice solicit in vain for his liberty.Next morning, the elector and Maurice applied jointly to the emperor, representing the infamy to which they would be exposed throughout Germany, if the landgrave were detained in custody; that they would not have advised, nor would he himself have consented to an interview, if they had suspected that the loss of his liberty was to be the consequence of his submission; that they were bound to procure his release, having plighted their faith to that effect, and engaged their own persons as sureties for his. Charles listened to their earnest remonstrances with the utmost coolness. As he now stood no longer in need of their Edition: current; Page: [89] services, they had the mortification to find that their former obsequiousness was forgotten, and little regard paid to their intercession. He was ignorant, he told them, of their particular or private transactions with the landgrave, nor was his conduct to be regulated by any engagements into which they had thought fit to enter; though he knew well what he himself had promised, which was not that the landgrave should be exempt from all restraint, but that he should not be kept a prisoner during life.n Having said this with a peremptory and decisive tone, he put an end to the conference; and they seeing no probability at that time of making any impression upon the emperor, who seemed to have taken this resolution deliberately, and to be obstinately bent on adhering to it, were obliged to acquaint the unfortunate prisoner with the ill success of their endeavours in his behalf. The disappointment threw him into a new and more violent transport of rage, so that, to prevent his proceeding to some desperate extremity, the elector and Maurice promised that they would not quit the emperor, until, by the frequency and fervour of their intercessions, they had extorted his consent to set him free. They accordingly renewed their solicitations a few days Edition: current; Page: [90] afterwards, but found Charles more haughty and intractable than before, and were warned that if they touched again upon a subject so disagreeable, and with regard to which he had determined to hear nothing further, he would instantly give orders to convey the prisoner into Spain. Afraid of hurting the landgrave by an officious or ill-timed zeal to serve him, they not only desisted, but left the court, and as they did not choose to meet the first sallies of the landgrave’s rage upon his learning the cause of their departure, they informed him of it by a letter, wherein they exhorted him to fulfil all that he had promised to the emperor as the most certain means of procuring a speedy release.

His impatience under restraint.Whatever violent emotions their abandoning his cause in this manner occasioned, the landgrave’s impatience to recover his liberty made him follow their advice. He paid the sum which had been imposed on him, ordered his fortresses to be razed, and renounced all alliances which could give offence. This prompt compliance with the will of the conqueror produced no effect. He was still guarded with the same vigilant severity; and being carried about, together with the degraded Elector of Saxony, wherever the emperor went, their disgrace and his triumph were each day renewed. The fortitude, as well as equanimity, with which the elector bore these repeated insults, were not more remarkable than the landgrave’s fretfulness and impatience. His active impetuous mind could ill brook restraint; and reflection upon the shameful artifices, by which he had been decoyed into that situation, as well as indignation at the injustice with which he was still detained in it, drove him often to the wildest excesses of passion.

The rigour of the emperor’s exactions in Germany.The people of the different cities, to whom Charles thus wantonly exposed those illustrious prisoners as a public spectacle, were sensibly touched with such an Edition: current; Page: [91] insult offered to the Germanic body, and murmured loudly at this indecent treatment of two of its greatest princes. They had soon other causes of complaint, and such as affected them more nearly. Charles proceeded to add oppression to insult, and, arrogating to himself all the rights of a conqueror, exercised them with the utmost rigour. He ordered his troops to seize the artillery and military stores belonging to such as had been members of the Smalkaldic league, and having collected upwards of five hundred pieces of cannon, a great number in that age, he sent part of them into the Low Countries, part into Italy, and part into Spain, in order to spread by this means the fame of his success, and that they might serve as monuments of his having subdued a nation hitherto deemed invincible. He then levied, by his sole authority, large sums of money, as well upon those who had served him with fidelity during the war, as upon such as had been in arms against him; upon the former, as their contingent towards a war, which, having been undertaken, as he pretended, for the common benefit, ought to be carried on at the common charge; upon the latter, as a fine by way of punishment for their rebellion. By these exactions, he amassed above one million six hundred thousand crowns, a sum which appeared prodigious in the sixteenth century. But so general was the consternation which had seized the Germans upon his rapid success, and such their dread of his victorious troops, that all implicitly obeyed his commands; though, at the same time, these extraordinary stretches of power greatly alarmed a people jealous of their privileges, and habituated, during several ages, to consider the imperial authority as neither extensive nor formidable. This discontent and resentment, how industriously soever they concealed them, became universal; and the more these passions were restrained and kept down for the Edition: current; Page: [92] present, the more likely were they to burst out soon with additional violence.

Ferdinand’s encroachments on the liberties of his Bohemian subjects.While Charles gave law to the Germans like a conquered people, Ferdinand treated his subjects in Bohemia with still greater rigour. That kingdom possessed privileges and immunities as extensive as those of any nation in which the feudal institutions were established. The prerogative of their kings was extremely limited, and the crown itself elective. Ferdinand, when raised to the throne, had confirmed their liberties with every solemnity prescribed by their excessive solicitude for the security of a constitution of government to which they were extremely attached. He soon began, however, to be weary of a jurisdiction so much circumscribed, and to despise a sceptre which he could not transmit to his posterity; and, notwithstanding all his former engagements, he attempted to overturn the constitution from its foundations; that, instead of an elective kingdom, he might render it hereditary. But the Bohemians were too high spirited tamely to relinquish privileges which they had long enjoyed. At the same time, many of them having embraced the doctrines of the reformers, the seeds of which John Huss and Jerome of Prague had planted in their country about the beginning of the preceding century, the desire of acquiring religious liberty mingled itself with their zeal for their civil rights; and these two kindred passions heightening, as usual, each other’s force, precipitated them immediately into violent measures. They had not only refused to serve their sovereign against the confederates of Smalkalde, but having entered into a close alliance with the Elector of Saxony, they had bound themselves, by a solemn association, to defend their ancient constitution; and to persist until they should obtain such additional privileges as they thought necessary towards perfecting the present model of their government, or Edition: current; Page: [93] rendering it more permanent. They chose Caspar Phlug, a nobleman of distinction, to be their general; and raised an army of thirty thousand men to enforce their petitions. But either from the weakness of their leader, or from the dissensions in a great unwieldy body, which, having united hastily, was not thoroughly compacted, or from some other unknown cause, the subsequent operations of the Bohemians bore no proportion to the zeal and ardour with which they took their first resolutions. They suffered themselves to be amused so long with negotiations and overtures of different kinds, that before they could enter Saxony, the battle of Muhlberg was fought, the elector deprived of his dignity and territories, the landgrave confined to close custody, and the league of Smalkalde entirely dissipated. The same dread of the emperor’s power which had seized the rest of the Germans reached them. As soon as their sovereign approached with a body of imperial troops, they instantly dispersed, thinking of nothing but how to atone for their past guilt, and to acquire some hope of forgiveness by a prompt submission. But Ferdinand, who entered his dominions full of that implacable resentment which inflames monarchs whose authority has been despised, was not to be mollified by the late repentance and involuntary return of rebellious subjects to their duty. He even heard unmoved, the entreaties and tears of the citizens of Prague, who appeared before him in the posture of suppliants, and implored for mercy. The sentence which he pronounced against them was rigorous to extremity; he abolished many of their privileges, he abridged others, and new-modelled the constitution according to his pleasure. He condemned to death many of those who had been most active in forming the late association against him, and punished a still greater number with confiscation of their goods, or perpetual Edition: current; Page: [94] banishment. He obliged all his subjects, of every condition, to give up their arms, to be deposited in forts where he planted garrisons; and after disarming his people, he loaded them with new and exorbitant taxes. Thus, by an ill-conducted and unsuccessful effort to extend their privileges, the Bohemians not only enlarged the sphere of the royal prerogative, when they intended to have circumscribed it, but they almost annihilated those liberties which they aimed at establishing on a broader and more secure foundation.o

Diet held at Augsburg.The emperor, having now humbled, and, as he imagined, subdued the independent and stubborn spirit of the Germans by the terror of arms and the rigour of punishment, held a diet at Augsburg, in order to compose finally the controversies with regard to religion, which had so long disturbed the empire. He durst not, however, trust the determination of a matter so interesting to the free suffrage of the Germans, broken as their minds now were to subjection. He entered the city at the head of his Spanish troops, and assigned them quarters there. The rest of his soldiers he cantoned in the adjacent villages; so that the members of the diet, while they carried on their deliberations, were surrounded by the same army which had overcome their countrymen. Immediately after his public entry, Charles gave a proof of the violence with which he intended to proceed. He took possession by force of the cathedral, together with one of the principal churches; and his priests having, by various ceremonies, purified them from the pollution with which they supposed the unhallowed ministrations of the protestants to have defiled them, they re-established with great pomp the rites of the Romish worship.p

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The emperor exhorts them to submit to the general council.The concourse of members to this diet was extraordinary; the importance of the affairs concerning which it was to deliberate, added to the fear of giving offence to the emperor by an absence which lay open to misconstruction, brought together almost all the princes, nobles, and representatives of cities who had a right to sit in that assembly. The emperor, in the speech with which he opened the meeting, called their attention immediately to that point, which seemed chiefly to merit it. Having mentioned the fatal effects of the religious dissensions which had arisen in Germany, and taken notice of his own unwearied endeavours to procure a general council, which alone could provide a remedy adequate to those evils, he exhorted them to recognise its authority, and to acquiesce in the decisions of an assembly to which they had originally appealed, as having the sole right of judgment in the case.

Various revolutions in the council.But the council, to which Charles wished them to refer all their controversies, had, by this time, undergone a violent change. The fear and jealousy, with which the emperor’s first successes against the confederates of Smalkalde had inspired the pope, continued to increase. Not satisfied with attempting to retard the progress of the imperial arms, by the sudden recall of his troops, Paul began to consider the emperor as an enemy, the weight of whose power he must soon feel, and against whom he could not be too hasty in taking precautions. He foresaw that the immediate effect of the emperor’s acquiring absolute power in Germany, would be to render him entirely master of all the decisions of the council, if it should continue to meet in Trent. It was dangerous to allow a monarch, so ambitious, to get the command of this formidable engine, which he might employ at pleasure to limit or to overturn the papal authority. As the only method of preventing this, he determined to Edition: current; Page: [96] remove the council to some city more immediately under his own jurisdiction, and at a greater distance from the terror of the emperor’s arms, or the reach of his influence. An incident fortunately occurred, which gave this measure the appearance of being necessary. One or two of the fathers of the council, together with some of their domestics, happening to die suddenly, the physicians, deceived by the symptoms, or suborned by the pope’s legates, pronounced the distemper to be infectious and pestilential. Some of the prelates, struck with a panic, retired; others were impatient to be gone; and, after a short consultation, the council was translated to Bologna, a city subject to the pope.March 11. All the bishops in the imperial interest warmly opposed this resolution, as taken without necessity, and founded on false or frivolous pretexts.Translated from Trent to Bologna. All the Spanish prelates, and most of the Neapolitan, by the emperor’s express command, remained at Trent; the rest, to the number of thirty-four, accompanying the legates to Bologna. Thus a schism commenced in that very assembly, which had been called to heal the divisions of Christendom; the fathers of Bologna inveighed against those who staid at Trent, as contumacious and regardless of the pope’s authority; while the other accused them of being so far intimidated by the fears of imaginary danger, as to remove to a place where their consultations could prove of no service towards re-establishing peace and order in Germany.q

Symptoms of disgust between the pope and emperor.The emperor, at the same time, employed all his interest to procure the return of the council to Trent. But Paul, who highly applauded his own sagacity in having taken a step which put it out of Charles’s power to acquire the direction of that assembly, paid no regard to a request, the object of which was so extremely obvious. The summer was consumed in Edition: current; Page: [97] fruitless negotiations with respect to this point, the importunity of the one and obstinacy of the other daily increasing. At last an event happened which widened the breach irreparably, and rendered the pope utterly averse from listening to any proposal that came from the emperor. Charles, as has been already observed, had so violently exasperated Peter Lewis Farnese, the pope’s son, by refusing to grant him the investiture of Parma and Placentia, that he had watched ever since that time with all the vigilance of resentment for an opportunity of revenging that injury. He had endeavoured to precipitate the pope into open hostilities against the emperor, and had earnestly solicited the King of France to invade Italy. His hatred and resentment extended to all those whom he knew that the emperor favoured; he did every ill office in his power to Gonzaga, governor of Milan, and had encouraged Fiesco in his attempt upon the life of Andrew Doria, because both Gonzaga and Doria possessed a great degree of the emperor’s esteem and confidence. His malevolence and secret intrigues were not unknown to the emperor, who could not be more desirous to take vengeance on him, than Gonzaga and Doria were to be employed as his instruments in inflicting it. Farnese, by the profligacy of his life, and by enormities of every kind, equal to those committed by the worst tyrants who have disgraced human nature, had rendered himself so odious, that it was thought any violence whatever might be lawfully attempted against him. Gonzaga and Doria soon found, among his own subjects, persons who were eager, and even deemed it meritorious, to lend their hands in such a service. As Farnese, animated with the jealousy which usually possesses petty sovereigns, had employed all the cruelty and fraud, whereby they endeavour to supply their defect of power, in order to humble and extirpate the nobility Edition: current; Page: [98] subject to his government, five noblemen of the greatest distinction in Placentia combined to avenge the injuries which they themselves had suffered, as well as those which he had offered to their order. They formed their plan in conjunction with Gonzaga; but it remains uncertain whether he originally suggested the scheme to them, or only approved of what they proposed, and co-operated in carrying it on. They concerted all the previous steps with such foresight, conducted their intrigues with such secrecy, and displayed such courage in the execution of their design, that it may be ranked among the most audacious deeds of that nature mentioned in history.Sept. 10. One body of the conspirators surprised,The assassination of the pope’s son. at mid-day, the gates of the citadel of Placentia where Farnese resided, overpowered his guards, and murdered him. Another party of them made themselves masters of the town, and called upon their fellow-citizens to take arms, in order to recover their liberty. The multitude ran towards the citadel, from which three great guns, a signal concerted with Gonzaga, had been fired; and before they could guess the cause or the authors of the tumult, they saw the lifeless body of the tyrant hanging by the heels from one of the windows of the citadel. But so universally detestable had he become, that not one expressed any sentiment of concern at such a sad reverse of fortune, or discovered the least indignation at this ignominious treatment of a sovereign prince. The exultation at the success of the conspiracy was general, and all applauded the actors in it, as the deliverers of their country. The body was tumbled into the ditch that surrounded the citadel, and exposed to the insults of the rabble; the rest of the citizens returned to their usual occupations, as if nothing extraordinary had happened.

The imperial troops take possession of Placentia.Before next morning a body of troops arriving from the frontiers of the Milanese, where they had Edition: current; Page: [99] been posted in expectation of the event, took possession of the city in the emperor’s name, and reinstated the inhabitants in the possession of their ancient privileges. Parma, which the imperialists attempted likewise to surprise, was saved by the vigilance and fidelity of the officers whom Farnese had intrusted with the command of the garrison. The death of a son whom, notwithstanding his infamous vices, Paul loved with an excess of parental tenderness, overwhelmed him with the deepest affliction; and the loss of a city of such consequence as Placentia, greatly embittered his sorrow. He accused Gonzaga, in open consistory, of having committed a cruel murder, in order to prepare the way for an unjust usurpation, and immediately demanded of the emperor satisfaction for both: for the former, by the punishment of Gonzaga; for the latter, by the restitution of Placentia to his grandson Octavio, its rightful owner. But Charles, who, rather than quit a prize of such value, was willing, not only to expose himself to the imputation of being accessory to the crime which had given an opportunity of seizing it, but to bear the infamy of defrauding his own son-in-law of the inheritance which belonged to him, eluded all his solicitations, and determined to keep possession of the city, together with its territories.r

The pope courts the alliance of the French king and the Venetians.This resolution, flowing from an ambition so rapacious, as to be restrained by no consideration either of decency or justice, transported the pope so far beyond his usual moderation and prudence, that he was eager to take arms against the emperor, in order to be avenged on the murderers of his son, and to recover the inheritance wrested from his family. Conscious, however, of his own inability to contend with such an enemy, he warmly solicited the French king Edition: current; Page: [100] and the republic of Venice to join in an offensive league against Charles. But Henry was intent at that time on other objects. His ancient allies the Scots having been defeated by the English, in one of the greatest battles ever fought between these two rival nations, he was about to send a numerous body of veteran troops into that country, as well to preserve it from being conquered, as to gain the acquisition of a new kingdom to the French monarchy, by marrying his son, the dauphin, to the young Queen of Scotland. An undertaking accompanied with such manifest advantages, the success of which appeared to be so certain, was not to be relinquished for the remote prospect of benefit from an alliance depending upon the precarious life of a pope of fourscore, who had nothing at heart but the gratification of his own private resentment. Instead, therefore, of rushing headlong into the alliance proposed, Henry amused the pope with such general professions and promises, as might keep him from any thoughts of endeavouring to accommodate his differences with the emperor; but at the same time he avoided any such engagement as might occasion an immediate rupture with Charles, or precipitate him into a war for which he was not prepared. The Venetians, though much alarmed at seeing Placentia in the hands of the imperialists, imitated the wary conduct of the French king, as it nearly resembled the spirit which usually regulated their own conduct.s

But, though the pope found that it was not in his power to kindle immediately the flames of war, he did not forget the injuries which he was obliged for the present to endure; resentment settled deeper in his mind, and became more rancorous in proportion as he felt the difficulty of gratifying it. It was while these Edition: current; Page: [101] sentiments of enmity were in full force, and the desire of vengeance at its height, that the diet of Augsburg, by the emperor’s command, petitioned the pope, in the name of the whole Germanic body,The diet of Augsburg petitions for the return of the council to Trent. to enjoin the prelates who had retired to Bologna to return again to Trent, and to renew their deliberations in that place. Charles had been at great pains in bringing the members to join in this request. Having observed a considerable variety of sentiments among the protestants with respect to the submission which he had required to the decrees of the council, some of them being altogether intractable, while others were ready to acknowledge its right of jurisdiction upon certain conditions, he employed all his address in order to gain or to divide them. He threatened and overawed the elector palatine, a weak prince, and afraid that the emperor might inflict on him the punishment to which he had made himself liable by the assistance that he had given to the confederates of Smalkalde. The hope of procuring liberty for the landgrave, together with the formal confirmation of his own electoral dignity, overcame Maurice’s scruples, or prevented him from opposing what he knew would be agreeable to the emperor. The Elector of Brandenburg, less influenced by religious zeal than any prince of that age, was easily induced to imitate their example, in assenting to all that the emperor required. The deputies of the cities remained still to be brought over. They were more tenacious of their principles; and, though every thing that could operate either on their hopes or fears was tried, the utmost that they would promise was, to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the council, if effectual provision were made for securing to the divines of all parties free access to that assembly, with entire liberty of debate; and if all points in controversy were decided according to scripture and the usage of the primitive Edition: current; Page: [102] church. But when the memorial containing this declaration was presented to the emperor, he ventured to put in practice a very extraordinary artifice. Without reading the paper, or taking any notice of the conditions on which they had insisted, he seemed to take it for granted that they had complied with his demand, and gave thanks to the deputies for their full and unreserved submission to the decrees of the council.October 9. The deputies, though astonished at what they had heard, did not attempt to set him right, both parties being better pleased that the matter should remain under this state of ambiguity, than to push for an explanation, which must have occasioned a dispute, and would have led, perhaps, to a rupture.t

The pope eludes the demand.Having obtained this seeming submission from the members of the diet to the authority of the council, Charles employed that as an argument to enforce their petition for its return to Trent. But the pope, from the satisfaction which he felt in mortifying the emperor, as well as from his own aversion to what was demanded, resolved, without hesitation, that this petition should not be granted, though, in order to avoid the imputation of being influenced wholly by resentment, he had the address to throw it upon the fathers at Bologna, to put a direct negative upon the request. With this view, he referred to their consideration the petition of the diet, and they, ready to confirm by their assent whatever the legates were pleased to dictate,Dec. 20. declared that the council could not, consistently with its dignity, return to Trent, unless the prelates who, by remaining there, had discovered a schismatic spirit, would first repair to Bologna, and join their brethren; and that, even after their junction, the council could not renew its consultations with any prospect of benefit to the church, if the Germans did not prove their intention of obeying its Edition: current; Page: [103] future decrees to be sincere, by yielding immediate obedience to those which it had already passed.u

The emperor protests against the council of Bologna.This answer was communicated to the emperor by the pope, who at the same time exhorted him to comply with demands which appeared to be so reasonable. But Charles was better acquainted with the duplicity of the pope’s character than to be deceived by such a gross artifice; he knew that the prelates of Bologna durst utter no sentiment but what Paul inspired; and, therefore, overlooking them as mere tools in the hands of another, he considered their reply as a full discovery of the pope’s intentions. As he could no longer hope to acquire such an ascendant in the council as to render it subservient to his own plan, he saw it to be necessary that Paul should not have it in his power to turn against him the authority of so venerable an assembly.1548. In order to prevent this, he sent two Spanish lawyers to Bologna, who,January 16. in the presence of the legate, protested, that the translation of the council to that place had been unnecessary, and founded on false or frivolous pretexts; that while it continued to meet there, it ought to be deemed an unlawful and schismatical conventicle; that all its decisions ought, of course, to be held as null and invalid; and that since the pope, together with the corrupt ecclesiastics who depended on him, had abandoned the care of the church, the emperor, as its protector, would employ all the power which God had committed to him, in order to preserve it from those calamities with which it was threatened. A few days after,January 28. the imperial ambassador at Rome demanded an audience of the pope, and in presence of all the cardinals, as well as foreign ministers, protested against the proceedings of the prelates at Bologna, in terms equally harsh and disrespectful.x

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The emperor prepares a system, to serve as a rule of faith in Germany.It was not long before Charles proceeded to carry these threats, which greatly alarmed both the pope and council at Bologna, into execution. He let the diet know the ill success of his endeavours to procure a favourable answer to their petition, and that the pope, equally regardless of their entreaties, and of his services to the church, had refused to gratify them by allowing the council to meet again at Trent; that, though all hope of holding this assembly in a place where they might look for freedom of debate and judgment was not to be given up, the prospect of it was, at present, distant and uncertain; that, in the mean time, Germany was torn in pieces by religious dissensions, the purity of the faith corrupted, and the minds of the people disquieted with a multiplicity of new opinions and controversies, formerly unknown among Christians; that, moved by the duty which he owed to them as their sovereign, and to the church, as its protector, he had employed some divines, of known abilities and learning, to prepare a system of doctrine, to which all should conform, until a council, such as they wished for, could be convocated. This system was compiled by Phlug, Helding, and Agricola, of whom the two former were dignitaries in the Romish church, but remarkable for their pacific and healing spirit; the last was a protestant divine, suspected, not without reason, of having been gained, by bribes and promises, to betray or mislead his party on this occasion. The articles presented to the diet of Ratisbon, in the year one thousand five hundred and forty-one, in order to reconcile the contending parties, served as a model for the present work. But as the emperor’s situation was much changed since that time, and he found it no longer necessary to manage the protestants with the same delicacy as at that juncture, the concessions in their favour were not now so numerous, nor did they extend to points of so Edition: current; Page: [105] much consequence. The treatise contained a complete system of theology, conformable, in almost every article, to the tenets of the Romish church, though expressed, for the most part, in the softest words, or in scriptural phrases, or in terms of studied ambiguity. Every doctrine, however, peculiar to popery, was retained, and the observation of all the rites which the protestants condemned as inventions of men introduced into the worship of God, was enjoined. With regard to two points only, some relaxation in the rigour of opinion, as well as some latitude in practice, were admitted. Such ecclesiastics as had married, and would not put away their wives, were allowed, nevertheless, to perform all the functions of their sacred office; and those provinces which had been accustomed to partake of the cup, as well as of the bread, in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, were still indulged in the privilege of receiving both. Even these were declared to be concessions for the sake of peace, and granted only for a season, in compliance with the weakness or prejudices of their countrymen.y

This, which was called the Interim, he lays before the diet,This system of doctrine, known afterwards by the name of the Interim, because it contained temporary regulations, which were to continue no longer in force than until a free general council could be held, the emperor presented to the diet, with a pompous declaration of his sincere intention to re-establish tranquillity and order in the church, as well as of his hopes that their adopting these regulations would contribute greatly to bring about that desirable event.May 15., It was read in presence of the diet according to form. As soon as it was finished, the Archbishop of Mentz, president of the electoral college, rose up hastily, and, having thanked the emperor for his unwearied Edition: current; Page: [106] and pious endeavours in order to restore peace to the church, he, in the name of the diet, signified their approbation of the system of doctrine which had been read, together with their resolution of conforming to it in every particular. The whole assembly was amazed at a declaration so unprecedented and unconstitutional, as well as at the elector’s presumption, in pretending to deliver the sense of the diet, upon a point which had not hitherto been the subject of consultation or debate; but not one member had the courage to contradict what the elector had said; some being overawed by fear, others remaining silent through complaisance.and extorts their approbation of it. The emperor held the archbishop’s declaration to be a full constitutional ratification of the Interim, and prepared to enforce the observance of it, as a decree of the empire.z

New and fruitless solicitations for the landgrave’s liberty.During this diet, the wife and children of the landgrave, warmly seconded by Maurice of Saxony, endeavoured to interest the members in behalf of that unhappy prince, who still languished in confinement. But Charles, who did not choose to be brought under the necessity of rejecting any request that came from such a respectable body, in order to prevent their representations, laid before the diet an account of his transactions with the landgrave, together with the motives which had at first induced him to detain that prince in custody, and which rendered it prudent, as he alleged, to keep him still under restraint. It was no easy matter to give any good reason for an action, incapable of being justified; but he thought the most frivolous pretexts might be produced in an assembly, the members of which were willing to be deceived, and afraid of nothing so much as of discovering that they saw his conduct in its true colours. His account of his own conduct was accordingly admitted to be fully satisfactory, and, after some feeble Edition: current; Page: [107] entreaties that he would extend his clemency to his unfortunate prisoner, the landgrave’s concerns were no more mentioned.a

In order to counterbalance the unfavourable impression which this inflexible rigour might make, Charles, as a proof that his gratitude was no less permanent and unchangeable than his resentment, invested Maurice in the electoral dignity, with all the legal formalities. The ceremony was performed, with extraordinary pomp, in an open court, so near the apartment in which the degraded elector was kept a prisoner, that he could view it from his windows. Even this insult did not ruffle his usual tranquillity; and, turning his eyes that way, he beheld a prosperous rival receiving those ensigns of dignity of which he had been stripped, without uttering one sentiment unbecoming the fortitude that he had preserved amidst all his calamities.b

The Interim equally disapproved of by protestants and papists.Immediately after the dissolution of the diet, the emperor ordered the Interim to be published, in the German as well as Latin language. It met with the usual reception of conciliating schemes, when proposed to men heated with disputation. Both parties declaimed against it with equal violence; the protestants condemned it as a system containing the grossest errors of popery, disguised with so little art, that it could impose only on the most ignorant, or on those who, by wilfully shutting their eyes, favoured the deception; the papists inveighed against it, as a work in which some doctrines of the church were impiously given up, others meanly concealed, and all of them delivered in terms calculated rather to deceive the unwary than to instruct the ignorant, or to reclaim such as were enemies to the truth. While the Edition: current; Page: [108] Lutheran divines fiercely attacked it on one hand, the general of the Dominicans, with no less vehemence, impugned it on the other. But at Rome, as soon as the contents of the Interim came to be known, the indignation of the courtiers and ecclesiastics rose to the greatest height. They exclaimed against the emperor’s profane encroachment on the sacerdotal function, in presuming, with the concurrence of an assembly of laymen, to define articles of faith, and to regulate modes of worship. They compared this rash deed to that of Uzziah, who, with an unhallowed hand, had touched the ark of God; or to the bold attempts of those emperors who had rendered their memory detestable, by endeavouring to model the Christian church according to their pleasure. They even affected to find out a resemblance between the emperor’s conduct and that of Henry VIII., and expressed their fear of his imitating the example of that apostate, by usurping the title, as well as jurisdiction, belonging to the head of the church. All, therefore, contended, with one voice, that as the foundations of ecclesiastical authority were now shaken, and the whole fabric ready to be overturned by a new enemy, some powerful method of defence must be provided, and a vigorous resistance must be made, in the beginning, before he grew too formidable to be opposed.

The sentiments of the pope with regard to it.The pope, whose judgment was improved by longer experience in great transactions, as well as by a more extensive observation of human affairs, viewed the matter with more acute discernment, and derived comfort from the very circumstance which filled them with apprehension. He was astonished that a prince of such superior sagacity as the emperor, should be so intoxicated with a single victory, as to imagine that he might give law to mankind, and decide even in those matters, with regard to which they are most Edition: current; Page: [109] impatient of dominion. He saw that, by joining any one of the contending parties in Germany, Charles might have had it in his power to have oppressed the other, but that the presumption of success had now inspired him with the vain thought of being able to domineer over both. He foretold that a system which all attacked, and none defended, could not be of long duration; and that, for this reason, there was no need of his interposing in order to hasten its fall; for as soon as the powerful hand which now upheld it was withdrawn, it would sink of its own accord, and be forgotten for ever.c

The emperor enforces compliance with the Interim.The emperor, fond of his own plan, adhered to his resolution of carrying it into full execution. But though the elector palatine, the Elector of Brandenburg, and Maurice, influenced by the same considerations as formerly, seemed ready to yield implicit obedience to whatever he should enjoin, he met not every where with a like obsequious submission. John, Marquis of Brandenburg Anspach, although he had taken part with great zeal in the war against the confederates of Smalkalde, refused to renounce doctrines which he held to be sacred; and reminding the emperor of the repeated promises which he had given his protestant allies, of allowing them the free exercise of their religion, he claimed, in consequence of these, to be exempted from receiving the Interim. Some other princes, also, ventured to mention the same scruples, and to plead the same indulgence. But on this, as on other trying occasions, the firmness of the Elector of Saxony was most distinguished, and merited the highest praise. Charles, well knowing the authority of his example with all the protestant party, laboured, with the utmost earnestness, to gain his approbation of the Interim, and by employing sometimes promises of setting him at liberty, sometimes Edition: current; Page: [110] threats of treating him with greater harshness, attempted alternately to work upon his hopes and his fears. But he was alike regardless of both. After having declared his fixed belief in the doctrines of the reformation, “I cannot now,” said he, “in my old age, abandon the principles, for which I early contended; nor, in order to procure freedom during a few declining years, will I betray that good cause, on account of which I have suffered so much, and am still willing to suffer. Better for me to enjoy, in this solitude, the esteem of virtuous men, together with the approbation of my own conscience, than to return into the world, with the imputation and guilt of apostacy, to disgrace and embitter the remainder of my days.” By this magnanimous resolution, he set his countrymen a pattern of conduct, so very different from that which the emperor wished him to have exhibited to them, that it drew upon him fresh marks of his displeasure. The rigour of his confinement was increased; the number of his servants abridged; the Lutheran clergymen, who had hitherto been permitted to attend him, were dismissed; and even the books of devotion which had been his chief consolation during a tedious imprisonment, were taken from him.d The Landgrave of Hesse, his companion in misfortune, did not maintain the same constancy. His patience and fortitude were both so much exhausted by the length of his confinement, that, willing to purchase freedom at any price, he wrote to the emperor, offering not only to approve of the Interim, but to yield an unreserved submission to his will in every other particular. But Charles, who knew that, whatever course the landgrave might hold, neither his example nor authority would prevail on his children or subjects to receive the Interim, paid no regard to his offers. He was kept confined as strictly as ever; Edition: current; Page: [111] and, while he suffered the cruel mortification of having his conduct set in contrast to that of the elector, he derived not the smallest benefit from the mean step which exposed him to such deserved censure.e

The free cities struggle against receiving the Interim.But it was in the imperial cities that Charles met with the most violent opposition to the Interim. These small commonwealths, the citizens of which were accustomed to liberty and independence, had embraced the doctrines of the reformation when they were first published, with remarkable eagerness; the bold spirit of innovation being peculiarly suited to the genius of free government. Among them, the protestant teachers had made the greatest number of proselytes. The most eminent divines of the party were settled in them as pastors. By having the direction of the schools and other seminaries of learning, they had trained up disciples, who were as well instructed in the articles of their faith, as they were zealous to defend them. Such persons were not to be guided by example, or swayed by authority; but, having been taught to employ their own understanding in examining and deciding with respect to the points in controversy, they thought that they were both qualified and entitled to judge for themselves. As soon as the contents of the Interim were known, they, with one voice, joined in refusing to admit it. Augsburg, Ulm, Strasburg, Constance, Bremen, Magdeburg, together with many other towns of less note, presented remonstrances to the emperor, setting forth the irregular and unconstitutional manner in which the Interim had been enacted, and beseeching him not to offer such violence to their consciences, as to require their assent to a form of doctrine and worship, which appeared to them repugnant to the express precepts of the divine law. But Charles having prevailed on so many princes of the empire to approve of his new model, was not Edition: current; Page: [112] much moved by the representations of those cities, which, how formidable soever they might have proved, if they could have been formed into one body, lay so remote from each other, that it was easy to oppress them separately, before it was possible for them to unite.

Compelled by violence to submit.In order to accomplish this, the emperor saw it to be requisite that his measures should be vigorous, and executed with such rapidity as to allow no time for concerting any common plan of opposition. Having laid down this maxim as the rule of his proceedings, his first attempt was upon the city of Augsburg, which, though overawed with the presence of the Spanish troops, he knew to be as much dissatisfied with the Interim as any in the empire.August 3. He ordered one body of these troops to seize the gates; he posted the rest in different quarters of the city; and, assembling all the burgesses in the town-hall, he, by his sole absolute authority, published a decree abolishing their present form of government, dissolving all their corporations and fraternities, and nominating a small number of persons, in whom he vested, for the future, all the powers of government. Each of the persons, thus chosen, took an oath to observe the Interim. An act of power so unprecedented as well as arbitrary, which excluded the body of the inhabitants from any share in the government of their own community, and subjected them to men who had no other merit than their servile devotion to the emperor’s will, gave general disgust; but, as they durst not venture upon resistance, they were obliged to submit in silence.f From Augsburg, in which he left a garrison, he proceeded to Ulm, and new-modelling its government with the same violent hand, he seized such of their pastors as refused to subscribe the Interim, committed them to prison, and, at Edition: current; Page: [113] his departure, carried them along with him in chains.g By this severity he not only secured the reception of the Interim in two of the most powerful cities, but gave warning to the rest what such as continued refractory had to expect. The effect of the example was as great as he could have wished; and many towns, in order to save themselves from the like treatment, found it necessary to comply with what he enjoined. This obedience, extorted by the rigour of authority, produced no change in the sentiments of the Germans, and extended no farther than to make them conform so far to what he required, as was barely sufficient to screen them from punishment. The protestant preachers accompanied those religious rites, the observation of which the Interim prescribed, with such an explication of their tendency, as served rather to confirm than to remove the scruples of their hearers with regard to them. The people, many of whom had grown up to mature years since the establishment of the reformed religion, and had never known any other form of public worship, beheld the pompous pageantry of the popish service with contempt or horror; and in most places the Romish ecclesiastics who returned to take possession of their churches, could hardly be protected from insult, or their ministrations from interruption. Thus, notwithstanding the apparent compliance of so many cities, the inhabitants being accustomed to freedom, submitted with reluctance to the power which now oppressed them. Their understanding as well as inclination revolted against the doctrines and ceremonies imposed on them; and though, for the present, they concealed their disgust and resentment, it was evident that these passions could not always be kept under restraint, but would break out at last in effects proportional to their violence.h

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The pope dismisses the council assembled at Bologna.Charles, however, highly pleased with having bent the stubborn spirit of the Germans to such general submission, departed for the Low Countries, fully determined to compel the cities, which still stood out, to receive the Interim. He carried his two prisoners, the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse, along with him, either because he durst not leave them behind him in Germany, or because he wished to give his countrymen, the Flemings, this illustrious proof of the success of his arms and the extent of his power. Before Charles arrived at Brussels he was informed that the pope’s legates at Bologna had dismissed the council by an indefinite prorogation, and that the prelates assembled there had returned to their respective countries. Necessity had driven the pope into this measure. By the secession of those who had voted against the translation, together with the departure of others, who grew weary of continuing in a place where they were not suffered to proceed to business, so few and such inconsiderable members remained, that the pompous appellation of a general council could not, with decency, be bestowed any longer upon them. Paul had no choice but to dissolve an assembly which was become the object of contempt, and exhibited to all Christendom a most glaring proof of the impotence of the Romish see. But unavoidable as the measure was, it lay open to be unfavourably interpreted, and had the appearance of withdrawing the remedy, at the very time when those for whose recovery it was provided, were prevailed on to acknowledge its virtue, and to make trial of its efficacy. Charles did not fail to put this construction on the conduct of the pope; and, by an artful comparison of his own efforts to suppress heresy, with Paul’s scandalous inattention to a point so essential, he endeavoured to render the pontiff odious to all zealous catholics. At the same time, he Edition: current; Page: [115] commanded the prelates of his faction to remain at Trent, that the council might still appear to have a being, and might be ready whenever it was thought expedient to resume its deliberations for the good of the church.i

The emperor receives his son Philip in the Low Countries.The motive of Charles’s journey to the Low Countries, besides gratifying his favourite passion of travelling from one part of his dominions to another, was to receive Philip, his only son, who was now in the twenty-first year of his age, and whom he had called thither, not only that he might be recognized by the states of the Netherlands as heir-apparent, but in order to facilitate the execution of a vast scheme, the object of which, and the reception it met with, shall be hereafter explained. Philip, having left the government of Spain to Maximilian, Ferdinand’s eldest son, to whom the emperor had given the Princess Mary, his daughter, in marriage, embarked for Italy, attended by a numerous retinue of Spanish nobles.k The squadron which escorted him was commanded by Andrew Doria, who, notwithstanding his advanced age, insisted on the honour of performing, in person, the same duty to the son, which he had often discharged towards the father.Nov. 25. He landed safely at Genoa; from thence he went to Milan, and, proceeding through Germany, arrived at the imperial court in Brussels. The states of Brabant,1549. in the first place,April 1. and those of the other provinces in their order, acknowledged his right of succession in common form, and he took the customary oath to preserve all their privileges inviolate.l In all the towns of the Low Countries through which Philip passed, he was received with extraordinary pomp. Nothing that could either express the respect of the people, or contribute to his amusement, was Edition: current; Page: [116] neglected; pageants, tournaments, and public spectacles of every kind, were exhibited, with that expensive magnificence which commercial nations are fond of displaying, when, on any occasion, they depart from their usual maxims of frugality. But amidst these scenes of festivity and pleasure, Philip’s natural severity of temper was discernible. Youth itself could not render him agreeable, nor his being a candidate for power form him to courtesy. He maintained a haughty reserve in his behaviour, and discovered such manifest partiality towards his Spanish attendants, together with such an avowed preference to the manners of their country, as highly disgusted the Flemings, and gave rise to that antipathy, which afterwards occasioned a revolution fatal to him in that part of his dominions.m

Charles was long detained in the Netherlands by a violent attack of the gout, which returned upon him so frequently, and with such increasing violence, that it had broken, to a great degree, the vigour of his constitution. He nevertheless did not slacken his endeavours to enforce the Interim. The inhabitants of Strasburg, after a long struggle, found it necessary to yield obedience; those of Constance, who had taken arms in their own defence, were compelled not only to conform to the Interim, but to renounce their privileges as a free city, to do homage to Ferdinand as Archduke of Austria, and, as his vassals, to admit an Austrian governor and garrison.n Magdeburg, Bremen, Hamburg, and Lubeck, were the only imperial cities of note that still continued refractory.

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THE

HISTORY OF THE REIGN

of the

EMPEROR CHARLES V.

BOOK X.

1549.While Charles laboured, with such unwearied industry, to persuade or to force the protestants to adopt his regulations with respect to religion, the effects of his steadiness in the execution of his plan were rendered less considerable by his rupture with the pope, which daily increased. The firm resolution which the emperor seemed to have taken against restoring Placentia,The pope’s schemes against the emperor. together with his repeated encroachments on the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, not only by the regulations contained in the Interim, but by his attempt to re-assemble the council at Trent, exasperated Paul to the utmost, who, with the weakness incident to old age, grew more attached to his family, and more jealous of his authority, as he advanced in years. Pushed on by these passions, he made new efforts to draw the French king into an alliance against the emperora: but finding that monarch, notwithstanding the hereditary enmity between him and Charles, and the jealousy with which Edition: current; Page: [118] he viewed the successful progress of the imperial arms, as unwilling as formerly to involve himself in immediate hostilities, he was obliged to contract his views,BOOK X.lf1681-05_figure_001.jpg and to think of preventing future encroachments, since it was not in his power to inflict vengeance on account of those which were past. For this purpose, he determined to recall his grant of Parma and Placentia, and, after declaring them to be re-annexed to the holy see, to indemnify his grandson Octavio by a new establishment in the ecclesiastical state. By this expedient he hoped to gain two points of no small consequence. He, first of all, rendered his possession of Parma more secure; as the emperor would be cautious of invading the patrimony of the church, though he might seize, without scruple, a town belonging to the house of Farnese. In the next place, he would acquire a better chance of recovering Placentia, as his solicitations to that effect might decently be urged with greater importunity, and would infallibly be attended with greater effect, when he was considered not as pleading the cause of his own family, but as an advocate for the interest of the holy see. But while Paul was priding himself on this device, as a happy refinement in policy, Octavio, an ambitious and high-spirited young man, who could not bear with patience to be spoiled of one half of his territories by the rapaciousness of his father-in-law, and to be deprived of the other by the artifices of his grandfather, took measures in order to prevent the execution of a plan fatal to his interest. He set out secretly from Rome, and having first endeavoured to surprise Parma, which attempt was frustrated by the fidelity of the governor, to whom the pope had intrusted the defence of the town, he made overtures to the emperor of renouncing all connection with the pope, and of depending entirely on him for his future fortune. This unexpected defection Edition: current; Page: [119] of one of the pope’s own family to an enemy whom he hated, irritated, almost to madness, a mind peevish with old age; and there was no degree of severity to which Paul might not have proceeded, against a grandson whom he reproached as an unnatural apostate. But, happily for Octavio, death prevented his carrying into execution the harsh resolutions which he had taken with respect to him, and put an end to his pontificate in the sixteenth year of his administration, and the eighty-second of his age.b

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1550.As this event had been long expected, there was an extraordinary concourse of cardinals at Rome; and the various competitors having had time to form their parties, and to concert their measures, their ambition and intrigues protracted the conclave to a great length. The imperial and French factions strove, with emulation, to promote one of their own number, and had, by turns, the prospect of success. But as Paul, during a long pontificate, had raised many to the purple, and those chiefly persons of eminent abilities, as well as zealously devoted to his family, Cardinal Farnese had the command of a powerful and united squadron,Feb. 7. by whose address and firmness he exalted to the papal throne the Cardinal di Monte,The election of Julius III. whom Paul had employed as his principal legate in the council of Trent, and trusted with his most secret intentions. He assumed the name of Julius III., and, in order to express his gratitude towards his benefactor, the first act of his administration was to put Octavio Farnese in possession of Parma. When the injury which he did to the holy see, by alienating a territory of such value, was mentioned by some of the cardinals, he briskly replied, “That he would rather be a poor pope, with the reputation of a gentleman, than a rich one, with the infamy of having forgotten the obligations conferred upon him, and the promises which he had made.cHis character and conduct. But all the lustre of this candour or generosity he quickly effaced by an action most shockingly indecent. According to an ancient and established practice, every pope upon his election considers it as his privilege to bestow, on whom Edition: current; Page: [121] he pleases, the cardinal’s hat, which falls to be disposed of by his being invested with the triple crown. Julius, to the astonishment of the sacred college, conferred this mark of distinction, together with ample ecclesiastical revenues, and the right of bearing his name and arms, upon one Innocent, a youth of sixteen, born of obscure parents, and known by the name of the Ape, from his having been trusted with the care of an animal of that species, in the Cardinal di Monte’s family. Such a prostitution of the highest dignity in the church would have given offence, even in those dark periods, when the credulous superstition of the people emboldened ecclesiastics to venture on the most flagrant violations of decorum. But, in an enlightened age, when, by the progress of knowledge and philosophy, the obligations of duty and decency were better understood, when a blind veneration for the pontifical character was every where abated, and one half of Christendom in open rebellion against the papal see, this action was viewed with horror. Rome was immediately filled with libels and pasquinades, which imputed the pope’s extravagant regard for such an unworthy object to the most criminal passions. The protestants exclaimed against the absurdity of supposing that the infallible spirit of divine truth could dwell in a breast so impure, and called more loudly than ever, and with greater appearance of justice, for the immediate and thorough reformation of a church, the head of which was a disgrace to the Christian name.d The rest of the pope’s conduct was of a piece with this first specimen of his dispositions. Having now reached the summit of ecclesiastical ambition, he seemed eager to indemnify himself, by an unrestrained indulgence of his desires, for the self-denial or dissimulation which he had thought it prudent to practise while in a subordinate station. He Edition: current; Page: [122] became careless, to so great a degree, of all serious business, that he could seldom be brought to attend to it, but in cases of extreme necessity; and giving up himself to amusements and dissipation of every kind, he imitated the luxurious elegance of Leo rather than the severe virtue of Adrian, the latter of which it was necessary to display, in contending with a sect which derived great credit from the rigid and austere manners of its teachers.e

His views and proceedings with respect to the general council.The pope, however ready to fulfil his engagements to the family of Farnese, discovered no inclination to observe the oath, which each cardinal had taken when he entered the conclave, that, if the choice should fall on him, he would immediately call the council to re-assume its deliberations. Julius knew, by experience, how difficult it was to confine such a body of men within the narrow limits which it was the interest of the see of Rome to prescribe; and how easily the zeal of some members, the rashness of others, or the suggestions of the princes on whom they depended, might precipitate a popular and ungovernable assembly into forbidden enquiries, as well as dangerous decisions. He wished, for these reasons, to have eluded the obligation of his oath, and gave an ambiguous answer to the first proposals which were made to him by the emperor with regard to that matter. But Charles, either from his natural obstinacy in adhering to the measures which he had once adopted, or from the mere pride of accomplishing what was held to be almost impossible, persisted in his resolution of forcing the protestants to return into the bosom of the church. Having persuaded himself that the authoritative decisions of the council might be employed with efficacy in combating their prejudices, he, in consequence of that persuasion, continued to solicit earnestly that a new bull of convocation might be issued; and the Edition: current; Page: [123] pope could not, with decency, reject that request. When Julius found that he could not prevent the calling of a council, he endeavoured to take to himself all the merit of having procured the meeting of an assembly, which was the object of such general desire and expectation. A congregation of cardinals, to whom he referred the consideration of what was necessary for restoring peace to the church, recommended, by his direction, the speedy convocation of a council, as the most effectual expedient for that purpose; and, as the new heresies raged with the greatest violence in Germany, they proposed Trent as the place of its meeting, that, by a near inspection of the evil, the remedy might be applied with greater discernment and certainty of success. The pope warmly approved of this advice, which he himself had dictated, and sent nuncios to the imperial and French courts, in order to make known his intentions.f

A diet at Augsburg to enforce the Interim.About this time, the emperor had summoned a new diet to meet at Augsburg, in order to enforce the observation of the Interim, and to procure a more authentic act of the supreme court in the empire, acknowledging the jurisdiction of the council, as well as an explicit promise of conforming to its decrees. He appeared there in person,June 25. together with his son the Prince of Spain. Few electors were present, but all sent deputies in their name. Charles, notwithstanding the despotic authority with which he had given law in the empire during two years, knew that the spirit of independence among the Germans was not entirely subdued, and for that reason took care to overawe the diet by a considerable body of Spanish troops which escorted him thither. The first point submitted to the consideration of the diet, was the necessity of holding a council. All the popish members agreed, without difficulty, that the meeting of Edition: current; Page: [124] that assembly should be renewed at Trent, and promised an implicit acquiescence in its decrees. The protestants, intimidated and disunited, must have followed their example, and the resolution of the diet would have proved unanimous, if Maurice of Saxony had not begun at this time to disclose new intentions, and to act a part very different from that which he had so long assumed.

Maurice begins to form designs against the emperor.By an artful dissimulation of his own sentiments; by address in paying court to the emperor; and by the seeming zeal with which he forwarded all his ambitious schemes, Maurice had raised himself to the electoral dignity; and having added the dominions of the elder branch of the Saxon family to his own, he was become the most powerful prince in Germany. But his long and intimate union with the emperor had afforded him many opportunities of observing narrowly the dangerous tendency of that monarch’s schemes. He saw the yoke that was preparing for his country; and, from the rapid as well as formidable progress of the imperial power, was convinced that but a few steps more remained to be taken, in order to render Charles as absolute a monarch in Germany as he had become in Spain. The more eminent the condition was to which he himself had been exalted, the more solicitous did Maurice naturally become to maintain all its rights and privileges, and the more did he dread the thoughts of descending from the rank of a prince almost independent, to that of a vassal subject to the commands of a master. At the same time, he perceived that Charles was bent on exacting a rigid conformity to the doctrines and rites of the Romish church, instead of allowing liberty of conscience, the promise of which had allured several protestant princes to assist him in the war against the confederates of Smalkalde. As he himself, notwithstanding all the compliances which he had made from Edition: current; Page: [125] motives of interest, or an excess of confidence in the emperor, was sincerely attached to the Lutheran tenets, he determined not to be a tame spectator of the overthrow of a system which he believed to be founded in truth.

The political motives which influenced him.This resolution, flowing from the love of liberty or zeal for religion, was strengthened by political and interested considerations. In that elevated station in which Maurice was now placed, new and more extensive prospects opened to his view. His rank and power entitled him to be the head of the protestants in the empire. His predecessor, the degraded elector, with inferior abilities, and territories less considerable, had acquired such an ascendant over the councils of the party; and Maurice neither wanted discernment to see the advantage of this pre-eminence, nor ambition to aim at attaining it. But he found himself in a situation which rendered the attempt no less difficult than the object of it was important. On the one hand, the connection which he had formed with the emperor was so intimate, that he could scarcely hope to take any step which tended to dissolve it, without alarming his jealousy, and drawing on himself the whole weight of that power, which had crushed the greatest confederacy ever formed in Germany. On the other hand, the calamities which he had brought on the protestant party were so recent, as well as great, that it seemed almost impossible to regain their confidence, or to rally and reanimate a body, after he himself had been the chief instrument in breaking its union and vigour. These considerations were sufficient to have discouraged any person of a spirit less adventurous than Maurice’s. But to him the grandeur and difficulty of the enterprise were allurements; and he boldly resolved on measures, the idea of which a genius of an inferior order could not have conceived, or would have trembled at the Edition: current; Page: [126] thoughts of the danger that attended the execution of them.

The passions which co-operated with these.His passions concurred with his interest in confirming this resolution; and the resentment excited by an injury, which he sensibly felt, added new force to the motives for opposing the emperor, which sound policy suggested. Maurice, by his authority, had prevailed on the Landgrave of Hesse to put his person in the emperor’s power, and had obtained a promise from the imperial ministers that he should not be detained a prisoner. This had been violated in the manner already related. The unhappy landgrave exclaimed as loudly against his son-in-law as against Charles. The princes of Hesse required Maurice to fulfil his engagements to their father, who had lost his liberty by trusting to him; and all Germany suspected him of having betrayed, to an implacable enemy, the friend whom he was most bound to protect. Roused by these solicitations or reproaches, as well as prompted by duty and affection to his father-in-law, Maurice had employed not only entreaties but remonstrances, in order to procure his release. All these Charles had disregarded; and the shame of having been first deceived, and then slighted, by a prince whom he had served with zeal as well as success, which merited a very different return, made such a deep impression on Maurice, that he waited with impatience for an opportunity of being revenged.

The caution and address with which he carries on his schemes.The utmost caution as well as the most delicate address were requisite in taking every step towards this end; as he had to guard, on the one hand, against giving a premature alarm to the emperor; while, on the other, something considerable and explicit was necessary to be done, in order to regain the confidence of the protestant party. Maurice had accordingly applied all his powers of art and dissimulation to attain both these points. As he knew Edition: current; Page: [127] Charles to be inflexible with regard to the submission which he required to the Interim, he did not hesitate one moment whether he should establish that form of doctrine and worship in his dominions: but being sensible how odious it was to his subjects, instead of violently imposing it on them by the mere terror of authority, as had been done in other parts of Germany,He enforces the Interim in Saxony: he endeavoured to render their obedience a voluntary deed of their own. For this purpose, he had assembled the clergy of his country at Leipsic, and had laid the Interim before them, together with the reasons which made it necessary to conform to it. He had gained some of them by promises, others he had wrought upon by threats, and all were intimidated by the rigour with which obedience to the Interim was extorted in the neighbouring provinces. Even Melancthon, whose merit of every kind entitled him to the first place among the protestant divines, being now deprived of the manly counsels of Luther, which were wont to inspire him with fortitude, and to preserve him steady amidst the storms and dangers that threatened the church, was seduced into unwarrantable concessions, by the timidity of his temper, his fond desire of peace, and his excessive complaisance towards persons of high rank. By his arguments and authority, no less than by Maurice’s address, the assembly was prevailed on to declare, “that, in points which were purely indifferent, obedience was due to the commands of a lawful superior.” Founding upon this maxim, no less uncontrovertible in theory, than dangerous when carried into practice, especially in religious matters, many of the protestant ecclesiastics whom Maurice consulted, proceeded to class, among the number of things indifferent, several doctrines, which Luther had pointed out as gross and pernicious errors in the Romish creed; and placing in the same rank many of those rites which distinguished Edition: current; Page: [128] the reformed from the popish worship, they exhorted their people to comply with the emperor’s injunctions concerning these particulars.g

makes professions of zeal for the protestant religion:By this dexterous conduct, the introduction of the Interim excited none of those violent convulsions in Saxony which it occasioned in other provinces. But though the Saxons submitted, the more zealous Lutherans exclaimed against Melancthon and his associates, as false brethren, who were either so wicked as to apostatize from the truth altogether; or so crafty as to betray it by subtile distinctions; or so feeble-spirited as to give it up from pusillanimity and criminal complaisance to a prince, capable of sacrificing to his political interest that which he himself regarded as most sacred. Maurice, being conscious what a colour of probability his past conduct gave to those accusations, as well as afraid of losing entirely the confidence of the protestants, issued a declaration containing professions of his zealous attachment to the reformed religion, and of his resolution to guard against all the errors or encroachments of the papal see.h

at the same time courts the emperor.Having gone so far in order to remove the fears and jealousies of the protestants, he found it necessary to efface the impression which such a delaration might make upon the emperor. For that purpose, he not only renewed his professions of an inviolable adherence to his alliance with him, but, as the city of Magdeburg still persisted in rejecting the Interim, he undertook to reduce it to obedience, and instantly set about levying troops to be employed in that service. This damped all the hopes which the protestants began to conceive of Maurice, in consequence of his declaration, and left them more than ever at a loss to guess at his real intentions. Their former suspicion and distrust Edition: current; Page: [129] of him revived, and the divines of Magdeburg filled Germany with writings in which they represented him as the most formidable enemy of the protestant religion, who treacherously assumed an appearance of zeal for its interest, that he might more effectually execute his schemes for its destruction.

Protests against the mode of proceeding in the council.This charge, supported by the evidence of recent facts, as well as by his present dubious conduct, gained such universal credit, that Maurice was obliged to take a vigorous step in his own vindication. As soon as the re-assembling of the council of Trent was proposed in the diet, his ambassadors protested that their master would not acknowledge its authority, unless all the points which had been already decided there, were reviewed, and considered as still undetermined; unless the protestant divines had a full hearing granted them, and were allowed a decisive voice in the council; and unless the pope renounced his pretensions to preside in the council, engaged to submit to its decrees, and to absolve the bishops from their oath of obedience, that they might deliver their sentiments with greater freedom. These demands, which were higher than any that the reformers had ventured to make, even when the zeal of their party was warmest, or their affairs most prosperous, counterbalanced, in some degree, the impression which Maurice’s preparations against Magdeburg had made upon the minds of the protestants, and kept them in suspense with regard to his designs. At the same time, he had dexterity enough to represent this part of his conduct in such a light to the emperor, that it gave him no offence, and occasioned no interruption of the strict confidence which subsisted between them. What the pretexts were which he employed, in order to give such a bold declaration an innocent appearance, the contemporary historians have not explained: that they imposed upon Charles is certain, for he still continued not only to Edition: current; Page: [130] prosecute his plan, as well concerning the Interim as the council, with the same ardour, but to place the same confidence in Maurice, with regard to the execution of both.

The diet resolve to make war on the city of Magdeburg.The pope’s resolution concerning the council not being yet known at Augsburg, the chief business of the diet was to enforce the observation of the Interim. As the senate of Magdeburg, notwithstanding various endeavours to frighten or to soothe them into compliance, not only persevered obstinately in their opposition to the Interim, but began to strengthen the fortifications of their city, and to levy troops in their own defence, Charles required the diet to assist him in quelling this audacious rebellion against a decree of the empire. Had the members of the diet been left to act agreeably to their own inclination, this demand would have been rejected without hesitation. All the Germans who favoured, in any degree, the new opinions in religion, and many who were influenced by no other consideration than jealousy of the emperor’s growing power, regarded this effort of the citizens of Magdeburg, as a noble stand for the liberties of their country. Even such as had not resolution to exert the same spirit, admired the gallantry of their enterprise, and wished it success. But the presence of the Spanish troops, together with the dread of the emperor’s displeasure, overawed the members of the diet to such a degree, that, without venturing to utter their own sentiments, they tamely ratified, by their votes, whatever the emperor was pleased to prescribe. The rigorous decrees which Charles had issued by his own authority against the Magdeburgers, were confirmed; a resolution was taken to raise troops in order to besiege the city in form; and persons were named to fix the contingent in men or money to be furnished by each state.Appoint Maurice general. At the same time, the diet petitioned that Maurice might be intrusted with the command Edition: current; Page: [131] of that army; to which Charles gave his consent with great alacrity, and with high encomiums upon the wisdom of the choice which they had made.i As Maurice conducted all his schemes with profound and impenetrable secrecy, it is probable that he took no step avowedly in order to obtain this charge. The recommendation of his countrymen was either purely accidental, or flowed from the opinion generally entertained of his great abilities; and neither the diet had any foresight, nor the emperor any dread, of the consequences which followed upon this nomination. Maurice accepted, without hesitation, the command to which he was recommended, instantly discerning the important advantages which he might derive from having it committed to him.

The council summoned to re-assemble at Trent.Meanwhile, Julius, in preparing the bull for the convocation of the council, observed all those tedious forms which the court of Rome can artfully employ to retard any disagreeable measure. At last, however, it was published, and the council was summoned to meet at Trent on the first day of the ensuing month of May. As he knew that many of the Germans rejected or disputed the authority and jurisdiction which the papal see claims with respect to general councils, he took care, in the preamble of the bull, to assert, in the strongest terms, his own right, not only to call and preside in that assembly, but to direct its proceedings; nor would he soften these expressions, in any degree, in compliance with the repeated solicitations of the emperor,December. who foresaw what offence they would give, and what construction might be put on them.1551. They were censured accordingly with great severity by several members of the diet; but whatever disgust or suspicion they excited, such complete influence over all their deliberations had the emperor acquired, that he procured a recess,Feb. 13. in which the Edition: current; Page: [132] authority of the council was recognised, and declared to be the proper remedy for the evils which at that time afflicted the church; all the princes and states of the empire, such as had made innovations in religion, as well as those who adhered to the system of their forefathers, were required to send their representatives to the council; the emperor engaged to grant a safe-conduct to such as demanded it, and to secure them an impartial hearing in the council; he promised to fix his residence in some city of the empire, in the neighbourhood of Trent, that he might protect the members of the council by his presence, and take care that, by conducting their deliberations agreeably to scripture and the doctrine of the fathers, they might bring them to a desirable issue. In this recess, the observation of the Interim was more strongly enjoined than ever; and the emperor threatened all who had hitherto neglected or refused to conform to it, with the severest effects of his vengeance, if they persisted in their disobedience.k

Another fruitless attempt to procure the landgrave liberty.During the meeting of this diet, a new attempt was made, in order to procure liberty to the landgrave. That prince, nowise reconciled to his situation by time, grew every day more impatient of restraint. Having often applied to Maurice and the Elector of Brandenburg, who took every occasion of soliciting the emperor in his behalf, though without any effect, he now commanded his sons to summon them, with legal formality, to perform what was contained in the bond which they had granted him, by surrendering themselves into their hands to be treated with the same rigour as the emperor had used him. This furnished them with a fresh pretext for renewing their application to the emperor, together with an additional argument to enforce it. Charles firmly Edition: current; Page: [133] resolved not to grant their request; though, at the same time, being extremely desirous to be delivered from their incessant importunity, he endeavoured to prevail on the landgrave to give up the bond which he had received from the two electors. But that prince refusing to part with a security which he deemed essential to his safety, the emperor boldly cut the knot which he could not untie; and, by a public deed, annulled the bond which Maurice and the Elector of Brandenburg had granted, absolving them from all their engagements to the landgrave. No pretension to a power so pernicious to society as that of abrogating at pleasure the most sacred laws of honour, and most formal obligations of public faith, had hitherto been formed by any but the Roman pontiffs, who, in consequence of their claim of supreme power on earth, arrogate the right of dispensing with precepts and duties of every kind. All Germany was filled with astonishment when Charles assumed the same prerogative. The state of subjection, to which the empire was reduced, appeared to be more rigorous, as well as intolerable, than that of the most wretched and enslaved nations, if the emperor, by an arbitrary decree, might cancel those solemn contracts, which are the foundation of that mutual confidence whereby men are held together in social union. The landgrave himself now gave up all hopes of recovering his liberty by the emperor’s consent, and endeavoured to procure it by his own address. But, the plan which he had formed to deceive his guards being discovered, such of his attendants as he had gained to favour his escape were put to death, and he was confined in the citadel of Mechlin more closely than ever.l

Charles’s plan of procuring the imperial crown for his son Philip.Another transaction was carried on during this diet, with respect to an affair more nearly interesting Edition: current; Page: [134] to the emperor, and which occasioned likewise a general alarm among the princes of the empire. Charles, though formed with talents which fitted him for conceiving and conducting great designs, was not capable, as has been often observed, of bearing extraordinary success. Its operation on his mind was so violent and intoxicating, that it elevated him beyond what was moderate or attainable, and turned his whole attention to the pursuit of vast but chimerical objects. Such had been the effect of his victory over the confederates of Smalkalde. He did not long rest satisfied with the substantial and certain advantages which were the result of that event, but, despising these, as poor or inconsiderable fruits of such great success, he aimed at nothing less than at bringing all Germany to an uniformity in religion, and at rendering the imperial power despotic. These were objects extremely splendid indeed, and alluring to an ambitious mind; the pursuit of them, however, was attended with manifest danger, and the hope of attaining them very uncertain. But the steps which he had already taken towards them having been accompanied with such success, his imagination, warmed with contemplating this alluring object, overlooked or despised all remaining difficulties. As he conceived the execution of his plan to be certain, he began to be solicitous how he might render the possession of such an important acquisition perpetual in his family, by transmitting the German empire, together with the kingdoms of Spain, and his dominions in Italy and the Low Countries, to his son. Having long revolved this flattering idea in his mind, without communicating it, even to those ministers whom he most trusted, he had called Philip out of Spain, in hopes that his presence would facilitate the carrying forward the scheme.

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Great obstacles, however, and such as would have deterred any ambition less accustomed to overcome difficulties, were to be surmounted. He had,The obstacles that stood in its way; in the year one thousand five hundred and thirty, imprudently assisted in procuring his brother Ferdinand the dignity of King of the Romans, and there was no probability that this prince, who was still in the prime of life, and had a son grown up to the years of manhood, would relinquish, in favour of his nephew, the near prospect of the imperial throne, which Charles’s infirmities and declining state of health opened to himself. This did not deter the emperor from venturing to make the proposition; and when Ferdinand, notwithstanding his profound reverence for his brother, and obsequious submission to his will in other instances, rejected it in a peremptory tone, he was not discouraged by one repulse. He renewed his applications to him by his sister, Mary, Queen of Hungary, to whom Ferdinand stood indebted for the crowns both of Hungary and Bohemia, and who, by her great abilities, tempered with extreme gentleness of disposition, had acquired an extraordinary influence over both the brothers. She entered warmly into a measure, which tended so manifestly to aggrandize the house of Austria; and, flattering herself that she could tempt Ferdinand to renounce the reversionary possession of the imperial dignity for an immediate establishment, she assured him that the emperor, by way of compensation for his giving up his chance of succession, would instantly bestow upon him territories of very considerable value, and pointed out in particular those of the Duke of Wurtemberg, which might be confiscated upon different pretexts. But neither by her address nor entreaties, could she induce Ferdinand to approve of a plan, which would not only have degraded him from the highest rank among the monarchs of Europe to that of a subordinate and Edition: current; Page: [136] dependent prince, but would have involved both him and his posterity in perpetual contests. He was, at the same time, more attached to his children, than, by a rash concession, to frustrate all the high hopes, in prospect of which they had been educated.

his endeavours to surmount these.Notwithstanding the immoveable firmness which Ferdinand discovered, the emperor did not abandon his scheme. He flattered himself that he might attain the object in view by another channel, and that it was not impossible to prevail on the electors to cancel their former choice of Ferdinand, or, at least, to elect Philip a second King of the Romans, substituting him as next in succession to his uncle. With this view, he took Philip along with him to the diet, that the Germans might have an opportunity to observe and become acquainted with the prince, in behalf of whom he courted their interest; and he himself employed all the arts of address or insinuation to gain the electors, and to prepare them for listening with a favourable ear to the proposal. But no sooner did he venture upon mentioning it to them, than they, at once, saw and trembled at the consequences with which it would be attended. They had long felt all the inconveniences of having placed at the head of the empire a prince whose power and dominions were so extensive: if they should now repeat the folly, and continue the imperial crown, like an hereditary dignity, in the same family, they foresaw that they would give the son an opportunity of carrying on that system of oppression which the father had begun; and would put it in his power to overturn whatever was yet left entire in the ancient and venerable fabric of the German constitution.

Philip’s character disagreeable to the Germans.The character of the prince, in whose favour this extraordinary proposition was made, rendered it still less agreeable. Philip, though possessed with an insatiable desire of power, was a stranger to all the arts Edition: current; Page: [137] of conciliating good-will. Haughty, reserved, and severe, he, instead of gaining new friends, disgusted the ancient and most devoted partisans of the Austrian interest. He scorned to take the trouble of acquiring the language of the country to the government of which he aspired; nor would he condescend to pay the Germans the compliment of accommodating himself, during his residence among them, to their manners and customs. He allowed the electors and most illustrious princes in Germany to remain in his presence uncovered, affecting a stately and distant demeanour, which the greatest of the German emperors, and even Charles himself, amidst the pride of power and victory, had never assumed.m On the other hand, Ferdinand, from the time of his arrival in Germany, had studied to render himself acceptable to the people, by a conformity to their manners, which seemed to flow from choice; and his son Maximilian, who was born in Germany, possessed, in an eminent degree, such amiable qualities as rendered him the darling of his countrymen, and induced them to look forward to his election as a most desirable event. Their esteem and affection for him fortified the resolution which sound policy had suggested, and determined the Germans to prefer the popular virtues of Ferdinand and his son, to the stubborn austerity of Philip, which interest could not soften, nor ambition teach him to disguise.Charles obliged to relinquish this scheme. All the electors, the ecclesiastical as well as secular, concurred in expressing such strong disapprobation of the measure, that Charles, notwithstanding the reluctance with which he gave up any point, was obliged to drop the scheme as impracticable. By his unseasonable perseverance in pushing it, he had not only filled the Germans with new jealousy of his ambitious designs, Edition: current; Page: [138] but laid the foundation of rivalship and discord in the Austrian family, and forced his brother Ferdinand, in self-defence, to court the electors, particularly Maurice of Saxony, and to form such connections with them as cut off all prospect of renewing the proposal with success. Philip, soured by his disappointment, was sent back to Spain, to be called thence when any new scheme of ambition should render his presence necessary.n

The pope and emperor form a design to recover Parma and Placentia.Having relinquished this plan of domestic ambition, which had long occupied and engrossed him, Charles imagined that he would now have leisure to turn all his attention towards his grand scheme of establishing uniformity of religion in the empire, by forcing all the contending parties to acquiesce in the decisions of the council of Trent. But such was the extent of his dominions, the variety of connections in which this entangled him, and the multiplicity of events to which these gave rise, as seldom allowed him to apply his whole force to any one object. The machine which he had to conduct was so great and complicated, that an unforeseen irregularity or obstruction in one of the inferior wheels often disconcerted the motion of the whole, and prevented his deriving from them all the beneficial effects which he expected. Such an unlooked-for occurrence happened at this juncture, and created new obstacles to the execution of his schemes with regard to religion. Julius III., though he had confirmed Octavio Farnese in the possession of the dutchy of Parma, during the first effusions of his joy and gratitude on his promotion to the papal throne, soon began to repent of his own generosity, and to be apprehensive of consequences which either he did not foresee, or had disregarded, while the sense of his obligations to the Edition: current; Page: [139] family of Farnese was recent. The emperor still retained Placentia in his hands, and had not relinquished his pretensions to Parma as a fief of the empire. Gonzaga, the governor of Milan, having, by the part which he took in the murder of the late duke, Peter Ludovico, offered an insult to the family of Farnese, which he knew could never be forgiven, had, for that reason, avowed its destruction, and employed all the influence which his great abilities, as well as long services, gave him with the emperor, in persuading him to seize Parma by force of arms. Charles, in compliance with his solicitations, and that he might gratify his own desire of annexing Parma to the Milanese, listened to the proposal; and Gonzaga, ready to take encouragement from the slightest appearance of approbation, began to assemble troops, and to make other preparations for the execution of his scheme.

Octavio Farnese courts the assistance of France.Octavio, who saw the impending danger, found it necessary, for his own safety, to increase the garrison of his capital, and to levy soldiers for defending the rest of the country. But, as the expence of such an effort far exceeded his scanty revenues, he represented his situation to the pope, and implored that protection and assistance which was due to him as a vassal of the church. The imperial minister, however, had already pre-occupied the pope’s ear; and, by discoursing continually concerning the danger of giving offence to the emperor, as well as the imprudence of supporting Octavio in an usurpation so detrimental to the holy see, had totally alienated him from the family of Farnese. Octavio’s remonstrance and petition met, of consequence, with a cold reception; and he, despairing of any assistance from Julius, began to look round for protection from some other quarter. Henry II. of France was the only prince powerful enough to afford him this protection, and, fortunately, Edition: current; Page: [140] he was now in a situation which allowed him to grant it. He had brought his transactions with the two British kingdoms, which had hitherto diverted his attention from the affairs of the continent, to such an issue as he desired. This he had effected partly by the vigour of his arms, partly by his dexterity in taking advantage of the political factions which raged in both kingdoms to such a degree as rendered the councils of the Scots violent and precipitate, and the operations of the English feeble and unsteady. He had procured from the English favourable conditions of peace for his allies the Scots; he had prevailed on the nobles of Scotland not only to affiance their young queen to his son the dauphin, but even to send her into France, that she might be educated under his eye; and had recovered Boulogne, together with its dependencies, which had been conquered by Henry VIII.

His league with Henry II.The French king having gained points of so much consequence to his crown, and disengaged himself with such honour from the burden of supporting the Scots, and maintaining a war against England, was now at full leisure to pursue the measures which his hereditary jealousy of the emperor’s power naturally suggested. He listened, accordingly, to the first overtures which Octavio Farnese made him; and, embracing eagerly an opportunity of recovering footing in Italy, he instantly concluded a treaty, in which he bound himself to espouse his cause, and to furnish him all the assistance which he desired. This transaction could not long be kept secret from the pope, who, foreseeing the calamities which must follow if war were rekindled so near the ecclesiastical state, immediately issued monitory letters, requiring Octavio to relinquish his new alliance. Upon his refusal to comply with the requisition, he soon after pronounced his fief to be forfeited, and declared war Edition: current; Page: [141] against him as a disobedient and rebellious vassal. But, as with his own forces alone he could not hope to subdue Octavio while supported by such a powerful ally as the King of France, he had recourse to the emperor, who, being extremely solicitous to prevent the establishment of the French in Parma, ordered Gonzaga to second Julius with all his troops.Occasions the renewal of hostilities between Charles and Henry; Thus the French took the field as the allies of Octavio, the imperialists as the protectors of the holy see, and hostilities commenced between them, while Charles and Henry themselves still affected to give out that they would adhere inviolably to the peace of Crespy. The war of Parma was not distinguished by any memorable event. Many small rencounters happened with alternate success; the French ravaged part of the ecclesiastical territories; the imperialists laid waste the Parmesan; and the latter, after having begun to besiege Parma in form, were obliged to abandon the enterprise with disgrace.o

retards the meeting of the council.But the motions and alarm which this war, or the preparations for it, occasioned in Italy, prevented most of the Italian prelates from repairing to Trent on the first of May, the day appointed for re-assembling the council; and though the papal legates and nuncios resorted thither, they were obliged to adjourn the council to the first of September, hoping such a number of prelates might then assemble, that they might with decency begin their deliberations. At that time about sixty prelates, mostly from the ecclesiastical state, or from Spain, together with a few Germans, convened.pHenry protests against the council. The session was opened with the accustomed formalities, and the fathers were about to proceed to business, when the Abbot of Bellozane appeared, and, presenting letters of credence as ambassador Edition: current; Page: [142] from the King of France, demanded audience. Having obtained it, he protested, in Henry’s name, against an assembly called at such an improper juncture, when a war, wantonly kindled by the pope, made it impossible for the deputies from the Gallican church to resort to Trent in safety, or to deliberate concerning articles of faith and discipline with the requisite tranquillity; he declared, that his master did not acknowledge this to be a general or œcumenic council, but must consider, and would treat it as a particular and partial convention.q The legate affected to despise this protest; and the prelates proceeded, notwithstanding, to examine and decide the great points in controversy concerning the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, penance, and extreme unction. This measure of the French monarch, however, gave a deep wound to the credit of the council, at the very commencement of its deliberations. The Germans could not pay much regard to an assembly, the authority of which the second prince in Christendom had formally disclaimed, or feel any great reverence for the decisions of a few men, who arrogated to themselves all the rights belonging to the representatives of the church universal, a title to which they had such poor pretensions.

Violence of the emperor’s proceedings against the protestants.The emperor, nevertheless, was straining his authority to the utmost, in order to establish the reputation and jurisdiction of the council. He had prevailed on the three ecclesiastical electors, the prelates of greatest power and dignity in the church next to the pope, to repair thither in person. He had obliged several German bishops of inferior rank, to go to Trent themselves, or to send their proxies. He granted an imperial safe-conduct to the ambassadors nominated by the Elector of Brandenburg, the Duke of Wurtemberg, and other protestants, to attend the council; Edition: current; Page: [143] and exhorted them to send their divines thither, in order to propound, explain, and defend their doctrine. At the same time, his zeal anticipated the decrees of the council; and, as if the opinions of the protestants had already been condemned, he took large steps towards exterminating them. With this intention, he called together the ministers of Augsburg; and, after interrogating them concerning several controverted points, enjoined them to teach nothing with respect to these, contrary to the tenets of the Romish church. Upon their declining to comply with a requisition so contrary to the dictates of their consciences, he commanded them to leave the town in three days, without revealing to any person the cause of their banishment; he prohibited them to preach for the future in any province of the empire; and obliged them to take an oath that they would punctually obey these injunctions. They were not the only victims to his zeal. The protestant clergy, in most of the cities in the circle of Swabia, were ejected with the same violence; and in many places, such magistrates as had distinguished themselves by their attachment to the new opinions, were dismissed with the most abrupt irregularity, and their offices filled, in consequence of the emperor’s arbitrary appointment, with the most bigoted of their adversaries. The reformed worship was almost entirely suppressed throughout that extensive province. The ancient and fundamental privileges of the free cities were violated. The people were compelled to attend the ministration of priests, whom they regarded with horror, as idolators; and to submit to the jurisdiction of magistrates, whom they detested as usurpers.r

His endeavours to support the council.The emperor, after this discovery, which was more explicit than any that he had hitherto made, of his intention to subvert the German constitution, as well Edition: current; Page: [144] as to extirpate the protestant religion, set out for Inspruck in the Tyrol. He fixed his residence in that city,November. as, by its situation in the neighbourhood of Trent, and on the confines of Italy, it appeared a commodious station whence he might inspect the operations of the council, and observe the progress of the war in the Parmesan, without losing sight of such occurrences as might happen in Germany.s

The siege of Magdeburg.During these transactions, the siege of Magdeburg was carried on with various success. At the time when Charles proscribed the citizens of Magdeburg, and put them under the ban of the empire, he had exhorted and even enjoined all the neighbouring states to take arms against them, as rebels and common enemies. Encouraged by his exhortations as well as promises, George of Mecklenberg, a younger brother of the reigning duke, an active and ambitious prince, collected a considerable number of those soldiers of fortune who had accompanied Henry of Brunswick in all his wild enterprises; and, though a zealous Lutheran himself, invaded the territories of the Magdeburgers, hoping that, by the merit of this service, he might procure some part of their domains to be allotted to him as an establishment. The citizens, unaccustomed as yet to endure patiently the calamities of war, could not be restrained from sallying out in order to save their lands from being laid waste. They attacked the Duke of Mecklenburg with more resolution than conduct, and were repulsed with great slaughter. But, as they were animated with that unconquerable spirit, which flows from zeal for religion co-operating with the love of civil liberty, far from being disheartened by their misfortune, they prepared to defend themselves with vigour. Many of the veteran soldiers who had served in the long wars between the emperor and the King of France, crowding to their Edition: current; Page: [145] standards under able and experienced officers, the citizens acquired military skill by degrees, and added all the advantages of that to the efforts of undaunted courage. The Duke of Mecklenburg, notwithstanding the severe blow which he had given the Magdeburghers, not daring to invest a town strongly fortified, and defended by such a garrison, continued to ravage the open country.

Maurice takes the command of the army which carried on the siege.As the hopes of booty drew many adventurers to the camp of this young prince, Maurice of Saxony began to be jealous of the power which he possessed by being at the head of such a numerous body, and, marching towards Magdeburg with his own troops, assumed the supreme command of the whole army, an honour to which his high rank and great abilities, as well as the nomination of the diet, gave him an indisputable title. With this united force, he invested the town, and began the siege in form; claiming great merit with the emperor on that account, as, from his zeal to execute the imperial decree, he was exposing himself once more to the censures and maledictions of the party with which he agreed in religious sentiments. But the approaches to the town went on slowly; the garrison interrupted the besiegers by frequent sallies, in one of which George of Mecklenburg was taken prisoner, levelled part of their works, and cut off the soldiers in their advanced posts. While the citizens of Magdeburg, animated by the discourses of their pastors, and the soldiers, encouraged by the example of their officers, endured all the hardships of a siege without murmuring, and defended themselves with the same ardour which they had at first discovered; the troops of the besiegers acted with extreme remissness, repining at every thing that they suffered in a service which they disliked. They broke out, more than once, into open mutiny, demanding the arrears of their pay, which, as the members of the Germanic body sent in Edition: current; Page: [146] their contributions towards defraying the expences of the war sparingly and with great reluctance, amounted to a considerable sum.t Maurice, too, had particular motives, though such as he durst not avow at that juncture, which induced him not to push the siege with vigour, and made him choose rather to continue at the head of an army exposed to all the imputations which his dilatory proceedings drew upon him, than to precipitate a conquest that might have brought him some accession of reputation, but would have rendered it necessary to disband his forces.

The city surrenders to Maurice.At last, the inhabitants of the town beginning to suffer distress from want of provisions, and Maurice, finding it impossible to protract matters any longer without filling the emperor with such suspicions as might have disconcerted all his measures, he concluded a treaty of capitulation with the city upon the following conditions:Nov. 3. That the Magdeburghers should humbly implore pardon of the emperor; that they should not for the future take arms, or enter into any alliance against the house of Austria; that they should submit to the authority of the imperial chamber; that they should conform to the decree of the diet at Augsburg with respect to religion; that the new fortifications added to the town should be demolished; that they should pay a fine of fifty thousand crowns, deliver up twelve pieces of ordnance to the emperor, and set the Duke of Mecklenburg, together with their other prisoners, at liberty, without ransom. Next day their garrison marched out, and Maurice took possession of the town with great military pomp.

Maurice’s views at this juncture.Before the terms of capitulation were settled, Maurice had held many conferences with Albert Count Mansfeldt, who had the chief command in Magdeburg. He consulted likewise with Count Heideck, an officer who had served with great reputation in the Edition: current; Page: [147] army of the league of Smalkalde, whom the emperor had proscribed on account of his zeal for that cause, but whom Maurice had, notwithstanding, secretly engaged in his service, and admitted into the most intimate confidence. To them he communicated a scheme, which he had long revolved in his mind, for procuring liberty to his father-in-law the landgrave, for vindicating the privileges of the Germanic body, and setting bounds to the dangerous encroachments of the imperial power. Having deliberated with them concerning the measures which might be necessary for securing the success of such an arduous enterprise, he gave Mansfeldt secret assurances that the fortifications of Magdeburg should not be destroyed, and that the inhabitants should neither be disturbed in the exercise of their religion, nor be deprived of any of their ancient immunities. In order to engage Maurice more thoroughly from considerations of interest to fulfil these engagements, the senate of Magdeburg elected him their burgrave, a dignity which had formerly belonged to the electoral house of Saxony, and which entitled him to a very ample jurisdiction not only in the city but in its dependencies.u

The advantages he derived from his negotiations with the Magdeburghers.Thus the citizens of Magdeburg, after enduring a siege of twelve months, and struggling for their liberties, religious and civil, with an invincible fortitude, worthy of the cause in which it was exerted, had at last the good fortune to conclude a treaty, which left them in a better condition than the rest of their countrymen, whom their timidity or want of public spirit had betrayed into such mean submissions to the emperor. But while a great part of Germany applauded the gallant conduct of the Magdeburghers, and rejoiced in their having escaped the destruction with which they had been threatened, all admired Edition: current; Page: [148] Maurice’s address in the conduct of his negotiation with them, as well as the dexterity with which he converted every event to his own advantage. They saw with amazement, that after having afflicted the Magdeburghers during many months with all the calamities of war, he was at last, by their voluntary election, advanced to the station of highest authority in that city which he had so lately besieged; that, after having been so long the object of their satirical invectives as an apostate, and an enemy to the religion which he professed, they seemed now to place unbounded confidence in his zeal and good-will.x At the same time, the public articles in the treaty of capitulation were so perfectly conformable to those which the emperor had granted to the other protestant cities, and Maurice took such care to magnify his merit in having reduced a place which had defended itself with so much obstinacy, that Charles, far from suspecting any thing fraudulent or collusive in the terms of accommodation, ratified them without hesitation, and absolved the Magdeburghers from the sentence of ban which had been denounced against them.

His expedient for keeping an army on foot.The only point that now remained to embarrass Maurice was how to keep together the veteran troops which had served under him, as well as those which had been employed in the defence of the town. For this, too, he found an expedient with singular art and felicity. His schemes against the emperor were not yet so fully ripened, that he durst venture to disclose them, and proceed openly to carry them into execution. The winter was approaching, which made it impossible to take the field immediately. He was afraid that it would give a premature alarm to the emperor, if he should retain such a considerable body in his pay until the season of action returned in the spring. As soon, then, as Magdeburg opened its gates, he sent Edition: current; Page: [149] home his Saxon subjects, whom he could command to take arms and re-assemble on the shortest warning; and, at the same time, paying part of the arrears due to the mercenary troops, who had followed his standard, as well as to the soldiers who had served in the garrison, he absolved them from their respective oaths of fidelity, and disbanded them. But the moment he gave them their discharge, George of Mecklenburg, who was now set at liberty, offered to take them into his service, and to become surety for the payment of what was still owing to them. As such adventurers were accustomed often to change masters, they instantly accepted the offer. Thus, these troops were kept united, and ready to march wherever Maurice should call them; while the emperor, deceived by this artifice, and imagining that George of Mecklenburg had hired them with an intention to assert his claim to a part of his brother’s territories by force of arms, suffered this transaction to pass without observation, as if it had been a matter of no consequence.y

His address in concealing his intentions from the emperor.Having ventured to take these steps, which were of so much consequence towards the execution of his schemes, Maurice, that he might divert the emperor from observing their tendency too narrowly, and prevent the suspicions which that must have excited, saw the necessity of employing some new artifice in order to engage his attention, and to confirm him in his present security. As he knew that the chief object of the emperor’s solicitude at this juncture, was how he might prevail with the protestant states of Germany to recognise the authority of the council of Trent, and to send thither ambassadors in their own name, as well as deputies from their respective churches, he took hold of this predominating passion in order to amuse and to deceive him. He affected Edition: current; Page: [150] a wonderful zeal to gratify Charles in what he desired with regard to this matter; he nominated ambassadors, whom he empowered to attend the council; he made choice of Melancthon and some of the most eminent among his brethren to prepare a confession of faith, and to lay it before that assembly. After his example, and probably in consequence of his solicitations, the Duke of Wurtemberg, the city of Strasburg, and other protestant states, appointed ambassadors and divines to attend the council. They all applied to the emperor for his safe-conduct, which they obtained in the most ample form. This was deemed sufficient for the security of the ambassadors, and they proceeded accordingly on their journey; but a separate safe-conduct from the council itself was demanded for the protestant divines. The fate of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, whom the council of Constance, in the preceding century, had condemned to the flames without regarding the imperial safe-conduct which had been granted them, rendered this precaution prudent and necessary. But as the pope was no less unwilling that the protestants should be admitted to an hearing in the council, than the emperor had been eager in bringing them to demand it, the legate by promises and threats prevailed on the fathers of the council to decline issuing a safe-conduct in the same form with that which the council of Basil had granted to the followers of Huss. The protestants, on their part, insisted upon the council’s copying the precise words of that instrument. The imperial ambassadors interposed, in order to obtain what would satisfy them. Alterations in the form of the writ were proposed; expedients were suggested; protests and counter-protests were taken: the legate, together with his associates, laboured to gain their point by artifice and chicane; the protestants adhered to theirs with firmness and obstinacy. An account of Edition: current; Page: [151] every thing that passed in Trent was transmitted to the emperor at Inspruck, who, attempting, from an excess of zeal, or of confidence in his own address, to reconcile the contending parties, was involved in a labyrinth of inextricable negotiations. By means of this, however, Maurice gained all that he had in view; the emperor’s time was wholly engrossed, and his attention diverted; while he himself had leisure to mature his schemes, to carry on his intrigues, and to finish his preparations, before he threw off the mask, and struck the blow which he had so long meditated.z

The affairs of Hungary.But, previous to entering into any farther detail concerning Maurice’s operations, some account must be given of a new revolution in Hungary, which contributed not a little towards their producing such extraordinary effects. When Solyman, in the year 1541, by a stratagem, which suited the base and insidious policy of a petty usurper, rather than the magnanimity of a mighty conqueror, deprived the young King of Hungary of the dominions which his father had left him, he had granted that unfortunate prince the country of Transylvania, a province of his paternal kingdom. The government of this, together with the care of educating the young king, for he still allowed him to retain that title, though he had rendered it only an empty name, he committed to the queen and Martinuzzi, Bishop of Waradin, whom the late king had appointed joint-guardians of his son, and regents of his dominions, at a time when those offices were of greater importance. This co-ordinate jurisdiction occasioned the same dissensions in a small principality as it would have excited in a great kingdom; an ambitious young queen, possessed with a high opinion of her own capacity for governing, and a high-spirited prelate, fond of power, contending who should engross the greatest share in the administration. Each Edition: current; Page: [152] had their partisans among the nobles; but as Martinuzzi, by his great talents, began to acquire the ascendant, Isabella turned his own arts against him, and courted the protection of the Turks.

Martinuzzi favours Ferdinand’s pretensions in that kingdom.The neighbouring bashas, jealous of the bishop’s power as well as abilities, readily promised her the aid which she demanded, and would soon have obliged Martinuzzi to have given up to her the sole direction of affairs, if his ambition, fertile in expedients, had not suggested to him a new measure, and one that tended not only to preserve but to enlarge his authority. Having concluded an agreement with the queen, by the mediation of some of the nobles who were solicitous to save their country from the calamities of a civil war, he secretly dispatched one of his confidents to Vienna, and entered into a negotiation with Ferdinand. As it was no difficult matter to persuade Ferdinand, that the same man whose enmity and intrigues had driven him out of a great part of his Hungarian dominions, might, upon a reconciliation, become equally instrumental in recovering them, he listened eagerly to the first overtures of an union with that prelate. Martinuzzi allured him by such prospects of advantage, and engaged, with so much confidence, that he would prevail on the most powerful of the Hungarian nobles to take arms in his favour, that Ferdinand, notwithstanding his truce with Solyman, agreed to invade Transylvania. The command of the troops destined for that service, consisting of veteran Spanish and German soldiers, was given to Castaldo, Marquis de Piadena, an officer formed by the famous Marquis de Pescara, whom he strongly resembled both in his enterprising genius for civil business, and in his great knowledge in the art of war. This army, more formidable by the discipline of the soldiers, and the abilities of the general, than by its numbers, was powerfully seconded by Martinuzzi and Edition: current; Page: [153] his faction among the Hungarians. As the Turkish bashas, the sultan himself being at the head of his army on the frontiers of Persia, could not afford the queen such immediate or effectual assistance as the exigency of her affairs required, she quickly lost all hopes of being able to retain any longer the authority which she possessed as regent, and even began to despair of her son’s safety.

The success of his measures.Martinuzzi did not suffer this favourable opportunity of accomplishing his own designs to pass unimproved, and ventured, while she was in this state of dejection, to lay before her a proposal, which, at any other time, she would have rejected with disdain. He represented how impossible it was for her to resist Ferdinand’s victorious arms; that, even if the Turks should enable her to make head against them, she would be far from changing her condition to the better, and could not consider them as deliverers, but as masters, to whose commands she must submit; he conjured her, therefore, as she regarded her own dignity, the safety of her son, or the security of Christendom, rather to give up Transylvania to Ferdinand, and to make over to him her son’s title to the crown of Hungary, than to allow both to be usurped by the inveterate enemy of the Christian faith. At the same time, he promised her, in Ferdinand’s name, a compensation for herself, as well as for her son, suitable to their rank, and proportional to the value of what they were to sacrifice. Isabella, deserted by some of her adherents, distrusting others, destitute of friends, and surrounded by Castaldo’s and Martinuzzi’s troops, subscribed these hard conditions, though with a reluctant hand. Upon this, she surrendered such places of strength as were still in her possession, she gave up all the ensigns of royalty, particularly a crown of gold, which, as the Hungarians believed, had descended from heaven, and conferred on him Edition: current; Page: [154] who wore it an undoubted right to the throne. As she could not bear to remain a private person, in a country where she had once enjoyed sovereign power, she instantly set out with her son for Silesia, in order to take possession of the principalities of Oppelen and Ratibor, the investiture of which Ferdinand had engaged to grant her son, and likewise to bestow one of his daughters upon him in marriage.

Appointed governor of that part of Hungary which was subject to Ferdinand.Upon the resignation of the young king, Martinuzzi, and, after his example, the rest of the Transylvanian grandees, swore allegiance to Ferdinand; who, in order to testify his grateful sense of the zeal as well as success with which that prelate had served him, affected to distinguish him by every possible mark of favour and confidence. He appointed him governor of Transylvania, with almost unlimited authority; he publicly ordered Castaldo to pay the greatest deference to his opinion and commands; he increased his revenues, which were already very great, by new appointments; he nominated him Archbishop of Gran, and prevailed on the pope to raise him to the dignity of a cardinal. All this ostentation of good-will, however, was void of sincerity, and calculated to conceal sentiments the most perfectly its reverse. Ferdinand dreaded Martinuzzi’s abilities; distrusted his fidelity; and foresaw, that, as his extensive authority enabled him to check any attempt towards circumscribing or abolishing the extensive privileges which the Hungarian nobility possessed, he would stand forth, on every occasion, the guardian of the liberties of his country, rather than act the part of a viceroy devoted to the will of his sovereign.

Ferdinand begins to form designs against him.For this reason, he secretly gave it in charge to Castaldo, to watch his motions, to guard against his designs, and to thwart his measures. But Martinuzzi, either because he did not perceive that Castaldo was placed as a spy on his actions, or because he despised Edition: current; Page: [155] Ferdinand’s insidious arts, assumed the direction of the war against the Turks with his usual tone of authority, and conducted it with great magnanimity, and no less success. He recovered some places of which the infidels had taken possession; he rendered their attempts to reduce others abortive; and established Ferdinand’s authority not only in Transylvania, but in the Bannat of Temeswar, and several of the countries adjacent. In carrying on these operations, he often differed in sentiments from Castaldo and his officers, and treated the Turkish prisoners with a degree not only of humanity, but even of generosity, which Castaldo loudly condemned. This was represented at Vienna as an artful method of courting the friendship of the infidels, that, by securing their protection, he might shake off all dependence upon the sovereign whom he now acknowledged. Though Martinuzzi, in justification of his own conduct, contended that it was impolitic by unnecessary severities to exasperate an enemy prone to revenge, Castaldo’s accusations gained credit with Ferdinand, prepossessed already against Martinuzzi, and jealous of every thing that could endanger his own authority in Hungary, in proportion as he knew it to be precarious and ill established. These suspicions Castaldo confirmed and strengthened, by the intelligence which he transmitted continually to his confidents at Vienna. By misrepresenting what was innocent, and putting the worst construction on what seemed dubious in Martinuzzi’s conduct; by imputing to him designs which he never formed, and charging him with actions of which he was not guilty; he at last convinced Ferdinand, that, in order to preserve his Hungarian crown, he must cut off that ambitious prelate. But Ferdinand, foreseeing that it would be dangerous to proceed in the regular course of law against a subject of such exorbitant power as Edition: current; Page: [156] might enable him to set his sovereign at defiance, determined to employ violence, in order to obtain that satisfaction which the laws were too feeble to afford him.

He is assassinated by his command.He issued his orders accordingly to Castaldo, who willingly undertook that infamous service. Having communicated the design to some Italian and Spanish officers whom he could trust, and concerted with them the plan of executing it,Dec. 18. they entered Martinuzzi’s apartment, early one morning, under pretence of presenting to him some dispatches which were to be sent off immediately to Vienna; and while he perused a paper with attention, one of their number struck him with his poniard in the throat. The blow was not mortal. Martinuzzi started up with the intrepidity natural to him, and, grappling the assassin, threw him to the ground. But the other conspirators rushing in, an old man, unarmed, and alone, was unable long to sustain such an unequal conflict, and sunk under the wounds which he received from so many hands. The Transylvanians were restrained by dread of the foreign troops stationed in their country, from rising in arms, in order to take vengeance on the murderers of a prelate who had long been the object of their love as well as veneration.The effect of that violent action. They spoke of the deed, however, with horror and execration; and exclaimed against Ferdinand, whom neither gratitude for recent and important services, nor reverence for a character considered as sacred and inviolable among Christians, could restrain from shedding the blood of a man, whose only crime was attachment to his native country. The nobles, detesting the jealous as well as cruel policy of a court, which, upon uncertain and improbable surmises, had given up a person, no less conspicuous for his merit than his rank, to be butchered by assassins, either retired to their own estates, or, if they continued with Edition: current; Page: [157] the Austrian army, grew cold to the service. The Turks, encouraged by the death of an enemy, whose abilities they knew and dreaded, prepared to renew hostilities early in the spring; and instead of the security which Ferdinand had expected from the removal of Martinuzzi, it was evident that his territories in Hungary were about to be attacked with greater vigour, and defended with less zeal than ever.a

Maurice courts the protection of the French king.By this time, Maurice, having almost finished his intrigues and preparations, was on the point of declaring his intentions openly, and of taking the field against the emperor. His first care, after he came to this resolution, was to disclaim that narrow and bigoted maxim of the confederates of Smalkalde, which had led them to shun all connection with foreigners. He had observed how fatal this had been to their cause; and, instructed by their error, he was as eager to court the protection of Henry II. as they had been solicitous to prevent the interposition of Francis I. Happily for him, he found Henry in a disposition to listen to the first overture on his part, and in a situation which enabled him to bring the whole force of the French monarchy into action. Henry had long observed the progress of the emperor’s arms with jealousy, and wished to distinguish himself by entering the lists against the same enemy, whom it had been the glory of his father’s reign to oppose. He had laid hold on the first opportunity in his power of thwarting the emperor’s designs, by taking the Duke of Parma under his protection; and hostilities were already begun, not only in that dutchy but in Piedmont. Having terminated the war with England by a peace, no less advantageous to himself than honourable for his allies the Scots, the restless and Edition: current; Page: [158] enterprising courage of his nobles was impatient to display itself on some theatre of action more conspicuous than the petty operations in Parma or Piedmont afforded them.

His treaty with him.John de Fienne, Bishop of Bayonne, whom Henry had sent into Germany, under pretence of hiring troops to be employed in Italy, was empowered to conclude a treaty in form with Maurice and his associates. As it would have been very indecent in a King of France to have undertaken the defence of the protestant church, the interests of religion, how much soever they might be affected by the treaty, were not once mentioned in any of the articles. Religious concerns they pretended to commit entirely to the disposition of Divine Providence; the only motives assigned for their present confederacy against Charles were to procure the landgrave liberty, and to prevent the subversion of the ancient constitution and laws of the German empire. In order to accomplish these ends, it was agreed that all the contracting parties should, at the same time, declare war against the emperor; that neither peace nor truce should be made but by common consent, nor without including each of the confederates; that, in order to guard against the inconveniences of anarchy, or of pretensions to joint command, Maurice should be acknowledged as head of the German confederates, with absolute authority in all military affairs; that Maurice and his associates should bring into the field seven thousand horse, with a proportional number of infantry; that, towards the subsistence of this army, during the first three months of the war, Henry should contribute two hundred and forty thousand crowns, and afterwards sixty thousand crowns a month, as long as they continued in arms; that Henry should attack the emperor on the side of Lorrain with a powerful army; that if it were found requisite to elect Edition: current; Page: [159] a new emperor, such a person shall be nominated as shall be agreeable to the King of France.b This treaty was concluded on the fifth of October, some time before Magdeburg surrendered, and the preparatory negotiations were conducted with such profound secrecy, that, of all the princes who afterwards acceded to it, Maurice communicated what he was carrying on to two only, John Albert, the reigning Duke of Mecklenburg, and William of Hesse, the landgrave’s eldest son. The league itself was no less anxiously concealed, and with such fortunate care, that no rumour concerning it reached the ears of the emperor or his ministers; nor do they seem to have conceived the most distant suspicion of such a transaction.

Solicits the aid of Edward VI. of England.At the same time, with a solicitude which was careful to draw some accession of strength from every quarter, Maurice applied to Edward VI. of England, and requested a subsidy of four hundred thousand crowns for the support of a confederacy formed in defence of the protestant religion. But the factions which prevailed in the English court during the minority of that prince, and which deprived both the councils and arms of the nation of their wonted vigour, left the English ministers neither time nor inclination to attend to foreign affairs, and prevented Maurice’s obtaining that aid, which their zeal for the reformation would have prompted them to grant him.c

Demands once more that the landgrave should be set at liberty.Maurice, however, having secured the protection of such a powerful monarch as Henry II., proceeded with great confidence, but with equal caution, to execute his plan. As he judged it necessary to make one effort more, in order to obtain the emperor’s consent that the landgrave should be set at liberty, he Edition: current; Page: [160] sent a solemn embassy, in his own name, and in that of the Elector of Brandenburg, to Inspruck. After resuming,December. at great length, all the facts and arguments upon which they founded their claim, and representing, in the strongest terms, the peculiar engagements which bound them to be so assiduous in their solicitations, they renewed the request in behalf of the unfortunate prisoner, which they had so often preferred in vain. The elector palatine, the Duke of Wurtemberg, the Dukes of Mecklenburg, the Duke of Deuxponts, the Marquis of Brandenburg Bareith, and the Marquis of Baden, by their ambassadors, concurred with them in their suit. Letters were likewise delivered to the same effect from the King of Denmark, the Duke of Bavaria, and the Dukes of Lunenburg. Even the King of the Romans joined in this application, being moved with compassion towards the landgrave in his wretched situation, or influenced, perhaps, by a secret jealousy of his brother’s power and designs, which, since his attempt to alter the order of succession in the empire, he had come to view with other eyes than formerly, and dreaded to a great degree.

But Charles, constant to his own system with regard to the landgrave, eluded a demand urged by such powerful intercessors; and having declared that he would communicate his resolution concerning the matter to Maurice as soon as he arrived at Inspruck, where he was every day expected, he did not deign to descend into any more particular explication of his intentions.d This application, though of no benefit to the landgrave, was of great advantage to Maurice. It served to justify his subsequent proceedings, and to demonstrate the necessity of employing arms in order to extort that equitable concession, which his mediation or entreaty could not obtain. It was of use, Edition: current; Page: [161] too, to confirm the emperor in his security, as both the solemnity of the application, and the solicitude with which so many princes were drawn in to enforce it, led him to conclude that they placed all their hopes of restoring the landgrave to liberty, in gaining his consent to dismiss him.

1552.Maurice employed artifices still more refined to conceal his machinations, to amuse the emperor, and to gain time.Maurice continues to amuse the emperor. He affected to be more solicitous than ever to find out some expedient for removing the difficulties with regard to the safe-conduct for the protestant divines appointed to attend the council, so that they might repair thither without any apprehension of danger. His ambassadors at Trent had frequent conferences concerning this matter with the imperial ambassadors in that city, and laid open their sentiments to them with the appearance of the most unreserved confidence. He was willing, at last, to have it believed, that he thought all differences with respect to this preliminary article were on the point of being adjusted; and in order to give credit to this opinion, he commanded Melancthon, together with his brethren, to set out on their journey to Trent. At the same time, he held a close correspondence with the imperial court at Inspruck, and renewed, on every occasion, his professions not only of fidelity but of attachment to the emperor. He talked continually of his intention of going to Inspruck in person; he gave orders to hire a house for him in that city, and to fit it up with the greatest dispatch for his reception.e

The emperor conceives some suspicion concerning his intentions.But, profoundly skilled as Maurice was in the arts of deceit, and impenetrable as he thought the veil to be, under which he concealed his designs, there were several things in his conduct which alarmed the emperor amidst his security, and tempted him frequently to suspect that he was meditating something Edition: current; Page: [162] extraordinary. As these suspicions took their rise from circumstances inconsiderable in themselves, or of an ambiguous as well as uncertain nature, they were more than counterbalanced by Maurice’s address; and the emperor would not, lightly, give up his confidence in a man, whom he had once trusted and loaded with favours. One particular alone seemed to be of such consequence, that he thought it necessary to demand an explanation with regard to it. The troops, which George of Mecklenburg had taken into pay after the capitulation of Magdeburg, having fixed their quarters in Thuringia, lived at discretion on the lands of the rich ecclesiastics in their neighbourhood. Their licence and rapaciousness were intolerable. Such as felt or dreaded their exactions, complained loudly to the emperor, and represented them as a body of men kept in readiness for some desperate enterprise. But Maurice, partly by extenuating the enormities of which they had been guilty, partly by representing the impossibility of disbanding these troops, or of keeping them to regular discipline, unless the arrears still due to them by the emperor were paid, either removed the apprehensions which this had occasioned, or, as Charles was not in a condition to satisfy the demands of these soldiers, obliged him to be silent with regard to the matter.f

Maurice prepares for action.The time of action was now approaching. Maurice had privately dispatched Albert of Brandenburg to Paris, in order to confirm his league with Henry, and to hasten the march of the French army. He had taken measures to bring his own subjects together on the first summons; he had provided for the security of Saxony, while he should be absent with the army; and he held the troops in Thuringia, on which he chiefly depended, ready to advance on a moment’s warning. All these complicated operations were Edition: current; Page: [163] carried on without being discovered by the court at Inspruck, and the emperor remained there in perfect tranquillity, busied entirely in counteracting the intrigues of the pope’s legate at Trent, and in settling the conditions on which the protestant divines should be admitted into the council, as if there had not been any transaction of greater moment in agitation.

Circumstances which contributed to deceive the emperor,This credulous security in a prince, who, by his sagacity in observing the conduct of all around him, was commonly led to an excess of distrust, may seem unaccountable, and has been imputed to infatuation. But, besides the exquisite address with which Maurice concealed his intentions, two circumstances contributed to the delusion. The gout had returned upon Charles soon after his arrival at Inspruck, with an increase of violence; and his constitution being broken by such frequent attacks, he was seldom able to exert his natural vigour of mind, or to consider affairs with his usual vigilance and penetration; and Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, his prime minister, though one of the most subtle statesmen of that or perhaps of any age, was on this occasion the dupe of his own craft. He entertained such a high opinion of his own abilities, and held the political talents of the Germans in such contempt, that he despised all the intimations given him concerning Maurice’s secret machinations,and his ministers. or the dangerous designs which he was carrying on. When the Duke of Alva, whose dark suspicious mind harboured many doubts concerning the elector’s sincerity, proposed calling him immediately to court to answer for his conduct, Granvelle replied with great scorn, That these apprehensions were groundless, and that a drunken German head was too gross to form any scheme which he could not easily penetrate and baffle, Nor did he assume this peremptory tone merely from Edition: current; Page: [164] confidence in his own discernment; he had bribed two of Maurice’s ministers, and received from them frequent and minute information concerning all their master’s motions. But through this very channel, by which he expected to gain access to all Maurice’s counsels, and even to his thoughts, such intelligence was conveyed to him as completed his deception. Maurice fortunately discovered the correspondence of the two traitors with Granvelle, but instead of punishing them for their crime, he dexterously availed himself of their fraud, and turned his own arts against the bishop. He affected to treat these ministers with greater confidence than ever; he admitted them to his consultations; he seemed to lay open his heart to them; and taking care all the while to let them be acquainted with nothing but what it was his interest should be known, they transmitted to Inspruck such accounts as possessed Granvelle with a firm belief of his sincerity as well as good intentions.g The emperor himself, in the fulness of security, was so little moved by a memorial, in the name of the ecclesiastical electors, admonishing him to be on his guard against Maurice, that he made light of this intelligence; and his answer to them abounds with declarations of his entire and confident reliance on the fidelity as well as attachment of that prince.h

Maurice takes the field against the emperor.At last Maurice’s preparations were completed, and he had the satisfaction to find that his intrigues and designs were still unknown. But, though now ready to take the field, he did not lay aside the arts which he had hitherto employed; and by one piece of craft more, he deceived his enemies a few days longer. He gave out, that he was about to begin that journey to Inspruck of which he had so often talked, and he took one of the ministers whom Granvelle had bribed, to attend him thither. After travelling post a few Edition: current; Page: [165] stages, he pretended to be indisposed by the fatigue of the journey, and dispatching the suspected minister to make his apology to the emperor for this delay, and to assure him that he would be at Inspruck within a few days; he mounted on horseback, as soon as this spy on his actions was gone, rode full speed towards Thuringia, joined his army,March 18. which amounted to twenty thousand foot and five thousand horse, and put it immediately in motion.i

Publishes a manifesto, justifying his conduct.At the same time he published a manifesto, containing his reasons for taking arms. These were three in number: that he might secure the protestant religion, which was threatened with immediate destruction; that he might maintain the constitution and laws of the empire, and save Germany from being subjected to the dominion of an absolute monarch; that he might deliver the Landgrave of Hesse from the miseries of a long and unjust imprisonment. By the first, he roused all the favourers of the reformation, a party formidable by their zeal as well as numbers, and rendered desperate by oppression. By the second, he interested all the friends of liberty, catholics no less than protestants, and made it their interest to unite with him in asserting the rights and privileges common to both. The third, besides the glory which he acquired by his zeal to fulfil his engagements to the unhappy prisoner, was become a cause of general concern, not only from the compassion which the landgrave’s sufferings excited, but from indignation at the injustice and rigour of the emperor’s proceedings against him. Together with Maurice’s manifesto, another appeared in the name of Albert, Marquis of Brandenburg Culmbach, who Edition: current; Page: [166] had joined him with a body of adventurers, whom he had drawn together. The same grievances which Maurice had pointed out are mentioned in it, but with an excess of virulence and animosity suitable to the character of the prince in whose name it was published.

He is powerfully supported by the French king.The King of France added to these a manifesto in his own name; in which, after taking notice of the ancient alliance between the French and German nations, both descended from the same ancestors, and, after mentioning the applications which, in consequence of this, some of the most illustrious among the German princes had made to him for his protection, he declared, that he now took arms to re-establish the ancient constitution of the empire, to deliver some of its princes from captivity, and to secure the privileges and independence of all the members of the Germanic body. In this manifesto, Henry assumed the extraordinary title of protector of the liberties of Germany, and of its captive princes; and there was engraved on it a cap, the ancient symbol of freedom, placed between two daggers, in order to intimate to the Germans, that this blessing was to be acquired and secured by force of arms.k

Maurice’s operations in the field.Maurice had now to act a part entirely new, but his flexible genius was capable of accommodating itself to every situation. The moment he took arms, he was as bold and enterprising in the field as he had been cautious and crafty in the cabinet. He advanced by rapid marches towards the Upper Germany. All the towns in his way opened their gates to him. He reinstated the magistrates whom the emperor had deposed, and gave possession of the churches to the protestant ministers whom he had ejected. He directed his march to Augsburg, and as the imperial garrison, which was too inconsiderable Edition: current; Page: [167] to think of defending it, retired immediately, he took possession of that great city, and made the same changes there as in the towns through which he had passed.lApril 1.

The emperor’s astonishment and distress.No words can express the emperor’s astonishment and consternation at events so unexpected. He saw a great number of the German princes in arms against him, and the rest either ready to join them, or wishing success to their enterprise. He beheld a powerful monarch united with them in close league, seconding their operations in person, at the head of a formidable army, while he, through negligence and credulity, which exposed him no less to scorn than to danger, had neither made, nor was in condition to make, any effectual provision, either for crushing his rebellious subjects, or resisting the invasion of the foreign enemy. Part of his Spanish troops had been ordered into Hungary against the Turks; the rest had marched back to Italy, upon occasion of the war in the dutchy of Parma. The bands of veteran Germans had been dismissed, because he was not able to pay them, or had entered into Maurice’s service after the siege of Magdeburg; and he remained at Inspruck with a body of soldiers hardly strong enough to guard his own person. His treasury was as much exhausted as his army was reduced. He had received no remittances for some time from the new world. He had forfeited all credit with the merchants of Genoa and Venice, who refused to lend him money, though tempted by the offer of exorbitant interest. Thus Charles, though undoubtedly the most considerable potentate in Christendom, and capable of exerting the greatest strength, his power, notwithstanding the violent attack made upon it, being still unimpaired, found himself in a situation which rendered him unable to make such a sudden and vigorous Edition: current; Page: [168] effort as the juncture required, and was necessary to have saved him from the present danger.

Endeavours to gain time by a negotiation.In this situation, the emperor placed all his hopes on negotiating; the only resource of such as are conscious of their own weakness. But thinking it inconsistent with his dignity to make the first advances to subjects who were in arms against him, he avoided that indecorum by employing the mediation of his brother Ferdinand. Maurice, confiding in his own talents to conduct any negotiation in such a manner as to derive advantage from it, and hoping that, by the appearance of facility in hearkening to the first overture of accommodation, he might amuse the emperor, and tempt him to slacken the activity with which he was now preparing to defend himself, readily agreed to an interview with Ferdinand, in the town of Lintz in Austria; and, having left his army to proceed on its march under the command of the Duke of Mecklenburg, he repaired thither.

Progress of the French army.Meanwhile, the King of France punctually fulfilled his engagements to his allies. He took the field early, with a numerous and well-appointed army, and marching directly into Lorrain, Toul and Verdun opened their gates at his approach. His forces appeared next before Metz, and that city, by a fraudulent stratagem of the Constable Montmorency, who, having obtained permission to pass through it with a small guard, introduced as many troops as were sufficient to overpower the garrison, was likewise seized without bloodshed. Henry made his entry into all these towns with great pomp; he obliged the inhabitants to swear allegiance to him, and annexed those important conquests to the French monarchy. He left a strong garrison in Metz. From thence he advanced towards Alsace, in order to attempt new conquests, to which the success that had hitherto attended his arms invited him.m

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The negotiations between the emperor and Maurice of no effect.The conference at Lintz did not produce any accommodation. Maurice, when he consented to it, seems to have had nothing in view but to amuse the emperor; for he made such demands, both in behalf of his confederates and their ally, the French king, as he knew would not be accepted by a prince, too haughty to submit, at once, to conditions dictated by an enemy. But, however firmly Maurice adhered during the negotiation to the interests of his associates, or how steadily soever he kept in view the objects which had induced him to take arms, he often professed a strong inclination to terminate the differences with the emperor in an amicable manner. Encouraged by this appearance of a pacific disposition, Ferdinand proposed a second interview at Passau on the twenty-sixth of May, and that a truce should commence on that day, and continue to the tenth of June, in order to give them leisure for adjusting all the points in dispute.

Maurice advances towards Inspruck.Upon this, Maurice rejoined his army on the ninth of May, which had now advanced to Gundelfingen. He put his troops in motion next morning; and as sixteen days yet remained for action before the commencement of the truce, he resolved, during that period, to venture upon an enterprise, the success of which would be so decisive as to render the negotiations at Passau extremely short, and entitle him to treat upon his own terms. He foresaw that the prospect of a cessation of arms, which was to take place so soon, together with the opinion of his earnestness to re-establish peace, with which he had artfully amused Ferdinand, could hardly fail of inspiring the emperor with such false hopes, that he would naturally become remiss, and relapse into some degree of that security which had already been so fatal to him. Relying on this conjecture, he marched directly at the head of his army towards Inspruck, and advanced Edition: current; Page: [170] with the most rapid motion that could be given to so great a body of troops. On the eighteenth, he arrived at Fiessen, a post of great consequence, at the entrance into the Tyrolese. There he found a body of eight hundred men, whom the emperor had assembled, strongly intrenched, in order to oppose his progress. He attacked them instantly with such violence and impetuosity, that they abandoned their lines precipitately, and, falling back on a second body posted near Ruten, communicated the panic terror with which they themselves had been seized, to those troops; so that they likewise took to flight after a feeble resistance.

Takes the castle of Ehrenberg.Elated with this success, which exceeded his most sanguine hopes, Maurice pressed forward to Ehrenberg, a castle situated on a high and steep precipice, which commanded the only pass through the mountains. As this fort had been surrendered to the protestants at the beginning of the Smalkaldic war, because the garrison was then too weak to defend it, the emperor, sensible of its importance, had taken care, at this juncture, to throw into it a body of troops sufficient to maintain it against the greatest army. But a shepherd, in pursuing a goat which had strayed from his flock, having discovered an unknown path by which it was possible to ascend to the top of the rock, came with this seasonable piece of intelligence to Maurice. A small band of chosen soldiers, under the command of George of Mecklenburg, was instantly ordered to follow this guide. They set out in the evening, and clambering up the rugged track with infinite fatigue as well as danger, they reached the summit unperceived; and, at an hour which had been agreed on, when Maurice began the assault on the one side of the castle, they appeared on the other, ready to scale the walls, which were feeble in that place, because it had been hitherto deemed inaccessible. Edition: current; Page: [171] The garrison, struck with terror at the sight of an enemy on a quarter where they had thought themselves perfectly secure, immediately threw down their arms. Maurice, almost without bloodshed, and, which was of greater consequence to him, without loss of time, took possession of a place, the reduction of which might have retarded him long, and have required the utmost efforts of his valour and skill.n

A mutiny of his troops retards his march.Maurice was now only two days’ march from Inspruck, and, without losing a moment, he ordered his infantry to advance thither, having left his cavalry, which was unserviceable in that mountainous country, at Fiessen, to guard the mouth of the pass. He proposed to advance with such rapidity as to anticipate any accounts of the loss of Ehrenburg, and to surprise the emperor, together with his attendants, in an open town incapable of defence. But just as his troops began to move, a batallion of mercenaries mutinied, declaring that they would not stir until they had received the gratuity, which, according to the custom of that age, they claimed as the recompense due to them for having taken a place by assault. It was with great difficulty, as well as danger, and not without some considerable loss of time, that Maurice quieted this insurrection, and prevailed on the soldiers to follow him to a place where he promised them such rich booty as would be an ample reward for all their services.

The emperor flies in confusion from Inspruck.To the delay, occasioned by this unforeseen accident, the emperor owed his safety. He was informed of the approaching danger late in the evening, and knowing that nothing could save him but a speedy flight, he instantly left Inspruck, without regarding the darkness of the night, or the violence of the rain which happened to fall at that time; and, notwithstanding the debility occasioned by the gout, which Edition: current; Page: [172] rendered him unable to bear any motion but that of a litter, he travelled by the light of torches, taking his way over the Alps, by roads almost impassable. His courtiers and attendants followed him with equal precipitation, some of them on such horses as they could hastily procure, many of them on foot, and all in the utmost confusion. In this miserable plight, very unlike the pomp with which Charles had appeared during the five preceding years as the conqueror of Germany, he arrived at length with his dejected train at Villach in Carinthia, and scarcely thought himself secure even in that remote inaccessible corner.

Maurice enters that town.Maurice entered Inspruck a few hours after the emperor and his attendants had left it; and enraged that the prey should escape out of his hands when he was just ready to seize it, he pursued them some miles; but finding it impossible to overtake persons, to whom their fear gave speed, he returned to the town, and abandoned all the emperor’s baggage, together with that of his ministers, to be plundered by the soldiers; while he preserved untouched every thing belonging to the King of the Romans, either because he had formed some friendly connection with that prince, or because he wished to have it believed that such a connection subsisted between them. As there now remained only three days to the commencement of the truce (with such nicety had Maurice calculated his operations), he set out for Passau, that he might meet Ferdinand on the day appointed.

The emperor sets the Elector of Saxony at liberty.Before Charles left Inspruck, he withdrew the guards placed on the degraded Elector of Saxony, whom, during five years, he had carried about with him as a prisoner; and set him entirely at liberty, either with an intention to embarrass Maurice by letting loose a rival, who might dispute his title to his dominions and dignity, or from a sense of the indecency of detaining him a prisoner, while he himself Edition: current; Page: [173] ran the risk of being deprived of his own liberty. But that prince, seeing no other way of escaping than that which the emperor took, and abhorring the thoughts of falling into the hands of a kinsman, whom he justly considered as the author of all his misfortunes, chose rather to accompany Charles in his flight, and to expect the final decision of his fate from the treaty which was now approaching.

The council of Trent breaks up in great consternation.These were not the only effects which Maurice’s operations produced. It was no sooner known at Trent that he had taken arms, than a general consternation seized the fathers of the council. The German prelates immediately returned home, that they might provide for the safety of their respective territories. The rest were extremely impatient to be gone; and the legate, who had hitherto disappointed all the endeavours of the imperial ambassadors to procure an audience in the council for the protestant divines, laid hold with joy on such a plausible pretext for dismissing an assembly, which he had found it so difficult to govern. In a congregation held on the twenty-eighth of April, a decree was issued proroguing the council during two years, and appointing it to meet at the expiration of that time, if peace were then re-established in Europe.o This prorogation, however, continued no less than ten years; and the proceedings of the council, when re-assembled in the year one thousand five hundred and sixty-two, fall not within the period prescribed to this history.

The effect of its decrees.The convocation of this assembly had been passionately desired by all the states and princes in Christendom, who, from the wisdom as well as piety of prelates representing the whole body of the faithful, expected some charitable and efficacious endeavours towards composing the dissensions which unhappily had arisen in the church. But the several Edition: current; Page: [174] popes by whose authority it was called had other objects in view. They exerted all their power or policy to attain these; and, by the abilities as well as address of their legates, by the ignorance of many of the prelates, and by the servility of the indigent Italian bishops, acquired such influence in the council, that they dictated all its decrees, and framed them, not with an intention to restore unity and concord to the church, but to establish their own dominion, or to confirm those tenets, upon which they imagined that dominion to be founded. Doctrines, which had hitherto been admitted upon the credit of tradition alone, and received with some latitude of interpretation, were defined with a scrupulous nicety, and confirmed by the sanction of authority. Rites, which had formerly been observed only in deference to custom supposed to be ancient, were established by the decrees of the church, and declared to be essential parts of its worship. The breach, instead of being closed, was widened, and made irreparable. In place of any attempt to reconcile the contending parties, a line was drawn with such studied accuracy, as ascertained and marked out the distinction between them. This still serves to keep them at a distance; and, without some signal interposition of Divine Providence, must render the separation perpetual.

Character of the historians of this council.Our knowledge of the proceedings of this assembly is derived from three different authors. Father Paul of Venice wrote his history of the Council of Trent, while the memory of what had passed there was recent, and some who had been members of it were still alive. He has exposed the intrigues and artifices by which it was conducted with a freedom and severity which have given a deep wound to the credit of the council. He has described its deliberations, and explained its decrees, with such perspicuity and depth of thought, with such various erudition, and Edition: current; Page: [175] such force of reason, as have justly entitled his work to be placed among the most admired historical compositions. About half a century thereafter, the jesuit Pallavicini published his history of the council, in opposition to that of Father Paul, and, by employing all the force of an acute and refining genius to invalidate the credit, or to confute the reasonings, of his antagonist, he labours to prove, by artful apologies for the proceedings of the council, and subtile interpretations of its decrees, that it deliberated with impartiality, and decided with judgment as well as candour. Vargas, a Spanish doctor of laws, who was appointed to attend the imperial ambassadors at Trent, sent the Bishop of Arras a regular account of the transactions there, explaining all the arts which the legate employed to influence or overawe the council. His letters have been published, in which he inveighs against the papal court with that asperity of censure, which was natural to a man whose situation enabled him to observe its intrigues thoroughly, and who was obliged to exert all his attention and talents in order to disappoint them. But whichsoever of these authors an intelligent person takes for his guide, in forming a judgment concerning the spirit of the council, he must discover so much ambition as well as artifice among some of the members, so much ignorance and corruption among others; he must observe such a large infusion of human policy and passions, mingled with such a scanty portion of that simplicity of heart, sanctity of manners, and love of truth, which alone qualify men to determine what doctrines are worthy of God, and what worship is acceptable to him; that he will find it no easy matter to believe, that any extraordinary influence of the Holy Ghost hovered over this assembly, and dictated its decrees.

The French endeavour to surprise Strasburg;While Maurice was employed in negotiating with the King of the Romans at Lintz, or in making war Edition: current; Page: [176] on the emperor in the Tyrol, the French king had advanced into Alsace as far as Strasburg; and having demanded leave of the senate to march through the city, he hoped that, by repeating the same fraud which he had practised at Metz, he might render himself master of the place, and by that means secure a passage over the Rhine into the heart of Germany. But the Strasburghers, instructed and put on their guard by the credulity and misfortune of their neighbours, shut their gates; and, having assembled a garrison of five thousand soldiers, repaired their fortifications, razed the houses in their suburbs, and determined to defend themselves to the utmost. At the same time they sent a deputation of their most respectable citizens to the king, in order to divert him from making any hostile attempt upon them. The Electors of Treves and Cologne, the Duke of Cleves, and other princes in the neighbourhood, interposed in their behalf; beseeching Henry that he would not forget so soon the title which he had generously assumed; and, instead of being the deliverer of Germany, become its oppressor. The Swiss cantons seconded them with zeal, soliciting Henry to spare a city which had long been connected with their community in friendship and alliance.

but without success.Powerful as this united intercession was, it would not have prevailed on Henry to forego a prize of so much value, if he had been in a condition to have seized it. But, in that age, the method of subsisting numerous armies at a distance from the frontiers of their own country, was imperfectly understood, and neither the revenues of princes, nor their experience in the art of war, were equal to the great and complicated efforts which such an undertaking required. The French, though not far removed from their own frontier, began already to suffer from scarcity of provisions, and had no sufficient magazines collected to Edition: current; Page: [177] support them during a siege, which must necessarily have been of great length.p At the same time, the Queen of Hungary, governess of the Low Countries, had assembled a considerable body of troops, which, under the command of Martin de Rossem, laid waste Champagne, and threatened the adjacent provinces of France. These concurring circumstances obliged the king, though with reluctance, to abandon the enterprise. But being willing to acquire some merit with his allies by this retreat, which he could not avoid, he pretended to the Swiss that he had taken the resolution merely in compliance with their requestq; and then, after giving orders that all the horses in his army should be led to drink in the Rhine, as a proof of his having pushed his conquest so far, he marched back towards Champagne.

The operations of Albert of Brandenburg.While the French king and the main army of the confederates were thus employed, Albert of Brandenburg was intrusted with the command of a separate body of eight thousand men, consisting chiefly of mercenaries who had resorted to his standard, rather from the hope of plunder, than the expectation of regular pay. That prince, seeing himself at the head of such a number of desperate adventurers, ready to follow wherever he should lead them, soon began to disdain a state of subordination, and to form such extravagant schemes of aggrandizing himself as seldom occur, even to ambitious minds, unless when civil war or violent factions rouse them to bold exertions, by alluring them with immediate hopes of success. Full of these aspiring thoughts, Albert made war in a manner very different from the other confederates. He endeavoured to spread the terror of his arms by the rapidity of his motions, as well as the extent and rigour of his devastations; he exacted contributions Edition: current; Page: [178] wherever he came, in order to amass such a sum of money as would put it in his power to keep his army together; he laboured to get possession of Nuremburg, Ulm, or some other of the free cities in Upper Germany, in which, as a capital, he might fix the seat of his power. But, finding these cities on their guard, and in a condition to resist his attacks, he turned all his rage against the popish ecclesiastics, whose territories he plundered with such wanton and merciless barbarity, as gave them a very unfavourable impression of the spirit of that reformation in religion, with zeal for which he pretended to be animated. The Bishops of Bamberg and Wurzburg, by their situation, lay particularly exposed to his ravages: he obliged the former to transfer to him, in property, almost one-half of his extensive diocese; and compelled the latter to advance a great sum of money, in order to save his territories from ruin and desolation. During all those wild sallies, Albert paid no regard either to Maurice’s orders, whose commands as generalissimo of the league he had engaged to obey, or to the remonstrances of the other confederates; and manifestly discovered, that he attended only to his own private emolument, without any solicitude about the common cause, or the general objects which had induced them to take arms.r

The negotiations of peace at Passau.Maurice having ordered his army to march back into Bavaria, and having published a proclamation enjoining the Lutheran clergy and instructors of youth to resume the exercise of their functions in all the cities, schools, and universities from which they had been ejected, met Ferdinand at Passau, on the twenty-sixth day of May. As matters of the greatest consequence to the future peace and independence of the empire were to be settled in this congress, the eyes of all Germany were fixed upon it. Besides Edition: current; Page: [179] Ferdinand and the imperial ambassadors, the Duke of Bavaria, the Bishops of Saltzburg and Aichstadt, the ministers of all the electors, together with deputies from most of the considerable princes, and free cities, resorted to Passau. Maurice, in the name of his associates, and the King of the Romans as the emperor’s representative, opened the negotiation. The princes who were present, together with the deputies of such as were absent, acted as intercessors or mediators between them.

The terms which Maurice proposed.Maurice, in a long discourse, explained the motives of his own conduct. After having enumerated all the unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the emperor’s administration, he, agreeably to the manifesto which he had published when he took arms against him, limited his demands to three articles: that the Landgrave of Hesse should be immediately set at liberty; that the grievances in the civil government of the empire should be redressed; and that the protestants should be allowed the public exercise of their religion without molestation. Ferdinand and the imperial ambassadors discovering their unwillingness to gratify him with regard to all these points, the mediators wrote a joint letter to the emperor, beseeching him to deliver Germany from the calamities of a civil war, by giving such satisfaction to Maurice and his party as might induce them to lay down their arms; and, at the same time, they prevailed upon Maurice to grant a prolongation of the truce for a short time, during which they undertook to procure the emperor’s final answer to his demands.

Powerfully supported by the princes of the empire.This request was presented to the emperor in the name of all the princes of the empire, popish as well as protestant, in the name of such as had lent a helping hand to forward his ambitious schemes, as well as of those who had viewed the progress of his power with jealousy and dread. The uncommon and cordial Edition: current; Page: [180] unanimity with which they concurred at this juncture in enforcing Maurice’s demands, and in recommending peace, flowed from different causes. Such as were most attached to the Roman catholic church could not help observing, that the protestant confederates were at the head of a numerous army, while the emperor was but just beginning to provide for his own defence. They foresaw that great efforts would be required of them, and would be necessary on their part, in order to cope with enemies, who had been allowed to get the start so far, and to attain such formidable power. Experience had taught them, that the fruit of all these efforts would be reaped by the emperor alone, and the more complete any victory proved which they should gain, the faster would they bind their own fetters, and render them the more intolerable. These reflections made them cautious how they contributed a second time, by their indiscreet zeal, to put the emperor in possession of power which would be fatal to the liberties of their country. Notwithstanding the intolerant spirit of bigotry in that age, they chose rather that the protestants should acquire that security for their religion which they demanded, than, by assisting Charles to oppress them, to give such additional force to the imperial prerogative, as would overturn the constitution of the empire. To all these considerations, the dread of seeing Germany laid waste by a civil war added new force. Many states of the empire already felt the destructive rage of Albert’s arms; others dreaded it, and all wished for an accommodation between the emperor and Maurice, which they hoped would save them from that cruel scourge.

The motives which influenced the emperor at this juncture.Such were the reasons that induced so many princes, notwithstanding the variety of their political interests, and the opposition in their religious sentiments, to unite in recommending to the emperor an accommodation Edition: current; Page: [181] with Maurice, not only as a salutary, but as a necessary measure. The motives which prompted Charles to desire it, were not fewer or of less weight. He was perfectly sensible of the superiority which the confederates had acquired through his own negligence; and he now felt the insufficiency of his own resources to oppose them. His Spanish subjects, disgusted at his long absence, and weary of endless wars, which were of little benefit to their country, refused to furnish him any considerable supply either of men or money; and although by his address or importunity he might have hoped to draw from them at last more effectual aid; that, he knew, was too distant to be of any service in the present exigency of his affairs. His treasury was drained; his veteran forces were dispersed or disbanded, and he could not depend much either on the fidelity or courage of the new-levied soldiers whom he was collecting. There was no hope of repeating with success the same artifices which had weakened and ruined the Smalkaldic league. As the end at which he aimed was now known, he could no longer employ the specious pretexts which had formerly concealed his ambitious designs. Every prince in Germany was alarmed and on his guard; and it was vain to think of blinding them a second time to such a degree, as to make one part of them instruments to enslave the other. The spirit of a confederacy, whereof Maurice was the head, experience had taught him to be very different from that of the league of Smalkalde; and from what he had already felt, he had no reason to flatter himself that its counsels would be as irresolute, or its efforts as timid and feeble. If he should resolve on continuing the war, he might be assured, that the most considerable states in Germany would take part in it against him; and a dubious neutrality was the utmost he could expect from the rest. While the confederates found Edition: current; Page: [182] full employment for his arms in one quarter, the King of France would seize the favourable opportunity, and push on his operations in another, with almost certain success. That monarch had already made conquests in the empire, which Charles was no less eager to recover, than impatient to be revenged on him for aiding his malecontent subjects. Though Henry had now retired from the banks of the Rhine, he had only varied the scene of hostilities, having invaded the Low Countries with all his forces. The Turks, roused by the solicitations of the French king, as well as stimulated by resentment against Ferdinand for having violated the truce in Hungary, had prepared a powerful fleet to ravage the coasts of Naples and Sicily, which he had left almost defenceless, by calling thence the greatest part of the regular troops to join the army which he was now assembling.

Ferdinand zealous to promote an accommodation.Ferdinand, who went in person to Valich, in order to lay before the emperor the result of the conferences at Passau, had likewise reasons peculiar to himself for desiring an accommodation. These prompted him to second, with the greatest earnestness, the arguments which the princes assembled there had employed in recommending it. He had observed, not without secret satisfaction, the fatal blow that had been given to the despotic power which his brother had usurped in the empire. He was extremely solicitous to prevent Charles from recovering his former superiority, as he foresaw that ambitious prince would immediately resume, with increased eagerness, and with a better chance of success, his favourite scheme of transmitting that power to his son, by excluding his brother from the right of succession to the imperial throne. On this account he was willing to contribute towards circumscribing the imperial authority, in order to render his own possession of it certain. Besides, Solyman, exasperated at the loss of Transylvania, and still more Edition: current; Page: [183] at the fraudulent arts by which it had been seized, had ordered into the field an army of a hundred thousand men, which having defeated a great body of Ferdinand’s troops, and taken several places of importance, threatened not only to complete the conquest of the province, but to drive them out of that part of Hungary which was still subject to his jurisdiction. He was unable to resist such a mighty enemy; the emperor, while engaged in a domestic war, could afford him no aid; and he could not even hope to draw from Germany the contingent, either of troops or money, usually furnished to repel the invasions of the infidels. Maurice, having observed Ferdinand’s perplexity with regard to this last point, had offered, if peace were re-established on a secure foundation, that he would march in person with his troops into Hungary against the Turks. Such was the effect of this well-timed proposal, that Ferdinand, destitute of every other prospect of relief, became the most zealous advocate whom the confederates could have employed to urge their claims, and there was hardly any thing that they could have demanded which he would not have chosen to grant, rather than have retarded a pacification, to which he trusted as the only means of saving his Hungarian crown.

Circumstances which retard it.When so many causes conspired in rendering an accommodation eligible, it might have been expected that it would have taken place immediately. But the inflexibility of the emperor’s temper, together with his unwillingness at once to relinquish objects which he had long pursued with such earnestness and assiduity, counterbalanced, for some time, the force of all the motives which disposed him to peace, and not only put that event at a distance, but seemed to render it uncertain. When Maurice’s demands, together with the letter of the mediators at Passau, were presented to him, he peremptorily refused to redress the grievances Edition: current; Page: [184] which were pointed out, nor would he agree to any stipulation for the immediate security of the protestant religion, but proposed referring both these to the determination of a future diet. On his part, he required that instant reparation should be made to all who, during the present war, had suffered either by the licentiousness of the confederate troops, or the exactions of their leaders.

Maurice’s vigorous operations facilitate it.Maurice, who was well acquainted with the emperor’s arts, immediately concluded that he had nothing in view by these overtures but to amuse and deceive; and, therefore, without listening to Ferdinand’s entreaties, he left Passau abruptly, and joining his troops, which were encamped at Mergentheim, a city in Franconia, belonging to the knights of the Teutonic order, he put them in motion, and renewed hostilities. As three thousand men in the emperor’s pay had thrown themselves into Francfort on the Maine, and might from thence invest the neighbouring country of Hesse, he marched towards that city, and laid siege to it in form.July 17. The briskness of this enterprise, and the vigour with which Maurice carried on his approaches against the town, gave such an alarm to the emperor, as disposed him to lend a more favourable ear to Ferdinand’s arguments in behalf of an accommodation. Firm and haughty as his nature was, he found it necessary to bend, and signified his willingness to make concessions on his part, if Maurice, in return, would abate somewhat of the rigour of his demands. Ferdinand, as soon as he perceived that his brother began to yield, did not desist from his importunities, until he prevailed on him to declare what was the utmost that he would grant for the security of the confederates. Having gained this difficult point, he instantly dispatched a messenger to Maurice’s camp, and, imparting to him the emperor’s final resolution, conjured him not to frustrate his endeavours Edition: current; Page: [185] for the re-establishment of peace; or, by an unseasonable obstinacy on his side, to disappoint the wishes of all Germany for that salutary event.

Maurice desirous of an accommodation.Maurice, notwithstanding the prosperous situation of his affairs, was strongly inclined to listen to this advice. The emperor, though over-reached and surprised, had now begun to assemble troops, and, however slow his motions might be, while the first effects of his consternation remained, he was sensible that Charles must at last act with vigour proportional to the extent of his power and territories, and lead into Germany an army formidable by its numbers, and still more by the terror of his name, as well as the remembrance of his past victories. He could scarcely hope that a confederacy, composed of so many members, would continue to operate with union and perseverance sufficient to resist the consistent and well-directed efforts of an army, at the absolute disposal of a leader accustomed to command and to conquer. He felt already, although he had not hitherto experienced the shock of any adverse event, that he himself was the head of a disjointed body. He saw, from the example of Albert of Brandenburg, how difficult it would be, with all his address and credit, to prevent any particular member from detaching himself from the whole, and how impossible to recall him to his proper rank and subordination. This filled him with apprehensions for the common cause. Another consideration gave him no less disquiet with regard to his own particular interests. By setting at liberty the degraded elector, and by repealing the act by which that prince was deprived of his hereditary honours and dominions, the emperor had it in his power to wound him in the most tender part. The efforts of a prince beloved by his ancient subjects, and revered by all the protestant party, in order to recover what had been unjustly taken from him, could hardly have Edition: current; Page: [186] failed of exciting commotions in Saxony, which would endanger all that he had acquired at the expence of so much dissimulation and artifice. It was no less in the emperor’s power to render vain all the solicitations of the confederates in behalf of the landgrave. He had only to add one act of violence more to the injustice and rigour with which he had already treated him; and he had accordingly threatened the sons of that unfortunate prince, that if they persisted in their present enterprise, instead of seeing their father restored to liberty, they should hear of his having suffered the punishment which his rebellion had merited.s

The peace of religion concluded at Passau.Having deliberated upon all these points with his associates, Maurice thought it more prudent to accept of the conditions offered, though less advantageous than those which he had proposed, than again to commit all to the doubtful issue of war.tAugust 2. He repaired forthwith to Passau, and signed the treaty of peace; of which the chief articles were, That, before the twelfth day of August, the confederates shall lay down their arms, and disband their forces; that, on or before that day, the landgrave shall be set at liberty, and conveyed in safety to his castle of Rheinfels; that a diet shall be held within six months, in order to deliberate concerning the most proper and effectual method of preventing for the future all disputes and dissensions about religion; that, in the mean time, neither the emperor nor any other prince, shall, upon any pretext whatever, offer any injury or violence to such as adhered to the confession of Augsburg, but allow them to enjoy the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion; that, in return, the protestants shall not molest the catholics either in the exercise of their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, or in performing their religious ceremonies: that the imperial chamber Edition: current; Page: [187] shall administer justice impartially to persons of both parties, and protestants be admitted indiscriminately with the catholics to sit as judges in that court; that if the next diet should not be able to terminate the disputes with regard to religion, the stipulations in the present treaty in behalf of the protestants shall continue for ever in full force and vigour; that none of the confederates shall be liable to any action on account of what had happened during the course of the war; that the consideration of those encroachments which had been made, as Maurice pretended, upon the constitution and liberties of the empire, shall be remitted to the approaching diet; that Albert of Brandenburg shall be comprehended in the treaty, provided he shall accede to it, and disband his forces before the twelfth of August.u

Reflections upon this peace, and upon the conduct of Maurice.Such was the memorable treaty of Passau, that overturned the vast fabric, in erecting which Charles had employed so many years, and had exerted the utmost efforts of his power and policy; that annulled all his regulations with regard to religion, defeated all his hopes of rendering the imperial authority absolute and hereditary in his family, and established the protestant church, which had hitherto subsisted precariously in Germany, through connivance, or by expedients, upon a firm and secure basis. Maurice reaped all the glory of having concerted and completed this unexpected revolution. It is a singular circumstance, that the reformation should be indebted for its security and full establishment in Germany, to the same hand which had brought it to the brink of destruction, and that both events should have been accomplished by the same arts of dissimulation. The ends, however, which Maurice had in view, at those different junctures, seem to have been more attended to than the means by which he attained Edition: current; Page: [188] them; and he was now as universally extolled for his zeal and public spirit as he had lately been condemned for his indifference and interested policy. It is no less worthy of observation, that the French king, a monarch zealous for the catholic faith, should employ his power in order to protect and maintain the reformation in the empire, at the very time when he was persecuting his own protestant subjects with all the fierceness of bigotry, and that the league for this purpose, which proved so fatal to the Romish church, should be negotiated and signed by a Roman catholic bishop. So wonderfully doth the wisdom of God superintend and regulate the caprice of human passions, and render them subservient towards the accomplishment of his own purposes.

Little attention paid to the French king in this treaty.Little attention was paid to the interests of the French king during the negotiations at Passau. Maurice and his associates, having gained what they had in view, discovered no great solicitude about an ally, whom, perhaps, they reckoned to be overpaid for the assistance which he had given them, by his acquisitions in Lorrain. A short clause which they procured to be inserted in the treaty, importing that the King of France might communicate to the confederates his particular pretensions or causes of hostility, which they would lay before the emperor, was the only sign that they gave of their remembering how much they had been indebted to him for their success. Henry experienced the same treatment which every prince who lends his aid to the authors of a civil war may expect. As soon as the rage of faction began to subside, and any prospect of accommodation to open, his services were forgotten, and his associates made a merit with their sovereign of the ingratitude with which they abandoned their protector. But how much soever Henry might be enraged at the perfidy of his allies, or at the impatience Edition: current; Page: [189] with which they hastened to make their peace with the emperor, at his expence, he was perfectly sensible that it was more his interest to keep well with the Germanic body than to resent the indignities offered him by any particular members of it. For that reason he dismissed the hostages which he had received from Maurice and his associates, and affected to talk in the same strain as formerly, concerning his zeal for maintaining the ancient constitution and liberties of the empire.

Edition: current; Page: [190]

THE

HISTORY OF THE REIGN

of the

EMPEROR CHARLES V.

BOOK XI.

1552.As soon as the treaty of Passau was signed, Maurice, in consequence of his engagements with Ferdinand, marched into Hungary at the head of twenty thousand men.August 3. But the great superiority of the Turkish armies, the frequent mutinies both of the Spanish and German soldiers, occasioned by their want of pay, together with the dissensions between Maurice and Castaldo,Maurice marches into Hungary against the Turks. who was piqued at being obliged to resign the chief command to him, prevented his performing any thing in that country suitable to his former fame, or of great benefit to the King of the Romans.a

The Landgrave of Hesse recovers his liberty.When Maurice set out for Hungary, the Prince of Hesse parted from him with the forces under his command, and marched back into his own country, that he might be ready to receive his father upon his return, and give up to him the reins of government which he had held during his absence. But fortune was not yet weary of persecuting the landgrave. A battalion of mercenary troops, which had been in the Edition: current; Page: [191] pay of Hesse, being seduced by Reifenberg, their colonel, a soldier of fortune, ready to engage in any enterprise, secretly withdrew from the young prince as he was marching homewards, and joined Albert of Brandenburg, who still continued in arms against the emperor, refusing to be included in the treaty of Passau. Unhappily for the landgrave, an account of this reached the Netherlands, just as he was dismissed from the citadel of Mechlin,BOOK XI.lf1681-05_figure_001.jpg where he had been confined, but before he had got beyond the frontiers of that country. The Queen of Hungary, who governed there in her brother’s name, incensed at such an open violation of the treaty to which he owed his liberty, issued orders to arrest him, and committed him again to the custody of the same Spanish captain who had guarded him for five years with the most severe vigilance. Philip beheld all the horrors of his imprisonment renewed; and his spirits subsiding in the same proportion as they had risen during the short interval in which he had enjoyed liberty, he sunk into despair, and believed himself to be doomed to perpetual captivity. But the matter being so explained to the emperor, as fully satisfied him that the revolt of Reifenberg’s mercenaries could be imputed neither to the landgrave nor to his son, he gave orders for his release; and Philip at last obtained the liberty for which he had so long languished.b But though he recovered his freedom, and was reinstated in his dominions, his sufferings seem to have broken the vigour, and to have extinguished the activity of his mind. From being the boldest as well as most enterprising prince in the empire, he became the most timid and cautious, and passed the remainder of his days in a pacific indolence.

Likewise the Elector of Saxony.The degraded Elector of Saxony likewise procured his liberty in consequence of the treaty of Passau. Edition: current; Page: [192] The emperor having been obliged to relinquish all his schemes for extirpating the protestant religion, had no longer any motive for detaining him a prisoner; and being extremely solicitous, at that juncture, to recover the confidence and good-will of the Germans, whose assistance was essential to the success of the enterprise which he meditated against the King of France, he, among other expedients for that purpose, thought of releasing from imprisonment a prince whose merit entitled him no less to esteem, than his sufferings rendered him the object of compassion. John Frederick took possession accordingly of that part of his territories which had been reserved for him, when Maurice was invested with the electoral dignity. As in this situation he continued to display the same virtuous magnanimity for which he had been conspicuous in a more prosperous and splendid state, and which he had retained amidst all his sufferings, he maintained during the remainder of his life that high reputation to which he had so just a title.

The emperor resolves to make war upon France.The loss of Metz, Toul, and Verdun had made a deep impression on the emperor. Accustomed to terminate all his operations against France with advantage to himself, he thought that it nearly concerned his honour not to allow Henry the superiority in this war, or to suffer his own administration to be stained with the infamy of having permitted territories of such consequence to be dismembered from the empire. This was no less a point of interest than of honour. As the frontier of Champagne was more naked, and lay more exposed than that of any province in France, Charles had frequently, during his wars with that kingdom, made inroads upon that quarter with great success and effect; but if Henry were allowed to retain his late conquests, France would gain such a formidable barrier on that side, as to be altogether secure, where formerly she had been weakest. On the Edition: current; Page: [193] other hand, the emperor had now lost as much, in point of security, as France had acquired; and, being stripped of the defence which those cities afforded it, lay open to be invaded on a quarter, where all the towns having been hitherto considered as interior, and remote from any enemy, were but slightly fortified. These considerations determined Charles to attempt recovering the three towns of which Henry had made himself master; and the preparations which he had made against Maurice and his associates, enabled him to carry his resolution into immediate execution.

His preparations for this purpose.As soon, then, as the peace was concluded at Passau, he left his inglorious retreat at Villach, and advanced to Augsburg, at the head of a considerable body of Germans which he had levied, together with all the troops which he had drawn out of Italy and Spain. To these he added several battalions, which having been in the pay of the confederates, entered into his service when dismissed by them; and he prevailed likewise on some princes of the empire to join him with their vassals. In order to conceal the destination of this formidable army, and to guard against alarming the French king, so as to put him on preparing for the defence of his late conquests, he gave out that he was to march forthwith into Hungary, in order to second Maurice in his operations against the infidels. When he began to advance towards the Rhine, and could no longer employ that pretext, he tried a new artifice, and spread a report, that he took this route in order to chastise Albert of Brandenburg, whose cruel exactions in that part of the empire called loudly for his interposition to check them.

The precautions of the French for the defence of Metz.But the French having grown acquainted, at last, with arts by which they had been so often deceived, viewed all Charles’s motions with distrust. Henry immediately discerned the true object of his vast preparations, and resolved to defend the important conquests Edition: current; Page: [194] which he had gained with vigour equal to that with which they were about to be attacked. As he foresaw that the whole weight of the war would be turned against Metz, by whose fate that of Toul and Verdun would be determined, he nominated Francis of Lorrain, Duke of Guise, to take the command in that city during the siege, the issue of which would equally affect the honour and interest of his country. His choice could not have fallen upon any person more worthy of that trust. The Duke of Guise possessed, in a high degree,The Duke of Guise appointed governor of the town. all the talents of courage, sagacity, and presence of mind, which render men eminent in military command. He was largely endowed with that magnanimity of soul which delights in bold enterprises, and aspires to fame by splendid and extraordinary actions. He repaired with joy to the dangerous station assigned him, as to a theatre on which he might display his great qualities under the immediate eye of his countrymen, all ready to applaud him. The martial genius of the French nobility in that age, which considered it as the greatest reproach to remain inactive, when there was any opportunity of signalizing their courage, prompted great numbers to follow a leader who was the darling as well as the pattern of every one that courted military fame. Several princes of the blood, many noblemen of the highest rank, and all the young officers who could obtain the king’s permission, entered Metz as volunteers. By their presence they added spirit to the garrison, and enabled the Duke of Guise to employ, on every emergency, persons eager to distinguish themselves, and fit to conduct any service.

Prepares for a vigorous defence.But with whatever alacrity the Duke of Guise undertook the defence of Metz, he found every thing, upon his arrival there, in such a situation as might have induced any person of less intrepid courage to despair of defending it with success. The city was Edition: current; Page: [195] of great extent, with large suburbs; the walls were in many places feeble and without ramparts; the ditch narrow; and the old towers, which projected instead of bastions, were at too great distance from each other to defend the space between them. For all these defects he endeavoured to provide the best remedy which the time would permit. He ordered the suburbs, without sparing the monasteries or churches, not even that of St. Arnulph, in which several kings of France had been buried, to be levelled with the ground; but, in order to guard against the imputation of impiety, to which such a violation of so many sacred edifices, as well as of the ashes of the dead, might expose him, he executed this with much religious ceremony. Having ordered all the holy vestments and utensils, together with the bones of the kings, and other persons deposited in these churches, to be removed, they were carried in solemn procession to a church within the walls, he himself walking before them bare-headed, with a torch in his hand. He then pulled down such houses as stood near the walls, cleared and enlarged the ditch, repaired the ruinous fortifications, and erected new ones. As it was necessary that all these works should be finished with the utmost expedition, he laboured at them with his own hands; the officers and volunteers imitated his example; and the soldiers submitted with cheerfulness to the most severe and fatiguing service, when they saw that their superiors did not decline to bear a part in it. At the same time he compelled all useless persons to leave the place; he filled the magazines with provisions and military stores; he burnt the mills, and destroyed the corn and forage for several miles round the town. Such were his popular talents, as well as his arts of acquiring an ascendant over the minds of men, that the citizens seconded him with no less ardour than the soldiers; and every Edition: current; Page: [196] other passion being swallowed up in the zeal to repulse the enemy, with which he inspired them, they beheld the ruin of their estates, together with the havoc which he made among their public and private buildings, without any emotion of resentment.c

Charles advances towards Metz.Meantime, the emperor, having collected all his forces, continued his march towards Metz. As he passed through the cities on the Rhine, he saw the dismal effects of that licentious and wasteful war which Albert had carried on in these parts. Upon his approach, that prince, though at the head of twenty thousand men, withdrew into Lorrain, as if he had intended to join the French king, whose arms he had quartered with his own in all his standards and ensigns. Albert was not in a condition to cope with the imperial troopsd, which amounted at least to sixty thousand men, forming one of the most numerous and best-appointed armies which had been brought into the field during that age, in any of the wars among Christian princes.

Invests the town.The chief command, under the emperor, was committed to the Duke of Alva, assisted by the Marquis de Marignano, together with the most experienced of the Italian and Spanish generals. As it was now towards the end of October, these intelligent officers represented the great danger of beginning, at such an advanced season, a siege which could not fail to prove very tedious. But Charles adhered to his own opinion with his usual obstinacy, and, being confident that he had made such preparations, and taken such precautions, as would ensure success, he ordered the city to be invested.October 19. As soon as the Duke of Alva appeared, a large body of the French sallied out and attacked his van-guard with great vigour, put it in confusion, and killed or took prisoners a considerable number of men. By this early specimen which they Edition: current; Page: [197] gave of the conduct of their officers, as well as the valour of their troops, they shewed the imperialists what an enemy they had to encounter, and how dear every advantage must cost them. The place, however, was completely invested, the trenches were opened, and the other works begun.

Both parties endeavour to gain Albert of Brandenburg.The attention both of the besiegers and besieged was turned for some time towards Albert of Brandenburg, and they strove with emulation which should gain that prince, who still hovered in the neighbourhood, fluctuating in all the uncertainty of irresolution, natural to a man, who, being swayed by no principle, was allured different ways by contrary views of interest. The French tempted him with offers extremely beneficial; the imperialists scrupled at no promise which they thought might allure him. After much hesitation, he was gained by the emperor, from whom he expected to receive advantages which were both more immediate and more permanent. As the French king, who began to suspect his intentions, had appointed a body of troops under the Duke of Aumale, brother to the Duke of Guise, to watch his motions, Albert fell upon them unexpectedly with such vigour, that he routed them entirely, killed many of the officers, wounded Aumale himself, and took him prisoner.Nov. 4. Immediately after this victory, he marched in triumph to Metz, and joined his army to that of the emperor. Charles, in reward for this service, and the great accession of strength which he brought him, granted Albert a formal pardon of all past offences, and confirmed him in the possession of the territories which he had violently usurped during the war.e

The gallant behaviour of the Duke of Guise and his garrison.The Duke of Guise, though deeply affected with his brother’s misfortune, did not remit, in any degree, the vigour with which he defended the town. He Edition: current; Page: [198] harassed the besiegers by frequent sallies, in which his officers were so eager to distinguish themselves, that his authority being hardly sufficient to restrain the impetuosity of their courage, he was obliged at different times to shut the gates, and to conceal the keys, in order to prevent the princes of the blood, and noblemen of the first rank, from exposing themselves to danger in every sally. He repaired in the night what the enemy’s artillery had beat down during the day, or erected behind the ruined works new fortifications of almost equal strength. The imperialists, on their part, pushed on the attack with great spirit, and carried forward, at once, approaches against different parts of the town. But the art of attacking fortified places was not then arrived at that degree of perfection to which it was carried towards the close of the sixteenth century, during the long war in the Netherlands. The besiegers, after the unwearied labour of many weeks, found that they had made but little progress; and although their batteries had made breaches in different places, they saw, to their astonishment, works suddenly appear, in demolishing which their fatigues and dangers would be renewed. The emperor, enraged at the obstinate resistance which his army met with, left Thionville, where he had been confined by a violent fit of the gout, and though still so infirm that he was obliged to be carried in a litter,Nov. 26. he repaired to the camp; that, by his presence, he might animate the soldiers, and urge on the attack with greater spirit. Upon his arrival, new batteries were erected, and new efforts were made with redoubled ardour.

The distress of the imperial army.But, by this time, winter had set in with great rigour; the camp was alternately deluged with rain or covered with snow; at the same time provisions were become extremely scarce, as a body of French cavalry, which hovered in the neighbourhood, often Edition: current; Page: [199] interrupted the convoys, or rendered their arrival difficult and uncertain. Diseases began to spread among the soldiers, especially among the Italians and Spaniards, unaccustomed to such inclement weather; great numbers were disabled from serving, and many died. At length, such breaches were made as seemed practicable, and Charles resolved to hazard a general assault, in spite of all the remonstrances of his generals against the imprudence of attacking a numerous garrison, conducted and animated by the most gallant of the French nobility, with an army weakened by diseases, and disheartened with ill success. The Duke of Guise, suspecting the emperor’s intentions from the extraordinary movements which he observed in the enemy’s camp, ordered all his troops to their respective posts. They appeared immediately on the walls, and behind the breaches, with such a determined countenance, so eager for the combat, and so well prepared to give the assailants a warm reception, that the imperialists, instead of advancing to the charge when the word of command was given, stood motionless in a timid dejected silence. The emperor, perceiving that he could not trust troops whose spirits were so much broken, retired abruptly to his quarters, complaining that he was now deserted by his soldiers, who deserved no longer the name of men.f

The emperor changes the method of attack.Deeply as this behaviour of his troops mortified and affected Charles, he would not hear of abandoning the siege, though he saw the necessity of changing the method of attack. He suspended the fury of his batteries, and proposed to proceed by the more secure but tedious method of sapping. But as it still continued to rain or to snow almost incessantly, such as were employed in this service endured incredible hardships; and the Duke of Guise, whose industry was not inferior to his valour, discovering all their Edition: current; Page: [200] mines, counter-worked them, and prevented their effect. At last, Charles finding it impossible to contend any longer with the severity of the season, and with enemies whom he could neither overpower by force, nor subdue by art, while at the same time a contagious distemper raged among his troops, and cut off daily great numbers of the officers as well as soldiers, yielded to the solicitations of his generals, who conjured him to save the remains of his army by a timely retreat: “Fortune,” says he, “I now perceive, resembles other females, and chooses to confer her favours on young men, while she turns her back on those who are advanced in years.”

Dec. 26.Upon this, he gave orders immediately to raise the siege,Obliged to raise the siege. and submitted to the disgrace of abandoning the enterprise, after having continued fifty-six days before the town, during which time he had lost upwards of thirty thousand men, who died of diseases, or were killed by the enemy. The Duke of Guise, as soon as he perceived the intention of the imperialists, sent out several bodies both of cavalry and infantry to infest their rear, to pick up stragglers, and to seize every opportunity of attacking them with advantage. Such was the confusion with which they made their retreat,Ruin of the imperial army, and humanity of the French. that the French might have harassed them in the most cruel manner. But when they sallied out, a spectacle presented itself to their view, which extinguished at once all hostile rage, and melted them into tenderness and compassion. The imperial camp was filled with the sick and wounded, with the dead and the dying. In all the different roads by which the army retired, numbers were found, who, having made an effort to escape, beyond their strength, were left, when they could go no farther, to perish without assistance. This they received from their enemies, and were indebted to them for all the kind offices which their friends had not the power to perform. Edition: current; Page: [201] The Duke of Guise immediately ordered proper refreshments for such as were dying of hunger; he appointed surgeons to attend the sick and wounded; he removed such as could bear it into the adjacent villages; and those who would have suffered by being carried so far, he admitted into the hospitals which he had fitted up in the city for his own soldiers. As soon as they recovered, he sent them home under an escort of soldiers, and with money to bear their charges. By these acts of humanity, which were uncommon in that age, when war was carried on with greater rancour and ferocity than at present, the Duke of Guise completed the fame which he had acquired by his gallant and successful defence of Metz, and engaged those whom he had vanquished to vie with his own countrymen in extolling his name.g

Bad situation of the emperor’s affairs in Italy.To these calamities in Germany, were added such unfortunate events in Italy, as rendered this the most disastrous year in the emperor’s life. During his residence at Villach, Charles had applied to Cosmo de’ Medici for the loan of two hundred thousand crowns. But his credit at that time was so low, that, in order to obtain this inconsiderable sum, he was obliged to put him in possession of the principality of Piombino, and, by giving up that, he lost the footing which he had hitherto maintained in Tuscany, and enabled Cosmo to assume, for the future, the tone and deportment of a prince altogether independent. Much about the time that his indigence constrained him to part with this valuable territory, he lost Siena, which was of still greater consequence, through the ill conduct of Don Diego de Mendoza.h

The revolt of Siena.Siena, like most of the great cities in Italy, had long enjoyed a republican government, under the Edition: current; Page: [202] protection of the empire; but, being torn in pieces by the dissensions between the nobility and the people, which divided all the Italian commonwealths, the faction of the people, which gained the ascendant, besought the emperor to become the guardian of the administration which they had established, and admitted into their city a small body of Spanish soldiers, whom he had sent to countenance the execution of the laws, and to preserve tranquillity among them. The command of these troops were given to Mendoza, at that time ambassador for the emperor at Rome, who persuaded the credulous multitude, that it was necessary for their security against any future attempt of the nobles, to allow him to build a citadel in Siena; and, as he flattered himself that, by means of this fortress, he might render the emperor master of the city, he pushed on the works with all possible dispatch. But he threw off the mask too soon. Before the fortifications were completed, he began to indulge his natural haughtiness and severity of temper, and to treat the citizens with great insolence. At the same time the soldiers in garrison being paid as irregularly as the emperor’s troops usually were, lived almost at discretion upon the inhabitants, and were guilty of many acts of licence and oppression.

The Sienese court the assistance of France.These injuries awakened the Sienese to a sense of their danger. As they saw the necessity of exerting themselves, while the unfinished fortifications of the citadel left them any hopes of success, they applied to the French ambassador at Rome, who readily promised them his master’s protection and assistance. At the same time, forgetting their domestic animosities when such a mortal blow was aimed at the liberty and existence of the republic, they sent agents to the exiled nobles, and invited them to concur with them in saving their country from the servitude with which Edition: current; Page: [203] it was threatened. As there was not a moment to lose, measures were concerted speedily, but with great prudence; and were executed with equal vigour. The citizens rose suddenly in arms; the exiles flocked into the town from different parts with all their partisans, and what troops they could draw together; and several bodies of mercenaries in the pay of France appeared to support them. The Spaniards, though surprised, and much inferior in number, defended themselves with great courage; but, seeing no prospect of relief, and having no hopes of maintaining their station long in a half-finished fortress, they soon gave it up. The Sienese, with the utmost alacrity, levelled it with the ground, that no monument might remain of that odious structure, which had been raised in order to enslave them. At the same time, renouncing all connection with the emperor, they sent ambassadors to thank the King of France as the restorer of their liberty, and to entreat that he would secure to them the perpetual enjoyment of that blessing, by continuing his protection to their republic.i

Descent of the Turks in the kingdom of Naples.To these misfortunes, one still more fatal had almost succeeded. The severe administration of Don Pedro de Toledo, Viceroy of Naples, having filled that kingdom with murmuring and disaffection, the Prince of Salerno, the head of the malecontents, had fled to the court of France, where all who bore ill will to the emperor or his ministers were sure of finding protection and assistance. That nobleman, in the usual style of exiles, boasting much of the number and power of his partisans, and of his great influence with them, prevailed on Henry to think of invading Naples, from an expectation of being joined by all those with whom the Prince of Salerno held correspondence, Edition: current; Page: [204] or who were dissatisfied with Toledo’s government. But, though the first hint of this enterprise was suggested by the Prince of Salerno, Henry did not choose that its success should entirely depend upon his being able to fulfil the promises which he had made. He applied for aid to Solyman, whom he courted, after his father’s example, as his most vigorous auxiliary against the emperor, and solicited him to second his operations, by sending a powerful fleet into the Mediterranean. It was not difficult to obtain what he requested of the sultan, who, at this time, was highly incensed against the house of Austria, on account of the proceedings in Hungary. He ordered a hundred and fifty ships to be equipped, that they might sail towards the coast of Naples, at whatever time Henry should name, and might co-operate with the French troops in their attempts upon that kingdom. The command of this fleet was given to the corsair Dragut, an officer trained up under Barbarossa, and scarcely inferior to his master in courage, in talents, or in good fortune. He appeared on the coast of Calabria at the time which had been agreed on, landed at several places, plundered and burnt several villages; and, at last, casting anchor in the bay of Naples, filled that city with consternation. But as the French fleet, detained by some accident, which the contemporary historians have not explained, did not join the Turks according to concert, they, after waiting twenty days, without hearing any tidings of it, set sail for Constantinople, and thus delivered the Viceroy of Naples from the terror of an invasion which he was not in a condition to have resisted.k

1553.As the French had never given so severe a check to the emperor in any former campaign,The emperor sensibly affected with the state of his affairs. they expressed immoderate joy at the success of their arms. Charles himself, accustomed to a long series of prosperity, felt Edition: current; Page: [205] the calamity most sensibly, and retired from Metz into the Low Countries, much dejected with the cruel reverse of fortune which affected him in his declining age, when the violence of the gout had increased to such a pitch, as entirely broke the vigour of his constitution, and rendered him peevish, difficult of access, and often incapable of applying to business. But, whenever he enjoyed any interval of ease, all his thoughts were bent on revenge; and he deliberated, with the greatest solicitude, concerning the most proper means of annoying France, and of effacing the stain which had obscured the reputation and glory of his arms. All the schemes concerning Germany, which had engrossed him so long, being disconcerted by the peace of Passau, the affairs of the empire became only secondary objects of attention; and enmity to France was the predominant passion which chiefly occupied his mind.

The violent proceedings of Albert of Brandenburg.The turbulent ambition of Albert of Brandenburg excited violent commotions, which disturbed the empire during this year. That prince’s troops, having shared in the calamities of the siege of Metz, were greatly reduced in number. But the emperor, prompted by gratitude for his distinguished services on that occasion, or perhaps with a secret view of fomenting divisions among the princes of the empire, having paid up all the money due to him, he was enabled with that sum to hire so many of the soldiers dismissed from the imperial army, that he was soon at the head of a body of men as numerous as ever. The Bishops of Bamberg and Wurtzburg having solicited the imperial chamber to annul, by its authority, the iniquitous conditions which Albert had compelled them to sign, that court unanimously found all their engagements with him to be void in their own nature, because they had been extorted by force; enjoined Albert to renounce Edition: current; Page: [206] all claim to the performance of them; and, if he should persist in such an unjust demand, exhorted all the princes of the empire to take arms against him as a disturber of the public tranquillity. To this decision, Albert opposed the confirmation of his transactions with the two prelates, which the emperor had granted him as the reward of his having joined the imperial army at Metz; and in order to intimidate his antagonists, as well as to convince them of his resolution not to relinquish his pretensions, he put his troops in motion, that he might secure the territory in question. Various endeavours were employed, and many expedients proposed, in order to prevent the kindling of a new war in Germany. But the same warmth of temper which rendered Albert turbulent and enterprising, inspiring him with the most sanguine hopes of success, even in his wildest undertakings, he disdainfully rejected all reasonable overtures of accommodation.

He is condemned by the imperial chamber.Upon this, the imperial chamber issued its decree against him, and required the Elector of Saxony, together with several other princes mentioned by name, to take arms in order to carry it into execution. Maurice, and those associated with him, were not unwilling to undertake this service. They were extremely solicitous to maintain public order by supporting the authority of the imperial chamber, and saw the necessity of giving a timely check to the usurpations of an ambitious prince, who had no principle of action but regard to his own interest, and no motive to direct him but the impulse of ungovernable passions. They had good reason to suspect, that the emperor encouraged Albert in his extravagant and irregular proceedings, and secretly afforded him assistance, that, by raising him up to rival Maurice in power, he might, in any future broil, make use of his assistance to Edition: current; Page: [207] counterbalance and control the authority which the other had acquired in the empire.l

April 2.These considerations united the most powerful princes in Germany in a league against Albert,A confederacy formed against him, of which Maurice was head. of which Maurice was declared generalissimo. This formidable confederacy, however, wrought no change in Albert’s sentiments; but as he knew that he could not resist so many princes, if he should allow them time to assemble their forces, he endeavoured, by his activity, to deprive them of all the advantages which they might derive from their united power and numbers; and, for that reason, marched directly against Maurice, the enemy whom he dreaded most. It was happy for the allies that the conduct of their affairs was committed to a prince of such abilities. He, by his authority and example, had inspired them with vigour; and having carried on their preparations with a degree of rapidity of which confederate bodies are seldom capable, he was in a condition to face Albert before he could make any considerable progress.

He attacks Albert,Their armies, which were nearly equal in number, each consisting of twenty-four thousand men, met at Sieverhausen, in the dutchy of Lunenburg; and the violent animosity against each other, which possessed the two leaders, did not suffer them to continue long inactive. The troops, inflamed with the same hostile rage, marched fiercely to the combat;June 9. they fought with the greatest obstinacy; and as both generals were capable of availing themselves of every favourable occurrence, the battle remained long doubtful, each gaining ground upon the other alternately.and defeats his army; At last victory declared for Maurice, who was superior in cavalry, and Albert’s army fled in confusion, leaving four thousand dead on the field, and their camp, baggage, and artillery, in the hands of the conquerors. Edition: current; Page: [208] The allies bought their victory dear; their best troops suffered greatly; two sons of the Duke of Brunswick, a Duke of Lunenburg, and many other persons of distinction, were among the number of the slain.m But all these were soon forgotten;but is killed in the battle. for Maurice himself, as he led up to a second charge a body of horse which had been broken, received a wound with a pistol-bullet in the belly, of which he died two days after the battle, in the thirty-second year of his age, and in the sixth after his attaining the electoral dignity.

His character.Of all the personages who have appeared in the history of this active age, when great occurrences and sudden revolutions called forth extraordinary talents to view, and afforded them full opportunity to display themselves, Maurice may justly be considered as the most remarkable. If his exorbitant ambition, his profound dissimulation, and his unwarrantable usurpation of his kinsman’s honours and dominions, exclude him from being praised as a virtuous man; his prudence in concerting his measures, his vigour in executing them, and the uniform success with which they were attended, entitle him to the appellation of a great prince. At an age when impetuosity of spirit commonly predominates over political wisdom, when the highest effort even of a genius of the first order is to fix on a bold scheme, and to execute it with promptitude and courage, he formed and conducted an intricate plan of policy, which deceived the most artful monarch in Europe. At the very juncture when the emperor had attained to almost unlimited despotism, Maurice, with power seemingly inadequate to such an undertaking, compelled him to relinquish all his usurpations, and established not only the religious but civil liberties of Germany on such foundations Edition: current; Page: [209] as have hitherto remained unshaken. Although, at one period of his life, his conduct excited the jealousy of the protestants, and at another drew on him the resentment of the Roman catholics, such was his masterly address, that he was the only prince of the age who, in any degree, possessed the confidence of both, and whom both lamented as the most able as well as faithful guardian of the constitution and laws of his country.

Albert continues the war.The consternation which Maurice’s death occasioned among his troops, prevented them from making the proper improvement of the victory which they had gained. Albert, whose active courage, and profuse liberality, rendered him the darling of such military adventurers as were little solicitous about the justice of his cause, soon re-assembled his broken forces, and made fresh levies with such success, that he was quickly at the head of fifteen thousand men, and renewed his depredations with additional fury. But Henry of Brunswick having taken the command of the allied troops, defeated him in a second battle,Sept. 12. scarcely less bloody than the former. Even then his courage did not sink, nor were his resources exhausted. He made several efforts, and some of them very vigorous, to retrieve his affairs: but, being laid under the ban of the empire by the imperial chamber; being driven by degrees out of all his hereditary territories, as well as those which he had usurped; being forsaken by many of his officers, and overpowered by the number of his enemies, he fled for refuge into France.He is driven out of Germany. After having been, for a considerable time, the terror and scourge of Germany, he lingered out some years in an indigent and dependent state of exile, the miseries of which his restless and arrogant spirit endured with the most indignant impatience. Upon his death without issue,January 12. his territories,1557. which had been seized by the princes who took Edition: current; Page: [210] arms against him, were restored, by a decree of the emperor, to his collateral heirs of the house of Brandenburg.n

Maurice’s brother Augustus succeeds him in the electoral dignity.Maurice, having left only one daughter, who was afterwards married to William Prince of Orange, by whom she had a son who bore his grandfather’s name, and inherited the great talents for which he was conspicuous, a violent dispute arose concerning the succession to his honours and territories. John Frederick, the degraded elector, claimed the electoral dignity, and that part of his patrimonial estate of which he had been violently stripped after the Smalkaldic war. Augustus, Maurice’s only brother, pleaded his right not only to the hereditary possessions of their family, but to the electoral dignity, and to the territories which Maurice had acquired. As Augustus was a prince of considerable abilities, as well as of great candour and gentleness of manners, the states of Saxony, forgetting the merits and sufferings of their former master, declared warmly in his favour. His pretensions were powerfully supported by the King of Denmark, whose daughter he had married, and zealously espoused by the King of the Romans, out of regard to Maurice’s memory. The degraded elector, though secretly favoured by his ancient enemy the emperor, was at last obliged to relinquish his claim, upon obtaining a small addition to the territories which had been allotted to him, together with a stipulation, securing to his family the eventual succession, upon a failure of male heirs in the Albertine line. That unfortunate, but magnanimous prince, died next year, soon after ratifying this treaty of agreement; and the electoral dignity is still possessed by the descendants of Augustus.o

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During these transactions in Germany, war was carried on in the Low Countries with considerable vigour. The emperor,Hostilities in the Low Countries. impatient to efface the stain which his ignominious repulse at Metz left upon his military reputation, had an army early in the field, and laid siege to Terouenne. Though the town was of such importance, that Francis used to call it one of the two pillows on which a King of France might sleep with security, the fortifications were in bad repair: Henry, trusting to what had happened at Metz, thought nothing more was necessary to render all the efforts of the enemy abortive, than to reinforce the garrison with a considerable number of the young nobility. But D’Essé, a veteran officer who commanded them, being killed, and the imperialists pushing the siege with great vigour and perseverance, the place was taken by assault.June 21. That it might not fall again into the hands of the French, Charles ordered not only the fortifications but the town itself to be razed, and the inhabitants to be dispersed in the adjacent cities. Elated with this success, the imperialists immediately invested Hesden, which, though defended with great bravery, was likewise taken by assault, and such of the garrison as escaped the sword were made prisoners. The emperor intrusted the conduct of the siege to Emanuel Philibert of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont, who, on that occasion, gave the first display of those great talents for military command, which soon entitled him to be ranked among the first generals of the age, and facilitated his re-establishment in his hereditary dominions, the greater part of which having been overrun by Francis in his expeditions into Italy, were still retained by Henry.p

The progress of the imperialists disquiets the French king.The loss of these towns, together with so many persons of distinction, either killed or taken by the Edition: current; Page: [212] enemy, was no inconsiderable calamity to France, and Henry felt it very sensibly; but he was still more mortified at the emperor’s having recovered his wonted superiority in the field so soon after the blow at Metz, which the French had represented as fatal to his power. He was ashamed, too, of his own remissness and excessive security at the opening of the campaign; and, in order to repair that error, he assembled a numerous army, and led it into the Low Countries.

Roused at the approach of such a formidable enemy, Charles left Brussels, where he had been shut up so closely during seven months, that it came to be believed, in many parts of Europe, that he was dead; and though he was so much debilitated by the gout, that he could hardly bear the motion of a litter, he hastened to join his army. The eyes of all Europe were turned with expectation towards those mighty and exasperated rivals, between whom a decisive battle was now thought unavoidable. But Charles having prudently declined to hazard a general engagement, and the violence of the autumnal rains rendering it impossible for the French to undertake any siege, they retired, without having performed any thing suitable to the great preparations which they had made.q

The imperialists unsuccessful in Italy,The imperial arms were not attended with the same success in Italy. The narrowness of the emperor’s finances seldom allowed him to act with vigour in two different places at the same time; and, having exerted himself to the utmost in order to make a great effort in the Low Countries, his operations on the other side of the Alps were proportionably feeble. The Viceroy of Naples, in conjunction with Cosmo de’ Medici, who was greatly alarmed at the introduction of French troops into Siena, endeavoured to become master of that city. But, instead of reducing Edition: current; Page: [213] the Sienese, the imperialists were obliged to retire abruptly, in order to defend their own country, upon the appearance of the Turkish fleet, which threatened the coast of Naples; and the French not only established themselves more firmly in Tuscany, but, by the assistance of the Turks, conquered a great part of the island of Corsica, subject at that time to the Genoese.r

and in Hungary.The affairs of the house of Austria declined no less in Hungary during the course of this year. As the troops which Ferdinand kept in Transylvania received their pay very irregularly, they lived almost at discretion upon the inhabitants; and their insolence and rapaciousness greatly disgusted all ranks of men, and alienated them from their new sovereign, who, instead of protecting, plundered his subjects. Their indignation at this, added to their desire of revenging Martinuzzi’s death, wrought so much upon a turbulent nobility, impatient of injury, and upon a fierce people, prone to change, that they were ripe for a revolt. At that very juncture, their late Queen Isabella, together with her son, appeared in Transylvania. Her ambitious mind could not bear the solitude and inactivity of a private life; and, repenting quickly of the cession which she had made of the crown in the year one thousand five hundred and fifty-one, she left the place of her retreat, hoping that the dissatisfaction of the Hungarians with the Austrian government would prompt them once more to recognise her son’s right to the crown. Some noblemen of great eminence declared immediately in his favour. The Bashà of Belgrade, by Solyman’s order, espoused his cause, in opposition to Ferdinand; the Spanish and German soldiers, instead of advancing against the enemy, mutinied for want of pay, declaring that they would march back to Vienna; Edition: current; Page: [214] so that Castaldo, their general, was obliged to abandon Transylvania to Isabella and the Turks, and to place himself at the head of the mutineers,Ferdinand obliged to abandon Transylvania. that, by his authority, he might restrain them from plundering the Austrian territories through which they passed.s

Solyman’s domestic distresses.Ferdinand’s attention was turned so entirely towards the affairs of Germany, and his treasures so much exhausted by his late efforts in Hungary, that he made no attempt to recover this valuable province, although a favourable opportunity for that purpose presented itself, as Solyman was then engaged in a war with Persia, and involved besides in domestic calamities which engrossed and disturbed his mind. Solyman, though distinguished by many accomplishments from the other Ottoman princes, had all the passions peculiar to that violent and haughty race. He was jealous of his authority, sudden as well as furious in his anger, and susceptible of all that rage and love, which reigns in the East, and often produces the wildest and most tragical effects.The tragical history of his son Mustapha. His favourite mistress was a Circassian slave of exquisite beauty, who bore him a son called Mustapha, whom, both on account of his birthright and his merit, he destined to be the heir of his crown. Roxalana, a Russian captive, soon supplanted the Circassian, and gained the sultan’s heart. Having the address to retain the conquest which she had made, she kept possession of his love without any rival for many years, during which she brought him several sons and one daughter. All the happiness, however, which she derived from the unbounded sway that she had acquired over a monarch whom one half of the world revered or dreaded, was embittered by perpetual reflections on Mustapha’s accession to the throne, and the certain death of her sons, who, she foresaw, would be immediately sacrificed, according to the barbarous jealousy Edition: current; Page: [215] of Turkish policy, to the safety of the new emperor. By dwelling continually on this melancholy idea, she came gradually to view Mustapha as the enemy of her children, and to hate him with more than a step-mother’s ill-will. This prompted her to wish his destruction, in order to secure for one of her own sons the throne which was destined for him. Nor did she want either ambition to attempt such a high enterprise, or the arts requisite for carrying it into execution. Having prevailed on the sultan to give her only daughter in marriage to Rustan, the grand vizier, she disclosed her scheme to that crafty minister, who, perceiving that it was his own interest to co-operate with her, readily promised his assistance towards aggrandizing that branch of the royal line to which he was now so nearly allied.

As soon as Roxalana had concerted her measures with this able confident, she began to affect a wonderful zeal for the Mahometan religion, to which Solyman was superstitiously attached, and proposed to found and endow a royal mosque, a work of great expence, but deemed by the Turks meritorious in the highest degree. The mufti, whom she consulted, approved much of her pious intention; but, having been gained and instructed by Rustan, told her, that, she being a slave, could derive no benefit herself from that holy deed, for all the merit of it would accrue to Solyman, the master whose property she was. Upon this she seemed to be overwhelmed with sorrow, and to sink into the deepest melancholy, as if she had been disgusted with life and all its enjoyments. Solyman, who was absent with the army, being informed of this dejection of mind, and of the cause from which it proceeded, discovered all the solicitude of a lover to remove it, and, by a writing under his hand, declared her a free woman. Roxalana, having gained this point, proceeded to build the mosque, and reassumed Edition: current; Page: [216] her usual gaiety of spirit. But when Solyman, on his return to Constantinople, sent an eunuch, according to the custom of the seraglio, to bring her to partake of his bed, she, seemingly with deep regret, but in the most peremptory manner, declined to follow the eunuch, declaring that what had been an honour to her while a slave, became a crime as she was now a free woman, and that she would not involve either the sultan or herself in the guilt that must be contracted by such an open violation of the law of their prophet. Solyman, whose passion this difficulty, as well as the affected delicacy which gave rise to it, heightened and inflamed, had recourse immediately to the mufti for his direction. He replied, agreeably to the Koran, that Roxalana’s scruples were well-founded; but added, artfully, in words which Rustan had taught him to use, that it was in the sultan’s power to remove these difficulties, by espousing her as his lawful wife. The amorous monarch closed eagerly with the proposal, and solemnly married her, according to the form of the Mahometan ritual; though, by so doing, he disregarded a maxim of policy which the pride of the Ottoman blood had taught all the sultans since Bajazet I. to consider as inviolable. From his time none of the Turkish monarchs had married, because, when he was vanquished and taken prisoner by Tamerlane, his wife had been abused with barbarous insolence by the Tartars. That no similar calamity might again subject the Ottoman family to the same disgrace, the sultans admitted none to their beds but slaves, whose dishonour could not bring any such stain upon their house.

But the more uncommon the step was, the more it convinced Roxalana of the unbounded influence which she had acquired over the sultan’s heart; and emboldened her to prosecute, with greater hope of success, Edition: current; Page: [217] the scheme that she had formed in order to destroy Mustapha. This young prince having been intrusted by his father, according to the practice of the sultans in that age, with the government of several different provinces, was, at that time, invested with the administration in Diarbequir, the ancient Mesopotamia, which Solyman had wrested from the Persians, and added to his empire. In all these different commands, Mustapha had conducted himself with such cautious prudence as could give no offence to his father, though, at the same time, he governed with so much moderation as well as justice, and displayed such valour and generosity, as rendered him equally the favourite of the people and the darling of the soldiery.

There was no room to lay any folly or vice to his charge, that could impair the high opinion which his father entertained of him. Roxalana’s malevolence was more refined; she turned his virtues against him, and made use of these as engines for his destruction. She often mentioned, in Solyman’s presence, the splendid qualities of his son; she celebrated his courage, his liberality, his popular arts, with malicious and exaggerated praise. As soon as she perceived that the sultan heard these encomiums, which were often repeated, with uneasiness; that suspicion of his son began to mingle itself with his former esteem; and that by degrees he came to view him with jealousy and fear; she introduced, as by accident, some discourse concerning the rebellion of his father Selim against Bajazet his grandfather: she took notice of the bravery of the veteran troops under Mustapha’s command, and of the neighbourhood of Diarbequir to the territories of the Persian sophi, Solyman’s mortal enemy. By these arts, whatever remained of paternal tenderness was gradually extinguished, and such passions were kindled in the breast Edition: current; Page: [218] of the sultan, as gave all Roxalana’s malignant suggestions the colour not only of probability but of truth. His suspicions and fear of Mustapha settled into deep-rooted hatred. He appointed spies to observe and report all his words and actions; he watched and stood on his guard against him as his most dangerous enemy.

Having thus alienated the sultan’s heart from Mustapha, Roxalana ventured upon another step. She entreated Solyman to allow her own sons the liberty of appearing at court, hoping that, by gaining access to their father, they might, by their good qualities and dutiful deportment, insinuate themselves into that place in his affections which Mustapha had formerly held; and, though what she demanded was contrary to the practice of the Ottoman family in that age, the uxorious monarch granted her request. To all these female intrigues Rustan added an artifice still more subtle, which completed the sultan’s delusion, and heightened his jealousy and fear. He wrote to the bashàs of the provinces adjacent to Diarbequir, instructing them to send him regular intelligence of Mustapha’s proceedings in his government, and to each of them he gave a private hint, flowing in appearance from his zeal for their interest, that nothing would be more acceptable to the sultan than to receive favourable accounts of a son whom he destined to sustain the glory of the Ottoman name. The bashàs, ignorant of his fraudulent intention, and eager to pay court to their sovereign at such an easy price, filled their letters with studied but fatal panegyrics of Mustapha, representing him as a prince worthy to succeed such an illustrious father, and as endowed with talents which might enable him to emulate, perhaps to equal, his fame. These letters were industriously shewn to Solyman, at the seasons when it was known that they would make the deepest Edition: current; Page: [219] impression. Every expression in recommendation of his son wounded him to the heart; he suspected his principal officers of being ready to favour the most desperate attempts of a prince whom they were so fond of praising; and fancying that he saw them already assaulting his throne with rebellious arms, he determined, while it was yet in his power, to anticipate the blow, and to secure his own safety by his son’s death.

For this purpose, though under pretence of renewing the war against Persia, he ordered Rustan to march towards Diarbequir at the head of a numerous army, and to rid him of a son whose life he deemed inconsistent with his own safety. But that crafty minister did not choose to be loaded with the odium of having executed this cruel order. As soon as he arrived in Syria he wrote to Solyman, that the danger was so imminent as called for his immediate presence; that the camp was full of Mustapha’s emissaries; that many of the soldiers were corrupted; that the affections of all leaned towards him; that he had discovered a negotiation which had been carried on with the Sophi of Persia, in order to marry Mustapha with one of his daughters; that he already felt his own talents as well as authority to be inadequate to the exigencies of such an arduous conjuncture; that the sultan alone had sagacity to discern what resolution should be taken in those circumstances, and power to carry that resolution into execution.

This charge of courting the friendship of the sophi, Roxalana and Rustan had reserved as the last and most envenomed of all their calumnies. It operated with the violence which they expected from Solyman’s inveterate abhorrence of the Persians, and threw him into the wildest transports of rage. He set out instantly for Syria, and hastened thither with all the precipitation and impatience of fear and revenge. As Edition: current; Page: [220] soon as he joined his army near Aleppo, and had concerted measures with Rustan, he sent a chiaus, or messenger of the court, to his son, requiring him to repair immediately to his presence. Mustapha, though no stranger to his step-mother’s machinations, or to Rustan’s malice, or to his father’s violent temper, yet, relying on his own innocence, and hoping to discredit the accusations of his enemies by the promptitude of his obedience, followed the messenger without delay to Aleppo. The moment he arrived in the camp, he was introduced into the sultan’s tent. As he entered it, he observed nothing that could give him any alarm; no additional crowd of attendants, no body of armed guards, but the same order and silence which always reign in the sultan’s apartments. In a few minutes, however, several mutes appeared, at the sight of whom Mustapha, knowing what was his doom, cried with a loud voice, “Lo, my death!” and attempted to fly. The mutes rushed forward to seize him; he resisted and struggled, demanding with the utmost earnestness to see the sultan; and despair, together with the hope of finding protection from the soldiers, if he could escape out of the tent, animated him with such extraordinary strength, that, for some time, he baffled all the efforts of the executioners. Solyman was within hearing of his son’s cries, as well as of the noise which the struggle occasioned. Impatient of this delay of his revenge, and struck with terror at the thoughts of Mustapha’s escaping, he drew aside the curtain which divided the tent, and, thrusting in his head, darted a fierce look towards the mutes, and, with wild and threatening gestures, seemed to condemn their sloth and timidity. At sight of his father’s furious and unrelenting countenance, Mustapha’s strength failed, and his courage forsook him; the mutes fastened the bow-string about his neck, and in a moment put an end to his life.

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The dead body was exposed before the sultan’s tent. The soldiers gathered round it, and contemplating that mournful object with astonishment, and sorrow, and indignation, were ready, if a leader had not been wanting, to have broke out into the wildest excesses of rage. After giving vent to the first expressions of their grief, they retired each man to his tent, and, shutting themselves up, bewailed in secret the cruel fate of their favourite; nor was there one of them who tasted food, or even water, during the remainder of that day. Next morning the same solitude and silence reigned in the camp; and Solyman, being afraid that some dreadful storm would follow this sullen calm, in order to appease the enraged soldiers, deprived Rustan of the seals, ordered him to leave the camp, and raised Achmet, a gallant officer, much beloved in the army, to the dignity of visier. This change, however, was made in concert with Rustan himself; that crafty minister suggesting it as the only expedient which could save himself or his master. But within a few months, when the resentment of the soldiers began to subside, and the name of Mustapha to be forgotten, Achmet was strangled by the sultan’s command, and Rustan reinstated in the office of visier. Together with his former power, he reassumed the plan for exterminating the race of Mustapha which he had concerted with Roxalana; and as they were afraid that an only son whom Mustapha had left, might grow up to avenge his death, they redoubled their activity, and by employing the same arts against him which they had practised against his father, they inspired Solyman with the same fears, and prevailed on him to issue orders for putting to death that young innocent prince. These orders were executed with barbarous zeal, by an eunuch, who was dispatched to Burso, the place where the prince Edition: current; Page: [222] resided; and no rival was left to dispute the Ottoman throne with the sons of Roxalana.t

Charles projects a marriage between his son and Mary of England;Such tragical scenes, productive of so deep distress, seldom occur but in the history of the great monarchies of the East, where the warmth of the climate seems to give every emotion of the heart its greatest force, and the absolute power of sovereigns accustoms and enables them to gratify all their passions without control. While this interesting transaction in the court of Solyman engaged his whole attention, Charles was pursuing, with the utmost ardour, a new scheme for aggrandizing his family. About this time, Edward the Sixth of England, after a short reign, in which he displayed such virtues as filled his subjects with sanguine hopes of being happy under his government, and made them bear with patience all that they suffered from the weakness, the dissensions, and the ambition of the ministers who assumed the administration during his minority, was seized with a lingering distemper, which threatened his life. The emperor no sooner received an account of this, than his ambition, always attentive to seize every opportunity of acquiring an increase of power, or of territories, to his son, suggested the thought of adding England to his other kingdoms, by the marriage of Philip with the Princess Mary, the heir of Edward’s crown. Being apprehensive, however, that his son, who was then in Spain, might decline a match with a princess in her thirty-eighth year, and eleven years older than himselfu, Charles determined, notwithstanding his own age and infirmities, to make offer of himself as a husband to his cousin.

to which Philip gives his consent.But though Mary was so far advanced in years, and destitute of every charm either of person or manners Edition: current; Page: [223] that could win affection or command esteem, Philip, without hesitation, gave his consent to the match proposed by his father, and was willing, according to the usual maxim of princes, to sacrifice his inclination to his ambition. In order to ensure the success of his scheme, the emperor, even before Edward’s death, began to take such steps as might facilitate it. Upon Edward’s demise, Mary mounted the throne of England; the pretensions of the Lady Jane Gray proving as unfortunate as they were ill-founded.x Charles sent immediately a pompous embassy to London to congratulate Mary on her accession to the throne, and to propose the alliance with his son.The sentiments of Mary and of the English with regard to it. The queen, dazzled with the prospect of marrying the heir of the greatest monarch in Europe; fond of uniting more closely with her mother’s family, to which she had been always warmly attached; and eager to secure the powerful aid which she knew would be necessary towards carrying on her favourite scheme of re-establishing the Romish religion in England, listened in the most favourable manner to the proposal. Among her subjects it met with a very different reception. Philip, it was well known, contended for all the tenets of the church of Rome with a sanguinary zeal which exceeded the measure even of Spanish bigotry: this alarmed all the numerous partisans of the reformation. The Castilian haughtiness and reserve were far from being acceptable to the English, who, having several times seen their throne occupied by persons who were born subjects, had become accustomed to an unceremonious and familiar intercourse with their sovereigns. They could not think, without the utmost uneasiness, of admitting a foreign prince to that influence in their councils, which the husband of their queen would naturally possess. They dreaded, both from Philip’s overbearing Edition: current; Page: [224] temper, and from the maxims of the Spanish monarchy which he had imbibed, that he would infuse ideas into the queen’s mind dangerous to the liberties of the nation, and would introduce foreign troops and money into the kingdom, to assist her in any attempt against them.

The house of commons remonstrate against it.Full of these apprehensions, the house of commons, though in that age extremely obsequious to the will of their monarchs, presented a warm address against the Spanish match; many pamphlets were published, representing the dangerous consequences of the alliance with Spain, and describing Philip’s bigotry and arrogance in the most odious colours. But Mary, inflexible in all her resolutions, paid no regard to the remonstrances of her commons, or to the sentiments of the people. The emperor having secured, by various arts, the ministers whom she trusted most, they approved warmly of the match, and large sums were remitted by him in order to gain the rest of the council. Cardinal Pole, whom the pope, immediately upon Mary’s accession, had dispatched as his legate into England, in order to reconcile his native country to the see of Rome, was detained, by the emperor’s command, at Dillinghen, in Germany, lest by his presence he should thwart Philip’s pretensions, and employ his interest in favour of his kinsman, Courtnay Earl of Devonshire, whom the English ardently wished their sovereign to choose for a husband.y

The marriage treaty concluded.As the negotiation did not admit of delay, it was carried forward with the greatest rapidity, the emperor agreeing, without hesitation, to every article in favour of England, which Mary’s ministers either represented as necessary to soothe the people and reconcile them to the match, or that was suggested by their own fears and jealousy of a foreign master. The Edition: current; Page: [225] chief articles were, That Philip, during his marriage with the queen, should bear the title of King of England, but the entire administration of affairs,1554. as well as the sole disposal of all revenues,January 12. offices, and benefices, should remain with the queen; that the heirs of the marriage should, together with the crown of England, inherit the dutchy of Burgundy and the Low Countries; that if Prince Charles, Philip’s only son by a former marriage, should die without issue, his children by the queen, whether male or female, should succeed to the crown of Spain, and all the emperor’s hereditary dominions; that, before the consummation of the marriage, Philip should swear solemnly, that he would retain no domestic who was not a subject of the queen, and would bring no foreigners into the kingdom that might give umbrage to the English; that he would make no alteration in the constitution or laws of England; that he would not carry the queen, or any of the children born of this marriage, out of the kingdom; that if the queen should die before him without issue, he would immediately leave the crown to the lawful heir, without claiming any right of administration whatever; that, in consequence of this marriage, England should not be engaged in any war subsisting between France and Spain; and that the alliance between France and England should remain in full force.z

Discontent and apprehensions of the English.But this treaty, though both the emperor and Mary’s ministers employed their utmost address in framing it so as to please the English, was far from quieting their fears and jealousies. They saw that words and promises were a feeble security against the encroachments of an ambitious prince, who, as soon as he got possession of the power and advantages which the queen’s husband must necessarily enjoy, could easily evade any of the articles which either Edition: current; Page: [226] limited his authority or obstructed his schemes. They were convinced that the more favourable the conditions of the present treaty were to England, the more Philip would be tempted hereafter to violate them. They dreaded that England, like Naples, Milan, and the other countries annexed to Spain, would soon feel the dominion of that crown to be intolerably oppressive, and be constrained, as they had been, to waste its wealth and vigour in wars wherein it had no interest, and from which it could derive no advantage. These sentiments prevailed so generally, that every part of the kingdom was filled with discontent at the match, and with indignation against the advisers of it.Wyat’s insurrection. Sir Thomas Wyat, a gentleman of some note, and of good intentions towards the public, took advantage of this, and roused the inhabitants of Kent to arms, in order to save their country from a foreign yoke. Great numbers resorted, in a short time, to his standard; he marched to London with such rapidity, and the queen was so utterly unprovided for defence, that the aspect of affairs was extremely threatening; and if any nobleman of distinction had joined the malecontents, or had Wyat possessed talents equal in any degree to the boldness of his enterprise, the insurrection must have proved fatal to Mary’s power. But all Wyat’s measures were concerted with so little prudence, and executed with such irresolution, that many of his followers forsook him; the rest were dispersed by a handful of soldiers, and he himself was taken prisoner, without having made any effort worthy of the cause that he had undertaken, or suitable to the ardour with which he engaged in it. He suffered the punishment due to his rashness and rebellion. The queen’s authority was confirmed and increased by her success in defeating this inconsiderate attempt to abridge it. The Lady Jane Gray, whose title the ambition of her Edition: current; Page: [227] relations had set up in opposition to that of the queen, was, notwithstanding her youth and innocence, brought to the scaffold. The Lady Elizabeth, the queen’s sister, was observed with the most jealous attention. The treaty of marriage was ratified by the parliament.

The marriage celebrated.Philip landed in England with a magnificent retinue, celebrated his nuptials with great solemnity; and though he could not lay aside his natural severity and pride, or assume gracious and popular manners, he endeavoured to conciliate the favour of the English nobility by his extraordinary liberality. Lest that should fail of acquiring him such influence in the government of the kingdom as he aimed at obtaining, the emperor kept a body of twelve thousand men on the coast of Flanders, in readiness to embark for England, and to support his son in all his enterprises.

Mary’s measures to overturn the protestant religion in England.Emboldened by all these favourable circumstances, Mary pursued the scheme of extirpating the protestant religion out of her dominions, with the most precipitant zeal. The laws of Edward the sixth, in favour of the reformation, were repealed; the protestant clergy ejected; all the forms and rites of the popish worship were re-established; the nation was solemnly absolved from the guilt which it had contracted during the period of its apostacy, and was publicly reconciled to the church of Rome, by Cardinal Pole, who, immediately after the queen’s marriage, was permitted to continue his journey to England, and to exercise his legatine functions with the most ample power. Not satisfied with having overturned the protestant church, and re-establishing the ancient system on its ruins, Mary insisted that all her subjects should conform to the same mode of worship which she preferred; should profess their faith in the same creed which she had approved; and abjure every practice or opinion that was deemed repugnant to either of Edition: current; Page: [228] them. Powers altogether unknown in the English constitution, were vested in certain persons appointed to take cognizance of heresy, and they proceeded to exercise them with more than inquisitorial severity. The prospect of danger, however, did not intimidate the principal teachers of the protestant doctrines, who believed that they were contending for truths of the utmost consequence to the happiness of mankind. They boldly avowed their sentiments, and were condemned to that cruel death which the church of Rome reserves for its enemies. This shocking punishment was inflicted with that barbarity which the rancour of false zeal alone can inspire. The English, who are inferior in humanity to no people in Europe, and remarkable for the mildness of their public executions, beheld with astonishment and horror, persons who had filled the most respectable stations in the church, and who were venerable on account of their age, their piety, and their literature, condemned to endure torments to which their laws did not subject even the most atrocious criminals.

The obstacles which she had to surmount.This extreme rigour did not accomplish the end at which Mary aimed. The patience and fortitude with which these martyrs for the reformation submitted to their sufferings, the heroic contempt of death expressed by persons of every rank, and age, and sex, confirmed many more in the protestant faith, than the threats of their enraged persecutors could frighten into apostacy. The business of such as were intrusted with trying heretics multiplied continually, and appeared to be as endless as it was odious. The queen’s ablest ministers became sensible how impolitic, as well as dangerous, it was to irritate the people by the frequent spectacle of public executions, which they detested as no less unjust than cruel. Even Philip was so thoroughly convinced of her having run to an excess of rigour, that, on this occasion, he assumed a part to which he Edition: current; Page: [229] was little accustomed, becoming an advocate for moderation and lenity.a

The English jealous of Philip.But, notwithstanding this attempt to ingratiate himself with the English, they discovered a constant jealousy and distrust of all his intentions; and when some members, who had been gained by the court, ventured to move in the house of commons that the nation ought to assist the emperor, the queen’s father-in-law, in his war against France, the proposal was rejected with general dissatisfaction. A motion which was made, that the parliament should give its consent that Philip might be publicly crowned as the queen’s husband, met with such a cold reception, that it was instantly withdrawn.b

The French king alarmed at the match between Philip and Mary.The King of France had observed the progress of the emperor’s negotiation in England with much uneasiness. The great accession of territories as well as reputation which his enemy would acquire by the marriage of his son with the queen of such a powerful kingdom, was obvious and formidable. He easily foresaw that the English, notwithstanding all their fears and precautions, would be soon drawn in to take part in the quarrels on the continent, and be compelled to act in subserviency to the emperor’s ambitious schemes. For this reason, Henry had given it in charge to his ambassador at the court of London, to employ all his address in order to defeat or retard the treaty of marriage; and as there was not, at that time, any prince of the blood in France, whom he could propose to the queen as a husband, he instructed him to co-operate with such of the English as wished their sovereign to marry one of her own subjects. But the queen’s ardour and precipitation in closing with the first overtures in favour of Philip, having rendered all his endeavours ineffectual, Henry was so far from thinking it prudent Edition: current; Page: [230] to give any aid to the English malecontents, though earnestly solicited by Wyat and their other leaders, who tempted him to take them under his protection, by offers of great advantage to France, that he commanded his ambassador to congratulate the queen in the warmest terms upon the suppression of the insurrection.

His preparations for a vigorous campaign.Notwithstanding these external professions, Henry dreaded so much the consequence of this alliance, which more than compensated for all the emperor had lost in Germany, that he determined to carry on his military operations, both in the Low Countries and in Italy, with extraordinary vigour, in order that he might compel Charles to accept of an equitable peace, before his daughter-in-law could surmount the aversion of her subjects to a war on the continent, and prevail on them to assist the emperor either with money or troops. For this purpose, he exerted himself to the utmost in order to have a numerous army early assembled on the frontiers of the Netherlands, and, while one part of it laid waste the open country of Artois, the main body, under the Constable Montmorency, advanced towards the provinces of Liege and Hainault by the forest of Ardennes.

The progress of his arms.The campaign was opened with the siege of Mariemburg, a town which the Queen of Hungary, the governess of the Low Countries, had fortified at great expence; but, being destitute of a sufficient garrison, it surrendered in six days.June 28. Henry, elated with this success, put himself at the head of his army, and, investing Bouvines, took it by assault, after a short resistance. With equal facility he became master of Dinant; and then, turning to the left,The emperor little able to obstruct it. bent his march towards the province of Artois. The large sums which the emperor had remitted into England had so exhausted his treasury, as to render his preparations, at this juncture, slower and more Edition: current; Page: [231] dilatory than usual. He had no body of troops to make head against the French at their first entrance into his territories; and, though he drew together all the forces in the country in the utmost hurry, and gave the command of them to Emanuel Philibert of Savoy, they were in no condition to face an enemy so far superior in number. The Prince of Savoy, however, by his activity and good conduct, made up for his want of troops. By watching all the motions of the French at a distance, and by choosing his own posts with skill, he put it out of their power either to form any siege of consequence, or to attack him. Want of subsistence soon obliged them to fall back towards their own frontiers, after having burnt all the open towns, and having plundered the country through which they marched with a cruelty and licence more becoming a body of light troops than a royal army led by a great monarch.

The French invest Renti.But Henry, that he might not dismiss his army without attempting some conquest adequate to the great preparations, as well as sanguine hopes, with which he had opened the campaign, invested Renti, a place deemed in that age of great importance, as, by its situation on the confines of Artois and the Boulonnois, it covered the former province, and protected the parties which made incursions into the latter. The town, which was strongly fortified, and provided with a numerous garrison, made a gallant defence; but, being warmly pressed by a powerful army, it must soon have yielded. The emperor, who, at that time, enjoyed a short interval of ease from the gout, was so solicitous to save it, that, although he could bear no other motion but that of a litter, he instantly put himself at the head of his army, which, having received several reinforcements, was now strong enough to approach the enemy. The French were eager to decide the fate of Renti by a battle, and Edition: current; Page: [232] expected it from the emperor’s arrival in his camp; but Charles avoided a general action with great industry, and, as he had nothing in view but to save the town, he hoped to accomplish that, without exposing himself to the consequences of such a dangerous and doubtful event.

An action between the two armies.Notwithstanding all his precautions, a dispute about a post which both armies endeavoured to seize,Aug. 13. brought on an engagement which proved almost general. The Duke of Guise, who commanded the wing of the French which stood the brunt of the combat, displayed valour and conduct worthy of the defender of Metz; the imperialists, after an obstinate struggle, were repulsed; the French remained masters of the post in dispute; and if the constable, either from his natural caution and slowness, or from unwillingness to support a rival whom he hated, had not delayed bringing up the main body to second the impression which Guise had made, the rout of the enemy must have been complete. The emperor, notwithstanding the loss which he had sustained, continued in the same camp; and the French, being straitened for provisions, and finding it impossible to carry on the siege in the face of an hostile army, quitted their intrenchments. They retired openly, courting the enemy to approach, rather than shunning an engagement.

The imperialists invade Picardy.But Charles, having gained his end, suffered them to march off unmolested. As soon as his troops entered their own country, Henry threw garrisons into the frontier towns, and dismissed the rest of the army. This encouraged the imperialists to push forward with a considerable body of troops into Picardy, and, by laying waste the country with fire and sword, they endeavoured to revenge themselves for the ravages which the French had committed in Hainault and Artois.c But, as they were not able to reduce Edition: current; Page: [233] any place of importance, they gained nothing more than the enemy had done by this cruel and inglorious method of carrying on the war.

Affairs of Italy.The arms of France were still more unsuccessful in Italy. The footing which the French had acquired in Siena, occasioned much uneasiness to Cosmo de’ Medici, the most sagacious and enterprising of all the Italian princes. He dreaded the neighbourhood of a powerful people, to whom all who favoured the ancient republican government in Florence would have recourse, as to their natural protectors, against that absolute authority which the emperor had enabled him to usurp;Cosmo de’ Medici’s schemes with regard to Siena. he knew how odious he was to the French, on account of his attachment to the imperial party, and he foresaw that, if they were permitted to gather strength in Siena, Tuscany would soon feel the effects of their resentment. For these reasons, he wished, with the utmost solicitude, for the expulsion of the French out of the Sienese, before they had time to establish themselves thoroughly in the country, or to receive such reinforcements from France as would render it dangerous to attack them. As this, however, was properly the emperor’s business, who was called by his interest as well as honour to dislodge those formidable intruders into the heart of his dominions, Cosmo laboured to throw the whole burden of the enterprise on him; and, on that account, had given no assistance, during the former campaign, but by advancing some small sums of money towards the payment of the imperial troops.

He negotiates with the emperor;But as the defence of the Netherlands engrossed all the emperor’s attention, and his remittances into England had drained his treasury, it was obvious that his operations in Italy would be extremely feeble; and Cosmo plainly perceived, that if he himself did not take part openly in the war, and act with vigour, Edition: current; Page: [234] the French would scarcely meet with any annoyance. As his situation rendered this resolution necessary and unavoidable, his next care was to execute it in such a manner, that he might derive from it some other advantage, besides that of driving the French out of his neighbourhood. With this view, he dispatched an envoy to Charles, offering to declare war against France, and to reduce Siena at his own charges, on condition that he should be repaid whatever he might expend in the enterprise, and be permitted to retain all his conquests until his demands were fully satisfied. Charles, to whom, at this juncture, the war against Siena was an intolerable burden, and who had neither expedient nor resource that could enable him to carry it on with proper vigour, closed gladly with this overture; and Cosmo, well acquainted with the low state of the imperial finances, flattered himself that the emperor, finding it impossible to reimburse him, would suffer him to keep quiet possession of whatever places he should conquer.d

enters into war with France;Full of these hopes, he made great preparations for war, and as the French king had turned the strength of his arms against the Netherlands, he did not despair of assembling such a body of men as would prove more than a sufficient match for any force which Henry could bring into the field in Italy. He endeavoured, by giving one of his daughters to the pope’s nephew, to obtain assistance from the holy see, or at least to secure his remaining neutral. He attempted to detach the Duke of Orsini, whose family had been long attached to the French party, from his ancient confederates, by bestowing on him another of his daughters;gives the command of his army to Medecino. and, what was of greater consequence than either of these, he engaged John James Medecino, Marquis of Marignano, to take the command of Edition: current; Page: [235] his army.e This officer, from a very low condition in life, had raised himself, through all the ranks of service, to high command, and had displayed talents, and acquired reputation in war, which entitled him to be placed on a level with the greatest generals in that martial age. Having attained a station of eminence so disproportionate to his birth, he laboured, with a fond solicitude, to conceal his original obscurity, by giving out that he was descended of the family of Medici, to which honour the casual resemblance of his name was his only pretension. Cosmo, happy that he could gratify him at such an easy rate, flattered his vanity in this point, acknowledged him as a relation, and permitted him to assume the arms of his family. Medecino, eager to serve the head of that family of which he now considered himself as a branch, applied with wonderful zeal and assiduity to raise troops; and as, during his long service, he had acquired great credit with the leaders of those mercenary bands which formed the strength of Italian armies, he engaged the most eminent of them to follow Cosmo’s standard.

Peter Strozzi intrusted with the command of the French army in Italy.To oppose this able general, and the formidable army which he had assembled, the King of France made choice of Peter Strozzi, a Florentine nobleman, who had resided long in France as an exile, and who had risen by his merit to high reputation, as well as command in the army. He was the son of Philip Strozzi, who, in the year one thousand five hundred and thirty-seven, had concurred with such ardour in the attempt to expel the family of Medici out of Florence, in order to re-establish the ancient republican form of government, and who had perished in the undertaking. The son inherited the implacable aversion to the Medici, as well as the same enthusiastic zeal for the liberty of Florence, which had animated his Edition: current; Page: [236] father, whose death he was impatient to revenge. Henry flattered himself that his army would make rapid progress under a general whose zeal to promote his interest was roused and seconded by such powerful passions; especially as he had allotted him, for the scene of action, his native country, in which he had many powerful partisans, ready to facilitate all his operations.

The imprudence of this choice.But how specious soever the motives might appear which induced Henry to make this choice, it proved fatal to the interests of France in Italy. Cosmo, as soon as he heard that the mortal enemy of his family was appointed to take the command in Tuscany, concluded that the King of France aimed at something more than the protection of the Sienese, and saw the necessity of making extraordinary efforts, not merely to reduce Siena, but to save himself from destruction.f At the same time, the Cardinal of Ferrara, who had the entire direction of the French affairs in Italy, considered Strozzi as a formidable rival in power, and, in order to prevent his acquiring any increase of authority from success, he was extremely remiss in supplying him either with money to pay his troops, or with provisions to support them. Strozzi himself, blinded by his resentment against the Medici, pushed on his operations with the impetuosity of revenge, rather than with the caution and prudence becoming a great general.

The battle of Marciano;At first, however, he attacked several towns in the territory of Florence with such vigour as obliged Medecino, in order to check his progress, to withdraw the greater part of his army from Siena, which he had invested before Strozzi’s arrival in Italy. As Cosmo sustained the whole burden of military operations, the expence of which must soon have exhausted his revenues; as neither the Viceroy of Naples nor Edition: current; Page: [237] Governor of Milan was in condition to afford him any effectual aid; and as the troops which Medecino had left in the camp before Siena could attempt nothing against it during his absence, it was Strozzi’s business to have protracted the war, and to have transferred the seat of it into the territories of Florence; but the hope of ruining his enemy by one decisive blow,August 3. precipitated him into a general engagement, not far from Marciano. The armies were nearly equal in number; but a body of Italian cavalry, in which Strozzi placed great confidence, having fled without making any resistance, either through the treachery or cowardice of the officers who commanded it, his infantry remained exposed to the attacks of all Medecino’s troops. Encouraged, however, by Strozzi’s presence and example, who, after receiving a dangerous wound in endeavouring to rally the cavalry, placed himself at the head of the infantry, and manifested an admirable presence of mind, as well as extraordinary valour, they stood their ground with great firmness, and repulsed such of the enemy as ventured to approach them.in which the French are defeated. But those gallant troops being surrounded at last on every side, and torn in pieces by a battery of cannon which Medecino brought to bear upon them, the Florentine cavalry broke in on their flanks, and a general rout ensued. Strozzi, faint with the loss of blood, and deeply affected with the fatal consequences of his own rashness, found the utmost difficulty in making his escape with a handful of men.g

Medecino besieges Siena,Medecino returned immediately to the siege of Siena with his victorious forces, and as Strozzi could not, after the greatest efforts of activity, collect as many men as to form the appearance of a regular army, he had leisure to carry on his approaches against the town without molestation. But the Edition: current; Page: [238] Sienese, instead of sinking into despair upon this cruel disappointment of their only hope of obtaining relief,which is gallantly defended by the citizens and Monluc. prepared to defend themselves to the utmost extremity, with that undaunted fortitude which the love of liberty alone can inspire. This generous resolution was warmly seconded by Monluc, who commanded the French garrison in the town. The active and enterprising courage which he had displayed on many occasions, had procured him this command; and as he had ambition which aspired at the highest military dignities, without any pretensions to attain them but what he could derive from merit, he determined to distinguish his defence of Siena by extraordinary efforts of valour and perseverance. For this purpose, he repaired and strengthened the fortifications with unwearied industry; he trained the citizens to the use of arms, and accustomed them to go through the fatigues and dangers of service in common with the soldiers; and, as the enemy were extremely strict in guarding all the avenues to the city, he husbanded the provisions in the magazines with the most parsimonious economy, and prevailed on the soldiers, as well as the citizens, to restrict themselves to a very moderate daily allowance for their subsistence. Medecino, though his army was not numerous enough to storm the town by open force, ventured twice to assault it by surprise; but he was received each time with so much spirit, and repulsed with such loss, as discouraged him from repeating the attempt, and left him no hopes of reducing the town but by famine.

Medecino converts the siege into a blockade.With this view, he fortified his own camp with great care, occupied all the posts of strength round the place, and having entirely cut off the besieged from any communication with the adjacent country, he waited patiently until necessity should compel them to open their gates. But their enthusiastic zeal Edition: current; Page: [239] for liberty made the citizens despise the distresses occasioned by the scarcity of provisions, and supported them long under all the miseries of famine: Monluc, by his example and exhortations, taught his soldiers to vie with them in patience and abstinence; and it was not until they had withstood a siege of ten months, until they had eaten up all the horses, dogs, and other animals in the place, and were reduced almost to their last morsel of bread, that they proposed a capitulation. Even then they demanded honourable terms;1555. and as Cosmo, though no stranger to the extremity of their condition, was afraid that despair might prompt them to venture upon some wild enterprise, he immediately granted them conditions more favourable than they could have expected.

April 22.The capitulation was made in the emperor’s name,The town obliged by famine to capitulate. who engaged to take the republic of Siena under the protection of the empire; he promised to maintain the ancient liberties of the city, to allow the magistrates the full exercise of their former authority, to secure the citizens in the undisturbed possession of their privileges and property; he granted an ample and unlimited pardon to all who had borne arms against him; he reserved to himself the right of placing a garrison in the town, but engaged not to rebuild the citadel without the consent of the citizens. Monluc and his French garrison were allowed to march out with all the honours of war.

Medecino observed the articles of capitulation, as far as depended on him, with great exactness. No violence or insult whatever was offered to the inhabitants, and the French garrison was treated with all the respect due to their spirit and bravery.Many of the Sienese retire to Monte-Alcino; But many of the citizens suspecting, from the extraordinary facility with which they had obtained such favourable conditions, that the emperor, as well as Cosmo, would Edition: current; Page: [240] take the first opportunity of violating them, and disdaining to possess a precarious liberty, which depended on the will of another, abandoned the place of their nativity, and accompanied the French to Monte-Alcino, Porto Ercole, and other small towns in the territory of the republic.and establish a free government there. They established, in Monte-Alcino the same model of government to which they had been accustomed at Siena, and, appointing magistrates with the same titles and jurisdiction, solaced themselves with this image of their ancient liberty.

Hardships to which the citizens of Siena were subjected.The fears of the Sienese concerning the fate of their country were not imaginary, or their suspicion of the emperor and Cosmo ill founded; for no sooner had the imperial troops taken possession of the town, than Cosmo, without regarding the articles of capitulation, not only displaced the magistrates who were in office, and nominated new ones devoted to his own interest, but commanded all the citizens to deliver up their arms to persons whom he appointed to receive them. They submitted to the former from necessity, though with all the reluctance and regret which men accustomed to liberty feel in obeying the first commands of a master. They did not yield the same tame obedience to the latter; and many persons of distinction, rather than degrade themselves from the rank of freemen to the condition of slaves, by surrendering their arms, fled to their countrymen at Monte-Alcino, and chose to endure all the hardships, and encounter all the dangers, which they had reason to expect in that new station, where they had fixed the seat of their republic.

Cosmo attacks those who had retired.Cosmo, not reckoning himself secure while such numbers of implacable and desperate enemies were settled in his neighbourhood, and retained any degree of power, solicited Medecino to attack them in their different places of retreat, before they had time to Edition: current; Page: [241] recruit their strength and spirits, after the many calamities which they had suffered. He prevailed on him, though his army was much weakened by hard duty during the siege of Siena,June 13. to invest Porto Ercole; and, the fortifications being both slight and incomplete, the besieged were soon compelled to open their gates. An unexpected order, which Medecino received from the emperor to detach the greater part of his troops into Piedmont, prevented farther operations, and permitted the Sienese exiles to reside for some time undisturbed in Monte-Alcino. But their unhappy countrymen who remained at Siena were not yet at the end of their sufferings; for the emperor, instead of adhering to the articles of capitulation, granted his son Philip the investiture of that city and all its dependencies; and Francis de Toledo, in the name of their new master, proceeded to settle the civil and military government, treated them like a conquered people, and subjected them to the Spanish yoke, without paying any regard whatever to their privileges or ancient form of governmenth.

Operations in Piedmont.The imperial army in Piedmont had been so feeble for some time, and its commander so inactive, that the emperor, in order to give vigour to his operations in that quarter, found it necessary not only to recall Medecino’s troops from Tuscany while in the career of conquest, but to employ in Piedmont a general of such reputation and abilities, as might counterbalance the great military talents of the maréchal Brissac, who was at the head of the French forces in that country.

Charles appoints the duke of Alva generalissimo there.He pitched on the duke of Alva for that purpose; but that choice was as much the effect of a court intrigue, as of his opinion with respect to the duke’s Edition: current; Page: [242] merit. Alva had long made court to Philip with the utmost assiduity, and had endeavoured to work himself into his confidence by all the insinuating arts of which his haughty and inflexible nature was capable. As he nearly resembled that prince in many features of his character, he began to gain much of his goodwill. Ruy Gomez de Silva, Philip’s favourite, who dreaded the progress which this formidable rival made in his master’s affections, had the address to prevail with the emperor to name Alva to this command. The duke, though sensible that he owed this distinction to the malicious arts of an enemy, who had no other aim than to remove him at a distance from court, was of such punctilious honour, that he would not decline a command that appeared dangerous and difficult, but, at the same time, was so haughty, that he would not accept of it but on his own terms, insisting on being appointed the emperor’s vicar-general in Italy, with the supreme military command in all the imperial and Spanish territories in that country. Charles granted all his demands; and he took possession of his new dignity with almost unlimited authority.

His operations there inconsiderable.His first operations, however, were neither proportioned to his former reputation and the extensive powers with which he was invested, nor did they come up to the emperor’s expectations. Brissac had under his command an army which, though inferior in number to the imperialists, was composed of chosen troops, which having grown old in service in that country, where every town was fortified, and every castle capable of being defended, were perfectly acquainted with the manner of carrying on war there. By their valour, and his own good conduct, Brissac not only defeated all the attempts of the imperialists, but added new conquests to the territories of which he was formerly master. Alva, after having boasted, Edition: current; Page: [243] with his usual arrogance, that he would drive the French out of Piedmont in a few weeks, was obliged to retire into winter-quarters, with the mortification of being unable to preserve entire that part of the country of which the emperor had hitherto kept possessioni.

As the operations of this campaign in Piedmont were indecisive, those in the Netherlands were inconsiderable, neither the emperor nor king of France being able to bring into the field an army strong enough to undertake any enterprise of moment. But what Charles wanted in force,A conspiracy to betray Metz to the imperialists. he endeavoured to supply by a bold stratagem, the success of which would have been equal to that of the most vigorous campaign. During the siege of Metz, Leonard, father guardian of a convent of Franciscans in that city, had insinuated himself far into the esteem and favour of the duke of Guise, by his attachment to the French. Being a man of an active and intriguing spirit, he had been extremely useful both in animating the inhabitants to sustain with patience all the hardships of the siege, and in procuring intelligence of the enemy’s designs and motions. The merit of those important services, together with the warm recommendations of the duke of Guise, secured him such high confidence with Vielleville, who was appointed governor of Metz when Guise left the town, that he was permitted to converse or correspond with whatever persons he thought fit, and nothing that he did created any suspicion. This monk, from the levity natural to bold and projecting adventurers; or from resentment against the French, who had not bestowed on him such rewards as he thought due to his own merit; or tempted by the unlimited confidence which was placed in him, to imagine that he might carry on and accomplish any scheme with perfect security, Edition: current; Page: [244] formed a design of betraying Metz to the imperialists.

The plan of it;He communicated his intentions to the queen-dowager of Hungary, who governed the Low Countries in the name of her brother. She approving, without any scruple, any act of treachery, from which the emperor might derive such signal advantage, assisted the father guardian in concerting the most proper plan for ensuring its success. They agreed, that the father guardian should endeavour to gain his monks to concur in promoting the design: that he should introduce into the convent a certain number of chosen soldiers, disguised in the habit of friars; that, when every thing was ripe for execution, the governor of Thionville should march towards Metz in the night with a considerable body of troops, and attempt to scale the ramparts; that while the garrison was employed in resisting the assailants, the monks should set fire to the town in different places; that the soldiers who lay concealed should sally out of the convent, and attack those who defended the ramparts in the rear. Amidst the universal terror and confusion which events so unexpected would occasion, it was not doubted but that the imperialists might become masters of the town. As a recompense for this service, the father guardian stipulated, that he should be appointed bishop of Metz, and ample rewards were promised to such of his monks as should be most active in co-operating with him.

its progress:The father guardian accomplished what he had undertaken to perform with great secrecy and dispatch. By his authority and arguments, as well as by the prospect of wealth and honours which he set before his monks, he prevailed on all of them to enter into the conspiracy. He introduced into the convent, without being suspected, as many soldiers as were thought sufficient. The governor of Thionville, Edition: current; Page: [245] apprized in due time of the design, had assembled a proper number of troops for executing it; and the moment approached, which probably would have wrested from Henry the most important of all his conquests.

is discovered.But, happily for France, on the very day that was fixed for striking the blow, Vielleville, an able and vigilant officer, received information from a spy whom he entertained at Thionville, that certain Franciscan friars resorted frequently thither, and were admitted to many private conferences with the governor, who was carrying on preparations for some military enterprise with great dispatch, but with a most mysterious secrecy. This was sufficient to awaken Vielleville’s suspicions. Without communicating these to any person, he instantly visited the convent of Franciscans; detected the soldiers who were concealed there; and forced them to discover as much as they knew concerning the nature of the enterprise. The father guardian, who had gone to Thionville that he might put the last hand to his machinations, was seized at the gate as he returned; and he, in order to save himself from the rack, revealed all the circumstances of the conspiracy.

A body of imperialists defeated.Vielleville, not satisfied with having seized the traitors, and having frustrated their schemes, was solicitous to take advantage of the discoveries which he had made, so as to be revenged on the imperialists. For this purpose he marched out with the best troops in his garrison, and placing these in ambush near the road, by which the father guardian had informed him that the governor of Thionville would approach Metz, he fell upon the imperialists with great fury, as they advanced in perfect security, without suspecting any danger to be near. Confounded at this sudden attack, by an enemy whom they expected to surprise, they made little resistance; and a great part of the troops employed in this service, among whom were Edition: current; Page: [246] many persons of distinction, was killed or taken prisoners. Before next morning, Vielleville returned to Metz in triumph.

The conspirators punished.No resolution was taken for some time concerning the fate of the father guardian and his monks, the framers and conductors of this dangerous conspiracy. Regard for the honour of a body so numerous and respectable as the Franciscans, and unwillingness to afford a subject of triumph to the enemies of the Romish church by their disgrace, seem to have occasioned this delay. But, at length, the necessity of inflicting exemplary punishment upon them, in order to deter others from venturing to commit the same crime, became so evident, that orders were issued to proceed to their trial. The guilt was made apparent by the clearest evidence; and sentence of death was passed upon the father guardian, together with twenty monks. On the evening previous to the day fixed for their execution, the gaoler took them out of the dungeons in which they had hitherto been confined separately, and shut them all up in one great room, that they might confess their sins one to another, and join together in preparing for a future state. But, as soon as they were left alone, instead of employing themselves in the religious exercises suitable to their condition, they began to reproach the father guardian, and four of the senior monks who had been most active in seducing them, for their inordinate ambition, which had brought such misery on them, and such disgrace upon their order. From reproaches they proceeded to curses and execrations, and at last, in a frenzy of rage and despair, they fell upon them with such violence, that they murdered the father guardian on the spot, and so disabled the other four, that it became necessary to carry them next morning in a cart, together with the dead body of the father guardian, to the place of execution. Six of the Edition: current; Page: [247] youngest were pardoned, the rest suffered the punishment which their crime meritedk.

A fruitless negotiation in order to establish peace.Though both parties, exhausted by the length of the war, carried it on in this languishing manner, neither of them showed any disposition to listen to overtures of peace. Cardinal Pole indeed laboured with all the zeal becoming his piety and humanity, to re-establish concord among the princes of Christendom. He had not only persuaded his mistress, the queen of England, to enter warmly into his sentiments, and to offer her mediation to the contending powers, but had prevailed both on the emperor and king of France to send their plenipotentiaries to a village between Gravelines and Ardres. He himself, together with Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, repaired thither, in order to preside as mediators in the conferences which were to be held for adjusting all the points in difference. But though each of the monarchs committed this negotiation to some of their ministers, in whom they placed the greatest confidence, it was soon evident that they came together with no sincere desire of accommodation.May 21. Each proposed articles so extravagant that they could have no hopes of their being accepted. Pole, after exerting in vain all his zeal and address, in order to persuade them to relinquish such extravagant demands, and to consent to the substitution of more equal conditions, became sensible of the folly of wasting time, in attempting to re-establish concord between those, whom their obstinacy rendered irreconcilable, broke off the conference, and returned to Englandl.

Affairs ofDuring these transactions in other parts of Europe, Germany enjoyed such profound tranquillity, as afforded the diet full leisure to deliberate, and to Edition: current; Page: [248] establish proper regulations concerning a point of the greatest consequence to the internal peace of the empire. By the treaty of Passau, in one thousand five hundred and fifty-two, it had been referred to the next diet of the empire to confirm and perfect the plan of religious pacification which was there agreed upon. The terror and confusion with which the violent commotions excited by Albert of Brandenburg had filled Germany, as well as the constant attention which Ferdinand was obliged to give to the affairs of Hungary, had hitherto prevented the holding a diet, though it had been summoned, soon after the conclusion of the treaty, to meet at Augsburg.

Diet held at Augsburg, and Ferdinand’s speech in it.But as a diet was now necessary on many accounts, Ferdinand about the beginning of this year had repaired to Augsburg. Though few of the princes were present either in person or by their deputies, he opened the assembly by a speech, in which he proposed a termination of the dissensions to which the new tenets and controversies with regard to religion had given rise, not only as the first and great business of the diet, but as the point which both the emperor and he had most at heart. He represented the innumerable obstacles which the emperor had to surmount before he could procure the convocation of a general council, as well as the fatal accidents which had for some time retarded, and had at last suspended, the consultations of that assembly. He observed, that experience had already taught them how vain it was to expect any remedy for evils, which demanded immediate redress, from a general council, the assembling of which would either be prevented, or its deliberations be interrupted by the dissensions and hostilities of the princes of Christendom; that a national council in Germany, which, as some imagined, might be called with greater ease, and deliberate with more perfect security, was an assembly of an unprecedented Edition: current; Page: [249] nature, the jurisdiction of which was uncertain in its extent, and the form of its proceedings undefined; that, in his opinion, there remained but one method for composing their unhappy differences, which, though it had been often tried without success, might yet prove effectual if it were attempted with a better and more pacific spirit than had appeared on former occasions, and that was to choose a few men of learning, abilities, and moderation, who, by discussing the disputed articles, in an amicable conference, might explain them in such a manner as to bring the contending parties either to unite in sentiment, or to differ with charity.

Suspicions and fears of the protestants.This speech being printed in common form, and dispersed over the empire, revived the fears and jealousies of the protestants; Ferdinand, they observed, with much surprise, had not once mentioned, in his address to the diet, the treaty of Passau, the stipulations in which they considered as the great security of their religious liberty. The suspicions to which this gave rise were confirmed by the accounts which they daily received of the extreme severity with which Ferdinand treated their protestant brethren in his hereditary dominions; and as it was natural to consider his actions as the surest indication of his intentions, this diminished their confidence in those pompous professions of moderation and of zeal for the re-establishment of concord, to which his practice seemed to be so repugnant.

These increased by the arrival of a nuncio from the pope to the diet.The arrival of the cardinal Morone, whom the pope had appointed to attend the diet as his nuncio, completed their conviction, and left them no room to doubt that some dangerous machination was forming against the peace or safety of the protestant church. Julius, elated with the unexpected return of the English nation from apostacy, began to flatter himself, that the spirit of mutiny and revolt having now spent Edition: current; Page: [250] its force, the happy period was come when the church might resume its ancient authority, and be obeyed by the people with the same tame submission as formerly. Full of these hopes, he had sent Morone to Augsburg, with instructions to employ his eloquence to excite the Germans to imitate the laudable example of the English, and his political address in order to prevent any decree of the diet to the detriment of the catholic faith. As Morone inherited from his father, the chancellor of Milan, uncommon talents for negotiation and intrigue, he could hardly have failed of embarrassing the measures of the protestants in the diet, or of defeating whatever they aimed at obtaining in it for their further security.

The death of Julius III.But an unforeseen event delivered them from all the danger which they had reason to apprehend from Morone’s presence. Julius, by abandoning himself to pleasures and amusements no less unbecoming his age than his character, having contracted such habits of dissipation, that any serious occupation, especially if attended with difficulty, became an intolerable burden to him, had long resisted the solicitations of his nephew to hold a consistory, because he expected there a violent opposition to his schemes in favour of that young man. But when all the pretexts which he could invent for eluding this request were exhausted, and, at the same time, his indolent aversion to business continued to grow upon him, he feigned indisposition rather than yield to his nephew’s importunity; and that he might give the deceit a greater colour of probability, he not only confined himself to his apartment, but changed his usual diet and manner of life. By persisting too long in acting this ridiculous part, he contracted a real disease, of which he died in a few days,March 23. leaving his infamous minion, the cardinal di Monte, to bear his name, and to disgrace the dignity Edition: current; Page: [251] which he had conferred upon himm. As soon as Morone heard of his death, he set out abruptly from Augsburg,The nuncio sets out for Rome. where he had resided only a few days, that he might be present at the election of a new pontiff.

Ferdinand’s reasons for wishing to satisfy the protestants.One cause of their suspicions and fears being thus removed, the protestants soon became sensible that their conjectures concerning Ferdinand’s intentions, however specious, were ill-founded, and that he had no thoughts of violating the articles favourable to them in the treaty of Passau. Charles, from the time that Maurice had defeated all his schemes in the empire, and overturned the great system of religious and civil despotism, which he had almost established there, gave little attention to the internal government of Germany, and permitted his brother to pursue whatever measures he judged most salutary and expedient. Ferdinand, less ambitious and enterprising than the emperor, instead of resuming a plan, which he, with power and resources so far superior, had failed of accomplishing, endeavoured to attach the princes of the empire to his family by an administration uniformly moderate and equitable. To this he gave, at present, particular attention, because his situation at this juncture rendered it necessary to court their favour and support with more than usual assiduity.

Charles had resumed his plan of altering the succession to the empire.Charles had again resumed his favourite project of acquiring the imperial crown for his son Philip, the prosecution of which, the reception it had met with when first proposed had obliged him to suspend, but had not induced him to relinquish. This led him warmly to renew his request to his brother, that he would accept of some compensation for his prior right of succession, and sacrifice that to the grandeur of the house of Austria. Ferdinand, who was as little disposed as formerly to give such an extraordinary proof Edition: current; Page: [252] of self-denial, being sensible that, in order to defeat this scheme, not only the most inflexible firmness on his part, but a vigorous declaration from the princes of the empire in behalf of his title, was requisite, was willing to purchase their favour by gratifying them in every point that they deemed interesting or essential.

The Turks were ready to invade Hungary.At the same time he stood in need of immediate and extraordinary aid from the Germanic body, as the Turks, after having wrested from him great part of his Hungarian territories, were ready to attack the provinces still subject to his authority with a formidable army, against which he could bring no equal force into the field. For this aid from Germany he could not hope, if the internal peace of the empire were not established on a foundation solid in itself, and which should appear even to the protestants, so secure and so permanent, as might not only allow them to engage in a distant war with safety, but might encourage them to act in it with vigour.

He is alarmed at some steps taken by the protestants.A step taken by the protestants themselves, a short time after the opening of the diet, rendered him still more cautious of giving them any new cause of offence. As soon as the publication of Ferdinand’s speech awakened the fears and suspicions which have been mentioned, the electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, together with the landgrave of Hesse, met at Naumburg, and, confirming the ancient treaty of confraternity which had long united their families, they added to it a new article, by which the contracting parties bound themselves to adhere to the confession of Augsburg, and to maintain the doctrine which it contained in their respective dominionsn.

Ferdinand zealous to promote an accommodation.Ferdinand, influenced by all these considerations, employed his utmost address in conducting the deliberations of the diet, so as not to excite the jealousy Edition: current; Page: [253] of a party on whose friendship he depended, and whose enmity, as they had not only taken the alarm, but had begun to prepare for their defence, he had so much reason to dread. The members of the diet readily agreed to Ferdinand’s proposal of taking the state of religion into consideration, previous to any other business. But, as soon as they entered upon it, both parties discovered all the zeal and animosity which a subject so interesting naturally engenders, and which the rancour of controversy, together with the violence of civil war, had inflamed to the highest pitch.

The pretensions of the catholics and protestants.The protestants contended, that the security which they claimed, in consequence of the treaty of Passau, should extend, without limitation, to all who had hitherto embraced the doctrine of Luther, or who should hereafter embrace it. The catholics, having first of all asserted the pope’s right as the supreme and final judge with respect to all articles of faith, declared, that though on account of the present situation of the empire, and for the sake of peace, they were willing to confirm the toleration granted by the treaty of Passau to such as had already adopted the new opinions, they must insist that this indulgence should not be extended either to those cities which had conformed to the Interim, or to such ecclesiastics as should for the future apostatize from the church of Rome. It was no easy matter to reconcile such opposite pretensions, which were supported, on each side, by the most elaborate arguments, and the greatest acrimony of expression, that the abilities or zeal of theologians long exercised in disputation could suggest. Ferdinand, however, by his address and perseverance; by softening some things on each side; by putting a favourable meaning upon others; by representing incessantly the necessity as well as the advantages of concord; and by threatening, on Edition: current; Page: [254] some occasions, when all other considerations were disregarded, to dissolve the diet, brought them at length to a conclusion in which they all agreed.

Sept. 25.Conformably to this, a recess was framed, approved of,The peace of religion established. and published with the usual formalities. The following are the chief articles which it contained: that such princes and cities as have declared their approbation of the confession of Augsburg shall be permitted to profess the doctrine and exercise the worship which it authorizes, without interruption or molestation from the emperor, the king of the Romans, or any power or person whatsoever; that the protestants, on their part, shall give no disquiet to the princes and states who adhere to the tenets and rites of the church of Rome; that, for the future, no attempt shall be made towards terminating religious differences, but by the gentle and pacific methods of persuasion and conference; that the popish ecclesiastics shall claim no spiritual jurisdiction in such states as receive the confession of Augsburg; that such as had seized the benefices or revenues of the church, previous to the treaty of Passau, shall retain possession of them, and be liable to no prosecution in the imperial chamber on that account; that the supreme civil power in every state shall have right to establish what form of doctrine and worship it shall deem proper, and, if any of its subjects refuse to conform to these, shall permit them to remove, with all their effects, whithersoever they shall please; that if any prelate or ecclesiastic shall hereafter abandon the Romish religion, he shall instantly relinquish his diocese or benefice, and it shall be lawful for those in whom the right of nomination is vested, to proceed immediately to an election, as if the office were vacant by death or translation, and to appoint a successor of undoubted attachment to the ancient systemo.

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Such are the capital articles in this famous recess, which is the basis of religious peace in Germany, and the bond of union among its various states,Reflections on the progress of the principles of toleration. the sentiments of which are so extremely different with respect to points the most interesting as well as important. In our age and nation, to which the idea of toleration is familiar, and its beneficial effects well known, it may seem strange that a method of terminating their dissensions, so suitable to the mild and charitable spirit of the Christian religion, did not sooner occur to the contending parties. But this expedient, however salutary, was so repugnant to the sentiments and practice of Christians during many ages, that it did not lie obvious to discovery. Among the ancient heathens, all whose deities were local and tutelary, diversity of sentiment concerning the object or rites of religious worship seems to have been no source of animosity, because the acknowledging veneration to be due to any one god, did not imply denial of the existence or the power of any other god; nor were the modes and rites of worship established in one country incompatible with those which other nations approved of and observed. Thus the errors in their system of theology were of such a nature as to be productive of concord; and, notwithstanding the amazing number of their deities, as well as the infinite variety of their ceremonies, a sociable and tolerating spirit subsisted almost universally in the pagan world.

But when the Christian revelation declared one Supreme Being to be the sole object of religious veneration, and prescribed the form of worship most acceptable to him, whoever admitted the truth of it held, of consequence, every other system of religion, as a deviation from what was established by divine authority, to be false and impious. Hence arose the zeal of the first converts to the Christian faith in propagating Edition: current; Page: [256] its doctrines, and the ardour with which they laboured to overturn every other form of worship. They employed, however, for this purpose, no methods but such as suited the nature of religion. By the force of powerful arguments, they convinced the understandings of men; by the charms of superior virtue, they allured and captivated their hearts. At length the civil power declared in favour of Christianity; and though numbers, imitating the example of their superiors, crowded into the church, many still adhered to their ancient superstitions. Enraged at their obstinacy, the ministers of religion, whose zeal was still unabated, though their sanctity and virtue were much diminished, forgot so far the nature of their own mission, and of the arguments which they ought to have employed, that they armed the imperial power against these unhappy men, and, as they could not persuade, they tried to compel them to believe.

At the same time, controversies concerning articles of faith multiplied, from various causes, among Christians themselves, and the same unhallowed weapons which had first been used against the enemies of their religion, were turned against each other. Every zealous disputant endeavoured to interest the civil magistrate in his cause, and each in his turn employed the secular arm to crush or to exterminate his opponents. Not long after, the bishops of Rome put in their claim to infallibility in explaining articles of faith, and deciding points in controversy; and, bold as the pretension was, they, by their artifices and perseverance, imposed on the credulity of mankind, and brought them to recognise it. To doubt or to deny any doctrine to which these unerring instructors had given the sanction of their approbation, was held to be not only a resisting of truth, but an act of rebellion against their sacred authority; and the secular power, of which by various arts they had acquired Edition: current; Page: [257] the absolute direction, was instantly employed to avenge both.

Thus Europe had been accustomed, during many centuries, to see speculative opinions propagated or defended by force; the charity and mutual forbearance which Christianity recommends with so much warmth, were forgotten; the sacred rights of conscience and of private judgment were unheard of; and not only the idea of toleration, but even the word itself, in the sense now affixed to it, was unknown. A right to extirpate error by force was universally allowed to be the prerogative of such as possessed the knowledge of truth; and as each party of Christians believed that they had got possession of this invaluable attainment, they all claimed and exercised, as far as they were able, the rights which it was supposed to convey. The Roman catholics, as their system rested on the decisions of an infallible judge, never doubted that truth was on their side, and openly called on the civil power to repel the impious and heretical innovators who had risen up against it. The protestants, no less confident that their doctrine was well founded, required, with equal ardour, the princes of their party to check such as presumed to impugn it. Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, Knox, the founders of the reformed church in their respective countries, as far as they had power and opportunity, inflicted the same punishments upon such as called in question any article in their creeds, which were denounced against their own disciples by the church of Rome. To their followers, and perhaps to their opponents, it would have appeared a symptom of diffidence in the goodness of their cause, or an acknowledgment that it was not well founded, if they had not employed in its defence all those means which it was supposed truth had a right to employ.

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It was towards the close of the seventeenth century, before toleration, under its present form, was admitted first into the republic of the United Provinces, and from thence introduced into England. Long experience of the calamities flowing from mutual persecution, the influence of free government, the light and humanity acquired by the progress of science, together with the prudence and authority of the civil magistrate, were all requisite in order to establish a regulation, so repugnant to the ideas which all the different sects had adopted, from mistaken conceptions concerning the nature of religion and the rights of truth, or which all of them had derived from the erroneous maxims established by the church of Rome.

Advantages of the religious peace to the Lutherans;The recess of Augsburg, it is evident, was founded on no such liberal and enlarged sentiments concerning freedom of religious enquiry, or the nature of toleration. It was nothing more than a scheme of pacification, which political considerations alone had suggested to the contending parties, and regard for their mutual tranquillity and safety had rendered necessary. Of this there can be no stronger proof than an article in the recess itself, by which the benefits of the pacification are declared to extend only to the catholics on the one side, and to such as adhered to the confession of Augsburg on the other. The followers of Zuinglius and Calvin remained, in consequence of that exclusion, without any protection from the rigour of the laws denounced against heretics. Nor did they obtain any legal security, until the treaty of Westphalia, near a century after this period, provided, that they should be admitted to enjoy, in as ample a manner as the Lutherans, all the advantages and protection which the recess of Augsburg affords.

and to the catholics.But if the followers of Luther were highly pleased with the security which they acquired by this recess, Edition: current; Page: [259] such as adhered to the ancient system had no less reason to be satisfied with that article in it, which preserved entire to the Roman catholic church the benefices of such ecclesiastics as should hereafter renounce its doctrines. This article, known in Germany by the name of the Ecclesiastical Reservation, was apparently so conformable to the idea and to the rights of an established church, and it seemed so equitable to prevent revenues which had been originally appropriated for the maintenance of persons attached to a certain system, from being alienated to any other purpose, that the protestants, though they foresaw its consequences, were obliged to relinquish their opposition to it. As the Roman catholic princes of the empire have taken care to see this article exactly observed in every case where there was an opportunity of putting it in execution, it has proved the great barrier of the Romish church in Germany against the reformation; and as, from this period, the same temptation of interest did not allure ecclesiastics to relinquish the established system, there have been few of that order, who have loved truth with such disinterested and ardent affection, as, for its sake, to abandon the rich benefices which they had in possession.

Marcellus II. elected pope,During the sitting of the diet, Marcellus Cervino, Cardinal di Santo Croce, was elected pope in room of Julius. He, in imitation of Adrian, did not change his name on being exalted to the papal chair. As he equalled that pontiff in purity of intention,April 9. while he excelled him much in the arts of government, and still more in knowledge of the state and genius of the papal court; as he had capacity to discern what reformation it needed, as well as what it could bear; such regulations were expected from his virtue and wisdom, as would have removed many of its grossest and most flagrant corruptions,His character. and have contributed Edition: current; Page: [260] towards reconciling to the church such as, from indignation at these enormities, had abandoned its communion. But this excellent pontiff was only shewn to the church, and immediately snatched away.His death. The confinement in the conclave had impaired his health, and the fatigue of tedious ceremonies upon his accession, together with too intense and anxious application of mind to the schemes of improvement which he meditated, exhausted so entirely the vigour of his feeble constitution, that he sickened on the twelfth, and died on the twentieth day after his election.p

The election of Paul IV.All the refinements in artifice and intrigue, peculiar to conclaves, were displayed in that which was held for electing a successor to Marcellus; the cardinals of the imperial and French factions labouring, with equal ardour, to gain the necessary number of suffrages for one of their own party.May 23. But, after a struggle of no long duration, though conducted with all the warmth and eagerness natural to men contending for so great an object, they united in choosing John Peter Caraffa, the eldest member of the sacred college, and the son of Count Montorio, a nobleman of an illustrious family in the kingdom of Naples. The address and influence of Cardinal Farnese, who favoured his pretensions, Caraffa’s own merit, and perhaps his great age, which soothed all the disappointed candidates with the near prospect of a new vacancy, concurred in bringing about this speedy union of suffrages. In order to testify his respect for the memory of Paul III., by whom he had been created cardinal, as well as his gratitude to the family of Farnese, he assumed the name of Paul IV.

His rise and character.The choice of a prelate of such a singular character, and who had long held a course extremely different from that which usually led to the dignity Edition: current; Page: [261] now conferred upon him, filled the Italians, who had nearest access to observe his manners and deportment, with astonishment, and kept them in suspense and solicitude with regard to his future conduct. Paul, though born in a rank of life which, without any other merit, might have secured to him the highest ecclesiastical preferments, had, from his early years, applied to study with all the assiduity of a man who had nothing but his personal attainments to render him conspicuous. By means of this, he not only acquired profound skill in scholastic theology, but added to that a considerable knowledge of the learned languages and of polite literature, the study of which had been lately revived in Italy, and was pursued at this time with great ardour. His mind, however, naturally gloomy and severe, was more formed to imbibe the sour spirit of the former, than to receive any tincture of elegance or liberality of sentiment from the latter; so that he acquired rather the qualities and passions of a recluse ecclesiastic, than the talents necessary for the conduct of great affairs. Accordingly, when he entered into orders, although several rich benefices were bestowed upon him, and he was early employed as a nuncio in different courts, he soon became disgusted with that course of life, and languished to be in a situation more suited to his taste and temper. With this view, he resigned at once all his ecclesiastical preferments, and having instituted an order of regular priests, whom he denominated Theatines, from the name of the archbishopric which he had held, he associated himself as a member of their fraternity, conformed to all the rigorous rules to which he had subjected them, and preferred the solitude of a monastic life, with the honour of being the founder of a new order, to all the great objects which the court of Rome presented to his ambition.

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In this retreat he remained for many years, until Paul III., induced by the fame of his sanctity and knowledge, called him to Rome, in order to consult with him concerning the measures which might be most proper and effectual for suppressing heresy, and re-establishing the ancient authority of the church. Having thus allured him from his solitude, the pope, partly by his entreaties, and partly by his authority, prevailed on him to accept of a cardinal’s hat, to reassume the benefices which he had resigned, and to return again into the usual path of ecclesiastical ambition which he seemed to have relinquished. But, during two successive pontificates, under the first of which the court of Rome was the most artful and interested, and under the second the most dissolute of any in Europe, Caraffa retained his monastic austerity. He was an avowed and bitter enemy, not only of all innovation in opinion, but of every irregularity in practice; he was the chief instrument in establishing the formidable and odious tribunal of the inquisition in the papal territories; he appeared a violent advocate on all occasions for the jurisdiction and discipline of the church, and a severe censurer of every measure which seemed to flow from motives of policy or interest, rather than from zeal for the honour of the ecclesiastical order, and the dignity of the holy see. Under a prelate of such a character, the Roman courtiers expected a severe and violent pontificate, during which the principles of sound policy would be sacrificed to the narrow prejudices of priestly zeal; while the people of Rome were apprehensive of seeing the sordid and forbidding rigour of monastic manners substituted in place of the magnificence to which they had long been accustomed in the papal court. These apprehensions Paul was extremely solicitous to remove. At his first entrance upon the administration, he laid aside that austerity Edition: current; Page: [263] which had hitherto distinguished his person and family; and when the master of his household inquired in what manner he would choose to live,The first steps of his administration. he haughtily replied, “As becomes a great prince.” He ordered the ceremony of his coronation to be conducted with more than usual pomp; and endeavoured to render himself popular by several acts of liberality and indulgence towards the inhabitants of Rome.q

The excess of his attachment to his nephews.His natural severity of temper, however, would have soon returned upon him, and would have justified the conjectures of the courtiers, as well as the fears of the people, if he had not, immediately after his election, called to Rome two of his nephews, the sons of his brother, the Count of Montorio. The eldest he promoted to be governor of Rome: the youngest, who had hitherto served as a soldier of fortune in the armies of Spain or France, and whose disposition as well as manners were still more foreign from the clerical character than his profession, he created a cardinal, and appointed him legate of Bologna, the second office in power and dignity which a pope can bestow. These marks of favour, no less sudden than extravagant, he accompanied with the most unbounded confidence and attachment; and, forgetting all his former severe maxims, he seemed to have no other object than the aggrandizing of his nephews.Their ambitious projects. Their ambition, unfortunately for Paul, was too aspiring to be satisfied with any moderate acquisition. They had seen the family of Medici raised by the interest of the popes of that house to supreme power in Tuscany; Paul III. had, by his abilities and address, secured the dutchies of Parma and Placentia to the family of Farnese. They aimed at some establishment for themselves, no less considerable and independent; and as they could not expect that the pope would carry his indulgence Edition: current; Page: [264] towards them so far as to secularize any part of the patrimony of the church, they had no prospect of attaining what they wished, but by dismembering the imperial dominions in Italy, in hopes of seizing some portion of them. This alone they would have deemed a sufficient reason for sowing the seeds of discord between their uncle and the emperor.

Reasons of their disgust with the emperor.But Cardinal Caraffa had, besides, private reasons which filled him with hatred and enmity to the emperor. While he served in the Spanish troops he had not received such marks of honour and distinction as he thought due to his birth and merit. Disgusted with this ill-usage, he had abruptly quitted the imperial service; and entering into that of France, he had not only met with such a reception as soothed his vanity, and attached him to the French interest, but, by contracting an intimate friendship with Strozzi, who commanded the French army in Tuscany, he had imbibed a mortal antipathy to the emperor as the great enemy to the liberty and independence of the Italian states. Nor was the pope himself indisposed to receive impressions unfavourable to the emperor. The opposition given to his election by the cardinals of the imperial faction, left in his mind deep resentment, which was heightened by the remembrance of ancient injuries from Charles or his ministers.

They endeavour to alienate the pope from the emperor:Of this his nephews took advantage, and employed various devices, in order to exasperate him beyond a possibility of reconciliation. They aggravated every circumstance which could be deemed any indication of the emperor’s dissatisfaction with his promotion; they read to him an intercepted letter, in which Charles taxed the cardinals of his party with negligence or incapacity in not having defeated Paul’s election; they pretended, at one time, to have discovered a conspiracy formed by the imperial minister and Cosmo de’ Medici against the pope’s life; they Edition: current; Page: [265] alarmed him, at another, with accounts of a plot for assassinating themselves. By these artifices, they kept his mind, which was naturally violent, and become suspicious from old age, in such perpetual agitation, as precipitated him into measures which otherwise he would have been the first person to condemn.r He seized some of the cardinals who were most attached to the emperor, and confined them in the castle of St. Angelo; he persecuted the Colonnas and other Roman barons, the ancient retainers to the imperial faction, with the utmost severity; and, discovering on all occasions his distrust, fear, or hatred of the emperor, he began at last to court the friendship of the French king, and seemed willing to throw himself absolutely upon him for support and protection.

induce him to court the King of France.This was the very point to which his nephews wished to bring him, as most favourable to their ambitious schemes; and as the accomplishment of these depended on their uncle’s life, whose advanced age did not admit of losing a moment unnecessarily in negotiations, instead of treating at second-hand with the French ambassador at Rome, they prevailed on the pope to dispatch a person of confidence directly to the court of France, with such overtures on his part as they hoped would not be rejected. He proposed an alliance offensive and defensive between Henry and the pope; that they should attack the dutchy of Tuscany and the kingdom of Naples with their united forces; and if their arms should prove successful, that the ancient republican form of government should be re-established in the former, and the investiture of the latter should be granted to one of the French king’s sons, after reserving a certain territory which should be annexed to the patrimony of the church, together Edition: current; Page: [266] with an independent and princely establishment for each of the pope’s nephews.

Constable Montmorency opposes the alliance with the pope.The king, allured by these specious projects, gave a most favourable audience to the envoy. But when the matter was proposed in council, the Constable Montmorency, whose natural caution and aversion to daring enterprises increased with age and experience, remonstrated with great vehemence against the alliance. He put Henry in mind how fatal to France every expedition into Italy had been during three successive reigns; and if such an enterprise had proved too great for the nation, even when its strength and finances were entire, there was no reason to hope for success, if it should be attempted now, when both were exhausted by extraordinary efforts during wars which had lasted, with little interruption, almost half a century. He represented the manifest imprudence of entering into engagements with a pope of fourscore, as any system which rested on no better foundation than his life, must be extremely precarious, and upon the event of his death, which could not be distant, the face of things, together with the inclination of the Italian states, must instantly change, and the whole weight of the war be left upon the king alone. To these considerations he added the near prospect which they now had of a final accommodation with the emperor, who, having taken the resolution of retiring from the world, wished to transmit his kingdoms in peace to his son; and he concluded with representing the absolute certainty of drawing the arms of England upon France, if it should appear that the re-establishment of tranquillity in Europe was prevented by the ambition of its monarch.

The Duke of Guise favours it.These arguments, weighty in themselves, and urged by a minister of great authority, would probably have determined the king to decline any connection with the pope. But the Duke of Guise, and his brother, Edition: current; Page: [267] the Cardinal of Lorrain, who delighted no less in bold and dangerous undertakings than Montmorency shunned them, declared warmly for an alliance with the pope. The cardinal expected to be intrusted with the conduct of the negotiations in the court of Rome to which this alliance would give rise; the duke hoped to obtain the command of the army which would be appointed to invade Naples; and considering themselves as already in these stations, vast projects opened to their aspiring and unbounded ambition. Their credit, together with the influence of the king’s mistress, the famous Diana of Poitiers, who was, at that time, entirely devoted to the interest of the family of Guise, more than counterbalanced all Montmorency’s prudent remonstrances, and prevailed on an inconsiderate prince to listen to the overtures of the pope’s envoy.

Cardinal of Lorrain sent to negotiate with the pope.The Cardinal of Lorrain, as he had expected, was immediately sent to Rome with full powers to conclude the treaty, and to concert measures for carrying it into execution. Before he could reach that city, the pope, either from reflecting on the danger and uncertain issue of all military operations, or through the address of the imperial ambassador, who had been at great pains to soothe him, had not only begun to lose much of the ardour with which he had commenced the negotiation with France, but even discovered great unwillingness to continue it. In order to rouse him from this fit of despondency, and to rekindle his former rage, his nephews had recourse to the arts which they had already practised with so much success. They alarmed him with new representations of the emperor’s hostile intentions, with fresh accounts which they had received of threats uttered against him by the imperial ministers, and with new discoveries which they pretended to have made of conspiracies formed, and just ready to take effect, against his life.

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But these artifices, having been formerly tried, would not have operated a second time with the same force, nor have made the impression which they wished,Paul enraged at the proceedings of the diet of Augsburg; if Paul had not been excited by an offence of that kind which he was least able to bear. He received advice of the recess of the diet of Augsburg, and of the toleration which was thereby granted to the protestants; and this threw him at once into such transports of passion against the emperor and King of the Romans, as carried him headlong into all the violent measures of his nephews. Full of high ideas with respect to the papal prerogative, and animated with the fiercest zeal against heresy, he considered the liberty of deciding concerning religious matters, which had been assumed by an assembly composed chiefly of laymen, as a presumptuous and unpardonable encroachment on that jurisdiction which belonged to him alone; and regarded the indulgence which had been given to the protestants as an impious act of that power which the diet had usurped. He complained loudly of both to the imperial ambassador. He insisted that the recess of the diet should immediately be declared illegal and void. He threatened the emperor and King of the Romans, in case they should either refuse or delay to gratify him in this particular, with the severest effects of his vengeance. He talked in a tone of authority and command which might have suited a pontiff of the twelfth century, when a papal decree was sufficient to have shaken, or to have overturned, the throne of the greatest monarch in Europe; but which was altogether improper in that age, especially when addressed to the minister of a prince who had so often made pontiffs more formidable than Paul feel the weight of his power. The ambassador, however, heard all his extravagant propositions and menaces with much patience, and endeavoured to soothe him by putting him in mind of the extreme distress to which the emperor had been Edition: current; Page: [269] reduced at Inspruck, of the engagements which he had come under to the protestants, in order to extricate himself, of the necessity of fulfilling these, and of accommodating his conduct to the situation of his affairs. But weighty as these considerations were, they made no impression on the mind of the haughty and bigoted pontiff, who instantly replied, That he would absolve him by his apostolic authority from those impious engagements, and even command him not to perform them; that, in carrying on the cause of God and of the church, no regard ought to be had to the maxims of worldly prudence and policy; and that the ill success of the emperor’s schemes in Germany might justly be deemed a mark of the divine displeasure against him, on account of his having paid little attention to the former, while he regulated his conduct entirely by the latter. Having said this, he turned from the ambassador abruptly, without waiting for a reply.

and exasperated by his nephews.His nephews took care to applaud and cherish these sentiments, and easily wrought up his arrogant mind, fraught with all the monkish ideas concerning the extent of the papal supremacy, to such a pitch of resentment against the house of Austria, and to such a high opinion of his own power, that he talked continually of his being the successor of those who had deposed kings and emperors; that he was exalted as head over them all, and would trample such as opposed him under his feet.Dec. 15. In this disposition the Cardinal of Lorrain found the pope,Concludes a treaty with France. and easily persuaded him to sign a treaty, which had for its object the ruin of a prince, against whom he was so highly exasperated. The stipulations in the treaty were much the same as had been proposed by the pope’s envoy at Paris, and it was agreed to keep the whole transaction secret, until their united forces should be ready to take the field.s

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During the negotiation of this treaty at Rome and Paris, an event happened which seemed to render the fears that had given rise to it vain,The emperor resolves to resign his hereditary dominions. and the operations which were to follow upon it unnecessary. This was the emperor’s resignation of his hereditary dominions to his son Philip; together with his resolution to withdraw entirely from any concern in business or the affairs of this world, in order that he might spend the remainder of his days in retirement and solitude.

Though it requires neither deep reflection nor extraordinary discernment to discover that the state of royalty is not exempt from cares and disappointment; though most of those who are exalted to a throne find solicitude, and satiety, and disgust, to be their perpetual attendants in that envied pre-eminence; yet to descend voluntarily from the supreme to a subordinate station, and to relinquish the possession of power in order to attain the enjoyment of happiness, seems to be an effort too great for the human mind. Several instances, indeed, occur in history, of monarchs who have quitted a throne, and have ended their days in retirement. But they were either weak princes, who took this resolution rashly, and repented of it as soon as it was taken; or unfortunate princes, from whose hands some stronger rival had wrested their sceptre, and compelled them to descend with reluctance into a private station. Diocletian is, perhaps, the only prince capable of holding the reins of government, who ever resigned them from deliberate choice, and who continued during many years to enjoy the tranquillity of retirement without fetching one penitent sigh, or casting back one look of desire, towards the power or dignity which he had abandoned.

The motives of this resignation.No wonder, then, that Charles’s resignation should fill all Europe with astonishment, and give rise, both among his contemporaries and among the historians Edition: current; Page: [271] of that period, to various conjectures concerning the motives which determined a prince, whose ruling passion had been uniformly the love of power, at the age of fifty-six, when objects of ambition continue to operate with full force on the mind, and are pursued with the greatest ardour, to take a resolution so singular and unexpected. But while many authors have imputed it to motives so frivolous and fantastical as can hardly be supposed to influence any reasonable mind; while others have imagined it to be the result of some profound scheme of policy, historians more intelligent, and better informed, neither ascribe it to caprice, nor search for mysterious secrets of state, where simple and obvious causes will fully account for the emperor’s conduct. Charles had been attacked early in life with the gout, and, notwithstanding all the precautions of the most skilful physicians, the violence of the distemper increased as he advanced in age, and the fits became every year more frequent, as well as more severe. Not only was the vigour of his constitution broken, but the faculties of his mind were impaired by the excruciating torments which he endured. During the continuance of the fits, he was altogether incapable of applying to business, and even when they began to abate, as it was only at intervals that he could attend to what was serious, he gave up a great part of his time to trifling and even childish occupations, which served to relieve or to amuse his mind, enfeebled and worn out with excess of pain. Under these circumstances, the conduct of such affairs as occurred of course in governing so many kingdoms, was a burden more than sufficient; but to push forward and complete the vast schemes which the ambition of his more active years had formed, or to keep in view and carry on the same great system of policy, extending to every nation in Europe, and connected with the operations of every different court, Edition: current; Page: [272] were functions which so far exceeded his strength, that they oppressed and overwhelmed his mind. As he had been long accustomed to view the business of every department, whether civil, or military, or ecclesiastical, with his own eyes, and to decide concerning it according to his own ideas, it gave him the utmost pain when he felt his infirmities increase so fast upon him, that he was obliged to commit the conduct of all affairs to his ministers. He imputed every misfortune which befell him, and every miscarriage that happened, even when the former was unavoidable, or the latter accidental, to his inability to take the inspection of business himself. He complained of his hard fortune, in being opposed, in his declining years, to a rival, who was in the full vigour of life; and that, while Henry could take and execute all his resolutions in person, he should now be reduced, both in council and in action, to rely on the talents and exertions of other men. Having thus grown old before his time, he wisely judged it more decent to conceal his infirmities in some solitude, than to expose them any longer to the public eye; and prudently determined not to forfeit the fame, or lose the acquisitions of his better years, by struggling, with a vain obstinacy, to retain the reins of government, when he was no longer able to hold them with steadiness, or to guide them with address.t

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But though Charles had revolved this scheme in his mind for several years, and had communicated it to his sisters,Circumstances which retarded it. the dowager Queens of France and Hungary, who not only approved of his intention, but offered to accompany him to whatever place of retreat he should choose, several things had hitherto prevented his carrying it into execution. He could not think of loading his son with the government of so many kingdoms, until he should attain such maturity of age and of abilities, as would enable him to sustain that weighty burden. But as Philip had now reached his twenty-eighth year, and had been early accustomed to business, for which he discovered both inclination and capacity, it can hardly be imputed to the partiality of paternal affection that his scruples with regard to this point were entirely removed; and that he thought he might place his son, without further hesitation or delay, on the throne which he himself was about to abandon. His mother’s situation had been another obstruction in his way: for although she had continued almost fifty years in confinement, and under the same disorder of mind which concern for her husband’s death had brought upon her, yet the government of Spain was still vested in her jointly with the emperor; her name was inserted together with his in all the public instruments issued in that kingdom; and such was the fond attachment of the Spaniards to her, that they would probably have scrupled to recognise Philip as their sovereign, unless Edition: current; Page: [274] she had consented to assume him as her partner on the throne. Her utter incapacity for business rendered it impossible to obtain her consent. But her death, which happened this year, removed this difficulty; and as Charles, upon that event, became sole monarch of Spain, it left the succession open to his son. The war with France had likewise been a reason for retaining the administration of affairs in his own hand, as he was extremely solicitous to have terminated it, that he might have given up his kingdoms to his son at peace with all the world. But as Henry had discovered no disposition to close with any of his overtures, and had even rejected proposals of peace, which were equal and moderate, in a tone that seemed to indicate a fixed purpose of continuing hostilities, he saw that it was vain to wait longer in expectation of an event, which, however desirable, was altogether uncertain.

The formalities with which he executed it.As this, then, appeared to be the proper juncture for executing the scheme which he had long meditated, Charles resolved to resign his kingdoms to his son, with a solemnity suitable to the importance of the transaction, and to perform this last act of sovereignty with such formal pomp, as might leave a lasting impression on the minds not only of his subjects but of his successor. With this view, he called Philip out of England, where the peevish temper of his queen, which increased with her despair of having issue, rendered him extremely unhappy; and the jealousy of the English left him no hopes of obtaining the direction of their affairs. Having assembled the states of the Low Countries at Brussels, on the twenty-fifth of October, Charles seated himself, for the last time, in the chair of state, on one side of which was placed his son, and on the other his sister, the Queen of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands, with a splendid retinue of the princes of the empire Edition: current; Page: [275] and grandees of Spain standing behind him. The president of the council of Flanders, by his command, explained, in a few words, his intention in calling this extraordinary meeting of the states. He then read the instrument of resignation, by which Charles surrendered to his son Philip all his territories, jurisdiction, and authority in the Low Countries, absolving his subjects there from the oath of allegiance to him, which he required them to transfer to Philip, his lawful heir, and to serve him with the same loyalty and zeal which they had manifested, during so long a course of years, in support of his government.

Charles then rose from his seat, and leaning on the shoulder of the Prince of Orange, because he was unable to stand without support, he addressed himself to the audience, and from a paper which he held in his hand, in order to assist his memory, he recounted, with dignity, but without ostentation, all the great things which he had undertaken and performed since the commencement of his administration. He observed, that, from the seventeenth year of his age, he had dedicated all his thoughts and attention to public objects, reserving no portion of his time for the indulgence of his ease, and very little for the enjoyment of private pleasure; that, either in a pacific or hostile manner, he had visited Germany nine times, Spain six times, France four times, Italy seven times, the Low Countries ten times, England twice, Africa as often, and had made eleven voyages by sea; that, while his health permitted him to discharge his duty, and the vigour of his constitution was equal, in any degree, to the arduous office of governing such extensive dominions, he had never shunned labour, nor repined under fatigue; that now, when his health was broken, and his vigour exhausted by the rage of an incurable distemper, his growing infirmities admonished him to retire; nor was he so fond of reigning, Edition: current; Page: [276] as to retain the sceptre in an impotent hand, which was no longer able to protect his subjects, or to secure to them the happiness which he wished they should enjoy; that, instead of a sovereign worn out with diseases, and scarcely half alive, he gave them one in the prime of life, accustomed already to govern, and who added to the vigour of youth all the attention and sagacity of maturer years; that if, during the course of a long administration, he had committed any material error in government, or if, under the pressure of so many and great affairs, and amidst the attention which he had been obliged to give to them, he had either neglected or injured any of his subjects, he now implored their forgiveness; that, for his part, he should ever retain a grateful sense of their fidelity and attachment, and would carry the remembrance of it along with him to the place of his retreat, as his sweetest consolation, as well as the best reward for all his services, and in his last prayers to Almighty God would pour forth his most earnest petitions for their welfare.

Then turning towards Philip, who fell on his knees and kissed his father’s hand,—“If,” says he, “I had left you by my death this rich inheritance, to which I have made such large additions, some regard would have been justly due to my memory on that account; but now, when I voluntarily resign to you what I might have still retained, I may well expect the warmest expressions of thanks on your part. With these, however, I dispense, and shall consider your concern for the welfare of your subjects, and your love of them, as the best and most acceptable testimony of your gratitude to me. It is in your power, by a wise and virtuous administration, to justify the extraordinary proof which I, this day, give of my paternal affection, and to demonstrate that you are worthy of the confidence which I repose in you. Preserve an Edition: current; Page: [277] inviolable regard for religion; maintain the catholic faith in its purity; let the laws of your country be sacred in your eyes; encroach not on the rights and privileges of your people; and, if the time should ever come, when you shall wish to enjoy the tranquillity of private life, may you have a son endowed with such qualities, that you can resign your sceptre to him, with as much satisfaction as I give up mine to you.”

As soon as Charles had finished this long address to his subjects and to their new sovereign, he sunk into the chair, exhausted and ready to faint with the fatigue of such an extraordinary effort. During his discourse, the whole audience melted into tears, some from admiration of his magnanimity, others softened by the expressions of tenderness towards his son, and of love to his people; and all were affected with the deepest sorrow at losing a sovereign, who, during his administration, had distinguished the Netherlands, his native country, with particular marks of his regard and attachment.

Philip then arose from his knees, and after returning thanks to his father, with a low and submissive voice, for the royal gift which his unexampled bounty had bestowed upon him, he addressed the assembly of the states, and regretting his inability to speak the Flemish language with such facility as to express what he felt on this interesting occasion, as well as what he owed to his good subjects in the Netherlands, he begged that they would permit Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, to deliver what he had given him in charge to speak in his name. Granvelle, in a long discourse, expatiated on the zeal with which Philip was animated for the good of his subjects, on his resolution to devote all his time and talents to the promoting of their happiness, and on his intention to imitate his father’s example in distinguishing the Edition: current; Page: [278] Netherlands with peculiar marks of his regard. Maës, a lawyer of great eloquence, replied, in the name of the states, with large professions of their fidelity and affection to their new sovereign.

1556.Then Mary, Queen Dowager of Hungary,January 6. resigned the regency with which she had been intrusted by her brother during the space of twenty-five years. Next day Philip, in presence of the states, took the usual oaths to maintain the rights and privileges of his subjects; and all the members, in their own name, and in that of their constituents, swore allegiance to him.u

A few weeks after this transaction, Charles, in an assembly no less splendid, and with a ceremonial equally pompous, resigned to his son the crowns of Spain, with all the territories depending on them, both in the old and in the new world. Of all these vast possessions, he reserved nothing for himself but an annual pension of a hundred thousand crowns, to defray the charges of his family, and to afford him a small sum for acts of beneficence and charity.x

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As he had fixed on a place of retreat in Spain, hoping that the dryness and the warmth of the climate in that country might mitigate the violence of his disease,Resolves to fix his residence in Spain. which had been much increased by the moisture of the air and the rigour of the winters in the Netherlands, he was extremely impatient to embark for that kingdom, and to disengage himself entirely from business, which he found to be impossible while he remained in Brussels.Obliged to remain for some time in the Netherlands. But his physicians remonstrated so strongly against his venturing to sea at that cold and boisterous season of the year, that he consented, though with reluctance, to put off his voyage for some months.

Promotes the negotiation for peace.By yielding to their entreaties, he had the satisfaction, before he left the Low Countries, of taking a considerable step towards a peace with France, which he ardently wished for, not only on his son’s account, but that he might have the merit, when quitting the world, of re-establishing that tranquillity in Europe, which he had banished out of it almost from the time that he assumed the administration of affairs. Previous to his resignation, commissioners had been appointed by him and by the French king, in order to treat of an exchange of prisoners. In their conferences at the abbey of Vaucelles, near Cambray, an expedient was accidentally proposed for terminating hostilities Edition: current; Page: [280] between the contending monarchs, by a long truce, during the subsistence of which, and without discussing their respective claims, each should retain what was now in his possession. Charles, sensible how much his kingdoms were exhausted by the expensive and almost continual wars in which his ambition had engaged him, and eager to gain for his son a short interval of peace, that he might establish himself firmly on his throne, declared warmly for closing with the overture, though manifestly dishonourable as well as disadvantageous; and such was the respect due to his wisdom and experience, that Philip, notwithstanding his unwillingness to purchase peace by such concessions, did not presume to urge his opinion in opposition to that of his father.

A truce concluded:Henry could not have hesitated one moment about giving his consent to a truce, on such conditions as would leave him in quiet possession of the greater part of the Duke of Savoy’s dominions, together with the important conquests which he had made on the German frontier. But it was no easy matter to reconcile such a step with the engagements which he had come under to the pope, in his late treaty with him. The Constable Montmorency, however, represented in such a striking light the imprudence of sacrificing the true interests of his kingdom to these rash obligations, and took such advantage of the absence of the Cardinal of Lorrain, who had seduced the king into his alliance with the Caraffas, that Henry, who was naturally fluctuating and unsteady, and apt to be influenced by the advice last given him, authorized his ambassadors to sign a treaty of truce with the emperor for five years,February 5. on the terms which had been proposed. But that he might not seem to have altogether forgotten his ally the pope, who, he foresaw, would be highly exasperated, he, in order to soothe him, took care that he should be expressly included in the truce.y

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The Count of Lalain repaired to Blois, and the Admiral de Coligny to Brussels; the former to be present when the King of France,ratified by both monarchs. and the latter when the emperor and his son, ratified the treaty and bound themselves by oath to observe it.zThe pope’s astonishment and distress. When an account of the conferences at Vaucelles, and of the conditions of truce which had been proposed there, was first carried to Rome, it gave the pope no manner of disquiet. He trusted so much to the honour of the French monarch, that he would not allow himself to think that Henry could forget so soon, or violate so shamefully, all the stipulations in his league with him. He had such a high opinion of the emperor’s wisdom, that he made no doubt of his refusing his consent to a truce on such unequal terms; and on both these accounts he confidently pronounced that this, like many preceding negotiations, would terminate in nothing. But later and more certain intelligence soon convinced him that no reasoning in political affairs is more fallacious, than, because an event is improbable, to conclude that it will not happen. The sudden and unexpected conclusion of the truce filled Paul with astonishment and terror. The Cardinal of Lorrain durst not encounter that storm of indignation, to which he knew that he should be exposed from the haughty pontiff, who had so good reason to be incensed; but departing abruptly from Rome, he left to the Cardinal Tournon the difficult task of attempting to soothe Paul and his nephews. They were fully sensible of the perilous situation in which they now stood. By their engagements with France, which were no Edition: current; Page: [282] longer secret, they had highly irritated Philip. They dreaded the violence of his implacable temper. The Duke of Alva, a minister fitted, as well by his abilities as by the severity of his nature, for executing all Philip’s rigorous schemes, had advanced from Milan to Naples, and began to assemble troops on the frontiers of the ecclesiastical state; while they, if deserted by France, must not only relinquish all the hopes of dominion and sovereignty to which their ambition aspired, but remain exposed to the resentment of the Spanish monarch, without one ally to protect them against an enemy with whom they were so little able to contend.

He attempts to rekindle the war.Under these circumstances, Paul had recourse to the arts of negotiation and intrigue; of which the papal court knows well how to avail itself in order to ward off any calamity threatened by an enemy superior in power. He affected to approve highly of the truce, as a happy expedient for putting a stop to the effusion of Christian blood. He expressed his warmest wishes that it might prove the forerunner of a definitive peace. He exhorted the rival princes to embrace this favourable opportunity of setting on foot a negotiation for that purpose, and offered, as their common father, to be mediator between them. Under this pretext, he appointed Cardinal Rebiba his nuncio to the court of Brussels, and his nephew, Cardinal Caraffa, to that of Paris. The public instructions given to both were the same; that they should use their utmost endeavours to prevail with the two monarchs to accept of the pope’s mediation, that, by means of it, peace might be re-established, and measures might be taken for assembling a general council. But under this specious appearance of zeal for attaining objects so desirable in themselves, and so becoming his sacred character to pursue, Paul concealed very different intentions. Caraffa, besides his public instructions, received a Edition: current; Page: [283] private commission to solicit the French king to renounce the treaty of truce, and to renew his engagements with the holy see; and he was empowered to spare neither entreaties, nor promises, nor bribes, in order to gain that point. This, both the uncle and the nephew considered as the real end of the embassy; while the other served to amuse the vulgar, or to deceive the emperor and his son.May 11. The cardinal, accordingly, set out instantly for Paris, and travelled with the greatest expedition, while Rebiba was detained some weeks at Rome; and when it became necessary for him to begin his journey, he received secret orders to protract it as much as possible, that the issue of Caraffa’s negotiation might be known before he should reach Brussels, and according to that, proper directions might be given to him with regard to the tone which he should assume, in treating with the emperor and his son.a

His negotiations for that purpose.Caraffa made his entry into Paris with extraordinary pomp; and having presented a consecrated sword to Henry, as the protector, on whose aid the pope relied in the present exigency, he besought him not to disregard the entreaties of a parent in distress, but to employ that weapon which he gave him in his defence. This he represented not only as a duty of filial piety, but as an act of justice. As the pope, from confidence in the assistance and support which his late treaty with France entitled him to expect, had taken such steps as had irritated the King of Spain, he conjured Henry not to suffer Paul and his family to be crushed under the weight of that resentment, which they had drawn on themselves merely by their attachment to France. Together with this argument addressed to his generosity, he employed another which he hoped would work on his ambition. He affirmed that now was the time, when, with the most certain prospect of Edition: current; Page: [284] success, he might attack Philip’s dominions in Italy; that the flower of the veteran Spanish bands had perished in the wars of Hungary, Germany, and the Low Countries; that the emperor had left his son an exhausted treasury, and kingdoms drained of men; that he had no longer to contend with the abilities, the experience, and good fortune of Charles, but with a monarch scarcely seated on his throne, unpractised in command, odious to many of the Italian states, and dreaded by all. He promised that the pope, who had already levied soldiers, would bring a considerable army into the field, which, when joined by a sufficient number of French troops, might, by one brisk and sudden effort, drive the Spaniards out of Naples, and add to the crown of France a kingdom, the conquest of which had been the great object of all his predecessors during half a century, and the chief motive of all their expeditions into Italy.

Their effect.Every word Caraffa spoke made a deep impression on Henry; conscious, on the one hand, that the pope had just cause to reproach him with having violated the laws not only of generosity but of decency, when he renounced his league with him, and had agreed to the truce of Vaucelles; and eager, on the other hand, not only to distinguish his reign by a conquest, which three former monarchs had attempted without success, but likewise to acquire an establishment of such dignity and value for one of his sons. Reverence, however, for the oath, by which he had so lately confirmed the truce of Vaucelles; the extreme old age of the pope, whose death might occasion an entire revolution in the political system of Italy; together with the representations of Montmorency, who repeated all the arguments he had used against the first league with Paul, and pointed out the great and immediate advantages which France derived from the truce, kept Henry for some time in suspense, and might possibly Edition: current; Page: [285] have outweighed all Caraffa’s arguments. But the cardinal was not such a novice in the arts of intrigue and negotiation, as not to have expedients ready for removing or surmounting all these obstacles. To obviate the king’s scruple with regard to his oath, he produced powers from the pope to absolve him from the obligation of it. By way of security against any danger which he might apprehend from the pope’s death, he engaged that his uncle would make such a nomination of cardinals, as should give Henry the absolute command of the next election, and enable him to place in the papal chair a person entirely devoted to his interest.

In order to counterbalance the effect of the constable’s opinion and influence, he employed not only the active talents of the Duke of Guise, and the eloquence of his brother the Cardinal of Lorrain, but the address of the queen, aided by the more powerful arts of Diana of Poitiers, who, unfortunately for France, co-operated with Catherine in this point, though she took pleasure, on almost every other occasion, to thwart and mortify her. They, by their united solicitations, easily swayed the king, who leaned, of his own accord, to that side towards which they wished him to incline. All Montmorency’s prudent remonstrances were disregarded; the nuncio absolved Henry from his oath; and he signed a new league with the pope,July 31. which rekindled the flames of war both in Italy and in the Low Countries.

The pope’s violent proceedings against Philip.As soon as Paul was informed by his nephew that there was a fair prospect of his succeeding in this negotiation, he dispatched a messenger after the nuncio Rebiba, with orders to return to Rome, without proceeding to Brussels. As it was now no longer necessary to preserve that tone of moderation which suited the character of a mediator, and which he had affected to assume, or to put any farther restraint upon his Edition: current; Page: [286] resentment against Philip, he boldly threw off the mask, and took such violent steps as rendered a rupture unavoidable. He seized and imprisoned the Spanish envoy at his court. He excommunicated the Colonnas; and having deprived Marco Antonio, the head of that family, of the dukedom of Paliano, he granted that dignity, together with the territory annexed to it, to his nephew, the Count of Montorio. He ordered a legal information to be presented in the consistory of cardinals against Philip, setting forth that he, notwithstanding the fidelity and allegiance due by him to the holy see, of which he held the kingdom of Naples, had not only afforded a retreat in his dominions to the Colonnas, whom the pope had excommunicated and declared rebels, but had furnished them with arms, and was ready, in conjunction with them, to invade the ecclesiastical state in an hostile manner; that such conduct in a vassal was to be deemed treason against his liege lord, the punishment of which was the forfeiture of his fief. Upon this, the consistorial advocate requested the pope to take cognizance of the cause, and to appoint a day for hearing of it, when he would make good every article of the charge, and expect from his justice that sentence which the heinousness of Philip’s crimes merited. Paul, whose pride was highly flattered with the idea of trying and passing judgment on so great a king,July 27. assented to his request, and, as if it had been no less easy to execute than to pronounce such a sentence, declared that he would consult with the cardinals concerning the formalities requisite in conducting the trial.b

Philip’s superstitious scruples.But while Paul allowed his pride and resentment to drive him on with such headlong impetuosity, Philip discovered an amazing moderation on his part. He had been taught by the Spanish ecclesiastics, who Edition: current; Page: [287] had the charge of his education, a profound veneration for the holy see. This sentiment, which had been early infused, grew up with him as he advanced in years, and took full possession of his mind, which was naturally thoughtful, serious, and prone to superstition. When he foresaw a rupture with the pope approaching, he had such violent scruples with respect to the lawfulness of taking arms against the vicegerent of Christ, and the common father of all Christians, that he consulted some Spanish divines upon that point. They, with the usual dexterity of casuists in accommodating their responses to the circumstances of those who apply to them for direction, assured him that, after employing prayers and remonstrances in order to bring the pope to reason, he had full right, both by the laws of nature and of Christianity, not only to defend himself when attacked, but to begin hostilities, if that were judged the most proper expedient for preventing the effects of Paul’s violence and injustice. Philip nevertheless continued to deliberate and delay, considering it as a most cruel misfortune, that his administration should open with an attack on a person, whose sacred function and character he so highly respected.c

The Duke of Alva takes the field against the pope.At last the Duke of Alva, who, in compliance with his master’s scruples, had continued to negotiate long after he should have begun to act, finding Paul inexorable, and that every overture of peace, and every appearance of hesitation on his part, increased the pontiff’s natural arrogance,Sept. 5. took the field and entered the ecclesiastical territories. His army did not exceed twelve thousand men; but it was composed of veteran soldiers, and commanded chiefly by those Roman barons, whom Paul’s violence had driven into exile. The valour of the troops, together with the animosity of their leaders, who fought in their own Edition: current; Page: [288] quarrel, and to recover their own estates, supplied the want of numbers. As none of the French forces were yet arrived, Alva soon became master of the Campagna Romana; some cities being surrendered through the cowardice of the garrisons, which consisted of raw soldiers, ill disciplined and worse commanded; the gates of others being opened by the inhabitants, who were eager to receive back their ancient masters. Alva, that he might not be taxed with impiety in seizing the patrimony of the church, took possession of the towns which capitulated, in the name of the college of cardinals, to which, or to the pope that should be chosen to succeed Paul, he declared that he would immediately restore them.

A truce between the pope and Philip.The rapid progress of the Spaniards, whose light troops made excursions even to the gates of Rome, filled that city with consternation. Paul, though inflexible and undaunted himself, was obliged to give way so far to the fears and solicitations of the cardinals, as to send deputies to Alva, in order to propose a cessation of arms. The pope yielded the more readily, as he was sensible of a double advantage which might be derived from obtaining that point. It would deliver the inhabitants of Rome from their present terror, and would afford time for the arrival of the succours which he expected from France. Nor was Alva unwilling to close with the overture, both as he knew how desirous his master was to terminate a war, which he had undertaken with reluctance, and as his army was so much weakened by garrisoning the great number of towns which he had reduced, that it was hardly in a condition to keep the field without fresh recruits.Nov. 19. A truce was accordingly concluded first for ten, and afterwards for forty days, during which, various schemes of peace were proposed, and perpetual negotiations were carried on, but with no sincerity on the part of the pope. The return of his Edition: current; Page: [289] nephew the cardinal to Rome, the receipt of a considerable sum remitted by the King of France, the arrival of one body of French troops, together with the expectation of others which had begun their march, rendered him more arrogant than ever, and banished all thoughts from his mind but those of war and revenge.d

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THE

HISTORY OF THE REIGN

of the

EMPEROR CHARLES V.

BOOK XII.

1556.While these operations or intrigues kept the pope and Philip busy and attentive,Charles’s new attempt to alter the succession of the empire; the emperor disentangled himself finally from all the affairs of this world, and set out for the place of his retreat. He had hitherto retained the imperial dignity, not from any unwillingness to relinquish it, for, after having resigned the real and extensive authority that he enjoyed in his hereditary dominions, to part with the limited and often ideal jurisdiction which belongs to an elective crown, was no great sacrifice. His sole motive for delay was to gain a few months, for making one trial more, in order to accomplish his favourite scheme in behalf of his son. At the very time Charles seemed to be most sensible of the vanity of worldly grandeur, and when he appeared to be quitting it not only with indifference, but with contempt, the vast schemes of ambition, which had so long occupied and engrossed his mind, still kept possession of it. He could not think of leaving his son in a rank inferior to that which he himself had held among the princes of Europe. As he had, some years before, Edition: current; Page: [291] made a fruitless attempt to secure the imperial crown to Philip,BOOK XII.lf1681-05_figure_001.jpg that, by uniting it to the kingdoms of Spain, and the dominions of the house of Burgundy, he might put it in his power to prosecute, with a better prospect of success, those great plans, which his own infirmities had obliged him to abandon, he was still unwilling to relinquish this flattering project as chimerical or unattainable.

which proves unsuccessful.Notwithstanding the repulse which he had formerly met with from his brother Ferdinand, he renewed his solicitations with fresh importunity; and, during the summer, had tried every art, and employed every argument, which he thought could induce him to quit the imperial throne to Philip, and to accept of the investiture of some province, either in Italy, or in the Low Countries, as an equivalent.a But Ferdinand, who was so firm and inflexible with regard to this point, that he had paid no regard to the solicitations of the emperor, even when they were enforced with all the weight of authority which accompanies supreme power, received the overture, that now came from him in the situation to which he had descended, with great indifference, and would hardly deign to listen to it. Charles, ashamed of his own credulity in having imagined that he might accomplish that now, which he had attempted formerly without success, desisted finally from his scheme. He then resigned the government of the empire, and having transferred all his claims of obedience and allegiance from the Germanic body, to his brother the King of the Romans,August 27. he executed a deed to that effect, with all the formalities requisite in such an important transaction. The instrument of resignation he committed to William, Prince of Orange, and empowered him to lay it before the college of electors.b

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Nothing now remained to detain Charles from that retreat for which he languished. The preparations for his voyage having been made for some time,Charles sets out for Spain. he set out for Zuitburg in Zealand, where the fleet which was to convoy him had orders to assemble. In his way thither he passed through Ghent, and, after stopping there a few days, to indulge that tender and pleasing melancholy, which arises in the mind of every man in the decline of life, on visiting the place of his nativity, and viewing the scenes and objects familiar to him in his early youth, he pursued his journey, accompanied by his son Philip, his daughter the archduchess, his sisters the Dowager Queens of France and Hungary, Maximilian his son-in-law, and a numerous retinue of the Flemish nobility. Before he went on board, he dismissed them, with marks of his attention or regard, and taking leave of Philip with all the tenderness of a father who embraced his son for the last time, he set sail on the seventeenth of September, under the convoy of a large fleet of Spanish, Flemish, and English ships. He declined a pressing invitation from the Queen of England, to land in some part of her dominions, in order to refresh himself, and that she might have the comfort of seeing him once more. “It cannot, surely,” said he, “be agreeable to a queen to receive a visit from a father-in-law, who is now nothing more than a private gentleman.”

His arrival and reception there.His voyage was prosperous, and he arrived at Laredo, in Biscay, on the eleventh day after he left Zealand. As soon as he landed, he fell prostrate on the ground; and, considering himself now as dead to the world, he kissed the earth, and said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I now return to thee, thou common mother of mankind.” From Laredo he pursued his journey to Burgos, carried sometimes in a chair, and sometimes in a horse-litter, Edition: current; Page: [293] suffering exquisite pain at every step, and advancing with the greatest difficulty. Some of the Spanish nobility repaired to Burgos, in order to pay court to him; but they were so few in number, and their attendance was so negligent, that Charles observed it, and felt, for the first time, that he was no longer a monarch. Accustomed from his early youth to the dutiful and officious respect with which those who possess sovereign power are attended, he had received it with the credulity common to princes, and was sensibly mortified when he now discovered, that he had been indebted to his rank and power for much of that obsequious regard which he had fondly thought was paid to his personal qualities. But though he might have soon learned to view with unconcern the levity of his subjects, or to have despised their neglect, he was more deeply afflicted with the ingratitude of his son, who, forgetting already how much he owed to his father’s bounty, obliged him to remain some weeks at Burgos, before he paid him the first moiety of that small pension, which was all that he had reserved of so many kingdoms. As without this sum Charles could not dismiss his domestics with such rewards as their services merited, or his generosity had destined for them, he could not help expressing both surprise and dissatisfaction.c At last the money was paid, and Charles having dismissed a great number of his domestics, whose attendance he thought would be superfluous or cumbersome in his retirement, he proceeded to Valladolid. There he took a last and tender leave of his two sisters, whom he would not permit to accompany him to his solitude, though they requested him with tears, not only that they might have the consolation of contributing, by their attendance and care, to mitigate or to soothe his sufferings, but that they might reap instruction Edition: current; Page: [294] and benefit by joining with him in those pious exercises, to which he had consecrated the remainder of his days.

1557.From Valladolid he continued his journey to Plazencia, in Estremadura.The place of his retreat. He had passed through this place a great many years before, and having been struck at that time with the delightful situation of the monastery of St. Justus, belonging to the order of St. Jerome, not many miles distant from the town, he had then observed to some of his attendants, that this was a spot to which Dioclesian might have retired with pleasure. The impression had remained so strong on his mind, that he pitched upon it as the place of his own retreat. It was seated in a vale of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and surrounded by rising grounds, covered with lofty trees; from the nature of the soil, as well as the temperature of the climate, it was esteemed the most healthful and delicious situation in Spain. Some months before his resignation he had sent an architect thither, to add a new apartment to the monastery, for his accommodation; but he gave strict orders that the style of the building should be such as suited his present station, rather than his former dignity. It consisted only of six rooms, four of them in the form of friars’ cells, with naked walls; the other two, each twenty feet square, were hung with brown cloth, and furnished in the most simple manner. They were all on a level with the ground, with a door on one side into a garden, of which Charles himself had given the plan, and had filled it with various plants, which he intended to cultivate with his own hands. On the other side they communicated with the chapel of the monastery, in which he was to perform his devotions. Into this humble retreat, hardly sufficient for the comfortable accommodation of a private gentleman, did Charles enter, with twelve domestics Edition: current; Page: [295] only. He buried there, in solitude and silence, his grandeur, his ambition, together with all those vast projects,Feb. 24. which, during almost half a century, had alarmed and agitated Europe, filling every kingdom in it, by turns, with the terror of his arms, and the dread of being subdued by his power.d

Contrast between the behaviour of Charles and the pope.The contrast between Charles’s conduct and that of the pope, at this juncture, was so obvious, that it struck even the most careless observers; nor was the comparison which they made to the advantage of Paul. The former, a conqueror, born to reign, long accustomed to the splendour which accompanies supreme power, and to those busy and interesting scenes in which an active ambition had engaged him, quitted the world at a period of life not far advanced, that he might close the evening of his days in tranquillity, and secure some interval for sober thought and serious recollection. The latter, a priest, who had passed the early part of his life in the shade of the schools, and in the study of the speculative sciences, who was seemingly so detached from the world, that he had shut himself up for many years in the solitude of a cloister, and who was not raised to the papal throne until he had reached the extremity of old age, discovered at once all the impetuosity of youthful ambition, and formed extensive schemes, in order to accomplish which, he scrupled not to scatter the seeds of discord, and to kindle the flames of war, in every corner of Europe. But Paul, regardless of the opinion or censures of mankind, held on his own course with his wonted arrogance and violence. These, although they seemed already to have exceeded all bounds, rose to a still greater height, upon the arrival of the Duke of Guise in Italy.

The Duke of Guise leads the French army into Italy.That which the two princes of Lorrain foresaw and desired, had happened. The Duke of Guise was Edition: current; Page: [296] intrusted with the command of the army appointed to march to the pope’s assistance. It consisted of twenty thousand men of the best troops in the service of France. So high was the duke’s reputation, and such the general expectation of beholding some extraordinary exertion of his courage and abilities, in a war into which he had precipitated his country, chiefly with the design of obtaining a field where he might display his own talents, that many of the French nobility, who had no command in the troops employed, accompanied him as volunteers. This army passed the Alps in an inclement season, and advanced towards Rome, without any opposition from the Spaniards, who, as they were not strong enough to act in different parts, had collected all their forces into one body on the frontiers of Naples, for the defence of that kingdom.

The pope renews hostilities against Philip.Emboldened by the approach of the French, the pope let loose all the fury of his resentment against Philip, which, notwithstanding the natural violence of his temper, prudential considerations had hitherto obliged him to keep under some restraint. He named commissioners, whom he empowered to pass judgment in the suit, which the consistorial advocate had commenced against Philip, in order to prove that he had forfeited the crown of Naples, by taking arms against the holy see, of which he was a vassal.Feb. 12. He recalled all the nuncios resident in the courts of Charles V., of Philip, or of any of their allies. This was levelled chiefly against Cardinal Pole, the papal legate in the court of England, whose great merit, in having contributed so successfully to reconcile that kingdom to the church of Rome, together with the expectation of farther services which he might perform,April 9. was not sufficient to screen him from the resentment that he had incurred by his zealous endeavours to establish peace between the house of Austria and France. He Edition: current; Page: [297] commanded an addition to be made to the anathemas annually denounced against the enemies of the church on Maunday-Thursday, whereby he inflicted the censure of excommunication on the authors of the late invasion of the ecclesiastical territories, whatever their rank or dignity might be; and, in consequence of this, the usual prayers for the emperor were omitted next day in the pope’s chapel.e

His military preparations inadequate.But while the pope indulged himself in these wild and childish sallies of rage, either he neglected, or found that it exceeded his power to take such measures as would have rendered his resentment really formidable, and fatal to his enemies. For when the Duke of Guise entered Rome, where he was received with a triumphal pomp, which would have been more suitable if he had been returning after having terminated the war with glory, than when he was going to begin it with a doubtful chance of success, he found none of the preparations for war in such forwardness as Cardinal Caraffa had promised, or he had expected. The papal troops were far inferior in number to the quota stipulated; no magazines sufficient for their subsistence were formed; nor was money for paying them provided. The Venetians, agreeably to that cautious maxim which the misfortunes of their state had first led them to adopt, and which was now become a fundamental principle in their policy, declared their resolution to preserve an exact neutrality, without taking any part in the quarrels of princes, so far superior to themselves in power. The other Italian states were either openly united in league with Philip, or secretly wished success to his arms against a pontiff, whose inconsiderate ambition had rendered Italy once more the seat of war.

Duke of Guise’s operations.The Duke of Guise perceived that the whole weight of the war would devolve on the French troops under Edition: current; Page: [298] his command; and became sensible, though too late, how imprudent it is to rely, in the execution of great enterprises, on the aid of feeble allies. Pushed on, however, by the pope’s impatience for action, as well as by his own desire of performing some part of what he had so confidently undertaken, he marched towards Naples,April 13. and began his operations. But the success of these fell far short of his former reputation, of what the world expected, and of what he himself had promised. He opened the campaign with the siege of Civitella, a town of some importance on the Neapolitan frontier. But the obstinacy with which the Spanish governor defended it, baffled all the impetuous efforts of the French valour, and obliged the Duke of Guise, after a siege of three weeks, to retire from the town with disgrace. He endeavoured to wipe off that stain, by advancing boldly towards the Duke of Alva’s camp, and offering him battle. But that prudent commander, sensible of all the advantages of standing on the defensive before an invading enemy, declined an engagement, and kept within his entrenchment; and, adhering to his plan with the steadiness of a Castilian, eluded, with great address, all the Duke of Guise’s stratagems to draw him into action.f By this time sickness began to waste the French army; violent dissensions had arisen between the Duke of Guise and the commander of the pope’s forces; the Spaniards renewed their incursions into the ecclesiastical state; the pope, when he found, instead of the conquests and triumphs which he had fondly expected, that he could not secure his own territories from depredation, murmured, complained, and began to talk of peace. The Duke of Guise, mortified to the last degree with having acted such an inglorious part, not only solicited his court either to reinforce his army, or to recall him, but urged Paul to fulfil his engagements; Edition: current; Page: [299] and called on Cardinal Caraffa, sometimes with reproaches, sometimes with threats, to make good those magnificent promises, from a rash confidence in which he had advised his master to renounce the truce of Vaucelles, and to join in league with the pope.g

Hostilities in the Low Countries.But while the French affairs in Italy were in this wretched situation, an unexpected event happened in the Low Countries, which called the Duke of Guise from a station wherein he could acquire no honour, to the most dignified and important charge which could be committed to a subject. As soon as the French had discovered their purpose of violating the truce of Vaucelles, not only by sending an army into Italy, but by attempting to surprise some of the frontier towns in Flanders, Philip, though willing to have avoided a rupture, determined to prosecute the war with such spirit, as should make his enemies sensible that his father had not erred, when he judged him to be so capable of government, that he had given up the reins into his hands. As he knew that Henry had been at great expence in fitting out the army under the Duke of Guise, and that his treasury was hardly able to answer the exorbitant and endless demands of a distant war, he foresaw that all his operations in the Low Countries must, of consequence, prove feeble, and be considered only as secondary to those in Italy. For that reason, he prudently resolved to make his principal effort in that place where he expected the French to be weakest, and to bend his chief force against that quarter where they would feel a blow most sensibly. With this view, he assembled in the Low Countries an army of about fifty thousand men, the Flemings serving him on this occasion with that active zeal which subjects are wont to exert in obeying the first commands of a new sovereign. But Philip, cautious and provident, even at that early period of life, Edition: current; Page: [300] did not rest all his hopes of success on that formidable force alone.

Philip endeavours to engage England in the war.He had been labouring for some time to engage the English to espouse his quarrel; and though it was manifestly the interest of that kingdom to maintain a strict neutrality, and the people themselves were sensible of the advantages which they derived from it; though he knew how odious his name was to the English, and how averse they would be to co-operate with him in any measure, he, nevertheless, did not despair of accomplishing his point. He relied on the affection with which the queen doted on him, which was so violent, that even his coldness and neglect had not extinguished it; he knew her implicit reverence for his opinion, and her fond desire of gratifying him in every particular. That he might work on these with greater facility and more certain success, he set out for England. The queen, who, during her husband’s absence, had languished in perpetual dejection, resumed fresh spirits on his arrival; and, without paying the least attention either to the interest or to the inclinations of her people, entered warmly into all his schemes. In vain did her privy council remonstrate against the imprudence as well as danger of involving the nation in an unnecessary war; in vain did they put her in mind of the solemn treaties of peace subsisting between England and France, which the conduct of that nation had afforded her no pretext to violate. Mary, soothed by Philip’s caresses, or intimidated by the threats which his ascendant over her emboldened him at sometimes to throw out, was deaf to every thing that could be urged in opposition to his sentiments, and insisted with the greatest vehemence on an immediate declaration of war against France. The council, though all Philip’s address and Mary’s authority were employed to gain or overawe them, after struggling long, yielded at last, not from Edition: current; Page: [301] conviction, but merely from deference to the will of their sovereign. War was declared against France, the only one perhaps against that kingdom into which the English ever entered with reluctance.June 20. As Mary knew the aversion of the nation to this measure, she durst not call a parliament in order to raise money for carrying on the war. She supplied this want, however, by a stretch of royal prerogative, not unusual in that age; and levied large sums on her subjects by her own authority. This enabled her to assemble a sufficient body of troops, and to send eight thousand men, under the conduct of the Earl of Pembroke, to join Philip’s army.h

Operations of Philip’s army in the Low Countries.Philip, who was not ambitious of military glory, gave the command of his army to Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, and fixed his own residence at Cambray, that he might be at hand to receive the earliest intelligence of his motions, and to aid him with his counsels. The duke opened the campaign with a masterly stroke of address, which justified Philip’s choice, and discovered such a superiority of genius over the French generals, as almost insured success in his subsequent operations. He appointed the general rendezvous of his troops at a place considerably distant from the country which he destined to be the scene of action; and having kept the enemy in suspense for a good time with regard to his intentions, he at last deceived them so effectually by the variety of his marches and countermarches, as led them to conclude that he meant to bend all his force against the province of Champagne, and would attempt to penetrate into the kingdom on that side. In consequence of this opinion, they drew all their strength towards that quarter, and, reinforcing the garrisons there, left the towns on other parts of the frontier destitute of troops sufficient to defend them.

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The Duke of Savoy, as soon as he perceived that this feint had its full effect, turned suddenly to the right,Invests St. Quentin. advanced by rapid marches into Picardy, and sending his cavalry, in which he was extremely strong, before him, invested St. Quentin. This was a town deemed in that age of considerable strength, and of great importance, as there were few fortified cities between it and Paris. The fortifications, however, had been much neglected; the garrison, weakened by draughts sent towards Champagne, did not amount to a fifth part of the number requisite for its defence; and the governor, though a brave officer, was neither of rank nor authority equal to the command in a place of so much consequence, besieged by such a formidable army. A few days must have put the Duke of Savoy in possession of the town, if the Admiral de Coligny, who thought it concerned his honour to attempt saving a place of such importance to his country, and which lay within his jurisdiction as Governor of Picardy, had not taken the gallant resolution of throwing himself into it, with such a body of men as he could collect on a sudden. This resolution he executed with great intrepidity, and, if the nature of the enterprise be considered, with no contemptible success; for, though one half of his small body of troops was cut off, he with the other broke through the enemy, and entered the town. The unexpected arrival of an officer of such high rank and reputation, and who had exposed himself to such danger in order to join them, inspired the desponding garrison with courage. Every thing that the admiral’s great skill and experience in the art of war could suggest, for annoying the enemy, or defending the town, was attempted; and the citizens as well as the garrison, seconding his zeal with equal ardour, seemed to be determined that they would hold out to the last, and sacrifice themselves in order to save their country.i

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The Duke of Savoy, whom the English, under the Earl of Pembroke, joined about this time, pushed on the siege with the greatest vigour.The French endeavour to relieve the town. An army so numerous, and so well supplied with every thing requisite, carried on its approaches with great advantage against a garrison which was still so feeble that it durst seldom venture to disturb or retard the enemy’s operations by sallies. The admiral, sensible of the approaching danger, and unable to avert it, acquainted his uncle, the Constable Montmorency, who had the command of the French army, with his situation, and pointed out to him a method by which he might throw relief into the town. The constable, solicitous to save a town, the loss of which would open a passage for the enemy into the heart of France, and eager to extricate his nephew out of that perilous situation, in which zeal for the public had engaged him, resolved, though aware of the danger, to attempt what he desired. With this view, he marched from La Fère towards St. Quentin at the head of his army, which was not by one half so numerous as that of the enemy, and having given the command of a body of chosen men to Coligny’s brother, Dandelot, who was colonel-general of the French infantry, he ordered him to force his way into the town by that avenue which the admiral had represented as most practicable, while he himself, with the main army, would give the alarm to the enemy’s camp on the opposite side, and endeavour to draw all their attention towards that quarter. Dandelot executed his orders with greater intrepidity than conduct.August 10. He rushed on with such headlong impetuosity, that, though it broke the first body of the enemy which stood in his way, it threw his own soldiers into the utmost confusion; and as they were attacked in that situation by fresh troops which closed in upon them on every side, the greater part of them were cut in pieces; Dandelot, with about five hundred Edition: current; Page: [304] of the most adventurous and most fortunate, making good his entrance into the town.

The battle of St. Quentin.Meanwhile the constable, in executing his part of the plan, advanced so near the camp of the besiegers, as rendered it impossible to retreat with safety in the face of an enemy so much superior in number. The Duke of Savoy instantly perceived Montmorency’s error, and prepared, with the presence of mind and abilities of a great general, to avail himself of it. He drew up his army in order of battle, with the greatest expedition, and, watching the moment when the French began to file off towards La Fère, he detached all his cavalry, under the command of the Count of Egmont, to fall on their rear, while he himself, at the head of his infantry, advanced to support him. The French retired at first in perfect order, and with a good countenance; but when they saw Egmont draw near with his formidable body of cavalry, the shock of which they were conscious that they could not withstand, the prospect of imminent danger, added to distrust of their general, whose imprudence every soldier now perceived, struck them with general consternation. They began insensibly to quicken their pace, and those in the rear pressed so violently on such as were before them, that in a short time their march resembled a flight rather than a retreat. Egmont, observing their confusion, charged them with the greatest fury, and in a moment all their men at arms, the pride and strength of the French troops in that age, gave way, and fled with precipitation. The infantry,Total defeat of the French. however, whom the constable, by his presence and authority, kept to their colours, still continued to retreat in good order, until the enemy brought some pieces of cannon to bear upon their centre, which threw them into such confusion, that the Flemish cavalry, renewing their attack, broke in, and the rout became universal. About four thousand Edition: current; Page: [305] of the French fell in the field, and among these the Duke of Enghien, a prince of the blood, together with six hundred gentlemen. The constable, as soon as he perceived the fortune of the day to be irretrievable, rushed into the thickest of the enemy, with a resolution not to survive the calamity which his ill conduct had brought upon his country; but having received a dangerous wound, and being wasted with the loss of blood, he was surrounded by some Flemish officers, to whom he was known, who protected him from the violence of the soldiers, and obliged him to surrender. Besides the constable, the Dukes of Montpensier and Longueville, the Maréchal St. André, many officers of distinction, three hundred gentlemen, and near four thousand private soldiers, were taken prisoners. All the colours belonging to the infantry, all the ammunition, and all the cannon, two pieces excepted, fell into the enemy’s hands. The victorious army did not lose above fourscore men.k

The first effects of it.This battle, no less fatal to France than the ancient victories of Crecy and Agincourt, gained by the English on the same frontier, bore a near resemblance to those disastrous events, in the suddenness of the rout; in the ill conduct of the commander-in-chief; in the number of persons of note slain or taken; and in the small loss sustained by the enemy. It filled France with equal consternation. Many inhabitants of Paris, with the same precipitancy and trepidation as if the enemy had been already at their gates, quitted the city, and retired into the interior provinces. The king, by his presence and exhortations, endeavoured to console and to animate such as remained, and, applying himself with the greatest diligence to repair the ruinous fortifications of the city, prepared to defend it against the attack which he instantly expected. But happily for France, Philip’s Edition: current; Page: [306] caution, together with the intrepid firmness of the Admiral de Coligny, not only saved the capital from the danger to which it was exposed, but gained the nation a short interval, during which the people recovered from the terror and dejection occasioned by a blow no less severe than unexpected, and Henry had leisure to take measures for the public security, with the spirit which became the sovereign of a powerful and martial people.

Philip repairs to his army.Philip, immediately after the battle, visited the camp at St. Quentin, where he was received with all the exultation of military triumph; and such were his transports of joy on account of an event which threw so much lustre on the beginning of his reign, that they softened his severe and haughty temper into an unusual flow of courtesy. When the Duke of Savoy approached, and was kneeling to kiss his hands, he caught him in his arms, and embracing him with warmth, “It becomes me,” says he, “rather to kiss your hands, which have gained me such a glorious and almost bloodless victory.”

His deliberations concerning the prosecution of the war.As soon as the rejoicings and congratulations on Philip’s arrival were over, a council of war was held, in order to determine how they might improve their victory to the best advantage. The Duke of Savoy, seconded by several of the ablest officers formed under Charles V., insisted that they should immediately relinquish the siege of St. Quentin, the reduction of which was now an object below their attention, and advance directly towards Paris; that as there were neither troops to oppose, nor any town of strength to retard their march, they might reach that capital while under the full impression of the astonishment and terror occasioned by the rout of the army, and take possession of it without resistance. But Philip, less adventurous or more prudent than his generals, preferred a moderate but certain advantage, Edition: current; Page: [307] to an enterprise of greater splendour, but of more doubtful success. He represented to the council the infinite resources of a kingdom so powerful as France; the great number as well as martial spirit of its nobles; their attachment to their sovereign; the manifold advantages with which they could carry on war in their own territories; and the unavoidable destruction which must be the consequence of their penetrating too rashly into the enemy’s country, before they had secured such a communication with their own as might render a retreat safe, if, upon any disastrous event, that measure should become necessary. On all these accounts, he advised the continuance of the siege, and his generals acquiesced the more readily in his opinion, as they made no doubt of being masters of the town in a few days, a loss of time of so little consequence in the execution of their plan, that they might easily repair it by their subsequent activity.l

St. Quentin defended by Admiral de Coligny;The weakness of the fortifications, and the small number of the garrison, which could no longer hope either for reinforcement or relief, seemed to authorize this calculation of Philip’s generals. But, in making it, they did not attend sufficiently to the character of Admiral de Coligny, who commanded in the town. A courage undismayed, and tranquil amidst the greatest dangers, an invention fruitful in resources, a genius which roused and seemed to acquire new force upon every disaster, a talent of governing the minds of men, together with a capacity of maintaining his ascendant over them even under circumstances the most adverse and distressful, were qualities which Coligny possessed in a degree superior to any general of that age. These qualities were peculiarly adapted to the station in which he was now placed; and as he knew the infinite importance to his country of every Edition: current; Page: [308] hour which he could gain at this juncture, he exerted himself to the utmost in contriving how to protract the siege, and to detain the enemy from attempting any enterprise more dangerous to France.which is taken by assault. Such were the perseverance and skill with which he conducted the defence, and such the fortitude as well as patience with which he animated the garrison, that though the Spaniards, the Flemings, and the English, carried on the attack with all the ardour which national emulation inspires, he held out the town seventeen days.August 27. He was taken prisoner, at last, on the breach, overpowered by the superior number of the enemy.

Henry’s measures for the defence of his kingdom.Henry availed himself, with the utmost activity, of the interval which the admiral’s well-timed obstinacy had afforded him. He appointed officers to collect the scattered remains of the constable’s army; he issued orders for levying soldiers in every part of the kingdom; he commanded the ban and arrière ban of the frontier provinces instantly to take the field, and to join the Duke of Nevers at Laon in Picardy; he recalled the greater part of the veteran troops which served under the Maréchal Brissac in Piedmont; he sent courier after courier to the Duke of Guise, requiring him, together with all his army, to return instantly for the defence of their country; he dispatched one envoy to the grand signior, to solicit the assistance of his fleet, and the loan of a sum of money; he sent another into Scotland, to incite the Scots to invade the north of England, that, by drawing Mary’s attention to that quarter, he might prevent her from reinforcing her troops which served under Philip. These efforts of the king were warmly seconded by the zeal of his subjects. The city of Paris granted him a free gift of three hundred thousand livres. The other great towns imitated the liberality of the capital, and contributed in proportion. Several noblemen of distinction engaged, at their own Edition: current; Page: [309] expence, to garrison and defend the towns which lay most exposed to the enemy. Nor was the general concern for the public confined to corporate bodies alone, or to those in the higher sphere of life; but, diffusing itself among persons of every rank, each individual seemed disposed to act with as much vigour as if the honour of the king, and the safety of the state, had depended solely on his single efforts.m

The victory of St. Quentin productive of few beneficial consequences.Philip, who was no stranger either to the prudent measures taken by the French monarch for the security of his dominions, or to the spirit with which his subjects prepared to defend themselves, perceived, when it was too late, that he had lost an opportunity which could never be recalled, and that it was now vain to think of penetrating into the heart of France. He abandoned, therefore, without much reluctance, a scheme which was too bold and hazardous to be perfectly agreeable to his cautious temper; and employed his army, during the remainder of the campaign, in the sieges of Ham and Catelet. Of these, he soon became master; and the reduction of two such petty towns, together with the acquisition of St. Quentin, were all the advantages which he derived from one of the most decisive victories gained in that century. Philip himself, however, continued in high exultation on account of his success; and as all his passions were tinged with superstition, he, in memory of the battle of St. Quentin, which had been fought on the day consecrated to St. Laurence, vowed to build a church, a monastery, and a palace, in honour of that saint and martyr. Before the expiration of the year, he laid the foundation of an edifice, in which all these were united, at the Escurial, in the neighbourhood of Madrid; and the same principle which dictated the vow, directed the building. For the Edition: current; Page: [310] plan of the work was so formed as to resemble a gridiron, which, according to the legendary tale, had been the instrument of St. Laurence’s martyrdom. Notwithstanding the great and expensive schemes in which his restless ambition involved him, Philip continued the building with such perseverance for twenty-two years, and reserved such large sums for this monument of his devotion and vanity, that the monarchs of Spain are indebted to him for a royal residence, which, though not the most elegant, is, certainly, the most sumptuous and magnificent of any in Europe.n

The French army recalled out of Italy.The first account of that fatal blow which the French had received at St. Quentin was carried to Rome by the courier whom Henry had sent to recall the Duke of Guise. As Paul, even with the assistance of his French auxiliaries, had hardly been able to check the progress of the Spanish arms, he foresaw that, as soon as he was deprived of their protection, his territories must be over-run in a moment. He remonstrated, therefore, with the greatest violence against the departure of the French army, reproaching the Duke of Guise for his ill-conduct, which had brought him into such an unhappy situation; and complaining of the king for deserting him so ungenerously under such circumstances. The Duke of Guise’s orders, however, were peremptory. Paul, inflexible as he was, found it necessary to accommodate his conduct to the exigency of his affairs, and to employ the mediation of the Venetians, and of Cosmo de’ Medici, in order to obtain peace. Philip, who had been forced unwillingly to a rupture with the pope, and who, even while success crowned his arms, doubted so much the justice of his own cause, that he had made frequent overtures of pacification, listened eagerly to the first proposals of this nature from Paul, and discovered Edition: current; Page: [311] such moderation in his demands, as could hardly have been expected from a prince elated with victory.

A treaty of peace between the pope and Philip.The Duke of Alva on the part of Philip, and the Cardinal Caraffa in the name of his uncle, met at Cavi, and both being equally disposed to peace, they, after a short conference, terminated the war by a treaty on the following terms: That Paul should renounce his league with France, and maintain for the future such a neutrality as became the common father of Christendom; that Philip should instantly restore all the towns of the ecclesiastical territory of which he had taken possession; that the claims of the Caraffas to the dutchy of Paliano, and other demesnes of the Colonnas, should be referred to the decision of the republic of Venice; that the Duke of Alva should repair in person to Rome, and after asking pardon of Paul in his own name, and in that of his master, for having invaded the patrimony of the church, should receive the pope’s absolution from that crime. Thus Paul, through Philip’s scrupulous timidity, finished an unprosperous war without any detriment to the papal see. The conqueror appeared humble, and acknowledged his error; while he who had been vanquished retained his usual haughtiness, and was treated with every mark of superiority.o The Duke of Alva, in terms of the treaty, repaired to Rome, and, in the posture of a supplicant, kissed the feet, and implored the forgiveness, of that very person whom his arms had reduced to the last extremity. Such was the superstitious veneration of the Spaniards for the papal character, that Alva, though, perhaps, the proudest man of the age, and accustomed from his infancy to a familiar intercourse with princes, acknowledged that, when he approached the pope, he was so much Edition: current; Page: [312] overawed, that his voice failed, and his presence of mind forsook him.p

Philip restores Placentia to Octavio Farnese.But though this war, which at its commencement threatened mighty revolutions, was brought to an end without occasioning any alteration in those states which were its immediate object, it had produced during its progress effects of considerable consequence in other parts of Italy. As Philip was extremely solicitous to terminate his quarrel with Paul as speedily as possible, he was willing to make any sacrifice in order to gain those princes, who, by joining their troops to the papal and French army, might have prolonged the war. With this view, he entered into a negotiation with Octavio Farnese, Duke of Parma, and, in order to seduce him from his alliance with France, he restored to him the city of Placentia, with the territory depending on it, which Charles V. had seized in the year one thousand five hundred and forty-seven, had kept from that time in his possession, and had transmitted, together with his other dominions, to Philip.

Cosmo de’ Medici’s measures for obtaining Siena.This step made such a discovery of Philip’s character and views to Cosmo de’ Medici, the most sagacious as well as provident of all the Italian princes, that he conceived hopes of accomplishing his favourite scheme of adding Siena and its territories to his dominions in Tuscany. As his success in this attempt depended entirely on the delicacy of address with which it should be conducted, he employed all the refinements of policy in the negotiation which he set on foot for this purpose. He began with soliciting Philip, whose treasury he knew to be entirely drained by the expence of the war, to repay the great sums which he had advanced to the emperor during the siege of Siena. When Philip endeavoured to elude a demand which he was unable to satisfy, Cosmo Edition: current; Page: [313] affected to be extremely disquieted, and, making no secret of his disgust, instructed his ambassador at Rome to open a negotiation with the pope, which seemed to be the effect of it. The ambassador executed his commission with such dexterity, that Paul, imagining Cosmo to be entirely alienated from the Spanish interest, proposed to him an alliance with France, which should be cemented by the marriage of his eldest son to one of Henry’s daughters. Cosmo received the overture with such apparent satisfaction, and with so many professions of gratitude for the high honour of which he had the prospect, that not only the pope’s ministers, but the French envoy at Rome, talked confidently, and with little reserve, of the accession of that important ally, as a matter certain and decided. The account of this was quickly carried to Philip; and Cosmo, who foresaw how much it would alarm him, had dispatched his nephew, Ludovico di Toledo, into the Netherlands, that he might be at hand to observe and take advantage of his consternation, before the first impression which it made should in any degree abate. Cosmo was extremely fortunate in the choice of the instrument whom he employed. Toledo waited with patience, until he discovered with certainty, that Philip had received such intelligence of his uncle’s negotiations at Rome, as must have filled his suspicious mind with fear and jealousy; and then craving an audience, he required payment of the money which had been borrowed by the emperor, in the most earnest and peremptory terms. In urging that point, he artfully threw out several dark hints and ambiguous declarations, concerning the extremities to which Cosmo might be driven by a refusal of this just demand, as well as by other grievances of which he had good reason to complain.

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Their success.Philip, astonished at an address in such a strain, from a prince so far his inferior as the Duke of Tuscany, and comparing what he now heard with the information which he had received from Italy, immediately concluded that Cosmo had ventured to assume this bold and unusual tone on the prospect of his union with France. In order to prevent the pope and Henry from acquiring an ally, who, by his abilities, as well as the situation of his dominions, would have added both reputation and strength to their confederacy, he offered to grant Cosmo the investiture of Siena, if he would consent to accept of it as an equivalent for the sums due to him, and engage to furnish a body of troops towards the defence of Philip’s territories in Italy, against any power who should attack them. As soon as Cosmo had brought Philip to make this concession, which was the object of all his artifices and intrigues, he did not protract the negotiation by any unnecessary delay, or any excess of refinement, but closed eagerly with the proposal; and Philip, in spite of the remonstrances of his ablest counsellors, signed a treaty with him to that effect.q

As no prince was ever more tenacious of his rights than Philip, or less willing to relinquish any territory which he possessed, by what tenure soever he held it, these unusual concessions to the Dukes of Parma and Tuscany, by which he wantonly gave up countries, in acquiring or defending which his father had employed many years, and wasted much blood and treasure, cannot be accounted for from any motive but his superstitious desire of extricating himself out of the war which he had been forced to wage against the pope. By these treaties, however, the balance of power among the Italian states was poised with greater equality, and rendered less variable, than it had been Edition: current; Page: [315] since it received the first violent shock from the invasion of Charles VIII. of France. From this period Italy ceased to be the great theatre on which the monarchs of Spain, France, and Germany contended for power or for fame. Their dissensions and hostilities, though as frequent and violent as ever, being excited by new objects, stained other regions of Europe with blood, and rendered them miserable, in their turn, by the devastations of war.

Sept. 29.The Duke of Guise left Rome on the same day that his adversary, the Duke of Alva,The Duke of Guise’s reception in France. made his humiliating submission to the pope. He was received in France as the guardian angel of the kingdom. His late ill success in Italy seemed to be forgotten, while his former services, particularly his defence of Metz, were recounted with exaggerated praise; and he was welcomed in every city through which he passed, as the restorer of public security, who, after having set bounds by his conduct and valour to the victorious arms of Charles V., returned now, at the call of his country, to check the formidable progress of Philip’s power. The reception which he met with from Henry was no less cordial and honourable. New titles were invented, and new dignities created, in order to distinguish him. He was appointed lieutenant-general in chief, both within and without the kingdom, with a jurisdiction almost unlimited, and hardly inferior to that which was possessed by the king himself. Thus, through the singular felicity which attended the princes of Lorrain, the miscarriage of their own schemes contributed to aggrandise them. The calamities of his country, and the ill conduct of his rival, the constable, exalted the Duke of Guise to a height of dignity and power, which he could not have expected to attain by the most fortunate and most complete success of his own ambitious projects.

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Takes the command of the army.The Duke of Guise, eager to perform something suitable to the high expectations of his countrymen, and that he might justify the extraordinary confidence which the king had reposed in him, ordered all the troops which could be got together, to assemble at Compiegne. Though the winter was well advanced, and had set in with extreme severity, he placed himself at their head, and took the field. By Henry’s activity, and the zeal of his subjects, so many soldiers had been raised in the kingdom, and such considerable reinforcements had been drawn from Germany and Switzerland, as formed an army respectable even in the eyes of a victorious enemy. Philip, alarmed at seeing it put in motion at such an uncommon season, began to tremble for his new conquests, particularly St. Quentin, the fortifications of which were hitherto but imperfectly repaired.

He invests Calais;But the Duke of Guise meditated a more important enterprise;1558. and, after amusing the enemy with threatening successively different towns on the frontiers of Flanders,January 1. he turned suddenly to the left, and invested Calais with his whole army. Calais had been taken by the English under Edward III., and was the fruit of that monarch’s glorious victory at Crecy. Being the only place that they retained of their ancient and extensive territories in France, and which opened to them, at all times, an easy and secure passage into the heart of that kingdom, their keeping possession of it soothed the pride of the one nation as much as it mortified the vanity of the other. Its situation was naturally so strong, and its fortifications deemed so impregnable, that no monarch of France, how adventurous soever, had been bold enough to attack it. Even when the domestic strength of England was broken and exhausted by the bloody wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, and its attention entirely diverted from foreign objects, Calais had remained Edition: current; Page: [317] undisturbed and unthreatened. Mary and her council, composed chiefly of ecclesiastics, unacquainted with military affairs, and whose whole attention was turned towards extirpating heresy out of the kingdom, had not only neglected to take any precautions for the safety of this important place, but seemed to think that the reputation of its strength was alone sufficient for its security. Full of this opinion, they ventured, even after the declaration of war, to continue a practice which the low state of the queen’s finances had introduced in times of peace. As the country adjacent to Calais was overflowed during the winter, and the marshes around it became impassable, except by one avenue, which the forts of St. Agatha and Newnham-bridge commanded, it had been the custom of the English to dismiss the greater part of the garrison towards the end of autumn, and to replace it in the spring.its defenceless state. In vain did Lord Wentworth, the governor of Calais, remonstrate against this ill-timed parsimony, and represent the possibility of his being attacked suddenly, while he had not troops sufficient to man the works. The privy-council treated these remonstrances with scorn, as if they had flowed from the timidity or the rapaciousness of the governor; and some of them, with that confidence which is the companion of ignorance, boasted that they would defend Calais with their white rods against any enemy who should approach it during winter.r In vain did Philip, who had passed through Calais as he returned from England to the Netherlands, warn the queen of the danger to which it was exposed; and, acquainting her with what was necessary for its security, in vain did he offer to reinforce the garrison during winter with a detachment of his own troops. Mary’s counsellors, though obsequious to her in all points wherein religion Edition: current; Page: [318] was concerned, distrusted, as much as the rest of their countrymen, every proposition that came from her husband; and suspecting this to be an artifice of Philip’s in order to gain the command of the town, they neglected his intelligence, declined his offer, and left Calais with less than a fourth part of the garrison requisite for its defence.

Guise pushes the siege with vigour;His knowledge of this encouraged the Duke of Guise to venture on an enterprise, that surprised his own countrymen no less than his enemies. As he knew that its success depended on conducting his operations with such rapidity as would afford the English no time for throwing relief into the town by sea, and prevent Philip from giving him any interruption by land, he pushed the attack with a degree of vigour little known in carrying on sieges during that age. He drove the English from fort St. Agatha at the first assault. He obliged them to abandon the fort of Newnham-bridge, after defending it only three days. He took the castle which commanded the harbour by storm; and, on the eighth day after he appeared before Calais,takes the town, compelled the governor to surrender, as his feeble garrison, which did not exceed five hundred men, was worn out with the fatigue of sustaining so many attacks, and defending such extensive works.

and likewise Guisnes and Hames.The Duke of Guise, without allowing the English time to recover from the consternation occasioned by this blow, immediately invested Guisnes, the garrison of which, though more numerous, defended itself with less vigour, and, after standing one brisk assault, gave up the town. The castle of Hames was abandoned by the troops posted there, without waiting the approach of the enemy.

The splendour and effect of these conquests.Thus, in a few days, during the depth of winter, and at a time when the fatal battle of St. Quentin had so depressed the sanguine spirit of the French, that their utmost aim was to protect their own country, Edition: current; Page: [319] without dreaming of making conquests on the enemy, the enterprising valour of one man drove the English out of Calais, after they had held it two hundred and ten years, and deprived them of every foot of land in a kingdom, where their dominions had been once very extensive. This exploit, at the same time that it gave a high idea of the power and resources of France to all Europe, set the Duke of Guise, in the opinion of his countrymen, far above all the generals of the age. They celebrated his conquests with immoderate transports of joy; while the English gave vent to all the passions which animate a high-spirited people, when any great national calamity is manifestly owing to the ill conduct of their rulers. Mary and her ministers, formerly odious, were now contemptible in their eyes. All the terrors of her severe and arbitrary administration could not restrain them from uttering execrations and threats against those who, having wantonly involved the nation in a quarrel wherein it was nowise interested, had, by their negligence or incapacity, brought irreparable disgrace on their country, and lost the most valuable possession belonging to the English crown.

The King of France imitated the conduct of its former conqueror, Edward III., with regard to Calais. He commanded all the English inhabitants to quit the town, and giving their houses to his own subjects, whom he allured to settle there by granting them various immunities, he left a numerous garrison, under an experienced governor, for their defence. After this, his victorious army was conducted into quarters of refreshment, and the usual inaction of winter returned.

Feb. 24.During these various operations, Ferdinand assembled the college of electors at Francfort,Charles’s resignation of the imperial crown. in order to lay before them the instrument whereby Charles V. had resigned the imperial crown, and transferred it to him. This he had hitherto delayed on account of Edition: current; Page: [320] some difficulties which had occurred concerning the formalities requisite in supplying a vacancy occasioned by an event, to which there was no parallel in the annals of the empire. These being at length adjusted, the Prince of Orange executed the commission with which he had been intrusted by Charles: the electors accepted of his resignation; declared Ferdinand his lawful successor; and put him in possession of all the ensigns of the imperial dignity.

The pope refuses to acknowledge Ferdinand as emperor.But when the new emperor sent Gusman, his chancellor, to acquaint the pope with this transaction, to testify his reverence towards the holy see, and to signify that, according to form, he would soon dispatch an ambassador extraordinary to treat with his holiness concerning his coronation; Paul, whom neither experience nor disappointments could teach to bring down his lofty ideas of the papal prerogative to such a moderate standard as suited the genius of the times, refused to admit the envoy into his presence, and declared all the proceedings at Francfort irregular and invalid. He contended that the pope, as the vicegerent of Christ, was intrusted with the keys both of spiritual and of civil government; that from him the imperial jurisdiction was derived; that though his predecessors had authorized the electors to choose an emperor whom the holy see confirmed, this privilege was confined to those cases when a vacancy was occasioned by death; that the instrument of Charles’s resignation had been presented in an improper court, as it belonged to the pope alone to reject or to accept of it, and to nominate a person to fill the imperial throne; that, setting aside all these objections, Ferdinand’s election laboured under two defects, which alone were sufficient to render it void, for the protestant electors had been admitted to vote, though, by their apostacy from the catholic faith, they had forfeited that and every other privilege of the electoral Edition: current; Page: [321] office; and Ferdinand, by ratifying the concessions of several diets in favour of heretics, had rendered himself unworthy of the imperial dignity, which was instituted for the protection, not for the destruction, of the church. But after thundering out these extravagant maxims, he added, with an appearance of condescension, that if Ferdinand would renounce all title to the imperial crown, founded on the election at Francfort, make professions of repentance for his past conduct, and supplicate him, with due humility, to confirm Charles’s resignation, as well as his own assumption to the empire, he might expect every mark of favour from his paternal clemency and goodness. Gusman, though he had foreseen considerable difficulties in his negotiation with the pope, little expected that he would have revived those antiquated and wild pretensions, which astonished him so much, that he hardly knew in what tone he ought to reply. He prudently declined entering into any controversy concerning the nature or extent of the papal jurisdiction, and confining himself to the political considerations, which should determine the pope to recognise an emperor already in possession, he endeavoured to place them in such a light as he imagined could scarcely fail to strike Paul, if he were not altogether blind to his own interest. Philip seconded Gusman’s arguments with great earnestness, by an ambassador whom he sent to Rome on purpose, and besought the pope to desist from claims so unseasonable, as might not only irritate and alarm Ferdinand and the princes of the empire, but furnish the enemies of the holy see with a new reason for representing its jurisdiction as incompatible with the rights of princes, and subversive of all civil authority. But Paul, who deemed it a crime to attend to any consideration suggested by human prudence or policy, when he thought himself called upon to assert the prerogatives of the papal Edition: current; Page: [322] see, remained inflexible; and, during his pontificate, Ferdinand was not acknowledged as emperor by the court of Rome.s

Henry endeavours to excite the Scots against England.While Henry was intent upon his preparations for the approaching campaign, he received accounts of the issue of his negotiations in Scotland. Long experience having at last taught the Scots the imprudence of involving their country in every quarrel between France and England, neither the solicitations of the French ambassador, nor the address and authority of the queen regent, could prevail on them to take arms against a kingdom with which they were at peace. On this occasion, the ardour of a martial nobility and of a turbulent people was restrained by regard for the public interest and tranquillity, which, in former deliberations of this kind, had been seldom attended to by a nation always prone to rush into every new war. But though the Scots adhered with steadiness to their pacific system, they were extremely ready to gratify the French king in another particular, which he had given in charge to his ambassador.

Marriage of the dauphin with the Queen of Scots.The young Queen of Scots had been affianced to the dauphin in the year one thousand five hundred and forty-eight, and having been educated since that time in the court of France, she had grown up to be the most amiable, and one of the most accomplished princesses of that age. Henry demanded the consent of her subjects to the celebration of the marriage; and a parliament, which was held for that purpose, appointed eight commissioners to represent the whole body of the nation at that solemnity, with power to sign such deeds as might be requisite before it was concluded. In settling the articles of the marriage, the Scots took every precaution that prudence could dictate, in order to preserve the liberty and independence of their Edition: current; Page: [323] country; while the French used every art to secure to the dauphin the conduct of affairs during the queen’s life, and the succession of the crown on the event of her demise.April 14. The marriage was celebrated with pomp suitable to the dignity of the parties, and the magnificence of a court at that time the most splendid in Europe.t Thus Henry, in the course of a few months, had the glory of recovering an important possession which had anciently belonged to the crown of France, and of adding to it the acquisition of a new kingdom. By this event, too, the Duke of Guise acquired new consideration and importance; the marriage of his niece to the apparent heir of the crown, raising him so far above the condition of other subjects, that the credit which he had gained by his great actions seemed thereby to be rendered no less permanent than it was extensive.

The campaign opened.When the campaign opened, soon after the dauphin’s marriage, the Duke of Guise was placed at the head of the army, with the same unlimited powers as formerly. Henry had received such liberal supplies from his subjects, that the troops under his command were both numerous and well appointed; while Philip, exhausted by the extraordinary efforts of the preceding year, had been obliged to dismiss so many of his forces during the winter, that he could not bring an army into the field capable of making head against the enemy. The Duke of Guise did not lose the favourable opportunity which his superiority afforded him. He invested Thionville in the dutchy of Luxembourg, one of the strongest towns on the frontier of the Netherlands, and of great importance to France by its neighbourhood to Metz; and, notwithstanding the obstinate valour with which it was defended, he forced it to capitulate after a siege of three weeks.uJune 22.

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The French army defeated at Gravelines.But the success of this enterprise, which it was expected would lead to other conquests, was more than counterbalanced by an event that happened in another part of the Low Countries. The Maréchal de Termes, governor of Calais, having penetrated into Flanders without opposition, invested Dunkirk with an army of fourteen thousand men, and took it by storm on the fifth day of the siege. Hence he advanced towards Nieuport, which must have soon fallen into his hands, if the approach of the Count of Egmont with a superior army had not made it prudent to retreat. The French troops were so much encumbered with the booty which they had got at Dunkirk, or by ravaging the open country, that they moved slowly; and Egmont, who had left his heavy baggage and artillery behind him, marched with such rapidity, that he came up with them near Gravelines, and attacked them with the utmost impetuosity. De Termes, who had the choice of the ground, having posted his troops to advantage in the angle formed by the mouth of the river Aa and the sea, received him with great firmness. Victory remained for some time in suspense, the desperate valour of the French, who foresaw the unavoidable destruction that must follow upon a rout in an enemy’s country, counterbalancing the superior number of the Flemings, when one of those accidents to which human prudence does not extend, decided the contest in favour of the latter. A squadron of English ships of war, which was cruizing on the coast, being drawn by the noise of the firing towards the place of the engagement, entered the river Aa, and turned its great guns against the right wing of the French, with such effect, as immediately broke that body, and spread terror and confusion through the whole army. The Flemings, to whom assistance, so unexpected and so seasonable, gave fresh spirit, redoubled their efforts, that they might not Edition: current; Page: [325] lose the advantage which fortune had presented them, or give the enemy time to recover from their consternation, and the rout of the French soon became universal. Near two thousand were killed on the spot; a greater number fell by the hands of the peasants, who, in revenge for the cruelty with which their country had been plundered, pursued the fugitives, and massacred them without mercy; the rest were taken prisoners, together with De Termes, their general, and many officers of distinction.x

The Duke of Guise opposed to the victorious army.This signal victory, for which the Count of Egmont was afterwards so ill requited by Philip, obliged the Duke of Guise to relinquish all other schemes, and to hasten towards the frontier of Picardy, that he might oppose the progress of the enemy in that province. This disaster, however, reflected new lustre on his reputation, and once more turned the eyes of his countrymen towards him, as the only general on whose arms victory always attended, and in whose conduct, as well as good fortune, they could confide in every danger. Henry reinforced the Duke of Guise’s army with so many troops drawn from the adjacent garrisons, that it soon amounted to forty thousand men. That of the enemy, after the junction of Egmont with the Duke of Savoy, was not inferior in number. They encamped at the distance of a few leagues from one another; and each monarch having joined his respective army, it was expected, after the vicissitudes of good and bad success during this and the former campaign, that a decisive battle would at last determine which of the rivals should take the ascendant for the future, and give law to Europe. But, though both had it in their power, neither of them discovered any inclination to bring the determination of such an important point to depend upon the uncertain issue of Edition: current; Page: [326] a single battle. The fatal engagements at St. Quentin and Gravelines were too recent to be so soon forgotten; and the prospect of encountering the same troops, commanded by the same generals who had twice triumphed over his arms, inspired Henry with a degree of caution which was not common to him. Philip, of a genius averse to bold operations in war, naturally leaned to cautious measures, and was not disposed to hazard any thing against a general so fortunate and successful as the Duke of Guise. Both monarchs, as if by agreement, stood on the defensive, and, fortifying their camps carefully, avoided every skirmish or rencounter that might bring on a general engagement.

Both monarchs begin to desire peace.While the armies continued in this inaction, peace began to be mentioned in each camp, and both Henry and Philip discovered an inclination to listen to any overture that tended to re-establish it. The kingdoms of France and Spain had been engaged during half a century in almost continual wars, carried on at a great expence, and productive of no considerable advantage to either. Exhausted by extraordinary and unceasing efforts, which far exceeded those to which the nations of Europe had been accustomed before the rivalship between Charles V. and Francis I., both nations longed so much for an interval of repose, in order to recruit their strength, that their sovereigns drew from them with difficulty the supplies necessary for carrying on hostilities. The private inclinations of both the kings concurred with those of their people. Philip was prompted to wish for peace by his fond desire of returning to Spain. Accustomed from his infancy to the climate and manners of that country, he was attached to it with such extreme predilection, that he never felt himself at ease in any other part of his dominions. But as he could not quit the Low Countries, either with decency or Edition: current; Page: [327] safety, and venture on a voyage to Spain, during the continuance of war, the prospect of a pacification, which would put it in his power to execute his favourite scheme, was highly acceptable. Henry was no less desirous of being delivered from the burden and occupations of war, that he might have leisure to turn his attention, and bend the whole force of his government, towards suppressing the opinions of the reformers, which were spreading with such rapidity in Paris, and other great towns of France, that they began to grow formidable to the established church.

An intrigue in the court of France facilitates it.Besides these public and avowed considerations arising from the state of the two hostile kingdoms, or from the wishes of their respective monarchs, there was a secret intrigue carried on in the court of France, which contributed as much as either of the other, to hasten and to facilitate the negotiation of a peace. The Constable Montmorency, during his captivity, beheld the rapid success and growing favour of the Duke of Guise with the envy natural to a rival. Every advantage gained by the princes of Lorrain he considered as a fresh wound to his own reputation, and he knew with what malevolent address it would be improved to diminish his credit with the king, and to augment that of the Duke of Guise. These arts, he was afraid, might, by degrees, work on the easy and ductile mind of Henry, so as to efface all remains of his ancient affection towards himself. But he could not discover any remedy for this, unless he were allowed to return home, that he might try whether by his presence he could defeat the artifices of his enemies, and revive those warm and tender sentiments which had long attached Henry to him, with a confidence so entire, as resembled rather the cordiality of private friendship, than the cold and selfish connection between a monarch and one of his courtiers. While Montmorency was forming schemes and wishes Edition: current; Page: [328] for his return to France with much anxiety of mind, but with little hope of success, an unexpected incident prepared the way for it. The Cardinal of Lorrain, who had shared with his brother in the king’s favour, and participated of the power which that conferred, did not bear prosperity with the same discretion as the Duke of Guise. Intoxicated with their good fortune, he forgot how much they had been indebted for their present elevation to their connections with the Dutchess of Valentinois, and vainly ascribed all to the extraordinary merit of their family. This led him not only to neglect his benefactress, but to thwart her schemes, and to talk with a sarcastic liberty of her character and person. That singular woman, who, if we may believe contemporary writers, retained the beauty and charms of youth at the age of threescore, and on whom it is certain that Henry still doted with all the fondness of love, felt this injury with sensibility, and set herself with eagerness to inflict the vengeance which it merited. As there was no method of supplanting the princes of Lorrain so effectually as by a coalition of interests with the constable, she proposed the marriage of her granddaughter with one of his sons, as the bond of their future union; and Montmorency readily gave his consent to the match. Having thus cemented their alliance, the dutchess employed all her influence with the king, in order to confirm his inclinations towards peace, and to induce him to take the steps necessary for attaining it. She insinuated that any overture of that kind would come with great propriety from the constable, and, if intrusted to the conduct of his prudence, could hardly fail of success.

Henry commits the negotiation to Montmorency.Henry, long accustomed to commit all affairs of importance to the management of the constable, and needing only this encouragement to return to his ancient habits, wrote to him immediately with his Edition: current; Page: [329] usual familiarity and affection, empowering him, at the same time, to take the first opportunity of sounding Philip and his ministers with regard to peace. Montmorency made his application to Philip by the most proper channel. He opened himself to the Duke of Savoy, who, notwithstanding the high command to which he had been raised, and the military glory which he had acquired in the Spanish service, was weary of remaining in exile, and languished to return into his paternal dominions. As there was no prospect of his recovering possession of them by force of arms, he considered a definitive treaty of peace between France and Spain, as the only event by which he could hope to obtain restitution. Being no stranger to Philip’s private wishes with regard to peace, he easily prevailed on him not only to discover a disposition on his part towards accommodation, but to permit Montmorency to return, on his parole, to France, that he might confirm his own sovereign in his pacific sentiments. Henry received the constable with the most flattering marks of regard; absence, instead of having abated or extinguished the monarch’s friendship, seemed to have given it new ardour. Montmorency, from the moment of his appearance in court, assumed, if possible, a higher place than ever in his affection, and a more perfect ascendant over his mind. The Cardinal of Lorrain and Duke of Guise prudently gave way to a tide of favour too strong for them to oppose, and, confining themselves to their proper departments, permitted, without any struggle, the constable and Dutchess of Valentinois to direct public affairs at their pleasure. They soon prevailed on the king to nominate plenipotentiaries to treat of peace. Philip did the same. The abbey of Cercamp was fixed on as the place of congress; and all military operations were immediately terminated by a suspension of arms.

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Death of Charles V.While these preliminary steps were taking towards a treaty which restored tranquillity to Europe, Charles V., whose ambition had so long disturbed it, ended his days in the monastery of St. Justus. When Charles entered this retreat, he formed such a plan of life for himself, as would have suited the condition of a private gentleman of a moderate fortune. His table was neat, but plain; his domestics few; his intercourse with them familiar; all the cumbersome and ceremonious forms of attendance on his person were entirely abolished, as destructive of that social ease and tranquillity which he courted, in order to soothe the remainder of his days. As the mildness of the climate, together with his deliverance from the burdens and cares of government, procured him, at first, a considerable remission from the acute pains with which he had been long tormented, he enjoyed, perhaps, more complete satisfaction in this humble solitude, than all his grandeur had ever yielded him. The ambitious thoughts and projects which had so long engrossed and disquieted him, were quite effaced from his mind: far from taking any part in the political transactions of the princes of Europe, he restrained his curiosity even from any enquiry concerning them; and he seemed to view the busy scene which he had abandoned with all the contempt and indifference arising from his thorough experience of its vanity, as well as from the pleasing reflection of having disentangled himself from its cares.

His amusements in his retreat.Other amusements and other objects now occupied him. Sometimes he cultivated the plants in his garden with his own hands; sometimes he rode out to the neighbouring wood on a little horse, the only one that he kept, attended by a single servant on foot. When his infirmities confined him to his apartment, which often happened, and deprived him of these more active recreations, he either admitted a few gentlemen Edition: current; Page: [331] who resided near the monastery to visit him, and entertained them familiarly at his table; or he employed himself in studying mechanical principles, and in forming curious works of mechanism, of which he had always been remarkably fond, and to which his genius was peculiarly turned. With this view he had engaged Turriano, one of the most ingenious artists of that age, to accompany him in his retreat. He laboured together with him in framing models of the most useful machines, as well as in making experiments with regard to their respective powers; and it was not seldom that the ideas of the monarch assisted or perfected the inventions of the artist. He relieved his mind, at intervals, with slighter and more fantastic works of mechanism, in fashioning puppets, which, by the structure of internal springs, mimicked the gestures and actions of men, to the astonishment of the ignorant monks, who, beholding movements which they could not comprehend, sometimes distrusted their own senses, and sometimes suspected Charles and Turriano of being in compact with invisible powers. He was particularly curious with regard to the construction of clocks and watches; and having found, after repeated trials, that he could not bring any two of them to go exactly alike, he reflected, it is said, with a mixture of surprise as well as regret, on his own folly, in having bestowed so much time and labour on the more vain attempt of bringing mankind to a precise uniformity of sentiment concerning the profound and mysterious doctrines of religion.

His more serious occupations.But in what manner soever Charles disposed of the rest of his time, he constantly reserved a considerable portion of it for religious exercises. He regularly attended divine service in the chapel of the monastery, every morning and evening; he took great pleasure in reading books of devotion, particularly the works of St. Augustine and St. Bernard; Edition: current; Page: [332] and conversed much with his confessor and the prior of the monastery, on pious subjects. Thus did Charles pass the first year of his retreat, in a manner not unbecoming a man perfectly disengaged from the affairs of the present life, and standing on the confines of a future world; either in innocent amusements, which soothed his pains, and relieved a mind worn out with excessive application to business; or in devout occupations, which he deemed necessary in preparing for another state.

The causes of his death.But about six months before his death, the gout, after a longer intermission than usual, returned with a proportional increase of violence. His shattered constitution had not vigour enough remaining to withstand such a shock. It enfeebled his mind as much as his body, and from this period we hardly discern any traces of that sound and masculine understanding which distinguished Charles among his contemporaries. An illiberal and timid superstition depressed his spirit. He had no relish for amusements of any kind. He endeavoured to conform, in his manner of living, to all the rigour of monastic austerity. He desired no other society than that of monks, and was almost continually employed with them in chanting the hymns of the missal. As an expiation for his sins, he gave himself the discipline in secret with such severity, that the whip of cords which he employed as the instrument of his punishment was found, after his decease, tinged with his blood. Nor was he satisfied with these acts of mortification, which, however severe, were not unexampled. The timorous and distrustful solicitude which always accompanies superstition, still continued to disquiet him, and, depreciating all the devout exercises in which he had hitherto been engaged, prompted him to aim at something extraordinary, at some new and singular act of piety that would display Edition: current; Page: [333] his zeal, and merit the favour of heaven. The act on which he fixed was as wild and uncommon as any that superstition ever suggested to a weak and disordered fancy. He resolved to celebrate his own obsequies before his death. He ordered his tomb to be erected in the chapel of the monastery. His domestics marched thither in funeral procession, with black tapers in their hands. He himself followed in his shroud. He was laid in his coffin, with much solemnity. The service for the dead was chanted, and Charles joined in the prayers which were offered up for the rest of his soul, mingling his tears with those which his attendants shed, as if they had been celebrating a real funeral. The ceremony closed with sprinkling holy water on the coffin in the usual form, and all the assistants retiring, the doors of the chapel were shut. Then Charles rose out of the coffin, and withdrew to his apartment, full of those awful sentiments which such a singular solemnity was calculated to inspire. But either the fatiguing length of the ceremony, or the impression which the image of death left on his mind, affected him so much, that next day he was seized with a fever. His feeble frame could not long resist its violence, and he expired on the twenty-first of September, after a life of fifty-eight years, six months, and twenty-five days.y

His character.As Charles was the first prince of the age in rank and dignity, the part which he acted, whether we consider the greatness, the variety, or the success of his undertakings, was the most conspicuous. It is from an attentive observation of his conduct, not from the exaggerated praises of the Spanish historians, or the undistinguishing censure of the French, that a just idea of Charles’s genius and abilities is to be collected. Edition: current; Page: [334] He possessed qualities so peculiar, that they strongly mark his character, and not only distinguish him from the princes who were his contemporaries, but account for that superiority over them which he so long maintained. In forming his schemes, he was by nature, as well as by habit, cautious and considerate. Born with talents which unfolded themselves slowly, and were late in attaining maturity, he was accustomed to ponder every subject that demanded his consideration with a careful and deliberate attention. He bent the whole force of his mind towards it, and, dwelling upon it with a serious application, undiverted by pleasure, and hardly relaxed by any amusement, he revolved it, in silence, in his own breast. He then communicated the matter to his ministers, and, after hearing their opinions, took his resolution with a decisive firmness, which seldom follows such slow and seemingly hesitating consultations. Of consequence, Charles’s measures, instead of resembling the desultory and irregular sallies of Henry VIII. or Francis I., had the appearance of a consistent system, in which all the parts were arranged, all the effects were foreseen, and even every accident was provided for. His promptitude in execution was no less remarkable than his patience in deliberation. He did not discover greater sagacity in his choice of the measures which it was proper to pursue, than fertility of genius in finding out the means for rendering his pursuit of them successful. Though he had naturally so little of the martial turn, that, during the most ardent and bustling period of life, he remained in the cabinet inactive, yet, when he chose at length to appear at the head of his armies, his mind was so formed for vigorous exertions in every direction, that he acquired such knowledge in the art of war, and such talents for command, as rendered him equal in reputation and success to the most able generals of the Edition: current; Page: [335] age. But Charles possessed, in the most eminent degree, the science which is of greatest importance to a monarch, that of knowing men, and of adapting their talents to the various departments which he allotted to them. From the death of Chièvres to the end of his reign, he employed no general in the field, no minister in the cabinet, no ambassador to a foreign court, no governor of a province, whose abilities were inadequate to the trust which he reposed in them. Though destitute of that bewitching affability of manners which gained Francis the hearts of all who approached his person, he was no stranger to the virtues which secure fidelity and attachment. He placed unbounded confidence in his generals; he rewarded their services with munificence; he neither envied their fame nor discovered any jealousy of their power. Almost all the generals who conducted his armies may be placed on a level with those illustrious personages who have attained the highest eminence of military glory; and his advantages over his rivals are to be ascribed so manifestly to the superior abilities of the commanders whom he set in opposition to them, that this might seem to detract, in some degree, from his own merit, if the talent of discovering, and steadiness in employing, such instruments were not the most undoubted proofs of a capacity for government.

There were, nevertheless, defects in his political character which must considerably abate the admiration due to his extraordinary talents. Charles’s ambition was insatiable; and, though there seems to be no foundation for an opinion prevalent in his own age, that he had formed the chimerical project of establishing an universal monarchy in Europe, it is certain that his desire of being distinguished as a conqueror involved him in continual wars, which not only exhausted and oppressed his subjects, but left him little Edition: current; Page: [336] leisure for giving attention to the interior police and improvement of his kingdoms, the great objects of every prince who makes the happiness of his people the end of his government. Charles, at a very early period of life, having added the imperial crown to the kingdoms of Spain, and to the hereditary dominions of the houses of Austria and Burgundy, this opened to him such a vast field of enterprise, and engaged him in schemes so complicated as well as arduous, that, feeling his power to be unequal to the execution of them, he had often recourse to low artifices, unbecoming his superior talents, and sometimes ventured on such deviations from integrity, as were dishonourable in a great prince. His insidious and fraudulent policy appeared more conspicuous, and was rendered more odious, by a comparison with the open and undesigning character of his contemporaries, Francis I. and Henry VIII. This difference, though occasioned chiefly by the diversity of their tempers, must be ascribed, in some degree, to such an opposition in the principles of their political conduct, as affords some excuse for this defect in Charles’s behaviour, though it cannot serve as a justification of it. Francis and Henry seldom acted but from the impulse of their passions, and rushed headlong towards the object in view. Charles’s measures, being the result of cool reflection, were disposed into a regular system, and carried on upon a concerted plan. Persons who act in the former manner, naturally pursue the end in view, without assuming any disguise, or displaying much address. Such as hold the latter course, are apt, in forming, as well as in executing their designs, to employ such refinements as always lead to artifice in conduct, and often degenerate into deceit.

The circumstances transmitted to us, with respect to Charles’s private deportment and character, are fewer and less interesting, than might have been Edition: current; Page: [337] expected from the great number of authors who have undertaken to write an account of his life. These are not the object of this history, which aims more at representing the great transactions of the reign of Charles V., and pointing out the manner in which they affected the political state of Europe, than at delineating his private virtues or defects.

Conference in order to peace.The plenipotentiaries of France, Spain, and England, continued their conferences at Cercamp; and though each of them, with the usual art of negotiators, made at first very high demands in the name of their respective courts, yet as they were all equally desirous of peace, they would have consented reciprocally to such abatements and restrictions of their claims, as must have removed every obstacle to an accommodation. The death of Charles V. was a new motive with Philip to hasten the conclusion of a treaty, as it increased his impatience for returning into Spain, where there was now no person greater or more illustrious than himself. But, in spite of the concurring wishes of all the parties interested, an event happened which occasioned an unavoidable delay in their negotiations.Nov. 17. About a month after the opening of the conferences at Cercamp,Death of Mary of England. Mary of England ended her short and inglorious reign, and Elizabeth, her sister, was immediately proclaimed queen with universal joy. As the powers of the English plenipotentiaries expired on the death of their mistress, they could not proceed until they received a commission and instructions from their new sovereign.

Henry and Philip court Elizabeth, her successor.Henry and Philip beheld Elizabeth’s elevation to the throne with equal solicitude. As during Mary’s jealous administration, under the most difficult circumstances, and in a situation extremely delicate, that princess had conducted herself with prudence and address far exceeding her years, they had conceived a high idea of her abilities, and already formed expectations Edition: current; Page: [338] of a reign very different from that of her sister. Equally sensible of the importance of gaining her favour, both monarchs set themselves with emulation to court it, and employed every art in order to insinuate themselves into her confidence. Each of them had something meritorious, with regard to Elizabeth, to plead in his own behalf. Henry had offered her a retreat in his dominions, if the dread of her sister’s violence should force her to fly for safety out of England. Philip, by his powerful intercession, had prevented Mary from proceeding to the most fatal extremities against her sister. Each of them endeavoured now to avail himself of the circumstances in his favour. Henry wrote to Elizabeth soon after her accession, with the warmest expressions of regard and friendship. He represented the war which had unhappily been kindled between their kingdoms, not as a national quarrel, but as the effect of Mary’s blind partiality to her husband, and fond compliance with all his wishes. He entreated her to disengage herself from an alliance which had proved so unfortunate to England, and to consent to a separate peace with him, without mingling her interests with those of Spain, from which they ought now to be altogether disjoined. Philip, on the other hand, unwilling to lose his connection with England, the importance of which, during a rupture with France, he had so recently experienced, not only vied with Henry in declarations of esteem for Elizabeth, and in professions of his resolution to cultivate the strictest amity with her, but, in order to confirm and perpetuate their union, he offered himself to her in marriage, and undertook to procure a dispensation from the pope for that purpose.

Elizabeth’s deliberation concerning her conduct.Elizabeth weighed the proposals of the two monarchs attentively, and with that provident discernment of her true interest, which was conspicuous in all her deliberations. She gave some encouragement to Henry’s overture of a separate negotiation, because it Edition: current; Page: [339] opened a channel of correspondence with France, which she might find to be of great advantage, if Philip should not discover sufficient zeal and solicitude for securing to her proper terms in the joint treaty. But she ventured on this step with the most cautious reserve, that she might not alarm Philip’s suspicious temper, and lose an ally in attempting to gain an enemy.z Henry himself, by an unpardonable act of indiscretion, prevented her from carrying her intercourse with him to such a length as might have offended or alienated Philip. At the very time when he was courting Elizabeth’s friendship with the greatest assiduity, he yielded with an inconsiderate facility to the solicitations of the princes of Lorrain, and allowed his daughter-in-law, the Queen of Scots, to assume the title and arms of Queen of England. This ill-timed pretension, the source of many calamities to the unfortunate Queen of Scots, extinguished at once all the confidence that might have grown between Henry and Elizabeth, and left in its place distrust, resentment, and antipathy. Elizabeth soon found that she must unite her interests closely with Philip’s, and expect peace only from negotiations carried on in conjunction with him.a

She empowers her ambassadors to treat of peace.As she had granted a commission, immediately after her accession, to the same plenipotentiaries whom her sister had employed, she now instructed them to act in every point in concert with the plenipotentiaries of Spain, and to take no step until they had previously consulted with them.b But though she deemed it prudent to assume this appearance of confidence in the Spanish monarch, she knew precisely how far to carry it; and discovered no inclination to accept of that extraordinary proposal of marriage which Philip had made to her. The English had expressed so openly Edition: current; Page: [340] their detestation of her sister’s choice of him, that it would have been highly imprudent to have exasperated them by renewing that odious alliance. She was too well acquainted with Philip’s harsh imperious temper, to think of him for a husband. Nor could she admit a dispensation from the pope to be sufficient to authorize her marrying him, without condemning her father’s divorce from Catharine of Aragon, and acknowledging of consequence that her mother’s marriage was null, and her own birth illegitimate. But though she determined not to yield to Philip’s addresses, the situation of her affairs rendered it dangerous to reject them; she returned her answer, therefore, in terms which were evasive, but so tempered with respect, that though they gave him no reason to be secure of success, they did not altogether extinguish his hopes.

Negotiations at Chateau-Cambresis.By this artifice, as well as by the prudence with which she concealed her sentiments and intentions concerning religion, for some time after her accession, she so far gained upon Philip, that he warmly espoused her interest in the conferences which were renewed at Cercamp, and afterwards removed to Chateau-Cambresis.1559. A definitive treaty,February 6. which was to adjust the claims and pretensions of so many princes, required the examination of such a variety of intricate points, and led to such infinite and minute details, as drew out the negotiations to a great length. But the Constable Montmorency exerted himself with such indefatigable zeal and industry, repairing alternately to the courts of Paris and Brussels, in order to obviate or remove every difficulty, that all points in dispute were adjusted at length in such a manner, as to give entire satisfaction in every particular to Henry and Philip; and the last hand was ready to be put to the treaty between them.

Difficulties with regard to the claims of England.The claims of England remained as the only obstacle to retard it. Elizabeth demanded the restitution Edition: current; Page: [341] of Calais in the most peremptory tone, as an essential condition of her consenting to peace: Henry refused to give up that important conquest; and both seemed to have taken their resolution with unalterable firmness. Philip warmly supported Elizabeth’s pretensions to Calais, not merely from a principle of equity towards the English nation, that he might appear to have contributed to their recovering what they had lost by espousing his cause; nor solely with a view of soothing Elizabeth by this manifestation of zeal for her interest; but in order to render France less formidable, by securing to her ancient enemy this easy access into the heart of the kingdom. The earnestness, however, with which he seconded the arguments of the English plenipotentiaries, soon began to relax. During the course of the negotiation, Elizabeth, who now felt herself firmly seated on her throne, began to take such open and vigorous measures, not only for overturning all that her sister had done in favour of popery, but for establishing the protestant church on a firm foundation, as convinced Philip that his hopes of an union with her had been from the beginning vain, and were now desperate. From that period his interpositions in her favour became more cold and formal, flowing merely from a regard to decorum, or from the consideration of remote political interests. Elizabeth, having reason to expect such an alteration in his conduct, quickly perceived it. But as nothing would have been of greater detriment to her people, or more inconsistent with her schemes of domestic administration, than the continuance of war, she saw the necessity of submitting to such conditions as the situation of her affairs imposed, and that she must reckon upon being deserted by an ally who was now united to her by a very feeble tie, if she did not speedily reduce her demands to what was moderate and attainable. Edition: current; Page: [342] She accordingly gave new instructions to her ambassadors; and Philip’s plenipotentiaries acting as mediators between the French and themc, an expedient was fallen upon, which, in some degree, justified Elizabeth’s departing from the rigour of her first demand with regard to Calais. All lesser articles were settled without much discussion or delay. Philip, that he might not appear to have abandoned the English, insisted that the treaty between Henry and Elizabeth should be concluded in form, before that between the French monarch and himself. The one was signed on the second day of April, the other on the day following.

Articles of peace between France and England.The treaty of peace between France and England contained no articles of real importance, but that which respected Calais. It was stipulated, That the King of France should retain possession of that town, with all its dependencies, during eight years; that, at the expiration of that term, he should restore it to England; that, in case of non-performance, he should forfeit five hundred thousand crowns, for the payment of which sum, seven or eight wealthy merchants, who were not his subjects, should grant security; that five persons of distinction should be given as hostages until that security were provided; that, although the forfeit of five hundred thousand crowns should be paid, the right of England to Calais should still remain entire, in the same manner as if the term of eight years were expired; that the King and Queen of Scotland should be included in the treaty; that if they, or the French king, should violate the peace by any hostile action, Henry should be obliged instantly to restore Calais; that, on the other hand, if any breach of the treaty proceeded from Elizabeth, then Henry and the King and Queen of Scots were absolved from all the engagements which they had come under by this treaty.

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The views of both parties with respect to these.Notwithstanding the studied attention with which so many precautions were taken, it is evident that Henry did not intend the restitution of Calais, nor is it probable that Elizabeth expected it. It was hardly possible that she could maintain, during the course of eight years, such perfect concord both with France and Scotland, as not to afford Henry some pretext for alleging that she had violated the treaty. But, even if that term should elapse without any ground for complaint, Henry might then choose to pay the sum stipulated, and Elizabeth had no method of asserting her right but by force of arms. However, by throwing the articles in the treaty with regard to Calais into this form, Elizabeth satisfied her subjects of every denomination; she gave men of discernment a striking proof of her address, in palliating what she could not prevent; and amused the multitude, to whom the cession of such an important place would have appeared altogether infamous, with a prospect of recovering in a short time that favourite possession.

An expedient which promotes peace between France and Spain.The expedient which Montmorency employed, in order to facilitate the conclusion of peace between France and Spain, was the negotiating two treaties of marriage, one between Elizabeth, Henry’s eldest daughter, and Philip, who supplanted his son, the unfortunate Don Carlos, to whom that princess had been promised in the former conferences at Cercamp; the other between Margaret, Henry’s only sister, and the Duke of Savoy. For, however feeble the ties of blood may often be among princes, or how little soever they may regard them when pushed on to act by motives of ambition, they assume on other occasions the appearance of being so far influenced by these domestic affections, as to employ them to justify measures and concessions which they find to be necessary, but know to be impolitic or dishonourable. Such was the use Henry made of the two marriages to Edition: current; Page: [344] which he gave his consent. Having secured an honourable establishment for his sister and his daughter, he, in consideration of these, granted terms both to Philip and the Duke of Savoy, of which he would not, on any other account, have ventured to approve.

The terms of pacification;The principal articles in the treaty between France and Spain were, That a sincere and perpetual amity should be established between the two crowns and their respective allies; that the two monarchs should labour in concert to procure the convocation of a general council, in order to check the progress of heresy, and restore unity and concord to the Christian church; that all conquests made by either party, on this side of the Alps, since the commencement of the war in one thousand five hundred and fifty-one, should be mutually restored; that the dutchy of Savoy, the principality of Piedmont, the country of Bresse, and all the other territories formerly subject to the dukes of Savoy, should be restored to Emanuel Philibert, immediately after the celebration of his marriage with Margaret of France, the towns of Turin, Quiers, Pignerol, Chivaz, and Villanova excepted, of which Henry should keep possession until his claims to these places, in right of his grandmother, should be tried and decided in course of law; that, as long as Henry retained these places in his hands, Philip should be at liberty to keep garrisons in the towns of Vercelli and Asti; that the French king should immediately evacuate all the places which he held in Tuscany and the Sienese, and renounce all future pretensions to them; that he should restore the marquisate of Montferrat to the Duke of Mantua; that he should receive the Genoese into favour, and give up to them the towns which he had conquered in the island of Corsica; that none of the princes or states to whom these cessions were made, should call their subjects to account for any part of their conduct while Edition: current; Page: [345] under the dominion of their enemies, but should bury all past transactions in oblivion. The pope, the emperor, the Kings of Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, the King and Queen of Scots, and almost every prince and state in Christendom, were comprehended in this pacification as the allies either of Henry or of Philip.d

which re-establishes tranquillity in Europe.Thus, by this famous treaty, peace was re-established in Europe. All the causes of discord which had so long embroiled the powerful monarchs of France and Spain, that had transmitted hereditary quarrels and wars from Charles to Philip, and from Francis to Henry, seemed to be wholly removed or finally terminated. The French alone complained of the unequal conditions of a treaty, into which an ambitious minister, in order to recover his liberty, and an artful mistress, that she might gratify her resentment, had seduced their too easy monarch. They exclaimed loudly against the folly of giving up to the enemies of France a hundred and eighty-nine fortified places, in the Low Counties or in Italy, in return for the three insignificant towns of St. Quentin, Ham, and Catelet. They considered it as an indelible stain upon the glory of the nation, to renounce in one day territories so extensive, and so capable of being defended, that the enemy could not have hoped to wrest them out of its hands, after many years of victory.

The peace between France and Spain ratified.But Henry, without regarding the sentiments of his people, or being moved by the remonstrances of his council, ratified the treaty, and executed with great fidelity whatever he had stipulated to perform. The Duke of Savoy repaired with a numerous retinue to Paris, in order to celebrate his marriage with Henry’s sister. The Duke of Alva was sent to the same capital, at the head of a splendid embassy, to espouse Elizabeth in the name of his master. They Edition: current; Page: [346] were received with extraordinary magnificence by the French court. Amidst the rejoicings and festivities on that occasion,Death of Henry. Henry’s days were cut short by a singular and tragical accident.July 10. His son, Francis II., a prince under age, of a weak constitution, and of a mind still more feeble, succeeded him. Soon after, Paul ended his violent and imperious pontificate, at enmity with all the world, and disgusted even with his own nephews. They, persecuted by Philip, and deserted by the succeeding pope, whom they had raised by their influence to the papal throne, were condemned to the punishment which their crimes and ambition had merited, and their death was as infamous as their lives had been criminal. Thus most of the personages, who had long sustained the principal characters on the great theatre of Europe, disappeared about the same time. A more known period of history opens at this era; other actors enter upon the stage with different views, as well as different passions; new contests arose, and new schemes of ambition occupied and disquieted mankind.

A general review of the whole period.Upon reviewing the transactions of any active period in the history of civilized nations, the changes which are accomplished appear wonderfully disproportioned to the efforts which have been exerted. Conquests are never very extensive or rapid, but among nations whose progress in improvement is extremely unequal. When Alexander the Great, at the head of a gallant people, of simple manners, and formed to war by admirable military institutions, invaded a state sunk in luxury, and enervated by excessive refinement; when Genchizcan and Tamerlane, with their armies of hardy barbarians, poured in upon nations, enfeebled by the climate in which they lived, or by the arts and commerce which they cultivated, these conquerors, like a torrent, swept every thing before them, subduing kingdoms and provinces Edition: current; Page: [347] in as short a space of time as was requisite to march through them. But when nations are in a state similar to each other, and keep equal pace in their advances towards refinement, they are not exposed to the calamity of sudden conquests. Their acquisitions of knowledge, their progress in the art of war, their political sagacity and address are nearly equal. The fate of states in this situation depends not on a single battle. Their internal resources are many and various. Nor are they themselves alone interested in their own safety, or active in their own defence. Other states interpose, and balance any temporary advantage which either party may have acquired. After the fiercest and most lengthened contest, all the rival nations are exhausted, none are conquered. At length they find it necessary to conclude a peace, which restores to each almost the same power and the same territories of which they were formerly in possession.

The nations of Europe in a similar state during the sixteenth century.Such was the state of Europe during the reign of Charles V. No prince was so much superior to the rest in power, as to render his efforts irresistible, and his conquests easy. No nation had made progress in improvement so far beyond its neighbours as to have acquired a very manifest pre-eminence. Each state derived some advantage, or was subject to some inconvenience, from its situation or its climate; each was distinguished by something peculiar in the genius of its people, or the constitution of its government. But the advantages possessed by one state were counterbalanced by circumstances favourable to others; and this prevented any from attaining such superiority as might have been fatal to all. The nations of Europe in that age, as in the present, were like one great family: there were some features common to all, which fixed a resemblance; there were certain peculiarities conspicuous in each, which marked a distinction. But there was not among them that wide diversity of Edition: current; Page: [348] character and of genius which, in almost every period of history, hath exalted the Europeans above the inhabitants of the other quarters of the globe, and seems to have destined the one to rule, and the other to obey.

A remarkable change in the state of Europe during the reign of Charles V.But though the near resemblance and equality in improvement among the different nations of Europe, prevented the reign of Charles V. from being distinguished by such sudden and extensive conquests as occur in some other periods of history, yet, during the course of his administration, all the considerable states in Europe suffered a remarkable change in their political situation, and felt the influence of events, which have not hitherto spent their force, but still continue to operate in a greater or in a less degree. It was during his reign, and in consequence of the perpetual efforts to which his enterprising ambition roused him, that the different kingdoms of Europe acquired internal vigour; that they discerned the resources of which they were possessed; that they came both to feel their own strength, and to know how to render it formidable to others. It was during his reign, too, that the different kingdoms of Europe, which in former times seemed frequently to act as if they had been single and disjoined, became so thoroughly acquainted, and so intimately connected with each other, as to form one great political system, in which each took a station, wherein it hath remained since that time with less variation than could have been expected after the events of two active centuries.

The progress of the house of Austria;The progress, however, and acquisitions of the house of Austria were not only greater than those of any other power, but more discernible and conspicuous. I have already enumerated the extensive territories which descended to Charles from his Austrian, Edition: current; Page: [349] Burgundian, and Spanish ancestors.e To these he himself added the imperial dignity; and, as if all this had been too little, the bounds of the habitable globe seemed to be extended, and a new world was subjected to his command. Upon his resignation, the Burgundian provinces, and the Spanish kingdoms with their dependencies, both in the old and new worlds, devolved to Philip. But Charles transmitted his dominions to his son in a condition very different from that in which he himself had received them. They were augmented by the accession of new provinces; they were habituated to obey an administration which was no less vigorous than steady; they were accustomed to expensive and persevering efforts, which, though necessary in the contests between civilized nations, had been little known in Europe before the sixteenth century. The provinces of Friesland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, which he acquired by purchase from their former proprietors, and the dutchy of Gueldres, of which he made himself master, partly by force of arms, partly by the arts of negotiation, were additions of great value to his Burgundian dominions. Ferdinand and Isabella had transmitted to him all the provinces of Spain, from the bottom of the Pyrenees to the frontiers of Portugal; but as he maintained a perpetual peace with that kingdom, amidst the various efforts of his enterprising ambition, he made no acquisition of territory in that quarter.

particularly in Spain;Charles had gained, however, a vast accession of power in this part of his dominions. By his success in the war with the commons of Castile, he exalted the regal prerogative upon the ruins of the privileges which formerly belonged to the people. Though he allowed the name of the cortes to remain, and the formality of holding it to be continued, he reduced its authority and jurisdiction almost to nothing, Edition: current; Page: [350] and modelled it in such a manner, that it became rather a junto of the servants of the crown, than an assembly of the representatives of the people. One member of the constitution being thus lopped off, it was impossible but that the other must feel the stroke, and suffer by it. The suppression of the popular power rendered the aristocratical less formidable. The grandees, prompted by the warlike spirit of the age, or allured by the honours which they enjoyed in a court, exhausted their fortunes in military service, or in attending on the person of their prince. They did not dread, perhaps did not observe, the dangerous progress of the royal authority, which leaving them the vain distinction of being covered in presence of their sovereign, stripped them, by degrees, of that real power which they possessed while they formed one body, and acted in concert with the people. Charles’s success in abolishing the privileges of the commons, and in breaking the power of the nobles of Castile, encouraged Philip to invade the liberties of Aragon, which were still more extensive. The Castilians, accustomed to subjection themselves, assisted in imposing the yoke on their more happy and independent neighbours. The will of the sovereign became the supreme law in all the kingdoms of Spain; and princes who were not checked in forming their plans by the jealousy of the people, nor controlled in executing them by the power of the nobles, could both aim at great objects, and call forth the whole strength of the monarchy in order to attain them.

also in other parts of Europe.As Charles, by extending the royal prerogative, rendered the monarchs of Spain masters at home, he added new dignity and power to their crown by his foreign acquisitions. He secured to Spain the quiet possession of the kingdom of Naples, which Ferdinand had usurped by fraud, and held with difficulty. Edition: current; Page: [351] He united the dutchy of Milan, one of the most fertile and populous Italian provinces, to the Spanish crown, and left his successors, even without taking their other territories into the account, the most considerable princes in Italy, which had been long the theatre of contention to the great powers of Europe, and in which they had struggled with emulation to obtain the superiority. When the French, in conformity to the treaty of Chateau-Cambresis, withdrew their forces out of Italy, and finally relinquished all their schemes of conquest on that side of the Alps, the Spanish dominions there rose in importance, and enabled their kings, as long as the monarchy retained any degree of vigour, to preserve the chief sway in all the transactions of that country. But whatever accession, either of interior authority or of foreign dominion, Charles gained for the monarchs of Spain in Europe, was inconsiderable when compared with his acquisitions in the new world. He added there, not provinces, but empires to his crown. He conquered territories of such immense extent; he discovered such inexhaustible veins of wealth, and opened such boundless prospects of every kind, as must have roused his successor, and have called him forth to action, though his ambition had been much less ardent than that of Philip, and must have rendered him not only enterprising but formidable.

Progress of the German branch of the house of Austria.While the elder branch of the Austrian family rose to such pre-eminence in Spain, the younger, of which Ferdinand was the head, grew to be considerable in Germany. The ancient hereditary dominions of the house of Austria in Germany, united to the kingdom of Hungary and Bohemia, which Ferdinand had acquired by marriage, formed a respectable power; and when the imperial dignity was added to these, Ferdinand possessed territories more extensive than Edition: current; Page: [352] had belonged to any prince, Charles V. excepted, who had been at the head of the empire during several ages. Fortunately for Europe, the disgust which Philip conceived on account of Ferdinand’s refusing to relinquish the imperial crown in his favour, not only prevented for some time the separate members of the house of Austria from acting in concert, but occasioned between them a visible alienation and rivalship. By degrees, however, regard to the interest of their family extinguished this impolitical animosity. The confidence which was natural returned; the aggrandizing of the house of Austria became the common object of all their schemes; they gave and received assistance alternately towards the execution of them; and each derived consideration and importance from the other’s success. A family so great and so aspiring became the general object of jealousy and terror. All the power, as well as policy, of Europe were exerted during a century, in order to check and humble it. Nothing can give a more striking idea of the ascendant which it had acquired than that, after its vigour was spent with extraordinary exertions of its strength, after Spain was become only the shadow of a great name, and its monarchs were sunk into debility and dotage, the house of Austria still continued to be formidable. The nations of Europe had so often felt its superior power, and had been so constantly employed in guarding against it, that the dread of it became a kind of political habit, the influence of which remained when the causes which had formed it ceased to exist.

Acquisitions of the kings of France during the reign of Charles V.While the house of Austria went on with such success in enlarging its dominions, France made no considerable acquisition of new territory. All its schemes of conquest in Italy had proved abortive; it had hitherto obtained no establishment of consequence in the new world; and, after the continued and Edition: current; Page: [353] vigorous efforts of four successive reigns, the confines of the kingdom were much the same as Louis XI. had left them. But though France made not such large strides towards dominion as the house of Austria, it continued to advance by steps which were more secure, because they were gradual and less observed. The conquest of Calais put it out of the power of the English to invade France but at their utmost peril, and delivered the French from the dread of their ancient enemies, who, previous to that event, could at any time penetrate into the kingdom by that avenue, and thereby retard or defeat the execution of their best-concerted enterprises against any foreign power. The important acquisition of Metz covered that part of their frontier which formerly was most feeble, and lay most exposed to insult. France, from the time of its obtaining these additional securities against external invasion, must be deemed the most powerful kingdom in Europe, and is more fortunately situated than any on the continent, either for conquest or defence. From the confines of Artois to the bottom of the Pyrenees, and from the British channel to the frontiers of Savoy and the coast of the Mediterranean, its territories lie compact and unmingled with those of any other power. Several of the considerable provinces, which had contracted a spirit of independence by their having been long subject to the great vassals of the crown, who were often at variance or at war with their master, were now accustomed to recognise and to obey one sovereign. As they became members of the same monarchy, they assumed the sentiments of that body into which they were incorporated, and co-operated with zeal towards promoting its interest and honour. The power and influence wrested from the nobles were seized by the crown. The people were not admitted to share in these spoils; they gained no new privilege; they Edition: current; Page: [354] acquired no additional weight in the legislature. It was not for the sake of the people, but in order to extend their own prerogative, that the monarchs of France had laboured to humble their great vassals. Satisfied with having brought them under entire subjection to the crown, they discovered no solicitude to free the people from their ancient dependence on the nobles of whom they held, and by whom they were often oppressed.

enable them to assume a higher station among the powers of Europe.A monarch, at the head of a kingdom thus united at home, and secure from abroad, was entitled to form great designs, because he felt himself in a condition to execute them. The foreign wars, which had continued with little interruption from the accession of Charles VIII., had not only cherished and augmented the martial genius of the nation, but, by inuring the troops during the course of long service to the fatigues of war, and accustoming them to obedience, had added the force of discipline to their natural ardour. A gallant and active body of nobles, who considered themselves as idle and useless, unless when they were in the field; who were hardly acquainted with any pastime or exercise but what was military; and who knew no road to power, or fame, or wealth, but war, would not have suffered their sovereign to remain long in inaction. The people, little acquainted with the arts of peace, and always ready to take arms at the command of their superiors, were accustomed, by the expence of long wars carried on in distant countries, to bear impositions, which, however inconsiderable they may seem if estimated by the exorbitant rate of modern exactions, appear immense when compared with the sums levied in France, or in any other country of Europe, previous to the reign of Louis XI. As all the members of which the state was composed were thus impatient for action, and capable of great efforts, the schemes and operations of Edition: current; Page: [355] France must have been no less formidable to Europe than those of Spain. The superior advantages of its situation, the contiguity and compactness of its territories, together with the peculiar state of its political constitution at that juncture, must have rendered its enterprises still more alarming and more decisive. The king possessed such a degree of power as gave him the entire command of his subjects; the people were strangers to those occupations and habits of life which render men averse to war, or unfit for it; and the nobles, though reduced to the subordination necessary in a regular government, still retained the high undaunted spirit which was the effect of their ancient independence. The vigour of the feudal times remained, their anarchy was at an end; and the kings of France could avail themselves of the martial ardour which that singular institution had kindled or kept alive, without being exposed to the dangers or inconveniencies which are inseparable from it when in entire force.

Circumstances which prevented the immediate effects of their power.A kingdom in such a state is, perhaps, capable of greater military efforts than at any other period in its progress. But how formidable or how fatal soever to the other nations of Europe the power of such a monarchy might have been, the civil wars which broke out in France saved them at that juncture from feeling its effects. These wars, of which religion was the pretext, and ambition the cause, wherein great abilities were displayed by the leaders of the different factions, and little conduct or firmness was manifested by the crown under a succession of weak princes, kept France occupied and embroiled for half a century. During these commotions the internal strength of the kingdom was much wasted, and such a spirit of anarchy was spread among the nobles, to whom rebellion was familiar, and the restraint of laws unknown, that a considerable interval became requisite, Edition: current; Page: [356] not only for recruiting the internal vigour of the nation, but for re-establishing the authority of the prince; so that it was long before France could turn her whole attention towards foreign transactions, or act with her proper force in foreign wars. It was long before she rose to that ascendant in Europe which she has maintained since the administration of Cardinal Richelieu, and which the situation as well as extent of the kingdom, the nature of her government, together with the character of her people, entitle her to maintain.

Progress of England with respect to its interior state;While the kingdoms on the continent grew into power and consequence, England likewise made considerable progress towards regular government and interior strength. Henry VIII., probably without intention, and certainly without any consistent plan, of which his nature was incapable, pursued the scheme of depressing the nobility, which the policy of his father, Henry VII., had begun. The pride and caprice of his temper led him to employ chiefly new men in the administration of affairs, because he found them most obsequious, or least scrupulous; and he not only conferred on them such plenitude of power, but exalted them to such pre-eminence in dignity, as mortified and degraded the ancient nobility. By the alienation or sale of the church lands, which were dissipated with a profusion not inferior to the rapaciousness with which they had been seized, as well as by the privilege granted to the ancient landholders of selling their estates, or disposing of them by will, an immense property, formerly locked up, was brought into circulation. This put the spirit of industry and commerce in motion, and gave it some considerable degree of vigour. The road to power and to opulence became open to persons of every condition. A sudden and excessive flow of wealth from the West Indies proved fatal to industry in Spain; a moderate Edition: current; Page: [357] accession in England to the sum in circulation gave life to commerce, awakened the ingenuity of the nation, and excited it to useful enterprise. In France, what the nobles lost, the crown gained. In England, the commons were gainers as well as the king. Power and influence accompanied, of course, the property which they acquired. They rose to consideration among their fellow-subjects; they began to feel their own importance; and, extending their influence in the legislative body gradually, and often when neither they themselves nor others foresaw all the effects of their claims and pretensions, they at last attained that high authority to which the British constitution is indebted for the existence, and must owe the preservation, of its liberty. At the same time that the English constitution advanced towards perfection, several circumstances brought on a change in the ancient system with respect to foreign powers, and introduced another more beneficial to the nation. As soon as Henry disclaimed the supremacy of the papal see, and broke off all connection with the papal court, considerable sums were saved to the nation, of which it had been annually drained by remittances to Rome for dispensations and indulgences, by the expence of pilgrimages into foreign countriesf, or by payment of annates, first fruits, and a thousand other taxes which that artful and rapacious court levied on the credulity of mankind. The exercise of a jurisdiction different from that of the civil power, and claiming not only to be independent of it, but superior to it, a wild solecism in government, apt not only to perplex and disquiet weak minds, but tending Edition: current; Page: [358] directly to disturb society, was finally abolished. Government became more simple as well as more respectable, when no rank or character exempted any person from being amenable to the same courts as other subjects, from being tried by the same judges, and from being acquitted or condemned by the same laws.

with respect to the affairs of the continent;By the loss of Calais the English were excluded from the continent. All schemes for invading France became, of course, as chimerical as they had formerly been pernicious. The views of the English were confined, first by necessity, and afterwards from choice, within their own island. That rage for conquest which had possessed the nation during many centuries, and wasted its strength in perpetual and fruitless wars, ceased at length. Those active spirits which had known and followed no profession but war, sought for occupation in the arts of peace, and their country was benefited as much by the one as it had suffered by the other. The nation, which had been exhausted by frequent expeditions to the continent, recruited its numbers, and acquired new strength; and when roused by any extraordinary exigency to take part in foreign operations, the vigour of its efforts was proportionally great, because they were only occasional, and of short continuance.

with respect to Scotland.The same principle which had led England to adopt this new system with regard to the powers on the continent, occasioned a change in its plan of conduct with respect to Scotland, the only foreign state with which, on account of its situation in the same island, the English had such a close connection as demanded their perpetual attention. Instead of prosecuting the ancient scheme of conquering that kingdom, which the nature of the country, defended by a brave and hardy people, rendered dangerous, if not impracticable, it appeared more eligible to endeavour Edition: current; Page: [359] at obtaining such influence in Scotland as might exempt England from any danger or disquiet from that quarter. The national poverty of the Scots, together with the violence and animosity of their factions, rendered the execution of this plan easy to a people far superior to them in wealth. The leading men of greatest power and popularity were gained; the ministers and favourites of the crown were corrupted; and such absolute direction of the Scottish councils was acquired, as rendered the operations of the one kingdom dependent, in a great measure, on the sovereign of the other. Such perfect external security, added to the interior advantages which England now possessed, must soon have raised it to new consideration and importance; the long reign of Elizabeth, equally conspicuous for wisdom, for steadiness, and for vigour, accelerated its progress, and carried it with greater rapidity towards that elevated station which it hath since held among the powers of Europe.

Changes in the political state of the secondary powers in Europe.During the period in which the political state of the great kingdoms underwent such changes, revolutions of considerable importance happened in that of the secondary or inferior powers. Those in the papal court are most obvious, and of most extensive consequence.

The most considerable revolution of the sixteenth century in the court of Rome.In the preliminary book, I have mentioned the rise of that spiritual jurisdiction, which the popes claim as vicars of Jesus Christ, and have traced the progress of that authority which they possess as temporal princes.g Previous to the reign of Charles V. there was nothing that tended to circumscribe or to moderate their authority, but science and philosophy, which began to revive and to be cultivated. The progress of these, however, was still inconsiderable; they always operate slowly; and it is long before their influence reaches the people, or can produce any sensible effect Edition: current; Page: [360] upon them. They may perhaps gradually, and in a long course of years, undermine and shake an established system of false religion, but there is no instance of their having overturned one. The battery is too feeble to demolish those fabrics which superstition raises on deep foundations, and can strengthen with the most consummate art.

The general revolt against the doctrines of the church of Rome, and the power of the popes.Luther had attacked the papal supremacy with other weapons, and with an impetuosity more formidable. The time and manner of his attack concurred with a multitude of circumstances, which have been explained, in giving him immediate success. The charm which had bound mankind for so many ages was broken at once. The human mind, which had continued long as tame and passive as if it had been formed to believe whatever was taught, and to bear whatever was imposed, roused of a sudden, and became inquisitive, mutinous, and disdainful of the yoke to which it had hitherto submitted. That wonderful ferment and agitation of mind, which, at this distance of time, appears unaccountable, or is condemned as extravagant, was so general, that it must have been excited by causes which were natural and of powerful efficacy. The kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, England, and Scotland, and almost one half of Germany, threw off their allegiance to the pope, abolished his jurisdiction within their territories, and gave the sanction of law to modes of discipline and systems of doctrine which were not only independent of his power, but hostile to it. Nor was this spirit of innovation confined to those countries which openly revolted from the pope; it spread through all Europe, and broke out in every part of it, with various degrees of violence. It penetrated early into France, and made a quick progress there. In that kingdom the number of converts to the opinions of the reformers was so great, their zeal so enterprising, and the abilities Edition: current; Page: [361] of their leaders so distinguished, that they soon ventured to contend for superiority with the established church, and were sometimes on the point of obtaining it. In all the provinces of Germany which continued to acknowledge the papal supremacy, as well as in the Low Countries, the protestant doctrines were secretly taught, and had gained so many proselytes, that they were ripe for revolt, and were restrained merely by the dread of their rulers from imitating the example of their neighbours, and asserting their independence. Even in Spain and in Italy, symptoms of the same disposition to shake off the yoke appeared. The pretensions of the pope to infallible knowledge and supreme power were treated by many persons of eminent learning and abilities with such scorn, or attacked with such vehemence, that the most vigilant attention of the civil magistrate, the highest strains of pontifical authority, and all the rigour of inquisitorial jurisdiction, were requisite to check and extinguish it.

This abridged the extent of the popes’ dominions,The defection of so many opulent and powerful kingdoms from the papal see, was a fatal blow to its grandeur and power. It abridged the dominions of the popes in extent; it diminished their revenues, and left them fewer rewards to bestow on the ecclesiastics of various denominations, attached to them by vows of obedience as well as by ties of interest, and whom they employed as instruments to establish or support their usurpations in every part of Europe. The countries, too, which now disclaimed their authority, were those which formerly had been most devoted to it. The empire of superstition differs from every other species of dominion; its power is often greatest, and most implicitly obeyed, in the provinces most remote from the seat of government; while such as are situated nearer to that, are more apt to discern the artifices by which it is upheld, or the impostures on Edition: current; Page: [362] which it is founded. The personal frailties or vices of the popes, the errors as well as corruption of their administration, the ambition, venality, and deceit which reigned in their courts, fell immediately under the observation of the Italians, and could not fail of diminishing that respect which begets submission. But in Germany, England, and the more remote parts of Europe, these were either altogether unknown, or, being only known by report, made a slighter impression. Veneration for the papal dignity increased accordingly in these countries in proportion to their distance from Rome; and that veneration, added to their gross ignorance, rendered them equally credulous and passive. In tracing the progress of the papal domination, the boldest and most successful instances of encroachment are to be found in Germany and other countries distant from Italy. In these its impositions were heaviest, and its exactions the most rapacious; so that in estimating the diminution of power which the court of Rome suffered in consequence of the reformation, not only the number but the character of the people who revolted, not only the great extent of territory, but the extraordinary obsequiousness of the subjects which it lost, must be taken into the account.

and obliged them to change the spirit of their government.Nor was it only by this defection of so many kingdoms and states which the reformation occasioned, that it contributed to diminish the power of the Roman pontiffs. It obliged them to adopt a different system of conduct towards the nations which still continued to recognise their jurisdiction, and to govern them by new maxims and with a milder spirit. The reformation taught them, by a fatal example, what they seem not before to have apprehended, that the credulity and patience of mankind might be overburdened and exhausted. They became afraid of venturing upon any such exertion of their authority as might alarm or exasperate their subjects, and excite Edition: current; Page: [363] them to a new revolt. They saw a rival church established in many countries of Europe, the members of which were on the watch to observe any errors in their administration, and eager to expose them. They were sensible that the opinions, adverse to their power and usurpations, were not adopted by their enemies alone, but had spread even among the people who still adhered to them. Upon all these accounts, it was no longer possible to lead or to govern their flock in the same manner as in those dark and quiet ages when faith was implicit, when submission was unreserved, and all tamely followed and obeyed the voice of their pastor. From the era of the reformation, the popes have ruled rather by address and management than by authority. Though the style of their decrees be still the same, the effect of them is very different. Those bulls and interdicts which, before the reformation, made the greatest princes tremble, have, since that period, been disregarded or despised by the most inconsiderable. Those bold decisions and acts of jurisdiction which, during many ages, not only passed uncensured, but were revered as the awards of a sacred tribunal, would, since Luther’s appearance, be treated by one part of Europe as the effect of folly or arrogance, and be detested by the other as impious and unjust. The popes, in their administration, have been obliged not only to accommodate themselves to the notions of their adherents, but to pay some regard to the prejudices of their enemies. They seldom venture to claim new powers, or even to insist obstinately on their ancient prerogatives, lest they should irritate the former; they carefully avoid every measure that may either excite the indignation or draw on them the derision of the latter. The policy of the court of Rome has become as cautious, circumspect, and timid, as it was once adventurous and violent; and though their pretensions to infallibility, on which all Edition: current; Page: [364] their authority is founded, does not allow them to renounce any jurisdiction which they have at any time claimed or exercised, they find it expedient to suffer many of their prerogatives to lie dormant, and not to expose themselves to the risk of losing that remainder of power which they still enjoy, by ill-timed attempts towards reviving obsolete pretensions. Before the sixteenth century, the popes were the movers and directors in every considerable enterprise; they were at the head of every great alliance; and being considered as arbiters in the affairs of Christendom, the court of Rome was the centre of political negotiation and intrigue. Since that time, the greatest operations in Europe have been carried on independent of them; they have sunk almost to a level with the other petty princes of Italy; they continue to claim, though they dare not exercise, the same spiritual jurisdiction, but hardly retain any shadow of the temporal power which they anciently possessed.

The reformation contributed to improve the church both in science and morals.But how fatal soever the reformation may have been to the power of the popes, it has contributed to improve the church of Rome both in science and in morals. The desire of equalling the reformers in those talents which had procured them respect; the necessity of acquiring the knowledge requisite for defending their own tenets, or refuting the arguments of their opponents, together with the emulation natural between two rival churches, engaged the Roman catholic clergy to apply themselves to the study of useful science, which they cultivated with such assiduity and success, that they have gradually become as eminent in literature, as they were in some periods infamous for ignorance. The same principle occasioned a change no less considerable in the morals of the Romish clergy. Various causes, which have formerly been enumerated, had concurred in introducing great irregularity, and even dissolution of manners, among the popish clergy. Edition: current; Page: [365] Luther and his adherents began their attack on the church with such vehement invectives against these, that, in order to remove the scandal, and silence their declamations, greater decency of conduct became necessary. The reformers themselves were so eminent not only for the purity, but even austerity of their manners, and had acquired such reputation among the people on that account, that the Roman catholic clergy must have soon lost all credit, if they had not endeavoured to conform in some measure to their standard. They knew that all their actions fell under the severe inspection of the protestants, whom enmity and emulation prompted to observe every vice, or even impropriety in their conduct; to censure them without indulgence, and to expose them without mercy. This rendered them, of course, not only cautious to avoid such enormities as might give offence, but studious to acquire the virtues which might merit praise. In Spain and Portugal, where the tyrannical jurisdiction of the inquisition crushed the protestant faith as soon as it appeared, the spirit of popery continues invariable; science has made small progress, and the character of ecclesiastics has undergone little change. But in those countries where the members of the two churches have mingled freely with each other, or have carried on any considerable intercourse, either commercial or literary, an extraordinary alteration in the ideas, as well as in the morals, of the popish ecclesiastics, is manifest. In France, the manners of the dignitaries and secular clergy have become decent and exemplary in a high degree. Many of them have been distinguished for all the accomplishments and virtues which can adorn their profession; and differ greatly from their predecessors before the reformation, both in their maxims and in their conduct.

The effects of it extend to the character of the popes themselves.Nor has the influence of the reformation been felt only by the inferior members of the Roman catholic Edition: current; Page: [366] church; it has extended to the see of Rome, to the sovereign pontiffs themselves. Violations of decorum, and even trespasses against morality, which passed without censure in those ages, when neither the power of the popes, nor the veneration of the people for their character, had any bounds; when there was no hostile eye to observe the errors in their conduct, and no adversaries zealous to inveigh against them; would be liable now to the severest animadversion, and excite general indignation or horror. Instead of rivalling the courts of temporal princes in gaiety, and surpassing them in licentiousness, the popes have studied to assume manners more severe and more suitable to their ecclesiastical character. The chair of St. Peter hath not been polluted, during two centuries, by any pontiff that resembled Alexander VI., or several of his predecessors, who were a disgrace to religion and to human nature. Throughout this long succession of popes, a wonderful decorum of conduct, compared with that of preceding ages, is observable. Many of them, especially among the pontiffs of the present century, have been conspicuous for all the virtues becoming their high station; and by their humanity, their love of literature, and their moderation, have made some atonement to mankind for the crimes of their predecessors. Thus the beneficial influences of the reformation have been more extensive than they appear on a superficial view; and this great division in the Christian church hath contributed, in some measure, to increase purity of manners, to diffuse science, and to inspire humanity. History recites such a number of shocking events, occasioned by religious dissensions, that it must afford peculiar satisfaction to trace any one salutary or beneficial effect to that source from which so many fatal calamities have flowed.

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The republic of Venice, which, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, had appeared so formidable,State of the republic of Venice; that almost all the potentates of Europe united in a confederacy for its destruction, declined gradually from its ancient power and splendour. The Venetians not only lost a great part of their territory in the war excited by the league of Cambray, but the revenues as well as vigour of the state were exhausted by their extraordinary and long-continued efforts in their own defence; and that commerce by which they had acquired their wealth and power began to decay, without any hopes of its reviving. All the fatal consequences to their republic, which the sagacity of the Venetian senate foresaw on the first discovery of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, actually took place. Their endeavours to prevent the Portuguese from establishing themselves in the East Indies, not only by exciting the soldans of Egypt, and the Ottoman monarchs, to turn their arms against such dangerous intruders, but by affording secret aid to the infidels in order to insure their successh, proved ineffectual. The activity and valour of the Portuguese surmounted every obstacle, and obtained such a firm footing in that fertile country, as secured to them large possessions, together with an influence still more extensive. Lisbon, instead of Venice, became the staple for the precious commodities of the East. The Venetians, after having possessed for many years the monopoly of that beneficial commerce, had the mortification to be excluded from almost any share in it. The discoveries of the Spaniards in the western world, proved no less fatal to inferior branches of their commerce. The original defects which were formerly pointed out in the constitution of the Venetian republic still continued, and the disadvantages with which it undertook any great Edition: current; Page: [368] enterprise increased rather than diminished. The sources from which it derived its extraordinary riches and power being dried up, the interior vigour of the state declined, and, of course, its external operations became less formidable. Long before the middle of the sixteenth century, Venice ceased to be one of the principal powers in Europe, and dwindled into a secondary and subaltern state. But as the senate had the address to conceal the diminution of its power, under the veil of moderation and caution; as it made no rash effort that could discover its weakness; as the symptoms of political decay in states are not soon observed, and are seldom so apparent to their neighbours as to occasion any sudden alteration in their conduct towards them, Venice continued long to be considered and respected. She was treated not according to her present condition, but according to the rank which she had formerly held. Charles V., as well as the kings of France, his rivals, courted her assistance with emulation and solicitude in all their enterprises. Even down to the close of the century, Venice remained not only an object of attention, but a considerable seat of political negotiation and intrigue.

of Tuscany;That authority which the first Cosmo de’ Medici, and Lawrence, his grandson, had acquired in the republic of Florence, by their beneficence and abilities, inspired their descendants with the ambition of usurping the sovereignty in their country, and paved their way towards it.ad 1530. Charles V. placed Alexander de’ Medici at the head of the republic, and to the natural interest and power of the family added the weight as well as credit of the imperial protection. Of these, his successor Cosmo, surnamed the Great, availed himself; and establishing his supreme authority on the ruins of the ancient republican constitution, he transmitted that, together with the title of Grand Edition: current; Page: [369] Duke of Tuscany, to his descendants. Their dominions were composed of the territories which had belonged to the three commonwealths of Florence, Pisa, and Siena, and formed one of the most respectable of the Italian states.

of the dukes of Savoy;The dukes of Savoy, during the former part of the sixteenth century, possessed territories which were not considerable either for extent or value; and the French having seized the greater part of them, obliged the reigning duke to retire for safety to the strong fortress of Nice, where he shut himself up for several years, while his son, the Prince of Piedmont, endeavoured to better his fortune, by serving as an adventurer in the armies of Spain. The peace of Chateau-Cambresis restored to him his paternal dominions. As these are environed on every hand by powerful neighbours, all whose motions the dukes of Savoy must observe with the greatest attention, in order not only to guard against the danger of being surprised and overpowered, but that they may choose their side with discernment in those quarrels wherein it is impossible for them to avoid taking part, this peculiarity of their situation seems to have had no inconsiderable influence on their character. By rousing them to perpetual attention, by keeping their ingenuity always on the stretch, and engaging them in almost continual action, it hath formed a race of princes more sagacious in discovering their true interests, more decisive in their resolutions, and more dexterous in availing themselves of every occurrence which presented itself, than any, perhaps, that can be singled out in the history of Europe. By gradual acquisitions the dukes of Savoy have added to their territories, as well as to their own importance; and aspiring at length to regal dignity, which they obtained about half a century ago, by the title of kings Edition: current; Page: [370] of Sardinia, they hold now no inconsiderable rank among the monarchs of Europe.

of the United Provinces;The territories which form the republic of the United Netherlands, were lost during the first part of the sixteenth century, among the numerous provinces subject to the house of Austria; and were then so inconsiderable, that hardly one opportunity of mentioning them hath occurred in all the busy period of this history. But soon after the peace of Chateau-Cambresis, the violent and bigoted maxims of Philip’s government being carried into execution with unrelenting rigour by the Duke of Alva, exasperated the people of the Low Countries to such a degree, that they threw off the Spanish yoke, and asserted their ancient liberties and laws. These they defended with a persevering valour, which gave employment to the arms of Spain during half a century, exhausted the vigour, ruined the reputation of that monarchy, and at last constrained their ancient masters to recognise and to treat with them as a free and independent state. This state, founded on liberty, and reared by industry and economy, grew into great reputation, even while struggling for its existence. But when peace and security allowed it to enlarge its views, and to extend its commerce, it rose to be one of the most respectable as well as enterprising powers in Europe.

The transactions of the kingdoms in the north of Europe, have been seldom attended to in the course of this history.

of Russia;Russia remained buried in that barbarism and obscurity, from which it was called about the beginning of the present century, by the creative genius of Peter the Great, who made his country known and formidable to the rest of Europe.

of Denmark and Sweden.In Denmark and Sweden, during the reign of Charles V., great revolutions happened in their constitutions, Edition: current; Page: [371] civil as well as ecclesiastical. In the former kingdom, a tyrant being degraded from the throne, and expelled the country, a new prince was called by the voice of the people to assume the reins of government. In the latter, a fierce people, roused to arms by injuries and oppression, shook off the Danish yoke, and conferred the regal dignity on its deliverer Gustavus Ericson, who had all the virtues of a hero and of a patriot. Denmark, exhausted by foreign wars, or weakened by the dissensions between the king and the nobles, became incapable of such efforts as were requisite in order to recover the ascendant which it had long possessed in the north of Europe. Sweden, as soon as it was freed from the dominion of strangers, began to recruit its strength, and acquired in a short time such internal vigour, that it became the first kingdom in the north. Early in the subsequent century, it rose to such a high rank among the powers of Europe, that it had the chief merit in forming, as as well as conducting, that powerful league, which protected not only the protestant religion, but the liberties of Germany, against the bigotry and ambition of the house of Austria.

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Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode,

New-Street-Square.

a

A remarkable instance of this, as well as of a certain singularity and elevation of sentiment, is found in his last will. Though the effects which he had to bequeath were very inconsiderable, he thought it necessary to make a testament, but scorned to frame it with the usual legal formalities. Notus sum, says he, in cœlo, in terra, et inferno; et auctoritatem ad hoc sufficientem habeo, ut mihi soli credatur, cum Deus mihi, homini licet damnabili, et miserabili peccatori, ex paterna misericordia Evangelium filii sui crediderit, dederitque ut in eo verax et fidelis fuerim, ita ut multi in mundo illud per me acceperint, et me pro doctore veritatis agnoverint, spreto banno papæ, cæsaris, regum, principum et sacerdotum, immo omnium dæmonum odio. Quidni, igitur, ad dispositionem hanc, in re exigua, sufficiat, si adsit manus meæ testimonium, et dici possit, Hæc scripsit D. Martinus Luther, notarius Dei, et testis Evangelii ejus. Seck. lib. iii. p. 651.

b

Sleid. 362. Seck. lib. iii. 632, &c.

c

Seck. lib. iii. 651.

d

Sleid. Hist. 367. 373.

e

F. Paul, 141. Pallav 206.

f

Sleid. 354. F. Paul, 155. Pallavic. 224.

g

Istuanhaffii Hist. Hung. 180. Mém. de Ribier, tom. i. 582.

h

Sleid. 374. Seck. iii. 658.

i

Sleid. 376.

j

Sleid. 381. Pallav. 255. Du Mont, Corps Diplom. 11.

k

Du Mont, Corps Diplom.

l

F. Paul, 188. Thuan. Hist. i. 61.

m

Adriani, Istoria de’ suoi Tempi, lib. v. p. 332.

n

Sleid. 381. Paruta, Istor. Venet. tom. iv. 180. Lambertus Hortensius de Bello Germanico, apud Scardium, vol. ii. p. 547.

o

Sleid. 392.

p

Rymer, xv. 93. Herbert, 258.

q

Seck. lib. iii. 161.

r

Thuan. lib. i. 68.

s

Ibid. lib. i. 601. Ludovici ab Avila et Zuniga Commentariorum de Bel. Germ. lib. duo. Antw. 1550. 12mo. p. 13. a.

t

Sleid. 389. Avila, 8, a.

u

Sleid. 384.

x

Sleid. 386. Du Mont, Corps Diplom. iv. p. ii. 314. Pfeffel, Hist. Abrégé du Droit Publ. 168. 736. 158.

y

Seckend. lib. ii. 70. Adriani, Istoria de’ suoi Tempi, lib. v. 335.

Seckendorf, the industrious author of the Commentarius Apologeticus de Lutheranismo, whom I have so long and safely followed as my guide in German affairs, was a descendant from Schertel. With the care and solicitude of a German, who was himself of noble birth, Seckendorf has published a long digression concerning his ancestor, calculated chiefly to show how Schertel was ennobled, and his posterity allied to many of the most ancient families in the empire. Among other curious particulars, he gives us an account of his wealth, the chief source of which was the plunder he got at Rome. His landed estate alone was sold by his grandsons for six hundred thousand florins. By this we may form some idea of the riches amassed by the condottieri, or commanders of mercenary bands, in that age. At the taking of Rome Schertel was only a captain. Seckend. lib. ii. 73.

z

Adriani, Istoria de’ suoi Tempi, lib. v. 340.

a

Avila, 18.

b

F. Paul, 191.

c

Sleid. 399.

d

Avila, 78. a.

e

Sleid. 395. 397. Avila, 27. a. Lamb. Hortens. ap. Scard. ii.

f

Sleid. 403.

g

Belli Smalkaldici Commentarius Græco sermone scriptus a Joach. Camerario, ap. Freherum, vol. iii. p. 479.

h

Camerar. ap. Freher. 483.

i

Thuan. 83.

k

Haræi Annal. Brabant. vol. i. 638. Struvii Corp. 1048. Thuan. 84.

l

Struvii Corp. 1046.

m

Sleid. 391. Thuan. 84.

n

Sleid. 405, &c. Thuan. 85. Camerar. 484.

o

Sleid. 409, 410.

p

Hortensius, ap. Scard. ii. 485.

q

Sleid. 411.

r

Thuan. 88.

s

Mém. de Ribier, tom. i. 589.

t

Sleid. 411, &c. Thuan. lib. iv. p. 125. Mém. de Ribier, tom. i. 606.

u

Sleid. 418. Thuan. lib. iv. 128.

x

Avila, 99. 6. Mém. de Ribier, tom. i. 620.

y

Avila, 83. 6. Mém. de Ribier, tom. i. 592.

z

F. Paul, 208. Pallavic. par. ii. p. 5. Thuan. 126.

a

Il palazzo della signoria.

b

Thuan. 93. Sigonii Vita Andreæ Doriæ, 1196. La Conjuration du Comte de Fiesque, par le Cardin. de Retz. Adriani, Istoria, lib. vi. 369. Folietæ Conjuratio Jo. Lud. Fiesci, ap. Græv. Thes. Ital. i. 883.

It is remarkable, that Cardinal de Retz, at the age of eighteen, composed a history of this conspiracy, containing such a discovery of his admiration of Fiesco and his enterprise, as renders it not surprising that a minister, so jealous and discerning as Richelieu, should be led, by the perusal of it, to predict the turbulent and dangerous spirit of that young ecclesiastic. Mém. de Retz, tom. i. p. 13.

a

Mém. de Ribier, i. 600. 606.

b

Ibid. 635.

c

Ibid. 595.

d

Mém. de Ribier, tom. i. 637.

e

Avila, 115. a.

f

Camerar. ap. Freher. iii. 493. Struv. Corp. Hist. Germ. 1047. 1049.

g

Sleid. Hist. 426. Thuan. 136. Hortensius de Bello German. ap. Scard. vol. ii. 498. Descript. Pugnæ Muhlberg. ibid. p. 509. P. Heuter. Rer. Austr. lib. xii. c. 13. p. 298.

h

Thuan. i. 142.

i

Struvii Corpus, 1050.

j

Sleid. 427. Thuan. i. 142. Du Mont, Corps Diplom. iv. p. 11. 332.

k

Sleid. 430. Thuan. lib. iv. 146.

l

Du Mont, Corps Diplom. iv. p. 11. 336.

m

Sleid. 433. Thuan. lib. iv. 147. Struv. Corp. Hist. Germ. ii. 1052.

n

According to several historians of great name, the emperor, in his treaty with the landgrave, stipulated that he would not detain him in any prison. But in executing the deed, which was written in the German tongue, the imperial ministers fraudulently substituted the word ewiger, instead of einiger, and thus the treaty, in place of a promise that he should not be detained in any prison, contained only an engagement that he should not be detained in perpetual imprisonment. But authors, eminent for historical knowledge and critical accuracy, have called in question the truth of this common story. The silence of Sleidan with regard to it, as well as its not being mentioned in the various memorials which he has published concerning the landgrave’s imprisonment, greatly favour this opinion. But as several books which contain the information necessary towards discussing this point with accuracy, are written in the German language, which I do not understand, I cannot pretend to inquire into this matter with the same precision wherewith I have endeavoured to settle some other controverted facts which have occurred in the course of this history. See Struv. Corp. 1052. Mosheim’s Eccles Hist. vol. ii. p. 161, 162. Engl. edition.

o

Sleid. 408. 419. 434. Thuan. lib. iv. 129. 150. Struv. Corp. ii.

p

Sleid. 435. 437.

q

F. Paul, 248, &c.

r

F. Paul, 257. Pallavic. 41, 42. Thuan. iv. 156. Mém. de Ribier, 59. 67. Natalis Comitis Histor. lib. iii. p. 64.

s

Mém. de Ribier, ii. 63. 71. 78. 85. 95. Paruta, Istor. di Venez. 199. 203. Thuan. iv. 160.

t

F. Paul, 259. Sleid. 440. Thuan. tom. i. 155.

u

F. Paul, 250. Pallav. ii. 49.

x

F. Paul, 264. Pallav. 51. Sleid. 446. Goldasti Constit. Imperial. i. 561.

y

F. Paul, 270. Pallav. ii. 60. Sleid. 453. 457. Struv. Corp. 1054. Goldast. Constit. Imper. i. 518.

z

Sleid. 460. F. Paul, 273. Pallav. 63.

a

Sleid. 441.

b

Thuan. Hist. lib. v. 176. Struv. Corp. 1054. Investitura Mauritii a Mammerano Lucembergo descripta, ap. Scardium, ii. 508.

c

Sleid. 468. F. Paul, 271. 277. Pallav. ii. 64.

d

Sleid. 462.

e

Sleid. 462.

f

Sleid. 469.

g

Sleid. 472.

h

Mém. de Ribier, ii. 218. Sleid. 491.

i

Pallav. p. 11. 72.

k

Ochoa, Carolea, 362.

l

Haræi Annal. Brabant. 652.

m

Mém. de Ribier, ii. 29. L’Evesque, Mém. du Card. Granvelle, i. 21.

n

Sleid. 474. 491.

a

Mém. de Ribier, ii. 230.

b

Among many instances of the credulity or weakness of historians in attributing the death of illustrious personages to extraordinary causes, this is one. Almost all the historians of the sixteenth century affirm, that the death of Paul III. was occasioned by the violent passions which the behaviour of his grandson excited; that being informed, while he was refreshing himself in one of his gardens near Rome, of Octavio’s attempt on Parma, as well as of his negotiations with the emperor by means of Gonzaga, he fainted away, continued some hours in a swoon, then became feverish, and died within three days. This is the account given of it by Thuanus, lib. vi. 211.; Adriani, Istor. de’ suoi Tempi, lib. vii. 480.; and by Father Paul, 280. Even Cardinal Pallavicini, better informed than any writer with regard to the events which happened in the papal court, and, when not warped by prejudice or system, more accurate in relating them, agrees with their narrative in its chief circumstances. Pallav. lib. ii. 74. Paruta, who wrote his history by command of the senate of Venice, relates it in the same manner. Istorici Venez. vol. iv. 212. But there was no occasion to search for any extraordinary cause to account for the death of an old man of eighty-two. There remains an authentic account of this event, in which we find none of those marvellous circumstances of which the historians are so fond. The Cardinal of Ferrara, who was intrusted with the affairs of France at the court of Rome, and M. d’Urfé, Henry’s ambassador in ordinary there, wrote an account to that monarch of the affair of Parma, and of the pope’s death. By these it appears, that Octavio’s attempt to surprise Parma was made on the twentieth of October; that next day in the evening, and not while he was airing himself in the gardens of Monte-Cavallo, the pope received intelligence of what he had done; that he was seized with such a transport of passion, and cried so bitterly, that his voice was heard in several apartments of the palace; that next day, however, he was so well as to give an audience to the Cardinal of Ferrara, and to go through business of different kinds; that Octavio wrote a letter to the pope, not to Cardinal Farnese his brother, intimating his resolution of throwing himself into the arms of the emperor; that the pope received this on the twenty-first without any new symptoms of emotion, and returned an answer to it; that on the twenty-second of October, the day on which the Cardinal of Ferrara’s letter is dated, the pope was in his usual state of health. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 247. By a letter of M. d’Urfé, Nov. 5., it appears that the pope was in such good health, that on the third of that month he had celebrated the anniversary of his coronation with the usual solemnities. Ibid. 251. By another letter from the same person, we learn that on the sixth of November a catarrh or defluxion fell down on the pope’s lungs, with such dangerous symptoms, that his life was immediately despaired of. Ibid. 252. And by a third letter we are informed, that he died November the tenth. In none of these letters is his death imputed to any extraordinary cause. It appears that more than twenty days elapsed between Octavio’s attempt on Parma and the death of his grandfather, and that the disease was the natural effect of old age, not one of those occasioned by violence of passion

c

Mém. de Ribier.

d

Sleid. 492. F. Paul, 281. Pallavic. ii. 76. Thuan. lib. vi. 215.

e

F. Paul, 281.

f

F. Paul, 281. Pallav. ii. 77.

g

Sleid. 481. 485. Jo. Laur. Moshemii Institutionum Hist. Ecclesiasticæ, lib. iv. Helmst. 1755, 4to. p. 748. Jo. And. Schmidii Historia Interimistica, p. 70, &c. Helmst. 1730.

h

Sleid. 485.

i

Sleid. 503. 512.

k

Sleid. 512. Thuan. lib. vi. 233. Goldasti Constit. Imperiales, vol. ii. 340.

l

Sleid. 504. Thuan. lib. vi. 234, 235.

m

Frediman Andreæ Zulich Dissertatio Politico-Historica de Nævis politieis Caroli V. Lips. 1706. 4to. p. 21.

n

Sleid. 505. Thuan. 180. 238. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 219. 281. 314. Adriani, Istor. lib. viii. 507. 520.

o

Adriani, Istor. lib. viii. 505. 514. 524. Sleid. 513. Paruta, p. 220. Lettere del Caro scritte al nome del Card. Farnese, tom. ii. p. 11, &c.

p

F. Paul, 268.

q

Sleid. 518. Thuan. 282. F. Paul, 301.

r

Sleid. 516. 528. Thuan. 276.

s

Sleid. 329.

t

Thuan. 277. Sleid. 514.

u

Sleid. 528. Thuan. 276. Obsidionis Magdeburgicæ Descriptio per Sebast. Besselmeierum, ap. Scard. ii. 518.

x

Arnoldi Vita Maurit. apud Menken, ii. 1227.

y

Thuan. 278. Struv. Corp. Hist. Germ. 1064. Arnoldi Vita Mauritii, pud Menken, ii. 1227.

z

Sleid. 526. 529. F. Paul, 323. 338. Thuan. 286.

a

Sleid. 535. Thuan. lib. ix. 309, &c. Istuanhaffii Hist. Regn. Hungarici, lib. xvi. 189, &c. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 871. Natalis Comitis Historia, lib. iv. 84, &c.

b

Recueil des Traités, tom. ii. 258. Thuan. lib. viii. 279.

c

Burnet’s Hist. of the Reform. vol. ii. Append. 37.

d

Sleid. 531. Thuan. lib. viii. 280.

e

Arnoldi Vita Maurit. ap. Menken. ii. 1229.

f

Sleid. 549. Thuan. 339.

g

Melvil’s Memoirs, fol. edit. p. 12.

h

Sleid. 535.

i

Melv. Mem. p. 13. These circumstances concerning the Saxon ministers whom Granvelle had bribed, are not mentioned by the German historians; but as Sir James Melvil received his information from the elector palatine, and as they are perfectly agreeable to the rest of Maurice’s conduct, they may be considered as authentic.

k

Sleid. 549. Thuan. lib. x. 339. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 371.

l

Sleid. 555. Thuan. 342.

m

Thuan. 349.

n

Arnoldi Vita Maurit. 123.

o

F. Paul, 353.

p

Thuan. 351, 352.

q

Sleid. 557. Brantome, tom. vii. 39.

r

Sleid. 561. Thuan. 357.

s

Sleid. 571.

t

Sleid. Hist. 563, &c. Thuan. lib. x. 359, &c.

u

Receuil des Traités, ii. 261.

a

Istuanhaffii Hist. Hungar. 288. Thuan. lib. x. 371.

b

Sleid. 573. Belcarii Comment. 834.

c

Thuan. xi. 387.

d

Natal. Comitis Hist. 127.

e

Sleid. 575. Thuan. lib. xi. 389. 392.

f

Thuan. 397.

g

Sleid. 575. Thuan. lib. xi. 389, &c. Père Daniel, Hist. de France, tom. iii. 392. Père Daniel’s account of this siege is taken from the journal of the Sieur de Salignac, who was present. Natal. Comit. Hist. 129.

h

Thuan. lib. xi. 376.

i

Pecci, Memorie di Siena, vol. iii. p. 230. 261. Thuan. 375. 377, &c. Paruta, Hist. Venet. 267. Mém. de Ribier, 424, &c.

k

Thuan. 375. 380. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 403. Giannone.

l

Sleid. 585. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 442. Arnoldi Vita Maurit. ap. Menken, ii. 1242.

m

Historia Pugnæ infelicis inter Maurit. et Albert. Thom. Wintzero auctore, apud Scard. ii. 559. Sleid. 583. Ruscelli, Epistres aux Princes, 154. Arnoldi Vita Maurit. 1245.

n

Sleid. 592. 594. 599. Struv. Corp. Hist. Germ. 1075.

o

Sleid. 587. Thuan. 409. Struv. Corp. Hist. Germ.

p

Thuan. 411. Haræi Annales Brabant. 669.

q

Haræus, 672. Thuan. 414.

r

Thuan. 417.

s

Thuan. 430.

t

Augerii Gislenii Busbequii Legationis Turcicæ Epistolæ iv. Franc. 1615. p. 37. Thuan. lib. xii. p. 432. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 457. Mauroceni, Histor. Veneta, lib. vii. p. 60.

u

Pallav. Hist. Concil. Trid. v. ii. c. 13. p. 150.

x

Carte’s Hist. of England, iii. 287.

y

Carte, iii. 288.

z

Rymer’s Fœd. vol. xv. 377. 393. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 498.

a

Godwin’s Annals of Q. Mary ap. Kennet, ii. p. 329. Burnet’s Hist. of Reform. ii. 298. 305.

b

Carte’s Hist. of England, iii. 314.

c

Thuan. 460, &c. Haræi Ann. Brab. 674.

d

Adriani, Istoria de’ suoi Tempi, vol. i. 662.

e

Adriani, Istoria de’ suoi Tempi, vol. i. p. 663.

f

Pecci, Memorie di Siena, vol. iv. p. 103, &c.

g

Pecci, Memorie di Siena, vol. iv. p. 157.

h

Sleid. 617. Thuan. lib. xv. 526. 537. Joan. Camerarii Adnot. Rer. præcipuarum ab Anno 1550 ad 1561 ap. Freherum, vol. iii. p. 564. Pecci, Memorie di Siena, iv. 64, &c.

i

Thuan. lib. xv. 529. Guichenon, Hist. de Savoie, tom. i. 670.

k

Thuan. lib. xv. p. 522. Belcar. Com. Rer. Gal. 866. Mémoires du Maréch. Vielleville, par M. Charloix, tom. iii. p. 249, &c. p. 347. Par. 1757.

l

Thuan. lib. xv. p. 523. Mém. de Ribier, tom. ii. p. 613.

m

Onuphr. Panvinius de Vitis Pontificum, p. 320. Thuan. lib. xv. 517.

n

Chytræi Saxonia, 480.

o

Sleid. 620. F. Paul, 368. Pallav. P. ii. 161.

p

Thuan. 520. F. Paul, 365. Onuph. Panvin. 321, &c.

q

Platina, p. 327. Castaldo, Vita di Paolo IV. Rom. 1615. p. 70.

r

Ripamontii Hist. Patriæ, lib. iii. 1146. ap. Græv. Thes. vol. ii. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 615. Adriani, Istor. i. 906.

s

Pallav. lib. xiii. p. 163. F. Paul, 365. Thuan. lib. xv. 525. lib. xvi. 540. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 609, &c.

t

Dom Lévesque, in his memoirs of Cardinal Granvelle, gives a reason for the emperor’s resignation, which, as far as I recollect, is not mentioned by any other historian. He says, that the emperor having ceded the government of the kingdom of Naples and the dutchy of Milan to his son, upon his marriage with the Queen of England, Philip, notwithstanding the advice and entreaties of his father, removed most of the ministers and officers whom he had employed in those countries, and appointed creatures of his own to fill the places which they held; that he aspired openly, and with little delicacy, to obtain a share in the administration of affairs in the Low Countries; that he endeavoured to thwart the emperor’s measures, and to limit his authority, behaving towards him sometimes with inattention, and sometimes with haughtiness; that Charles, finding that he must either yield on every occasion to his son, or openly contend with him, in order to avoid either of these, which were both disagreeable and mortifying to a father, he took the resolution of resigning his crowns, and of retiring from the world, vol. i. p. 24, &c. Dom Lévesque derived his information concerning these curious facts, which he relates very briefly, from the original papers of Cardinal Granvelle. But as that vast collection of papers, which has been preserved and arranged by M. l’Abbé Boizot of Besançon, though one of the most valuable historical monuments of the sixteenth century, and which cannot fail of throwing much light on the transactions of Charles V., is not published, I cannot determine what degree of credit should be given to this account of Charles’s resignation. I have, therefore, taken no notice of it in relating this event.

u

Godleveus, Relatio Abdicationis Car. V. ap. Goldast. Polit. Imper. p. 377. Strada de Bello Belgico, lib. i. p. 5.

x

The emperor’s resignation is an event not only of such importance, but of such a nature, that the precise date of it, one would expect, should have been ascertained by historians with the greatest accuracy. There is, however, an amazing and unaccountable diversity among them with regard to this point. All agree, that the deed by which Charles transferred to his son his dominions in the Netherlands, bears date at Brussels the 25th of October. Sandoval fixes on the 28th of October, as the day on which the ceremony of resignation happened, and he was present at the transaction, vol. ii. p. 592. Godleveus, who published a treatise de Abdicatione Caroli V., fixes the public ceremony, as well as the date of the instrument of resignation, on the 25th. Père Barre, I know not on what authority, fixes it on the 24th of November. Hist. d’Alem. viii. 976. Herrera agrees with Godleveus in his account of this matter, tom. i. 155.: as likewise does Pallavicini, whose authority with respect to dates, and every thing where a minute accuracy is requisite, is of great weight. Hist. lib. xvi. p. 168. Historians differ no less with regard to the day on which Charles resigned the crown of Spain to his son. According to M. de Thou, it was a month after his having resigned his dominions in the Netherlands, i. e. about the 25th of November. Thuan. lib. xvi. p. 571. According to Sandoval, it was on the 16th of January, 1556. Sand. ii. 603. Antonio de Vera agrees with him. Epitome de la Vida de Car. V. p. 110. According to Pallavicini, it was on the 17th, Pal. lib. xvi. p. 168., and with him Herrera agrees, Vida de D. Filipo, tom. i. p. 233. But Férréras fixes it on the first day of January, Hist. Génér. tom. ix. p. 371. M. de Beaucaire supposes the resignation of the crown of Spain to have been executed a few days after the resignation of the Netherlands. Com. de Reb. Gall. p. 879. It is remarkable, that in the treaty of truce at Vaucelles, though Charles had made over all his dominions to his son some weeks previous to the conclusion of it, all the stipulations are in the emperor’s name, and Philip is only styled King of England and Naples. It is certain Philip was not proclaimed King of Castile, &c. at Valladolid sooner than the 24th of March, Sandov. ii. p. 606.; and, previous to that ceremony, he did not choose, it should seem, to assume the title of king of any of his Spanish kingdoms, or to perform any act of royal jurisdiction. In a deed annexed to the treaty of truce, dated April 19, he assumes the title of King of Castile, &c. in the usual style of the Spanish monarchs in that age. Corps. Dipl. tom. iv. Append. p. 85.

y

Mém. de Ribier, ii. 626. Corps Diplom. tom. iv. App. 81.

z

One of Admiral de Coligny’s attendants, who wrote to the court of France an account of what happened while they resided at Brussels, takes notice, as an instance of Philip’s unpoliteness, that he received the French ambassador in an apartment hung with tapestry, which represented the battle of Pavia, the manner in which Francis I. was taken prisoner, his voyage to Spain, with all the mortifying circumstances of his captivity and imprisonment at Madrid. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 634.

a

Pallav. lib. xiii. p. 169. Burnet, Hist. of Reform. ii. App. 309.

b

Pallav. lib. xiii. 171.

c

Férrér. Hist. d’Espagne, ix. 373. Herrera, i. 308.

d

Pallav. lib. xiii. 177. Thuan. lib. xvii. 588. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 664.

a

Ambassades de Noailles, tom. v. 356.

b

Goldast. Constit. Imper. par. i. 576.

c

Strada de Bello Belg. lib. i. 9.

d

Sandov. ii. 607. et Zuniga, 100. Thuan. lib. xvii. 609.

e

Pallav. lib. xiii. 180. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 678.

f

Herrera, Vida de Filipo, 181.

g

Thuan. lib. xxviii. 614. Pallav. lib. xiii. 181. Burn. ii. App. 317.

h

Carte, iii. 337.

i

Thuan. lib. xix. 647.

k

Thuan. 650. Hærei Annal. Brabant. ii. 692. Herrera, 291.

l

Belcar. Commentar. de Reb. Gallic. 901.

m

Mém. de Ribier, ii. 701. 703.

n

Colménar, Annales d’Espagne, tom. ii. p. 136.

o

Pallav. lib. xiii. 183. F. Paul, 380. Herrera, vol. i. 310.

p

Pallav. lib. xiii. 185. Summonte, Istoria di Napoli, iv. 286.

q

Thuan. lib. xviii. 624. Herrera, i. 263. 275. Pallav. lib. xiii. 180.

r

Carte, iii. 345.

s

Godleveus de Abdicat. Car. V. ap. Gold. Polit. Imper. 392. Pallav. lib. xiii. 189. Mém. de Ribier, ii. 746. 759.

t

Keith’s History of Scotland, p. 73. Append. 13. Corps Diplom. v. 21.

u

Thuan. lib. xx. 690.

x

Thuan. lib. xx. 694.

y

Strada de Bello Belg. lib. i. p. 11. Thuan. 723. Sandov. ii. 609, &c. Miniana, Contin. Marianæ, vol. iv. 216. Vera y Zuniga, Vida de Carlos, p. 111.

z

Forbes, i. p. 4.

a

Strype’s Annals of the Reformation, i. 11. Carte’s Hist. of England, vol. iii. p. 375.

b

Forbes, Full View, i. p. 37. 40.

c

Forbes, i. 59.

d

Recueil des Traités, tom. ii. 287.

e

Vol. I. p. 337.

f

The loss which the nation sustained by most of these articles is obvious, and must have been great. Even that by pilgrimages was not inconsiderable. In the year 1428, licence was obtained by no fewer than 916 persons to visit the shrine of St. James of Compostello in Spain. Rymer, vol. x. p. . In 1434, the number of pilgrims to the same place was 2460. Ibid. p. . In 1445, they were 2100, vol. xi. p. .

g

Vol. I. p. 116., &c.

h

Freher. Script. Rer. German. vol. ii. 529.