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Title: The Court of Philip IV. - Spain in Decadence
Author: Hume, Martin A. S. (Martin Andrew Sharp)
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Court of Philip IV. - Spain in Decadence" ***

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[Frontispiece: Philip IV at the age of 55.  _From a portrait by
Valazquez in the National Gallery, London._]

  The Court of
  Philip IV.





  _Vuestras augustisinas Soberanias vivan_, O GRAN
  FELIPE, _inclitamente triunfantes, gravadas en los Anales
  de la Fama, pues sois sólida columna y mobil Atlante de
  la Fe, unica defensa di la iglesia, y bien universal de
  vuestras invencibles reinos_




"I lighted upon great files and heaps of papers and writings of all
sorts....  In searching and turning over whereof, whilst I laboured
till I sweat again, covered all over with dust, to gather fit matter
together ... that noble Lord died, and my industry began to flag and
wax cold in the business."

Thus wrote William Camden with reference to his projected life of Lord
Burghley, which was never written; and the words may be applied not
inappropriately to the present book and its writer.  Some years ago I
passed many laborious months in archives and libraries at home and
abroad, searching and transcribing contemporary papers for what I hoped
to make a complete history of the long reign of Philip IV., during
which the final seal of decline was stamped indelibly upon the proud
Spanish empire handed down by the great Charles V. to his descendants.
I had dreamed of writing a book which should not only be a social
review of the period signalised by the triumph of French over Spanish
influence in the civilisation of Europe, but also a political history
of the wane and final disappearance of the prodigious national
imposture that had enabled Spain, aided by the rivalries between other
nations, to dominate the world for a century by moral force unsupported
by any proportionate material power.


The sources to be studied for such a history were enormous in bulk and
widely scattered, and I worked very hard at my self-set task.  But at
length I, too, began to wax faint-hearted; not, indeed, because my
"noble Lord had died"; for no individual lord, noble or ignoble, has
ever done, or I suppose ever will do, anything for me or my books; but
because I was told by those whose business it is to study his moods,
that the only "noble Lord" to whom I look for patronage, namely the
sympathetic public in England and the United States that buys and reads
my books, had somewhat changed his tastes.  He wanted to know and
understand, I was told, more about the human beings who personified the
events of history, than about the plans of the battles they fought.  He
wanted to draw aside the impersonal veil which historians had
interposed between him and the men and women whose lives made up the
world of long ago; to see the great ones in their habits as they lived,
to witness their sports, to listen to their words, to read their
private letters, and with these advantages to obtain the key to their
hearts and to get behind their minds; and so to learn history through
the human actors, rather than dimly divine the human actors by means of
the events of their times.  In fact, he cared no longer, I was told,
for the stately three-decker histories which occupied half a lifetime
to write, and are now for the most part relegated, in handsome leather
bindings, to the least frequented shelves of dusty libraries.

I therefore decided to reduce my plan to more modest proportions, and
to present not a universal {vii} history of the period of Spain's
decline, but rather a series of pictures chronologically arranged of
the life and surroundings of the "Planet King" Philip IV.--that monarch
with the long, tragic, uncanny face, whose impassive mask and the
raging soul within, the greatest portrait painter of all time limned
with merciless fidelity from the King's callow youth to his sin-seared
age.  I have adopted this method of writing a history of the reign,
because the great wars throughout Europe in which Spain took a leading
part, under Philip and his successor, have already been described in
fullest details by eminent writers in every civilised language, and
because I conceive that the truest understanding of the broader
phenomena of the period may be gained by an intimate study of the mode
of life and ruling sentiments of the King and his Court, at a time when
they were the human embodiment, and Madrid the phosphorescent focus, of
a great nation's decay.

The ground was practically virgin.  John Dunlop, three-quarters of a
century ago, wrote a stolid history of the reign, mainly concerned with
the Spanish wars in Germany, Flanders, and Italy.  But that was before
the archives of Europe were accessible; and, creditable as was Dunlop's
history for the time in which it was written, it is obsolete now.  The
Spanish reproduction in recent years, of seventeenth-century documents,
for the most part unknown in England, has added much to recent
information; whilst numerous original manuscripts, and old printed
narratives and letters of the time, in Spanish, English, and French,
have also provided ample material for the embodiment {viii} in the text
of first-hand descriptions of events.  The book as it stands is far
less ambitious than that originally projected; but it contains much of
the contemporary matter which would have provided substance for the
wider history; and though it is limited in its scope, it may
nevertheless render the important period it covers human and
interesting to ordinary readers who seek intellectual amusement, as
well as intelligible to students who read for information alone.

The book--"a poor thing, but mine own"--owes nothing to the labours of
previous English historians, except that in describing the Prince of
Wales' visit to Madrid I have referred to two documents published by
the Camden Society under the editorship of the late Dr. Gardiner.  With
these exceptions the material has been sought in contemporary
unpublished manuscripts and printed records and letters, in most cases
now first utilised for the purpose.  Whatever its faults may be--and
doubtless the critical microscope may discover many--it is the only
comprehensive history of Philip IV. and the decadent society over which
he reigned that modern research has yet produced.  May good fortune
follow it; for, as the Bachiller Carasco sagely said: "_No hay libra
tan malo que no tenga algo bueno_," and I hope that in this book, at
least, the "good" will be held to outbalance the "bad."


LONDON, _October_ 1907



























PHILIP IV. AT THE AGE OF 55 . . . _Frontispiece_

_From a portrait by_ VELAZUEZ _in the National Gallery, London._


_From a portrait by_ VELAZQUEZ _in the possession of Edward Huth, Esq._


_From a contemporary portrait in the possession of His Grace the Duke
of Wellington, at Strathfieldsaye._


_From a portrait by_ VELAZQUEZ _in the possession of Edward Huth, Esq._


_From a picture by_ VELAZQUEZ _at the Prado Museum._


_From an etching reproducing a contemporary portrait in the Franciscan
Convent of St. Domingo de la Calzada._



_From a portrait by_ VELAZQUEZ _at the Prado Museum._


_Portrait of the Infanta Margaret; from a picture by_ VELAZQUEZ _at the
Prado Museum._





The mean city of Valladolid reached the summit of its glory on the 28th
of May 1605.  Seven weeks before--on Good Friday, the 8th April--there
had been born in the King's palace an heir to the world-wide monarchy
of the Spains, the first male child that had been vouchsafed to the
tenuous reigning house for seven-and-twenty years; and the new capital,
proud of the fleeting importance that the folly of Lerma had conferred
upon it, curtailed its lenten penance, and gave itself up to sensuous
devotion blent with ostentatious revelry.  King Philip III. and his
nobles, in a blaze of splendour, had knelt in thanksgiving to sacred
images of the {2} Holy Mother bedizened with priceless gems; well-fed
monks and friars had chanted praises before a hundred glittering
altars; and famished common folk, in filthy tatters, snarled like
ravening beasts over the free food that had been flung to them, and
fought fiercely for the silver coins that had been lavishly scattered
for their scrambling.[1]  From every window had flared waxen torches;
for the hovels of beggars were illumined as well as the palaces of
nobles,--nay, the courtly chronicler records that the very bells in the
church tower of St. Benedict, seventeen of them, "melted in glittering
tears of joy" when, to put it more prosaically, the edifice was gutted
by a conflagration accidentally caused by the torches.[2]  Cavalry
parades, bull fights, and cane-tourneys by knights and nobles had
alternated with banquets and balls during the fifty days that had been
needed to bring together in the city of the Castilian plain the
chivalry of Philip's realms.  One after the other grandees and
prelates, with long cavalcades of followers as fine as money or credit
could make them, had crowded into the narrow streets and straggling
plazas of Valladolid; and as the great day approached for the baptism
of the Prince, who had been pledged by his father at his birth to the
Virgin of San Llorente as the future champion of Catholic orthodoxy,
news came that a greater company than that of any {3} grandee of them
all was slowly riding over the mountains of Leon to honour the
festival, and to pledge the most Catholic King to lasting peace and
amity with heretic England, that in forty years of bitter strife had
challenged the pretension of Spain to dictate doctrine to Christendom;
and had, though few saw it yet, sapped the foundation upon which the
imposing edifice of Spanish predominance was reared.

[Sidenote: Howard in Spain]

Then grave heads were shaken in doubt that this thing might be of evil
omen.  Already had the rigid Ribera, Archbishop of Valencia,[3]
solemnly warned the King and Lerma of their impiety in making terms
with the enemies of the faith; lamentations, as loud as was consistent
with safety, had gone up from churches and guardrooms innumerable at
this tacit confession of a falling away from the stern standard of
Philip II.  But now that Lord Admiral Howard, Earl of Nottingham, who
had defeated the great Armada in 1588, and had commanded at the sack of
Cadiz in 1596, was to ruffle and feast, with six hundred heretic
Englishmen at his heels, in the very capital of orthodox Spain, whilst
the baby prince whom God had sent to realise the dream of his house was
baptized into the Church, offended pride almost overcame the stately
courtesy and hospitality which are inborn in the Spanish character.
But not quite: for though priests looked sour, and soldiers swaggered a
little more than usual when they met the Englishmen in the {4} cobbled
streets, yet to outward seeming all was kind on both sides; and even
the biting satires of the poets were decently suppressed until the
strangers had gone their way.[4]

[Sidenote: Howard's reception]

Howard and his train were lodged on the night of the 25th May in the
castle and town of Simancas, on its bold bluff seven miles from the
city; and betimes in the morning the six hundred and more British
horsemen, all in their finest garb, set forth over the arid sandy plain
on the banks of the Pisuerga, to enter in stately friendship the
capital of the realm that they and theirs had harried by land and sea
for two score years.  For seven months no drop of rain had fallen on
the parched earth; and as the noble figure of the old earl, in white
satin and gold, surrounded by equally splendid kinsmen, passed on
horseback to the appointed meeting place outside the walls of the city,
the dust alone marred the magnificence of the cavalcade.  For two hours
the Englishmen were kept waiting under the trees, {5} where the Grand
Constable, the Duke of Frias,[5] and the other grandees were to meet
them; for Spanish pride was never at a loss for a device to inflict a
polite snub upon a rival.  This time it was a diplomatic illness of the
Duke of Alba that delayed the starting of the great crowd of nobles who
were to greet the English ambassador, and it was five o'clock in the
afternoon before the Spanish horsemen reached their waiting guests.
Then, as if by magic, the heavens grew suddenly black as night, and
such a deluge as few men had seen[6] descended upon the gaudy throng;
"heaven weeping in sorrow at their reception," said the bigots.  In
vain the Constable of Castile besought the stiff old Lord Admiral to
take shelter in a coach.  He would not balk the people of the sight, he
said, and the costly finery of both English and Spanish received such a
baptism as for ever spoilt its pristine beauty.  Wet to the skin, their
velvets and satins bedraggled, their plumes drooping, and their great
lace ruffs as limp as rags, the thousand noble horsemen passed through
dripping, silent, but curious crowds to their quarters.

[Sidenote: English peculiarities]

Howard himself was lodged in seven fine rooms in the palace of Count de
Salinas, hard by the yet unfinished palace; and his six hundred
followers were billeted in the houses of nobles and citizens.[7] {6}
Fifty English gentlemen of rank dined together that evening in Howard's
lodging, and their manners, dress, and demeanour furnished food for
curious discourse in Spain for many days to come.  How tall and
handsome they were, though some of them were spoilt by full beards!
said the gossips; how careful to show respect for the objects of
worship in the churches, although only fourteen of the whole number
were avowed Catholics.  Many of them spoke Spanish well, as did Howard
himself, and their dress was, on the whole, adjudged to be handsome;
"though their ornaments were not so fine as ours."  But what amused
their critics more than anything else was their industrious poking
about the city in search of books, and a curious fashion they had of
breaking off in their discourse--or in a pause of the conversation--and
practising a few steps of a dance, the tune of which they hummed
between their teeth.[8]  In the innocence of their hearts, too, they
imagined that they were {7} paying a compliment to the Spaniards by
saying how little real difference there was between their own creed and
that of their hosts; a view which the latter received in courteous
silence in their presence, but rejected with scorn and derision behind
their backs.[9]  Brave doings there had been, too, the next day, when
Howard had his first interview with Philip III.  Surrounded by the
King's Spanish and Teuton guard, in new uniforms of yellow and red, the
Lord Admiral was led by the Duke of Lerma into the presence of the
King.  Of the genuflections and embraces, of the advances on each side,
measured and recorded to an inch by jealous onlookers, of the piled-up
sumptuousness of the garments and the gifts, it boots not here to tell
in full, but the King's new liveries alone on this occasion are said to
have cost 120,000 ducats; and Howard excused himself for the poverty of
his country when he handed to Queen Margaret an Austrian eagle in
precious stones worth no more than the same great sum.[10]

All this, however, was a mere foretaste of the overwhelming
magnificence of the following day, Whit Sunday, the 28th May, for ever
memorable in the annals of Valladolid as the greatest day in its long
history; for then it was that in solemn majesty, and lavish ostentation
without example, there was dedicated to the great task in which his
ancestors had failed, a babe with a lily-fair skin and wide open light
blue eyes, upon whom were {8} centred the hopes and prayers of a
sensitive, devout people, who had seen in a few years their high-strung
illusions vanish, their assurance of divine selection grow fainter and
fainter, the cause they thought was that of heaven conquered everywhere
by the legions of evil, and their own country reduced to chronic
penury; burdened with a weight beyond its strength, yet too proud to
cast the burden down or to acknowledge its own defeat.

The almost despairing cry that constant disaster had wrung from Philip
II: "Surely God will in the end make His own cause triumph," still
found an echo in thousands of Spanish hearts; and this child of many
prayers was greeted as an instrument sent at last from heaven, on the
most solemn day in the Christian year, to put all things right when he
should grow to be a man.[11]  The presence of the "heretic" peace
embassy seemed of no good omen, though some men even affected to
interpret it as such when Howard knelt before the King and was raised
and embraced by him; but, as if to banish every doubt, and mark for all
the world that the vocation of the Prince was irrevocably fixed
beforehand, there was brought in solemn pomp, from the remote village
of Calguera, the {9} crumbling little font in which, five hundred years
before, had been baptized the fierce firebrand St. Dominic, scourge of
heresy and founder of the Holy Inquisition, whose work it was to make
all Christians one, though blood and fire alone might do it.

[Sidenote: Philip and the Dominicans]

Nothing was omitted that could connect the Prince with the Dominican
idea.  Early in the morning of the day of the baptism, the King, who
was to take no public part in the later christening ceremony, walked in
state with all his Court[12] in a great procession of six hundred monks
of Saint Dominic from their monastery of San Pablo to the cathedral,
there again solemnly to dedicate his infant heir to the vindication of
the Church; and at the dazzling ceremony which took place the same
afternoon in the Dominican church of San Pablo a similar note was
struck.  The fair infant, with its vague blue eyes, was borne in
triumph by the Duke of Lerma, a half dozen of the proudest dukes in
Christendom carried the symbols and implements of the ceremony,
cardinals and bishops in pontificals received the baby with royal state
at the church porch, the populace pressed in thousands around with
tears and blessings to see their future King; all that lavish
extravagance and exuberant {10} fancy could devise to add refulgence to
the solemnity was there; but, looking back with understanding eyes, we
can see that the two significant objects which stand forth clearly in
antagonism from all that welter of gew-gaws are the humble rough font
of St. Dominic under its jewelled canopy, supported by great silver
pillars, and the stately white-haired figure of the "heretic"
ambassador with his prominent eyes bowing gravely, yet triumphantly, in
his balcony, as the pompous procession swept by.

Other less important things there were which must have told their tale
and cast their shadow as plainly to those who witnessed them as to us.
The two black-browed Savoyard cousins, who walked in the place of
honour, the eldest of them as chief sponsor, must have been but
skeletons at the feast, for the birth of the Prince had spoilt their
cherished hope of the great inheritance; and, as we shall see in the
course of this history, Victor-Amadeus of Savoy and his kin brought,
therefore, abounding sorrow to his god-son and to Spain.  When the
infant, too, was denuded of his rich adornments for the ceremony, and
they were deposited upon the solid silver bed that had been erected in
the church for the purpose, some of the great personages, who alone
could have had access to the precious objects, stole them all, and the
heir of Spain, Prince Philip Dominic, who entered the church with his
tiny body covered with gems, left it as unadorned as ascetic St.
Dominic himself could have wished.[13]


[Sidenote: Philip's dedication]

Thus, in a whirlwind of squandering waste, surrounded by pompous pride,
unscrupulous dishonesty, and ecstatic devotion, Philip from his birth
was pledged to the hopeless task of extirpating religious dissent from
Christendom: the task that had been too great for the Emperor and his
steadfast son, that had drained to exhaustion the wealth of the Indies,
had turned Castile into a wilderness, and was to drag the Spanish
Empire to ruin and dissolution under the sceptre of the babe whose
christening we have witnessed.  The life-story of the unhappy monarch
which we have to tell is one of constant struggle amidst the
antagonistic circumstances that surrounded his baptism; against the
impossibility of reconciling the successful performance of the work, to
which devotional pride and not national interest had bound him, with
the poverty and exhaustion that had forced Philip III. and Lerma to
seek peace with Protestants, and had made the victor of the Invincible
Armada an honoured guest when the heir of Catholic Spain was dedicated
to the ideal of Dominic.  For, in good truth, it was from no lack of
either devotion or pride that Philip III. had been forced to parley
with the thing that he had been taught to look upon as accursed of God.
Almost the only policy in which he was ever vehemently energetic was
the attempt in the first days of his reign to invade Ireland in the
interests of the Catholics, and to secure the control of the Crown of
England by {12} means of the anti-Jacobite party.[14]  He was, as
Llorente truly says, more fit himself for a Dominican friar's frock
than a regal mantle; and if rigid obedience to the directions of his
spiritual guides had enabled him to root out Protestant dissent from
Christendom, as he rooted out the Moriscos from his realms, Philip III.
would have succeeded where his greater father and grandfather failed.

[Sidenote: The Philips compared]

But devotion was not enough to secure the triumph of Spain; fervent
belief in the divine approval was not enough.  Both Philip II. and the
Spaniards of his time possessed those qualities to excess, and yet they
had failed.  What was needed now, even to avert catastrophe, were
orderly organisation, industry, celerity in council and in action,
economical adaptation of ways and means, ready resource and a flexible
conscience; in short, statesmanship,--and these were the very qualities
which Philip III. conspicuously lacked.  With the accession of Philip
III. (1598) the weak point in the system of the Emperor and his son had
come out; and their laboriously constructed political machine had
broken down.  Under Philip II. himself, in his later recluse years, it
had grown rusty and sluggish, but whilst the mainspring, the monarch,
had laboured ceaselessly, treating his ministers as clerks, and raising
them from the gutter that they might be his tools alone, the wheels at
least went round; but when the monarch in whom all motion was centred
left off working, and did nothing but dance and pray alternately, then
came paralysis {13} and consequent disaster.  "Ah!  Don Cristobal; I
fear they will rule him," groaned Philip II. on his agonised deathbed;
and, though too late, he had guessed his son's character aright.
Thenceforward the favourite, Lerma or another, was monarch in all but
name; and each problem of government as it arose, or was submitted to
the King, was considered by Philip III. not in its broad political
aspects, but as a case of private conscience to be quibbled over by
confessors and theologians, and finally decided with timorous
heart-searching on grounds apart from national interests or expediency.

Philip II. himself had all his life been sternly conscientious,
according to his lights, and his inflexibility had been one of the main
causes of the partial failure of his policy and the exhaustion of his
country.  He was a strong, slow, persistent man, unwavering in his
methods, as he was consistent in his objects; but he was withal a
statesman of vast ability, with the power of self-persuasion that all
great statesmen must possess, and he played the game of international
politics with mundane pieces, though he convinced himself and others
that they were divine.  His son and grandson, as will be seen in the
course of this book, had not his power of self-conviction; they lived
in an age of growing national disillusionment, and were swayed mainly
by sentimental, traditional, and devotional considerations.  They were
for ever unlocking with trembling hands the secret closet of their
conscience, to assure themselves that indeed no stain rested there.
Having seen that all was spotless in their own breasts, they {14} were
content to sit with crossed hands, in almost Oriental fatalism,
throwing the whole responsibility for what happened, or failed to
happen, upon the divine decrees.  _They_ had satisfied their confessor
and their conscience in the course they had taken, and if things went
awry after that it was not _their_ fault.[15]  This was no doubt all
very saintly and good; but it meant calamity as a system of government
when its professors were pitted against rivals unhampered by such
scruples and limitations.

It may seem paradoxical to assert that the more purely religious
character of the motives that swayed Philip III. and Philip IV., than
of those which influenced Philip II., resulted from a weakening of the
exalted devotional faith that had dominated Spain during the greater
part of the sixteenth century; and yet, if it be carefully considered,
such will prove to be the case.  A faith so fervent as that which
carried the men-at-arms and explorers of the Emperor and his son
triumphant through the world left no room for doubt.  What _they_ did
could not be wrong, because they were chosen to do God's own work; and
for that all means were sanctified.  They did not need to be {15} for
ever pulling their consciences up by the roots to satisfy themselves
that the fruit was good.  If Philip II. ordered murder to be committed,
or the Emperor seized private or ecclesiastical property for his own
purposes; if hundreds of inconvenient political persons were consigned
to a living tomb in the galleys and dungeons of the Inquisition, we may
be assured that no qualms of conscience were felt in consequence by the
first two sovereigns of the Spanish house of Austria; for the spiritual
fervour, which was the secret of the unity and power of their realms,
made all things right which were done in furtherance of objects which
were considered sacred: and throughout the Reformation period the
Spanish sovereigns quite honestly and unhesitatingly employed religious
forms and professions to attain purely political ends.[16]  But after
the accession of Philip III. disillusion and faintness of faith set in,
and the assurance of divine selection grew weaker.  People in Spain
were, it is true, more outwardly devout than ever, for the Inquisition
increased in strength as it became more independent and less a
political engine in the hands of the weak monarch; but the constant
timid misgivings of governors and people, the universal recourse of
gentle and simple to priests, friars, and nuns for guidance,
consolation, and reassurance, were of themselves a proof that the old
robust self-sufficing faith was declining; and in the course of this
history we shall see how {16} the process continued hand in hand with
the national decadence; the devotional influence upon political action
increasing as religious faith grew less positive and conscience more

We have seen the wasteful splendour with which young Philip's infancy
was surrounded: it will be necessary now for us to examine the state of
the country at the time, in order that we may be able to trace in
future pages the consequences of Philip's action and character when he
came to the throne.  Most of the contemporary chroniclers of the reign
whose works remain to us, men like Novoa, Davila, Porreño, Cabrera,
Malvezzi, and Torquemada, courtiers or placemen all, lose themselves in
hyperbolical ecstasy at the colossal riches and greatness of the
sovereign who could afford to spend in feasts and shows such vast sums
as those squandered on the christening of Prince Philip Dominic and
similar celebrations: but they were too much taken up with the pomp and
glitter of their patrons, and in recording the interminable lists of
high-sounding titles and glittering garments, to give much attention to
the reverse side of the picture.  For that we must turn to other
authorities, especially to the narratives of foreign visitors, and to
the remonstrances of the unfortunate members of the Cortes of Castile,
who, between the despairing and indignant orders of their constituents,
and the ceaseless pressure of the sovereign for fresh supplies of
money, were obliged to speak plainly, though fruitlessly, of the ruin
that impended unless matters were reformed.[17]


[Sidenote: State of Spain in 1600]

The first Cortes of the third Philip's reign (1598), when Lerma
demanded the previously unheard-of vote of eighteen million ducats,
spread over six years, to be raised by a tax on wine, oil, meat, etc.,
earnestly prayed the King to attend to their long-neglected petitions
for a readjustment of expenditure and taxation.  When the sum was
voted, the King's promise of reform was, as usual, broken, and the
Cortes then told the King that his country was already ruined and could
pay no more.  "Castile is depopulated, as you may see; the people in
the villages being now insufficient for the urgently necessary
agricultural work: and an infinite number of places formerly possessing
a hundred households are now reduced to ten, and many to none at
all."[18]  The common people were starving: the formerly prosperous
cloth-weaving industry was rapidly being strangled by the terrible
"_alcabala_" tax, imposed upon all commodities every time they changed
hands by sale.  The price of necessary articles was enormously and
constantly rising, owing to the tampering of {18} Lerma with the
currency, the dwarfing of industry by the _alcabala_, town tolls, local
octrois, and the greatly increasing demand for commodities by America.
Whilst the sternest decrees were issued in rapid succession against
luxury in dress and living, the advent of Lerma and the host of greedy
aristocrats to power had caused a perfect frenzy for magnificence in
attire; and the vast amounts of money spent in costly stuffs and
precious embroideries, etc., were almost entirely sent abroad, inasmuch
as the Spanish manufacturers and dealers in such wares were not only
impeded in the production and distribution of them by the economical
causes mentioned, but were practically the only classes punished for
infraction of the sumptuary decrees.  Thus the great sums that arrived
in Seville every year from the Indies to a large extent never
penetrated Spain at all, but were transhipped at once to other
countries, either in exchange for foreign commodities which unwise
sumptuary decrees and faulty finance prevented from being produced in
Spain, or else to pay the Genoese and German
loan-mongers,--_asentistas_, as they were called,--who on usurious
terms were always ready to provide money against future revenue for the
wasteful shows by means of which the idea of Spain's abounding wealth
and power was kept up.  What portion of the American gold and silver
did reach the Spanish people themselves was mostly hoarded or buried to
keep it from the grasp of tax-farmers, thieves, and extortioners of all
sorts, to whom a man of known wealth was simply looked upon as fair
prey.  The copper money, genuine and forged, with which the country
{19} was flooded[19] was the only sort commonly current, and this had
been by decree (1603) raised to double its face value, again increasing
the price of articles of prime necessity to the poorer purchaser;
whilst the nobles and other wealthier people who possessed hoarded
silver and gold lived comparatively cheaply.

[Sidenote: Spain at Philip's birth]

In the very year 1605, when, as we have seen, money was squandered in
Valladolid without limit, every source of national revenue had been
pledged for years in advance; and a year or two previously the King's
officers had been forced to beg from door to door for so-called
voluntary contributions of not less than fifty reals, for the daily
expenses of the royal household.  The revenue in this year was stated
to be nominally 23,859,787 copper ducats of the value of 2s. 5-1/3d.
each,--more than enough, if it had been received, to meet every
necessary expenditure; but peculation and corruption were so universal,
contraband and evasion so general, that according to the Venetian
ambassador, every branch of the administration was starved, the
national defences in a deplorable condition, and the King unable to
raise an army of more than 20,000 or 30,000 men in Spain.[20]  In the
meanwhile Lerma and his family and friends and their respective
adherents were piling up possessions and riches beyond computation.
The first act of Philip III. on his accession had been to give to his
favourite the right to receive what presents {20} were offered to him,
and Lerma had exercised the privilege to the full.  What the chief
minister did the subordinates imitated.  Rodrigo Calderon, the
favourite of the favourite, and Franquesa, the clerk of the council of
finance, were found in their subsequent disgrace to have hoarded
immense quantities of gold and silver; and every one of the twenty
Viceroys, forty-six Governor-Generals, and their infinite underlings,
robbed as much money as he could grasp, the sooner to come and swagger
in the Court amidst a squalid, starving population, of which every man
was striving within his limits to imitate his betters, and to share in
the easily won riches of official corruption.[21]  The one prosperous
trade was the service of the King or the service of his servants; and
thus, whilst the sovereign himself was blind and deaf to all but his
innocent frivolities, and the superstitious awe that constituted his
religion, Spain grew yearly poorer and more miserable as a nation, and
the favoured classes, the nobles and the clergy, practically exempt
from taxation, waxed ever fatter, more insolent, and more lavish.

[Sidenote: Spain's responsibilities]

The policy and aims of Philip II. had kept his realms at war for a
generation.  The fatal possession of the Flemish and Dutch territories
{21} of the House of Burgundy and the traditions of Catholic unity had
cursed poor Castile with a European policy, and had driven Spain into
constant war with Protestant England, her natural ally; but Philip II.
on his deathbed had done his best to lighten his son's burden.
Flanders was left to his dear daughter Isabel, and her destined
husband, the Cardinal-Archduke Albert, with reversion, unfortunately,
to Spain, in the probable case of failure of issue from the Infanta.
To this extent Spain was relieved.  There was no longer any material
need for her to spend her blood and money in fighting the Protestants,
either for the Emperor or for the new Archduchess of Flanders; who
herself, and especially her husband, were content to let the Protestant
Dutch go their own way, whilst she enjoyed in peace her inherited
Catholic Belgic sovereignty.  The exhaustion of Spain and his own
avarice had tended to make Lerma pacific; and, as we have seen, peace
was arranged both with France and England: it must be confessed, on
extremely favourable terms for Spain, as early in the reign of Philip
III. as was practicable.  The war with the Dutch in support of the
Infanta still dragged on; for the Spaniards would bate not a jot of
their pride, and Maurice of Nassau and his Hollanders were in no
submissive mood after holding their own for forty years.  The Infanta
and her husband ardently longed for peace, and were ready to
acknowledge the independence of Holland; but Philip III. was full of
scruples of conscience as to the morality of formally ceding territory
to Protestants, even when he could not hold it himself, {22} and it was
1609 before the punctilious haggling ended, and the famous truce of
twelve years was signed, practically giving the stout Dutchmen the
independence for which they had fought so well.

Spain was then at peace for the first time within most men's memory;
and, with prudence, economy, and good government, might yet have
repaired the disasters that had befallen her.  The promotion of
production, the rehabilitation of labour, a return to the frugal,
honest life which prevailed before the nation was led to its splendid
hysteria by the imperial connection, would have enabled the great
revenues from the Indies to be kept in Spain, whose shipping was now
for a time free from the depredations of privateers.  But we have seen
how demoralised the whole people had grown.  Long wars in foreign
lands, usually against Protestants or infidels, the craze for discovery
and profitable adventure in the Indies, and the dwarfing of industry,
except for the very poor, humble, plodding folk, had made the vast
majority of Spaniards scornful of labour; and in any case it would have
been hard to set men to work again.  The attempt even was never
seriously made.  Peace for Philip III. and his people did not mean an
opportunity for setting their house in order and reorganising the
nation, because they did not even yet fully recognise the hopelessness
of the national dream of domination through the unity of Christendom on
Spanish Catholic lines.

[Sidenote: The Moriscos]

For the realisation of this dream absolute unity of faith in Spain
itself was the first necessary condition.  The country was peopled by
several {23} unamalgamated racial and political elements, and had been
artificially unified by the religious exaltation resulting from the
conquest of Granada and the fierce doctrinal pride fostered by the
Inquisition, artfully utilised for political ends by Ferdinand the
Catholic and his successors.  The weak point of the sacred bond that
held Spaniards together was the large hard-working Moorish population
scattered over the Peninsula, and especially numerous in the
south-west.  In spite of pledges and promises of toleration, Christian
baptism had been forced upon these people.  Taxes and disabilities of
all sorts had been piled upon them, insulting and oppressive rules had
been made to their detriment, alternate cruelty and persuasion had been
resorted to in vain: the Moriscos at heart remained true to their own
faith, however humbly they conformed to the Christian rites imposed
upon them.  They were still the most thrifty toilers; the carrying
trade of the Peninsula was almost entirely in their hands, and their
means of inter-communication were thus better than those enjoyed even
by Christian Spaniards.  How to deal with this alien element so as to
eliminate the danger that existed from their presence in a Christian
state, the realisation of whose great ambition depended upon unbroken
religious unification, had puzzled the minds of Spanish statesmen for
years.  It had been practically decided at one time (1581) by Philip
II. to take the whole Morisco population out to sea and sink the ships
that carried them; Gomez Davila of Toledo urged Philip III. in 1598 to
massacre the whole of them, whilst others more humane advocated the
forcible abduction {24} of all the children, the sterilisation of the
males, and other heroic measures.  For a time also the milder spirits,
such as Father Las Casas, prayed that gentler methods might be tried;
but the attitude of the Moriscos themselves and the bigotry of the
churchmen soon silenced the voice of mercy.

For years the Moriscos had been plotting with Spain's enemies; with
Henry IV. of France, with Elizabeth of England, with the Duke of Savoy,
with the Sultan, with the King of Fez, or whoever else would promise
them aid to break up the Spanish monarchy; and the very day that the
Prince Philip Dominic was born (8th April 1605) was fixed for the great
Moslem rising at Valencia which should deliver Eastern Spain to the
French King.  The plot was discovered in time, and this frustrated
treason had added to the religious fervour of the baptism, which has
been described at the beginning of this chapter.  Thenceforward the
black cloud that loomed over the folk of Moorish blood grew ever
darker.  Not the religious bigots alone, but statesmen too, intent only
on the immediate problem before them, urged that if unity of
Christendom was the necessary condition of Spain's greatness, then the
faith within her own realms must be made pure and solid beyond all
question or doubt, let the sacrifice be what it might.[22]  Racial
jealousy, economical rivalry, and envy of the superior financial
position of the frugal Moriscos over that of their Christian
neighbours, {25} aided the forces of religious bigotry and political
expediency: and, just as the baptism of Prince Philip had coincided in
point of time with the discovery of the Moorish treason, so did the
next ceremony of his infant life coincide with the fatal decision to
exterminate root and branch from Spain all those in whose veins was
known to flow the blood of the Moslem races.  For the attainment of the
views of both statesmen and churchmen of the day, purblind as they were
to the larger issues, the resolution to expel the Moriscos was
necessary, but, as will be seen later, it was disastrous industrially
and economically.

In accordance with the condition of political science of the time, the
results of the measure were indeed neither considered nor understood in
the latter aspects.[23]  It was discussed in the King's Council, first
as a point of conscience, and secondly as a political necessity, and
the breathing time given to Spain by the peace with the Protestants
after forty years of strife, instead of being employed in the repair
and recuperation of national forces, was seized upon by those who yet
pursued the chimera of domination by religious unification, to deplete
still further the already exhausted country by the expulsion of the
principal productive element of {26} its population, amidst the fervent
applause of the idle and thriftless majority.

And still the frenzy of waste and magnificence in all classes went on,
for no men saw fully yet that ruin was the inevitable result of a state
of society in which luxurious idleness, or the pretence of it, was
alone regarded as honourable, and where the honey was seized by the
drones of the hive before workers had stored it.  On the 13th January
1608 the ceremony of swearing allegiance to the child Philip as heir to
the Crown of Spain was celebrated in the church of St. Geronimo in
Madrid,[24] with a lavishness that almost rivalled that of his baptism.
Once more the King, in white satin and spangles and overloaded with
gems, walked in procession with the fair-haired fragile Queen, even
more splendidly bedight than he;[25] once more the lavish Lerma led the
baby Prince as sponsor, and the courtiers who followed vied with the
favourite in the magnificence of their attire; once more Cardinal
Sandoval de Rojas with a crowd of prelates invested the act with all
the solemn state of which the Church was capable, and in the courtly
fashion of his house substituted a kiss for the canonical blow in the
ceremony of confirmation.[26]  Madrid was {27} ablaze with light, and
the ball in the palace at night surpassed anything that the now deposed
Valladolid could show; but over all the glitter the black cloud
hovered, and even whilst the ceremony of homage was being celebrated,
the Council of State, despairing now of the conversion of the Moriscos
by softer methods, and alarmed at the prospects of a great invasion
from Morocco, practically decided to clear the soil of Spain of the
descendants of its former conquerors.

Of the details of the expulsion this is not the place to speak.  We are
principally concerned with it here to show that Philip IV.  was bound
from his earliest infancy to an inherited policy, and that the seeds of
social and national decadence were sown before his time.  He was no
Hercules to root them out, but was forced with bitter anguish to
witness the riches and power of his realms choked and destroyed by the
noxious growth which grew to maturity in his time: whilst he wept and
prayed for the miraculous remedy that never comes, or sought
forgetfulness in vicious indulgence that added private remorse to his
public sorrow.

[Sidenote: Philip's childhood]

Young Philip's education and the surroundings of his childhood were not
calculated to increase his self-reliance or independence of judgment.
His devout, delicate, Austrian mother died in childbirth when he was
but six years old, and his father's awestricken devotion thereafter
grew {28} more mystic than ever.  Friars surrounded him, dictating the
most trifling as well as the most important acts of his life;
supernatural visions and heavenly voices assured him of divine favour
in his intervals of terrified despair which reduced him almost to
lunacy,[27] and the little boy who was to be the heir of his gilded
misery was left to the care of cloistered churchmen, whose ideal of
goodness was the suppression of all natural impulse and the extinction
of personal initiative as opposed to the dread fatalism which made them

Beyond dull, ceremonious visits to the royal convent of the Discalced
Carmelites, hard by the palace of Madrid, the little Prince saw no
relaxation from prayers and lessons, but an occasional stage play or
masque performed by himself and his young courtiers of similar age.
Even as a small child this was young Philip's sole delight; and so long
as he could declaim verse before his father's Court, or listen to the
declamation of others, he was content.  On one occasion, in 1614, it is
recorded in a gossiping letter of the time, that the Prince, who was
then nine years old, represented the character of cupid before the King
and his family in the room in the palace devoted to such shows; and as
he had to make his entry upon the stage in a high ornamental chariot,
the jolting of the vehicle made the poor child seasick; and the God of
love, when he advanced to the footlights, was reduced to a most
unlovely plight in face of the dignified audience, {29} though we are
told that he "performed his part very prettily."  There were those who
shook grave heads, especially some of the friars, at this early
indulgence of the heir of Spain in his passion for a pastime so little
in accord with the traditional dignity of the royal house;[28] but
little Philip himself very soon learnt his lesson, for he was an apt
pupil, and even as a youth assumed a staid gravity on all public and
ceremonious occasions entirely at variance with his demeanour in

In the meanwhile the country was sunk in the most abject misery.
Corruption and plunder of the national resources by Lerma and his
favourites and their hangers-on had at last aroused the resentment, or
perhaps the jealousy, of rival self-seekers.  Spain was at war again,
and a league of all liberal Europe under Henry IV. of France was
pledged to humble finally the inflated pretensions of the house of
Austria; but just as Lerma's star was waning, and the prompt ruin of
Spain seemed imminent, a circumstance happened that gave a new lease of
life to the proud dreams of the Philips, and made the subsequent
downfall during the reign we have to record the more complete.

In May 1610 the dagger of a crazy fanatic ended the glorious life of
"Henry of Navarre"; and the coalition against Spain broke down, and
gave way to a struggle between his widow Marie de Medici and James I.
of England to secure the friendship of the decadent power which still
loomed so large and asserted its high claims so haughtily.  The Queen
Regent of France, papal and clerical as she {30} was, succeeded where
crafty, servile James Stuart failed; and in 1612 the eldest daughter of
Spain, the Infanta Ana, was betrothed in Madrid by proxy to the boy
King of France, Louis XIII., and young Philip, Prince of Asturias,
became the affianced husband of Isabel of Bourbon, the elder daughter
of Henry IV., the great Béarnais.  Of the lavish splendour that
accompanied the betrothals in Madrid this is not the place to
speak,[29] but when Lerma's fall was at last approaching, engineered by
his own son the Duke of Uceda, in 1615, King Philip III. and his
pompous Court travelled north in an interminable cavalcade to exchange
the brides on the frontier.

[Sidenote: Philip's betrothal]

Prince Philip remained at the ancient Castilian capital of Burgos,
whilst the dark-eyed young beauty who was destined to be his wife rode,
surrounded by Spanish nobles, from the little frontier stream through
San Sebastian and Vittoria to meet her eleven year old bridegroom.  The
boy and his father rode a league or two out of Burgos to greet the
girl, who it was fondly hoped would cement France and Spain together
for the fulfilment of the impossible old dream of Christian unity
dictated from Madrid; and eye-witnesses tell that the pale little
milksop Prince, with his lank sandy hair and his red hanging under-lip,
gazed speechless in admiration of the pretty bright-eyed child, in
unbecoming Spanish dress, who was destined to be the companion of his
youth and prime.  The next day Burgos was in a blaze of splendour to
welcome the future Queen, who rode on her white palfrey and her silver
sidesaddle through {31} the narrow frowning streets to the glorious
cathedral; and then, from city to city, through stark Castile, the
little bride, smiling and happy, and her pale boy bridegroom, followed
by the most splendid Court in Christendom, slowly made their way to the
crowning triumph of the capital.[30]

In the gorgeous crowd of courtiers that accompanied the King on his
long journey to and from the French frontier, intrigue and falsity were
rife.  The Duke of Lerma's favourite, Calderon, had languished in a
dungeon already for five years, and the spoilt favourite himself knew
that his fall had been plotted long since by his son and the powerful
clerical clique that swayed the timorous soul of Philip III.  But Lerma
was making a brave fight for his dignity and vast wealth.  Philip III.
was kind and tender-hearted, and the habit of subjection to his
favourite was hard to break, so that his enemies had to tread warily.
Their plan was to place gradually around the King and his heir nobles
whom Lerma had failed to satisfy with sufficient bribes.  One of them
was a young man of twenty-eight, perhaps the most forceful of them all,
Caspar de Guzman, Count of Olivares, son of that proud minister of
Philip II. who had bullied and hoodwinked Sixtus V. into supporting the
Armada in 1588.  For years Caspar de Guzman, and his father before him,
had fruitlessly besought Lerma to convert their peerage of Castile into
a grandeeship of Spain; and on the journey to France with the King, the
Count, though his branch of the great Guzman {32} house was less rich
than noble, had striven to show by the splendour of his train that if
he was not a grandee he was magnificent enough to be one.[31]

Philip III. loved lavishness, especially to dazzle the French at this
juncture, and was easily persuaded by Lerma's false son to make the
Count of Olivares a gentleman of the chamber to the Prince.  At first
young Philip disliked his masterful attendant, whose imperious manner
and stern looks frightened the sensitive boy; but gradually, as the
latter grew older and more curious, the address and cleverness of
Olivares asserted their influence over the weaker spirit of the Prince.
Olivares was supposed by Uceda to be acting entirely in his interest,
and had persuaded the latter to give him complete control of the
Prince's household, which he took care to pack with friends pledged to
himself.  When Lerma was finally dismissed with a cardinal's hat and
all his riches, young Philip was anxious to know why so great a
minister had been disgraced.  Olivares was always ready to enlighten
the lad, and would spend long periods chatting with him alone as the
Prince lay in bed, or as he was riding.  In answer to Philip's
questions about Lerma, he impressed upon him the insolence of
favourites generally, their noxious public influence, their evil effect
upon monarchs, and much more to the same purport, pointed at Uceda the
new minister quite as much as at his fallen father.  The sufferings of
the people were described vividly to the sympathising boy, who was told
of the vast plunder held by Lerma and his family from the national
resources, and the noble task awaiting a monarch who would {33} govern
his realm himself and redress the wrongs of his subjects.  Young
Philip's youthful ambition was aroused, and thenceforward he listened
to his mentor eagerly; whilst he ostentatiously frowned in public upon
the Duke of Uceda.[32]

[Sidenote: Results of Lerma's rule]

Spain, notwithstanding the change of favourites, went from bad to
worse.  The vast sums spent by the King upon the building of new
convents and in sumptuous shows were still wrung from the humblest
classes, who alone did any profitable work, and in vain was the sainted
image of the Virgin of Atocha carried in regal state through the
streets of the capital, in the hope of averting widespread famine.
Lerma at least, in his long ministry, had managed to conceal from the
indolent King the utter ruin that threatened; but the ineptitude of the
new favourites made the misery patent even to him.  The knowledge
overwhelmed his feeble spirit, and his long spells of despair were but
rarely relieved now by the frivolities that formerly delighted him.
Ill and failing as he was, and his poor spirit broken, he prayed the
Council of Castile to tell him the truth as to the condition of his
people, and to suggest remedies for their ills.  The report, which
reached him in February 1619, finally opened his eyes, now that it was
too late, to the appalling results of his rule; and, stricken with
panic fear that he would be damned eternally for his life-long neglect
of duty, the poor King broke down {34} utterly.  He knew that his
strength was ebbing, and forgiveness for himself was his first thought,
and then to pray that his son might do better than he had done.

To distract him, his favourites persuaded him to make a royal progress
to Portugal, with all the old lavish splendour, to witness the taking
of the oath by the Portuguese Cortes to young Philip as heir to the
throne.  For months the cities of Portugal were the scene of prodigal
pomp and devotion, that once more drove out of the muddled brain of the
King all thought of the misery he had left behind him in Castile; and
as he sat, on the 14th July 1619, under his gold and silken canopy in
his palace at Lisbon, dressed in white taffeta and gold, and surrounded
by the nobles of Portugal and Spain, it seemed as if the lying fable
that made him personally the master of boundless wealth must be true,
and that his stark and ruined realm was overflowing with happy
abundance.[33]  By his side sat his hopeful son Philip, a tall slim lad
of fourteen, wearing a white satin suit covered with gold and gems, and
surmounted by a black velvet shoulder-cape a mass of bullion
embroidery; and as the representatives of the Portuguese nation bent
the knee and swore to accept him as King when his father should die, in
exchange for his assurance that their ancient rights should be
respected, little thought any of the glittering throng that the pale
long-faced boy with the loose lower lip would, out of indolent
amiability, cause rivers of blood to run between Portugal {35} and
Spain, and that all the oaths sworn that day on both sides would be
broken.  Little dreamed they, either, that the dark-visaged man with
the big square head, who stood behind the Prince's chair, was to be the
mover of this calamity, and of the final disruption of his young
master's great inheritance.  Olivares, secure in his hold now over the
Prince, left Lisbon to go to the home of his house in Seville for a
time, knowing well that the jarring rivals around the boy would soon
make his return to Court the more welcome.  The King was ill and like
to die on his way back to Madrid,[34] and Olivares was near the Prince
at the critical time, more influential than ever.

[Sidenote: Death of Philip III.]

Philip was precocious, and Olivares encouraged his precocity.  By his
influence it was decided that the married life of the fifteen and a
half year old Prince and his pretty French bride should commence in
November 1620, at the suburban palace of the Pardo; and thenceforward,
whilst the poor King, in alternate fits of agonised remorse and
hysterical hope, clung to his mouldering relics of dead saints for
comfort, and to the frocks of his attendant friars for reassurance
against the wrath of the Most High, his son Philip was yearning
impatiently for the coming of the time when he might as King carry into
effect the lessons his mentor Olivares had whispered to him; banish the
whole brood of Sandoval y Rojas, and revive, as {36} by magic, the
potency of his country and the happiness of his people.

Through the month of March 1621, King Philip III. lay dying in his
palace at Madrid, overlooking the bare Castilian plain.[35]  He was not
much over forty years of age, but though his malady was slight his
vitality had fled, and all desire to prolong his disillusioned life.
His remorse and horror of heaven's vengeance were terrible to behold,
though during all his reign his habits had been those of a frivolous
friar rather than of a bad man, which he certainly was not.[36]  On the
30th March young Philip took a last farewell of his father.  "I have
sent for you," said the King, "that you may see how it all ends"; and
he gave the weeping lad similar advice to that given by his own greater
father, Philip II., to him on his deathbed, counsel to be treated in a
similar way.  He was to marry his sister Maria to the German Emperor,
and to set his face sternly against all temptations to make a less
Catholic alliance for her; for James of England {37} had been striving
hard, seconded by Gondomar, to win her for Charles, Prince of Wales,
and to secure the Palatinate of the Rhine for his son-in-law Frederick.
The dying Philip urged his son to strive for the happiness of his
people, cherish his sisters and brothers, to avoid new counsellors, and
to stand steadfast to the faith of Spain; but when the young Prince
left the room Uceda and his crew knew that it was to go straight and
take counsel of Olivares and his supporters for making a clean sweep of
all those who had not bent the knee to the cadet of the house of
Guzman, the dark man with the bent shoulders, the big square head,
flashing fierce black eyes, and brusque imperious manner, who was
already assuming the airs of a master.

For many months the palace had been a swarming hive of intriguers,
where hate, jealousy, and uncharitableness reigned supreme; but one by
one the friends of the Sandovals had been pushed into the background,
and no one but Olivares and his creatures were now allowed to approach
the lad who was soon to be King of Spain.  It was clear to Uceda that
he was not strong enough to resist the coming storm alone; perhaps the
father he had ousted, the Cardinal Duke of Lerma, who had acted on the
death of Philip II. as Olivares was acting now, might with his
experience and prestige yet win the day.  The dying King had already
raised the exile of all the other courtiers who had been banished from
Court; though on their return they had been excluded by Olivares from
access to the Prince; and now, in the last days of the King's life,
Uceda obtained {38} from him a decree recalling the Duke of Lerma.

Like a thunderbolt the news fell in the camp of the Guzmans.  Olivares
summoned his kin, headed by the wisest of them, old Baltasar de Zuñiga.
From this meeting Olivares went to the Prince and told him that as his
father was dying it was necessary to look ahead and take measures for
securing prompt obedience when the crucial moment came.  Young Philip
acquiesced, for he was as wax in the hands of his imperious mentor; and
Olivares, thus reinforced, proceeded to the King's apartments, where by
cajolery and threats he obtained from the two great nobles on duty, the
aged Duke of Infantado and the Marquis of Malpica, not only a knowledge
of the provisions of the King's will, but also a promise that prompt
information of everything that passed in the death chamber should be
sent direct to the Prince's adviser.  The Cardinal Duke was hurrying
across Castile towards Madrid, full of hope for a revival of his
greatness; for young Philip, whom he had dandled as a babe, always
liked him, and had wept for his "Gossip," as he called him, when he had
been banished from Court.  If once the Duke reached Madrid, Guzman was
in danger, and no time was to be lost.  So the Prince, at the bidding
of Olivares, took the bold and dangerous course of assuming sovereign
power to countermand his father's orders whilst yet the King lived.

Young Philip was alone in the dusk of the evening in his panelled
chamber in the old palace of Madrid, when the president of the Council
of Castile, the highest functionary in Spain and {39} Archbishop of
Burgos, stood bowing before him in obedience to his call.  The Prince,
who lounged against a carved oak sideboard, was dressed in black, and
his long sallow face had assumed the haughty immobility that for the
rest of his life was his official mask of majesty.  "I have sent for
you, he mumbled to the Archbishop in slow, measured tones, to direct
you to despatch a member of the Council to forbid the Duke of Lerma
from entering Castile, and to command him to return immediately to
Valladolid to await my orders."[37]  The Archbishop knelt and promised
obedience, though he knew, we are told, that if the King recovered he
would have to suffer for his weak compliance with an illegal

There was little to fear in the world now, however, from Philip III.,
who in the intervals of his bodily anguish was occupied solely in his
panic-stricken intercessions for pardon.  His room was encumbered with
ghastly remains of saintly humanity, and the sacred offices succeeded
each other day and night: but around the bed worldly ambitions were
raging bitterly.  In the morning of the 30th March a consultation of
physicians pronounced the end to be near; and the Duke of Uceda, as
principal minister and first chamberlain, announced his intention of
conveying the news to the Prince.  Then the Duke of Infantado, secure
in the favour of Olivares, to whom only two days before he had betrayed
the secrets of the {40} death chamber, broke out tempestuously: "No,
indeed; that is my place, for the Prince has specially ordered me to
go."  Uceda knew his day was past, and meekly bent his head: and thus,
in the midst of greedy bickering, his nerveless hand grasping to the
last the rough crucifix that had comforted the glazing eyes of his
grandfather the Emperor, and his father Philip II., the third Philip
passed the dread divide, revered and beloved by the people whom his
ineptitude had ruined, because he had still upheld throughout Europe
the claim of his house to impose Christian orthodoxy upon the world,
and had purged the sacred soil of Spain of the taint of Moorish blood,
to his country's permanent undoing.

Olivares had played his cards cleverly.  For weeks he had feigned a
desire to seek retirement in his home at Andalusia, knowing well that
young Philip, in the welter of difficulties and intrigues that
surrounded him, looked to him alone for guidance; and the adviser had
only to hint at a wish to retire for the Prince to assent to whatever
he demanded.  As the King lay dying Uceda had met Olivares in the
corridor.  "How goes it," he asked, "in the Prince's chamber?"  "All is
mine," replied the Count.  "All!" exclaimed the Duke of Uceda ruefully;
"Yes, without exception," retorted Olivares; "for his Highness
overrates me in all things but my goodwill."[39]  Before many hours had
passed Uceda and his kin knew to their cost that Olivares had not
boasted in vain.  All was {41} indeed his, and the strong hand fell
ruthlessly upon those who had ruled and plundered Spain since the
greatest of the Philips had passed his heavy crown to his weak son
twenty-two years before.

[1] See a curious contemporary, unpublished, account by Don Geronimo
Gascon de Torquemada.  Add. MSS. 10,236 British Museum.  He says that
the Town Council scattered 12,000 silver reals in the plaza on
Saturday, 9th April, and that 30,000 wax candles, with as many sheets
of white paper to wrap round them for torches, were distributed to the
poor; the whole population of the city at the time being between 50,000
and 60,000.

[2] Narrative of Matias de Novoa, _Documentos Ineditos_, vol. lx.

[3] The vehement protest of Ribera is reproduced _in extenso_ in Gil
Gonzalez Davila's _Vida y Hechos de Phelipe III_.  Original MS. in
possession of the author.  Also published, Madrid, 1771.  Ribera it was
who principally promoted the expulsion of the Moriscos a few years

[4] Gongora's sonnet, for instance, which is thus Englished by Churton--

  "Our Queen had borne a Prince.  When all were gay,
  A Lutheran envoy came across the main.
  With some six hundred followers in his train,--
  All knaves of Luther's brood.  His proud array
  Cost us, in one fair fortnight and a day,
  A million ducats of the gold of Spain,
  In jewels, feasting crowds, and pageant play.
  But then he brought us, for our greater gain,
  The peace King James on Calvin's Bible swore.
  Well! we baptized our Prince; Heaven bless the child!
  But why make Luther rich, and leave Spain poor?
  What witch our dancing courtiers' wits beguiled?--
  Cervantes, write these doings: they surpass
  Your grave Don Quixote, Sancho and his ass."

See also Cervantes' ballad of the Churching of Queen Margaret, in his
Exemplary Novel of _The Little Gipsy_, written, however, some years
after the event.

[5] Don Juan Fernandez de Velasco, hereditary Great Constable of
Castile, Duke of Frias, who in the previous year, 1604, had gone to
England to conclude with James I. the Treaty of Peace.

[6] So at least say the eye-witnesses; though it can hardly have been a
more violent downpour than that which overtook the present writer on
the same spot, and at a similar date, in a recent year, when, with
hardly five minutes' notice, the road was converted into a rushing
torrent several inches deep, though previously no rain had fallen for

[7] Cabrera (_Documentos Ineditos_) says that care was taken that no
sacred pictures were placed in the rooms, for fear of offence, though
they were hung with fine tapestries.  Three new beds, he says, were
bought for Howard and his sons, etc.  As an instance of the great care
taken on both sides to avoid offence, Davila mentions that Howard,
having learnt that two of his gentlemen had brought English Bibles with
them, insisted upon their being returned to the ship; and Gascon de
Torquemada asserts that the Englishmen were forbidden to dispute with
Spaniards, right or wrong, on pain of death.

[8] "Todos tienen lindos trajes y altos cuerpos; y en habiendo entrado
en conversacion con nosotros se apartan luego, y hacen cabriolas,
cantando entre dientes: y aunque entre ellos usan esto no lo usava el
Almirante."  Gascon de Torquemada's MS B.M., Add. MSS. 10,236.  Cabrera
de Cordova (_Relacion de las Cosas Sucedidas desde 1599 hasta_ 1614)
also mentions the "cabriolas" or skipping of the English gentlemen in
the grand ball given in their honour on the 16th June by the King.  The
passion for dancing "high and disposedly" was at the time considered
peculiarly English, and Englishmen are frequently referred to in
Spanish letters of the time as being naturally volatile and mercurial,
in marked contrast with their latter-day descendants.

[9] See Geronimo Gascon de Torquemada's MS. B.M., Add. MSS. 10,936.

[10] Full accounts of Howard's reception may be found in Torquemada's
MS. already quoted, in Novoa's relation (_Documentos Ineditos_, 60 and
61), in Cabrera de Cordova, in Davila already quoted, and in Yepes'
_Felipe III_.  Madrid, 1723.

[11] Cervantes thus writes on the subject--

  "This pearl that Thou to us hast given,
  Star of Austria's diadem:
  What crafty plans, what high designs,
  Are shattered by this peerless gem.
  What hopes within our breasts are raised,
  What soaring schemes have come to nought,
  What fears are by his birth aroused.
  What havoc with ambition wrought!"

MacColl's translation of "The Exemplary Novels."

[12] With him, we are told, walked the Princes of Savoy and all the
grandees and prelates present in Valladolid, the household of each
parsonage being dressed in new liveries for the occasion, those of the
royal servants being white and crimson trimmed with gold.  The English
ambassador Howard witnessed the procession, as he did later in the day
that of the baptism, from a corner balcony in Count Rivadavia's house,
his garments glittering with diamonds, and the collar of the Garter on
his shoulder.  It was noticed that when the King passed beneath the
Englishman doffed his bonnet and made a deep reverence.  Porreño, _Vida
y Hechos de Phelipe III_.

[13] Cabrera, _Relacion de las Cosas Sucedidas desde 1599 hasta 1614_.
In addition to the authorities already quoted, there is a curious
account of the celebrations referred to, sometimes attributed to
Cervantes, called _Relacion de lo Subcedido en la Ciudad da
Valladolid_, etc.  Published at Valladolid in 1605.

[14] A detailed account of these attempts will be found in _Treason and
Plot_, by the present writer, and in the fourth volume of his
_Calendars of Spanish State Papers of the Reign of Elizabeth_.

[15] When the capital of Spain was again transferred to Madrid in 1606,
Queen Margarita was much opposed to and distressed at the change.
Porreño relates that she went to take leave of her favourite nuns at
Valladolid with tears in her eyes, and when asked by the nuns why she
did not persuade the King to remain at Valladolid, which agreed so well
with his wife and children, she replied that "nothing on earth could
move the King now, as the removal of the capital to Madrid had now been
presented to him as a case of conscience."  "Thus," says Porreño, in
admiration, "he was ready to sacrifice the welfare of his wife and
children, and all earthly considerations, for his conscience' sake!"
Spaniards of the period thought that no higher praise than this could
be given to any man.

[16] For instance, Charles' unblushing manipulation of the Council of
Trent in 1545-46, the juggle with Paul III. about the Italian
principalities, and the clever hoodwinking of Sixtus V. as to the real
objects of the Armada of 1588.

[17] It must be borne in mind that the Cortes of Castile (which
comprised Castile, Leon, Andalucia, etc., and consisted of thirty-six
deputies for eighteen cities) had, after the abortive rising of the
Comuneros early in the reign of Charles V., in a great measure allowed
the control of supply to slip from its hands, and was rapidly becoming
effete; all the members being bribed and influenced by grants and
favours of the Court.  The three Cortes of the Crown of Aragon,
however, still held their own purse-strings, and always made supply a
matter of bargain.  For this reason practically the whole of the
growing national burden rested upon wretched Castile.

[18] Danvila y Collado, _El Poder Civil en España_, vol. 6.  In this
petition the Cortes told the King that, whereas it had cost twelve
years previously 60 ducats to maintain a student and his servant at
Salamanca for a year, it now cost 120.  Wages had risen for a
bricklayer from 4 reals to 8, and for a labourer from 2 reals to 4; a
trimmed felt hat which had previously cost 12 reals now cost 24.
Segovia cloth, of which the price was formerly 3 ducats a piece, now
fetched nearly double.  The ducats quoted are the so-called copper
ducat of 2_s._ 5-1/3_d._, the real being the silver real worth about

[19] The quantity of copper coin in circulation increased in five or
six years from 6 millions of ducats' worth to 28 millions.

[20] Contarini to the Doge and Senate of Venice (_Relazioni degli
Ambasciatori Veneziani_).

[21] Navarrete says, speaking of the luxury of the Court at this
period--and we shall see that it was exceeded later--"The smallest
hidalgo insisted upon his wife only going out in a carriage, and that
her equipage should be as showy as that of the greatest gentleman at
Court.  Not even a carpenter or a saddler, or any other artizan, was
seen but he must be dressed in velvet or satin like a nobleman.  He
must needs wear his sword and his dagger, and have a guitar hanging on
the wall of his shop."  When it is remembered that the production and
distribution in Spain itself of the precious stuffs mentioned were
hampered at every point, it will be understood how great and constant
the drain of wealth was from a country which now exported little but
the products of its soil.

[22] For details of the expulsion see, _inter alia_, Fray Jaime Bleda's
_Cronica de los Moros de España_ (Valencia, 1618); _The Moriscos of
Spain_, by C. H. Lea (London, 1901); _Memorable Expulsion_, etc., by
Guadalajara (Pamplona, 1614); and Porreño's _Felipe III_.

[23] The wise minister of Philip II., Idiaquez, in 1595 almost alone
saw the economical evil of the expulsion.  In an important letter to a
colleague (MS. Loyola No. 1., 31, Royal Academy of History, Madrid) he
rebuked the general idea that Spain would be richer for the expulsion
of the Moriscos, and pointed out that they almost alone were creating
national wealth by their industry, frugality, and skill in agriculture.
"But all this," he says, "is of no consideration in exchange for
putting away from our throat the knife which threatens it so long as
these people remain amongst us in their present condition and we in

[24] The ancient church in the Prado where this ceremony always took
place, and where the young King of Spain and his English bride were
married recently.

[25] "His Majesty wore a white doublet and trunks with a grey satin
cloak, all embroidered with bugles and gold spangles and lined with
ermine.  White shoes and a black velvet cap with strings of pearls and
diamonds and a plume of white feathers sprinkled with magnificent
diamonds; a sword beautifully chased and an embroidered belt; a ruff
with crimson silk ribs and the grand collar of the Golden Fleece."  See
a curious contemporary MS. account of the ceremony.  British Museum
MSS., Egerton, 367.

[26] The Prince was nevertheless so frightened that the silken bands
necessary in the ceremony meant an intention to bleed him, and he cried
so much in consequence, that he had to be led to a little chair at his
mother's knee before he could be pacified; and there his sister, the
Infanta Ana, weighed down by her stiff gorgeousness, knelt and did
homage, to be followed by the cardinal, the nobles, and the Cortes.

[27] Gil Gonzalez de Avila, in his MS. _Historia de Phelipe III._,
gives many admiring instances of the King's mystic communications with
the heavenly powers, and of his attacks of religious panic.  (Original
MS. in my possession.)

[28] Cabrera de Cordova, _Cosas Sucedidas a la Corte_, etc., _desde_
1599 á 1614.

[29] A full account of the crazy magnificence on the occasion will be
found in _Documenios Ineditos_, lxi.

[30] An unpublished account of the progress by an eye-witness is in
Add. MSS. 102,36, British Museum.  See also _Queens of Old Spain_, by
Martin Hume, and _Documenios Ineditos_, lxi.

[31] Malvezzi, _Historia de Felipe III._, Yañez.

[32] Matias de Novoa, _Felipe III_.  _Doctimentos Ineditos_, lxi.  This
writer was a chamberlain of Philip IV. and an agent of Olivares; but
receiving from the latter no reward, he wrote a series of bitter
attacks upon him.

[33] The King's and the Prince's splendid dresses and adornments on
this occasion are described fully by Porreño in _Dichos y Hechos de Don
Felipe III_.

[34] His recovery from this grave illness after the doctors had given
up hope was ascribed to the miraculous effect produced by the dead body
of the newly beatified Saint Isidore of Madrid, which was brought to
his bedside at Covarrubias.  The King kissed and embraced the corpse,
and improved from that hour.

[35] The ridiculous story, related by entirely untrustworthy French
travellers, of the cause of Philip's fatal illness being the Court
etiquette, which forbade any attendant but a high noble who happened to
be absent to remove a brazier from too close proximity to the King, may
be dismissed as a fable.  Anything which exaggerated the strangeness,
the romance, and the inflation of Spanish manners found ready belief in
seventeenth-century France, and has done so ever since.  The absurd
ideas relative to Spain even at the present time are mainly due to this
insistence on the part of French writers in seeing everything Spanish
through the coloured medium of the romantic school.  Madame D'Aulnoy's
overdone "local colour" and evidently invented stories are largely
responsible for this, aided by Bassompiere Saint Simon, Mme. Villars,
and the later romantic school of French novelists.

[36] Terrible accounts of Philip's awful deathbed are given by Gil
Gonzales de Avila, his chronicler and friend, in his _Historia de
Felipe III._, original MS. in my possession, in Yañez's additions to
Malvezzi, and in Novoa, _Documentos Ineditos_, lxi.; all contemporaries.

[37] Novoa, _Documentos Ineditos_, lxi.

[38] Novoa says that when the Archbishop signed the order he broke into
tears and cast away the pen he had used.

[39] _Fragmentos Historicos de la Vida de D. Caspar de Guzman_, etc.
Unpublished contemporary MS. biography of Olivares in my possession;
the work of his partisan Vera y Figueroa, Count de la Roca.




Prince Philip lay in his great square tentlike bedstead in the palace
of Madrid, at nine o'clock on the morning of the 31st March 1621, when
an usher announced his Dominican confessor, Sotomayor.  The friar
entered, and, kneeling by the bedside with a grave face, saluted his
new sovereign as King Philip IV.  For a moment the boy was overwhelmed
at the long-looked-for news, and bade the attendants draw the curtains
close that he might indulge his grief unseen.  But soon the eager
worshippers of the risen sun flocked into the room to pay their court
to the new monarch when he should deign to show his face.  Anon there
was stir in the antechamber, and the crowd divided, bowing low as the
stern, masterful man who was now lord over all stalked through the
room, accompanied by his aged uncle the white-haired {43} Don Baltasar
de Zuñiga, destined by him to be nominally the King's chief minister,
behind whom Olivares might rule unchecked.  Advancing to the King's
bed, Olivares threw back the curtains and peremptorily told Philip that
he must get up, for there was much to be done.  Uceda was still
officially first minister and great chamberlain, with right of free
access to the Sovereign; but when, a few moments later, he and his
secretary entered the antechamber, amidst the scarcely concealed sneers
of the courtiers, and the whisper reached Philip that they were coming,
the King leapt from his bed and cried out that no one else was to be
admitted until he was dressed.

[Sidenote: The rise of Olivares]

Dressing on this occasion was a long process, for the young King broke
down with grief and excitement several times whilst his attendants were
preparing him for public audience; and Uceda, in the antechamber, fumed
and fretted at the insult put upon him by the King, who thus
disregarded his father's dying injunctions in the first moments of his
bereavement.  Whilst Uceda awaited the King's pleasure, Olivares,
leaving the bed-chamber, met his falling rival face to face, and a
violent altercation took place as to the premature action of Philip in
ordering the Duke of Lerma, a Prince of the Church now, and immune from
lay commands, to stay his journey to Madrid.  Pointing to the State
papers, seals, and keys in the hands of the secretary who accompanied
him, Uceda asked who but the Duke of Lerma was worthy of taking charge
of them.  "My uncle, Don Baltasar de Zuñiga is here," replied Olivares,
"to do so, and to give to the State the advantage {44} of his long
experience, and wisdom second to none."  Uceda was then notified that
the King, being dressed, would receive him; and entering the room, he
knelt and proffered to Philip the seals and papers of his office.
Pouting and frowning, the King waved his hand towards the sideboard,
and said, "Put them there," and Uceda went out unthanked, to weep his
now certain ruin and disgrace.[1]

Whilst the King was busy condoling with his young wife and sister and
his two brothers Carlos and Fernando, and receiving the homage of his
nobles, the preparations were hastily made in the great hall of the
Alcazar for the lying in state of the body of Philip III. in his habit
as a friar of St. Francis.  And as the muffled death bells boomed from
the steeples of the capital, one man at least there was whose heart
fainted at the sound.  "The King is dead, and so am I," cried Don
Rodrigo de Calderon from the prison where he had suffered and
languished for years, the scapegoat for others, borne down by
accusations innumerable, from theft to witchcraft and regicide.  In his
pride and power he had piled up wealth beyond compute, as his master
Lerma had done, but it is clear now that the other charges against him
were mainly false.  His long trial had resulted in no mortal crime
being proved, and had Philip III. lived he would doubtless have been
pardoned; but he had belonged to the old greedy gang, and Olivares had
no mercy upon them.  Before Philip's nine days mourning reclusion in
the {45} monastery of St. Geronimo was ended a clean sweep was made of
the men who had surrounded the dead King.  Calderon's head fell on the
scaffold in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid; the great Duke of Osuna, who had
ruled Naples with so high a hand as to be accused of the wish to make
himself a King, was incarcerated and persecuted till his proud heart
broke; Uceda met with a similar fate; the powerful confessor Aliaga was
disgraced and banished; and even Lerma was not spared, though he fought
stoutly for his plunder; and all the clan of Sandoval and Rojas were
trampled under the heels of the Guzmans and their allies.

[Sidenote: Olivares supreme]

The state of things which the new Sovereign had to face was positively
appalling.  The details of the abject penury and misery universal
throughout Spain, except amongst those who managed the public revenues
and their numerous hangers-on, sound almost incredible.  Idleness and
pretence were everywhere.  Insolent gentlemen in velvet doublets and no
shirts, workmen who strutted and clattered in ruffs and rapiers,
seeking prey as sham soldiers instead of earning wages by honest
handicrafts, led poets, and paid satirists, gamesters, swindlers,
bravos and cutpurses, pretended students who lived like the rest of the
idle crew on alms and effrontery, crowds of friars and priests whose
only attraction to their cloth was the sloth which it excused; ladies,
rouged and overdressed, who deliberately and purposely aped the look
and manners of prostitutes,--these were the prevailing types of the
capital, as described by eyewitnesses innumerable, as well as by the
romancers who revelled in the colour, movement, and squalid {46}
picturesqueness of such a society.[2]  And to maintain the real and
false splendour in Madrid the starving agriculturists, who had not
abandoned their holdings in sheer despair, were ground down to their
last real by the crushing alcabala tax, by local tolls and octrois, and
by the heartless extortions of the tax farmers.

There is no doubt that, so far as their light extended, both the King
and Olivares sincerely wished to reform abuses of which the results
were patent to all.  Young Philip himself was good hearted and kindly,
as his father had been, but far more sensual and less devout in his
habits.  Though in public he assumed the marble gravity traditional
thenceforward in Spanish kings, he was gay and witty in private
discourse with those whose society he enjoyed, especially writers and
players.  His love of books, music, and pictures, as well as of poetry
and the drama, made him, as time went on, the greatest patron of
authors and artists in Spain's golden age of social and political
decadence.  But idleness marred all his qualities, and the lust for
pleasure which he was powerless to resist made him the slave of
favourites and his passions all his life.  A man such as this, endowed
with a gentle heart and a tender conscience, was doomed to a life of
misery and remorse in the intervals of his thoughtless pleasures; and
in the course of this book we shall see that sorrow ever followed close
on joy's footsteps in the life of the "Planet King," until final ruin
overtook the nation, cursed with the gayest and wickedest Court since
that of {47} Heliogabalus, and all was quenched in a great wave of

[Sidenote: Philip and his minister]

The man to whom Philip handed his conscience, as has been described, on
the first day of his reign, was nearly twenty years his senior.  An
indefatigable worker, with an ambition as voracious as his industry,
Olivares was the exact reverse of the idle, courtly, conciliatory
Lerma.  His greed was not personal, as that of Lerma had been, though
his love of power led him to absorb as many offices as he.  He was
vehement and voluble, arrogant and impatient even with the King, and
impressed upon Philip incessantly the need for exertion on his own
part.[3]  Able as he unquestionably was, he appraised his ability too
highly, and contemned all opinions but his own; whilst his attitude
towards the foreign Powers was insolent in the extreme, and quite
unwarranted by Spain's position at the time.  From an economic point of
view, Olivares, though he began his rule by cutting down expenses in
drastic fashion, was no wiser than his predecessors; though his ruling
idea that the political unity of Spain was the thing primarily needful
was sage and statesmanlike.  But in this he was before his time, and
his disregard for provincial traditions and rights in his determination
to force unity of sacrifice upon the country, led to his own ruin and
the disintegration of Spain.  The portraits of him by Velazquez enable
us to see the man as he lived,--stern, dark, and masterful, {48} with
bulging forehead and sunken eyes and mouth, his massive shoulders bowed
by the weight of his ponderous head, we know instinctively that such a
man would either dominate or die.  He was the finest horseman in Spain,
and he treated men as he treated his big-boned chargers, breaking them
to obedience by force of will and persistence.

Such was the man who led Spain during the crucial period which was to
decide, not only whether France or Spain should prevail politically,
but whether the culture and civilisation of Europe should in future
receive its impulse and colour from Spanish or French influences.  In
that great contest Spain was beaten, not so much because Olivares was
inferior to Richelieu, as because of the old tradition that hampered
Spain at home and abroad and pitted a decentralised country, where
productive industry had been stifled and the sources of wealth choked,
against a homogeneous nation where active work was fostered, and whose
resources were at the command of the central authority.[4]

[Sidenote: Olivares made a grandee]

This much it was necessary to say in order to make clear the manner of
men that in future ruled the Court of which we have to write: a King to
whom pleasure was a business; and a minister to whom business alone was
pleasure, who loved the reality of rule whilst his master loved the
ceremonial of it.  Not many days passed before the ambition of the
Guzmans for the grandeeship was satisfied.  The King was still passing
his first days of mourning in the monastery of St. Geronimo when the
sermon of the day, either by chance or {49} design, inculcated the need
for properly rewarding services done to us.  The sermon over, Philip
went to dinner, the room being crowded with nobles, amongst whom was
Uceda, not yet finally banished.  When the King had finished his meal
and the cloth was drawn, Olivares entered very unobtrusively, and
sidled against the wall behind the other nobles in attendance, well
knowing, probably, what was coming.  The King, catching his eye, said:
"Let us obey the good friar who preached to-day; Count of Olivares, be
covered!"  This was the form used in the raising of a peer to the
grandeeship, and Olivares, putting on his wide-brimmed hat, threw
himself at the King's feet with his uncle and those of his kin who were
in the room, overjoyed at the honour done to their house; and their joy
was increased when, a few hours later, Uceda was told that he must
surrender to Olivares at once one of his two great offices in the

Offices and honours thenceforward crowded upon the favourite, who was
soon made Duke of San Lucar and principal chamberlain.  Almost
ostentatiously he professed a desire to leave politics entirely to his
uncle, and to confine himself to the duties of his household offices
near the King.  Nobody was deceived by his apparent modesty, for even
before Zuñiga's death, which happened in a year, it was known that his
nephew's long personal conversations with the King, facilitated by his
courtly palace duties, were mainly concerned with questions of
Government and State.  The Count-Duke, as he came to be called
universally, would allow nothing to be done for the King but by
himself.  Before Philip was out of bed the minister {50} was the first
to enter the room, draw the curtains and open the window.  Then on his
knees by the bedside he rehearsed the business of the coming day.
Every garment that the King put on passed first through the hands of
Olivares, who stood by whilst Philip dressed.  After the midday meal,
at which Olivares was often present, the minister was wont to amuse the
King by entertaining chat, detailing the gossip of the capital, and
late in the evening he attended to give him an account of the
despatches received, and consult him as to the answers, after which he
saw the monarch to bed.[5]  This constant attendance upon the King made
it impossible for any person not an absolute creature of Olivares to
approach Philip's ear with doubt as to the policy of the favourite in
political matters.

[Sidenote: State of Spain]

When Philip's first parliament met, a few months after his accession,
it was stated in the assembly that so terrible was the distress that
"people had abandoned their lands and were now wandering on the roads,
living on herbs and roots, or else travelling to provinces where they
had not to pay the awful food excises and alcabalas"; whilst every
source of revenue was anticipated for years to come on usurious
terms.[6]  Philip himself, in an important original paper hitherto
unpublished (British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338), gives the following
account of the state of affairs he had to face on his accession, whilst
complaining of the little help he had received from his officers: "I
found {51} finance so exhausted (apart from the dreadful state it had
been left in at the death of Philip II., who had pledged it deeply)
that all resources were anticipated for several years, and my patrimony
had been so reduced that in my father's time alone 96,000,000 crowns
had been granted in gifts, etc.; besides what had been spent in the
other realms (_i.e._ Aragon, Catalonia, etc.), from which no returns
have been received.  The currency had been raised to three times its
face value, an unheard-of thing in any realm....  Ecclesiastical
affairs were in such disorder, that it was asserted from Rome that
innumerable dispensations for simony had been obtained for
archbishoprics, bishoprics, prebends, etc....  As for justice, on the
very first day of my reign I was obliged to put my foot down, as will
be recollected, ... for the ministers who received bribes were more
numerous than those who did not ... My State, too, was so discredited
that in the truce that the Dutch had made with my father they were
treated as independent sovereigns, although every minister, from the
King my father and the Archduke downward, refused to acknowledge such a
claim....  I had only seven ships of war in the fleet....  India and
the Indies were well-nigh lost....  The truce with Flanders was just
expiring....  German affairs were more pressing than ever....  The
marriage of the Prince of Wales with my sister was so far advanced that
it seemed impossible to avoid it without a great war, which, indeed,
followed, as we could not give way on the religious point.[7]  Portugal
was discontented {52} with the Viceroy, ... whilst all the other parts
of the monarchy was neglected or misgoverned....  We were at war with
Venice; the Kingdom of Naples was almost in revolt, and the money there
was utterly corrupted.  All this was from no fault of my father, nor of
his predecessors, as all the world knows, but simply because God so
ordained it."

This document, written by Philip himself a few years afterwards for his
own justification, proves how pressing was the need for an abatement of
untenable claims on the part of Spain to interfere with the affairs of
other nations, and the absolute necessity for a policy of retrenchment.
And yet at the bidding of Olivares, against the opinion even of wise
old Zuñiga, the first minister, the interminable war with the Dutch for
the assertion of Spain's sovereignty over Holland was resumed as soon
as the truce ended, only a few months after the young King's accession.

[Sidenote: Philip's policy]

In his address to his first Cortes, Philip struck the unwise note of
Dominican intolerance and pride {53} which had pervaded his baptism,
setting forth in the midst of the miserable state of things just
described that his first duty as a Spanish sovereign was, "with holy
zeal befitting so Catholic a Prince, to undertake the defence and
exaltation of our holy Catholic faith; ... to aid the Emperor in
Bohemia; to fight the rebel Hollanders again, and to defend everywhere
our sacred faith and the authority of the Holy See."  So, whilst
Olivares made efforts to stop the peculation of high officers of State,
to compel restitution of past plunder, to prevent further alienation of
national property, and to reduce to a minimum the cost of the royal
establishment, and whilst he passed ferocious sumptuary laws enjoining
modesty and economy in dress, the real root of the evil was not
touched; for taxation continued to strangle production and fell mainly
upon the poor, and the wasteful drain of unnecessary wars for an
exploded idea continued as if Spain was still wallowing in wealth.
Good, therefore, as the intentions of Olivares may have been, it is
clear that he was a disastrous adviser for an inexperienced, idle young
sovereign of sixteen.

And if his political influence was unfortunate, his social and moral
influence was no less evil.  There exists, for instance, in manuscript
in various collections, and notably in the British Museum (Egerton MSS.
329), a pregnant correspondence between the Archbishop of Granada,
Philip's tutor, and Olivares, written shortly after the accession, in
which the Archbishop indignantly reproaches the favourite, who was
certainly old enough to know better, for taking the young King out into
the streets of the capital at night, and introducing him {54} into evil
company.  "People," says the prelate, "are gossiping about it all over
Madrid, and things are being said about it which add little to the
Sovereign's credit or dignity."  Madrid is, even now, fond of scandal,
but early in the seventeenth century, isolated as it was from the
world, Philip's capital found its most piquant pursuit from morn till
night in slander and tittle-tattle, both in the form of malicious
satirical verses that passed from hand to hand, and in whispered
immoralities touching high and low.  The long raised walk by the side
wall of the Church of St. Philip at the entrance of the Calle Mayor
(High Street), from the Puerta del Sol, opposite the still standing
Oñate Palace, was the recognised centre of such confidences, and came
to be called by the appropriate name of the Mentidero (Liars' Walk).
The Archbishop in his letter proceeds to say that not only have these
people begun to whisper things about the King's proceedings which were
better unsaid; but the example shown of a young monarch and his
principal minister scouring the streets at night in search of adventure
is a bad one for the people at large; and he reminds Olivares of the
great grief and anxiety of the late King on this very account, and of
his dread that his youthful heir was already before his death being
inducted into dissipation.  The answer to the bold prelate's
remonstrance is just such as might have been expected from the arrogant
favourite.  He tells him, in effect, that he is an impertinent meddler,
and ought to be ashamed, at his age and in his high position, to
trouble him with the vulgar gossip of the streets!  "The King is
sixteen," he says, "and he (Olivares) is thirty-four, {55} and it is
not to be expected that they are to be kept in ignorance of what is
going on in the world.  It is good that the King should see all phases
of life, bad as well as good.  Besides, he never trusts the King with
anyone else"; and the favourite's letter ends with a barely concealed
threat that if the Archbishop does not mind his own business in future,
ill might befall him.

[Sidenote: Philip's early profligacy]

Early, however, as was Philip's introduction into the profligacy that
was the curse of his life, and the endless subject of his remorse in
later years, he was a gallant young husband to his pretty French wife,
though with the fall of her mother, Marie de Medici, and her Italianate
crew the political object of the marriage had already failed, and
France and Spain, once more at issue, were rapidly drifting into war.
Scandalous and notorious as Philip's infidelity to his wife very soon
became, he appears to have been devotedly attached to her, and was
violently jealous of any appearance of special love or homage to her
beauty.  She, on her part, true daughter of the gallant _Béarnais_ as
she was, was gay and debonair in her bearing, and followed, though
decorously, the fashion in Spain of her time, which allowed women an
amount of licence of speech with gallants impossible in other countries
or at other periods.[8]  As {56} with all other ladies of the Court,
there was unkind tittle-tattle about the gay young Queen; but
apparently without the slightest foundation, though a supposed passion
for her on the part of one of the most brilliant nobles of the Court
led to tragic results for the gallant.

portrait by Velazquez in the possession of Edward Huth, Esq._]

At a royal bull-fight--one of the earliest shows to celebrate the
King's accession in the summer of 1621--the Count of Villa Mediana, Don
Juan de Tassis, rode into the arena at the head of his troop of
cavaliers, bearing as his device a mass of silver coins called "reals"
(or royals), and above them the audacious motto of "My loves are ----,"
which was taken to mean, in conjunction with his daring glances and
marked salutes, that his love was set upon the Queen.  The Count was
over forty years of age, and no beauty; and his malicious satirical
verses had been aimed at everybody in Court, from the King downward.
He was therefore well provided with enemies, who were ready to place
the worst construction on his acts.  It is now proved--as far as any
such thing can be proved[9]--that the real object of the Count's
regards was a lady named Doña Francisca de Tavara, with whom the King
was carrying on an intrigue at the time.  But in either case the young
King's jealousy was aroused, and his annoyance was increased by an
innocent {57} remark of his wife that "Villa Mediana aimed well." "Ah!"
replied Philip crossly, "but he aims too high"; and soon the
ill-natured story with due embellishments was being whispered all over

[Sidenote: Count de Villa Mediana]

But in the following spring of 1622 there was a great series of
festivals at Aranjuez, where the Court was then in residence, to
celebrate Philip's seventeenth birthday.  Already the glamour of the
stage had seized upon Philip and his wife, and one of the attractions
of the rejoicings was the representation in a temporary theatre of
canvas erected amidst the trees on the "island garden," and beautifully
adorned, of a comedy in verse by Count de Villa Mediana dedicated to
the Queen.  The comedy was called _La Gloria de Niquea_, and Isabel
herself was to personate the goddess of beauty.  It was night, and the
flimsy structure of silk and canvas was brilliantly lit with wax lights
when all the Court had assembled to see the show; the young King and
his two brothers and sister being seated in front of the stage, and the
Queen in the retiring-room behind the scenes.  The prologue had been
finished successfully, and the audience were awaiting the withdrawing
of the curtain that screened the stage, when a piercing shriek went up
from the back, and a moment afterwards a long tongue of flame licked up
half the drapery before the stage, and immediately the whole place was
ablaze.  Panic seized upon the splendid mob, and there was a rush to
escape.  The King succeeded in fighting his way out with difficulty,
and made his {58} way to the back of the stage in search of his wife.
In the densely wooded gardens that surrounded the blazing structure he
sought for a time in vain, but at last found that Villa Mediana had
been before him, and that the half-fainting figure of the Queen was
lying in the Count's arms.  Whatever may have been the truth of the
matter, this, at all events, made a delightful _bonne bouche_ for the
scandal-mongers, who hated Villa Mediana for his atrabilious gibes, and
it soon became noised abroad that the Count had planned the whole
affair, and had purposely set fire to the theatre that he might gain
the credit of having saved the Queen, and enjoy the satisfaction of
having clasped her in his arms, if but for a moment.

[Sidenote: Murder of Villa Mediana]

Four months afterwards, in August 1622, Villa Mediana was returning
home in his coach soon after dark, when, from an archway in the Calle
Mayor, opposite the alley leading to the Church of St. Gines, there
darted the cloaked figure of a man, who discharged at him a bolt from a
crossbow which pierced his chest.  The Count had just time to leap from
the coach and draw his sword, shouting "It is done," when he fell dead
upon the road.  Villa Mediana had been noted in a splendid Court as the
most splendid and extravagant courtier.  Amongst men to whom gallantry
was an obsession, he was looked upon as the most gallant; in a society
of literary and artistic dilettanti, he was held to be the most
critical and refined; and his murder, almost at his own door in the
midst of the capital, caused a profound sensation.  Murders in the open
streets, it is true, had become scandalously frequent, mostly, it was
said, prompted {59} by private vengeance, and rarely punished; but the
killing of Villa Mediana in the circumstances related set tongues
wagging in a way that had not been equalled since that luckless
secretary of Don Juan of Austria, Escovedo, had been assassinated
nearly fifty years before by the secret orders of Philip II.  As if by
common consent, all fingers pointed at young King Philip as the
instigator of the crime.[11]  It was asserted that the man who struck
the blow was one Alonso Mateo, a crossbowman of the King; but though
hundreds affirmed it, neither he nor any other was ever prosecuted for
the crime, and the immortal Lope de Vega, who firmly believed that the
young Sovereign connived at the murder of the Duke of Lemos, the former
minister of his father, in November 1622, only interpreted the general
belief in the capital, if it was indeed he who wrote that whoever
struck the fatal blow at Villa Mediana, "_the impulse that guided it
was sovereign_."

Whilst murders such as this were of frequent occurrence in the capital,
whilst war was looming daily closer, whilst industry lay ruined and the
fields unproductive, whilst poverty and famine stalked unchecked
through the land, the nobles and officials dependent upon the Court
grew richer in plunder and more insolent in ostentation, {60}
notwithstanding the sumptuary decrees and the frantic efforts of Philip
and Olivares to impose strict economy in one direction, as a
counterbalance to lavish squandering in others.  Almost any pretext was
good enough for Philip to seize for a wasteful show.  In after-times
people blamed Olivares for purposely leading the lad into these
frivolous extravagances, with the set object of diverting him from his
duty; but I am inclined to believe that this view is an unjust one as
regards the beginning of the reign.  Olivares, of course, wished to
please and flatter his master; but whilst he worked like a giant
himself, and behind a perfect multitude of boards and juntas contrived
to keep in his own hands supreme control of national affairs, he
unquestionably urged Philip again and again to apply himself diligently
to work and to spend less time in pleasure.[12]

[Sidenote: Devotions and diversions]

Philip's own inclinations led him to idle and profitless pleasures,
especially those which lent themselves to theatrical display or
ostentatious decorations.  The bull-fights, combats between wild
beasts, equestrian parades, cane tourneys, masques, balls, comedies and
banquets, alternated with religious processions and church ceremonies.
In these rejoicings Philip and his wife took equal pleasure.  It was
the Augustan age of Spanish literature, and the drama of intrigue which
Spaniards had invented to delight Europe in future was then in its full
flood of malicious fertility.  From October 1622 every Sunday and
Thursday, except during the height of summer, dramas {61} were
performed by regular actors and actresses in the private theatre of the
palace, the Queen being nominally the principal patron of the pastime.
Some of the comedies then first represented may be mentioned as
indicating the taste of the time.  "The Scorned Sweetheart," "Jealousy
of a Horse," and "The Loss of Spain" were three plays by Pedro Valdes,
for which the Queen paid 300 reals, or £6 each.  "The Fortunate
Farmer," "The Woman's Avenger," "The Husband of his Sister," and "The
Power of Opportunity" were other plays paid for by the Queen; and the
total number of new dramas represented in the Queen's apartments in the
palace during the winter of 1622-23 was forty-three, the fees for which
reached 13,500 reals, equal to £270.[13]

The favourite convent of the Discalced Carmelites, by the Church of St.
Martin, was the scene of constant royal visits and semi-religious
dissipations, and one of the most pompous of the ceremonious
festivities that beguiled the dazzled crowd at the beginning of the
reign was the series of shows that celebrated the canonisation of three
of the most popular of Spanish saints in 1622, when all Madrid, in
alternating devotional ecstasy and frivolous jollity, followed the King
and his wife in honouring St. Isidore, the husbandman, now the patron
of Madrid, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the
Jesuits.  Accompanied by the bull-fights and ceremonial trials of
accused heretics, called _autos-de-fe_, which specially delighted the
crowd, this canonisation fete also {62} revived an ancient Spanish
diversion, which thenceforward became under Philip's patronage one of
the most highly appreciated of the pleasures of his literary Court,
namely, the Literary Academies, as they were called, and Floral Games,
or poetical competitions, in which the poetasters tried their mettle
one against the other, in hope of gaining the ear of powerful patrons
for their verses.  It was a struggle of keen wits; for in no time or
court was poetry, especially satirical and dramatic poetry, ever so
fashionable; and that it degenerated later into preciosity,
extravagance, and affectation was the natural result of the universal
struggle to gain a hearing in a chorus of verse.

[Sidenote: An equestrian masque]

There are abundant and for the most part tedious contemporary
descriptions of these various courtly festivities, descriptions usually
as pompous and dry as is to our taste the affected frivolity of the
festivities themselves.[14]  But though these turgid productions cannot
be quoted to any great length in a book like the present, which is
intended to suggest a general picture of the Court and times rather
than a series of minute sectional photographs, an idea may be gained of
the scale upon which the festivities were arranged, by giving a rigidly
condensed translation of the account of a great masque and equestrian
display given by Philip and his brother Carlos on the 26th February


"All the Court was anxious for the day when his Majesty and the Infante
Don Carlos should honour and delight it with the promised feast.  It
took place on Palm Sunday, with a magnificent mask notable not only for
its beauty, its ingenuity, and costly garments, and the high nobles and
gentlemen who took part, but also because his Majesty and his Highness
appeared in it.

"Four enclosed courses had been made; the principal one before the
palace, and the others before the Convent of Discalced Carmelites, in
the Plaza Mayor, and at the Gate of Guadalajara,[16] many (side)
streets being barricaded and occupied by mounted alguacils
(constables), and no coaches being allowed in the streets.  The best
horses Andalucia could breed or the world could see were brought out
that day, with glittering trappings and harness, liveries, devices and
accoutrements, richer than had ever been beheld.  The King had ordered
all the maskers to be ready mounted at the Convent of the
Incarnation[17] at one o'clock, a stage and canopy having been erected
there from which his Majesty was to mount.  At about two o'clock the
Spanish and German Guards arrived,[18] very smart and handsome, under
Don Fernando Verdugo and the Marquis de Rentin; and soon afterwards the
{64} royal horses came, having gone in procession through the streets
where the maskers were to pass.  This was the order in which they came.
First twelve drummers, thirty trumpeters, and eight minstrels, all on
horseback, and dressed in white and black velvet; after them came the
pioneers on foot, and then the royal grooms, and thirty-six splendidly
caparisoned horses covered with housings of crimson velvet fringed with
gold, bearing upon each a crown of cloth of gold and a cipher of
"Philip IV."  They were led by thirty-six lackeys, some in black and
some in crimson, their garments being trimmed with frizzed velvet, like
embroidery.  The farriers came next, distinguished from the lackeys by
wearing caps instead of hats.  Thirty-six postillions followed, dressed
like slaves in silvered plush on a black ground, with hats to match....

[Sidenote: An equestrian parade]

"The first noble to put in an appearance (_i.e._ at the Incarnation)
was Don Pedro de Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca, general of the Spanish
cavalry.  He was dressed in black, with cape and bonnet, and bore the
insignia and baton of a general.  With him came twelve lackeys in
liveries of black velvet trimmed with gold, and twelve pages dressed
similarly, but with white plumes in their caps.  In like guise came the
Marquis of Flores D'Avila, chief equerry of the King, whose noble
presence and snowy hair, even if he had been alone, would have sufficed
to dignify the feast.  When the greater part of the nobles, the flower
of Spain, had collected, the sun, to speak in poetical terms, envious
of so much splendour and majesty, summoned up dark clouds which for a
long time ceased not to pour water upon the festival.  The {65}
feelings on the matter of the rain were divided.  First it was a pity
if the show were spoilt, the preparations being more beautiful and
costly than had ever been made for a masquerade at Court, there being
forty-eight pairs of horsemen, each with different liveries, besides
his Majesty and his brother.  The livery of the King and the Count of
Olivares was steel grey with white plumes, whilst those of the Infante
and the Marquis de Carpio were black and white with plumes to match.
The second emotion aroused by the rain was rejoicing at the good it
would do to the poor people who needed it so much for their crops, even
though the maskers and merry-makers had to take shelter under the
eaves.  But soon the sky cleared, and the rain ceased; so that all were
satisfied.  The clarions by and by rang out and announced that the King
and the Infante had mounted, and the maskers did the same.  Then Don
Fernando Verdugo and the Guards clearing the way, Don Pedro de Toledo
led the cavalcade to the palace, where the course ended in front of the
balcony in which our lady the Queen with the Infanta Maria, and the
Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, the Infante Fernando, were seated, the
ladies in waiting occupying the rest of the balconies of the royal
apartment.  If I described the precious stones, the gold, the rich
dresses and the wealth displayed, this work would be a long one.  The
first to run was Don Pedro de Toledo, with his accustomed gravity and
dignity; and, having reached the end of the course, he bowed low to the
Queen and their royal Highnesses, and then made a signal for the rest
of the maskers to follow one {66} another along the course.  (Here
follow the resounding names of the ninety-six Spanish nobles, dukes,
marquises, and counts who formed the company.)  The last pair to run
were his Majesty the King and the Count of Olivares, with the dexterity
and gallantry to be expected of them.  The effect was strange and
brilliant in the extreme, for each pair of horsemen wore different
colours and devices.  The splendid squadron was closed by the Spanish
and German Guards and other troops, led by Verdugo.  All the horsemen
rode with great rapidity, but the Infante Carlos and the Marquis of
Carpio went by like a flash of lightning, to the astonishment of
everyone.  This pair had hardly covered half the course when the Queen
and the Infanta and the Cardinal Infante stood up in their balcony,
because they saw that the King and the Count of Olivares were starting
out, they being the last to run.  They swept by, not on steeds, as it
seemed, but on the wind itself, wafted onward by the blessings of those
who saw them.  Again they covered the course thus, and then the whole
cavalcade rode to the plaza before the Convent of the Discalced

At various parts of the capital the same sumptuous show was repeated;
the most popular and crowded exhibition being in the great square (the
Plaza Mayor) then recently built, and but little altered since that
time.  The King, we are told, rode a beautiful bay stallion presented
to him by the Marquis of Carpio; and when the running was over and
night fell the horsemen still paraded the streets, which were
illuminated by thousands {67} of torches, the cost of the feast having
amounted to more than 200,000 ducats.

[Sidenote: Two strangers in Madrid]

But ten days after the wasteful ostentation just described an event
happened which not only stirred Spain and all Europe, but was an
occasion for the display of lavishness by Philip that threw into the
shade all the festivities that had gone before it.  Between five and
six in the evening of the 7th March 1623, as the twilight began to
fall, two young Englishmen, travel-stained and unaccompanied, rode into
the noisome, unpaved streets of Madrid.  Inquiring the way to the house
of the English ambassador, the Earl of Bristol, they were directed to
the "house of the seven chimneys," lying in a retired street off the
Calle de Alcalá.  When they arrived there, the elder of the two
travellers was told, in answer to his summons at the wicket, that his
Excellency the ambassador was busy, and could not be disturbed.  The
visitor persisted, and sent word that he brought an important letter
from Sir Francis Cottington, who was on his way from England, and had
broken down on the road a day's journey away.  At length, upon being
admitted, the cloaked and dishevelled stranger, shouldering a small
valise that formed their only luggage, left his younger companion in
the shadow of the wall across the way to guard the horses during his
parley with the ambassador.

Lord Bristol (Sir John Digby) was full of care, for matters were not
going very smoothly with the difficult negotiation upon the successful
issue of which his whole future depended, as well as great
international issues.  For twelve years he {68} had been backwards and
forwards to Spain as King James' ambassador to bring about a marriage
of the Prince of Wales with the Infanta Maria.  James Stuart was a
cunning fool, who was easily beaten in diplomacy, because he flattered
himself that he could beat everybody else in duplicity.  Most of his
life, from long before he inherited the English crown, he had been
playing the same game: trying to make other men his tools by pretending
to agree with them.  He had professed himself both Catholic and
Protestant so often that now no one believed or trusted him, least of
all the Catholics, whom he had deceived again and again.

[Sidenote: The English match]

When it had been necessary for Philip III. and Lerma to divert England
from a threatened coalition with France, they had feigned to listen to
the British King's advances, which they had previously repelled with
scorn.  Though insincere, they always had in view the prospect of
gaining great immediate advantages for the Catholics of England, and
subsequently they hoped the re-entry of Great Britain into the fold of
the Church.  The King of Spain and his minister had also been somewhat
led astray by the sanguine hopes in this direction, given by their own
ambassador in London, Count de Gondomar, whose diplomatic position was
as much at stake as that of the Earl of Bristol.  Gondomar, confident,
as well he might be, of his power to bend King James ultimately to his
will, had, there is no doubt, systematically minimised for years the
obstacles to the match on both sides, and had led both his own
Government and King James to believe that the other side would
ultimately make concessions, which {69} we now see clearly would have
been impossible for either.  James or his son dared not become openly
Catholic, nor could they force the English Parliament to reverse the
whole religious policy of the last half century at the bidding of a
foreign Power; whilst, with their traditions behind them, it was
equally impossible for Philip and Lerma to mate their Princess with a
"heretic."  In order to keep James from breaking away from Spain, the
intrigue had for some years past been transferred to Rome, where a
dispensation from the Pope for the marriage was being interminably

This was the position when Philip IV. ascended the throne, and it is
quite certain that, whatever may have been the real intentions of the
ministers of Philip III. at an earlier period, neither Philip IV. nor
Olivares, with their revived arrogant claims for Spain as the
dictatress of Europe, meant to marry the Infanta to the English Prince
against the dying injunction of Philip III., unless, indeed, and even
that is doubtful, upon terms quite impossible for the English to
accept.[19]  Bristol had {70} been sent once more to Madrid as
ambassador in June 1622.  He had found Olivares and Philip full of soft
words about the match, though he promptly guessed that their real aim
was still to delay matters, whilst securing Catholic concessions from
England, and he urged King James to insist upon a settlement of the
points at issue.[20]

Whilst he was labouring at his impossible task, and almost despairing
of success, an underhand intrigue was carried on behind his back by
those who thought that his diplomatic caution stood in the way of a
settlement of the affair.  James badly wanted ready money in form of a
dowry for his son's bride, and a guarantee that the Palatinate should
be restored by the Emperor to his son-in-law, Frederick.  Olivares
wanted to lead England on to the slope of Catholicism, and to ensure
Spain's hegemony over Europe.  Gondomar, who had returned to Spain, and
Buckingham, whom he had bought, wanted to gain the honour and profit of
having effected so important a match.  So, at Gondomar's instance,
Buckingham sent his half-Spanish secretary, Endymion Porter, a late
page of Olivares, to Madrid with secret orders to promise religious
concessions, which, had they been known in England, would have caused
serious trouble, and to hint that the Prince himself might come to
Spain to fetch his bride.  Porter, who was no diplomatist, saw Olivares
early in November 1622, and bluntly asked for assurance that in return
for the concessions promised, Spain would at once consent to the
marriage and force the Emperor to restore the Palatinate to the
Elector, {71} at which Olivares haughtily scoffed, and said that, as
for the match, he did not know what Porter meant.[21]  Bristol soon
heard of this, and quite lost heart, but he did not know that Endymion
took back to London a private message from Gondomar to Buckingham,
telling him that the only way to make the match was for the Prince to
come suddenly to Madrid incognito and force the hands of the
slow-moving diplomatists, who would be unable to draw back when the
honour of England was so far pledged.

Poetic and romantic Prince Charles was soon won over to so compromising
and dangerous a course; but King James wept and slobbered like a
frightened infant when "Baby" and "Steenie" wrung from him unwilling
permission to undertake so hare-brained an adventure.[22]  Only
Cottington and Porter were to go with them to Spain, and the former at
least, who knew Spain well, was dead against the voyage; but
Buckingham's violence gained the day.  Distancing all posts, and riding
for a fortnight an average of sixty miles a day, through France and
over the rough mule tracks in the north of Spain, {72} the little party
pushed onwards.  Cottington and Porter were distanced and left behind a
day's journey from Madrid; and when the man with the valise, who gave
his name as Thomas Smith, entered Lord Bristol's study, and, throwing
aside his cloak and hat, disclosed the handsome face of "Steenie," the
Marquis of Buckingham, the King's favourite, the ambassador was in
dismay, increased almost to terror when he learnt that the Prince of
Wales, the only son of King James, masquerading under the name of John
Smith, was holding the horses on the other side of the dark street.[23]

[Sidenote: Charles and Buckingham]

What was to be done?  The presence of the heir of England could not be
hidden for many hours from gossiping Madrid, for the couriers from
Paris, where he had been recognised, were following close upon his
heels.  A voyage to Spain in those days was a far greater adventure
than an expedition to Thibet would be now, and the temerity, nay the
foolhardiness, of putting such a pledge as the Prince of Wales
unconditionally in the hands of the Spaniards, who if they chose to
detain him could exact what terms they liked as the price of his safe
return, struck the harassed ambassador with alarm.  "My Lord Bristol in
a kind of astonishment brought him (_i.e._ Prince Charles) up to his
chamber, where he presently called for pen and ink, and despatched a
post that night to England to acquaint his Majesty how in less than
sixteen days he was come safely to the Court of Spain."[24]

After grave discussion in Bristol's room, it was {73} decided to send
at once for Gondomar, to whom, as Buckingham well knew, the arrival of
the Prince would cause no surprise.  It was past nine o'clock at night
when Gondomar entered the "house with the seven chimneys," full of glee
at the success of his bold diplomacy; and not long afterwards he was at
the door of Olivares' rooms' in the palace, anxious to give to the
favourite the first news of the great event.  The Count-Duke was seated
at supper as Gondomar entered the apartment.  The famous Spanish
ambassador in England owed much of his success to the assumed bluff
jocosity with which he was wont to cover his cunning; but when he
bounced into the Count-Duke's supper chamber on this occasion, he was
so exuberant in his joy that grave Olivares looked up in surprise, and
said: "Ah, Count! what brings you here at such an hour as this?  You
look as jolly as if you had the King of England himself in Madrid."
"If we have not the King," chuckled Gondomar, "we have the next best
thing to him,--the Prince of Wales."[25]

Olivares was far from sharing Gondomar's delight.  To him the news
meant infinite anxiety, danger, and expenditure; for not only must the
Prince be entertained lavishly, but somehow he must be got rid of
without marrying the Infanta, and if possible without a national war
with England for the slight put upon the Prince.  The Count-Duke
hurried to the King's apartments with the great news, and Philip was as
much taken aback as his minister, for young as he was he fully
understood the gravity of the situation.  One thing, however, {74} he
was quite determined upon.  Already the adulation of which he had been
made the object, and the high hopes aroused by the new measures and men
that had been introduced upon his accession, had convinced the lad he
was the heaven-sent instrument destined to restore to Spain its proud
supremacy over a united Christendom, and religious exaltation had
claimed him henceforth for its own, however ungodly his daily life
might be.  When Olivares had laid before him the difficulties that
arose from the unexpected descent of Charles Stuart upon them, Philip
rose, and walking to where a figure of Christ crucified hung at the
head of his bed, he kissed the feet of the figure, and burst out into
the following impassioned oath: "O Lord!  I swear to Thee by the human
and divine alliance crucified that in Thee I adore, and upon whose feet
I seal this pledge with my lips, that not only shall the coming of this
Prince be powerless to make me concede one point in the matter of the
Catholic religion, not in accordance with what Thy Vicar the Pontiff of
Rome may resolve, but even if I were to lose all the realms I enjoy, by
Thy grace I will not give way a single iota."  Then turning to Olivares
(who says that this was one of the only two oaths he ever knew the King
to take), Philip told him they must nevertheless fulfil the duties of
hospitality that the Prince had thrown upon them.[26]

For the greater part of that night the minister worked hard laying out
all the plans for the entertainment of the Prince, and for avoiding
without giving mortal offence the marriage he sought.  At {75} eight
o'clock next morning a meeting of high councillors, with Gondomar and
the King's confessor, met in the Count-Duke's room in the palace, the
result of their deliberations, being highly characteristic: namely,
"first, to offer public prayers to God in thanks for the event, and in
supplication for His guidance"; and secondly, to instruct Gondomar to
sound Buckingham and Cottington (who was expected to arrive that day)
as to how far the King of England might be squeezed, "in order to bring
this visit to be a great and very signal service to the Church."[27]

[Sidenote: Olivares meets Buckingham]

A dozen knotty points of etiquette had to be settled, and Gondomar was
busy all day speeding backward and forward between the palace and the
"house with the seven chimneys";[28] but at last it was arranged that
the pride of Olivares should be saved from making the first visit, by
the device of an apparently chance meeting with Buckingham.  Already
Madrid was agog with the news that some great personage, the King of
England some said, had arrived in disguise; and when, late on Saturday
afternoon, the great swaying gilded coach of Olivares, with its leather
curtains, its six gaudily decked mules, and its crowd of liveried
servants and pages around it, was seen threading the green {76} alleys
of the gardens below the palace on the banks of the Manzanares, all the
idlers on "Liars Walk" knew that the Count-Duke was going to meet, "by
chance," the Admiral of England, the favourite of his King.  When the
carriages met, Olivares alighted and greeted Buckingham half-way
between their coaches, where, with carefully arranged politeness and
high-flown compliments, as false as they were pompous, the great Guzman
first measured his strength with brilliant, rash, unscrupulous George

After many professions of delight on both sides, the Count-Duke entered
the English coach with Buckingham, Bristol, and Cottington, and for an
hour they drove in close confabulation.  On their return they entered
the palace gateway, and Olivares secretly led Buckingham into the
King's presence, where again the compliments were repeated.  There is
no doubt that the Spaniards, from the King downward, were flattered
with the embarrassing visit, which was a patent proof, it was proudly
claimed, of the reality of Spain's regained power and superiority under
the new régime, when the heir of England came wooing her at so great a
risk.  So Philip was all smiles to Buckingham; and when the latter
returned to the "house with the seven chimneys," Olivares insisted upon
accompanying him to greet the Prince personally in the King's name, the
Spanish narratives say that the Count-Duke performed his part with all
the dignity and splendour characteristic of him; but Howel, who was in
Madrid at the time, and knew Porter well, writes that the Count-Duke
"knelt, and kissed his (_i.e._ the Prince's) hands and hugged his
thighs, {77} and delivered how immeasurably glad his Catholic Majesty
was at his coming, and other high compliments, which Mr. Porter did

During the interview Charles expressed his ardent desire to see his
lady love, the Infanta--"to discover the wooer," as Buckingham called
it; and it was agreed that on the next day, Sunday, 9th March, the
coaches of the royal family should parade the Prado, where the Infanta
should be distinguished by a blue ribbon tied round her arm; and the
Prince in Bristol's coach might meet the royal party as if by chance,
and incognito.  Little enough of incognito there was about the affair,
when, at four o'clock in the afternoon the ambassador's coach with the
Prince, Buckingham, Aston, Gondomar, and Bristol in it, stood in the
narrow street of the Puerta de Guadalajara in the Calle Mayor to await
the coming of the King's party.  Every foot of the streets was crowded
with sightseers, and the pride and joy of the show-loving Madrileños
knew no bounds.  By and by the long line of coaches accompanying the
King rumbled by, and at last young Philip with his pretty dark-eyed
girl wife, his two young brothers, Carlos and Fernando, almost exact
replicas of himself, with their lank sandy hair, their long white
faces, thick red lips, under-hung jaws and great pale eyes.  In the
door-seat of the carriage sat the Infanta Maria.  She was much like her
brothers: "a very comely lady, rather of Flemish complexion than
Spanish, fair haired, and carrying a most pure mixture of red and white
in her face.  She is full and big lipped, {78} which is held a beauty
rather than a blemish."[30]  As the King's carriage passed that of the
Prince, Philip, who was not supposed to see Charles, bowed low, as did
his brothers, to Lord Bristol; but it was noticed that the Infanta
first flushed and then turned deadly pale as her lover's eyes fell upon

The poor girl, indeed, was getting seriously alarmed.  She was, of
course, devout and ignorant.  To her heretics were an abomination, and
the prospect of living amongst such was worse than death.  Her monkish
confessor painted in lurid colours the horror of the fate that
threatened her; worse than hell it was, he said, to lie by a heretic's
side, and bear heretic children.  Only that morning she had sent her
confidential lady, Margaret Tavara, to Olivares, passionately
protesting against the marriage being seriously negotiated.  She would,
she said, take refuge in the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites, and
assume the nun's veil the moment she heard that the capitulations were
signed.  Charles on his part appears to have been really smitten with
the pink and white charms of the little lady, and played the eager
wooer well.  The Prince and Buckingham writing to their "Dear Dad and
Gossip" (the King) calls this first meeting "a private obligation
hidden from nobody; for there was the Pope's Nuncio, the Emperor's
ambassador, the French, and all the streets filled with guards and
other people.  Before the King's coach went the best of the nobility,
after followed by the ladies of the Court.  We sat in an invisible
coach, because nobody was suffered {79} to take notice of it, though
seen by all the world."[31]  The cavalcades then wended their ways by
different roads to the Prado, where, parading up and down, the Prince
had several opportunities of looking upon his blushing sweetheart.
Soon Olivares came and entered the Prince's coach; and again fulsome
compliments passed as they drove back to the English embassy.[32]

Buckingham, indeed, was fairly dazzled and deceived, for both he and
Charles believed now that the match was as good as completed.  Alas!
they did not know Olivares or Spanish methods so well as Bristol did.

[Sidenote: "Steenie's" letter to James I.]

"If we can judge by outward shows," wrote Charles and Steenie to the
King, "or general speeches, we have reason to condemn your ambassadors
for rather writing too sparingly than too much.  To conclude, we find
the Conde de Olivares so overvaluing our journey, he is so full of real
courtesy, that we can do no less than beseech your Majesty to write the
kindest letter of thanks and acknowledgment you can unto him.  He said,
no later to us than this morning, that if the Pope would not give a
dispensation for a wife they would give the Infanta to thy Baby as his
wench,[33] {80} and hath this day written to Cardinal Ludovico, the
Pope's nephew, that the King of England hath put such an obligation
upon this King in sending his son hither, that he entreats him to make
haste of the dispensation, for he can deny nothing that is in his
kingdom....  The Pope's Nuncio works as maliciously and as actively as
he can against us, but receives such rude answers that we hope he will
soon weary on't.  We make this collection that the Pope will be very
loth to grant a dispensation, which, if he will not do, then we would
gladly have your directions how far we may engage you in the
acknowledgment of the Pope's special power, for we almost find, if you
will be contented to acknowledge the Pope as chief head under Christ,
that the match will be made without him."[34]

It is difficult to know what to condemn most in this astounding
letter,--whether the simplicity that made Buckingham so easy a dupe of
Olivares' soft speeches, or the proposal at the end, which, as the
reply shows, was too much even for King James, that the latter should
abandon the main condition upon which he held the Protestant crown of
England.  It is clear that the intention of {81} Olivares was to cast
upon the Pope the whole of the blame for the failure of the match, and
this, at least from the Spanish point of view, was a statesmanlike
policy, although the full falsity of it is evident to us now that we
have before us the communications that passed between Madrid and Rome
on the subject.[35]

[Sidenote: Charles in Madrid]

Leaving Charles at the embassy after the drive, Olivares and
Buckingham, with Porter as their interpreter, re-entered a coach and
drove off in the gathering darkness to the gardens behind the palace,
to arrange the details of the coming private interview to be held that
night between Philip and the English Prince.  Whilst the coach, with
Olivares and Buckingham, was in the green alleys of the garden, a man,
unaccompanied, with his cloak masking his face, and sword and buckler
by his side, was seen walking towards them.  "This is the King," said
Olivares, to Steenie's intense astonishment.  "Is it possible,"
exclaimed Buckingham, "that you have a King who can walk like that?
What a marvel!" and, leaping from the carriage, he knelt and kissed the
young King's hand.  Entering the coach again, the party, accompanied
now by the King, were driven through the quiet streets of the unlit
capital, for it was ten o'clock at night, to the Prado, where the
Prince, with Gondomar, Bristol, Aston, and Cottington, in another
coach, awaited their coming.  Descending and embracing warmly, the King
and Prince then re-entered the carriage with Bristol alone, and for
more than half an hour discoursed amiable banalities in the darkness
under the overhanging trees of the promenade.


Thenceforward Buckingham and Olivares by agreement changed offices, the
former constituting himself chief equerry in waiting to Philip, whilst
Olivares attended Prince Charles.  In pursuance of this idea, the suite
of apartments in the palace occupied by Olivares as master of the horse
were hastily prepared with great magnificence for the occupation of the
English Prince; and whilst their redecoration and furnishing were being
accomplished, Charles was invited to transfer his lodging to the rooms
in the monastery of St. Geronimo in the Prado, to which the Kings of
Spain usually retired in times of mourning, and previous to state
entries to the capital, an invitation which he did not accept.

In the week that followed the first meeting of Charles and his host,
until Sunday the 16th March,[36] which was the day fixed for his public
entry into the city, Madrid was astir with excitement.  The pragmatic
decrees recently promulgated forbidding starched and fluted ruffs,
embroidered dresses, and the use of gold in tissues, and generally
suppressing extravagance of living, were all suspended by proclamation
during the visit of the Prince; the streets were ordered to be swept
and garnished, and the houses on the line of route richly adorned; and
Madrid, by the morning of the day fixed for the public entry, had
covered its squalor and dirt by an overcoating of finery.  All the
gaols, too, were emptied of prisoners, by way of welcoming the English

In the week of waiting Charles sought permission {83} to visit Philip
privately in return for the interview in the Prado on Sunday night, and
he and Buckingham gave the following account of the meeting to their
"Dear Dad and Gossip."

"The next day your Baby desired to kiss the King's hand privately in
the palace, which was granted, and thus performed.  First, the King
would not suffer him to come to his chamber, but met him at the
stair-foot, then entered into the coach and walked in his park.  The
greatest matter that passed between them was compliments, ... and then
by force he would needs convey him (_i.e._ Charles) half way home, in
which doing they were both almost overthrown in brick pits.  Two days
after we met his Majesty again in his park with his two brothers; they
spent their time in seeing his men kill partridges flying and conies
running with a gun."[38]

In the meanwhile the people with pride and delight had quite satisfied
themselves that the coming of the Prince meant the intended conversion
of himself to Catholicism and the return of England to the fold of the
Church,[39] and Olivares pressed this {84} point so persistently and
publicly upon Charles, that Buckingham himself began to take fright.
He noticed that whenever the Count-Duke found himself near Charles,
which indeed was continually, he turned the conversation towards the
Catholic religion.  Charles was young, the son of a Catholic mother,
and was certainly for the time smitten by the Catholic Infanta: his
father had professed himself Catholic again and again; and at this
moment was writing thus to his "Sweet boys": "I send you, my Baby, two
of your fittest chaplains for this purpose, Mawe and Wren, together
with all stuff and ornaments fit for the service of God.  I have fully
instructed them, so as all their behaviour and service shall, I hope,
prove decent and agreeable to the service of the primitive Church; _and
yet as near the Roman form as can lawfully be done; for it hath ever
been my way to go with the Church of Rome usque ad aras_."  But
whatever may have been the tendencies of Charles himself, Buckingham in
his saner moments, and certainly Bristol, must have seen the pitfall
laid for the Prince, and thus early, in the midst of all the
complimentary billing and cooing before the state entry, the young
adventurers began to realise the {85} difficulty of the task, which
looked so easy from a distance.

On the day following the state entry, Charles and Buckingham wrote to
the King--

"For our chief business, we find them by outward shows as desirous of
it as ourselves, yet they are hankering upon a conversion; for they say
that there can be no firm friendship without union in religion, but
they put no question in bestowing their sister, and we put the other
quite out of the question, because neither our conscience nor the time
serves for it."[40]

Delay, as they said, was the worst denial; for King James was in a
hurry,--in a hurry to get his heir married, in a hurry for the
Infanta's dowry, and in a hurry to get the Palatinate back for his
son-in-law; and as yet the priests were still squabbling over the
dispensation in Rome, and Olivares, equally with his master, was
determined to delay until either England became practically Catholic,
or the English themselves broke off the negotiations by refusing the
terms upon which Rome, prompted by the Spanish agents, alone would
consent to the match.  This, indeed, as Olivares saw, was the only
slender chance of preventing war with England, and to avoid throwing
James into the arms of France.

[1] Novoa, who was present at the scene described, _Documentos
Ineditos_, lxi.

[2] Especially Gil Blas, Guzman de Alfarache, Marcos de Obregon,
Estevanillo Gonzales, and El Diablo Cojuelo.

[3] This was constantly denied by his many enemies, but original
documents, to which I shall refer later, will prove that in this as in
so many other things they did him an injustice, whatever his real aim
might have been.

[4] _Cambridge Modern History_, vol. iv. "Spain," by Martin Hume.

[5] _Fragmentos Historicos MSS._, by Vera y Figueroa, also Novoa, and
Yañez,; and _Relazioni degli Ambassciatori Veneti_, British Museum
MSS., Add. 8701.

[6] _Discursos y Apuntamientos_, by Lison y Biedma, a member of this
Parliament.  (Secretly printed book of the period in my possession,
which gives a sad picture of affairs.)

[7] There are two letters in _Cabala_--the first from Philip to
Olivares, and the second the minister's reply to the King--which show
that there was never any intention on their part of carrying the
English match through.  The long letter from Olivares to the King is an
adaptation of a Spanish original which is well known, and to which I
shall refer later, proposing the marriage of Charles with the Emperor's
daughter; but the King's letter which produced Olivares' reply is not,
to my knowledge, printed elsewhere.

"The King my father declared at his death that his intention never was
to marry my sister the Infanta Doña Maria with the Prince of Wales,
which your uncle Don Baltasar well understood; for he so treated this
match with an intention to delay it, notwithstanding it is so far
advanced that, considering with all the averseness unto it of the
Infanta, it is high time to seek some means to divert the treaty which
I would have you discover, and I will make it good whatsoever it may
be; but in all other things procure the satisfaction of the King of
Great Britain, who hath deserved very much, and it shall content me, so
that it be not the match."  This must have been written before Charles'
arrival in Madrid.

[8] Nearly all foreigners who visited Madrid during the reign of Philip
IV. remarked the extraordinary liberty which existed in the demeanour
of the women, even ladies of high birth and position, no doubt a
reaction from the conventual strictness with which they had been kept
during the two previous reigns.  There is no need to multiply
authorities; but the following passage, from the report of the Venetian
ambassador in Spain at the time of Olivares' fall, will give an idea of
the prevailing laxity--even in the royal entourage.  "In the royal
palace the gentlemen are permitted to carry on with the ladies of the
Queen the relations they call 'gallanting,' in which lavishness,
ostentation, and expenditure are carried to such an extraordinary
excess as to be beyond belief, although here it is considered the most
ordinary thing in the world, for rivalry and competition do away with
all moderation.  Those who go the greatest lengths are held in the
highest esteem, not only by the courtiers in general, but also by the
royal personages, who make quite a recreation of hearing the accounts
of the presents given and attentions paid to them, that the ladies
narrate daily to their Majesties." British Museum MS., Add. 8701.

[9] Address; by J. E. Hartzenbusch, _Transactions of the Royal Spanish
Academy_, 1861.

[10] It is fair to say that this story depends upon the very
untrustworthy evidence of Mme. D'Aulnoy.

[11] The tradition that this was the case existed from the first, and
has never been lost; although most of the stories of the relations of
Villa Mediana with the Queen are quite unsupported by serious
contemporary evidence.  Lord Holland, in his _Lope de Vega_, says that
only a few days after Philip's accession, the Prime Minister Zuñiga,
Olivares' uncle, warned Villa Mediana that his life was in danger.  The
tradition that Philip was involved in the murder from motives of
jealousy is too firm and long-standing to be ignored, though whether
his jealousy concerned his wife is very doubtful.

[12] Transcripts (contemporary) of these letters, etc., to which
reference will be made later, are in British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338.

[13] _Historia del Arte Dramatica en España_, from the German of A. F.

[14] Especially in the MS. of the Royal Academy of History, Madrid by
Soto y Aguilar, one of the courtiers and writers of the time, and in
the MS. at the National Library at Madrid (M. 299) called Noticias de
Madrid.  These are contemporary news letters from 1621 to 1627.

[15] From the Soto y Aguilar MS. already mentioned.

[16] This was a narrow street forming part of the line of the Calle
Mayor, in which it is now incorporated.  It is quite close to the other
three courses.

[17] A tremendous and costly monastic house (of which the church still
stands in the Calle Mayor) upon which Philip III. and his wife had
squandered incredible sums.

[18] This is very Spanish.  The whole of the company had been ordered
to be ready mounted at one o'clock, and yet the royal guard which was
to keep the space and maintain order did not appear until an hour
later, the maskers of course coming later still.

[19] In a document quoted on page 51, it will have been noticed that
Philip refers to the match as being one that it was necessary to avoid,
even at the cost of a war with England.  In a notable document in
Spanish in the British Museum (MSS. Add. 14,043), reproduced by the
Camden Society under the editorship of Dr. Gardiner (_El Hecho de los
Tratados de Matrimonio_, etc.), there is a long memorandum written by
Olivares for Philip's information in 1622, proposing as a way out of
the difficulty the marriage of the Infanta to the son of the Emperor,
the marriage of the Prince of Wales with the Emperor's elder daughter,
and the betrothal of the Palatine's eldest son Maurice to the second
daughter on condition that the Prince was sent to Vienna to be brought
up as a Catholic, the Palatinate being restored to him after his
marriage.  This solution, however, it is quite evident, would have been
unacceptable to James for many reasons.  In any case it is quite clear
that when Charles appeared in Madrid, Olivares had no intention of
allowing the Infanta to marry him, unless indeed England became

[20] The Earl of Bristol's defence.  _Camden Society Miscellany_, vol.

[21] A very interesting and, as I believe, unpublished contemporary
manuscript account of the proceedings of Charles and Buckingham in
Madrid, and of the events that followed their return to London, so far
as regards the Spanish match, has been brought to my notice whilst this
chapter is being written.  The manuscript, evidently an original,
appears to have been the work of someone who accompanied the Prince in
his journey.  Many expressions in it are the same as those which I have
quoted from other sources, especially from certain letters of Endymion
Porter in the Record Office, and from those of Buckingham to the King,
most of which were written by Porter.  I am therefore led to the
conclusion that this interesting new document, which is the property of
Dr. Rosedale of the Royal Society of Literature, is the work of
Endymion Porter.  I am informed that it will shortly be published by
the Society.

[22] Clarendon, _Great Rebellion_.

[23] Howel's _Familiar Letters_.  Howel was in Madrid at the time.

[24] Howel's _Familiar Letters_.

[25] _Fragmentos Historicos de la Vida de Caspar de Guzman_, etc.  MS.
by Count de la Roca in my possession.

[26] _Fragmentos Historicos_, etc.  MS. by Count de la Roca, the great
friend and confidant of Olivares.

[27] _Hecho de los Tratados_, etc., British Museum MS., Add. 14,043,
and Camden Society.

[28] Gondomar had been raised to the Council of State during the early
morning sitting, and on his first visit that day (Saturday) to the
English embassy he came rushing to the Prince in his usual boisterously
jocose fashion, saying that he had a strange piece of news to convey.
"An Englishman had been sworn a Privy Councillor of Spain," meaning, as
Howel (who tells the story) says, himself, who, he professed, was an
Englishman at heart.  This was the kind of joke by which he had managed
to dominate King James.

[29] _Familiar Letters_.  The sequence of events, meetings, etc., as
given in _Life and Times of James I._, is untrustworthy.

[30] Howel.

[31] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.  Charles and Buckingham to the King.

[32] We are told that on this occasion Olivares, notwithstanding the
Prince's remonstrance, insisted upon taking the humble seat at the
carriage doorstep; and that throughout the whole visit he treated
Charles with the same honours as he did the King, kneeling when he
spoke to him, kissing his hand, etc.  Charles, on the other hand,
appears to have been equally polite to Olivares; but Buckingham soon
got tired of an attitude so unusual to him, and behaved himself with
extraordinary rudeness and ill-breeding, as will be told later.  _Hecho
de los Tratados_, etc.

[33] Lord Bristol, in his defence (Camden Miscellany, vi.) gives an
account of a conversation in the coach when the Prince, Bristol,
Gondomar, Olivares, Buckingham, and Aston were waiting for the royal
party to pass on the Sunday referred to in the text.  This shows how
entirely Olivares had convinced them all of his sincerity.  Gondomar in
boastful mood had asked Olivares if he was not justified now in all he
had written from England about the real desire of King James for the
marriage; and whether Bristol and himself had not proved themselves
honest men.  "Yes," replied Olivares, "you may both say your _Nunc
Dimitis_ now, and trouble no more about it, except to claim the reward
of success."  No blame, he said, could attach to them in any case.

[34] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[35] _Hecho de los Tratados_, etc.  B.M. MSS. Add. 14,043.

[36] The dates given throughout are old style, according to the English
calendar of the time.  The Spanish dates are ten days later.

[37] MSS. Soto y Aguilar.

[38] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[39] Most of the poets and poetasters of the Court were convinced of
this, and the romantic love-making of the Prince, who for the sweet
eyes of the Infanta was to make England Catholic, inspired many verses.
Howel sends to a friend in England one stanza of such a poem written at
this time, he says by Lope de Vega--

  Carlos Estuardo, soy,
  Que siendo amor mi guia.
  Al cielo de España voy.
  Par ver mi estrella Maria.

  Charles Stuart, here am I,
  Guided by love afar
  Into the Spanish sky,
  To see Maria my star.

Gongora's fine sonnet, translated by Churton, is worth quoting entire--

  Fair from his cradle springs the star of day,
  Rock'd on bright waves fair sinks his parting light:
  Such be thy course, in sunlike beauty bright,
  Daughter of kings and born to be as they.
  The world's majestic wonder.  Lo! thy ray
  Hath called a royal bird, in venturous flight,
  From realms where keen Arcturus fires by night
  The polar skies: from regions far away
  He wheels on swiftest wing: within thy sphere
  Secure his bold eye drinks the soft clear fires.
  Now Heaven and Love be kind; and both ordain
  What time his suit shall win thy beauty's ear.
  The Northern Eagle won with chaste desires,
  By Truth's pure light may live to God again.

[40] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.




All being ready for the public entry of Charles on Sunday, 16th, the
Prince, though he declined the invitation to sleep the previous night
at the monastery of St. Geronimo, as was customary with Spanish
sovereigns who entered the capital in state, went thither early in the
morning, and was entertained at a sumptuous banquet by the Count
Gondomar, as near as he could manage it in English fashion.  Then, as
was also the usage with Spanish sovereigns, all the members of the
numerous Councils and juntas rode in full state, accompanied by their
officers and escorts, to pay their respects to the Prince.  Charles
received this glittering crowd, numbering some hundreds, standing by a
velvet-covered {87} table beneath a canopy of silver tissue in the
royal apartment of the monastery, the empty throne being behind him,
and the walls of the chambers covered with rich hangings and pictures,
amongst which were portraits of King James and his councillors.  As
each pompously named official knelt and begged permission to kiss the
Prince's hand, Charles gracefully threw his arms upon their shoulders
instead, and raised them from the ground.[1]  The impression generally
produced by the Prince now and during his stay was excellent, and it
was noticed throughout that he never took advantage, as Buckingham and
the crowd of noisy English courtiers who soon arrived in Spain did, of
the Spanish politeness which places everything at the disposal of a
guest.  The behaviour of these courtiers, indeed, and especially
Buckingham's insolence, very soon produced disgust amongst the grave,
courteous Spaniards.

[Sidenote: The state entry]

At midday, when the councils had retired and taken their places on the
line of route, a flourish of drums and pipes heralded the coming of the
Spanish Guard in orange and scarlet to the monastery, followed by the
German Guard, in crimson satin and gold with white sleeves and plumed
caps; {88} then came the municipality of Madrid, with a great following
of town officers dressed in orange satin with silver spangles.  Nobles
and princes followed in pairs, led by Prince Edward of Portugal and the
Count of Villamor, each pair of high gentlemen resplendent in satin,
velvet and gold, jingling and flashing on their showy Andalusian
horses.  Following these and a hundred other ostentatious groups, the
mention of which would fill pages, King Philip left his palace as the
great clock in the courtyard--one of the marvels of Madrid--struck the
hour of one, and reached a side door of the monastery in his coach by a
circuitous route.  Until three o'clock Charles and Philip chatted in
friendly converse, and then the signal was given for the cortege to
start, the King and Prince mounting their horses at the same moment.

The drums, pipes, clarionets, and trumpets led off followed by judges,
officials, courtiers, and nobles, heralds, guards, pages, lacqueys, and
grooms by the hundred, upon whose grand dresses Soto y Aguilar dwells
with tedious minuteness.  Then came the King and the Prince, under a
canopy of white damask and gold, mounted upon silver poles borne by six
officers of the corporation, the Prince riding on the right hand of his
host.  They must have looked a gallant pair, for they were mere youths,
and both fine horsemen.  Olivares and Buckingham side by side followed
them, and then came a great troop of Spanish grandees with the English
ambassadors and officers.  Through the streets, decked lavishly, and
crowded with cheering people, flattered at the coming conversion of
England by means of Spain the cavalcade rode {89} by the Puerta del Sol
and Calle Mayor to the ancient Alcazar upon the cliff, which looks
across the arid plain to the snow-capped Guadarramas.  On the line of
route national dances and the eternal comedies were played until the
Prince approached, when special dances were performed in his honour, at
which, we are told, he was much delighted.  Upon entering the palace
the King himself conveyed the Prince to his apartments, and surpassed
himself in courtly welcome to his guest; and that same night the Queen
sent to the Prince a great present of white linen for table use and
personal wear, with a rich dressing gown and toilet paraphernalia in a
scented casket with gold keys.[2]  It was all as Howel wrote, "a very
glorious sight to behold, for the custom of the Spaniard is, tho' he go
plain in his ordinary habit, yet upon some great festival or cause of
triumph there's none goes beyond him in gaudiness."[3]

The next day the municipality of Madrid celebrated a royal bull-fight
on a scale of magnificence rarely approached.  The great Plaza Mayor of
Madrid, 340 feet square, was surrounded by stagings, and every one of
the hundreds of balconies of the high houses overlooking the plaza was
hung with crimson silk and gold, and filled with noblemen and ladies
whose names were as splendid as the clothes, of which Solo y Aguilar[4]
spares us no detail.  The royal balcony was erected on the first floor
of the municipal bakery (still standing), {90} and must have been a
mass of crimson and cloth of gold, with its hangings, its canopies, its
curtains, and its balustrades.  Every council and board, and under
Olivares they were infinite, had its special tribune.  Nobles,
officials, officers, and foreign representatives, all of whose fine
garb the literary quarter-master details for us until his description
produces but a vague impression of sumptuous stuffs without end,
smothered in bullion, arrived in procession to occupy their places as
spectators or actors in the glittering show.  The English visitors were
accommodated in a special stand occupying the opening of the Street of
Bitterness (Calle de Amargura), which gave rise to much satirical
comment.  When all was ready, and around the vast plaza a packed mass
of bedizened humanity had assembled, the royal coaches entered and
drove around the arena to the central entrance of the Queen's balcony
before the bakehouse.  Here Isabel alighted, dressed, we are told, like
the Infanta, who accompanied her, in brown silk embroidered with gold,
and covered with gems, the plumes of their jaunty toques being white
and brown, sprinkled with diamonds.  With them came the two Infantes,
Carlos, in black velvet and gold, with diamond chains and buttons, and
the boy Cardinal Infante Fernando, in the purple of his ecclesiastical
rank.  Behind them came scores of ladies, and then officers of the
Guards, and finally a "great company of Spanish and English gentlemen,
courtiers, grandees, and attendants."

The Prince of Wales was very beautifully dressed in black with white
plumes, and was mounted on {91} a bright bay horse, whilst the King,
also in sober brown, for it was Lent, rode a silver grey charger, "both
horses showing by their majestic port that they were conscious of the
preciousness of their burdens."  After them rode the Admiral of England
(_i.e._ Buckingham) and the Count of Olivares, with the English
ambassador, councillors of state, gentlemen-in-waiting, and archers of
the guard....  The Queen and Infanta sat in the right-hand balcony, and
separated only by a rail from them in the next balcony were Don Carlos,
the King, the Prince of Wales, and the Cardinal Infante Don Fernando;
the Marquis of Buckingham, the Count of Olivares, and the other English
and Spanish gentlemen being in the balcony on the left.  The trumpets
sounded, and when a hundred lacqueys, in brown jerkins and floating
silver ribbons, had cleared the arena, the Duke of Cea pranced in on a
grey horse, preceded by fifty lacqueys in doublets of cloth of silver
and fawn-coloured breeches, wearing silver thread caps, and followed by
a group of famous bull-fighters.  The Duke bowed low before the royal
balcony, whereupon Prince Charles uncovered.  Then came the Duke of
Maqueda, with his gallant party, who performed the same courtly
ceremony as the Duke of Cea, "looking like a Cæsar," as Soto y Aguilar
says.  And so noble after noble, each with his glittering train of
mounted gentlemen and host of servants, passed before the King and his
English guest, until, in the written description of the scene, gorgeous
fabrics, fine colours, and precious metals seem to lose their separate
significance, so lavish is the repetition of them.


Then came the many bulls, each despatched by a grandee's spear
(_rejon_); many hairbreadth escapes being recorded, but no noble
killed.  When the feast was ended the rain was falling heavily, and we
are told by the courtly chronicler "that amidst the falling torrents
there fell a torrent of pages with torches who inundated with light the
realms of darkness."  It would be tedious to give particulars of the
many such shows provided for Prince Charles, but at one subsequent
bullfight, more splendid still, described by Soto, no less than twenty
bulls were done to death by noble bull-fighters on horseback, and
prodigality itself ran riot to show the English Prince how rich Spain

For three days more the rejoicings of the State entry of Charles went
on day and night: comedies, music, cane tourneys, and illumination and
fireworks continuing without cessation.  Even Buckingham was dazzled,
extravagant as he was, and he says in his letter to the King--

They "made their entry with as great a triumph as could be, where he
(Philip) forced your Baby (Charles) to ride on his right hand....  This
entry was made just as when the Kings of Castile came first to the
crown, all prisoners set at liberty, and no office nor matter of grace
falls but is put into your Baby's hands to dispose of....  We had
almost forgotten to tell you that the first thing they did at their
arrival in the palace was to visit the Queen, where grew a quarrel
between your Baby and lady for want of a salutation; but your dog's
(_i.e._ Buckingham's) opinion is that it is an artificial forced
quarrel to beget hereafter greater kindness."


[Sidenote: Charles in love]

But in this letter, written the day after the state entry, when the
municipality were offering as a present to Buckingham the costly canopy
that had served in the ceremony,[5] the flustered visitors forgot to
tell the King how his "Baby" liked the Infanta, whom he had now seen at
close quarters for the first time, and a hurried little note was
scribbled and enclosed with the letter just quoted, saying--

"Baby Charles himself is so touched at the heart that he confesses that
all he ever saw is nothing to her[6] (_i.e._ the Infanta), and swears
that if he want her there shall be blows.  I (Buckingham) shall lose no
time in hastening their conjunction, in which I shall please him, her,
you, and myself most of all, in thereby getting liberty to make the
speedier haste to lay myself at your feet; for never none longed more
to be in the arms of his mistress.  So, craving your blessing, I end,
your humble slave and dog, Steenie."[7]

But withal the negotiations got no nearer.  The dispensation still
tarried in Rome, and Olivares staved off all definite discussion, on
the lying {94} pretext that he did not know upon what the Pope would
insist.  To keep things going and beguile the English, the Count-Duke
persuaded Charles to listen to a disputation in the monastery of St.
Geronimo as to the truth of the Catholic religion, and set all the most
persuasive clerics of the Court upon the task of converting the English
Prince.  An English priest named Wallsfort (?) was specially charged to
tackle Buckingham, in conjunction with Friar Francisco de Jesus, the
King's preacher; but, as may be supposed, with little success, though
they asserted that Buckingham, though a heretic for political reasons,
was really a Catholic at heart.  But when the great attempt was made to
bring to bear all the priestly artillery in Madrid upon the Prince's
Protestantism, and Charles showed some signs of acquiescence in the
Catholic arguments,[8] Buckingham put his foot down firmly, and rudely
told Olivares he should not allow the Prince to continue the
discussion, to which Olivares retorted by warning him that any attempt
to introduce the Protestant chaplains from England into the Prince's
apartment in the palace would be resisted by force,[9] for all their
pretence that the {95} rites they used were similar to those of Rome.
Charles, indeed, flattered himself with the idea that he had half
converted the Infanta's confessor, Rahosa,[10] though certainly no
signs appear of it in the subsequent actions of the priest.  In every
diocese in Spain, too, orders were given that religious processions,
rogations, and penitential exercises should be celebrated in all
churches and convents, in supplication to God for the fortunate issue
of the negotiations for the marriage, which, of course, meant the
conversion of the Prince and his country, whilst ecclesiastics were
bombarding the King and Olivares with solemn addresses, denouncing the
idea of the marriage of the Infanta to any Prince not a devout Catholic.

[Sidente: Attempts at conversion]

It is fair to say that Olivares, whilst professing platonically an
ardent desire for the match, never attempted to disguise that it would
only be conceded on terms quite impossible for England.  The
self-deception was indeed entirely on the part of Buckingham and the
Englishmen of Catholic leanings whose hopes prompted the belief.  From
the first no pretence was made on the Spanish side of trusting to the
word, or even the oath, of King James; the Spaniards knew him too well.
Deeds must precede words, repeated Olivares again and again.  The
Catholics of England must have full toleration, and Parliament must
repeal the Penal Acts of Elizabeth against them before the Infanta left
Spain.  James was ready to promise much, and did promise much at
various times, though not so much as Buckingham; but it was clear that
he could not coerce the English {96} Parliament into a course of action
that would have made his crown not worth a week's purchase; and, charm
as he and Buckingham might, the Spaniards never budged an inch on the
main point, amiable and flattering as they were to Charles, in the
hope, probably, that some solid concession to the English Catholics
might be wrung from his father, in any case, as a preliminary to the
more than problematical marriage.

It is impossible in this book to follow the daily changing phases of
the negotiations through the many months that the Prince stayed in
Madrid, but some accounts, contained in the correspondence and other
contemporary manuscripts, of the manner in which he and his followers
passed their time at Court, will convey the best idea of the dexterity
with which Olivares beguiled and befooled the Prince and his advisers
into the position which threw upon them the onus of a rupture, whilst
the Spaniards appeared to be only too anxious for the marriage and for
the friendship of England.

Charles usually spent his afternoons with Philip or Olivares,
witnessing fencing bouts or other sports from a window in the palace,
or walking in the garden, or in hunting the boar or hawking; and though
he did not accompany the King and Court in their frequent visits to the
Discalced Carmelite convent, or to the other religious houses where
celebrations were held he often saw the processions from closed
jalousies, or through the drawn leather curtains of a coach.  The
mornings were passed in studying Spanish or writing, and in the evening
he frequently visited the royal family, where, on a few occasions, the
Infanta was present.  {97} One such visit, on Easter Day 1623, is thus
described in Bristol's diary[11]--

"In the morning the Prince sent to desire leave to repay the visit and
the _buenas pascuas_ he had received the day before, and was
accordingly appointed about four o'clock in the afternoon to be brought
up by a private way to the King, with whom, when he had been a short
space and performed that compliment, he intimated a desire to do the
like to the Queen, and was presently conducted by the King, who
accompanied him publicly, attended by all the grandees and great
ministers of the Court, from his own side of the square, which is on
the opposite side of the palace (to the Queen's), and there found the
Queen and the Infanta together, attended by all the ladies of the
Court.  This being the first time that his Highness had personally
visited the Infanta, there were four chairs set: in the middlemost sat
the Queen and the Infanta, on the right hand of the Queen sat the
Prince, and on the left of them all sat the King.  When the Prince had
given the Queen the _buenas pascuas_ (_i.e._ compliments of the
season), and passed some other compliments of gratitude for the favours
he had received from her since his coming to this Court, in which it
pleased his Highness to call me (_i.e._ Bristol) to do him service as
interpreter, he rose out of his chair and went towards the Infanta, who
likewise rose to entertain (_i.e._ to receive) him; and, after fitting
courtesies on both sides performed, the Prince {98} told her that the
great friendship which was between his Catholic Majesty and the King
his father, had brought him to this Court to make a personal
acknowledgment thereof, and to assure, for his part, the desire he had
to continue and increase the same, and that he was glad on this
occasion to kiss her Highness's hands and offer her his services.  To
which the Infanta answered, that she did highly esteem what the Prince
had said unto her.  His Highness then told her that he had been
troubled to understand that of late she had not been in perfect health,
and asked her how she had passed the Lent, and how she did now,
whereunto the Infanta answered: "_Que quedava buena á servicio de su
Alteza_ (that she was now well, and at his Highness's service).  The
Prince then retired himself to his chair and sat down again by the
Queen, with whom he passed some short compliments, and so they all
rose, and with much courtesy took their leaves.

[Sidenote: Charles's lovemaking]

"And I do assure you (_i.e._ Mr. Secretary Conway, to whom the diary
was sent) that in all things the Prince's comportment was so natural
and suitable to his quality and greatness, that he hath given instant
cause to the Spaniards to admire him, as I find they generally do.
From hence he was conducted by the King in the same equipage that he
had come thither unto the King's side, where, when the King had
entertained his Highness awhile with beholding from a window certain
masters and gentlemen exercising fencing before them, the King had him
to another window which looketh upon a large place before the
court-gate, and, telling the Prince that he would only go and {99} see
the Queen, took his brother, Don Carlos, with him, and left the Infante
Cardinal with the Prince, expecting his return.

"But before much time had passed there appeared about three score of
the principal nobility of the kingdom in the gallery (_i.e._ course)
before the window, who were very richly apparelled with embroideries,
and being on horseback came two and two together their several careers.
They all had their faces uncovered save only the King, Don Carlos, the
Count of Olivares, and the Marquis of Carpio, who wore vizards."[12]

The extremely slow courtship here described seems to have struck
Charles as unsatisfactory, and a few weeks afterwards, probably
encouraged by the general laxity and freedom he saw about him in the
intercourse of the sexes, the Prince seriously violated the royal
etiquette by an attempt to make love to the Infanta in less formal
fashion.  Howel tells the story in a letter to Tom Porter:

"Not long since the Prince, understanding that the Infanta was used to
go some mornings to the _Casa de Campo_, a summer-house the King hath
on t'other side of the river, to gather May-dew, he rose {100} betimes
and went thither, taking your brother (_i.e._ Endymion Porter) with
him.  They were let into the house, and so into the garden; but the
Infanta was in the orchard, there being a high partition-wall between,
and the door, doubly bolted, the Prince got on the top of the wall and
sprung down a great height, and so made towards her.  But she, spying
him first of all the rest, gave a shriek and ran back.  The old marquis
that was then her guardian came towards the Prince and fell on his
knees, conjuring his Highness to retire, in regard that he hazarded his
head if he admitted any to her company.  So the door was opened, and he
came out under that wall over which he had got in.  I have seen him
watch a long hour together in a close coach in the open street to see
her as she went abroad.  I cannot say that the Prince did ever talk
with her privately, yet publicly often, my Lord of Bristol being
interpreter; but the King sat hard by, to overhear all.  Our cousin
Archy (_i.e._ Archy Armstrong, King James's jester, who had joined
Charles in Madrid with a large number of English courtiers) hath more
privileges than any, for he often goes with his fool's coat where the
Infanta is with her _meninas_ (maids) and ladies of honour, and keeps
a'blowing and blustering among them, and slurts out what he lists."[13]

Festivities kept Charles well occupied; and; now that his father's
courtiers had joined him {101} with full baggage, he could play the
Prince more effectively than on his first arrival.  King James, indeed,
seems to have imagined that by gifts and ostentation he could carry the
point he had at heart,[14] though in one of his letters to his "sweet
boys" he says that "for the honour of England he had curtailed the
train of courtiers that went by sea of a number of rascals."  Those who
went, however, behaved very badly, and did little to {102} raise
Spanish opinion of English nobles generally.  Buckingham was accused of
having introduced bad company even into the palace, and to have behaved
outrageously to the women who acted on the stage during a comedy.  "For
outward usage" (writes Howel in July), "there is all industry used to
give the Prince and his servants all possible contentment, and some of
the King's own servants wait upon them at table in the palace, where I
am sorry to hear some of them jeer at the Spanish fare, and use other
slighting speeches and demeanour."[15]  Worst of all, many of these
fine gallants went out of their way to offend Spanish religious
susceptibilities; and Howel mentions one such case which nearly led to
grave trouble.  One of the Prince's pages, Mr. Washington, had died of
fever, and before his death an English priest named Ballard visited
him, in the hope of converting him.  Sir Edmund Verney met the priest
on the stairs, and attacked him, first with words and then with blows.

"The business was like to gather very ill blood and to come to a great
height, had not Count Gondomar quashed it; which I believe he could not
have done unless the times had been favourable, for such is the
reverence they bear to the Church here, and so holy a conceit have they
of all ecclesiastics, that the greatest Don in Spain will tremble to
offer the meanest of them any outrage or affront.  Count Gondomar hath
also helped to free some English that were in the Inquisition in Toledo
and Seville, and I could allege {103} many instances how ready and
cheerful he is to assist any Englishman whatsoever, notwithstanding the
base affronts he hath often received from the London boys.[16]  I heard
a merry saying of his to the Queen, who, discoursing with him of the
greatness of London, and whether it was as populous as Madrid: "Yes,
madam," he said, "and more populous when I came away, though I believe
there's scarce a man left now, but all women and children, for all the
men both in court and city were ready booted and spurred to go away."

[Sidenote: English courtiers in Madrid]

Madrid was not quite so full of English courtiers as that, though their
presence was conspicuous and assertive enough at Court.  At the weekly
representation of the comedies in the palace, only the royal party were
provided with chairs; the ladies, in the usual Spanish Court fashion,
being seated on cushions on the floor, and the gentlemen standing
behind the royal family.  This did not suit either Buckingham or the
most ostentatious nobleman of his time, the upstart Hay, Earl of
Carlisle, and they both fumed and fretted at what they considered a
slight upon them.  Buckingham, of course, was obliged to stay, but Hay
and many others of the insolent crew left Madrid in dudgeon before the
great heats came on.  Hay, indeed, found it extremely difficult to
obtain audience of the Infanta, whom the English already called
Princess of Wales; and when, after much importunity, he was admitted,
"he was brought into a room where the Infanta was placed on a throne
{104} aloft, gloriously set forth with her ladies about her: my lord,
with his compliments, motions, and approaches, could not draw from her
so much as the least nod, she remaining all the while as immovable as
the image of the Virgin Mary....  At his coming away the Infanta gave
him leave to kneel to her above an hour, whereupon our great ladies
begin to consult how they shall demean herself when she comes."[17]

[Sidenote: Marriage negotiations]

During the whole of the spring, matters in Madrid remained thus, the
arrival of the dispensation being constantly delayed, whilst England
was being every day more deeply pledged to an impossible policy by the
folly of Buckingham and Charles and the eagerness of King James.  James
had made the fatal mistake--after saying, through Bristol, that the
Pope's dispensation meant nothing whatever to him--of sending agents,
Father Gage particularly, to Rome to negotiate for the dispensation to
be modified and expedited, and he showed himself more squeezable on the
religious point at every turn of the negotiation.  "As for myself," he
wrote to his son and Buckingham late in March, "I would with all my
heart give my consent that the Bishop of Rome should have the first
seat.  I, being a western King, would go with the Patriarch of the
West.  And as for his temporal seigniory of Rome I do not quarrel with
that either.  Let him, in God's name, be _primus episcopus inter omnes
episcopos, et princeps episcoporum_, so it be no otherwise but as St.
Peter was _princeps episcoporum_."  So confident were they all that no
serious hitch would stand in the way of the wedding {105} at last, that
the fleet which was intended to carry back the Infanta and her husband
to England was ready to sail for Spain in April, and the silly doting
King was busy settling the smallest details of the voyage for the
comfort of his "sweet boys."

At length, late in April, news came to Madrid that the dispensation was
on its way to Spain, but "clogged" with new guarantees and conditions
in favour of English Catholics, which Buckingham still thought he could
avoid granting, and asked that the English fleet should be sent to
Corunna at once to convey them back triumphant with the Infanta.  They
soon found that matters were not so easily settled, for, as we know
now, Olivares was determined that no marriage should take place, and a
device for delay was easily found in the assembly of a commission of
divines at St. Geronimo to discuss how far the conditions of the
dispensation might be modified.  Buckingham conceived the extraordinary
plan of asking James to give a blank commission to his son, and Charles
accordingly wrote to his father to send him the following pledge signed
by his own hand: "_We do hereby promise by the word of a King that
whatsoever you, our son, shall promise in our name we shall punctually
perform_."  "Sir, I confess," wrote the Prince, "that this is an ample
trust; and if it were not mere necessity I should not be so bold"; and
Buckingham accompanied the Prince's letter by a note that he knew would
touch the King.  "This letter of your son's is written out of an
extraordinary desire to be soon with you again.  He thinks if you sign
thus much, though they would be glad (which he doth not yet discover)
{106} to make any further delay, this will disappoint them.  The
discretion of your Baby you need not doubt."[18]  Needless to say, the
weak King sent the power as requested, in order, as he wrote, "that ye
may speedily and happily return and light in the arms of your dear Dad."

Provided with this unlimited pledge, the Prince and Buckingham,
assisted by Bristol, Aston, and Cottington, met a commission appointed
by Philip.  For weeks the discussions continued.  In vain the English
pointed out the impossibility of acceding to the demands that religious
toleration in England should be decreed forthwith, and that the consent
of the English Parliament should be obtained within a year or so for
the abrogation of all the penal laws against English Catholics, with
the many other points which were now insisted upon by the Pope for the
first time.  The Pope had even written a letter direct to Charles,
urging his immediate conversion; and Charles had further compromised
himself by answering it in a way which, although vague, would have
caused, if it had been known, intense indignation in England.  As the
English negotiators advanced, Olivares retired, whilst Buckingham
became daily more impatient and angry, throwing the blame now entirely
upon the Count-Duke.[19]

At length, at the end of May, Buckingham came to an open quarrel with
Olivares, and threatened to leave with the Prince at once and abandon
the negotiation.  This angry departure did not {107} suit the
Spaniards; and, after much protest and entreaty on the part of Philip
and Olivares, it was agreed that the Prince should stay in Madrid at
least until King James was made acquainted with the point insisted
upon, and sent his instructions; although, after having consented to
remain, Charles, seeing the persistent attempts to put pressure upon
him to marry at once on the Pope's conditions, endeavoured to withdraw
his promise altogether and retire.  Eventually, however, the cajolery
of Olivares prevailed, and Cottington went off post haste to England,
carrying with him the details of the Spanish papal demands.  In the
letter written by Charles and Buckingham to James, and taken by
Cottington, they still express a hope that he may accede to the terms,
though they dared not do so themselves without his consent.

"Dear Dad and Gossip," this letter runs, "the Pope having written a
courteous letter to me, your Baby, I have been bold to write to him an
answer....  We make no doubt but to have the opinions of the busy
divines reversed (for already the Count of Olivares hath put out ten of
the worst), so that your Majesty will be pleased to begin to put in
execution the favour towards your Roman Catholic subjects, and ye will
be bound by your oath as soon as the Infanta comes over, which we hope
you will do for the hastening of us home, with this protestation to
reverse all, if there be any delay in the marriage.  We send you here
the articles as they are to go, the oaths, public and private, that you
and your Baby are to {108} take, with the councils, wherein if you
scare at the least clause of your private oath (where you promise that
the Parliament shall revoke all penal laws against the Papists within
three years), we thought good to tell your Majesty our opinion, which
is that if you think you may do it in that time (which we think you may
if you do your best), although it take not effect, you have not broken
your word, for this promise is only security that you will do your
best.  The Spanish ambassador for respect of the Pope will present to
you the articles as they came from Rome, as likewise to require that
the delivery of the Infanta may be deferred till the spring....  We
both humbly beg of your Majesty that you will confirm these articles
soon, and press earnestly for our speedy return."[20]

King James was in despair when he received this letter and Cottington's
intelligence.  Olivares had cleverly turned the whole negotiation on
the acceptance by the English of the religious demands, and had
remained quite unpledged as to the restoration of the Palatinate, which
was the thing nearest to James' heart.  The reply of the King is too
characteristic for compression, and is here reproduced entire.

"My sweet Boys, your letter by Cottington hath strucken me dead!  I
fear it shall very much shorten my days, and I am more perplexed that I
know not how to satisfy the people's expectation here; neither know I
what to say to our Council, for the fleet that staid upon a wind {109}
this fortnight.  Rutland and all abroad must now be staid, and I know
not what reason I shall pretend for doing it.  But as for my advice and
directions that ye crave in case they will not alter their decree, it
is, in a word, to come speedily away, if ye can get leave, and give
over all treaty.  And this I speak without respect of any security they
may offer, except ye never look to see your old Dad again, whom I fear
ye shall never see if ye see him not before winter.  Alas!  I now
repent me sore that ever I suffered you to go away.  I care for match,
nor nothing, so I may once have you in my arms again.  God grant it!
God grant it!  God grant it!  Amen, amen, amen!  I protest ye shall be
as heartily welcome as if ye had done all things ye went for, so that I
may once more have you in my arms again, and God bless you both, my
sweet son and my only best sweet servant, and let me hear from you
quickly with all speed as ye love my life; and so God send you a happy,
joyful meeting in the arms of your dear Dad.--


GREENWICH, 14 _June_ 1623."

The poor King was nearer to his difficulties than was Buckingham, for
Archbishop Abbott and the English Puritan divines were becoming
clamorous at all this coquetting with the Scarlet Lady, and to have
conceded openly a half of the papal demands as payment for the Spanish
match would have meant a revolution in England.  In the meanwhile
Charles and Buckingham continued their struggle to get the conditions
modified; whilst Olivares, supported by his theologians, still {110}
insisted that the marriage might be celebrated conditionally in Madrid,
to be confirmed at some future time when the measures in favour of the
English Catholics had been put into operation.

The events of the next few weeks are related by the Spanish
authority,[21] very differently from the version given by the Prince
and Buckingham to King James.  The Spaniards aver that Charles'
counter-proposals and amendments were considered exhaustively by the
various commissions, and unhesitatingly rejected, the Prince, in his
final interview with Olivares on the subject, when the answer was given
to him, signifying his intention to return to England at once, and
requesting an audience to take leave of the King.  The Prince is
represented by the Spaniards to have asked Bristol to draw up for him a
valedictory address which he might read to Philip, but when Lord
Bristol submitted his draft the Prince expressed dissatisfaction with
it, and said that he would trust to the inspiration of the moment and
take leave of the King in his own words.  The leave-taking was fixed
for the 17th July, in the evening, and when Charles, with Buckingham
and the whole of his train, were in the presence of Philip, to the
intense astonishment and dismay of Bristol, the Prince expressed his
intention of accepting the conditions laid down by the Spaniards with
regard to religion, and said that he would, in his father's name, give
due security for their fulfilment.  Couriers were sent post haste to
Rome to obtain the Pope's final consent to the slightly modified
conditions accepted by Charles; and for a time {111} the Spanish Court
ostensibly regarded the marriage as irrevocably fixed.

This is the story as told by the Spaniards, and it is probably not far
from the truth; but in the letters to King James[22] the Prince and
Buckingham naturally represent the conditions they accepted as being an
important modification of the previous Spanish demands, which, so far
as can be seen, they were not.  On the very day when the reconsidered
conditions were first handed to Charles, and, according to the Spanish
story, rejected, he and Buckingham wrote to King James.  (26th June-6th

"DEAR DAD AND GOSSIP,--Though late, yet at last we have gotten the
articles drawn up in the forms we sent you by Lord Rochford, without
any new addition or alteration.  The foolery of the Conde de Olivares
hath been the cause of this long delay, who would willingly against
thee have pulled it out of the junta's and Council's hands and put it
into a wrangling lawyer's, a favourite of his, who, like himself, had
not only put it into odious form, but had slipped in a multitude of new
unreasonable, undemanded, and ungranted conditions, which the Council
yielded unto merely out of fear; for when we met the junta they did not
make one answer to our many objections, but confessed with blushing
faces that we had more than reason on our side; and concluded with us
that the same oath should serve which passed between Queen Mary and
King Philip (II.) being put to the end of every article which is to be
sworn {112} to.  By this you may guess the little favour with which
they proceed with us, first delaying us as long as they possibly can,
then, when things are concluded, they throw in new particulars in hope
that they will pass, out of our desire to make haste.  But when our
business is done we shall joy in it the more that we have overcome so
many difficulties, and in the meantime we expect pity at your hands.
But for the love of God and our business let nothing fall from you to
discover anything of this, and comfort yourself that all will end well
to your contentment and honour.  Our return now will depend upon your
quick despatch of these, for we thank God we find the heats such here
that we may well travel both evenings and mornings.  The divines have
not yet recalled their sentence, but the Conde tells us that he hath
converted very many of them, yet keeps his old form in giving us no
hope of anything till the business speaks it itself.  But we dare say
they dare not break it upon this, nor, we think, upon any other, except
the affairs of Christendom should smile strangely upon them."

How completely Olivares had outwitted them is plain by this letter.  He
still insisted verbally upon the whole of the pretensions originally
formulated, but had by subtle hints led them into the self-deceiving
condition displayed by their fatuous words in the letter just quoted.

A few hours only after the above letter was written, the courier Crofts
arrived in Madrid with King James' peremptory order for his son to
return, printed on page 109.  With this order in {113} their hands,
Charles and Buckingham thought to bring matters to a crisis, and, as
they say, told Olivares with a sad face that the King of England had
ordered them to return immediately.  How, they asked him, could they
obey the command without sacrificing the marriage?

"His answer was that there were two good ways to do the business and
one ill one.  The two good ones were either with your Baby's
conversion, or to do it with trust, putting all things freely with the
Infanta into our hands.  The ill one was to bargain and stick upon
conditions as long as they could.  As for the first (_i.e._ conversion)
we had utterly rejected it; and, for the second, he confessed that if
he were King he would do it; and, as he is, it lay in his power to do
it: but he cast many doubts, lest he should hereafter suffer for it if
it should not succeed.  The last he confessed impossible, since your
command was so peremptory.  To conclude, he left us with a promise to
consider it; and when I, your dog (_i.e._ Buckingham) conveyed him to
the door, he bade me cheer up my heart, and your Baby's, both.  Our
opinion is the longest time we can stay here is a month, and not that
neither without bringing the Infanta with us.  If we find ourselves
sure of that, look for us sooner.  Whichever of these resolutions be
taken, you shall hear from us shortly, that you may in that time give
order for the fleet.  We must once more entreat your Majesty to make
all the haste you can to return those papers confirmed, and in the
meantime give order for the execution of all these things (_i.e._ the
abrogation of {114} all penal enactments against Catholics, and the
granting of religious toleration, etc.), and let us here know so

The next night Charles sent for Olivares, and asked him what advice he
had to give him.  The matter was still under discussion, replied the
minister; and two or three days more would have to be given before King
Philip could send his final decision.  Charles and Buckingham demurred
at further delay, and again talked of immediate departure; but, as
usual, Olivares hinted and implied much, whilst he pledged himself to
nothing, and when he returned he left "Baby" and "Steenie" once more in
a fool's paradise of confident hope.  From day to day they were thus
kept; Olivares hinting that as soon as news came that King James had
given liberty to English Catholics, all obstacles would be removed, and
the Infanta might accompany her bridegroom to England.  Charles and his
adviser begged James urgently and often to fulfil their promises in
this respect without delay; for, said they, they were convinced that
Olivares would stand out no longer when the news came.

"We know you will think a little more time will be well spent to bring
her with us, when by that means we may upon equaller terms treat with
them of other things.  Do your best there (_i.e._ in England), and we
will not fail of ours here....  Of all this we must entreat you to
speak nothing; for if you do our labour here will be the harder, and
when it shall be hoped there and not take {115} effect they will be the
more discontented.[24]  I, your Baby, have, since this conclusion, been
with my mistress, and she sits publicly with me at the plays, and
within these two or three days shall take place of the Queen as
Princess of England."

James in London was sorely perplexed, for the Marquis of Hinojosa and
Carlos Coloma, the Spanish ambassadors, were pressing him still more to
make the concessions to the English Catholics thorough and irrevocable;
whilst the Council, even Buckingham's sycophantic creatures, Conway and
Calvert, the Secretaries of State, were ill at ease.  But the step had
to be taken, and James, with many prickings of conscience, or more
worldly fears, summoned his Council at Whitehall on Sunday the 20th
July, and, after feasting the two Spanish ambassadors, the King of
England took an oath before them and a Catholic priest, with Cottington
and the two Secretaries of State only in attendance, to comply with all
the conditions of the marriage which had been accepted in Madrid, the
English Catholics being given immediate and complete toleration.[25]
This ceremony in the palace of Whitehall having come to an end, King
James was entering his coach to go to the Spanish embassy, and take a
secret oath there to obtain within a {116} given time the abrogation by
Parliament of all the penal laws, when, as he says, Lord Andover,
travel-stained with his long rapid journey from Madrid, "came stepping
in the door like a ghost," and delivered the letter from Charles and
Buckingham, saying that the Spaniards were insisting upon deferring the
departure of the Infanta until the spring, to give time for the
reception of the Pope's consent to the modified conditions, and for the
full execution of the decrees, relieving the English Catholics from
their disabilities.

[Sidenote: Charles outwitted]

Poor James must have seen now clearly that he had been outwitted.  He
was pledged, pledged up to the hilt.  He had just solemnly sworn to
accept all the Spanish conditions.  His son was still in the hands of
Spain; no promise whatever binding Spain had been given for the return
of the Palatinate to Frederick; and now the gage that he and his
shallow favourite had thought would guarantee their demands upon Spain
was not to be delivered until next spring, which might mean never!

"This course is both a dishonour to me and double charges, if I must
send two fleets.  But if they will not send her till March, then let
them, in God's name, send her by their own fleet, ... but if no better
may be, do ye hasten your business: the fleet shall be at you as soon
as wind and weather can serve, and this bearer (_i.e._ Cottington) will
bring you the power to treat for the Palatinate, and in the matter of
Holland.  And, sweet Baby, go on with the contract, and the best
assurance ye can get of sending her next year.  But, upon {117} my
blessing, lie not with her in Spain, except ye be sure to bring her
with you; and forget not to make them keep their former conditions
anent the portion (_i.e._ dowry), otherwise both my Baby and I are
bankrupt for ever."

Cottington lost no time; and by the 5th (15th N.S.) August was back
again in Madrid with the news of the King of England's compliance on
oath with the Spanish conditions.  Again the divines, at Olivares'
bidding, began wrangling over the form and substance of James' oath;
for Hinojosa, the Spanish ambassador in England, had reported
unfavourably upon the real intentions of James towards the Catholics,
and three weeks more passed before the whole marriage treaty was
embodied in a formal document, which Charles, on the 28th August (7th
September), swore solemnly on the Gospels in the hands of the Patriarch
of the Indies to fulfil, whilst Philip simply promised that the
marriage should take place _when the Pope's consent arrived_, in which
case the Infanta should be sent to England in the following spring.  It
was indeed a triumph for the diplomacy of Olivares, and Charles
endeavoured to save appearances by asking, now that it was too late,
for some assurance that the Pope's consent would be given by Christmas
and the marriage solemnised.  Philip was all smiles.  Nothing would
delight him better; but, as it was a case of conscience, the
theologians must decide.  When they met to do so they raked up many
stories, old and new, to show that Englishmen could not be trusted
further than you could see them in matters of religion, and decided
that all of {118} King James's promises to the Catholics must come into
actual effect before any further step could be taken by Philip.
Cottington, it appears, had fallen ill with the fatigue of his rapid
journey; and, in the belief that he was dying, sent for a priest and
confessed himself a Catholic, yet as soon as the fit passed off and he
recovered he withdrew his professions, and this was cited as a proof of
the falsity of Englishmen.  The story, already quoted from Howel, of
Varney's coming to fisticuffs with the English priest Ballard was made
the most of.  Besides, said they, a gentleman of King Philip's chamber
only the other day had seen on a sideboard in Prince Charles's
apartment, in the palace of the Catholic King himself, "a Protestant
catechism in which all the heresies and errors are taught, translated
into Spanish and richly and curiously bound."  This was really too
shocking, and the divines decided that Charles was not to be trusted an
inch beyond the conventions already made.

[Sidenote: A hollow betrothal]

In vain a grander bull-fight than ever was given to celebrate the
so-called betrothal, in which Charles cut a gallant figure in white
satin, and in which, amidst a mad prodigality of splendour,
three-and-twenty bulls were done to death by nobles;[26] in vain
feasts[27] and banquets hailed {119} Charles as the husband of a
Spanish Princess, and the future restorer of England to the Catholic
faith; both Charles and Buckingham now saw that they had been fooled,
and were only anxious to get away with a good face and such dignity as
they might.  Olivares personally still pretended to be eager for the
match, and feigned a desire to send the Infanta with the Prince, "to
turn them all out of Spain together, as he said jocosely"; but
Buckingham now profoundly distrusted him--and, indeed, told him at this
juncture that he would always be his enemy--and was determined that the
Prince should not be further pledged to the marriage, unless the
Infanta accompanied them to England.  "Send us peremptory commands to
come away, with all possible speed," they wrote to King James; "we
desire this, not that we fear we shall need it, but in case we have,
that your son, who hath expressed much affection to the Infanta, may
press his coming away under colour of your command without appearing an
ill lover."

The love romance, in good truth, was at an end, and the foolish
adventure had resulted in one side being pledged to a course that
threatened the stability of England, whilst the other was bound to
nothing whatever, since the Pope's consent would be given or withheld
as Spain desired.  Worst blow of all to King James was the contemptuous
treatment of his demands about the Palatinate.  {120} "As for the
business of the Palatinate," wrote Charles to his father, "now that we
have pressed them we have discovered these two impediments: first, they
say they have no hope to accommodate it without the marriage of your
grandchild with the Emperor's daughter, ... to be brought up in the
Emperor's Court; and the second is, that though they will restore his
lands (to the Palatine) they will not restore his honour."  It was,
indeed, time that Charles was gone, for the sorry part he and
Buckingham had played in Madrid, and their long absence, had provoked
serious discontent in England; and even Archy Armstrong in Madrid, with
his fool's privilege, goaded Buckingham with taunts and sneers, until
the enraged favourite threatened that he would have him hanged.  "No
one ever heard of a fool being hanged for talking," retorted Archy,
"but many Dukes in England have been hanged for insolence."[28]

On the 29th August (8th September, N.S.), Charles was conducted in
state by Philip to take his leave of the Queen and the Infanta, to whom
he made all manner of professions and promises.  Buckingham on this
occasion did not accompany the Prince, being desirous, as the Spaniards
said, of having a separate honour for himself; but even whilst this
ostentatious ceremony was being used towards him, a secret paper was
being drafted by skilful hands and brains in Madrid that was destined
to precede him and the Prince to London, and to set before King James
the long tale of Buckingham's transgressions and omissions whilst in
Spain, his violence, his rudeness, his lack of {121} diplomacy, his
inexpertness in affairs, his pride and insolence.  The Spaniards,
indeed, had determined to make Buckingham the scapegoat as an
additional security for themselves, and they, or rather Olivares, thus
laid the foundation of the spoilt favourite's ruin.

Splendid presents were given on both sides: Philip sending to his guest
four-and-twenty Spanish and Arab horses and six mares, twenty hackneys
in velvet housings, fringed and embroidered with gold, two pairs of
fine Spanish asses for the stud, a dagger, a sword, and a pistol, all
richly encrusted with diamonds, eighty muskets and eighty crossbows and
a hundred of the best swords in Spain; whilst Charles, in return for
this, apart from his gifts to the King, gave to the bearer of his
presents a great diamond jewel.  Buckingham also received from the King
a fine stud of horses and mares, with arms and jewels of immense
value.[29]  The Queen's present to Charles consisted of an enormous
quantity of linen under-garments of great fineness, worked by the
discalced nuns, fifty dressed and perfumed skins, and two hundred and
fifty scented glove skins of great rarity and value; whilst Olivares,
knowing Charles' artistic tastes and the interest he had taken in the
fine pictures in the palace, presented him with many beautiful
paintings, some chamber hangings, and three Sedan chairs, fit, as Soto
says, for the greatest king on earth; one entirely of tortoiseshell and
gold, these chairs being for the use in London of King James, the
Prince of Wales, and Buckingham respectively.  All the principal
courtiers came {122} with similar gifts; but when, with many false
tears on both sides, Charles went to the Convent of the Discalced
Carmelites to take a last private farewell of his betrothed, she gave
him, amongst many rich and beautiful toys, perfumes, and the like, a
letter from which she said she hoped great things would come.  It was
addressed to a saintly nun at Carrion, which lay in his road towards
the sea, and the Infanta prayed that he would visit and confer with the
holy woman for the good of his soul.[30]  She made Charles promise her,
moreover, that he would have a care for the Catholics of England, for
any one of whom, she said, she would lay down her life.

Charles was as lavish in his gifts as were his hosts, jewels of
inestimable value being given to the King and Queen, and, indeed, to
everybody, apparently, with whom the Prince had been brought into
contact at the Spanish Court.  The Infanta received from her lover a
string of two hundred and fifty great perfect pearls, with similar
pearls for the ears and breast, and a diamond ornament so precious
"that no one dared to estimate its value."[31]  Amongst the shower of
jewels that fell upon the Spanish courtiers, that which came to
Olivares seems to have been one of the most precious.  It was the great
"Portuguese" diamond of purest water, that once had been the pride of
the crown jewels of Portugal, and had been brought to England by the
pretender Don Antonio, who, {123} whilst his jewels lasted, had found
so warm a welcome in the Court of Elizabeth.

At dawn on Saturday, 30th August, King Philip and his brother Carlos,
with their English guest, and followed by hundreds of gallant
gentlemen, rode across the bridge of Segovia out of the Castilian
capital, over the arid plain towards the vast monastery palace of the
Escorial in the Guadarramas, the enduring gloomy monument of the first
of the Spanish Philips.  The next day was spent in seeing the wonders
of the building, and on Monday hunting in the woods and moors around
occupied the day.  On Tuesday morning, 3rd September, the party set
forth, and a few miles on the road the King, after an alfresco luncheon
and a long private conversation with his guest, took final leave of
Charles, with much ceremonial salutation and professions of eternal
regard.  That night the English Prince, in whose coach travelled
Buckingham, Bristol, and Gondomar, arrived at the village of
Guadarrama, and the next night was spent at the ancient city of Segovia.

Charles had left in Bristol's hands a power to conclude the marriage on
the arrival in Madrid of the consent of the Pope to the modified
conditions; but at Segovia he signed two letters, one to King Philip
reiterating his intention and desire to carry the match through, and
the other revoking the full powers he had given to Bristol to conclude
the espousals when the Pope's consent arrived, on the ground that there
was nothing in the conventions to prevent the Infanta from embracing a
conventual life after the {124} marriage.[32]  With Charles's slow
progress through Spain to Santander[33], and so to England, this book
has naught to do, nor with the extraordinary set of intrigues by which,
to Bristol's indignation and subsequent ruin, Buckingham on his return
drew the pliant James into alliance with France against Spain.

Bristol, during his short further stay in Madrid, laboured hard, aided
by Gondomar, to keep the negotiations afoot, the Spanish party in the
English Court endeavoured with the same object to arouse the fears of
James against Buckingham, and nearly succeeded in doing it.  Bristol's
colleague and successor at Madrid, Sir Walter Aston, hoping to smooth
matters, incurred Buckingham's violent resentment by provisionally
agreeing to a day for the espousals, when at last the Pope's
conditional consent came.  James, and now apparently Charles, had quite
made up their minds that no marriage should take place without the
Palatinate being surrendered by the Emperor; and Philip, as Olivares
had said again and again, would never coerce his Catholic kinsman to do
that for the sake of a heretic.  Thenceforward though the bickering
both in Madrid and London still continued for months, the marriage of
Charles and the Infanta was impracticable, and the unwise attempt to
force the hands of cunning statesmen by a romantic _coup de théâtre_
came to the undignified and unsuccessful end that it deserved.


[Sidenote: Failure of the match]

The Spaniards pretended that the match would have been carried through
but for Buckingham's bad faith and his personal quarrel with Olivares,
and they found it convenient to defend their own character for
sincerity by using the favourite for a scapegoat.  But it is quite
certain now, with the abundant authoritative documents before us, that,
except upon quite impossible conditions, there never was any intention
on the part of Philip and Olivares to give the Infanta to Charles.
Olivares played the game with consummate skill, obtaining concessions
to the English Catholics, which, if they had been sincerely carried
out, would have endangered James's crown; and presenting to Europe the
spectacle of the English King and Prince soliciting an alliance with
Spain in a way which allowed such a rebuff to be administered to
England as might have made the great Elizabeth turn in her grave.

That Buckingham was keenly alive to his defeat, and was determined to
avenge it upon Spain, is seen in his letter to James as soon as he left
Madrid,[34] and by the strenuous and successful efforts which he made
on his return to London to defeat the Spanish party, to which he had,
thanks to Gondomar's bribery, formerly belonged.  The subsequent
ignominious war with Spain into which England was dragged by Buckingham
and the French alliance, was a fitting sequel, in its inept
mismanagement, to the utter foolishness of the policy which had
precipitated it.  The comparison between {126} the incompetence of Sir
Edward Cecil with his disorganised and futile fleet before Cadiz in
1625, and the English attack upon the same city in 1596 under Howard,
Raleigh, and Essex, is as complete and humiliating as the contrast
between shallow Buckingham and sagacious Burghley, or between the
doting poltroon whose letters to his "sweet Boys" we have seen, and the
proudly patriotic termagant whom he succeeded on the throne of England.

[1] Soto y Aguilar.  Another unpublished contemporary account in
Spanish of the state entry in the British Museum, MSS. Add. 10,236,
says that Charles advanced to the centre of the room and took off his
hat as the councillors entered.  It is mentioned that Charles retained
his English dress and had "a gallant figure" (bizarro en el talle).  He
was noticed to doff his hat whenever Philip did on passing a church or
sacred image, and this greatly impressed the crowd in his favour.  When
the royal personages arrived at the palace at half-past six, having
taken three hours to cover the distance of about a mile from St.
Geronimo to the palace, the Prince was led to salute the Queen, Lord
Bristol kneeling before them to interpret their conversation.  This
account is very enthusiastic as to Charles' graciousness and dignity.

[2] MS. Soto y Aguilar.

[3] _Familiar Letters_.

[4] MS. Royal Academy of History, Madrid.  Transcript in my possession.
The writer, in this official capacity, was present at all these feasts.

[5] MS. Soto y Aguilar.

[6] Charles really seems to have fallen in love with her.  Howel writes
in July.  "There are comedians once a week come to the palace, where,
under a great canopy the Queen and the Infanta sit in the middle and
our Prince and Don Carlos on the Queen's right hand, and the little
Cardinal on the Infanta's left hand.  I have seen the Prince have his
eyes immovably fixed upon the Infanta half an hour together in a
thoughtful speculative posture, which sure would needs be tedious
unless affection did sweeten it.  It was no handsome comparison of
Olivares that he watched her as a cat doth a mouse."  Endymion Porter,
writing to his wife soon after the Prince's arrival in Spain, says:
"The Prince hath taken such a liking to his mistress that now he loves
her as much for her beauty as he can for being sister to so great a
King.  She deserves it, for never was there a fairer creature."  _State
Papers, Domestic_, March 1623.

[7] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[8] From a somewhat ungenerous letter from Charles to Bristol (who was
made the scapegoat), written on the 21st January 1625, he says: "you
will remember how at our first coming into Spain, when taking upon you
to be so wise as to foresee our intention to change our religion, you
were so far from dissuading us that you offered your services and
secrecy to concur in it; and in many other open conferences pressing to
show how convenient it was for us to be Roman Catholic, it being
impossible in your opinion to do any great action otherwise."  The
letter is full of reproaches and condemnation of Bristol's conduct, but
it is quite clear that Bristol saw the only condition under which the
match was possible from the first, which Charles and Buckingham,
deceived by Olivares, did not.  Cabala (ed. 1691) p. 188.

[9] _Hecho de los Tratados_.  Camden Society.

[10] Carey, Earl of Monmouth, _Guerre d' Italia_.

[11] Lord Bristol's diary, MS. in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh,
gives a minute account of the Prince's movements from day to day.

[12] Soto y Aguilar gives a glowing and pompous account of this
festivity, which, according to him, was a cane tournament and
competition of horsemanship got up in honour of Charles by the Admiral
of Castile.  Charles is described as being dressed in black satin, with
the blue ribbon and jewel of the Garter on his breast, the simplicity
of his garb being praised as being very distinguished in appearance, as
it may well have been amidst so gorgeous a crowd as that described by
Soto.  It should be noted, however, that Philip himself rarely dressed
in bright colours, though his red doublet in the Dulwich College
picture is splendid enough, his favourite colour being brown with steel
or silver trimmings.  On this occasion he is described as being dressed
in this way, with a chain consisting of four linked jewelled crowns on
his breast.

[13] _Familiar Letters_.  Several references are made in Spanish
documents of Archy's insolence whilst in Madrid, though that was no new
thing in Philip's Court, where the buffoons were numerous.

[14] Writing on the 17th March, he says: "I send you also your robes of
the order, which you must not forget to wear upon St. George's day, and
dine together in them if they come in time, which I pray God they may,
for it will be a goodly sight for the Spaniards to see my two boys dine
in them.  I send you also the jewels I promised; some of mine, and such
of yours, I mean both of you, as are worthy of sending.  For my Baby's
presenting to his mistress, I send him an old double cross of Lorraine,
not so rich as ancient, and yet not contemptible for the value, a good
looking-glass with my picture in it to be hung at her girdle, which ye
must tell her ye have caused it so to be enchanted by art magic as
whensoever she shall be pleased to look in it she shall see the fairest
lady that either her brother's or your father's dominions can afford.
Ye shall present her with two long fair diamonds set like an anchor,
and a fair pendant diamond hanging to them; ye shall give her a goodly
rope of pearls, ye shall give her a carcanet or collar, thirteen great
ball rubies and thirteen knots or conques of pearls, and ye shall give
her a head dressing of two-and-twenty great pear pearls; and ye shall
give her three goodly peak pendants, diamonds whereof the biggest to be
worn at a needle on the forehead and one in each ear.  For my Baby's
own wearing ye have two good jewels of your own, your round brooch of
diamonds and your triangle diamond with the great round pearl, and I
send ye for your wearing three bretheren that ye know full well, but
newly set; the mirror of France, the fellow of the Portugal diamond,
which I would wish you to wear alone in your hat with a little black
feather.  You have also good diamond buttons of your own to be set to a
doublet or jerkin.  As for your 'J,' it may serve as a present for a
Don.  As for thee, my sweet Gossip, I send thee a fair table diamond,
which I would once have given thee before if thou would'st have taken
it for wearing in thy hat or where thou pleases; and if my Baby will
spare thee two long diamonds in form of an anchor it were fit for an
Admiral to wear."  After minute instructions as to how Charles is to
give his presents to the Infanta, the King continues: "I have also sent
four other crosses of meaner value, with a great pointed diamond in a
ring, which will save charges in presents to Dons, according to
quality; but I will send with the fleet divers other jewels for
presents."  Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[15] _Familiar Letters_.

[16] Gondomar was specially obnoxious to the London prentices, who
attacked him in his carriage on more than one occasion.

[17] News-letter from London.

[18] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[19] Full details of the discussion from day to day are in _El Hecho de
los Tratados_, etc.  Camden Society.

[20] Hardwicke, State Papers.

[21] _Hecho de los Tratados_.  Camden Society.

[22] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[23] Hardwicke, _State Papers_.

[24] The meaning of this somewhat obscure passage, appears to be that
if King James made public the conditions to which he was to pledge
himself the opposition in England might prevent the measures promised
from being carried out, in which case the disappointment in Spain would
be redoubled.

[25] Secretary Conway to Buckingham.  Hardwicke, _State Papers_.
Conway says concerning this: "The acts of favour are gone for the
King's signature, which, known, will create cold sweat and fear until
the return of his Highness."

[26] Soto y Aguilar MS.

[27] One of these, a cane tourney, is fully described in a Spanish
account translated in Somers' Tracts.  Philip was always a lover of
this showy diversion, in which bodies of gaily clad horsemen manoeuvred
in opposing squadrons, throwing small cane javelins at each other, the
skilful horsemanship being the criterion of excellence.  After the
usual parade through the gaily decked streets, in which Philip and
Charles rode side by side, the King went to the palace of the Countess
de Miranda to change his dress and prepare for the evolutions.  The
palace was splendidly fitted up with white damask for his reception;
the halls being artificially cooled and perfumed.  His hostess received
him in state at the door, and served him with a refection, "consisting
of all manner of conserves, dried suckets and rosewater confections of
eight different sorts."  Philip, by the way, was a great lover of

[28] _Hecho de los Tratados_.

[29] They are all described, _ad nauseam_, in the Soto y Aguilar MS.

[30] The Nuncio sent the same night a special messenger to the nun,
directing her how she was to endeavour to do the great service to the
Catholic Church.

[31] These jewels were afterwards returned when the match was abandoned.

[32] Lord Bristol's remonstrance to the Prince on this disingenuous
proceeding is in Cabala, p. 101.

[33] Buckingham, in his haughty letter of rebuke to Aston (Cabala,
120), says that Charles wrote to Aston from Santander to the effect
that he would never marry the Infanta unless good conditions were
agreed to with regard to the Palatinate.  Aston's letters from Madrid
are in Cabala.

[34] I'll bring all things with me you have desired except the Infanta,
which hath almost broken my heart, because your, your son's, and the
nation's honour is touched by the miss of it.  Hardwicke, _State




The policy of Olivares, which had estranged England and revived the
haughty old claims of Spain to dictate to Europe, had already begun to
produce widespread effects.  France, no longer under the papal Italian
rule of the Queen-mother, but in the firm hands of Richelieu, could not
be expected to submit to such claims now; and during 1624 Europe once
more divided itself into two camps, one to assert and the other to
dispute the {128} supremacy of the house of Austria under the hegemony
of Spain.  Richelieu did not believe in beginning the game until he
held all the cards in his hands, and delayed an open declaration of war
until he could join with him in a league against Spain, the United
Provinces, and Savoy, and had bought at least the neutrality if not the
active aid of England.

[Sidenote: A corrupt capital]

In the meanwhile we will glance at the effects which had been produced
in Spain, and particularly in the Court, by the joint action of the
young King and his mentor, the Count-Duke.  The ruin and disappearance
of the greedy crew that had followed Lerma and his family, and the
accession of a promising youth like Philip IV. to the throne, had
filled the lieges with the belief that, as if by a fairy wand, all
Spain's troubles would cease and national power and general prosperity
would flood the long-suffering land with joy.  The happy dream was of
short duration, for the ills were too deep seated to be quickly cured,
if even wise measures had been adopted.  But the reforms of Olivares
had been merely of a palliative character, leaving the system and
incidence of taxation radically bad.  Whilst rigid investigation of
past peculations was effected, whilst the squandering of the royal
resources in grants was limited, and economy severely enjoined in the
expenditure of private citizens, the most lavish waste was perpetrated
in other directions; and this, with the cost incurred by a forward
foreign policy, had, in the three years that succeeded the accession of
Philip, again brought affairs to a crisis, in which the national penury
was the conspicuous fact.


As soon as the echoes had died away of the festivals that had been
organised to dazzle the English Prince, the discontent of the people
began to find voice amongst those whose mordant speech and fluent pen
were so eager always to seize upon a pretext for the exercise of their
powers.  Quevedo, the greatest wit of his time, who had once more been
recalled from the exile into which his biting satire so often cast
him,[1] and was the idol both of the quidnuncs of Liars' Walk and of
the dilettante nobles of the Court, launched his darts against the
grumblers, and told Spaniards boldly that the continued misery was the
fault of the degenerate race of his countrymen, "the well perfumed but
ill conducted hosts" who impatiently resisted or evaded the decrees of
those who endeavoured to mend matters.

The decrees, it is true, were from their intricacy and their
thoroughness not easy to follow, for they sought to revolutionise the
customs and ways of life rendered familiar by almost immemorial usage.
The evils to be cured had been patent to all, but the remedies were too
sudden and too drastic to be effectual.  When Philip had first come to
the throne, and the new broom was to be wielded, the reforming member
of the Cortes, Lison y Biedma, had told the King[2]--

"Your subjects spend and waste great sums in the abuse of costly garb,
with so many varieties of trimmings that the making costs more than the
{130} stuff; and as soon as the clothes are made there is a change of
fashion and the money has to be spent over again.  When they marry the
wealth they squander on dress alone ruins them, and they remain in debt
for the rest of their lives; ... such is the excess that the wife of an
artisan nowadays needs as much finery as a lady, even though she have
to get money for it by dishonest means and to the offence of God....
As for collars and ruffs, the disorder in their use is very scandalous.
A single ruff of linen with its making and ravelling will cost over 200
reals, and six reals every time it is dressed, which at the end of the
year doubles its cost, and much money is thus wasted.  Besides, many
strong, able young men are employed in dressing and goffering these
extravagant things, who might be better employed in work necessary for
the commonwealth or in tilling the ground.  The servants, too, have to
be paid higher wages in consequence of the money they spend in wearing
these collars, which indeed consumes most of what they earn; and a
great quantity of wheat is wasted in starch which is sorely wanted for
food.  The fine linens to make these collars have, moreover, to be
brought from abroad, and money has to be sent out of the country to pay
for them.  With respect to coaches, great evil is caused and offence
given to God, seeing the disquiet they bring to women who own them; for
they never stay at home, but leave their children and servants to run
riot, with the evil example of the mistress being always gadding
abroad.  The art of horsemanship is dying out, and those who ought to
be mounted crowd, six or eight of them together, {131} in a coach,
talking to wenches rather than learning how to ride.  Very different
gentlemen, indeed, will they grow up who have all their youth been
lolling about in coaches instead of riding."

And so on, almost every item of the daily life of Madrid is shown by
the writers of the day to be vicious, wasteful, and corrupt.  Idlers
crowd in the monasteries, and hosts of other idlers, sham students,
poetasters, bullies, and beggars, depend for their daily sustenance
upon the garlic soup and crusts which are doled out at the gates from
the superfluity of the friars; and servants, with or without wages, but
living slothfully upon their patron's food in tawdry finery and squalid
plenty, pester the noble houses from stable court to roof.[3]  Philip
and Olivares in the early days did not lack courage, and they came out
with a decree so drastic to restrict the wearing of rich clothes, the
abuse of ornament, and the possession of rich furniture, the use of
trimmings, bullion, silks, velvets, embroideries, and fringes, and to
limit the employment of silver and gold plate for household use,[4] as
to be quite inoperative; besides which, almost as soon as the decree
was promulgated the visit of Charles Stuart caused its suspension.

The number of servants to be kept was rigidly restricted, the use of
coaches was only to be allowed to people of a certain rank, women were
forbidden to drive up and down unattended by father or {132} husband,
and, what caused more gibes than anything else, the houses of ill fame,
of which, in the alleys leading out of the Calle Mayor, there was an
enormous number, were ordered to be closed.  Above all, the most severe
orders were given against the wearing of ruffs and the using of starch
for any purpose.  Pillory, confiscation, and exile were to be the fate
of any person who wore any pleated or goffered linen in any shape, and
the broad, flat Walloon collar, which fell upon the shoulders, alone
was to be allowed.  Alguacils were provided with shears, and at a given
signal raided the fashionable promenades, cutting the fine lace ruffs
which the fops still insisted upon wearing, seizing and burning the
stocks of them in the shops, lopping hat-brims to the requisite
narrowness, confiscating jewels, and even snipping off the lovelocks
before the ears which were the mark of the exquisite.

The ladies, too, were no better treated, and many a brazen-faced madam
was hauled out of her trundling coach and put to shame, or had portions
of her forbidden finery profaned by the coarse hands of catchpoles.
The Calle Mayor and the Prado were up in arms at such sacrilege, and
bewailed the time when, the stern pragmatics notwithstanding, each
hidalgo and his dame who could get money or credit dressed as
splendidly as they liked.  The worst of it was, that except the time
when all the Court was ablaze with the welcome to its English visitor,
the King, for the first time, followed his own pragmatics.  Philip,
like his grandfather, disliked gorgeous attire for himself; though,
when the dignity of his position demanded it, he could be refulgent.
He was, moreover, {133} sincerely desirous of remedying the terrible
penury that existed everywhere.  He had been told by his advisers that
one of the ways to do this was to limit personal expenditure, in order
that there might be more money for the State to spend, and he
endeavoured in his own person to set the example of economy.

[Sidenote: Philip's reforms]

Philip has left a document in his own hand,[5] setting forth the
reforms he introduced in the service of his own palace (February 1624).
It is addressed to the master of the household, the Duke of Infantado,
and although far too long to reproduce entire here, some few passages
of it may be quoted, as showing that, severe as the cutting down might
be, the royal household was still much larger than would now be
considered necessary for a monarch.[6]  The distressed condition of the
public revenues, says the King, the many calls upon it, the end of the
truce with the Dutch, and Spain's many foes on sea and land, make it
imperative to cut down every unnecessary expense.  A beginning is to be
made in the salary of the master of the household himself, all _future_
holders of the office to receive a million maravedis less salary
(_i.e._ £330 less), but to retain all the perquisites of the office.
Only the four senior stewards are in future to be paid, the rest to
serve without payment, but to retain their rations, with some small
reductions, namely, the dish of chicken custard or rice is to be
suppressed, and the {134} allowance of twenty pounds of ice hitherto
given to each steward daily to be stopped.  The number of "gentlemen of
the mouth" is in future to be restricted to fifty, the gentlemen of the
chambers to forty, who are not to have more than two lacqueys each.
The pages in future are to be only twenty-four.  The numbers of
officials of the bakery, fruitery, cellar, spicery, chandlery, and
butchery are all reduced to what still seems an extravagant personnel
according to modern ideas, and the old scandal of the enormous
"rations" drawn (and in many cases sold) by all the palace officials is
once more attacked.  For instance, the perquisite of sixty wax torches
taken by the chief gentlemen of the bed-chamber is abolished; and only
eight sets of rations are to be served to the gentlemen of the
bed-chamber, whilst the chief groom of the bed-chamber is in future to
go without his fifty reals a month in lieu of salads, and his jam on
fast days.  The controller of the household will no longer be entitled
to fresh meat, pastry, bacon, chicken custard, salad and jams, and will
have to content himself in future whilst on a journey with two dishes
of roast meat and one dish of boiled, and two dishes for supper,--"and
he must not take anything out of the store."

[Sidenote: Philip's household economies]

Through every branch of the household this process of reduction was
decreed by Philip, and even the pay of the guards was rigidly cut down.
The members of the Spanish guard had recently had their pay doubled to
200 ducats a month, and now found themselves reduced to their former
pay of 100.  The King, by these reforms, decreed that a saving of
67,300 ducats a year was to {135} be effected.  In another manuscript
of the King's,[7] in which a year or two afterwards he recapitulates
his personal efforts to remedy the evils of his country, he refers
particularly to the sacrifices he made in his household for the
commonweal at this time.

"I have twice reformed my household," he says, "and although my
servants may be more numerous than before, I have had no other money to
pay them with than honours, and they have received no pecuniary pay.
As for my personal expenses, the moderation of my dress and my rare
feasts prove how modest it is, and I spend no money voluntarily on
myself, for I try to give my vassals an example to avoid vain
ostentation.  So I have reconciled myself to ask for nothing for my own
person, but only the indispensable funds for the defence of my realm
and the Catholic faith.  I want no more, not a maravedi, from my
vassals, and I charge you (the Council of Castile) on your conscience
to let me know if anything is being spent beyond this."

Philip spoke truly and from his heart when he expressed his desire to
avoid as much as possible the oppression of his subjects, but the
science of political economy had not yet been born, and neither he nor
his advisers could see that a system of taxation that largely consisted
of a crushing fine upon every sale of commodities and food stopped
production and trade, and tapped the stream of revenue before it had
time to fructify the land.  The money from the Indies, or what was left
of it after the peculations of officers, all {136} drifted abroad
immediately, mostly before landing, to pay for the loans raised on
usurious interest, and in return for the articles of extravagance and
luxury which were forbidden to be made in Spain, or of which the
vicious taxation had killed the production.  And so Philip, with the
best of intentions, still, be it remembered, a mere boy of nineteen,
was enclosed in the vicious circle which the impossible policy of
saddling Spain with the defence and assertion of the Catholic faith
throughout the world had imposed upon his doomed house.

He might, and did, as I have just shown, do his best to economise for
the supposed benefit of his people; but it was his people themselves
who needed reforming.  Whilst they complained that matters got no
better, they shouted as loudly as ever that Spain must teach heretics
their error at the point of the pike, and they themselves resisted and
evaded by every means in their power the sumptuary and other measures
intended for the general relief.  That these sumptuary measures were to
a great extent absurd, and the methods of enforcing them undignified
and often ridiculous, is, of course, clear to us now; but the
resistance to them was not founded on that ground, but because they
went against the prevailing sentiment of the people, at least the
people of the capital.  The general pretentiousness, idleness, and love
of luxury unearned by labour were, indeed, symptomatic of the natural
decadence of society, produced by the unfounded inflation and unreal
exaltation of the nation for the greater part of a century previously.
The decay had gone too far now for any but a great governing genius to
remedy it; {137} and Philip, though good hearted, well meaning, and not
without ability, certainly was not that.  The poison had to work itself
out of the national system by slow and painful process, until the
patient, exhausted but sound, could build up its strength again.
Philip, throughout his life a brilliant idler with good heart and a
tender conscience, was condemned to witness the progress of the disease
without being able to understand or remedy it; and to watch at the same
time with failing heart the parallel decline and threatened extinction
of his own historic house.

Whilst the male, and especially the female, swaggerers of the Calle
Mayor gave grudging and evasive obedience to the royal pragmatics
against extravagance in most respects, there was one enactment of
Philip's which, though at first resisted more sulkily than any of them,
gave rise at length to a new fashion, which was seized upon by the
whole of Spain with avidity, and became for the rest of the
century--seventy-five years--the most entirely characteristic article
of Spanish male dress.  The ruffs under Philip III. had become
enormous, and the costly lace edging and elaborate devices for keeping
the frills stiff had made them, perhaps, the most extravagant articles
of dress ever generally and diurnally worn in any country.  Many
attempts had been made to suppress them before Philip and Olivares
tried their hands, but all had failed.  The alternative collar decreed
by Philip's pragmatics was either a plain linen band or the flat
Walloon collar falling on the shoulders.  The former of these was
rejected utterly by people who aspired to be well dressed, as being
mean {138} and lacking in distinction after the spreading splendour of
the "lettuce frill" ruff.  The Walloon collar, unstarched, soon got
wrinkled, creased, and soiled; and moreover, it had become to a great
extent identified with the "heretic" Hollanders and unpopular Flemings,
so that Madrid never looked upon it with favour, though the King wore
it after his first pragmatic.  The problem was to find a new collar
which should be dignified and stiff without the forbidden starch, "or
other alchemy," as the pragmatics said; should present the light
contrast becoming to swarthy faces, without employing the fine foreign
lawn and lace which the royal decree made illegal, and should render
unnecessary the puritanical wrinkled Walloon.

[Sidenote: The _golilla_]

An ingenious tailor in the Calle Mayor, early in 1623, submitted to the
King and to his brother Carlos a new device, consisting of a high
spreading collar of cardboard, covered with white or grey silk on its
inner surface, and on the outside with dark cloth to match the doublet.
By means of heated iron rollers and shellac the cardboard shape was
permanently moulded into a graceful curve which bent outwards at the
height of the chin, presenting in juxtaposition with the face the
surface of light coloured silk.[8]  Philip was pleased with the
novelty, which was distinctly more "dressy" than the Walloon, and had
none of the objections of the ruff, and ordered some to be made for his
brother Carlos and himself.  The tailor, in {139} high glee, went home
to his shop to make them.  But, alas! the pragmatics had forbidden "any
sort of alchemy" to make collars stiff, and, moreover, the Inquisition
was soon told by its spies that some secret incantations, needing the
use of mysterious smoking pots and heated machines turned by handles,
were being performed by the tailor in the Calle Mayor.

This was suspicious, and smelt of the Evil One; and soon the poor
tailor and his uncanny instruments were haled before the dread tribunal
on suspicion of witchcraft and sorcery.  It could not make much of the
tools, but as, in any case, the collars were lined with silk, and that
was against the pragmatic, the poor tailor's stock and instruments were
ordered to be publicly burnt before his door.  The tailor, in trouble,
went to Olivares, who was furious at the King's collars being burnt,
and he and the Duke of Infantado sent for the president of the
Inquisition Council, and rated him soundly.  The president declared
that he knew not that the strange things were for his Majesty; but
pointed out how dangerously new they were in shape, how mysteriously
stiffened, and how they sinned against the pragmatic.  But he was soon
silenced by the Count-Duke, who told him they were the best and most
economical neck-gear ever invented, as they needed no washing or
starching, and would last for a year without further expense.
Philip[9] and Carlos, with many of the courtiers, wore the new
_Golilla_ for the first time during the visit of {140} the Prince of
Wales, and the fashion caught the popular taste.  Thenceforward all
Spain, Spanish Italy, and South America wore golillas, the curve, size,
and shape changing somewhat as other fashions changed, but the
principle remained the same, until Spain was born again and a French
King banned the golilla as barbarous, and imposed upon his new subjects
the falling lace cravat and jabot of the eighteenth century.

Though the satirists and poetasters might gibe anonymously at the small
remedial effect that followed the well-meant measures of the King and
his "bogey," as they called Olivares, and might whisper spitefully, as
they did, that the latter purposely kept Philip absorbed in frivolous
pursuits, the better to be able to rule unchecked himself, the
favourite went on his way sternly and forcefully, pushing aside roughly
those who stood in nis path, and behaving none too generously to those
who aided him.  He gave up none of the duties of personal attendance
upon the King, although now the whole of the details of every
department of State passed through his hands.  The jealous courtiers,
whose perquisites he had curtailed, sneered beneath their breath at him
for coming into the King's room hung all round with packets of paper,
with similar packets stuck in sheafs under the band of his hat, and
bulging from his pockets, the very way, they said, to disgust with
affairs a youth already disinclined for business and constitutionally

[Sidenote: The policy of Olivares]

It is quite evident, however, that someone had to do the business of
the State; and the numerous and very able State papers and memoranda of
{141} advice from Olivares to Philip, still in existence,[10] show that
every subject of importance was exhaustively explained to the King,
naturally from Olivares' point of view, and that, if Philip left the
executive power in the hands of the minister, it was not because he was
kept in ignorance of the issues involved.  Even thus early the main
tendency of Olivares' policy was avowed to the King, a policy which was
in its essence wise and statesmanlike, but impossible of expeditious
consummation.  The difficulty which faced Olivares had faced Ferdinand
and Isabel and all subsequent Spanish sovereigns, namely, the want of
political unity of the country.  The "Catholic Kings" had attained a
factitious homogeneity by promoting a common spiritual pride, which had
given to Spain the temporary force, already well-nigh dead when
Olivares took the reins.  How could Spain face half Europe in arms, and
force orthodoxy on unwilling princes and populations with the resources
of ruined Castile alone?  Aragonese and Catalans were rich, but held
their purse-strings tight.  Portugal, with its fine harbours and its
rich Oriental trade, held stiffly to the constitution, to respect which
Spanish kings had solemnly sworn, and not a ducat of taxes could be
imposed upon it by the King of Spain without Portuguese consent, or for
other than Portuguese purposes.

[Sidenote: Olivares advocates unification]

The expiry of the truce with the Hollanders, and the evident approach
of war after the departure of Charles Stuart from Spain, made necessary
the {142} raising of large funds somehow.  It has been shown how
terribly exhausted the national resources of the Castilian realms were;
and the poverty of the country had wrung a cry from the Cortes of
Castile, which met late in 1623 to vote new supplies for three years.
They could not vote, nor could Castile pay, more than the usual amount,
which for the needs of a new war, in addition to the resumed struggle
with Holland, was quite insufficient.  It would be necessary,
therefore, for Philip soon to go and face the independent Parliaments
of Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia; and, whilst renewing and taking the
usual oaths, beg for generosity from his eastern subjects.  There is
extant a paper,[11] bearing date of 1625, in which Olivares unfolds to
Philip his ideas of the relations that ought to exist between the
various dominions of which Spain consisted: the object in view, as he
says, being to arrange that "in case any of the States was at war, the
rest should be obliged to come to its aid and defence."  He cites many
examples, ancient and modern, of the need for national unity in the
matter of finance and reciprocal obligation, and points out for the
benefit of the outer realms of Spain that they can only expect to form
a great Power by making such sacrifices for their King as other
subjects are obliged to make.  His idea, evidently, was to use the
obligation of mutual defence as the first step to a complete political
fusion of the crowns, and he tried to gild the pill by saying that each
of the outer realms may now be considered feudatories of Castile,
whereas if they were all united {143} each would be the head.  There
was, and is, no sentiment or tradition so strong in these regions,
especially in Catalonia, as that of political independence of Castile,
and any such argument as that of Olivares was bound to meet with stout
resistance if he attempted to enforce it.  The very rumour was
sufficient, and even before the journey of Philip to the eastern realms
was begun, in January 1626, ominous murmurs came that Castile might
fight her own battles.  The crowns of Aragon would provide money and
men to defend themselves, and pay their stipulated tribute to their
King on the ancient conditions; but that if an attempt was made to
coerce any further payment trouble would ensue.  How this threat was
carried out to the bitter end the later pages of this book will tell;
but before we accompany Philip and his mentor on their first regal
visit to the stubborn realms of the east, the further progress of
events in the capital must be told.

Philip's routine of life had already become fixed, and for many years
to come changed but little.  Olivares, as before, was always the first
to enter his room in the morning, and assisted him to rise, afterwards
reciting to him the business of the day, to which, except in the short
but frequent fits of penitence and remorse that throughout his life
plagued him, it is to be feared the King paid but little attention.  He
rose early, and ate and drank very soberly, dining at about eleven in
the morning after an early cup of chocolate, and performing his
religious duties.  Like all his house, he was a devoted lover of the
chase, and the large preserves in the neighbourhood of all his palaces
provided {144} him with ample sport; besides which, as will be
described in a later chapter, he enjoyed frequent wild boar drives, in
which his fine horsemanship was displayed with advantage.  His dress
was usually a close-fitting doublet of brown duffel with trunks to
match, or on occasions of greater ceremony black silk or velvet with
the thin chain and tiny badge of the Golden Fleece at the neck, but no
other ornament.  The golilla was almost invariably worn, his doublet
being, for outdoor wear, surmounted by a serviceable long shoulder cape
of similar dark colour.  The galligaskins were full, and tied at the
knee with ribbons, and confined at the waist by a leather belt,
square-toed shoes with buckles, and stockings of lighter colour than
the galligaskins, but not usually pure white, completed the leg
coverings, except for hunting wear, when gaiters or boots to the knee
were used.  A broad-trimmed felt hat with a band, and sometimes a side
feather, was his head-dress; and in the spring or autumn, when the
cloak would have been too heavy, his outdoor garment over the
close-fitting doublet was a _ropilla_ or outer jacket with false
sleeves cut open and hanging from the shoulder.

[Sidenote: Diversions of the court]

Both Philip and his wife Isabel[12] were indefatigable in their pursuit
of pleasure, in which their tastes agreed.  The two main amusements
were the theatre and the devotional celebrations in churches and
monasteries; and the immense number of these in Madrid and the
principal cities provided an endless choice of such festivities.  The
splendour and glitter which the sumptuary {145} decrees prohibited so
sternly in secular life ran riot in the temples, and a generation
forbidden to be extravagant in their own persons flocked to the garish
festivities of the Church to find the sensuous enjoyment which the mere
sight of richness gave them.  No opportunity, indeed, was lost of
getting up a religious show.  Philip's second child[13] was born in
November 1623,--the condition of the Queen at the time of Charles
Stuart's departure having been the reason why Philip did not accompany
his guest farther on his road to the coast.  The infant Princess,
Margarita Maria, only lived a month; but the ceremonial to celebrate
her baptism reads like the relation of a fairy-tale.[14]

[Illustration: PHILIP IV. AS A YOUNG MAN.  _From a contemporary
portrait in the possession of His Grace the Duke of Wellington at

In July of the next year, 1624, a splendid {146} opportunity for
devotional display was provided by the action of a madman.  The most
crowded church in Madrid was that of the Augustinian Monastery of St.
Philip, at the entrance to the Calle Mayor, upon whose steps and raised
sidewalk the idlers and gossips of the Court met to whisper scandal and
bandy satiric verse.  Every morning from matins until the angelus bell
tolled the hour of noon, when the soup and bread at the gates were
doled to hungry authors, stranded poets, and idlers out of luck, Liars'
Walk was full.  But rarely had such a sensation of horror pervaded it
as on the day just mentioned, when the congregation rushed in panic
from the church, with cries of horror that a heretic had knelt before
the high altar and had deliberately insulted the Holy Mystery there
displayed.[15]  Horror upon horrors! and in the Court of the Catholic
King!  For eight days the King and Queen, with all their Court in the
deepest mourning, peregrinated the capital, visiting shrines and making
propitiatory offerings.  Every church in Madrid was draped in black,
and processions, rogations, and public flagellations of devotees went
on ceaselessly for a week, during the whole of which time "no stage
plays were allowed, and public women were forbidden {147} to ply their
trade."  In the corridors of the palace itself separate altars were
raised for every royal personage, and all the jewels that the crown of
Spain could provide were piled upon them to appease the outraged

[Sidenote: The Theatres of Madrid]

The deprivation, even for a week, of the pleasures of the theatre must
have been to the citizens of the Court a greater penance for the
offence of the madman than any other; for Spain had literally gone
crazy for the stage, and Philip and his wife led or followed the
fashion eagerly.  Actors, or histrions, as they were called, were
popular heroes, and upon the Liars' Walk they swaggered and exchanged
quips with the fecund poets who supplied them with lines of facile
verse by the fathom.[16] There walked Quevedo, with his great
tortoiseshell goggles and his sober black garb; there, observed of all
observers, was the "phoenix of wits," the great Lope; there, Moreto and
Calderon; and there also the rival comedians of the two theatres, the
Corral de la Pacheca and the Teatro de la Cruz, twisted moustachios of
defiance at one another, and talked of the King's compliments at their
last appearance in the palace.

The two theatres of the capital consisted of large courtyards enclosed
by houses, which were usually held by the owners of the theatres.[17]
A raised stage at the farther end, with tiled eaves {148} and a
curtain, was faced by a number of benches protected from sun and rain
by an awning.  In these seats men alone were allowed to sit, whilst in
the open uncovered space behind them other men, who had paid a smaller
sum, witnessed the show standing.  On the left hand on the ground level
was a sort of enclosed gallery called the _cazuela_, the stew-pan,
where the women were accommodated; and, as upon the English stage at
the time, some of the more privileged of the gallants were allowed to
be seated on stools upon the stage itself.  In the closely grated
windows of the houses surrounding the courtyard the aristocracy saw the
play and the audience without being seen; and as these windows
corresponded with rooms (_aposentos_) in different houses with separate
entrances, but yet in most cases of easy access to the stage, infinite
opportunities for intrigue were provided.  So scandalous did this state
of affairs become at a somewhat later period, that murderous affrays
even between the highest nobles of Spain on the subject of the
actresses were of frequent occurrence.[18]  Philip, by the Court
etiquette, was not supposed to go to public theatres, and had {149} a
regular stage erected in the Alcazar and other palaces, where comedies
were performed twice a week; but, in fact, he was a constant visitor to
both the public theatres, going, of course, incognito, and often
masked, as was the fashion of the time.  There he would sit in one of
the private rooms, unseen behind a heavily grated window, but vigilant
for any new beauty who appeared on the stage or in the cazuela.[19]

Sometimes, too, the Queen would go with similar precautions, and it is
to be feared, from the stories of eye-witnesses, that her tastes were,
at all events in these joyful early years of her life, not too refined.
Not only was she an ardent lover of the bull-fight, but she would in
the palace or public theatres countenance amusements which would now be
considered coarse.  Quarrels and fights between country wenches would
be incited for her to witness unsuspected; nocturnal tumults would be
provoked for her amusement in the gardens of Aranjuez or other palaces;
and it is related that, when she was in one of the grated _aposentos_
of a public theatre, snakes or noxious reptiles would be secretly let
loose upon the floor or in the _cazuela_, to the confusion and alarm of
the spectators, whilst the gay red-cheeked young {150} Queen would
almost laugh herself into fits to see the stampede.

[Sidenote: An _auto-de-fé_]

Nor were bull-fights, comedies, equestrian shows and church spectacles
the only amusements of a Court which actually lived for idle pleasures.
There was another in which poignancy of excitement and devotion of the
peculiar Spanish sort were equally blended; and, though not so frequent
as the other diversions, was still more popular.  These were the
_autos-de-fe_.  Heretics of the Protestant kind there were now
practically none to burn; but sorcery, impiety, and above all Judaism,
or the suspicion of it, provided enough victims to furnish forth an
occasional public holiday.  The description of one such ceremonial at
this period will suffice.[20]  It was not long after the mad French
pedlar had outraged the religious proprieties in the Church of St.
Philip, when the branch of the Inquisition at Madrid received advice
from one of its ubiquitous familiars that certain persons, believed to
be of Jewish origin, were in the habit of meeting at the house of a
certain Licentiate in the Calle de las Infantas, where, amongst other
impious rites, they flogged and maltreated a wooden crucifix.  Before
many hours had passed, the whole of the accused and their friends were
in the dungeons of the Inquisition; and, as a warning to other
backsliders, it was determined to hold a solemn public ceremonial
judgment of the offenders in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid on Sunday, 4th
July 1624.

The municipality provided the stands and {151} decorations of the great
square, with a splendidly adorned balcony for the King and Queen, six
other balconies being reserved for the ladies in attendance, with nine
balconies for gentlemen of the palace party; a vast concourse of
citizens filling the public space, and the hundreds of balconies
looking down upon the square.  An immense staging was erected facing
the royal balcony, upon which, in their state robes, were to be seated
the Town Council of Madrid, the Inquisition of Toledo, the Supreme
Tribunal, all the Royal Councils and other official bodies.  The
ceremonies began on the evening before the great day.  At five o'clock
on Saturday afternoon, a solemn procession left the Convent of Doña
Maria de Aragon,[21] near the palace, carrying the gigantic green cross
which upon these occasions held the place of honour.  The standard was
borne by the first official noble in the land, the Constable of
Castile, whilst the Admiral of Castile carried the tassels of the
sacred banner.  Then, amidst a crowd of priests with flaring waxen
tapers, came the white cross in the hands of the representative of
Toledo, followed by the green cross itself, in the hands of the prior
of St. Thomas.  Torch-bearers and faggot-bearers came after, many
scores of them, and the procession closed by long lines of friars
bearing tapers from every monastery in Madrid.

At seven o'clock the next morning the King and Queen left the palace in
their coach, followed by the whole Court; and when the royal party had
seated themselves in their gay bedizened balconies, the long procession
of the Inquisition, {152} with swaying censers, flaming tapers, and
propitiatory dirges, wound into the plaza under the archway from the
Calle Mayor.  First came the alguaciles of the municipality and the
town officials, then the alguaciles of the Court and the officers of
the Royal Council; seventy hooded familiars of the dread tribunal with
their big crosses upon their sombre garb, followed with the crowd of
consultants, notaries, and prosecutors of the Holy Office.  After them
walked the municipality of Madrid, then the Chief Constable of the
Inquisition alone, followed by the fiscal of the Inquisition of Toledo
bearing the banner of the Holy Office, whose tassels were held by
fiscals of Castile.  The Inquisition of Toledo came next, and then the
Supreme Council of the Inquisition itself, the last and most important
member being Cardinal Zapata, the Inquisitor-General.

When all had taken their places, the Cardinal, as usual, ascended to
the royal balcony and administered to the King the oath to keep
inviolate the purity of the Church at any cost, an oath afterwards
repeated by the members of the tribunal itself and the Councils.  Upon
a lower staging before the official platform were grouped the forty
wretched creatures in their flaming tabards of shame, whose offence
this pompous show was to punish.  An interminable sermon was preached
by the King's confessor, Sotomayor, exhorting the accused to repent and
the faithful to increased zeal in the extermination of the enemies of
the holy faith; and then the dread sentences were read out by the
relator.  Seven of the accused were condemned to be burned alive that
night {153} outside the gate of the city, and four more were to be
executed in effigy, whilst their bodies rotted for life in the secret
dungeons of the Holy Office; the rest being sent back to their prison,
probably never again to see the light of day, and to suffer unrecorded
tortures until death should release them.  The house where the offence
was said to have been committed was doomed to be swept utterly from the
face of the earth, and a church and monastery dedicated to Christ
crucified erected in its place.[22]  By the time the condemned were led
away it was three o'clock in the afternoon; and whilst the wretched
prisoners in their _sambenitos_, amidst the curses and insults of the
crowd, went to their doom, the smart company of courtiers, together
with King Philip and his wife, returned to their respective homes and
their much-needed repast, doubtless in an exceedingly self-approving
and pharisaical mood.[23]

Whilst the King and his people were thus absorbed in the pursuit of
demoralising pleasures, and loudly proclaiming to Europe that Spain had
abandoned none of its past pretensions, the European league against her
had been fully organised.  It had been clear to Richelieu from the
beginning of Philip's reign, that unless France struck boldly and
promptly she would be in danger of finding herself once more shut in by
the House of Austria, more solid than ever now that Olivares was
determined to aid the Emperor to keep the {154} Palatinate, and the
blood and treasure of Castile were again to be squandered in fighting
heresy abroad.  Spinola, victorious in Germany with Spanish troops, was
seriously threatening the United Provinces, and Spain, in defiance of
treaties, still held by force the Valtelline, which connected Lombardy
with Tyrol.  The Duke of Savoy, ambitious and discontented with his
Spanish kinsman, tired of the rôle of catspaw to which he was
condemned, and greedy to seize Lombardy and Genoa, readily listened to
Richelieu's approaches; and England, still smarting under the
humiliation she had suffered from Olivares, did the same, whilst the
United Provinces, already at war with Spain, willingly joined the
enemies of her enemy.  Europe found itself for a short time again thus
divided in its old way: France, Savoy, and the Protestant Powers being
on one side; whilst the House of Austria in Germany and Spain, with the
Italian principalities, were on the other.  The first object of
Richelieu was to break the territorial circle by ousting the Spaniards
from the Valtelline, which he invaded with French and Swiss troops in
1625.  Then followed the ignominious attack upon Cadiz by the English
fleet under Sir Edward Cecil (Lord Wimbledon) in October of the same
year,[24] and Spain thus found herself at war with half Europe.

[Sidenote: War with France]

Poor and exhausted as we have seen that the country was, the labours of
Olivares had not been quite without result, and with great effort funds
were raised to present a front to the enemies of {155} the faith worthy
of Spanish traditions.  The Queen offered her personal jewels to fight
her own countrymen, the French; the nobles contributed a million ducats
in cash from their ill-gotten hoards; the pulpits and altars of Spain
and the Indies rang with priestly exhortations to sacrifice for the
faith; and the clergy itself undertook to maintain twenty thousand
troops during the war.  The property of all French subjects in Spain
was confiscated, and for once the energy of Olivares was felt in all
branches of the Spanish service.  It was as if the old times of Philip
II. had returned.  Feria and Spinola, the one on land, the other at
sea, forced the French to abandon their conquests in the Valtelline and
Genoa.  Spain, in a fever of pride and jubilation, hailed the young
King, who personally had done nothing and had never left Madrid, as
"Philip the Great," and Olivares caused the title to be officially
accorded to his young master.  But after a time the diplomacy of the
Spanish Queen of France and Olivares did more to end the war than the
skill of the generals.  Richelieu was a cardinal of the Church, and
could not entirely ignore the remonstrances of the Pope, prompted by
Olivares, against his making common cause with heretics to fight the
orthodox Catholic Power; and a treaty between France and Spain was
patched up in January 1626 with regard to the Valtelline, where the
Catholics were to enjoy full liberty of conscience on payment of a
tribute to the Protestant Grisons.

But in Germany the war, now mainly a religious one, went on, the arms
of the Emperor being to a great extent successful, thanks to {156} the
genius of Tilly and the ample aid in men and money poured into
mid-Europe by Spain.  Spanish resources, too, were plentifully sent to
the Infanta Archduchess to carry on the eternal war with the Dutch, who
were, as of yore, upheld by their brother Protestants in England and
France.  Once more the Dutch privateers harried Spanish commerce, and
again all traffic between Holland and Spain was prohibited, to Spain's
detriment.  But the new-born spurt of energy favoured Spanish arms even
here; for Don Fadrique de Toledo destroyed the Dutch fleet off
Gibraltar, and Spinola at last, after a siege of ten months, captured
Breda.  To complete the picture of Spain's unwonted success, the Dutch
were expelled from Guayaquil in South America and from Puerto Rico in
the West Indies, and the Moorish pirates who had harried the
Mediterranean, and even the Spanish coasts, for years, were crushed by
Philip's galleys.

[Sidenote: "Philip the Great"]

The pride and jubilation in Spain passed all bounds, and Philip
himself, in a recapitulation of the situation made to the Council of
Castile,[25] sets forth in words of proud satisfaction the rise in the
national prestige that had followed his accession.  It is significant,
however, that the occasion that gave rise to this document,
congratulatory and exculpatory at the same time, was the absolute
destitution of the country as a consequence of the expense caused by
the renewal of the war of which they were all so proud.

"Our prestige," says the King, "has been {157} immensely improved.  We
have had all Europe against us, but we have not been defeated, nor have
our allies lost, whilst our enemies (_i.e._ the French) have sued me
for peace.  Last year, 1625, we had nearly 300,000 infantry and cavalry
in our pay, and over 500,000 men of the militia under arms, whilst the
fortresses of Spain are being put into a thorough state of defence.
The fleet, which consisted of only seven vessels on my accession, rose
at one time in 1625 to 108 ships of war at sea, without counting the
vessels at Flanders, and the crews are the most skilful mariners this
realm ever possessed.  Thank God, our enemies have never captured one
of my ships, except a solitary hulk.  So it may truly be said that we
have recovered our prestige at sea; and fortunately so, for, lacking
our sea power, we should lose not only all the realms we possess, but
religion even in Madrid itself would be ruined, and this is the
principal point to be considered.  This very year of 1626 we have had
two royal armies in Flanders and one in the Palatinate, and yet all the
power of France, England, Sweden, Venice, Savoy, Denmark, Holland,
Brandenberg, Saxony, and Weimer could not save Breda from our
victorious arms."

In a similar gratulatory spirit the young King reviews the wars in
which Spain has held her own in the Grisons, Venetian territory,
France, and Genoa.

"We have," he continues, "held our own against England, both with
regard to the marriage and at Cadiz; and yet, with all this universal
conspiracy against us, I have not depleted my {158} patrimony by 50,000
ducats.  It would be impossible to believe this if I did not see it
with my own eyes, and that my own realms are all quiet and religious.
I have written this paper to you to show you (_i.e._ the Council of
Castile, the supreme administrative, judicial, and financial authority
in Spain) that I have done my part, and have put my own shoulder to the
wheel without sparing sacrifice.  I have spent nothing unnecessary upon
myself, and I have made Spain and myself respected by my enemies."

The political blindness that afflicted Philip in common with other
Spaniards of the day, is strikingly exhibited in this paper.  The
liberty or supremacy of the Valtelline Catholics mattered not one jot
to Spain.  The religious fate of Bohemia and the Palatinate was equally
foreign to purely Spanish interests, whilst it must have been patent to
all the world that a recognition of the inevitable independence of
Protestant Holland, which it was clear now Spain could never prevent,
would have resulted in a perfectly honourable peace in that direction,
and would have freed Spain from the drain which was exhausting her.
And yet there is in the document just quoted, and in scores of others
of the period emanating from Philip or his ministers, not one word to
indicate any idea that it was unwise or unstatesmanlike to lead
suffering Spain to utter ruin for the sake of championing the Catholic
faith, and all the causes masquerading under its name, in any part of

[Sidenote: Philip's appeal to Aragon]

But though Philip and his Castilian subjects were blinded to political
expediency by what they {159} proudly considered their religious
privilege and duty, the subjects of his eastern realms, hardheaded men
of other racial origins and political traditions, had no notion of
allowing themselves to be ruined for a sentimental idea, however
grandiose.  When the King had asked the Aragonese Cortes for the usual
grant in 1624, he was told that he must first present himself before
the Aragonese Parliaments (Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia) to take the
usual oath to respect their constitutions, before they could make a
grant; and as they stiffly held to the principle, which the Castilian
Parliament had lost, of "redress before supply," they could vote
nothing until their legislative demands were satisfied.  The anger of
Olivares at such a reply may be guessed by the tenour of the document
of his quoted on page 142, but there was no help for it, and Philip
with as good a grace as he might promised to visit his eastern
subjects, perfectly well aware that his progress was not likely to be a
mere voyage of pleasure, as his trip to Andalucia had been a year

The disappointed courtier Novoa[26] gives an amusing account of the
meeting of the Council of State which decided upon the King's voyage.
He says that Olivares, "careful as usual of the unessential point and
careless of what was most important," was determined to show off his
oratory, and begged the King and his brothers to sit behind the grating
in the council chamber, where unseen {160} they could watch the
proceedings, in order to hear his speech.  The wisest and oldest
councillors in their speeches dwelt upon the gravity of the situation,
and expressed hope that the alliance of their enemies would soon fall
to pieces, and Lord Wimbledon's fleet be wrecked on its way home.

portrait by Velazquez in the possession of Edward Huth, Esq._]

[Sidenote: The policy of Olivares]

"Then came the Count's turn to speak.  Settling himself firmly on his
legs, and thrusting his crutch stick between his bald patch and his
false hair, he made a longer pause than the occasion demanded, and said
that there was no reason for alarm, nor to make so much of the power of
many other potentates, for his Majesty was greater than all of them put
together.  Even if France, England, Venice, Holland, Savoy, Piedmont,
Sweden and Denmark were to join together, none of them, and hardly the
whole of them united, were so great as the realms under the dominion of
King Philip.  The realm of Castile, they all knew the greatness of, and
so they did of Portugal, Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, Sicily, Navarre,
Naples, Milan, Flanders, the East Indies and the West and other
islands, and great territories elsewhere.  Well, then! if his Majesty
alone had in various parts of the world greater possessions than many
of the others together, why should we be so frightened of the power of
many united?[27]  Let his Majesty leave Castile, and as {161} Portugal
is only one realm, Naples and Sicily, so far away and across the sea,
let him go to Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia.  Let him call their
Cortes together, and ask them for supplies.  Let him show them how many
years Castile has borne the burden alone, and demand that these three
realms shall do their part in providing men and money for his Majesty;
and those who cannot go to the war themselves, let them provide capable
and experienced men to replace them.  By this means we shall be able to
outweigh with our own forces the powers against us, without having to
go and beg for help from foreign princes.  Who doubts, he continued,
that by this means we shall raise great armies and fleets to defend the
country.  We can then easily send the aid necessary to Italy, Flanders,
and elsewhere, and to our own coasts, so that our enemies will all be
in fear of us, and perhaps will desist from their evil intentions.
This is what appears to me, in the present case, as being necessary to
carry out the plans I have formed, which I cannot explain at this
juncture, but by which I hope to render signal service to his Majesty."

Novoa says that Olivares delivered an empty, pompous harangue for two
hours, but that the above was the substance of his speech, and, after
making due allowance for the narrator's bias against Olivares, it is
evident that the speech as given represents fairly the policy by which
Olivares stood and fell.  It is difficult to understand how a clever
man could be so blind as he appears to have been to facts that now seem
so patent, namely, that the extent and scattered position of Spain's
{162} vast territories were a source of weakness, rather than of the
strength of which Olivares boasted so vainly; that Philip in resources
was not more powerful than all the enemies together; and that France or
England alone could raise from their own resources, homogeneous and
commercially prosperous as they were, larger and steadier contributions
than could disunited Spain, and especially ruined Castile; whilst the
brave talk of demanding heavy grants of men and money from the eastern
realms of Spain for foreign wars was very soon proved to be hollow.
Olivares thought to bounce and bully Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and
later, Portugal, into stultifying their Parliaments and abandoning
their constitutions as Castile had done, but he did not realise the
fact that in adopting this policy _à outrance_ he was pitting himself
against the most powerful sentiment in Spain, namely, local
individuality; and it is not too much to say that all of Spain's
internal troubles from the days of Olivares to the present have sprung
from the attempts to override this sentiment.

[Sidenote: Philip and the Aragonese]

The Aragonese nobles were numerous and powerful, and the merchants and
shipmen of Catalonia were immensely more wealthy than any others in
Spain; and even before the King left Madrid it was evident that
Olivares would have to face strenuous opposition.  Power so absolute
and so arrogant as his, so regardless of the feelings and the dignity
of others, had already in the six years of his power raised up against
him the bitter, if discreetly veiled, enmity of many of the older
nobles, especially those of the outer realms, and the speech we have
just quoted, shadowing {163} forth his policy in Aragon publicly--in
addition to the document addressed to the King and quoted on page 142,
gave the signal for the gradual drawing together of the elements
against him.

The King and his brother Carlos left Madrid on the 7th September 1625,
attended by Olivares, his son-in-law, the Marquis of Heliche, the
Admiral of Castile (the Duke of Medina de Rio Seco), the Marquis of
Castel Rodrigo, and other nobles, but with much less state than usual
and a smaller attendance, the plan being to travel rapidly, and "rush"
the three Cortes into voting what was needed.  But the Aragonese and
the others were already full of suspicion.  The three Cortes had been
convened,--that of Aragon at Barbastro, that of Catalonia at Lerida,
and that of Valencia at Monzon, a town outside the realm of Valencia.
The Valencians had flared up at once, and had sent a deputation to
Madrid to remonstrate with the King for thus disregarding their
privileges.  After several interviews with Olivares, who had treated
them very off-handedly, the deputation waited upon him for a final
interview the day before the King left Madrid.  "Why should you put
this slight upon us?" asked the Valencians.  "You do not act thus with
the Aragonese and Catalans."  "Oh!" replied the Count-Duke, "we think
you Valencians are softer."  "If you mean," said the offended
deputation, "that we are softer in giving way to the wishes of our King
and his ministers, regardless of our rights, that seems to be a reason
why you should grant our request instead of rejecting it."  "Well,"
continued Olivares drily, "all I can say is, that the King is {164}
going to Monzon; if the Valencian Cortes are assembled there when he
arrives, well and good.  If not, we shall have to take the course we
think best."  "Shall I write that to my principals?" said the
spokesman.  "You may do as you like," retorted the Count-Duke, as he
called his page to show the deputation out.[28]

Philip entered Zaragoza, the capital city of Aragon, on the 13th
January 1626, and the official rejoicing of the citizens, though
respectful, was marred by their discontent at the lack of the Court
splendour they looked for; for the Aragonese, though dour, are loyal
and love show.  In the great cathedral on the banks of the Ebro, Philip
swore upon the Gospels, held in the hand of the Chief Justice of the
realm, never to impair the liberties of Aragon, and to the Cortes the
King made a pitiable statement of the needs of his realm, and asked for
3330 armed soldiers for the war, and the right of freely enlisting
10,000 more to be drilled and kept ready in case of need.  The Deputies
said that such a vote was impossible, but offered instead to provide a
million ducats, payable in ten annual instalments.  Philip, with
Olivares at his elbow, was angry and threatening; and at last in
dudgeon he adjourned the Parliament to Calatayud, and hurried off to

[Sidenote: Philip and the Valencians]

But in the meanwhile a much more serious conflict had taken place
between the King and the offended Cortes of Valencia at Monzon.  There
for weeks the King was kept waiting.  The clergy and popular estates
were bribed and frightened {165} into promising to vote the amount
demanded; but, deaf to the King's anger and the violent threats of
Olivares, the landed gentlemen's estate obstinately stood out.  The
expulsion of the Moriscos, their best tenants, they said, had ruined
them, and they could not pay.  Philip, in a formal document, almost
raved at their obstinacy, and on one occasion said that there could not
have been loyal gentlemen amongst them, or they would have stabbed a
particularly bold speaker who advocated resistance.  It was necessary
that the three estates should vote together, and that the decision
should be unanimous; and at length, in the face of open threats, the
vote was cast as the King demanded, with the exception that one member,
Don Francisco Millan, obstinately held out.  He ought to be garroted,
said one of Philip's secretaries, and at the alarmed persuasion of his
colleagues he gave way.  But then other difficulties were raised.  The
estates could not agree amongst themselves as to their shares of the
vote, but after much wrangling promised to contribute in material, but
not in money, one half as much as the Aragonese paid.  This did not
suit Philip, and fresh trouble, more acute than ever, arose.  The
Cortes asked the King to stay in Monzon twelve days more, whilst the
Cortes remained in legislative session; to which request the King
replied by a haughty intimation that he should leave next day, and that
the matter of the vote of supply must be settled within half an hour,
which, taking out his watch, he told the deputation had already begun.
This message fell like a thunderbolt upon the Cortes, which had not yet
even discussed any legislation.  Some were for {166} defiance, and an
immediate dissolution of the assembly without voting or discussion on
any subject.  All night long they sat, considering this grave crisis in
their national history, and at six in the morning a messenger from the
King entered the chamber, and told the members that his Majesty had
decided to punish them by abolishing their famous right of _nemine
discrepante_, by which no vote of supply could be enforced unless it
was unanimous.  In future, he said, a bare majority would suffice, and
he was leaving for Barcelona at once.

This was illegal and unconstitutional, and the Valencians never forgave
it, but, rather than enter then upon the new path of open rebellion--up
to that time an unheard-of thing in Spain since the loss of Castilian
legislative power at Villalar a hundred years before--the Cortes of
Valencia gave way, and at the stern order of the King voted the supply
unconditionally and unanimously; after which the members were expelled
the chamber, and sooner or later an armed struggle between the regal
Castilian power and the Parliament of Valencia was rendered inevitable.
This was the first result of Olivares' attempt to override sentiment
and ancient constitutional rights.

[Sidenote: Philip and the Catalans]

Far more serious in the long run was the conflict in the stubborn
Cortes of Catalonia.  Even before the King made his splendid state
entry into Barcelona, the dissensions amongst the nobles in immediate
attendance upon him had come at last to an open quarrel.  The proud
nobles of ancient title looked down upon the new grandeeship of
Olivares, and his insolence had deeply wounded {167} them.  The matter
came to a head upon a trivial point.  The King's coach had been
occupied by Philip and his brother Carlos, Olivares, as first minister
and lord chamberlain, the Admiral of Castile as the senior official
grandee by hereditary right, with the Marquis of Heliche, Olivares'
young son-in-law, and the Marquis of Carpio, another relative of the
Count-Duke and acting master of the horse.  The party was to pass the
night before entering Barcelona at the house of the Duke of Cardona,
the proudest of Catalan nobles; and when they were setting out in the
morning the King called for his host Cardona to accompany him in his
coach.  The Admiral of Castile, determined not to be ousted, pushing
forward, took his place in the coach and refused to move or make way
for Cardona; whereupon the King, in a rage, rebuked the admiral
roughly.  To make matters worse, the admiral and his friends at once
threw the blame upon Olivares, and the latter, feigning an attack of
gout, sulked and ostentatiously absented himself from the solemnities
of Holy Week in Barcelona.  The King thereupon appointed young Heliche
to replace his father-in-law at court, and consequently to take
precedence of the admiral.  This was too much, and the proud noble gave
the King a bit of his mind about his favourite, and ended by flinging
his key, the insignia of office as chamberlain, upon the table,
resigned his Court appointment, and went off to Madrid in a towering
rage, there to be placed under arrest and to suffer all sorts of
investigations and humiliations.[29]


After the splendours and plausibilities of Barcelona,[30] the change to
the hard-fisted Cortes at Lerida was a shock to the King and his
minister.  There was no hesitation in the demand of the Catalan Cortes
that they must be heard before they would vote anything at all, and
they were more inclined to ask the King to repay them what they had
advanced to him than to grant him more money.  The tone of Philip
towards them at first was supplicatory, for they were rich, strong, and
united.  Mildness, however, was wasted upon the Catalans, and the
private meetings of the members and other signs of resistance were
considered to be dangerous.  Olivares began to threaten, and gave them
three days to pass the vote, but the Catalans were still unmoved.  Then
the Count-Duke, in a panic of fear, suddenly and without notice hurried
Philip back to Madrid (May 1626).  The Catalans, when he was gone,
frightened in their turn, voted what was asked for, but all grace in
the act was gone, and a deep chasm thenceforward existed between the
eastern realms and the King's favourite in a hurry, who had tried to
undermine their ancient liberties.

[Sidenote: The independent parliaments]

Philip from Madrid tried to appease the Aragonese by voluntarily
reducing the contribution they had at length voted; but the result of
his journey left not only resentment in the hearts of his non-Castilian
subjects, but led to outrageous raids of angry Castilian soldiery into
Aragon, and aroused in the King himself a bitter feeling towards the
{169} peoples who had been the first to challenge the despotic
supremacy which Olivares had taught him was his divine birthright.
Philip, indeed, like his immediate predecessors on the throne, was
saturated with the idea of his divinely delegated authority.  To oppose
his will was not disloyalty alone, but impiety, and it was naturally
difficult for him to understand that this view, which was generally
held by his Castilian subjects, whose kingly traditions were
sacerdotal, could not be shared by peoples whose institutions were
based upon a purely elective military monarchy, and feudalism modified
by a representative democracy.  How the anger rankled in his breast is
seen in the long exculpatory document which I have several times
quoted, which on his return to Madrid he addressed to the Council of
Castile.[31]  In the course of the document, whilst showing how he,
personally, has striven to improve matters, he rates them, and indeed
almost everybody, for so imperfectly seconding his efforts.  But the
hardness of his eastern subjects was evidently that which touched him

"Anything is better," he says, "than to burden more heavily these poor
unhappy vassals of Castile, who, by their love, their efforts, and
their sufferings have made us masters of the rest of what we possess,
and still preserve it for us, as the head and part principal of our
commonwealth.  I would far rather take burdens from these poor people
than impose further sacrifices upon them, and when I think of what they
have to pay, and also the {170} trouble and annoyance they have to
submit to in the collection of it, in good truth I would rather beg for
charity from door to door, if I could, to provide for the funds
necessary for the national defence, than deal so harshly with such
vassals as these....  I grieve in my very soul to see such good
subjects suffer so much from the faults of my ministers.  If my own
life-blood would remedy it I would cheerfully give it.  And yet, though
you (the Council of Castile) know how this cuts me to the heart, and
though I reproach you, you propose no remedy....  I tried the Cortes of
Aragon, running, as you well know, serious risk, and incurring great
trouble and inconvenience, solely for the purpose of alleviating the
pressure upon these Castilian subjects, and I am directing my efforts
in the same way with my other realms, so that some day I hope we may be
able to lighten the taxes in Castile.  God knows, I yearn for the
coming of that day more than to conquer Constantinople."

[Sidenote: Philip's life tragedy]

We shall see as time goes on that this attitude is the one natural to
Philip through all the troubles which gathered blacker and blacker, as
the evil seed sown by him and Olivares grew and ripened.  He himself,
acting conscientiously and under divine inspiration, was never wrong in
the measures he adopted.  If suffering and adversity came, they always
came either from the wiles of the evil one, or for some wise
inscrutable purpose of God.  They were never at this time a consequence
of any want of wisdom or prescience of his.  His heart bled, as we see
by his own passionate words quoted above, for the misery of his
subjects, but it never seemed {171} through his life to occur to him
that the way to remedy it was to abandon an untenable position in his
foreign relations, and devote his energies to the concentration of
national resources for the promotion of productive industry and
interior economy.

This was Philip's tragedy, the tragedy of a lifetime which this book
will try to follow to its sad disillusioned end.  The haunting,
sorrow-stricken, compassionate face shows through its proud mask of
impassivity and its leaden eyes deep traces of the terrible struggle
within; of the throes of a man who dared not show his pain, and who in
later years bared his soul but to one woman in the world.  Weak of
will, tender of conscience, sensitive of soul.  A rake without
conviction, a voluptuary who sought sensuous pleasures from vicious
habit long after they had ceased to be pleasures to him, and yet
expiated them with agonies of remorse which made his soul a raging hell.

This is the man.  Philip the Great!  "The Planet King," as the
flattering poets called him; this pale, long-faced, sallow young man of
twenty-one, who came back to his capital in the spring of 1626 already
embittered and disillusioned, confronted by wars and threats of wars on
all sides, overwhelmed with poverty yet inflated with pride: seeking
escape from his troubles in the company of poets, painters, actors, and
courtesans, and in the buffoonery of distorted dwarfs and half-idiotic
monstrosities, whilst the dark heavy man with the big square head and
arrogant mien led the nation down the slope that ended in inevitable
disruption and ruin.

[1] He wrote a series of interesting descriptions of the ceremonies and
feasts in honour of Charles's visit to Madrid.  _Terpsichore_.

[2] _Apuntamientos_.  Secretly printed in Madrid, 1623.

[3] When the Duke of Osuna was arrested early in Philip's reign he had
300 servants resident in his house.

[4] There are copies of many of these decrees in British Museum MSS.
Add. 9933 and 9934.

[5] Contemporary transcript by Father Torquemada.  MSS. Add. 10,236
British Museum.  The original is in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid.

[6] It may be noted that Olivares, who of course cut down his own
household, still had 122 servants after that process.  _Revista de
Archivos_, iv. p. 20.

[7] British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338, f. 136.

[8] The first idea of this collar, which was promptly dubbed _Golilla_
(little gorget), was merely as a support for the linen Walloon, which
would thus be made to stand out like a ruff, but the silk-lined golilla
alone was soon generally adopted.

[9] Philip during his life was rarely seen in any other collar, though
in his fine portrait as a young man at Dulwich he wears a large lace

[10] There is a most important collection of these originals and
transcripts, in the Egerton MSS., British Museum.

[11] British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338.

[12] A biography of the Queen is given in the author's _Queens of Old

[13] The first had been a girl, prematurely born in August 1621, who
died in a few hours.

[14] There is a very long and detailed account of the ceremony in MS.
(Biblioteca National, Madrid, p.v.c. 27), transcribed by the writer.
The new-born babe was borne down the great staircase of the Alcazar in
the arms of a lady of the house of Spinola, the Count-Duke of Olivares
walking backwards with golden candlesticks escorting the new Princess
to the rooms of her governess, the Countess Duchess of Olivares, in the
ground floor apartment that had only a few months before housed the
Prince of Wales.  The King with all his Court attended the Royal Chapel
for the _Te Deum_, pontifically celebrated by the Patriarch and
Cardinal Zapata.  For three nights in succession every balcony in
Madrid was illuminated by a wax torch, and at night a great masked
equestrian display of 120 nobles of the Court with new costumes and
liveries was performed, the Count of Olivares and Don Pedro de Toledo
being the most brilliant, and skilful riders.  The great cavalcade
paraded the principal streets of the capital, and ran two courses, one
in the Calle Mayor and the other before the Convent of Discalced
Carmelites.  The next day the King rode in state with all the Court to
give thanks to the Virgin of Atocha, returning in coaches and admiring
the illuminations.  The baptism took place in the little parish church
of St. Gil, hung for the occasion with cloth of gold.  There the Nuncio
with cardinals and bishops galore made a Christian of the babe.  The
tremendous ceremony, with silver cradle, its rich offerings and its
pompous names, must be taken for granted here, but the pride of the
narrator in the grandeur of it all is significant of the time.  There
is extant a news-letter from Don Antonio de Mendoza to the Duke of
Bejar of the date (quoted by Hartzenbusch in his _Calderon_) giving an
account of the great festivity held by Marquis of Alcañices in his
palace in Madrid to celebrate the birth of this Infanta.  "Two comedies
by different authors were represented with excellent dancers and a
dance of maskers in which elegance and skill vied with each other; the
great saloon in which it was held inciting envy in the heavenly
spheres, such was the beauty and the brilliancy it contained."

[15] He was a French pedlar named Reynard de Peralta, and was of course
garotted and burnt by the Inquisition for his crime, which amounted to
a denial of the Immaculate Conception.

[16] The actors had also another Mentidero or Liars' Walk of their own,
where they were wont to congregate on an open space at the corner of
the Calle de Leon, opposite to what is now the great literary club of
Madrid, the Ateneo.

[17] The original pretext for the establishment of the public theatres
was to provide funds for the charitable fraternities who partly owned
them, and always received a considerable share of the takings.

[18] Frequent attempts were made by the authorities to suppress the
scandals and abuses in the theatres, which, although the performances
always took place by daylight, were inevitable in such a state of
society as that we are now describing.  It was forbidden, for instance,
for men in the courtyard or pit to converse with women in the cazuela
or on the stage; the actresses were not allowed to dress in masculine
garb, and an alguacil was always to be on duty in the auditorium during
the performance.  See Schack's _Historia del arte dramatica en España_;
Pellicer's _Tratado Historico sobre el origen ... de la Comedia en
España_ (1804); _El Corral de la Pacheca_, by Juan Comba; _Origen
Epocas y Progresos del Teatro Español_, by Hugalde (1802), and the
valuable MS. _Memorias Cronologicas sobre el origen ... de Comedias en
España_, by Antonio de Armona, in the Royal Academy of History, Madrid.

[19] Philip's passion for the theatre was so well understood, that a
comedy formed part of the entertainment at every place he visited.  In
the spring of 1624 he made a short but very splendid progress in
Andalucia, and every great noble and city that received him gave him a
new play.  On the 18th March the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the great
Andalucian magnate and kinsman of Olivares, entertained the King in his
country house near St. Lucar, and presented a new comedy before him
every day of his stay.  On the 7th April we learn that, during his
visit to Granada the King witnessed a comedy in the Alhambra!  The King
himself wrote some plays, now lost.

[20] Leon Pinelo's _Anales Manuscritos de Madrid_ and other
contemporary writings describe many such.

[21] Now the Senate.

[22] The site is now converted into a pretty public garden, called the
Plaza de Bilbao.

[23] The _auto_ is described by Leon Pinelo (_Anales Manuscritos_), by
Montero de los Rios (_Historia de Madrid_), and others.

[24] A full account of this little known inglorious episode is given
from the Elliot papers in the Camden Society, 1883.

[25] British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338, 136.

[26] _Memorias de Matias de Novoa; Ayuda de Camara de Felipe IV_.
These invaluable memoirs, written by a bitter enemy of Olivares, were
formerly supposed to have been written by another favourite courtier of
Philip, called Vivanco.  Though vivid, they are unfair to Olivares.

[27] It is rather a curious fact that the Count-Duke's father, the
second Count of Olivares, had been the first councillor in 1603 to
speak plainly in the Council of Philip in on the projects of Spain to
dominate England.  He pointed out very strongly that extension of
territory did not mean increase of power, but the contrary, as it meant
the distribution instead of the concentration of national strength.
See the writer's _Calendar of Spanish State Papers of Elizabeth_, vol.

[28] Dormer, _Anales de Aragon_, MS., Royal Academy of History, Madrid.
The published portion of the book only covers the sixteenth century.

[29] Novoa and British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338.

[30] There is a most interesting and full unpublished account of
Philip's entry and stay in Barcelona in British Museum, Add. MSS.
10,236, called _Entrada que el Rey Nuestro Señor hizo en la ciudad de
Barcelona y fiestas que se hicieron_, 1626.

[31] Egerton MSS. 338.




On the King's return to Madrid in the spring of 1626 almost
simultaneous baptism of another short-lived infant Princess and the
betrothal of the Infanta Maria, the erstwhile "Princess of Wales," to
the King of Hungary, heir to the empire, gave other pretext for one of
those interminable rounds of pompous shows in which Philip delighted.
The marriage of yet another Princess of the Spanish branch of Hapsburg
to a future emperor was a provocation flung in the face of Europe, and
so Richelieu understood it; and again patiently knitted his plans for
taking up the challenge in due time, and defeating finally the
threatened {173} hegemony of the house of Austria to the detriment of
that of Bourbon.

[Sidenote: The enemies of Olivares]

During the absence of the Court at Aragon, the party against Olivares
had taken courage in Madrid; for already it was seen that the young
Queen, full of spirit as she was, chafed under the complete subjection
in which the King was held, and the almost equal tutelage which the
Countess of Olivares endeavoured to exercise over her.  Isabel loved
diversion as much as her husband did, though her amusements were less
intellectual than his; but she could not help seeing, even if there had
not been those who were eager to tell her, that the high hopes that the
domination of Olivares had first aroused were very far from being
fulfilled, and that the distress in the country was greater than ever
with the increased drain of the never-ending war.  Olivares, moreover,
took no pains to conciliate the Queen, and his attitude towards ladies
in general was frankly insolent and contemptuous.  He was determined,
in any case, to brook no possible interference with his supremacy, and
deliberately endeavoured to lessen the Queen's influence by encouraging
the formation of other ties by Philip.  Not that Philip, indeed, needed
much encouragement; but a regular network of agents in the principal
cities kept the favourite informed of the appearance of any new and
charming actress on the provincial stage, in order that she might be
brought to the theatres of the capital and placed before the eyes of
the King.

[Sidenote: The Infantes]

Nor was the Queen the only person of the family whose influence
Olivares was determined {174} to check.  The two young Infantes, the
King's brothers, were now growing into manhood, the elder, Charles,
born in 1607, being twenty years of age, and the Cardinal Infante
Fernando two years younger.  A curious memorandum from Olivares to the
King on the subject of his brothers is extant,[1] and shows plainly the
method by which Olivares kept his hold upon the King by arousing
suspicion of all others, even of the members of the royal family.  It
appears that at the instance of the minister Philip had appointed a
commission, headed, of course, by Olivares, to consider and report upon
what should be done for the future of the King's brothers; and the
series of memoranda referred to set forth the result of their
deliberations.  The points to be settled, says the document, are full
of difficulty, and though there has been a period of nineteen years to
consider it (_i.e._ since the Infante Carlos was born), it is as full
of perplexity as ever.  The great danger and risk is to make a choice
of servants for the Princes.  "We must approach this by taking into
account the characters and dispositions of their Highnesses.  We
consider Don Carlos to be of easy and yielding disposition, and that he
will tend the way that those who are near him may desire.  But in Don
Fernando may be seen a greater natural vivacity, which, with a little
help, might be inflamed to a point that would cause serious harm, which
we must try to prevent."  It is far better, says Olivares and his
colleagues, to face the matter now {175} than to let it drift until it
becomes unmanageable.  "The best thing will be for Fernando to continue
in the ecclesiastic state; but not to take higher steps in it than at
present, in view of the succession.[2]  Let him have sufficient money,
but let us be careful not to arouse his spirit and ambition by giving
him the power that too much money bestows, and do not let us in our
generosity to him defraud the poor flocks and the other bishops.  Or
else give him the bishopric of Oran and arouse his zeal in Africa, like
Cardinal Ximenez."[3]  This project was not approved of by the
commission, as the desire for arms and conquest might set him against
his profession.  "Or we might make him Inquisitor-General, in order to
introduce him into government affairs, as was done with Prince Henry
the navigator.  But the worst of that is that he is yet very young, and
the Inquisition is a very serious matter.  Or we might send him to
Flanders, or even put him into the Council of State here; but if we did
that we must put Carlos in too, and we can see many reasons against
doing so.  Carlos, of course, must be married or set to some active
exercise, to keep him employed and out of mischief until God shall
point out to us what had better be done with him.  At present there is
no available princess for him."  Several princesses are then suggested,
such as one of the Savoy cousins, a younger daughter of the Emperor,
and a sister of the Duke of Lorraine; but all are rejected, and after
an {176} interminable prologue the final recommendation of Olivares is
reached, namely, to get Fernando, evidently the one he dreaded most,
out of the way by sending him to Flanders.  But even this is full of
suspicion and difficulty.  The people there want a Prince of their own.
The old Infanta might leave him the throne when she died, and the
Flemings might use the Infante to conquer and hold independence of you
with your (_i.e._ Philip's) own arms, and that, of course, must be
avoided.  If the States of Flanders could be left without a master when
the Infanta dies, that would be best, but as it cannot be your Majesty
must keep them.[4]  Or if your Majesty thought well, you might make him
Grand Admiral and Prince of the Sea.  In that capacity, as the
authority would be so much divided, it would not be easy for him to do
anything to your Majesty's detriment, especially as he will be
surrounded by persons of unquestionable fidelity.  But it is difficult
to know how we can do this.  If he were appointed to supreme command,
both in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, with both ships and galleys
under him, he would have to depute much of his authority, and we think
this would be good.  But still, it would be putting vast power into the
lad's hands.  Besides, {177} perhaps he would not be contented with the
place unless a viceroyalty like that of Sicily was attached to it.

And so every possibility is discussed at length, and every suggestion
either rejected altogether or approved of with many qualifications and
drawbacks, pointing out the danger of giving power to princes.  But
though the commission could come to no decided conclusion, Olivares, in
a private letter to Philip, recommended that Carlos should eventually
be made Viceroy of Sicily, and Fernando sent to Flanders with a wise
old household, although, for the present, it was decided that nothing
should be done, except to keep the Princes quiet and as much apart from
affairs as possible.

I have given to these curious documents perhaps more space than their
intrinsic importance deserved, because they seem to me to illustrate
exactly the almost diabolical distrust that Olivares sought to instil
into the young King, even of his own brothers.  Philip's, however, was
an affectionate nature, and he was never soured against his brothers,
as Philip II. by similar Machiavellian counsels from Perez was fatally
estranged from his.  Distrust was the note struck everywhere by
Olivares: distrust of relatives, of nobles, even of councillors, except
those who were creatures of his own; and it is evident that on the
return of the Court to Madrid, after the absence of five months in
Aragon, the favourite found the atmosphere less grateful to him than
before.  The Queen, as Regent in Philip's absence, had enjoyed an
increase of power and consideration, and the nobles, priests, and
ladies around her had been able to speak more {178} boldly whilst they
were relieved of the alarming presence of the Count-Duke.

[Sidenote: Philip's idleness]

Olivares soon struck a blow to regain any power or prestige that he had
lost and to fill his enemies with confusion.  The King, as we have
seen, was indolent and pleasure-loving, leaving all the hard work of
the Government to Olivares, upon whom he depended absolutely.  The
minister knew full well that without his guidance his master would be
utterly at sea, and the threat of his retirement always brought Philip
to heel.  No step, therefore, could have been more effectual in
stopping the mouths of the carpers opposed to the favourite, than for
the latter himself to protest against the King's neglect of his duties.
The State paper in which Olivares remonstrated with the King in the
autumn of 1626 for his lack of attention to work, and the King's reply,
have been printed several times in Spanish; but they deserve to be
quoted here as specimens of the consummate skill of the minister in
facing the situation in which he found himself and his clever
management of the young King.[5]

The document is headed, "Paper from the Count-Duke to his Majesty, in
which he urges him to consider and despatch current and private affairs
himself, without obtaining the opinions of the junta, and, above all,
the opinion of the Count-Duke, so that the King himself may, by a step
later, take entire control of affairs of State and Government."  "Your
Majesty is good witness of the many times during the long period I have
{179} served you, that I have told you how important it was for your
best interests that people should not only see the result of your own
actions, but that they should also recognise them as such, and give you
the full credit for them, thus also endowing with force those actions
upon which you must needs take counsel.  For it is certain, sire, that
in the present state of this republic no other course will remedy our
ills.  Let people recognise in your Majesty attention, resolution, a
determination to be obeyed, and if this be not sufficient, let it be
recognised in the orders you give, and even in your own person in
insignificant acts, nay in the most private actions in your own
chamber, where most of the fears which the people entertain have their
origin.  I have also on many occasions begged your Majesty to give me
leave to retire, and to recognise how impossible it is for me to
succeed in any of my efforts to serve your Majesty, without your own
attention, resolution, and application to the papers.  Feeling, as I
do, the weight of the duty and love I owe to your Majesty, I have tried
to impress this need upon you in the preamble of my various requests;
and to show you how indispensable it is for your Majesty's conscience,
for your reputation, and for the redress of the evils of the
Government, that you should work, or everything will sink to the
bottom, no matter how desperate my efforts may be to keep things going.
I have decided, therefore, to make a last appeal to you, because during
the last few months affairs have become so urgent that there really is
no other course but that your Majesty should put your shoulder to the
wheel, or commit a mortal sin.  {180} I must protest, with due respect
to your Majesty, as your humble slave and faithful minister, that if
your Majesty will not at once adopt this resolution, I shall be looked
upon as a traitor if I continue in this place, knowing as I do that,
however I may strive, it is quite impossible, without the personal aid
and support of your Majesty, for me to do what is necessary for the
State, and this is being proved now to me by daily experience.  It may
be that the reason why your Majesty will not consent to work and do as
I beg you, arises from the entire confidence you place in me, and that
if I were not here you might apply yourself more to work, because you
might not trust others as you trust me.  This thought, together with
the zeal and desire, as God knows, I have to serve your Majesty, have
brought me to the point of saying resolutely, that if your Majesty will
not do as I ask you, I will go away at once without asking your leave
or even letting you know I am going, even though your Majesty may
punish my disobedience by sending me to a fortress, because, God forbid
that I, who owe what I do to your Majesty, should with my eyes open
fail to act as I believe for the best, even at the risk of ruin to
myself and all my kin, a loss which would be well repaid if it resulted
in inducing your Majesty to do what is necessary to remedy the evils
which demand the personal attention of your Majesty.  I have said all
that a subject may say, clearly and boldly; I would rather risk your
anger than fail in my duty.  The evil is great.  Reputation has been
lost, the treasury has been totally exhausted, ministers have grown
venial and slack, taught to {181} neglect the execution of the laws or
to administer them with laxity, and this is one of the great causes of
the evils that afflict the country and justice.  Take, I pray you,
sire, the work into your own hands.  Let the very name "favourite"
(_privado_) disappear.  I will continue to urge your Majesty to
shoulder this burden that God Himself has cast upon you, to labour with
it, if you will, without overworking yourself, but not without work at
all.  4th September 1626."

[Sidenote: Philip promises to work]

The appeal sounds genuine, and no doubt to some extent it was so, for
it did not suit Olivares to be the person to be held solely responsible
for the grave state of things that was already arousing even
long-suffering Castile to passionate protest; and the privation and
misery of the greater part of the population were, it must have been
evident to the Count-Duke, powerful instruments against him in the
hands of his enemies, now growing daily bolder.  Philip always wanted
to do well, that was the tragedy of his life, and if good resolutions
had sufficed, no better ruler could have been desired.  Any appeal,
moreover, to his conscience always found an immediate echo, though a
fleeting one; and in his reply to the minister the weakness as well as
the rectitude of his character are touchingly displayed.  In his own
great sprawling hand Philip wrote on Olivares' letter--

"COUNT,--I have resolved to do as you ask me, for the sake of God, of
myself, and of you.  Nothing is boldness from you to me, knowing, as I
do, your zeal and love.  I will do it, Count, and I return you this
paper with this reply, so that {182} you may make it an heirloom of
your house, that your descendants may learn how to speak to kings in
matters that touch their fame, and that they may know what an ancestor
they had.  I should like to leave it in my archives to teach my
children, if God grant me any, and other kings, how they should submit
to what is just and expedient.--I, THE KING."

Whatever may have been Philip's intention, and it is impossible to
doubt his sincerity, his good resolutions, as Olivares probably
foresaw, did not last long; but the cavillers for a time were silenced,
and Olivares at any future crisis could and did always point to his
letter, and shift a full share of his responsibility upon the King.
The responsibility, in good truth, was a heavy one.  The constant drain
of men and money to Germany, Italy, and Flanders fell mainly upon the
realms of Castile, where the poverty was greatest.  The expulsion of
the Moriscos (1610), the most ingenious and industrious craftsmen in
the land, had already produced its dire effects, and skilled industry,
which formerly paid most of the taxes, had well-nigh disappeared.
Without doing anything to revive manufactures in Spain itself, the
Government of Olivares now began the fatal policy of prohibiting
commerce of all sorts with the countries at war with Spain, which soon
meant all maritime Europe; and the consequence was a complete dearth of
commercial movements, a terrible rise in prices, universal contraband
and untold suffering, which the purblind minister sought to remedy by
the puerile device of suddenly reducing by one half the value of copper
money (May 1627), and {183} fixing a maximum price at which farmers
might sell food stuffs!

[Sidenote: Illness of the king]

Anxiety and dissipation acted upon a physique never strong, and Philip,
in the summer of 1627, fell seriously ill in Madrid.  The last baby
girl had died, and though the Queen was pregnant, the next heir,
failing issue to the King, was his brother Carlos, a gentle, easy-going
young man, in appearance and character wonderfully like his elder
brother.  But for all his gentleness Carlos was no friend of Olivares,
who had taken from his side all the friends he depended upon, most of
them, be it said, kinsmen of Lerma, whose sister had been the Prince's

Young Fernando, the cardinal, as we have seen, was much more able and
ardent than his brother; and when courtiers began to shake grave heads
and doctors doubted of the King's recovery, it was Fernando rather than
Carlos who took the lead in resenting the attempts of Olivares to
isolate the King.[6]  By means of his wife, also, Olivares endeavoured
to set the Queen against her brothers-in-law, and to extract a pledge
from her that if the King died she would retain the minister in his
place in the interests of her unborn child.  As Philip grew worse, and
himself despaired of recovery, the Infantes, strengthened now by a
large party of nobles, made no secret of their anger with Olivares, and
the latter lost heart and fell ill (or, as spiteful Novoa says, feigned
illness), giving himself up for lost, and groaning that everyone {184}
hated him so much that they even wished the King dead in order to get
rid of him.  The palace of Madrid became a buzzing nest of intrigues,
in which, however, the principal song was that of gleeful anticipated
vengeance on Olivares and all his kin; though, unknown to his foes,
arrangements had been made by him and his party to seize the Government
and propitiate the Queen and Don Carlos the moment the King died, as he
was expected to from one hour to the other.[7]

Whilst Olivares still kept his bed from illness and fear, an attendant
entered and said that the King had recovered consciousness and showed
signs of improvement.  "Who says so?" cried Olivares, springing up in
his bed.  "Dr. Polanco."  "Then send Dr. Polanco to me immediately."
Dr. Polanco bore no love to the arrogant favourite, and he came tardily
to the call, and gave a dry and reticent statement of the King's
condition.  His Majesty, though better for the moment, he said, could
hardly survive another crisis.  But there were other royal physicians
more courtly than Dr. Polanco, and one soon entered the Count-Duke's
room with the welcome news that the King was really better, and had
asked for Olivares.  The Count-Duke's malady left him as if by magic at
the news, and in a few minutes he was at Philip's bedside.  On the
opposite side of it stood the young Cardinal Infante, who exchanged
with him {185} a glance of undisguised enmity, whilst Carlos at his
side was all mildness, only unselfishly delighted that the King was
better.  After a few words of greeting only from the King, who said he
was very ill and in want of rest, Olivares retired, disturbed and
uneasy at the open hatred of him shown by the Cardinal Infante.  In the
present state of uncertainty he dared not quarrel with the King's
brother, the cleverest member of the family, and by submissive
diplomacy and professions of devotion soon managed to patch up a
reconciliation with him,[8] whilst resolving in his own mind to lose no
opportunity that offered of getting away from Madrid so inconvenient a

[Sidenote: Philip recovers]

Again the King's life was despaired of, when, after many mouldering
relics had been piled up fruitlessly, until the King's bedroom looked
like a rag and bone warehouse, the prayed-for miracle was worked by a
shoeless Austin friar, "who brought that admirable and miraculous relic
of the little loaves of St. Nicholas, which the King took from the
hands of the friar with fervent prayers and supplication for divine
help and mercy, and the King recovered."[9]  Olivares did not spare
those who had thrown him into such a panic whilst the King lay ill, and
the plans for the future made by the minister's enemies were
represented to Philip as treason against himself.  "Ah, sire," he said
on his first long conversation after the King's recovery, "we have had
an anxious time.  In future must keep our eyes open."  "Yes, no doubt,"
assented the King languidly.  "As for me," continued the minister, "I
considered {186} myself as already being almost thrown out of the
window.  The Infante Fernando, sire, is in very bad hands!"  "And how
about Carlos," asked the King, "is he in any better hands?"  But though
Philip listened to the whispers of treason against all but those who
were the creatures of Olivares, he was too amiable and kind to allow
any harsh measures against his brothers, and Olivares had to postpone
for the present the greater part of his vengeance.[10]

[Sidenote: Philip's conscience]

Philip's tender conscience had, as usual, plagued him during his
illness and convalescence.  In later years, as calamity after calamity
fell upon him and his, it became his settled conviction that the wrath
of heaven poured upon his country and upon those whom he loved best in
the world was the awful retribution exacted for his personal
transgressions; but even in this, his first severe illness, apparently
the same idea assailed him, and as soon as he recovered he addressed a
curious and characteristic document to each of his many councils,
treating the administrative actions of his reign as a case of
conscience for himself.  The document is dated 14th August 1627, and
the preamble states that it is drawn up for the discharge of the King's
conscience after his serious illness.[11]

"1. If I have caused any damage or loss of {187} property to anybody by
any act or order of mine or otherwise, I desire that redress shall be
given to the sufferers.

"2. If by any means or way property belonging to any person be unjustly
taken or withheld by any act of ours, I command that the wrong be
righted at once.

"3. Consider the means that can be devised to pay all my debts, so that
in this respect my conscience may be clear, and in future as far as
possible let all necessary expenses be justly met and paid.

"4. Consider whether any of the contributions payable by my vassals can
be abolished, and what reform is possible, both as to the amounts
levied and the mode of collection.

"5. If any minister of your Council does any unjust act, if he fails to
administer justice righteously, or if any grievance is inflicted by him
on my subjects, severe punishment must be meted out to him.  Great
vigilance must be exercised by you in this respect.

"6. If, in order to favour or benefit me, any injustice has been done,
it must be redressed at once, regardless of every other consideration.

"Consider all this maturely, and report to me.--I, THE KING."

However well intentioned such decrees as this might be, in the existing
state of the country they were absurd.  If a foreign policy was
persisted in which brought Spain into conflict with every progressive
and prosperous country in Europe, which shut the ports of Spain to
foreign commerce, and excluded Spanish ships from foreign harbours; if
a system of finance were persisted in which ruined {188} taxpayers and
paralysed production; if industry was a disgrace and idleness
respectable; if corruption existed from the base to the summit of the
administration at home and abroad, and ostentation, vanity, greed, and
self-indulgence permeated every class of society in the capital, the
heart from which flowed the tainted life-blood of the nation, it was
futile to order redress to be given for individual wrongs, and for the
surface administration to be cleansed, whilst the mass was corrupt; and
it is needless to say that the King's conscience was rapidly lulled to
rest again, leaving matters much as they were before, and as they
remained for years to come, whilst Madrid was the artistic and literary
centre of the world, and the rest of Spain was sunk in utter misery and

[Sidenote: Madrid in 1627]

A glance at the material and moral aspect of society in Philip's Court
during this period, the flower of his reign and life, will be necessary
in order to understand what followed.  After the restoration to Madrid
of its rank as the capital in 1606, the increase in the size and
population of the town had been extraordinary; and it was at this
period that Madrid assumed the extent and appearance that it retained
with little change until the middle of the nineteenth century.  As now,
the great palace on its bold spur looking over the Manzanares and the
plains of Castile to the snow-capped Guadarramas, formed the
conspicuous boundary of the capital on the west, and the precipitous
slope on that side to the bridge of Segovia, then recently built,
checked expansion in that direction.  But to the north and east the new
{189} streets stretched forth in a way which was at the time looked
upon as prodigious.  The Puerta del Sol, the present centre of the
capital, had even in Philip's time begun to acquire importance as
leading to the broad new street of Alcalá, which afforded a less
congested approach to the promenade of the Prado than the ancient and
narrow Carrera de San Geronimo.  The Calle Mayor, leading from the
palace to the Puerta del Sol, was not, as now, one broad street in its
entire length, the wide portion being, indeed, only the newer stretch
near the Puerta del Sol, but in the greater part of its length
consisted of a continuous line of narrow and somewhat tortuous streets
called by different names.  This, however, being the road to and from
the palace, was the fashionable promenade, especially for the great
swaying coaches then the rage in Madrid.  In hot summer nights the dry
bed of the Manzanares attracted fashionable promenaders to enjoy such
coolness as could be found there; whilst the Prado itself, from the
street of Alcalá to the Atocha, on certain occasions, especially on
saints days, church festivals, and in the evenings of spring, was the
crowded resort of the idlers.  The Plaza Mayor, or great square,
standing much as it does to-day, had been built in the previous reign,
the houses that enclosed it being capable of accommodating in their
lines of balconies as many as fifty thousand spectators to the
bull-fights, _autos-de-fe_, or equestrian shows, which were held there
on great occasions.[12]

The construction of the houses, for the most {190} part rapidly run up
to meet the sudden increase of the population--the Court, as has been
explained, attracting everybody in Spain with brains, ambition, or
money--was extremely mean and shabby, the heavy ostentatious palaces of
the nobles, many of which still stand, being surrounded by wretched
little shanties with mud walls and filthy exteriors.[13] The windows
towards the street were heavily grated, and mostly small, which gave a
gloomy dungeon-like appearance to the buildings, whilst the total
absence of drainage made the roadways a mere middenheap, through which
the heavy coaches ploughed, and bespattered the pedestrians.  To the
enormous number of strangers and foreigners whom curiosity, politics,
or business brought to Madrid at this period, the filthy condition of
the streets became a byword.  The gutters of the houses projecting far
out from the eaves threw great jets of water when it rained into the
middle of the narrow roadways, and with the mere warning of "_Agua va_"
all the house garbage, debris, and excrement were cast forth into the
open street, there to fester until the salutary sun had deodorised it
and reduced it to dust.

In these streets, and especially in the portion of the Calle Mayor near
the Church of St. Philip and the Puerta del Sol, the idlers of the
capital, {191} which meant the greater part of the population, loved to
promenade for hours every day, preferably in coaches, bandying coarse
jests with the people on foot.  This objectless promenading and
gossiping was so characteristic that a special verb was coined to
describe it, namely, to _ruar_.  Everybody pretended to be wealthier,
more highly placed, and better dressed than he really was; and though
sumptuary pragmatics and decrees, announced by heralds in the Calle
Mayor, constantly threatened transgressors with all sorts of pains and
penalties, the people, especially the women, continued to defy the law
in their dress and behaviour.  The insolent dames would wear outrageous
garments; flattened farthingales (_guardainfantes_) so immensely wide
as to be indecent, starched ruffs, pattens so high with jingling heels
as to be like musical stilts, and would still insist upon covering
their faces, all but one eye, the more to pique curiosity and indulge
with impunity in their not too delicate badinage.

The large spaces occupied by the frowning religious houses, whilst
adding to the gloom of the city, must have increased its salubrity, in
consequence of the large shady gardens that they usually enjoyed.  At
twelve o'clock, when the angelus sounded, the monastery gates opened,
and there came forth a lay brother with an immense cauldron of soup and
a basket of bread, which formed the principal meal of many hundreds of
poor people and idlers all the year round.  The students, real or
pretended, who in token of their dependence on these eleemosynary meals
wore a wooden spoon tucked into the brim of their hats, formed a
considerable portion of those who attacked the garlic {192} broth with
avidity.  Broken soldiers and led captains, gamblers out of luck and
varlets out of place, fought too for the food with the maimed and
diseased beggars who crowded the most frequented streets at fashionable
hours.[14]  In addition to these charity meals given by the religious
houses, there were numerous lay brotherhoods established to relieve the
sick and impotent; and one particular brotherhood, which went its
rounds at night, especially in the outer districts of the capital, was
called by the people the "bread and egg watch," because the brethren
carried with them baskets of bread and eggs to distribute to the needy
whom they found exhausted and homeless by the way.

It may be asked if Madrid was so forbidding in appearance, as it was
certainly difficult of access and lacking in comfort and convenience,
what was the attraction that drew to it at the time not only the
enriched Spaniards from the Indies, and the ambitious and idle of the
Peninsula itself, but the immense number of foreign visitors who now
frequented it.  So far as the Spaniards were concerned, it has already
been explained that by the time of which we are writing the Court had,
in fact, drawn to itself all that was left of available wealth in the
country.  There alone could the Spanish love of ostentation be
indulged; there alone could bravery of dress and demeanour find the
attention and emulation it always seeks; there alone could advancement
in any unlaborious career be found, for where all the patronage,
wealth, and taste were, {193} there also must be those who sought
patronage or provided things that taste and wealth alone could buy, and
so the Court--"_la Corte_" as Madrid was always called--shone brightly,
like the last phosphorescent spot in a decaying body, and attracted by
its brilliancy when all the rest of Spain was dark.

[Sidenote: An artistic capital]

The fame of the splendid shows of Philip's Court, the traditional
wealth of the monarch, and the reputation for gallantry and gaiety
which the place obtained, brought to it pleasure-seekers from all
Europe.  The close connection with Austria naturally attracted Germans
to Spain in numbers; Flemish Catholics were, of course, almost as much
at home in Madrid as in Brussels; whilst the marriage of Philip's
sister Anna of Austria in France had made the romantic view of Spain
fashionable there.  The war with France somewhat restricted the French
incursion, but Burgundian and Franche-Comtois craftsmen were numerous,
and the enemies of Richelieu always found a welcome in the Spanish
Court.  Italians, especially Neapolitan and Milanese subjects of
Philip, who served in his armies and provided his finest weapons, were
frequent visitors to his capital.  It was, moreover, a dilettante age,
when all over Europe, and particularly in Madrid, where for a century
the monarchs had been generous patrons of art, a perfect craze had
seized wealthy people to collect and display rare and beautiful
artistic objects of all sorts, and the ostentatious nobles who
surrounded Philip IV., many of whom had lived in Italy, had shared the
King's love of such objects, and had made their palaces perfect museums
of art treasures of every description.


Olivares himself exacted from viceroys and Spanish officers abroad
presents of tapestries and articles of virtu.[15]  The Count of
Monterey and the Marquis of Leganes, both kinsmen of the Count-Duke,
had crammed their palaces with rarities,--clocks, mirrors, enamels,
medals, marqueterie, and paintings; and Monterey, who had been viceroy
of Naples, had brought back with him to Madrid a whole cargo of silver
repoussé work, tapestries, ivory carvings, gems, and such treasures as
the red chalk drawing of the cartoon of Michael Angelo's famous
"Bathers."[16]  V. Carducho, who lived in Madrid at the time, describes
in his _Diálogos_ the regular meetings there of connoisseurs and
patrons of art, to inspect, exchange, or criticise paintings, models
and other rare and beautiful things; where, he says, "originals by
Raphael, Correggio, Titian, Tintoretto, Palma, Bassano, and living
painters were admired, and where much taste and knowledge were
displayed."  Besides paintings, he continues, there were to be seen at
these meetings "coats of armour and weapons of famous armourers,
damascened swords and daggers, rock crystal work and pyramids and
globes of jasper and glass."  On one particular occasion Carducho
mentions that the host of the meeting-place was engaged in arranging
some {195} articles for an exchange he was negotiating with the Admiral
of Castile, a great art patron, whom he was expecting.  They comprised
an original by Titian, six heads by Antonio Mor, two bronze statues and
a small culverin, whilst the admiral had left with the host a good copy
of a painting by Caracci; and Carducho mentions that Monterey had there
at the same time an original Madonna by Raphael from the convent of
Discalced Carmelites at Valladolid.[17]

The agglomeration of such works of art at Madrid during a long period
naturally led to the dispersion of the great collections on the death
or fall of the noble owners, and this was effected by the usual Spanish
form of sale still common, called an _almoneda_, such articles as are
for sale usually remain _in situ_, but on public view, with the prices
marked; and the German ambassador, Count Harrach, mentions no less than
twenty of such almonedas of artistic collections belonging to Madrid
nobles within the space of five years, at a somewhat later period of
Philip's reign than that of which we are now writing.[18]  Of one such
noble collector in Madrid (Juan de Espina) Quevedo says: "For years his
house was an epitome of the marvels of Europe, visited by strangers, to
the great honour of our nation, for they had often nothing to tell of
Spain except their recollections of him."

I have mentioned that one of the presents given by Olivares to the
Prince of Wales on his departure was a set of paintings, but these were
by no means the only pictures that Charles took back {196} with him to
enrich the royal galleries of England.  The unfortunate murdered Count
Villa Mediana's great collection was still being dispersed by
_almoneda_ at the time, and here Charles bought several specimens.
Lope de Vega says that the Prince "collected with remarkable zeal all
the paintings that could be had, paying for them excessive prices."  He
was unable to persuade Quevedo's friend Espina to sell him the gem of
his collection, two volumes of original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci,
which, however, eventually came to England as the property of Philip
Howard, Earl of Arundel.[19]  Many other paintings and precious objects
were secured by Charles during his stay by purchase and gift; and it
may be fairly assumed that so great an art lover as he must have found
his principal solace for his long absence from home in the inspection
and acquisition of objects he prized so highly.  In the Calle Mayor,
against the wall of the Oñate Palace, opposite Liars' Walk, on the
raised path along the side of St. Philip's Church, the Spanish painters
of the day, on the lookout for patrons, were wont to exhibit their
canvasses for sale,[20] and some of the modern Spanish pictures that
Charles took home with him were doubtless seen and bought in the course
of his {197} daily promenade through the fashionable street of the

[Sidenote: Valezquez in Madrid]

There was one young painter of the day, a stripling of twenty-four,
though already married and with two children when he arrived in Madrid
at the same time as the Prince of Wales, who at least had no need to
seek purchasers for his canvasses upon the rough side walk, though he
did exhibit them there for the admiring criticism of the connoisseurs
opposite.  To have come from Seville, as he did, was, to begin with, a
good credential in the time of Olivares, whose own noble house was of
Andalucia, and who himself was Sevillano to the marrow.  But this young
man, Diego Velazquez, had married the daughter of his master, Pacheco,
the best known painter in Seville, and the bosom friend of Francisco de
Rojas, the literary henchman and devoted adherent of Olivares.  Three
years before this, Diego had come to Court full of high hopes and
ambitions; for the painting of convent altar-pieces in Seville was a
narrow field for genius, and Diego yearned for the wide recognition
that the "Court" alone could give.  But though he had the help of the
Sevillians who abounded in Olivares' household, and notably that of Dr.
Fonseca, the Court chaplain and King's "curtain-drawer" in the royal
chapel, business was so pressing, both for King and minister, in the
early days of the reign, that there was no time to be spared for
portrait painters, and Velazquez returned home disappointed.

But in the spring of 1623, whilst Charles Stuart was in Madrid,
Fonseca, at Olivares' bidding, wrote to the artist telling him that he
might now {198} with good hope return to Madrid, and sending him fifty
ducats for his travelling expenses.  He needed no further urging, nor
did his famous father-in-law, who, if he was not a genius himself, at
least realised genius when he saw it, and together they set forth, with
the assurance that young Diego was going to conquer Madrid.  There was
no heart-breaking struggle for him, though his triumph was not so
immediate as he would have wished.  The effort to get to the palace,
the fountain of all patronage, was universal; and the rivalry of
competitors was keen.  Poets, dramatists, actors, placemen, and artists
were all struggling eagerly to catch the eye of royalty, or the
ministers of royalty, and for a time even Fonseca could not secure for
his protégé an admission to the King's presence.  In the meanwhile
Velazquez painted a portrait of the priestly patron Fonseca, in whose
house he lived.  As soon as it was finished the chamberlain of the
Cardinal Infante Fernando, the Count de Peñaranda, visited the house by
chance, saw the picture, and insisted upon carrying it off with him to
the palace.  Everybody at Court knew the reverend "royal
curtain-drawer" in chapel, and within an hour the portrait had been
seen by all the _palaciegos_, from the King downward, and praised to
the skies.

Promises were sent to the young painter that he should be commissioned
to portray the King and his brother; but the King's work and play, more
momentarily pressing, still delayed the anticipated honour until the
end of August, when Philip, on his prancing charger--for the King was a
splendid and intrepid horseman--carracoled in the garden of the palace
before the grave, lean young painter {199} with the jet black hair and
flashing Andaluz eyes, who for the first time fixed there upon canvas
the face and form which his genius was to immortalise.  Philip was a
good judge of art, and when he saw the picture, though no muscle of his
impassive face moved, he expressed his satisfaction with courteous
condescension.  Olivares, vehement as usual, and proud that a Sevillian
should have succeeded, swore that no one else had ever painted the King
as he was, and that in future Diego Velazquez alone should paint his
Majesty.  When the last touch was given to it, the great life-sized
equestrian portrait of Philip was exhibited upon the pavement opposite
Liars' Walk, not for sale, but for the astonishment and delight of
loyal Madrileños.[21]

Diego Velazquez's fortune was made.  Within a few weeks he was
appointed Court painter, with a salary of twenty ducats a month, with
extra payment for each picture and a studio in the palace, and
thenceforward pensions and favours of all sorts testified to Olivares'
pride in his fellow-countryman and the King's recognition of a genius.
From the time of the great Emperor and his son the tradition had
existed that intimate familiarity was permissible between the King of
Spain and those household servants whom he cared thus to honour.  Both
the Emperor and Philip II. had allowed the greatest liberty to their
jesters, dwarfs, and body servants, and had extended their friendship
to the artist craftsmen who had served them.  Philip IV. bettered the
instruction, for he at heart was a poet and an artist himself; and
whilst he {200} delighted in the company of clever people generally, he
distinguished with life-long regard and considerate kindness the young
artist, only a few years older than himself, who did so much to ennoble
and illustrate his Court.  In Velazquez's studio in the palace a
leather armchair was always kept sacred for the King, who was wont to
come in unannounced when the fancy seized him, and watch the painter at
work.  Indeed, during his stay in Madrid he hardly missed a day in his
visits, and would often come accompanied by his wife to the studio.
There he witnessed, gradually growing under the magic brush, the
counterfeit presentments of those who made up his life, his wives,
brothers, and children, the latter in their chubby babyhood, stiff with
irksome splendour; the distorted and deformed beings who ministered to
the merriment of those whose surroundings were otherwise far from
merry; the poets who solaced his life, the women he loved, the famous
captains of his armies; Spinola, Pimentel, Pulido-Pareja, and the rest
of them; the great Olivares himself, and all the rout of glittering
satellites who revolved around the Planet King.

[Sidenote: A literary court]

Philip enjoyed almost as much the society of Quevedo as that of
Velazquez, but the satiric wit was less careful than the painter, and
his medium was more risky; so that, though his biting verse and
malicious prose had in the King an appreciative listener, the poet was
almost as often in exile as in favour.[22]  The literary contests and
discussions which amused Philip as he grew older {201} always, when
Quevedo was not in disgrace, benefited by his ready wit.  Philip
himself took part in these literary orgies in the palace, frequently
proposing a subject for an impromptu play in the facile blank verse
which comes so trippingly upon Spanish lips.  The subject would
sometimes be a sacred one, in which case the treatment was such as
would shock modern ears, though for abject lip devotion the persons who
spoke so slightingly of sacred things were never surpassed.  It is
related that on one such occasion Philip set the Creation of the World
as the subject for an impromptu play, assigning to himself the
character of the Maker.  The poet, whom he had cast for Adam, made his
part unduly long, and Philip elaborately expressed his grief, as the
Eternal Father, that ever he should have afflicted the world with such
a long-winded Adam.  But though these literary diversions had already
become attractive to him at the period at which we are now writing
(1626-1630), the gloomy old Alcazar was not a congenial setting for
frivolity; and it was not until later, when the new suburban palace of
the Buen Retiro was specially devised by Olivares for the purpose, that
the poetic and dramatic exercises of the Court reached their zenith, as
will be related in a future chapter.

But from the first Philip's devotion to the theatre never wavered, and
in this his people, high and low, agreed with him.  The two public
theatres of the capital, the Corral de la Pacheca (on the site of the
present Teatro Espanol) and the Corral de la Cruz, in the street of the
same name, were crowded every day, and sometimes twice a day; {202} the
performance before noon being attended mainly by women, and that of the
afternoon by men, and women of a better class.  The appurtenances of
the stage were extremely rough, and the scenery widely adaptable where
it existed at all, as the constant changes of comedy made special
scenery impossible.  The plays presented, hundreds of which are still
extant, are marvellous in the inventive fertility of their plots; the
intrigues that spring from mistaken personality, marital wiles, and
lovers' stratagems furnishing the foundations of most of them.  The
speeches, according to modern ideas, appear intolerably pompous and
long, but the mere sound of the flowing rhythm pleased the ears of
Spaniards, as similar speeches do to-day, and the Madrileños never grew
weary of their shows.

[Sidenote: Madrid theatres]

The following lively description of one of the theatres in the reign of
Philip IV.  will give an idea of the scene they presented on a

You must dine hurriedly at noon, and not stay long at table if you are
going in the afternoon and wish to find a seat.  The first thing you do
when you arrive at the door of the theatre is to try to get in without
paying.  Many work and as few pay as possible.  That is the actor's
first misfortune.  It would not be so bad for twenty people to get in
for four farthings, if many more did not try to imitate them.  As it
is, if one person gets in without payment others expect to do the same.
Everybody wishes to enjoy the privilege of free admission, in order
that people may see that they are worthy of it.  For this reason they
{203} strive so hard to enjoy it that it gives rise to endless disputes
and altercations; with all the more reason that by these means they
usually succeed in their aim.  When once a person gets entrance without
payment he adopts it as a general rule, and never wants to pay.  A fine
way this to remunerate those who merit some return for their work in
trying to amuse them.  And perhaps you will think that he who pays not
is more easy to please.  On the contrary, when the actor is not
properly dressed, those who have not paid insult and hiss him most.  At
last our man gets into the theatre, and asks those who are seated on
the benches to make room for him.[24]  They tell him that there is no
seat for him, but that perhaps one of those who have paid for a seat
will not come, so he had better wait until the guitar players appear
and he may then occupy the vacant seat.  This being agreed upon, our
friend goes to the dressing-room to amuse himself in the meanwhile.
There he finds the actresses taking off their usual clothes and
assuming those necessary for their characters; they being sometimes as
naked as if they were going to bed.  He stops and stares before one of
them, who, having come through the streets on foot, is changing her
boots by the aid of her servant.  This cannot be done without some
sacrifice of decorum, and the poor actress is much put out, {204} but
she dares not protest, because, as her main object is to gain applause,
she is afraid of offending.  A hiss, however unjustified, discredits an
actor, because people in general incline more to the censure of others
than to their own judgment.  The actress consequently does not suspend
the changing of her boots, and suffers the importunity of the visitor
patiently.  In the meanwhile the blockhead never takes his eyes off her.

"After that he looks from the stage to see what is happening with the
doubtful seat he covets.  It is still vacant, and in the hope that the
legitimate owner of it will not come he runs to occupy it.  The moment
he does so the owner appears and defends his claim.  The other does the
same, and both grow heated and come to blows.  The last comer, as he
has come to the theatre for amusement, and finding no amusement in
shouting and fighting, thinks it better to stand for three hours than
to continue clawing, and retires from the fray, another seat being
provided for him by those who have intervened and pacified the dispute.
When this hurly-burly has ended, our intruder settles down quietly and
casts an eye upon the cazuela,[25] and passes in review the women who
fill it.  He takes a sudden fancy to one of them, and begins to
manifest his feelings by making signs to her.  But, my good friend! you
have surely gone to the theatre to see the play, not the cazuela.

"It is four o'clock in the afternoon by this time, and the performance
has not begun yet.  Our friend, looking vaguely about him, first on one
side and then on another, suddenly feels that {205} someone is pulling
at his cloak.  He turns his head and sees an orange-seller, who,
bending towards him between the two spectators behind, whispers in his
ear that the lady who is tapping her knee with her fan has watched with
sincere pleasure the spirit he showed in the quarrel about the seat,
and that it would be a gracious thing if he bought her a dozen oranges
in recognition of her sympathy.  Our friend scans the cazuela again,
and sees that the lady in question is the one that caught his fancy
before; so he pays for the oranges, and tells the orangeman to let the
lady know that he will willingly pay for anything else she would like.
When the orangeman disappears with this message, our friend thinks of
nothing else than how he shall approach the lady when they leave the
theatre, cursing the comedy in the meanwhile, which appears to him
interminable, such is his impatience.  He signifies his disapproval
aloud, and groans without cause, exciting the musqueteers[26] below to
imitate him and to break forth in offensive cries.  This is not only
rude and uncultivated, but monstrously ungrateful, for, of all men,
actors are those who strive hardest to gain applause.  What a bad time
they pass, and how laborious whilst they rehearse a piece.  And when
the first representation comes, any of them would give a year's wage to
be applauded for his part.  What anxiety assails them, what
inexpressible yearning they feel on the stage to please the public.
When they have to cast themselves down from some {206} precipice, they
throw themselves off the painted canvas rock with desperation; when
they have to represent a dying man and to writhe in agony, how they
soil their clothes, which have often cost much money, and tear their
hands with the nails and splinters of the boards!"

The rest of the chapter is more concerned with the evils of the actor's
life than with the audience, which is the point most interesting to us;
but it is clear from what has been quoted that the comedies, witty and
facile as they were, nevertheless did not form the only attraction that
drew crowds daily to the theatres of the Court.  In the first place,
they were a pretext for the prevailing idleness, and the sure sign of
decadence which manifests itself in the inactive many gazing upon and
criticising the hired exertions of the active few.  But the "corrales"
of Madrid are also shown in the above extract, and in hundreds of
allusions in the comedies themselves, to have been places of
assignation and incentives to promiscuous gallantry.[27]  The King
himself, behind the impenetrable window grating of a first-floor
private room (_aposento_) first saw many of his mistresses, they were
not mistresses in the sense that prevailed at the Court of the French
Bourbon kings.  None of them ever aspired to, or attained, political or
social power, for the distance between the sacrosanct sovereign and
common humanity was too great for that to be possible in Castile.  They
were just the creatures Of Philip's caprice, and the {207} momentary
playthings of his passions, none of them retaining hold upon him but
for a very short time.

[Sidenote: "The _Calderona_"]

Of his thirty and more illegitimate children, of whom eight were
recognised, the only one that was given princely rank was that Don Juan
of Austria who was beloved by his father above all others of his
offspring.  From the theatre, at the period which we are now writing,
Don Juan of Austria sprang.  It was at the Corral de la Cruz in 1627
that Philip first set eyes upon the girl whom one of Olivares' agents
had sent from the country to act upon the Madrid stage.  Her name was
Maria Calderon, and at the time she appeared in the capital she was not
more than sixteen years of age.  She was no great beauty, but her grace
and fascination were supreme, and her voice was so sweet and her speech
so captivating that Madrid fell in love with her at once.[28]  The King
from his aposento was enamoured of her the first time he saw her, and
for him to desire was to enjoy.  She was immediately summoned to the
private apartment, that the King might listen more closely to her
lovely voice, and when he heard it the King's love grew fiercer still.
From the corral to the palace was but a step when Philip willed it, and
thenceforward the _Calderona_ became the King's best beloved mistress.
She still acted upon the stage, though gifts and tokens of affection
were piled upon her by the love-lorn King.  She, proud of the ineffable
honour vouchsafed to her, became rigidity itself in her virtue, and
turned a hard face to all other lovers.


[Sidenote: Birth of Baltasar Carlos]

The tradition in Spain made the position of King's mistress not by any
means one to be coveted by most women, since it was understood that
when the liaison ended the lady must immure herself in a convent for
the rest of her life, to prevent such a sacrilege as for the King to
have a successor in any woman's regards.  It is told of one young lady
of the Court to whom Philip was making unmistakable advances, that she
shut herself behind a locked door when she knew the amorous King was
seeking her, and cried out to him from the inside: "No, no, sire; I
don't want to be a nun!"  The Calderona had no such scruples, either
from natural devotion or because she really felt the honour of the
King's love to be overwhelming.  Her son by the King was born on the
17th April 1629, and as soon as the _Calderona_ could leave her room
she sought the King, and, throwing herself at his feet in tears, prayed
for his permission for the mother of his son to sin no more.  For it
was enough, she said, to have borne a child to the greatest monarch on
earth, and nothing more was left for her but to devote the rest of her
life to cloistered sanctity.  Philip was deeply in love with her still;
all his children by the Queen, none of whom had been sons, had expired
at, or soon after, their births, and this boy by the _Calderona_ was
held to be the most beautiful and perfect child ever seen.  Philip
tried hard to alter the resolve of his mistress, but she absolutely
refused to cohabit with him again; and at last, but with sorrow, he
gave way, and the actress Maria Calderon became the abbess of a remote
convent, whilst her child was sent with semi-royal surroundings {209}
to be educated with exquisite care at Ocaña, with a view to his future

This was the background: a vast conspiracy of make-shift and of
make-believe, before which the Court of Philip IV. alternately prayed
and postured unconvinced.  An utterly decadent society, of which each
individual was striving to get as much as possible out of life without
giving anything in return; a society which combined besotted
superstition and abject servility to priests and ritual with appalling
impiety, a society that lived from day to day for such pleasures as it
could grasp, knowing that all was crumbling to dissolution beneath its
feet, that squandered and lavished money, mostly ill-gotten, in empty
splendour, whilst the whole nation beyond the mud walls of the "Court"
was sunk in carking penury.  And amidst the festivities and stage
plays, the poetical recitals, the battues that stood for sport, and the
_autos-de-fe_ that stood for holiness, "Philip the Great" moved like a
demigod, knowing in his heart of hearts that all was hollow--his wealth
a lie, his dignity a mask, and he himself but a poor sinning trifler
whose coward conscience denied him even pleasure in his sin.

Philip's love for ostentation had full opportunity for its exercise in
October 1629, when, six months after the birth of his son by the
_Calderona_, an heir was born to the Spanish crowns.  The month had
begun with splendour, for on the 3rd October the Prince of Guastalla
had entered the capital as the envoy of the Emperor to marry by proxy
the Infanta Maria for the King of Hungary, heir to the imperial crown.
The whole of the grandees of Spain had gone out to receive him, {210}
and his train of thirty-six pages and lackeys in liveries of black
velvet and gold, and his thirty-six baggage horses with crimson and
gold horse-cloths, the Spanish nobles being so numerous and smart, as
Soto says, that "Madrid looked like another Indies for richness."
Before the splendours of Guastalla's welcome had become dim, the prince
of so many prayers was born, and Madrid settled down to another orgy of
festivities.  The magnificence of the baptism in the Church of St. John
near the palace need not be detailed in full; suffice it to say that a
temporary staircase and gallery splendidly adorned with tapestries
descended from the great balcony over the palace portico to the church.
Down this corridor, in a sedan chair of silver and crystal, preceded by
heralds and followed by crowds of nobles, the child was carried very
slowly to its baptism on the lap of the Countess of Olivares.  On the
left hand of the chair marched Olivares himself, strangely dressed, as
was remarked at the time, in a long robe of cloth of silver with
sleeves reaching to the ground, his breast crossed by a crimson
baldric--some ceremonial dress, it was thought, of the house of
Austria.  Then came the new Queen of Hungary, her nephew's godmother,
and the rest of the high personages, to attend the ceremony.  It was
against the etiquette for the King to be there, but he was too proud
and happy to forego the pleasure of seeing the show secretly, which he
did from a closely curtained pew reached from the adjoining house.  The
Countess of Olivares, as supreme in the palace as her husband was in
the Government, held the child at the font, seated upon "a chair of
rock {211} crystal, the most costly piece of furniture ever seen in
Europe," whilst cardinals and bishops did their best to make Prince
Baltasar Carlos of Austria a member of the Christian Church.  As soon
as the Queen was able to appear, which was on her birthday, she was
feted in her turn as she had never been feted before.  Masked
equestrian contests, torchlight parades, bull-fights, and balls
succeeded each other day after day, and in all of them the King and his
brother, Don Carlos, made a gallant appearance.[29]

[Sidenote: Philip's field sports]

The fact that both Philip and Olivares were accomplished horsemen made
equestrian pastimes and field sports specially fashionable in this the
best period of Philip's reign.  At least two realistic representations
exist of hunting battues in which Philip was seen to great advantage,
reproducing from the brush of the great painter the exact aspect of
such diversions.  That in the Ashburton Collection portrays one of the
deer hunts in the leafy glades of Aranjuez, Philip's spring palace on
the Tagus, twenty-eight miles from Madrid.  In the wooded park the
afternoon sun glints through the dark verdured trees against the
cloudless sky, and upon a wide stretch of sward a great white canvas
enclosure is erected.  Into its gradually narrowing limits the
frightened deer are being driven by beaters, and at the narrow end of
the funnel, the only outlet from the enclosure, the "hunters" are
stationed on prancing steeds.  Over the narrowest part of the funnel
neck a leafy bridge or balcony is built, decked with crimson hangings
and furnished with soft cushions, upon which the {212} Queen and her
ladies sit, dressed in brilliant colours.  Just beneath them, on
horseback, are the King, his brother Carlos, and the inevitable
Olivares; and as the terrified deer rush past them underneath the
ladies' bower, the cavaliers, with big sharp hunting-knives, slash at
them, killing some, laming others, and leaving those they miss to the
mercies of the hounds that await them beyond.  The ground beneath is
drenched with blood, but the ladies smile approvingly upon the
butchery.  The exercise demanded a firm seat in the saddle, and great
agility and dexterity in the management of the horse, and it was
universally admitted that no one in Spain shone so brilliantly at these
battues as Philip himself,[30] though Olivares, courtier like, was only
just inferior to him.

The other picture by Velazquez, which is in the National Gallery in
London, presents a sport somewhat less repugnant to English eyes.  The
scene in this case is the hunting seat of the Pardo, a few miles out of
Madrid, and the King, within the canvas walls of the vast enclosure,
is, from the saddle of his caracoling steed, which he sits like a
centaur, thrusting his forked javelin into the flank of the boar as it
rushes past, Olivares being close by, whilst other mounted courtiers in
different {213} parts of the enclosure are participating in the sport.
Inside the enclosure there are stationed some of the heavy
leather-curtained coaches then in use, filled with ladies.  The mules
in every case have been unharnessed and put out of the way of a charge
from an infuriated boar; but as the boars were agile when aroused, and
had been known to leap into the carriages themselves, the ladies inside
are armed with dainty little javelins to repel any such attempt; not
very easy to happen, one would imagine, as the heavy leather aprons or
screens that cover the footplate and serve as doors are closed.

To look upon these pictures is to view the very life of Philip's Court;
the posturing gentlemen outside the enclosure, the prancing gentlemen
inside.  Beyond agile showy horsemanship and well-trained steeds,
nothing was called for on the part of those who joined in the sport.
There was no danger, and little exertion needed from the "hunters," for
the quarry was all driven into the enclosure, and could not get away.
One sees that ostentation and "show-off" are the main attraction and
object of the sport; and in the sports, as in the pleasures and
devotions, the same inevitable note is struck: that of selfish
epicureanism that seeks to enjoy sensuously without risk or labour.
Each poor mortal is marked out in his own esteem as the central point
of a brilliant show, and gorges the best of life's banquet to the end,
careless of who pays the scot.

[1] British Museum, Egerton MSS 2081, p. 261.  Some of the papers in
question were also published many years ago by Valladares in the
_Semanario Erudito_.

[2] Fernando was as yet only a deacon, not a full priest, and the King
when this was written had only one child, an epileptic girl infant, who
died soon afterwards.

[3] _i.e._ the great minister of Isabel and Ferdinand.

[4] This was the worst possible advice, and its ultimate adoption
consummated the ruin of Spain.  Philip II. had left the sovereignty of
Flanders to his daughter the Infanta Isabel and her husband the
Archduke Albert, in the hope that they might remain Catholic and
friendly, but separate thenceforward from the Spanish crown.  The
Infanta had no children, and when she died the resumption by Spain of
the sovereignty of Flanders, on the advice of Olivares, was disastrous.
Fernando, in effect, became Governor of Flanders for his brother a few
years afterwards on the death of the Infanta, and turned out a Prince
of great promise, and a military commander of real distinction, but he
died young, and of course unmarried, in Flanders, after years of
ceaseless war.

[5] Contemporary transcripts are in British Museum, Egerton MSS. 338,
fol. 571.

[6] Novoa says that Olivares turned Fernando out of his bedroom, which
adjoined that of the King, in order that he (Olivares) might occupy it
during the King's danger.

[7] The principal conspirator with Olivares is represented by Novoa to
have been the Marquis of Hinojosa who had until recently been the
ambassador in London, and had specially signalised himself by his
bitter enmity against Buckingham, whom he had tried to ruin by means of
statements damaging to him, and impugning his loyalty to King James.
See the correspondence in Cabala.

[8] Novoa.

[9] _Ibid._

[10] An important series of letters from Olivares to the King soon
after his illness, mainly about the Infantes, their characters, their
friends, and their proceedings, is in Egerton MSS., British Museum,
2081, from which I have already quoted some papers on the same subject
of an earlier date.  The whole object of the letters is evidently to
arouse the suspicion of the King against his brothers.

[11] Contemporary draft, British Museum MSS., Add. 10,236 f. 382.

[12] All one side of the great square was destroyed by fire a few years
after the time of which we are writing (in 1631).

[13] The fact of so many of the wretched houses of the capital having
only one storey is explained by the oppressive arrangement which placed
at the disposal of the Court one entire floor of every house of more
than one storey, a right grossly abused by Court hangers-on to quarter
their relatives and friends rent free upon the citizens.  In Philip
IV.'s time this oppressive right had been partially commuted to a
payment of 250,000 ducats annually by the municipality, which was
estimated to be one-sixth of the rental value of such houses.  Mesonero
Romanes, _El Antigua Madrid_.

[14] A vivid picture of Madrid of the time is given in _El Diablo
Cojuelo_, by Velez de Guevara, a judge, and favourite of Philip IV.

[15] In this he only followed the recognised rule of Spanish ministers.
Quevedo, writing from Madrid to his patron the Duke of Osuna, Viceroy
of Sicily, shortly before Philip's accession, says: "Men here are like
strumpets, every one of them has to be bought....  The Marquis of Siete
Iglesias (_i.e._ Calderon) would like a present for his cabinet, and it
would be worth while to send some trifle for his cell to the King's
confessor."  The "trifle" he did accept was a diamond reliquary worth
20,000 reals and a splendid altar jewel.

[16] Carl Justi.

[17] Carl Justi.

[18] _Ibid._

[19] When Sir Francis Cottington went to Spain to negotiate peace in
1629, Endymion Porter asked him to try and buy these drawings by
Leonardo da Vinci from D. Juan de Espina, whom everybody knows, for
Lord Arundel.  The half-Spanish Porter gave a good many other
commissions to Cottington on his departure: some paintings by Titian,
some orange-flower water, some orange confection, a dozen baskets of
oranges, six barrels of large Seville olives, caraways, figs,
chestnuts, marmalade, wine, gloves, perfumes, matting, wine, dried
peaches, fine crocks, etc., in considerable quantities.  (Record Office
SP. Spain MS. 34, November 1629.)

[20] At a somewhat later period Murillo sprang into fame and fortune
through Philip seeing a picture of his exposed for sale here.

[21] Pacheco, _Arte de la Pintura_.

[22] He offended Olivares somehow in 1627, and remained in exile until
the minister fell.

[23] Zabaleta, _El dia de fiesta_, Coimbra, 1666.

[24] The mere admission to the theatre was, and still is in Spanish
theatres, paid for separately from the seat.  And from the extract
quoted it would appear that the bench seats at the time were sometimes
booked beforehand, as they may be to-day.  The _entrada_ in Spanish
theatres gives the right to the run of the house, but nothing more.
The noble army of deadheads appears to have been as numerous and
unblushing three hundred years ago in Spain, as they are in England at
the present time.

[25] The side gallery where the women were seated.

[26] The men who had only paid for the entrance and stood at the back
of the patio (or pit) were so called, but they soon became a recognised
paid claque.

[27] The rooms in the top floors were called _desvanes_.  The attic
rooms were often occupied by priests.

[28] Contemporary Italian MS. in British Museum, MSS. Add. 8703.
"Ritratto della nascitá qualitá ed accioni di Don Juan d'Austria."

[29] All are described _ad nauseam_ in the _Soto y Aguilar_ MS.

[30] Most of the Spanish kings have been fanatical devotees of the
chase in various forms.  During the reign of Philip's father it used to
be said that "Lerma and the woods were King."  Philip IV. spent much
time in field sports.  In a letter from the Venetian ambassador in
Madrid, enclosed in one from Dermond O'Sullivan Bear to an Irish
correspondent (March 1628), the following passage occurs: "The King is
so inclined to horse exercise and hunting, that Olivares manages to
keep him at it all day, thus leaving the King no time to do anything
but sign the decisions of the Councils, which suits Olivares
perfectly."  Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, MSS.




[Sidenote: Richelieu and Olivares]

The Spaniards for all their poverty had never ceased to send men and
money in plenty to the Emperor for his eternal war against freedom of
conscience in Germany, and to the Infanta Isabel {215} against Holland.
But Richelieu, hampered with a war with England about the unfulfilled
conditions of Henrietta Maria's marriage contract, had kept the peace
with Spain since January 1626.  An English fleet co-operated with the
Huguenots at Rochelle, but Richelieu was equal to the occasion, and he
and Marshal Schomberg together sent back Buckingham and his fleet
disgraced and defeated, with a loss of two-thirds of his force, after
which--late in 1628--Richelieu, relieved of the terrible siege of
Rochelle, could turn his attention again to the doings of Olivares and
the Spaniards.  The pretext for fighting this time was the old question
of the duchy of Mantua, which, being vacant, was claimed by a French
and an Italian imperial pretender; and Olivares, thinking in any case
to grab something for Spain, seized the strong place of Casale in
Montferrat, aided and abetted on this occasion by the Duke of Savoy,
who, greedy and discontented as usual, had again changed sides.  As
soon as Richelieu was partially free from the struggle with the
Huguenots, he sent a French army to oust the invaders from Mantuan
territory; and once more Philip saw himself pledged to a national war
with France for a cause which was of no interest whatever to his
Spanish subjects; a war in which if he were victor he could gain little
or nothing, whilst if he were vanquished he might lose enormously.

Olivares began by concentrating his resources, recalling Spinola from
Flanders to meet the French in Italy; and once more smiling upon
England, where Buckingham, smarting under his ignominious defeat at
Oleron by Richelieu, in the previous year, {216} was raising another
fleet at Portsmouth to relieve Rochelle.  He was assassinated by Felton
in August 1628, and the fleet under Lord Lindsay arrived too late to
succour the heroic Huguenots, who had been at last obliged to surrender
in October 1628.  France was then free to launch her whole force
against Spain, and peace with England, which had been desirable for
Spain before, became an absolute necessity.  The need was a bitter one
for Olivares, for friendship and alliance with a heretic power was an
open confession to the world that Spain's proud claim to the possession
of a divine mandate to crush heterodoxy throughout the world could not
be enforced.

[Sidenote: Reconciliation with England]

But past insincerities and present inconsistencies on the part of Spain
weighed but little with Charles I. of England against the flattering
vision of obtaining for his German brother-in-law the restoration of
the Palatinate by the influence of Philip, and he welcomed the informal
approaches which for some time past had been made to him by Olivares.
The plotting with the Irish Catholics, which had been busily carried on
from Madrid, through O'Sullivan (Count of Bearhaven), Burke (Marquis of
Mayo), the agents of Tyrone and Tyrconnel and the Irish friars,[1] was
suddenly cooled by Olivares, much to the disgust of the exiles; and the
Irish Dominican who had been sent from Spain to sound Charles I.,
reported that peace might now be easily settled in England.
Simultaneously Father Scaglia, an Italian friar, had been sent from
Turin by the Earl of Carlisle to Madrid {217} upon a similar mission,
and reported that he had seen Olivares, and that everything was ready
for Cottington's arrival in Spain to settle terms.[2]  Rubens also took
a hand in the game.  He was painting industriously in Madrid, and was
in high favour with Philip, but held secret credentials from Charles
I., and wrote enthusiastically about the approaching friendship of the
two countries.[3]  The preliminaries were not altogether easy to
arrange.  The Irish exiles in Madrid were still clamorous for armed
Spanish aid to their desired rebellion, and were discontented at
Olivares' _volte face_, whilst Charles I. himself, who had been tricked
before by the Count-Duke, wanted something definite about the
Palatinate before he sent Cottington openly to Spain.  Scaglia tried
hard and hopefully all through 1628 to get matters in train.  Olivares
was graciousness itself in his usual non-committal way;[4] but when the
need for peace became pressing, he tired at last of this slow progress,
and decided to send Rubens to London in the summer of 1629 with the
rank of Secretary of the Council and Ambassador.

At length, thanks largely to Rubens' personality, {218} all the thorny
preliminaries were settled, and Cottington started in November 1629,
but with strict orders from Charles that he was not to ask for audience
until the Spanish ambassador Coloma, who was being sent from Brussels
but had been delayed, should present himself in London.  For Charles
was still distrustful of Olivares, and feared a trick to make him
appear the suppliant for peace.  Rubens was prompt in conveying this
suspicion to Olivares, who was quite shocked that anyone should doubt
his sincerity.  His letter to Cottington, received by the latter when
he landed at Lisbon, elaborately explains the delay in Coloma's arrival
in London by the necessity for the ambassador to remain with the
Infanta in Flanders for a time until the Marquis of Aytona arrived
there, owing to the loss of Bois le Duc, and ends in a holograph
postscript deploring that he should be so distrusted: "You cannot think
how this business has distressed me!"[5]

[Sidenote: Cottington's mission, 1630]

Nothing was left undone by Olivares to win Cottington, always a
pro-Spaniard.  He was offered as a present the whole of the customs
dues (£5000) on a great English ship's cargo of goods, allowed by
special licence to enter Lisbon at the same time as he did, which gift
he refused, and all along the road from Lisbon to Madrid evidence of
thought for his comfort met him.  On the other hand, Charles I. could
not do enough to honour Coloma when he came to a state dinner at
Whitehall on Twelfth Day, 1630, where there were so many ladies to do
him honour, writes Lord Dorchester to Cottington, "that there were many
fallings out {219} amongst them for spoyling one another's ruffs, by
being so close ranked."[6]  But amiable as were the appearances, the
distrust was deep, especially on the side of the English.  When
Cottington arrived within a day's journey from Madrid, he sent his
coadjutor, Mr. Arthur Hopton, ahead to discover what preparations were
made to receive him.  He learnt, to his surprise, that Philip was
absent from the capital, having gone to escort his sister, the Infanta
Queen of Hungary, on her way to her new home, and that Olivares had
been left behind to do the honours to the English envoy.  Cottington
was determined that this should not be, so he dodged the host of
grandees, who had been sent out with coaches and guards to welcome him,
and entered Madrid secretly by night.  No sooner had he arrived at his
lodging than Olivares presented himself, but the Englishman flatly
refused to receive him there, and, entering a coach, drove off to the
palace to offer his respects to the Queen in the absence of the King,
and seek audience through Olivares as first minister.

There, in his apartment, Olivares kept Cottington in converse until
midnight, using all his blandishments to persuade the Englishman that
he meant to deal straightforwardly this time.  "All my art of fence,"
wrote Cottington, "could not keep him from entering into the principal
business, yet but flashed and intermixed with other points.  He could
not doubt, he said, that I had brought orders to renew the peace
negotiations at least.  I said yes, if I found good resolutions to give
satisfaction to my King (Charles) and his friends {220} and allies.  I
know your meaning, he said, ye would have restitution of the
Palatinate.  Yes, said I; but that is not all.  You know that my King
has made a league with the States, and their interests must also be
considered."  The protestations and heated disputes continued between
them thus for hours; the point of Olivares evidently being to secure
the marriage of the Palgrave's son with a daughter of the Emperor or
other Spanish nominee without a prior restitution of any part of the
Palatinate.  At last Olivares rose, and, taking Cottington by the hand,
said: "The King of England shall do the greatest work in Christendom,
for by his means the Palatinate shall be entirely restored, and by his
means also the King of Spain shall find peace in those northern

Whilst the two statesmen were talking, the Countess of Olivares entered
with a message from the Queen, to ask after the health of King Charles.
Cottington was rigid.  King Charles, he said, had sent a letter to the
Queen by him, though she had not written to him for a good many years;
and when he delivered the letter he had a good mind to tell her so, as
King Charles was very much offended.  Both Olivares and his wife were
much concerned at this, and asked Cottington what had better be done.
You may tell the Queen, he replied, that she might write a letter to
King Charles, and send it to the Spanish Ambassador in London before
the King of England's letter was delivered to her.  This was promised,
and when finally Cottington was led to the Queen he found her all
smiles and {221} kindness for the ambassador of her brother-in-law, for
matters were complicated terribly by the fact that she was the sister
of Queen Henrietta Maria.

[Sidenote: Cottington in Madrid]

Philip was not expected to return to Madrid for several days, and in
the meantime it was necessary for Olivares somehow to worm out the
nature and extent of the Englishman's instructions.  On Monday, two
days after the interview just described, Olivares made the excuse of
taking Cottington out hawking, to get him quietly in the country and
alone all day from morn till dark.  But they had no sport, says
Cottington ruefully, for the Count-Duke was so eager in his talk that
he forgot all about the hawks.  The disputations, now on horseback, now
in a coach, often waxed angry.  The States would not have a peace, but
wanted a truce, said Olivares.  They will not have either, replied the
Englishman, unless my King's demands are granted.  How can we restore
the Palatinate? blustered Olivares, which is held mostly by Bavaria.
Then Cottington in a rage said he should go back to England
immediately, as he saw they had been deceived.  If you do, retorted
Olivares, we will make a league of half Europe against you.[8]

On Friday the King arrived in the capital, and great efforts were made
to persuade Cottington to leave Madrid, and make a state entry, but
this he refused to do.  The next best thing was to send the whole Court
in its finest garb to accompany him to the palace for his first
audience with Philip.  Nothing could exceed the honour paid him, though
{222} on that occasion nothing political was discussed.  But on the
next day, in private conference, Cottington came to close quarters with
Philip.  The great question, of course, was that of the Palatinate.
Philip assured Cottington that he would give every satisfaction on that
point if he only had patience until powers came from Germany.  As the
Englishman left only half convinced, Philip called him back and asked
him why the English would not accept a suspension of hostilities.
Because, replied Cottington, it would look like a surrender of the
point about the Palatinate.  There can be no peace, he said, until that
question is settled.

[Sidenote: Cottington's negotiations]

The weeks dragged on, every trifling point being utilised by Olivares
to keep the negotiations afoot, and relieve Spain of the strain of war
with England, without ceding--what it was clear they could not
cede--the restoration of the Palatinate, which was mostly held by the
Germans.  An interminable wrangle took place about the titles to be
given to the King of England: whether he should be called Majesty,
which the Spaniards always gave grudgingly to any king but their own.
Then it appeared that the draft protocols sent by Coloma from London
gave Charles the style of "King, etc.," without his full titles, and
"Defender of the Faith."  Although it was late at night when the
courier arrived, Cottington hurried off to complain to Philip of this.
The King of England shall be given whatever style he likes, laughed
Philip.  Then there was a lengthy squabble about the styles to be used
by the two sister-Queens in writing to each other.  When that was
settled, Cottington {223} grumbled incessantly at all this intriguing
with the Catholic Irish rebels, and at Tyrone's presence in Madrid.
Again and again Cottington, tired of Olivares' shilly-shally, was for
returning to England post haste, but the Count-Duke always managed to
smooth matters over by assuring him that they would really use all
their influence to get the Palatinate restored if he only had patience.

But at length, in March 1630, Cottington's long-suffering gave way.  He
saw, he says, that he was being played with, and he sent Hopton to
England to ask permission for him to come home.  Charles was loath to
give up hope, but he too was beginning to doubt the good faith of
Philip and his minister, and sent instructions that there must be no
more delay.  Spain wants peace, but before peace can be made by
England, Philip must say clearly and promptly what portion of the
Palatinate he will guarantee to restore.  When this message from
England was brought to Madrid by Hopton in the middle of May, Philip
and Olivares took fright, for a continuance of the war with England
whilst they were at war with France meant certain ruin for Spain, and
yet they could not take the Palatinate from Catholic hands and restore
it to Protestant Frederick.

So again the blandishments re-commenced.  "Pray tell me your real
opinion," asked Philip of Cottington.  "My real opinion, sire, is that
I shall return at once, unless some means be found for making peace
with the Hollanders and raising the ban against Palgrave," replied the
Englishman.  Philip very rarely showed anger or emotion of any sort,
but he grew impatient and cross at {224} Cottington's insistence, which
he attributed to his personal desire to return home for domestic
reasons.  Rojas, the friend of Velazquez, and Olivares' factotum, came
and implored Cottington as a friend to deal plainly with him, and tell
him whether he was really going home; and Olivares himself sent for him
late at night to ply him with remonstrances and expostulations.[9]

[Sidenote: Peace with England]

And thus the juggle went on for months, until at last Charles I.,
himself sorely needing peace, gave way and sent instructions to
Cottington to make a treaty with Spain, leaving all questions still
unprejudiced, like the agreement of 1604, with which this book began.
Thenceforward all was straight sailing, for Olivares had once more
worked his way, and attained the peace that was necessary for Spain,
and yet pledging Philip to nothing.  Whilst yet the final terms were
being settled, with which Rubens was to be sent to London, news came to
Madrid of the birth of a son and heir to the King of England.  On the
15th June, Philip received Cottington in full state to congratulate him
upon the news.  Never in the brightest time had the old palace of
Madrid put on a braver aspect, for now that in the essential matter of
peace the King had gained his point, in that of ceremonial rejoicing he
Was determined there should be no shortcoming.  Surrounded by a full
gathering of grandees in gold chains, Philip stood under his canopy
dressed in his military garb, almost English in fashion, as he stands
in the Dulwich Gallery portrait, with a splendidly embroidered scarlet
{225} ropilla doublet, a broad lace collar and "paned" hose, his breast
covered with rich jewels and with a great feather in his hat.  As Sir
Francis Cottington approached him the King expressed his joy at the
news.  He was as glad, he said, as if the son had been his own; and he
had prayed upon his knees for the happiness of the young prince.  Then
the delighted Englishman visited the two Infantes to receive their good
wishes, they being, as Cottington says, "no less brave in attire" than
their brother.  In the afternoon another state visit was paid to the
Queen, and to the baby Prince Baltasar Carlos, "in cap and feathers and
loaded with charms and jewels."  Solemn proclamation of the news was
made by heralds in the public squares; the Calle Mayor and the Plaza
were illuminated as bright as day with wax torches, and a great
firework display was made before the palace.  Every religious house in
Madrid held a solemn service of thanks, and all the priors visited the
English ambassador with their congratulations.  Four days afterwards,
one of the big royal bull-fights, in honour of the birth of a Prince of
Wales, was given by Philip in the presence of Cottington in the Plaza
Mayor, at which twenty bulls were killed, with many horses and three
men.[10]  At length the treaty of peace, the real object of all the
plausibility, was settled.  Olivares had won the game again.  England
and Spain were at peace, with the Palatinate still unrestored, and
Cottington left Spain, that he knew so well, outwitted for the second
time by the bland procrastination of Spanish diplomacy.


Once more the rivals, Richelieu and Olivares, France and Spain, were
face to face in North Italy; the Pope, Venice, and the new Duke of
Mantua (Nevers) being on the side of France.  Richelieu was victorious
almost everywhere over the Spaniards, Germans, and Savoyards.  Carlo
Emmanuele sank to the grave broken hearted, leaving his ancient duchy
in the occupation of the French conquerors, and Spinola died of grief
before Casale at the scant support and ungenerous treatment he received
from Spain.  His successor, Santa Cruz, patched up an ignominious
treaty with the French in the field, to the violent indignation of the
Spaniards at home; for the country which had paid most for the war had
gained nothing by the peace.  But the treaty of Casale was merely a
local pacification between France and Spain.  The house of Austria must
be crushed, if France were to be raised to the first rank amongst the
nations.  Olivares unhappily could not shake off the imperial
traditions which had been the ruin of Spain; and for many years to come
Spanish men and money wrung from starving Castile were still poured in
an endless stream to fill the armies of the Emperor.  Year after year
the deadly struggle went on in Central Europe.  Sweden and the
Protestants with France on the one side, the house of Austria and the
Catholics of Germany on the other; with Spain and Spanish Flanders as
the milch cow to provide the wherewithal to face all the progressive
elements of Europe.

[Sidenote: The Thirty-Years' War]

With the vicissitudes of this epochal war between antagonistic
civilisations the present book is not directly concerned, but only with
such echoes and influences of it as reached the Court of Spain.  {227}
Battles and sieges, the death of heroes and the fall of kings, seared
their deep brand upon the page of history.  Spain, bereft of commerce
and almost of industry, might in its agony protest with passionate
tears that it could suffer no more, and lower its dark brows when the
arrogant minister who ruled the fainéant King was mentioned.[11]  But
through it all Madrid laughed and rioted with ghastly gaiety and pagan
fatalism, eating, drinking, and making merry, lest before to-morrow it
should die.  Outside its mud walls the fields lay bare and arid, in the
provincial cities sloth and apathy ruled supreme over grass-grown
market squares and empty streets; but in the Court, "the only Court,"
the Madrileños boastfully called it, shameless waste ran riot still;
flaunting finery elbowed aside the squalid parasites that sought its
smiles and struggled for its scraps; vain shows and vainer posturings
filled the hollow days, and the witling who had pompously declaimed a
turgid epic upon the nation's glory was held a hundred times a greater
hero than he who starved in Flemish dykes, or rotted of putrid fever in
overcrowded hosts before a German city, fighting and dying, as scores
of thousands of them did, for the vague mirage of Spanish honour, of
which the Court of Philip the Great was the centre and the source.

[Sidenote: The Policy of Olivares]

There is no doubt that deep discontent {228} smouldered throughout the
country at the results of Olivares' policy.  Spaniards were ready
enough to acclaim the privilege and duty of their country to set all
the world right about religion, and to interfere in the quarrels of
Central Europe.  The boastful vainglory of Spanish superiority and the
hollow pretence of the King's irresistible power and wealth were as
popular as ever, though evidence of their falsity was patent in every
house in the land.  But though by most Spaniards the dire effect was
not traced to its true cause, and they never thought of blaming
themselves for their sufferings, the minister who was the protagonist
of the system was held personally to be the cause of all the trouble.
Already the outer realms, Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Portugal,
understood clearly that Olivares aimed at destroying their ancient
autonomy,[12] and were seething in anger against him and the triflers
at Madrid.  The greater nobles, even in Castile itself, disgusted at
the monopolous arrogance of Olivares, stood ostentatiously aloof from
him, only awaiting an opportunity to retaliate.  The minister had taken
care to place in the councils persons entirely subservient to him, or
those whose age or feebleness of character made them innocuous.  His
principal {229} subordinate ministers were his own kinsmen,--the Count
of Monterey; the Marquis del Carpio; Marquis of Leganes; the Marquis of
Aytona; the Marquis of Heliche, who had married his only daughter, but
to Olivares' intense grief had been left a widower within the year; and
the Duke of Medina de las Torres; Cardinal Zapata, the
Inquisitor-General and member of many Councils, who was old, weak, and
foolish; and the King's confessor, Sotomayor, was a man of no
character, and entirely sold to the minister.

It will be seen, therefore, that Philip was quite inaccessible to
anyone not in the interests of Olivares.  The Queen resented her
husband's isolation, but the minister and his wife kept her also well
under subjection, and her love of pleasure made her almost as easy to
manage as the King.

If it had been possible, even now, for the whole truth to be told to
Philip as to the real causes of the poverty and wretchedness that
afflicted the country, a prompt reversal of the policy that caused it
might have arrested the ruin.  But, in any case, it was unlikely that
such change should be made; for Philip himself failed to see, as did
the friends as well as the foes of Olivares, that only by a frank
acceptance of the fact that Spain must abandon all her old flighty
notions and impossible claims, could prosperity be brought back to the
country.  To prevent the danger of Philip's either discovering for
himself or being told by others how deep and growing the discontent of
the country was, Olivares plunged the idle young King more completely
than ever in the pleasures and distractions that occupied most of his
time and thoughts.  Hunting, {230} play-going, religious ceremonies,
literary amusements, and other entertainments left no opportunity for
investigation and sustained application to business by the King.  It is
evident that now, whatever may have been the case at the beginning of
the reign, the minister deliberately promoted this waste of time for
his own ends; and his efforts to distract the King increased as the
discontent in the country and Court grew.

[Sidenote: A sumptuous feast]

On the 1st June 1631, for instance, the Countess of Olivares gave a
sumptuous entertainment to the sovereigns, as she was in the habit of
doing on every possible pretext, in the gardens of her brother, the
Count of Monterey;[13] and this is represented by the contemporary
chronicler, who describes both fetes to have aroused the emulation of
her husband to give another entertainment to the King and Queen on the
night of St. John, three weeks later, that should eclipse all similar
occasions.  The document from which I am quoting, written by a
whole-souled admirer of Olivares, is too long and tedious for
reproduction entire here, but a few extracts from it may be interesting
as showing now desperately the Olivares tried to please.

"Although there were but few days to arrange everything, the Count-Duke
was determined to show the extreme love and care with which he serves
our Lord the King, and how easily he conquers the most difficult tasks
by means of it.  As a beginning of the preparations for the feast,
which {231} was, amongst many other things, to include two new comedies
not yet even thought of, much less written, his Excellency ordered Lope
de Vega to write one, which he did in three days, and D. Francisco de
Quevedo and D. Antonio de Mendoza the other, which they wrote in a
single day, and the comedies were handed to the companies of Avendaño
and Vallejo, the two best now on the boards, to study and rehearse."

Notwithstanding his constant state occupations, Olivares is said to
have worked night and day in personally making the preparations for the
great fete.  Not only the garden of Monterey, but those on each side of
it[14] were appropriated; and a great Italian architect, who had
designed the wonderful jasper pantheon of the Kings at the Escorial,
was commissioned to build a beautiful open-air theatre and a series of
improvised edifices for the accommodation of the principal guests.
Like magic, thanks to lavish expenditure, there sprang up in the shady
gardens a gorgeously upholstered chamber or bower with chairs of state
for the King and his two brothers, and the customary cushions for the
Queen, placed in a projecting balcony from which the stage could be
seen, with two similar apartments, one on each side, for the suite, and
retired nooks or niches between them, we are told, in which the Count
and Countess of Olivares might watch over the comfort of their guests.
A {232} stage, surrounded and crowned by a multitude of lights in
crystal globes, and decked with flowers, faced the royal pavilions, and
on each side seats were provided for the ladies of the Court, but no
gentleman was allowed to be present.  By the wall separating the
gardens from the Prado great stands were erected to accommodate the six
orchestras and choirs that were ordered to be present, and the
gentlemen guests, none of whom were asked to the garden itself.  To
each of Olivares' great kinsmen already mentioned was assigned a
department: one was to superintend the rehearsals, another was to take
charge of the marshalling of the coaches and the reception of the royal
guests, another had under his care the refreshments, and so on.

On the day before the fête the Countess of Olivares dined in the
garden, and witnessed a full dress rehearsal of the whole
entertainment; and Madrid was agog with excitement when, after dark on
the night of St. John, all the grand folk from the palace in their
heavy coaches lumbered down to the Prado to attend the fête.  At nine
o'clock the royal party were received by the Countess at the entrance
pavilion which had been erected for the purpose, the united choirs
chanting a pæan of welcome as the King and Queen advanced to the
chamber whence they were to see the comedies.  Gentlemen of the
Count-Duke's household on their knees offered to the royal guests and
their suite of ladies perfumes in crystal and gold flasks, scented lace
handkerchiefs, bouquets, scented clay crocks,[15] {233} fans, etc., on
silver salvers.  Then, after a flourish of trumpets and an overture on
the guitars, Quevedo's and Mendoza's new comedy was performed by
Vallejo's company.  "_Who Lies Most Thrives Most_" was the name of the
piece, and we are told that it was crammed "with the smart sayings and
courtly gallantry of Don Francisco de Quevedo, whose genius is so
favourably known in the world."  The principal actress was the famous
Maria de Riquelme,[16] who in verse welcomed the great guests, and
praised the King in a manner that, if he had not been case-hardened to
adulation, would have made an archangel blush, whilst at the same time
several strong hints were introduced that the Count-Duke himself was
only one degree less divine than his master.

For two hours the stage entertainment went on, with comedies, dances,
poetry and music, all present agreeing that Don Francisco de Quevedo
had in his one day's work put more wit and humour than other authors
would consider sufficient for a dozen comedies.  At one of the
intervals, when the first comedy was finished, the King and Queen were
conducted to the adjoining garden of the Duke of Maqueda, where they
found a series of {234} beautiful chambers communicating with one
another, and constructed entirely of flowers and leaves.  One of these
was for the King and his brothers, another for the Queen, and the third
for the ladies in attendance, and in each of the rooms were disguises
for the guests.  For the King had been provided a long brown cloak,
trimmed with great scrolls of black and silver, and closed by frogs and
olives of wrought silver, a white hat with white and brown plumes, a
shield of scented leather and silver, and a white falling Walloon
collar; similar but diverse disguises being provided for the two
princes.  Upon a side table in each flower chamber was a precious
casket of morocco leather and gold filled with choice sweetmeats, a
variety of perfumes, and some of the scented clay vessels of which
Spanish ladies of the day fancied the taste to nibble and even
sometimes to swallow.  The Queen's disguise was like that of the King,
but with much more adornment in the way of spangles and the like; and
when the whole party had covered their ordinary garb with these unusual
additions, "strange in shape and fashion," they were led in stately
procession with much attitudinising to see the second comedy, in which,
says the awestricken chronicler, "they lost no jot of the majesty which
is not the least of their inestimable virtues and perfections."

The assumption of these fantastic disguises by the royal personages is
elaborately apologised for by the chronicler, by whom it was considered
apparently as a somewhat risky and undignified experiment; especially
as, owing to it, no male person except Olivares and his household was
admitted to the gardens themselves; the gentlemen {235} of the Court
being relegated to the stands by the Prado wall, in order that they
might not see the King unbend sufficiently to don a disguise.  When
Lope de Vega's new comedy, "_The Night of St. John_," was finished, the
royal party retired to a banqueting-room constructed of flowers in the
other garden on the north.  Here a sumptuous supper was served at
midnight, the King and Queen at their high table being served by
Olivares and his wife, everything being done with perfect silence and
order,--"though a multitude of dishes were carried to the musicians,
singers, and gentlemen in the orchestra stands."  By the time the
lights were dimming, and the sky was turning to pearly grey beyond the
trees of St. Geronimo, the whole stately company turned out in their
coaches for a drive up and down the Prado; and then back to the palace,
doubtless to sleep.[17]  When the dawn broke fully, it was found that,
notwithstanding the prohibition, a perfect host of people, men and
boys, had surreptitiously found their way in from the Prado, and,
hidden in the copses and under the stagings, they had witnessed the
whole show, including the questionable proceeding of risking the
majesty of monarchs by a fancy dress; whereupon the chronicler
attributes the quietness and {236} patience of these intruders to the
awe and reverence inspired by a king, no matter how dressed.[18]

As will be seen by this curious account, the hand of Olivares was
everywhere.  From handing the King his shirt in the morning and drawing
his bed curtains at night, to deciding peace and war for the nation,
the Count-Duke did everything.  The King's amusements and amours were
as much his affairs as were the routine duties of Government; and I
unearthed some years ago, and described fully in a former book of
mine,[19] a curious series of original manuscript documents which prove
that at the period now under review (1630-1635) the most secret
domestic concerns of the King were settled by Olivares as a matter of
course.  The first document of the series[20] is a note written by
Olivares to the King in 1630, saying that it was high time that a
certain little boy, whose age is given as four years, should be
concealed, and taken away from the people he was then with; so that all
trace of him may be broken.  He has, he says, been thinking very deeply
how this is to be done, and, as was usual with him, had found
objections to every solution that has presented itself.  But he thinks,
upon the whole, that the child should be secretly put in the care of a
certain gentleman of his acquaintance living at Salamanca, named Don
Juan de Isasi Ydiaquez; and the Count-Duke proposes that this gentleman
should be summoned to Court without telling him why he was wanted; and
"after seeing him, your Majesty may decide." {237} Across this document
Philip has written in his big straggling hand: "It appears very
necessary that something should be done in this matter, and I approve
of your suggestion."

[Sidenote: One of Philip's sons]

The rest of the papers unfold the poor sad little mystery.  The babe in
question was one of Philip's illegitimate children, christened
Francisco Fernando, and he was probably his first son; born, as we are
told in these papers, at the house of his grand-parents, who were
gentlefolk, between eleven and twelve at night on the 15th May 1626;
Don Francisco de Eraso, Count of Humanes,[21] leading the midwife
thither and being present at the birth, the infant being conveyed
immediately afterwards to the house of Don Baltasar de Alamos,
Councillor of the Treasury, where a nurse awaited him, in whose care he
remained until he was delivered by Olivares to his new keeper, the
hidalgo of Salamanca, who belonged to a notable bureaucratic and
secretarial family.  The subsequent short career of the infant does not
enter into our present subject; but it is fully detailed in the
documents: the periodical reports of the child's progress, the grave
discussions of Olivares with physicians and keepers as to his diet and
health; the provisions for his proper education, his clothing and
diversions, his infantile ailments, the most trivial circumstances of
the child's life, are all considered and passed in review by the
minister, upon whose bowed shoulders the whole work of the State
rested.  The little left-handed royalty, for all the care with which
his life was surrounded, failed to resist the bleak air {238} of
Salamanca, and on the 17th March 1634 the King's Secretary of State,
Geronimo de Villanueva, of whom we shall hear again, wrote to the
hidalgo Isasi Ydiaquez, saying "that his Majesty had received with the
deepest grief the news of the death of Don Francisco Fernando, who
showed such bright promise for his tender years, and his Majesty highly
appreciated all the care that had been taken with him."[22]  And a few
days later, the little corpse, dressed in a red and gold gown, and
enclosed in a black velvet coffin, was carried with all secrecy to the
Escorial, where, in the presence of the inevitable Don Geronimo de
Villanueva, the secretary and confidential agent of the King, the "body
of Don Francisco Fernando, son of his Catholic Majesty Don Felipe IV.,"
was handed to the bishop of Avila in the porch of the church, and
buried by the friars in the vaults of their monastery.

The frowning old Alcazar on the cliff overlooking the Manzanares, so
often mentioned as the scene of Philip's festivities, was unfit for
gaiety, and offered but few attractions to him.  The Escorial for
similar reasons was never a favourite residence of his; and Aranjuez
was always insalubrious except in the spring.  The Court therefore was
usually in residence in Madrid itself, or in the neighbouring hunting
seat of the Prado.  But there was in the extensive and beautiful
grounds attached to the monastery of St. Geronimo at the east gate of
the capital a suite of apartments used {239} by the royal family for
religious or mourning retreats, or for an occasional guest house.  It
occurred to Olivares in 1631 that this place might be made more
attractive, and used more frequently as a relief to Philip from the
stern mediæval palace at the other end of the town.  The idea began
with the mere levelling of an inequality here, the clearing of a lawn
there, and the building of an aviary and a few fountains and summer
houses.  But very soon the Count-Duke's ambition grew, and he and
Philip became fascinated and absorbed in the building of a palace which
became to the reign of Philip what Versailles was to that of Louis XIV.

[Sidenote: The Buen Retiro]

The palace of the Buen Retiro was intended by Olivares, and truly was,
a fit setting for the elegant, chivalric, and poetic surroundings of
the King, a light and pretty retreat in the midst of enchanting
gardens, where upon stages under the trees or in high and gilded halls
the witty dissolute comedies might be played to an audience of the
elect.  Nothing that the inspiration of genius, the efforts of
flattery, or the exercise of unrestrained expenditure could compass was
spared by Olivares in making the Buen Retiro perfect for its purpose of
keeping the King diverted.  An immense territory, in addition to the
monastery grounds, was appropriated for the purpose,[23] and Olivares
exhausted all the horticultural knowledge of the time in laying out
{240} the grounds with lakes, grottoes, and cascades; whilst in a very
short time there arose in all its beauty the palace that in future was
to be the symbol of Philip's elegant, picturesque, but useless reign.

Even before the building itself was finished, the place was inaugurated
by a ceremony characteristic both of Philip and his minister.  On the
1st October 1632, the King paid his visit to see the preparations being
made for the festival to be held in celebration of the birth of an heir
to his sister the Queen of Hungary.  When he approached the new royal
house, he was met by Olivares, who had conferred upon himself the post
of honorary Constable of the Palace, bearing upon a silver salver the
gold master-keys of the Buen Retiro.[24]  Kneeling, he handed them to
the King, who, touching them with his hand, signified that the bearer
should retain them; and when, later, the festivities commenced in the
recently built rooms, to continue thereafter for many days, Philip and
his wife fairly fell in love with the place, whose lightsome grace was
a revelation to them after the dark old Alcazar.

First there was a showy cane tourney, in which the King on horseback,
with Olivares at his side, led a glittering troop of riders, Philip
taking part in the festivities, as the flattering poet said, "not as a
king but as a most gallant skilful gentleman."  This splendid show the
greatest poet of his time, Lope de Vega, then rapidly sinking into the
grave, celebrated in verse.  "The Vega del Parnaso," {241} dedicated to
the first festival of the new palace, was an appropriate swan's song of
the great dramatist, whose inexhaustible wit and invention had done so
much to lead the thoughts of his countrymen to the theatrical
expression of which this new fairy palace was to be the apotheosis.
Afterwards there was one of the usual bull-fights; then running at the
ring, with rich prizes of silver plate, of course won by the King, and
afterwards a ball was held in the unfinished halls, at which, as at a
modern cotillon, "perfumed purses of ducats and rich dress lengths"
were given to the lady dancers.[25]

[Sidenote: Baltasar Carlos]

Only a few months before this, the Church of St. Geronimo had been the
scene of another of those stately ceremonials which were the birthright
of Spanish princes.  There, upon a splendidly decked staging before the
high altar, the tiny Prince Baltasar Carlos, who had been carried
thither the day before, received the oaths of the Commons of Castile as
heir to the throne.  There were two violent altercations for precedence
between nobles, even in the King's presence, before the ceremony; but
all was silence as the chubby princeling, in crimson plush embroidered
with gold, toddled up the nave to the staging, held in leading strings
by his two uncles Carlos and Fernando; the first in a few months to
sink into the grave, a silent, amiable young enigma to the last.  The
little Prince, we are told, carried a miniature sword and dagger
covered with enamel and diamonds, and wore a black hat trimmed with
bugles and diamonds, and adorned by scarlet plumes.  It is {242} to be
remarked that in most of these festivities Philip himself was faithful
to his love of brown for his dress; and on this occasion is described
as wearing light brown velvet embroidered with gold thread, and wearing
the collar of the Golden Fleece, whilst he rested his hand upon the
shoulder of his gentleman-in-waiting, the Count de Galve, clad smartly
in crimson satin and gold.[26]

[Sidenote: Financial exactions]

In the meanwhile, over the tinkling of all this courtly gaiety, there
echoed the distant rumbling of the storm.  Mr. Arthur Hopton, the new
English ambassador, left in Madrid to look after English commercial
interests, and to push the eternal question of the Palatinate, wrote to
Lord Dorchester in February 1631: "All the Spanish Barbary garrisons
are starving, but the want of corn here is so great that every grain
from Andalusia is sorely wanted for Castile."[27]  But the extravagant
expenditure on the Buen Retiro and on the never-ending war had to be
met somehow, and Olivares had to incur increased odium by inventing new
exactions.  "The Count of Olivares," continues Hopton, "being the most
industrious man in his master's service, and more so in the matter of
his revenue than anything else, hath made him an instrument by
directing a new imposition on salt, making the King the owner of all
the salt that is spent, and delivering it out at 40 reals the fanega
(_i.e._ 1½ bushels), whilst remitting 12 per cent. on the wine and oil
excise that had nine years to run.  This is a pretty way of imposing
{243} taxation on the clergy and religious without the leave of the

But the salt monopoly was much more than that, as Hopton soon found by
the bitter complaints of the English shipmasters, who, now that the
trade was reopened, had hoped to do a large business again with salt
from Andalucia to England.  Olivares replied suavely to all his
remonstrances, that he wished to treat the English better than any
others, but the King _must_ have money, and he hoped the increased
price of salt would not alter the new friendship.  It soon turned out
that the new tax was to be in addition to, and not in place of, the
wine and oil excise ("the millions," as it was called); and Hopton
displays almost admiration at the financial resource of Olivares.

"He means to keep the millions too, now that he has got the other
voted.  I think it may be truly claimed that the inventor of this
project hath discovered a way to bring a greater revenue to this King's
purse than Columbus did that discovered the West Indies.  Aragon has
not yet consented, but probably will do so, as the tax is to be imposed
on strangers (_i.e._ those who bought Spanish salt for export).  When I
was last with Olivares he let fall a word that makes me think they mean
to satisfy his Majesty (_i.e._ King Charles of England) in another way.
I said it would require good consideration to instruct their ambassador
what reasons to make the imposition appear to be no breach of the
_Article_.  {244} He said: 'Doubt it not.'  I said it would be fit to
do it presently, for it would be better to come to his Majesty
(Charles) by way of reason than complaint.  He replied, 'We are
providing some papers to send to the King (of England) that will not be

What this "secret affair," as Hopton calls it, was does not appear; but
doubtless it was one of Olivares' usual mystifications to keep the
English complaints from being pushed too urgently, for the hosts of
English shipmasters so long kept out of Spain by the war, but who were
now crowding into Spanish ports to trade, were clamorous about the
extortion and injustice to which they were subjected.  Hopton bribed
Olivares' subordinates heavily, and besieged the minister himself; but
the resources of delay in Spanish diplomacy were infinite, and little
redress could be obtained.  Of sweet words Hopton found an abundance
from Olivares, who was always ready to flatter in furtherance of his
aims, and Hopton was inclined to be boastful of English prowess.  "All
the rest of the world must pardon me," said Olivares once to him, in
answer to a bit of innocent brag, "but I hold no nation fit to fight in
a royal Armada but England and Spain."[30]

Money, and ever more money, was Olivares' constant cry.  "His time is
principally taken up," says Hopton, "in arranging loans."  The price of
salt had been raised to 35 or 40 reals 1½ bushel for inland consumption
or export, an enormous increase "which will bring an exorbitant revenue
{245} if they can enforce it in all the kingdoms.  They are also
decreeing a tax on all royal grants, titles, and appointments, which
will also bring a vast revenue."  Writing to Lord Dorchester in August
1631, Hopton mentions the excessive price of all commodities in Madrid.
"I can assure your Lordship that only in regard of the value of brass
money, wherein all the trade of this country is done, what was last
year at 30 per cent. and upwards is not now worth 10 per cent., the
charge of living here since last year is one in five increased."[31]

[Sidenote: Spain's responsibilities]

Dire news too came from Central Europe, which foreshadowed the need of
yet greater sacrifices for Spain.  The meteoric Swede, Gustavus
Adolphus, had entered the field on the side of France (January 1631),
and was sweeping all before him.  One imperial city after the other
opened its gates to him, and some of the Emperor's feudatories who had
been considered the most loyal rallied to the victorious enemy.  The
empire was altogether inadequate to face the strong new combination
against it, and could only, as usual, appeal to Spain for resources.
Looking back at the position with our present lights, it is impossible
to understand the besotted folly that led Philip and his minister to
assume the main burden of a war such as this.  They had nothing
material to gain by it.  The religion, and even the territorial
disputes, of the German princes were of no real importance to Spain,
and a nation in the terrible financial and industrial condition of the
latter was not justified in further consummating its ruin for the sake
of an already outworn sentiment.


[Sidenote: Fresh embarrassments]

Another trouble almost as pressing as the Emperor's war loomed also in
the near future.  The old Infanta Isabel was rapidly sinking to her
grave childless; and in accordance with the calamitous agreement of
1598, the Flemish dominions of the house of Burgundy were to revert in
that case to the crown of Spain, a fatal inheritance, the Flemish
States being open to attack from France on one side and Holland on the
other, and destined to keep Spain at war until the final catastrophe
overwhelmed both nation and dynasty.  Olivares had kept the two
Infantes in the background until now; though, as we have seen by his
paper of six years before, he had always foreseen the ultimate
necessity of sending Fernando, the young Cardinal, to Flanders as his
brother's representative.  Carlos, silent, amiable, unambitious, and
lacking in vitality, gave the minister little cause for anxiety; but
Fernando was by far the cleverest of his house.  The nobles of Castile
were already looking to him as a possible leader against Olivares; and
at last it was decided that Fernando should go to Flanders, to be near
his aunt, and succeed as Governor for his brother when the Infanta
should die.  Carlos being, as he said, a man of arms, for once plucked
up spirit to protest and claim his right, as senior, to go to Flanders,
but Olivares said that after Baltasar Carlos, "who had growne sickly of
late, and there is some doubt whether the King will have any more
children,"[32] he (Carlos) was his brother's heir, and could not be
allowed to go far away.  He was mollified by promises that were never
kept, that {247} he should be sent to command in Portugal or Catalonia;
but in the summer of next year, 1632, as will be told, he sickened and
died unmarried, greatly, no doubt, to the relief of Olivares, who
dreaded the possibility of his being made a figurehead by his

It was not easy to send Fernando to Flanders, even after it was decided
to do so, and many months passed before even the money could be raised
and preparations made for his going.  Hopton wrote in August 1631: "The
Infante Cardinal hastens his going to Flanders, and has arranged to
borrow of the Fucars 240,000 ducats at 40,000 per month.  The matter is
so forward that the brokers have received the first payment, but I do
not believe that he will go; for if he do it will be no easy matter to
stay Carlos going to Portugal, and it is not likely that the King will
leave the realm so destitute of his brothers, _and expose them to the
familiarity with those who may be dangerous to him_."  A month later he
reported that, after all, the young Cardinal was not to go that year,
"but may slip away secretly, in imitation of our King's coming hither."

In fact, serious news had suddenly reached Olivares from Central
Europe.  The battle of Breitenfeld, in which the Emperor's best
General, Tilly, had been routed by Gustavus Adolphus, had made the
latter master of Germany, and if he chose to march on, Vienna itself
was at his mercy.  Dismay reigned amongst the imperialists at this
crushing blow, and as soon as Olivares received {248} the news at the
end of September he sent for Hopton, late at night.  The Englishman
found him in great agitation.  "There is no time for words," he said,
"but for God's sake send to England post haste, telling them to send to
Vienna at once every offer that may facilitate an arrangement with the
Emperor.  I speak out of my goodwill to England, and I am sending to
Vienna with the same object."  The real end of Olivares' move is
evident.  In the critical position of the imperialists, with most of
the Emperor's feudatories falling away and John Frederick of Saxony in
arms against him, joined to Sweden and France, this was the
opportunity, if ever, for England to strike an effectual blow for the
Palatinate.  It is true that the Marquis of Hamilton and some Scottish
mercenaries were already with Gustavus Adolphus, but this was not
national war; and if England could be diverted into diplomatic
negotiations during this time of the imperialists' adversity, all might
be well, but if she joined the allies the house of Austria was ruined;
and for the next few weeks, whilst the danger lasted, nothing could
exceed the amiability of Olivares to the English.[34]


Blow after blow continued to fall upon the imperial cause.  Gustavus at
Mayence was practically the master of Europe, the Spanish fleet had
been defeated off Flanders.  Tilly was utterly crushed and killed at
Ingolstadt, and a revolt had broken out in Spanish Sicily against the
new taxes of Olivares.  Worst of all, when the minister decreed that
the salt tax should be levied in the autonomous Basque provinces, the
assembly there flatly refused to pay it.  Olivares blustered that he
would send 30,000 soldiers to make them.  "We will await their coming,"
replied the assembly, "with 3000 and beat them."[35]  And so gradually
the policy of Olivares, which kept Spain at war with Europe for a
barren idea, was leading the outer realms of the Peninsula itself
towards rebellion, a thing unheard of for generations, because of their
fear that they too were marked out by the minister to undergo the same
fate as unhappy Castile.

[Sidenote: Olivares and England]

In the midst of all his difficulties at home and abroad, the consummate
skill with which Olivares played upon the English statesmen is almost
amusing at this distance of time.  Hopton's spirits rose and fell from
week to week, as those of Anstruther did in Vienna.  Olivares and the
Emperor understood each other perfectly, and had no difficulty between
them in keeping England quiet with the old bait of the restoration of
the Palatinate.  A specimen from Hopton's letters will illustrate the
clever way in which Olivares beguiled his interlocutor.

"In the time my memorial was in debate {250} I sometimes took occasion
to see the Conde (_i.e._ Olivares).  On one it happened that the _Ave
Maria_ bell rang, and when he had ended his prayer he examined me in
all the material points of our religion, wherein, I perceive, he is not
ignorant.  In the sacrament of baptism I said all the essential parts
are the same in both Churches.  But, he said, here they say, 'O! he was
christened by a minister; but I (Olivares) tell them that I see no
cause why a man may not as well be saved being christened by a minister
as by a priest.'  This was in the palace, on the occasion of the
christening of our Princess, of whom they have begun to talk of as
theirs.[36]  When the Duke of Lennox went to kiss the Prince's hand,
the Countess of Olivares, who was present, bade the Prince ask for his
cousin's hand, and said, 'You have a mistress there; and then, turning
to us, she said, 'We are beginning to _galantear_ (_i.e._ to court)
already.'  He (Olivares) examined me upon the Lord's supper, and was
much pleased to know the chiefest difference is in the manner of the
presence.  He asked me concerning divorces, and approved of the
practice of confession, though, he said, that it was too lightly
practised amongst them.  Did we, he asked, receive the blessed Virgin?
I said he who did so was not considered a good Christian.  He said,
'The top of the difference is the Pope's supremacy, and the chiefest
scruple was in temporalities, because you would not have him meddle in
matters of Kings.'  I said yes; whereupon he shook his head and said no
more.  I know his meaning, as {251} things stand between him and the
Pope.  He said that if that point could be agreed I think it would not
be hard to reconcile Protestants to the Church."[37]

All this talk about marriage and reconciliation in religion had done
duty only ten years before; but apparently the English diplomatists
were as ready as ever to follow the Will o' the Wisp until the time of
danger for Spain had passed and they could safely be shelved.  The
young Duke of Lennox was flattered and treated with almost royal
honours, and Hopton himself was quite confused by the sustained
amiability of Olivares.  But at length even he began to doubt; and
presented a strongly worded memorial to Philip, calling upon him to
have the Palatinate restored.  After inordinate delay the reply to this
was simply another promise to instruct the Spanish ambassador with the
Emperor to urge the matter again upon him.  In very truth this eternal
shuttlecock between Vienna and Madrid was growing stale again; and the
English Government did now, when it was too late, what it should have
done at first, namely, talk of preparations for war.  But it was only
talk; and though it frightened Olivares for a week or two, Hopton
deplored that the preparations were not being made a good earnest to
fight; "for this is the only way to bring Spain to reason, and they
themselves are making preparations for a big war."

In fact it was quite evident now to everyone that unless Spain promptly
withdrew her pretensions a great war to the death would have to be
fought with France.  Her troops in the Emperor's {252} armies had never
ceased in Central Europe to meet in combat those of Louis XIII., but
the impending resumption of rule by Spain over Catholic Flanders was an
event that again threatened the integrity of France itself; for with
Spanish frontiers, north, south, and east of her, the old position that
had led to the great wars between Charles V. and Francis I. in the
previous century would be repeated; and the new France which had arisen
under Henry IV., and had been strengthened by Richelieu, would never
suffer without a struggle a return to the old state of affairs.  Money,
constant, never-ending money, was the first desideratum of King Philip,
if such a war as that foreshadowed, in addition to the struggle in
Germany, was to be undertaken.  The outer realms, and especially
Portugal, were in a condition of sulky apprehension; but Philip was
forced to meet the legislatures before he could get money from them.
It was a necessity that he and Olivares dreaded and hated, but it had
to be faced.  All the Cortes therefore were summoned.  "All to get
money for their great engagements: how great they are they know not
themselves," wrote Hopton.

[Sidenote: The need for money]

But money had to be got somehow, even before the Cortes could meet or
King go to his eastern realms.  All the taxes had been anticipated, the
loan-mongers had run dry, and the silver from the indies had not
arrived.  Writing in February 1632, Hopton says; "They have levied
heavy contributions on the tradesmen of Madrid,[38] but they {253}
press them not hard yet, trying mild means first, and then passing to
violent.  However, they spare not those who are known to be moneyed
men; for they have sent to the Duke of Bejar for 100,000 ducats, and to
the Duke of Medina Sidonia, and others in proportion.  It will be a
very great sum in all, but will be needed for the war next summer."
Cardinal Borgia contributed 50,000 crowns, and nobles, merchants, and
churchmen were squeezed as they had never been squeezed before, even in
the time of Lerma.[39]  In the Cortes of Castile (February 1632) a
spirited protest for once was made, representing the poverty of the
country, and saying that it was unjust to impoverish the land in order
to send vast sums of money to the Emperor for a war useless to
Spain.[40]  But, as usual, the deputies, who were bribed heavily, ended
in voting despairingly what was asked; and after taking the oath of
allegiance, as has already been described, to Prince Baltasar Carlos in
the Church of St. Geronimo, they were promptly dismissed.

[Sidenote: The two Infantes]

The journey of the King to Aragon was an {254} anxious matter.
Olivares had complicated the situation by aiding Marie de Medici and
Gaston Duke of Orleans in their armed revolt against the government of
Richelieu, to the openly expressed fury of the people of Madrid, who
hated disloyalty to a King, even if he were King of France; and the
rumour prevailed that in revenge for the action of Olivares a French
army was preparing to invade Catalonia and carry the war into Spain
itself.  The risk and danger of the King's journey were urged upon
Philip, and discussed at length in his Council; but Olivares, whilst
admitting the risk, concluded that, "considering the penury of your
Majesty's treasury, ... the suffering to be incurred and the risk of
annoyance from the Cortes would be lesser evils than the loss of the
two millions (of ducats) we hope to get."[41]  But though the voyage
was decided upon, of one thing Olivares had quite made up his mind,
namely, that the King's two brothers should not be left behind to plot
at liberty the downfall of the favourite they hated.  Don Carlos, left
to himself and excluded from all affairs by Olivares, had fallen into a
dissipated mode of life; and both he and his abler brother Fernando
were on terms of intimate friendship with the Count-Duke's enemy, the
Admiral of Castile and his kinsmen, especially with Don Antonio de
Moscoso, who was the inseparable factotum of Don Fernando.  A most
interesting paper, transcribed at length by Novoa as being written at
the time by Olivares to the King on the subject of the two Infantes,
shows how bitter and unscrupulous the {255} minister was towards these
two young Princes.  The vilest suspicion is expressed as to their
loyalty, and the most cynical distrust of all their actions and words.
It had been decided to send Fernando to Flanders, but for various
reasons he had not yet been allowed to start; and when the voyage of
the King to Barcelona was decided upon, Olivares made his cowardly
secret attack upon him and his brother Carlos in the document in
question.[42]  The nobles who are friendly to the Infantes are all
represented as traitors and scoundrels; and the Princes themselves are
credited not only with unworthy behaviour, but also with evil plots and

"In any case," says Olivares, "they must both be separated from all
their friends, and this voyage to Barcelona will offer a good
opportunity for doing it without attracting public notice.  Fernando,"
he continues, "is already kicking over the traces, and assuming airs on
the strength of his going to Flanders; and the money he has command of
is making him dangerous.  He and Carlos are close friends, and their
secret communications indicate an evil bent.  Under the pretext of
these Cortes in Barcelona your Majesty might get Fernando and his
servants out of Madrid, saying that you wanted him to look after
ecclesiastical affairs there, and the noble and university members of
the Cortes, leaving him there when you return to deal with and close
the assembly.  Moscoso, who has a wife in Madrid and does not like
travelling, would stay here, ... and if he was bold enough to disobey
orders and try to join the Infante, we {256} would soon find means to
upset his projects.  As for Don Carlos, when the Admiral is away from
him, and the Prince absent, his household will assume a very different
aspect.  Seeing the musters of enemies on our frontiers and the dangers
threatening us on every hand, it will be a good plan to send the
(Catalan) nobles to their own estates, to see what troops they can
raise, giving out that Fernando is to be their leader, surrounding him
with greyheads to keep him more enclosed, and even imprisoned, for it
is a grave crime for him to show annoyance as he does at your Majesty's
orders....  So, Sire, if we get the Admiral away from here there will
be a way to prevent him from returning, and the Infante Fernando may
remain in Barcelona better occupied than he is now, whilst Carlos,
quieter and in better frame of mind, may stay by your Majesty's side."

[Sidenote: Philip and the Catalans]

Philip as usual accepted his mentor's recommendation.  The two
Infantes, fully informed by Olivares' enemies of the reason for taking
them away from Madrid, had to accompany their brother to the east, the
Queen remaining behind as Regent.  Philip and his brothers, with a
large following of the minister's kin and friends, left Madrid on 12th
April 1632, the two young Princes being almost without attendants.
Fernando's reduced household were sent ahead to Barcelona, and the
Infante cried out aloud that this meant that he was not to return to
Madrid, and that the whole journey to Catalonia had been got up solely
to get him away from Court for good.  The Princes, indeed, were almost
in open revolt against Olivares; and {257} it was noticed that they
travelled with loaded pistols at their saddle-bows, a thing never seen
before.  After a stay of a week in Valencia, where Cortes were convoked
and swore allegiance to the little Prince Baltasar Carlos, the whole
Court moved on to Barcelona, where the great struggle for money was
expected, for the stout Catalans were determined now that they would
make a stand against the encroachments of Olivares on their liberties.
The Viceroy, the Duke of Cardona, met the King at Murviedro, and warned
him that the Catalans were in a dangerous mood.  They objected to vote
any more money, objected to a royal Prince for a Viceroy,--it was the
duty of the King himself, they said, to come to them, and remain whilst
the Cortes were in session, and they would not be contented unless the
King stayed at least four months with them.  All along the road the
King and his favourite found the people scowling, and at Tortosa they
broke out in subversive cries because he only stayed a few hours in the

At Barcelona the King found the Cortes of Catalonia more recalcitrant
than ever, opposing endless difficulties to everything proposed, and
advancing all sorts of old claims with regard to ceremonial and ancient
privilege, each one of which had to be discussed interminably.[43]  At
last the ordinary supply was voted without increase, and the Infante
Fernando was accepted by the Catalans as Governor with a sufficiently
ill grace.  Fernando himself was furious, and protested to his brother
and Olivares hotly that he was being {258} isolated in the interests of
the latter, without the chance of distinction and elevation that he
would have gained in Flanders.  But he was at last reconciled by
mingled flattery, cajolery, and appeals to duty, and remained as
Governor to continue the Cortes, closely surrounded by mentors in the
interests of Olivares.[44]  Lerida had refused to send members to the
Barcelona Cortes at all, and as Philip approached the city on his way
home it was given out that he intended to punish it for its
disobedience.  Terrified, the city fathers came to meet the King and
pray for pardon, which, only with difficulty and a complete submission,
was partially accorded to them.  When the Court arrived at Almadrones,
two or three days' journey from Madrid, they were met by Antonio
Moscoso, with an ostentatious train of followers and servants, on his
way to join the Infante Fernando at Barcelona.  This could never be
allowed, and the King's confessor ordered Moscoso to return to Madrid
at once.  He appealed and wept in vain at the humiliation of such a
return; but was told that the King's orders must be obeyed without
reply.  When he went to kiss Philip's hand, the King, immovable as a
statue, drily asked, "When are you leaving?"  "I must speak to the
Count-Duke first, your Majesty," replied Moscoso.  "You will be too
late," said Philip, "for he was going to rest at once, and {259} would
not awake till ten at night, in order to set out on the road from
twelve to one."[45]  So Moscoso was fain to turn back with a heavy
heart, explaining by the way to Olivares that the Infante had sent for
him, and he meant no harm.  But though Olivares tried to lay the whole
of the responsibility upon the King, this insult rankled deeply in the
breast of the Infante Fernando, and was one more mark for vengeance
scored up by the enemies of the minister.  An indignant and formal
complaint was made to the King by his brother, and in order to ensure
its attention it was handed to Philip by his wife, much to the dismay
of Olivares, who knew now that Isabel of Bourbon was the head of his
foes, and that he could not dispose of her as he had done of the

[Sidenote: Death of Don Carlos]

As soon as Philip returned to Madrid, at the end of June 1632, the
occasion was celebrated by another great _auto-de-fé_ in the Plaza
Mayor, where the King and Queen with the Infante Carlos sat in their
balcony from eight in the morning (3rd July 1632) till late in the
afternoon, witnessing the indictment, the preaching of prosy sermons,
and the reading of legal documents, reciting the errors and heresies of
the poor wretches who stood upon the high scaffold in the midst of the
square, dressed in sambenitos.  The ghastly rejoicing, such as it was,
soon turned to mourning.  The Infante Carlos had fallen ill on the way
home from Barcelona, but had partially recovered on his arrival at
Madrid.  The summer was the most oppressive that had been experienced
for years, and the young Infante--he {260} was only twenty-five--fell
ill of fever in Madrid, and died in a few days;[46] and Olivares had
one less difficulty to contend with, though the amiable, unambitious
young man was of himself inoffensive.

[Sidenote: France and Spain]

Nor was it long before the other Infante was removed from the path of
Olivares.  The old Infanta Isabel ended at last her strenuous life in
1633, and Fernando was sent by way of Italy to the States of Flanders
to govern the fatal dominion for Spain once more, to Spain's ultimate
undoing.  Fernando was able and ambitious.  From Milan he was to lead a
large Spanish force to Flanders.  But affairs had gone ill with the
imperial cause.  Gustavus Adolphus, it is true, had fallen; but in the
fight at which he fell he had beaten Wallenstein, with the loss of
12,000 men on the imperialist side.  On the appeal of the Emperor,
Fernando turned aside, and a critical moment when the imperialists were
delivering the attack he arrived before the Protestant city of
Nördlingen (September 1634).  His presence turned the scale, for a
relieving force {261} of Swedes was just approaching, and the ensuing
battle, one of the most decisive in the Thirty Years' War, was a
crushing defeat to the Swedes and the Protestants.  The Cardinal
Infante passed on his way triumphant to his new governship, crowned by
the laurels of victory and the plaudits of his countrymen.  But his
active intervention in the war with Spanish Government troops changed
the aspect of the war.  The Swedes were no longer the leaders of a
federation of Protestants against a federation of Catholics.  It was
clear to Richelieu that unless with the whole force of France he threw
himself into the fray against the house of Austria, not only
Protestantism in Germany would suffer--for that indeed he cared
nothing, but the vital interests of France.  And so it happened that
when the Cardinal Infante was entering Brussels in pompous triumph,
Richelieu had already heavily subsidised the Dutch for an active
renewal of their war against him; and within a few months, early in
1635, Spain herself was in the grip of a great national struggle with
France, a struggle which extended as time went on from her Flanders
dominions to her Italian possession, and from the Franche Comté to the
sacred soil of Spain itself.

[1] See letters from Madrid to Eugene Field in the Monastery of
Timoleague, etc., in Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, 1627.

[2] Scaglia to Carlisle.  Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, MS., 19th
January, 1628.

[3] Rubens to Carlisle.  Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, MS., January
1628, etc.

[4] A good specimen of his style is seen in his reply to a letter from
Scaglia early in April 1629 (Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, MS.), asking
for an audience at the desire of Lord Carlisle, in order to tell
Olivares how much Carlisle esteems him.  "I will give this audience to
your lordship very willingly to-night (writes Olivares), and it will
give me most particular pleasure to talk about the Earl of Carlisle, of
whom I am the most affectionate servitor, and have been so all through
the worst tribulations; although when he was here I always considered
him a friend of France....  The differences that have taken place
between us are all owing to French intrigue."

[5] Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, MS., December 1629.

[6] Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, 10th January 1630.

[7] Cottington to Dorchester, 29th January 1630, Record Office, S.P.
Spain 34, MS.

[8] Cottington to Dorchester, 29th January 1630.  Record Office, S.P.
Spain MS.

[9] Cottington to Dorchester, MS.  Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, many
letters in 1630.

[10] Cottington to Dorchester, July 1630, Record Office, S.P. Spain MS.

[11] W. Gardiner, writing to Lord Dorchester when Cottington landed at
Lisbon in 1629, says: "This city has now lost all its ancient splendour
since I was here seventeen years ago.  It is now completely ruined.
All the merchants are bankrupt, and all their commodities are gone
except their diamonds, Brazil tobacco, and coarse sugar, all of which
are dearer here than in Holland.  There is great discontent with
Castilian rule, and especially some new laws whose object is to bring
them more absolutely under the King."  Record Office, S.P. Spain 34, MS.

[12] In a letter sent by Abbé Scaglia to Lord Carlisle in 1628 a long
document is enclosed, drawn up by the Marquis of Leganes, who was
Olivares' principal instrument and a kinsman, advocating the absorption
of Portugal by Spain.  The evil and danger of the existing want of
unity are pointed out, and the need to arouse a united national spirit
is enforced.  This document, supplementing those of Olivares himself
quoted on an earlier page, show that the propaganda in favour of
national unity was pushed persistently, and the outer realms were
naturally alarmed and disturbed at the threat implied to them.  Record
Office, S.P. Spain 34, MS.

[13] The house and garden of Monterey occupied the centre portion of
the space facing the Salon del Prado between the Calle de Alcalá and
the Carrera de San Geronimo.

[14] Occupying thus the whole of the space from the Calle de Alcalá to
the Carrera de San Geronimo.  That on the north is now covered by the
new Bank of Spain, and that on the south is still the palace of the
Duke of Villahermosa, the descendant of the Duke of Maqueda, to whom it
then belonged.

[15] These very fine pieces of red biscuit clay unglazed and highly
scented were much prized; and it was a vicious fashion, of ladies
particularly, to masticate or eat this ware.

[16] This beautiful and gifted actress, the idol of the susceptible
Madrileños, was also for a wonder at that period a decent member of
society.  She was a member of the charitable fraternity of Nuestra
Señora de la Novena, and was very devout.  She died in 1656, and was
buried at Barcelona in the Augustan Monastery of St. Monica, where
there was a special actors' chapel.  Fifty years afterwards, her body,
and even the veil in which it was enveloped, were found incorrupt, and
she was thenceforward considered almost a saint.  Juan de Caramuel
wrote of her: "She was a beautiful girl, gifted with so vehement an
imagination that, to the surprise of everyone, when she was acting her
colour changed in accordance with the emotions she portrayed.  If the
event represented were a pleasant one, her face was rosy, whilst pallor
cloaked her cheeks when the play was sad and sorrowful.  In this she
was unique and inimitable."

[17] Less than a fortnight after this costly feast, a terrible fire,
which threatened all Madrid with destruction, and demolished in the
three days it lasted half of the Plaza Mayor, took place (7th July
1631).  The loss and terror of the people were great; but so wedded was
the capital to shows, that almost before the ashes were extinguished a
great royal bull-fight in the presence of the King and Court was held
in the still smoking square.  During the corrida a house in the Plaza
caught fire again, and many of the panic-stricken people in their
efforts to escape were trampled upon and seriously injured.  It is
stated that Philip did not even rise from his seat, and ordered the
bull-fight to proceed.

[18] MS. account reproduced in Mesonero Romanos' _Antigua Madrid_.

[19] _The Year after the Armada, and Other Historical Studies_.

[20] Egerton MSS. 329, British Museum.

[21] This was a well-known noble poet and friend of Philip's in his
dramatic amusements.

[22] Philip showed his appreciation of the services of Don Juan Isasi
Ydiaquez in the most flattering way, by at once appointing him governor
and tutor of his legitimate son and heir, the promising little Don
Baltasar Carlos, then five years old.

[23] The vast park of Madrid represents part of the grounds which ran
up from the present line of the Prado to the extreme end of the present
park on the east, and included the whole space from the Alcala to the
Atocha.  Olivares had kept his plan secret from the King as long as he
could, having gradually acquired the ground without disclosing his
intention.  The Venetian ambassador Corner mentions in 1635 with
surprise that the whole place had sprung up in two years.

[24] The only portions of the palace now remaining are the Artillery
Museum, and the fine concert hall, built by Philip V., and decorated by
Luca Giordiano.  The ancient church of the monastery, of course, still

[25] At all these festivities it was the fashion for the company to
pelt each other with egg-shells filled with scent.

[26] MSS Add. 1026, British Museum.

[27] Sir Arthur Hopton's Notebook MS., British Museum, Egerton, 1820.

[28] The meaning of this is that nobles and clergy were exempt from the
food excise, but all consumers of salt would have to pay the increased
price.  But, in fact, the excise was not remitted after all.

[29] Hopton's MS. Notebook, British Museum.

[30] _Ibid._

[31] Hopton's MS. Notebook, British Museum.

[32] Hopton's MS. Letter-book.

[33] There is an extremely curious medical report on the health and
habits of Carlos in one of Hopton's letters from Madrid, in July 1632.
MS. Notebook.

[34] This was indeed the crucial time in the fate of the Palatinate.
In the contest of ambitions in Germany only a bold course, both towards
Spain and the Empire on the part of England, would have been effectual.
But poor Frederick at the Court of Gustavus promptly came to understand
that whilst his English brother-in-law held aloof from the war he could
expect little consideration.  At this very period Charles I. was
principally interested in adding to his picture gallery.  Cottington,
writing to Hopton, 10th November (O.S.) 1631, says: "You must tell the
Count of Benavente from the King that the copie of the Venus of the
Prado is now ready for him, with a picture of his Majesty, if he will
give him his St. Philip for them.  You must remember to send the King
the painted grapes which the poore fellow hath drawn for him."
Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[35] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[36] Mary Stuart, afterwards Princess of Orange, whom it was proposed
to betroth to the Prince Baltasar Carlos.

[37] Hopton's MS. Notebook, January 1632.

[38] There is in the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, a draft of the royal
order, petitioning those who could afford it to come to the assistance
of the King with money at this juncture (January 1632).

[39] Hopton, writing at this time, says: "The King told the Cortes that
if the war goes on he will have to call upon them again.  Though how
the country will beare it I know not, for in all the kingdom of Castile
their poverty is not to be dissembled.  I am informed for a certainty
that the procuradores of Andalucia have told the King plainly that if
the peace with England be kept they will be able to serve him, but if
not they cannot do it."  MS. Notebook.

[40] Hopton, writing during the session of this Cortes, 4th March 1632,
gives an account of the anger of Olivares and the King at the cities
that had not given their representatives full powers to vote supplies,
whilst the cities themselves were very angry at the demand for
6,000,000 ducats (_i.e._ in three years), and a renewal of the excise
in addition to the salt tax.  "A decree is lately issued for a donation
through all the realm, which is put into practice by sending gentlemen
of qualitie to every man's doore and taking their almes down as lowe as
foure reales."  Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[41] Decision of the Council of State, 23rd March 1632.  Danvila, _El
Poder Civil en España_.

[42] _Memorias de Matias de Novoa_. vol. i. p. 133.

[43] They are all set forth in the documents reproduced in Danvila's
_Poder Civil en España_.

[44] There were endless squabbles between the Infante Fernando and the
Catalan deputies on all manner of subjects.  He objected to the
deputies being covered before him; they insisted upon it as their
right.  He forbade them to repair and strengthen the city walls; they
at once employed three times as many men on it as before.  But, said
Hopton, writing on the subject: "He is doubtless a most sweete young
Prince.  All are ready to forgive him and lay all the blame on Count
Oñate, who is with him."  MS. Notebook.

[45] The heat was very great, and the King consequently travelled by
night.  Novoa.

[46] On the 29th July, Hopton wrote: "Don Carlos was sick for seventeen
days with ordinary ague at first, but at the end of eight days it
turned to tabardillo (spotted typhus) with convulsions.  My man has
come in from the palace whilst I am sealing up this, and says he is not
yet dead, but cannot live two hours.  All things for his funeral are
prepared, and blacks taken up, and servants that are to wait on his
body to ye Escorial are commanded to be in readiness so that your
honour (Coke) may take it that this gallant young Prince is a dead
man."  Hopton's MS. Notebook.  In another letter he wrote of the
distress of the people at the Infante's death: "The mourning could not
be more hearty for the King, and they have good reason, for he was a
Prince that never offended any man willingly, but did good offices for
all; being bred upp amonge them to as much perfection as they could
expect."  Writing an unofficial letter to Cottington on the same day,
Hopton gives some extremely curious private details of the causes of
the Prince's illness, which cannot be here translated.  But he
continues: "The poore Conde de Olivares is the scape, goat that must
bear all men's faults; but he is very much afflicted, for he was very
sure of this Prince's love, whatsoever the world sayeth."




As Spain drifted nearer and nearer to the inevitable war with France,
Olivares became more friendly with the English.  He hinted that Spain
was getting tired of the burden of the Emperor's wars, and might soon
be pleased to give up the Palatinate.  At another time he told Hopton
that the Palatine business might be settled in a few hours; and through
all the reverses that were daily befalling the imperial and Spanish
cause the Count-Duke kept a good face.  "I never saw him merrier, nor
with greater appearance of confidence.  God grant he may have reason,"
reported Hopton in the summer of 1633.  Rojas, too, who was the
mouthpiece of Olivares, harped constantly on the same string.  "They
were most desirous of close friendship with England; but had such
crosses with Germany."  At the same time the talk of war with France
grew throughout the {263} country; though Hopton could not understand
how it was possible for them to raise armies or money, for all their
talk, "having neither men sufficient to man their ships nor to till
their ground."

[Sidenote: Decay of commerce]

The penury of the country, indeed, was greater than ever.  The American
trade, a close monopoly nominally, had previously been the ultimate
resource of Spanish kings in need; but that was failing now.  In June
1632 the silver fleet came into Seville, and instead of the treasure
being delivered to its legitimate owners, most of it was seized by the
Government.  The merchants utterly lost heart, and when the time came
for the return fleet to leave Seville in the autumn, Hopton wrote:

"The Indian fleet is ready to sail, but there is no merchandise nor
merchant ships, and it will cost the King more than it will bring.  The
reason for this is that for many years past the trade of the Indies has
decayed, being wholly given up by Spaniards, and kept alive by
strangers.  The Spanish merchants think it not worth while to continue
a fleet, as the King keeps in the _Contratacion_ (India House) all the
silver and gold, and hath assumed to himself first the customs, then
the 47 per cent. average, and will not declare his purpose as to the
rest.  This has caused such disability and unwillingness to send goods,
and hath brought trade so low, that whereas licences for strangers to
trade there were hardly gotten for 4000 ducats, they are now offering
them for 4000 reales; and I thinke they will shortly be forced to
_hyre_ adventurers.  As for the trade in Portugal, that country cannot
do a sixth part of it, and so they are obliged to grant licences {264}
to contract with strangers to trade in Brazil, offering such conditions
as they may trade safely."

I have transcribed these lines at length, because they show in vivid
terms how the suicidal system of finance was ruining every class of the
community.  The workers, agricultural and urban, especially the former,
had been the first to go under, then the smaller tradesmen, crushed by
the alcabala tax on all sales, and the tampering with the currency; and
the turn now had come of the great merchants and bankers; whilst even
the nobles and churchmen had been bled freely by the last "voluntary
donation."[1]  In these circumstances it is not surprising that the
dissatisfaction became almost clamorous in its intensity.  Such
pasquins passed from hand to hand on Liars' Walk that people said that
the ghost of Villa Mediana must surely be walking his old haunts again,
so bitter were they.  Olivares, it was whispered, had poisoned the
Infante Carlos, and had tried to send Fernando by the same road.  The
French were ready with great armies to devastate Spain, only because
Olivares was coquetting with the rebel Orleans.  Even the Pope, said
the gossips, was being insulted and flouted by this minister, who was
but an ill-born Jew in disguise.[2]  "If you heard," wrote Hopton to
Cottington, in August 1632, "the {265} libels and foolish inventions of
the people against the Conde, you would never desire to be a

[Sidenote: Olivares' difficulties]

Thus affairs in the capital went from bad to worse.  Fanaticism spent
itself upon the loan-mongers, mostly Genoese and Jews with Portuguese
names, who served Olivares in extremity, and many of them, and the
richest, fell into the hands of the Inquisition.  There were frequent
hints, uttered beneath bated breath, that if all men had their due
Olivares himself would be burnt in a _sambenito_ outside the gate of
Fuencarral, for he had risen by the devilish arts of sorcery, and kept
the King in his power by witchcraft.[4]  Enormous difficulty was
experienced in levying troops for the war, for the country was half
depopulated, and many able-bodied men fled: the old spirit of
confidence in a sacred mission was gone, and they had now no stomach
for a fight provoked by the King's favourite.  The Catalans looked on
in sulky suspicion, believing that Olivares needed the soldiers to rob
them of their liberties; whilst in Madrid itself, though there were
only eight {266} companies of troops, "and more idle men to be spared
than in half Spain."[5]  The shirkers flocked by thousands into
ecclesiastical and noble service, or in that of the Inquisition, with
little or no pay, in order to escape enlistment.[6]  News came daily,
too, of reverses in Flanders, and serious riots in Biscay against the
salt tax; and in the meanwhile the French armies were mustering upon
the Pyrenean frontier to menace Spanish territory when the dread hour
should strike.  No spot of brightness indeed appeared anywhere.

Olivares had opened secret negotiations direct with Charles I. for an
offensive and defiance alliance against France, in union with the party
of Marie de Medici and the Duke of Orleans; and again the English were
sure for a time that now the Palatinate would be restored,--too late,
however, in any case, for poor Frederick, who had just died.  But soon
another cause for dispute changed Olivares' tone towards England.
Behind the amiable talk about the Palatinate large bodies of men for
the Spanish service had been raised in Ireland.  This, it was seen,
would not do.  Charles I. was willing to oblige Spain in return for
concessions in the matter of the Palatinate; and Scottish, or even
English, mercenaries, he said, might be obtained.  But {267} Catholic
Irishmen, "utter rebels"! Olivares was told plainly that he could not
have; "for if ever Spain meant to do us harm it would be by means of
the Irish."  So the new Irish troops were stopped by England before
they were embarked, and Olivares, in a violent rage, said he had been
betrayed and ruined, and would never trust an Englishman again.
England, indeed, at last was learning what manner of man Olivares was.
Suave and diplomatic when it served his turn, but, whilst gaining
everything, giving nothing but vague promises in exchange.  English
shipmasters were still being disgracefully despoiled; not a step had
really been taken for the restoration of the Palatinate; and Charles
was more than justified in insisting upon practical proofs of Spanish
friendship before he stretched a point to help Olivares.

[Sidenote: A dissolute court]

Through all this gathering trouble, with deep discontent at home and
menace on all sides, the trivial life in Madrid went on in the usual
way.  "The King hath been very sensible of the losse of Rheinsberg,"
wrote Hopton in June 1633; "and the Conde hath endeavoured to divert
him with playes and maskes at a new house (Buen Retiro) he hath built
near the St. Geronimo monasterie: a thing of noe great expense for such
a King, yet murmured at by the people, who will allow to governors in
times of misfortune nothing but care."[7]  As time went on, Philip had
grown more idle and dissolute than ever; and the tone of the Court had
followed the fashion of the King.  The newsletters of the period from
Madrid are simply a collection of atrocious scandals touching {268} the
honour of the highest people in the Court.  The blame for this also was
laid, though not very justly, upon Olivares, who, having lost his only
daughter, the Marchioness de Heliche, to his enduring grief, had now
cast the whole of his affection upon his bastard son Julian, whom he
subsequently legitimated, and rechristened Enrique Felipe de Guzman, to
the fury of the nobles who were opposed to him.  But this fact,
although it contributed ostensibly to his fall, as the Queen was
persuaded that he had induced Philip to legitimate his own favourite
bastard Don Juan in order that he, Olivares, might have a good
precedent to do likewise with his, was really but a venial fault in a
Court so corrupt as this.

[Sidenote: A budget of scandal]

In his private letters to Cottington, Hopton occasionally allowed
himself to tell some of the current scandal concerning courtiers, who
were, of course, well known to Cottington.  He appears in one of his
letters to have hinted at a terrible misfortune as having happened to
some highly placed ladies in Madrid, but without giving details.
Charles I. saw the letter, and was much offended apparently that the
scandal should be mentioned vaguely.  Hopton (26th October 1633) wrote
an abject letter of apology to King Charles, beseeching pardon, and
saying that he had only mentioned scandal and avoided particulars in
order to save the lady's honour; but in obedience to his Majesty's
orders he would now tell the whole story.

"The tragedy began in Cardinal Zapata's house, where there is a niece
of his, daughter of his sister the Countess de Valenzuela, a very fine
lady, and exceedingly well beloved by her uncle, {269} who married her
about two years ago to the eldest son of the Count de Sevilla, with
whom she lived about a year, and, being left a widow, returned to the
protection of the Cardinal, her uncle.  In the house there lived a
favourite servant of the Cardinal, one Joseph Cabra, who had entered
the service at Zaragoza as a page, but now occupied the post of highest
trust in the household.  The Count of Sevilla's son was jealous of this
man before he died; but since his death the Count his father has
proceeded criminally against the young Countess and Cabra, for living
in adultery together and murdering the husband.  It is now certain that
since she became a widow she lived with Cabra and had a child by him,
which made them resolve on a secret marriage.  This was concealed for
some months, and divulged at last through a slip of Cabra's, who failed
to pay sufficiently handsomely the officers of the church where they
were married.  The whole business then came out.  Cabra fled to his own
country, where he thought he would be safe; and there he published
something vindicating his quality.  There was no reason, he argued, why
his marriage with the Countess should be considered strange.  Others of
greater inequality had been married before; for instance, the Duchess
of Peñaranda and her steward Avellaneda.  He knew this, he said, by his
having had access to the secret books of Toledo Cathedral.  The Duchess
of Peñaranda was a younger daughter of the Cardinal Duke of Lerma; and
she was known in her youth to have been free, but all passed under her
high spirits.  The Duke of Lerma had a page called Avellaneda, who,
{270} being a favourite, was appointed to wait upon his daughter in
those liberties she assumed, and to be the instrument of justification
to her and him.  The Duke of Lerma having died, the page was appointed
steward, and although he was already married, she (the Duchess) had a
child by him, who is now five years old.  Eighteen months ago,
Avellaneda's wife died, and the Duchess married him.  When the bans
were published, her son, the present Duke of Peñaranda, happened to be
present; but the names being common ones he did not suspect, though he
mentioned the matter to his mother as a curious coincidence.  This
marriage being discovered by the disclosures in Cabra's pamphlet, threw
all the town in a turmoil.  The Duke of Peñaranda assembled in the
house of his sister, the Marchioness of Villena, his confidential
kindred, to consult them as to what had to be done.  There it was
decided that he must first kill Avellaneda.  When this news reached the
palace, the King sent for the Duke of Peñaranda, and ordered him to do
nothing as he (the King) would take the matter into his own hands.  He
sent to Illescas, where Avellaneda was, and had him brought in a cart
to the common prison here; the Duchess being sent to the royal convent
of nuns of St. Domingo el Real,[8] where she still remains.  Cabra, who
had caused all this trouble, was also imprisoned, and his wife as well,
though she in her justification said: 'Why punish me, who try to live
in the grace of God?--let them look to those who live like strumpets';
and amongst those who did so she {271} mentioned the Dowager Duchess of
Pastrana.  The affair has caused dreadful scandal, but has been hushed
up.  The good old Cardinal (Zapata) has taken so much to heart the
misfortune of his niece, who, after having been committed to the
custody of an Alcalde de Corte, has been sent to a nunnery, that
ill-meaning people say that she is really his daughter.  He is so
troubled about it that he has moved to six different houses in six
months, and much mistrust exists.  Another thing has arisen out of the
affair.  The great distaste to the house of Peñaranda has caused the
Duke to retire from Court.  The King was quite willing for him to go,
but did not like his wife to go with him.  She is the daughter and heir
to the Marquis of Valdonquilla, the uncle of the Admiral (of Castile),
who, without taking any notice of the King's displeasure, forced her to
follow her husband.  But they say the commerce is established."

This budget of scandal sent to the King of England shows how utterly
rotten was the moral condition of the Court, when it sufficed for one
disgraceful episode to be made public for a whole string of others to
follow touching the honour of those who stood highest.  This scandalous
immorality, arising apparently from the absolute degeneration of
religion into a formula, and of its ceasing to be a guide of conduct,
extended to all classes of society, and terrified stories were told of
horrible irreligious rites being carried on in the conventual houses
themselves by a secret society called the "illumined ones"
(_alumbrados_).  The particulars of one awful scandal of the sort,
which {272} was investigated by the Inquisition at this time (1633),
caused great excitement in Madrid.  It related to the proceedings of
the nuns of St. Placido of Madrid, who were pronounced by the
Benedictine chaplain, Fray Garcia, to be nearly all possessed of the
devil; and on the pretext of exorcising them he was with them almost
day and night.  This went on for three years, when the fact that
twenty-eight out of the thirty nuns in the convent were said to be
possessed appeared so strange and suspicious, that the Inquisition
intervened; and, in the course of a long inquiry and much torture of
the chaplain, uncovered an appalling story of sacrilege, black magic,
and immorality combined, for which all the persons implicated were
severely punished; though a few years afterwards (1638) an attempt was
made to whitewash the condemned.[9]

It is needless to say that in such a society as this, idle, depraved,
and to all effects pagan under its morbid devotion, the race after
pleasure became ever keener, notwithstanding the disasters abroad and
the misery at home.  The Saints' days were excessively numerous, and
the parishes vied with each other in the attractions of their religious
performances; the _autos-de-fe_ alternated with the constant
bull-fights, cane tourneys, and the other festivities so often
described in earlier pages; the amorous adventures of the King became
more frequent, or at all events were more talked about, than before;
and the new palace and garden of the Buen Retiro formed a more suitable
background for such proceedings than the old palace {273} had been.
Every birth in the King's family, every reception of ambassadors, every
royal anniversary, was made the excuse for one of these long series of
festivities.  Hopton, writing to Coke in October 1633, says that the
King was then boar killing at the Escorial and Balsain, and that
already the capital was preparing to welcome him back in the following
week with a series of bull-fights and cane tourneys.

[Sidenote: The Buen Retiro]

"Great preparations are being made to warme a new house built near by
the monastery of St. Geronimo, and contrived by Olivares....  The
business seems to be a matter of Olivares' or the King's affection, or
both, as about 1000 men are at work to have the place ready in time.
They are working day and night, as well as Sundays and holidays.  I
doubt what will happen when the place is burdened with such a posse of
people as usually resort to such pastimes, the mortar being yet greene,
the building will run some hazard.  There is much talk in the town
about it, generally against the charge thereof being taken from the
bellys of the people by an imposition on wine, flesh, etc.  They suffer
it worse because they say it is a fancy of the Conde's (Olivares)."[10]


In another letter, Hopton mentions that the house-warming of the Buen
Retiro is to last four days; with bull-fights, running at the ring,
wild beast fights and other similar sports; in which "I may say without
flattery, the King, with his excellent comportment, exceeded all that
came in with him.  The house is very richly furnished, and almost all
by presents; for the Conde hath made the matter his own, by whose means
it hath wanted not friends."[11]  And then, as if to furnish a fit
commentary upon all this wasteful frivolity, the English ambassador
proceeds to say that trade with the Indies was dead, and that, "if
things go on like this they will not be able to re-establish it, and
that Portuguese Indian trade has been almost quite killed by

[Sidenote: Charles I. and Olivares]

Whilst the drums were beating in Madrid and other great cities to
enlist recruits to face the French in the coming war, and Olivares,
almost in despair, was casting about for fresh ways of getting large
sums of money, he ceaselessly endeavoured to win England to his side.
It was clear that the old method and the old bait would have to be
changed somewhat, for bland verbal assurances from the Spaniards in
favour of a restoration of the Palatinate, whilst the Emperor was left
unpledged, could no longer impose upon the least suspicious of
diplomatists.  The new move was an extraordinary one, and displays
vividly the falsity of Charles I.  For some time previous to {275} the
beginning of 1634, Olivares had been delighting Hopton by his
conciliatoriness, and somewhat mystifying him by arch hints as to the
future.  Writing on the 24th January 1634, Hopton says that Olivares
was very much better disposed in English affairs than he was wont to
be.  "I have done him several services, and try to leave him contented."

A few weeks after this, an explanation of the Count-Duke's amiability
came to Hopton in the form of a private letter from Windebank, the
Secretary of the King of England, enclosing the copy of an address made
by the resident Spanish agent in London, Nicolalde, to Charles.  There
had been a talk for weeks of sending some great personage from Spain as
a special ambassador; but in the meantime Nicolalde had cast soundings
by suggesting a close alliance between England and the Emperor, in
which the Palatine would join.  Charles had replied cautiously, saying
that he would consider it if the Palatine were confirmed in the
possession of the territories he now held, and especially the Lower
Palatinate.  But the real inwardness of it all was revealed in a
private letter of 13th February from Cottington to Hopton, saying that
Charles was willing to league himself with the Emperor and Spain on
certain conditions, but that Coke, the Secretary of State, was to be
kept entirely in the dark about it, the negotiations being carried on
with the King (Charles) direct through Windebank.  The object of the
proposed alliance was, "the expulsion of foreigners from the empire,
and the reduction of the rebels to due obedience," which meant the
crushing of the Dutch Protestants.  King Charles, {276} says
Cottington, is quite set upon it.  The plan can only miscarry by
incredulity on the part of Olivares, or any waywardness of Nicolalde;
and Charles, as an earnest of his good faith, offers the escort of an
English fleet to the Infante Fernando, if it was intended to send him
to Flanders by sea.[13]

[Sidenote: Intrigues with Charles I.]

Behind this there was another mysterious negotiation going on, relating
apparently to a marriage between Charles's eldest daughter Mary Stuart
to Prince Baltasar Carlos, both of whom were children of tender years.
Many close conversations on the subject took place between Hopton, as
the personal mouthpiece of King Charles, and Philip and his minister.
The constant claims and complaints of the English merchants and
shipmasters of Spanish extortion annoyed Hopton almost as much as
Olivares, because they introduced an element of trouble in these loving
confabulations.  But Hopton, though zealous to serve his King, was
clearly ill at ease, as well he might be, for it was a dangerous
business for Charles to receive a big money subsidy from SPain, as was
proposed, and to turn the arms of England against the Protestants.
Hopton goes so far, indeed, as to say in his letters to Windebank that
he is not in favour of the subsidy, but that King Charles should fit
out a fleet at his own expense against the Dutch.  This will, he says,
be easier, and will leave Charles more free and able to bring the Dutch
to reason.  But, he continues, if the matter is undertaken at all, it
must be seen through to the end, or Holland will wax too insolent to be


Long discussions with the Council of State and with Olivares kept
Hopton busy in Madrid for months; the while the great betrayal proposed
was kept from the Secretary of State and all the responsible ministers
in England, a good foretaste of the policy that led Charles Stuart to
ruin and the block.  To the official Secretary of State, Hopton had
much to say about the great preparations being made in Spain for war,
but no word about the secret plan for England to join in it on the
Catholic side.  Great loans and levies are constantly being raised, he
reported in April 1634.

"This great ship," he wrote, meaning of course Spain, "contains much
water (_i.e._ money), but many leaks, and is always dry.  It is certain
that they have made loans this year for 13 millions (of ducats), and
are still treating of more, yet at the end of the year they will
neither have money in their purse, nor army paid, nor nobody contented;
which is to be attributed to the hard terms wherewith they do their
business.  For being masters of the mines of gold and silver, and
withal having but few friends, nobody will serve them but for their
interests: and their own subjects are so well conceited of themselves,
as they think they cannot be paid enough."[14]  "In their present
levies," he continues, "though they are sorry men, they give them 3
reales a day, which is 18 pence English, and yet have all they can do
to keep them from running away.  Subjects are fearfully hardly pressed.
The hard usage of business men in the Indian trade has made concealment
general, which has greatly reduced the {278} revenue of the crown.
Great measures were taken to discover unregistered treasure in the last
fleet, and they found 600,000 ducats, and will yet find more.  But this
again will stop trade."

[Sidenote: Approach of war]

Everything possible was done by Olivares to please the English at this
juncture.  The prisoners of the Inquisition at Cadiz were released,
Hopton was made much of, King Charles was the most popular potentate
amongst the idlers of Madrid; whilst the French ambassador, stoned and
insulted in the streets, was fain to take refuge in a monastery twelve
miles away to avoid scandal.  "They want our friendship now," wrote
Hopton, "and we may make our market."  The English ambassador had his
head quite turned by so much attention, and, to the anger of King
Charles, was drawn by the superior diplomacy of Olivares into going
beyond his instructions in his promises to the Spaniards.  The King of
England had been bitten too often by Spanish plausibility not to be
distrustful; and Windebank's letter to Hopton, in May 1634, was almost
violent in its scolding.  Hopton had gone so far as to say that the
English had decided to put a powerful army in the field to punish the
insolence of the Dutch, whereas King Charles had only broached it as a
proposition, and Nicolalde in the meanwhile was pledging the Spaniards
to nothing.  When Olivares was pressed for guarantees in return for the
English aid he craved, the usual story was told; and by the middle of
July Hopton wrote to Windebank--

"_The_ business, as I expected when I saw them {279} haggling, has come
to naught.  They only want to keep us neutral; and the affair is at an
end.  I am not sorry, unless the Palatine might be made secure.  When I
said they would oblige the gratefullest prince living, Olivares
replied: 'No hay gratitud entre Reyes' (There is no gratitude between

Olivares was beset on all sides.  Detested by the nobles, with nearly
all of whom he was at feud;[16] feared and dreaded by the commercial
community, whom he had ruined; overworked, and at his wits' end to face
the vast present and prospective drains upon the national resources,
striving not only to do all the work of State himself and to direct
everything, but also to keep the King in a good humour by providing an
endless series of amusements for him, the Count-Duke was "so spent with
the burden of business that lies upon him," as Hopton wrote, "as to
deserve pity, if he would only pity himself."  There was no class of
people now that did not feel the crushing weight of the war
expenditure, even before the great war with France had begun.  In June
1634, Hopton reports that "a new tax had been imposed of one-eighth of
the value of all wine sold in Madrid, with no exception allowed, and
one twenty-fourth of all that is sold in the Castilian realms.  All the
shops that sell wine are shut, so that all stock may be registered and
an account be rendered of sales.  They think thus to charge the
retailer under great penalties.  {280} It is like to be a great
trouble, and the greater part of the benefit will be consumed in
officers and false accounts."  "I doe much doubte," he continues, "that
by degrees those impositions will first be laid upon all things of home
fabric and growth, and afterwards upon those things imported from
abroad; and your Honour (Coke) may guess to what immoderation the
revenues of this crown will grow by this means."[17]

The good, simple ambassador made no allowance for the self-stultifying
operation of oppressive taxation, and if he had reviewed the state of
affairs a few years later, he would have seen, as we shall in the
course of this book, that, so far from benefiting Philip's treasury,
these blighting impositions on the exchange of commodities ended in a
decrease of the revenue.  But whilst the citizens were groaning under
impossible burdens, and the curses of a whole nation were following the
careworn Count-Duke, the King, as much afflicted with the troubles of
his people as anyone, but looking upon them as a visitation of
providence, must needs seek in pleasure distraction from his vicarious
sorrow which the oppressed citizens themselves could not escape.

"All the Court is at the new house" (_i.e._ the Buen Retiro) "for a
fortnight," wrote Hopton in July 1634, "which time hath been spent in
all manner of entertainments and much to their Majesties' contentment,
wherein the Count of Olivares took great pains, all things being
ordered by himself; and so well, as it savoured of his excellent {281}
judgment in all things, especially in the furniture of the house, which
was such as not to be thought there had been so many curiosities in the
whole kingdom; and this at very little expense, for it was for the most
part done by presents.  Howbeit the things that were bought were dearly
and punctually paid for, inasmuch as nobody can wisely complain."

[Sidenote: Furnishing the Buen Retiro]

Doubtless no one could _wisely_ complain, but many had reason to do so,
for few great people with art collections escaped spoliation, and the
other palaces were to a great extent denuded of their treasures, for
the purpose of cramming the Buen Retiro with rarities.  Some of the
nobles, like the Auditor Tejada, were artful enough to have copies made
of their best pictures, and sent the copies as originals to the Buen
Retiro.  But, as in his case, this was bitterly resented by Olivares if
it was found out.  The Marquis of Leganés, the nephew of the
Count-Duke, had a superb collection of pictures and articles of vertu
brought from Flanders and Italy; but when he was called upon to
disgorge, his wife stepped in and claimed the whole collection as her
dowry, and the Marquis was let off with the present of a piece of
tapestry.  The chapel was fitted up at the expense of the President of
the Council of Castile; the Infante Fernando continued to send
beautiful objects, many of them spoils of war from Flanders; Olivares'
brother-in-law Monterey had to surrender much of the vast store of
pictures he had collected at Naples; and all the painters in Madrid
were kept busy copying or designing canvasses {282} for the new
palace,[18] under the direction of the King's painter, Don Diego
Velazquez, who, having returned from his long visit to Rome, was now,
and had been for the last three years, again working indefatigably in
his studio in the old Alcazar.

This, indeed, was the period when the great artist produced some of the
best of his work, such as the Surrender of Breda (the Lanzas), the
portraits of the child Prince Baltasar Carlos, the fine portrait of
Olivares reproduced in this book, and the famous equestrian portrait of
Philip himself.  In the midst of all the growing national trouble, this
in many respects was the most brilliant and perhaps the happiest time
of Philip's reign, so far as he personally was concerned.  His habits
were fixed and his pleasures keen.  His fits of contrition were
frequent, it is true; but they were always banished by fresh pleasures
or amours contrived by Olivares.  The {283} King intermittently
attended to State business himself; but the interminable discussions
and reports by the various Councils upon every subject made the
despatch of business peculiarly irksome and tedious.  The Spanish
system of a consultative and deliberative bureaucracy, indeed, seemed
specially devised to disgust anyone but a patient laborious plodder
like Philip II.  His grandson, impatient of detail and quick of
apprehension, loathed the dull pompous discussions of the Councils, and
not unnaturally was content to hear a summary of results from Olivares,
whose final decision he always confirmed.

[Sidenote: Philip's domestic life]

Philip's domestic life at this time had every reason to be happy,
though the growing tension between his wife and Olivares had to some
extent estranged them, and the Queen was, under the influence of the
minister, somewhat ostentatiously excluded from public business, not
unnaturally to her annoyance.  She was, however, a good wife, and
shared Philip's frequent pleasures gaily, whilst in devotion of the
peculiar Spanish type she was even more emphatic than he.  She had a
woman's reason for her dislike of Olivares, as well as the political
objections to him which were the ultimate cause of his fall.  It has
already been mentioned that in pursuance of his system of doing
everybody's work, the minister had taken under his care the management
of the King's affairs of gallantry, and the results thereof.  This, of
course, was perfectly well known to the Queen, and the satirical poets
who wrote so copiously of frailty in high places took care to publish
the fact.  Even Hopton, when in a gossiping mood, referred to it more
than {284} once.  Speaking of the skits that were current about
Olivares and the new palace, he wrote: "He (Olivares) hath had likewise
some harsh words with the Admiral for speaking to the King in
disparagement of his new house; and the Queen hath had her little
saying to him also, for some opinion she had of some secret pleasures
there brought to the King."

Whatever may have been the sum of Philip's infidelities, and it cannot
be denied that they were numerous, they were never more than temporary
and vulgar intrigues, which, whilst they would naturally annoy his
wife, did not threaten her permanent influence or interfere with her
continuous marital life with her husband.  With monotonous regularity
almost every year the Queen gave birth to a child, usually a girl,
whose advent was an excuse for the customary series of costly
festivities so often described in earlier pages, festivities that in
most cases lasted almost as long as the life of the child whose advent
they greeted; for all the infants up to this time (1634) had died
except the sturdy, promising little Baltasar Carlos, who was idolised
by his father and mother, and, so far as the oppressive etiquette of
the Court would allow, was petted by the whole Court.  The little
Prince who was born in 1629, had early developed a love for
horsemanship and field sports, and as a baby horseman, hunter, or
soldier, he is presented to the life again and again by Velazquez.
From Flanders his admiring uncle Fernando sent him many presents,
beautiful armour and weapons in miniature, which now adorn the rich
Armeria in Madrid, martial toys, and above all in 1633 what {285}
afterwards became the Prince's favourite steed, a "little devil of a
stallion pony," as the Infante calls him, that had to be lashed
liberally before Baltasar Carlos was allowed to mount him.[19]

[Sidenote: The Portuguese problem]

The limited number of his near relatives had become a source of
embarrassment to Philip.  Of his two brothers, one, Carlos, had died,
and the other, the Infante Cardinal Fernando, was in Flanders fighting
and working heroically.  There were no other Spanish relatives, but the
heir Baltasar Carlos and the beautiful illegitimate son Juan, now
growing into a handsome, clever lad in the secluded castle of Ocaña,
whilst the German archdukes had drifted farther and farther from Spain,
as had the Savoy Princes.  It had always been the policy of the house
of Austria to keep the Spanish nobles powerless in the Peninsula.  They
might command Spanish armies abroad and act as viceroys across the
seas, but were never to be trusted with executive power in the realms
of Spain; and it had become increasingly difficult, now that the nobles
of the outer realms had grown distrustful of Olivares, to find men of
the respective provinces who were of sufficient rank and could be
trusted to govern the non-Castilian territories in the name of the
King.  The principal difficulty was in Portugal, where the widest
autonomy, and every possible guarantee against Spanish oppression, had
been granted by Philip II.  But, as we have seen, the tendency for a
long time past, and especially under {286} Olivares, had been to
curtail the rights enjoyed by Portugal since the union of the crowns.

The promise that none but Portuguese should rule in the country had
been disregarded almost from the first in the appointment of Viceroys.
The Austrian nephew, the Archduke Albert, had reigned under Philip II.;
and Moura, the wise half-Portuguese minister of Philip II., had ruled
Portugal for years under his son.  But to appoint a Portuguese noble
now, with Olivares' known policy, would have been highly dangerous, and
the Portuguese would hardly have stood a Spanish noble, even if Philip
had dared to appoint one.  The policy of conciliation that Philip II.
had adopted had left the house of Braganza, which had a better claim to
the Portuguese crown than Philip, richer and more powerful than most
sovereigns.  The reigning Duke of Braganza had married a sister of the
Spanish Duke of Medina Sidonia, the head of the Guzmans, of which house
Olivares was a cadet; and in normal circumstances Braganza might have
been the ideal man for Viceroy.  But the circumstances were not normal.
The deepest discontent reigned in the country at the ruin that had
befallen its trade in consequence of its union with Spain, and
especially at the new taxation for Spanish objects proposed at the
bidding of Olivares; and a subject so powerful and so popular as
Braganza was naturally suspect.  The difficulty was met at the end of
1634 by going somewhat far afield for a ruler of Portugal.  The younger
daughter of Philip II., the Infanta Catharine, had married Carlo
Emmanuele, Duke of Savoy, in 1585; and one of their daughters, Princess
Margaret, the {287} widowed and dispossessed Duchess of Mantua, a first
cousin of Philip, was brought to Spain to govern Portugal,--the idea
being that, as she was a lady and a foreigner, she would be a safe and
obedient instrument in the hands of Olivares.  In November 1634 she
entered Madrid in great state, and at the bull-fights and other
festivities held to celebrate her coming she sat by the side of Philip
and his Queen, which the Madrileños thought a great and unusual honour,
accorded in order to give her higher prestige and authority before she
set out for her fateful government, a figurehead for Olivares' attempts
against Portuguese autonomy.

[Sidenote: Catalonia]

Catalonia was more uneasy even than Portugal.  There had been a talk
all the summer of the King's going thither to ask for more money, and
the Catalans were in anger at the very idea.  So great was the
ill-feeling, that the Viceroy, the Duke of Cardona, a humble servant of
Olivares, thought it safer to keep out of the way of his subjects; and
the Castilian soldiers were daggers-drawn with the people, in whose
houses they were billeted, in defiance of the Catalonian constitution.

The growing danger from these provinces, and the busy intrigues of
Richelieu with the Dutch, to the intended detriment of Spain, again
drove Olivares to seek a renewal of the suspended negotiations intended
to draw Charles I. into the Catholic camp.  At the end of July,
Olivares sent for Hopton in great excitement, to show him an
intercepted letter of the Prince of Orange, which, he said, disclosed a
dangerous plan against England and Spain.  "Ah!" said the Count-Duke,
"we ought to have carried out that league of ours."  "It {288} was your
fault," replied Hopton, "that it was not concluded.  Nicolalde in
London was not authorised to give the necessary pledges."  "Well,"
retorted.  Olivares, "the matter may be arranged now, if you like."
The hint was enough for Charles.  The first thing, he said, was to get
rid of Nicolalde, who was unsympathetic; and he sent an English agent
named Taylor to Madrid to recommend this course to Philip.

Soon negotiations were in full swing again.  Some great personage, the
Count of Humanes probably, was to be sent to England, whilst the Duke
of Medina Celi was to go to France, and endeavour to secure the return
of Marie de Medici the Queen-Mother and her son Orleans to France,
which of course would have meant the paralysation of Richelieu.  When
the news came of the decisive battle of Nördlingen (page 260), gained
over the Swedes and Weimar by the Infante Fernando, the great
rejoicings and festivities with which Philip greeted the victory
(October 1634), the bonfires and bull-fights and _Te Deums_, did not
disguise the fact that war with France sooner or later must now be
inevitably faced, and the efforts to come to an agreement with England
proceeded more warmly than ever.

[Sidenote: The agreement with Charles I.]

In October, at length, Windebank sent to Madrid the draft of the
agreement, and one stands aghast at the unwisdom of Charles and his
secret advisers, in thus showing willingness to betray the Protestant
cause at the hollow charming of Olivares.  England was to provide
twenty ships of at least 400 tons each, ostensibly to protect the coast
of England and Ireland; but as soon as {289} the fleet was at sea,
notice was to be given to the Dutch in the form of an ultimatum to
surrender to Spain, or the English would attack them.  Spain was
nominally to lend, but really to give, to Charles 200,000 crowns, and
100,000 a month for every month the fleet was at sea.[20]  When Hopton
saw Philip with this draft, and as usual raised the question of the
Palatinate as a pendant to the Agreement, only evasive answers were
given to him, and again the negotiations flagged, whilst desperate
efforts were made in Spain itself to force the nobles to raise and arm
soldiers to take the field against France when the expected war should
begin in the spring.

But whilst Olivares was thus striving to obtain at least the neutrality
of England on the easiest terms for Spain, there was other diplomacy at
work at least as profound and more generous than his.  The battle of
Nördlingen had broken up the effective league between Sweden and the
German Protestants, and John Frederick of Saxony, with the other German
Lutherans, soon made terms of compromise with the Emperor, by which
they gained the toleration they sought, and the Thirty Years' War came
to an end, so far as the religious struggle in Germany was concerned.
But the far-reaching schemes of Richelieu would have been frustrated if
the war had ended here, leaving Spain free from the drain of helping
the Emperor; for then she would have had power to deal with Holland
effectually, and re-establish her waning hold over Italy to the injury
of France.  So, as war with Spain was necessary for Richelieu, he {290}
took good care to isolate his opponent before it began.  He first
effected an alliance with the United Provinces, and intrigued in
Catholic Flanders with the nobles.  Then he drew into his net Savoy,
Mantua, and Parma; he occupied the Valtelline again, and Sweden was
coupled to the car of France anew by Axenstiern, whilst, as a last
stroke, he strove hard to include Charles I. in his league with the

[Sidenote: The intrigue with England]

At the end of 1634, Olivares sent to Hopton in a great fright at news
that he had heard, to the effect that Charles I. had joined France and
Holland in their league; and bitter complaints were made of the
treatment of Spanish cruisers in English ports and in the Channel.  In
one case a Dutch prize had actually been taken away from the Spanish
captors by English vessels, and brought into Dover.  What was the
meaning of it? asked Olivares in a towering rage.  Was the King of
England going to throw them over after all?  A mention of the
Palatinate only made him more furious still.  Thus the bickering and
bargaining went on all through the year 1635; Hopton urging Olivares to
send some news worth the carrying by Taylor to London about the
Palatinate, and the Count-Duke wrangling over the details of the
agreement about the subsidy to England, which he swore that Charles had
altered without consultation with Nicolalde.  "He (Olivares) is in a
good humour now," wrote Hopton on one occasion; "but he is of a most
dangerous nature, to which we shall always be subject as long as the
business of the Palatinate shall last."

At length, when Olivares had exhausted the possibilities of
prevarication in Madrid, the secret {291} draught agreement was sent
back to London for further discussion and amendment, and the continued
neutrality of England at least was secured for another breathing space.
One is struck with positive admiration for the masterly way in which,
with this stale bait of the Palatinate, England was beguiled by
Olivares from year to year, and prevented from joining the enemies of
Spain.  Richelieu had been bidding for English aid or benevolent
neutrality too, and this was a chance which, if Charles had possessed
any statesmanship worthy of the name, or any national ambition apart
from the advantage of his dynasty, might have enabled England to play
the part of the arbiter in Europe.  But, as usual, the chance was
missed by the instability of Charles, and when the cloud of war burst
in the spring of 1635, the negotiations between London and Madrid were
still dragging on.  There was a talk at one time of a partition of the
Spanish Netherlands between France and Holland after they should have
been conquered, and this made Charles more eager than ever for the
alliance with Spain to prevent such an eventuality, whilst both
Olivares and Richelieu were glad to keep him wavering with insincere
negotiations.  His own condition, moreover, in England was already
becoming difficult; for he had levied the ship money, and had taken the
first fatal step by deciding to dispense with his Parliament; so that a
strong ally with ready money was desirable to him.

Windebank wrote to Hopton on 27th May 1635:

"The French ambassador is pressing King Charles very hard to make a
league with them; and it is {292} not the fault of the Spaniards that
it is not already concluded, for they are going the right way to thrust
us upon the French, though they cannot send a letter or pass an
ambassador without us.  This is a strange fascination, and they deserve
to smart for it, as they will dearly if Dunkirk be besieged and his
Majesty help them not."[21]

A little later Hopton writes: "Their (the Spaniards) only hope for
Flanders and at sea is the friendship of our King.  And yet they retain
their gravity, as if they were the arbiters of the world.  I saw the
Conde yesterday, and, though he was a little troubled, yet he is very
confident that all would end to their honour."

The conclusion of the precious alliance with King Charles had evidently
at last to be carried through, or further delayed, by more
highly-placed ambassadors than Hopton and Nicolalde; and it was decided
that Sir Walter Aston should go to Madrid and the Count of Humanes to
London.  Olivares was, or pretended to be, apprehensive of the coming
of a new English ambassador, but was assured by Hopton that Sir Walter
was all that could be desired from the Spanish point of view.  Humanes,
on the other hand, was reported to be "an honest gentleman, but with a
good enough conceipt of himself.  Thinking to get great things, he will
be a little hard to deal with in England."  But the seas were crowded
with Dutch and French cruisers, and the land route through France was
of course closed to Spaniards, so it was a difficult thing to get
Humanes to England at all, unless he went {293} back in the English
ship that brought Aston.  And so month after month of 1635 slipped by,
the war proceeding actively in Flanders against the Infante Cardinal,
and the French troops threatening Catalonia from Perpignan, whilst the
English treaty with Spain was still on the balance.  Hopton, in June
1635, told Olivares that this coldness and delay in his proceeding was
producing a bad effect in England, and that unless they stirred
themselves King Charles might look elsewhere.  "Upon what ground do you
say that," asked Olivares.  "Upon Nicolalde's way of proceeding, and
the delay that is taking place.  It makes us think that the whole thing
is a pretence," replied Hopton.  "Everything is now practically settled
with very few alterations, and there need be no more delay," Olivares
assured him.

In July alarming news came to Madrid, that the Infante Cardinal had
sustained severe defeat in the Low Countries (at Tirlemont), and was in
personal danger.  The Infante was intensely beloved in Spain, and the
evil tidings "caused great care to their Majesties and the whole Court,
for I cannot express what tenderness all sorts of people show to the
Infante," wrote Hopton; and, almost for the first time, Philip flew
into a violent rage with Olivares, when he learnt that a letter written
by the Infante, asking for further resources, had been concealed from
him.  Olivares found himself faced now, as he had never been before, by
a determination on the part of Philip to act in opposition to his
advice.  Philip had no lack of personal courage, and under stress was
capable of prolonged exertion.  He was burning, {294} too, to
distinguish himself in arms, as his brother had done; and, urged
thereto by many of Olivares' enemies, he was insistent in his wish to
lead his armies in person on the Catalonian frontier, now threatened by
the French.  Olivares, knowing that if the King were in the field he
could not keep him isolated, or hope to retain his exclusive hold upon
him, resisted the King's desire to the utmost, and almost daily
squabbles took place between them on the subject.

[Sidenote: The plot thickens]

It was clear now to Olivares that the aid of English ships in the
Channel was really in the circumstances desirable for the success of
Spain in Flanders.  The road through Lombardy had been rendered
difficult by the adhesion of the several Italian princes to Richelieu's
league, and the war that was proceeding on the Rhine; and the sea route
was equally dangerous by reason of the Dutch and French squadrons.  So
the Count-Duke made another desperate attempt to buy Charles Stuart
cheaply, and on trust.  Late in July 1635, Olivares sent a very
pressing message to Hopton that he wanted to see him, and when the
ambassador presented himself in the palace, the Count-Duke asked him if
he had a confidential English servant he could lend him, to hurry off
to England at once with despatches for Nicolalde in London.  "Yes,"
replied Hopton, "my man David Matthew will serve your turn"; and before
many hours had passed David Matthew was speeding on his way to London,
with instructions to the Spanish agent that the maritime treaty was to
be settled at all costs.  The question of the Palatinate, Olivares told
Hopton again, should really be {295} settled now, though, not
unnaturally, Hopton had his doubts; for he knew secretly that the rebel
Earl of Tyrone had been brought disguised to Madrid by the Emperor's
ambassador, and was plotting even then with Olivares to raise sedition
in Ireland if King Charles turned to the side of the French.

Nicolalde in London still went no further than amiable speeches; but at
least Olivares' urgency had the effect of deciding Charles to send Sir
Walter Aston to Spain, though poor Humanes died in Madrid, whilst still
waiting for a ship to carry him, and was replaced as ambassador in
London by Count de Oñate, much to Hopton's delight, who looked upon the
appointment of so highly placed a personage as a great compliment.
"For what he cannot do, nobody can.  He is very honest, but somewhat
hasty.  In any case it is good to be rid of Nicolalde, who hates us."
Aston, when he arrived at Corunna in September 1635, was received with
ostentatious warmness; and it was evident that his coming meant more
than the mere ratification of a treaty already nearly concluded.
Cottington sent by him what he calls "a merry letter" to Olivares, to
tell him "how French I have become, for the Queen (Henrietta Maria)
dined with me at Hanworth awhile since, and not long after the new
French ambassadors, who now are become my friends, after complaining to
the King of my ill affection to their master's service, calling me
Conde de Olivares."  It is plain that Sir Francis Cottington's
"merriment" was intended to convey a hint that unless Olivares was
really prompt this time in closing the deal, Charles would go over to
the French.  Hopton was hopeful {296} but doubtful of Aston's better
success than his own, for he knew that the Palatinate still stood in
the way, and that Catholic Philip could never force the Emperor to
restore it to a Protestant.  "I believe they wish for a close union,"
he wrote, when he was leaving to return to England, "and this King
might revoke the impediment if he liked, but I shall never be convinced
he will do it till he comes to the point."[22]

Money, as usual, was the great desideratum for Philip, if the war was
to be carried on with hope of success.  Cortes were summoned both in
Castile and Barcelona, and the former, as usual, did as they were
asked, and voted 3 million ducats for the year;[23] Olivares having at
the time laid by, {297} as we are told, no less than 8 millions, "which
he will make 16 before the war begins in earnest."  Spain was fortunate
that year 1635, too, with the Indies fleet, which arrived in June with
14 millions of ducats, "of which the greater part will reach the King,
besides the good profit he will get out of the confiscations."  The
Cortes of Barcelona was, as always, difficult to deal with; and for a
time they were obstinate in their refusal to vote anything at all.  But
it was their own country now that was threatened, and on the promise of
the King to relieve them from the levy of men for his armies, the
Cortes of Catalonia agreed to vote him 400,000 ducats, and promised as
much more as they could afford.

[Sidenote: Philip's revolt]

Philip's great dispute with Olivares was with regard to his wish to
visit Barcelona during the session of the Cortes, and to remain there
with his army, ready to lead it either to Italy, France, or elsewhere,
as the events of the war might demand.  The favourite was shocked at
the King being exposed to such danger, and especially at the idea that
he might leave the country; and he opposed with all his experience and
authority the King's plan.  "If Olivares can hinder the King from
engaging his person he will do so.  He pretends to give way, so as not
to cross the King, who is set upon it, but he will not fail of ways to
compass {298} that which he wishes."[24]  But though Olivares was
determined, Philip was obstinate; and when the minister, as was his
wont, told the King that the Council of State was opposed to his going,
Philip addressed a rescript to the Council, ordering them to discuss
and vote on the question of his going, but that every Councillor should
give his reasons individually to him for the advice he tendered.  This
was not in accordance with the usual procedure, and under Olivares'
guidance the Council declined to do it, saying that the Count-Duke's
knowledge of their opinions was so complete that he would report them
to the King.  It appears that Philip had given peremptory orders to
Olivares to make every preparation for his immediate departure, and
this was the subject submitted by the minister to the Council for
discussion.  With the arrogant Count-Duke dominating them, the
Councillors, who were all his humble servants, of course agreed with
him against the King.  Money was short, they said, for the journey; and
the recent successes in Flanders might perhaps make the voyage
unnecessary.  In any case, they begged the King not to undertake the
matter lightly.  Philip made the best of this halting dissent, replying
that he accepted the advice as to not going for the moment, but ordered
that everything should be made ready for his going at twenty days'
notice if it became necessary.[25]

[Sidenote: Continued decadence]

In the meanwhile the never-ending trivial show of Madrid went on.  The
idlers still paraded up {299} and down the Calle Mayor or gossiped on
Liars' Walk for the greater part of the day.  Philip issued ferocious
but ineffective pragmatics against extravagance in dress and household
appointments;[26] both the public playhouses were filled, and the
comedies applauded by eager crowds as usual.  But, on the other hand,
famine had laid its grisly hand everywhere on the arid lands of
Castile, the excise had been increased until even in the capital itself
starvation was not a threat but a reality; the ecclesiastical revenues
were drained as they had never been drained before, and salaries,
pensions, and State debts were either not paid at all or else ruinously
curtailed.  In Madrid, penury was now evident even amongst the better
classes;[27] and Philip, who always lived frugally in his own person,
was obliged to write to his brother Fernando, begging him to save to
the utmost: not to allow his household to wear other than plain cloth,
and not to spend a ducat unnecessarily.

Spanish troops were fighting under the Infante {300} for the
preservation of Flanders, in Germany, in Italy, in the Valtelline,
wherever the enemies of the faith or the allies of Richelieu defied the
Spanish claims; and yet it never entered the head, apparently, either
of Olivares or his master, that these terrible sacrifices were useless
to Spain; except that it was a point of honour to hold the Catholic
States of Flanders that had been the ancient inheritance of its royal
house.  Holland was really lost beyond all recovery, though the
stiff-necked pride of Castile would not acknowledge it; the religious
question in Germany had already practically settled itself, and had
left Spain hardly an excuse for fighting for orthodoxy there.  All that
was needed, even now, for Spain was to eat her unavoidable leek, to
recognise facts patent to all the world, and to abandon her impossible
pretensions; and peace with France and Holland might have been attained
with ease.  But through all the suffering and stress, that if continued
meant national exhaustion, there was no indication anywhere of the
conviction that Spain must voluntarily humble herself or bleed to death.

[Sidenote: Court diversions]

The process of social decadence had gone on apace, as was inevitable in
such circumstances.  scandals were of constant occurrence.  At the end
of 1635, when the grave matters referred to were under discussion, two
nobles, the Marquis del Aguila and Don Juan de Herrera, came to blows
with each other in the theatre of the Buen Retiro Palace, in the
presence of the King himself;[28] {301} and whilst they fled from
justice, a greater noble still, the Count of Sastago, Captain of the
King's Guard, was accused of inciting them to the disturbance.  As was
invariably the case, no sooner was one offence mentioned than a dozen
were added to it.  The Count, it was said, had sold the sergeancy of
the guard for 1100 ducats; the provedor of the guard paid him fifty
reals every day, filched from the mess bill; he ill-treated his wife,
... and much else of the same sort; and as soon as Count de Sastago was
under lock and key for these offences, no less than three other noble
Counts were competing and quarrelling with each other for his place as
Captain of the Guard;[29] whilst, a few days afterwards, Zapata, the
Lieutenant of the Guard, was carried to prison for making a disturbance
at the entrance of the palace, and breaking down the barriers to get
in, against the royal orders, whilst Prince Baltasar Carlos was coming

On New Year's Eve 1636, we are told, "their Majesties went to dine at
the Buen Retiro, where there was in the afternoon a sort of comedy or
festival never seen before in Spain.  First there appeared the poet
Atillano, who has come from the Indies, and who may justly be called a
prodigy of the world, as he proved himself to be on this occasion; for
such is his poetic rage, that he utters {302} a perfect torrent of
Castilian verse on any subject proposed to him,[30] and, withal, in
very remarkable style, with much taste and adornments from the
Scriptures and classical authors, brought in most aptly, with
comparisons, emphasis, digressions, and poetic figures, which strike
his hearers with astonishment, many believing that it can only be done
by devilish arts, for he never drops a foot or forgets a syllable....
After Atillano came Cristobal, the blind man, well known at Court; and
he also showed his skill in turning out couplets impromptu, with his
usual prettiness and propriety, and quite in courtier-like fashion.
But as he lacks erudition, and the other man possesses much, you may
well imagine the difference between them.  After the poets came
Calabaza, the dwarfs, the little negro, and the girls they call the
_Count's wrigglers_;[31] and they represented their figures and played
a hundred monkey tricks to raise a laugh.  Afterwards the party ended
by a ball and masquerade.  It was {303} very good and diverting; and my
lady Countess of Olivares gave the collation to their Majesties."

[Sidenote: Progress of the war]

The year thus fittingly begun in the Court was signalised by the
Cardinal Infante Fernando in Flanders and France by military capacity
which recalled the great days of the Emperor a hundred years before.
The French and Dutch allies were already suspicious of each other, and
were not co-operating cordially; so that Fernando had been able to wear
out the resistance of the French without a general engagement, and
whilst they, disorganised and decimated with famine and disease,
retreated into France, the Infante overran Picardy and Champagne.  He
pushed his advance beyond the Somme and to the banks of the Oise,
threatening Paris itself, and elated Olivares planned a simultaneous
invasion of France under the Admiral of Castile, and yet another from
the side of Germany over the frontier of Burgundy.  The only one of
these attacks that came to anything was that of the Cardinal Infante;
but even he, either from want of resources or lack of boldness, lagged
on the line of the Somme and Oise until the French had recovered from
their panic.  Orange was also marching to aid his ally, and Paris had
raised a great army of citizens to resist further attack; and early in
1637 the Spaniards, under the Cardinal Infante, had retreated into
Flanders again, forced once more to stand on the defensive.  But the
net result of the temporary display of Spanish vigour had been to free
the Catalonian frontier from imminent fears from the French, and Philip
had found no excuse for insisting further upon his {304} desire to
place himself in command of his troops in Barcelona.

A perusal of the gossiping newsletters of the times, though, of course,
much that they record is merely trivial, throws a lurid light upon the
utterly lawless condition of the capital at this grave juncture, when
the nation was supposed to be straining every nerve to prevent
humiliation at the hands of its implacable enemy.  It would be
profitless to give details of all, or of any large number, of the
scandals mentioned by the chroniclers from day to day; but as a
specimen a few entries belonging to this year 1636 will give an idea of
the state of affairs in Philip's Court at the time.  In January, Don
Antonio Oquendo, the famous naval commander, was at Mass in the church
of Buen Suceso,[32] when a challenge to immediate combat was brought
from the rival admiral Nicholas Spinola.  Oquendo just gave himself
time to confess, and then met his opponent, both being mounted and
armed with knives.  One of the combatants was wounded before the
passers-by could interfere, and the other fled to hiding.[33]

[Sidenote: A turbulent capital]

A day or two later, proclamation was made in the streets that the King
ordered all the Portuguese murderers in Madrid to leave within a week,
or they would be apprehended and sent before the judges, who Were
considering their cases.  "The intention of this," sapiently says the
chronicler, "appears to be that they may thus be forced to {305} enlist
as soldiers, and the pragmatic with regard to the number of lackeys
allowed had a similar object."  At the same time a scandalous quarrel
was going on between the officers of the Inquisition and the alcaldes
of the Court, or judges of first instance, on some trivial point of
etiquette, but which ended in wholesale excommunication of all the
alcaldes in a body, and several inferior officers on both sides being
condemned and imprisoned by the rival authorities.  In the summer
another panic occurred in the Church of St. Philip and on Liars' Walk,
because a heretic shouted some sacrilegious words in the church; and
soon afterwards an offended soldier murdered by a pistol shot a
gentleman named Bilbao on the steps leading to the crowded atrium of
the church, the most frequented spot in Madrid.

On the 28th July there was a great bull-fight in the Plaza Mayor, which
had attracted a vast concourse of people, as the bulls were said to
have been unusually savage.  They must have been so, for several men
were killed; but worse than this, daggers were drawn and a slashing
match commenced under the King's very eyes.  Philip, outraged at such
disrespect, ordered the offenders to be arrested.  They were handed by
the alguacils to the Archers of the Guard, from whom they managed to
escape.  Philip quite lost his temper at this, which he very rarely
did, and rose wrathfully to leave the arena.  The Queen pulled him by
the cloak, and coaxed him into sitting again whilst two more bulls and
many horses were done to death.  But the King was still unappeased, and
as he went out past the Archers of the Guard {306} he told them "that
they had managed it very nicely.  Why were they Archers, he wondered,
and what were they paid for?" the matter ending in mutual
recriminations between the Archers and the alguacils, and the
punishment of the former.

Matrimonial scandals succeeded each other daily in the Newsletters, and
the highest names in the Court are treated with the utmost scurrility
in this particular; whilst accusations of corruption on the part of
judicial authorities and priests are quite as common.  The authorities
whose duty it was to keep order appear to have been as lawless as the
rest of the citizens.  The Corregidor[34] (Governor of Madrid) had
occasion in October to call upon the King's upholsterer and valet de
chambre, who was also captain of a newly raised company of militia.
The soldiers in his courtyard, for some reason not stated, snatched the
Corregidor's wand of office from the page who carried it, and, having
broken it, belaboured the boy's back with it.  The Corregidor, offended
in his dignity, told the soldiers angrily that he was a member of the
Council of {307} War, and their master; whereupon one of the
men-at-arms thrust his pike against the august breast of the
Corregidor, and threatened to kill him.  Upon this a free fight took
place between the alguacils in attendance on the Corregidor and the
soldiers, and after much uproar one of the soldiers was overpowered and
borne off in triumph by the alguacils to the prison of the
municipality, "notwithstanding that it was the feast day of our
seraphic father St. Francis."  The Corregidor lost no time, but sat in
judgment at once, and of course found the soldier guilty.  But before
the trial was done a great rabble of soldiers assembled outside the
Guildhall (Casa de la Villa) to rescue their comrade from the hands of
justice.  The town officers read an order from the balcony that every
soldier was immediately to withdraw, and the stout-hearted Corregidor
himself arrested the ringleader, and, kicking and cuffing, thrust him
into a cell.  That afternoon the Corregidor accompanied the first
offender through the streets of Madrid, whilst 200 strokes of the lash
were administered on the poor soldier's bare back, and when the
Corregidor returned to the Guildhall he stood by whilst the other
offender was tortured on the rack.  Out of this arose a quarrel royal
between the Council of War, who took the soldiers' part, and the Royal
Council, who were for the civil authorities; and for weeks afterwards
recriminations and punishments were abundantly exchanged.

There was, indeed, in all spheres a shocking absence of real dignity
and restraint.  Crimes of the most horrible description are mentioned
as {308} being prevalent in the better classes;[35] and after the first
outcry they were allowed to go almost unpunished and unchecked.  As may
be supposed, in such a state of society superstition of the grossest
description was common.  The proceedings of the miracle-working nun of
Carrion, to whom, it will be recollected, the Infanta Maria had
recommended the Prince of Wales, had become so notorious that the
Inquisition had taken her in hand, and condemned her as a witch and an
impostor.  But this appears only to have increased her fame for
sanctity, for several books in her praise were burnt by the
Inquisition, and every measure taken to expose her frauds by the Holy
Office; but with so little effect, that after her death, early in 1637,
an edict was read in every church in Madrid pronouncing major
excommunication against all those who retained images, portraits,
signatures, crosses, certificates, beads, or books relating to her.[36]
When the Marquis of Aitona was unwilling to start from Madrid to take
up the governorship of Milan in the spring of 1636, and delayed his
departure from week to week, a fresh pretext for delay, and one
generally praised, was that it would be most unwise for {309} him to
leave Madrid on the Ides of March, because it was the anniversary of
the murder of Cæsar.

[Sidenote: General lawlessness]

The lawlessness was not confined even to grown people, but extended to
children.  It appears that late in 1636 a pragmatic had been drafted,
but not yet officially promulgated, decreeing that no man in future
might wear in Madrid the long wisp of hair before the ears (_guedejas_)
that had recently become the fashion; and women were strictly forbidden
to appear in the strange farthingales or very wide hoop skirt,
flattened back and front, called _guardainfantes_; "although," says the
chronicler, "it has not yet been proclaimed, the boys are already
hunting women who wear guardainfantes as if they were cows, hissing and
whistling at them, and insulting them dreadfully.  To such a length has
this insolence been carried, that mounted alguacils have been posted to
prevent violence, two boys having been killed in the street last
Thursday by attendants upon the women, who had turned upon the

Whilst Olivares bore upon his bowed shoulders the whole burden of
government, resorting to the most empirical means to raise money, such
as calling in the copper coin and restamping it to three times its
former value,[38] the King had to be distracted and kept amused by
never-ending entertainments, such as those that have been described
{310} in former pages.[39]  Hardly a week passed without some pretext
for a long series of such shows, which now usually took place at the
favourite Buen Retiro.  Aston, in one of his letters to Coke in May
1636,[40] describes the festivities of Whitsuntide that year.

"Three days of noble feasting," he calls it; "the first day a
masquerade on horseback, in the evening, and bull-fights on the other
two days, with cane tourneys.  I was invited to all of them, and had
the particular honour on the first night to be placed in a balcony in
the King's own apartments with the grandees; this being an unusual
honour.  On the other days I occupied a special balcony with my own
people.  When the welcome news of the Cardinal Infante's victories in
Picardy came to Madrid late in September 1636, the rejoicings were
frantic.  His Majesty and all the Court rode to Our Lady of Atocha to
give thanks....  They returned at night through the streets,
illuminated by countless torches; all the Councils having been ordered
to make a celebration in honour of the occasion, they all complied
famously, and with great sumptuousness, each feast having cost 2000
ducats, and others are yet to come which will surpass them all."[41]


[Sidenote: Continual festivities]

A few weeks later, an excuse was found in the expected arrival in
Madrid of the French Bourbon Princess of Carignano, wife of Prince
Thomas of Savoy, who was fighting for the Spanish under the Cardinal
Infante, and it was determined that in her honour the Buen Retiro
should surpass itself.  Before the Princess had even embarked for
Spain, the great preparations were begun "to finish the new arena at
the Buen Retiro.  Experts have been despatched to the country around
Madrid to obtain the 80,000 planks which will be needed for the
barriers that are to surround it.  The work is going on so actively,
both in levelling the ground and erecting the woodwork, that there is
no cessation, even on Sunday or feast days; and the Corregidor has
erected there a scaffolding with a (neck) ring to punish the workmen
who do not complete their task properly, as an example to the others.
A triumphal car is also being made, of which the cover alone is to cost
4000 ducats; and it will be enclosed in glass, in order that the inside
may look more beautiful."[42]

Another fine feast is described by Aston in June 1636.  Writing to
Coke, he says:

"The King and Queen retired to Buen Retiro to enjoy the curious gardens
and new waterworks contrived by Olivares, and a great variety of
festivals.  One on Midsummer night was of the greatest ostentation and
curiosity I have ever seen in my life.  I had {312} the honour to be
invited to it, and had extraordinary favour and respect shown in the
place that was given to me.  The entertainment was a play that was made
on purpose to be acted by the three several companies of players of
this town, the intention whereof was so good; the place where it was
acted being set out with three several scenes of much ostentation, and
the disposition of the lights so full of novelty and delight, that I am
highly tempted to give your honour a larger description of it, but that
it would prove to be business enough for a large letter."[43]

It was not all feasting and play-going for Sir Walter Aston at the
historic "house with the seven chimneys."  When he arrived to replace
Arthur Hopton, early in 1636, the famous agreement between Philip and
Charles was still uncompleted, and the complaints of the English
shipmasters against Spanish oppression were louder and more insistent
than ever.  Tyrone and the Desmonds were in Madrid negotiating for the
raising of fresh Catholic Irish regiments for the Spanish service, and
urging Philip to make no terms about the Palatinate unless Charles
would restore the lands of O'Neill.  But the aid of an English fleet in
the Channel became more and more desirable to Spain as the war went on;
and it was clear that the old vague promises and smiling plausibilities
of Olivares had at last lost their efficacy with Charles.  An
instructive light is thrown upon the methods by which Olivares still
strove to cope with the situation, by an original holograph letter in
the Record Office[44] from Olivares' confidential secretary Rojas,
{313} to the imperial ambassador in Madrid, asking him by King Philip's
orders to "give some words of hope to the English ambassador about the
Palatinate."  "It is of the utmost importance that we should make use
of all such expedients as present themselves; as it appears that the
King of England is extremely busy preparing a powerful fleet to be used
to the detriment of this Crown, ... probably against Brazil, in
co-operation with the Hollanders."

On the 18th June 1636, Olivares wrote a serious letter to Aston,
evidently intended to bring affairs to a crisis.  He, Olivares, had
news, he said, of a design of a French naval attack on the English
coast.  Aston replied coolly that he had no doubt due measures would be
taken in England to repel any attempt; but in the subsequent interview
he succeeded "in persuading," as he says, "the Conde to assent to the
terms for the co-operation of the English fleet, and Count de Oñate was
instructed to start for England at once.  They are really trying to
prove that they desire the King of England's friendship.  Indeed, in
the present state of things it is needful for them, and I hope our King
will make wise use of the opportunity."[45]  But, withal, the
Palatinate, which was the question nearest to Charles's heart, was
still left open, though Arundel in Vienna was pushing the point there
industriously, while the Palatine himself appealed personally to Philip
by a letter which received no answer.

When Count de Oñate eventually presented himself before King Charles at
Whitehall, the English King left no doubt that the Palatinate {314} was
uppermost in his mind.  Speaking in Latin, he asked Oñate three
questions--"Whether, having notice of the final answer of the Emperor
to Arundel, he hath any power by way of interpretation or otherwise to
qualify the said answer?  Whether he hath power from the King of Spain
to deliver to King Charles, or the Prince Elector, that part of the
Lower Palatinate in his (Philip's) possession, and also by this
mediation that part held by the Emperor?  Whether he hath commission to
set down in particular those conveniences that his father told Arundel
the King of Spain would insist upon?  Whether, in accordance with the
assurance given by the English ambassador in Spain, King Charles may
expect by him (Oñate) any more particular and full satisfaction than
hath yet been delivered?"[46]  Needless to say that Oñate had no clear
answers to any of these questions, nor instructions to forward the
matter of the Palatinate definitely; and once more discouragement fell
upon those who had hoped to carry through the treaty.

Hopton, when he arrived in London and heard the news, wrote to Aston by
Richard Fanshawe, who was on his way to Spain:

"A greater change has taken place in our purposes in the last month
than in years before.  Our eyes are now opened to the intention of the
house of Austria to keep hold of the Palatinate.  They must have a very
mean opinion of us to treat our King with so little courtesy.  If his
Majesty gives way to the opinion {315} of his subjects about the
Palatinate, it will prove to Spain their error.  It is incredible that
they should act thus.  They will certainly lose us if they be not
careful."  At the same time, the Spaniards were boasting in Madrid that
"the Palatinate has been put to bed, and the King of England will not
dare to break with us about it."

[Sidenote: England again shelved]

The need of Spain for English co-operation was now once again growing
less urgent, for the star of Richelieu was temporarily dimmed.  The
coalition of the Italian princes against Spain had fallen to pieces,
the Dukes of Mantua and Savoy died, and Parma was forced to submit to
Spain.  The Valtelline was retaken and occupied by the Spanish troops,
and the Grisons conciliated; whilst Cardinal la Valette's campaign in
1637 against the Infante Cardinal partially failed.  In Germany, too,
the French were defeated all along the line, and, worst of all, France
lost Alsace.  Richelieu, moreover, was faced by the dangerous Court
intrigues of Gaston of Orleans and his cousin Soissons, and half France
was in smouldering revolt against the taxation imposed by the great
Cardinal.  The way across Lombardy and Tyrol to Germany and Flanders by
land was now open to Spanish troops; and Olivares, having kept unstable
Charles of England on the tenterhooks all these years with the bait of
the Palatinate, could now snap his fingers at him, and for a time drop
the mask.

[1] An attempt was made to enforce gifts of this donation from
foreigners, and four English youths at Bilbao resisted, but on Hopton's
representations they were exempt.

[2] In fact, a notification had been sent to the Pope that the Nuncio
in future would be treated as any other ambassador, and the large
revenue drawn by the Papacy from Spain would be in future taken by the
King.  Upon this the Nuncio was withdrawn, and much trouble ensued.

[3] Corner, the Venetian ambassador in Madrid, writing at the same
period, says: "He (Olivares) is greatly hated both by the grandees and
by the people of all classes, but nobody believes that he can be turned
out of his place....  He is very austere and hard in his dealings with
people, which causes great anger, and the murmurs against him are open
and loud, even the preachers in the pulpits denouncing him; and
everybody is saying that it is a wonder he can stand against it all."

[4] As if to silence these terrible hints, Olivares had at this time
adopted an ostentatiously saintly mode of life.  Corner speaks of him
as living very quietly and in great melancholy since the death of his
only daughter.  "He professes to live in much piety and devotion,
confessing and communicating every day.  He has so many masses said
daily, and to all appearance lives the life of a devotee.  He has now
begun to lie in a coffin in his chamber like a corpse, with tapers
around him, whilst the _de profundis_ is sung; whilst in ordinary
affairs he talks like a capuchin friar, and speaks of the grandeur of
this world with the greatest disdain."

[5] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[6] Hopton, writing soon after this (January 1634), says the levies are
going on very slowly.  Yesterday a pragmatic was published limiting the
number of lackeys and squires, all beyond that number are to be
discharged, and so also are those employed in unnecessary trades, so
that many will be at leisure to serve the King.  But the pragmatics did
not dare to attack the greater scandal of all, namely, the enormous
number of ruffians who escaped all responsibility to the ordinary laws
by becoming nominally "Familiars" of the Inquisition, or servants, in
the broadest sense, to the religious communities.

[7] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[8] This was an ancient Dominican religious house near the palace, at
the corner of the present Cuesta de Santo Domingo in Madrid.

[9] Particulars of the case will be found in the contemporary MS., D.
150, Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid.

[10] On a portion of the site of the Buen Retiro the Countess of
Olivares had formerly had an aviary with a collection of domestic
poultry, in which she and her husband had taken great interest.  The
wits of the capital had dubbed the place "the hen-coop"; and the name
was the peg upon which the satirists and poets hung their scurrilous
gibes at the new palace.  Corner, the Venetian ambassador at this time,
writes: "The origin of the edifice has become a subject for great
ridicule.  The site was occupied by a collection of poultry the
Countess had, and although the hens were curious and pretty of their
sort, it was a source of much wonder and derision that the Count, who
is occupied in such grave business, should have taken such interest in
the hens....  Everybody calls it (the palace) the 'hen-coop,' and
numberless pasquins have been written about it, even Cardinal Richelieu
joking about the hens and the hen-coop to a secretary of the King
(Philip) who was in Paris."

[11] Hopton's MS. Notebook.  Corner also says that anybody who wished
to stand well with Olivares hurried to send some precious thing to
adorn the Buen Retiro.

[12] _Ibid._

[13] Fernando was in Milan, and was already under orders to march to
Flanders overland at this time.

[14] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[15] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[16] At this very period the great Don Fadrique de Toledo, son of the
Duke of Alba, was in prison, the victim of Olivares' jealousy, and most
of the grandees avoided Court as much as possible.

[17] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[18] Carl Justi.  Presents of paintings were also sent from England.
Coke, for instance, sent, presumably from Charles I., a picture by
Horatio Gentileschi as a present to King Philip.  It is extraordinary
to note in the correspondence of the English diplomatists at this
period the constant mention of the sending of pictures to Spain, and
vice versa, mostly for King Charles, but very often also for Lady
Cottington.  In May 1633, Hopton writes to Cottington the following
reference to a painter sent to Madrid to copy pictures for Charles I.,
which I do not think has been noticed before.  "The King's painter is
sending some pieces.  He is a very well governed young man and a good
husband (_i.e._ a good manager of money), yet by reason of the
dearenesse of this place, and being willing to live in so handsome a
manner as a man sent by his Majesty, money goes away apace which I
cannot remedy, because I doe not see that he can; but I conceive his
Majesty will have a very good account of him, to whose service I
perceive he hath wholly disposed himself."  A little later we are told
that "the King's painter hath fallen sick of a calenture, and grows
worse.  I am out of a great deal of money by him."  Lady Cottington and
others in England were constantly asking for Labrador's flower and
fruit pieces to be sent to them, and purchases and exchanges of
pictures are often spoken of for King Charles himself.

[19] The charming picture by Velazquez, here reproduced, represents the
little Prince at about the age of nine on his pony galloping near the
Pardo.  There is another charming equestrian portrait of the Prince in
the Duke of Westminster's collection, with Olivares in the background.

[20] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[21] Hopton's MS. Notebook.

[22] It is curious that during all this period of great international
anxiety and important negotiations, the talk about pictures is still
constantly to be met with in the diplomatic correspondence.  At one
time, in June 1635, Suero de Quiñones wished to send two pictures as a
present to King Charles.  "I (Hopton) and King (Charles's) painter have
seen them, and think they are good, particularly a Venus and Adonis of
Luqueto.  The other piece is by Tintoret.  Suero de Quiñones is poor,
but of quality.  I know not why he should give his pictures away thus."
But Quiñones, urged doubtless by poverty rather than his quality, did
not give them away after all, and perhaps never intended to do so; for
Hopton writes months afterwards: "Quiñones has played the knave, and
sold his pictures."  On another occasion (July of the same year),
Hopton expresses his delight to Cottington that Labrador's paintings
had come to hand at last.  "The painter who made the landskips," he
continues, "is now dead, and his pieces are much sought after and
highly prized.  I have a few of them and am using diligence to get some
more, at your lordship's service.  If the man had lived I think I had
carried him with me to England; for he was grown much out of love with
his own country, and was much my friend."  MS. Notebook.

[23] After they had voted this usual 9 millions to extend over three
years, the Cortes were thunderstruck in the following January 1636, by
a demand of Olivares that they should vote an additional 13 millions.
The members were all paid and submissive; but this was too much even
for them.  They flatly refused to vote the sum, which they said it was
quite impossible for their constituents to pay.  The royal Council then
at once commenced criminal proceedings against them, whereupon the
members prayed for time to consult their constituents, and orders were
given by the Council to levy the 13 millions of necessary without the
vote: to this abject state had representative institutions been reduced
in the realms of Castile.  See Danvila's _Poder Civil en España_,
_Documents_, and Rodriguez Villa's Newsletters, 1636-37.

[24] Hopton to Coke, 13th June 1635.  MS. Notebook.

[25] Council of State Deliberations of 19th November 1635.  Danvila,
_El Poder Civil en España_.

[26] There was one pragmatic which touched Madrid to the quick, namely,
that which forbade the use of carriages except to a very few privileged
people.  So great was the outcry against this, that it was found to be
impossible to enforce it, as the driving about in coaches was the main
pleasure and amusement of every one who could afford it, and of many
people who could not.  Whilst, therefore, the pragmatic was rigidly
enforced in the provincial capitals, licences were issued to anyone in
Madrid to own a coach on payment of 100 ducats.--Rodriguez Villa's
Newsletters, January 1636.  Other pragmatics were issued at the time,
regulating the courtesy titles, as it was found that too many people
were calling themselves _Lordship_.

[27] In the Rodriguez Villa's Newsletters at this period, hardly a week
passes without reference to the selling up of some nobleman's
belongings for debt.  One of the most ostentatious nobles in Madrid,
the Marquis de las Navas, was soon after this fined for some offence,
and as he had no money an execution was put in on his coaches and
horses, which it was then found were not his own but hired; and his
furniture and even the tapestries of his palace belonged to other

[28] Both of them got safe away abroad, and the Marquis del Aguila was
condemned to death in his absence.  Herrera subsequently issued a
public challenge for the Marquis to meet Him and fight in Switzerland,
and thus explains the affray.  The Marquis, he asserts, said in the
theatre that he was drunk, and though he made no reply to this, an hour
afterwards he came behind him and struck him a great blow on the back
of the neck.  He (Herrera) then drew his sword, and he and the Marquis
were both seized by the Guard.

[29] _La Corte y Monarquia de España en_ 1636-1637, a series of
newsletters written by an anonymous grandee in Madrid, edited by A.
Rodriguez Villa.

[30] Philip had grown very fond of these tests of literary promptitude,
at which he appears to have shone.  In Morel Fatio's _Espagne au XVI.
et XVII. Siècle_ there is reproduced the programme of a great burlesque
_Academy_ of this sort, which took place at the Buen Retiro during the
fetes of 1637.  There are fourteen items for competition, of which the
following are good specimens: A romance declaring which stomach is most
to be envied, that which will digest great sorrows or great suppers.
An epigram in two Castilian couplets, declaring which is the most
foolish, to be a fool sometimes or to be always discreet.  Sixteen
roundels, about a procuress who was dying, much comforted that there
were no proper men left in the world; and just as she is about to
expire, a young man comes in whom she receives with delight, saying to
him, "My friend, you are just in time; there are two beautiful lasses
in there, as good as gold; one dark and the other fair."  And as the
youth was hesitating which to choose the expiring old woman cried, "My
son; for heaven's sake take the dark one.  This is no time for me to
deceive people."  The tale has been drawn out thus, because they say it
is true.

[31] Las Sabandijas del Conde.

[32] This church was at the end of the Puerta del Sol, where the Hotel
de Paris now stands.

[33] Oquendo, only a few weeks later, took command of the galleys at
Cadiz to attack the French fleet, and received 200,000 ducats.

[34] This was the Count of Montalvo, who must have been more
quarrelsome and punctilious than most of his compeers, for only a few
weeks after the contention here described he had a violent quarrel with
the Council of Castile, the supreme judicial authority, which ended in
the Corregidor himself being imprisoned and heavily fined.  It appears
that he had ordered an alguacil to attend him, which the alguacil
refused to do, as he was not under his jurisdiction.  The Corregidor's
answer was to cast the man into prison; whereupon the alguacil appealed
to the President of the Council of Castile, who told the Corregidor
that he had exceeded his powers.  The touchy Corregidor in a rage burst
out with: "A rebuke to me.  By Christ's body, his Majesty the King has
many ministers who do not know what they are doing."  The scandalised
president without more ado cast the Corregidor into prison, from which
only after much trouble he was released.

[35] Particulars of these may be found in Rodriguez Villa's _La Corte y
Monarquia de España en_ 1636-1637, p. 50 and in Barrionuevo's
Newsletters of a subsequent date.  With regard to the period now under
review (1636), one of the accused persons under torture was hastily
taken down from the rack, "as he showed an intention of accusing half
Madrid."  On this occasion two obscure persons were burnt alive, but
scores of aristocrats whose names are freely mentioned in the letters
escaped with short banishment from Court or no punishment at all.

[36] It was afterwards stated that one bishop had surrendered thousands
of the nun's letters to the Inquisition, and the Cura of Santa Cruz had
"a room full of crosses, medals, images, and old rags belonging to her,
whilst the Duke of Arschot had two thousand made specially to be
blessed by her."  Rodriguez Villa.

[37] Rodriguez Villa's Newsletter, October 1636.

[38] This, as Aston wrote, made gold and silver a mere merchandise.
The pragmatics, it is true, fixed the premium on silver at 25 per
cent., but it was at once raised in the open market to 34 per cent. and
more, the resulting distress and dislocation of business being
appalling.  Aston to Coke, 29th May 1636.  Record Office, S.P. Spanish
MSS. 38.

[39] In April of this year, 1636, for instance, Philip for some reason
or other was in depressed spirits on Sunday 26th, and was for a time
secretly closeted in the chapel alone in prayer.  At once, we are told,
"great and sudden preparations were ordered to be made in the palace
for comedies and interludes, and the comedians were warned to play as
many buffooneries as they could to make his Majesty laugh."  An account
in MS. of all that happened in the Court from 1636 to 1642, Biblioteca
Nacional, Madrid, H. 33

[40] Record Office, S.P. Spanish MSS. 38

[41] Newsletter.  Aston also describes the rejoicings on this occasion,
and mentions that Philip "let fall some expressions of regret that his
brother-in-law's affairs had fallen into such bad case."  This was a
curious expression, as the brother-in-law in question was the King of
France, and it was Philip's own army that had put him "in bad case."

[42] Rodriguez Villa.

[43] Record Office S.P., Spain MSS. 38.

[44] _Ibid._

[45] Aston to Coke, 30th June 1636.  Record Office, MSS. S.P., Spain,

[46] Record Office S.P., Spain MSS.




[Sidenote: Princess Carignano]

Nothing even in Spain could exceed the magnificence with which Philip
greeted the Bourbon Princess of Carignano.  She was really a person of
little importance, but her significance in Spain for the moment was
that she was a sister of the Count of Soissons, who in France was in
arms against Richelieu; and a foe of the Cardinal was a friend of
Spain.  The proud dame was equal to the occasion, and, after endless
discussions as to the exact behaviour of both at a proposed interview
with the English ambassador, Sir Walter Aston decided that he could
not, with due regard for his dignity, meet the Princess at all.  The
points of difference seem trivial enough: when Aston was to take off
his hat, how many steps upon the dais the lady was to advance to meet
him, and so on; but the Princess was indignant that the Englishman
{317} should thus haggle over the courtesy due to her, and all Madrid
took malicious part in the squabble.[1]  The usual round of festivities
for the Princess, with the addition of a great pig-sticking day with
twenty wild boars at the Pardo, were followed in a fortnight by another
series more sumptuous still, to celebrate, the election of Philip's
brother-in-law to the kingship of the Romans and to the succession of
the imperial throne.  Many detailed accounts of these extraordinary
feasts, the greatest ever given in the Buen Retiro, exist;[2] but so
many similar celebrations have been described in this book from Spanish
sources, that it will suffice in this case to quote only Sir Walter
Aston's short description of what he saw.  "On the 7th February 1637
the King came from the Pardo to the Buen Retiro, and he has been busy
ever since arranging the festivities for the election of the King of
the Romans.  The feasts began on the 15th, the King being present.  A
large place had been specially cleared and levelled before the Buen
Retiro, and built about with uniform scaffolds two storeys high, the
posts and divisions {318} all beautified with paintings and gilding.
The King and the Conde (Olivares) dressed themselves in the house of
Carlo Strada, the _asentista_ (loan-monger), by whom they were richly
presented, not only with jewels but with the whole furniture of the
apartments,[3] which he had provided for each.  [Sidenote: A sumptuous
show] His house is in the Carrera de San Geronimo, where the King and
Conde took horse, and, attended by 200 of the nobility and persons of
quality, and two triumphal chariots drawn by 20 oxen apiece, entered
the Plaza, where they performed a curious masquerade after their manner
full of changes, the one half of the horsemen being led by the King and
the other half by the Count-Duke; the King and Conde and all the rest
being richly clad after the same kind.  The Plaza was round about set
full of torches in several heights, and postures which had so much
delight and magnificence in the appearance, that those who have looked
curiously into the entertainments of former times say that amongst the
Romans they have not read of any greater ostentation.[4]  The charge
hath {319} certainly been very great, but hath cost the King nothing;
for it hath long used this town to defray all extraordinaries either
for his honour or his pleasure.  Since then there has been a bull-feast
and some fresh entertainment every day.  On Sunday last there was a
masked carnival fit for the Shrove-tide season; so full of variety of
different figures, antique shapes, and several dances, that I have not
seen in a ridiculous way any of more pleasure.  Late advices have given
them little contentment; but however their business may go abroad, they
are resolved to make themselves merry at home."[5]

However "merry" the Court might be, the need for money was more
pressing than ever.  In the same letter that describes these
entertainments, we are told that the Marquis of Castel Rodrigo had been
sent to Seville to demand 800,000 ducats for present needs in Madrid.
"Though he is to demand it as a denature, this King's requests are
{320} understood to be commands, and admit of no reply.[6]  The
denature has already begun in this Court, and is to go through the
whole kingdom, everybody being told by way of request what he has to
pay."  The Pope, too, who had been for months striving to bring about
peace or a truce, was persuaded to consent that the Spanish clergy
should be mulcted in 500,000 ducats; and when the Indies fleet arrived,
Olivares ordered a similar amount of private treasure in it to be
seized in exchange for assignments, which, says Aston, is commonly a
very slow and lame payment.  But the greatest novelty in the way to
raise funds was invented at this juncture by a Jesuit priest in Madrid
named Salazar, and was at once seized upon by Olivares to become until
our own days a principal source of revenue in all civilised States;
namely, the device of using government-stamped paper for all official
and formal documents.  This new impost was published in Madrid early in
1637, there being four denominations of stamped paper; respectively of
1, 2, 3, and 4 reals per sheet, to forge which was an offence
punishable by death.  The lawyers and people were up in arms against
it, though financiers said it would bring in two million ducats a year,
and the Nuncio and priests flatly refused to conform to {321} it for
the ecclesiastical courts, etc., without the special order of the

[Sidenote: Prices in Madrid]

The prices of commodities in Madrid had risen enormously in the
previous few years, thanks to the tampering with the coinage and the
oppressive operation of the alcabala tax on all sales; and the figures
given by Hopton at the time to Coke are very significant of the
increased cost of living.  Aston, sore and humiliated at the final
failure of the treaty, begged to be recalled; and Hopton, who had not
long returned to England disappointed, and, as he said, shelved, was
again nominated for the embassy at Madrid.  But Coke informed him that
his allowance for diet would be in future reduced from £6 to £4 per
day, "as it was in the time of Queen Elizabeth."  Sir Arthur Hopton (he
had only just been knighted) wrote feelingly on this matter, pointing
out how unjust the reduction was.

"All the diet of table and stables is three times as dear as in Sir
Charles Cornwallis's time, when the £2 a day was first added.  A loaf
of bread {322} was then worth 12 maravedis, and is now worth 34.[8]  An
azumbre[9] of wine was then worth 12 maravedis, and now sells for 30; a
pound of mutton, which was then worth 17 maravedis, is now worth 40; a
fanega[10] of barley then cost 6 reals,[11] and 16 now.  I myself have
paid as much as 26.  If this new rule be enforced, the English
ambassador cannot maintain his position, for some of the small Italian
ambassadors have as much as £6."

But Hopton need not have exerted himself to obtain the full pay; for
before he could make ready to return to his post a change came over the
scene.  Aston had long been puzzled as to what was being arranged in
London.  Rumours had reached him that some agreement was on foot
between England and France, but Hopton from London had emphatically
assured him, on the 23rd May 1637, that nothing of the sort was
intended.  By the next courier Aston received an enigmatical letter
written by Charles's own hand, which only made the mystery deeper, and
drew from the ambassador an impatient exclamation that he could not
give any useful warning to the English merchants on such a riddle as
that.  Why was he not told, he asked, if war was really intended, and
he then could make some use of his knowledge.  The King's letter is a
characteristic one, and as it has not to my knowledge ever been
printed, I give it in full.


"Watt.  The darkeness of ther inventions could not suffer my
resolutions to be cleare: so that it was impossible to send you a right
light to walke by.  What that is (though uncertaine yet) Secretary
Windebanke will send you worde.  They may be assured of my friendship,
but then ther actions not their words must doe it.  So referring you to
my Secretaries despatch, I rest your friend Charles R. Theobalds, the
15th June 1637."[12]

[Sidenote: English neutrality]

Aston had not to wait many days for partial enlightenment.  Hopton
wrote reminding him of Olivares's dictum that there was no gratitude
amongst princes; but said the Count-Duke might have been more grateful
on this occasion with advantage to himself.  Now it was too late; for a
great change had been effected in English policy, and a treaty had been
arranged with France.  A few days later, Windebank wrote a long
official despatch, setting forth all the causes for complaint against
the house of Austria, and announcing an alliance with Louis XIII.[13]
But still Aston did not know whether {324} it meant war with Spain, or
simply a neutrality with benevolent tendency towards the French and
Dutch.  He learnt before long that all that Richelieu had needed was to
divert Charles from an agreement with Spain, for the Stuart ship was
already steering straight for the breakers, and thenceforward no active
attack from England had to be feared by either of the parties to the
great struggle on the Continent.

Relations between England and Spain almost came to open hostility when,
in October 1639, the powerful fleet of seventy vessels which Philip had
by a supreme effort fitted out was almost destroyed by the Dutch in the
Downs, and in English waters, where they had taken refuge from Tromp's
pursuing fleet.  When the Spanish agent in England sought from Charles
the protection due to a belligerent in neutral waters, the King at once
attempted to bargain for conditions about the Palatinate.  But Tromp
was in no mood for scrupulousness, and, taking the matter in his own
hands, whilst Charles was huckstering, boldly attacked and routed the
Spaniards as they lay on the coast of Kent.  Olivares was furious, and
demanded redress from the King of England, who, he said, had aided the
Dutch in their attack.  Admiral Pennington, to keep up appearances, was
imprisoned for not defending the neutrality of English waters; but that
was all.  The Battle of the Downs was a deathblow to Spain's spirited
attempt under Olivares to become again a great naval power, and the
loss of prestige and material then suffered was never fully recovered.

By the neutrality of England settled in 1637, {325} and the cessation
of the war in the Valtelline and in Italy, the area of the duel to the
death between France and Spain, between Richelieu and Olivares, was
gradually narrowing; but this concentration of the struggle brought
nearer the danger to Spanish territory itself.  Great as had been the
pressure brought to bear upon all classes to obtain funds for the war,
the threat of invasion made the cry for money more peremptory than
ever.  Not only every noble, but now every knight of an order, was
summoned to provide a horse and arms for himself and servant, and to
hold himself in readiness to join a company; and coach and cart horses
were seized for government use everywhere.[14]  A new "donativo" was
decreed for Madrid, and rich men were unmercifully drained.[15]  Even
the beggars who lived in squalid plenty were passed in review, in order
to find how many impostors there were who in purse or person could
serve the King.  It was found by this inquiry that of 3300 people who
lived by public mendicancy in the capital, only 1300 were really poor
and deserving.[16]  On the other hand, as we have seen, at this very
time, with the danger hourly growing, ostentatious expenditure on
pleasure exhausted in a day sums large enough, in relation to the
national revenue, to have provided to a great extent for the more
pressing needs.

[Sidenote: Poverty and extravagance]

Peculation and personal lavishness were as remarkable as the public
waste.  A Portuguese Count of Linhares, who was Philip's Admiral of the
Galleys of Sicily, arrived in Madrid in February {326} 1637, and in his
first audience he gave to the King a string of diamonds, which was said
to be the handsomest ever seen in Europe, its value being estimated at
considerably over 60,000 ducats.  The Count then went to salute the
Queen, to whom he offered a casket with a pair of marvellous earrings.
The Queen, we are told, fell in love with them at once, and without
waiting for ladies or tire-women, snatched her own ornaments from her
ears and put in the new pair.  Whilst she was admiring the effect of
them in a mirror the King came in, delighted, to show her his string of
diamonds, which he wore in his hat; and they exchanged many jokes at
each other's vanity.  What the Count-Duke received as his present from
Linhares is not stated; but that he was so pleased with Linhares'
generosity that he said, "This is the sort of ministers and viceroys
for his Majesty"; and he thereupon appointed Linhares, much to the
latter's chagrin, Viceroy of Brazil, which post he would only accept on
all manner of new and favourable conditions.[17]


[Sidenote: Noble criminals]

It was in all respects high time that the noble courtiers who
surrounded Philip should be made to occupy themselves in real warfare
against the enemy of their country, for their quarrels and turbulence
had already reached a point that made them a public reproach.  It had
been for more than a century a fixed policy of Spanish kings to keep
the territorial nobles as much as possible excluded from executive
activity in the Peninsula, and to attach them to the personal service
of the monarch at Court.  The peerage had been enormously increased
under Philip III. and IV., and the numerous class of newly enriched and
ennobled courtiers and officers that thronged Philip's Court, utterly
idle and corrupt as they were, with no great feudal or military
traditions, had become insolent and pretentious beyond measure.

The broils of the nobles during the month of festivities in the early
part of 1637 were so scandalous, that it was seriously considered by
Philip and Olivares how they could punish the highly placed
law-breakers, and positively forbid duels altogether.  First, the
quidnuncs on Liars' Walk were regaled at the end of January by the
sight of four gentlemen of birth being led past the Calle Mayor to be
hanged instead of beheaded.  These criminals had plied their impudent
trade of cloak-snatchers in every street in Madrid, and had, amongst
many other outrages, killed a priest who had objected to part with his
raiment.  The Duke of Hijar, a great friend of Olivares and a notable
boaster, had been relieved not only of his cape, but of his sword and
buckler as well; and a considerable band of these ruffians, led by a
{328} young noble of nineteen, one of those hanged, had so terrorised
the streets of the capital as to make them unsafe in broad daylight.
The next day, ten men and women, mostly people of good position, were
whipped through the Calle Mayor as thieves and receivers; and some
highly born gentlemen were condemned to death as housebreakers.  "This
place," wrote an eye-witness, "simply swarms with folks of this sort,
and the efforts of the ministers of justice are powerless to stop

One morning soon afterwards, Madrid woke up to find the walls placarded
with a public challenge from Don Juan de Herrera to the Marquis del
Aguila to meet him and fight to the death in Switzerland.  These were
the two nobles who had fought in the presence of the King (page 300),
and had fled from justice to foreign parts; and the subject of
discussion amongst the idlers and satirists in Madrid was whether or
not the Marquis was bound to accept the challenge.  But in three days
this subject had to give way to another excitement.  Don Juan Pacheco,
eldest son of the Marquis of Cerralbo, had asked the manager of one of
the theatrical companies of the capital, Tomas Fernandez, to represent
a new comedy, in honour of the recovery of his sweetheart, the daughter
of the Marquis of Cadreita, from fever.  Fernandez had made other
arrangements for his company and declined to do so; and Pacheco at once
hired a bravo to stab the comedian as he was walking and chatting with
other actors in the open space near the Church of St Sebastian, called
the "Liars' Walk of the Comedians."  When the {329} assassin delivered
the blow, this noble employer who was standing close by, shouted: "That
is the way to serve varlets."

Hardly had the exclamations on this event ceased, than another affray
between gentlemen in broad daylight interested the gossipers.  On the
10th February there was dress rehearsal of the mounted masquerade in
the new arena at the Buen Retiro, which has been described on page 318.
The populace broke into the ring, and the royal guard had much trouble
to clear the space for the riders.  During the process of clearing,
young Spinola, indignant that he, a Genoese noble, should be hustled,
called out offensively to Don Francisco Zapata, the lieutenant (whom we
have seen in trouble before): "Hi, Don Francisco! don't you know who I
am?" to which Zapata replied: "I don't care who you are"; and in spite
of his threats of vengeance Spinola was "moved on."  As Zapata left the
gates of the palace afterwards, he met Spinola waiting for him in the
Prado.  "I have a word to say to you," cried the Genoese.  "I have no
sword," replied Zapata.  "Then I will wait whilst you go and fetch
one," said Spinola; and with that Zapata leapt in a rage from his mule,
and, snatching a sword from a bystander, he fell upon his opponent,
though the pair were separated before blood was shed.

Another foolish fray over punctilious trifles took place on the
following day between the Count of Salazar and one of the gentlemen in
attendance on the Princess of Carignano, a Milanese Spanish subject who
bore an Italian title of Count de Pozo.  The Spanish nobles always
sneered at Italian titles; {330} and Salazar shied at calling Pozo
"Lordship."  The latter had retaliated by calling Salazar himself
"Worship" instead of "Lordship," and when he met him in the Calle Mayor
had neglected to bow to him.  Worse still, when they met again in the
passage of the Buen Retiro palace leading to the Count-Duke's
apartment, Salazar doffed his hat, and Pozo neglected to return the
salute.  In a moment Salazar turned back, and, snatching off Pozo's
wide-brimmed felt hat, gave the owner a tremendous buffet on the face
with it.  In a moment swords flew from scabbards, and the two angry
nobles grappled; but they, too, were separated, Salazar taking refuge
in the German embassy, whilst Pozo fled into hiding.  The "discourses"
in this case decided that Salazar was in the wrong; but he had many
friends, and held a perfect levee in the German embassy, closely
isolated from suspicious visitors, to prevent a hostile message
reaching him that would need his going out to fight.  But by a trick
one of the pages of the Princess of Carignano obtained admission, and
handed him a challenge from Pozo.  When the antagonists met next
morning at the place appointed, on the outskirts of the town, they were
both arrested; and even then the two alcaldes who arrested them had a
violent quarrel as to which of them should take Salazar.

These, and several other scandals of the sort, all happened within the
space of a fortnight; and it is little wonder that the Royal Council,
at the instance of Olivares, discussed the matter and reported to the
King that something must be done.  The step decided upon was very
Spanish.  All the {331} old fire-eaters and officers of experience were
fighting under the Cardinal Infante in Flanders, and to them the whole
subject was referred for consideration and report; "after which a very
strict pragmatic will be drawn up and published forbidding duels under
heavy penalties, and even making them cases for the Inquisition, or at
least that the principals and their descendants should be degraded.
Either of these two courses would touch Spaniards deeply."  Needless to
say that, long before the report from Flanders came to Madrid, if it
ever came, these good resolves were forgotten, and the affrays of noble
ruffians disgraced Madrid uninterruptedly as before.

[Sidenote: Nearing the crisis]

Philip and his minister, indeed, had plenty of other things of greater
moment to occupy them than this.  From the first we have seen that
Olivares recognised the absolute need for fiscal unity and equality of
sacrifice from all Spain if the old dream of supremacy was to be
enforced and France humiliated.  Portugal, Aragon, Catalonia, and
Valencia, naturally jealous of ancient rights which each successive
ruler had sworn to respect, were determined to resist any attack by the
favourite upon their autonomy.  I have on many occasions pointed out
that the main explanation of the past, and problem of the future, of
Spanish history is the intensely local and regional character of the
patriotism of the people.  In our times the rapid means of
intercommunication between the parts, and the existence of a unified
administrative system for two centuries, have in some directions
rendered this feeling less conspicuous than it was; though in others,
and particularly in Catalonia and the {332} Basque Provinces, it is
still strong and clamant.  But in the time of Olivares the sentiment
was absolutely unimpaired.  Philip II., even after the rising against
him in Aragon, had done little really to injure the ancient _fueros_,
whilst in Portugal he had gone to the very extreme of prudence in
recognising the separate national rights of his new subjects.  Any
attack, or even threat, therefore, on the part of a new and much hated
minister like Olivares upon this, the strongest racial and traditional
sentiment of the most active and enterprising communities in the
Peninsula, was certain to lead to conflict.

The need for money, nevertheless, was pressing, and however
statesmanlike the aim of the minister may have been if its execution
had been gentle and cautious extending over many years, it became the
height of rashness when forced to an immediate issue.  Olivares was
very far from being foolish or naturally rash, and when his policy was
first explained to Philip, soon after his accession, he did not
disguise that his object was difficult to attain, and must be a work of
time.[19]  But when once he had embraced the policy which forced upon
Spain {333} costly wars abroad, defeat and ruin for himself was the
only alternative to the dangerous plan of making the autonomous realms
pay their share of the cost of wars undertaken by the King, and of the
rampant waste amongst the decadent crowd in Madrid that had already
bled Castile to exhaustion.

[Sidenote: Portuguese autonomy]

For some years the Portuguese had been justly irritated by the giving
to Spaniards of administrative offices in Portugal, and by the
contemptuous way in which Olivares habitually received representations
or remonstrances as to the injuries suffered by Portuguese subjects in
consequence of the union with Castile.  The principal instruments of
the Count-Duke in his attempts to rule Portugal on Castilian lines were
two creatures of his--Miguel Vasconcellos and Diego Suarez, both
Portuguese of obscure origin, who had practically superseded the
Duchess of Mantua, Philip's nominal figurehead, who was personally not
unpopular.  In 1637, at an attempt to impose a tax on all property in
Portugal for Spanish purposes, risings took place in the Algarves and
Evora, and protests loud and deep came from other Portuguese cities.
Madrid at once announced that the King himself would go with a large
force and conquer his realm of Portugal; but though this was untrue,
the Duke of Medina Sidonia marched into the Algarves with a Spanish
force, whilst another threatened the north of Portugal, and the
Portuguese, unready as yet for the conflict, were cowed by the threat.
But the injury rankled deeply, and when, in the following year 1638,
Olivares summoned to Madrid the Portuguese archbishops, seven nobles
and three {334} Jesuit priests, to discuss the closer unity of the two
countries--an assembly which coincided with the imposition of a new
illegal tax upon the Portuguese as a punishment for the
risings--Portuguese nobles and people alike knew that unless they were
to be enslaved by Castile they must needs fight for their national

Thenceforward the great conspiracy that was to bring independence to
Portugal never ceased until victory crowned the attempt.  The Duke of
Braganza, the Portuguese pretender with the best right to the throne,
was prodigiously rich and over cautious, but his virile Spanish Guzman
wife was eager and ambitious; whilst her wealthy brother, the Duke of
Medina Sidonia, head of the Guzmans, silently helped forward the scheme
which would make his sister a Queen, and afford him, the most powerful
vassal of the Castilian crown, a precedent for the creation of an
independent principality for himself in Andalucia, free from the weak
and corrupt bureaucracy led by his cousin Olivares in Madrid.

In the meanwhile the war with France had taken a new aspect.  The much
vaunted Spanish invasion of France through Bayonne under the Duke of
Nocera had turned out a ridiculous fiasco, and it was soon evident that
Richelieu meant to make an effort to revenge the attempt by an invasion
of Spain, as well as to retrieve the reverses he had sustained
elsewhere in the previous year.  Anna of Austria, the Queen Mother of
France, did her best privately to persuade her brother and Olivares to
terms of peace acceptable to her son; and she sent to Madrid for the
purpose, in the summer of 1637, {335} a Minorite friar, who had many
interviews with Olivares on the subject.  But the war had now entered
into a phase which involved the personal rivalry of two all-powerful
statesmen, as well as the prestige of two great nations, so that it had
to be fought to a finish.  The blinded courtiers in Madrid, moreover,
openly scoffed at the idea of making peace with France until Spain had
asserted its incontestable superiority;[20] and all that the Minorite
friar took back with him to France was the little finger of Saint
Isidore the Husbandman, the patron of Madrid, which was secretly cut
from the body of the saint in his church in the Calle de Toledo at
midnight, to be sent as a venerated relic to Philip's sister Anna in

[Sidenote: Spain invaded]

In the summer of 1638, Richelieu was ready to strike his blow on
Spanish soil.  Crossing the river Bidasoa at St. Jean de Luz, a French
army rapidly captured Irun and the fine harbour of Pasages, and laid
siege to Fuenterrabia both by sea and by land.  The Prince of Condé
(Henri de Bourbon) and the Duke de la Valette were in command on land,
and the Bishop of Bordeaux at sea.  An attempt was made by the French
to storm the hill upon which the fortress stands, but the Admiral of
Castile and the Marquis of los Velez, with 6000 men from Navarre and
Guipuzcoa, eager to fight for their own provinces, came opportunely
upon the scene.  A dashing charge threw panic into the French camp, and
the besiegers fled headlong to their boats.  Spaniards were always
ready enough to fight when well led, and they were fighting for their
own {336} provincial frontiers; and though La Valette was accused by
Richelieu of treachery, and condemned to death in his absence in
England, whither he had fled to join Marie de Medici, his men on this
occasion were fairly beaten by Spanish soldiers, who were irresistible
when they were defending their own provinces.

[Sidenote: The French repelled]

The same thing was seen in Catalonia in the following spring, where,
counting upon the notorious disaffection of the Catalans with Olivares'
policy, Condé in the spring of 1639 invaded Roussillon, which then
belonged to Catalonia, and captured Salcés.  Peremptory demands for
help came to Madrid, but Olivares was in no hurry to help the Catalans,
and preferred that their own impotence to defend their country without
the aid of Castile should be first demonstrated.  The provincial
authorities were stout and determined, and rapidly raised an army of
10,000 men.  But the Catalans had no leader yet worthy of the name;
and, though they fought bravely, they fought for a time in vain.  They
were badly and timidly led; and 8000 of them died of the plague before
Salcés, in which fortress the French were shut up.  Condé, late in the
autumn, came back from Provence with a new French army of 20,000 foot
and 4000 horse to reinforce the French; and though the case seemed
hopeless, the Catalans, ever a dour race, determined to stand and fight
them.  Full of confidence, the French army stormed the trenches of the
besieging Catalans on the 1st November.  But the ditches and moats were
swollen by autumn rains, and regiment after regiment rushed to the
attack, only to be repelled with terrible loss by the {337} stout
Catalans, behind their earthworks and gabions.  Discouragement at last
seized the French, and they fled, leaving the Catalans masters of the
field, and Salcés unrelieved.  The fortress surrendered to famine at
the beginning of the year 1640, and the second attempt of Richelieu to
invade Spain failed.  Nor were the attempts upon the Catalan coasts by
the French fleet under the Bishop of Bordeaux more successful; for,
after some depredations and the temporary occupation of Spanish ports,
the French fleet was scattered by a storm and returned disabled to
France.  Once more it was proved that Spaniards were indomitable when
they were fighting for a deep-seated sentiment.  The deepest of all was
local loyalty.  Whilst the sentiment of religious selection had been
dominant it had given Spaniards a strength not their own; but that
burning faith was ashes now,[22] and the only thing worth fighting for,
beyond the inborn love of contest, was the independence of the province
that gave them birth, and for this, rather than for a Spain that for
most of them was but a geographical expression, Spaniards were still
ready to sacrifice their lives without stint.

It was a wretched story that King Philip had to tell the Cortes of
Castile that were assembled in {338} Madrid in the summer of 1638.  His
treasury, he said, was more empty than ever; "for he had been obliged
by his duty to oppose all the heretics in Europe in defence of the
Catholic religion, as well as the enemies of his house in Italy,
Germany, Flanders, and Brazil, and a greater war was now on his hands
than had afflicted Spain since the time of Charles V.  And although
peace had been discussed through various channels, as yet
unsuccessfully, the surest way to attain tranquillity was to arm more
powerfully than ever, and strike their enemies with dismay."  Seventy
two millions and a half of ducats had been raised by loans at 8 per
cent. interest, and spent in the previous six years on war, in addition
to two millions and a quarter for the army in Spain itself.  This was
an expenditure unheard of previously in Spain, and it meant that a sum
greater than ever was demanded now of Castile in the form of an
enormous addition to the food excise, and an increase of the alcabala.
The country was depopulated and starving, said the deputies;[23] but
withal the duty of his Majesty as a Christian prince was clear, and, no
matter at what sacrifice, the means for fighting the battle of the
Church and Spain must be found by his faithful vassals.

And so, through 1638 and 1639, as has already been told, the war went
on, not on the whole unfavourably for Spanish arms, for the French
invasion, at least, was repelled; but more disastrously than ever, for
the overtaxed and ruined people upon whom the crushing burden lay of
providing {339} funds.  Talk of peace went on in Madrid all the while.
A secret agent of Richelieu named Pujol was in close though cautious
negotiation with Olivares for three years, both ministers professing
ardent desires for an agreement.  But it was clear that neither was
disposed to give way an inch in his claims, and again and again the
Spanish agents declared that on no account would they recognise the
Dutch otherwise than as recalcitrant rebels against their King.  In the
circumstances, therefore, peace was impossible; for Holland had not
held her own for seventy years to bow the head now, and in the summer
of 1640 the internal storm which had long been gathering burst upon
Spain, not, we may be sure, to Richelieu's surprise, and all hope for
peace fled.

[Sidenote: Rebellion in Spain]

The fatal burden of Philip's inherited task, and the traditions imposed
at his baptism, had led him to embark in impossible wars for an idea;
the need for money to support a policy of Quixotic adventure had
drained Castile; and the unhappy insistence of Olivares in exacting
from the autonomous realms a similar sacrifice, had at last sapped
their loyalty to the sacred personality of the sovereign.  Philip, in
the prime of his manhood, after nineteen years of rule, found himself
face to face with rebellion of his own people, as well as with a great
war abroad; whilst the centre of his realm, whither all wealth flowed
and whence all power emanated, was sunk in pagan epicureanism, pride,
pretence, and sloth.

In earlier chapters we have seen that on both the occasions that Philip
had personally attended the Cortes of the eastern realms, he, and
especially {340} Olivares, had quarrelled bitterly with the deputies,
and had returned to Madrid in anger, leaving a rankling discontent
behind.  Olivares since then had lost no opportunity of dealing hardly
with Catalans particularly,--their causes in Madrid being treated with
ostentatious neglect, and their interests passed over, in order, as
Olivares said, to teach them the lesson of obedience; whilst the
Catalans, whose qualities certainly do not include submissiveness,
repaid this treatment by passively resisting the orders that came to
them from the Court.  When Roussillon was invaded by the French in the
autumn of 1639, Olivares had been slow to send succour from Castile.
As we have seen, the drain for the foreign war was tremendous, and both
money and men were scarce, even if Olivares had desired to send prompt
aid.  But such was not the case; and the main efforts by which the
French were expelled and Salcés captured were those of the Catalans
themselves.  The Viceroy was Queralt, Marquis of Santa Coloma, who,
although a Catalan, was devoted heart and soul to Olivares, and had
been chosen as a more pliant instrument for the minister than his
dignified predecessor, the Duke of Cardona.

To Santa Coloma, whilst the Catalans were straining every nerve to
defend their principality from the French, Olivares and the King
continued to send messages calculated to arouse the deepest resentment
of the people.

"Do not," wrote Olivares, "suffer a single man who can work to absent
himself from the field, nor a woman who can bear on her back food or
forage....  {341} If the enterprise can be effected without violating
the privileges of the province, well and good, but if in order to
respect these the service of the King is retarded by one single hour,
he who dares to uphold them at such a cost will be an enemy to God, his
King, his race, and his country....  Make the Catalans understand that
the general welfare of the people and of the troops must be preferred
to all rights and privileges....  You must take great care that the
troops are well lodged and have good beds; and if there are none to be
had, you must not hesitate to take them from the highest people in the
province; for it is better that they should lie on the ground than that
the troops should suffer."

[Sidenote: Revolt in Catalonia]

The reinforcements from Castile and elsewhere that eventually reached
Catalonia under Spinola, Marquis of Balbeses, arrived after most of the
fighting was over, and the French had retired; but orders were given
that these troops should remain quartered in the province.  This was a
violation of one of the most cherished rights of the Catalans; and
Spinola made matters worse by his marked insolence to people of the
country, and his public instructions that in every case the troops
lodged in a place were to be stronger than the inhabitants, so that
they should always be the masters.  Protests and indignant
remonstrances met with the same contemptuous treatment from Olivares,
Santa Coloma, and Spinola; and as the months wore on the mood of the
Catalans became ever more dangerous.  It was announced in the spring of
1640 that the King would go and hold {342} a Cortes in Barcelona; but
to hold Cortes, it was remarked that he did not need the strong armed
force he summoned to attend him.  The knights of the orders were again
placed under contribution, and protested in vain that it was an abuse
to press them thus for subordinate military service; the grandees of
Castile were each commanded to provide and pay for four months 100
soldiers each; and this, on the top of other swollen demands, aroused
higher than ever their hatred of Olivares.  The Duke of Arcos said that
he had already paid 900,000 ducats; the Dukes of Priego and Bejar,
800,000 each, and others in like proportion, and that they were at the
end of their resources.[24]  The Portuguese nobles saw in the summons
only a pretext for withdrawing them from their own country, and many
went into hiding to avoid compliance with it, whilst others with
feigned acquiescence procrastinated until they could safely throw aside
the mask.

Whilst Philip was still trifling in Madrid with the usual merrymakings
at the Retiro to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi in June 1640,
there came flying news from Barcelona that the threatened tempest had
burst.  The Catalans, driven to desperation by the exactions and
insolence of the polyglot rabble of troops quartered upon them, had
risen and massacred every Castilian soldier and officer they could
hound down.  Santa Coloma himself in flight had sunk by the wayside,
and had been hacked to death by his maddened countrymen; and from
Barcelona through all Catalonia the fiery cross had been borne with
cries, it is true, {343} of "Long Live the King"; but still louder
shouts of "Vengeance," "Liberty," and "Down with the Government."  In a
vain attempt to stem the flood the old Duke of Cardona was reappointed
Viceroy; and, after his death shortly afterwards, was succeeded by the
aged Archbishop of Barcelona.  But it was too late, and anarchy soon
ruled unchecked.  Cardinal Borja, himself a Valencian and an active
minister of Philip's thenceforward, openly declared in the Royal
Council at Madrid that "the revolt could only be drowned in rivers of

Again the screw had to be turned, and Olivares was almost in despair.
But he worked like a giant, cajoling and humouring Braganza and the
Portuguese nobles into what he hoped was a better frame of mind, whilst
he depleted the Portuguese frontier of the forces with which he had up
to that time terrorised the sister kingdom.  The details of the
Secession War in Catalonia cannot be told here.[25]  Suffice to say
that again Philip, supported by the enemies of Olivares, clamoured to
be allowed to lead his troops against the rebel subjects; but it suited
the minister to keep him amused with poetical academies, comedies,
amours, and devotions, rather than to bring him in touch with
realities, and enable him to learn the whole of the dire truth.

The Marquis of los Velez was sent to Catalonia with such an army as
could be got together, and in the summer he swept through the province,
almost without resistance, until he came to Tarragona and Barcelona,
which places had been occupied, by the invitation of the Catalans, by
{344} French troops.  Epernon, who commanded them, again showed the
white feather, and retired; but the stout Catalans, though deserted by
their allies, formally renouncing the rule of the King of Castile and
acknowledging Louis XIII. as their prince, manfully stood behind their
trenches to defend the capital.  The attempt to storm the outworks was
made on the 26th January 1641, the Earl of Tyrone leading the Irish
regiment, and falling dead at the first onset.  The battle was a
desperate and sanguinary one, but just as victory seemed assured for
the Castilians, a panic seized them; a Catalan attack in their rear
completed the demoralisation, and Barcelona, untaken and victorious,
proclaimed itself a French city, whilst the routed Spanish army
retreated to Tarragona, a mere rabble.  Thenceforward French government
troops poured into the principality; and Philip, amidst his alternate
wanton pleasures and agonised remorse in Madrid, realised that the
realms of his fathers were crumbling apart, and that the King of France
ruled with the consent of Spaniards over some of the richest provinces
of Spain.  The knowledge struck like death to the heart of Philip, for
up to that hour, kept in the dark by Olivares, he had never understood
the tenacity of the autonomous States, or the danger of tampering with
a deeply rooted national tradition.

[Sidenote: Secession of Portugal]

But the news of the secession of Catalonia, terrible as it was, came
only a few weeks after another blow which had affected Philip even
more.  The King, in the earlier days of December 1640, was presiding
over one of the ostentatious bullfights that he loved, given in honour
of the Danish {345} ambassador, when a courier from the Portuguese
frontier galloped post haste to the quarters of Olivares in the palace.
Soon Liars' Walk and Calle Mayor were full of grave faces and important
whispers that dreadful news had come from the sister kingdom.  In the
palace, even in the Plaza where the bullfight was being held, everybody
knew or guessed the story that had come; yet none dared whisper a hint
to the King, for the sallow, frowning face of the Count-Duke was rigid,
and until he spoke the word none might break the silence.  Hours
passed; the bull-fight came to its usual end, and, on returning to the
palace, the King sat at play with his friends.  To him entered the
Count-Duke, gay and smiling.  "I bring great news for your Majesty," he
said.  "What is it?" asked the King, with little concern.  "In one
moment, Sire, you have won a great dukedom and vast wealth," replied
the minister.  "How so, Conde?" inquired Philip.  "Sire, the Duke of
Braganza has gone mad, and has proclaimed himself King of Portugal; so
it will be necessary for you to confiscate all his possessions."  The
King's long face fell longer still, and his brow clouded, for all his
minister's jauntiness.  He was no fool, and he knew this was tidings of
evil moment.  "Let a remedy be found for it," was all he said, turning
anew to his game; and the Count-Duke, as he left the room, looked sad,
as if he saw the beginning of his own eclipse.

In three hours the long prepared conspiracy had come to a head.
Braganza himself had done little, though he had artfully kept himself
out of the trap which Olivares had cleverly baited for him.

On the 1st December 1640 the cry had rung {346} through Lisbon, "Long
live King John IV."  The hated Vasconcellos had been murdered first,
literally torn to pieces by the crowd; the Duchess of Mantua, Philip's
Vice-Reine, had been respectfully conducted to safety in a convent, and
the Castilians in the city had been interned in the fortress.
Resistance there was none, and no adequate Spanish force to make any;
and although for the rest of Philip's sad life the pretence was kept up
of treating the Portuguese as rebels, and intermittently war was pushed
on the frontier to regain Castilian hold over the country, the
separation was permanent, and Portugal never lost her independence

[Sidenote: Fresh troubles]

The volume of discontent against the minister grew apace, and all
Olivares could do was to keep Philip amused, whilst he isolated him
more and more from those who could open his eyes to the true state of
affairs.  Several attempts had been made in the past years by rash
individuals to open the King's eyes.  Once a young courtier named
Lujanes had thrown himself at the feet of Philip in the royal chapel,
and had shouted to him to beware of Olivares, who was bent upon his
ruin.  He was hurried away, and the servile friends of the Count-Duke
shrugged their shoulders and said the poor fellow was a lunatic; but
the next day he died mysteriously in confinement, and the gossips made
no hesitation in saying that he had been poisoned.  Other cries to the
same effect had from time to time greeted Philip in the streets and
public diversions; but now they became more frequent and {347}
outspoken.  As he was going on a wolf-hunt, cries arose: "Hunt the
French, sire!  They are our worst wolves."  The disaster of a great
part of the Buen Retiro being burnt down with its sumptuous contents,
during a splendid carnival in February 1641, a few weeks only after the
reception of the ill news from Barcelona and Lisbon, gave fresh cause
for complaint against Olivares.  Twice previously the King had been in
danger there by the bursting of reservoirs, and now he ran a worse risk
by the place catching fire.[27]  The place was accursed, said the
grumblers; and when the irreparable loss of precious works of art by
the fire had to be made good by "voluntary" offerings of similar things
from private collections, and 60,000 ducats for rebuilding were
extorted from the deputies of the Cortes, with 20,000 from the
municipality of Madrid, 30,000 from the Council of Castile, and 10,000
from the Council of War, whilst the soldiers in the field were unpaid
and starving, all those who were not absolutely slaves to the
Count-Duke openly cried shame.[28]

Another trouble occurred at this time which embittered Philip's heart
and conscience for years to come; and this, again, whether true in all
its particulars or not, was added to the heavy account that the people
at large had against the Count-Duke.  It will be recollected that a
horrible scandal had taken place in the convent of San Placido in
Madrid in 1632.  The matter was hushed up and condoned in 1638, and the
nuns went into residence {348} again.  Now, the patron of San Placido
was the King's confidant, and Olivares' henchman, the protonotary
Geronimo de Villanueva, whose mansion in the Calle de Madera adjoined
the convent.  Villanueva had always been one of the useful ministers of
Philip's amours, and when his convent was rehabilitated in 1638 he
brought stories of a very beautiful young nun that he had seen there.
Philip and Olivares insisted upon seeing this paragon of loveliness,
and Villanueva, exerting his authority as patron, obtained entrance
into the locutory for the King in disguise; and for many nights in
succession the interviews took place.

[Sidenote: A convent scandal]

The affair, though very carefully concealed, began to be whispered,
before the King and his friends had penetrated beyond the grille which
separated them from the beautiful nun; and though Philip's conscience
after an offence was tender enough, it usually did not operate until
after the offence was committed.  So determined was he to approach more
nearly to the object of his passion, that Olivares and Villanueva
together managed by bribes and prayers to persuade the nun to consent
to a violation of her vows, and to admit the King.  A passage was made
from Villanueva's house to the cellars of the convent to facilitate the
entrance of the King; but before the secret work was finished, the nun,
either conscience-stricken or afraid of consequences, told the abbess
what was going on.  The punishments meted out by the Inquisition a few
years before had probably been enough for this good lady; for she
besought Villanueva to desist from so terrible and dangerous a crime,
But Villanueva, anxious to please the King, {349} and being, like most
of the courtiers of his generation, a religious cynic, turned a deaf
ear to her entreaties.  When later he led the enamoured King through
the secret passage into the sacred cloister, and to the room where it
was arranged that the meeting should take place, the pair were
horrified to see that the abbess had laid out the nun upon a bier, her
eyes closed, her hands crossed upon her breast clasping a crucifix,
whilst tapers were burning at the head and foot of the bier.  This was
too much for Philip, and he fled; but subsequently affairs were
arranged more comfortably, and the amours, we are assured, continued
for some time.[29]

By and by the Inquisition heard something of what was going on from its
spies.  What could be done?  The King was too high even for the Holy
Office to touch; yet so awful a sacrilege as this could not be allowed
to go on.  The Inquisitor-General was Friar Archbishop Sotomayor,
Philip's own confessor, a creature of Olivares, and a man of
indifferent character; but even he took the King to task severely and
repeatedly for his crime.  Subsequently, when Philip probably was tired
of the intrigue, he desisted, and then, after interminable secret
inquiries by the Holy Office, it was decided that Villanueva was guilty
of sacrilege of the worst description, and must be arrested.  The King,
remorseful or panic-stricken, was for letting the matter take its
course; but Olivares, trembling now for himself (in 1642), went to the
{350} Inquisitor-General, Sotomayor, with two decrees signed by the
King, one dismissing him and banishing him from Spain, the other giving
him a pension of 12,000 ducats a year for life, on condition that he
resigned the Inquisitor-Generalship and retired to Cordova.  Sotomayor
naturally accepted the latter alternative.  At the same time strong
measures were taken in Rome by Philip's agents to induce the Pope to
demand the reference of the case to him.  The Inquisition obeyed the
Pope's command, and sent the whole of the papers in a casket to Rome by
one of its own confidential officers.  Olivares managed to delay his
departure whilst one of the King's painters, perhaps Velazquez, made
several sketches of the messenger's face, which sketches were sent off
post haste to the King's officers in various parts of Italy, with
orders to capture the original secretly wherever he appeared, and send
him closely isolated to Naples, whilst his precious casket of papers
was to be forwarded intact to Olivares.

The unfortunate messenger, Paredes, landed at Genoa, where he was at
once kidnapped and spirited off to the strong castle of Ovo at Naples,
fated to be kept in close confinement for the rest of his life, fifteen
years.  The casket was conveyed with great secrecy to Olivares, who,
with the King, reduced it and its unread contents to ashes in Philip's
private room.  The new Inquisitor-General was a Benedictine friar in
the confidence of Queen Isabel, one Diego de Arce; and as no news came
from Rome of the case, letters were written by him and the Council of
the Inquisition to the Pope.  The latter, primed by Philip's
ambassador, still {351} kept silence; and as the minutes of the trial
of course could not be found, and the wretched messenger had apparently
vanished from the face of the earth, there were no proofs forthcoming
against Villanueva, who remained under interdiction and in partial

This, however, could not continue for ever; and when, in 1644, Olivares
had disappeared from the scene, and nothing more was to be feared from
him, Villanueva was formally arrested by the Inquisition, and carried
off to Toledo, where he was taken before the judges in _penitenciæ_;
and, without any particulars being recited, was admonished that he had
sinned enormously by sacrilege and irreligion, whereby he had incurred
the heaviest penalties; but that the Holy Office in its clemency would
absolve him, only imposing upon him the obligation of fasting on
Fridays for the rest of his life, of never entering a convent again, or
speaking to a nun, and of giving 2000 ducats for charity to the Prior
of the Atocha.  The King then restored Villanueva to his post, and
imposed perpetual silence with regard to the case against him.[30]
What penalty Philip himself paid for his terrible offence is not known;
though it is said that the clock of the convent, which played the dirge
for the dead each hour, and which existed well within the memory of the
present writer, and perhaps exists still, was one of the King's peace
offerings to the outraged cloister.


[Sidenote: Don Juan legitimated]

The clouds gathered ever blacker over Olivares.  The demands he was
forced to make now for resources to face the French in Catalonia, and
to present some show of attempting the recovery of Portugal, drove the
Castilian nobles and people of means into almost open revolt.  The
copper currency was again tampered with, being reduced to one-sixth of
its previous value;[31] and large demands were assessed in silver upon
persons who were assumed to be able to pay.  In Madrid alone on this
occasion, 150 people were sent to the dungeons for their inability or
unwillingness to pay all that was asked of them.  In addition to the
public causes for the hatred of the people against the minister, there
were also personal reasons of rapidly increasing strength for his
unpopularity with his own class.  His arrogance had always offended the
nobles of high lineage, and he now added to it, as if in mere
wantonness, an offence for which even his own kin never forgave him.
His only daughter had died soon after her early marriage; and whatever
may have been Olivares' faults, he was an extremely fond father.  He
had, as he grew older, practically adopted his nephew Don Luis de Haro,
son of the Marquis del Carpio, as his heir; but suddenly there appeared
at Court a young man of twenty-eight, up to that time known by another
name, and passing as the son {353} of a small government official in
Madrid.  The name now given to this person was Enrique Felipe de
Guzman, and Olivares brought him to the palace and to the King's
apartments, introducing him as his son.  The young man was a person of
no breeding or attraction, and his mode of life was far from exemplary,
but Olivares appears to have been perfectly infatuated with him.
Following his own bent, the son had married a lady of good house in
Seville; but Olivares had higher views for him, and, by dint of great
and costly efforts, caused the marriage to be declared invalid.  No
people in the world were more tenacious of purity of blood than the
Spanish nobility, whose open immorality of life, indeed, added to their
strictness with regard to their legitimate succession; and, much as
Olivares favoured his new son, and lavishly as, at his instance, Philip
endowed him with rank, resources, and offices, it was difficult to get
him acknowledged as an equal by the proud Guzmans, and much less by the
nobles, who were already bitterly opposed to the minister.  But
Olivares was powerful and determined.  At his instance, the handsome,
gallant young son of the King, and of the actress the _Calderona_, who
was now twelve years old, was brought to Madrid, and by decree was
given the same semi-royal honours as had been bestowed on the other Don
Juan of Austria, the son of the great Emperor.  Queen Isabel had but
two living children, young Baltasar Carlos, the heir, and a younger
girl, Maria Teresa.  Baltasar Carlos, who was the same age as his
half-brother, was a promising, sturdy little Prince, immensely popular
with the people of Madrid as he pranced {354} about on his pony, or
raised in his name fresh regiments for the war.  But naturally the
Queen his mother was jealous that another son of the King, even better
looking than Baltasar Carlos, should be brought into such close
competition with her own legitimate offspring.[32]

The significance of the legitimation of Don Juan was seen in a family
council summoned by the Count-Duke, in which Olivares' three sisters,
all great ladies, and their children, were required to greet Enrique
Felipe de Guzman as "Excellency," and a relative.[33]  All the
Castilian nobility was up in arms at such an insult; but the disgust
was infinitely deepened when Olivares demanded of the Constable of
Castile, the Duke of Frias, the hand of his daughter for Enrique Felipe
de Guzman, and when the Constable, a weak man, consented to the

  Soy de la Casa de Velasco,
  Y de nada hago asco.

  Here great Velasco's chief you see;
  Nothing is too vile for me,

{355} was written by one of the poets of the Calle Mayor, and another
scorpion was added to the lash preparing for the back of Olivares.

[Sidenote: The son of Olivares]

The minister was no weakling, and his hand fell heavily upon those who
dared to oppose him.  Quevedo's trenchant pen had scarified the vices
and weaknesses of Madrid in a dozen satires: he had scourged the
slothful, vain, pretentious crew that filled the gutters of the slums
and the galleries of the Buen Retiro; but so long as he was friendly to
Olivares none dared to touch him.  The moment he turned his glib verse
and bitter prose, addressed to the poet-king himself,[34] to an
exposure of the {356} evils arising from the policy of the favourite,
then isolation in a dark and filthy dungeon was Quevedo's reward.
There, until the favourite's fall, the poet, loaded with chains, was
kept, whilst the vices he had scourged grew greater with impunity.

The streets of Madrid became more scandalous even than before.  Bravos
and assassins almost openly stood for hire; murder and robbery were so
common in broad daylight as to attract only passing notice, and in one
fortnight at this period (1641) there were 110 murders in Madrid alone,
many of them of persons of position.[35]  Devout in form as were the
people, even sanctuary was now no protection, and the most hideous
sacrilege went hand in hand with grovelling sanctimoniousness.  Fresh
pragmatics, with penalties ferocious in their severity, denounced evil
living, but little notice was taken of them after the first few days.
Women still clattered up and down the Prado and the Calle Mayor on high
jingling pattens, and with great swelling farthingales, their faces
covered and their breasts exposed; cape snatchers still plied their
trade at the street corners, and ruffling bullies picked quarrels for
gain with peaceful citizens.


[Sidenote: Disintegration]

In Catalonia the Spanish armies and fleet were being beleaguered and
beaten hopelessly (1641).  The French King had received the oath of
allegiance from Barcelona, whilst powerful French armies under
Schomberg, De la Motte, and Meilleraie, with Richelieu behind them,
held the principality firmly, cordially seconded by the Catalans
themselves.  All Spain, even Madrid, now almost at the end of its
resources, saw that the country was upon the rapid slope that led to
utter ruin.  Portugal gone, with hardly as yet a pretence of winning it
back.  Catalonia gone, apparently as hopelessly, Andalucia almost in
revolt,[36] and Naples simmering in discontent: a great empire of
formerly loyal people falling into impotent disintegration, and all
fingers pointed at the heavy, frowning, yellow-visaged man, who worked
night and day doing everybody's work, and desperately keeping the King
immersed in trifling pleasures, as the author of all this ruin and

It was inevitable that it should be so; but it {358} was, of course,
unjust.  At the beginning of the reign, and for long afterwards, the
policy that caused the trouble, that of persisting in the inflated
claims of a century before, had been heartily endorsed by the whole
people.  They wanted glory, pride, supremacy.  They wanted still to act
the part of God's militia, to dragoon the world into one belief--their
own--to boast of the riches of their King and the greatness of their
country.  But when at last they understood that a policy abroad of
bombastic meddling and of domestic waste at home was costly, they
turned to rend the man who had carried their vain aspirations into
acts.  Olivares was no wiser than other Spanish statesmen of his time.
He could only see with the eyes of his own generation; and his share of
the blame for the ruin that had ensued upon his rule was only greater
because more conspicuous than that of the whole people, who were
blinded and besotted by the foolish hope of enjoying advantages,
national and personal, which were beyond their means.

In April 1642, Madrid was panic-stricken by the news that the last
reinforcements sent to the seat of war, and raised with such terrible
suffering from the exhausted people, had been overwhelmed by Marshal de
la Motte; and Castile was now powerless to send adequate forces to make
any head against the absolute domination of Catalonia by the French.
The satires and epigrams fell as thick as autumn leaves in Madrid,
urging Philip to wake up and act the man.  Louis XIII. was to be
present with his army on Spanish soil at Perpignan, and was already
playing a worthy part in a great national crisis; whilst Philip, his
Spanish {359} brother-in-law, still dangled about the Buen Retiro, busy
in arranging comedies, even writing them, some said; planning
ostentatious shows and affected literary competitions, or, as a change,
speared driven boars at the Pardo.  The Queen, a Frenchwoman though she
was, added her tears and entreaties that her husband himself should go
whither his duty called him, no matter at what sacrifice of his ease
and pleasures.

[Sidenote: Philip goes to the war]

To do Philip justice, he personally was eager to fulfil his duty; but
long custom had made him almost incapable now of shaking off the yoke
of Olivares and having his own way.  For a time the minister and his
obedient Councils opposed every obstacle to the project of the King's
joining the army in the field.  The personal danger was made most of;
the incommodity of the voyage, the inconvenience to the troops to be
weighted with the additional responsibility of the safety of the
monarch; the risk of assassination by rebel subjects; even the positive
lack of money for the journey, was urged, again and again, upon Philip
by Olivares.  It was useless, moreover, he said, for the King to go
without large reinforcements.  On the other hand, the Queen and the
higher nobles, even many of the Councillors, urged that the case was
desperate, and that without the King's personal example Catalonia was
lost for ever to Spain.  They even began to whisper that cowardice was
the reason of Olivares' obstinate resistance to the journey; and at
length Philip, aroused for once in his life, put his foot down,
peremptorily silenced the remonstrances of the Council, and tore up its
Memorial opposing his going.


Again the drums were beaten.  The cities of Andalucia were appealed to
in the name of loyalty; the nobles and their sons were once more
squeezed.  The son of Olivares, with his father's money, raised a
chosen corps with which he made a brilliant show before the King, and
gave an excuse (says Novoa) to put pressure upon other young nobles to
do the like.  At last, with infinite effort, a new force was got
together to accompany the King to Aragon; the Queen, working
strenuously, selling her jewels, putting pressure upon pious ladies and
ecclesiastics to subscribe, making much of the popularity of her son
Baltasar Carlos; and for the time putting aside the frivolous pleasures
that had delighted her, to play a part worthy of the daughter of the
gallant Béarnais, Henry of Navarre.

When news came to Madrid that Louis XIII. was on Spanish soil in
Roussillon, Philip finally determined to go to the front in spite of
Olivares.  He would go by Aranjuez, he said, and if the Count-Duke did
not like to join him there he should go without him.  This was open
rebellion, but Olivares was too old a hand to gainsay the King, who,
like all weak men, was obstinacy itself when once his mind had been
made up.  On the 26th April, Philip, on a splendid charger, with
pistols at his saddle-bow and sword by his side, rode to the Atocha
church to pray to the famous image of the Virgin, and thence by Barajas
and Alcalá de Henares, on his way to the war.  Like a lighted
powder-train the enthusiasm flew through the country as the King passed
onward.  Not in the memory of living men had a monarch of Spain thus
rode forth to war to fight for his inheritance, and the foul {361}
miasma of sloth and ignoble enjoyment was swept from the hearts of
thousands of young Spaniards, whose spirits were aflame and whose
chivalry was touched anew with the spirit that in times past had made
their sires invincible.

The Queen was left in Madrid as Regent, with the President of the
Council of Castile and the Marquis de Santa Cruz to aid her; and
Olivares, who knew well the danger of the course he was obliged to
acquiesce in, lagged behind in the capital as long as he dared,--afraid
of the war, sneered some; afraid of leaving the Queen alone, whispered
others; whilst, as time went on, the opinion became general that the
King's going was all a feint to get more money and men.  There seemed
good reason for the suspicion; for when Olivares at length joined his
master, it was with plans formed to beguile Philip in the usual way.
Two days were passed in devotion at the shrine of St. James at Alcalá;
then a pompous visit with long festivities to Olivares' own house at
Loeches; and thence to Aranjuez, where and in the neighbourhood nearly
a month was passed in hunting parties, tourneys, and the like, with
frequent visits from the Queen.  Again the war spirit in the country
flagged, and the people despaired at so much trifling, when, as the
saying went, there were three Kings on Spanish soil instead of one.[37]

At length Philip shook himself free again, thanks to the exhortation of
his wife; and on the 20th May rode forth from Aranjuez, now with a
numerous unwieldy train of servants, carriages, and baggage, and
followed by Olivares in terror {362} of assassination, surrounded by
guards whom he beseeched to allow no one to approach him.[38]  Olivares
was in mortal fear, too, of an interview between Philip and his cousin
the Duchess of Mantua, the expelled Vicereine of Portugal; whom, much
to her indignation, the minister had forbidden to come to Madrid, and
had secluded under formal restraint at Ocaña, which lay in the road by
which the King must pass.  The Duchess, if once she got ear of the King
alone, would tell him how, and why, Portugal had been lost; and in the
long drive during which the Duchess shared the King's coach on his way
to Ocaña, she laid such a story before him, of oppression, cruelty, and
unwise government, as to leave Philip shocked and angered that so much
had been hidden from him.

[Sidenote: Philip in Aragon]

Visiting noble houses and shrines on the road, and seizing every
opportunity for delay, Olivares managed to spin out the journey to
Saragossa until the 27th July, when Aragon itself was half overrun by
French raiders.  Philip's entry into the city was more fitting for a
monarch's triumphal return from victory than for the opening of a
campaign by a soldier.  Soon after his arrival he heard with dismay
that Monzon, the ancient legislative capital, had been occupied by the
French; whilst everywhere his troops were either retiring before the
enemy or being beaten hopelessly.  The greater nobles, both Castilian
and Aragonese, systematically avoided contact with Olivares; but the
{363} presence of Philip in the Aragonese capital offered a good
opportunity for a visit of the grandees to him, in order to take
counsel as to what could be done in so calamitous a state of affairs.
Olivares received them almost rudely, and refused them collective
access to the King, whereupon the nobles in high dudgeon shook the dust
of Saragossa from their feet, and to a man swore to be avenged on the
insolent upstart who, they said, was keeping the King prisoner.  In
fact, Philip was practically isolated in two rooms whilst at Saragossa,
on the plea of the risk to his life if he went out.  Olivares rode
forth every day in a coach closely surrounded by guards, and no one was
allowed to approach him.

For all the months that Philip passed in the Aragonese city he never
saw his army or approached the enemy, his main amusement being to watch
tennis matches from his window.[39]  Roussillon was lost in September,
never to be recovered, when Perpignan fell; and thenceforward every
week brought some story of disgrace and defeat for the Spanish arms;
whilst Philip, in inglorious despair, moped in his seclusion, bereft
even of his cherished amusements.  Olivares was growing desperate.
Every courier brought from the stout-hearted Queen Regent in Madrid
messages of encouragement and good cheer.  She was working bravely, and
with wonderful success; collecting funds from hoards hitherto
unsuspected, gathering troops and putting heart into them.  With her
{364} son by her side she reviewed soldiers, and made herself the idol
of the populace, who for a time had plucked up some hope and pride in
the future of their country.  But with the Queen's cheery news to her
husband there always went open or covert blame of Olivares.  To the
minister she sent all the plate, jewels, and treasure she could
collect; but he saw from the comparative ease with which she could
raise it, whilst he could not, that she held the winning hand and had
the people behind her.  In despair of beating the French in the field,
he stooped to conspire with Cinq Mars against the life of Richelieu
himself.  The conspiracy was discovered, and made the feeling against
him personally more bitter than ever.

Philip could not be kept quite ignorant of the misery and ruin around
him, or of his own undignified position, and he grew moody and
irritable with the minister who had led him to such a pass.  Without
even consulting him, he appointed the Marquis of Leganes, a cousin of
Olivares and an experienced soldier, to the chief command of what was
left of his army; and Olivares, foreseeing his disgrace, craved leave
to retire.  But this Philip would not allow.  He had no other minister
to replace him; he was in the midst of a disastrous war, and he had
neither the energy nor the knowledge necessary to take matters in his
own hand at this juncture.

[Illustration: PRINCE BALTASAR CARLOS.  _From a painting by Velazquez
in the Prado Museum_]

The Queen in Madrid had no lack of friends and advisers, all of them
enemies of the Guzmans, especially the Counts of Castrillo and Paredes;
but the ostentatious legitimation of Olivares' son Enrique had also
alienated his own most influential {365} kinsman, the Haros,
represented by the Marquis of Carpio, whose son he had disinherited so
far as he was able; and these with other former adherents now joined
the Queen's friends.  All Madrid knew that the Queen was against
Olivares; and, safe now from his presence, she made no concealment of
it.  "My efforts and my boy's innocence must serve the King for eyes,"
she said; "for if he use those of the Count-Duke much longer my son
will be reduced to a poor King of Castile instead of King of Spain."

When la Motte defeated Philip's army under Leganes before Lerida late
in the autumn (1642), the last hope seemed gone.  Torrecusa, the
Neapolitan general who had fought so well in the previous campaigns,
went to Saragossa, and, forcing his way to the King, told him that all
was lost unless a change was made in the direction of affairs.
Torrecusa was mollified with a grandeeship on the spot; but Philip,
overweighed and almost at his wits' end, was fain to return to his
capital, in the desperate hope of raising another army in the spring,
though the citizens of Saragossa prayed him to stay and defend them
against the all-victorious French and Catalans.[40]  Alas! he had
neither troops nor money with which to defend them,--no spirit, no
counsel, no hope.

[Sidenote: Fall of Olivares]

On the 1st December 1642, Philip turned his face towards Madrid, after
signing decrees, drafted by Olivares, imposing upon Castile new and
crushing impositions with which to raise a fresh army.  Another
"voluntary" levy of money was ordered, a new loan authorised, the
seizure of all the church {366} and domestic plate decreed, and a tax
of 7 per cent. upon all real property demanded.  Well might the
subjects stand aghast at this.  Where, they asked, was the actual money
to come from?  The copper was so debased as to be worthless; the only
standard was silver at a high premium (38 per cent.), and of this there
was not enough available for currency, much less to represent the new
demand.  When, therefore, Philip entered Madrid by the side of his
wife, all spirits were prepared and eager for the change they saw must
come.  As the royal pair passed in their coach from the Retiro to the
palace, blessings loud and long greeted the Queen, such as Philip had
never heard before.

Olivares understood the signs of the times too.  Summoning his
brother-in-law Carpio, he tried to reconcile him, but in vain, and
complained bitterly that all the gentlemen of the King's chamber had
turned his enemies.  He talked, indeed, about retiring; but Philip
never moved a muscle of his face, and the minister knew that the course
which had served him so often was powerless to help him now.  The
Countess was strong and resourceful, and undertook to bring Philip
round.  When she met him in the palace that evening, she spoke much of
her husband's services and efforts, and of the excellent arrangements
he was making for carrying on a successful war in the following spring.
Philip bowed gravely, but made no reply.  The day afterwards (14th
January 1643) a courier came from the Emperor, bringing more bad news
to Philip and bitterly attacking Olivares, and this also sank into the
King's mind.

Moodily the King walked to his wife's apartment {367} that afternoon.
There, to his surprise, he found with her the heir Baltasar Carlos, now
aged fourteen.  Casting herself at the King's feet with her son by her
side, the Queen solemnly exhorted him, for the sake of what remained of
their child's inheritance, to cast aside the evil councillor who was
dragging them all to ruin.  The King was troubled, for everything with
him was a case of conscience, and he felt that he could trust no one.
On his way from his wife's apartment he traversed a passage where he
was intercepted by an old woman, his foster-mother, Ana de Guevara, who
had been banished by Olivares and had returned without leave.
Kneeling, she in her turn implored Philip to listen to those who loved
him best; and then with a torrent of impassioned eloquence she
impeached the favourite and all his acts: spoke of the national ruin,
of the people's misery, of fields untilled, of looms idle, of the
foreigner reigning over Spanish land, and of people who once were the
soul of loyalty now in revolt against their King, all, all through
Olivares.  Philip was overwhelmed, and could only raise her, saying,
"You have spoken truly."

But still one more blow was to be struck that night at the falling
favourite.  The Duchess of Mantua, secretly summoned by the Queen, had
fled from Ocaña, and as fast as post-horses could draw her carriage
through the winter storm she had come to Madrid.  Suddenly appearing in
the office of Olivares, she said she had come to see the King, and
required lodging and food.  The minister treated her with great
rudeness, and made her wait for four hours before he provided a bad
lodging for her in the house of the Treasury.  But she was the {368}
King's cousin; and the next day the Queen introduced her into Philip's
presence, where, this time with documentary proofs, she brought home to
him the responsibility of Olivares and his creatures for the loss of

That night Philip wrote to his minister, saying that the leave to
retire he had so often craved was now accorded him, and that he might
go where and when he pleased.  Olivares, we are told by one who saw
him, stood as if turned to stone as he read the letter; but at length,
recovering his serenity, he turned to his wife and told her that he
needed rest and change, and would shortly leave for a stay at Loeches,
his seat some twelve miles from Madrid, if she would start at once and
prepare the place for his coming.  Guessing the truth, she resisted as
much as possible, but was at last forced to obey.  On the following
morning, according to his invariable custom for so many years, the
minister entered the King's room early, and knelt before him for a time
in silence.  Then he launched forth an eloquent denunciation of those
who had slandered him in the eyes of his master, and in justification
of his efforts.  He had failed, he acknowledged; circumstances and the
venom of his enemies had wrecked his best laid schemes for the
exaltation of Spain and the glory of his Sovereign; but at least he
prayed that his loyalty should be recognised, and that, in the
retirement to which he willingly went at the King's behest, he might
carry with him the regard of the master he had so strenuously tried to

No word of reply came from the King, whose long sallow face remained as
expressionless as if {369} moulded in putty, and Olivares left the
presence for the moment defeated; but still revolving in his mind other
expedients to regain Philip's favour, or at least to delay his own
fall.  First he wrote to his energetic and spirited wife at Loeches,
telling her the whole truth; for where he had failed he thought she
might succeed.  When her husband's letter reached the Countess, she was
just taking her seat at table for dinner, "and on reading it not only
did her natural colour fly from her face, but the rouge with which she
covered it, as is the fashion in the palace, paled and left her like a
corpse."[41]  Leaving her dinner untouched, the afflicted woman hurried
back to Madrid; and after an interview with her husband tried her
blandishments upon the King as he was on his way through the corridors
to visit his children as usual.  She found him unmoved and silent, and
then, rushing to the Queen's apartment, she threw herself at her feet.
But Isabel had suffered under her hard rule too long, and answered
coldly: "What God, the people, and evil happenings have done, Countess,
neither the King nor I can undo."

Then Olivares summoned to the Retiro his nephew, Don Luis de Haro,
Carpio's son, who he knew was in high favour with the King.  He had, he
told him, been a bad uncle to him; but he had brought his father and
him from their remote grange at Carpio, and had made them rich and
powerful; and he begged him, notwithstanding later jealousy, to be a
good nephew to him and plead his cause.  Haro saw the King, and gave
him account of several secret points of politics {370} on behalf of the
fallen minister, and asked in his name many and expensive favours for
his servant, all of which Philip granted,[42] but kept silent with
regard to Olivares himself.

Soon the news was whispered in Madrid; and Liars' Walk was like a
swarming hive.  At first men were incredulous.  It was all a sham, they
declared; just another trick to squeeze more money out of them on the
pretext that the hated Olivares had gone.  But by and by the happy
truth gradually forced itself upon them.  The nightmare that had sat
for all these years upon the heart of Spain had been shaken off at
last!  And then there burst out such a frantic flood of rejoicing as
Madrid had rarely seen before.  We have a King again! cried the crowds
that stood in the great square before the palace; and squibs and
pasquins were handed from hand to hand by the score.[43]  But still day
followed day and yet Olivares tarried in the vain hope of averting his
fate.  A hundred excuses were found by him for delay: the difficulty of
transport, the condition of his health, his desire to see all those who
had served him well provided for, and much else.  Hints reached him in
plenty that his {371} absence was desirable, though he admitted no one
to see him.  His keys were demanded, and he sent them; once he saw the
King in public audience, and talked to him of affairs for a quarter of
an hour, but those who stood by remarked that Philip's eyes never once
rested upon him; and again he retired discomfited, with tears coursing
down his cheeks.  As the King and Queen, with the Duchess of Mantua in
their coach, went on St. Anthony's day (17th January 1643) to the
Convent of Discalced Carmelites, the people, who now knew everything,
impulsively surged around them with joyous cries: "Our King is King at
last!--God save the King!"

At length Philip grew impatient at the delay, for he would appoint no
new officers until he was clean quit of Olivares and his crew, and he
decided to hunt for two days at the Escorial in order that measures
might be taken in his absence.  No sooner had he left than the Countess
of Olivares made another tearful appeal to the Queen, who dismissed her
promptly; and on the second day (20th January 1643), when Philip was
approaching Madrid on his way back, a great gathering of nobles came
out to meet him.  Through Melchior Borja they said that they wished to
place themselves and their possessions at the disposal of their King
once more.  Hitherto they had stood aloof, for reasons now known to
him; but so soon as that evil cause was removed they were willing to
stand by him to the death.  Then they urged him to change all his
councils and administrative officers, and begin a new régime.

When Philip entered the palace, he turned to Don Luis de Haro and
asked, "Has he gone?" {372} "No, Sire," was the reply.  "Is he waiting
for us to use force?" grumbled the King; and soon the hint was conveyed
to Olivares, and, convinced now of the hopelessness of his case, the
man who had ruled Spain over the King for two-and-twenty disastrous
years slunk out of the capital by unfrequented ways, accompanied by
only four attendants in a coach with closely drawn curtains, in mortal
fear of assassination; for, as his spiteful biographer says, the very
children in the streets would have stoned him to death if they had
known of his flitting.[44]

Not until the fallen favourite had left Madrid well behind him did
Philip feel himself safe.  Summoning to his workroom in one of the
corner towers of the old palace, Cardinals Borja and Spinola, and a
number of the nobles who had opposed Olivares, he addressed a long
speech to them.  He was, he said, ardently determined to take the
details of Government into his own hands in future.  The Count-Duke had
served him long, well, and zealously; but his health had broken down
and he needed repose.  Thenceforward he (the King) would have no
confidential minister, but would work himself as minister, with the aid
and counsel of his hearers, from whom he asked now reports and
suggestions for future remedial action.  Oñate, an old man and vain,
hoped for some days that he was to replace Olivares as sole minister,
but the King promptly undeceived him, and declared publicly that in
future he would have no other minister but his wife, whose energy,
{373} wisdom, patriotism he now understood for the first time.

As for the once powerful minister who had gone into obscurity
broken-hearted, none was so poor as to do him reverence, few
magnanimous enough to give him a good word.  Those who had beslavered
him with adulation were the first now to load him with ignominy; even
the Constable of Castile, who had so willingly married his daughter to
Olivares' base son, now stripped of all his honour, claimed that young
Guzman's earlier marriage had been valid after all.  When it was
pointed out to the Constable that this would leave his daughter
dishonoured, he replied: "I would rather see my daughter a bawd and
free, than an honest woman and Guzman's wife."[45]

The many scathing attacks published upon Olivares and his
administration, provoked by his fall, found but one able, though
imprudently frank, answer, which was called _Nicandra_,[46] and is
ascribed to Ahumada, the Prince's tutor, and to that staunch friend of
Velazquez and of the Count-Duke, Francisco de Rioja; but now that the
dust of the convulsion has cleared away, we see that it was Olivares'
methods rather than his principles that were the cause of the disasters
of his rule.  The foreign policy which he represented was not his
alone, but was the policy of the immense majority of his countrymen at
the time; and if it had not brought him into antagonism with the {374}
provincial and autonomous traditions of the outer realms of the
Peninsula, the principal factor of his fall would not have existed.
The vast wealth which it was said he had heaped upon himself,
amounting, so his enemies asserted, to the enormous total of 400,000
ducats a year, was not accumulated for personal gratification or greed,
as had been the case with Lerma, nor were the sums he obtained larger
than were appropriated by his great rival Richelieu.  He lived very
quietly, almost humbly, giving the whole of his time to work, and spent
his revenues largely in the entertainment and convenience of the King.

From Loeches he soon, with the King's permission, retired to Toro, far
away from Court.  Even there, divested of his dignities and power, the
envy and hate of his enemies pursued him.  More than once in the two
years that followed his retreat the King seemed inclined to recall his
old minister.  But watchful eyes and jealous heart always frustrated
such an idea, if it was entertained.  Many a time, in fear of such a
calamity to them, the nobles, especially those of Aragon, urged the
King to punish with death a man who had thus betrayed his confidence;
but Philip was neither cruel nor unjust, and naturally drew back from
such a course as this.  Once it seemed as if the enemies of Olivares
had almost succeeded; for in reply to an address from the ex-minister
upon public affairs, in which the latter offered his services again,
the King wrote from Saragossa: "In short, Count, I must reign, and my
son must be crowned King of Aragon.  This is difficult unless I deliver
your head to my subjects, who {375} demand it unanimously, and I cannot
oppose them any further."

[Sidenote: The end of Olivares]

Alas! the head of Olivares was useless to them or to anyone else
thenceforward, for the letter sent him raving mad, and he died on the
22nd July 1645, only two years and a half after his disgrace.
Thenceforward Philip, for good or for evil, stands alone.  What is done
he does, and no powerful minister is interposed as a shield between him
and the responsibility for his acts.  "Philip the Great" meant well,
but he had yet to learn the lesson that broke his heart: that good
intentions alone are not sufficient to ensure success; and that the
despairing struggles of one conscience-haunted man are powerless to
save a nation that has lost its faith in itself, and its dependence
upon labour as a means to salvation.

[1] She ended by utterly wearing out her welcome, and disgusting
everybody in Madrid by her pride and rapacity and the turbulence of her
followers, and before she left she was supplanted by another great
French lady, the Duchess of Chevreuse, who came to Madrid from London
as an emissary of Marie de Medici, and was received with great
distinction, much to the Princess of Carignano's anger.  Needless to
say that nothing came of either of the intrigues, and that Richelieu
kept his hand firmly on the helm until he died in 1642.

[2] These two series of festivities, which together lasted about a
month, certainly mark the high-water mark of the splendour of the Buen
Retiro.  Full descriptions of parts of them have been published by
Mesonero Romanes in _El Antiguo Madrid_, by Morel Fatio in _L'Espagne
au XVI. et XVII. Siècle_, and by at least three contemporary
writers--Mendez Silva, Andrés Sanchez del Espejo, and the Newsletters
in Rodriguez Villa's _Corte y Monarquia de España_, etc.

[3] The contents of the King's apartment, given by Strada to Philip,
"with a very precious reliquary," was valued at 20,000 ducats.  But
this splendid gift did not save Strada from a fine of 200 ducats a few
weeks afterwards, for having addressed Camporedondo, the senior member
of the Council of Finance as "Lordship" whereas by the pragmatic he was
only allowed to be addressed as "Worship."  The house Strada lived in
was one he rented from Spinola his fellow-Genoese.  As an instance of
the prevailing corruption it may be mentioned that Strada paid 300
ducats to the author of the official account of these festivities for
the favourable references to him in it.

[4] The Newsletters say that there were 7000 wax lights, which alone
cost over 8000 ducats, the cost of this one day's feast being 300,000
ducats--afterwards increased to 500,000 ducats.  This enormous
expenditure shocked everybody who thought about the matter.  "The
gossips," says the Newsletter, "assert that this great event, which had
no other end than pastime and pleasure, which indeed was pure
ostentation was to show our friend Cardinal Richelieu that there is
plenty more money left in the world to punish his King."  But many
persons who dared in the subsequent carnival to blame this waste found
themselves in the dungeons a few days afterwards; and several priests
who preached before Olivares at St. Geronimo in the ensuing Lenten
retreat, and ventured to denounce such wicked extravagance, were
banished from Court.  Rodriguez Villa's Newsletters have much to say
about this.

[5] Aston to Coke, 20th and 25th February 1637.--Record Office, S.P.
Spain MSS. 38.  This part of the entertainments had been arranged and
paid for by Philip's state secretary and confidential friend, Geronimo
de Villanueva, Marquis of Villalba, of whom we shall hear later.  On
the following Tuesday the regular public carnival took place, and the
licence appears to have been shocking in the extreme.  In one of the
cars a donkey was represented as dying in bed, with pretended priests
and friars mocking the most sacred mysteries around him, whilst the
supposed doctors were going through indecent antics.  One masker was
covered with habits of knighthood, crosses, and noble insignia, with
the significant motto, "For Sale."  Rodriguez Villa.

[6] Amongst other devices at this period, Olivares in the King's name
appropriated one-third of all the household plate and manufactured
silver in private hands, and ordered each member of the Councils of the
Indies and Castile to provide each month 200 ducats in silver to be
exchanged (for depreciated copper) at the exchange of 25 per cent., the
current rate being 38.  A young Irish student at the Escoria came and
said that he had discovered how to convert a mark of silver and a mark
of copper into two marks of pure silver.  Olivares accepted the youth's
offer to demonstrate his discovery at the palace before experts, but
after two attempts he ignominiously failed and was imprisoned.

[7] As may be imagined, Father Salazar's invention produced a perfect
torrent of satires, and the Jesuit himself was sternly reproved by his
ecclesiastical superiors for busying himself in financial affairs.  So
bitter was the feeling against him, that he was forced to leave the
Society.  Amongst other rumours about him was that he had devised a
government monopoly of drinking water.  In the ensuing Lent the pulpits
of Madrid rang in denunciation of Father Salazar; and at the carnival a
masker dressed as a peasant bore a banner inscribed--

  Sisas alcabalas y papel sellado,
  Me tienen desollado.

  With food excise and tax on all I sell.
  And now with paper stamps, you've flayed me well.

The unfortunate masker had to fly to hiding to escape the wrath of

[8] Thirty-four maravedis at the normal value would be equal to 2½d.

[9] An azumbre is ancient liquid measure of about 2 quarts.

[10] A Castilian fanega of grain is 1½ bushel.

[11] This is the silver real, then worth 6d.

[12] Record Office, S.P. Spain MSS. 39.

[13] Although not immediately touching our subject, a very curious set
of letters included in the above in the Record Office may be mentioned.
They relate to Secretary Windebank's young son Christopher, or Kit
Windebank, as he was called.  He had been sent under Aston's care to
Spain to see the world; and had been quite carried away by the _genius
loci_ of Madrid, and got out of hand altogether.  The scapegrace makes
the best of his proceedings in his letters to his father and mother,
but Aston's reports tell a different tale, and Kit is very angry when
his money is stopped.  The worst of it was that he fell in love with a
Spanish girl, and, running away from embassy, married her.  At Aston's
instance Olivares threw into prison the priest who married them; but a
thousand legal difficulties existed, he said, to obtaining a divorce,
especially as Kit swore that he would not give up the girl, who was
_enceinte_.  At the end, however, he submits sulkily, the girl is sent
to a convent, and young Kit returns home; doubtless to commit bigamy in
due time in England, and continue the knightly family of Windebank.

[14] It is curious to note that when the census of private coaches was
made in Madrid for this purpose, it was found that there were 900 in

[15] March 1637, Rodriguez Villa's Newsletters.

[16] _Ibid._

[17] The Portuguese in question was splendidly repaid for his
generosity.  and when he left Madrid at the end of the year he had
received the following grants,--"Marquis of Viseu, Count of Linhares
for his eldest son and successors, the post of Marshal of Portugal for
his second son, that of Governor of Ceuta for his third son, an
extension for three years longer of the revenues of the governorship of
Sofala (_i.e._ Mozambique), a grant of 24,000 for his own expenses,
5000 ducats per annum for ever, 2500 ducats perpetual pension for his
daughter-in-law, General on land and sea during his stay in Brazil with
the title of Viceroy, and the title of Lieutenant-Generalin Portugal so
long as the Duchess of Mantua rules there, grants for a second life of
all the pensioned knighthoods he holds, and four pensioned knighthoods
to be disposed of as he likes, and a renewal for three lives of the
pension he holds from the crown." It was said that these grants were
worth 700,000 ducats.  This is a fair specimen of the lavishness to
quite a second-rate personage at a time when the nation was in the
deepest distress.  Rodriguez Villa's Newsletters, 1637.

[18] Rodriguez Villa's Newsletter, 1637.

[19] The following words occur in the famous Memorial on the subject
referred to on page 142, etc.: "Let your Majesty hold as the most
important affair of your State to make yourself _King of Spain_.  I
mean, Sire, that you should not content yourself with being King of
Portugal, of Aragon, of Valencia, Count of Barcelona, but that you
should strive and consider with mature and secret counsel to reduce
these realms of which Spain consists to the laws and form of Castile,
without any distinction.  If your Majesty succeeds in this, you will be
the most powerful Prince in the world.  Nevertheless this is not a
business which can be carried through in a limited time nor do I
suggest that it should be disclosed to anybody, however confidential he
may be; because the desirability of the object is indisputable, and
what is to be done in preparation and anticipation can be done by your
Majesty yourself."

[20] Rodriguez Villa's Newsletters.

[21] Aston's letters, MSS., Record Office S.P., Spain.

[22] How completely the old crusading spirit had decayed is seen in the
derision with which the courtiers in Madrid greeted the saying of
Antonio Mascarenhas, the dignified old-fashioned hidalgo governor of
Tangier.  When he visited Madrid he went to present his respects to the
little Prince Baltasar Carlos.  "Who are you?" asked the boy.  "I am
the gentleman," replied the Portuguese, "who by and by will help your
Highness to conquer the Holy Sepulchre."  It was the answer of a
knight-errant, sneered the courtiers, and so it was, but it was this
fervent knight-errantry which had given to Spain the strength it had
possessed, and which under the scoffers and mockers it never could
possess again.

[23] The speeches are given _in extenso_ in the documents printed in
Danvila's _Poder Civil en España_.

[24] Novoa, _Memorias_.

[25] The best contemporary is that by General de Melo, _Guerra de

[26] The details will be found in _Historia de la Conjuracion de
Portugal, Revolutions de Portugal_, Vertot; _Historia del levantamiento
de Portugal_, Seyner; and Canovas de Castello's _Estudios del Reinado
de Felipe IV._, vol. i.

[27] The King was actually dressing at the time, and with the royal
family escaped to one of the hermitages in the park, though at one time
in danger.  Many ladies who were yet in bed fled in their night garb,
and were rescued with difficulty.  Novoa.

[28] _Ibid._

[29] The only part of the story which appears open to question is the
continuance of the intrigue after Philip's remorseful flight.  There
seems to be some doubt about this.

[30] The story is told with many embellishments, but the above version
is the most trustworthy.  It comes from a contemporary MS., written
after the fall of Olivares, transcribed by Mesonero Romanes in _El
Antiguo_, Madrid.

[31] August 1642.  Novoa, an eye-witness, referring to this time, says;
"Trade and commerce were confused, and the prices rose enormously, so
that people could not find money for boots and clothes; and even
provisions could not be had, as no one would sell.  The copper money
was valueless, and people threw it about or forced it upon those to
whom they owed money, as the law gave it currency.  The agony and
desperation of the people were intense, and utter despair consumed the
hearts and lives of the people."  Novoa, _Memorias_.

[32] Don Juan was acknowledged in 1642, and the occasion was taken for
a great series of festivities to celebrate the event, though the state
of public affairs at the time was more deplorable than ever.  The
Nuncio Panzuolo took a prominent part in the affair, and gave the
Pope's blessing to the young Prince; but it was noted that the Queen,
usually so hearty and debonnaire, was cold and haughty when Don Juan
was led up to kiss her hand and that of Prince Baltasar Carlos.  It was
noticed that the latter, prompted apparently by his mother, addressed
his half-brother as _Vos_, You, which was the manner usually adopted
towards nobles, but not to royal personages.  An interesting
unpublished paper in Italian in the British Museum gives many curious
particulars of Don Juan's youth, and the details of his legitimation.
Add MSS. 8703.  "Ritratto della nascitá qualitá costumi ed accioni de
Don Juan d'Austria."

[33] A most amusing account of this family council is given by Novoa,
who hits off the respective characters of the three sisters--the
Marchiones of Carpio, Marchioness of Monterey, and Countess of
Alcañizes--very neatly.

[34] The terrible Memorial, written by Quevedo, exposing in burning
words the state of the country, and calling upon the King to arouse
himself, should be read by anyone who desires confirmation of the
pictures I have tried to trace in this book.  The paper was slipped
under the King's napkin at dinner, and was accompanied by a parody
paternoster, beginning as follows--

  Filipo, que el mundo aclama
  Rey del infiel tan temido,
  Despierta, que por dormido
  Nadie te teme, ni te ama;
  Despierta, rey, que la fama
  Por todo el orbe pregona
  Que es de leon tu corona
  Y tu dormir de liròn,
  Mira que la adulacion
  Te llama con fin siniestro
        "Padre Nuestro."

  Hail, Philip, King whom all acclaim,
  In fear the infidel to keep,
  Awake! for in thy slumber deep
  No one doth love or fear thy name.
  Awake! oh King, the worlds proclaim
  Thy crown on lion's brow to sit,
  Thy slumber's but for dormouse fit.
  Listen! 'tis flattery's artful wile
  That sunk in sloth thy days beguile,
  And calls thee, its base ends to foster,
        "Pater Noster."

[35] At this time three of the principal grandees of Spain were
banished from Court by Philip, for scaling the walls of the Retiro at
night and clandestinely making love to the maids of honour.  Two years
previously affairs had reached such a scandalous length with the
nobles, that Philip ordered a special commission to inquire into the
matter.  As a result a large batch of nobles, two marquises and one of
Philip's chamberlains amongst them, were expelled as persons of known
evil life.  But suspicion is aroused by the terms of the decree that
their dissoluteness was not the sole cause of this disgrace, as they
are said to have "frequented gambling houses and there murmured without
any reason at all against the present Government and the higher
officers of the State, although some of them are deeply obliged to the
same." Rodriguez Villa's Newsletter.

[36] An extremely dangerous conspiracy hatched at this time in
Andalucia was discovered, and contributed much to the increased
unpopularity of the Guzmans.  The principal plotters were two of
Olivares' greatest kinsmen, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, brother of the
new Queen of Portugal, and the Marquis of Ayamonte, the object of the
conspiracy being to make Medina Sidonia King of Andalucia by the aid of
the new King of Portugal.  Ayamonte had already betrayed to the
Portuguese a conspiracy hatched by Olivares in Lisbon; and then
suggested to Medina Sidonia that the discontent in Andalucia and the
disorganisation in Madrid offered a good opportunity for him to
proclaim himself an independent sovereign.  The proud magnate
consented, but the plot was discovered.  Olivares did his best to
minimise the matter, and the Duke was let off with a heavy fine, much
humiliation, and a challenge to fight John IV. in single combat; but
Ayamonte lost his head, although his life had been promised if he
divulged the whole plot, which he did.  A curious account of how the
plot was discovered is in MSS. Egerton, 2081, British Museum.

[37] That is to say, Philip, the King of Portugal, and the King of

[38] It must not be forgotten that Novoa, who says this, was an enemy
of Olivares; though there is no doubt that the minister did believe at
the time that his death was planned.

[39] These particulars are taken from an interesting Italian MS. in the
British Museum, Add. 8701, from the pen of the Venetian ambassador in
Madrid at the time, and also to some extent from Novoa.

[40] Novoa ascribes their desire for his presence to the money spent by
the Court.

[41] So one of her servants who was present told Novoa.

[42] "I got a pension of 400 ducats," says Novoa; and he relates the
whole of these grants and favours to those who had served Olivares.

[43] Amongst the skits was a placard that was stuck upon the palace
gates, saying--

  El dia de San Antonio
  Se hicieron milagros dos;
  Pues empezó á reinar Dios,
  Y del rey se echó el demonio.

  Saint Antonio's day did bring
  Of miracles this twain,
  'Twas then the Lord began to reign,
  And devil cast from the King.

[44] Novoa and, also for other details, Newsletters in Valladares'
_Semanario Erudito_, vol. xxxiii.

[45] Many of these particulars are taken from the Venetian narrative,
British Museum MSS., Add. 8701.

[46] The work was confiscated by the Inquisition, and the supposed
authors and the printer prosecuted; as were the attacks that gave rise
to it.




[Sidenote: Changed conditions]

The disappearance from the scene of Olivares seemed to the people of
Madrid to change the national winter into summer.  All the evils under
which Spain had groaned so long would vanish, they thought, like snow
before the sunshine; and once more Spain, powerful and rich, would
dictate the law to Europe.  Philip swore in solemn fashion to forsake
dissipation and devote himself thenceforward to the welfare of his
people.  It was a golden dream whilst it lasted, and for a time it
really did lift Spaniards into some semblance of the old-time faith and
confidence.  All the gang {377} of Guzmans were thrust into the
background, and those who had stood aloof were now summoned to the
Councils of the King.  Quevedo came from his dungeon, cynically
triumphant; the distribution of business amongst a multitude of
unimportant juntas subservient to Olivares was abolished, and the great
Councils again took executive and administrative charge of the affairs
entrusted to them.  The active and intelligent influence of the Queen
was exerted everywhere; and new life was breathed for a time in the
languishing body of the State.

There were also other great changes nearly coinciding with the fall of
Olivares that increased the hopefulness of Spaniards for the future.
Richelieu died some months before, and the personal rivalry between the
two ministers, which had done so much to embitter the war, disappeared.
Then, in May 1643, the King of France, Louis XIII., died, and Philip's
sister, Anna of Austria, became Queen-regent of France for her
five-year-old son, Louis XIV.  Anna had always been a true daughter of
Spain, and deplored the war between the land of her birth and that of
her adoption; and it was hoped that she would find a means to end the
differences.  Another event had occurred at the end of 1641, which,
whilst adding to Philip's gloom, made the continuance of the war in the
Netherlands more hopeless than ever.  The Cardinal Infante Fernando,
his frail physique worn out by constant campaigning and enfeebled by
fever, died at Brussels;[1] and Philip had no relative now to {378}
stand for Spain in the ancient patrimony of Burgundy.

With all these changes in the space of two years, the spring of 1643
seemed to blossom with hopes of peace once more, humiliating as the
terms might be.  But again Spanish pride stood in the way, and after
long discussion Philip's new councillors determined that honour
demanded the expulsion of the French from Spanish soil before any
negotiations for peace with them were undertaken.  With infinite
difficulty money and men were got together somehow[2] for Philip to
take the field again in Aragon, where the French had arrived within a
few miles of Saragossa.  Before he could start on his way thither,
there came from Flanders news of a crushing defeat sustained by General
Melo, who had replaced the Cardinal Infante in the command.  Melo at
first had done well; for he was skilled and bold, and had more than
held his own against the allies.  But on the 18th May 1643 the terrible
battle of Rocroy was fought, in which Melo himself was captured, Count
de Fuentes was killed, and the Spanish army of 20,000 men, the tried
veterans who were the last remnant of the once invincible _tercios_,
whose fame was world-wide, were put to utter rout by the genius of the
youthful Enghien (Prince of Condé).  The Spanish infantry never
regained the prestige they lost at Rocroy, which was to the army of
Spain what the defeat of the Armada was to her {379} navy;[3] and with
the knowledge that disaster was pursuing him on all sides, for the
Portuguese were raiding far into Castile and the French were
threatening the capital of Aragon, Philip left Madrid, his heart
well-nigh breaking, early in June 1643.

[Sidenote: The nun of Agreda]

In the five months that had passed since he had dismissed Olivares the
King had tried hard; but already his indolence was casting its
paralysing blight over him; and most of the work of the Government was
handed to Don Luis de Haro, the nephew of Olivares, who went with the
King to Aragon.  This time Philip was accompanied by a modest train,
and by little of the ceremonial state that Olivares had deemed needful
for his previous voyage.  He travelled slowly, nevertheless, and on the
10th July, as he approached the Aragonese frontier city of Tarazona, he
halted at the humble Convent of the Immaculate Conception at Agreda,
which in the previous few years had been founded by a lady whose fame
for sanctity and wisdom had already become wide, though she was but
forty years of age yet.  Maria Coronel had written several mystically
religious books, and the convent under her rule was known for its
rigidity in an age when most cloisters had grown lax.  Philip probably
visited the house and its abbess as a usual compliment and duty; but
the visit, whatever its motive, set its mark upon him for the rest of
his life.

The abbess, Sor Maria, as she was called, must have been a woman of
worldly wisdom as deep as {380} was her piety.  She must have impressed
the King, moreover, powerfully as being absolutely disinterested and
free from mundane temptation.  He was, as we have seen, almost in
despair at the magnitude of the tasks before him; the strong spirit
upon which he had leant since he was a boy had passed out of his life,
and he knew not whither to turn for unselfish counsel.  Sor Maria,
saintly, but keen, with her sad yet half humorous face, and her shrewd,
kindly eyes, seemed to him a very rock of refuge, and in the long talk
he had with her she spoke so wisely, yet so fearlessly, of the
oppressive governance and ungodly methods of Olivares, she urged the
King so powerfully to trust to God and himself alone, to work and pray
and make his people cleanly, that he went forth from Agreda refreshed
in faith and hope, leaving with Sor Maria his command that she was to
write to him her private counsel when she listed, and to pray for him
and his unceasingly with all her saintly soul.

[Illustration: The nun of Agreda]

Thenceforward until death snapped the spiritual link that joined them,
the heart of Philip was bared in all its sorrow, its weakness, and its
sin to Sor Maria alone.  The haughty face with the pathetic eyes and
great projecting jaw remained unmoved before the world, only the
deepening furrows in it showing the storm that raged within.  Men
thought that he was callous and cold; for he suffered silently behind
his mask.  But Sor Maria knew, and none but she under heaven, the true
secret of the King's gilded misery.  His cry of agony, of remorse, of
pity thenceforward came to the cloistered nun as a surer way to reach
the throne of grace than to all the cardinals, confessors, {381} and
bishops who waited upon his smile, and gently hinted disapproval of
kingly vice.

At the end of July 1643, Philip entered his city of Saragossa, this
time, to the delight of the jealous Aragonese, unattended by the crowd
of dissolute nobles and courtiers who made love to their wives and
threatened their political liberty.[4]  No time was lost now in moving
against the French, who were threatening the centre of Aragon, and the
new commander, Felipe de Silva, whom Olivares' jealousy had consigned
to a prison, showed great energy, and soon changed the appearance of
affairs.  It will be useful for our purpose to reproduce the principal
paragraphs of Philip's first letter to the nun on the 4th October 1643,
five weeks after his arrival at Saragossa, the precursor of so long and
important a correspondence.[5]

[Sidenote: Philip and Sor Maria]

"SOR MARIA,--I write to you leaving a half margin, so that your reply
may come on the same paper, and I enjoin and command you not to allow
the contents of this to be communicated to anybody.  Since the day that
I was with you I have felt much encouraged by your promise to pray to
God for me, and for success to my realm; for the earnest attachment
towards my well being that I then recognised in you gave me great
confidence and encouragement.  As I told you, I left Madrid lacking all
human resources, and trusting only to divine help, which is the sole
way to obtain what {382} we desire.  Our Lord has already begun to work
in my favour, bringing in the silver fleet, and relieving Oran[6] when
we least expected it; whereby I have been able, though with infinite
trouble and tardiness for want of money, to dispose my forces here so
that we shall, I hope, start work with them this week.  Although I
beseech God and His most holy Mother to succour and aid us, I trust
very little in myself; for I have offended, and still offend very much,
and I justly deserve the punishments and afflictions which I suffer.
And so I appeal to you to fulfil your promise to me, to clamour to God
to guide my actions and my arms, to the end that the quietude of these
realms may be secured, and peace reign throughout Christendom.  The
Portuguese rebels still raid the frontiers of Portugal, acting against
God and their natural sovereign.  Affairs in Flanders are in great
extremity, and there is risk of a rising unless God will intervene in
my favour; and though affairs in Aragon have somewhat improved with my
presence, I fear that unless we can gain some successes to encourage
people here they are liable to lose heart and to take a course very
injurious to the monarchy.  The necessities, of course, are numerous
{383} and great; but I must confess that it is not that which
distresses me most, but the certain conviction that they all arise from
my having offended our Lord.  As He knows, I earnestly wish to please
Him and to fulfil my duty in all things; and I desire that, if by any
means you arrive at a knowledge of what it is His holy will that I
should do to placate Him, write to me here, for I am very anxious to do
right, and I do not know in what I err.  Some religious people give me
to understand that they have revelations; and that God commands that I
should punish certain persons, and that I should dismiss others from my
service.  But you know full well that in this matter of revelations one
must be very careful, and particularly when these religious persons
speak against those who are not really bad, and against whom I have
never discovered anything injurious to me; whilst others are approved
whose proceedings are not usually thought well of.  The general opinion
about these persons is that they love turning things over, and that
their truth cannot be depended upon.  I do hope that you will keep your
word to me, and will speak with all frankness as to a confessor, for we
kings have much of the confessor in us.  Do not let yourself be
influenced by what the world says, for that is little to be depended
upon, seeing the aims of those who move such discourse; but be guided
solely by the inspiration of God, before whom I protest (and I have
just partaken of Him, in the Sacrament) that I desire in all things,
and for all things, to fulfil His sacred law and the obligation which
He has laid upon me as a King.  And I hope in His {384} mercy that He
will take pity on our pains and help us out of those afflictions.  The
greatest favour that I can receive from His holy hands is that the
punishment He lays upon these realms may be laid upon me; for it is I,
and not they, who really deserve the punishment, for they have always
been true and firm Catholics.  I do hope you will console me with your
reply, and that I may have in you a true intercessor with our Lord,
that He may guide and enlighten me, and extricate me from the troubles
in which I am now immersed.--I, THE KING.  Saragossa, 4th October 1644."

[Sidenote: Philip's inner self]

In addition to the invaluable and unquestionable glimpse which this
letter affords of public affairs, it gives us the key, more entirely
perhaps than any of the six hundred letters that followed it, to the
real character of the King.  He was weak; he confesses to have no
confidence in himself, although in his heart of hearts he is striving
to live well and do his duty.  He is unable to struggle successfully
against the worldly pleasures that have captured him, and which he
pursues still, whilst hating himself for doing so.  Conscience-haunted,
he is the only sinner, and the terrible conviction forces itself upon
him that his personal sins of omission and commission are to be visited
in awful punishment upon whole nations of innocent people.  His natural
justice and his knowledge of men cause him to rebel against the
suggestions that come to him, even under the cloak of religion, to
punish those who in his eyes have done no ill; and behind the regal
purple and the stately port of his great office we see the poor soul,
so remorseful {385} in the knowledge of its sin and insignificance as
to feel unworthy even to pray without a poor nun's intercession to the
appalling deity he thinks he has incensed.  And yet, with all this
humility, how the true Spaniard peeps out in the conviction that God
has His eyes specially on him; how God's designs for the universe
revolve around his fortunes, his acts, and his transgressions.  Only by
the light of these self-revelatory letters can we see how penetrating
was the genius of Velazquez.  The tragic, haunted face of Philip, when
age had palled his pleasures, only told its tale to the painter; and
its pride, its weakness, its mercy and despair, an enigma until now,
are explained to us when, after looking upon his portrait, we read the
King's own words, meant for the eyes of the cloistered nun alone.

Whilst Philip was, for the first time for twenty years, manfully
struggling against his indolence, and facing his enemies in Aragon, the
Queen, as regent of Castile, was straining every nerve to provide money
for the campaigns; and during the autumn (1643) an army of 16,000 men
was mustered in the various provinces, and sent to the King.  Queen
Isabel too put her hand to the Augean stable of Madrid.  Murders in the
streets and armed affrays upon trifling pretexts were as numerous as
ever, one Newsletter (25th August) enumerating four or five of such
fatal scandals during the previous few days;[7] one of which--although
that was in Valencia and is given as an instance--is curious: one Iñigo
Velasco, an actor, we are told, having been beheaded "because,
forgetting the humility of his calling, he courted ladies as impudently
as any {386} gentleman could have done."  But it was noticed in Madrid
that the punishment now followed the crime more surely and more
promptly:[8] that immorality was attacked more earnestly than before,
and that the large public houses of ill-fame were being rapidly cleared
out by the new President of the Council of Castile.

The financial officers and others were also having rather a ruthless
time, for secret commissions descended upon them and their papers
without notice one after the other, and scores of thousands of ducats
of ill-gotten plunder had to be disgorged; whilst the friends of
Olivares who had survived his fall, and kept their places, were
gradually made to understand that things had altered for them.[9]  The
Countess of Olivares thus far had held firmly to her footing as
Mistress of the Robes, notwithstanding the frowns of the Queen; but the
Duchess of Mantua brought matters to a head with her.  As the Countess
aspired to sit upon a seat in the royal carriage instead of in the
doorway, the Duchess rose and said that that was not her place, and she
would leave the carriage.  The Queen placated her, but a few days
afterwards {387} the Queen's coach was surrounded in Madrid by a crowd
that cried, "Long live the Queen, and down with the Duchess of
Olivares"; and soon orders came from the King in Aragon that the lady
was to follow her husband into retirement.

The legitimated son, too, Enrique Felipe de Guzman, who had kept close
to the King as a gentleman-in-waiting, found that the atmosphere at
Court, and especially amongst Aragonese, was antagonistic to him; and
he also was dismissed to join his father.[10]

[Sidenote: Baltasar Carlos and Juan]

The only subject of difference between Philip and his wife now was the
rivalry between his two sons.  Young Baltasar Carlos had been granted a
separate household, and was already assuming the state befitting the
heir of Spain.  Philip was devotedly attached to him, as was his
mother; for, after allowing for all the adulation of courtiers, the
Prince must have been a manly and gracious youth.  But Don Juan was
infinitely more handsome, and it was said of extraordinary talent,
although it is fair to say that the actions of his later life hardly
justified the fame of his youth.  In any case, Philip was very proud of
him, and now gave him a separate household, with many noble attendants
and officers about him, and, as a separate residence, the suburban
pleasure house called Zarzuela.  Don Juan was to be called Serene
Highness, and was to address gentlemen as _Vos_, You, as if he had been
a royal Prince.  To {388} add to his importance, he was now made Grand
Master of St. John, and delighted the courtiers with his boyish
assumption of sovereign dignity.[11] Isabel looked askance at all this,
and Baltasar Carlos saw little of his half-brother; but Philip, having
before him the example of his great-grandfather and the other Don Juan,
evidently destined his left-handed son for great things.  He had,
moreover, no near male relatives now, and it is clear that there were
ample opportunities for usefulness open to a semi-royal Prince in
Philip's wide dominions.

[Sidenote: Philip's reformation]

Philip and his little army in Catalonia and Aragon did well.  Monzon
was captured by Silva from the French on the 3rd December, to the
immense solace of the King, who had been beseeching the nun's prayers
for the victory; and with the laurels still on him he returned in
triumph to Madrid to pass the Christmas with his wife.  The Queen had
ordered dinner to be prepared for his reception at the Buen Retiro
(14th December), and had gone to meet him at the Atocha, where the holy
image had to be thanked for his safe return.  But Philip was a changed
man since the nun's weekly letters of exhortation and encouragement had
reached him; and the palace of past frivolities was not in accordance
with his mood.  He would not even enter it, but went, gaily dressed,
through the cheering crowds to the old palace, which if gloomy was yet
kingly.  Philip {389} went the next day to the Discalced Carmelites to
pray; but the Queen did not accompany him, for the proud, exacting
Savoy Princess, Duchess of Mantua, who lived in the convent, occupied
the royal apartments, and all manner of questions of etiquette would
have arisen if the Queen had gone with her husband.

During the few days of staid rejoicings for Christmas, for the splendid
old entertainments were now discontinued,[12] the King wrote to Sor
Maria to ask her to help with her prayers the expected arrival of the
silver fleet from Mexico; and as a mixture of mystic devotion and
worldly aims the King's letter is quaint.

"The promise you gave me when I was with you, that your prayers should
not fail me, delighted me much, and I remind you of it in the greatest
necessities.  We are expecting hourly, by God's help, the arrival of
the galleons, and you may imagine what depends upon it for us; and
although I hope that, in His mercy, He will bring them safely, I want
to urge you to help me by supplicating His Divine Majesty to do me this
favour.  It is true, I do not deserve it, but rather great punishment;
but I have full confidence that He will not permit the total loss of
this monarchy, and that He will continue the successes that He has
begun to give us.  I should very much like to succeed in carrying out
the advice you give me in your letter of the 6th {390} instant.[13]  I
can assure you I will try to do so; and for my part, I will use every
effort to comply with the will of God, both personally and in official
matters.  May He give me grace to do it.  I cannot help telling you of
the joy it gave me to come hither and see the Queen and my children,
for my absence had seemed to me very long.  They are, thank God, very
well; and although I shall feel keenly leaving such company, I am
preparing to return; for the welfare of my realms must be placed before
all things, even before the pleasure of being with such treasures as
these.  God send me the time when I may enjoy them with more

The King's and the nun's prayers were satisfied.  A few days after the
letter was written, Madrid was rejoiced to know that the galleons had
arrived safely, "which on this occasion were sorely needed; for the
loans for the frontier fortresses, and for Italy and Flanders, were
held back, and the lenders would not do business without this
guarantee....  They bring five millions (of ducats) for the King, and
almost as much for private owners, with much {391} indigo, etc....  It
is believed that the King will not take any from private people or from
the treasury pensions, so that we all breathe again."[14] In these
somewhat alleviated circumstances, Philip, full of hope, started for
Aragon on 6th February 1644, having signalised his short stay in Madrid
by giving the gold key of chamberlain to Diego Velazquez, "who, they
say, is at the present time the greatest painter in Spain.  I
understand there are to be no more honours given this Twelfth Day, as
in other years."[15]

[Sidenote: Philip again in Aragon]

Philip, with a very small suite, hurried to Aragon; for already in his
absence his officers were quarrelling amongst themselves about
ridiculous questions of style and precedence, and on the very frontier
a deputation of Aragonese notables met him to ask for the dismissal of
his Commander-in-chief, Felipe Silva, the most successful General he
had; and, although not immediately, Silva, disgusted by the jealousy
that surrounded him--a Portuguese--ultimately went into retirement, to
the lasting loss of Spanish arms.  Whilst Philip was busy in Aragon
ordering the coming campaign, the welcome news came to him in March
1644 of the pregnancy of his wife; but soon his joy was dashed with the
intelligence of her miscarriage and illness.  The gossips said that,
attended only by the Marquis of Aytona, he rushed to Madrid secretly
for a few days to see her; but whether the cloaked cavalier who came
post from Saragossa was indeed the King is uncertain.  In any case,
Philip was with his army during the summer, gradually making way before
the French, and {392} keeping up his resolution to live an exemplary
life; although the nobles and others were beginning to grumble that Don
Luis de Haro was almost as powerful a minister as his uncle Olivares
had been.

Philip was still rejoicing over the capture of the important city of
Lerida at the middle of August 1644, and the relief of Tarragona in
September, when ill news came to him of his wife's health.  She had, it
seems, on the 28th September suffered some sort of choleraic attack
with erysipelas.  Messengers were sent to the King, whilst the doctors,
as was their wont, bled the patient copiously until they had left her
bloodless, though with symptoms which now would be recognised at once
as those of diphtheria.  Then, in their desperation, the dead body of
St. Isidore the Husbandman and the sainted image of the Atocha were
brought to the palace; though the dying woman protested that she was
unworthy to have them brought to her bedside.  But the inflammation of
the throat increased, notwithstanding all the charms of the Church and
the prayers of young Baltasar Carlos, who was devotedly attached to his
mother.  There was no church nor convent in Madrid that did not bring
out in procession its crucifixes and most sacred images in Prayer for
the Queen's restoration to health, and the fervent prayers of a whole
people went up in rogation that her life might be spared.

[Sidenote: Death of the Queen]

On the 5th October the Queen tried to make a new will, but she was too
weak to sign it, and only left verbal testamentary instructions before
witnesses for the King to be informed of her wishes.  At noon that day
she sent for a _fleur de lys_ which {393} formed one of the ornaments
of the crown, and in which there was a fragment of the true Cross.
This she worshipped fervently, and her two children, Baltasar Carlos
and Maria Teresa, were brought to her; but she would not suffer them to
approach her for fear of infection, though she blessed them fervently
from a distance.  "There are plenty of Queens for Spain," she sighed;
"but Princes and Princesses are rare."  The next day, at a quarter past
four in the afternoon, stout-hearted loyal Isabel of Bourbon breathed
her last, aged 41.  Garbed as a Franciscan nun, the body of the Queen
was borne to the Convent of Discalced Carmelites, where she had so
often prayed and diverted herself;[16] and thence soon afterwards it
was carried back again to the palace in grand coffins of lead and
brocade, to lie in state with flaring torches and all the pomp and
circumstances of royal mourning.  "Isabels always bring happiness to
Spain," shouted the crowd that adored her, after the fall of Olivares.
She, poor soul, had brought happiness neither to Spain nor to France,
though she did her best and was truly mourned.  She had always been
devoutly Catholic; and since the commencement of the war she had grown
stronger in her devotion, and in her determination to reform the
scandalous licence of the Court.[17]  Frenchwoman though {394} she was,
no breath of suspicion of her loyalty to her husband's people had ever
been heard during all the years of war with her brother's realm.

[Sidenote: Philip's grief]

Philip hastened home as fast as relays of mules would carry him.  At
Maranchon, about fifty miles from Madrid, where the King had alighted
to dine at a wretched _venta_, the courier bringing the news of the
Queen's death met him.  The ministers and courtiers around the King,
knowing how he loved his wife, avoided telling him the evil tidings at
first; for the anxiety and fatigue of the voyage had told upon him,
"and he had only just dined."  But a few miles farther on, at
Almadrones, the news was broken to him in his carriage by the Marquis
of Carpio and his son, the favourite Haro, and the bereaved King begged
to be left alone with his grief.  Turning aside from Madrid, now a city
of mourning for him, Philip retired to the Pardo, where, with his son
Baltasar--all that was left to him now, for Maria Teresa was but a
child--for a few days he indulged his sorrow in private.  Thence he
went for the official mourning in the old apartment at San Geronimo;
whilst, with the gloomy pomp traditional in Spain, the body of the
Queen was carried at dead of night across {395} the bleak Castilian
plain, with hundreds of monks and nobles following, to the gorgeous new
jasper pantheon at the Escorial reserved for Kings and mothers of
Kings, which, from very dread, Isabel had never dared to enter in her

Three days after the Queen died her wraith appeared, it is said, before
the nun of Agreda, asking for the prayers of the godly to liberate her
from purgatory for the vain splendour of her attire during her
life.[19]  Philip himself was overwhelmed at his loss, and the nun
wrote to him exhortations to resignation and patience; but it was a
month before he could gather sufficient courage to reply: his grief, as
he says, and the many calls upon him having prevented him from doing it
before.  "I find myself in the most oppressed state of sorrow
possible," he wrote, "for I have lost in one person everything that can
be lost in this world; and if I did not know, according to the faith
that I profess, that the Lord disposes for us what is best, I do not
know what would become of me."

The following spring again saw Philip in the field in Aragon.  Things
were going badly with him now, and he was again losing heart.  To the
nun he wrote on the 25th March 1645--

"Your letter indeed arrived at a good time; for the cares that surround
me had much afflicted me, and your words have encouraged me.  I now
trust that God in His mercy, looking to all Christendom, and to these
realms, which are so pure in their {396} Catholic faith, will not allow
us to be ruined utterly, but will shield and defend them, and grant us
a good peace.  Short are the human resources with which I have returned
hither; and what appals me most is to see that my faults alone are
sufficient to provoke the ire of our Lord, and to bring upon me greater
punishments than before.  But the greater the punishment, the greater
will be my appeal to faith and hope, as you say; and I will continually
supplicate our Lord to supply with His almighty hand what we need.  I
for my part will do all I can, trying not to displease Him, and to
comply with the obligations He has placed upon me, even though in doing
so I risk my own life.  I have not hesitated to give up the comforts of
my home, in order to attend personally to the defence of these realms:
for, whilst I thus fulfil this duty, I trust our Lord will not fail me;
but in any extremity I submit to His holy will.  I have wished for the
Prince to begin to learn what will fall upon him after my days are
done; and so, though alone, I have brought him with me, and have
confided his health to the hands of God, trusting in His mercy to guard
him, and to guide all his actions to His greater service."[20]

The campaign brought reverse after reverse to Philip.  Jealousy had
lost him the services of Silva, his best General; and the new French
Viceroy of Catalonia, Count de Harcourt, scattered the Spaniards at
Balaguer, and all Catalonia and most of Aragon lay at his mercy, if he
had been sure of the loyalty of the Catalans, who, truth {397} to say,
were getting somewhat disappointed and tired of their French masters.

[Sidenote: War in Catalonia]

The Aragonese mostly remained faithful to Philip, but held firmly to
their privileges; and when in the autumn of 1645 he summoned the Cortes
of Saragossa and Valencia to swear allegiance to Baltasar Carlos, they
drove a hard bargain, and Philip was forced to concede many legislative
demands of the members, in return for sparing votes of supply.  The
tale he told to the Castilian Cortes summoned early in 1646 in Madrid
was disconsolate in the extreme.  All was spent: the wars still went on
in Flanders, Germany, Italy, and Catalonia, as well as on the
Portuguese frontier, and the regular revenue was utterly insufficient.
The deputies were as much afflicted by the penury of their constituents
as the King was by the emptiness of his treasury, but with many groans
they voted an immediate grant of a million and a half of ducats in
money, and in the following year an extension of the special war
taxation upon food, and leave to sell pensions was granted.

Almost every week beseeching letters went from Philip to the nun,
praying for her intercession with the Almighty to aid him in his
troubles; and the replies of the good woman were always wise, as she
inculcated hope and labour without remission.  Sometimes Philip's faith
weakened, and he almost despaired, for he was convinced that all the
national trouble arose from his personal sins, and yet, as he says, he
could not help sinning.  In the meanwhile disasters fell upon his arms
thick and fast, and the national distress became more intense.  He
could suffer his own troubles, {398} wrote Philip, for he knew that he
had deserved them; "but to see the sufferings of so many poor innocent
people in these wars and conflicts pierces me to the very heart, and if
with my life's blood I could remedy it I would expend it most

When Philip returned to Madrid for the winter of 1645-46, Sor Maria's
constant exhortations had prevailed upon him to make a determined
attempt to cleanse Madrid of some of its blatant vice in order to win
God's favour.  She was particularly strong in her condemnation of the
dress and demeanour of the women of the capital, and a severe pragmatic
on the subject was issued: the playhouses, to the dismay of the
comedy-loving people, were rigorously closed,[21] the press-gangs that
scoured the country for recruits were enjoined to be merciful to the
poor in their operations, and other measures urged by the nun became
the law of the land, whilst the lethal crimes so common in Madrid were
prosecuted now with merciless severity.

Leaving his capital at least outwardly more decent, Philip travelled
north again in April 1646, accompanied by his promising young son, now
approaching manhood; Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, being taken on
the way, in order that the Navarrese Cortes might swear allegiance to
the heir.  No sooner had they entered Pamplona, late in April, than
Baltasar Carlos fell seriously ill of tertian fevers; and the nun's
prayers were frantically supplicated for the boy by his afflicted
father, who would not leave his son's side, although the Aragonese were
getting clamorous for his coming to {399} direct the campaign, which
had already been opened by the enemy, who were actively besieging
Lerida.  After two months' delay, Philip at length entered Saragossa in
June, when he received the news of the death of his sister, the Empress
Maria, who had been betrothed to Charles, Prince of Wales.  This,
coming on the top of all his other troubles, almost broke the poor King
down.  "If I did not recognise that my troubles are sent by God, as
warnings for me to prepare my own salvation, I could hardly tolerate
them....  Help me, Sor Maria, to pray to Him; for my strength is small,
and I fear my weakness."

[Sidenote: Baltasar Carlos dies]

A greater blow than all fell upon him soon afterwards.  An insincere
embassy had been sent to England some little while before, in order to
frustrate the betrothal of Mary Stuart, daughter of Charles I., with
the Prince of Orange; and the means employed had been the old
suggestion of the marriage of an English Princess with Baltasar Carlos.
It came to nothing, and, so far as the Spaniards were concerned, was a
mere feint from the first, for the real wish of Philip's heart, as it
had been that of his father, was still further to cement the two
branches of the house of Austria, by marrying his heir to the Emperor's
daughter.  Imperial ambassadors were at Saragossa when Philip arrived,
and the King wrote cheerfully to the nun soon after, saying that the
marriage of Baltasar Carlos had now been settled, and that his niece
Mariana of Austria was betrothed to his heir.  "My son is very much
pleased with his new state, and I am so too, to have chosen such a good
daughter-in-law, as I hold this marriage {400} certain to produce very
beneficial effects to the Catholic religion, which is my sole

Not many weeks afterwards, on the 7th October, the King in great
trouble writes to the nun--

"I have received your letter, but I confess that I am not in a
condition to reply to it, for our Lord has placed upon me a trial
through which I can hardly live.  Since yesterday my son is oppressed
with very extreme fever.  It began by severe pains in his body, which
lasted all day; and now he is delirious, and we are in such fear that
we hope it will turn to smallpox, ... of which the doctors say they see
signs.  I know, Sor Maria, that I deserve heavy punishments, and that
all that may come to me in this life will be insufficient to repay my
sins; but I do cry now to the divine mercy of our Lord, and the
intercession of His holy Mother; and I beseech you to help with all
your strength."

[Sidenote: Philip's despair]

Three days afterwards, the heart-broken father writes in dull despair
that his son had died.  "I have lost," he wrote, "my only son, and such
a son, as you know he was."  And for this pain the consolations of the
good woman, though salutary, {401} were weak.  Philip bowed his head,
and to all outward seeming was resigned to his loss.  He did not rail
against the decrees of Providence that had left him alone in the world,
but his resignation now was a fatalistic hopelessness; for this blow
had finally convinced him that the Most High had doomed him to
affliction, and his people to suffering untold, solely for his sins.
There was no way out of it, even by prayer; and Philip for a time gave
up trying to be good.

Don Luis de Haro already did most of the work of the State, and Philip
grew still more idle after the death of his son, one of the results of
his indolence being a weakening of the struggle he had fought for four
years against the temptations of the flesh.  Sor Maria from her convent
took him to task somewhat seriously for his remissness, and for the
first time Philip defended himself with some spirit[23] with regard to
his dependence upon others.  He was anxious to do right, he assured
her; but his great predecessors and all other monarchs had been obliged
to employ ministers, and he did not think he could be doing wrong in
following their example.  One man cannot, he says, look into the
execution of all his commands, and must trust to others; "for it does
not accord with the dignity of a monarch to go from one office to the
other to see personally that his decrees are being properly {402}
carried out."  When he first came to the throne, he reminds the nun, he
was only sixteen, and, quite naturally in his inexperience, depended
upon a man of more knowledge than himself.  Where he had erred was in
keeping that minister supreme too long.  Since he dismissed Olivares he
had tried to avoid having a favourite; and the minister who people now
say does everything was brought up with him as a boy, and has always
been irreproachable; but even so, he (Philip) had always refused to
give him the post of sole minister, and he only does what the King
cannot do, namely, look after the raising of funds, and hear the
opinions of people with whom the King cannot discourse.  "I, Sor
Maria," he wrote, "do not shirk any labour, for, as anyone can tell
you, I am here seated in this chair continually with my papers before
me and my pen in my hand, dealing with all the reports that are sent to
me here, and with the despatches from abroad; resolving points in
question immediately, and trying to adopt the most proper decision in
each case."

The nun even took upon herself, as the winter wore on, to tell the King
that it was high time to arrange the new campaign, and follow up the
brilliant defence of Lerida which had ended in the defeat of the French
under Condé himself.  The Aragonese thought so too, for the troops
there refused to move for a time unless Philip would come to Saragossa,
as in previous years, to direct the campaign personally.

[Sidenote: Philip betrothed again]

The nun could hardly speak very clearly in reprehension of the King's
moral backsliding, although her hints even in this respect are pretty
{403} broad.  But his confessor and the other friars around him did not
hesitate to do so; and people other than friars were saying that with
no heir to the crown the King must marry again.  So long as Baltasar
Carlos lived, Philip had gently put aside these suggestions by saying
that his hopes were centred in his son; but when after his heir's death
his excesses in the intervals of his poignant contrition shocked the
devotees of his Court, and they added their censure to the pressure of
the laymen for another Queen-Consort, Philip consented, though without
enthusiasm, to marry again.  He was only forty-two, but anxiety and
dissipation had aged him, and he was approaching the years when most of
his ancestors had developed the peculiar strain of mystic devotion that
borders upon madness, but his people clamoured for a male heir, for the
Infanta Maria Teresa was only eight, and Don Juan of Austria, popular
as he was, was impossible as King.  In the letter which Philip wrote to
the nun, on the 9th January 1647, he says: "I have received a letter
from the Emperor condoling with me for the loss of my son, and at the
same time offering my niece to be my wife.  As this agrees with my own
feelings, I think I may decide to accept this marriage, which is
doubtless the most fitting one for me; so I hope that our Lord will
help this with His powerful hand, so that the business may tend to His
service, and to that of my own country"; and a few weeks afterwards he
conveyed to her the intelligence that the match has been arranged.

Mariana was as yet a child, and the daughter of Philip's sister Maria.
That such a companion {404} can have been really congenial to him it is
difficult to believe, but his subjects needed an heir.  The unhappy
tradition that imposed upon Spain the belief in its duty to dictate
orthodoxy to the world was not yet dead, and the solidarity of the
house of Austria was a first condition for its success.  Spain had
already paid dearly for such Austrian help as she had obtained, and the
price now given for the further union was a high one indeed; for by
this dire incestuous union of Philip and his niece the consummation of
his country's ruin and the extinction of his dynasty was wrought.  What
for the time being was worst of all was, that the support of Austria in
the wars that were finally to exhaust Spain was withdrawn even before
the marriage took place.

[Sidenote: The treaty of Münster]

For three years the representatives of the Powers of Europe, invited by
the Emperor, had been laboriously discussing terms for a general
pacification at Osnabrück and Münster.  Philip wrote to the nun that
the French demands were so insolent that it was clear that they did not
want peace;[24] but the Hollanders were more inclined to an
accommodation, for they had grown suspicious of the ultimate designs of
Mazarin.  After interminable intrigues and self-seeking, however, an
arrangement was arrived at which practically ended the Thirty Years
War; and Spain, beaten to her knees, still burdened with war in
Catalonia, on the Portuguese border, and in Flanders, with her kingdom
of Naples in full revolt, was obliged to accept, at last, what the
world had seen to be inevitable for many {405} years past, the
recognition of Protestant Holland as an independent Power.  For nearly
a hundred years the war with her Protestant former dependency had
dragged Spain down, and made her an easy prey to the French, and at
last from the sheer impotence of Spain to struggle longer the Treaty of
Münster (October 1648) was signed by her, which made Holland free and
gave Alsace to France.  The central European Powers were satisfied, the
religious compromise was ratified, there was nothing more for the
Emperor to fight for, and he retired from the war with France, leaving
Philip to fight her enemy alone.  The long dream of Spain's supremacy
over an orthodox Catholic Europe was indeed dissipated at last; she had
now to fight for the integrity of her own soil and her continued
existence as a great nation, and in this hard strait the empire
deserted her.

All through the year 1647, Philip remained in Madrid, whilst the wars
in Flanders and Catalonia, as well as on the Portuguese frontier,
dragged on with various fortunes, but on the whole not disastrously for
Spain.  The great revolt of Massaniello in Naples for a time threatened
Philip with the loss of the kingdom; when the happy thought came to him
of sending his brilliant young son, Don Juan, thither as his
Commander-in-chief.  He arrived at a time when Guise, the French
pretender to the Neapolitan crown, had disgusted the fickle populace
which had formerly acclaimed him, and by a fortunate _coup de main_ Don
Juan recaptured the city for his father in February 1648, to the joy of
most of the inhabitants, who were tired of the anarchy which had lasted
for a year.  The exploit {406} raised the popularity of the young
Prince almost as high as that of his famous namesake after Lepanto, and
the rejoicings in Madrid to celebrate the victory made the capital for
a time seem its old self again.

But though the lieges might still enjoy their brilliant shows as of
yore, Philip himself had become introspective and gloomy; and he
attended the bull-fights and parades with sad, weary face.  He wrote
weekly to the nun deploring his frailty, and beseeching her
intercession; but it is clear that he had thrown over most of his good
resolutions, for Don Luis de Haro was as necessary to him as Olivares
had been; and the fragile beauties of the capital found in him again as
ardent an admirer as ever.[25]  The departure of the bride who was to
rescue him from his evil life was long delayed for want of money, both
on the part of her father the Emperor, and of Philip;[26] and,
notwithstanding the King's saintly contrition after his faults, the
talk of his loose and idle life began to make him personally unpopular
with many, who thought that his place was with his army in Catalonia
rather than in the Retiro sunk in slothful pleasures.[27]


[Sidenote: An execution]

In September, a great Aragonese noble of turbulent antecedents, the
Duke of Hijar, with three other nobles of rank, were suddenly seized
and committed to prison in Madrid.  The accusation against them was
that they had plotted against the crown: some said in favour of the
King of Portugal, others in favour of France; but the King specially
assured the nun that there had not been discovered any design against
his life.  The Duke, as soon as he was arrested, endeavoured to
implicate Sor Maria in the plot, and produced a letter from her to him.
In a note in her own hand on the King's account written to her of the
execution of the prisoners in December, she explains the matter.
Hijar, it appears, had written to her hinting at some plan against the
Government being in contemplation, and asking her advice.  She had
replied deploring such wickedness, and had referred him to the King.
The nun says that many had been the attempts to bring her into trouble
about it; but that in all his letters to her referring {408} to the
plot the King had never even mentioned her connection with the matter,
which showed that he, at least, did not believe that she was culpably
concerned.  The King, indeed, in his letters rather makes light of the
affair, as being "the most foolish conspiracy ever conceived," and he
evidently did not think that the Duke of Hijar was the prime mover in
the affair; as repeated torture having failed to wring any
incriminatory admissions from the Duke, the judges sentenced him to
perpetual imprisonment only, though we are told that the torture had
made him a cripple for life, both hand and foot.  One of the other
conspirators died of a fit in the prison soon after the death sentence
was passed, his fate, as Philip wrote to the nun, being worst of all,
since he had died unabsolved.

[Sidenote: The "Hijar conspirators"]

The public execution in the Plaza Mayor of the two principal
conspirators, both nobles, Don Pedro de Silva, Marquis de la Vega de
Sagra, and Don Carlos de Padilla, moved excitement-loving Madrid
profoundly, and several eye-witnesses of the scene have left their
impressions of it.  From one unpublished account in the British
Museum[28] the following description is condensed as an example of a
Spanish execution, of the first importance at the time.

Shortly before noon, on Saturday, the 5th December 1648, the massive
doors of the Carcel de la Corte, opposite the Plaza de Santa Cruz, near
the Atocha entrance of the Plaza Mayor,[29] opened for {409} a sombre
procession to issue therefrom.  First came seventy alguacils of the
Court; then followed, amidst tapers and swinging censers, two famous
figures of Christ from the parish church of Santa Cruz opposite, with
the attendant clergy.  Then came a saddle mule covered to the ground
with housings of black baize, and led by an executioner.  Upon the mule
sat Don Carlos de Padilla, who only on the previous day had been
divested of his honourable habit of a Knight of Santiago.  Now, as he
rode disconsolate, a crucifix in his hand and closely surrounded by
many Jesuit fathers, he wore a long gown of black baize, with a cap of
the same, and a steel chain dangled from his right foot.  It was
noticed, too, that instead of the almost universal golilla he wore a
white starched Walloon collar unblued.

After him came on another draped mule the Marquis, Don Pedro, similarly
garbed; but, instead of the collar, wearing the tippet of a Fellow of
the College, of Cuenca at Salamanca.  Following the condemned men came
crowds of alguacils, notaries, and officers of justice; and as the
procession swept along dismally, heralded by tolling bells and the
dreary call of the criers for the people to pray for the souls of the
departing, vast crowds stood at every coign of vantage, and were held
back at the end of each side street by guards and alguacils.  The
procession did not enter the Plaza by the nearest gate, that of the
Atocha, but debouched into the {410} Calle Mayor, in order to enter the
Plaza by a principal, Guadalajara, portal.  It was noticed that as Don
Carlos Padilla reached the entrance by the Guadalajara gate his face
lit up radiantly, and the word passed along the awestruck crowd that a
heavenly vision had brought comfort to him, now that all earthly
comfort had fled.

The Plaza Mayor itself had been cleared of all its fruit stalls, as if
for a bull-fight; and in the centre (where now stands the statue of
Philip III.) was erected a scaffold, upon which were two uncovered
chairs side by side.  Don Carlos de Padilla ascended first the fatal
stair, and, taking his seat upon the left-hand chair with much
serenity, slowly arranged his long gown decorously, whilst the swarm of
priests and friars around him continued their sacred ministrations.
The doomed noble's hands and feet were firmly bound to the chair, and a
strip of black baize blinded his eyes.  Then the executioner, stepping
forward, with a large butcher's knife slashed the throat across again
and again.  It was remarked that Don Carlos, being a robust man, shed
an immense quantity of blood.  Then going behind him, the executioner
with several heavy blows on the nape of the neck severed the head
entirely, and the deed was finished.

Then came the turn of the Marquis, Don Pedro de Silva, to mount; and as
he reached the top his eyes perforce rested upon the dead body of his
comrade, still bound to the chair.  "Blessed be the name of the Lord,"
he exclaimed in horror at the ghastly sight, as he took his seat on the
adjoining chair.  The strip of baize that had bound the {411} eyes of
Don Carlos was too much soaked with blood to be used for the second
time, and another had to be brought; Don Pedro devoutly repeating the
Creed in the meanwhile.  It was noticed that Don Pedro, being a dry,
shrunken little man, shed but little blood; and when his head at last
was severed from the back, as that of Don Carlos had been, the King's
justice was satisfied.  The bodies remained in the chairs all that day;
but at one o'clock in the morning the executioner and the widows
shrouded the bodies by the light of two candle-ends, and enclosed them
in rough coffins, in which they were carried in procession, with the
parish cross and eight wax tapers before them, across the Calle Mayor
to the churchyard of St. Gines for burial.  The two Christs of Santa
Cruz went with them too, though the clergy were not allowed to
accompany them; for they had claimed the right of burying the bodies in
their own church, which is the parish in which the prison is situated,
and the King had ordered the sepulchre at St. Gines.

The King had taken no part in the trial of the prisoners, and had
strictly enjoined the five judges specially appointed to investigate
the case to be absolutely impartial, though the nun herself had almost
violently urged that no mercy should be shown against men who aimed at
overturning the Government.  The real object of the conspiracy appears
to have been the overthrow of Don Luis de Haro, and the adoption of a
conciliatory policy which would end the warfare in Catalonia and
Portugal, even at the cost of a sacrifice of pride and territory to

Already, when the impressive sight just described {412} was passing in
Madrid, the new girl Queen-Consort was slowly, very slowly, making her
way from city to city of her father's dominions, Tyrol, Hungary, and
Italy, on her way to the expectant arms of her elderly avuncular
bridegroom.  Festivities and celebrations greeted her in every town she
entered, and everywhere the inexperienced girl enjoyed her new
importance without restraint.  At Trent, Philip's representatives met
her, and thenceforward she travelled as Queen of Spain, staying on her
way for many weeks at each place.[30]  The reasons for so long a delay
were several.  First, money was scarce for the conveyance of the
tremendous company of 160 Spanish nobles with their households who
accompanied the Queen; secondly, the plague was raging throughout
eastern Spain, where she had to land; and thirdly, she herself was as
yet quite immature, being barely fifteen.

During all this long delay, which lasted until the late autumn of 1649,
Philip continued to write to the nun, deploring his inability to
overcome the frailty of the flesh, and fervently invoking her aid in
prayer to make him as perfect as he wished to be.  Though the world
knew it not at the time, it is quite certain from these letters that
the ecstatic religious mysticism that had taken possession of his
father, grandfather, and great-grandfather at a similar age, had at
this time firmly captured Philip IV.  But he, unlike them, still
retained his pleasure-seeking instincts, and with him it was a {413}
never-ending battle between the spirit and the flesh which prevented
him subsequently from sinking into the monkish seclusion of his

[Sidenote: Queen Mariana]

At length, whilst Philip was in Madrid in September, a messenger,
bringing for him a beautiful jewel from his bride, came to announce her
landing on Spanish soil at Denia;[31] and the King at once wrote in
delight to the nun, to tell her the news and ask her blessing, to which
the good woman replied by urging him to begin a new life on his
marriage.  Mariana had been received at Denia by all the nobles of
Valencia, where the Sandoval interest was strong, and jealousy
surrounded her from the first hour; the Duke of Najera and Maqueda, who
had conducted her from Italy, being dismissed in disgrace as soon as he
landed for some lack of respect reported of him.

Mariana troubled her head little about such things.  She was a
red-cheeked, full-blooded lass, with bright black eyes, and an
insatiable ambition to enjoy and make the most of life.  Selfish and
hard-hearted she proved herself to be later, but now in her florid
spring she seemed a gay, happy girl, whose high spirits nothing could
damp, even the prospect of matrimonial life with a worn-out,
disillusioned voluptuary in chronic anxiety about his soul.  As she
slowly moved onward through Valencia and Castile, she was entertained
everywhere with feastings and shows which delighted her.  At one place,
after dinner, some of the King's {414} dwarfs and buffoons were
introduced to amuse her, at whose antics she screamed with laughter.
The stately Countess of Medillin, a Sandoval, her Mistress of the
Robes, shocked at such a breach of etiquette, reminded her that
sovereigns of Spain never laughed in public.  But Mariana snapped her
fingers at such stiffness, and avowed that she should laugh as often as
she saw anything to laugh at; and when the same great lady informed her
that it was a violation of all the Court traditions for her to walk,
she obtained a similar answer.

As she approached Madrid, Philip, with his young daughter, Maria
Teresa, moved to the Escorial, to be within easy riding distance of the
village of Navalcarnero, where the royal wedding was to be
celebrated.[32]  Every few days, letters, gifts, and loving messages
had passed between Philip and his bride since her arrival on Spanish
soil, and he evidently desired to act his part of the anxious lover
irreproachably.  When, therefore, he learnt that the Queen was to
arrive at Navalcarnero, on the 6th October, he complied with the
traditional usage of the Spanish Court, and set forth on horseback, and
in perfectly transparent disguise, to look upon his new wife incognito
and without formality for the first time.  That he did so to his
satisfaction is on record in his subsequent letters to the nun, for
Mariana was a buxom lass, and as she sat gaily smiling at the comedy
with which she was being entertained before her evening meal, she
doubtless looked an attractive bride.  The King {415} retired that
night to a little neighbouring hamlet called Brunete; and betimes in
the morning, with a brave array of courtiers, he rode up to the humble
house in which Mariana was temporarily lodged, whilst she stood smiling
and blushing beneath her plentiful rouge until he approached, when she
made as if to kneel; but he raised her without a word, and led her to
the adjoining chapel, where mass was celebrated before them, and the
marriage was performed by the Primate of Spain, Cardinal Moscoso
Sandoval, with all the state which Navalcarnero could contain.

After their dining in public at noon, there was a long series of
bull-fights and comedies to go through before the royal pair and their
Court in the great swaying coaches moved on the Escorial, where the
early days of the honeymoon were to be passed.  A league from the
palace they were met by the Infanta Maria Teresa, who at once became
the friend and play-fellow of her stepmother, only five years older
than herself, and thenceforward her inseparable companion.  The stern
old monastery palace of Philip II. tried its hardest to look gay for
the occasion, with its 11,000 wax lights and its array of fine
courtiers; but gaiety sits badly upon it.  Here in diversions,
especially in hunting, the time passed happily for three weeks before
the pair proceeded to the Pardo, nearer Madrid, whilst the capital was
busy putting on the festal garb it loved so much, and had missed for so

At length all was ready.  From the Retiro to the old palace, the entire
length of Madrid, a series of beautiful triumphal arches were erected,
spanning the road.  All the fountains, which were ordinarily {416}
unpretending enough, had been turned to account and made to appear
classic temples, whence the Olympian gods and goddesses dispensed
refreshing nectar to the world.  The shabby house-fronts were masked by
erections of imitation marble, or hung with splendid tapestries and
armorial shields; in fact, Madrid once more, almost ruined though she
was, managed somehow to raise money enough to make herself handsome
again for a space.  Mariana, with her white teeth, rosy painted cheeks,
so full and round, and her frank, unabashed gaiety, captured the hearts
of the Madrileños at once, as she, rode on her splendidly caparisoned
milk-white palfrey, from the Buen Retiro by the Carrera de San
Geronimo, across the Puerta del Sol, and up the Calle Mayor to the
palace.  They did not know yet, as they learned later, that she was
greedy and hard, caring nothing for Spain except for what it could give

[Sidenote: Philip's second marriage]

Philip was too much immersed in the delights of his honeymoon to write
to the nun for several {417} weeks after his marriage; but when he did
write, on the 17th November, he testified to his full satisfaction with
his new wife.  "I confess to you that I do not know how I can thank our
Lord for the favour he has shown me in giving me such a companion; for
all the qualities I have seen up to the present in my niece are great,
and I am extremely content, and desirous not to be ungrateful to Him
who has granted me so singular a boon: showing my gratitude by changing
my life and executing His will in all things."  The nun in her reply
places much stress upon the need of the country for an heir to the
crown, and urges the King to be faithful to his wife, if only for that
end; "trying to fix your whole attention and goodwill upon the Queen,
without turning your eyes to other objects strange and curious."
Philip had no great difficulty at the time in following his friend's
advice; for he really was smitten with the fresh charms of his
fifteen-year-old niece-wife.  He was full of good resolves and saintly
protestations; he would never go astray again, for he was as anxious
for a son as his people were, though he confided to the nun that he was
in doubt whether his wife was as yet mature enough to bear children,
"although others of her age, which is fifteen years, are so.  But it is
easy for our Lord to remedy this, and I hope in His mercy that He will
do so."[34]

portrait by Velazquez at the Prado Museum_]

In the meanwhile, Mariana, the depository of all these hopes, was
diverting herself as best she could, in girlish romps with Maria
Teresa, and in the constant shows, comedies, and masques which were
offered for her pleasure.  Once more the {418} Buen Retiro rang with
mirth and blazed with lights.  The playhouses of the capital again were
allowed to open their doors; and the Madrileños did their best to
evade, bit by bit, the sumptuary enactments that had kept them in sober
garb and outward gravity of demeanour for seven years of war and
trouble.  Neither the war nor the trouble was yet over, for the plague
came almost to the doors of Madrid, and scourged whole provinces;
whilst the war with the French still went on in Catalonia and Flanders,
and Portugal continued to defy successfully the arms of Philip.  But,
withal, the drain upon Castile, bad as it still was, became somewhat
less pressing; for Mazarin had his hands full in France with the revolt
of the Fronde, which, of course, Spain helped to the extent of her
possibilities; and the Catalans were far less enamoured with their
French masters than they were at first.  Don Juan, the King's son,
moreover, who was now in command in Catalonia, was doing well, and
winning popularity on all sides, whilst the recognition of Dutch
independence by Philip had freed his Indies fleets from their greatest

The novelty of the King's honeymoon soon wore off, and in his letters
to the nun he refers to his wife thenceforward kindly and with
solicitude, but as it seems somewhat wearily, and usually in connection
with her many more or less disappointed hopes of maternity, or to her
love for shows and festivities; which it is quite evident from his tone
now palled upon him.  Pleasure and the joy of living absorbed most of
Mariana's attention, and, immersed as the King was in business {419}
and devotion, he could have little in common with his young wife.  His
own habits were absolutely fixed, and an observer at his Court at the
time says that it was possible to foretell a year beforehand exactly
what the King would do on a given day and hour.[35]  His demeanour in
public was like that of a statue, and when he received ambassadors or
ministers it was noticed that no muscle of his face moved but his lips,
and he rarely showing any emotion, even by a smile.  Already the
haughty disillusionment, represented by Velazquez so finely in the
later portraits, had been fixed indelibly upon his features, and his
eyes had grown blear with remorseful tears.

In 1651 a daughter was born to Philip and Mariana, and christened with
the usual extravagant pomp Margaret Maria,[36] but, though oft
expected, the longed-for son came not.  Mariana felt her husband
growing colder, and guessed his infidelity.  Then she fell homesick and
disappointed, and Philip became anxious.  A splendid series of
festivities were arranged at the Buen Retiro to solace and enliven her,
an ingenious Florentine being requisitioned to invent novelties to
attract her attention.  But it was all dust and ashes to Philip now.
He speaks in his secret letters always gently of his young wife,
sometimes even almost with enthusiasm of her goodness; but it is plain
to {420} see that there was little sympathy between them,[37] for his
terrible remorse at his moral fragility and evil life, and his grief at
the troubles he firmly believed he was bringing upon his people by his
own backsliding, show that the struggle between the spirit and the
flesh had begun again as severely as ever, and that Mariana was
powerless to keep him entirely faithful to her.  She, on her side, had
soon learnt the lesson of the Court.  Her face grew cold and haughty,
and her ostentatious German sympathies and repellent Austrian manner
cooled the warm-blooded spontaneous Spaniards towards her.  Thus, with
all stately dignity, decorum, and solemnity in outward seeming, the
ill-matched pair lived: passing from Madrid to Aranjuez and the
Escorial at stated seasons, wearily going through the dull, depressing
tale of prearranged devotions and duties; the Queen seeking such
distraction as was possible in comedies and the like, the King spending
much time at his desk, reading the never-ending reports of his Councils
brought to him by Don Luis de Haro, and scribbling in his big
straggling hand on the margins "_Como parece_," or some similar
sentence signifying his acquiescence in the conclusions arrived at by
his advisers.

[Sidenote: Philip's changed life]

And behind this dreary changeless round there was, unknown to all but
one lonely cloistered woman, a human soul in mortal pain for
transgressions real and imaginary, which it was unable to avoid, and
yet was convinced were dragging the {421} man it animated and millions
of the people that he loved and pitied to suffering and sorrow.
Philip's constant correspondence with the nun had changed him much; for
it is evident, whatever may have been his shortcomings, that her
exhortations to him to be brave, dutiful, and faithful, and her wise
insistence upon unceasing work and prayer, had made the King watchful
of his own weakness, and kept him from sinking into indifference.  It
is highly probable, indeed, that in his constant self-reproach his
failings at this time were exaggerated by him, as those of his father
had been on his deathbed.  Certainly, from this time forward he tried
his best, according to his lights and strength, to live worthily, and
to rescue his country from the trouble into which the policy of his
ancestors and himself had dragged it; though still there was no
glimmering of true statesmanship such as was needed in circumstances so
difficult.  Philip's spirit was a poor one; and his faith,
notwithstanding his devotion, was far from robust.  He continued to
look upon himself and his country as doomed irrevocably by the Almighty
to suffer for his personal sins and those of his generation, and the
only remedy presented to his mind was to plead fervently for mercy
through a saintly soul untouched by the sins of the time.  Of the
efficiency even of this resource he needed constant reassurance, and
for ever foresaw disaster whilst he was frantically praying for triumph.

Lacking in statesmanship as were Philip and all his advisers, it would
nevertheless be unjust to attribute to their ineptitude alone the
troubles that overwhelmed Spain.  It has been pointed out {422} that
Philip inherited both his policy and his methods; and so fixed were
they upon the tradition of Charles V. and Philip II., that nothing
short of a real genius or a sudden great catastrophe could have altered
them.  But Philip was specially unfortunate in the international
circumstances of his time.  The deadly rivalry between the house of
Austria and the house of France had existed since the earliest years of
the sixteenth century; and wars between them had been frequent since
that period.  But England had always provided a check to prevent such
wars being fought to the bitter end.  It had been a fixed canon of
English foreign policy that the Flemish dominions of the house of
Burgundy, that had descended to the Spanish Kings, must never be
allowed to fall into the hands of France, and when such a danger
threatened, England invariably interfered in favour of Spain; whilst
any aggressive action of France against England, either in Scotland or
elsewhere, usually brought Spain to the side of the English sovereigns.
But the revolutionary war which had overthrown the monarchy of the
Stuarts had for years doomed England to impotence in the struggles of
Europe; and Richelieu and his successor Mazarin had been able to
disregard an influence which had always previously stepped in to
prevent the final humiliation of Spain.  Without this immunity from
England's interference, France would never have been free to foment
rebellion in Catalonia and Portugal; and it may be said that Philip to
a great extent owed the extremity of his tribulation to the internal
disturbance in England.

[Sidenote: Philip and England]

It will be recollected that after the diplomacy {423} of Olivares had
secured the neutrality of England in the war with France, Sir Arthur
Hopton remained in Madrid as English ambassador, having little to do
but to press the constant complaints of English shipmasters against the
authorities of Spanish ports, and other maritime questions.  But in the
late summer of 1641, Olivares had sent to Hopton, and in a long
interview with him had complained that Charles I. had received an
ambassador from the Duke of Braganza, the usurping King of Portugal.
Hopton says[38] that the Count-Duke spoke modestly and without much
bitterness in the matter, and the English envoy at once pointed out
that Charles did not presume to judge of the Duke of Braganza's right
to the crown, but that as English interests in Portugal were very
large, it was needful that he should negotiate with the power wielding
effective control in the country.  Sir Arthur, moreover, slyly pointed
out that words only had passed between his King and the Portuguese
envoy, whereas it was with much more than words that the King of Spain
had aided Bavaria to keep the Palatinate.  Indeed, with the exception
of constantly harping on the Palatinate in his discussions with Philip
and his ministers, and complaining of the action of the Spanish
ambassador in London, Don Alonso de Cardenas, against Charles I., Sir
Arthur Hopton confined himself practically to the negotiation of
shipping claims,[39] until affairs in England and his lack of money
necessitated his return home in 1644.


When at last the axe fell in Whitehall, on the 30th January 1649, upon
the neck of the Stuart King, Don Alonso de Cardenas, who was accredited
to Charles and not yet to the Parliament, was without definite
instructions how to proceed, and for that or some other reason he did
not identify himself with the Dutch ambassadors in their protest
against the death sentence pronounced upon the King.  This may have
been an accident; but it is certain that there was little love lost
between Charles I. and Philip since the visit of the former to Madrid,
and his French marriage.  It is true that large numbers of Irish and
English troops had been raised for the Spanish service with his consent
even during the course of the civil war, but his sympathy with
Braganza, and the ostentatiously French leanings of Henrietta Maria,
had, as Charles's troubles increased, estranged Philip from him
personally.  It was, moreover, of the highest importance to Philip
that, whoever had command of the English fleet and the Channel, should
be friendly with him.

[Sidenote: Spain and the Commonwealth]

It was a serious thing, nevertheless, for Philip, the soul of
legitimacy, to have dealings with rebels and regicides; and when
Cardenas conveyed to Secretary Geronimo de la Torre in Madrid the news
of the tragedy of Whitehall, Philip and his Councils discussed as usual
interminably the best course to be pursued.

"Truly," wrote Cardenas, three days after Charles's execution, "I am as
grieved as so dreadful a tragedy as that which has befallen this
unhappy Prince demands.  The events both in this country {425} and
abroad have contributed to it, and especially the turmoils in
France....  You will now see that what I wrote to you on the 20th
August was a true forecast, and indeed I wrote it from certain
knowledge I possessed of the designs of these people; namely, that they
would try to do without a King, and if they could not succeed in that
they would choose the Duke of Gloucester....  We are here in utter
chaos, living without religion, King, or law, subject entirely to the
power of the sword, and this faction is bearing itself as the conqueror
of the realm, wherefrom many novelties will spring."[40]

The next letter from Cardenas, on the 19th March (N.S.), warned the
Spanish Government that the English were in negotiation with the
French, and that unless prompt steps were taken the danger to Spain
would be great.  This intelligence set Philip's Councils considering
again; for unpleasant as it would be to make friends with these
"heretic" regicides, their threatened alliance with France in the war
would have meant certain ruin for Spain.  As usual, the Councils
deliberated frequently and at length, and, equally as usual, followed
their tradition of avoiding as long as possible decisive action of any
sort.  An agent of the Parliament came to Cardenas in April 1649 to say
that the English Government was desirous of continuing in friendly
relations with Spain, and desired to know if King Philip would receive
an ambassador from them.  This was disconcerting; but the embarrassment
was increased by {426} a letter which Sir Francis Cottington wrote to
Cardenas from the Hague, saying that the Prince of Wales (Charles II.)
had instructed him to go to Madrid as his ambassador, and to ask
assistance in his attempts to regain the crown of England.  The Council
was determined, if possible, to prevent Cottington from coming until
the attitude of the French towards Charles was known, but they were
very doubtful, on the other hand, about receiving a republican envoy,
and accrediting the Spanish ambassador to the Parliament, and thus
putting Philip in the unenviable position of offending Charles II. and
the legitimist elements in Europe.

The result of many weeks of deliberation in Madrid was that which might
have been confidently foretold from the first, namely, to cast upon
someone else the responsibility of deciding.  Philip accordingly wrote
to the Archduke Leopold, his Governor of Flanders, asking him, in the
first place, to stop Cottington by any pretext until he discovered what
his instructions and object were, or to prevent his going to Madrid at
all if possible without offending him.  Cottington was to be assured
secretly of Philip's sympathy with Charles, but to be told that the
best way for Charles to regain his father's crown was to bring about
peace between Spain and France.  The Archduke was instructed to rap
Cardenas sharply over the knuckles for saying so much to the agent of
the Parliament, and to instruct him to hold the English revolutionary
Government at arm's length for the present, "until at least it was
solidly established."[41]

In the meanwhile no formal declaration was {427} to be made on behalf
of Spain, either to Charles II. or to the Parliament; although, with
characteristic duplicity, the former was given the title of Majesty in
a letter antedated, so that the Parliament, if they learnt of it, might
think that it was written before the Stuarts had been excluded from the
succession.[42]  And, as if to counterbalance this, Cardenas was
unofficially to convey to the Parliament Philip's satisfaction at their
friendliness.  This non-committal attitude, of which Spanish statesmen
were always so fond, soon tired the downright English politicians of
the Parliament, and they began to show their teeth.  In July Cardenas
was informed that he would not be treated as an envoy unless he
produced new credentials addressed to the Parliamentary Government, and
he begged Philip either to recall him or to send new credentials.
Philip and his Councils were very loth to do either, intent, as usual,
upon running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.  At first it
was agreed by Philip's Council that the King should not recognise the
English Parliament until it was quite clear whether it or Charles II.
was likely to prevail in the end; whilst the Stuart Prince in Holland
was to be treated with full ceremony, but nothing else.  Other
Councillors consulted later thought that, as the Parliament was strong
and threatening, the Archduke Leopold in Flanders should be empowered
to give Cardenas temporary leave to go to Belgium on the pretext of
ill-health; but that if any grave occasion should arise another envoy
might be sent temporarily, _duly accredited to the Parliament of
England_; and {428} a small number of Councillors, whilst deploring the
necessity, were in favour of new credentials being sent to Cardenas at
once.  The matter was finally submitted to Philip himself, who decided
that the Archduke should act as he thought best.[43]  Being in closer
touch with the realities and dangers of the situation in Flanders than
were Philip and his Councillors, the Archduke promptly sent credentials
to Cardenas addressed to the Parliamentary Government of England; and
thus it happened that the ultra-Catholic King of Spain was the first
sovereign in Europe formally to recognise the Puritan revolution in
England, and the Stuarts had to pay thus for the reception of an envoy
of the Braganza King of Portugal by Charles I. years before.

The chain of grievances between the Stuarts and Philip was unbroken.
The rebuff in Madrid in 1623, the insincere juggling of the Spaniards
about the Palatinate, the marriage of Charles I. to a French Princess,
and the recognition of the Portuguese pretender led now, in 1649, to
the strange and paradoxical position in which Philip, whose Dominican
baptism was described in the first pages of this book, and who ever
since had been the champion of Catholic orthodoxy, made friends with
the stern Ironsides and Puritans of the Long Parliament.[44]  It was
important also for Cromwell so to deal with the continental Powers as
to prevent them from extending to Charles the aid he was so
industriously {429} soliciting for the re-establishment of his family
on the throne of England; and if France and Spain, from which Cromwell
had most to fear, could be conciliated, the main danger from without
which threatened the English republic would be avoided.

It was therefore natural that the Parliamentary Government should be
desirous of establishing as early as possible full diplomatic relations
with Spain.  The question was on several occasions pressed upon
Cardenas in London; but it went against the grain for so proud a
sovereign as Philip to receive an ambassador from a Government whose
very existence was a negation of the principle of Spanish sovereignty.
He dared not, however, drive England into the arms of France against
him, and after the usual protracted deliberation the Spanish Council of
State reported upon the letter from Cardenas in these words: "It was a
matter of the gravest importance to pass over so serious an excess as
that which the English had committed in publicly beheading their King
and born ruler; and it would be very worthy of great monarchs to
contribute to the punishment of those who were guilty of such an
atrocious crime."[45]  But, nevertheless, whilst they recognised this,
they saw the difficulties in the way of Philip's doing so.  Again they
took shelter behind the former reception of the Portuguese envoy by
Charles I., and decided that as yet no other Power had recognised
Charles II. there was no reason why they should take the lead in doing
so, especially as Prince Rupert's fleet was still finding welcome in
Portuguese ports with his prizes.  After much preamble of this {430}
sort, Philip's Council made a clean breast of it to each other: the
Parliament of England, with its fleet, was too strong for Spain to
offend, and, distasteful as it might be, the ambassador from the
English Parliament must be allowed to reside in Madrid.  Cardenas had
recommended that a bargain should be made, and that Cromwell, in return
for the reception of his envoy in Spain, should refuse to receive a
Portuguese envoy in England; but Philip was afraid of drawing the cord
too tight, and gave orders that the Puritan ambassador should be placed
upon the same footing as the other ministers from foreign Powers
resident in his Court.

[Sidenote: A Republican envoy]

The man chosen for the post was one Anthony Ascham.  He must have been
in an advanced stage of consumption; for, when he was first appointed
in October 1649, he was doubtful if he could go, and wrote to Lord
President Bradshaw, saying that the haemorrhage of the lungs from which
he suffered was so bad that he must go to his father's house at Boston
to recover before he could set out.[46]  However, although still in
wretched health, he safely arrived at Cadiz, though not without an
attack on the voyage from a French man-of-war, on the 17/27 March 1650.
The great Andalucian magnate, Duke of Medina Celi, received him with
all honour, and took him across to Port St. Mary to lodge at his
palace.  Ascham wished to go to St. Lucar, as being a quieter place,
and better fitted for an invalid; but, to his surprise and indignation,
he learnt from the Duke that he was not to be allowed to leave Port St.
Mary until instructions came from Madrid.  The Duke, indeed, {431}
expressed haughty astonishment that the Parliament should have presumed
to send an envoy at all until they learnt King Philip's pleasure in the
matter.  Philip knew all about his coming months before, Ascham
replied; and whatever orders came from Madrid to the Duke, he, Ascham,
would only acknowledge a direct reply to the letter of the Parliament
to King Philip.

It was clear that, although fear forced the Government in Madrid to
receive the envoy, they were determined to snub him as much as
possible, and during the time Ascham was detained at Port St. Mary, not
unwillingly, for he was still very ill, it was decided that although he
might be sent to Madrid with an escort to ensure his safety, when he
arrived there he was to be kept waiting on various pretexts as long as
possible before even being received by Don Luis de Haro, who was to
avoid all negotiations or agreements when he did see him, until he knew
the tenour of his instructions and his object in coming to Spain;[47]
the intention of Philip and his Councillors evidently being to
compromise themselves as little as possible until it was proved which
party in England would ultimately triumph.  Ascham was kept in Port St.
Mary's until almost the middle of May, though treated with ostentatious
respect; and at last, with an escort of six Spanish officers, headed by
a colonel, slowly moved on through the burning Andalucian summer to

He had naturally expected to be taken, as was usual, to some good
private house retained by the King for his accommodation; but, much to
his {432} surprise, the colonel who was the chief of his escort led him
on the day of his arrival, Sunday, 5th June, to a poor inn kept by a
widow named Pandes in the Calle del Caballero de Gracia.  Ascham, who
was accompanied by a secretary named Fischer, an Italian interpreter,
and an English servant, remonstrated against being thus exposed to the
discomfort and danger of lodging in an open posada without locks or
bolts upon the doors.  The colonel was very haughty and off-handed
about it, doubtless prompted by his superiors, and told the envoy that
his duty was ended in bringing him safely to Madrid; but that he would
return in the morning.  Ascham, in high dudgeon, remained at the inn
that night, and early in the morning sent for an Englishman named
Marston resident in Madrid, who came at once, accompanied by another
Englishman who was with him at the time, one Laurence Chambers.[48]  To
them Ascham, in alarm, stated the case.  Here he was, he said, without
even a lock on his door, in a Catholic country swarming with enemies of
his Government and his religion; with Sir Francis Cottington posing at
the Spanish Court as the representative of Charles Stuart; and yet the
colonel, who had just visited him, had told him that he must look after
his own safety, for he had done with him.

[Sidenote: Murder of Ascham]

Ascham had that morning sent his interpreter to see Secretary Geronimo
de la Torre, who had {433} expressed surprise at the colonel's action;
and had promised to place some of the King's own guard at Ascham's
disposal.  "But in the meanwhile," said Ascham, "here I am in hourly
danger of my life, for I cannot trust these people."  His own ignorance
of Spanish had prevented his understanding his escort's instructions,
and whether the safe-conduct sent to Medina Celi covered his stay in
Madrid and his return to the coast.  "If not," said poor Ascham, "I am
a dead man."  Marston and Chambers agreed as to his danger, and at once
set out to find him a fitting lodging in a safe house.

Whilst the Englishmen were house-hunting for the unfortunate ambassador
in the forenoon of the 6/16 June, another party of their countrymen
were drinking in a tavern within a few doors of the posada where Ascham
was lodged.  For years Catholic Irish and North and West countrymen
from England had been incorporated in the Spanish armies; and at the
final break up of the royalist forces in England many of Charles's late
soldiers enlisted under the same banner.  They were a turbulent,
swaggering lot, though good soldiers, and were wont to hang about the
Catholic Flemish cities and Madrid until new companies were formed in
which they could serve.  Five or six men of this sort it was who were
drinking in the tavern in the Calle del Caballero de Gracia.  There was
Major Halsey, a man from Lancashire; Captain Prodgers, a Welshman;
Captain Williams, his compatriot; Valentine Roche, an Irishman; and one
Sparkes, a merchant's book-keeper from Oxford, as well as a Scottish
trumpeter named Arnet.  The talk {434} turned upon the arrival in
Madrid on the previous evening of the Roundhead ambassador, sent by the
men who had murdered his Sacred Majesty King Charles.  It were a good
deed to kill such a crop-eared knave, said one of the swashbucklers;
for he had even written a scurvy book defending the regicides.  The
wine was heady and cheap; and as they talked thus and drank, the
project grew in favour, for were they not in Catholic Spain, where to
kill a heretic and a rebel, envoy or no envoy, was a godly deed that
all men praised?

In the meanwhile Marston and Chambers came back to the posada, which
was still without a guard, and informed Ascham that they had found an
excellent and secure lodging for him.  Mr. Fischer was asked to go with
them to see the house and settle the bargain; but dinner being on the
table in the room on the first floor occupied by Ascham, the latter
asked his countrymen to partake of the meal before going.  Marston
declined, and earnestly recommended the envoy to forego his dinner and
move to the new lodgings instantly, since the guard had not come, and
he had reason to feel apprehensive for the envoy's safety.  The Italian
interpreter, John Baptist Arribas, made light of the danger, and
persuaded Ascham to dine first and then to transfer his lodging,
whether the King's guard came or not.  With this Marston and Chambers,
accompanied by the secretary Fischer, went out, leaving Ascham and his
interpreter at dinner, attended by the English serving-man.

Presently a tramping upon the stairs was heard, and the Lancashire
soldier, Major Edward Halsey, entered the room, followed by Williams,
Sparkes, {435} and Arnet; whilst the others remained at the door and
the head of the stairs.  Halsey advanced as if to salute the envoy, and
the latter rose, but seeing the three others following Halsey he drew
back towards a side table upon which some loaded pistols were lying.
Before he could reach it Halsey seized him by the hair and cried out,
"Traitor!" whilst Williams thrust him through the arm with a dagger,
and another stabbed him in the temples.  The unhappy envoy fell at
once, and the murderers hacked him about the head and body as he lay;
whilst the Italian, in mortal fear, made as if to fly, crying out in
Spanish, "I am not the man!"  But as he ran towards the door he was
slashed across the stomach by Halsey and another of the ruffians, and
was just able to stagger into the bedroom beyond, where he fell dead.

Then the six assassins fled, as they had arranged to do, to the Church
of St. Andres, a door or two away in the same street, where before the
high altar they claimed sanctuary.  In a few minutes all the quarter
was in an uproar, from the Red de San Luis at the top of the street to
the Convent of St. Hermenegildo at the bottom.  Grave alcaldes carrying
white wands, and followed by alguacils, surrounded the posada, and on
entering the upper room they found Ascham and the Italian interpreter
lying dead, and the English serving-man uninjured, but almost beside
himself with terror.  The case was so scandalous that the alcalde
ordered the murderers to be taken from sanctuary, a most unusual thing,
which was looked upon askance by those who saw it.  But Philip had been
determined, since he had enjoyed the support of the nun, {436} to allow
no immunity to open assassination in the capital; and with shouts of
indignant protest five of the prisoners were led off to gaol.

[Sidenote: Spain and Cromwell]

Much interrogation there was of Mr. Fischer.  Why had they come to
Spain?  What was their religion? and finally, the poor secretary had
his money and papers seized, and was borne off to remain in strict
seclusion in the alcalde's house pending the orders of His Majesty.
Philip was intensely annoyed at the news of the crime, which rendered
his position with Cromwell's Government more difficult than ever.  He
found himself, to begin with, at issue with the ecclesiastical
authorities, who peremptorily demanded the restoration of the prisoners
to sanctuary; the murderers, moreover, openly boasted of their deed,
and competed with each other in claiming the leading part in it.  The
feeling in Madrid was, of course, strongly in favour of them; for was
it not a virtue to kill an unrepentant heretic and rebel regicide?
Every Madrileño who had enjoyed himself at an _auto-de-fé_ knew that it
was a saintly act and not murder which these men had done; and they in
their prison were the heroes of the hour.

Philip personally could hardly be expected to look upon it otherwise;
for in his eyes a King, however bad, was sacrosanct.  Yet how could he
let the murderers of a political envoy under his safe-conduct go free,
and thus arouse the ire of Cromwell, who with his Council now wielded
the power of England, and could ruin Spanish commerce as well as ensure
the victory of the French in the lingering war.  Again political
expediency won the day; for Philip refused to surrender the {437}
prisoners to the Church or to the Inquisition, and they remained in
prison until the affair blew over and circumstances changed; when all
but one of them, who had died, were quietly let out and disappeared.

In the meanwhile Fischer assumed the part of agent in Madrid for the
Parliament, and was treated by Haro with marked politeness and respect.
"Had Fischer any authority to negotiate an alliance?" asked Don Luis.
"No," replied Fischer.  "The Parliament is not so much perplexed at the
murder of their agent as at the tardance thereby of a firm league
between the two countries."  Haro said that the King was still just as
anxious to be friendly as the English were.  "Are not the French and
the Portuguese the enemies both of the Parliament and of King Philip?"
"Yes," replied Fischer; "but the Parliament will be very scrupulous
about sending another envoy until they know how Ascham's murderers are
to be punished."[49]  "Cottington," writes Fischer, "is still here, and
lives in good fashion, by his Catholic Majesty's charity; although I am
confident he can work little with him,--but he passeth better here than
he can elsewhere, so he thinks not of departure.  Had the Parliament
once capitulated with his Majesty (_i.e._ Philip) I suppose he would be
quickly cashiered."[50]

Fischer was not a man of sufficient standing to bring about an
international agreement; and by Cromwell's orders he returned to
England in {438} 1651, without having negotiated an alliance.  But
thenceforward Cromwell and Philip were polite and friendly to each
other to an extent that filled English royalists and Catholics with
indignant surprise.  A high noble, the Marquis de Lede, was sent from
Spanish Flanders to congratulate the Lord Protector upon the assumption
of his new dignity; and Cardenas had nothing but kind messages to give
from his master to the English Puritans.  Cromwell, however, wanted
something more solid than amiable messages.  He knew full well, as
indeed Fischer wrote, that fear, not love, made the Spanish King so
courteous.  Cromwell had, it is true, secured something when he
prevented Spain from helping the Stuarts, but he wanted also as
conditions of the proposed alliance with Spain that freedom should be
given to English ships to trade in the West Indies, that the power of
the Inquisition over Englishmen in Spain should be limited, that
reciprocal advantages in the matter of duties should be given to
English and Spanish trade, and that English merchants should be allowed
to buy wool in Spain.

[Sidenote: Cromwell seizes Jamaica]

The two first demands were flatly and haughtily refused by Cardenas in
Philip's name, and Cromwell looked around for a means of coercion, for
he was in no humour to take the traditional view of Spain's awesome
superiority.  He found it in Mazarin's difficulties in France, and his
urgent need to end the war quickly at any cost.  The aid of England on
the sea would make all the difference, and if he obtained it Spain must
bow the head and accept the terms he offered them.  So he bade higher
than Philip for Cromwell's friendship,--Dunkirk, {439} a Spanish
Flemish port to be jointly captured, being the bribe; and Blake, who
had long been co-operating with Philip to suppress Moorish piracy in
the Mediterranean, suddenly sailed with the Parliament fleet, and
without a declaration of war fell upon the Spanish silver fleet in the
Atlantic, whilst Penn and Venables attacked Mexico and St. Domingo
unsuccessfully, and without warning captured from the Spaniards the
rich island of Jamaica.

This was in May 1655; and the news fell upon Philip like an avalanche.
Panic spread through Seville and Cadiz, and curses loud and deep of the
falsity of heretics rang through Liars' Walk and the Calle Mayor.  For
all these years poor overburdened Spain had kept at bay half the world
in arms, but hitherto the diplomacy which had successfully kept England
neutral had saved her from being utterly overwhelmed.  Now, as hope was
dawning that her great antagonist was fainting from the domestic strife
which crippled Mazarin, and that terms honourable to Philip's pride and
respectful to the integrity of his territory could be attained, the new
and strong republican England had cast her glaive into the scale on the
side of France; and Spain, already exhausted, plague-ridden, and
bankrupt, was face to face with two great enemies instead of one.  Well
might Philip write to the nun when he heard of the intentions of the
English fleets, and the probable outbreak of hostilities: "If this
should happen it would be the final ruin of this realm; and no human
power would be able to stop it: the Almighty hand of God alone could do
it; and so I beseech you most {440} earnestly to supplicate Him to take
pity upon us, and not to allow the infidels to destroy realms so pure
in the faith and so religious as these are.  Blessed be His holy

[1] A pathetic account of his deathbed is given by Novoa.  After
eighty-eight days of continual fever, the miraculous image of Our Lady
of Bois le Duc was brought to his sick chamber.  As the image entered
the door the Prince chanted the hymn, "Mater, Mater Gratia," and when
he reached the words "Mater Misericordia" he faltered and died.

[2] The Cortes of Castile voted 4,000,000 ducats a year for six years
in June 1643, and the silver fleet arrived in Seville intact with a
large treasure, which was seized by the Government as a forced loan.

[3] The story of the battle of Rocroy is told in minutest detail by
Canovas del Castillo in _Estudios de Reinado de Felipe IV._, vol. ii.

[4] Newsletter, Valladares' _Semanario Erudito_, vol. xxxiii.

[5] Many isolated letters have been known, and some of them published,
at various times; but in 1885 the whole correspondence, so far as it is
known, was published by my lamented friend, Don Francisco Silvela.

[6] Oran, a Spanish fortress on the African coast, was closely
beleaguered by land and sea by the Moors, at the instance, so it was
said, of the new King of Portugal.  The Duke of Arcos, Governor of
Valencia, managed to run the blockade with two English ships full of
provisions, and the place was thus relieved.  The superstitious
Madrileños of the time attributed the relief to a miraculous painting
of the Virgin that had just been discovered in Madrid.  A servant girl
had begun to sing a hymn of praise and dance before the figure, when
she saw the fingers of the painting move.  Her cries brought the crowd
to see the miracle, and all Madrid was stirred.  The painting was taken
to the convent of Discalced Carmelites.  The next day it was exposed in
the church, and the news came of the relief of Oran.  Newsletters,

[7] Villadares' Newsletter.

[8] The punishments were terrible.  In a Newsletter written during this
winter it is mentioned that two young gentlemen of birth had been
hanged that week as known thieves.  "A young girl who was their
accomplice did not accompany them, as she was not old enough to be
hanged, but they gave her two hundred lashes, and cut off her ears
under the scaffold, after which they kept her all day hanging by the
hair in sight of the public; so that she died of the punishment within
two days."  Valladares.

[9] The famous Villanueva, we are told, had to dance attendance upon
Secretary Andres de Rozas instead of keeping everybody waiting in his
antechamber; and the King's former confessor had to pay his respects in
the cell of Friar Santo Tomas, who was now the King's spiritual guide.

[10] A Newsletter of the time gives rather a quaint instance of the
feeling against him at Saragossa.  Don Antonio de Mendoza, the poet,
entered a room where Guzman was playing cards.  Guzman impatiently
said: "How tiresome that man is to me."  Mendoza stood behind his chair
to watch the game.  "Get away from there," said Guzman, addressing the
noble as "Vos," You, instead of "Your Worship."  This was repeated,
when Mendoza in a rage said: "I am not 'Vos' to you, and don't intend
to be," and flung off to complain to the King.

[11] Valladares' Newsletter, 28th July 1643.

[12] The King's good example had as yet done but little to wean the
Madrid people from their bad habits.  On the 26th December a gentleman
was shot dead before the Church of St. Sebastian, and the next day a
murderous affray in a playhouse about a seat ended in two deaths.

[13] The advice to which this refers is significant, and was evidently
intended to be so by the nun, although the words she uses are very
cautious and involved.  "I supplicate your Majesty, as your servant, to
make yourself thoroughly versed in everything touching you.  This
admonition is very important, and in order to adopt it with full
knowledge of facts, your Majesty should choose, guided by your own
sound judgment, someone whom you can depend upon, and listen to him
with the fitting dissimulation.  God will not deny this boon to your
Majesty; and when you have learnt the truth, the execution should be
rapid; for the evil is great and the remedy needs resolution.  God
assist your Majesty and rule your heart."  This probably refers to the
reform of the social and moral evils in Madrid, as that subject had
been broached by the nun in her first interview with Philip.

[14] Valladares' Newsletter.

[15] _Ibid._

[16] Only a few weeks before her death, she had gone to the Discalced
Convent to visit the Duchess of Mantua with Baltasar Carlos.  When she
entered the apartment she noticed that the cushions placed under the
canopy for her to sit upon were of black velvet.  She thought black
unlucky, as the King was in danger; and she made an excuse not to sit
down.  When she had sent her son off to play about the convent, she sat
upon the carpet rather than risk the ill-luck of sitting on black
cushions.  Valladares' Newsletter.

[17] One of her last acts had been to issue a stringent
decree--probably suggested to Philip by the nun of Agreda, with regard
to the comedies, of which in her happier days she had been so
inordinately fond.  In future it was ordered that no fictitious plots
should be represented, but only scenes from the Scriptures or from
history.  No actors, male or female, were to dress in gold cloth; and
no unmarried woman nor widow was to be allowed to appear on a stage,
only married women, whilst gentlemen were not permitted to visit an
actress more than twice.  New plays were not allowed to be produced
more than once a week; and plays in private houses were forbidden;
whilst the managers were not to receive in their companies any actors
but those known to be decent and well behaved.  Valladares' Newsletter,
March 1644.

[18] Novoa; Valladares' Newsletters; Florez, _Reinas Catolicas_, and
Martin Hume's _Queens of Old Spain_.

[19] _Life of Sor Maria_, quoted by Florez.

[20] _Cartas de Sor Maria_.

[21] Avisos de Pullicer.

[22] The Prince, who had seen the nun on his way to Saragossa, wrote
the following artless letter to her about his betrothal.  "Mother, two
or three days ago my father gave me a letter from you congratulating me
on the marriage that my father has made for me with the Archduchess
Mariana.  I am the most pleased in the world to have taken this state,
especially with my cousin, who was the one I wished for ever since I
had use of my reason; and it seems impossible to me that I could have
come across any other woman so much to my taste.  So I hope His Divine
Majesty will let us be very happily married, which is all I can hope
for.  I ask you to pray for this.  Our Lord guard you.--I, THE PRINCE.
Saragossa, 20th July 1646."

[23] Her reproaches were curiously framed.  Just as after the Queen's
death she had tried to reform the extravagance of women's dress by
pretending to have seen Isabel's ghost in trouble for her fine garments
on earth, so she now appealed to Philip to keep hard at work, by saying
that the soul of Baltasar Carlos had told her that he was troubled to
see his father surrounded by people who looked after their own
interests rather than after those of the nation.  _Cartas de Sor
Maria_, 30th January 1647.

[24] One of their proposals was to evacuate Catalonia in exchange for
Spanish Flanders.

[25] Writing to the nun on 15th July 1648 from Madrid, in reply to her
expressions of sorrow at the vice prevalent, he says: "It pierces my
heart, too, to see the vicious state at which the world has arrived.  I
recognise it as clearly as you do, and as I cannot remedy it so quickly
as I should like I am greatly troubled; although I do what I can.  God
grant that I may succeed in remedying it, and that I may begin by my
own amendment; for there is no doubt that I need it more than anyone.
Pray for me, Sor Maria, ... for I have need of your help against my own
frailty."  _Cartas de Sor Maria_.

[26] _Ibid._

[27] How deep this feeling was is seen by the courtier Novoa's words at
the time (_Memorias_).  "The only place where the war was carried on
with activity was here in Castile, and that in a most unheard-of way,
by disarming subjects and divesting them of their property on the
pretext of the war.  Even the treasury warrants which had been
specially exempt from deduction were again seized and forced to yield a
half.  When those who had to pay were advised not to do so, because
whilst the war lasted so long would the Government cut their purses and
would soon take everything, a certain person asked: 'Why do they give
habits?  (of knighthood).--'Because they are cloth,' was the reply.
'Why do they give keys?' (_i.e._ the office of chamberlain).--'Because
they are iron.'  'Why do they give titles?'--'Because they are air.'
'Why do they not give money?'--'Because that is the essence and
substance of everything, and they do not wish anyone to have it.'  And
he added: 'God save us from him who is liberal to vice and stingy to
virtue, for the only people now who are comfortable and placed aloft
are concubines and the women who look after them, low and common women,
and those men who have been base enough to marry them.'"  This was
pretty plain speaking for a courtier; but, of course, the Memoirs were
not made public for many years after.

[28] Egerton MSS., 367, 181.

[29] The "prison of the Court" still stands nearly opposite the Plaza
de Santa Cruz, at the end of the Calle de Atocha, and near the entrance
to the Plaza Mayor.  It was built in 1634 by the same Italian architect
who had designed the Buen Retiro, and is a very handsome building.  It
is now used as the Spanish Foreign Office, which was formerly housed in
the basement floor of the royal palace.

[30] A tedious account from day to day of her doings was written by
Mascarenhas, Bishop of Leiria, who accompanied her.  _Viage de la
Serenisima Reina_, etc., Madrid, 1650.

[31] Some days before arriving at Denia the Queen's flotilla had
anchored at Tarragona to water, and amongst other ceremonies the Queen
was amused during the necessary delay by the representation of a comedy
by Roque de Figueroa on the quarter-deck of her vessel.  Pinelo,

[32] I have remarked in my _Queens of Old Spain_ that the reason why
these wretched villages were often chosen for royal weddings was the
custom to free them thenceforward from seigniorial tributes.

[33] Soto y Aguilar gives interminable accounts of the festivities to
celebrate the entrance of the Queen into Madrid.  The entertainments
lasted nearly a month.  Novoa says that on the 27th November the King
himself took part in a "masquerade" on horseback, as in old times,
running in a pair with his first minister and favourite, Don Luis de
Haro: "all the nobles and gentles in the realm taking part in this
show, which in liveries and splendid appointments surpassed all others.
It was indeed a day of marvellous brilliancy.  A proclamation was
issued by sound of drum, by which the King gave leave to men of
business and capitalists trading abroad for them to fit out eighty
ships and trade with them in his ports and those of his allies, but not
with the French Catalans or Portuguese.  Politicians talked much of
this, thinking it would be of the greatest advantage to the country."
The chronicler, however, says that no advantage was taken of the
permission, as merchants thought that the ships would be seized for the
King.  This shows how completely confidence had been lost in the
honesty of Philip's Government, even by his friends.

[34] _Cartas de Sor Maria._

[35] Aersens van Sommerdyk.

[36] Florez relates that at this sumptuous christening the little
Infanta Maria Teresa was god-mother, and in drawing off her glove she
dropped a very precious bracelet of brilliants.  A lady in the crowd
picked it up and offered it to the Infanta, who even thus early had
learnt the haughty traditions of her house, to take nothing from the
hand of anyone but certain officials, made a sign that the lady was to
keep the bracelet, _Reinas Catolicas_.

[37] He usually speaks of her in the earlier years as "my niece," not
as "my wife," or "the Queen," and very frequently mentions her and his
daughter together as "the girls."

[38] Record Office MSS., S.P. Spain 42.

[39] See Hopton's summary of his proceedings in Spain.  Record Office
MSS., S.P. Spain 42.

[40] MSS. Simancas, _Estado_, 2526; Canovas, del Castillo, _Estudios
del Reinado de Felipe IV._

[41] Simancas MSS., _Estado_, 2526; Canovas del Castillo.

[42] Simancas MSS., _Estado_, 2526; Canovas del Castillo.

[43] Canovas del Castillo.

[44] I have remarked elsewhere (_Spanish Influences in English
Literature_) the strange approximation of the Spanish mystics (such as
Sor Maria) with the English Puritans.

[45] MSS. Simancas, _Estado_, 2526; Canovas del Castillo.

[46] MSS. Record Office. S.P. Spain 42.

[47] _Consultas del Consejo de Estado_, Simancas.

[48] The present narrative is compiled from (1) the details of Ascham's
murder, given to the English Council by Laurence Chambers on his return
to England (Record Office MSS., S.P. Spain 43); (2) the letters of
Fischer, the secretary, in the same packet; and (3) an unpublished
manuscript deposition of the prisoners in Bib. Nat., Madrid, i. 325,
transcribed by me.

[49] Fischer's letters and full account of his negotiations are in
Record Office MSS., S.P. Spain 43.

[50] Fischer to the Council, 26th November 1650.  MSS. Record Office.

[51] _Cartas de Sor Maria_, 30th June 1655.




By great good fortune there have survived descriptions and accounts of
life in Philip's Court at the time of which we now write (1654-1660),
so minute and so photographic in their fidelity, as to provide
absolutely trustworthy material for a true comparison of the condition
of affairs after five-and-twenty years of a disastrous reign, with that
which had existed on the King's accession.  A writer of keen
observation, insatiable curiosity, ample opportunity, and much literary
skill, the noble churchman and poet Jeronimo de Barrionuevo, from 1654
for several years wrote almost every week a chatty letter from Madrid
to his friend the Dean of Saragossa and others, setting {442} forth
with perfect frankness everything worth recording that passed in
Madrid.  At the same time, an observant Hollander named Aersens van
Sommerdyk visited Spain, and stayed in the capital long enough to write
an account of the social and political condition of the Court as it
appeared to an intelligent foreigner; whilst shortly afterwards the
sparkling narrative of life in Madrid, written by the Frenchman
Bonnecasse, came to confirm the impressions of the Spaniard and the
Dutchman.[1]  If we add to these Philip's own weekly letters to the
nun, and the reports of the Venetian ambassadors, which are also in
print, we have a mass of contemporary evidence which cannot be
contradicted, especially in matters upon which all agree.

[Sidenote: Madrid in 1655-1660]

It is well that this should be so; for the picture to be presented of
life in the capital of the Spains at the end of Philip's reign is so
gloomy, that the historian who ventured to produce it without full
contemporary warrant would be accused of bias {443} and exaggeration.
At the beginning of the reign we saw a fairly numerous class of nobles,
churchmen, and officials, still rich with royal grants and government
plunder; whilst the mass of the people were sunk in poverty.  At the
time of which we are now writing the nobles themselves had been bled to
a state of bankruptcy.  They and the Church were supposed to be exempt
from taxation; but the demands made upon them, and especially upon the
nobles, for funds for the war had ended by reducing most of them to the
same poverty-stricken condition as their inferiors in rank.  The
financial and mercantile classes had lost all confidence; for the
arbitrary seizure of their property again and again by the Government,
and the crushing taxation on exports, even to Spanish colonies, had
driven them to universal evasion and contraband, to the further
depletion of Philip's resources.[2]  Haro, who had a revenue of 130,000
ducats a year, and a few of his kinsmen, were still very rich, and
continued to plunder all they could, though there was, indeed, little
left to plunder; and in addition to these, the only people who had much
ready money to spend were the colonial officials who had returned home
with the booty of their offices.

The idleness and pretension of all classes in the capital had increased
now to such an extent, that practically the whole of the necessary work
had to be done by foreigners; there being as many as 40,000 French
subjects in Madrid dressing as Spaniards, and calling themselves
Burgundians or Walloons, to escape the special tax on foreigners.[3]
{444} By these people most crafts and callings were conducted, the
Spanish working classes being occupied mainly in casual service, petty
traffic, and mendicancy; whilst highway robbery and murder, even in
Madrid, was so frequent as to cause no remark.  The streets were more
filthy and dilapidated than ever, and still the crowd of idlers on foot
and in vast number of coaches, drawn by mules now, for the horses had
been seized, thronged the promenades,--the Calle Mayor in the winter,
the Prado and river bank in the summer; the humbler classes elbowing
their social superiors with perfect effrontery, wearing swords and
daggers, claiming equal respect, and, indeed, swaggering more than the

The two playhouses, which had been reopened on the King's second
marriage, were crammed every day with artizans dressed in imitation or
cast-off finery, and calling themselves _caballeros_, who had to pay
from 10 to 15 sous in all for a seat;[4] and, whilst the fields were
mostly tilled, if at all, and the urban labour was performed, by
foreigners, the very cloth upon Spanish backs being made in Holland and
England from Spanish wool, the native working classes still
vociferously kept up the silly tradition of their own gentility, and of
national potency and the overwhelming wealth of the King.  The
alternate appreciation and debasement of the coinage had enormously
raised the price of commodities, and especially of house rent {445} in
Madrid; the houses being still low, shabby, and incommodious, for the
most part, owing to the claim of the King to the first floor of every
house or its equivalent in money.

But what struck foreigners, and indeed observant Spaniards, at this
period, was the appalling profligacy still prevalent in Madrid.  Public
women almost monopolised the promenades; their shameless impudence in
broad daylight having the effect of lowering the standard of behaviour,
even of decent women, who thought it no insult, but rather the
contrary, to be addressed in amorous terms by strange men in the
street.[5]  The women, for the most part, still went about,
notwithstanding the prohibition, with shawls covering their faces
except one eye, and this facilitated intrigue in all classes to a
shocking extent.  The Government were in despair about the utter
disregard by women of the dress regulations; for the wide farthingales,
stiff, extravagant wigs, and fine stuffs were worn in spite of all
pragmatics, since the Queen and her ladies set the fashion; and the
only persons punished were the unfortunate shopkeepers who supplied the
offending things.

The whole moral situation in Spain was indeed a social problem which
can only be explained by the lack of feminine influence in society at
the time and previously.  There had always remained a taint of Oriental
tradition in the treatment of women in Spain.  They had been kept in
strict seclusion; {446} they were for the most part entirely ignorant,
and had never taken an equal social position with men, usually dining
apart from their husbands, visiting each other in closed chairs or
coaches, and spent their time squatting on the ground in circles
talking trivialities or devotion, whilst the men were rarely
accompanied by their woman-kind in public.  It was therefore no wonder
that in such a state of society as this, ladies and modest women for
the most part abandoned the streets and public places to utter
profligacy; and that men, free from the salutary influence exercised by
the presence of good women, sank deeper and deeper into vice.  Philip,
under the influence of the nun, had striven hard to make his capital
more decent; but the whole tide of feeling was contrary and too strong
for him; whilst his own example in this respect was a very bad one,
which seriously weakened his efforts.  Barrionuevo, in one of his
letters at this time, mentions the King as being "a fine hand at
bastards, but with very poor luck as regards legitimate children"; and
shortly afterwards, during one of Philip's spasmodic attempts to
cleanse his capital, the same writer says: "They are arresting all the
women they find wandering unoccupied about the streets, and hailing
them off by tens and twenties to prison with their hands tied.  The
gaol is crammed full, so that they have hardly room to stand, and the
house will have to be largely extended if this rigour is to go on, or
vast supplies of wood will have to be laid in to burn some of them

In the matter of men's dress Philip's example had agreed with his
precept; and here he had {447} succeeded in imposing the fashion of
sombre modesty.  No man was allowed to enter his presence, or even to
tender a petition to him as he went to Mass through his lines of red
and yellow halberdiers, unless apparelled entirely in black, and
wearing a _golilla_.  The style of dress had changed somewhat since the
King's accession.  The hats were much smaller, and often of silk
instead of felt, and profusely trimmed with black lace.  The doublet,
trunks, and cape of the men were usually of black baize, as was the
_ropilla_, a close-fitting unbuttoned tunic reaching to the thighs,
with open sleeves hanging from the shoulder; though gentlemen often
wore black silk doublets and trunks in the summer.  The trunks or
breeches were now cut quite narrow, with buttons at the knee, like
modern knickerbockers; and the fashion was to wear thin black silk
stockings over thick white ones, and the shoes were tied with very
broad black ribbons.[6]

The King was now rarely seen in public, except that on two days in the
week he sat almost motionless for an hour in public audience to receive
petitions, which with a slight inclination of his head he referred to
Don Luis de Haro.  The various Councils, as before, discussed at great
length every point touching their respective departments, and, unseen,
the King might listen to their deliberations; but practically his
intervention in their business was confined now to his {448} sitting
upon his throne every Friday morning, whilst the respective secretaries
recited what had been done during the previous week.  The King's assent
to their recommendations was usually given simply by the words "_Está
bien_," It is well; but if the matter appeared to demand further
attention he turned to Don Luis de Haro, who stood by his side, and
told him to speak to him later about it.  Don Luis de Haro was in all
but name a Vice-King.  Everyone, even the Secretary of State, knelt
whilst he addressed him, and Philip appended his signature "Yo el Rey,"
with little or no inquiry, to everything that the favourite placed
before him.

His finances were more hopelessly involved than ever, especially after
Cromwell joined the French against him: and he told the Cortes of
Castile in the previous year, 1654, that out of the 10 million ducats
voted to him by them he only received 3 millions.  From the Indies in
all he received in good years from 1½ to 2 millions of ducats;[7]
whilst about 2 millions came from Aragon, etc.  Out of a total nominal
revenue, therefore, of about 18 million ducats he only received about 8
or 9 millions, the rest being either anticipated or intercepted by
peculation; and in the year 1654 he confessed to an uncovered debt of
120 million ducats.  But, withal, though Philip himself made no secret
of his poverty, the country at large, and particularly the people of
Madrid, insisted upon boasting still Of the boundless wealth at his
disposal.  There are in Barrionuevo's letters scores of references to
the squalid penury that existed {449} everywhere at this period,[8]
even in the interior of Philip's palace; but the following short
extract from one of them, belonging to the year 1657, will suffice.

[Sidenote: Poverty in the palace]

"For the last two months and a half the usual rations have not been
distributed in the palace; for the King has not a _real_.  On the day
of St. Francis they served a capon to the Infanta (Maria Teresa), who
ordered them to take it away, as it stank like a dead dog.  They then
brought her a chicken, of which she is fond, on sippets of toast, but
it was so covered with flies that she nearly overturned the lot.  This
is how things go on in the palace....  It appears also that the Queen
likes to finish her dinner with sweetmeats; but as none had been
brought to her table for some days, she asked the lady whose business
it is to attend to these things, why they were not served as usual.
She replied that the confectioner refused to supply them because he
could not get paid, and a large amount was owing to him.  The lady then
drew a ring from her finger, and said to a servant: 'Run out at once
and get some sweetmeats, anywhere, with this jewel.'  But the buffoon
Manuelito de Gante was present, and cried: 'Put your finger in your
ring again, mistress'; and with that he took a copper real from his
pocket and said: 'Go and get some {450} sweetmeats quickly, so that
this good lady may finish her dinner.'"

With poverty touching even the Queen's own table, with Philip and his
ministers in despair of finding fresh means to extort more money from
the empty pockets of subjects, and from the hidden hoards of the
Church, lavish waste still jostled carking poverty.  Barrionuevo gives
an account of an entertainment provided by the Marquis of Heliche, the
eldest son of Haro, a few months only before the scene just described
(January 1657), to celebrate the visit paid to him by Philip and his
wife at the Zarzuela outside Madrid, where, in addition to comedies and
the like, a great banquet was prepared.

[Sidenote: A gargantuan feast]

"It cost 16,000 ducats....  There was a dinner served of 1000 dishes;
and there was one monstrous stew in a huge jar sunk in the ground with
a fire beneath it....  It contained a three-year-old calf, 4 sheep, 100
pairs of pigeons, 100 partridges, 100 rabbits, 1000 pigs' trotters, and
1000 tongues, 200 fowls, 30 hams, 500 sausages, and 100,000 other
trifles.  They say it cost 8000 reals, though mostly presents.
Everything I am telling you is true, and I minimise rather than
exaggerate.  There were three or four thousand persons present, and
there was plenty for everybody, and to spare.  So much was left,
indeed, that it was brought back to Madrid in baskets, and I got some
relieves and scraps.  And all this was in addition to tarts and puffs
and pasties, sweet cakes, preserves, fruits, and enormous quantities of
wine and sweet drinks.  {451} The Venice ambassador presented 500
ducats' worth of glass, and Tutavilla gave a similar amount of
crockery....  All the scenery and apparatus have been brought to the
Retiro, to the new theatre which they have made in the St. Paul's
Hermitage there, and the whole affair is to be repeated there this

It is hardly necessary to say that, in reward for this Gargantuan
feast, Heliche was made a grandee a few days afterwards.

Philip took no pleasure personally now in these coarse frivolities;
though Mariana hungered for them, to distract her from the fits of
homesick depression into which she periodically sank in the dull
monotony of her life and her frequently disappointed hopes of renewed
motherhood.  The King himself was well-nigh despondent: going through
his life like a leaden automaton, signing papers placed before him by
Haro, usually without discussion or remark.[9]  His condition, indeed,
now was closely akin to melancholy religious madness, such was the
morbid misery that preyed upon him: in anticipation of an early death,
weeping for his own sins, for the utter ruin that seemed impending,
{452} and for the continued absence of a male heir to his broken
realms.  One of his strange whims at this time was to pass hours alone
in the new jasper mausoleum at the Escorial, to which he had
transferred the bodies of his ancestors shortly before.  After one of
these visits in 1654, he wrote to Sor Maria: "I saw the corpse of the
Emperor, whose body, although he has been dead ninety-six years, is
still perfect; and by this it may be seen how richly the Lord has
repaid him for his efforts in favour of the faith whilst he lived.  It
helped me much, especially as I contemplated the place where I am to
lie when God shall take me.  I prayed Him not to let me forget what I
saw there."  Soon afterwards, Barrionuevo records that the King had
passed two solitary hours upon his knees in prayer on the bare stones
of the mausoleum before the niche which was to be his own final
resting-place; and that when he came out his eyes were red and swollen
with weeping.

[Sidenote: "The meninas"]

The years went on, and still Mariana's repeated hopes of progeny were
disappointed.  Her own health was not good, for she fretted much,
whilst Philip's troubles had crushed and aged him sadly.  The Indian
silver, which had previously been so precious a contribution to his
revenue, was now regularly captured by Cromwell's cruisers, which
closely beleaguered Cadiz.  The French on the Flemish frontier and in
Catalonia were still holding his territory, though Don Juan was doing
his best and not unsuccessfully in Flanders (1656-57).  Peace, as
Philip well knew, was now a vital necessity for him; but pride still
kept him from surrendering to the foreigner the land of his fathers,
and Mazarin's {453} terms were as yet too humiliating for acceptance by
a Power which had for so long claimed predominance in Europe.

Girl children had been born to Mariana, but each one had died at, or
soon after, birth, though the wildest caprice of the mother was
complied with in order to produce favourable conditions; but after the
simultaneous birth and death of the girl child which came in August
1656, all hope seemed gone, and a profound melancholy fell upon both
husband and wife, unrelieved by one ray of light.  Philip's principal
pleasure now, with the exception of his prayers and the immoralities he
deplored so much, were the visits he paid every few days to the studio
of Velazquez in the old palace.  There, beneath the magic brush of the
painter, he saw grow in resemblance the portraits of those amongst whom
his life was passed,--the dwarfs and buffoons, who tried now so
fruitlessly to make him smile, the quaint characters about the palace,
the generals and admirals, the councillors and secretaries, whose faces
he knew so well; and, above all, his two little girls and his young
wife, with her rouged cheeks, her stiff square wig and her hard eyes.
The favourite child--for Mariana was jealous of the elder, Maria
Teresa--was the little Infanta Margaret, born in 1651, a fragile, fair
little flower of a girl, degenerate from her descent, but in childhood
not showing excessively the unlovely features she inherited.  The
etiquette that surrounded the child and her sister was freezing in its
formality.  Those who served them knelt, and everything had to pass
through several hands before reaching them.  Their dress, {454} with
the wide-hooped farthingales and stiff long bodices, were utterly
unchildlike and cumbrous, but, withal, the charm of youth could not be
utterly crushed out of Margaret; and Velazquez has left us portraits of
her as a child which will always remain the ideal of infancy.

[Illustration: THE MAIDS OF HONOUR.  _Portrait of the Infanta Margaret;
from a picture by Velazquez at the Prado Museum_]

The finest painting that ever left the master's easel is that which
presents not only a portrait of the little Princess, but also an
interior which tells more of Court life at the time (1656) than pages
of written description could do.  The tiny Infanta stands in her white
satin hooped dress, her fair hair parted at the side, in the studio of
Velazquez, who, with the coveted cross of Santiago upon his breast,[10]
is painting a portrait of the King and Queen, whose faces are seen
reflected in a mirror at the back of the room, but who do not appear in
the picture itself.  The child had probably been brought to relieve the
tedium of her parents in sitting for their portraits, and she seems
herself to have grown fretful and needed amusing.  The young maid of
honour, Doña Maria de Sarmiento, kneels before her, handing her, on a
gold salver, a cup of water in the fine red scented clay which it was a
vicious fashion of ladies of the day to eat.  In the foreground lies a
mastiff dozing, and close by it are two of the ugly dwarfs who were
such important personages in the Spanish Court, Mari Barbola and
Nicolasico Pertusato; whilst behind {455} them, slightly curtseying, is
another maid of honour, Doña Isabel de Velasco; and still farther back
in the gloom a lady and gentleman in attendance, the former in a
conventual dress; whilst in the extreme rear of the picture stands the
Queen's quarter-master, Don Jose Nieto, at the open door drawing back a
curtain, perhaps that more light may be thrown upon the King and Queen,
whom the painter is portraying.  The interior of the room, with its
special lighting and its unrivalled perspective, fixes for us, as if in
a flashlight photograph, one unstudied moment of life in Philip's Court
as it was actually passed, and for this reason the picture is
invaluable.  The existence it crystallises is a dull one, unrelieved
from tedium for Philip except by the presence of his little child, and
the trembling consolations of his religion.

[Sidenote: Birth of an heir]

Soon, however, hope for a time was to blossom again.  After months of
anxiety, in which his doubts and fears were laid before the nun again
and again by the anxious father, he was assured that another child was
yet to be born to him, and the astrologers and soothsayers predicted
that this time it would be a son, and would live.  Philip was in dire
straits for money at the time (November 1657), and on the first day of
the Vigil of the Presentation of the Virgin he had nothing to eat but
eggs without fish; as his steward had not a _real_ of ready money to
pay for anything else, and the tradesmen would give no more credit.[11]
But yet the most whimsical fancy of his wife now had to be gratified at
any sacrifice, and the Buen Retiro soon again rang with jovial music
and water parties {456} on the lake, merry comedies, novel bull-fights,
and diversions of all sorts, which were produced to make Mariana happy.
Don Juan sent from Flanders a splendid silver bedstead, with brocade
hangings; and all that care and solicitude could discover to ensure the
happy arrival of the looked-for heir was forthcoming.

[Sidenote: Prince Philip Prosper]

At last, to the weary, worn-out King of fifty-two, a man-child was born
at the end of November 1657.  The mother was thought to be dying, but
no one had thoughts for her, the birth of an heir to Philip being
greeted by rejoicings so tumultuous in the capital as of themselves to
prove the lawless condition into which the people had sunk.

"On the day of the birth," writes Barrionuevo (5th December 1657), "not
a bench nor a table was left unbroken in the palace, nor a single
pastry-cook's nor tavern that was not sacked.  In the Admiral's house,
too, one of his equerries, and riding-master to some of the greatest
gentlemen in Madrid, named Chicho Cristalino, killed his groom in the
stable, stabbing him for some trivial cause....  He has escaped.  He
was a Knight of Calatrava.  The same night three or four other similar
misfortunes happened, and in the rejoicings nobody's cape was safe....
To-morrow they say that his Majesty will go on horseback to the Atocha
to give thanks to the Mother of God....  They say the Prince is a
pretty little chap, and that the King wishes him to be baptized at
once, before the extreme cold comes on....  There are to be
masquerades, bullfights, and cane-tourneys as soon as the Queen gets up
to see them, as well as plays with machinery {457} invented by an
engineer, a servant of the Nuncio, to be represented at the theatre at
the Retiro, and in the saloon of the palace....  The municipality,
following the lead of the Councils, have gone to congratulate the King,
... and no gentleman, great or small, has failed to do the like.  There
have been some funny incidents.  Here are two.  The little Count de
Haro, the Admiral's child, six years old, went, and the King was much
pleased with the little man, as he was so serious, and especially when
he said to his Majesty, 'But, Sir! those buttons of yours are against
the pragmatic; they are gold!'  They were really diamond buttons that
the King had put on for the celebration.  The favourite (_i.e._ Haro)
accompanied him, and one of the courtiers present came up to him and
said: 'God bless your Excellency for the boon you have bestowed upon
Spain in sending us a Prince,' as if Haro had been the artificer of the
work.  There was much laughter at this."

Astrologers were busy predicting all manner of glory and good fortune
for the new-born Prince, and Philip was full of gratitude and hope that
all would now be well.  "Help me, Sor Maria," he wrote, "to give thanks
to God; for I by myself am unable to do so adequately.  Pray to Him to
make me fully thankful for the signal favour conferred upon me, and to
give me strength henceforward to do His holy will.  The new-born babe
is well, and I implore you to take him under your protection, and pray
to our Lord and His holy Mother to keep him for their service, for the
exaltation of the faith and the good of these realms.  If this is {458}
not to be, then pray let him be taken from me before he reaches

[Sidenote: Baptism of Philip Prosper]

For weeks the usual festivities in Madrid went on, though the general
penury made them less brilliant than the occasion warranted.  But
Philip, for his part, seemed almost young again with joy.  On the 6th
December he rode through the decorated streets of his capital on a
spirited Neapolitan charger.  Dances, masques, and music greeted him on
his way, and the public fountains ran wine instead of water, whilst the
night was made as light as day by thousands of wax torches.[13]  A week
afterwards the baptism of the Prince was celebrated in the royal chapel
by the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo (Borja), whose magnificent
preparations of liveries, vestments, and equipages were to cost 50,000
{459} ducats; though, says Barrionuevo, he had not a _real_.

"On Thursday the 13th, the corridors and courtyards of the palace were
decorated with great splendour, and three canopies were erected, one in
each corridor and one in the chapel."  There was a very sumptuous bed
adjoining the King's curtained closet, and a step away a staging, with
two steps and a triangle of silver.  Upon this was placed the font of
St. Dominic's baptism, and six great silver braziers very full of fuel,
which were replenished every now and then from the fireplaces, so that
the air might be warmed, which it was until it was like an oven.  There
were also sconces which perfumed the air divinely.  Shortly after two
the ceremony commenced; the Inquisitor-General and the Bishop of
Siguenza, apparelled in pontificals, assisting the Cardinal, who
awaited the arrival of the Infante near the altar, whilst the whole
chapel was hung with the most beautiful hangings the King possesses.
Don Luis Ponce, without a cape, led the way with the Spanish Guard,
followed by peers, nobles, and grandees; after whom came the Nuncio and
ambassadors.  Then came the minister (Don Luis de Haro), dressed in a
gown of cloth of gold and a red sash.[14]  Following him the Prince,
richly adorned, was borne in the arms of the Countess of Salvatierra,
seated in a crystal chair; and the Infanta (Maria Teresa) {460} walked
behind, her train carried by the Mistress of the Robes, after whom
marched the heralds and archers of the Guard, who entirely surrounded
the space.  The Marquis of Priego carried the sacred taper, Alba bore
the custode and napkins, the Admiral carried the ewer, which was of a
single emerald, very large, and set with diamonds.  The marchpane[15]
fell to the Count of Oñate, the towels to Medina de las Torres, the
salt-cellar to the Prince of Astillano, his son.  The ladies of the
Court followed the Infanta, their trains borne by pages.  The
presidents of the Councils, with their two senior officers on each
side, were ranged around the chapel, with the grandees before them; and
when the ladies entered they stood in front of the grandees.  The
lady-in-waiting handed the Prince to the Infanta naked, except for a
very short little jacket of plush much adorned, and with false sleeves.
The Infanta cried out in a very clear voice: 'Why have you not put his
clothes on?  Why do you give him to me so undressed?'  The lady
replied: 'That is done on purpose, Madam, that it may be seen that he
is a male.'  The water they baptized him with was from the Jordan, ...
brought lately by some friars who came from the Holy House.  The Prince
screamed lustily when he was baptized, and, attracted by the loud
resonant voice, the King, who was looking through his jalousies, {461}
exclaimed, "Ah! that does sound well; the house smells of a man

[Sidenote: Pride of the Constable]

Then, after retailing the baby's names, Philip Prosper, "and the whole
litany of saints to follow," and the magnificent presents given to the
child's nurse, the narrator gives a curious instance of the overweening
pride of the higher Spanish nobles of the time.  A staircase had broken
down with the crush of people, and the Duke of Bejar, whose duty it was
to carry the marchpane, could not get through the crowd.  The acting
Lord Chamberlain, the Count of Puñonrostro, seeing that the ceremony
was being delayed in consequence, asked the King what he should do.
"Tell the Constable (_i.e._ the Grand Constable of Castile, the Duke of
Frias) to carry the marchpane," said Philip.  The proud noble replied
that his arm was bad, and he could not do it.  This answer only
produced a repetition of the command from the King that the Constable
was to carry the marchpane.  "Tell his Majesty that the Constables of
Castile are too big to serve as stopgaps for anybody," said the
Constable.  Two days later the Duke was being hurried off to Berlanga
under arrest.  If Dukes and Constables could be impracticably proud, so
could scullions; for only a fortnight after this there was a regular
pitched battle in the King's kitchen on some point of honour between
the scullions and the guards, in which six of the combatants were
killed outright, and twenty were wounded, many more being carried off
to the prison of the Court to answer for their turbulence.


Admiration spent itself in praises of the beauty of the infant that had
been born to Philip's decline.  Never, sure, was such a babe vouchsafed
to man as this.  Verse and prose galore declaimed its present
perfection and coming greatness.  But alas!  Philip Prosper, as might
have been expected from the offspring of several generations of incest,
was a poor epileptic monstrosity, who quietly made his exit from the
world four years after he entered it with such a blare of trumpets.
The good nun of Agreda, far away from the turmoil of rejoicing at the
Prince's birth, had misgivings at the ungodliness and extravagance of
the festivities, and remonstrated with Philip upon them.  "It is good
and politic for your Majesty to receive the congratulations of your
subjects, ... but I do beseech you earnestly not to allow excessive
sums to be spent on such festivities as these, when there is a lack of
money needful even for the defence of your crown.  Let there be no
offence to God in what is done....  It is good to rejoice for the birth
of the Prince; but pray let us do it with a clear conscience."[17]

Through all these years the wars in which Spain was engaged had gone
on.  Mazarin's many enemies in France had been encouraged and bribed
largely by Spain, and the greatest of French commanders, Turenne and
Condé, for a time entered Philip's service against their own country.
This changed the aspect of affairs, especially on the Flemish frontier,
whilst in the south of France the leaders of the Fronde with Spanish
aid kept Mazarin's troops busy there.  When Turenne {463} again
returned to the French side the tables were turned somewhat (1655), and
after a series of defeats the Archduke Leopold, Philip's Governor of
Flanders, had retired, leaving Condé in command of the troops, whilst
Don Juan, King Philip's son, succeeded the Archduke as Governor (1656).
This brilliant pair of young men did much to restore Spanish prestige
in Flanders; but when the alliance between Cromwell and Mazarin was
signed Spain was outmatched, and all observers could see that France in
the end must be victorious.

[Sidenote: Loss of Dunkirk]

One after the other the Flemish frontier places surrendered to the
allies; but the great blow to Philip's arms fell in the summer of 1658.
Dunkirk, a Spanish port in Flanders, promised to Cromwell by Mazarin,
was closely blockaded by an English fleet, and besieged on the land
side by Turenne, who was accompanied by young Louis XIV. himself;
whilst a Spanish army under Don Juan and Condé, with whom was James
Duke of York, now nominal Admiral of the Spanish fleet, was
endeavouring to break through Turenne's lines and relieve the place.
By a _coup de main_ Turenne outflanked the Spanish force, whilst
Cromwell's fleet bombarded them from the sea.  Panic overtook the
Spaniards, who fled precipitately with great loss, and Dunkirk soon
after capitulated.  This Battle of the Dunes seemed the last drop in
Philip's cup of sorrow, for by it all Flanders lay at the mercy of the
French royalists, and city after city fell into their hands.

Shortly before this, and soon after the christening of Philip Prosper
described above, an equally fatal catastrophe had fallen upon Philip on
the Portuguese {464} frontier.  There for years a state of hostility
had continued, with frequent raids on both sides; but, growing bolder
with Philip's increased exhaustion, the masculine Spanish Queen Mother
of Portugal[18] had laid regular siege to the great Spanish frontier
fortress of Badajoz.  At any cost this daring insolence had to be met,
and Philip, with no able commanders now available, Don Juan being in
Flanders, entrusted the leadership of his forces of 8000 men, raised
with infinite sacrifice and difficulty, to his favourite, Don Luis de
Haro.  On the news of his approach the Portuguese raised the siege of
Badajoz and recrossed the frontier; but Haro, utterly inexperienced in
warfare, was drawn into pursuing them, led into an ambush and put to
ignominious flight, with the loss of guns, baggage, and most of his men.

[Sidenote: Peace with France]

This defeat, followed by the Battle of the Dunes a few months
afterwards, proved to all the world that Spain had come to the end of
her tether and could struggle no more.  Material resources, faith in
herself, belief in her mission, even confidence in her God, had all
fled, and nothing was left to her but besotted pride and a
sanctimonious ritual devotion which lightly covered a scoffing mockery
of the noble ideals that had made her temporarily great.  Peace had
now, indeed, become for Philip absolutely necessary.  There had been
many efforts made through the influence of Anna of Austria, Queen of
France, to come to an understanding with her brother, ever since the
treaty of Münster; but the demands of Mazarin, that the {465} French
should continue to hold all they had taken including Catalonia, had in
every case frustrated the attempts.  But the aspect of affairs was
changing.  Catalonia was heartily tired of the French, who left the
province less liberty than it had enjoyed under the Castilian Kings,
whilst the grave discontent and division in France against Mazarin's
Government had rendered peace necessary even for him.  But that which,
above all, contributed to a peaceful agreement was the fact that
Philip's health was evidently failing, and that only one life, that of
the scrofulous epileptic infant, Philip Prosper, stood between the
house of France and the Spanish throne.  It is true that when Queen
Anna had married Louis XIII. she had solemnly renounced for herself and
her family the right of succession to Spain; but some of the dowry
which was to have been paid to her had not been paid, and it might be
contended that as one condition of the contract had not been fulfilled
the others could not be enforced as against the house of France.
Mariana, Philip's second wife, was at Madrid quite as much in the
capacity of Austrian ambassador as of Philip's consort, and she had
always tried to prevent any closer union between France and Spain; her
object, aided by the German agents who prompted her, being to maintain
the fatal alliance between the two branches of the house of Austria,
which had dragged Spain to ruin.

In the summer of 1656 a sincere attempt had been made by France to come
to an understanding with Philip.  A skilled diplomatist, M. de Lionne,
in the confidence of Mazarin, had arrived with great secrecy at Madrid,
and was lodged at the Retiro, {466} where he and Haro held many
conferences, with a result that an agreement on many points was arrived
at, especially upon the retrocession of Catalonia (though not of
Roussillon) to Spain.  In one of their conferences Lionne noticed that
Haro was wearing in his hat, doubtless for a purpose, a medal impressed
with the portrait of the Infanta Maria Teresa.  "If your King would
give to my master for his wife the original of the portrait you wear,"
said Lionne, "peace might soon be made."[19]  Haro passed over the
matter lightly, for in the absence of a male heir to Philip it would
have been impossible to marry Maria Teresa to the King of France; but
the idea was not a new one, and the possibility of bringing about such
a match as a pledge of peace between France and Spain had often been
mooted by the quidnuncs of Madrid.[20]

[Sidenote: Peace negotiations]

Lionne's negotiations came to nothing at the time, mainly because the
knotty point of the Prince of Condé's position could not be settled;
but when the birth of Philip Prosper provided Philip with an heir, the
marriage idea again came to the front, and made both sides in the
subsequent peace negotiations much more conciliatory than they
otherwise would have been, especially when there was a talk of marrying
Louis XIV. elsewhere.  He was, indeed, {467} on a courting expedition
to the south of France to meet the Princess of Savoy, when Haro, in May
1659, sent Antonio Pimentel in a hurry to Mazarin reminding him of what
Lionne had said three years before about a Spanish marriage.  Anna of
Austria and Mazarin were quite willing; and in a very few weeks the
diplomatists on both sides had drawn up a protocol suspending
hostilities, and providing for a meeting of plenipotentiaries of both
Powers in the little Isle of Pheasants in the Bidosoa River that
separates France and Spain.  This was to take place in August, and in
the meanwhile ministers were busy drawing up marriage settlements and
agreeing upon the main points in dispute between the two Powers.
Mariana struggled hard to prevent the agreement by proposing a marriage
between the Infanta and the Archduke Leopold, the Emperor's heir.  She
even prevailed upon her brother to send the Archduke Sigismund to
replace Don Juan in Flanders, and to bring a strong imperial army with
him to defend Spanish territory there.  Before they could meet the
French, however, the truce between Philip and Louis was signed (June
1659), and the Austrian interest for the present had to accept defeat.

Peace or war, the stereotyped merrymaking never ceased for very long in
the Court of Madrid.  Like Olivares before them, Philip's ministers
were constantly on the look-out for new musicians, buffoons, or
beauties to distract him, and discovering fresh pretexts for shows.[21]
To celebrate {468} the birth of the sickly Philip Prosper, the
festivities continued for months; and in answer to the nun's
remonstrances about it, the King invites her to tell him how he can
fulfil his desire to withdraw his mind from worldly things, "since it
is obligatory for me to live amongst men, and to be present at
festivities and other public occasions, which I cannot avoid attending.
In the midst of all this turmoil I should like to execute your
directions, if my frailty does not prevent me from doing so.  Help me,
Sor Maria, and pray to God and His holy Mother to aid me in attaining
such a boon."[22]  In one of Philip Prosper's frequent illnesses a
saintly friar from Jerusalem, one Father Antonio, went to see Philip,
and brusquely told him, in reply to his request for prayers for the
Prince's health, "that he, the King, ought to pray also, and leave off
all these comedies and other rejoicings."[23]  The Madrileños of
Philip's time would no more abandon their idle pleasures than they
would their daily bread.  Fresh taxes of 2 per cent. more were put upon
food, and upon every payment made of any sort; even fireplaces and
windows were taxed more heavily, the idea being to make people redeem
these taxes by paying a sum down, and so, as Barrionuevo says, to get
money quickly.  "All this makes men of business desperate, for it is
said that even upon loans and payments of every sort the {469} tax is
to be charged; so that we shall soon have nothing to pay with but water
and sunshine."[24]

[Sidenote: Poverty and waste]

Only a few days after this was written, the municipality of Madrid gave
a luncheon to the eleven Royal Councils, handsome presents being given
to all the guests, the cost of the entertainment being over 550,000
ducats; and hardly a week passes without the record of two or three
costly shows, bull-fights, masquerades, and tourneys, in which smart
new clothes are always a notable feature, and the King and Queen are
usually present, the young Marquis of Heliche being generally the
busiest promoter.  Madrid, although suffering from a winter more severe
than had been known in the memory of man (February 1658), was full of
foreigners and strangers, attracted by these continual shows, and
doubtless much of the money squandered came ultimately from them; but
the people themselves must have been in dire straits, for robbery seems
to have been openly resorted to, even by priests; and so highly placed
an ecclesiastic as Barrionuevo says of it: "I do not wonder, for the
pinch of poverty is such that everybody is forced to do it."

Madrid, at the time, indeed, presented a strange picture of anarchy.
The only rich people were the comparatively few who were concerned in
the administration, either in Spain or the Colonies; and they spent
their money with the utmost prodigality, whilst the great bulk of the
population lived from hand to mouth on the proceeds of this
expenditure, gained either by service, work, or robbery.  There was
practically no industry, {470} except that carried on in a small way by
foreigners; and the vast majority of the inhabitants of Madrid lived,
directly or indirectly, by government expenditure.  Philip looked on
helplessly, convinced apparently that his calamities were unavoidable,
because sent for a special purpose by the Almighty as a scourge for his
and his people's transgressions.  Preachers unrebuked thundered out of
pulpits to him that most of the evils might be avoided by energy.
"Your Majesty is poor, and your ministers are rich," cried one to him.
"You give grants, favours, pensions, and double pay to people such as
these, who beguile you with vain shows.  The noblest eagle may be left
bare if plucked feather by feather; and your Majesty is obliged to
appeal to these very ministers, whom you enable to settle vast estates,
for money necessary for your very food and garments."

[Sidenote: Peace of the Pyrenees]

In good truth, it was too late to preach to Philip now; for he did
little but register the decisions of others, and go through his dull
round of duties with despairing, earthy face; his great consolation, as
he says again and again, being the letters of the nun, which assured
him of the divine mercy and of the efficacy of constant prayer.  To his
great delight another son was born to him in December 1658, though the
babe lived only for a few months; but Philip Prosper lingered on still,
through a sickly infancy.  In the meanwhile Don Luis de Haro and
Cardinal Mazarin were in close confabulation on the Isle of Pheasants,
settling the terms of the much-needed peace; and the death of Cromwell,
and the probable restoration of the Stuarts to the English throne, gave
a further {471} hope that, after a long lifetime of constant war,
Philip's days might end at peace with all the world.

In October 1659 the peace negotiations were sufficiently advanced for a
formal demand to be made to Philip for his daughter's hand on behalf of
her cousin Louis XIV.  The ambassador was one of the greatest seigneurs
of the Court of France, Marshal de Grammont; and though Madrid, with
good reason this time, assumed its most pompous garb, and Spaniards
held their heads high, yet de Grammont, as he entered with his
brilliant suite into Philip's capital, consciously represented a new
dispensation that was in process of supplanting that of Spain.  For a
century and a half Spain had claimed precedence over all earthly
Powers: her language was that of culture and fashion; her literature,
especially of the theatre and the novel, had given the tone to the
writers of Europe; her dress had set the fashion; her soldiers had
taught the art of war; and her explorers had borne to the four quarters
of the earth her traditions, her tongue, and her religion.  But the
stately entrance of de Grammont with his new airs and graces into the
palace of Madrid, after a devastating war extending over thirty years,
marked the opening of a new epoch in the civilisation of the world.
Spain was the waning force, France was the youthful giant with a long
life before him; the Planet King Philip, spent and weary, was sinking
to his yearned-for rest after a reign of tragic failure; the Roi Soleil
was climbing in the sky.  All the courtly conventions of diplomatists,
all the gracious politeness of de Grammont, all the consideration shown
by French statesmen to Spain in the treaty of {472} peace, could not
hide these facts; nor could it be concealed that this new friendship
meant the end of the fatal union of Austria and Spain, whose aim had
been to force orthodoxy upon the world.

Mariana frowned and pouted as Grammont and his company of princes and
nobles bowed before her; and the gloomy grandeur of the old palace of
Madrid, with the richly sombre dresses of Philip and his courtiers,
seemed to the triumphant and gaily dressed Frenchman, fresh from the
sprightly youthful Court of Louis, to be in harmony with the old
obscurantist régime which was passing.  The visitors were liberal in
recording their impressions of a society which they regarded as
romantic and antique.[25]  The description of a theatrical
representation in the old palace of Madrid in honour of Grammont,
written by one of his chaplains, will give a good idea of a
characteristic feature of Philip's Court at the time.

"The great saloon was lit only by six enormous wax candles in gigantic
silver stands.  On each side of the saloon, facing each other, were two
boxes or tribunes with iron grilles before them.  One of these was
occupied by the Infanta, whilst the other was destined for the Marshal
(Grammont).  Two benches covered with Persian rugs ran along the sides
beneath the boxes, also facing each other, upon which sat about twelve
ladies of the Court, whilst we Frenchmen stood behind them....  The
{473} Queen and the little Infanta entered, preceded by a lady holding
a candle.  When the King appeared he saluted the ladies and took his
seat in the box on the right hand of the Queen, whilst the little
Infanta sat on her left.  The King remained motionless during the whole
of the play, and only once said a word to the Queen; although he
occasionally cast his eyes round on every side.  A dwarf was standing
close by him.  When the play was ended, all the ladies rose and
gathered in the middle, as canons do after a service.  Then joining
hands in a row they made their courtesies, one by one, a ceremony that
lasted some seven or eight minutes.  In the meanwhile the King was
standing, and he then bowed to the Queen, who bowed to the Infanta,
after which they all joined hands and retired."[26]

It was far into the winter (1659) before the terms of the pregnant
peace of the Pyrenees could be finally settled by the plenipotentiaries
on the Isle of Pheasants.  More than once the negotiations came to a
deadlock, for, comparatively easy as the French conditions were, they
were very bitter for the pride of Spain to swallow.[27]  She had to
surrender the province of Roussillon and most of Artois, as well as
many of the principal cities of French Flanders, whilst the English
kept her port of Dunkirk.  But in return Catalonia willingly {474}
became Spanish again under its old constitution, whilst the new King of
England and his friends the Portuguese were excluded from the treaty.
The rejoicings in Madrid, and the adulation of the favourite Haro, who
was made Prince of the Peace, knew no bounds.  At last, no matter,
thought the lieges, at what cost, Spain was free from the war that had
weighed her down for a whole generation; and now the rebel Portuguese
might be punished for their contumacy, and Philip be King of the
Peninsula again.  Don Juan, the King's son, was to have the honour of
reconquering Portugal for Castile; but for the present all minds were
occupied by the ceremonious journey of King Philip and all his Court to
the French frontier to conduct his daughter, the Infanta, to her
waiting bridegroom.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Maria Teresa]

For many months, notwithstanding Philip's expressed desire that things
should be done as economically as possible, the preparations for the
voyage had been carried out on a scale of magnificence surpassing that
of all previous bridal progresses between Spain and France.  The
Spanish nobles and courtiers, taking their tone from Haro himself, were
determined, even at the cost of their last ducat, that the Frenchmen
should see that the country was neither exhausted materially nor
humiliated morally.  So again the old prodigal pride asserted itself,
and Madrid pushed its poverty in the background, as it spent its money
on gew-gaws, or flocked to see the preliminary turnout of the royal
equipages prepared for the King's journey to France.


"There were four litters, and fourteen coaches with six mules each;--a
fine sight!  The table services, newly made with the arms of Spain and
France, which her Highness is to take with her, are a marvel of
richness and beauty.  The jewels for presents and for adornment exceed
all price and praise.  Each of the gentlemen who is to accompany the
royal party is making preparations more in accordance with his spirit
than with his means.  They say that the Duke of Medina de las Torres
will distinguish himself specially.  He gives five suits of livery to
each of his servants, one set alone of which made in Naples will cost
65,000 ducats; whilst, as to his Excellency's own dresses, wonderful
stories are told of them, and also of the jewels he is taking with him,
worthy as they are of the greatness of his heart.  The preparations of
Don Luis de Haro can only be conceived by those who recollect that he
is the luminary of the world upon which reflects and radiates most
fully the majesty and brilliancy of our Sun-Monarch.  The value of the
horses and hackneys, with their harness and housings, alone are said to
be worth a vast treasure; but when we consider the rank of the persons
with whom the horses of the Sun will enter Irun, these latter, richly
caparisoned as they may be, will be unworthy of an occasion so supreme.
It is likely enough that when our Infanta took leave of the altars of
Madrid her eyes were wet with tears; but our muffled women, who spare
nobody, said so in such a way as to hint that the tears were really
hearty smiles.  The Queen looks very sad at the King's going away."[28]


[Sidenote: Journey to the frontier]

On the 15th April 1660, Philip set forth on his famous journey to the
French frontier to give his daughter Maria Teresa to his young nephew
Louis XIV. for his wife, and meet in peace once more his sister Anna,
whom he had not seen since their early youth, over forty years before.
The train that accompanied him surpassed anything of the sort ever seen
before in Spain.  Don Luis de Haro himself was served by a household of
200 persons, and scores of other nobles vied with him in
magnificence.[29]  All the sumptuary pragmatics were suspended, and as
a reaction after the long insistence upon plain, sombre attire for men,
Philip's courtiers were gorgeous in the costly richness of their garb,
determined as they were to impress the Frenchmen.

The land through which the long procession slowly made its way, at the
rate of about six miles a day, was stark and ruined; and provisions, as
well as beds and all other necessaries, had to be carried for the whole
multitude, the cavalcade covering over twenty miles of road.  Such of
the wretched peasants as were left in Castile[30] saluted their King
with frantic joy as he passed; for he looked so sad and sorry for them,
and with so much wealth as he now displayed before their famished eyes,
surely he would not grind them down to utter famine as he had done for
these unhappy years of strife.  All would be well now.  {477} The
Infanta was to be Queen of France, and she would not allow her father's
realm to be laid desolate again by those over whom her young husband
reigned.  Everywhere hope blossomed again.  The towns on the way
regaled the vast concourse of courtiers with shows, banquets, and
bull-fights; long-hidden hoards of money were brought out and spent in
rejoicing now, even by the humbler farmer folk, for the great fear that
all would be taken from them by the tax farmers had passed away.  At
length, after six weeks of tedious travel over miserable roads, where
overturns and other mishaps were frequent, the King and his Court
entered St. Sebastian, where the first marriage ceremony was to be
performed, on the 2nd June 1660.  In the crowds of splendidly
apparelled Spanish courtiers, whose names were as resounding as their
pedigrees were long, there was one olive-skinned man, with a touzled
mop of wavy black hair streaked with grey, whose fame was to outlive
them all.  His office, that of the King's quarter-master, and one of
his chamberlains, kept him close to the person of Philip, who loved his
company.  Upon the breast of his dark, closely fitting tunic was
embroidered in scarlet the long sword-shaped cross of Santiago, whilst
an enamelled and diamond pendant hung from a rich gold chain around his
neck; and Diego Velazquez, the painter, now growing old with his
master, looked as distinguished as any in the throng, doing his
courtier's service in the famous journey as if he had been merely a
grandee of long lineage instead of a poor gentleman who happened to be
a genius.[31]


All the magnificence that could be crammed into the humble town of St.
Sebastian was there on the morning of the 2nd June 1660.[32]  In the
principal house, under canopies of damask stiff with bullion armorial
embroideries, sat upon thrones side by side Philip and his daughter,
the Patriarch of the Indies and the Bishop of Pamplona standing in
their robes near to them, with Haro upon the steps of the dais.  Every
inch of standing room was filled with the proudest nobles of Spain,
intermingled with many masked and cloaked figures whom all knew or
guessed were French princes, princesses, and nobles, who had crossed
the frontier disguised to witness the ceremonies which some still
hoped, notwithstanding the failures of past similar attempts, would
"level the Pyrenees."  One who was there writes: "The ladies-in-waiting
were dazzlingly handsome, and all the multitude of people, grandees,
peers, noble gentlemen, and others, stood with uncovered heads, their
Majesties alone being seated; whilst Don Fernando de Contreras, the
Secretary of State, read aloud the solemn document in which the Queen
of France, by oath on a Christ crucified, renounced for herself and
hers for ever all claim to the succession of the Spanish throne."  For
a long hour and more the Secretary of State, on his knees, read the
pompous sentences of the act which was in after years to convulse all
Europe in war, and change the dynasty of Spain; but those who listened
to it {479} were more concerned with their own fatigue at standing in a
crowd so long than at the vast import of the renunciation, whose
effects were hidden in the womb of time.[33]  When, at last, Contreras
had finished reading, the Bishop stepped forth, and upon the Gospels
and the crucifix Maria Teresa swore to keep inviolate the pledge
contained in the act.

[Sidenote: The wedding]

The next morning the humble parish church of St. Sebastian was
transformed, by the "richest hangings and adornments necessary for the
greatest wedding that ever was seen in the world, whilst their
Majesties and the Court were a blaze of magnificence."  Advancing with
his daughter, Philip took his seat upon the curtained throne by the
side of the high altar, whilst Maria Teresa stood beneath the canopy,
and Don Luis Haro, who was honoured by holding the proxy of King Louis
to marry her, stood a step below her.  The church was crowded with
French princes, princesses, and nobles in disguise intermingled with
the Spaniards, and, as the pontifical mass was sung with its beautiful
ceremonial, appealing to all the senses before that gorgeous assembly,
St. Sebastian reached the apogee of its glory, never to be surpassed.
When the sacrament was ended the Bishop descended to the canopy, where
the Infanta and Haro were standing before the King.  In answer to the
ritual question whether she would take his Majesty the most Christian
King for a {480} husband, the Infanta with streaming eyes turned and
sank upon her knees before her father.  Philip, himself overcome with
emotion, bowed his head and gave his blessing to the daughter who was
to be the pledge of future peace between Spain and France; and the
Bishop had to repeat his question three times before the weeping
Princess could summon composure enough to reply in the affirmative.
Then she and Haro together placed their hands in a great gold dish that
stood upon a side table, whilst Haro in the name of King Louis XIV.
accepted Maria Teresa of Austria as his legitimate wife.  Taking a gold
ring from the centre of the salver upon which their hands rested, the
Spanish minister placed it upon the rim near the fingers of the
Infanta, but without touching them; and then with a sweeping flood of
melody the _Te Deum_ burst out, whilst the great guns of the fortress
upon the crag overhanging the church thundered their message to the two
realms that another Spanish Princess was Queen of France.[34]  In the
midst of the uproar King Philip led his daughter from the church,
followed by all the glittering crowd.

[Sidenote: Marriage of Maria Teresa]

That afternoon the royal party rode to the neighbouring land-locked
Port of Pasages three miles away, and so to Renteria for dinner, and by
Oyarzun to the ancient fortress village of Fuentarrabia on its jutting
peninsula, from which you may cast a stone to France on the other side
of the river mouth.  The roads were so narrow and bad that the maids of
honour were upset on the way; and Don Luis de Haro, anxious as he was
to do {481} honour to the Sovereign who had made him little less than a
King, he was unable to meet him on the narrow rocky causeway, but
perforce had to stand, surrounded by the King's Guards in their new
yellow uniforms, at the gate of the ancient palace fortress upon its
cliff, that twenty-two years before had so stoutly withstood the siege
of the French by land and sea.

The following day, whilst preparations for the public interviews upon
the Isle of Pheasants were being made, Philip embarked with his
daughter, Haro, and a very few attendants, amongst whom was Diego
Velazquez, and landed privately upon the little island in mid stream.
The buildings, which had been specially erected for the peace
conference of the previous autumn, were constructed with the jealous
punctiliousness which always characterised the intercourse between
France and Spain.  The eyot was divided into a Spanish and a French
half, and the houses, each in its respective territory, were connected
by a corridor, the conference hall, which stood upon the dividing line,
being half upon Spanish and half on French soil.  Even in Philip's
private meeting with the sister from whom he had been separated and at
war so long, the utmost precision of etiquette was preserved.  Landing
on the Spanish part of the island, and entering the Spanish house, he
bade all his attendants stay behind, except Haro, Velazquez, and one or
two more, who alone accompanied him to the hall, where, on the French
side of the dividing line across the hall, stood Anna of Austria.

The meeting was a painful one, for when they had last met Philip and
his sister had been in the {482} flower of youth, full of hope and
bright ambition; and now both were old and broken, with lives of
bitterness behind them.  Both brother and sister had been slaves of
their passions, and had surrendered their regal power to other hands.
They had been but figureheads of State; and though, as was the case
with all their house, their family affection had been strong, national
aspirations had been too powerful for them, and victor and vanquished,
brother and sister, must have felt themselves, for all their grandeur,
the helpless victims of forces beyond their control or understanding.
Anna of Austria broke down into piteous tears when she saw the unhappy
face of her brother; and, after a few low-spoken words of comfort had
passed between them, there came tiptoeing silently behind the Cardinal
and Don Luis, who stood behind Queen Anna, a handsome young man with
aquiline features and a nascent black down upon his upper lip.  He
wore, in the French fashion of the time, high red heels to his shoes;
and a flowing black curled periwig fell upon the wide Walloon collar of
fine lawn that covered the shoulders of his satin skirted-coat.
Peeping over the shoulders of those before him,[35] himself supposed to
be unseen, thus Louis XIV. first looked upon his bride, and upon the
King the ruin of whose realm and dynasty was to make way for the
supremacy of France and the Roi Soleil.

[Sidenote: The wedding]

At length, on Sunday, 6th June, all was ready for the ceremonial
meeting and delivery of the bride to her new country.  At a signal both
{483} monarchs stepped into their boats at the same time, Philip in
Fuenterrabia and Louis in St. Jean de Luz, followed soon by crowds of
other boats filled with courtiers as fine as silks and satins and
bullion tissues could make them, for sumptuary decrees were all thrown
to the winds now; whilst strong armed forces, 12,000 troops in all,
with loaded arms and new uniforms, stood upon each side of the tiny
stream, as many as 4000 cavalry being arrayed on the French bank, with
numbers of pikemen and guards; "all smart looking troops, but both men
and horses small," said a Spanish expert, who thought Philip's fine
array of red and yellow guards "better troops, smarter and with better
horses."[36]  As far as the eye reached on either side, crowds of
people stood upon the banks, and far away upon the hills overlooking
the scene, which for most of them promised peace and renewed
prosperity; whilst the ante-rooms of the conference hall which was to
be the scene of the interview were packed to suffocation by a
privileged crowd of nobles and courtiers of both nations.

At the same moment the two Kings landed upon their respective ends of
the island, and at the same moment they and their suites entered the
conference hall by opposite doors, Philip leading his daughter,
followed by Haro and a great household, and Louis his mother with
Mazarin, and forty ladies-in-waiting behind.  Advancing to the line
that divided the room, Louis made as if to kneel to Philip, who
prevented him from doing so by clasping him in his arms.  "My son,"
said Philip, "I {484} welcome you.  For me this has been the happiest
day I have ever known or shall know; for I see your Majesty is as well
as I can wish"; and then, pointing to the Infanta, he continued: "the
only person after your Majesty who could have brought me on this
journey is this piece of my own heart, that I have brought to give you
for your wife; and I trust that your Majesty will hold her in the
esteem she deserves, not only as Queen of France and my daughter, but
also in consideration of the goodwill with which I give her to
you."[37]  Anna of Austria was weeping copiously the while; but Louis
himself, not to be outdone in courtesy, was fully equal to the
occasion.  "My father," he said, "only the favours I am receiving from
the generous and potent hands of your Majesty could force me to confess
myself not only unworthy to be the son of so powerful a monarch, but
also your humble vassal," and with that he warmly returned his uncle's

Much more flattering talk there was about Philip's potency and
strength, and the obligation of France to him.  It pleased the
Spaniards vastly; for words with them ever took the place of deeds when
their pride was touched, and every courteous word of the Frenchmen was
as balm in Gilead to men who, in their heart of hearts, knew that
poverty, humiliation and defeat had befallen them and their country.
Many tears there were, too, when Philip formally handed his daughter to
her new husband, and the four sovereigns took their seats side by side
on thrones arranged for them across the {485} line.  Then Mazarin came
forward with a missal in his hand, upon which Philip on his knees swore
to keep the terms of the peace, and the Patriarch of the Indies
administered a similar oath to Louis.  The public act being thus ended,
the hall was cleared of the crowds of nobles that encumbered it, and
for four hours the royal party gave themselves up to familiar
intercourse; after which Louis with his Court, "the most enchanting
sight ever seen in the world," says the Spanish chronicler, rode off to
St. Jean de Luz, and Philip returned by Irun to Fuenterrabia.

Of the costly presents on both sides, of the overwhelming magnificence
of the subsequent ceremonies in St. Jean de Luz, where the personal
marriage took place,[38] and of the delight of the gallant Spanish
courtiers at the nice French fashion of kissing all the ladies, it
boots not here to tell; but as Philip and his cumbrous Court slowly
wended their way home again to Madrid, the younger courtiers of both
sexes, at all events, took back with them something like a contempt for
the old Spanish fashions which had persisted so long.[39]  The
_golilla_ was voted stiff and {486} ungraceful when compared with the
fine lace cravats of the French; black-framed goggles looked frumpish;
the ropilla and close doublet were not half so modish as the full
skirted long tunics, open in the front and showing a smart vest, that
Louis and his gentlemen had worn; and who would care to wear thin lank
hair, even when a topknot on the brow and _guedejas_ before the ears
adorned it, when he could buy a splendid flowing curly periwig such as
made the French look so stately?  It is true that the change of fashion
that began on the banks of the Bidasoa did not go very deep or far away
from Court; for the common people clung to the old modes still, and the
wars that divided Spain forty years afterwards caused French fashions,
or anything but Spanish, to be loathed by all ranks as unpatriotic.
But, nevertheless, this great transmigration of Spanish courtiers to
the French frontier in 1660 was the first opening of the door by which
some glimpses of light from a new Europe entered Spain, the first
inkling to Spaniards that anything outside their own frontiers could be
estimable and worth imitating.

[Sidenote: Death of Don Luis de Haro]

Philip was welcomed back to Madrid by his wife and his people, with
great rejoicing for his safety, on the 26th June, and even poor
suffering little Philip Prosper, tricked out in a military uniform with
a sword by his side, was carried in his nurse's arms to greet his
father as he ascended the stairs of his palace, though the child fell
into a series of exhausting fevers immediately afterwards.  The King's
base-born son, Don Juan, of whom Queen Mariana was bitterly jealous,
was impatiently waiting outside Madrid[40] {487} for troops and means
to be provided for him to conquer Portugal; Don Luis de Haro, who had
ignominiously failed in the task himself, not being at all active in
forwarding Don Juan's ambition.  It was six months more before an army
was at last got together, and, early in 1661, Don Juan crossed the
frontier with 20,000 men, whilst Osuna's force of 15,000 co-operated
with him in the north.  But the marriage of Charles II. of England with
a Portuguese wife had given to Portugal the aid of England; and though
Don Juan fought well, he had now Marshal Schomberg with an English
force to cope with, in addition to the Portuguese, and he made but
little way.  Bitter complaints came from him to his father that Haro
would not provide him with the resources necessary for the task he had
to do.  But Haro died at the end of the year 1661,[41] and after that
Mariana's influence against him crippled Don Juan more than ever,
though at one period the civil dissensions in Portugal enabled him to
overrun for a time some of the central provinces of the country.

The loss of Don Luis de Haro affected Philip greatly.  The minister was
not a strong man, but his conciliatory manner and quiet industry had
prevented the existence of such violent antagonism to him as had ruined
his predecessors.  The nun of Agreda had never ceased to urge upon
Philip the need for hard work on his part, and the King had wearily
defended himself, again and again, by saying {488} that it was
impossible for him to do everything.  Indeed, the whole system was so
cumbrous that under it the monarch's whole time was taken up in
reviewing the interminable reports of the various Councils, and signing
papers placed before him, leaving him no opportunity for initiating
policies.  When Count Castrillo, Haro's uncle, entered the King's
chamber one morning late in 1661, and announced Haro's sudden death, he
told the King that all the official papers had been locked up, and
requested the King's instructions as to who should take charge of the
key.  Philip meditated for a while, and then replied: "Put it on that
table," much to Castrillo's disappointment, as he expected to be
appointed chief minister.  Philip, however, thought this time really to
do without an all-powerful vice-king, such as he had had all his life;
and as soon as Haro was buried he issued decrees dividing the
administration between Castrillo, the Duke of Medina de las Torres, the
Inquisitor-General, and himself, and ordering that every question from
all quarters should be submitted to him before decision.  Entering the
Queen's apartments a few days afterwards, he found all the ladies
chattering upon the floor, as usual, about what a bold preacher had
said in the pulpit that morning: that the King was going to show the
Councils now that he was really King.  Hearing this talk, Philip said:
"I am quite old enough now to see things for myself, and I shall be
glad if those who know of anything that needs remedying will advise me
of it, and I will see to it.  Things are not going on as they had been

[Sidenote: Heliche's plot]

There appears, indeed, to have been a dead set against Haro's family as
soon as he died.  The {489} Marquis of Heliche, his son and heir,
claimed, amongst other lucrative offices held by his father, the
Keepership of the Retiro.  This offended Philip, who refused him the
office, and gave it to the Duke of Medina de las Torres.  Heliche was
soon afterwards accused of a plot to blow up the Retiro, which brought
him and his family into the deepest disgrace.  One morning in March
1662, three packets of gunpowder, connected by a train with a slow
match, was found under the stage of the Retiro Theatre among a lot of
heavy stage machinery, which had been used in a comedy recently
represented, and designed and paid for by Heliche, but which was now to
be used for a play to be produced before the King and Queen under other
auspices.  As soon as the discovery, was made (in time to avert
disaster), five underlings connected with the theatre, two of them
being Moorish slaves, were arrested; and when Heliche heard of it he
went to the gaoler, saying that as one of the Moors had been punished
by him, and had his ears cut off, he would probably say that he,
Heliche, had prompted the crime.  He therefore offered the gaoler a
bribe to kill the Moor, by giving him a slight wound and anointing it
with a poisonous unguent which Heliche would send.  The gaoler divulged
the plot, and the page of the Marquis was captured with the unguent in
his possession.  The Marquis was then arrested, and though great
efforts were made by his kinsmen to obtain his release, four Duchesses
kneeling before Philip at one time to beg for mercy, the King refused
to interfere, though he said he was sorry the lad had not escaped.  In
the end the Marquis was let off with a term of banishment, apparently
on the ground that he was {490} bewitched.  His own excuse for the
crime was that he did not wish his scenery and stage effects to be used
by the Duke of Maqueda.  The whole case is an interesting illustration
of the morals of the time.

Soon Madrid had something more piquant to talk about even than this;
though for days no one dared to whisper it above his breath.  But by
and by Liars' Walk became bolder, and, with the accompaniment of many a
sign of the cross, the story ran through the city, growing ever larger
with additions as it ran, that devilish arts were being practised upon
the King.  It appears that a certain alcalde suspected that the house
in Madrid of a lady, the sister of a judge at Granada, was being used
as a factory of base money; and on going thither to search the premises
and arrest the inmates, he discovered amongst the instruments for
counterfeit coining, two engraved metal plates, each of which bore the
device of a heart pierced with an arrow, one being inscribed with the
name of "Philip IV., son of Philip III. and Margaret," and the other
with the name and parentage of Don Luis de Haro, with other words taken
from the Scriptures; the hearts themselves bearing the words, "I am
thine, and thou art mine."[42]  The alcalde thought that this looked
serious, and carried the incised plates to the Inquisition, which
promptly decided that it was a case of witchcraft, and at once sent its
hosts of familiars to worm out the rest of the dreadful story, whilst
sweeping into their silent dungeons all who might be suspected of
complicity or knowledge, and giving occasion thus for all Madrid to
invent its own details.  The case dragged on in secret, as {491} was
the wont of Inquisition investigations, but thenceforward until his
death the awe-stricken whisper was never long silent that the King lay
under a maleficent charm; and grave heads were shaken knowingly, and
crossed fingers kissed devoutly, when any fresh misfortune befell him.

[Sidenote: Death of Philip Prosper]

Evil fate, indeed, gave Philip little truce from sorrow.  The frail
life of his only son Philip Prosper flickered out on the 1st November
1661, and a week later the bereaved father wrote to the nun--

"The long illness of my son and my constant attendance at his bedside
have prevented me from answering your letter, nor has my grief allowed
me to do so, until to-day.  I confess to you, Sor Maria, that my grief
is great, as is natural after losing such a jewel as this.  But in the
midst of my sorrow I have tried to offer it to God, and to submit to
His divine will; believing most earnestly that He will order all things
for the best, which is the most important thing.  I can assure you that
what grieves me even more than my loss is that I see clearly that I
have angered God, and that these punishments are sent in retribution
for my sins.  I only yearn to know how to amend myself, and to fulfil
the divine will by avoiding transgression, with which end I will try my
hardest, surrendering my life, if necessary, in order to succeed.  Help
me, as a true friend, with your prayers to placate the ire of God, and
supplicate Him, since He has taken away my son, to send a safe delivery
to the Queen, whose confinement we expect every hour; to protect her
and grant that her offspring should be for His service, for otherwise I
desire it not.  The Queen has borne {492} the blow as a true Christian,
though sorrowfully.  I am not surprised at this, for she is an angel.
O Sor Maria! if I had been able to carry out your doctrines, perhaps I
should not find myself in this state.  Pray to God that my eyes may be
opened, so that I may comply with His will in all things."

And then in a postscript, written a day later, the King, full of
gratitude, conveys the happy news to his friend that another son had
been born to him.

"Our Lord has deigned to send me back my son, by bringing me another;
for which I am as grateful as so signal a boon and mercy demands.  Help
me, Sor Maria, to prostrate myself at His feet and beseech Him to
preserve this pledge, if it be for His service, otherwise I desire it
not, but to bow my head to His will.  The Queen and the child are well,
and I am content."

[Sidenote: Fresh attempts at reform]

The child that was born to Philip's old age was greeted, as his many
predecessors had been, by violent rejoicings in the capital, though the
King took little or no part in them beyond the religious ceremonies;
for he really was trying hard now to do without a minister, working
early and late at the drudgery of administration, drafting new stern
pragmatics to reform the corruption of his capital, which had become
more scandalous than ever, and bringing to book many of those who had
grown rich under Don Luis de Haro.  Money was needed for the Portuguese
war, and the coinage was again debased; clothes were ordered to be
plainer than ever, no silk was to be worn by officials, and no one was
to have more than two mules to his coach; {493} the owners of carriages
were to pay for the paving of the streets of Madrid, which had become
simply quagmires, whilst, to the joy of the populace, the taxes on food
entering Madrid were reduced by one half.  The speculators who farmed
these dues cried out that they were being defrauded, and they were
recompensed by a cession to them of half the 10 per cent. property tax
on Madrid.

Thus, with reforms in judicial procedure, the cancelling of grants and
pensions which could not be justified, and desperate efforts to
suppress the open vice that paraded the capital, Philip, for the third
time in his life (in 1661-1662), tried to carry into effect the saintly
precepts in which he believed.  Much of this new zeal for reform was
evidently owing to the insistence of Sor Maria, who was never tired of
pointing her lesson.  Soon after Haro's sudden death she wrote--

"Let your Majesty order your ministers strictly to punish the rich and
powerful people who cheat the poor by usurping their property, make
your inferior ministers do justice with equity and impartiality, let
them punish foul vices and all sorts of sin, and let the superior
government of your Court assume a better form.  And, for God's sake,
moderate some of the taxes the poor people pay, for I know that
villages have been depopulated in consequence of them; and that the
poor people only keep body and soul together on barley-bread and the
herbs of the fields....  So many changes in the coinage, too, are most

Philip did his best, but he was sick and weary, {494} and soon
slackened in his personal efforts.  Nothing that he did, indeed, seemed
to prosper, and in his constant letters to Sor Maria his despairing
references to his own sins being the cause of all his troubles became
increasingly poignant.  With infinite trouble and scraping together of
resources, he managed to raise another army and full campaign material,
with which his son Don Juan was to reconquer Portugal for the
crown.[44]  At first in the spring of 1663 all went well with Don Juan,
who invaded Portugal and captured the important city of Evora, but he
was met near that place by the English and Portuguese and defeated on
the 8th June.  Attempting to retreat into Spain, he was overtaken, and
again the Spanish army suffered a disastrous rout, with a loss of 8000
men, with baggage, standards, and arms.  Don Juan himself fought
bravely, pike in hand, but was borne away in the flight, and with
difficulty escaped to Badajoz.  He was then recalled to Madrid, and in
long conferences with his father's ministers[45] arranged a new
campaign for the {495} following year, though it was evident now to
everyone that the reconquest of her lost dominion was beyond the
material and moral strength of Spain.

Ever since the Restoration in England, Charles II. had been making
tentative efforts to bring about peace with Spain.  Philip it was
certain would not officially recognise the independence of Portugal;
but perhaps a _modus vivendi_ might be arranged, by means of a long
truce or otherwise, so that direct trade between England and Spain
might be restored, and the mutual injuries inflicted at sea be stopped.
The advantage to Spain would, of course, be great, because the silver
fleets were constantly preyed upon by English privateers; but the
English shipmasters and merchants also had felt severely the
deprivation of Spanish trade; and after the crushing defeat of Don Juan
at Amegial, just referred to, in June 1663, it seemed a good
opportunity for Charles II. to suggest directly to Philip the
advisability of an agreement.

[Sidenote: Fanshawe's embassy]

The envoy chosen was that Dick Fanshawe who had been in Spain in the
time of Bristol and Aston, and had lately negotiated the marriage with
Catharine of Braganza.  He, stout loyalist as he had been during all
the Commonwealth, was Sir Richard Fanshawe, Baronet, now, and in high
favour with Charles, who, it was thought, would have made him Secretary
of State.  He was instructed to set forth to Philip the benefit that
{496} would accrue to both States from a reopening of maritime trade,
and to say how anxious the King of England was to be friendly with the
Catholic King, whom he esteemed so highly, notwithstanding the refusal
of Spain to deal with him during the Commonwealth and the expulsion of
his agents from Madrid at that time, as well as the closing of the
Spanish ports to Prince Rupert's fleet.  The matter of Portugal was to
be very tenderly handled.  Fanshawe was instructed to say that the King
of Spain "cannot imagine that we will ever persuade him to deprive
himself of his reputed right to the kingdom of Portugal, but whether
the determination of that difference may not be advantageously
suspended till a more favourable conjuncture, and until the crown of
Spain be less liable to accidents, will be his part to judge."[46]

Fanshawe arrived in Cadiz on the 24th February (O.S.) 1664, and nothing
could exceed the honour shown to the English ambassador and his wife by
the magnates of Andalucia.  The keys of the city were tendered to him
in a "great silver basin," and he was asked to give the password for
the night, which, courtier like, he did in the form of "_Viva el Rey
Catolico_."  Very different was the welcome that had awaited poor
Ascham in the same port fourteen years before; though Fanshawe,
overcome by all this ceremonious posturing, hoped that it was "not
instead of substance, for then it would be very tedious and irksome to
me, indeed, but an earnest prognostick of it, which {497} time will try
when I come to treat."[47]  Everywhere, as Fanshawe travelled towards
the capital, he was treated with almost royal honours; bull-fights,
cane-tourneys, and, of course, the usual comedies being offered by
nobles on the way: and it was the 7th May before he reached Vallecas in
the outskirts of Madrid, where he remained for a time, as Philip was
staying at Aranjuez, and no house had been provided in the capital for
Fanshawe's accommodation; the famous "house with the seven chimneys"
being then occupied by the Venetian ambassador.

For the next five weeks the exchange of visits of compliment and
ceremonial generalities with the Duke of Medina de las Torres, now
Philip's principal minister, and many other nobles and officials,
occupied the time of Fanshawe and his clever wife; who wrote, "Though
the men visited my husband, I could not suffer the ladies to visit me,
though they much desired it, because I was so straitened in lodgings
that in no sort were they convenient to receive persons of that
quality, in not being capacious enough for my own family."  The gossips
of the Calle Mayor were full of the visit of the English peace-envoy,
and saw all manner of grave political import in the difficulty of
finding him a house; though Fanshawe himself attributes it to its true
cause, namely, the insufficient house room in the capital; though he
offered _carte blanche_ as to terms, and to pay a year's rent in
advance in silver.  After much delay and {498} resistance on the part
of the Venetian ambassador, who wished to retain the house after his
departure for the accommodation of his successor, the English
ambassador was once more housed in the "house with the seven chimneys,"
after he had stayed for a time at a house standing in its own grounds
outside the Fuencarral gate at Santa Barbara.

[Sidenote: Fanshawe's state entry]

At length, Philip having returned from Aranjuez, Fanshawe made his
state entry into the capital, and had his first audience of Philip.

"On Wednesday the 8/18th June," says Lady Fanshawe, "my husband had his
audience of his Catholic Majesty, who sent the Marquis de Malpica to
conduct him, bringing him a horse of his Majesty for my husband to ride
on, and thirty more for his gentlemen, and his Majesty's coach with his
guard, that he (_i.e._ Malpica) was captain of.  No ambassador's coach
accompanied my husband but the French, who did it contrary to the
King's command, who had before, upon my husband's demanding the custom
of ambassadors accompanying all other ambassadors that came to this
Court at their audience, replied that, although it had been so it
should never be again; saying that it was a custom brought into this
Court within less than twenty-five years.[48]  My husband, about eleven
of the clock, set forth out of his lodgings thus.  First went all those
gentlemen of the town and palace that came to {499} accompany my
husband, then went twenty footmen, all in new liveries of the same
colour we used to give, which is dark green cloth with a frost upon
green lace.  Then went all my husband's gentlemen, and next before
himself his _camarados_, two and two (here follow the eight names).
Then my husband, in a very rich suit of clothes, of a dark fille
(feuille) morte brocade laced with silver and gold lace, nine laces,
every one as broad as my hand, and a little silver and gold lace laid
between them, both of very curious workmanship.  His suit was trimmed
with scarlet taffeta ribbon, his stockings of white silk upon long
scarlet silk ones, his shoes black with scarlet shoe-strings and
garters, his linen very finely laced with very rich Flanders lace, a
black beaver buttoned on the left side with a jewel of twelve hundred
pounds, a curious wrought old gold chain made at the Indies, at which
hung the King his master's picture richly set with diamonds, cost three
hundred pounds, which his Majesty in great grace and favour had been
pleased to give him at his coming home from Portugal.  On his fingers
he wore two very rich rings, his gloves trimmed with the same ribbon as
his clothes.  All his whole family (_i.e._ suite) was very richly
clothed according to their several qualities."[49]

In this great magnificence Sir Richard Fanshawe rode through Madrid
with the Marquis of Malpica by his side, followed by the Teuton guard,
groups of pages and lackeys, and then the royal coach.  After that came
a coach drawn by four black horses, the finest state coach, says Lady
Fanshawe, that ever {500} came out of England, and to describe its
grandeur nothing but the lady's own words will do justice.

"It was of rich crimson velvet, laced with broad silver and gold lace,
fringed round with a massy gold and silver fringe, and the falls of the
boots so rich that they hung almost down to the ground.  The very
fringe cost almost four hundred pounds.  The coach was very richly gilt
on the outside, and very richly adorned with brass work, with rich
tassels of gold and silver hanging round the top of the curtains round
about the coach.  The curtains were of rich damask fringed with silver
and gold.  The harness for six horses was richly embossed with brass
work, with reins and tassels for the horses of crimson silk, silver and
gold.  That coach is said to be the finest that ever entered Madrid."

After it followed a host of other coaches, which, fine as they were,
must have appeared dull by the side of such a chariot as this.
Fanshawe passed through an admiring crowd both outside and inside the
palace, for the Madrileños ever loved finery; and at length reached the
presence of Philip, who received him courteously, and many
complimentary speeches, meaning nothing, were exchanged; after which
ceremonious visits had to be paid to Queen Mariana and her children,
the Infanta Margaret, now called the Empress, by virtue of her
betrothal to her uncle, and the scrofulous rickety infant, Don Carlos,
now Philip's only son.

[Sidenote: Lady Fanshawe in Madrid]

A week afterwards, Sir Richard had his first private interview with the
King at the Buen Retiro.  Philip was ill, and unequal now to much
exertion, so that after Fanshawe's long address on the need {501} for
peace, and the conditions upon which it might be attained, he could
only request that the whole of the points might be put in writing for
his careful consideration.  Soon after this, on the 27th June, Lady
Fanshawe first went to salute Queen Mariana, and thus gives her
impressions of what she saw--

"I waited on the Queen and the Empress (_i.e._ the little Infanta
Margaret) with my three daughters and all my train.  I was received at
the Buen Retiro by the guard, and afterwards when I came upstairs by
the Marquesa de Hinojosa, the Queen's _Camarera Mayor_.  Through an
infinite number of people I passed to the Queen's presence, where her
Majesty was seated at the upper end under a cloth of state upon three
cushions, and on her left hand the Empress upon three more.  The ladies
were all standing.  After making my last reverence to the Queen, her
Majesty and the Empress, rising up and making me a little curtsey, sat
down again.  Then I, by my interpreter, Sir Benjamin Wright, said those
compliments that were due from me to her Majesty, to which her Majesty
made a gracious and kind reply.  Then I presented my children, whom her
Majesty received with great grace and favour.  Then her Majesty,
speaking to me to sit, I sat down upon a cushion laid for me above all
the ladies, but below the Camarera Mayor (no woman taking place of her
but Princesses).  The children sat on the other side, mingled with the
Court ladies that are maids-of-honour.  Thus, after passing half an
hour in discourse, I took my leave of her Majesty and the {502}
Empress, making reverences to all the ladies in passing."

Of the various times the Fanshawes saw the King or Queen no detailed
account need be given here, as the descriptions add nothing to our
knowledge; nor is it necessary to dwell upon the accounts given of the
Court diversions, which have already been described fully in the
earlier pages of this book.  Lady Fanshawe's opinions, however, of
Spain and Spaniards generally are quaint.  She thinks that the usually
accepted English idea that Spain is a land of famine is unjust,
especially for those who could afford to pay.

"There is not in the Christian world," she says, "better wines than
their midland (_i.e._ southern) wines, especially sherry and canary.
Their water tastes like milk, and their wheat makes the sweetest and
best bread in the world.  Bacon is beyond belief good; the Segovia veal
much whiter, larger, and fatter than ours.  They have a small bird that
lives and fattens on grapes and corn--so fat that it exceeds the
quantity of flesh.  They have the best partridges I ever ate, and the
best sausages, and salmon, pike, and seabream, which they send up in
pickle called escabeche in Madrid; and dolphins, which are excellent
meat,[50] besides carps and many other sorts of fish.  The cream called
nata is much sweeter and thicker than ever I saw in England.  Their
eggs much exceed ours; and so all sorts of salads, roots, and
fruits....  Besides that, I have ate many sorts of biscuits, cakes,
cheese, and excellent sweetmeats....  Their olives, which are {503}
nowhere so good.  Their perfumes of amber excel all the world in their
kind, both for clothes, household stuff, and fumes; and there is no
such waters made as at Seville."

The good lady, too, was much enamoured of the courtesy of Spaniards.

"They are civil to all, as their qualities require, with highest
respect; so I have seen a grandee and a duke stop his horse, when an
ordinary woman passeth over a kennel, because he would not spoil her
clothes, and put off his hat to the meanest woman that makes reverence,
though it be to their footmen's wives....  They are punctual in visits,
men to men and women to women.  They visit not together, except their
greatest ministers of State to wives of public ministers from
Princes....  They are generally pleasant and facetious company, but in
this their women exceed, who seldom laugh and never aloud, but are the
most witty in repartees and stories and notions in the world....  They
work little, but that rarely well, especially in monasteries (_i.e._
convents).  They all paint white and red, from the Queen to the
cobbler's wife, old and young, widows excepted, which never go out of
close mourning, nor wear gloves nor show their hair after their
husband's death, and seldom marry.  They delight much in the feasts of
bulls and in stage plays, and take great pleasure to see their little
children act before them in their own houses, which they will do to
perfection....  Until their daughters marry they never stir so much as
down stairs, nor marry for no consideration under their quality, which
to {504} prevent, if their fortunes will not procure them husbands,
they make them nuns.  They are very magnificent in their houses,
furniture, pictures of the best, jewels, plate, and clothes; most noble
in presents, entertainments, and in their equipage."[51]

Fanshawe's mission made but slow progress, for the pride of Spain with
regard to Portugal still stood in the way, and Philip was hoping
against hope that the campaign of the following year, 1665, would
restore to him the crown he had lost.  He was still straining every
nerve to get money; and as a last fatal resource in order to relieve as
he hoped the distress of the treasury, he now reduced the value of the
silver money to half, so that, as Lady Fanshawe says, "the pistole that
was this morning at 82 _reals_ was now proclaimed to go but for 48,
which was above £800 loss to my husband."[52]  At length, in the
spring, by such devices as this--seizing all the securities lodged for
loans, etc.--another army was got together.  Don Juan, by the intrigues
of the Austrian faction, was recalled and sent into semi-disgrace to
Consuegra; the Count of Caracena, distinguished in the war with the
Turks on the frontier of Hungary, being entrusted with the task of
reconquering Portugal.

Philip, indeed, at this time, as his health and strength decayed, was
surrounded by intrigue, intended, as it did, to drag unhappy Spain once
more into the fatal alliance with the Emperor, in {505} which Spain was
made the catspaw of Austrian ambition, and the milch-cow of Austrian
greed.  It was no longer to suppress freedom of conscience in the
German States.  That had been conceded long ago; and against that alone
had it been Spain's traditional policy to fight.  The German Queen and
her confessor Nithard, with Pöetting, the Austrian ambassador, were all
intent now upon obtaining Spanish aid to the wars with the Turk on the
Hungarian frontiers.[53]  Philip still treated it as a question of
conscience, and his letters to the nun breathed continual sorrow at
having to deplete his own poverty-stricken subjects to help the
Emperor.  But it never seems to occur to him that he was really under
no obligation whatever to do so, and that Spain would not have been
seriously affected even if the Turk had been victorious in Hungary.

[Sidenote: The nun's last letter]

His personal health was now very bad, gallstones and other painful
maladies keeping him in almost constant agony.  To a letter from the
nun, imploring him to care for his health, in March 1665, he answered
that he would do so; "but I can assure you that I only want what may be
best for God's service, and neither health, nor anything else, but that
the divine will should be executed upon me.  This is what I wish you to
supplicate His Divine Majesty to grant me, and my salvation, which is
my main concern."  A few weeks after this was written, in March 1665,
the nun sent to her royal friend another letter full of goodly counsel
{506} and encouragement; and then the pen fell from her hands for ever,
and Philip was left utterly alone.  His wife, working hard for her
future influence, and in favour of the Austrian policy, had no sympathy
to spare for the sufferings of the declining old uncle-husband, to whom
political ambitions had given her as his wife.  The only son who lived
to succeed him was a scrofulous degenerate, who presented, even in his
infancy, an exaggeration of his inherited type, which made him a
monstrosity, a poor creature who never emerged from puerility, and
finally died of senile decay at forty.

There was literally no ray of light on earth for Philip, now that Sor
Maria was dead.  Around him, as he knew and saw, plans and intrigues
were anticipating the time when he should be no more.  There were those
in the Court, looking mostly to Don Juan, who dreaded to see Spain
dragged once more at the tail of the Empire; for Louis XIV. was already
threatening, and most Spaniards hankered for the closer alliance,
meaning peace with France, that seemed so firm on the Isle of Pheasants
only five years before; whilst Mariana and the Austrians had gained to
their side a large party of nobles, pledged for their own greedy ends
to support the Queen when she should succeed to the Regency and hold in
her hands the resources of Spain.

[Sidenote: The last blow]

On the 20th June 1665 the terrible news had to be broken to the King,
that his forlorn hope had been defeated.  Count Caracena, from whom so
much had been hoped, had been utterly crushed by the Portuguese and
their English auxiliaries.  Eight hours of carnage had reduced the
Spanish {507} army from 15,000 men to 7000, and all the guns had been
lost.  Philip could, in very truth, do no more.  To raise this army
every means, legal and illegal, had been resorted to; private property
had been violated, pledges had been broken, injustice had been
perpetrated, and suffering had been inflicted upon poor people already
sorely oppressed.  To this had the great dream come at last: that the
King who was held to be the proudest and wealthiest in Christendom was
unable to hold even his own territory.  For the first time Philip broke
down in the sight of men; for Sor Maria was dead, and to none could he
turn now for comfort.  Heart-broken, he cast himself upon the ground in
a paroxysm of grief, and sobbed out the formula that was his only
refuge, "Oh God!  Thy will be done," almost the same words as those
which his grandfather uttered when he received the news of the
catastrophe that had overtaken his great Armada.  But Philip IV.'s case
was worse, by far, than that of Philip II.  Behind the latter there was
still a nation full of faith in its divine selection to dominate the
world for the glory of God and His chosen King: behind Philip IV.,
himself aged and worn with sickness of body and disillusion of spirit,
there was a people who had lost all confidence in themselves and their
mission, ready to scoff and spit upon the idols that had failed them; a
people whom sloth, vanity, and epicureanism had robbed for a time of
their nobleness, and who yet had to pass through the consummation of
their woe before, cleansed in the fires of suffering, they should arise

Philip knew it; and, looking back over his long {508} reign, he must
have cursed the fate that condemned him from his birth to the
performance of an almost impossible task with utterly inadequate means.
He had been dedicated at his baptism to the Dominican ideal of a
Christian church purged of dissent at any cost; and yet, from the time
when the Protestant ambassadors of England were the honoured guests at
his christening, until now in his despairing age Fanshawe was reminding
him daily of his impotence both on land and sea, he had been obliged to
woo heretics, and to fight a great Catholic Power which was bent upon
the final humiliation of his house.  Thus, with bitter irony, some
mightier power, with ends incomprehensible to men, mocked at the great
designs of those who thought that they and theirs were but junior
partners with providence, the chosen agents of the Almighty; and
Philip, in whose days the scales had fallen from the nation's eyes,
ascribed the agonised awakening, and the ruin it disclosed, to the
vengeance of an offended deity for his own puny sins.

[Sidenote: Philip bewitched]

Philip was tired of the struggle, weary of the sordid intrigues around
him, and he fell into gloomy despondency that banished from him all
interest in life.  His bodily sufferings were intense, for the malady
that afflicted him was a cruel one.  Again the rumour ran that the King
was bewitched, and that the late Inquisitor-General had been arranging
means to remove the spell when he died.  The great ecclesiastics in
attendance were convinced that Satan was at the bottom of the King's
troubles; and asked Philip's permission to proceed in their
incantations to defeat the evil one who was thus persecuting him.
There were those at Court who {509} sneered at the absurdity of
attempting to cure a physical malady by such means;[54] but the
Inquisition insisted, and took over the management of the case.  The
acting Inquisitor-General, Gonzalez, accompanied by Philip's confessor,
Juan Martinez, went to the patient and asked him for a little bag of
relics which he always wore around his neck, for they feared some evil
charm might be amongst them.  Then to the Dominican monastery of the
Atocha they solemnly carried "an old book of sorcery, some prints of
his Majesty transfixed with pins," and other rubbish, all of which they
solemnly burnt with much sacred mummery.

This did the King no good, and then the doctors tried their hand with a
sweet conserve of mallow leaves, not, one would think, a sovereign
remedy for gall-stones.  On Monday, 14th September, the physicians
confessed themselves hopeless.  The hemorrhage was very great, and the
patient utterly exhausted with frequent paroxysms of fever, in one of
which he was thought to be dead, and the news spread through the
capital that he was so.  When he was restored to consciousness, he
summoned the new Secretary of State, Loyola, and entrusted him with
official papers and his will for Queen Mariana, and then demanded the
last sacrament.  When the friars brought the viaticum and told the
dying man that all hope was gone, he was resigned; though the Holy
Virgin of the Atocha was taken in procession past his windows, and the
body of {510} St. Diego, with scores of other grisly remains, were kept
in the sick-room itself, in the hope that good would come of them.
Mariana and her two children came to say good-bye to the dying man on
Monday afternoon, and, with tears in his eyes, Philip sighed to the
five-year-old weakling who was to succeed him: "God make you happier
than He has made me."[55]  He took an affecting leave, too, of the Duke
of Medina de las Torres, and the other nobles who were attached to him;
pardoned the Marquis of Heliche for the attempt to blow up the Retiro,
and granted many titles and knighthoods to his gentlemen-in-waiting.
Count Castrillo, always self-seeking, had the bad taste to pester the
King, both personally and through the friars, that he should be made
Grandee, but Philip angrily referred him to the Queen.

For three days the King lingered on in suffering, confessing again and
again and receiving absolution; never for long abandoning his hold upon
the rough crucifix that had comforted the last moments of his saintly
predecessors on the throne.  The jealous friars and confessors about
him quarrelled so violently in the death chamber on one occasion, about
administering the last sacrament again, that the Marquis of Aytona
turned the King's confessor out of the room and forbade his return.  On
Wednesday, Castrillo came in full of the great news that Don Juan had
presented himself at the palace, and Philip, disturbed and unhappy at
the trouble that this portended, sternly sent orders for the Prince to
return instantly; for this, he said, was only {511} the time for him to
die, not to enter into mundane disputes.

[Sidenote: Death of Philip IV.]

All that night the King was delirious, until he suddenly recovered
consciousness just before dawn on Thursday, 17th September 1665, and
then quietly passed away.  He had been beloved by those around him, and
had been prodigal all his life of favour to the men who served him; but
Mariana and her son were the source of bounty now, and human nature
showed its baseness at such a crisis, as it is wont to do in palaces;
for, as my eye-witness authority avers,[56] "Of all his Majesty's
household, the Marquis of Aytona and two other servants alone wept for
the death of their King and master; and in all the rest of the capital
there was not one person who shed a tear."  The Marquis of Malpica,
captain of the Guard, came from the death chamber first to the anteroom
filled with guards on duty, and announced the King's passing by
shouting: "Now, comrades, your duty is to go upstairs[57] and guard his
Majesty King Charles."  Courtiers were too busy thence-forward looking
towards the future to care much for the unhappy Planet King who had
laid down his heavy burden.  The reading of the will which made Mariana
Regent, the constant meetings, and the coming and going of the
ministers, kept the palace astir from morning till night; but a few
faithful souls dressed the poor remains of the King in a musk-coloured
velvet suit, embroidered with silver, placed a silver sword by his
side, a {512} diamond cross in his hands folded upon his breast, which
was embroidered with the great red dagger of Santiago, and covered the
head with a beaver hat.  And so, garbed and enclosed in gorgeous silver
and red velvet coffins, he was placed high upon a dais under a canopy
illumined by great wax torches, surrounded with the insignia of
imperial majesty, and guarded by the faithful halberdiers of Espinosa;
whilst friars chanted and prayed around the bier hour after hour.  The
hall in which the body of Philip lay thus in deathly state was that
which had seen so many gay hours of his hopeful youth; for it was the
room devoted to the stage-plays that he had loved not wisely but too

Lady Fanshawe, like the rest of the great people in Madrid, went to see
the sight, and thus records her impressions--

"The body of Philip IV. lay exposed from the 18th September, Friday
morning, till the night of Saturday the 19th, in a great room in his
palace, in which they used to act plays.  The room was hung with
fourteen pieces of the King's best hangings, and over them rich
pictures round about, all of one size placed close together.  At the
upper end of the room was raised a throne of three steps, upon which
there was placed a bedstead raised at the head.  The throne was covered
with a rich Persian carpet, and the bottom of the bedstead with a
counterpoint of cloth of gold.  The bedstead was of silver, the valance
and headcloth of gold wrought in flowers with crimson silk.  Over the
bedstead was {513} placed a cloth of state of the same as the valance
and headcloth of the bedstead, upon which stood a silver gilt coffin
raised a foot or more at the head than at the feet, and in the coffin
lay Philip IV. with his head on a pillow, upon it a white beaver hat,
his hair combed, his beard trimmed, his face and hands painted.  He was
clothed in a musk-coloured silk suit embroidered with gold, a golilla
about his neck, cuffs on his hands, which were clasped on his breast,
holding a globe and a cross therein.  His cloak was of the same, with
his sword on his side; stockings, shoe-strings, and garters of the
same, and a pair of white shoes upon his feet."

[Sidenote: The burial of Philip]

Seven altars and scores of lighted tapers were erected in the chamber,
and offices for the dead King's soul went ceaselessly on, as the
courtiers came and went before the painted clay that had been once so
potent; but when, late on Saturday, the time came to carry the body
through the night across the plains to the snow-tipped Guadarramas
glimmering afar off, where in the stately jasper chamber he had wrought
for his royal house Philip IV. was to lie amongst the greater dead, few
of the high nobles and officers cared to absent themselves from Madrid
in these early days; and one after the other they refused to do the
last sad offices to him who had so often commanded them with a glance.
At last the Duke of Medina de las Torres peremptorily ordered a kinsman
of his own to take charge of the body to the Escorial.  Even the
bearing of the body to the mule litter that awaited it gave rise to a
hot dispute, in which threats of {514} violence between two sets of
officials were flung across the coffin.[58]

With fourscore friars and the great officers of the palace who were
obliged to accompany the corpse, the litter, surrounded by torches,
travelled throughout the night, and on Sunday, 20th September 1655, the
prior of the Escorial relieved the courtiers of the burden of which
they were so glad to be free; whereafter they all scurried back, as
fast as horses could carry them, to make the preparations and ensure
their own important participation in the glorious series of
bull-fights, cane-tourneys, masques, and sumptuous parades which within
a fortnight were to greet the accession of his Catholic Majesty King
Charles II.

[Sidenote: The end]

There were still thirty-five years more of national humiliation and
grief for Spain before the great convulsion that awoke her to a new
life; but these years were but a prolongation of the agony preceding
the dissolution that had been made inevitable during the reign of
Philip IV.  The Court over which he was the presiding spirit had
exhibited in the forty-five years he ruled it the strange phenomenon of
corruscating intellectual activity, accompanied by unexampled moral and
social corruption.  Literature and art had blazed up with sudden
refulgence before they too sank into twilight; and when Philip passed
in, the generation of geniuses that illumined his Court were dead or
hastening to the grave, whilst all else was sinking deeper and deeper
into darkness.

It needed the formation of new ideals, the evolution of a new
patriotism, to make Spain {515} worthy of her history again; and the
outworn, incestuous blood of the Philips was powerless to lead the
nation back to health and sanity after its splendid epoch of heroics.
Philip did his best, but he himself was but a product of his time and
country: a kindly gentleman of noble aspirations and ignoble practice,
weak of will and tender of conscience, a poet and a dilettante, doomed
to an overwhelming task for which he was unfit.  In his long reign he
saw moral decadence that he could not arrest, national ruin that even
his frantic prayers were powerless to avert; and he lived through half
a lifetime of martyrdom, because he ascribed his failure to the
vengeance of a ruthless deity whom he had offended by his sins, and
believed that he, gentle-hearted as he was, had brought upon the people
that he loved the wide-spread woe he saw around him.

[1] _Avisos de Barrionuevo_ (Coleccion de Autores Castellanos), Madrid,
1892; _Voyage en Espagne_ (1655), Aersens Van Sommerdyk, Amsterdam,
1666; _Relation de l'État et Gouvernement d'Espagne_, Bonnecasse,
Cologne, 1667.  Barrionuevo, who was brother of the Marquis of Cusano,
was a "character."  He was a jovial priest, not ashamed to boast of his
love affairs, of his good looks, of his bravery: and he belonged to a
turbulent family who were always getting into affrays of some sort, He
himself records without any word of reprobation a murder committed in
the open streets of Madrid by his kinsman, Francisco Barrionuevo, upon
a man who had boasted of making love to his wife; and the chronicler
quite unconcernedly predicts that the murderer, who had fled to
sanctuary, will get off.  Barrionuevo confesses that he is insatiably
curious, and gathers news from everyone, going every morning to the
palace to learn what was passing there.  His brother, who was Spanish
ambassador in London, also kept him well posted as to what happened in
England.  See Barrionuevo's biography by Señor Paz y Melia in the first
volume of the _Avisos_.

[2] Van Sommerdyk.

[3] _Ibid._  The population at this time was between 250,000 and

[4] Aersens and Bonnecasse.  The charge for entrance was 1½ sous, which
went to the actors; 2 sous were charged for admission to the seated
part, which went to the Town Council; and 7 sous was the cost of a seat
in the cheapest part, 1½ sous of which went to charity, and the rest
for the lessee.

[5] Bonnecasse says that at this time there were 30,000 women of evil
life in Madrid.  Even now strangers in Madrid are surprised to see the
impunity with which well-dressed, respectable young men dare to make
audible remarks of an amorous or complimentary nature intended to reach
the ears of ladies unknown to them in the streets.

[6] A curious craze was universal amongst men in Madrid at this time,
and for some years previously, namely, that of wearing large round horn
framed spectacles such as are seen in the portrait of Quevedo.  The
modern name for goggles in Spanish is "Quevedos."  The habit of
snuff-taking was also a fashionable affectation of the time.

[7] Worth 2s. 8d. each.

[8] He also cites, however, very numerous cases of professedly poor
people having large secret hoards of money.  The universal want of
confidence had undoubtedly led to the hoarding of coin--especially
silver--to a very great extent by all classes, and this will to some
extent explain the strange facility with which money was found on
emergency even in the midst of poverty.

[9] Barrionuevo mentions a malicious caricature which was current in
the palace (1655, satirising Philip's helpless despondency in the face
of universal corruption.)  A group represents Haro, the chief minister,
saying: "I can do everything"; the Secretary of State, Contreras,
saying: "I want everything"; the King saying: "I see everything"; his
Confessor saying: "I absolve everything"; and the devil saying: "I
shall fly away with the lot."  Aersens, as an instance of the
ineptitude and corruption everywhere at the same period, mentions that
he saw on the beach at St. Sebastian a great warship in course of
construction, but which had not been touched for a long time; "but upon
which more millions had already been spent than would have built a
dozen such; but those who have spent it have alone profited by it."

[10] The tradition is that Philip himself painted the cross of Santiago
on the representation of Velazquez as a token of his delight at the
masterpiece.  This, however, is hardly likely to be the case, as the
rank was not granted to the painter until two years later.  It was no
doubt eventually added by Philip's orders, but Velazquez was not a
Knight of Santiago when the painting was executed.

[11] Barrionuevo.

[12] _Curias de Sor Maria_.  Philip evidently recollected the
bitterness of his losing Baltasar Carlos in the flower of his youth.

[13] In a long doggerel ballad on the occasion, quoted by Barrionuevo,
many lines are devoted to the King's delight.  These are specimens--

  Salio el Rey á verlo todo,
  y tambien á que le viesen;
  porque todos conociesen
  en el regocijo el modo
  de salir....

  En toda mi vida vi
  hacer locuras mayores
  a plebeyos y señores;
  y sin reparar, entrando
  al rey le iban hablando
  desde el Grande hasta el rapaz.

  Fué el Rey el dia noveno
  a dar las gracias á Atocha
  mas tierno que una melcocha,
  y, por Dios, que iba muy bueno
  de diamantes todo lleno,
  a ese cielo parecia.

  The King came out to see the show,
  And also that he might be seen;
  For by his gay and happy mien
  Thus all the world his joy might know.

  Sure never in my life before
  Did such mad pranking meet my eye,
  By rich and poor and low and high.
  For no one cared, but in did walk,
  And to the King himself did talk,
  From great grandee to urchin poor.

  And when nine days had taken flight,
  Atocha's saint with thanks to greet,
  Our King did ride, as honey sweet,
  By God! he was a gallant sight,
  From top to toe with diamonds fine,
  Like starlit heaven did he shine.

[14] It will be recollected that this was the same costume as that
which Olivares wore at the baptism of Baltasar Carlos, and which then
puzzled people.  The dress, whatever it was, seems only to have been
worn at christenings.

[15] What was called "marchpane" at royal baptisms was not really
marchpane, which is of course a sweetmeat compounded of almond paste
and honey, but a piece of crumb of bread upon which the bishop wiped
his fingers of the holy oil after anointing the royal infant during the
ceremony.  The crumb of bread was often enclosed in an envelope of
marchpane and was carried in the procession wrapped in a beautifully
embroidered cloth upon a gold salver.

[16] Barrionuevo.

[17] _Cartas de Sor Maria_.

[18] Braganza himself, John IV., had died in 1656, leaving his son,
Alfonso VI., a minor.

[19] Lionne's own account of his negotiations in _Recueil des
Instructions données aux Ambassadeurs Français_.  Ed. Morel Fatio,
Paris, 1894.

[20] On Good Friday, 1657, for instance, the procession, as usual,
passed before the palace of Madrid, and as the carved group
representing the Flight into Egypt passed the royal balconies a large
flight of white doves was let loose.  One of the doves, Barrionuevo
says, flew direct to the window where the Infanta was standing, and
settled upon her head, whilst another alighted upon the King's hat.
Both birds were caught and liberated by the King's command, and all
Madrid was soon talking of the good omen the event presented.

[21] On the day of St. Blas, writes Barrionuevo, the King and Queen go
to the Retiro, and on the 8th February (1658) there will be the great
comedy there which will cost 50,000 ducats, with unheard of machines.
There will be 132 performers, 42 of them musical women brought from all
parts of Spain....  One of them, the _Bezona_, is a very fine lady from
Seville, and another one, the _Grifona_, has escaped from her prison,
so that the feast will be brilliant, and will last from Shrove Sunday
to Ash Wednesday.

[22] _Cartas de Sor Maria._

[23] Barrionuevo.

[24] Barrionuevo.

[25] There are three French MS. narratives of it in the Bibliotheque
Nationale, written by various hands, as well as a _Journal du Voyage
d'Espagne_, by Bertaut, in print, Paris, 1669, and _La Veritable
Rélation du Voyage_, etc., Toulouse, 1659.  Several Spanish narratives
of the embassy also exist in print and MS. in the Biblioteca Nacional.

[26] _Journal du Voyage d'Espagne_, par l'Abbe Bertaut, Paris, 1669.

[27] So jealous were the nations of one another still, that Mazarin
strictly forbade any of his French followers from crossing the Spanish
line during the conference: "Dans la crainte qu'il avail que les
Français, accoutumés à mépriser les étrangers et à se moquer de tous
ceux qui ne sont pas vétus à leur mode, ne fissent quelques déplaisirs
aux espagnols, dont le procédé est plus serieux et plus modeste."
"L'isle de la Conference et le Mariage du Roi," 1660.

[28] _Avisos anonimos_.  Appendix to Barrionuevo.

[29] A full account of the progress from day to day, written by an
eyewitness, is _Viage del Rey Nuestro Señor à la Frontera de Francia_.
Madrid, 1667.

[30] So few were they at this time, that it was projected to repopulate
the rural districts by large immigration of Irish and Dalmatian
families (Barrionuevo).

[31] Palamino, _Life of Velazquez_.

[32] An eye-witness, from whose unpublished MS. description of these
ceremonies I have condensed some passages, says they were "de los
mayores y de mayor lucimiento que ha visto Europa en muchos siglos."
MS. Biblioteca Nacional, P. v. c. 27.

[33] In one of the narratives of the ceremonies from day to day,
written by Roque de la Luna, one of Philip's household (MS. Biblioteca
Nacional, P. v. c. 31, transcribed by me), he says "Don Francisco took
an hour and a half to read it, and as we were all standing it seemed a
very long time to us."

[34] "The noise was so great that it seemed as if the world was
crumbling," says the narrator from whose manuscript I am quoting.

[35] Narrative of Roque de Luna, MS., Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid.  P.
v. c. 31.

[36] Narrative of Roque de Luna, MS., Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, P.
v. c. 31.

[37] MS. narrative of an anonymous eye-witness.  Biblioteca National,
Madrid, P. v. c. 27.

[38] Contemporary descriptions of these ceremonies in French are
numerous.  One, published in Paris in June 1660, is specially
interesting.  It is called "Le mariage du Roy, célébré à St. Jean de
Luz."  The occasion remains one of the great glories of St. Jean de
Luz, where the house in which Maria Teresa lodged still stands, and is
called "La maison de l'Infante."  A series of interesting tapestry
pictures of the ceremonies may be seen in the exhibition palace in the
Champs Elysées, Paris.

[39] Some of the Spanish narrators mention with surprise and chagrin
that neither the Spanish troops nor courtiers were so fine as the
French.  The anonymous Newsletter writer (sequel to Barrionuevo) says:
"Many of our courtiers write (_i.e._ to Madrid) that the French
gentlemen and ladies who came to the ceremonies were so numerous, and
the adornments they wore were so rich and abundant, that we were
evidently inferior to them, although much care had been taken on our
side to excel, and no expense had been spared.  So we cannot say this
time, as we have said before, that the French finery was nothing but
frills, furbelows, and feathers."

[40] It was against the etiquette of the Court for a left-handed son of
the sovereign to stay in Madrid, or even to visit it without special
permission.  The rumour, though untrue, that Don Juan was to be allowed
to come to Madrid and welcome Philip at this time caused much

[41] The Newsletter writer (_Avisos anonimos_) says that when Don Juan
was told of Haro's death, he replied: "My father has lost a great
minister; Let us go hunting," which he did immediately, to show his

[42] _Avisos_.  Sequel to Barrionuevo.

[43] _Cartas de Sor Maria_, 25th November 1661.

[44] It was necessary for Philip to seize all the securities lodged in
the hands of the contractors and money-lenders for the raising and
provision of this army, the excuse being that the contractors were
swindling him.  It appears that they bought barley in Estremadura at 8
reals the fanega (1½ bushels), and sold it to the army for 56 reals.
The contractors (Genoese and Portuguese) offered 3½ million ducats for
the securities back again, but it was refused.  Another seizure of
securities left with loan-mongers and contractors was made in the
following year, which completed the ruin of several of them.  _Avisos_.

[45] Don Juan was kept in Madrid for many months, much to his own
disgust, as he saw that it was in consequence of the intrigues of Queen
Mariana to separate him from the army altogether.  One of her plans was
to induce the King to order Don Juan to conduct to Germany the young
Infanta Margaret, who had just been betrothed to her uncle, the
Emperor.  Don Juan stood out firmly against this.  He hated the
Austrian connection, and Mariana and her German advisers were his
enemies.  Affairs came to a head in October 1663, when Don Juan forced
the pace by boldly urging his father to make him an Infante of Spain
and first minister.  This frightened Mariana and her alter ego, Father
Nithard, her Jesuit confessor; and it had the effect desired by Don
Juan, of obtaining his despatch from Madrid to the army at Badajoz.
During his stay in the capital he had offended nearly all the nobles by
his haughty arrogance.  _Avisos_.

[46] Instructions to Sir Richard Fanshawe.  _Original Letters of Sir
Richard Fanshawe_, London, 1702.

[47] Fanshawe's _Original Letters_.  A most naive and amusing account
of his embassy in Spain, where he died, is in Lady Fanshawe's Memoirs.
of which a new and fully annotated edition has recently been published.

[48] The controversy on this point is fully set forth in Fanshawe's own
letter to Lord Holles.  The French ambassador's exceptional courtesy to
the Englishman somewhat disconcerted the Spaniards, who thought there
was some political significance behind it.

[49] Lady Fanshawe's _Memoirs_.

[50] The fish she calls dolphins were probably tunny.

[51] Lady Fanshawe's _Memoirs_.

[52] Whilst the penury of the country led Philip to adopt such measures
as this, the influence of Mariana and her German entourage induced him
at this very time--November 1664--to send a contribution of 500,000
ducats to the Emperor's needs.

[53] An interesting volume founded upon Pöetting's correspondence, and
dealing with the connection between Spain and the Empire at this time,
has recently been published by his Excellency Don W. de Villa Urrutia,
Spanish ambassador in England.  It is called _Relaciones entre Espana y
Austria_, Madrid, 1905.

[54] There is a very minute account of Philip's illness and death
written by one of his attendants, from which I take some of the
particulars.  Biblioteca National, Madrid, P. v. c. 24.  Manuscript, 15
pages transcribed by me.

[55] _Muerte del Rey Felipe IV._, a contemporary account by an
eyewitness.  British Museum MSS., Add. 8703.

[56] MSS. Bib. Nac., Madrid, P. v. c. 24.

[57] Philip had died in the entresol-room in the palace, which he
always occupied in summer, as it was shady and cool.

[58] MSS. Biblioteca National, Madrid, p. v. c. 24.



  Abbot, Archbishop, 109.
  Academies (literary contests), 200, 301.
  Admiral of Castile (Duke of Medina de Rio Seco), 163, 167.
  Aguila, Marquis del, 300.
  Ahumada, Father, 373.
  Alamos, Don Baltasar de, 237.
  Albert, Cardinal, Archduke, 21, 286.
  Aliaga, confessor of Philip III., 45.
  Alumbrados, the blasphemous sect so called, 271.
  Amegial, battle of, 494, 495.
  Anna of Austria, Queen of France, 155, 334, 335, 377, 464, 465, 482.
  Aragonese Cortes, 141, 159, 162-170, 228, 254-259, 287, 296, 397.
  Archy Armstrong in Spain, 100, 120.
  Arcos, Duke of, 342.
  Arnet, murderer of Ascham, 433.
  Arundel, Philip, Earl of, 196.
  Ascham, Anthony, Cromwell's envoy to Spain, 429; his mission, 431;
      his murder in Madrid, 431-437.
  Astillano, Prince of, 460.
  Aston, Sir Walter, 77, 81, 106, 124, 292, 293, 295, 311, 312,
      313, 317, 322.
  Atillano, "the poet," 301.
  Auto-de-fé, an, 150, 259.
  Avendaño, an actor, 231.
  Aytona, Marquis of, 218, 229, 391, 510.


  Balbeses, Marquis of (Spinola), 341.
  Ballard, an English priest in Madrid, 102.
  Baltasar, Carlos, Prince, 210, 225, 241, 244, 246, 250, 253, 257,
      276, 282, 284, 285, 353, 367, 387, 397; his betrothal, 399.
  Barbastro, Cortes at, 164.
  Barcelona, 167 et seq., 255-259, 297, 337-342.
  Bejar, Duke of, 253, 342, 461.
  Borgia, Cardinal, 253, 343, 458.
  Borja, Melchior, 371.
  Braganza, Duke of, 286, 334; proclaimed King of Portugal, 345, 423.
  Breitenfeld, battle of, 247.
  Bristol, Earl of, Sir John Digby, 67, 68, 72, 73, 76, 77, 81, 97,
      98, 100, 106, 123, 124.
  Buckingham, Duke of, in Madrid, 67 et seq.; meets Philip, 81-85;
      the state entry, 86-92, 95, 96, 105; quarrels with
      Olivares, 106, 113-120; leaves Spain, 121-123, 125; his
      assassination, 216.
  Buckingham, Duke of, his letters to King James, 79, 83, 92, 93,
      105, 107, 111, 114.
  Buen Retiro, palace of, 201, 238, 273, 280, 281, 284, 300,
      301, 311, 316-319, 330, 342, 388, 392, 455, 489.
  Burgos, Archbishop of, 39.
  Burke, Marquis of Mayo, 216.


  Calderon, 147.
  Calderon, Marquis de Siete Iglesias, 31, 44.
  Caracena, Count, defeated in Portugal, 504.
  Cardenas, Alonso de, 423, 424, 425-429.
  Cardona, Duke of, 167, 257, 287, 342.
  Carducho, V., 194.
  Carignano, Princess of, her reception in Madrid, 311, 316-319, 329.
  Carlos, Infante, 44, 62, 65, 66, 90, 99, 123, 138, 163, 167, 174-186,
      241, 246, 247, 255, 256, 259; his death, 260.
  Carlos, Prince, son of Philip IV., 492, 500, 511.
  Carpio, Marquis of, 65, 66, 99, 167, 229, 352, 366, 371, 394.
  Carrion, the nun of, 122; her impostures, 308.
  Castel Rodrigo, Marquis of, 163, 319.
  Castrillo, Count of, 364, 488, 510.
  Catalan Cortes.  _See_ Aragonese.
  Catalonia, disaffection and war in, 336-342, 357, 365, 388, 391, 392.
  Cea, Duke of, 91.
  Chambers, Laurence, 432.
  Charles, Prince of Wales, 37; the Spanish match, 51, 52;
      arrives in Madrid, 67 et seq.; he sees the Infanta, 77;
      meets Philip, 81-83; his state entry to Madrid, 87 et seq.;
      in love with the Infanta, 93; attempts to convert him, 94, 95;
      his pastimes in Madrid, 96; his visits to the Infanta, 97;
      his indiscretion, 100; negotiations, 104-110; disillusioned,
      119; departs from Spain, 121, 195, 196.
  Charles I., King of England, 216, 217-225, 243, 266, 274,
      282, 288, 290-295, 313, 315, 321, 322, 323; his execution, 424.
  Charles I., his painter in Madrid, 282 n.
  Charles II. of England, birth of, 224, 426, 487, 495.
  Chevreuse, Duchess of, in Madrid, 317.
  Cinq Mars, 364.
  Coloma, Carlos, Spanish ambassador in England, 218.
  Condé, Prince of, 378, 462, 463, 466.
  Cottington, Sir Francis, 67, 74, 76, 81, 106, 107, 117, 217,
      218, 219, 220, 221, 222-225, 268, 275, 282, 295, 426, 432.
  Corral de la Cruz.  _See_ Theatres.
  Corral de la Pacheca.  _See_ Theatres.
  Crofts, Courier, 112.
  Cromwell, his relations with Spain, 423-437.


  Don Juan of Austria, son of Charles V., 59.
  Don Juan Jose of Austria, son of Philip IV., 207, 285, 353,
      387, 403, 405, 418, 452, 463, 464, 467, 474, 486, 487, 494,
      495, 504, 506, 510.
  Downs, the capture of the Spanish fleet in, 324.
  Dunkirk captured, 463.


  English courtiers, their behaviour at Philip's christening, 6.
  English embassy at Philip's baptism, 1-10.
  Eraso, Don Francisco, 237.
  Escovedo, 59.
  Execution of the Hijar conspirators, 407-411.


  Fadrique de Toledo, 156, 279 n.
  Fanshawe, Lady, in Madrid, 498 et seq.; her opinion of Spaniards,
      501; her account of Philip's lying in state, 512.
  Fanshawe, Sir Richard, 314; his mission to Spain, 495-497; his
      state entry, 498; his failure, 504.
  Fashions, change of, in Spain after the marriage of Maria
      Teresa, 486.
  Felton assassinates Buckingham, 216.
  Feria, Duke of, 155.
  Fernando, Infante, 44, 90, 174-186, 241, 246, 247, 255, 256,
      259; goes to Flanders, 260, 281, 288, 293, 299, 303, 310,
      315, 331; dies, 377.
  Festivities in Madrid, 60-66, 86-92, 101, 118, 145, 150, 209,
      210, 225, 231-235, 273, 301, 307, 310, 312, 316-319, 451,
      456-46l, 469, 472.
  Fischer, Ascham's secretary, 432-437.
  Field sports in Spain, 211-213.
  Flanders and Spain, 21, 156, 176, 246, 247.
  Flores d'Avila, Marquis of, 64.
  Fonseca, Dr., patron of Velazquez, 197-199.
  Francisco Fernando of Austria, Philip's natural son, 236-238.
  Frederick the Palatine, 70, 116, 216, 217-225, 266.
  Frias, Duke of, Grand Constable of Castile, 5, 354, 461.
  Fuenterrabia, 335, 480.


  Garcia Fray, punished by the Inquisition, 272.
  Golilla, the, 138, 144, 447, 486.
  Gomez Davila's way with the Moriscos, 23.
  Gondomar, Count, Spanish ambassador in England, 68, 73,
      74, 76, 81, 102, 123, 125.
  Gongora, his sonnet on the English embassy, 4.
  Grammont, Marshal, his mission to Madrid, 471.
  Granada, Archbishop of, Philip's tutor, remonstrates with
      Olivares, 53.
  Guevara, Anna de, 367.
  Gustavus Adolphus, 245, 247, 249.
  Guzman, Enrique Felipe, Olivares' son, 268, 352, 354.
  Guzman, the house of.  _See_ Olivares.


  Halsey, Major, murderer of Ascham, 433 et seq.
  Haro, Count of (a child), 457.
  Haro, Don Luis de, 352, 369, 371, 379, 394, 401, 406, 411, 420,
      448, 451, 457, 459, 464, 466-485; death of, 487-490.
  Hay, Earl of Carlisle, 103, 216, 217.
  Heliche, Marquis of, 163, 167, 229.
  Heliche, Marquis of (2), 450, 451, 469, 489, 510.
  Henrietta Maria, Queen, 295.
  Henry IV. of France, 24, 29.
  Herrera, Don Juan, 300, 328.
  Hijar, Duke of, 327; his conspiracy, 407 et seq.
  Hinojosa, Marquis of, Spanish ambassador in England, 115, 117, 501.
  Hopton, Sir Arthur, 219, 242, 243, 244, 249, 250, 252, 260, 263,
      268, 273, 275, 276, 277-279, 280, 282, 287, 288, 290, 291,
      292-295, 312, 314, 321, 322, 423.
  Howard, Lord Admiral, Earl of Nottingham, in Spain, 3.
  Howel, his account of the visit of Charles Stuart to Madrid.
      _See_ Charles, Prince of Wales.
  Humanes, Count of, 237, 288, 292.


  Idiaquez, Minister of Philip II., 25.
  Infanta Isabel, 21, 156, 176, 246, 260.
  Infantado, Duke of, 38, 39, 133, 139.
  Irish intrigues in Madrid, 216, 312.
  Isabel of Bourbon, Philip's first wife, 30, 31, 55-58, 60, 61, 65,
      77, 91, 97, 120, 121, 144, 145, 147, 173, 183, 212, 220, 229,
      230, 231-235, 259, 283-326, 353, 360, 361; leads the
      enemies of Olivares, 367; illness and death of, 392-395.
  Isasi Ydiaquez, Don Juan, 236.
  Isle of Pheasants, conferences and meetings on, 467, 470, 473, 481.


  Jamaica seized by England, 439.
  James I. of England, 29, 36, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 84, 85, 95, 101,
      105, 114, 115, 116, 119, 120, 124.
  James I., his letters to "Baby" and "Steenie," 84, 101, 104,
      108, 112, 116.
  James, Duke of York, 463.
  John Frederick of Saxony, 289.


  Lede, Marquis of, goes to England, 438.
  Leganes, Marquis of, 194, 229, 281, 364, 365.
  Lerida, Cortes at, 163.
  Lerma, Duke of, 1, 9, 11, 17, 19, 30, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 43,
      46, 68, 69.
  Liars' Walk, 54, 76, 146, 147, 196, 299, 327, 371, 439.
  Lindsay, Lord, 216.
  Linhares, Count, 325, 326.
  Lionne's mission to France, 465-467.
  Lope de Vega, 59, 147, 196, 240, 241.
  Los Velez, Marquis of, 335, 343.
  Louis XIII., 30, 252, 360, 377.
  Louis XIV, 377; his marriage with Maria Teresa, 466-485.


  Madrid, 27, 54, 59-66; Prince Charles arrives at, 67; his
      state entry, 87; social condition, 131-136, 146, 147, 188-194;
      as an artistic centre, 194-196; corruption of, 209, 227,
      265; scandals in, 268-271; artists in, 282, 296; turbulence
      in, 299-310; prices in, 321; lawlessness, 328-331, 356, 385,
      441-446, 456, 469.
  Malpica, Marquis of, 38, 498, 499, 511.
  Mantua, Duchess of (Margaret of Savoy), 287, 333, 346, 367, 386, 387.
  Maqueda, Duke of, 91, 233, 490.
  Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain, 7, 14, 26, 27.
  Margaret Maria, Infanta, 419, 453, 501.
  Maria, Infanta, 36, 50, 51, 52, 65, 68, 77, 84, 85, 91, 97, 99, 100,
      103, 118, 120, 121; betrothed to the Emperor's heir, 172, 209,
      219, 240, 403.
  Maria Teresa, Infanta, 353, 393, 403, 414, 415, 419, 453, 459;
      her marriage with Louis XIV., 466-485.
  Mariana of Austria, betrothed to Baltasar Carlos, 399;
      betrothed to Philip, 403, 413-416; married, 417-419, 449,
      465, 472, 475, 487, 489, 501, 511.
  Marie de Medici, 29, 55, 254, 266, 288, 317.
  Marston, English resident in Madrid, 432, 433.
  Mary Stuart (Princess of Orange), 276, 399.
  Masaniello's revolt, 405.
  Matthew, David, 294.
  Maurice of Nassau, 21.
  Mawe, English chaplain, 84.
  Mazarin, Cardinal, 404, 418, 438, 462, 465, 467, 470.
  Medina Celi, Duke of, 288, 430.
  Medina de las Torres, Duke of, 229, 460, 475, 488, 489, 497,
      510, 513.
  Medina Sidonia, Duke of, 253, 286, 333, 334, 357.
  Melo, General, 378.
  Mendoza, Antonio de, 231, 233.
  Meninas, the, 455.
  Millan, Don Francisco, 165.
  Montalvo, Count, Corregidor of Madrid, 307.
  Monterey, Count of, 194, 195, 229, 230, 231, 281.
  Monzon, Cortes at, 165.
  Moreto, 147.
  Moriscos, the expulsion of, 23-27.
  Moscoso, Antonio de, 254, 255, 258, 259.
  Motte, Marshall de la, 357, 353.
  Moura, Don Cristobal, 286.
  Münster, Treaty of, 404, 405 n.


  Navarre, 398.
  Nicolalde, Spanish agent in London, 275, 276, 288, 290, 292, 293, 295.
  Nithard, Father, Mariana's confessor, 495, 505.
  Nocera, Duke of, 334.
  Nördlingen, battle of, 260, 288, 289.


  Olivares, the Count-Duke, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 43, 46, 49,
      60, 65, 66, 69, 70, 72, 73, 85, 104-114, 121, 128; his policy,
      141, 154, 155, 158, 159, 160-162; in Aragon, 163-170;
      opposition to him, 173-177, 183-186; urges Philip to
      work, 179; patron of Velazquez, 197; negotiations with
      England, 216-225; his entertainment to the King, 230-235;
      builds the Buen Retiro, 238-241; his negotiations with
      Hopton, 242 et seq.; and the Catalan Cortes, 254-259;
      fresh negotiations with England, 262; his unpopularity,
      265; secret negotiation with Charles I., 266, 275, 276, 288,
      289-295; opposes Philip's journey, 297; again
      approaches England, 312, 313; negotiations dropped, 324, 325;
      his policy in Portugal, etc., 332, 333; his decline, 352; goes
      to Aragon, 362; his fall, 366-374; his death, 375.
  Olivares, Countess of, 210, 220, 230, 273, 367-375, 386, 387.
  Oñate, Count, 295, 313, 460.
  Oquendo, Admiral, his quarrel with Spinola, 304.
  Orange, Prince of, 287.
  Orleans, Gaston, Duke of, 254, 266, 288, 315.
  O'Sullivan, Beare, Count of Bearhaven, 216.
  Osuña, Duke of, 45.


  Pacheco, Don Juan, 329.
  Padilla, Carlos de, execution of, 408.
  Palatinate, the, 37, 70, 116, 120, 216, 217-225, 242, 251, 266,
      274, 296, 313, 314, 423.
  Peace of the Pyrenees, 465-474.
  Pennington, Admiral, 324.
  Philip II., 11, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 23, 40.
  Philip III., 1, 6, 7, 11, 19, 22, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32; his death,
      36-40, 51, 68, 69.
  Philip IV., christening of, at Valladolid, 1-10; his childhood,
      26-30; his marriage, 31; under the influence of
      Olivares, 35; his accession, 42; his reforms, 46; his own
      account of affairs, 50; early profligacy, 54; his character,
      60; his attitude towards the English match, 51, 52, 74, 81;
      his reception of Charles, 86-92, 97-99; his reforms, 135;
      his mode of life, 143; his garb, 144; goes to Aragon,
      162; quarrels with the Aragonese, 163-170; his pity for
      Castile, 170, 171; and his brothers, 174-186; promises
      to work, 180, 181; his serious illness, 183; scruples of
      conscience, 187; his liking for Velazquez, 189-200; his
      literary and dramatic tastes, 200-202; his amours, 206;
      the Calderona, 207; his field sports, 211-213; receives
      Cottington, 221, 224; at an entertainment, 230-235; goes
      to Barcelona, 254-259; his domestic life in Madrid, 283;
      negotiations with England, 290-295, 296; insists upon
      going to Aragon, 297; at a grand entertainment, 318;
      scandal of the Nun of St. Placido, 348; goes to Aragon,
      359; his good resolves after dismissing Olivares, 377;
      returns to Aragon, 379, 381, 389, 395, 398, 401; betrothed
      to Mariana, 403; his marriage, 413; his mode of life,
      420; his attitude towards the English Commonwealth, 423-440;
      his garb, 447; his poverty, 449, 455; his despondency, 452, 470;
      he visits the frontier for his daughter's marriage, 475; splendid
      ceremonies, 478-485; said to be bewitched, 490; intrigues
      around him, 505; his last illness, 509; his death, 511;
      his burial, 513; his character, 515
  Philip IV., his letters to Sor Maria, 381, 389, 395, 399, 400;
      402, 406, 417, 457, 468, 491, 492, 505.
  Philip Prosper, Infante, 456-462, 463, 465, 470, 486; dies, 491.
  Poëtting, Count, Austrian ambassador, 505.
  Polanco, Dr., 184.
  Porter, Endymion, 70, 77, 81, 100.
  Portugal, Dom Duarte de, 88.
  Portugal, Queen of, 334, 464.
  Portugal, revolt of, 268, 333, 344-346, 405, 423, 464, 487, 494, 495.
  Pozo, Count, 329.
  Priego, Duke of, 342.
  Priego, Marquis of, 460.
  Prodgers, Captain, murderer of Ascham, 433 et seq.
  Punoñrostro, Count of, 461.


  Quevedo, 147, 200, 231, 233, 355.
  Quiñones, Suero, his promise of pictures to Charles I., 296 n.


  Rahosa, the Infanta's confessor, 95.
  Rentin, Marquis of, 63.
  Ribera, Archbishop of Valencia, 3.
  Richelieu, his rivalry with Olivares, 154, 155, 214 et seq.,
      226, 260, 261, 288, 289, 303, 315, 325, 334, 335, 364, 376.
  Roche, Valentine, murderer of Ascham, 433.
  Rocroy, battle of, 378.
  Rojas, Francisco de, 197, 262, 312, 373.
  Rubens, Peter Paul, 217, 218, 224.


  St. Isidore, the Husbandman, 61, 335, 392.
  St. Placido, the scandals of, 272, 347-350.
  St. Teresa, 61.
  Salazar, Count, 329.
  Salazar, Father, invents stamped paper, 320.
  Salinas, Count of, Howard lodges in his house, 5.
  Salvatierra, Countess of, 459.
  Sandoval, house of.  _See_ Lerma.
  Sandoval de Rojas, Cardinal, 26.
  San Lucar, Duke of, 49.  _See_ also Olivares.
  Santa Coloma, Viceroy of Catalonia, 340; killed, 343.
  Santa Cruz, Marquis of, 361.
  Saragossa, Philip at, 164, 363, 381, 391, 399.
  Sastago, Count, 301.
  Savoy, Duke of, 24, 154, 215, 315.
  Scaglia, Abbé, an English agent in Madrid, 216, 217.
  Schomberg, Marshal, 357, 487.
  Seven Chimneys, the house with the, 67, 81, 498.
  Silva, General, 397.
  Silva, Pedro de, execution of, 408.
  Simancas, English embassy lodged at, 4.
  Soissons, Count of, 315.
  Sor Maria of Agreda, 379-384, 395, 398-401, 407, 417, 462
      et seq.; her death, 506.
  Sotomayor, Philip's confessor, 42, 229, 349.
  Spain, condition of (in 1600), 17 et seq.; (1621), 45 et seq.;
      50, 51, 130-135, 242, 243, 263, 277, 279, 299, 309, (1637),
      320, 327, 338, (1654-1660), 441-447.
  Spanish match.  _See_ Charles, Prince of Wales.
  Sparkes, murderer of Ascham, 433.
  Spinola, Marquis, 155.
  Spinola, Nicholas, quarrels with Oquendo, 304, 328, 329.
  Strada, Carlos, 318.
  Suarez Diego, Portuguese minister, 333.
  Sumptuary laws, 131, 137, 309, 319, 320, 445, 447, 476.


  Tavara, Margaret, 79.
  Taxation in Spain, 17, 18, 19, 20, 162, 170, 243, 252, 253,
      263, 277, 279, 296, 309, 319, 325, 338, 352, 366, 406 n., 444,
      448, 468, 492, 493, 504.
  Taylor, English agent in Spain, 288.
  Tejada, Auditor, 281.
  Theatres (Corrales) of Madrid, 147, 201; description of a
      performance, 202-206, 444.
  Theatrical craze, 57, 60, 61, 147, 201-206, 233, 444.
  Thirty Years' War and Spain, 245-249, 260, 267, 289, 300-303, 315.
  Tilly, Imperial general, 156, 249.
  Tirlemont, battle of, 293.
  Toledo, Pedro de, Marquis of Villafranca, 64, 65.
  Torrecusa, Marquis, 365.
  Turenne, Marshal, 462.
  Tyrone, Earl of, 223, 312, 344.


  Uceda, Duke of, 30, 32, 33, 37, 40; his fall, 43, 45.


  Valette, Duke de la, 335, 336, 344.
  Valladolid, Philip's christening at, 1-10, 19.
  Vallejo, an actor, 231.
  Vasconcellos, Miguel, Portuguese minister, 333, 346.
  Velazquez, Diego, 197-200, 212, 282, 284, 350, 373, 385,
      454-456, 477, 481.
  Verdugo Fernando, 63, 65.
  Verney, Sir Edmund, 102.
  Villa Mediana, Count of, murder of, 56-59, 196.
  Villamor, Count, 88.
  Villanueva, Geronimo de, State Secretary, 238, 319 n., 348-351.


  War with France, 154-158, 214 et seq., 226, 274, 303, 315, 325,
      334, 340-343, 357 et seq., 378, 391, 397, 422, 448, 452,
  Washington, page to Charles in Madrid, 102.
  Williams, Captain, murderer of Ascham, 433.
  Wimbledon, Lord (Sir E. Cecil), his attack on Cadiz, 126, 154, 157.
  Windebank, Secretary, 275, 276, 278, 288, 291, 323.
  Windebank, Kit, his escapade in Madrid, 323.
  Wren, English chaplain, 84.
  Wright, Sir Benjamin, 501.


  Zapata, Cardinal, Inquisitor, 152, 229, 268.
  Zapata, Lieutenant of the Guard, 301, 329.
  Zuñiga, Baltasar de, 38, 43, 49, 52.

  _Printed by_

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