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Title: Europe in the Sixteenth Century 1494-1598, Fifth Edition - Period IV (of 8), Periods of European History
Author: Johnson, A. H. (Arthur Henry)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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EUROPE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY 1494-1598

by

A. H. JOHNSON, M.A.


      *      *      *      *      *      *

 _In Eight Volumes.  Crown 8vo.  With Maps, etc._
        _Six Shillings net each Volume._
         _The Complete Set £2, 8s. net._

          PERIODS OF EUROPEAN HISTORY

      General Editor--ARTHUR HASSALL, M.A.,
        Student of Christ Church, Oxford.

The object of this series is to present in separate Volumes a
comprehensive and trustworthy account of the general development
of European History, and to deal fully and carefully with the more
prominent events in each century.

The Volumes embody the results of the latest investigations, and
contain references to and notes upon original and other sources of
information.

No such attempt to place the History of Europe in a comprehensive,
detailed, and readable form before the English Public has previously
been made, and the Series forms a valuable continuous History of
Mediæval and Modern Europe.

=Period I.--The Dark Ages.= 476-918.
  By C. W. C. Oman, M.A., Chichele Professor of Modern History in
  the University of Oxford. _6s. net._

=Period II.--The Empire and the Papacy.= 918-1273.
  By T. F. Tout, M.A., Professor of Mediæval and Modern History
  in the University of Manchester. _6s. net._

=Period III.--The Close of the Middle Ages.= 1273-1494.
  By R. Lodge, M.A., LL.D., Professor of History at the
  University of Edinburgh. _6s. net._

=Period IV.--Europe in the 16th Century.= 1494-1598.
  By A. H. Johnson, M.A., Historical Lecturer to Merton, Trinity,
  and University Colleges, Oxford. _6s. net._

=Period V.--The Ascendancy of France.= 1598-1715.
  By H. O. Wakeman, M.A., late Fellow of All Souls’ College,
  Oxford. _6s. net._

=Period VI.--The Balance of Power.= 1715-1789.
  By A. Hassall, M.A., Student of Christ Church, Oxford. _6s.
  net._

=Period VII.--Revolutionary Europe.= 1789-1815.
  By H. Morse Stephens, M.A., Professor of History at the
  University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A. _6s.
  net._

=Period VIII.--Modern Europe.= 1815-1899.
  By W. Alison Phillips, M.A., formerly Senior Scholar of St.
  John’s College, Oxford. _6s. net._


     THE DARK AGES, 476-918

     By C. W. C. OMAN, M.A., Chichele Professor of Modern History
     in the University of Oxford.

     Forming Volume I. of Periods of European History.

     ‘A thorough master of his subject, and possessed of a gift
     for clear expositions, he has supplied the student with a
     most valuable and helpful book.’--_Spectator._

     ‘No better exponent of this era, so full of difficulties and
     complications, could have been chosen.’--_Journal of
     Education._

     ‘Mr. Oman has done his work well. His narrative is Clear and
     interesting, and takes full account of recent
     research.’--_English Historical Review._

     ‘This volume will be valued by all historical students as
     supplying a real want in our historical literature, and
     supplying it well.... His touch is sure and his insight
     keen. For the accuracy of his facts his historical
     reputation is a sufficient guarantee.’--_Times._


     THE EMPIRE AND THE PAPACY, 918-1273

     By T. F. TOUT, M.A., Professor of Mediæval and Modern History
     in the University of Manchester.

     Forming Volume II. of Periods of European History.

     ‘This admirable and impartial work.... A more trustworthy
     historical treatise on the period and subject has not
     hitherto appeared.’--_Morning Post._

     ‘One of the best of the many good historical textbooks which
     have come out of our universities in recent
     years.’--_Times._

     ‘Altogether Professor Tout has given us a most trustworthy
     adjunct to the study of mediæval times, which all who may be
     called upon to interpret those times to others may safely
     recommend and themselves profit by.’--_English Historical
     Review._


     THE CLOSE OF THE MIDDLE AGES, 1273-1494

     By R. LODGE, M.A., LL.D., Professor of History at the
     University of Edinburgh.

     Forming Volume III. of Periods of European History.

     ‘The book is admirably written, it contains maps and
     genealogical tables, an exhaustive index, and a bibliography
     which students will value as an aid to the interpretation of
     the whole period as well as a clue to any part of
     it.’--_Standard._

     ‘We are exceedingly thankful for the Series, and as we have
     already said, to Prof. Lodge. There is no longer any excuse
     for English-speaking teachers to be wholly ignorant of the
     history of Europe. The obligation lies on them to purchase
     these volumes, and then read, mark, learn, and inwardly
     digest them, so that they can supplement their teaching with
     intelligible comment.’--_School World._

     ‘The book must be regarded as quite indispensable to all
     English students of the late Middle Ages.’--_University
     Correspondent._

     ‘Professor Lodge’s book has the supreme merit of clearness,
     not less than that of conciseness.’--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     ‘A work of great value on one of the most difficult and at
     the same time one of the most important periods of European
     history. The book is a monument of skill and
     labour.’--_Aberdeen Journal._


     EUROPE IN THE 16TH CENTURY, 1494-1598

     By A. H. Johnson, M.A., Historical Lecturer at Merton,
     Trinity, and University Colleges, Oxford.

     Forming Volume IV. of Periods of European History.

     ‘A singularly clear, thorough, and consistent account of the
     great movements and great events of the time, and the volume
     may be accepted as one of the best extant handbooks to a
     period as complex as it is important.’--_Times._

     ‘In the present volume Mr. A. H. Johnson has made a useful
     and unpretentious contribution to a Series of which it can
     be said more truly than of most series that it supplies a
     real want. Mr. Johnson is well known as one of the most
     experienced and successful teachers of history at Oxford,
     and the book has all the merits which the fact of being
     written by a good teacher can give it. It is clear,
     sensible, and accurate, and commendably free from fads or
     bias.’--_Manchester Guardian._

     ‘There is certainly no other single book in English which
     covers the ground so adequately.’--_University
     Correspondent._

     ‘Mr. Johnson’s narrative is clear and accurate, and his
     grasp of the history of his period wonderfully strong and
     comprehensive.’--_Journal of Education._


     THE ASCENDANCY OF FRANCE, 1598-1715

     By H. O. Wakeman, M.A., Late Fellow of All Souls College,
     Oxford.

     Forming Volume V. of Periods of European History.

     ‘His story is no dry compendium, but a drama, each act and
     scene of which has its individual interest.’--_Guardian._

     ‘Mr. Wakeman has produced an excellent sketch, both clear
     and concise.’--_Oxford Magazine._

     ‘Mr. Wakeman’s book is a sound, able, and useful one, which
     will alike give help to the student, and attract the
     cultivated general reader.’--_Manchester Guardian._

     ‘A thoroughly scholarly and satisfactory monograph.’--_Leeds
     Mercury._


     THE BALANCE OF POWER, 1715-1789

     By A. Hassall, M.A., Student of Christ Church, Oxford.

     Forming Volume VI. of Periods of European History.

     ‘Although it contains more than 400 pages, we felt as we
     read its last page that it was too short. It is not,
     however, too short to prevent its author dealing adequately
     with his subject according to the scheme of the whole
     Series. There is little detail in it, and but little
     theorising, and what it contains are clear statements of
     masterly summaries.... We may cordially recommend this
     interesting and well-written volume.’--_Birmingham Daily
     Gazette._

     ‘Treated with much accuracy, patience, and
     vigour.’--_Educational Times._

     ‘The author has struggled manfully with the difficulties of
     his subject, and not without a distinct measure of success.
     He has availed himself of the latest researches on the
     period, and his narrative is well ordered and illustrated by
     excellent maps and some useful appendices.’--_Manchester
     Guardian._


     REVOLUTIONARY EUROPE, 1789-1815

     By H. Morse Stephens, M.A., Professor of History at the
     University of California, U.S.A.

     Forming Volume VII. of Periods of European History.

     ‘As a piece of literary workmanship can hardly be
     surpassed.... The result is a boon to students, and a
     serviceable book of reference for the general
     reader.’--_Daily News._

     ‘Mr. Stephens has written a very valuable and meritorious
     book, which ought to be widely used.’--_Manchester
     Guardian._

     ‘An admirable, nay, a masterly work.’--_Academy._

     ‘To say that Mr. Morse Stephens has compiled the best
     English textbook on the subject would be faint
     praise.’--_Journal of Education._

     ‘We are happy to extend a hearty welcome to this much-needed
     Series, which, if it throughout keeps on the same high level
     of this volume, will fill up a painful gap in our accessible
     historical literature.’--_Educational Times._

     ‘The volume contains one of the clearest accounts of the
     French Revolution and the rise of the First Napoleon ever
     written. In fact, it is the work of a real historian. The
     style of the book is strong and picturesque.’--_Western
     Morning News._


     MODERN EUROPE, 1815-1899

     By W. Alison Phillips, M.A., formerly Senior Scholar of St.
     John’s College, Oxford.

     Forming Volume VIII. of Periods of European History.

     ‘An exceedingly difficult task has been accomplished, we may
     say without hesitation, to admiration. We have read the book
     with the keenest and quite unflagging enjoyment, and we
     welcome it as one of the very best histories that have been
     written within the last few years.’--_Guardian._

     ‘It has achieved, with a remarkable success, the difficult
     task of compressing into a compact space the long history of
     a time of extraordinary complications and entanglements;
     but--much more important--it has never lost vigour and
     interest throughout the whole survey.... The completeness of
     the book is really extraordinary.... The book is by far the
     best and handiest account of the international politics of
     the nineteenth century that we possess.... Should give Mr.
     Alison Phillips distinct rank among historians of the
     day.’--_Literature._

     ‘Altogether, the book offers a most luminous and quite
     adequate treatment of its subject, and makes a worthy
     conclusion of a Series that well deserves to be
     popular.’--_Glasgow Herald._

     ‘He presents his materials with model clearness and
     arrangement, and with a sound literary style, which will
     make the book attractive to the general reader as well as
     useful to the student.’--_Scotsman._

     ‘Mr. Phillips shows decided literary power in the handling
     of a not too manageable period, and few readers with any
     appreciation of the march of history, having once commenced
     the book, will be content to lay it aside until the last
     page is reached.’--_Manchester Guardian._

     ‘This thoughtful volume will give the intelligent reader
     both profit and pleasure.’--_Spectator._

      *      *      *      *      *      *


EUROPE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY 1494-1598

by

A. H. JOHNSON, M.A.

Historical Lecturer to Merton, Trinity and University Colleges, Oxford

PERIOD IV



Rivingtons
34 King Street, Covent Garden
London
1909

FIFTH EDITION

All rights reserved



PREFACE


The limits as to length imposed upon me by the Editor of the Series
forced me to adopt one of two alternatives. I had either to content
myself with a very slight sketch of the whole of European History
during the period, or I had to exercise some principle of selection.

Unwilling to do over again that which has already been well done by
Mr. Lodge in his _History of Modern Europe_, I have fallen back on the
second alternative, and confined myself to the greater Powers of
Western Europe.

Nor is such a selection without some justification; for it is the
struggle for supremacy between these Powers which underlies the other
issues, affects every movement (even the religious ones), and gives
unity to this many-sided and involved period of the world’s history.

My readers will therefore find no reference to the affairs of England,
nor to those of the Kingdoms of Northern and Eastern Europe, except so
far as in their foreign policy they affect the course of that great
struggle.

My best thanks are due to Mr. Armstrong for help, more particularly in
points of Spanish History, and to Mr. Fletcher, who has revised the
proofs, and assisted with his kindly criticism.

  Oxford, _May 1897_.



PREFACE TO FOURTH EDITION


I have only to thank my critics, and especially Mr.
Armstrong and Mr. Fotheringham, for many helpful
suggestions.

  Oxford, _Jan. 1903_.



LIST OF MAPS


                                             PAGE

  1. Spain, 1494-1598,                        xvi
  2. The Swiss Confederation,                 119
  3. Netherlands,                             314
  4. Portuguese and Spanish Discoveries,      473
  5. Italy, 1494-1559,  }
  6. France, 1494-1598, }        _at end of book_
  7. Germany in 1547,   }



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                  PAGE

  Bibliography,                                               x

  Introduction,                                               1

     I. The Italian Wars, 1494-1518,,                         4

    II. Internal History of France, Spain, and Germany,
        1494-1519,                                           90

   III. From the Election of Charles to the Battle of
        Pavia,                                              129

    IV. From the Treaty of Madrid to the Treaty of
        Crespi,                                             181

     V. From the War of Schmalkalde to the Treaty of
        Cateau Cambrésis,                                   220

    VI. The Counter-Reformation and Calvinism,              261

   VII. Philip and Spain,                                   277

  VIII. The Revolt of the Netherlands,                      315

    IX. The Reformation and the Civil Wars in France,       387

  Appendix I.--The French Constitution in the Fifteenth
  and Sixteenth Centuries,                                  449

  Appendix II.--Constitution of Florence in the Fifteenth
  and Sixteenth Centuries,                                  458

  Appendix III.--Venetian Constitution in the Fifteenth
  and Sixteenth Centuries,                                  467

  LIST OF POPES AND GENEALOGIES,                            472

  INDEX,                                                    477



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE[1]


General--

  _Cambridge Modern History_, vol. i.

  Lavisse et Rambaud, _Histoire Générale_.

  Creighton, _History of the Papacy during the Reformation_, c.
    vii. to the end.

  Philippson, _La Contre-Révolution religieuse_.

  Ranke, _Fürsten und Völker von Süd-Europa im 16ten u. 17ten
         Jahrhundert_.
         _Zur Kritik neuerer Geschichtschreiber._

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, No. 8. Putzger, _Historischer School
           Atlas_.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, No. 8.

_N.B._--The Clarendon Press Maps, with Notes, can be purchased
separately, the Spruner without Notes.

A chronological summary will be found in Hassall, _Handbook of
European History_.


France--

  _Cambridge Modern History_, c. xii.

  Martin, _Histoire de France_.

  Michelet, _Histoire de France_.

  Grant, _The French Monarchy_.

  Gasquet, _Précis des Institutions Politiques et Sociales de
    l’ancienne France_.

  Chéruel, _Dictionnaire historique des Institutions, mœurs et
    costumes de la France_.

  Cherrier, _Histoire de Charles VIII._

  Godefroy, Théod., _Histoire de Charles VIII. et Louis XII._ (a
    collection of Chronicles).

  Müntz, _La Renaissance en Italie et en France à l’Époque de
    Charles VIII._

  Philippe de Commines, _Mémoires_.

  Lettenhove: Commines, _Lettres et négoc. avec un Commentaire_.

  Memoirs given in Pétitot, Michaud et Poujoulat, especially
    _Fleuranges_, _Bayard_, _Tavannes_, _Condé_, _La Noue_.

  Mignet, _Rivalité de François Ier et de Charles Quint_.

  De Thou, _Historiarum sui temporis libri_ cxxxviii. (translated
    into French).

  Ranke, _Französische Geschichte_ (translated _The Civil Wars in
    France_).

  Armstrong, _Civil Wars in France_.

  Baird, _The Rise of the Huguenots_.

  Forneron, _Les Ducs de Guise_.

  Aumale, duc d’, _Histoire des Princes de Condé_.

  Delaborde, _Coligny_.

  Whitehead, _Coligny_.

  Solden, _Geschichte des Protestantismus in Frankreich_.

  Willert, _Henry IV._ (Heroes of Nations Series).

  Mornay, Ph., du Plessis _Mémoires_.

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, No. 54.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, Nos. 57, 58.


Germany--

  _Cambridge Modern History_, cc. ix. xvi. xvii. xviii. xix.

  Nitzsch, _Geschichte des deutschen Volkes_.

  Krönes, _Handbuch der Geschichte Österreichs_.

  Ranke, _Geschichte der romanischen und germanischen Völker_
    (translated.)

  Bezold, _Geschichte der deutschen Reformation_ (Onckens
  Series).

  Alman, _Kaiser Maximilian I._

  Vehse, _Memoirs of the House of Austria_ (translated).

  Hutten, Ulrich von, _Schriften_.  Ed. Bocking.

  Strauss, _Ulrich von Hutten_ (translated).

  Geiger, _Renaissance und Humanismus in Italien und Deutschland_
    (Onckens Series).
          _Johann Reuchlin._

  Erasmus, _Opera_.  Ed. Le Clerc.

  Froude, _Erasmus_.

  Lamprecht, _Deutsche Geschichte_ (good for the Social and
    Economic History).

  Allgemeine deutsche Biographie.

  Zeller, _Histoire d’Allemagne: La Réformation_.

  Ranke, _Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation_ (part
    translated).

  Janssen, _Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgange des
    Mittelalters_ (in course of translation).

  Beard, _The Hibbert Lectures_, 1803.

  Köstlin, _Martin Luther_.

  Maurenbrecher, _Studien u. Skizzen zur Reformationszeit_.
                 _Geschichte der katholischen Reform_.
                 _Karl V. und die deutschen Protestanten_.

  Armstrong, _Charles V._

  Baumgarten, _Geschichte Karls V._

  Garchard, _Life of Charles_, in _Biographie Nationale_, vol.
    iii.

  Mignet, _Rivalité de François Ier et de Charles Quint_.

  Sir Stirling Maxwell, _Cloister life of Charles V._

  Lanz, _Correspondenz des Kaisers Karl V._
        _Staatspapiere zur Geschichte des Kaisers Karl V._

  Bradford, _Correspondence of Charles V._

  Garchard, _Correspondance de Charles Quint et d’Adrien VI._

  Brandenburg, _Moritz von Sachsen_.

  Ranke, _Zur deutschen Geschichte vom Religionsfrieden bis zum
    dreißigjährigen Krieg_.

  Wolf, G., _Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der
    Gegenreformation_.

  Köstlin, _Martin Luther_.

  Kampschutte, _Calvin_.

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, Nos. 43, 73, 74.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, Nos. 37, 38, 39, 47.


Bohemia--

  Palacky, _Geschichte von Böhmen_.

  _Map._--Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, No. 46.


Switzerland--

  Dierauer, _Geschichte der schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft_.

  Coolidge, _Article in Encyclopædia Brit_.

  _Map._--Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, No. 44.


Italy--

  Cf. _Cambridge Modern History_, cc. iv, v, vi, vii, viii, xvi,
    xvii, xviii, xix.

  Gregorovius, _Geschichte der Stadt Rom_, vols. vii. viii.
    (translated).

  Creighton, _Popes of the Reformation_.

  Ranke, _Die römischen Päpste_ (translated).

  Pastor, _Geschichte der Päpste_ (translated).

  Sismondi, _Histoire des Républiques italiennes du moyen âge_.

  Brown, H. F., _Kalendar of Venetian State Papers_.
                _Venice_.

  Romanin, _Storia documentata di Venezia_.

  Perrens, _Histoire de Florence_.

  Guicciardini, _Storia d’Italia_.
                _Considerazione intorno ai Discorsi di Machiavelli_:
                  opere inedite, vol. i.
                _Storia Fiorentina_: opere inedite, vol. iii.

  Guido Capponi, _Storia della repubblica di Firenza_.

  Capponi, G. A., _Storia del Reame di Napoli_.

  Jovius, _Vitæ illustrium virorum: Elogia virorum illustrium:
    Historia sui temporis_.

  _Burcardas Diarium._  Ed. Thuasne, 1883-1885.

  _Giustiniani Dispacci._  Ed. Villari.

  Albèri, _La relazione degli Ambasciatori Veneti al Senato
    durante il Secolo_ xvi.

  Da Porto, _Lettere Storiche_.

  Sanuto, I _Diarii_.

  Symonds, _The Renaissance in Italy_.

  Zeller, _Italie et la Renaissance_.

  Burckhardt, _Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien_
    (translated).

  Geiger, _Humanismus und Renaissance in Italien und Deutschland_
    (Onckens Series).

  Yriarte, _Venise_.
           _César Borgia._
           _La vie d’un Patricien de Venise._

  Burd, _Machiavelli: Il Principe_ (with Biographical and other
    Notes).

  Machiavelli, _Storia Fiorentina_ (French translation, Perier,
                 1842).
               _Legazioni e Commissarii_, vol. iii. of _Opere
                 Discorsi_.

  Morley, _Machiavelli_ (Romanes Lecture).

  Villari, _Niccolò Machiavelli_ (translated).
           _La Storia di G. Savonarola_ (translated).

  Ranke, _Savonarola u. die florentinische Republik_.

  Sarpi Paolo, _Istoria del Concilio Tridentino_ (translated into
    French by Courrayer).

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, No. 27.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, Nos. 68, 69.


Spain and Netherlands--

  _Cambridge Modern History_, cc. xi. xiii.

  Schäfer und Schirrmaker, _Geschichte von Spanien_.

  Lafuente, _Historia general de España_.

  Prescott, _Ferdinand and Isabella_.
            _Philip II._

  Forneron, _Histoire de Philippe II._

  Hume, _Spain_.
        _Philip of Spain_ (Foreign Statesmen Series).

  Philippson, _West Europa im Zeitalter von Philip II._

  Bergenroth, _Calendar of Spanish State Papers_.

  Ranke, _Die Osmanen und die spanische Monarchie im 16ten und
  17ten Jahrhundert_ (translated).

  Lettenhove, _Histoire de Flandre_.

  Harrison, _William the Silent_ (Foreign Statesmen Series).

  Miss Putnam, _History of the People of the Netherlands_
               (translated from Dutch of Blok).
               _William the Silent._

  Guillaume Le Taciturne. _Correspondance._  Ed. Gachard.

  Motley, _The United Netherlands_.

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, No. 19.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, Nos. 61, 62, 52.


The Ottomans--

  _Cambridge Modern History_, c. iii.

  La Jonquière, _Histoire de l’Empire ottoman_.

  Finlay, _History of Greece_.

  Hammer-Purgstall, _Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches_.

  Ranke, _Die Osmanen und die spanische Monarchie im 16ten und
    17ten Jahrhundert_ (translated).

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, No. 89.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, No. 82.


Discovery--

  _Cambridge Modern History_, cc. i. ii.

  Bancroft, _The Pacific States of North America_.

  Beazley, _The Dawn of Modern Geography_.
           _John Sebastian Cabot_ (Builders of Great Britain
             Series).

  Danvers, _The Portuguese in India_.

  Fiske, _The Discovery of America_.

  Harrisse, _Christophe Colomb_.
           _John Cabot._
           _The Discovery of North America._

  Markham, Sir C. R., _Life of Christopher Columbus_.
                      _History of Peru._

  Kretchmer, _Die Entdeckung Amerikas_.

  Payne, _History of the New World called America_.

  Peschel, _Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen_.

  Prescott, _History of Conquest of Mexico_.
            _History of Conquest of Peru._

  Winsor, _Narrative and Critical History of America_.

  _Maps._--Spruner Menke, No. 20.
           Clarendon Press Historical Atlas, No. 85.

FOOTNOTES:

  [1] This list may be supplemented by reference to the following
      Bibliographies:--

      I. _The Cambridge Modern History_, of which vol. i. has already
      appeared.

      II. Armstrong, _Charles V._

      III. Monod, _Bibliographie de l’Histoire de France_.

      IV. Dahlmann-Waitz, _Quellenkunde der deutschen Geschichte_.

      V. Förster, _Kritischer Wegweiser durch die neuere deutsche
      historische Litteratur_.

      VI. Pirenne, _Bibliographie de l’histoire de Belgique_.

      VII. Lavisse et Rambaud, _Histoire Générale_.


[Illustration: SPAIN, 1494-1598]



INTRODUCTION


  | True meaning of the division of History into Periods.

  | Importance of closing years of the fifteenth century.

  | Break-up of mediæval idea of a World-Church.

  | Rise of Individualism.

The division of history into periods may be very misleading if its
true purport be not understood. One age can no more be isolated from
the universal course of history than one generation from another. The
ideas, the principles, the aims of man change indeed, but change
slowly, and in their very change are the outcome of the past. The old
generation melts into the new, as the night melts into the day. None
the less, just as the night differs from the day, although it is
impossible to say when the dawn begins, and when the day, so does the
Modern differ from that which has been termed the Middle age. This
once granted, the importance of the later years of the fifteenth
century may be easily grasped. The mediæval conception of the
great World-Church under Pope and Emperor had by this time lost all
practical power. The authority of the Emperor was confined to Germany,
and was even there disputed, and, if the Papacy still retained its
pretensions, they no longer had their old weight. Not only had they
been resisted by the various powers of Europe in turn, they had even
been severely criticised by two General Councils. Already the man was
born who was to take the lead in the final overthrow of the unity
of the Western Church. Meanwhile, the older society was breaking
up: the links which in binding a man to his lord, his fields, his
trade, or his town, bound him to his fellows, and his livelihood
to him, were falling to pieces, and the ‘individual’ of modern
life was emerging. To this change many things contributed. The
movement of the Renaissance emancipated men from the somewhat narrow
limits of mediævalism; it opened to them the knowledge of the
ancients, and gave them a glimpse of the worlds of thought beyond, of
which the New World about to be discovered to the west seemed but a
type. The economic revolution had a like effect. The break-up of the
older organisation of trades under the system of close guilds, was
accompanied by the rise of modern competition. In life, as in thought,
the individual was asserting himself.

  | Growth of nationalities.

  | The rivalries of the nations lead to foreign wars.

  | The triumph of monarchy.

  | Rise of the theory of the Balance of Power and of
  | Diplomacy.

Amidst the clashing of rival interests which this revolution
necessitated, a new principle of unity--that of nationality--arose.
This conception, due to an appreciation of the identity of interest
based on such things as common language, common religion, natural
boundaries, common hopes and fears, was, if a less attractive one than
that of the Holy Roman Empire, at least more capable of realisation,
and alone seemed able to control the spirit of individualism from
running riot. It was in France, Spain, and England that this new
spirit of nationality had been most successful: but, if Germany was
no more than a loose confederation of princes, the Hapsburgs had
already laid the foundation of a monarchy of their own, while the
Pope was becoming more and more the prince of a temporal kingdom
in Italy. The first result of this triumph of nationality was
not surprising. When once a people have realised the identity of
their interests, they are apt to be aggressive. This now occurred.
England indeed, isolated from the Continent and absorbed in domestic
questions, did not take much part as yet; but the others began to
look abroad, and Italy, where alone no political unity existed,
offered fair hopes of spoil. No sooner had France made the first
move in pursuit of her claims on Naples than their cupidity was
aroused, and Western Europe was involved in a series of wars which
continued, with but little intermission, until the Peace of Vervins,
1598. The circumstances of the age gave to this struggle its peculiar
character. National consolidation had been accompanied by the
triumph of the monarchical principle, after its long struggle with
aristocracy--a struggle which of late had not been confined to the
temporal sphere, but had been illustrated also within the Church by
the conflict between the Papacy and the General Councils. It followed
that the dynastic interests of the reigning families predominated.
The monarchs, no doubt, represented the passions and aspirations of
their subjects. Nevertheless, their policy was deeply coloured by
their personal and family rivalries, and hence the wars were more
prolonged than otherwise they might have been. To this also must
in part be attributed the shifting combinations of alliances and
counter-alliances, which change with the variety and rapidity of
a kaleidoscope, and which make the period, so far as its wars are
concerned, one of the most confused in history. In the struggle which
ensued, the Romance and the Teutonic nations came into close though
hostile contact; the theory of the Balance of Power became a guiding
principle of politics; and diplomacy found its birth.

  | Political issues affected by the Reformation. The
  | beginning of Modern Europe.

Before many years were passed, the unity of the Church of the West was
broken by the Reformation. It was inevitable that the religious and
the political questions should become involved. The struggle for
supremacy in Europe, the internal politics of the several kingdoms,
were deeply affected by the religious issues. The web of European
complications became more confused than ever, and, if the interest of
the period before us is thus enhanced, its difficulty is certainly
increased. Into it all the problems of the Middle Age became absorbed,
and out of it Modern Europe was to arise.



CHAPTER I

THE ITALIAN WARS, 1494-1518

     Political condition of France--Regency of Anne of Beaujeu--The
     Italian Expedition--Political Condition of Italy--Charles attacks
     Naples--League of Venice--Battle of Fornovo--Retreat and Death of
     Charles VIII.--Savonarola--Home Policy of Louis XII.--Louis
     attacks Milan--Treaty of Granada and attack on Naples--Quarrel
     between Louis and Ferdinand--Battles of Seminara, Cerignola, and
     Garigliano--French driven from Naples--Alexander VI. and Cæsar
     Borgia--League of Cambray--Battle of Agnadello--The Holy
     League--Battle of Ravenna--French driven from Italy--Medici
     restored to Florence, and Maximilian Sforza to Milan--Conquest of
     Spanish Navarre--Break-up of Holy League--Louis XII. succeeded by
     Francis I.--Battle of Marignano--Concordat of Bologna--Treaties
     of Noyon and London--Causes of decline of Venice.


§ 1. _The Expedition of Charles VIII._

At the date of the Italian expedition, Charles VIII. had been eleven
years on the throne of France. The monarchy to which he succeeded was,
perhaps, less controlled by constitutional checks than any other in
Europe. The crown had earned popularity as the leader in the struggle
against the English--a struggle which had created the French nation;
and as the patron of the middle classes against the feudal nobles. The
Estates-General, the deliberative assembly of the kingdom, had never
succeeded in vindicating its claims. The class divisions which divided
it, as they did the people, had prevented united action. The third
estate did not adequately represent the middle classes; the knights of
the shire, those valuable representatives of the country districts,
who had formed the backbone of the English House of Commons, did
not exist. With these defects, the Estates-General had failed to
secure the command of the purse, or to control the legislation and
administration of the country. All power accordingly lay with the
Royal Council, a body of royal nominees who issued ordinances and
levied taxes at their will, so long as they did not entrench on the
privileges of the nobility to be free from all direct taxation beyond
their feudal dues.

True, the ‘Parlement’ of Paris, the supreme judicial court of the
realm, tried to exercise a power of veto by insisting on its right of
registering, and therefore of refusing to register, the royal edicts.
The King, however, could easily overcome this opposition by holding a
‘Lit de Justice,’--that is, by summoning the members of the Parlement
before the Great Council, and ordering them to register; and under
a strong King, at least, the Parlement became the humble instrument
rather than the opponent of the crown.[2]

  | Charles VIII. under the guardianship of Anne of
  | Beaujeu, 1483-1492. Her successful policy.

As Charles was in his fourteenth year on the death of his father Louis
XI. in 1483, a regency was not necessary according to the ordinance
of Charles V. (1374). But Louis XI., conscious of the way in which he
had from policy or from cynicism[3] neglected his son’s education,
had intrusted him to the guardianship of his daughter Anne, wife of
the Sire de Beaujeu, who, on the death of his elder brother in 1488,
became Duke of Bourbon.

Of Anne Louis XI. had said ‘she is the least foolish woman in France.’
But her conduct during the earlier years of Charles’ reign belied his
further remark that ‘of wise women he knew none.’ She had, in the
interests of centralisation at least, though perhaps to the permanent
loss of her country, successfully evaded the claims made by the
States-General of 1484 to share in the government. She had defeated
the repeated attempts of the nobility headed by Louis of Orleans,
the heir-presumptive, to oust her from power, and to restore feudal
licence--a movement which had been supported by Francis II. Duke of
Brittany, by Maximilian, then King of the Romans, by Richard III., and
subsequently by Henry VII. of England.

On the death of Francis, Duke of Brittany (1488), she had interfered
in the affairs of the duchy and won by arms the hand of Anne, the
Bretonne heiress, for the young King. By the marriage-contract the
autonomy of Brittany was indeed acknowledged, but it was agreed
that the duchy should fall to the survivor, and the Duchess Anne
bound herself, in the event of her husband dying before her without
children, to marry the next possessor of the French throne. Thus the
way was prepared for the final incorporation into the monarchy of the
last great semi-independent feudatory state, so long a thorn in the
side of France.

This brilliant triumph of diplomacy aroused all the enemies of France.
Maximilian had a double affront to avenge. He himself had been married
by proxy to Anne of Brittany, while Charles VIII. had at the Treaty of
Arras, 1482, plighted his troth to Margaret, Maximilian’s daughter.
Thus, by Charles’ marriage with the Breton Duchess, both the Emperor
and his daughter were jilted. Stung by this twofold insult, Maximilian
forthwith laid claim to Margaret’s dower, Artois and Franche-Comté,
and tried to enforce his claims by arms. Henry VII. attempted to
prevent the union of Brittany with France, and Ferdinand of Aragon
seized the opportunity to reclaim Roussillon, which had been ceded to
Louis XI.

The claim of Maximilian to the dower of his daughter was a just one
and could scarce be denied. But the cession of Roussillon should have
been resisted at all hazards, while the interference of Henry VII.
might have been answered by a resolute attempt to regain Calais and
drive the English finally from the kingdom. Whether France was strong
enough for so bold a stroke may perhaps be doubted, but at least her
policy should have been devoted to the strengthening of her frontiers
and the consolidation of the kingdom.

  | Charles bent on the Italian expedition makes peace
  | with his enemies.

Unfortunately at this moment Charles had become infatuated with
the idea of the Italian expedition. Being now old enough to act
independently of his sister, he hurriedly yielded to the demands of
his enemies. Henry VII. was bought off by the Treaty of Étaples,
November 1492. Cerdagne and Roussillon were ceded to Ferdinand by the
Treaty of Barcelona, January 1493, and by the Treaty of Senlis, May
1493, the princess Margaret was restored to her father with Artois and
Franche-Comté. Having thus evaded his difficulties near home, Charles
hurried on his preparations for the Italian campaign.

  | Condition of Italy in 1494.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy had rapidly lost all
national cohesion. In spite of fruitless attempts which were made
now and again to establish a united kingdom in the Peninsula, the
principle of disintegration had finally triumphed. The Emperors of
the West indeed had claimed supremacy, but, since the close of the
thirteenth century, this had ceased to be a reality, and on the ruins
of those claims, amidst numerous smaller states, five had risen to
special prominence.

  | Milan.

In the centre of the plain of Lombardy stood Milan, which at the close
of the thirteenth century had fallen to the Visconti. That cruel but
capable family, while they destroyed the liberties, extended the
dominion of the republic, and absorbed most of the smaller states
of the plain which escaped the rule of Venice. The territory, which
on the extinction of the male line of the Visconti was seized by
the Condottiere, Francesco Sforza (1450), stretched from the river
Adda, where it marched with the Venetian lands, to the Sesia, where
it met Piedmont then under the Duke of Savoy, and the Marquisate of
Montferrat. In 1476, the son of Francesco, Galeazzo Maria, had paid
the penalty of his tyranny, lust, and cruelty at the hands of three
Milanese nobles who, if tyrannicide may ever be defended, are worthy
of the name of patriots. He left a widow Bona of Savoy, who ruled
in the name of her infant son Gian Galeazzo, aided by her husband’s
wisest counsellor, Francesco Simonetta. Three years later, 1479,
Ludovico ‘Il Moro,’ uncle of the young Gian, overthrew her rule,
caused Simonetta to be executed, and assumed the regency. Ludovico,
though ambitious, unscrupulous, and a lover of intrigue, was not
wantonly cruel as many of his predecessors had been, and, if his rule
was a despotic one, he was a liberal patron of the arts and kept his
dominions contented and at peace.

  | Venice.

To the east of the Duchy of Milan stood the republic of Venice. Once
a democracy, she had by the close of the thirteenth century become
a commercial oligarchy. At the close of the fifteenth century, not
only did the Great Council monopolise the electoral functions of the
state, but the Doge himself had become little more than an ornamental
figure-head.[4] Venice originally had concerned herself little with
the politics of the mainland. Entrenched behind her lagoons, she had
turned her attention to the Mediterranean and the East, from whence
came her commerce, the source of her wealth. At the commencement of
the fifteenth century, however, she had turned her eye westward to
form a territory on the mainland.[5] In this venture she had indeed
met with great success, and, besides her possessions on the east of
the Adriatic, in the Morea, and the Ægean Sea, she now ruled a large
territory north of the Po, which stretched westwards to the Adda and
northwards to the spurs of the Alps. But this policy had drawn her
into the troubled tangle of Italian politics, and aroused the jealousy
of the Italian states. Still Venice was formidable. By the treaty of
1479, she had surrendered indeed Scutari, Negropont, and most of her
possessions in the Morea, but had retained her commercial privileges,
and secured a temporary peace with the Turk. In 1488, she annexed, by
a fiction of remarkable ingenuity, the island of Cyprus.

The rule of her aristocracy was far less corrupt and far more
consistent than that of other Italian states. The stability of her
Government and her immunity from those revolutions to which the other
states of Italy were ever subject excited the envy of her neighbours.
The leniency and wisdom with which she governed her dependencies
secured her the loyalty of her subjects. Her riches were still great;
her patronage of art magnificent; and if the tone of private morality
was low, it was not lower than in the rest of Italy.

  | Mantua and Ferrara.

To the south and south-west of Venice lay the two independent
territories of Mantua and of Ferrara. Of these Mantua, situated amid
the marshy flats of the Mincio, belonged to the warrior family of the
Gonzagas, while Ferrara, commanding the mouths of the Po, was ruled by
the ancient house of Este.

  | Florence.

Nestling under the Apennines, Florence held the watershed of the Arno
with her dependent cities of Volterra, Arezzo, Cortona, Pistoja, and
Pisa. To the north-west and to the south of her lay the independent
states of Lucca and Siena, long her deadly enemies.

Nominally a republic based on a system of trade-guilds, Florence was
practically in the hands of the Medici, who, while they left the
outward form of the constitution intact, kept the government in the
hands of their partisans. From time to time a packed ‘Parliament’
of the citizens elected committees or Balías, under whose control
the Signory and other officials were selected. Finally, in 1480,
a college of seventy, practically nominated by Lorenzo, took for
a time the place of the Balías. This college not only nominated
the Signory, but elected the _Consiglio Maggiore_, the legislative
body of the republic, and thus became master of the city. A clever
manipulation of the taxes, by which they struck at the rich, gained
the Medici the support of the lower classes, while the confusion of
the public treasury with the finances of their banking-house gave them
the final control of the administration.[6] The rule of the Medici
was a far more temperate one than that of the Sforza of Milan. Their
power was the result of real political genius. By that alone they had
succeeded in controlling the most restless, the most acute, and the
most brilliant people the world had yet seen since the days of the
Athenians. In Florence was concentrated the essence of Italian art and
literature, and with it, alas, much of that immorality and licence
which stains the glory of the Renaissance. Unfortunately, at this
crisis of her history, Lorenzo the Magnificent, the type of a Medicean
prince, died (April 1492), and, under the incapable rule of his son
Piero, the authority of the family was being rapidly undermined.

  | The Papal States.

Encircling the territories of Siena and Florence on the south and the
east, and stretching across the centre of Italy from sea to sea, stood
the Papal States, formed of the Patrimony of St. Peter, the Campagna,
the Duchy of Spoleto, the March of Ancona and the Romagna.

Of these territories all, except the two first, while acknowledging
the suzerainty of the Pope, were practically independent, and in
the Patrimony and in the Campagna, the powerful families of the
Orsini and the Colonna were ever setting his authority at defiance.
It had been of late the policy of the Popes to enforce their rule
in these districts and to organise a strong temporal dominion, a
policy definitely begun by Sixtus IV. (1471-1484). They are probably
right who maintain that by this means alone could the Papacy hope to
survive. The mediæval conception of the Holy Roman Empire had gone
beyond recall. The idea of a united Christendom under one faith was
no longer a reality. Largely, though by no means entirely, through
its own deficiencies, the Papacy had lost its moral hold on Europe,
and the attempt of Nicolas V. (1447-1455) and Pius II. (1458-1464)
to regain the intellectual leadership of Europe had met with scant
success. During the period of the captivity of Avignon (1309-1377),
and the great Schism (1378-1417), the power of the larger Italian
states, and the lust for further extension, had grown. Under these
circumstances, if the Papacy was to save itself from falling as low
as it had fallen in the tenth century, when it was the puppet of the
neighbouring nobles, it must needs follow suit, and form a strong
and united dominion. Yet the necessity cost it dear. Sucked into the
vortex of political intrigue, the Papacy prostituted its spiritual
powers for these secular objects and shocked the conscience of Europe.
Unfortunately the Popes who ascended the papal throne at this moment
were men of low principle. Sixtus IV. (1471-1484) was venal, and
sacrificed everything for the advancement of his nephews. Innocent
VIII. (1484-1492), hopelessly corrupt and indolent, was the first
Pope who openly acknowledged his children; while of Rodrigo Borgia,
who ruled as Pope Alexander VI. from 1492 to 1503, it is difficult
to speak with moderation. To enumerate the charges which have been
brought against him would exhaust the crimes of the decalogue. Even
if we dismiss those charges on which the evidence is not conclusive,
it cannot be denied that Alexander was profligate beyond ordinary
profligacy, contemptuous of the ordinary conventionalities of decency,
avaricious and cruel, and in statesmanship absolutely without scruple.

The desire of the Popes to form a temporal dominion was also injurious
to Italy.[7] Not strong enough to unite the Peninsula under their
own sway, they were determined to prevent its union under any other
hands. In this attempt to reconcile their interests as head of the
Church with those of a temporal prince, they were ever ready to barter
away their country’s liberties. They had more than once before this
summoned the foreigner to their aid, and, if they were not responsible
for the first invasion of the French, they went far to make the
foreign dominion permanent.

The extremity of the Peninsula formed the kingdom of Naples, now in
the hands of Ferrante I. (1458-1494), illegitimate son of Alfonso
the Magnanimous, of Aragon; while Sicily and Sardinia belonged, with
Aragon, to the legitimate branch represented just now by Ferdinand
the Catholic (1479-1516). Always the most disturbed of the Italian
states, Naples had in 1485 been the scene of a baronial revolt against
the tyranny of Ferrante. The King, indeed, by cunning and ability had
triumphed, but his faithlessness and inhuman cruelties had made him
most unpopular, and his rule most insecure. He died in January 1494,
to be succeeded by his son Alfonso II. (1494-1495), who, according to
the French chronicler Commines, though not so dangerous, was a worse
man than his father, since ‘never was any prince more bloody, wicked,
inhuman, lascivious, or gluttonous than he.’

  | Rivalry of these states.

The rivalry of these five states, mutually repellent, yet unable to
establish complete independence, was to cause the ruin of Italy. Too
equally balanced to allow of the supremacy of one, too jealous of each
other and too divergent in the character of their peoples and the
form of their governments to unite in a federal bond, they lost all
sense of common national interest. The existence of numerous petty
states between their frontiers, which could only hope to survive by
dexterous intrigue, excited their cupidity and thickened the thread of
treacherous diplomacy which was now to call the foreigner into Italy.

  | Intellectual activity and moral degradation of the
  | Italians.

But if the quarrels of these Italian rulers led to the first invasion,
and subsequently prevented any permanent coalition, the condition
of the people of Italy destroyed all hope of successful resistance.
In reading the social history of Italy during the fifteenth century
two lessons are forced upon us: first, the fatal effect of the loss
of liberty, and of political faction on the moral fibre of a people;
secondly, the danger of luxury, and of devotion to art and literature,
if not chastened by the religious spirit.

In states like Milan and Naples, where all political liberty had been
destroyed, the only weapons of the oppressed were those the tyrant
had taught them--intrigue and assassination. In cities like Florence,
where constitutional forms remained but the spirit had fled, and
where the state was torn by deadly feuds which vented themselves
in cruel proscription and exile of the defeated, the people were
inspired by mutual suspicion and deep political hatreds. To lose
power was to lose everything. Hence men became desperate, forgot
the necessity for patience, the duty of a minority, and sought to
overthrow their enemies by secret conspiracy or open revolt. In the
smaller states things were worse. There was even less stability, the
factions were more bitter, the chance of successful revolt greater. No
doubt Venice and the Papal Dominions were more stable than the rest of
the Peninsula, but even there intrigue, corruption, and conspiracies
were not uncommon.

Amid such political circumstances as these, not only did all feeling
of Italian nationality perish, but patriotism for city or kingdom
died before the imperative instincts of self-preservation. The
worship of success replaced devotion to principle and obedience
to authority, while cleverness and selfishness flourished at the
expense of morality. Moreover, to protect themselves or to pursue
their schemes of conquest, the tyrants introduced the Condottieri.
The republics, partly from indolence, partly from the difficulty
of resisting the trained soldier with a half-disciplined militia,
followed suit, and Italy became the victim of mercenaries. Of war
these made a game: with no interest in the quarrels beyond their wage,
or their individual ambitions, they loved the battlefield by which
they lived, yet did not wish the battle to be decisive. Ever ready to
change sides at the dictates of self-interest, or for higher pay, they
set up and overthrew states and spread confusion around. Meanwhile
the citizens forgot the art of war, and, when the moment of their
trial came, finding themselves no match for the martial nations of the
North, were frightened at the fury of their onslaught.

The rapid increase of luxury and the development of literature and
art tended to the same results. Undue devotion to material comfort
made the Italians cowardly, selfish, and indolent. The revival
of the critical faculty led to scepticism; the critic destroyed
indeed, but had not the enthusiasm nor the faith to reconstruct.
The return to classical ideals caused a revival of paganism, while
the concentration of man’s mind on the pleasures of art, on the
sensuous delight in beauty of form and colour, led many on to
sensuality. The history of the Renaissance stands as a warning that
the æsthetic spirit is not necessarily religious or even moral.
No doubt it is easy to exaggerate. No doubt there were to be found
many who lived a pure and simple life. Perhaps the denunciations
of an enthusiast like Savonarola[8] are too extravagant. But the
contemporary evidence against the Italians is overwhelming. The
literature of the time must have found readers. The cynical frankness
with which Machiavelli disregards all moral scruples in his treatises
on the art of government are without parallel in the history of
political literature, and the carnival songs of Lorenzo are of
themselves enough to convince us of the depths of degradation to
which Italian morality had sunk. Thus Italy, without any sense of
nationality or patriotism, and devoid of those more sterling qualities
which might have rendered resistance possible, was to see her fair
plains the scene of other nations’ rivalries, and to fall eventually
under the yoke of a foreign dominion which lasted till our own day.

  | French claims on Italy.

The French claims on Italy were twofold, and were of long standing.
The House of Orleans, in virtue of their descent from Valentina,
heiress of the Visconti of Milan, looked upon themselves as the
legitimate aspirants to the ducal throne, and considered the Sforzas
usurpers. The House of Anjou disputed the title of the Aragonese kings
of Naples and declared that Joanna II., who died in 1435, had left her
territories to René, the head of their house. The claims of the House
of Orleans were now represented by Louis of Orleans, cousin of Charles
VIII., who already held Asti, while those of the House of Anjou
had in 1481 fallen to the crown, together with Anjou and Provence,
according to the will of René I., the last Duke of Anjou. Louis XI.
had contented himself with Anjou and Provence, but his foolish and
ambitious son, fascinated with the dream of a southern kingdom which
might serve as a starting-point for a new crusade against the Turk,
was eager to enforce his claims in Italy. Yet even Charles might have
hesitated if a quarrel between Milan and Naples had not offered a
tempting opportunity.

  | The Peace of Italy depended on the Triple Alliance of
  | Milan, Florence, and Naples.

In 1435, Alfonso the Magnanimous, the rival of René of Anjou for the
kingdom of Naples, had warned Filippo Maria, who then ruled Milan,
that the French, once masters of Naples, would seek to extend their
territories in the north. Francesco Sforza, who secured Milan shortly
after Filippo’s death (1450), conscious that the legitimate claim to
Milan had passed with the hand of Valentina to the French House of
Orleans, needed no convincing. The result had been a close alliance
between these two powers, which had been strengthened by the marriage
of Ippolita, Sforza’s daughter, with Alfonso, Prince of Calabria.
Lorenzo, true to the traditional policy of the Medici, had joined
this league. He hoped, by a triple alliance of Milan, Naples, and
Florence, to maintain the balance of power in Italy, resist the desire
for territorial aggression shared by Venice and the Papacy, and, by
keeping peace within the Peninsula, deprive the foreigner of all
excuse for interference. Whether Lorenzo would have succeeded may well
be doubted, but certainly his death (April 1492) removed the only man
to whom success was possible.

  | Rupture of the Alliance between Milan and Naples
  | forces Ludovico to call in the foreigner.

Even before Lorenzo died, the alliance between Milan and Naples had
threatened to break up. The _coup d’état_ of 1479, by which Ludovico
‘Il Moro’ had seized the reins of power from Bona of Savoy, had
received the approval of Ferrante of Naples. In the following year,
however (1480), the death of Ippolita, Ludovico’s sister and wife of
Alfonso, son of Ferrante, broke the bond between the two families.
The subsequent marriage of the young Gian Galeazzo, with Alfonso’s
daughter, Isabella (1489), made matters worse. Alfonso became jealous
of Ludovico’s rule and wished to see his son-in-law, who had in
the year 1492 reached the age of twenty, recognised as duke. This
jealousy was shared by Isabella, who was envious of the higher honours
conferred on her kinswoman, Beatrice of Este, the wife of Ludovico.

Piero de Medici, who had just succeeded Lorenzo at Florence (1492),
joined Alfonso in a secret league against Ludovico, to which Ferrante
of Naples was somewhat unwillingly prevailed upon to accede. Thus the
triple alliance of Milan, Naples, Florence, upon which the safety of
Italy depended, was broken, and Ludovico was driven to look elsewhere
for support. To Maximilian, who in 1493 was elected emperor, he gave
the hand of his niece, Bianca, and gained in return the investiture
of his duchy, which had hitherto been denied to the Sforza family.
Despairing of more effective aid from that impecunious prince, he next
turned to France. San Severino, Count of Cajazzo, was sent to ‘tickle
Charles, who was but twenty-one years of age, with the vanities and
glories of Italy, and to urge the right he had to the fine kingdom of
Naples’ (Commines).

The policy of Ludovico has received undue condemnation. Every Italian
prince had called upon the French when it suited his purpose. Hitherto
Ludovico had been the most strenuous opponent of this policy, and
when in 1485, Innocent VIII. had urged René II. of Lorraine to press
the Angevin claims on Naples, it was he who had prevented it. Though
selfish, and a master of diplomatic treachery, he was by no means the
worst of the Italian princes of his day. It was the altered policy
of Naples which drove him to the fatal step. Moreover, Gian Galeazzo
was an incapable man, and it seems probable that Alfonso, who had an
insatiable lust for power, hoped to make him his puppet. Ludovico
neither desired nor expected the French to conquer Naples. Italians,
indeed, had so often used the threat of foreign intervention that they
had forgotten what it might mean. His appeal to Charles was but a
move in the game of intrigue which all were playing, and all that can
be said is that, while others had tried it without success, Ludovico
succeeded, to his own ruin, and that of Italy. Nor was he the only one
who at this moment called on Charles. His exhortations were supported
by the Prince of Salerno, a Neapolitan fugitive, eager to avenge the
cruelties which Ferrante, in violation of his promise, had exercised
on the leaders of the revolt of the Barons in 1485. To these were
added the solicitations of the Cardinal Julian della Rovere, the rival
and deadly enemy of Borgia, who had just ascended the papal throne as
Alexander VI. (August 1492).

  | Charles decides on the expedition in spite of better
  | advice.

‘The question of the expedition,’ says Philippe de Commines, ‘was
warmly debated, since by all persons of experience and wisdom it
was looked upon as a very dangerous undertaking.’ Anne of Beaujeu,
her husband, and many others, did their best to dissuade the King,
but ‘Charles was foolish and obstinate,’ and was supported in his
obstinacy by his favourites, Stephen de Vers, once gentleman of the
Chamber, now Seneschal of Beaucaire, and Briçonnet, Bishop of St.
Malo; the one hoping for lands in Naples, the other for a cardinal’s
hat, promised by the Milanese ambassadors. The younger nobles, eager
for the spoils of Italy, joined in the cry, and Charles rashly started
on an enterprise ‘for which neither his exchequer, his understanding,
nor his preparations sufficed.’

  | Charles crosses the Alps. Sept. 2, 1494.

In August, the King, who had wasted the spring and early summer at
Lyons, spending on festivities and on amorous intrigues the money he
had collected or borrowed for his expedition, passed down the Rhone
to Vienne, and thence crossed the Alps by the pass of Mont Genèvre
(September 2). His army was not exclusively a French one, for German
landsknechts and Swiss mercenaries also accompanied it. Thus it was
a fit harbinger of those foreign invasions which were for the next
hundred years to desolate the fair plains of Italy.

  | Charles crosses the Apennines and advances on
  | Florence.

At Asti, where Ludovico met him, he was delayed first by his gaieties,
then by illness, and it was not until the 6th of October that he
left Asti for Piacenza. Here the question as to his future course
was debated. He was now to leave the territories of his ally. Venice
to the north-east was neutral. The Pope, had after some hesitation,
decided to resist the French. In Florence, opinion was much divided.
The citizens, true to their traditions, were for the French, and were
strengthened in their views by the warnings of Savonarola that a
scourge should chastise Italy. Piero, on the other hand, was in league
with Naples. Finally, it was decided to choose the more western route
by the Via di Pontremoli rather than the easier way through Bologna.
Charles would thus avoid the Neapolitan Prince, Ferrante, who had been
sent by his father, now King Alfonso, to hold the Romagna, and would
maintain his communications with the sea which had been won by the
victory of the Duke of Orleans over Don Federigo, the brother of the
King of Naples, at Rapallo (September 8). Florence, moreover, it was
hoped, would declare for France on the king’s approach.

  | Piero driven from Florence. Nov. 9, 1494.

The pass was a difficult one, and the country through which it passed
was so barren that it did not even supply forage for the horses. Had
the French here been met with stubborn resistance they might never
have penetrated into Tuscany, for Ludovico was beginning to repent of
having called Charles into Italy. His suspicions of French designs on
Milan were already aroused, and the death of his unfortunate nephew,
Gian Galeazzo (October 1494), by poison, as was generally believed,
removed the need of French assistance against Naples. But the divided
counsels of the Florentines came to Charles’ aid. The French were
left to pass the defiles undisturbed, and after sacking the town of
Fivizzano, sat down before the fortress of Sarzana. Hither Piero,
terrified at the disaffection in Florence, hastened, and acceded to
Charles’ demands. He promised a sum of money; he surrendered four of
the most important cities: Sarzana, Pietra-Santa, Pisa, and Leghorn.
These humiliating concessions still further irritated the Florentines.
On Piero’s return to Florence (November 8) the citizens rushed to
arms, and he was forced to fly in disguise to Venice. The defection of
Florence threatened the position of Ferrante in the Romagna and opened
the way to Rome. Thither therefore Ferrante retired.

  | Charles enters Florence, and having with difficulty
  | made terms, passes on to Rome.

Meanwhile Charles, after granting to the Pisans freedom from their
hated mistress Florence, a present which was not his to give, passed
on to Florence. Disregarding the warning of Savonarola that he would
only be victorious if he showed mercy, especially to Florence, and
was not an occasion of stumbling, he entered the city ‘with lance
in rest’ as if he came as conqueror (November 17). This threatening
attitude was accompanied by extravagant demands. First, he asked
for the recall of Piero. That being refused, he insisted that a
French lieutenant should be left in the city, whose consent should be
necessary for every act. As the Florentines still demurred, the king
in anger said: ‘We shall sound our trumpets.’ ‘And,’ we answered,
‘Capponi shall sound our bells.’ Seeing that he might go too far,
Charles abated his demands. The Florentines consented to pay 120,000
florins in six months, and to allow two representatives of the king
to remain in Florence. But the Medici were not to be recalled, and
Charles promised to restore the cities ceded to him by Piero at the
end of the war (November 27). Having thus settled the difficulty
with Florence, Charles passed through Siena which accepted a French
garrison (December 2), and advanced on Rome.

  | Alexander comes to terms. Jan. 15, 1495.

Alexander VI. had done his best for the cause of Naples, but he now
became seriously alarmed. His correspondence with the Turkish Sultan,
Bajazet II., in which, in return for help, the murder of the Sultan’s
brother, Djem, then in Alexander’s keeping, had been mooted, had
fallen into Charles’ hands. His enemies were crying for a General
Council. Ostia had been seized by Fabrizio Colonna in the name of his
enemy, della Rovere (September 18). He therefore determined to come
to terms, and, securing a free retreat for Ferrante and his army,
admitted the French within the walls of Rome, while he retired to the
castle of St. Angelo. The Cardinals della Rovere and Sforza urged
Charles to offer no further concessions, and to summon a General
Council which should depose the Pope and proceed to reform the Church.
But Briçonnet did not wish for a breach which might endanger his hope
of a cardinal’s hat; Charles was scarcely the man for a reformer; the
bribes of Alexander had their effect; and finally a compromise was
effected. The Pope agreed to surrender Civita Vecchia, Terracina,
and Spoleto, for safe keeping till the conclusion of the war, to
pardon the rebellious cardinals, and to deliver up Prince Djem. He
also conferred on the bishop of St. Malo the coveted cardinal’s hat,
and ordered his son, Cardinal Cæsar Borgia, to accompany Charles
as a hostage. No sooner had the king left Rome for the south than
Cæsar slipped away, and Djem died. The death of the latter, popularly
attributed to poison administered by Alexander, was probably due to
natural causes; but Cæsar’s disappearance warned Charles that no
trust could be placed in the promises of the Pope.

  | Alfonso resigns his crown and goes to Sicily. Feb. 3,
  | 1495.

The success of the French had been so extraordinary, that Alfonso
might well feel dismay. He knew that his subjects hated him with a
deadly hatred, and, with the cowardice so common to cruel men, he now
became a victim of superstitious terror. Declaring that ‘the very
stones and trees cried France,’ he resigned his crown to his son and
fled to Sicily (February 3, 1495).

  | Charles enters Naples. Feb. 23, 1495.

His son, Ferrante II., showed more spirit and joined his army at
San Germano. Here a mountain pass and the river Garigliano offered
a favourable opportunity for defence; but the news of the savage
conduct of the French at the storming of Monte San Giovanni spread
terror among his troops, and they fell back on Capua. A revolt at
Naples recalled Ferrante, to find that his general, Trivulzio, had
made terms with Charles. Naples now rose again, and the luckless King,
declaring that he suffered for the sins of his fathers, not his own,
and promising to come to the aid of his faithless subjects, should the
barbarity of the French cause them to wish for his return, sailed for
Sicily (February 21). On the following day Charles entered Naples, and
within a few weeks all the country, with the exception of one or two
fortresses, was in his hands.

  | Reaction against the French.

‘The success of Charles,’ says Commines, ‘must be considered the work
of Providence.’ Almost without breaking a lance, he had traversed the
length of Italy and won a kingdom. It seemed as if his boast, that he
would lead a crusade against the Turks and conquer Constantinople,
would be fulfilled. But his triumph was short-lived, and ‘his fortunes
changed as suddenly as the day rises in Norway.’ The French, puffed
up by their success, ‘scarce considered the Italians to be men,’ and
alienated them by their cruelties and licence. Charles took no steps
to secure his conquest, but betook himself to his pleasures. No pains
were taken to conciliate the Neapolitan nobles; all offices were
conferred on Frenchmen, and the promised remission of taxes was never
fulfilled.

  | The League of Venice. March 31, 1495.

Meanwhile a storm was gathering in the North. Ludovico had long
repented of his rashness in inviting the French, and feared that
Louis of Orleans might lay claim to Milan; the Pope dreaded a General
Council, and was only too glad to raise up enemies against the King;
Venice, which had at first laughed at the expedition, became seriously
alarmed; Ferdinand the Catholic had already remonstrated with Charles,
and began to apprehend an attack on Sicily; the dignity of Maximilian
was ruffled by the preponderance of the House of Valois. Negotiations
between these powers had long been going on at Venice. The conquest
of Naples brought matters to a climax, and on March 31, they formed
the League of Venice, ostensibly to defend their territories and to
prepare for war against the Turks. Guicciardini asserts that they
secretly engaged to drive the French from Italy. Their object was more
probably to protect themselves against further French aggression.
Florence alone refused to break faith with the French, hoping to
regain Pisa through their help.

  | Charles retreats.

With incredible folly, Charles delayed till May, in the vain hopes of
receiving the papal investiture of Naples. Then hastily receiving the
crown at the hands of the Archbishop of Naples, he began his retreat
with scarce 10,000 men (May 20). The Count of Montpensier, ‘a good
soldier,’ says Commines, ‘but with little wisdom, and so indolent
that he did not rise till mid-day,’ was left as viceroy. Stephen de
Vers, now Duke of Nola, was made governor of Gaëta and controller
of the finances, and Stuart d’Aubigny, the best soldier of them all,
governor of Calabria. As Charles approached Rome, Alexander fled to
Orvieto; and thence to Perugia. Arrived in Tuscany, Charles found
all in confusion. Siena, Lucca, and Pisa had formed a league against
Florence, and pleaded for French assistance. The Florentines, who had
reformed their government after the advice of Savonarola, demanded
the restitution of the cities temporarily ceded to the King. Charles,
incapable of decision, put them off with negotiations, and leaving
French garrisons in the ceded towns, crossed the Apennines, June 23.

  | The Battle of Fornovo. July 6, 1495.

But the French were not to escape from Italy without a battle. Their
fleet on the west coast protected them from the attack of Venetian
or Spanish ships, but on the mainland the forces of Milan and of
Venice under the Marquis of Mantua met them at Fornovo on the Taro.
The army of the League had the advantage of numbers and position,
and had they shown determination, might have inflicted a decisive
defeat. But the Italians were little eager to bring the French to
bay, and Charles, wisely wishing to pursue his march, pushed on his
vanguard. It was met by the Milanese troops under the Count Cajazzo,
but the attack was feeble and easily repulsed. This, according to
Guicciardini, was due to Ludovico. Fearing that too complete a victory
might place him in the power of the Venetian troops, which were far
more numerous than his own, and that too crushing a defeat might draw
on him the vengeance of the French, he had ordered his captain not to
press the French too closely. Meanwhile the assault on the centre and
rearguard was far more vigorous, and Charles was in momentary danger.
He was, however, saved by the enemies’ want of discipline; many of the
Italians turned to plunder his camp, the reserves did not attack, and
the French king, with loss of baggage but not of prestige, was able to
pursue his way.

  | Treaty of Vercelli. Oct. 10, 1495.

At Asti, Charles was delayed by the question of Novara. Louis of
Orleans had occupied that town in June, only to be besieged by
Ludovico. In vain, Louis begged for instant aid. Charles would not
stir till reinforcements came, and meanwhile solaced himself with
amorous intrigues. Fortunately Ludovico was anxious to get the French
out of Italy, and in October came to terms. Louis surrendered the
town, but Ludovico, breaking with the League, promised to give free
passage to the French, and even to assist them whenever they might
march against Naples. This, however, seemed unlikely for the present.

  | Charles leaves Italy and his conquests melt away.

No sooner had Charles turned his back on Naples than his conquests
began to melt away. The Neapolitans, according to Guicciardini, were
the most inconstant people of Italy, and the follies of the French
reminded them of Ferrante’s words. Ferrante accordingly returned at
the end of May, aided by troops sent by Ferdinand the Catholic under
Gonzalvo de Cordova, the most brilliant of the Spanish generals.
Defeated by Stuart d’Aubigny at Seminara, and driven to Messina, he
directed a second attack on Naples. The city rose, the gates were
opened, and Montpensier took refuge in the castle (July 7), which
he was forced to evacuate shortly after. The Venetians, in return
for money, were allowed to occupy Monopoli, Otranto, Brindisi, and
Trani. Montpensier struggled on for some time longer, hoping for
reinforcements from France. But Charles was immersed in pleasure;
Louis of Orleans, who was heir-presumptive to the throne, refused to
leave France, and finally Montpensier capitulated at Atella (July 21,
1496). D’Aubigny, though sick with fever, held out a little longer,
but by the close of the year 1496, all was lost to France. Ferrante
did not live to see the end. He died in September, and his uncle
Federigo quietly succeeded him. Thus five kings had sat on the throne
of Naples within three years.

Of Charles’ acquisitions, the only traces which remained were the
cities ceded to him by Florence. These should have been restored on
his retreat, but in hopes of return, Charles had evaded his promise,
and the officers he had left in command proceeded to violate it
entirely. Leghorn was indeed surrendered in September, but Sarzana was
sold to the Genoese, Pietra-Santa to Lucca, and the citadel of Pisa to
the Pisans. Of these Pisa was only regained in 1509, after a prolonged
struggle which exhausted the republic and contributed materially to
its fall, Pietra-Santa not till the Medici had been restored in 1513,
and Sarzana not at all. Thus the ally of France was the one to suffer
most.

  | Death of Charles VIII. April 7, 1498.

Charles VIII. survived the Italian expedition scarce three years.
Always indulging in dreams of a renewed attack on Naples, he was at
first too much engrossed in his pleasures to carry them into effect.
During the last few months of his life he had, according to Commines,
‘resolved within himself to live a more strict and religious life.’
If so, death anticipated him. While staying at the castle of Amboise,
which was being embellished by Neapolitan artists, he struck his head
against the lintel of a door, and died at the age of twenty-seven of a
fit of apoplexy which resulted from it (April 1498).

Contemptible in mind, though with great bodily strength, inspired with
chivalrous ideas which he had not the capacity to execute, a victim to
profligacy, it is strange that he should have played such a leading
part in history, and yet it does not seem altogether unfit that those
Italian wars, which caused such infinite misery in Italy, and were
so disastrous to the best interests of France, should be associated
with his name. His children had all died in infancy, and the crown
accordingly passed to his cousin and brother-in-law, Louis, Duke of
Orleans, then a man of the age of thirty-six.


§ 2. _Savonarola and Florence._

A month after the death of Charles VIII., the Friar Savonarola, who
had done so much to give an air of mystery to the Italian expedition,
fell a victim to his enemies.

  | Savonarola, Prior of San Marco, 1491.

This remarkable man was born at Ferrara in 1452. Having gradually won
a reputation as a preacher of wonderful power and zeal, he was in the
year 1491, elected Prior of the Dominican Convent of San Marco in
Florence. In spite of the independent attitude which he here assumed,
Lorenzo showed him no ill favour, and even summoned the friar to his
deathbed to ask a blessing.[9] In all probability, however, Savonarola
would have remained a great revivalist preacher and nothing more, had
it not been for the expedition of Charles VIII. The constant theme of
his sermons had been that the scourge of God should visit Italy to
punish her for her sins and purify her by fire. The French invasion,
and the rapid success of Charles were looked upon as the fulfilment
of his prophecy, and Savonarola became one of the leading men in
Florence.

  | Savonarola and the revolution of 1494.

In the overthrow of the Medici he did not take an active part, but
on Piero’s flight (November 1494) he was sucked into the politics
of the city. Supported by his powerful advocacy from the pulpit in
the Duomo, and guided by his advice, the popular party, to which he
naturally belonged, was able to introduce and carry a reform of the
Constitution. By the decree of December 23, the government was to be
as follows:--

A permanent Great Council (_Consiglio Maggiore_) was to be composed
of all eligible ‘citizens,’ that is, of all citizens of the age of
thirty whose father, grandfather, or great-grandfather had been
elected to the greater offices of state. This Council, numbering some
3000, was to elect out of its own members a ‘senate’ (_Consiglio
degli ottanta_), holding office for six months, and forming with the
Consiglio Maggiore the legislative body of the city. Further, the
Great Council was to nominate the Signory and other magistrates out of
a list presented by a body of nominators, themselves elected in the
Council, and to hear appeals on criminal cases. The Signory remained
as it was before, composed of the Gonfalonier and the eight priors:
it was to be elected every two months, while the Ten of Liberty and
Peace (_Dieci di Libertà e Pace_), in whose hands lay the conduct of
foreign affairs, were to hold office for six months.

The constitution can scarcely be called a democratic one, for at least
7000 citizens were disenfranchised. In common with most theorists
of his day, Savonarola admired the stability of Venice, and vainly
thought to secure this for his native city by establishing a closed
and permanent electoral and legislative body, the Consiglio Maggiore,
after the Venetian type. Nevertheless, the government was preferable
to the old system, by which the city, a republic in name, had fallen
into the control of a single family and their clique.

Savonarola did not content himself with this. From his pulpit he
insisted on moral reformation as the necessary basis of true liberty,
and pressed for a general amnesty which might allay the dangers of
party strife. In thus becoming a politician, Savonarola protested that
he acted unwillingly. In his sermon of December 21, 1494, he declared
that he had pleaded with God to be excused from meddling with the
government, but had been bidden to go on and establish a holy city,
which favoured virtue and looked to Christ as its master.

  | Savonarola becomes associated with a political party
  | and arouses enmity at home and abroad.

That Savonarola was sincere we may well believe. None the less
the interference in politics was a fatal error. Thereby he became
closely associated with a party, responsible for its faults, and
dependent on its success. This weakened his position as a reformer,
while his adherents had henceforth to count as enemies all those who
disliked his attempts at a reform of morals. A serious opposition
was thus aroused. The Bigi (the Greys) worked for the restoration
of the Medici; the Arrabiati (the enraged), while casting off the
Medici, objected to the changes in the Constitution; the Compagnacci
(companions) disliked the preacher’s interference with their
pleasures. These three groups, working at first with very different
aims, were eventually united together in common opposition to the
Piagnoni (weepers), the followers of the friar. But if Savonarola’s
interference in the politics of the city weakened his position in
Florence, the attitude of his party drew down upon him the enmity of
foreign statesmen. The desire to regain Pisa was an overmastering
passion at Florence, and there was nothing she would not suffer to
attain that end. She had refused to join the League of Venice, in
the hopes of regaining Pisa from the hands of Charles. These hopes
had been disappointed. Still the adherents of the friar headed by
Francesco Valori, clung fondly to the dream that Charles would
once more enter Italy, and at last fulfil his promise. In these
expectations they were supported by the preaching of Savonarola,
who announced that Italy must yet suffer much, but that eventually
Florence should after much tribulation be saved by God. By thus
refusing to join the League, Florence drew down upon her the enmity
of Ludovico, of Maximilian, of Venice, and of the Pope. The three
first in turn supported the Pisans with arms, and, in October 1496,
Maximilian himself came to Italy. But mutual jealousies prevented
united action, and the expedition of Maximilian ended in a fiasco.

  | Alexander VI. interferes. Sept. 1495.

The opposition of the Pope was to prove more serious. Alexander VI.
cared but little for the denunciation of the reformer against the
vices of the times, but his interference with politics he would not
brook. Accordingly, in September 1495, he had suspended him from
preaching. Savonarola at first obeyed, and was silent during the
following Advent. But, in the Lent of 1496, the Signory, then composed
of the friar’s partisans, ordered him to resume his preaching. He
complied, and in the Carnival of 1496, the enthusiasm of the Piagnoni
broke forth in religious processions. The children swept the streets
in thick array, bearing olive-branches in their hands and chanting
hymns. This disobedience Savonarola justified, by declaring that no
papal prohibitions should move him from his duty, and that if they
contradicted the Law of Love set forth in the Gospel, they must be
withstood, since ‘a Pope that errs does not represent the Church,’ of
which he claimed to be a loyal son. Even this bold conduct did not
immediately rouse Alexander--nay, some would fix this as the date when
he tried to win the friar by the offer of a cardinal’s hat. If so,
Savonarola contemptuously rejected the offer, and the Pope was driven
to take further measures.

  | Reaction against Savonarola.

The Tuscan congregation of the Dominican order had, at Savonarola’s
request, been separated from that of Lombardy. This had given him
a position of exceptional independence, which aroused the jealousy
of many of his order. Alexander now united the convent of San Marco
with a new formed Tusco-Roman congregation (Nov. 7, 1496). This was
clearly within the competence of the Pope, it was popular with the
order generally, and the Pope hoped to strike at the friar through
a superior of his own brotherhood. Savonarola, however, refused to
obey, and was supported by some 250 of his brethren of San Marco. The
Carnival of 1497 followed. Here the enthusiasm of the Piagnoni reached
its highest pitch. The children going from house to house begged for
‘vanities.’ Cards, trinkets, immodest books, pictures, works of art,
were handed up, and these, heaped promiscuously in one common pyre,
were solemnly burned in the Piazza. These and other extravagances,
which unfortunately cannot be denied,[10] disgusted many, and added
to the number of the friar’s enemies. The reaction was seen in the
election of Bernardo del Nero, a secret adherent of the Medici, to
the office of Gonfalonier, March 1497; in the unsuccessful attempt of
Piero to regain Florence in April, and in a riot in the Duomo, raised
by the Compagnacci, while Savonarola preached, on Ascension Day,
May 4.

  | The Pope excommunicates him. May 1497.

Influenced, perhaps, by the knowledge that Savonarola was losing
ground, Alexander now decided to strike. After a vain appeal to the
Florentines, in which he even promised to regain Pisa for them if they
would join the League, a promise which they prudently distrusted,
he declared that they were being misled by the prophecies of a
chattering friar, and proceeded to excommunicate him, May 1497. The
Signory meanwhile had attempted to stay the excitement in Florence by
forbidding all preaching either from Savonarola or his opponents, and
things remained more quiet for a time.

  | The Piagnoni regain power.

The elections of July, however, again gave the Piagnoni a majority
in the Signory; and in August, the city was startled by the news
that five of the leading citizens stood accused of complicity with
the Medicean plot of the preceding April. On condemnation, they were
refused their right of appeal to the Great Council, contrary to the
express provision of the new Constitution, and executed. The condemned
belonged to Savonarola’s opponents, and some of them, notably Bernardo
del Nero, had lately held office. Their execution therefore, for a
time, materially strengthened Savonarola’s position, and from this
date until the ensuing March the Signory was filled with Piagnoni.

Accordingly, on Christmas Day, Savonarola celebrated the Mass in San
Marco. In the Carnival another pyre of vanities was burnt; and on
invitation by the Signory to resume his preaching, the friar mounted
the pulpit of the Duomo with Consecrated Host in hand, called on God
to strike him dead if he deserved excommunication, and declared that
if the instrument by which God ruled the world withdrew himself from
God, he was but broken iron, and need not be obeyed.

  | Final reaction against Savonarola.

But Savonarola had at last miscalculated his strength. Religious
enthusiasm is avowedly subject to relapses, and such a relapse now
came on Florence. The extravagances of his followers, and his own,
had swelled the number of his enemies. Many originally well disposed
towards him were shocked at his open defiance of the Pope, and at his
daring to administer the sacrament when excommunicated. The Franciscan
order, always jealous of the Dominicans, now redoubled their attacks,
led by Savonarola’s old rival Fra Mariano de Genazzano. Even the
majority of the Dominicans outside San Marco declared against him.
Of this reaction his enemies were quick enough to take advantage.
Accordingly the Signory of March, 1498, only counted three of his
adherents among its members. Still many of the Dieci, who having been
elected for six months did not leave office, were in his favour. When
therefore Alexander threatened the city with an interdict, unless
Savonarola ceased preaching and came to Rome for absolution, the
Government adopted a middle course; they persuaded the friar to cease
preaching, yet would not force him to leave for Rome.

  | The ordeal by fire.

It is doubtful whether in any case Alexander would now have stayed
his hand, for Savonarola had begun to speak of a General Council,
and it was known that Charles VIII. was likely to support the cry,
while the opponents of Savonarola, more especially the Franciscans of
Santa Croce, were open-mouthed for his destruction. In any case the
fatal suggestion of the ordeal by fire precipitated the crisis. This,
whether first suggested by the Franciscans or no, was eagerly taken up
by them. ‘I believe I shall be burned,’ said the Franciscan, Francesco
da Puglia, ‘but I am ready to die to free this people. If Savonarola
does not burn, you may hold him to be a true prophet.’

Savonarola himself declined to thus tempt God, but Fra Domenico da
Pescia, his most faithful follower, declared his willingness to stand
his champion. Savonarola could scarcely refuse; the Signory after
much debate consented; and on April 7, an eager crowd assembled on
the Piazza to witness the ordeal. It may be questioned whether either
party expected that the ordeal would really be essayed; in any case
it was the Franciscans who raised objections. Declaring that they
feared magic on Savonarola’s part, they first demanded that his
champion should lay aside his chasuble and his vestments; they then
objected to his bearing the crucifix, and finally insisted that he
should not carry the Host into the fire. Here at last Savonarola
refused compliance. Meanwhile the day wore on. It began to rain, and
finally the Signory postponed the trial. The mob was now mad with
disappointment, and next day the Compagnacci seized the opportunity to
attack San Marco (April 8). Francesco Valori, the firmest supporter
of Savonarola, who had often held office as Gonfalonier, was slain
among others. The brethren, however, stood firm at San Marco until
the Signory intervened and arrested Savonarola and his two chief
supporters, Fra Domenico and Fra Silvestro.

  | Execution of the Friar. May 23, 1498.

Alexander now demanded that the friar should be handed over to him
for trial. After much negotiation it was agreed that the Pope should
send two commissaries to judge of the spiritual offences, while
the Florentine commissioners should decide on the offences against
the city. At the same time, Alexander granted to Florence a tax of
three-tenths on ecclesiastical revenues. ‘Three times ten makes
thirty,’ said a Piagnone; ‘they have sold our master, as Christ was
sold, for thirty pieces of silver.’ Meanwhile Savonarola had been
put to the torture, and was said to have confessed that he was no
true prophet. But it is acknowledged that confessions extorted under
torture are not worthy of the slightest credit; there is good reason,
moreover, to believe that his depositions were falsified. His enemies
were determined on his ruin. All that was necessary to secure their
final triumph was that the elections of May should return a Signory
hostile to the friar. This was attained by excluding 200 Piagnoni
from the Great Council. A Signory of Arrabiati was thus secured.
Savonarola and his two followers, found guilty of heresy by the papal
commissaries, and of treason to the State by his fellow-citizens, went
to their death with all the constancy of martyrs, May 23, 1498.

Contemporaries were much divided in their opinions on the merits
of Savonarola, and the contest rages still. ‘The thing I shall be
most anxious to know when I get into Heaven,’ said a later Pope, ‘is
whether Savonarola was a righteous man or no.’ Those who denounce him
as a hypocrite, pretending to believe in divine guidance, and in the
gift of prophecy to attain his ends, are surely ignorant of the subtle
influences under which religious leaders have ever acted; men who
carry with them into life a profound conviction of the divine ruling
of the world. Those who lightly dismiss him as a fanatic, have never
felt the burning shame of sin which consumes the reformer’s soul. That
he was led to think that God had intrusted him with a mission and had
used him as the trumpet of His warnings we may well believe; that he
was betrayed into some extravagances will only convict him of ordinary
human frailty.

As has been stated above, his real mistake lay in trespassing on the
sphere of politics. Had he confined himself to the work of a moral
reformer, he perhaps would not have risen so high; yet he would have
escaped from many contradictions, and never have fallen so low. The
office of the preacher and that of the statesman are not easily
reconciled. When once he had associated himself with the fortunes
of a political party, nothing but complete supremacy could save him
from disaster. For the rest, the work of Savonarola must not be
confused with the later Reformation. He had no idea of breaking from
the Church, or of disputing her doctrines. His mind was set in a
mediæval mould. He belongs to the long list of those great reformers
who, like St. Francis of Assisi, strove to bring the life of man into
closer harmony with Christian teaching as then understood, but did not
dispute the accepted interpretation of that teaching. He stands forth
as the opponent of that godless pagan spirit which marred the movement
of the Renaissance, to rebuke the moral turpitude of his country,
which was surely working her ruin.


§ 3. _Louis XII. The War of Milan and Naples._

  | Internal policy of Louis XII.

The accession of Louis XII. was popular. He had in his earlier
years led the opposition against Anne of Beaujeu, and for that had
suffered imprisonment, but of late he had been the loyal supporter
of King Charles. Careless and fond of pleasure as a young man, he
had, while retaining his generous and chivalrous spirit, now become
more serious. Declaring at his accession that ‘the King did not
remember the wrongs done to him as Duke,’ he showed favour to Anne of
Beaujeu and her husband, whom he had once so bitterly resisted. On
the marriage of their only child, Susanna, with the young Charles,
Count of Montpensier, he annulled the decree of Louis XI. which had
declared that, in the default of male issue, the dominion of Bourbon
should fall to the crown. By this act of generosity, he postponed the
incorporation of the last great noble domain in France.

  | Louis determines to attack Milan.

The reign was inaugurated by several useful measures. The ‘taille’[11]
was reduced; the sale of judicial offices forbidden; an attempt was
made to check the venality of the magistrates. Provence and Normandy
were given local _Parlements_ or courts of justice, which might serve
as a counterbalance to the _Parlement_ of Paris, while the extravagant
privileges of the University of Paris in the matter of jurisdiction
were curtailed. Political interest may by some be held to justify
Louis’ divorce from his first wife Jeanne, daughter of Louis XI.,
and his marriage with Anne of Brittany, widow of Charles VIII.; for
Jeanne was childless, and Brittany threatened to break away again
from France. But, in the negotiations with the Pope concerning the
divorce, the King acted meanly, and the stipulation insisted on by
Anne of Brittany, that her duchy should not be united to the crown
of France, might have led to further trouble, had not Francis of
Angoulême, subsequently King Francis I., married Claude, the issue
of the marriage. In a word the home policy of the King might justify
his title of ‘Father of his People,’ had not his ambition led him to
follow in the steps of Charles and seek for conquests in Italy. If
his chivalrous spirit demanded war, the renewed attempt of Maximilian
to regain Burgundy and the lands on the west of Flanders, which
he still claimed as the heritage of his son, the Archduke Philip,
would have fully justified Louis in taking the offensive, and adding
Franche-Comté to his dominions. But his eyes, like those of Charles,
were dazzled with the fair skies and plains of Italy, and Italy alone
would satisfy French ambitions. Milan, however, and not Naples, was
the first object of Louis’ attack.

The invasion of Charles VIII. should have taught the Italians the
necessity of union. But this was not to be. Even in the League of
Venice, the aims of Italian statesmen had been purely selfish, and the
common danger once removed, their old rivalries returned and broke up
the coalition.

  | Alexander and Venice desert the League of Venice and
  | ally themselves with France.

Savonarola had been ‘sacrificed by the Pope, because Florence would
not join the League’--yet no sooner was he gone than Alexander VI.
deserted it himself. The chief aim of Alexander’s pontificate was
to strengthen the temporal dominion of the Papacy. Following in the
steps of Sixtus IV., he hoped to gain his end through his family. His
eldest son, the Duke of Gandia, was first chosen as his instrument.
He designed to make him Lord of the Patrimony of St. Peter and crush
the Orsini, who had given him a pretext by supporting the cause of
Charles VIII. But the Orsini had proved too strong. The attempt had
failed, and the mysterious murder of the duke in June 1497, seemed
for the moment to ruin his hopes. The Pope, however, was not a man
easily dismayed. He shortly resumed his scheme, and now looked to his
third son, the notorious Cæsar Borgia. Cæsar, unfortunately, was
both deacon and cardinal; but in August 1498, his father released him
from his ecclesiastical vows ‘for the good of his soul.’ Having thus
removed this primary obstacle, the Pope at first designed to marry him
to Carlotta, the daughter of Federigo of Naples, whereby Cæsar might
some day gain a claim to the throne of that kingdom. Baulked in this
hope by the refusal of Federigo, Alexander turned to France. In return
for the papal bull sanctioning the divorce of his first wife Jeanne,
and a cardinal’s hat for George of Amboise, his chief adviser, Louis
XII. invested Cæsar with the counties of Valentinois and Diois, and
the title of duke. Subsequently he bestowed upon him the hand of his
niece, the beautiful Charlotte d’Albret (May 1499), and promised to
assist him in his designs on the Romagna. Thus Alexander was detached
from the League.

The relations between Venice and Ludovico had never been cordial.
At the battle of Fornovo, the duke had played it false, and ordered
his troops not to press the French too closely. Shortly after this
the Pisan War led to further disagreement. Angry at the refusal of
Florence to join the League of Venice, Ludovico and Venice had both
supported Pisa in her struggle for independence. But the lust of
conquest soon began to tempt them, and, as both could not hold Pisa,
a quarrel was inevitable. At first Ludovico called upon the Emperor
Maximilian to secure that city, hoping eventually to wrest it from his
hands; but the expedition had failed (October 1496), and Ludovico,
rather than see the city fall under Venetian control, deserted the
Pisan cause, and aided the Florentines with men and money (May 1498).
Venice accordingly turned a ready ear to Louis’ offers, and in the
Treaty of Blois (February 1499), agreed to support his claim to the
Duchy of Milan with arms: Louis, on his side, promising her Cremona
and the Ghiara d’Adda, a small district on the left bank of that
river, as her share of the Milanese spoil.

  | Desperate position of Ludovico.

Thus Louis had succeeded in breaking up the League, and Ludovico
was left without an available ally. Ferdinand of Spain was already
thinking of seizing Naples for himself, and had no mind to interfere
in Lombardy; Federigo of Naples was trembling for his throne, and was
in no position to lend him aid; while Maximilian, at this time engaged
in a war with the Swiss, and at variance with his Diet on questions
concerning the Imperial Constitution, could not render any assistance.
In his despair Ludovico stirred up the Turks, and Bajazet II. sent an
army to ravage the Venetian territories in Friuli, an act which did
not materially assist him, and still further irritated his enemies.

  | The French enter Italy. August 1499.

In August 1499, the French army crossed the Alps commanded by three
redoubtable leaders: the Lombard Trivulzio, who had deserted the
cause of Alfonso of Naples and adopted France as his country, a man
of whom Ludovico said, ‘a halter awaits him as soon as caught’;
Stuart d’Aubigny, who had already earned a reputation in the war of
Naples; and Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Ligny, the patron of the
Chevalier Bayard, whose chivalrous exploits in the coming campaigns
remind us that the Middle Age had not yet departed. The Duke of Savoy
gave them free passage through Piedmont. At Asti they were joined
by a contingent of 5000 Swiss, sent by the Cantons, who had made a
treaty with Louis. The advance on Milan met with scant resistance. The
village of Annona, fortified by Ludovico, indeed held out, but was
taken by assault on the second day, and the garrison put to the sword.
Terrified by their fate, and beguiled by the promises and the bribes
of Trivulzio, castles and cities opened their gates. Alessandria,
evacuated by the Milanese army under Galeazzo di San Severino, who
was probably bribed by the French, made submission, but was cruelly
pillaged, and the French crossed the Po.

  | The Venetians advance on Lodi.

  | Ludovico flies to Innsbruck. The French and Venetians
  | occupy the Milanese. Sept. 1499.

  | Reaction against the French.

Meanwhile the Venetian army from the east occupied Caravaggio, and
advanced to Lodi. Ludovico now saw that his cause was lost. Warned by
a riot in Milan that the capital could not be trusted, he despatched
his two sons and his treasure to Germany, threw provisions into
the castle of Milan, and fled to seek assistance of Maximilian at
Innsbruck (September 2). Ludovico gone, the citizens of Milan hastened
to offer the keys of the city to the French. On September 14, the
citadel itself surrendered; Genoa followed suit, and thus within
a month, the French and Venetians found themselves masters of the
Milanese, without having had to fight a single important battle. But
they were not to hold their conquest without another struggle. The
rapidity of the French conquest, like that of Naples by Charles VIII.,
illustrates the weakness of Italy. The treachery and cowardice of the
soldiery was the result of the evil traditions of Italian condottier
warfare. The army once gone, the citizens could scarcely have resisted
if they would, and they would not if they could. Devoid of all sense
of patriotism or loyalty, they feared the vengeance of the French, and
listened easily to their promises of milder government, and lighter
taxation. These indeed Louis attempted to fulfil, but extravagant
expectations had been raised, and the choice of Trivulzio as Governor
of Milan was an unfortunate one. A Lombard himself, he became a party
man; his severity alienated the lower classes, while the pride and
insolence of the French soon lost them the affection of their new
subjects.

  | Ludovico returns. Feb. 1500.

  | The French evacuate Milan, but take Ludovico prisoner
  | at Novara, April 5, and re-occupy the city.

A few months sufficed to disillusionise the Italians, and when, in
February 1500, Ludovico returned with an army he had collected in the
North, the French were forced to evacuate Milan and surrender their
conquests as quickly as they had gained them. All seemed lost, when in
April the French army, reinforced from France, again moved forward to
relieve the citadel of Novara, which, with the castle of Milan, alone
held out. The motley character of the army of Ludovico, composed as
it was of mercenaries from Franche-Comté and Switzerland, Albania
and Lombardy, would in any case have rendered victory doubtful,
but the chances of battle were never tried owing to the treachery
of the Germans and the Swiss. The latter pleaded as an excuse that
they could not fight against their countrymen who were serving the
French with leave of the Confederation. The only pretext the Germans
could find was arrears of pay. Allowed by the French to retire,
these honourable companions in arms did not even insist on the same
terms being granted to their Milanese comrades, or to the Duke. When
therefore the Milanese troops attempted to retreat, they were cut down
by the French. The Duke was discovered among the Swiss in the disguise
of a friar, and on April 17, the French re-entered the capital. The
rich Duchy of Milan was now theirs, with the exception of the strip of
country to the east of the Adda, which fell to the Venetians, and the
district round Bellinzona, which was seized by the Swiss in the pay of
Louis, and which they retain to this day.

  | Fortunes of the Sforza family.

The Sforza family suffered cruelly for Ludovico’s fatal act in first
calling the French into Italy and for his subsequent breach of faith.
The Duke, who had vaunted himself on his cleverness, ended his days in
the dungeons of Loches in Touraine (1508). His brother, the Cardinal
Ascanio, and Francesco, son of the unfortunate Gian Galeazzo, also
fell into French hands. Ascanio was released in 1503, but died in
1505. Francesco was forced to become a monk and died in 1511, and
the only important representatives of the male line of the Sforza
who remained were the two sons of Ludovico, Maximilian and Francesco
Maria, who were hereafter for a period to regain the duchy.[12]

The collapse of the power of Ludovico is a signal illustration of
the insufficiency and untrustworthiness of mercenary troops. Caring
nothing for the cause they had momentarily espoused, they were ever
open to bribes, or ready to desert when desertion served their turn.

  | Short-sighted policy of Venice.

For the rest, the policy of Venice in thus calling the French for the
second time into Italy, was as short-sighted as it was blameworthy.
The Venetians pleaded as a pretext their fears of the ambitious
schemer Ludovico, yet he was never likely to be so formidable as the
French, and, as Machiavelli well observes, ‘in their desire to win two
districts in Lombardy they helped Louis to become master of two-thirds
of Italy.’

  | Treaty of Granada between Louis and Ferdinand.
  | Nov. 11, 1500.

Louis once master of Milan hurried on his preparations against Naples.
The only opponent who was likely to be formidable was Ferdinand
the Catholic. He had helped to restore the Aragonese dynasty after
the retreat of Charles, and might well put in his claim, if the
illegitimate branch of his house were to be excluded. ‘But how,’ said
his envoy, ‘if you were to come to some agreement with us respecting
Naples as you did with Venice about Milan?’ The suggestion was
welcomed by Louis, and in November 1500, the secret Treaty of Granada
was signed. An excuse for that shameless compact was found in the
alliance which Federigo in his distress had made with the Turk. After
deploring the discords of Christian princes, which weakened them
before the Turk, the preamble asserts that ‘no other princes, save the
Kings of France and Aragon, have any title to the crown of Naples, and
as King Federigo has excited the Turk to the peril of Christendom, the
two powers, in order to rescue it from this danger and to maintain the
peace, agree to compromise their respective claims, and divide the
kingdom of Naples itself.’ The northern provinces, consisting of the
Abruzzi and the land of Lavoro, with the title of king, were to go to
Louis; the Duchy of Calabria and Apulia in the south as a dukedom to
Ferdinand. That there was danger to be apprehended from the Turks was
true enough; not only had they ravaged Friuli in the autumn of 1499,
they had also defeated the Venetian fleet off Sapienza, and taken
Modon and Navarino in the Morea. That the cry of a crusade was not a
mere pretext is proved by the treaties made by Louis in the spring of
1500 with Ladislas, King of Bohemia and Hungary, and with the King
of Poland; by the fleet despatched by Ferdinand to aid the Venetians
in the siege of St. George in Cephalonia (September 1500), and by
the French attack on Mitylene in 1501. It is even possible, that the
conquest of Italy from the north alone saved that country from falling
before the Turk, but the advance of the Sultan might have been more
successfully opposed by a joint European coalition, and, as events
showed, lust of conquest was the primary motive of the allies.

The treaty of Granada was ‘the first open assertion in European
politics of the principles of dynastic aggrandisement; the first of
those partition treaties by which peoples were handed over from one
Government to another as appendages to family estates.’ Not only was
the treaty of Granada a crime, it was also a fatal blunder on the
part of Louis. ‘The French,’ says Machiavelli, ‘have little skill in
matters of State, for whereas before, Louis was sole umpire in Italy,
he now entertained a partner, and whereas Louis might have made the
king of Naples his pensioner, he turned him out and put the Spaniard
in his place, who turned out Louis himself.’ The compact was at first
kept secret, and Federigo still hoped for assistance from Ferdinand.
In June 1501, however, when the French army under D’Aubigny entered
Rome on its southward march, Pope Alexander publicly ratified the
treaty, declared Federigo deposed as a traitor to Christendom, and
invested Louis and Ferdinand with his dominions.

  | Federigo abdicates and retires to France. August 1501.

Federigo, despairing of his cause, did not dare to meet the French
in the field. Capua, which alone stood out, was taken by assault on
July 23, and handed over to a brutal soldiery who massacred the men
and outraged the women. To save his country from further misery, the
unfortunate King capitulated, and, accepting the terms of Louis,
retired to France, to live till 1504 a pensioner, with the title of
Duke of Anjou.

The southern part of the kingdom made a somewhat more vigorous
resistance to the Spaniards. They would have preferred, they said, the
French as masters. But on the fall of Taranto in March 1502, Ferrante,
the young Duke of Calabria, surrendered, and, in violation of a
promise that he might retire whither he would, was sent to Spain to
die in 1550.[13] Thus in less than two years the two families, whose
quarrels had first invited the foreigner into Italy, had been driven
from their country.

  | Quarrel between Louis and Ferdinand.

Naples and Milan conquered, Western Europe found itself dominated
by two great leagues, that of Louis XII., closely allied with the
Pope and some of the German princes, and that of the Austro-Spanish
houses. The latter was a family league cemented by the marriage of the
Archduke Philip, son of the Emperor Maximilian, with Joanna, eldest
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella,[14] and included England and
Portugal. At this moment there seemed a prospect of these two leagues
coalescing. In 1501, it had been agreed that Charles, the young son
of the Archduke Philip, should marry the Princess Claude, daughter
of Louis XII. The children were yet young, but the joint conquest
of Naples by the Spanish and the French seemed a guarantee of their
future friendship, and that the marriage would eventually take place.
Had this compact stood, Europe would have been united as it had never
been before, and, if there was some danger that this powerful league
would have destroyed the political balance, and ridden rough-shod over
the smaller princes, at least a crusade to check the advance of the
Turks, or even to drive them from Europe, might have been possible.
The dream, however, was soon to be dispelled by the quarrel of Louis
and Ferdinand over their spoil in Naples. In the original treaty of
partition no definite mention had been made of the Basilicata,[15] the
Capitanata, and the two districts of the Principati. These furnished
an easy cause of dispute, which was further complicated by the claim
to the tolls paid on the sheep-flocks as they passed from their summer
pasture in the Abruzzi to their winter quarters in the Capitanata. The
quarrel might possibly have been compromised had it not been fomented
by the internal factions of the country. The old partisans of Anjou
were strongest in Apulia, while the Spaniards found many adherents in
districts held by the French.

  | The War of Naples. July 1502.

These dissensions soon led to an open rupture, and in July 1502, the
war began. The ensuing struggle is famous in the history of chivalry,
which gleamed forth for the last time in these Italian wars, and is
well depicted in the picturesque pages of the life of Bayard. On the
French side, we find Imbercourt, ‘to whom, wherever there was a battle
to fight, the heat of the Italian noontide seemed like the cool of
morning’; the aged La Palice, who in the _mêlée_ forgot his age;
and Bayard himself, the soul of knightly courtesy and valour. On the
side of Spain, stood Diego de Paredes, whose feats of extravagant
daring furnish the theme for many a Spanish romance; and Pedro de
Paz, a squinting dwarf, who scarce could be seen above the head of
his charger, yet had the heart of a lion; while Gonzalvo de Cordova,
the ‘Great Captain’ himself, added to his masterly qualities as a
general the chivalrous courtesy and manners of a knight-errant. These,
and many others, fought, not so much for victory, as for honour.
Not content with the opportunities offered by the regular military
operations for the display of their prowess, they challenged each
other to jousts and tourneys, which, though fought _à l’outrance_,
were conducted with all the punctiliousness, and all the ceremony of
the lists. As we read the history of their combats, we fancy that we
are present at a tournament of the Middle Ages--the contest, one for
knightly prestige, the prize, some guerdon awarded by lady’s hand.[16]
But the real issue was not decided by these feats of personal valour.
On the declaration of hostilities, the French had the advantage in
numbers and in the quality of their troops, as well as the command of
the sea.

  | D’Aubigny’s victory at Terranova, Dec. 15, 1502.

  | Siege of Barletta.

In December 1502, the victory of D’Aubigny at Terranova, over a force
which had just landed from Spain, gave him the whole of Calabria.
Gonzalvo de Cordova, the Spanish commander-in-chief, unable to keep
the field, assumed the defensive attitude, and threw his troops
into the fortified towns of Apulia. Of these, Barletta was the
most important. Here the Spanish general entrenched himself, and
patiently waited for reinforcements from Sicily and Spain; but
Ferdinand was remiss in sending aid; while a French fleet, holding
the sea, prevented troops or supplies being shipped from Sicily. The
distress was so severe that Gonzalvo de Cordova had great difficulty
in preventing a surrender, and had the French general, the Duc de
Nemours, shown more energy, the Spaniards might have been driven from
the country.

  | Treaty of Lyons. April 5, 1503.

In April 1503 there seemed a chance of peace. The Archduke Philip,
as he passed through France, visited Louis XII. at Lyons, and there
made a treaty by which it was agreed that Naples should eventually
go to the young Charles and the Princess Claude, who, in 1501, had
been betrothed. Until the children should be old enough to marry, the
French portion of the kingdom was to be administered by a nominee of
Louis, the Spanish, by the Archduke Philip, or some deputy appointed
by Ferdinand. Whether Ferdinand had allowed these negotiations to be
entered into merely to gain time, as the French declare, or whether,
as seems more probable, Philip, who was not on good terms with his
father-in-law, had exceeded his instructions, the results to France
were fatal.

  | Hostilities renewed.

The treaty signed, Louis countermanded the embarkation of
reinforcements from Genoa, and ordered a suspension of hostilities
in Naples. Meanwhile the position of the Spaniards had materially
improved. In February, their general, taking advantage of the foolish
movement of the Duc de Nemours to recover Castellaneta, which had just
revolted to Spain, made a sortie from Barletta, captured Ruvo, and
took La Palice prisoner. In March, the defeat of the French fleet gave
the command of the sea to Spain.

Now strengthened by reinforcements, Gonzalvo de Cordova openly
repudiated the treaty of Lyons, and at last assumed the offensive. So
overwhelming was the superiority of the Spaniards that two battles
fought within eight days of each other sufficed to make them masters
of the country.

  | French defeated at Seminara, April 20, 1503; and
  | Cerignola, April 28.

The defeat of D’Aubigny at Seminara by the Spanish General, Fernando
de Andrada, on April 20, and his surrender which shortly followed,
gave them Calabria. On the 27th, the Great Captain at last leaving
Barletta, where he had lain entrenched so long, sought the French
at Cerignola (April 28). Here taking up a strong position, with his
front protected by a ditch, which he filled with pointed stakes and
strengthened with a rampart, he awaited the onslaught of the French.
The Duc de Nemours, true to that cautious strategy which had hitherto
prevented him from taking full advantage of his superior strength, was
for postponing the attack. Stung, however, by the reproaches flung
at him by Ives d’Allègre, one of his officers, he rashly ordered an
advance as evening was already closing in. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘perhaps
those who vaunt the loudest will be found to trust more to their
spurs than to their swords.’ The event justified the taunt. In vain,
the French flung themselves with desperate valour on the ditch and
ramparts. They were exposed to the concentrated fire of the enemy and
beaten back. The Duc de Nemours himself, and Chandieu, the leader of
the Swiss contingent, were slain. The explosion of a Spanish powder
magazine caused more confusion to the French than to the foe, and
Gonzalvo de Cordova, seizing the moment, ordered a general advance.
The French, wearied by their long struggle, broke and fled.

  | The French driven from Naples.

Henceforth, the advance of the Spaniards was unchecked. The French
proved the truth of the Italian saying that, ‘while in their attacks
they were more than men, they were less than women in their retreats.’
In one day, thirty castles surrendered to the ‘Great Captain.’ On the
13th of May, Naples opened its gates, and Gaëta, Venosa, and Santa
Severina remained the only important places in French hands.

  | Renewed attempts of Louis XII.

Louis XII. made desperate attempts to retrieve his disaster. Three
large armies were raised: one to penetrate into Spain by the way
of Fontarabia; the second to invade Roussillon and seize Salces on
the frontier; the third to re-enter Italy. Two fleets were also
equipped, one in Genoa, the other in Marseilles; the first to support
the invasion of Naples, the other to co-operate with the attack on
Roussillon by threatening the coast of Catalonia. But fortune did
not smile upon his efforts. The invasion of Spain was delayed by the
supineness or the treachery of the commander, Alan d’Albret.[17] The
fleet intended for Catalonia was driven back by heavy weather. The
attack on Roussillon was equally unfortunate. The fortress of Salces,
strengthened by Pedro Navarra, the best engineer of his day, was too
strong to be taken by assault; and in October, Ferdinand, marching to
its relief with a superior force, drove the French over the frontier.
Disheartened by these reverses Louis XII. consented to a truce of five
months (15th November), which was subsequently extended. Curiously
enough, the unfortunate Federigo of Naples was called upon to act as
peacemaker between the two robbers who were still quarrelling over the
kingdom they had dispoiled him of. For Naples was not included in the
truce, and thither the third French army had marched in July 1503,
under the leadership of La Trémouille.

  | Death of Alexander VI., Aug. 18, 1503, and election of
  | Pius III.

But the death of Pope Alexander, on August 18, caused delay. The
papal tiara had long been the aim of Cardinal d’Amboise, an ambition
favoured by Louis XII. Under the idea that the presence of the
army might influence the election, it was ordered to halt within a
few miles of Rome. The cardinals were indignant at this attempt to
overawe them, and the movement of a Spanish force from the south,
as well as the presence of Cæsar Borgia with his troops in the
Castle of St. Angelo, made them fear lest the matter might lead to
a conflict. D’Amboise therefore allowed the army to depart. Shortly
after, despairing of success, he supported the election of Cardinal
Piccolomini who, on September 22, became Pope Pius III. This delay of
a month was fatal to the French cause. The expedition was postponed to
the autumn and winter, which proved to be exceptionally wet and cold.
La Trémouille fell ill and resigned his command to the Marquis of
Mantua, an inferior general, and time was given to Gonzalvo de Cordova
to obtain reinforcements.

  | Battle of the Garigliano, Dec. 28, 1503.

Even as it was, however, the French were superior in numbers, and
the ‘Great Captain’ found it necessary to abandon the siege of
Gaëta, which still held out for the French, and to drop back on the
river Garigliano. The French, after a desperate conflict, succeeded
in throwing a bridge over the river (November 6), but failed in
dislodging the Spaniards from their position about a mile to the rear,
which had, as usual, been strengthened by Don Gonzalvo. Finally,
throwing up an earthwork to protect the bridge, they dropped back to
their old position. Seven weeks of inaction followed, broken only by
partial skirmishes and personal combats.

Meanwhile the weather, which had been wet, grew worse. From this,
owing to the lowness and swampiness of their position, the Spaniards
suffered much. Yet Gonzalvo de Cordova succeeded in imparting to
his men his unconquerable determination to hold the position at any
cost. Urged to retreat he answered, ‘I would not fall back a step to
gain a hundred years of life.’ The effect on the French was far more
disastrous. In spite of their being on higher, and therefore drier
ground, the troops and the horses did not endure the wet and cold
so well. The country and even the roads became so sodden, that the
movements of the cavalry, and still more those of the artillery, the
two forces in which the French excelled, were seriously impeded.

  | The French finally lose Naples, 1504.

Under such depressing circumstances, insubordination, the chief
evil of the French armies of those days, began to show itself, and
finally vented itself against the Marquis of Mantua, their general.
Pleading ill-health he resigned, to be succeeded by the Marquis of
Saluzzo. This led to the desertion of some Italian troops, insulted
at the treatment of their countryman. Thus, time was fighting for the
Spaniards; and when at last, recruited by the Orsini, whom he had
cleverly succeeded in conciliating, he felt strong enough to assume
the offensive, he met with but faint resistance. On the night of
December 28, the troops who guarded the river were overwhelmed and
the passage of the river effected. The French, surprised in their
scattered cantonments by the suddenness of the attack, were unable
to concentrate, and forced to retreat. In spite of numerous deeds
of valour, the retreat soon became a rout, and the remnants of the
army fell back in confusion on Gaëta. Here after one more struggle
they capitulated (January 1, 1504), on the condition that they should
retire unmolested, and that all prisoners in Spanish hands should be
released. The few remaining strongholds speedily surrendered, and the
Neapolitan kingdom was won for Ferdinand.

The victory of the Spaniards was due to their possession of Sicily,
whence they could draw support, and to the failure of the French to
retain the command of the sea, so that reinforcements could come
from Spain; to the exceptional inclemency of the winter, which seems
to have been more severely felt by the French than the Spaniards;
in great measure to the unpopularity of the French, the result of
their licence and overbearing conduct; largely to the quarrels of the
French generals; but, above all, to their inferiority when matched
against the ‘Great Captain.’ Cautious, where caution was necessary,
he refused to be drawn from his position till the right moment came;
but, when he saw his opportunity, struck with decision and rapidity.
Never despairing under the most gloomy circumstances, he was able
to communicate his fortitude, and impart his cheerfulness to his
soldiery. Gracious and conciliatory, he earned the love of his army,
yet knew how to be severe when discipline was threatened. A master
of diplomacy, as well as of war, he succeeded, as no other foreign
general had, in winning over enemies, and in settling the factions of
that most factious country, Italy. Courteous in manner, and splendid
in his style of life, he won the hearts of the giddy Neapolitans. Nor
was Gonzalvo de Cordova above learning from his foe. To the short
sword and buckler, the national weapons of the Spaniards, so effective
for attack at close quarters, he added the long German spear, whereby
their power of defence was materially increased. Indeed, he may be
said to have made the Spanish infantry, which, re-armed by him and
reduced to discipline, became for a time the most formidable force in
Europe.


§ 4. _Alexander VI. and Cæsar Borgia._

  | Alexander VI. and the Romagna.

While the struggle between the French and Spaniards was being decided
in Naples, events of importance to Italy and Europe were happening in
the centre of the Peninsula. Need of French help in his designs on the
Romagna had been the motive of Alexander’s alliance with Louis XII.
at the date of the Milanese expedition. To the realisation of these
schemes he and his son now eagerly turned.

The Romagna, once the old Exarchate of Ravenna, a district of somewhat
indeterminate limits, lay on the eastern slopes of the Apennines,
stretching to the Adriatic on the east, while to the north it was
bounded by the territories of Venice, to the south by the march of
Ancona. This country is said to have been originally granted to the
Pope by Constantine. The gift was confirmed by Charles the Great, and
all claims to it were definitely surrendered by Rudolph of Hapsburg
in the thirteenth century. The Emperor, however, had granted but
an empty title. The country was in the hands of numerous families
who acknowledged indeed the nominal supremacy of Rome, but were
practically independent.[18]

The possession of these petty states had been long coveted by Milan,
Florence, and Venice. Venice indeed had already encroached on the
territory of Ferrara (1484), and under the new aspect of affairs
caused by the French invasion, the absorption of many of them by one
or other of these powers seemed inevitable. This Alexander hoped to
obviate by reasserting the papal supremacy, which had never been
formally denied, and by reducing the district to obedience.

The pretext for the overthrow of these principalities was that they
had not paid the yearly dues which they owed the Pope as his vicars,
and no sooner had the French entered Italy in the autumn of 1499, than
Cæsar proceeded to execute the papal decree of confiscation.

  | The conquests of Cæsar in the Romagna. Nov.
  | 1499-April 1501.

Louis XII., in pursuance of his promise, sent 300 lances under the
command of Ives d’Allègre, while 4000 Swiss infantry were hired as
mercenaries. With these forces Cæsar marched against Imola and Forli
(Nov. 9). The two cities did not make any resistance, but the castles
held out longer, especially that of Forli, which was defended by
the brave but masculine Caterina Sforza, and did not surrender till
January, 1500.

The return of Ludovico to Milan in February (cf. p. 38) necessitated
the recall of the French contingent, and Cæsar was forced to postpone
further hostilities until the ensuing September. Then, reinforced once
more by French assistance, and holding the title of Gonfalonier of the
Church, just bestowed upon him by his father, Cæsar speedily reduced
Pesaro and Rimini. Faenza, happy under the mild rule of the young
Astorre Manfredi, offered stout resistance, and did not fall till
April, 1501. In violation of the terms of capitulation the unfortunate
Astorre was sent to Rome, and in the following June was found drowned
in the Tiber. By whose order the deed was done, no one knew, but all
men not unnaturally suspected the hand of the Borgias.

  | Cæsar created Duke of Romagna, April 1501. Admitted a
  | member of the Venetian oligarchy.

  | Louis XII. forbids Cæsar to attack Bologna and
  | Florence.

Fortune now seemed to favour Cæsar. Created Duke of Romagna by
Alexander, he had been enrolled a member of the Venetian nobility by
that proud republic, which hoped thus to gain papal aid against the
Turk. He had in his pay the best of the Italian condottiers, and the
remaining cities of the Romagna were trembling. Dazzled by his rapid
successes, his views expanded. He now aspired not only to complete his
conquest of the Romagna, but to interfere in the affairs of Florence,
if not eventually to make himself master of all Tuscany. For a time,
however, his ambition was checked. Bologna and Florence were both
under French protection, and Louis ordered him to stay his hand. The
Pope became alarmed, and Cæsar was forced to content himself with a
sum of money paid by Florence, and an agreement to take him into her
service for three years. Leaving therefore his army to take Piombino,
which surrendered in September, he joined the French expedition
against Naples (July). In September he returned to find his sister
Lucrezia betrothed to Alfonso, the son of Ercole of Este.

  | Lucrezia Borgia.

This beautiful woman[19] whose character has been the subject of
almost as much controversy as that of Mary Queen of Scots, and who has
been accused, probably unjustly, of the most unmentionable crimes,
seems rather to have been a person of colourless disposition who was
made the puppet of the schemes of her father and brother. She had
already been married twice. From her first husband, Giovanni Sforza,
Lord of Pesaro, she had been divorced to wed the Duke of Biseglia, an
illegitimate son of Alfonso II. of Naples (August 1498). At that date
the Pope desired an alliance with Naples, but two years afterwards the
papal policy had changed. The second invasion of Naples by Louis XII.
was about to take place, and the friendship of Naples was no longer
needed. Personal antipathies widened the breach, and in August 1500,
the Duke was murdered by Cæsar’s orders. Now, barely a year since the
foul deed, a new husband was found for this girl of twenty-one.

Alexander’s motives, as before, were political. The alliance of
Ferrara was valuable. It protected the Romagna from the North, and
threatened Bologna. The results were not so great as had been hoped,
but the marriage was a happier one than might have been expected;
and Lucrezia in her Ferrarese home found peace and a refuge from the
slander which had hitherto assailed her.

  | Further successes of Cæsar.

Meanwhile the quarrel between France and Spain offered new
opportunities to Cæsar, since Louis needed papal support and was in
no position to thwart him overmuch. He had indeed to surrender Arezzo,
which had in June rebelled against Florence and called in Vitellozzo
Vitelli, one of Cæsar’s captains. But in January 1502, Fermo; in
June, Urbino; in July, Camerino had been occupied, while Pisa, which
still held out against Florence, offered to recognise him as its lord.
Finally in August, he obtained the leave of Louis to attack Bologna.

  | The Conspiracy of Sinigaglia.

At this moment a revolt of his captains threatened to overwhelm him.
The rapid success of Cæsar had awakened the apprehensions of these
men. Once master of the Romagna, he would no longer need their help,
and might turn against them; indeed, his negotiations with Florence at
this time lead one to suspect that he had already made up his mind to
destroy them. The chief conspirators were Vitellozzo Vitelli of Città
di Castello, Oliverotto da Fermo, the Duke of Gravina and Paolo, both
Orsini, and Gian Paolo Baglioni of Perugia. These gained the adhesion
of Cardinal Orsini, Giovanni Bentivoglio of Bologna, and others. They
met at Magione (October 9, 1502), near Lake Thrasimene, where they
swore to be true to one another, and applied to Florence for aid. A
rebellion was stirred up in Urbino, from whence Cæsar’s troops were
driven, and another contingent of his was defeated at Fossombrone
(October 17).

A terrible retribution was, however, soon to fall upon the rebels.
Louis sent Cæsar aid. The opportune death of the wealthy Cardinal of
Modena, whether poisoned or no, enabled Alexander to appropriate his
possessions to Cæsar’s military needs. Florence feared the hostility
of Cæsar and would not help, and Venice, in spite of the exhortations
of Ferdinand to seize the opportunity of freeing Italy from the
tyrant, was too cautious to move.

  | The Massacre of Sinigaglia. Dec. 31, 1502.

The confederates began to hesitate. They were unable to raise
any more troops, and were divided amongst themselves. Listening
therefore to the fair promises of Cæsar and the Pope, they made
their peace on October 28, abandoned the cause of Bologna, and, as
an earnest of their goodwill, marched against Sinigaglia. The town
surrendered, but the castle refused to yield to any one but the
Duke. Cæsar accordingly came to Sinigaglia (December 31), and,
beguiling his captains with gracious words, suddenly pounced upon
them. Oliverotto and Vitellozzo were strangled that night, the first
accusing Vitellozzo of tempting him to rebel; Vitellozzo imploring
Cæsar to obtain a plenary indulgence for him from the Pope. Paolo
Orsini and the Duke of Gravina were executed shortly after. Cardinal
Orsini was seized at Rome to die in prison, probably of poison.

  | Further successes of Cæsar suddenly stopped by his
  | illness, and the death of Alexander. Aug. 8, 1503.

The conspiracy put down, nothing seemed to stand in the way of the
papal ambition. Urbino was again reduced; Città di Castello and
Perugia submitted; most of the Orsini strongholds fell; and Alexander
was playing off Spain against France, in the hopes of gaining the
assistance of one or another in support of the still more magnificent
scheme of making Cæsar King of Tuscany, when father and son were
suddenly struck down by an illness, to which Alexander succumbed on
August 8. It was popularly believed that they had fallen victims to
a poisoned cup, which they had intended for one of the cardinals.
The story needs confirmation, but this and others of the kind are at
least an indication of the popular opinion, which thought no crime too
horrible, or too improbable, to be imputed to the Borgias.

  | The election of Julius II. fatal to his cause. Nov. 1,
  | 1503.

The fate of Cæsar now depended on the choice of the cardinals. If he
could secure the election of one who would support him, he might yet
hold his own. Of late Louis XII. had shown an inclination to desert
the Borgia alliance. Cæsar therefore from his sick-bed intrigued
to get one of the Spanish cardinals chosen, but in this he failed.
Louis had hoped to obtain the papal tiara for the Cardinal D’Amboise;
Giuliano della Rovere was determined to prevent the election of a
Spaniard, and hoped to succeed himself. Foiled in the first instance,
Giuliano concurred in the choice of an Italian cardinal, Piccolomini,
who, in memory of his famous uncle Pius II., took the name of Pius
III. But, in October, Pius died, and della Rovere, coming to terms
with Cæsar, secured the votes of the conclave by promises and bribes.
Machiavelli, who however exaggerates Cæsar’s influence in the College
of Cardinals, blames his shortsightedness, because, ‘if he could not
procure the election of his own nominee, he might have prevented
that of della Rovere.’ The new Pope, Julius II., had long been the
enemy of the Borgias. He had instigated Charles VIII. to invade
Italy, and urged him to summon a council to depose Alexander, and
although of late he had acquiesced in the inevitable, and affected
reconciliation, he was not the man to forget past injuries. Fear of
the designs of Venice on the Romagna caused him to support Cæsar for
a moment. But Julius was determined to win the Romagna for the Papacy,
not for the Borgia family, and no sooner did Cæsar attempt to act
independently than he ordered him to return to Rome (November 29).
Cæsar’s captains, however, refused to surrender the places which they
held without his consent, and Cæsar would not consent except at the
price of freedom. After long negotiation the agreement was concluded,
and Cæsar, free once more, set out for Naples to seek the aid of
Spain (April 1504).

  | The end of Cæsar’s career.

Ferdinand was at first inclined to listen, till, convinced by the Pope
that Cæsar would only disturb the peace of Italy, he ordered his
arrest on May 26, 1504, as the Duke was on the point of sailing for
the Romagna. In violation of a safe-conduct given him by Gonzalvo, he
was shortly sent to Spain, where he remained a prisoner till November,
1506. Escaping at last, he found refuge with his brother-in-law, now
King of Navarre, to die in the succeeding March (1507), in a skirmish
with a rebel vassal of the King.

Thus, at the age of thirty-one, ended the career of the man whom
Machiavelli in his _Prince_ holds up as a pattern, in all but his
ill-fortune, to him who would attempt to form a united kingdom of
Italy. No doubt Cæsar had many of the qualities requisite for
success. Clever and versatile in conception, rapid and resolute in
action, and a master of diplomacy, he had in a high degree the quality
of ‘virtù,’ that compound of force and intellect, which we find
praised not only by Machiavelli, but by Commines and other writers of
the day, as the essential characteristic of the ruler.

We must, alas! allow that private morality is not always the
accompaniment of good statesmanship. Although Cæsar was absolutely
without scruple in his treatment of the petty princes of the Romagna,
it may be questioned whether the independence of these petty
principalities was worth preserving. Ruled by despots, no question of
political freedom was involved. With a few exceptions, such as that
of Urbino, they illustrated the evils without the advantages of the
larger tyrannies, and their history is one tangled tale of faction,
murder, and intrigue. The country too, it must be confessed, was well
governed under him, and his rule was not unpopular. But, when all is
said, we cannot believe that a kingdom founded by such cruelty, and
maintained by such villany and treachery, can really be a solid one.
That Machiavelli, dazzled by the temporary good fortune of Cæsar,
should boldly hold him up as a model to be copied, only makes one
realise the cynical despair of the Italians as to the possibility
of success in their country by any other means, and the depth of
degradation to which the people had fallen.[20] Nor, finally, do we
believe that the idea of thus founding a temporal dominion of the
Papacy was likely to succeed. Had Alexander lived longer, it might,
perhaps, have ended in the establishment of another petty kingdom in
Italy. But the state would have been founded in the interest of the
Borgia, not of the Papacy, and would have only added one more enemy
to the advance of the temporal dominion. If the papal authority in
the Romagna was to become a reality, it must be based on a firmer
foundation than that of papal nepotism. This Julius II. saw. Most of
the cities held or threatened by Cæsar fell at once into his hands,
with the exception of Rimini, Faenza, and Cesena, which were seized by
Venice, to be secured, however, by Julius in the war of the League of
Cambray. Meanwhile Perugia and Bologna were gained by Julius in 1506,
while the Duchy of Urbino fell to his nephew, Francesco della Rovere,
who was adopted by Guidobaldo, its late Duke. These territories
were incorporated into the papal dominions; the history of their
semi-independent princes came to an end, and Julius II., rather than
Alexander, established the papal dominion in the Romagna.


§ 5. _The League of Cambray._

The pretext for the invasion of Italy by France and Spain had been the
necessity of securing a base of operations for a crusade against the
Turk. This had been prevented by the quarrel of the robbers over their
spoil. They were now to prove by their attack on Venice--the only
power which had seriously attempted to check the Moslem advance--that
the idea, even if ever seriously entertained, had been definitely
abandoned.

  | Jealousy against Venice, the result of her advance on
  | the mainland.

The hostility with which that republic was viewed by the rest of
Italy dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century, when she
definitely began to aim at establishing a dominion on the Italian
mainland. A quarrel between Milan and the Carrara of Padua enabled her
to overthrow that family, to seize Padua, then, step by step, Vicenza
and Verona, and to advance to the Adige (1405). In 1427 and 1428, she
wrested Brescia and Bergamo from the hands of Filippo Maria Visconti,
Duke of Milan, and after his death secured Crema (1454). Meanwhile she
had acquired the district of Friuli from the Patriarch of Aquileia
(1420), and in 1441 had added Ravenna, hitherto an independent state
under the Polentani, to her conquests. In 1484, the peace of Bagnolo,
which closed the Ferrarese war, gave her Rovigo and the Polesine. In
1499, she gained Cremona and the Ghiara d’Adda from Louis XII., as
the price of her assistance against Ludovico. On the death of Cæsar
Borgia, she had occupied Faenza, Rimini, and Cesena; while in Apulia,
she held the four towns, Trani, Otranto, Gallipoli, Brindisi, which
she had acquired at the date of Charles VIII.’s expedition. Thus,
within the space of some hundred years, Venice had completely altered
her character. The island city had gained a large territory on the
mainland, which stretched to the neighbourhood of Milan, Florence, and
the Papal States. The change of policy has usually been attributed
to the advance of the Turk, which threatened her possessions in the
Ægean Sea, and on the coast of Greece. This no doubt was one of her
motives at a later date. But as her first advance on the mainland
occurred in 1405, some years before the Turk seriously menaced her, we
must look elsewhere for the primary cause. This is to be found in the
danger to be apprehended from the growing power of Milan. As long as
the plain of Lombardy and the approaches to the Alpine passes were in
the hands of petty princes, she could hope to purchase, or to extort,
an outlet for her commerce to the north; but, if these were to fall
into the hands of the powerful and aggressive Dukes of Milan, they
might be closed against her. An alternative route no doubt remained.
She might have threaded the Straits of Gibraltar and reached the north
of Europe by the Atlantic and the English Channel. But, though of late
a Flanders fleet had yearly sailed from Venice, this route was not
developed. It could, and probably would, have been closed by Spain.
Nor would such a policy have saved her from Milan, which, if she
became too powerful, might cut off her food supplies, surround her,
and drive her into the sea.

The attempt, then, to form a state in Lombardy appears to have been
inevitable; nor was it so selfish as her enemies declared it to be.
Her treatment of the cities under her rule was not only infinitely
superior to that of Milan, but compared most favourably with that
of Florence. She left them as much local autonomy as was compatible
with the maintenance of her supremacy; she did not tax them heavily.
It was the aim of Venice to secure the affection of her subjects,
and their loyalty in the days of her troubles, proved that she had
succeeded. With equal injustice the policy of Venice towards the Turk
has been denounced as faithless to the cause of Christianity. No
doubt, despairing of the aid of Europe, she was anxious to keep on
friendly terms with the Turk, and would, if possible, have avoided
war; but this policy was forced upon her by the refusal of European
states to sink their common jealousies and join heartily in a crusade.
Venice, after all, was the only power which seriously attempted to
check the advance of the Moslem, and the coalition against her is
the best proof of the hollowness of the cry of a crusade on the part
of her spoilers. But though the advance on the mainland seems to
have been inevitable, and is capable of justification, it was none
the less a fatal step. Had it been possible for Venice to conquer
Milan, and to have secured the whole of Lombardy before the date of
the French invasion, she might some day have become the capital of
a united Italy, and the history of the Peninsula might have been a
happier one. But for this her resources were not sufficient, nor is
it likely that the European powers would have acquiesced. Failing
this, her vain attempts to find a strategic frontier only added to her
enemies, and earned her the name of the most selfish and grasping of
the Italian states; while in her endeavour to protect her commerce by
friendly treaties with the Turk, she added to her crimes the charge of
treachery towards the cause of Christendom.

  | The real faults of Venetian policy.

The real fault of Venice has not been so often noted by historians.
Her interests imperatively demanded that the foreigner should be
excluded from Italy. As long as the Peninsula was left to itself,
she was strong enough to hold her own; but she was no match for the
more powerful kingdoms of the north. Her vacillation at the date
of the expedition of Charles VIII. she had in part redressed by
forming the League of Venice and driving him from Italy, although her
occupation at that date of the Apulian towns eventually earned her
the hostility of Ferdinand. The good work was, however, again undone
by her foolish alliance with Louis XII. in his war against Milan. By
this short-sighted policy she earned with some justice the accusation
of territorial greed; irritated Maximilian, who did not relish being
excluded from Lombardy; and established on her western frontier the
ever-grasping power of France. Thus, by the close of the fifteenth
century, Venice had incurred the enmity not only of the petty Italian
states, but of the chief powers of Western Europe.

  | European combinations leading to the League of
  | Cambray.

Maximilian desired to recover Friuli; Louis XII. wished to extend
the frontiers of the Milanese; Florence feared that Venice might
cross the Apennines; Ferdinand was determined to recover the cities
in Apulia. Above all, Pope Julius was bent on humbling the proud
republic. Her acquisitions in the Romagna interfered with his darling
scheme of establishing the papal rule in that district. Between France
in Milan, and Spain in Naples, Julius might hope to hold the balance,
and to establish the temporal dominion of the Papacy, but Venice, or
indeed any strong Italian power, would strenuously oppose it. In this
Julius only followed the traditional policy of his predecessors in the
papal chair, that of inveterate hostility to the growth of a strong
native state in Italy. Moreover, the independent attitude of the
republic in matters of church government, illustrated at this moment
by her refusal to allow him to nominate to the vacant bishopric of
Vicenza, angered the haughty prelate. ‘They wish to treat me as their
chaplain,’ he said, ‘let them beware lest I make them humble fishermen
as they once were.’

Under these circumstances the sole hope for Venice lay in the mutual
jealousies of her enemies. From these she had profited hitherto,
but when they ceased her day of reckoning would come. Hence it is
necessary to treat in some detail the relations of the European powers
at the opening of the sixteenth century.

At the close of the Neapolitan war, the alliance between the houses of
Hapsburg and Spain, based on the marriage of the Archduke Philip, son
of Maximilian, with Joanna, the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and
Isabella of Castile, threatened to break up. By the deaths in 1497,
and 1500, of John, the eldest son, and of Michael of Portugal, the
grandson of the Spanish monarchs, Joanna became the heiress of Castile
and Aragon,[21] and, in the event of Isabella’s death, would become
Queen of Castile to the exclusion of her father. This at once aroused
the jealousy of Ferdinand against her husband the archduke. The
temporary division of Castile and Aragon would arrest the unification
of the Peninsula; while the prospect of Spain eventually falling to
the Hapsburg was equally distasteful to him.

  | Treaty of Lyons, April 5, 1503; and of Blois, Sept.
  | 22, 1504.

Ferdinand had accordingly rejected the treaty of Lyons (April 1503),
concluded between Philip and Louis XII. for the settlement of the
Neapolitan quarrel. By that treaty, it had been agreed that the
kingdom of Naples should one day fall to Claude, the infant daughter
of Louis XII., who had already, in 1501, been betrothed to Charles,
the young son of the archduke. Philip, abandoned by his father-in-law,
clung all the closer to the French alliance, and was supported by his
father, Maximilian, who hoped by this marriage treaty to realise his
most magnificent dreams. In September 1504, at Blois, Louis XII.,
influenced by his wife, Anne of Brittany, promised Milan, Genoa,
Asti, Brittany, and Blois, as Claude’s dower, to which Burgundy was
to be added in the event of his own death without male heirs. In the
following year, Maximilian actually proposed, with the approval of the
French Queen, that the Salic Law should be repealed, in order that
Claude might succeed her father on the French throne.

  | Second Treaty of Blois. Oct. 12, 1505.

Thus there seemed a prospect that the young Charles would some day
unite the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, France, the Milanese, and the
kingdom of Naples, with the hereditary dominions of the House of
Hapsburg. Had this ever come about, the rest of Germany must have
submitted, and the descendants of the poverty-stricken Frederick III.
would have found themselves masters of an empire over most of the
Teutonic and Latin races of the continent. But the day dream was not
to last. In November 1504, Isabella died, and Ferdinand, determined
to retain his hold as regent of Castile, made haste to conciliate
Louis XII. At Blois, in October 1505, he agreed to marry Germaine de
Foix, the niece of the French king. To her the French claims on Naples
were to be resigned, which, however, were to revert to Louis XII. in
default of her having issue by Ferdinand. Ferdinand further promised
to Louis a sum of money, and an amnesty to the French party in Naples.
In the June of the following year, 1506, Ferdinand was indeed obliged
to surrender the regency of Castile to Philip and Joanna; but in
September the Archduke Philip died at Burgos; the unfortunate Joanna
was declared to show signs of madness,[22] and Ferdinand, by the help
of Cardinal Ximenes, secured, though with difficulty, the government
of Castile. Thus the quarrel between Louis XII. and Ferdinand was
temporarily accommodated, and Ferdinand was secure in Spain and in
Naples.

Meanwhile, in France the national hostility to a foreigner had been
aroused. The Estates-General at Tours (May 1506) prayed the King to
abandon the intended match between Claude and Charles, and to marry
her to Francis of Angoulême, the heir-presumptive to the crown, who
was ‘entirely a Frenchman.’ Maximilian, irritated at the failure of
his schemes, now broke with Louis. In 1507, he summoned the Diet to
Constance, and passionately demanded help of the empire. ‘The King of
France,’ he said, ‘wishes to rob the Germans of the Imperial crown,
the highest dignity of the world and the glory of our nation.’ In
return for a promise to reorganise the Imperial Chamber, he received
a contingent from the Diet; he also took a body of Swiss mercenaries
into his pay. Crossing the Brenner, he reached Trent in February,
1508, and there, with the consent of the papal legate, declared
himself Emperor-elect.

  | The League of Cambray. Dec. 10, 1508.

But as usual the pretensions of Maximilian outran his abilities to
a ludicrous extent. The Venetians, fearing his designs on Friuli,
refused him free passage, and enforced their refusal by arms. His
attempt on Vicenza failed. The Duke of Gueldres, stirred up by Louis
XII., threatened the Netherlands, and the would-be ruler of Western
Europe was forced to accept the terms of the insolent republic and
retire. Burning to revenge himself, he pocketed his pride, and at
Cambray, December 1508, came to terms with Louis XII. Peace was made
with the Duke of Gueldres, and Maximilian promised, in return for
money, the investiture of Milan to Louis XII. and his descendants.
Their quarrels thus accommodated, the King and Emperor agreed to
partition the Venetian territory. All princes who had any claims
on Venetian lands were asked to aid in checking her intolerable
selfishness and greed by recovering their lost possessions. Ferdinand
and the Pope shortly joined, the latter with some misgivings, and only
after Venice had refused to restore to him Rimini and Faenza; a number
of petty Italian princes followed suit, and Venice found herself
face to face with one of the most shameful of coalitions in history.
Ferdinand, however, was engaged in wars against the Moors of Africa.
The penniless Maximilian was not ready for a fresh campaign; and the
French, and papal troops, assisted by the Duke of Ferrara and other
Italians, alone took the field.

  | Battle of Agnadello or Vaila. May 14, 1509.

The wisest policy for Venice would probably have been, as Pitigliano
urged, to avoid pitched battles, and to play a waiting game. If the
war were prolonged, the robbers would be sure to quarrel. But rasher
counsels prevailed. Neglecting the movement of the papal troops in the
Romagna, the Venetians turned against the French and attempted to stop
their attack at the frontier. As the two armies were manœuvring
in the valley of the Adda, it came about that the rear-guard of the
Venetian army, under Bartolomeo d’Alviano, came within striking
distance of the French advanced guard. Alviano, a condottier with more
valour than discretion, thought it more honourable to be beaten than
to retreat, and at once ordered the attack. The Venetian army was a
curious medley of Italian condottiers and peasants, Greek light horse
from the Peloponnese and the Ægean isles, and half-savage archers
from Crete. Nevertheless it fought well, more especially the Italian
infantry, composed of peasants from the Lombard plain and the slopes
of the Alps and Apennines. But it was exposed to the attack of the
whole French army, aided by a large body of Swiss. The van, under the
Count of Pitigliano, whether from jealousy, or because it was too
far distant, did not co-operate; and, after a desperate struggle,
the Venetian army turned and fled, leaving Alviano a prisoner, and
most of their infantry dead on the field. As is often the case with
mercenaries, the defeated army soon became a mob. The cities refused
refuge to the fugitives, and opened their gates to the victors. The
French met with no opposition till they reached Peschiera, which they
took by assault.

At Venice meanwhile, the Senate were debating their future policy
amidst the wildest consternation. Deciding to bow to the storm and
to abandon their subject cities, they authorised them to surrender.
Verona, Vicenza, and Padua forthwith sent their keys to Louis, and on
his chivalrous refusal to accept their submission, since they did not
fall to his share, they turned to Maximilian. In the Romagna, the Pope
occupied Ravenna, Rimini, and Faenza. The Duke of Ferrara entered the
Polesine; the Marquis of Mantua seized the territories of which Venice
had deprived him; and the Apulian towns surrendered to Ferdinand.

  | Venice saved by the loyalty of her subject lands and
  | the dissensions of her foes.

Venice had now lost all her acquisitions made during the fifteenth
century, and seemed doomed to be confined again to her lagoons; nay,
Maximilian even spoke of taking the city itself and dividing it into
four districts among the confederates. But the Emperor as usual
counted without his host. Neither Ferdinand nor Julius were willing
to press matters so far; they stayed their hand, while Louis, having
attained his object, withdrew to Milan, and then to France. In the
conquered territories, more especially in those claimed by Maximilian,
a reaction now took place in favour of the republic of St. Mark. The
nobles had easily deserted Venice, but now the lower classes in town
and country rose in her defence. The Senate regained courage. By a
majority of one vote it was decided to resume the offensive, and,
on July 17, Padua was re-taken. The law which forbade the Venetian
nobility to serve on the mainland was revoked, and one hundred and
seventy-six young nobles, headed by the sons of the Doge, Loredano,
marched to the defence of the recovered city. Maximilian at last
determined to come in person, and laid siege to Padua with a large
army composed not only of Germans, but of Spanish auxiliaries, and
reinforced by a French contingent. But the French and Germans were
not on the best of terms. The French knights, when ordered to storm
the breach on foot, demanded that they should be joined by the German
men-at-arms, and not be left to fight side by side with low-born
lansquenets, and the German knights refused to serve on foot at
all. At last Maximilian, passing as was his wont from overweening
confidence to blank despair, raised the siege, October 3, 1509, and
recrossed the Alps, to hear that Vicenza had also revolted, and
recalled the Venetian troops.

Unable to defeat the Venetians in open battle, or to take their
cities, Maximilian ordered their territories to be ravaged, and a
cruel war of pillage and of massacre went on in Friuli throughout
the winter of 1509-10. On one occasion, six thousand men, women, and
children were suffocated in a cave near Vicenza. Such cruelties could
only serve to convince the people of the superiority of the Venetian
rule.

Venice was now to be saved by the dissensions of her enemies. Julius
II. had hitherto been the most bitter of her foes, and had supported
the League not only by arms, but by excommunication. Yet he had always
declared that Venice had driven him to this step by her refusal to
recognise the just claims of the Papacy, spiritual and temporal. ‘But
for this,’ he had said, ‘we might have been united and found some way
to free Italy from the tyranny of the foreigner.’ Why should this not
now be done? The lands he claimed were in his possession, and Venice
was prepared to acknowledge his spiritual pretensions. Moreover,
the overwhelming predominance, which France had gained, might be
more dangerous to papal interests than the Venetian republic. Thus
by joining Venice there was an opportunity, not only of furthering
the papal cause, but also of realising that dream of every patriotic
Italian, the expulsion of the foreigner. Julius, however, did not
show his hand at once. It would be rash to do so until he could be
sure that Venice was strong enough to resist her foes; hence his long
refusal to listen to her prayers. When, at last, in February 1510, he
admitted the city to his peace, it was only on the severest terms.
Venice acknowledged the justice of the excommunication; renounced
her claims to tax her clergy, and to nominate to her bishoprics;
promised that clerics should be tried by ecclesiastical courts, and
declared the navigation of the Adriatic free to citizens of the Papal
States. The Council of Ten indeed entered a secret protest against
these concessions as having been extorted by force, and subsequently
repudiated them, but for the moment the Papacy had triumphed.

It was now the aim of Julius to drive the French and Germans from
Italy by the assistance of Venice, and of the Swiss, who had broken
with Louis. The Swiss alliance for the time failed him. Nevertheless
he met at first with transient success. The neutrality of Ferdinand
was secured by the investiture of Naples and Sicily, hitherto refused
by the Papacy (July 1510). Modena, belonging to the Duke of Ferrara,
and Mirandola, were conquered; the first by the nephew of the Pope,
the Duke of Urbino; the second by the warlike Julius himself, who,
rising from a bed of sickness, crossed the trenches on the ice, and
took the city by storm (January 1511). But here his success ended.

  | The Holy League. Oct. 5, 1511.

On May 13, 1511, the French captured Bologna, aided by treachery
within the city, and in September, Louis summoned a general council
at Pisa, which had been at last reconquered by Florence two years
before. The council was a failure, for Europe was not prepared for
another schism. But it was evident that the French were not to be
easily driven from Milan. Julius, therefore, determined to be avenged
on France, now turned to Ferdinand. The wily Spaniard had long lost
interest in the League. Having regained the Apulian towns, he did
not care to see Venice further humbled, and dreaded the increase of
French power in Lombardy. Moreover, a quarrel in Italy would give him
a pretext for seizing Navarre, which he had long coveted. Ferdinand
accordingly gladly welcomed the offers of the Pope; and on October
5, 1511, the Holy League was formed between the Pope, Ferdinand, and
Venice. The ostensible object of the League was the protection of the
Church, the recovery of Bologna, and the restoration to Venice of her
territories. The real aim of the confederates was to drive the French
from Italy, while a further stipulation in the treaty, that the Pope
should confirm the Spaniards in any conquest made outside Italy,
pointed clearly to Navarre. The allies also gained the support of the
young Henry VIII. of England, who was anxious to revive his claims
to Guienne, and to strengthen his alliance with his father-in-law.
Against this formidable coalition, Louis was at first successful. The
French army was commanded by Gaston de Foix, the king’s nephew and
brother of Ferdinand’s wife. The young man--he was twenty-three, ‘a
great general without having served as a soldier’--who by the rapidity
of his movements earned in this campaign the title of the Thunderbolt
of Italy, first threw himself into Bologna (February 4), and forced
the army of the League, under Raymond de Cardona, viceroy of Naples,
to retire. Hearing of the revolt of Brescia, he hurried thither, took
the town by assault, mounting the ramparts with bare feet to improve
his hold on the steep slopes (February 18), and killed so many of the
defenders ‘that the horses could not put foot to the ground for the
corpses that covered it.’ Then, speeding back to Bologna, he forced
his enemies to retire, and, pressing on to Ravenna, attempted to take
the town by assault (April 19).

  | Battle of Ravenna. Easter Day, 1512.

Cardona was anxious to avoid a pitched battle. Time, he knew, was on
his side, for Maximilian was on the point of joining the League; the
Swiss were preparing to pour down into the Milanese; and the projected
invasion of France by Henry VIII. would prevent Louis from sending
efficient reinforcements. He had accordingly retired to Faenza, but,
fearing that Ravenna would fall if not relieved, was forced to return.
Even then his tactics were defensive. His camp was protected on the
left flank by the river; in front, by some of the numerous ditches
which intersect the marshy country. Strengthening this further by his
artillery, and by waggons with scythe-like implements mounted on them,
he awaited the French attack.

The position of Cardona was indeed a strong one, but in numbers his
force was slightly inferior, and, if France was to win, the victory
must be won at once. Gaston, therefore, decided rightly to tempt
fortune once more, and on Easter Day at 8 A.M. he ordered the attack.
He had hoped to dislodge the enemy from their strong position by
means of his artillery, which had been brought to a condition of high
efficiency under the Duke of Ferrara. In this he was disappointed.
The fire of the Spaniards was nearly as effective as his own, and,
although the cavalry of the League suffered as severely as that of
the French, the Spanish infantry protected themselves by lying on the
ground, a movement which French ideas of military honour forbade.
After three hours’ furious cannonade, the impatience of the cavalry
of the League, and of the French and German infantry, could no longer
be restrained, and while the former charged the French cavalry, which
stood opposite to it, the latter attacked the Spanish foot. Thus
cavalry was opposed to cavalry, and infantry to infantry. In the
shock which followed, the French horse under Ives d’Allègre, after
half-an-hour’s struggle, carried all before them; but their foot, with
the German lansquenets, in spite of heroic efforts, found the position
too strong, and were already being driven back, when a detachment
of their horse, returning from the charge, took the infantry of the
League in flank. The French and German infantry now rallied, and
forcing their opponents back, finally drove them from their camp. The
battle was already won, when Gaston, attempting to check the retreat
of some two thousand Spanish footmen, rashly threw himself across
their path, followed by a handful of men-at-arms. Though unhorsed he
still fought on, ‘rivalling the feats of Roland at Roncesvalles,’ till
at last he fell pierced by wounds. Thus ended the most bloody battle
of the war, which had lasted from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.

The graphic account, given by the biographer of Bayard, helps us best
to realise its peculiar character. The shock of the men-at-arms, the
thrust of pike and short sword, the arquebuses and ‘hacquebutes,’ or
mounted arquebuses, belong to the Middle Age, but the efficiency of
the guns reminds us that we are on the threshold of the sixteenth
century.

The victory lay with the French. Pedro Navarra, one of the best of
the Spanish generals, the young Marquis of Pescara, and the Cardinal
de Medici, legate of the Pope, soon to become Pope Leo X. himself,
were prisoners. ‘The Spanish loss was such that an hundred years
could not repair it,’ and Ravenna at once surrendered. Yet, never was
victory more dearly bought, or more useless. Though the Spanish troops
had suffered most, the losses amongst the officers were more severe
on the side of the French and Germans, and many a knight who had
distinguished himself in Italy had bit the dust. More serious still
was Gaston’s death. Had he lived, he might have pressed on to Rome,
and brought the Pope at once to terms. His death, however, caused
delay, and delay was ruinous. The cruelty of the French had made them
hated by the Italians; the richness of the booty, at Brescia and
Ravenna, demoralised the troops, and many returned to France.

  | Maximilian and the Swiss join the Holy League.

  | The French recross the Alps.

Maximilian had come to terms with the League just before the battle,
but too late to prevent his lansquenets from taking part and rendering
most efficient help to the French. Now, in hopes of securing the
Milanese for himself, or for his grandson Charles, he recalled his
troops and openly broke with France. Deprived of their support, the
French could hardly keep the field. It was, however, at the hands
of the Swiss that they were to be driven across the Alps. In the
previous wars, these mercenary mountaineers had been of the greatest
service to Louis; but the cantons had been alienated by his refusal to
increase the subsidy, and still more by his stopping their trade with
the Milanese, whence they drew their corn and wine and oil. A strong
anti-French party accordingly arose in Switzerland, headed by Mathias
Schinner, Bishop of the Valais, the implacable enemy of France, and,
in May 1512, a Swiss army poured down on Milan. La Palice, who, on the
death of Gaston, had succeeded to the command, felt too weak to resist
them with an army deprived of the German contingent, and demoralised
by its excesses. He accordingly withdrew to Pavia. Trivulzio, the
governor of Milan, followed him, and shortly afterwards the French
recrossed the Mont Cenis. With the exception of the castle of Milan,
and a few others, their conquests rapidly melted away. Genoa drove
out the French and elected Giano Fregoso as its doge. All the Romagna
returned to the obedience of the Pope. The Duke of Ferrara indeed
held out, but lost Reggio. Bologna was regained, and even Parma and
Piacenza seized, while Julius claimed all the territory south of the
Po.

  | The Medici restored to Florence. Sept. 1, 1512.

In August 1512, representatives of the League met in congress at
Mantua. Florence first demanded their attention. Since the death
of Savonarola, the position of that republic had been most weak.
The constitution established in 1494 had not worked well. It was
too oligarchical to be popular, while the partisans of the exiled
Medici did all they could to discredit it. In 1502, to strengthen the
executive, the office of Gonfalonier had been made a life appointment,
and Piero Soderini had been elected; in 1506, at the suggestion of
Machiavelli, a militia had been formed. But these measures did not
mend matters much. The long struggle to regain Pisa, which was only
ended in 1509, exhausted the revenues of the state, and the intrigues
of the Medici grew more active. Clinging to the French alliance, the
city had refused the offers of the League; yet, in the pursuit of a
policy of feeble neutrality, had given no help to Louis XII., when
help might have saved him. Her turn was now to come. The confederates
demanded that Soderini should retire from office, and that the Medici
should be allowed to return as private citizens. The Florentines
agreed to admit the Medici, but, over-confident in their new-formed
militia, declined to depose Soderini. Accordingly, on August 12, 1512,
Raymond de Cardona attacked the town of Prato, which lay a few miles
to the north of Florence. The militia, although far more numerous
than their enemies, did not justify the confidence which had been
placed in them, and fled as soon as a breach was made; possibly there
was treachery within the walls. In any case, the Spaniards entered
the town without further opposition, and put it to the sack with
such brutality that the memories of it are said to have disturbed
the last moments of Giovanni, the future Pope, Leo X. This cruelty
at least did its work. Soderini, an amiable though weak man, whose
‘silly soul’ the indignant epitaph of Machiavelli sentences to the
limbo of infants, at once resigned rather than expose Florence to
further woes; and, on September 1, the Cardinal Giovanni entered
Florence. The Medici[23] returned nominally as private citizens, but
the constitution of 1494 was swept away, and the government, restored
as it had been under Lorenzo, was completely under their control.
Although the revolution was effected with moderation, the partisans of
the old government naturally lost office. Machiavelli, who had been
secretary to the Council of Ten (Dieci di Libertà e Pace), and who
had taken an active part in the diplomacy of the republic, was driven
from public life, and devoted himself to writing _The Prince_, and
_The Discourses_,[24] the former of which treatises has given him such
an unenviable notoriety. The city under its new rulers abandoned the
French alliance and joined the League.

  | Milan granted to Maximilian Sforza. Dec. 29, 1512.

The confederates then turned to the question of Milan. Maximilian
was eager to secure this for his grandson Charles. But he was not
acceptable to the Pope, the Venetians, or the Swiss, or even to
Ferdinand. All dreaded the addition of the Milanese to the vast
possessions present and reversionary of the young prince. Finally,
it was agreed to recall Maximilian, the son of Ludovico il Moro, who
had since his father’s fall been brought up in the imperial court.
On the 29th of December, Maximilian received the keys from the Swiss
and entered the city. In return, ‘their puppet duke’ ceded to the
confederates the Val Maggia, Locarno, and Lugano; and to their allies,
the Rhætian League (later the canton of the Grisons), Chiavenna,
Bormio, and the Valtelline. This, added to the Val Leventina, acquired
1440, and to Bellinzona, granted by Louis XII. in 1503, gave the
Swiss, and their allies, complete command over four of the most
important passes of the Alps, the St. Gothard, the Splugen, the
Maloia, and the Bernina, and extended their territory to the Italian
lakes of Como, Lugano, and Maggiore.[25] Thus at the close of the year
1512, the Medici and the Sforza found themselves again in power as
they had been at the invasion of Charles VIII.

  | Ferdinand conquers Spanish Navarre. July 1513.

Meanwhile France had been threatened by a joint attack on Guienne--on
the part of Ferdinand and Henry VIII. The English indeed landed
at Bayonne, but fortunately for Louis, the attention of Ferdinand
was called off to Navarre. That kingdom, which sat astride of the
Pyrenees, was at this moment under the rule of Catherine de Foix and
her husband, the Frenchman, John d’Albret. But her title had always
been disputed by the younger line, represented by Gaston de Foix,
the nephew of Louis XII. On his death at the battle of Ravenna, his
claims passed to his sister Germaine, wife of Ferdinand, and these
Ferdinand now proceeded to press. Catherine, the reigning queen,
no longer afraid of France, sought the alliance of Louis XII. This
gave Ferdinand the pretext he sought. He demanded a passage through
Navarre for his attack on France, and on being refused, invaded the
little kingdom. He was supported by a powerful faction, headed by the
Beaumonts. The timid John fled. ‘Wert thou queen and I king, the realm
would not be thus lost,’ said Catherine, but was forced to follow her
cowardly husband, and, by the end of July, Ferdinand occupied all
the territory on the Spanish side of the mountains. That portion of
the country which lay on the French slope of the Pyrenees, continued
an independent kingdom, to be absorbed into France in the sixteenth
century, by the accession of Henry of Navarre to the French crown. The
English, irritated at Ferdinand’s failure to co-operate with them,
and attacked by disease, due to the hot climate, the incessant rain,
and the heavy wine of the South in which they indulged too freely,
withdrew from Bayonne, and France was relieved from immediate danger
on that side.

  | Break-up of the Holy League.

  | Death of Julius II. Feb. 20, 1513.

At the beginning of the year 1513, it was pretty evident that the Holy
League would not last. The Venetians, finding that the Emperor was
coveting the share of their territory originally meted out to him by
the League of Cambray, were looking again to France. At this moment,
Julius II., one of the chief movers in that League, passed away. The
objects of this ‘fiery personality’ had been: first to conquer the
Romagna, and establish the papal dominion there on a sound footing;
secondly, if possible, to free Italy from the foreigner. Of these,
the first had been the dominant aim, and he had attained it. ‘For
good or for ill, Julius is the founder of the Papal States.’ We may
deplore the secularising influence of the temporal dominion on the
spiritual character of the Papacy, but at least the scheme of Julius
is infinitely preferable to that of Alexander VI. Alexander had tried
to establish his family; Julius won territories for the Papal See.
But in gaining this, his primary aim, he sacrificed his second. By
the League of Cambray, he finally destroyed the political life of
Italy, and called the foreigner to his aid; and, when, in the Holy
League, he attempted to undo the work, and to drive the French, the
chief instruments of his previous policy, across the Alps, he found
that he could only do so at the price of changing masters. In his
last days, indeed, he hoped to reconcile Maximilian by some small
concessions, and then, with the help of the Venetians and the Swiss,
to drive the Spaniards from the peninsula. But the dream was an idle
one. Julius had riveted the chains of Italian slavery, and done much
to advance the power of that formidable Austro-Spanish House which
was shortly to become so dangerous a menace to Europe, and to control
the destinies of Italy till our own day. None the less, the name of
Pope Julius will always live as the founder of the Papal States, as
the last representative of that great semi-political, semi-religious
Church, whose claims to universal supremacy over western Christendom
were on the point of being overthrown; as the patron of Bramante,
Michael Angelo, and Raphael, the authors of those supreme efforts of
Renaissance art, the Cathedral of St. Peter,[26] and the frescoes of
the Sistine Chapel, and of the Vatican.

  | Election of Leo X. March 11, 1513.

Of all the schemes of Julius II., few had more influence on the
immediate history of Italy and of the Papacy than the restoration
of the Medici to Florence. He had been led to it by the obstinate
adherence of the republic to Louis XII. But the policy was a mistaken
one. The republic was weak and could not have had much influence,
whereas, under the Medici, allied as they were with Spain, Florence
was likely to become formidable again. Julius, however, could hardly
have foreseen that a family, which had only just been restored from
exile, would furnish his successor on the papal throne; for the
election of the young Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici--he was only
thirty-eight--surprised every one.

Giovanni, the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, appointed a
cardinal before he was a man, had indeed shown himself a capable
politician by the leading part he had taken in the restoration of
his family to Florence. He was not, however, otherwise noteworthy,
and his election was due mainly to the desire of the young cardinals
for some rest after the political activity of the pontificates of
Alexander VI. and Julius II. This they hoped to gain by the election
of the pleasure-loving Medici, who represented the Renaissance in its
shallower aspects, loved magnificence, and dallied with literature and
art; but had no serious purpose in life beyond a desire to establish
his family at Florence, and, for the rest, to be ever on the winning
side.

  | Treaty of Mechlin. April 5, 1513.

But though, by the death of Julius II., the Holy League was robbed
of its most earnest member, the change of Popes did not for the
moment improve the prospects of peace. On the one hand France and
Venice, united by common interest, formed an alliance; on the other,
the young Henry VIII. of England and his ambitious minister Wolsey,
anxious to win a place in European counsels, pined for a new league
of partition against France. This was signed at Mechlin, in April,
between Maximilian, Henry VIII., Leo. X., and Ferdinand; although the
last named was at the same moment making a secret treaty with the
French King.

  | Battle of Novara. June 6, 1513.

Threatened thus on all sides, France seemed likely to be overwhelmed.
In Italy, her attempt to reconquer the Milanese, by the aid of the
Venetians, was foiled by the disastrous battle of Novara. Here the
Swiss, who looked upon Maximilian Sforza as their _protégé_, without
cavalry or artillery, decisively defeated a French army three times as
numerous as themselves, and well provided with both guns and horse.

  | Battle of Guinnegate. Aug. 16.

  | Flodden. Sept. 9.

Meanwhile Henry VIII., with the needy Maximilian in his pay, invaded
France; laid siege to Terouenne; put a French relieving force to
flight at Guinnegate with such ease, as to earn for the combat the
name of ‘the Battle of the Spurs’; and took Terouenne and Tournay. In
September, the Swiss actually invaded France and extorted a treaty
from Louis XII. In the same month, James IV. of Scotland, as he sought
to make a diversion in favour of his French ally, lost the flower of
the Scottish nobility, and his own life, on the field of Flodden.

  | France once more saved by dissensions of her foes.

  | Ferdinand, the Pope, and Henry VIII. are reconciled to
  | France.

It looked as if France, the country which at first had gained most
from the partition of Venice, was likely to be partitioned herself.
But, as ever, the mutual jealousies of the European powers prevented
any lasting combination. Neither Ferdinand nor Leo X. wished to see
France too weak. Leo thought that his own interests and those of his
family would be best secured by balancing the powers of Spain and
France in Italy, and hoped to secure French assistance for his scheme
of establishing Giuliano his brother in Naples. He accordingly became
reconciled to the French King, and pardoned the French cardinals,
who had taken part in the schismatic council of Pisa (November,
1513). Ferdinand was above all things anxious to prevent the undue
aggrandisement of the House of Hapsburg. He had already made a secret
treaty with Louis, and he now intrigued to detach the Emperor from
the English alliance. Henry was determined not to be thus left in
the lurch. He was irritated at the treachery of Ferdinand, and the
incurable shiftiness of Maximilian, ‘the man of few pence,’ who would
do anything to gain a little money, and accordingly made his own peace
with Louis (August, 1514). It was agreed that his sister Mary, who had
just been betrothed to Charles, the grandson of Maximilian, should
marry the French King. The disparity in their ages was serious. The
bridegroom was a widower of fifty-two, and Mary was but sixteen. But
the scruples of the maiden were overcome by the promise that, if she
would this time sacrifice herself to her brother’s interests, she
should next time follow her own inclinations; and peace was concluded
between France and England. Thus France escaped from her danger, and
England, under the guidance of Wolsey, had secured for herself an
influential position in Europe.

Of the folly of Louis’ Italian policy, there cannot be a doubt.
His three capital errors are thus described by Machiavelli: ‘He
increased the power of the Church; he called the Spaniards into
Italy, a foreigner as puissant as himself; he ruined the power of the
Venetians, his best allies.’

The mutual jealousies of the other powers, indeed, saved France itself
from dismemberment. But her resources were terribly strained; Spain
had seized half of Navarre; Tournay had been lost to England; and the
attempt to hold Italy had only proved the truth of the adage that
‘Italy is the grave of the French.’

  | Louis XII. succeeded by Francis I. Jan. 1515.

Had Louis lived, Europe might possibly have had peace. But the
unfortunate man succumbed in three months in his attempt to play the
bridegroom, ‘dining at eight when he was accustomed to dine at midday,
and retiring to bed at midnight when he was wont to sleep at six,’
and was succeeded by his ambitious cousin, Francis of Angoulême, who
had, in 1514, married the king’s daughter, Claude, heiress through her
mother to the Duchy of Brittany.

  | Francis determines to invade Italy. His treaties with
  | Venice, England, and Charles.

The young king, now in his twenty-first year, is thus described by
Sir Robert Wingfield, the ambassador of Henry VIII. at the court of
Maximilian: ‘He is mighty insatiable, always reading or talking of
such enterprises as whet and inflame himself and his hearers. His
common saying is, that his trust is, that by his valour and industry
the things which have been lost and lettyn by his ignoble predecessors
shall be recovered, and that the monarchy of Christendom shall
rest under the banner of France as it was wont to do.’ Encouraged
by his mother, Louise of Savoy, who was bent on the exaltation of
her ‘Cæsar,’ he was no sooner on the throne than he resolved to
plunge into Italy and wipe out the disgrace of Novara. In the spring
and summer, he renewed the treaties with Henry VIII. and Venice,
and concluded an alliance with the young Charles, who, although
only fifteen, had just been called to assume the government of
the Netherlands, and who, under the guidance of Croy, the Lord of
Chièvres, had adopted a conciliatory attitude towards France. Francis
also hoped to gain the support of Leo X. In February, he sanctioned
the marriage of Giuliano de’ Medici, the brother of the Pope, with
Philiberta of Savoy, sister of his mother Louise, and held out hopes
of some day establishing him in Naples.

  | Counter-League against France.

  | Francis crosses the Alps, Aug. 1515. Victory of
  | Marignano, Sept. 13.

The fickle Pontiff, however, was as usual playing double, and in
the same month joined the counter-league against France, which was
composed of the Emperor, Ferdinand, Florence, the Duke of Milan,
and the Swiss. Had the allies been united it might have gone ill
for Francis, but they were bent on their own interests, and divided
their forces. Francis, finding that the outlet of the passes of
the Mont Cenis and Mont Genèvre were guarded by the Swiss, pushed
his way across the Alps by the Col de l’Argentière, a new and
difficult route, and reached Saluzzo unmolested. He then surprised
Prospero Colonna, who commanded the Milanese forces at Villafranca,
and completely turned the position of the Swiss at Susa. The Swiss
dropped back on Milan, and the French advanced to Marignano, a place
between Piacenza and Milan. Here, late on a September afternoon,
they were attacked by the Swiss. The intrepid mountaineers had been
stirred by the eloquence of Mathias Schinner, the Cardinal of Sion,
the life-long enemy of the French. With only a few Milanese cavalry
to support them, and scarcely any guns, they trusted to the weight of
their famous phalanx, and push of pike. The French they despised as
‘hares in armour.’ Disencumbered of their caps, and with bare feet to
give themselves firmer footing, they dashed upon the enemy, hoping to
repeat the exploit of Novara. But they underrated their opponents,
who were led by the flower of French chivalry, the Constable of
Bourbon, La Palice, the Chevalier Bayard, Robert de la Marck, the
son of the ‘devil of the Ardennes,’ himself dubbed ‘L’Aventureur,’
and the Milanese, Trivulzio, who had fought in seventeen pitched
battles. Pedro Navarra, the Spanish general of artillery, was also
there. He had been made prisoner at the battle of Ravenna, and since
the niggardly Ferdinand had refused to pay his ransom, he had taken
service with the French.

The struggle which ensued was declared by Trivulzio to be a battle of
giants, compared with which, all that he had ever been engaged in were
but child’s-play. When darkness came upon the combatants, they lay
down to sleep ‘within cast of a tennis ball of each other.’ With the
dawn the combat was renewed, and continued till midday. The Swiss had
divided their forces in an attempt on the rear-guard, when d’Alviano
attacked them in the rear with the Venetian contingents. This decided
the matter, and Francis, knighted on the battlefield by the Chevalier
Bayard, remained the master of the field. Yet though defeated, the
Swiss retreated in good order, bearing their wounded with them.

  | Results of the victory.

The battle of Marignano gave Milan to the French. Maximilian Sforza
abdicated his dukedom, which he had held for three years, and died
some years after, a pensioner in France. By his victory, Francis
shattered the military prestige of the Swiss, who had of late deemed
themselves invincible, commanded the destinies of Lombardy, and
‘tamed and corrected princes.’ Never again did these mercenaries
exercise an independent influence in Italy. Thus Francis had attained
at one stroke the pinnacle of military glory, and, had he pressed
his advantage, might have reduced the Pope and regained the kingdom
of Naples. But for this he was not prepared, and, contrary to
expectation, the battle for a moment promoted the cause of peace.
Leo, eager to join the winning cause, hastened to come to terms. He
ceded Parma and Piacenza, while Francis promised to support Lorenzo
in Florence, and to sanction the papal attack on the Duchy of Urbino,
whence Francesco della Rovere, the Duke, was driven. A short time
afterwards, Francis gave Lorenzo a wife connected with the royal
family, Madeleine de la Tour d’Auvergne.

  | The Concordat of Bologna. Aug. 1516.

Having thus settled their political affairs, Pope and King proceeded,
by the concordat of Bologna, to share between them the liberties
of the Gallican Church. The traditional privileges of the Church
of France had been confirmed and extended by Charles VII. in the
Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1439). By it, the free election to
bishoprics and abbacies had been secured to the chapters; the papal
claims to first-fruits had been rejected, as well as the right to
nominate to benefices by way of ‘reservations’ and ‘expectancies’;
appeals to Rome had been restricted, and the superiority of General
Councils over the Pope had been declared. The independence thus gained
by the Church of France had been distasteful, not only to the Pope,
but to Louis XI. himself, who had attempted, though unsuccessfully,
to repeal the Pragmatic Sanction. Now Francis had his opportunity,
and was met half-way by Leo X. The Concordat of Bologna restrained
indeed the appeals to Rome, and declared papal ‘reservations’ and
‘expectative graces’ abolished. But it restored the first-fruits to
the Pope, omitted the assertion of the superiority of General Councils
over the Pope, and gave to the King the right of nomination to
bishoprics and archbishoprics, subject only to the papal confirmation
and institution. A few years later, the King gained the same privilege
with regard to the abbots of French monasteries. This serious attack
on the constitutional liberties of the Church of France met with
resolute opposition from the ‘Parlement’ and the University of Paris.
But the ‘Parlement,’ after an ineffectual resistance, was forced
to register it _de expressimo mandato regis_, the University was
overawed by royal threats, and the Concordat became the law of France.
Henceforth the French Church became the servant of King and Pope. The
power, which the crown obtained by control of these nominations, may
be estimated by remembering that in France at that time there existed
ten archbishoprics, eighty-three bishoprics, and five hundred and
twenty-seven abbacies. This right of nomination was almost exclusively
exercised in favour of men of noble birth. Hence the mischievous
distinction between the higher clergy who were nobles, and, for the
most part, courtiers, and the _curés_, who were not. Under these
circumstances, the position of the Church formed a counterpart to
the social condition of the country, with its sharp and disastrous
division between the noble and the _roturier_. On the other hand, the
right of veto enjoyed by the Pope on the royal nominations caused the
higher clergy and the aspirants for office to look to him. Thus the
Church of France, once the most independent of the European churches,
became one of the most servile and ultramontane, whilst its rulers
lost all touch with the middle classes.

  | Death of Ferdinand the Catholic, Jan. 23, 1516.
  | Charles, King of Spain.

Meanwhile, the triumph of Francis materially influenced the policy
of Ferdinand. Since the death of the Archduke Philip, the King of
Spain had been jealous of his grandson Charles. He feared lest he
might reclaim the regency of Castile, and disliked the prospect of
his eventually joining Austria, the Netherlands, and Spain under one
rule. His hostility even led him to entertain serious thoughts of
dividing his inheritance on his death between Charles and his brother
Ferdinand. Now, fearing that France might become too powerful, he
changed his will and bequeathed all to Charles. In January, 1516, the
wily old diplomatist, who had so adroitly schemed to establish his
undivided authority in Spain, and to balance the powers of Europe,
died, and Charles found himself, at the age of sixteen, the ruler of
Spain, the Netherlands, the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, and the New
World.

  | Charles makes Peace of Noyon with Francis, Aug. 13,
  | 1516, which Maximilian accepts.

It was now the aim of Wolsey, who had gained his cardinal’s hat in
the previous year, to oppose the predominant power of France by an
alliance between Charles, Maximilian, the Pope, and the Swiss. But Leo
for the present preferred the French alliance, and Charles was not yet
prepared for a struggle with Francis. His position was by no means
secure; his succession in Spain was disliked by many of the Spaniards;
the Netherlands lay exposed to the attacks of the Duke of Gueldres,
and of Robert de la Marck, the Lord of Bouillon, both ever glad of a
pretext for war. Finally, with all his titles, he was sadly in need
of money. He was therefore in no position to contest the possession
of Milan, and, following the advice of Chièvres, he concluded the
Peace of Noyon with the victor of Marignano (August 13, 1516). Charles
was betrothed to Louise, the infant daughter of Francis; the French
retained Milan, but surrendered all claims to Naples; Charles promised
to restore Spanish Navarre to the line of Albret; Venice agreed to
offer 200,000 ducats to Maximilian for Brescia and Verona, but in the
event of his refusing, the two Kings might adopt what policy they
liked with regard to Venetian affairs.

  | Henry VIII. makes Treaty of London, Oct. 1518. Europe
  | for the moment at Peace.

The Peace of Noyon was a blow to Wolsey. In vain did he try to form an
alliance with Maximilian, the Venetians, and the Swiss. The Emperor
was ever ready with fantastic projects calculated to deceive the
simple Sir Robert Wingfield, Henry’s representative at his court,
who was an ambassador of the old generation, and did not fathom the
wiles of the new diplomacy. But Richard Pace, Wolsey’s special agent,
warned his master against the credulity of the good knight, whom
he humorously describes as ‘Summer will be green,’ and against the
shiftiness and money greed of Maximilian. Eventually, in December,
Maximilian accepted the terms of the treaty of Noyon, and surrendered
Brescia and Verona to Venice. Nor was Wolsey more successful with
the Swiss. In November, in return for gold, they made a ‘perpetual
peace’ with the French at Friburg. England seemed to be isolated once
more. But the desire of Francis to recover Tournay, which had been
seized by Henry VIII. in 1513, gave Wolsey an advantage, and by the
Treaty of London (October, 1518), Henry surrendered that town. The
alliance between the two countries was confirmed by the usual marriage
arrangements. The English princess Mary, a child of two, was betrothed
to the dauphin, who was not yet one year old. Thus England had at
least saved herself from isolation, and Europe was at peace.

The Pope, when he dissolved the Lateran Council in the March of the
preceding year, had declared that schism had been ended, that the
necessary reforms in the Church had been accomplished, and that he
had good hopes that Europe, now at peace, might unite against the
Turk. The powers of Europe openly professed their intention so to do;
indulgences were promised, and papal collectors attempted to raise
money. Yet Europe was on the threshold of a renewed struggle between
the Houses of Hapsburg and of Valois, which was to last with some
slight pauses for another eighty years; and already Luther had affixed
his famous ‘Theses’ to the church door at Wittenberg, which were to
lead to a schism such as Rome had never dreamt of.

  | Effect of the Wars of the League of Cambray on the
  | decline of Venice.

  | Real causes of the decline of Venice.

  | The old routes of commerce altered by discovery of
  | route round the Cape.

The series of treaties just mentioned may be said to have closed
the desultory war which had commenced with the League of Cambray.
It is often said that the League ruined Venice, yet we find that
she still retained almost all her dominions on the mainland, with
the exception of the Apulian towns and a few districts surrendered
to the Pope, and that the Adda still remained her boundary on the
west. The long war had no doubt severely strained her resources and
her exhausted finances, but these might have been restored. We must
therefore look elsewhere for the causes of the decline of Venice. In
the first place, the condition of politics had changed. The great
monarchical states of Europe, more especially France and Spain, had
become consolidated. Venice could no longer hope to compete with them;
her resources on the mainland were not sufficient to cope with the
armies which these powerful nations could put into the field; and in
any case she must have contented herself with a subordinate position.
We must also remember the strain of the Turkish wars. Europe, ever
ready to accuse Venice of treachery to the cause of Christendom,
turned deaf ears to her earnest entreaties for assistance. Thus Venice
was left almost alone to face the Turk. During the struggle, which
continued with some few intermissions throughout the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, Venice slowly lost ground. She had to surrender
Cyprus in 1571, and Candia in 1669, after a desperate defence of
four-and-twenty years. The expenses of these wars, added to those
she had just incurred, would have been difficult to meet, even if
her trade had been left to her. But even this was slipping away. Her
wealth had depended chiefly on her commerce with the East and on
her carrying-trade between East and West. The old routes of Eastern
commerce had been mainly three. First, from Central Asia to the Black
Sea, and thence to the Mediterranean; secondly, by the Persian Gulf
and the Euphrates Valley, to the Levant; and lastly, to Cairo and
Alexandria from the Red Sea. Thence goods were shipped in Venetian
galleys to Venice, and were sent over the Alps, generally by the
Brenner Pass, to the Inn, the Danube, the Maine, and the Rhine, and
thence to Bruges, or were conveyed round by sea in the ‘Flanders
galleys.’ But at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Eastern
routes to Venice became closed. The Turks, after their conquest of
Constantinople, in 1453, cut off her trade with the Levant, while the
advance of the Portuguese on India destroyed the trade through Egypt.

  | Discoveries of the Portuguese.

The Genoese had been the pioneers of exploration on the western
coast of Africa. They had rediscovered the Canaries and the island
of Madeira, which had been known to the Carthaginians. But their
attention had been directed to the Mediterranean, their strength
exhausted in struggles with their Venetian rivals, and in the
fourteenth century the Portuguese had reoccupied these islands. The
great period of Portuguese discovery dates from the time of Prince
Henry the Navigator (1394-1460). This son of John I. of Portugal built
an observatory at Sagres, on Cape St. Vincent, the extreme south-west
promontory of Europe, and devoted himself to the scientific study of
geography, and to the encouragement of discovery. Other motives were
not wanting; the desire to avenge himself on the Moors, the hereditary
foes of his country, and greed for gold dust, and the profits of the
slave-trade, in which the Prince was the first to engage. In one
expedition no less than two hundred and sixteen negro slaves were
brought to Portugal, of whom one-fifth were assigned to Henry as his
share; ‘of which,’ says the chronicler, ‘he had great joy because of
their salvation, who otherwise would have been destined to perdition.’
Under his influence, the Portuguese planted colonies at Porto Santo
and Madeira, discovered the Azores, and the Cape de Verde Islands, and
began to creep down the western coast of Africa. In 1442, Prince Henry
obtained from Pope Martin V. a grant of all kingdoms and lordships
from Cape Bojador to India. The hopes of reaching India spurred him
on. In 1479, Ferdinand of Spain, still occupied at home with the Moors
of Granada, agreed not to interfere with the exclusive right of the
Portuguese to traffic and discovery on the western coast of Africa,
while claiming the Canary Islands. The agreement was confirmed by
the bull of Alexander VI., which gave to Portugal all newly found
lands east of a line one hundred--subsequently, in 1494, extended by
treaty to three hundred and seventy--leagues west of the Cape de Verde
Islands.

  | Defeat of Egyptian fleet by Portuguese at Diu. Feb.
  | 1509.

Eight years before this bull, Bartholomew Diaz rounded the Cape,
to which he gave the name of Stormy, but which his more sanguine
sovereign, John II. of Portugal, called the Cape of Good Hope. In
1498, Vasco da Gama, again sailing round the Cape, crossed the Eastern
Ocean, and set foot on the Malabar coast at Calicut. Shortly after,
Emmanuel, King of Portugal (1495-1521), assumed the title of ‘Lord
of the navigation, conquest, and commerce of Æthiopia, Persia,
Arabia, and India,’ and sent Almeyda to India with the title of
viceroy, although he did not yet possess a foot of territory there.
The Portuguese now pushed steadily up the western coast of India,
defeated the princes who opposed them, and began to monopolise the
trade. In 1505, the first Portuguese ships appeared at Antwerp,
offering eastern wares at a cheaper rate than they could be got at
Bruges, the market for the goods which came overland from Venice. This
advance seriously threatened the Venetian trade through Egypt, then
chiefly in the hands of Arabian and Moorish merchants. Accordingly,
in 1509, the Sultan of Cairo, in answer to an appeal from some of the
petty princes of the Malabar coast, despatched an expedition from
Suez against the Portuguese, which the Venetians, conscious that
their interests were involved, assisted. But in February 1509, three
months before the battle of Agnadello, the expedition was defeated by
Almeyda in the harbour of Diu. His successor Albuquerque fixed the
centre of the Portuguese rule at Goa, and occupied Ormuz, an important
port on the Persian Gulf. Henceforth the advance of the Portuguese
was unchecked. By the close of the sixteenth century not only did
they control the commerce of the coasts of Africa, Arabia, and the
western coast of India, but they had planted themselves at Ceylon and
in Bengal, had opened up a trade with China and Japan, and, above all,
had occupied the true ‘Spice Islands’ which cluster round Borneo and
Celebes (1546).

Thus the same spring witnessed the fall of the Venetian military
power in the battle of Agnadello, and the destruction of their trade
with the East. The caravans no longer came to Cairo. The eastern
goods were shipped round the Cape. The mediæval trade-routes were
revolutionised, and the carrying trade passed from the Venetians to
the Portuguese, shortly to be followed by the Dutch and English, while
Antwerp took the place of Bruges as the ‘entrepôt’ in the North.
Finally, the conquest of Egypt by Selim I. (1516) destroyed what
remained of the Egyptian trade. This loss of commerce prevented Venice
from recovering from her financial straits, and was the chief cause of
her decline.

The effect on the internal politics of the city was also fatal. The
nobility, who had hitherto enriched themselves by trade, either took
to banking, which could not last without the aliment of commerce, or
invested their savings in land, and became an idle class. Poverty
increased, and the aristocracy of Venice was weakened by internal
feuds. The rich monopolised the administration, while the less
fortunate, with a majority in the Great Council, were ever attempting
to overthrow their power by agitation, or by intrigues and plots,
often with foreigners. Thus Venice, which had long been the admiration
of Europe for the stability of her government, and the honour and
patriotism of her nobility, became the victim of selfishness,
corruption, and conspiracy. It is this which explains the growing
power of ‘The Ten.’ This executive committee, an excrescence on the
original constitution, first organised for temporary objects in
1310, assumed more and more the character of a committee of public
safety, and with the three inquisitors, created in 1539 to deal more
efficiently with treason, gave to the government a character of
mystery, suspicion, and cruelty, hitherto unknown. A loss of moral
tone accompanied this decline. As the wealth of the state decreased,
the extravagance, both public and private, grew. At no date were the
public pageants so magnificent, or the private luxury so unbridled. In
more vital questions of morality, though Venice had never maintained
a high standard, even for Italy, she now fell lower, and private
crime went almost unpunished. It would be absurd to attribute this
degradation entirely to the loss of her prestige and power, but
that it was increased thereby no one can doubt. Yet Venice still
survived. Protected by her impregnable position, and served by her
clever diplomatists, who resided at every court and carefully steered
the country through the mazes of European intrigue, she continued
the Queen of the Lagoons, if no longer of the Mediterranean, ‘The
admiredst citie of the world’ for her buildings, her blue lagoons, and
azure skies.

In the domain of art she had something still to give the world.
The sixteenth century is the age of Titian (1477-1576), Tintoret
(1512-1594), and Paolo Veronese (1532-1588), in whose works painting
reached its climax of technique, of elaborate and harmonious grouping,
and of gorgeous, if somewhat sensuous, colour; while to the Aldine
Press we owe some of the earliest triumphs of the art of printing.

In her struggle with the Papacy, in the later decades of the sixteenth
and the first of the seventeenth centuries, Venice showed the world
once more, as she had in days gone by, that though she accepted her
religion from Rome, she was determined and powerful enough to maintain
her independence in matters of church government.

Finally, in her long contests with the Turk, notably in the wars of
Cyprus (1570-1571), and of Candia (1645-1669), she displayed a heroism
which recalled the greatness of her past, and which, but for the
abominable selfishness of Europe, might have checked the advance of
that Power which could conquer, but knew not how to rule, or to
develop the resources of subject lands.

FOOTNOTES:

  [2] Cf. Appendix i.

  [3] ‘If he knows these five Latin words, _Qui nescit dissimulare
      nescit regnare_, it will suffice,’ Louis XI. had said of his
      son.

  [4] Cf. Appendix iii.

  [5] On this cf. p. 57.

  [6] Cf. Appendix ii.

  [7] Cf. Machiavelli, _Discorsi_, Book i. c. 12.

  [8] Cf. Savonarola ‘on the Contempt of the World,’ given in Villari,
      _Life of Savonarola_, vol. ii. App. and his Sermons, _passim_.

  [9] For the question as to the true account of the interview, cf.
      Creighton, _The Papacy_, Appendix vii.

 [10] Savonarola, however, was no enemy to literature and art. Cf.
      Villari ii. 133.

 [11] The ‘taille’ was a tax levied on land and income. It was first
      imposed by the Estates of Orleans, 1439. The nobles, clergy, the
      officials of the sovereign courts, and other royal officials
      were exempt. It therefore fell exclusively on the lower classes.
      Cf. Appendix I., p. 456.

 [12] Three other sons of Galeazzo Sforza, one legitimate, the
      other two illegitimate, were also taken prisoners and died in
      captivity.

 [13] For the fate of the other children of Federigo, cf. Sismondi,
      _Hist. des Rep. Italiennes_, ix. 295.

 [14]
                          Ferdinand of Aragon = Isabella of Castile
                                +1516         |       +1504
                                              |
     +---------------+------------------------+----------------+
     |               |                        |                |
   John = Margaret   |                        |                |
  +1497   _d._ of    |                        |                |
          Maximilian |                        |                |
                     |                        |                |
                  Joanna = Archduke Philip    |                |
                   +1555 | _s._ of Maximilian |                |
                         |  +1506             |                |
                         |                  Mary = Emanuel     |
                         |                         of Portugal |
                         |                          +1521      |
                         |                                     |
                     Charles V.                            Catherine
                                                          (1) betrothed
                                                            to Prince
                                                            Arthur.
                                                          (2) Married
                                                            Henry VIII.

 [15] For the position of these districts, see Map of Italy.

 [16] Cf. especially, Le Combat singulier entre Bayard et Don Alonzo,
      and Le Combat des treize contre treize, _La tresjoyeuse Histoire
      des gestes du bon Chevalier_, c. xxii.-xxiii.  Ed. Petitot, vol.
      15.

 [17] His son John d’Albret, king of Navarre in right of his wife, had
      allied himself with Ferdinand, fearing the claims on Navarre of
      the younger branch, then represented by Gaston de Foix, nephew
      of Louis XII.

 [18] The most important of these petty states in Alexander’s time
      were the Duchy of Ferrara in the hands of Ercole, Marquis of Este.
      Bologna,                 „       Giovanni Bentivoglio.
      Imola and Forli,         „       Caterina Sforza, niece of Ludovico
                                         il Moro, and widow of Girolamo
                                         Riario, nephew of Sixtus IV.
      Rimini,                  „       Pandolfo Malatesta.
      Faenza,                  „       Astorre Manfredi.
      Pesaro,                  „       Giovanni Sforza, distant cousin of
                                         Ludovico and first husband of
                                         Lucrezia Borgia.
      Camerino,                „       Giulio Cæsare Varano.
      Duchy of Urbino,         „       Guidobaldo di Montefeltro.
      Sinigaglia,              „       Francesco Maria della Rovere, a
                                         boy.

      A few such as Ancona were still republics, but were weak and obscure.

 [19] The best account of Lucrezia Borgia is to be found in
      Gregorovius’ _Cæsar Borgia_, a work which has been translated
      into French.

 [20] For a review of Cæsar’s character, and of Machiavelli’s treatment of
      him, cf. Creighton, vol. iv. 64; Burd, _Machiavelli_, introduction,
      pp. 22, 28; Villari, _Machiavelli_, ii. 154; Symonds’ _Age of the
      Despots_, p. 275.

 [21]

           Ferdinand of Aragon = Isabella of Castile
                               |
       +-----------------------+-----+-------+
       |                             |       |
     John  Emanuel of Portugal = Isabella  Joanna = Archduke Philip
    +1497                      |  +1493
                               |
                            Michael
                             +1500

 [22] On the question of Joanna’s madness, cf. authorities at page
      104, note.

 [23] The leaders of the Medici at this time were as follows:--

      1. Giuliano, Duke of Nemours, and Cardinal Giovanni,
      subsequently Leo X., both sons of Lorenzo.

      2. Giulio, nephew of Lorenzo, subsequently Cardinal and then
      Pope Clement VII.

      3. Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, son of Piero, grandson of Lorenzo.

 [24] On the purpose of the _Prince_, cf. Burd, _Il Principe_,
      Introduction. _Cambridge Modern History_, c. 6.

 [25] Chiavenna, Bormio, and the Valtelline, were held till 1797. The
      others since 1803 have formed the Swiss canton of Ticino.

 [26] Bramante began St. Peter’s under Julius II., Michael Angelo
      added the dome under Leo. X.



CHAPTER II

INTERNAL HISTORY OF FRANCE, SPAIN, AND GERMANY, 1494-1519

     Administration of Cardinal d’Amboise--Union of Crowns of Castile
     and Aragon--Policy of Ferdinand and Isabella--Ximenes--Spanish
     Conquests in Africa--Discovery of America--Character of Isabella
     and Ferdinand--Results of their Policy--Maximilian and the
     Empire--Diet of Worms--Attempted reforms--Opposition of
     Maximilian--Diet of Augsburg--Compact of Gelnhausen--The Landshut
     Succession--Results of attempts at reform--The Swiss
     Confederation--War with Maximilian--Peace of Basel--Policy and
     character of Maximilian.


§ 1. _France._

  | Internal condition of France.

The most important events in the internal history of France during the
reigns of Charles VIII. and Louis XII. have already been mentioned.
The nation, engaged in war abroad, enjoyed peace at home. The nobles,
reduced in number, found, in the Italian wars, satisfaction for their
ambition, and did not disturb the country with their feuds. Under the
administration of the Cardinal, Georges d’Amboise, the minister of
Louis XII. (1498-1510), the country prospered. Population increased
rapidly and towns grew. One-third of the land, we are told, was
again restored to cultivation. In a word, France, having at last
escaped from the disastrous English wars, showed her marvellous power
of recuperation. Nor was she behindhand in art. In the reign of
Louis XII., the domestic architecture of the early Renaissance style
reached, perhaps, its highest point of excellence before it became
over-refined and overloaded with ornament: witness the eastern façade
of the chateau of Blois, and part of the chateau of Amboise; while so
renowned were the glass painters of France that Julius II. sent for
the artists, Claude and William de Marseille, to help decorate the
windows of the Vatican.

Louis earned the title of Father of his People, and the popularity
of the cardinal is illustrated by the proverb, ‘Leave things to
Georges.’ Nothing, indeed, was done to strengthen the constitutional
liberties of the country. The Estates-General won no extension
of their privileges. Although Louis forbade the sale of judicial
offices, he really extended the evil system by openly applying it
to the financial offices. Yet, if the government was despotic, it
was at least kindly; and if the taxes were heavy, the poor were not
oppressed. Indeed, if we confine our view to the domestic policy, we
should not perhaps be wrong in holding that the popularity was well
earned. If Louis had only refrained from the Italian wars, his reign
might have been a turning-point in the history of his country, and
in a few years she might have become the richest and most powerful
country in Europe.

But if the internal history of France during the period we have
covered is uneventful, far different is the case of Spain and Germany.


§ 2. _Spain._

  | Union of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon.

By the accession of Isabella to the throne of Castile in 1474,
and of her husband, Ferdinand the Catholic, to that of Aragon in
1479, not only did these two countries escape from a long period of
internal anarchy, but the rivalry hitherto existing between Castile
and Aragon was put an end to, and, while the autonomy of the two
governments was preserved, the policy which guided them was one. In
their determination to increase the power of the crown at home and
the prestige of their nation abroad, Isabella and Ferdinand were in
singular agreement. The most startling events of their reigns either
occurred before the beginning of our period, or have been already
mentioned. In 1492, Granada had been conquered from the Moors; and
the expulsion of the Jews, the establishment of the Inquisition, even
the discovery of Hispaniola by Columbus, had also occurred before the
Italian wars.

  | The Policy of Ferdinand and Isabella. Marriage Alliances.

At this time, the policy of Ferdinand and Isabella was mainly devoted
to the formation of a great European alliance based upon the tie of
marriage, whereby they might at once strengthen themselves against
the formidable power of France, and contribute to the further
consolidation of the Spanish Peninsula. With this end in view, their
eldest daughter, Isabella, was given in marriage to Alonso, the Prince
of Portugal, and on his death to his kinsman, Emanuel, who ascended
the Portuguese throne in 1495. To this period also belongs the
betrothal of Catherine, their youngest daughter, with Arthur, Prince
of Wales (1496), an alliance which brought England into intimate
relations with Spain for the first time since the days of John of
Gaunt. More important was the double marriage treaty with the House of
Hapsburg. It was agreed that John, the heir to the Spanish kingdom,
should marry Margaret, the daughter of the Emperor Maximilian, and
that the Archduke Philip, the son and heir of Maximilian, should marry
Joanna, second daughter of the Spanish monarchs. The hopes founded
on these marriages by Ferdinand and Isabella were not, however,
realised. By the death of their only son John in 1497, and by that of
Don Miguel, only son of Isabella of Portugal, in 1500, all hopes of
uniting Portugal to Spain were destroyed; and Joanna, the wife of the
Hapsburg prince, and mother of Charles V., became heiress of Castile
and Aragon. Thus an alliance which had been originally made to protect
the balance of power against France, was eventually to destroy that
balance in the interest of the House of Hapsburg.

  | Their internal Policy.

In their internal policy, Ferdinand and Isabella consistently pursued
the principles adopted from the commencement of their reigns. In no
countries in Europe perhaps were privileges so strong, the crown so
poor, or the royal prerogative so limited, as they were in Castile in
the fifteenth century.[27] A direct attack on these ancient privileges
would have been dangerous among so proud a people. The sovereigns
left, therefore, the outward forms of the constitution intact, and
indirectly pursued their aim by concentrating the machinery of
government in the royal hands, and by strengthening the personal
authority of the crown. They took advantage of the disinclination of
the nobles to attend the Cortes; they omitted to summon them to it,
or even to call them to their councils, and deprived the hereditary
officers of state of many of their powers.

One of the most efficient instruments for keeping the nobility in
check was the ‘Hermandad.’ This association, which had been originally
organised by the principal cities of Castile to protect themselves
at once against the crown and the aristocracy, had, in 1476, been
reorganised under royal control. In every city of importance a court
was established for the trial of highway robbery and other acts of
violence. From these city courts, appeal lay to a supreme court of
the whole kingdom. The courts had in their service a force of mounted
police, which was maintained by a contribution levied on householders.
The regulation of affairs was placed in the hands of provincial
assemblies acting under a supreme ‘junta,’ which passed laws relating
to justice, and often trenched upon the privileges of the Cortes
itself. So effectual was the work of this reorganised ‘Hermandad’ that
in 1495 its powers were considerably curtailed. A few subordinate
functionaries alone were retained for the execution of justice, and
these were placed under the appellate jurisdiction of the ordinary
law-courts.

During this period also, the resumption of grants of royal lands to
the nobility was persistently pursued, while the policy of annexing
the mastership of the powerful military orders to the crown, first
begun in 1487 with that of Calatrava, was completed. In 1494, the
mastership of Alcantara, and in 1499, that of St. Iago of Compostella,
were assumed by Ferdinand. It was not until the reign of Charles V.
that a Bull of Adrian VI. finally accorded the papal sanction to
this measure, but Ferdinand and Isabella reaped the practical fruits
of the policy. Not only was the royal prestige thereby materially
increased, but the crown gained complete control of wealthy and
powerful organisations, which had long been a menace to its authority,
as the Hospitallers and Knight Templars had been in other European
kingdoms during the Middle Ages.

In the kingdom of Aragon the opportunities of the crown were not so
great. The Cortes had more extensive powers, the nobles were more
regular in their attendance, and there were no military orders whose
masterships might be annexed. Above all, the peculiar privilege of
the ‘Justiza’ formed a serious obstacle to royal encroachment. This
notable officer, elected by the Cortes, claimed the right of hearing
all appeals, of inquiring into the legality of any arrest, of advising
the King on constitutional questions, and of sharing the executive
with him. Even here, however, Ferdinand excluded his nobles as far
as possible from political power, ruled with the aid of commoners
whose fidelity could be more safely relied upon, and introduced the
Castilian Hermandad.

The Catholic sovereigns also turned their earnest attention to church
reform. The relations between Church and State had always been close
in Spain. The long Crusades against the Moors had given the crown a
peculiar position of which it had taken advantage. It was the aim
of Ferdinand and Isabella to subordinate still further the Church
to the royal will, and use it as an engine at once for extirpating
heresy, and increasing the royal authority. Having, in 1482, gained
from Pope Sixtus IV. the right of exclusive nomination to the higher
dignities of the Church, the sovereigns proceeded to make excellent
use of their prerogative. The sees of Spain were filled with men of
energy and devotion, and the work of reform begun. Cardinal Mendoza,
Talavera (the first confessor of the queen), and, above all, the
famous Franciscan friar, Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros, were the chief
agents of the royal policy.

  | Administration of Ximenes.

Ximenes was first appointed confessor to the Queen in 1492 at the
instigation of Cardinal Mendoza, Archbishop of Toledo, and on the
death of his patron (1492), was nominated as his successor to this,
the richest see of Europe, as well as to the post of High Chancellor.
The very elevation of this remarkable man was a blow to the privileged
classes, since the see of Toledo had hitherto been exclusively
reserved to men of noble birth. The appointment was even contrary to
the wish of Ferdinand, who had hoped to secure the coveted position
for his natural son, the Archbishop of Saragossa. The confidence
of the Queen was not misplaced. The proud Castilian nobles learnt
to quail before the inflexible integrity of this Franciscan friar,
whom no terrors, no blandishments nor bribes could turn from his
purpose. Nor were the energies of Ximenes confined to secular matters.
Appointed Provincial of the Franciscans in 1494, he had zealously
pressed for reform of his Order, which of late had departed from
its primitive severity, owned large estates, and lived in luxury
and indolence. He now extended his view, and aimed at a general
reform, not only of the Franciscans, but of the monastic orders and
the secular clergy in his province. In the face of much opposition,
not only on the part of the General of the Franciscans, who in vain
visited Castile, but of the Pope himself, the efforts of Ximenes
succeeded. A Castilian writer of the following century asserts that
the clergy, the monks, and the friars of Castile, once the most lax
in Europe, could then compare most favourably with those of other
countries. The energies of the Archbishop were also devoted to the
promotion of theology and scholarship. He insisted on compliance with
a papal Bull of 1474, by which stalls were to be reserved in each
chapter for men of letters, canonists, and theologians. He reformed
the old universities, founded and richly endowed the University
of Alcala, started other schools, and caused the famous polyglot
Bible to be published. This was an edition of the Scriptures in
the ancient languages: the Old Testament in the Hebrew original,
the Septuagint version, and the Chaldaic paraphrase with Latin
translations thereof; the New Testament in the original Greek, and
the Vulgate of Jerome. Under his influence there arose in Spain a
school of Catholic Humanists free from the taint of heresy, and it is
mainly due to the efforts of the Cardinal and his royal patrons, that
Protestantism gained no hold in the country, and that Spain became the
centre of the future Catholic reaction.

Unfortunately, the zeal of Ximenes was not confined to these excellent
objects. He burned also to be the extirpator of heresy. By the terms
of the capitulation of Granada in 1492, considerable privileges had
been promised to the Moors. Freedom of worship and of education, as
well as personal freedom, had been secured to them. They were to live
under the Mahometan laws, administered by their own judges, and to
be tried by mixed tribunals. Content with their position, the Moors
had settled down in tranquillity, and many had been converted by the
energetic but conciliatory policy of Talavera, Archbishop of Granada.
But his measures were not stringent enough for the fiery Ximenes.
The promises were violated. The Arabic copies of the Koran and other
theological treatises were collected and consigned to the flames, and
terror was called in to further the work of proselytism. A series of
revolts ensued during the years 1500-1501, revolts which seriously
taxed the military energies of Castile and embittered the relations
of the two nationalities. Finally in 1502, on the suppression of the
rebellion, a decree was issued offering the alternative of baptism or
exile to the unfortunate Moors. Meanwhile, the Inquisition assailed
the Jews and any Spaniard suspected of heretical views.

  | Conquests in Africa.

Mahometanism thus nominally driven from the Peninsula, it was natural
that the Spaniards should cast their eyes across the narrow channel
which divided them from Africa. The ravages of Moorish pirates on the
Spanish coasts, the desire of national aggrandisement, jealousy at the
notable advances of the Portuguese on the eastern shores of Africa,
the crusading spirit engendered of their past history, all these
motives urged the Spaniards to extend their dominion in the north of
the great dark continent. And we cannot be surprised to find that
Ximenes, true Castilian as he was, eagerly advocated such a policy.
At his instigation Mazarquiver, a nest of pirates on the Barbary
coast, was taken in September, 1505. In 1509, the far more important
reduction of Oran followed, while, in the following year, Algiers and
Tripoli submitted to the Spanish arms.

But although these African exploits fill the pages of the Spanish
chroniclers, the expeditions of Columbus and his followers, which
received much less support from the royal exchequer, and which
attracted far less attention, were destined to play a far greater part
in the future of Spain and of Europe.

  | The discovery of America. Why so long delayed.

That the discovery of America was so long delayed will not surprise
us if we remember the following facts. The Carthaginians, who had
done something to explore the islands off the coast of Africa, had
been overthrown in their struggle with Rome. The Romans were not
a seafaring people; Europe was large enough to monopolise their
energies, and for the rest their gaze turned naturally enough to
Africa, or to the East, which was inseparably bound up with their
traditions. After the fall of the Roman Empire it was long before
her Teutonic conquerors were strong enough, or consolidated enough,
to think of foreign enterprise. When that time arrived, it was
only natural that they too should look eastward. The East was the
birthplace of their religion, and Palestine was in the hands of the
Saracens and subsequently of the Turks; the East was the fabled
treasure-house of riches and of luxury. Eastward therefore the
adventurer, the trader, and the pilgrim turned, and found in the
Mediterranean their natural pathway.

Besides all this, as a glance at a physical atlas will show, the
winds and the currents of that part of the Atlantic which lies in the
latitude of central Europe, are not favourable to western enterprise.
There westerly winds prevail throughout the year, and with greater
force than those winds which occasionally blow from the north and
east. Moreover, the great ocean current known as the Gulf Stream sets
continuously eastwards. To the north and south of these latitudes
the conditions are different. In the north, the great arctic current
runs southward from Davis’ Straits to Greenland, and thence to the
North American shore. In the south, the equatorial current sweeps
from the shores of Africa to Brazil; while immediately north of the
Equator, the trade winds blow to the south-west, and south of the
Equator to the north-west, continuously. It might therefore have been
predicted that America would not be discovered until the northern or
southern latitudes had been occupied by some seafaring nation with
sufficient resources, and sufficient knowledge of navigation, to brave
the unknown perils of the ocean.

In the tenth century, indeed, the Norsemen had discovered Labrador,
Newfoundland, and even the mainland of North America, which they
called ‘Wineland.’ But their numbers were insufficient, Europe offered
plenty of scope for their inroads and for settlement, and the memories
of Wineland remained in their sagas alone. In the southern latitudes
there was little opportunity for such enterprise until the close of
the fourteenth century. Then, however, as shown at p. 85, the Genoese,
and subsequently the Portuguese, had begun to creep down the African
coast. The primary aim of the Portuguese in their expeditions had
been to seek an oceanic route to India and the east, which since
the appearance of the remarkable work of Marco Polo at the end of
the thirteenth century, had assumed a new importance as an earthly
paradise of gold and spices.

  | The idea of reaching India by the Atlantic, abandoned by the
  | Portuguese, is taken up by Columbus.

The African mainland, it was then believed, did not reach south of
the Equator. But, as the continent continued to expand before the
explorers in its endless length, these ideas faded away, and hopes
were entertained of seeking Asia across the Atlantic. For, that the
Atlantic washed the eastern shores of Asia, was a belief which gained
strength in mediæval Europe. This idea, guessed at by some of the
ancients, was first definitely revived by Roger Bacon, the Franciscan
schoolman of Oxford, in the thirteenth century. From him it was
adopted by Peter d’Ailly, the chancellor of the University of Paris,
in his treatise _de Imagine Mundi_, written early in the fifteenth
century. It seemed to receive confirmation from the tradition of
islands lying out far in the Atlantic, and from drift-wood carried to
European shores on the Gulf Stream, and was definitely asserted by
Paolo Toscanelli, a Florentine astronomer, in a letter to a monk of
Lisbon, dated June 25, 1474. By that time, however, the Portuguese had
made a notable advance down the western shores of Africa, and finally
the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomew Diaz in 1486,
caused them to concentrate their efforts on the eastern route.

  | Columbus approaches various courts, and finally gains the
  | support of Spain.

The idea thus abandoned by the Portuguese was now to be taken up
by Christopher Columbus. To appreciate the exact position of this
remarkable citizen of Genoa in the history of discovery, we must
remember that he had no idea of discovering a new continent. To find a
shorter way to the Indies was his sole aim. His views in this respect
were not beyond his age. His knowledge was based on the authorities
above mentioned; and he is marked out from his contemporaries only by
his determination to sail due west until he should reach the continent
of Asia. With this intention, and furnished with the treatise of
D’Ailly, a copy of Toscanelli’s letter, and a chart given him by the
author, he first applied to the court of Lisbon, where he had already
settled with his brother Bartholomew. But John II. of Portugal, intent
on the circumnavigation of Africa, declined his offer, and, if we may
believe some accounts,[28] his attempts to obtain assistance from
Venice and Genoa were equally unsuccessful. He now, in 1484, turned to
England, and to Spain.

His brother Bartholomew sailed for England, but unfortunately fell
among pirates in the English Channel. Returning to Portugal, he
accompanied Diaz on his expedition which reached the Cape, and though
he subsequently sought the court of Henry VII., where he was well
received, it was then too late: Christopher had already entered into
negotiations with Ferdinand and Isabella. The affair was indeed long
delayed. The Spanish Monarchs listened to his tempting scheme; but the
financial strain of the war of Granada, then in progress, was severe,
and the terms of Columbus were high. He demanded the hereditary office
of royal admiral and viceroy in all the lands and islands he might
discover, and the privileges enjoyed by the high admiral of Castile.
One-tenth of all treasures--gold, or otherwise--was also to fall to
his share. On the conquest of Granada, however, the contract was at
last signed (April 1492), and, in the following August, Columbus left
the roadstead of Palos on his memorable voyage, with three carracks,
one hundred and twenty souls, and provisions for twelve months. He
carried with him a letter from the Catholic sovereigns to the Khan of
Cathay, and announced his intention, not only of opening the riches of
the Indies to Spain, but of leading a new crusade against the
infidel. The details of his voyage we must leave to others, and
content ourselves with the briefest summary.

  | His first expedition, 1492.

In his first expedition, after a sail of five weeks due west from
the Canaries, he touched land at one of the islands of the Bahama
group, and shortly after reached Crooked Island and Long Island.
Understanding from the signs of the natives that gold was to be found
to the south-west, he reached the shores of Cuba, and from thence the
island of Hispaniola or Hayti. Here, on the night of Christmas Eve,
his ship struck on the sands and became a wreck. Pinzon, one of his
subordinates, had deserted him, hoping to be beforehand in announcing
the news in Spain; and Columbus, leaving the crew of the wrecked
_Santa Maria_ in Hayti, returned to Spain in the _Nina_, his sole
remaining ship.

  | His later voyages, 1493.

In his second voyage, 1493, he discovered Jamaica, and some of the
Antilles group. In his third voyage, he at last touched the continent,
and explored the coast of Venezuela. This was in 1498, the same year
in which Vasco da Gama, rounding the Cape, had reached India by the
eastern route. In 1502, Columbus landed on the coast of Honduras. But
although Columbus had thus discovered the continent of America, he
had been really forestalled in this by his compatriot John Cabot, who
started from Bristol in the pay of Henry VII., reached the coast of
North America, near the mouth of the St. Lawrence, in 1497, and traced
the coast possibly as far south as Cape Cod. Columbus therefore was
not the first to touch the continent, and, moreover, to the day of
his death believed that Cuba was part of the mainland of Asia, and
that Hispaniola and the other islands he had found lay in the Asian
Archipelago.

  | His failure as a Governor.

Meantime, his governorship of his colony in Hispaniola was so
unsuccessful that he had been removed by the command of his royal
masters in 1498. Although Ferdinand and Isabella may be open to the
charge of some ingratitude in their treatment of one who had done so
much for the cause of Spain, Columbus had certainly shown himself
incapable as a ruler, and it was out of the question that they should
fulfil all the promises originally made to him. He had, indeed, been
the unconscious instrument in the discovery of South America, but the
determination he displayed in his first voyage forms his best title
to fame, and the true importance of his discovery was left to be
appreciated by his successors.

  | Further discoveries.

In 1500, Vincent Pinzon, one of the original companions of Columbus,
sailing farther southwards reached Cape St. Agostino, at the northern
extremity of the future Brazil, and explored the coast to the
north-west between that point and Venezuela. In the same year the
Portuguese Cabral, on his way to the Cape, was driven to the westward
and again reached Brazil, which was then claimed by Portugal,
as falling within the limits of the line drawn by the Treaty of
Tordesillas (p. 86). In the succeeding year, 1501, the country was
more completely explored by Amerigo Vespucci. This Florentine, who
was once in the employ of Spain, but had deserted to the service of
Portugal, now traced the coast line down as far as Rio de Janeiro--a
point far to the southward of any yet reached--and by a curious
literary freak was destined to give his name to this New World.
The ‘New World,’ however, was still supposed to be either a huge
promontory of Asia, or a large island lying in the Atlantic. Five
years later, Columbus died in Spain, in obscurity, and almost
forgotten. After his death the discoveries continued apace.

In 1512, Ponce de Leon, a colonist of Hispaniola, discovered or
explored Florida. Shortly after, the Gulf of Mexico was again entered,
and the continuity between North and South America demonstrated. In
1513, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Darien, and from
the summit of the Cordilleras gazed on the waters of the Pacific. So
strong, however, was the belief in the Columbian hypothesis, that this
great ocean was still believed by many to be but an inland sea.[29]

  | America discovered to be a new Continent by Magellan, 1519.

The final explosion of this idea was probably due to the Portuguese
advance in the East. During the early years of the sixteenth century
they had gradually crept round the shores of Asia. Fernan de Andrade
explored part of the Asian Archipelago, and, in 1517, reached Canton.
In some of these Portuguese expeditions Magellan had taken a part. It
was the knowledge thus acquired of a great sea to the east of Asia
which led him to conceive his great exploit of seeking a western
approach through the newly discovered world of America to Asia. Piqued
by the refusal of Emmanuel of Portugal to increase his pay, he entered
the service of the young Charles V., and in September 1519, started
on his notable voyage. After thirteen months’ sail, he discovered the
Straits which are known by his name. It took him three months more to
reach the Philippines. On the 27th of April, 1521, the intrepid seaman
was unfortunately slain on one of the Ladrone islands in an attempt
to aid a native Christian convert against his enemies, and eventually
only one of his fleet of five ships returned to Spain (September,
1522). At last the globe had been circumnavigated; and though it took
two centuries to work out the precise size of America and its relation
to Asia, it had at least been proved to be a ‘New World’ in a sense
hitherto never dreamt of. Meanwhile Mexico had been conquered by
Cortes (1519-21), and in 1524 Pizarro began the conquest of Peru.

  | Death of Isabella, Nov. 26, 1504. Her character.

Some twenty days after the return of Columbus from his last voyage,
the great Queen of Castile had passed away (November 26, 1504), in
the fifty-fourth year of her age, and the thirtieth of her reign.
No queen of Spain, and few queens in Europe have ever enjoyed such
a reputation. She represents in a striking way the virtues and
weaknesses of her times. Of genuine and unaffected piety; affable,
yet dignified; stern in the execution of her duty; gifted with rare
fortitude, magnanimity, and disinterestedness, and with a true insight
into the needs of her kingdom, she was admirable as a woman, and
every inch a queen. The only blemish in her otherwise fine character
is to be found in her persecuting spirit. The establishment of the
Inquisition, the expulsion of the Jews, and subsequently the violation
of the terms promised the Moors at the capitulation of Granada, these
all met with her full approval. But in justice to Isabella it must be
remembered that she shared this spirit of intolerance with the best
men of the age, and that the time had not yet come when toleration was
thought of, or perhaps was possible.

  | Character of Ferdinand.

Her husband Ferdinand, who survived her twelve years, was not nearly
so fine or attractive a character. Crafty, in an age remarkable for
its diplomatic faithlessness, he prided himself on often having
deceived others without himself ever having been duped. Suspicious,
and often ungrateful to those who had served him best, with a cold
and calculating heart which was rarely stirred by any generous
emotion, he seemed unworthy of his wife. Yet it must be remembered
that state-craft was then looked upon as virtue in a prince; that
his contemporaries, if less successful in their falseness, were not
more honest; and that his statesmanship was guided on the whole by a
true insight into the needs of his country. He supported, and for the
most part originated, the schemes for the consolidation of the royal
authority, and, as long as Isabella lived, worked heartily for the
union of the two kingdoms.

  | His policy after the death of Isabella.

After her death, he seemed at times to waver in his policy. In the
autumn of 1505, he married Germaine de Foix, in the hopes of having
a son by her who might succeed to Aragon, hopes which, if realised,
would have destroyed that union of the two kingdoms for which he had
hitherto worked. Jealousy of the House of Hapsburg was, however,
the explanation of this move. By the death of Isabella the crown of
Castile had fallen to Joanna. As she had already begun to show signs
of madness,[30] Ferdinand claimed the regency. This was, however,
disputed by her husband, the Archduke, and eventually, in June 1506,
Ferdinand had to yield. The death of Philip on the following September
25, removed, indeed, Ferdinand’s more immediate apprehensions, yet
transferred the claims of the Archduke to his young son Charles.
Disappointed in his hopes of a male heir by his second wife, the King
in his later years is said to have thought of leaving his dominions
to Ferdinand, his younger grandson. The old diplomatist foresaw the
danger both to Spain and Europe involved in the consolidation of so
wide a dominion in Charles’ hands. Had he had his will, he would have
secured Italy and Spain for Ferdinand, Charles’ younger brother,
and thus balanced the power of Austria by that of Spain and France.
But the victory of Francis at Marignano (September, 1515) aroused
once more his apprehensions of French supremacy. The counsels of
Ximenes prevailed, and on his death (January 23, 1516), the whole
of the magnificent inheritance passed on unimpaired to Charles of
Austria.[31]

  | Importance of the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella.

The reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella form the turning-point in the
history of Spain. Succeeding to their respective possessions after
long periods of anarchy and civil discord, they had re-established
order, and bridled the turbulence of the nobility. Their kingdoms,
which had been divided by long-standing national rivalries, were
united, never to be again dismembered. The confines of their territory
had been extended by the conquests of Granada and Spanish Navarre,
and now comprised the whole of the Peninsula with the exception
of Portugal. To this had been added the conquests in Italy and on
the north coast of Africa, while the discoveries in the New World
were soon to give Spain a dominion upon which the sun never set.
The infantry and artillery, reorganised by Gonzalvo de Cordova, and
Pedro Navarra, had already become the terror of Europe, and Spain had
definitely, and for the first time, established her position as one of
the leading powers of Europe.

Yet amidst all these appearances of outward greatness, signs of coming
trouble might have been detected. The union of the kingdoms was not
more than a personal one. No constitutional unity had been effected,
and the national rivalries were deep-seated. The nobility had been
kept in control, but their power was not gone, and the absence of
all real constitutional liberty was to lead to the revolt of the
‘Communeros’ under Charles V. Above all, the bigotry which had led
to the establishment of the Inquisition, the expulsion of the Jews,
and the proscription of the Moors, was soon to destroy all liberty
of opinion. The greed for the precious metals which accompanied the
discovery of the New World, had already led to an inordinate belief in
their value, and to a neglect and even a proscription of trade which
was shortly to ruin the commercial prosperity of the country.


§ 3. _Germany._

  | Internal history of Germany during the reign of Maximilian,
  | 1493-1519.

The history of Germany during the period we have covered (1494-1519),
comprises almost exactly the reign of the Emperor Maximilian I.
Elected King of the Romans during the lifetime of his father,
Frederick III., he had of late practically controlled affairs, and,
on Frederick’s death in 1493, he quietly succeeded him. Our attention
throughout the reign must be mainly directed to a consideration
of those attempted reforms of the imperial constitution which, in
their origin, and in their comparative failure, illustrate forcibly
the weakness of Germany, and the fatal conflict of interests which
prevailed.

  | The Imperial Constitution.

While the other kingdoms of northern Europe were becoming consolidated
under the strong rule of a monarch, it was otherwise with Germany.
The Holy Roman Emperor, in theory at least the temporal head of
Europe, and still enjoying considerable prestige on that account,
was, so far as his actual authority in Germany went, the weakest
monarch in Europe. The office was considered too dignified a one to
become hereditary, and, like that of the Pope, the spiritual head of
Europe, was elective.[32] The electoral privilege was vested in seven
Electors; the three Archbishops of Mainz (Mayence), Trier (Trèves),
and Köln (Cologne), the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg,
the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the King of Bohemia. Of these
seven Electors all, with the exception of the King of Bohemia, who
took no part in the legislative affairs of the Empire, formed the
first college of the Diet. Below it stood two other colleges; that of
the Princes, spiritual and lay; and that of the Imperial Cities, which
had only lately obtained a place. The Diet deliberated on imperial
questions, passed laws with the assent of the Emperor, and issued the
ban of the Empire against the recalcitrant. But the rivalries between
the three colleges, and between the Diet and the Emperor, prevented
effective legislation, and it was still more difficult to get laws
obeyed, or ban enforced.

The Diet was in no real sense a representative assembly. With the
exception of the deputies of the Imperial Cities, who were few in
number and played an unimportant part, the members sat in their own
right,[33] while the lesser nobility, the Imperial Knights, were
entirely excluded. This numerous and influential class claimed to
hold immediately of the Emperor, and refused to pay the taxes levied
by the Diet. Owners, perhaps of one, perhaps of several villages,
they entrenched themselves in their strong castles, levied tolls and
exercised other rights of petty sovereignty, and, profiting by the
old German privilege of private war, disturbed the country with their
quarrels and their raids. Nor was the system of imperial justice in
any better plight. This lay with the court of the Emperor, called,
since 1486, the Imperial Chamber (_Reichskammergericht_). But its
jurisdiction was disliked as being too much under the control of the
Emperor. The Electors claimed to be free from its jurisdiction, except
on appeal for refusal of justice, and in the other states it was
impossible to get its verdicts enforced.

The weakness of the imperial system was also displayed in its military
organisation. The imperial army was levied by a requisition of
men from each Elector, Prince, or City. But the summons was often
neglected, and if obeyed, resulted in the collection of a mob of
ill-armed and ill-drilled soldiery, with no united organisation or
even common commissariat. In a word, if we except the few occasions
when the national spirit was really stirred as against the Turk, the
imperial army was the laughing-stock of Germany and of Europe.

While the imperial authority, once--in theory at least--the centre
of unity and control, had become a cipher, no efficient substitute
had taken its place. So complete was the failure of the imperial
constitution to maintain order, that Germany had of late protected
itself by forming leagues. These were usually confined to one class
or estate. In 1488, however, a union of the various existing leagues
was established in Suabia. Joined by Cities, Knights, and Princes,
it organised a common army, held a common purse, and regulated its
affairs by a federal assembly consisting of two colleges. This famous
Suabian League was favoured by Frederick III.; it maintained some
order in the district, hitherto one of the most disturbed of Germany,
and its authority was far more real than that of the Diet itself.

  | Attempted Reform of the Empire.

The reign of Frederick III., however, had witnessed a remarkable
attempt on the part of the Electors to meet the most serious evils
of their country. That attempt had failed; it was now to be revived.
The aims of this party of reform, now led by Berthold Archbishop of
Mayence, John of Baden the Archbishop of Trèves, Frederick the Wise
of Saxony, and John Cicero of Brandenburg, were briefly these:

  1. To establish and enforce ‘The Public Peace’ and put an end to the
  system of private feuds.

  2. To establish a federative Court of Justice, freed from the
  absolute control of the Emperor, for the settlement of disputes, and
  the maintenance of peace.

  3. To organise a more equal system of Imperial taxation under the
  control of the Diet.

  4. To extend and complete the system of ‘The Circles’ for
  administrative purposes.

  5. Finally, to establish a more effective Central Council of the
  Empire which might control the administration, and act as a check on
  the Emperor himself.

In a word, the Electors aimed at substituting a more effective system
of justice, and a government freed from the irresponsible rule of
the Emperor, and representing a new unity, based on a federative
organisation of Germany.

  | The Diet of Worms, 1495.

Such were the reforms which the Electors demanded of Maximilian when,
at the Diet of Worms, 1495, he sought the aid of the Empire for his
expedition to Italy. Whether it would have been well for Germany
if these reforms had been effected, is a matter much disputed.[34]
Certainly they are wrong, who attribute the cry for reform solely
to a selfish desire on the part of a few Electors for personal
aggrandisement and independence. Yet who can doubt that the movement,
if successful, would have resulted in the establishment of an
aristocratic federation, primarily in the interest of the Electors and
greater Princes--a federation which would have been unpopular with
the smaller Princes, the Knights, and the other classes below them?
Whether such a federation would have stopped the tendencies towards
separation, and given Germany a new centre of unity, must ever remain
doubtful. Yet the history of Germany from henceforth inclines one to
believe that the cure of German evils was not to be found in this
direction.

  | Opposition of Maximilian.

In any case, the opposition of Maximilian was natural enough. He had
indeed shown some sympathy with the movement during his father’s
lifetime, and was not averse to reforms, so long as they did not
weaken his own authority. Now, however, he saw more clearly their true
import. Not only would they circumscribe his imperial prerogative,
they would also seriously hamper his designs for the aggrandisement
of his House. For although the highly romantic mind of the Emperor
was not unaffected by the splendour of the imperial title, his policy
was really dynastic, rather than imperial. The Empire he hoped to
make practically, if not theoretically, hereditary in his family.
The dignity of the office was to be enforced by the resources of
the house of Hapsburg, and to be used meanwhile to further Hapsburg
interests. To secure the Netherlands, to regain Hungary, and if
possible, Bohemia, to reassert his claims on Italy, to overthrow the
threatening power of France, these were his present aims; while from
time to time, day-dreams of an universal Empire in the future, based
on a succession of brilliant marriages, and on an enlarged hereditary
dominion, floated before his eyes. Thus might the anagram of his
father AEIOU, ‘Austriæ est imperare orbi universo,’ be realised in
part.[35]

With aims thus fundamentally different, real harmony between
Maximilian and the Electors was impossible. Of all the projected
reforms, those with regard to taxation alone met with his hearty
approval, as likely to replenish his ever empty exchequer, and enable
him to form a more efficient army for the prosecution of his own
designs. Yet this was the one reform which the Electors cared for
least. Whether therefore they would carry their projects depended on
the fortunes of Maximilian. As long as he needed their assistance in
men and money, something might be extorted from his weakness, but when
success smiled upon him, he grew cold and opposed or postponed their
schemes.

When in March 1495, he met the Diet of Worms, he was in need of help
that he might join the League of Venice, just formed to prevent the
undue extension of French influence in Italy. In return for the
establishment of the Common Penny (_der gemeine Pfennig_)--that is, a
tax upon all property throughout the Empire, and a poll-tax on those
of small means,--he allowed the Diet to proclaim the public peace, and
make it perpetual. Those who broke it were to be under the ban of the
Empire.

To remove all pretext for private war, the Imperial Chamber was to be
reorganised. The Emperor was to retain the right of nominating the
President, the sixteen Assessors were to be elected by the Diet. The
court was not to follow the Emperor, but was to have a fixed place
of session, and was to be supported by imperial taxation. It was to
have supreme jurisdiction in all cases arising between states of the
Empire, and to hear appeals on all causes arising in their courts,
except where the Prince enjoyed the _privilegium de non appellando_;
and it could pronounce the ban of the Empire without the Emperor’s
consent. Maximilian also consented to an annual meeting of the Diet,
and conceded to it the right of appropriating the proceeds of the
Common Penny.

  | Diet of Augsburg. April 1500.

The demand for a Council of Regency (_Reichsregiment_) to control the
central administration he rejected, as trenching too seriously on his
prerogative. Yet five years afterwards, at the Diet of Augsburg, 1500,
his difficulties were so great, and his need of help so imperious,
that he yielded even on this point. His Italian expeditions of 1495
and 1498 had failed. On the day on which the Diet met, Ludovico Sforza
had been taken prisoner, April 10, 1500 (cf. p. 38), and Milan was
once more in French hands.

The system of the Common Penny had failed, owing to the difficulty of
collection. The Diet therefore ordered a levy of men for six months.
Every four hundred inhabitants were to furnish one soldier, the
Princes to provide the cavalry; a tax was also laid on those who did
not serve. In return, the Emperor consented to the establishment of
the Council of Regency (_Reichsregiment_). This standing Council of
the Empire was to be formed of a President, one Elector, one Bishop,
one Prince, one Count, and sixteen representatives of the States. It
was to summon the Diet, of which it served as a standing committee,
to nominate the members of the Imperial Chamber, to collect taxes,
to maintain order at home, and decide on questions of peace and war.
Although under the presidency of the Emperor or his Stadtholder,
nothing of importance could be done without its leave, and thus it
shared the executive power with him.

  | 1502. Opposition of Maximilian.

  | Compact at Gelnhausen. June 1502.

Maximilian, however, had no intention of seeing his authority thus
controlled, and this abortive Council only lasted a few months.
Henceforth, disappointed at the niggard support which his concessions
had produced--for the levy voted at Augsburg was never fully
furnished--he determined to lean upon his own resources. ‘As King
of the Romans,’ he said, ‘he had only experienced mortification.
He would for the future act as an Austrian Prince.’ Accordingly,
in 1502, he fell back on his imperial right of holding Courts of
Justice (_Hofgerichte_), and erected a standing Court or Aulic Council
(_Hofrath_), entirely under his own control, to which he referred
matters pertaining to his own territories, and cases which he was
called upon to adjudicate in his capacity of overlord.[36] He even
thought of instituting a Council of his own to take the place of
the Council of Regency. The Electors on their side entered into a
solemn compact at Gelnhausen (June 1502) to unite themselves as one
man against the dangerous innovations of the Emperor; carried on
negotiations with Louis XII. on their own account; and, in 1503, even
spoke of deposing Maximilian and electing his rival, the French king,
in his stead.

  | 1504. Success of Maximilian in the Landshut succession
  | question.

At this moment the position of Maximilian began to improve. He found
himself supported by many of the literary men who cherished the
memories of the Empire, by many of the Princes, the Imperial Knights,
and others who dreaded the power of the Electors, and, in 1504,
the question of the Landshut succession gave him an opportunity of
humiliating his chief enemy, the Elector Palatine, Frederick the
Victorious, or the Wicked, as his opponents called him. On the death
of Duke George, the Rich, of Landshut (December 1503), without direct
heirs, three claimants appeared: Rupert, the second son of the Elector
Palatine, and son-in-law and nephew of George, who claimed under the
will of his father-in-law; and the two Dukes of Bavaria, Wolfgang
and Albert, who urged their claim as his nearest agnates. Maximilian
supported the cause of Bavaria; called on the princes who were jealous
of the Elector Palatine; with their help, defeated his forces in a
battle where Rupert, his son, was killed, and forced the Diet of
Cologne, in 1505, to divide the territories of Landshut between the
Dukes of Bavaria and himself; while the son of Rupert was fain to
content himself with the small district of the upper Palatinate on the
north of the Danube.

  | 1504. Death of Berthold of Mayence and of the Elector of
  | Trèves.

  | Improved position of Maximilian.

By this defeat of a prominent Elector, the prestige of Maximilian was
much enhanced. Moreover, the death of John of Baden the Elector of
Trèves, and of Berthold of Mayence during the year, 1504, seriously
weakened the party of reform. The Emperor’s position abroad also
seemed magnificent. The Treaty of Blois (September 1504) promised a
brilliant match for his grandson Charles (cf. p. 61), a match which
was not only to bring Brittany, Burgundy, and the French possessions
in North Italy to the Hapsburgs, but might even, so Maximilian hoped,
end in uniting the crowns of the Empire and of France. In the ensuing
November, the death of Isabella made Joanna, his daughter-in-law,
Queen of Castile; and the old age of Ladislas, of Bohemia and Hungary,
gave prospects of the speedy fulfilment of the agreement, made by
that King fifteen years before, by which Hungary was to fall to the
Hapsburg house in the event of his dying without male issue.

  | End of the attempted Reforms.

While Maximilian indulged in wild projects of universal empire, he
was not in a mood to listen to further demands, nor were the Electors
in a position to enforce them. Here therefore the attempts at reform
may be said to have practically ceased. The hopes of Maximilian were
not indeed fulfilled. Accordingly, in 1507, at Constance we find him
once more demanding men and money against the perjured Louis XII., in
return for a promise to revive the Imperial Chamber, which had held
no sittings for three years. Supplies were granted, no longer by the
Common Penny, or by assessment by parishes, but by a matricula or roll
on which the separate states were rated, according to their resources,
a system which emphasised the independence of the separate states.
Thus furnished, Maximilian once more invaded Italy, only to fail even
more ludicrously than before (cf. p. 65); and the Diets of the years,
1509 to 1512, are taken up with mutual recriminations--the Emperor
bitterly remonstrating with the Diet for refusing adequate support,
and for attempting to weaken his prerogative; while the Diet retorted
that his alliances and his wars had been entered into without its
consent, and that he had prevented the execution of the reforms which
had been enacted.

  | 1512. Establishment of the Circles.

At the Diets of Trèves and Cologne (1512), something indeed was done.
The organisation of the Empire into six circles,[37] hitherto only
used for elections to the Council of Regency, and of the Assessors
to the Imperial Chamber, was extended, and the administrative and
military work of the districts placed in their hands. Even then the
Diets refused to allow Maximilian the privilege of nominating the
Captains of the circles, or of appointing a Captain-general who
should be supreme, or nominating a council of eight, who were to act
as a Privy Council under his control. In short, the eternal conflict
continued; Maximilian, though not averse to reforms which might make
the executive and judicial work of the Empire more efficient, refused
to allow his prerogative to be touched, and the Diet would only
sanction those which secured them some control. The measure therefore
was still-born, the Captains were never elected, and the establishment
of the circles was not finally effected till 1521, three years after
Maximilian’s death.

  | Permanent results of the attempt at Reform.

Of the reforms thus attempted during the reign of Maximilian, the
Common Penny, and the Imperial Council of Regency were revived
again under Charles V., soon to be abandoned for ever; and
though the Imperial Chamber (_Reichskammer_), the Aulic Council
(_Reichshofrath_), the circles, the system of taxation, and the levy
by matricula were destined, with certain modifications, to last as
long as the Empire itself, they did not succeed in saving the Empire
from the continuation of weakness and intestine disorder. Not only
were they disliked by the Emperor in the shape in which they were
passed, but they received lukewarm support from most of the Princes,
and were opposed by the Imperial Knights; while the Cities, which
feared increased taxation as likely to fall chiefly upon their
citizens, complained that they had no representatives among the
assessors of the Imperial Chamber. The failure of these reforms
confirms the opinion that the idea of reconciling imperial unity
with the establishment of an aristocratic federation was a hopeless
one, and that two alternatives alone were practicable: either the
consolidation of Germany into a strong concentrated kingdom under
an hereditary Monarch; or the overthrow of national unity, and the
dismemberment of the Empire into a number of petty states, practically
sovereign and independent.

  | Condition of States of the Empire.

The condition of the separate states formed a counterpart to that of
the Empire. The more powerful Electors and Princes, who wished to
establish a strong government, met with the same opposition from their
vassals, their cities, and even their peasants, which they themselves
offered to the Emperor; their provincial Diets were torn with the same
dissensions as those which disturbed the Imperial Diet. Yet here, more
surely than in the Empire, the authority of the ruler was asserting
itself, based upon that principle of independent territorialism which
was eventually to triumph.

The Imperial Knights, enemies of the Princes whose power they dreaded,
were the chief opponents of such consolidation, and the Emperor was
not ashamed at times to lean upon these questionable allies, who
ruined commerce by their raids, and welcomed the wolves as their
comrades. ‘Good luck, my dear comrades,’ cried an Imperial Knight to
a pack of wolves which he saw fall on a flock of sheep; ‘good luck to
us all, and everywhere.’ The condition of the peasants under such a
state of things was probably a more miserable one than in any other
country, and led to frequent revolts and conspiracies, such as that
of ‘The Bundschuh’ (peasant’s shoe)--risings which, however, were put
down with cruelty. Germany, in a word, was suffering the throes of
dissolution. The old institutions were falling into decay, the new
ones had not yet been established, and soon the religious troubles
were to add one more element of discord and weakness.

  | Social and economical condition of Germany.

But if Germany at the close of the fifteenth century was in a
condition of anarchy political and social, it is a mistake to suppose
that she was in a condition of barbarism. Many a prince--nay, the
Emperor Maximilian himself--was a patron of art and literature; while
the cities at least formed an exception to the prevailing anarchy.
They protected themselves with some success from the raids of the
knights by their strong walls, their sturdy burghers, and their
leagues; and, although not free themselves from violent ferments
between the governing bodies of the towns and the unprivileged
classes, who sought for entrance into the town councils, this civic
turbulence, as is often the case, did not ruin the trade by which many
towns and burghers enriched themselves.

The cities also were the home of education, of literature, and of
art. At the close of the fifteenth century sixteen universities
existed, of which nine had been recently founded. Hence came the
humanist scholars, Agricola, Erasmus, Reuchlin, Melanchthon, and a
host of others, who revived the knowledge of the ancient languages,
and enriched their own mother-tongue with their pens. In the cities
too, the arts of printing, etching, metal-working, and painting
flourished--witness more especially the names of Holbein, Albert
Dürer, and Peter Vischer, the metal-worker of Nuremberg. In a word,
Germany was in a condition of transition, of unrest, of political
dislocation, and yet of much intellectual ferment, which was preparing
her to take the lead in the Reformation.

  | The Swiss Confederation.

  | 1291. The Everlasting Compact of the three Forest Cantons.

  | The struggle with the House of Hapsburg.

  | Battles of Morgarten, 1315, and Sempach, 1386.

  | Their wars with Charles the Bold.

The reign of Maximilian witnessed also an actual loss of territory to
the Empire, for it was then that Switzerland practically established
its independence. The Swiss Confederation was originally one of
those numerous leagues formed in Germany for self-protection as the
Empire fell into decay. In the year 1291, the three Forest Cantons
of Uri, Schwytz, and Unterwalden, lying at the head of the lake of
Lucerne, formed ‘The Everlasting Compact,’ to protect themselves
more especially against the powerful Counts of Hapsburg, who, with
their castle of Hapsburg on the lower Aar, held large possessions,
and enjoyed considerable political authority within, and around these
districts. Henceforth, for some two hundred years, opposition to this
aggressive house forms the clue to the history of Switzerland. By
the victories of Morgarten, 1315, and of Sempach, 1386, they freed
themselves from all claims to political control or jurisdiction on
the part of the Hapsburgs and of any other power except the Emperor.
In 1468, Sigismund of Tyrol ceded to them all the lands he held in
Switzerland, with the exception of the Frickthal in the Aargau. By
their famous war with Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, 1474-1477,
they not only established the reputation of their formidable infantry,
but gained a footing in the French-speaking territories belonging to
the House of Savoy.

  | Condition of the Confederation at the accession of
  | Maximilian.

The primitive Confederation of the three Forest Cantons had, by the
date of Maximilian’s accession, increased its numbers to ten, and
ruled over a stretch of country roughly bounded by the Jura and the
lake of Neuchâtel on the west, the Bernese Alps on the south, and the
Rhætian Alps, the lake of Constance, and the Rhine on the south-east,
east, and north.[38] The city of Constance was a free imperial city,
and was not a member of the Confederation.

[Illustration: THE SWISS CONFEDERATION]

  | The Government of the Confederation.

The constitution of the Confederation was based on ‘The Everlasting
Compact’ of 1291, which had been confirmed and expanded by subsequent
compacts, notably the Parson’s ordinance (_Pfaffenbrief_) of 1370,
the Sempach ordinance of 1393, and the Compact of Stanz, 1481. These
agreements referred almost exclusively to questions of jurisdiction
and police, and of mutual assistance and common action with regard to
foreign powers, and assumed, rather than defined, the character of the
central institutions which should give sanction to these compacts.

The Diet, composed of two delegates from each member of the
Confederation, and one from each ‘Socius,’ was little more than a
meeting of envoys, strictly limited by their instructions. Nor were
the minority bound by the decisions of the majority, except in matters
concerning the ‘Common Bailiwicks.’ Although all the Confederates
were allied with the three Forest Cantons, they were not necessarily
leagued with one another--thus Bern had made no direct league with
Zurich, nor Lucerne with Glarus. The internal constitution of the
separate states also varied infinitely. Some, like the Forest Cantons
and Zurich, were practically democracies, while Bern was ruled by
an exclusive burgher aristocracy. Thus the constitution was that of
a ‘Confederation’ of the loosest kind, a union between communities
practically sovereign, neither all bound to each other, nor alike in
their internal organisation. The complications, which were certain
to result from these peculiarities, were further increased by the
existence of other territories more or less intimately connected. Of
these there were three kinds:

  | The Subject Lands.

1. The ‘Subject Lands.’ Some of these belonged to the separate states;
others, ‘the Freie Orte,’ such as the Thurgau and Aargau, were
held as Common Bailiwicks by several or all of the members of the
Confederation. These districts enjoyed no political rights, and, as is
so often the case with the dependencies of democracies, were governed
most harshly.

  | The Associated Districts.

2. Secondly came the ‘Associated Districts’ (_Zugewandte Orte_). Of
these, three indeed, the abbot, and town of St. Gall and the town of
Bienne (Biel), on the lake of that name, were admitted as ‘socii’ with
one vote each in the Diet.

But the far more numerous class, the ‘Confœderati,’ were not
admitted to the privileges of full membership, and yet were bound to
obey the orders of the Confederation in matters of peace and war.[39]

  | The Protected Districts.

3. Lastly came the ‘Protected Districts,’ where the tie was still more
loose.

The extraordinary complications and conflict of interests thus caused
had from time to time led to serious disputes, both internal and
external. They were now to involve the Swiss in a war with the Empire.

  | Causes of the War with the Empire.

As long as the imperial title was in other hands than those of the
hated Hapsburg, the Swiss had remained faithful to the Empire,
although practically free. But in 1440, the election of Frederick
III. reawakened their apprehensions. They feared lest he should use
his imperial authority to regain his power over them. On the cession
of most of the family possessions by Sigismund of Tyrol (cf. p. 118),
a brief period of friendship ensued, which was strengthened when, by
‘The Everlasting Compact’ of 1475, he confirmed his renunciation,
and promised help against Charles of Burgundy. But the startling
successes of the Swiss had caused the Emperor and Sigismund to desert
their cause, and the old jealousies revived. The Confederation looked
with dislike on the formation of the Suabian League (1488), to the
north of them, a dislike which was embittered by the open contempt
shown by the German nobility for these upstart Swiss. The claim
made by the imperial city of Constance to jurisdiction over the
district of the Thurgau, which had been mortgaged to it by Sigismund,
caused further friction. After the death of Frederick III. matters
grew worse. The reforming party among the Electors were eager to
bring Switzerland under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Chamber,
and to force the Confederation to bear its share of the taxation
imposed on the Empire by the Diet of Worms (1495). Maximilian here
attempted to play double. He hoped that by allowing the Diet to make
these claims he might frighten the Swiss, while by refraining from
enforcing them he might gain the aid of the Confederation against the
French. In this he made a double blunder. The Electors, anxious to
make the imperial organisation a reality, insisted on the execution
of the decrees of the Diet, and the Swiss looked upon his policy
as a dishonest attempt to revive the claims of his house. They had
long been practically, although not legally, free from all imperial
jurisdiction and taxation. They had no representative in the Diet,
and their consent had not been asked. The tax of the Common Penny
they declared to be a scheme on the part of the princes to tax the
peasants. In short, their view of the matter was singularly like that
of the American Colonies when, in the eighteenth century, England
attempted to tax them. The Swiss, however, not only refused to comply
themselves, they even claimed independence for their ally St. Gall.
This at least could not be sanctioned, and, in 1497, St. Gall was
placed under the ban of the Empire. Maximilian still continued his
double dealing. He delayed the execution of the ban in the vain hope
of influencing the Swiss to make a personal arrangement with him,
and serve him in his wars. Meanwhile, other differences precipitated
the crisis. Of several leagues which had grown up around that of
the Swiss Confederation, some of the most important were the three
Rhætian Leagues: the League of God’s House, ‘Gotteshausbund,’
round about Chur, from the cathedral of which it took its name; the
‘Grauer Bund,’ or Grisons, on the Upper Rhine; and the League of the
Ten Jurisdictions in the Prättigau and the valley of Davos. The
succession of Maximilian to the possessions of the cadet branch of
his family in Tyrol on the death of Sigismund (1496), not unnaturally
aroused the fear of these Leagues, the more so because Maximilian also
about this time gained part of the Prättigau. Accordingly in 1497,
the Grauer Bund, and in 1498, the League of God’s House, entered into
an alliance with the Swiss and became associates (Confœderati).
The Swiss Confederation was thus drawn into the interminable disputes
as to possessions and jurisdictions, which existed between these two
Leagues and Tyrol. Finally, the occupation of the Münsterthal--one of
the valleys which joins that of the upper Adige--by the authorities at
Innsbruck, led to hostilities (1499).

  | Outbreak of War, 1499.

  | Defeat of the Suabian League and of Maximilian.

The war was at first carried on by Maximilian as Archduke of Austria,
assisted by the Suabian League, and was not taken up by the Empire
until the following year. The best policy on the Emperor’s part
would probably have been to concentrate his attack, and try to
outmanœuvre the Swiss and crush them in one decisive battle; for
the Swiss army, organised according to the states in which it had
been levied, was better fitted for detached enterprises, and its
leaders were always somewhat deficient in strategy. Instead of this,
Maximilian divided his forces and thus played into the hands of his
enemies. The Swiss, advancing in a dense column, or in phalanxes in
echelon of three divisions, with four rows of pikemen in front armed
with pikes eighteen feet long, supported in the rear by halberdiers
with halberds (a combination of battle-axe and spear), proved more
than a match for the German landsknechts. The French king sent money
and artillery; even the Venetians contributed money, unwilling to see
Hapsburg influence increase in these parts. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of
Milan, Maximilian’s only ally, was at this moment driven from Milan
(September 2). The Suabian League was defeated at Bruderholz and at
Dornach, near Basel. Maximilian himself was worsted at Frastenz in the
Tyrol, and again at the gorge of the Calven in the Münsterthal, and
on September 22, 1499, was forced to come to terms.

  | The Peace of Basel, 1499.

By the peace of Basel all matters in dispute between Maximilian and
the Rhætian Leagues were referred to arbitration. All decisions of
the Imperial Chamber against the Confederation were annulled, and
though nothing definite was said as to its future relations with
the Empire, no attempt was ever again made to subject the Swiss to
imperial taxation, jurisdiction, or military levy. Though still
nominally a member of the Empire the Confederation enjoyed practical
independence, which was finally recognised at the peace of Westphalia,
1648.

In 1501, for the purpose of strengthening their northern frontier,
the Swiss admitted Basel and Schaffhausen to the Confederation; and
the addition of Appenzell, in 1513, brought up the number of the
Confederate States to thirteen, a number which was not increased
till the present century. The Swiss continued to be the mercenaries
of Europe, and in 1502, and 1512, gained, as we have seen, further
possessions to the south of the Alps (cf. p. 72). One thing at least
Maximilian learnt from his defeats. He copied the arms, and to some
extent the organisation, of the Swiss, and thus did much to form that
formidable infantry which did Charles V. good service in Italy. Yet
even this had its disadvantages; for the German landsknechts, finding
themselves in request, sometimes adopted the mercenary habits of the
Swiss, and took service with the enemies of their country.

  | The Policy of Maximilian towards the Empire and his Hapsburg
  | territories.

  | His success as a Hapsburg Prince.

In spite of Maximilian’s attachment to the imperial name it may be
said of him, as it was of an earlier Emperor, Charles IV., that he was
‘stepfather’ of the Empire. Further, it was his aim to humiliate the
Electors. He had robbed the Palatinate of the succession to Landshut
(cf. p. 113). He defrauded the Elector of Saxony of his claim to Berg
and Julich by securing the succession, through marriage, to the Duke
of Cleves, and of the tutelage of Philip of Hesse, by declaring the
young Landgrave of age when only fourteen; and though he supported the
house of Brandenburg (Hohenzollern) by approving of the election of
Albert, a cadet of the house, to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic
Order in Prussia (1512), he irritated him by confirming the peace of
Thorn of 1466, by which the knights had been forced to cede Western
Prussia to Casimir of Poland, and to hold East Prussia as a fief of
that king. To this he was induced by family reasons: Lewis,[40] the
nephew of Sigismund, the reigning King of Poland, had recently married
Maximilian’s granddaughter Mary, while Anne, the sister of Lewis,
married his grandson Ferdinand, with the promise of succession to
Hungary and Bohemia, should Lewis die without heirs. In short, the
policy of Maximilian was mainly dynastic. To increase the power and
the future prospects of his house was his main aim,--by the aid of the
imperial position, if possible; if not, by conquest, by policy, and by
successful marriages. His success in this design will be best realised
by contrasting the position held by his house in 1485 with that which
it enjoyed at his death in 1519.

In 1485, one year before Maximilian was elected King of the Romans,
Mathias Corvinus not only held Hungary and Bohemia, which had belonged
to the Hapsburgs from 1437 to 1457, but had driven Frederick III.
from Vienna. The Tyrol and Alsace were in the hands of Maximilian’s
cousin Sigismund. Styria and Carinthia were being ravaged by the Turk,
and Maximilian himself, now that his wife Mary of Burgundy was dead
(1482), was deprived of the government of the Netherlands, and even
of the education of his son Philip. Far different was the state of
things in 1519. Not only had all Austria proper been regained, but on
the death of Sigismund, 1496, the Emperor reunited in his own hands
all the Hapsburg possessions, and the ravages of the Turks had for the
time ceased. If he had lost Switzerland, and if his attempt to restore
his authority in Italy had ludicrously failed, these were losses to
the Empire rather than to his house.

  | His Marriage Alliances.

It is, however, in his marriage alliances that Maximilian met with
most success. The marriage treaties with Ladislas and his son Lewis,
mentioned just above (p. 125), were shortly (1526) to restore Hungary
and Bohemia to the Hapsburgs. His wife Mary, daughter of Charles the
Bold, had brought him most of the possessions of the powerful House of
Burgundy, and Philip, the issue of this match, had wedded Joanna of
Spain. Already in 1516, Charles, their son, ruled in the Netherlands
and in Spain and in Naples.[41]

  | His Character.

In spite of his long struggle with the electors, and the failure of
his Italian wars, Maximilian was not unpopular with the Germans.
Indeed, he must have been an attractive character, if rather an
irritating person to deal with. Although not handsome--for his
complexion was pale, and he had a snub nose rising above a grey
beard--his countenance was manly, and his activity and strength
extraordinary, as his feats in pursuit of the chamois prove. His
intellectual activity was not less remarkable; well educated, speaking
seven languages or dialects; with wide interests, quick sympathies,
a chivalrous and highly imaginative mind, and inexhaustible energy,
his many-sidedness won him admirers among all classes. No doubt, some
of these qualities stood in the way of his success. Fond of indulging
in magnificent schemes, many of them incapable of realisation, his
very versatility and resource opened him to the reproach of being
indecisive and changeable. ‘What he says at night he holds of no
account on the morrow,’ said Louis XI. of him. His self-confidence
taught him to be impatient of strong men; ‘to refuse the advice of
any, and yet to be deceived of all,’ says Machiavelli. His overweening
ambition led him into financial straits, and these to humiliating
shifts, more especially in his dealings with foreign powers who called
him ‘the man of few pence,’ and treated him as an importunate beggar,
to be pensioned or bought off at will. But at least, Maximilian
was not self-deceived. In his epic of ‘Teuerdank,’ the adventurous
knight of ‘glorious thoughts,’ who sets out to seek his bride and
finally wars against the Turk, he depicts himself, and introduces
us to self-conceit and the desire of adventure as the two great
dangers which, with envious intrigue, beset him. This attractive,
lovable, impracticable, exasperating man of dreams, of nervous,
though ill-directed energy, is a fit representative of that period of
transition which may be said to be covered by his reign.

  | The death of Maximilian, 1519, marks the beginning of a new
  | period.

With the accession of Francis in 1515, and with the death of
Maximilian in 1519, we are definitely introduced to a new period. It
is an interesting fact that Italy, the home of that papacy which had
guided the Teutonic barbarians out of barbarism, had nursed their
earlier days and introduced them to the priceless legacy of Roman law,
government, and civilisation, should have been the stage upon which
the scenes were shifted.

It was in the Italian wars that the kingdoms of Europe first
showed full consciousness of their national identity. In them,
notwithstanding their deadly rivalries, they learnt that their
fortunes were necessarily bound together as members of the European
commonwealth of nations. Thence the system of the balance of
power, the birth of modern diplomacy, the foundation of a system
of international law. In short, during this period, that political
system of Europe was established which still survives. Further, in the
Italian wars the nations found it necessary to keep large armies on
foot, and the art of war was revolutionised by the more extensive use
of gunpowder.

Italy indeed suffered terribly. At no date was the selfishness of
nations more flagrantly exhibited than in these Italian wars. The
peninsula became the spoil of the foreigner, never to regain her
independence till our own day. Yet in the midst of her supreme agony,
she had bestowed a priceless gift on Europe. The revived knowledge
of Greek art and literature, the highest perfection of painting,
the new style of architecture, the knowledge of man, and the spirit
of criticism--these were to be her final legacies to Europe in the
movement of the Renaissance, which was so peculiarly Italian.

Henceforth the main interest of European history will no longer lie in
Italy. The struggle for her fair plains is not indeed over. The papacy
will still demand our attention, in its relations to the Reformation
and to the Empire. But Italy falls back into a subordinate position.
The Mediterranean ceases to be the highway of commerce between east
and west. Our gaze is directed north of the Alps to follow the great
struggle between the Hapsburg and Valois houses, and the momentous
issues which were involved in the Reformation.

FOOTNOTES:

 [27] For a description of the constitution of Castile and Aragon,
      cf. _Cambridge Mod. Hist._, vol. i. 348 ff.

 [28] These supposed visits to Genoa and Venice are very doubtful.

 [29] On this point cf. Ruge, _Geschichte des Zeitalters der
      Entdeckungen_, p. 458 ff.

 [30] The madness of Joanna has been denied by Bergenroth, _State
      Papers_, London 1868, supplement to vol. i. II. But cf. Gachard,
      _Sur Jeanne La Folle_, Brussels, 1869; Rösler, _Johanna die
      Wahnsinnige_, Vienna, 1870; Ranke, _Latin and Teutonic Nations_,
      Bk. II. ch. ii., note.

 [31] Isabella had left Castile to Joanna, and after her to Charles,
      and Ferdinand did the same with Aragon. But Ximenes proclaimed
      Charles king conjointly with his mother; and her madness made
      Charles practically sole king.

 [32] On election he assumed the title ‘The King of the Romans.’
      But coronation by the Pope was then held necessary for the
      assumption of the title ‘Holy Roman Emperor.’ Frederick III.
      was, however, the last Emperor crowned at Rome; Maximilian in
      1508, assumed the title of ‘Roman Emperor elect’ with the assent
      of the Pope; and after Charles V., who was crowned at Bologna
      (1529), no Emperor sought for coronation from the Pope.

 [33] Besides the Princes who enjoyed an individual vote
      (_Virilstimme_), there were three collective votes
      (_Curiatstimmen_)--that of the Prelates who were not princes,
      and those of the Suabian and Wetterabian Graves and Barons.

 [34] Cf. _Cambridge Mod. Hist._, vol. i. 299 ff.

 [35] This is the usual interpretation. But Ottokar Lorenz,
      _Deutschland Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter_, ii. 280, reminds
      us that this solution is not found in the Emperor’s ‘Diary.’ Cf.
      _Kollarii Analecta Monumentorum Vindobonensia_, ii. p. 675.

 [36] The Aulic Council was also to act as a supreme administrative
      body.

 [37] The idea of dividing Germany into circles dates from the reign
      of Albert II. The four then instituted were now increased to
      ten--

      1. Franconia.

      2. Suabia, including the Duchy of Wurtemberg, the Margraviate of
      Baden, and 32 imperial cities.

      3. Bavaria, with the Archbishopric of Salzburg.

      4. The Upper Rhine, including Lorraine.

      5. Lower Rhine, composed of the three Ecclesiastical
      Electorates.

      6. Westphalia, Julich, Cleves, Berg, the County of Oldenburg,
      and numerous Bishoprics.

      7. Upper Saxony, formed of the Duchies of Saxony, and Pomerania,
      the Margraviate of Brandenburg.

      8. Lower Saxony, composed of the Duchies of Brunswick, Luneburg,
      and Holstein (held by the King of Denmark), Mecklenburg, the
      Archbishoprics of Magdeburg and Bremen, and the towns of
      Hamburg, Lubeck, and Goslar.

      9. Austria.

      10. Burgundy, including the Netherlands and Franche-Comté.

      N.B.--Bohemia did not form part of any circle.

      The duty of police and administration were to be in the hands
      of a captain (_Hauptmann_), with two assessors elected by the
      circles.

 [38] List of Cantons in 1499, with date of their admission to the
      league:

            { Three     { Uri,
      1291. { Forest    { Schwytz,
            { Cantons   { Unterwalden.

      1332.   Lucerne.

      1335.   Zurich.

      1352. { Glarus.
            { Zug.

      1353.   Bern.

      1481. { Fribourg.
            { Solothurn.


 [39] List of ‘Confœderati’ before 1497--

      The league of Wallis, or Valais
      Schaffhausen
      Mülhausen
      Rothweil
      Appenzell.
      1497, The Grisons.
      1498, The League of God’s House.

 [40]

                   Casimir IV. of Poland, 1445-1492
                                  |
     +--------------+-----------+-+-----------+
     |              |           |             |
 John Albert    Alexander   Sigismund I.   Ladislas, King of Hungary and
  1492-1501     1501-1506     1506-1548          Bohemia, 1471-1516
                                                        |
             +----------------------+-------------------+
             |                      |
    Lewis = Mary, _g.d._ of Max.   Anne, _g.d._ of Max. = Ferdinand I.
                1516-1526

 [41] The success of these and other marriages of the Hapsburgs is
      commemorated in the lines:--

      ‘Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube,
       Nam quæ Mars aliis, dat tibi regna Venus.’



CHAPTER III

FROM THE ELECTION OF CHARLES TO THE BATTLE OF PAVIA

     The Imperial Election--Preparations of Charles and Francis for
     war, which is, however, delayed--The Revolt of the Comuneros--The
     Diet of Worms--The Council of Regency--The Renaissance and the
     Reformation--Erasmus and Luther--The Imperial Ban--War between
     Charles and Francis--Their Alliances--Successes of Imperial
     Troops--Adrian VI. succeeds Leo X.--His quarrel with
     Charles--Battle of Bicocca--Treaty of Windsor--Luther and the
     Council of Regency--Diet of Nuremberg--The Knights’ War--Congress
     of Ratisbon--Battle of Pavia--The Peasants’ War.


§ 1. _The Imperial Election._

  | The three candidates for the Imperial throne.

On the death of Maximilian in January 1519, the destinies of Europe
fell into the hands of three young Monarchs, all of them of marked
individuality and of great ambition. Of these Henry VIII., now in
his twenty-eighth year, was the eldest. The profound impression made
on foreigners by his personal appearance is probably in part to be
attributed to the fairness of his complexion, always much admired on
the Continent; but although in after-life he became very corpulent,
his high colouring, his massive head and wide-set eyes, his tall,
powerful, yet active frame must have been striking enough. When to
this is added his prowess in games and in the joust, his proficiency
in music and languages, and, above all, his masterful character, we
shall probably not think the estimate exaggerated.

Francis I. was only three years younger. Nearly as tall as Henry,
his dark complexion, his corpulence and thin legs especially struck
contemporaries. A patron of art, a lover of pleasure, he was a
true son of the Renaissance in its shallower aspects. With little
foresight, prudence, or statesmanship--a bad King and a bad man--he
was bold to rashness, fully as ambitious as his rivals and yet was
gifted with a certain chivalrous spirit which was wanting in Charles,
and which formed the redeeming feature of his otherwise worthless
character.

Of Charles little was at that time known, and little expected. He was
only nineteen, and was completely under the control of his Flemish
counsellor, William de Croy, ‘le Sieur de Chièvres.’ Of middle
height and slouching gait, his fine forehead and powerful aquiline
nose were spoilt by the underhanging jaw of the Hapsburg, and small
bad teeth. The troubles of his early life, the quarrels between his
father and his grandfather Ferdinand, the jealousy which Ferdinand
had subsequently shown him, the madness of his mother, had made
him reserved and grave, and perhaps destroyed the enthusiasm of
youth. These qualities gave the impression of stupidity; yet he was
soon to show the world that, beneath that impassive exterior, lay a
clear-headedness, a business capacity, and a determination which,
coupled with indifference to sentiment, was to prove him the ablest
statesman of the three.

These young Kings were the most important candidates for the imperial
throne vacant by Maximilian’s death, the election to which now
monopolised the attention of Europe. Maximilian had squandered money
and promises to win the Electors, and fondly believed that he had
secured the votes of five of them for his grandson; but no sooner was
he dead, than they repudiated their engagements, and began to chaffer
again for bribes. Henry was scarcely a serious candidate; of the other
two, the chances of Francis seemed at first the best. The victory
of Marignano, and his ambition for military renown, pointed him out
as the most likely leader of that Crusade of which Europe was ever
talking, though never undertaking; and Francis vowed that, if elected,
he would be in Constantinople within three years. Leo X., although
unwilling to declare himself, hoped to see Francis elected. The
possession of Milan by the French made their friendship necessary if
the Medici were to be secure in Florence, and it was the traditional
policy of the Popes to prevent Naples and the Empire from falling into
the same hands. ‘Do you know,’ said Leo, ‘that it is only forty miles
from Rome to the Neapolitan frontier?’ The Electors, more especially
Frederick the Wise of Saxony, and Joachim I. of Brandenburg, had
many of them been irritated by Maximilian’s opposition to reform,
and by his general policy towards them (cf. p. 110 ff.). The Rhenish
Electors--that is, the three Archbishops of Mayence, Trèves, and
Cologne, and the Elector Palatine--feared the vengeance of Francis
if they refused their votes and Richard Greifenklau, the Elector of
Trèves, was an ally of the Duke of Gueldres, the inveterate enemy of
the Hapsburgs.

Francis, moreover, was determined to obtain the coveted title. ‘And
he spent three millions of gold,’ he said, ‘he would be Emperor’;
and the bribes he offered to the Electors were higher than Charles
had to give. So poor indeed did the prospects of Charles appear that
he was urged by some to retire in favour of his brother Ferdinand,
an alternative which Charles rejected with warmth, as fatal to the
interests of his house, though promising that, if elected, he would
prevail upon Germany to accept his brother as his successor. He then
instructed his agents, for he himself was in Spain, to spare no pains
and to refuse nothing whereby his election might be secured. Thus the
dishonourable traffic continued with the Electors, who were at the
election itself to swear that they gave their votes free from all
promise, engagement, or earnest-money.

  | German sentiment declares for Charles.

How the matter might have ended, if it had been left to the Electors,
it is impossible to say. But, as the day of election drew near, the
sentiment of Germany began to show itself unmistakably. Not only did
the literary men declare for Charles, but the Suabian League also
began to move. This powerful League had, in the previous May, driven
Ulrich, Duke of Würtemberg, from his duchy on account of his cruelty
and misgovernment, and was in a position to enforce its views. The
League was commanded by Duke William of Bavaria, whose sister had
been brutally treated by her husband, the Duke Ulrich, and by Franz
von Sickingen, the famous imperial knight, who was already in the
pay of Charles. The army of the League now proclaimed that it would
not submit to the election of Francis, and was joined by the Swiss.
The Confederates were generally the opponents of the Hapsburgs, and
in 1499, by the peace of Basel, which closed their last war with
Maximilian, had gained their freedom from imperial laws, justice,
and taxation (cf. p. 124). Yet, influenced by Mathias Schinner, the
Cardinal of Sion, they now supported the cause of Charles.

In the north, too, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel threatened
to take up arms for the German candidate. This strong expression of
German sentiment naturally influenced the Electors. They therefore
lowered their demands, and accepted smaller sums and promises from
Charles than Francis offered; while the Fuggers, the Rothschilds of
that day, refused to honour the bills of the French King. Leo, too,
seeing ‘that it was useless to run his head against a brick wall,’
abandoned his opposition to Charles.

  | The Electors finally elect Charles.

The most important suffrage to be gained was that of the Archbishop
of Mayence, the brother of Joachim of Brandenburg. His vote would
certainly carry with it that of the vacillating Hermann von der
Wied, Archbishop of Cologne, and he might have some influence on
his brother, although that ‘father of all avarice’ was deeply
pledged to support the French King. The Archbishop had been offered
120,000 florins and the perpetual legateship of Germany by Francis.
Nevertheless, after much haggling, he accepted Charles’ smaller
promise of 72,000 florins and the legateship, and championed his
cause in the electoral college which met on June 18. Here the Elector
of Trèves, who had dipped deeply into French money-bags, urged the
claims of Francis, and suggested, that if he were not acceptable, they
should elect some other German prince likely to be less dangerous
than Charles--the Duke of Bavaria, the Margrave of Brandenburg, or
the Elector of Saxony. This had been the final move of Francis. The
Elector of Saxony was the only one who had honourably refused all
bribes, and so great was the reputation of his virtuous and godly
life, as also of his singular wisdom, that, had he been willing, he
might have been chosen. Too shrewd, however, to accept so dangerous
a position, and patriotic enough to wish it conferred on a German,
he declined the offer, and declared for Charles. His conduct decided
the matter. Lewis, the young King of Bohemia, had married Mary,
sister of Charles, and voted for his brother-in-law. Hermann von der
Wied, Archbishop of Cologne, followed the lead of Mayence; the three
remaining Electors, the Archbishop of Trèves, the Elector Palatine,
and the Margrave of Brandenburg, followed suit, and Charles was
unanimously elected Emperor. The papal confirmation was no longer
thought necessary for the assumption of the title of Emperor, and,
though Charles was subsequently crowned by the Pope at Bologna (1530),
he at once assumed the title, not of King of the Romans, but of
Emperor Elect. Thus ended the most memorable of the elections to that
imperial dignity, which was fast becoming a mere shadow--an election
which surpassed all others in the shameless corruption and intrigue
which accompanied it, and which Henry’s agent Pace declared to be ‘the
dearest merchandise which ever was bought.’

The desire of Francis to attain the title is a proof of his want of
statesmanship. His success would have been disastrous to his country;
the hostility of Germany, and probably of the whole of Europe, would
have been aroused, and the resources of France would have been
exhausted in a struggle in which she was not really interested.

  | The Capitulations.

By the election of Charles, the magnificent dreams of Frederick III.
and of Maximilian were in part realised. The house of Hapsburg now
ruled over Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Naples, and a large part
of the New World, and held once more the title of the Holy Roman
Emperor. And yet it may be questioned whether the imperial dignity was
really a source of strength. As a price of his election Charles had
to sign the ‘Capitulations,’ which henceforth were demanded of every
Emperor Elect. These ‘Capitulations’ well illustrate the views of
the German Princes. The fear of the Spanish and Flemish parentage of
the new Emperor is seen in their demands that German or Latin should
be the official language, that imperial offices should be reserved
for Germans, that the States should not be subject to any foreign
jurisdiction, and that no foreign troops should serve in imperial
wars without the consent of the Diet. The opposition to papal claims
prompted the Princes to insist on the abolition of every innovation
introduced by the court of Rome, in contravention of the concordat
made with Germany after the Council of Constance (1418). Finally,
determined to maintain their privileges, they demanded that Charles
should confirm their sovereign rights and appoint a standing Council
which should take a share in government. These last demands were of
serious import, and led to serious controversies. For the rest, as the
sequel will show, Charles’ numerous and ill-assorted possessions and
claims led to difficulties, before which at last he succumbed.

  | War inevitable.

That the election of Charles V. would lead to war was almost
inevitable. The fears of the French were not unnaturally aroused by
the union of the Hapsburg and Spanish claims in his person, while
the personal vanity of Francis had received a deadly affront by the
election of his rival to the Empire.

  | Charles wishes to put off the war.

Under these circumstances, it was not difficult to find occasions of
quarrel. The terms of the treaty of Noyon (1516) (cf. p. 83), had not
been carried out on either side. Francis could complain that Spanish
Navarre had never been restored to Henry d’Albret, while Charles
asserted that Milan belonged to him, as an imperial fief, and demanded
the restoration of the Duchy of Burgundy as part of his Burgundian
inheritance. Nevertheless, it was clearly to the advantage of Charles
that the war should be postponed. Now, as throughout his reign, the
very extent of his dominions and the number of his titles were a
source of weakness. Spain, indignant at the rule of the Flemings, was
on the point of rebellion; Germany, which Charles had not yet visited
since his election, for he was still in Spain, was annoyed at his
continued absence; the Diet had to be reckoned with; and the question
of ‘the little monk Luther’ demanded immediate attention.

Francis on the contrary, with less extravagant pretensions, was
master of a consolidated kingdom. He enjoyed a prerogative far less
controlled, more especially with regard to the finances and the army,
than his rival. He held the central position, and, as long as he
retained Milan, cut off the Emperor from all communication by land
between his German and Italian territories. Under these circumstances
Chièvres was probably right, apart from the particular interests of
the Netherlands, in wishing, at least, to postpone the commencement of
hostilities. France, on the other hand, should have begun the war at
once. But the treasury had been exhausted by the extravagance of the
King, by the expenses incurred in the last war, and in the canvass for
the Empire, and the addition of fresh imposts would cause discontent.
Above all it was thought desirable, if possible, first to secure
the alliance, or at least the neutrality, of England. Charles, too,
realised the importance of English aid; and the two rivals were so
evenly matched that an opportunity, such as had never occurred before,
was opened to England to hold the tongue of the balance.

  | Attempt of Wolsey to keep the peace.

The opportunity was eagerly seized by Wolsey. To continue friends
with both sides without offending either; to keep both asunder by
fostering mutual suspicion; to prevent either from declaring war lest
the aggressor might find England arrayed against him, and thereby to
prevent if possible, if not to delay, the outbreak of hostilities;
meanwhile, to gain for England the proud position of arbiter of
Europe--this was the aim of Wolsey, a policy which for nigh two years
met with such success that the two most powerful monarchs of Europe
became the humble suitors of the Cardinal and his master.

In May, 1520, Charles hurried from Spain to meet Henry VIII. at
Sandwich, an act of condescension on the Emperor’s part which excited
the astonishment of Europe. Immediately afterwards (June 7), followed
the interview between Henry and Francis at the ‘Field of the Cloth
of Gold,’ near Guisnes in the Pale of Calais--again, be it noted, on
English ground. The importance attached to this famous interview is
not only attested by the magnificence of the display, by the feats of
arms in which even the kings themselves took part to the discomfiture
of Francis, but by the attention it received from the artists and the
writers of the day. Thence Henry VIII. passed to a second interview
with Charles at Gravelines (July 10). The actual results of these
meetings are doubtful;[42] but it is probable that Wolsey declined any
definite agreements, since his policy was to avoid declaring himself
on either side.

Thus the negotiations dragged on, much to the indignation of the Pope,
Leo X., who had made treaties with both, yet was anxious that war
should begin without delay in order that he might see who was likely
to prove the winner before he compromised himself too far.

  | The diplomacy of Wolsey fails to avert the struggle.

At the close of the year 1520, however, the diplomacy of Wolsey
began to break down. Francis determined to take the offensive, and
accused Wolsey of betraying his secret to the Pope; while Charles,
who had long been hesitating whether to carry out the proposed
match with Mary of England, or to marry the Infanta of Portugal,
attempted to implicate Henry in a war with France and demanded that
he should fulfil his promises. Wolsey, however, was not thus to be
entrapped, and recalled Tunstal, his agent at the Emperor’s court. Yet
Charles was in no position to declare war, and the actual outbreak of
hostilities was accordingly postponed till 1521.

Meanwhile the troubles in Spain, the difficulties with the Diet, and
the question of the condemnation of Luther, demanded the attention of
the Emperor.


§ 2. _The Revolt of the Comuneros_

  | Discontent in Spain.

The troubles in Spain had commenced immediately on the death of
Ferdinand. In spite of the temporary success which had accompanied the
policy of that King and his consort, the work of consolidation was by
no means complete. Not only were the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon
independent of each other, but even Valencia and Catalonia, although
dependencies of Aragon, had their separate Cortes and characteristic
institutions. This outward variety of constitutional machinery was but
the symbol of deep and essential differences--differences which were
the outcome of the physical peculiarities of the various countries,
their racial differences, and their past history. The rivalries
between Castile and Aragon were of old standing, and no sharper
contrast is to be found in Europe than that which existed between the
primitive and poverty-stricken population of the Asturias, the proud
Castilian noble, and the busy trader of Barcelona, the democratic
capital of Catalonia. Nor was there more unity within the separate
kingdoms themselves. The social divisions were deepest in Castile.
There the nobles enjoyed numerous exclusive privileges, notably that
of freedom from taxation. The revenues derived from their wide domains
were so great as to exceed in several instances those of the crown
itself. Living in proud isolation, they despised the burghers of the
towns and their struggles for the constitutional rights of the Cortes,
the meetings of which they themselves had long ceased to attend.

  | The discontent reaches its climax on the accession of
  | Charles, especially in Castile.

In Aragon the nobles were less isolated. They were still represented
in the Cortes, and joined with the deputies of the clergy and the
towns in common defence of their political rights. Even here, however,
the social cleavages were deep, while in Valencia things were nearly
as bad as in Castile. But if Spain was the victim of national and
class jealousies and divisions, she was not on that account less
tenacious of her privileges, and the change of rulers gave her an
opportunity of reasserting them. When therefore Charles came to
Spain a year after his grandfather’s death (1517), he had met with
considerable opposition. The Cortes of Aragon only consented to
acknowledge him as King in conjunction with his mother after he had
sworn to confirm their liberties, and in Catalonia and Valencia he met
with similar difficulties.

Meanwhile, in Castile matters were even worse. The Castilians had
been irritated by the rule of the Fleming, Chièvres--the ‘goat’
as they called him in allusion to his name--who had administered
affairs till Charles came to Spain. When their new King did arrive
he hurt their pride by his ignorance of their language, excited the
indignation of many by his heartless treatment of Ximenes, who was
rewarded for his faithful services by being dismissed to his diocese
to die (November 17), and alienated all by conferring the dignities
which had been held by the Cardinal upon his hated Flemings. The
see of Toledo was given to the Bishop of Tournay, the nephew of
Chièvres; and Sauvage, another Fleming, succeeded him in his office
of Chancellor of Castile. Accordingly the Cortes of Valladolid, in
1518, while acknowledging Charles and his mother as co-rulers, and
voting him a ‘servicio’ or money grant, for two years, demanded that
no foreigners should be given office; that no gold, silver, or horses
should be exported from Spain; that Charles should speedily marry;
and that his brother Ferdinand should act as his representative
until he should have children. These demands, if ever granted, were
not complied with. Meanwhile, the imperial election increased their
apprehensions. The Emperor, they said, would rarely be in Spain, and
they would have to pay the expenses of the honour as they had of the
election. Charles, anxious to leave Spain to meet Henry VIII. at
Sandwich, and to be crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), consented to
call another meeting of the Cortes before leaving the country. He,
however, avoided the larger towns on account of their disaffection,
and summoned it to Santiago (March 31), in Galicia, and subsequently
(April 25) transferred it to Corunna that he might be near his ships.
Here he extorted a sum of money by promises to return again in three
years, on the faith of a King, to appoint no foreigners to office, and
to spend the ‘servicio’ only in the interests of Castile. The Cortes,
however, was by no means a full one; the deputies of Salamanca had
been excluded, and some, such as Toledo, had refused to send any. Even
so, the vote was only carried by a narrow majority.

  | Toledo rises. April 21, 1520.

The city of Toledo had special cause for indignation. The appointment
of Chièvres’ nephew as Archbishop had been looked upon as a special
insult, and the envoys sent to remonstrate with Charles, had been
refused an audience. The citizens therefore rose, headed by two
nobles, Don Pedro Laso de la Vega, and Don Juan de Padilla, son of the
Commendador or Governor of Leon, whose intrepid wife had forced him
into a career for which he was ill fitted. They seized the government
in the name of the king and queen, drove the royal Corregidor from the
town, and formed a ‘Communidad’ of deputies from the parishes of the
city (April 21).

Charles was now to experience for the first time, but not the
last, the conflict of those jarring interests which resulted from
his anomalous position. As King of Spain, his presence there was
imperatively needed, yet his European interests necessitated his
departure. Henry VIII. had promised to meet Francis in May or early
in June, and, if the conference at Sandwich was not to be abandoned
(cf. p. 136), no time was to be lost. Accordingly, on the 19th of May,
he left Spain almost as a fugitive, having appointed Adrian, his old
tutor, regent in Castile, Don Juan de Lanuza, viceroy in Aragon, and
Don Diego de Mendoza, in Valencia.

  | Charles’ departure from Spain, May 19, is followed by the
  | revolt of Castile.

  | The Junta set up Joanna. August, 1520.

  | The Junta present their Charter.

The departure of the King only served to increase the discontent. The
Spaniards felt that henceforth their country would no longer be the
centre of his interests, but only a province of his wider Empire. The
revolt therefore spread rapidly. At Segovia the deputy who had voted
for the ‘servicio’ was murdered. Salamanca, Zamora, Madrid, Burgos,
and many other towns rose; and finally Valladolid, then the seat of
government, took up arms. Meanwhile, in Valencia, a social war was
raging between the nobles and the commons, although the disturbances
there had no connection with those in Castile. At the end of July,
the movements in Castile, hitherto isolated, coalesced under the
leadership of the citizens of Toledo, and a ‘Junta’ of deputies
from the insurgent towns was formed at Avila. In August, Padilla,
marching on Tordesillas, not far from Valladolid, seized Charles’
mother, Joanna, who was now completely imbecile, and established the
revolutionary government in her name. With this formidable revolt,
Adrian was quite unable to cope; he had been left without adequate
resources in troops or money, and had not even been intrusted with
full powers. After a fruitless attempt to quell the rebellion, he fled
to Medina de Rio Seco, and hastily wrote to Charles demanding his
own recall, and urging him to come quickly or Spain would be lost.
Charles, however, was in no position to comply with his request, or
to send reinforcements. He therefore bade Adrian temporise. He was to
summon a Cortes, to offer to abandon the ‘servicio’ and promise to
govern Spain according to the ancient laws; yet in no way to touch
the prerogatives of the crown. At the same time, Charles appointed
Don Fadrique Henriques, the High Admiral, and Don Inigo de Velasco,
the High Constable of Castile, as co-regents, hoping by this act
to gain the support of the nobles. Meanwhile the ‘Junta,’ after
vainly attempting to prove Joanna sane, and to put her on the throne,
proceeded to draw up a charter of their liberties. They called upon
Charles to return to Spain, to marry the Infanta of Portugal, to
reduce his expenses, and to live like his forefathers, and passed the
following decrees. No foreigner was again to hold office; the taxes
were to be reduced, and the exemptions of the nobility abolished;
the crown lands, which had been alienated, were to be resumed, and
future alienations were declared illegal; finally a Cortes, fully
representative of the three orders of nobles, clergy, and burghers,
was to meet once in every three years. These decrees were declared to
be fundamental laws, which could never be revoked by King or Cortes,
and Charles’ acceptance of them was made the condition of his return.

  | The nobles declare against the rebels.

Hitherto the nobles had displayed extraordinary apathy. They had
been irritated at the policy of Ferdinand and Isabella, and if, with
few exceptions, they had not taken any active part in the rebellion,
they had given Adrian no assistance. But now their fears began to
be aroused; some of these decrees touched their privileges, and the
movement in Castile threatened to follow that of Valencia, and to
assume the character of a social revolt. Moreover, the appointment of
two of their number as co-regents indicated a change in the policy
of the government, and had done something to conciliate them. The
hostility of the nobles once awakened, the position of the ‘comuneros’
became critical, and their chances of success were further jeopardised
by the internal dissensions which now broke out.

  | Jealousies weaken the rebels’ cause.

  | Renewed vigour of the comuneros. March, 1521.

The citizens of Burgos, the capital of Old Castile, became jealous
at the leading part assumed by Toledo, the capital of New Castile,
while Pedro Laso, the President of the Junta, who represented the more
moderate party, was opposed to the more extreme views of Padilla.
The Regents, seizing the opportunity, managed to detach Burgos from
the Junta (October 1520), and in December, the Count de Haro, son of
the Constable, retook Tordesillas and gained possession of Joanna.
Yet in spite of these successes the danger was by no means over.
The nobles showed their want of union, and even the Constable and
the Admiral quarrelled. The rebels, on the other hand, received the
valuable support, not only of the Count de Salvatierra, a powerful
noble of the north, but also of Acuña, the Bishop of Zamora. This
clever and ambitious ecclesiastic attempted to give to the movement
a wider significance, and to establish a democracy, while he hoped
to gain for himself the Archbishopric of Toledo, just vacant by the
death of the nephew of Chièvres. In these designs he obtained the
support of Francis, and even the neutrality of the Pope. Inspired by
these notable additions to their party, the ‘communeros’ displayed
renewed vigour. Padilla, marching on the town of Torrelobaton near
Valladolid, took it and put it to the sack (March 3, 1521); and the
city of Burgos, enraged at the refusal of the royalists to confirm
their promises, again took up arms. Once more the King’s cause seemed
to be lost. The rebels had a short time before refused the concessions
offered them by his Regents, and determined to win all or lose all.
Charles therefore fell back upon his previous policy of letting
things take their course, while he refused to surrender a jot of his
prerogative.

  | Failure of the rebellion.

  | They are defeated at Villalar. April 23, 1521.

This policy of obstinate inactivity met with a success it did not
deserve. It is the common fate of all rebellions, when not guided by
leaders of strong individuality, to fall to pieces of themselves.
This now happened in Spain. The leaders of the revolt were men of
no real strength. Padilla was an unpractical enthusiast, and the
Bishop of Zamora a dishonest, self-seeking man. There was a complete
absence of statesmanship or self-sacrifice. The Junta lost all
control. Pedro Laso, the President, disgusted at the turn things were
taking, began to waver, and was followed by many who feared that
anarchy would ensue. The nobles, at last thoroughly alarmed, laid
aside their quarrels, and showed a unanimity which, if displayed at
first, would have nipped the revolt in the bud. Finally, the Count de
Haro, reinforced by troops sent by the Count de Najera from Navarre,
advanced against the army of the ‘communeros,’ which since the fall
of Torrelobaton had remained idle. Meeting them on the plain of
Villalar, as they attempted to retreat to Toro, he won a decisive
victory. The rebels outnumbered, especially in cavalry, fled, leaving
their commander Padilla in the enemy’s hands. On the following day he
was executed. The defeat of Villalar, and the loss of their leader,
sufficed to end the matter. The Bishop of Zamora was seized as he
attempted to fly to France, and having murdered the governor of the
prison was hung. Town after town capitulated, and on April 27, 1521,
the viceregents entered Valladolid.

In Toledo, the first city to rise, Donna Maria Pacheco, the intrepid
widow of Padilla, still held out. But in October, finding it
impossible to keep the citizens in control, she fled to Portugal, and
the city and citadel opened their gates. Shortly afterwards the revolt
in Valencia was put down, chiefly by the nobles themselves.

  | Causes of failure of the Revolt.

The cause of the failure of this serious revolt may be summed up in
one word--disunion. The rebellion had been confined to the kingdom
of Castile. Neither Aragon nor Catalonia had moved, and the rebels
of Valencia fought for their own cause and gave no support. Nor
were the ‘comuneros’ of Castile of one mind. They were divided in
their aims, and showed no power of concentrated action, while their
cause was further weakened by the incapacity and the jealousies of
their leaders. The prestige of the monarchy, enhanced as it had been
by the policy of Ferdinand and Isabella, was too great to be thus
overthrown. Indeed, but for the European difficulties of Charles, and
the lukewarmness of the nobles--an attitude which is largely to be
attributed to their discontent--the revolt would either never have
occurred, or would have been crushed out at once.

  | Subsequent measures of Charles.

Charles did not come to Spain till the year 1522. A few of the rebels
were executed, the estates of others were confiscated. He then
summoned a Cortes in which he ordered that the ‘servicio’ should be
granted before grievances were heard, and forbade all discussion in
the absence of the President, who was to be his nominee. In future,
deputies were nominated by the government and frequently bribed; and
so valuable did a seat in the Cortes become, that in 1534 we find a
deputy giving 14,000 ducats for his seat. The nobles, still insisting
on their privilege of exemption from taxation, continued to be
excluded from the Cortes, and rapidly lost all political influence.
After the decline of the military power in Spain, the higher nobility,
the ‘ricos hombres,’ relapsed into luxurious idleness; the lower
nobility, ‘the hidalgos,’ and the knights or ‘caballeros,’ pressed
into the service of the Crown, and became its creatures, while the
commoners sought for titles of nobility that they might share the
emoluments of office, and enjoy the other privileges of nobility. Nor
was the Church more independent. The Crown made use of its power of
nominating to benefices, filled them with its adherents, and kept it
in a condition of servility. The Inquisition, however, was the most
efficient weapon in the hands of the Crown. It was entirely under the
King’s control; the property of the condemned fell to the Crown, and
no subject, cleric or lay, was free from its jurisdiction. Charles
did not indeed directly tamper with the constitution of Castile, and
was even more cautious in his treatment of Aragon. The meetings of
the Cortes still continued, nor did Charles refuse to listen to their
petitions. Nevertheless, the power of the bureaucracy of the Crown
increased, and Spain, exhausted by the wars of Charles, was being
prepared for the despotism of Philip.[43]


§ 3. _The Diet of Worms, 1521._

  | The Diet of Worms. Jan. 1521.

Charles had been forced to let the revolt of the ‘comuneros’ in
Spain run its course because of the serious problems in which he
was involved by his position as an Austrian Prince and as Emperor.
After his interview with Henry VIII. at Gravelines in the beginning
of July, he had passed on to Germany to be crowned. Partly owing
to need of money, partly because of an outbreak of the plague at
Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), this was delayed till October, and it was
not till the following January, 1521, that he met his first Diet at
Worms. Meanwhile he had settled the fate of the Austrian dominions.
He had at first thought of keeping at least a portion of these lands
in his own hands. Finally, however, while retaining the Netherlands
and Franche-Comté, he granted to his brother Ferdinand the whole
of the hereditary Austrian lands; to which were added the claims on
Hungary and Bohemia, based on Ferdinand’s marriage with the Princess
Anne. Thus Spain and Austria, which had been in Charles’ hands for two
years, were once more divided, never to be again united. The questions
which came before this important Diet were mainly three:

 (1) The settlement of the Imperial Constitution.
 (2) The war with France.
 (3) The attitude to be adopted towards Luther.

1. The question of the reform of the Imperial Constitution revived
those controversies, of which we have treated in speaking of
Maximilian, and with very similar results. Charles had promised
in his ‘Capitulations’ (p. 133) that the Council of Regency
(_Reichsregiment_) which had existed for two brief years, 1500-1502,
should be restored. But here, once more, the old controversies
reappeared. The Electors wished that the Council should constitute the
supreme administrative body in home and foreign affairs, even when
Charles was present in Germany, and that its members should be elected
by the States with the sole exception of the President, who was to
be nominated by the Emperor. Charles, however, was fully determined
to protect his imperial prerogatives. His views as to the imperial
office were, if possible, more exalted than those of his grandfather.
In his opening speech on the 28th of January, the day consecrated to
the memory of Charles the Great, he declared that ‘no monarchy was
comparable to the Roman Empire. This the whole world had once obeyed,
and Christ Himself had paid it honour and allegiance. Unfortunately
it was now only a shadow of what it had been, but he hoped with
the help of those powerful countries and alliances which God had
granted him, to raise it to its ancient glory.’ ‘My will,’ he said
subsequently, ‘is not that there should be many, but one master, as
befits the traditions of the Roman Empire.’ Yet the needs of Charles
were great, and had the Diet been of one mind it might have forced
its views upon him. The old jealousies, however, still existed, and
Charles, by playing upon these, was able to make it abate something
of its demands. It was accordingly agreed that the Emperor should
nominate, not only the President, but two assessors. Of the other
twenty members, the seven Electors were each to send one delegate; the
six Circles, with Austria and the Netherlands, one apiece. From the
imperial towns two more were to come, while one Elector in rotation,
one temporal and one spiritual Prince, were always to have a seat.
The Council, thus constituted, was to have the initiative in the
negotiation of foreign alliances, and in settling feudal questions,
subject, however, to the confirmation of the Emperor. Its powers, for
the present at least, were only to continue during Charles’ absence.
At the same time, the Imperial Chamber (_Reichskammergericht_) was
slightly altered. The Emperor was to nominate the President and two
assessors. The others were to be elected by the Electors and the
Circles, while two were to represent the hereditary dominions of the
House of Hapsburg. The most difficult question yet remained. How were
the members of these bodies to be paid? If no permanent revenue were
established, continuity would be impossible, and if the Emperor were
to pay them, the real control would lie with him. Accordingly, the old
controversies began again. The plan of the Common Penny having failed
(p. 111), the novel idea of establishing a system of custom-duties
on all imports coming into the Empire was suggested. Had this been
carried, a kind of customs-union (_Zollverein_) would have been set
on foot which might in time have led the way to a closer political
union. It was, however, violently opposed by the towns and merchants,
who declared that the burden would fall on them and ruin trade; and,
accordingly, the Diet fell back on the system of the ‘matricula’ of
1507 (cf. p. 114).

2. Difficulties also arose on the question of the army. The war with
France had already been commenced by the invasion of Spanish Navarre
by the French, and by the attack of Robert de la Marck, the Lord of
Bouillon, on Luxembourg. Charles also was eager to enter Italy that
he might put it to the arbitrament of war, ‘whether he should become
a very poor Emperor, or Francis a sorry King.’ Yet all the Diet would
provide was a levy of some 4000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry, levied on
the separate states according to the system of the ‘matricula.’ It was
further decreed that each contingent should be under its own officers,
and that the commander-in-chief, though appointed by the Emperor, must
be a German. This ‘matricula’ or imperial roll was the last ever drawn
up, and thus became the model for future imperial levies. From 1535
onwards, the system was gradually adopted of substituting for the men
themselves the money necessary to pay the contingent--the money being
assessed on the separate States, according to their liability on the
roll of 1521. The grants were termed ‘Roman Months,’ because they
originated with the vote for the Roman expedition of 1521.

In these constitutional struggles, Charles had obtained something. He
had at least succeeded in retaining more control over the Council of
Regency and the Imperial Chamber than his grandfather had enjoyed. Yet
the Diet had gained much. It had now a real share in the executive and
judicial administration of the Empire, and Charles would be more often
absent than present. For the rest, as before, the reforms were mainly
in the interest of the Electors and more powerful Princes. The towns,
though represented in the Council, could easily be outvoted, and had
failed, in spite of urgent protests, to secure any delegates in the
Imperial Chamber. Devoid of popular support, the Imperial Chamber
failed to enforce its judicial authority, while the next few years
were to prove conclusively that the Council was powerless to maintain
order.

3. The last question--that of the attitude of the Diet towards
Luther--was to prove a far more serious question than any one at that
time dreamt of--a question which was to affect deeply the future
history not only of the Empire, but of Europe.

  | The Renaissance and the Reformation.

The Reformation was the outcome of two forces, independent in origin,
and never wholly in agreement: the Renaissance, and the desire for
reform in dogma and practice. Of these, the first owes its birth to
Italy. The Italians, despairing of political unity or stability,
yet excelling other people in material prosperity and comfort,
betook themselves to the study of the past for which their unbroken
connection with the language and memories of Rome well fitted them.
The movement, beginning in the earlier decades of the fifteenth
century, had made rapid strides before it closed, and was many-sided.
In art, it was marked by a return to the study of the antique; in
literature, by a fresh taste for prose and poetry, founded on classic
models; in scholarship, it was accompanied by the discovery of ancient
manuscripts, and the revival of criticism; in philosophy, it led to
a revival of the knowledge of Plato; in natural science, to a more
critical inquiry into the nature of the earth and its relation to the
system of the universe.

But the principles which underlay and actuated these different
energies were the same. Mediæval thought had striven to sacrifice
the individual. It had taught men to crucify the body with its
fleshly lusts, to check the rebellious passion for independence and
individuality. It had bidden men accept without question the authority
of the Church, and of the temporal power. The new spirit revolted
from all these doctrines. It preached the dignity of man, and of this
life. It questioned the virtue of asceticism, and lusted after the
world in thought and deed. It proclaimed the right of the individual
to think, and feel, and shape his creed according to the dictates
of reason. It inculcated the lessons of inquiry, of criticism, of
naturalism. Thus a new paradise was opened to the imagination, and
men rushed headlong into it with a pleasing sense of freedom. There
was much that was valuable, and indeed necessary to progress, in this
movement of emancipation. It led to more accurate observation, to
more careful criticism, to greater regard for literature, and to the
triumph of individualism. Nevertheless, it had its darker side. It was
accompanied by much riot and licence. The sensuous delight in form and
colour betrayed some into sensuality; the undue devotion to things of
this world led to a mundane pagan spirit; criticism, to scepticism and
infidelity. The atmosphere of the Renaissance was indeed inimical to
that of the Christian life, yet, with a few exceptions, the Italians
made no direct attack upon the Church. The literary men were well
content to leave an institution alone, which was so closely wrapped
up with their past traditions and with the general culture of the
day, and which so conveniently patronised them, and even tolerated
their satires, so long as they left her government and her dogmas
alone. With the philosophers it was different. Yet even they assailed
Christianity rather than the Church; and if Ficino tried to reconcile
Christianity and Platonism, or Pomponazzi questioned the immortality
of the soul, these scholars affected to distinguish between science
and religion, and while they speculated as philosophers, professed to
believe as Christians. Thus there is hardly any humanist of Italy, if
we except Laurentius Valla, who attacked the claims of the Pope to
interfere in temporal affairs, or the tradition that the Apostles’
Creed was the work of the apostles; and even he, for the sake of papal
protection, easily retracted his errors.

For the rest, the Italian humanists were scarcely serious enough
to undertake a reformation of the Church. Their temper, if not
anti-religious, was irreligious, and their lives, with few exceptions,
as loose as those of the churchmen whom they lampooned. Reformers
there were indeed in Italy, but these had no connection with the
humanists. They were men of the type of Savonarola, whose sole idea of
reform was one of morals and of life, and who had no quarrel with the
dogmas, or the organisation of the Church.

No sooner did the Renaissance cross the Alps than, in the hands of
the more earnest-minded Germans, it became more serious and more
theological, less philosophical and more dogmatic. Criticism they now
applied to the Church, and in another sense to the Bible, with the
intention not of destroying Christianity but of restoring it to its
primitive purity.

  | Reuchlin and Erasmus.

Among numerous scholars who rose in Germany at the close of the
fifteenth century, the two most characteristic representatives of the
age were John Reuchlin (1455-1522) and Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536).
Reuchlin is chiefly noticeable for his revival of the study of
Hebrew, a study which he applied to the criticism of the Vulgate,
and for his attempt to save the Jewish writings from indiscriminate
destruction at the hands of the bigoted Dominican Hochstraten.
Although a philologist, rather than a theologian, he may yet be called
the father of Old Testament criticism, and during the struggle over
the Jewish literature, the conflict between the old and new ideas is
strongly emphasised.

But the most famous child of the German revival is Erasmus. Educated
at the school of Deventer, a school which owed its origin to the
Brethren of the Common Life, he was, at the date of the Diet of
Worms, looked upon as the greatest scholar of his age, and enjoyed a
reputation such as probably has never been equalled since. If Reuchlin
may be called the father of Old Testament criticism, Erasmus may
be termed the father of New Testament criticism, and of scientific
theology. In 1505, he republished Valla’s notes on the New Testament,
the solitary piece of biblical criticism which had come from Italy.
This was followed, in 1516, by his Greek edition of the New Testament,
with a Latin translation and notes. The aim of these works was to
revive the knowledge of the original, and by the collation of such
MSS. as were procurable, to furnish as correct a version as possible
of the text. In the notes, Erasmus applied the canons of ordinary
criticism to the New Testament, and thereby laid the foundations
of modern biblical scholarship. The aim of his third work, the
_Enchiridion Militis Christi_, may be gathered from a letter to his
friend Colet, Dean of St. Paul’s: ‘I write,’ he says, ‘to remedy the
error which makes religion depend on ceremonies and on observance of
bodily acts, while neglecting true piety.’ With these views Erasmus
was naturally a severe critic of the existing state of things. He
lamented the ignorance of many churchmen who dreaded the new learning
without understanding it; who went so far as to denounce Hebrew and
Greek as heretical because they were not the language of the Vulgate,
and whose bigotry had just been so conspicuously displayed in the
Reuchlin controversy. He despised the idleness of the monks, and the
intolerable narrowness of the scholastic pedants, with their barren
disputations and endless hair-splittings. He denounced the folly of
that Church which insisted on every tittle of outward ceremony and
dogma, and yet neglected practical piety. These were the objects of
his satirical pen in his _Praise of Folly_, which was written in
England in 1509. In this wonderful satire, Folly, declaring herself
the real source of happiness, represents herself as the authoress of
all the superstition, the pedantry, the idleness, the hypocrisy, which
were so prosperous in the world.

Nor was the satire of Erasmus the only one which appeared at this
time. The _Ship of Fools_ by Sebastian Brandt in 1494, and the
more famous _Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum_, which arose out of the
Reuchlin controversy, deal with much the same evils, though without
the literary refinement of the northern scholar; while the _Ship of
Fools_ is specially noticeable as having been originally written in
German, and therefore written for the people, not to the scholars.
But although these and other writings indicate how deeply Germany was
stirred by the corruptions of the Church, and although they had done
much to prepare the way, there was as yet no idea of breaking away
from her. Men still looked to internal reform by Council, or if not,
by some other method.

It has been usual to accuse Erasmus of half-heartedness in the cause
of religion, of carelessness in his private life, and of time-serving
in his public conduct. There is certainly some truth in this attack,
and assuredly he was not the man to raise the standard of avowed
rebellion. As he himself confessed, he was not of the stuff of which
martyrs were made. He was a scholar who loved peace, and had nothing
of the religious enthusiast about him. But quite apart from his
character, his whole intellectual position was incompatible with
that of the Reformation, as the Protestants understand the meaning
of the word. Erasmus belongs to that school of broad churchmen, who
did not believe that the cure for the evils afoot was to be found
in the assertion of new dogmas. In their view, too much dogma was
insisted upon already. Much was at least not comprehensible to the
multitude, and, if to be altered, should be altered by the slow
dissolvent of learned criticism. Reform with them meant a gradual
autumnal change, which might take place without violently breaking
with the past, while the moral principles acknowledged by all should
be enforced, and made more real. In short, Erasmus is the father of
modern latitudinarianism, as well as of biblical criticism. His whole
nature shrank from more violent methods, and he feared their results.
He foresaw the extravagances, the controversies, and the schisms which
would inevitably follow, and delay the triumph of rational theology.
The Reformation of the sixteenth century could not be guided by him;
but, as it has been well said, perhaps the Reformation that is to come
will trace itself back to Erasmus.

  | Martin Luther, 1483-1546.

The final breach with Rome was not to come from scholars of world-wide
reputation, but from the son of a Thuringian peasant who, although of
robust mind, was an indifferent Greek scholar, and knew no Hebrew. In
dealing with Martin Luther it is of importance to remember the various
steps in his career.

Driven by the consciousness of sin and the desire of spiritual
peace he had, at the age of twenty-two, entered the Order of the
Augustinian Friars at Erfurt, much against the wish of his father
(1505). Here he subjected himself to the severest discipline, but
without avail. ‘If ever a monk had got to heaven by monkery, I should
have been he,’ he said subsequently; ‘for all that a monk could do, I
did.’ Repeated acts of penance did not save him from new temptations,
and God remained in his eyes an inexorable judge, demanding obedience
to an impossible law. From this condition of despair, Luther was
delivered by Staupitz, the Vicar-General of his Order, who counselled
a closer study of the Bible, especially of the writings of St. Paul,
and of the Latin father, St. Augustine. Here, in the Augustinian
doctrine of justification by faith, he at last found peace; in the
text, ‘The just shall live by faith,’ appeared the solution of his
difficulties. The sinner was not to be saved by his own efforts or
work, but by throwing himself unreservedly on the mercies of a loving
God; thus received into a state of grace, the faithful believer found
penitence no longer painful, but a spontaneous act of love, while work
and life for God alone became easy. In this view he was strengthened
at a later date by discovering that the Greek word for _penitentia_
was μετάνοια--in other words, that the efficacy of penance did not
consist in the external ecclesiastical penalty, but in the inward
change of heart. In thus asserting the Augustinian doctrine of
justification by faith, Luther was only reviving what had been held by
many Fathers of the early Church--a doctrine which had indeed of late
been overclouded by the contrary one of the justification by works,
but which had never been wholly discarded. It is no doubt true that
these opposing and contradictory dogmas are incapable of entire
reconciliation, nor must either of them be forced to their logical
conclusion, for if we are justified by God’s grace alone, where is the
necessity for works; and if by works alone we are saved, where is the
need for a Redeemer? No doubt, once more, the doctrine of the
justification by faith is, if it be carried to an extreme, apt to
lead, and has in fact led, to fanatical fatalism and antinomianism. To
Luther, however, it seemed that the evils which followed on the
adoption of the contrary doctrine were worse; as if frail men could by
their unaided efforts extort salvation from the Almighty. To hold this
view was to nurse that very spiritual pride which was the cause of the
existing corruption. The only hope for moral reformation lay in
bringing man to believe in his utter unworthiness in the sight of God;
thus alone could he attain that spirit of humility which was the
essential preliminary to a godly life.

In 1508, Luther was summoned by Staupitz to teach at the university of
Wittenberg, just founded by Frederick the Wise of Saxony. In 1510, he
visited Rome, a visit which only served to strengthen him in his
conviction that spiritual pride, the characteristic fault of the
Renaissance, was the enemy to be withstood, and to deepen his dislike
of those ceremonial observances of the Church which consecrated the
belief in the efficacy of works. Luther had returned to Wittenberg to
carry on his teaching, when the visit of Tetzel, a Dominican, to
Germany, offering papal indulgences to those who would contribute
money to the building of St. Peter’s at Rome, aroused him to immediate
action. The doctrine of indulgences originated in the not unnatural
view, that while penitence reconciled the sinner to God, the wrong
done to man had yet to be punished, and that the punishment, like that
for worldly offences, could be commuted by a fine. But the system had
been shamefully abused. The Church declared that she held, in the
works of supererogation of the faithful, a treasure from which she
could draw for the remission of penalties, and, in her eager desire to
gain money, granted indulgences carelessly and without insisting on
the previous penitence of the offender. She even claimed the power of
remitting the punishment of those in purgatory. Whatever may be said
in defence of the primitive system of indulgences, it cannot be denied
that in their exaggerated form they led to grievous abuse, and
involved a flat denial of the necessity of grace. Accordingly Luther,
in pursuance of academic custom, nailed on the door of the church at
Wittenberg his famous ninety-five theses, in which he controverted the
theory of indulgences, and challenged all comers to disprove the
correctness of his statements (October 17, 1517).

The views of Luther were not original. Several theologians before him,
even Cardinal Ximenes himself, had protested against the scandalous
abuse of indulgences. Nor did Luther dream of rebelling against
Mother Church. He did not deny the value of indulgences altogether,
but declared that, in his opinion, the Pope could not thereby remit
the guilt of sin nor abate the penalties of those who had already
passed to their account. Further, he declared that the extravagant
views he was combating were the invention of the schoolmen, not of the
Church, which had never formally accepted them. He therefore demanded
an expression of the mind of the Pope and Church thereon. Luther
asked for discussion and for argument; he was met with assertion and
denunciation. Tetzel in his answer disdained to discuss the question
of indulgences at all, and he asserted the claim of the Pope to
determine matters of opinion and to interpret Scripture. The Dominican
Prierias declared that neither a Council presided over by the Pope,
nor the Pope himself, could err when he gave an official decision,
and branded all those as heretics who did not accept the doctrines
of the Church and Popes, as the rule of faith. Cardinal Cajetan, who
was sent as papal legate to the Diet of Augsburg in 1518, although he
secretly agreed with Luther as to the abuse of indulgences, refused
all disputation, and demanded a recantation and silence for the
future. Luther’s subsequent promise to keep silence on his part, if
it were adhered to on the other, could not possibly be kept, and the
discussion soon broke out afresh.

Meanwhile, the ground of controversy had shifted. It was no longer
a question of indulgences, but of papal power and the authority of
tradition. The extravagant assertions of the papal advocates were met
by more outspoken, more violent, and sometimes by unseemly language
on the part of Luther. Wider reading now convinced him that his views
were not novel, but had been anticipated by others, such as John
Huss, John Wessel, and even by the humanist Laurentius Valla; while
he was strengthened by the increasing support he met with in Germany.
Ulrich von Hutten, a man whose love of satire outran his better taste,
embittered the controversy by the biting epigrams of his _Vadiscus_
(1519): ‘Three things maintain the dignity of Rome--the authority
of the Pope, the relics of the saints, the sale of indulgences.
Three things are feared at Rome--a General Council, a reform of the
Church, the opening of the eyes of the Germans. Three things are
excommunicated at Rome--indigence, the primitive Church, the preaching
of truth.’ Finally, Luther, in his _Address to the Christian Nobility
of the German Nation_ (July, 1520), still more in his tractate on the
_Babylonish Captivity_ (October, 1520), was led on not only to deny
the authority of the Pope, but to question the divine institution
of the priesthood, and the authority of tradition, and to attack
the mediæval doctrine of Transubstantiation. That Luther had now
definitely put himself outside the Church, cannot be gainsaid. Yet at
least it should be remembered that he was driven to his final position
by the knowledge that he was already condemned, and that the Bull of
excommunication had been issued as early as June 1520, although not
published in Germany till later. Luther, therefore, throwing all hopes
of conciliation to the winds, declared the Bull a forgery and the
author of it Antichrist, and on December 10, 1520, burnt it publicly
at Wittenberg.

Whether, considering the character of Luther, his earnestness, his
bluntness, his fearlessness, his want of scholarly refinement, and
his violence, he might have been checked by a more conciliatory
attitude on the part of his opponents; or whether, again, had he
been conciliated, another leader in the existing ferment of German
feeling would not have arisen, may well be questioned. But at least
the conduct of the papal court could not have been more indiscreet or
less statesmanlike. Leo X. himself, with his cynical indifference to
such matters, might very possibly have acted otherwise; but the attack
on indulgences threatened the whole machinery of papal finance and
administration, and the officials of the Curia drove him on. We cannot
but deplore that a Church, which could treat with leniency unorthodoxy
on such fundamental questions as the immortality of the soul, should
have refused to listen to the criticism of her system of indulgences,
especially as we know that the system, in its abuse at any rate,
pricked the consciences of so many of her most loyal sons. That the
conduct of Luther is open to blame must be allowed. That he too
lightly cast away the traditions of the Church, and too confidently
believed in the possibility of finding all that was necessary to
salvation, and for the organisation of the Church in the Bible alone;
that many of his doctrines have been exaggerated and have led to much
evil; that the immediate results of the Reformation were neither to
promote learning, nor to advance the spirit of toleration--all this
cannot be denied. That the revolt which was thus inaugurated was to
break the unity of the Church, to lead to endless schism, and verily
to bring a sword on earth, we must all regret. But Rome, at least,
determined that it should be so; and we may fairly doubt whether the
reform of that corruption, which had eaten so deeply into her system,
could have been effected at a less costly price.

  | Luther and the Diet.

Such was the position of affairs when the Diet of Worms met. The
question was whether the Diet would enforce the Bull and place Luther
under the ban of the Empire--a question fraught with momentous
issues. Leo X., without allowing Luther to be heard in self-defence,
urged Charles to execute the Bull. But though the Emperor himself
was in favour of such a course, and was supported by his confessor
Glapion, many of his advisers, notably Chièvres, and Gattinara, his
chancellor, were of a contrary opinion. They knew the support which
Luther had already received in Germany from the poorer nobles, the
poets, the lawyers, and the men of letters, and what that support was
we may learn from the papal agent, Aleander: ‘Nine-tenths of Germany
shouts for Luther; and the other one-tenth, if it does not care for
Luther, at least cries, Down with the Roman court, and demands a
Council to be held in Germany.’ It was not to be expected that the
Diet would dare to disregard this popular feeling. Moreover, although
the majority were wholly opposed to the doctrinal views held by
Luther, many of its members sympathised with his desire for reform
in matters of Church government and discipline. The Diet, therefore,
demanded that Luther should be heard, declaring at the same time that,
if he persisted in his heretical views, contrary to the doctrine and
faith ‘which they, their fathers, and fathers’ fathers had held,’ they
were ready to condemn him. Besides all this, the advisers of Charles
were not blind to the political advantages which might be gained from
the situation. Maximilian had once said: ‘Let the Wittenberg monk be
taken good care of; we may want him some day,’--and the day had come.
Leo was still hesitating between the alliance of Charles and Francis,
and the threat of referring the whole question to a General Council
might be used to force his hand.

Luther was accordingly summoned to Worms under promise of a
safe-conduct. If now he had consented to retract his doctrines on
matters of faith, and had confined himself to the question of internal
reform, he would probably have received the hearty support of the
Diet. But this was far from his intention, and his uncompromising
conduct played for the moment into the hands of Rome. He had expected
that he would be asked for a defence of his opinions; he was ordered
to retract his heresies on points of doctrine. This he declined to
do. To the demand that he would acknowledge the Emperor and the Diet
as judges of his doctrines, he answered that he would not allow men
to judge of God’s word. He even refused to submit to the decisions
of a General Council ‘unless his views were refuted by Scripture or
by cogent reason.’ Thus he became in the eyes of Charles not only a
heretic, but, what was worse, a rebel; and the alliance of the Pope
having now been secretly secured, Luther was no longer wanted for
political purposes. Charles, therefore, was eager for the publication
of the ban and for an order that the books of the heretic should be
burnt. So great, however, was the repugnance of the Diet to face the
unpopularity of this act that Charles only succeeded in gaining its
assent at its last session (May 25), after Frederick of Saxony and the
Elector Palatine had left. Luther meanwhile had fled to the Castle
of the Wartburg in Saxony, where he lay hid under the protection
of Frederick the Wise. He had now been excommunicated, and the
excommunication had been ratified by the Diet. The future was to see
whether the Emperor could enforce the decision of the Diet in Germany.


§ 4. _The War_, 1522-1523.

  | Leo X. and Henry VIII. ally themselves with Charles V.

At this moment the attention of Charles was directed to the war
against Francis. The humiliation of his rival, and the conquest of
Italy, were the first essentials; till these were attained, the affair
of Luther might wait. The French had been the first to assume the
offensive. Already, in May, they had invaded Navarre, while in the
previous March, Robert de la Marck, the Lord of Bouillon, had attacked
Luxembourg. These expeditions, however, had both failed, and Charles
now secured the alliance, not only of the vacillating Pope, but also
of Henry VIII. Leo X. had been gratified at the publication of the ban
against Luther. He convinced himself that the victory of the French
in Italy would be more disastrous than that of Charles, and on May 25
definitely joined the Emperor. Ferrara and Parma were to be restored
to the Pope. Milan was to be held as a fief of the Empire by Francesco
Sforza, son of Ludovico il Moro; the French were to be driven from
Genoa, and Antonio Adorno set up as Doge; the Emperor promised to
protect the Medici in Florence, and to join the Pope in extirpating
the heresy of Luther.

In November, Wolsey, after in vain attempting to continue his policy
of mediation at the Conference of Calais, was forced at last to
declare himself. He joined the league of Emperor and Pope, and
promised to aid Charles in a joint invasion of France: the Emperor, on
his part, engaged to marry the Princess Mary.

  | Success of imperial and papal troops in Italy.

The English did not move; but in Italy the imperial and papal troops
were successful. Lautrec, the French commander, deserted by the Swiss,
who had been forbidden by the authorities at home to fight against
their countrymen, was forced to evacuate Milan, with the exception of
the citadel (November 19), and Parma and Piacenza soon surrendered.

  | Death of Leo X. Dec. 1, 1521.

At this moment, when fortune seemed to smile on Leo X., he was struck
down by fever (December 1). The character of his pontificate is such
as we should expect from the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent. His name
will always be associated with the artistic triumphs of Raphael, and
remembered for his patronage of literature; but this is his only claim
to honour. His character is well illustrated by his saying at his
election, ‘Let us enjoy the Papacy now we have got it.’ Though not
profligate himself, he condoned profligacy in others, and at no time
was luxury more profuse, or life in Rome more careless. He lived for
pleasure; in the spiritual duties of his office he took but little
interest. The serious problems of the time he showed himself incapable
of realising. If his careless generosity brought him popularity, it
seriously encumbered the papal finances; and if, when he died, the
sky seemed fair, this was but the clearness which oft precedes the
storm--a storm which was largely due to his want of seriousness, of
insight, and of statesmanship.

  | Election of Adrian VI. Jan. 1522.

To the surprise of all, the man chosen to succeed him was Adrian of
Utrecht, once the tutor of Charles, and subsequently his Viceroy in
Spain. His election was due to the impossibility of finding any one
else who could obtain sufficient suffrages in the electoral college.
Wolsey, who was a serious candidate, only secured seven. Giulio de’
Medici and Alexander Farnese, both eventually destined to wear the
tiara, as Clement VII. and Paul III., were equally unsuccessful.
A long vacancy was considered dangerous; and Cardinal de’ Medici,
who, in spite of the warm support of the Emperor, despaired of his
own success, transferred his votes to Adrian. Thus two Flemings,
hitherto closely associated, now held the two highest dignities in
Christendom, and much might have been expected from such a remarkable
event. These expectations, however, were not to be realised. The
new Pope, indeed, presented a striking contrast to his predecessor;
but this very contrast served but to increase his difficulties. The
Romans were annoyed at the election of ‘a barbarian.’ Their fears
that Adrian might transfer the seat of the Papacy to Spain, expressed
itself in the satirical advertisement, ‘Roma est locanda,’ posted
on the walls of the Vatican. The Cardinals, who at first went in
fear of their lives from the Roman populace, soon regretted their
decision, and hated this austere reforming Pope, who tried to cut
down their salaries and pensions, while he showed favour to his
Flemish followers. The literary men were disgusted at his lack of
sympathy with the new learning. Even his uprightness and holiness
of life failed to make him friends among those who desired reform.
His economies were attributed to parsimony; his retiring habits and
his want of real initiative and of character lost him that support
which otherwise might have been accorded to him. Nor was his attitude
towards Luther, or to the political issues of the day, more fortunate.
Fully convinced of the necessity of internal reform of abuses, he was
none the less devoid of sympathy with the new theology. As inquisitor
in Spain, he had adopted Spanish views, and thought that repression
must precede reform; when the heretic had been disposed of, the Pope
could begin to set his house in order.

  | Causes of disagreement with Charles.

On this point the Emperor agreed with him, but here agreement ceased.
Adrian had served him well as tutor, and then as his viceroy in
Spain; and now that his servant sat on the papal throne, he looked
for a continuance of that service. He forgot that there was all the
difference between Adrian, the viceroy of the King of Spain, and
Adrian the Pope. Nor were their views the same. Charles was determined
to be master in Italy; for that, not only the Lutheran question,
but even the war against the Turk must wait, threatening though the
attitude of Solyman was at this moment. Adrian, on the contrary, was
not anxious to see the Emperor too powerful in Italy, and yearned to
free the Papacy from the political trammels in which late Popes had
involved it. To bring about a reconciliation between the two rivals,
and then rally all Christendom in a crusade against the Turk, this was
Adrian’s dream. For this purpose he assumed a position of neutrality
and attempted the work of mediation. The results of this policy were
most unfortunate. The French party in Italy raised their heads; the
Duke of Ferrara began to move (February, 1522); the opponents of the
Medici in Florence and Siena renewed their intrigues with Francis;
the Swiss again took service under France, and sent a contingent into
Italy, which was supplemented by Venice. So serious did things look,
that Don Manuel, writing from Rome, advised a truce with Francis.

  | Battle of Bicocca. April 27, 1522.

  | French evacuate the Milanese.

  | Treaty of Windsor. June, 1522.

  | The League of August 1523. Death of Adrian,
  | Sept. 14, 1523.

At this moment, however, the victory of Bicocca retrieved the fortunes
of Charles. In March, Lautrec had advanced against Milan, then held
by Colonna for the Emperor. Sforza at once marched from Pavia to
relieve Colonna, and, after some manœuvring, entrenched himself in
the Villa Bicocca, some few miles from the city. The position was a
strong one. But the Swiss showed insubordination, and insisted on an
attack, which Lautrec dared not refuse. The Swiss had miscalculated
their powers, and were repulsed. Lautrec, who had made a detour with
his French soldiers, with the object of taking the position in the
rear, from whence alone an entrance seemed practicable, was delayed,
and had to face the united force of the enemy, flushed as they were
with victory over the Swiss. He was beaten back with serious loss, and
the imperial forces remained masters of the first important battle
of the war. The defeat ruined the French cause. They still held the
citadel of Milan, and the town of Novara, but had to evacuate the rest
of the Milanese, and shortly after (May 30), they were driven from
Genoa. The Doge, Ottavio Fregoso, the leader of the French party, was
taken prisoner, as well as Pedro Navarra, the great Spanish general,
who had been driven into the service of France by the niggardliness
of Ferdinand. Antonio Adorno was set up as Doge, as a vassal of
Charles--and France thus lost the important harbour which hitherto
had given her an easy entrance into Italy. The victory of Charles
only served to increase Adrian’s desire for peace, but neither of the
rivals would listen. In June, 1522, Charles, then on his way to Spain,
signed the treaty of Windsor. Henry and the Emperor agreed that the
humiliation of Francis was the necessary preliminary to a war against
the Turk. They accordingly promised to engage in a joint attack on
France, and to solicit the alliance of the Pope and Venice. Even the
fall of Rhodes, the important outpost against the Moslem, held by
the knights of St. John in the Mediterranean (December 20), although
it caused great dismay in Europe and bitter grief to Adrian, did not
cause the two great powers to forego their quarrels; and finally in
August, Adrian, warned by the intrigues of the French partisans in
Italy that any idea of mediation was vain, and that if the French
were victorious the Papal States would be in danger, joined in a
defensive league with the Emperor, a league which included England,
Milan, Genoa, Florence, and Venice. Six weeks afterwards, Adrian died
(September 14, 1523).

In spite of his narrowness and want of statesmanship, Adrian was a
good man, and earnestly desired reform. Yet the desire only earned
him the inveterate hatred of the Cardinals, and of the mob of Rome,
who decorated the door of his physician with a wreath, dedicated ‘to
the liberator of his country.’ The pathetic failure of Pope Adrian is
perhaps the best vindication of Luther’s revolt.


§ 5. _Luther and the Council of Regency._

  | Charles in Spain for seven years, 1522-1529.

The absence of Charles in Spain, where he remained for seven momentous
years (July 1522 to August 1529), indicates most forcibly where his
real interests lay. Cruelly as he treated all those who had taken part
in the revolt of the Communeros, he had, since the death of Chièvres
in 1521, become a thorough Spaniard in sympathy. In that year, he
finally ceded to Ferdinand the Austrian lands of his House, and
henceforth looked on Spain as the real centre of his Empire. The pride
of the Spaniards, their determination to crush out heresy,--above all,
their passion to dominate the world, he fully shared; and it was on
Spanish troops and Spanish money that he mainly depended in his wars.
He passed the largest part of his life in Spain. He retired thither,
and there he died.

  | Answer to the taunt of Napoleon.

In this fact then, and in his imperial position, lies the best answer
to Napoleon’s taunt that Charles was a fool not to have adopted
Protestantism and founded a strong monarchy on that basis. Whether
such a policy on Charles’ part would have succeeded, may well be
doubted. He would have found arrayed against him the majority of the
Electors and Princes, who, whatever their religious views, dreaded
above all things a strong monarchical rule; and our doubt will be
intensified if we remember the future policy of the Catholic League
during the Thirty Years’ War. But, however that may be, Napoleon did
not appreciate Charles’ character. As well might a leopard be bidden
change its spots, as Charles be asked to lead a national German
movement against all that Emperors, and Kings of Spain held dear.

  | The possible alternatives for Germany.

To grasp the possible alternatives we have only to recall the
political condition of Germany, already described at pages 106 ff. We
there noticed four forces struggling for the mastery:--

  1. The dynastic aims of the Hapsburgs, bent on establishing a
  centralised monarchy.

  2. The constitutional ideas of the Electors, aiming at an
  aristocratic confederation.

  3. The anarchical elements, represented by the constant private
  warfare, and the social disturbances of the ‘Bundschuhe,’ or
  peasants’ associations.

  4. The desire for territorial independence, shared by most of the
  Princes.

On the question which of these should finally gain the mastery, to
a great extent depended the fate of the Reformation in Germany. The
triumph of the first would, there can be little doubt, have led to
the extirpation of heresy, and the establishment of autocratical
rule, both ecclesiastical and civil. Could the second succeed, there
was some hope of a Protestant reformed Church, based upon a reformed
Empire, and a revived spirit of German nationality against Pope as
well as Emperor. The third, if not suppressed, or guided, would surely
lead to an outburst of religious fanaticism, and to religious as well
as political chaos. The last, which as we shall see was eventually to
prevail, established Protestantism on the principle of ‘cujus regio,
ejus religio,’--that is, of territorial independence in Church as well
as State.[44]

  | The Council of Regency during Charles’ absence.

  | Diet of Nuremberg, Nov. 1522.

The departure of Charles for Spain gave some hope that a reform of
the Church might go hand in hand with a reform of the Empire. In
his absence, power fell into the hands of the Council of Regency
under the presidency of Ferdinand, whom Charles had nominated his
Stadtholder. The Council included among its numbers some, who desired
to extend the political reforms already begun, and who were also not
unfavourable to Luther; while the orthodox party, although still in
the majority, were too much alarmed at the growing popularity of
Lutheran opinion to assume a decided attitude. In spite, therefore, of
the exhortation of Adrian that they would enforce the Edict of Worms,
the Council decided, after a stormy debate, to refer the matter to
the Diet, which met for its second session at Nuremberg on November
17. In the Diet, the struggle began again with like results. The
orthodox party still found themselves in the majority, but, with
the exception of Joachim, Elector of Brandenburg, the Archbishop of
Trèves, and George, Duke of Saxony, were unwilling to proceed to
active measures. The delegates from the imperial cities all supported
Luther. Nuremberg, where the Diet sat, was hotly in his favour, and
many of the lay Princes feared to oppose the sentiments of their
subjects. Accordingly, after much debate and reference to committees,
the Diet answered the Pope as follows: They regretted the confusion
caused by the Lutheran movement, but had refrained from enforcing
the edict for fear of civil war. The Pope himself had admitted the
existence of evils in the Church, and these must be amended. They
therefore asked that a free Christian Council--in which laymen as well
as ecclesiastics should be represented--should be summoned in Germany
to discuss grievances. Meanwhile, no further Lutheran books should be
printed, or sermons allowed, which might stir the people to revolt.

  | The hundred Gravamina.

At the same time the lay estates presented their hundred ‘Gravamina,’
enumerating the chief papal abuses from which Germany had suffered. It
is not correct to say, as has been said, that the Diet had declared
for Luther, for he had been condemned to silence, and the Diet had
no intention of breaking from Rome; but the enforcement of the Edict
was delayed, and delay was all that his cause needed. His adherents
were increasing apace: as Ferdinand said, ‘There is not one man in a
thousand who is not more or less infected by Lutheran heresy,’ and
this explains the unwillingness of the Diet to proceed against him.
Indeed, had the Diet, and more especially the Council of Regency,
truly represented public opinion, the Reformation might have been
established on national lines. This was prevented by the constitution
of the Diet. Moreover, the respect of Germany for the Council had been
lost by its failure to put down the ‘Knights’ War.’

  | The Council of Regency and the ‘Knights’ War.’
  | Sept. 1522.

Franz von Sickingen, the famous Imperial Knight who had taken so
prominent a part in the election of Charles, had adopted the opinions
of Luther under the guidance of Ulrich von Hutten, that strange
literary free-lance on the Reformer’s side. True to the traditions of
his order, Sickingen hated the Electors, the Princes, and the cities.
He accordingly had organised a League of the Knights of the Upper
Rhine and neighbouring districts. The League demanded the restoration
of the old liberties of the Empire, the abolition of trade monopolies,
the abrogation of foreign law, the diminution of the number of clergy
and of monks, the cessation of the drain of money through indulgences
and other papal exactions. Seeing his opportunity in the weakness
of the Council, Sickingen determined to attack the dominions of the
Elector of Trèves, relying for support upon a Lutheran party which
had been formed there. If he could win the country, he would at once
establish the Reformed opinions, and gain for himself a splendid
territory. In September, 1522, he accordingly laid siege to the city
of Trèves. In vain the Council ordered him to desist. The city,
however, held out. Meanwhile the Princes became alarmed; they feared
that their turn might come next, and took the matter into their own
hands. Despite the commands of the Council to keep the peace, they
rose, and, led by Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, defeated Sickingen, who
shortly after died in the defence of his Castle of Ebernburg, April
1523. Hutten fled to Switzerland, to perish miserably shortly after.
The Council also attempted, though in vain, to prevent the Suabian
League from taking upon itself the duty of suppressing those Knights
within its jurisdiction who had joined Sickingen.

  | Failure of the Council of Regency.

Failing thus to secure obedience or maintain order, the Council
forfeited all support. Some opposed it for what it failed to do,
others for fear of what it might become. It had never represented
popular opinion, and now became disliked by the Diet itself. The
cities had always objected to it on account of the taxation it
necessitated. Most of the Princes were behindhand with their dues, and
feared that the Council might proceed against them. Even the Electors
despaired of their projected reforms. It was accordingly soon deserted
by its most prominent members. The Elector Palatine, who had been
appointed vice-president, left it; and the Elector of Trèves, George
of Saxony, and Philip of Hesse, declared against it. Finally, the Diet
of Nuremberg, at its third session (March-April, 1524), decided that
its members should be re-elected, and that none of the present members
should be re-eligible. The new Council was no more successful, and
though it lasted till 1531, it enjoyed little authority. The spirit of
independence and territorialism was too strong, and all hope that the
Reformation might go hand-in-hand with a national movement based on a
constitutional reform of the Empire was at an end.

  | Clement VII. and the Diet of Nuremberg.
  | March-April 1524.

  | The Catholic Congress of Ratisbon. June, 1524.

But this was not the only question that came before this Diet. Adrian
VI. had died on September 14, 1523. The new Pope, the Cardinal Giulio
de’ Medici, who took the name of Clement VII. (elected November 1523),
had sent Campeggio, his legate, to demand prompt execution of the
Edict of Worms. The adherents of Rome, although still in a majority,
did not feel strong enough to comply fully with the Pope’s command.
They promised indeed that the Edict should be enforced as far as
possible, and that heretical books should be suppressed; but, ‘lest
the good should be rooted up with the bad,’ they again insisted on the
summoning of a General Council in Germany, and meanwhile suggested
that another Diet should be summoned at Spires to settle religious
matters. Clement was not unnaturally displeased, and was in the main
supported by Charles, who, in July, issued a decree enjoining strict
obedience to the Edict of Worms. The Emperor denounced Luther in
the strongest terms, forbade the meeting of the Diet at Spires, and
declared that, although he was not entirely opposed to the summoning
of a General Council, this was a matter for him and the Pope to
decide, since it would be presumptuous for Germany to undertake the
alteration of Christian ordinances by herself. At the same time he
wrote to Clement, saying that only two alternatives were before
them: either that he (Charles) should go to Germany and suppress the
heretics by force, a course which would be not only dangerous but
impossible; or that a General Council should be called. The Council
he suggested might be summoned to Trent, and then removed to Rome.
This course, however, Clement was unwilling to adopt, and Campeggio,
by his orders, had already begun to treat with the Princes least
favourable to Luther, who met in Congress at Ratisbon in June, 1524.
After deciding to inaugurate a reform of some of the worst abuses
of Christian discipline, and of the system of indulgences, they
prohibited the reading of Luther’s books, and forbade students to
attend the heretical university of Wittenberg.

This Congress at Ratisbon marks a further stage in the controversy.
Hitherto the question of Luther had been treated as one of national
interest. Here we meet with the first attempt to organise a party of
opposition; the Lutherans were forced to follow suit; and Germany
began to fall into two hostile camps, so that all hope of settling the
religious question, without destroying the unity of the Empire, was
wrecked. It was however something that the reform of abuses had been
definitely mooted, and had Pope and Emperor been at one, something
might have come of it; but this was prevented by the political
issues which once more drove them apart, and so monopolised Charles’
attention that, as he said, ‘This was no time to speak of Luther.’


§ 6. _The Victory of Pavia._

  | Charles disappointed in his hopes of support from
  | Clement VII.

  | Yet is at first successful in Italy, 1524.

Charles had hoped much from the election of Clement VII. But he
forgot that he had to deal with a Medici. The aim of Clement was
to further the interests of the Papal States, and of his House in
Florence, whither he had sent as governor Alessandro, the young son
of his cousin Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, under the tutelage of the
Cardinal of Cortona. To attain these ends he, like Leo. X., hoped to
balance the powers of Francis and Charles. Although he pretended that
he was anxious for peace, he really feared the outcome of a common
understanding between the rivals. Meanwhile he played a waiting game;
and anxious to find himself on the winning side, pursued a timid
faithless policy of intrigue which deceived no one, and was to bring
the Papacy to the depths of humiliation.

Fortune at first favoured Charles. In 1523, the Duke of Bourbon, the
most powerful vassal of the French Crown,[45] High Chamberlain and
Constable of France, had quarrelled with his King and joined the cause
of the Emperor. He was now made generalissimo of the Italian army.
In May, the French, beaten in several battles, in one of which the
Chevalier Bayard found the death which alone he thought worthy of a
knight, had been forced to evacuate Lombardy.

  | Henry VIII. renews his alliance with Charles.

The success of Charles led Henry to renew his alliance, much to the
dismay of Wolsey, who wished to keep the hand of England free, and to
prevent either rival from gaining too great preponderance. The King
of England promised once more to invade France, and to supply Charles
with the money he so sorely needed; while Bourbon was to do homage to
the English King, as King of France.

  | Bourbon’s unsuccessful attack on Marseilles.
  | July, 1524.

In July, Bourbon crossed the Alps, invaded Provence and attacked
Marseilles--an important harbour, the basis of the operations of
the French fleet in the Mediterranean--whence he threatened the
communications of the Emperor between Spain and Italy. Contrary to
expectation, Marseilles held out. The Marquis of Pescara, who was next
in command, advised Bourbon not to attempt to storm it; while his
soldiers, short of pay and food, refused.

  | Francis crosses the Alps and enters Milan.
  | Oct. 29, 1524.

Meanwhile, Wolsey was averse to an English attack on Picardy; Charles
was unable to co-operate from Spain; and on the approach of Francis
with his army, Bourbon was forced to beat a hasty retreat across
the Alps with the loss of most of his artillery. Francis pressed
close at his heels, and, crossing the Alps by the valley of the
Durance, reached Pignerol on October 17, 1524. Milan at the moment was
ravaged by the plague, and could scarcely be held. The Imperialists,
therefore, after despatching a force of some 6000 men, under Antonio
de Leyva, to hold Pavia, threw some troops into its citadel, and
retreated under Lannoy and Pescara to Lodi, while Bourbon hastened to
Germany to collect fresh forces.

  | Clement VII. breaks with Charles.

On the 29th of October, the French entered Milan by one gate, as the
last of the Imperialists left it by the other. Had Francis pursued
his advantage, he might have annihilated his enemy; but in a fatal
moment, Admiral Bonnivet, the French commander, persuaded him to
attack Pavia, and Pescara had time to recruit his exhausted troops.
‘We are beaten,’ said Pescara, ‘but we shall soon be victors.’ Yet,
as in 1521, so now, Charles seemed likely again to lose the Milanese.
Clement, fearing the vengeance of the French, first tried mediation.
He suggested that Charles should cede Milan to Francis, and content
himself with Naples. When Lannoy, Charles’ viceroy in Naples, refused
to entertain so humiliating a proposal, the Pope offered his alliance
to the French, and attempted to win over Venice. This conduct he
attempted to justify on the plea of necessity. He declared to the
Emperor that he earnestly desired peace, and called God to witness to
the honesty of his motives. Charles, however, was not deceived, and
vowed ‘he would revenge himself on this poltroon of a Pope, and that
perhaps some day Martin Luther might become a man of worth.’

  | The fortunes of Charles retrieved by the victory of
  | Pavia. Feb. 24, 1525.

The position of the Emperor indeed seemed desperate. The alliance with
England he could not depend upon. In Germany the peasants’ revolt had
already begun. He himself was sick with fever in Spain: above all, he
knew not where to turn for money with which to pay the troops he had
on foot. Even Lannoy warned him that he was likely to lose a crown in
the attempt to save a dukedom. Two months later, the victory of Pavia
reversed all this, and placed Charles in a position of which he could
scarcely have dreamed. In January, 1525, Bourbon returned from Germany
with so many troops, that the army of the Imperialists nearly equalled
that of the French, except in artillery and men-at-arms. But he had no
money to pay his men. Here Pescara came to his aid. He succeeded in
persuading the soldiers to await their pay till February 10, by which
day Pavia was to be relieved; and the advance was at once commanded.
The city was still held by Antonio de Leyva; but the position of the
French army, which beleaguered it, was so strong that Lannoy hesitated
to attack. All attempts, however, to force Francis to raise the siege
by a diversion failed, and the garrison were in such distress that
they must soon have capitulated. Accordingly, after three weeks’
delay, it was determined to hazard the chance of an engagement. On the
night of February 23, a breach was made in the walls of the park of
Mirabello, which stretched to the north of the French entrenchments,
and on the following morning the attack was ordered. Francis, misled
by Bonnivet, now rashly left his strong entrenchments, and determined
to accept the offer of battle. The open ground at first favoured his
artillery, and the movements of the men-at-arms. The Imperialists
wavered in the first assault, and the King, assured of victory, cried,
‘To-day I will call myself Duke of Milan.’ But Pescara reformed his
Spanish infantry; the German landsknechts under Frundsberg supported
them, and the French men-at-arms were driven back. In the shock of
infantry which followed, the Swiss in the pay of France were the
first to give way, and the Italian troops gave but poor support. The
landsknechts in the French army for a while stood firm, till a sortie
of Leyva from the beleaguered city took them in the rear, and the
French army broke. Francis, as he attempted to restore the battle,
had his horse shot under him, and was taken prisoner. He would have
fallen in the general slaughter, had he not been recognised by one of
Bourbon’s men. The losses of the French were heavy, for no quarter
had been given. Bonnivet, the French commander, La Palice and La
Trémouille, who had both grown old in the Italian wars, Francis of
Lorraine, and many others of note were slain; and Henri d’Albret of
Navarre was among the prisoners.

The battle, fought on Charles’ five-and-twentieth birthday, seemed
to realise the wildest dreams of Maximilian. Never since the days of
Charles the Great had the idea of an Empire of the West been so nearly
realised. Not only Italy, but France seemed to be at Charles’ mercy,
and, if France had fallen under his rule, Europe could scarce have
escaped bondage. But the victory was too complete. Europe, alarmed for
its safety, drew together in self-defence, and the hopelessness of
Maximilian’s dream was soon to be demonstrated.


§ 7. _The Peasants’ War._

  | Causes of the Peasants’ War.

While these momentous issues were being decided in Italy, Germany
had been the scene of a serious outbreak which threatened the whole
structure of society. The causes of the Peasants’ Revolt were
primarily social. Even before the appearance of Luther, we hear of
the ‘Bundschuhe’ and other organisations of the peasants, and of
revolts against their lords. Their grievances were those common to
the villein class in all feudal societies; heavy services and dues,
oppressive sporting rights, and enclosure of common lands by their
lords. From the first, indeed, the higher clergy were specially marked
out for attack. The bishop and the abbot united in their own persons
the position of spiritual superior and feudal lord. As feudal lords,
they levied dues, exacted services, and tried offenders in their
courts. As ecclesiastical superiors, they claimed the tithes, punished
ecclesiastical offences in their ecclesiastical courts, and threatened
excommunication on the impenitent or recalcitrant. Moreover, the
heavy contributions demanded of them by Rome, forced them to exact
their dues to the full. Yet, at first, there was no connection
between these social grievances and the religious discontent. It was,
however, inevitable that in time they should become identified. The
more fanatical teachers of the new doctrines, such as Carlstadt, were
attracted to the movement. They appealed to Scripture as justifying
the revolt, and taught the peasants to interpret the spiritual
injunctions of the Gospel literally, and to fight for religious and
political freedom and for social equality under the same banner. Thus
in Germany, as elsewhere, the religious motive came to the front,
gave expression to misery as yet inarticulate, and furnished the
malcontents with a gospel.

  | The Revolt in the Black Forest. May, 1524.

The eastern districts of the Black Forest, between the watersheds
of the Rhine and Danube, were the first to rise in May 1524. Their
views were comparatively moderate, and were subsequently formulated
in ‘The Twelve Articles.’ In this document, after an appeal to
Scripture in justification of their demands, they claimed the right
of electing their own ministers, and asked for the abolition of the
lesser tithe, for liberty of chase, fishing, and hewing wood, the
commutation of personal serfdom, the reduction of villein services and
dues, the restoration of communal rights. The revolt was even here
accompanied by some violence, but if it had been met by a spirit of
conciliation on the part of the lords, and of firmness on the part
of the government, it probably could have been arrested. The nobles,
however, clung to their privileges; the Council was incapable, and
Ferdinand was concentrating his energies on supplying troops and money
for the Italian campaign.

  | Spread of the Revolt.

The disturbances accordingly increased rapidly during the autumn of
1524; and by February, 1525, they had spread to the whole of Germany,
from the left bank of the Rhine to the Tyrol, and from the lake of
Constance to Thuringia and Saxony. The claims of the peasants became
more extreme, the more moderate lost control, and the fanatics or the
designing assumed the lead.

  | The rebels of Franconia and Thuringia.

In Franconia, amidst violent excesses, we find the demands for social
reform connected with a scheme of political reconstitution of the
Empire on a democratic basis--a scheme which betrays the hand of a
more educated mind. But it was in Thuringia and the district round
the Harz mountains that the extravagance reached its climax. The
leader, Thomas Münzer, taught doctrines which were subversive of
all authority in Church and State, and of the existing conditions of
society. Received at Mülhausen in Thuringia as a prophet, he proposed
to make that town the seat of his authority, whence he should rule his
kingdom according to revelation.

  | Social Anarchy threatened.

For a moment the social fabric of Germany was imperilled. On all
sides the peasants triumphed. The nobles were either driven from
their strongholds or forced to join the leagues as ‘brothers.’ The
smaller towns, many of which suffered from the same oppressions as
the peasants--even some of the lesser imperial cities--joined the
movement. Ulrich of Würtemberg seized the opportunity to attempt a
recovery of the dominions which he had forfeited by misrule (cf. p.
131), and called the rebels to his aid.

  | Causes of failure of the Revolt.

Germany was indeed threatened with anarchy; yet it is doubtful whether
the peasants had any chance of permanent success. The leaders were for
the most part visionary and ignorant fanatics. Münzer was neither a
prophet, nor a general, and the rebels had no effective organisation.
Moreover, the middle classes, led by Luther, declared against them.
Luther at first had preached moderation and reconciliation. While
condemning the revolts against authority as contrary to divine law, he
had rebuked the Princes and the lords for their oppression, and urged
them to redress the grievances of their villeins. The extravagance
of the peasants, however, shortly disgusted and frightened him. He
disliked their views, and feared lest his own position and work might
be compromised. He pointed out that the spiritual principles of
Christianity might not without peril be transferred to the sphere of
society and politics; and that, if the gospel demands the freedom of
the soul, it does not thereby emancipate the body from the control of
law. He denounced the rebels with his usual violence of language, and
bade the authorities cast away all scruple, and ‘stab and kill and
strangle’ without mercy.

  | The defeat of Leipheim. April 4.

At this moment the news of the victory of Pavia strengthened the cause
of order. The Suabian League took up arms against Duke Ulrich. The
Swiss, who had at first shown some sympathy with the peasants, and had
supported the Duke, now withdrew their contingent, partly on account
of disturbances at home, partly from fear of Charles’ vengeance, and
Ulrich was forced to beat a hasty retreat. On April 4, the army of
the League inflicted a decisive defeat on the peasants at Leipheim,
near Ulm. On the 15th of May, the Princes, once more led by Philip of
Hesse, crushed the army of Münzer near Frankenhausen. Münzer was
taken prisoner and was executed at Mülhausen. The Duke of Lorraine
took Zabern in Alsace, and restored order in the Vosges. The reduction
of the city of Wurzburg by the united forces of the Suabian League,
of the Elector of Trèves, and of the Elector Palatine on June 7,
decided the fortunes of Franconia; and shortly after, the peasants of
the Upper Rhine and the Black Forest either came to terms, or were
crushed. The Princes and the nobles, once more masters, rivalled the
cruelties of the rebels. Numbers of unfortunate peasants were cut down
without mercy, and the grievances of the survivors remained, with a
few exceptions, unredressed.

  | Effect of the Peasants’ Revolt on the Reformation.

But although the peasants failed in their attempt, the effect of the
revolt upon the course of the Reformation was profound. The utter
incapacity of the Council had been once more displayed, while the
defeat of the peasants had saved Germany from religious and social
anarchy. Of the four possible results of the Lutheran movement which
we have indicated above (p. 165), two alone now remained. The question
was whether Charles would succeed in completely re-establishing his
authority, or whether the spirit of territorialism would be too strong
for him. The cause of the Princes had indeed been strengthened. Once
more, as in the case of the Knights’ War, they had asserted their
power, and, with the Suabian League, had shown themselves the real
masters of the country. Luther had lost to some extent the support
of the lower classes, and was forced to lean still more upon the
Princes. Yet the position of the Emperor was most threatening. The
opponents of Luther, with scant justice, laid the responsibility of
the disturbances to his charge, and many of the more timid and refined
were alienated from his cause. Charles himself became still more
convinced that heresy and rebellion were synonymous. He was determined
therefore to crush out heresy, and the victory of Pavia seemed to
offer him a brilliant opportunity. All depended upon what the issue of
that victory should be.

FOOTNOTES:

 [42] Cf. _Cambridge Modern History_, ii. 416.

 [43] On this point cf. Armstrong, _Charles V._, II. c. iii.

 [44] To understand the future course of the Reformation in
      Germany, it is necessary to study the map, and note--

      _a._ The extraordinary number of principalities into which
      Germany was divided.

      _b._ The division of the dominions of the greater princes among
      branches of the same family, many of whom took opposite
      sides. This will be best seen from the following table:--

             PROTESTANT.                            CATHOLIC.

                            House of Wettin, in Saxony.

    Ernestine, Electoral Branch           Albertine, at Meissen.
    at Wittenberg.
                                        |
    Ernest, 1464-1468.                  | Albert, 1485-1500.
      |                                 |   |
    _Frederick the Wise_, 1486-1525.    | Duke George, 1500-1535.
    John, his brother, 1525-1532.       | Henry, his brother, 1535-1541,
      |                                 |   becomes Protestant.
    John Frederick. 1532-1554.          | Maurice, 1541-1553, secures
                                            the Electorate.

                                   Hohenzollern.

               Younger Branches.             Electoral Branch.
                                        |
    (1) Albert of Prussia, Grand Master | Albert Achilles, 1470-1486.
          of Teutonic Order, 1512-1568. |   |
          Secularises his Duchy, 1525.  | John Cicero, 1485-1499.
    (2) Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of  |   |
          Culmbach, 1536-1557.          | Joachim I., 1499-1535.
    (3) John of Küstrin, Margrave of    |   |
          Neumark, brother of Joachim   | Joachim II., 1535-1571. Becomes
          II., 1571.                    |   Protestant in 1539, though he
                                        |   never breaks with the Emperor.

                                   Wittelsbach.

                                        |    (1) Bavaria. Munich.
                                        | Albert II., 1460-1508.
                                        |   |
                                        | William I., 1508-1550.
                                        |    (2) Palatinate.
                                        | Frederick the Victorious,
                                        |   1451-1476.
                                        | Philip, his nephew, 1476-1508.
                                        |   |
                                        | Lewis V., 1508-1544.
                                        | Frederick II., his brother,
                                        |   1544-1556, becomes
                                        |   Protestant.

                                      Welf.

    Duke Ernest I., of Luneburg,        | Duke Henry IV., of Wolfenbüttel,
      1532-1541.                        |   1514-1568.
                                        |

                                    Wurtemberg.

                                        | Ulrich I., 1503-1550, became
                                        |   Protestant 1534.

      _c._ The number of ecclesiastical states. The three great
      electoral archbishoprics of Trèves, Mayence, Cologne--with the
      bishoprics of Metz on the Moselle, and Strasburg and Worms--so
      dominated the upper Rhine and its tributaries as to give it the
      name of Priest Street. The dioceses of Utrecht, Bremen, Münster,
      and Paderborn stretched in an almost continuous line along the
      north-west. To these we must add Hildesheim, Halberstadt,
      Magdeburg, Würzburg, Bamberg in central Germany; and in the
      south, the archbishopric of Salzburg, and the bishopric of
      Trent. The existence of these numerous ecclesiastical
      principalities had a twofold effect. It caused a strong feeling
      in Germany against papal exactions, of which the bishoprics were
      the victims, or the agents; while the desire on the part of the
      Princes to extend their dominions by secularising these
      ecclesiastical states, had a potent influence on many an Elector
      and Prince, both Catholic and Protestant. In many cases, too,
      the bishops were the relations of the Princes, and their policy
      was guided by family interests or rivalries.

 [45] He was Lord of 2 principalities, 2 duchies, 4 counties, 2
      viscounties, and 7 lordships. _See_ Map of France.

      _Cause of the quarrel between Francis and Bourbon._--Charles,
      Count of Montpensier had been allowed by Louis XII. to marry
      Susanna, the heiress of Duke Peter of Bourbon. After the death of
      his wife without children, the Queen-mother, Louise of Savoy,
      claimed some of his possessions as niece of Duke Peter. Francis,
      with better right, demanded the restoration of others in
      fulfilment of Duke Peter’s original promise, that in default of
      male issue he would leave all the alienable possessions of his
      House to the Crown.



CHAPTER IV

FROM THE TREATY OF MADRID TO THE TREATY OF CRESPI

     Treaty of Madrid--League of Cognac--Sack of Rome--Medici driven
     from Florence--Battle of Aversa--Treaty of Barcelona--Peace of
     Cambray--Charles crowned Emperor--Diets of Spires and
     Augsburg--League of Schmalkalde--Zwingle in Switzerland--Peace of
     Nuremberg--Barbarossa of Algiers--Renewed war between Charles and
     Francis--Truce of Nice--Revolt at Ghent suppressed--The
     Anabaptists at Münster--Diet of Ratisbon--Campaign of
     1542--Treaties of Crespi and Ardres.


§ 1. _Treaty of Madrid and League of Cognac._

  | Behaviour and difficulties of Charles after the
  | victory of Pavia.

Charles maintained the same imperturbable composure at the news
of his good fortune as he had displayed in the days when defeat
seemed to stare him in the face. He forbade all public rejoicing. He
attributed all to God, and protested that his only desire was for a
lasting peace, so that he might turn the arms of Christendom against
the Turk. But he had before asserted that the only hope of peace lay
in the submission of France, and he had not changed his mind. Yet
how was that submission to be effected? War was at the moment out
of the question. Charles had no money, and even the payment of the
troops was in arrear. The Peasants’ War still continued in Germany,
and Ferdinand could not help. Henry VIII. might perhaps have been
prevailed upon to invade France, if the Emperor would have recognised
his claim to the French throne; but Charles did not wish to see
England thus aggrandised, and refused all definite promises. Wolsey
therefore had his way, and, in August, concluded a treaty of alliance
with the Regent of France, in which Henry, in return for an annual
pension, promised to demand the liberty of the King on honourable
terms. Italy was forming a league of self-defence, and Clement, though
still full of promises, was known to be playing double. France,
although she had lost an army and her King, was still France, and was
determined to resist invasion to the last penny in her purse, and the
last drop of her blood. War then was not to be thought of; nor did
Charles’ prospects of gaining his end by treaty seem much better. His
demands that Burgundy and Artois should be ceded to him, and that
Bourbon should hold Provence independently of France, were indignantly
rejected. To the mutilation of their territory, the French would not
submit, and the French King declared that he would sooner die in
captivity than buy his freedom by such dishonour. Francis, however,
had not the strength of character of his rival, and presently began to
pine for freedom. Hearing that it was proposed to send him a prisoner
to Naples, he prevailed upon Lannoy to send him to Spain instead
(June), for he hoped much from a personal interview with Charles. He
did not understand the man with whom he had to deal. Nothing is more
remarkable than the tenacity, often amounting to obstinacy, with which
Charles clung to a decision once made. He looked upon his claims to
Artois and Burgundy as just; Burgundy especially was the cradle of
his race, and had been wrongly taken from his grandmother, Mary of
Burgundy; it should be restored to him. In vain Francis and the French
envoys pleaded for some abatement of his demands. Charles remained
unmoved: he even refused to see the King of France until a serious
attack of fever threatened the prisoner’s life. The news that Clement
and the Italians were making a league with France, that Francesco
Maria Sforza of Milan, his own creature, was turning against him; the
attempt of Morone, the Milanese chancellor, to corrupt the honour
of his best general Pescara--an attempt which Pescara,[46] urged by
feelings of loyalty or self-interest, betrayed to his master--all this
had no effect on Charles. Morone was seized, Sforza was declared to
have forfeited his dukedom, and was besieged, in his citadel, by the
imperial troops.

Francis, having recovered from his serious illness, tried to escape;
but the plan was betrayed. There was nothing for it but to abandon
Burgundy; and to this course the queen-mother, Louise of Savoy, now
urged him. Francis accordingly yielded; but, asserting that he alone
could obtain the consent of his people to the cession, offered to
leave his two eldest sons as hostages, and promised to return to
captivity if that consent could not be obtained. Charles was most
unwilling to grant even this, and was supported by his chancellor
Gattinara, who predicted the result. The condition of Italy was,
however, desperate. Pescara died on December 3, urging his master
almost with his last breath to make peace with France, if he would
save Italy; all his other counsellors were of the same opinion.
Charles accordingly gave way, and consented to the Treaty of Madrid.

  | The Treaty of Madrid. Jan. 14, 1526.

By this treaty Francis was to cede Tournay, to ‘restore’ Burgundy in
full sovereignty, to surrender all claims on Italy, as well as the
suzerainty over Flanders and Artois. He was to withdraw his protection
from his allies, pay the debt incurred by Charles to England in the
late war, and aid him against the Turk. The Duke of Bourbon was to
regain his forfeited possessions, and to receive besides the Duchy
of Milan. In ratification of the treaty, Francis promised to marry
Eleonora, the widowed Queen of Portugal, sister of the Emperor, and
left his sons as hostages for the fulfilment of the treaty. The treaty
was not, however, worth the paper it was written on. Although Charles
had made Francis swear on the honour of a knight, and on the gospel,
to fulfil the compact or return to captivity, no sooner was the latter
free again than he repudiated it. The day before he signed it, he had
protested to his own ambassadors that he would not consider promises
thus extorted from him as binding, and gave them notice that he did
not mean to keep it. We are astonished to find that this conduct
excited no surprise in Europe. Wolsey actually urged Francis to take
this course, and Clement absolved him from his oath.

  | The League of Cognac. May 22, 1526.

The release of the French King, therefore, served but to encourage
the enemies of Charles, and, on May 22, the Pope, Francis, Sforza,
Venice, and Florence concluded the Holy League of Cognac, under the
‘protection of Henry of England.’ Sforza was to be confirmed in his
possession of Milan; all Italian states were to be restored to the
position they held before the war; Charles was to release the young
French princes for a sum of money, and pay his debt to England within
three months. The Leaguers proclaimed their desire to secure a lasting
peace. Charles and all other princes were therefore offered the
opportunity of joining the League. But if the Emperor refused, he was
to be driven not only from the Milanese, but from Naples, which was
then to be held by the Pope on payment of a yearly revenue to France.

Charles was now threatened by a coalition more formidable than any
previous one. Nor was this all. His army was in a mutinous condition
from want of pay and food, and in danger from the determined hostility
of the Italians. Colonna, and Pescara, two of his best generals, were
dead, while Bourbon had quarrelled with Lannoy, the viceroy of Naples.
In Hungary, Solyman was on the point of winning the battle of Mohacs
(August 28, 1526)--a victory which was to give him the larger part of
that country; Francis was negotiating with this enemy of Christendom,
and even Venice declared she preferred to be the vassal of the Turk
rather than of the Emperor.

  | Milan capitulates to the Imperialists. July 24, 1526

Fortunately for Charles, the members of the League were not hearty
in the common cause. Francis seemed determined to make up for the
dreary days of imprisonment, and spent his time in hunting and other
pleasures. He expressed the most admirable sentiments as to the
necessity of immediate action, and made use of the League to try and
extort easier terms from Charles, yet did nothing. Wolsey had no
intention of openly breaking with Charles, and prevailed on Henry
VIII. to decline the office of Protector of the League. The Divorce
Question had already arisen, and if this influenced Wolsey to prevent
a reconciliation between Pope and Emperor, it also gave him strong
reasons for not needlessly irritating Charles. Finally, the Duke of
Urbino, the commander of the Venetian army, either from incompetence,
or from a disinclination unduly to extend the power of the Pope,
failed to prosecute the war with vigour. The Imperialists, therefore,
were able to concentrate their efforts on the citadel of Milan, and
on July 24, Sforza was forced to capitulate. The Colonnesi, headed
by the Cardinal Pompeio, now rose, and were supported by Don Hugo de
Monçada, the successor of Pescara. On August 22, they pretended to
come to terms; but no sooner had Clement dismissed his troops, than
Monçada and the Cardinal, rivalling the perfidy of Francis, appeared
before the walls of Rome with the army of the Colonnesi. The citizens,
assured that the Colonnesi only came to deliver them from the tyranny
of the Pope, and threatened with destruction if they stirred, offered
no resistance; the papal palace, the houses of the cardinals and
ambassadors, were sacked; the Church of St. Peter was rifled, and the
Host profaned; and Clement, utterly defenceless, was obliged to submit
to the terms dictated by the victors (September 21). He promised to
recall his troops from Lombardy, to make a four months’ truce with the
Emperor, and to pardon the Colonnesi. The news, however, of the taking
of Cremona by the army of the League inspired him in an evil moment to
break his promises. He sent his troops to ravage the territories of
the Colonnesi, and deprived Cardinal Pompeio of his dignities.

  | The sack of Rome. May 6, 1527.

Monçada had told the Emperor to disavow his attack on Rome. This
Charles did, but at the same time warned the College of Cardinals that
if anything befell Christendom, it would be the fault of the Pope who,
in thus joining the League, ‘had sought the satisfaction of his own
desires rather than the honour of Christ and his people’s good.’ The
Emperor also despatched six thousand Spanish troops to Italy, and bade
Ferdinand send eight thousand Germans under Frundsberg. In November,
this enemy of the Papacy crossed the Alps with an army, levied mostly
from the robber fastnesses of Germany, in which there were many
Lutherans. By the end of December, he had reached Piacenza, in spite
of the feeble attempts of the forces of the League to check him. At
the same time Lannoy landed at St. Stefano, in Tuscany, with the
levies from Spain. Clement was now ‘in such a condition that he did
not know where he was,’ says an eye-witness. At one moment he haggled
over terms of peace with Lannoy, at another he threatened him and his
troops with excommunication. Finally, however, on the 15th of March,
he made an eight months’ truce. This did not, however, save him.
Frundsberg had in February been joined by Bourbon with the troops from
Milan. Their first idea had been to attack Florence. Hearing, however,
that the city was prepared to resist, and was protected by the army
of the League under the Duke of Urbino, Bourbon turned on Rome,
declaring that his troops were mutinous and were dragging him there.
As he advanced, his army was swelled by Italians bent on plunder. On
the 6th of May, after being twice repulsed, the fortifications of
the Eternal City were carried, though Bourbon fell, and Rome was for
eight days in the hands of the spoiler. She had suffered much from the
barbarians of old, but probably never did she suffer such brutality as
now at the hands of Christians. The death of Bourbon, and the absence
of Frundsberg, who had been left mortally sick at Bologna, removed
the only men who might have restrained the fury of the soldiery.
The Spaniards excelled in cruelty, the Lutherans in blasphemy and
sacrilege. They sacked and plundered without discrimination of friend
or foe. ‘There is not,’ says a contemporary, ‘a house in Rome, not
a church or monastery, either of Romans or of foreigners, great
or small, which has not been sacked.’ ‘Cardinals,’ says another,
‘bishops, friars, priests, old nuns, infants, dames, pages, servants,
the very poorest, were tormented with unheard-of cruelties, often
three times over: first by the Italians, then by the Spaniards,
afterwards by the lance-knights. Lastly, the villainous Colonnesi
came, dying of hunger, and ravaged what the other soldiers had not
deigned to take.’ The sack of Rome may well be said to close the
period of the greatness of Italy. No longer was she to be the leader
of the new learning and of art.

  | Henry VIII. allies himself with Francis. April-May,
  | 1527.

  | Conference at Amiens. August, 1527.

Meanwhile, the unfortunate Pope lay besieged in the Castle of St.
Angelo. He might have escaped while the city was being sacked; yet
he delayed, trusting that the army of the League would hurry to his
support. It came, indeed, at last; but the Duke of Urbino, declaring
that he was not strong enough to attack, retreated, and, on June 7,
Clement was forced to capitulate. He promised to pay the sums of money
demanded, surrendered six towns as securities, and consented to remain
a prisoner, with his thirteen Cardinals, until the first instalment
should be paid. Some now advised the Emperor to take the lands of the
Papacy and reduce the Pope to his spiritual functions; or, at least,
‘to keep the see apostolic so low that he might always dispose of it
and command it.’ But though Charles declared the sack of Rome to be
the judgment of God, he was probably sincere in regretting it,[47] and
even had he wished to proceed to extremities, he was in no position
to do so. Indeed, the capture of the Pope promised to bring him as
little advantage as that of the King of France had done. The news of
the sack of Rome had at last aroused the pleasure-seeking Francis,
and caused England to change her policy of masterly inactivity. To
this, Wolsey was driven by his imperious master. Henry VIII. was
now bent on divorcing Queen Catherine, the aunt of Charles; it was
therefore of importance, not only to gain the support of Francis, but,
if possible, to earn the gratitude of the Pope. Accordingly, by the
treaties of April 30, and May 29, Henry abandoned his claim to the
French throne in return for a perpetual pension; the infant Princess
Mary was betrothed to the second son of the French King; and England
promised to furnish Francis with money for his Italian campaign. In
the following August, Wolsey held a conference at Amiens with the
French King. It was agreed that, during the captivity of the Pope, no
Bull derogatory to the interests of either King should be admitted
into their territories, that the Churches of France and England
should be administered by their bishops, and that the judgments
pronounced by Wolsey in his legatine and archiepiscopal courts should
be enforced, notwithstanding any papal prohibition. The contracting
parties also decided that the Pope, being in captivity, should be
asked to intrust his power to another, who should take steps to meet
present necessities. Wolsey even suggested that he himself should be
appointed papal Vicar. The pretext for these strange proposals was the
fear that Charles might use the spiritual powers of his prisoner to
their disadvantage, but there is little doubt that Wolsey also hoped
in this way to obtain authority for an immediate settlement of the
divorce question.

  | The French again enter Italy. July 30.

Meanwhile, a new French army under Lautrec had invaded Italy, and
shortly secured the whole of Lombardy except Milan itself, which was
stoutly defended by Antonio de Leyva. Had Lautrec concentrated all his
efforts on the city, as he was urged to do by Sforza and the Duke of
Urbino, it must have fallen; for Leyva had but a handful of men, and was
short of money and supplies. Leyva, however, it was known, would fight
to the last; and Lautrec, unwilling to weaken his force by so desperate
an encounter, turned southward to the relief of Clement (October 1527).
The position of the Pope was indeed a pitiable one. Money he had none,
and, without the payment of his ransom, he could not regain his freedom.
Rome, meanwhile, continued to be the victim of the merciless soldiers.
The Duke of Ferrara had seized Reggio and Modena; and even the
Venetians, although the allies of the Pope, had occupied Ravenna and
Cervia, under the pretext that they did it to save those cities from
falling into Ferrarese hands.

  | Medici again driven from Florence. May 17, 1527.

Worse than this, the Florentines had in May risen once more against
the Medici, driven the Pope’s two cousins, Alessandro and Ippolito,
from the city, and re-established a Republic under the veteran Nicolo
Capponi. Clement had sacrificed the interests of the Church in his
attempt to strengthen the temporal power and to aggrandise his family,
and this was the result. Before Lautrec reached Rome, however, the
Pope had at least regained his freedom. Charles realised that he was
gaining nothing by keeping Clement in captivity; he earnestly wished
to make peace with him, and to proceed to the extirpation of heresy.
He had therefore ordered Monçada to try to come to terms, warning him
at the same time to beware that he was not tricked, as he himself had
been, by Francis.

  | Clement comes to terms with Charles, Nov. 26. But
  | flies to Orvieto, Dec. 6.

Accordingly, on November 26, the following agreement was made. The
Pope was to pay a certain sum of money at once, and to promise more.
He undertook not to oppose the Emperor’s designs on Italy; he granted
him a ‘cruzada’ from the ecclesiastical revenues of Spain, and half
of the ecclesiastical tithes of Naples; Ostia, Civita-Vecchia, and
Civita Castellana were to be left in Charles’ hands as guarantees, as
well as five of the cardinals; the Pope was to be freed on the 7th of
the following month. On the preceding night, afraid lest he might even
yet be kept a prisoner, he fled in disguise to the papal stronghold of
Orvieto.

  | Critical condition of the Imperialists in Italy.

Even so, the affairs of Charles were going ill. Florence, although
she had expelled the Medici, did not abandon the League. Leyva still
held Milan, but warned Charles that ‘God did not work miracles every
day,’ and that, if not speedily relieved, his troops, though they
would not surrender, would be starved. Genoa had been once more won
for the French by Andrea Doria. Lannoy, the viceroy of Naples, had
just died of the plague, and the imperial army, which had marched,
under the Prince of Orange, to the relief of Naples, was surrounded by
the French army under Lautrec. Naples seemed doomed, and Francis was
jubilant.

  | Francis quarrels with Doria.

Yet, as had been the case at every important crisis of this long
struggle, the French, when most confident, were nearest defeat.
Although the troops of the Emperor were ill paid and ill fed, and,
on that account, insubordinate and ready for plunder, they were
decidedly superior to those of Francis, both in powers of endurance
and on the battlefield. They had hitherto been outnumbered, but their
endurance had been wearing out their enemies, and they were soon to be
in a position to meet them in the field. The fate of Naples depended
on the command of the sea, and this was now in the hands of Andrea
Doria and his nephew Filippino. Andrea Doria had taken the lead in
the revolution which had recently restored Genoa to the French. He
soon repented of his deed. Not only did Francis personally affront
him by refusing to pay him properly for the use of his galleys, and
by denying him the ransom of the prisoners he had taken, but he also
touched his patriotism by neglecting Genoa, and attempting to set up
Savona, which the French had lately gained, as her commercial rival.
On Doria’s remonstrance, Francis sent a Breton to take command of the
French fleet in the Mediterranean, and even thought of having the
Doge arrested. Doria accordingly listened to the tempting offers of
the Prince of Orange, and, on the 4th of July, ordered his nephew to
sail from Naples. His departure at once enabled the city to provision
itself from Sicily, and the danger of famine was removed. At this
critical moment, the French army, which had also suffered from want
of supplies, was attacked by a severe outbreak of the plague. To this
Lautrec, with several of his officers, fell a victim, and the army
was so decimated that the Marquis of Saluzzo, who succeeded him in
command, determined to retreat to Aversa (August 28).

  | Battle of Aversa, Aug. 28. The French evacuate
  | Naples.

  | The French finally driven from Genoa. Oct. 28.

  | Battle of Landriano. June 20.

As the French attempted to execute this movement, the rear-guard,
under Pedro Navarra, was overtaken by the enemy, and forced to
surrender. The Prince of Orange, following up his success, pursued
the retreating foe, and forced them to capitulate at discretion.
The Marquis of Saluzzo remained a prisoner in his hands with Pedro
Navarra, both to die shortly afterwards. The rest of the army were
allowed to return to their homes under promise not to serve for the
present against the Emperor. Doria now sailed to Genoa, and raised
the city against the French. On the 28th of October, the governor
Trivulzio was forced to capitulate, and Doria was successful in
establishing a government which, if somewhat oligarchical, at least
protected the city from those violent party factions which had torn
it for years, and secured its independence until the year 1796. Doria
then reduced Savona, and the French were driven from the Ligurian
coast. In Lombardy the struggle continued for a while. Here Leyva, who
still held Milan, was opposed by the troops of the League, commanded
by Sforza, the Duke of Urbino with the Venetian troops, and the
Count de St. Pol with the new levies from France. The armies of the
League, after retaking Pavia, had surrounded Milan, but hesitated
to attack the formidable Leyva. In the following June, the Count de
St. Pol, as he rashly attempted to make a diversion on Genoa, was
surprised by Leyva, who had received information of his movements, and
was completely routed at Landriano (June 20). The besieging armies
retreated, and Milan was saved.

Charles was not yet complete master in Italy. Asti and Alessandria
were still in the hands of the French. Lodi, Cremona, and Pavia
were held by Sforza; the Republic at Florence still kept out the
Medici, and Venice yet clung to the eastern coast of Apulia. Further
resistance on the part of the League was, however, hopeless, unless
supported by its more important members, and these were soon to
abandon it. England had never intended to act as a principal in the
war, and was certainly unable to do so at present: she was weakened by
a serious outbreak of the sweating sickness, and the attention of her
King was absorbed in the matter of the divorce.

  | Clement and the Emperor reconciled at the Treaty of
  | Barcelona.

Still more fatal to the cause of the League was the final
reconciliation of Clement with the Emperor. The real desire of
Clement, since his escape from Rome, had been to maintain his
neutrality until peace was declared. This, however, was difficult,
besieged as he was by the importunate agents of the League, and of
Charles. Moreover, Clement cared chiefly for the temporal interests
of the Papacy and the aggrandisement of his family. To regain the
possessions of which he had been robbed, to re-establish the Medici in
Florence--these, rather than the freedom of Italy, or the overthrow
of heresy, were his aims. As these were not to be gained from the
League, the Pope decided after much hesitation to come to terms with
the Emperor, the more so, because the ultimate success of Charles
seemed certain. Nor can it be denied that, for once, Clement’s private
interests coincided with those of the Church, for reconciliation with
Charles offered the only hope of making head against the formidable
Luther. His only apprehension was that Charles would put into effect
his threat of summoning a General Council, a threat which he had
enforced by his promises to the Diet of Spires in June 1526. On this
point, the Emperor’s agents succeeded in allaying the fears of the
Pope, and no mention of a Council was made in the treaty which was
concluded at Barcelona on the 29th June, 1529. By that treaty the Pope
promised to invest Charles with the kingdom of Naples, and to crown
him Emperor. Charles undertook that the places seized from the Papal
States by the Duke of Ferrara, and by Venice, should be restored; he
also promised to re-establish the Medici in Florence. Finally, they
both agreed to turn their united forces against the infidel and the
heretic. Yet the treaty was to lead to another schism. On the 16th of
July, Clement, yielding to the wishes of Charles, revoked the powers
he had given to Wolsey and Campeggio to try the question of Henry’s
divorce in England, and cited the cause to Rome. Wolsey’s dream of
gaining papal sanction was broken, and soon Henry was to take the
matter into his own hands and cast off the papal supremacy.

  | Peace of Cambray. August 3, 1529.

Meanwhile, negotiations for peace between the Emperor and Francis
had been going on. The rivals had, however, challenged each other
to single combat the year before, and their honour did not suffer
them personally to correspond. The negotiations, therefore, had been
conducted by two women--Margaret, Governess of the Netherlands, the
aunt of Charles, and Louise of Savoy, the mother of the French King,
both of whom were anxious for peace. Francis had been most unwilling
to grant the terms demanded, yet he was in no condition to continue
the war, and the reconciliation of Pope and Emperor forced him to
abandon his scruples, and sign the Peace of Cambray, or Women’s Peace,
August 3, 1529.

The French King was indeed freed from the necessity of ceding
Burgundy, and regained his sons, who had been left hostages in the
hands of Charles, in return for a sum of money. The other terms were,
however, sufficiently humiliating. Not only did Francis surrender all
claims to Italy, and to the overlordship of Artois and Flanders; but
he had also to abandon his allies; he even undertook, if necessary, to
force the Venetians to disgorge the conquests they had lately made on
the Neapolitan coast, and this in the face of his solemn engagement
on the honour of a King to include them in any treaty which he might
make. Francis, it must be confessed, rated a King’s word rather low.
The marriage, first arranged at the Treaty of Madrid, was ratified; it
was hoped that if Eleonora, the widowed sister of Charles, were wedded
to Francis, the family tie might serve to heal the personal enmity of
these two sovereigns, whose rivalry had plunged Europe into an eight
years’ war.

  | Charles leaves Spain for Italy. August, 1529.

  | Settlement of Italian affairs.

Before the negotiations had been brought to a successful issue,
Charles had left Spain. It was his earnest desire to finish the war
himself, and to receive the imperial crown from the hands of the Pope.
It was at Piacenza therefore that he finally ratified the treaty.
Italy was now at the mercy of Charles. He was, however, wise enough
to adopt a conciliatory policy towards all her States, except the
Republic of Florence. Venice was indeed forced to surrender to Charles
her conquests on the east coast of Naples, and to restore Ravenna and
Cervia to the Pope, but was not further punished. To Francesco Maria
Sforza was left the duchy of Milan, with the exception of Monza, which
was granted to Antonio de Leyva, Charles’ brave general, and of the
citadels of Milan and Como, which Charles kept in his own hands.[48]

This policy had its reward. By a treaty of December 23, 1529, Venice
and Sforza joined the Pope in contracting a defensive alliance with
Charles; while Savoy was strengthened as an outpost against France
by the acquisition of the county of Asti. The affairs of Florence
had yet to be settled. Charles would gladly have found some middle
course. But the Florentines refused to readmit the Medici even as
private citizens, and Clement insisted that they should be restored
to power. The city, strengthened by the fortifications designed by
Michael Angelo, and defended by the militia formed after the advice
of Machiavelli, stood an eight months’ siege, during which the Prince
of Orange, Charles’ general, was killed. No one, however, came to the
aid of the unfortunate Republic, which was forced to accept as Duke,
Alessandro, the cousin of the Pope, who had married Margaret, the
illegitimate daughter of the Emperor.[49]

  | Charles crowned Emperor at Bologna. Feb. 23, 1530.

Meanwhile, on February 23, Charles had been crowned Emperor at Bologna
by the Pope, and on the following day, the anniversary of his birth,
and of the victory of Pavia, had received the iron crown of Italy.

During this long war, which had lasted eight years, we find the same
story repeated again and again. Thrice the French seemed on the point
of success, only to experience a crushing reverse which snatched from
them all they had gained. The imperialist armies, whether composed
of Germans or of Spaniards, ill paid and ill fed, often broke out in
mutiny, and disgraced their feats of arms by plunder and atrocities
of all kinds; yet no sooner were they called upon to meet the enemy
than they proved themselves superior whether in defensive or offensive
operations; while they were also, as a rule, better led.

Francis, after his capture at Pavia, never appeared in the field
again, and although infinitely better supplied with money from his
subservient people than was Charles, he was too careless and too fond
of pleasure to make full use of his advantage. As for Charles, he
had taken no active part in the campaigns at all. Absent in Spain,
surrounded by difficulties which the vastness of his Empire entailed
upon him, and ever in grievous need of money, it seemed sometimes as
if he were forgetful of the war, and neglectful of his soldiers. Yet
under this callous exterior there was a determination and fixedness of
purpose which nothing could shake, and which, if it sometimes appeared
to be sheer stupidity, yet succeeded in the end.

  | Solyman invades Hungary. May, 1529.

  | Siege of Vienna raised. Oct. 14, 1523.

While the armies of Charles had thus been engaged in winning Italy
from his Christian rival, Vienna seemed likely to fall into the hands
of the infidel. In May, 1529, Solyman the Magnificent had allied
himself with the Hospodar of Moldavia, and with John Zapolya, Waivode
of Transylvania, the inveterate enemy of the Hapsburgs, and had
invaded Hungary. His pretensions knew no bounds. ‘As there is but one
God in Heaven, so must there be but one lord on earth, and Solyman
is that lord,’ he proudly asserted, a boast which he hoped to carry
into effect by reducing the dominions of the Emperor in Germany. The
Austrians, afraid to trust the fidelity of the Hungarian forces, had
been unable to meet the Turk, and retreated from the country. Solyman,
in possession of the sacred crown of Hungary, which was handed to him
by an Hungarian bishop, passed on into Austria, and on the 20th of
September laid siege to Vienna. But divided though Germany was, it was
not so lost to shame as to allow the Crescent to be established on the
walls of the Austrian city. The Reformers, although irritated by their
treatment at the hands of the second Diet of Spires (cf. p. 198),
answered to the appeal of Ferdinand and to the injunctions of Luther.
Vienna was bravely held; and Solyman, threatened by the levies which
were coming to its aid, was forced to retreat after a fruitless siege
of twenty-four days (October 14). Vienna indeed was saved, but Hungary
was held by Zapolya, and Croatia and Bohemia threatened.


§ 2. _Progress of the Reformation in Germany._

  | The Diet of Spires, Aug. 1526, and the Recess.

In the midst of the troubles of the Italian campaign, and in the
face of the hostility of the Pope, any decisive action against the
Reformers had been out of the question. It was at least necessary to
procrastinate. Accordingly, at the Diet of Spires (Aug. 1526), the
Emperor had promised, through his representatives, that a General
Council should be summoned, but that, meanwhile, the penal clauses
of the Edict of Worms should be enforced. At the same time, he had
warned Clement VII. that if the Christian republic should suffer in
consequence of a Council not being summoned, the blame must fall on
him. At the Diet itself, the Catholics found themselves in a majority
in all the chambers, except that of the imperial cities, yet they were
not prepared to advocate extreme measures. The _Recess_[50] declared
that, until a Council should meet, each state should, in matters
appertaining to the Edict of Worms, ‘so live, rule, and conduct itself
as it shall be ready to answer to God and his Imperial Majesty.’ It is
a mistake to hold that the Reformers were thereby authorised to set on
foot their new ecclesiastical organisations. The concession was purely
provisional, and they were to answer to the Emperor for what they did.
None the less, the Elector of Saxony and Philip of Hesse proceeded
to establish their Lutheran churches, and to appropriate monastic
property for the purpose--a policy which was soon followed by others,
especially by Albert of Prussia, who, in 1525, had already secularised
the estates of the Teutonic knights, and converted his mastership into
a dukedom.

Thus the Diet of Spires makes an important advance in the history of
the Reformation. If, on the one hand, it was now clear that Germany
was not to belong exclusively to the Lutherans, on the other, a great
impulse was given to the principle of territorialism (_cujus regio,
ejus religio_), upon which eventually the ecclesiastical settlement of
Germany was to be based. Three years later, the position of affairs
had materially altered. The marked advance of the Reformed opinions
had excited the apprehensions of the Catholics, while the successes
of the Emperor in Italy, and his reconciliation with the Pope, had
strengthened their cause. The rapid growth of the Zwinglian opinions
in the south of Germany, opinions which were wholly distasteful to
Luther, had weakened the Evangelical party, and the rash appeal to
arms on the part of Philip of Hesse, to resist a supposed conspiracy
against those who thought with him, had irritated the Princes.

  | Second Diet of Spires. Feb. 1529.

  | Meeting at Schmalkalde. Dec. 1529.

This reaction of opinion expressed itself in the second Diet of
Spires. The Recess of 1526 was revoked, all further innovations
were forbidden, and the ‘sect’ of the Zwinglians was refused
all toleration. The minority, indeed, here earned their name of
‘_Protestants_’ by the protest they issued against these decrees--a
protest which was signed by John, Elector of Saxony, Philip of Hesse,
George, Margrave of Brandenburg, Ernest of Luneburg, Wolfgang of
Anhalt, and fourteen imperial cities. But the protest was rejected by
both Diet and Emperor; and so evident was it that Charles only waited
for an opportunity to take decisive action, that a meeting was held at
Schmalkalde, at which the lawfulness of resistance was discussed, to
be abandoned, however, for the present in deference to the scruples of
Luther.

  | Charles at the Diet of Augsburg. June, 1530.

When on June 30, 1530, Charles, after eight years’ absence, met
the Diet of Augsburg in person, the moment seemed to have arrived
for a final settlement of his difficulties. Italy was at his feet;
Francis had at last accepted his terms; the Pope had promised to
join with him in suppressing heresy, and had crowned him Emperor;
and, if Hungary was in the hands of Solyman, Germany at least was
free from his attack. The Protestants, conscious of their weakness,
desired reconciliation. This was strongly advocated by Melanchthon,
and breathed in every line of the ‘Confession of Augsburg’ which was
presented to the Diet, at the request of Charles that the Protestants
would express their thoughts in writing. In this famous Confession,
the doctrine of Justification was stated in qualified terms; the
paying of honour to the Saints was not entirely forbidden; although
reasons were given why the Lutherans had permitted the Cup to the
laity, the marriage of the clergy, and the secularisation of Church
lands, and had rejected vows and private masses, no definite assertion
was made as to the number of the Sacraments, or on the question of the
papal power; while the decision of other contested questions was to be
left to the verdict of a General Council. The tone of the document was
avowedly defensive, and its aim was rather to show that the Lutheran
doctrines were not heretical than to attack those of the Church.

  | The Recess of Augsburg.

  | Reorganisation of the Imperial Chamber. Nov. 19, 1530.

The original intention of Charles had been to act as a mediator, and
to settle the religious dissensions by fair and gentle means. He
had asked the Evangelical party for an expression of their views.
He now wished that their opponents should bring forward a distinct
charge against the Reformers which would allow him to assume the part
of an umpire. But the Catholics in the Diet refused; they declared
that they had nothing new to propose, and accordingly prepared a
confutation in which, indeed, they made some approach towards the
Lutheran view of the doctrine of Justification, but in other respects
insisted on the old doctrines, and demanded that the Protestants
should return to the unity of the faith. The Emperor now abandoned
the _rôle_ of a mediator, and attempted to overawe the recalcitrants
with threats. Alarmed, however, by the determined though respectful
attitude of the Protestant princes, the Diet made one more attempt at
reconciliation, and a small committee was appointed. On the question
of dogma there seemed some chance of agreement, and a General Council
might possibly have broken down the opposition of the Protestants.
But, though this was earnestly desired by the Emperor, the Pope had
no idea of complying with his wish; while on questions relating to
the constitution and the practice of the Church, reconciliation
was probably hopeless. These the Catholics regarded as of Divine
institution; the Protestants, on the other hand, looked upon them
as the work of men, and therefore capable of modification. Erasmus
in his letters bitterly complains of the want of moderation on both
sides; yet this is not the only occasion where attempts at compromise
on serious religious issues have failed. Eventually, Charles adopted
the views of the majority, and the Recess of Augsburg proclaimed his
intention of enforcing the Edict of Worms. The Protestants were given
till the ensuing April to consider whether they would voluntarily
return to the Catholic Church. After that date, measures were to be
taken for the extirpation of their sect. But although the majority
of the Diet had thus shown themselves hostile to the Reformers,
they hesitated to put arms into the hands of the Emperor with which
he might enforce the Edict; rather they proposed to make use of
the Imperial Chamber for the purpose. This court was accordingly
reorganised and increased in number; assessors suspected of Lutheran
tendencies were admonished, and the Chamber was ordered to enforce the
Recess.

  | Formation of the League of Schmalkalde. Dec. 22,
  | 1530.

In answer to this, the Protestant princes and city deputies met
at Schmalkalde on December 22, 1530. They appointed procurators
to watch their interests before the Imperial Chamber; they agreed
to protect each other from any attempt on its part to enforce the
Recess of Augsburg, and after much debate decided that resistance
was lawful even to the Emperor himself, should he appeal to arms.
Hitherto Luther and the theologians had preached the doctrine of
passive obedience. But the civilians brought forward arguments to
prove that the power of the Emperor was limited by law. His title was
not hereditary, but elective; he had granted capitulations at his
election; if, therefore, he acted illegally, he might be resisted.
Convinced by these arguments, Luther gave way, and was followed
by most of those present, with the exception of the Margrave of
Brandenburg and the city of Nuremberg. Thus originated the League of
Schmalkalde, which was definitely formed in March 1531 and finally
organised in the ensuing December. Its members were to be represented
in a Diet. They promised to furnish contributions to a common fund,
and intrusted the supreme command of their forces to John, Elector
of Saxony, and the Landgrave Philip of Hesse. The formation of the
League of Schmalkalde marks a new period in the struggle. In spite
of the scruples of Luther, the movement had become a political one.
Henceforth Germany was to be divided into two hostile camps, each with
its centre of unity, and the Protestants had taken measures for their
common defence, by arms if necessary.

  | Zwingle.

The next crucial question was, whether this League should include all
those both in Switzerland and in Upper Germany, who had embraced the
views of Zwingle. Although it may be doubted whether this Reformer
would ever have been heard of had it not been for the impulse given to
the cry for Reform by the appearance of Luther, yet the two movements
were to a great extent independent of each other, and, from the
first, presented essential points of difference. The son of the
‘Amtmann’ of the village of Weldenhaus, near St. Gall, Zwingle was
born in 1484, a few weeks after Luther. He had in early life been
influenced by the literary movement of the Humanists, and was well
versed in the classics. Chosen as curate of the congregation of Glarus
in 1506, he had accompanied his countrymen on some of the Italian
expeditions, notably on that which ended so disastrously at Marignano,
and henceforth never ceased to warn his fellow-citizens against the
demoralising influences of this mercenary system of warfare.

  | Zwingle curate at Zurich. 1519-1525.

It is, however, with his call to be curate at Zurich (1519-1525) that
his career as a Reformer began. Starting, like Luther, with a crusade
against the abuse of indulgences, he soon began to take up different
ground. While Luther did not deny the Real Presence, Zwingle looked
upon the Sacrament merely as a festival of commemoration, and pressed
the Lutheran view of Justification to its logical conclusion--the
doctrine of election and the denial of man’s free will. Luther was
willing to accept anything which could not be proved contrary to
his interpretation of Scripture; Zwingle would accept nothing but
what he found there. Luther had a deep reverence for the Universal
Church, and only left it after a struggle; Zwingle based the right
of each congregation to independent action in matters religious on
the republican organisation of the village. Luther had attempted
to keep religious questions apart from politics, and, when finally
driven from this position, threw himself on the side of authority
as represented by the Princes. The religious ideas of Zwingle were
intimately connected with a scheme of establishing a more thorough and
representative democracy in Switzerland, in which the Forest Cantons
should lose their privilege of holding as many votes in the Federal
Diet as the other and larger Cantons. By the close of the year 1530,
the opinions of Zwingle had not only been accepted by the Cantons of
Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Schaffhausen, and by many of the country-folk
of Appenzell, Glarus, and the Grisons, but had spread among many
of the towns of southern Germany, notably those of Constance, Ulm,
Augsburg, and Strasburg.

  | Temporary union between the followers of Luther and
  | Zwingle soon comes to an end.

  | Reaction against Zwingle in Switzerland.

  | The battle and the second Treaty of
  | Cappel. Oct. 1531.

Common danger had for a moment drawn the adherents of these two
Reformers together, to protect themselves against the Recess of
the second Diet of Spires. But permanent union between such widely
divergent views was scarcely possible. Philip of Hesse, who was
himself inclined towards the opinions of Zwingle, had attempted
to effect a reconciliation at his castle of Marburg in 1529. The
attempt failed--Luther showing the most uncompromising hostility to
the Zwinglian doctrine concerning the Sacraments--and shortly after,
Zwingle had to face a reaction in his own country. Like so many
reformers, he was wrecked on the shoal of politics. The Forest Cantons
had from the first been the resolute opponents of the new teaching,
not only because they were strongly Catholic, but because Zwingle’s
political reforms, if carried out, would destroy the position they had
hitherto enjoyed in the Federal Diet. His political views also lost
him adherents in those Cantons that were in favour of his doctrinal
position. The Hapsburgs cleverly fostered these divisions; war ensued,
and finally at the battle of Cappel, the army of Zurich, which alone
stood by him to the last, was defeated, and Zwingle himself was
slain (October, 1531). By the second Treaty of Cappel it was agreed
that each Canton was free to retain its own creed. In the ‘Common
Bailiwicks,’ the religion was to be decided by the majority. But no
force was to be used, and the city Cantons were to abandon their
foreign alliances.

Switzerland was now definitely divided into Catholic and Protestant
Cantons. The Catholics regained lost ground, and secured seventeen out
of twenty-nine votes in the Diet. The Evangelical party held Zurich,
Bern, Basel, and Schaffhausen; while Thurgau, Glarus, and Appenzell
were divided. All hope that Switzerland would support the Protestants
of Germany was now over; nevertheless the cities of southern Germany,
deprived of their Swiss allies, were forced to join the Lutherans
and to swell the numbers of the League of Schmalkalde. Thus, by the
commencement of the year 1532, the position of the Protestants in
Germany had improved.

  | Charles prevented by European difficulties from
  | taking action against the Protestants.

  | The Peace of Nuremberg. July, 1532.

Had Charles’ hands been now free, doubtless he would have appealed
to the arbitrament of the sword. But here again his political
necessities stood in his way. The peace with France was by no
means secure; nay, Francis was even intriguing with the League of
Schmalkalde. Solyman was again threatening to invade his dominions.
Spain, as usual, complained of his absence. In Africa the piracies
of Barbarossa demanded his attention. Nor could Charles depend on
the unqualified support of the Catholic princes. In June, 1531, he
had with difficulty secured the election of his brother Ferdinand as
King of the Romans by five of the Electors. But the election had been
protested against by John of Saxony, and he was joined by the two
Dukes of Bavaria and others, who, despite their Catholic sympathies,
dreaded to see the power of the Hapsburgs increased. Disappointed
in his hopes of settling the religious difficulty the Emperor was
forced to procrastinate. At the Peace of Nuremberg (July 1, 1532),
he promised to suspend the proceedings of the Imperial Chamber until
the convocation of a General Council; while at the Diet of Ratisbon,
which followed, he undertook, in the event of such a Council not being
convoked by the Pope within six months, to summon a general assembly
of the Empire for the settlement of the religious difficulties.

Charles was at least rewarded by the loyal support of the Protestants
against the Turk. His army, recruited by Spaniards, Italians, and
Netherlanders, was the largest force he had ever led, and Solyman,
repulsed by the brave defenders of Güns, retreated without having
dared to fight a pitched battle. Yet the Emperor was in no position
to make use of his victory. The affairs of Italy and of Spain
imperatively demanded his presence. Accordingly, in the autumn
of 1532, he crossed the Alps, to be involved again in European
complications, and for seven other years Protestantism was left
unmolested.

  | Death of John, Elector of Saxony, 1532.

Shortly after the Peace of Nuremberg, John the Steadfast of Saxony
died. He had gone much further in the direction of Protestantism
than his brother, Frederick the Wise, whom he had succeeded in 1525.
Frederick had never wholly broken from Rome; John had been one of
the leaders in the League of Schmalkalde, and had organised an
Evangelical Church within his territories. Yet, to the last, he tried
to maintain a moderate line of policy, and hoped to find a place for
the protestant churches without breaking up the Empire, or departing
from the obedience of the Emperor. With no remarkable intellectual
gifts--corpulent and somewhat slow-witted,--the simplicity and
honesty of his character, and the courage with which he clung to his
convictions, make him something of a hero; and there is, perhaps, no
one to whom Luther and the Protestants of Germany owe more than to
this plain and single-hearted man.


§ 3. _European complications and the fortunes of the Protestants,
     from 1532 to the Treaty of Crespi._

  | The European complications of Charles.

At no time during the career of Charles V. are the contradictions
and difficulties which surrounded him better illustrated than during
the period from 1532 to the Treaty of Crespi. Had his claims been
less extensive he might have been more successful; but the very
magnificence of his pretensions prevented the complete realisation of
any one of them. As head of the Holy Roman Empire, it was his duty to
defend the unity of the Church, to put down heresy, and to support
the papal authority. Yet his position as King of Germany forced him
to postpone the suppression of heresy to the imperative necessity of
gaining the support of the Protestants against the Turk; while his
claims on Italy brought him into constant conflict with the Pope.
As King of Germany, it was his aim to increase the royal authority
and suppress the tendencies towards disruption, and, as ruler of
the Austrian territories, to further the family interests of the
Hapsburgs; but both these aims incurred the hostility of many even of
the Catholic princes. As King of Spain and master of Italy, it was
incumbent on him to secure his dominions and the Mediterranean from
the piratical incursions of the Moors. Yet here and everywhere, he was
constantly being thwarted by his persistent rival, Francis I., who
not only intrigued with the Pope against him, but, while persecuting
the Reformers at home, entered into alliances with the Protestants of
Germany, the schismatic King of England, and even the Infidel himself.

  | The struggle with Barbarossa. June-August, 1535.

With the actual events of this period we must deal very briefly. They
are not in themselves of great importance. Scarcely any new question
is involved, with the exception of that of Africa, and the position
of European affairs is not very materially altered. Charles had
for the moment checked the attack of the Moslems from the East. He
was now forced to turn his attention to their movement in the
south-west. By the conquests of Ferdinand the Catholic, the Spaniards
had acquired possessions on the north African coast from Melilla to
Tripoli, and reduced the rulers of Algiers and Tunis to the position
of vassals. Since 1510, however, the Spaniards had met with many
reverses, especially since the rise of the two Barbarossas. These two
men, sons of a Greek or Albanian renegade, had made themselves masters
of Algiers. Huroc, the elder, was slain in 1518, but Hayraddin, his
younger brother, interfered in the dynastic disputes of Tunis, and,
in 1534, added that country to his kingdom. To gain the support of
Solyman, he had consented to hold his conquests of him, and, in
1533, received the command of the Turkish fleet. Meanwhile his own
ships had been threatening the Mediterranean, harrying the coasts of
Spain and Italy, and carrying off Christians to the slave-markets of
Africa and the East. This rise of a new Mahometan power in Africa, a
power with which Francis was not ashamed to coquet, demanded instant
attention. Charles, therefore, having renewed his alliance with the
new Pope, Paul III. (Farnese), and settled as far as was possible the
affairs of Italy, passed on to Spain. Thence, with a fleet under the
command of Andrea Doria, and an army which was not only recruited
from various parts of his dominions, but was joined by the Knights
of Malta, he sailed for Africa (June, 1535), nominally in support
of Muley-Hassan, one of the claimants to the kingdom of Tunis. The
expedition proved a brilliant success. Solyman could send no help,
and Francis was either afraid or ashamed to aid. The harbour of
Goletta was taken by storm, and the army of Barbarossa defeated on the
field. The Christian prisoners in Tunis rose against their captors,
and Barbarossa was forced to evacuate the country, which was granted
to Muley-Hassan under the suzerainty of Spain (August, 1535). But
though the expedition caused a great stir and increased the reputation
of the Emperor, it did not materially improve his prospects in Europe.

  | The intrigues of Francis.

Francis had never intended to keep the Treaty of Cambray, and
was determined to attempt the recovery of the duchy of Milan at
least. He had accordingly been long intriguing, both in Germany
and Italy. To gain the support of Clement VII. he had consented to
marry his second son, Henry of Orleans, to Catherine de’ Medici, on
condition of a principality being granted to the Duke in Italy, a
principality which might possibly include Milan; but the death of
the Pope (25th September 1534) had disappointed him of his hopes in
this direction. Francis had also opened negotiations with the members
of the League of Schmalkalde--who, however, refused to support one
who persecuted the Protestants in his own kingdom--and had made a
commercial treaty with Solyman, in which the plan of a joint attack
on the Milanese was mooted. Francis had then begun an unsuccessful
intrigue with Francesco Sforza, and, on the execution of his secret
agent Maraviglia, had declared war against that Prince. To reach the
Milanese it was necessary to pass through the dominions of the Duke
of Savoy. Since the days of Charles VIII. of France, Savoy had been
friendly to France, and had given free passage to her troops. But the
present Duke, Charles III., had married Beatrix of Portugal, sister of
the Emperor’s wife, and now refused such passage. Francis therefore
determined to occupy Savoy and Piedmont. At the same time he supported
the Calvinists of Geneva, who were in rebellion against the Duke of
Savoy and their bishop, and stirred up the Swiss of Bern to invade the
district of Vaud.

  | Death of Sforza. Oct. 24, 1535.

At this moment, the death of Sforza of Milan (24th October 1535),
altered the position of affairs. He was the last direct descendant
of the House, and Milan accordingly fell to Charles as suzerain. The
Emperor, who had only just concluded the expedition against
Barbarossa, was anxious to gain time, and amused the King with
negotiations. Francis demanded Milan for Henry, Duke of Orleans, his
second son. Charles offered to grant it to the Duke of Angoulême, the
third son of the French King, on condition of his marrying an Austrian
princess.

  | The French cross the Alps and occupy Turin. April,
  | 1536.

  | Charles makes an unsuccessful attack on
  | Provence. July-Sept. 1536.

Meanwhile the French had crossed the Alps by the Pass of Susa, and
occupied Turin (April, 1536). Charles now threw off the mask. He
denounced the King as a faithless man, the ally of heretic and
infidel, and challenged him to personal combat, suggesting that
Burgundy and Milan should be the prize of victory. On this being
refused, Antonio de Leyva crossed the Sesia at the head of the
imperial troops (May, 1536). The Marquis of Saluzzo, who commanded
the French army in Piedmont, deserted to the Emperor, and Charles,
neglecting to secure Turin, pressed on into Provence in the hopes of
bringing Francis to a decisive engagement. The French, contrary to
their usual practice, adopted a Fabian policy. They devastated the
country as they retired, and threw themselves into strong positions
at Avignon and Valence. Unable to storm these places, the imperial
army began to suffer from want and disease, to which de Leyva himself
succumbed (September 10, 1536). Charles, despairing of success, was
forced to evacuate the country (September 23), and retired to Spain
‘to bury there his honour which he had lost in Provence.’

  | Campaigns in Picardy, Languedoc, Artois, and
  | Piedmont.

  | Solyman defeats Ferdinand at Essek. Oct. 1537.

  | Revolt of Ghent, 1537.

The attack of the Imperialists on Picardy and Languedoc had been
equally unsuccessful, although, during the campaign in Picardy,
Francis lost Robert de la Marck, ‘Le Jeune Aventureux,’ the military
companion of his youth, and the author of the Memoirs which bear his
name. In 1537, the French invaded Artois. The war in Piedmont still
continued, and Solyman, in pursuance of his recent treaty, sent
Barbarossa to attack the coasts of Naples, while, shortly after,
he invaded Hungary in person, and defeated Ferdinand[51] at Essek
(October 8). This alliance of the French with Solyman excited the
indignation of Europe. Paul III., who had hitherto adopted a neutral
attitude, now intervened as mediator. Francis was not unwilling to
treat, and Charles had nothing to hope from a continuance of the
war. The Lutherans were daily gaining strength; the attack of the
Moslem was threatening the imperial hold on Naples; while in the
north, the people of Ghent had risen against the taxes imposed by the
Regent of the Netherlands (1537).

  | The Truce of Nice. June 18, 1538.

Accordingly, a truce for ten years was made at Nice (June 18,
1538). By that truce the Peace of Cambray was confirmed. The rivals
abandoned their allies, and each was to retain the conquests they
had made. Thus the Duke of Savoy was made the scapegoat. Savoy and
two-thirds of Piedmont were retained by Francis, the Swiss henceforth
occupied the district of Vaud, and the Emperor held the rest, with the
exception of Nice, which alone was left to the unfortunate Duke. A
conference at Aigues Mortes followed (July 1538), at which Francis,
hoping to gain by conciliation what he had failed to attain by arms,
adopted a most friendly attitude towards Charles. The Marshal de
Montmorency, who had gained a great reputation in the campaign of
Provence, urged the King to ally himself with Charles, and even
suggested a joint invasion of England, where the anti-papal measures
of Henry VIII. and the execution of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More
had excited much discontent. Although Francis stopped short of this,
he turned a deaf ear to the petition for aid which the citizens of
Ghent sent him, and shortly after gave the Emperor a free passage
thither through France.

  | Charles suppresses the revolt at Ghent. Feb. 6, 1540.

On the approach of Charles, the city, disappointed in its expectation
of French assistance, submitted (February 6, 1540), to pay dearly
for its rashness. Fourteen of the leading citizens were executed,
the civic privileges were forfeited, a heavy fine was levied, and a
garrison admitted within the walls. This completed the ruin of the
ancient city, whose commercial supremacy, with that of Bruges, had
already passed to Antwerp in consequence of the revolution in the
routes of commerce caused by the discovery of the way round the Cape.

  | Advance of Protestantism in Germany.

Now for a moment it appeared as if King and Emperor would lay aside
their long rivalry and unite to resist both heretic and Turk. That
Charles entertained such an idea is not to be wondered at. Solyman,
encouraged by the French alliance, was menacing Hungary once more, and
Barbarossa was still threatening the Mediterranean from Algiers. Nor
was the danger less at home. Protestantism had made notable advances
since the Peace of Nuremberg, 1532. In 1534, Duke Ulrich of Wurtemberg
was restored to his duchy, from which he had been driven by the
Suabian League in 1519, and which had been granted to Ferdinand,
Charles’ brother. The restoration was effected by Philip of Hesse, who
defeated the troops of Ferdinand at the battle of Laufen (May 1534),
but it was also approved of by John Elector of Trèves, who, although
Catholic, was glad to see the House of Hapsburg humbled. Duke Ulrich
forthwith established Protestantism in his duchy; the University of
Tübingen became the stronghold of the Reformers, and a wedge was
driven into the phalanx of Catholic states in South Germany.

  | The Anabaptists at Münster, 1534.

  | George, Duke of Saxony, and Joachim I., Elector of
  | Brandenburg, die and are succeeded by Henry and
  | Joachim II. 1535-1539.

In the north, indeed, the outbreak of the Anabaptist revolution at
Münster, under John of Leyden, in the spring of 1534, had threatened
to compromise the Lutheran party. This fanatic, who united unbridled
licentiousness with strange religious views, attempted to establish a
kind of socialistic state of which he proclaimed himself prophet and
king. But only the most heated partisanship could find any connection
between the views of Luther and of this wild fanatic. As had been
the case with the Peasants’ Revolt, Philip of Hesse, one of the most
prominent of the leaguers of Schmalkalde, rallied to the cause of
order. John of Leyden was executed, his followers dispersed, and
Münster restored to its bishop, 1535. Purged from any complicity
with the Anabaptists by the suppression of the revolt, the Lutherans
continued to make fresh converts in the north of Germany. In the year
1535 Joachim I., Elector of Brandenburg, and in 1539 George, Duke of
Saxony, of the Albertine branch of the house, both staunch Catholics,
died. Of their successors, Henry of Saxony actually embraced the
Lutheran creed, and Joachim II. adopted a conciliatory policy; while
his younger brother John, Margrave of the Neumark, became a devoted
adherent of the new opinions. Many other smaller princes followed,
and, by the close of the year 1539, the only important Catholic
states were those of Austria, Bavaria, the Palatinate, the Duchy of
Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and the three ecclesiastical Electorates;
moreover, the Elector of Cologne, Herman von der Wied, was known to be
wavering. Shortly after, both he and the Elector-Palatine embraced the
Protestant cause.

  | Charles anxious for a free hand, makes unsuccessful
  | advances to Francis.

The crisis demanded instant action. But this was impossible unless the
neutrality of France could be secured. Charles accordingly offered the
hand of his eldest daughter to the third son of Francis, who, by the
death of the dauphin during the campaign in Provence, had now become
the Duke of Orleans. He promised to cede to the Duke Franche-Comté
and the Netherlands, if Francis, on his part, would grant to him the
duchy of Burgundy, abandon all claim to Milan and to the suzerainty
of Flanders, and restore the conquests in Savoy and Piedmont to the
Duke of Savoy. This would have meant the revival of the old dukedom of
Burgundy, but as a fief of the Empire, and it is doubtful whether in
any case Francis would have acquiesced in the final loss, not only of
his conquests in Piedmont, but also of Milan. In short, the claims on
Italy prevented any agreement. After tedious haggling as to whether
the Duke of Orleans should have instant possession, and whether the
territories should revert to Charles in the event of the Duke’s death
without issue, Charles invested Philip, his son, with the duchy of
Milan (October 1540), and Francis determined to appeal to arms once
more.

  | Attempted reconciliation with Protestants at Diet of
  | Ratisbon, 1541.

With the prospect of war before him, the Emperor recognised the
impossibility of using force against the Protestants. Reconciliation,
if possible on the basis of comprehension, was the only alternative;
and for that purpose he summoned the Diet of Ratisbon, in the
spring of 1541. For a moment the chances of reconciliation seemed
bright. There had risen of late in Italy a party of reform, led by
Reginald Pole, then a fugitive from England, the Venetian Contarini,
at this moment the papal legate in Germany, and Morone, Bishop of
Modena. This group of literary men, who represented the reaction
against the sceptical spirit which had dominated Italy during the
days of Leo X., approached very closely to Luther’s views on the
doctrine of Justification, and were as eager as he to reform the
abuses which disfigured the Church of Rome. Even Paul III. declared
himself desirous of doing something. At Ratisbon, a conference
of theologians was held, under the presidency of Granvelle, at
which Melanchthon, Bucer, and Dr. Eck,[52] Luther’s old opponent,
appeared, and an agreement was come to on three of the articles of
controversy--Original Sin, Redemption, and Justification. In the
Diet itself, the majority of the Electors and of the deputies of
the cities declared themselves in favour of this agreement, and
Pole rejoiced at the approach of peace and concord. But these hopes
were not to be realised. In the Chamber of Princes the opposition
was very formidable. The Pope insisted that his supremacy and the
Romish view of the Sacraments should be accepted, and Luther could
not bring himself to believe in the sincerity of the Catholics. Even
if the question had been untrammelled by political considerations,
it is very doubtful whether any satisfactory conclusion could have
been arrived at, and politics could not be excluded. Reconciliation
with the Protestants would make Charles too powerful, as master of a
reunited Germany, not to meet with strenuous opposition, both within
and without the Empire. Francis and the Pope brought their intrigues
to bear on the Princes, many of whom were jealous of Hapsburg
influence and dreaded the loss of their political privileges. In vain
did the Emperor suggest that the articles on which the theologians
had agreed should be accepted for the present, and that, with regard
to others, differences of opinion should be tolerated on either
side. The agreement was rejected by the Chamber of Princes, much to
Charles’ indignation. Thus failed the last chance of a reconciliation
between the two religious parties--wrecked on political rivalries--a
reconciliation which might have altered the history of Germany and
even of Europe. Yet, even so, the Protestants gained much. Charles,
anxious for their support during the coming struggle, issued a
declaration by which the enforcement of the Recess of Augsburg was
still further delayed. Those who had secularised ecclesiastical
property were permitted to retain it until the final settlement;
Lutherans were to be admitted as assessors to the Imperial Chamber;
and, until the meeting of a General Council, no one was to be
prevented from adopting Lutheranism. So confident were the Protestants
in the strength of their cause, that when the Duke of Brunswick
attempted, contrary to this Recess, to force the decisions of the
Imperial Chamber on Goslar, he was driven from his duchy by the League
of Schmalkalde (summer of 1542), and the Catholics thus lost the only
important lay principality which they held in Northern Germany.

  | Francis again declares war. July 1541.

While Francis had been doing his utmost to perpetuate the religious
divisions in Germany, he had been diligently preparing for war. The
Marshal Montmorency, who had advocated friendship with Charles,
was disgraced; alliances were eagerly sought for; and finally, the
assassination of the French agent as he was passing through the
Milanese on his way to Constantinople (July 3, 1541), gave the French
King a decent pretext for breaking the truce of Nice. War, however,
was not actually declared till 1542. During the interval Charles
suffered two disasters at the hands of the Mahometans. In Hungary,
Solyman, marching to the support of the son of Zapolya (who had died
in 1540), inflicted a crushing defeat on Ferdinand at Buda (July 30,
1541), and in October, an expedition which the Emperor led in person
against Barbarossa in Algiers failed, chiefly owing to wild weather on
the African coasts.

  | Attempts of Francis to obtain allies.

The attempts of Francis to procure allies were not very
successful. Henry VIII., at this moment engaged in the war with
James V. which ended in the defeat of the Scots at Solway Moss
(December), was in no humour to support the French, their allies.[53]
Moreover, the old cause of quarrel between the English King and the
Emperor, arising out of the divorce of Catherine of Aragon, had been
in part removed by her death, and all idea of an English alliance
with the Protestants had been abandoned with the divorce of Anne of
Cleves and the fall of Cromwell in 1540. Henry therefore declined
the offers of Francis, and renewed his alliance with Charles. The
Protestants of Germany, satisfied with the concessions of the
Emperor, remained quiet. The Pope, Paul III., adhered to his policy
of neutrality. Solyman, the Kings of Denmark and of Sweden, and the
Duke of Cleves, were therefore the only allies of France. Of these,
Christian III. of Denmark was irritated by the support which Charles
had given to the claims of the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach
family on his throne; Gustavus Vasa, of Sweden, by the favour Charles
had shown to a revolt of his peasants; while the Duke of Cleves
disputed the claim of the Emperor to the reversion of Gueldres, in
virtue of the will of Charles of Gueldres, who died without children
in 1538.

  | Campaign of 1542.

Francis, contrary to his usual strategy, refrained from directly
attacking the Milanese, and, while he acted on the defensive in
Piedmont, devoted his chief attention to the Netherlands and
Rousillon. The results of the first campaign, 1542, were not
important. Luxembourg was gained, only to be lost, and the invasion of
Rousillon was foiled by the resistance of Perpignan. Nevertheless, at
the beginning of the year 1543, the position of Charles was serious
enough. Solyman was master of most of Hungary and was preparing for a
decisive stroke; Barbarossa was on the point of joining the French in
an attack on Piedmont; the Pope, angry at the refusal of Charles to
invest his grandson, Ottavio Farnese, with Milan, at his concessions
to the Protestants, and at the demand for a General Council, was
leaning towards France; Denmark had closed the Sound to German ships;
moreover, it was very doubtful whether Philip of Hesse, and John
Frederick of Saxony would allow the Duke of Cleves to be overthrown,
more especially as the Duke was the brother-in-law of John Frederick,
and was known to have strong Protestant sympathies.

  | Henry allies himself with Charles. Feb., 1543.

The Emperor, however, succeeded in his negotiations with England. On
the death of James V. of Scotland, in 1542, the regent, Mary of Guise,
had rejected all the advances of the English King, and continued
the French alliance. Henry accordingly turned again to Charles. By
the treaty of February 11, 1543, Emperor and King agreed to demand
that Francis should give up his alliance with the Turk, indemnify
the Empire for the sums it had incurred in the Turkish war, and, as
security for the debts he owed the King of England, hand over Boulogne
and other towns. If Francis refused these terms, the allies engaged
themselves to pursue the war till Burgundy should be restored to
Charles, and England had made good her ancient claim to Normandy and
Guienne, and to the crown of France.

  | The military events of 1543.

  | Diet of Spires, Feb. 1544. Charles gains assistance
  | of the Empire against France.

  | Success of the Imperialists.

In May, Charles hastily left Spain, and arrived in Germany. He secured
the neutrality of John Frederick of Saxony, entered the territories
of the Duke of Cleves, and forced him to resign his pretensions to
Gueldres (August). In September the joint attack of Barbarossa and
the Count of Enghien, at the head of the French troops, on Nice, was
foiled by the approach of Doria with the Spanish fleet and the army
of Milan. Francis had not even the consolation of success to requite
him for the odium he incurred by his alliance with the infidel. In
Hungary, indeed, the advance of Solyman was unchecked, and by the end
of August nearly the whole of that country had been conquered. But
even this success cost Francis dear. At the Diet of Spires, held
in February 1544, Charles denounced the King of France as an enemy
to Christendom. He informed the Protestants of the offers which
Francis had made in 1539 to assist him against them if he would cede
Milan, and therewith made further concessions with regard to the
religious question. He promised that a general _free_ and Christian
Council should be summoned, and that, if the Pope delayed, he would
next year call a Diet for the final settlement of the religious
question. The Protestants expressed their horror at the unholy
alliance with the Turk, and once more the Emperor secured the aid of
the Empire in his struggle with the French. At the same time, Denmark
abandoned the French alliance. Francis was now threatened by a serious
combination. In Piedmont, indeed, the Count of Enghien won a decisive
victory over the Marquis de Guasto and the army of Milan at Cerisoles
(April 11). But in June, the Imperialists, after reducing Luxembourg,
invaded Champagne and advanced as far as the Marne, while the English
landed on the coast. Had Henry kept his engagement and co-operated
with Charles in a combined attack on Paris, the capital might have
fallen. Intent, however, on his own schemes, he delayed to lay siege
to Boulogne, which did not surrender till September. Indignant at
this breach of faith, anxious to break the dangerous alliance between
Francis and the Turk, and to have a free hand to deal with the
Protestants in Germany, Charles, who was, moreover, in serious want of
money, now offered peace.

  | Treaty of Crespi. Sept. 18, 1544.

Francis, largely owing to his intemperate mode of life, was seriously
ill. His mistress, Madame d’Estampes, feared that on his death all
influence would pass to her hated rival, Diana of Poictiers, once
the mistress of the King, now all powerful with the Dauphin. She
was therefore anxious to secure for Orleans, the second son, an
independent sovereignty. He was at enmity with his brother, and might
be of service to her in the future. She therefore urged the King
to accept the Emperor’s terms. Francis listened; and on September
18, 1544, the Treaty of Crespi ended the last war between the two
rivals. All conquests made since the truce of Nice were to be
abandoned. The Emperor renounced his claims on Burgundy, and Francis
gave up his own upon Naples, as well as the suzerainty of Flanders and
Artois. The Emperor further promised to the Duke of Orleans, either
the hand of his daughter, with the Netherlands and Franche-Comté,
or that of his niece, the daughter of Ferdinand, with the duchy
of Milan. Charles retained the right of deciding which of these
two marriages should be carried out; and, on the completion of the
compact, Savoy and Piedmont were to be restored to the Duke Charles
III. Finally, the rivals engaged themselves to unite in defending
Christendom against the Turk, and in restoring peace and unity to the
Church.

  | Treaty of Ardres, June 7, 1546.

Henry, complaining bitterly of the Emperor’s desertion, continued his
war with Francis till the summer of 1546. He then promised to restore
Boulogne to Francis within eight years on the payment of a sum of
money, and of the perpetual pension already promised in 1525 and 1527.

The marriage of Orleans, from which the French King hoped so much,
was prevented by the death of the Duke (September 1545). Francis was,
indeed, no longer bound to surrender his conquests in Piedmont and
Savoy, but these were poor compensation for four exhausting wars,
which cost France, it is said, 200,000 men.

  | Death of Francis I. March 31, 1547.

Francis survived the Peace of Crespi two years and a half, but these
years are only noticeable for the persecution of the Huguenots in
France, which will be treated of hereafter. On March 31, 1547, he
succumbed to a disease which was the result of his careless life,
just when he was preparing to intervene once more in the affairs of
Germany. Few kings of France were so popular during their lives,
or have retained such a place in history; yet it may be doubted
whether Francis deserved his reputation. His character, though
not wanting in some superficial attractiveness, was shallow and
utterly wanting in high principle. His generosity led him into
gross extravagance. His gallantry was spoilt by an entire absence
of refinement and morality. His chivalry and his love of manly
sports and of the chase, even his literary and artistic tastes,
though praiseworthy in themselves, he shares with many a worthless
character. Nor is it easy to see how he benefited his country, except
by his patronage of art and literature, and by founding the College
of France for the study of languages and science. No doubt his reign
is marked by a great outburst of Renaissance architecture, of which
the Louvre and some of the ‘châteaux’ on the Loire are the best
examples. In literature, Rabelais; in painting, the two Clouets; in
sculpture, Jean Goujon, have earned a European reputation; while of
foreigners, the painters, Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Sarto,
and Benvenuto Cellini, the metal-worker and sculptor, were welcomed
at the court. It may, however, be questioned whether this artistic
revival was due to royal patronage, and at least in the more serious
business of government and administration, the name of Francis is
associated with no important measure of reform. During his reign, the
sale of offices became the custom, the corruption of royal officers
increased, and the taxes grew. The independence of the Gallican
Church was destroyed by the Concordat. The Estates-general were only
twice summoned, and gained no further privileges. The nobles, it is
true, were kept in check and amused in the foreign wars, or at the
court; they lost much of their power, which was transferred to the
bureaucracy; but in losing this they lost also their usefulness;
they retained their privileges, they swelled the factions of the
court, and formed a turbulent class which was to disturb France for
many a year. The lower classes rose, indeed, to some prominence in
the service of the State; but they were only powerful as servants
of the King, and as members of a bureaucracy which strangled all
local life and constitutional liberty. In short, during the reign of
Francis the absolutism of the crown increased, without that beneficial
administration which alone can justify it. Nor is his foreign policy
any more worthy of praise. It may be true that he foiled the attempt
of Charles to establish the universal supremacy of the Spanish
Hapsburg monarchy in Europe, yet we can scarce forgive him for his
alliance with the Porte. When we recall his cruel persecutions of
the Huguenots at home, it is difficult to justify his support of the
Lutherans in Germany. Jealous of the ascendency of Charles, he plunged
his country into war as carelessly as a knight of old entered the
lists, and, in spite of the lessons of the past, he grasped after
the bauble of a kingdom beyond the Alps, and neglected to strengthen
or extend the true frontiers of his country. A good captain of a
division, rather than a general: a pleasant, clever, but wicked man,
and a bad King, ‘Le roi galant homme’ left behind him an absolute
monarchy, unchecked and unsupported by any constitutional system, an
encumbered revenue, a heavy debt, a corrupt government, an immoral
court, a factious nobility, and a nation flushed with the lust of
war, and disturbed by religious discord. The troubles which came on
France after the King’s death are in part at least attributable to his
policy, and yet it is these very troubles which, by contrast, have led
historians to judge more favourably of his reign than it deserves.

FOOTNOTES:

 [46] On the question of Pescara’s motives, cf. Baumgarten,
      _Geschichte Karl V._, ii. 453.

 [47] On Charles’ responsibility for the sack of Rome,
      cf. Armstrong’s _Charles V._, i. 172.

 [48] On Francesco’s death in 1535, the duchy was annexed by the
      Emperor.

 [49] On the assassination of Alessandro, 1537, Cosimo of the
      younger branch of the Medici became Duke.

 [50] The Recess (_Reichsabscheid_) was the collection of the
      Decrees of the Diet which had received the assent of the Emperor
      (_Reichsschlüsse_).

 [51] Ferdinand had been recognised as King of Hungary after the
      death of Lewis at Mohacs (cf. p. 184). But his claim was opposed
      by Zapolya, Woivode of Transylvania, who was supported by
      Solyman.

 [52] Eck, however, had opposed it throughout. Granvelle the
      chancellor, Gropper and Pflug, two Catholic divines, were in
      favour of it.

 [53] James had married (1) Magdalen, daughter of Francis I.; (2)
      Mary of Guise.



CHAPTER V

FROM THE WAR OF SCHMALKALDE TO THE TREATY OF CATEAU CAMBRESIS

     Charles and the Protestants--Council of Trent, second
     session--Maurice won over--Death of Luther--Outbreak of war of
     Schmalkalde--Charles successful in Southern Germany--Council
     removed to Bologna--Battle of Mühlberg--Diet of Augsburg--Charles
     and Paul III.--The Interim--Charles and Julius III.--End of
     second session of Council of Trent--Maurice joins the
     Protestants--Treaty of Friedwald--Policy of Ferdinand--Charles
     flies from Innsbruck--Treaty of Passau--Death of Maurice--Diet
     and Peace of Augsburg--Truce of Vaucelles--Abdication and death
     of Charles--Last war between France and Spain--Battles of
     Gravelines and St. Quentin--Treaty of Cateau Cambrésis.


§ 1. _The Schmalkaldic War and the battle of Mühlberg._

  | Charles at last free to deal with the Protestants.

On the signature of the Peace of Crespi, the hands of the Emperor
were at last free to deal with the Protestants in Germany. To
understand the conduct of Charles at this juncture, it is necessary
to remind ourselves of the main aim of his life. He had inherited
from Maximilian the idea of establishing an universal supremacy in
Western Europe; from his grandmother Isabella, that severe spirit of
orthodoxy so characteristic of the Spanish nation. To a man with such
views as these, the Lutheran movement was equally distasteful, both
from a political and a religious point of view; and, had he been able
to follow his own convictions, he would have taken immediate steps
to crush out the new opinions in the year 1521. But Charles was no
fanatic, and the political exigencies of the moment had caused him to
listen to the advice of his ministers, more especially of Gattinara,
who bade him temporise, and try to win back the Lutherans by measures
of conciliation. From that day to this, it had been necessary to
pursue the same path, while of late he had entertained the idea of
comprehension and possibly of settling the religious difficulty by a
National Diet [pp. 204, 212, 216].

  | Agreement with the Pope.

  | Second Session of the Council of Trent. Dec. 1545.

But although this policy had served the political ends of the Emperor,
and prevented the Lutherans from joining his enemies in the field,
it had not succeeded in bringing them back to the fold. In his
determination to put an end to schism, by force if necessary, the
Emperor had never swerved. Of late, more especially since the death
of Gattinara (1530), he had learnt to depend more upon himself, and
now at last the moment had arrived for action. Meanwhile, the Spanish
leanings of Charles had been intensified. Since the resignation of the
Austrian lands to Ferdinand in 1521, he had looked on Spain as the
centre of his rule, and had identified himself with Spanish interests
in Church and State. It was Spain that had chiefly supported him in
his European struggles, and he now came, rather as King of Spain and
Emperor of the West, than as a German prince, to re-establish the
unity of the Empire and of the ancient Church. Charles, however, was
too good a statesman to ruin his cause by over haste. He appreciated
the strength of the Protestant position, and saw that he must proceed
with caution. The Germans had often petitioned for a General Council,
and if a Council could now be summoned, it might institute certain
reforms, which might conciliate the more moderate, and strengthen his
hand. For this, the consent of the Pope was necessary. Accordingly,
Charles promised Parma and Piacenza to Ottavio Farnese, the grandson
of Paul, and the Pope consented to re-summon the Council to Trent,[54]
in March, 1545. Meanwhile, the Emperor met his Diet at Worms. The
hopes of the Emperor with regard to the Council were not fulfilled. It
did not open its session till December. It was not well attended; only
some forty bishops came, and among them the Spaniards and Italians
were in a decided majority. The Protestants therefore refused to
acknowledge it as a free and general Council, more especially as it
was decided that its members should vote as individuals and not by
nations, a course of procedure which would ensure the victory of the
papal party. Moreover, the wish of Charles that the Council should
postpone the consideration of dogma, and first proceed to the reform
of abuses, was rejected. It was agreed that both subjects should be
taken together; and on the question as to the authority of tradition,
and the doctrine of Justification, the views of Rome prevailed.

  | Charles succeeds in gaining over many of the princes
  | of Germany, especially Maurice of Saxony.

Charles, meanwhile, had met with more success in Germany in his
attempts to gain the German Princes to his side. William, Duke of
Bavaria, who, by the death of his brother (1545), had become sole
ruler in the duchy, had hitherto, although a Roman Catholic, coqueted
with the League of Schmalkalde. He was now brought over by the promise
of the hand of Ferdinand’s daughter for his son, with the reversion
of Bohemia should Ferdinand die without male heirs, and by the hopes
held out to him, that, if the Elector-Palatine remained obdurately
Protestant, the electoral dignity should be transferred from the
Palatine to the Bavarian branch of the Wittelsbach family. John of
Brandenburg-Küstrin, Margrave of the Neumark, and Albert Alcibiades
of Brandenburg-Culmbach, two of the younger members of the House of
Hohenzollern, annoyed at the reinstatement of the Duke of Würtemberg
(cf. p. 210), also joined the Emperor. Charles was further successful
in securing the neutrality of Joachim, Elector of Brandenburg,
Frederick, the Elector-Palatine, and of some of the cities who had
been members of the League.

Of his allies, however, by far the most important was Maurice of
Saxony. The history of the House of Wettin in Saxony illustrates most
forcibly the evil results of that custom, so prevalent among the
German princes, of dividing their territories among their sons. In
1464, Frederick II. of Saxony had died, leaving his territories to
his two sons, Ernest and Albert, and from that day the jealousy
between these two lines had been extreme. In the early days of the
Lutheran movement, while the Electors, Frederick the Wise, John,
and John Frederick, the representatives of the elder or Ernestine
branch, had, in their capital of Wittenberg, been the earnest
supporters of reform, George, the representative of the Albertine
line at Meissen, had been one of the most devoted advocates of the
ancient faith. This cause of difference was but in part removed
when Henry, the brother of Duke George, who succeeded him in 1539,
accepted Lutheranism. Maurice, who succeeded his father Henry in
1541, had also declared himself a Protestant, and had married the
daughter of the Landgrave, Philip of Hesse. Nevertheless, he had
recalled some of the ministers of his Catholic uncle, George, and
among them Carlowitz. He had also refused to join the League of
Schmalkalde, weak and divided by jealousies as it was, and had always
taken an independent position, which was disliked by his cousins
at Wittenberg. The estrangement thus caused between him and John
Frederick, the Elector, was aggravated by more personal grounds of
quarrel. None of the princes of Germany had made greater use of the
cry for secularisation of ecclesiastical property than these Saxon
princes, and this had led to fresh disagreements between the two
cousins. The bishopric of Naumburg had been secularised by John
Frederick; Maurice was anxious to do the same with the bishopric of
Merseburg. They also quarrelled over their claims within the limits
of the see of Meissen, which was under the common jurisdiction of
both branches; while both were anxious to obtain possession of the
two bishoprics of Magdeburg and Halberstadt, which had accepted
Protestantism, and lay close at hand.

The Emperor, by cleverly playing upon these jealousies and by
magnificent promises, succeeded in buying the alliance of Maurice. He
consented to appoint him guardian of the bishoprics of Halberstadt
and Magdeburg, entertained the proposal of assigning the bishoprics
of Merseburg and Meissen to him as hereditary duchies, and finally
promised to transfer to him the electoral dignity now held by John
Frederick. On the question of religion it was not difficult to calm
the apprehensions of the Saxon duke. He had been subjected to various
influences during his youth; his mother, Catherine of Mecklenburg,
was an earnest Protestant; his uncle, the Catholic George, had made
a favourite of him and tried to influence his religious views. It is
not, therefore, astonishing that Maurice, although by no means an
irreligious man, had no strong convictions on points of dogma, nor
that he viewed matters from the standpoint of the statesman rather
than of the theologian. He had accepted Lutheranism because his people
wished for it, and the promises of the Emperor seemed to give all that
was needed. In religious matters, Maurice was to allow no further
innovations until the final settlement, which was to be referred to
a Council, ‘and, if some points remained unsettled for the present,
Maurice was to be under no apprehension.’ The terms indeed were vague;
but when people wish to be satisfied, they are not very exacting. On
these conditions, therefore, Maurice engaged to join the Emperor
in his attack on the Elector, John Frederick. He did not, however,
thereby break his alliance with the Landgrave, nor declare war on the
League of Schmalkalde.

  | Charles takes action against the Protestants. June
  | 1546.

While these negotiations had been going on, Charles had been holding
diets and entertaining schemes of compromise. His attempts, however,
to gain comprehension either through a Council or a Diet had failed,
and at last the moment for action had arrived. A truce had been
effected with Solyman; France and the Pope were friendly, and Charles’
concessions had brought over several of his opponents. Against the
wish of Granvelle he therefore threw off the mask, and at Ratisbon
published the imperial ban against those who refused to acknowledge
the jurisdiction of the Imperial Chamber. Even now he did not speak
of the war as a religious one; he proceeded, he declared, not against
those who were dutiful subjects, but against those who would not
submit to imperial laws; he was about to check insubordination, not
to punish heresy. It is not necessary to accuse Charles of deliberate
falsehood; indeed, as long as Maurice was on his side, it could
scarcely be called a war against the Protestants. Nor, on the other
hand, is it just to accuse the Protestants of having taken up the
question of reform solely from political motives, in pursuance of
their old struggle against the Emperor. Nevertheless, the cause of
religious independence was now so closely identified with that of
territorial independence, and the unity of the Church so intimately
connected in Charles’ mind with that of the Empire, that the religious
and political issues could no longer be distinguished. The question
at stake was this: should Germany be forced to accept the mediæval
system of one Empire and one Church, or should the princes vindicate
their rights to political and religious autonomy?

  | Death of Luther. Feb. 18, 1546.

By a strange coincidence, Luther, who had been the prime author of the
discord, and yet had striven so long to keep the religious question
apart from politics, and had so reluctantly sanctioned the appeal
to arms, passed away before the actual outbreak of hostilities. On
February 18, 1546, he died in his native town of Eisleben, in his
sixty-fourth year. Whatever may be our view as to the doctrinal
position of the Reformer, it is as idle to deny his greatness, as
to belittle the importance of the movement he originated. Of his
faults, and he had many, some were those of his class and of his
age, some were all his own. Luther was the son of a Saxon peasant,
and never freed himself from the homely coarseness of his early
surroundings. Scurrility in controversy was the custom of the day,
and Luther did not rise above the common standard; while nature had
given him an uncompromising and dictatorial, and a somewhat violent
character. Yet he was not deficient in more amiable qualities. His
hospitality, his generosity, his geniality and affection, made him
beloved at home and among his friends; while his sterner virtues--his
honesty, his piety, his earnest conviction, his unflagging industry,
and, above all, his unflinching courage--even his adversaries have
not been able to gainsay. It would also be a mistake to imagine that
he had no refinement. Of this his hymns, many of which are familiar
to us, and, above all, his German translation of the Bible, are
sufficient proof. This magnificent work, which did much to elevate and
fix the literary style of Germany, is enough, of itself, to give to
Luther a high place among men of letters.

  | Critical condition of the League of Schmalkalde.

The position of the League of Schmalkalde on the proclamation of
the imperial ban was a serious one. They had trusted too easily to
the Emperor’s promises, and now found themselves unprepared for
war. The concessions of Charles had reduced their ranks, and the
only members of the League who actually took up arms were John
Frederick, the Elector of Saxony, Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, Duke
Ulrich of Würtemberg, and the towns of Augsburg, Strasburg, Ulm,
and Constance. None the less, had the Protestants boldly taken the
offensive, they might have secured the Upper Inn and the outlet of
the Brenner Pass, and thus prevented the march of troops from Italy,
without which the Emperor could do little; or, again, they might have
surrounded him in Ratisbon, where he had but few troops. But the
organisation of the League was very faulty, there were many jealousies
and quarrels, and John Frederick was no statesman, and no general. The
army of the League, therefore, adopted a weak defensive attitude, and
entrenched itself between the Danube and the Rhine. Charles, taking
advantage of the dilatoriness of his enemies, had time to concentrate
his troops from Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, and then by
superior strategy, in which he was assisted by Alva, was able to avoid
a decisive battle until events in the north forced his enemies to
retire.

  | Maurice declares himself, Oct. 27, 1546. And overruns
  | the Electorate, November.

  | Success of Charles in the South.

It was not until Maurice had received a definite promise of the
Electorate that, on October 27, he declared himself. Armed with
Charles’ orders to occupy the forfeited estates of John Frederick,
he then approached his own subjects. He warned them of the danger
of refusal, and by undertaking that their religion should not be
interfered with, at last gained their consent to act. Finally, when
John Frederick contemptuously rejected his proposal to occupy the
Electorate quietly, he united his forces with those of Ferdinand
and rapidly overran the whole territory, with the exception of
Wittenberg, Eisenach, and Gotha (November 1546). The receipt of this
news filled the members of the League with alarm, and their overtures
of peace having been spurned by Charles, the Landgrave Philip and
John Frederick hurried north, while the rest of the confederates
dispersed to protect, if possible, their own territories. This
enabled the Emperor to deal with his opponents in detail, and to make
himself master in the south. The cities of the League were quickly
occupied. The Duke of Würtemberg, and the Elector-Palatine, who,
though taking no active part himself, had assisted the League with
troops, submitted. They undertook to obey the Diet, and the decisions
of the Imperial Chamber, and to pay a fine; and Charles, on his side,
promised, as he had promised to Maurice, that with regard to religious
matters they should be left in peace until the final settlement. At
the same time, Herman von der Wied, the Archbishop of Cologne,
resigned his see (January 1547), and a Catholic succeeded him.

  | Successes of John Frederick in Saxony.

  | Quarrel of Charles with Paul III. prevents his
  | assisting Maurice.

  | Council of Trent removed to Bologna. March 1549.

Elsewhere, however, matters were not going so well for Charles. John
Frederick, on his return, not only easily recovered his dominions,
but invaded the territories of Maurice, where he was well received;
Ferdinand, recalled by a Protestant insurrection in Bohemia, could
give no assistance; and Maurice in a few weeks lost all his lands
except Leipsic and Dresden, which were too strong to be suddenly
reduced. Nor could Charles respond at once to Maurice’s call for
help. His alliance with the Pope seemed likely to break up. The
interests of Paul III. as an Italian potentate demanded that neither
France nor Spain should become too powerful; as a Farnese, it was
his aim to increase the power of his family. The refusal, therefore,
of Charles to appoint Ottavio Farnese as Stadtholder of Milan on the
death of the Marquis de Guasto in March 1546, and the appointment of
Gonzaga, an old enemy of the Farnese and a strong supporter of the
imperial claims in Italy, had irritated the Pope, while the imperial
successes now alarmed him. Emperor and Pope differed, too, with regard
to the Council of Trent. Charles was most anxious that the Council
should proceed no further in the definition of dogma, lest thereby
the apprehensions of the moderate Protestants should be too soon
aroused; Paul, less careful of the position of Charles in Germany,
wished to maintain the infallibility of the Pope and of the Church,
and hesitated to touch the thorny question of internal reform; he also
feared lest the Emperor, victorious in the north, might come to Trent
and claim to preside. True, therefore, to the traditions of papal
policy, Paul began to waver. The time having expired for which he had
lent his troops (December 1546), he recalled them, and refused to send
any more. He declined to sanction the grant of ecclesiastical revenues
from Spain which Charles had demanded for the war; and since Trent
was surrounded by Austrian lands, in March he removed the Council to
Bologna. Nor did the Pope stop here. He even entered into intrigues
with Francis, who, disappointed in his hopes with regard to Milan by
the death of the Duke of Orleans (September 1545), was negotiating
again with the League of Schmalkalde, and stirring up revolts in
Genoa, Siena, and Naples.

  | Charles marches North. April 1547.

  | Battle of Mühlberg. April 24, 1547.

Fortunately for Charles, the dilatoriness and want of generalship of
John Frederick saved Maurice from ruin, until the death of Francis
I. (March 1547), relieved the Emperor from the fear of a French
attack; and he was able, although tortured with gout and pale as
a ghost, to march north, in April 1547. Even then the imperial
army only numbered some 16,000 men, mostly Italians, Spaniards,
and Hungarians; while the Elector had a much larger force at his
disposal. This deficiency in numbers was, however, fully compensated
for by the superiority of Charles’ veterans, and by the utter want
of generalship displayed by his opponent. Not only had the Elector
despatched a considerable detachment to aid the Bohemians against
Ferdinand, but he further weakened his forces by attempting to hold
open towns. When the success of Charles, who entered Saxony from
the south and rapidly reduced these positions, forced him at last
to concentrate on Mühlberg, a town to the east of the Elbe not far
from Dresden, he did not even then use all his troops to dispute
the passage of the river, where Charles might, perhaps, have been
successfully resisted. When the Emperor had crossed the river, the
Elector in vain attempted to retreat. He was forced to accept a
battle, in which his personal courage and that of his troops was of no
avail against the well-disciplined veterans of his foe. After a short
struggle, the Saxons gave way; the Elector, surrounded and wounded,
had no alternative but to surrender; and Charles and his foreign army
had won a decisive victory with the loss of some fifty men. It was
earnestly debated whether John Frederick should not answer with his
head for his rebellion. Such condign punishment, urged Pedro de Soto,
Charles’ confessor, would have an excellent effect. But Wittenberg was
strong, and too severe a treatment might raise further opposition;
accordingly, by the advice of Granvelle and of Alva, his life was
spared. Even so, the terms were hard enough. The city of Wittenberg
was to surrender at once; John Frederick was to resign the electoral
dignity and most of his territories, of which those in Bohemia were
to go to Ferdinand; he was to submit to the decision of the Imperial
Chamber, and remain a prisoner for the rest of his life. On these
conditions the city of Gotha and the district around it, with a
pension to be paid out of the other territories, were secured to his
heirs, and a provision was to be made for his own support.

The capture of John Frederick was shortly followed by the submission
of the Landgrave. Hitherto he had rejected the offers made by
Charles. Now that opposition seemed hopeless, he was persuaded by
Ferdinand and Maurice to accept the Emperor’s terms, severe though
they were. Most of the Hessian strongholds were to be delivered, and
their fortifications demolished; the Landgrave was to acknowledge the
imperial authority, and submit to the decrees of the Imperial Chamber;
he was to set the Duke of Brunswick free, to pay a fine, and to place
himself in the Emperor’s hands. Charles, it is said, once master of
the person of the Landgrave, took advantage of some looseness in the
agreement, and, contrary to the distinct undertaking of Ferdinand
and Maurice, refused to grant him his liberty, declaring that he had
only promised not to keep him in prison for ever.[55] It does not
appear that Charles actually broke his word, and the chief blame of
the mistake must apparently fall on Ferdinand and Maurice, who gave
promises to Philip without full authority. None the less, Maurice had
understood Charles otherwise. He considered that he had been duped,
and Germany believed it. Maurice never forgave the Emperor, and
Germany did not forget.


§ 2. _From the Diet of Augsburg to the Peace of Augsburg_.

  | Diet of Augsburg. Sept. 1547 to June 1548.

When on September 1, 1547, Charles met his Diet at Augsburg, he seemed
at last about to realise his dream of re-establishing the unity of the
Church. All his opponents were either defeated or had come to terms,
and all had agreed to accept the decisions of a General Council. The
Diet unanimously declared itself to the same effect, and demanded that
the Council should be recalled to Trent. The Chamber of the Princes
further insisted that the decisions already published by the Council
should be reconsidered. The lay Electors held that Scripture should be
the only authority on matters of dogma, and wished for reform of the
Church in ‘Head, and members’; the deputies from the imperial cities
requested that the Council should be composed of learned men of all
orders. Some desired that the Council should be under the presidency
of the Emperor, and although this was not demanded by the whole Diet,
nothing was said of the necessity of papal approval.

  | Renewed quarrel between Pope and Emperor.

  | The Interim. May 19, 1548.

The Emperor, armed with this support, requested Paul to recall the
Council from Bologna to Trent. He expressly stated that he did not
approve of all that had been said against the papal authority, but
urged the Pope to take advantage of this unlooked-for submission on
the part of Germany. It cannot be denied that a serious question
of principle was involved in this request. Although the Emperor
did not definitely claim the right of presidency, yet the demand
that the Council should return to Trent, where still some of the
Spanish and Neapolitan bishops remained, practically assumed that
the Council at Bologna was no true Council. Compliance with the
demand of Charles would have emphasised the control of the temporal
over the spiritual power, and dealt a blow at the independence of
the Church, which claimed to be guided by the Holy Spirit. And yet
if the Pope had really been in complete harmony with the Emperor on
other matters, one of the many compromises which were suggested could
probably have been carried out by the clever diplomacy of Mendoza,
the imperial ambassador at Rome. Unfortunately, the affairs of Italy
once more stood in the way of that reconciliation between Pope and
Emperor which was so desirable for the welfare of the Church. On
September 10 Pierluigi Farnese, to whom his father Paul had granted
Parma and Piacenza, fell a victim to a conspiracy. He had been the
centre of anti-imperialist intrigues during the winter and spring of
1546-1547; and Gonzaga, the imperial governor at Milan, who, with
the consent of the Emperor, had supported the conspiracy though
not the assassination, forthwith occupied Piacenza, ostensibly to
preserve the peace, but really in pursuit of ambitious views of
extending the imperial authority in north Italy. The angry Pope at
once entered into negotiations with Henry II. of France. He was even
heard to say that he would call hell itself to avenge him of his
enemy. At the same time the prelates at Bologna, influenced, it must
be allowed, by more worthy motives, replied to the Emperor’s demand
by summoning those ecclesiastics who had remained at Trent to join
them at Bologna, whereby they might show that Germany meant to obey
the Council. Charles might now have attempted to form a Council of
his own at Trent; but he was too good a Catholic to think of starting
a schism. Declaring therefore that he must take measures for the
protection of that Church which the Pope neglected, he determined
to settle matters in his own way. His confessor, Pedro de Soto,
suggested that he should forbid all Lutheran preaching, insist on the
restoration of secularised property, and of the Catholic ritual, and
then leave every one to think as he pleased. But this, said Ferdinand,
would require another war. The Emperor therefore fell back on the
suggestion of his brother, that he should try to find some ground of
union in Germany independently of the Pope. The Interim followed,
a document drawn up by theologians from both sides, and accepted
without debate by the Diet, May 19. It affirmed that ‘There is but one
Church, of which the Pope is chief Bishop; but the power lies in the
Church under the guardianship of the Holy Spirit, rather than in the
Pope.’ While insisting on the seven Sacraments in the Catholic sense,
it agreed to the doctrine of Justification by Faith in somewhat vague
terms, and declared that the questions of the celibacy of the clergy
and of the Communion in both kinds should be left undecided until the
calling of the future free Christian Council. It must not be supposed
that Charles intended this settlement to be permanent; he only looked
on it as a temporary measure which might entice the Protestants back
to obedience to the Church and to the Empire. Nevertheless, had the
whole Empire, Catholic and Protestant, accepted the Interim, a decided
step would have been taken towards the establishment of a national
Church under the control of the Emperor rather than of the Pope. Any
such result as this was, however, prevented by the refusal of the
Catholics to acknowledge the Interim as binding on them in their
dealings with their subjects, and the only question was, how far
Charles would be successful with the Protestants.

The attempts of Charles to re-establish his authority were not
confined to the ecclesiastical sphere. He had also approached the
Diet with schemes for strengthening the imperial power. He did not
succeed in obtaining all he wished. His desire to revive, and, if
possible, extend the organisation of the Suabian League (which had
died out of late), though approved of by the smaller Princes, was
resolutely opposed by many of the larger, even Maurice himself, and
had to be abandoned. Nevertheless Charles gained much. He was allowed
to nominate, for this term, the assessors to the Imperial Chamber, so
long as they were Catholics, and was granted ‘a Roman month,’ as a
fund for future contingencies. He also obtained his aim with respect
to the Netherlands, which were now definitely organised as one of the
Circles of the Empire, were put under imperial protection, and were to
contribute to imperial taxation. But while in this way Charles hoped
to gain for these hereditary possessions the support of the Empire,
yet they were to retain their own privileges; and though their ruler
was to have a seat in the Diet, they were to be free from its control,
and from the jurisdiction of the Imperial Chamber. In June, 1548, the
Diet was dismissed, and Charles proceeded to enforce the Interim on
the Protestants. In the south, where the events of the previous year
had made him master, he was able, partly by expelling the Lutheran
preachers, partly by revolutionising the town councils, partly by
means of his Spanish soldiery, to secure obedience. In the north, he
had more difficulty. But even there, except in the case of Magdeburg
and a few imperial towns, he eventually obtained a general assent to a
modified form of the Interim, drawn up by Melanchthon, and termed the
‘Leipsic Interim.’

  | The death of Paul in Nov. 1549, and the election of
  | Julius III., strengthen the position of Charles.

  | Second Session of Diet of Augsburg. July 1550.

In November 1549, the position of the Emperor was much strengthened
by the death of Paul III. That Pope, in the vain hope of prevailing
on the Emperor to free Parma and Piacenza from their dependence on
Milan, had assumed for a moment a conciliatory attitude, and spoke of
confirming the Interim, and recalling the Council to Trent. Many at
Rome thought these concessions dangerous and opposed such a policy,
and on Charles’ refusal to comply with his demands with respect to
Parma and Piacenza, the Pope had declared them annexed to the papal
see and turned to France for aid. His death, therefore, was welcome
news to Charles, more especially as Cardinal Monte, who succeeded as
Julius III. in February 1550, contrary to all expectations, declared
for the imperialists. He promised to recall the Council to Trent,
to consider the question of internal reform, and to come to terms
with regard to the Interim. Fortified by this unwonted alliance
Charles found little difficulty in influencing the Diet (which was
re-summoned to Augsburg in July), to submit to the Council of Trent;
the Protestants even undertaking to appear there and plead their
cause.

  | Charles’ dynastic ideas.

The success of his ecclesiastical policy now enabled Charles to
return to his darling idea of establishing the hereditary rule of the
Hapsburgs over the Empire of the West. But of this Empire the centre
was to be, not Germany, but Spain and Italy, and its representative
after his death, not his brother Ferdinand, but his son Philip. The
plan, long cherished, had been steadily pursued. In 1540, Philip had
been recognised as Duke of Milan. When Charles left Spain in 1543, he
had intrusted the government to his son, although then only sixteen
years old. In 1548, he had sent for Philip that he might become
known in Germany, and had, though with difficulty, obtained for him
an oath of allegiance from the Netherlands. Meanwhile, an intimate
correspondence between the two had completely imbued Philip with
his father’s ideas. The Emperor now hoped to complete his scheme by
securing for his son the succession to the Empire. He had originally
intended to bring the subject before the Diet; but it was necessary
first to overcome the not unnatural opposition of Ferdinand. After
much difficulty, a compromise was arrived at between the two brothers
(March 9). It was agreed that on the death of Charles, Ferdinand was
to be Emperor; he was, however, to make Philip imperial vicar, and
support his election as King of the Romans. Philip, on his part,
promised to do the same for Maximilian, the son of Ferdinand, when
he himself should ascend the imperial throne. Charles, though he had
not obtained all that he wanted--for the Empire was to be shared in
turn between the two branches of the family--had to all appearance
won over Ferdinand to his scheme of a future union of the Empire
with the Spanish monarchy of Philip. But, as a fact, he had excited
the jealousy of Ferdinand, who intrigued with the Electors to defeat
the plan which he had promised to further, and henceforth ceased to
support his brother as he had hitherto done. The family quarrel thus
aroused was shortly to cost Charles dear.

  | Renewed quarrels with the Pope concerning the Council
  | of Trent. Sept. 1551 to April 1552.

When, in November 1551, Charles went to Innsbruck that he might
watch over the Council which had reassembled at Trent in September,
he might well think that he had won; the unity of the Church seemed
about to be re-established, and the imperial power to be revived,
based on the support of the Spanish monarchy. The next few months
were, however, to see this hope dispelled. The failure of the Council
was to prove the impracticability of his ecclesiastical policy; the
European opposition, to ruin his scheme of political supremacy. From
the friendship of the Pope and the recalling of the Council to Trent,
Charles had anticipated great things. A statesman rather than a
theologian, he did not appreciate the difficulties which surrounded
the question of dogma, nor those which concerned the independence
of the Church as an organisation of divine institution. Although
severely orthodox himself, he did not see the necessity for further
definition of doctrine, and, above all, wished nothing to be done
that might irritate the Protestants, until the Council had approached
the question of reform. The abuses of the Church he knew had been the
primary cause of the Lutheran revolt, and a genuine reform of these
would, he believed, enable him successfully to overcome all further
opposition in Germany. He accordingly supported the demand of the
Protestants that they should be heard, and that the decisions of the
last session should be reconsidered, while he urged Julius to deal
forthwith with the question of reform. It was not to be expected that
this policy would find favour among the more orthodox, still less
with the Pope. When at last, in January 1552, the Protestants, having
extorted a promise of safe-conduct, appeared at the Council, it at
once became clear that an accommodation was impossible, either on the
question of dogma, or of the constitution of the Council, or even of
the form of procedure. The demands of the Reformers that Scripture
should be the only standard of truth, that laymen should have a vote,
and that the Pope should claim no right of presidency nor of veto,
‘since a Council was superior to a Pope,’ seemed to the orthodox both
godless and insolent; and Julius was determined to resist this serious
attack on the papal position. Nor were the demands of Charles and his
Spanish bishops any more palatable. The Emperor’s idea of reform was
based on the ecclesiastical organisation of Spain. There the crown
was served by a church, the discipline of which had been reformed
by Ximenes, and which could be used as a weapon for extending royal
authority, and even for checking papal pretensions. The request more
especially that bishops should be resident and that the Pope should
resign the right of collation to all benefices was stoutly resisted by
Julius; ‘rather than suffer that, we will suffer all misfortune,’ he
said. The Papal court subsisted on foreign benefices since the Italian
bishoprics were poor, and the independence of national churches would
destroy the Papal power. The Pope, moreover, was disturbed at the
refusal of Henry II. to acknowledge the Council or to allow French
bishops to attend it, and by that King’s preparations for renewing the
war in Italy. Evidently nothing was to be expected of the Council. It
had only served to illustrate the conflicting interests of the Pope
and Emperor, and the hopelessness of all reconciliation with the
Protestants. Under these circumstances it was soon abandoned by the
German bishops, and dragged on until the course of events in Germany
caused its second suspension (April 28, 1552).

  | Failure of Charles’ political schemes.

While Charles’ ecclesiastical policy was thus breaking down, the whole
fabric of his political scheme, of which his ecclesiastical views were
but a part, was tumbling into ruins. Although Henry II. of France had
viewed with apprehension the growing pretensions of Charles, he had
not yet felt strong enough for active opposition. In the summer of
1551, however, hostilities broke out in Italy over the interminable
question of Parma and Piacenza, in which Henry II. supported the cause
of Ottavio Farnese. But Charles had no money to send to Gonzaga;
Julius III. was most anxious to keep matters quiet; and Henry, on the
point of invading Germany, consented to a truce (April 1552), by which
Ottavio was to be left in possession of Parma for two years.

  | Interference of Henry II. in Italy and in Germany.
  | 1551-1552.

  | Discontent against Charles in Germany.

Henry II. rightly judged that the issue must be fought out in the
north. Here the indignation against the Spanish rule and policy of
Charles had been growing fast. The Interim had never been popular even
with the Catholic princes; it had been passed without the consent
of the Church, and the concessions to the Lutherans were considered
a dangerous compromise with heresy. The Protestants looked upon
many of its clauses as popish, and resented the tyrannical means by
which they had been enforced. Above all, Charles’ behaviour to the
Landgrave irritated all; not only did Charles keep him a prisoner,
he forced him to follow him in his progresses, and treated him with
open contempt. Indeed, Charles’ conduct had changed. The certainty of
success made him abandon all idea of conciliation, and, tortured by
gout and other ailments, he became more irritable, more dictatorial,
and more overbearing than he had ever been before.

  | Maurice’s intrigues with the Protestants.

Already in February 1550, John of Custrin and Albert Alcibiades
of Culmbach had formed a defensive league to protect their common
interests, and had decided to approach the French King. Meanwhile, the
relations between the Emperor and Maurice were daily becoming more
strained. The victory of Mühlberg won, Charles was most unwilling to
make Maurice too strong, and accordingly had hesitated to fulfil his
promises. The right of protection over Magdeburg and Halberstadt was
not granted; the representatives of John Frederick were not forced to
acknowledge their new master; and the Emperor had been heard to say
that in John Frederick ‘he had a bear which he could let loose against
Maurice.’ On the other hand, the young Elector found that his position
among the Protestants and in his own dominions was daily becoming
more difficult. The unpopularity of the Emperor was transferred
to him; the treatment of the Landgrave was laid at his door; he
was looked upon as the arch-traitor who had ruined the Protestant
cause; and schemes were on foot of driving him from his ill-gotten
possessions by the aid of France. Maurice began to fear that his
new-won Electorate might be torn from him either by the Emperor, or
by the Protestant Princes. Apart from these personal motives, which
were strong, it cannot be denied that Maurice also thought of the
cause of Protestantism, which would be seriously endangered if Charles
should become completely master. The interests therefore of Maurice’s
co-religionists, as well as his own, urged him to offer his alliance
to the Princes on condition that they would guarantee him the peaceful
possession of his newly-won territories. Accordingly, since the spring
of 1550, he had been making advances. None the less, the Protestant
Princes not unnaturally suspected him, more especially as Charles
had intrusted him with the enforcement of the Interim on the city of
Magdeburg. It was not therefore till February 20, 1551, that Maurice
was able to allay the apprehensions of the Protestants. He then
convinced them that the expedition against the city was only intended
to lull the suspicions of Charles; he promised them that the religion
of the inhabitants should be in no way interfered with, and that he
would be true to the Protestant cause. By two treaties (February and
May, 1551), the Princes agreed to unite in common defence of the
Protestant religion and the liberties of Germany, and Maurice was
secured in his Electorate against all claims of the Ernestine branch.

  | Magdeburg surrenders to Maurice. Nov. 1551.

The siege of Magdeburg was now continued. In November, 1551, the
city surrendered. The citizens promised to implore the pardon of the
Emperor, to pay a fine, and to conform to the Interim. At the same
time they received secret assurances from Maurice that they should
not be deprived of their privileges, nor disturbed in the exercise of
their religion. Further, they elected Maurice as their Burgrave, a
title generally held by the electoral house of Saxony, which gave him
considerable jurisdiction over the city and its dependencies.

  | Treaty of Friedwald. Jan. 1552.

Meanwhile, the question had been debated whether the League should
remain a defensive one, and be confined to Germany, or whether
it should look for help from outside. Maurice held that if the
Protestants were to win they must gain the aid of France. In spite
of the opposition of John of Custrin, who refused to go so far, the
advice of Maurice was followed, and negotiations were commenced
in October, 1551, which led, in January, 1552, to the Treaty of
Friedwald. Henry II. had the effrontery to request that the religious
affairs of Germany should be placed under his protection; but
this the Protestants refused to grant to the persecutor of their
co-religionists at home, and no mention of the religious questions
was made in the treaty. Henry II. promised to assist in obtaining
the release of the Landgrave from prison, and in defending the
liberties of Germany. The price of the French King was high. He was
empowered to occupy, as Vicar of the Empire, Cambray, Metz, Toul, and
Verdun--with reservation, however, of the imperial sovereignty--and
the Princes promised at the next vacancy of the Empire to support his
candidature, or that of some one agreeable to him. The cession of the
three bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, which dominated Lorraine,
has been often and severely blamed. But we should at least remember
that French was the common language of these districts, that the
sentiment of German nationality, never very strong, had been weakened
by the struggles of the Reformation, and that the French alliance was
necessary, if Charles was to be successfully resisted in his attempt
to subjugate Germany to a foreign Spanish rule. Maurice, however, did
not rest satisfied with the French alliance. Ferdinand had gained from
him a pledge that he would resist the plan of Charles with regard
to the succession to the Empire. The friendly terms which were thus
established Maurice turned to good account, and, by assuring Ferdinand
that no attack should be made on him, secured himself against active
hostility on the part of the Austrian prince.

  | Maurice declares himself, and marches south, March
  | 18. Henry II. invades Lorraine.

While Maurice had been raising this formidable coalition against the
Emperor, the relations between the two had been strictly amicable. Yet
it is a mistake to suppose that Charles remained in ignorance of what
was going forward. At this moment, however, Charles was ill, and in
one of his fits of irresolution and lassitude. Dazzled, moreover,
by the success of his policy since the battle of Mühlberg, he
thought too lightly of the conspiracy, and hoped to deal with his
opponents as he had done in 1546. He believed that he could either
win over Maurice by further concessions, or ruin him by freeing John
Frederick, and restoring to him his electoral dominions. The Emperor
did not understand how circumstances had changed since 1546; he did
not realise how unpopular his Spanish rule, his highhandedness, and
his succession scheme had become in Germany, even with his brother
Ferdinand; he omitted the French alliance in his calculations;
finally, he mistook the man with whom he had to deal. With all his
ambition Maurice really cared for the cause of Protestantism, and
was determined to protect his subjects in their religion. It was
improbable that he would ever have sacrificed that to any personal
gains. Charles also forgot that he had taught a lesson in diplomatic
tactics, which his pupil had learnt too well; a master of diplomacy
himself, he was fairly beaten by this young man of thirty. Maurice
to the last kept up appearances; he even pretended compliance with
the Emperor’s request that he would come to Innsbruck to discuss
the situation. Then suddenly gathering his army, which he had held
together since the siege of Magdeburg, he marched southward (March
18), and was joined by the young William of Hesse at Bischofsheim. At
the same moment Henry II. invaded Lorraine. The French King declared
he came to protect German liberty, and the Princes issued a manifesto
in which they denounced ‘the infamy and unreasonableness of the
imprisonment of the Landgrave,’ and ‘the foreign beastly (_viehische_)
hereditary servitude,’ religious and political, which Charles had
attempted to force on Germany. At Rothenburg, Maurice was joined
by Albert Alcibiades of Culmbach, and advanced to Augsburg, ‘the
watch-tower of the imperial power,’ which was hastily evacuated by the
imperial garrison.

  | Policy of Ferdinand.

  | Conference at Linz. April 18.

  | Flight of Charles to Villach.

It was now that Ferdinand assumed that attitude which was the
outcome of his jealousy of Charles, and of his earlier negotiations
with Maurice, an attitude which he was to maintain until the final
abdication of his brother. Anxious to protect his own interests and
those of his House, Ferdinand proposed to intervene as mediator; to
come to terms with the Protestants, and, with a united Germany at
his back, defeat the succession scheme of Charles, and turn upon the
Turk. Accordingly he induced Maurice to hold a conference at Linz,
April 18, at which they agreed upon the general terms of the future
peace, and Maurice consented to a suspension of arms on May 26, when
negotiations should be resumed at Passau. Charles had authorised his
brother to negotiate, hoping thereby to gain time, but the results
of the conference were not entirely to his mind, and Maurice had
once more gained a diplomatic victory. The neutrality of Ferdinand
was practically secured; while Maurice had time to act before the
26th. Marching on the Ehrenberg, he secured the castle which commanded
the pass to Innsbruck, where the Emperor was; and Charles, too ill
with gout to ride, after a vain attempt to escape northwards to the
Netherlands, fled with difficulty in a litter across the Brenner to
Villach. Maurice was urged to end the matter by seizing the Emperor
himself. ‘I have no cage big enough to hold such a bird,’ he answered,
and preferred to treat.

  | The Treaty of Passau. Aug. 2, 1552.

On the 1st of June, negotiations were again resumed at Passau
between Ferdinand and Maurice, where the Electors, many of the city
representatives, and most of the princes were present. It is sometimes
said that Charles, in despair, left the negotiations to Ferdinand, and
let things go as they would. Nothing is further from the truth. At
no time of his life are the tenacity and obstinacy of his character
better illustrated than at this moment, especially when we remember
how ill he was. Unwilling to abandon his darling scheme of restoring
unity to the Church, and supremacy to the imperial authority, he
fought each concession clause by clause; ever dreaming of revenge,
he laboured to gain time while he intrigued and tried to organise
an opposition on every side. But all in vain. Germany had suffered
too much from his rule to care to fight for it again. The political
tendencies of the time leant too strongly to autonomy in Church and
State; and the Treaty of Passau is mainly due to the growth of a
middle party, both Catholic and Protestant, who were weary of war,
disliked the political schemes of Charles, and saw the necessity of
compromise--a party which expressed the sentiments of Germany at
large. On one point, however, the Emperor stood firm. He refused to
acknowledge the authority of the conference at Passau as final; to
the decisions of a Diet alone would he bow, and the terms granted
at Passau must be provisional only. Maurice who, in despair at the
obstinacy of Charles, had again taken up arms and besieged the city
of Frankfort-on-the-Main (July 17), did not feel his position secure
enough to refuse compliance, and, on August 2, agreed to the terms
offered by the Emperor. The confederates were to lay down their
arms before the 12th of August, when the Landgrave was to be set at
liberty; a Diet was to be held in six months, when the matters in
dispute should be finally decided, and, if no decision were come
to, the present arrangement should continue. Meanwhile, all those
who adhered to the Confession of Augsburg were to be unmolested,
and Protestants were to be admitted as assessors to the Imperial
Chamber. Even at the last Charles thought of refusing his consent,
and of appealing to arms. Overborne, however, by the solicitations
of Ferdinand, who warned him that he would have to fight the great
majority of the Princes, Catholic as well as Protestant, he at last
ratified the treaty (August 15), and set the Elector, John Frederick,
as well as the Landgrave, free.

The Treaty of Passau represented, there cannot be a doubt, the general
wish of Germany, both Catholic and Protestant. It received the hearty
assent of all except a few devoted Catholics, and those who, like
John Frederick, hoped to regain what they had lost, or, like Albert
Alcibiades of Culmbach, looked to benefit by a continuation of the
war. Much as Charles disliked the peace, any attempt to join the
disaffected would have been madness. Yet with that doggedness which
seemed to grow upon him with years, he did not abandon hope. The
French had not been included in the treaty. A successful war waged
against them might yet regain him popularity, and place him in a
position to make one more struggle for all that he held dear.

  | Ill success of Charles prevents his breaking the
  | Treaty.

Fortunately for the cause of Protestantism and the interests of
Germany, Charles’ military enterprises failed. He secured, indeed, the
assistance of Albert of Culmbach, and in October, 1552, laid siege to
Metz. But the skill and energy of the Duke of Guise, who here won his
military name, baulked the efforts of Charles. The winter came on, and
sorely tried the Spanish and Italian troops; and, in December, 1552,
Charles abandoned the attempt, bitterly declaring that ‘Fortune, like
women, favoured a young King rather than an old Emperor.’ Nor were
his arms more successful in Italy. The republic of Siena, torn by
internal dissensions, had put itself under the Emperor’s protection,
and admitted a body of soldiers under Mendoza, the imperial ambassador
at Rome. But the severity of Mendoza’s rule soon caused the Sienese
to repent; they applied to France for aid, drove out the Spanish
troops, and transferred their allegiance to France; while Solyman,
again in alliance with the French, sent a fleet which threatened,
though unsuccessfully, the city of Naples. In 1553, the Emperor, who
had retired to the Netherlands, was somewhat more fortunate, and took
the town of Terouenne. But in Italy, all the attempts of the Viceroy
of Naples, and of Cosimo, Duke of Florence, to oust the French from
Siena were vain; Naples was again threatened by a Turkish fleet, and
the French conquered a part of Corsica. In Hungary, Isabella the widow
of Zapolya, and her son, leaning on Turkish support, finally secured
Transylvania; and Vienna itself might have been attacked once more if
Solyman had not been called off by a Persian war, and distracted by
the domestic troubles which led to the execution of his own favourite
son Mustapha.

  | Death of Maurice at Sievershausen. July 9, 1553.

At this moment occurred the death of Maurice, an event which,
under more prosperous circumstances, might have offered Charles an
opportunity of final victory. In the midst of the foreign war, Charles
had not ceased to intrigue with the disaffected, more especially with
Albert of Culmbach. In return for the assistance that prince had
given him before Metz, he had confirmed those grants of money and
of land which Albert had extorted from the Bishops of Bamberg and
Wurzburg. These claims Albert now proceeded to enforce with arms, in
spite of the order of the Imperial Chamber; whereupon, in February
1553, Ferdinand and Maurice, who, with other Princes of the south of
Germany, formed the League of Heidelberg to enforce the Treaty of
Passau, marched against him and defeated him at Sievershausen, in the
Duchy of Luneburg (July 9). The victory, however, was dearly bought,
for Maurice died two days afterwards of his wounds. Thus, at the age
of thirty-two, a Prince passed away who had played the leading part
in the history of Germany since 1546. To this day his aims and his
character are matters of hot dispute. By some he is looked upon as
the apt pupil of Machiavelli, a man devoid of religious conviction,
or of any principle beyond that of calculating self-interest. Others
represent him as the greatest statesman of the day; as the man who
first guessed the designs of Charles, and whose treachery in 1546 was
really only the first and necessary move towards the final vindication
of the cause of Protestantism, forced upon him by the necessity
of gaining a strong position before he could hope to resist the
Emperor. As is so often the case with violent partisanship, the truth
lies midway between these two extreme views. Although Maurice had no
very strong convictions on the points at issue between the adherents
of the two hostile creeds, and was, no doubt, influenced by ambition,
yet it is unjust to accuse him of sacrificing the religion of his
subjects to personal ends. In any case, whatever we may think of his
motives, the ability of his statesmanship is beyond dispute. Once
deceived by Charles, he quickly learnt of him, and finally succeeded
in outmanœuvring that master of diplomacy. To Maurice, at least,
Protestantism owed its final recognition, and Germany her escape from
the Spanish tyranny of Charles. Nor did the electorate of Saxony
suffer under his hands. The country was well ruled, and education
advanced. Nay, had Maurice lived longer or been succeeded by men
of like calibre with himself, Saxony would probably not have seen
herself eclipsed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by her
neighbours, the Hohenzollern Electors of Brandenburg. Whether it be
true that, at the moment of his death, he dreamt of even greater
things, and that he, in conjunction with Ferdinand, was intriguing
with France to secure the imperial dignity for himself, we cannot
say. Maurice was too good a diplomatist to show his hand before the
decisive moment. But at least we may believe that Germany would not
have fared ill under him as Emperor.

Neither Albert nor Charles benefited from the death of Maurice. The
former was shortly driven from Germany to end his days as a pensioner
of the French King, while his dominions in Franconia fell to his
cousin, George Frederick of Anspach; and Charles, despairing
of resisting the united will of Germany, at last bowed to the
inevitable. He abandoned his scheme of succession, and ceased to
oppose a permanent settlement of the religious difficulties. To this
course he was the more inclined, because he now thought of marrying
Philip to Mary, the Catholic Queen of England, and thus uniting
England with the Spanish monarchy. With this change of policy, the
rivalry between him and his brother was at an end, and Ferdinand was
given a free hand in Germany.

The affairs of Saxony first demanded attention. John Frederick, in
spite of his remonstrances, was forced to rest content with some
territorial concessions; while the rest of the dominions, with the
electoral titles, went to Augustus, the brother of Maurice.

  | Diet of Augsburg. Feb.-Sept. 1555.

Having settled this question satisfactorily, Ferdinand prevailed on
his brother to summon the Diet to Augsburg in February, 1555. Charles,
however, refused to take any part in the negotiations, and left
Ferdinand to preside and to settle matters as he would, with the
warning that he should do nothing against his conscience.

  | Death of Julius III., March 1555, facilitates
  | matters.

With a few exceptions all in Germany, both Catholic and Protestant,
earnestly desired a settlement of the religious question, and the
establishment of a peace which might protect them from such turbulent
spirits as Albert of Brandenburg. And yet the attempt to reconcile
the conflicting interests of the two religions--always a difficult
matter--was rendered doubly so by the complicated character of the
imperial constitution. No sooner, therefore, did discussion begin
than dissensions appeared, and these were fostered by the papal
party. Fortunately, the death of Julius III., in March, forced his
legate, Cardinal Morone, to retire from Augsburg. The next Pope,
Marcellus II., only lived twenty days; and although his successor,
Paul IV. (Caraffa), attempted to put every obstacle in the way, he was
only able to limit the concessions granted to the Protestants.

On two points, agreement was comparatively easy. It was declared
that hereafter all religious disputes should be settled by peaceful
means, and to this end, in all causes between a Catholic and a
Lutheran, the Imperial Chamber was to be composed of an equal number
of assessors from either party. The remaining questions presented
greater difficulties. The Lutherans had originally wished that every
individual should be allowed to conform to the Confession of Augsburg,
whether the subject of a Protestant state or no. But this was dreaded
by those Catholic Princes in whose dominions Lutheranism had made
great strides, and the Reformers were forced to rest content with the
stipulation, that every secular Prince or imperial city should be
allowed to decide which of the two religions should be adopted within
their jurisdiction, and that those who could not conform should be
allowed to depart with their goods. A compromise was also arrived
at with regard to the secularisation of ecclesiastical property
within the jurisdiction of secular Princes. All such property as had
been secularised before the Treaty of Passau, 1552, was to remain
so, but no further exercise of the right was to be allowed. The
Protestants, while conceding this point, demanded that ecclesiastical
Princes should, like the secular Princes, be allowed to establish
what religion they liked within their jurisdictions, and that any
ecclesiastical Prince or Bishop who adopted the Lutheran Confession
should retain his dignities and his revenues. This would, however,
have dealt a fatal blow at the whole fabric of the Empire, and was
stoutly resisted by the Catholics, and by Ferdinand himself. As the
Lutherans stood out, Ferdinand thought seriously of postponing the
consideration of this question, lest the rest of the treaty might
be lost. Finally, however, an unsatisfactory compromise was arrived
at. It was enacted, that if any ecclesiastic should hereafter abandon
the Catholic religion, he should relinquish his office, with the
revenues and patronage appertaining thereto. This clause the Lutherans
allowed to be inserted in the treaty, but only under protest that they
did not consider the reservation binding on them; and further obtained
the concession that those subjects of ecclesiastical Princes, who had
already embraced Lutheranism, should be unmolested, and that those who
might subsequently become Lutherans should be allowed to emigrate.

By the Peace of Augsburg, the attempt of Charles to re-establish the
unity of the Church on the basis of a revived Empire of the West,
received its final death-blow; and the principle of autonomy in
ecclesiastical matters was definitely recognised. Had Charles been
victorious over his foreign enemies, in all probability he would, for
a time at least, have gained his end. Had he been less ambitious, and
confined his attention to Germany, he might possibly have succeeded
in crushing out Lutheranism. But the very magnificence of his aims
prevented their realisation. Again and again, when he was about to
strike, some exigency of politics intervened to thwart him; and
eventually the principle of territorialism, when supported by the
foreigner, proved too strong. Yet it would not be fair to charge
the Protestants with having used a religious cry to further their
political ends. In Germany, as elsewhere in Europe, the religious
element perforce connected itself with politics. The Reformation
furnished a creed and a new enthusiasm to the political aspirations
already existing, and eventually gave the victory to those political
tendencies which were the strongest. Had Charles been a different
man, he might have adopted Protestantism and thereon founded a
united kingdom in Germany. But this his character and his Spanish
sympathies prevented, and, short of complete victory on his part,
there was no alternative but that of decentralisation. Henceforth,
Germany abandoned all hope of reconciling the two religions by
means of a general or even a national Council in Germany. The
Lutheran Church obtained a legal recognition, and the Protestant
states claimed to pursue their course without the intervention of
any external ecclesiastical authority. In this way the mediæval
conception of Church and State was completely revolutionised, and
the temporal authority gained an independence it had not enjoyed
before. Nevertheless, the settlement was by no means final, and
bore in it the seeds of future discord. The principle of individual
toleration was not conceded. If the Princes usually adopted the
religion of the majority of their subjects, the rights of the minority
were not respected. The ‘ecclesiastical reservation’ was certain
hereafter to lead to serious disputes. Above all, the Calvinists, who
were shortly to become the most active of the Reformers, were not
included in the peace. The religious quarrels which ensued between
them and the Lutherans embittered the political jealousies already
existing. The Catholics took advantage of this, and Germany had yet
to undergo the horrors of the Thirty Years’ War, before the religious
question should receive its final settlement.

  | Truce of Vaucelles. Feb. 1556.

While Germany had been absorbed in these momentous issues, the war
with France had been continued on the borders of the Netherlands, and
in Italy, with varying results. In April 1555, Siena was regained for
the Imperialists by Cosimo, Duke of Florence. Elsewhere the events
were unimportant, and, in 1556, a truce concluded at Vaucelles, led to
a brief cessation of arms. By that date, however, Charles had ceased
to be King of Spain.

  | Preparation of Charles for his abdication.

Disappointed at the frustration of all his schemes, a victim to gout,
asthma, and other ailments, he determined to abandon the heretical
Germany to Ferdinand, and to resign the government of his other
territories to his son. Charles fondly hoped that Philip, united to
the Queen of England, and in the full vigour of youth, might yet
establish a great Catholic monarchy with its centre in Spain, and
resist the dangerous advance of heresy; nay, might some day bring
the King of France to his knees, and establish Spanish supremacy
in Europe. Milan and Italy had been already ceded to Philip on his
marriage with Mary of England, but the division of authority had led
to difficulties, and to some quarrels between father and son. In
October 1555, therefore, one month after the peace of Augsburg, Queen
Mary of Hungary resigned her post as Regent of the Netherlands, and
the government of those territories, which had just been once more
separated from the Empire, was handed over to Philip.

  | Jan. 1556. Philip acknowledged King of Spain. Sept.:
  | Charles resigns the imperial throne.

Even then, Charles had apparently intended to retain the government
of Spain somewhat longer in his hands, but Italy and the
Netherlands could scarcely be defended without Spanish arms and
money; accordingly, in the following January (1556), Philip was
acknowledged King of Spain. Finally, in the September of that year,
Charles resigned the imperial crown, although, owing to certain
technicalities, Ferdinand was not elected for two years. By this act,
the ambitious idea, first entertained by Maximilian, of uniting under
one rule Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands with the German dominions
of the Hapsburgs, was abandoned, and a return was made to the more
reasonable policy of Ferdinand the Catholic. Henceforth until the
disappearance of the Spanish line in 1700, the House of Hapsburg was
divided into two branches, of which the Austrian ruled over the family
territories in South Germany, and secured the elective throne of
the Empire; while the Spanish ruled over Italy, Franche-Comté, the
Netherlands, and the conquests in the New World. It would probably
have been well for Spain if she had never had a German Emperor as
her King; while the Netherlands, all that now remained to her of
the patrimony of the Archduke Philip, was yet to prove a source of
weakness and humiliation.

  | Charles at Yuste. Sept. 1556 to Sept. 1558.

  | Death of Charles V. 21st Sept. 1558.

Charles, having resigned the burden of government to younger
shoulders, retired to the Jeronymite monastery of Yuste in the
province of Estremadura, in September, 1556. The traditional story
of his life there requires some correction. He did not dwell in the
monastery, but in a house prepared for him close by. Although he lived
a religious life, attended regularly the services of the Church, and
even submitted himself to the penance of flagellation, his daily lot
was not otherwise one of extreme hardship. In the matter of diet,
especially, he not only excused himself from fasting, ostensibly on
the score of health, but indulged, to his cost, his love for rich
and unwholesome dishes. He by no means shut himself off from all
worldly concerns, but kept up an active correspondence with his son,
and with his daughter Joanna, who acted as Regent of Castile during
Philip’s absence. He was most energetic in collecting the necessary
taxes for the campaigns of 1557 and 1558, and one of his last acts
was to urge the Regent to crush out the Lutheran heresy, which had
appeared in Spain. Retaining in his retreat the same dogged adherence
to the principles which had guided his life, Charles at last, in his
fifty-eighth year, succumbed to the ailments which had been growing
upon him of late (21st September 1558).

The Emperor has been so often before us, that it is needless to say
much more of him here. His character was late in developing, and it
was not until the Diet of Worms, 1521, that he began to show his
powers. From that moment, however, he bent himself to the bewildering
difficulties of his position with a consistency of purpose which
is all the more remarkable when we remember his constitutional
indolence and irresolution. It is the conflict between these three
qualities--his obstinacy, his lethargy, and his irresolution--which
explains the contradictions of his conduct. Self-possessed and
self-contained, yet with a fiery nature which at times betrayed
itself, few save his two chancellors, Gattinara and Granvelle, and his
confessor Pedro de Soto, were admitted to his counsels. If we except
his wife Isabella of Portugal, who died in 1539, his son and his
sisters, he made but few close attachments, and his heart was rarely
stirred by any sentiment. He never forgave an injury; he rarely did a
generous deed. He was a man to command fear and even admiration, but
not to inspire affection. A Netherlander at first, but never a German,
he soon became a thorough Spaniard, and looked upon Spain as the model
he would fain impose on Europe.


§ 3. _Last War between France and Spain._

  | Paul IV. allies himself with France against Philip.
  | July 1556.

The wish of Charles to secure a few years’ peace for his successor
was not fulfilled. It was thwarted by the Duke of Guise, the
representative of the war party in France, and by his brother the
Cardinal of Lorraine, but more especially by Paul IV. That fiery
prelate, who was now in his eightieth year, although a leader in the
Catholic reaction, had throughout his life been a strenuous opponent
of the Spaniard in Italy. A member of a Neapolitan family (the
Caraffa) which had always supported the Angevin party in that kingdom,
he had early incurred the displeasure of Charles, who had caused
his name to be struck off the Council of Government, and resisted
his nomination to the archiepiscopal see of Naples. Under these
circumstances it is not surprising that, as Pope, he should adopt
that anti-Spanish policy which had now become almost traditional with
the Papacy. He remembered the days of Italian freedom, and considered
the Spaniard the most dangerous of its enemies. ‘The French,’ he
said, ‘may easily be dislodged hereafter; but the Spaniards are like
dog-grass, sure to strike root wherever it is cast.’ Prompted by
these motives, he had, in December 1555, made a secret treaty with
France, with the object of driving the Spaniards from Italy, and now
he urged Henry II. to break his truce with Spain. The Guises threw
their influence on the side of war; and in July, 1556, in pursuance of
a fanciful scheme of reviving the French claim to Naples, a treaty was
made by which that kingdom was to be torn from Philip and conferred
on one of Henry’s sons, with the exception of some portion of the
northern frontier, which was to fall to the Pope as his share of the
spoil.

  | Duke of Alva invades the Papal States. Sept. 1556.

  | French invade Naples, but are recalled by defeat of
  | St. Quentin. Jan.-Aug. 1557.

  | Paul comes to terms with Alva.

Paul had not waited for this alliance to commence hostilities, or to
punish the Colonnesi, who supported the imperial cause. In answer
to this, the Duke of Alva, who had just been appointed Governor of
Naples, entered the Papal States (September), and, in the absence
of the French, occupied the chief places in the Campagna. Indeed,
had it not been for the scruples of the Duke, or rather of his royal
master, Rome itself might have been taken; but Philip’s orders were
that he should bring the Pope to terms rather than ruin him. Alva
accordingly listened to the insincere offers of the Pope, and delayed
further operations until the advance of the French army under the Duke
of Guise, at the beginning of the new year, forced him to retreat
southwards. Alva now played a waiting game, and, refusing to meet the
French in a pitched battle, gradually wore them out, as Gonzalvo had
done in 1503. The Duke of Guise, frustrated in his attempt to take the
town of Civitella (May 15), and wearied by these tactics, was forced
to evacuate the kingdom of Naples, and shortly afterwards was recalled
to France (August 15), by the news of the defeat of St. Quentin,
‘having done little for his King, still less for the Church, and
nothing for his honour.’ Paul, deserted by his allies, was forced to
accept the terms offered him, which, however, were so advantageous
that, as Alva bitterly remarked, ‘they seem to have been dictated by
the vanquished instead of the victor.’ The territories of the Church
were to be restored intact; the remaining French troops were to be
allowed a free passage to France; the affair of the Colonnesi was to
be submitted to the arbitration of Philip and the Pope. The Duke of
Alva was actually to ask pardon, and receive absolution from the Pope,
for having dared to take up arms against him.

  | Sicily, Naples, Milan, finally secured by Spain.

This, the last war for the possession of Italy for many a long day,
is noticeable for the strange contradictions it presents. Not only
does the most bigoted of the Popes oppose the most bigoted of Kings;
he even calls to his assistance the Infidel and the Protestant
mercenaries of Germany; while his opponent, at the command of his
master Philip, wages war on the Pope with every expression of
reverence, and, when dictating peace, does so, as a suppliant, on his
knees. Yet, in spite of his haughty demeanour, Paul had failed. The
French henceforth ceased to struggle for Italy; Sicily, Naples,
and Milan remained in the hands of the Spanish Hapsburgs until the
extinction of their line in the year 1700.

  | Campaign on the eastern frontier of France. Spanish
  | victory of St. Quentin, Aug. 10.

  | Calais taken by the Duke of Guise. Jan. 1-8, 1558.

  | The French defeated at Gravelines. July 13, 1558.

In the war which had meanwhile broken out on the eastern frontier of
France, the exhaustion of that country was plainly visible. The feudal
levies responded but feebly; the provincial legions of infantry, which
had been organised by Francis I. in 1534, had never been successful;
and of the French peasantry, the Gascons alone appeared in any
numbers. France was thus forced to fall back on six thousand German
mercenaries. Emanuel Philibert, the dispossessed Duke of Savoy, a man
of twenty-nine years, who commanded the army of Philip, had a much
larger force drawn from the various countries under Spanish rule,
and was aided by a contingent of English, who with difficulty had
been prevailed upon to aid the husband of their queen. The financial
straits of the two combatants were much the same, but the energy of
Charles in his retreat at St. Yuste succeeded in wringing from the
Spaniards a considerable amount of money. On the approach of the
Duke of Savoy, Coligny threw himself into the city of St. Quentin
(August 2), a town of importance, as being the entrepot for trade
between France and the Low Countries. But the rash attempt of the
Marshal de Montmorenci, who was in supreme command, to relieve it
with a far inferior force, led to his total defeat (August 10). The
Marshal himself, many nobles, and thousands of the common soldiers,
were taken prisoners; as many more were slain. France, in a word, had
not suffered such a defeat since Pavia. ‘Is not my son in Paris?’
asked Charles, on receiving intelligence of the victory; and had
Charles himself been in command, Paris might have fallen. But Philip,
ever more fond of negotiation than of war, delayed till he should be
master of St. Quentin. The city, defended by the energy and ability of
Coligny, was not stormed till the 27th of August--and the delay saved
Paris. Quarrels subsequently broke out in the Spanish camp, which led
to the retreat of the English. The Germans complained of want of pay;
many transferred their services to the French; and, after taking a few
more places, the army of Philip went into winter quarters. In January,
the surprise of Calais by the Duke of Guise reversed, at least in the
opinion of the French, the disaster of St. Quentin. The English, in
overweening confidence, had of late neglected the defences of that
town, and in the winter were accustomed to withdraw a portion of the
troops, because the marshes were then believed to be impassable. The
Duke, informed of this, suddenly appeared before the walls, and
took by assault the two forts of Newman Bridge, and Risbank, which
defended Calais from the sea and from the shore respectively. Lord
Wentworth, despairing of holding the city now that his position was
commanded, capitulated on January 8. The recovery of this city, which
had been in the hands of the English since the days of Edward III.,
very naturally caused boundless exultation in France. The taking of
Thionville by the Duke of Guise followed in June; and in July, the
Marshal de Termes, in command of the Calais garrison, secured Dunkirk
and Mardyke. But the Marshal had imprudently ventured too far into the
enemies’ country, and had left Gravelines unmasked behind him. As he
attempted to retreat, he was caught between the garrison of Gravelines
and a Flemish force raised by the Count of Egmont, and was completely
routed, falling himself into the enemies’ hands (July 13).

This was the last action in the war. The renewal of hostilities had
not been of Philip’s seeking, and he was now doubly anxious for
peace. The difficulty of supplying money, always a serious matter, was
now so great that Philip confessed to his ministers that he was on
the brink of ruin. The death of his father, Charles, on the 21st of
September, demanded his presence in Spain; and England was not to be
trusted to continue the war, especially as Mary was very ill. Nor had
France much to hope for from a continuation of the struggle, now that
the Pope had made his peace with Philip. Her finances were exhausted,
her people weary of a struggle which brought them no benefit. Besides
all this, heresy had appeared both in France and in Spain. Henry II.
therefore listened to the advice of Montmorenci and of the Cardinal of
Lorraine. The first, as a captive and a rival of the victorious Duke
of Guise, had personal reasons for desiring peace; the latter urged
Henry to devote his attention to the extirpation of heresy.

  | Treaty of Cateau Cambrésis. April 3, 1559.

Negotiations were commenced in October, but were delayed by the death
of Mary of England in November, and the refusal of Queen Elizabeth to
acknowledge the surrender of Calais. Philip, hoping perhaps thereby
to gain her hand, offered to stand by the English Queen and break off
the negotiations, but only on condition that she would support him
with all her power as long as the war should last. This did not suit
the cautious and parsimonious Queen, and she finally consented to
leave Calais for eight years in the hands of France. France was also
allowed, by the Emperor Ferdinand, to retain the three Lotharingian
Bishoprics, Metz, Toul, and Verdun, but had to surrender all her other
conquests to Philip and his allies, except Turin, Saluzzo, Pignerol,
and a few other places of importance in Piedmont. These she was to
hold until Henry’s claim to that principality through his grandmother,
Louise of Savoy, should be decided--a claim which he could hardly
believe to be serious. Thus Philip regained the towns which France had
taken in Luxembourg; Montferrat was restored to the Duke of Mantua;
Genoa regained Corsica. On his side, Philip surrendered the few places
he held in Picardy. The two Kings further bound themselves to do their
best to procure the meeting of a General Council, which was necessary
both for reformation of abuses, and for the restoration of union and
concord to the Church. The treaty was to be ratified by a double
marriage; Philip was to marry Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Henry
II., then a girl of thirteen, who had at first been suggested as the
bride of his son Don Carlos; Margaret, the sister of the French king,
was to espouse Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. In the tournament
which was held to celebrate the marriage of Philip with the French
princess, Henry II. received a wound from which he died, and was
succeeded by his son Francis II., a youth of sixteen, who in 1558 had
married Mary Queen of Scots.

The peace of Cateau Cambrésis, by which France ‘lost as many
provinces as she regained cities,’ was far more disadvantageous than
the military position, in spite of the defeats of St. Quentin and
Gravelines, justified. It is therefore not unnaturally looked upon as
a dishonourable one by most French writers. It reminds us once more of
the taunt of Machiavelli that the French are not masters of diplomacy,
and is perhaps not an unfitting close to that long struggle between
the Houses of Valois and of Hapsburg, which commenced with the foolish
expedition of Charles VIII., and in which France had continually been
the aggressor. Her only permanent gains were those of Calais, and the
three Lotharingian bishoprics; and these, balanced as they were by
the loss of Spanish Navarre, were won at the price of an exhausted
treasury and an impoverished people. She had no doubt taken a leading
part in resisting the dangerous supremacy of the Austro-Spanish
House, and in foiling the attempt of Charles to establish a universal
monarchy in Europe. Yet it may be questioned whether she could not
have done this more effectively if she had kept her hands off Italy,
and had strengthened and extended her frontiers by winning Rousillon
and Franche-Comté, and by pressing towards the Rhine. While playing
the rival to the House of Hapsburg, she had not only contributed to
the success of the Reformers in Germany, and to the advance of the
Turk in Hungary, but had allowed Protestantism to gain a firm hold at
home, and had fostered a military spirit among the smaller nobility,
which was to give to the religious struggle in France some of its
worst characteristics.

Throughout the long struggle nothing had been done to strengthen the
government of France, or to develop constitutional life. The monarchy
came out of the war bankrupt, and the government the prey of rival
factions--factions which, if they did not cause the religious wars,
most certainly prolonged them and France, torn by civil and religious
strife, had to wait till the reign of Henry IV. before she could take
that part in European affairs to which her central position, the
ability of her people, and her magnificent natural resources entitled
her.

Nor was Spain in much better plight. To outward appearances, indeed,
the power of Philip seemed overwhelming. He was King of the whole
Spanish Peninsula with the exception of Portugal;[56] King of Naples
and of Sicily, and Duke of Milan, a position which enabled him to
control the politics of the Peninsula;[57] Master of Franche-Comté
and of the Netherlands. In Africa, he held Tunis and Oran, with
places on the Barbary coast, and the islands of Cape de Verd, and
the Canaries; while in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines were under
his sway. In America, Spain held a large part of the eastern coast,
except Brazil, which belonged to Portugal, all the islands in the
Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, and the kingdoms of Mexico
and Peru, which had been conquered during the reign of Charles. The
Spanish infantry was considered the most formidable in Europe, and
the treasures of the Indies were believed to be inexhaustible. Yet
Spain had suffered seriously from the long-protracted struggle. Her
resources were nearly as much crippled as those of France; her
government, if better organised, was fully as despotic, and all
religious liberty had been crushed out; and she was shortly to give
evidence of her weakness in the failure to put down the revolt of the
United Provinces, and in the defeat of the Armada by the puny ships of
England.

The peace of Cateau Cambrésis, therefore, closes one epoch and
begins another. New actors came upon the scene.[58] The struggle for
supremacy is stayed a while. Germany and Spain are for ever divided;
the Turkish Empire soon ceases to be aggressive, and begins to suffer
from internal decay. The remaining thirty-nine years we have to cover
is chiefly taken up with the Counter-Reformation and the struggles to
which that movement gave birth, with the religious wars in France, and
with the revolt of the Netherlands against the religious and political
tyranny of Spain.

FOOTNOTES:

 [54] It had already been summoned in 1542, but had been
      postponed.

 [55] The question whether Charles had used the words, ‘nicht
      einiges’ (any), or ‘nicht ewiges (perpetual) Gefängniss,’ appears
      to be an afterthought. Cf. Armstrong, ii. 156.

 [56] For the character of the Spanish rule in Italy, cf.
      Armstrong, _Charles V._, II. p. 291 ff.

 [57] As we shall have to speak but little hereafter of Italy, it
      may be well to give concisely the names of the chief dependent or
      independent states:

      1. Piedmont, in the hands of Emanuel Philibert of Savoy.

      2. Genoa and Venice, independent republics.

      3. Parma and Piacenza, under the rule of Ottavio Farnese; of
      these Parma had been restored to him by Paul III., and Piacenza
      by Philip II. in 1556.

      4. Mantua, in the hands of Frederick, first Duke of Mantua, who
      also gained Montferrat from Charles V. in 1536, having married
      the heiress of William VII. (Paleologus), Marquis of Montferrat.

      5. Florence, under Duke Cosimo dei Medici, who had just secured
      Siena, and assumed the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569.

      6. The Duchy of Urbino, a papal fief, in the hands of Guidobaldo
      della Rovere.

      7. The duchies of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio, in the hands of
      Ercole II. of Este. On the extinction of the direct line in 1597,
      Ferrara was seized by the Pope, Clement VIII. Modena and Reggio
      went to Charles of Este, a collateral.

 [58] Charles, and Mary Queen of England died in 1558, Paul IV.
      and Henry II. in 1559.



CHAPTER VI

THE COUNTER-REFORMATION AND CALVINISM

     The Counter-Reformation in Spain and Italy--The Theatines--The
     Jesuits--Last Session of Council of Trent--The Inquisition--John
     Calvin and Geneva--Characteristics of Calvinism.


§ 1. _The Counter-Reformation._

  | Spain, the home of the Counter-Reformation.

With the abdication and the death of Charles V., the history of
Europe loses that unity which it received from the comprehensiveness
of his policy, and from his striking personality. None the less,
a central point of interest is afforded us by the movement of
the Counter-Reformation, which affects all Europe and focuses
the political movements for the next thirty years, or more. The
Counter-Reformation found its impulse in that profound sense
of dissatisfaction with the condition of the Church to which
Protestantism itself owed its origin. Like the two orders of the
Dominicans and Franciscans of the thirteenth century, this movement
took its rise in Spain and in Italy. In the days of Alexander VI.,
when the Papacy was immersed in secular interests, and was rapidly
forfeiting the respect of Europe, a thorough reform of the Church
in Spain had been inaugurated by Ferdinand and Isabella and carried
through by the energy and devotion of Cardinal Ximenes. Under these
influences a school of theologians had been formed, who revived the
doctrine of the great Dominican of the thirteenth century, Thomas
Aquinas, and united learning with a life of purity and zeal. The
movement had at first met with little support from the Papacy. The
kings of Spain were determined to maintain their independence in
matters ecclesiastical, and had acted independently and often even
against the papal will. Yet the spirit of reform soon spread to
Italy. Adrian VI. had, while Regent in Spain, been influenced by the
movement, and, as Pope (1522-1523), had vainly attempted to extend
the reform to the Church at large. Under the leadership of Caraffa
(1555-1559), who had before he became Pope spent some years in Spain,
and still more of Loyola, Lainez, and Xavier, the Spanish founders of
the Jesuits, the Counter-Reformation was to become the great support
of papal authority.

  | It spreads to Italy.

Italy had never been much attracted by the speculative difficulties of
Luther. No doubt The Oratory of Divine Love, a small band of literary
men, with Contarini at their head, had embraced the Doctrine of the
Justification by Faith, but their party had been a small one, and
did not represent any important section of opinion in Italy. Those
of her children who approached the question of theology at all went
further and deeper; they questioned the truth of Christianity, or
discussed the immortality of the soul. Meanwhile, the majority of
the more earnest-minded, satisfied with the tenets of the Church and
influenced by the spirit of reform which had spread from Spain, aimed,
like Savonarola, at bringing doctrine to bear on life and conduct.

  | The Theatines.

With this object many societies were formed in Italy at the beginning
of the sixteenth century, of which the Theatines are the most
interesting. The members of this fraternity, of which Caraffa, the
future Pope Paul IV., was one of the founders (1524), were not monks
but secular clergy. They devoted themselves to preaching, to the
administration of the sacraments, and to the care of the sick; and
took no other vow but that of poverty. Even from the Franciscans, the
most corrupt of the older orders, the reformed order of the Capuchins
arose.

  | The Jesuits.

The society, however, which was to play by far the greatest part
in the coming movement, and in future history, was to be founded
by a Spaniard. Ignatius Loyola (Don Inigo Lopes Ricalde y Loyola),
cadet of a house of high nobility, who was born in 1491, had in
early days devoted himself to the profession of arms, with all the
fervour of a chivalrous spirit. A serious wound received at the
siege of Pampeluna (1521) crippled him for life, and Loyola, denied
all hopes of a military career, turned, with the enthusiasm of his
romantic and high-strung nature, to the service of the Virgin and
the infant Christ, after experiencing much the same moral crisis
as Luther had undergone. Returning to Spain after a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem (1523), his first attempt at preaching brought him under
suspicion of heresy, and he was ordered to undertake a course of
theology before he resumed his teaching. In 1528, he came to Paris to
pursue his studies. Here he made the acquaintance of three men whom
he profoundly influenced--Peter Faber, son of a Savoyard shepherd,
Francesco Xavier, and Iago Lainez, both countrymen of his own. In
August, 1534, the four friends, of whom Faber at first was the only
one in orders, formed a society. They took the vow of chastity, and
bound themselves, after the conclusion of their studies, to pass
their lives in poverty at Jerusalem, devoted to the care of the
Christians or to the conversion of the infidel; or, if that were
impossible, to offer their labour in any place whither the Pope might
send them. Three years after (1537), the society, now increased to
ten, set out on their pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and were ordained
to that end. The war between Venice and the Turk, however, prevented
their departure; and Loyola and his brethren becoming acquainted with
Caraffa and the Theatines, changed their purpose, and determined to
devote their energies to Christendom. Even then their difficulties
were not over. They were charged with heresy, and, though acquitted,
it was not till 1540 that they obtained with difficulty a confirmation
of their ‘company of Jesus’ from Pope Paul III., and that Ignatius
was elected as the first General. The society was organised in
six classes: the novices, the scholastics, the lay coadjutors who
administered the revenues of the colleges so that the rest of the
society should be free from such cares, the spiritual coadjutors,
and the professed of the three, and of the four vows. Of these, the
spiritual coadjutors were the ordinary active members of the society,
and from their number the rectors of the colleges were chosen. The
professed of three vows were formed of men who, for exceptional
reasons, were admitted into the order without having passed through
the inferior grades, and held a position similar to that of the
spiritual coadjutors. The professed of four vows alone enjoyed all
the privileges of the order. They alone elected the General; from
their number the provincials over each province into which Christendom
was divided were chosen by the General; and they alone, beyond the
three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, took a fourth of
especial obedience to the Pope, although his authority was limited
by the power, exclusively reserved to the General, of sending out,
or recalling, missionaries. To reach this highest grade a man must,
unless he had been admitted to the number of the professed of three
vows, pass through all the others except that of the lay coadjutors--a
probation of thirty-one years--and was not ordained till he became
a spiritual coadjutor. The supreme official of the order was the
General, elected from the professed of four vows by the provincial and
two members from each province. The rules of this remarkable society
were so framed as to reconcile the principle of absolute obedience
with the utmost freedom of action. In imitation of the Theatines,
whose views, however, the Jesuits carried much further, they rejected
the monastic habit, and were relieved from the more onerous and
ascetic practices of religion; they were forbidden to weaken their
bodies with fasts and vigils, and were exempted from the routine of
devotional exercise and daily service. Nor did the professed confine
themselves to any special duties. But if in this way they enjoyed a
freedom denied to the members of other religious orders, that freedom
was controlled by the absolute authority of the society itself. They
were not permitted to hold any ecclesiastical dignity without special
leave of the General; they were to hold no property of their own; they
had to cut themselves off from kith and kin, and to obey implicitly
the orders of the superiors, the provincials, and the General, even
against their reason and their conscience. ‘It is your duty to obey
the call of your superior at once, even if in so doing you have to
leave a letter of the alphabet unfinished.’ ‘If,’ said Ignatius, ‘my
conscience forbids me obey, I should at least submit my judgment to
one or more superiors. Otherwise I am far from perfection.’ Even their
most secret thoughts were not their own. None could write or read a
letter except under the eye of a superior, and it was the duty of
their confessor and of each member to reveal to the General anything
he might wish to know of their acts or thoughts. The General himself,
although absolute within the rules of the society, and with right of
nominating and recalling the provincials and the superiors, could not
alter the constitution of the society without consulting a General
Council. He was under the constant supervision of assistants elected
for that purpose, and of a monitor, and could be deposed by a general
congregation of the professed. Thus all individuality was merged in
the company, and obedience usurped the place of reason, affection,
and impulse. Bound by this iron chain of obedience, which was riveted
by a system of espionage, this marvellous society went forth to guide
and rule mankind. The young they influenced by education, the old by
preaching and by the confessional. Believing that he who gains the
young possesses the future, they founded schools and colleges where
the education, like their other work, was gratuitous; they crept
into the universities and sat in the professors’ chairs. To make the
confessional an efficient instrument for guiding the consciences of
men, they soon developed a system of casuistry, in which the sins of
men were nicely weighed and the principles of moral conduct sapped
by the suggestion, at least, that the end justified the means. The
Jesuits, however, did not confine themselves to educational or
spiritual functions. Not only did they become the confessors of Kings,
they mixed themselves up in society and politics; they were found
in every court of Europe supporting the orthodox, and conspiring to
overthrow those who pleased them not. The growth of the company was as
marvellous as its principles. When Loyola died in 1556, sixteen years
after its foundation, the society numbered two thousand ordinary and
forty-five professed members; there were twelve provinces, and more
than one hundred colleges and houses. Under Lainez, who succeeded
Loyola as General, the organisation was completed, and its growth was
still more rapid, especially in Italy and Spain. Soon not only Europe,
but India and America, received their missionaries. The society, as
one might expect, was met by much hostility at first, on the part
more especially of the older monastic orders and the friars; in later
times, owing to the independent attitude it assumed, it was often
at serious variance with the Papacy. Yet for the time at least the
Papacy had gained an army of devoted soldiers. It now remained for the
Church to define its articles of war, and to provide more efficient
weapons. The Council of Trent was to do the first; the Inquisition to
furnish the last.

  | Third session of Council of Trent. Jan. 1562 to Dec. 1563.

The second session of the Council of Trent had been dispersed in
1552, in the confusion caused by the advance of Maurice of Saxony
on Innsbruck (p. 242). In January, 1562, Pius IV. opened its third
and last session. There was no longer any question of the admission
of representatives of the Protestants; yet its work, if limited
to Catholic nations, was neither unimportant nor easy. It had to
determine the relation between the Pope and the Church; to settle the
articles of faith which still remained in dispute, and to undertake
those internal reforms the necessity of which all admitted. As might
have been anticipated, these questions led to grave dispute. The
Emperor Ferdinand, and the French king Charles IX. desired such a
reform of the Church as might possibly lead to a reconciliation, or at
least to a compromise with the Protestants. They demanded, therefore,
that the marriage of the clergy should be allowed; that communion
in both kinds should be granted to the laity; that the services of
their Churches should be in the vernacular. The French, led by the
Cardinal of Lorraine, went further, and raised the claim advanced
at the Councils of Constance (1414-1418), and of Basle (1431-1443),
of the superiority of a General Council over a Pope. The Spaniards,
while they opposed many of the demands of the Germans and of the
French, and were anxious to prevent any change in doctrine, objected
to the extreme pretensions of the Papacy, and wished that the bishops
should be recognised as holding their spiritual authority by divine
institution and not as the mere delegates of the Pope. The papal
party, on the contrary, were eager to affirm the supremacy of the
Pope, and then dismiss the Council as soon as might be. Had their
opponents been united, and had the German and French representatives
been more numerous, something might have been done, for all were
determined to assert the independence of the Council from papal
control; they also wished to limit the authority of the Pope and to
reform many of the abuses, more especially the financial extortions,
of the Roman Curia. Unfortunately, their divisions gave the Pope
an opportunity which he eagerly seized, and which was turned to
good account by Cardinal Morone, who was appointed president in
1563. Quarrels for precedence between the representatives of France
and Spain were studiously fostered. Separate negotiations were opened
with Ferdinand and Charles; they were warned of the danger which
might arise from too powerful an episcopate, and reminded that these
continued quarrels among the Catholics would only favour heresy; they
were urged to look to the Pope rather than to the Council for the
reforms they needed. Since the Council had declared that the question
of granting the Cup to the laity was to be left to the decision of the
Pope, Ferdinand was promised that it should be conceded as soon as the
Council closed; the election of Maximilian, his son, as King of the
Romans, should also be confirmed. The Cardinal of Lorraine, the chief
representative of the French Church at the Council, was promised the
legation in France, and even the reversion of the pontifical throne;
and in accordance with the policy of his family, the Guises, he joined
the papal party, and influenced the attitude of the French court. To
conciliate further the sovereigns of Europe, some articles which had
been passed, and which touched unduly on the temporal power, were
rescinded. The opposition of France and of the Emperor having been
thus in part removed, the triumph of the papal policy was secured. The
Italians, who outnumbered the rest, were almost unanimously on the
papal side, which was also supported by the powerful advocacy of
the Jesuit Lainez, and of Carlo Borromeo, the saintly Archbishop of
Milan. Aided by the Spanish representatives, who were in agreement
with them so far, the Italians succeeded in defining some of the
more important doctrines in accordance with their own views, and in
resisting all except some minor internal reforms.

  | The Council closed. Its results.

Having now gained all that could be hoped for, the Pope was eager to
close the Council. To this the Spaniards alone objected. Philip was
anxious that it should continue its sessions until every disputed
doctrine had been settled, and a thorough reform of the Church
and the papal Curia had been effected. Here again the papal party
triumphed. A report of the serious illness of the Pope finally
overcame the opposition of Philip; for a vacancy while the Council
was still sitting would lead to serious difficulties. Accordingly, on
December 3, 1563, the Council was finally closed. Although some points
of doctrine were left undecided, those with respect to indulgences,
purgatory, the sacraments, and the invocation of saints, were
reaffirmed with new precision. Controverted questions were replaced by
dogmas, doubtful traditions by definite doctrines, and an uniformity
established in matters of faith hitherto unknown. If, in the matter
of reform, a stricter discipline was enforced upon the inferior
clergy, and the abuse of pluralities was checked, nothing was done to
touch the prerogatives of the Pope, or of the cardinals. The Council
of Trent may be said therefore to have defined the articles of the
Counter-Reformation. The Catholic Church of the West was henceforth to
be divided, and the Church of Rome may be said to have begun.

The decisions of the Council of Trent were accepted without reserve
by the chief states of Italy, by Portugal, and by Poland. In Germany
they were ratified by the Catholic princes at the Diet of Augsburg,
1566. Philip also confirmed them, ‘saving the prerogatives of the
crown.’ In France a distinction was made; the decrees which referred
to dogma were acknowledged, and, indeed, subsequently declared to need
no confirmation by the temporal power; those, however, which referred
to discipline, and which interfered with the Gallican Church, were
opposed by the ‘Parlements,’ and by some of the lower clergy. Although
gradually accepted in practice, and even acknowledged by the clergy at
the States-General of 1615, they were never formally ratified by the
crown.

  | The Inquisition.

To enforce the principles of this newly organised Church an instrument
already existed. On July 21, 1542, Pope Paul III. had, on the advice
of Cardinal Caraffa, authorised by Bull the erection of a ‘Supreme
Tribunal of the Inquisition.’ Its organisation was based on the court
instituted in Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1483. Six cardinals
were appointed universal Inquisitors on either side the Alps, with
powers of delegating their authority to other ecclesiastics. All
from highest to lowest were declared subject to their jurisdiction;
no book could be printed without their leave; they could punish
with imprisonment, confiscation of goods, and death; and from
their judgment there was no appeal save to the Pope. How far these
tremendous powers could be exercised in the various countries of
Europe depended, no doubt, on the attitude of the temporal sovereigns,
but in Italy there was little difficulty. The Spanish Inquisition
willingly co-operated, and the tenets of the Council were enforced
with merciless rigour.

  | The Popes of the Counter-Reformation.

The influence of the Counter-Reformation is seen in the revival of
apostolic piety and missionary zeal by such men as Carlo Borromeo,
nephew of Pius IV., Archbishop of Milan (1538-1584), and also in
the altered character of the Popes. Of these Paul IV. (1555-1559),
Pius V. (1566-1572), Sixtus V. (1585-1590), are true representatives
of the time; while the others, Pius IV. (1559-1565) and Gregory
XIII. (1572-1585), although not men of remarkable zeal, could not
resist the tendency of the age. The policy of all these Popes was much
the same. They abandoned the pernicious system of nepotism--Pius V.
finally forbidding all alienation of Church property; they reformed
the Court of Rome; they enforced better discipline in the Church, and
improved its services; they kept the cardinals in order, insisted
on bishops residing in their dioceses, and, for the rest, gave to
the Papal States an organised system of government and finance
in which they had been hitherto wanting. Abandoning the idea of
aggrandising themselves in Italy, they no longer struggled against
the Spanish rule. Although they had their difficulties with the
temporal sovereigns of Europe, they none the less supported the cause
of authority and orthodoxy. They allied themselves with the orthodox
Kings and Princes, whose younger sons they invested with episcopal
sees, and granted them taxes from ecclesiastical revenues. Thus the
Church of Rome had defined its faith, reformed some of its most
flagrant abuses, organised within itself a force of devoted servants,
and armed itself with the terrors of the Inquisition. Strengthened in
this way, and by the revived associations and enthusiasms of the past,
the Church, allied with the monarchs of Europe, went forth to stay the
advance of heresy, and to win back, if possible, the ground she had
lost by her _lâches_.

Of the Counter-Reformation, the two great exponents in the field of
temporal politics are Philip of Spain, and the family of the Guises in
France. It was ever the aim of Philip to carry out his father’s
schemes with such modifications as the altered circumstances demanded.
The loss of the Empire and of Germany forced him to lean more
exclusively on Spain; the triumph of the Protestants in Germany and
England destroyed all hopes of bringing them again within the fold,
except by force, and this was not at first possible. But Philip never
relinquished the hope of re-establishing the authority of the Catholic
Church, backed up by a strong and wide-embracing monarchy under his
own control. The political ambition of the Guises, and their attempt
to place Mary Queen of Scots upon the throne of England excited the
apprehensions of Philip, who hoped to secure that country for himself,
and at first prevented his cordial co-operation with their attempt to
master France. But in time these apprehensions were removed, and
finally these two representatives of the Catholic reaction formed the
‘League,’ and united to enforce their rule on Europe. It is this which
forms the connecting link between the revolt of the Netherlands and
the civil wars in France, and gives a unity to the history until the
end of our period.


§ 2. _Calvin and Geneva._

While the Church of Rome was thus marshalling her forces, that form
of Protestantism which was henceforth to be her most deadly foe was
receiving its organisation at the hands of John Calvin.

  | Causes of failure of Lutheranism.

It is a remarkable fact that Lutheranism has never made any permanent
conquests outside Germany and the Scandinavian kingdoms, and that even
in Germany the numbers of its adherents decreased after the middle of
the sixteenth century. For this, three reasons may be suggested:--

(1) Many of the doctrines of Luther, notably those on Justification,
and on the Eucharist, were compromises of too subtle a nature to
appeal to ordinary minds, even among the Germans themselves, and led
to arid controversies and ignoble divisions.

(2) Moreover, by force of circumstances arising out of the political
conditions of Germany, the movement had allied itself with the
interests of the Princes, and with authority too closely to appeal
to democratic impulses. The failure of Lutheranism to command the
adhesion of the lower classes was illustrated even in Germany
itself by the revolt of the peasants, the rise of the Anabaptists,
and by the temporary success of the reform of Zwingle. From their
extravagances Luther had drawn back with horror, and, becoming daily
more conservative, had to a great extent lost the support of the more
enthusiastic and thorough-going.

(3) Lastly, Luther had serious scruples on the question of employing
force, and although he had finally sanctioned the appeal to arms, the
war was to be a defensive one, waged by those in authority, and not
in alliance with rebels. Luther had no idea of leading a religious
and political crusade, or of promoting missionary enterprise outside
Germany. For this the world had to look elsewhere.

The French have always been the most successful interpreters of new
ideas to Europe. Their logical acuteness, their mastery of method,
their gifts of organisation, as well as their language, with its
matchless clearness and elasticity, have well fitted them for this
office; and these gifts were now to be illustrated in a pre-eminent
degree by their great countryman John Calvin.

  | John Calvin.

  | Condition of Geneva.

This son of the notary in the episcopal court of Noyon in Picardy, was
born in the year 1509. At the age of twelve he had been appointed to
a chaplaincy in the cathedral, and received the tonsure. But, though
he subsequently became a curé, he never proceeded any further in
clerical orders; for his father, thinking that the legal profession
offered more promise, sent him to Orleans, and then to Bourges
to study law, 1529-1531. It was during these years that Calvin
fell under the influence of Lutheran teachers, notably of Jacques
Lefèvre, a man of Picardy like himself, and one of the fathers of
French Protestantism. In the year 1534, Calvin was driven from his
country by the persecutions instituted by Francis I., and retired to
Basle. Here at the age of twenty-five he published the first edition
of his great work, _The Institutes_, a manual of Christian religion,
which, although subsequently enlarged, contains a complete outline
of his theological system, and which probably has exercised a more
profound influence than any other book written by so young a man. In
the year 1536, as he passed through Geneva, he was induced by the
solemn adjurations of William Farel of Dauphiné, a French exile
himself, to abandon the studies he so dearly loved, and devote himself
to missionary effort. The imperial city of Geneva was of importance
because it commanded the valley of the Rhone, and the commercial
routes which united there; it enjoyed municipal self-government,
but was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of its bishop and was
threatened by the Duke of Savoy, who held the surrounding country
and possessed certain judicial powers within the town itself. To
emancipate themselves more completely from this double yoke of
ecclesiastical and temporal authority was the constant aim of the
patriots of Geneva, and with that view they had made an alliance
with the canton of Freibourg in 1519, and that of Bern in 1526. An
intermittent struggle had ensued, which was embittered by the adoption
of the Lutheran Doctrine by the city in 1535, at the instigation of
Farel. In 1536, war had broken out between the Duke and the canton of
Bern, when the Swiss succeeded in conquering the whole of the country
of Vaud, and thus relieved Geneva of all immediate danger from the
Duke.

  | Calvin at Geneva, 1536-1538, 1541-1564.

Calvin, induced to stay in Geneva at this moment, commenced forthwith
to found a Christian church after the model of the _Institutes_; but
the severity of his system led to a reaction, and caused his exile,
and that of Farel, in 1538. Three years afterwards (September 1541),
the city, torn by internal discord, and afraid of being conquered
either by the Duke, who was supported by the Catholics within the
walls, or by Bern, which courted the Protestants, recalled the
Reformer, and accepted his system of church-government. Leaving the
municipal government of the city intact, he set up by its side an
ecclesiastical consistory, consisting of the pastors, and twelve
elders elected from the two councils of the town on the nomination
of the clergy. The jurisdiction of this consistory was nominally
confined to morals, and the regulation of Church matters. It could
only punish by penance, and by exclusion from the Sacrament, but as
it was the duty of the secular authority to enforce its decisions,
every sin became a crime, punished with the utmost severity. All
were forced by law to attend public worship, and partake of the
Lord’s Supper. To wear clothes of a forbidden stuff, to dance at a
wedding, to laugh at Calvin’s sermons, became an offence punishable
at law. Banishment, imprisonment, sometimes death, were the penalties
inflicted on unchastity, and a child was beheaded for having struck
his parents. When offences such as these were so severely visited, we
cannot wonder that heresy did not escape. In 1547, Gruet was executed,
and in 1553, Servetus was burnt. This remorseless tyranny, which
reminds one forcibly of the rule of Savonarola, was not established
without opposition. A party termed the Libertines was formed, who
endeavoured to relax the severity of the discipline, and to vindicate
the independence of the secular authority. Nevertheless Calvin, aided
by the French exiles who crowded into Geneva and obtained the freedom
of the city and a share in the government, successfully maintained his
supremacy until his death in 1564, when he was succeeded by his pupil,
Théodore Beza.

Geneva had been relieved from fear of attack from the Duke of Savoy
by the French conquest of his country in 1543, and although, in the
October of the year in which Calvin died, the Duke obtained from
Bern a restoration of all the country south of the Lake of Geneva
which it had seized in 1536, he did not make any attempt on the city
itself. Geneva continued to be an independent republic, forming from
time to time alliances with some of the Swiss cantons, till 1815, when
she finally became a member of the Swiss Confederation.

  | Characteristics of Calvinism.

The predominant characteristic of the teaching of Calvin lies
in its eclecticism. In his doctrinal views: in his tenets as to
Predestination, the Eucharist, and the unquestioned authority of
Scripture to the exclusion of tradition, he approached the views of
Zwingle rather than those of Luther. But if in so doing he represents
the most uncompromising and pronounced antagonism to the teaching
of Rome, yet in his conviction that outside the Church there is no
salvation, and in the overwhelming authority he ascribes to her, he
reasserts the most extravagant tenets of Catholicism, and revives the
spirit of Hebraism. That the religion he established, if not exactly
ascetic, was gloomy beyond measure; that it has inspired no art
except, perhaps, certain forms of literature; that his principles of
church-government, though founded on a democratic basis, in practice
destroyed all individual liberty; that, so far from advancing the
spirit of toleration, they necessarily involved persecution--all this
must be admitted. His strong predestinarian views, if logically acted
up to, ought to have led to a fatalistic spirit most dangerous to
morals, and paralysed action, as perhaps they have in a few cases. But
few sane men have ever believed themselves to be eternally reprobate,
or acted as if they disbelieved in free-will. The practical results
of Calvinism have therefore been to produce a type of men like the
founder himself, John Knox, and Théodore Beza, men of remarkable
strength of will, extraordinary devotion, and indomitable energy, and
to furnish a creed for the most uncompromising opponents of Rome.

Henceforth Geneva was to become the citadel of the Reformers; the
refuge of those who had to fly from other lands; the home of the
printing-press whence innumerable pamphlets were despatched; the
school whence missionaries went forth to preach; the representative
of the most militant form of Protestantism on a republican basis; the
natural and inevitable enemy of the Counter-Reformation which was the
ally of the Jesuits, and of the monarchical forces of Catholic Europe,
headed by Spain.



CHAPTER VII

PHILIP AND SPAIN

     Persecution of the Protestants--The mystery of Don Carlos--Wars
     against the Moors and Turks--Relief of Malta--Persecution and
     Rebellion of the Moriscoes--Battle of Lepanto--Conquest of
     Portugal--Internal Government of Spain and its dependencies
     under Philip II.


§ 1. _Persecution of the Protestants--The Inquisition._

  | Philip lands in Spain. Aug. 29, 1559.

At the date of the Treaty of Cateau Cambrésis (April 5, 1559), Philip
was in his thirty-second year. He had already wedded and lost two
wives. His first, Maria of Portugal, had died, in giving birth to Don
Carlos, on July 8, 1545; his second, Mary of England, on 17th November
1558. After having settled the government of the Netherlands (cf.
p. 319 ff.), Philip proceeded to Spain. A furious tempest greeted his
arrival; nine vessels of his fleet were lost; and the King himself
landed on the shores of his kingdom--which he was never to leave
again--in a small boat.

  | He devotes himself to the extirpation of
  | Protestantism.

Philip had not hitherto displayed those bigoted views of which he
henceforth became the exponent. During his brief residence in England
he had, in the vain attempt to conciliate the English, opposed
or pretended to oppose the policy of persecution adopted by his
unhappy wife. He had intervened to protect the Princess Elizabeth,
and after her accession had first proposed to marry her, and, when
that was refused, had continued on friendly terms. He even gave the
Calvinists of Scotland his tacit support against Mary of Guise and
her daughter. No sooner, however, did he finally settle in Spain than
all was changed. Spain was the representative of all that was most
fanatical in Europe, and Philip eagerly adopted the views of that
country. Henceforth the increase of his own authority, and the advance
of Catholicism, became identified; the reformed opinions were in his
eyes a gospel of rebellion and of opposition to authority, and to
crush out this pernicious heresy under his absolute rule became the
principle of his life.

During the early years of Charles V., a few Spaniards abroad
had adopted reformed opinions, such as Francis de Enzinas, the
translator of the New Testament into Spanish, and subsequently
Professor of Greek at Oxford (1520-1522); while in 1553 Servetus
the anti-Trinitarian suffered at Geneva. But it was not until the
year 1558 that Protestantism seems to have made much head in Spain
itself. By that time, however, not only had Spanish translations of
the New Testament and various Protestant books been disseminated in
Spain, but a considerable congregation of Reformers had been secretly
formed, more especially in the towns of Seville, Valladolid, and
Zamora, and in the kingdom of Aragon. On receiving intelligence of
this new nest of heretics, Pope Paul IV. issued a brief, February
1558, in which he urged the Inquisitor-General to spare no efforts in
exterminating this evil; and the dying Emperor, forgetting his dislike
of papal interference, besought the Regent Joanna, and Philip himself,
to listen to the Pope’s exhortations. Philip required no urging. He
published an edict, borrowed from the Netherlands, which condemned all
to the stake who bought, sold, or read prohibited books, and revived a
law by which the accuser was to receive one-fourth of the property of
the condemned. Paul enforced the law by his Bull of 1559, commanding
all confessors to urge on their penitents the duty of informing
against suspected persons. He also authorised the Inquisition to
deliver to the secular arm even those who abjured their errors, ‘not
from conviction, but from fear of punishment,’ and made a grant from
the ecclesiastical revenues of Spain to defray the expenses of the
Inquisition.

  | The Inquisition.

  | The Inquisition and the Spanish Church.

This terrible tribunal, which had been established in its final
form by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1478, and freed from appeal to
Rome in 1497, consisted of a Supreme Council formed of lawyers and
theologians, mostly Dominicans, an order to which Philip showed
especial favour. At the head of this Council stood the Grand
Inquisitor, appointed by the king himself, with numerous subordinate
tribunals, protected by armed ‘familiars.’ Their trials were conducted
in secret. Persons were tempted or forced by threats to denounce
their enemies, their friends, and even their relatives; a system
of espionage was resorted to; torture was freely used to extort
confessions from the accused; and the most harmless words were often
twisted into heterodoxy by the subtle refinements of the Dominican
theologians. They punished by forfeiture of goods, by penance, by
imprisonment, and in the last resort handed over the condemned to
the secular arm, to be burnt at an _Auto da fè_. Supported by this
unwonted harmony between Pope and King, the Grand Inquisitor, Don
Fernando Valdès, Archbishop of Seville, set vigorously to work. In
Seville alone, 800 were arrested on the first day, and on May 21,
1559, the first of the _Autos da fè_ took place in the streets of
Valladolid; another was solemnised on the arrival of Philip in Spain,
and a third amid the _fêtes_ attending his marriage with his third
wife, Elizabeth of France, in 1560. Indeed, no great ceremonial was
for some years considered complete unless sanctified by an _Auto da
fè_, and the Spaniards preferred one to a bull-fight. It may be true
that the cruelties of the Inquisition have been exaggerated; yet, at
least, opinions, which in other countries would have been tolerated,
were ruthlessly suppressed. Not only was all scientific speculation
tabooed, and Spanish scholars forbidden to visit other countries, but
the slightest deviation from the strictest orthodoxy was severely
visited. The Inquisition was even used against the Church. Although
the number of the clergy and the monks was very large, and their
wealth, especially in Castile, enormous, no Church in Europe was more
completely under royal control. The nomination to ecclesiastical
offices was exclusively in the hands of the king; papal interference,
unless by his leave, was stoutly resisted; and, if the Church
was rich, at least one-third of its revenues fell into the royal
coffers. The power of the crown was also enhanced by the devotion of
the Jesuits to the royal cause. It was, however, on the Dominicans
that Philip mostly relied. The ignorance and bigotry of the members of
this order of friars in Spain is only equalled by their subservience
to the royal will. They dominated the Holy Office of the Inquisition,
and subjected to its discipline not only Theresa, one of the most
devoted of Spanish saints, but the members of the powerful Society of
Jesus, and even the episcopal bench itself. No less than nine bishops
were condemned to various acts of penance; even Carranza, Archbishop
of Toledo, was attacked. This learned and zealous prelate, who had
taken an important part in some of the sessions of the Council of
Trent, and in whose arms Charles V. had died, was charged in August,
1559, with heterodox opinions. After his trial had dragged on for more
than seven years, Pius V. insisted on the case being transferred to
Rome. But the death of the Pope again delayed the matter, and it was
not until April 1576 that the papal decision was finally given. The
Archbishop was convicted of holding doctrines akin to those of Luther,
and was to abjure sixteen propositions found in his writings; he was
to do certain acts of penance; to be suspended from his episcopal
functions for five years more, and meanwhile to be confined in a
convent of the Dominicans, his own order, at Orvieto.

  | The Inquisition used to punish political offences.

The efforts of the Inquisition succeeded in crushing out Protestantism
in Spain; and its success unfortunately refutes the comforting
doctrine that persecution is powerless against strong convictions. But
the success involved the destruction of all intellectual independence;
Spain soon became one of the most backward countries in Europe, and,
if we except Cervantes the author of _Don Quixote_, and Calderon
the poet, she gave birth to no writer of eminence. Nor did the
Holy Office confine itself to the extirpation of heresy, or to the
vigorous control of the clergy. Formed exclusively of nominees
of the crown,[59] it became an instrument in the royal hands for
financial extortion and for the pursuit of political offenders. Thus,
custom-house officers were dragged before the Inquisition for having
allowed horses to cross the frontier, on the pretext that they were
for the service of the Huguenots; Antonio Perez, the notorious
secretary of Philip, was arraigned before the Inquisition of Aragon;
and foreign ambassadors were enjoined to obey its orders. At times
the Pope remonstrated against these abuses of the Holy Office, which
trenched upon the papal claims. But Philip answered ‘that with his
scruples his Holiness would destroy religion’; and long after the
reign of Philip the Inquisition, as well as the Church, continued the
humble servant of royal prerogative.


§ 2. _The Mystery of Don Carlos._[60]

  | Don Carlos. 1545-1568.

According to some authorities the zeal of Philip did not spare his
own son and heir, Don Carlos. The history of this unfortunate Prince
was so distorted by the enemies of his father Philip during his
own lifetime, and since then has become such a favourite subject
of romance, that on some points it is difficult to arrive at the
truth. Some declare that the estrangement between father and son was
caused by the suspicion of a guilty passion between the Prince and his
stepmother, Elizabeth of France, and this is the view which has been
adopted by those, like Schiller, who have made Don Carlos the hero of
a romantic tragedy.

  | Reasons for his imprisonment. Jan. 1568.

We find that in the negotiations for the Treaty of Cateau
Cambrésis it had been suggested that Don Carlos should wed
the French Princess. The idea was dropped, and the hand of
Elizabeth was subsequently bestowed on Philip, the father of the
Prince. Nevertheless, it is asserted that Elizabeth had learnt to
love the son; that Don Carlos never forgave his father for having
robbed him of his bride; and that the jealous husband threw his son
into prison out of revenge, and finally procured the death by poison
not only of his son, but of his unfaithful wife. This tragic tale
must, however, be rejected. Don Carlos was only twelve years old at
the date of the Treaty of Cateau Cambrésis, and the story is not
supported by any contemporary authority. Even William of Orange, who
in his ‘Apology’ accuses Philip of poisoning both, is silent as to the
motive.

Less improbable is the story that Don Carlos had secret sympathy
with the Flemish malcontents, or at least some leaning towards
the Protestant heresy. This, it is said, explains the wish of Don
Carlos to be intrusted with the administration of the Netherlands,
the unwillingness of Philip to publish the reason of his treatment
of his son, and his letter to his aunt the Queen of Portugal, in
which he spoke of ‘sacrificing to God his own flesh and blood,
preferring God’s service and the welfare of his people to all human
considerations.’ These expressions are, however, quite compatible
with the third, and far more probable, hypothesis that Don Carlos was
mad. Two of his brothers had died of epilepsy. Don Carlos, who was
born in July, 1545, was a sickly child, subject to serious feverish
and bilious attacks; that as he grew in years he became, in spite of
a certain reckless generosity and an extravagant attachment to a few,
arrogant, violent, and unmanageable. A fall down a staircase on his
head, in April, 1562, which necessitated an operation of trepanning,
increased his violence, and from this moment his actions were those
of a crazy man. He insulted women of position with opprobrious
epithets. Twice he swallowed costly jewels. He forced a shoemaker to
eat stewed strips of a pair of boots because they did not fit. He
violently assaulted the Duke of Alva, because the Duke was sent to the
Netherlands instead of himself, and even Don John, to whom he was much
attached. He declared that he meditated killing a man whom he hated,
and sought for absolution beforehand. He attempted to fly from Spain,
and probably to rebel against his father. Of his insanity the Venetian
ambassador was convinced, and that this is the explanation of the
mystery gains confirmation from a secret letter of Philip to the Pope,
of which, although the original has disappeared, a translation has
been preserved, and in which insanity is pleaded as the justification
for the treatment of the Prince; while surely we cannot wonder that
Philip should be anxious to keep secret the fact that the insanity
of Joanna was reappearing in her great-grandson? Nor, as far as we
can see, does the actual treatment of Don Carlos, while in prison,
appear to have been exactly cruel. No doubt, he was most carefully
watched. He was not to be allowed to talk on politics, or to have any
news of the outer world; he was only allowed books of a devotional
character; but his guardians were men of good birth, they were
enjoined to lighten his captivity by conversation, and he was not
tortured or starved.

  | Was he poisoned?

We have yet to deal with the accusation that the unfortunate Prince
was poisoned by the order of his father. This was plainly asserted by
William of Orange, and by Antonio Perez, who was at the time of the
death of Don Carlos in the service of King Philip, and the story was
believed by many contemporaries. Yet both William the Silent and Perez
were, when they wrote, the mortal enemies of the King, and although
Philip was unfortunately not above resorting to murder to attain
his ends, we may at least allow that the charge in this case is not
proven.

  | Death of Don Carlos, 24th July 1568; and of Isabella,
  | Oct. 3, 1568.

Don Carlos died on the 24th of July, 1568, and in less than three
months he was followed to the grave by Elizabeth, his stepmother, who
died in childbed, October 3, 1568. Two years later Philip married his
fourth wife, Anne of Austria, his niece, and daughter of the Emperor
Maximilian. She died on the 26th of October 1580. Of her children, all
died young except Philip, who succeeded his father.


§ 3. _Wars against the Moors and Turks.
     The Rebellion of the Moriscoes._

  | Condition of the Moriscoes.

By the ordinance of 1502, published by Ferdinand after the suppression
of the Moorish rebellion in Granada (cf. p. 96), the alternative
of baptism or exile had been offered to the Moors, and this had
been extended to Aragon, and its subordinate kingdoms Valencia and
Catalonia, in the early part of the reign of the Emperor Charles. To
further the work of conversion churches had been built in the
districts most occupied by the Moors, and missionaries despatched
thither. The attempt, however, met with scant success. The bitter
memories of the past, the deep racial hatreds, the imperfect
acquaintance of the preachers with the language of the Moors, the
differences of usage and of customs, presented insurmountable
difficulties. Accordingly, in 1526, coercion was attempted. An edict
was issued ordering the Moors to renounce their national usages,
dress, and language, and the Inquisition was intrusted with the
enforcement of the edict. Wiser counsels, however, for the time
prevailed. The edict was not enforced; and the government was fain to
rest content with an outward conformity, which was all that could,
under the circumstances, be looked for. The ‘New Christians,’ or
Moriscoes, as the Moors were called, at least did not disturb the
peace. Taking advantage of a strange clause in the Treaty of Granada,
which exempted them from certain duties paid by the Christians in
their trade with the Barbary coast, they devoted themselves to
commerce with that country. But it was as artisans and in agriculture
that they especially excelled. As artisans their skill was displayed
in many a handicraft; while by their irrigation and by their husbandry
they turned the slopes and uplands of the Sierras in Granada into one
of the most fertile parts of Spain. The fig, the pomegranate, the
orange, and the grape grew side by side with corn and hemp; their
flocks of merino sheep were famous; the mulberry tree formed the basis
of an extensive manufacture of silk. We may well deplore the fact
that this policy was abandoned; and yet amid the fanaticism aroused
by the crusade against the Protestants, the wonder perhaps is that it
continued so long. Moreover, at this moment, a renewal of the struggle
with the Moors of Africa and with the Turk in the Mediterranean
naturally revived the national antipathy to the Moriscoes.

  | Expeditions against the Barbary Corsairs. 1560-1564.

  | The relief of Malta. Sept. 1565.

  | The Edicts of 1560-1567.

  | Revolt of the Moriscoes. Dec. 1568.

The unceasing raids of the corsairs of the Barbary coast had not
only rendered the sea unsafe, but devastated the shores of Italy and
Spain. Accordingly, two expeditions were despatched against them
from Naples, which did not meet with much success. The first, under
the Duke of Medina Sidonia, Viceroy of Naples, was directed against
Tripoli, then held by a Greek named Dragut, who had been taken
prisoner by the corsairs in early life, and had turned Mahometan. The
Duke was forced to put back by stress of weather; his ships were
subsequently put to flight by a Turkish fleet under Piali, another
renegade, who sailed to the assistance of Dragut, and the island of
Jerbah (Gelves), which had been occupied, was retaken by the Turks
(June 29, 1560). The second expedition, which started in 1562,
was almost annihilated by a storm. In the following year (April
1563), the Dey of Algiers, encouraged by these disasters of the
Spaniards, attempted to drive them from Oran and the neighbouring
fortress of Mazarquivir (Mers-el-Kébir), two of the conquests of
Cardinal Ximenes, which, with Goletta near Tunis and Melilla in
Morocco, were the only remaining Spanish possessions on the African
coast. Mazarquivir was nearly lost, when, at the last moment, it was
relieved by a Spanish fleet on June 8, and in the two succeeding
years (1564 and 1565), the efforts of the Spaniards were somewhat
more successful. In September 1564, the island fortress of Peñon de
Velez, which lay to the west of the Spanish possessions, was taken
by Don Garcia de Toledo, who had succeeded Medina Sidonia as Viceroy
of Naples; and in the following year the estuary of the Tetuan,
another stronghold of the corsairs, was blocked up and rendered
useless. Further enterprise on the coast of Africa was now stopped
by the news that Malta was hard beset by the Turks. On the loss of
Rhodes, in 1522, the Knights of St. John had received the grant of the
island of Malta from Charles V. (1530); from that time forward they
had formed a bulwark against the Turk from the east, and had joined
in most of the late expeditions against the Barbary coast. Solyman
I., often urged to reduce this important place, at last despatched
a powerful fleet against it in May, 1565. Piali, the renegade, who
had already distinguished himself in 1560, shared the command with
Mustapha, a tried veteran of seventy, while Dragut of Tripoli also
added his contingent. In vain did the Grand Master, Jean de la
Valette, appeal for aid to repel the attack. Catherine de Medici was
at this moment intriguing with the Turks, and Venice was afraid to
arouse the anger of the Sultan. Even Philip did not seem inclined to
listen; the affairs in the Netherlands and in France demanded his
attention; perhaps he did not care to help an Order which, as it
happened at that time, was largely composed of Frenchmen. Finally,
however, he listened to the warning of Don Garcia de Toledo that
Malta, if once in Turkish hands, could never be recovered, and would
give the Sultan the command of that part of the Mediterranean; and
on September 8, 1565, Malta was relieved by Don Garcia when reduced
to the last gasp. That these events should have awakened the dislike
of the Spaniards for the Moriscoes at home, and that suspicions
were aroused of some correspondence between them and the Moors of
Africa, is not surprising. Nor under these circumstances can any
serious objection be brought against the first two ordinances;
that of 1560, forbade the Moriscoes to acquire negro slaves, on
the reasonable ground that thereby the number of the infidels was
constantly increased; that of 1563, prohibited the Moriscoes from
possessing arms without the licence of the captain-general. These
measures, however, did not satisfy Don Pedro Guerrero, the Archbishop
of Granada, nor the clergy of his diocese, and in pursuance of a
memorial which they presented, the government issued the following
astounding edict. The provisions of the ill-advised edict of 1526
were revived; the national songs and dances of the Moriscoes were
proscribed; their weddings were to be conducted in public according
to the Christian ritual, and their houses were to be kept open
during the day of the ceremony, so that all could enter and see that
no unhallowed rites were solemnised; their women were to appear in
public with their faces uncovered; and lastly, the baths in which
the Moriscoes delighted were ordered to be destroyed on the ground
that they were turned to licentious purposes. Still further, as if
to outrage the feelings of the Moriscoes, the edict was published
on January 1, the anniversary of the capture of the capital of
Granada. It appears that many of the local nobility protested against
the execution of this atrocious edict, and that the Marquis de
Mondejar, the captain-general of Granada, and even Alva himself,
were opposed to it. To expect that the Moriscoes would submit to
such interference with their most cherished customs--an interference
which did not even respect the domestic privacy of their homes--was
absurd, and if it was intended to seize upon disobedience as a
pretext for expelling them, the army should at least have been
increased. The Grand Inquisitor Espinosa was, however, above such
considerations, and the execution of the order was intrusted to Diego
Deza, auditor of the Holy Office, who was appointed President of the
Chancery of Granada. Finding all remonstrance vain, the Moriscoes
made preparations to revolt in June, 1569. Unfortunately some of the
more hot-headed, led by a dyer of the name of Aben-Farax, could not
brook delay, and in December, 1568, attempted a premature rising in
the Moorish quarter (the Albaicin) of Granada. ‘You are too few,
and you come too soon,’ said the Moriscoes of Granada, and refused
to move. Disappointed in seizing the city, the rebels retreated to
the country, where they met with more response, and signalised their
success by horrible ferocity. Neither sex nor age were spared; and
Christians, we are told, were sold as slaves to the Algerian corsairs
for a carbine a piece.

  | Aben-Humeya elected King.

  | Limits of the rebellion.

The Moriscoes now elected as their King Aben-Humeya, a young man of
twenty-two, a descendant of the ancient house that once had ruled in
Spain. The young King indeed dismissed Aben-Farax, and did something
to check the cruelties of his followers. The revolt was confined to a
somewhat limited area. Its chief stronghold was in the Alpujarras, a
low range of hills which lies between the higher peaks of the Sierra
Nevada and the sea; thence it spread to the neighbourhood of Almeria
on the east, and that of Velez-Malaga on the west. The Moriscoes held
no large towns, and only ventured on occasional raids upon the rich
plain of La Vega, in which the town of Granada lay, and upon the towns
on the sea-coast. Had the Sultan, Selim II., listened to the appeals
of Aben-Humeya, and thrown himself with energy into the struggle, the
rule of the Mahometans might have been re-established in Granada. The
Turks, however, were at this time too much engaged in the war of
Cyprus, and the Moriscoes only obtained some Turkish mercenaries
and some insufficient help from the Barbary corsairs; they were but
poorly armed, and their cause was ever weakened by internal feuds and
personal rivalries.

  | The counsels of the Marquis de Mondejar rejected.

  | Massacre of the prisoners at Granada.

  | Don John appointed to supreme command. Spring 1569.

  | The Moorish population of Granada removed into the
  | interior.

Under these circumstances, if the advice of the Marquis de Mondejar
had been followed, the rebellion might in all probability have
soon been quelled. Unwilling to drive the Moors to despair, he
advocated a policy of conciliation, and attempted, though not
always with success, to restrain the fanaticism and cruelty of his
soldiers. Unfortunately, he was violently opposed by Diego Deza, who
urged a war of extermination. The wish of Diego prevailed, and the
Marquis of Los Veles, a nobleman of the district who held the office
of Adelantado of the neighbouring province of Murcia, was appointed
to the command of an army which was to operate from the east. The
stern old veteran proceeded to conduct the war with such ferocity
that he earned the name of the ‘Iron-headed Devil.’ The Spanish
soldiery, formed chiefly of local levies, retainers of the nobles, and
volunteers, were allowed to satisfy their unquenchable hatred of the
Moriscoes, and proceeded to rival, if not surpass, the atrocities of
the rebels. Even peaceful villages were sacked: the men were cut down
without remorse; the women, when they escaped a worse fate, were sold
into slavery. Meanwhile, in the town of Granada itself, some hundred
and fifty Moors, who had been arrested on suspicion, were massacred
in cold blood by the order of Deza (March 1569). Death in open war
was better than such a fate. The Moors, driven to despair, had no
alternative but to fight to the last. The war was not marked by any
great battles; the rebels, holding but few towns, and unable to meet
the enemy in the open field, betook themselves to the hilly districts,
where a confused though hard-fought struggle of races and creeds was
carried on. The government, however, was scarcely likely to succeed as
long as the bickerings between Mondejar and his rivals continued. In
the spring of 1569, Philip, anxious to check these cabals, appointed
Don John, his half-brother, the illegitimate son of Charles V., to the
supreme command. At the same time he was forbidden to take the field,
and as he was only twenty-two years old he was to be guided by a
council of war, of which Deza and Mondejar both were members. The only
result, therefore, of the change was that the quarrel was transferred
from the camp to the council, where finally the views of Deza
triumphed. In June, 1569, the whole of the Moorish inhabitants of the
town of Granada, amounting to some three thousand five hundred souls,
were ordered to leave the city for the interior, where they were to
find new homes. Mondejar, remonstrating at this act, was removed from
his post; and on the 19th of October, Philip, who had come to Cordova
to be nearer the scene of operations, issued an edict in which he
proclaimed that the war henceforth would be carried on with ‘fire and
blood.’

  | On assassination of Aben-Humeya, Aben-Aboo succeeds.

Philip had now definitely committed himself to the views of Deza; yet,
owing to the incapacity of Los Veles, the royal army met with scant
success. At the close of the year, Aben-Humeya fell a victim to the
vengeance of one of the women of his seraglio. His death was no loss
to the cause of the Moriscoes, for although a man of much energy, and
of some ability, he had become intoxicated by success, and by his
jealousy, his selfishness, his licence, and his cruelty, had forfeited
the popularity he once enjoyed. Aben-Aboo, who succeeded him as King,
was a man of higher integrity and patriotism, and of greater constancy
and courage. He succeeded in obtaining the sanction of his election
from the Pasha of Algiers, in the name of the Sultan, and under his
rule the revolt spread eastwards to the very borders of Murcia, and
assumed a more formidable aspect than ever.

  | Don John takes the field. Jan. 1570.

  | Submission of Moriscoes. May 1570.

At last Philip, convinced of the inefficiency of Los Veles, removed
him from his command, and allowed Don John to take the field, assisted
by the Duke of Sesa, the grandson of Gonsalvo de Cordova. At the same
time, fresh levies were raised from the towns of Andalusia, and many
nobles, with their retainers, flocked to the standard of the young and
popular Don John, who at once marched to the district on the east of
the Alpujarras, and, in spite of several reverses, gradually wore down
the rebels. On January 28, the strong town of Galera was invested, to
fall on February 7, after a desperate struggle; the reduction of Seron
followed, and soon the whole country to the east of the Alpujarras was
re-won. Meanwhile, the Duke of Sesa had been equally successful in the
north. Gradually working his way across the Alpujarras, he secured
his conquests by a line of forts, and, in May, united his forces with
those of Don John at Padules. At the same time an amnesty was offered
to those who would lay down their arms. The cause of the Moriscoes was
now hopeless. On May 19, El Habaquin, a leading Moorish chieftain,
agreed, in the name of Aben-Aboo, to the severe terms imposed by the
conqueror. The ‘Little King,’ as the Moorish prince was called, was to
make public submission to Don John; the lives of the Moriscoes should
be spared, but, like their fellow-countrymen of Granada, they were to
be removed from their native district and distributed elsewhere in
Spain. At the last moment Aben-Aboo refused these humiliating terms,
and attempted to raise once more the standard of revolt, only to
fall by the hand of one of his subjects who had been bribed by the
government.

  | The Moriscoes settle in other parts of Spain. Edict
  | of Oct. 28, 1570.

The rebellion was now at an end. By the edict of October 28, every
Morisco from within the disturbed districts,[61] including those who
had remained loyal, was to be removed into the interior. Their houses
and lands were declared forfeited to the Crown; but their flocks,
their herds and their grain were, if they so wished, to be taken at
a valuation. It was, however, ordered that families should not be
divided, and the removal appears to have been effected in as humane a
way as possible. The districts appointed for their settlements were
in the territory of La Mancha, in the northern borders of Andalusia,
in the Castiles, Estremadura, and Galicia. Flogging and forced labour
on the galleys was threatened against any Moor who should leave his
abode without leave, and death to any one who dared approach within
ten leagues of Granada. The edict of 1566 continued in force; and
by a subsequent one, to keep an Arabic book was declared an offence
punishable with stripes and four years in the galleys. Andalusia now
became a desert. Meanwhile, in spite of these cruel laws, the exiles
enriched their new homes by their husbandry and industry until the
year 1609, when the fanaticism and national hatred of the Spaniards
led to the final expulsion of this unfortunate people from Spain
itself. The treatment of the Moriscoes by the Spaniards forms one
of the saddest episodes in history; yet, in justice, an Englishman
should remember that the treatment of the Irish by Cromwell, if it was
preceded by greater provocation, was fully as cruel.


§ 4. _Renewed struggle against the Turks.
     The victory of Lepanto, 1571-1574_.

If the intolerance of Philip is responsible for the cruel proscription
of the Protestants and the Moriscoes, his political interests at
least did not lead him into such inconsistencies as those of other
European sovereigns. Indeed, when we consider the attitude of the
great Powers in Europe towards the Turks at this moment, we shall be
led to the conclusion that their policy with regard to heretics, as
well as to infidels, was guided rather by political, than by religious
considerations. The French, while they persecuted the Huguenots in
their own country, were ever allying themselves with the Turks to
oppose the Spaniard. Elizabeth of England, no doubt, gave grudging
aid to the Calvinists abroad, and established a form of Protestantism
in England; yet she proscribed the extreme Calvinists at home, and
at times sought the alliance of the Turk; whereas if Philip was
the persecutor of Protestants and infidels alike, the necessity of
protecting Italy and Spain at least made him the resolute opponent of
the infidel in the Mediterranean.

  | League of Spain--Pope and Venice against the Turk.
  | May 25, 1571.

The rebellion of the Moriscoes had not yet been crushed out, when
on May 1, 1570, the messenger of Pius V. reached Spain, praying for
the help of the most Christian King against the Turk. Solyman the
Magnificent had ended his long and triumphant career in 1566. Although
his successor, Selim II., possessed none of his father’s qualities,
the vigour of the late administration was still represented by the
Grand Vizier Mahomet; and at the close of the year 1569, Piali, one
of the commanders of the attack on Malta, and now brother-in-law of
the Sultan, had started on an expedition against Cyprus. Philip gave
a ready ear to the papal appeal, but meanwhile Nicosia, one of the
most important Cypriot fortresses, fell (September 1570). Venice in
despair attempted, though unsuccessfully, to make a separate treaty
with the Sultan; and it was not until the 25th of May, 1571, that the
difficulties and jealousies were surmounted, and that the League was
finally concluded. Venice had wished that the League should confine
itself to the protection of Cyprus; but Philip, not unnaturally,
was anxious to extend its scope; and accordingly Spain, the Pope,
and Venice agreed to form a perpetual alliance against the Moors of
Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers, as well as against the Turk. They agreed
to defend each other’s territories, and to make no separate peace;
each Power was to appoint a captain-general, and they should together
decide on the plan of operations, while the supreme command was to
be given to Don John of Austria. Finally, to defray the expenses of
Philip, Pius granted a _cruzada_, and an _excusado_.[62] The treaty
came too late to save the island of Cyprus; for on July 30, Famagusta
had fallen, when Bragadino, the chief in command, was flayed alive,
his skin stuffed and sent as a trophy to Constantinople. It was not
till the 16th of the following September, that the fleet of the
League finally left Messina. On reaching Corfu, intelligence was
received that the Turkish fleet was in the Gulf of Lepanto. Against
the advice of John Andrew Doria, who commanded the Genoese contingent,
Don John was eager to close with his antagonist. He was supported
in his opinion by the Marquis of Santa Cruz, the Grand Commander
Requesens, and the young Alexander of Parma, as well as by the other
captains-general, and on the 7th of October, the two fleets came
in sight of each other. That of the Christians was composed of 264
vessels of all sizes, with 26,000 soldiers and 50,000 rowers and
sailors aboard. That of the Turks, of some 300 vessels, and not less
than 120,000 men.

  | The battle of Lepanto. Oct. 7, 1571.

In the action which ensued it was the object of the Turkish admiral
Piali to turn the wings of his adversary. This movement was, however,
foiled by Barbarigo, who commanded the Venetian galleys on the left,
and by John Andrew Doria on the right. They hugged the shore, and a
terrible struggle ensued, in which the allies suffered severely. At
last, the Venetians drove back their enemies, and though Barbarigo was
mortally wounded, his loss was compensated by the death of Mahomet
Sirocco, the Turkish admiral opposed to him. Meanwhile the centre,
led by Don John, after a desperate conflict at close quarters,
which resembled a fight on land rather than on the sea, was equally
successful. Piali fell, and most of the Moslem’s ships surrendered or
were destroyed. Finally Uluch Ali, the Dey of Algiers, who had been
severely handling the Genoese opposed to him, seeing that all was
over, took refuge in flight, and the Christians remained the victors
of one of the greatest naval combats of the century. The importance
of the battle of Lepanto, which lasted for more than four hours,
will be best appreciated when it is remembered that the Turks had
never hitherto been beaten at sea. Although an accurate computation
of the losses is not possible, it may with certainty be affirmed
that those of the Turks were more than twice as heavy as those of
their antagonists, and that not more than fifty of their vessels
escaped. Among the captives were found, we are told, 12,000 Christians
who had been condemned to the galleys.

  | Delays and jealousies of the allies.

  | Venice makes a separate treaty with the Turk. March
  | 7, 1573.

Some now thought that this crushing defeat should be followed by an
immediate attack on Constantinople. The season, however, was far
advanced, and it was decided to postpone further operations until the
spring. The delay was fatal. An attempt was made to buy over Uluch
Ali, a Calabrian renegade, who had not forgotten his Christian parents
from whom he had been separated in youth. The offer was declined, and
Uluch shortly took the command of the new fleet which the Turks had
put on the sea with remarkable rapidity. Far different was the conduct
of the allies. In Spain there was the usual procrastination. Nor were
the interests of Spain and Venice the same; Philip desired to turn
against the Moors of Africa, and extend his conquests there; Venice
only cared to strengthen her position in the Levant. In vain did the
aged Pontiff attempt to reconcile these conflicting views. He died
in the following May, and although Philip’s fears, that a Pope in
the French interest would succeed him, were removed by the election
of Cardinal Buoncampagno (Gregory XIII.), the papal ‘Briefs of Fire’
were not of much avail. The allies, indeed, at last sent out another
expedition under Don John, which found the Turkish fleet off Modon
on October 7, 1572, the anniversary of the victory of Lepanto. But
Uluch Ali declined the contest; he remained under the guns of the
fortress, and at the end of the month the allies again dispersed. In
the following March all hope of concerted action was destroyed by the
news that Venice had come to terms with the Sultan; she surrendered
Cyprus, and agreed to pay a three years’ tribute to the Porte. The
Turks could scarcely have hoped for better terms if they had won the
battle of Lepanto.

  | Don John reduces Tunis, Oct. 1573; but it and Goletta
  | are retaken by Uluch Ali, Sept. 1574.

  | The victory of Lepanto a barren victory.

Deserted by his allies, Don John, in the following October, sailed
to the African coast and easily reduced the town of Tunis. He now
dreamt of obtaining the investiture of the African kingdom from his
half-brother. The jealousy of Philip was instantly aroused; he urged
that the fortresses of Tunis and Goletta should be dismantled, and,
although this was not done, they were left with such an insufficient
force that Uluch Ali had little difficulty not only in retaking Tunis,
but in reducing the fortress of Goletta (Sept. 1574). Such were the
miserable results of the victory of Lepanto. It did not save the
island of Cyprus, which henceforth belonged to the Porte; it was
followed by the loss of Goletta, one of the few remaining conquests of
Charles V. on the coast of Africa; it only served to display once more
the jealousies of the European nations; and if for seventy years the
Turks made no further advance, and never again seriously threatened
the south-western shores of Europe, this was due far more to the
internal decay of the Ottoman Empire, than to the victory of Lepanto
itself.


§ 5. _The conquest of Portugal._

  | Death of Sebastian, King of Portugal. Aug. 4, 1578.

  | The Cardinal Henry succeeds; but dies. Jan. 31, 1580.

  | Philip claims the crown, and sends an army under the
  | Duke of Alva.

On August 4, 1578, Sebastian, the young King of Portugal, was
killed at the battle of Alcazar-Kébir as he was conducting a crazy
campaign against Abd-el-Melek, the Sultan of Morocco. The death of
the young King, who appears to have been half-mad, at once aroused
the determination of Philip to secure the crown of Portugal, and thus
finally unite the Iberian Peninsula under one hand. The successor
of Sebastian was his great-uncle, Henry. He was a Cardinal, and
over sixty-six years of age. Nevertheless, it was hoped that he
might yet have children, and the Pope was asked to authorise his
marriage. Philip declared his indignation at this interference of the
Papacy with what were ‘so clearly temporal affairs,’ but was relieved
from further apprehension by the death of the Cardinal-King on January
31, 1580. The only claimant whom Philip had now to dread was Antonio,
prior of Crato.[63] He was the illegitimate son, by a converted
Jewess, of Lewis, Duke of Beja, the great-uncle of Sebastian, but
he had been secretly legitimised by his father, had entered the
order of St. John of Malta, and was prior of the rich commandery of
Crato. If his legitimacy could be established, no doubt he was the
next male heir. Philip, however, refused to allow his claim, and
asserted his own right to the throne through his mother, the daughter
of King Emanuel. To enforce this claim an army had been collected on
the frontier under the Duke of Alva, which marched as soon as the
intelligence of the Cardinal’s death arrived. Those who did not submit
were treated as rebels, and when the town of Setubal offered some
slight resistance it was given over to pillage, ‘because to deny the
soldiers would have been a great injustice’ (July 16, 1580).

  | Antonio proclaimed King.

  | Lisbon capitulates to Alva.

  | Philip enters Lisbon. June 29, 1581.

Meanwhile, Antonio had been proclaimed King by a motley assembly
of peasants at Santarem, and proceeded to Lisbon. In vain Pope
Gregory XIII. attempted to mediate. To propitiate Philip, who had
a passion for relics, he sent a most precious gift, part of the
body of one of the Holy Innocents; Philip accepted the gift, but
declined his mediation, and for once did not procrastinate. The
Marquis of Santa Cruz was despatched with the fleet to Setuval. There
he took the Duke of Alva and his troops on board, and sailed for
Lisbon. Antonio in vain attempted to resist. The citizens of Lisbon
would not fight; they asked for terms, but had to capitulate at
discretion; and Antonio, escaping with difficulty, reached Calais
after many wanderings. The city of Lisbon was partly saved from
pillage by Alva, but the neighbouring villages were sacked with such
relentless cruelty that it even surpassed all that Alva could have
imagined; and such was the insubordination of the soldiery that the
Duke declared rope would fail him wherewith to hang his mutinous
soldiers. At Oporto, the same scenes were repeated by the troops under
Sancho d’Avila, an officer who had already earned an evil reputation
for mutiny in the Netherlands. On the 29th of June, 1581, Philip
made his entry into Lisbon. Those few nobles who had dared to oppose
him were treated with relentless cruelty; the majority attempted no
resistance, and the people sullenly submitted. Antonio, with a price
set on his head, wandered from court to court begging for assistance
to regain his crown. In June, 1582, he succeeded in obtaining the help
of a French fleet, which sailed to the Azores. The fleet, however,
was dispersed by the Marquis of Santa Cruz; and for the rest of his
life the unfortunate pretender found an asylum for the most part in
England. Philip had gained his end, and Portugal was for a time united
with Spain. The Spaniards, however, had never been liked in Portugal;
the atrocities which accompanied the accession of Philip turned the
dislike to hatred; and it was not many years before Portugal again
threw off the hated yoke, and once for all declared her independence.


§ 6. _Internal Government of Philip II._

  | The Government despotic; yet constitutional forms
  | survive in Spain and its dependencies.

Although the government of Philip II. was practically a despotism, it
would be a mistake to suppose that no constitutional checks existed,
or that they were entirely futile. The Cortes of Castile and Aragon
still survived, and even in the subject provinces the old assemblies
were not done away with. In Castile, the Cortes nominally enjoyed
deliberative powers; no edict could constitutionally be issued except
on their petition, and no tax levied except by their consent. Yet
if Philip often summoned them, if he did not interfere with their
debates, if he listened to their petitions, these were constantly
disregarded on the plea that it was not expedient that they should be
granted; and, when occasion demanded it, royal ordinances were issued,
and fresh taxes imposed, without waiting for their assent.

  | The revolt of Saragossa, 1591.

  | Interference with the privileges of Aragon.

The constitutional rights of Aragon and its dependencies, Valencia
and Catalonia, were even more extensive. Any member of the Cortes
could present a memorial of grievances; until these grievances were
redressed the session could not be closed; and no law could be passed
or tax imposed except by the unanimous vote of the assembly. The
royal tribunals were subject to that of the Justiza, and any one
who set foot in Aragon could escape from the jurisdiction of the
royal courts by ‘manifesting’--that is, by appealing to his aid. No
foreigners could hold office in Aragon; the Inquisition, though
established, met with constant opposition. With these privileges
Philip came into open conflict when, in April, 1590, Antonio Perez,
his secretary, fled to Aragon and claimed the protection of the
Justiza (cf. pp. 307-9). On the pretext that Perez had, in the
justification which he had just published, been guilty of blasphemy,
he was, at the demand of the Inquisitors of Aragon, transferred to
their own prison. The citizens of Saragossa at once rose against
this violation of their ‘fueros.’ The Justiza was mobbed for having
surrendered the prisoner; the royal representative, the Marquis of
Almanara, was killed; and the Inquisitors, in fear of their lives,
restored Perez to the ‘Aljaferia,’ or Justiza’s prison. Four months
later, another attempt on the part of the Inquisitors (September 1591)
led to a renewed revolt, which was supported by the new Justiza, who
had been just appointed. Philip forthwith ordered an army to march
(October 24). The rebels had no army or organisation, and found little
support, except from some of the more violent of the peasants, who
betook themselves to brigandage. Accordingly, the royal army met with
no resistance; and when it reached Saragossa on November 12, 1591,
the city submitted without striking a blow. Although Philip published
an amnesty, all the leading men who had taken any part were excepted;
and the Justiza himself was executed, in violation of the law that
he could not even be arrested unless by the order of the Cortes. A
meeting of that body followed. In spite of the rule that it should be
presided over by the King himself, or a prince of the blood, the chair
was taken by Chinchon, the Archbishop of Saragossa, and the Cortes
consented to the following invasion of their privileges. The King was
to be allowed to nominate aliens as his viceroys; a definite time
was to be fixed for presenting grievances; except for the voting of
taxes, the right of any member to veto any measure was done away with,
and matters were to be decided by the vote of the majority of each
estate. This last concession practically made the King master of their
decisions, since he had the power of adding to the number of deputies
of each estate by summoning his nominees. Finally, for the appointment
of the deputies of the Justiza, a complicated system was established
which practically put the nomination in the King’s hands, and made
them the creatures of the royal will. Here, therefore, ended the
real independence of the Cortes of Aragon, and of its Justiza. True,
the country was not so severely taxed as Castile; yet, as in Castile
itself, the shadow of constitutional liberty alone remained, while the
reality had departed.

  | Government of Naples, Sicily, and Milan.

An identical policy, although in a more exaggerated form, was pursued
by Philip in Sicily, in Naples, and in Milan. Satisfied with getting
the control of the central courts of justice, and of the supreme
executive, into the hands of his nominees, Philip allowed the old
assemblies, the feudal and municipal privileges, to continue. For the
rest the royal authority was maintained by the Viceroy. He made use of
class and local jealousies; he played off noble against burgher and
peasant, laity against clergy; he resorted to wholesale corruption,
and kept an army, mainly composed of Spaniards, to fall back upon in
the last resort; and, if at any time the Viceroy became too unpopular,
he could always be made the scapegoat and removed. It was in Naples
that the authority of the Viceroy was the least uncontrolled, that
corruption was deepest, and the taxation heaviest; while Milan
was protected by the privileges of the town and the pretensions
of the archbishop, more especially under the well-known prelate,
Carlo Borromeo; and in Sicily the feudal rights, and the municipal
privileges of such towns as Messina and Palermo, were too powerful to
be entirely overthrown.

  | The Central Councils.

Under such a system of government as this, it was inevitable that the
real power should lie with the King and with those central councils
which controlled the administrative and judicial system in the various
parts of the empire. Of these there were as many as eleven,[64] of
which the three following were the most important: the Council of
State, the Council of Castile, and that of the Inquisition. The
Council of the Inquisition has already been described (p. 279). The
Council of State confined itself for the most part to foreign
affairs. But since Philip looked upon Castile as the centre of his
empire, it was but natural that the Council of Castile should become
the most important. Its functions were mainly judicial; it heard
appeals from inferior courts, and under Philip II. was mainly composed
of lawyers. It enjoyed, however, other powers; it kept the Church in
control, it drafted laws, and was generally consulted on all matters
of state interest. In fact, it became practically the Council of State
for the interior. The nomination of the members of these Councils
was exclusively in the hands of the King. With the exception of the
Council of State they were composed of ecclesiastics as well as
laymen, but the nobles rarely found a place there.

  | Exclusion of nobles from political power.

Excluded altogether from the Cortes of Castile, and with a very
limited representation in that of Aragon,[65] the Spanish nobility
took but little part in political affairs at home. They had enormous
revenues; they were exempted from taxation; they filled most of
the offices in the royal household; they often commanded the royal
armies and fleets abroad; they acted as ambassadors, and as Viceroys
in the dependent states and in the colonies; but at home they had
little influence. They were no longer allowed to bear arms or levy
their retainers, except in the royal service; and, except on special
occasions, such as the rebellion of the Moriscoes, rarely appeared
in the field unless on foreign service. The time which was not spent
at court, was passed on their wide domains, where they copied on a
small scale the magnificence and the etiquette of the court. Living
thus in proud isolation, with much wealth but little power, they
refused to mix, or to intermarry with the lower classes, and rapidly
became a degenerate and useless class like the nobles of France in the
eighteenth century.

The Councils, then, depending as they did on the royal will, were
filled for the most part with the obsequious servants of a suspicious
master who could ruin them at his pleasure, unless, indeed, as was
sometimes the case, they were able to spread a net of intrigue round
the King which he was, for a time at least, unable to break. If Philip
usually asked the advice of his Councillors, he kept to his father’s
injunction, ‘to depend on no one but himself.’ He did not often appear
at their sessions; sometimes he altered despatches before submitting
them to his Councils; he generally received their opinions through a
committee, or more often demanded a written report, which he took to
his private cabinet and annotated with marginal comments. True to his
boast, that ‘with a bit of paper he ruled over both hemispheres,’ he
sat at his desk for hours together, sometimes assisted by a secretary,
sometimes by his favourite daughter Isabella, often quite alone,
and covered the state papers with notes in his crabbed hand with
the assiduity of a clerk, and not uncommonly with trivialities, of
which a schoolboy might be ashamed. Under these circumstances the
actual authority exercised by any individual depended on his personal
influence, and that of his clique, with the King. Although Philip
would allow his ministers considerable latitude as long as he trusted
them, his suspicions were easily aroused. He made use of one minister
against another; he learnt from each severally the views and opinions
of the others; he adopted the same system of espionage with regard
to them as he did, through his secret emissaries, abroad, and his
suspicion once aroused, the fall of the minister or viceroy was not
far off.

  | The chief ministers.

  | The Duke of Alva.

  | Ruy Gomez, Prince of Eboli.

  | Cardinal Espinosa.

Of the ministers who chiefly enjoyed his confidence the following
may be mentioned. At the beginning of his reign three men were
most influential: the Duke of Alva, Ruy Gomez de Silva, Prince of
Eboli, and Espinosa. The Duke of Alva had been a trusted adviser of
Charles, and had served him in his wars. Accordingly he recommended
him to his son as the ablest statesman, and the best soldier in his
dominions. Alva’s love of carefully weighing all sides before arriving
at a decision, coupled with his determination in carrying out the
royal will, made him a congenial spirit. He was Grand Steward of the
household, and a member of the Council of State, and for the first
few years had much influence. From the very first, however, he found
a rival in Gomez. This nobleman, descended from the younger branch of
a Portuguese family which had settled in Castile, had, as an imperial
page, become the favourite of Philip when prince. The ascendency
thus obtained he subsequently maintained by his knowledge of the
humours of his master, his pliability, his obsequiousness, and his
dexterity; while by his affability to others he succeeded in retaining
popularity. After his marriage with Anna Mendoza, Princess of Eboli, a
woman remarkable for her wit and for her beauty in spite of the loss
of an eye, he was created Prince of Eboli, and made a member of the
Council of State, and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber. Generally in
favour of pacific measures, he was opposed to the policy of repression
in the Netherlands, of which Alva approved. On this question Alva’s
advice prevailed; but with his departure to carry out the policy he
advocated, the influence of the Duke declined. The King perhaps had
learnt to resent his haughty demeanour; at all events Alva ceased to
play an important part in affairs of state.[66] The influence of the
Prince of Eboli was now supreme; and by his adroitness, and, if we may
believe some, by the complaisance of his wife to the attentions of
the King, he continued to retain his power till his death, in July,
1573. The third man of note during Philip’s earlier years was Diego de
Espinosa, who attracted the attention of the King by his extraordinary
capacity for work, and by his ability. He became President of the
Council of Castile and of the Indies; he was also Inquisitor-General,
a member of the Council of State, and Bishop of Siguença, and,
finally, was created Cardinal. This rapid rise, however, made him so
arrogant that he shortly incurred the dislike of his master, and on
being given the lie by the King in open council, Espinosa took to his
bed and died of chagrin, in September, 1572.

  | Antonio Perez.

After the death of Ruy Gomez in July, 1573, his policy was continued
by the Marquis de Los Velez, the Queen’s major-domo, and by Antonio
Perez. The history of the latter is so characteristic of the dealings
of Philip with his ministers, that it requires more elaborate
notice. Antonio Perez, the illegitimate son of Gonzalo Perez,
Archdeacon of Sepulveda--one of the secretaries of state of Charles
V., and afterwards of his son--had learnt his business in the service
of the Prince of Eboli. On his father’s death, in 1566, Perez had
succeeded to some of his duties, and on the death of his patron, the
Prince of Eboli, he stepped into his place and continued his policy,
supported by the powerful advocacy of his widow. Blindly devoted to
the service of the King, and an adept at that system of espionage
which Philip loved, he sought for confidences that he might betray
them to his master, and flinched at no baseness to do him service. Of
these despicable acts, the dealings of Perez with Don John will
furnish the most flagrant example. We shall find (p. 353) that it
was Perez who fed the jealousy of Philip for his half-brother; that
he made use of Escovedo, Don John’s secretary, to tempt Don John
into rash statements, only that they might be communicated to the
King, and finally that it was he who saw Philip’s order to murder
the unfortunate secretary carried out. From that moment, however,
Perez knew no peace. His enemies in the council fostered the report
that he was the murderer of Escovedo, and implored the justice of
the King. Philip at first promised to support his instrument, or,
rather, his accomplice, but suddenly changed his mind, and had him and
the Princess of Eboli arrested (July 28, 1579). The explanation of
this strange conduct is still one of the mysteries of that reign of
mystery. The popular opinion, that it was due to the wounded pique of
the monarch, who was affronted because the widowed Princess of Eboli
preferred the embraces of the secretary to those of his master, is
not very probable. The report was based on vague surmises, and is not
supported by any definite proof; the Princess was now in years, and
the mother of ten children; the wife of Perez remained the constant
defender of her husband; nor is it easy to believe that Philip’s
confessor, Fray Diego de Chaves, would have shown such activity in the
matter had the reason for the persecution of Escovedo been of this
shameful character. It would appear more likely that Philip became
convinced that Perez and the Princess had deceived him in the matter
of Escovedo, and that, possibly to free themselves from a rival, they
had by their slanders compassed the death of the unfortunate man. The
conduct of the King seems to support this view. Afraid apparently of
compromising revelations with regard to his treatment of Don John,
and the murder of Escovedo, he at first seemed inclined to pardon
Perez, and even to recall him to his work; and it was not until
November, 1581, that, urged on by his confessor, he determined on
a more rigorous course. From that moment, the affair became almost
a personal struggle between the King and Perez. For five years the
ignoble matter dragged on, while Philip was collecting evidence
against his secretary. Perez was then (January 23, 1585) condemned
to a fine and to two years’ imprisonment, followed by eight years’
exile. Even then an attempt was made to get hold of all compromising
papers and letters. These had been hidden by the wife of Perez at the
commencement of the affair, but, though imprisoned, she refused to
surrender them, even after receiving her husband’s leave. Meanwhile,
Perez himself succeeded in escaping from his house, where he had been
confined, and took sanctuary. This was, however, violated, and Perez
was seized and put to torture. Nevertheless, on April 20, 1590, he
managed to escape from his tormentors, dressed in his wife’s clothes,
and fled to Aragon, where we have already met him (p. 300). On the
suppression of the revolt in that kingdom he once more succeeded in
escaping, this time to France. Philip still pursued him with fury;
he suborned agents to murder him; he tried to entrap him by means of
a woman of Pau, but all in vain. Perez subsequently went to England,
where he stirred up Elizabeth to send the expedition to Cadiz (cf.
p. 374). He finally survived his persecutor, and tried to make his
peace with Philip III. by offering to betray the state secrets of
the countries which had given him refuge. Philip, meanwhile, baulked
of his prey, took vengeance on the Princess of Eboli, and the heroic
wife of the secretary. The first was treated with increased harshness,
and died eighteen months afterwards (February 1592); the second was
imprisoned with her children, during the rest of Philip’s life.

  | Change of Ministers and of Policy, after fall of
  | Perez, 1579.

  | Cardinal Granvelle, 1579-1586.

  | Idiaquez and Christoval de Moura.

With the fall of Perez in 1579, the party originally led by Ruy Gomez
lost influence in the royal councils. Their places were taken by
Granvella, Don Juan de Idiaquez, and Christoval de Moura. Of these,
Cardinal Granvelle, son of the Chancellor of Charles V., and a native
of Franche-Comté, had already served Philip as a member of the
Consulta in Flanders, 1559-1563 (cf. p. 321). Since then he had filled
the post of Viceroy of Naples, where he had distinguished himself by
forming the league which led to the battle of Lepanto (cf. p. 293). He
was now appointed President of the Council of Castile. Idiaquez, son
of a secretary of state under Charles V., succeeded to Perez’ place
as secretary, while Moura, a Portuguese, was appointed member of the
Council of Finance, and took an active part in the conquest of his
native country (cf. p. 297). This change of ministry was marked by a
complete revolution in the policy of the King. Philip had hitherto
pursued a pacific policy in Europe; but from this moment he began to
embark on those attempts to make himself master of France and England
which finally ended in complete collapse.

  | The Night Junta.

Granvelle soon found himself supplanted by his colleagues; and on his
death (September 22, 1586), Idiaquez and Moura with the addition of
the Count de Chinchon, an Aragonese, formed a triumvirate known as
the Night Junta, to which all important affairs from every department
were referred. Under the rule of this Junta, which lasted to the end
of the reign, the administration became more corrupt, and the quarrels
among the subordinates more frequent, while the irresolution and
procrastination of the King increased as his health began to fail.

  | The King’s Confessors.

We should, however, fail to appreciate the influences which surrounded
Philip if we omitted his confessors. These were two Dominican
friars--Fray Bernardo de Fresneda up till 1577; from that date till
1595, Fray Diego de Chaves. Both these men added to their position
as confessors a post in the civil administration. The former--’the
fat Bishop of Cuenca,’--whom Cecil’s agent declared to be one of the
‘chiefest’ of the ministers, was appointed a member of the Council
of War, and commissary-general of the revenue derived from the
Cruzada. The second had even greater influence. Nominated a Councillor
of State in 1584, we find De Chaves taking a principal part in the
affair of Perez, in the suppression of the rebellion in Aragon, and in
the conquest of Portugal. He did not scruple to betray to his master
the secrets he learnt in the confessional, but in return for this
devotion he at times demanded obedience. Thus, in 1591, we find him
actually refusing the sacrament to Philip until the King should follow
his wishes with regard to the appointment of the President of the
Council of Castile.

  | The beginnings of a standing army.

  | The evils of the absolute rule of Philip.

To this despotic rule, one thing alone was wanting--a standing
army--and even there a beginning had been made. Although a large force
had been kept on foot by Philip’s father, it was only used on foreign
service, and was stationed abroad. For service at home, Charles
had depended on the militia levies from the towns, and the feudal
service of the nobles and their retainers. To these Philip added
the ‘Guards of Castile,’ a considerable force of men-at-arms with
their followers, together with some squadrons of light cavalry, who
were put upon a permanent footing, and retained at home. Henceforth
the government had an army at hand wherewith to quell any domestic
troubles. But if Philip’s rule may be justly called a despotism,
here too, as ever, that despotism involved the restraints and the
intrigues of a bureaucracy--a bureaucracy which, though appointed by
the King, sometimes became his master. Nowhere perhaps can a more
startling illustration be found of the evil results of absolute rule,
especially when placed in the hands of a man of small intelligence,
of narrow and bigoted views, and of suspicious temperament, yet with
a tenacious love of power, and with indefatigable though misdirected
industry. Charles had, indeed, ruled despotically, and with some
success. But the son resembled his father in one point only, his
self-control. Neither good nor bad news made him display any emotion;
at most, when some untoward event was announced, he was seen to clutch
his beard. For the rest, Philip had not his father’s gifts, and,
with such a man, the consequences of the system were disastrous. His
determination to hold the reins of government, at least in appearance,
necessarily caused delay; and, coupled with his unfortunate delusion
that ‘time and he were a match for any other two,’ led to that fatal
habit of procrastination and irresolution which often ruined his most
cherished schemes. Dearly as he loved power, he was not strong enough
always to take the lead himself; and hence his eager desire for the
opinions of his councillors. No doubt he fancied that the ultimate
decision lay with him; yet often, in reality, he was guided by the
individual who for the moment had his ear. Under these circumstances
it was inevitable that intrigue and corruption should gather round
him, until they were often too strong to be withstood. Meanwhile, in
the lower orders of the bureaucracy these evils grew apace, and were
even acknowledged by Granvella himself.

Nevertheless, since it is not to be denied that Philip decided what
influences should be near him, and thus gave the general tone to the
character of the administration, he must be held primarily responsible
for its harmful action. We have already shown how the isolation
of the nobility was fostered; how by the absolute authority which
Philip exercised over the Church, combined with the powers of the
Inquisition, all independence of thought was crushed; how by a narrow
bureaucratic system, the people were deprived of the substance of
political power.

  | Philip’s Financial and Commercial Policy.

A few words remain to be said on the commercial and financial policy
of the reign. The view prevalent at that time in Europe that gold
and silver were the most desirable of all forms of wealth, and that
a country benefited when the imports of those metals exceeded their
exports, had a certain practical truth in it. It should be remembered
that, in the absence of paper money, the amount of metallic currency
required within a country would, relatively to the volume of trade,
be greater then than now. Moreover, since national loans were only in
their infancy, and a National Debt unknown, a well-filled treasury
was necessary to meet great emergencies, such as a war. Above all, in
those countries which did not themselves possess any mines, the only
way of obtaining the precious metals was in exchange for homemade
goods, or by trade. In such countries, therefore, the doctrine
tended to stimulate, not to cramp industrial enterprise. The case
of Spain, however, was different. The mines of the New World gave
her the precious metals, and therefore she was tempted to discourage
the imports of foreign countries, and even to forbid the exportation
of gold and silver. Nor was this all. Trusting to the produce of
the mines, the Spaniards both at home and in the colonies were
encouraged in their national dislike for the more laborious, though
more productive industries, and national indolence increased. The
mines, moreover, were not nearly so productive as was hoped, and
Philip soon learnt that the wealth turned out by the Flemish looms was
infinitely greater than that produced by the far-famed mines of Mexico
and Peru.

The absurd regulations with regard to trade, which were not however
new, led also to disastrous results. In the vain hope of keeping
prices down, the export of corn and cattle, and even dealing in
corn within the country, was prohibited; importation of any kind
from the Barbary coast was also forbidden. The effect of these and
other absurd restrictions was that the cultivation of the restricted
articles was checked, and that trade gradually fell into the hands
of foreigners. Many of these, in return for loans, obtained licences
from the King to export, while the demand for foreign goods gave the
foreigner the command of the import trade. All articles of luxury
came from abroad, and we know that the rebels of the Netherlands
carried on a thriving trade in those very munitions of war which
Spain used in her attempt to crush them. It has been computed that
five-sixths of the home, and nine-tenths of the Indian trade were
monopolised by foreigners. Thus Spain, by no means wealthy by nature,
failed to enrich herself by trade and manufactures, and remained
poverty-stricken. The evil was increased by the exorbitant taxation
necessitated by Philip’s wars, and by the expenses of the court. These
taxes fell more especially on Castile and Naples, and were collected
by such evil and corrupt methods that, while the people suffered much,
the government often received but little.

  | General results of Philip’s Home Policy.

The general effect of Philip’s policy at home was to foster and
exaggerate all the worst traits of the Spanish character--its
intolerance, its ignorance, its indolence, and its pride; and if at
the beginning of his reign Spain seemed to have touched her pinnacle
of greatness, by the end of it she had made a long step towards her
future decline. We must now pass on to deal with Philip’s policy in
the Netherlands and abroad, to trace the failure of his attempt to
reduce these provinces to the condition of his other dependencies, and
the collapse of his wild idea of subjugating England and France to his
despotic rule.

[Illustration: THE NETHERLANDS]

FOOTNOTES:

 [59] The Grand Inquisitors during the reign of Philip were:--

      1. Don Fernando Valdès, Archbishop of Seville, 1547-1566.

      2. Espinosa, the King’s Secretary, Bishop of Siguença, and
      Cardinal, 1566-1573.

      3. Quiroga, Archbishop of Toledo, 1573-1594.

 [60] For the mystery of Don Carlos cf. Prescott, _Philip II._, c.
      vi.; Forneron, _Philippe II._, c. xi.; Gachard, _Don Carlos et
      Philippe II._

 [61] There were Moriscoes in other parts of Spain, especially in
      Murcia, Valencia and even in the Vega of Granada, who were not
      disturbed.

 [62] A _cruzada_ was a licence granted by papal dispensation,
      allowing the eating of eggs and milk on certain days. This
      licence was sold by the King, and to induce people to purchase
      it, every one was forced to buy these articles whether they ate
      them or no. An _excusado_ was the tithe upon one holding in each
      parish in Spain, granted to the King.

 [63] There were other possible claimants--Emanuel Philibert, Duke
      of Savoy, and the sons of Alexander Farnese, who could claim
      through the female line, but did not do so. Even Catherine de’
      Medici affected to base her title on descent from a distant King
      of Portugal, but did not at this time urge it. The question of
      the succession, and the close relationship between the royal
      families of Spain and Portugal will be best understood from the
      following table:--

                          { Isabella, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.
  =Emanuel of Portugal= = { Mary, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.
                        | { Eleanor, sister of Charles V.
                        |
      +-----------------+------+----------+-----------+
      |                        |          |           |
  =John III.= = Catherine,   Lewis,    =Henry,     Isabella = Charles V.
  1521-1557.  | sister of    Duke of   Cardinal=,           |
              | Charles V.   Beja.     1578-1580.           |
              |                .                            |
              +--+-------+     .................            |
                 |       |                     .            |
   Philip II. = Mary  Emanuel = Joanna,     Antonio,        |
   of Spain.            John, | sister of   Prior of        |
                       +1554. | Philip II.  Crato, the      |
                              |             Pretender.      |
                         =Sebastian=,                       |
                          1557-1578.            +-----------+
                                                |           |
                                           =Philip II.=  Joanna =
                                                          Emanuel John.

 [64] The others were:--

      1. The Hazienda, for the administration of the revenue, and
      for the trial of cases concerning it.

      2. The Council of The Orders, for the administration of the three
      Military Orders of St. Iago, Calatrava, Alcantara.

      3. The Camera, originally a section of the Council of Castile,
      subsequently became practically a separate council.

      4. The Council of War.

      5, 6, 7, 8. The Councils of Aragon, Italy, Flanders, and
      Portugal. That of Portugal was created after the conquest of that
      country. That of Flanders soon ceased to be of much importance.

      9. The Council of Indies, for the general administration of the
      Indies, and for the trial of cases, civil and ecclesiastical,
      arising thence.

 [65] Only eight titled houses of the Grandees could claim a seat.
      Of the hidalgos, or lesser nobility, only those came whom the
      king chose to summon.

 [66] After the return of Alva from the Netherlands, a quarrel
      broke out between him and the King about the marriage affairs of
      his son, and he was ordered to live in retirement at Uzada, 1579.
      There he remained till his services were required for the
      conquest of Portugal, 1580. He died in December 1582.



CHAPTER VIII

THE REVOLT OF THE NETHERLANDS

     Policy of Charles V.--Regency of Margaret of Parma--The
     States-General of 1559 and their grievances--Granvella
     retires--Edict of Segovia--The Confederates at St.
     Trond--Alva--Execution of Egmont, Hoorne and
     Montigny--Jemmingen--The ‘Beggars’ seize Brille--Alliance with
     France--St. Bartholomew--Fall of Mons--Siege of Haarlem--Don
     Requesens--Military events--Conference at Breda--Exploits of
     Mondragon--Sack of Antwerp--Pacification of Ghent--Don John--The
     Perpetual Edict--The Archduke Mathias--Gemblours--Alexander of
     Parma--Union of Arras and Utrecht--Sovereignty offered to Duke
     of Anjou--The French Fury--Assassination of Orange--Successes of
     Parma--Henry III. and Elizabeth decline the
     Sovereignty--Leicester in the Netherlands--The Armada--Successes
     of Maurice--Death of Parma--The Archdukes Ernest and
     Albert--Truce of 1609--Condition of Netherlands.


The revolt of the Netherlands has been generally looked upon
as a notable instance of the resistance of a democracy to
religious persecution. The statement, however, requires some
modification. The religious element, no doubt, furnished
a principle of enthusiasm to many, more especially in the
northern provinces. Yet persecution was not the primary, nor
indeed the chief cause of discontent, and many Catholics, at
first, in any case, joined the party of resistance;[67] while the
oligarchical character of the government of many of the towns,
and the influential position held by the nobles, more especially
in the southern and western provinces, remind us that the
movement was far more oligarchical in character than has
often been allowed.

  | Previous history of the Netherlands.

Of the seventeen provinces which formed the Netherlands at the
accession of Philip II., the greater number had been gradually
collected together by the powerful Dukes of Burgundy during the
fifteenth century, by successful marriages, by cession, and by
conquest. On the marriage of the Burgundian heiress Mary to Maximilian
they had passed to the house of Hapsburg, and thence, by the marriage
of the Archduke Philip and Joanna, to their son Charles V. The tie
which bound these provinces together was purely a personal one. They
were held by various titles.[68] They were inhabited by peoples of
different race and language; the Dutchman in the north-east, the
Flamand in Brabant, the Walloon and the German in the western and
southern provinces. The social conditions also varied. In Flanders
and Brabant the country districts were in the hands of a powerful
nobility, the cities inhabited by an industrial and turbulent people,
controlled by opulent burghers. In the north, the democratic element
predominated, more especially in the Frisian provinces, and the
inhabitants spent their life either in fishing and commerce on the
sea, or in saving their country from its inroads. These differences,
social and political, were reflected in the variety of their
institutions. Each province had its own peculiar government. Many had
especial privileges guaranteed them by charter, and no native of one
province could constitutionally hold office in another.

  | Policy of Charles V.

The attempt of the Dukes of Burgundy to establish a more centralised
system of government, and to fuse these heterogeneous elements into
greater unity, had been strenuously resisted, more especially by the
burghers of Brabant and of Flanders, and the relations between the
provinces and their rulers had often been severely strained. During
the rule of the Archduke Philip (1494-1506) the struggle had abated,
but with the accession of Charles V., the policy of consolidation
and centralisation was again resumed. The boundaries were extended
by the acquisition of West Friesland in 1524, of the lordship of
Gröningen in 1536, and of the duchy of Gueldres and of the county of
Zutphen in 1543. By the treaty of Madrid (1526), Artois, Flanders,
and Tournay were freed from their dependence on France, and in 1528,
Charles acquired the temporalities of the bishopric of Utrecht, and
the lordship of Overyssel. In 1548, the whole of the Netherlands were
formed into the Burgundian Circle, while retaining their independence
of the Diet and the Imperial Chamber, and Charles thought of erecting
them into a middle kingdom under a separate government--a policy
which was, unfortunately, reversed when, in 1555, Charles decided to
leave these provinces to his son. Owing to his necessary absence from
the country, the Emperor left the control of the government in the
hands of Governesses--his aunt, Margaret of Savoy, ruling from 1506
to 1530; his sister, Mary of Hungary, the widow of Lewis, from 1530
to 1555--yet the policy of centralisation was steadily pursued. A
States-General composed of clergy, nobles, and city representatives
from each of the provinces, was summoned, although its meeting was
not a success. A Central Court of Justice was again established at
Mechlin, to which all provincial courts were declared subject. The
control of the administration was placed in the hands of three
Councils: a Privy Council, to act as a ministry of police and justice;
a Court of Finance over the financial chambers of the provinces; and
a Council of State, composed chiefly of the greater nobles, which,
under the presidency of the Regent, was to administer foreign affairs
and exercise a general superintendence over the other Councils. The
provinces were placed in the hands of Stattholders, nominated from the
ranks of the nobility by the Emperor himself. The other officials,
both municipal and judicial, were usually appointed by him. The
privileges of the towns were gradually circumscribed, and the attempt
of Ghent to refuse a tax voted by the States-General, and generally to
resist the centralising policy of the Emperor, was crushed out with
merciless severity in 1540; the immunities and privileges of the city
were declared forfeit, and the exclusive nomination of ten magistrates
vested in the Emperor’s hands (cf. p. 209).

It was on the question of heresy, however, that Charles proved himself
most inexorable. Not only had the doctrines of Luther early spread
among the Netherlanders, but the more extreme views of Calvin, which
were even better suited to the genius and character of the people;
while the extravagant and anarchical views of the Anabaptists of
Munster had appeared at Amsterdam, and elsewhere. Untrammelled by
the political difficulties which surrounded him in Germany, Charles
was eager to crush out these opinions. A series of edicts, termed
‘Placards,’ culminating in that of 1550, threatened death by pit,
fire, or sword to all convicted of heresy, or of harbouring heretics,
of dealing in heretical books, of attending conventicles, of disputing
on the Scriptures, or of image breaking. An attempt, indeed, to
appoint one Inquisitor-General, with uncontrolled powers of enforcing
these edicts, led to such discontent that the Inquisitor had to fly,
and Charles was fain to content himself with dividing the office
among four, who were not to proceed to sentence without the consent
of the provincial council. If the number of victims under these
‘Placards’ has been grossly exaggerated, yet at least Charles had not
refrained from persecution. Nevertheless, he was not unpopular in the
Netherlands; the religious and political grievances had not as yet
become identified. Charles was a Fleming born; in his earlier years he
was entirely in the hands of his Flemish councillors, and if latterly
the exigencies of his European position enforced his residence
elsewhere, he often visited the home of his birth; and not only
abstained from appointing foreigners to office in the Netherlands,
but irritated his Spanish subjects by raising Flemings to the highest
posts in Spain. His constant wars offered a profession to those who
cared for the pursuit of arms, and the wide extent of his empire gave
commercial opportunities of which the industrious Flemings were eager
to take advantage. At no time was the prosperity of the Netherlands
greater; the looms in the western towns were never busier; the lands
of Flanders and of Artois were rich in corn; the north-east provinces
furnished ample supplies of butter and of cheese, while the fishermen
enriched themselves by the herring fishery. Antwerp, which of late
had taken the place of Bruges as the entrepot of commerce, became
one of the most populous and prosperous towns in Europe; its quays
were crowded with the shipping, its banking houses with the business
men, of every nation. The riches of the Netherlands may be estimated
by remembering that in a few years they contributed no less than
twenty-four millions of ducats to the finances of the Emperor. These
contributions had, however, only been extorted with difficulty; the
Netherlands complained that their revenues were expended on wars
in which they were not concerned; the religious difficulties were
increasing; and when Charles, in 1555, handed over the government to
his son, it was pretty clear that this prosperous yet turbulent and
independent people could only be kept loyal by clever and conciliatory
statesmanship.

  | Philip at once alienates the sympathies of the
  | Netherlanders.

The succession of Philip II. at this critical moment was most
unfortunate. His cold and arrogant behaviour was contrasted with
the more genial manners of the great Emperor; he made no secret of
his devotion to Spain and his contempt for his Fleming subjects,
while his bigoted adherence to the Catholic faith was proved by his
renewal of the edicts of 1550, in all their severity. Even the war
with France was not popular in the Netherlands; they complained that
their interests were sacrificed to those of Spain, and resisted the
demands made upon their purses. The Peace of Cateau Cambrésis (1559)
still further increased this discontent. By that treaty, the Duke of
Savoy, who had been Regent in Brussels since 1555, was restored to his
dominions in Italy. It therefore became necessary to choose another
Regent. Here was an opportunity of conciliating the Netherlanders by
appointing some Flemish noble, of whom there were at least two well
qualified for the post. William of Nassau had, by the death of his
cousin Réné in 1544, succeeded, not only to large possessions in
Holland and in Brabant, but to the rich lands of Chalons in France,
and the principality of Orange on the Rhone. Appointed Stattholder of
Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, and West Friesland by Charles V., he had
been intrusted by him with military command, and with the conduct of
diplomatic missions, an employment for which he displayed a special
gift. By character and position he would have been excellently well
fitted for the position of Regent. Failing him, there was Lamoral,
Count of Egmont, and Stattholder of Flanders and Artois, who although
inferior to the Prince of Orange in ability and strength of character,
had gained a great reputation in the battles of St. Quentin and
Gravelines, and was, owing to his genial and impulsive nature, a
general favourite.

  | Margaret of Parma appointed Regent. 1559-1567.

  | The Consulta.

  | Unpopular measures of Philip.

  | Grievances presented by States-General of 1559.

Philip, however, had no intention of appointing any one who was
likely to be too powerful or independent, and finally selected his
half-sister Margaret, Duchess of Parma, the illegitimate daughter
of Charles V., and wife of Ottavio Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul
III. Margaret, who was at this time thirty-eight years of age, was the
daughter of a Flemish lady. She had been brought up by two Regents
of the Netherlands, Margaret of Savoy, and Mary of Hungary, and her
appointment was not disliked. But although of masculine appearance and
voice, she was a woman of no great political ability, and was apt to
adopt the policy of any one who for the moment was most influential,
and unfortunately those in power were most unpopular. Philip had
given instructions that she was to rule by the aid of the three
Councils, that of Finance, the Privy Council, and the Council of
State. The Council of State comprised amongst its members several
of the higher nobility, the most notable of whom were the Prince
of Orange and Egmont. It was nominally the supreme authority in
the Netherlands; but Philip gave orders that all the more delicate
questions of State should be in the hands of an interior Council,
termed the Consulta, which was composed of Count Berlaymont, Viglius,
and Granvelle. Of this triumvirate, Count Berlaymont, the president
of the Council of Finance, was a Fleming of good family, an honest
man, but with narrow and despotic views. Viglius, the president of
the Privy Council, was a jurist and a humanist of some reputation,
and a friend of Erasmus; yet he was so avaricious that he took orders
in order to enjoy the revenues of several benefices; he was wanting
in initiative, and was the humble follower of Granvelle. This man,
son of Charles’ chancellor, was born in 1517, at Besançon, in
Franche-Comté. Raised to the see of Arras at the age of twenty-five,
he had, during the declining years of his father, and after his
death in 1550, enjoyed the confidence of the Emperor, and was by
him specially recommended to Philip, who appointed him president of
the Council of State. Although a hardworking and able statesman of
polished and insinuating manners, and with a real interest in the
welfare of the Netherlands, he was ambitious, fond of power, corrupt,
and greedy. He was disliked as a Burgundian by the Netherlanders, and
detested as the representative of the views of Philip. Nor was the
policy of the King calculated to smooth the susceptibilities of the
Flemings. The Spanish troops, whose presence had been necessitated
by the war, were not removed on the conclusion of peace, and made
up for the arrears in their pay by extortion and plunder; while the
well-known intention of Philip to crush out heresy caused widespread
apprehension. These, and other grievances found expression at the
meeting of the States-General, which had been summoned to Ghent in
August, 1559. Philip indeed promised to withdraw the troops--a promise
which, owing to his procrastination, was not fulfilled till October
1560--but the other grievances he did not deign to notice. Sooner than
reign over heretics, he declared to his ministers he would rather
not reign at all; while the opposition shown to the foreigner caused
him to remark: ‘I, too, am a foreigner; will they refuse to obey me
as their Sovereign?’ Having thus disregarded the complaints of his
people, Philip left the Netherlands never to return again, after
accusing William of Orange, if we may credit a contemporary writer, of
being the real mover in the opposition which had shown itself in the
States-General.

  | Philip’s scheme of ecclesiastical reform.

The departure of the King was followed by another measure which
seriously aggravated the discontent. The ecclesiastical organisation
of the Netherlands was very imperfect. There were only three
sees--Arras, Tournay, and Utrecht, and their dioceses were far too
large to be efficiently administered. That of Utrecht alone included
three hundred walled towns and eleven hundred churches. The other
parts of the Netherlands were either under the jurisdiction of the
Bishop of Cambray, a free imperial city, or under that of foreign
Bishops such as Liège, while the duchy of Luxemburg formed part of
four foreign dioceses. The confusion and conflicts with regard to
appeals were further increased by the fact that these bishoprics
were under the jurisdiction of foreign metropolitans: the two first
being subject to the archbishopric of Rheims, Utrecht to that of
Cologne. Charles V. himself had planned a reform; time, however, and
opportunity failed him, and it was left to Philip to carry it out on a
more extended basis. The number of the bishoprics was to be increased
to fifteen; they were to be freed from all foreign control, and to be
organised under three archbishoprics--Mechlin, Cambray, and Utrecht,
of which Mechlin, with Granvelle as its archbishop, was to enjoy the
primacy; the requisite revenues were to be supplied from the abbey
lands within each diocese, and the abbeys to be placed under priors
dependent on the bishops: each bishop was to appoint nine additional
prebendaries, two of whom were to be Inquisitors and to assist him in
the work of rooting out heresy. The announcement of this scheme was
met with a storm of opposition from Catholic and Protestant alike. The
bishops, it was declared, would be the creatures of the crown; while
the abbots, whose place they were to take, had been elected by the
monks, and had represented the local interests in the provincial
assemblies and in the States-General. The appropriation of the
revenues of the abbeys was denounced as an act of spoliation, by the
nobles especially, whose sons had often filled the place of abbot. The
more careless and ignorant of the clergy feared the stricter
supervision and discipline which would ensue. Above all, the measure
was condemned as an attempt to introduce the Spanish Inquisition. It
is true, no doubt, that some reform was needed, and that much of the
opposition was due to interested motives; nevertheless it was unwise,
if not unconstitutional, to introduce such a radical alteration in
the ecclesiastical organisation of the country without the approval
of the States-General, or even of the Council of State. The change
would certainly have enhanced the despotic authority of the crown;
while the inquisitorial powers given to the bishops at the very
moment when Philip was crushing out Protestantism in Spain, were of
dangerous import. In a word, the measure was inopportune unless it
was avowedly intended to serve the interests of authority and of
persecution, and if it was so intended, it demanded the most strenuous
opposition. Accordingly, the scheme met with such resistance that it
could not be fully carried out; Antwerp, which was specially protected
against an increase of ecclesiastical power by ‘La Joyeuse Entrée’
(the charter of Brabant), Gueldres, Utrecht, and five other places
escaped. But even mutilated as it was, the measure served to unite
the religious and political malcontents, and seriously increased the
unpopularity of the government.

  | William of Orange heads the Opposition.

  | Granvelle retires. March 1564.

  | Egmont sent to Spain, Jan. 1565. Philip refuses to
  | listen.

  | The Edict of Segovia.

In April, 1562, the first attempt to rescue victims of the Inquisition
was made at Valenciennes; at the same time the opposition of the
nobles to Granvelle became more determined. As Archbishop of Mechlin,
he was looked upon, though wrongly, as the prime mover in the matter;
as president of the Council of State he was held responsible for all
the hated measures of the King; while his acceptance of a cardinal’s
hat, in 1561, still further awakened the jealousy of his enemies. The
malcontents found a leader in the Prince of Orange. In 1561, he had
taken as his second wife Anne, the daughter of Maurice of Saxony, the
old opponent of Charles V. The marriage had been opposed by Granvelle
as likely to strengthen the Protestant sympathies of the Prince, and
from that time forward there was open war between them. Finally, in
March 1563, Orange, Egmont, and Hoorne addressed a letter to Philip,
in which they demanded the dismissal of the Cardinal, and declined to
appear at the Council of State until their demand was granted. Even
the Regent Margaret, who had hitherto been a strenuous supporter of
Granvelle, deserted him, and supported the request of the nobles. In
March 1564, after long delay, Philip at last consented to dismiss his
minister. This however, had but little effect; for Berlaymont and
Viglius still remained, while Granvelle, from his place of retreat,
continued to advise the King; the system of government was unaltered,
the corruption continued, and the persecution did not cease. In the
following August, Philip added to the discontent by ordering on
his sole authority the publication of the Decrees of the Council
of Trent. This act met with general disapproval, not only from the
Protestants, but also from the Catholics, who looked upon it as an
infringement of their liberties. William of Orange expressed the
general opinion, when he declared in the Council of State that, in
the existing condition of public opinion, the Tridentine Decrees and
the edicts against heresy could not be enforced, and that it was time
that the corrupt system of government, the perversion of justice,
and the wranglings between the Councils should cease. To remedy this
state of things the nobles, led by the Prince of Orange and Counts
Egmont and Hoorne, urged on the Regent the necessity of summoning the
States-General and of increasing its powers, of reforming the Council
of State by the admission of more of the native nobility, and of more
completely subordinating the other Councils to it. Margaret, who had
now completely identified herself with the oligarchical party, adopted
their views, and Egmont was sent to Spain to urge their acceptance on
Philip (January 1565). Had Philip consented, the Netherlands might
have remained loyal; but the reforms would have involved an overthrow
of the bureaucratical system which had hitherto existed; the native
nobility would have regained power in the States-General, and in the
reformed Council of State, and a mitigation of the laws against heresy
must have followed. Philip therefore was unwilling to comply. In June,
1565, he had sent Alva to the Conference of Bayonne, and had urged
Catherine de Medici to proceed to stringent measures against the
Huguenots, and he was not likely to stultify himself by tolerating
heresy in his own dominions. He seemed indeed, at first, anxious to
procrastinate. Granvelle’s brother wrote in despair: ‘Everything goes
on from to-morrow to to-morrow: the only resolution is to remain
irresolute.’ Possibly Philip delayed in the hopes of winning over
Egmont. At all events, in October the King threw off the mask, and in
his famous despatches from the wood of Segovia forbade any change in
the system of administration, and ordered the edict against heresy to
be enforced with all severity.

  | General opposition.

  | The Compromise.

‘Now we shall see the beginning of a fine tragedy,’ said William
of Orange. The Regent, and even Berlaymont and Viglius, were
dismayed, and urged that Philip should be warned of the probable
consequences. But William declared that, ‘Since the word of his
majesty was so unequivocally expressed, all that remained for them
was to execute it.’ It is generally believed that the Prince of
Orange wished to precipitate matters; in any case his prophecy was
speedily to be fulfilled. In the agitation which ensued we find a new
element appearing. Hitherto the opposition for the most part had been
confined to the higher nobility, men who held some office, and who had
something to lose; now the lesser nobility began to move. These, like
the smaller nobility in France, had previously found occupation in the
wars, where they furnished a famous force of cavalry. The peace had
destroyed this occupation, and many had returned to their homes with
a turbulent spirit, a love of extravagance and of licence engendered
of the war, and ready for any opportunity of repairing their shattered
fortunes. Others, however, were of a more serious turn of mind, who
had, during their stay abroad, learnt and zealously adopted Protestant
opinions, while all were inspired by a sturdy love of freedom. Of the
less reputable, Henry, Viscount of Brederode, is a fair type. Philip
van Marnix, Lord of Sainte Aldegonde, represented the fanatical party;
while Louis of Nassau, the impetuous brother of William of Orange,
was the only statesman among them. Their views were expressed in ‘The
Compromise,’ a document which was very numerously signed by Catholics
as well as Protestants, and which declared that Philip had been
induced by evil councillors to establish the Inquisition, in violation
of his oath, and that they would resist it.

  | Petition of the Confederates, April 5, 1566, sent to
  | Spain by Bergen and Montigny.

It does not appear that any of the greater nobles signed the
Compromise. William of Orange himself openly condemned the violence
of its tone; yet his influence is probably to be traced in the
more moderate petition which the Confederates, led by Brederode,
presented to the Regent on April 5, 1566. In this petition, while
protesting their loyalty, they expressed their fears of a general
revolt, and demanded that envoys should be sent to Philip to urge upon
him the necessity of abolishing the Inquisition, and of summoning
the States-General for the purpose of moderating the edicts. The
Regent consented to despatch the Marquis de Bergen, and the Baron
de Montigny to Spain, and promised meanwhile some mitigation of
the edicts. Montigny reached Spain on June 17. But Philip, with
his usual procrastination, vouchsafed no answer until July 31. He
then promised that the Inquisition should be abolished, and that he
would content himself with the inquisitorial powers vested in the
bishops. Some hopes were held out that the severity of the edicts
would be moderated, and pardon was promised to any whom Margaret might
think deserving of it, on condition that they would abandon the League
of the Confederates and engage to support the government. To the
summoning of the States-General he would in no case consent.

  | Meeting of Confederates at St. Trond. July 1566.

There is little reason to suppose that these terms would have
satisfied the Netherlanders even if the King had been sincere. But
we now know that he protested in the presence of the Duke of Alva,
a notary, and two jurists that, as these concessions had not been
granted of his own free will, he did not feel himself bound to
them. He wrote to the Pope to the same effect, and forthwith began
secret preparations for the despatch of Alva to punish those to whom
a pardon had just been offered. Meanwhile, events happened in the
Netherlands which, unfortunately, went some way to justify Philip’s
conduct. The Confederates, in one of those drinking-bouts with which
they were too apt to inflame their patriotism, had assumed the name
of Les Gueux, possibly in allusion to a remark of Berlaymont that
they were nothing but a crowd of beggars. In July, they held another
meeting at St. Trond, near Liège, where, in spite of the opposition
of many Catholics, notably Count Mansfeld, they determined to insist
on complete toleration, and on some guarantee against the vengeance
of Philip. On the 28th, headed by Louis of Nassau, they presented
their petition to the Regent, but were ill received; and so convinced
were they that Philip would not long delay his vengeance, that Louis
proceeded to subsidise a force of mercenaries in Germany.

  | Iconoclasm causes a reaction.

At this moment an outburst of violent fanaticism ruined their
cause. The activity and violence of the preachers, which had of late
been increasing, led, in the early days of August, to a serious
outbreak of iconoclasm. Commencing at St. Omer, the contagion rapidly
spread, and in a fortnight four hundred churches were sacked in
Flanders alone, while in Antwerp the cathedral was stripped of all
its treasures. Images, relics, shrines, paintings, manuscripts and
books shared a common fate. Only a few of the southern provinces were
spared. The fanatics were joined by the criminal classes, and for
a time anarchy reigned supreme. Margaret, bowing before the storm,
followed the advice of William. She promised that the Reformers
should be allowed to hold their meetings in the places where they
had hitherto held them, until the King and the States-General should
otherwise command. The Confederate nobles, on a promise of pardon,
undertook to assist the government, and the Stattholders, despatched
to their respective provinces, succeeded--some by concessions, some by
more stringent measures--in partly restoring order. The violence had,
however, done its work. The Catholics, shocked at the extravagance
and profanity of the rioters, abandoned the movement in disgust. The
Lutherans, anxious to throw blame on the Calvinists, with whom they
had little sympathy, followed suit. Egmont and Hoorne made haste to
rally round the government; even William was forced to execute some of
the ringleaders in Antwerp before he could restore order. Margaret,
taking advantage of this reaction, assumed a bolder line, and
commanded that the towns which were least to be trusted should be
occupied by royal garrisons, levied among the Walloon and Catholic
provinces.

  | The Confederates rise, but are defeated.

The Confederate nobles, who had not been directly concerned in
these riotous proceedings, knowing that they would none the less
be held responsible, now rose. Compromised, however, as they were
by the extravagant conduct of the fanatics, and not quite prepared
to make common cause with them, they failed to obtain adequate
support. William forbade the citizens of Antwerp to march to the
defence of the patriots, who had seized the village of Austruweel
near by (March 13, 1567). They were defeated by the royal troops,
and their leader, the brother of St. Aldegonde, was slain. On April
2, Valenciennes, which had refused to admit the royal troops, was
taken; and shortly the Regent was practically mistress of the country,
with the exception of the province of Holland, and the city of
Antwerp. Fortresses were built in the principal towns; the meetings
of the Calvinists were dispersed; and many suffered death on the
scaffold, or at the hands of a ruthless soldiery.

  | Philip determines on stringent measures.

  | William of Orange retires to Nassau. April 30, 1567.

  | Egmont declines to move.

Yet Philip was not satisfied. He had for some time determined to
replace Margaret by a stronger hand, and, in spite of the opposition
of his chief minister, the Prince of Eboli, to take summary vengeance,
not only on the authors of the late excesses, but upon the greater
nobles, whom he held responsible for the troubles. Of this intention
William of Orange was fully informed through his secret and paid
agents at Madrid, and, despairing of successful resistance for
the present, he decided to retire. His conduct has been severely
criticised. Had he stayed, it has been said, and raised the standard
of civil war, the cruel rule of Alva might have been prevented, or
the struggle would have been ended sooner and with more brilliant
success. It must be admitted that there is something to be said for
this view. Subsequent events proved that the political and religious
issues must eventually become identified; and if so, the sooner that
occurred the better. The government was as yet ill-provided with
troops upon whom it could depend, and a victory at this moment would
have rallied to the Prince’s standard many who had not declared
themselves, and yet have made him strong enough to suppress the most
extravagant of his partisans. William might possibly have made the
venture if Egmont could have been prevailed upon to move. But Egmont
was a Catholic, and the movement had become decidedly anti-Catholic;
he still remembered the conciliatory treatment he had received in
Spain: he still trusted to Philip’s clemency and shrank from open
rebellion. Without Egmont, William was unwilling to take action. He
was an aristocrat at heart: he looked for reform to a properly
representative Estates-General, and was disgusted at the mob-rule
which had of late prevailed. Although he had probably by this time
embraced Lutheranism, he had no sympathy with the Calvinistic tenets,
and scarcely realised their strength as the militant creed of those
who fought for political liberty. Moreover, he had alienated the
Calvinists by his conduct during the late troubles, and it was
questionable whether they would heartily rally round him. Finally,
the Lutheran princes of Germany could not be depended upon, and, of
success without foreign aid, he despaired. With these views, he had
no alternative but to fly; and, after vainly warning Egmont that he
feared Philip was merely ‘making a bridge of him whereby he might
enter the Netherlands,’ he took refuge, together with his brother and
some of the other Confederates, in his county of Nassau (April 30,
1567).

  | Alva despatched to the Netherlands. April 1567.

William gone, all opposition was at an end. Antwerp opened its
gates on the day he left for Germany. Brederode, who had held
out at Viana in Holland, fled to Germany, to die in the summer
of 1568, a victim to his intemperate mode of life; and shortly
after all Holland submitted. The churches were now taken from the
Calvinists; the Regent issued a new edict which threatened death
to all Calvinistic preachers, and all who had been a party to the
late sacrilegious attack on the churches. The Prince of Orange had
left none too soon. Three days before he crossed the frontier, Alva
had started from Spain (April 27). The question as to the despatch
of Alva had been debated in the royal council. Ruy Gomez, Prince
of Eboli, the chief minister of Philip, and others, urged that the
Flemings were a people more likely to be overcome by clemency than
by arms. This was also the opinion of Margaret, who informed Philip
that order was now re-established, and that all that was needed was
‘not an army but a vigilant police.’ Philip, however, was of another
mind. He had from the first chafed under the restraints imposed on
his despotic authority by the privileges and independent spirit of
the Netherlanders, especially in the matter of taxation. He was
determined to root out heresy there, as he had done in Spain. Above
all he was eager to inflict summary vengeance on the nobles, whom he
considered the real authors of the troubles, and the chief obstacles
to the triumph of arbitrary rule. For this task no more fit agent
could have been found than the Duke of Alva. With a father’s blood
to revenge, he had been nurtured in the wars against the Moors. At
the age of thirty-nine he led the army of Charles V. against the
Lutherans at Mühlberg, and since then had governed Italy with a rod
of iron. His severity only increased with his age; and now at the age
of sixty, a good general, a severe disciplinarian, an enemy of all
political freedom, and a narrow bigot, he was a man after Philip’s
own heart, and one to succeed if severity without statesmanship could
win success. Appointed in the first instance Captain-General, with
supreme control over military affairs, he was by a later commission,
of March 1, 1567, invested with supreme control in civil matters as
well, and all authorities, including the Regent herself, were ordered
to obey his commands. He was to inquire into the causes of the recent
troubles, to bring the suspected to trial, with full authority of
punishment or pardon, and to reduce the country to submission.

  | Alva reaches Brussels, Aug. 22, 1567. Margaret
  | resigns, December.

With these extensive powers, and with an army of about 10,000 men,
chiefly composed of Spanish veterans, Alva reached Genoa on the 17th
of May. Thence he marched to the Mont Cenis, and, passing the Alps,
pressed northwards. His advance caused considerable apprehension at
once to the city of Geneva and the French court. Condé, indeed,
offered to raise a force and overwhelm him as he deployed from the
mountain passes. But Catherine declined, and contented herself with
levying a body of Swiss Catholics to watch his progress. Alva,
however, was careful to give no pretext for attack; enforcing the
strictest discipline, he proceeded by way of Franche-Comté and
Lorraine to Luxemburg. This he reached on August 8, and entered
Brussels on the 22nd. Margaret, hurt at the way in which she had
been treated, demanded her recall. Her request was not granted till
December 1567, but her authority was at an end, and even her protests
against the tyranny and cruelty of Alva’s rule were disregarded. The
horrors which followed have, perhaps, served to place her eight
years’ administration in too favourable a light. And yet, if she
had at first acquiesced in the unpopular measures of Granvella, she
had subsequently joined the greater nobles and backed their demands
for some mitigation of the Inquisition, and for the summoning of
the Estates-General. She had, indeed, put down the Iconoclasts with
a severe hand, but in this she had been supported by the higher
nobility, and probably would not have dissociated herself from their
cause. With no great administrative ability, and with some want of
initiative, she had a real interest in her charge, and a belief in
the loyalty of the greater nobles and in their fitness to rule the
country. She would probably not have altogether opposed their request
for an extension of the authority of the Estates-General, for a reform
of the Council of State, and for some toleration; and, had these
been granted, the troubles might have ceased. There was, however, no
prospect that Philip would grant such concessions, and under these
circumstances a continuation of her rule was impossible.

  | Egmont and Hoorne arrested, Sept. 9, 1567. Council of
  | Blood erected.

No sooner had Alva reached Brussels than the scheme of Philip rapidly
unrolled itself. In spite of the protests of Margaret, the Walloon
soldiers in the chief towns were replaced by Spanish soldiery,
who forthwith made up for the restraint imposed on them during
their march, by a reckless cruelty and a licence which even Alva
deplored. Egmont and Hoorne, enticed by fair promises, were arrested
on the 9th of September, together with Egmont’s secretary, Backerzell,
and Van Stralen, the Burgomaster of Antwerp. To try such offenders the
ordinary courts could not be trusted. Accordingly Alva created the
‘Council of his Excellency’ or of ‘Tumults,’ which became popularly
known as the Council of Blood. This terrible tribunal was nominally
composed of twelve judges. Two of these, Berlaymont and Noircarmes,
were nobles, and six were lawyers of the country; but these eight only
acted as assessors, or sub-commissioners, and the right of voting on
the cases was reserved to three Spaniards, Juan de Vargas, Del Rio,
and La Torre, the final ratification of their decisions being reserved
to Alva, who was president. Of this trio, Juan de Vargas, who presided
in the absence of Alva, was a miscreant who, after violating his ward,
an orphan in Spain, had fled from justice, and earned immunity by
subservience to the will of the King. He was in the habit of relieving
the monotony of his work of blood by cruel jokes at the expense of
the accused; while another judge, Hessels, who subsequently had much
influence, is reported, when aroused from naps in court, to have
cried out automatically: ‘To the gallows, to the gallows.’ To furnish
victims for this court, commissioners, despatched to the provinces,
arrested on the charge of treason all preachers, or harbourers of
them, all members of Calvinistic consistories, all who had joined
in destroying Catholic, or in building Protestant churches, and all
who had signed the Compromise. Except in more important cases, the
commissioners or local authorities proceeded to judgment, the revision
of their sentences being alone reserved for the Council itself; and
rarely, if ever, was the revision exercised on the side of mercy. The
punishment was death and confiscation of goods, and Alva hoped from
this source to replenish the exhausted treasury. As to the precise
number of the victims it is impossible to speak with certainty. Alva
is said to have boasted that he had executed 18,600 during the period
of his rule. This is probably an exaggerated statement, but that the
victims are to be counted in thousands is not to be doubted, nor that
the trials and executions were accompanied with all the refinements
that cruelty could suggest. It is indeed difficult to find a parallel
in history for this irresponsible and tyrannical court, which was
created by the mere word of Alva, without even the authority of
his written instrument, much less of the royal warrant, and which
violated every constitutional privilege of the Netherlanders. Alva
had indeed succeeded in his designs ‘of making every man feel that
any day his house might fall about his ears.’ Under the pressure of
these cruel proscriptions, the tide of emigration, which had already
begun under the rule of Margaret, assumed such proportions, even as
early as October, 1567, that a decree was then issued threatening
confiscation and death to all who left the country or abetted others
in so doing. This, however, only increased the panic; and by the end
of Alva’s administration, Granvella declared that there were 60,000
fugitives in England, and more in Germany.

  | Louis of Nassau wins the battle of Heiligerlee. May
  | 23, 1568.

The vengeance of Alva and his master could not, however, be sated
until the heads of the most distinguished had fallen. Since the arrest
of Counts Egmont and Hoorne, the proceedings against them had been
dragging slowly on, but in the early summer of 1568, events occurred
to hasten the hand of Alva. William of Orange and his brother Louis
had, by the end of April, succeeded in collecting a motley force of
Germans, of Huguenots, and of exiles from the Netherlands, and now
attempted a triple attack, in the hopes of exciting a rising against
the Spanish rule. Two of the attempts (that of Hoogstraten on Brabant,
and that of Coqueville, with his Huguenots, on Artois) failed, the
latter being dispersed by a French corps which was despatched by
Charles IX. But on May 23, Louis of Nassau succeeded in defeating a
force of Spanish soldiers at Heiligerlee under the Count of Aremberg,
the governor of Groningen, who himself fell in battle.

  | Egmont and Hoorne condemned and executed. June 5,
  | 1568.

The defeat of Heiligerlee hurried on the doom of the two Counts. Alva,
anxious to retrieve the disaster in person, was determined not to
leave them alive behind him. The counsel for the prisoners had
hitherto delayed to produce their evidence, probably in the hope that
the exertions made in favour of their clients by the Duke of Lorraine,
by many of the German princes,[69] and even by the Emperor himself,
might at least secure them a trial before the order of the Golden
Fleece, of which they were members. This privilege was, however,
refused them, on the ground that it did not extend to charges of
treason. On the 1st of June, a decree was published, declaring that
the time allowed for the production of witnesses had expired. On
the following day, Vargas and del Rio pronounced the prisoners
guilty of treason, and the sentence was confirmed by Alva. They were
convicted of having given their support to the Confederate nobles,
who signed the Compromise; of having shown favour to the sectaries
in their respective governments of Flanders and Artois, of Gueldres
and Zutphen; and of being parties to the conspiracy of the Prince of
Orange. On June 5, they were led to execution in the market-place of
Brussels. A few days before, the secretary of Egmont, Backerzell, and
the Burgomaster of Antwerp, had shared the same fate, after having
been cruelly tortured in the vain hope of extorting evidence from them
against Egmont and Hoorne. That the trial and condemnation of these
two nobles was flagrantly illegal is not to be questioned. It violated
the ancient privilege that no Fleming should be tried by a foreign
judge, and the right, definitely acknowledged by a law of 1531, of
the Knights of the Golden Fleece to be tried by their own order, a
law which Philip himself had confirmed in 1550. Moreover, the court
had been erected without a royal warrant; and the cause was decided
before the defendants had produced their evidence. Nor does it appear
that, apart from the technical aspects of the question, Egmont and
Hoorne had been guilty of treason. As Catholics they certainly had no
sympathy with the Sectaries; and this their conduct at the time of
the Iconoclastic riots shows; and if they indirectly supported the
movement of the Confederates who signed the ‘Compromise,’ there is
no proof that they intended to appeal to arms, or to throw off the
Spanish yoke--or that they did anything more than insist, perhaps with
somewhat too great vehemence, on the constitutional privileges of
their country.

  | Montigny condemned and secretly executed in Spain.
  | March 1570.

There yet remained one more noble for whose blood Philip thirsted. Of
the two envoys sent to Spain in 1566 (cf. p. 327) the Marquis of
Bergen had died in May 1567. In the following September, as soon
as the arrest of Egmont and Hoorne was known in Spain, Bergen’s
companion, the Baron de Montigny, brother of Count Hoorne, had been
seized. But it was not till February, 1569, that proceedings against
him were commenced. The results of the examination to which he was
then subjected were sent to the Council of Blood, which after a
year’s delay condemned him to death (March 4, 1570), without giving
him the opportunity of defending himself. The verdict was kept close,
and finally Philip ordered that he should be secretly executed in
Spain. This was represented to the unfortunate man as an act of
mercy, whereby he would be saved from the humiliation of a public
execution--while it was publicly announced that he had died a natural
death. His property, as well as that of the Marquis of Bergen, was,
however, confiscated. So successfully was the secret kept, that this
act of perfidy and tyranny was never known till 1844, when access to
the records at Simancas was granted by the Spanish government. Philip
might now indulge the hope that he had rid himself of all his enemies;
but Granvelle with truer insight remarked that ‘as they had not caught
William, they had caught nothing.’

  | Louis of Nassau defeated at Jemmingen. July 21, 1568.

  | Fruitless expedition of William of Orange. Oct. 1568.

From the tragedy in the market-place of Brussels, Alva marched
against Louis of Nassau, and on July 21, defeated him at the battle
of Jemmingen. In vain did William of Orange strive to retrieve this
disaster. In spite of the express command of the Emperor Maximilian,
who was attempting to mediate, he crossed the Meuse on October 5,
1568, and entered Brabant with a levy of German mercenaries, to
which were subsequently added a body of Huguenots under the Comte de
Genlis. In mere numbers Orange had the advantage over his adversary,
but in nothing else. Alva avoided a pitched battle, and with his
veterans completely outmanœuvred the ill-disciplined troops of
William, who soon became insubordinate and began to desert. No city
opened its gates; and the Prince, disheartened at the want of support
which he received, was forced to retreat to Strasburg, whence, after
disbanding most of his worthless troops, he and his brother joined
Coligny, and took part in the campaign of 1569 in France.

  | Financial tyranny of Alva.

The expeditions of William and of Louis had been premature. The
Netherlands, cowed by the late reign of terror, and always slow
to move, had not answered their appeal, and Alva felt so secure
that he determined to furnish Philip with tangible evidence of his
success. He had long talked of ‘the stream fathoms deep’ of wealth
which he would cause to flow from the Netherlands. The confiscations
of the disloyal falling short of his expectations, he now proposed
to tax the wealth of all. In March, 1569, summoning in haste the
Estates of each province, he demanded a tax of one per cent. on
all property, moveable and immoveable, a tax of five per cent. on
every sale of landed property, and one of ten per cent. on every
sale of moveables. The two first were heavy enough, but the third
amounted to nothing less than a proscription of all trade. Before
a commodity reached the hands of the consumer it would have to pay
the tax at least four times--first, as raw material; then, when it
passed from the manufacturer to the wholesale dealer; again, when
it was sold to the retail dealer; and, finally, when it was bought
by the consumer. The absurdity of this tax was patent to all but
Alva. Viglius, and even Berlaymont and Noircarmes tried to dissuade
him from his purpose; and, although most of the provincial assemblies,
inspired by fear, at first consented, the opposition of Utrecht,
which was soon imitated, forced Alva to postpone its enforcement for
two years, in return for a stated sum. In July, 1570, an amnesty
was proclaimed, although with so many exceptions as to render it
nugatory; and no sooner did Alva, on the expiration of the two years’
respite, attempt to enforce the hated tax (July 31, 1571) than a
storm of opposition arose. In vain did Alva offer to remit the tax
on raw materials, and on corn, meat, wine, and beer. In spite of the
threat of a fine on those who refused to sell, merchants declined
to deal, shops were shut, trade was at a standstill, debtors were
not able to meet their creditors, and many banks broke. The distress
caused by the lack of employment was also aggravated in the northern
provinces by a fearful inundation, caused by a north-westerly gale
which had destroyed the dykes in the winter of 1570. The numbers of
the ‘wild beggars’--already considerable--seriously increased, while
the Spanish troops, furious for their pay, which Alva was unable to
provide, became daily more insubordinate. The words of Margaret were
now fulfilled. ‘This man,’ she said, ‘is so detested by the people
that he will make the very name of Spaniard hateful.’ Even Alva
himself acknowledged that all had turned against him, and demanded
his recall. Philip, informed of the universal disaffection, had,
in September, 1571, appointed the Duke of Medina Celi as Alva’s
successor, but his love of procrastination caused delay, and the Duke
had not left Spain when the news arrived that Brille had been seized
by the ‘Beggars of the Sea.’

  | Brille seized by the ‘Beggars.’ April 1, 1572.

  | General revolt of the Northern Provinces.

Of those who fled from the tyranny of Alva, some had betaken
themselves to the sea, and carried on an organised system of piracy
against Spanish commerce. Although common fear of the Guises had
led to friendly relations between Philip and Elizabeth in the early
part of her reign, and still prevented open hostility between them,
Elizabeth had, more especially since the overthrow of Mary Stuart at
Carberry Hill (June, 1567), given a tacit approval to the attacks of
the English seamen on the Spanish settlements and trade, had harboured
the Dutch privateers, and even allowed them to sell their plunder in
English markets. In 1568, she had actually seized a Genoese loan,
which was on its way to the Netherlands. Philip had in retaliation
supported the Ridolfi plot of 1571, in favour of Mary Queen of Scots
and the Duke of Norfolk. The plot failed indeed, yet at this moment
Elizabeth was not anxious openly to defy the Spaniard. She therefore
ordered the Dutch privateers, then under the command of William de
La Marck, a noted and unprincipled freebooter, to leave the shores
of England. The fleet of twenty-four vessels accordingly put out to
sea, and La Marck, after attacking a Spanish merchant fleet which
he met in the channel, suddenly seized the town of Brille, at the
mouth of the Meuse (April 1, 1572). The seizure of Brille had not
been authorised by William of Orange, who was not yet prepared for
active operations, nor was it intended at first to be more than a
temporary raid. Nevertheless, it was the first act in the Revolt
of the Netherlands. The news of the ‘Beggars’’ exploit spread like
fire. Flushing, which commands the opening of the Scheldt, was the
first to rise; Enkhuizen, the Spanish arsenal on the Zuyder Zee,
soon followed, and shortly after, the chief towns of Holland and
Zealand--with the exception of Amsterdam and Middleburg--as well as
those in Guelderland, Overyssel, Utrecht, and Friesland, declared for
the Prince of Orange.

  | The French support the Rebels.

  | Louis of Nassau takes Mons. May 24, 1572.

  | Genlis defeated before Mons. July 19.

From this time forward the revolt of the Netherlands becomes closely
involved in the wider range of European politics, and with the
diplomatic relations of the great powers of France, Spain, and
England. As is more fully explained in the chapter on the religious
wars in France (pp. 411, 429), the policy of the French court was at
this moment in favour of supporting the Netherlands. Since the treaty
of St. Germains (August, 1570) Coligny had been in power, and had
prevailed on Catherine, and on her feeble son, Charles IX., to divert
the attention of the French from their civil and religious troubles
at home, by reviving the slumbering hostility against Spain. Even
Elizabeth of England, angry at the support Philip had given the
Ridolfi plot, and anxious to prevent either the dreaded union of
France and Spain, or the incorporation of any part of the Netherlands
into France, listened to these schemes, and entertained the idea of
marrying Anjou or his brother Alençon, to whom the sovereignty of
the Netherlands was to be offered. William of Orange had eagerly
embraced the French Alliance; and the outcome of the negotiations was
the taking of Mons, the capital of Hainault, on May 24, by Louis of
Nassau, assisted by a Huguenot force under the Comte de Genlis. On the
15th of July, the nobles and deputies from six cities of the northern
provinces met at Dort. While still acknowledging the sovereignty of
Philip, they recognised William as their Stadtholder, voted him a sum
of money, and gave him authority to take measures for liberating the
country from Spanish tyranny. William, assured of support from the
northern provinces, and trusting in the co-operation of the French,
had already crossed the Rhine on the 7th July, with the intention of
raising the southern provinces. A bitter disappointment was, however,
in store for him. On July 19, Genlis was defeated and taken prisoner
in his attempt to relieve Mons, which had been invested by the son of
Alva; and although the advance of William in the following August was
well received by most of the southern towns, his hopes were suddenly
dashed to the ground by the news of the massacre of St. Bartholomew
(August 24, 1572).

  | Change in the policy of the French court.

  | Effects of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew.

  | Fall of Mons. Sept. 19.

  | Reduction of Southern Provinces.

The reasons for this astounding revolution in the policy of the French
court are dealt with elsewhere (cf. p. 413 ff.). We are here concerned
with its effects on the struggle in the Netherlands. The news of the
massacre of St. Bartholomew fell ‘like the blow of a sledgehammer’ on
William of Orange. He continued, indeed, his march to relieve Mons,
but Alva, who had assumed the command on the 27th of August, avoided,
according to his wont, a pitched engagement; the troops of William,
discouraged by the defection of the French, became insubordinate;
the Prince himself was only saved from surprise in a night attack by
the watchfulness of his spaniel, and was forced to fall back on the
northern provinces. Louis of Nassau, thus deserted by his brother,
and no longer in hope of French assistance, capitulated on September
19. His troops were allowed to retire, in spite of the treacherous
request of Charles IX. that they should be cut to pieces, but the city
was cruelly treated in violation of the terms of capitulation. The
fall of Mons decided the fate of the southern provinces. City after
city returned to its allegiance and was admitted to pardon, with the
exception of the city of Mechlin. This prosperous city, that it might
serve as an example, was given over to pillage for three days by the
commands of Alva; churches and monasteries were ruthlessly sacked, and
Catholics as well as Protestants suffered at the hands of the brutal
soldiery.

  | Campaign of Don Frederick in the North.

  | Siege of Haarlem. Dec. 9-July 14.

  | Defeat of Spanish Fleet off Enkhuizen.

The struggle round Mons had at least given the northern provinces
time to strengthen themselves, and to Holland the Prince of Orange
retired, to organise resistance. It was now the plan of Alva to try
and isolate the revolt by reducing the chief towns in the north,
and so to place the disaffected provinces between two fires. The
work was intrusted to his son, Don Frederick. Zutphen was taken
and its garrison put to the sword. The provinces of Guelderland,
Overyssel, and Groningen submitted, and Don Frederick passed on
westwards to Holland, where Amsterdam was the only city held by the
Spaniards. After razing the small town of Naarden to the ground, in
violation of the terms on which it had capitulated, Don Frederick laid
siege to the important town of Haarlem. The city lies on the narrowest
part of the neck of land which separates the Zuyder Zee from the
German Ocean, and which at that point is barely five miles broad. Its
occupation by the Spaniards would completely isolate the northern
portion of Holland. Alva, fully realising the strategical importance
of the city, ordered his son, who had a force of 30,000 men, to take
it at all hazards. The task, however, proved most serious. The city
was protected on the east by the large though shallow lake of Haarlem,
and by land was only approachable from the west. The inhabitants,
warned by the experience of Zutphen and of Naarden that they could
expect no mercy, resolved to resist to the last; and although the
garrison was but some 4000, it took the Spaniards more than seven
months before they could reduce the city (December 9-July 14). The
siege was marked by great cruelty on both sides; and, after the
surrender, the city became a shambles, over 2000 being murdered in
cold blood. The news of the fall of Haarlem is said to have raised
Philip from a bed of sickness; but the city had been dearly won. Don
Frederick had lost 12,000 men, and the cruelties of the victors only
nerved the Netherlanders to greater efforts. ‘Our cities,’ said
William, ‘are pledged to each other to stand every siege, to dare the
utmost, to endure every possible misery, yea rather, to set fire to
all our homes and be consumed with them, than ever to submit to the
decrees of this cruel tyrant.’ The independence of Holland, indeed,
may be said to have been won by the defence of Haarlem. Fifteen days
after the fall of the town, the Spanish soldiers, furious at the
arrears of their pay, mutinied. They were conciliated by the promise
of the pillage of the town of Alkmaar if they could take it, but this
they failed to do; and on the 11th of October, Alva suffered a still
more serious check in the destruction of his fleet off Enkhuizen.

  | Alva superseded by Requesens. Nov. 17, 1573.

Philip, disheartened at the failure to crush out the revolt, and
assailed on all sides with complaints of the fiendish cruelty and
the incapacity of Alva, decided, after long hesitation, to supersede
him. The Duke de Medina Celi had been in the Netherlands since June,
1572; but, as it was not thought wise to change masters at such a
crisis, he had refrained from taking over the reins of power, and
remained a very unfriendly critic of Alva’s administration till
August, 1573, when he returned to Spain to swell the number of those
who condemned the policy of indiscriminate vengeance. Finally, on
the 17th of November, the new Lieutenant-Governor, Don Louis de
Requesens, Grand Commander of Santiago, arrived at Brussels. Alva left
the country, as he bitterly complained, without having gained the
approbation of the King, while he had incurred universal detestation
‘of Catholics as well as Protestants, of the clergy as well as
the laity.’ The tyranny and ferocity of his rule almost surpass
belief. Every form of torture which ingenuity could devise had been
exercised on his unfortunate victims, and he will ever remain in
history as the incarnation of fiendish cruelty. And yet, it must at
least be confessed that the policy he adopted was one after Philip’s
own heart in all but its failure, and that he had at least succeeded
in restoring the King’s authority in the southern provinces.

  | Military events of the year 1574.
  | Taking of Middleburg, Feb. 24.
  | Defeat of Mooker Heyde, April 14.
  | Siege of Leyden, Nov. 1573-Oct. 3, 1574.

It was the avowed intention of the new Governor-General to abandon
the system of wholesale proscription pursued by Alva, and to try and
win back the Netherlands by conciliatory measures. Nevertheless, his
attention was at first necessarily directed to military affairs. In
the north the cause of the patriots prospered. On the 21st of
February, 1574, Mondragon, who had held the important town of
Middleburg, was forced to capitulate, and thus the whole of the
island of Walcheren, which commands the two mouths of the Scheldt,
was finally lost to Spain; while the town of Leyden, which had been
invested since November, 1573, still held out for the Prince of
Orange. These successes in the north were, however, neutralised by the
terrible disaster of Mooker Heyde on the Meuse (April 14, 1574). Here
Louis of Nassau, as he attempted to force his way to join his brother
at the head of a motley body of French and German mercenaries, was
completely routed by the Spanish general Sancho de Avila. Louis
himself, with his brother, Count Henry, and Duke Christopher, son of
the Elector-Palatine, were among the slain. The death of Louis, ‘the
Bayard of the Netherlands,’ was a serious blow to William, who had
now lost three brothers in the field;[70] and Requesens, having with
difficulty quieted a serious mutiny of the victorious troops, ordered
the reinvestment of Leyden (May 26, 1574), which had been suspended
owing to the advance of Louis. In the opinion of Requesens, religion
had but little to do with the rebellion. He accordingly offered a
general amnesty to all, with a few exceptions, who would return to
Mother Church. But although this view of the Grand Commander was
correct enough with respect to the original causes of the revolt,
matters had changed, at all events in the northern provinces. There
religious and political discontent were fast becoming identified, and
already in the summer of 1572, William had complained of the cruelties
exercised by the patriots on priests and monks. The offers, therefore,
of the Governor-General were rejected, and with the cry, ‘Rather Turks
than Papists, better be drowned than taken,’ the citizens of Leyden
prepared to hold out to the last gasp. All hopes of succour by land
had been destroyed by the defeat of Mooker Heyde. Nevertheless, the
sea remained. This was indeed fifteen miles away; but the dykes were
cut; and, after a long and anxious delay, the wind shifted to the
north-west; two furious gales on the 18th September and the 1st and
2nd of October helped to heap the waters of the ocean on the land, and
enabled the fleet of Admiral Boisot to approach. The Spaniards, with
Valdés their commander, fled at the advance of this new enemy, and
the city was saved (October 3).

  | Meeting of Estates of Brabant. June 1574.

  | Conference at Breda. March-July 1575.

The relief of Leyden, the most brilliant success of the war--a success
commemorated by the foundation of the University--proved conclusively
that although the Spaniards might conquer by land, they were no
match for the ‘Sea Beggars’ wherever a ship could float. While this
memorable siege had been proceeding, Requesens had been attempting to
conciliate the southern provinces. On the 7th of June, an assembly of
the Estates of Brabant had been held at Brussels. The King’s pardon,
above mentioned, was published, and the abolition of the Council
of Blood and the tax of the tenth penny promised. The Estates, not
satisfied with this, demanded the departure of the Spanish troops,
the exclusion of foreigners from office, and the restoration of
municipal privileges to the cities, while they were niggardly in their
offers of money. Requesens had no authority to grant these demands,
and the attempt at complete restoration of the King’s authority in
the south had to be postponed. The alternative was to make peace
with William and the northern provinces. To this end, negotiations
had begun as early as the previous autumn, and finally in March,
1575, a conference was held at Breda. The commissioners who had been
appointed by the Estates of Holland and Zealand demanded the dismissal
of the foreigner, the summoning of the Estates-General from all the
provinces, and the toleration of Calvinistic opinion. The royal
commissioners offered to dismiss the foreign soldiers, if the Prince
would disband the German and other foreign mercenaries in his service,
and they consented to the summoning of an Estates-General. They,
however, asked that in return for the guarantee of the King’s
sign-manual and the pledge of the Emperor that the royal promises
should be kept, the Prince should give hostages and surrender some
of the most important towns he held. William was not likely thus to
deprive himself of effective means of resistance, and an agreement
was highly improbable on such terms, even if the religious difficulty
had not presented an insurmountable obstacle. The utmost that the
royal commissioners would offer was that those, who would not return
to the Catholic Church, should be allowed to sell their property
and leave the country. Requesens, despairing himself of peace on
such conditions, had made the curious suggestion to Philip that he
should surrender the Netherlands to some other ruler, who would
not have the same scruples with regard to toleration. ‘They might
be exchanged for Piedmont with the Duke of Savoy or be granted to
Philip’s second son.’ ‘To my son--never,’ wrote Philip on the margin
of the despatch. ‘I would rather he were a pauper than a heretic.’ And
in his answer to Requesens he suggested the advisability of adopting
Alva’s last advice to burn all the cities which could not be held;
then after secretly tempting the adherents of the Prince to win
pardon by assassinating their master, he relapsed into one of his
long periods of silence. Under these circumstances peace was clearly
impossible. The negotiations were broken off in July, 1575, and
Requesens with a heavy heart, a mutinous soldiery, an empty exchequer,
and a ruined credit, prepared for further operations.

  | Increased authority given to the Prince of Orange.

  | Mondragon secures the islands of Duiveland and
  | Schouwen. Oct. 1575-June, 1576.

Meantime, steps had been taken by Holland and Zealand to form a union
and to reorganise the government. There had been a tendency of late
on the part of the burgher aristocrats to place restraints on the
authority of the Prince. But he refused to accept the responsibilities
of rule under such conditions; and accordingly, in June, 1575, he was
intrusted with absolute power in all matters concerning the defence
of the country, subject only to the power of the purse, which was
reserved to the Estates. The magistrates and other officials were
to be nominated by him out of a list supplied by the Estates. The
Estates also demanded that he should suppress the open exercise of
the ‘Roman religion.’ William, however, insisted on substituting
for these words ‘any religion at variance with the Gospel.’ The
clause, even as amended, showed very clearly that the religious
question was coming more and more to the front, and the difficulty
of any compromise on this question, not only with the King, but with
those southern provinces where Catholicism was strong. In October of
the same year, the Estates of Holland and of Zealand took a still
more decisive step. Hitherto they had declared themselves the loyal
subjects of King Philip; they now resolved to forsake the King and
seek the sovereignty of some other prince. But their efforts were not
successful. Elizabeth, to whom they first offered the sovereignty,
played her usual game. She listened graciously to their offers; she
allowed them to purchase arms and levy soldiers at their own expense
in England; but on the question of the sovereignty she reserved her
decision ‘until she had done all in her power to bring about an
arrangement between them and their King’ (April, 1576). An offer made
at the French court to the Duc d’Alençon was no more successful; and
while these fruitless negotiations were being pursued the patriots
suffered a serious reverse in the north of Zealand. Of the three
islands, Tholen, Duiveland, and Schouwen, which lie between the
northern outlet of the Scheldt and the Meuse, the last had remained
in the hands of the Spaniards. In September, 1575, an attack, led by
Mondragon and supported by the fleet, was made thence on Duiveland,
which was taken in October. A landing was then effected on Schouwen,
and the town of Zierickzee was besieged, to fall in the following
June, 1576. By this brave exploit of Mondragon the island province
of Zealand was cut in two, and the northern outlet of the Scheldt
commanded.

  | Death of Requesens, March 5, 1576, followed by an
  | interregnum of eight months.

  | Revolt of Spanish soldiery. July 1576.

  | The mutineers sack Antwerp. Nov. 4, 1576.

In the midst of this transient success, Requesens died suddenly of
a fever aggravated by the anxieties of his post (March 5). Philip
allowed several months to slip away before he finally decided
on his successor. Meanwhile, the Council of State carried on
the government. Of the old members there remained only the Duke
of Aerschot, Count Berlaymont, and Viglius. To these, several
Netherlanders and one Spaniard, Jerome de Roda, were added;
while Count Mansfeld, a German, was intrusted with supreme
military command. Although the Council of State was thus formed
almost exclusively of natives, its administration was still very
unpopular. Aerschot was secretly a partisan of William. The other
two original members had been associated with Cardinal Granvella,
and Berlaymont had besides been one of the judges of the Council of
Blood. In spite of the desire of the majority for a thorough change in
policy, the Council was divided, wanting in capacity, and absolutely
devoid of funds. Above all, it failed in maintaining the discipline
of the Spanish troops. No sooner had the town of Zierickzee fallen
(June 21), than the soldiers, furious on account of the arrears of
their pay, mutinied once more, deserted Mondragon, and left Zealand
for Brabant (July 15). The mutiny spread rapidly, and Alost in
Flanders was seized. The indignation and fear thus aroused led the
Estates of Brabant, then sitting at Brussels, to take measures of
self-protection. On July 26, they forced the trembling Council of
State to issue an edict against the mutineers. They then threatened
the Spaniards in the city, levied troops, and finally, on September 4,
arrested the members of the Council themselves. This only served to
further irritate the soldiery. The officers, already jealous at the
appointment of Mansfeld, now with few exceptions made common cause
with their mutinous troops, more especially Sancho de Avila, who was
in command of the citadel of Antwerp. Many of the German and Walloon
mercenaries joined, while De Roda, flying from Brussels to Antwerp,
declared himself the only representative of the King and openly
supported d’Avila. The mutineers now held the citadels of almost
every important town in the south, with the exception of Brussels,
and in many cases obtained possession of the towns themselves, which
they treated with great cruelty. Meanwhile, Orange had seized the
opportunity to try and win over the southern provinces. Although the
religious divisions between the north and south had of late become
accentuated, all were at least united in their desire to drive out
the foreigner, more especially the foreign soldiery, and to reassert
their political privileges. William, appealing to this common
motive, urged them to sink all differences, and with one heart and
will to work for the liberation of their country. Inspired by his
stirring words, delegates from the Estates of the southern provinces
appeared at Ghent, in the middle of October, to confer with the
representatives sent by the Estates of the north. Hardly had their
conference commenced when the violence of the mutineers reached its
climax. On the 4th November, the troops at Alost marched upon Antwerp,
joined hands with the garrison under d’Avila, overcame the German and
Walloon regiments which had been sent by the Estates of Brabant to
hold the town, and with the cries, ‘St. Iago, Spain, fire, murder,
and pillage,’ wreaked their vengeance on the city. Catholics and
Protestants, native and foreign merchants, women and children, the
poor as well as the rich, were attacked without discrimination. Eight
thousand persons were massacred; the finest buildings were burnt;
property to the value of twelve millions was destroyed or seized;
and Antwerp, the richest city of the Netherlands, and ‘one of the
ornaments of Europe,’ became ‘the most forlorn and desolate city of
Christendom.’

  | Pacification of Ghent. Nov. 8, 1576.

  | Successes of the Patriots.

The sack of Antwerp served, at least, the cause of William. On the 8th
of November, the Pacification of Ghent was signed by the delegates
of the northern and southern provinces assembled at that city. By
this famous treaty, it was agreed that the Spaniards should be at all
hazards expelled from the Netherlands, and that an Estates-General
from all the provinces should be summoned to take measures for the
common safety and future government. The Prince of Orange was to
continue lieutenant, admiral, and general for his Majesty in Holland
and Zealand. There should be freedom of trade and communication
between the provinces. All prisoners should be released, and all
confiscated property restored. The placards and ordinances against
heresy should be suspended until the Estates-General had decided
on the matter. No attack, however, should be made on the Catholic
religion outside the provinces of Holland and Zealand, and if the
property of prelates and other ecclesiastics in the north were
alienated, it should not be done without compensation. Lastly, no
province was to have the benefit of this treaty until it had given its
adhesion. The Pacification of Ghent was received with enthusiasm by
the whole of the Netherlands; and, although the religious difficulty
was postponed rather than solved, there seemed a reasonable prospect
that both Catholics and Protestants would at last unite, on the
basis of mutual toleration, to throw off the Spanish yoke. The
Pacification was at first followed by encouraging results. On November
11, the Spanish garrison surrendered the citadel of Ghent. That of
Valenciennes was bought from the German soldiery, and at the same time
the islands of Schouwen and Duiveland were abandoned by Mondragon. All
Zealand, with the exception of Tholen, was again free from Spanish
rule. Shortly after, Friesland and Groningen were regained by the
national party; and in January, 1577, the Pacification of Ghent was
confirmed by the Union of Brussels, an union which was numerously
signed in every province except that of Luxemburg.

  | Don John of Austria arrives at Luxemburg. Nov. 3, 1576.

  | The Perpetual Edict. Feb. 17, 1577.

Meanwhile, the new governor had arrived. One day before the Antwerp
massacre, and four days before the publication of the Treaty of
Ghent, Don John of Austria, the illegitimate son of Charles V., rode
into Luxemburg, having crossed France in the disguise of a Moorish
slave. Philip had at last made up his mind to bow before the storm. He
hoped that by a show of conciliation, and by restoring the government
to the condition in which it had been at the death of Charles
V., he might secure the authority of the crown and the exclusive
exercise of the Catholic religion, and yet recover the obedience of
the Netherlands. Don John appeared well fitted to carry out this
policy. The great, though somewhat undeserved, reputation he had
gained by the suppression of the Moorish rebellion in Granada and by
the victory of Lepanto, his imperial descent, his fascinating manners,
had made him universally popular, and he started on his errand with
all the enthusiasm of a darling of fortune and of a young man of
twenty-nine.[71] His ambition was not bounded by the Netherlands. He
dreamt, after a rapid settlement of the difficulties there, of either
marrying Elizabeth of England, or of overthrowing that heretic Queen
and ascending the throne as the husband of her rival Mary Queen of
Scots. He was soon, however, to be rudely awakened. He did not even
dare to leave Luxemburg, and was forced to content himself with
negotiating from thence with the States-General. This assembly,
warned by the Prince of Orange not to trust to promises, demanded the
following concessions as the price of their obedience (December 6,
1576): the Spanish troops must be removed at once; all prisoners must
be released; and the Treaty of Ghent must be confirmed. One at least
of these demands, the dismissal of the Spanish soldiery, Don John was
willing enough to grant. Yet in pursuance of his scheme of invading
England, he wished that they should go by sea, and that ships should
be provided for the purpose. The Estates, ignorant of this design,
suspected some future attempt on the Netherlands, and insisted on
their departure by land. Philip peremptorily ordered an accommodation,
and Don John, forced to abandon the projected invasion of England,
signed the Perpetual Edict on February 17, 1577. The Spanish soldiers
were to depart by land; all prisoners were to be released on both
sides; all privileges and charters were to be confirmed, and the
Estates-General were to be convened as they had been in the time
of Charles V. On these terms the insurgent provinces promised to
recognise Don John as Governor-General, to surrender the citadels
which they held, to disband their own troops, and to take an oath to
maintain the Catholic religion.

  | Don John enters Brussels. May 1, 1577.

  | William rejects the Perpetual Edict.

  | Philip’s suspicions of Don John.

The Spanish soldiery departed at the end of April, and Don John,
entering Brussels on May 1, met at first with such success in his
policy of conciliation, that he seemed likely to add the pacification
of the Netherlands to his other laurels. But, apart from the intrinsic
difficulty of the attempt, there were two fatal obstacles in his
way--the wariness of his enemy, William the Silent, and the suspicions
of his master. William had been disconcerted at the signature of
the Perpetual Edict, which had been done without his approval,
or that of his deputies. He had not expected that Don John would
be so compliant, or he would have raised his terms. From letters
which he had intercepted, he had good cause for distrusting the
sincerity of the Spaniard, and he knew that peace on such terms
would mean his own ruin. He had accordingly refused to recognise
the Edict, or to publish it in the provinces of Holland or Zealand,
and he now proceeded to take measures against it. He turned to
the lower classes and excited their opposition; he entered into
negotiations with England and France, and even plotted to secure
the person of Don John. On the other hand, Don John listened to
schemes for the assassination of the Prince, while he wrote to Philip
abusing the Netherlanders as ‘drunkards and wine skins,’ and urging
him to prepare for war. Finally, on July 10, the Governor-General
despatched his secretary Escovedo to Madrid to represent his views
to the Spanish King. Unfortunately, Philip had meanwhile conceived
a profound jealousy of his half-brother. He suspected him of some
design on the government or crown of Spain, a suspicion which was
studiously fostered by Antonio Perez, his minister and confidential
adviser. The representations of Escovedo were therefore disregarded,
the urgent solicitations of Don John for counsel or assistance were
left unanswered for more than three months, and in the following
March, Escovedo himself was assassinated by the orders of Perez, and
with the connivance of the King.

  | Causes of disunion in the Netherlands.

  | Archduke Mathias elected Governor. Jan. 18, 1578.

The brilliant dreams of Don John had indeed been rudely dissipated;
and when, on September 23, William of Orange, after an absence of
eighteen years, entered Brussels, the capital of Brabant, it seemed
as if the whole of the Netherlands would soon be lost to Spain. But
the near prospect of success served only to revive those feelings of
disunion and personal jealousy, which had been temporarily laid aside
under the pressure of Spanish tyranny. The northern provinces, it must
be remembered, had only lately been united to those of the south. Of
the southern provinces, those which lay closest to Holland and Zealand
were inhabited by a people of kindred race indeed, but who spoke a
different dialect, the Flamand; while in the more southern and eastern
provinces, the infusion of Romance blood was strong, and the common
language French. These differences of race and past history were
illustrated in the religious leanings of the people. In the north, the
Protestant, in the south, the Catholic religion predominated, and now
that the fear of Spain was declining, a narrow spirit of intolerance
began to be displayed on either side. To these causes of disunion we
must add the oligarchical jealousy of the southern nobles, mostly of
the Catholic persuasion, at the growing importance and the democratic
leanings of the Prince of Orange--a jealousy which led to the strange
idea of offering the office of Governor-General to the Archduke
Mathias, the brother of the Emperor Rudolf, subject to the fuller
approval of King Philip. The adroitness of William, however, enabled
him to turn this move of his opponents to his own advantage. He
openly supported the candidature of the Archduke, who was elected
Governor-General on the 18th of January. Meanwhile, the revolt of
Ghent against the newly appointed governor, the Duke of Aerschot, one
of those who had called in the Archduke Mathias--a revolt secretly
approved of by William--showed that the latter had the support of
the lower classes. And Mathias, afraid of opposing so popular a man,
not only confirmed his election as ‘Ruwart’ of Brabant, an office
generally held by the heir of the ruling prince, and as Stadtholder of
Flanders, but acknowledged him as his lieutenant-general, and promised
to rule with the consent of the States-General and of a Council of
State. At the same time, by the New or Nearer Union of Brabant, the
Catholics and Protestants engaged to respect and to protect each other
against all enemies whatsoever.

  | The defeat of Gemblours. Jan. 31, 1578.

Yet while William had been thus dealing with those factions which
threatened to ruin his cause, the Spaniards had been again preparing
for war. Philip, at last aroused from his strange apathy, had ordered
the Spanish veterans to return from Italy. Reinforced by these troops,
which were led by Alexander of Parma, and by others from France under
Mansfeld, Don John marched against the ill-disciplined army of the
States, and, aided by the skilful generalship of Alexander, inflicted
a disastrous defeat on them at Gemblours, near Namur. The victory
secured the valley of the Sambre, forced William and the Archduke to
abandon Brussels, and went far to ruin the cause of liberty in the
southern provinces. In the north, however, the reverse of Gemblours
served rather to advance the interests of William. In March, his
brother, Count John, was elected governor of the important province
of Guelderland; and in May, the adherents of the Prince succeeded in
overthrowing the Catholic magistrates of Amsterdam, and thus securing
the capital of Holland, as well as Haarlem, for the Protestant cause.

  | Duke of Anjou appointed defender of the liberties of
  | the Netherlands. July 1578.

  | Death of Don John. Oct. 1, 1578. Succeeded by
  | Alexander of Parma.

Meanwhile the Catholic nobles, disappointed in their expectations of
Mathias, turned to Francis, Duke of Anjou, the brother of Henry III.
of France. Never since the days of Coligny’s brief supremacy, had
Catherine altogether abandoned the idea of taking advantage of the
disturbed condition of the Netherlands to extend French influence in
the Walloon provinces of Hainault, Artois, and French Flanders. At
this moment, she would probably have preferred to gain her end by
friendly negotiations with Philip, and possibly by a marriage of one
of her sons with a Spanish princess. But Anjou was little pleased
with his position in France; he was attracted by the hope of carving
out a new principality for himself; and, accepting the offer, arrived
at Mons, in Hainault, in July 1578. William, although unwilling to
see French influence predominant in these parts, did not deem it
politic to oppose Anjou, and hoped that the enterprise might excite
the jealousy of Elizabeth, who, while she coqueted with the Duke as a
suitor for her hand, was determined not to see the Low Countries under
French control, and had already promised some help to William. The
Duke of Anjou was accordingly recognised as ‘the defender of the
liberty of the Netherlands against the tyranny of the Spaniards.’ He
was assured of the offer of the sovereignty should the Netherlands
find it necessary to throw off the supremacy of Spain. Meanwhile, he
promised to make no alteration in the government of the country, and
to hold all conquests he might make for the States (August 20). Before
these confused negotiations had led to any definite result, Don
John, worn out by disease, and sick at heart at the failure of his
magnificent schemes, at the neglect shown to him by King Philip,
and at the murder of Escovedo, had passed away. He died in his camp
at Bouges, near Namur, on the 1st of October, 1578, at the age of
thirty-one, having appointed his nephew, Alexander of Parma, as his
successor. Although there is no probability in the rumour that he was
poisoned by the orders of Philip, the suspicion and neglect with which
he had been treated at least contributed to his death.

Alexander of Parma, who succeeded Don John as governor, was the son
of Ottavio Farnese and Margaret of Parma, the first Regent during the
reign of Philip II. He had been brought up in Spain with his cousin
Don Carlos, and his uncle Don John of Austria. His love of adventure
and of military exercises had in earlier days shown itself in an
inordinate passion for duelling; but the war against the Turks gave
him a more honourable field, and at the battle of Lepanto he had
distinguished himself by the most remarkable personal bravery. Now at
the age of thirty-three, he was more than the equal of his uncle, Don
John, as a soldier, and infinitely his superior as a diplomatist and a
statesman. Great, however, as were the abilities of the new governor,
it must be remembered that the position of affairs at this moment
gave him opportunities which had been denied to his predecessors. The
racial and religious differences between the northern and southern
provinces were becoming daily more accentuated. In the southern and
western provinces disunion was rapidly spreading. The decisions of
the States-General, especially with regard to taxation, were little
observed. The soldiery were ill-paid, ill-disciplined, and mutinous;
the intolerance of the Catholics and Calvinists was becoming more
pronounced; the social and political rivalries were daily forcing
themselves more prominently to the front and threatening civil war or
anarchy. William had of late been forced to lean on the lower classes,
and he was not able to keep them in control. In Ghent, especially, the
turbulence reached its climax under the demagogue Imbize, supported
by John Casimir of the Palatinate, an ambitious and weak prince, who
had just arrived with a motley force of German mercenaries and English
soldiers, sent by Queen Elizabeth. The rise of this fanatical party
not only excited the indignation of the Catholics, or ‘Paternoster
Jacks,’ who still represented the majority in the southern provinces,
but also alienated many of the ‘Malcontent’ nobles, who had hitherto
supported the national cause. Of these divisions, Alexander was
quick to take advantage. Partly by conciliation, more successfully
by bribery in money, or in promises of advancement, he succeeded
in reconciling many of the nobles. Among these, we may especially
note Egmont, the degenerate son of his father, and Champagny, the
brother of Granvella, while Parma even approached William himself with
brilliant offers if he would but desert the cause.

  | Union of Arras, Jan. 6, answered by the Union of
  | Utrecht, Jan. 29, 1579.

The most signal result of Alexander’s diplomacy was seen in the
Union of Arras (January 6, 1579), between the Walloon provinces of
Artois and Hainault, and the towns of Lille, Douay, and Orchies
in French Flanders--a League which, in the following May, came to
terms with Alexander, on condition that the foreign troops should
be dismissed, and the provincial privileges respected. In answer
to this, the northern provinces of Guelderland, Holland, Zealand,
Utrecht, and Friesland formed the Union of Utrecht (January 29). The
object of the union was declared to be the strengthening of the
Pacification of Ghent. The allegiance to Spain was not thrown off,
but the provinces bound themselves to protect each other against all
force brought against them, either in the name of the King or of
foreign Potentates. Each province was, while renouncing its right
of making separate treaties, to retain its especial liberties and
privileges, and to decide on the religion it should adopt, although
individual freedom of conscience was to be allowed; the Roman Catholic
provinces were asked to join on the same terms. The Confederacy
was to be ruled by a General Assembly formed of deputies from each
provincial assembly. It was to have a common currency, a common
system of taxation, and an executive Council, responsible to the
General Assembly. This famous document was originally only signed
by five of the northern provinces, but the other two--Groningen and
Overyssel--subsequently joined, as well as the towns of Ghent, Bruges,
Ypres, and Antwerp. Although the Union was originally intended to be
temporary, it became the basis for the future federal constitution of
the Seven United Provinces, as the Union of Arras formed the germ of
the future reconstituted Spanish Netherlands.

  | Success of Parma in south-western provinces and in
  | the north.

While the inevitable cleavage between the north-eastern and
south-western districts was thus appearing, Parma made notable
advances in the central provinces. In the summer of 1579, Maestricht,
on the Meuse, fell after a four months’ siege, and Mechlin was
treacherously surrendered by De Bours. In May of the following
year, the famous Huguenot, De la Noue, was taken prisoner near
Ingelmunster. Even in the north, Count Renneburg had betrayed the town
of Groningen, and John of Nassau, the brother of William, disgusted
at the people’s lack of patriotism, and at their want of discipline,
abandoned his Stadtholderate of Guelderland and retired into Germany.

  | Philip publishes the Ban against William of Orange.
  | June 1580.

  | William publishes his _Apologia_, and enters into
  | negotiations with the Duke of Anjou.

Encouraged by his success, in June, 1580, Philip took the decisive
step of publishing a ban against the Prince of Orange. He was declared
a traitor and a miscreant. All loyal subjects were forbidden to
communicate with him, or to give him food or shelter, and a purse
of twenty-five thousand crowns of gold and a patent of nobility
were offered to any one who would deliver him into Philip’s hands,
dead or alive. Philip in this had acted by the advice of Granvella,
who declared that William was a coward, and that the fear of
assassination would either cause him to submit, or ‘die of his
own accord.’ Nevertheless, though the ban may well be called the
death-warrant of the Prince, he was not in the least dismayed. In the
_Apologia_ which shortly appeared, William boldly defied his enemy. He
asserted that Philip had murdered his son Don Carlos, his wife
Elizabeth, and the Emperor Maximilian. He declared that as Philip’s
claim to rule the Netherlands was forfeited by his tyranny, he was
no longer their legitimate king, nor he himself a rebel. Finally,
professing that he would gladly endure perpetual banishment or death
if he could thereby deliver his people from their calamities, he
placed himself in the hands of God, ‘who would dispose of him and of
his goods as seemed best for His own glory, and his salvation.’ Nor
did William content himself with words. He had long been convinced
that, unless foreign help could be obtained, the southern provinces,
at least, were lost. Duke Casimir had, by his incapacity, done the
cause more harm than good, and had left the country without even
paying ‘his 30,000 devils’ of German mercenaries. The Archduke Mathias
was evidently not the man to strengthen any cause, and further
help Germany would not give. France alone remained. Accordingly
negotiations were again reopened with the Duke of Anjou, who, in
1579, had left the Netherlands for England, enticed by the hope that
Elizabeth, if she could only see him, might accept his hand. Certainly
the personal appearance of the Duke was not likely to further his
suit, for although he had the gracious manners of all the Valois
princes, and was ‘a good fellow and a lusty prince,’ he was of puny
stature, his face was pitted by smallpox, and he had an enormous
nose. The virgin Queen was, moreover, playing with him. To marry Anjou
and assist him in the Netherlands without a definite promise of French
assistance, would be to incur too rashly the enmity of Philip II., and
Henry III. would not promise; to allow him to conquer the Netherlands
for France was not to be endured. She had raised her lover’s hopes,
only to draw him out of Flanders, and there was no alternative but
to keep him dangling on as her suitor, and nothing more. Anjou was
accordingly dismissed with fair promises, and, in the hope of securing
his bride, eagerly accepted the offers of the States.

  | Sovereignty over the Netherlands conferred on the
  | Duke of Anjou by Treaty of Plessis-les-Tours. Sept. 1580.

  | Triple division of the Netherlands.

  | ‘The French Fury.’ Jan. 16, 1583.

  | Anjou leaves the Netherlands. June 28, 1583.

By the Treaty of Plessis-les-Tours (September, 1580), which was
ratified in the following January, the Duke was granted the hereditary
sovereignty over the Netherlands. He was always to reside in the
country, to appoint no foreigner to office, not to attempt any
alteration in the government, nor interfere with the privileges
of the provinces; he was to procure the assistance of the King
of France, but to permit no incorporation of territory with that
country. Any violation of these conditions was to cause an immediate
forfeiture of his sovereignty. On the 26th of the July following
(1581), the Estates finally renounced their allegiance to Philip,
and the Archduke Mathias left the Netherlands in October, though
Anjou was not finally accepted till February, 1582. The northern
provinces were most unwilling to receive this foreign ruler. In
July, 1581, William had already, after many refusals, accepted the
title of Count of Holland and Zealand, with the sovereignty during
the war. These provinces, therefore, only consented to acknowledge
the Duke of Anjou on the express terms that no alteration should be
made in the practical supremacy of the Prince of Orange. Thus to all
intents the Netherlands were now divided into three divisions: the
western provinces, which had again submitted to Spanish rule; the
north-eastern under William; and the central, which acknowledged
the sovereignty of the French Prince. The policy of William in the
matter has been severely criticised, and certainly the previous
conduct of Anjou in France (cf. pp. 418 and 423) was not of very
hopeful augury. Yet, although a desperate remedy, the French alliance
was not altogether a bad idea. There was some hope that a Catholic
sovereign who would consent to tolerate the Protestants, might
unite once more all the elements of opposition to Spain. Catherine
and King Henry III. were at this time half inclined definitely to
adopt an anti-Spanish policy (cf. p. 426); while, if the English
marriage had also come about, Coligny’s idea of a great coalition
against Spain might have been realised at last. Unfortunately, all
turned out for the worst. Elizabeth, after sending for Anjou once
more, and even exchanging betrothal rings with her lover, declined
to take the decisive step, and Anjou finally left England for the
Netherlands. There the Flemings and the French quarrelled; religious
intolerance added to the discord; the successes of Parma continued;
and Anjou, irritated by the restraints imposed upon him, rashly
and foolishly attempted a _coup d’état_. He succeeded in some of
the smaller towns, but failed at Bruges; while at Antwerp, the
citizens rose and cut down nearly 2000 of his soldiers (January 16,
1583). Anjou, with shameless effrontery, attempted to throw the blame
upon his subjects, while he intrigued with Parma, and offered to
join him in return for the cession of certain towns on the French
frontier. Even then, William did not think it wise to irritate the
French. Negotiations were continued after the departure of the Duke
for France (June 28), and were only ended by his death in the June of
the ensuing year. Before that event, Parma, taking advantage of the
confusion and distrust caused by ‘the French Fury,’ partly by arms,
partly by bribery, recovered nearly all the central provinces except
Flanders, and even there Bruges was surrendered through the treachery
of Chimay, the son of the Duke of Aerschot.

  | Assassination of William of Orange. July 10, 1584.

One month after the death of Anjou, William of Orange was
assassinated. The ban had been his death-warrant. No less than five
attempts had been made, of which one had been nearly fatal to the
Prince, and by the anxiety it caused, contributed at least to the
death of his wife, Charlotte of Bourbon. Finally, on the 10th of July,
1584, when fifty-one years of age, he was shot at Delft by Balthazar
Gérard, a fanatic of Franche-Comté, who had long looked upon himself
as predestinated to do the deed.

The great man, who thus passed away, is a good example of the
chastening influence of a life of responsibility and danger. The
troubles of his country, and the anxieties they brought upon him, had
weaned him from the extravagance and dissipation of his youth and had
deepened his character. A Catholic by birth rather than conviction,
his adoption of Lutheranism, and subsequently of Calvinism, were
probably in part due to political interest; and although there is
no reason to doubt the sincerity of his ultimate beliefs, his past
experience led him to realise, as few of his contemporaries did, the
value of toleration--a belief which cost him the support of some of
his more fanatical followers. Few would deny that he was ambitious,
but his repeated refusal to accept the sovereignty offered to him--a
refusal which some think mistaken--proves at least that he knew
how to keep his personal interest in control. That he was no great
general, and that he was deficient in military courage, may be true;
yet, if it be remembered that he commanded mercenaries who were not
to be trusted, or civil levies which could indeed defend a town,
but were scarcely fitted to meet the veterans of Spain in the open
field, we shall probably applaud his wisdom in avoiding pitched
battles. It is, however, as a statesman and a diplomatist that he
excelled. Absolute straightforwardness is difficult in diplomacy, but
William was infinitely more straightforward than the shifty Elizabeth,
the Machiavellian Catherine, or the treacherous Philip; while his
constancy under reverse, in spite of a constitutional tendency to
depression, justly entitles him to his motto, ‘Je maintiendrai.’ The
extravagant denunciations of the Prince by his enemies may be taken as
a measure of his ability; the number of his devoted followers, of his
personal fascination; the future glories of the ‘United Netherlands,’
as an incontestable proof of the greatness of the man who is justly
called their ‘Father.’ Nevertheless it is improbable that William,
had he lived, would have won back the south-western provinces. The
cleavage, as we have seen, had already begun--a cleavage which future
history has proved to be deep and permanent--and the success of Parma
in the south-west seemed already pretty well assured. No doubt William
hoped for an alliance with the Huguenots and with Henry of Navarre,
who, by the death of Anjou, had become the heir to the French crown,
an idea which explains his marriage with Coligny’s daughter.[72]
He seems even to have looked for a coalition of all Protestant
powers. But Henry had enough to do at home, and Elizabeth was a broken
reed; while the quarrels between the Lutherans and Calvinists, and
the advance of the Catholic Reaction, would probably have prevented
effective help from Germany. William had laid the foundation of the
independence of the Seven United Provinces, and had he lived he would
not in all probability have done more than antedate by a few years the
recognition of that independence.

  | Maurice elected Captain-General of Holland and
  | Zealand.

  | Success of Parma.

  | The siege of Antwerp. Aug. 17, 1585.

‘Had William been murdered two years earlier,’ said Philip, ‘much
trouble might have been spared me; but it is better late than
never.’ His second son, Maurice, who was elected Captain-General of
Holland and Zealand, and head of the Council of State, which was
appointed provisionally, was only seventeen; Hohenlo, the son-in-law
of William, who was appointed commander-in-chief, was a drunkard;
while Treslong, the admiral, quarrelled with the Estates, and was
superseded by Justin, an illegitimate son of William, a man of no
experience. Of the confusion which naturally ensued, Parma made good
use. The most important towns in the South, which remained unsubdued,
were Dendermonde, Ghent, Brussels, Mechlin, and Antwerp, all of them
lying on the Scheldt or its tributary the Senne. Alexander offered
good terms; he promised to respect their privileges, to make no
inquiry into conscience, and to free them from foreign garrisons. Many
of the old adherents of Orange deserted the cause in despair, and
by the end of July, 1585, all these towns had surrendered or had
been taken, with the exception of Antwerp. Against that important
place, Parma now concentrated all his efforts. The enterprise was a
difficult one; Parma had no fleet; Philip, at this moment occupied
with the affairs of the League in France (cf. p. 428), gave him scant
assistance; and, had the citizens of Antwerp followed the example
of those of Leyden in the year 1574, and completely flooded the
country, he could scarce have approached the city. For this sacrifice,
however, they were not prepared, and the half-measures which they
adopted did more harm than good. Parma accordingly was able to reach
the Scheldt to the seaward of the town, and began a bridge which
should cut off all communication with the sea. The besieged, when too
late, made energetic attempts to defeat his purpose, and once, by
means of the dread fire-ships, nearly succeeded in breaking through
the barrier. But Parma was not to be baulked. In spite of all their
efforts, the bridge was completed, and, after a six months’ siege,
St. Aldegonde the Burgomaster, surrendered (August 17). The victory
was not tarnished by any outrages. An amnesty was proclaimed, though
the city had to pay a fine; all religions except the Catholic were
proscribed, but those who would not conform were allowed two years’
grace. But if the capitulation of Antwerp raised the military fame of
Parma to the highest pitch, and practically secured Brabant to the
Spaniards, the actual gain was not very great. Ostend and Sluys still
held out, and although they were subsequently won (Sluys in August
1587), the Dutch succeeded in permanently holding Flushing and the
entrance to the Scheldt. By so doing, they not only destroyed the
commercial importance of Antwerp, which depended on her communication
with the sea, but contributed to the decline of the industries of the
other great Flemish cities. Amsterdam now took the place of Antwerp;
the Scheldt was closed to Flemish commerce, and never till our day,
when that river was finally declared open, did Antwerp become again
that entrepot for trade, for which her geographical position so well
fits her.

  | Sovereignty refused by Henry III., Oct. 1584, is
  | offered to Elizabeth.

While this memorable siege had been progressing, the sovereignty over
the Netherlands was going a-begging. Two parties had now arisen there:
those who based their hopes on French assistance, and those who looked
to England. The French party were at first successful. Undismayed by
the treachery of Anjou, and in spite of the opposition of the Province
of Holland, they offered the sovereignty to Henry III., ‘upon
conditions which should hereafter be settled,’ October, 1584. So
brilliant an offer was indeed tempting, and, had the hands of Henry
been free, he probably would have accepted it. But the last of the
Valois was in the toils of the Catholic League. After much hesitation
he had, in July, 1585, submitted to its dictation (cf. p. 429), and
accordingly he declined the proferred dignity.

  | Elizabeth declines the sovereignty, but despatches
  | the Earl of Leicester. Dec. 9, 1585.

Disappointed in their hopes of French assistance, the Netherlanders
turned to England. Elizabeth had received with satisfaction the news
of the refusal of the sovereignty by the French King. Well aware
of the designs of Philip on England, she was anxious to save the
United Provinces from reconquest by Parma, and was willing to aid
them with men and money. Nevertheless, with her usual parsimony, she
was determined to obtain good security for repayment, which should
take the form of cautionary towns, while she feared to accept the
sovereignty lest such a step might pledge her too deeply to a definite
anti-Spanish policy. This was, however, just what the Netherlanders
most desired. The negotiations therefore, which had begun before the
fall of Antwerp, were long protracted, and it was not until November,
1585, that the Netherlanders finally consented to her terms. The Queen
engaged herself to maintain a permanent force of 5000 foot and 1000
horse in the provinces at her own charges; for the repayment of the
expense thus incurred, Brille and Flushing were to be placed in her
hands, to be garrisoned by an additional contingent; she was also to
have the right of nominating two members of the Council of State of
eighteen, to which the administration of affairs had been intrusted
after the death of William the Silent. The Earl of Leicester, the
favourite of the Queen, was appointed commander of the forces; the
governorship of Flushing was intrusted to his nephew, Sir Philip
Sidney, and that of Brille to Sir Thomas Cecil, son of Lord Burleigh.

  | Leicester accepts the office of Governor-General.

  | Indignation of Elizabeth.

On the 9th of December, the expedition sailed. The Netherlanders
were not, however, yet satisfied. Anxious apparently to compromise
the Queen still further in their cause, they offered the post
of Governor-General of the United Provinces to Leicester, with
supreme military command by land and sea, and supreme authority
in matters civil and political. He was to swear to maintain the
ancient laws and privileges of the country, and to govern with the
assistance of the Council of State; he might, however, summon the
States-General at his will, and was to enjoy the right of appointing
to all offices, civil and legal, out of a list presented to him by
the states of the province where the vacancy should occur. The Earl
not only accepted the brilliant offer, but, elated by the magnificent
reception he received, was even heard to say that his family had
been wrongly deprived of the crown of England.[73] By this conduct
the susceptibilities of Elizabeth were aroused. As a Queen, she was
angered at ‘the great and strange contempt’ of her subject who had
dared accept the ‘absolute’ government without her leave; as a woman,
she was jealous of her favourite who looked for honours from other
hands than hers; as a diplomatist, she feared that this rash act of
Leicester would destroy her game, and that Philip would strike at
England. She therefore peremptorily commanded him to make ‘public
and open resignation’ of his office. For two months the Queen was
implacable. At last, however, a most secret letter from her ‘sweet
Robin’ salved her woman’s pride. Burleigh and Walsingham warned her
of the fatal results of her capricious conduct; and she consented
that the Earl should, provisionally at least, retain the authority
of ‘absolute governor’ (April 10). We even find her subsequently
declaring ‘that she misliked not so much the title, as the lack of
performance’ of their promises by the Dutch.

  | Leicester loses the support of the ‘States’ Party.

  | Leicester leans on the democratic party.

  | Leicester quarrels with his subordinates.

  | Disasters of the year 1586.

The quarrel between the Queen and her favourite was at an end; not
so its consequences. The authority of the Earl had been discredited
by the humiliating position in which he had been placed by his own
vanity and rashness, and by the pique of his mistress. The suspicion
and disgust thus engendered among the Netherlanders were increased
by the reports of negotiations between Elizabeth and Parma--reports
which were but too well founded; for as the projected invasion of
England became more certain, the efforts of the Queen to avert the
blow by peaceful negotiations increased. Nothing could have been
more unfortunate than the policy thus adopted. Philip’s object
was simply to gain time until he should be ready for his great
stroke; and, although Elizabeth hoped to include the Netherlands
in any peace she might make, her previous conduct certainly gave
no security that she would refuse to sacrifice their interests if
necessary. These apprehensions were naturally most acutely felt by
the ‘States Party,’--that is, by the governing classes, who were
represented in the Provincial Estates, and in the States-General--men
like Paul Buys, the ex-advocate, and John Van Olden Barneveld, the
advocate of Holland. This party had hitherto taken the lead in the
struggle against Spain, and, although still in favour of the English
alliance, were unwilling to see their country made the victim of a
woman’s pique, or of a faithless Queen’s diplomacy. Leicester, stung
by their reproaches, with that vanity and love of flattery which
were his chief faults, accordingly turned to the people and adopted
a democratic policy which was still more distasteful to the official
classes, and to the patrician burgher families. In violation of the
law that no person should hold office in any province of which he was
not a native, he raised three creatures of his own to power: Deventer,
a native of Brabant, was appointed burgomaster of Utrecht; Daniel de
Burgrave, a Fleming, was made his private secretary; and Regnault,
another Fleming, a renegade who had once taken service under Granvella
and Alva, was placed at the head of the new Finance Chamber--a chamber
which Leicester erected with the hope of putting a stop to frauds on
the revenue, and of finding ‘mountains of gold.’ The merchants were
further irritated by the refusal of Elizabeth to remove the staple
for English cloth from Embden, in East Friesland, to Amsterdam or
Delft, and by the prohibition of all exports to Spanish territories--a
measure which did far more harm to Dutch trade than it did to that
of Spain, and which was so unpopular that it had shortly to be
rescinded. A Calvinist himself, the Earl gladly adopted the views of
the democratic party in religious matters. Declaring that the Papists
were favourers of Spain, he banished seventy from the town of Utrecht
and maltreated them elsewhere; while with the object of declaring
Calvinism the state religion, he summoned a religious synod at the
Hague. By this conduct he abandoned the principle of toleration which
William the Silent had ever advocated; he threatened the compromise
laid down at the Union of Utrecht (cf. p. 358) whereby each province
had been allowed to settle the religious question for itself, and he
alienated the best statesmen of the day, men who objected to Church
influence in secular affairs, who feared the intemperate zeal of
the Calvinist ministers, and wished to avoid the establishment of
a theocracy after the fashion of Geneva. The adherents of the Earl
did not stop there; they denied the authority of the States-General
and of the Provincial Estates, and declared that sovereignty resided
in the people. In pursuance of these theories the government of
Utrecht, where Leicester generally resided, was revolutionised, and
Paul Buys, one of the most prominent of the burgher party--seized
with the tacit acquiescence, at least, of Leicester--was kept six
months in prison without trial. Thus the Earl, instead of uniting all
parties in common opposition to the Spaniard, had become a partisan,
had made enemies of those who had been the most strenuous advocates
of the English alliance, and deepened those provincial, class, and
religious differences which henceforth were to be the chief bane of
Holland. Nor was Leicester more fortunate in his relations with his
own subordinates; he quarrelled with Sir John Norris, who had been
in command of the English contingent before his arrival, with the
knight’s brother Edward, and his uncle the treasurer, and with Wilkes,
one of the English members of the Council of State. Although Leicester
was not altogether responsible for these dissensions, they did not
improve the Dutch opinion of him, and, added to the niggardliness
of Elizabeth’s supplies, seriously crippled his efforts in the
field. It was fortunate, under these circumstances, that Philip was
too intent on securing the victory of the League in France, and on his
preparations for the Armada, to send efficient help to Parma. As it
was, the year 1586 was one of disaster for the patriots. On June 7,
Grave was treacherously surrendered to Alexander by its governor. On
the 28th, Venloo capitulated, and Parma became master of the Meuse
almost to its mouth. Finally, the attempt of Leicester to take the
town of Zutphen on the Yssel, which was still held by Parma, led to
the death of Sir Philip Sidney, the brilliant nephew of the Earl, who
was mortally wounded as he took part in an heroic, though unsuccessful
effort to intercept a convoy of provisions thrown into the town by
Parma (October 2). The only successes on the English side were the
surprise of Axel on July 17, the reduction of Doesburg, September 12,
and the taking of some of the outlying forts of the town of Zutphen.

  | Leicester temporarily leaves the Netherlands. Nov.
  | 24, 1586. The discontent increases.

  | Leicester returns. July, 1587. The discontent
  | increases.

  | Leicester finally recalled. Dec. 1587.

The only remedy for the ill that had been done was that Elizabeth
should accept the sovereignty, and send a good army into the
field. This Leicester earnestly pressed on the Queen, and the proposal
met with the support of Burleigh. Elizabeth, however, objected to
the one, ‘because it bred a doubt of perpetual war’; to the other,
‘because it required an increase of charges’; and the departure of
Leicester on a visit to England at the end of November only added to
the confusion and disagreements in the Netherlands. The government
during his absence was nominally left to the Council of State. To
Sir John Norris was given command of the English forces, to Hohenlo
that over the Dutch and German troops. Leicester, however, knowing
that the majority in the Council were against him, and that these two
officers were his deadly enemies, had left a secret paper by which he
forbade the Council to set aside any appointments to the command of
forts and towns without his consent. Unfortunately, two of his last
nominees turned traitors. Sir William Stanley surrendered the town
of Deventer, near Zutphen, and Rowland York betrayed Fort Zutphen to
Tassis, the Spanish commander of the town (January 29). These acts
of treachery on the part of Leicester’s own nominees, added to the
negotiations of Elizabeth with Parma, which were now well known,
roused the indignation of the States Party in Holland to boiling
pitch. Barneveld declared ‘that the country had never been so cheated
by the French as it was now by the English, and that the government
had become insupportable.’ Envoys bearing a bitter remonstrance were
despatched to Elizabeth, and Maurice was again provisionally appointed
Governor-general, with Hohenlo for his lieutenant-general. The visit
of the envoys was most inopportune. At the moment of their arrival the
question of the fate of Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been convicted
of complicity in the Babington Plot, was agitating the English
Queen. Four days after their arrival, Elizabeth at last consented to
sign the death-warrant (February 11), and on the 17th, Mary’s head
fell on the scaffold. It was now thought imperatively necessary to
conciliate Philip, or to husband all the resources of England for
defence against the invasion which was otherwise inevitable. Under
these circumstances, Elizabeth was in no mood to listen either to the
remonstrances of the Dutch against the conduct of her favourite, or to
their demands for increased help and money. ‘No reason that breedeth
charges,’ said Walsingham, ‘can in any sort be digested.’ In March,
indeed, Lord Buckhurst was despatched to Holland, and by his wise and
conciliatory policy did much to heal the breach. But with the return
of Leicester in July, the quarrels again broke out. His attempt to
relieve the town of Sluys, which he found invested by the Duke of
Parma[74] on his return, failed, and on August 4, that important basis
for an attack on England was in Parma’s hands. The fall of Sluys led
to recriminations between Leicester, Maurice, and Hohenlo. Meanwhile,
the altercations with the States Party continued, while the continued
negotiations between Elizabeth and Parma deepened the suspicions
against the English. The Dutch even declared that Elizabeth’s aim
was to secure possession of more towns, that she might thereby make
a better bargain for herself, while she sacrificed her allies. That
the Queen herself entertained so base an idea is not proved; yet we
have Leicester’s own words to show that he at least did not shrink
from such a course ‘if the worst came to the worst.’ When, therefore,
in the autumn of 1587, Leicester made a vain attempt to revolutionise
the governments of Amsterdam and Leyden (October, 1587), as he had
previously done in the case of Utrecht, a cry was raised that he was
playing again the game of the false Anjou (cf. p. 361), and there was
no alternative for him but to retire. He was accordingly recalled
by his mistress in December to bask in her royal smile, although
he did not actually resign his authority till the following March
31. Elizabeth would not hear a word against her favourite. In her
letter of recall she threw the blame entirely on her allies; she
upbraided them for their ingratitude, their breach of faith, their
false and malicious slanders against the Earl, and concluded this
marvellous epistle with a gracious promise that ‘out of compassion
for their pitiful condition, she would continue her subsidies for the
present, and that if she concluded a peace with Spain, she would take
the same care for their country as for her own.’

  | Review of his administration.

  | Philip determines to invade England.

It would be unfair to hold Leicester altogether responsible for the
failure of this ill-starred expedition. Some of the leading men, like
Hohenlo, were violent men, especially when in their cups; the parties
and factions which divided the Netherlanders were not of Leicester’s
making; the complicated and loose character of the government, and the
religious difficulties, were sure to lead to trouble; except in the
provinces of Holland and Zealand, little zeal was at this time shown
in the cause, and Stanley and York were not the only traitors. But if
the task imposed on Leicester had been a delicate one, certainly no
person was less fitted than he to carry it through. His arrogance,
his imperiousness, and his implacable temper made him many personal
enemies, and led him to chafe against any control or contradiction;
his vanity caused him to listen to the flattery of his creatures, and
to break with the leading statesmen of the time, because they dared
criticise his conduct; his strong Calvinistic prejudices ill fitted
him to hold the balance amid the religious parties of the Netherlands;
and if he was courageous and open-handed, he was certainly neither
a capable statesman nor a good general. Yet, after all, the chief
fault lay in the policy of the Queen herself. Her refusal to accept
the sovereignty and throw herself heartily into the cause of the
Netherlands, the niggardliness of her supplies, and the harshness of
her terms--above all, her suspicious negotiations with Parma--these
were the chief causes of complaint. Nor was this conduct the result
of mere caprice. Well aware of the preparations of Philip against
England, she still vainly hoped that, if she refrained from the
irretrievable step of assuming the sovereignty, she might make use of
her position in the Netherlands to secure a lasting and honourable
peace for herself and them. She accordingly allowed herself to be
deluded by the comedy of negotiation, which Alexander was playing, at
his master’s orders, with the sole intention of deceiving her till the
time for action was ripe. With the same idle hope, she had disavowed
the action of Sir Francis Drake, who, in the preceding April, had
‘singed Philip’s beard’ by entering the ports of Cadiz and of Lisbon,
and destroying some two hundred and fifty vessels. Her conduct was
in keeping with her policy to the Protestants in Scotland and in
France--a policy which has been generally praised, if not for its
honesty, at least for its cleverness. It has been asserted that by
this trimming attitude she prevented a coalition of the united forces
of Catholicism, before which England must have succumbed; however
true that may have been in the earlier years of her reign, it was
certainly so no longer, for Philip was now determined on his invasion
of England. Once, indeed, he had feared the designs of the Guises;
but the Duke of Guise was now in his pay. In January, 1584, Mendoza,
Philip’s ambassador, who had been summarily dismissed from England
on account of his known connection with Throgmorton’s plot, informed
Elizabeth ‘that as he had failed to please the Queen as a minister
of peace, she would in future force him to try and satisfy her in
war,’ and he had been true to his word. Removing to France, he became
thenceforth Philip’s most active agent in making preparations. In
May, 1586, the Queen of Scots had ceded to Philip all her claims on
the crown of England, unless James accepted Catholicism before her
death, and her execution finally removed all his scruples. Under these
circumstances, Philip was determined to endure the ill-disguised acts
of enmity on the part of the English Queen no longer. She had aided
the rebels in the Netherlands; she had supported the Pretender to the
crown of Portugal; above all, the piratical attacks of the English
sea-dogs were bleeding Spain to death. England must be conquered. If
that could be effected, the Netherlands would be soon subdued; and,
since the victory of the League seemed assured in France, Philip might
well hope soon to be master in London, Amsterdam, and Paris. Had
Elizabeth at the time of Leicester’s expedition cast all fears to the
winds and thrown her energies once for all on the side of Henry of
Navarre, and on that of the Netherlands, Philip would have had his
hands too full to strike. Even as it was, Alexander was prevented from
co-operating in the attack on England by those very Netherlanders
whose sympathy Elizabeth had done her best to alienate.

  | The Armada sails. May 30, 1588.

  | The Armada sights the Lizard. July 28.

Five months after the departure of the Earl, the Armada, under the
Duke of Medina Sidonia, sailed. The scheme for invading England
had been elaborately planned between Philip and Parma. The Armada
was to proceed from Lisbon to the throat of the English Channel,
off Calais. There it was to wait for Alexander, who was to come
forth with his army, numbering some 17,000 men, shipped on the
flat-bottomed boats he had prepared, and assume the command of the
whole expedition. The Channel was then to be crossed. The Duke of
Parma was to land and march on London, while Medina Sidonia was to
guard the harbours from the Dutch and English fleets. The first
experiences of the Spanish fleet were not encouraging. Many of the
ships proved unseaworthy, Medina was forced to put into Corunna
to refit, and it was not until the 28th of July, that the Armada
sighted the Lizard. The delay had been of value. Elizabeth, although
she had continued her negotiations with Parma to the very last, had
made some preparations. On land, indeed, little had been done; but
when the Spaniards appeared off Plymouth a motley fleet of some one
hundred and ninety-seven ships had been collected. Of these only
thirty-four belonged to the government; the rest had been provided by
the merchants of London and other towns, or by private individuals.

  | Running engagement up the Channel. July 30-Aug. 6.

  | Armada in Calais roads. Aug. 6-7. The fire-ships.

  | Final engagement. August 8.

It appears, however, that the strength of the Armada has been
exaggerated. Although it is impossible to speak with absolute
accuracy, it would appear that the number of the Spanish vessels
actually engaged was some one hundred and twenty, while that of
the English was about one hundred and seventy. The tonnage of the
individual Spanish ships was greater, but in everything else the
advantage was on the English side. They had more guns--a weapon which
the Spaniards, depending as they did on boarding their adversary,
despised. The number of effective fighting men was probably greater
than that of the Spaniards, if we omit the galley slaves; certainly
the proportion of sailors to the soldiers was greater in the English
fleet; the sailors were far better seamen than those on the Spanish
ships, and they had amongst their captains such men as Drake, Hawkins,
and Frobisher, who had spent their lives at sea. The Spanish ships, if
higher and of greater size, and therefore dangerous at close quarters,
were unwieldy and undermanned. In a word, as Drake well said, if the
English could ‘fight loose and at large,’ their victory was assured;
and this they succeeded in doing. In a running engagement up the
Channel, which lasted eight days, the English hung round the Spanish
fleet, generally to windward of them, poured their shot into the hulls
of the Spanish ships, and were away again before they had suffered
much punishment. The English fired low; the Spaniards, anxious to
disable their enemies preparatory to boarding, fired at the masts and
rigging, and often missed their aim. When, therefore, the Armada at
last reached the Calais roads, the absurdity of the idea that they
could drive the English fleet from the sea was already palpable; and
unless that could be done, it would have been madness for the Duke of
Parma to venture out to sea in his flat-bottomed boats, encumbered
as they would be by troops. This he himself had foreseen; but in any
case, the swarm of Dutch craft which lined the coast prevented him
from the attempt. Nothing clearly could be done unless the Armada
could command the sea, and this it completely failed to do. On the
night of August 7, the English sent six fire-ships against their
enemies as they lay at anchor. The fire-ships might easily have been
towed aside by boats, for they had no explosives on board. But the
Spaniards remembered the fire-ships of Antwerp; a shameful panic
seized the men; the great hulks slipped their anchors; two were set
on fire, others became entangled with each other, and the rest of the
fleet were driven seaward by awkward squalls which sprang up from
west-south-west. On the following morning, the English pursued; and
in the engagement which ensued, while the English lost not a single
vessel and scarce a hundred men, the Spaniards had sixteen of their
ships disabled and lost four to five thousand men. Unfortunately the
English were now short of powder and of shot and of provisions.[75]
The Lord-Admiral, Lord Howard of Effingham, however, ‘put on a brag
countenance and gave them chase, as though they wanted nothing,’ and
the Spaniards, afraid to face the English ships again, were fain to
drop before the wind which soon began to freshen into half a gale
from the west, and threatened to drive the fleet upon the Zealand
sands. A sudden shifting of the wind to the south-west saved them from
this disaster; but the change was only the prelude to a violent gale,
which, finally bursting upon the half-disabled ships on August 14,
scattered them far and wide. Of the one hundred and thirty-four sail
which left Corunna in July, some fifty-three alone, painfully and one
by one, found their way back to Spain, and even these were so damaged
as to be useless.

  | Troubles in Holland after departure of Leicester.

  | Dutch and English expedition to Portugal. April-July,
  | 1589.

  | Breda secured by a stratagem. Feb. 28, 1590.

  | Farnese marches into France. Aug. 3, 1590.

The great enterprise of Philip had been ruined by the combined action
of the English and the Dutch. Yet, unfortunately, the disagreements
caused by the expedition of Leicester were long in disappearing. On
the retirement of the Earl, Maurice of Nassau, who was already
Stattholder of Holland and Zealand, had been appointed Captain-general
of those provinces;[76] but his authority was disputed by Leicester’s
party, more especially in the provinces of Utrecht, Friesland, and
in North Holland. They declared that the Earl had only temporarily
retired, and refused obedience to Maurice and the States-General. The
difficulties were further increased by quarrels with Lord Willoughby,
who had been left in command of the English forces, and was himself
an adherent of the Earl. Under these circumstances, Alexander had
easily reduced most of the contumacious cities; and, on April 10, a
quarrel between Maurice and the English officer, Sir Robert Wingfield,
enabled him to secure the important city of Gertruydenberg. In
the same month, however, a joint Dutch and English expedition was
made against Portugal, which, although it failed in its immediate
object--the restoration of the pretender Don Antonio to the crown--did
some damage to Spanish shipping, and gave earnest of a better feeling
between those two countries, whose interests were so closely knit
together. In the following February, a clever stratagem, heroically
carried out, won Breda for the patriots, and during the following
summer, Maurice began to display his military powers by the reduction
of several places of importance. Nevertheless, the dissensions still
continued. The two English councillors, and the commander of the
English auxiliary forces, who, according to the original treaty, still
retained a seat in the Council of State, were ever quarrelling with
the Hollanders. The province of Holland, which contributed at least a
half to the expenses of the war, did not consider its representation
on the State Council an adequate one; the States-General, in which
the influence of the delegates of Holland was predominant, began
to disregard the authority of the Council, while its authority in
turn was often disputed by the other Provincial Councils. It was
fortunate, under these circumstances, that the attention of Philip was
at this time directed elsewhere. In France alone his fortunes seemed
prospering. If the victory of the League in that country could be
secured, England and the Netherlands might yet be conquered. Besides,
Philip was becoming jealous of the Duke of Parma. No one could serve
Philip long without arousing his suspicions; and Alexander had no
lack of enemies who spread rumours of his intention to make himself
independent in the Netherlands.[77] He was therefore neglected, and
with troops mutinous for want of pay, operations on a large scale
were impossible. Finally, in spite of his remonstrances, Farnese was
ordered to ‘talk no more of difficulties’ but to march into France to
the assistance of the Duke of Mayenne, August 3, 1590 (cf. p. 434),
and although on December 3, Parma returned from his French expedition,
it was with enfeebled health, exhausted funds, and an army seriously
reduced in numbers.

  | Early life of Maurice.

  | His military reforms.

  | Exploits of Maurice. May-July, 1591.

  | Continued success of Maurice. Sept.-Oct., 1591.

Maurice at last had his opportunity. This second[78] son of William
the Silent, and, through his mother, the grandson of Maurice of
Saxony, whom he resembled in feature and in character, had not as yet
attracted much attention. Some indeed thought him nothing more than
a petulant and unmannerly schoolboy; shrewder observers, however,
admitted that he was a man of ‘deep if sullen’ wit, and that as he
grew up to manhood he did not indulge in the vice of deep drinking so
prevalent among Dutchmen of that day. With politics he had hitherto
concerned himself but little, and had been content to follow the
lead of Barneveld. Meanwhile he had devoted himself to mathematics,
the science of fortification, and to tactics, and subsequently,
assisted by his cousin, Lewis William, Stattholder of Friesland--an
odd little man with bullet head, bright eyes, and shaggy brown
beard--had turned to military reform. A more elaborate system of
drill was introduced, which might give greater elasticity to the army
in the field; appreciating the value of fire-arms, he increased the
proportion of musketeers to pikemen in the infantry, and armed the
cavalry with carbines. To this he added the use of the spade, which
had hitherto been despised as beneath the dignity of the soldier, and
formed a school of engineers. In his anxiety to put an end to the
system of pillage which disgraced the armies of the day, and which
had made the Spaniards a terror, he severely punished such offences;
while, to remove all pretext for such conduct, he was careful to
prevent the peculation which had been rife among the officers, and
insisted on the soldiers being punctually paid. By these means he had
succeeded, in spite of much hostile criticism and ridicule, in making
the small army of the Hollanders a thoroughly effective one; while he
himself at the age of twenty-three had become a master of scientific
fortification and siege operations. The moment had now come to use his
remodelled forces. On May 24, 1591, he laid siege to Zutphen on the
Yssel, and in six days reduced that town, which had hitherto proved
impregnable. The reduction of Deventer, on the same river, followed
on June 10. Sixteen days later, he appeared before the walls of
Groningen, and reduced several places in the neighbourhood. Farnese,
aroused by the news of his exploits, attempted in July, to make a
diversion by attacking the fort of Knodsenburg on the Waal, but was
outmanœuvred by his young antagonist, and was forced to retreat,
and in August was compelled by illness to retire to Spa. Maurice now
took the town of Hulst on September 24, and on October 21, Nymwegen,
at the frontier of the Netherlands, on the Waal.

  | Alexander’s second expedition into France. Further
  | conquests of Maurice.

In January, 1592, the Duke of Parma was peremptorily ordered by
Philip to advance once more into France, Maurice, thus free from
all apprehension, again took the field. After a siege of forty-four
days, the town of Steenwyck fell (July 3), on the 26th, the fortress
of Coeworden capitulated, and thus the keys to the districts of
Friesland, Groningen, and Drenthe were in his hands. Thus in two
summers, Maurice had not only secured once more the control of the
Waal, but had driven the Spaniards from most of the strongholds they
had hitherto held in the northern provinces of Guelderland, Overyssel,
and Drenthe; Groningen alone remained, and this was to be reduced in
the following year.

  | Death of Alexander of Parma. Dec. 3, 1592.

In the winter of 1592, Alexander, Duke of Parma, the only man whose
military genius Maurice had need to fear, passed away. He had returned
from his second French expedition at the end of May, a dying man,
but even if he had been himself, the suspicions of Philip would have
effectually paralysed his efforts; for that jealous King, persuaded
by enemies of the Duke that he had designs on the sovereignty of the
Southern Netherlands, had already appointed his successor, and had
intended to remove him by force if necessary. Never were suspicions
more unjust; and Farnese, in obedience to his master’s orders, was
preparing a third expedition into France, when he was suddenly struck
down at Arras (December 3). Thus, at the age of forty-seven, passed
away the first soldier of his age, and one of the most devoted
servants Philip ever had. The only blot on his political career is
to be found in the unscrupulous character of his diplomacy. But even
here, he was at least faithful in his baseness; if he deceived others,
it was in obedience to his master’s orders, and the suspicion with
which Philip treated him in his later moments was as cruel as it was
unjust. The fourteen years of Parma’s governorship may be looked
upon as the critical period in Philip’s reign; they witnessed the
final move in the political game which the King of Spain was playing
for the mastery of Western Europe, and when Parma died the game was
nearly lost. Yet such success as Philip had, was largely due to
Alexander. Although the Duke had failed in the impossible task of
subduing the northern provinces, he had at least secured the southern
and western ones for Spain, and postponed the triumph of Henry of
Navarre. Had Philip had more such servants, he might have succeeded
better.

  | Archduke Ernest appointed Governor. Jan. 1594.

  | Maurice reduces Gertruydenberg, June 24, 1593; and
  | Groningen, July 22, 1594.

On the death of Parma, the government had been provisionally placed
in the hands of Count Peter Ernest Mansfeld, a veteran now in his
dotage. The real successor was to be the Archduke Ernest, brother of
the Emperor Rudolf. The Archduke was Philip’s nephew. He proposed
to marry him to the Infanta and to gain for him the crown of France
(cf. p. 435). Thus, Philip hoped that the Spanish Netherlands might
be united to France, and ruled by a submissive relation. At least,
Philip seemed determined that the new Governor-general should not be
a man to excite his fears. The Archduke was thoroughly incapable,
very indolent, very fat, fond of drinking and of gambling; withal a
melancholy man, a victim to gout, and one who wept when complaints
were made to him. It was not until January, 1594, that the Archduke
arrived in Brussels. By that time his chances of the French throne
seemed remote, and his arrival with no troops and no money, but
‘with 670 gentlemen, pages, and cooks, and 534 horses to draw his
coaches,’ did not augur very well. A jealous scramble for places
ensued; the proud Spanish and Flemish nobles were insulted by his
want of courtesy, and the soldiery mutinied for want of pay. Under
these circumstances Maurice was able to reduce the only two important
places which were held by the Spaniards in the northern provinces. On
June 24, 1593, the successful siege of Gertruydenberg gave him the
command of the Meuse. On the 22nd July of the following year (1594),
the taking of the town of Gröningen, after sixty-five days’ siege,
practically secured that province.

  | Death of Archduke Ernest, Feb. 20, 1595. Succeeded by
  | the Archduke Cardinal Albert, Jan. 1596.

  | Dutch and English expedition to Cadiz. July, 1596.

  | Triple league against Spain. Aug.-Oct., 1596.

  | Successful campaign of Maurice. Jan.-Oct., 1597.

After the death of the Archduke Ernest, which occurred on February 20,
1595, the attention of Philip was once more concentrated on France. In
January, Henry IV. had at last declared open war against Spain, and
the army of the Netherlands was required for service against him.
Fuentes, therefore, who held the post of Governor provisionally,
and the Cardinal Archduke Albert, brother of Ernest, who was appointed
in January 1596, both took part in the campaigns in the east of France
(cf. p. 440), and had but little time to give to the Netherlands. The
Dutch, free from immediate apprehension, were therefore enabled to
share in the brilliant English expedition to Cadiz, which ended in
the destruction of a Spanish fleet and in the sack of the city (July
2, 1596). In August, indeed, the Archduke Albert succeeded in wresting
the town of Hulst from Maurice; but in October, Holland joined
the League which Henry IV. and Elizabeth had made against Spain
in the previous August, and on the 24th of the following January
(1597), Maurice decisively defeated the Archduke at Turnhout near
Gertruydenberg. This important victory was followed by a three
months’ campaign, from August to October 1597, on the frontiers of
the duchy of Cleves--which was being used by the Spaniards as a basis
of operations against the disobedient provinces--a campaign in which,
by the reduction of nine cities and five castles, Maurice materially
strengthened his eastern frontier on the Rhine.

  | Dutch not included in the Peace of Vervins. May 2, 1598.

  | Settlement of government of the obedient provinces.

  | 1609. Twelve years’ truce.

The Dutch had entered the League with France and England in the hope
that they might by such help finally secure the recognition of their
independence. But Henry was now weary of war, and had already opened
those negotiations which, in spite of the remonstrances of the Dutch,
ended in the Peace of Vervins (May 2, 1598, cf. p. 444). As the
recognition of their independence was denied them, the Dutch declined
to take part in the treaty. Nevertheless, the Peace was accompanied
by some change in the position of the obedient provinces; for as
Henry would no longer brook the presence of the Spanish King on his
eastern frontier, Philip consented to renounce his claim to them, as
well as to Franche-Comté, on condition that the sovereignty should
be conferred on the Archduke Albert, who was to marry the Infanta
Clara Eugenia Isabella (May, 1598). It was, however, stipulated that
these provinces should fall again to Spain in the event of there
being no issue of the marriage; Philip had reason to believe that
the Archduke could have no children, and by a secret treaty, his
nephew acknowledged the suzerainty of Spain, and promised to allow
Spanish garrisons to hold the cities of Antwerp, Ghent, and Cambray.
A desultory war, which did not materially affect the issue, continued
between the Spanish and disobedient provinces till 1609. A truce
of twelve years then virtually recognised the independence of the
United Netherlands--an independence which was not, however, formally
acknowledged till the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

  | The limits of the seven United Provinces.

  | Contrast in condition of the United Netherlands and
  | the Spanish Netherlands.

  | The constitutional and other difficulties.

The seven United Provinces which thus broke away from Spain were
Guelderland, Utrecht, Friesland, Overyssel, Gröningen, Zealand, and
Holland. These occupied a stretch of country on the shores of the
German Ocean, running from the duchy of East Friesland to the estuary
of the Scheldt, both sides of which they held. They thus completely
commanded the various mouths of the Rhine, as well as those of the
Meuse and the Scheldt. On the east and the south their boundaries
were East Friesland, the territories of the bishopric of Münster,
the duchy of Cleves, the bishopric of Liège, and South Brabant. Of
the United Provinces, the sea was at once the enemy and the friend;
a large proportion of their territory had been reclaimed from its
embrace, and it was only kept back by expensive dykes. Some of the
water of the Rhine had even to be conveyed to the sea in canals above
the level of the fields (poulders), yet so much below the level of
high tide that this had to be kept back by gates, which opened and
shut as it ebbed and flowed. Yet it was this very sea which they had
so often called to their assistance against their human foes, and
which gave them the trade upon which their prosperity depended. The
condition of these provinces, compared with that of the obedient
provinces, had undergone a marvellous change since the accession
of Philip. At the commencement of his reign, Flanders and Brabant
were by far the most wealthy districts; Antwerp was one of the great
entrepots for the trade of Europe, and their other great towns were
the centres of busy industries; while their contributions to the royal
exchequer equalled those of all the other provinces together. At the
close of the struggle these provinces were a desert; the wolves,
we are told, roamed over the vacant fields; the looms were silent,
and whole streets in the towns were empty; trade had shifted to the
north, and Amsterdam had usurped the place of Antwerp. Already the
Dutch were becoming the carriers of Europe, and taking the lead in
colonisation to the east. Yet the young State was threatened by many
dangers. The jealousy of England for her trade was likely to prove
formidable, and the internal dangers were many. The government was a
loose federation of provinces of very unequal size and wealth, and
each province a federation of municipal councils, which, with the
exception of those in Overyssel and Groningen, were filled up by
co-optation, or by election on a very narrow franchise. The authority
of the States-General, therefore, which was the legislative assembly
of the federation, and that of the States Council which formed the
Executive, was continually being disputed by the Provincial Councils;
while the burgher aristocracy which ruled the towns was disliked
by the nobles in the country, and looked upon with jealousy by the
unenfranchised. The predominant power of the province of Holland,
which contributed more than half of the annual budget, and the
existence of the Stattholder and Captain-general,[79] who held the
supreme military and executive power, no doubt gave a practical unity
to the government. But there was ever a tendency on the part of the
Stadtholder to break away from the burgher aristocracy, and to base
a more extended sovereignty and a more united kingdom on the support
of the unprivileged classes. Religious differences embittered these
dissensions; the burghers generally supported the new Arminian views,
the Stadtholder those of the more extreme Calvinists; and thus there
arose two parties whose quarrels were often in the future to shake the
federation to its base.

FOOTNOTES:

 [67] Lord Buckhurst, the English envoy, declared that as late as
      1587, the numbers of the Catholics in the disobedient provinces
      exceeded those of the Protestants.

 [68] Four were Duchies: Brabant, Guelderland, Limburg,
      Luxemburg. Five were Lordships: West Friesland, Mechlin,
      Utrecht, Overyssel, Groningen. Six were Counties: Flanders,
      Artois, Hainault, Holland, Zealand, Zutphen. Antwerp and Namur
      were Margravates. Of these Friesland, Groningen, Utrecht,
      Guelderland, Zutphen were added by Charles V.

 [69] The Duke of Bavaria was the brother-in-law of Egmont.

 [70] Adolf fell at Heiligerlu 1568.

 [71] Some, however, fix the date of Don John’s birth two years
      earlier, 1545.

 [72] William married four times:--

      1. Anne of Egmont.

      2. Anne, daughter of Maurice of Saxony.

      3. Charlotte of Bourbon, daughter of Louis, Duke of Montpensier.

      4. Louisa, daughter of Admiral Coligny.

      Of his eleven children, the following are the most important:--

      1. Philip William, son of Anne of Egmont, a captive in Spain
      since 1567; _ob. s.p._ 1618.

      2. Maurice, son of Anne of Saxony, Stattholder from 1587 to 1625.

      3. Frederick Henry, son of Louisa de Coligny, Stattholder from
      1625 to 1647.

 [73] The Earl of Leicester was the brother of Guildford Dudley,
      the husband of Lady Jane Grey, executed 1554.

 [74] Alexander had become Duke of Parma on the death of his
      father Ottavio, September 1586.

 [75] This is generally attributed to the parsimony of the Queen.
      But on this and other popular errors cf. _State Papers relating
      to Defeat of the Spanish Armada_, Navy Records Society,
      Introduction.

 [76] In 1590, Maurice was also appointed Stattholder and
      Captain-general of Guelderland, Utrecht, Overyssel; but he never
      was appointed Captain-general of the whole Union.

 [77] That Alexander had been approached on this subject is true;
      but that he ever entertained such a proposal there is not the
      slightest proof.

 [78] The eldest son, Philip, had been kidnapped from school and
      sent to Spain in 1567. When he returned in 1596, he had become a
      Catholic and a supporter of Spanish rule.

 [79] Maurice after 1590 was Stattholder and Captain-general of
      Holland, Zealand, Guelderland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, but never
      Captain-general or Stattholder of the Union.



CHAPTER IX

THE REFORMATION AND THE CIVIL WARS IN FRANCE

     Francis and the Reformers--Massacre of the Vaudois--Henry II.
     and the Reformers--Parties at Accession of Francis II.--Tumult
     of Amboise--Accession of Charles IX.--States-General and
     Colloquy of Poissy--Massacre of Vassy--First Civil
     War--Dreux--Assassination of Francis of Guise--Pacification of
     Amboise--Second Civil War--St. Denis--Edict of Longjumeau--Third
     Civil War--Jarnac and Moncontour--Peace of St. Germain--Massacre
     of St. Bartholomew--Fourth Civil War--Treaty of La
     Rochelle--Change in Views of Huguenots--Fifth Civil
     War--Accession of Henry III.--Peace of Monsieur--Guise and the
     Catholic Leagues--Sixth and Seventh Civil Wars--Treaties of
     Bergerac and Fleix--France and the Netherlands--The Catholic
     League--Treaty of Joinville--Eighth Civil War--Courtras--The
     Barricades--Assassination of Henry of Guise and Henry
     III.--Henry IV. and the League--Ninth Civil War--Arques and
     Ivry--Henry ‘receives instruction’ and enters Paris--War with
     Spain--Edict of Nantes--Peace of Vervins--Conclusion.


§ 1. _The Rise of the Huguenots during the Reign of Francis I._

  | The first French Reformers.

While France, in pursuit of her policy of opposition to the House of
Hapsburg, had been allying herself with the Protestants of Germany,
heresy had been growing apace within her own borders. Jacques
Lefèvre of Étaples may fairly claim the title of father of
French Protestantism. A lecturer on theology at Paris, he had in a
commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul (1512) taught the Doctrine
of Justification by Faith five years before Luther had denounced
indulgences. In 1521, he had, under the patronage of Briçonnet, the
Bishop, collected a small band of men at Meaux in Champagne, of whom
Farel of Dauphiné was the most important, and had also influenced
Louis de Berquin, the friend of Erasmus, who was a nobleman and a
courtier.

  | Francis at first inclined to toleration.

  | Persecution begins in absence of Francis. 1525.

  | Francis adopts a policy of persecution. 1529.

The rise of these new opinions had at once excited the fears of the
Sorbonne or theological faculty in the University of Paris, and of
the ‘Parlement’ of Paris. But Francis had no love for either of these
institutions. The ‘Parlement’ had opposed him in the matter of the
Concordat (cf. p. 81), the Sorbonne had viewed with jealousy his
new foundation, the ‘Collège de France’ (cf. p. 218). Moreover, he
disliked the monks and friars, while his sympathy with literature and
culture, the redeeming traits of his otherwise worthless character,
as well as the influence of his sister, Margaret of Navarre, led him
to tolerate the new opinions; indeed, he is said to have entertained
the idea of founding a literary and philosophic institution in France
with Erasmus at its head. Accordingly in 1523, he saved de Berquin
from the ‘Parlement,’ and had he been victorious at Pavia he might
have continued this policy of toleration. His defeat and imprisonment,
however, altered the condition of the Protestants for the worse, for
his mother, Louise of Savoy, took advantage of his absence to crush
out heresy. Leclerc, a wool-carder of Meaux, was burnt, July, 1525;
Briçonnet was ordered to disperse the brotherhood of Meaux (October
1525); and de Berquin was again arrested (January, 1526). He was,
indeed, once more saved from his enemies by Francis, who, on his
return to France, even appointed Lefèvre tutor to his children. But
a change soon came over the policy of the fickle King. His political
necessities demanded an alliance with the Pope, who was forming the
Holy League against the Emperor (cf. p. 184), and with the clergy
at home, who could supply him with money wherewith to continue
the war. He had never sympathised with the religious views of the
reformers, but only with the literary side of the movement; while the
iconoclastic and other extravagances of some of the more hot-headed
reformers gave colour to the suggestion that the movement had a
political significance. De Berquin, although in no way responsible for
these extravagances, refused to listen to the timid caution of Erasmus
‘not to disturb the hornets,’ and in consequence was seized again and
executed (April, 1529).

  | Massacre of the Vaudois. 1545.

In 1534, an intemperate placard on the abuses of the Mass not
unnaturally increased the indignation of the King; in 1535, the
outbreak of the Anabaptists in Münster still further frightened
him; and in January 1545, convinced by the misrepresentations of the
‘Parlement’ of Aix that the Vaudois of Provence were attempting to
set up a republic, he gave the fatal order which, whether he intended
it or no, led to a massacre. More than twenty towns and villages were
destroyed, and some three thousand Protestants in the valley of the
Durance perished. The reign of Francis closed in the following year
with the execution of the ‘fourteen’ poor artisans at Meaux, the
cradle of French Protestantism.


§ 2. _The Reign of Henry II._, 1547-1559.

  | French Protestantism becomes Calvinistic and
  | aggressive.

  | Increased persecution under Henry II.

Meanwhile, the French Protestants had come under the influence of
Calvin. In 1535, he had dedicated his _Institutes_ to Francis I., in
the hope, it is said, of convincing the King that his doctrines were
not dangerous, and from that moment the French rapidly assimilated the
teaching of their great countryman. French Protestantism now became
dissociated from the literary movement with which it had hitherto been
connected, its churches were organised on the democratic system of
Geneva, and the movement soon became for the first time political and
aggressive. Under these circumstances it is no wonder that persecution
increased after the death of Francis I., especially when we remember
that the young King (he was twenty-nine) had not the literary
sympathies of his father, and that the Constable de Montmorenci and
the Guises, who had been out of favour during the later years of
Francis, were again recalled. Accordingly, at the beginning of the
reign of Henry II., a special chamber of the ‘Parlement’ was erected
to try cases of heresy, which gained the name of ‘La Chambre Ardente,’
from the number of victims it sent to the flames. In 1551, the Edict
of Châteaubriant gave to the ecclesiastical courts jurisdiction in
matters of heresy without appeal to the ‘Parlement,’ and in 1557,
an attempt was made to introduce the Inquisition into France; Paul
IV. published a Bull appointing a commission consisting of the three
cardinals of Lorraine, Bourbon, and Châtillon, with the power of
delegating their authority.

In spite of these severe measures the number of converts grew apace,
and this was the chief motive which induced Henry II. to conclude the
treaty of Cateau Cambrésis in April, 1559. Although there appears to
be no foundation for the assertion that the Kings of France and Spain
bound themselves by a secret clause of that treaty to unite against
the heretics, yet negotiations to that effect certainly followed.

  | Opposition of the ‘Parlement’ of Paris.

In June, Philip proposed to aid the French King in exterminating the
Protestants; and Henry, while declining the offer, suggested a joint
expedition against Geneva. The political rivalry, however, of the two
countries was too deep to permit of joint action at present, and Henry
pursued his course alone. Here he met with unlooked-for opposition
on the part of the ‘Parlement.’ Heresy in France had hitherto been
within the cognisance of the civil courts, and the ‘Parlement’ had
therefore protested as well against the Edict of Châteaubriant as
against the Bull of Paul IV. On the latter point the King had given
way, but the other cause of dispute remained, and was aggravated by
the appearance of a moderate party in the ‘Chambre de la Tournelle,’
or criminal session of the ‘Parlement,’ who declared that persecution
was ineffective, and that they would not punish heresy with death. The
King was most indignant, and was on the point of proceeding against
the leaders, Du Faur and Anne de Bourg, when, at the tournament held
to commemorate the Peace, the lance of Montgomery laid him in the dust
and transferred the crown to his son, Francis II., a youth of sixteen
(July, 1559).


§ 3. _The Reign of Francis II., July, 1559--December, 1560_

  | Condition of Huguenots at accession of Francis II.

  | Disorganised condition of France.

The Protestants, or Huguenots,[80] as they began to be called,
were now too powerful to be put down by such persecution as was
possible. They numbered some 400,000, of whom the largest proportion
were either burghers and tradesmen of some substance, or belonged to
the smaller nobility, a military class who were only too ready to
appeal to arms. Nor were they destitute of leaders from the higher
nobility and from those of influence at court, notably Condé and
Coligny. And yet, had a strong and popular King succeeded, or had
there existed in France a well-knit and healthy constitution, some
compromise might have been effected, or, failing that, the new
opinions might have been at once suppressed by a vigorous use of
force. But France was suffering from the evil results of the prolonged
foreign war, and from the misguided policy of her Kings since Louis
XI. The financial distress, the heavy and unequal taxation, which
fell almost exclusively on the lower classes, caused widespread
discontent against the government. The bureaucracy and the judicature,
largely owing to the system of purchase, were hopelessly corrupt,
and had lost respect. The Church, though exceedingly wealthy (its
revenues amounted to two-fifths of the total revenue of the country),
was suffering from the effects of the Concordat; its benefices
were monopolised by the nobility and the courtiers, and absorbed
in a few hands; thus John, the Cardinal of Lorraine, held three
archbishoprics, seven bishoprics, and four abbeys. Its leaders were
for the most part men of secular interests, swayed by the factions
of the court, and caring little for the spiritual needs of their
dioceses. The States-General had been rarely called of late, and had
lost all constitutional life. The towns, with no real share in the
government of the country, were inclined to stand apart, and depend
upon themselves. The greater nobility aimed either at controlling the
crown, or, failing that, at establishing themselves as hereditary
governors of their provinces. The smaller nobility, excluded from
trade and from all professions except those of the army and the
Church, now that the war was over, either crowded into the Church, to
secularise it more completely, or formed a turbulent military class
who welcomed the chance of renewed war. France, in short, nominally
under the control of a closely centralised monarchy, was suffering
from that worst form of anarchy which comes of a bureaucracy when
it has become disorganised. To complete the misfortunes of France,
the House of Valois was represented by four boys of no character,
intellect, or physique, who were the victims of court intrigue and
factions, which were to make the crown still more unpopular, and soon
to hurry the country into civil war.

  | The Bourbons.

The three most influential parties among the nobles were led by the
Bourbons, the Constable Anne de Montmorenci, and the Guises. Of
these the Bourbons stood nearest the throne. The eldest, Antony
of Bourbon, was King of Navarre, in right of his wife Jeanne of
Navarre, the daughter of Margaret, the tolerant sister of Francis
I. But, although he adopted the Calvinistic views of his wife, and
was popular and a good soldier, his weaknesses and irresolution
unfitted him for the leadership, which fell to his youngest brother
Louis de Condé, who also leaned to the new opinions, and was a
man of far more character. The second brother Charles, Cardinal of
Bourbon, remained a Catholic, dissociated himself from the policy
of his family, and subsequently strove for a brief season to be
called Charles X. of France. Closely connected with the Bourbons
stood the two nephews of the Constable--Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral
of France, and D’Andelot, Colonel-General of the infantry, both
strenuous Huguenots. The eldest Odet, Cardinal of Châtillon, although
sympathising with the reformers, was never of much weight.

  | The Constable Anne de Montmorenci.

The Constable Anne de Montmorenci, who headed the second party, was a
devoted Catholic, and a stern soldier, whose severity and devotions
in time of war had led men to say, ‘Beware of the Constable’s Pater
Nosters.’ His policy had ever been that of alliance with Spain and
suppression of heresy--a policy which had lately triumphed in the
Peace of Cateau Cambrésis. Yet his jealousy of the Guises and of
the queen-mother caused him for the present to join the party of the
Bourbons.

  | The Guises.

Lastly came the Guises. This family, the cadet branch of the House of
Lorraine, was founded by Claude, second son of Réné of Lorraine,
the grandson of Réné le Bon, of Anjou, through his daughter
Iolante. Claude had earned a reputation by his defence of the eastern
frontier after the defeat of Pavia, 1525, and had married his daughter
Mary to James V. of Scotland. In reward for his services, Francis I.
had erected Guise, Aumale, and Mayenne into duchies which Claude left
on his death (1550) to two of his sons, Francis, Duke of Guise, and
Claude, Duke of Aumale; while two others, Charles and Louis, entered
the Church to become the Cardinals of Lorraine and Guise. Duke Francis
had surpassed his father’s fame by his defence of Metz (1552-1553),
and by the taking of Calais (1558). Ostentatious and open-handed, he
courted popularity, and what he lacked in statesmanship was supplied
by his younger brother Charles, the Cardinal, who, in spite of his
avarice and his arrogance, was scrupulous in the outward observance
of his clerical duties, a master of diplomacy, and an accomplished
scholar of persuasive speech. Although we must wait till the next
generation for the full development of the schemes of this ambitious
family--schemes which no doubt expanded as the opportunities presented
themselves--yet the foundations were already laid by these two
remarkable men. The key to the policy of the Guises is to be found in
the fact that they were only half Frenchmen, and that they were only
remotely connected with the royal family. Looked upon as upstarts
by the older nobility, and afraid of being excluded from power by
the Bourbons, they asserted their descent from the House of Anjou,
and even from the Karolings. The family of Anjou, if still existing
in the male line, would have been nearer to the throne than the
Bourbons themselves. But the male line had died out with Charles
of Maine (1481), and accordingly the Guises pressed the claims of
the female line, through which they could trace their descent from
Réné of Anjou. Their half-foreign extraction presented greater
difficulties. These they had no doubt in part removed by their
military exploits in defending France. Now that the war was over, they
naturally adopted the cause of Catholicism, which gave them a certain
popularity among the lower classes, more especially of Paris, which
city remained intensely Catholic throughout. Their foreign policy,
although Catholic, was not Spanish at this date, for they dreamt of
supporting the claim of Mary, Queen of Scots, wife of Francis II.,
to the throne of England, and of uniting the three countries into a
strong monarchy which might balance the Austro-Spanish power.

  | Catherine de Medici.

Amid these conflicting factions, belonging to none of them, yet
anxious to control them all, stood Catherine de Medici, the
Queen-mother. ‘What,’ said Henry IV. of her subsequently, ‘could a
poor woman have done, with her husband dead, five small children
upon her hands, and two families who were scheming to seize the
throne--our own and the Guises? I am astonished that she did not do
even worse.’ The clew to the policy of this much-abused woman lies
in her foreign extraction and her previous life. A Florentine and a
Medici, she was unpopular in France, while she failed to secure the
love of her husband, Henry II., and saw her influence eclipsed by
Diana of Poictiers, his mistress. This exclusion from all influence
working on a jealous nature, had bred an intense passion to rule. Had
direct rule now been possible for her, Catherine might have done well
enough; for though devoid of moral elevation, she was not vicious. She
was very industrious and painstaking, and anxious to please. She
wished to maintain the independence of the country against the designs
of Spain, as well as the authority of the crown which was threatened
by the internal factions; if a Catholic, she was certainly no bigot,
and would probably have granted at least a contemptuous toleration to
the Huguenots. But when power was denied her, and her position was
threatened, like a true Medici she betook herself to intrigue--so
often the resource of the weak--and pursued a policy of balance which
was all the more fatal because it did not succeed.

  | The Guises in power.

As Francis was over thirteen, it was not necessary to have a
regency. None the less, it would have been natural that Antony of
Navarre, as the nearest male relation of full age, should be called
to power. This was, however, prevented by the Guises. Uncles of the
Queen, they succeeded in obtaining complete control of the young King;
and Catherine, seeing that they were too strong to be opposed, jealous
of Navarre, and disliking Montmorenci on account of his insolent
behaviour to her during her husband’s life, threw herself on their
support. Montmorenci was dismissed, and retired to his estates at
Chantilly; Coligny was deprived of his governorship of Picardy, nearly
all the governors on whom the Guises could not depend were removed,
and while the Duke controlled the army, the Cardinal of Lorraine
became the head of the civil administration. Having thus monopolised
the government of the kingdom, the Guises resumed the procedure
against the refractory members of the ‘Parlement,’ which had been
stayed by the death of Henry II. Anne de Bourg, condemned by a special
commission, was executed in spite of his appeal against the legality
of the court, and the others were suspended or imprisoned.

  | The Tumult of Amboise. March 17, 1560.

But the triumph of the Guises was not to go unchallenged, and a
formidable opposition was aroused in which their political and
religious opponents joined hands. The nobility were indignant at being
deprived of their governorships, and asserted the right of the princes
of the blood against these upstart foreigners. The heavy taxation and
the poor success of the war in Scotland, where Mary of Guise, assisted
by her brothers, was carrying on an unequal struggle against the
‘Lords of the Congregation,’ added to the grievances. Those who wished
to revive the authority of the States-General seized the opportunity
to attack the despotic government of the Guises, and the religious
discontent served as a rallying-point. In the spring of 1560, De la
Renaudie, a noble of Perigord, formed a plot to remove the King,
who was at Amboise, from the hands of the Guises, and to place the
Prince of Condé at the head of the government. The plot, however,
was betrayed. De la Renaudie was killed in a skirmish, and the other
conspirators cruelly punished, some being hung from the balcony of the
castle.

Although the ‘Tumult of Amboise’ was by no means exclusively confined
to the Protestants, it marks the moment when they finally became
a political and aggressive party, and when they were joined by
the smaller nobility of the provinces; while it furnished the
government with a pretext for declaring that the interests of the
monarchy and of the Catholic Church were identical. For the moment
the Guises pretended somewhat to change their policy. On first
hearing of the plot, they had issued an Edict in the King’s name
promising forgiveness for all past deeds; and, although the Edict of
Roromantin, which followed in May, 1560, gave exclusive jurisdiction
over matters of conscience to the ecclesiastical courts, it urged
the desirability of proceeding gently in the matter. The Guises even
listened to demands of Coligny, which were supported by Catherine
and Michel L’Hôpital, who had just been made chancellor, to summon
a States-General, and a Council of the French prelates for the
discussion of grievances, political and religious. To these proposals,
however, they had consented in the belief that they could postpone
the ecclesiastical Council under pretext that the Council of Trent
was shortly to be reopened, and that they could secure a subservient
majority in the Estates-General by influencing the elections, and
by excluding and imprisoning those who would not subscribe to the
articles of the Catholic faith.

  | The triumph of the Guises prevented, by death of
  | Francis II. Dec. 5, 1560.

The death of Mary, the Regent of Scotland (June 10, 1560), and the
Treaty of Leith (July 6), by which the French were to evacuate
Scotland, and King Francis and his wife, Mary Stuart, were to abandon
their claims to the throne of England, had removed the apprehensions
of Philip. He therefore offered to help the Guises in securing
their power. The Pope and the Duke of Savoy were to send troops to
exterminate the Vaudois and to attack Geneva, while Philip was to
invade Navarre. Condé and the King of Navarre having rashly answered
a summons to Orleans, where the court had assembled for the meeting of
the States-General, were seized; an unsuccessful attempt was made to
assassinate Navarre; and Condé, tried before a special commission for
complicity in the late conspiracy, was condemned to die. The triumph
of the Guises seemed secured, when it was snatched from them by the
sudden death of the young King from a disease in the ear (December 5,
1560).


§ 4. _Charles IX., December 1560--May 1574._

  | Catherine rules in the name of Charles IX.

The Guises, baulked of their prey, went at first in such fear of their
lives that they shut themselves up in their palace, and Catherine at
last seemed to have her opportunity. As Charles IX. was only ten, a
regency was necessary, and, beyond all dispute, the office should
have been held by Antony of Navarre. But he agreed to surrender his
right to the Queen-mother, reserving for himself only the office of
Lieutenant-general. Catherine was delighted. ‘He is so obedient,’
she wrote to her daughter the Queen of Spain, ‘that I dispose of
him as I please.’ She now hoped to act the part of mediator between
the two religious parties, and, by playing off the Guises against
the Bourbons, to rule. Her first difficulty was with regard to the
States-General. Summoned on December 15, 1560, to Orleans, they were
prorogued till the following August, when they met again at Pontoise.

  | The States-General. August 1561.

This, the first meeting of the States-General for seventy-seven
years, is noticeable as illustrating the political ideas of the
Huguenots, who found themselves in a majority, and for the remarkable
reforms proposed, which, if carried out, might have saved France
from civil war, and altered her future history. The nobles, while
insisting on their privileges, urged the reformation of the judicial
system, and the substitution of an elective magistracy for one which,
through the system of purchase, was rapidly becoming hereditary;
they denounced the chicanery of the ecclesiastical courts and the
abuses of pluralities and non-residence; they petitioned that nobles
who preferred the Calvinistic worship should be allowed to use the
churches for their services.

The demands of the Tiers État went further. They asked that the
Prerogative should be limited by triennial meetings of the Estates,
and by the appointment of a Council from which the clergy should be
excluded. They petitioned for the sale of church lands. From the
interest of the capital thus obtained, the clergy were to be paid
fixed stipends, and the balance was to be spent on paying the debts of
the crown, and in loans to the principal cities for the furtherance of
their commerce. They demanded that persecution should cease, since ‘it
is unreasonable to compel men to do what in their hearts they consider
wrong,’ and that a national Council, in which the laity as well as the
clergy should have votes, and in which the Word of God should be the
sole guide, should be summoned for the final settlement of religious
questions. This would have meant the establishment of the Reformed
opinions in France, and for this Catherine was certainly not prepared,
for the Huguenots after all only represented some one-thirtieth of the
nation.

  | The Colloquy of Poissy.

Nor did the results of the ‘Colloquy of Poissy,’ which was held
near by at the same time, offer better hopes that comprehension
would be possible. At this conference eleven ministers--among whom
were Theodore Beza, the disciple of Calvin, and Peter Martyr the
Italian--and twenty-two laymen appeared. But as might be expected,
the attempt served rather to accentuate the differences between the
two creeds. The only practical result of the Colloquy was that the
bishops, to meet the demands of the third estate with regard to Church
property, pledged themselves to pay by instalments the sum needed
for the redemption of those crown lands which had been alienated to
satisfy the public creditors.

  | The Edict of Jan. 1562.

Comprehension was plainly impossible. It remained to be seen whether
toleration was practicable. This was attempted by the Edict of
January, 1562, which, while it insisted on the Huguenots surrendering
the churches which they had occupied, allowed them, until the
decision of a General Council, to assemble for worship in any place
outside walled towns. Thus the policy of L’Hôpital seemed to have
triumphed. The Huguenots were given a legal recognition, and ceased
to be outlaws. But the appearances were delusive, and the Edict of
January really only precipitated civil war. L’Hôpital himself had
confessed, at the opening of the States-General, that ‘It was folly
to hope for peace between persons of different religions. A Frenchman
and an Englishman,’ he said, ‘who are of the same religion have
more affection for one another than citizens of the same city, or
vassals of the same lord, who hold to different creeds.’ Nor was this
all. Religious differences were in many cases embittered by personal
rivalry, by selfish interests, and by political prejudices, and all
these had been intensified by the demands of the third estate. If
granted, the demands would have revolutionised the constitution of
the country, and they could only have been successful if backed up by
the nation. But the third estate, nominated for the most part by the
municipal oligarchies, represented neither the views of the peasants
in the country districts nor those of the lower classes in the towns,
who were mostly Catholics. Those whose interests and prejudices they
assailed formed the great majority of the nation, and these henceforth
learnt to look upon the Huguenots as their deadly enemies. The higher
nobility were frightened at the demand for resumption of the crown
lands, many of which were in their hands; the Church resented the
cry for disendowment; the lawyers were indignant at the attack on
their privileges, and were as jealous as ever of the claims of the
States-General to rule the country. It is, in fact, from this time
that we must date the uncompromising hostility to the Reformers
of these three powerful bodies--the nobility, the clergy, and the
lawyers--many of whom hitherto had not been unwilling to show some
favour to the Huguenots. The only chance of the Huguenots now depended
on the maintenance of peace. Although they had not gained all that
they desired, and although the Edict was only to be provisional,
their adherents were increasing so fast that in a short time they
might hope to be able to command respect. One archbishop--that of
Aix--and six bishops, besides the Cardinal of Châtillon, were said
to favour the new opinions. Throgmorton informed the Queen of England
that even Charles IX. himself was wavering. Catherine did not object
to her ladies reading the New Testament and singing the psalms of
the Huguenot Marot, and certainly she would not have hesitated to
continue her policy of toleration if she could thereby have secured
her authority. Unfortunately the administration was not powerful
enough to enforce the law, and the religious and political animosities
were too deep. The leaders of the Huguenots could not entirely control
the more hot-headed spirits, and iconoclastic outrages occurred,
more especially in the south; while the Catholics were determined to
overthrow the Edict as soon as possible.

  | The massacre of Vassy. March 1, 1562.

  | Duke of Guise enters Paris, March 16; and secures the
  | person of the king. April 6.

Already in April, 1561, Montmorenci had been reconciled to the
Guises. They now succeeded in gaining over the unstable King of
Navarre by offering him the island of Sardinia and a kingdom in
Africa, or possibly a divorce from his Protestant wife, Jeanne
d’Albret, and the hand of Mary, Queen of Scots, with the crown of
Scotland, and some day that of England. In the south, massacres and
outrages occurred; and finally, on Sunday, March 1, the Duke of
Guise coming across some Huguenots who were worshipping in a barn at
Vassy, in Champagne, ordered his followers to disperse the meeting as
being contrary to the law. The Huguenots, though unarmed, probably
made some resistance, and the affair ended in the massacre of some
fifty or sixty men and women, while two hundred more were seriously
wounded. As the town of Vassy was apparently not a ‘walled’ one, the
Huguenots were probably within their rights. In any case, the Duke had
no authority to take the execution of the law into his own hands. It
may be true that he had not intended his followers to proceed to
such extremities, but at least he never denounced or punished the
perpetrators. For the rest, the massacre of Vassy was not the only one
that had occurred since the Edict, and it is important only because it
was committed with the acquiescence of one of the great party leaders,
and because in thus transferring the quarrel from the country to the
court, it rendered war inevitable. The question was, Who should secure
the person of the King? The Duke advancing rapidly, entered Paris
(March 16) in spite of the order of Catherine to the contrary. On her
retiring with the young King to Fontainebleau he followed her; and
the Queen-mother, seeing no other alternative, consented to return to
Paris (April 6), Charles IX. crying ‘as if they were taking him to
prison.’ Catherine, after attempting to support the weaker party, had
ended, as was her wont, in siding with the stronger.

  | Condé’s Manifesto. March.

Meanwhile, Condé had retreated from Paris (March 23) to
Orleans. Being joined there by Coligny and d’Andelot he published
a manifesto in which he justified his appeal to arms, and declared
that he did so to free the King from unlawful detention by the
‘Triumvirate’--Guise, Montmorenci, and the Marshal St. André. Thus,
if the Catholics were the first to break the peace at Vassy, the
Huguenots were the first to appeal to arms. Many have blamed them
for want of patience, and held that, if they had refrained from
raising the standard of rebellion, they would in time have gained
toleration. Calvin had always been opposed to war, and Coligny
only consented after much hesitation, overborne, it is said, by
the entreaties of his wife. But it is extremely doubtful whether
they could thus have disarmed persecution; the Catholic party were
determined to crush out heresy; and, as it was, the victims of 1562
exceeded those of the massacre of St. Bartholomew. A more serious
charge is that the Huguenots, under the garb of religion, were
pursuing political objects; but this assertion may be brought with
equal truth against all parties in the religious struggles of the
century. In France, as elsewhere, the religious disaffection furnished
a rallying-point for, and a creed to, all the smouldering discontent
in the country. With some the religious, with others the political,
and even the personal element was strongest. ‘The grandees,’ says a
Venetian observer, ‘adopted reform for ambition, the middle classes
for Church property, the lower classes for Paradise.’ Moreover, the
accusation would be equally true of the Catholics. If Condé was
fighting for the control of the government, he had a juster claim
thereto than the half-foreign Guises. The political aims of the
Huguenots, as represented at Orleans, were more worthy of support
than the absolutist opinions of the Guises. If the Huguenots may
be charged with reviving feudalism at one moment, and of being
republicans at another, the Guises at first fought for political as
well as religious tyranny, and latterly masqueraded as the champions
of pure democracy. Finally, the cause of the Huguenots, although that
of a minority--and, it must be confessed, an unpopular minority--was
yet the cause of national independence, which was threatened by the
ever-tightening alliance of the Guises with Philip of Spain. Nor
must it be supposed that there was nothing deeper on either side;
indeed, it was the presence of religious convictions which gave to the
struggle at once its earnestness and its ferocity.

  | The geographical and social distribution of the two
  | parties.

The geographical distribution of the two parties does not bear out
the idea that there is a natural affinity between Protestantism and
the Teutonic races, and between the Celtic and Romance nations and
Catholicism. It is true that the lower classes in Celtic Brittany were
strongly Catholic, but so was the north-east of France, in which the
Teutonic element was strong, while the Huguenots found their chief
support in the south-west, which was Romance. The main stronghold of
the Huguenots may be described as a square enclosed between the Loire,
the Saône, and the Rhone on the north and east; the Mediterranean,
the Pyrenees, and the Bay of Biscay on the south and west; while
Dauphiné and Normandy were their outposts. Yet even here it was only
in Eastern Languedoc and in Dauphiné, and later, at La Rochelle,
that they solidly held their own, or that they were supported by the
majority of the population, both noble and non-noble. Elsewhere,
in those provinces where the nobles inclined to Protestantism, the
peasants generally remained Catholic. While the Huguenots had, with
the exception of Condé and his relations, few adherents among the
grandees, they found their main support in the smaller nobility and
in the trading classes of the towns. Of these, the nobility formed,
at their own charges, a most admirable light cavalry, and, in spite
of the inferiority of their arms, proved in many a battle that they
were more than a match for mail-clad men-at-arms. Unfortunately their
poverty, their dislike of discipline, and their local interests
rendered them unfit for a long campaign, and this accounts for the
fact that their victories often led to such poor results.

On the side of the Catholics were ranged the mass of the greater
nobles, the Church, and the official classes of the magistracy
and bureaucracy, the peasants of the rural districts, except in
the Cevennes and Dauphiné, and the lower classes in the towns,
more especially of Paris, and later, of Orleans and Rouen. The
intense Catholicism of these and other towns is to be explained
by the influence of the religious houses, and in Paris of the
University which, with its sixty-five colleges, formed almost a
town of itself, and, together with the monasteries, owned a large
part of the city and its suburbs. The moral strength of Catholicism
depended on the conservative instincts of the people and on their
religious traditions, which were so closely intertwined with the
business and pleasures of life, and which were shocked by the
iconoclasm of the Huguenots; while the feudal, separatist, and
republican tendencies of the Huguenots at once prevented harmony among
themselves, and opened them to the charge of being enemies to unity
and centralisation--always dear to the French mind. The Catholics
had also the possession of the King’s person and of the financial
resources of the government and the Church, and were assisted by the
subsidies of Philip II. Finally, the Catholics were able to recruit
their troops by mercenaries not only from the Catholic states of
Germany, but also from the Lutherans, who gave but scant support
to their Calvinistic brethren. That under these circumstances,
coupled with the fact that they never numbered more than one-tenth
of the population, the Huguenots maintained the struggle so long as
they did must be, in the main, attributed to the zeal and devotion
of many--notably of the ministers--to the stubbornness of the
_bourgeoisie_, the superiority of their cavalry, and the ability of
their leaders, especially of Condé and of Coligny.

  | First Civil War. Aug. 1562-March 1563.

  | Rouen taken by the Catholics. Oct. 26, 1562.

  | Battle of Dreux. Dec. 19, 1562.

  | Assassination of Francis, Duke of Guise. Feb. 18,
  | 1563.

The war began in August by the taking of Poictiers by St. André,
and the surrender of Bourges, which gave the centre of France, up to
the gates of Orleans, to the Catholics. In September, the Huguenots
secured the alliance of Elizabeth of England, who feared lest the
triumph of the Guises might mean that the whole of the resources of
France would be used to place Mary Queen of Scots on the English
throne. Yet with her usual caution, Elizabeth demanded the cession
of Dieppe and Havre as the price of her assistance. The indignation,
however, caused by the cession of these towns was scarcely balanced by
the niggardly help which the Queen vouchsafed to the Protestants; and
on the 28th of October, the Catholics gained a brilliant success by
the capture of Rouen, the capital of Normandy, which henceforth became
‘one of the eyes of the Catholics.’ The loss of the town was, however,
sufficiently compensated for by the death of the fickle Antony of
Navarre of a wound received at the siege, for thereby the headship
of his house devolved on Condé, and on his own son the future Henry
IV., a boy of ten years old. In December, the attempt of Condé to
neutralise the effect of the loss of Rouen by an attack on Normandy
led to the battle of Dreux, on the Eure, which was really a victory
for the Catholics. The losses on their side were indeed the heavier;
the Marshal St. André was slain, and the Constable Montmorenci
taken prisoner. Nevertheless, Condé himself fell into the enemy’s
hands, and Coligny was forced to retire on Orleans. In February of
the following year, Coligny again returned and took several towns of
importance in Normandy. But the Duke of Guise had taken advantage
of his absence to besiege Orleans (February 5), and the city seemed
doomed, when the Duke was assassinated by a fanatic named Poltrot, who
believed that it was the will of God that he should rid the world of
‘the butcher of Vassy.’

  | Pacification of Amboise. March 12, 1563.

The death of the leader of the Catholics revived the hopes of
Catherine that she might succeed in keeping the balance between the
two parties. Accordingly, on March 12, the Pacification of Amboise
was signed. By that treaty, Condé and Montmorenci were exchanged;
nobles were permitted to hold Protestant services in their houses; in
each _sénéchaussée_,[81] one city was to be granted, in the suburbs
of which the Huguenots might worship; and in every town where the
Protestant service had been held in the preceding March one or two
places were to be designated by the King, where it might be continued
_inside_ the walls. From these provisions, however, Paris was to be
excepted. The treaty was followed by a united attack on Havre, from
which the English were driven on the 25th of July, and Elizabeth was
forced to surrender her claim to the restitution of Calais. Coligny
was opposed to the treaty. It did not, in his opinion, give sufficient
security to the Protestants; but Condé, who was as rash in making
peace as he had been in declaring war, had fallen under the fatal
influence of Mdlle. de Limeuil, one of the ladies of Catherine’s
suite, and was deluded with the promise that he would be appointed
Lieutenant-general, and could then watch over the interests of his
party. In this he was disappointed; for Catherine, to escape from
her promise, had Charles, who was now thirteen, declared of age; and
although she herself was anxious to prevent any further hostilities,
such was not the wish of the Pope, of the Guises, or of Philip.

  | The Conspiracy of Meaux, and the Second Civil War.
  | Sept. 1567-March 1568.

  | The battle of St. Denis. Nov. 10, 1567.

  | The Edict of Longjumeau. March 1568.

At a conference held at Bayonne in June, 1565, Alva, in his master’s
name, urged the Queen-mother to dismiss the chancellor L’Hôpital, to
‘show herself a good Catholic,’ and to proceed to stringent measures
against the Huguenots. Very possibly she might have complied if
Philip had consented to further her dynastic aims by giving the hand
of Don Carlos to her second daughter, and that of his sister, the
widowed Queen of Portugal, to her favourite son, Henry of Anjou;
Philip, however, rejected the proposal, and Catherine refused to
follow his advice. Nevertheless, the alarm of the Protestants was
natural; it was rumoured that a League had been made and a massacre
of the Protestants decided upon, and finally, the levying of some
Swiss Catholic troops, ostensibly to watch the march of Alva from
Piedmont to the Netherlands (cf. p. 332), led to the conspiracy of
Meaux in September, 1567. The Protestant leaders proposed to seize
the person of the King, to insist on the removal of the Cardinal of
Lorraine, and to demand that unrestricted liberty of conscience should
be conceded. The court, warned at the last moment of its danger,
escaped with difficulty to Paris, escorted by the Swiss troops; and
the Cardinal, after a hair-breadth escape, fled to Rheims. Condé
then advanced on St. Denis, where he was attacked by the Constable
with an overwhelming force (November 10, 1567). But the Huguenots
fought so stubbornly, and the Parisian levies so badly, that the
battle was indecisive. On the Huguenot side, more men of note fell,
yet on the Catholic side, the Constable Montmorenci was mortally
wounded. The death of Montmorenci for the moment strengthened the
hands of Catherine and the influence of L’Hôpital. Accordingly, in
March, 1568, the Edict of Longjumeau confirmed the Treaty of Amboise,
which was to last ‘till by God’s grace all the king’s subjects should
be reunited in the profession of one religion.’

  | Third Civil War. Sept. 1568-Aug. 1570.

  | Battle of Jarnac. March 13, 1569.

Catherine hoped that the Catholic party would be weakened by the
death of Montmorenci. She kept the office of Constable vacant,
and conferred on the Duke of Anjou, the brother of the King, the
less ambitious title of Lieutenant-general. But her hopes of thus
maintaining peace were not to be realised. The ‘Parlements’ throughout
France had opposed the Edict of Longjumeau, and that of Toulouse
went so far as to execute the King’s messenger on the charge of
heresy. The Huguenots, not unnaturally, refused to surrender all the
cities, as they had promised in the treaty. The Cardinal of Lorraine
returned, and, in August, 1568, a plot was formed to seize Condé
and the Châtillons, who only succeeded in effecting their escape
to La Rochelle owing to a sudden flood in the Loire. L’Hôpital, in
despair, retired; and Catherine was once more forced to adopt the
policy of the Guises. The Edicts of Toleration were revoked, and the
‘Patched-up Peace,’ as it was called, was at an end. In this, the
third Civil War, Orleans, which had been surrendered at the last
truce, became one of the Catholic outposts; while La Rochelle, which
only declared for the Huguenots in February 1568, was the chief
Protestant stronghold. No serious battle, however, occurred till
the spring of the year 1569. Then the Duke of Anjou, a young man of
eighteen years, won the battle of Jarnac on the Charente (March 13th),
in which Condé was slain after he had surrendered. The death of
Condé was looked upon as a serious blow to the Huguenot cause. But it
is doubtful whether they lost much, for, although Condé was popular,
and did not, like his brother, sacrifice his religious convictions
to his personal interest, he was an ambitious man, and his aims had
been chiefly political. His moral character was, moreover, weak; and,
though a brave soldier, he was not a general of the first order, while
as a statesman his conduct often verged on foolhardiness.

The expectation of the Catholics that the victory of Jarnac would put
an end to the war was not fulfilled. The battle was not much more
than a cavalry skirmish. The death of Condé left Coligny in supreme
command, and served, as a contemporary says, ‘to reveal in all its
splendour the merits of the admiral,’ who was in every way, except
as a diplomatist, the superior of his predecessor. Even the loss of
d’Andelot, who at this juncture died of fever, did not prevent the
Huguenots from meeting at first with considerable success.

  | Expedition of the Duke of Zweibrücken and William of
  | Orange. May 1569.

  | Battle of Moncontour. Oct. 3, 1569.

In May, 1569, Wolfgang, Duke of Zweibrücken (Deux Ponts), entered
France at the head of ‘reiters’ from lower, and of ‘landsknechts’ from
upper Germany, and a force of French and Flemish troops under William
of Orange and Louis of Nassau. Forcing their way to the Loire they
seized La Charité, a place of considerable importance as commanding
the passage of the river from Burgundy and Champagne, and, although
Wolfgang himself died of fever during the campaign, his troops
effected a union with Coligny near Limoges (June 12). Unfortunately,
instead of attacking Saumur, which commanded the road to Anjou
and Brittany, they turned south against Poictiers. The city was
bravely held by Henry, Duke of Guise, the young son of Francis, who
here first displayed his military genius; and, after seven weeks,
Coligny was forced to abandon the siege by the advance of the Duke
of Anjou. Coligny was anxious to avoid a battle, for William of
Orange had departed to raise fresh troops in Germany; his losses
before Poictiers had been considerable; and, as usual, he had found
it difficult to keep his forces long in the field. But the Germans
demanded pay, which he could not give, or to be led against the enemy;
and Coligny, forced to accept the challenge of Anjou with far inferior
forces, suffered a serious defeat at Moncontour (October 3), where
he was severely wounded. Had Anjou at once pursued, the Huguenots
might have been completely crushed; fortunately, whether owing to the
jealousy of the Guises at this success of Anjou or no, it was decided
first to reduce Saint Jean d’Angély. The city fell, indeed, after
seven weeks’ siege, but ‘as the siege of Poictiers was the beginning
of the mishaps of the Huguenots, so that of Saint Jean d’Angély was
the means of wasting the good fortune of the Catholics.’ La Rochelle
still held out; the winter came on; the Duke of Anjou resigned his
command, while his successor, the Duke of Montpensier, retired to
Angers.

  | Expedition of Coligny. Oct. 1569-June 1570.

Meanwhile in October, Coligny, now recovered of his wounds, had
started on a brilliant expedition. He crossed the south of France, his
army growing like a snowball, and reached the Rhone; thence, hugging
the right bank of the Saône, he marched northwards to Arnay Le Duc,
where an indecisive engagement with Marshal de Cossé (June 25),
caused him to retreat to La Charité, and thence to his own castle at
Châtillon-sur-Loire. Coligny had not, indeed, succeeded in carrying
out his plan of uniting with William of Orange, who was collecting a
force on the German frontier, and of forcing his way to Paris, but the
campaign showed conclusively that the Huguenots were not yet crushed.

Philip II. would send to the Catholics nothing but promises; Queen
Elizabeth, unwilling to see the Huguenots completely routed, was
considering the question of aiding them; Charles was jealous of the
military success of his brother Anjou; and Catherine was not sorry to
listen to the advice of Francis of Montmorenci, eldest son of the old
Constable, to come to terms once more.

  | Peace of St. Germain. Aug. 8, 1570.

By the Peace of St. Germain (August 8, 1570), which closed the third
Civil War, the Huguenots not only regained all that they had obtained
by the Edict of Longjumeau, but were allowed to celebrate their
services in two cities of each of the twelve provinces of France, and
received as securities four cities which they were to hold for two
years--La Rochelle, Montauban, Cognac, and La Charité. They were also
to be restored to all their property, honours, and offices, and were
given the right of challenging a certain number of the judges in the
‘Parlements,’ and a right of appeal from that of Toulouse, which had
been the most violent. Thus the Huguenots had at last obtained liberty
of conscience, and terms with regard to the holding of services,
which, if not completely satisfactory, were perhaps as much as they
could expect. Moreover, they might well hope that this time the
terms would be kept, for the Treaty of St. Germain was followed by a
complete change in the foreign policy of the court.

  | Change in the policy of the French Court.

Catherine had hitherto followed two lines of conduct. At one time she
had tried to act as a mediator between the two religious parties; at
another to support the weaker, and thus maintain a balance. But both
had failed. The crown was not powerful enough for the first, and,
instead of succeeding in the second, she had been obliged to join
the stronger party. A third alternative remained. Might it not be
possible to revive the national hostility to Spain; sink religious
differences in a foreign war; form a great Protestant league against
the Pope and Spain; divide the Netherlands with England and William
of Orange; and at home secure the authority of the crown? Such were
the views of Coligny, which were now to be adopted by the King and
Catherine. Charles IX., feeble though he was, was not without some
traces of better things; he had always been averse to civil war, and
saw that Spain had been the chief gainer from the discords of France,
since, as Marshal Vielleville had said long ago, ‘as many gallant
gentlemen had fallen in one battle as would have sufficed to drive
the Spaniards out of Flanders.’ The Spanish victory of Lepanto over
the Turks in October, 1571, only served to intensify Charles’ dread
of Philip. Moreover, as we have seen, he was jealous of the fame his
brother, the Duke of Anjou (the favourite of his mother), had gained
in the late campaign, and hoped that he might eclipse it by leading a
national war against the Spaniard. But the support of the King would
have been of little value had not Catherine also favoured the designs
of Coligny. Philip had refused to further her dynastic interests at
the Conference of Bayonne, in June 1565 (cf. p. 407). His third wife,
Elizabeth of France, had died in 1568. He now declined either to marry
Margaret of Valois, Catherine’s second daughter, or to urge the claims
of that lady upon the young King of Portugal. Accordingly Catherine
wished to marry her to the young King of Navarre, the first prince
of the blood, whose possessions[82] stretched from the Pyrenees to
the other side of the Garonne, and whose friendship, whether he was
converted or not, might be of great assistance to her. His mother,
however, Jeanne d’Albret, dreaded the influence of the depraved
court of France on her son, and rightly suspected the character of
the young princess; and Catherine, eager to gain the assistance of
the Admiral, who alone was likely to overcome the scruples of the
Queen of Navarre, listened to his suggestions, and negotiations were
opened with William of Orange and with England. The Prince eagerly
welcomed these overtures. He had long realised that the revolt of the
Netherlands against Spain would not be successful if fought solely
on religious lines. The Protestants were too scattered, and too much
divided among themselves, for that; and the only chance lay in waging
a political war against Spanish tyranny, in alliance with foreign
powers. Accordingly Louis of Nassau was sent to negotiate, and there
was talk of an alliance of France, England, and the Empire, and of
a division of the Netherlands between them. In pursuance of this
scheme, Elizabeth of England was approached; but though at this time
quarrelling with Philip over the exploits of the ‘Sea-dogs’ on the
Spanish Main, and angry at the support he had given to the Ridolfi
plot in 1571, she had insuperable objections to see Antwerp and the
Scheldt in French hands. It was therefore proposed that she should
marry the Duke of Anjou, and that he should be declared sovereign of
the Netherlands (cf. p. 338). To this proposal Elizabeth appeared
more favourably inclined, and Walsingham, her agent in France, was
closely questioned as to the personal appearance of the Duke. The
negotiations broke down, indeed, in January, 1572, owing to the
preference of Anjou, who had been influenced by the Guises, for the
hand of the Queen of Scots, ‘the rightful Queen of England,’ but
even then Alençon, Anjou’s younger brother, was suggested; and a
correspondence on the subject, which, on the part of Elizabeth at
least, was only entered into to gain time, continued until arrested by
the massacre of St. Bartholomew.

  | La Marck seizes Brille. April 1, 1572.

While Elizabeth trimmed, events moved rapidly. On the 1st of April,
1572, the Comte de la Marck, a Flemish refugee, being expelled from
Dover with his ships by the order of the English Queen, who was
not yet prepared for an open breach with Philip, seized Brille and
Flushing, and Holland and Zealand rose. In May, Louis of Nassau,
having by the connivance of Charles raised a force, chiefly of
Huguenots, in France, took Mons, the capital of Hainault, while
Elizabeth, not to be outdone, allowed English volunteers to cross to
Flushing. The dream of Coligny seemed likely to be fulfilled, and
Charles appeared to be on the point of declaring war on Spain.

  | Catherine becomes alarmed at the growing influence of
  | Coligny.

  | Genlis defeated and taken prisoner. July 19, 1572.

  | Attempted assassination of Coligny. Aug. 22, 1572.

  | The Massacre of St. Bartholomew. Aug. 24, 1572.

Unfortunately, the apprehensions of Catherine had been in the meantime
aroused. She had consented to the Treaty of St. Germain because she
feared the Guises; she was now threatened by the more distasteful
ascendency of Coligny, who, if we may believe Tavannes, advised
Charles that he would never be truly King until he had emancipated
himself from his mother’s control. She therefore returned to the
idea, often entertained, and often pressed upon her, of getting rid
of the leaders of the Huguenots, more especially of Coligny. At what
date she finally decided on this course it is impossible to say
with certainty, but there is evidence to show that the scheme had
assumed practical shape as early as February, 1572. Even then had the
movement in the Netherlands met with complete success, King Charles
might have made up his mind to declare war against Spain; Elizabeth
might have cast away her doubts, and some of the Protestant princes
of Germany would have joined the alliance. The position of Coligny
would then have been too strong for Catherine, who, as she had often
done before, might have submitted to the inevitable, and the hopes of
Burleigh and Walsingham of beating back Catholicism behind the Alps
and the Pyrenees might have been realised. Unfortunately, de la Noue
was driven from Valenciennes, a French detachment under the Count of
Genlis was cut to pieces by the son of Alva in an attempt to relieve
Mons (July 19), and Genlis himself was taken prisoner. The hands of
Catherine were now free, and she planned the assassination of Coligny
with the Duke of Anjou and Henry of Guise. The attempt was made in
the midst of the festivities which followed the marriage of Henry of
Navarre and Margaret. Whether, if it had succeeded, Catherine would
have been satisfied, or whether she hoped that the murder would cause
the Protestants to rise, and thus give the Catholics an excuse for
proceeding further, it is impossible to say. In any case, the assassin
missed his aim; Coligny escaped with a serious wound, and it was
necessary to proceed to further extremities. Accompanied by the Duke
of Anjou, by Birago a Milanese, the successor of L’Hôpital in the
chancellorship, and by others, the Queen-mother visited the King,
and, with threats and imputations that he was too timid to act, at
last persuaded him. ‘By God’s death,’ said he, ‘since you insist that
the admiral must be killed, I consent; but with him every Huguenot
in France must perish, that not one may remain to reproach me with
his death, and what you do, see that it be done quickly.’ The King’s
consent obtained, the plan was rapidly concerted between Catherine,
Anjou, Henry of Guise, and Charron, the ‘Prévôt des Marchands’ of
Paris. Whether, even then, it was intended to dispose of more than
some of the leaders is doubtful, but, when once the order had gone
out, the fanatical mob of Paris could not be restrained. On Sunday
morning, August 24, the massacre began, and was subsequently taken up
in the provinces.

  | No change in foreign policy contemplated.

Such appears to be the truth with regard to the causes of this pitiful
tragedy, which some think had been premeditated as early as the
Treaty of St. Germain itself. All direct evidence, however, has been
destroyed, and the facts have been so distorted by partisanship,
that certainty is no longer possible. The number of victims has
been variously stated; but at the lowest computation they were not
less than 1000 in Paris, and 10,000 elsewhere. Among the victims,
besides Coligny, were Teligny, his son-in-law, and La Rochefoucauld,
an important noble of Poitou. Navarre and the young Condé were
spared, but were forced to abjure Protestantism, and were practically
prisoners in the hands of Catherine and the Guises. As to any future
policy, the Court had not made up its mind. Catherine, it is said, had
hoped that, if the responsibility could be thrown upon the Guises, the
Huguenots would rush to arms and attack them, and that an obstinate
struggle would then ensue, which would weaken the two factions, and
justify the King in interfering to restore order; thus both parties
might be destroyed, and she and her favourite son Anjou might be left
without dangerous rivals. Accordingly the King at first announced
that the affair had been the result of the long-standing quarrel
between the Guises and the Châtillons, which the Government had
done its best to suppress. But as the Guises would not accept the
responsibility, the King changed his tone, justified the crime by
declaring that the Huguenots had been plotting against the crown, and,
with singular baseness, urged Alva to put to death all the Huguenot
prisoners he had taken before Mons. At the same time, Catherine was
eager not to alienate the Protestants abroad. She looked upon the
massacre as a domestic incident, and was not unwilling to continue the
policy of Coligny now that he was gone. This she was the more anxious
to do, because she now entertained the idea of securing the crown
of Poland, just vacant by the death of the last of its hereditary
Kings, the Jagellons, for her favourite son Anjou. It was therefore
announced that the Edict of Amboise would be kept, and negotiations
were continued with the Protestant powers. This policy met with some
success.

  | Attitude of European Powers.

  | Anjou elected King of Poland. May 9, 1573.

The rulers of Europe expressed delight or disapprobation according
to their sentiments, but guided their policy as their interest
demanded. Philip was at first beside himself with joy; it meant,
he thought, the end of the French alliance with the Netherlands;
Alva, however, warned him that the overthrow of the Huguenots would
strengthen France too much. Elizabeth declared her disgust, but
could not afford to quarrel with France; while William the Silent,
especially after the fall of Mons on September 19, was not in a
position to abandon all hopes of French assistance. The Protestant
Princes of Germany at first showed great indignation, but did nothing
to interfere with the candidature of the Duke of Anjou, who was
elected King of Poland (May 9, 1573).

  | Effect of Massacre on France.

  | 4th Civil War. August, 1572-June, 1573.

  | Treaty of La Rochelle. June 24, 1573.

  | Rise of the Politiques.

At home, Catherine was not so successful, and ‘France,’ says Sully,
‘atoned for the massacre by twenty-six years of disaster, carnage,
and horror.’ On the news of the massacre, the survivors took up
arms, but they were not strong enough to meet their enemies in the
field, and the resistance was confined to a few cities, of which
Nîmes and Montauban in the south, Sancerre and La Rochelle in the
west, were the most important. The Government in vain attempted their
reduction. The siege of La Rochelle cost the lives of some 20,000
men, and of more than 300 officers of some distinction. Sancerre was
reduced to such straits that cats, rats, mice, and even dogs, were
eaten; the last, says Jean de Lery, whose narrative has not been
inaptly called a cookery book for the besieged, were found to be
rather sweet and insipid. At last, on June 24, 1573, the Government
despairing of success, and unwilling that the Polish ambassadors
should find their new King, the Duke of Anjou, who was in command
of the army, besieging a Protestant town, concluded the Treaty of
La Rochelle. By this treaty the Huguenots were promised liberty of
conscience throughout France, and the right of holding services in La
Rochelle, Nîmes, and Montauban. These towns were also to be free from
royal garrisons. In August, by the mediation of the Polish ambassador,
Sancerre was admitted to the same terms. But the treaty could not
last. It was doubtful whether the Government were sincere, and it was
not likely that the Huguenots would consent to forego their rights
of worship. Besides all this, their cause was being strengthened by
the rise of the ‘Politiques,’ or ‘Peaceable Catholics’ as they called
themselves. This party, born of the horror and weariness which the
Civil War had caused, was anxious to establish peace on the basis of
mutual toleration. Its leaders were the two sons of the old Constable,
Francis, Marshal of France and Governor of Paris, and Henry Damville,
Governor of Languedoc. Their jealousy of the Guises they had inherited
from their father, yet their ideas as to toleration would have been
most distasteful to him, and, still more so, the opinions of his two
youngest sons, William (Thoré), and Charles (Méru), who adopted the
Huguenot faith. The Politiques were strongest in the south, where the
adherents of the two creeds had been more equally balanced, and where
the struggle had been most severe. As a whole they were not actuated
by high principle. If they adopted the views of L’Hôpital it was
from cynical indifference to religion, rather than from conviction as
to the merits of toleration, and the leaders at least were largely
influenced by ambition or personal motives. Indeed, the massacre of
St. Bartholomew was followed by a general lowering of tone and of
morality throughout France.

  | Change in the character and views of the Huguenot
  | Party.

Closely connected with the Politiques stood Navarre and Henry of
Condé, who had been forced to abjure their faith and were practically
prisoners in royal hands, and the King’s brother, the Duc d’Alençon,
who selfishly sided with Huguenots in the hope of securing the crown
on the death of Charles IX. At this time, too, the results of the
massacre were seen in a complete transformation of the views of the
Huguenots. Hitherto, the party had been dominated by the nobility,
great and small, who, in spite of the feudal colour which they gave
to the movement, had asserted that they were not fighting against
the crown, but for the removal of foreign and unpopular ministers,
while the third estate had limited its demands to an extension of the
powers of the States-General. But now many of the greater nobility
had fallen, and many had abjured their faith. The importance of the
_bourgeoisie_ and of the ministers had consequently increased, and
under their influence republican ideas had become more prominent;
while the feudal element, which was still represented by the smaller
local nobility, went to strengthen separatist tendencies. The change
was accompanied by the appearance of numerous political pamphlets, of
which the most striking were the _Franco-Gallia_ of Hotman, and the
_Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos_ from the pen of Languet, or possibly of
Duplessis-Mornay, the faithful adviser of Henry of Navarre.

  | The Franco-Gallia, and Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos.

The _Franco-Gallia_, adopting the historical method, asserts that
the Teutonic nations saved France from the tyranny of Rome, revived
the free institutions of the Gauls, and established an elective
monarchy, which governed through the people and for the people, in
whom eventually the sovereignty resides. The decadence of this free
constitution began with the Capetian Kings, who in time overthrew the
privileges of the Estates, and introduced the despotic rule of King
and ‘Parlement.’ The writer goes on to illustrate from the history
of France the evil results of the rule of women, and holds that this
is the reason for their exclusion from the throne, rather than any
fundamental law, like the Salic Law, which conflicts with the primeval
right of free election.

The author of the second treatise, the _Vindiciæ_, adopts the
opposite method, and seeks to prove his point by a deductive
argument. Both King and people have made a contract with God: the King
to rule his country well, the people to depose him when he fails to do
so. Hence resistance to a tyrant is a duty. Nevertheless, the right of
resistance does not belong to individuals, except, indeed, against an
invader, an usurper, or a woman, if such, in defiance of law, seek to
rule a country; for they are outside the law. In other cases, not the
individuals, but their representative, the magistracy, should be the
judge of breach of contract. Thus, although the doctrine of resistance
is clearly enunciated, the resistance must come from the properly
constituted authorities, and the writer objects to anything which
savours of anabaptism or other extreme views.

  | Political organisation of the Huguenots.

  | Fifth Civil War. Feb. 1574-May 1576.

  | Death of Charles IX. March 30, 1574.

The Huguenots did not limit themselves to theory. On the 24th of
August, 1573, the anniversary of St. Bartholomew, the Protestants
of Languedoc and Upper Guienne formed two federative republics,
each divided into dioceses with small deliberative assemblies,
which were to send deputies to the central assemblies at Nîmes and
Montauban. These, with an elective governor, were to have the power
of levying troops and of imposing taxes on Protestant and Catholic
alike. This republican form of government, in which we see the
Presbyterian ideas of church-government applied to secular politics,
was to be extended to all parts of France which the Protestants might
subsequently win. After thus settling the government of the south,
the Huguenots sent a petition to the King demanding complete liberty
of conscience and of worship throughout the kingdom, and the cession
of two fortresses in each province as a security. The Politiques
at the same time published a manifesto demanding toleration. ‘If
Condé had been alive and in possession of Paris he would not have
asked so much,’ said Catherine. And on February, 1574, the fifth
war broke out. An unsuccessful attempt on the part of Navarre and
Alençon to fly from St. Germain, led to the imprisonment of the
Marshal Montmorenci, and Marshal de Cossé, another Politique. Henry
of Condé effected his escape, and negotiated with the German princes
for help. Before, however, any event of importance occurred, the
unfortunate King, Charles IX., passed away (March 30, 1574), tortured
to the last by remorse, and terrified by visions of the massacre to
which, in an evil hour, he had consented.


§ 5. _The reign of Henry III., March 1574-July 1589._

  | Henry III. leaves Poland and reaches France. Sept.
  | 1574.

The death of Charles IX. gave Henry a pretext for hastily leaving
Poland, where he had already become unpopular. He did not, however,
appear to be in any hurry to reach his new kingdom. Warned by his
mother to avoid North Germany, since ‘the German princes had too
many causes of quarrel with France,’ he passed through Austria and
Italy. At Venice, he wasted two months in luxury and debauch, and
is said to have been corrupted by the licence of that town. On his
arrival in France (September, 1574), he seemed for a moment inclined
to adopt a conciliatory policy. But his mother, now that her favourite
son was King, hoped that if he were victorious over the Huguenots her
influence would be paramount, and expected everything from the hero
of Jarnac and Moncontour. The King therefore announced that he would
recognise liberty of conscience, but would not tolerate religious
practices which deviated from Catholicism, and that he would speak of
peace when his castles and his cities had been restored.

  | Peace of Monsieur. May, 1576.

Thus the war dragged on, though without any decisive events, and soon
Henry III. began to crave for peace that he might indulge in his
pleasures. The definite alliance of the Politiques with the Huguenots
of the south, which took place in December, enabled the rebels to
hold their own. In September, 1575, Alençon, and in the following
February, Navarre, effected their escape. Meanwhile Duke Casimir,
son of the Elector Palatine, who dreamt of heading an aggressive
Calvinistic party in Europe, had invaded France, ravaged Burgundy and
the Bourbonnois, and, in March, joined Alençon at Sozé. Finally,
by the exertions of Francis of Montmorenci, the Marshal, who had
been released by the King, the Peace of Monsieur (May, 1576) gave
to the Huguenots better terms than they had hitherto obtained. They
were allowed to worship where they liked, except within two leagues
of Paris, and within the domains of any lord who might withhold his
sanction. Cases in which Protestants were concerned were to be tried
by ‘Chambres mi-parties’ in each ‘Parlement,’--that is, by courts
composed of an equal number of judges of the two religions. The
Estates were to be convened at Blois; and eight cities were to be
held by the Huguenots in pledge of the fulfilment of the treaty. The
Duke of Alençon, or Anjou, as he had now become in consequence
of the accession of Henry of Anjou to the throne, was to receive
the duchies of Berry, Touraine, and Anjou, with reservation of
the rights of suzerainty to the crown. To Henry of Navarre was
given the governorship of Guienne, and to Henry of Condé that of
Picardy, with Péronne as his residence. The last concession was an
important one, for Picardy hitherto had been very Catholic in its
sympathies, and had divided the Huguenots from their Protestant allies
in the Netherlands. The Peace of Monsieur was received with violent
indignation by the Catholics of France, and led to an agitation
which was directed almost as much against the crown as against the
Huguenots.

  | The Catholic Leagues.

  | The Guises adopt democratic views.

The idea of forming associations of ‘Better Catholics’ was no new
one. Shortly after the Edict of Amboise, in 1563, we find mention of
several, such as the Fraternity of the Holy Ghost in Burgundy, and
the Christian and Royal League of Champagne. With the massacre of
St. Bartholomew these associations had fallen into neglect; they were
now to be revived on a much more important scale. The first of these
new leagues was that of Péronne, organised by Humières, the old
governor who refused to surrender the fortress to Condé (1576). The
example was speedily followed elsewhere, and formed the counterpart
to Huguenot federation in the south (cf. p. 419). The organisation
of these leagues was a military one. Their objects were declared
to be: the defence of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church; the
preservation of Henry III. in the obedience of his subjects, and after
him ‘of all the posterity of the House of Valois’; the execution
of the resolutions which should be presented by the Estates which
were about to meet; and the restoration of the ancient liberties as
they existed in the time of Clovis, the first Christian King. In
this declaration we are reminded of a new departure in the policy
of the Guises. Hitherto they had attempted to secure their power as
the first ministers of the crown, and supported the principles of
despotic rule. But Henry III. threatened to shake himself free from
their influence, and was already leaning upon his favourites ‘the
Mignons.’ Accordingly, Henry of Guise, who, by the death of his uncle,
the cardinal, in 1574, was the undoubted leader of his house, assumed
a position of antagonism to the crown, and even began to dream of
some day winning the throne itself. The unpopularity which Henry III.
incurred by the Peace of Monsieur and by his foppish follies, caused
the Duke to lean on popular support, while many of the Catholic nobles
had joined the Politiques. Thus the party of the Guises, without
completely breaking with the upper classes, began to seek its fulcrum
in a lower stratum.

  | Henry III. tries to make use of the States-General.

The change is represented not only in the articles of these Catholic
Leagues but also in the Catholic pamphlets of the day, which began to
borrow the popular doctrines of the _Franco-Gallia_ and other Huguenot
writings. Denying the application of the Salic Law to France, they
asserted that the title of the House of Lorraine was superior to
that of the Bourbon, and even to that of the House of Valois itself,
since it could trace its descent through the female line from Charles
the Great himself. In the face of these new developments, Henry III.
followed for some time an oscillating policy. At first he forbade
all Associations. Subsequently he abandoned that idea, and tried to
utilise them for the purpose of influencing the elections to the
States-General which were to meet at Blois according to the Treaty,
in the hope, by the aid of the Catholic majority thus obtained, of
putting down both the Guises and the Huguenots. In this he was only
partially successful. The Huguenots, indeed, despairing of success
owing to the terrorism and intrigues of the League, declined even
to send deputies from those districts and towns which were in their
power, and the Catholics finding themselves in a majority, demanded
that there should be only one religion in France. Yet so great was the
dislike to a continuance of the war that they refused the necessary
supplies, and brought forward constitutional demands which made Henry
III. only too glad to be quit of them (March 1577).

  | Sixth Civil War, 1577.

  | Treaty of Bergerac. Sept. 17, 1577.

In the war which had broken out in the meantime, the King was somewhat
more successful. The Duke of Anjou (Alençon), who had now deserted
the Huguenots, took command of the royal army; the aristocratic
prejudices and the religious indifference of the Politiques could
ill agree with the earnestness of the republican and Calvinistic
burghers; and Damville, who by the death of his brother had now
become Duke of Montmorenci and Marshal of France, soon abandoned the
alliance and made his peace with the court (May, 1577). Under these
circumstances the Huguenots lost ground. In May fell La Charité
on the Loire; in August, Brouage, a place next in importance to La
Rochelle; and it was only the want of union among the Catholics
themselves, and the utter weariness of the country, which enabled the
Huguenots to gain such favourable terms as they did by the Treaty
of Bergerac (September 17, 1577). Their right of worship was indeed
restricted to the domains of nobles, to all cities where worship
was held at the date of the peace, and elsewhere to one city or
its suburbs in each sénéchaussée--Paris itself being specially
excluded. The ‘Chambres mi-parties’ were also confined to the four
southern ‘Parlements’ where the Huguenots were strongest. But they
still had eight cities intrusted to them in pledge for six years,
and Condé received St. Jean d’Angély instead of Péronne. The King
was probably sincere in desiring to maintain the Peace of Bergerac,
for he was anxious if possible to escape from the thraldom of the
Guises, and the violations of the treaty which occurred were due to
the insubordination of the governors of provinces, to the popular
fanaticism, and to the stubborn ill-will of the Law Courts.

  | Seventh Civil War, April 1580, to Peace of Fleix,
  | Nov. 1580.

In 1580, indeed, ‘The Lovers’ War’ broke out. This was caused,
however, rather by quarrels between the King and Henry of Navarre
concerning the dower of Margaret, and it is noticeable that the great
Protestant leader, de la Noue, disapproved of it, and that neither La
Rochelle nor the southern towns took part in it. It was ended by the
Peace of Fleix, in Perigord (26th November, 1580), which confirmed the
Treaty of Bergerac, and closed the Seventh Civil War.

  | Disorganisation of France.

The Peace of Fleix was followed by five years of feverish peace,
which served only to illustrate the utter disorganisation of the
country and the demoralisation of all classes. Although there were
not wanting earnest, if fanatical, adherents of the two creeds,
these formed an ever lessening minority; and for the most part,
as a competent observer tells us, ‘Men were combating not for the
faith, nor for Christ, but for command.’ Of the greater nobles, the
Guises were attempting to overawe the crown, if not to seize it for
themselves; the rest, like Henry de Montmorenci the Marshal, and
the Duke of Mercœur, strove to make themselves independent in
the provinces of which they were governors. The smaller nobility
played the same game on a less magnificent scale, and in some cases
had degenerated into brigands; while many, both great and small,
spent their leisure in duels and assassinations, often caused by
some shameful intrigue. Even the women resorted to the dagger to
free themselves from an inconvenient lover, or to avenge some act of
infidelity. While the upper classes were thus disturbing the country
with their ambitions and their vices, the lower classes were bemoaning
their social grievances, and threatening social war. At the head of
this seething mass of iniquity, and of political, social, and moral
anarchy, stood a vacillating, effeminate King, and an intriguing
Queen-mother.

Henry III. had in earlier life shown some character. He was far more
able than his brothers, the unfortunate Charles IX., or the Duke of
Anjou (Alençon); and had distinguished himself in the battles of
Jarnac and Moncontour. His natural gifts, however, had been choked
in a life of licence and of luxury, and ever since his accession he
had gone from bad to worse. He dressed himself more like a woman than
a man; he surrounded himself with favourites, and with lap-dogs;
he relieved the monotony of his debaucheries by ridiculous acts
of penance and superstition which deceived no one. No doubt, the
idea of raising new men to power to balance the ambitions of the
older nobility was not altogether a foolish one, and some of the
favourites, like Épernon, Joyeuse, and the Marshal de Biron, were
men of capacity. But others, like Villequier and D’O, would have
disgraced any court; while all were influenced by sordid and unworthy
motives. By the King’s side stood the Queen-mother, still intriguing
for power though life was fast ebbing, and descending to the arts
of a procuress to win her opponents. Clearly there was no hope for
France until the last of this degenerate race of the Valois had
disappeared. The only chance for a continuance of internal peace,
such as it was, lay in a vigorous foreign policy, which might have
monopolised the attention of the turbulent spirits, and put the King
at the head of a united people.

  | Sovereignty of Netherlands accepted by Anjou. Sept.
  | 1580-Feb. 1582.

  | Expedition to the Azores. June 1582.

  | The French Fury. Jan. 16, 1583. Anjou leaves
  | Netherlands, June 1583, and dies. Assassination of
  | William of Orange. July 10, 1584.

For this, the offer of the sovereignty of the Netherlands to the
Duke of Anjou, in September, 1580, furnished an opportunity which
Catherine, angry at the recent occupation of Portugal by Philip
(cf. p. 298), eagerly embraced. Even the King himself approved;
while Elizabeth received with favour the advances of Anjou for her
hand in marriage. The sovereignty was finally conferred on the Duke
in February, 1582. In the June of that year, Catherine sent an
expedition to the Azores in support of Antonio, the Pretender of
Portugal. William of Orange might well hope that France was about to
return to the policy of Coligny, and, in alliance with the Protestant
Queen of England, and the Netherlands, finally to join issue with the
representative of the Catholic reaction. His hope was not, however,
to be realised. Henry III. was not prepared for so bold a course, and
was half-jealous of his brother. Elizabeth had been only scheming to
prevent the Netherlands from being incorporated into France, and, if
possible, to embroil France with Philip, and, for all her love-making,
had no intention of really marrying Anjou. The expedition to the
Azores, as well as another which was despatched in June, 1583, was
destroyed by a Spanish fleet under the Marquis de Santa Cruz. Anjou,
ill satisfied with the restricted authority granted to him, rashly
attempted to establish himself in a more independent position by
seizing Bruges and Antwerp (January 16). The attempt failed, and in
June, 1583, Anjou retired from the Netherlands to die in the following
June. One month after (July, 1584), William the Silent fell a victim
to the pistol of Balthazar Gérard.

  | Sovereignty of Netherlands offered to Henry III. Oct.
  | 1584.

  | The Catholic League.

The deaths of Anjou and of William the Silent both led to most
momentous consequences. The first made the Protestant, Henry of
Navarre, the heir-presumptive, and rendered a renewal of civil war
almost inevitable; the second was followed by the offer of the
sovereignty of the Netherlands to Henry III. It seemed by no means
impossible that Henry III. would reconcile himself with his heretic
heir, and accept the offer made him. At once the apprehensions of the
French Catholics, of the Guises, and of Philip were aroused, and the
outcome was the Catholic League. Following the model of the Catholic
Associations of 1576, the League was formed in Paris. The city was
divided into five districts: the president of each of these, assisted
by an elective Council of Eleven, formed the famous _Sixteen._ This
Council deliberated on the measures to be adopted, and its decisions
were communicated to the faithful through the agency of professional
and trade associations. The example of Paris was rapidly followed in
the provincial towns; and France was threatened with the tyranny of
a central club with its affiliated societies, whose authority was
maintained partly by terrorism, partly by the fanaticism excited
through the preaching of friars and Jesuits.

  | Treaty of Joinville. Jan. 1585.

Although Henry of Guise did not altogether approve of the democratic
principles adopted by the Catholic League, his interests demanded
that he should put himself at the head of it. But this was not the
only important change in the policy of the Guises. The reputation
of the family had been originally made in defending France against
Spain, and Francis, Duke of Guise, had always been anti-Spanish in
his views; while Philip, on his side, was most unwilling to see Mary,
Queen of Scots, their kinswoman, triumphant in England, and had even
sent secret help to the Scottish rebels. Of late, however, the more
imperative necessity of preventing the French from assisting the
Dutch, or from incorporating any part of the Netherlands into France,
had caused Philip to alter his views. Negotiations had accordingly
been entered into with Henry of Guise as early as the end of the year
1581, and Philip pretended to favour the family designs in favour of
Mary Stuart, now a captive in the hands of Elizabeth. The death of
Anjou, and the danger of reconciliation between Henry III. and the
heretic Henry of Navarre, still further aroused the apprehensions of
Philip. He therefore approved of the organisation of the League, and
in January, 1585, concluded the Treaty of Joinville with Guise. The
allies bound themselves to eradicate heresy, and to proclaim the
Cardinal of Bourbon, the Catholic uncle of Henry of Navarre, King
in the event of the decease of Henry III.; the viscounty of Béarn
and French Navarre was to be ceded to Philip, as a price of his
assistance. In March, 1585, the Leaguers issued a manifesto, in which
they declared their intention to restore the dignity and unity of the
crown, to secure the nobility in their ancient privileges, to drive
unworthy favourites from the court, to relieve the country from new
taxes, and to prevent future troubles by settling the succession
on a Catholic king, and by providing for regular sessions of the
States-General.

Meanwhile, to enforce their views they had seized the three
bishoprics, Metz, Toul, and Verdun, most of the towns of Picardy, all
Champagne, and the larger part of Burgundy, Normandy, and Brittany;
while in June they presented an ultimatum to the King insisting on the
withdrawal of the late Edict of Toleration. The formidable movement
which was thus inaugurated was the outcome of the union of three
forces:--

1. The determination of the Catholic party to oppose the claims of a
heretic heir.

2. The jealousy of the Guises for the King’s ‘Mignons.’

3. The European policy of Philip II., who not only dreaded the French
alliance with the Netherlands, but also feared that it might lead to
a definite alliance with the Protestant Queen of England, and thus
shatter his hopes of re-establishing his authority and that of the
Catholic Church.

  | Henry III. submits to the League. July 5, 1585.
  | Sixtus excommunicates Henry of Navarre. Sept. 9,
  | 1585.

It remained to be seen what line of conduct Henry III. would adopt
in the face of this formidable conspiracy. Sixtus V., who had just
succeeded Pope Gregory XIII. (August 26, 1585), did not altogether
approve of the League. ‘I fear me,’ he said, ‘that matters will
be pressed so far that the King, Catholic though he be, will be
constrained to appeal to the heretics for aid to rid himself of the
tyranny of the Catholics,’ and this for a moment did not appear
impossible. Henry III. went so far as to acknowledge Henry of Navarre
as his lawful successor, and laughed at the claims of the Cardinal
as those ‘of an old fool.’ He forbade all Leagues and Associations,
and even made an unsuccessful attempt to seize the Duke of Guise at
Metz. But a continuation of such a bold policy was scarcely to be
looked for from such a King. Elizabeth, although she could scold Henry
for submitting to rebels within his kingdom, would not depart from her
position of dubious neutrality; Henry of Navarre, although professing
his willingness ‘to be instructed,’ refused to declare himself a
Catholic; while Catherine, who was hoping to secure the succession
for her daughter Claude and her husband the Duke of Lorraine, warned
the King of the danger of opposing so powerful a coalition. Henry, to
his ruin, listened to his mother’s advice, and allowed her to yield,
in his name, to the demands of the Leaguers at the Conference of
Nemours (July 5, 1585). The Edicts of Toleration were revoked, and
they of the Huguenot faith who would not conform were to leave the
country. Sixtus, now partly relieved from his apprehensions, issued a
Bull of Excommunication against Henry of Navarre.

  | Altered position of the Huguenots and Catholics.

The capitulation of Henry III. to the League brought Henry of Navarre
prominently to the front. He had already shown his military abilities
during the Lovers’ War, and, in 1581, he had been appointed ‘Protector
of the Churches.’ He now became the representative of all those whose
bigotry or whose interest did not destroy their patriotism. It is
interesting to note how completely the position of the two parties
was reversed. The charges of opposing the legitimate successor, of
holding republican doctrines, and of alliance with the foreigner,
once brought against the Huguenots, could now be laid at the door of
the Catholics; while the Huguenots could claim to be fighting for the
principle of legitimacy and of national independence. Navarre was,
accordingly, supported by the Politiques and by the Constable Henry of
Montmorenci, who was, however, chiefly influenced by personal jealousy
of the Guises. Even the ‘Parlement’ of Paris remonstrated against
the intolerance of the Edict, and against the Papal Bull. Although
opposed as before to the concession of the right of worship to the
Protestants, its members were in favour of liberty of conscience,
and resented, as they had always done, the papal claim to interfere
in the internal affairs of France. Thus the party of the Huguenots
was by no means a contemptible one. The centre of their position
lay in the territories belonging to Henry of Navarre, or under
his control. These, spreading from the Spanish frontier to the
Dordogne, and from the Bay of Biscay to Languedoc, comprised Lower
Navarre and Béarn, which Henry held in his own right, and seven
fiefs which he held of the King of France. He was also Governor of
Guienne, and he was not without adherents in Normandy and Brittany,
while Languedoc was held by the Constable. And yet the position
of the Huguenots was discouraging enough. If their party was not
confined to those of their religious profession, this only added to
the divisions which had always weakened them. The Catholics held by
far the greater part of France; in the Netherlands, Alexander of
Parma had secured Antwerp (August, 1585), and threatened to carry
all before him, and were his task in the Netherlands finished, how
should they resist the united forces of the League and of Philip
II.? What wonder if many apostatised or fled, and that the beard of
Henry of Navarre turned white with anxiety. Already Philip dreamed of
overthrowing Elizabeth of England, of placing Mary Queen of Scots on
the English throne, and of subjugating France under his lieutenant,
the Duke of Guise. Fortunately, however, the King of Spain as usual
procrastinated, and preferred to work his end by diplomacy and by
bribes, rather than by arms. The Guises were not in complete accord
with him, and Henry III. himself daily grew more impatient of the
yoke. To these causes, and to the personal ability of the King of
Navarre, the salvation of France must be attributed.

  | Eighth Civil War. War of the three Henries.----1585-April
  | 30, 1589.

  | Battle of Courtras. Oct. 20, 1587.

  | The Barricades. Aug. 12, 1588.

  | Assassination of Henry of Guise. Dec. 23, 1588.

  | Ten years Truce. April 30, 1589.

  | Death of Catherine, Jan. 5; Assassination of Henry III.
  | July 31, 1589.

Henry III. hoped, in the war which now broke out, to humble the
Huguenots, and yet curb the ambition of the Guises. He accordingly
gave to the Duke of Joyeuse, his favourite, the command of the army
which was to advance against the Huguenots, while he himself opposed
the German ‘reiters’ whom Casimir, brother of the Elector Palatine,
had sent to the assistance of the Protestants. Unfortunately for
the King, Joyeuse was defeated and slain by Henry of Navarre at
Courtras on the Isle (October 20, 1587), and although the ‘reiters’
were forced to retire, the Guises succeeded in gaining the credit
of their retreat. ‘Saul,’ cried the fanatics of Paris, ‘has slain
his thousands, but David his ten thousands.’ Philip was anxious at
this moment to prevent any interference with his schemes for the
Armada. His envoy, Mendoza, therefore urged the Duke of Guise to make
further demands on the King; and on his hesitating to comply with
these, the Duke entered Paris in defiance of the royal command (May
12). The attempt of the King to reassert his authority by ordering the
Municipal Guard and the Swiss to secure the important points of the
city was answered by the ‘barricades’; and Henry III., finding himself
no longer master of his capital, retired to Chartres, never again to
enter Paris. Forced for the moment to submit to the League, the feeble
monarch next tried to outbid the Guises with the deputies of the
States-General, which assembled at Blois on September 16, 1588. But
so extreme were the views adopted by the League at this moment that
this proved impossible. Accordingly, the King turned to the last
expedient of the coward, and ordered the assassination of Henry of
Guise in his royal palace of Blois (December 23, 1588). The Cardinal
of Guise the brother of the Duke, was executed the next day, and the
Cardinal of Bourbon was held a prisoner. ‘Now at last I am King,’ said
Henry. The illusion was soon to be dispelled, for the assassination
of the Duke led to the open revolt of the League. Supported by the
decision of the Sorbonne, it declared that the crown was elective;
and when the ‘Parlement’ resisted, its more obstinate members were
imprisoned. The Duke of Mayenne, the eldest surviving brother of the
murdered Duke, was made Lieutenant-General of the realm, and ruled
Paris with a Council of forty, formed of deputies from the affiliated
societies of the League. The example of Paris was followed elsewhere,
and the League secured most of the important towns of the centre and
south of France. Meantime, the failure of the royal army in Guienne
destroyed the last chance of maintaining an independent attitude, and
the King at last did what he should have done four years before, and
threw himself into the arms of Henry of Navarre. A truce for a year
was made between the two Henries (April 30, 1589). The King promised
to leave the Huguenots undisturbed, and Navarre engaged to oppose the
Duke of Mayenne. The armies of the two Kings shortly after advanced
on Paris, which seemed doomed, when the dagger of the Dominican,
Jacques Clement, an emissary of the League, avenged the assassination
of the Duke of Guise (July 31). The death of the last Valois King
had been preceded only a few months by that of Catherine de’ Medici,
his mother. She died (January 5, 1589), with the reproaches of the
Cardinal of Bourbon ringing in her ears: ‘If you had not deceived us
and brought us here (to Blois) with fine words, the two brothers (the
Guises) would not be dead, and I should be a free man.’


§ 6. _Henry IV. and the League, July 1589--May 1598._

By the assassination of Henry III., Henry of Navarre became the
legitimate King of France. The question was, whether he would make
good his claim. Had he now been willing to declare himself a Roman
Catholic, he would have at once won over the more conservative of
the people, for the League was daily becoming more anarchical; the
Cardinal of Bourbon, who was by it acknowledged as King Charles
X., was but a puppet of Spain; and the Spanish alliance was ever
growing more unpopular. But conversion would have probably lost him
the support of the Huguenots, while it would not have gained the
more fanatical members of the League. Accordingly, Henry refused. He
offered to recognise Catholicism; to grant to the Huguenots no
privileges beyond those they had hitherto gained; and to submit ‘to
the instruction’ of a National or General Council. In thus acting he
was guided by policy, not by conviction; and the interpretation he
would put on his favourite phrase ‘receiving instruction’ would depend
on his success in the field.

  | 9th and last Civil War. 1589-1595.

  | Battle of Arques, 5 Sept. 1589; and of Ivry, March
  | 1590.

  | Siege of Paris.

  | Death of Alexander of Parma. Dec. 1592.

Not feeling strong enough to attack Paris itself, Henry determined to
hold Picardy, Champagne, and Normandy, whence the capital drew her
supplies. The Duke of Longueville was therefore sent to Picardy, the
Marshal d’Aumont to Champagne, while Henry himself dropped back on
Normandy, and occupied Dieppe, the most important of the Norman ports,
and valuable on account of its proximity to England. The attempt
of the Duke of Mayenne to dislodge him was foiled at the battle
of Arques (September 21). In the following March, 1590, the still
more brilliant victory of Ivry, near Dreux, conclusively proved the
superiority of Henry over his antagonist. Henry perhaps ‘committed the
bravest folly’ that ever was in staking the fate of a kingdom on a
single battle, in which he had far inferior forces; but at least his
intrepidity won for him the admiration of his countrymen. Possibly
if he had pressed on at once, Paris might have been taken; but Henry
had not the faculty of making the best of a victory, and preferred
to continue his more cautious policy of starving the city into
submission. He occupied Corbeil, Lagny, and Creil, which commanded the
upper Seine, the Marne, and the Oise, and by the end of August, Paris
was reduced to fearful straits. ‘Nothing was cheap except sermons.’ As
at Sancerre, dogs, cats, rats, and mice were eagerly devoured; some,
it is said, even ate the flesh of children; and the people were loudly
clamouring for peace or bread, when the approach of Alexander of
Parma, from the Netherlands, baulked Henry of his prey, and forced
him to retire (September 10). In the year 1592, Parma again entered
France, and saved Rouen from Henry’s clutches. In December, however,
the death of the great commander freed the King from immediate
apprehension, and left the League without any leader who could
match him in the field. Nevertheless, the war seemed likely to be
indefinitely protracted. The party of the League indeed threatened to
break up. Mayenne was impatient of Spanish influence, and was becoming
daily more disgusted with the extravagance of the League in Paris. In
the preceding November, the Sixteen had even dared to execute Brisson,
the president of the ‘Parlement,’ and two other judges who opposed
them, and had established a reign of terror. Accordingly, Mayenne had
marched into the city, seized and condemned four of the Sixteen to
death, and reasserted his authority. Hated, however, as he was by the
fanatics, he was in no position to carry on the war with vigour unless
with Spanish help, which he wished to do without.

  | Position of Henry of Navarre.

  | Declaration of Mantes. July, 1591.

Henry, too, was gaining popularity. Although his sensuality, his
lack of real conviction, his cynical indifference, prevent our
making altogether a hero of the King of Navarre, his superabundant
energy, his splendid courage, his frankness, affability, and genuine
humanity, coupled with his caustic wit, had already endeared him to
his countrymen. And yet he was not powerful enough to win his country
by the sword; the Catholics would not consent to see a heretic on
the throne of France; his attempt to settle the religious difficulty
by the Declaration of Mantes (July, 1591), which acknowledged the
Catholic religion as that of the State, while he himself remained
a Protestant, pleased neither party. Too many, like the Marshal
Biron and D’O, who had control of the finances, were interested in
perpetuating the war, lest a return of peace might deprive them of
employment, or of the hope of carving out a fortune for themselves.

  | The States-General. Jan. 26, 1593.

  | Henry IV. ‘receives instruction.’ July 23, 1593.

Meanwhile, France was going to ruin. Trade was at a standstill.
Even the more patriotic of the nobles--whether Catholic or
Protestant--despairing of peace, were aiming at their own independence,
and the enemies of France were taking advantage of her weakness;
Philip II. hoped to place his nominee on the throne, and to secure
Brittany; the Duke of Savoy was attempting to encroach on her
south-east frontier; and even Elizabeth of England was demanding
Calais, or some other return for help, niggardly and intermittent
though it was. The earnest desire, therefore, of all the moderate
Catholics in France who were not sold to Philip, that Henry would
‘go to Mass,’ cannot excite surprise. In the spring of 1593, the
meeting of the States-General, summoned to settle the question of the
succession, brought matters to a crisis. The Cardinal of Bourbon had
died in 1590; and, according to the Catholic view, the throne had
been vacant for three years. Philip II., therefore, instructed his
representative the Duke of Feria, to propose that the crown should
be conferred on the Infanta (who through her mother represented the
House of Valois in the female line). If, however, the Salic Law
could not be violated, he was to suggest that the Archduke Ernest,
the Governor of the Netherlands, and brother of the Emperor Rudolf,
should be chosen King, or, failing him, the young Duke of Guise, who
should take the Infanta as his Queen. In all probability, had the Duke
of Feria at once proposed the Duke of Guise as King, he would have
been accepted; but fortunately for Henry IV. he first suggested the
Infanta, and thereby aroused the indignation of the ‘Parlement’
and of all those who cared for the fundamental laws of the country,
and were not wholly sold to Spain. Convinced that delay was perilous,
Henry now accepted the offers of a deputation of the Estates-General
sent to hold conference with him at Suresnes, and promised to
‘receive instruction’ within two months, while at the same time he
strengthened his position by occupying Dreux. On July 23, Henry IV.
recognised the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church as the true one,
and promised obedience. On the following February 27, he was anointed
in the Cathedral of Chartres, since Rheims, where this ceremony should
have been performed, was still in the hands of the League.

In dealing with the justification of Henry’s ‘conversion’ it must
always be remembered that, although by no means a disbeliever, he
had no strong convictions as to the relative merits of Catholicism
and Calvinism, and was a man on whom religious scruples sat somewhat
lightly. To him, therefore, the question would necessarily be one
to be decided on the grounds of political expediency. But some may
be disposed to think that, even if Henry had been convinced of
the superiority of the Huguenot faith, it would still have been
his duty to guide his policy by the same considerations. Any one
in his position, it has been said, would have been justified in
accepting Catholicism as the State religion if he had good grounds
for believing: first, that there was no other way of giving peace
to his country; and secondly, that he could, while officially
recognising Catholicism, secure complete and lasting toleration
for the Huguenots. Of the first, it was not difficult to convince
himself. He had attempted to win France by arms and had failed. We
must remember also that the Huguenots, after all, represented but a
small minority of the nation, and that a large number of the Catholics
preferred the Duke of Guise with his Spanish wife to a heretic
King. Nor is it easy to believe that, if Henry had been willing to
efface himself, any settlement which the Huguenots would have accepted
could have been arrived at. On the second point, opinions will
probably always differ. The danger was that in accepting Catholicism,
he would revive the idea as to the intimate connection between Church
and State in France which led men to look on heresy as treason. We
know that the Edict of Nantes did not last; but whether the Revocation
was inevitable, and, if so, whether Henry ought to have foreseen it,
may well be questioned.

  | Henry secures Rouen, March 17; and enters Paris,
  | March 21, 1594.

The King of Navarre was thus at last acknowledged King of France. By
his ‘conversion’ he won to his side all Catholics except the most
fanatical of the Leaguers, and those who, like the Dukes of Mayenne
and of Mercœur, were intent on their personal interests. While,
therefore, Henry restrained as far as possible all hostile operations,
he steadily pursued a policy which he had long adopted of buying over
those whose opposition was still to be dreaded. The governors of
provinces were confirmed in their governorships, or offered pensions;
the smaller nobility were tempted by subordinate offices and money;
the cities were promised exemption from extraordinary taxation and
freedom from Huguenot worship within their walls. The wisdom, and
indeed the necessity, of this course have been disputed, and certainly
the evil results of it--the independence of the nobility, the venality
of the government, the serious straining of the finances--long
outlived the King himself. Yet at least it must be confessed that the
policy succeeded. On March 17, Rouen surrendered, and Henry secured
all Normandy. Four days later Brissac, just appointed Governor of
Paris by the Duke of Mayenne, accepted the offers of Henry, brought
over the Parisian magistrates, and opened the gates. The Duke himself
had already left, the Spanish troops were forced to evacuate the city
with some sixty of the more prominent Leaguers, and Henry was at last
master of his capital. ‘That which is Cæsar’s has been given unto
Cæsar,’ said one to the King. ‘Given?’ said he, looking at Brissac;
‘No, sold, and for a goodly price.’

  | Dukes of Lorraine and Guise come to terms.

  | Jesuits expelled. Dec. 1594. War declared against
  | Spain. Jan. 17, 1595.

Henry, anxious to secure his eastern frontier which was always
threatened from the Netherlands, next laid siege to Laon, which
surrendered on the 2nd of August, 1594. A fortnight later Amiens,
and other towns of Picardy, followed its example. The spring of the
year 1595 was marked by a far more important event. Henry succeeded
in conciliating the Duke of Lorraine and the young Duke of Guise. The
former restored the cities of Toul and Verdun; the latter surrendered
his governorship of Champagne in exchange for that of Provence,
where he shortly proved his loyalty by driving out Épernon, one of
Henry III.’s ‘Mignons,’ who, after joining Henry IV., had played
him false. The only important nobles who still held out were the
Dukes of Mayenne and of Mercœur, both members of the House of
Guise, and the Duke of Nemours. The two first were loth to abandon
the ambitions of their family, and hoped, by the aid of Spain, to
turn their governorships of Burgundy and of Brittany into hereditary
principalities. The Duke of Nemours, with the support of Savoy,
threatened the country round Lyons. Henry, therefore, after some
futile negotiations with Spain, in which the idea of Henry’s marrying
the Infanta was entertained, determined to declare open war against
Spain. An open war, he held, was far preferable to a continuation of
unavowed hostilities; the national enthusiasm against the foreigner
might be aroused; all those who continued to resist would incur the
charge of treachery to their country; while the English and the Dutch
promised their assistance. The war was preceded by the expulsion of
the Jesuits. Introduced into France by Henry II. they had made many
enemies; the ‘Parlement’ objected to their extravagant assertions
of papal supremacy, and to their attacks on the prerogatives of the
crown; the Bishops resented their claim to be free from episcopal
authority; the older orders grudged them their popularity, the
University their educational success. Although it does not appear
that the Jesuits had taken any prominent part in the organisation
of the League, and though they were, as a matter of fact, at this
time out of favour in Spain, where they opposed the tyranny of
the Inquisition, they were nevertheless denounced as the tools of
Philip. An attempted assassination of Henry IV. by one of their
pupils, though not apparently instigated by them, brought matters to
a crisis. They were convicted by the ‘Parlement’ of attempting to
subvert the laws of Church and State, of instigating to rebellion and
assassination, and were expelled the kingdom (December 29, 1594).

  | The Duke of Mayenne driven from Burgundy.

  | Fuentes takes Doullens, July 1595; and besieges
  | Cambray.

  | The Duke of Mayenne submits. Jan. 1596.

War was declared against Spain on January 17, 1595. The young
Marshal Biron, who had been intrusted with the governorship of
Burgundy, succeeded in driving Mayenne from that province. The King,
on marching to support him against the attack of a Spanish force
under Don Fernan de Velasco, the Constable of Castile, was nearly
surprised at Fontaine-Française. He, however, saved himself by his
intrepidity; and the Spanish general retreated, much to the disgust
of Mayenne. Henry now entered Franche-Comté; but the Swiss who were
guarantors of the neutrality of the country, remonstrated, and the
King, unwilling to incur their hostility, retreated. His presence was
indeed needed elsewhere. The Duke of Longueville, after a successful
campaign in Artois, had died in April; and Turenne, the Duke of
Bouillon, had suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Spaniards
under Fuentes, in an attempt to raise the siege of Doullens (July 24,
1595). Doullens fell, and Fuentes laid siege to Cambray, which had
been in French hands since the expedition of the Duke of Anjou in 1581
(cf. p. 361). The King, too late to save Cambray, which capitulated in
October, besieged La Fère, a fortress on the Oise, which the League
had surrendered to the Spaniards, and the siege dragged on through the
winter. The success of Henry in the field had not been brilliant. He
was more successful in diplomacy. In September, 1595, Clement VIII. at
last consented to grant him absolution, and in the following January,
the Duke of Mayenne finally made his peace. The terms he received
were too high. His debts, which were enormous, were paid; he was
made Governor of the Isle de France, and received three fortresses
as places of security. Épernon, who soon followed the example of
Mayenne, was equally well rewarded. Truly Henry was teaching his
people that rebellion, if prolonged, was the way to royal favour.

There now remained no other important noble in arms except the Duke
of Mercœur; and the winning of Marseilles by the young Duke of
Guise, which also took place in January, caused Henry to declare
‘that God had indeed pity for France.’ Yet the outlook was not very
promising. The financial straits were severe: Elizabeth would not, and
the Dutch could not, render any efficient help; while the Huguenots
were becoming very troublesome. They were scandalised at the desire of
Henry IV. to get a divorce from his faithless and hated wife, Margaret
of Valois, that he might marry his mistress, Gabrielle d’Estrées;
they were outraged by the delay of the King in dealing with their
grievances, while the rebellious Leaguers were receiving all that they
could desire, and they even talked of enforcing their claims by arms.

  | Archduke Albert takes Calais. April, 1596.

  | Sully’s financial reforms.

In April, 1596, the new Governor of the Netherlands, the Cardinal
Archduke Albert, invaded France and inflicted a serious blow on the
prestige of Henry’s army by taking Calais. The town might have been
saved if Elizabeth had not demanded its possession as a price of
her assistance, and higgled till it was too late. In the ensuing
month, Henry, in a measure, balanced this serious loss by taking La
Fère, and by driving the Archduke across the frontier; but he was
quite unable to dislodge the Spanish garrisons from Calais or from
Doullens. If the war was to be continued with vigour, money at least
must be found; and to this object the Baron de Rosny (Sully), who had
lately been appointed ‘surintendant’ of the finances, now turned his
attention. New offices were created, which were sold to the highest
bidder. Loans were extorted from the rich. Those who had filled their
pockets by frauds on the exchequer were forced to disgorge part of
their ill-gotten gains, and some attempt was made to put a stop to
such corruption in the future. The tax on salt was raised, and in the
autumn an Assembly of Notables granted the King the ‘Pancarte,’ or
duty of 5 per cent. on all goods offered for sale.[83]

  | Porto Carrero seizes Amiens. Mar. 11, 1597.

  | Amiens recovered. Sept. 19, 1597.

  | Philip agrees to a truce.

  | The Duc de Mercœur submits. Mar. 20, 1598.

Yet what Henry gained with one hand he was, with his usual
recklessness, ready to spend with the other. Much of the money thus
obtained was being thrown away on expensive festivities in Paris,
when the news suddenly arrived that Porto Carrero, the Governor of
Doullens, had seized the important town of Amiens by a clever _coup
de main_ (March 11, 1597). ‘Enough,’ said Henry, ‘of playing the
King of France; ’tis time to be the King of Navarre again.’ Biron
was despatched to besiege Amiens forthwith. In June, the King
followed himself with an army, in which the presence of Montmorenci,
Mayenne, and Épernon showed that the old factions had been well-nigh
extinguished. The English and the Dutch also sent reinforcements, in
pursuance of a treaty of alliance which they had made in the previous
year (August-October, 1596). On September 3, Porto Carrero died. The
Archduke Albert, unable to raise supplies even on credit, owing to
Philip’s late act of repudiation, could not advance to the relief of
the garrison till September 12; then, finding himself in the presence
of a superior force, he retreated ‘like a priest,’ and on September
19, 1597, Amiens was at last recovered. Henry now determined to
take advantage of his success to negotiate with Spain. Philip did
not refuse his offer. Tortured by disease, knowing that his end was
approaching, that Spain could no longer bear the strain of war, and
that his feeble son was not likely to succeed where he had failed, he
was anxious to leave his country at peace. He accordingly agreed to a
truce, and to hold a conference at Vervins in the following January
for finally settling the terms of peace. The affairs of Brittany Henry
was determined to settle without any foreign interference; and this he
succeeded in doing without drawing the sword. The Bretons, despairing
of successful resistance now that the aid of Spain was withdrawn,
deserted the Duke of Mercœur, who was forced to come to terms at
Angers (March 20). He surrendered the governorship of Brittany, with
the hand of his daughter, to Cæsar, the illegitimate son of the King
by Gabrielle d’Estrées, and received a pension in return. Thus at
last all resistance had ended, and France was once more united.

  | The Edict of Nantes. April 15, 1598.

The King was now in a position to attend to the grievances of the
Huguenots. On entering Paris he had republished the Edict of 1576,
with the amendments added thereto by the treaties of Bergerac and
Fleix. Since he could no longer be their Protector, nor allow any
other to hold that position, he had also authorised the Huguenots
to organise themselves into a federative system for defence, and
ten provinces had been formed, each with its elected assembly and a
General Council of ten nominated by the assemblies. But the Huguenots
were not satisfied; they complained that these concessions were
not sufficient, and that they were often violated. All members of
the League, whether noble or town, who came to terms were allowed
to forbid the exercise of the Protestant religion within their
jurisdiction, and what security had the Huguenots that one who could
so lightly change his own religion would care or dare to protect that
of others? They therefore had demanded more formal ratification of
the privileges already granted them, an extension of the system of
‘Chambres mi-parties’ to all the ‘Parlements’ of France, and admission
to all offices. The King, in spite of the grave discontent which at
times threatened to break out in open war, had hitherto refused to
satisfy their demands; until the Catholics were completely reconciled
such a policy might be dangerous, and certainly would be futile, since
Henry was not strong enough to enforce his promises. Now, however,
that he was really master of France, he had neither the excuse nor
the wish to delay any longer. Negotiations had, indeed, been going
on for some time, and finally led to the Edict of Nantes, which was
published on April 15, 1598. The clauses of this famous Edict followed
closely on the lines of the Treaty of Bergerac of 1577. The Huguenots
were permitted to hold divine service in all towns specified by that
treaty, or in which it had been held in 1596 and 1597; and besides
this, in one town in each bailiwick and in the fiefs of Protestant
nobles. In these privileged towns they were also allowed to found
colleges and schools, and to print books. Paris, however, as before,
with a circuit of five leagues, was especially exempted till 1606,
when the King allowed a temple to be built at Charenton, five miles
distant. Huguenot ministers were to be exempt from military service,
and the King promised to contribute an annual sum for their support;
while the Protestants, on their part, were to pay tithes. In the
‘Parlements’ of Paris, Rouen, and Rennes, special ‘Chambres de
l’Édit’--one of the judges of which was to be a Protestant--were to
be established to try cases in which Huguenots were concerned; while
three ‘Chambres mi-parties’ at Castres, Bordeaux, and Gap were to
exercise a similar jurisdiction in the south. Finally, the Huguenots
were to be allowed to hold synods, to have admission to all colleges
and schools; all offices were to be open to them, and they were to
suffer in no way for their religion. They were to hold the eight
cities they possessed for eight years, but to allow the Catholic
worship to continue there. Considering that the Huguenots did not
number more than one-twelfth of the population of France, the terms
they thus obtained were as favourable as they could expect, and all
that was perhaps possible in the existing condition of France.

But the principle on which the Edict was based was radically
faulty. It can scarcely be called an Edict of general toleration, for
no other religion but that of Calvinism was allowed. Moreover, the
concession of the privilege of worship to individual nobles, and to
congregations in special towns, tended to accentuate the independence
and isolation of the Huguenots, and to perpetuate the centrifugal
tendencies, both of feudalism and of federative republicanism, which
the wars of religion had intensified, and which were yet to give
trouble to France. As long as there was a King on the throne willing
and able to enforce the Edict, the compromise continued fairly
satisfactory. But after he was gone, the chances that the Edict
would be permanent day by day became less. The Huguenots, partly in
self-defence, partly in pursuance of political aims which the Edict
had fostered, attempted to form those towns which had been granted
them into a semi-independent federation; and when, to check this,
Richelieu deprived them of these pledges for the fulfilment of the
Edict, he left them to fall defenceless before the tyranny and bigotry
of Louis XIV.

  | Peace of Vervins. May 2, 1598.

While Henry was thus removing the last traces of opposition in France,
the negotiations with Spain had been going on; and, on May 2, the
Peace of Vervins was signed. Spain evacuated all the conquests she
had made in France during the last war with the exception of Cambray;
Henry, on his part, restoring the county of Charolais. The Duke of
Savoy came to terms at the same time; he surrendered Berre, the only
place he held in Provence; while the question as to the Marquisate of
Saluces, which he had seized in 1588, was referred to the arbitration
of the Pope.[84] Neither the Dutch nor the English were included in
the Peace. The Dutch refused to enter into any treaty which did not
recognise their independence, while Elizabeth was not unwilling to
see the war continue between France and Spain. She had even attempted
to make capital out of the negotiations, going so far as to suggest
to Philip that he should cede Calais in exchange for Brille and
Flushing, which she still held. Henry accordingly contented himself
with securing the right of his allies to become parties to the treaty
within six months.


Conclusion.

  | Condition of Europe at the Peace of Vervins.

  | Decline of Spain.

The Treaty of Vervins scarcely made any alteration in the political
geography of Europe. Its importance lies rather in the changed
conditions which accompanied it, and followed it. A few months
after the signing of that treaty, Philip II. died (September 12,
1598) in his seventy-second year, at the Escurial--that magnificent
though somewhat strange mixture of ‘a palace, a monastery, and a
tomb,’ which is the chief architectural monument of his reign. Had
Philip been a wiser man, he might have retained the obedience of the
Netherlands, and profited by their industry and their colonies. He
might have developed the resources and the constitutional liberties
of his country, and enriched her by commerce with America. He might
have turned her arms against the Turk, made himself master of the
Mediterranean, and left Spain consolidated and prosperous. Intent,
however, on more magnificent schemes, he had failed disastrously. His
attempt to lead the Catholic reaction, and to re-establish the
unity of the Church on the basis of Spanish supremacy, had ended in
disaster. The defeat of the Armada had saved England from both Spain
and Rome. The United Provinces had virtually won their religious and
political freedom, and Henry IV. had bowed the Spaniard from his
doors. Meanwhile Spain, exhausted by the constant drain which the vast
attempts involved, and ruined by the disastrous policy pursued at home
(cf. ch. vii.), was fast declining. After Philip’s death her royal
race degenerated rapidly; and with a shrinking population, paralysed
industries, and attenuated resources, she was forced to step aside and
leave the struggle for supremacy to others.

  | Successes of the Catholic Reaction.

And yet the Catholic reaction, of which Philip had been the leading
spirit, had not been without its successes. If England, the United
Netherlands, and the Scandinavian kingdoms had decisively broken away
from Rome, Protestantism had been completely crushed out in Spain and
in Italy, and in 1587, Catholicism was finally restored in Poland by
Sigismund. In France, if the Huguenots had secured toleration, that
toleration was not to last; and Catholicism had not only captured the
King, but had again been recognised as the religion of the State. In
Germany, too, the advance of Protestantism had, since the middle of
the century, been arrested. The Jesuits had by this time made their
influence felt, not only by their missionary and educational work
among the people, but also on the policy of the Princes. In Bavaria,
Albert III. (1550-1579) drove out the Protestants, and made his Duchy
a stronghold of Catholicism. In 1576, Rudolf II. succeeded his father,
Maximilian II., in the most important of the Austrian dominions,[85]
and was elected Emperor. Maximilian had been half-inclined towards
Lutheranism. Rudolf, educated under the influence of his mother,
the daughter of Charles V., and subsequently at the Spanish Court,
was strongly Catholic. He dismissed the Protestant preachers from
Vienna, and supported a Catholic policy in the Empire. The advance
of Catholicism was also favoured by the dissensions between the
Lutherans and the Calvinists, who were respectively headed by the
Electors of Saxony and of the Palatinate. Under these circumstances,
quarrels over the controverted clauses of the Peace of Augsburg were
inevitable (cf. pp. 248-9). The Catholics questioned the right of the
Bishop of Magdeburg to a seat in the Diet, and, in 1581, had driven
Gebhard Truchsess from his Electoral See of Cologne, because these two
prelates had embraced Protestantism.

  | Disorganised condition of Germany.

Day by day the relations between the adherents of the two creeds
became more strained. Already the Thirty Years’ War was looming in
the distance--a war in which Protestantism was indeed to hold her
own, but at the price of the destruction of German nationality and
unity, almost of German independence, and of the crippling of national
prosperity and intellectual growth for more than a century.

  | Condition of France.

  | Revival of the Royal authority.

France, it is true, had suffered severely from her civil war of
thirty-six years. Trade and industry had been ruined, and her
finances heavily strained. The venality of her administrative system
had been increased. The Estates-General and the ‘Parlements,’ the
representatives of constitutional life, had been discredited; the
former by the extreme views it had at times adopted, both by their
subservience to the League. The power and self-importance of the
nobles had been increased during the civil wars, and by the system
adopted by Henry IV. of buying off their opposition. The desire for
federative republicanism had grown with the growth of Calvinism. All
these things had been the results of the religious wars. Yet after
all, it was the royal power and prestige which in the end had
benefited most from the internal discords. It was Henry who had given
his country peace at last, and thereby earned the gratitude of his
people; he it was who chiefly gained by the discredit into which the
organs of constitutional life had fallen, and by the divisions and
dissensions of his subjects. The nobles, indeed, were dangerous, but
Henry IV. was successful in defeating their intrigues. His able,
though self-sufficient and egotistical minister, Sully, reorganised
the finances, and did something to check the venality and corruption
which existed. The marvellous recuperative powers of the country
came to his assistance; and France under the clever, though somewhat
cynical, rule of her great King became once more a first-rate
Power. Had Henry lived longer, or had he been succeeded by a capable
son, the Thirty Years’ War would probably not have occurred, or
would have been ended sooner. The House of Hapsburg might have been
humbled to the dust, and France might have established a dangerous
supremacy in Europe. The assassination of Henry IV. in 1610 prevented
this; France, on his death, became the victim of a weak minority,
and a troubled regency; and Europe was not threatened with a French
supremacy until the reign of Louis XIV.

FOOTNOTES:

 [80] Probably a corruption of the German word ‘Eidgenossen’
      (confederates), first applied to the Protestant party in Geneva.

 [81] Cf. Appendix I. for meaning of this.

 [82] Henry held Lower Navarre and the Principality of Béarn in
      his own right, and, as fiefs, the Duchies of Vendôme, Beaumont,
      and Albret; the Counties of Bigorre, Armagnac, Rouergue,
      Perigord, and Marle; the Viscounties of Limoges, and other
      lordships. See Map of France.

 [83] While Sully had been doing something to replenish the
      exchequer of King Henry, his antagonist, Philip, attempted a more
      summary method. On November 20, 1596, he publicly revoked all
      assignments, or mortgages by which the taxes on the royal domain
      had been pledged for money advanced to him. The pretext for this
      wholesale repudiation was that his exertions for Christianity had
      reduced him to beggary, while the money-lenders had been growing
      rich at his expense. The deed, however, produced a panic. The
      chief merchants and bankers suspended payment, and the credit of
      Spain received a shock from which it did not easily recover.

 [84] The Marquisate of Saluzzo in Piedmont had been ceded to
      France by the Treaty of Cateau Cambrésis, cf. p. 257. Henry IV.
      in 1601 exchanged it with the Duke of Savoy for Bresse, Bugey,
      and Gex.

 [85] His brothers, Ferdinand and Charles, received Tyrol and
      Styria. These were reunited to Austria proper under Ferdinand
      II., and the Austrian dominions were declared indivisible, 1621.



APPENDIX I

THE FRENCH CONSTITUTION IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.

Cf. Gasquet, _Institutions Politiques et Sociales de la
France_. Chéruel, _Dictionnaire Historique des Institutions de la
France_.


I. Central Administration.--_Conseil du Roi_ (King’s Council), or
_Conseil d’État_ (Council of State). The supreme Executive Council
of the realm. It also exercised _Legislative_ powers through its
Ordinances, and high _Judicial_ power until organisation of the Grand
Conseil.

  =1.= Sometimes heard ultimate appeals from the Sovereign Law
  Courts.

  =2.= Evoked cases from other Courts in which public interests were
  involved.

  =3.= Heard complaints against the royal officials. These Judicial
  Powers were subsequently transferred to--

    =α.= The Grand Conseil.--Finally organised in 1497, to decide
    questions of disputed jurisdiction between the other sovereign
    Courts, but never very important. Composed of the Constable (the
    Chief Military Officer), the Chancellor (the Supreme Civil Officer),
    the Princes of the Blood, Officers of State.

    =β.= The Conseil Privé or des parties. A Judicial Committee of the
    Council erected in the seventeenth century.

A number of clerks (Maîtres de Requêtes) under the Conseil du
Roi, worked various Departmental Councils, such as those of War and
Finance.


II. Central Courts of Justice.

_A._ The Parlement of Paris.--The Central Judicial Court of the Realm,
sharing with the Grand Conseil the right of hearing appeals from all
subordinate Courts.

  It also (1) issued Arrêts, or Injunctions.

  (2) Registered all royal ordinances, treaties of peace, and other
  public documents; and, from the reign of Louis XI., claimed the right
  of refusing to register--a right which gradually ripened into a right
  of veto. The King, however, could always override its veto by holding
  a ‘Lit de Justice’--_i.e._ by summoning the Parlement, in solemn
  assembly, before the Peers of France and the officers of State, and
  ordering it to register.

Its members held office for life, and were, since the reign of
Louis XI., irremovable, unless convicted of some penal offence. As
membership was generally purchased from the King, they became
saleable, and, after the reign of Henry IV., practically hereditary.

The Parlement was divided into five Courts:--

  1. _The Grand Chambre._--This heard all appeals of great importance,
  and cases of first instance which concerned the Peers; cases of
  treason; and criminal charges against royal officials and members of
  the Parlement.

  2. _Chambre des Requêtes._--Decided smaller cases of first instance.

  3. _Chambre des Enquêtes._--Heard smaller cases of appeal, and
  prepared the more important appeals for the Grand Chambre.

  4. _Chambre de la Tournelle._--Tried less important criminal cases.

  5. _Chambre de l’Édit._--Established after the Edict of Nantes,
  1598, to try cases between Catholics and Huguenots. One or two of
  the judges were to be Protestants.

_B._ Chambre des Comptes.--Exercised jurisdiction in all
financial matters dealing with the royal domain, and audited
accounts of the Baillis and Sénéschals; registered edicts
concerning the royal domain, and recorded the fealty and homage of
tenants-in-chief. Jurisdiction civil--not criminal.

_C._ Cour des Aides.--Exercised civil and criminal jurisdiction over
cases dealing with Taxation, and audited accounts of the Élus who
collected the direct taxes.


III. Local Justice and Administration.

1. _Provincial Parlements_, exercising the same authority as the
Parlement of Paris within their districts, existed in the fifteenth
century at--

  Toulouse for Province of Languedoc, instituted 1443.
  Grenoble        „        Dauphiné,      „      1453.
  Bordeaux        „        Guienne,       „      1462.
  Dijon           „        Burgundy,      „      1477.

And the following were added during the sixteenth century at--

  Aix    for Provence, 1501.
  Rouen  for Normandy, 1515.
  Rennes for Brittany, 1553.

Five more were subsequently added--

  Pau      for Béarn, 1620.
  Metz      „  3 Bishoprics, 1633.
  Douai     „  Flanders, 1686.
  Besançon  „  Franche-Comté, 1676.
  Nancy     „  Lorraine, 1769.

Most of these Provinces had their separate Chambre des Comptes, and
Cour des Aides.

2. _The Baillis or Sénéschals_ (with Prévôts under them).

  (_a_) Collected the dues from the royal domains (while the Élus
  collected the regular direct taxes).

  (_b_) Tried petty cases.

  (_c_) Administered affairs, civil and military, of their Bailliage or
  Sénéchaussée.

Their jurisdiction was subordinated to that of the Parlements, and
their financial accounts were under the Cours des Comptes, while that
of the Élus were audited by the Cours des Aides.

Francis I., however, appointed new officers--_the Lieutenants, Civil
and Criminel_--to whom, by the ordinance of 1560, the judicial
functions of the Baillis and Sénéschals were transferred. After that
date the importance of the Baillis and Sénéschals rapidly declined,
especially after the final institution of the Intendants by Richelieu.

Francis I. also appointed twelve _Lieutenants-Général_ over the
frontier Provinces. During the Civil War these were extended to most
of the Provinces; and the _Governors_, as they now were called, made
themselves so powerful as to be ‘very kings.’ Henry IV. did his best
to buy off these Governors; but their power was not finally overthrown
till the time of Richelieu.

3. In 1551 Henry II. instituted _Tribunaux Présidiaux_ as
intermediate Courts between the Parlements and those of the Baillis or
Sénéschals.

4. The nobles still retained their Seignorial Courts; but these,
jealously watched by the Baillis and Sénéschals, were confined to
questions between the Seigneur and his dependants.

5. The towns enjoyed municipal government, which varied very much, but
was usually composed of a General Assembly which elected a Corps de
Ville, which in its turn elected a municipality composed of the Mayor
and échevins (sheriffs). In Paris the Prévôt des Marchands took the
place of the Mayor. The rights of election, however, became day by day
more and more visionary. The officials were usually nominated by the
Crown, often in return for money. The towns also had their Courts, but
the judicial powers, always limited, were finally withdrawn.

In Paris, however, there was a peculiar Court, that of the
_Châtelet,_ under the Prévôt of Paris (to be distinguished from
the Prévôt des Marchands). The Prévôt of Paris had no Baillis
or Sénéschal over him. He administered the police of the city,
and heard cases on appeal from the Seignorial Courts of the town
and district, as well as certain cases especially reserved to the
_Châtelet_, such as dowries, rights of succession to property, etc.

The Estates-General (États Généraux).

  Composed of three Chambers, consisting of deputies from the three
  Orders of Nobles, Clergy, Tiers État (Third Estate).

  _Mode of Election._--On fixed day, nobles, clergy, and townsmen met
  in chief town of Bailliage or Sénéchaussée.

  _Nobles and Clergy by direct Election._--The nobles and clergy drew
  up their cahiers (petitions), and elected their deputies separately.

  _Tiers État by double Election._--The townsmen chose a body of
  electors, who drew up the cahier, and elected the deputy.

  After 1484 the peasants of the villages took part in the election of
  the Electoral Body.

  In some of the Provinces a different system prevailed. Thus in
  Languedoc and Champagne, the three orders elected their deputies in
  common; in Brittany, the deputies of one order were chosen by the
  other two orders.

  _Procedure._--On the meeting of Estates-General the three orders
  were summoned to a Royal Séance (Session), in which the reasons for
  the summons were given.

  The orders then separated, and each order proceeded to draw up their
  general cahier apart. The three cahiers having then been presented
  to the King, the States-General was dismissed.

  _Powers._--The States-General were originally summoned not to
  discuss, but to hear the will of the King, and to present
  grievances.

  These Petitions were of considerable value, for, although the
  States-General was dismissed without having received the answer of
  the King, the cahiers often furnished the basis for royal
  ordinances. At various dates the Estates-General attempted to gain
  the same powers as those finally secured by the English Parliament:

    1. Frequent and regular Sessions.

    2. That their petitions should be answered.

    3. Control of taxation and of policy.

    4. Appointment, or at least responsibility, of ministers.

  But in spite of notable attempts, especially those of 1355-1358,
  1484, 1561 (p. 398), 1576-7 (p. 423), 1588 (p. 431), the
  States-General failed in obtaining its object, and after 1614,
  ceased to be summoned until 1789.

  _Reasons for failure of the States-General._--It is sometimes said
  that the States-General did not represent France; it is more correct
  to say that it represented France too well--in its want of cohesion,
  its class divisions, its absence of local government. Nor were the
  circumstances of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
  propitious. During that period, the hundred years’ war, and the
  religious wars, led the people of France to lean on the King; the
  privileges of the feudal nobles prevented any unanimity between the
  upper and lower classes, and allowed the bureaucracy to gain such
  strength that it was impossible subsequently to overthrow it.

  Thus the causes of failure may be tabulated as follows:--

    1. The existence of three Houses prevented unanimity, more
    especially because they represented class divisions which were
    deep. The nobility being a caste dependent on blood; while the
    upper offices of the Church were also filled by nobles.

    2. There was no class of country gentry as in England, from whom
    the knights of the shire were elected, and who united with the
    burgesses in the House of Commons.

    3. The number of royal officials elected as deputies of Tiers
    État was generally very large.

    4. The Estates-General of Orleans (1439), in establishing a
    permanent army by the Ordonnance sur la Gendarmerie, was held to
    have granted to the King a permanent tax, _the Taille_; and this,
    in spite of several protests, was subsequently increased at the
    royal will.

    5. Since the nobles and clergy were exempt from the Taille--the
    first because they served in the feudal array; the latter because
    of their clerical privileges--the deputies of these two orders did
    not support the Tiers État in their attempt to control the
    purse. Thus the States-General lost the control of the purse.

    6. There was no efficient local government like that of the
    English shire. The real power being in the hands of the royal
    officials, the Baillis and the Sénéschals, and later, of the
    Intendants.

Provincial Estates.--It is true that all the Provinces of France
originally had their Provincial Estates composed of three orders.

  (1) But in many Provinces they were artificial creations.

  (2) They were weakened by the same class divisions as the
  States-General.

  Accordingly after the fifteenth century many Provinces lost their
  Estates, and finally only some four survived the reign of Louis
  XIV., and even those had but little power beyond that of assessing
  the Taille.

The Church.--The Church had its

(1) _Ecclesiastical Courts_, which as elsewhere in Europe had
attempted to extend their jurisdiction very widely, not only over
clergy but over laity. By the end of the fifteenth century, however,
their jurisdiction was confined to offences of clerics or laics
against morals, the law or doctrine of the Church, and to cases
concerning the marriage and death-bed--_e.g._ divorce, wills, etc.;
any attempt on the part of the Ecclesiastical Courts to encroach on
the domain of secular jurisdiction being met by the Appels comme
d’abus (abuse), which were presented to the Parlement of Paris.

(2) Its Assemblies, in which, in and after the sixteenth century, the
clergy voted ‘dons gratuits’ (voluntary offerings) to the Crown.

The relations of the Church to the Crown and to the Pope were further
defined by the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, and the Concordat of
Bologna (cf. p. 81).


TAXATION.

The revenue during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was drawn
from the following sources:--

I. The Royal Domain.

  (_a_) Feudal incidents.

  (_b_) Profits of Justice.

  (_c_) Rights appertaining to the King as Sovereign--_e.g._ of
  succeeding to property of aliens dying without heirs, and of all
  bastards; fines on land granted in mortmain.

II. Direct Taxes.

(1) _The Taille_, which was of two kinds--

  (_a_) In the _Pays d’États_ it was generally a tax on the value of
  land, assessed by regular assessments, under orders of the
  Provincial Assembly.

  (_b_) In the other parts of France (the _Pays d’Élection_), it was a
  tax levied on presumed income derived from whatever source, and
  assessed in a very arbitrary fashion by Élus, who were responsible
  to the Cour des Aides.

_Exempt from the Taille_ were Nobles following arms, Clergy, Students
at the Universities, Royal Officials, Municipal Authorities. Thus the
tax fell practically on the lower classes.

(2) _Dons Gratuits._--Taxes on clergy voted by ecclesiastical
assemblies.

III. Indirect Taxes.

(1) _Aides._--Dues levied on the sale of food-stuffs, wine, and other
articles.

(2) _Gabelles._--Salt was a royal monopoly; and every household had to
buy so much salt for every member above the age of eight. The price
was very high, but varied, as well as the amount to be bought, in
different Provinces.

(3) _Customs_ at the frontiers of every Province. These in later
days were so heavy that a cask of wine would pay its value before it
reached Paris.

(4) _Sale of Offices._--By the end of the sixteenth century there was
scarcely any royal office which was not sold.

The Aides, Gabelles, and Customs were in the hands of farmers of the
taxes, who exercised great extortion.



APPENDIX II

CONSTITUTION OF FLORENCE IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.


I. Based on System of _Guilds_ (since 1282), cf. Von Reumont, Lorenzo
de Medici, vol. i. pp. 15 and 67. Villari, _Florence_, p. 312 ff.

  Seven Greater Arti = Popolo Grasso.
  Fourteen Lesser Arti = Popolo Minuto.

Each with its Council, Consuls, and Proconsuls. Number of eligible
citizens (Statuali), some 5000 out of 100,000.

II. Executive.--The _College,_ composed of Signory and Collegi--_I tre
Maggiori_ (offices).

(1) _Signoría_ appointed for two months. Its members (unpaid with
exception of its Secretary, and Chancellor), lived in Palazzo Publico
at public cost.

  Powers.--(_a_) Initiation of Legislation.
           (_b_) Supreme Executive power.
           (_c_) Right of summoning a Parlamento.

  Members.--A. _Gonfalonier of Justice_ (first instituted 1293), must
  be forty-five years of age and a member of one of Arti
  Maggiori. Presided over all Councils--and could call out the
  Militia. Originally elected by the Councils, but subsequently
  appointed by lot. Cf. below.

            B. _Eight Priori._--Two from each quarter of the city
  (originally elected by the Arts), must be thirty years old and
  members of a guild (six from Arti Maggiori, two from Minori since
  1345). Each Prior presided with Gonfalonier for three days, and
  could put any measure to the vote if Gonfalonier refused. (‘Il
  proposto.’)

(2) _The Colleagues_ (_Collegi_).

  (_a_) Twelve _Buonuomini_ (nine from greater, three from lesser
  Arts). These acted as a Privy Council and check on the Signory.

  (_b_) Sixteen _Gonfaloniers_ of the sixteen militia companies (four
  from each quarter of the city), under the _Capitano del Popolo_.

  (_c_) Nine assessors of the Priors.

A permanent paid Secretary called ‘Second Chancellor.’

_Exceptional. Capitani di Parte Guelfa._--These instituted in 1297,
for protection of city against Ghibellines, were continued long after
danger had passed away. They were from three to nine in number,
elected for two months, and empowered to administer proceeds of
confiscated property of Ghibellines exiled or condemned, and as these
sums were large the Capitani undertook the maintenance of fortresses
and defences and public buildings.

By Law of 1358 all who held or had held office might be accused
openly or secretly before the Capitani as being no genuine Guelph. No
witnesses for defence allowed--and if the accusation was supported by
six witnesses worthy of belief the accused could be condemned to fine
or death, without appeal.

By the end of the fourteenth century, however, this tyrannical
organisation had somewhat lost its power.

III. Foreign Affairs were in hands of--

(1) Dieci di Guerra--called later Dieci di libertà e Pace--first
appointed 1423.

(2) Two Councils, which considered the bills concerning foreign
affairs before they went to the ordinary Councils.

  (_a_) _Consiglio del Dugento._--Two hundred of those who had held
  the highest offices of State.

  (_b_) _Consiglio Centotrentuno,_ 131 (the Signory, Captains of
  Guelph Party, Ten of War, Councils of craftsmen, Consuls of Guilds,
  and forty-eight citizens).

IV. Legislation after 1328.

A Law approved by the College went to--

  1. The Two Councils of the Capitano del Popolo.

    (_a_) Consiglio di Credenza or del Cento, 100 officials of guilds,
    sometimes called Senate, often disregarded. Cf. Nardi, 1, 4
    (b). Symonds, _Age of Despots_, p. 530.

    (_b_) Consiglio del Popolo, 300 originally chosen from the greater
    Arts--later from others as well, renewed every four months.

  2. The Two Councils of the Podestà.

    (_a_) A special Council of 90.

    (_b_) The larger Consiglio del Podestà or del Commune, some
    390. This contained judges and law officers (and therefore nobles,
    since nobles could hold these offices), as well as popolani, and
    were renewed every four months.

Finally, a law having passed these Councils had to be submitted to a
General Council of them all.

The Signory and the colleagues _ex officio_ were members of these
Councils.

_System of voting._ By ballot. Black and white beans. Black = yes,
white = no. ⅔ of black beans necessary to carry a question.

  Tenere le fave or il partito  = To vote no.
  Rendere le fave or il partito = To vote yes.
  L’autorità dei sei fave       = Majority of ⅔ in Signory.
                                    (6 out of 9.)
  Il piu della fave             = ⅔ of votes.

V. Justice.

=1.= _Court of Capitano del Popolo_--a paid officer--must be a foreign
noble and lawyer. Exercised summary criminal jurisdiction, especially
over Plebs.

=2.= _Court of Podestà_--a paid officer--must be a foreign (Italian)
noble and lawyer. Exercised higher civil and criminal jurisdiction.

=3.= _Executor of Justice_--a paid officer--must be a popolano and a
Guelph and a foreigner. Exercised summary jurisdiction, especially
over nobles.

All these held office for six months.

=4.= _Casa della Mercatanzia._ A tribunal for decision of Commercial
Cases, which also acted as a Board of Trade.

=5.= _Otto di Balía e Guardia_, nominated by Signory, held office for
four months.

A court of appeal from Court of Podestà and with powers of police.

The Signoria and the Otto had power to execute, banish, or imprison
any citizen.

VI. Mode of Appointment to Chief Magistracies.

Originally elected by the Councils, but subsequently this
replaced by system of ‘lot.’

For each office a purse (borsa), was formed every three or five years
of all citizens eligible to said office, and names were drawn out of
this purse.

In case of Priors, fifty wax balls, each containing eight names (six
from Arti Maggiori, two from Minori), were put in the purse, and then
a ball was drawn out.

_Eligibility_ (Benefiziati, the Eligible).--This was decided by a
Squittino (Scrutiny) conducted by a board--and persons could be
considered ineligible ‘messo a sedere,’ for the following reasons (the
disenfranchised 9000 out of 100,000):--

  =1.= (_a_) _Grandi._--By Ordini della Guistizia, 1293, nobles could
       not be members of the Signoria or of the Collegi or of
       Consiglio del Popolo until 1434, when Cosimo allowed them to
       enter Guilds.

       (_b_) The Plebe or Ciompi, all not members of Guilds.

       (_c_) Inhabitants of Contado, country districts.

  =2.= _Ammonito._--’Warned’ for any political offence, _e.g._ being a
  Ghibelline, and denounced by the Capitano del Parti Guelfa;
  disqualification for life or shorter time. This system carried to
  great extravagance. ‘Hast thou no enemy? Consent to admonish mine
  and I will do the same by thine.’ Cf. Napier, ii. 235.

  =3.= _Moroso di Specchio_ (mirror).--One who had not paid his
  taxes. (_Netto di Specchio_, freed from this ineligibility.) By law
  of 1421, taxes must have been paid for thirty years by self, father
  and grandfather.

  =4.= _Divieto_ (prohibited).--Even after names were drawn a man
  might be disqualified because he or a relation had recently held
  office--’veduto ma non seduto.’

The members of the board bound to secrecy, but

  (1) As the period for which the purses had been made up drew to its
  close, it became possible to guess who would be the coming
  magistrates, and there were charlatans who pretended to foretell
  this.

  (2) The members of the boards of scrutiny were bribed to divulge the
  names who would be drawn.

  _Legalised Revolution._--At times of crisis the Signoria would
  summon a Parlamento nominally of the whole citizens, but generally
  only of party adherents, who granted exceptional powers (Balía) to a
  certain number of citizens.

  The _Balía_ (1) could alter the constitution.
              (2) Appointed Accopiatori (couplers or joiners) who
              selected those eligible to office, and sometimes
              nominated the officials, _i.e._ appointed ‘a mano’
              instead of ‘a sorte.’

  In 1459 (under Cosimo) a council of 100 was instituted to elect the
  Accopiatori.

  Florence enjoyed political, but _no_ civil liberty.

    (1) Powers of magistrates unchecked.
    (2) No appeal from Law Courts. Arbitrary Jurisdiction.
    (3) No liberty of Press.


CHANGES IN THE CONSTITUTION.

_N.B._ Signory lasted till 1530.

I. Under Lorenzo.

1472. Burd, _Machiavelli_, 81, 85, 89; Perrens’ _Histoire de Florence,
      Depuis la domination des Médicis_, 1, 362, 445, 523; Armstrong,
      _Lorenzo de’ Medici_.

      Arti reduced to 12 by suppression of 9 Arti minori.

1480. After Pazzi Conspiracy.

      _Consiglio de Settanta_ (College of 70), appointed by Signoria
      with power to fill up its own vacancies from those who had held
      office of Gonfalonier.

      _Its work_ (_a_) To permanently nominate to offices (a mano).

                 (_b_) Appoint the _Otto di Pratica_ which superseded
                 the old Dieci di Libertà e Pace.

      This College, originally appointed for five years, was
      continually reappointed.

In 1490. This College intrusted some of its powers to a smaller
         Committee of 17, of whom Lorenzo was one; and this Committee

         (_a_) Appointed Accopiatori to nominate to offices.

         (_b_) Supervised every branch of administration.

II. 1494. Savonarola’s Reforms. Cf. Burd, p. 94. Guicciardini, _Storia
Fiorentia_, iii. 120. Villari, _Savonarola_, p. 257. Perrens, ii.
c. 3. _Cambridge Mod. Hist._, vol. i. p. 158.

(1) Temporary.--A Parlamento summoned, who appointed 20 Accopiatori
(_Governo de’ Venti_). These filled up magistracies for the year and
prepared a Squittino for the future.

(2) Permanent.--Constitution formed in imitation of Venice. Consiglio
del Popolo and del Commune and Parlamento abolished.

  =A.= _Consiglio Generale_, or Maggiore, formed of all eligible
  ‘benefiziati’ citizens (all those of age of 29 whose father,
  grandfather, or great-grandfather had been veduto _or_ seduto for
  one of three greater offices, about 3000). But if the number of the
  ‘benefiziati’ exceeded 1500, they were to be ‘sterzati,’ _i.e._
  divided into 3, and ⅓ of the whole number were to form the Consiglio
  for 6 months. A small number of citizens, above age of 24 and
  otherwise qualified, were admitted, and each year 60 eligible but
  neither veduto nor seduto might be elected if they received
  two-thirds of votes.

  =B.= _Consiglio degli Ottanta_, a Senate elected out of and by
  Consiglio Generale for six months, must be 40 years of age.

  The Senate was to advise _The Signory_ (which remained as before),
  and elect ambassadors and commissioners to army.

  The Consiglio Generale was

    (1) To elect to magistracies by a complicated system of voting and
    selection by lot. Cf. Guicciardini, _Storia Fiorentina_, iii. 125.

    (Subsequently the system of direct appointment by lot was again
    introduced. Cf. Guicciardini, iii. 155, 203, 235.)

    (2) To hear criminal appeals from the Signory and Otto di Balía.

    (3) To pass laws. The President _Il Proposto_, one of the Signory,
    changed every third day, laid the law before the Signory and the
    Collegi. If they approved it might be submitted to a _Practica_ of
    selected members of the Consiglio d’Ottanta. Thence it went
    before the Ottanta, and then to the Consiglio Generale. Here laws
    could not be discussed, though Signory might call on some one to
    speak in support, but were voted on.

  =C.= Dieci di Libertà e Pace (called also Dieci di Balía), again
  restored in place of the Otto di Pratica. The Signory, the Courts of
  the Capitano and of the Podestà, the Mercatanzia, and the Otto di
  Balía remained as before. The Dieci di Pace e Libertà restored.

In 1498. The Courts of the Podestà and the Capitano del Popolo were
restored.

This Government lasted till 1512, with these exceptions:--

  (i) In 1502.

    (_a_) The Gonfalonier to be elected for life, by a double system
    of nomination and election. Piero Soderini elected. (Guicciardini,
    iii. 281; Villari, _Life of Machiavelli_, ii. 102; Perrens,
    _Hist. Flor._ ii. 408.)

    (_b_) Courts of Podestà, of the Capitano del Popolo, and of
    Mercatanzia abolished. Instead, the _Ruota della Justizia_
    composed of five Doctors of Law with civil and criminal
    jurisdiction. These to be foreigners elected by Signory and the
    College for three years, and paid, one of whom was to be
    Podestà. The Mercatanzia, however, continued as a Board of Trade.

  (ii) 1506. A militia instituted at suggestion of Machiavelli.

    All males from 15--50 years of age to serve, but only from the
    city and country district (contado) of Florence. Not from her
    subject cities. (Burd, 126.)

    The militia placed under a new board of nine, _Nove della
    Milizia_, which however was under the Dieci di Libertà e Pace in
    time of war.

III. 1512. Return of Medici.

The constitution restored as it was before the revolution of 1494,
although nomination to offices lay practically in hands of the Medici,
Giuliano, and Lorenzo. (Burd, 145, 148.)

IV. 1527. Re-establishment of the constitution of Savonarola, 1494,
except that Gonfalonier was to be elected for 13 months.

V. 1530. Final overthrow of the Republic. Perrens, _Hist. Flor._,
iii. 368.

  Alessandro de Medici appointed Grand Duke.

  12 Reformatori elected in a Parlamento to ‘reform’ the State.

    1. Signory abolished.

    2. A Council of 200 elected for life.

    3. A Senate of 48 elected for life from the 200, with powers of
    legislation and taxation, and appointment to offices.

    4. A Privy Council of four Councillors elected for three months by
    12 Accopiatori chosen out of the Senate.

  These with the hereditary Grand Duke fulfilled duties of the
  Signory.

  The Otto di Pratica }
  The Otto di Guardia } to be nominated by the Senate.
  The Buonuomini      }

  All distinction between higher and lower ‘arti’ abolished.

  The offices paid.


TAXATION.

See Napier, iii. 117. Von Reumont, i. 30. Ewart, _Cosimo de’
Medici_. Armstrong, _Lorenzo de’ Medici_.

I. Indirect Taxes. Import and Export Duties. Monopoly on Salt.

II. On Real and Personal Property.

III. _Prestanze._--Forced loans on the estimated property. In theory
these were to be repaid and interest paid meanwhile, but this was
rarely done (‘tenere i luoghi’ (shares) = to withhold the payment of
interest), so much so that most took advantage of the law, that where
the amount did not exceed two golden florins they might pay one-third
down and forfeit all claim to interest or repayment.

The system led to great abuse. The influential got repaid, not so the
poor. Hence speculators connected with Government bought up claims on
the State for small sums, and then got the loan refunded.

The Assessment (estimo) of citizen’s property for II. and III. was
originally managed thus--

  =1.= A Balía appointed who assigned to each ward their _quota_.

  =2.= In each ward. Seven Boards of seven each (Sette Settine) made
  seven schedules of assessment on the citizens according to their
  idea of the property of each individual.

  =3.= These seven schedules were sent to some of the best reputed
  monasteries, which rejected the four schedules which differed most
  widely, and then, adding up the amounts assessed to each taxpayer by
  the three remaining schedules, divided the total by 3.

But under this system numerous exceptions had crept in; indeed, the
rich were largely exempted on the plea that they served the State by
taking office.

Hence the reform of the _Catasto_, 1427 (_Accatastare_, to heap up). A
valuation made every five years of all property subject to
taxation. (Lands, movables within or without city, rents, profits of
business.)

From this sum capitalised at the rate of 7 per cent., _i.e._ 7 florins
income = 100 florins capital, deductions for necessary expenses were
made. The remainder, which was looked upon as a surplus, was liable to
be taxed either for direct tax or for loans at the rate of ½ per
cent. on the capital.

From the time of Cosimo the Assessment was made by officials instead
of representative Committees, and the principle of graduation was
introduced. This became perpetual in 1480, when the tax was thrown on
land only at 1/10th of annual value (the _Decima Scalata_). In 1482
the tax on movables and professions (_Arbitrio_) was reintroduced.

Under Savonarola, 1494, the system of graduation was abolished and the
Decima was levied on land only, but shortly after the old system was
re-established.

In 1503. The Arbitrio, a tax on Professions established.

IV. Poll Tax from 1¼ to 4¼ florins per head between ages 17-70. In
cases of large young families only one member taxed.

Subject Towns and Districts of two kinds.

  =1.= _Somissio_ by conquest or compact. The relation of Florence to
  these differed; but, generally speaking, the Podestà was appointed
  by Florence, and an appeal lay to Florentine Courts, while the
  dependent city kept its own government and laws, and more or less
  freedom of taxation.

  The trade relations were peculiar. Both mother city and dependent
  cities maintained protective duties against each other.

  =2.= _Accomandigia._--Under a Protectorate, the town then called
  _Raccomandato_. This did not amount to much more than acknowledging
  the Florentine supremacy, and following her lead in war.[86]

Causes of instability of Florentine Government--

  1. Conflict between idea of equality and desire of families to rule.

  2. Jealousy of the Executive.

  3. No adaptability in the Constitution.

  4. Weakness and partiality of Justice.

  5. Taxation the sport of parties, except when regulated by the
  Catasto, and that only for a short time.

  6. Turbulent character of its citizens.

  7. Oppressive government of its subject cities.

FOOTNOTES:

 [86] Guicciardini in his _Ricordi_ says: ‘The subjects of a Republic
      are in worse case than those of a Prince. A Republic grants no
      share of its grandeur to any but citizens of its chief city
      while oppressing others. A Prince considers all equally his
      subjects.’



APPENDIX III

VENETIAN CONSTITUTION IN THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES

Authorities.--Daru, _Histoire de la République de Venise_, B.
xxxix. Brown, _Venice_, pp. 163, 177, 398; _Venetian Studies_, p. 178.


I. The Great Council (Maggior Consiglio).

Confined by law of 1296 to the families of those who were _then_
members (_Serrata del Maggior Consiglio_). The eligible had to be
elected, but were, as a matter of fact, always elected. No one could
take his seat until the age of twenty-five, with the exception of
thirty who were elected every December, and a few specially allowed to
do so, in return for loans lent to the State.

Its functions were chiefly _Elective_. All officials, and magistrates
elected by it, except a few of the highest officers, _e.g._ the Savii
Grandi, the Savii di Terra Firma, and the Admiral.

_System of Election._--Nominators, chosen by lot in the Council,
elected candidates--sometimes two, sometimes four--for the vacant
office. The names of these candidates were then submitted to the
Council, and the one who received most votes was declared elected.

The Great Council also originally enjoyed (_a_) some legislative
powers, but these were gradually absorbed by the Senate; (_b_)
judicial powers. On presentation by the College they tried commanders
accused of negligence or incompetency.[87]

II. The Senate (Pregadi, _i.e._ the Invited), 246 in number:--

  (_a_) Sixty elected in the Great Council for one year.

  (_b_) Sixty (the Zonta, _i.e._ addition) elected by the outgoing
  Senate and confirmed by the Great Council.

  (_c_) _Ex officio._--The Doge, his six Councillors, members of
  Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal, and members of financial and
  judicial departments.

  (_d_) Fifty minor officials, who had a right to debate, but not to
  vote.

_Its Functions._

  (_a_) _Chiefly Legislative._--It passed laws on the proposal of the
  College.

  (_b_) _Elected_ a few of the higher officials.
                  The Savii Grandi.
                  Savii di Terra Firma.
                  Admiral.

  (_c_) Sometimes tried commanders accused of negligence or
  incompetence.

III. The Council of Ten (Consiglio de’ Dieci).--After 1310 this
Council absorbed some of the functions of the Senate. Brown, _Venice_,
p. 177.

_How elected._

For one year, by the Maggior Consiglio, out of a list of twenty,
of which ten were elected by the Consiglio, ten by the Doge, his
Councillors, and the Chiefs of the Supreme Court of Justice. No member
to be re-eligible for a year after holding office. The Doge and his
six Councillors were _ex-officio_ members. Subsequently, twenty
additional members were elected in the Maggior Consiglio for each
important case.

_Functions._--(_a_) It looked after urgent questions of finance,
public policy, and military organisation.

(_b_) Tried cases of treason, and other cases removed from the
ordinary courts by the College.

IV. The Collegio proposed measures to the Senate, and was the _Supreme
Executive Authority_.

_Members._--(_a_) The Doge, six Councillors, three Presidents of
the Criminal Court of Appeal.

(_b_) Six Savii Grandi, elected by the Senate for a period of
six months. Must be 38 years old.

These superintended the action of the boards below them, and fulfilled
the work of the responsible ministers of State.

(_c_) Five Savii di Terra Firma, elected for six months. Must be 30
years old.

  =1.= Savio alla Scrittura. Minister of War.

  =2.= Savio Cassier. Chancellor of Exchequer.

  =3.= Savio alle Ordinanze. Minister for Native Militia.

  =4.= Savio ai da mo. Minister for execution of urgent matters.

  =5.= Savio ai ceremoniali. Minister for ceremonies of State.

(_d_) Five Savii da Mar, or agli ordini.

The Board of Admiralty, elected for six months, worked under direct
superintendence of the Savii Grandi. Had a vote, but no voice in the
College. Filled for most part with young men, who here received their
political education.

V. The Doge.--Elected for life, by forty-one electors, themselves
chosen by ballot, and vote in the Great Council (cf. Brown, _Venice_,
p. 150). His position ornamental. He, with his six Councillors, who
were elected for eight months in the Great Council, presided over the
Council, the Senate, the College, and all State affairs were conducted
in his name. But he had no power without his six Councillors, and
little even with them.

VI. Justice.--This was administered by four Supreme Courts formed of
judges elected out of its own members by the Great Council, who held
office nominally for one year, but were usually re-elected.

(_a_) _Criminal._--The members of this Court sat in the Senate, and
its three presidents in the College.

(_b_) Three Courts of Civil Jurisdiction: of which one heard appeals
from the inferior Courts in Venice, the other two from the Courts in
the dependencies.

No decision of the appellant Court was valid unless it confirmed the
decision of the inferior Court; and in the event of their decisions
differing, the matter was constantly referred backward and forward
until the Court of first instance and the Supreme Court could agree.

VII. Taxation.--Venice always objected to permanent direct taxation,
and it was not till 1530 that she resorted to an income tax.

The chief taxes were:

=1.= Forced loans, redeemable or not, on which the State paid regular
interest. This system, adopted in 1171, is perhaps the earliest
instance of a national debt.

=2.= Each member of a guild paid--

  (_a_) The _Taglione_ = capitation fee for belonging to a guild.

  (_b_) The _Tansa insensibile_ = tax on profits of his work.

=3.= Duties on imports and exports.

=4.= Trade in salt, which was a State monopoly. The profits of this
trade at home and abroad amounted at times to one-tenth of the gross
revenue.

=5.= Profits of the State Bank, which did business often with foreign
princes.

=6.= In days of her decline Venice also resorted to the system
of selling public offices.

VIII. Government of Dependencies.--Aim to leave as much independence
as was compatible with maintenance of Venetian supremacy, and to
assimilate the government of the dependent town as closely as was
possible with that of Venice.

The representatives of the Venetian Supremacy were the Rettori.

That is--

  =1.= The Podestà--the supreme civil officer, with control over the
  police, the fiscal, and other administrative work.

  =2.= The Capitano--who looked after the local levies and other
  forces.

  Both these officials were in immediate communication with the
  Venetian Senate and the Ten, but were bound by oath to respect the
  local privileges.

  Under the Rector stood the Free Municipal Government, which varied
  in every town, but was always presided over by a Podestà--an elected
  officer, who was sometimes a native, sometimes a Venetian, sometimes
  the Rector himself.

Reasons for stability of Venetian Government--

  1. Coincidence of theoretical and practical Sovereignty in the same
  hands.

  2. Adaptability of the Constitution, _e.g._ gradual assumption of
  power by Senate, and then by the Ten.

  3. Strength of the Executive which excited no jealousy.

  4. Impartiality of Justice.

  5. Provision made for nobles in Government of Dependencies, for the
  middle class in civil service and commerce, for the lower classes in
  the fleet.

  6. Large alien Population who did not want political power, but to
  be judged fairly, taxed lightly, and find employment.


    For the imperial Institution, see pp. 106, 145.
    For the Spanish Constitution, see pp. 92, 299.

FOOTNOTES:

 [87] The College decided whether the offender should be tried by
      the Council or the Senate. If he was accused of treason, the case
      went to the Council of Ten.



THE POPES, 1494 TO 1598.


Alexander VI. (Rodrigo Borgia), August 1492 to 1503.

Pius III. (Francis Piccolomini), September to October 1503.

Julius II. (Julian della Rovere), November 1503 to February 1513.

Leo X. (Giovanni dei Medici), March 1513 to December 1521.

Adrian VI. (Tutor of Charles V.), January 1522 to September 1523.

Clement VII. (Giulio dei Medici), November 1523 to September 1534.

Paul III. (Alexander Farnese), October 1534 to November 1549.

Julius III. (Giovanni Maria del Monte), February 1550 to March 1555.

Marcellus II. (Marcello Cervini), April 1555.

Paul IV. (John Peter Caraffa), May 1555 to April 1559.

Pius IV. (Giovanni Angelo dei Medici), December 1559 to December 1565.

Pius V. (Michael Ghislieri), January 1566 to May 1572.

Gregory XIII. (Hugh Buoncompagno), May 1572 to April 1585.

Sixtus V. (Felix Peretti), April 1585 to August 1590.

Urban VII. (Giovanni Baptist Castogna), September 1590.

Gregory XIV. (Nicholas Sfondrati), December 1590 to October 1591.

Innocent IX. (Giovanni Antony Facchinetti), October to December 1591.

Clement VIII. (Ippolito Aldobrandini), January 1592 to March 1605.



[Illustration: PORTUGUESE DISCOVERIES. SPANISH DISCOVERIES.]



GENEALOGY OF THE HOUSES OF VALOIS AND BOURBON.

                        CHARLES V.
                           |
              +------------+-----------+
              |                        |
          CHARLES VI.          Louis, Duke of Orleans.
              |                        |
          CHARLES VII.                 +-------------------------+
              |                        |                         |
           LOUIS XI.         Charles, Duke of Orleans,    John, Count of
              |                   _ob._ 1467.                 Angoulême.
   +----------+--------------+         |                         |
   |          |              |         |                         |
 Anne =  CHARLES VIII., 1. Jeanne = LOUIS XII., | 2. Anne of  Charles,  Charles of
 Peter,    1483-1498                1498-1515.  |  Brittany.  Count of    Vendôme,
Duke of   = 1. Anne of                          | 3. Mary, d. Angoulême. descended
Bourbon.    Brittany                            |     of         |         from
   |                                            |  Henry VII.    |       Louis IX.
Susanna           +-----------------------------+                |           |
= Charles,        |        +--------------------------------+----+           |
Count of          |        |                                |                |
Montpensier,  1. Claude = FRANCIS I. = 2. Eleanora       Margaret =          |
Constable,             | 1515-1547.    sister of      Henry d'Albret,        |
_ob._ 1527.            |             Emp. Charles V.  King of Navarre.       |
                       |                                    |                |
              +--------+--+               +-----------------+                |
              |           |               |        +-------------+----------++
              |           |               |        |             |          |
Catherine = HENRY II.,  Margaret =    Jeanne  =  Antony,      Charles,    Louis,
de Medici  |1547-1559.    Emanuel   d'Albret, |  Duke of     Cardinal of  Prince
_ob._ 1589.|            Philibert,  Queen of  |  Vendôme,     Bourbon,      of
           |             Duke of    Navarre.  | _ob._ 1562. _ob._ 1590.   Condé,
           |              Savoy.              |                        _ob._ 1569.
           |                                  |                              |
           |                                  |                      Henry, Prince
           |                                  |                         of Condé.
           |                                  |
           |                                  +------------------------------+
   +-------+-----+-------------+-----------+-----------+--------+          |
   |             |             |           |           |        |          |
FRANCIS II.,  CHARLES IX.,  HENRY III.,  Elizabeth = Hercules Margaret = HENRY IV.,
1559-1560     1560-1574    1574-1589    Philip II.  Francis,            1589-1610.
= Mary Stuart. = Elizabeth,  = Louise     of Spain.  Duke of
              d. of Emp.   of Lorraine.             Alençon
             Maximilian II.                         and Anjou,
                                                   _ob._ 1584.



THE HAPSBURGS IN GERMANY AND IN SPAIN.

    FERDINAND    =  ISABELLA      MAXIMILIAN I. = 1. Mary, d. of Charles
  the Catholic,  |  of Castile,     Emperor,    |    the Bold;
 King of Aragon, |  1474-1504.     1493-1519.   | 2. Bianca d. of Galeazzo
   1470-1516.    |                              |    Sforza, Duke of Milan.
                 |              +-------------+-+
                 |              |             |
            Joanna = The Archduke Philip,  Margaret = 1. John, son of
                      |      _ob._ 1506.   Governess     Ferdinand and Isabella;
                      |                     of the    2. Philibert II. of Savoy.
                      |                  Netherlands,
                      |                    1506-1530.
                      |
     +------------+---+----+-------------------+------------------+
     |            |        |                   |                  |
(1) Eleanor =     |        |                   |                  |
    1. Emanuel    |        |                   |                  |
     of Portugal; |        |                   |                  |
    2. Francis I. |        |                   |                  |
     of France.   |        |                   |                  |
                  |        |                   |                  |
          (5) Catherine =  |                   |                  |
                 John III. |                   |                  |
              of Portugal. |                   |                  |
                           |                   |                  |
                    (2) CHARLES V. = Isabella  |                  |
                       1519-1556,  |   d. of   |                  |
                      _ob._ 1559.  | Emanuel   |                  |
                                   |    of     |                  |
                                   | Portugal. |                  |
                                   |           |                  |
                                   |      (4) Mary     = Lewis of |
                                   |      Governess of   Hungary. |
                                   |      Netherlands,            |
                                   |       1530-1555.             |
                                   |                              |
                                   |                 (3) FERDINAND I. = Anne,
                                   |                     Emperor,     | heiress
                                   |                     1556-1564.   |   of
                                   |                                  | Bohemia
                                   |                                  |  and
                 Illegitimate.     |                                  | Hungary.
     ..............................++---------------------------+     |
     |                       |      |                           |     |
  Margaret  = 1. Alessandro  |      |                           |     |
Governess of |    dei Medici;|      |                           |     |
Netherlands, | 2. Ottavio    |      |                           |     |
 1559-1567.  |     Farnese,  |      |                           |     |
             |     Duke of   |      |                           |     |
             |     Parma.    |      |                           |     |
             |               |      |                           |     |
        Alexander            |      |                           |     |
        of Parma,        Don John   |                           |     |
       _ob._ 1592.       of Austria,|                           |     |
                         _ob._ 1578.|                           |     |
                                    |                           |     |
                             PHILIP II. = 1. Maria, d. of       |     |
                             1556-1598. |     John of Portugal; |     |
                                        | 2. Mary, Queen of     |     |
                                        |     England;          |     |
                                        | 3. Elizabeth, d. of   |     |
                                        |     Henry II. of      |     |
                                        |     France;           |     |
                                        | 4. Anne, d. of        |     |
                                        |     Emperor           |     |
                                        |     Maximilian II.    |     |
                                        |                    Mary = MAXIMILIAN II.
                                        |                         |  Emperor,
                                        |                         |  1564-1576.
           1.      4.       3.          |                         |
           +-------+--------+-----------+                         |
           |       |        |                                     |
           |       |        |                                     |
           |       |        |                                     |
   (1) Don Carlos, |        |                                     |
       _ob._ 1568. |        |                                     +--+
                   |        |                                        |
            (3) PHILIP III. |                                        |
                1598-1621.  |             +-----+-----+-------+------+--------+
                            |             |     |     |       |      |        |
                     (2) Isabella = (6) Albert, |     |       |      |        |
                                    Governor of |     |       |      |        |
                                    Netherlands,|     |       |      |        |
                                     1596-      |     |       |      |        |
                                    _ob._ 1621. |     |       |      |        |
                                                |     |       |      |        |
                                          (1) Anne =  |       |      |        |
                                           Philip II. |       |      |        |
                                                      |       |      |        |
                                               (2) RUDOLF II. |      |        |
                                                   Emperor,   |      |        |
                                                   1576-1602. |      |        |
                                                              |      |        |
                                                        (3) Ernest,  |        |
                                                        Governor of  |        |
                                                        Netherlands, |        |
                                                         1594-1595.  |        |
                                                                     |        |
                                                              (4) Elizabeth = |
                                                                  Charles IX. |
                                                                   of France. |
                                                                              |
                                                                       (5) MATHIAS,
                                                                           Emperor,
                                                                         1612-1619.



HOUSES OF LORRAINE AND GUISE.

                              René, Duke of Lorraine,
                                    _ob._ 1508.
                                        |
               +------------------------+--+---------------------+
               |                           |                     |
   Anthony, Duke of Lorraine,    Claude, Duke of Guise,    John, Cardinal.
           1508-1544.                  _ob._ 1550.
               |                           |
         +-----+------------------------+  +---------------------+
         |                              |                        |
  Francis, Duke                  Nicholas, Duke of               |
   of Lorraine                      Mercoeur.                    |
    1544-1545.                         |                         |
         |                             |                         |
  Charles, Duke = Claude, d. of    Philip Emanuel = heiress of   |
   of Lorraine  |   Henry II.        _ob._ 1602.   Penthièvres,  |
    1545-1608.  |                                                |
                |                                                |
    +-----------+                 +------------------------------+
    |                             |
  Henry = s. of Henry IV.         |
                                  |
        +-------------------------+-------------------+-----------+
        |                         |                   |           |
     Francis  = d. of Ercole    Mary = James V.    Charles,     Louis,
     Duke of  |   II. of             |    of       Cardinal    Cardinal
      Guise,  |  Ferrara.            | Scotland.      of          of
  _ob._ 1563. |                      |             Lorraine.    Guise.
              |                      |
              |                 Mary Stuart = Francis II.
              |
           +--+--------------+------------+
           |                 |            |
  Henry, Duke of Guise    Charles,      Louis,
      (Le Balafré),       Duke of     Cardinal,
       _ob._ 1588.        Mayenne.    _ob._ 1588.
           |
    Charles, Duke of
         Guise.



INDEX


  Aargau, 120.

  Aben-Aboo, King of Moriscoes, 290.

  Aben-Farax, a leader of the Moriscoes, 288.

  Aben-Humeya, King of Moriscoes, 288, 290.

  Abruzzi, the, 40.

  Adrian VI., tutor to Charles V., appointed Regent of Castile, 139;
    Pope, 161;
    policy of, 162;
    death and character of, 164.

  Aerschot, Duke of, 348, 354.

  Africa, Portuguese conquests in, 85;
    Spanish possessions in, 97, 206, 208.

  Agnadello, battle of, 63.

  Albert, and Albert Alcibiades. _See_ Brandenburg.

  Albert, Cardinal-Archduke of Austria, Governor of Netherlands, 383;
    invades France, 440;
    retreats, 442.

  Albret, Alan d’, in command against Spain, 46.

  ---- Charlotte d’, 35.

  ---- John d’, King of Navarre, 46.

  Albuquerque, Portuguese Commander in India, 87.

  Alençon, Hercules Francis, Duc d’, offered sovereignty of
      Netherlands, 347;
    marriage negotiations with Elizabeth, 413; sides with Huguenots,
      418; deserts them, 423. _See_ Anjou.

  Alessandria pillaged, 37.

  Alessandro. _See_ Medici.

  Alexander of Parma. _See_ Parma.

  Alexander VI., Pope, 17;
    makes terms with Charles, 20;
    flies to Perugia, 22;
    suspends and excommunicates Savonarola, 27, 28;
    family policy, 35;
    ratifies treaty of Granada, 41;
    death, 46;
    policy of, 49-53.

  ---- Alfonso the Magnanimous, 15.

  ---- II., 15;
    succeeds Ferrante, 12;
    marriage with Ippolita of Milan, 15;
    abandons alliance with Milan, 16;
    abdicates, 20;
    escapes from San Germano, 21.

  Alfonso of Este, 51.

  Algiers, taking of, 97.

  Allègre, Ives d’, 50.

  Almeyda, Portuguese Commander in India, 86.

  Alost, revolt at, 349.

  Alva, Duke of, success in Italy, 253 ff.;
    takes Lisbon, 298;
    minister, 304 ff.;
    sent to Netherlands, 327;
    success in Netherlands, 331 ff.;
    system of taxation, 337 ff.;
    asks for recall, 339;
    attempts to subdue revolt, 341 ff.;
    leaves Netherlands, 343;
    at Conference of Bayonne, 406.

  ---- Frederick, son of Duke, defeats Genlis before Mons, 341;
    takes Haarlem, 342.

  Alviano, Bartolomeo d’, 64.

  Amboise, George, Cardinal of, 35, 46.

  ---- Castle of, 25;
    ‘Tumult’ of, 396;
    ‘Pacification’ of, 406.

  Amiens, Conference of, 181;
    seizure of, 441.

  Amsterdam, rise of, 365.

  Ancona, 49.

  Angoulême, Francis of. _See_ Francis I.

  Anjou, Hercules Francis, Duke of (cf. Alençon), in Netherlands,
      355 ff., 360;
    death of, 426.

  ---- Henry, Duke of (cf. Henry III.), made Lieutenant-Governor of
      France, 407;
    defeats Coligny, 409; marriage negotiations, 412 and foll.; plots
    massacre of St. Bartholomew, 414-416. _See_ Henry III.

  Anne. _See_ Austria, Brittany, Saxony, and Beaujeu.

  Annona, assault of, 57.

  Andrada, Fernando de, 45.

  Anspach, George Frederick of, succeeds Albert Alcibiades of
    Brandenburg, 246.

  Antonio, Don, claims crown of Portugal, 297, 378.

  Antony. _See_ Navarre.

  Antwerp, rise of, 87, 319;
    sack of, 350;
    capitulation, commercial decline, 365.

  Apulia, 42, 44.

  Aragon, Ferdinand of, reclaims Roussillon, 6;
    Treaty of Barcelona, 7;
    Lord of Sicily and Sardinia, 11;
    aids Ferrante, 24;
    Treaty of Granada, 40;
    war with Louis XII., 42, 48;
    character of, second marriage, and death, 104 ff.

  ---- Catherine of, marriage, 92.

  ---- Isabella of, marriage, 92.

  ---- Joanna of, marriage, 92.

  ---- John of, death, 92.

  ---- Constitutional rights of, 92;
    policy of Ferdinand, 94;
    Cortes of, extracts confirmation of liberties from Charles V., 138;
    not fulfilled, 144;
    under Philip, 300.

  Armada, 375 ff.

  Arques, battle of, 433.

  Arezzo, department of Florence, 52.

  Arras, Union of, 357.

  Asti, 37;
    acquired by Savoy, 194.

  Atella, fall of, 24.

  Aubigny, Stuart d’, Governor of Calabria, 22;
    invades Italy, 37;
    enters Rome, 41;
    gains Calabria, 43.

  Augsburg, Diets of (1530), 111, 198, 230, 234, 247;
    ‘Confession’ of, 198;
    (1555) Compromise on religious question, 247 ff.

  Augustus. _See_ Saxony.

  Aumont, Marshal d’, 433.

  Austria, Anne of, marriage, 285.

  ---- Don John of. _See_ John of Austria.

  Aversa, battle of, 191.

  Avila, Sancho de, 334;
    aids mutiny of Spanish soldiery, 349.

  Axel, surprise of, 370.


  Backerzell, 336.

  Bailiwicks, the Swiss, 120.

  Bajazet II., intrigues with Alexander VI., 17, 36.

  Baglione, Gian Paolo, of Perugia, 53.

  Barbarossa, Hayraddin, and Huroc, 206, 208.

  Barberigo, Venetian admiral at Le panto, 294.

  Barcelona, Treaty of, 7, 192.

  Barletta, 44.

  Basel, Peace of, 124.

  Basilicata, the, 42.

  Barneveld, John Van Olden, 368, 371.

  Bavaria, Duke William of, supports election of Charles, at head of
      Suabian League, drives out Duke Ulrich, 131;
    approves of his restoration, 210;
    won over by Charles, 222.

  ---- Albert III., Duke of, 446.

  Bayard, 43, 172.

  Bayonne, Conference of, 406.

  Beaujeu, Anne of, 5.

  ---- Susanna of, 33.

  Bentivoglio, Giovanni, of Bologna, 50, 52, 53.

  Bergen, Marquis of, 327, 336.

  Bergerac, Treaty of, 424.

  Berlaymont, Count, 321, 333.

  Berquin, Louis de, 388.

  Béza, Théodore, successor of Calvin, 274.

  Bicocca, battle of, 163.

  Bienne, 121.

  Birago, successor of L’Hôpital as Chancellor, 414.

  Biron, Marshal de, 425, 435, 439.

  Biseglia, Duke of, second husband of Lucrezia Borgia, 52.

  Blois, Treaty of, 36;
    second Treaty of, 61.

  Boisot, Admiral, relieves Leyden, 345.

  Bologna in hands of Giovanni Bentivoglio, 50;
    under French protection, 51;
    threatened by Borgia, 52;
    gained by Pope Julius II., 56;
    Concordat of, 81.

  Bonnivet, Admiral, 173.

  Borgia, Cæsar, 47, 49-56;
    released from ordination vows, 35;
    conquests in Romagna, 50;
    subdues revolt of his captains, 53;
    death, 55.

  ---- Lucrezia, marriages, 52.

  ---- Rodrigo. _See_ Alexander VI.

  Borromeo, Carlo, Archbishop of Milan, 268, 302.

  Bouillon, Robert de la Marek, Lord of, 147.

  Bourbon, family of, 392.

  ---- Charles, Cardinal of, 392;
    candidate of League for Crown, 428, 433;
    reproaches to Catherine, 432;
    death, 435.

  Bourbon, Duc de, quarrels with Francis, commands Italian army with
      success, 172;
    wins battle of Pavia, 175;
    takes Rome, death, 186.

  Bourg, Anne de, 391;
    death, 396.

  Bourges, Pragmatic Sanction of, 81;
    surrender of, 405.

  Bragadino, 294.

  Brandenburg, Albert of, 125;
    secularises Prussia, 197.

  ---- Albert Alcibiades (of Brandenburg-Culmbach) joins Charles, 222;
    joins Maurice against Charles, 241;
    rejoins Charles, defeated by Maurice, 245;
    driven from Germany, 246.

  ---- Joachim I. of, 131.

  ---- John Cicero of, 108.

  ---- John of Brandenburg-Küstrin, 222.

  Breda, Conference of, 346.

  Brederode, Henry, Viscount of, 326, 330.

  Brescia, assault of, 67.

  Bresse ceded to France, 445.

  Briçonnet, Bishop of Meaux, 307.

  Brille seized by ‘Beggars of the Sea,’ 339, 413;
    handed over to Elizabeth, 366.

  Brindisi occupied by Venice, 24.

  Brissac yields Paris to Henry IV., 437.

  Brisson, death, 434.

  Brittany, Anne of, betrothed to Maximilian, marries (1) Charles
      VIII., 6;
    (2) Louis XII., 34.

  Brouage, fall of, 423.

  Brunswick, House of, in Luneburg and Wolfenbüttel, 167.

  Brussels, Union of, 351.

  Buchhurst, Lord, 372.

  Buda, battle of, 214.

  Bugey ceded to France, 445.

  Bundschuh, the, 116, 176.

  Buoncompagno, Cardinal. _See_ Gregory XIII.

  Burgrave, Daniel de, secretary to Leicester, 368.

  Burgundy, Mary, heiress of, 126.

  Burleigh, Lord, 414.

  Buys, Paul, 368.


  Cadiz, Sack of, 383.

  Cajetan, Cardinal, Papal Legate, 156.

  Calabria, 40.

  Calais taken by Duke of Guise, 255;
    taken by Archduke Albert, 440.

  Calvin, John, early life, 272;
    at Geneva, 273 ff.

  Cambray, Capitulation of, 439;
    League of, 63;
    Peace of, 193.

  Camerino in hands of Giulio Cæsare Varano, 50;
    occupied by Cæsar Borgia, 52.

  Campeggio, Legate of Clement VII., 170.

  Cappel, battle of, 203;
    second Treaty of, 203.

  Capitanata, the, 42.

  Capitulations signed by Charles V., 134.

  Capponi, Nicolo, re-establishes Florentine republic, 189.

  Capua, fall of, 41.

  Caraffa and the Counter-Reformation, 262. _See_ Paul IV.

  Caravaggio, 37.

  Carberry Hill, battle of, 339.

  Cardona, Raymond de, commands army of Holy League, 67;
    loses battle of Ravenna, 68.

  Carlos, Don, mystery of, 281 ff.;
    proposal for marriage of, 407.

  Carlotta of Naples, 35.

  Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, 280.

  Castellaneta, 44.

  Castile, constitutional privileges of, 92, 299;
    centralising policy of Ferdinand and Isabella, 93;
    social cleavages in, 137;
    protests of Cortes to Charles V., 138;
    unsuccessful revolt, 140 ff.;
    loss of liberties, 144.

  ---- Isabella of. _See_ Isabella.

  Catalonia, 46.

  Cateau Ca