The Growth and Destiny of a Man and of a World-Empire



WHEN Charles landed in Spain for the second time at Santander on July 16th, 1522, Europe was already at war.

All the treaties which had been signed seemed to serve no other purpose than the transitory exigencies of the situation and to perpetuate destructive tumult at the expense of the spiritual and material welfare of oppressed subjects. Yet this superficial view is but a moral dictum which brings us no nearer to understanding the actual truth. Such convenient generalizations on past happenings are dangerous to true historic knowledge. As many bewildering and contradictory features can be found in the wars of those days as in the diplomatic forms which preceded them. The inevitable follies and inconsistencies of peoples and rulers may be entertaining but can never be truly important in history. We need not emphasize the ephemeral nature of their treaties, their ingenuous underestimation of their opponents, or the finicking details of petty diplomacy. We need not trouble ourselves with the play-acting of ceremonial receptions and formal speeches, the grand and purposeless courtesies exchanged between Chancellors and Councillors on both sides, without the least evidence of any resultant effect. No less threadbare than these forms themselves were the ideologies with which they were stuffed -- the theory of a united Christendom, of wars against the infidel and a general Crusade as the final objective of all their conflicts. All this assumes reality only because here and there a single man stands out in all sincerity for these ideas and thereby seems to break a way athwart the political system; because in these apparently useless wars men suffered and learnt by suffering; because words and ideas did occasionally win through again to their original meaning.


This period of transition was to see for the first time that whole peoples might, in terrible and logical sequence, become engulfed in the whirlpool of war. In spite of all, military forms remained old-fashioned and inadequate. Mercenaries were employed, while the growing resources of the State and the anticipation of future revenues made it impossible to shift or spread the conflict at will. Nevertheless the technical difficulties of raising and distributing money made all forms of warfare for long enough lumbering, broken and confused. Nothing was more obviously lacking than that 'second wind' of which Charles so often spoke. In full career a victorious army might suddenly come to a stand. Nay, in the greatest triumphs lurked a still greater danger -- money might run out. For neither the subsidies of the Estates nor the loans of financiers came in fast enough or covered a long enough period.

Even if subjects could be induced to see that their own country stood in need of energetic defence, for which money must be forthcoming, the mistrust of the Estates kept pace with the princely tendency towards absolutism -- a tendency itself the outcome of the State's most crying needs. The Estates of Hainault, Artois, Flanders and Luxembourg were as anxious for peace as those of Overyssel, Utrecht and Friesland, although these latter provinces were repeatedly provoked to discontent by the Duke of Gelderland. But the suppression of ancient independence and inherited demands for self-government could not anywhere be achieved without fighting. Margaret was even now in the midst of it. Vainly did statesmen strive for a final settlement of the frontier question between France and the Netherlands in the old Burgundian lands of Artois and Picardy, between France and Spain in Roussillon and Navarre, and above all in the confederation of Italy. As vainly did statesmen strive to defend Europe against the Turk in Spain's Mediterranean possessions, in Naples, Venice and Hungary.

Over and above all this, England and Scotland disquieted the North with their political and economic squabbles, while the Northern Union quarrelled with the German Hansa and threatened daily to plunge the Baltic lands into war; Europe was a mass of infectious sores which might at any moment spread to the whole body.

Events both great and small combined to cause the outburst, while the strangest and most old-fashioned, though not always the most ineffective, methods of warfare persisted. Beside the highly developed form of fighting typified by the Spanish infantry or by the exclusive bands of German and Swiss landsknechts with their special terms of war and their unchanging tactical tradition, there were local militias and town guards. Beside generals skilled in the highly developed art of war, there were leaders who belonged to the old world of feudalism. Now and again there would be resounding encounters and ambushes, in which insignificant fortresses and towns would assume an incomprehensible importance, while the fate of kingdoms hung in the balance, so that it is difficult to judge the importance of each single event. Those ambiguous powers which were at the same time less and more than the State itself, the great lords, played a part which cannot be overestimated. In all countries the nobles grew more powerful as they entered the service of the State. They were at one and the same time leaders of parties, financiers, officials, soldiers, diplomatists; they caused an exceptional fluidity of interests and alliances, they altered the course of campaigns and were a constant threat to the stability and durability of treaties. This period which was to convert ancient and knightly virtue into patriotism, and the corporate relationship of the landsknechts into a mere business agreement, made possible the loosening of all bonds, by recognizing that 'breach of contract for lack of money' was a legal ground for mutiny. Religious differences dragged men asunder, yet the forms which their conflict assumed on European soil defied interpretation. The planned warfare of experienced soldiers goes strangely hand in hand with crazy onslaughts, amateurish efforts and fantastic plans.

And the centre of the kaleidoscope in which the general and the particular, the significant and the meaningless, the purely personal and essentially historic mingle so madly, is the Emperor's policy. He alone was in a position to grasp the outline of changing events and to modify it -- had he but the eyes to see and the will to act.

The concentration of so many lands under Charles's single authority, the long-expected contest with France on the muchdivided soil of Italy, where a confederation of states had so precociously developed, were both significant. Both furthered the development of the European system out of the confused mass of its component states. Both -- contributed to confirm the internal solidarity and the external relations of these states. Yet they did not then evolve, and have not since, a final and satisfactory conformation. For each state, individually, had to wrestle with its own problems, problems which, localized though they were, were yet of importance in the history of the world.


In 1521 Charles had left the Empire to his brother Ferdinand and an imperial government under the presidency of Frederick, Count Palatine. He had bestowed on his brother the larger and more important part of the Austrian inheritance, and allowed him to rule as regent -- in appearance at least -- over the other half, including Württemberg. He himself kept nothing save his own debts to the Electors and to Ferdinand, to which were added the very considerable remnants of his grandfather Maximilian's debts. During these next years the imperial registers contain hardly more than a dozen wholly unimportant imperial orders in a month. These deal either with the disposal of temporal or spiritual fiefs, largely in favour of imperial and court officials, or with minor troubles in the imperial cities. Naturally it was always possible to appeal from the government to the Emperor in Spain, but in fact the government itself rarely received an answer thence, even to its most pressing demands. From the last mandates issued by Charles when he was in the country and from indications of what he was likely to do on his return, the date of which was not yet fixed, it was possible to make out a rough idea of imperial policy. On this, and more still on their country's own modest needs and ambitions, the policy of the German Estates was based.

Only in one particular does the action of the imperial government, and more especially of certain resolute imperial councillors, call for further comment. This was in a question of immeasurable importance in German history -- the question of Martin Luther. In 1522 Pope Adrian sent the nuncio Chieregati to the Diet at Nuremberg, to demand the execution of the edict of Worms and to insist on prompt action against Luther; but as his instructions gave him warrant he coupled this with the promise of thorough reform throughout the Roman hierarchy and openly admitted the partial guilt of the Vatican in the decline of the Church. From all that we know of Adrian we cannot doubt but that this promise was made in all good faith. Bitterly as they spoke of him in Rome, he had nevertheless done a great service to the Church by making this significant admission. It was the first step towards the counter-reformation. Unhappily the Germans used this very confession as a reason for repudiating the Edict; they declared that they could not have it appear 'as though they wished to oppress evangelical truth and assist unchristian and evil abuses'. Both in the recess drafted on February 9th, 1523, and in the decisions of the Nuremberg Diet in 1524 they reiterated the same opinion. At this second Diet the Cardinal-legate Campeggio was present and did not attempt to conceal his disgust at the behaviour of the Estates. All his efforts did not prevent them from deciding on April 18th, to call not indeed the general Council so much dreaded by the cardinals, but a 'general gathering of the German nation'. This was to meet on Saint Martin's day next following at Speyer and was to decide what was to be done 'until the calling of a general Council'. Like the papal legate, the Emperor too refused to countenance this national gathering. Otherwise he took no part in these deliberations.

Although he got little thanks for his efforts, the Archduke Ferdinand was not lacking in zeal; but he was barely twenty years old, had little mastery over the German language and none over German affairs. He could as yet do very little. He was as ill at ease among the congested affairs of his hereditary lands as in the Empire. Worse than this, he entrusted finance largely to a Spaniard, Salamanca, who was unpopular both in the hereditary lands and in the Empire. Princes and councillors alike complained of this upstart from Burgos, and their hatred was only increased when he became a Freiherr and soon after celebrated his marriage at Innsbruck to a Countess Eberstein. 'While Innsbruck was Innsbruck', one report has it, 'never was such expense of gold, gold chains, and hangings, such a show of racing, lance-breaking and jousting.'

The longing for activity in war, or at least for greater freedom of action, was innate with Ferdinand. He pestered the imperial Court with demands for the revenues which had been promised to him, asking first for the publication of the secret treaty of February 1522, then later clamouring to be openly elected King of the Romans. He did not grasp that Charles's position was not yet so firmly established in the Empire as to allow, on personal or on purely material grounds, of so important a renunciation of his own title to power in Germany. Ferdinand's ambassadors, Henricourt and Salinas, of whom the latter was for years to come to send detailed reports from Spain, were instructed to explain his difficult position to the Emperor. They were to add that he had been forced to give up many of his finest jewels to Duke George of Saxony in order to cover certain old debts. For the satisfaction of immediate demands he needed at least 200,000 Gulden, which, unhappily, he did not possess. The Emperor's answer was brief and cold. Yet, although the Archduke had abundant cause for complaint, he never failed his brother either in loyalty or assistance. In 1524 he sent a free offer of help through Bredam.

Full and favourable were the reports which Charles and his councillors received from Germany. These reports were, however, partly falsified; even the most careful minutes were coloured with strong dynastic prejudice. For the earlier years, these minutes have survived in full, and they provide unrivalled evidence not only of conditions in Germany but of the unchanging and smooth relationship between the two brothers. In questions of universal policy during these years, Ferdinand was wholly in agreement with Charles. His lack of familiarity with Germany made it difficult for him to form independent opinions. As for Luther, he echoed the common opinion of good Catholics. Doubtless his words had some effect on Charles when he told him that Luther had a few very determined opponents among learned men of blameless life, but for the most part such men supported him while the people followed their lead because they wrote in German. The people, he added, scorned the sacraments and the celibacy of the clergy, doubted the divine nature of Christ, were contemptuous of those in authority, Pope, Emperor or princes, and, although they spoke of nothing but peace, they had already resorted to violence. Ferdinand was anxious to help his brother against France in the Italian war; he advised that the Duke of Milan be deposed, the duchy engrossed in the Empire and placed under his personal control. He wished also to have hereditary possession of Hagenau and Alsace, in return for which he was prepared to relinquish certain important border districts to satisfy the Venetians. Franche Comté would suit him very well too. Clearly enough, young Ferdinand was tormented as his grandfather Maximilian had been. He wanted to conquer far afield, not to stay at home like a good paterfamilias, and conscientiously build up what he had, little by little, as other German princes did.

The Nuremberg Diet was remarkable for an attempt -- vain alas -- on the part of the towns, to combat the economic projects of the government and to confirm their own position in the Empire. The towns raised two important problems, which were referred to the imperial Court in Spain. One of these arose out of the government's plan for covering the expenses of administration and of the Reickskammergericht out of a general tax; the cities were uncertain whether to fight this, and if they did, with what means. The other concerned trade: the cities were much exercised as to whether the dangers of unrestricted capitalism -- monopolies and forestalling -- should not be checked. Naturally enough the imperial Court handled both these complaints in a manner wholly pleasing to the towns. For who was to finance Charles's wars if not the cities and the great trading houses? A commission, consisting of Maximilian Transilvanus, La Roche, Hannart and the provost of Waldkirch, negotiated at Valladolid with the city delegates in August 1523. The provost finally gave a singularly favourable answer, in the Emperor's name. Thereupon the delegates, or rather the trading firms whose representatives were among them, while they admitted that they were not authorized to make any definite offers, declared that they would put their credit at the Emperor's service, and this in spite of the already gigantic debts of the Crown.

Charles's outlook even in the Empire was still predominantly Burgundian, for at the second Nuremberg Diet he chose as his representative, a nobleman of the Low Countries, Jean Hannart, Lord of Likerke, who from February until April 1524, sent regular and simultaneous reports to Charles and Margaret. His news was not always good; he noticed that the Electors, the Elector Palatine in particular, were discontented because Charles had failed to pay the money he had promised them. He noticed too that the Estates, who had at last been allowed a voice in the imperial government, which they had greedily demanded since Maximilian's time, were far from pleased when they found that in return they were expected to bear some of the financial burden of government. Hannart had no authority from the Emperor, but he imagined he was acting in the dynasty's best interest, when he supported Ferdinand in making half the total cost of administration and of the Reichskammergericht an imperial responsibility. Yet he did not think that the Archduke Ferdinand had enough experience to be equal to the demands which the princes might make on a King of the Romans. Ferdinand for his part was annoyed at Hannart's attitude and behaviour; and, writing to his brother with his own hand on July 11th, 1524, he complained of the instructions which Hannart said he had received. Subsequently the Spanish Court denied their validity and agreed to make careful inquiry into the actions of their representative.

But foreign policy was Hannart's chief task. And in this Ferdinand, both before and after his complaints, did all he could to help him. Their chief object was to get a subsidy against the Turks in Hungary. At the end of August 1521, Belgrade and Semlin had fallen. The advance was only temporarily held up while Suleiman collected all his forces for the attack on Rhodes, the last Christian outpost in the Turkish world. And when, shortly before Christmas 1522, the fortress of the Knights of Saint John surrendered, the Turks, encouraged by a growing contempt for the Christians, saw no further barrier to their advance up the Danube. A solemn embassy from Hungary did not pass unheeded at Nuremberg. The affection of Ferdinand for his sister, the Queen of Hungary, the immediate threat to the last Christian kingdom between the Empire and the Turk, and the ensuing menace to Austria, should have roused all to energetic action. Yet only after much weary argument did the Estates at length declare themselves ready to pay half of the subsidy which they had already voted at Worms. The Elector of Saxony pettishly declared that the Emperor would probably forget about this later and demand the full subsidy. His attitude was typical of the kind of obstruction with which Ferdinand had to deal.

The Estates proved both the short-sightedness of their political outlook and a phenomenal lack of pride when they suggested sending simultaneous embassies to the Emperor and the King of France, asking them to make peace and to collect all the forces of Christendom against the Turk. They relied on the assistance of the Pope in carrying out this scheme. In vain Hannart and Ferdinand tried to persuade them that Christendom could only be united if they would agree to support their Emperor; the step which they contemplated would have an exactly opposite effect. Ferdinand went even further. Speaking in Latin he hinted to certain princes that his duty to the Emperor might force him to take steps which he would rather avoid. The indignant princes repeated this threat to the Estates, who entered a formal protest in writing. In writing, too, Ferdinand made answer. He was angry at the indiscretion of the princes and explained his words as best he could by asserting that, as the Emperor's deputy, he might have to forbid them, on their duty as vassals, to send any embassy to the King of France. In their present mood, the Estates were only the more incensed. To use Hannart's expression, they felt that they were being treated 'à la façon d'Espagne'. It was a belief which was to be often and bitterly re-echoed in years to come.

Moreover, Hannart had the difficult and delicate task of informing the Elector of Saxony that he must give up all hope of the alliance which had been promised to him at Charles's election. The Infanta Katherine was not for the Electoral Prince. Although Ferdinand himself had instructed one of his delegates in Spain to ask that both sisters, Eleonore and Katherine, might be contracted to German princes, yet at the imperial Court the interests of Portugal and Spain loomed larger.

The marriage of the fourth sister Isabella, too, had some effect on the negotiations at Nuremberg. From the end of March until the beginning of April the unhappy Queen of Denmark and her three children were in the town; she had come not only to see her brother but to implore help for her husband.

Christian II had soon earned the hatred of all his subjects in the three united kingdoms of the north. First he alienated the Swedes and the city of Lübeck; then he quarrelled both with the Danish Estates and more violently with his uncle Frederick of Holstein, whom he had tried to' deprive of his inheritance -- or so Frederick said-by separating Holstein and Lübeck from the Empire. Realizing at last, when he tried in vain to calm the infuriated Estates of Jutland, that his situation was desperate, Christian made ready to defend himself in Copenhagen. On April 14th, 1523, he was forced to leave by sea with his wife and children, a fugitive from his own land. With little more than a dozen ships and four or five hundred men, he fled to Isabella's native land; here, after having to abandon his first plan of entering the Zuyder Zee, he landed at Veere on Walcheren with the permission of the admiral Adolph of Burgundy. Both to the people of the Netherlands and to his wife's family he was an unwelcome guest.

All his efforts to raise an army to go back to Denmark failed. The stadhouder of Holland, Hoogstraeten, refused him help almost rudely. And Margaret, tenderly as she treated the three children, Hans, Christina and Dorothea, was forced for political reasons to treat their father with the utmost reserve. The Baltic trade of the Netherlands was once again on its feet and she could not afford to endanger it by wantonly entering into alliance with a bankrupt king, against whom almost all the northern powers were united. Nevertheless, it is comprehensible enough that the city of Lübeck and its allies went for some time in deadly fear lest the Emperor and the Netherlands should help Christian. Should this occur the danger of Dutch competition in their trade would be very serious. But they overestimated Charles's resources and underestimated Margaret's intelligence. Her fundamental good sense was never seriously impaired by her occasional outbursts of temperament. Wood and corn from the Baltic were far too necessary to the life of the Netherlands for the government lightheartedly to espouse Christian's cause. Paul vom Felde, the delegate from Lübeck, found a readier welcome than the Danish King. A few ports in the Netherlands exacted reprisals because the Sound had been closed to strengthen the blockade of Copenhagen; but these did not last long.

Christian next opened negotiations with England, whence he got nothing but fair words. He got even less from France and Scotland when he tried to interest them in his cause. He still cherished hopes of North Germany, of his brother-in-law, the Elector of Brandenburg and his Lutheran co-religionists. He called a meeting at Hamburg, to which the Pope, the Emperor, the Archduke Ferdinand and his neighbours were to send dele- gates. Meanwhile Isabella tried to borrow 20,000 Gulden from her brother. Her efforts provoked sympathy but no help. Even her husband's request was refused. The Estates were prejudiced against him by the accusations of his uncle Frederick. On June 8th, 1523, the Danes had elected this latter king at Roskilde and he himself wrote to inform the German Estates on January 26th, 1524. Hannart records that when the Queen was questioned about her husband's shameful behaviour, she defended him nobly. But other people confirmed the stories of his misdeeds. Ferdinand was moreover horrified to hear that his sister received the sacrament in both kinds at Nuremberg, a fact which may perhaps have supplied the reason for Luther's attack on Christian's enemies. But Isabella's religion was not a strong enough argument to persuade the citizens of Nuremberg, or others of her faith'in Germany, to advance money for her husband's cause. It was typical of Christian that he continued to boast about his financial resources. From time to time he even persuaded princes and mercenary leaders to raise large armaments on his behalf. On the borders of Holstein and in Ltibeck his enemies were even forced to take steps to defend themselves. But all Christian's undertakings collapsed when the truth leaked out, that he was nothing but a bankrupt prince in sore need of help.

On January 6th, 1524, Copenhagen at last surrendered and with its fall Christian's part in Denmark was for the time being at an end. An emigrant, distrusted by everyone, he took up his residence with his family in the town of Lierre in the quarter since known as the Court of Denmark. Some of his servants, like Johann von Weeze, Archbishop-elect of Lund and himself a native of the lower Rhineland, and his secretary Cornelius Schepper, later entered imperial service. The long-suffering Isabella lived to see the liberation of the Sound and peace made between the Netherlanders and the Hanseatic League at the end of 1524, but not to return to Denmark. She died on January 18th, 1526. Once again her aunt, the Archduchess Margaret, took charge of a family of orphan children.

For some time to come Charles was troubled with the Danish question. Naturally enough he wished in one way or another to make good his family's dynastic claim; at the meeting of 1524 he had not failed to lay emphasis on the imperial overlordship of Denmark. This made no impression either on the Hanseatic League or on the northern kingdoms. In the interests of Flemish trade Margaret's delegates made peace with the Emperor's Danish opponents 'under the very eyes of the imperial representatives'. The incident was clear proof of the fact that the economic needs of the hereditary lands were incompatible with the interests of the imperial free cities and Hanseatic League.

Unrest grew throughout the Empire and the Estates felt ever more keenly that they needed a King of the Romans. Everywhere trouble was brewing: counts, lords and knights stormed the Diet with complaints. Among the knights Franz von Sickingen had perhaps the most modern outlook; a condottiere in the Italian tradition, he lacked nothing save wealthy employers and had once again withdrawn unsatisfied from imperial service. He gathered a swarm of discontented knights about him, not to mention the hordes of landsknechts who always crowded to his banners. With Ulrich von Hutten he envisaged a plan for secularizing Church lands and granting them to deserving knights. It was wholly superfluous to deck out this plan with fine words about the true interest of the German nation; it was wholly misleading to disguise this ruthless attack on wealthy prelates as an effort to 'forge a path for the Gospel'. Yet even this selfish war against ecclesiastical overlords ultimately played its part in determining the form of the Protestant Confession. In August 1522, Sickingen declared war on Richard von Greiffenklau, Archbishop of Treves; he opened his campaign in September. After the first shock the Archbishop's supporters stood farm. Help came from fellow princes in Hesse and the Palatinate. The imperial government condemned both parties for flying to arms, but the Emperor had already renounced Sickingen, and the princes, the better-organized power, gained the victory. The castles and houses of the knights were systematically attacked and destroyed, last of all the fortress of Kaiserslautern whither Sickingen himself had fled. When, on May 7th, 1523, the princes entered the battered and burning ruin, they found him dying in a cellar. With him died an age. Unable to find a place in the new world which was growing up about them, unfitted to be either the officials or the soldiers of the new government, the German knights perished. The wretched end of Sickingen must stand for a symbol of the passing of a whole generation, of a whole class, to its doom.

The simultaneous and widespread movements among burghers and peasants, caused by so many and such varied discontents, did not at the moment directly affect the Emperor. So far as he was concerned, their only effect was to force the government of the Netherlands and of Austria to proceed more sternly against heretics. In practical politics the risings hampered Ferdinand's freedom of movement in Tyrol, a fact which did not escape the Venetians. But there is no need to linger over them. The Peasants' War cannot be explained by any single formula, and all efforts to do so rest on prejudice. The causes were partly economic but social, emotional and political reasons underlay all. Sooner or later the people had to come to some understanding with the increasingly powerful territorial states in which they lived. The general will of the nation played its part in bringing to birth and in spreading the ideas which found expression in the outcry of the peasants. The general will of the nation created the Reformation, itself part cause and part result of the Peasants' War. An illuminating comparison can be drawn between the trouble in Germany and the older and more essentially political movement of the Castilian comuneros, or the even more violent Germania in Valencia, this latter embittered as it was by differences of race. Such a comparison throws into strong relief the predominantly agricultural and religious nature of the German movement. In Alsace as early as 1522 rumours had been rife that the 'motley shoe' would soon step out -- that is, that peasants would revolt, for the rebels took this symbol of peasant dress for their device. In 1523 and 1524 several minor risings took place in south Germany and in the winter of 1524-5 widespread trouble broke out in south-western and central Germany. Experienced landsknechts joined the peasant hordes and lent them an additional danger. But the people had no leaders and their revolt collapsed when all the princes between the Danube and the middle waters of the Rhine united against them. The Swabian League, that ancient support of Bavarian and Hapsburg power, defended Wtirttemberg and thus proved itself once again an effective political instrument. It was indeed far more effective than that coalition of Bavaria and the south German bishops, created in July 1524 and called the Regensburg Convention, which Ferdinand so warmly praised in Charles's name in the ensuing autumn.

Neither the Peasants' Revolt nor the Danish war seriously affected North Germany. Even hostilities in the Netherlands, on the border of the bishopric of Münster, had no repercussions farther afield than East Friesland. Religious upheavals, both in the Netherlands and in the south, had even less effect on the north. Yet all this while internal war raged horribly in the northern provinces for very different reasons. In Friesland all that Duke Albert had done in Maximilian's time was to do again. Tireless in their efforts, Georg Schenk von Tautenburg and Josse von Cruningen at length mastered the situation and put an end to the repeated malevolent intervention of the nobility of Gelderland. In 1522 Overyssel was pacified, in 1524 Friesland, and both were included in the body-politic of the Netherlands. The older war on the French frontier in Artois went less well. This luckless borderland had been for more than a generation the scene of Anglo-French hostilities and a disputed part of the Burgundian inheritance.

This brings us back to the affairs of Europe.

A keen-sighted statesman, Wolsey had tried to keep England at peace. As we have seen, he had not succeeded. But war was to be postponed at least until 1523 or 1524; this too was the wish of the council in Bruges. Unhappily the two Kings, in their courtly festivities and personal conversations, had outrun their ministers. Irritated by the hostility of the Scottish regent, the Duke of Albany, towards their English allies, and encouraged by some measure of military success, the Flemings in the autumn of 1522 threw off the last vestige of disguise from their war on France in Artois and Picardy. English troops under the Earl of Surrey and Flemish under Buren, after the unsuccessful siege of Hesdin, pressed on into the defenceless country until winter, cold, hunger and lack of resources forced them to ignominious retreat. Of all the campaigns of these years, this was the most purposeless, illconsidered and therefore truly expensive. Margaret had her hands full, negotiating for money to wage war; worse was to come when she met the Estates General at Malines in the spring of 1523Energetic, and indignant at delay, she tried to coerce them, in particular the obstinate cities of Brabant. Not pausing to consider her own position, she acted without consulting her councillors. This led, neither for the first nor the last time in her career, to embittered quarrels and explanations. Meanwhile Wolsey tried to evade his obligations, for as early as September 1522, he was threatened by what at first appeared to be a serious invasion from Scotland. Fortunately it soon came to an end. Henry VIII's lust for war, in the meantime, flared up when he had news that the first peer of France, the Connétable Charles de Bourbon, the conqueror of Hesdin, was ready to revolt against his King and give help to England and Spain in shattering the power of Francis.


In the meantime Charles was wholly absorbed in his Spanish kingdoms. He was to remain in Spain for seven long years, from the summer of 1522 until the autumn of 1529. During this time it has often been averred that he became a Spaniard at heart.

The statement needs modification.

Spain, itself under the influence of Burgundian and Italian culture, was changing before men's eyes.

The historian Santa Cruz has left us a detailed description of Charles's outward person, of his stature, proportion, complexion and bearing, at the outset of these seven years. The writing of Santa Cruz is typical of that period which rediscovered 'the world and man'. It was an age which, to judge by Firenzuola's book, Of the beauty of women, took not the least of its pleasures in contemplating the classic shape of the human body. Not wholly emancipated from the Middle Ages, men still felt to some degree that the body was but the outward expression of the soul. When Charles first set foot in Spain on his return, the Venetian ambassador, Contarini, greeted him with the pious hope that he would one day carry his victorious arms as far as Constantinople. Contarini, too, was a typical Renaissance thinker; later he became a lay theologian and a cardinal and was one of those who inspired the Counter-Reformation. The culture of the Renaissance was now reaching its high-water mark, and an even better known representative of this civilization at its flood-tide was shortly to visit Charles's Court as papal nuncio. This was Baldassare Castiglione, the author of Il Cortegiano, a friend of Contarini and of Firenzuola. Charles himself built among the frond-like arches of Granada, whose springing traceries reproduce the natural charm of growing trees, a palace in the ostentatious and man-made style of the High Renaissance.

Fate and circumstance turned this Burgundian nobleman into the herald of the Renaissance on Spanish soil. Charles may indeed have remained unaffected by the paganism of the period, but he was profoundly influenced by that heightening of human values which was typical of the thought of the late Renaissance. Strangely enough it was this outlook which led to the final and heroic expression of Renaissance thought, the Counter-Reformation. Charles introduced into Spain the hierarchy of rank and the myriad formalities of the Burgundian Court, but gradually the light-heartedness and colour of Burgundy yielded before the restrained solemnity natural to the Spaniard. In his Cortegiano Castiglione commends above all the black clothes of the Spaniard, because of the dignity which they bestow on their wearer. Charles was now something more than a knight and a duke, something more even than an Emperor in the formless and vaguely romantic manner of his grandfather Maximilian. His ministers addressed him as Sacra Caesarea Majestatis -- Your Holy Imperial Majesty -and were thus in part responsible for the intensification of Charles's consciousness of his own sovereignty. Yet through it all they kept enough private freedom to complain to him and of him, and even to appeal to his conscience.

Much had changed in his personal surroundings, yet Court formalities remained substantially the same although the men were different. Nassau was still there and had replaced Chie'vres as First Chamberlain. A widower for the second time, he married a Spanish lady of good family, Mencia Mendoza, Marquesa de Zenete, whose father we have already heard of in Valencia. The wedding was celebrated with Burgundian pomp, with feasts and jousting, but the union was nevertheless symbolic of the gradual metamorphosis of Charles's circle. His Court was slowly re-created to combine the features both of Burgundian and Spanish culture, of Renaissance thought and imperial tradition. With all these Spanish and Burgundian elements, there was yet a universal significance in the Court of Charles V. Perhaps the most out- standing and typical figure was that of the Chancellor Gattinara, who, himself educated in medieval traditions, was nevertheless profoundly imbued with the Italian theory of world monarchy. The Spaniards themselves basked in the reflected sunlight of imperial glory. To this day through the length and breadth of Spain, the great imperial coat of arms is to be seen, blazoned on monuments and buildings.

One last thing is worthy of notice. Charles's old jousting companion, Lannoy, was appointed Viceroy of Naples in April 1522, immediately after the death of Cardofias on March 10th. Other leading Burgundians remained in their own land. After a thorough examination of genealogical claims, Charles limited the number of Spanish grandees, as the higher nobility were called. In Castile there were to be twenty families of that rank, with twenty-five separate noble titles; held in high honour socially, they were nevertheless excluded from the inner council of the State. Their once dominant place in the King's immediate surroundings was taken now by lesser nobility and high administrative officials. Less politically class-conscious, these two groups were far more suited to royal service in the growing modern state. At a sitting of the inner council, which we shall shortly have occasion to mention, those present included Nassau and Gattinara, Charles de Poupet, lord of La Chaulx, one of Charles's oldest servants, Gérard de Pleine, lord of La Roche, grandson of a man who had been chancellor of the old Duchy of Burgundy, Laurent Gorrevod, whom Margaret had brought with her from Franche Comté -- and only one Spaniard, Hernando de Vega. No German was present: the representation of all Charles's different lands on the inner council would probably have been an error. The two most important secretaries were the Fleming Lalemand, lord of Bouclans, and the Spaniard Francisco de los Cobos, who married a Mendoza. Lalemand remained in his confidential position until the autumn of 1528 when he was suspected of having injured imperial interests, was arrested and disappeared from public life. Cobos, on the other hand, rose to be secretary of state in Spain and Charles's chief financial adviser.

The constitutions of Castile and Aragon differed substantially. The Cortes of Aragon, consisting of four Estates, were divided according to the separate kingdoms of which Aragon was made up: Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia. Charles made it his custom not to hold these Cortes separately at the respective capitals, but to call them simultaneously to Monzon on the Cinca, north-west of Lerida. His chief concern at these meetings was to gain subsidies and to deal with protests from the Estates. Negotiations, which were full of repetitions, are more complicated than illuminating even in their written residue. The Cortes of Castile, with which we have been already concerned, consisted merely of the delegates of the so-called eighteen Cortes towns -- a form which entailed very uneven representation of the different districts. Frequent meetings, the voting of a daily salary to the representatives -- a reform which had long been desired -- and the presence of a Deputacion from the Cortes at the imperial Court during the intermission of sittings, brought the King into ever closer contact with his people. Their meetings gave Charles the opportunity to explain the point of view which governed his policy in external as well as internal affairs, and filled the Spaniards with a consciousness of their mission to the world. Technical details, such as the replacement of the old Alcabala by a poll-tax, the Encabeziamento, and all the varied regulations connected with it, were of far less importance. 1

Separate local councils in Castile and Aragon controlled the administration. The Contadores majores, or paymasters in chief, and the Consejo de la Hacienda, the ministry of finance, had charge of money matters. The cabinet, that is the Chancellor and the inner council, directed foreign policy: in essence this meant that Charles himself had the last word. For the council was not a ministry for foreign affairs, but merely that circle of the Emperor's closest advisers who controlled between them the guiding threads of all his kingdoms. Moreover since Chièvres died, Charles was developing the custom of directing his own policy even in its smallest details. As he worked slowly and was painfully cautious in coming to decisions, his determination to govern himself often reduced his ministers to despair. Those who had his confidence, particularly his fellow-members of the Order of the Golden Fleece, often reproached him for his irresolution.

The Spaniards, meanwhile, had long been urgent in their demand for the Portuguese marriage. For years the secretary

1 The Alcabala was a tax on commercial transactions (TRANSLATOR's note).

Barrosos had been smoothing the way for it at Lisbon. His surviving letters are drearily repetitive: again and again he was forced to go over the same points. The King of Portugal, Don Manuel, he reiterated, was anxious for his daughter Isabella to marry the Emperor. At Barrosos's persuasion he had agreed to give her the splendid dowry of a million ducats, a portion to be paid even before her marriage. But, as Barrosos continued, the King of Portugal would not conclude matters until Charles confirmed the plenipotentiary powers of his agent and repudiated his French betrothal -- later he had to add, his English betrothal as well. Last of all, the King of Portugal would do nothing until Charles returned to Castile.

The ambassador made a good report of Queen Eleonore. In June 1521, she had given birth to a daughter, but already on December 13th, she was left a widow. To Barrosos's troubles over the marriage of Charles and Isabella was now added another consideration; he had to negotiate for the marriage of the young King of Portugal to the Infanta Katherine. His pursuance of this plan did not prevent him from making the thrifty suggestion that much money and trouble would be saved if the widowed Queen Elconore would marry her stepson, rather than leave him for her younger sister Katherine. We shall have more to say by and by of French intrigues and a projected alliance with Savoy. But now that the English friendship had been secured, how could Charles, except for the most urgent reasons, break off his contract with the Princess Mary? For the present he could only postpone his marriage to Isabella.

The important instructions which he gave to La Chaulx, on an embassy to Portugal in the spring of 1522, contained among other things an entreaty to the young King to put off the bestowal of his hand in marriage for the time being and to assist as far as possible in the grand alliance now in process of formation between England, Denmark and the Jagellon dynasty, against the Turk.

But in the excuse which he lamely urged for his own close alliance with England -- it was necessary for the safety of his journey -- we catch a hint of his own actual preference for the Portuguese alliance. At the same time Charles commended himself to his sister Queen Eleonore, as to the person whom he 'loved best in all the world'.

The next task before the Spanish government was to cleanse the country of all traces of those troubles which had at last been stilled. On November 2nd, 1522, in Valladolid, with the greatest pomp and solemnity, Charles pronounced sentence on the leaders of the Comuneros. Mercy, he said, should triumph, but nevertheless he named two hundred and ninety rebels whom he considered worthy of judgment. At about the same time seven members of the Holy Junta were executed in Palencia. Both earlier and later Charles was urged to act mercifully and he did not altogether neglect this advice. In the administration of justice, he showed that same painful conscientiousness which he had developed in the Netherlands while handling lesser matters.

For the rest, there was great talk of filling the State coffers with money raised on confiscations, for many of the condemned were wealthy and landed men. Yet strangely enough many of the sentences were never carried out. Some of the Exceptuados remained abroad; Barrosos negotiated with the Portuguese for their surrender and Gattinara sent a messenger to France to ask for Pedro Taxo, Hernando de Avalos and Juan de Mendoza. But after a year or more had gone by the government began to consider the possibility of letting them purchase pardon for their misdemeanours. Besides, such confiscations as were made were almost immediately swallowed up in covering the cost of the war and in repairing the damage.

In the district where the Germanía had made its stand, the forcible baptism of the Moriscoes once again raised the problem of the relapsed heretic and infidel, and thereby opened up the question of a final conversion. In this district, therefore, not only the rebels but their victims were handed over to justice. After long hesitation, Charles allotted the appalling task of this double punishment to the widowed Queen, Germaine de Foix. Since the death of Ferdinand of Aragon she had married and buried the Margrave of Brandenburg and was now Vice-reine of Valencia with her third husband, Don Ferdinand of Aragon, Duke of Calabria. In January 1524, she ordered innumerable arrests and executions. This was not the end, for the settlement of scores with the rebellious Moriscoes, many of whom had gone back to a wild life in the woods, continued its bloody and eventful course for many years to come.


Adrian of Utrecht had left Spain when he became Pope. From the moving and sincere letters which pupil and teacher had then exchanged, it seemed that as Emperor and Pope each was now more bound to the other than ever before. But since that time Adrian's conscience was making it increasingly difficult for him to justify his alliance with the Emperor against the other powers of Christendom. He was even less likely to follow out the policy of his Italian predecessor, Leo X, save in so far as he feared the Turk.

Soon the greater and lesser actors on the European stage had begun a remarkable game of cross-purposes. In the foreground, Pope and Emperor played heroic parts. Charles was no wit less convinced than Adrian of the moral justification for his actions. He had challenged Francis I in his Italian possessions with the sanction of the previous Pope, and he now demanded through La Chaulx that Adrian renew the treaty. Adrian could not feel justified in agreeing.

As a background to these actions, the weary struggle for Milan dragged on, not without reacting occasionally on the College of Cardinals and the papal states. The more important aspects of this war have hitherto eluded our attention. It is therefore all the more necessary to recall now that this contest for Milan was inextricably connected with the war for Naples, which had begun as long ago as 1494. Lodovico il Moro, usurping Duke of Milan, had helped Charles VIII to invade Italy and attack Naples, because his own nephew, the legitimate heir of Milan, was the son-in-law of Alfonso of Naples, and had counted on his help against the usurper. Since that time Ferdinand of Aragon had intervened in the Neapolitan struggle and snapped up the prize, while Louis XII, discovering some remote Visconti ancestors, had indemnified himself by seizing Milan. The latter duchy, as a fief of the Empire, played a continuous and important part in Maximilian's French policy; it had for instance been the object of that feudal grant made at Hagenau in 1505 for Louis XII, Charles and Princess Claude. Meanwhile the French invasion awakened the Italian states, collectively, to a consciousness of their political weakness and geographical unity. The Papacy, Venice and the lesser states, realized that the successful invasion of greater powers might cost each and all of them their existence. Several times they expelled the French from Italy, but never, unhappily, without Spanish help. At Florence for instance, in 1512, a democratic republic supported by the French, had been overthrown and the Medici restored by the Spaniards.

Thus it would have been almost against nature for Leo X, the Medici Pope, to ally himself with the victor of Marignano ( 1515). But it was only natural that he should snatch at the chance of a new alliance with Charles after the imperial election, so that the French might once again be driven out of Milan. The last joy which he lived to experience was the entry of the allied army under Colonna and Pescara into Milan on November 19th, 1521 -not that this was a great victory won by deeds of heroism, for the French troops were demoralized and the Milanese anxious to have back their hereditary lord, Francesco Sforza.

On Leo's death papal subsidies to the army ceased, the French commander, Lautrec, rallied, and the Swiss, perturbed by events in their own country, responded to skilful and magnanimous French diplomacy and set an army on foot to regain Milan. In Rome, too, and in other Italian states, fear of an over-powerful Spanish Emperor at Adrian's side, was widespread. Lautrec, at the head of Swiss and Venetian troops, reappeared before Milan. Meanwhile German landsknechts under Georg von Frundsberg were on their way and some critical manceuvring took place between Milan and Pavia. Colonna made himself fast in the park at Bicocca. The unruly Swiss, under Albrecht von Stein and Arnold Winkelreid, clamoured for battle. 'Wir wöllint dran!' they shouted, 'We want to be up and at them!' And so, against Lautrec's better judgment, on April 27th, 1522, they stormed the stronghold of the German landsknechts and the Spaniards. At the crucial moment the troops in Milan made a sally and the French attack, caught between two fires, was beaten back with great slaughter. It was the first serious and bloody battle of these years, the first great victory of the German landsknechts -- and that against the Swiss. Lautrec withdrew to France while Lescun attempted to hold one or two fortresses in the duchy of Milan. When on May 30th, 1522, Genoa surrendered to Colonna and Pescara it seemed no more than the natural outcome of Bicocca.

Pedro Navarro tried in vain to relieve it in French ships; he himself and the Doge Fregoso were taken prisoner. Antonio Adorno was made Doge under imperial protection.

Thus in the summer and autumn of 1522, Charles was at a loss to understand why his old friend Adrian should choose this particular moment to dissociate himself from his joys and sorrows. For his part Adrian was even more bitterly disillusioned when he admonished Charles to make peace in the most benevolent and pastoral manner, urging him to go half-way to meet the French in Navarre and Italy. In moving words, the Pope besought him to take to heart the menacing advance of the Turk by land and sea. He pleaded that Pedro Navarro be released, to act as a mediator between the Spanish and French, defended himself against the accusation of loving the King of France no less than the Emperor, and confessed himself amazed at the implacable hostility of the English towards Francis. When, in the New Year, he had news that Rhodes had fallen, his grief and anger at the lethargy of Christendom passed all bounds, and he thundered reproaches at the princes of Europe.

Charles's bewilderment only increased. He did not feel that it consorted with his dignity to make formal answer to Adrian's complaints, but instructed his ambassador, the Duke of Sessa, to reply by word of mouth alone. In the meantime, on January totlx, 1523, he had again summarized his own opinions in writing. Not he, he averred, but the King of France had caused the troubles of Christendom. The most that could be said for Francis was that at the beginning of the pontificate, when everyone expected the new Pope to take the Emperor's part, he had shown a certain tendency to lower his demands. No sooner had Adrian revealed his peace plans than Francis expected Charles to give him everything. His demands had then outsoared all limit. Unquestionably he meant to use the occasion for reopening the war in Italy on a far larger scale than ever before. This, if anything, would give the Turks the opportunity for which they were waiting to press farther into Christendom. Charles added that he could not but regret Adrian's innate goodness. For, he continued, 'it is clear that if Your Holiness would once openly declare to the King of France that no consideration will separate you from the Emperor, that in all circumstances the two highest powers in Christendom must stand together, and that Your Holiness will support us in the defence of Italy, then, and only then, would you be fulfilling your duty as Holy Father and Pastor, then, and only then, would the King of France show himself ready to accept honourable and reasonable terms. We beseech Your Holiness to apply your great intelligence to these things before it is too late.'

It was too late. Adrian was to drink his cup of disappointment to the dregs: discovering at last how vain were his hopes of Francis, he did not change his course until his opportunity was gone. Unlike Charles, Francis I loudly proclaimed his desire for peace. While the leader of the imperial party, Cardinal Medici, sulked in Florence, the leader of the French party, Cardinal Soderini, seemed to have the situation well in hand. But one day some of his letters fell into Cardinal Medici's possession: from these he learnt, without the least shadow of doubt, that Soderini was no better than a disguised agent for the French war policy. He was pressing Francis to intervene in arms in the north and was ready to help him himself by engineering a revolt in Sicily. Great was Adrian's grief to find a cardinal of the Roman Church thus treacherously and wantonly undermining his devoted work for peace, and, in spite of the neutrality he had been so scrupulous to maintain, deliberately representing him, the Pope, as Charles's partisan. He had Soderini immediately arrested and imprisoned in the Castle of Sant' Angelo. On April 30th he proclaimed a general armistice throughout Christendom for three years. In the meantime either in the hope of winning papal support, or in a truer knowledge of his own position, Charles had made offers of peace. The arrest of Soderini helped him; papal friendship was his once more. Adrian permitted him, along with other favours, to unite the three great knightly orders of Santiago, Alcantara and Calatrava under the Spanish Crown.

Nevertheless his position was far from safe. Disturbing news came from all his lands and he had no money. He insisted on looking after everything himself -- finance, war, his personal revenues. As La Roche complained to Margaret in January 1523, he would not take advice from anyone, but acted 'as the spirit moved him'. Much was left undone and much was done with insufficient deliberation. The French still held the citadel of Milan, together with Fuenterrabia, Hesdin and Cremona. In February Cremona seemed on the point of surrender. Should it yield, Colonna was ordered to keep it as far as possible under imperial control. Mercifully these instructions came too late, and Colonna did not hesitate to tell Charles that an imperial garrison at Cremona would have had a very bad effect on the Venetians, whom he was anxious at this critical moment to win over from the French. Still more would it have offended Francesco Sforza.

Soon after, the problem of the garrison for Milan provided an object-lesson to carry Charles's political education a stage further. Gattinara felt impelled to write the Emperor a note of astonishing freedom. This memorandum awoke Charles from his dreams and decided him to govern Italy not directly but through the recognition of already existing powers -- and thereby the more securely. The Chancellor saw in Charles that inner lack of confidence, which La Roche had not dared to mention to Margaret, and which the Emperor himself concealed under a mantle of pride.

In his usual fashion Gattinara began his lesson with a quotation from the Psalmist. He was sick at heart, he lamented, for the troubles that were fallen upon his master's house. His greatest grief, he continued, was to see important matters perpetually postponed. Things might be decided but the decisions were rarely carried out. As far as he could see Charles was following in the footsteps of' his grandfather Maximilian, who, for all his gifts, was called the 'bad gardener', because he would never harvest his fruit in the right season. Maximilian had been as pressed for money as Charles, Gattinara admitted, but this was in itself a reason for retrenchment. As Alonso Gutierrez had suggested years before, a proper budget of expenses and revenues ought to be drawn up. Finances should be centralized. The Cortes should be induced to disclose some new source of revenue and Charles should carefully exploit their every meeting in order to find the way to the hearts of his subjects. Gattinara added that he would gladly sketch out an opening speech for each meeting; this could be then translated into good Castilian and Charles could add a few personal words to it. The Emperor could conduct a policy of European significance with comparatively little expenditure, if he could only give the impression that he was preparing mighty armaments. Genoa and Milan would not be expensive to hold. On these depended the possession of Naples and Sicily, not to mention the friendship of Venice. Given so firm a base in Italy, Charles could easily direct a powerful attack on the Turks.

Almost passionately Gattinara went on: 'Only, Sire, I implore you in the name of God, that neither in the council nor elsewhere, neither in jest nor in earnest, do you make it known before your coming to Italy that you intend to take personal possession of Milan. Do not hand over the citadel to the Spaniards or take the town away from the Duke. Such things must not be spoken of, be it never so secretly, for walls have ears and servants tongues. Later, when you are in Italy and have considered well of everything, if then you still find it good to take the duchy of Milan for yourself -then, but not sooner, will I contrive a means for you to do it. In such things make no account of what Don Juan Manuel may say, for he understands nothing of Italian affairs.' After this entreaty Gattinara grew almost petulant. If Charles insisted on letting things go on as heretofore, he complained, daily expecting God to work miracles for him, then the Chancellor would beg leave to be excused from further concern either in war or finance. He could no longer bear even a part of the responsibility for mistakes which occurred daily and hourly. Otherwise, however, he only wished to continue in Charles's service until the happy day when he should see him crowned Emperor in Italy and sitting triumphant upon his throne. Then indeed he could say: 'Nunc dimittis servum tuum, domine.'

Gattinara worked with exemplary devotion. By far the greater number of the surviving documents relative to all affairs of State, lengthy though they may be, are written in his scholarly and delicate hand. Had he himself been a ruling prince, he might well have made mistakes, but as a minister he avoided many of the follies of his predecessors, both in his advice to Charles and in his handling of public affairs. Following his own suggestion in the foregoing memorandum, he drafted a speech for the opening of the Cortes which had been called to Valladolid in July 1523, and thereby helped to bring about the reconciliation of his master's policy with the desires of his Spanish kingdoms.

In the speech from the throne, Charles admitted the earlier mistakes of his government, attributing them to his youth, to his ignorance of the country and to the lack of statesmanlike insight among his ministers. In the true humanist style, Gattinara made Charles cite as his examples, Caesar, Trajan and Titus. He declared that peace was the greatest of all blessings, but did not omit to characterize his opponents in such a way as to suit Spanish prejudices. The French seizure of Fuenterrabia was an affront to imperial prestige and Spanish dignity. Francis I had crowned his misdeeds by showing friendship to the Turk, while the only true duty of every prince was to preserve the Christian faith in all its purity. Since God had called him to the highest honour in all the world, Charles declared that he would set his own life and all he had on the preservation of the Christian faith. Here, as everywhere, religion and the true forms of worship were to be his first care. The Spanish kingdoms were the leading members of all his realms. The Cortes must therefore make it their chief task to reorganize the royal councils and reform the high courts of justice. They must wipe out the national debt, now nearly a million ducats, win back Fuenterrabia and take action against the Moors and Turks. They must sweep the plundering dogs off the seas and give freedom again to Christendom. 'The hand of God is upon His Majesty, to whom he hath given both lands and victories. The hand of God will be upon the Spanish people and will give them peace and honour beyond all other peoples in Christendom.'

The lesser nobility, who represented the towns at the Cortes, seemed to be deeply moved. They discussed fully the burning questions of the day: finance, justice and administration. From all the wearisome argument one fact emerged: the lesser nobility, warlike and ambitious, were being gradually brought into closer sympathy with this world-governing monarchy of Castile. Their identification with it gave them a renewed confidence in their own high mission.

Under the guidance of the Emperor and the Pope, the affairs of Europe in the high summer of 1523 seemed once again about to follow the course which both these potentates believed to be ordained by God. Soderini's arrest had provoked the French King to a grave indiscretion. He had issued a pamphlet against the Pope, the like of which had not been seen for many centuries. In this he threatened to chastise Adrian as his forefather Philip the Fair had chastised Boniface VII. He then counted up all the services which the French monarchy had rendered to the Papacy since the time of Pepin, showing how the Pope had always found support in France against the exorbitant demands of the Emperor. Francis boasted of his constant desire for peace and in the same breath claimed the Duchy of Milan, but he jeered at the Pope who proclaimed a three years' armistice and simultaneously made advances to the opponents of France. He accompanied his telling allusion to the fate of Boniface VIII by the sneer that, 'Your Holiness may apply your greater intelligence to considering what is now to be done'.

The pamphlet was one of those unconsidered outbursts which so often aggravate the dangers of a situation. Yet the Pope hesitated to answer for fear of driving Francis into the arms of Luther. Only when Francis stopped payments to the Vatican, and thereby reverted in all seriousness to the policy of Philippe le Bel, did the patience of even the over-conscientious Adrian come to an end. He had several decisive interviews with Charles de Lannoy, the Viceroy of Naples, at Rome.

He called, too, on Henry VIII for help. While Charles, Henry, the Archduke Ferdinand and the Venetian government secretly concluded a treaty on July 29th, the Pope entered into alliance on August 3rd, with Charles, Henry, Ferdinand, the Duke of Milan, with Cardinal Medici, for Florence, with Genoa, Siena and Lucca -- all in order to defend himself against Francis. It was a new Holy League. The army which they raised between them and for which the Pope alone contributed 15,000 ducats a month was placed at his own request under the leadership of Charles de Lannoy. Adrian's pontificate, which had opened so hopefully, ended in spite of all his fruitless and idealistic negotiations, with Europe in exactly the same position in which it had been when Leo X died.

The alliance was the last political act performed by Adrian VI. Almost immediately afterwards he fell ill; his constitution had proved unequal to the excitements of the last half year. On September 1st he received Lille Adam, the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John whom the Turks had driven out of Rhodes. For Adrian the interview must have seemed like a farewell to all his dearest desires on earth. A fortnight later death released him.


In the spring and summer of 1523 the imperial Court was the sport of high hopes and grave anxiety in rapid alternation. Into this variable atmosphere the news of a certain event detonated with as violent an impact as it had in England. Charles de Bourbon was planning a revolt against the French King. Adrian de Croy, lord of Beaurain, Charles's trusted adviser, had negotiated with him for the release of his mother, taken prisoner at Hesdin, when Bourbon had been commander-in-chief of the French troops. On that occasion Croy learnt of the profound discontent of the Conndtable with the French government. Bourbon's reasons were personal: when his wife, Suzanne de Beaujeu, had died childless, certain of her fiefs had escheated, in theory to the Crown, in fact to the Queen-mother, Louise of Savoy. Hence the Connétable's indignation with his King. In the early sixteenth century political society in Europe was still balanced on the knife-edge between medieval and modern times. In spite of all the formalities of vassalage the great nobles still felt that they had equal rights to freedom of action with their overlords; the time had not yet come when the conception of the state as an indivisible whole made such actions as this of Bourbon appear simply as high treason.

Yet Bourbon deceived himself and his friends for the modern theory was already gaining hold in France. His conduct was in no way comparable to that of the old dukes of Burgundy, which arose largely from their position as the owners of imperial fiefs. Nor yet had Bourbon's action much in common with the later alliance of Protestant imperial princes with the King of France. Bourbon's motives were frankly personal. Fundamentally he may have clung to that indestructible theory of uncontrolled power which is older than the emergence of the state and which cannot admit the control of any judicially established authority. His own hereditary title gave him additional power, yet the Courts which so readily fell in with his schemes were chiefly moved by the hope that the French monarchy, surrounded as it was by enemies, could be finally destroyed by a revolt within. Clever as were the advisers of these rulers, they do not seem to have taken into account the fact that, obviously enough, the treacherous Bourbon would lose what little influence he had as soon as he was detached from the land in which his power was rooted. Something more than a venture of the kind he planned would be necessary to destroy a kingdom. Yet had the ministers of Charles and Henry grasped these facts, it would have availed them nothing against the tourney mood of their masters.

Negotiations with Bourbon dragged on for about six months before reaching a conclusion; both the English and the Burgundian Courts entertained the most exaggerated hopes and both took surreptitious measures to ensure themselves against the treachery of the other. Mutual distrust was ineradicable. At the beginning of August Louis de Flandres, Seigneur de Praet, imperial ambassador to England, was able to announce that terms had been concluded. By a contract of August 4th the Emperor bound himself to King Henry, the Archduke Ferdinand and Bourbon. Each promised to do nothing without the others. Henry's claim to the French Crown, and thereby to Bourbon's allegiance, was submitted to Charles for his decision. For the rest Bourbon was to marry one of Charles's sisters, probably Eleonore. At the end of August at the latest the Emperor was to march on Narbonne with a large army. He was also to raise 10,000 German landsknechts exclusively for Bourbon's service; the King of England with equally large forces was to land during August on the coast of Normandy. Henry and Charles were to share the expense of the troops, which amounted to 100,000 ducats. Bourbon was apparently required to do no more than betray his King. The agreement was settled informally between Beaqxain and Bourbon at first, then it was made binding on all the participants in the scheme.

At the first glance the situation might seem extremely dangerous for France and correspondingly hopeful for the allies, who were still strong in the support of the double alliance recently signed in Italy.

The noble rebel meanwhile remained quietly on his estates at Forez on the upper Loire. No one imagined that he had any following in the land itself. The King of France, who had for long heard rumours of Bourbon's dark dealings, unsuccessfully tried to arrange a meeting. Bourbon said he was ill, gave out that he intended later to accompany the King to Italy and remained for the time being unmolested. Only when all doubt of his treason was dispelled was he removed from office. He himself escaped in disguise, a solitary fugitive. Nothing came of it: the ambitious plan for the destruction of the French monarchy was piteously mishandled in the execution. The German landsknechts were ready and marched down the Marne as far as Chaumont under the leadership of Count Felix Werdenberg and Wilhelm Furstenberg -- it was a shot in the dark for, contrary to their hopes, no one appeared to support them. The same happened to the vaunted Anglo-Flemish advance on Paris. It got as far as Compiègne and then, as in the previous year, degenerated into a mere plundering venture. Scarcely more successful was Charles's planned invasion of France across the Spanish border. His troops set out too late, although as things then stood it mattered very little when or what they did. The Constable of Castile marched over the frontier of Navarre as far as Sauveterre, only to turn back to Fuenterrabia.

Perhaps shame at the wretchedness of this effort prompted Charles in October 1523 to write very graciously to his 'brother and friend' Bourbon and to send him, by way of Bissy, 100,000 crowns. Moreover as late as the end of December he was prepared to listen patiently while a servant of Bourbon, Jean de 1'Hôpital, boasted in a manner worthy of his master, declaring that the French King had been so terrified that he had collected all his troops from every corner of the kingdom. He added that the people of Toulouse would joyously welcome a foreign master, and the German landsknechts should have continued their march on Paris, as they would have met with no opposition.

Yet a sense of defeat brooded all that winter over the imperial Court at Pamplona. The Court was very near to its own retreating army in the Pyrenees, Adrian was dead, and as yet no news had come of the new Pope's election or intentions. Gattinara profited by this moment of depression to continue his master's political education. He devoted himself particularly to the more important aspects of his internal and external policy. Charles asked his other confidential advisers for their reports on the situation. These were accordingly made and from them we learn the moral background of the recent political events and the want in which the executive stood. All the councillors, with the exception of Hernando de Vega who wrote in Spanish, delivered their reports in French. Charles wrote his comments in the margin, briefly for the most part.

Gattinara began with a compliment to the young ruler. 'If Your Majesty added to all your gifts even the wisdom of Solomon, you would still be unable to do everything yourself.' God Almighty, he said, had commanded even Moses to spare himself by taking helpers; how much more therefore should Charles seek for assistance, for unlike Moses he could not speak personally with God, and yet he was responsible for far greater kingdoms. Under the sub-heading, the 'Prince's good name', he next proceeded to discuss current events. Charles should undertake nothing, he said, unless he was sure he could carry it out. The royal resources should be exploited only to gain the possible. In order to keep his friends, at this particular moment, England and Bourbon above all, the Emperor should be meticulous in fulfilling all his obligations -- a task in which he had just most signally failed. He reminded Charles that the army was still in hostile country, here it must be carefully looked after so that it could proceed to new conquests or withdraw in good order to undertake the reduction of Fuenterrabia. At this point La Roche had scribbled a comment in the margin, 'Since this was written the situation has altered'. La Chaulx added, ' Fuenterrabia will not prevent the King of France from marching on Italy'. Yet even La Chaulx went on to admit that a victory at this fortress would be very important. Gattinara continued with the advice that, as all the forces were drawn up so near Fuenterrabia, it would be wise to collect all possible troops and attack it at once.

Now as always Gattinara was chiefly concerned with financial administration and the government of Italy. Money, he declared, was the sinews of war and sooner or later a clear account would have to be made of revenues and expenditure. Some account, too, should be kept of debts, particularly of those which were daily increasing as the interest mounted. The running expenses of government ought to be clearly differentiated from extraordinary outlays. Further, since the Emperor, as his councillors well knew, was in constant straits for money, means must be found to make an honourable armistice before worse happened. Before he died, Adrian had dispatched the Bishop of Bari to France to establish the projected three years' truce. Gattinara thought it possible that he would return with reasonable terms for a peace.

The French had apparently evacuated Italy. But this would not end the danger. Milan and Genoa alone were the keys by which Charles could gain possession of the peninsula, and with the retirement of the French, the Italian League ceased to pay the army which Charles must still keep on foot. The impoverished city of Milan could not support it. The new Pope must therefore be asked not only to undertake Adrian's obligations but if possible to do even more. An ambassador extraordinary should be sent to Rome at once to promise allegiance for Naples. In return the Pope was to renew the investiture, and the Italian League was to promise subsidies for at least another three months so that, if necessary, new troops could be immediately recruited. Further, it was urgent that the Duke of Milan be properly invested with his duchy to reassure his subjects and encourage them to defend the land for their master. This act, Gattinara added, would relieve Milan's neighbours of the fear that Charles intended to keep the duchy for himself. La Roche and Gorrevod emphatically agreed with Gattinara that the Emperor must on no account keep Milan for himself; it would be a violation of his treaty with Venice. Gattinara went further, he averred that Maximilian had lost Milan by refusing to return it to his hereditary lord. The Papacy was in constant terror lest Naples and Lombardy should be united under one hand and the Pope had even specially excepted Lombardy out of the dispensation for the Empire. In short, Gattinara concluded he would continue, Cassandralike, to reiterate his warnings, whether Charles heeded him or not.

Next he proceeded to practical details. The quarrels between Lannoy, Colonna and Pescara, he said, must come to an end. If each one proved unwilling to obey either of the others, all three must be given a common commander-in-chief, say the Duke of Milan, the Archduke Ferdinand, or Bourbon.

It was not essential, Gattinara repeated, that Charles should be in actual possession of Milan or any other Italian principality; but it was essential that the dukes, princes and rulers of these principalities should respect him. Once he controlled Italy he would have the key to world dominion. This led him to a long disquisition on the art of handling men. The love of his subjects -here the Chancellor quoted Seneca -- was an impregnable fortress: they must be cherished, their complaints heeded, their friendship cultivated. Charles should leave unpopular actions to others -- and here Gattinara was echoing a maxim of Macchiavelli -- nor must he overwhelm his people with new laws. Extensive legislation indicated nothing but a tacit disapproval of the Sovereign's forebears. Here La Roche added a gloss: in Spain, he wrote, the grandees not only showed an unwarrantable appetite for digesting Crown lands, but were everywhere unpopular because they and their creatures had gained control of the leading ecclesiastical and administrative posts. Moreover the country cried out on the extravagance of the Court, asserting that it could not support it as well as its other burdens and debts.

The councillors entered in great detail into the question of administrative reform. It was, they said, absolutely necessary to relieve the Emperor of countless trivialities, which so often took precedence of important affairs of State. For mere formalities neither a royal contract nor a personal signature was needed. A seal or a name stamp in the charge of a trusty official would suffice. Affairs of State, of finance and of war, ought to come up for daily consideration and decision. The council ought to assemble in a room near the Emperor's, in the winter at seven in the morning, and in the summer at six. There they could go through everything and explain it to the Emperor so that he need not 'break his own head' over it. To ensure a proper arrangement of affairs, minutes of all their proceedings should be regularly kept.

Lastly Gattinara and the councillors stepped on to the shifting sands of Charles's personal prejudices. At the head of this section Gattinara wrote, 'Reverence towards God'. Under this title he dealt with all such matters as he knew lay near to the Emperor's conscience. Here he discussed whether the Moors and Infidels were to be tolerated in the land, whether the inhabitants of the West Indian islands and of the mainland were to be converted to Christianity, whether the Inquisition was to be reformed and the will of Charles's ancestors to be executed, whether tithes, indulgences and the Cruzada were to be repaid, or absolution for their misuse to be got from the Pope. La Roche, La Chaulx and Vega thought the Moorish question important but declared that it could not be solved without assistance from the Viceroys and the councils of Aragon and Valencia, since the welfare both of the land and the grandees largely depended on it.

Of the Indians, La Roche said with disarming frankness that they had been treated hitherto not as men but as beasts. La Chaulx suggested that not only Spaniards but some of the Emperor's other subjects should be sent to the Indies -- this was, in fact, already happening. Laurent Gorrevod asked for the reform of the Indian council and Gattinara suggested that the Emperor's confessor, Don Garcia de Loaysa, Bishop of Osma, be made president. Charles at once confirmed this. The councillors further added that the judges of the Inquisition should have definite salaries and not be allowed to recoup themselves out of the confiscations inflicted on the condemned; they were no longer to feed on the 'life-blood of men', and they were to remember that their office was to save, not to destroy, the accused. La Roche raised his voice against this further burden on State finances, but Vega persisted in demanding a higher standard of justice. La Roche however carried the day, at least for the time being. As for the misused moneys of the Church, La Roche argued that as it had all come originally out of the pockets of Charles's subjects and had only been used for just wars, 'the Pope should readily sanction such use'.

No other surviving document of this period gives so deep an insight into the motives and anxieties of the rulers, as do these deliberations of the Emperor's chief ministers. The young prince in their midst had still much to learn. Yet high as they pitched their measures and demands, the youthful ruler could hardly have had a better training than through listening to their arguments. Nor did the councillors confine themselves to words, for one by one they now set themselves to carry out the measures which each had advocated.

The council's recommendations in internal policy could only gradually be brought to fulfilment. In foreign policy their advice bore fruit, partly as the outcome of the new Pope's policy, in the spring of 1524. On May 14th, Gérard de Pleine, lord of La Roche, who had played so large a part in the deliberations of the council, set out, armed with an instruction drawn up by Gattinara, to negotiate for peace at the Vatican. We learn from his subsequent reports that he did in fact take with him that declaration of allegiance which had been decided on at the council. Through the length and breadth of Italy his embassy was regarded as a magnanimous gesture on the Emperor's part.

The reign of Clement VII, the new Medici Pope, who had been elevated to the Papacy in November 1523, was to be a bitter disappointment to the imperialists who had furthered his election. He began by refusing to take over the obligations of his predecessor and in April and May he followed this up by dispatching the Dominican, Nicholas von Schomberg, Archbishop of Capua, on an embassy of peace to France, Spain and England. Gattinara took full cognizance of these facts in his instructions for La Roche.

Gattinara envisaged nine possibilities for settling the dispute between Charles and Francis with the mediation of England and the Pope. The pivot of these nine possibilities was the hypothetical exchange of the French duchy of Bourgogne for the Italian duchy of Milan. In the spring of 1524, the French, led by Bonnivet, were once again vainly attempting to recover this latter place; but when on April 30th Bonnivet was wounded and the chevalier Bayard killed, their efforts came to a stand. Gattinara was therefore sincere in offering Milan; in return, however, he wanted not only the old duchy of Bourgogne, but the lands which were supposed to belong legally to the Conndtable de Bourbon and to the widowed Queen, Germaine de Foix. This demand was tantamount to an attempt to split up France from within. Besides, Gattinara added innumerable stipulations, not one of which was La Roche to abandon. France, for instance, was to renounce all claim on Flanders, Artois and Naples. When Charles at length agreed that Francis, in the event of his Queen's probable death, should have his sister Eleonore to wife with Milan for a dowry, this was a long step towards compromise.

Papal mediation, said Gattinara in his instructions, might be successful in pacifying Europe on somewhat these lines Charles's bride, Mary of England, could marry the King of Scotland and thus unite these warring kingdoms. Charles could have in her place Charlotte, the daughter of Francis I, with Bourgogne as her dowry. Francesco Sforza was to be satisfied with Renée of France, the daughter of Louis XII, who had by this time been almost more offered than any other potential bride in Europe. Later she did in fact marry the Duke of Ferrara. Bourbon was to be quieted with a fixed income, guaranteed out of his estates. But above all, Gattinara insisted, the Pope was not to be allowed to make peace until the French were expelled from Italy. Further, he must be prepared to find the money for the Spanish garrisons in the north, so that the French would not be able to make a surprise counter-attack.

All through his reign Charles thought in terms of dynastic marriage and territorial exchange. But in this summer of 1524 nothing came of the plan. On August 20th La Roche described to the Emperor his progress through Italy, his ceremonial entrance into Rome and his first audience with the Pope. Eleven days later, on August 31 st, he succumbed to the plague, then raging in the city. With him one more outstanding figure of the old Burgundian epoch disappeared from among the surroundings of the Emperor.


The passage of events once again submerged the peace policy. On March 24th the Spaniards reconquered the fortress of Fuenterrabia, lost three years before. The struggle had wavered long, and once the garrison had been revictualled by La Palisse, in the teeth of Beltran de la Cueva. Meanwhile, in November 1523, and in April 1524, the French were repeatedly defeated in Lombardy. At these unexpected victories, all the lust for war and the reckless hopes of the various allies flamed up again; 1524 was indeed the year on which they fixed for their decisive coup. Was the young Emperor to fail them? Had not his own councillors firmly impressed upon him that he ought not to fail his friends? Yet it would have meant very little to Henry VIII or to Charles himself, had the experienced and victorious troops now in Lombardy invaded Provence. The only person to whom such a campaign would have been important was Charles de Bourbon. On the other hand Charles had been advised by his councillors to make use of all his means in one place and at one time. The time seemed opportune, and the territorial gain might be valuable. On August 9th Charles's troops entered Aix. The undertaking was seriously held up at Marseilles. From August 14th until the end of September the imperial troops laid siege to the port. Bold as was the attack the defence proved too strong for it, and in the end the Emperor's troops were forced to withdraw, baffled, to Italy. The youthful leader Montmorency pursued them, and although Pescara covered the retreat with such dexterity that the army regained Lombardy without disaster, its morale was sadly diminished.

The retreat was only just in time. Far more serious than the check in Provence was the danger of being cut off from their base in Lombardy. For, in spite of the checks which his generals had received, Francis I had at last found means and resolution to march into Italy in person. Through the valley of the Durance he hastened to make the passage of the Alps, whence he threatened the retreating imperialists. With his fresh troops, he rapidly won the upper hand. On October 26th he entered Milan.

In this altered situation, much depended on the Pope. Like Adrian, Clement VII felt that he must avoid all prejudice, but in him this righteous attitude was more than a little coloured by his own incorrigible irresolution. Clement's weakness, so different from Adrian's personal obstinacy, no less than the increasing danger of the situation, contributed to the sudden and bloody issue of the conflict. In the autumn Clement sent Schomberg once again to the belligerents. Gattinara was already prepared to receive him, and had jokingly declared to Lalemand that he intended to baffle him with hints of a possible cardinalate, when the military situation suddenly altered Clement's tone.

Apparently taken completely by surprise by the French victories, the Pope allowed himself to be won over on December 12th, 1524, to peace and alliance with Venice. The French, it was true, had failed in an assault on Pavia, magnificently defended by Leyva; the Duke of Albany, who had accompanied Francis I, was equally unlucky when he attacked Naples. But now as always the chief importance of such campaigns was to arouse unrest in the country. In great mental agony Clement confessed to Charles on January 5th, 1525, that 'unwillingly and under pressure', he had agreed to submit to the French. In despair at his own military position and at Clement's desertion, Charles suffered from the additional torment of that 'mistrust of his own judgement', which he had not yet overcome. As he told Contarini, he no longer depended on his ministers as he had done when Chièvres was alive. But his independence made him only the more alone.

About this time, then, closeted with his own thoughts, he took up a pen for inspiration and jotted down a few notes, which lay for centuries unnoticed in the Vienna Archives. It was almost as if he had some forewarning that the first great crisis of his career was at hand. As far as we know this was the first time in his life at which he took stock either of the troubles which lay so heavy on him, or of the possibilities which were yet open to him. Compared to the dialectical skill and stylistic perfection of Gattinara's disquisitions, his musings were but a wretched scrawl. Yet even through these disjointed lines, we can see the outlines of the Chancellor's thought, reflected in that of Charles. Only through such struggles as these towards self-expression was the Emperor at length to achieve that which he most passionately desired -- the mastery and leadership of his own policy.

When I sat down to think out my position [he began], I saw that the first thing at which I must aim and the best that God could send me, was peace. Peace is beautiful to talk of but difficult to have, for as everyone knows it cannot be had without the enemy's consent. I must therefore make great efforts -- and that, too, is easier said than done. However much I scrape and save it is often difficult for me to find the necessary means.

A successful war may help me. But I cannot support my army let alone increase it, if that should be necessary. Naples did not provide the money I hoped for; that kingdom will have to manage for itself if it is attacked. All sources of revenue here in Spain are daily tapped without result; at this present moment it looks as if nothing whatever could be raised. The King of England does not help me as a true friend should; lie does not even help me to the extent of his obligations. My friends have forsaken me in my evil hour; all are equally determined to prevent me from growing more powerful and to keep me in my present distressed state.

Furthermore, the armies are now very close to one another. A battle in which I shall be either victorious or wholly defeated cannot be postponed for much longer. Perhaps it would be best if I were to send to the Viceroy [of Naples] with all speed, for a large sum of money in bills of exchange or some other form, to support and pay my army as otherwise it may melt away. If I can only keep my army on foot, it will surely force the King of France to fight to its own great advantage. Or else it must force him to withdraw from Italy, which would be a great disgrace to him. In either case, when the King and his army have retired to France without doing any harm and the duchy of Milan has been reconquered, it will be best to lower the taxes, to treat the soldiers whom I retain as well as possible and to treat those whom I intend to pay off even better, so that I can recall them if necessary. But I must not put too much faith in all these projects.

But when I consider this present situation, and realize, as I have said, that peace is not to be had without the enemy's consent, I see that it may be all up both with peace and with war because my prospects are bad now and will be worse if it starts again -- all because I have not the wherewithal. Therefore I cannot but see and feel that time is passing, and I with it, and yet I would not like to go without performing some great action to serve as a monument to my name. What is lost to-day will not be found to-morrow and I have done nothing so far to cover myself with glory and cannot but blame myself for this long delay. For all these reasons therefore, and many more, I can see no cause why I should not now do something great. Nor yet do I see cause to put it off any longer, nor to doubt but that with God's grace I shall succeed in it. Perhaps it will please him to strengthen me so that I shall possess in peace and quietness all the lands that he has graciously bestowed on me. Taking all these things into account and considering well of them, I can think of no better way in which to improve my condition than by going myself to Italy.

Doubts may be raised because of the money needed, or because of the regency in Spain, or on other grounds. In order to overcome these difficulties I think the best way would be to hurry on my marriage to the Infanta of Portugal and to bring her here as soon as possible. For the money which is to be sent with her is a very large sum in actual bullion -- possibly too this would be a good opportunity to settle the question of the spice trade -- on the other hand there is the King of England to be satisfied, my treaties with him must remain in force and he must be prevented from marrying his daughter in France. But my marriage will be a good reason to demand a great sum of money from the Spanish kingdoms. I shall have to call and dissolve the Cortes to achieve this. The Infanta of Portugal, who by that time will be my wife, must be appointed regent of these kingdoms, to rule them well according to the good advice of those I shall leave with her.

In this way I ought to be able to set out for Italy with the greatest splendour and honour in this very autumn. I shall go first to Naples, on whose loyalty I can rely. Here I shall receive my crown and raise an army before winter falls. I shall thus be ready for an important undertaking by the following spring, and I shall ask the King of England to carry out his great plan at the same time. Yet if peace may be had on honourable terms I will accept it and I will not cease to work for it.

Plunged in the deepest gloom, Charles thus painfully committed these and other such opinions to paper, valiantly trying to reconcile in his own mind Gattinara's theory as to the political necessity of the Italian campaign, with his own more simple and vivid emotions of honour and fame. At this very time, on the plain between Milan and Pavia, his army was fighting as it had fought once before in the conflict at Bicocca. It is tempting to play with the dramatic idea that in those very moments, when Charles was marshalling his thoughts in his now almost native Spanish, his troops were fighting out the decisive conflict in Italy.

And now let us leave Charles in Spain, and join his troops in Italy.

As at Bicocca, German auxiliaries under Frundsberg were on their way. As soon as he had news that Milan had fallen, Ferdinand at once turned to the Venetians for help and urged his government at Innsbruck to hurry on the recruiting of 10,000 landsknechts. Bourbon himself came to lead some of these across the mountains. Ferdinand would gladly have gone too, but, as he wrote to his brother, he had, to his great grief, neither the means to intervene more firmly in the Milanese struggle, nor to make the planned diversion into Burgundy by way of Pfirt. But he was at great pains to counteract French intrigues in Poland and Bohemia and repeatedly urged the Emperor to send an embassy to Muscovy for the same purpose.

The best surviving account of events in Lombardy is that of the plenipotentiary who accompanied the army, the Abbot of Najera. Funds were exhausted, but Pescara persuaded first the Spaniards, then the Italians, last of all the Germans, to continue in his service a few days more without pay. Leyva was at Pavia, King Francis, acting on the military theory of his time, well entrenched before it. The imperialists, under Pescara, Bourbon and Frundsberg, appeared from the north. From February 6th onwards the two armies were very close to each other, as in a war of manceuvres, the leaders remaining always between the two armies. The time-limit to which Pescara's troops had agreed had run out and mutiny was imminent, when, after several welltimed sallies from Leyva, the imperialist generals decided not to attack the strong French position but to attempt a junction with Leyva himself in the park of Mirabello, to the north of the city.

This was the first move in the battle of Pavia.

Strangely enough, Francis I had also marked out this park as an advantageous position, difficult as it would be to make it ready for defence. Against the advice of his oldest officers, he abandoned his own strong position and attacked the imperialists in their still unfortified and disordered state. At first successful, Francis all too soon exhausted his ammunition. The battle wavered back and forth until, some of the Swiss having withdrawn, a determined sally of Leyva from the town caught the weakened French full on the flank and turned the indecisive day into a victory for the Emperor. Francis I had plunged into the mêlée; he fell, was pinned under his horse, and was only at length recognized as King by a servant of Bourbon. He surrendered to Lannoy. His fate was shared by almost all the French officers who escaped death -- the flower of France's chivalry. The list of their high-sounding names covers many pages in the Chronicle of Santa Cruz.


The war, which had started in 1524 with so much uncertainty, almost, as it were, with a divided purpose, had thus been brought to an unexpected and glorious end during two hours of a winter morning. The day of Pavia, February 24th, 1525, was also the Emperor's twenty-fifth birthday. The capture of the invincible French King overtopped all the good fortune which the young ruler had hitherto enjoyed. This was an act of God indeed, fit to resound through all the provinces of ancient Burgundy! Now once again, as before at Péronne, a King of France was a prisoner in the hands of a Burgundian duke. Yet fate had overwhelmed King Francis without loss of honour, only after long and knightly combat, in the very tumult of battle, at a moment when he was defenceless. Charles de Lannoy looked after him well and later he was awarded generous treatment in compliance with the old traditions of chivalry. The imperialists took up their quarters at first in the camp which had been the King's, and hence on the day after the battle Lannoy wrote a full account to Charles. At the same time he sent a special messenger, Pefialosa, with a safe-conduct from the King, to carry the miraculous news through France to Spain.

' God has given you your opportunity', wrote Lannoy, 'and never will you have a better occasion than now to take possession of your Crown. Neither this land nor Navarre will get more help from France, and the heir of Navarre himself is your prisoner. In my opinion, you should come to Italy at once.' In the meantime, Lannoy continued, the fleet should be made ready; the money could be found in Italy, in Naples anyway, and probably also in Spain. 'Sire', he entreated, 'you will remember that the lord of Bersele used to say that God gave every man one opportunity to reap a rich harvest. Should he fail to reap it, the occasion would not come again.' Charles should therefore grasp his moment. Lannoy then commended by name such officers as had particularly distinguished themselves: the lengthy catalogue reads almost like a modern Honours List. He declared that Pescara deserved more than any other man; in the battle itself he had been three times wounded. Next he praised Bourbon, Alarçon, the Marquis del Vasto, Frundsberg, Marc Sittich of Hohenems and others, each in turn; Antonio Leyva, he added, deserved all honour for paving the way to victory by his heroic four months' defence of Pavia.

The news reached Madrid on March 10th, 1525. Charles was with Gattinara, Gorrevod and La Chaulx when he received Contarini's congratulations. All the ambassadors were amazed at his bearing: he forbade noisy rejoicings and arranged for thanksgiving services, himself seeking relief in prayer after the inner conflicts of the last months. In every way this young ruler was growing unlike all other European princes: more and more, men praised his kingly bearing.

But what was the political significance of Pavia?

A bulky document in the hand of the secretary Perrenin, covering more than twenty questions and laced with Charles's marginal comments, has survived. In this, innumerable problems are raised. What is to be done with Francis? What conditions are to be offered to him? How is Charles now to handle his ally Henry VIII? Beyond these points of European policy, the paper deals with the condition of the army and of Italy, with the effects of the battle on Germany and on all Christendom. As always these considerations are phrased with precision, insight and breadth of outlook, yet it is impossible to read them without realizing that even Gattinara had been partially swept off his feet by the intoxication of the moment. Among the many excellent suggestions, we search in vain for any discussion of immediate realities, for any attempt at a definite political decision. With all his industry and high sense of duty, with all his anxiety lest anything should be overlooked, Gattinara had not that serene indifference to events which had made of Chièvres, in his way, almost a great statesman. He was too circumspect, too prone to theory. But let us listen to his own words.

The King, he suggested, could be kept safe prisoner at Naples; were he to remain in Lombardy, then it must be in the citadel of Milan. In all negotiations the Emperor must show the magnanimity of the lion and the mercy of God the Father; he must add nothing to his demands but ask only for what was his by right of inheritance, and for the estates of Bourbon. Should the King of France now ask for the hand of the widowed Eleonore of Portugal, Charles must refuse for he had already promised his sister to Bourbon. He could put forward Eleonore's daughter, Mary of Portugal, as a bride for the Dauphin instead, and ask in return that DauphinAlarçon be restored to its old position as a fief of the Empire. Bourbon was to be treated with every consideration and his marriage hastened on. If the King of England were suddenly to demand that the whole original 'great plan' be carried out, in accordance with the first treaty, then the ambassador de Praet could be instructed to tell him that Charles had already carried out his own part in the joint scheme without Henry's help. He now felt that it would suit better with his imperial duties to collect the arms of Christendom against the Turk, for private interest must give place before the common weal. It would be a mistake, Gattinara added, to make Henry VIII more powerful than he already was.

Gattinara now proceeded to the crux of the whole matter. Charles was to claim the whole of the Burgundian inheritance, as it had been defined long ago in the treaty of Arras, together with Péronne and Conflans, while he was to ask for Provence for Bourbon as a fief of the Empire. This was to demand nothing but his just rights. Long prepared, the moment had come at last. The fatal catchword was uttered. Charles demanded, 'Burgundy, no more, no less'.

Gattinara next insinuated against Wolsey. He was continually injuring imperial interests, and should be brought into disrepute with his master. For the rest, France's allies, Milan for instance, could be made to bear the cost of the army in Lombardy. In other matters Charles would be well advised to be generous to the Italian states and to the Pope. Only in this way would he be able to unite Christendom against the common enemy, to root out the Lutheran heresy and to beat off the Turk. This brought Gattinara to another important point: a general Council of the Church must be called and the Emperor, as guardian of the Church, should look to it himself, for the Pope did nothing but invent excuses. Seeing how badly Clement had behaved, it would do no harm to enter into a secret agreement with the Duke of Milan, giving him a free hand to seize Parma and Piacenza. If the Pope raised objections he could be quieted by the promise of an inquiry into the extent of imperial rights in Italy. On the same principle, Charles would be justified in closing his eyes if the Duke of Ferrara took it into his head to seize Modena. Gattinara seemed to have developed a truly Macchiavellian vein of statesmanship.

In the meantime Charles could call off his war in France and demobilize the soldiers in Roussillon. Though, Gattinara mused, if there were means to keep on these troops they would be an effective threat to force the French to evacuate Languedoc, if only Charles could prove his claim to it from the documents in the archives at Barcelona. The land-route to Italy, by way of Languedoc, Provence and Dauphiné, would be safer than the sea route, if Charles could gain control over it. Still this might well prove too difficult. In any case, Charles must keep up his fleet and strengthen it against the Turk.

The Portuguese marriage, Gattinara went on, must be speedily concluded. Charles ought to hasten negotiations by sending a splendid embassy under La Chaulx to support Barrosos. While making all his preparations to go to Italy, Charles was to consult the Cortes. It was of the first importance that, before he set out for Italy, Charles should invest Francesco Sforza with the duchy of Milan. Although the new duke would be expected to pay for this very handsomely in money, the investiture in itself would do much to preserve Charles's reputation for keeping his treaties.

Gattinara went on to advise Charles to keep his brother Ferdinand fully informed of all he intended to do, and to thank him warmly for the timely help he had sent from Germany. This done, Charles could proceed to Rome for his coronation and afterwards take steps to have Ferdinand elected King of the Romans. He ought, for the general good of Christendom, to resume his old alliance with the Swiss. This brought him back once again to Francis. The King should be asked not only to return the Burgundian lands, but to renounce his claim on Naples and Milan and to refrain from helping Charles's enemies, the Dukes of Gelderland and Württemberg. The papers taken at Pavia gave all the proof that was needed of Francis's help to these rebels.

Last of all Gattinara discussed the question of negotiations with Francis: would it be best to leave these to Lannoy in Italy, or should the negotiations take place somewhere on the Franco- Spanish frontier? It was always safer, he said, to deal with a free man than with a prisoner. The French King had only to name the Queen-regent his plenipotentiary, while the Emperor sent plenipotentiary ambassadors to meet hers. Since La Chaulx was already destined for Portugal, Adrian de Croy, lord of Roeulx, came highest in consideration among the noble servants of the Crown. Among the learned ministers and lawyers at Charles's disposal, Gattinara went on, there were many skilful men, but perhaps only one -- and here the Chancellor was transparently recommending himself -- who was truly fitted to deal with 'MAitre Jehan de France', as he put it -- with the slippery French froggies.

Almost everything happened otherwise.

Instead of acting quickly while the tide was at the flood, Charles surpassed himself in delay and obstinacy. While in England, France and Italy forces were rapidly gathering which were to rob him of the fruits of Pavia, he remained oblivious of their very existence.

The imprisoned King of France indignantly refused to listen to any suggestion that his country should be stripped of provinces. In order to give the French government a free hand, he empowered his mother, Louise of Savoy, to make all future decisions. Growing restive at his enforced inactivity at the little fortress of Pizzighettone on the Adda, where Alarçon kept watch on him, he persuaded Lannoy that it would be best not to take him either to Milan or Naples, but rather to the Emperor in Spain. An old friend of Charles's youth, Lannoy may have guessed how nearly this desire suited Charles's own mood, and he could not well conceal from himself that the arrangement would be very favourable for him personally. Accordingly he gave the captured Montmorency permission to go to France and make ready the necessary galleys and other guarantees. Without any definite order, but acting on an instinct which did not play him false, Lannoy conducted Francis in safety to Barcelona on June 19th.

The effect of Pavia in Italy was very significant. For a little while the imperial victory put everything out of joint for Charles's opponents. But soon the Emperor's demands for the citadel of Milan, together with other indications that the Spaniards intended to establish themselves by force, awakened the gravest anxiety. Those Italian powers which were favourable to France -the Venetians, for instance, who had but newly joined the imperial alliance, certain cliques at the Vatican, and other lesser rulers -- began to form tentative alliances among themselves. The imperial generals who stayed in Italy were ill-armed to face the rising storm. They were themselves divided and although they had been entrusted with the care of the army, Charles did not send them the means to pay it. Leyva, Pescara and even Bourbon, were disgusted at the self-willed behaviour of the Viceroy, who, proud of his kingly prisoner, gave himself out for the victor of Pavia. In spite of their entreaties to the Emperor, no money came for months on end and they were forced to rely on their private resources. Charles had even disregarded Lannoy's mild request that Pescara should be rewarded with the gift of Carpi. The Duke of Milan was still waiting in vain for his investiture. While the army dwindled, the Italian states grew daily in unity and in fear of the Emperor. Wounded and worn out, Pescara lay sick at Novara for many weeks; he did not trouble to hide his disgust from his Milanese comrade in arms, Girolamo Morone. But Morone was an Italian, and anxiety at the increase of Spanish power in his native land weighed more heavily on him than on Pescara. He could not but regard Charles's demand for the citadel of Milan as an earnest of what was to come.

Should this Spanish Emperor reign undisputed in Naples and Milan, should he find -- as men had feared he would when Adrian VI was Pope -- a compliant ruler for the papal states, what would then become of the Italian princes? What power in Europe would then be able to hold the balance against him? Might it not be wise to take up arms against him while yet there was time? The last chapter of Macchiavelli's Prince makes it clear that ideas like these were warmly received by such Italians as were still conscious of their Roman ancestry. The expulsion of the barbarians from the garden of Italy had been a political catchword since the French invasions of the last century. There were many in Italy who knew those lines of Petrarch in which Macchiavelli had himself recognized a prelude to the closing passages of his own yet unpublished book:

Virtù contra furore prendera l'arme, e fia'l combatter corto; che l'antico valore negl'italici cor' non e ancor morto, 1

-- the antique valour of the Italian soul was living yet.

The Medici Pope indeed was still wavering. Belatedly, on April 1st, be entered into alliance with Henry VIII and Charles and offered to make Gattinara a cardinal. But his own anxious hesitation was counteracted by the zeal of his datary Giberti. This latter was in close sympathy with Morone; even though Charles had at last invested Francesco Sforza with Milan, his condescension came too late and the new Duke entered into an understanding with Giberti and Morone.

Florence was always predominantly francophile; the French party was not without support in Genoa. The French themselves were ready enough to fan the blaze everywhere. The same, astonishingly enough, was true of the English, although it was hard to prove it later. Apparently the conviction was general that France was too sorely wounded to be likely to step into the place of Spain, when Charles was overthrown in Italy.

The new allies had but one thing to fear -- the experienced imperialist generals. What had not Leyva and, above all, Pescara, achieved since the days of Ravenna and Bicocca! Ferrante Pescara had been born at Naples, a member of the Spanish family of Avalos. His grandmother was heiress to the estates of Pescara and Vasto on the Adriatic -- the titles which he and his nephews now carried. He was related to the last royal dynasty and also to Cardona. Much might happen if Pescara could but be won for the Italian cause.

Morone undertook the task. His technique revealed both the ingenuity and the psychological limitation of contemporary intrigue. Morone pointed out that the situation might well become very dangerous for the imperial armies if all the other powers were to unite against them in their present moneyless and unsupported state. Pescara knew this only too well. 'What then will become of Naples', Morone asked him, 'if no one in

1 Let constancy take arms against the rage of the foreigner, and the conflict will be brief; the antique valour of the Italian soul is living yet.

this country can make himself master of it?' Later on he spoke even more plainly.

On July 30th, Pescara wrote a letter to the Emperor. The original can hardly be read without overpowering emotion. In this profoundly moving manifestation of his constancy, Pescara related that he had, at Morone's request, given him a promise of absolute secrecy.

Then [ Pescara proceeded] he spoke to me of the discontent in Italy and of the possibility of a new French alliance. He reminded me of all that had been said against me and of how my deserts had been passed over. He told me that I was born in Italy, that I might win great glory as the liberator of my fatherland, that it lay with me to put myself at the head of the movement, so that all might work together to win for me the kingdom of Naples.

I hesitated for one moment [ Pescara continued], whether I should not punish him in that very hour for saying such things to me. Then I yielded to the thought that in time I might learn more. So I made answer, saying that I had indeed good reason to be angry and that the prospect which he set before me was indeed very great; but, I added, that if I broke with the Emperor, it would be in a manner worthy of a nobleman. I would do it only to show the Emperor that I was worth more than all those for whom he had passed me over.

Morone, it appears, was disappointed but not discouraged. He came again. He wrote letters. But his letters did not stay with Pescara -- they went to Spain with the dispatches of the loyal general, and they lie now in the archives in Vienna, eloquent proof of the 'temptation of Pescara'. When things became really serious Pescara arrested the tempter on October 15th, and his later confessions fill the gaps in our material. Next Pescara seized the chief places in the duchy; yet when he died on the night of December 2nd-3rd, 1525, he was still waiting in vain for any sign of recognition from the Emperor. His widow, the celebrated Vittoria Colonna, who was later the friend of Michelangelo, received the only reward Charles deigned to grant -- an imperial letter of condolence.

'I do not believe what Pescara reports', said Gattinara to the Emperor, blindly trusting the Milanese. ' Morone is more trustworthy than the general, and we certainly ought not to suspect the Duke whom Pescara himself has always praised.' Consequently he advised Charles not to intervene in Italian affairs until he reached the country itself. Instead Charles sent Michael de Herrera with instructions to win over the Pope, if possible, for the investiture of Bourbon with Milan, in place of Francesco Sforza. With all their intrigues the Italians achieved nothing. Their conspiracy, hampered on every side by mutual mistrust, was no more than the palely glimmering background for the drama played out between the great powers. On the stage itself, the rulers still wore the traditional garb of medieval chivalry.

The King of France was at Jativa, south of Valencia; on July 20th he arrived in Madrid, impatient to see Charles and fully conscious of the heroic figure which he intended to cut. Among other things, Charles asked him to renounce Burgundy. Although he had subsequently sobered down, Henry VIII on receiving the news of Pavia had wished to proceed straight to Paris for his coronation, and then to divide France with his allies. If necessary he was even prepared to fight.

Henry and Charles both imagined that Pavia would mean the satisfaction of all their dearest wishes. Unhappily, their leading councillors, instead of advising them to stand together, each outlined a different policy. At Calais, Gattinara had advocated the most extravagant demands against France and had made a lengthy summary of all Charles's claims on Bourgogne. Now, justifiably suspicious of Wolsey and the French, he sought to strengthen his master's actual power -- by setting his finances in order, by improving administration, by confirming Charles's position in Spain, and above all by urging the Emperor to behave magnanimously in Italy and to go to that country as soon as he could.

Wolsey for his part did not for one moment subscribe to the extravagantly chevaleresque ambitions of Charles or Henry. He sought now by means of fantastic overstatement to make Henry abandon them of his own will. If Gattinara was anxious that Henry should not grow more powerful, Wolsey was no less anxious that Charles, already master of Spain and the Netherlands, should not extend his dominions. For political and financial reasons he felt that the time had come to call in France to redress the balance. The moment was favourable since England could dictate the terms at which her renewed friendship was to be bought.

Each of these statesmen, therefore, strove to arouse his master's animosity against the other. Both knew that the old foundation of their alliance was broken in pieces. The plan for the Portuguese marriage was known in London just as the Anglo-Scottish alliance was known in Spain. So well did the clever imperial ambassador, de Praet, follow the questionable schemings of the English government, that Wolsey, after watching him with growing annoyance, at length surprised one of his messengers, faced the ambassador with his own intercepted letter, threatened him in the rudest fashion, and finally forbade him the Court. This incident took place even before Pavia, but then Charles had swallowed the insult, for he was in sore need of English friendship. When, after Pavia, Henry's wildest hopes soared up again, Wolsey instructed his ambassadors, Tunstal and Wingfield, to force the 'Great Project' upon Charles at Toledo in May 1525, with the craziest elaborations. At that moment, when the Portuguese marriage was all but determined, he chose to inform Charles that Princess Mary of England would bring with her as her dowry nothing less than the Crown of France if Charles would but join with Henry in the attack. At that moment when Charles's government, in the direst financial straits, was thinking of nothing but how best to make peace, he urged the necessity of war and reminded Charles of his old debts. The excuse which he needed to break off negotiations came at last when an imperial embassy arrived in England and Wolsey was able to convince his master that Charles had been the first to violate their common treaty. Wolsey grasped with his native English clarity how little was now to be had from Charles, how much from France.

Great indeed would be the relief of the French government if it could at this moment divide Henry from the Emperor. Wolsey easily contrived to present Charles's bewildered offers and demands in the most unfavourable light to his King. Thereafter he proceeded to come to a separate understanding with France, which paid the English government 170,000 soleils and added a personal present for Wolsey of 130,000. Armistice followed on August 14th, the treaty was signed by Sir Thomas More on the 3oth and published on September 6th. England improved its relations with Scotland, abandoned its wild projects, pocketed a small but useful gain -- and maintained its neutral position, wooed alike by both sides.

Thanks to Wolsey's hard-headed policy, England was the first to gain anything by the battle of Pavia.

The collapse of the English alliance freed Charles to conclude his Portuguese betrothal. For the rest his position was still sadly perplexed. He had bad news from Germany and the position in Italy was uncertain. Surrounded by her great nobles, at Lyons, the Queen-regent of France had received his first embassy proudly. Both this and all later embassies foundered on Charles's obstinate determination to make the French King renounce all the land which had of old belonged to the Dukes of Burgundy. The French were equally determined to resist the demand. The generous response of the French Estates to the sudden call now made upon them recalls the days of Philip the Fair.

Francis was disappointed if he had hoped anything of a personal meeting with Charles. Although he had never yet seen his opponent face to face, for months Charles took no notice of him. Only when a courier informed him, while he was out hunting, that the King who had fallen ill was lying at death's door, did Charles hasten to him, express his sympathy in a somewhat exaggerated form, and repeat the visit once again, only to leave the King afterwards more severely alone than before. In September the widowed Duchess of Alençon, the King's devoted and intelligent sister, arrived in Spain to open negotiations. Charles received her with such courtesy that men soon began to talk of it, yet the negotiations which followed at Toledo between October 4th and 13th were wholly without result. Nor did the lengthy conversations between the Queen-regent and de Praet, who had been sent to Lyons on his recall from England, lead to anything more. Margaret, who longed above all for peace, was no more successful. Yet her efforts have a certain interest for the historian because she employed a man who was later to be of the utmost importance to Charles -- Nicholas Perronet, lord of Granvelle.

Once more let us listen to the voice of Gattinara before it is drowned in the din of these endless negotiations. His papers, which have hitherto been little used, take us far deeper into the secrets of the imperial council than the reports of foreign ambassadors, on which most previous accounts have been based. Before the Duchess of Alençon left and while Francis still lay sick, Gattinara summed up the situation. His final goal was still the inception of a policy which should be truly 'imperial' -which should lead to a general war on the infidel and the heretic. His first objective was the Emperor's voyage to Italy as soon as the fleet was ready. He concealed the reason for enlarging the fleet by reference to troubles in Mexico. In the meantime Charles should send some important person -- the Viceroy Lannoy, for instance, whom Gattinara patently wanted removed from Spain -to the Pope to make a temporary settlement of Italian affairs. The Pope, Gattinara added, was not lightly to be approached on the question of a council: being a bastard himself and irregularly elected to the Chair of St. Peter, he would naturally be afraid of it. But he was to be asked for money to fight against the Lutherans and the Turks. Financial cares still weighed heavily on the Chancellor; he suggested that the Cortes be wooed for money, that the Portuguese marriage be concluded, that the resources of New Spain be united with those of the Church, and their management be put into the hands of Alonso Guttierez and Juan de Vozmediano. It was true, he reflected, that both of them were Jews, but in the present situation there was no other choice. In this way Charles would have the means to satisfy even the English -- the document, it appears, must have been composed before Gattinara heard that the English had already made their peace with France.

Above all Gattinara urged that Charles should decide as soon as possible on the ministers who were to carry out the measures on which his policy rested. In vain. Charles clung to his demand for the whole Burgundian inheritance, waited only for the French King's word and was deaf and blind to every other consideration.

The latest offer from France included the total renunciation of Italy, Naples, Milan, Flanders, Artois, including Hesdin and Thdrouanne, and a ransom of three million talers in gold.

Charles did not want money. He wanted his just rights -- the Burgundian inheritance or nothing. Nine months of negotiation had not carried them an inch beyond their starting point. Francis failed in a rash plan to escape. He was sick of his imprisonment, the more so that his illness had exhausted him so that he could not indulge in his favourite pleasures of hunting and sport. At the end of November he declared that he was ready to hand over Bourgogne, but that he could only do so if he might return to France to make the necessary arrangements; it seemed that Charles had gained his point. As a pledge of his good faith, he offered to marry Queen Eleonore and to send his sons as hostages. Eleonore herself had been successfully wooed in the King's name by Lannoy, and Bourbon had retired defeated. He was to have Milan instead. Yet, by a legal protest on August 16th, Francis had insured himself against all subsequent troubles; at that time he had announced that if a long imprisonment should force him to make concessions contrary to his duty, these were to be regarded as of no validity.

At last in December the negotiations were taken out of the hands of the despairing Gattinara and entrusted to Moncada and Lannoy, with Lalemand for their official secretary. Gattinara jeered at Lannoy's blind faith in the King and foretold disaster. When Lannoy retaliated by calling him superstitious, he answered proudly that his superstition was rooted in historic knowledge and modern observation. From these alone, he read the future. Lannoy, however, went on negotiating in Madrid and on December 19th reached a conclusion. The enormous document summed up in fifty articles all the promises made by Francis, and all the pledges he had given for lands belonging to Charles's subjects in France, that is, the estates of Orange, Nassau, Croy, Fiennes and Vergy. He was to abandon his old allies, Navarre and Gelderland, Wtirttemberg and Robert de la Mark, to provide a fleet with sailors and guns to take Charles to Italy, and to keep 200,000 soleils and 500 soldiers ready for imperial use. Last of all, he promised to join Charles in a Crusade. Strange reversion to the outworn beliefs of medieval France and Burgundy! The King was to be released as soon as his two eldest sons were exchanged for him as hostages. The treaty was to be ratified six weeks after his release and confirmed by the ParisParlement and the Estates General four months later.

January 14th was the day assigned for the completion of the act.

On January 13th a strange preliminary took place. Francis, under vows of the strictest secrecy, repeated his protestation, of August 16th before his own ambassador, the Bishop of Embrun, the president of the Parlement, de Selve, the Connétable Montmorency and others. The final scene, too, was played out in the King's room. At the back there was an altar with the Bible on it. Present were the imperial plenipotentiaries Lannoy, Moncada, and Lalemand, who wrote the minutes of the meeting. Opposite them was the King with his suite. Francis confirmed the treaty with a solemn oath and gave his hand to Lannoy with the promise, on his word as a nobleman, that if the treaty were not kept he would return to his imprisonment.

This was that Treaty of Madrid, accepted in all good faith by the Burgundian nobility, which was dead before ever it was born. When Gattinara was called upon to seal it he refused, appealing to his duty to the Emperor.

On January 19th Lannoy, representing Queen Eleonore, exchanged promises of marriage with King Francis. Not until February did Charles, accompanied this time by Eleonore herself, meet the King for a few days at Illescas. Again they exchanged the most solemn guarantees. Charles once more promised Francis, this time as brother to brother, that he would not cheat him, least of all in this matter of Eleonore. As brothers the two monarchs took leave one of another.

Lannoy and Alarçon, his guards and jailers from the first, accompanied the King to the frontier. On April 17th he was set at liberty at San Sebastian after guarantees had again been exchanged, with all the forms of law, and the young princes had been taken in place of their father. 'Your Highness is now free', said Lannoy, 'do not forget your promise.' 'I shall fail in nothing', replied the King, and stepped on to the soil of France.


HISTORY has one curious characteristic which verges upon comedy, although in truth the logic of the dramatist could make little of it. The retribution for a certain action will often fasten upon a person or a group of persons who previously knew nothing either of the action or of each other. Yet the impetus of this illogical and wholly unexpected juxtaposition brooks no resistance. Empire and Papacy sprang like twin stars from the same origin. Even in their contradictions they were complementary one to the other. This fact was never more clear than in the years which followed the fall of Rhodes, when the danger to the Catholic Apostolic King of Hungary was on all lips, when the western world was even more acutely conscious of the growth of heresy and rebellion, begotten in the womb of the Lutheran movement. The rich revenues of the Papacy in Germany were threatened; and at a time, moreover, when the Pope himself came of a family which owed its re-establishment in Florence to Spanish arms. Clement VII was an old supporter of the Emperor and had twice been his candidate for the Papacy. But in his lengthy and underhand dealings with the English government, the Pope had piled upon himself a load of guilt for which there was to be neither atonement nor pardon. He was to feel its weight to the full in the coming quarrel with the Emperor. Heavier yet was the burden of guilt accumulated by Bourbon in his actions against the King of France; by the King of France in his dealings with Charles. Guilty consciences intensified the bitterness which was to work itself out at last in bloodshed and war.


Yet the fateful year 1526 opened amid brilliant, joyous and courtly scenes. By the treaty of Madrid, the Emperor and King of Spain imagined that he had secured the Crown of France for his sister Eleonore: he had only to wait for the formal ratification of the terms. Now, in all the loveliness of an Andalusian spring, he himself celebrated his long looked-for wedding with the Infanta of Portugal. He had never before visited Andalusia. Early in February he sent a splendid embassy to meet the bride on the frontier. The princess, who was twenty-three years old, had an easier task before her than many of her rank, who had to go like her into a strange land, to meet an unknown husband. She at least had not to go far from her own home, had to live among a people closely allied to her own by race and culture. The festive, and almost exaggerated welcome which she received at Seville, the city chosen for the wedding, must have appeared to her as regal as it was friendly. Rich and spacious, Seville was like many a town in her own country; the river and its banks were bright with the many cargoes and motley flags of ships from far countries, they were alive with the coming and going of mariners and merchandise. In the Arab fashion, streams of clear water ran through the town, to feed and refresh gardens, courts and bathing pools. On March 10th the Emperor made his entry with even more splendour than she had done herself. On the same day they were betrothed and married. Charles was ready to lay both his young manhood and his royal dignity reverently at the feet of his chosen bride; but soon something more than duty directed his actions. Profound and tender was the love which he learnt to feel for his frail, feminine little Empress, Isabella. Later on Titian was to paint her, delicate and reserved, the very symbol of aristocratic womanhood. Charles could not have wished it better done.

As the heats of summer grew, the youthful pair moved from Seville by way of Cordova to Granada, and in the paradisal surroundings of the Alhambra, Charles may well have realized that life had much joy still in store for him. His quiet determination, his restraint, his mingled reverence and timidity towards her person seemed to the Infanta at once imperial and enchanting. In religion he was, like her, very devout. On the evening after their wedding they had heard mass together. Both Cardinal Salviati who had betrothed them, and the papal nuncio Baldessare Castiglione remarked on the Emperor's marked devotion to the Catholic Church. Once, later on, in the course of justice, Charles had to execute a high prelate. It was the Bishop of

Zamora, one of the last surviving rebels of the revolt of the Comuneros, who completed his villainous career and put himself finally beyond the pale of the law by murdering one of his guards. In spite of the circumstances Charles learnt with dismay that by dealing justice to the bishop he had incurred excommunication. He took it bitterly to heart, for weeks he would not attend Mass and when later he gained absolution, he retired to the beautifully situated monastery of the Hieronymites at Seville, there to bask in peace in the sunshine of his atonement to the Church.


Into the haven of peace in which the Emperor and his wife were living, news from the outer world broke harshly through. Queen Eleonore, and with her Lannoy, waited in vain for the falfilment of French promises and the ratification of the treaty of Madrid. At Bayonne, Francis I had met his mother once again; thence the Court gradually proceeded farther into the land. The imperial ambassador, de Praet, reminded the King of his duty. Growing anxious, Lannoy sent one of his gentlemen after him. In April the King answered by way of Robertet, a member of his council, saying that he had indeed received the message which Peñalosa had brought, but the Treaty of Madrid, to which he had yet to persuade his subjects to consent, had, contrary to all agreements, been printed in the meantime in Antwerp, Florence and Rome. As a result of this his nobility, particularly in Bourgogne, were very restive, so that he must find means to calm them, which with God's help would be possible, before he did anything else.

Lannoy, who was at Vittoria with Queen Eleonore, wrote in bewilderment to the Emperor, saying that he wished to entrust Queen Eleonore and the French princes to the constable of Castile, and himself to serve the Emperor elsewhere. But Charles, on Gattinara's advice, forced Lannoy to take the consequences of his own actions. Had not the King given him his word of honour? Lannoy must go to France and speak personally with him.

Lannoy found the French Court at Cognac, where Francis had been born. Here he witnessed the death struggle of the policy which he had himself advocated and pursued. On May 16th he informed Charles that he and the ambassador de Praet had been called before the royal council, and had there been curtly told that the treaty of Madrid was signed under pressure and was therefore not binding. Bourgogne could not be given up for any consideration, and for the rest, Francis would act as circumstances dictated. Once more Lannoy implored Charles to recall him.

But the Emperor was playing for time and commanded him to stay. For many weeks, therefore, Lannoy remained at the Court of the King who owed him so much. Small wonder that rumour and scandal were soon at work. Macqueray tells us that the King, realizing how unfriendly a welcome Lannoy was likely to have from Charles on his return, handed over to him with all formalities the honours and possessions of the Connétable Bourbon. Lannoy refused. Whatever the truth of this, Granvelle, who was at that time in Cognac with de Praet and Lannoy, noticed that the latter was treated with great consideration. In fact, Charles was far too chivalrous even to think of venting his disappointment on Lannoy, whatever his responsibility. When, in a letter of May 16th Lannoy hinted that he feared Gattinara's enmity in a particular personal matter, Charles hastened to assure him of his continued favour. When he came back, Charles not only received him kindly at Granada, but continued to treat him as his most trusted councillor, and sent him at once on an embassy to Italy with Hugo de Moncada and Francisco de los Angeles.

In Italy the situation was again very perilous. Charles's coming, which in February he had planned for midsummer, was again put off, to the great distress of Ferdinand who was hoping for help in Germany and Hungary, for the imperial coronation by the Pope and for his own election as King of the Romans. Gattinara urged, advised and entreated all in vain. One day, full of hope, he declared that Charles was 'as one awakened from a dream'. But still nothing happened.

Meanwhile at Cognac on May 22nd, 1526, almost under the eyes of Lannoy, King Francis concluded a League of alliance with the Pope, Francesco Sforza of Milan, Florence and Venice. This was partly the outcome of the Italian situation which we


HISTORY has one curious characteristic which verges upon comedy, although in truth the logic of the dramatist could make little of it. The retribution for a certain action will often fasten upon a person or a group of persons who previously knew nothing either of the action or of each other. Yet the impetus of this illogical and wholly unexpected juxtaposition brooks no resistance. Empire and Papacy sprang like twin stars from the same origin. Even in their contradictions they were complementary one to the other. This fact was never more clear than in the years which followed the fall of Rhodes, when the danger to the Catholic Apostolic King of Hungary was on all lips, when the western world was even more acutely conscious of the growth of heresy and rebellion, begotten in the womb of the Lutheran movement. The rich revenues of the Papacy in Germany were threatened; and at a time, moreover, when the Pope himself came of a family which owed its re-establishment in Florence to Spanish arms. Clement VII was an old supporter of the Emperor and had twice been his candidate for the Papacy. But in his lengthy and underhand dealings with the English government, the Pope had piled upon himself a load of guilt for which there was to be neither atonement nor pardon. He was to feel its weight to the full in the coming quarrel with the Emperor. Heavier yet was the burden of guilt accumulated by Bourbon in his actions against the King of France; by the King of France in his dealings with Charles. Guilty consciences intensified the bitterness which was to work itself out at last in bloodshed and war.


Yet the fateful year 1526 opened amid brilliant, joyous and courtly scenes. By the treaty of Madrid, the Emperor and King of Spain imagined that he had secured the Crown of France for his sister Eleonore: he had only to wait for the formal ratification of the terms. Now, in all the loveliness of an Andalusian spring, he himself celebrated his long looked-for wedding with the Infanta of Portugal. He had never before visited Andalusia. Early in February he sent a splendid embassy to meet the bride on the frontier. The princess, who was twenty-three years old, had an easier task before her than many of her rank, who had to go like her into a strange land, to meet an unknown husband. She at least had not to go far from her own home, had to live among a people closely allied to her own by race and culture. The festive, and almost exaggerated welcome which she received at Seville, the city chosen for the wedding, must have appeared to her as regal as it was friendly. Rich and spacious, Seville was like many a town in her own country; the river and its banks were bright with the many cargoes and motley flags of ships from far countries, they were alive with the coming and going of mariners and merchandise. In the Arab fashion, streams of clear water ran through the town, to feed and refresh gardens, courts and bathing pools. On March 10th the Emperor made his entry with even more splendour than she had done herself. On the same day they were betrothed and married. Charles was ready to lay both his young manhood and his royal dignity reverently at the feet of his chosen bride; but soon something more than duty directed his actions. Profound and tender was the love which he learnt to feel for his frail, feminine little Empress, Isabella. Later on Titian was to paint her, delicate and reserved, the very symbol of aristocratic womanhood. Charles could not have wished it better done.

As the heats of summer grew, the youthful pair moved from Seville by way of Cordova to Granada, and in the paradisal surroundings of the Alhambra, Charles may well have realized that life had much joy still in store for him. His quiet determination, his restraint, his mingled reverence and timidity towards her person seemed to the Infanta at once imperial and enchanting. In religion he was, like her, very devout. On the evening after their wedding they had heard mass together. Both Cardinal Salviati who had betrothed them, and the papal nuncio Baldessare Castiglione remarked on the Emperor's marked devotion to the Catholic Church. Once, later on, in the course of justice, Charles had to execute a high prelate. It was the Bishop of

Zamora, one of the last surviving rebels of the revolt of the Comuneros, who completed his villainous career and put himself finally beyond the pale of the law by murdering one of his guards. In spite of the circumstances Charles learnt with dismay that by dealing justice to the bishop he had incurred excommunication. He took it bitterly to heart, for weeks he would not attend Mass and when later he gained absolution, he retired to the beautifully situated monastery of the Hieronymites at Seville, there to bask in peace in the sunshine of his atonement to the Church.


Into the haven of peace in which the Emperor and his wife were living, news from the outer world broke harshly through. Queen Eleonore, and with her Lannoy, waited in vain for the falfilment of French promises and the ratification of the treaty of Madrid. At Bayonne, Francis I had met his mother once again; thence the Court gradually proceeded farther into the land. The imperial ambassador, de Praet, reminded the King of his duty. Growing anxious, Lannoy sent one of his gentlemen after him. In April the King answered by way of Robertet, a member of his council, saying that he had indeed received the message which Peñalosa had brought, but the Treaty of Madrid, to which he had yet to persuade his subjects to consent, had, contrary to all agreements, been printed in the meantime in Antwerp, Florence and Rome. As a result of this his nobility, particularly in Bourgogne, were very restive, so that he must find means to calm them, which with God's help would be possible, before he did anything else.

Lannoy, who was at Vittoria with Queen Eleonore, wrote in bewilderment to the Emperor, saying that he wished to entrust Queen Eleonore and the French princes to the constable of Castile, and himself to serve the Emperor elsewhere. But Charles, on Gattinara's advice, forced Lannoy to take the consequences of his own actions. Had not the King given him his word of honour? Lannoy must go to France and speak personally with him.

Lannoy found the French Court at Cognac, where Francis had been born. Here he witnessed the death struggle of the policy which he had himself advocated and pursued. On May 16th he informed Charles that he and the ambassador de Praet had been called before the royal council, and had there been curtly told that the treaty of Madrid was signed under pressure and was therefore not binding. Bourgogne could not be given up for any consideration, and for the rest, Francis would act as circumstances dictated. Once more Lannoy implored Charles to recall him.

But the Emperor was playing for time and commanded him to stay. For many weeks, therefore, Lannoy remained at the Court of the King who owed him so much. Small wonder that rumour and scandal were soon at work. Macqueray tells us that the King, realizing how unfriendly a welcome Lannoy was likely to have from Charles on his return, handed over to him with all formalities the honours and possessions of the Connétable Bourbon. Lannoy refused. Whatever the truth of this, Granvelle, who was at that time in Cognac with de Praet and Lannoy, noticed that the latter was treated with great consideration. In fact, Charles was far too chivalrous even to think of venting his disappointment on Lannoy, whatever his responsibility. When, in a letter of May 16th Lannoy hinted that he feared Gattinara's enmity in a particular personal matter, Charles hastened to assure him of his continued favour. When he came back, Charles not only received him kindly at Granada, but continued to treat him as his most trusted councillor, and sent him at once on an embassy to Italy with Hugo de Moncada and Francisco de los Angeles.

In Italy the situation was again very perilous. Charles's coming, which in February he had planned for midsummer, was again put off, to the great distress of Ferdinand who was hoping for help in Germany and Hungary, for the imperial coronation by the Pope and for his own election as King of the Romans. Gattinara urged, advised and entreated all in vain. One day, full of hope, he declared that Charles was 'as one awakened from a dream'. But still nothing happened.

Meanwhile at Cognac on May 22nd, 1526, almost under the eyes of Lannoy, King Francis concluded a League of alliance with the Pope, Francesco Sforza of Milan, Florence and Venice. This was partly the outcome of the Italian situation which we have already discussed, and partly the result of busy machinations engineered by the Venetian government and the Vatican. The most significant thing in this new League was that Clement had been won over to join with the Emperor's enemies. Moreover, although Henry VIII categorically denied this to Charles, the League was said to be favourably viewed in England. Furthermore the English government endorsed the French King's attitude to the treaty of Madrid, asked that Charles release the princes for a ransom, and set up Sforza again as Duke of Milan. They even appealed to Clement to limit the size of the following with which Charles was to come to Italy for his coronation. England's behaviour was a mockery indeed.

Gattinara realized that a conflict between spiritual and temporal authority was imminent, and rightly gauged how heavily such a conflict would weigh on the Spanish soul. He took his measures in advance, turned to the royal council in Castile and urged them to demand in so many words the confirmation of the King's right to defend the country in arms, even against the Pope. The council recommended that if force had to be used, it should be supported by the prayers of the Churches as in the days of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Emperor, they said, had no desire but to live and die as a good Catholic; could not the Pope be made to see that at this critical time he would act more justly and more wisely if he laid down his arms? The arch-heretic Luther was still at large and every division in Christendom ought most carefully to be avoided. The College of Cardinals, too, should be adjured to act as true pillars of the Church, and to withhold the Pope from fighting an Emperor who was himself the Church's truest friend. Last of all Gattinara added that the Cortes should be called, and not only the procurators of cities, but also prelates and grandees, so that their advice might be taken in the crisis. The Chancellor revealed his political shrewdness by advising the Emperor to take this occasion of repeating his Coronation Oath before the Cortes of Valencia. The coast was near and Charles could set out for Italy immediately afterwards.

Over and above all political fears, Charles felt the Pope's desertion as a heavy personal blow.

Castiglione tells us that when on August 17th a French embassy, in the presence of the Venetian ambassador, bluntly told Charles on what terms the League had been formed, anger overcame his usual restraint. 'Had your King kept his word', he said, 'we should have been spared this. I will take no money from him, not even for his children. He has cheated me; he has acted neither as a knight nor as a nobleman, but basely. I demand that if he cannot fulfil his treaty, the Most Christian King should keep his word and become my prisoner again. It would be better for us two to fight out this quarrel hand to hand than to shed so much Christian blood.' He spoke to deaf ears. The French government was confident both in the support of its own people and in that of the Holy League.

Gattinara was thus proved right in every prediction. But he did not boast of it. When he was asked for his opinion at a meeting of the inner council, 'I would rather say nothing', he replied. But since he was asked for an opinion, he added, he could not refuse it. The wound, he feared, was deadly, but perhaps those who had always put their trust in France to the neglect of Italy, had something to suggest. Like Susanna, he declared, he was 'straitened on every side'. The blame for wasting Italy must now fall on the Emperor. God might pardon those who repented their sins, but Charles would have to alter his policy thoroughly and fundamentally.

At the end of July Charles's journey to Italy again came up for discussion. Should Charles be unable to go, Ferdinand was to invade Italy from the north. To enable the Archduke to do this and to gain access to German resources for the enterprise, Charles's council suddenly and surprisingly hit upon the idea of a religious peace. It is true that they intended to yield only the absolute minimum, but this does not alter the curious fact that the idea of making concessions in Germany arose in the first place out of the Italian situation. Copying Gattinara's draft almost word for word, Charles wrote confidentially to Ferdinand on July 27th, 1526. The ideas expressed in this letter foreshadow the Emperor's subsequent policy. Here for the first time he declared himself ready to offer oblivion and indemnity to those who had defied the Edict of Worms by supporting the Lutherans, and had thereby laid themselves open to the imperial ban. In return they must agree to submit to the verdict of a general council, meanwhile placing themselves and their resources at the Emperor's disposal.

Charles added a suggestion that he should publish this decision in a new and carefully prepared proclamation. All this was meant in the first place as a threat to the Pope -- a motive which Charles did not attempt to conceal. It was well known that the Pope feared nothing so much as a council and the well-timed threat might well frighten him back into his right senses.

But events in Italy itself moved too fast for the ingenious subtleties of this policy.

Neither the embassy of Herrera nor the later insinuations of the Emperor could divert the fateful course of Italian policy. Once again a war, produced only by the fatal conjunction of two destructive elements, French resentment and Italian weakness, was to overwhelm the peninsula. Once again the Spaniards were to be driven out of Milan and Genoa; once again the plains of northern Italy were to be the scene of 'plundering, robberies, exactions, and violence, the raping of women and maids, the burning of houses, horror and ruin, to the utter destruction of that most beautiful land'. And all this, as Gattinara cried out in the bitterness of his heart, as the outcome of Charles's ill-considered policy.

In those days Niccolo Macchiavelli was eking out the short measure of his remaining days at Florence. To the end he hoped for the liberation of Italy, believing that the spirit must at last awake. But the great historian did not live to report these last events of his life. This was left to his compatriot, Francesco Guicciardini. As papal governor, Guicciardini stood in the very centre of action; he was in fact one of the leaders of papal policy. His clear and cogent letters give a no less impressive picture of the clarity of his vision, than does his interpretation of those same events in his history of Italy. It is sad to find that even Guicciardini has little good to report of his countrymen. Courage, magnanimity, strength, and the indefinable quality of 'greatness', these we find in the imperial generals alone, in Leyva, even in Bourbon, magnificently exemplified in Frundsberg. Hesitation, timidity, irresolution, characterize the Pope and his allies. Once again the trivial territorial ambition of the Papacy plays its wretched part. Once again Reggio, Rubiera, Parma, Piacenza, and the old problem of Ferrara occupy the political foreground at the Vatican. In vain Lannoy and Moncada wore themselves out in an effort to mediate, carrying out Charles's restrained policy, seeking to avoid a clash. For at least a year after the apparently decisive conflict of Pavia, indescribable confusion reigned in Italy.

As if to expose to all the world the incoherence of Italian politics, a foul survival from the darkest period of the Middle Ages reared its rebellious head in the Roman Campagna. This was the private feud between the Colonna of Genzano and the Pope, led by Cardinal Pompeo Colonna. The days of Boniface VIII were come again. Colonna marched on Rome with a great following; on the frontiers of Naples, not far off, stood the imperial reserves. Clement chose the lesser of two evils and came to terms with Colonna.

Like Charles's earlier statements, his instructions to Hugo de Moncada on July 11th were astonishingly moderate. As a permanent rule of conduct he recommended that everything be done to preserve Clement's friendship. Only if this proved to be impossible was Moncada to seek the alliance of Colonna. But in fact Clement would have none of the imperialists. He was governed by minor selfish considerations and partly intimidated by those who had once again taken it upon themselves to free Italy from the barbarians. Vain hope, for with his release, Francis had grown so arrogant in his demands that it was clear to all that Italy's choice lay only between French and Spanish domination.

For the second time, therefore, Clement had broken with Charles without even waiting to hear his last offers. In a long letter written on June 23rd, 1526, he strove to justify himself. The letter, which was to have profound effect, was conceived in the usual style of the Vatican. In the frozen altitudes of European politics, the supposed pastor of Christ's Church still played the cooing notes of a shepherd piping to his peaceful flocks on sunny uplands. Submerged in meaningless contradictions, the melody emerged as no more than a hypocritical jangle. All the world knew what forces had buffeted and baffled Clement since the last French attack on Milan, yet he now declared that thoughts for the peace of Christendom had alone governed his actions. Peace, he insinuated, was disturbed by no other than the Emperor on whom he had showered so many favours. He must defend himself against enslavement by Charles's temporal might: Moncada's offers had come too late.

The trouble with Colonna had been checked, not ended, by the armistice of August 22nd. The clouds hung over Lombardy, big with storm.


In these August days of 1526 Charles himself was still at Granada, his army in Lombardy was making ready to resist an attack from the League, Lannoy was arming in Naples, and in Germany the Archduke Ferdinand had brought the Diet of Speyer to an end. He had feared the outcome from the beginning and the meeting did indeed end with a compromise settlement to which he was forced to pledge his word.

The Diet, opened under the imperial aegis on June 25th, bore witness to the rise of a new Germany. It used to be the fashion to argue over the supposedly important results of this meeting. In fact it produced only a compromise settlement, thus stabilizing various elements, all of which had been recognizable in Germany before it met, and some of which had even found expression at the Diet itself. Sickingen's revolt and the Peasants' War had strengthened the princes: they had realized how great a power they could exert by forming groups among themselves. After centuries of experiment and misuse, the policy of princely coalition was entering upon a new phase of greatness. For now the problems which the German princes faced were more important than those ancient subjects for argument -- inheritance and territorial boundaries. Dimly the princes were beginning to feel that this Burgundian-Spanish Emperor had linked them up once more with the rest of the European world; dimly, too, they realized that the Lutheran problem was not merely a mental, but a political challenge. Complaints of the Pope had been much bruited abroad; now the German princes were beginning to grasp that this very Pope was a single-minded political power, which might so clash with the Emperor that chaos would ensue in Germany. And liberty might perhaps be born of this chaos. Princes and cities were impelled to face the Church problem not only to defend themselves against rebellion, riot and insubordination, but to purify the true gospel, both in the flesh and in the spirit, from the multiple abuses of Rome. The German rulers began to make alliances, with various different objects. Certain princes of central Germany, the Elector of Mainz, Duke George of Saxony and Henry the younger of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, met at Dessau in June 1525, and later sent Henry of Brunswick to the Emperor. This group was loyal to Charles, and to the ancient traditions of Germany. Not so the Elector of Saxony 1 and the Landgrave of Hesse who founded a League at Gotha, and concluded it at Torgau in February 1526. The allies who had banded themselves together against Sickingen, the Elector Palatine, the Elector of Treves and the Landgrave of Hesse again, formed the kernel of a neutral group into which the Dukes of Bavaria might easily be drawn, should they finally decide on a policy of separatism directed against the imperial dynasty. The occasion was soon to arise.

The propositions made by Charles, who was neither governing personally nor yet imposing taxes at this time, asked simply that the Edict of Worms be carried out, that heresy and rebellion be put down, and, in the last resort, that final decisions be postponed until a council could meet. But the Diet of Speyer conclusively proved that such inept tinkering with what was now a crucial question, no longer satisfied the majority of the German princes. In the recess which they ultimately sanctioned they admitted that they, like the Emperor, desired a general council. But with things as they now stood in Europe, such a council could not be called and they renewed their demands for an immediate national gathering. Until this met, each Estate demanded the right to treat the Edict of Worms in such a way as 'he would be ready to answer for, before God and His Imperial Majesty'. In the original draft the phrase read 'before God above all', but later 'above all' was crossed out and the rights of Charles and the Almighty established thus on an equal footing. No one could be blind to the meaning of this. Some of the princes felt that they were justified by ancient historic rights; others, more naturally revolutionary, appealed to the hitherto unexpressed right of choice which they

1 Duke George of Saxony of the Albertine line (Meissen) was first cousin to the Electors Frederick the Wise ( 1525‡) and John, of the Ernestine line (TRANSLATOR'S note).

believed to exist in their own consciences. The antithesis found expression in the Dietary declarations of August 27th. The two parties appeared to be about evenly matched.

Before they broke up Ferdinand drew their attention to the appalling news from Hungary and managed to extract a small subsidy for use against the Turks. In these circumstances Ferdinand might well have recruited his army at once and set out to defend the Austrian border, if not actually to intervene in Hungary. Instead he went to Innsbruck, and even when he had news of the catastrophe at Mohacz on August 29th he seemed to be more absorbed in the imperial struggle for Milan than interested in the fate of the Danube lands. Bred in the old imperial tradition, he felt, presumably, that Milan, as a fief of the Empire, was more his affair than Hungary. His action, extraordinary in itself, must nevertheless be accounted to him for a virtue. It proved once again his unswerving loyalty to his brother, so often severely tried, yet never broken.

He had turned his back on one of the most terrible and significant events of the century. The Hungarian monarchy had been shattered at Mohacz. The blow was utterly unexpected. The battle itself was so improvised and light-hearted an affair as hardly to deserve the name. Unwillingly, the young King himself had taken part. No leaders were chosen, no plans were made. In this haphazard fashion the few troops of the Christians rashly flung themselves against the overwhelming forces of Sultan Suleiman. The King was killed in the rout. He had no children; the whole of his country, neglected since the days of Hunyadi, was left defenceless and without an heir. Heirless, too, were Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia -- a gigantic, disorganized, disunited conglomeration, destined by dynastic right to Poland, by political contract to Austria.

Everything broke down. When he signed his treaties of inheritance and marriage, Maximilian had cheerfully considered the unification of these scattered lands with Austria as an easy task. Now it seemed far beyond human compass. Only Ferdinand's obstinacy and the traditions of Austrian statecraft, gradually formed by experience, ultimately solved the problem.

The immediate question was Bohemia. The three Estates, lords, knights and towns, vehemently defended their privilege of freely electing the King, and sent for cart-loads of documents to prove it in the very midst of the negotiations. The chief burgrave wrote to the Estates proclaiming a free election. There was no lack of candidates. The King of France even presented himself. More serious were the efforts of William and Lewis of Bavaria, had not each of them hampered the other. The most probable claimant was the Archduke Ferdinand himself, not, however, on account of inheritance or treaty. His delegates, Siegmund von Pollheim, Hans von Starhemberg and Niklas Rabenhaupt, who were accompanied by the highest dignitaries of Austria and Styria, Georg von Buchheim and Siegmund von Dietrichstein, showed that mixture of bold cession and skilful compromise which is necessary in such cases. Ferdinand was proposed by a deputation of the three Estates on October 22nd and unanimously elected on October 23rd in the chapel of Saint Wenceslas in the Hradschin. This tremendous victory for the Hapsburg dynasty was all the more remarkable because of its present weakness and the ceaseless complaints which assailed Ferdinand's government. Possibly the hereditary rights of Ferdinand's wife Anne assisted him. Possibly, too, the idea of uniting all the eastern powers from the middle waters of the Oder to the Danube, for the defence of Christendom against Islam, may have had some imponderable effect on the choice, as it had undoubtedly had in the time of the Emperor Sigismund. On February 24th, 1527, Ferdinand was crowned in Prague and the Bavarian Wittelsbach were left to chew the bitter cud of their defeat.

Hungary proved more difficult. Unbowed by misfortune, the young widowed Queen Mary displayed extraordinary devotion in attempting to secure the throne for her brother. The Hungarians and Bohemians had always realized that she was far more intelligent than her husband, and now again she gave proof to the political insight common in her family. Later, and more effectively, she was to use her gifts in her other brother's service, as Charles's regent in the Netherlands. King Louis had not waited at Mohacz for the arrival of the first magnate in his lands, John Zapolya, Voivod of Transylvania. He had therefore escaped death, and he now used his unopposed power to stir up in nationalist circles a violent demand for his election. On November 10th he had himself crowned at Stuhlweissenburg. The country seemed lost to the Hapsburg dynasty. Ferdinand was in a double quandary; faced by an accomplished fact, he yet had to deny the nobility's right of election. Should he once recognize this, all was lost. Taking his stand therefore on inheritance and Maximilian's treaty, he stigmatized Zapolya as a usurper. At the same time he did not altogether waive the formality of an election but arranged for a small group of the nobility, under Mary's presidency, to elect him at Pressburg. His prospects were not very hopeful, even though the Turks, after their astonishing victory, still more astonishingly evacuated the land as far as the Danube. John Zapolya was not only Ferdinand's rival in Hungary, he was a natural ally for all Ferdinand's enemies in Germany, Italy and France. Mediation, through the King of France for instance, for which the Emperor urgently pleaded, came to nothing. Only in the following year did Ferdinand, by a bold attack, at last gain ground on Hungarian soil.


The great increase of Hapsburg power in the east brought new and heavy burdens in its train. The Chancellor of Bohemia took full account of this in a letter to Ferdinand's Chancellor, Count Harrach. 'My dear lord', he wrote, 'we have not yet taken all our fences . . . The war in Hungary will exhaust all our resources. It would be better to have Hungary for a friendly neighbour, rule it who may, than the Turk for an enemy.' But to Ferdinand the war in Hungary was a welcome excuse to withdraw from imperial affairs. He could hope to gain little from Germany as things were, and he was tired of participating in his brother's troubles in Italy. All the same, in the intervening months he gave himself an astonishing amount of trouble on Charles's behalf in Upper Italy. Once again in October, Frundsberg, that ever present help in time of trouble, set out for Milan to join his compatriots, among whom was his own son Caspar.

The outlook in Italy was black indeed. Overshadowing the chaotic interests of the smaller states, loomed the growing menace of conflict between the spiritual and temporal powers. On September 23rd, 1526, the imperial garrison at Cremona capitulated; almost at the same time, on the 21st, Colonna's faction entered Rome, humbled the Pope, and forced him to grant them absolution for invading the city. Clement absolved them indeed, but in his heart nursed the hope of revenge.

Meanwhile in Granada Charles was composing an answer to that papal letter of June 23rd, which had so unjustly and so clumsily accused him. The archives of Simancas yield conclusive proof of a belief long held by historians that the answer was from the pen of the secretary Alonso Valdes. The document places him at once in the same rank as Gattinara as an ecclesiasticopolitical polemist. In polished phrases he challenged the threadbare arguments of the Pope, mercilessly exposing the weakness and injustice of the papal accusation. It was, he said, totally untrue to pretend that all the Kings in Europe had put pressure on the Pope; the exact contrary was known for a fact about the Kings of Portugal, Hungary, Bohemia, Denmark, and Poland. As for the King of England, he, too, denied his part in the League. Next, Valdes proceeded to attack papal policy. He recalled Leo's behaviour at Charles's election, Clement's conduct on the eve of Pavia, his attempt to suborn Pescara, and many other sins of this Holy Father of Christendom. Well might Europe stand amazed at his unscrupulousness; well might the Emperor feel as one in a dream. As for Clement's assertion that he must defend himself, nobody was attacking him. On the contrary -thus spoke Charles by the pen of Valdes -- this war could not but lead to the ruin of the Church and the destruction of Christian concord. Had not he, the Emperor, set himself up in Germany to defend the apostolic chair from attack? Did he not still want peace? If Clement would but lay down arms, all others would follow his example and the forces of Christendom could be turned against heretic and Turk. But should the Pope continue to play the part not of a father but of an enemy, not of a shepherd but of a wolf, then the Emperor would be forced to call a council.

This struck the authentic note of righteous indignation, and when after careful preparation it was later published, the note deepened into the menacing peal of a tocsin. Next the letter was solemnly handed over to the papal nuncio at the Chancellor's house and in the presence of Bartolomeo Gattinara, Chancellor of Aragon, Jean Lalemand, secretary to the imperial cabinet, the secretary Alonso Valdes and the lawyer Alexander Schweiss from the bishopric of Treves, who made a report of the occasion. Castiglione answered that he had in the meantime received a second letter from the Pope, dated June 25th, with which he was instructed to replace the first. At Rome, Clement had realized that he had acted too hastily. So, now, the nuncio argued that the Pope's second letter proved that Charles's answer was unnecessary and unrestrained. Yet since he would sooner be a messenger of peace than of war he would not refuse to accept even so challenging a letter.

Not content with making this formal protest at Gattinara's house, the nuncio next asked for an audience with Charles in order to complain of the bitterness of the imperial reply. After receiving him as always courteously and with dignity, Charles calmed him with a personal note which the nuncio kept; it ran something as follows: 'My lord nuncio, after you had accepted that paper for His Holiness in which I refuted several unjust accusations, I took occasion to express myself yet more fully to you by word of mouth, and I can but hope that hereafter the Pope will resume towards me the attitude of a good father towards a devoted son. I, the King.'

But although he thus smoothed over the occasion by personal intervention, Charles saw to it nevertheless that his answers to the letters of June 23rd and 25th were presented to the Pope before the whole consistory, in the hall adjoining the Parrot Court at the Vatican on December 12th. He also sent a letter to the consistory by the hand of Cardinal Orsini exhorting them, even if the Pope refused, to insist on calling a council. Alonso Cueva drew up the legal instruments necessary for these negotiations; the originals, dated September 17th and December 12th, are now at Simancas and Madrid. But the imperial government immediately printed and published the whole correspondence, including these two legal instruments. To this they added Gattinara's draft of the imperial answer to the ambassadors of the Holy League, that is of the Pope, the French and the Venetians, which was given some weeks later, on February 12th, 1527. A protocol relating to this transaction was also drawn up and witnessed by Henry of Nassau, Juan Manuel, Don Garcia Loaysa, Bishop of Osma, president of the India Board and the Emperor's confessor, de Praet and the whole inner council. For the opposition we find the papal nuncio, Baldassare Castiglione, the French ambassadors, Jean Colinot, President of Bordeaux, and Guilbert Bayard, as well as the Venetian ambassador, Andrea Navagero. On February 17th letters were sent to the Duke of Milan and the Doge of Genoa.

Although these letters circulated throughout Europe, even in Germany, the whole series was no more than a kind of diplomatic prologue.

In Italy the military situation was developing along unusual lines. Georg Frundsberg had once again crossed the Alps; thanks to the auxiliary artillery sent him by the Duke of Ferrara, who had been won over by the Emperor before he received a belated bribe from the Pope, Frundsberg had gained the passage of the Mincio at which engagement a cannon ball had carried off the papal commander, Giovanni de' Medici. This was at the end of November 1526. The Duke of Urbino, a born dawdler, became the military leader of the League. The Pope's opinions continued to veer this way and that with the news from France, England or his other allies. On New Year's Day, he appealed solemnly to Lannoy and Colonna, feeling sure at that time of rapid French intervention. But in return for the 'liberation of Italy', Francis now wanted the kingdom of Naples itself. Lannoy had several interviews with Clement. Meanwhile the driving force in Italy was no longer in Rome, nor yet in Naples, but in the imperial camp in Lombardy.

Now and again in history long-forgotten decisions and longsuppressed emotions, under the direction of some invisible impulse, generate elemental forces, which, like gigantic and slowly rolling dice, work out their horrible and destructive course, guided by chance alone. Such forces had the imperial army in their grip. Leaving Leyva in Milan, Bourbon and Frundsberg joined about the middle of February 1527. As always, money was lacking. Nevertheless the army pressed on into the papal states. Unpaid, the soldiers grew daily more uncontrollable. They began to recognize in the Pope not only the Emperor's bitterest foe but the true originator of all their own distress and privation. The Ger- man landsknechts invested him with the face and attributes of a grasping and war-like Antichrist, living in the Roman Babel. Imperial loyalty, Spanish pride, Protestant passion, hunger and want, the sense of guilt at their own insubordination, greed and the longing for plunder -- all these contradictory emotions blazed up together into a frenzied hatred for the rich and vicious city of Rome. Held back by the Venetians, the Duke of Urbino did nothing to prevent their advance. The Duke of Ferrara sent them money, but not enough to satisfy the men. Mutiny could no longer be quelled. In the old German fashion, Frundsberg made the men form a circle, and himself with the Prince of Orange, the most distinguished of the leaders, stepped into the midst, there to reason with the troops as he had done at Pavia. In vain. They shouted him down with cries of 'Money!' They threatened him with raised lances. At that, his stout heart broke. They carried him to Ferrara, a dying man. Conrad Bemelberg, called the 'little Hessian', took over the command, if command it could be called. No one in the world could have led these unpaid hordes back to Lombardy. Frundsberg had hinted something about payment in Rome. The idea took hold, and the hordes swept forward, through Tuscany. Passing by Siena and Florence, they marched on Rome.

Lannoy and his ambassador Fieramosca attempted to hold them back in accordance with their promise to the Pope. They were as powerless as the generals. Only gradually did Clement grasp the danger in which he stood. Then he offered 150,000 ducats to calm the storm. The troops demanded 300,000. Long ago intelligent advisers had urged Clement to get himself some money by creating half a dozen cardinals. Wrestling with uncertainties, he had not let himself be persuaded. When he gave in, it was already too late.

On May 5th the army lay before the Eternal City. On the 6th they stormed the walls. Bourbon fell as he mounted the first scaling ladder, thereby atoning for his wasted life; the Prince of Orange was gravely wounded. Relieved at last of all control, the army swarmed in. They seized the Leonine city, besieged the Pope at Sant' Angelo, crossed the Tiber, poured across the whole Holy City, wreaking their will on gardens and palaces. It was an hour of dizzy triumph for the soldatesca, an hour of bitter realization and self-reproach for Clement and his advisers.


The historian need not dwell on the horrors of the conquest: the Sacco di Roma lasted for months and its fame spread across Europe. The Emperor had not wanted it, had told his representative to spare no effort to prevent it. But as soon as the Pope was taken prisoner, imperial policy could not scorn to make use of so tremendous an event. All the same, months passed in negotiations which throw a strange light on the ideas and intrigues rife at Charles's Court. This time Charles's hesitation had a particular cause. At the very time when the Pope was his prisoner and his troops were swarming leaderless over Rome, the Emperor himself was without his chief adviser.

Gattinara's journey to north Italy is wrapped in mystery. In his memoirs he himself admits that Charles's Court, and foreign ambassadors accredited to it, made adverse comments on his departure. Some deep misunderstanding must have lain at the root of this for Gattinara, who had worn himself out with work and worry for no reward or thanks, was surely justified in asking for a rest. Once, it is true, in the autumn of 1524, he had been given a present of his entire revenues for two years and three months, and the money for his journey to Calais, a sum amounting to 14,628 ducats. But what was this in comparison to the princely income and honours of a Wolsey, with whom Gattinara might favourably compare himself? And with what problems was he not always expected to wrestle?

At the end of March 1527 Gattinara took a holiday, intending doubtless to pay a visit to his family and his estates in Piedmont at the same time, and, as he himself once hinted, to 'pave the way' for Charles's coming to Italy. He began his holiday at Montserrat, among those lofty peaks whose clear atmosphere disperses all dismal humours. He may have appreciated the invigorating effect of the mountain air for he travelled slowly, almost as if he hoped to be recalled, by way of Barcelona to Palamos, and set sail only at the beginning of May, apparently before hearing that Rome had fallen. Farther on his journey he wrote to Charles, saying that his friends at Court told him that many rumours were being circulated about the reasons for his going -- as that he counted on being immediately recalled, that he was only leaving in the hope that his salary would be raised. He besought the Emperor to remember the actual words which he had spoken on leaving and not to believe any of these slanders. He would be back, he said, in three months, or at the very latest in September, by which time the Pope was expected at Barcelona. The answer, which Lalemand drafted for Charles, was friendly and gracious; he gave him permission to stay longer away and promised to tell him the latest political developments.

Gattinara's first letter of any length is dated at Monaco, an important post station and port of call in the imperial system of communications, on June 7th. In this he informed Charles that he had disembarked and been most splendidly received by the owner of the town, Agostino Grimaldi, Bishop of Grasse, a partisan of the Emperor. Above all he spoke of the fireworks and salvos which had been organized to celebrate the birth of a prince in Spain. On May 21st, at Valladolid, the Emperor's heir had been born. At his baptism, on July 5th, he had received the old Burgundian name of Philip, after his grandfather Philip the Handsome. His godparents were Iñigo Velasquez, constable of Castile, Juan Zuñiga and Queen Eleonore. This same year saw the birth of Ferdinand's eldest son, Maximilian, afterwards Emperor. The dynasty now had two lives to its credit for the coming generation. Among the letters of congratulation which Charles received was one from the imprisoned Pope in the castle of Sant' Angelo.

The temporal and spiritual organization of Christendom was indeed in a state of strange confusion. England and France now hastened to settle their old differences and form a common alliance to help the Pope against Charles. The Emperor's one time friends, the English, thus finally threw off the mask; and France, which had but just made peace, made ready, with the help of new allies, to gain better terms by a renewed war. This new war and Charles's negotiations with the Pope must now engage our attention.

In a separate note, enclosed with his letter, Gattinara expressed his opinions on the political situation. Judging by what he has to say in his autobiography, the news of the sack of Rome left him in some doubt as to how he should advise Charles to behave. Would it be wisest for the Emperor frankly to applaud all that had happened in Rome, justifying this action by declaring that he had no desire to injure the priesthood, but only to punish the enemies of Christendom? Or would it be best altogether to repudiate responsibility for the disaster? With certain modifications Gattinara decided in favour of the latter.

On June 7th therefore he wrote saying that so shattering an event could not but resound throughout the world. Charles would be blamed for it and he must find means to justify himself, without actually foregoing any advantages which might accrue to him from what had happened. So extraordinary a victory must be an act of God. Gattinara next named Valdes as the man best suited to draft a letter for the princes of Europe, setting forth Charles's grief at what had happened and drawing the appropriate moral that henceforward wars in Christendom must stop. Only a general council, called to extirpate heresy, to reform the Church and to reorganize the temporal powers, could achieve this end. Pope and cardinals, who had so often been implored in vain to call a council, must now agree to do so. After outlining this appeal, Gattinara turned to the immediate and vital question which Charles alone could decide: would he do as all the world advised and undertake a journey to Italy? If this was his sincere intention he must at once collect all his money, then obtain the consent of the Cortes of Aragon, and proceed thence to Valencia or Cata- lonia, at the same time preparing his fleet to defend Genoa against the French and to protect his own crossing. The Duke of Ferrara, who already carried the title of Captain-general, must be won over to take Bourbon's place; he must be requested to keep the popular Prince of Orange as his lieutenant. To prevent the Duke from exploiting the command for his own ends, Lannoy was to be set above both of them as the Emperor's representative. On the other hand, Gattinara concluded, if Charles did not seriously intend to come to Italy himself, King Ferdinand would be the man best suited to the chief command.

Milan, Gattinara continued, had been promised to Bourbon, should proof of Sforza's guilt be forthcoming; it was therefore free to be disposed of. For reasons which he had often stated before, Gattinara did not advise Charles to keep it himself. If he bestowed it on Ferdinand without more ado the infuriated Venetians would inevitably be driven into the arms of the Turks. If he returned it to Sforza, it would be a tacit admission that he had done him a wrong beforehand. It would be best to stage some sort of an inquiry before which Sforza could be called. All else could be decided when Charles himself was in Italy. If Sforza were found guilty, then Milan could safely be given to Ferdinand, or to the Infant Philip. This, several years later, was what Charles did. In the meantime Gattinara advised that Milan be ruled by an imperial governor, and its finances entrusted to a treasurer and a receiver. Parma and Piacenza must once again be united to Milan, Florence and Bologna be handled with tact so that they would remain loyal to Charles. The Venetians, who were undoubtedly much to blame for the last war, would in their anxiety be casting about for a Turkish alliance; it would be wise to prevent the conclusion of such a bond by nourishing them with hopes of favour at least until Charles himself should come. For the Emperor must not lose sight of the fact that once he had both a victorious army and a firm base in Italy he was well on the way to rule the world. Once establish his power in the peninsula, and all his other lands would be only too ready to do him service.

While Charles perused these suggestions in Madrid, Gattinara after being forced back by French galleys into the blockaded port of Genoa, escaped by way of Corsica and landed once more in Spain, safe and sound. There at Montserrat he fulfilled a vow, made doubtless when the French ships attacked him, and appeared again at Court in October.

During his absence, in spite of the usual delays, much of importance had been done in Charles's immediate surroundings.

Underlying these actions, we guess at deeps of which we have hitherto suspected nothing. Already once before, at that important moment in German history when the young Emperor first met the princes at Cologne, the great figure of Erasmus of Rotterdam had passed swiftly by. Now, for the second time, his path crossed that of Charles, this time in Spain. His Enchiridion Militis Christiani had just been translated into Spanish and in fact dedicated to the Grand Inquisitor, Alonso Manrique de Lara, Archbishop of Seville and one of the Emperor's closest friends. Alonso de Fonseca, Archbishop of Toledo, who had baptized the Infant, and the Chancellor himself, as well as Alonso and Juan Valdes, were among the admirers of Erasmus. But the mendicant friars, so often mercilessly exposed in the biting satires of this great man, now launched an attack from the pulpit on his modern and secular theology. Under the presidency of Manrique, discussions were held at Valladolid and, in response to monkish indignation, the Archbishop obtained a brief from Clement VII by which all attacks on these 'warriors against Luther' -- as the monks now proclaimed themselves -- were prohibited on pain of censure.

Six months earlier Gattinara had written a letter to Erasmus, in which, in his usual graphic vein, he drew on examples of this kind to prove that Christendom was divided into three groups. Some stood blindly by papal authority, whether it governed well or ill. Others clung to Luther with equal obstinacy. Neither of these groups was capable of independent thought; their praise was an insult and their scorn an honour. The third group cared for God's word and the common weal, predilections which were not likely to preserve them from calumny. To this group belonged Erasmus and his admirers. He himself hoped to see the Emperor eradicate the Lutheran heresy and reform the Church.

This opinion was shared by Gattinara's secretaries, above all by Alonso Valdes. Deeply moved, this latter now set pen to paper. Like Ulrich von Hutten in a like hour of conflict, he wrote in his native tongue. This in itself was likely to secure him a wider hearing. His two Dialogues, Mercurioy Caron and the still more bitter Lactancioy el arcediano, were not only effective in spreading the spirit of Erasmus, but are to this day outstanding monuments to the beauty of the Spanish language. In Gattinara's letters, too, we cannot fail to recognize the weft of these political and ecclesiastical ideas running through the theories of his time.

In Gattinara's absence Alonso Valdes had thus again wielded the pen in the conflict between the secular and the non-secular Church. He was long to continue in the foremost ranks of battle, at his side his brother Juan, who was later in Naples to become the moving spirit of a circle of devoted reformers. In his Dialogues Valdes sketched the portrait of a Christian monarch, a ruler with a mind above the desire for great possessions, above ceremonies and above deceit, fixed only on the happiness of his people. Valdes drew his inspiration direct from Erasmus and Gattinara, nor did he show himself less their pupil when he elaborated his theories from the gospels and took Christ himself as the great example.

On June 5th, 1527, the Pope formally surrendered, handing over certain strong places and many hostages. From now on he was a prisoner. An imperial garrison occupied the castle of Sant' Angelo under the leadership of the experienced Alarçon, who had but recently been the jailer of Francis I. Such was the situation on which the Spanish councillors had to act.

On July 21st the Emperor designated Pierre de Veyre, lord of Mont St. Vincent, as his ambassador to Italy; but he did not send him until August 18th. His instructions, partly conceived in Gattinara's vein, handled the papal question with somewhat greater asperity, and showed throughout a certain independence of style and tone. The ambassador was instructed first to join Lannoy. The imperial council had decided that he was to express his regret for the Sack of Rome. But he was to flavour this apology with the addition that, since God had so brought it to pass, the Emperor was overjoyed to think that the last obstacles had been. removed and the Pope would now have no difficulty in restoring peace to Christendom and in reforming the Church. The hint could be further embellished with the statement that Charles was himself on the point of setting out for Rome, to kiss the Pope's feet and set him at liberty; only unfortunately his preparations were not yet completed. Veyre was furthermore to inform the Viceroy Lannoy that Charles was constant to his plan of visiting Italy, not merely for the empty honour of Coronation, but so that he might fulfil his duties towards Holy Church, the Bride of Christ, and give thanks to God for the victories which he so persistently bestowed upon him. As Lannoy well knew, the Pope had often said that he would come to Spain to mediate a firm peace between Charles and Francis; if every possible precaution were taken, Charles felt that this might be tried. In this view, the Emperor showed how much he was still dominated by the recollection of that other great captive he had made at Pavia. But if it were impossible to arrange to bring the Pope to Spain, Veyre's instructions went on, Charles was prepared magnanimously to set him free, so long as he would give adequate security against treachery or bad faith. Once again Charles was thinking of Francis I and the treaty of Madrid. Lannoy was to decide what securities were adequate, Charles himself was thinking of several fortresses, of the city of Bologna, and the Pope's own, kinsmen as hostages -- all these to be held until Clement saw fit to carry out his duties towards Christendom.

From Lannoy at Naples the ambassador was to journey to the Pope himself. He was to tell him with what grief Charles had learnt of the horrible crimes which had been committed against his express will, and which he would gladly have prevented at the risk of his own life. Next he was to express the Emperor's sorrow at the divisions of Christendom, and above all at the schism in Germany, which, but for this, would be the only state in Europe able to withstand the Turk. Veyre was to explain that these were Charles's reasons for offering the Pope extremely mild terms, the details to be laid down by Lannoy. Furthermore Veyre must express the Emperor's delight at learning through the general of the Franciscans that Clement hoped to come to Spain to mediate a peace. Such an act would ensure to the Pope both honour in this world and eternal glory in the next. The Emperor must, however, postpone the discussion of temporal matters, such as the necessary payments to be made in Italy, the Ferraresse question, the problem of Milan -- in which Clement had no right whatever to interfere -- until the Pope was once more at liberty.

But Veyre arrived in Italy too late to carry out his instructions. In his first dispatch, on September 30th, 1527, he reported Lannoy's death. Like Pescara, Charles de Lannoy had worn himself out in the exertion and nervous excitement of the last years; his powers of resistance were so diminished that he succumbed, with hardly a struggle, to the plague which was then raging in Rome. He died at Aversa on September 23rd, nursed to the last by his devoted wife, who had hastened to his bedside. His death altered everything. The staggering news of Rome's fall and the Pope's capture gave to Charles's enemies the opportunity they had long sought. In Europe the whole situation changed. Hesitation and doubt were transformed into rage and the lust for war, and a bad cause found justification when it was disguised as a crusade for the 'liberation of the Pope'.

At the Spanish Court which had moved from Valladolid to Burgos in the winter months of 1527-8, these events were slow to produce action. The delay was partly caused by the time which news took to reach them and partly by the Emperor's temperament. During his long stay in the peaceful and pleasant Spanish kingdoms, Charles had withdrawn himself ever further from the world. His actions now lagged far behind the impetuous haste of politics. The young ruler's days slipped by beside his queenly wife in the dilatory pursuance of State affairs, in courtly amusements and diversions, with an occasional serious interval when he talked matters over with Gattinara, or with his confessor, Loaysa, or sought to quiet the many conflicting elements in his Court. His letters to his brother Ferdinand, to his aunt Margaret, and still more the reports of Ferdinand's representative, Martin de Salinas, draw a picture of an existence almost monastic in its calm.

Yet Charles's subsequent comments, and his correspondence with Loaysa, prove that under this smooth surface his inner life was far from stagnant. His character developed as he observed men and affairs, and studied the deepening problems of his own great dominions. He strove with himself, fought against his lusts and limitations, and if occasionally he failed, it was because the body was not always strong enough to bear up the wearied spirit. All that he undertook seemed to succeed, and soon he grew convinced that the Hand of God was on him, that his well-considered instructions and careful memoranda were alone sufficient justification for his rule. Even the Sack of Rome had not taught him that events will sometimes move of their own impetus. This appalling happening, even, was interpreted at Court, as we ourselves have seen, as a special providence of God.

The minutes of council meetings, from which we derive a limited but important knowledge of the forces at work in Charles's surroundings, are tedious to a degree. Even when Gattinara came back and Pierre de Veyre sent his first dispatch from Italy, the council decided almost nothing. Lalemand took the notes on that occasion. Present were de Praet, La Chaulx, the confessor Loaysa, Juan Manuel, Nassau, Gattinara and the Emperor. All of them spoke in Spanish. De Praet voted that the Pope be released in whatever circumstances, on the terms suggested by Veyre. If Charles did not set him free, he argued, others would step in; once he was at liberty he could be asked to confirm the misuse of the Cruzada. La Chaulx agreed. Loaysa urged Charles to ask for some securities in return for Clement's freedom, although not the Castle of Sant' Angelo. A ransom could be dispensed with once Clement confirmed the Cruzada. Manuel advised caution: he thought that Lannoy should be at once replaced by a suitable person, or else that Hugo de Moncada, whom Lannoy had always trusted implicitly, should have plenipotentiary powers. When this had been done Clement's release could be made known throughout Europe. Nassau too favoured procedure in that order: first the guarantees, then the release, then the confirmation of the Cruzada. Gattinara indicated that the Emperor would have been well advised not to lay hands on the Pope, qua Pope; a case could always be made out to prove Clement's election invalid for it had undoubtedly been simoniacal. But if Charles could once gain the papal fortresses, the Cruzada and the control of the benefices, he could do without the ransom. He could then re-establish the Pope and make peace, stipulating for a council. To all this Charles answered that the council had already decided in Valladolid to accept Veyre's terms for Clement's release. For his own part, he went on, he was ready to let the Pope go, were it not for other considerations. There was Parma and Piacenza, Modena and the Colonna problem -- all of them thorny questions; that very day for instance the nuncio had declared that Clement demanded the re-establishment of his own dynasty in Florence. Besides Charles declared that he must have some written security, lest the treaty be broken. His troops too must be paid out of the resources of the Pope or the Spanish Church. Above all God's will must be done in all things.

In this speech Charles was clearly thinking of recent events in Florence. The Florentines had been members of the League. But Clement's indecision, while the imperial army was fast descending upon them, drove them to despair and they had again driven out the Medici and proclaimed themselves a republic. Another event which had some bearing on Charles's arguments was that the imprisoned Pope and the once implacable Cardinal Pompeo Colonna had recently solemnized a touching reconciliation in the apartments of the Castle of Sant' Angelo.

In the meantime Clement sent as ambassadors to Charles, first the general of the Franciscans, Francisco Quiñones, and then Cardinal Farnese, who was later himself to be Pope. Farnese got no farther than Lombardy. But Hugo de Moncada, Veyre and the newly returned Quiñones at length concluded a long-desired agreement with Clement, as a result of which the Castle of Sant' Angelo was evacuated. The treaty was signed on November 26th, the castle abandoned on December 6th. On the following night the Pope fled, not without the connivance of certain imperial officers, in the dress of his own major-domo, from Rome to Orvieto. After months of perilous argument, peace in Christendom seemed again established.

Events were soon to prove the vanity of all such hopes.


Event followed upon event, as if at the command of some unseen power. In the interim the alliances binding the European states to each other had dissolved and formed again. Once again the separate outline of the individual forces, so menacingly ranged on each side of the arena, become coherent.

Ever since Charles's victory at Pavia the governments of France and England had been negotiating. For a brief moment, it is true, Henry's romantic ambitions for the French Crown had flared up, but Wolsey had firmly guided his master out of his fool's paradise. After the unsatisfactory conversations between the Spanish and English governments in 1526, England and France were in close sympathy by the spring of 1527. Only a few days before the Sack of Rome, on April 3oth, the powers reached agreement. The contract, impatiently desired by both parties, soon found expression in the renewed fervour of the Anglo-French friendship. On May 29th Henry VIII declared himself ready to subsidize a French campaign in Italy with the monthly sum of 32,000 crowns. Francis I entrusted the leadership of the expedition to a bold, if not always a fortunate, leader -- Lautrec.

A new and surprising development completed the estrangement between Henry and the Emperor, and drove the English King into yet closer alliance with Francis. Even in earlier times English dislike of Spain had sometimes been vented in popular hostility towards Queen Katherine, and at this crucial moment Henry's troubled relations with his legal wife became a major cause for political unrest. Henry's reasons were peculiarly shameless. Not his alleged pricks of conscience at having contracted an incestuous marriage with his brother's widow, nor his desire for a male heir drove him ultimately to seek divorce from Katherine. He was dominated simply by the fact that Anne Boleyn could be obtained in no other way. The influential kinsmen of his desired bride strengthened him in his purpose towards Katherine, and Cardinal Wolsey himself was dragged into this new labyrinth, never again to find his way out.

On his visit to France in July and August 1527, Wolsey seemed to repeat his earlier diplomatic triumphs, for he brought with him to Amiens a singularly valuable offer -- Henry's total renunciation of all claim on the French Crown. Nor were the arrangements to which he agreed on August 18th lacking in importance. True that Wolsey refused the hand of Francis himself for Henry's eldest daughter; but the princess was to be considered for the Duke of Orleans. The French and English governments were at one in feeling that the Pope must not be allowed, either through weakness or a revulsion of feeling, to carry out Charles's policy. Together, too, they repudiated the idea of a council, thus influencing the course of European politics for years to come. Among other remarkable arrangements, Wolsey had a plan for assembling at Avignon all those cardinals who had not been taken prisoner, in order to prevent the government of the Church from becoming wholly subservient to Charles. Wolsey was himself hoping to be made into a kind of Vicar of the Church during Clement's captivity. He had been won over to the King's divorce policy in the last few months, and had already taken various canonical measures towards its achievement. It was rumoured, therefore, not without justification, that he had decided to use this interval to pronounce the King's marriage null in the name of the Pope. The affair was not to be so easily settled: it dragged on for months to come.

The Emperor too was drawn into this divorce question and feelings grew sharper on both sides.

An embassy from the allied powers of France and England, although received at Valladolid with all due respect, had no more effective outcome than any other negotiations during that autumn and winter. Gattinara, as he himself tells us, had already decided, for incontrovertible reasons, to abandon all the negotiations which had been set on foot in the summer of 1527. Neverthe- less he advised Charles to continue the appearance of treating while he armed secretly. The details of these negotiations are therefore of no consequence, for neither side meant them in earnest.

In the meantime Francis I had declared to his Estates that he would return to his imprisonment, if the ransom for the princes was too heavy a burden on his kingdom or the money needed for the coming war was too much for them to raise. The offer was enthusiastically refused. In Spain too a similar atmosphere of enthusiasm and heroism prevailed in face of the coming conflict.

And so at Burgos on January 22nd, 1528, the first of those scenes, in which the protagonists acted the prologue of their war, was played out with Homeric formality. The Kings of England and France formally handed over a declaration of war by the hand of their heralds. The Emperor answered cuttingly that he was astonished to find his own 'prisoner' thus formally declaring war on him, since he had previously shown no scruples in carrying out the lengthiest campaigns against him without pausing for any such formality. As for the Pope -- his champions could set their minds at rest; he had long been released. He concluded with several further reflections on the Anglo-French challenge. We need not trouble ourselves with these wordy battles. Even in their modern printed form they cover many pages. It suffices to add that at the end of the ceremony Charles repeated in a strengthened form the words he had used at Granada in August 1526. He told the French ambassador that his King had acted the part of a coward and a varlet and had broken his word. In support of this accusation, he continued, he would be ready to risk his life in hand to hand conflict.

Charles's advisers attempted to restrain his ardour. The elder Diego Mendoza, Duke of Infantado, uttered the shrewd opinion that the duel as a means of discovering God's justice, could be used only when there was a gap in the law. Here there was no gap in the law: all was as clear as day.

The return declaration was uttered on March 28th before the assembled French Court and foreign ambassadors. As soon as the imperial ambassador, Nicholas Perronet, lord of Granvelle, had, in the Emperor's name, asked for his pass home, King Francis rose to speak. Trying to justify himself, he gave a paper to Granvelle asking him to read it aloud. When Granvelle refused, the King had it read by Robertet, and later, after some delay, on June 17th, handed it over by a herald at Monzon, the seat of the Cortes. A third time the empty ceremony took place. The French herald handed over the paper, the Emperor gave it to Lalemand to read. In this new declaration Francis vigorously repudiated all blame and added that if Charles wished to fight, he had only to name a place and time for the meeting.

But it never came to a duel. Embarrassed by this reply, Charles sought to enlarge his sphere of action. Impressed by these repeated and open declarations of war, he sent Balthasar Merklin, provost of Waldkirch, who had been elevated in the previous year to the Vice-chancellorship of the Empire left vacant by Nicholas Ziegler, to the German princes and Estates. His instructions, dated February 3rd, 1528, were to urge them to arm against France. This prelate, who had been first a servant of Maximilian, then coadjutor of Constance and later administrator of Hildesheim, had gone early to Spain where he had handled German affairs under the advice of Gattinara. But the diplomatic mission now entrusted to him seems to have been beyond his powers. Like the imperial ambassador of five years before, Hannart, he immediately struck the wrong note with Ferdinand. Ferdinand could not but fear that simultaneous demands for help against France would reduce the Empire's willingness to fight the Turk. Charles answered Ferdinand's complaints with the assertion that the Vice-chancellor had had clear instructions to do nothing save what was approved by Ferdinand himself. For the rest Waldkirch's passage through Germany from June onwards may be followed in various sources which give a clear enough picture of what he actually did. The greater number of the Estates could not be moved by such an embassy into giving any military help -which was the chief object of his mission; but he touched also on the Lutheran problem, the Turkish danger and the question of Ferdinand's election as King of the Romans.

An incident, trivial in itself, sharply emphasized the trust which Charles was placing, at this time, in the German princes. He added a postscript in his own hand to the letters of credit, given to Waldkirch on February 3rd, 1528, for the Elector Palatine. This reads: 'Do the best you can for me this time, I will do the same for you. Carolus.' 1 Rarely indeed did Charles write notes of this kind. He also besought his brother to renounce all friendship with the King of France. Yet it is clear that he counted on moral support above all from the German princes.

He postponed the Diet which had been fixed for April 16th at Regensburg, a town very well suited to Ferdinand. In his effort to strengthen his position in Europe, he was naturally anxious to avoid, for the time-being, the raising of such difficult questions as a Diet would bring forth.

Against this background the Italian war went on. And here, rather than at Court or among the ambassadors, do we find the most reliable powers over which Charles had control. Lannoy, Frundsberg and Pescara were gone, but one man still defended the imperial cause with honour unsmirched. The last of the elder generation of commanders, Antonio Leyva had been for years Charles's surest prop in Lombardy. He had something of that quality so much admired by his age, virtù, a virile resolution, to which he added a never-failing devotion to the Emperor. Yet all complaints, whether directed against the violence of the men or the greed of the generals, made him their target. However unfair these accusations were, Leyva could hardly have avoided them, for like the leaders of his time he stood or fell with his troops. The majority of the imperial army had swarmed on to Rome. Leyva held back the remnant in Lombardy, not without difficulty and sacrifice. In those times the alleged wealth of the generals served for a reserve, out of which the troops could be paid when the responsible authorities failed in their duty. His service in keeping these troops together is not lightly to be dismissed, for he seldom received answers to his entreaties and complaints, and yet more seldom money. His greatest title to fame is that even in these times he was able to win victories with his unpaid army. Bitter as is the outcry of the just, both among contemporaries and among posterity, against men of this bold type, they will always be the darlings of history.

At the beginning of August 1527, he informed Charles in detail of the behaviour of Francesco Sforza, against whom, in spite of the opinions of some more cautious persons, he had opened an inquiry. At the same time he told Charles how much he owed to

1 Thut auf dissmal bey myr das best, das wyl ich bey Euch auch thun. Carolus.

the soldiers who poured in from all over Europe to serve under his banners. In an earlier letter he had spoken of the bad morale among the men, which was Bourbon's legacy; of Morone's departure from Milan with Bourbon. Leyva spoke too of the help which the protonotary Carracciolo had offered him in the administration of the duchy, and of the many other details relating to the military occupation of the land. Last of all he informed Charles that he had news of a coming military invasion from France.

For as long as he could, he occupied all the vital strategic positions with his small forces. Only in the last resort was he forced to concentrate on the most important of all, on Milan. In this, as in everything, he was successful. First the Venetians and the French under Pedro Navarro came against him, then Lautrec himself. But even this latter had to abandon the siege of Milan and at the beginning of 1528 turned southwards, ostensibly to 'liberate' the already long-released Pope -- in fact to conquer Naples for France. At this juncture the Duke of Ferrara and the Marquis of Mantua espoused the French cause. Leyva had good reason to complain that all his labour had been lost: the most devoted servants, he lamented, sacrificed themselves in vain for an Emperor who neither knew nor cared what they did. Like Pescara, so Leyva: forgotten and unrewarded.

Yet if Charles were really so unresponsive a master what was it that inspired these Spaniards, these Neapolitans, these Burgundians and Germans to pile one deed of valour upon another, and to retain through five long years of conflict in Italy so unswerving a devotion to their Emperor? Those who saw him at Court and in public affairs despaired at his irresolution; those who fought in his armies found him niggard alike of money and gratitude. Yet all felt themselves uplifted by the consciousness of that imperial and royal theory which he so splendidly embodied. Faithfully and patiently, they awaited his coming to Italy; all that they had and all that they hoped found expression only in and through him. To the Spaniards in particular this conflict in the Emperor's service seemed like the height and climax of their nation's history.

How often had not Charles planned to visit Italy! Since the spring of 1525 he was seriously contemplating the journey; even in those disjointed jottings on the eve of Pavia he had spoken of it. After Pavia he regarded the Italian voyage as the next step in his triumphant progress. From the purely personal point of view, he regarded it first and foremost as essential to his honour and reputation, which he had hitherto done nothing to secure. The repeated postponement of the plan was no less opposed to what he took to be the direct line of his own fate, than to the plans of Gattinara. At every fresh opportunity the Chancellor was for taking time by the forelock and establishing the power of the Emperor in Italy without more delay as a permanent guarantee of peace, not only in the peninsula itself but in all Europe. Gattinara's views were still rooted in those of Dante. But always something had prevented a swift conclusion. Charles's own irresolution, the coming of the French King to Spain, the slothful course of negotiations, and later the menacing League of Cognac and the shortage of money.

Up to the very end there was deep-rooted opposition on the imperial council itself and at Court. Gattinara repeatedly averred that many were against his plan. We may hazard a guess that one of his opponents was in the very heart of the imperial family; Navagero tells us that on one occasion at least the Empress wept at the prospect of losing her husband. Gattinara, too, specifically states that Don Manuel did not appreciate the Italian project. Certain other Spaniards held back, notably the president of the council of Castile, the Archbishop, Juan Pardo de Tavera; Charles had to reckon later with this same man's determined opposition to his univeral policy. All these years the Chancellor had been fighting a double battle: he had been fighting against France and for Italy, and, in so far as he advocated Charles's personal intervention in Italy, he had been fighting against Spain.

All the time important and stirring news poured in from every quarter to the Emperor and his Chancellor -- reports, complaints, demands from the Empire and from Austria and Hungary, no less than from the Netherlands, and last of all from the much-vexed Indies. In spite of opposition, Charles received Hernando Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, with every honour, created him Marquis de la Val de Oaxaca, knight of Santiago and Captain-general of New Spain. But scarcely was this done when Francisco Pizzarro suddenly appeared in the very midst of the South American continent, and demanded with the greatest eloquence, the Emperor's permission to conquer Peru. Unlike his deputies in Panama, Charles did not forbid him to proceed.

In the meantime the imperial troops had undergone their last and hardest test in the struggle for Naples. Lautrec, marching from Romagna along the Adriatic coast, was in the Abruzzi before Hugo de Moncada, Philibert of Orange and Pescara's nephew, the Marquis del Vasto, could hasten up for the defence of the kingdom. Apulia was soon in French hands, del Vasto managing to save Troja alone. On March 16th, 1528, a decisive battle ought to have been fought; in spite of his superiority in numbers Lautrec had hitherto postponed it and now, when he was ready, Orange skilfully evaded his encirclement. Yet the imperialists had little left to them beyond the city of Naples. Hugo de Moncada had made a bad beginning and Charles refused to honour him with the title of Viceroy although he entrusted him with full responsibility for the kingdom.

Greater dangers threatened. As early as the previous December they had had word in Spain that hostile galleys, Genoese above all, were approaching Naples; yet they could not raise help against them. The populous town and large garrison were in danger of starving, since the harbour was blockaded and the city besieged on the landward side. With the assistance of his best officers, Moncada risked a sea-battle in an effort to bring in Sicilian corn. The issue was disastrous. Moncada was killed, the Marquis del Vasto taken.

The youthful general, Philibert of Chalon, Prince of Orange, now bore the whole burden of defence, single-handed. At its last sitting in December 1527, the imperial council had decided to appoint the Duke of Ferrara himself as commander-in-chief of all the imperial troops, with Orange as his lieutenant. Since then the Duke of Ferrara had turned traitor, and Orange was left to find what support he could in the experienced Alarçon. He was still too young to be made Viceroy, said Charles.

Orange was in fact only twenty-five years old, but he had ripened young. His father had died a few weeks after his birth, and his mother, Philippine of Luxembourg, had permitted him to enter the social world of Paris at a very early age. He had been in Spain since 1520. His mother, too, administered his broad estates in Franche Comté in Bresse,Bourgogne and Flanders.

His only sister was the second wife of Henry of Nassau. His powerful relations, his kinship to the royal house of Burgundy, marked out the young and wealthy prince for early advancement. Very soon he became a Knight of the Golden Fleece and was given a command in the field. Already he had experienced much and proved his mettle; he had been wounded and taken when the uncontrolled soldiery swept him with them on their march to Rome. He had been again gravely wounded before the Castle of Sant' Angelo and had sought in vain to check the plundering of Rome.

The struggle for Naples made him into a great leader. While the harbour was still blockaded, the garrison sought, as Leyva had done at Pavia, to gain breathing space by sharp sallies to the landward. These harassed the French army, now a prey to plague. Yet for weeks the position in Naples was desperate, the leader without money, the men without food, and the blockade impassable. Relief was impossible. Whence could it have come? All entreaties for help echoed into the void, as Leyva's had so often done before.

Then the beleaguered forces gained unexpected relief. Andrea Doria, whose nephew, Philippino, guarded the harbour, changed sides. The old Genoese had not been paid by the French; he placed himself therefore at the Emperor's disposal and on July 4th, 1528, he withdrew his ships. On the following day the sea lay, blank and empty, before the eyes of the besieged. Soon after Orange intercepted some letters from which he learnt more of the distress in the French camp. He attacked them more vigorously, was more successful and managed to revictual the city. Pedro Navarro was taken prisoner by his countrymen during one of these sallies. But only the unexpected death of Lautrec on August 16th, brought the siege to an end. The central point of the war shifted again to the north.

Here the situation of the imperialists, unlike that at Naples, grew ever darker. Hope had flared up when a German prince, Henry of Brunswick Luneburg, was won over for imperial service in Italy, and much was expected of the new troops with which he appeared in the neighbourhood of Trent as early as May. The rest of his career serves but to illustrate the importance of money, experience and knowledge of men to a commander in those times.

Having pushed forward into the country round Brescia, Duke Henry found himself threatened by his own troops and in July was forced to save his life by fleeing from them. All his trouble and expense had been for nothing.

On the other hand, as early as September, the Count of St. Pol re-entered Italy with a new French army of ten thousand men. Once again he challenged Leyva's weakening hold on Lombardy and threatened to prolong the war indefinitely in spite of the heavy losses sustained by the French at Naples. On the other hand Andrea Doria had reopened Genoa to imperial troops and resumed his own control over the town.

The circumstances for the Emperor's coming seemed therefore as favourable as they were ever likely to be. The war was not at an end, but Charles felt the call of honour. During the year 1528, as the news from Lombardy grew steadily worse, he seems to have become at last truly impatient for action. In April he wrote to his brother that he 'desired nothing in the world so much' as to go to Italy. He desired it, he said, as much for Ferdinand's sake as for his own, both so that he might 'reform' the Church in Germany, and so that he might be crowned -- a ceremony from which both he and Ferdinand stood to gain. Only he lacked the chiefest thing of all -- money. When at last in May 1528, he paid his longpostponed visit to Valencia in order to receive its homage, he had indeed satisfied the last demands which the Spaniards could justifiably make of him. Charles had now personally made up his mind to go to Italy. His personal letters to Balançon, which were to be privately given to him by the Prince of Orange, and those to Montfort in the autumn of 1528, betrayed in almost every sentence a frantic desire for the journey. He built on this more than on anything, he declared, and added specifically, 'I mean my journey. He would go, so he told Montfort, writing from Toledo, 'should I have to sell this town'. At the same time he complained to him of the negotiations for money with the Portuguese -- 'they are too mercantile for me'. During May and September at Valencia and Madrid, during November in Toledo, he dropped hints in the council, and sometimes even more openly. The last of these specific statements has been recorded in the Chronicle of Santa Cruz. Charles often spoke from notes, and so clearly does this last expression of his opinion reflect the ideas of

Gattinara, that it is safe to assume that he had drawn up its outline.

Charles's own growing self-confidence was revealed in the fact that he no longer asked his councillors whether -- that was already settled -- but how he was to undertake his journey. In an introductory paragraph he hit upon a triple motif, in the very manner of Gattinara. He declared that he would be prevented from carrying out his purpose neither by fear of the League, against whom God had repeatedly given him the victory, nor by fear of the Pope, who was far more profoundly disgusted by the behaviour of the French than he had ever been by the Sack of Rome, nor yet by any doubt as to the welfare of Spain. Things were not now as they had been in his first absence, for he could leave behind him both his Queen, as regent, and his heir. Furthermore, he continued, the question of cost no longer perplexed him; he had found the money for eight years of war and he could not therefore fail to find it for his coronation journey. Yet his journey was not merely for the coronation; that ceremony could have been performed as well by the Pope in Spain. Nor yet, he pursued, did he go to take vengeance on his enemies; he left that to God. Still less was it his intention to seize any land, for, as he had repeatedly asserted, he asked for nothing save what was his by inheritance. He was going rather to induce the Pope to call a council, both for the extermination of heresy and the reform of the Church. He was going to lay balm on the wounds which war had inflicted on the land. Last of all, he concluded, as it beseemed a shepherd to lead his flocks to pasture, so it beseemed him to visit his own lands, estates and vassals.

Gattinara hastened the final decision by a curious tactical ruse, of which he boasted in his autobiography. As often before, the Chancellor had taken to his bed, sick with annoyance. Charles came to visit him, and was soon talking of the fleet which was to be ready at Christmas and to put to sea in January 1529. Gattinara smiled; he did not believe in this fleet. To this Charles replied that the Chancellor was being inconsistent, because he had always been anxious for the journey. Gattinara agreed, but added that he had now given up all hope, for every necessary was lacking. Recently, even, he had expressed his disapproval of the whole business; it was not easy for him as many of the Spaniards suspected his motives and even threatened him because he was thought to have interests in Italy. And, he added slyly, it was absurd to pretend that the journey would not expose Charles to great danger. That old pirate, Andrea Doria, was not to be trusted and Italy itself was a morass of dangers and difficulties. In his opinion, therefore, the plan would be best dropped.

This speech had precisely the effect on which Gattinara was counting. Every word provoked Charles to contradict. As a noble animal is impatient of difficulties in his path, so Charles could now no longer be withheld.

Still the preparations for the journey dragged on for many months. As early as April 1528, Charles prepared his grant of plenipotentiary powers to the Empress and his instructions for the separate members of the council. Three years before, in June 1525, in a note to Doctor Lorenzo Galindez de Carvajal, there had been talk of these. Yet it was only on March 3rd, 1529, that with the help of Loaysa he composed his second will -- this, too, was later superseded. On the same day he dated his last instruction to Isabella, with detailed advice on affairs of State and on her own bearing. On the following day he left Toledo for Saragossa by way of Aranjuez and Siguenza. At the end of April he was in Barcelona, after a year of hesitation and delay.

In the meantime the war in north Italy had unexpectedly ended. Spanish troops had landed at Genoa and put Leyva in a position not only to maintain his stand but to follow on the heels of St. Pol when the latter attempted to attack Genoa from the land. On June 21st Leyva smote the French at Landriano; St. Pol himself was taken. These last blows created a will to peace even in France. Thinking of the welfare of the Netherlands, the Archduchess Margaret had for the last months done all in her power to cherish it.


During all these months the Pope at Orvieto and Viterbo was gradually regaining his balance between his old allies and the Emperor. The Venetians had taken possession of the age-old estates of the Church at Ravenna and Cervisa, and the League pestered the Pope to let the illustrious republic of St. Mark keep the towns. But Clement VII clung to them, as also to Parma and Piacenza, above all to his lost Florence. He was annoyed, too, that the cardinals had been held so long as hostages in Naples. The Venetian ambassador Contarini had a detailed and constructive interview with the Pope and discussed the necessity of abandoning earthly things when the weal of Christendom and the dignity of the Church hung in the balance. But the Pope was too restless a politician to be ready to conform unless he got something in return.

Clement VII had little resolution, but enough intelligence to perceive that his advantage lay now all on the imperial side. For months the general of the Franciscans, Francisco Quifiones, a member of the Count of Lerma's family and once for a while the Emperor's confessor, had acted as a mediator between Charles and the Pope. Clement VII made him Cardinal of Santa Croce, thus strengthening him in his neutrality towards the Emperor. Possibly for this reason Charles now sent another Spaniard to replace him, choosing a man who would attend rather to imperial interests than to mediation. This was the Aragonese Micer 1 Miguel Mai. His manner was justifiably compared to that of Juan Manuel. He staked everything on his understanding of Clement's personal character and drew him over surely to the imperial side by assiduously considering his personal caprices. But joining the Emperor meant abandoning the League, and the League for its part showed no sign of relaxing its pressure on Clement. On the other hand Clement might legitimately complain that not one member of the League, not England, France, Venice, not Florence even, had raised a finger to help him in the hour of his direst need when Charles's troops were marching on Rome. Now began an elaborate game at cross-purposes. The Pope announced repeatedly that he would come and visit the Emperor in Spain. Mai recognized this at once for a mere pretext to keep Charles out of Italy. Clement went on to say that he would confirm the Cruzada to Charles, but, as Mai added, 'in his mean way' the Holy Father wanted a share of 30,000 ducats for himself.

1 A Spanish title of honour (TRANSLATOR'S note).

Another cause contributed to Charles's desire for peace. This was the Turkish danger. In Ferdinand's name and with the support of the imperial ambassador, Andrea da Burgo appealed for help from the Pope, when Suleiman, with new and enormous forces once again began to march up the Danube.

Two things decided Clement. First he wanted the ambassadors to free him from his terror of a council. In this Mai and da Burgo acted very cautiously. Although even Gattinara had expressed the opinion that pressure could be put on the Pope by threatening a council, neither Mai nor da Burgo seem to have acted in accordance with their master's universal policy. The Pope's feelings were clear to all eyes when Andrea da Burgo informed him that he need not fear a council, for the Emperor set more store by peace in the world and in Italy than by the incalculable findings of a council: a friendly Emperor would be a great help to the Pope and the Lutherans could be dealt with by other means. In this speech da Burgo uttered the first hint of the coming policy of religious discussion. Barely had he spoken, when the Pope rose from his chair as if a burden had fallen from him and said: 'By my faith you speak truth and sense: if that were indeed so, concessions could easily be made.' The other infallible way of gaining Clement's support was through the fulfilment of his intentions with regard to Florence. Here the events of 1512 were to be repeated.

Thus all tended towards a separate peace with Clement. Castiglione died at Toledo, very suddenly, early in February, but Clement, as early as April 16th, replaced him by his own major-domo, the Bishop of Vaison, giving him plenipotentiary powers and arming him with the necessary sanctions for the Cruzada and the Spanish benefices. Gattinara, de Praet and Granvelle then drew up articles in Barcelona which led to the signing of peace on June 29th. In this peace of Barcelona, as the highflown diplomatic language of the time expresses it, Pope and Emperor joined hands, 'out of grief at the divisions of Christendom, to beat off the Turks and to make way for a general peace'. The Pope was given Ravenna, Cervisa, Modena, Reggio and Rubiera; the Emperor was reinvested with Naples and received the right to dispose of benefices. King Ferdinand was included in the peace and both Emperor and King undertook to proceed against heretics, should these refuse to obey the shepherd of all Christendom and the mandates of the Emperor. The problem of Milan was reserved for further discussion. The Pope threatened to excommunicate any who helped the Turks and he absolved all those who had taken arms in Italy to fight against the papal states.

A few weeks after this treaty had been signed, on July 16th, Clement referred the English divorce to Rome. Since Pope and Emperor were now friends there could no longer be any doubt of his judgment. The Defender of the Faith was shortly to become the Faith's most dangerous enemy.

While tracing these events in Italy, we have temporarily lost sight of the political world about the Channel. Even after the declaration of war in 1528 there was no actual fighting in the Netherlands, although the evil effects of a state of war were sadly felt in the insecurity of roads on the frontiers and in the general economic depression. Margaret's serious anxieties in connection with Christian of Denmark, after the death of her niece Isabella, have nothing to do with Anglo-French affairs. In this painful business Margaret showed all her old vigour, repeatedly opposed the king in person, took over some of his debts -- probably in memory of the queen -- but absolutely refused to guarantee others. She also demanded full charge of the royal children when she could not prevent the uncontrolled adventurer from going his way with bag and baggage -- more still when she heard with horror that he perpetually received the Communion in both kinds.

War in Gelderland was one bitter fruit of the enmity between Charles and the King of France. This disturbance had one curious effect: first the Utrecht districts, Overyssel in particular, and then all the neighbouring country, sought imperial help, each province acting of its own free will and with greater or less enthusiasm. Learning at last by bitter experience, even the usually stubborn estates of Brabant and Holland agreed to provide some of the money for their own defence. And thus, by the treaty of Schoonhoven in 1527, Charles's sovereignty over Utrecht in his right as Count of Holland was recognized; in the following year the treaty of Gorcum, on October 3rd, confirmed his supreme rights over Gelderland and Overyssel in his right as Duke of Brabant. His authority was thus finally recognized in accordance with the more or less spontaneous wishes of the estates in question.

The attack made by John of Cleves on Gelderland, armed with hereditary claims, as also the barbarous onslaught of the marshal of Gelderland, the unbridled Martin van Rossem, on March 6th, 1528, foreshadowed later conflicts. Yet these were but the trivial outward signs of a movement both more profound and more universal.

Margaret's government was that of the modern state, sufficient to itself, secret and closed; as such it stood out in sharp contrast to these remnants of feudalism. Such also was the government of the Catholic Church and of Charles in Spain. In the process of evolution, these new governments had absorbed the lesser rights and privileges which stood in their way, had brought into being an able bureaucracy, had oppressed the higher nobility and crushed out particularism. The Archduchess Margaret had no qualms in opposing the privileged cities of the Netherlands if her nephew's interests demanded it. Yet, when the nobility complained of her rule to Charles, he sent one of his most important advisers, de Praet, to reside in the Netherlands, an action which throws an illuminating light on his opinion of her proud and sometimes over-confident conduct. Margaret's personal attempts to justify her actions breathe a spirit of haughty independence, and it was typical of her royal attitude that, when the quarrels with the nobility became serious, she refused to accept any mediator other than the Empress herself. She would forego not one imperial right, not one of her possessions or revenues. At the worst she would fall back on her own resources for the support of her government. In this she showed herself very different from the lords whose avarice she bitterly attacked. She was modern, too, in her grasp of the economic needs of her country, and thereby of the importance of English friendship.

The English war was profoundly unpopular for obvious reasons, both in the Netherlands and among the merchant and working classes of England. Wolsey's power was by this time tottering, and the imperial ambassadors in London cleverly emphasized the fact that his ambition had caused the war, against the proven will of king and people. On the other hand for a short while the imperial side nourished a hope that Charles might win the war by sea -- thus ante-dating the threat of the Armada by half a century. Immediately after the declaration of war at Burgos, in January 1528, for instance, Gattinara had drawn up a memorandum in which he suggested that, relying on an offer of help from Portugal, it would be possible to arm Portuguese, Castilian and Flemish ships for an attack on the English coast; Charles's troops could then land to avenge Queen Katherine's wrongs and protect the legal title of her daughter. A Scottish alliance, which could easily be made, would help in the general scheme. Guillaume de Montfort received permission to recruit 6000 German soldiers for the invasion as early as February 6th. Perhaps this was the first serious plan for an invasion of England in modern history, It came to nothing. Supported by the imperial ambassador, Iñigo Mendoza, Bishop of Burgos, Margaret strove for peace, and on June 15th, 1528, an armistice was signed at Hampton Court, which led in time to peace.

In the French war, on the other hand, the customs governing the little world of the Court, lightened Margaret's task of mediation. She had, for instance, social relations with the Duchess of Vendôme, who inherited at about this time the legacies of her brother-in-law, the lord of Ravestein. At an evening party given in Paris by the French King's mother -- and Margaret's sister-in-law -- Louise of Savoy, someone asked Margaret's ambassador, des Barres, whether his mistress and he himself would not agree to make peace, seeing how deep was the desire for it on all sides. This was the first step towards a settlement. Margaret ensured a rapid diplomatic victory by first holding back and then allowing herself to be over-argued. About this time she seems to have consulted very frequently with Guilbert Bayard, Bishop of Avranches. A fruitful correspondence, which has survived to our own time in several stout packets of documents, led at last to a personal meeting between the two princesses at Cambrai on July 5th, 1529. Here Margaret, intelligently exploiting every possible personal and practical opportunity, at length brought into being the so-called Paix des Dames. Signed on August 3rd, 1529, it was wholly favourable to Charles.

Louise of Savoy had suffered bitterly at the captivity first of her son, then of her grandsons, and later at the devastation of Italy. Margaret recognized and used to the full the advantages of her situation, showing throughout that knowledge of facts and power of decision which mark her out as a woman far above the ordinary.

As early as December 31st, 1528, she knew from her confidants, Rosimbos and des Barres, that the Emperor would consent to her chief points.

The Paix des Dames at Cambrai was in essence a confirmation of the Peace of Madrid, save only for the restitution of Bourgogne, which both parties now recognized as impossible. Nevertheless, Charles did not renounce his claim to it. The treaty is a fat document, for it deals with innumerable territorial questions, with the respective rights of the two rulers and the position of their subjects. The chief stipulations were that Francis I should recognize Charles as sovereign over Artois and Flanders and renounce all his claims on Milan, Genoa and Naples -- and this in spite of the struggle which French kings had waged at so much sacrifice and with so much intermittent success for upwards of five and thirty years. Abandoned, too, were all the partisans of Francis, particularly in Italy -- which was lucky for the Pope. Thus in the north the Duke of Gelderland and Robert de la Mark were at last put out of action. On the other hand, King Christian was included in the peace. The French princes were to be released on payment of a ransom of two million soleils, and the French were to make themselves responsible for payment of Charles's debt to the English government. This was to be a great relief to Charles, in internal administration as well as in European affairs. The widowed Queen Eleonore, whose formal betrothal to Francis had placed her for the last months in a most invidious position, was now in very truth to ascend the throne with him. Dynastically Charles could have asked for no more splendid alliance, and even politically the marriage was not wholly meaningless.

About this time the great Hall of Justice at Bruges was nearing completion. To celebrate the occasion medallions of Eleonore and her husband, supported by Cupids, were added to the main pillars of the gigantic and elaborately carved three-tiered chimney-piece. To the right and left the founders of the Hapsburg-BurgundianSpanish dynasty were represented -- life-size figures of the Emperor Maximilian, the Duchess Mary of Burgundy, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. In the background, seated on a throne, were Philip the Handsome and Joanna; in front of them, their son, the youthful Emperor, in the robes of the Golden Fleece, the Sword of Justice drawn in his hand, and lifted as if to Heaven. Behind the figures, the arms of all his countries over which he ruled decorated the wall, and among them the busts of Lannoy and the Archduchess Margaret -his representatives in Naples and the Low Countries. The whole is a proud symbol of triumphant power, of the elation which all must have felt on thinking of the victory at Pavia and the peace at Cambrai.

Charles now dispatched de Praet to make a settlement in Italy. A private letter written by this latter to Granvelle is illuminating evidence of the opinions of an experienced minister of State on the peace at Cambrai. The treaty, he said, was so favourable that at first he thought it must be a trick. But on counting up the chances of its violation, he found that everything now pointed to its unconditional acceptance. At about the same time, in September 1529, Charles de Poupet, lord of La Chaulx, the second man in the close inner circle of Charles's council, wrote in the same tone to Charles himself.

Soon after, in October, La Chaulx and des Barres met in Paris, and on the 21st both reported that they had been splendidly welcomed. The King received them in the great hall of the Louvre, sitting in the midst of all his Court. This was a change indeed from the formal declarations of war and open challenges of the previous year! Now the King stepped down to greet the ambassadors in the middle of the room, and without waiting to hear what La Chaulx would say, burst out himself in praise of the noble ladies who had given them peace. Henceforward, he said, he would live and die as Charles's true brother and friend: the Emperor could dispose of him and of all he had -- a spate of fair words. Later and privately he approached the Turkish question; expressing his lively desire to support King Ferdinand, he sketched out a plan of campaign using some 60,000 men, cavalry and artillery. The natural commander was of course the Emperor, while he, the King of France, would lead the vanguard. Unhappily he could provide no money since he already owed the English so much, but he would gladly hurry across Savoy and Piedmont to meet Charles in Italy and help to plan the campaign.

On October 20th, after Mass had been celebrated at the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame, peace was sworn in the presence of all the leading nobility, as well as of the English, Venetian, Milanese,

Florentine and Ferrarese ambassadors, who had come rather against their will. Afterwards the King entertained the ambassadors to breakfast in the episcopal palace. In the evening they visited the Grand Maitre, who managed to put in a word for the Duke of Ferrara, the King's brother-in-law. 1 At the same time, and with the same ceremony, Charles had confirmed the peace at Piacenza in the presence of the Admiral of France.


In the meantime Charles had begun his Italian progress. The forty mules laden with gold from Portugal and Castile had arrived, after endless delay, at Barcelona. Here, too, the Court had news of St. Pol's defeat at Landriano. It was 'as though the Emperor's cause were miraculously guided by God Himself', Gattinara declared. All the omens pointed to a happy voyage. Only Margaret penned one last warning against the Italian journey. 'My master,' wrote the Emperor's aunt, 'your bold and exalted mind cries out for this journey to Italy; both I and all your servants here are well content to hear of this your care for your honour, your name, your safety and your lands. Yet the dangers to your person and the difficulties of the task cannot but awake at the same time our apprehension and anxiety.' The Emperor should not undertake the journey, she said, unless he had money, troops and provisions in plenty. Otherwise he might fare like Charles VIII of France, who marched successfully into the land, but had to withdraw from Rome for lack of money, leaving his honour behind him.

But all was now ready to start and Charles was already too familiar with Margaret's argument to be thus withheld at the eleventh hour. Besides, many of the points which she raised had now been satisfactorily settled. At the end of July Charles put to sea, on August 6th he was at Monaco, on the 9th at Savona, on the 12th at Genoa. From here he went by way of Tortona, Voghera and Piacenza towards Bologna. The young and warlike

1 He had married Rende, daughter of Louis XII and sister of Claude, the first wife of Francis.

Emperor was almost disappointed to find that the land through which he passed was already at peace. On December 6th he entered Bologna.

Every resource of the Renaissance had been enlisted to do him honour. Every statue and façade in the wealthy town was hung and garlanded. Triumphal arches spanned the streets, enriched with symbolic sculptures, depicting with a wealth of classical allusions the whole history of the land and people. Gattinara, now sixty-four years old and recently elevated to the rank of cardinal, must have felt his heart beat high as he contemplated the portraits of the Roman emperors -- Caesar, Augustus, Titus and Trajan-next to the arms of his own imperial master. He rode in the immediate suite of the Emperor, next to Henry of Nassau, Alessandro de' Medici and the Marquis of Montferrat. He was himself count and marquis of an imperial fief in Piedmont. News that the tide of Turkish advance had been stemmed at Vienna cast an additional radiance over these glorious days of fulfilment.

A little earlier Clement VII had reached the town, and the two heads of Christendom, who so short a time ago had seemed to be irreconcilably at war, now spent long weeks in confidential discourse. Their apartments in the Palazzo Publico communicated by means of private doors. The visit lasted for nearly four months, from December 1529 until towards the end of March 1530. It is difficult to understand the delay for Ferdinand was imploring Charles with increasing urgency to come to his help against the Turks.

What held Charles so long inactive in Barcelona? In Spain, he had made very different plans for his journey. But the rapid changes in the political situation mocked his laboriously planned decisions. Feeling the need to justify himself to his brother, he wrote, in January 1530, a full and confidential letter. In this letter the lines of the Emperor's thought follow very closely those of Gattinara, the Chancellor's ideas forming, as it were, a scaffolding on which Charles now constructed his own. As in 1525, but this time with riper and surer judgment, Charles tried to elucidate his own position in Europe.

He wished, he said, that his letter had wings so that he might have an answer at once. Ferdinand had asked whether he should not make a treaty with the Turks. To this, Charles sensibly replied that they two alone had not the means to make war on the Grand Vizir, while other princes were not at present likely to give them any help worthy of the name. Peace therefore, at whatever price, was not to be rejected. Naturally everyone would say afterwards that they would have been able to work wonders, had they fought, and would remind him of his frequent intention of fighting the infidel. The Sultan, too, might realize that Ferdinand was in dire need of peace and might therefore seek, by pressing him yet harder, to gain yet more. Or feeling himself safe from Ferdinand, he might turn his forces on Charles. But the need for a treaty outweighed these doubts. The Pope, indeed, was preparing at this very moment to send an appeal against the Turks to every prince in Europe. The answers would be slow to come, and the princes might possibly express annoyance at being asked to help in a war, when peace was actually being made. All the same it would be wisest to wait and see what developments next took place in Germany. He therefore advised Ferdinand to send a provisional answer to the Pope rather than an official embassy, expressing his regret at the delay and his willingness to oppose the Sultan, although rather by negotiation than by war.

As for his own future actions and his journey to Germany, Charles seemed disposed to employ the same formula which he had indicated to Ferdinand. He asked his advice for three possibilities. Either he could be crowned at once and proceed to Germany as soon as the ceremony was over; or he could be crowned in Rome and come to Germany in May or June; or finally, if this suited the Germans, he could go to Naples to see to his rights there and come to Germany only in the autumn. So that Ferdinand could judge each course fairly, Charles then proceeded once more to summarize the reasons for his journey, together with an account of all that had happened since.

His chief reasons for the Italian voyage, he said, were first, that although his resources were running out, peace had not been made. Secondly he felt that the terrible growth of heresy in Germany might lead to the election of an anti-king of the Romans; his own influence for Ferdinand's election as king depended, of course, on his having first been crowned Emperor by the Pope. Last of all he wanted to visit Naples and give peace to Italy. Here he added that he did not intend directly to control the whole peninsula; such an action would inevitably lose him the Pope's friendship, which he desired above all. But he felt that, although many had advised him against it, it would be safer and wiser to arrange the settlement of Italy in person.

Since then, he went on, many unexpected changes had taken place. Owing to opposition to his journey, he had been obliged to wait for money from Portugal and his plans had been long delayed. On his way he had news that peace had already been made with France and he had to abandon his plan for a campaign in Italy. At about the same time he had Ferdinand's good news of the preliminary check to the Turkish advance. Both these events gave him the opportunity to devote himself more exclusively to the settlement of Italy, even though this would delay his meeting with his brother for longer than if he had stuck to his original plan of going straight to Venice. In Italy he had repeatedly declared his peaceful intentions, but, he lamented, 'it is usual to achieve the opposite if one shows very obviously that one desires a particular thing'. So it had fallen out in Italy. The Pope demanded that he fulfil his promise and restore Florence to the Medici. First he pretended that this would not take more than a fortnight or three weeks, then he wanted longer, and so the affair dragged on, heaven knew whether out of good faith or the opposite. In the meantime he had concluded treaties with the Venetians and the Duke of Milan. In this latter town he could hardly have retained the sovereignty either for himself or Ferdinand without provoking 'endless war'. It was still doubtful whether France would stand by the peace, too, for Francis was leaning towards England, and King Henry, it seemed, was absolutely determined to be rid of his wife, Charles's and Ferdinand's aunt, whether he could get the papal dispensation or no. But France and England, Charles concluded, would not fight him if they saw that order had been reestablished in Italy. That opinion might have come straight from Gattinara. He had already firm command of Naples, Charles went on, and 21,000 men at his disposal. The problems of Florence and Ferrara were all that remained and the moment seemed opportune for trampling out the last hot ashes of war.

This then was his present situation. He wanted to keep his word to the Pope, even though there were those who told him that he would get nothing but shame from it. He wanted to wait and see what King Francis intended, for he had already begun to fulfil the terms of the peace in Naples, Stenay and Hesdin. In spite of this some people seemed to think that he was still intriguing in Italy, in Florence and Venice for instance, and that he would break the peace as soon as his sons were set free -- if not before. As for Henry VIII, the Pope could not agree to his shameless demands, but he was naturally afraid of losing English allegiance altogether. Henry could of course be depended upon to commit some folly or other which would make an occasion for war. The treaty with Andrea Doria, Charles went on, ran out in May or June; he hoped nevertheless to keep him loyal. Out of all this, one question arose: did Ferdinand feel that Charles had time to be crowned in Rome, a ceremony which some of his advisers held to be very important, or would it be better to be crowned in Bologna and proceed straight to Germany? If Ferdinand decided for the latter he must outline some course to be taken in dealing with heresy in the Empire, and resolve firmly upon his own election as King of the Romans, an election which Charles was prepared to support.

The letter was long, full and confidential, yet as Charles put it, 'many things remained stuck in the pen'. These Charles hoped to discuss with his brother when he met him in the flesh.'

Thus did the Emperor sum up the situation in mid-January. Rome and Naples had not yet been altogether evacuated. But Ferdinand's renewed insistence forced Charles to decide for himself. From the Netherlands, too, came Margaret's warning; she implored him to squander no more money but to satisfy the Pope and have done with it, for Ferdinand could wait no longer for help against the Turk. 'Ye heads of Christendom', she wrote to her nephews, 'will never gain so much honour there in Italy as you are losing by your sloth in defending Europe from the Turk.' There was no other means of getting money, she went on, than to sell a part of the Church lands throughout Christendom, as well as some of those belonging to the knightly orders -- even in Prussia. The measure was all the more necessary because the German princes, the Lutherans in particular, were indiscriminately turning them into private domains. The Pope's help must be sought for this policy, she said. As for a general council of all Christendom, she went on, this would bring too many formalities in its train. Rather she suggested that three gatherings should be held: Charles should preside over one for Italy and Spain, herself over a second, for England, France and Scotland at Cambrai, Ferdinand over a third for Germany and the neighbouring lands. All these should deliberate how best to launch an expedition against the Turk. In this plan Margaret showed herself a true daughter of her family. Her father Maximilian would have applauded her desire for a Crusade, no less than the plan for three great international gatherings, each one under the presidency of a Hapsburg.

At Bologna they entertained no such thoughts. Clement was thinking of quite other things than sacrificing the resources of the Church. We know little of his negotiations with the Emperor, but in the archives of Simancas there is a paper on which Charles made a few sporadic notes. At the top is the phrase: 'Concerning the Queen of England.' That cause we have discussed already. Next comes, 'the confirmation of the Bull for extending the royal patronage and sanctioning the union of the three grand-masterships'. A little lower down comes 'a brief giving power to dispose of their rents for nine years after my death for the salvation of my soul'. Even now in the prime of his life Charles was thinking of death. Lower still comes a request for an alteration in the brief granting the Emperor absolution for the Sack of Rome, and last of all a series of personal wishes and demands made in the name of the Spanish Crown or Church. Among these we find, 'that which concerns the Inquisition, of which I have a memorandum'; not to mention a reference to the revenues which the Pope drew from the archbishopric of Toledo.

In his memoirs Charles reports that he also discussed a council with Clement. Soon we shall have cause to mention this again.

But to both these illustrious rulers, Italian affairs seemed for the time-being far more important than any others. Francesco Sforza, after he had been given and had taken the opportunity of clearing himself of treachery, was granted the fief of Milan. Charles could hardly view Sforza with disfavour when the Pope, whose disloyalty had been far more rank, was reconciled to him. Venice, through its able ambassador Contarini, came half-way to meet the Emperor. The Ferrarese question led to acrimonious argument but to no serious quarrel.

The imperial coronation was fixed for Charles's birthday, February 24th, 1530. For the sake of Germany, the Emperor had decided not to go to Rome. Charles's wish to have some of the German princes round him for this solemnity foundered on the shortness of the time. Only the young Count Palatine, the Elector's nephew Philip, and the Count Palatine, Frederick, were able to be present. At the solemn entry into the Church, Frederick bore the orb before Charles; this at least was a symbol of the Elector Palatine's office and of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. On February 22nd Charles received the iron crown of Lombardy from the hands of the Pope, on the 24th the imperial crown. The coronation was magnificently solemnized. For the last time in history the world saw the two highest dignitaries of Christendom, Emperor and Pope, in the full splendour of their ceremonial robes -- a scene depicted a hundred times in fresco on the walls of churches and town halls over all Italy.

The only task now left to the imperial generals in Italy was the most painful. Clement VII insisted that Florence be reduced. The last and most unworthy offspring of the family of the elder Cosimo was chosen for Duke, and Charles decided that he would later bestow on him for his wife his own natural daughter, the eight-year-old Margaret.

Thus three years after the Sack of Rome the imperial soldiery appeared outside the walls of the noble city of Florence, to reduce it by force and subjugate it once again to the expelled Medici. In this last struggle the last flowering of its art, the last ripening of its civic virtues was trampled in the dust. For long enough they fought, both in the countryside and under the walls on which Michelangelo himself had worked as an engineer. Both sides suffered terribly. Charles lost his best and youngest commander. On August 3rd at Gavinana not far from Pistoia in a cavalry skirmish, Philibert of Châlons, Prince of Orange, was killed. His mother raised a monument to his memory, sculpted by the hand of Margaret's protégé Conrad Meit. His titles went to his nephew Réné, the son of Henry of Nassau by Philibert's sister Claude. So it was that Orange came to Nassau.

Meanwhile Charles had long left Italy. In April, May and June he went by way of Mantua, Peschiera, Rovereto, Trent and Innsbruck into Germany. He had now entered the land with which his fate was to be bound up. And at Innsbruck on June 5th, not wholly unexpectedly, his Chancellor Gattinara died. The life of the minister had been spent in unceasing labour for the imperial house, but with nightfall came fulfilment and he died when he had already reached his goal; Charles had been crowned Emperor by the Pope and peace had come to Italy. But for Charles a new stage of his life was beginning, and Gattinara's death was a symbol that his youth and all those connected with it, were passing before his eyes.

Gattinara's death marked the end of Charles's inner development. Henceforward no one had decisive influence on him again. For long enough no one had even thought of his appointing another First Chamberlain to play the part once played by Chièvres. For three more years, Charles was still able to depend on the written advice of his one-time confessor, Loaysa. Yet he had almost abruptly dismissed this man from the council, and although he continued to correspond with him, Loaysa never regarded himself as anything but an exile in Rome, although he had been elevated to the rank of cardinal. His letters breathe a tone of courtly devotion which proves that he would gladly have come back to Charles's service. 'If my absence from your Majesty', he wrote, 'is repaid by the knowledge that you stand always by what is right, then I will accept my punishment with joy.' Charles prized Loaysa's ability, and to judge by the confessor's letters frequently raised his hopes, yet he never recalled him. Nevertheless he followed Loaysa's advice as to the men between whom he should now divide Gattinara's responsibilities, Cobos and Granvelle. 'I have always held', wrote Loaysa, 'that you will find Cobos the best repository for your honour and your secrets; his character will make up for any lack in yours and he will be well able to relieve you of burdens. He does not waste his intelligence thinking of subtleties and epigrams as some do. He never complains of his master and he is very popular. The lord of Granvelle on the other hand is a skilful lawyer and a good Latinist, a good Christian, a man who understands affairs and withal -- a personality. He is not so easy to deal with as the secretary of state, but when he holds office he will doubtless learn patience. I therefore suggest that your Majesty becomes your own Chancellor, but looks after affairs with the help of these two.'

Lalemand's successor in the secretaryship was Antoine Perrenin. As secretary and notary public he witnessed the codicil of 1532 after Cobos. But he was not politically the equal of the other, and for all affairs outside Spain he was overshadowed by Granvelle. This latter was never secretary, but rather a diplomatist and a statesman. He was born in 1486 at Ornans in Bourgogne, and, like Gattinara, had made his way to power through the Parlement at Dôle, the service of the Archduchess Margaret and an embassy to France. It was he who in future assisted Charles in his general policy. Cobos, on the other hand, had exceptional financial gifts; being a good man of business he was apt to forge his own profit. He had worked his way up from small beginnings. Making himself indispensable to Chières, he had little by little, with all his native Andalusian subtlety, combined the chief administrative offices in Castile in his hands. He derived no less advantage from his position than Chièvres, but his income was somewhat more skilfully combined with the chief sources of the revenues. As secretary of the India board for instance, he had control of smelting and casting precious metals, with a commission of 10 per cent; he had rights no less advantageous on the Salt tax, and on most of the American colonies -- this secured him prodigious wealth.

Meanwhile Loaysa advised Charles not only about his ministers but about his private life. His harsh criticisms seem to have defeated their own ends. Yet they are illuminating for the light they throw on that profoundly serious yet commonplace approach to moral matters which was the stock-in-trade of the Church, and to which Charles most passionately subscribed. The Cardinal told him that it was in his power at any moment to raise himself out of the deepest pits of sin, to 'start a new book of conscience'. 'Your Majesty', he said, 'should be assured that God gives no man a kingdom without laying on him an even greater duty than on ordinary men to love Him and obey His commands.' Another time he wrote, 'In your royal person, indolence is at war with fame. I pray that God's grace will be on you in Germany and that you will be able to overcome your natural enemies, good living and waste of time.'

Such thoughts occupied the Emperor too. His expectation of earning fame by a war in Italy had been disappointed. But honour and fame were perhaps beckoning to him from some other sphere. Hitherto, in spite of all his troubles, his boldest dreams had ultimately come to fulfilment. With God's help he might yet restore the lapsed, and shatter the infidel. He had once told Loaysa that he would stake his life to win such a prize. Loaysa now reminded him of his words. 'The time', he wrote, 'is at hand.'


THE Emperor's devout piety and that passionate desire for salvation evinced by many of his German subjects could give no support to each other. The shower of rain which blesses a thirsty land means nothing to an already well-watered garden. Martin Luther had had horrible experience of that profound religious belief in supernatural powers of good and evil struggling for the human soul, before he found the way to his glad message of redemption. Both his interpretation of ancient theology and his grasp of the verbal meaning of the scriptures bear witness alike to the intense suffering through which he had passed and to his joy in the ultimate discovery of consolation. Personal peculiarities but lightly veiled the universal nature of his experience which served to heighten its vital effect on the German people, both his contemporaries and posterity. All religious belief implies a certain restraint, a submission to the traditions of man.

But the storm which he had raised shook the ecclesiastical structure to its foundations. Thereby in Germany he struck a heavy blow at the order of secular life itself. For centuries both the theory and the reality of the state had swayed unsteadily between the national and the universal. To Luther, bred to the belief that God's kingdom was worldwide and the Empire was its reflection, national theory was but a means to an end. It served, to a greater or a lesser degree, in solving the problem of the secularization of Church organization. But no sooner did Luther fully grasp the irreconcilable contradiction between traditional authority and his new unalterable convictions of faith, than he began to see the foreign and artificial elements of the Roman Church in the mirror of German history. At the same time he saw that the growing German territorial states, among which he lived, provided a basis for the new Christian congregation. Naturally he did not abandon his reverence for the 'Empire' in which the German people had for the first time found the true expression of their political unity. Unconsciously therefore he became a party to that fatal contra- diction in German history. For centuries the theory of universal Empire had been exploited to imbue the German people with Christian culture, in readiness for a world-order based on God's eternal laws. In spite of the vigorous individuality of their various groups, so prone to division, coalescence or change, this idea had held them together. Furthermore Luther was falling rapidly under the spell of the German language -- that language through the use of which he became the instrument of historic change -and as he did so he was able to appeal ever more directly to the hearts of his own beloved people. It was as if he had in his own person already anticipated the inner unity of the nation. And yet he had nothing to give them which could help them in forming a new political framework for themselves.

In the very moment in which Luther, the great lover of men's souls, became aware of his responsibility towards the whole Christian congregation, in the very moment in which he first gave loud expression to his fear and joy, his cause had already become political. Since the day when he had stood out fearlessly for his belief at Worms, his name had become a password in Germany by which men knew their friends.


The Lutheran password was adopted by a number of princes and cities. Several of Germany's territorial states, and some of the towns which still at that time felt themselves to be the equals of the princely states, recognized, as Luther had done, the duty of Christian rulers to further the will of God. It was not difficult for them; contemporary political theory helped them, both because of the functions it attributed to the state, and to the so-called 'ordinary man'. This then lay behind those repeated assertions of the imperial cities that the Edict of 1521 could not be carried out. This was at the bottom of the first efforts made by the secular authorities to attack the already tottering principles of the Church, and to evolve instead their own princely or municipal formulae for spiritual truths.

Without losing its spiritual vigour, the Lutheran movement fermented the development of the emerging German state. It lifted the ideas which governed that development from the sordid rut of private interest and selfish gain into the rarefied atmosphere of moral duty. The guiding principle itself was too diversely interpreted to escape defacement; it was soiled by empty and threadbare slogans, spattered with crude egoism. There arose about it all those crises and struggles in which we can recognize even to-day the outward expression of spiritual conflict. About the year 1529 this development was at its most confused and already there were signs of internal reactions which were later to take their places within the development of Germany as permanent forces.

The original danger which had imperilled the Lutheran movement was that the enthusiastic overstatement of individual religious needs might lead to the overthrow of all traditional ecclesiastical forms. This danger was already over in 1529. So also was the second and more serious danger -- that which had cost Germany the most loss and disaster; social unrest among the lower middle classes and the peasantry in south and central Germany had endowed the movement with temporary frantic, but self-destructive life. That second and serious danger had left Luther himself and his friends with a profound mistrust of all individual, spiritual and revolutionary tendencies. Now a third danger was emerging: the theologies of the past had left a legacy which, taken in conjunction with the natural desire to express doctrinal distinctions with the utmost dogmatism, was threatening to make a rabbit-warren of the whole Protestant movement. Luther's speeches, and later on even single sentences in his writings, were quoted as dogmatic formulae. While his warm and vital words went straight to the hearts of men, the theologians were left arguing over points which would have been better suited to the limbo of legal terminology and were in any case totally incomprehensible. A thousand years earlier much the same thing had happened in the Christian Churches.

Gradually groups came into being. Some arose spontaneously, others were consciously formed as men felt the need to strengthen their own convictions by leaning on others, or to express them in the secular world. The groups varied infinitely in the nature and firmness of the relation between the spiritual idea and its practical organization.

Points of contact can be discovered, for instance, between the humanist Reformers, not one of whom had dared to attack the fundamental doctrines of the Church, and those spiritual enthusiasts the Anabaptists, who blew all doctrines against the skies. Luther stood about midway between the extremes. But even among his friends many different opinions flourished, from those of the Wittenberg group on the one hand down to Zwingli on the other -- for although the Swiss Reformer rose independently in Zurich he was nevertheless under Luther's influence. And the closer the contact between men of even mildly differing opinions, the more acutely they felt them. To a lesser degree something of the same kind was to be found in the Roman Church; here too there were spiritual points of contact between old and new theories -- a fact comprehensible enough since all had their origin in the same source. The gigantic flood of polemic literature on both sides, meanwhile, defined differences of doctrine and exacerbated the tempers of men.

By nature all the combatants were more or less uninterested in politics. But the necessities of the time made it essential for them to gain political support, and the burning question for each party was to discover its most probable and its strongest allies. The 'growth of faith and religious policy' are not merely to-day the object of constructive research; unless we examine the ideas then current in Germany we shall not be able to understand the political situation which confronted Charles in the summer of 1530.

The recess issued by the Diet at Nuremberg in 1524 gave the Germans their first impetus towards the exact formulation of the new doctrine. This recess decreed that all states which had control of one or more universities were to arrange for their 'learned, reverent, experienced and understanding doctors to prepare an extract of all the disputed points in all the new doctrines and books'. This pronouncement marked the abandonment of the old policy of exterminating the heretic, as expressed in the Edict of Worms, and substituted for it the examination and comparison of the new ideas, or 'confessions'. As far as we know the old Margrave Casimir of Ansbach was the first man to become really active in this new field. He was an old friend of the Hapsburg dynasty, and although from time to time powerfully influenced by the Lutheran movement, he nevertheless ended his life in their service. When he died in 1527 he was succeeded by his brother and heir, Margrave George, who was in need of Hapsburg friendship in order to maintain his claim to his Silesian fief of Jägerndorf; but in his heart Margrave George was more ardently concerned for the truth of the gospels than his brother had been. It was he who once, at the Hungarian Court, had exerted a powerful influence over the young Queen Mary, even in this crucial matter of religion. The political alliances of the princes in the Peasants' War had also drawn them together at least to some extent according to their religious beliefs: Saxony and Hesse stood together, so also did the various Brandenburg princes in Franconia. The Elector John of Brandenburg sent a decision, made in his council, to Wittenberg for examination, where it won the approval of Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas and Bugenhagen, who were now recognized as the leaders of the new religious movement.

The fundamental conditions for the later development of the Protestant movement in Germany had thus been laid down. Afterwards politics and religion moved forward hand in hand, if not always without friction; alliances were made which, based on religious agreement, yet tended rather to the preservation of political freedom. It is only fair to add that political freedom was in some sort a condition for the establishment of religious freedom. Curious indeed were the developments which now followed: all these groups of allies sought to come to an understanding with the ancient Church while, among their opponents, other alliances came into being in which religious and political motives were no less confusingly mingled. The shrewd councillors of the Emperor were thus not far wrong when they foresaw that an almost infinite number of permutations and combinations could be made out of the political divisions of Germany. By playing on these they hoped to combat the dangers which threatened them. Yet the pursuance of such a policy brought with it moral problems and temptations which might prove difficult to resist. In judging imperial policy it must be remembered that the price which he thought it worth his while to pay for a temporary or a permanent peace was reckoned not by any fixed inner determination, but rather on an underestimate of his opponents' strength and a failure to understand surrounding circumstances.

In the meantime two events had hastened the growth of doctrinal differences and of political alliances, while at the same time increasing civil disturbance and sharpening the bitterness of feelings. The first of these was the so-called affair of Pack in 1528; the second was the Diet of Speyer in 1529.

Otto von Pack, an adventurer who had got for himself a seat on the council of George of Saxony, forged a document purporting to be an alliance for war against the Protestants, signed by the chief Catholic powers. This aroused the Landgrave Philip of Hesse to defend himself, or more accurately, to strike out. Among his supporters were the Elector of Saxony, the new King of Denmark, Francis I and John Zapolya -- all enemies of the Hapsburg dynasty. The Landgrave's too hasty attack on the neighbouring bishoprics of Mainz and Würzburg made an impression which was all the worse because his soldiers plundered ruthlessly, and Pack's document was proved to be a forgery almost immediately afterwards. The Elector of Saxony then withdrew, the Elector Palatine offered to mediate, and the whole incident petered out. It had been a danger signal to the Hapsburg dynasty, but a signal only. Nevertheless, it was an example, and the first which had so far been given, of the way in which political conflict between the German states might pile fuel on to the flames of the already existing conflict between the theologians, and inflame the minds of the people. This was the fatal and dangerous web into which all the greater and lesser territorial quarrels of Germany, nay of all Europe, were to be caught up, until the longest and bloodiest contest of all, the Thirty Years War, at length purged out the fatal poison.

More profound in its effect was the Diet of Speyer in 1529.

When it was called and opened on March 15th Charles was still wrestling with his Italian problems. Nevertheless, his position in Naples and Lombardy was mending and, after the business of Pack, he himself entertained the greatest hopes of the mission on which he had sent the provost of Waldkirch to Germany. The adherents of the Roman Church in the Empire had been for the first time seriously alarmed by the disturbance of the previous year; their anxiety to defend their own interests enabled Ferdinand, acting as Charles's deputy, to adopt a far bolder attitude towards the Protestants.

The representatives of the imperial Estates at the Diet of Speyer were still that generation of German princes who had elected Charles and welcomed him into Germany ten years before. There were the same three spiritual Electors -- Albert of Brandenburg at Mainz, Richard von Greiffenklau at Treves, Hermann of Wied at Cologne. Among the secular Electors, John of Saxony had replaced his brother, Frederick the Wise; he was not much younger and his opinions, although more outspokenly Lutheran, were much the same. Lewis, the Elector Palatine, brother of Charles's friend the Count Palatine Frederick, expressed no opinion on religion and leaned towards mediation. The Elector of Brandenburg was emphatically Catholic, although his Danish wife, who was now living under the Elector of Saxony's protection, probably had other reasons for leaving his Court than the mere fact that she was a Lutheran. But he did not attend the Diet. It was said that his absence was occasioned by his equivocal relations with the wife of Wolf Hornung.

Of the other secular princes, Luther's most ardent opponent, George of Saxony, of the Albertine line, 1 was also absent. He was deeply interested in theology and very learned, but he was at the moment indignant with the Hapsburg dynasty. The Luneburg branch of the Welfs sent no representative either, Duke Francis appearing only at the end of the meeting. Their rivals, of the Wolfenbüttel branch, 2 however, sent a representative in Duke Henry of Wolfenbüttel. He it was who had offered to serve the Emperor in Spain but had achieved as little there as in his tragicomic intervention in Italy. Most important of all were Lewis and William of Bavaria. The political and religious interests of these princes were in diametrical opposition, for while both of them resented Ferdinand's victory over them at the Bohemian election, both were strong Catholics and anxious to preserve religious uniformity in their duchies. Thus, in spite of all their jealousy of the King, they wanted a Catholic League. The ruling dynasty of Württemberg was quiescent. Margrave Philip of Baden supported the old faith. But the younger branch of the Palatine dynasty leaned towards Luther. The Franconian branch of the House of Brandenburg was represented by Margrave George of Ansbach, whose opinions we have already discussed. Hesse, although one of

1 The Albertine line were descended from Albert, Duke of Meissen and Friesland, who died in 1500. George was his eldest son. See note, p. 246 (TRANSLATOR'S note). 2 The inheritance had been divided between the two branches of the Welf family in the latter half of the fourteenth century (TRANSLATOR'S note).

the newest of the German principalities, was rich enough to fit out a magnificent suite for its twenty-five-year-old Landgrave. Although Philip had not yet foregone his political connections with his Catholic neighbours, he had drawn closer to the Elector of Saxony both for religious and political reasons. The Hapsburg dynasty suspected him because he was known to have decisively Lutheran sympathies, he was constantly quarrelling with the rulers of Nassau, and he had played a leading part in the disgraceful business of Pack. Meeting him by chance as he rode into Speyer, Ferdinand received him with marked coolness.

The predominantly Catholic atmosphere of the Diet was not due merely to the number of Bishops present. Many prelates not only stayed away but did not even arrange to be represented, although others, roused by the events of the last year, made special efforts to be present. In spite of the demands which they had made at the last Diet the towns did not receive the position which they wished. The greatest among them -- Strasbourg, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm with its Swabian neighbours -- had recently devoted themselves quite openly to the doctrines of reform and were thus gradually estranged from the imperial government.

Besides Charles's spokesman, the provost of Waldkirch, Ferdinand could also rely on the help of the imperial representative, Frederick Count Palatine, as well as on that of his own Chancellor, Bernard of Cles, Bishop of Trent, who was later sent to greet the Emperor at Bologna and received much praise.

Notwithstanding all this support, Ferdinand found that his position as King of Hungary and Bohemia prevented him from taking up an uncompromising stand on the religious question. The necessity of getting help against the Turks forced him to show favour to those very Estates whom, in other matters, he most wished to oppose. Although defence against the Turk was important to all Christendom and to the German nation, yet Ferdinand, as King of Hungary, could not but appear to be the first object of their attack, a situation which weakened his position very seriously in dealing with the German Estates. All the same he showed himself far more unbending in religious matters than his brother. Charles's councillors, partly under the influence of Erasmus and his worldly knowledge, partly under the effects of their unlucky experiences with the Pope, but above all out of a misunder- standing of German affairs, were extremely hesitant. The imperial propositions arrived late and, in their place, Ferdinand read out his own far less conciliatory suggestions in Charles's name. This error hampered the negotiations of the Diet.

First and foremost among Ferdinand's propositions was the condemnation of the way in which the recess issued at Speyer in 1526 had been interpreted. The Estates had taken it to mean that they had each the right to make what religious reforms they chose. Ferdinand now specifically denied them any such right. Moreover Ferdinand demanded that the old religion be tolerated in all states, a demand which ran directly counter to the growing need for spiritual uniformity felt in these lands. He forbade all innovations and threatened not only the Anabaptists, but the Zwinglians with total annihilation. This last attack aroused several of the powerful cities of south Germany, who felt themselves in sympathy with the doctrine of Zurich.

The answer of those affected was the Protestation of April 19th, 1529. By this the German princes and towns, openly and by name, ranged themselves on the defensive, basing their position on a principle formulated by the Saxon Chancellor, Brück. This was as follows: 'In matters concerning God's honour and the salvation of our souls, each man has the right to stand alone and present his true account before God. On the last day no man will be able to take shelter behind the power of another, be it small or great.' This was signed by the Elector of Saxony, by the Landgrave of Hesse, by Margrave George, by the Prince of Anhalt and the ambassador of the dukes of Luneburg, as also by the representatives of sixteen towns.

Those who protested, the Protestantes as they were afterwards to be called, placed themselves at once outside the protection of the majority in the Diet, which had hitherto been held together by many selfish or unselfish motives. Hitherto there had been scattered opposition to different elements in the constitution of the ancient Church and it had been possible to play off one section by appealing to another. Now everything was changed. One small group of just men, fully conscious of their own advanced and dangerous position, had separated themselves from the mass. As early as April 22nd, feeling the danger and the need for further consolidation, a number of these Protestantes formed themselves into a league, by which each bound himself to give help to the other should he be attacked on account of God's Holy Word. These allies were the Elector of Saxony, the Landgrave of Hesse, the towns of Strasbourg, Ulm and Nuremberg. The others held back. Although they bridged over all distinctions for the time being by an insistence on the Word of God, there were differences of doctrine even among these first allies. Had they but held fast to those things which all believed in common, they might have formed the nucleus of that great but still unformed union of 'Evangelicals' which was to be of universal significance. It could not rest, as did the Roman Church, on tradition, but rather on that other foundation of the Christian ethic -- on conscience and the Holy Scriptures, the foundations on which Luther himself had built at Worms.

Yet these foundations were in themselves to be productive of the widest differences of opinion and the bitterest schisms. It is all the more comprehensible that the Protestants began at once to search for other and more definitely formulated principles on which to found their creed.

Here the danger lay in precisely the different direction. They were faced with the appallingly difficult task of finding general formulae which would cover not only whole systems of already established doctrine, but satisfy even those intense personal convictions which they had drawn from the Scriptures. It was amazing in itself that even the clear-sighted and energetic Landgrave succeeded in so far overriding personal doubts that he managed to collect a considerable convocation of theologians from all Germany at his castle at Marburg at Michaelmas 1529. He had representatives from Wittenberg as well as from Zurich, and by insistent pleading he overcame even Luther's unwillingness. Looking at his achievement in the light of modern research, it is even more astonishing to find that his labour was not altogether in vain. Their irreconcilable differences over sacramental doctrines did not prevent the deputies from growing more friendly in the course of debate and they left Marburg in almost brotherly good-humour. 'Our friendly talks at Marburg are at an end, and we are in agreement on almost every point,' wrote Luther to his wife on October 4th.

It is consoling to reflect, for those who have any belief in what can be achieved by good will, and it is important to remember in apportioning the blame for what happened later, that there was no breakdown in the Protestant group at the Landgrave's castle. The breakdown came later, in December, at Schmalkalde, where the allies had gathered for a political discussion. Here the deputies sent by the Elector of Saxony, by Margrave George of Ansbach, and by the city of Nuremberg, clung wantonly to their own older confession of faith. Words were spoken in anger. The Landgrave strove in vain to still the elements. Jacob Sturm, Burgomaster of Strasbourg, himself a man of deep theological knowledge, besought his temporal colleagues of Saxony and Brandenburg, at a special meeting, not to provoke fresh quarrels among the preachers. But the Elector himself was deaf to reason. 'The towns who think wrongly on sacramental doctrine', he announced, 'sin knowingly against God's word and therefore against the Holy Ghost; this is a crime to which no other sin, merely committed out of ignorance, can be compared.' And the Margrave's Chancellor, Vogler, who at an earlier date had issued warnings against 'confining our consciences to such narrow limits', now wrote 'that we cannot with clear consciences come to any understanding with those who are in ignorance, nor can we agree as to what embassy to send to the Emperor'.

On these two rocks -- religious agreement and a common protest to the imperial government -- they foundered.

'Greater Germany' and the European Protestantism of the Landgrave had to give place to the imperial policy of the Elector of Saxony. This policy, which was ever more sharply defined, had no object save to secure toleration for the straitest Lutheranism. It aimed at independence, but peace with the central government. The Elector John had not had his title confirmed by the Emperor although he had reigned since 1525. He was injured too because he had been allowed to play so small a part in the business of Otto von Pack. Even before the Diet of Speyer he had tried to draw imperial attention to himself by sending an ambassador to Charles at Barcelona. The result of this embassy was depressingly meagre; Charles said that he could decide nothing until he came back to Germany. In the meantime the Elector had been drawn into closer sympathy with the imperial Court by an alliance with the Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, brother of Charles's chamberlain, Henry of Nassau. Count William of Nassau-Dillenburg, the father of William the Silent, leaned towards the Reformation, but in his perennial conflict with Hesse he sought the help of Saxony. At a meeting at Arnstadt in February 1530 he pressed the Elector to inform Charles at the next Diet of all that was happening in the Protestant movement. His brother, he said, would further his cause with Charles. The imperial summons to a Diet on April 8th which the Elector had just received, seemed to bear out Count William's optimism. The Emperor, so it ran, was determined 'to hear the opinions, advice and point of view of each one of the princes in all charity and affection'.

So it happened that when Hans Dolzig, the Elector's representative, accompanied by the Counts of Nassau and Neuenahr, and armed with important instructions, set out to meet Charles, he came with the definite intention of abandoning the other Protestants. The Elector, who had set out early for Augsburg, thought of going on to meet Charles at Innsbruck in person. But the Emperor behaved with a greater show of tact than the meddlesome prince: it was highly unsuitable, he said, to enter into private engagements with single states before the Diet.

The division in the Protestant ranks was clear to every eye.


Such was the situation when Charles, now fully crowned Holy Roman Emperor, reached Ausgburg by way of Innsbruck in June 1530. At Innsbruck he met his brother Ferdinand and his sister Mary of Hungary. Here, too, he met his brother-in-law, Christian of Denmark. This latter now shamelessly declared that he had lived for the whole of his past life in falsehood and sin, and was received back into the bosom of the Roman Church in the presence of the Papal legate Campeggio -- all in order to gain Charles's help for the reconquest of his northern kingdoms. On the previous February 8th, at the Treaty of Lierre, he had promised to hold his crown and kingdoms as the Emperor's vassal. He promised to submit himself in future to Charles, the Archduchess Margaret and King Ferdinand, to remain true to the Catholic faith and to restore his lands to the papal fold if he should be restored to them. He would prove himself moreover a true ally both on sea and land against all Charles's enemies and above all against the Turk. He would also guarantee freedom of trade to the Emperor's subjects throughout the north.

Even greater hopes now beckoned to Charles. How splendid it would be if England too lay at his feet! Henry VIII was so set on his divorce that he was sparing no pains to get theological and legal approbation for it. He sought Charles's agreement above all, for he knew that the Pope's decision depended on that. At Christmas 1529 he had informed the imperial ambassador Chapuys that he would admit imperial suzerainty over England if Charles would but remove his objections to the dissolution of the marriage. Charles accepted the humiliation of the Danish King because it was in the direct line of his policy. With England it was different: he felt the injury to his own family far too deeply to agree, even for a moment, to Henry's suggestions. On the contrary he wrote at once to the Empress in Spain -- his first letter since his arrival in Germany -- bidding her summon with all possible 'care and activity' the theologians, lawyers and men of learning from the universities to defend the cause of his aunt, the English Queen.

In Germany itself, however, he was to face a much more serious test. His attitude towards heresy and heretics had not sensibly altered since the Diet of Worms. But this time he did not face a single heretic, but a group of states who had entered into what was virtually open revolt, not so much by their dogmatic attacks, as by the innovations they had introduced in the outward forms of religion within their lands and in their refusal to obey either the Edict of Worms or the decisions of the Diet. Even for the Emperor the problem had thus entered the political sphere. And in politics there was room for negotiation, restraint and the exploitation of opportunity. Even earlier Charles had made strange suggestions -- as that the Edict should be suspended, or that indemnity should be offered as a reward for political help. Even now opinions as to the best way of dealing with the problem hung in the balance.

Charles might either negotiate or proceed at once to force. Or he could combine both forms of action, as Loaysa suggested; he could attack those who were in arms while at the same time winning over princes and theologians with gifts and fair words.

'Force alone', said Loaysa, 'suppressed the revolt against the King in Spain; force alone will put an end to Germany's revolt against God.' There was however yet a third alternative: a council might be summoned. But this last alternative was in the Pope's hands to decide and his hatred and fear of a council was no secret. At the height of Charles's struggle with Clement, his advisers had therefore been most insistent in their demands for a council. Charles himself had wanted it, because as guardian of the Church he foresaw that he would play an important part. When he informed the Pope in July 1524 that he had forbidden a national gathering in Germany, he advised him to forestall such a meeting by himself calling an international council. At that time he had gone so far as to add that 'since the Germans asked that the council might be called in Germany, His Holiness could fix on Trent for the place of meeting as the Germans held this to be a German town although it was over the Italian border'. Later, he added, the place could be altered. When the Diet of Speyer had been called in 1526, an understanding between Pope and Emperor for the calling of a council had been announced. There was talk at the imperial Court from time to time of a national council in Germany. But on December 23rd, 1528, when Charles sent his propositions for the second Diet of Speyer to his brother, he added a letter in which he declared that he had given up all idea of a national council, 'for the more the German nation is together, the more will it increase in its errors'.

The signing of the Peace of Barcelona with the Pope had certainly been made no easier by Charles's reserve in dealing with this question. The Pope declared that he would be ready to 'meet' the Germans in some other way -- this declaration was to become an important catchword. Charles stated in his memoirs that he did not again mention a council until he met Clement at Bologna; his correspondence with Loaysa and the Pope confirm this statement. In general the Emperor and his advisers now openly felt that a general council must be called to satisfy the Germans; but in the meantime they expected those who had 'fallen off' to return to the usages of the ancient Church and to agree to submit to episcopal jurisdiction. As far as the German Protestants were concerned, this was of course out of the question.

All now depended on the personal impression which Charles made at the Diet.

At Innsbruck the Hapsburg brothers and their ministers completed their preparations for the meeting. Besides Granvelle, Charles had the two secretaries of state, Cobos and Perrenin, with him. Ferdinand had his Chancellor Cles, and Mary was accompanied by her own advisers. The papal legate, Cardinal Campeggio, handed over a highly challenging memorandum to the Emperor, but on the whole opinions in his surroundings were fairly unanimous.

From Innsbruck the Court proceeded by way of Munich to Augsburg, where the princes were expectantly waiting. This time the eloquent Elector, Joachim of Brandenburg, as well as Duke George of Saxony had come. The imperial summons of January 21st had briefly outlined the purpose of the meeting. They were met to 'settle disputes, to commit previous errors to the mercy of our Saviour, to hear, understand and weigh the opinion of each man with love and charity, and thus come to live again in one Church and one State'. It sounded hopeful enough, since Charles admitted his intention of stretching out his hand to 'unite all opinions into one undivided Christian truth and to put an end to all such things as had been enacted unjustly towards either side'.

Yet Charles's first active measures hardly bore out this declaration. On July 8th he wrote to his wife: 'I came through Bavaria, where the Dukes, my true friends and servants, received me well. I entered Augsburg on the vigil of Corpus Christi (June 16th) and was solemnly received by Electors, princes and ambassadors. On the following day they held the procession which had been discontinued for some years. I took part in it as usual. And, although some of the Lutherans refused to take part, I was well accompanied for those who stand firm in the faith outnumber by many those who do not. We have already started on the religious question and are tearing out heresy by the roots. Far the most dangerous people in this town are the chaplains of the Lutheran princes. Therefore I have proclaimed that, under penalty, no one shall preach who has not been selected by me. This proclamation was unanimously accepted. This is a good beginning. The Diet opened on June 20th, and the propositions were divided into three heads. The first and most important is the religious question. The second deals with Hungary and the Turkish trouble. The third concerns the government of Germany. I pray God that all will fall out according to his Holy Will.'

In these words Charles gave a superficial summary of what had in fact taken place during his first days in Augsburg.

Under the surface a cautious desire for mutual friendship, a defiant spirit of independence, and an honourable desire to preserve ecclesiastical unity and imperial peace, struggled one with the other. The adherents of the old faith were better armed and more emphatic in their demands. This was not only true of the legate; the German theologians and bishops had been roused by Ferdinand's vigorous challenge in the previous January to take stock of the heresy and of its evil results. As a result of these activities, a Professor of Ingolstadt, Doctor Johannes Eck, handed over to the Emperor a paper, dated March 14th, 1530, and containing four hundred and four articles of primary importance to the Catholic Church. At Augsburg Melanchthon too saw these articles, and they probably had some effect on his thoughts when, at the command of his Elector, he sat down to formulate the celebrated Confession of Augsburg.

Both parties, therefore, stepped fully armed into the lists. On June 25th the Elector John of Saxony, the Margrave George of Brandenburg, Dukes Ernest and Francis of Luneburg, the Landgrave Philip of Hesse and Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt, together with Count Albert of Mansfeld and deputies from the towns of Nuremberg, and Reutlingen handed over the Confession in the form in which Melanchthon had drawn it up. The Landgrave was somewhat doubtful in his support. The cities of south Germany had withdrawn; only a little later did they, too, come into the open with the Confession of the Four Towns, the socalled Tetrapolitana. Charles did not personally receive this Confession of faith, no more than he did that drawn up by Zwingli, the Ratio Fidei.

All the same it was a great moment. To the political group of Protestantes, formed in 1529, was now added the religious group of those who subscribed to the dogma of the Augsburg Confession. True to the character of this confessional movement, which we have now traced from its source, the Diet slid from the political back into the religious sphere, and developed into a national meeting for the settlement of the religious problem. Only Charles reserved to himself all final decisions, strong in the support of a Catholic majority.

The Confession was specifically addressed to the Emperor, to whom the signatories offered all due reverence. Its twenty-one articles laid down the fundamental points of the new doctrine and repudiated all rival and opposing dogmas. The doctrines relating to the position of the Church and to sacramental beliefs were here clearly expressed, along with articles relating to freewill, justification, good works, and the worship of the saints. The new Church recognized itself as a form of temporal government under God's will and decisively denounced the Anabaptists. It declared that it most warmly supported the idea of the vocational mission of the clergy towards self-discipline and the more arduous good works. Other articles were added to the main body of the Confession dealing with subjects over which 'there is some difference of opinion'. These justified the alterations which had been introduced 'so that His imperial Majesty might see that we have not acted unchristianly and blasphemously in this, but only as being forced thereto by God's commandment'. Among these articles we find the administration of the sacraments in both kinds, marriage of priests, the mass, the confessional, the doctrine of the lesser good works, fasting and the monastic vows. Last of all the Confession discusses episcopal power -- in reality the most important question of all. For in this the Papacy was included, although it was never named. The Confession declared emphatically for the separation of temporal and spiritual power. In this context it is fair to remember the political nature of the onslaught on the spiritual princes. The Confession admitted the key power of the Church but only in the spiritual sphere.

In spite of this we must not underestimate the theological kernel of the whole business; for indeed the Lutheran movement would not have been in vain had it had no other effect than to force the ancient Church to recognize doctrines and usages in which the peculiar qualities of Lutheranism might have found expression. Judging from the purely oecumenical standpoint, Melanchthon's far-reaching desire for compromise is not to be undervalued; it was paralleled by the mediatory offices of the Emperor's learned advisers and by renewed efforts on the part of Erasmus. Once again both sides had appealed to the great scholar of Rotterdam. And at Court Mary, the widowed Queen of Hungary, was not unsympathetic to the advocates of moderate reform. There was room to hope for some alleviation of old wrongs, and above all for the renewed unity of Germany.

But the development which was to prove so important in the history of the world fell out otherwise. The universal rule of the Church was shattered and the German state sanctified and unified only through conflict with the ancient universal idea. As far as men, individually, were concerned, the religious and ethical principles of the Reformation were only saved and put into practice through the creation of a new ecclesiastical structure. Luther was in so far superior to Melanchthon that he recognized the impossibility of reconciling his fundamental doctrines with the continuance of the old authority. His clear insight found its warmest and most impassioned expression in the letters which he wrote from Coburg during these weeks when the theologians assembled at Augsburg were trying, by means of discussion, suppression of inessentials and compromise to patch up an understanding with the Roman Church.

After receiving the Confession at the end of June, Charles called a council of his advisers and presented three alternatives to them. The first was that the Confessors should be asked to submit themselves to the imperial judgment. If they refused, the second alternative was to offer a council, asking them in the meantime to desist from innovations. Should this alternative succeed, it was to be hoped that the Pope would begin by condemning the abuses within the Church. If both these alternatives failed, then the third way was -- to use force. But first Charles attempted to get his way in peaceful fashion.

The Emperor and his councillors were anxious to reach an understanding with the Protestants because they were most keenly aware of the internal and external difficulties in the way of a general council. They were no less aware that with the Turkish menace on the border and the problems of Europe but indifferently solved, an appeal to arms would be no less risky. Thus Charles himself mitigated the tone of the answer which the Catholic theologians, Faber, Cochlaeus and Eck, had prepared to the articles laid down in the Confession. Only after it had been repeatedly re-drafted did the Emperor, on August 3rd, hand over to the Estates the completed result, the so-called Confutation. The efforts at mediation continued until August 30th; they had lasted for two months in all, being committed first to a select group of fourteen, four princes or councillors, and three theologians from each side, later to a smaller group of six. Charles himself took an active part. The climax was reached when Melanchthon had a personal conversation with the papal legate -- naturally in vain. As early as June 28th, however, the Protestant princes asked Melanchthon to thank the legate for favouring peaceful discussions rather than war -- so deeply indeed was the need for peace felt on both sides. Melanchthon's answer to the Confutation, however, the Apologia, resumed the freer tone of definite opposition. Very gradually the two parties began to drift apart once more.

Charles did not fail to exploit all the possibilities of the council. His correspondence with Loaysa is full of such considerations. On July 14th he appealed personally to the Pope, with a pointed reference to 'those things which I arranged with Your Holiness at Bologna'. This letter exists to-day only in a copy of a draft, but the style, with its numerous repetitions and the emphasis laid on one ruling principle, proves that the original must have come from Charles's pen. The assumption is strengthened by Campeggio's reference in a note to Salvati to a letter written by the Emperor.

Charles wrote that he found some of the German princes in great fear, others on the contrary, very stiff in their determination. But, he went on, all were alike in desiring a new and better order than the present, and in thinking that it would be wisest to offer a council, at a time and place to be generally decided on, to satisfy those who had fallen into error. In the meantime, these latter would of course have to abandon their practices. The worser sort wanted the council, he thought, chiefly in the hope of making something out of it. The good, however, felt that it would prevent worse developments and stop the Church's more doubtful opponents from drifting away because of its undue postponement. The good were losing courage, the bad growing ever bolder. The chief blame for the failure to call a council would be laid to his charge and to the Pope's. But if they were to call it they would gain great advantages over the heretics, who 'in the intervening time will have to live according to the old faith and to submit to a council held in accordance with it'. 'Something good', Charles went on, 'is certain to be decided. If the heretics refuse so generous an offer they will have everyone against them. But if there were to be no council,' -- here Charles became prophetic -' Germany, the strongest and most warlike nation in Christendom, would fall into the gravest peril. At present the world is at peace so that a council can easily be called to prevent the further breeding of schism. If it should again come to war, then at the very worst we could dissolve the council. We then, Your Holiness and I, would have done what we could and others would have to bear the blame. God, I hope, would then punish those who were answerable for the evils which would fall on Christendom. Therefore I entreat and beseech you to consent to the council, so that we may avoid the burden of blame and win the approbation of all good men. It would be best if Your Holiness would in the meantime do your own part and get rid of such abuses as can readily be stopped. As the situation now stands, that would be a great help.'

On July 31st Clement answered Charles's letter with the greatest reserve. In spite of admonition and entreaty he was wholly opposed to a council. In the second half of August, when the prospects of settlement in Augsburg seemed at their most hopeful, Charles plied him again, with hints rather than with an open demand. But he did not complete the final draft of his answers to Clement's letter until October 30th. He, too, remained steadfast in his opinions.

About this time Christoph Amberger painted his portrait of Charles. Looking at this picture, one feels almost as if one were spying on the Emperor during one of those theological or politicoecclesiastical discussions. He sits there as if intently listening, the index finger of his right hand inserted between the pages of a book which he is about to open. His dress is simple yet rich; in the left hand, on one finger of which he wears a costly ring, he holds a glove. The face is pale, crowned with blond hair, the blue eyes gaze as if into the distance. The mouth, with its unhealthy lip, thrust out unbecomingly, is eloquent of pride. But there is seriousness and depth of feeling in the attitude and features.

By this time Charles had begun to despair of the peace policy which he had so honourably attempted.

In fact the quarrels of Germany were not now to be reconciled. Feebly indeed, in the midst of this deafening clamour, sound the words of Erasmus. With the layman's piety natural to him, with his native common sense, he still preached the doctrine of peace at any price and repeatedly besought the warring factions not to take the occasion so seriously: heresies had disappeared before and would disappear again. His intellectual cleverness, which found a natural resting place in the wide humanity of the Christian faith, strengthened the already existent tendency of the Court towards mediation and discussion. But as each party, with deadly earnestness approached the main issue of the conflict, the split between them widened. How could John of Saxony, who had shown himself so unreasonable even to his co-religionists at Schmalkalde, yield now to the Catholics on any question of fundamental importance? How could the Pope and the alliance of Catholic princes give in an inch, after defending their position with such vigour for so long? How could Charles abandon a position he had once taken up? Granvelle was cynic enough to think that the request which Charles made to the Protestants, that they should desist from their innovations until the council met, was like that command of Solon to the Athenians, that they should not alter his laws until he returned -- when he well knew that he would never return. In this Granvelle showed himself out of sympathy with Charles's deeper motives.

It is unfair to label Charles 'Roman' or 'Spanish', unfair to represent him as cool or calculating. His worldly and spiritual duties were to him alike sacred: what he owed to his ancestors and to his own position as a ruler was inextricably connected in his mind with the idea of religious orthodoxy throughout the world and of universal empire. But he had furthered the council which the Pope abhorred and asked time and again for reform: in this he showed himself a true disciple of Ximenes, Adrian and Gattinara. This time, however, his pride was injured because his active efforts to win over theologians and princes came to so little. He forgot that he had had sound political reasons for starting the discussions and could think of nothing but his failure. Since the way of peace had led to nothing, he saw but one other alternative. The Protestants had refused his mediation and made light of his council. Nothing was left but force.

The demands of the Catholic Estates finally loosened his tongue. He dismissed them on September 8th in a document which, in the original French, was certainly of his own composing. He even superintended its translation into German under the care of Ferdinand and the Count Palatine.

The Elector of Saxony and his supporters, he declared, had been willing enough to take advantage of his generous efforts at mediation, but they had not abandoned a single one of their articles, appealing always to conscience. He had not expected so serious a rebuff: his opponents would now have to remember that 'His Majesty was their Sovereign and immediate overlord and moreover Vicar of all Christendom'. He also had a conscience; he also had duties, both to his own honour and to his position as a ruler. His conscience would not let him abandon the ancient Christian faith, hallowed by long usage. He also had his soul's salvation to think of, and a greater responsibility towards Almighty God than any of them, the Estates, could boast. It did not sort with his honour to grant any more concessions on the fundamental points of religion, or to agree to independent innovations. Their conduct, he added, was all the more distressing to him, since it seemed that his very presence emboldened them to make demands more extensive than any which they had dared to make while the wars, now so happily concluded, had kept him far from Germany.

'But if His Majesty's goodness and mercy availed nothing', Charles pursued, then as a Christian Emperor and Catholic prince he would set his life and all he had on the vindication of his own cause and of the ancient and holy Catholic faith. In this he would call on the Electors, Princes and Estates, on the Pope himself, and on all Christian potentates to help him. Should the heretics agree to his proposition of a council, their case would be justly heard; otherwise they would have to answer his challenge. As for the lands which they had seized from the Church, he, the Emperor, as their liege lord and rightful owner of all that they had, demanded that it should be incontinently restored or handed over to imperial custody until such time as a council should meet. On all these points Charles sought the opinions of the Catholic Estates.

They answered him emphatically if briefly on September 12th. Baldly they declared that the recreant and obstinate were to be treated like notorious heretics, and deprived of all rights and privileges. But when Charles asked for a further elaboration of this view, they very cautiously modified their opinions. Negotiations, they said, ought not to be abandoned, and for the rest they agreed with the Emperor in everything. As for what active help they intended to offer, this was not touched upon in a single syllable. Only the clergy decisively opposed Ferdinand's plan for disposing of some of their property to pay for the Turkish war: warmly agreeing that the Empire must be defended, they showed little inclination to help in the work.

Comprehensibly enough Charles thought the Catholic princes chicken-hearted.

The rude intervention of the Elector Joachim of Brandenburg in the sessions of September 22nd and 23rd merely increased the timidity of the Catholics and the determination of the Protestants. Later, when the Estates drafted a recess providing for the calling of a council, the Protestants appealed to the gospels and refused to have anything to do with it. Meanwhile they had an answer to the Confutation ready to hand over, but neither the Emperor, nor Ferdinand, nor the Count Palatine Frederick would agree to accept it. The moment for negotiation, they were told, was now past. The time for action had come. Charles himself rose up in anger to answer their appeal to the Gospels. 'Did they mean by that', he asked, 'that he and the other Estates were enemies of God's word?' In spite of this attack the Protestants refused to budge. On September 22nd the Catholic Estates met alone. On the 23rd the whole Diet met, and the Elector Joachim, in the Emperor's name and that of the whole Empire, once again reproached the Protestants with their pride, with their arrogance in taking the Gospel as their justification alone, against all other peoples in the world. Emperor and Empire, he went on, were at a loss to conceive which of the Gospels had given them a right to seize the property of other people. As for the recess, it was far milder and more generous than they deserved, and had been designed to spare the German nation the worst consequences of their divisions. The Emperor, Joachim concluded, was indignant at the mere suggestion that the Protestants had an Apologia to offer him. As Vicar of the Church he had already pronounced his final judgment: he had allied himself with the Catholic Estates for the preservation of the truth.

These were unmistakable threats. They had been uttered in so uncompromising a tone as to provoke some trepidation as to their consequences even at Court; several of the Catholic Estates, the Electors in particular, thought it wisest to offer an apology to the Elector of Saxony! But their timorousness altered nothing.

Called in such high hope, the Diet broke up in shrill discord. The Landgrave of Hesse had indeed withdrawn as soon as the Catholic party produced its Confutation. He, too, felt that the hour for action was at hand. The Elector of Saxony, a man of very different temperament, took formal leave of the Emperor, although still in open disagreement with him. Only some of the princes' councillors and the deputies of the cities remained. The Catholics assiduously sought the favour of the towns, but even Augsburg, under the Emperor's very eyes, stood by its opinions -- a bold action. All such Estates as had introduced the condemned 'innovations' repudiated the recess which was issued on October 13th. As a result on November 19th a final recess was drawn up in a yet harsher form. It was no more than a manifesto of the Emperor and the Catholic party -- the only group 'who accepted this recess'. Their opponents were given until April 15th, 1531, to think over what they had done.

Stuffed with theology, the Augsburg recess of 1530 embodied the bitterest elements in Catholic opinion, much as they had come to the surface during the session. 'This doctrine', they declared, 'which has been already condemned, has given rise to much misleading error among the common people. They have lost all true reverence, all Christian honour; discipline, the fear of God and charity to their neighbour -- these are utterly forgotten.' This was the reason, they continued, that the Emperor had sought the help of the Catholic princes to restore the old faith and its traditional forms of worship. This statement was followed by a list of all such articles of faith and customs of worship as were to be respected, under pain of punishment. The imperial ban and edict of outlawry were invoked to protect the ancient Church in its entirety.

These provisions were to be executed by a mandate issued from the Reichskammergericht. One power only could give reality to this formality -- naked force.

And after all these preparations nothing whatever happened. The Emperor and the Catholic princes, having uttered these blood-curdling threats, sank into peaceful inactivity. No more even was heard of that Catholic League which had been so vociferously advertised. At the height of his war fever, the most that Charles had done was to send orders at the end of September to his ambassador Muxetula in Italy, to see that the five or six thousand Spanish and Italian troops who had completed the reduction of Florence, be transported to Hungary and there kept in readiness for use in Germany. This action, received with delight by Campeggio and the Pope, had had no consequences. Clement's own hesitative efforts to raise money for the war had been even less successful. The Venetians commented maliciously on his failure and even Loaysa revised his opinions of the advisability of war. It was undoubtedly Charles's duty, he wrote to the Emperor, to eradicate heresy, but at the moment the obstacles in his path seemed to be insuperable. A council was the best way out, but the Pope and Cardinals would sooner see it in Hell. The Catholics were faint-hearted and the French appeared as usual disinclined to keep the peace. The King of England, meanwhile, would gladly make an alliance with the Devil to combat the Emperor. And so, he concluded, 'I dare ask Your Majesty, since you may quiet your conscience by thinking of these things, to make a settlement, be it good or bad, with these heretics, even as your brother has with his subjects in Bohemia'. For long after this Charles toyed with the idea of a compromise, even over sacramental doctrine, such as had pacified Bohemia.

Even had Charles acted with the violence which he threatened, it must for ever be a doubtful point, whether he could have defeated the Protestants. He could, however, have prevented them from making preparations for war both at home and abroad. They had now a formal Confession of Faith on which to build. They were not slow to act on the warnings which had been all too freely showered upon them at the Diet. Circumstances, too, played into their hands.


Ever since 1519, and more seriously ever since Charles undertook to go to Italy, there had been talk of Ferdinand's election as King of the Romans. By the ancient law of the Holy Roman Empire, such an election could only be held after the formal Coronation of the Emperor. This Coronation had now taken place. But the Golden Bull gave no warrant for the choice of a brother during the lifetime of an Emperor. Opposition, therefore, was rife and had to be stilled with bribes and favours. The religious opinions of the Saxon Elector presented yet another difficulty, for his colleagues refused to countenance his exclusion from the Election. The Elector of Mainz sent him an invitation. Charles forestalled all difficulties by sending to the Pope, with his usual formality, and gravely asking for two bulls of exactly opposite meanings. The first of these was to give the Saxon Elector permission to vote in spite of his heterodoxy. The second, to be dated a little later, was to forbid him to vote. This latter bull was, of course, only to be produced if the Elector voted against Ferdinand. Judging by the letter in which Charles asked for these documents, he was not altogether easy in his conscience about the business. In Rome they took it far more light-heartedly. Loaysa disadvised the second bull as probably unnecessary. But the Pope, on the persuasion of two richly bribed Cardinals, Pucci and Accolti, cheerfully conceded both. Besides its blatant dishonesty, the whole matter was a criminal surrender of Germany's hard-won imperial rights to the Papacy.

Cologne was fixed on for the place of election -- men said because Frankfort had refused to sign the recess. But in his memoirs Charles gave another reason: plague was raging in Frankfort. On the receipt of the papal dispensation, the Elector of Saxony was again pressed to come, but he refused. Instead he protested formally against the election through his eldest son, John Frederick. Nobody mentioned the Golden Bull. They concentrated rather on Ferdinand's election oath, and when the main points of this had been settled, they chose him King of the Romans on January 5th, 1531. He undertook to protect religion and preserve it in its present form. This promise was far more serious now than it had been when Charles made it in 1520. In view of the Saxon protest, Charles once again laid the question before the Electors; this time he asked them whether they believed that, since the conciliar idea had failed, and the Protestants seemed likely to proceed to an offensive, a preventive war ought to be risked. In answer, the Electors repudiated the idea of war, but again demanded a council.

On January 11th Ferdinand was crowned at Aachen with traditional splendour. On March 12th Charles outlined the future policy for imperial government.

The Elector of Saxony continued to protest against the election and in general against the kingship of Ferdinand. He was strengthened in his indignation by events within the Catholic camp itself. Lewis and William of Bavaria, with whom their defeat in Bohemia still rankled, now joined the opponents of the imperial dynasty. Already in Augsburg Charles had had a painful scene with Duke William. Following this up the Landgrave of Hesse sent Schenk von Schweinsberg to Bavaria, while the Bavarian dukes sent Weissenfelder to the Elector of Saxony. In August 1531 the Bavarian Chancellor, Leonhard von Eck, met the Landgrave at Giessen, and on October 24th the two dukes entered into formal alliance with the Protestants at Saalfeld. Earlier in the year, Henry of Brunswick had secretly informed Charles of what was afoot.

Ferdinand's election had even more astonishing consequences in other directions. The tone of the recess, together with the threats uttered by the Elector of Brandenburg, caused the Protestants to think better of those minor doctrinal differences which had hitherto prevented their union. The Elector of Saxony first suggested that they should form a general alliance; then he grew nervous and dropped the project. But when he received his invitation to Ferdinand's election he scented a constitutional conflict in the wind and felt that he had best not be left alone to fight it out. Accordingly on the very next day, November 29th, he renewed the invitation to the Protestants of the Hessian and Saxon lands to meet at Schmalkalde.

In the meantime Bucer's much discussed negotiations with Luther had been crowned at least with political success. They had decided on a firm theological basis, common to them both, and had thus bridged the division between north and south, between towns and princes, which had so long prevented all progress. A new activismus submerged the old ecclesiastical and political belief in implicit obedience. In 1529 most thinkers had held approximately the same views on the right of subjects to rebel. Lazarus Spengler of Nuremberg denied that they had any right of resistance 'since the Emperor is our liege lord and master, ordained by God'. Even Luther held this view, in spite of his piteous outburst -- 'Ah God, I am a child in such worldly matters.' But when the recess of 1530 was issued, he wrote very different advice in his "Warnirig". 'Proceed then joy fully', he advised, 'come what may, be it war or revolt, as the wrath of God shall decide.'

But the councillors laid even more solid foundations on which to build their new conception of the state; they put such words into the mouths of the princes, as that it was their duty, when faced by the Emperor's violent actions, 'to stand by our subjects and to defend our own against all comers'. While they spoke and acted thus, they naturally lost sight of the subtle distinction between purely defensive action and very different forms of procedure. On February 27th, 1531, after long negotiations, the "Copact" of Schmalkalde was signed. Those who subscribed to it were the Elector John of Saxony, the Landgrave Philip of Hesse, Duke Ernest of Luneburg, Philip of Grubenhagen, the count of Mansfeld, the prince of Anhalt and the deputies of Magdeburg Bremen, Strasbourg, Ulm, Constance, Reutlingen, Memmingen, Isny, Biberach and Lindau. The Protestantes of 1529 had become the Schmalkaldians of 1531, and included the adherents both of the Augsburg Confession and the Tetrapolitana. Only the Zwinglians, in the true sense of the word, were left out.

Until that moment Switzerland had been the scene of the most violent political activity, but now events in that country moved swiftly to a close. Ill-feeling between Berne and Zurich weakened the position of both, and when the Alte Orte, 1 irritated at last beyond bearing by economic interference, struck out at the

1 The Alte Orte were the three original cantons, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, with the five other cantons which had joined the Confederation before 1353 -Lucerne, Zurich, Glarus, Zug and Berne. The Alte Orte which retained the Catholic faith were Uri, Schwyz, Untenvalden, Lucerne and zug (TRANSLATOR'S note).

reformers, they found Zurich insufficiently prepared with either allies or troops. Without the help of the Hapsburg dynasty, which had seriously considered coming to their help, the Catholics won the victory. The battle of Kappel on October 11th, 1531, ended the soaring hopes of the Zwinglians; the Reformer himself was killed, his party defeated.

For the first time in history the towns of south Germany sorely needed the support of the princes. The Swabian League which had been for more than a generation their most important safeguard, broke down through religious cleavage. When the time came for it to be renewed, it had already split up beyond recall.

But this is to anticipate the future. We must return to those autumn days of 1530 to find Charles travelling from Augsburg, by way of the Rhineland, back to his own Netherlands. On his way he had news at Speyer that his aunt, the Archduchess Margaret, Governess of the Netherlands, had died on November 30th, 1530. Six months after the death of Gattinara, Charles lost this other prop of his youth. It is unnecessary to sum up her life; these pages are sufficient proof of that feminine sensibility and virile energy which were so well mingled in her. The daughter of an Emperor and a Princess of Burgundy, she closed her eyes for ever to the world in that same proud and fearless spirit in which she had lived. On the very day of her death she had written to Charles. 'At this hour', she dictated, I cannot write to you with my own hand for my conscience is now at rest and I am ready to accept all that is yet to come from God's hand. My only sorrow is that I shall not see you before I die. This is my last letter. To you, as my only heir, I leave the lands which were entrusted to me. You will find them not only unspoiled but greatly increased, after a government for which I hope to receive God's reward, your contentment and the gratitude of posterity. I commend to you above all the policy of peace, with England and France in particular, and I beseech you not to forget my servants. With these words I bid you my last farewell.'

Once again Charles entered the ancient realm of Burgundy, the home of his early years, now so sadly empty of those whom he had loved. On December 5th, 1531, he held a solemn Chapter of the Golden Fleece, the first for many years. The last had been in Barcelona in 1518. Twenty knights had died since then, and new elections were urgent. He chose Tournai for the meeting place because the Church of St. André was large enough, and besides there was the abbey next to it. The deeds of all the knights, even of the sovereign, were as usual examined at this meeting. After the preliminary compliments the Chancellor of the Order declared that the Chapter were unanimous in thinking the Emperor too slow to act in affairs of state; he cared too much for trivialities and let greater matters pass; he consulted his council too little and had allowed it to dwindle too much; he had not appointed enough suitable men for the administration of justice; he paid his servants badly. Faced by the same accusations fifteen years later, Charles answered humbly, as he did now, that hitherto his sloth had brought him nothing but advantages.

The new knights now created included the Kings of Portugal and Scotland, the three-year-old prince Philip of Spain, the electors of the Palatinate and Brandenburg, the dukes of Julich and Saxony, the Count Palatine Philip, the Viceroy of Valencia, the dukes of Frias and Albuquerque, Francisco de Zuñiga, Count of Miranda; three Italians were also included, Ferrante Gonzaga, the Marquis del Vasto and Andrea Doria, prince of Melfi. To represent the Low Countries among the new knights, Charles selected Schenk von Tautenburg who had long since proved his merit, and Louis de Praet, of whose services to the Emperor we need no reminder; to these he added Antoine Berghes, Philippe Lannoy, Charles Lalaing and various other members of the younger generation.

Of more essential importance in these lands was the choice of a successor for Margaret. Charles decided on his sister Mary, the widowed Queen of Hungary, a young woman of twenty-six years old. Early put to the test, the Queen was already a selfreliant woman, not altogether free at that time from a leaning towards Protestantism in her Court, for which she was prepared to justify herself. Charles nevertheless proved his full confidence in her in the formal intimation of her new office, which he sent to her by the hand of Boussu, 'If I had doubts of your religious integrity', he said, 'rest assured that I should neither give you this place nor accord you the love of a brother.' He went on to say that such laxity was not for a moment to be tolerated in the Netherlands, although it might have to be tolerated, whether he would or no, in the Empire. Charles felt that he could not exempt her from the necessity of making alterations in her already suspect household. On her side the Queen made conditions. She was not to be forced into any new marriage, she said, thinking no doubt of the questionable fortunes of her sister Eleonore, twice bestowed on an elderly widower, and her sister Isabella, the wretched wife of Christian II. In this respect she took Margaret for her model. She was indeed the equal of her great predecessor in industry and political sense, her superior in handling Charles. She took up her residence at first not at Malines but at Brussels; later on she spent much of her time at her castle at Binche.

On March 2nd, 1531, Charles opened the Estates General of the Netherlands with a speech written by Carondolet. The Estates answered him through Laurent de Beioul. Afterwards Charles spoke separately to the representatives of the different provinces. As usual they made every possible difficulty about raising money. Soon after, on March 4th, the Emperor met his sister at Louvain, and after spending weeks and even months discussing with her the problems of government in the Netherlands, inducted her into her new office on July 1st before the reassembled Estates General. He took Mary into his particular confidence, as he had done his aunt. On January 14th, 1532, for instance, he added a codicil to his will of 1529, in which he granted to Mary, in the event of his death, all those rights of regency and guardianship which he had originally guaranteed for Margaret. In this codicil, too, he spoke of uniting Pfirt and Hagenau with Burgundy, should his own daughter Mary marry a son of Ferdinand; this couple were then to inherit the Netherlands.

The nobility of the Netherlands were no less jealous of their influence than were the Estates of their privileges, and since Charles habitually demanded more of the Netherlands than he was able or willing to give them in return, Mary's task of government was to be no sinecure. Charles tried to lighten her task by altering the council of state, the conseil privé and the financial committee. He thought that the conflicts which had so often arisen under Margaret could be avoided if the consed privé were able to meet without being specially called. But time soon brought new troubles to replace the old ones.

When Charles once more bade farewell to the Netherlands, Mary was left to face these alone. As the years went on they grew only more acute.

One of Margaret's heaviest burdens was her unwelcome Danish guest. His recklessness and its results cast a shadow over Mary's opening years. With five or six thousand soldiers, which he quartered in Overyssel and Holland, regardless of the people, Christian was now storming for the remaining portion of his dead wife's dowry, and asking Charles to provide him with 50,000 gulden and twelve warships for the re-conquest of his kingdoms. After gaining a little help from Norway, Christian at length put to sea on October 26th, 1531, and landed -- whether according to plan or driven by a storm is not clear -- a little south of Arendal on the Norwegian coast. In this country he easily regained the mastery, but he failed to reduce either the citadel of Bergen or the strong fortress of Akershus which overlooks Oslo. These remained permanent bases for his Danish opponents. Abandoning the contest he now took to negotiations. There was no limit to the base deceptions to which Christian was prepared to stoop. Eighteen months before, he had done penance in Innsbruck and been received back into the Catholic Church. Now he wrote unctuous letters to his nephew Frederick, depicting himself as the champion of the Gospels.

Small. wonder that the Lübeckers took him for a partisan of the Dutch to whom they immediately closed the Sound. They did not realize that threats alone had induced the Netherlands to help Christian, while Charles himself was far more interested in the return of the north to the Church, and in the inheritance of his sister's children than in the fate of Christian himself. The Lübeckers preferred their own interpretation of events, as it gave them the opportunity to keep their rivals out of the Baltic. This enmity of the Danes and the people of Lübeck drove the Dutch, willy-nilly, into Christian's arms. They were not averse to a royal alliance if it promised them any commercial advantage. Amsterdam, and the stadhouder of Holland, Count Hoogstracten, were in favour of open war. Trouble in the Sound, together with a long drought, had caused a great shortage of bread; ships lay idle and there was serious unemployment. These facts hastened the intervention of the Netherlands. A preliminary discussion, fixed originally at Hamburg, was put off to June 24th and moved to Copenhagen; in the meantime the government of the Netherlands had prepared forty warships, so as to be able to support its negotiation with armed force.

All these preparations were brought to nothing by Christian himself. With incomparable folly and his usual thoughtlessness he accepted an invitation of the Danish government and its Hanseatic allies, to sail to Denmark and have a personal conversation with his nephew. His opponents guaranteed his personal safety. On July 24th he was at Copenhagen. In the capital, the Danes were already discussing with the representative of the Hanseatic towns, whether it would not be best to seize the deposed King. Almost at once they began to deceive him. They lured him to the strong castle of Sonderburg, saying that King Frederick was awaiting him there; he found no King Frederick, but he remained within that castle for twenty-seven years, almost until the day of his death.

At about the same time his son and heir Hans, a boy of twelve, died at Charles's house in Regensburg. Charles had as yet no reliable news from his brother-in-law, but his nephew's death touched him profoundly, drawing from him words of the deepest grief. Seldom indeed at any other time did Charles express so touching a sorrow. 'He was the nicest child I knew', he wrote to Mary. 'I feel his death like that of my own son, for I held him as such. He was already growing up, and we were very good friends. It must be God's will but I cannot help regretting that he should be taken from us. I could better have spared his father, God forgive me. Still, the little lad will be better off where he is. He died with so little sin to his account, that had he had all mine to bear as well as his own, he could not have missed eternal salvation. His last word was: Jesus.'


Having gained nothing but the most mediocre subsidies, Charles now hurried back to Germany, in response to an urgent need.

He took with him a hundred and fifty cavalry. In his letters to the Empress he explained his reasons for going. 1 Not that these letters betray very much either of his conjugal relations or of his political opinions. The Empress seems to have exerted almost no political influence and her place in the Spanish government, where she had been given the clever, taciturn Archbishop Juan de Tavera, with his narrow Castilian outlook, for her chief adviser, seems to have been nominal only. Perhaps for that very reason Charles felt that he could give her exhaustive and highly confidential accounts of the events actually taking place in Germany, though it must always remain something of a mystery that he could keep his letters to so charming and so beloved a wife on this prosaic level.

Isabella had by this time given the Emperor two more children besides Philip, the heir to the throne. These were a daughter, the Infanta Mary, and a son who died almost immediately. She yearned for Charles's return, and implied it, although she dared not say it, in her letters. In an attempt to comfort her, he had written to her as early as July 13th, 1531, from Ghent telling her his plans for the future. He used the usual highly formalized style and dictated the letter to Cobos. 'Illustrious and all-powerful Empress!' he wrote, 'I have had to postpone some of my plans for this year, for I had hoped that some decision about a council might be reached, since the weal of Christendom hangs on it. But the Pope and the Most Christian King are still making difficulties which imperil the whole business. The postponement of the Council has had the worst effect in Germany. The Turkish menace has increased so much that I have even considered coming to an agreement with the Lutherans in order to prevent worse disaster, and coming home this year. It is my dearest wish to see you again and to be once more in my own home, not to mention the needs of my Spanish kingdoms. I have allied myself with my brother, the illustrious King of the Romans, and he has told me of the evil effects arising from the postponement of the council, and of how Saxony has refused to elect or crown him. All are agreed that I cannot for the moment be spared, and that I must stay and take control of German affairs. I have consented there-

1 Hitherto almost unknown, these letters will shortly be available in a complete edition.

fore to make one more effort and have put off my return to Spain, although I hope not beyond next March.'

Ferdinand's urgent entreaty to Charles to stay longer in Germany was hardly surprising in the circumstances. The council had been indefinitely postponed, the Pope was unreliable, the King of France unfriendly, the King of England indignant; with the siege of Vienna two years before the Turkish danger had swept into the very heart of the Hapsburg lands; the Protestants had taken up a determined stand and were courting foreign alliances, a fact which the imperial Court cannot have ignored; the Catholics were faint-hearted if not actually hostile to the dynasty. In such a situation Charles's temporary wavering in favour of a religious compromise is no less comprehensible than Ferdinand's cry for help. The Emperor's representatives in Rome, Loaysa and Miguel Mai, strengthened Charles in his new attitude.

The imperial Estates, however many Protestants there might be among them, were indispensable in dealing with German affairs and, above all, with the Turkish danger; moreover they were willing to help. Luther himself still wrote of the Emperor as 'our dear Emperor Carolus', and declared that he had behaved so far, even at the Diet, 'so as to win the favour and love of all'. Luther, too, was in favour of united action against the Turk; nay, his great war-hymn -- 'A strong fortress is our God' -- had but recently been interpreted as a topical song directed at the ancient and evil enemy, the Turk. Besides, the Lutheran theologians had come half-way to meet the Catholics at the Diet.

The situation was indeed altered when Charles, instead of standing out for religious unity, sought their help in his distress. This was what now happened.

Schweinfurt, which had been the scene of the formation of the Schmalkaldic League in 1532, was also the scene of the mediatory efforts now made by the Elector Palatine and the Elector of Mainz. News from the Danube urged them to make haste. The Protestants knew their adversaries' peril and did not scruple to exploit it. The Elector of Saxony pitched his demands higher than ever before. He asked that Ferdinand's election be withdrawn, that all Church land which had been secularized be confirmed to its owners, that trials in the Reichskammergericht cease, that Lutherans be everywhere tolerated and that a free council of the German nation be convened. Neither side had ever before even so much as thought of some of these demands.

Worst of all, the adherents of the old faith, who were prepared to sacrifice nothing to help Charles, now effectively hampered even his mildest efforts at conciliation by an open statement issued on June 22nd. The Bavarian dukes were at this very moment concluding an alliance with the French King at the monastery of Scheyern; they had even opened negotiations with Ferdinand's rival in Hungary, John Zapolya, although this latter was known to be the Sultan's vassal, to have close relations with the Turks and to be under a Papal ban. At Regensburg, where the Diet had met in the meantime, the Catholics were in the majority; negotiations, even for a temporary religious peace, went on both here and at Schweinfurt and were later moved to Nuremberg. But the discussions proved as useless as they were lengthy. The Estates allowed themselves to become a party to the gravest injustice, by voting that an imperial mandate for the withdrawal of cases from the Reichskammergericht could only be issued to such Electors as were actually present, and could only be passed on by them to the Emperor by word of mouth. When, on July 27th, the Diet at length issued its recess, it was in flat contradiction to the detailed and highly modified religious mandates which were issued on August end and 3rd.

In spite of all, a religious peace was patched up and an army against the Turks was set on foot. On August 9th Charles was able to tell the Empress that all the Estates, even the Protestants, had acted with equal zeal. Charles could now add to Ferdinand's troops under Katzianer and the German troops under the Count Palatine Frederick, his own soldiers from the Netherlands under Nassau and Roculx, and his Italians under Leyva and the Marquis del Vasto. These last two were, of course, by far his most experienced and best commanders. The great moment was now at hand. All was ready for an attack on the Turk. After so many years it seemed that the oath made by his forefather at the Fête des Faisans, and the purpose for which the Order of the Golden Fleece had been founded, was at last to be fulfilled.

But while the Emperor was held up by the negotiations at Regensburg and Nuremberg, the die had already been cast. The little fortress of Géns in western Hungary held out against the Turkish assault from August 7th until August 28th. This seems to have decided Suleiman to turn back. He may also have had disturbing news from the coasts of Greece, for Andrea Doria and his fleet were active there, and had seized Patras and Castelnuovo. In Styria, on September 13th, at Fernitz, German troops defeated the Turkish rearguard, and they had to withdraw from Graz with nothing achieved. But neither the complaints of the German generals at the slothful leadership of the Elector Palatine, nor the entreaties of Ferdinand, persuaded the imperial troops, or even his own Bohemians, to march farther into Hungary and contest his own cause against the usurper Zapolya. Winter was at hand and there was, as always, no money.

On September 23rd, just as the last military engagement was over, Charles entered Vienna. His troops had maintained their reputation in the few skirmishes in which they had been engaged and had brought in some Turkish standards: crowned with laurels, therefore, Charles entered the city to receive the acclamations of his people. He deserved this recognition, in part at least, because he was certainly the only ruling prince in Europe, besides Ferdinand, who had taken the Turkish danger seriously. At the beginning of October he went back to Italy by way of Styria and Carinthia, thence to return to his Spanish kingdoms, which he had not seen for four years.

He was not free of anxiety for his other dominions. He was a prey above all to worry about the council, which he now saw to be an absolute necessity if Germany were ever to be won back again. The council could not be called until Italy was satisfied, until the Pope agreed to prefer the interests of the Church to those of his family, until the King of France could be depended on to keep his treaties. All these postulates were doubtful.


Charles was hedged about by delay, withdrawal, indecision. Even in Germany the settlement was temporary, the outcome of immediate circumstance. Yet in spite of this, Charles now left the Netherlands for years to come in the sole care of his sister Mary, the Empire to Ferdinand. The administrative ordinance of 1531, with all its important economic and social measures, was issued in Charles's name; in his name too went forth the Carolina, the universal criminal code, based on the ancient traditions of German law. But Charles had no personal part in either of these measures. The true government of Germany was controlled by the Estates, the administration, the King. Ferdinand was thus forced to meet the coming onslaught of the Protestants unaided. The German Reformation was already undergoing transformation into a European attack on the Hapsburg dynasty. The Catholic princes, the Bavarian dukes above all, had little inclination, either now, or later in the Thirty Years War, to minister to the omnipotence of the Hapsburg by intervening on their side in the religious conflict. They had no less a share of the blame than the Protestant rulers for the dismemberment of the Empire. Both parties were alike guilty of that worst crime of all, the making of European alliances. All too soon the ill-effects of these were to be felt in Germany. Assisted by the King of France, the princes now proceeded to their first successful attack on the imperial dynasty, and robbed them of Wérttemberg. Although it had but recently been won, Wurttemberg was of the greatest strategic importance. This importance might have been more obvious to the Emperor had his councillors in 1520 insisted more firmly on the significance of Warttemberg as a bastion against the democratic ideas of the Switzers and the cities of south Germany. They had emphasized its importance in itself and they had hinted that it might be useful if France grew stronger, but this latter opinion would have gained a greater credence if it had been supported by the former contention. And as things now stood, these forgotten councillors, had they come back, could hardly have failed to hint that the Catholic Estates of south Germany were likely to need the support of some greater power. The Hapsburg had missed one excellent opportunity when they had failed to support the alte Orte of the Swiss Confederation against the Zurich reformers. Whatever the extent or importance of their help, it would have immeasurably strengthened their position in the very heart of the dynastic lands. The opposing side now initiated an attack on the Hapsburg position which was not only enormously to strengthen the Protestant position, but to mark the beginning of French intervention on the Upper Rhine. This French advance began with the demand for Mömpelgard in Württemberg in return for help in re-establishing Duke Ulrich, and ended with the engrossment of all Alsace. In the intervening years the Hapsburg dynasty had planted their standards in many lands, in Burgundy, Hungary, Spain and Italy; but they had forgotten and neglected their old hereditary lands and their cradle on the Upper Rhine.

The business of Württemberg was carried out openly. When in 1533 the Hapsburg dynasty attempted to renew the Swabian League, which had long been their ally and which they felt could be used as a support to the Catholic Church, they found that, after many long and wordy sessions, the sense of the meeting was -- a refusal. The French ambassador, du Bellay, was present at the last of these sessions at Augsburg in 1533. He took an active part in all discussions of the Wérttemberg question. He behaved as though it was perfectly natural for him to intervene, and nobody apparently protested. It is true that Charles subsequently complained to France of this very unfriendly behaviour, but by that time it was too late to amend it. The French for their part judged the situation with unerring skill when they realized that, after fourteen years, the time had now come to restore the Duke. As early as March, Charles was forced to face the unpleasant fact that the King of France and the two Bavarian dukes had espoused the cause of young Duke Christopher of Württemberg.

In spite of the use of Christopher's name, both his supporters were well content that their efforts should ultimately be used for the restoration of the old duke, Ulrich, who, by religion and politics, was the natural ally of the Landgrave of Hesse. King Francis saw the Landgrave Philip at Bar-le-Duc at the end of January 1534, and, as Charles wrote in horror to Ferdinand, paid him his subsidies and gave him his orders. Troops were immediately raised, and after a slight clash at Lauffen on the Neckar, on May 12th-13th, the rebels were in possession of the duchy before the summer was well advanced. Ferdinand had too many other troubles to risk anything to regain Württemberg. Charles's help, first 50,000 and then 100,000 Gulden, came too late. It is difficult to understand why the imperial dynasty, which was prepared to fight a whole generation for Milan, accepted the loss of Württemberg so philosophically. In Germany it was a key position: it was the connecting link between Tyrol, Alsace and Franche Comté, the very heart of the ancient Hapsburg lands. But at the time of its loss both Charles and Ferdinand had too many troubles on their hands; Charles was absorbed in his plan for sending an expedition against Tunis, and he had, moreover, been long mentally estranged from any true understanding of German affairs.

Ferdinand made peace with the German princes at Kaaden, near Eger, on June 29th, and accepted in return for the loss of Württemberg his formal recognition as King of the Romans by the Elector of Saxony and his friends. This was an advantage which, at that time, he rated very highly. He also gained subsidies against the Turk. In the following year both the Landgrave of Hesse and the eldest son of the Elector of Brandenburg fought for him in Hungary. Besides these petty concessions, Ferdinand also retained a remote right over WWürttemberg, as a fief which might ultimately escheat to the House of Austria. In his letters to Ferdinand, Charles seems to have feared the continued alliance between the princes and the King of France more than any other danger, and he took the cession of WWürttemberg in good part. The 100,000 Gulden which he had set in motion with the help of the firm of Welser, for Ferdinand's assistance, was held back in case it should be needed for some other purpose.

The history of political Protestantism began at the Diet of Speyer. In the first ten years of its existence the movement, in spite of all its internal divisions, had increased enormously in strength. The Diet at Augsburg in 1530, to which they had looked forward with such trepidation, was now but a milestone on their path to power. No one had dared to put into execution the threats vainly uttered against them by the Elector Joachim of Brandenburg. Nothing had come of Christian's plan to restore Denmark by force to the Catholic Church. His successors, both in Denmark and Sweden, were consolidating the forces of Protestantism in the north. Unpalatable as were the accompaniments of the declaration of independence recently made by Henry VIII of England, that too tended only to strengthen the Protestant movement. In such circumstances the princes might well be emboldened to take up the offensive against the Hapsburg dynasty. They grew stronger as they waited, while the Catholic powers -Pope, Emperor, princes and the King of France -- hindered and neutralized each other.


FOREIGN as were German politics to Charles's understanding, they were ultimately to become the dominating force in the shaping of his destiny. Within the Empire those elements which were to be his undoing gradually assumed shape and strength, while throughout Europe the gigantic changes, which were so soon to come, remained yet hidden. The political landscape was bathed in that brilliant yet unreal sunlight which foretells the gathering storm.

During all these years the Emperor's will-power had been slowly forming; he had emerged very gradually into the full mental strength of manhood. In the autumn of 1532 he had behind him a long series of victories, yet he had hitherto achieved no definite, final and altogether satisfying triumph. Solving the immediate problems in his path, he had but postponed the final issue.

He now owned the whole of Italy from Naples to Milan and Mantua. But the Florentines burned with vengeful anger against the Spaniards, and not the Florentines alone. Over all Italy the Spanish victory had served but to strengthen Italian sympathies for France. The Vatican, Florence, Venice, Milan, even the lesser states -- all now looked towards the French. Trouble was brewing, too, in Montferrat, for the present Marquis was very old, and the hopes of all his neighbours, Savoy, Saluzzo, King Ferdinand, and the reigning family of Mantua, were fixed on his lands. They could not all be satisfied.

In Spain the years of revolution were over and the monarchy was firmly established. But the remote glories of the Germanic Empire satisfied the vanity rather than the immediate needs of the Spaniards, and the higher officials grew restive at Charles's long absence.

Germany enjoyed for the time being a religious peace which was the outcome of an idle compromise. No one was satisfied; some thought it not favourable enough to themselves, others too favour- able to their opponents. The Turks had withdrawn: but the single valour of isolated fortresses, like Güns and Graz, had been more decisive in their defeat than the general mobilization which came too late. No decisive victory had been won, such as would hold the Turks in check for any length of time, and neither Ferdinand's negotiations nor his campaigning met with further success in Hungary.

The apparent peace was, over all Europe, but a thin veil for unfulfilled hopes and threatening dangers. During the ensuing years the web of European diplomacy was but a tangled mesh, deceptively concealing the tension beneath. There was no dominant power nor group of powers to give it strength and unity.

The immense size of his empire was at the same time the source of Charles's strength and of his weakness. That conglomerate of states, so far-spread and of such fabulous wealth as seemed a figment of dreams, rather than a reality, had a definite political existence as a corporate state and was, in its own time, as it is for posterity, the object of boundless speculations. The dominating power seemed to radiate from the Emperor himself to the remotest corners of his dominions, and, unrecognized by Charles himself, the intoxicating scent of Indian spices, the magic glint of Peruvian silver filled his surroundings and fired the imaginations of himself and his courtiers. The more confusing the relations of his lands and kingdoms, on this side or on that of the Atlantic, the more numerous the antagonisms and complicated the purposes in which his policy seemed to be submerged, the more necessary was it for him to maintain his own self-control, to stand fast by those maxims of conduct which he had laid down for himself. We have now reached the middle period of his life. Looking back and looking forward along that great career, we can see to what different forces he was a prey: inspired though his life and actions might be by a universal theory, he lay open nevertheless in the political sphere to the ceaseless onslaughts and insidious undermining of separatist elements; and in the personal sphere he had to fight against the anarchic power of individual self-will.

Let us therefore consider what the lands and ideas were for which he fought, and what were the theories on which he built the organization of his dominions, both old and new.


In the conquest of Mexico we have already witnessed one of those bold, ruthless and destructive movements, by which nevertheless a new world came into being -- a Conquista. While Cortes was yet at work, Charles and his council had been troubled by the moral problems of the New World. They had played their part, too, in those problems of cosmography and commerce which arose from the first circumnavigation of the globe. In 1529 Charles had received at his Court in Toledo both Hernando Cortes and Francisco Pizarro. This latter was at the moment on the point of following the example of Cortes, with even less preparation and even more success. This second Conquista went on for many years, Charles's West Indian Empire growing ever larger. In deeds of valour and endurance, in alternating peril and success, defeat and victory, Pizarro's achievement was equal to that of Cortes. The men, by whom these two Conquistas were made, were for the most part Spaniards of that middle class which was composed of soldiers and uprooted landowners, men who had all to gain and nothing to lose. Yet from the first members of other social groups played their part, Letrados and clergy. There was that Bishop Bastidas, for instance, son of the first governor of Santa Marta, who was murdered; there was the lawyer Quesada who combined, strangely enough, the courage of the Conquistador with a true sense of justice. These two were borne along in the wake of the new movement. And, even at the beginning, Portuguese, Italians, Germans were to be found fighting alongside the Spaniards.

The Conquistadores advanced in the name of the all-powerful Emperor Don Carlos. In his name they demanded submission and the acceptance of Christianity. Like Cortes, the later Conquistadores, too, laid the vainglorious yet impressive records of their actions at his feet, many of them to be popularized throughout Europe in print, almost as soon as they were received. In Charles's name these restless, insubordinate governors of provinces, Captains-general and leaders of free-booting gangs, fought out their endless and eventful disputes with the royal officials in the Indies. Apart even from incidents arising out of the open defiance of orders, two adventurers setting out simultaneously from different points would often meet at the same supposed hiding place of fabulous treasure; then would be let loose the greedy passions common to men of all ages. Then would be enacted scenes worthy of nineteenth-century gold-diggers and twentiethcentury diamond hunters. And yet, in the last resort these selfwilled and violent men bowed before the will of the King of Castile, that King whom they now so proudly hailed as Emperor.

In 1526 the first royal Audiencia had been held at San Domingo. Since then Spanish exploration and Spanish conquest had spread out over the whole of the west Indian basin. At first they spread westwards; the idea of a trade route from east to west was for many years the chief directing force in the development of a whole continent. From Panama, in 1513, the Conquistadores saw for the first time that farther ocean which Magellan had not yet named the Pacific. But long before the isthmus had been subjected to rudimentary organization and Panama and Guatemala chosen as the seats of government ( 1532-43), New Spain or Mexico had been given a firm political framework; Nuñio de Guzman held the first Audiencia on December 13th, 1527, and in 1528 Antonio de Guzman was appointed Viceroy. Cortes himself soon sank to a position of lesser importance beside him. All the lands forming the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida to the region of the first advance of Cortes, were now reckoned to the possessions of this latter government. Here, in the vast marshes of the Mississippi basin, in Alabama and Colorado, all efforts to make new settlements had hitherto come to nothing. That very Narvaez, whom Cortes had once so callously taken prisoner, had here attempted to penetrate in vain. Last remnant of his attempt, Alvaro Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, with two companions, had wandered about the lands, living 'naked among the Indians, like one of them'. After six years he made his way back to Mexico, not without appalling hardships, in 1534, there to find how difficult it was to accustom himself once again to the dress of an ordinary Christian. In 1493 Alexander VI had granted a monopoly of power to the Kings of Castile and Portugal on the farther side of the Atlantic, and they themselves had confirmed the situation by their treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. But the North American continent had been invaded first by the Venetian Cabot, in English pay, and later by the French following in the footsteps of their first explorer, Jacques Cartier. Thus Charles's first tentative efforts to press northward were an attempt to preserve his own monopoly.

The ports on the north coast of South America and the Pacific coast with Panama, now became the centres for expansion to the south. The nucleus state on the north coast was already known as Venezuela or little Venice, from the pile-supported buildings on the north shore of the lagoon of Maracaibo; it was subject to San Domingo. After several inadequately prepared attempts, the Conquista of this district was at last successful. Trivial as are the details of the achievement, they are interesting because of the part played by the Germans. The fact that Germans, too, were active in Spanish America is in itself a proof of the essential unity of Charles's Empire. As we have already seen, Charles depended on the capital supplied by the firms of Fugger and Welser in his military undertakings, no less than he did at elections. Both his own and Ferdinand's had been financed by one or other of these families. The sums of money needed to supply the men, ships and arms for a Conquista had to be very considerable and very heavily insured, but the firm of Welser of Augsburg was prepared nevertheless to finance one. No actual partner of the firm went to America, but they had agents and factors in Spain and at San Domingo, and these, with the help of the Ehingers of Constance, signed a contract with the help, and for the benefit of, certain German adventurers and settlers, among whom there were some women. The Welser money found its way to Venezuela through the contract which their two agents, Heinrich Ehinger and Hieronymus Seiler, signed in the spring of 1528. The first clause dealt with the recruiting of German miners, and in fact twenty-four miners from Joachimstal did go to San Domingo. The next clause covered the importation of 4000 negro slaves by licence, -- like that which had been granted to Laurent Gorrevod in 1518. Slave hunting within the land itself had already been proved inadequate. The next clause traced out the rough limits of the land itself; its eastern boundary was to be Cape 'Maracapana', of whose position they could be moderately certain, its western boundary the well-known pearl fishery of Cabo de la Vela. The ancient nucleus of the province was the lagoon of Maracaibo with the wretched little port of Coro to the north-east, and a chain of mountains to the south; crossing these mountains to the south-eastwards, one came down into the valley of the Orinoco, which is Venezuela to-day, while crossing them to the south-west one reached the civilized lands of the Chibchas in Bogota. To get the best possible advantage from the commercial products of this new land, the Welser arranged that one harbour in the Atarazanas at Seville was to be kept clear for them. Heinrich Ehinger and Hieronymus Seiler entered into an agreement with the secretary of state, Francisco de los Cobos, at the same time, by which he took them into partnership with him, and promised them a due share of the percentage which he had been granted on each bar of gold and silver imported. This Heinrich Ehinger, factor of the firm of Welser at Saragossa, was the same man who in 1523 had bought up the largest proportion of the spices brought back from Magellan's ill-starred expedition. In 1530 he was Argentier and Tesorero to Charles V and he followed the Court as a knight of Sant' Iago. His brother, Ambrose, factor of the Welser at San Domingo, was the first governor of Venezuela. The new colonists set off almost as soon as the contract was signed, crossing the sea with Garcia de Lerma of Burgos, who was to be made responsible for Santa Marta on the western frontier. Ambrose Ehinger at once devoted all his energies to his task. His object was to open up the hinterland and if possible to discover unknown gold-mines. His search did not prove altogether in vain, although in the end it came to nothing. He himself died early, wounded by a poisoned arrow.

But before he died an energetic competitor and successor had appeared at his side, in his lieutenant, Nicholas Federmann of Ulm, whose reports were printed twenty years later. Federmann had all the bold and unscrupulous spirit of the Conquistadores. Being incensed with the royal agent, Hernando de Naveros, who had been sent with him, he had him put in irons -- an act which was not without consequences. To his justification be it said that the difficulties he faced were indescribable. He had to cross a pathless land, exposed throughout to the harassing attacks of the natives and of wild beasts, and hampered rather than helped by the fantastic geographical errors mapped out for him by the originators of the expedition. Terrible were the losses which the German colonists suffered. Moreover, Federmann quarrelled violently with Ehinger, broke off the relationship and returned to the Weiser at Augsburg in 1532. Later, under their protection, he became governor.

But the colonists complained of his nomination and the home government displaced him for George Hohermut of Speyer. Nevertheless, Federmann ultimately succeeded Hohermut as governor. He then made the difficult journey across the mountains to Bogota; successful in itself, the voyage led to nothing, for two other suitors had reached that land before him. The most he could do was to appeal to the Spanish government to decide between them. Pedro Heredia of Cartagena on the north coast demanded the land; so did the Welser, who claimed that their governor, Federmann, had undertaken to conquer it; so did Sebastian de Belalcazar of Quito who had sent Pascual de Andagoya to conquer it; so did Hernando de Luga, governor of Santa Marta. It was in the service of this latter that Gonsalo Ximenes de Quesada had pushed his way up the river Magdalena, facing unutterable and uninterrupted peril from natives and alligators, hunger and exhaustion. The province, which is now Colombia, and was then New Granada, was in fact granted to the governor of Santa Marta, but the seat of the Audiencia was transferred to Bogota.

But the government exercised by Belalcazar at Quito extended only over a small district in the midst of the ancient Inca kingdom of Peru. And in the meantime, Pizarro, with amazing tenacity and heroism, had conquered that kingdom itself. On July 26th, 1529, the Empress Isabella had issued a mandate giving Pizarro power to effect the Conquista; Peru was to be the last addition to Charles's Empire made under an imperial mandate of this kind. Dominated by the heights of the Cordilleras, the ancient kingdom of Peru spread out to the east into the plain of the Gran Chaco, to the west as far as the gulf of Guayaquil, and as far north as Chile. It was on the west coast of the gulf that Pizarro first set foot. In spite of the road-system which united this gigantic country, the distances which the Inca government, no less than Pizarro, had to dominate, almost defy the understanding. How so vast an expanse could have been organized and controlled under a comparatively well-administered and uniform law remains inexplicable. Yet this vast kingdom was a despotism, and proved true to Macchiavelli's theory of despotism, for it fell when its leader went.

Man for man, Pizarro was not the equal of Cortes, and in his handling of the ruler of Peru, he did no more than copy the horrible crime which had been committed by Cortes against Montezuma. Yet Pizarro's impudence was in itself heroic. Although he seems to have been tolerably well-informed of the size and power of the Peruvian kingdom, he set out from Panama in January 1531, with only 180 men and 27 horses. Such reinforcements as he received were in just proportion to his original strength. For the rest, everything was against him -- the Spanish colonial officials, his own companions, naturally the natives. But he overcame all opposition by his dogged determination and his bold decision in moments of crisis. Within a few months he had conquered the kingdom. It would be tempting to attribute to these men something of the crude nobility of beasts of prey seizing on their natural victims, were it not that their cold-blooded and calculating wickedness forces one to recoil in horror at a vileness peculiar to mankind.

Pizarro had already led one or two unsuccessful attacks on the coast, and had for years previously attempted to penetrate into the interior. During this time he had found interpreters and gained a knowledge of the country. His companions, Almagro and Luque, were named with him in the imperial charter, but they brought him more trouble than help. On the other hand he had brought with him from Spain several of his half-brothers, some of whom were bastards like himself, and these were his staunch supporters. Pizarro seized the occasion of an internal dispute within the Inca kingdom to launch his attack. Huescar, by the tradition of his country the only legitimate son of the last despot, by a marriage with his own sister -- a custom sanctioned by local law -- had been deposed and imprisoned by a rival claimant, his half-brother Atahualpa. Yet in spite of this internal broil, Pizarro's action smacked of madness, when he rode up from the hot and richly vegetated coast-lands to the frozen heights of the interior, intent on the conquest of the land, with only 62 cavalry and 102 infantry in all. On November 15th he entered the town of Cajamarca, whence he sent an embassy to Atahualpa. Here, too, he received messages in return. He had expressed the demands for allegiance now usual among the Conquistadores, and Atahualpa himself came out to meet him, magnificently apparelled and borne high in a litter among a following of many thousand.

Pizarro next, by an act of treachery, made the ruler of the land indebted to his power. He ordered his men to set on Atahualpa's followers, with drawn swords and fire-arms, while he himself protected their leader from bodily harm. Faced with this outburst of hideous force in his peaceful land, the despot of the Incas accepted it as an inevitable destiny. He declared himself ready to buy his freedom for a great sum of money, and when he was set at liberty to raise this ransom, he used his freedom to make away with his half-brother Huescar, so that Pizarro would have no opportunity of setting himself up as a judge between them. Pizarro was too clever for him; seeing that there might now be a serious rising among the people, he fanned the flame and Atahualpa was arraigned for his crimes, and sentenced to be burnt alive. Pizarro had just mercy enough, when the wretched despot agreed to be converted to Christianity, to have him strangled first and burnt only after he was dead.

This was in the spring of 1533. The conquerors now pushed on, and arrived at the capital, Cuzco, about the middle of November. Almagro stayed there. Pizarro returned to the coast and on January 18th founded the new capital, Lima. A younger brother of the murdered ruler, Manco, was set up as Inca, a kind of symbolic survival of the old government of the kingdom. But in fact all control was now in Spanish hands, and remained so even when those in power quarrelled so violently among themselves that the whole country became the scene of violent civil war between the conquerors. Almagro perished in the conflict. His men nourished thoughts of revenge, and years later on June 26th, 1541, Pizarro, too, was murdered. Only in the following year was the royal Audiencia finally established at Lima. The period of Conquista had ended, that of colonization had begun.

Pizarro's conquests came to their climax in the spring of 1533. It was then that Charles received the first, highly-coloured report of what had happened, of the successful 'campaign' in which Pizarro had defeated the Caciques and amassed a booty of more than 50,000 ducats. In this report Pizarro told how the Inca had come to see him, in a golden litter, his robes ablaze with gold and gems. Horribly and unconsciously accusing himself, he went on to describe how he had been surrounded by his trustful and peaceful followers, with music and dance. Later on, he added, the Inca had collected and given them his great treasure of gold dishes and ornaments, and had been astonished when the Spaniards fell upon them and smashed them to pieces. He did not understand that all they wanted was gold -- just gold!

Later Charles received Pizarro's brother, Hernando, bringing with him more detailed dispatches and a part of the treasure itself. This meeting took place, with mutual contentment to both parties, on January 20th, 1535, at Catalayud in Old Castile. Charles cannot have had the faintest conception of the horrors which had been committed in his name. The charter issued by the Empress reflected the demands so often made by the council in Spain; it had enjoined on Pizarro the duty of upright administration and justice towards the natives.


The immense expansion of Charles's power had little effect on the politics of Europe. But who can tell what effect it had on Charles's mind, and on the things which men now believed of him and his kingdoms?

His Empire was not united. Unlike the Imperium Romanum or the British Empire, it was not based on the strength of a single people. It had been brought together by the chances of political inheritance and bundled up regardless into a political whole. It included Burgundy and Spain, with all their component parts and their colonies, Italy and the German Empire. The Emperor and his family provided the only guarantee for the unity of all these lands. There was no united constitution and since Gattinara died there had been no single Chancellor: each land had its own. The council which advised Charles was his own council in a very personal sense, not a politically approved body, such as each of his kingdoms separately possessed.

Yet in each individual land, and throughout the whole extent of this great Empire, the idea of the dynasty was a force which made for unity.

The dynastic theory of rulership by inheritance had been accepted over all Europe. In so far, all states were alike. Even among the city states of Italy, only Venice, that strange hybrid of classical and byzantine tradition, and the tiny republican states of Siena and Lucca, had managed to combat the principle. Thus all Europe might be conveniently drawn into a great web, bound together by brothers, sisters, children, nephews, nieces of the Emperor. And this structure, in its completed form, had an essential value which was not to be reckoned merely in terms of generations and personalities. The conception might weaken national ties, but it had all the features of an international civilization. Trade and commerce, capital and labour, arts and sciences all pulled together, turning up many a fruitful furrow in the great expanse of the Hapsburg Empire.

Charles was now to follow the teaching of Gattinara to its logical conclusion, and in so doing he was to use the dynasty as his tool for the pacification of Italy. He intended his natural daughter Margaret for the new Duke of Florence. He determined to pin down the irresolute Duke of Milan by marrying him to his niece, the twelve-year-old Christina of Denmark. Only here he met with opposition. Queen Mary was beside herself. 'It is against nature and God's laws', she stormed, 'to marry off a little girl who cannot yet in any sense be called a woman, and to expose her, herself a child, to all the dangers of child-bed. I pray you will excuse me, but my conscience and my love towards my niece prompt me to speak plainly.' Charles's answer was curt and cold: he was in lieu of father to the Danish princess -- since the King was as good as dead -- and he had the interests of his Empire to consider. She was woman enough to do very well for the slippery Duke. Sacrificing himself for his kingdoms, Charles demanded a like sacrifice from his sisters and his nieces. The marriage contract of June 10th, 1533, was ratified in December, and de Praet accompanied the royal child, decked in cloth of gold and silver, almost buried under silks, furs, pearls and jewels of every kind, on her bridal journey to Milan.

In Milan's neighbour state, Savoy, Charles's sister-in-law Beatrix of Portugal ruled, as the wife of Duke Charles III. Her husband cherished hopes of acquiring Montferrat, but he had had the misfortune to fall foul of Berne and Geneva, while the French government harassed him perpetually with claims for the inheritance of the late Queen-mother, Louise of Savoy. On April 30th, 1533, Gian Giorgio, the aged Duke of Montferrat, died. Charles refused to allow any of the claimants to take possession. Instead he set up a court of justice which bestowed the fief on Federigo Gonzaga of Mantua. This latter immediately divorced his wife, Giulia of Aragon, and married the sister of the last Marquis of Montferrat.

But the King of France and the Pope could play at Charles's dynastic marriage game, and Francis, at least, with more splendid effect, since he had royal children of his own to give away, not bastards and nieces. His sister-in-law, Renée of France, daughter of Louis XII, and more celebrated later as the protectress of Calvin, after being offered on paper to more bridegrooms than any other European princess, had been used at last to cement an alliance with the Duke of Ferrara. But a far more significant marriage than this had taken place within the French royal family. The most vexed political question in Europe was reflected in the splendid alliance found for the Pope's niece, Catherine de' Medici. She had been given to the second son of the French King, the Duke of Orleans. His elder brother's death made him Dauphin and later King Henry II of France; this was a marriage which was to have European consequences.

The dynastic idea was thus not only a guiding principle but a powerful weapon in the hands of statesmen. Charles used his family to supply his own place: it was the most natural thing in the world to him, that the Empress should be his regent in Spain, his aunt and then his sister in the Netherlands, his brother in Germany. The dynastic weapon was now to be used to settle some of Charles's European problems. About this time he seems to have been considering a Bavaro-Austrian marriage, and such a marriage was indeed twelve years later to lead to a sharp change in Bavarian policy. The two Wittelsbach dukes had played their part in depriving the Hapsburg dynasty of Wiirttemberg, yet in spite of the resentment which Charles naturally felt, it was in the years immediately succeeding that incident that he first contemplated a Bavarian marriage alliance. On August 18th, 1534, he wrote to his brother saying that although he felt such a plan to be a 'hard morsel to swallow', yet when he considered the wealth, importance and policy of the Wittelsbach dynasty he could not but realize how important such an alliance might be for the 'interests of Christendom'. The Archbishop of Lund, he added, might approach the subject. A little later, on September 11th, by the treaty of Linz, the Bavarian dukes did in fact agree to recognize Ferdinand as King of the Romans.

The unsuccessful marriage negotiations between the Hapsburg and Valois dynasties, all of them tending to that one end, the settlement of their rival claims to land, are a typical example of the use made of this, the most common political weapon of the time. Disputed inheritance had given rise to the quarrel between France and Burgundy: marriage might bring it to an end.

The Connétable, Anne de Montmorency, was the most determined advocate of this view at the French Court. He had approached the imperial ambassador de Praet with hints of this kind as early as the spring of 1530, and, at Charles's Court, in accordance with his own guiding principles, every occasion for peaceful negotiations was joyfully welcomed. Charles's sister Eleonore had entered Paris as Queen in the summer of 1530; since that time plans for the settlement of all land disputes, of Milan and Burgundy alike, by marriages between the children of Francis and those of Ferdinand or Charles, followed hot upon each other. These engrossed an ever larger portion of Charles's diplomatic activities, reaching their climax about the middle forties of the century. Ambassadors at both Courts corresponded at great length on the perennial topic, and insignificant as these unrealized plans, these detailed and unfulfilled conditions, now seem to us, they played an important part in the European politics of the time.

Eminent representatives crossed between the French and imperial Courts intent on furthering these projects. In the autumn of 1534 Charles sent the most important member of all his personal household, Henry of Nassau, to Paris. His instructions, his reports and the secret information of which he was in possession, supply one of the clearest pictures which we have of the objects and instruments of this dynastic policy. Particularly notable was Charles's repeated assurance to Francis -- for both Nassau and Noircarmes were instructed to make it -- that he was prepared to give up his claim on Bourgogne out of his great love for peace and friendship for the King, although Bourgogne was certainly more important to him than was Milan to Francis. In the course of negotiations it was even suggested that the two sovereigns or their ladies should meet to discuss the matter personally. The peace of Cambrai bore recent witness to the success of such personal meetings. Yet deeply as Eleonore of France and Mary of Hungary longed to see each other again -- the sisters had not met since their childhood -- Charles could not agree to let the governess of the Netherlands go to France in the winter of 1532-3. He seems to have feared that she would let herself be out-argued.

Like all political instruments, the dynastic alliance could be blunted by misuse. The negotiations were for the most part exploited rather as a means for concealing and softening illhumours and for veiling the discussion of more problematical questions, than with any more permanent intention. The King of France exploited these hypothetical marriage contracts as an excuse to reopen the question of Milan and Naples, settled long ago by treaty.

The dynastic idea was not, however, the only principle of any force in Europe. Already the individuality of the separate kingdoms foreshadowed that feeling which, in the nineteenth century, came to be called 'nationalism'. Such principles were old and deep-rooted in France, strong too in Spain; in Germany they were growing, but in deadly peril. In Spain the national characteristic was a love for fighting, orthodox in itself and as it were natural to the people, although it owed something of its power to the tradition of the Reconquista. With this Charles had little natural sympathy. His chivalrous soul found more to move it in that curious figure which recurs so often in Spanish national literature, the poor nobleman whose ideas are bounded by his God, his King and his honour. But even here Charles cannot have been altogether sympathetic, for his Burgundian inheritance had taught him to care more for the good things of this world than was the custom among the lean and hungry knights of the Spanish popular ideal.

Very different, indeed, was the outlook of the Netherlands.

'These lands are rooted above all in commerce,' wrote Charles to Henry of Nassau in his highly confidential instructions in 1534, 'We must not lose sight of this.' He himself showed how profoundly he appreciated it, for when he told his ambassador in Rome, Cifuentes, to apply to the Pope to punish Henry VIII for his treatment of his legal wife and Queen, Katherine of Aragon, he added the request that the censure or interdict might affect the King alone, not the whole of England. Any serious penalization of England, he well knew, might have disastrous effects on the trade of the Low Countries. More curious still, he had actually agreed to protect the merchants of Antwerp from any attack on their property for religion's sake; they had helped him in his financial difficulties, and whatever the expense to his pride, he could not do without them.

But the protection of commerce was not merely a private concern. General welfare and national wealth were rooted in it, and Charles might find himself forced into war with Lübeck or Denmark in order to protect it. Other plants flourished no less in that soil. The idea of liberty first took root among the merchants of the Netherlands when they contested the monopoly so long established by the Hanseatic League in the northern seas. The merchants of the Low Countries stood out for the freedom of the seas. They were very different in this from Charles's other subjects, the Portuguese and Spaniards, who stood fiercely by their treaties and privileges, and would tolerate no one but themselves in the ocean about the West Indies.

The Venezuelan venture was proof in itself that commerce and colonial enterprise cannot be confined to single peoples, and that the life blood of Charles's Empire was not always pumped from Spain. Yet in spite of this the theory of commercial peace, nourished in the Netherlands, was never in any sense one of the guiding principles of Charles's Empire. It was merely an idea which might, with other such ideas, serve its purpose now and again in Charles's wider schemes. It was important, for instance, in governing his relations with England and Scotland.

Beneath all these theories and developments, medieval conceptions still had strong hold both on the governing classes and on the people. The Emperor himself was deemed to hold an office midway between temporal and spiritual; he was the defender and patron of the Roman Church, to whom alone men looked to drive back the infidel, root out the heretic and convert the heathen of the New World. This idea was not without a curious effect in strengthening the Spanish belief in their monopoly of the New World. At Salamanca in 1532 Francisco Vittoria had taught that neither Emperor nor Pope could give the Spaniards a right to govern the natives of the Indies, who were protected by the laws of nature; but the Pope could and did give them the right to convert the people and this carried with it an equal right to exclude other nations, so that the conversion might proceed in peace and uniformity.

Since the time of Sigismund, the Emperor's highest duty to the Church itself had been expressed in his right to call a council; this was the last resort in times of such grave danger as might arise from the growth of heresy, schism or the power of the Turk. The conciliar idea was indeed a main current in imperial policy, against which certain cross-currents perpetually strove, for as to the Emperor's supreme rights at such a council there was always dispute. Conciliar thought had many facets. The democratic principle, and the representative principle which is its natural corollary, had been fully established in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when the idea of such general gatherings of the Church had gained fast hold. But these principles had been wholly submerged at Constance and Basel by the ancient oecumenical trust in the charisma of the council itself. Meanwhile a possible difference of opinion between the council and the Pope had made it politically possible to use the threat of a council to put pressure on the Holy See. In 1532-3 matters had come to such a pass that Germany and the Emperor wanted a council, but the Pope, who was a bastard born and a temporal sovereign as well, stood in terror of it. The King of France supported him; for very different reasons, so did the King of England. And so the conciliar, like the dynastic, principle became the occasion for endless broken promises and elaborate agreements, formal invitations, evasions, refusals and postponements.

True to the imperial idea, Charles regarded the Pope as the leading power in Christendom, next to himself. For more than twelve years now we have followed the ups and downs of their relationship. Many harsh words had been uttered against the Pope both at Court and in the chancelleries, and although Charles had often taken the edge off these, he had never altogether repudiated them. In spite of all his bitter experiences, he spoke of the Papacy in his memoirs with the most admirable restraint. Never does he express an opinion with greater asperity than to say an occasional, 'God knows why the Pope acted thus'. And these words should be taken at their face value; Charles meant merely to appeal to God for an explanation of something which he could not understand but did not presume to condemn. Charles was nearly always patient, always reverent. He had moments of dismay and agitation, but no more.

From December 1532 until February 1533 he was again with Clement at Bologna. On his way from Vienna, by way of Carinthia and Friuli, he had stopped at Mantua where he had been magnificently entertained by the Duke, Ferrante Gonzaga. This latter, who was soon to be Viceroy of Naples, was one of the youngest knights of the Golden Fleece. Besides which, he owed the acquisition of Montferrat to the Emperor. Both here, and at Bologna, Charles was brought into contact once again with the culture of the Italian Renaissance, yet he seems to have derived little real pleasure from it. Nevertheless, he was pleased to accept the dedication of Ariosto latest work, Orlando Furioso; and he found in Titian the greatest of all his painters. Charles took his chief pleasure in music, and perhaps for this reason he singled out Titian, who, after Giorgione, understood better than any other Venetian master the subtle harmonies of colour. About this time Titian painted the portrait of Charles now in the Prado. It shows him full-length, standing with his hand resting on the neck of a mastiff of the Ulm breed. It is a princely picture, rich and sumptuous to its last detail; so must Charles have often appeared to his contemporaries at this time. He still loved hunting, feasts, banquets and knightly sports. Not until later did Titian gain insight into the deeps of his soul.

Speaking of the negotiations at Bologna, Charles wrote sadly in his memoirs 'that he had met his Holiness, but had not had the success for which he hoped'. It is not clear whether Charles was thinking of the council, which had once again been promised to the Germans at Regensburg, or of the French alliance planned by Clement. Perhaps of both. The contract which he himself concluded with the Pope on February 24th, 1533, bore witness to the predominantly French sympathies of the Holy Father. By this agreement, Charles and Clement each undertook to send embassies to the King of France and to the German Protestants, advocating a council. Should the Protestants refuse, then some other means to an understanding was to be attempted, although without sacrificing any fundamental point. If all these efforts failed, then some new means must be thought of. As for the Turks, Charles agreed to prepare eleven galleys, the Pope three; but if the Turkish danger increased more seriously, then each of them would summon his whole power to fend it off. In this extremity Clement promised to give all the help he could from fourths, tithes and the money raised on indulgences. The German Estates and the Order of St. John were also to be called in to help. The next clause dealt with Clement's French plan: if he succeeded in marrying his niece to the Duke of Orleans, he promised to use his influence with the French King to further the council, to get assistance against the Turk and to enforce the execution of the treaties of Madrid and Cambrai. Clement also agreed that he would use his power to secure a general recognition for his judgment in the case of the English King's marriage.

As always Charles's chief object was the pacification of Italy. This he once again attempted to achieve by a grand alliance of all the Italian states, even including Venice. Emperor and Pope were thus in alliance with one another, the Pope representing also in his own person the city of Florence and the whole Medici dynasty, with the Dukes of Milan, Mantua and Ferrara, with the towns of Genoa, Siena and Lucca. They bound themselves together to defend the present territorial subdivision of Italy and to help each other in case of attack. Certain special provisions were also added for the recognition of the treaties of Madrid and Cambrai. The quota which each ally had to pay for the support of the army was clearly laid down and Antonio Leyva was appointed Captain-general of the forces. The whole alliance could only be interpreted as a veiled threat to France. The same held good of the agreement reached between Charles and his sister-inlaw, the Duchess of Savoy; this too was signed at Bologna. It was at this time that the Duke and Duchess of Savoy entrusted their son to Charles, to go to Spain for his education.

And so Clement's reign closed with European affairs in much the same posture as when Leo X and Adrian VI died. By standing doggedly to his single purpose, and employing generals and ambassadors who did likewise, Charles had achieved at least this measure of outward success.

Yet the treaty between Clement and Francis, specifically recognized even in the imperial agreement, no less than the Pope's notorious aversion to the council, made all Charles's arrangements but a hollow show. Both Charles and Clement sent out their ambassadors to enlist support for the council, but it is significant that Charles thought it necessary to warn his envoy to the German princes, Lambert de Briarde, president of the council in Malines, that he must keep watch on the papal nuncio lest this latter should be secretly intriguing against the council.

Soon after Clement went to Marseilles, to attend his niece's gorgeous wedding on October 27th, 1533. This was no less than an open declaration of his friendship to the French Court. The Pope thought that the young couple should be given Urbino. But Francis had a mind to Milan, Montferrat, Parma and Piacenza for their satisfaction. From Marseilles, too, Clement wrote to inform Charles that the French King had an alliance with the Sultan. His action may have been prompted by some belated prick of conscience as to his duty as the Holy Father of Christendom; it may equally have been a thinly-veiled boast of his new French ally's growing power. It was a strange boast if this were so, for the Turks were at that very time making ready to descend on Italy, on the coasts of the papal states themselves, and to carry off thousands of Christians to slavery. Accurately viewing the situation, Charles realized that an alliance with the deluded Pope had inordinately increased the French King's insolence; unsatisfied with his illegal possession of Charles's Burgundian inheritance, undeterred by his repeated failures, Francis was again making ready to descend on Italy. On April 24th Charles wrote to Ferdinand declaring that he would have to speak plainly to the Pope: since his visit to Marseilles disturbances were breaking out afresh in Italy and Germany and it was growing increasingly difficult to do anything to help the Church.

In spite of all Charles's efforts, the most important event of this year 1533 remained the unorthodox alliance of a Christian King with the Turk, of Francis I with the Porte and with his new vassal, Chaireddin Barbarossa, Lord of Algiers and Tlemcen. This alliance forced Charles once again to take up a Mediterranean policy, so long neglected. In this new direction he was to win, of his own volition and by his own actions, a new claim to fame -in Tunis.

But before passing on to his Tunisian venture, let us once more take stock of the European background.


Many years had gone by since Cardinal Wolsey held the balance of European politics, and the personal meetings of Kings on the borders of the Channel were the focal centre of the political world. For many years now Charles himself had been the dominating figure on the European stage. Others might stir up discord, might attack his power at its most vulnerable points, might act independently of his authority, but in the end everything turned on the Emperor.

England was for the time being wholly absorbed in her own internal troubles. Those two years 1533 and 1534 were marked by Clement's long-delayed pronunciation on the royal marriage, by his excommunication of King Henry on July 12th, 1533, by the decisive defiance of his authority both by the King and Convocation on May 23rd, 1533, and later by the confirmation of Parliament in March 1534. Henry VIII needed the support which he found in the King of France, and Charles could not but apprehend the worst from such an alliance. On February 5th, 1535, while his aunt, the divorced Queen of England, was still alive, Charles actually went so far as to give certain confidential instructions to his ambassador in Paris, Hannart. So great were the dangers now threatening Christendom, that the Emperor felt he would be justified in coming half-way to meet not only King Francis but even King Henry -- although naturally the Emperor's honour and conscience could not be sacrificed. Hannart was to ask the English King to hold up the question of his marriage at least until a council should meet, and to use the Queen and her daughter with all possible honour in the meantime; he was also to ask Henry to desist from giving help to the enemies of the Emperor and of the King of the Romans in Germany, Denmark or Lübeck. Charles would have been justified in adding Italy and France to this list -- and he probably meant Hannart to add them of his own discretion.

The death of King Frederick on April 10th, 1533, had ushered in a new phase in the Danish struggle. The Danish council postponed the election of a new King and thus provided the Lübeckers, who were still indignant with the Netherlanders, with an excellent excuse for re-entering the fray.

Trade between the Netherlands, England and Scotland at this period was mutually advantageous; that in the Baltic, on the other hand, was highly competitive. Lübeck, the Queen of the Baltic, now saw fit to behave in a way totally out of tune with her actual power. Her government, a radical democracy since 1529, was weak and divided, yet she suddenly set up a demand for all her old privileges, claimed that she could nominate the candidate for the Danish throne and had the right to close the Sound. The situation was very delicate, and called for more skill and tact than Jurgen Wullenweber 1 of Lübeck and his confederates were able to bring to it. Gustavus Vasa of Sweden had a better right to intervene, while the still unsolved ecclesiastical problems of Denmark played their part in complicating the position. Frederick had left two sons. Of these the younger, John, was a minor. His father had attempted to win one of the deposed King's daughters as a bride for him, but although the plan in itself was a good one, the imperial government had at length decided against allying with a usurper. John, in spite of his youth, was generally thought to be a Catholic. The elder brother, Christian Duke of Holstein, was like his father in sympathy with the Reformers. He was supported by the nobility of Holstein, who were on the worst of terms with Lübeck. Jutland too supported him, and by the Treaty of Ghent on September 9th, 1553, he bought the support of the Netherlands, in return for a promise to keep the Sound open. This treaty placed him in emphatic opposition to the Lübeckers, who had been molesting

1 The democratic burgomaster; he resigned in 1535 and was executed in 1537 (TRANSLATOR'S note).

Dutch ships in the Sound ever since the last war. The Netherlands had chosen the wiser path, and great were the commercial prospects which now opened before them. For the age of the great territorial powers had begun, and the individual cities of the Hanseatic League sank into decline.

The government of Lübeck had no coherent policy and was thus ill-advised enough to take up the cause of its old enemy Christian II, although even at the height of its success, it never found means to set him free. Copenhagen and Malmo, the two cities of the Sound, sided with Lübeck; in Christopher of Oldenburg the three ports found an active leader, while Marcus Meyer of Lübeck canvassed foreign powers for help. He received that of Henry VIII in a formal treaty, the first clause of which was, significantly enough, the recognition of his legal divorce and of his marriage to Anne Boleyn. So high a value did the King set on moral support! The towns fought bravely but they lacked both caution in their councillors and loyalty in their subjects. A fourth candidate for the throne was easily found in the Duke of Mecklenburg, and he and his men were able to wreak serious damage on the Oldenburg party. The Duke's personal feelings were more in sympathy with the nobility than with the towns.

The government of the Netherlands was doubly interested in these events. Dynastically Charles wished to defend, if not the rights of Christian II, at least those of his daughters. Nor could he forego the hope of a religious restoration. Projects were thrust upon him on all sides. One of his cleverest servants, Johann von Weeze, Archbishop of Lund, who was at this time acting as ambassador to Ferdinand and mediator in the Hungarian quarrel, deluged Charles with memoranda and reports, in which he even suggested that he would himself re-conquer Denmark if Charles would not. Another project also engaged Charles's attention: this was the marriage of his elder niece Dorothea. Charles had first thought of giving her to Lewis of Bavaria, in spite of the recent illfeeling over Württemberg; but the Bavarian dynasty were at that time more interested in their prospects of gaining the ducal coronet of Milan than the royal crown of Denmark. Of the other possible suitors Charles preferred the elderly Count Palatine Frederick -- he who twenty years before had wooed that other Hapsburg princess, Eleonore, in vain -- before the younger Count Palatine, his nephew Philip, or the King of Scotland. In September 1535, the fourteen-year-old Dorothea was married to Frederick, now fifty-three. In spite of the supposed claim which this gave Frederick to the Danish throne, he pursued it, both now and later, only on paper, in letters and manifestos. Even to attain the Crown of Denmark, he mounted no war-horse and set foot on board no ship.

In the Netherlands, Mary concentrated on the commercial aspect of the problem. She played an active part in the meetings, which were held for the most part at Hamburg, for the settlement of these disputes. The most important of these was the session of March 1534. This was attended by George of Austria, Bishop of Brixen, Gerhard Mulert, Maximilian Transilvanus and Cornelius Benninck, for the Netherlands. The discussion was acrimonious. The Emperor's Dutch and imperial subjects found themselves in conflict, while the medieval principle of privilege contested with the modern theory of free trade. Hieronymus Schorf defended the people of Lübeck against the attack of the Dutch; he declared that the Netherlands were to blame for Lübeck's rebellion, since they had expected the city to forego all indemnity for the last war. The city was, however, prepared to renounce this indemnity if the Netherlanders would agree to interfere no more in Baltic trade. 'The sea', answered the representatives of the Netherlands, 'is open to everyone.' Lübeck remained stubborn. Only the utter shipwreck of its policy, only the triumph of Christian III in Denmark and the fall and execution of Jurgen Wullenweber within the city itself, at length opened the way for a settlement. The people of the Netherlands received full rights of trade and passage in the Baltic.

But much had happened before this, and the Danish question was for many years the cause of disturbances in the north.

Both now and later the Netherlands possessed great strength in their religious and moral susceptibilities. At the very beginning of his reign, Charles had noticed with anxiety the various movements towards reform in the Netherlands. His harsh measures had driven them downwards into the concealed recesses of political life. Persecution forced the young Church to become dangerously radical, to adopt with ease the most exaggerated ethical and moral doctrines. Deprived of any objective or visible organization, the

Protestants were drawn ever closer together by the secrecy of their meetings, by their terror of informers. There was no room for the half-hearted in their number; instead the influence of single personalities was the more deeply felt and the deliberate character of their strenuous faith was made the more clear to them. The experience of cruel executions, the example of heroic sacrifice, strengthened enormously among all of them the sense of being a chosen people, of being indeed the children of God. In this way, for instance, Melchior Hofmann of Schwäbisch Hall had abandoned his earlier enthusiasm and become an Anabaptist, because this creed seemed to him to embody the essence of true spiritual and religious experience. In 1530 the baker, John Mathis of Haarlem, had himself given out for a prophet and edified the people with the visible propaganda of his extraordinary actions. Ideas, such as those later to be found in the Book of Vengeance at Münster, were now rife among the people. 'God will smite the ungodly and take away their strength. He will confirm the hand of David and teach his fingers how to wield the sword. He will furnish his chosen with iron claws and horns of brass. They shall fashion swords and pikes from ploughshares and reaping hooks. They shall find a leader; they shall unfurl their standard and blow a blast on their trumpets.'

Disastrous floods in Holland and Zeeland, bad harvests, lack of imports because of the Danish war, unemployment and the lessened output of industry, aggravated the distress of the people, and brought hunger, distress and revolt in their train. The procession of three thousand 'children of Israel' over the Zuyder Zee was, for instance, an entirely spontaneous movement; but although officials and judges let many of these poor devils go free, there were enough bloody executions in other places to increase the uncontrolled passions of fanatical believers, whose spiritual exaltation was already at boiling point and who believed themselves to be bound by Apocalyptic commands. When the governor of the episcopal city of Münster was forced to surrender to the 'children of God', there were many who took it for the outward sign of a fulfilment for which they had been waiting. The event was first hailed with awe-struck wonder, which was followed by an outburst of wild enthusiasm, which lasted for all its course. But when in the summer of 1534 the Anabaptists had to defend their city against armed besiegers, the bitter fanaticism, induced in them by long persecution, drove them to perpetrate unutterable excesses. When Münster fell, nothing was left of Anabaptism but a burntout crater, sulphurous and dead.

The raging fervour lasted for yet longer in the Netherlands. To the historian this continued ardour seems but the shadow of things yet to come, the forewarning of those glorious times when freedom and faith were to carry all before them. But even in this second quarter of the sixteenth century a deeper sense of unrest stirred within this Spanish Hapsburg Empire than could be accounted for by the demands of the nobility, the selfishness of the towns or by recurrent slumps and alternating periods of prosperity in trade.


The struggle between East and West, between Christendom and Islam, a struggle which may have altered but has not disappeared from the world to-day, came to an issue both in the eighth and in the twelfth centuries. In both these times of crisis, Burgundian and. Flemish noblemen had stood forth as the leaders of Christendom. The early Hapsburg Emperors, Albert II and Leopold I, had inherited the struggle and had pursued the long and bloody contest with the Turks along the valley of the Danube. As heirs to the Catholic sovereigns, and to Ximenes, the Hapsburg family now in Spain, too, took up the ancient quarrel with Islam. The persecution of the Moriscoes could not fail to awaken sympathy among those of their race and faith in North Africa, whither many had fled. The Moriscoes still left in Spain were said to give help and guidance to the pirates who plundered the coasts, in Cadiz, Malaga, Murcia and Valencia, not to mention Sicily and Naples.

The Spaniards on the other hand had certain strongholds on the African coasts whence to keep the marauders in check. From these vantage points, they pursued the criminals, took them prisoners and shut them up in their well-garrisoned castles. Occasionally, too, they engaged them in sea-battle, but rarely with that success for which they hoped. They held Santa Cruz de Mar pequeña on the west coast of Morocco, and Velez de la Gomera on the north coast at least until 1522. They had once held, but had recently lost, Tenes, Algiers, Peñon d'Angel, Dellys and Bugia. Chaireddin Barbarossa, of whom we have heard before, had taken the citadel of Algiers in May 1529. In the spring of 1530 Charles sent Andrea Doria to carry out a successful attack on the pirates' nest at Cherchel to the west of Algiers. But even Doria dared not attack Barbarossa himself. Still less did the knights of Saint John dare to do so; since the spring of 1530 they had settled finally at Malta. In the next year, 1531, Alvaro de Bazan took the port belonging to Tlemcen, a city which lay itself a little inland -the small harbour of Honeine, just to the north. We have already had occasion to mention Doria's attacks on the Turkish ports in the Adriatic. Coron in the Pelepponesus fell to the Christians not long after, but in April 1534 surrendered once more.

The aged Barbarossa, whose vigour still seemed undiminished, was chiefly dangerous for the services which he rendered the Sultan, who had in return given him command over a large part of the Turkish fleet. He devoted himself almost exclusively to piracy, plundered the coasts and carried off thousands of Christians into slavery. It was rumoured that in the course of a raid on the Neapolitan coast he had very nearly carried off the most beautiful woman in Italy, Giulia Gonzaga, wife of Vespasiano Colonna, to give her as a present to the Sultan for his harem.

These continual irritations exacerbated the hatred between Christendom and Islam, and Charles was forced not merely by imperial theory but by more primitive necessities, by his duty to his own subjects and by common humanity, to act in his own defence. But Turkish attack, both in the Mediterranean and on the Danube, was directed against the Hapsburg dynasty; it was thus a sore temptation to the French King to make common cause with the Turk. He even entertained a faint hope that he might gain control of Genoa if he could make use of the Turkish fleet. As Francis I trod ever deeper and deeper in the quagmire of his Turkish policy a new element emerged in European history; henceforward the Turk, hitherto the abhorrence of the western world, would have to be recognized as an equal by the powers of Europe.

In Transylvania, as in France, the same process was visible.

The Voivod, who was brother-in-law to the King of Poland, was also vassal to the Sultan. Thus on the Danube, too, a new policy was coming into being. After the double attacks of 1529 and 1532 Ferdinand himself entered into negotiations with the Porte and showed himself ready to come to a settlement of the Hungarian frontier and to make peace. In a solemn audience of June 22nd, 1533, Ferdinand's ambassadors received the assurance of a perpetual and honourable peace.

Charles, too, had wished to have his part in these embassies, and had actually sent Cornelius Schepper, although he was to pass officially for Ferdinand's ambassador. Admirable spies and agents kept the Turkish government well informed of everything which went on in Europe, and the ambassadors of Ferdinand revealed in their detailed dispatches the full extent of the Sultan's pretensions. He was ready, he declared, to make peace with Ferdinand but not with Charles. He was openly scornful of the Emperor's impotence against the Protestants on one side and the Pope on the other.

The French Court had been in touch with the Porte since 1528 at the latest for it was then that the Spanish emigrant Rincon began his nefarious activities. Count Nogarola, who was with Ferdinand's ambassadors to the Sultan, found Rincon already in a position of high confidence. In 1532 the first definite agreement was signed, not without the help of Marillac and la Foret. In 1535 the French government sent a formal embassy to Constantinople and the long-prepared treaty was concluded in 1536. Although even in his own country King Francis had to make allowance for a determined opposition to his policy, he was nevertheless able to receive Turkish ambassadors in 1537.

On the other hand the Hapsburg dynasty had lost no opportunity of attempting to stab its opponents in the back. The Spaniards, and the Portuguese settled in the nearer Indies, had for instance made overtures to the Shah of Persia, himself in constant if intermittent warfare with the Sultan. In May 1530, however, Jean de Balbi had found a singularly unfavourable situation in Persia as the Shah had just made peace with the Turks in order to have his hands free against his enemies in Khorasan. Portugal, on the other hand, both as a colonial power and as a dynastic ally remained true to Charles. The French government, it is true, made overtures to the Portuguese but, thinking primarily of their own interests, the Portuguese sought to steer a neutral course.

Towards 1535, therefore, the groups of powers in Africa, Asia and central Europe were fairly well balanced.

Charles had returned to Spain at the end of April 1533. The Empress had been lucky in her dealings with the Cortes of Castile, but in the summer of 1533 Charles had all his old difficulties in dealing with the Cortes of Aragon at Monzon. For months he argued over the usual complaints and his own subsidies. When he had to be absent for a short time because the Empress was ill, this was again made an excuse for endless delaying formalities. Afterwards the Court moved back to Castile. In the spring they were at Segovia, then at Toledo, in the autumn in the north again, at Palencia, and from mid-October 1534 until mid-March 1535 at Madrid.

All this time Charles's desire to take part in an expedition against the Turks on the African coast grew more determined. When, in August 1534, Barbarossa drove out the hereditary lord, Muley Hassan, and made himself master of Tunis, Charles's ambition took definite shape. Preparations went forward with the utmost secrecy; only at the last moment did Charles publish his own intention of taking part.

Apart from his negotiations with the Cortes and his participation in the endless series of hunting parties and entertainments at Court, Charles spent the greater part of these months making ready, both by diplomacy and arms, for the attack on Tunis.

He was anxious to make certain that no entanglement in the north, above all with France, should hamper his action in the Mediterranean. This, for instance, was what led him to accept the settlement of the Württemberg question in the summer of 1534; his chief immediate need was to prevent the German princes from allying themselves with the French King, and he was prepared to stomach the loss of Wiirttemberg rather than take so great a risk. This, too, was the reason behind his warm advocacy of a Bavarian alliance to Ferdinand on the following August 14th. He urged his brother to realize the necessity of forgetting such injuries as the Bavarian dukes had done him, to further the common weal. 'We must take things as they are', he repeated in his letter of September 4th. The same attitude characterized his dealings with the French and English governments, from whose present friendship he knew that he had much to fear. Much as he desired justice for Queen Katherine of England and her daughter, he found it best to give nothing but fair words to both these governments, and instructed his ambassadors to be as pliant as his honour would stand.

The death of Clement VII on September 25th was a great relief to him. The Pope's last actions had been nothing if not disturbing. His visit to Marseilles was an insult to Charles, and his policy was at the same time infuriating the King of England and shamelessly encouraging the King of France.

In spite of temporary weaknesses and internal changes, the French government had a strength which it could not fail to appreciate in the single and united monarchy; Charles's immense and sprawling conglomerate of sovereignties was a clumsy weapon against it. Fearlessly, therefore, Francis continued to make the most exorbitant claims. Declaring that he would gladly see marriage alliances between his own children and Charles's, he announced that his children had rights of inheritance to Milan, Genoa, Asti and Montferrat. If Charles should protest that he could not depose the Sforza duke, Francis went on, he had but to give the French a free hand to take their own. Or at the very least he might guarantee them the duchy on Sforza's death.

Charles found it necessary to arrive at some clear definition of his position. Granvelle now stepped forward to fill Gattinara's place in this: his minutes were not so all-embracing as those of the late chancellor, but they were clear and distinct. In November 1534 he summarized briefly the arguments for and against an understanding with France, and came down finally in favour of refusing the French demands. 'Past experience has taught us that it is a French custom to break all treaties; therefore there is nothing to be gained either from their offers or from any agreement with them. The Emperor's best policy would be to show the utmost punctiliousness in fulfilling his own obligations to all states, to that of Milan for instance, so that peace should be maintained throughout Italy. He must do nothing which could possibly give a handle to the most shameless and unreliable of all opponents.'

The more firmly did Charles share this opinion, the more difficult it became to restrain Francis. The solemn embassies of Nassau and Noircarmes were dispatched solely for this purpose. Yet Charles was so anxious that he gave Nassau secret instructions telling Mary to make ready in the Netherlands for a defensive war, should it be necessary. His letters to Ferdinand in the autumn of 1534 show that he was convinced that Francis would fly to arms 'should Nassau have no success'. At the eleventh hour in April 1535, he told the Count Palatine Frederick, then on a journey from Spain to the Netherlands, to assure King Francis of his continued goodwill, of his readiness for peace, of his free renunciation of Bourgogne, and of his desire to have nothing but what was justly his. Charles wanted no more than the fulfilment of the last treaty; Frederick was to counter the King's objections by pointing out that by intervening in Gelderland and Württemberg he had already broken his own part of the terms. 'If the King of France has any good in him', said Charles, 'he must realize that the Emperor has come to meet him as far as he can. In writing to the Electors, princes and Estates of Germany as he has done, asserting that the Emperor has been preventing a council, the King has been guilty of deliberate falsehood.' Charles's negotiations were wholly unsuccessful.

On February 1st, 1535, Francis I had indeed issued a manifesto to the Germans which was intended to strengthen the relations he already had with them. The Emperor declined to issue an answer in the same form as he felt it would be undignified. But at Barcelona on April 19th he gave instructions to Adrian de Croy, Count of Roeulx, before dispatching him to the German princes and Estates. These instructions are important for the light they throw on Charles's policy towards the Empire. They were drafted by Granvelle and annotated throughout by Charles himself.

The Emperor began by declaring that the French King must think the German princes foolish indeed if he imagined he could deceive them with such patent lies. The King's attitude to the council and to the Turkish war was clear as daylight; he had said to the Pope himself at Marseilles that he not only took the Sultan's part but would actually encourage a Turkish attack, while he would not attend the council unless he might first have Milan. The Sultan's people themselves had confirmed this to the imperial ambassadors when they were negotiating their peace treaty. The Emperor, so the draft continued, would not submit to this media- tion of the Turk in the affairs of Christian princes. He did not at present intend to enter further into the question of Barbarossa; Gritti, the Sultan's agent had frankly told that trustworthy man Cornelius Schepper, that the Turkish fleet had been placed at Barbarossa's disposal only at the express wish of the French government. The Turks themselves were bound by definite promises to the French not to continue their wars on the Shah of Persia but rather to assist in the reduction of Genoa and other Italian strongholds.

As for the French King's slanderous attribution of tyranny and aggression to the Emperor, the draft went on, there was hardly any need to refute such things. It was common knowledge that all the wars of these late years had been the outcome of the French demands on Milan. Francis had often enough tempted the Emperor with honeyed words, saying that he would make him ruler over all the earth if he would but give him Milan. But Charles had remained steadfast to his three great objects, the peace of Christendom, defence against the Turks and the great council. He called to witness for him the words he had himself spoken at all the German Diets, at Augsburg, Regensburg and Nuremberg. When he had considered alliances between his children and those of the French King, he had been thinking only of defence against the Turks, and of the council. For the rest he had promised the King's son a large revenue from Milan. But Francis, still unsatisfied, was demanding Milan, Genoa, Asti, Montferrat, nay Florence even! Who then was guilty of aggression? The King's assertion that he had furthered the council more zealously than the Emperor could be disproved from the statement of a nuncio who was still living. The Pope had tried in vain to persuade the King to support the council or to help against the Turk. If the King persisted in saying that he had made the calling of a council a condition at the last papal election, this was as good as to boast that he had infringed the dignity of the College of Cardinals and usurped imperial rights. Meanwhile he need not worry as to where a council could meet, for his presence there would be quite unnecessary. On the commercial side, the Emperor had only to add that all precious metals for coining came from his own and Ferdinand's land, while, to the general distress, they were merely debased in the French mints. Last of all Roeulx was to lay special emphasis on the fact that both Ferdinand and Charles were Germans born.

By such embassies as these Charles tried to free himself for his operations against the Turk. Yet even in Spain and among his closest followers he found hindrances no less irksome to his purpose. Don Juan de Tavera, the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, was the most trusted among all Charles's ministers in Spain, but he had long represented the narrowest interests of Castile and refused to countenance Charles's universal and imperial policy. In January 1535 he took pen in hand and committed to paper a series of cogent arguments against the Emperor's campaigns in either Italy or Africa. In the meantime Charles had revealed his plans to his councillors. He had then declared that he must undertake the expedition against Tunis because God's honour, the weal of Christendom, the distress of his kingdoms and his own honour and reputation gave him no other choice. These were the very points which the Cardinal-Archbishop most strenuously opposed. The enterprise, he said, was dangerous and would have little practical significance. Warned by France, Barbarossa would manage to evade an issue. If Charles insisted on allowing the plan to proceed then he must at least take no personal part. Greater still were Tavera's misgivings on the subject of further intervention in Italy: Charles, he said, would be able to do nothing without provoking another general war.

The most distinguished minister of the Spanish Crown thus represented a point of view which was the exact opposite of that of Gattinara. Now for the first time the persistent strength of the dead Chancellor's influence was to make itself felt. Tavera's arguments, although we have not space here to follow them in detail, were not only weighty in themselves, but were supported by many forces in the Spanish government, in all probability by the Empress herself. Yet Charles was not to be misled. It was his belief that he could issue forth out of Italy, crowned with victorious laurels, to wage war on the infidel, and thereafter to force peace upon the King of France. And from this belief he would not budge.

Now, at last, the Emperor had grown to full manhood, to reliance on his own judgment. He had even outgrown his teacher Gattinara, as action is the outcome of thought. Tavera had boldly argued that it would be dangerous to put Spanish loyalty to so hard a test as Charles's renewed absence must impose. He had frankly characterized the Emperor's exalted ambition as the adventure-lust of a 'young nobleman'. These quiet and seriousminded councillors of Charles's had in their own way a fair share of haughtiness. Even as late as 1543 we find Granvelle boldly writing to Queen Mary of her brother, the Emperor, in much the same tone. The expression which Granvelle used was even stronger; Charles, he said, ought to avoid 'enterprises fit only for young lordlings'. Yet what would Charles have been without this passion for honour and fame, without this bold readiness for action? And what quality could in fact have endeared him more to the adventurous souls of the Spaniards?


Very different were the feelings with which Charles now took the field against the Turks from those with which he had done so before in Styria and Hungary. After his many disappointments in Germany, he had set out on his campaign with a sinking heart and almost too late to be of any use; his thoughts had been all the while in Italy and Spain. But this second time he was himself the architect and champion of his own plans; it was his own cause and that of all Christendom in which he was to fight. For ten long years he had wanted nothing so much as to visit his kingdoms of Sicily and Naples; now he planned to do it as a victorious warrior.

And this time the Turks did not elude him as they had done in Austria. An attempt to seduce Barbarossa from his allegiance to the Sultan came to nothing. Arms were now the only argument. On March 1st, Charles had already issued his credentials to the Empress-Regent in the customary forms.

At Barcelona the Portuguese and Spanish galleys joined forces. Joyfully the Emperor welcomed his brother-in-law, the Infant Luis of Portugal, who was to fight at his side throughout the campaign. The flower of the Spanish nobility flocked to join the enterprise and on June 10th Andrea Doria sailed up with his fleet. In the meantime the German contingents had assembled, with the other Italian and papal troops and the Maltese at Cagliari on Sardinia; they had a hundred warships and three hundred transports. On Monday, June 10th, the whole fleet, the greatest which had been seen for years, put out for Africa. In good weather the crossing was but a matter of twenty-four hours. On the 15th they rode at anchor before the ruins of Carthage.

To the south of this north-easterly point of Africa the round bay of Tunis was outspread, closed by two moles, at the narrow passage of which the strong fortress of La Goletta stood. This was the first objective of Charles's attack. The disembarkation and necessary preparations followed in good order. Barbarossa's best troops, a thousand Turks and many Moors, were within the fortress. He himself was in Tunis, whence, issuing out by way of an olive wood, he repeatedly harassed the besieging forces. In spite of Charles's extensive use of artillery the siege lasted for three weeks. The lack of food and water made it a severe test of discipline for the Emperor's troops. Illness broke out. Yet in spite of all, every nation in the army vied with every other in deeds of valour and endurance. Charles himself set a good example. He had made the Marquis del Vasto commander of Doria's fleet and of the operations on land; he was proud to submit personally to that leadership.

The storming of La Goletta on July 14th saw his baptism of blood. He took it for a special grace of God and indeed the day was fortunate. The troops of all contingents attacked the fortress simultaneously. The Germans and Spaniards were in the north and east; the Emperor himself with the artillery. The Italians had the west. The knights of St. John attacked from the sea. The cannon on the warships, acting in conjunction with the batteries on the land, fired all together, three volleys in succession. Before the fortress itself, the troops advanced in the usual fashion along saps, until they were close enough to scale the bastions under the leadership of the experienced Alvaro. After a short resistance the Turks fled, only a few of them making good their escape to Tunis. In the enormous booty left within the fortress, many French cannon were identified by the lilies embossed on the barrel. And all of Barbarossa's fleet, eighty-two sail, fell into the hands of the victors.

But tests of endurance yet more serious awaited Charles and his men. At first many in the Emperor's following thought it best to content themselves with this morsel of victory and the great spoils it had afforded them. Charles, after yielding at first, then hardened in his determination to take Tunis itself. During the siege of La Goletta the exiled ruler of Tunis, Muley Hassan, had appeared with a contingent of troops -- only three hundred when he had promised more. But his soldiers knew the country. They could guide Charles and his men to the springs of sweet water for which they so longed. But the way to Tunis lay across shelterless country, with dry scrub underfoot and the blazing sky above. 'We die of thirst and heat', Charles wrote in his own hand to his sister Mary. The soldiers had to harness themselves to the cannon, for the horses perished. Water became ever more essential. This was exactly what Barbarossa had expected; he not only contested their way to the springs, but fell unexpectedly on those who had had the good fortune to find their way thither. The Christian leaders proved themselves his equals, for they managed to keep order among their startled and unprepared men. Yet the battle so suddenly forced upon them was an ill-conditioned mêlée. Charles himself was in the thick of it; later it was said that his horse was killed under him and one of his pages at his side. But he himself never boasted of these things.

Barbarossa withdrew to Tunis. Here in the meantime an extraordinary revolt had broken out. In his wrath the corsair had threatened to blow up several thousand Christian slaves in the citadel. During his absence some renegades had given them arms, and they had seized the town in Charles's name. Barbarossa was defeated. Yet he gained one slight advantage. Charles had promised his soldiers the plundering of Tunis and he did not feel justified in withdrawing his word even in the altered circumstances. Profiting by the disorder, Barbarossa was able to make his way to Bona on the north coast, whence, with what remained of his fleet, he sailed to Algiers. Charles had not the means to follow him thither.

His escape left the coasts still exposed to his attacks, nay more, to his revenge.

In spite of this the enterprise could not be regarded as anything but successful. By converting his favourite game, the tourney, into bitter earnest, Charles had regained his own self-respect; his victory did the same for his subjects. Both at Vienna and at Tunis the Emperor had acted with all his heart in the business. Turks and Moors knew once again that they had to reckon with a serious opponent.

The poet Garcilaso de la Vega accompanied Charles; so also did the Dutch painter Vermeyen, from whose sketches the celebrated tapestries in the Kunsthistorisches Museum at Vienna were later made. This magnificent series of pictures shows the seavoyage, the marches and the assault, with all the privations and suffering, the heat and thirst which Charles and his men endured.

After the sieges of Tunis and La Goletta Charles stayed for another three weeks in the country with his troops. On August 17th he put to sea again and landed on the 22nd at Trapani in Sicily. He spent September between Monreale and Palermo, where his statue in the Piazza Bologni commemorates his visit to this day. After centuries of neglect the Sicilians rejoiced once more in the presence of their ruler, of whose personal care both for their internal welfare and external prosperity they now had evidence. Messina, above all, greeted him with joy. The Chronicle of Santa Cruz tells of his triumphal entry to that city, of the gorgeous arches, trophies and inscriptions which greeted the eyes of the victorious Emperor in unending sequence as he rode along the shouting streets. One streamer bore the legend: 'Champion of Europe in Asia and Africa!' One of the city gates was enriched with two columns, between which hung garlands of trophies, inscribed with a device which seemed to endow Charles's own symbol, the pillars of Hercules, with a new meaning. 'From sunrise to sunset', ran the proud words. Here then is the origin of that resounding phrase since adopted by another people, here the first boast of an Empire on which the sun could never set. Past and future united to glorify the name of Charles; Jupiter's eagle, Rome and Carthage, Scipio and Hannibal. And as he rode under each successive arch the cry echoed before and behind him down the thronging streets, 'Long live our victorious Emperor, father of the fatherland, conqueror of Africa, peace-maker of Italy'.

When he crossed to the mainland and made his first progress through his kingdom of Naples the same welcome awaited him. At Naples the Porta Capuana through which he entered the city bears to this day the splendid sculpture which was made in the winter of 1535 in readiness for his coming. He stayed in the city for Christmas and remained until March 1536; here he celebrated Carnival tide and gave great feasts and joustings. Later he told Coligny that at Naples he had first found white hairs on his head, and had them plucked out.

The cares of Europe found their way even through his rejoicings. Charles had confided the administration of Spain to the energetic Viceroy, Don Pedro Alvarez de Toledo. But he continued himself to direct unbroken negotiations with France and to control his own Church policy. On his journey he received momentous news, which altered his attitude to the French demands and forced on him the necessity of taking an important and immediate decision. On November 1st Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, had died. The child-princess of Denmark had not borne the Hapsburg heir for whom Charles had hoped. Louder than ever did Francis clamour for his hereditary rights.

In a lengthy memorandum Granvelle took stock of the situation. The theory governing his advice contrasted strongly with Gattinara's old belief in the imperial government of Italy as an organic whole. Moreover he had apparently forgotten that he had but very recently strongly urged Charles neither to trust Francis nor to increase his power. Not that an increase in the French King's power was exactly what he now advocated. Granvelle suggested rather that Francis might be robbed of one of his chief causes for complaint if Milan could be bestowed as a fief on his third son, the Duke of Angoulême. In this way alone is it possible to explain the growth of minor arguments with which Granvelle qualified his main theme; some of these were doubtless mere quibbles, to be used only to gain time during the negotiations, but others were an organic part of his propositions. He suggested that Francis and all his family should again confirm the Treaties of Cambrai and Madrid; that Charles should bestow Milan on the Duke of Angoulême and his heirs, specifically disallowing all other hereditary rights in the French royal family, and demanding in return that the French King support the council, give him help against Henry VIII, John Zapolya and the Sultan, and assist in the effort to win the Danish Crown for Princess Dorothea of Denmark and her husband, the Count Palatine. Francis was also to renounce all his intrigues in Italy and Germany, all commerce in the Indies, all attempts to unsettle the Duke of Savoy; he was on the contrary to give Charles his support in combating the pretensions of Geneva. 1

While the chief of the imperial councillors drew up these conditions, Francis himself had made a blatant error of policy; he had formulated and issued two totally different claims to Milan. He had instructed his ambassador de Vely to press his demands for Milan for the Duke of Orleans, a candidate whom Charles declined to consider, partly because he stood too near to the French throne, and partly because of his Medici wife. But Queen Eleonore had already made it known that her husband would in reality be prepared to accept Milan for his younger son the Duke of Angoulême. In spite of Granvelle's recommendations, it is doubtful whether Charles ever seriously contemplated giving up Milan to a French prince. The negotiation never even went so far as an exchange of terms. The Milanese ambassadors themselves only asked Charles not to give the duchy to the Infant Don Philip; they would prefer him to keep it for himself. When, by way of persuading Charles, they pretended to raise doubts as to the various forms of disposing of fiefs, the Emperor gave vent to such an outburst of laughter that the whole Court took notice of it.

On March 22nd Charles left Naples. At the Pope's invitation he proceeded next to Rome. He went by Capua and Gaeta, and then from Terracina along the Appian Way. On April 7th he made his entry into the Eternal City from San Paolo Fuori. He was dressed as befitted the occasion and accompanied by every circumstance of military pomp. In the days following this sumptuous entry he resumed the plainer dress of a rich nobleman and visited the great ladies of Rome, of the Colonna, Pescara and Farnese families. Needless to add that Rome, the ancient seat of Empire and still the artistic centre of the European world, prepared for Charles a welcome worthy of the occasion. Christopher Scheuerl of Nuremberg, who had been Professor of Wittenberg when he was young and had known all the reformers, Melanchthon above all, but who had later gone back whole-heartedly to the Catholic side, prepared a printed account of Charles's entry into

1 The Dukes of Savoy had long tried to reduce Geneva to dependence on their dynasty. During the last decade the town had first joined the Combourgeoisie of Fribourg and was now gradually adopting the Reformation (TRANSLATOR'S note). the imperial capital. He was in correspondence with learned men the world over, and he was able to combine in his report news from 'every variety of foreign and German source'. On the title-page, under the Emperor's portrait he wrote the biblical words: 'Thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth.'


To Charles indeed this journey was like a home-coming; it was the culmination of all his desires. He had now set foot in each one of his lands, discovered its needs and fulfilled his duty. He had made a personal contact with each one of the states over which he ruled. Naturally enough he could not do more than gain a very partial knowledge of each, for his visits were short and the demands made on him many. Nevertheless he had summoned and attended the Estates General of the Netherlands, the Cortes of Castile and Aragon, the Electors, Princes and Estates of the German Empire both in local sessions, and at the general Diet, and last of all the Estates of Sicily and Naples. He had included some of the leading men of each of these lands in his Order of the Golden Fleece.

Gattinara had intended Charles not to govern northern Italy directly, but rather as a confederation of subservient dynasties, owing their position to him. The Emperor was therefore the equal of the Pope as guardian of the Universal Church, his superior in the confederation of Italy. Since October 13th, 1534, the papal throne had been occupied by Paul III, Farnese.

The eldest of the cardinals, Alessandro Farnese, like the princely and titled Medici, was the product of an earlier epoch. His outlook was still that of the Renaissance Papacy of the later fifteenth century. Paul III did not blush to recognize his sons and grandsons, nor to bestow on them, in their right as nepotes, great positions in the Curia and in the State. But unlike Clement VII he had for long enough realized the necessity of bowing to the exigencies of the time. The last pontificate had been a crying example to all the world of how not to behave. In the fifteenth century the desire for Reform had been submerged in mere constitutional quibbles; but now the whole of Christendom had united to demand a thorough revision of Church policy and a change in the morality of the clergy. For even among the lower ranks of the clergy the medieval idea of privilege had done untold harm. The popular literature of every country in Europe, not excepting even Spain, made a mock of the canonical laws which had grown up, like a thickly blossoming hedge, to screen the immorality of the clergy. The north had already seceded, England too, and half of Germany. Clement VII had been in terror lest the faintest opposition should send the French King the way which the English King had already taken. Melanchthon, it was said, had been invited to the French Court. In 1526 sharp reproaches came from the Spanish Court, and even here vernacular literature had grown vehemently hostile to the priesthood.

A general council was, after all, no more than a reasonable disciplinary measure. It might be used to furnish an impressive example of the fundamental unity of much-divided Christendom. Paul III was by common consent a man of great ability; he was in sympathy, too, with that group of cardinals who were not only convinced of the efficacy of a council, but felt that the Pope's initiative in calling it was likely to be in itself a salve to the wounds of the Church.

At his first consistory on October 17th, 1534, Paul himself had already declared that a council was necessary and recalled to Rome all those whom he felt best understood the problem -Aleander, now nuncio to Venice, and Pietro Paolo Vergerio, nuncio at the Court of King Ferdinand. Strengthened and confirmed in his ideas by consultation with these better-informed men, Paul repeated his opinion that a council was necessary at a later consistory on January 15th, 1535. He next dispatched nuncios with special missions to the leading princes of Christendom: Guidiccione to the Emperor, Vergerio to King Ferdinand, and Ridolfo Pio de Carpi to the King of France. Yet, although his intentions were far more serious than those of Clement VII, his embassies brought in no better results.

Of more immediate importance was Paul's encouragement of reform within the body of the Church; in the sunlight of his favour a whole growth of serious and admonitory books had already sprung up. Naturally resolute, Paul did not hesitate to act. On June 9th, 1535, he formed a commission for the reform of the Curia itself, and judging by those of whom it was composed this body and its activities were to be taken seriously. But neither the nature of reforms in themselves nor yet the intentions of those who initiate them can alone be decisive in the life of a Church or a State; the character of the men who execute them is the fundamental cause of their success or failure. Adrian VI had been defeated by personal opposition. Nothing, therefore, could be done until the College of Cardinals had been completely reorganized. At the very first creation of cardinals Paul III elevated two very young nepotes -- this time they were real nephews -- Alessandro Farnese and Guido Ascanio Sforza of Santafiore. But on May 21st, 1535, men of a very different calibre were brought into the college. Paul conferred the cardinalate on the German Nicholas of Schomberg, who had lived long in Rome, the Englishman John Fisher, the Frenchman Jean du Bellay -- against whom Charles protested in vain -- the Venetian Contarini, the Milanese Simonetta, the Sienese Ghinucci. The creation, with its deliberate concession to all possible national and political claims, was in the main a political move. Nevertheless, Gasparo Contarini, once ambassador from Venice to the Court of the young Emperor, overtopped all others in importance. Contarini was exactly of an age with Luther; he belonged to that generation of devout men who were nevertheless not lacking in their duty to the State. Laymen of his kind were familiar with the scriptures and with the writings of the fathers; in Venice theological arguments were read, canvassed and discussed in cultured society with intense interest and even passion.

It seemed inevitable that such a Pope as Paul III must cleave to Charles, if only for political reasons. Yet this was to be the problem of the next twelve years. Where an Adrian VI had disappointed the hopes placed in him, a Paul III could not be altogether trusted.

When Charles was in Naples Paul III had sent his son, Pier Luigi Farnese to him, bearing an invitation to Rome. Doubtless the Pope had chosen the messenger with the intention of giving him a valuable introduction to the imperial Court. But in this Paul failed. Moreover it soon grew apparent that papal and imperial policy were not in sympathy. Charles would not listen to whispers about giving Siena to the papal states, and later on he was to turn an equally deaf ear to other suggestions. The answer which he sent back by the hand of Pier Luigi was nothing if not masterful; the successful expedition to Tunis had enormously increased his self-confidence, since he now truly felt himself to be the protector of the Church. It was the Pope's duty, he said, to force the King of France, by canonical pressure if it should be necessary, to appear at the council on which the general consensus of Christendom was now agreed. Charles went on to lay it to Paul's conscience, that he must make it his duty to separate the sheep from the goats. By this of course he meant that it was Paul's duty to support him against Francis. To his brother, however, Charles confessed his anxiety lest this conduct should lead to a schism in the Catholic Church; he hoped that the council, together with his own appearance at it, would prevent any such division.

His somewhat peculiar views of the spiritual duties of the Emperor prompted him to make yet another suggestion. Paul, he said, ought to join in a League with him and the King of the Romans, for the defence of Italy as well as for 'the cause of the faith and the council, for defence against the Turk, for an attack on the infidel and the disturbers of European peace, for the preservation of the Apostolic See in power and dignity and the person of the Pope and his illustrious house'. This last sentence may have been the outcome of advice given by Cifuentes and others who knew the politics of the Vatican. It was wise, they pointed out, to yield to the personal wishes of the Pope, as Miguel Mai had been careful to do with Clement VII.

Yet Paul III was predominantly interested in the wider politics of Europe.

Although the European situation had not sensibly altered during the Emperor's absence in Africa, it had to some extent grown clearer. The German princes stopped their ears to the siren notes of the French King. The Bavarians were contemplating a marriage alliance with the widowed Duchess Christina of Milan, by which they hoped to gain possession of the duchy. The death of Queen Katherine of England on January 8th, 1536, had materially eased Charles's relations with Henry VIII. Although he still thought it his duty to uphold the rights of his cousin, Princess Mary, and to work for Henry's return to the Roman allegiance, the Queen's death shelved the problem of the divorce. As early as February 29th he told his ambassador in England, Chapuys, to urge Henry, as if of his own accord, to abandon the galling alliance with France, a source of constant irritation, and to renew his original friendship with Charles. Emperor and King together could then devote themselves to finding a husband for the princess. To these instructions Charles added the cautious admonition that Chapuys was not to act as though 'I set any particular value on the friendship for its own sake, but merely to damp the shameless arrogance of France'. Henry's chief minister, Cromwell, expressed great pleasure in Chapuys's suggestions; the King himself, on the other hand, cold shouldered the offer.

King Francis meanwhile had thrown off the mask. He had long been evolving a plan to make himself master of the key-passes to Italy by seizing Piedmont and Savoy. He was strengthened in this design by the open friendship between Charles and the Duke of Savoy, by his own claim on the duchy through his mother, Louise, and by the recent weakening of the Savoyard state owing to the Reformation at Geneva and the officious interference of Berne. In February, Francis seized Bourg en Bresse; in March 1536, without more ado, he marched into the amazed duke's country and took the fortress of Montmeliano, ceded to him by treachery. His advance was bloody, for the people flew to arms and valiantly defended themselves, but still the French pushed on. On April 3rd the army entered Turin. The Duke fled to Vercelli.

Ambition for Milan, that city whose conquest had been the glory of his now long-forgotten youth, was at the root of the King's action. He had seen to it that Charles's forces should be mostly occupied in the Mediterranean, and he hoped for an easy conquest. Several months before he had appealed to the Venetian ambassadors to help him make good his rights on Milan, and had on that occasion indiscreetly revealed his intention of using force if diplomacy failed. But although he insinuated that Charles's power was a threat to Venice, the republic of St. Mark refused his offers. They did not have long to wait for evidence as to which was their greatest danger -- the Emperor or the Turks, newly stirred up to mischief by French encouragement. Yet in spite of all, there was still a peace party at the French Court and the possibility of a settlement had not yet altogether vanished.

Charles had long been prepared for something of the kind, but the King's invasion of Savoy was a far more blatant violation of the peace than any which had hitherto taken place. The Emperor did as the occasion demanded; he listened to the French ambassa- dor's insolent demands and 'temporized' without ceasing to arm himself. He even kept the fruitless negotiations still on foot by agreeing to consider -- although for form's sake only -- the cession of Milan to the Duke of Orleans. For the rest his letters have more to say of military activity in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain. The chief purpose of the negotiations was, at best, to deprive the French King of moral support.

Great was Charles's indignation at these renewed obstacles in his path. He had done all that years of campaigning and solemn treaties could, to allay the internal conflicts of Christendom, and yet at this very moment when he saw himself as a Crusader with a united Europe behind him, the old troubles had broken out afresh. He raged inwardly to find his victories thus suddenly put to scorn and he, who had seemed so near the goal, thus forced back to the starting post.

The French King's demand for Milan cannot, with the best will in the world, be represented as an effort to give geographical frontiers to the French national state. His was a policy of naked prestige, undisguised and unexcused by any theoretical nationalism. Far from being the policy of the future, the King's actions recall rather the more primitive ideas of the Frankish Empire. The desire to gain power in Italy owed far more to the imperial policy of the Middle Ages than to any more modern conception of a European balance of power. Charles's Italian policy was at least based on a theory of universal responsibility and of duty to the Catholic Church. Francis had not even any true conception of carrying out his aggression in Italy to a logical conclusion.

In so far as Charles believed in his duty to the Church, he had a right to expect the Pope to support him. Yet his negotiations hitherto had lamentably failed to produce any such result. Like his predecessors, Paul was horrified at the secession of northern Christendom and indignant at what he took to be Charles's mildness to the German heretics; like his predecessors, he did not wish to become Charles's subordinate, wished rather to remain neutral, to prevent schism in central Europe, and if possible to maintain his position independently of the Emperor, and be the arbiter of Christendom.

Charles therefore could not achieve any results by negotiating in the usual way. Yet, as he wrote to his brother, it was absolutely essential for him to get some support for his policy in the face of French intrigue. He therefore decided on a step as unusual as it was impressive, a step which although it but partly served his turn, yet undoubtedly altered the course of events. On April 2nd, 1536, the second day of Easter week, he invited the Venetian and French ambassadors to accompany him to the Pope before Mass. The whole College of Cardinals, the imperial suite and several other high dignitaries whom Charles had invited, were assembled in the Sala dei Paramenti of the Vatican. When all had taken their places the Pope himself appeared. Charles then, taking up his station next to the Holy Father, delivered an impressive speech which lasted for more than an hour.

He developed, as he spoke, those ideas which he had so often discussed with his ministers and with which he was familiar in every detail. By this act he laid bare the true meaning of his policy more solemnly and more effectively than he could have done in any written document. Strangely enough, he spoke in Spanish, and we know both what he said and how he said it, for the many witnesses made their various reports on it, he himself recorded it, and there has moreover recently come to light the reply which he composed to a French answer to it.

He began by thanking the Pope and the cardinals for their work on behalf of a council, and declared himself ready to second them in this. Proceeding next to the question of peace, he had meant, he said, merely to visit his kingdoms, to pay his respects to the Pope and to collect forces for an attack on Algiers, the chief stronghold of Barbarossa. But now the French King barred his path. He then gave a detailed account of his relations with the French Crown ever since Maximilian's death. Here and there he strengthened his story with personal recollections; when the peace of Madrid was being signed, he told them, he had chanced to pass by a cross-road with King Francis, where a crucifix stood: Francis had then solemnly sworn by the body of the Crucified Saviour that he would keep peace in Europe. Sometimes he accentuated his speech with dramatic gestures; speaking of the guarantees he had wanted when he offered Milan to the Duke of Angoulême he held up a finger; speaking of those he wanted to make the same offer to the Duke of Orleans, he stretched out his whole arm.

From his earliest years, he said, he had striven to live in peace with the French King. He called to witness a long series of treaties. He had settled their quarrels both on the field and by agreement, but the King never tired of infringing even the most solemn settlements by renewed demands and surreptitious attack. For his part, Charles protested, he had come as far to meet Francis as was humanly possible, and far farther than he had any obligation to. The King had rejected all offers of friendship; he had deliberately invaded the Duchy of Savoy, which was a part of the Empire and was specifically protected by the Treaty of Cambrai. By renewing his claim on Milan he had threatened Christendom with yet another war, when Turks and heretics were already a menace to its security without and within. Charles added that he desired peace with all his heart and would make one last bid for it; but, he went on, he was not afraid to fight. To spare the blood of his subjects, he would be willing even to engage in personal combat, either on land or sea. The prizes of this combat were to be Bourgogne for himself should he win, Milan for the King of France should he lose.

Thinking that this was the end, Paul III broke in with warm words of praise for Charles's generous and peace-loving mind.

But Charles, who had meanwhile been scanning his notes, now cut him short with a final sentence. He had forgotten to add, he said, that he looked above all for the Pope's decision in this great quarrel. Should Paul be truly of opinion that he was in the wrong, then let him support the French King. But if not, then before God, His Holiness and all the world, Charles called down judgment on the King of France.

Paul suggested mildly that Francis, too, had made offers of peace. He could not himself see any reason, therefore, why peace should not be maintained. He could not permit a single combat. For the time being he and the cardinals must preserve their neutrality or their mediation would be useless. But should either of the princes set himself up to oppose a reasonable peace, then indeed, Paul declared, he would pronounce against him.

Charles seized upon this sentence. Clasping the Pope's hand he exclaimed passionately: 'I kiss your Holiness's hand for that answer.'

A short epilogue to this dramatic scene followed on April 18th, when Charles parted from the Pope. In the interim one of the

French ambassadors had made an answer to the speech; now they both, through the medium of the Pope, asked for an explanation of Charles's accusations.

Charles was ready to offer it at once. He had not, he said, wished to attack the French King, but rather to defend himself. He desired peace above all things, but should he be attacked, then he would summon all his resources to defend himself, and he would not even allow himself to be deterred by the Turkish danger. He had not, he explained, actually challenged Francis to single combat, but merely suggested it as a possible solution. He was well aware that he took a risk in so doing for the personal courage of the French King was well known to him. But should there be war within Christendom he had yet more to fear, for it might well cause the destruction of the Church and of religion and bring down upon them all the bitter wrath of God.

Thus although Charles had not forced the Pope into openly espousing his cause, he had bound him to strict neutrality and made him promise to use his influence seriously for peace. Charles's actions soon bore fruit. On April 8th the Cardinals' College had already, under his pressure, agreed that a general council should meet at Mantua in May of the following year. In contrast to the political shilly-shallying of Clement VII and his refusal to call a council, this was in itself a great advance, in Charles's favour.

Besides, he had established his own position in the public mind. All those who had been at the meeting in the Sala dei Paramenti carried away a profound impression of Charles's sincerity. Pasquino, the convenient mouthpiece of Roman opinion, summed up the general view in an imaginary dialogue with a cardinal. Christoph Scheuerl translated and circulated this to Germany within a mon of its appearance in Rome. It ran as follows:

CARDINAL Well, you old truth-lover, what do you think of the Emperor?

PASQUINO I think that he will come again to judge the quick and the dead.

CARDINAL That's a strange thing to say, Pasquino! Have we not a Pope to make friends of the parties?

PASQUINO Ah, ye mighty ones, take heed how you walk, for you have to do with a strong man and the day of reckoning is at hand.

The words of Pasquino ring like an echo of 1527.

But now Charles committed a serious error. Francis had not yet dared to attack the Duchy of Milan which was therefore still at peace. Was the Emperor therefore justified in trying to win back Savoy for the Duke by an appeal to arms? Leyva, the master of Charles's defence plans, thought that he was. But an attack on Savoy alone was not bold enough to please Charles's still venturesome spirit. He determined to carry the counter-attack into France itself. He determined to revive the plan which had failed so dismally at the time of Bourbon's treachery. This was to invade Provence, while at the same time occupying the French armies in the rear by a simultaneous attack from the Netherlands, on Paris. Possibly Charles thought that his attack on Provence could be seconded by his fleet, as his attack on Tunis had been. But in this he miscalculated utterly. The fleet was too far away to be any use in re-provisioning the army, and there was almost no resemblance between the little fortress of La Goletta, exposed both by sea and land, and the great port of Marseilles, in its difficult country.

On July 25th, 1536, the imperial army crossed the border. Almost at once they found themselves in a wasted country. The last and most drastic measure of defence is to evacuate and lay waste the land. And this, driven by harsh necessity, Montmorency had done. The larger the imperial army, the more appalling would be the consequence of his action. The French troops had fallen back as far as Avignon and entrenched themselves firmly behind the Durance. They could not be attacked where they were and they would not let themselves be drawn out. The walled cities defended themselves and in the open country Charles's men suffered great hardship; illness decimated the ranks, and on September 3rd, after a campaign of barely six weeks, the imperial forces beat a retreat. Leyva did not survive the campaign, yet his great fame cast a final glory over his last hours, for the French commander-in-chief sent his own litter to transport the dying general. It was a last courtesy, a last mark of respect to his great opponent of so many years standing.

The attack on the rear of the French position in Savoy had thus failed. The attack on the Flemish frontier was no more successful. Nassau, who was in command, was successful at first, but soon his operations came to a stand. He suffered minor reverses and even lost ground. Queen Mary urged him on, but like Margaret before her, she was easily moved to impatience and weariness of government.

Among the French, too, money ran short, hunger and plague raged, and the commanders disagreed. Following Leyva in the supreme command, the Marquis del Vasto pressed forward into Piedmont and won it back as far as Turin.

All this while negotiations for peace had not ceased. Both sides were to seek it for a long time to come -- usually in vain.


By this time the deliberations of Charles's council had ceased to be as important as they had been in his youth. Nevertheless the minutes of the meeting which discussed the failure of the campaign in Provence throw some light on the ideas which still influenced the Emperor.

The Emperor's advisers agreed that, should King Francis cross the mountains himself or send a strong army, Charles would have to meet him with a force no less powerful. With the French, they said, 'c'est le premier pas qui coute'. Otherwise Charles would do best to return at once to Spain, leaving the Netherlands to Queen Mary and Nassau. He would not need more than another fortnight in Italy to complete all arrangements.

Next they discussed whether peace, armistice or war were the most advisable. Peace could only be had by yielding Milan, and if Charles would not surrender it then the peace plan became automatically useless. The King of France might be willing to make an armistice, but it would be with no better intention than to fool the Emperor and carry on his own evil practices unhindered. Francis was more heavily pledged than Charles over Turin and Savoy. And yet, they went on trying to still their consciences, a continuation of the war would be the ruin of both parties, would create an irrevocable hatred between the two dynasties and bring untold misery on Christendom.

Perhaps Charles would say: rather war than the cession of Milan. This was right. If he went still further, and pointed out that his offer of Milan for the Duke of Angoulême, made when in Rome, had been refused, that too was relevant. But if Charles had been serious in making this offer, he could make it again in the present circumstances. The death of the Dauphin on August 10th, 1536, altered the situation to some extent, as the Duke of Orleans had now taken his place as the heir and was therefore ineligible for Milan. If Charles could bring himself to make this offer inestimable advantages would accrue from it: the Council and the Church would benefit, Christendom would be united against the Turks, the religious question in Germany might be dealt with, Hungary and Denmark might be recovered, England be restored to the Church and Princess Mary suitably married; Gelderland and the Low Countries would be secured against attack, and Charles's prospects in Algiers would be far more favourable.

The councillors were thus more than sanguine in their anticipation of the results of peace. Yet the sum total of their arguments was gaseous and feeble. Even if the King of France failed to carry out his obligations, they tentatively suggested as a parting shot, peace would have other effects almost equally desirable. The Pope, the Italian states, the Germans and the Swiss could be included in the general treaty, they rather vaguely added. Besides, should the King of France again break the treaty surely God would intervene against him and smite him according to his deserts. Honour would be saved and the Emperor could return to Spain, the Duke to Savoy, with all honour and satisfaction.

Charles had remarked in his reflections before Pavia, and he now repeated it to his brother: 'One cannot have peace unless the enemy will agree to it.' And so in fact it was. The French government was not thinking of peace. Nor yet was it contemplating the dispatch of a great army under the King. In so far, at least, Charles might have gone quietly back to Spain as his councillors told him. The campaign in Provence remained an irrelevant episode, leading neither to peace nor yet to general war.

Political news from all over Europe assailed Charles continually; yet it had little effect on his policy, which was deep-rooted in the realm of thought. At the moment the very pulse of European politics seemed to keep the same slow time as his own. His attitude to religion, and his belief in Italy as the key to imperial power, made the Pope's friendship still the most important object in view. Pier Luigi Farnese visited Charles's Court at Genoa, but he derived no more profit from this visit than from his journey to Naples in the previous year. Charles had not yet grasped the importance of entering into the Pope's family ambition, and the Pope on his side had further disappointed the Emperor's expectations. Apart from this disillusionment, everything seemed calm in Italy, and Charles arranged to return to Spain under the charge of Andrea Doria. The crossing was stormy, and the dangers of the passage were increased when the weather drove them to take shelter for some time off the French coast among the islands of Hyères and not far from Marseilles. But all went well in the end, and at the beginning of December 1536 they safely reached the harbour of Palmos, north of Barcelona.

After staying for a short while in Barcelona, Charles travelled in state and slowly to rejoin the Empress at Valladolid. He was there by February and remained there until the summer was far advanced. Santa Cruz has much to say of bull-fights and tourneys and silver prizes for the winners. From his own knowledge Santa Cruz adds another detail. 'Being troubled by gout, the Emperor amused himself by discussing astrology and astronomy with his first cosmographer, Alonso de Santa Cruz; he wished to know all the particularities of the philosophy of nature and of the stars. He grasped things much more quickly than most men. He wanted to understand every kind of mechanical device and clock, both arabic and western, and how they were made.'

From April onwards Charles held the Cortes of Castile. On August 11th he opened the Cortes of Aragon at Monzon, where they dragged on until November 1537. As always the representatives asked him to stay in the country and use his people's money only for their own good; but they voted the Servicio just the same. Negotiations with France had now begun in earnest and after a brief visit to Valladolid, Charles removed again to Barcelona, to be near the seat of diplomatic action. The Empress, who had borne a second son during the last few years, but lost him again almost immediately, took these partings from her husband very hard, and usually with tears. But 'she consoled herself', as Santa Cruz tells us, 'with the consideration that the absence of the husband whom she so dearly loved was for the service of God, the weal of Christendom and the faith'.

Let us turn once more to the other parts of Charles's dominions, to Germany in particular. During this Spanish year, 1537, the chief object of the Emperor's policy was to secure peace with France so that he should be free to attack the Turks and the heretics. His dealings with the Pope had had this for sole end. The murder of Duke Alessandro de' Medici of Florence opened up new possibilities for Charles in Italy. He was now able not only to make his successor, Cosimo, wholly dependent on him but further bribed him by promising him his natural daughter, Margaret, to wife. But meanwhile Cifuentes, Charles's ambassador in Rome, had been recalled to be the Empress's major-domo. His successor, the Marquis of Aguilar, arrived in Rome in February 1537. He was now instructed to find out the wishes of the Pope. As a result of his inquiries another marriage for Margaret was soon in the air: she was to be given to the Pope's grandson, Ottavio Farnese; while his son, Pier Luigi, was to be given a principality. Yet Charles was not yet altogether satisfied of the wisdom of this advice. Dynastic considerations still played a dominant part in European politics. The marriage of a niece of Clement VII to the Duke of Orleans had seriously hampered imperial policy: now the suggested marriage of an imperial lady, if only a bastard, to a grandson of the Pope was to have a marked effect.

At first the French Court felt nothing but irritation, and the war on the Flemish frontier grew suddenly more virulent, through the personal presence first of the King and then of the Dauphin in the French army. On January 15th, 1537, Francis enacted another dramatic scene before the Paris Parlement. He had the procuratorgeneral read out a formal accusation against Charles for breaking the Treaties of Madrid and Cambrai by his present hostilities. In accordance with this accusation, Francis then formally resumed possession of Flanders, Artois and Charolais. This was the opening passage of an attack which was to increase in violence.

The Netherlands were ready to defend themselves. On March 24th Queen Mary opened the Estates General, entrusting the eloquent Louis de Schore with the task of explaining Charles's point of view. She herself also spoke, and, under the pressure of events on the border, received the exceptionally high grant of 200,000 Gulden a month. It was notable that although Brabant led the way, the city of Ghent refused to contribute. A considerable force was raised under Nassau and Roeulx, assisted by the lords of Arschot, Buren and Philippe Lannoy. They soon took St. Pol in Artois, between Arras and Hesdin; but in a bloody battle on April 13th they lost Hesdin. The cock-pit of Europe, from Lens and Arras in the east to Crécy and Hesdin in the west, was once again the scene of disastrous conflict. The wild forward push of the French army, the appalling massacre at St. Venant, contrasted strangely with that document read out in the Paris Parlement, which had spoken of the 'protection' of these lands by the French crown.

The disasters and the charge of this terrible war induced Mary to strain every diplomatic and financial resource to maintain her own in the field, and to make terms with the aggressor. Her letters to her sister, Queen Eleonore, and her entreaty for imperial confirmation, led at last to a formal meeting between Buren and the Dauphin at the little village of Bomy south of Thérouanne, where an armistice was signed, for ten months, from June 30th. The reasons underlying this armistice were to be found rather in the European situation than in Mary's diplomacy or her passionate desire for peace. The French were glad enough to call off hostilities on their northern frontier, in order to have their hands free for the Mediterranean and their nefarious dealings with the Turk.

But the truce of Bomy brought more with it. In September the papal nuncio sought out Charles at Monzon with a plan for peace. This the Emperor could not accept, but soon after a councillor from the Netherlands, Cornelius Schepper, made his appearance to ask for the ratification of the Treaty of Bomy. He had already made certain of the general desire for peace at the French Court. Queen Eleonore had given him hopes of a truce of two or three years at the very least. Charles sent back a friendly answer. On September 15th he told his brother Ferdinand in a letter that Schepper had found the French Court more disposed to friendship than they had been for many years. They could no longer carry the expense of a war themselves, and the Turks were in fact the only hope now left to them.

Yet this very hope of Turkish help was of no advantage to French policy. It was an alliance which weakened as much as it strengthened them, for the Sultan was an exacting ally and not always ready to give in return. Moreover the Turkish onslaught on Venetian ships, and last of all on Corfu itself, had driven the Republic of St. Mark and with it the Pope into the arms of the Emperor.

Last of all the French advance in Piedmont had been partly neutralized by an armed demonstration of the Emperor's in Languedoc. On October 26th Montmorency had taken the pass of Susa -- the road to Turin -- forcing the imperialists to abandon Pinerolo, the southern outpost of Mont Genevre; but at the same time Don Francisco de Viamonte had advanced from Rousillon in the direction of Narbonne. It was but one of those destructive and pointless invasions such as had taken place before, but the general situation gave it its peculiar importance. All the same it would have been more significant from the military point of view had Charles timed it to coincide with the invasion of Provence in the previous year. Not until 1543 did Charles hit upon this plan.

Schepper's second embassy was followed by the coming of the new French ambassador de Vely, who had been accredited to Charles's Court before. He was at Monzon on October 15th, got his answer soon after and was back in France by November 16th. As Charles told his brother Ferdinand during those days, he was not only hoping to see French diplomatists, but even the King himself. Nevertheless, he added in a postscript that he was sending his generals to Italy to see to the raising of troops!

The King of France did not come in person. He sent the Cardinal of Lorraine, and Montmorency to Narbonne, while Charles sent Granvelle and Cobos to meet them at Perpignan. Half-way between these towns, at Salses on the lagoon of Leucate, a little village of fishermen's hovels, the delegates met. Both groups were filled with the gravest suspicion of the other. At first they did not advance a step. The French began by asking for Milan. Words were bandied to and fro; no decision was made. But the truce was prolonged for another three months, from January 18th. When, early in February 1538, Charles met the Sieur de Presseu at Barcelona, their long conversation, the innumerable details of which have survived in several contemporary accounts, brought very little to light save the Emperor's desire for a personal discussion. Each side expressed his faith in the other in the warmest terms but nothing came of it.

Meanwhile on February 8th, 1538, Charles concluded an antiTurkish alliance with King Ferdinand, the Pope and Venice, thus immeasurably increasing his strength on the Italian front. Great was the agitation at the French Court when this became known, and it looked at first as though the Pope's offer of mediation would be refused: he was, after all, now no longer a neutral. From very different motives, both the monarchs now wished for a personal meeting. The King of France hoped that he might still separate the Emperor and the Pope; the Emperor hoped that he could persuade the King of France to submit to the Pope's judgment. The Pope's emphatic intervention brought the deadlock to an end. On March 23rd he left Rome, in accordance with an old arrangement, to meet the Emperor and the King of France at Nice. The castle of Nice had been chosen for his residence, but at the last minute the Duke of Savoy made difficulties. His obstructionism did him neither credit nor good, for the Pope went instead to the Franciscan monastery outside the town.

With undiscouraged optimism Charles still thought that the affair must end well for him. He still fancied that he could quiet, if not actually solve, the German problem, by showing his willingness to a council and a religious peace -- and this in spite of' the disturbing reports which he had from the Empire. In other respects things were certainly easier. With the help of the Archbishop of Lund, Ferdinand had entered into friendly relations with the Voivod of Transylvania, and had been able to conclude on February 24th, 1538, the Treaty of Grosswardein: by this Ferdinand recognized the Voivod as the ruler of Hungary, and was in return recognized as the eventual heir. Peace had been re-established in Denmark and the Netherlands. Relations with England were mending. Rudely awakened from his vision of a Crusade and a Turkish war, by the attack on Savoy and the wars in Provence and the Netherlands, Charles was once again relapsing into his happy dreams. To hasten their realization, he now set out for Nice: so, at least, he interpreted his own action in a letter to his brother on March 25th. Helped by his allies, the Pope and the Venetians, he intended to launch a terrific attack on the Turks in the following year. He added that he loved his brother no less than himself, and fully realized how deep must be Ferdinand's own desire to take a personal part in the conflict: between them, he hoped they would achieve something truly great, did God but give them grace to serve him. Although he had no definite prospect of peace with France, yet his optimistic thoughts were already soaring up into the free air of universal ideas.

He had reached Barcelona with a great following and a more sumptuous train than usual. On April 24th he embarked, once again trusting himself to Andrea Doria; after a few adventures, he landed at Villafranca, not far from Nice, on May 9th, in the best of health and spirits. The Pope had come by way of Savona but Charles avoided a personal meeting, for fear that any unworthy suspicion of his motives should be aroused.

Pope and Emperor now waited, expectantly and singly, for the coming of the French King. Francis had argued for a long time that the chief points to be discussed ought to be decided by their ministers before the two sovereigns met. But since Pope and Emperor thought otherwise, he had to waive this argument and agree to come forthwith. Much as he feared the consequences of this personal interview, Francis was not the man who could easily have borne to stay away from this momentous meeting of the great powers of Christendom. Curiously enough the three great ones never met simultaneously, during all their stay in Nice. Charles and Francis each met and talked separately with the Pope. The only connection between King and Emperor was provided by Queen Eleonore, who paid repeated and lengthy visits to her brother.

The conference bore meagre fruit. In the agreement reached on the eve of June 18th, 1538, they compromised on a truce for ten years and the continuance of all possessions in the hands in which they now were. Nothing more constructive than that. All the chief problems, that of Milan above all, were left unsolved. War might break out afresh at any moment, for not one of its causes had been removed.

Yet the personal negotiations of the two Kings gave this truce of Nice a heightened importance. Its terms were, so to speak, under the protection of Christendom. When the Pope had gone the inner emptiness of the truce was endowed with some semblance of substance by the personal meeting of the two sovereigns, first on shipboard, and later in the castle of Aigues Mortes on the Lagoons west of the Rhone. Francis issued the invitation which was enthus- iastically received by Charles. He welcomed his brother-in-law first on his galley and then returned the visit on land, on July 15th. Besides which, he saw his sister Eleonore once more alone. He himself, and even his councillors, hoped that a personal conversation might yet win something from the French King. Long ago in Madrid, Francis himself had relied on his youth and charm to soften the heart of Charles -- all in vain. The positions were now reversed. Now it was Charles who longed for the meeting and imagined that he would soften Francis's heart. His brother-inlaw's invitation filled him with fantastic hopes, as did his meetings with his sister, and the accumulated courtesies of the French Court. In Rome they were but half justified in acclaiming the Pope as the peace-maker of Christendom; and Charles, like the Roman populace, expected too much of these days at Nice and Aigues Mortes. He believed that he was already on the way to settling his account with the German Protestants and the Turks. The two sovereigns spoke much of family alliances. Charles still trusted in the feminine influence of his beloved sister; he was strengthened in that trust by the recent and moving meeting between Eleonore and his other sister, Mary of Hungary, at Cambrai, as also between Mary and the King at la Fére in the previous October. At this last meeting certain vexed legal points had been happily settled. But this time there was no new Paix des Dames.

Yet something of permanent value was gained at Nice, better than the delusive gains made at Madrid and Cambrai. Those other treaties had misrepresented the true relationship of the rival powers and had thus failed of their purpose. But this time, when the intoxication of the actual meeting had worn off, Charles could be mistaken no longer: permanent peace between himself and Francis, there could never be. He could never achieve that perpetual and unalterable settlement, which would guarantee to him all that he possessed and all the resources of his power, and in the shelter of which he could proceed, without fear of interruption, to the solution of the German problem and to war on the Turk. He was forced at last to realize the fundamental imperfection of man and all his systems. He saw at last that he must carry out the great objects of his life, without ever being free from the fear which had oppressed him ever since he began to rule. Nature may from time to time create perfection, but the life of man in history is never perfect. Its course is transitory, torrential and full of strife. Ultimate solution, there is none.

Whence then does man still gather new courage to seek the unattainable, to solve the insoluble? On what foundations could Charles now rebuild his shattered hopes? Would his opponents, whom he now knew to want no peace, stand even by their armistice? How was he now to attain his ultimate goal? Must he be satisfied with restricting, not with crushing, heresy in Germany? Must he sanction temporary peace, knowing in his heart that his enemies would use it only to prepare a new war?

The incomprehensible condition of human existence, in which each single man is but an atom, and which we call fate, drove him restlessly onward to the unattainable goal. He was borne forward not only by the might of his own ideas, but by a necessity to which all humanity is alike enslaved.

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