Site hosted by Build your free website today!


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



NEVER in his life did Charles forget his duty to pass on the inheritance of his forebears to his descendants, without the least diminution of ecclesiastical or political rights, and without lessening it by so much as a rood of land. He felt the necessity of preserving not only the boundaries of his land but its public laws and institutions; in his youth he had even felt it a duty to restore all that was lost, the ancient inheritance of Burgundy. But hardly one of these laws and privileges, hardly one of these territorial rights was not, at some time or other in his reign, the object of attack. He was thus condemned to pass his life in a tangle of negotiations, to which he saw neither end nor solution. It was his fate to keep his head above water in this struggle. He was for ever involved, and always under different conditions, in the oldest of all political choices, that between diplomacy and force. Sometimes he felt that one method would serve his turn, sometimes the other. Usually he seemed to be using both at once. In this autumn of 1538 the idea of fighting the Turk so filled his mind that he set to work in almost frenzied haste to free himself simultaneously of all his chief problems. At first it almost looked as if he would be successful. Only in Germany opposing tendencies, which he had not yet had time to notice, suddenly traversed the straight line of his desires with intolerable perversity.

Charles V was himself neither a diplomatist nor a commander. By birth and education he was a knight and a nobleman, taking delight in arms and very brave, but he had not the experience of a youth spent in armies, nor the education which might have made him into a military leader. His education in geography and strategy was not sufficient to enable him to trace out a campaign or to direct operations, often as he attempted to learn the art. He inherited an interest in artillery from his grandfather, Maximilian. And he was intelligent in grasping the importance of campfollowers and baggage, especially after the disaster in Provence. He preferred since then to conduct what he called a sea-war, with provisions in the ships, so that he would not be forced to depend on what could be got 'in the enemy's country', as he wrote to Ferdinand on November 30th.

His diplomacy was equally limited. He was a good judge of men, but his reserved character, the inheritance of all his family, had been trained too soon on the open stage of a Court, to enable him to move among men with any natural ease. His private notes and reflections, like his letters, are deliberate, earnest, and questioning. His strength was in the regal virtues of sureness of purpose and a high sense of honour; with these his growing self-confidence now went hand in hand, not always for his good. Delicate, unhealthy, slow in his movements and on the whole ugly in his person, Charles nevertheless expressed in his outward manners something of these inner forces: undeniably there was about him something impressive, something of the leader. It would not be fair to compare him to the great men of other ages, but certainly in his own he stood head and shoulders above any other prince in Europe.

He chose and made use of the men in whom he trusted, with critical insight. Unwilling to abandon them, he nevertheless did so when he found them really incapable of their office. In the field he first trusted Lannoy, the friend of his youth, then the prince of Orange, in the thirties Andrea Doria. This latter predilection may have been unfortunate, for Andrea Doria's influence and the successful expedition to Tunis gave Charles a preference for sea-fighting which was not always wise. His Spanish kingdoms were most vulnerable by sea; by sea he wished to defend them, and by sea he had been victorious. The prejudice in favour of such warfare was comprehensible. Charles placed his trust in Ferrante Gonzaga and the Duke of Alva, next only to Doria. He thought rather less of his old friend Nassau, who was seldom successful, and placed more confidence in the two Burens, father and son.

The administration of his dominions had become remarkably decentralized. Charles never ceased to need the cleverest men at his disposal in his immediate surroundings, to give him advice and to undertake foreign negotiations. The Grand Chancellor of Leon, as Francisco de los Cobos was called, owed his position as much to his lack of any very decisive personality, which enabled him to think and feel as the Emperor thought and felt, as to his indefatigable industry. Nicholas Perronet, Lord of Granvelle, on the other hand, was expert in all the arts of observation, formulation and negotiation. In spite of his great abilities he was not capable, as Gattinara had been, of initiating a policy. Yet he was critical enough of Charles's judgment to cultivate and cherish the importance of the imperial council. He addressed his memoranda to 'His Majesty and these Lords'. For all this, the ancient constitutional theory of government does not seem to have resumed its old force. In the earlier part of the reign Chièvres, Gattinara, La Chaulx, La Roche, Gorrevod and many of Spain's greatest prelates, had exercised a real influence on policy; but that time had gone never to return. For his Confessors even Charles now chose men of religious distinction only, and avoided politicians like Loaysa, whom he had dismissed from that office although he still valued his advice in other fields.

Charles concentrated his energy and ability on the problems of foreign policy, on observing and handling the Courts of Europe. Granvelle, too, had diplomatic gifts, and although the Emperor could ill afford to spare him from his central councils, he entrusted him with foreign missions of special importance. Granvelle's brothers-in-law, Bonvalot and St. Mauris, were given the most important ambassadorial offices. One of them, for instance, was sent to France, where Charles had made use in turn of a long series of Burgundians -- de Praet, des Barres, Noircarmes, Hannart, and later Marnol. In England Charles employed both his Burgundian and his Spanish subjects; he sent Le Sauch, Eustache Chapuys, the Bishop of Badajoz and later Ifiigo and Diego Mendoza. His representatives at the Vatican were always Spaniards, both Castilians and Aragonese, Juan Manuel, Duke of Sessa, Miguel Mai, Cifuentes and Aguilar. In Venice and Genoa he also used Spaniards, Diego Mendoza and Figuerroa fulfilling the office at this time. In northern Europe he trusted his diplomatic affairs entirely to the court and government of the Netherlands. And in the Empire, when Maximilian's councillors gradually disappeared, he replaced them, too, by men from the Netherlands; it is true that the Vice-chancellor, Sebastian Merklin, and later on Seld were north Germans, but they were exceptions to the general rule. All the rest had the culture and background of the Low Countries for their heritage: Matthias Held came from Arlon in Luxembourg, from Luxembourg, too, came Johann de Naves; the Bishop of Lund came from Weeze near Cleves, and Cornelius Schepper was lord of the Dutch estate of Eeke. Even Gerhard Veltwyk, a baptized Jew, a clever theologian with the active interests of the convert, was a native of the Netherlands. During the next years the importance of these appointments was to be gradually revealed by the course of events.


All this time Germany was partly governed by Ferdinand, who had acquired the right to formulate his own policy when he became King of the Romans, and partly by Charles himself through the medium of ambassadors extraordinary. Ferdinand's good nature and natural generosity, no less than the perpetual diversion of his interests to Hungary, made this arrangement possible without friction.

Charles meanwhile revealed his own intentions for Germany in a series of detailed letters to his brother, the greater part of which have never been printed. His guiding consideration, more particularly since the loss of Württemberg in 1534, was fear of French intervention. Next only in importance to this was his fear of alienating the princes of north Germany from the dynasty, and thus throwing open one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in Europe to his enemies. Third in importance Charles placed Ferdinand's claim to Hungary; repeatedly since 1526 he had been urging him to make friends with John Zapolya, even at the price of concessions. This advice sorted well with Charles's guiding principles, for it was well known that Zapolya was in communication with the Bavarian dukes and the King of France as well as with other opponents or doubtful allies of the Hapsburg dynasty. The Emperor's persistent efforts to win over the Bavarian dukes were an essential part of his policy: he saw clearly enough that the political danger of their enmity no less than the fundamental unity of their religious interests dictated an alliance. The Danish question had been almost dropped: Charles's interest in it now was very indirect. He wanted the friendship of the Palatine Wittels- bach, and he entrusted to Ferdinand the task of keeping the loyalty of the Count Palatine Frederick by marrying him to the little Princess Dorothea of Denmark. Neither he nor Ferdinand made any serious preparations for regaining the Crown of Denmark for its rightful owners. Charles also expressed himself at some length as to the proper government for the small county of Pfirt. This district played an important part in his schemes of foreign policy because it served as a bastion for the protection of Franche Comté, from hostile troops and from heresy.

The internal problems of Germany seemed less important to Charles than any of these. The Landgrave of Hesse, who had so easily deprived them of Württemberg, considered that Ferdinand and Charles were lamentably weak. Both joyfully accepted his offers of help, although neither of them can have failed to realize that his continued support depended on the preservation of that religious peace which had favoured the growth of heresy. The Elector of Saxony acted with less good sense and more pettiness in opposing Ferdinand's election as King of the Romans. His conduct was to have a sad outcome for his heirs. Besides which the Elector had come to an agreement with his brother-in-law of Cleves-Jülich as to their common inheritance. The still unsolved problem of Gelderland brought any agreement between Saxony and Cleves-Jülich into immediate contact with the problems of the Netherlands and France.

But leaving all such questions aside, the most important problem for Germany in the thirties was the settlement of the religious peace which had been arranged at Nuremberg in 1532. The settlement was the fruit of the Turkish danger and affected religion alone. But irreconcilable enmity had now broken out between the spiritual and the temporal powers, and, while the heretics continued to engross the lands of the Church, the Reichskammergericht, which was still predominantly Catholic, decided every case that was brought before it in the interests of the ancient faith. At this very time cases against five princes and fifteen towns were in process of being heard, and two of these had already led to the pronunciation of an imperial ban. Moreover, there was some question as to whether the adherents of the Augsburg Confession had any right to enjoy the privileges of the religious peace since the more recent imperial recesses had all forbidden the practice of further innovations. The Protestants themselves regarded this limitation as only natural. As early as the Augsburg Diet of 1530, they had discussed the possibility of force. And when during 1535 and 1536 the Emperor seemed to be increasing in strength, he had officious adherents enough, and the Protestants had distrustful and far-sighted politicians, to foretell the worst with the utmost certainty. Possibly it would be wisest to give in. The imperial concessions had, at best, only been made until such time as a council should meet. No illusions now remained as to which way the council would decide the question, and the execution of its decisions would in all probability rest on force in any case.

With an eye to these probabilities, the Schmalkaldic League had recruited further strength. In December 1535 it had extended its existence not merely to 1537, but for another ten years beyond that date. As its membership grew, among princes and towns alike, its constitution gained substance and its prestige mounted. England and France had sent ambassadors to its last meeting. In October 1536 King Christian III of Denmark made a treaty with them which he renewed in April 1538. Nevertheless, with the Turkish danger still threatening, the Schmalkaldic League carefully preserved an appearance of loyalty to the Emperor. To the irritation of King Francis and the relief of the Emperor, they rejected the overtures of the French government. But the imperial government and the other Estates of Germany could not fail to notice that the Schmalkaldic League was gaining in selfreliance. In 1536 rumours that Charles was about to turn his victorious arms against the Protestants were rife. Great was the relief when, writing from Savigliano south of Turin on July 7th, the Emperor informed the Elector of Saxony that he had no such intention. At Nice he received an embassy from the Schmalkaldic League, in the person of Count Pappenheim, who came to explain their grievances and to complain of the injustice of the Reichskammergericht. Charles replied cautiously and promised to send a special ambassador to inquire into the business.

The remaining Estates of the Empire were far from united in the Catholic faith. Certain adherents of the Augsburg Confession were in sympathy with the Schmalkaldic League without actually belonging to it. Many were undecided. The bishops were all equally afraid, not only of the Protestants but of the Catholic territorial princes. The Elector of Treves gloomily drew attention to the fact that the Emperor himself had secularized the bishopric of Utrecht. The Catholic lay princes were divided: some were loyal to the Emperor, but others were jealous. The first group was, naturally enough, the weaker. Its leaders were Duke Henry the younger of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Duke George of Saxony. The soul of princely opposition to the Hapsburg dynasty was, as always, in the Bavarian Wittelsbach. But these same Bavarian Wittelsbach were also the most ardent supporters of the ancient Church; political and religious interests were thus thrust into a dangerous and complicated opposition. Even the historian of Bavaria 1 admits that in the winter of 1534-5 Bavarian policy 'can rarely have been surpassed for deceit and doubledealing'. A thousand fears and hopes dragged the two Bavarian Dukes in every direction at once. They hated Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, but they recognized in the Landgrave of Hesse an active champion of princely rights; they resented the election of Ferdinand to the Bohemian Crown and his title as King of the Romans, but they needed his neighbourly support and were in sympathy with his religious policy; they sought the alliance of those who opposed the Hapsburg dynasty in Europe, and asserted vigorously that they had no evil intentions; they greedily hoped to acquire Milan by arranging for the widowed Duchess Christina to marry Duke Lewis, and they were indignant when Charles expressed himself somewhat sceptical as to the reason for their sudden desire to help him in his campaign in Provence. All these conflicting ideas and events had the worst effect on Bavarian policy. The two Dukes wavered from side to side without deciding on any guiding principle by which to control their actions.

Thus, Duke William made overtures to the Landgrave of Hesse and to the Schmalkaldic princes, but at the same time, under the erratic guidance of his chief adviser, Leonhard von Eck, he reproached Charles for his criminal weakness to the Protestants and urged an appeal to force. His brother Lewis followed him in the same course, and his minister Weissenfelder, although more subtle than Eck, did not stand far behind him in this. When, in February 1536, Weissenfelder had to go to the imperial Court

1 SIEGMUND RIEZLER, whose Geschichte Baierns, Gotha, 1878-1905, is the standard work (TRANSLATOR'S note).

on some dynastic business, he did not scruple to suggest that Charles should make a pretence of recruiting for his north Italian wars, and at the last minute turn his arms against the German Protestants. The suggestion was perhaps genuine in itself, but its purpose may partly have been to make trouble for the Hapsburg dynasty.

At Augsburg in 1530, and earlier than that in 1526, Charles had given clear proof of his own desire to make a religious settlement. The German princes themselves were in the first place responsible for that transverse pressure which ended in religious cleavage, and left the decision to force of arms.

All against his will, Charles now perpetrated an act which further sharpened the bitterness of parties. On returning from Provence at the end of October 1536, he carried out the promise he had made to Pappenheim at Nice, and sent the Vice-chancellor, Held, to talk personally with the discontented princes. Held was the last man for the appointment: he had himself been a member of the Reichskammergericht, was an ardent adherent of the old Church, an unbending jurist, and above all a man whose unimpressive personal appearance led him to make the most exaggerated claims to social precedence. The instructions with which he was armed, and which he had probably drawn up himself on hints from Charles, merely stated once again the terms of the Nuremberg settlement. The princes were asked to support the Reichskammergericht, to appear at the council, to give their help against the Turks and to dissociate themselves from France. When he showed his credentials to the Archbishop of Lund, this latter was dismayed at the manner in which the purpose of his mission was expressed, and very doubtful as to the wisdom of his coming.

More important than Held's general instructions were the secret clauses relating to France alone. These were Charles's own work and revealed with startling clarity what his personal views on the religious problem now were. The Emperor wished Held to discuss these clauses secretly and carefully with King Ferdinand and his chief minister, the Cardinal of Trent. Ferdinand was presumably expected to use them as the basis for his own religious policy in future.

Charles began by stating that he could not yet be certain whether the King of France truly wanted peace and would accept the proposed arrangements for Milan, or whether he was determined to fight on. Should King Francis fight, the actions of the Pope and the Venetian republic would be more than doubtful. It was important therefore to canvass the German princes and Electors for their opinions on the war. So long as Germany remained disunited both in religious opinion and in loyalty to the Emperor, the King of France would be ready to continue the war and naturally to oppose the council. It was always possible that the Pope, intimidated by the French King or afraid that France too would secede, might refuse to come to the council, or else that he might declare when war broke out that he was the Father of Christendom and must remain neutral. Charles left it to Ferdinand and Held to discover what the reactions of the German princes would be to either of these contingencies. He himself would of course do nothing to oppose either the Apostolic See or the fundamental tenets of the Church. But if the Pope persistently refused to give him his whole-hearted support, he had no choice but to take his own measures for the prevention of further disturbance in Germany. He could not afford to risk an attack on his power, either from within Germany or from the Turks, who were being once again encouraged to attack him by the French.

He went on to say that the council was the first problem to be considered. Neither the Pope nor the King of France was likely to attend, but there would always be the representatives of Portugal, the Italian states, and probably Poland. England of course would send no one. Was it therefore advisable to hold the council? With so little probable support, it might be wisest to forgo the council. In that case Charles asked his brother, whether he thought that any permanent peace could be made in Germany if the Protestants were guaranteed in the present exercise of their religion. This was tantamount to asking Ferdinand whether the settlement of Nuremberg could be indefinitely prolonged. Yet another alternative would be to hold that long projected council of the German Nation, at which Charles felt he might be justified in coming some way to meet the heretics, on points which did not affect the fundamental doctrines of the Church. A last solution would be to leave the religious problem to look after itself, and to concentrate on regulating the relations between the princes and the imperial or kingly authority. God would doubtless provide them in his own time with the means to do his work, for he could not be doubtful of the sincerity with which both Charles and Ferdinand strove for his glory.

Held's instructions next passed from such general questions of policy to the immediate needs of the day. The King of France, Charles pursued, cared neither for God nor for honour, but honour was all in all to him and Ferdinand; this being so, every other consideration, even the interests of Hungary, must yield before it. He himself had to return at once to Spain where he was badly needed. All the more closely did he hope that Ferdinand would follow his advice during his absence. He must understand the reasons which made Charles hesitate to confirm the Treaty of Vienna recently signed with the Elector of Saxony, and he must realize that he could not for the time being make any serious attempt to conquer Denmark for the Count Palatine. Ferdinand must do his best to make some kind of a provisional settlement of these two points.

When we come to consider the underlying purpose of these exhaustive and complicated instructions, it is clear that Charles was extremely anxious for peace. That alone could explain his anxiety to secure not only the sympathy of Vienna and Prague but of the Protestant rulers. Charles wanted to know the opinions and projects of all parties, so that he could govern his behaviour according to their respective strength.

But what did Held do? He began well enough by going to Ferdinand in the winter of 1536-7, and talking everything over with him and the Archbishop of Lund. Next he proceeded to the Protestant Courts, and as ill luck would have it he was met at each one of them by the same answer: he must come to the next general meeting at Schmalkalde. At the general gathering, his opportunities of sounding each prince individually and working on the private fears or ambitions of each were considerably lessened. Not that this mattered very much, for Held seems to have had no idea of doing any such thing. He contented himself merely with putting forward the two main points in the first part of his instructions. He denied emphatically all the charges of injustice brought against the Reichskammergericht -- omitting, however, any reference to the Court of Justice set up by the Estates themselves -- he denounced French interference, and he emphatically advocated a council, although the Schmalkaldic League had already declared themselves unwilling to participate. Small wonder that the representatives of the League, who found themselves united in opposition to him on every point, met his demands with a storm of indignation.

A report which he wrote to the Emperor later in that same year has recently come to light. This proves, if proof were still needed, that he had a phenomenal lack of insight into German affairs. He described in general terms the enormities of the Lutherans, declared that they were supplying France with men and arms, and lamented that French pamphlets were sown broadcast, while all news favourable to Charles was suppressed. 'Turks, Voivods, Frenchmen and Lutherans are all alike in the goodwill with which they serve the Emperor,' he jeered.

Having sketched in this lurid background, Held then proceeded to give, in a few bold and dashing strokes, his idea of an infallible remedy. This was the foundation of a Catholic League, of whose structure and constitution, down to the last detail, Held boasted that he was the unaided author. God, he went on boldly, had so furthered this plan that no obstacle now stood in its way. 'Without this League', he prophesied, 'all is lost. The heretics are ready to attack the Catholics once again even as they did in Württemberg.' Only, he went on rather more encouragingly, they had not yet strength enough; the following spring was the time he assigned to their action. The Pope, he added, was quite unreliable. But -and he returned to his own vaunted scheme -- 'once the League is made all disturbances in Germany and all French interference will come to an end'. It was a mistake to believe, as Charles had done, that the promise of a Diet would restrain the Lutherans. A Diet held before the settlement of the religious problem would be worse than useless: it could only be called with safety after the formation of the Catholic League.

It is difficult to say which was the more offensive, the Vicechancellor's diplomatic bungling or his unctuous self-conceit. Both alike made him in the end unbearable to his colleagues Granvelle, Lund and Naves. Held was not even original in his ideas, for the theory of an imperial union had been canvassed some years before, although it had come to nothing, and the constitution of the League suggested by the Vice-chancellor was based on that of the Schmalkaldic League, and was partly in any case the work of others. It seemed that Held either would not or could not understand those clear indications of imperial policy, which Charles had given in the last and secret clauses of his instructions: the upshot of his mission was that he neither did what he was told nor achieved what had been hoped.

Held's mission, and the effect which it had on the Schmalkaldic League, led to the final abandonment of the conciliar plan. Looking back on Charles's policy up to this time, it is clear that since the days of Gattinara he had systematically stood out for a council, and in that had been in agreement with the German Estates, both Lutheran and Catholic. The hostility of Clement VII had served but to draw the advocates of the council closer to each other, and a genuine desire for it had for many years been the one safeguard of peace in Germany. As early as 1526 the Emperor had been willing to give a specific guarantee of peace, in order to have his hands free for Italy. So that he might be able to defend his lands against the Turk, he had agreed to the Nuremberg settlement in 1532. Although Clement VII had been against the council, he had yet made certain concessions to the idea, and these confirmed Charles in his policy. From the personal point of view, too, the belief in the ultimate decision of a council lightened the burden on Charles's conscience. But now the ostensible willingness of Paul III that a council should be called immediately, made German politics infinitely more difficult. So long as the Pope was against the council such ticklish problems as, where the council was to meet, who was to preside, what offers were to be made to the Protestants, could all be left open. But no sooner did the issue of formal invitations make the council an immediate reality, than all these questions had to be decided.

The first nuncio sent by Paul III was Pietro Paolo Vergerio, who ended his life as a Protestant theologian at Württemberg. He was with the Schmalkaldic League at Christmas 1535, and was there informed that they had always hoped for a general council of all Christendom, as being the best means of settling the bitter quarrels of the time. But they objected to Mantua as the place for the assembly; they asked that it should meet on German soil.

They went on to say that the Pope, being himself all too personally concerned, should not act as judge or president. Later on, after notice had been given of the council itself by the Bull of June 2nd, 1536, the Pope sent yet another ambassador, Peter Vorst, the auditor of the Rota, to canvass all the princes of Germany. He came first to Vienna, where he was warmly welcomed, went thence across Franconia by way of Nuremberg, Bamberg and Wtirzburg, and farther to Schmalkalde itself. Held had preceded him here, had already exhorted the Protestants with misplaced ardour to submit to a council, and had been sent away with the bad impressions which we have already noticed. The reason advanced by the members of the Schmalkaldic League for rejecting the proposed council was that they had been promised at the Diet a free Christian Council to be held on German soil. But Paul III had not only already condemned their beliefs before he called the council, but had actually spoken in the Bull of June 2nd in opprobrious terms of the Lutheran heresy. He was therefore a partisan whom they could not accept as a judge.

When Held tried to answer this, the League rejoined with a still more pointed repetition of the argument. Thus when the papal nuncio made his appearance, he found that they were unwilling even to hear him. They would not receive the letters which he had brought from the Pope, and referred him to the answer which they had already given to Held. In March both Held and Vorst visited the meeting which the related dynasties of Brandenburg, Saxony and Hesse, together with Duke Henry the younger of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, were holding at Zeitz. Here again they were unsuccessful. The only result of their visit was to increase their sympathy with the Catholic participants at the meeting, since the Protestants had treated their offers with such coldness. Such at least is the impression given by the nuncio in his account of March 23rd.

The cause of the council seemed utterly lost. Had he had the support of Germany Charles had hoped, to judge at least by the instructions which he gave to Held, to take upon himself the chief responsibility for the council. Faced by the blunt refusal of the Schmalkaldic League, he had no further object in pursuing the council. Emperor and Pope immediately drew their own conclusions. On April 20th, 1537, the council was prorogued, for the first and not for the last time; the excuse advanced was that the Duke of Mantua was making difficulties. On October 8th the council was again prorogued; the excuse this time was the Turkish danger and the alleged reticence of certain Christian princes. The council was now to meet, with the agreement of the Venetian Republic, at Vicenza in a year's time. At Genoa, on June 28th, 1538, the Pope again prorogued the council for a year. The sun of peace was by that time high over Europe, but the Pope had other reasons for not wanting a council.

At this time, June 1538, Charles was still ignorant of the Catholic League which Held was preparing. He had just received news from King Ferdinand of the proposals for mediation recently made by the Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, which were in close sympathy with his own. Faced by the happier prospect of a settlement in Germany Pope and Emperor could dispense for the time being with the council, whose prospects were so clouded, and devote themselves to the more urgent problem of the Turk.

But while Charles was with the Pope, Held's Catholic League had already come into being at Nuremberg on June 10th. Ferdinand had cleared the way for it at a thinly attended meeting at Speyer in the previous March, but although the negotiations which led to its formation had been long, very little had been gained. No Elector had agreed to subscribe to it, or at least not under his title as an Elector, and no bishops save the Archbishops of Salzburg and Magdeburg. This in itself was proof of how far Held had misunderstood the situation in Germany. Even among the League's most enthusiastic supporters -- Brunswick, Bavaria and the Duke of Saxony -- there was no unanimity as to its ultimate object. The wavering policy of the Bavarian dukes was another source of weakness. The Pope, acting on the advice of the nuncio Morone, refused his support. Yet in spite of this wretched beginning, the mere effect of the League's formation was significant enough within Germany itself.

Charles, although very far from allowing himself to be influenced by his self-willed Vice-chancellor, could not but trust Held's reports of the German situation, which were confirmed in the main by Ferdinand; he showed at first a favourable interest in the new League. All the same, as early as March 31st, he had earnestly entreated Ferdinand not to desist from his policy of mediation, merely because Held said that the Lutherans were 'shameless'. It was Ferdinand's first duty to prevent the members of the Schmalkaldic League from flying to arms. Even in the question of Church land, Charles urged his brother to make concessions, if he could. He suggested that he should promise the members of the Schmalkaldic League a Diet, which could later be postponed. Above all things, Charles insistently repeated, civil war in Germany must be prevented, for the Turks and the French were still menacing. Charles's attitude was made up of two contrary elements: relief at finding a firmness of purpose, whose existence he had not suspected, among the Catholic princes, and anxiety lest, by openly favouring an offensive alliance against the Protestants, he should force the Schmalkaldic League into war. He allowed the Catholic League to take shape, but he withheld his own final judgment. Hesitating long before he gave his consent, he hesitated yet longer before giving his support. This was hardly surprising, for Held's mission had not furthered his own policy; the Vice-chancellor had put the Emperor's name and credentials to a very different use than that originally intended. Yet, to judge by Charles's letters on the subject, this misinterpretation of his original intentions did not blind him to the fact that a weapon was being forged for his use, of which he might one day stand in need. Such hopes as he had were however prone to disappointment. From the very beginning the League was an offence to his opponents without being a strength to his own cause; Catholic determination seemed exhausted by the mere effort of bringing it into being, while the members of the Schmalkaldic League were confirmed in their darkest suspicions and strengthened in their purpose.

The leaders of the Catholic League, Henry of Brunswick and Lewis of Bavaria, naturally described their efforts to Charles in the most favourable light; and Held, the proud father of the misbegotten thing, conspired to support them for his own interests. But Leonhard von Eck, the Bavarian minister, had the courage to say that the League had been formed 'against his will'. The Hessians had meanwhile ingenuously admitted to the Bavarians that they had had a plan for a surprise attack on the Duke of Brunswick. The Bavarians in fact had the advantage of knowing something of the plans of both sides. For several years to come their allegiance was still in doubt, a constant source of unrest.


While an uneasy calm still brooded over European affairs, disturbed only by the machinations of Held and the rumours to which these gave rise, a curious change had taken place in the alignment of the powers.

The members of the Schmalkaldic League were at heart as little united as the members of the Catholic union. If all were agreed in doubting whether they could justly eliminate the rights of Emperor and Empire from their deliberations, the towns were gradually growing more restive at the thought of a French alliance; the knowledge that the French government had relations with the Sultan was probably at the bottom of this. In February 1538 the municipal council of Ulm first spoke plainly on this point to the delegates of Strasbourg. They declared flatly that they did not wish to have any dealings with a King who 'persecuted, tormented and hunted his own subjects out of house and home for the sake of God's word, and appalling to relate, had actually entered into alliance with the common foe of all good Christians, the Turk'. Nay, they pursued, he had given the Sultan both occasion and encouragement for his ill-doing. Before allying with such a King, 'whose shamelessness and levity are so blatant that there is not a drop of true Christian blood to be traced in all his actions', the councillors of Ulm besought their fellow-Protestants to consider well, lest 'God Almighty should once again withdraw the true light of his mercy and bring us to eternal damnation both of body and soul'.

Yet in this very spring of 1538 the Elector of Saxony, irritated now past bearing and urged on by the Danish King, sent repeated embassies to France. He failed to achieve anything, for much as his fears forced him into sympathy with the French King, he could not reconcile a definite alliance with what he took to be his duty as a prince of the Empire.

Another result of Held's mission and of Protestant fears was the alliance made between Queen Mary in the Netherlands and the Landgrave of Hesse. This union was more important than it at first appeared, for the Landgrave of Hesse was the virtual leader of the Schmalkaldic League and his importance in imperial policy was rapidly increasing. The secretary Naves opened a brilliant career by guiding these negotiations to a happy conclusion. The first overtures came apparently from the Hessian side. Naves visited the Landgrave in response to them, came back to Queen Mary and returned later to Hesse with credentials and instructions.

At the first visit from Naves, Philip hastened to deny the truth of various unfavourable rumours: he had not, he said, been opposed to the voting of subsidies against the Turk, he had never sought to make an alliance against the Emperor or to help France either with troops or moral support. Both he and all those who were with him in the Schmalkaldic League regarded it as their first duty to help the Emperor against the Turks. But, he added, if the Emperor really intended to overwhelm them by force of arms, as Doctor Matthias Held had not scrupled to tell everyone, they could hardly be expected to divest themselves of all their weapons and resources. If they might have some guarantee that no such plan was indeed being formed against them, the Emperor would find no more loyal supporters of his Turkish policy. But the guarantee would have to be more effective than any which had been given them at Nuremberg, 'for in direct contravention to this latter, the Reichskammergericht had proceeded against them, and had even gone so far as to publish the imperial ban'. When they complained to the Emperor, Philip reminded Naves, he had promised to send one of his ministers to inquire into the matter. But the only person who came was Doctor Held, and his discourse was such that the members of the Schmalkaldic League could not have been more astonished had the Emperor dealt them each severally a stunning blow on the head. Subsidies against the Turk, the Landgrave added, ought by rights to be voted in a Diet, not sued for by special ambassadors. The Schmalkaldic League was purely defensive. Now it was being rumoured that the Emperor was allying himself with the French King to annihilate them, and it was said that he had every intention of absorbing the bishoprics of Munster, Osnabruck and Bremen into the Netherlands.

Mary answered that she was sure Held had gone beyond his instructions in speaking as he did: she was convinced that the Emperor had no intention of making war in Germany. Such rumours were doubtless the work of the French or other illwishers who sought to sow tares among the wheat. The Emperor cared for all Christendom, and she would be very willing to propose to him that he should let the religious question rest until a council, or some other general assembly, could meet to decide it. She knew that the Emperor was very anxious for a council and was indeed hurrying his return to Germany to expedite it. As for the bishoprics, he had no intention whatever of infringing their boundaries. She furnished Naves with particular instructions for the problems of Gelderland and Cleves; that ancient disturber of the peace, Charles of Gelderland, had drawn up his will in such a way that his heir William of Cleves was bound to be involved in difficulties and disputes.

William's brother-in-law, the young Elector of Saxony, had grown so nervous of Charles's intentions, that he actually asked the Landgrave of Hesse whether it would not be wise to forestall an imperial attack. But the Landgrave, contrary to his expectation, curtly answered that it would be foolhardy to act on mere suspicion when they had not even the money they needed. Inevitably a great part of Germany would be exposed to attack, were they to move, and a reasonable plan of campaign would be difficult to evolve. The best scheme would probably be an invasion of the lands belonging to Duke Henry of Brunswick and Duke George of Saxony. But on the whole an honourable peace treaty was much to be preferred.

On both sides the seeds of peace were striking root.

In a letter to Ferdinand on July 28th Charles revealed his preoccupation with the news from Hesse. He asked his brother to bestir himself in accordance with the agreement made with the French King and the Pope. By this he meant the various arrangements agreed on at Aigues Mortes, and which he had himself published in a somewhat undefined form. This was that same agreement which the members of the Schmalkaldic League had quite mistakenly thought to be a plan for a war on the Protestants. In fact not even the most highly confidential letters between Charles and Ferdinand so much as hint of any such plan. Their one desire was to separate the German princes from the French King and thereby to remove one obstacle in the way of a settlement. Mary herself most urgently pleaded for peace in Germany; emphatically she dissuaded Charles from any project of war by sea, and urged him if he intended to fight the Turk, to win over the hearts of his German subjects and make them into his supporters by peaceful means. He must in fact cajole and tempt the German princes away from the French King.

All the surviving documents relating to Charles's policy in Germany in these years 1538-9 bear out the indications contained in the secret part of Held's instructions, that part which he had so signally neglected. On September 22nd Charles wrote to his brother: 'Our intention is to meet them on certain individual points which do not affect the fundamentals of our faith, and to avoid stirring up irritation by refusing things, either for a time or for ever.'

Once again Charles's political thoughts soared up to embrace the whole world. The situation in England was calm again. In January Henry VIII let the Emperor know that although he would not countenance a papal council, he would agree to an imperial assembly. Astonishing to relate, Charles now, conveniently forgetting the dismal career of his own aunt, not to mention the execution of Anne Boleyn, agreed in all seriousness to a plan outlined by Chapuys and Henry VIII. By this the English King was to marry the still adolescent widow of the Duke of Milan, and gain with her a claim on the Danish throne. As a preliminary condition for this marriage, Henry demanded that the Count Palatine Frederick, and his wife Dorothea, should renounce their rights. In May and June 1538, Charles discussed the details of these remarkable dynastic projects yet more fully in his letters to his brother. Lund was to approach the Count Palatine and his wife, either of whom had the personal resources necessary to make good their claim on Denmark, and persuade them to withdraw. But in spite of the emptiness of their pretensions, the prince and princess at once made difficulties. Dorothea had never ceased to sign all official documents with the formula: 'Princess and rightful heiress of the Danish kingdoms.' The Palatine family had other reasons, too, for opposing the English marriage.

But once again the complaints of the Low Countries sobered down Charles's all too wild ambitions. The first memorandum issued by Queen Mary bears no date, but in this she laid down minimum demands for the English negotiations. In 1506, driven by storms to make a forced landing on the English coast, Philip the Handsome had consented to that unfavourable commercial agreement the Intercursus Malus. This contract had been laid down for perpetuity and all efforts to improve its terms had failed: the agreements of 1515 and 1520 had both been based on it. Mary herself had been equally unsuccessful in trying to have it altered, and she laid down its modification now as an essential provision of any treaty to be made with England. If a perpetual treaty could not actually be abolished, Charles might at least refuse to give it explicit confirmation.

She asked also that in return for the renunciation of all Hapsburg claims on Denmark, the people of the Netherlands should be given freedom of trade and transit in all the provinces of the Danish kingdoms, in salt water and fresh, in the Belts and the Sound, together with rights of passage to Prussia, Riga, Reval and Danzig, without the payment of any new imposts. Their ships were also to be guaranteed against piracy and other nuisances to commerce. Should Henry leave more than one son the eldest was to succeed him in England, the second in Denmark; this would prevent the permanent union of the Danish and English crowns, a fusion as dangerous to the Netherlands as that between Gelderland, Cleves, Jülich and Berg, of which they now went in fear. In all treaties signed with the Duke of Holstein, the Netherlands were to receive special consideration.

In a second and yet more explicit memorandum addressed to Charles, Mary adjured him to promise no active help in the Danish question, and once again emphasized her extreme distaste for the whole scheme. All that eastern trade, of which Holland, Zeeland, Brabant and Flanders were now the repository, would be diverted to England, should Henry be established on the Danish throne, she argued. And, she continued, the Baltic cities would be extremely unwilling to have so powerful a monarch in the north: had Charles adequately considered what opposition he might have to contend with in that quarter? Besides which, Charles could not make war in Denmark without violating the recent and favourable treaty of Ghent. And if he did in fact proceed to such an extremity, had he conceived how serious would be his danger should Henry then withdraw, leaving him alone to face the danger? Henry ran no risk for he was unassailable in his island kingdom: the same could not be said of Charles. He was vulnerable both by land and sea, while the commerce of the Netherlands lay open to every attack. All these things, Mary added significantly, Charles might already have learnt by bitter experience.

As brave as she was intelligent, Mary went even further.

Happily for her, the English problem solved itself. The King proved as fickle to his purpose as Charles himself had half suspected. One care but gave place to another yet more serious. Queen Mary and King Ferdinand realized only too clearly from the Emperor's letters during the summer and autumn of 1539 that he was living in a mist of enthusiasm, borne up by the delusive hope of a successful campaign against the Turk, a campaign which was to outdo all previous efforts and which he was himself to lead. He felt that the temporary friendship of France gave him an opportunity, which he ought not to miss, to carry out an action in which he could not but succeed. During those happy days at Aigues Mortes he had written fully and frankly to Mary, telling her of his informal and friendly meetings with Queen Eleonore and her royal husband, and joyfully adding that they had now referred all their disputes to their respective ministers, and had themselves agreed to keep the truce, nay to regard it as a peace in itself, whatever decision their ministers should ultimately reach. Acting together, in peace and friendship, Charles had already agreed with the King of France to bring back those who had relapsed from the Church. The Pope approved their joint intentions, and all their arguments tended ultimately only to one and the same end -- a joint attack on the Turk. In later letters Charles proceeded to outline his plans in detail, as he evolved them in conjunction with King Francis.

In the intoxicating atmosphere of Aigues Mortes, where life was one joyous and solemn festival, Francis seems to have embraced the idea of a Crusade with the same exaggerated enthusiasm which he had once before evinced for it, at Paris in October 1529. With the French King, such expressions of religious ardour evaporated almost as soon as they were made; with the Emperor they sank deep into his more serious mind and long left their mark.

The Venetian Republic, that member of the anti-Turkish League which was most immediately affected by such plans, was already pushing forward into Greek waters, attacking Turkish ports at the outlet of the Adriatic, and occasionally carrying her arms even farther to the east. Charles warmly acclaimed Venetian ardour. On November 30th, 1538, he wrote to King Ferdinand that he had already received letters from Rome and Venice, who were both agreed as to the size of the army to be employed, and the divisions in which it was to operate. He went on to explain that he had himself made all necessary arrangements for commissariat, artillery, munitions, and other necessaries. He was in agreement over details with Ferrante Gonzaga and Andrea Doria. By this time the talk no longer centred on coastal waters and the defence of the home shores. Once or twice the word 'Constantinople' had been mentioned.

Charles was as little hindered in the pursuance of these immense plans by the tactful hints of his nearest advisers than he had been in the time preceding his descent on Tunis.

And while Charles was thus bemused among his lofty aspirations, Queen Mary sent him the greatest of all her letters. Style and orthography both betray it as her own personal work: a document as impassioned as it is weighty, remarkable at once for its sincerity and its intelligence. Certain disturbances in the Low Countries, of which more must be said later, had doubtless inspired her to lay the case thus firmly before her brother's dazzled eyes. Her opening passage rings with the authoritative note of a Gattinara or an Archduchess Margaret. 'Your Majesty', wrote Queen Mary, 'is the greatest prince in Christendom, but you cannot undertake a war in the name of all Christendom until such time as you have means to carry it through to certain victory.' The east was far away, she went on, and great indeed would Charles's resources have to be, were he to undertake so distant a conquest: Tunis was but a day's passage from the ports of Sicily. Barbarossa had fought; but the Turks might prefer to withdraw, laying waste the land. What then could Charles achieve? One rapid campaign would be meaningless: the enterprise which Charles now had in mind could not be carried out, save in many long years. Such an undertaking as he intended must cost inexhaustible wealth. And whence, she asked, was this to come? What hope of support had Charles from his allies, from the Pope, from the Venetians, from the King of France? What reliance, she demanded, could be placed on so new and unproved a friendship? That which King Francis most desired, she pointed out, the duchy of Milan, was still in Charles's hands. Moreover, she pursued implacably, the finances of all the Hapsburg dominions were unequal to the strain. Naples, the Netherlands, Spain, all alike needed time to rest and gather their spent forces. With the Emperor absent, she pleaded, what was to become of the Netherlands? The Duke of Cleves, for instance, would undoubtedly take possession of Gelderland. 'Before God', she told him, 'nothing is so certain as that Your Majesty's first duty is to your own subjects.'

Let him consider, she went on, what the risk of his own person might not mean. Was he to go, and leave unprotected 'The Empress, your children, your lands and all of us, last but not least, the Christian Church which leans for its support on you alone? How will you answer for this before God?' The Turks could not be destroyed unless their whole empire fell, she reiterated. 'This cannot be done but in a very long time. And in what straits should we be if you were defeated, or never came home again? In the name of God, I implore you, bethink you of your duty to God Himself. So great a prince as you must only conquer. Defeat is the ultimate crime. Wait but for a year or two. Set your lands in order against a long absence. Win the love of the German princes, so that they may help you in this great enterprise, and have France for a friend, not an enemy, in that land. March from Spain across France, settle your last accounts with that King, then visit your Netherlands, so to Germany and at last to Italy. This is the advice, which in all humility, I offer to you.'

Before Charles could read this passionate appeal to his sense of duty, his ships under Doria and Ferrante Gonzaga, were already at Corfu, where they had joined the Venetian fleet under Capello and the papal fleet under Grimani. Over against them was the Turkish fleet, under Barbarossa's command. Smaller in numbers, it had the advantage of them in experienced seamanship and unity of command. Yet for long enough the decisive conflict, sought by both parties, did not come to pass. Before the two fleets finally engaged, Barbarossa sent Alonso Alarçon, who had been taken prisoner some days before, to Corfu to negotiate with the imperial admirals and generals. Apparently he was seriously considering whether he should come over to the imperial side, a change which might well have been as significant as that of Andrea Doria himself had been some years before. His condition was that he should be reinstated at Tunis, and this, because they could gain no guarantee of his future conduct, the imperialists thought too high a price. And so, on September 27th, the seabattle of Prevesa took place, at the outlet of the bay of Arta, not far from the island of Leukas. It was a botched affair. The imperialists failed to shut in the Turkish fleet, and retired ingloriously. Soon after they sought to efface this bad impression by seizing Castelnuovo, a little to the north, on the bay of Cattaro. But as at Prevesa, the commanders disagreed, the Venetians opposing the plans of the Spaniards under Doria. When at length they agreed as to how the place was to be garrisoned, they failed to send it help in time, and Barbarossa returning, besieged and took it.

The depressing news of these events may well have damped the Emperor's crusading zeal. The valuable and uninterrupted series of dispatches from the Venetian ambassadors at the imperial Court, which cover the whole of this period, give a vivid picture of the rise and decline of Charles's great plan. In the spring, Mocenigo informed the Doge that the Emperor was planning to set himself at the head of a great enterprise in the following year. On May 24th all the ambassadors wrote together to the Venetian government, explaining that Charles had called them together and delivered a lengthy, interesting and impressive dissertation on the coming war. He had explained how difficult it was to withhold the Turks on land, because their nimble cavalry could evade serious engagements, while splitting up and reassembling at will, for plundering expeditions or ambushes. He had himself, he said, experienced this in Austria. And moreover, although he was not easily moved, he had wept when his brother told him, on the same occasion, that the Christian troops, because of their great numbers, did more harm to the inhabitants than the Turks. Hence he had realized that the only sure defence against the infidel by land was a series of strong border fortresses. This year, therefore, he intended to devote wholly to securing his defences. In the following year he would attack -- but by sea. He had gone on to speak of his Tunisian venture. His experience there led him to believe that he would need 200 ships and 60,000 men for this greater enterprise; above all he wanted German troops for they were like a rock in defensive action. He would also need 2000 horses for the artillery, and these could best be transported in the big Flemish ships, 100 in each. As soon as his preparations were completed, he intended to sail straight for Constantinople, a city which he understood could be blockaded from three sides by sea.

To this height then did Charles lift his hopes. For months he thought of nothing but these preparations; or if he thought of anything else, it was only how best to meet the objections raised against them in Spain. The Castilians agreed to an attack on Algiers, but would hear of nothing more. When, on October 27th, they heard of the battle of Prevesa, they discussed at great length the refusal of the Venetians to submit to Doria's direction. The Venetian ambassadors naturally defended Capello. In December there was much dispute as to the best winter quarters for the fleet. By January 1529, although preparations for the great attack had not yet been abandoned, they figured much less largely in the Venetian dispatches from Spain than did Charles's quarrels with the Cortes. Meanwhile, in spite of continued negotiation for several dynastic marriages, the jarring discords between Charles and the French King were once more to be heard. Thetroubled issues of Charles's international policy resumed full dominance when the English Cardinal, Reginald Pole, made his appearance in Spain, with the suggestion of a descent on England, to enforce the papal sentence pronounced against that country. The King of France would have to be won over to this plan. And on March 12th, Mocenigo for the first time mentioned a projected truce with the Turks to be won by French mediation. For the time being Charles's dream of a great campaign was at an end.

All this while King Ferdinand and the Elector of Brandenburg had been busy trying to quiet Germany. King Ferdinand, in sore need of subsidies against the Turks, was particularly anxious for peace. The German princes, who had been responsible for deepening the religious cleavage, were now no less responsible for bridging it. Charles himself was anxious for conciliation. The papal nuncio, Morone, on the other hand, was ardently opposed to it. On July 4th, 1538, a new legate arrived, in the person of Aleander, now Bishop of Brindisi. He had been sent as a result of Charles's earlier discussions with the Pope; but as things now stood, the instructions which he brought were not very conciliatory. Remembering the Diet of Worms seventeen years before, Ferdinand feared that they might hinder rather than advance a settlement. Fabio Mignanello, Morone's successor at the Austrian Court, was subordinated to the legate, but neither of them played any part in the negotiations with the Protestants.

There were difficulties enough and to spare. The Schmalkaldic League was slow to formulate its demands. It asked that Ferdinand be given plenipotentiary powers by the Emperor, which he could delegate to the Electors of Brandenburg and the Palatinate, and that Frankfort be chosen for a meeting place. Ferdinand would have preferred a town more conveniently situated from his point of view, and suspected an intended slight. He suggested that Lund and Held act as imperial plenipotentiaries, the Electors merely as mediators. In spite of his desire for a settlement, Charles proceeded with exaggerated caution, and insisted on having detailed and confidential reports from Ferdinand of every step in the business. On October 28th he at length announced that he would send the Archbishop of Lund, and the instructions with which this latter eventually left Toledo were dated November 30th. They were couched in general terms, and to judge by their contents Charles seemed still to be counting on the help of the Pope and the French King. He was prepared only to make very limited concessions for bringing the Protestants back into the fold of the Church: they might have some licence in their dealings with the papal legate, but he would grant them no doctrinal deviation from the fundamentals of the Catholic faith. In return for such minor concessions, he wished both parties to keep the peace in Germany and give him their help against the Turk. Lund was with Ferdinand at Linz by the end of December. At the beginning of January 1539, they were deep in consultation. When the first Protestant demands were laid before him, Aleander was indignant: they seemed to him wholly unacceptable. And indeed while the Catholic party had expected a request that the settlement of Nuremberg be respected and trials in the Reichskammergericht cease, had perhaps even been ready for a demand for parity between the parties, they were taken by surprise by the demand for freedom of religion for all the imperial estates. This, later, was to be known as the Freistellung. Even more disturbing and unexpected was the request that subjects might have the right to choose their own religion and emigrate if they chose. The Protestant demands were based on the belief in a now inevitable and permanent separation of the two religions. The point was to be disputed for the whole of the coming century.

The outlook grew darker still when the members of the Schmalkaldic League, who had gathered at Frankfort, began to make serious preparations to defend their cause and spoke openly of a preventive war. Charles counted in vain on help from King Francis; he was far too clever to commit himself openly to either party. All the same, when William von Fuerstenberg, a wellknown mercenary leader who had long been in French service, offered his sword to the Schmalkaldic League, it was at least probable that the King of France was behind him. The English King proved himself more openly favourable to the Protestants: he was negotiating for a marriage, either for himself or his daughter, with a member of the dynasty now ruling in ClevesJülich, and he was planning a general alliance with the Protestants and Denmark. His policy coincided with the abortive plan of the Catholic powers to make a descent on England. The young Duke of Cleves, too, was willing to ally himself with the Schmalkaldic League, whom he imagined would help him to make good his claim on Gelderland. But the Schmalkaldic League fought shy of an entanglement with a prince who so obviously wished to exploit them for political ends, and who had not yet openly declared himself in favour of the Augsburg Confession. In other fields, too, the peace party was still strong. Many members of the League were profoundly loyal to the Emperor and suspicious of French interference. The Landgrave of Hesse was strongly in favour of peace, although his influence was weakened by repeated illness and absence.

On the Catholic side the Archbishop of Lund seemed to be no less obstinate than the Schmalkaldic League were exacting. The two mediators were in despair, yet they did not cease in their efforts to persuade the disputants to see reason, and they were for ever taking up and trying to knit together again threads which seemed irretrievably broken. Lund, in the meantime, showed that he, too, was equal to his task. He was remarkable for those very qualities in which Held was lacking. Obstinate in principle, he was nevertheless skilful in negotiation and easy of access. He would willingly accept invitations from the Landgrave or the Elector and would sit with them for hours, discussing in the friendliest possible way all the possibilities of solving their problems. A religious discussion began gradually to emerge as the best probable solution. Once both parties agreed to this, their mutual relationship could be more clearly defined and the points at issue narrowed down to essentials.

And so at last, on April 19th, 1539, these interminable discussions did lead to a settlement, which, astonishingly enough, went far beyond that of Nuremberg in 1532. By this 'Frankfurter Anstand' or 'Agreement of Frankfort' all the adherents of the Augsburg Confession were to be guaranteed against force, and the trials in the Reichskammergericht were to be held up for six months. Charles even promised to extend the truce for fifteen months if the Schmalkaldic League would undertake to seize no more Church land and to widen their scope no further: the Catholic Union would give an equivalent guarantee. Over and above this they agreed to meet at Worms on May 18th for a full discussion of the Turkish problem, and at Nuremberg on August 1st to thresh out their religious differences. The arrangement was in full accordance with the idea recently fathered upon the Protestant world by the Concordat of Wittenberg; 1 it was to play a prominent part in solving the relations between the Augustana and the old Church. From Charles's point of view, the new arrangement was the next step forward towards that agreement which he had so earnestly sought at Augsburg.

The great Erasmus had closed his eyes for ever on the world at Basel on July 11th, 1536. Yet in many ways the times still

1 Signed at Wittenberg on May 29th, 1536, this represented a further effort of the north and south German Protestants to reach doctrinal agreement (TRANSLATOR'S note).

seemed to reflect his own temper of compromise and good sense. On June 1st, 1540, Beatus Rhenanus dedicated his edition of the complete works of the scholar to the Emperor Charles V. There was a fitness in the act.


While the Protestant disputes were being settled in Germany, heavy sorrow brooded over the Emperor's household at Toledo. On April 20th the Empress gave birth to her seventh child. It died almost at once: of living children she had only Philip, Mary and Joanna. The Empress had been ailing for months and for her sake Charles remained in Toledo. In spite of her enfeebled state, it seemed at first that she would survive the strain of a premature confinement, but the fever suddenly resumed its hold, and on May 1st she died. Writing to Ferdinand, Charles declared that in his great sorrow he had no other comfort but the thought of her virtuous and devout life and her saintly death. He himself had nothing left to do but to submit himself in all patience to God's will, and pray him to take Isabella to him in Paradise.

For some days Charles withdrew altogether, to the Hieronymite monastery of La Sisla near Toledo.

In his memoirs, he speaks movingly of his wife's death, and of the sorrow which it caused to everyone. Then he proceeds to public business. 'After the meeting at Aigues Mortes and the continuation of negotiations for a solid and lasting peace with the King of France, disturbing news began to come from the Netherlands, from which country the Emperor had been absent since 1531. He judged that further absence would but increase this evil. He felt himself to be alone, and knew that his deepest wish was to preserve peace. He could not but think the prince, his son, still too young to govern in place of the Empress, and many other doubts were thrust upon him, yet he listened only to his own inner and sincere intention of doing what was best for his subjects so that they might not fall into greater distress. He wished, too, to see the conclusion of certain problems which he had left unsettled in Germany. He first thought of taking ship at Barcelona and going by way of Italy. But at this moment the French King urged him most cordially to travel by way of France, where he promised him every security and welcome. The Emperor felt that by refusing such an invitation he might well provoke serious trouble and awaken a feeling of mistrust. Taking all these things into account, he therefore decided to leave Spain and to entrust its government to his son, young as he was.'

Tentatively as Charles embarked on the experiment of making the twelve-year-old Philip regent in his absence, he nevertheless used the occasion for the compilation of the first of those great political testaments which are to this day the best source of our knowledge of his character and intentions. Here, far more than in his letters to his wife, Charles set down the thoughts nearest his heart, and this with such emphasis and detail as would guarantee their execution even in his absence, even after his death.

As in his memoirs, so in the testament, he justified his renewed absence from Spain by his desire to make a permanent peace between his family, the King of the Romans and the King of France. The opening phrases of the great document recall the spirit of Gattinara. He admonished the prince to fear God and honour the holy Church, to fulfil his duties towards Christendom, his lands and his people.

Without intermission, he next proceeded to that thought which, since the temporary collapse of his crusading scheme, had entirely filled his mind, and for the realization of which he was anxious to have some security beyond his own life. He wished to see Europe dynastically organized for generations to come, under the leadership of the two great families of France and Burgundy, with the support of England and Portugal. The imperial office remained for the time being outside the ring of hereditary dynastic power, but he earmarked it naturally enough for the head of the House of Hapsburg. The breakdown of the negotiations at Nice, followed by the friendly meeting at Aigues Mortes, had given Charles another idea for the solution of his endless quarrel with the French King. Both lines of the Hapsburg dynasty might be allied by marriage to the Valois, and the disputed lands could be held alternately by members of each family. In this Charles was under the influence of the French theory for the solution of the European problem. He had abandoned Gattinara's idea of a free confederation of Italian states, with the papal states as an equal member, in favour of the dominance of Milan under a member of one or other of the two great dynasties. There were three possible solutions for the other great problem, that of the Burgundian inheritance. Either Charles's daughter, the Infanta Mary, could be recognized as heiress to the Netherlands and married to Ferdinand's son, thus bringing the Low Countries and the great claims of the Burgundian dynasty into the hands of the German branch of the family, or the Infanta could marry the Duke of Orleans, and make Burgundy what it had originally been in the remote days of its origin -- the appanage of the second son of the French King. Thirdly and lastly the problem might be solved in Spain's favour.

In general Charles seems to have counted on leaving the Spanish and transatlantic kingdoms to Philip, and the Netherlands if the Provinces could be induced to receive him. Otherwise they were to go to the Infanta. The government of the Netherlands by the noble ladies of the Hapsburg family was gradually becoming a tradition. In compliance with the family compact, the Austrian lands were guaranteed to Ferdinand and his heirs. To satisfy Ferdinand's repeated demands for Milan, it was to be given to one of his daughters as a dowry on her marriage to the Duke of Orleans. Charles was reserving his younger daughter for the heir of Portugal, and he had planned to complete the circle of alliances by marrying the other prince of Portugal to his cousin, Princess Mary of England.

Charles and Ferdinand were occupied for several months in the discussion of these problems. The alternative solutions were variously canvassed. Was Philip or his sister to rule in the Netherlands? Was the Duke of Orleans to have Mary of Spain and the Netherlands for dowry, or Mary of Austria and Milan? The letters of the two brothers for some time were filled with nothing else; their ambassadors hurried busily to and fro. Now and again the family correspondence betrayed a human touch. Queen Mary advised Ferdinand to remember how difficult Charles could be in accepting propositions of which he was not himself the author, and urged him to act cautiously. Eleonore was not backward in furthering the good fortune of her stepson, the Duke of Orleans, or of her own daughter, the Infanta of Portugal.

Charles had settled on the heiress of Navarre or the princess of France for Philip. In later political testaments he was to revert again to this question of Navarre, for Ferdinand of Aragon's claim to it had been indefinite, and Charles himself had weakened his rights there by the treaty of Noyon. On the other hand, if Philip did not marry Margaret of France, she would be free for Ferdinand's second son or for the Infant of Portugal. Even this couple, Charles thought, might at a pinch be given Milan.

All these plans, Charles protested, were intended to make a firm peace in Christendom and to regain those lost to the Church. They aimed at securing Gelderland and Hungary and preventing the French King from allying himself to princes hostile to the Hapsburg dynasty. Ingenuous and transparent as was this dynastic scheme, it cannot be denied that the immense number of alternative solutions which Charles here outlined, gave it a certain flexibility and even skill.

True to his custom before a long journey, Charles once again drew up his own personal will, this time in the form of a codicil to the will of 1535. In this will he mentioned his whole system of political marriages. He also left a legacy for the saying of 30,000 masses for his soul, and asked that the Pope grant plenary indulgence to those who attended them. For his last resting place, he now chose Granada, where he would lie at the side of his wife.

He issued plenary powers to the regency council, on whom, as in the Empress's time, the actual weight of government during his absence continued to lie. Cardinal Tavera remained as always the minister chiefly responsible. And once again, as always before a long journey, he bade farewell to his mother at Tordesillas. From Tordesillas he went by way of Burgos, San Sebastian, Bayonne, Bordeaux, to Poitiers and thence northwards into the Loire district. Either from Amboise or Blois, Francis set out to meet him, coming up with him at Loches on the Indre. Surrounded by a magnificent following, Francis himself was carried in a litter; he could no longer ride. In spite of the King's weakness, Charles averred that they did not loiter on the journey. He was delighted, too, to find that he was not at once to be overwhelmed with political business. On the contrary he was almost sated with hunting parties and joustings. The question of the family alliances was doubtless among the political business which was thus postponed. In spite of much persuasion from the French royal family, Charles refused even to consider his own second marriage. This was a sad disappointment to Francis; in his youth it had been his ambition to have the Emperor for a sonin-law, and he had been dreaming of that possibility once again. His Margaret, he insinuated to Charles, was a rose without a thorn, an angel beside whom all other women were fiends. But joyfully as he received Francis's other signs of affection, the Emperor turned a deaf car to these particular praises. He prided himself on his own courage, and wrote to tell Ferdinand how delighted the King of France had been to find that his onetime enemy now travelled with such confidence through the land.

One evening, as they were entering a castle, an unpleasant incident occurred. Too many torches had been lighted and the horses took fright at the glare and smoke. But, as Charles added in his account of it, suspicion of foul play was groundless. Another story, from the Zimmern Chronicle, recounts the chivalrous way in which the Emperor behaved when his hosts provided him with a young girl for his private pleasures. The tale is probably an invention, but it serves well to show the high reputation which Charles enjoyed. The royal party was at Fontainebleau for Christmas, in Paris early in January. Thence they went by way of Chantilly, Soissons, St. Quentin, to Valenciennes and Cambrai, the whole Court following them. By the end of January Charles was in Brussels.

The letters which Charles wrote to Ferdinand, whom he had asked to meet him in Brussels, were more spritely than usual and give a good picture of the journey. A family council was now to meet and discuss all those dynastic questions which were of such importance not only to Ferdinand but to Mary, who was still at intervals reiterating a claim for parts of her dowry and for her widow's portion out of Hungary.

Queen Mary met Charles at Valenciennes. She had other and even more serious problems to lay before him.


Ghent had now been for more than two years in open conflict with the government. Certain very radical alterations, partly the outcome of the conflict itself, partly the signs of its deeper causes, had taken place in the city during that time. General conclusions can be drawn from the revolt of Ghent and wide comparisons made. In its essence the struggle was not unlike the long-forgotten contest between Frederick Barbarossa and Milan: economic unrest and the growing idea of the dynastic state, as opposed to these lesser states with their petty privileges, played parts of almost equal importance. Ghent, indeed, was not, like Milan, a rising town, but like Lübeck, a declining one. The economic centre of the Netherlands had shifted from Flanders to Antwerp, the industry of Ghent fell on evil days; unemployment and financial troubles ensued. Such things feed political and social unrest. The constitution of the town was unusually democratic, for the three Estates included, besides burghers and members of guilds, the woollen weavers. Only a scattering of woollen weavers were left, but the gaps in their ranks were filled by other manual labourers, particularly from the transport industry. Representatives of these three Estates sat together in the general council, the Collace.

Twenty-six justices controlled the administration of the town, thirteen on each side. The burghers elected three of these, the guilds and weavers five each.

Added to the commercial distress of Ghent, the last French war in Artois had been particularly destructive, and the Queen's government had been in great financial straits. The Estates had granted her permission to take what measures she thought fit for the defence of the country, but the town of Ghent had refused to be included in these provisions. Only with the truce of Bomy in June 1537 was the Queen able to breathe again. Her financial troubles did not end with the war, and Queen Mary still depended largely on the help which Ghent, alone in Flanders, refused to give her. The city itself, no less ardent in the affair than the indignant Mary, refused to pay any subsidy for which its delegates had not voted, and sharpened the issue by appealing to general principles. The situation was not improved when Ghent offered to send men rather than money; Mary explained to its representatives that a hastily raised militia was hardly what was needed to wage a war in which money, horses, waggons and munition, were as important as soldiers. Ghent, she said, must pay, like other cities. When all her explanations failed to move the deputies, Mary, like Margaret before her, lost patience and appealed to arms.

The burghers took refuge behind ancient, but long disused privileges. The justices and their representatives showed a tendency to meet the Queen's demands, whereupon the quarrel rapidly developed into a civil war within the city, between the radical party and the bureaucracy. The usual mistrust of the lesser men for their betters, who were alleged to turn public funds to their own advantage, took on a peculiarly virulent form. The quarrel spread to the smaller towns and villages of the province, who followed the example of Ghent, and arrogated to themselves the same privileges, without being in any position to make good their claims.

Mary dispatched her cleverest advisers to Ghent. In April 1538 she sent Louis de Schore, later Lambert de Briarde and Adolphe of Burgundy, lord of Bevern. She sent Count Lalaing to Audenarde. All in vain. Her ambassadors themselves were threatened. The quarrel drove the people of Ghent at last to open revolution and betrayal of their country. They sought help from the French King. Unhappily for them they chose a moment when he was not interested, and he refused their offers. Yet in spite of this treachery, the movement had some elements in common with that of the Comuneros. The people thought that the Emperor was ignorant of what was going on. They decided to appeal to him. They were determined to settle nothing until he came.

The new elections to the magistracies brought the first serious internal war within Ghent itself. The external struggle was changed into an ugly internal conflict of personal hatreds. Some burghers fled in terror before the wrath of the mob, and the mob in turn avenged itself on those who stayed. Filthy and ungrounded slanders brought the most respected members of the community into contempt. Terrible scenes were enacted in the great hall of the Gravesteen: here Lieven Pyn, a reputable burgher, seventy-five years old, was cruelly insulted; his beard and hair were shaved off to exclude all possibility of demoniac assistance, 1 and he was dragged ruthlessly to the rack. He confessed nothing, and was condemned to death. With heroic courage, the old man forgave the people as he was dragged out to execution. He was but one of many, for in the passion of the moment any evidence was good enough to condemn a suspect, and informers sprang up like mushrooms after rain. The judges, even, showed less constancy than the accused. There was grotesque bathos as well as nauseating horror in the revolt. As Duke of Burgundy in 1515 Charles had granted the people a charter of privileges called the Calfskin. This the people now destroyed with shouts of joy, and for days after young ruffians walked the streets with its fragments stuck in their hats like ladies' favours. Queen Mary, they shouted, could shut herself up in a nunnery. They would not be governed by women.

Mary meanwhile defended her own rights with unswerving obstinacy and harshness. Yet in her favour it must be admitted that, in a time of national emergency, she more truly represented the needs of the state, whose defence and protection were the essential condition for the prosperity of each single town within it. Besides the revolutionary leaders showed no less obstinacy and far more harshness, without having any definite end in view, and without contributing to anything save the probable ruin of the town. Trade and industry suffered badly. For a long time there was no work, and a law made against the export of foodstuffs was of little use when provisions ran short in the town itself. The infection spread, meanwhile, to the whole country, and by the autumn of 1538 all Flanders was in a state of latent revolt. This was one of the considerations which had made Charles say, while he was still in Spain, that he must go to the Netherlands for the good of his people.

He expressed himself much the same, dryly and coldly, to the first deputation which he received from the people of Ghent at Valen-

1 It was commonly believed that evil spirits hid in the hair and assisted a victim to bear torture. Witches were almost invariably shaved before being put to the question (TRANSLATOR'S note).

ciennes. On February 14th, accompanied by Queen Mary, by the papal legate, by ambassadors, princes and nobles from the Netherlands, he entered Ghent in state. He was followed by a force of cavalry and five thousand landsknechts. With all his baggage and train, his entry lasted five hours. He took up his residence at his own birthplace, the Prinsenhof, quartering his troops in the different parts of the town. The people dared not stir.

Scenes of mob violence were now followed by scenes, no less horrible, of princely tyranny and military excess.

On February 17th Charles called on the leaders of the revolt to surrender. Some had fled; rewards were offered for their capture. On the 18th other prominent rebels were arrested. On his birthday, February 24th, Charles called the municipal council to the Prinsenhof, and in their presence the procuratorgeneral of Malines read out the accusation against Ghent. The town was guilty of revolt, disobedience and treason.

While the city attempted to formulate a defence, Charles went to Brussels to meet Ferdinand; the rest of the sordid drama was played out in the presence of both of them. Charles harshly overruled Ghent's bewildered justifications. On March 3rd the trials of the leaders began, and the executions were carried out on the same spot where Lieven Pyn and many others had suffered. In its despair the city implored even Mary to intercede for it. The Queen replied, with cool cynicism, that it was a little late to pay humble respects to her: she had been present in their city for at least a month. But, she added, softening, she could forgive them and would do all in her power to restore peace. More disastrous than individual executions was the quartering of the undisciplined troops. Worst of all Charles pulled down a whole district of the town to set up a fortress. He did, however, make provision in his next codicil for a legacy of 30,000 Gulden out of his Spanish revenues as an indemnity.

On April 29th he pronounced his final verdict on the city. Ghent had forfeited all rights and privileges by its revolt against its hereditary sovereign and lord. Its whole public treasure was confiscated, its arms were taken away, its artillery and store of ammunition, last of all its great and famous bell, its Roland. Charles insisted on a solemn apology, and on May 3rd he received it, delivered in the same heart-breaking form as that in which defeated Milan had apologized to Barbarossa. The justices and their servants, thirty of the leading burghers, all in black, bareheaded and bare-footed, six representatives of every guild, fifty weavers and fifty representatives of the populace, who were known as Creesers, in their shirts and with halters round their necks, made a sad procession from the court of justice to the castle, and there, on their knees, asked pardon. On the following day Charles issued the new constitution of Ghent, the Karolinische Concessie. Medieval Ghent was dead.

Acutely sensitive to his position as a sovereign, Charles had felt that in acting so harshly towards the city he was acting but justly. While his cruel judgment took its course, other negotiations were discussed in the apartments of the Prinsenhof. Charles was equally busied about the dynastic alliances of his family, about German affairs and about the administration of the Netherlands.

From Ghent on March 24th the Emperor sent word to the French Court, through his ambassador Bonvalot, Abbot of St. Vincent. It was a curious message which Charles now sent, for he seemed to have forgotten all those interesting alternative alliances, and instead exposed Francis to the bitterest disappointment by suddenly demanding the most colossal concessions. Instead of attempting to solve the still vexed question of Milan, Charles actually dug up the old problem of the Burgundian inheritance. He suggested that the Duke of Orleans should marry his daughter Mary, to whom he would give as a dowry the Netherlands and the whole of Bourgogne. The King, he said optimistically, could not but admit that this inheritance was a great deal more splendid than Milan. In fact, Charles added, he would not be prepared to make such sacrifices of his own interest were he not determined to further an understanding with France. If Gelderland and Zutphen could be added to the Netherlands, the promised lands would be one of the finest inheritances in all Christendom. He was even willing to let the Duke of Orleans and his wife rule over the Netherlands during his lifetime. If the Infanta were to die childless, he went on, the land must, of course, revert to him. And, he added, it was only reasonable that Francis should now renounce Milan, since he had shown himself thus ready to renounce even Bourgogne. He hoped that he might count on the King's help in winning back Gelderland, while the return of Charolais, St. Pol and Hesdin must follow as a matter of course. Special provisions would have to be made for the possibility of the Duke of Orleans becoming the heir of France, or the Infanta the heiress of Spain. Furthermore, Charles blandly pursued, his brother Ferdinand must be indemnified, for he had first been promised the Infanta for his own eldest son. Charles now suggested that Francis should supply this young Archduke with a bride, in his daughter Madame Marguerite. The princess would in course of time become a mighty Queen, a prospect which would be materially assisted if Francis would immediately give help to King Ferdinand in Hungary. For his own son, Charles now wanted the heiress of Navarre, 'so that these claims too may be settled at last'. Eleonore's daughter must, of course, be provided for, and Francis was also requested to return the lands he had recently seized from the Duke of Savoy. As for himself, Charles went on with amazing tactlessness, he was too old to marry again: to the vain and ageing Francis, his senior by several years, this sentence must have sounded almost insulting. For the common weal of Christendom, Charles concluded, they must both conclude a general peace, with each other and with the Pope, the Empire, Portugal, Poland, England, Scotland, the Italian states, and the Swiss Confederation.

Did really imagine that he could thus cheaply and easily settle all the problems and buy back the lands which had been so bloodily disputed for so long? Did he think that he had the least chance of thus obtaining a formal recognition of his rights in Milan as well as in Bourgogne, together with the restoration of the lost parts of Artois, of St Pol, Hesdin, Gelderland and Zutphen? Nay, of Savoy and Hungary? Yet apparently he did think that such dreams could still be realized, for he was amazed when Francis made answer in terms whose arrogance far surpassed even his own. He imparted this answer to Ferdinand with the quiet comment that they must both act with more reserve in future, and trust in the meantime to the renewed personal assurance of King Francis that he was their best and truest friend. Yet one wonders whether even Charles believed these assurances on a more careful perusal of the French counter-claim.

Francis demanded that the Duke of Orleans should have an unqualified right of inheritance in the Netherlands. Should Charles grant this, Francis would withdraw his claim to Milan. But if the Duke of Orleans were then to die childless, Francis would resume his right to Milan. If the Infanta died before the Duke of Orleans he was either to be her heir, or Milan was to be restored. Francis went on to refuse to renew the treaties of Madrid and Cambrai. As for Savoy, he felt that he must hold the land in the interests of the French monarchy. He would be willing to indemnify the Duke.

Charles answered in the same unbending tone. He could not, he said, give Francis rights both in Italy and in the Netherlands. Francis retaliated with a request to hold Milan as a fief, as Louis XII had done. Gradually it became apparent that the two brothers-in-law had been working at cross purposes for the last months. Neither of them had the least inclination to concede anything. King Francis meanwhile had joined once more with Charles's enemies. In the traditional manner he had always kept one ally ready to strike Charles in the back. This was the Duke of Gelderland. Now Francis offered help to the even more powerful Duke of Cleves, and by so doing conjured up a storm worse than any other which the government of the Netherlands had yet had to meet.

Cleves was Charles's third great problem. It had brought him to the Netherlands; he knew that it lay very close to the roots of the German problem. By the Treaty of Grave in December 1536 the Duke of Gelderland had renounced his claim on Drenthe and Groningen and recognized Charles's hereditary rights. But in October 1537 he announced to his Estates that he had found a very powerful protector in the King of France. This caused general excitement, more particularly in the towns of Nymwegen, Zutphen, Roermond and Venloo. In the meantime Martin van Rossem, marshal of Gelderland, had already paid allegiance to the French King. The Duke now opened negotiations with the towns at Arnhem. The legitimate heir was his nephew, Anthony, son of the Duke of Lorraine by Philippine of Egmont. But the Estates of Gelderland, regardless of any obligations to the real master of the Netherlands, loudly adopted the son of the Duke of Cleves for their heir. Immediately the father reverted to his own ancient claims on the duchy of Gelderland, which had in fact been sold by Gerard of Jülich to Charles the Bold. As soon as Queen Mary heard of this she wished to take action, but Charles had his hands full with other matters, and preferred to let things drift. On June 30th, 1538, after a reign of fifty years, the Duke of Gelderland died. In the next winter, on February 6th, 1539, John of Cleves-Jülich followed him to the grave. His son William was now lord of Jülich, Cleves, Berg, Mark, and Ravensberg, and pretender to Zutphen and Gelderland. He it was whom King Francis now drew into the web of his policy, and through him began to take up points of vantage for his attack on Charles, both on the Flemish frontier and on the Spanish. On June 15th, 1540, Francis arranged for the young Duke of Cleves to be married, at least as far as forms went, to Jeanne d'Albret, the twelve-year-old heiress of Navarre. The little princess protested vehemently, both through her mother and her governess, and repeated her protests on June 14th, 1541, in the presence of witnesses. In spite of this Francis insisted not only on celebrating the ecclesiastical ceremony of the wedding, but had the young couple solemnly put to bed in the presence of witnesses.

Charles was still ignorant of these things, but he nevertheless painted the situation in gloomy colours when he wrote to King Ferdinand on June 17th. 'As things now stand in the Netherlands, in France and in Germany', he lamented, 'I am in no position to use force. It is to be hoped that a discussion with the Duke's representatives and those of the Estates may be arranged, if possible in Holland, whither I am going. This would enable me to explain my own clear right to Gelderland and to assure the people that I shall leave them in undisturbed enjoyment of their privileges.' He went on to recommend the establishment of good relations with Lorraine, suggesting that the heir to that duchy be married to a Hapsburg princess, either to the widowed Christina of Milan, or failing her to one of Ferdinand's daughters. 'The French will make every effort to prevent his joining us,' he concluded gloomily.

On July 2nd, in another letter, Charles closed enthusiastically with Ferdinand's idea for dividing the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse. Saxony was to be bribed by the confirmation of his partial claim to the Cleves-Jülich inheritance and was to be offered one of Ferdinand's daughters for his eldest son. Charles went even further, for he suggested that the Elector's help in Gelderland should be bought by offering him the possession of the very fiefs in that country which were at present claimed by the Duke of Cleves-Jülich. This plan was to be used later and more effectively in the opposite direction -- in winning over Duke Maurice of Saxony against this same old Elector.

For many months Charles played for time, raising one diplomatic point after another and evading the issue. The situation was growing more dangerous. The King of England married Anne of Cleves on January 6th, 1540, and was therefore to be counted at the moment among Charles's opponents, and several German princes at the same time espoused the cause of the young Duke of Cleves. This in itself was a reason for proceeding in Germany with the utmost caution.

Lund had promised the German Protestants that the Emperor would settle every problem when he came; in this hope the truce between the two parties had been lengthened to fifteen months. But although Charles neither denied his intention of settling the quarrel, nor yet broke the existent truce, nothing constructive was done. This did not prevent the Vatican and the extremist party among the German Catholics from slanderously asserting that Lund had been bribed by the Protestants at Frankfort. Held, his rival in both the political and personal sphere, took part in spreading these malicious slanders, and in a letter to Ferdinand Charles himself related an almost violent scene between these two learned councillors actually in his own presence. All the same the Emperor was soon convinced that the hot-headed Held was the last person he could safely employ in the present juncture; without undue regret therefore he gradually removed the aged Vicechancellor from his various offices. Held was succeeded, as early as the following May, by Johann von Naves.

The meeting called at Worms to discuss the Turkish problem was a failure -- the first disappointment to the hopes which the temporary religious truce at Frankfort had raised. True to his arrangement with the French King, Charles was now in favour of a Concordat. But the Pope was again pressing for a council and Charles found himself exposed to attack on all sides. On February 24th, 1540, the very day on which he pronounced sentence on the town of Ghent, he had given audience both to Cardinal Farnese from the Pope, and to a representative of the Schmalkaldic League. At the beginning of March, Duke Henry of Brunswick arrived at his Court, pressing, as always, for war on the Schmalkaldic League. Farnese and the Bavarian delegates complained bitterly of the Emperor's weakness. Charles in his turn begged leave to doubt the extent to which he might depend on the Pope's help if it should in fact come to war. Duke Henry of Brunswick, he knew or guessed, had good private motives behind his public-spirited zeal. He wanted to gain possession of Goslar. His own knowledge, therefore, forced Charles to proceed with caution.


The religious talks, which intermittently occupied the next two years, form part of the connected chain of imperial policy. They were neither intended to mislead the Protestants, nor were they merely a subterfuge to gain time. Like the discussion at Augsburg in 1530, they were genuine attempts at conciliation. But if they began seriously, Charles must at some point have realized how unlikely they were to succeed. Only gradually did he grasp the irreconcilable differences which now divided the two creeds, for he had been partly deceived of recent years by the vociferous political loyalty of the Protestant princes. During the greater part of those months during which the negotiations continued, Charles was genuinely convinced not merely of their necessity, but even of their efficacy.

There were others, however, who did not agree with Charles. The nuntius at Ferdinand's Court, Morone, himself a learned theologian and a politician of some insight into German affairs, held that the discussions were useless in themselves and degrading to the dignity of the Catholic Church. His opinion was shared by many of the more important personages at the Vatican, like Cardinal Aleander. This party did everything possible to prevent the discussions and to hinder their progress. They had their parallels among the Protestants, for here too there was a party which felt that the differences between the creeds were too fundamental to be settled. It is clear to us to-day that the extremists were right. But at the time there were many serious theologians who felt that the common Christianity, even the common patristic fundamentals of the two beliefs, need not be sacrificed merely for a few differences in dogma. In the lifetime of Duke George, in 1539, Carlowitz had held a religious discussion between Bucer and Wicel at Leipzig, where a doctrine of the sacrament, acceptable both to Lutherans and Catholics, had been evolved. Nevertheless, a settlement by discussion could only be successful if many other points of doctrine were altogether passed over. The belief in Transubstantiation, for instance, entailed the most complicated consequences. It reached far back into the very fundamentals of Christian dogma and into the meaning and office of the priesthood. It affected the nature of worship, the arrangement of the Church itself and the preservation of the sacred wafer.

The advocates of the talks did not altogether deceive themselves as to the difficulties they were likely to encounter. But they felt that it would be best to see by experience how near to a settlement they could get, and then, by carefully comparing insoluble difficulties, they could more easily determine what each side ought to tolerate from the other. In the Vatican itself there were men who felt that, as to mere ritual, it should not be impossible to allow the laity to receive the sacrament in both kinds, while the marriage of priests might well be tolerated. The politicians were naturally prepared to go further than the theologians. They were as much or more interested in the men who held the opinions than in the opinions themselves; they were as much concerned with averting the present danger by winning over some of the political leaders and separating the rest by exposing their doctrinal differences, as they were with mere theological argument. These elements made the religious talks so intrinsic and so significant a part in the development of Charles's imperial policy.

Nobody expected the Pope to give his consent to the talks, although some of the dignitaries at the Vatican had attempted to persuade him. He did, however, yield, not for any desire for peace with the Protestants, but because Charles had wisely gratified the claims of the Farnese dynasty on the lordship of Camerino,

Nevertheless, the assistance given by the Vatican was of no serious importance. Morone's instruction, dated May 15th, 1540, was not helpful. 'If they say to you that the settlement of this dispute is urgent', it ran, 'you are to say to them that the salvation of men's souls is yet more urgent.' The Pope himself, either with the help of a council or as the representative of the universal Church, was alone capable of approving the necessary means for a settlement. 'If', the instruction went on, 'they say that without a religious peace there can be no peace in this nation, you are to answer that other means will have to be found.' This sentence admitted of no two interpretations. Added to this, the nuncio was strictly commanded to keep aloof from the discussions. He might receive the Catholic delegates in his own house and give them advice, but even for this advice he was to stick to the letter of his very limited instructions.

Charles himself had been preparing for the decision which lay in front of him for almost as long as Ferdinand and the opposing German parties. He too had written letters, taken advice and listened to suggestions on the most important points. In long conversations with his confessor he busied himself with the distinctions between divine and man-made law, droit divin and droit positif; faced by the decisive refusals of one side or the other, he explored the boundaries of the possible. Plague caused the removal of the conference from Speyer to Hagenau, where it was opened on June 12th by King Ferdinand. Here the Emperor emphatically stated that no definite decision could be taken without the consent of the Pope. But in spite of this statement, Charles firmly opposed the efforts of Morone and the Bavarians to wreck the conference. As a starting point he commended the articles which had already been settled between Campeggio and Melanchthon at Augsburg. The Protestants began badly by objecting to this. They declared that they could not recollect the terms of those articles. It was an inauspicious omen for the conference.

The most celebrated theologians of both persuasions were assembled. Luther himself could not be present; he had not been present at Augsburg. Melanchthon was prevented from coming by illness. The Protestants included Cruciger, Myconius, Bucer, Osiander, Link and Blarer. From Strasbourg came another group among whom one man was outstanding, John Calvin. Owing to Ferdinand's position, his own theologians dominated the Catholic group. These included Faber, Nausea and Cochlaeus. Next in importance was Eck of Ingolstadt. All the same, the serious work had not even begun when propositions were made for the postponement of the meeting. These were agreed to, and the conference dissolved, not without having found some friendly basis for discussion, until it should meet again at Worms on October 20th.

Urgent news had recalled Ferdinand to his lands. He returned in the nick of time, for on July 21st John Zapolya had died, and by the Treaty of Grosswardein Ferdinand was now his heir. In Ferdinand's absence the directors of the discussion were the Elector Palatine, the Duke of Bavaria and the Bishop of Strasbourg; the Elector of Mainz came to replace the Elector of Treves. The princes were represented by their councillors and chancellors. Charles gave particular proof of his personal interest in the conference by sending his first minister, Nicholas Perrenet, lord of Granvelle. This statesman, whose services had been hitherto confined to the diplomatic field, stepped with this employment into the forefront of imperial policy. Always a diplomatist at heart, his skilful management and refusal to accept defeat gave a certain superficial appearance of success to the discussions at Worms. The situation in which Charles found himself, and the chance circumstances surrounding the conference, confirmed the Emperor in his belief that it was expedient to handle the whole business as though it were predominantly political.

With the French friendship so rapidly waning, Charles had taken two important steps at the beginning of October. Although these were in a sense merely preventive measures, they made him all the more anxious to have new alliances and securities. Following out the schemes outlined in his recent political testament, he approached the nobles of the Netherlands on October 2nd with an important question. He asked them whether they would prefer to have Prince Philip as their ruler, with the hope that he would leave male heirs, or, with Philip's consent, the Infanta Mary, who should be married to the second son of King Ferdinand. The nobles apparently expressed no very strong opinion for either alternative.

Independent of happenings in the Netherlands, Charles had already bestowed the fief of Milan on Philip on October 11th, 1540. He may have done this because he remembered what Gattinara had once said of the disposal of Milan, yet he was not so much pursuing Gattinara's policy as his own dynastic plan. Even without the co-operation of Francis he was determined to put some of it at least into execution. A little later, on October 28th, 'considering the mutability of things', he cancelled the codicil which he had added to his will in 1539. The French King, he averred, had made such unreasonable conditions for the projected marriages, that his acceptance of them would only breed fresh problems. With the agreement of the nobility he had therefore postponed further arrangements for the future of the Netherlands. He could not, however, postpone a definite decision for Milan; it had cost all his kingdoms, particularly Castile and Aragon, heavy sacrifices to win and retain the duchy, which he could not now lightly bestow on some perhaps unreliable ruler. Prince Philip was therefore invested with Milan. By this action Charles had cut himself loose from the problems of the past and made way for the future. Surely and fatefully the centre of gravity of the Hapsburg power shifted towards Spain.

In the immediate present another event seemed more important. For the last year the Landgrave of Hesse had been officiously pressing his services upon the Hapsburg dynasty. More than twelve months before he had intimated his readiness to help Queen Mary through Naves, next he had approached Charles through the Bishop of Lund, later, in March, he had sent his own emmissary, Siebert von Löwenberg, to Ghent, and finally he sent yet more pressing offers of friendship through Granvelle himself. On his way to Worms, Granvelle had stopped for a short time at his native town of Ornans, and Cornelius Schepper was the man whom Charles entrusted with the delicate task of negotiating with the Landgrave. The details of the transaction have survived in Schepper's reports to Granvelle and the papers which he enclosed with them. The acts preserved at Marburg confirm their general outline.

On March 4th of this very year 1540 the Landgrave had contracted his celebrated bigamous marriage. 1 Since that time he felt

1 1 Philip's first wife was Christina of Saxony; he could not divorce her, but conceived instead the ingenious idea of contracting a double marriage, like the Patriarchs. His second wife was Margarete von der Saal (TRANSLATOR's note). that his position was very insecure, for his own co-religionists, the Elector of Saxony in particular, were threatening to desert him. Thus at the very moment when his conduct was, from the moral and religious point of view, most equivocal, he turned to the Emperor for help. The Emperor, for his part, was as we know only waiting for the opportunity of separating Saxony from Hesse. The Landgrave offered to assist Charles against the opposition which was collecting against him; to justify his conduct he explained that Charles's willingness to have a religious conference at Worms, followed by a Diet, was proof of his genuine desire to bring peace to Germany. The Landgrave went on to say that the opposition had used the Elector of Saxony's negotiations in July as a cover to make overtures to the French King, with no better end in view than to forestall Charles's efforts at reunion. For his part, continued the Landgrave, he had always worked against these people, and if the Emperor would let bygones be bygones and take him again into favour, he would continue to thwart the malcontents. He would support the Emperor, he went on, against French, Danes, Turks and English -- against everyone in fact, except Germans. He would moreover dispatch his most trusted ministers to plan the terms of an agreement and to make further revelations of Protestant policy. He went further: he would not only hinder all the machinations of France, but he would speak in favour of religious concessions at the Diet and give his support to the Emperor and the King of the Romans, the future Emperor. He would be willing to give help against enemies in the Low Countries, in Gelderland first and foremost. No offer could have been made more appositely for Charles. Schepper noted down in his papers: 'On October 28th at 2 o'clock the Emperor entrusted me with the following answer to give to the Hessian Doctor by word of mouth.' The Emperor, Schepper was to indicate, would think over the Landgrave's offer, and would carefully consider whether he could confirm the existing high-school at Marburg. 1 Touching the Landgrave's other suggestions, the Emperor had never given grounds for the supposition that he intended to use force against any Christian prince, nor had he now any such intention. He had in fact but

1 The University of to-day. It was founded in 1527, independently of the Catholic Church (TRANSLATOR's note).

recently dispatched the lord of Granvelle to Worms with plenipotentiary powers to effect a peace between the Germans. If the Landgrave was serious in his offer to enter into close alliance with the Emperor, he had only to communicate with the lord of Granvelle, who had full powers to act in his name.

Writing from Ornans, Granvelle thanked Schepper for his detailed report, in a letter conceived in the elegant language of humanism. He next proceeded to Worms to take part in the discussions, whose opening had already been somewhat delayed. His letters to the Emperor were frequent and full, recording the acts and bearing of the German princes and their ministers, of the Hessians in particular, in detail, as they passed before his observant eyes. The papal nuncio, Thomas Campeggio, brother of the Cardinal who had since died, was not present when Granvelle opened the Worms conference on November 25th. But to the astonishment of everyone he appeared on December 8th, and, speaking in a friendly and conciliatory manner, deplored the schism and admonished them to find a point of common union. The Protestants had expected a very different attitude, and the careful answer which Melanchthon had prepared, rejecting the papal demands, was wholly out of place. After this misfire, the two parties decided to communicate by writing. This method soon revealed a deplorable lack of matter on the side of the ancient Church. The eleven Protestant representatives stood unanimously by their Confession. But of the eleven Catholics, the representatives of Brandenburg, of the Palatinate, of ClevesJülich, were sharply divided from the others. It seemed that the Emperor was not to find clearly defined parties but small and mutually exclusive groups. The desertion of the Protestants by the Landgrave of Hesse began slowly to have its effect on the debates. Through his councillors and theologians, Granvelle maintained unbroken communication with him throughout the meeting.

The situation, as interpreted by Granvelle, was characterized by the gradual winning over of individual Protestants to the imperial side. It was among the Catholics that he met a sequence of increasing difficulties. The Chancellor of the Elector of Mainz was said to be unable to stir an inch without the consent of Held, while the Bavarians confronted Granvelle with a policy of shame- less postponement. Another impression borne in upon Granvelle was that the Protestant party was itself growing. There were signs of it in the Elector Palatine's surroundings and in all his family. The Duke of Cleves too seemed to tend in that direction. Then there was the clever and active Elector of Brandenburg, a good Latinist, who was said to have some influence on Luther, and through whom contact with the great Reformer could perhaps be established. In short Granvelle was realizing that, at least from his master's point of view, the roles of the German princes were not at all what might have been expected. In spite of certain practical difficulties, the Protestants were friendly and the Emperor's immediate political future seemed to lie in an alliance with them. The Catholics, on the other hand, displayed a desire for war which was highly undesirable at the present moment, and were coolly indifferent to all attempts at mediation.

It was something of an achievement when Granvelle, in spite of so much opposition, managed to bring about some important private conferences. These, in which he was helped by the Landgrave, took place both before the public discussion began and during its course. Bucer and Capito for the Protestants, Veltwyk and Gropper for the Catholics, met for personal conversations, which at first looked almost as though they might bring forth great results. Bucer was the Landgrave's chief confidant in ecclesiastical matters and Capito, who came from Strasbourg, seemed inclined to work seriously for the furtherance of an understanding. Gropper and Gerard Veltwyk here make their first appearance in these pages. The former was a protégé of the Elector of Cologne, a man of a highly analytical brain, sympathetic, as was his master, to the idea of reform within the Church. The latter was a Jewish convert, native of Ravestein; as a young man he had written a book in the Hebrew language, the Schwile tohu, or The Wanderings in the Wilderness, in which, making use of the ancient vocabulary of the Old Testament, he had sought to convert his Jewish fellows to that Christianity of whose truth he was himself profoundly convinced. He was accounted the best Hebrew scholar of his time, and as such aroused the greatest interest among the Protestant theologians at Worms. Here both parties could tread the neutral ground of learning. Veltwyk, as a theologian, belonged to the same school of thought as his fellow- Rhinelander, Gropper. The discussions held between these four men, which were in their turn doubtless based on the results of the Leipzig conversations, were carried on with the greatest goodwill and with every possibility of a practical decision.

The central conference, meanwhile, was hedged about with formalities. The speakers added to the trouble by failing to comply with the time limit set down for them. Yet even here there was no lack of fundamental goodwill and mutual understanding. Taking advantage of this, Granvelle would not let matters proceed to any dangerous issue, but urged the representatives, in view of the approaching Diet, to rest contented with what they could easily achieve.

While the theological controversy dragged out its endless course, Granvelle and the Hessian chancellor continued their negotiations, not always uninfluenced by the religious discussion. The chief question was that of the guarantees which Charles was to give to the Landgrave in return for his support. The Landgrave did not want to be altogether cut off from his co-religionists and Granvelle was firm in his contention that if no religious concessions were to be made, then there would have to be other and more rigid conditions. By the middle of January Granvelle had nevertheless promised the Landgrave his pardon for his part in the Württemberg incident, and for other secular transgressions. Charles was in Heidelberg for a short visit early in February; here Granvelle joined him and here received the news that the Landgrave had agreed to all the terms decided on, in the discussions which Granvelle and de Praet had had with the Hessian chancellor. In the main this amounted to a guarantee of the Emperor's favour in return for his services at the coming Diet. Granvelle had made use of the intervening time, not without success, to persuade several of the other princes to come to the Diet in person.

The situation at the imperial Court itself seemed better. For instance, the Cardinal-legate, Marcellino Cervino, who had been sent to Germany not to take part in the religious discussion but to exert his influence in conjunction with Alessandro Farnese, against it, had found himself unable to resist the Emperor's obvious sincerity of manner and intention. Cervino was the governor and chief adviser of the Cardinal-nephew, who was himself later to be the Pope's legate at the Council of Trent, and later still to be Pope himself. When Cervino was soon after recalled, his successor, whom he himself had chosen, was instrumental in furthering the religious conference for which papal support had now been gained. The Emperor himself had earlier singled out this new papal emissary as a man most likely to assist him. He was Gasparo Contarini, once Venetian ambassador in Madrid.


All seemed to develop according to the plans of the Emperor and Granvelle, and great were the hopes fixed on the Diet of Regensburg. The day for its opening was January 6th, 1541. The noblest and finest intellects in Germany were once again summoned to help in making a religious peace. Events, too, contributed to the probability of a settlement, for the conference at Worms had shown that such a thing was still possible, while Charles himself saw that the establishment of peace would be a step towards the confirmation of his own authority. Added to this, neither he nor Ferdinand were in any position to use force. A new and serious Turkish invasion threatened Hungary, where the King had vainly besieged the fortress of Ofen, terrified lest a relieving force should take him unawares. Charles was oppressed by the return of all his ancient fear of France, and harassed by his own gnawing desire to launch another attack on Turkish seapower in the Mediterranean, if only for the defence of his own coasts.

Yet with all these prospects of religious peace, delay after delay postponed the issue.

Charles travelled from the Netherlands to Regensburg by way of Speyer. Here he suspended the ban on Goslar and Minden, and put off the trials against the Protestants which were at that moment pending in the Reichskammergericht. The news of his action resounded throughout Germany like a peal of joy-bells rung in rehearsal on the eve of some festal day. He was joyously received in Heidelberg and he also cheered the Protestant city of Schwäbisch Hall by a gracious visit. His entries to Nuremberg, and on February 23rd, to Regensburg, were splendid in the extreme. Yet, contrary to the practice of his youth, he himself was clad only in sober black. He no longer felt that need for personal splendour which had dominated his early years.

In Regensburg itself there was as yet little sign of a Diet. Duke Lewis of Bavaria and Duke Henry of Brunswick had alone reached it in time to greet the Emperor. A few days later Duke William of Bavaria arrived with his wife. Charles was uncertain of the social and legal forms which he ought to employ and wrote to Ferdinand for advice. He sent de Praet to speak his welcome to the Bavarian dukes, not wishing to reveal his own ignorance. Duke William approached him almost at once with friendly offers of help. Many things in the course of that Diet recalled what had happened in 1530. Duke William's liveliest desire, both in 1530 and in 1541, was that his thirteen-year-old son should marry Charles's niece, Ferdinand's daughter, a little girl of about his own age. Another of Charles's nieces also played her part in the Diet. This was the widowed Duchess Christina of Milan, offered and wooed so often before, who was now married, through the efforts of Queen Mary, to the heir-presumptive of Lorraine. A generation later Christina's daughter, Renate, was to marry into the Bavarian dynasty. In this summer of 1541 those great dynastic marriages, whose effect was to be felt far into the Counter-Reformation, were already partly arranged.

The political attitude of the Bavarians revealed their selfconfidence. The so-called Protestants, they declared, were abusing the Emperor's goodness. Had the Edict of Worms been properly executed Germany would not now be in this divided state. The Bishop of Lund had acted very dishonestly both at Frankfort and later in his dealings with the city of Augsburg. The conferences at Hagenau and Worms, they complained, had shown them nothing except the feebleness of some of their fellowCatholic rulers. The first essential was to stiffen the Catholic League. There were, of course, three other alternatives. They might negotiate, but that usually led nowhere; one argued for ever, but some Christian princes would never be convinced. Besides, the Bavarians unctuously concluded, they themselves had always entertained the belief that the decisions of the ancient councils and the traditions which had governed the Church since the time of the Apostles were above question. The second alternative was to call in the other Kings and rulers of Christendom to help uphold the true faith by force of arms. The third was to proclaim a general council of the German nation within eighteen months, using the intervening period to strengthen the Catholic League and hold its opponents in check. All this, even to the suggestion of calling in foreign allies, foreshadowed the programme of the Counter-Reformation.

The Emperor's answer, which was given both by word of mouth and in writing, was no more than a general expression of gratitude, to which Charles added some hint of his fear of the Turks and other enemies. He went on to say that all his efforts to hold a council had been hindered by the Christian princes themselves, in Europe and within Germany. Such things could not seriously be discussed until the other Estates had sent their representatives to the Diet. A more secretive answer could hardly have been evolved.

Not until April 7th was the Diet formally opened. The Emperor had been forced to waste more than a month waiting for the delegates, and his hunting parties at Straubing had been, this time, a pastime in the fullest sense of the word. After the usual exchange of opinions, the Estates proceeded to discuss the religious question and a conference was at once fixed, at which it was hoped that the experience already gained by both parties would be turned to good account. The Emperor himself nominated three protagonists on each side: Gropper, Julius Pflug and Eck for the Catholics; Melanchthon, Bucer and Pistorius for the opposition. The two laymen appointed to preside were Granvelle, and the Count Palatine, Frederick; other laymen with a voice in the proceedings were the Chancellors of Saxony and Hesse and Jakob Sturm of Strasbourg. The religious policy which Charles was now pursuing was imperial in every sense of the word.

The talks went on for a month, from the end of April until the end of May. They formed by far the most important part of the Diet, and their details are full of interest. Sometimes the participants genuinely tried to reach unanimity, sometimes they acted from mere political necessity, sometimes they actively attempted to force a breach. A secret document, dating apparently from the conference at Worms and sparsely published, formed the basis of their discussions. Granvelle brought it with him, sealed up, on the first morning, and took it home with him, sealed again, in the evenings. The principles on which the disputants arrived at conclusions were later known as the Book of Regensburg. Before each meeting the Catholic delegates consulted with Contarini, who thus played an important part in the proceedings. Charles, too, took part. During these weeks there were many happy moments in which agreement seemed possible; Contarini even wrote his celebrated letter to Rome rejoicing in the fact that the disputants had come to an agreement over the important question of the doctrine of justification. In contrast to Eck's rude manner, Contarini's urbane suavity seemed highly persuasive. He openly blamed the theologians of Ingolstadt for busily trying to break up the conference, by introducing the most highly controversial points, such as the primacy of the Pope, as early and as persistently as they could. Once he entered personally into the discourse, by sending a written speech, and he let it be generally known that he was delighted with every new sign of approaching unity. On May 1st, that is at the very beginning of the discussions, Veltwyk actually brought Bucer to see him. The legate's conversation had but one general drift and chorus -- 'How great will be the fruit of unity, and how profound the gratitude of all mankind!' Bucer replied suitably: 'Both sides have failed', he said. 'Some of us have over-emphasized unimportant points, and others have not adequately reformed obvious abuses. With God's will, we shall ultimately find the truth.'

Melanchthon played an even larger part than Bucer. He too adopted a wholly conciliatory attitude. But underneath it he remained as immovable as at Augsburg. When the question of the Blessed Sacrament came up for discussion, he declared, without waiting for the support of his fellow-Protestants, that no compromise could be reached on this point. Such things happened all too often and were so bitter a disappointment to Granvelle that once at least he lost patience, and attempted to gain his end by threats -an action which only made matters worse. These efforts to reach agreement, serious as they were in intention, were sometimes very ingenuous in execution. The Elector of Brandenburg, for instance, asked the Landgrave, the Elector Palatine, Granvelle, de Praet and the Saxon councillors to a dinner party, where the imperialist group attempted 'to prove to the prince in the course of friendly conversation the true doctrine of the Holy Sacrament'. 'The evening', reported Sanzio to Cardinal Farnese on May 13th, 'was not wholly useless.'

Melanchthon assured the imperial councillors and his own co-religionists that there could be no unity as to dogma. The same statements were repeatedly made to the Emperor by Contarini and Morone. These assurances forced Charles himself to intervene in the discussions, not always with the happiest results. Yet he clung so passionately to the hope of ultimate reconciliation, that he once spoke almost with violence to the legate. He was no theologian, he said, but he understood that while the Protestants had shown themselves willing to yield even on the question of auricular confession, the Catholics were making trouble over the mere word 'Transubstantiation'. In the name of God, he protested, why could they not take up all their points of agreement with the Protestants first, and revert to the more arguable questions only when the basis of the conciliation was arrived at? The Catholic party had no cause to pride themselves on wrecking the whole conference.

Charles's indignation when Amsdorf inveighed against the agreement from the pulpit can well be imagined. His anger may have been increased by the rumour at Court that French intervention was confirming the theologians in their obstinacy. Melanchthon had certainly been seen one day in conversation with the French orator. For these reasons Charles reluctantly turned from the theologians to the princes and their ministers, and first of all to Philip of Hesse. This latter had fulfilled all his promises to support imperial policy. He also followed the conference with the keenest sympathy. His personal copy of the Book of Regensburg, with his notes, has survived, as also some minutes of his talks with the Emperor and his ministers.

From these sources we learn that Charles approached the prince with the greatest friendliness. He declared that the whole purpose of the religious conference was to bridge the gap between the two parties and complained bitterly of Amsdorf's sermon. It was cruel, he said, to characterize the talks as 'vain delusions', when everyone must know that they were the 'nearest thing to his heart'. Philip answered that they must not expect to overcome all difficulties immediately. After all the theologians differed very widely in their opinion of the possible Concordat. Eck, for instance, had gone about openly boasting of the concessions granted by the Protestants which had made a very bad impression. He went on to say that he would himself be prepared to do anything that was not contrary to God's word and his own conscience, to further the agreement. The Emperor interrupted him when he came to the question of French intervention. But the Landgrave protested that Melanchthon was quite innocent in this respect. Amsdorf, he admitted, was a firebrand. He himself felt that such points as had yet to be proved from Holy Writ, like the marriage of priests and the administering of the Communion in both kinds, ought to be conceded for the time being.

The Count Palatine and Naves also had private conversations with the Landgrave. But both parties continued to appeal, in the last instance, to the same gospels to support their differing theses; when they had not themselves come to any provisional agreement, it was useless for the Emperor to intervene with suggestions. The Landgrave had another hope. 'It would be a good thing', he said, 'if we could get Luther here himself; he is more peaceably inclined than the others.' Veltwyk too had private talks with the Landgrave. Meanwhile nothing happened to break down the understanding between Philip and the Emperor: Charles was prepared to favour him if he in his turn would use all his influence to solve the religious problem. Still full of delusive hopes, the Emperor next sought to appeal from the theologians to the Estates.

He was to be disappointed in the result.

On May 31st the conference of the theologians ended with the formulation of the twenty-three articles contained in the Book of Regensburg. On June 8th the completed book was handed over to the Estates. On July 5th the Catholic Estates sent in their answer, on July 12th the Protestants. Both sides rejected it.

Luther himself, as is well known, was at first hopeful of the news he had from Regensburg, but later he too repudiated the formulae of the Book, more especially the doctrine of justification. Contarini found the Vatican no less obstinate. On May 27th, the Consistory rejected that very formula of which he had himself approved. On July 15th, Paul III decided to inform the legate that he intended to call a council immediately. Charles received the news graciously. But Ferdinand, who was desperate for subsidies against the Turk, expressed himself more vehemently. As long as the Pope made no serious effort to reform the Church, he said, people would comment unfavourably on the fact that he never talked more glibly of calling a council, than when it seemed most impossible to do so. To do Ferdinand justice, it was certainly clear enough that the Vatican was set on wrecking the policy of conciliation.

This then was the situation. The theologians at Regensburg, Luther at Wittenberg, the Pope at Rome, the Catholic and the Protestant Estates of Germany, were unanimous in one thing -in repudiating Charles's policy of reconciliation. That Charles himself acted in good faith allows of no doubt. He had once expressed himself to the Saxon ministers in terms which bore no two meanings. 'We are breaking up an old house of which the stones and other parts are still good for use in another building', he had said. 'Even if decay has crept in and the whole structure is affected, you must not for that reason contemn each separate part.' He had even gone so far as to say that he would initiate reforms without waiting for the action of the Curia. Had he been sure of support in Germany he would have called the council himself. But he could neither institute reforms nor call a council, when the Catholics of Germany would do nothing but reject mediation as useless and clamour for force. Until this moment force had never been the object of his policy.

At Regensburg a profound change seems to have come over Charles's own opinions. This was the second time that he had been bitterly disappointed and the mortification he had suffered eleven years earlier at Augsburg increased his present disillusion. Faced now by the collapse of a conference which had opened under even more hopeful auspices than that at Augsburg, and which had broken down even more significantly, Charles grew ever more secretive. The outspoken and passionate Joachim I of Brandenburg, who had thrust Catholic policy into the open at Augsburg, had given place to his sober-minded son; with this prince Charles entered into a close bond for the defence of religion. Acting apparently on a careful plan, he began to tempt over to his side all the important or wavering Protestant princes. He began by concluding his alliance with the Landgrave of Hesse. Of his inmost thoughts we know nothing, but it is probable that this time it was not, as it had been eleven years before at Augsburg, personal disappointment and wounded dignity which made him despair of settlement by arbitration, but rather the deeper insight into German affairs which he had acquired with age. Moreover, he did not abandon all hope until he had tried every means to bring about his end. It was only when every effort had failed that he moved gradually over to the point of view so long and so vociferously held by the Dukes of Bavaria and Brunswick, and began to make preparations for action as soon as the occasion should be ripe.

He first gave clear expression to this new policy in the final form of his treaty with the Landgrave of Hesse, on June 13th. The Landgrave undertook to enter into no alliance with the King of France or other foreign ruler, to make clear exceptions in favour of imperial authority in each renewal of the Schmalkaldic League and to prevent the inclusion of the Duke of Cleves among its members. He agreed also 'to enter into no private treaty with the said Duke of Cleves'; rather he would support the imperial claims in Zutphen and Gelderland if the other Estates would undertake to do the same. In any case he swore to stand by the Emperor in a war against France, both he himself and his son-inlaw Maurice of Saxony. In return for all these promises Charles declared that 'out of particular grace and favour we have taken His Excellency into our especial protection and friendship and have forgotten and forgiven everything, of whatsoever kind, which he may previously have attempted or done, openly or secretly, against ourselves and our brother, against imperial law and justice and the laws of the Empire'. To this treaty a significant stipulation was added. The Landgrave was to stand by the Emperor in the event of a war against the Protestants in the name of religion.

Reassured by the conference, the Protestants might still for the time being believe in Charles's peaceable intentions. They were daily witnesses to his efforts to restrain the representatives of the Vatican and the Catholic princes. They did not realize that Ferdinand's distress in Hungary now alone drove the Emperor to adopt this conciliatory attitude. At the end of June, the Court had definite information that the Sultan was himself about to invade Hungary, which with Zapolya's death had fallen to King Ferdinand, and to seize the royal fortress of Ofen. Recollecting his victories in the year 1529, the Court could not but be doubtful whether

Suleiman would rest content with Ofen alone. Immediate and extensive help must be found at once. Austria and its neighbouring lands themselves hung in the balance. Ferdinand and his representatives set all in motion: their speeches before the Estates were both impressive and convincing. But, convinced though they might be of the necessity of giving help, the Protestants insisted first on a guarantee of their religion. Nine years before in much the same circumstances the two negotiations -- for help against the Turk and for religious settlement -- had been carried out separately at Regensburg and Nuremberg. In 1541 they were combined into a single transaction. The two parties faced each other, armed and without intermediary. The members of the Schmalkaldic League demanded the recognition of the terms given at Nuremberg, the Catholics insisted that the anti-Protestant recess of 1530 should be specifically reissued with the recess of the present Diet. Who now could bridge so great a gulf?

The old Elector of Brandenburg had precipitated the crisis at Augsburg in 1530: the young Elector of Brandenburg strained every nerve to prevent a crisis at Regensburg in 1541. The Emperor pressed for a decision. He wanted to get back to Italy and Spain. He was planning to attack the Turks in Algiers, and had already taken one or two into his confidence on this matter. July 26th was the very latest date at which he could leave Regensburg. In his dealings with the Protestants he grew noticeably harsher. But to his deep chagrin he found after a few days that he must yield. On July 28th the final, angry negotiations took place at his lodging, Charles dealing separately with the Catholic and Protestant Estates. Princes and their ministers worked night and day to bring some sort of order out of the chaos. And in the end they found a way out of the labyrinth, although only by a devious path, marked out by highly complicated imperial proclamations. These proclamations were drawn up in haste and teemed with ambiguities. In return for such concessions as Charles had agreed to make, the Diet drew up a recess and granted the immediate help of 10,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry for three months.

At four in the morning on July 29th the Schmalkaldic League began their final consultation, for they had to give in their answer by six. Afterwards the negotiations were bandied about from group to group. The Count Palatine, the Elector of Brandenburg and the new imperial Chancellor strove hard to reconcile the parties. At midnight the previous day the Schmalkaldic League had heard for the first time of the probable publication of the imperial proclamation. They opposed its terms and the alterations which they proposed to the Diet were drawn up in haste and fear. When Charles received them he too was in haste to be gone. The minister of the Elector of Brandenburg, Eustace von Schlieben, made a short speech, and Charles then set his hand to the proclamation. He had not grasped that it was not the same which he had himself drawn up earlier in the proceedings.

The new declaration provided for the protection of pastors and adherents of the Augsburg Confession, even in the lands of Catholic princes, for the liquidation of the Reichskammergericht, the reform of monasteries and convents on secularized land. In fact it was far in advance of the Nuremberg agreement. Charles had no choice but to approve a second and secret declaration which guaranteed to the Catholics not only their rents and revenues, but, in so far as they still possessed them, their rights and privileges.

At ten o'clock the last session of the Diet was opened. Even at this last minute many delegates spoke with the utmost violence, but by two in the afternoon a decision had been reached.

Charles left immediately afterwards. His policy seemed to have broken down at every point.

The peace with France at Nice had come to nothing; the family agreement at Aigues Mortes had been fruitless, in spite of all the great results which Charles had foreseen. Months of conference had produced no peaceful solution in Germany. With unwilling steps the Emperor turned towards his other kingdoms.


Almost without a halt, Charles went by way of Freising, Munich and Mittelwald to Innsbruck. Here he rested for two days, in order to dispatch some important letters on August 6th. Among these was a re-draft of the declaration for the spiritual princes, an emphatic confirmation of his membership of the Catholic League, and nominations for the Reichskammergericht. Not least important were the credentials which he drew up for de Praet, together with instructions in which he told Queen Mary all that had taken place at Nuremberg, and all that he now intended to do. His instructions call up a vivid picture of the whole political world, of the Danish and Palatine problems, the affair of the Landgrave, the Diet, the Reichskammergericht, and above all the disputes over Gelderland and Cleves.

These instructions, too, give the clearest reasons for Charles's projected attack on Algiers. Queen Mary cannot have been unaware that lack of funds was the cause of Charles's return to Spain. He confessed to her that this alone prevented him from marching against Suleiman in person, a task which his honour demanded now that he had definite news that the Sultan was coming in person. In the eyes of the world, therefore, he could bestiustify himself by an attack on the Turks in Africa. He would need a war-fleet in any case for his return to Spain, as the French and Turks between them made the Mediterranean unsafe, and the costs could be borne by Naples and Sicily. Besides which, the Spaniards had always wanted him to attack Algiers and might therefore be the more willing to grant him subsidies. At this very moment the undertaking was still just possible, but it must be at once set on foot. The French King was indignant because some of Charles's people had murdered his emissaries, Rincon and Fregoso, on the way home from Turkey, near Pavia. He might fly to arms at any minute, but if Charles began the campaign against Algiers immediately he would have to postpone hostilities, for he could not face the moral opprobrium of attacking Charles while he was actually at war with the infidel.

Over the Brenner, through Lombardy by way of Milan and Pavia, the Emperor reached Genoa and here took to his ships. In the meantime he had bad news from Hungary: Ofen had fallen and the Turks were now in possession. On this intelligence Charles made a detour by way of Lucca to visit the Pope, and entreat his help for a council to be held in Germany, through which he might gain effective help against the Turks and protection against France. Charles achieved nothing; Paul III even warned him against attacking Algiers. From Hungary came the bad news that the Germans under Roggendorf had been defeated. And then came the surprising and relieving news that Suleiman had unexpectedly withdrawn. Possibly he did not want to risk a new siege of Vienna; possibly his resources ran out; possibly he had heard of the preparations which the Emperor was making against his outposts in Africa.

But meanwhile Charles's plans had come to nothing. Nature herself seemed to be in league with his enemies.

Landing in Corsica and Sardinia, Charles had arranged for his fleet to collect at Majorca under Andrea Doria, his troops under the Viceroy of Naples, Ferrante Gonzaga. To gain time, he sent the Duke of Alva with the Spanish galleons straight to Algiers. Along the coast of Africa his fleet gradually assembled from every quarter of the compass. But the sea was already stormy and the most experienced seamen warned the Emperor that the time of year was unpropitious. Charles was obstinate in his determination; he trusted in his habitual good fortune. Although there had been endless delay, partly, as Charles thought, through the fault of the seamen themselves, he was unwilling to see all his preparations made for nothing.

On Friday and Saturday, October 21st and 22nd, landing was out of the question. But on Sunday morning the Emperor reassembled his fleet to the east of Alziers and began to disembark at a half-submerged spit of land, where the troops, with all their baggage, had to wade breast deep through the water for some distance. In the afternoon the sea grew rougher, and it became impossible to land either horses or provisions. In the evening the Emperor made a camp near to a spring. During the disembarkation the leaders tried to win their object by the quicker means of negotiating with Barbarossa's governor of Algiers, the renegade, Hassan Aga. After a moment's wavering, the governor decided to remain loyal to Barbarossa.

The Christians next armed themselves for the assault on the city which did not seem to be very well defended. At first their operations were successful. They drew very close to the city and gained possession of the hills which overlooked it, almost without serious fighting. But in the night of October 24th-25th a gale arose which made piece-meal of the fleet, with all its store of provisions, munitions and reserves. Terrible was the plight of the army on land, for the troops had brought provisions for two days only. The rain streamed down in torrents and there were very few tents to shelter the men. The Italian troops, unused to war, collapsed before a surprise attack in the morning. The enemy broke through and advanced to within a short way of the Emperor's own tent before his German troops eventually stopped them. The fighting now became general, and here and there Charles's troops were not unsuccessful. At one point they all but entered the town. It should have been exposed at the same time to a bombardment from the sea, but the fleet was destroyed or dispersed. Some of the crews had thrown cannon and munitions overboard, others lowered their masts and battened down the hatches to preserve the guns. Much of the imperial chancellery, which Charles had brought with him, had been lost in the storm. Only by the Wednesday was the sea calm enough for the remains of the fleet to reassemble. But hardly had the army regained some of its confidence than the storm blew up again, and this time Charles decided to abandon the contest, if not for ever, at least until the army could be properly reprovisioned and the communication with the ships re-established. He thought that by shifting his camp westwards he could best achieve this end. But all renewed efforts to disembark the provisions were in vain. The soldiers lived by gathering what fruit they could and by slaughtering their horses for meat. For two days, harassed by repeated attacks from the enemy, they marched almost without sustenance, and at last managed to re-establish communication with the ships.

Many eminent Spaniards, and among them Hernando Cortes the Conqueror of Mexico, were in the army. Cortes told Charles that if he would turn back, he could conquer Algiers in spite of all. Charles would not give his consent. Inglorious retreat was now the only way out, and both in the army at the time and later among contemporaries, many voices were loudly raised against those who had embarked on so ill-considered a campaign. Yet Charles's decision to go was not itself at fault. Had it not been for the storm, Algiers might easily have been taken, in despite of the general incompetence of the chief command.

In a long letter to Ferdinand, written on November 2nd, Charles gave his own account of all that had happened. He himself realized that he must justify his conduct. Meanwhile he was held up for many days at Bugia, west of Algiers, before the sea was calm enough for him to return home. Only early in December did he land at last at Cartagena. Going by way of Ocana, Toledo and Madrid, he reached Valladolid by the end of January 1542.

For the whole of the next year he gave himself up to Spanish affairs. Once again he busied himself over the condition of the natives in the Indies, once again he gave ear to the voice of Las Casas. In the political heavens of Europe, the powers marched with planetary precision back into their old formation.


THE story of a man's life is simplified by his own recollections as it is by the mind of a biographer, but the process of selection is different. In both cases, hours and days of lesser importance are forgotten, taking second place behind certain outstanding events. But personal recollections arrange the facts according to their significance in the individual life itself: the biographer can only arrange them according to a standard of universal significance. The spontaneous impression of past events, before they can be selected and stylized, develops gradually into a traditional knowledge, and fixes the multitudinous happenings of the past in coherent lines. In a life of such political importance as that of Charles V, these outlines gain in meaning and clarity as the years go by and produce at length, as it were without external aid, a clear and coherent picture.

Charles was by nature reserved and his surroundings developed that characteristic: thus in his youth the outlines of his thought and the meaning of his actions were indistinct. Only as he grew older did the results of his personal opinions, the effects of his own actions, begin to take recognizable shape. In nature, too, we often notice that approaching age reveals the structure and characteristics of a face, which were hidden by the bloom of youth; there may be no beauty, but there will be character and meaning. Neither prejudice nor ingenious selection can make a convincing picture of a man, but only the strictest devotion to historic truth. Our knowledge must rest on the accumulated tradition and observation of centuries. Only by unfolding the material gradually and carefully, only by conscientiously recognizing its peculiarities and its limitations, can we draw valid conclusions. These are not to be made by rashly overestimating, and then as rashly decrying. Only in the utmost caution and observation lies the true scientific value of historical work, and only in that way can we arrive at a truer knowledge of things as they were and as they are.

The materials out of which Charles's life is to be constructed are of an oppressive vastness. So many and so various are the surviving papers, that the process of his development, of the growth of individual will and character through his youth and early manhood, can be followed almost from document to document. We do not need to watch him objectively, through the eyes of those who saw him. We can study him from within, from his own workroom. Year by year the material mounts up. After 1540 he entrusted Cobos with keeping and arranging all his documents in what is now the archive at Simancas. But his government grew increasingly personal, and as the years went by his writings become ever more important, for the light they throw on his character. In the messages which he drew up for his only son and heir he laid bare the furthest recesses of his very soul. These, revealing as they do his passionate leaning on God and his unconscious knowledge of his own personality, are as valuable as personal confessions.

Although he was tormented with gout, his mental, as opposed to his physical, constitution seems to have grown stronger under the influence of his recent misfortunes. He did not acquire 'selfconfidence', in the modern sense, but he acquired a firmness of purpose which was based ultimately on his trust in God. On December 28th, 1541, he had written to Granvelle of the Algerian catastrophe in terms which were far from despondent. He repeated much the same opinions a little later to his brother. 'We must thank God for all', he wrote, 'and hope that after this disaster He will grant us of His great goodness, some great good fortune.' Men might blame him, he went on, for hesitating in Regensburg, 'but he had only realized too late that he ought to have waited at least another month to be sure of good weather. Nobody could have guessed that beforehand. It was essential not so much to rise early, as to rise at the right time, and God alone could judge what that time should be'.

Thus by his early forties Charles's political personality was fully developed, and in spite of that slowness in decision which he never quite overcame, he had achieved an amazing sureness of purpose. In the instructions, which he had given to de Praet for Queen Mary, on August 6th, 154 1, he declared that it would take him two years to settle everything in his other dominions, and then she might expect him back to deal with the business of Gelderland and the Netherlands. He kept his word almost to the month. In the meantime he added to his instructions a slip of paper written in his own hand and covered with sketches of cannon. He told the Queen to have sixteen large guns and twenty-four small fieldpieces cast, and added a note on the amount of ammunition for each. These cannon were to stay for the time being at Malines, although they were intended to complete the quota of the fortyeight large and thirty-six small guns which he had already had cast at Augsburg. While waiting for him to return, he urged Mary to proceed with great caution. She, in her turn, took his hint and set out as soon as she could to make a tour of her frontiers and fortresses, to reorganize the administration of the provinces, and to separate the Duke of Cleves from the Rhenish princes and the Landgrave of Hesse by diplomatic means if she could.

In the second half of 1541 Charles had already begun to lay the plans for his military campaign and hints of it in his correspondence grow more frequent.

Totally unforeseen accidents may hinder or precipitate the bestlaid schemes and it is the politician's hardest task to be ready for every untoward circumstance. So Charles, although harassed by dangers which he had not prepared for, or driven forward by sudden opportunities and sudden flashes of insight, yet contrived to do no-violence to the main line of his policy.


Charles had been hankering to get back to Spain ever since he reached the Netherlands and certainly for the whole summer of 1541. His reasons were financial. He had made the diversion to Algiers partly because he needed the fleet to cross the Mediterranean in any case, and it had seemed a pity not to make serious use of it, and partly to demonstrate his activity in protecting the Spanish coasts from Turkish molestation. Naples and Sicily, not Spain, paid for the expedition. During these last months Charles's finances were in even greater disorder than usual.

He had to postpone both the Turkish and the Hungarian war, simply for lack of means. In the last year he had even lamented to Queen Mary that he had not money to pay his courtiers their salaries. Although the flourishing Netherlands passed for the richest state in Europe, the continuous wars of the last years had squeezed them dry. The Estates had been repeatedly called upon: to meet the costs of war -- in Gelderland, Friesland and Utrecht, in Luxembourg, Hainault and Artois. The revolt of Ghent had shown what dangers were inherent in this policy of pressing the Estates, and Queen Mary's rule was beset with the difficulties which had surrounded that of Margaret. Over and above the wars, the state kept up by the noble governors of provinces and by the Court itself, cost the land great sums of money. Charles's revenues from German sources had never at any period amounted to anything. He had used the money sent him from Rome exclusively for the purpose of keeping the Turks at bay. The Austrian hereditary lands could barely afford to cover the charges of their own government. The Netherlands had to pay many of the costs of imperial policy -- old debts, embassies, pensions, like the annual 5000 Gulden to the Count Palatine, and even the salary of the Vice-chancellor Naves.

Naples and Sicily brought in considerable sums from their trade in corn, Milan from its salt monopoly, apart from special votes and taxes. But all these revenues were rapidly absorbed in the cost of administration and in the payment of interest, even if they were not already earmarked to cover the cost of those unceasing wars, themselves the cause of economic decline in the Emperor's Italian dominions.

Spain alone had been at peace since the troubles of the Comuneros and the brief war in Navarre had come to an end. Here, therefore, the revenues of the Crown, in spite of all the wasting of Crown lands, remained extremely high. The chief sources of royal income in Castile were the direct taxes, the periodical vote of a Servicio, the revenues of the three great knightly orders, the grants of the Vatican on Church lands, the Cruzada and the money obtained for indulgences. The yield of the West Indies, which was now noticeably increasing, became a larger and larger additional element. Aragon, too, voted a Servicio at intervals.

In Castile the direct tax was known as the Alcabala. Originally assessed as a capital levy of 10 per cent, it had been altered by a calculation based on its usual yield, to a tax on each parish, raised by local assessment, and called the Encabezamiento.

The list of 140 odd municipalities, districts, estates, and bishoprics reveals interesting contrasts from year to year. In the last period of Isabella's reign the whole country was expected to yield 284,000,000 Maravedi. Of this sum, Seville accounted for more than 30,000,000, that is rather more than a tenth; Burgos, Valladolid and the Marquisate of Villena paid 5,000,000 each; the industrial town of Medina del Campo, as well as Cuenca and the bishopric of Salamanca paid between 7,000,000 and 8,000,000 each, Santiago and Toledo 10,000,000, Cordova 11,000,000, Xeresdela Frontera 12,000,000, Madrid only 2,000,000. Since the beginning of Charles's reign the yield of the Encabezamiento, in which not only the old Alcabala but the tercios of the ecclesiastical tithes were now included, had risen from 300,000,000 to 327,000,000 Maravedi. But the coin had itself depreciated, and the revenues were therefore more or less static. This can be converted with approximate accuracy into our currency by calculating that 150,000,000 Maravedi was about equal in buying power to 400,000 ducats; 300,000,000 Maravedi were thus about 800,000 ducats, or a round 10,000,000 gold marks. If we calculate that the buying power of money was about five times what it is now, the total revenue was thus about 50,000,000 gold marks at our present rate of currency.

The kingdoms of Aragon had no such taxes. Instead they paid for their own administration. But like Castile they voted a periodical Servicio in their Cortes. Until 1526 the sum voted in Castile was usually 50 Cuentos, or 50,000,000 Maravedi; it rose later to 100 Cuentos, and later still, after 1539, to 200 Cuentos. In Aragon and Valencia, as in Catalonia, it had remained static at 66 Cuentos, a large enough sum for the resources of the country. To these sums of money must be added the revenues of the three knightly orders, the Maestrazgos, which yielded between 40 and 66 Cuentos, an average of 50 Cuentos each. In the thirties the continuous levy of an extraordinary Servicio, together with the Maestrazgos, brought in another 300 Cuentos yearly, that is a sum equal to the yield of the ordinary taxes for Castile alone.

The extent of Charles's income from the Indies has been much disputed. It was at first, naturally enough, subject to terrific fluctuation. We learn from the accounts of the Casa de Contratacion that it was about 20 Cuentos at the beginning of the reign; in the late thirties it had risen to 100 Cuentos; by 1550 it had touched the 500 mark. It is perhaps safe to assume that during the thirties and forties it averaged 90 Cuentos net; that is about 240,000 ducats, or 15,000,000 gold marks in the buying power of our own time.

By making periodical special grants out of Church land, the Pope from time to time gave Charles an additional source of revenue. The yield of these grants was very uneven but they were usually rather more than 100 Cuentos. Besides these, several taxes had been taken over as they stood from the Arabic administration: such were the silk tax at Granada and the special tax on the district of Alpujerra south of the Sierra Nevada. There was also the not inconsiderable income from islands and ports. Altogether these may have accounted for another 150 Cuentos. Inclusive of the Church grants, this made another 400,000 ducats or 25,000,000 gold marks at the present valuation.

Charles thus enjoyed an income of about 2,250,000 ducats. Several exceptional revenues were from time to time added to it. The King of Portugal had paid a dowry of 370 Cuentos in Spanish money -- 1,000,000 ducats -- with the Infanta. He had paid a sum of 350,000 ducats for the Moluccas. The King of France had paid 1000,000 ducats for the ransom of his two sons.

Yet the size of these revenues and the apparent clearness with which the Spanish accounts were kept, gives no true picture of Charles's finances. Although Charles himself exonerated Cobos, his chief treasurer, from responsibility, he does indeed seem to have been partly to blame for the deplorable state in which the Emperor perpetually found himself.

Gattinara had repeatedly urged Charles to keep some reasonable relationship between income and expenditure. But as the royal revenues increased in the later twenties, the royal extravagance more than kept pace with them. Perpetual war brought financial chaos. Rarely was there enough treasure actually in hand at the beginning of a war. Bankers were at once called in and loans were raised at high rates of interest; Crown lands and some of the more important sources of revenue would be instantly mortgaged, and the future income of the Crown was thus progressively crippled, Charles did not incur debts on any constructive principle, nor with any idea of ultimately bettering the financial condition of the State. He made them haphazard, as the need arose. Moreover, the money he thus raised for his wars was not used in Spain but outside it. And thus, in spite of the influx of bullion from the Indies, Spain grew poorer rather than richer during the glorious sixteenth century.

The covering of these accumulated debts was the chief object of all financial reform during the reign of Charles V. Its second object was the just distribution of the burden of taxation. In Castile in 1538 a serious attempt was made to achieve both ends. Its failure was a proof of the faults inherent in the whole financial system.

On October 15th, 1538, Charles had sent not only for the procurators of the towns, but for all the nobility and clergy, as was the custom in Aragon. He explained to the delegates that the total revenue of the land -- from the taxes presumably -- was 1,074,000 ducats, but that more than half of this was mortgaged in advance. Besides which the unfunded debt amounted to more than 1000,000 ducats and would have to be covered by some exceptional means. The royal government, he proceeded, had therefore decided to levy a new tax, the Sisa. This would affect all members of the community, like the old Alcabala, and promised a far higher yield than anything hitherto imposed. The idea was not in itself new. Taxes on capital as well as income had been enforced to raise the money for the Servicio and sometimes even for the Encabezamiento. But the nobility felt that this was an attack on their privileges, and the towns followed their example and indignantly repudiated any attempt to raise the yield of the taxes. The Duke of Bejar introduced supplementary propositions. He knew the position because of his activity on the finance council, but the best he could do was to suggest that the rate of interest be lowered and certain minor tolls be imposed. He could not introduce the Sisa in any form whatsoever. The clergy wavered in the Emperor's favour but this did not mend matters, and although the negotiations dragged on until the spring of 1539, Charles did not care to force his will on his subjects, and nothing came of it all.

He made a second effort, to induce the Cortes of Castile, like Aragon, to shoulder the burden of their own administration, of the Court, of judicature and general order, not to mention garri- sons and defence. This plan, which was falsely interpreted as an attempt to make Castile autonomous, was of course merely a plan to relieve the government of unnecessary expense, so that the Servicio and any other extraordinary levies could be used to meet internal debts. It too came to nothing.

The Emperor's balance sheets in the following year told a disastrous tale. Like the over-generous father of a family, he planned what was best for all his dominions without counting the cost, and then tried to raise the means after he had begun on the policy. This procedure, however fatal it may be, is in fact extremely usual in the political world.

The revenues for the year 1543 -- over 2,000,000 ducats -were disposed of something in this fashion. About a tenth went to the upkeep of the Court, of the households of the aged Queen Joanna and of the young Prince Philip. Another tenth was consumed in the payment of debts incurred by these households in the previous years. Another tenth went on the fleet, both Doria's ships and the Spanish galleons. A fifth was set aside for the defence of the coasts against attack from Africa. All the rest, about half the total revenue of the State, went on armaments or bills of exchange for the Emperor in other countries, which were clearly being used for military preparations.

Such a disposition of the royal revenues might have been justifiable in time of exceptional danger or war. But the most unnerving aspect of the case was the inadequacy of the revenues to cover so many different calls. The so-called Rentas reales brought in 150,000 ducats of regular state income, but the yield from the Maestrazgos, that is from the mastership of the knightly orders, was mortgaged to the extent of 50,000 ducats to the Fuggers. Besides this, 150,000 ducats from the revenues of the coming year were anticipated, and a further 12,000 ducats from the year after that were already heavily pledged. Very heavy too were the burdens laid to the charge of the ecclesiastical revenues, the Cruzada and the medios frutas, nearly 350,000 ducats. The revenue from the Indies was estimated with the utmost casualness. With all these anticipations and sales, the money which Charles could raise covered about two-thirds of his expenses. It was indeed a forlorn hope to think that he could cover the remaining third by exchanging or selling Juros and letters of credit.

In Charles's favour it must be admitted that he had enormous estates to consider, and it was unusual in his time to give personal attention, as he undoubtedly did, to the Spanish revenues and their expenditure. In the second half of the century, when princes grew more careful in such matters, it is hardly surprising to find that petty little German potentates, in Saxony and Hesse for instance, were far more successful in setting their finances to rights than Charles was. The Emperor had to face a far more difficult problem, had to combat the resistance of the Grandees, and to find his way about the labyrinthine complexities of Spanish finance. More important to us than Charles's efforts to set the finances in order, as befitted a ruler who was also a father to his people, was his complete failure to achieve this end. In spite of all he never had much difficulty in getting credit and it would be an error to see in his financial troubles a dominant motive for the alterations in his policy. All the same the financial substructure must not be altogether forgotten. His difficulties hampered the execution, if they did not seriously modify the outline, of his policy, and they held back his generals, ministers and viceroys. Queen Mary was constantly at a loss for lack of financial support. All the troubles of Charles's great kingdoms were to come to a head in the Netherlands. To understand them it is necessary to follow the widespread activities of the Emperor, both in their ecclesiastical and political aspects.


Charles had left the Vice-chancellor Naves behind in Germany to attend to any problems which might arise out of the Diet of Regensburg, and to prepare for a new meeting which was to be held at Speyer in 1542. At Speyer the chief question under discussion was the very same which had brought the Estates to that place many years before help against the Turks. The Protestants made counter-claims. They felt that it was more expedient for them to use the present favourable situation to ensure themselves against the Reichskammergericht and the use of force in future, than to give freely out of any feeling of duty against the Turk. The Emperor's enemies were ready enough to tempt them from their Mlegiance. Charles had therefore instructed his delegates to get what help they could against the Turk by making as few concessions as was humanly possible. The Catholic princes were bound to contest the concessions, whatever they were. The delegates were also to defend the Emperor against insidious attacks from France, Denmark and the Duke of Cleves. The Diet of Speyer, fixed for January, did not in fact last very long. It sat from February 19th until April 11th. The division between the two parties showed no signs of healing, and a suggestion was even submitted that the Protestants should furnish out a contingent of their own to take part in the defence of the Empire against the Turk. As at Regensburg, they had to fall back in the end on the lame expedient of issuing two separate recesses. Many problems were merely shelved and when the meeting dispersed, the delegates had every intention of reassembling at Nuremberg during the summer.

In Italy meanwhile Granvelle and Aguilar were busy. Charles had had a brief conference with the Pope at Lucca in the previous September at which they had discussed the calling of a council, the need for help against the Turk, and the position of the Pope in relation to both Spain and France. At Regensburg Charles had promised the Estates that they should have 'a general Christian Council of the German nation, or else a national council; only if both these failed would he fall back on another Diet. His delegates now pressed the Pope to agree to call a council at Trent; the Pope preferred Mantua, Vicenza or Cambrai. Charles further had it intimated that he was himself prepared to give an example to all Christendom by risking his own person against the Turk. He hoped for a defensive alliance with the Pope against the infidel, and if possible against any ruler who tried to disturb the peace of Italy. But Paul III felt it to be his duty to reject this offer, lest it should give King Francis grounds for mistrust.

The French King once again controlled the situation. He needed no council: his government burnt its native heretics and preferred the unpopular but serviceable alliance with Turkey to the cost and danger of a Crusade. Moreover the material and moral losses which Charles had suffered at Algiers, provoked King Francis to believe that he might now resume the struggle for Naples and Milan with good prospect of success. The King's temperament had not grown less mercurial with the passing of time. The negotiations at Nice and Aigues Mortes had led nowhere; the dynastic settlement had not even been tried. The truce which had been arranged with the help of the Pope was, of course, still in force, and Charles was anxious that Paul should guarantee it effectively. But the Pope turned a deaf ear to any hint that the Church stood in danger from France.

An unfortunate incident in July 1541 increased the tensity of the atmosphere. The French ambassadors to the Porte, Rinçon and his companion, Cesare Fregoso, were attacked and murdered by imperial soldiers on the Po near Pavia. The French governor of Turin, du Bellay, lord of Langay, sent an indignant protest, which was answered with as good a grace as possible by the imperial regent of Milan. This latter suggested that a French delegate should take part in the inquiry to be made into the matter, and sent the Count of Landriano to explain the disaster to the King of France. Du Bellay rejected all explanations, declaring tartly that he hardly presumed the Marquis to be so simple, as to think that he could really deceive the King of France and his councillors by his specious excuses. Francis himself saw in the incident the very excuse for which he had been waiting.

He immediately took reprisals. A natural son of the Emperor Maximilian, George of Austria, who, a little while before had become Bishop of Valencia, was now on his way across France towards Liége, of which see he was to become coadjutor, with a good prospect of ultimately succeeding to the large and wealthy prince-bishopric itself. Charles was anxious that the new coadjutor should arrive as soon as possible at his destination, for the present Archbishop, Cornelius de Berghes, lord of Zevenbergen, who had succeeded the energetic Eberhard de la Mark, was a weak and ailing man wholly unequal to his task. George of Austria on the other hand was about thirty-four years old, active and loyal. When Francis pounced upon him on his journey across France and placed him under arrest, this was a serious blow at Charles's defensive measures, for it crippled the resistance of the Bishopric of Liege, just at the moment when war was again likely to break out, here and in Luxembourg.

Charles guessed at once what the King's intentions were. His own plans were thrown back to the position of 1538: Ferdinand was making no progress in Hungary and any united help against the Turks seemed out of the question. His plan for a religious settlement had come to nothing, and his reputation in Germany was waning for he had signally failed to persuade the Pope to call either a general or a national council. The projected Catholic League, too, did not seem likely to prove strong enough to help him. The position of the Netherlands was gravely weakened by the machinations of the Duke of Cleves in Gelderland, as well as by the weakness of Liege, in the direct line of his frontier defences. Yet Charles still hoped that by exerting his influence on the Pope he might evade the worst of the danger. As soon as the French King violated the truce of Nice, Charles felt that he would be able to gain Paul's help in securing the release of his uncle, the coadjutor of Liege, if not actually to win the Pope altogether to his side.

Granvelle was spending the winter of 1541-2 in Italy, and Charles corresponded fully with him. Their letters are not merely interesting for the light they throw on the complicated events of the time, but for the way in which they illuminate the guiding principles of imperial policy. Devious in its course and details, Charles's policy was yet coherent and homogeneous. In the instructions which he issued to Ferdinand and Mary, Charles followed Granvelle's advice, and a single document thus provides an outline of the whole scope of imperial policy. Towards the end of November, Granvelle gave Charles his advice at some length on all the urgent problems of the time. Written in Siena, the paper comprises forty-eight articles under such different headings as: the religious question in Germany, the Turkish war, relations with France. Like many others of its kind, Granvelle's memorandum was sent to the Netherlands, too, in code, so that it is to be found in duplicate, both in Spain and in the Low Countries, bearing the marginal comments of Charles and of Mary. Charles's comments together with the original were laid before the Council of State for their advice.

Here and there Charles disagreed with Granvelle, although the latter clearly thought out his advice to suit the Emperor's own opinions. The points on which they disagreed, and the aspects which they emphasized, reveal very clearly the main objects of imperial policy at this time. Granvelle assumed that the next German Diet would be concerned, like the last, with the religious question and with the problem of raising money against the Turk. The Protestants, he calculated, would want an extension of the religious peace for at least another twenty years. He suggested that this latter demand should be countered by pointing to the extreme annoyance of the Pope at the last decisions which had been reached at Regensburg. The Emperor rejected this suggestion outright. He declared that he was not prepared to give any more guarantees in any circumstances, although of course an immediate breach must be avoided. Those responsible for the Diet could play for time by referring all decisions back to him. Charles was here relying on his usual method of postponement in a crisis. It was a method which distracted his advisers but had the advantage of leaving his own hands free.

As for help against the Turks, Granvelle admitted that he had had no more success with the Pope, than had the Emperor at Lucca. The Pope, he said, treated money as though it were as dear to him as life; he could not be persuaded to part with it. The Spanish Council, too, were unwilling to offer help unless they could be sure of something in return. If they gave support to Ferdinand in Hungary, then the Empire must in its turn support them in the hereditary dominions of the Spanish Crown. The Emperor's personal presence was everywhere in demand. The Netherlands wanted him most of all, for here matters were growing very serious. King Francis was much under the influence of the ladies of the houses of Étampes and Albret, who were in a fever to begin a war; the danger to the Netherlands was therefore imminent. The peril, in which the Empire and Italy stood, was only relatively less. But if France made war, and there was no doubt that France would, Spain too would need Charles's presence, and how could he then get back from Hungary or Italy? This was a point on which the Spanish Council lingered long. Granvelle suggested that Charles should enter into negotiations with the schismatic King of England. All other Christian princes had already done so, and seeing that Henry's views were in no wise so extreme as those of many of the German princes, with whom Charles did not scorn to negotiate, he need have no apprehensions on that score. To this Charles willingly agreed. But when Granvelle proceeded to advise that French public opinion should be worked up against the King's policy, Charles was not so enthusiastic. He distrusted this form of action, and said that it would have no effect.

Meanwhile relations with the Vatican had improved, and Granvelle was able to announce, in a letter which is now partly illegible with damp, that Paul intended to send a special ambassador, Montepulciano, to the Emperor. This intelligence permitted Charles to hope that Paul at least valued his friendship, and might, in the event of a French attack on Naples, range himself openly on his side. Yet the results of papal intervention were sadly disappointing. Paul did not even secure the release of George of Austria, and Charles felt that he had been cruelly deceived, both in the Pope's private intentions and in his universal policy.

Granvelle regarded the German situation with the gloomiest forebodings. The heretics, he asserted, were not only in a fair way of winning over the remaining Catholic Estates, but were even converting the peoples of the hereditary lands. He went on to speak yet more earnestly of the French danger. Should Francis make war, he might tamper with Navarre and England. A marriage between the Duke of Orleans and the English princess had been mooted. The document ended with several rash proposals from different quarters, intended rather to emphasize the danger of the situation than to form a serious part of Charles's policy. Queen Mary, for instance, had made as if she intended to seize the Duke of Cleves on his way back from France. She had not succeeded, and excused herself by explaining that there were too many roads out of France! Ferdinand had had an offer from some bold spirit to blow up the Turkish arsenal for 500 ducats. Charles set the sum aside in case the plot should mature, but not unnaturally added the comment that the explosion of the Turkish arsenal could hardly be effected with ease.

He too was uncertain as to where he should begin. During December and January 1542 the situation improved slightly, for England and France became estranged. But on November 19th, 1541, Christian III of Denmark, instead of lengthening the treaty of Ghent, entered into a formal alliance with the French at Fontainebleau. Sweden soon offered to join them, for the Count Palatine, husband of Princess Dorothea of Denmark, was now claiming both crowns. The King of Scotland, and the Duke of Cleves, both already allies of the French Crown, were automatically included.


At this juncture King Francis took possession of Stenay, the crossing of the Meuse a little to the north of Verdun. His reason was that he was annoyed by the friendly attitude of the Duke of Lorraine to the Emperor, and his excuse that he claimed the place as a fief of Bar. Charles, on the other hand, held that Stenay was a fief of Luxembourg, and regarded the French King's action as one of open hostility. Rightly, therefore, did Charles command Queen Mary to make certain of the two chief border fortresses of Luxembourg, Yvoy, the Carignan of to-day, and Damvillers. King Francis revealed his sinister intentions yet more blatantly by giving help to the unbridled Marshal of Gelderland, Martin van Rossem, whose ruthlessness far out-distanced that of his dead master. Well provisioned and supplied from France, he was soon boasting that he would so waste the Netherlands that men should talk of his deeds a hundred years after.

Mary acted with undiscouraged energy. She had never shown herself greater than in these terrible years when war flamed up on every side, even in her straight path. From town to town, from fortress to fortress, from meetings of the Estates to gatherings of the council, from one military conference to another with each of her provincial governors, Roculx, Arschot, Buren, Orange, and many others, Queen Mary went tirelessly on. And always she came back to her writing-room to send her brother full accounts of what was happening. She was obedient to him in everything, even submissive, but she did not spare to offer him advice.

At the end of January Charles sent orders for 50,000 ducats apiece to. Germany, Antwerp and Genoa. He was determined to be armed against the worst. From Germany he hoped for 6000 infantry for use in Navarre and for the rest he wished his bills of exchange to be employed as the needs of the moment might direct. He had gone to Tordesillas to visit his ailing mother, and hence he wrote to Mary. He accompanied his exhaustive political instruc- tions with a personal document written first by himself in longhand and subsequently coded. It throws a valuable light on his personal views during this crisis.

From all that he could hear, he wrote, it seemed that the French King would attack Navarre and the Netherlands at the same moment. This intelligence had forced him to take measures for his own defence. All the same he did not wish Mary to forget his ultimate plans. 'Be mindful of my intention to win back Gelderland within these two years', he wrote, 'and to punish the Duke of Cleves. I shall need the intervening time to set these kingdoms in order and to raise money. But if this war is forced upon me it may alter my plans, for I shall have to spend all that I had hoped to save, on defending my lands. As my enemies threaten to be beforehand with me, I have myself been wondering if it might not be better to turn this defensive action immediately into an offensive. You may recollect that when I came back from my Provengal campaign I had a scheme for sailing unexpectedly to the Netherlands with five or six thousand Spaniards, there to take the King by surprise. But that time he seized Hesdin, as this time he has seized Stenay, and so forced me back on to the defensive. That time, it is true, he did not attack me in Navarre, which this time he may well do. Should it come to that it would be wrong in me to leave that kingdom unprotected in order to defend others -- and with their own money, to boot, which would deprive them of the means to look after themselves. I have therefore decided to call the Cortes of Castile and then those of Aragon, even though the King of France may take action beforehand.' He went on to say that he intended to proceed to Germany as usual by way of Italy, and so into Gelderland. The objection to this was that it took so long. But a sea-journey was beset with dangers. He asked her for her personal opinion. Did she think it essential that he should come to the Netherlands, either to defend the frontiers, to attack the King of France or to march against Gelderland? Perhaps, he suggested, she would talk it over with de Praet and let him know, for Granvelle was away, and he had no one with whom he could discuss the question. 'In this council', he explained, 'as you will readily believe, there is not a soul who imagines that I have any intention of leaving the kingdoms. If they knew, they would try to prevent me.' He went on to consider possibilities of defeating the French King. The winter, he admitted, was a very favourable time for making attacks across the ice; or at least preparations could be made for a campaign in the following spring. If his presence was desirable, he would like to know how many troops he had better bring with him and how much help he could expect in the Netherlands, when the people realized that he was coming to their defence in person.

Mary answered by increasing her activities. She hoped that Charles would come in person and said so plainly. She would have liked him, if this could not be, to appoint a commander-inchief so that there should be unity in the councils of war. Failing this, she interpreted her own imperial commission as giving her power to keep the peace between her rival generals. This meant that the supreme command was in reality entrusted to her youthful but muscular hands.

The French King meanwhile intermittently masked his preparations for war by resuming the old negotiations for Charles's marriage to Princess Margaret, as if the Emperor had not already clearly stated that he would not consider this alliance. Undeterred, the King, Madame Étampes and the Admiral continued to fill the ears of Charles's ambassador, Marnol, with sweet nothings about the princess. On June 10th Charles felt it necessary to remind his ambassador of his personal disinclination for the match, and to urge him at the same time to report faithfully all the offers made by the French Court, so that the odium of breaking off negotiations might be shouldered on to them if possible. The papal ambassador, Montepulciano, offered him the Pope's mediation in his troubles with France, but Charles treated the suggestion with coolness.

In the meantime, while peace with France still hung in the balance, Charles had once again, apparently in all seriousness, brought up the question of going personally to Hungary with Spanish and Italian troops. Perhaps this was a recrudescence of his old idea of gaining honour in a war with the infidel, and so returning, laurel-crowned, to combat his other foes. Perhaps he was more directly affected by the alliance between the French and Turks, which had now become a serious factor in the political situation, and whose effect he may possibly have seen in the recent seizure of Marano.

The fortress, lying on a lagoon to the east of Venice and occupied by an Austrian garrison since the time of Maximilian, had been surprised by a condottiere from Friuli in the winter of 1541-2; he in his turn had betrayed it to the French under Blaise de Monluc, who had massacred the garrison. The French justified themselves for this shameless conduct by asserting that they had been seeking to preserve the place from the Turks. But the Venetians regarded their action as a barely concealed threat to the Republic. It looked much more to them as though the Turks and French were together finding vantage points on the Mediterranean, whence they could intimidate the Venetian government from its alliance with the Emperor.

And so Charles was apparently serious in suggesting that he should march across Italy to Hungary. After his own experience at Algiers, he showered advice on Ferdinand, telling him what baggage and munitions he should take, how he should bring ships with him down the Danube and what measures should be taken to make sure of Pest. On May 10th, 1542, he told him, secretly but with great conviction, that he was coming himself to take part in the campaign. Earlier on, he had refused to agree to a plan of imperial help for the Netherlands, except for Utrecht and Overyssel; but now he told Queen Marythat he intended to send a substantial sum in the hope that the Empire and the Netherlands would act in unison. This hint doubtless veiled some much more profound plan. In his heart Charles was once again building up his European policy to centre on the Netherlands.

It was about July 20th when Charles at last realized that Francis, 'in spite of every sacred and holy oath that he would resume arms only in self-defence', had in very truth reopened hostilities by an attack on two fronts.

All this time Charles's plans were repeatedly held up by severe gout. In ten weeks he had two grievous attacks, affecting his foot, his right side, his neck and his right hand. He was not yet in the hands of that great physician Vesalius, who later became his personal doctor, nor did he know Vesalius's sovereign remedy the root of a Chinese herb. Now as later he would not listen to those who advised him to moderate his diet. He gave a graphic description of his hideous appearance to Queen Mary by comparing himself with various well-known dignitaries of his Court.

He made a fine picture of a knight-errant, he added with bitter merriment, hobbling about on a stick.

On his way to Monzon he stopped at Logroño to make a detour through Navarre. He wanted to make certain that it was in a state of defence. He arrived in Aragon late for the Cortes. 'Time will show what I have to do', he wrote to Queen Mary. 'God give me guidance!' During all July, August and September he was engaged by the Cortes.

In July the storm broke over the Netherlands.


'Since the time of our grandfather, the Emperor Maximilian, the Netherlands were never in such danger', lamented Mary. But this was as early as June 30th, before the storm burst. The coast was exposed to Danish attack, for the counter-attack which had been planned to defend the Low Countries against Denmark and to throw open the Sound was now out of the question. The Dutch might think themselves lucky if they managed, with the help of the elements, to fight off their attackers. Coming from Picardy, the Duke of Vendôme headed for Artois and Flanders. The King's younger son, the Duke of Orleans, under the care of the Duke of Guise, was threatening Luxembourg along the line of the Meuse. The mists had risen at last, and before the eyes of Mary and her advisers, the threatening approach of their enemies was at last clear.

Yet more terrible was the threat from Martin van Rossemin Gelderland. The Prince of Orange feared that Rossem's rabble of Germans, Danes and Swedes, stiffened by a few emigrants from the Netherlands, would make a surprise attack on The Hague. They did worse. Making across north Brabant from the middle waters of the Meuse to the Scheldt, they marched for Antwerp and Ghent. If these troops from Gelderland could join those of the Duke of Vendôme in Flanders, the Netherlands would be rent in two. Nor was the enterprise unlikely to succeed, ' for the invaders counted much on malcontents of every sort, above all in the wealthy towns, where there were thought to be many Protestants.

The Queen was as unsparing of herself as of others. She redoubled her energy, arrested all suspects, and after extracting confessions, sometimes with the help of torture, had the culprits executed. She strained every resource to defend the country, called up the militia of both town and country as well as the retainers of the great lords, and set to work recruiting infantry and light cavalry. Her resolution encouraged others. She sent the Prince of Orange to Antwerp, a city inadequately defended, to see to its fortification. She told him to go by way of Bergen op Zoom, which was the surest, but he disobeyed her, and coming up with the enemy at Hoogstraeten, suffered a sharp reverse. Yet he was not altogether deterred, for he saved more of his troops than was at first supposed, and managed to race the enemy into Antwerp. The whole population had long since set to work to complete the fortifications of the town, following the example of an Italian merchant who had shown the way by urging all the foreign merchants in the city to work on its defences. Women and children had even hastened to help, and the municipal authorities directed their voluntary defenders with astonishing efficiency. When Martin van Rossem appeared, the city withstood his first assault and beat him off with great honour to themselves, even though he had taken the precaution of breaking the dykes in order to cover his flank. He was not prepared for a long siege, and when he found the city so well-manned he marched on.

All about him he spread terror and destruction. Burning, he declared, was the Magnificat of war, and he swore by his honour that his very spurs drew columns of smoke and fire out of the land. Close to Malines and Brussels, under the eyes of the Queen, he thundered over the land. His next objective was Louvain, to which city he intended to send a herald, asking for all their artillery and a great sum of money. But here, too, the infuriated people, led by the students, rushed to their own defence and the besiegers were forced to withdraw. The Duke of Orleans meanwhile had sent his outriders from the Meuse as far as the suburbs of Metz, and promised his protection to the Protestants of that town. He had taken and razed Damvillers, but Yvoy held out until Martin van Rossem joined the Duke, when the handful of defenders capitulated, on August 16th. Luxembourg lay open to the invaders. On August 3 1 St the capital fell.

But suddenly the French advance, hitherto so swift and successful, came to an end. Was the Duke of Orleans weary? Had funds run out, or was the chief command at odds with itself? Had the defence suddenly grown stronger? The mystery is unsolved, but the French advance stopped as suddenly as it had begun both in Luxembourg and in Artois. On September 9th the French withdrew from the chief city.

In the third battle-area, where the French government had thought to be most successful, where the Dauphin himself was leading, in Rousillon, they failed altogether. In Navarre they made no more than a demonstration. But they had thought to win Perpignan and the district north of the Pyrenees with ease. Charles, however, had had the capital so splendidly fortified by the Duke of Alva, that it was able to sustain a terrific siege. On August 31St the huge army of besiegers appeared before it. On September end they began to make saps and breastworks, but they were harassed by determined and bloody sallies from the town. Before the end of the month the Dauphin was constrained to give orders to withdraw, not only from the town but from the land. The army halted once more on Spanish soil, and remained for some time encamped. Charles realized that this was merely a subterfuge, so that they could call on papal intervention and appear to be withdrawing of their own free will.

The Emperor could breathe again. So, too, could Queen Mary in the Netherlands.

But in the Low Countries Queen Mary's military commanders were pressing for a punitive expedition against the Duke of Cleves, whom they regarded as the source of all their trouble. Mary, too, felt that it would rejoice her suffering people to see the fury of war unleashed against the lands of their tormentors. De Boussu forced his way forward to Jülich in October, and the Prince of Orange took Sittard, on the frontier of Limburg, over against Jtilich. Several fortresses were slighted, imperial garrisons were put in others. After this exploit such of the troops as were not demobilized moved into winter quarters.

Almost at once the Duke of Cleves put a fresh army into the field. Duren and Sittard were taken yet again, and Meinhardt von Ham, the best known companion in arms of the 'Black Martin', was placed in command. De Boussu himself was surprised in his camp near Aachen. Mary attempted to set her armies once again in motion, but a bitter winter put a stop to all further operations, and she had to accept the situation as it was until the following spring.

She used the pause to carry out certain financial and political negotiations. The Pope had made her a grant of the medios frutas, half of the annual income of the clergy, but it was to be paid at two intervals, and Mary now sought to shorten the time. Undeterred by the wearisome delays of the Estates, Mary approached them once again for money. And, in spite of indignation and resentment in many quarters, she seized on the lands and goods of all the French Knights of Malta.

But the financial problem was far less serious than the lack of unity in the government of the land and in the direction of the war. Mary was to experience all the bitter and anxious hours which her predecessor Margaret had lived through. The gentry were no less resentful of the nobility than were the townsfolk. They demanded that they, too, be made governors, and be entrusted with the recruiting and leading of armies -- tasks to which they were in every way unfitted.

Since October the Queen was in continuous correspondence with Charles about these problems. She was not contented with letters alone. She sent confidential ambassadors; her first emissary was the lord of Falaix, and she followed him on December 22nd with Philip von Stavele, lord of Glajon. He carried a letter which she had herself composed and written with her own hand, before it was put into code. In this letter she gave her brother the exact details of the use she had made of her money, the division of the command and the occupation of the various strong places. She went on to complain bitterly of the lords. She had no true supporter except de Praet. She was in desperate need of a commander-in-chief; yet the only men whom she could think of for the position were Roeulx and Arschot, neither of whom were exactly what she wanted. The intentions of the Prince of Orange were well enough, but he was young and inexperienced. De Boussu, the master of the Horse, whom the Emperor had recommended for the place, made difficulties by demanding so large a share of the indemnification money for towns. His greed gave rise to interminable questions in the council. 'I cannot speak separately to every one of them,' Mary's lamentation continued, 'nor can I be present everywhere at once.' Nothing would help her more, she concluded, than that Charles should come in person.

In this difficult position the Queen herself seems to have been responsible for the suggestion that the Landgrave of Hesse should be appointed commander-in-chief. This was a singularly happy idea and one not lightly to be dismissed. Among Schepper's papers there is a document giving the conditions in which the Landgrave was prepared to lead an army against the King of France. He did not want money for a reward; he wanted land. His army, he stipulated, must be strong and well-armed, with enough money and adequate organization.

For his part Charles conceded that the idea was not without merit, but added cogently that although the Landgrave had some experience, he had never come into contact with a very serious adversary. He went on to ask his sister to do what she could for herself in the Netherlands. He had, he said, sent the lord of Granvelle to the Queen and to King Ferdinand on October 31st, to impart to them certain very secret intentions of his. He knew, he added, that he could trust her in everything. Charles's statement was true: Granvelle was already in south Germany with Lierre, busily engaged in recruiting troops. The occupation brought him into close touch with the younger generation of German princes.

The Queen's position was still very precarious. From Lorraine she paid a visit to Longwy, the castle which guards the southern gate of Luxembourg. She wished to fortify it as the French had fortified Stenay, but in vain. She tried to interest England in her case. As early as the beginning of June she had attempted to form an alliance for defence and offence. Unhappily too great difficulties hampered her efforts. The English wished their obligations to be confined to the Netherlands only, that is, they would not agree to give Charles any help in Spain itself. He was prepared to accept this. But when Henry demanded that his titles as Defensor Fidei and head of the English Church should both be' recognized, Charles was in a quandary. He observed cunningly that, as he had himself no right to bestow such titles, he was not in a position either to acknowledge Henry's right to them, or to deprive him of them. The King could call himself what he wished; the Emperor would rest contented with addressing him as 'King of England etc.' With this compromise he hoped that His Majesty would be pleased to content himself. Agreement was at last reached on this and on all other points, but the final treaty in which the two monarchs agreed to forget the past and help each other in future was not concluded until February 11th, 1543. By this treaty the allies agreed that they would force Francis to relinquish his Turkish alliance, while themselves making claims to large stretches of French territory. The Emperor's dynastic sensibilities were soothed by Henry's recognition of Princess Mary's right to inherit the throne.

Behind all this the dominating motive was the re-establishment of commercial relations between England and the Netherlands. Drought and bad harvests in Spain had proved how indispensable to the prosperity of Charles's dominions were the efficient and far-reaching markets of the Low Countries. Charles had to appeal to Queen Mary for a great supply of corn, and she at once set to work to raise it.

Meanwhile innumerable efforts made in the German Diet or by individual princes had utterly failed to settle the affair of Cleves. Thanks to the importance of his allies, and the great success of his arms, apart from one setback, the young Duke had grown inordinately proud. Soon Martin van Rossem burst again into the Netherlands at the head of a large army subsidized from France. In the Netherlands they anticipated the worst in the coming spring.

But in spite of bitter cold and deep snow, the Captain-general, the Duke of Arschot, raised the siege of Heinsberg on March 21st. His attack on Sittard three days later failed altogether. The cavalry were successful and Arschot himself led them in pursuit of the scattered enemy, but when he returned he found that the infantry had withdrawn leaving his artillery unprotected. Although he lost few men in the engagement, the total loss of his guns was a very serious check.

Losing all faith in her generals, Queen Mary fell back on the defensive. In this way she hoped at least to preserve the fortresses and munitions for her brother. Martin van Rossem besieged Heinsberg during May and June 1543 -- in vain. The town was relieved by the Prince of Orange on June 22nd. His appearance led to a second battle of Sittard, at which he took most of the enemy's artillery and recaptured eight cannon which had been lost in the previous fight. Mary heard of these victories with joy, but neither such minor successes as these on her side, nor the foraging expeditions of the French in the summer of 1543 made any material difference to the situation.

Everything really depended on Charles's decision to act.


Singleness of purpose was typical of Charles's character, and outside pressure had but to be lessened, for his thoughts to revert immediately to their old line.

The events of the last years had shown him how closely every event in Europe was connected with others. He had learnt what were the best moments for him to intervene. The Duke of Cleves had seized Gelderland, on which Charles had a claim substantiated by many treaties. Now that he had already engrossed Utrecht, Overyssel and Friesland, Gelderland was all that he needed to round off the Netherlands. Gelderland, too, was the hot-bed of French intrigue and the base of French attack. France was in alliance with the Turks, they too the hereditary enemies of Christendom. Thus the feudal quarrel for the small province of Gelderland became a part of a far larger, of a universal, struggle. Charles saw it in this light. In an exhaustive letter to the Pope, dated August 28th, 1542, he explained this aspect of the matter. In this he once again expatiated on his own great services to Christendom, and on the failings of the French King. He besought Paul to do as God had done, to turn away from Cain's offering and accept Abel's. He gave the same message to the Cardinal-legate Viseu, Contarini's successor, to take back to the Vatican. Paul had sent Viseu to Charles while at the same time sending Sadolet to Francis: the Pope's continued treatment of the two monarchs, as though both were equal in their services to the Church, was a source of constant irritation to Charles.

Furthermore, Charles declared that Francis breathed life into the resistance of Germany, as he had done in 1534, If only the Pope would take the imperial side against the 'most Christian King' -- writing to Ferdinand, Charles thus mockingly emphasized the French King's title -- the troubles of Christendom would be lightened. For if only the Germans would submit, either unconditionally or else to a compromise, the Turkish problem would soon be solved. What then could be more natural than that Charles should try to break through the net which had been drawn round him, by cutting or gnawing it through at its weakest point? Cleves was its weakest point.

By entering into alliance with Hesse and Brandenburg, Charles had partly split up the German princes. They were themselves busily completing his work, for their personal feuds made them quite oblivious to their own best interests. The quarrels between the two Dukes of Brunswick and the two Dukes of Saxony, for instance, played straight into Charles's hands. The heads of the Schmalkaldic League informed the Emperor on July 14th in a solemn apologia, that they had been driven to take action against Duke Henry the younger of Brunswick. This prince, regardless of the suspension of the ban against Goslar, had, contrary to all law, violently attacked the city, its subjects, possessions and lands. Charles was not sorry to hear of an attack on Henry of Brunswick. He had known for long enough that the Schmalkaldic League were only looking for an excuse to make war, and, as he wrote to his brother on August 11th, he was angry with Henry of Brunswick, whose attitude for some time past had been highly offensive, and who was now deliberately trying to start a Protestant war at a very inconvenient moment. He required reasonable behaviour from both parties, as far as they could manage it without doing violence to religion. The Turks were still menacing, and a religious war in Germany at such a time could bring with it only the destruction of the Empire and the collapse of the Church. When letters were found among the booty taken from the Duke of Brunswick which proved Charles's peaceful intentions, the Landgrave Philip felt justified in his friendly attitude towards the Emperor. He was thus rocked in a false security at that very time when Charles's intentions were gradually turning in another direction.

While continuing as always in his patient and unceasing courtship of the Pope, Charles decided also to strengthen his position with the King of England. If he was secure in this quarter he would be able to attack France and Cleves from two sides at once.

But the first essential at this time was to plan his departure from Spain. He owed the means with which he waged his wars to this country, and in this country too he built the future of his dynasty, yet he had no choice but to go. Conscious of the cruel injustice of this action towards his Spanish subjects, he strove to make amends and quiet his own conscience by fulfilling two of the wishes nearest his own and his people's heart. He determined once again to make a dynastic alliance with Portugal, and to appoint in his stead as regent a Prince of the Blood.

He was able now to achieve both these objects. The sixteenyear-old PrincePhilip was appointed regent, and married in that same year to the Infanta of Portugal, herself the same age as the bridegroom. He supported this bold act by writing out for his son instructions so conclusive, so frank and yet so full of anxious care for the prince, as surely never monarch and father did before. With these instructions of Charles to Philip begins that long series of political testaments left by royal fathers to their sons. The spiritual god-fathers of Charles's own work were his own political teacher, Gattinara and his confessor Antonio de Guevara. This latter had himself written much and was the compiler of the Horologium Principum. Until the sixties of the last century the testament which Charles drew up for Philip was still to be seen, written in the Emperor's own hand and with fragments of the seal still attached, in the archives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at Madrid. Since then the document has been heard of from time to time in the catalogues of antique dealers, but to-day all trace of it has been lost. The textual substance has survived in copies of whose authenticity there is no doubt.

At the time at which Charles sat down to write, he had gathered all his determination to face the worst of dangers and take the greatest of risks. The experience of years went to the formulation of those desires and intentions which he now committed to paper, and against which he could brook no further opposition, either from other men or from his own doubts. When he set out from Spain in that year, he well knew that he would be risking all that he had on a single throw. This decision, the fruit of so great an inward struggle, secures Charles his place among the heroic figures of history. The Pope was a luke-warm friend, the King of England was not to be trusted, the King of France was a bitter and unrelenting enemy; as to any other allies of the Duke of Cleves, Charles had no information on which he could rely. The means with which he intended to make war had been scraped together through a financial policy of the utmost instability. The French and Turkish fleets, which soon after collected at Toulon, were a constant threat even to his safe passage across the sea. The Emperor did not know how soon the Turks might again march on Austria, nor whether the German princes would stand his friends.

Yet in the face of so much uncertainty he took his decision.

The Cortes of the three kingdoms of Aragon and the Cortes of Castile solemnly acknowledged the prince as his heir and regent. Next he selected for his son a council consisting of all the most experienced ministers in his service; but he gave to Philip full rights of sovereignty, placing him only under the moral supervision of his god-father and one-time confessor, Don Juan de Zufiiga. He copied in nothing the arrangements which had been made for his own government when, at Philip's age, he too had become a ruling prince. Unlike Chiévres, Zuñiga, although he fulfilled somewhat the office of a Grand Chamberlain, was to have no part in the government. The Duke of Alva, as commander-inchief of the army, was also excluded from the political direction of the country. All officers and ministers were in the last resort under Philip's own control, and behind Philip there was the imperial authority of his distant father. The members of the inner council were the experienced Cardinal-archbishop of Toledo, Don Juan Pardo de Tavera, the president of the Council of Castile, Don Hernando de Valdes, and Francisco de los Cobos.

My son, [thus did the Emperor begin his testament] my departure from these kingdoms draws near. I have daily proof that I must go for you have already sustained much wrong through my fault in this inheritance which God has entrusted to me, and worse can only be prevented by my going. Therefore I have resolved upon this experiment of leaving you to govern in my stead.

You are still young to bear so great a burden. I therefore commend you to the mercy of God and pray that you may take as examples all those who have made good their want in age and experience by their courage and zeal in the pursuit of honour. Then I shall have cause to thank God for giving me such a son. I for my part will do all I can to help you, and I am therefore writing to you, my son, in the faith that God will inspire my words. Be devout, fear God and love him above all else.

Be a friend to justice, my son. Command your servants that they be moved neither by passion, nor by prejudice, nor yet by gifts. Let no man think that your decisions in anything, least of all in the administration of justice, are the fruit of passion, prejudice or anger. After the manner of our Lord, temper justice with mercy. In your bearing, be calm and reserved. Say nothing in anger. Be easy of approach and pleasant of manner; listen to good advice and take heed of flatterers as you would of fire.

To enable you the better to fulfil your part I have left you here in Spain all the members of my royal council, and given special instructions to them, which I send to you by Cobos. I beseech you to act in accordance with what I tell you. The royal council will see to the administration of justice and will care for the welfare of the land. Support them in their endeavours. Do not permit the publication of interdicts and the prohibition of worship except on the most urgent grounds, or unless the commands proceed from the Holy See itself, when you must religiously respect them, for in these times many men no longer respect the Holy See. Trust in the Duke of Alva as commander-in-chief of the army. Obey my instructions in your dealings with the Council of State, the Council for the Indies, for finance, for the Order of the Golden Fleece, and in your relations with the Inquisition. Have a special care to finance which is to-day the most important department of the state; the treasury has a clear knowledge of the means which are at your disposal.

I have left you full instructions as to when and where you are to give your signature. The Cardinal of Toledo seemed to think that he should always witness it, but I do not feel that that is necessary. There must of course always be a second signature as well as yours. Cobos will read everything through carefully before you sign it, but you must be ready to take the final responsibility. If you are ever in doubt, ask ,advice from Don Juan de Zufiiga or some other. Never meddle in private matters and give no promises either in writing or by word of mouth.

You must behave to the council of Aragon exactly as I have instructed you, or even more cautiously. The Aragonese are more passionate and more easily roused than any other people.

I need hardly commend to your care the Queen, our mother. Nor need I ask you to care for your sisters, for I know how much you love them. Let them continue still in the retired life to which they are accustomed, and when you and your Queen exchange visits with them, see that everything is arranged in a seemly manner and do not let more gentlemen enter the room than is necessary.

And now my son, one word more -- for your own behaviour. I entreat you to take my advice to heart. You must know that this your early marriage and your calling to the regency make you a man long before your time. But do not on that account falsely presume that study is an occupation fit only for a child. On the contrary, it is the only means by which you will gain honour and reputation. You cannot grow early to manhood merely by imagining and wishing; you must gain the knowledge and judgment which will enable you to do a man's work. Study and good company will alone help you to this. Remember how many lands you will be called upon to govern, how far apart they are, how many different languages they speak, how necessary it will be for you to know them all so that you may understand and be understood by your subjects, and you will see how needful it is for you to learn languages. Latin is indispensable, French very important. Until this time you have had boys for companions and amused yourself with the pleasures of childhood. From now on you are master of yourself and must seek the company of experienced men. You must not altogether abandon such pleasures as suit your age, but you must not neglect your work for them. Don Juan will be able to advise you for the best in this. He will know how best to deal with those flatterers who try to become your boon companions by splintering lances with you, riding at the ring, jousting and hunting, or who try to tempt you to more unworthy pleasures. You would do wisely to show no pleasure in the company of those who are for ever making unseemly jokes.

With God's will, my son, you are soon to marry. May God be pleased to give you grace to live soberly in this state, and to get sons. I am convinced that you have not deceived me as to your chastity until this time, and I am sure that you will continue so until your marriage. But you are still young and you are the only son that I now have or shall have, so that much depends on you; therefore let me entreat you to keep a watch on yourself and not to give yourself over too much to the pleasures of marriage. An undue indulgence may not only injure your own health but that of your heirs; it may even cut short your life as it did that of your uncle Don John, through whose death I succeeded to all these lands. Think what troubles might not ensue if your sisters and their husbands came to inherit what was yours. And so I advise you, shortly after your marriage, to find some excuse for leaving your wife, and do not come back to her very soon, nor yet stay with her long. But in this, above all, seek the advice of Don Juan de Zuñiga. Do not be angered with him but remember always that he acts in my best interests. I have also told the attendants of your wife, the Duke and Duchess of Gandia, to be mindful of this matter. I have no doubt that many people will be ready to fill your ears with hints of evil. But I beseech you to be strong and remember always what I have told you. And if, as you have assured me, you have touched no women before your marriage, so do not let yourself be tempted into any follies afterwards; such things are a sin towards God and a scandal in the eyes of your wife and the world. Therefore be strong in face of suggestions and temptations. My son, have a care too that there be good relations between your courtiers and those of your wife.

It is impossible to think of everything, for there are more exceptions than rules in politics. The chief is that you should pursue the straight path, have a good judgment and do good works. Even older men than you need someone to keep them constantly alive to their duty and to remind them of what has to be done. Every man needs advice, and so I ask you to make Don Juan de Zuñiga your watch and your alarum in all things. I too have commanded him to do his own part therein and to speak sharply if he must. Sleep is often sweet and an alarum is commonly a nuisance; therefore remember that he acts only out of devotion and duty to me, and be grateful to him.

Then there is the Bishop of Cartagena, a very virtuous man. You can read over and discuss this letter with him too. May

God grant, my son, that you may so live and act with His help that He will be rightly served, and that He will receive you at last in Paradise after your days on earth. This is the constant prayer of your loving father.


Charles did not feel that even this confidential and personal admonition was enough for the occasion. He wished his son to have not only moral freedom from his surroundings but political independence so that he might have some insight into his father's wider plans. But he asked that the prince show this second letter to no one, not even to his wife. He was to keep it jealously under his own personal seal.

The second letter which Charles composed for his son reveals him not merely as father, but as King and Emperor. Here he shows all the self-confidence of the autocrat, tempered only by his religious sense of duty. Here he sharply characterizes all his ministers, describing them with perception, psychological exactitude and generosity. Here, intermittently, we catch the echo of his earlier letters.

It is my great sorrow and regret, [he wrote on May 6th] that I must leave you my kingdoms in such distress and inner weakness as they now are. I do not myself know how we shall weather the storm. All things are in God's hands; trusting not to my own merits but only to His mercy, I call for His help. The journey which I am about to undertake is beset with danger, to my honour, to my good name, to my fortune and my life. Yet if I were not to go, I should be in no position to ensure your inheritance. Nor would my abstention preserve you from having in your turn to meet these same perils. I owe it to my honour and my good name to go, although none can tell how it will end. The hour is late, our resources are few and the enemy is at the door. My life and fortune are both in danger, but with things as they now stand I must risk both. As for my life, God will do with it as He thinks best. It is my comfort that I shall at least have lost it in doing what had to be done. You will be troubled enough for money, for you will soon learn how slender are your revenues and how heavily mortgaged. But for your immortal soul, God of His Mercy will care for that.

In case I should die or be taken prisoner, I leave you yet a third instruction. You are only to open it in one of these contingencies, and at the Cortes which will then be called, you are to read it out as my justification for what I have done. 1 But we are all mortal, you no less than I, so that I have put another paper with it, ordering that it shall not be opened unless I order it.

If God spares my life and gives me the chance to proceed with my projects, then I give you this advice. Some of the wishes which I express here may not be feasible. The King of France may attack me first and thus force me to deliver a decisive conflict in my own defence. Or he may leave my hands free to attack him either from Germany or the Netherlands. In either event, my opinion is that the Duke of Alva should invade Languedoc from Perpignan, with an army of Germans and Italians; Provence can be harassed from the sea and Dauphiné invaded from Italy. At the present time I know this is impossible. We have no money, no resources and very few arms. I have not troops enough and the united fleets of the French and Turks are on the seas. But should it come to a decisive conflict, there must at least be a simultaneous attack on the French position both from Spain and from wherever I shall myself be at the time. The Cortes must be called if money cannot be raised otherwise, but the Sisa must not at first be mentioned for I have promised to let it rest. Yet there is no better means than the Sisa to raise money both for you and me, and thus to get us out of our troubles in peace and war. If things come to such a pitch I will send you a personal note, and you must show me what you can do to help both your father and yourself. You must try every means to get this Sisa. If we were sure of this and of the revenues from the Indies, we could easily overthrow our opponents, and all other troubles could be set right in time of peace.

Let me once again rehearse to you all that I said to you in Madrid, concerning the personalities and the private rivalries of those about my Court and in the government. Make it clear to everyone that you hold yourself aloof from all parties and quarrels. In order to emphasise your impartiality I have included the heads of both parties in your ministry. This will prevent you from falling under the influence of either or becoming the instrument of their feuds.

The Cardinal of Toledo is a good man and in all serious

1 This paper seems to have been subsequently destroyed.

questions you can rely on his honesty. Only do not subject yourself wholly to his influence, lest men should say, on account of your youth, you were but a tool in his hand. The Duke of Alva can be counted on to support whichever party best suits his private interest; I have therefore excluded him, together with all other grandees from the inner circle of the government. He is ambitious, bear himself with as much seeming humility as he may. He will do his best to make himself agreeable to you, probably with the help of feminine influence. Take heed of him, therefore; yet trust him implicitly in all military matters.

Cobos is growing older and easier to manage, but he is true. The danger with him is his ambitious wife. No one knows so much of all my affairs as he, and you will always have reason to be glad of his service. But do not give him more influence than I have sanctioned in my instructions. And above all do not yield to any temptations he may throw in your path; he is an old libertine, and he may try to arouse the same tastes in you. Cobos is a very rich man, for he draws a great deal from the dues for smelting bullion from the Indies, as also from the salt-mines and other sources. He looks on these things as his own particular privilege, but do not let them become heritable in his family. When I die, perhaps, it would be a good moment to resume these rights to the Crown. He has great gifts in the management of finances; circumstances, not he, are to blame for the deplorable condition of our revenues. Originally he was controller of the treasury during my absence only; it would offend him to take that office from him. But it is a good thing to have two men in that place of trust, and in your position I should bestow the other place sooner or later on Don Juan de Zuñiga. Do not give it to the Duke of Alva, who will probably ask for it. And do not give it to a son of Cobos or of Zuñiga, for it is an office in which great experience is needed. Cobos has a daughter married to the Viceroy of Aragon, but the Viceroy was only given the place because, of all the possible candidates, he was the least bad. The Vice-chancellor of Aragon, Miguel Mai, is an old man and wholly dependent on Cobos. For the moment you had better leave these men in their places, but you must be considering how best you can replace them later.

Don Juan de Zuñiga may appear rough and harsh, but do not forget that he is a devoted servant who thinks only of your good. You must show him as much gratitude as you can for all that he has already done for you; he is very different from many others, who have striven merely to have control over you for their own sakes. Zufiiga is jealous of Cobos and the Duke of Alva; he belongs rather to the party of the Archbishop of Toledo and the Duke of Osorno. Zuñiiga and Cobos, you must remember, come of rather a different social stratum from the others, and Zuñiga, like Cobos, would be glad to see his children insured of a better income. Yet these two, each in his own way, will prove your best servants. Persuade them to get on with each other. In everything which concerns you personally, you will find no better guide than Don Juan. Do not think of him any more as your governor, but consider him rather as your and my devoted servant. Do not give way to impatience. If you can conquer yourself in this respect it will be the highest proof of your virtue.

You already know the Bishop of Cartagena as a man of extraordinary distinction. He may not have been the best instructor who could have been found for you, as he yielded too much to your desires. Now he is no longer your teacher but your Court chaplain and your confessor. I hope that he is not so mild with you over your conscience as he was over your books. Hitherto such gentleness may not have been dangerous, but in future it may. Take heed of this, for nothing is more important than your own soul, and it is important to take your duties seriously from the very threshold of your manhood, so that you may become early used to leading a good and well-ordered life. When you are away from your wife, you must be careful to follow his advice. Possibly it would be more salutary for you to make the Bishop into your Court chaplain only, and to take some young and austere friar for your confessor.

I shall say nothing of the Cardinal of Seville, 1 and president of the India board. He would do better to go back to his clerical duties, rather than to live at Court. If his health were not so bad he would have been outstanding in politics. He has always advised me very well. But his feeble health and his inability to get on with the Cardinal of Toledo are two great drawbacks. If he shows any inclination to withdraw from Court life, you will do well to encourage it. But do so without appearing to disfavour him.

1 Loaysa.

The president of Castile is a good man, even if he is not quite so able as one could wish. I know of no one better at this present time. The fact that he gets on with Cobos is much in his favour, yet it is a qualified advantage, for Cobos would rather support him in his weaknesses than point them out to him. It would be as well to see that he is supported by able advisers. The Duke of Osorno is sly and deceitful, but he speaks so little that it is very hard to see through him. In his office as president of the council of the Golden Fleece, he is thought to be masterful and haughty; see to it therefore that he has good advisers to assist him.

I will give you no special instructions in regard to your kingdoms and the disposition of their inheritance. I myself am in doubt as to what had best be done for Naples and Milan. You will learn my wishes in my will and codicils.

Granvelle will be your best guide in international policy. He too has some private interests in Burgundy and several sons to provide for, yet I think him to be honest. You may make use of him in one of two ways. Either you can keep him with you, and that is what I should recommend at least at first, for he can instruct you in many things; or you can use him in the council for the Netherlands. If he is absent, his brother-in-law, the Abbot of St. Vincent, is the best substitute. Moreover Granvelle has carefully educated his son, the Bishop of Arras, in the hope that we will employ him. He is young but he has been well-grounded.

I would say much more to you, my son. But those other important matters on which I would gladly advise you are so dark and full of doubt, that I myself am still uncertain on many points and cannot therefore give you definite advice. One of the chief objects of my journey is to discover how I am to act in some of these problems. Keep to the ways of God, and trust wholly in Him. I also shall strive to perform my duty and to commend myself into His hands. I pray that He may send His blessing on you when you have fulfilled all your days in His service.


Significant in themselves, these outpourings of Charles to his son are yet more significant as the fruit of his own lifetime of experience. How clearly here does he reveal the profound reaction from his own youth! How clearly does he express the religious conviction which was the very fount and origin of all his actions!

Like the Confessions of Saint Augustine, Charles's testaments to his son are in a sense personal confessions conceived in the form of prayers. The irresolution of Charles's character had as it were found the steadying influence which he needed: feeling his own limitations, he withdrew to the fortress of his faith.

These then were the principles on which his dynastic theory of the state rested. The Emperor was convinced that his family had a sacred call to perform the duty of wordly pastors, and that they must subject all human considerations to this task. As a ruler his only duty was to his subjects. He kept even the Grandees out of the inner government, although he was willing to use them for diplomacy and war. For this reason he made this complex attempt to gather together, in the regency of his son, the moral and intellectual forces of men of very differing characters and interests. Some of his advice -- the uses, for instance, for which he designated Granvelle -- was to take effect long after his death. His plan of campaign against France was crude enough, and was based on the same rather simple principles which had guided his earlier attacks on that kingdom; yet even here experience had taught him something, for he did not forget the necessity of provisions, baggage and money.

But what were those dark problems to which he referred? They had nothing to do with France or Cleves, nor yet with the division of the inheritance which he had explicitly referred to his son. Nor yet did he mean finances. On all these subjects he had clearly spoken his mind. He can have meant nothing but the religious question. His relations with the Pope and with the German Protestants were still indecisive; his mind was not yet made up. From all that we have learnt of Charles, I think it is reasonable to suppose that he was still hoping for a peaceful settlement. Yet he heard the whisper of God's voice guiding his action, and he was ready to strike, if it was God's will, sword in hand.

Half in hope, half in apprehension, he looked towards the future, strong only in his faith.


At Christmas 1542 Charles took leave of his daughters at Alcala de Henares. From the roads of Palamos he sailed with a heavy heart, leaving Spain for Genoa, on the way to Germany. He had said good-bye to his beloved kingdoms for many long years. Never again was he to set foot in Spain as a reigning King. He cannot yet have realized this possibility, for he was more certain of the duty which called him forth, than of the situation which he would have to meet.

He had made great preparations. Spanish soldiers had sailed round to the Netherlands, by way of the Atlantic, and permits for recruiting infantry and cavalry had been dispatched to Germany. During the last months he had fortunately managed to increase his revenues substantially from another source. The King of Portugal paid his daughter's dowry to the tune of 150,000 ducats in Spain itself, and an equivalent sum in bills of exchange on Antwerp. This was the money which was to finance his coming enterprise. He was moving more freely since its payment. Ferrante Gonzaga, whom he had appointed commander-in-chief, accompanied him from Genoa, as also the Marquis del Vasto and his wife, with a splendid train of 3000 Spaniards, 4000 Italians, and 500 light horsemen. A further 16,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry was to await him at Speyer on July 20th, with the artillery under Marignano, provisions, sappers, ships and munitions.

France was his objective.

Before he could strike at France, he must break down the bulwark of Cleves. He must also make a last attempt to win over the Pope to support his policy against the heretic and infidel. Against oppressive difficulties he had managed to achieve this end with Leo X, with Adrian VI and with Clement VII. He still hoped that he might repeat those triumphs. But of all the successors of St. Peter with whom he was fated to deal, Paul III was by far the most obstinate.

Alessandro Farnese had now occupied the chair of St. Peter for close on nine years. He was a scion of an old family, with a seat near Bolsena. His lovely sister Giulia had been the cause of his rise to favour at the Court of Alexander VI, and he had himself enjoyed to the full the life of a Renaissance prelate. By this time he was seventy-five years old. Titian painted a magnificent portrait of him at about this time; it hangs in Naples and shows, without any concealment, the Pope in the midst of his family. Near to the aged Pope, in attitudes expressive of filial devotion, kneel the two grandsons of his body, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Camerino. The picture is built up into a colour harmony of exquisite and expressive beauty, from the centre of which the aged Pope and grandfather gazes upon the world. Titian has delineated his character with truth and conviction, and in the features of the old man the impregnable obstinacy, which was his chief characteristic, seems to be mellowed by the gifts and experience developed in a long and full life. His attitude towards the necessary reforms of the Church was both shrewd and thorough, but his dynastic ambition, nourished by the political opportunities of the time, gradually came to dominate his policy. His grandson, Ottavio, had married Margaret, the natural daughter of Charles's youth. For the Pope's grand-daughter, Vittoria, there was repeatedly talk of the Duke of Orleans. Intermittently the richest prize in Italy, the duchy of Milan, had been hinted at for one or other of these young couples.

The Pope was surrounded by his own family and by French cardinals. After wearisome negotiations, Charles at length persuaded him to agree to another personal meeting. Parma as a rendezvous had to be avoided on account of technical difficulties, and the neighbouring small town of Busseto was decided on. The Pope arrived on July 21st with fourteen imperialist cardinals; the nineteen cardinals whose sympathies were with France remained behind. In the previous autumn the Spanish government had issued a Pragmatica forbidding any foreigner to hold a benefice in Spain. This annoyed the Pope scarcely less than the rumoured alliance between Charles and the relapsed King of England.

Such were the obstacles to an understanding between Charles and Paul at Busseto. On the other hand, the Emperor could dispose of Milan, Ottavio Farnese was his son-in-law, and the King of France was undoubtedly in alliance with the Turk. It is true that the Pope, alone in all Europe, refused to believe this fact. But on the other hand he must have known that the religious trouble in Germany could only be settled through the Emperor's agency.

Granvelle, who had been preceded by Veltwyk, rejoined Charles on June 13th, coming from Germany. Talks were organized between Charles's ministers and the cardinals, between himself and the Pope. Charles wrote to Mary and Ferdinand, in letters which are almost identical, explaining all that had passed.

The Vatican, it seems, began by making peace proposals. Charles answered almost bluntly that this was mere waste of time unless they took him for a fool. Did they not realize that the French and Turkish fleets were already acting together? The Pope declared that he doubted the truth of this report, and would hear nothing to the disfavour of France. All the same he was willing to send 4000 Italians to Hungary against the Turks. He postponed any definite decision for the holding of a council, in spite of Charles's urgent plea that Trent be immediately chosen for its place of assembly. But what most interested Paul was the acquirement of the duchy of Milan for his family. Negotiations even on this question were far from smooth. The Farnese family declared that Charles's request for a price of 2,000,000 ducats was exorbitant. But Cardinals Farnese and Cervino informed Granvelle, who passed it on to Charles, that they would come halfway to meet him in the appointment of imperialist cardinals, a subject hitherto canvassed in vain, if he would find some new solution to the problems of France and Milan. By this they meant that the marriage between Vittoria Farnese and the Duke of Orleans could be dropped, and she could be married to Ascanio Colonna. They added the covering proviso that the question of Milan was not to be regarded as having anything whatever to do with the settlement of Christendom's outstanding troubles.

At this juncture a man who is often to engage our attention hereafter makes his first appearance. This is Don Diego Mendoza, the ambassador to the Venetian government, in whom the spirit of Gattinara seemed to live again. He warned Charles very frankly against any renunciation of Milan.

The whole world, [he wrote] knows that the Pope is answerable for all your past and present troubles. What prince has done you more hurt than he? The blind themselves can see that all your distresses are traceable to him, both the attacks of the French and through them the misdeeds of the Turks. Sire, keep what you have, and strengthen your own power and reputation. Milan is a fit inheritance for your only son and rightful heir. It is contrary to sense and reason to bestow it on a natural daughter.

Mendoza then appealed to the evidence of history to rescue Charles from that moment of weakness in which he had sought to give away Milan, a place itself unconquerable except by arms.

Julius Caesar [he wrote], used to say that Sulla only resigned the dictatorship because he knew no history. Your Majesty will show an even greater ignorance if you resign Milan, for you have more right to it as Emperor than ever Sulla had to the dictatorship. I ask Your Majesty what right had the Romans to power over all the world, the Goths to Spain, the Franks to Gaul, the Vandals to Africa, the Magyars to Hungary, the Angles to England, save only their valour and their arms? If your conscience pricks you for Milan, why not give up Spain as well? There is but one distinction between the rights by which you hold these two lands -- the one is a more ancient conquest than the other. Milan is the gateway to Italy. Let it but once fall into the hands of the French and all your friends in the peninsula will desert you.

Mendoza's anxiety was a little exaggerated, but it is worth noticing that Charles's ministers felt that they had to combat the extreme scrupulousness of his conscience. Perhaps it is more significant still to notice that Charles had already entrusted his representation at the council, if it met, to this determined and frank advocate of power politics.

The interview at Busseto ended like so many other interviews with assurances of the utmost friendship on both sides. The Emperor's chief impression, however, was that the Pope 'was very much concerned for the advancement of his house, and that his relations were extremely grasping'. Charles entrusted all further dealings with the Vatican to his new imperial envoy, Juan de Vega. Vega was to have many stormy scenes with the Farnese family. Charles's own daughter Margaret, forced to live in the bosom of a family which she heartily detested, was to develop in course of time into an impassioned admirer of her imperial father and an observant spy in his interests. Juan de Vega saw her first soon after his initial audience with the Pope, when he was asked to meet her and her husband, Ottavio Farnese, by Paul III. At this meeting, he urged Paul in vain to remember the promise he had made to take the imperial side, as soon as he had proof that the French and Turkish fleets were indeed acting in con- junction in the Mediterranean. After the Turkish fleet had visited Toulon and seized Nice, there could be room for no further doubt.

Granvelle cannot have failed to make use of the intervals in the talks at Busseto to give Charles his opinions on German affairs.

The atmosphere had been cleared by the Diets held at Nuremberg in the autumn of 1542 and the spring of 1543. Both of these meetings had been very discouraging for King Ferdinand. At the latter he had given up negotiating with the Estates in general and had tried instead to deal separately, not indeed with each of the Estates, but merely with the Schmalkaldic League or the Catholic party. After countless painful discussions the Catholics at length offered him subsidies against the Turk. The Schmalkaldic League were not disposed to make a grant on terms which either Ferdinand, the Catholics, or the imperial representative felt they could accept. On April 23rd they issued a recess in which the Protestants took no part. When they attempted to register a formal protest, through the Saxon Chancellor Burkhardt, the King cut them short. The Chancellor had barely uttered the words, 'Most High and Mighty King', when Ferdinand rose to his feet and hurried out of the hall.

Over this Diet hung that same air of sultry and menacing distrust, which brooded sixty years later over the fateful Diet of 1608. Then indeed, for the first time in German history, the Estates separated without drawing up any recess at all, in order to take up their stance as hostile parties in the Protestant Union and the Catholic League. That was the prologue to the Thirty Years War. But this Diet, too, was a prologue to war, for after so much vain effort Ferdinand and Granvelle saw no way out of the impasse except by force of arms.

Granvelle was already preparing the field for this final issue. The recruiting campaign had been entrusted to him among others. The new activity brought him into contact with the rising generation of German princes. He expressed himself about this in a constructive report to the Emperor. He explained that he had had particular talk with the Count Palatine, Wolfgang of Zweibrücken, who was later the son-in-law of Philip of Hesse. He was even more pleased with Albert Alcibiades, the twenty-one-year-old Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. He found this prince very much improved since he had last seen him, when he was altogether under the influence of his uncle George. The Margrave did in fact enter imperial service as a cavalry commander. This was reported to his cousin, the twenty-nineyear-old brother of the Elector Joachim. Although he was a son-in-law of Duke Henry of Brunswick he was an open Protestant, ambitious and determined to make famous conquests. At the moment he was, with his father-in-law's assistance, arranging to serve the Emperor. This was to stand him in good stead later.

Far the most important of these young rulers, whose lives were later to interact so much upon the Emperor, was Maurice, Duke of Saxony, who had succeeded his feeble father, Duke George, in the rich duchy which borders Bohemia. It was said that as a statesman he learnt all his cleverness from watching the Emperor. But from his earliest years his own life had made him into an observant politician. Lively, intelligent, consumed with ambition, the young prince at twenty-two was controlled at home by his energetic mother, Katherine of Mecklenburg. This had sufficed to throw him all the more into the arms of his father-in-law, the Landgrave Philip. Two years ago he had insisted, against the will of his parents, on marrying the fourteen-year-old daughter of the Landgrave, Princess Agnes. Although he was so much younger than Philip of Hesse, his father-in-law put great confidence in him, and Maurice was proud of it. He was deeply flattered when Philip actually confided in him the details, partly political and partly more intimate, of his bigamous marriage. Treated as a person of account at his father-in-law's court, and relying on the Landgrave's support, he had for years defied his parents and their ministers, although he allowed himself to be drawn into their treaty of Regensburg.

Maurice had not come to Nuremberg in person. He sent his councillor, Christoph von Carlowitz. Carlowitz was completely won over by Granvelle's tempting bait. Never fully counting the consequences Granvelle dropped one startling hint: Maurice, he indicated, need have no fear of the Elector John Frederick of Saxony, for the Emperor could dispose of the Electorate some other way if he chose. For the first time the voice of the tempter sounded in Maurice's susceptible ear. All the same, negotiations with the Emperor dragged, for Maurice would not be content with a small command in the cavalry, and his own demands on the bishoprics of the Upper Saxon Circle seemed exorbitant to Charles. Yet the discussions had their uses, for Granvelle learnt from them the price for which Maurice of Saxony could be bought when the occasion arose. In the meantime, Maurice offered the King of the Romans 300 horse and 1000 foot for that very autumn, against the Turks. He promised to leave these in imperial service until the Turks withdrew from Komorn in Hungary.

The leaders of the Schmalkaldic League somehow came to hear of these transactions, but they were too much occupied with private troubles. The Landgrave, who was more alert, gave it as his opinion, to the Elector of Saxony, 'If Your Grace, Duke Maurice and I were as devoted to the Protestant cause as we give ourselves out to be, we should not quarrel so much among ourselves but should take heed to the teaching of Christ and St. Paul. We ought to take account of the speed with which matters are now likely to develop. Indeed, to judge by our quarrelling it is like to go with us as it went with the mouse and the frog when they fought each other, for the kite came by and gobbled them both up'. He lamented that 'our league is villainously built and full of holes, so that we are forced to go on chanting for as long as we possibly can: "Give peace in our time, O Lord" '.

The Landgrave spoke truly, and it had not escaped Charles's notice that every member of the Schmalkaldic League was thinking chiefly of his own interests and of the land he wanted to seize. The results of the Nuremberg Diet may have been meagre indeed for Hapsburg policy, but the report which Granvelle was able to give of his reconnoitring expedition among the German princes made up for a great deal.


The trouble in Cleves and Gelderland had come to a head. In the spring Duke William of Cleves received the sacrament in both kinds and his brother-in-law, the Elector John Frederick of Saxony, applied for admission to the Schmalkaldic League.

Landgrave Philip prevented it, as he had promised the Emperor. An armistice was suggested by several friendly princes, but rejected. And on April 12th Granvelle dismissed a last embassy from the Saxon Chancellor with an indication that an appeal to arms was now the only way out.

Charles entered Germany in a very different fashion in 1543 from that which he had favoured in 1530 and 1541. The impression he made was almost sinister, or so it appears in the description which the impartial observer Martin Bucer sketched for the Zurich reformer Bullinger.

The Emperor is a man equally clear-sighted and determined in the pursuance of his plans. He talks over some, but not all, of his affairs with Granvelle and the Spaniards. In 1541 it seems he was half persuaded to yield to the articles of faith, the revised doctrine of justification, of marriage for priests and of the chalice for the laity. But finding he could not achieve his ends in this way he appealed to arms to make him master in Germany. He is very versatile, can do anything; he speaks German fluently and is himself recruiting his army. He is imperial in word and deed, in look and gesture, even in the greatness of his gifts. Even those who have long been in attendance on him are astonished at his present youthfulness, independence, energy, severity and dignity. This Emperor could do much, if he would but be an Emperor of the German Nation and a servant of Christ.

On August 17th Charles entered Bonn, where he requested the Elector of Cologne to get rid of Bucer and Hedio. Then he marched to Duren which was held to be impregnable because of its walls and towers, and which coolly refused a demand to surrender. The lord of Vlaten defended it boldly. But the imperial artillery made wide breaches in its walls, and the fifth assault on August 25th carried the town. The destruction of the place was appalling and Charles's gift of money to help rebuild the town can have been small comfort. The fortress of Jülich dared make no resistance. By the end of the month the Emperor was before Roermond, the first city across the frontier of Gelderland. On September 2nd it capitulated.

Charles marched on to Venloo. The young Duke, helpless and deserted by all his friends, here sought out Charles, hastening up from Düsseldorf, and fell on his knees before him. Somewhat ungallantly, he put the blame for his actions on his ministers. Charles agreed to pardon him if he would give up Zutphen and Gelderland, abandon his allies and return as a penitent to the Catholic fold.

The defeat of the Duke marked the eclipse of great hopes for the German Protestants. Had the Duke remained one of them he might have exerted some influence on the Elector of Cologne, Hermann of Wied, who was inclined to favour the Reformation. The collapse of Cleves could not fail of an effect on the whole of the Lower Rhenish and Westphalian provinces, on the bishoprics from Liège to Munster and Paderborn. The religion of the Netherlands themselves in part depended on it.

The Emperor had conquered.

By concentrating all his forces on a single object, he had succeeded in carrying out the first part of his great project with incredible speed and efficiency. Next he ensured the results by acting with moderation. The Duke of Cleves kept all his rightful lands and was rewarded a few years later for his necessary divorce from his French wife, Jeanne d'Albret, by being given a daughter of King Ferdinand. Looking back on his campaign in his memoirs, Charles wrote a few significant words. 'This experience opened the Emperor's eyes to the fact that ambitions such as these could be overthrown without difficulty by force, provided it was used at the right moment and with sufficient means behind it.' We shall have cause to remember this dictum later.

If caution and care are essential to human success, Charles had fully deserved his victory. There was something heroic in the deliberate manner in which he had come to his decision and the courage with which he had carried it out. He had left Spain regardless of opposition, he had defied the dangers of crossing the sea, of sailing along a hostile coast and passing close under the French fortresses of Piedmont, he had risked the disasters which an apparently powerful coalition of enemies might have brought upon him. He could not but remember the way in which the Netherlands had been wasted of recent years. But objectively the most important reason for his success was the shameful desertion of the Duke of Cleves by all his allies -- France, Denmark and the German princes.

Charles saw at once that by this desertion all those princes had made a political blunder and injured their personal credit. He too, now, determined to form his own coalition. On September 12th he sent Granvelle's second son, the young Chatonnay, from his camp at Venloo to England, to announce his success. He stressed the fact that by sacrificing Cleves the French King had forfeited his credit in Germany. Now he wished either to launch an immediate campaign against him, or to prepare one for the following year. Unhappily, Charles explained, he had not the money and he suggested that the King of England lend him 150,000 ducats, the cost of the army for another month. Should the King be unwilling to give the money outright, he would guarantee its repayment in four or five months out of the revenues of Spain and the Indies. The need was urgent.

The old difficulties crowded upon Charles once again. The Duke of Cleves was gone, but there remained the King of France, a great opponent in place of a lesser one. In his political testament for his son, Charles had left the question of his military policy open: he had not decided whether to let Francis force him into a defensive position or whether to initiate the attack himself. He had launched the attack on Cleves, but Francis now launched a counter-attack on him. The French invaded Luxembourg. Charles pushed on through Hainault by way of Mons and Le Quesnay, but his advance was brought to an abrupt stand at Landrecy on the Sambre, where a strong French relieving force compelled him to offer battle. Thinking that the French had a great advantage of numbers, Queen Mary and Granvelle were filled with apprehension at Charles's rash advance. The situation was indeed very critical. Charles himself realized it and made ready in his own way. On October 28th he confessed and partook of the sacrament. On November 2nd he marched with his troops to meet the enemy. The Venetian ambassador foretold that the coming battle would be the turning-point of the century. He was disappointed. King Francis withdrew during the night.

The pursuit which started too late was not very successful. But the siege of Landrecy had been abandoned, and the French had contrived to re-provision the town. They were still holding Luxembourg, Yvoy, Landrecy and Guise.

In spite of recurrent attacks of gout, Charles, surprisingly enough, managed to support the hardship of life in camp in mid-winter, and very bad weather. According to his own statement, it was the continuous rain which made the roads impassable, and the shortage of money -- 'in spite of new bills of exchange sent from Spain' -- alone which forced him to withdraw to the Scheldt.

The military deadlock was outweighed by a political success of the greatest importance. Charles's reputation and the number of his troops enabled him to take possession of Cambrai, whose bishop was favourable to France, and set up a citadel with a garrison. This was the last step in the unification of the Netherlands. At his accession they had been split up by the encroaching territories of Gelderland, Utrecht and Cambrai; all were now under Charles's control. On November 19th the Emperor stated in a letter to his brother that the new position of Cambrai would not in any way affect the boundaries or prestige of the Empire. But in order to protect the imperial bishopric against France, which stretched out a greedy hand in its direction, Charles would have to give further attention to his hereditary lands. There was still talk of an attempt on Liège.

Charles pursued his policy of attack yet further. Luxembourg was partly occupied by the French; it was therefore all the more essential to protect the hereditary lands of the Hapsburg and above all the key-point of Diedenhofen. He determined to take steps to preserve the imperial city of Metz. This brought him up once more against that ticklish problem which was to give so much trouble to his dynasty: what was the precise distinction between hereditary and imperial lands? The engrossment of Metz in a national state in 1871 was no more effective protection against France than would have been the establishment of its incontrovertible position as an imperial city. But Charles failed to gain any such definite admission. Mary sent an agent, Charles Boisot, who managed to induce the city to make an impressive gesture in the Emperor's favour. Boisot said that the patrician families of the town were far more French than Burgundian in sympathy, but they were ready to ensure their neutrality by describing themselves as good imperialists. Boisot expelled a Protestant preacher who had found a large following in the city. He even managed to call a meeting of the burghers, against the will of the patrician families, the Paraiges, as they were called, and warned them vehemently against the danger of supplying the French with materials or provisions. Charles joyfully described these successes to his brother.

The Emperor's policy continued to be distinguished by caution and alertness. He had had to give in before the power of winter, but he did not on that account hold up his preparations for the coming year. Many things conspired to help him. The German princes in his army approved his action at Cambrai. Prince Maurice, too, was impressed and on that account the more annoyed at the break-down of his own negotiations for an imperial alliance. Impelled by mingled ambition and curiosity, the twin roots of so many human actions and human crimes, Maurice had come in person to Charles's Court. It was his first visit and he was open to innumerable different impressions. He found that here, too, as in Hesse, he commanded personal respect; he played his part in the campaign as far as Cambrai and then returned home. He carried back with him to the German princes an offer from the Emperor: Charles suggested that he should mediate in person between the Duke of Brunswick -then at the imperial Court -- and the Schmalkaldic League. It was a Trojan gift. No more effective means could have been found to prevent Maurice from joining with his fellow-protestants, and to secure his good offices to the Emperor.

Meanwhile Ferrante Gonzaga crossed the Channel to prepare a further war-plan with the English, who had so far contented themselves with a few timid sallies from Calais.


Early in January Charles resumed his journey, by way of Aachen and the Rhine, in order to keep his promise and attend the long-projected Diet at Speyer. He would have preferred the gathering to take place at Cologne, but he set aside his own desire in order to meet the wishes of Ferdinand and the Estates. His immediate objective, fairly openly expressed, was to win over the German princes against France. Since 1541 Charles had been thinking more and more seriously of using force against the heretics. This knowledge brings up a new problem: how far was Charles's present sharp attack on the Vatican and generous agreement to the Protestant demands the result of his real feelings? How far was it merely a means to mislead and tempt the members of the Schmalkaldic League? Both his attack on the Pope and his yielding to the heretics were sufficiently noticeable. To understand his underlying motives it is essential to follow events in great detail, keeping both possibilities in mind.

The imperial ambassador in Rome, with all his efforts to get the Pope to declare openly for Charles, had achieved no success: Paul sent the Cardinal-legate, Alessandro Farnese, simultaneously to both the imperial and the French Courts. In Germany he was to be supported by the nuncio Sfondrato, a widower from Cremona, whose son was later to be Pope as Gregory XIV. He, too, had once been in imperial service at Siena and the Emperor remembered this when Farnese presented him. 'You used to be a good servant of mine', he said, 'unless your cassock has altered your heart.' This suspicion offended Sfondrato, but it was more just than he himself knew. The mission on which he had come was hardly in Charles's best interest.

His instruction for the personal visits he was to make to the German princes has survived. We know from it that the mission had no other purpose, than to persuade them to restrain the Emperor, and to stand forth themselves as mediators between him and the King of France, as they had done twenty years before. The Bavarians were the most likely to agree to such a policy, but even they, when faced by the nuncio, remembered their duty to the head of the Germanic Empire and refused. The Elector of Brandenburg went further, and turned the tables on the Pope by demanding that the notorious ally of the Turk be deprived of his title of 'Most Christian King'.

Farnese had the thankless task of trying to make peace by outworn means. He suggested that Charles cede Milan, or at the least Savoy. In return the King of France was to make some other provision for the Duke of Orleans, and to relieve Charles of his persistent claim on Navarre. Yet this could hardly be done, for the French Court had already mooted a marriage between the Duke and Jeanne d'Albret, the heiress of Navarreg. As Charles remarked the first step in this direction was a divorce. Possibly the whole negotiation was merely a feeler, put out by Paul III, for the marriage of the Duke of Orleans to Vittoria Farnese. This marriage was the dearest desire of the papal dynasty and in a confidential letter of Cardinal Gonzaga, he admitted that the mission to France had no other end in view save the furtherance of this alliance.

Granvelle's brother-in-law, Bonvalot, whose diplomatic gifts Charles valued very highly, had confidential information from the French Court -- some of it from Queen Eleonore herself -- and knew that feeling ran high in France against another royal mesalliance with a Pope's niece. The people said that the kingly blood had already been enough debased by a Medici. Yet what an abyss of foul dynastic greed was the policy of this aged Pope, who could pervert an important political mission at a critical time to so base an end! This representative of Christ on earth was ready to offer his loving services to the French royal dynasty against the attack of England and the Empire, by using his authority to make peace at Charles's expense. When the cardinal-nephew appeared before the Emperor uneasy indeed must have been his conscience, for he knew all!

Charles was indignant. He had received the legate at Kreuznach on January 20th, through Granvelle and his Spanish secretary Idiaquez. On the following day he gave him audience. He showed the greatest self-control. He made answer to all the demands in a long conversation. He explained that he had intended to hand over Milan or the Netherlands to the King of France's son, as the dowry of an Infanta or an Archduchess. This was not to be interpreted as any admission of a French claim; it was an indication of his own profound desire for peace. He expressed a deep sense of injury at finding that the Pope made no difference between him and the ally of the Turk. He declared that he could not possibly discuss the session of Siena, and various other points. And all the time he hinted that he did not think any purpose was served by further talk, as it was only too well known that the Pope would not budge from any of his opinions.

Angry and disappointed, or feigning to be so, the cardinal assured Charles that both he and the Pope had the greatest sympathy and respect for him. The Emperor cut him short with a sharp reminder of all that the Farnese dynasty owed to him. 'Monsignore', he said, 'you have had from us the Archbishoprics of Monreale, your father has had Novara, Ottavio our daughter, with a dowry of 20,000 ducats. I have sacrificed two of my friends, the Duke of Urbino and Colonna, to make room for the Pope. In return for all this the representative of Christ on earth makes alliances with the King of France, or rather with the Turks!' Charles went on to say that he would take up the question of Reform at the Diet, and put an end to all abuses. Echoes of things which Gattinara had once said now proceeded from Charles's own lips. And although he had couched his words in more respectful terms, he had expressed himself much the same in his Testament for Philip.

The written answer which Charles then prepared, although Farnese was not excluded from assisting at its formulation, was so sharp that Paul III did not read it out in the consistory. Instead Juan de Vega, who had been sent a full report of all that had happened by the Emperor himself, broadcast copies of it. Even in Germany the disfavour with which the papal legate had been dismissed was soon generally known. Granvelle had detailed to him yet again all the King of France's several crimes, his innumerable breaches of treaties, his invasion of Savoy, his open encouragement of the German Lutherans, his alliance with the Turks, his seizure of the Archbishop of Valencia -- who had been able to buy his freedom merely by the loathsome expedient of bribing the King's mistress, Madame d'Étampes -- his intrigues in Italy. All these crimes, Granvelle pointed out, the Pope was prepared to disregard, rather than to enter into alliance with the Emperor as his duty must obviously dictate.

The Pope thought of nothing less than joining forces with Charles. This knowledge soon outweighed the rooted mistrust and the political discretion of the Germans, strengthening their trust in the Emperor. On March 8th, 1544, Luther himself wrote to Amsdorf: 'The latest news is that the Pope, French and Turks have allied against the Emperor.'

Charles wished the legate to take his leave before the Diet met. He declared this opinion to his brother and spoke it openly to Farnese's face, adding that papal legates at Diets invariably caused trouble. Naturally Charles would not have the French ambassador present at the Diet either. The English King, Charles's ally, sent his envoy, Wotton, but Charles would give no passes for a French representative. Their government had to do the best it could by sending a written message; even this was chiefly taken up with empty words, expatiating on the ancient family connections between Charles and Francis, and speciously explaining away the Turkish bond. Abraham, David, Solomon, the French declared, and even the Emperor Frederick II, had had understandings with the unbelievers. The French King would be ready to drop this friendship, and help the Emperor against the common foe, as soon as Charles disgorged the lands which belonged by rights to France. Of course, the French message went on, Charles must do nothing to annoy the Turks in the intervening time: his seizure of Tunis had been highly irritating to the Sultan. To judge by the French attitude, one might have supposed that the Barbary pirates visited the coasts of Sicily, Naples, Spain and Majorca with no other intention than to catch butterflies. At that very time Barbarossa had carried off another 1500 Christians into slavery. An eloquent comment on French policy!

The German princes were not impressed. Still less the King of Denmark. His natural interest in shipping and commerce soon turned him away from his futile alliance with France and Cleves, and made him once more the friend of the Netherlandish government. While the legate's companion, Sfondrato, was busily inciting the Count Palatine to make good his claims on Denmark, Christian II was formally recognized by Charles in a treaty signed at Speyer. The Schmalkaldic League was fully disillusioned when the imperial Vice-chancellor, Naves, showed them some letters from the French King in which, in return for Milan, he shamelessly promised to help the Emperor against the Protestants.

The Diet of Speyer had begun well, but it soon degenerated into a formidable trial of patience.

Weeks went by before all the Estates were assembled. The leaders of the Schmalkaldic League drifted in separately, the Landgrave on February 8th, the Elector of Saxony on the 18th. Charles awaited their coming on tenterhooks of anxiety. Once again it seemed that, as at Regensburg, he would have to waste valuable months. When at last the chief of them had come, he issued his propositions demanding a subsidy against the Turk and their support against the French King. Surprisingly enough the first answer which he got was not unfavourable.

The Protestants naturally stipulated for a guarantee of continued 'peace and justice' in return. The Catholics were not prepared to give it. Charles next asked that he might preside over the council for raising the subsidy. This led to more troubles, and ended in his suggesting that they should begin to discuss methods of raising the money without entering into any definite obligation as to the sum. The Protestants now rejected this, knowing full well that the towns would support them because of the old jealousies between towns and princes. But soon after the Protestant leaders themselves, Hesse and Saxony, began to waver. They were affected in their course partly by the question of Brunswick, which was very much their own affair, partly because they were bound by treaty to the Emperor, partly because of the recent defeat of Cleves and partly by Maurice's jealousy. The towns, anxious for their trade, and the Rhenish Electors, who did not want to have a war on the Rhine held back; all were hoping that they would be able to escape with a declaration against France and a very small subsidy vote. Gradually the Electors yielded and the Landgrave, at a meeting of the princes, was borne forward to the most vehement expression of opinion against France. He advocated the war on the Turk, the ancient enemy of God and Christendom, with such violence that the young and very devout Catholic Bishop of Augsburg, Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, declared that he seemed to be inspired of the Holy Ghost.

The negotiations went on from the end of February until April 4th. After some difficulty Charles did at length gain considerable help. He was to have 24,000 infantry and 4000 cavalry for six months. It is hard to say which was the more valuable to him, the grant itself, or this open severance of the princes from the French friendship. The English and Venetian ambassadors were profoundly impressed. Granvelle was deeply gratified.

But Charles's real difficulties were only just beginning. There was some trouble as to the method to be used for raising the money, whether by the matrikel or the Gemeinpfennig. But this was nothing compared to the problem of the concessions which the

Protestants now demanded in return for their help. Charles had forbidden Protestant services in the Church of the Dominicans, but he gave the Landgrave permission to use the choir as he wished, and the Landgrave took him at his word. Charles was therefore showing an inclination to meet his subjects half-way, at least as far as he felt himself justified.

Once again the Protestants tried to persuade him to extend his imperial declaration to cover recent converts to the Confession of Augsburg. Granvelle opposed this with vehemence and passion. The original gains of the Protestants seemed once more to be called in question, for Charles had made all his grants only on conditions. But on May 1st the Emperor essayed a new method of dealing with the problem. He named the Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, whom he knew to be favourable to him, the Elector Palatine -- Frederick had succeeded his brother Lewis in this title on March 16th -- as well as the Vice-chancellor and the Cardinalbishop of Trent, Christopher Madruzzo, as mediators.

In the meantime the Catholics were being even more troublesome than the Protestant Estates. These latter were fairly amenable, so long as the Emperor did not again try to palm off on them an invalid imperial declaration. Charles for his part could make concessions with a clear conscience, since he always set a time-limit -- the meeting of the council. Important, too, was the nomination of members for the Reichskammergericht, since the course of justice depended on its personnel. The opposing demands, made by both sides, could not easily be reconciled.

The Emperor was in haste and on May 24th he made his last appeal. Granvelle abandoned persuasion for threats. On May 28th the Diet at last came to a conclusion. The imperial guarantee for the Protestants had to be included in the recess, to satisfy them. The Catholics agreed to this on the understanding that the guarantee was conceived as a proclamation on imperial authority alone, not as a formal decision of the joint Estates. They did not give in: they merely evaded the issue.

On June 10th the dietary recess was issued. The Estates promised to help the Emperor against the French King, and to raise reliable forces for a firm defence of the imperial circles, so that 'oppressed Christians, lands and peoples, should be saved from the bestial power of the Turks'. The Estates bitterly lamented the religious division and appealed for help to a 'Christian Reformation' and a new Diet, until such time as 'a general free Christian Council of the German Nation could meet'. Until that time Charles declared that 'of our own imperial power, no man shall persecute, attack, or invade any other, either for religion's sake or for any other cause, but all shall live together in good friendship and Christian love'. 'No Estate shall have the right to tempt away the subjects of any other', the document continued, 'nor to take them under its protection, even if the subjects in question are not the direct subjects of the Emperor; the revenues, rents and interests of the clergy are not to be stopped but are to remain the same as they were at the Regensburg recess; the ministers of churches, parishes, schools, alms-houses and hospitals are to stay as they are, regardless of religion.' The recess concluded with the ruling that trials in the Reichskammergericht against adherents of the Augsburg Confession were to stop. The composition of that court, and the appointment of worthy men to perform its offices, was to be reconsidered in time for the next Diet, once again 'regardless of the party in religion to which they belong'.

Charles had in reality abandoned his Catholic standpoint. Not, it is true, by the concessions which he had made to the Protestants pending the coming council, but rather by agreeing to a 'reformation' at the next Diet, and admitting the Protestants to parity in the Empire. Yet perhaps he had not, even in these concessions, strayed very far from the lines of policy which he had laid down during the past years. In 1524 his government had thought it wisest to postpone the national meeting of the Germans, but in other circumstances he had himself suggested it as a solution. In the instructions which he had once given to Held, in the threats which he had but recently uttered to Farnese, he had gone nearly as far as in the concessions he made at the Diet.

Small wonder that the Pope was incensed. On August 24th he issued his famous condemnation of the Dietary recess, censuring the plan of a national meeting in Germany, the interim rulings of the Emperor, and the sacrifice of Church lands. He characterized all these as attacks on spiritual privileges. With righteous complacency, the papal letter next held up Charlemagne and Constantine as worthy models for Charles to follow -- and who else indeed had he tried to follow? -- and exhorted him not to be tempted from the straight path by the godless examples of Nero, Domitian and Frederick II. If he did not take heed, the Pope unctuously concluded, he would share the fate of the Jews and Greeks, on whose devoted heads the wrath of God had broken with a vengeance.

The atmosphere, the very actions, are those of the years 1526 and 1527. That time Gattinara had taken up the cudgels against the Pope. This time Luther and Calvin charged into the lists to defend the Emperor. Holding up a mirror to the Pope's actions, Calvin's dialectics ruthlessly exposed the historical and moral fallacies of the papal letter. The Chancellor Brtick tried to hold Luther back, but the intrepid reformer, more violent even than Calvin, was determined to 'lay the axe to the root of the tree'. Charles was often lucky, never more so than now; he had found champions where he had least expected, where he was indeed shocked to find them! For his own part, he answered the Pope by word of mouth only. The contents and form of the letter were themselves too insulting for him to feel that a formal answer would have been anything but a lowering of his own dignity.


It is possible that, going through Lombardy in the previous year, Charles had planned with Andrea Doria and the Marquis del Vasto, how they should support him from the sea and from Piedmont when he made his attack on France. This would have been in accordance with the great design he had in view. But we have no evidence for the actual fact. Whatever his plans, here too Charles was forced back on to the defensive. With Barbarossa's help the Duke of Enghien conquered Nice and crossed the Alps. He advanced rapidly into the land, marching on Carignano, just south of Turin. The Marquis del Vasto attempted to come to the rescue of the brave Pirro Colonna, but as he approached from the cast, making towards Sommariva, he clashed with Enghien's troops on April 14th near the little village of Ceresole, and suffered a bloody defeat.

The French unhappily could not follow up this victory because they lacked the money to pay their Swiss mercenaries. Piero Strozzi attacked Milan but without success and was later crushingly defeated at Serravalle, south of Tortona on the river Scrivia. The 350,000 ducats which the French government had recently extracted from Venice as the price for disgorging Marano, had been wasted in these unsuccessful struggles. Enghien made a truce with del Vasto, and the imperialist position grew yet more secure in the summer when the French were forced to withdraw all their troops to the north. King Francis was, however, already boasting that he would pay the Emperor for fifty such checks as he had had at Landrecy.

Yet before the Diet of Speyer came to an end, Charles's operations for the regaining of Luxembourg had already begun; his commanders were Wilhelm von Fuerstenberg, who had deserted French for imperial service, and Ferrante Gonzaga. On June 6th they entered the city of Luxembourg. The Emperor next collected the main body of his army at Metz, intending to advance across Lorraine, where on June 14th the aged Duke had just died, to Ligny and Commercy on the Meuse, and on towards the Marne. The troops which he had collected at Metz made a gallant show. There were Italian and Spanish generals, German princes and mercenaries; the army consisted of 3000 Italian and 4000 German cavalry, much of it under the command of German princes; Fuerstenberg and Bemelberg had 8000 infantry each, and there were between 6000 and 7000 troops from Spain and from the Netherlands, besides 62 cannon, 3500 horses, 1400 pioneers, 200 wagons with 8 horses apiece, 70 ships carried on wagons with all their crews; over 40,000 men in all.

Charles stayed in Metz from June 17th until July 6th. Here he received his niece Christina, once Duchess of Milan and now Duchess of Lorraine. Here he drew up a curious codicil which has but recently come to light. It was written in Spanish and sealed by his secretaries Idiaquez and Bave. It begins with an abrupt repudiation of all those marriage plans with the French house, which the King's faithlessness and his alliance with the Turk had brought to nothing. He sought, as he expressed it, not the salvation of the French but of his own dynasty, and therefore wished to strengthen the connection between the two branches by marrying his daughter, the Infanta Mary, to Ferdinand's eldest son. On the other hand if Philip were to make over the Netherlands to his sister, she was to marry the second son of Ferdinand, rather than the elder, because if Philip died childless the Infanta would have Castile and Aragon too. But if the elder Infanta married the elder Archduke, then the younger Infanta should marry the younger Archduke and the lands be divided between the two families, as they were now between Charles and Ferdinand. But there was to be one curious difference: the younger line was to have the Netherlands as well as the Austrian lands, for Charles held that the uniting of Spain and the Low Countries under a woman ruler would be impracticable. Once again Charles amused himself with the possible combinations of family marriages, building up plans which he was to alter, or at least to postpone indefinitely, only a few months later.

Setting out on this, his final and greatest war with King Francis, Charles occupied himself once again with plans for his possible death, as he had done in the Testament he drew up for Philip. Should he die, he wished not only the youthful Philip, but his even more youthful and still unmarried sister Mary, to be declared capable of inheriting and governing.

In the meantime his troops had pressed on to the Marne. Charles followed in their wake, by way of Pont à Mousson, Toul and Pagny on the Meuse. He took Commercy, the key to the Meuse valley and proceeded, over Ligny on Ornain, south of Bar-le-Duc, to St. Dizier on the Marne. He had gone at least sixty miles before he came up against any serious resistance. Then he heard that a French army of uncertain size was waiting for him a little farther down the Marne at Jaalons between Chalons and Epernay.

After he had laid mines, erected batteries, and sapped the walls, he gave the assault to St. Dizier. On the very first day of the siege, while digging in an advanced sap, the young René of Chalon, Prince of Orange, was wounded in the shoulder by an enemy bullet: he died on July 21st. St. Dizier was surrounded and sallies from within were easily beaten off, but the garrison of Vitry, farther up the Marne, attacked and harried the besiegers until Charles dispatched Maurice of Saxony, the Margrave Albert, the Duke of Este and Fuerstenberg to take it. It was stormed and fell on June 23rd-24th, not without a sharp cavalry engagement before the walls. Within Este found and seized the standard of the commander, Brissac.

On August 9th the garrison of St. Dizier offered to surrender if they were not relieved within eight days. No help came, and on August 17th the town capitulated on condition that the garrison and artillery were spared. The Emperor was now master of the middle waters of the Marne and Meuse.

Yet he was still barely half-way to Paris, the city which was now more or less openly recognized as his main objective. The whole French army was entrenched in his path and his own provisions were running short. Moreover he was anxious to have news of the English King, who had undertaken to attack at the same time. The distance from the English base at Calais to Paris was about the same as that from the imperial base at Metz. But King Henry was still loitering somewhere near Boulogne. Charles knew nothing of this. The word in his camp was: On to Paris! In the interval he was contemplating attacks on Troyes, Rheims or St. Ménéhould on the upper Aisne. He reconnoitred Chalons, carefully prospecting for a serious siege, but decided that it would be a long and dangerous business. It seemed better to march on into the heart of the land, thus solving if possible his difficulties in finding provisions and pay for his men.

In a long forced march at night, the army safely passed Cahors on September 2nd-3rd, going by way of La Chaussée, and so down the Marne towards the capital city, past Ay and Epernay. But when Charles attempted to cross the Marne and attack the new position of the French army, he failed. Nevertheless he hastened on, his light cavalry skirmishing as far in advance as Meaux.

Panic reigned in Paris. Many fled and the King, who could no longer fight but was still popular, needed all his authority to restore calm among the people.

In the meantime negotiations between the combatants had already begun, and were to lead within a fortnight to that peace of Crépy whose terms were long to remain secret.

The last weeks had been a time of great anxiety for the Emperor. His military operations had been conceived all too boldly, and the decisions which he was called upon to make in the field were often in sharp contradiction to the course of his diplomatic negotiations. Gonzaga and Granvelle served him with equal tenacity and circumspection, both in the delicate approaches to the negotiations and in their lengthy course. The transactions may be clearly traced in the terms of the peace itself, and yet more fully in the long and frank reports which Charles gave of them to Mary, and in the Chronicle of Busto, which supports them in the main.

On July 20th Charles reported that the Cardinal of Lorraine had mentioned the possibility of negotiating. This initial suggestion came to nothing, but instigated Charles to work out his exact financial position, and to calculate that he could not support his army beyond September 25th. This proved to him that it would be as well to make a truce, with English mediation, as soon as possible. Profoundly resigned to the perennial hostility of France, he did not believe in the possibility of a final peace. But his incredulity was founded on those very facts which this time, for once, led to peace. The confidential reports which he received from the French Court made him fully aware that the King got on badly with his two sons, and that the two sons, the Dauphin who had originally been Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Orleans who had originally been Duke of Angoulême, got on even worse among themselves. The Dauphin belonged to that large party which wanted to marry off the Duke of Orleans to Jeanne d'Albret. But the Duke loudly declared that he would not always be treated as the second string to France's bow. He wanted an independent principality somewhere else. This made him the obvious candidate for Milan in the Farnese policy, as also the willing object of the Hapsburg marriage policy. Queen Eleonore strengthened him in this latter hope.

On July 30th the Duke's Grand Chamberlain, a lord of Villers who was also the bailli of Dijon, came to Granvelle with the suggestion that the Duke should marry the elder Infanta and have Milan. Granvelle refused, but he did not let go of this valuable thread of French policy, especially when he learnt that Villers had acted with the connivance of the King. Villers tried to intimidate the imperialists with tales of the huge reinforcements which the King expected in August, but they refused to be deceived. Later, when he told them that the Duke of Orleans might perhaps be married to Jeanne d'Albret, they perplexed him completely by agreeing that this was an excellent plan. All the same, Charles saw that the horizon was clearing, and gave Marypermission to continue her efforts to engineer a truce. Gradually the imperial party grew surer of the ground. When the Count of Brienne came to reconnoitre the diplomatic position, he was reminded of the very perilous situation in Europe now occupied by the French monarchy.

The next to send an envoy was the French admiral, Annebault, but his first effort was ineffective and he reinforced his embassy by sending the Dominican monk Guzman. Then came the King's secretary, Aubépine; he returned to the charge on August 31st. Meanwhile, on the 29th at the latest, Charles had issued passes for Annebault and one of the presidents of the French council. On the same day he drew up the plenipotentiary powers of Granvelle and Gonzaga. The conference took place at St. Amand, a little to the north of the Marne, between Vitry and Chalons. Propositions were discussed for the marriage of the Duke of Orleans to a Hapsburg princess and for Charles to Princess Margaret. But this was not a mere dynastic dream, such as had occupied the Emperor at Aigues Mortes. This at last was a serious attempt to make terms for peace, to exchange conquests, renounce the objects of the quarrel and swear a firm friendship. The terms seemed to combine the virtues of Cambrai and Aigues Mortes. Both sides promised to collect further information and to meet again on September 8th.

Meanwhile Queen Eleonore wrote to her brother, the Emperor, from Amboise on September 1st. The letter had no political importance but it summed up the feelings of the French Court. She could not express her joy, she said, to learn that at last a serious peace was to be made between her dear brother, the Emperor, and her lord, the King of France. She would ask the King for permission to go to see her brother, and in the meantime gratefully thank God for having at last heard her prayers. She was convinced that the greatness of the moment would not be lost on Charles: it was wonderful to think that at last the two greatest princes in Christendom were to unite in the service of God. She hoped indeed that this new peace would be firm and lasting, and she particularly commended the Admiral, Annebault, as a man of loyalty and honour.

Between September 6th and September 10th the actual terms were at length decided on. On the 10th the Emperor left the valley of the Marne and turned north towards Soissons. On the 7th he had sent the Bishop of Arras to the English King. He pretended to allow his ally freedom of action, but in fact Arras was to present Henry with a sharp alternative: either he must immediately march on Paris, or he must give Charles freedom to negotiate peace. The imperial Court waited long, almost in despair, for the return of their messenger. When he came, on September 19th, they had risked the King of England's displeasure and the terms were already settled.

The negotiations had not been all plain sailing. Now and again there were perilous moments. As Charles confided to Mary, the transactions were all but suspended no less than three times. Little details, such as the cession of Hesdin, caused bitter argument. The French said that the Dauphin could not be expected to make so many sacrifices. Charles soon realized that the crux of the problem lay in the French royal family and its complicated private relations. Was it possible to make peace with the King, the Dauphin and the Duke of Orleans? All the fruits of the treaty were for the Duke of Orleans. The King needed peace too much to reject it, but could the Dauphin be brought to agree? Francis had to consider his eldest son as much as possible. Nevertheless, although the Dauphin was left to make his individual protest later on, peace was signed.

The treaty was in two forms. In the open instrument of peace, the terms of Madrid and Cambrai were re-stated with only a few additional points. These points were that France should send help against the Turk, 10,000 men and 600 heavy cavalry; that both sides should restore all conquests made since the truce of Nice in 1538; Stenay was to be given back and the fortress slighted; the Duke of Orleans was to marry the Infanta and was to inherit the Netherlands on the Emperor's death. Alternatively he could marry the Archduchess Anna, who was already sixteen, and have Milan. After consulting Philip and Ferdinand, Charles was to have the last word in deciding which bride and which country was to go to the Duke.

Many days had gone to the formulation of these terms and it is surprising that a mere week sufficed to draw them up on paper. The speed of the final conclusion is the more astonishing since we know, on respectable authority, that quite a new cause of dispute had come between the two Crowns. In the past French pirates had once at least seized a treasure fleet sent by Hernando Cortes, and now the Spaniards complained that their colonial monopoly had been infringed by the attempt of the French explorer Jacques Cartier and the governor Roberval to settle in Canada. The French explicitly declared that they would abandon this policy, and in yet another document assured Charles that they would henceforward respect 'the rights of the Spaniards and the Portuguese in all the Indian lands'.

But far more important than the published document was the secret treaty of Crépy. The terms which contemporaries sought in vain to discover are known to us through the recent discovery of a draft. By this the French King agreed to help the Emperor in reforming the abuses of the Church, to further the meeting of a council, at Trent, Cambrai or Metz, and to bring back the German heretics to the Catholic fold. If the German Protestants could not be reduced except by force, then Francis agreed to give Charles exactly the same measure of help as he had already undertaken to give against the Turk. Furthermore he promised to help Charles to regain Marano, and to restore the imperial town of Geneva to the Duke of Savoy. This latter transaction was partly also intended for the restoration of religion. Calvin had already set up his state at Geneva. Lastly he promised to make no peace with England from which Charles should be excluded, and if by any misfortune Charles were to find himself at war with Henry VIII, Francis agreed to fight on his side.

On September 18th news came that Boulogne had fallen on the 14th. It needed only this to force the French to sign the treaty. The instrument drawn up by King Francis for the second treaty was dated at Meudon on September 19th. On the same day Charles wrote to Mary from Crépy near Laon saying that the Duke of Orleans had just handed over to him the instrument of peace, containing the King of France's obligations to him, clearly set down. September 14th is the official date of the secret treaty. At that time Charles was still at Soissons, and the text of the public treaty, to be found in the papers of Viglius van Zwichem at Göttinken, does in fact bear the comment written in the abbey of St. Nicholas, in the vineyards by Soissons, but signed at Crépy on September 18th'. Charles confirmed the treaty on September 19th. Both parties had agreed on this date for its confirmation.

On June 20th Charles had written to his sister saying that his means would not last beyond September 25th. He had reached his goal almost exactly a week before they gave out. This was a very different triumph from that at Tunis or Venloo. This time he had enforced the terms of Cambrai and Madrid -- all but the cession of Bourgogne -- at the sword's point. He had made the French agree to terms which covered not only Europe but his colonies abroad, not only political but religious matters. He had asserted his dominance over France as soldier, leader, diplomatist and Emperor. By the secret treaty, Francis had sworn to bring back the heretic and reform the Church because 'it was necessary to the dignity and imperial majesty of the Emperor'. The French King was ready to play his part, either immediately or when he was called upon, in arms if necessary, 'at the Emperor's command'.


So profound was the fundamental opposition between Charles V and the Protestants that the consciousness of it has coloured the historic conception of the Emperor. Regarded from the universal rather than from the particular point of view, it is right to recognize this intense contradiction which governed the affairs of Church and State. Catholicism, both of thought, action and belief, was so highly developed in Charles that there is scarcely another figure in history whose career so well illustrates the piety and religious convictions of the layman in the period preceding the Reformation. His thoughts, his method of expression, his trials of conscience, his good works, are all alike typical of the devout life of his period.

Yet this emphasis on his personal belief underlines too violently his opposition to the Reformation; the unprejudiced observer cannot fail to realize that, within limits, Charles could show many different faces. Sometimes he belongs to that group of mighty figures in our past history who have set themselves up to champion the layman against the ecclesiastical hierarchy: he is of the same mould as Charlemagne, Henry IV, the Hohenstaufen Emperors, even Luther. A natural timidity in the face of religious authority prevented Charles from ever fully carrying out this aspect of his policy; he was, unlike Gattinara and Mendoza, always unsure of himself. Yet it is impossible to doubt what his opinions were. His councillors, even, were far from basing their hostility to the Roman hierarchy on power politics alone: they had higher motives. But with Charles these higher motives dominated; like many of the princes, both Protestant and Catholic, who lived in this opening epoch in which rulership became more definitely secularized, he had a high sense of his calling.

In spite of their errors in dogma and forms of worship, the German Estates were thus his natural allies against the Italian Church-state of the Papacy. Since the beginning of his reign he had often enough used them as such. They, like him, had repeatedly asked for the council to stop abuses and perhaps even to recognize the Empire as one great ecclesiastical unity. He was often enough in far closer sympathy with the German Protestants than with the King of France for instance: this monarch mercilessly persecuted his own heretics, but allied himself with the German Protestants and the Turks, while throwing obstacles in the way of the council, and encouraging all those Catholic powers most hostile to the Hapsburg. Such contradictions as these caused Charles's perpetual hesitations, his desire for compromise, his shifting alliances and variable policy. Not since the beginning of time has there been a political programme whose supporters were all alike in their reasons and motives: policy must coincide only with some line of common sympathy between them, and it will be carried out in accordance with the individual and different enthusiasms of each executant. 'Mistrust' is perhaps too strong a word, with its suggestion of moral condemnation: yet we must apply something of mistrust, of caution, to the examination of all political action.

Charles in a sense embodied the theory of the Empire, almost that of the modern state, and this, bringing him as it did into collision with the Pope, endowed him sometimes with an almost national outlook. Luther had instinctively grasped at the fundamental truth: the loose and divided 'Empire' was far nearer to being the expression of the German nation's unity, than any individual state could ever be. The territorial principalities were to show themselves, in the course of the next century, as dynastic and as international as the Hapsburg imperial house; they were to tear German unity into shreds. Only after this did the territorial states become the generators of a German unity still undreamt of, which was to include within itself a 'Protestantism' both religious and political.

Charles's life-struggle thus grew more complex with the years. He had to solve not only European problems, but he had to fight for religious unity against a group within Germany, and for the unification of the Empire and the confirmation of imperial authority against the divided and private interests of all. It was his fate to win, not once but repeatedly, a victory in one single sphere, and to turn thence to combat with renewed, but delusive hope, those other troubles whose outline he could but vaguely distinguish, but of whose presence he was so acutely conscious.


Peace with France was Charles's first condition for the comprehensive reorganization of Germany. But the peace was marred by the continuance of the English war and by Charles's own inability to decide whether to part with Milan or the Netherlands. He was passionately fond of his native land, the Low Countries, yet he had but recently had clear proof of the importance of Milan to his European policy: that he found the decision painful is hardly to be wondered at. For the time being state visits and festivities drowned all anxiety. About a month after Crépy, Queen Eleonore entered Brussels on October 22nd, 1544, overjoyed to re-visit her native town. She brought with her her stepson, the Duke of Orleans, whom Charles already treated as a son or nephew, and who, feeling himself the centre of European political speculation, was uncommonly pleased with himself. Queen Eleonore brought a great train with her, among them Madame d'Éampes, the King's mistress. The Emperor was supported by Queen Mary, by his nephews the Archdukes Maximilian and Ferdinand, by his son-in-law Ottavio Farnese, the Viceroy of Sicily, by generals, secretaries of state, knights of the Golden Fleece, cardinals and prelates. Tournaments, games and balls followed fast -- 'even at the reception it seemed they would never have done with kissing and embracing each other'. Could any man now doubt the solidity of the peace? To conclude all, the two monarchs exchanged letters of the most exaggerated affection, and the Viceroy of Sicily paid a state visit to France.

Charles was barely forty-five years old, but directly after these festivities he was again plagued by terrible attacks of gout. Wrapped in warm rugs, out of humour with himself and public affairs, he sat and brooded over the alternative marriages of the Duke of Orleans. Very late in February 1545 he at length came to a decision, embodied in a document thick with stipulations.

The Duke of Orleans was to have Milan with Ferdinand's daughter. But at Court they were whispering that 'there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip'. The execution of the peace was indeed a constant source of trouble. What, for instance, was to happen if the Duke of Orleans did not live to consummate the marriage? Then the whole structure of the treaty would fall to the ground. Then there would be no one left but the King's one surviving son, the Dauphin Henry. This was the prince who had spent four years, with his elder brother since dead, as Charles's prisoner, and who had entered a formal protest to the treaty of Crépy. The French treaty hung by a single thread. Queen Eleonore foresaw endless troubles, and Granvelle and his circle feared a new Franco-English understanding.

The, Emperor, it is true, was using French as well as Portuguese support, in an embassy to the Turks, on which he had sent Gerhard Veltwyk, to negotiate for peace or truce in Hungary. And the French government asked for Charles's help in preventing Flemish or German nobles, like Maurice of Saxony, from entering into the service of the English.

In the meantime Charles's increased strength had altered the Pope's attitude. The imperial councillors added their efforts in exploiting the favourable situation. They were ready to meet the desires of the Farnese dynasty with the utmost sympathy. They worked even for the imperial consent to bestow the fiefs of Parma and Piacenza on Pier Luigi Farnese, a proposition which the French King watched with the greatest annoyance as he felt that both these districts really belonged to Milan. Nothing had yet been decided when the King of France, in accordance with the obligation he had undertaken at Crépy, sent to the Pope asking for a council. Paul III hastened to carry out the request. On November 19th, 1544, he fixed the day for the council to assemble: March 15th, 1545, the Sunday of Laetare, at Trent. Unhappily the council, for which Charles had worked so long in vain, came into being just when it was most inconvenient for him. At Speyer in the previous year, he had promised the German Estates that he would regulate the religious problem at the next Diet. This was to meet very shortly at Worms, but there was the usual delay and it did not open until December 14th 1544. Even so no propositions were offered and no serious business discussed until March 24th, after the coming of Ferdinand. Tormented by gout and, as he humorously put it, unable to 'hope for any truce with it', Charles had first thought of letting Queen Mary represent him. Ferdinand dissuaded him, saying it was unsuitable. In consequence he chose, as well as his usual representatives, Granvelle with his son the Bishop of Arras, and the imperial Vice-chancellor Naves. On May 16th he arrived in person. Twenty-four years before the world had looked to Charles, in that same city of Worms, for a final decision: now once again the world waited for him to speak.

Soon after Charles's arrival the papal legate, Farnese, made his entrance. The Emperor had not directly asked for him, but had got Madruzzo to hint that he ought to come. Farnese's pretext for coming was that he brought subsidies against the Turk. He did in fact bring with him, to everyone's amazement, 100,000 ducats which were to be bestowed at Augsburg for the time being. For what purpose the money was intended was still in doubt. But the immense subsidy ensured him a favourable reception. As the Emperor jestingly told him, they would 'destroy the old score and start a new ledger'. From this beginning, both Charles and Farnese seem to have been carried much further than they intended. The Diet had yet to settle the religious problems of Germany, and the council which was to reform the Catholic Church was already in session at Trent. Farnese's instructions and Charles's original intentions seem to have been in accordance with these public events. Yet almost before either had taken account of the situation, they found themselves discussing the advisability of a Protestant war.

No one knows in which of these two minds the idea first sprang. Our sources, rich in every other respect, supply no answer here. Charles had suggested a war in rather different circumstances as early as 1530. In 1541, when the religious conference at Regensburg failed, he had it yet more clearly in mind. But in May 1543, when he drew up his testament for Philip, the idea had receded. In his memoirs, he seems to suggest that his triumph over Cleves gave him the final impetus. Yet the memoirs simplify the events which followed Cleves, so that the subtleties cannot be traced in them. When, a little before the Diet of Worms, Charles asked for papal support through his ambassador to the Vatican, Juan de Vega, he had apparently not yet decided on his course of action, nor fully determined when and against whom he intended to fight. Besides which his policy of breaking up the Protestants among themselves had placed him under complicated obligations to some of them. But in his first interview with Farnese it appears that Charles, after first complaining of Protestant obstinacy, then confessed that he feared an attack, next recollected the onslaught on Württemberg and Brunswick, and so by degrees worked up both the cardinal and himself into a war fever, in which his original propositions for defensive action were totally submerged.

Judging by the letter, which Charles wrote to Queen Mary afterwards, Farnese was surprised by the revelations which he heard. Yet the legate certainly received Charles's opinions with the greatest sympathy, for within a very few days, from May 22nd to May 27th, they were planning decisive action. Tension was acute. Rumours filled the air. A Sicilian monk provoked an outburst by preaching a sermon before the legate in which he challenged the Emperor to make war on the heretic. On the night of May 27th-28th the cardinal disappeared, dramatically, during a thunderstorm. This did nothing to quiet feeling at Worms. Disguised and travelling in hot haste, Farnese had gone to Rome. He was thereby June 8th.

By June 17th the Vatican came to its decision. Farnese's grandfather, the aged Pope, offered yet another 100,000 ducats for immediate use and an army of 12,000 infantry and 500 cavalry within four months. He made Charles a grant of 500,000 ducats on Church lands in Spain together with an equivalent sum from their revenues. After so many years, the flint and steel of the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece had struck a mighty blaze out of the under in the Vatican.

The nuncio, Mignanello, confirmed the verbal message of the legate in a written declaration which ruled out all suspicion of the Emperor's political ambition. The case before the Vatican could hardly have been simpler. The Pope could afford to risk some danger for the great advantages which Charles's policy now offered him. An immediate Protestant war would sweep away the council which the ecclesiastical hierarchy feared so much. There would be no more talk of hateful reforms. The Emperor's attention would be occupied outside Italy and the Farnese dynasty would have a free hand.

But Charles approached the crisis with less optimism and calculation. For some weeks he did indeed seriously contemplate war, for the temporary peace with France and the Turks gave him an exceptionally favourable opportunity. Besides the Pope's burning desire to help him was unusual enough not lightly to be disregarded. It was convenient, too, to have at this moment in the council a second means of bringing pressure to bear on the Protestants. To use the old pun, canons might be enforced by cannon.

But the immediate inception of a war would be highly inconvenient. Charles wanted the agreement of Bavaria to let him use Regensburg as a base; but Bavaria's friendship was not to be had all in a minute. King Ferdinand and Queen Mary were full of apprehension. The Queen reminded Charles of the Emperor Sigismund, who, with all Hungary behind him and few enemies against him, failed signally to subdue the Czechs. She warned him to rely neither on the French King nor the Pope, who had betrayed him so often. England and Denmark, by helping the Protestants, might well make them more dangerous than ever the Huns or Vandals had been, who had once sprung from the same part of the world and had laid waste all the provinces of the Roman Empire.

Besides, a careful survey of the situation shows that Charles was not prepared for war, and the season was already far gone. Later the Emperor complained that the Pope had spoiled everything by banging on the big drum, mobilizing everyone he could, creating Ottavio Farnese Gonfalonier of the Church, and in fact advertising the plan to the whole world. Charles added that not only he and his brother, but Cardinal Farnese, had been sworn to secrecy. Excusing his change of mind as best he could to himself and the world, he decided at the beginning of July to postpone the plan for a year. On July 8th Granvelle privately informed Queen Mary that Charles had sent the chevalier Andelot to Rome to greet his daughter, taking this excuse to request the Pope to postpone his plans and draft a formal treaty. In Germany, meanwhile, the imperial party tried to efface the impression which it had been betrayed into making.

Charles was of far too cautious a nature not to feel uncomfortable in the company of hot-heads and war-mongers. He had undoubtedly made his position far worse by casually advertising his warlike project and then suddenly withdrawing it. The Protestants could now no longer be taken by surprise, as the Farnese family had hoped, while new suspicions among the Catholic party, particularly in the papal dynasty, might easily quench the crusading fire. The anger and resentment of the Protestants was now no longer to be stilled, either at Worms during the rest of the religious conference, nor yet at Regensburg when the meetings moved thither for the Diet. Meanwhile the ancient question had been raised, as to what possible significance a religious discussion could have, once the general council had met. If the Pope had agreed to such a discussion, he was acting either in sheer duplicity, or else for a comprehensible political motive -to ensure the Emperor's friendship to the Farnese dynasty. Contemporaries and historians have thought either motive possible. Charles's own motives have been called in question.

Let us consider the situation.

At Speyer the Emperor had promised to discuss the religious problem at the next Diet, and Melanchthon had awaited the conference in anxious hope. Charles had then deceived the Protestants by an apparent desire for peace. In his favour be it admitted, that the Protestants had never thought twice about throwing dust in Charles's eyes. Judging by past experience neither side can have had very high hopes of the outcome of a new conference. Charles made use of the subterfuge rather to restrain the Protestants from preparing for war, than to obtain a peaceful settlement.

But on the other side, too, Charles overstepped the line of reasonable demands in order to further his tactical needs. It was impossible to have both a council and a religious conference inGermany. The two meetings could only be held so long as the council was not yet formally opened and the conference confined itself to necessary reforms, keeping off dogma and disciplinary points. Such a conference would have suited Charles. He counted on the half-hearted, unfinished nature of German Protestantism and forgot the half-religious, half-political, but vital elements which were concealed under the surface. He imagined that he would be able to win over some of them, to put others in the wrong by forcing them to refuse the rulings of the conference or the council, or that he would be able to divide them among themselves. He was no longer thinking, above all, of keeping the peace. He did not realize how far he had miscalculated the parties, nor how unfavourable the atmosphere would be to a council, if it had to dance precisely to his tune.

It was hardly remarkable that posterity took Charles's all too complicated calculations for deliberate deceit. It was hardly remarkable that the delegates to the council, above all the secretary Massarelli, should be indignant at endless delays. Imperial policy seemed to take a pleasure in making fools of these impotent representatives of the Church. If they suggested that the council should be prorogued, Madruzzo or Diego Mendoza told them that, if the council were prorogued, it could only be called again in Germany. If they demanded that the council be formally opened, then they were told that the Emperor thought it better to wait.

To still Protestant anxiety, Charles wished to represent the religious conference in Germany as an important concession, and to leave all mention of the Pope and council out of the dietary recess. But his policy had only one result: the Catholic party in Germany whose support he urgently needed, grew even colder towards him. Charles only managed to include the calling of a new religious conference, this time at Regensburg, on November 20th, in the dietary recess issued on August 4th, 1544 by stating it on his own authority. The Elector Palatine had found the way out, that of offering the Protestants a national council, on whose decisions the general council should pronounce a final dictum. This proposition, although it dwarfed the importance of the religious conference within Germany, was nevertheless accepted. Charles, like many other rulers, deceived himself if he thought that his subjects were likely to make any concessions to him which were of greater real value than those he himself made.

Although the dietary recess made at Worms was in reality far more unfavourable than that made two years before at Speyer, the Pope did not this time condemn it. With war all but decided on, the new fear of a peaceful settlement might have been expected to provoke the Vatican to activity, but nothing happened. The Farnese dynasty had already got what it wanted out of the situation, and Charles had acquiesced: Pier Luigi Farnese, the Pope's son, had 'exchanged' the little states of Camerino and Nepi for the principality of Parma and Piacenza. Soon after, on August 27th, 1545, the Emperor's daughter Margaret gave birth to twins, who were called after their two grandfathers. One of them, Alessandro, was to become an outstanding figure in the history of Europe. The dynasties of Burgundy and Farnese seemed to be bound together by the closest ties.

The late summer of 1545 brought new hopes and fears, and new prospects for the future. On June 8th Prince Philip of Spain became the father of his eldest son, Don Carlos. The prince's birth gave the Bishop of Bitonto in Trent the opportunity for an exaggerated sermon in praise of the Hapsburg dynasty. But Philip's Portuguese wife died in child-bed. At eighteen he was a widower for the first time. On September 9th the Duke of Orleans died. The Emperor was honest enough with himself to add in his memoirs the comment, just in time'. The Duke's death freed him from making any decision as to his alternative marriages. He had no longer any need to give the King of France anything in return for the obligations he had undertaken. All the same, he felt that it would be wisest to keep Francis in a good humour, and as early as September 15th he instructed his ambassador, St. Mauris, to talk to the Queen about a possible marriage between Prince Philip and Princess Margaret. Eleonore, in the meantime, had made the counter-offer of her own daughter for Philip. Negotiations dragged on indefinitely.

French policy gained a new lease of life. The King at once gave voice to his old claims on Milan, and Charles was thrown back on to the defensive. At a council meeting, called to discuss the probable effects of the Duke of Orleans's death on the peace terms of Crépy, Granvelle made a brief summary of the situation. The two Kings, he declared, had signed the terms with no other intention than to make a perpetual peace. They could not now let the whole treaty fall because contrary to their hopes God had made a different arrangement, for which no one was to blame. If a town which had capitulated were suddenly to be swallowed up by an earthquake, he said, nobody would regard its dis- appearance as a valid reason for breaking the terms of the treaty.

But the French saw no reason to leave Charles in possession of what he had won on such easy terms. Soon the old feeling of restraint marred the relations between the two sovereigns. It drove them back to their old threadbare subterfuges. Mary of England, Jeanne d'Albret, and Margaret of France were still unmarried. The Prince of Spain, the sons and daughters of Ferdinand, offered unlimited possibilities. The Farnese dynasty were not fully satisfied even with Parma and Piacenza, which the Emperor would in any case sooner have bestowed on his son-in-law Ottavio than on Pier Luigi. The question of Savoy was still unsettled, the English problem unsolved. Towards November, the imperial government began slowly to realize that it was being inveigled into submitting to an Anglo-French mediation, the dearest desire of all the Protestant powers. As usual the best policy was to reconnoitre all the paths of diplomacy and pick out the best way.

Although the Council of Trent had not yet been formally opened, the Pope was restive. He was ready to make large concessions to have it postponed or prevented. Yet Charles made as if to disregard these efforts, and stood by the council. Juan de Vega, the Emperor's ambassador at Rome, a man of more than usual diplomatic sensibility, felt himself impelled to draw up a memorandum which showed unexpected sympathy with Vatican policy. On the other hand, he suggested that, with papal help, the Empire could be converted into an hereditary Hapsburg monarchy; furthermore he implied that Pope, Emperor and King of France between them would be able to establish a new order in England, Hungary and the German lands.

Dispatches and audiences were wasted in such idle dreams, or in stumbling and useless negotiations. Events marched on: the Council of Trent met and the Protestant war drew near.


'The world must realize, that it is not in my power,' said Paul III to his adviser, Luigi Beccadello, on the evening of October 30th, as he made ready to have the council formally opened. He had proposed that council ten years before, and postponed it three times. He now fixed its opening date more than six months after the original time arranged for its calling. The true friends of the Church had at length forced his hand. The third Sunday in Advent, Gaudete, was selected for the formal opening, since it seemed a good substitute for the Sunday of Laetare, originally chosen. The assembled delegates, who heard the news only a few days before, on December 13th, breathed again.

The council could now begin to work. It was supposed to be made up of the Bishops of Christendom, under the chairmanship of the papal legates. Paul III had appointed Cardinals Giovanni Maria del Monte, Marcello Cervino and the Englishman, Reginald Pole, for this task. Del Monte was the active president, Cervino the particular confidant of the Farnese. In a draft of instructions to the representatives, Del Monte suggested that the four nations, the Spaniards, French, Germans, and Italians, should lodge in different quarters of the town. All the northern and eastern countries were counted as forming part of the German nation. Del Monte need not have worried about the quartering of the delegates for some time to come. A certain number of Neapolitans and Spaniards, led by the distinguished Bishop of Jaen, Don Pedro Pacheco, had reached Trent. About four French delegates had arrived, but of all the German nation, who were to be the chief participants in the council, only one had come. This was the consecrated Bishop of Mainz, Michael Helding, and no sooner did he appear than he decided to go back to Regensburg to take part in the rival conference within Germany itself. He was only with difficulty dissuaded from this course. One or two prelates from the papal states and Upper Italy had come. So also had a few abbots and generals of various orders, to whom, after some deliberations, seats and votes were allotted on the council. A few leading theologians accompanied these prelates.

The temporal powers were very scantily represented. The only outstanding person was the Emperor's representative, the imperial orator, Don Diego Hurtado Mendoza. He combined his duties at the council with being ambassador to Venice. Like most of his predecessors in the Vatican embassy, he was a Castilian of noble birth. He had seen service in arms, like most men of his rank, but he had also studied under Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, and was a humanist, a litterateur and a man of learning. He is usually thought to have been the author of the earliest of the Spanish Picaresque novels, Lazarillo de Tornes, the autobiography of a simpleton. As a young man he had watched the world about him with observant eyes, and he drew it with pitiless clarity: the dead-alive country town with the one poor hidalgo, who lived in a house without furniture and could not afford the rent, but went out walking in his one fine suit and paid courtly visits; the stupid but kindly ladies of piety; the fat archpriests with their rich benefices; the busy notary -- all those figures of everyday life in Spain. Mendoza had spent his visit in Venice buying books for his remarkable library, for which he cared more than for jewellery or clothes. We have already noticed with what fluency, at an earlier period, he had summoned historical arguments from Suetonius to support his theories, giving them the particular flavour of meaning which his own independent judgment and Spanish ambition directed. The republic of Venice, cosmopolitan in outlook and independent of the Church, was friendly soil for the development of this outspoken servant of a universal Emperor.

At Trent Mendoza developed his ancient policy of opposition to the Vatican. It was essential to the moral strength of the Emperor's case: either the Church must embark on a determined reform, or else it must wait for such time as the Emperor chose, to hold its council. Unhappily Don Diego was intermittently ill and was often absent from Trent. It would be idle to pretend that the imperial cabinet treated the council with the respect it deserved, either as a part of imperial policy, or as a gathering of distinguished churchmen. The imperialist bishops were often not furnished with instructions. But at least Charles had appointed at the same time as Mendoza one other man whose personality should have made him useful in Italian politics. This was another noble Castilian, whose personal character and priestly office caused him to play a far milder part than Mendoza. Don Francisco Alvarez de Toledo came of the same family as the Duke of Alva. He was a nephew of the Viceroy of Naples, and a cousin of the Duchess of Florence. His kinsman, Don Enrique de Toledo, was one of Charles's most trusted chamberlains, but this does not prove that Alvarez, in contrast to Mendoza, was the real represen- tative of imperial policy. Charles was surrounded by men of very differing outlook. His greatness was to bear with them all and control them all. Toledo and Juan de Vega represented the party favourable to the Vatican.

In the meanwhile Charles's confessor, Pedro de Soto, tried to put pressure on the Emperor. Although he was one of the most ardent advocates of an active policy, the Vatican did not regard him with a wholly uncritical eye. The nuncio, in his reports, often spoke of him and reported his zeal for war on the heretics. But we know that Charles still opposed him. He was afraid of the war for various reasons. Should his last, this time his very last, efforts at a peaceful settlement by compromise and concession, fail, then the Emperor wished to go to war only when he was more fully prepared than he had been in the previous summer. He wanted if possible to take the enemy by surprise, and he wanted a favourable treaty with the Pope.

It took him a whole year to secure this treaty, with countless embassies, letters and council meetings. The Pope consulted with his advisers as well as with Charles's pious ambassador de Vega, whose devout wife, a lady of the Osorio family, was one of the earliest supporters of Saint Ignatius. Now and later de Vega proved himself a mild man, willing to make concessions. His secretary, Pedro Marquina, who later became the agent of negotiations between Charles and the Pope, was bred in this atmosphere. Like his master, he was to fail.

Charles found great fault with the original draft of the treaty. He repudiated the manner in which the first clauses passed over the council, and discussed only the readiness of the two leaders to fight. He was far from wishing to give the Pope this opportunity to free himself from the council. He resented, too, any papal attempt to limit his powers of negotiation with the Protestants, and he defended the religious conference at Regensburg against papal attack. Both sides argued hotly about the more material clauses. Was the Pope to Supply 200,000 ducats to help, or an even larger sum? Were monastic lands in Spain to be sold? Could the Pope be induced to keep on his troops for six months instead of merely four? On both sides there was delay and ill-feeling. In May 1545, Farnese had secured the consent of the Pope to help the Emperor, with lightning speed. The whole business had been concluded in a fortnight. This time it was very different. The Pope kept the imperial Court waiting for the return of Andelot and the coming of Marquina until October 3rd. Although Charles dispatched the messengers again with the utmost haste, they did not return to the imperial Court for another ten weeks, not until December 27th. It was now Charles's turn for delay, and he did not confirm the treaty for the next six months. He explained to his brother Ferdinand on January 30th, and told the nuncio, that he had to postpone matters so as not to go behind the backs of the Catholic princes.

All this time the elements of which we have often spoken, were wrestling for his soul. Pedro de Soto drew up a famous memorandum, urging him to break away from his fear of war and accept the treaty. The confessor argued that it was a sin to doubt whether the enterprise could be carried through. The Protestant princes and theologians, he pointed out, were quarrelling among themselves; the Schmalkaldic League was weaker than was generally supposed; the princes and the cities were estranged, and the towns depended for their prosperity on the Emperor. The only possible leader for the Protestants was the Landgrave of Hesse, and means could surely be found to remove him. Even if he remained, his past success against Brunswick had been exaggerated; the Duke would never have been taken prisoner but for his own stupidity. God, declared the confessor, was on Charles's side, and he could greet the Protestants as Abias greeted the forces of Jereboam, saying, 'Strive not against the Lord God your father, for it is in vain'. As for the chains with which the Pope sought to bind the Emperor in the treaty, they were not heavy and could easily be shaken off. Should the Protestants concede the chief points, and the Pope then refuse to give a dispensation for inessentials, that would be an obvious breach of the spirit of the treaty. If such a thing were to happen, Charles could call in learned theologians to combat the decisions of the Pope. The confessor even went so far as to admit that Charles had reasons for mistrusting the Pope, who did indeed appear to care more for his dynasty than for anything else. But, he concluded, he could not 'hold him for so devilish, that he would wish to destroy the Catholic faith, by forcing the Emperor into a great enterprise only to desert him'.

Yet this, precisely, was what Paul did. Pedro de Soto showed a considerable knowledge of the world and politics in the advice he gave the Emperor, but he proved himself a very poor prophet. Charles was far from following his advice without more thought. Instead he replaced the mild Vega in Rome by the harsher Mendoza, and two years later he dismissed Pedro de Soto himself, although it is not impossible that he took his advice during the course of the war.

Soto had referred in his memorandum more than once to the situation in Germany. This brings us back to the Protestants, and their preparations for war.

The restless Duke of Brunswick, always full of new plans, had, in October 1545, made an effort, which was at first successful, to win back his lands. But the Schmalkaldic League sent an army under the Landgrave to relieve the town of Wolfenbüttel, and Duke Henry had to give battle. The Elector of Saxony had placed his contingent under the Duke of Luneburg. Maurice of Saxony, on the other hand, did not belong to the League, but a private treaty bound him to give help to his father-in-law, the Landgrave of Hesse. He therefore followed the main army with his own troops, ready to assist where and when he could. The two forces met between Kalefeld and Northeim, the League army far outnumbering that of the Duke of Brunswick. Maurice in vain asked the Landgrave for permission to mediate a settlement. Undeterred, he set about doing it on his own responsibility. On October 19th he met Henry of Brunswick at the neighbouring monastery of Wiebrechtshausen, and made offers to him which his father-inlaw had not approved. Not that that mattered, for the Duke of Brunswick rejected them, and a battle seemed inevitable. The situation was extremely black for the Duke; his unpaid troops grew mutinous and seemed more likely to attack him than the enemy. Maurice took advantage of the worsening situation to make a second appeal. This time Henry yielded. In vain: the Landgrave refused to accept the terms. Maurice's first attempt to mediate was a dismal failure. Henry and his son were taken prisoners to Ziegenhain in Hessian custody, and Maurice found that he had made enemies of both parties.

The time seemed ripe for the Catholic League to act, but Duke Lewis of Bavaria had died in the early spring, and Duke Henry of

Brunswick 's capture in the autumn of 1545 deprived it of its two leaders. The Schmalkaldic League was mistress of the situation. Its members made ready for a new meeting at Frankfort, to take stock of their prospects and to remedy their internal weaknesses. Maurice was in religious sympathy, if not actually in alliance with his fellow-Protestants. He took this occasion to give his father-in-law a memorandum concerning the settlement of the religious problem. The document reads like a supplement to the Catholic plan. Maurice wanted renewed efforts at conciliation, a council on German soil, and, if all else failed, a discussion among certain chosen princes under the chairmanship of the Emperor. The Landgrave was hardly in a position to agree to these principles, but the fact that such ideas were even suggested may in part explain the still hesitant policy of the Emperor himself.

Just at this critical moment Maurice and his brother, the representatives of the Ernestine branch of the Wettin family, chose to bring up a whole series of minor territorial claims against the Elector John Frederick. It was the outward expression of that bitter jealousy between the two branches of the family which centred on the possession of the rich bishoprics of Magdeburg and Halberstadt. Such disputes as these led some of the younger Protestant princes to abandon their co-religionists for the Emperor. Margrave Hans of Brandenburg-Küstrin, the son-in-law of the captured Duke of Brunswick, was one of these, and Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach had been lured over to the other camp long since by Granvelle.

Nevertheless, the Schmalkaldic League had high hopes. Its sessions went on until February 6th, 1546, the members busying themselves with the constitution of their league and with the possible alliance of two princes on the Rhine. One of these was Hermann of Wied, Elector of Cologne, who, with the permission of his temporal Estates, had cautiously entered, some years since, on the path of ecclesiastical reform. His Cathedral Chapter and University had complained to the Emperor and even to Rome, so that proceedings were likely to be taken against him. He had already been admonished. The bishopric of Cologne was on the borders of Charles's own hereditary lands. He felt himself particularly vulnerable in such a quarter. The Elector of Cologne, for his part, turned to the Schmalkaldic League and to his fellowelectors for help.

Frederick, Elector Palatine, was the other prince on the Rhine who now turned to the Schmalkaldic League. On January 17th, 1546, he and his Danish wife Dorothea had received the sacrament in both kinds, and he was making in his own peculiar way as if to join the Protestants. He had not the political flair which was the making and the undoing of Maurice. Otherwise he would hardly have contemplated this step at the very moment when the Emperor's intentions were gradually becoming fixed. The Elector did not succeed in becoming a member of the League. The excuse given was an inability to decide on the terms on which he should be admitted. But it is conceivable that the Landgrave Philip did not want an Elector in the League who might challenge the unquestioned leadership which he, with the help of his adviser, Jacob Stürm. of Strasbourg, undoubtedly enjoyed. In spite of this rebuff, the Elector Palatine, no less than the Elector of Brandenburg, undertook to follow the lead of the Schmalkaldic League in religion.

The Landgrave admonished the members to make ready for war. His view was remarkably confirmed by an intercepted letter written from the Emperor to the King of Poland, in which Charles asked for help against the Protestants, should they refuse to listen to reason. There was nothing new in an appeal of this kind. Its importance lay in the fact that the Emperor's position was now strong enough to give substance to his threats. In spite of this, many Protestants refused to believe the danger, and evaded their obligations in other ways. The Schmalkaldic League met again at Worms, but was prorogued on April 22nd to Regensburg. Its sessions did not present a very hopeful picture; they were marked by petty jealousy, by ill-feeling between towns and princes, cowardice and folly.

Yet this miserable handful of quarrelling Protestants managed, when the call came, to raise an army which was equal, and even dangerous, to that of the Emperor, who not only had greater resources, but could choose his moment to strike. This in itself was proof of the inner strength of the German movement. In spite of its wavering policy, in spite of its lack of discipline, it was to be a dominating force in the history of Europe.

All this time Charles had been traversing the Netherlands, his journey held up intermittently by attacks of illness. At Utrecht in January 1546 he held a Chapter of the Golden Fleece, and took the opportunity of appealing to the conscience of the Elector Palatine. By way of Zutphen and Nymwegen, he reached Maestricht on February 19th, and stayed there until March 2nd. Here he bade farewell to his sister Mary, saying 'that he would try every means to give order and peace to Germany without resorting to arms'. A few weeks later Granvelle wrote to the Queen from Luxembourg, declaring that he too would exert all his energies towards this end.

By way of Liège, Luxembourg, Wallerfangen, and Saarbrucken, Charles proceeded down the Rhine, to reach Regensburg during Lent. He felt, not wholly without justification, that the journey was perilous, and amused himself by comparing it to his bold voyage across an inimical France in 1539-40. But it was worth the risk as it gave him new opportunities to gauge the situation. His inquiries made him more angry, more anxious, more alert than before, but also more cautious and circumspect. He was magnificently entertained by one prince after another, and accepted their welcome with an outer show of friendship, beneath which his inner determination was growing only the stronger.

At Maestricht he met an embassy from the Electors and princes, appealing to him on behalf of the Elector of Cologne, and requesting him to bring no troops into Germany. They explained that Farnese's mission in the previous year had given rise to disturbing rumours, which the arrival of a new messenger from Rome, Marquina, had re-awakened. Charles referred the business of Cologne to the Diet and made a general answer to the princes of which he speaks with some complacency in his memoirs. He told them that he had decided against sending an ambassador to Rome for the time being, and added that they had only to use their eyes to see that he was not bringing more than his usual train of attendants with him into Germany. He reassured them that he desired nothing more than peace and order, and would not appeal to arms unless he was driven to it. In a sense he was speaking the truth.

But it was not the whole truth. On February 16th he had openly admitted in a letter to Prince Philip that he hoped to mislead the princes by adopting this attitude. For the moment he wanted to be able to answer them freely. His decision to fight remained firm. It was his duty to God, he declared, and to the high office to which he had been called. The moment, too, was favourable for the Turks were ready to sign a truce, France and England were fully engaged with each other, the Pope was offering adequate help and the Protestants were quarrelling among themselves. Moreover he hoped that the support of Bavaria and Austria would enable him to use Regensburg as a base.

At Wallerfangen Count Vaudémont, the brother-in-law and regent of Charles's niece Christina, came to meet him. The interview was satisfactory and Charles learnt with relief that he could rely on the good order and solidarity of Lorraine. This was important to him because of the geographical juxtaposition of that duchy to France and the Low Countries.

Between March 24th and 29th Charles was in Speyer, where he held some conversations of even greater importance. He met the new Elector of Mainz, Sebastian von Heusenstamm, who showed himself ready to deceive his Protestant neighbours and seek for imperial confirmation. Philip von Flersheim, the Bishop of Speyer, came with him. Charles also received the Elector Palatine and his wife who came to visit him unasked. He greeted them courteously, if not effusively. He was far more gracious to the Landgrave, making a special detour to see him and greeting him with marked friendliness and lack of formality. He was anxious to lull his suspicions to rest. Yet both princes felt that their meeting was a bold step. The Landgrave too adopted a free and outspoken style. He greeted Charles at the head of 200 horsemen, with a falcon perched on his wrist. They hunted and feasted together. A part of what they said has survived in considerable detail.

Charles was only strengthened in his hostile intentions by what passed between them. He had apparently counted on a milder attitude from the Landgrave. Instead he found him obstinate, rigid, almost blunt in his opinions. He asked point blank for an imperial confirmation of the concessions which had been granted at Speyer, and refused to discuss the Duke of Brunswick's business. He even took it upon himself to read a lecture to the Emperor on what the Empire was worth. At this Granvelle could not resist intervening. 'Not a penny,' he said, 'nothing but anxiety and vexation.' Once again, as at Augsburg in 1530, the Landgrave urged Charles to study the scriptures, an admonition which the Emperor regarded as tactless, to say the least of it.

Charles had now gained his first important advantage. He had crossed the Rhine, without attack on either side. But the various interviews at Speyer had a deeper meaning. They confirmed him in opinions which had been partly submerged by fear and uncertainty. On March 29th he assured Ferdinand that he was coming to join him without delay. He would stake his all on the game.


On April 10th, a fortnight before Easter, he entered Regensburg. The religious conference, whose participants he had taken the trouble to visit personally, had been wrecked by the opposing party. Even the theologians seemed to have become more bitter and impertinent. They could not again be brought together.

Heated and angry opinions were exchanged. A ghastly murder had been committed in the last few days, which appeared almost symbolic of the breach between the parties. Men talked of Cain and Abel. Juan Diaz, a young Spanish theologian, once a student at Wittenberg, had accompanied Bucer to the conference, at which, by a fatal chance, his elder and Catholic brother, Alfonso, was also present. Juan had a printing press at Neuburg on the Danube, to which he shortly after returned: Alfonso followed him thither and on March 26th had him murdered in his bed. Charles turned a deaf ear to the indignation of the Protestants. It was a proof that in matters of ordinary justice and morality the two parties were fundamentally divided.

A misty spring hung over the city, in which the bustling activity of the delegates did not conceal the sense of doubt and tension. Charles waited in vain, as he had done five years before, for the coming of the Electors. He was treated successfully for gout, and once again went out to pass his time hunting at Straubing until the princes assembled. He seemed to have taken a new lease of life. On his return to Regensburg he entered fully into the free and easy enjoyments of the Court, the temptations of whose splendour and pleasures were too strong even for some of the respectable burghers' daughters of Regensburg. Very little is known of Barbara Blomberg save that during these weeks she conceived the Emperor's child, the son who, under the name of Don John of Austria, was to rank with Alessandro Farnese among the heroes of the coming generation. Charles's son and grandson were both to show themselves men of exceptional gifts in war and the leadership of men.

The imperial councillors, meanwhile, were deeply engaged with negotiations. The outlook was hopeful -- but not for peace.

It was essential to gain a firm understanding with Bavaria, an end to which Cardinal Otto Truchsess of Augsburg had already been working. The plan for a dynastic alliance between Wittelsbach and Hapsburg was an old one and many were the obstacles which had hitherto impeded it. For the last generation the two families had gone different ways. Now at last they came together to form a united front against the Protestants. The Wittelsbach were on the point of making that historic move to the Hapsburg side, which governed their part in international politics for years to come, and profoundly affected the course of the Counter-Reformation. The Bavarian dynasty were nothing if not proud, and great was their satisfaction when the heir-apparent, Albert, received, with the hand of Ferdinand's eldest daughter, a definite if a distant prospect of ascending the Bohemian throne. Their other great ambition was to acquire the Electorate held by their kinsman the Elector Palatine. That prince's present conduct filled them with hopes of gratifying even that desire. It would be a change indeed in German history if the Emperor, by redistributing Electorates, could convert the Electoral College, hitherto a check on his actions, into a weapon for the confirmation of his power! The Bavarians were even given hopes of acquiring Pfalz-Neuburg as well. The Bavarian alliance had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties before the chief participants arrived in Regensburg. King Ferdinand and the old Duke William of Bavaria arrived on May 30th. But the Bavarians still refused to support imperial policy actually in arms. They would not offer more than munitions, food and a base in their country. This stipulation was partly the outcome of natural caution, partly the last echo of their old friendship with Hesse. We have yet to learn whether Charles was likely to gain more advantage from Bavaria's actual alliance, than disadvantage from its supposed neutrality. On June 11th the treaty was formally ratified.

This gave the signal for the confirmation of the agreement with the Pope. On May 21st A Cardinal Madruzzo, to whom Charles intended to entrust this important mission, arrived in Regensburg. The treaty was drawn by the secretary Vargas on June 6th and signed on the following day. Madruzzo left immediately afterwards and was in Rome on the evening of the 19th. The Pope received him on the following day, and the treaty was submitted to the cardinals on the 22nd. Madruzzo himself took a leading part in the heated discussion of its terms. His conduct was so skilful that even the Romans were forced to admit that the Germans were the equals of the Italians in diplomacy. After a few modifications had been introduced the treaty as a whole was confirmed and signed by the Pope on the 26th.

Charles had instructed Madruzzo to see that the papal forces were immediately recruited, that the promised money was paid on the spot, and the sum increased if possible. Besides which, Charles hoped for a grant of half the revenues of the Church in the Netherlands. He would have liked the treaty itself extended and the promise of troops continued at least until the autumn of 1547. Charles seems to have reverted to that dream of the early years of his reign -- a permanent alliance with the Pope which could be used against France if need be. Madruzzo was to tell the Pope how successful Charles had hitherto been in Germany, and was to ask for the deposition of the Archbishop of Cologne and the Bishop of Munster.

Some of these demands were fulfilled. Paul granted Charles the revenues of the Church in the Netherlands. He pronounced sentence on Hermann of Wied on April 16th, and published it in a bull on July 3rd. Although he would not agree to keep the army on foot any longer than was set down, he began recruiting at once, and set the money in motion at the same time. The next weeks were given over to raising the men, buying the arms, appointing the leaders and making arrangements for commissariat and communications.

While Rome was active, Regensburg was not idle. They could not afford to lose any time. On June 6th the English and French Kings concluded the treaty of Guines. This set them both free, and gave Charles reason to fear that one or the other, if not both, would help the German Protestants. He instructed his ambassador in France, St. Mauris, to remind the King of his obligations. All in vain. His fears were to be justified.

In Germany events moved steadily towards war. On June 5th the Diet was opened. After an opening speech by the Cardinal of Augsburg, the imperial secretary Obernburger read the propositions. They sounded peaceful enough. But recruiting was in progress all over Germany. The Landgrave of Hesse feared that the troops which had been released by the treaty between England and France would now join the Emperor. As at Worms, so at Regensburg, electors, princes and towns were divided among themselves. Protestants and Catholics faced each other like two entrenched armies. On June 12th the Catholics answered the imperial propositions by referring everything to the council. The Protestants, on the other hand, said that this no longer offered a way out; they demanded serious offers of reformation in the Church, such as had been made at Speyer. They declared that they had not caused the conference to fail. At this Charles merely laughed.

Already speculation was rife as to whom Charles intended to attack. Cologne or Munster, Hesse or even Saxony? The Protestants decided to ask him. They tried to persuade the Catholics to come in with them, but after a day's argument the Protestants were left to ask their question alone. This was on June 16th. The Emperor answered through Naves that, in accordance with his supreme duty, he must take arms against disobedient states. This got them no further.

The Protestants still hesitated to put themselves in the wrong by quitting the Diet, and, while they wavered, the Emperor threw off the mask. On the 16th he once again approached the spiritual lords, using the Cardinal of Augsburg as his spokesman, and urged them to melt down their plate to help him in war on Saxony. Soon after an imperial herald appeared in the town of Ravensburg, which had just joined the Schmalkaldic League, and threatened it with appalling consequences if it did not abandon the Protestant religion. The imperial government denied its participation in this clumsy action, but events had already made it clear that a religious war had been planned.

The Diet was dead long before Charles formally dissolved it on July 24th.

In the meantime the imperial diplornatists had been busy making sure of their private understandings with the German princes. On June 19th Maurice of Saxony entered. into a pact with the Emperor: he had long been sorely tempted to do so, but had at first struggled against it. Imperial diplomacy was a match for his obstinacy, and he soon found that he had gone too far to withdraw. Yet he had himself too little to offer to gain any very favourable conditions. He undertook to respect the decisions made by the council, and Charles in return agreed to keep the council under control. Furthermore, Maurice was promised that he might have any of the lands belonging to the Ernestine branch of the Wettin family, if he should conquer them in the course of the war. This was to indemnify him for his expenses. On the other hand, Charles refused to consider allowing him to have the Saxon fiefs in Bohemia. The prospect of patronage over the rich sees of Magdeburg and Halberstadt was held out as a bait, and he was told that he might make use of Church lands for 'peaceful purposes'. Charles's councillors went so far as to dangle the Electoral hat before Maurice's expectant eyes, but in the final interview with the Emperor on June 20th, Maurice could not persuade him to make any definite promise. When he pressed the point Charles answered evasively. 'If it comes to that', he said, 'each man must fend for himself. As soon as a ban or a like indictment has been issued, the man who has conquered anything may keep it.'

These minor agreements seemed far less important to Charles than his alliances with Bavaria and the Pope. He wrote a letter to his sister Mary, on June 9th, which gives the clearest and most emphatic summary of his own opinions during those critical days.

All my efforts on my journey here, and the Regensburg conference itself, have come to nothing. The heretic princes and Electors have decided not to attend the Diet in person; indeed they are determined to rise in revolt immediately the Diet is over, to the utter destruction of the spiritual lords and to the great peril of the King of the Romans and ourself. If we hesitate now we shall lose all. Thus we have determined, my brother and the Duke of Bavaria, that force alone will drive them to accept reasonable terms. The time is opportune for they have been weakened by their recent wars; their subjects, the nobility in particular, are discontented and there is general indignation at the capture of the Duke of Brunswick and his son. Added to this, they are divided into several different sects, and we have hopes that Maurice and Albert, for instance, will submit to the rulings of the council. Over and above this we have good hope of papal help, of an offer of 800,000 ducats or more. Unless we take immediate action all the Estates of Germany may lose their faith, and the Netherlands may follow. After fully considering all these points, I decided to begin by levying war on Hesse and Saxony as disturbers of the peace, and to open the campaign in the lands of the Duke of Brunswick. This pretext will not long conceal the true purpose of this war of religion, but it will serve to divide the Protestants from the beginning. We shall be able to work out the rest as we go along. Be assured, I shall do nothing without careful thought: if our enemies outside Germany intervene, they will be too late. The Netherlands, too, will hold them up, by the way.

For the defence of the Low Countries, Buren must recruit another fourteen companies, besides the ten which I have already commanded. He must have 10,000 men in all, 3000 horse and 200 arquebusiers. The nobility can give their help by strengthening my body-guard with another 300 men-at-arms. Buren's troops can be paid immediately out of the levy of half the revenues of the Church in the Low Countries. The money from Spain is not yet to hand, but you can raise 30,000 Gulden on bills of exchange. As for the suggestion that Buren should undertake some reputable feat against Cologne or the Landgrave on his way hither, I think it best that he should march direct. Guard my secret and have me informed of everything.

This was the order of mobilization for the Netherlands.

In the interim the political marriages were concluded and solemnized. On July 4th Anne of Austria married Albert of Bavaria. This was followed by a sop to the Duke of Cleves, who had been so cruelly humbled three years earlier. He arrived on July 16th and on the 18th he married Anne's fifteen-year-old sister Mary, whom he had been wooing since the Duke of Orleans died. Less to do him honour than to injure his brother-in-law, the Elector of Saxony, Charles declared that Cleves could be inherited even by his daughters. This nullified the settlement which Charles had made in 1544 between the Duke and the Elector.

But during these wedding weeks the same confidence did not reign in Charles's Court in Regensburg, as had done during June. The reports of the Venetian ambassador bear witness to a growing anxiety. Things were not turning out as had been hoped. The towns of upper Germany would not obey Charles's orders for recruiting. Instead they began to take arms against him. That same July 4th which saw the celebration of the Austro-Bavarian marriage at Regensburg, and the proclamation of Ottavio Farnese as Captain-general of the papal auxiliaries at Rome, saw also a meeting of the Schmalkaldic League at Ichtershausen, a little to the south of Erfurt. The Landgrave and the Elector here bound themselves to raise an army of 8000 infantry and 2500 cavalry each. On the same day they completed their credentials and instructions for ambassadors to France and England. Later on they were to send pressing and detailed letters to reinforce their instructions, but all to no purpose. The following night the army raised by the Swabian towns marched from Augsburg, to break up the rendezvous of the imperial troops at Nesselwang and Füssen.

On both sides, war had begun.


For the first time in the history of Germany a war had broken out in which each side fought consciously for the issues most vital to national life and public order. On the one side was the Catholic Emperor representing a universal power, on the other a group of Protestant Estates, who, taken as a whole, represented a national principle. This was the first time that a European war was fought on German soil, the first time that a war was waged in Germany, which contemporaries followed breathlessly, down to the last detail.

Intelligence was of more importance than mere ferocity in the military practice of the time. The lengthy imperial wars, the ancient traditions of the German mercenaries and their leaders, their collective experience of recruiting centres, quarters, commissariat, marches, roads, passes, good and bad situations, reconnoitring, scouting, of the use and combination of the different weapons, of the protection and emplacement of guns, had combined to develop war in the manner in which it was conceived by the Italian condottieri and the humanist writers; that is into an art with a highly important economic and technical side. At the same time the importance of the protagonists, the concentration of so many forces in the control of two powerful rivals, and the personal leadership of the princes turned this war into a series of mancœvres rather than an immediate struggle for an issue. For four months there was no serious battle and few engagements of any description at all. In this elaborate game of military chess the characteristics of the leaders found graphic expression. Charles was naturally hesitative and thoughtful. This was partly true of some individual leaders on the Schmalkaldic side, like Schertlin of Burtenbach or the Landgrave, but profounder causes governed the character of their policy. The cumbrous constitution of the League, the delays caused by the war councils of the towns condemned them to caution, cunning and the avoidance of rash decisions. The mutual dependence of each side on the behaviour of the other led to a sort of mutual assistance. But the thinking man is always apt to attribute more clarity and consistency to the dealings of others, than they themselves are aware of, under the pressure of changing circumstances. Even among contemporaries, advice and criticism, disputes as to the real or apparent faults of the leaders, were rife.

One contemporary, the intelligent bishop and historian Paulus Jovius, wrote letters to the imperialists and their adversaries immediately afterwards, in which he commented on their actions, both good or bad. These letters were printed soon after. In his memoirs Charles summarized, not without some amusement, the mistakes of his opponents. Yet he did not thus divert the curious eye of posterity from his own. His historiographer, Luis d'Avila, interprets his leadership as though he had followed a carefully considered plan of action. The comparison to Quintus Fabius Cunctator, which he copies from Jovius, was barefaced flattery, not rooted in conviction.

This scholastic treatment of the facts makes them exceptionally vivid and easy to apprehend. The early interpretation of the events, by those who took part in them, or lived through them, makes it easier to distinguish the crucial points in politics and warfare.

Yet the most important question of all has rarely been asked. What was Charles's original plan of campaign? He wanted, naturally enough, to proceed against Hesse and Saxony and to attack them in their own lands. But this plan, no details of which have survived, was forestalled by the Protestants. Intervening in his path, Schertlin thrust him back on to Bavaria. Well informed by his excellent scouts, he judged that Charles's auxiliaries would advance by way of Innsbruck and the Fern pass from Italy. He therefore determined to make certain of Lermoos and the gorge of Ehrenberg, the road to the upper Lech valley and to Fassen, before he marched any farther. He seized the gorge, but the council of war recalled him so that all the troops at their disposal could collect in the upper Danube valley and defend the lands of the south German towns. In spite of this short-sighted command, which prevented him from carrying out his plan in full, Schertlin was nevertheless able to prevent the Italian troops from crossing the Fern pass. They were forced instead to go by the far more difficult river route, by Küfstein.

The defenceless Emperor was still waiting for his troops. He himself described the failure of the Schmalkaldic League to attack Regensburg as a serious mistake; he did not admit that Schertlin could hardly in any case have undertaken so difficult a task as an unprepared attack on the great city. When the army of the princes reached the Danube and seemed in a position to cut him off from Tyrol, Charles decided provisionally on July 26th, and finally on August 3rd, to march for the Inn, making a detour by way of Landshut on the Isar. He felt that this movement was hardly worthy of him, but prided himself that he had not let mere vanity interfere with his decision in a moment of crisis. At Landshut, on August 13th, he made a junction with the papal troops.

Now the Emperor himself was ready to attack. Yet he was taken aback when, on August 14th, the Schmalkaldic League formally challenged him, sending out a trumpeter in the traditional manner. He had drawn up a ban against the leaders of the League as early as July 20th, but he hesitated to issue it, and he was acutely sensitive to the fact that he was still unable to meet them with manifestly superior forces. He had left small garrisons at Innsbruck and Regensburg; with him he had not more than 30,000 infantry and 5000 cavalry. The League army had gathered at Donauwörth; counting the detachments from the cities, from Wörttemberg, Hesse and Saxony, it must have been almost exactly the same size as Charles's. Added to this, the troops were elated with hopes of victory; this was likely to make them far more effective troops than the less enthusiastic soldiers of the Emperor.

In this quandary, Bavaria's neutrality rescued Charles. Afraid of penetrating farther into his country, the leaders of the Schmalkaldic League were held up for a week, while they negotiated with the Duke. During this time Charles drew off, scatheless, to the Danube.

His next move was to join with the army of Buren, which had assembled at Aachen on July 31st. This army was supposed to be 10,000 strong. The Schmalkaldic League had left 15,000 infantry under Oldenburg, Reiffenberg and Beichlingen to defend the Rhine. But Buren, with 5000 cavalry, had an immense advantage. All the same, his task was not easy for he had to cross the Rhine in hostile country. By elaborate mancœvres and skilful tactics, he managed to evade a clash and make the passage of the Rhine without fighting. In the night of August 20th to 21st he set his vanguard over the Rhine at Bingen; they seized the fortress of Walluf, and defended the crossing of their comrades. Next Buren turned up the Main to Würzburg, making a wide detour to meet the Emperor, without ever losing touch with headquarters. On September 4th, he passed through Miltenberg on the middle waters of the Main. He had with him not only reinforcements, but money for the Emperor's army.

His movements were not unknown to the Schmalkaldic League. But the generals had been taken aback by Buren's sudden crossing of the Rhine, and they failed to check him elsewhere because of a difference of opinion between the Elector and the Landgrave. The Elector, seeing that there was no immediate hurry about the Danube, had been at first in favour of marching to the Main. He felt that Buren could still be cut off. The Landgrave wanted to attack Charles himself. Thus the days passed in dispute, until Buren was already in the district between Regensburg and Ingolstadt. Only then did the League troops attempt to prevent the junction of his army with the imperial forces. Neither party could afford to sacrifice their communication with the Danube. Charles needed it to keep in touch with Bavaria, the League with the Swabian cities. Thus both armies were in curiously close contact with each other.

A little to the east of Ingolstadt, at Neustadt, the Emperor crossed the Danube. The troops of the Schmalkaldic League slipped past his camp unobserved in an effort to head off Buren's advance, falling back again on Ingolstadt. Horrified, the Emperor set off in pursuit. His position was the more favourable since Ingolstadt was at least friendly to him. A little to the west of the town both armies encamped. The troops of the League had the advantage of the ground.

On August 31st the first clash took place. The Protestants bombarded the imperial camp, thinking to wreak untold damage with their artillery. The effect was more important on the morale than on the material well-being of the troops, and Charles's own personal courage stood his army in good stead. During the next weeks the soldiers were soon singing a song invented in his praise, and not wholly undeserved.

The Emperor is a man of honour.
He marches in the foremost rank
On horse or on foot.
Take heart, all ye bold landsknechts,
For the Emperor himself has said:
'We will not yield!' 1

As a form of warfare, defence is technically superior to attack, but attack is morally more effective than defence, if it can be carried out with resolution and enthusiasm. Schertlin and the Landgrave carried this belief to the point of recklessness. The Elector, all too hesitative, would not agree. Thus they waited too long and missed their best moment. Had they but timed their onslaught when the effect of their bombardment was still fresh, when the thick dust and heavy smoke of the gunpowder would have covered their

1 Der Kaiser ist ein ehrlich Mann
allzeit ist er der vorderst dran,
zu Ross und auch zu Fussen.
Seint wolgemut Ihr Lantzknecht gut,
da sprach der edle Kaiser gut:
'Wir wöIIn uns nit ergeben'.

advance, they might well have been successful. So Jovius thought. But after bombarding the Emperor's camp they withdrew. When they returned to the attack on September 2nd, the imperial troops had long since dug themselves in. 'We would be glad enough to exchange a cannonade with our good friends', wrote Charles in an unusually confident mood to his brother, 'if they would but come near enough to our trenches to give us a chance!' But the troops of the League kept their distance and once again suffered a moral defeat. It was more serious to the temper of their soldiers than a physical check, for the unspent rage of the troops was left to ferment within.

The army of the League next marched up the Danube to Neuburg and back again to Donauwörth. The Landgrave would not listen to the Elector's suggestion that they should attack Buren. A useless demonstration in the direction of Wending served no purpose save that of tiring the troops. On September 15th Buren came up with Charles, from the east, in the neighbourhood of Ingolstadt. The Emperor went out to meet him in person: the new and refreshed troops were joyfully welcomed in the camp. With Buren's coming not only new strength, but a new lust for attack filled Charles's men. There was also intense rivalry between Buren, the daring, hard-drinking Dutchman, and the sober, Spanish Duke of Alva, with his preference for night attacks and skilful manœuvres. He had had the ear of the Emperor, uncontested, before Buren came, and he always remained his more favoured adviser. All the same the imperial army could gain no advantage over the League. The commanders of the latter were alert, well acquainted with the country, and able to move their troops extremely fast. On September 13th they too had been reinforced, when they were joined by the Rhenish troops under Oldenburg, Reiffenburg and Beichlingen, reinforcements almost as large as those which had joined the Emperor under Buren. Both armies were now between Ingolstadt and Ulm, most of them in the neighbouring territories of Pfalz-Neuburg and Oettingen. Contemporaries felt that the Landgrave was much to blame for thus sacrificing the lands of his own ally, the Count Palatine of Neuberg. He was by far the greatest sufferer in the whole campaign.

The troops were spoiling for battle. Marching on Nördlingen, their routes almost parallel, they nearly clashed early in October. It so happened that on the morning of October 4th, St. Francis's Day, the imperialists, marching along the upper Wornitz, crashed on to the flank of the League army near Allerheim, as it marched westwards on its way to Donauwörth. Buren at once gave the order to attack, but the fog, which lasted the whole morning, robbed his troops of their advantage and gave the Schmalkaldic League the opportunity to withdraw. Buren had to be ordered to fall back, since it was impossible to gain any further advantage over the enemy who were well-defended by marshy ground. The action was an answer to the Schmalkaldic check at Ingolstadt, a sharp reverse to the imperialists.

Ten days later at Giengen, the troops of the League stumbled into the flank of the imperialists as they marched for Ulm. Charles himself was completely at a loss and for a moment his presence of mind utterly deserted him, so that, by failing to pursue their advantage the League commanders lost a double opportunity. This was on October 14th. The armies were now both equally discontented. On the 18th Cardinal Farnese took his leave. It was said that thousands of the Italians went with him. This was not for fear of the battle, for which all were longing, but for fear of the rain and cold of the fast approaching winter, which caused untold suffering to the southern troops. From October 24th onwards the roads became very bad, the camps cold and dank, both intolerably muddy. Disease soon broke out. The imperial army was alleged to have dwindled to half its size. Alva's petty little subterfuges were of no avail in drawing out the enemy. But Charles had one advantage: his staying power was greater than that of the Schmalkaldic League.

By October 30th the Landgrave was ready to come to terms. His personal intervention and a very discouraging letter to the council of war forced the towns of upper Germany to disburse another 130,000 Gulden for the troops. But the morale of the League forces weakened under the double pressure of weariness and lack of funds. On the night between November 8th and 9th Charles, on the other hand, had news which caused him to fire off a salvo. He had persuaded Duke Maurice and King Ferdinand to join in an invasion of the Elector of Saxony's land. In spite of this rear attack the Elector did not, as Charles expected, immediately hasten away from the Danube. Nevertheless, the Emperor felt justified in refusing to treat any longer with the Landgrave.

We need hardly linger over the last anxious struggles of the Schmalkaldic League. They tried to get subsidies from the French, to get credit from Lyons, and were not wholly unsuccessful. They received a little aid from Charles's old enemy, Piero Strozzi, who had once given del Vasto so much trouble in Lombardy. But the shortage of funds induced the League at last to end the campaign. The last sum of money, extracted from south Germany, was only just enough to ensure the orderly evacuation of the troops, who marched away on November 21st, by way of Heidenheim, to the north. Charles himself participated in an attack on the rearguard. But the retreat of the main body was skilfully covered, and the rearguard managed to detach itself under cover of darkness, without serious damage.

Charles was master of the field. He was now undisputed lord of south Germany, a thing which could hardly have been said of him when he opened the campaign. The real clash of arms between him and the Schmalkaldic League was yet to come. His first campaign had been purely defensive. But it had been a successful defensive.


Ill-attended as it was, the Council of Trent had already made a contribution to history. The wide-spread need for reform found expression at its deliberations, although sometimes only in the deep mistrust of everyone for everyone else. This was increased by the highly political interpretation often superimposed on the conciliar idea. A purely formal and administrative problem, that of the manner in which the meetings were to be held, became a mask for far deeper antagonisms. Which were to be considered first, the doctrines of the Church, or the reform of abuses? Or could both be discussed together? The legates, with great cunning, stood for the combination of the two. 'Because', they said, 'you can get more done by saying "yes" than by saying "no".' At least this was the ingenuous explanation which they offered for their conduct in Rome. But the Vatican, following the methods of constitutional reform in use in the fifteenth century, wanted the doctrinal points settled first, and the legates were thus forced to withdraw a definite agreement of the council, made on January 22nd, 1546. The Pope allowed the legates to use a second line of defence. They contrived to prolong the negotiations for the formal arrangement of discussions. In this way they took the wind out of the sails of the opposition, without allowing themselves to be involved in dangerous arguments or confined to the difficult ground of reform alone.

Charles was fully occupied all this time with preparations for his war and with its initial unnerving developments. This led to his neglecting the council, so that his representative, Toledo, had a free hand for expressing his own rigidly ecclesiastical views. One day he even offered the legate, of his own initiative, the right to confirm the appointments of imperial bishops; this was little less than to destroy the only weapon with which Charles hoped to control the council. It was small wonder that when he at last received the actual demands of the Emperor to lay before the legate, Toledo did little good. As in May, when his negotiations at Regensburg with Maurice and others induced him to caution, Charles was still anxious that the council should not yet attempt to define fundamental doctrines, such as the heredity of sins. Yet the decree of April 8th, from the purely historical point of view, was to provide a far more significant and immovable standard by which to judge Lutheran and Roman theology, than the supposedly inspired writings of the scriptures or the fathers. Contemporaries were less conscious of this: to them the essential matter was the formulation of elementary doctrine. In April and May the Vatican lost faith in Charles's war project, and consequently allowed discussions of dogma to proceed unchecked. On May 13th Farnese emphatically confirmed the legates in this procedure.

Then came the war and with it a renewed and a far closer association of Emperor and Pope. The delegates at the council, on the other hand, soon began to feel the discomforts of war: troops marched through, food prices rose, and life in Trent grew expensive. Moreover the Vatican now declared that the outbreak of war made the council unnecessary. But Charles felt his policy to be endangered by a threat of dissolution to the council, for he rightly judged that the tepid and doubtful adherents of the Augsburg Confession were more likely to submit to a conciliar than to a purely papal decision. Besides he was personally anxious for necessary reform in the Church as well as for a moderate policy towards such of the heretics as had displayed no evil intentions. Yet as things now stood it was improbable that the Protestants would ever be persuaded to attend the council: it was already on its way to formulating a definite doctrine on the most complex of all problems -- Justification. The door to conciliation was to be slammed in the faces of the heretics by the promulgation of an irrevocable formula.

Charles, for his part, was suddenly forced to take notice of yet another vulnerable point in his policy. He hoped to make war not only in arms, but also in the economic sphere, on the rebellious towns. But when he ordered their wares to be stopped in the Netherlands, he found himself face to face with that difficulty which he had experienced years before, when he was forced to yield to the merchants of Antwerp. He could not stop the influx of German wares to the Netherlands without endangering his own most valuable sources of revenue. At the mere threat of this, Queen Mary was so much distressed that she threatened to resign. She sent Cornelius Schepper to impress on the Emperor the gravity of the measure which he wished to enforce -- and the Emperor yielded.

The international situation remained unexpectedly favourable to Charles. But there was no guarantee that it would long continue so. No one realized, naturally enough, that Francis of France and Henry of England were by now both played out; neither of them was to live much longer. Even had they realized this, Charles's ministers had no certainty that the change of government might not in itself be dangerous. The King of Denmark, too, after standing firmly to his obligations by the Treaty of Speyer, at length shifted his position and suggested that he should mediate for the Schmalkaldic League. He might always shift a little further, and take sides.

In the midst of these uncertainties, Charles had to face the fact that his main problem was still unsolved. The Danube campaign was merely a prelude, even if a lucky one. The Emperor could not relax his efforts to win new friends and pacify old enemies.

Towards the end of December he entered at length into negotiations with the Elector Palatine, an expedient he had long sought to avoid. For a short time in his youth, Charles had made Frederick, now Elector, and then Count, Palatine, his regent; from the time of his election onwards, this prince had done him many a good service. Had Charles forgotten this? Or worse still, did he permit the memory of it to sharpen his present anger? Since his meeting with the Emperor at Speyer, certain political and moral influences had been brought to bear on the Elector. Visiting the Duke of Württemberg, he had let himself be persuaded to furnish out a troop of auxiliaries, whose obligations, it is true, ended in October 1546. All the same his troops had been in arms against the Emperor. On the other hand Frederick had not been driven to submit by force. The decisive element in their relations was the imperial agreement with the Elector's kinsman, the Duke of Bavaria. According to the notes made by Eck, the Duke had demanded the Electorate in whatever circumstances. Charles promised him the reward only if the Elector was reduced by force of arms, not if he submitted of his own will.

Such was the situation in the winter of 1546-7, and Frederick might therefore consider that he had almost won a diplomatic victory, when he made his peace with the Emperor without the loss of his Electorate. He bought safety only by submitting to deep humiliation. For long enough his entreaties for imperial favour echoed against the stone wall of Charles's obstinacy, and his requests for an audience went unanswered. At last, when Charles was staying at Schwäbisch Hall in the middle of December, the Elector was allowed to visit him. His reception was offensively cold. Charles read out a list of his offences from a sheaf of notes, in the French language, and then worked himself up into such a rage that the old friend of his youth was put out of countenance and could not collect his wits. When he bowed the knee before the imperial throne and offered his excuses, Charles did not even give him his hand to kiss. The imperial suite noticed this with amazement and horror. But on the following day, in the course of a confidential talk, Charles at last came to a working agreement with him.

For us, who have followed the whole of Charles's career, his face in such a scene as this, assumes an almost brutal harshness, a bitterness alien and unreal. But from his earliest years his inherited belief in his own sovereignty had made him resent rebellion and contradiction with extraordinary vehemence. The outward expression of his indignation grew both more violent and more cold as the years went by. Time had made him more susceptible to offence, and his own gigantic efforts, the profound passions raised within him by his conduct in politics and in arms, were wearing out his natural forces. His health, too, suffered from his refusal to alter his habits; he liked to eat all the things which suited him least, and he would not be prevented from indulging his weakness. He sat down to huge dishes of meat at midday, and at the most unseasonable hours would indulge himself with great tankards of iced beer. His illnesses therefore grew more frequent and more painful, adding to the bitterness of his temper. His pride may in itself have been no more than the outward expression of some finer inward quality, but he went in danger of misunderstanding from the world. The more successful he was, the more unequal to success did his temperament reveal him. Yet the outward expression did him wrong, for he was not in himself so unworthy of, or so unequal to, his good fortune. Yet more and more in his spoken words, and above all in his laughter, men traced the note of scorn, the ugliest of all human forms of arrogance.

These ugly characteristics were clearly shown in his present dealings. The Elector Palatine attempted to plead the Duke of Württemberg's cause. Charles apparently listened. Duke Ulrich then entreated that he might be allowed to see the Emperor himself. Charles, who was spending Christmas at Heilbronn, conceded this. But when the defeated Duke appeared, he humiliated him even more brutally than he had done the Elector Palatine, forced him not only to apologize but to pay a fine of 300,000 Gulden. The aged and gouty Duke was unable to kneel in front of the Emperor when he made his apology. Charles excused him, but insisted that his councillors read out the apology, kneeling. There was little mercy in that.

Naturally enough Charles could not afford to let the Bavarians grow too powerful, and therefore made peace with the Elector Palatine. But it is strange that he did not behave in a more politic manner to Württemberg. He might even have reverted to Zevenbergen's policy, and taken this occasion to stretch out the arms of Hapsburg power into Swabia, so as to strengthen the geographical boundaries of Austria. In fact he did toy with the idea of taking Württemberg himself, and bestowing it on the Archduke Maximilian. But these ideas soon yielded to the more immediate necessity of pacifying south Germany, and using it as a base for his troops. He had always looked on German affairs from the universal rather than the territorial standpoint. It was more important to him, therefore, to break the Schmalkaldic League, to re-establish imperial authority and to give unity to the Church, than to acquire land for the Hapsburg dynasty.

In the Netherlands alone his views were those of the purely territorial landowner. Here he had launched his first attack on the Protestants, on Cleves, in order to regain possession of Gelderland. Here, too, he had pushed on the ecclesiastical proceedings against the Bishops of Cologne and Munster. Farther to the east, towards Minden and Bremen, he had set a second army on foot under Josse van Cruningen, his governor of Zeeland. His struggle to gain control of Bremen and Verden will engage our attention later.

Charles's methods of pacification in south Germany varied with his military prospects. His letters to King Ferdinand during January and February 1547 supply the details of his policy. The letters themselves are in the nature of soliloquies. Asking for advice both by word and by letter, Charles decided and worked alone. He used his letters more as a means of arriving at certainty in his own opinions, than as a method of communication.

He explained to Ferdinand that he had pardoned the Duke of Württemberg because the Schmalkaldic League was still in arms; the duchy would have been expensive and difficult to conquer as it had so many strong places, and moreover, it was essential to avoid the appearance of pursuing the war for dynastic reasons. His chief task, he went on, was still in front of him. He had yet to make his authority paramount in Germany, and thereby to make the Empire more capable of resistance to the outer world. For the time being he intended to take his ease for a little at Ulm. Here he was in the midst of allies -- Bavaria, Austria, Italy and Switzerland -- so that he could exert pressure on Ulm and Augsburg while quietly thinking out his next step. He was thinking, he explained, of issuing a proclamation commanding everyone to return to the old faith: as things now stood, the rebels could not fail to realize that this was his ultimate aim. On the other hand, he mused, it might be wiser to carry the war further, to punish the rebels, and only when they had been eradicated to proceed to the settlement of Germany. Another alternative which had presented itself to him, he went on, was that of negotiating, either individually or at a general meeting, with all his friends and subjects, keeping a future Diet in view; this would involve no violation of the German constitution, it would mean that the administration of justice would be the first to be reorganized, and he would gain for himself the right to nominate the members of the Reichskammergericht. Having thus achieved the general submission of his subjects, Charles continued, he could probably form an Imperial League, on the lines of the old Swabian League, to act against those who were under the ban. In this way he could best counteract the intrigues of the French King, who was conspiring with the Protestants through the agency of the Saxon Chancellor, a Hessian, and Sturm, in order to form a league in which England was also to be included. Thus wrote the Emperor on January 9th.

By this time Charles was worn out with the efforts of the last year and anxious only for a rest. Since August 2nd he had slept in forty different places and often under canvas. He felt that he could leave the war in Saxony to Ferdinand and Maurice, while he occupied himself for a little with problems, old and new, in his other lands. The conspiracy of Fiesco in Genoa, against the Doria, and his own growing irritation with the Farnese, drew his attention once more to north Italy, to Parma and Piacenza, even to Siena. He had made Juan de Vega Viceroy of Sicily, and had appointed the enterprising Ferrante Gonzaga to succeed the dead Marchese del Vasto at Milan. Other plans were to follow. But for the moment the horizon was clouded.

By February 2nd the position had cleared sufficiently for Charles to listen to the appeals which poured in from Ferdinand and Maurice in Saxony, and to set out himself for the scene of war, leaving garrisons at Augsburg and Frankfort. First of all he thought of sending effective troops ahead of him. But again he hesitated and only on March 10th and 11th, at length let Ferdinand and Mary know that he was going to his brother's help.

Charles had now transferred the issue of the war to the Saxon battlefield. After months of negotiation Maurice had at last decided to take part in the reduction of his cousin's land. Many people have judged this aspect of Charles's career as an example of egotistic Hapsburg policy in which the Emperor and his brother played their cards together. But critics of the two brothers should not forget that Maurice was a very tempting object for the exercise of their statecraft and judgment, while he himself acted his own part with amazing skill, in a situation which was none the less difficult because he had voluntarily accepted it. Thinking of his subjects and of the rights of the German princes, Maurice was staunch to the Reformation; but he did not want to lose prestige with either side and he did want to draw what personal advantage he could from the situation. His obstinacy was a match even for the Hapsburg brothers. Once he told Ferdinand that he would break off negotiations and leave him to fend for himself.

Maurice had two weak points: his councillors were overwhelmingly in the Emperor's favour and tried to put pressure on him, and he could not himself keep his greed for other people's land within reasonable limits. This bold and enigmatic character was to become a decisive influence in German history. In spite of his crimes, in spite of his misgivings -- among which those of his conscience were not the least -- Maurice of Saxony remains an outstanding figure in the history of Europe. But at this moment his greed betrayed him into Charles's hands. Maurice had been in Prague from the end of September until October 5th; the lengthy arguments of the imperial ministers all but induced him to yield. The pleas of his fellow-Protestants, the solemn embassy from Duke Ernest of Luneburg, even the impression which their armed forces made on his councillors, failed to move Maurice. The entreaties of the princesses of Hesse, and the sharp and virile arguments of his aunt, the Duchess of Rochlitz, a sister of the Landgrave Philip, were alike in vain.

Yet the war in Saxony did not pass off altogether to the imperial satisfaction. Charles and Ferdinand began gradually to learn that their adversaries had unused forces yet in reserve.

At first the surprise attack on the undefended fiefs of the Saxon Elector in Bohemia was wholly successful. Maurice managed to preserve Plauen and Zwickau from the entry of foreign troops: the cities accepted his personal protection. His own attack on the lands of Electoral Saxony was equally successful. But he failed to win over the western part, Gotha, Eisenach and Coburg. Halle he seized on an imperial mandate. He gave religious concessions in every district which he occupied. Last of all he made ready to besiege Wittenberg.

In the meantime the Elector John Frederick had returned. Cautious and skilful, the Elector made no immediate attempt to win back his own lands. Instead he attacked those of Maurice. He invaded his adversary's country on December 23rd. The garrisons of Weimar, Jena and his other towns instantly abandoned their posts; the Elector was jubilantly received at Halle. Next he besieged Maurice's city of Leipzig, but it defended itself with great valour, and he had to withdraw on the night of January 26th-27th. For him, too, the decisive factor was lack of funds. But the crisis had not yet come. Maurice was appealing for help. Prague refused it him; he had complained too often and too grossly of the quality of the Bohemian troops. Besides the imperial party took it very ill, that, although he had had the electoral title bestowed on him in October, he was still too cautious to assume it openly. He was postponing his final acceptance of the honour, until the Emperor agreed to include his brother Augustus in the new arrangement.

Charles tried to calm Maurice by informing him that the Margrave Albert Alcibiades was hastening to his help. This was true. On January 24th and 25th the Margrave was at Zwickau. Maurice lay in Chemnitz, the Elector at Altenburg. Between the opponents the Mulde valley lay outspread, the river spanned at intervals by important bridges. Both parties eyed these watchfully. On February 25th the Margrave seized the city and castle of Rochlitz on the Mulde. But his forces were insufficient or illdisposed. The Elector had news of his march and may even have been encouraged by the Duchess, who had her seat there, to march on the town. Coming up unexpectedly by night, he attacked the Margrave early in the morning of March 2nd and made him prisoner. The road to Bohemia was now open, and thence the Elector, as leader of the Protestants, received messages of warm sympathy. But he did not use his opportunities. He should have continued his offensive campaign, and carried the war into the heart of Ferdinand's far from loyal country. He did not dare to go farther, a cowardice which may have had reasonable causes, and remained for the whole of March in Geithain between Altenburg and Rochlitz.

The Elector's fate was scaled by the different negotiations which were now taking place all over Germany. The Elector Joachim of Brandenburg had approached the Emperor for a truce in all humility. Charles refused to listen. But now the Estates on both sides began to take a hand in the game. The nobility both in Maurice's and the Elector's country grew active. The councillors and the Estates in Maurice's country combined in the dishonourable business of playing for time. They postponed a decision until the Emperor himself appeared in the field and the military position became suddenly far more serious for the Elector. John Frederick marched straight into the trap, which chance and the machinations of Maurice had together laid for him. He neither withdrew to his own land nor made sure of his defences.

Charles was already on the way. He stayed in Ulm until March 4th, then for a fortnight at Nördlingen and so came by way of Oettingen into Franconia.

All this while he had written an unceasing stream of letters to Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. From these, were it necessary, one might form a faint idea of the political anxieties which engulfed him. Dangers threatened to entangle him on every side, and he deserves all the more credit for managing, at such a time, to keep a calm enough head and a free enough hand to act decisively in Germany. His worst care in these last months had been the policy of Paul III, because that reacted on the military help which he was likely to get. In the previous year Charles and the Pope had disagreed over the moment of declaring war, since Paul felt the need of it in his own policy sooner than Charles was ready to risk it. They had also disagreed before over the bulls issued to the Swiss. Now their feelings over the council grew more embittered: Charles wanted his own presidency assured, the Pope wanted the whole meeting put off. The papal nuncio, Verallo, was quite unequal to the situation, and permitted Granvelle to use very emphatic language to him. The Pope had asked that he should be allowed to have a say in every concession granted to the Protestants. Verallo claimed this right. But Charles was now in favour of postponing the religious decision, and would not agree to anything.

When the difficulties at the council itself became insurmountable, Mendoza and Madruzzo proposed that it be prorogued for six months; they did not wish it to be altogether removed from Trent. Mendoza next left Trent on December 3rd to take up his position as ambassador to the Vatican. On his way thither he wrote a letter full of indignation and distress, declaring that the tyranny of the papal legates was such that the council was doing more harm to the Church than ever Luther had done. The fathers thought of nothing whatever except the private interests of the Vatican, or their own. The articles which they were preparing on the doctrine of Justification, he declared, were absolutely irresponsible. How could anyone believe -- he demanded -- that this wretched assembly was under the guidance of the Holy Ghost? And yet it seemed that once the council had pronounced a dictum, there could be no retreat. The Church would be firmly established with all its abuses strong upon it.

The Emperor, as his letters to Mendoza reveal, expressed himself with more reserve, but he could not feel anything but deeply injured that, in spite of his representations, on January 13th, the doctrine of Justification was generally accepted in the council. On January 22nd, the Pope, in a letter expressing the most unctuous devotion to the imperial cause, withdrew his troops. The action was a blatant violation of the spirit of their treaty, for everyone knew that the purpose for which they had jointly undertaken the war was yet unachieved, and Charles poured out the vials of his wrath on the nuncio. He had always thought, he raged, that the Pope was only tempting him into this war to desert him. And then maliciously giving voice to a common saying against Paul, he added, that the French pox was a disease which young people might be excused for contracting, but there was no excuse for the old. When the nuncio opened his mouth to answer, Charles cut him short by sweeping out of the room.

There is something almost symbolic in this desertion of the Emperor by the Pope, on the eve of his decisive conflict with the leader of the Protestant party.


On March 28th the Emperor left Nuremberg. On April 8th he reached Weiden and in the next days joined the troops of Maurice and Ferdinand at their rendezvous at Tirschenreuth on the edge of the Bohemian Forest. They were anxious to make a demonstration which would prevent the Bohemians from rising to join the Elector. John Frederick, for his part, it is true, was glad enough not to have to bother with them. By way of Eger, the imperial troops crossed the Elstertal, reached Plauen, and so on up the Mulde, straight for the Elector's headquarters.

The Elector had divided his army, so that they might harass the advancing troops, and forage more successfully. He made no attempt to prevent the opposing armies from joining, but stayed inactive at Meissen on the Elbe. He knew that Charles was approaching but had no idea of his further intentions. On April 12th, ingenuously thinking that he would be safe on the other side of the river, he crossed the Elbe. Marching on the right bank, he made for Wittenberg or Magdeburg. His way lay northwards, through Mühlberg. As the Elector again drew near to the Elbe on April 23rd, going through Colditz and Leisnig, the Emperor took him suddenly in the left flank. The imperialists had information unknown to the Electoral troops: from the neighbouring village of Schirmenitz, the Elbe was fordable to Mühlberg on the opposite bank. The ford was important, for they had not with them the materials to build a bridge.

Untired by the long march, the imperial army moved forward in fighting order. On April 24th they set out in the small hours, in a thick mist. The Emperor rode in the vanguard, accompanied by Maurice and his brother Augustus. Ferdinand and his son, the Archduke Maximilian, were in the second line. The imperial dynasty was thus boldly fighting for its own cause, with a great following. The cavalry marched first, then the infantry. The mist hung low over the Elbe all the forenoon. It was Sunday and the Elector was in church. When, between ten and eleven o'clock, both sides became aware of the presence of the enemy across the river, the Elector still thought he was safe on the far bank of the Elbe, and continued his march. The Emperor decided to lead the attack. Still the Elector, unaware of his danger, made no effort to fortify his bank of the Elbe, but sent all his artillery on ahead. His only precaution was to lower some of the boats for making bridges into the water and to put a few troops on them. Charles determined to seize these ships for himself, and soon a violent battle was raging about them. The Emperor himself was present in person, encouraging his Spanish soldiers to incredible deeds of valour. The gunners advanced, up to the armpits in water, to reply to the enemy's fire and if possible to silence it. The most determined threw themselves into the water, stripped, with knives between their teeth, to attack the ships at close quarters. Horsemen swam across the river. At length the defensive fire ceased and a peasant showed the Emperor where the ford actually was, so that he could cross. But in the meantime the Elector of Saxony's captured ships had been put to use, and the greater part of Charles's baggage and infantry went over dry-shod.

As soon as the infinitely superior forces of the Emperor had collected on the farther bank, there was no battle, only a hot pursuit. The Elector hoped that he might reach the protecting woods of the Lochau hunting reserve before nightfall. But already the forces were so close, that Maurice, who could never bear to lose a chance of mediating, sent the bold Lersner straight under the Elector's guns to ask him to surrender on terms. Angrily John Frederick asked whether Maurice took him for the Duke of Brunswick. But it was too late to do anything; the Electoral troops attempted to make a last stand in the wood, but some of the cavalry began the defensive attack too soon, and a general engagement followed. The infantry were not yet properly drawn up, could make no efficient resistance, and scattered, throwing the whole army into confusion. In the general conflict the Elector himself was slightly wounded and taken prisoner. He gave his sword to Thilo von Trotha. But it was the Duke of Alva who took charge of him and brought him, as Lannoy had done the King of France, to Charles himself.

Emperor and Elector were each mounted and fully armed. The Elector took off the hat which he wore in place of the helmet he had lost, but when Charles did not answer the salutation, he covered himself again. He opened his mouth to speak and had just uttered the words, 'All-merciful Emperor', when Charles cut him short. 'You would have done better', he said, 'to have thought of us in those terms some time ago.' What else he said was equally discouraging, and he concluded his cold speech with the words, 'I shall treat you as my affairs and your deserts dictate. Go.' Spaniards were set to guard him.

Charles's scornful words are sufficient proof of the triumph which warmed his heart. This April 24th, 1547, was one of the most glorious days in all his life. He had striven for this victory with all that he had, ardently and obstinately, sacrificing to it his health and his repose, his safety and, if need be, his life. He had taken part in the crossing of the Elbe, and joined in the battle at evening. To please his allies, he commissioned Titian to paint the great portrait of him as the victor of Mühlberg. He is shown, mounted on his charger, in full armour, his general's scarf over one shoulder, his lance in his hand, the insignia of the Golden Fleece glinting against his breastplate.

Charles slept that night at Schirmenitz on the left bank. Hence he set out on the following day on his march to Torgau, crossing the Elbe again only when he reached the neighbourhood of Wittenberg.

He expected a determined resistance from Wittenberg. Here undoubtedly immense spiritual forces would be up in arms to meet him, even though the Reformer himself had closed his weary eyes on the world a full year before. Charles feared a siege, for his artillery was inadequate. The situation was critical. The Elector's son, John Frederick II, was determined to defend himself at Grimmenstein, near Gotha. The restive Bohemians were still in Charles's rear, and during the last months Charles had been forced to consider what elements might not be aroused in Germany against himself or against Maurice, by their long continuance in arms.

But the Emperor and his councillors precipitated the issue by a brutal act which defied every constitutional right, and which was not soon to be forgotten. Charles had already humiliated the towns and princes of the south. He sought to bring the Wettin dynasty to book by a death sentence. A court of justice, which was a mockery of its name, condemned the Elector. The Emperor first confirmed the sentence, and then opened negotiations with his enemies. The old Elector, all this while, acted with such dignity and self-possession as to gain the respect of all beholders. He would not let himself be dictated to, but acted with firmness and calm. He made no effort to save either his Electoral title or his own lands, but strove to rescue something for his sons. He hoped, even, that they might one day have the Electorate again, by a complicated arrangement of inheritance between the two branches of the family. But chiefly he protested against the recognition of the Council of Trent. In the end Charles had to let him off with a promise to submit to the Reichskammergericht and the subsequent rulings of the Diet. The Emperor cherished a hope that he would be able to persuade the Diet into accepting some of the dictates of the Council of Trent, while the Elector imagined that he would himself have some mild influence on the drafting of later dietary recesses. The Elector challenged the justice of the ban which had been pronounced against him. Joachim of Brandenburg, meanwhile, stretched out a helping hand to him in these negotiations.

Hard as the conditions were, John Frederick had his own life to save, the princely dignity and honour of his sons to think of, and the possible services which he might later do to the Protestant religion. On May 19th, 1547, he set his hand to the Wittenberg Capitulation. On the 23rd, the town surrendered on honourable terms. On June 4th, Maurice, who had refused the earlier offer, was solemnly invested with the Electorate and the Electoral lands. His treachery had served Charles's turn.

But neither the collapse of the south nor the shattering defeat on the Elbe had brought the German Empire altogether to its knees. Still less had it been pacified. Magdeburg was in revolt, and Bremen, the other archbishopric of northern Germany, had put up a valiant defence.

Until February 12th Josse von Cruningen had been everywhere victorious, occupying in turn Tecklenburg, Osnabrtick, Lippe, Hoya, Schaumburg and Minden. On the 27th he was about a mile from Bremen, whose archbishop, cathedral chapter and gentry came out to meet him. The town itself refused to negotiate. On March 19th he was still without its walls, waiting in vain. He was short of munitions, and by the 30th the troops were mutinous because money, too, had run out. From Eger, Charles wrote to him commanding him to march on to Hamburg, but in the mean- time Cruningen had fallen before Bremen. On March 14th the young prince Erich von Calenberg had concluded a treaty with the Emperor, and he it was who now took command. He had to leave the town unsubdued, and on May 23rd at Drakenburg on the Weser a little to the north of Nienburg, he suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of the relieving forces under Christopher of Oldenburg and Albrecht von Mansfeld. After praying and singing psalms, the Protestants and their two leaders, accompanied by their preachers, attacked and seized Calenberg's position. He himself escaped only by swimming the Weser and his people were drowned, killed or taken. The news of the disaster reached Charles at Wittenberg, and caused him some anxiety, for he still had many plans in Germany to carry out, and the Landgrave of Hesse left to subdue.

But Charles's anxiety was relieved by the constant interference of the new Elector, Maurice, and by the evident cowardice of the Landgrave who had hitherto taken no part in the action, which was being played out so near to his own country. Without the least resistance, Philip gave in to the blandishments of Maurice, and let himself be deluded with thoughts of negotiations and mercy. It was now too late to retract. The Landgrave, who had taken so haughty a stand at the beginning of the Schmalkaldic war, slid gradually downhill to his humiliating end. Maurice was partly responsible, for Philip could not but be tempted by the evident success with which Maurice had played his part, and could not but reflect that he, too, in the past, had given his son-inlaw the example by himself toying with an imperial alliance.

In the initial negotiations with Maurice, Philip gave in little by little. At first he refused to consider a separate peace from the other members of the League. But soon, frightened by Charles's success, he became more tractable. When Maurice made cautious inquiries from King Ferdinand, this latter left him in no doubt that the Emperor would yield to a reconciliation with the Landgrave, if at all, then only on the harshest of terms. Until April, the Landgrave consoled himself with the hope that his help would be needed against the Elector; he even prided himself on his loyalty to the Protestant cause, because he decided to refuse to fight the Elector, before anyone had so much as suggested that he should. Maurice was ultimately shameless enough to suggest it.

Even after Philip's refusal, they continued to correspond without ceasing.

Charles approached the situation with very different ideas. Nevertheless, he gave Maurice his head because such negotiations were a sure guarantee against the Landgrave's further efforts in the field. At Wittenberg, Joachim of Brandendurg, the Landgrave's contemporary and brother-in-law, joined his efforts to those of Maurice. Personal interviews got them no further. In the first draft of reconciliation occurred the words 'submission at mercy'. Philip crossed out 'at mercy' 1 but agreed to discuss submission on terms. The Emperor flatly refused all terms. Philip continued to hesitate. He began to make more far-reaching offers. The agent Ebeleben passed them on to the Electors, to Arras and Doctor Seld who was gradually taking the place of Naves, since dead. On June 2nd a document was laid before Charles in which the Electors sought for the assurance that after his surrender the Landgrave would not be subject to 'a death sentence or imprisonment for life'. The Emperor, the ultimate judge of all their entreaties, approved this document.

But the Electors were interpreting Charles's approval far more widely than they should, when they hastened to tell the Landgrave that, according to the articles, he would not suffer 'either in body or possessions, either by imprisonment or otherwise'. And so Philip came to meet the Emperor in all good faith, while the Electors irresponsibly negotiated, pretending that they had understood, from the document which the Bishop of Arras had formulated, something very different from what was written in it. It was strange that the Landgrave did not recall how little use Maurice's intervention had been to the Duke of Brunswick.

So Philip came to his fate. On the morning of June 19th he had an interview with Arras, and found that the articles had been stiffened. The Electors talked him out of his fears. They had asked Charles in vain to give his hand to the prince if he fell on his knees before him. Yet in spite of this check, they calmed the Landgrave.

In the evening at about 6 o'clock, the great drama began.

1 The full German formula is 'auf Gnade und Ungnade'. The English equivalent for this is, to surrender 'at mercy'. In the German, Philip crossed out 'Ungnade' only (TRANSLATOR'S note).

Charles was on his throne, surrounded by a splendid group of courtiers. The Landgrave was requested to kneel while his Chancellor read out an apology. The Emperor made answer, using Seld as his spokesman. The answer was couched in the prearranged terms, and clearly stated that the Landgrave should not suffer life-long imprisonment; everyone heard it. Charles gave Philip no permission to rise. When at last he got up of his own accord, the Emperor did not give him his hand.

But the Duke of Alva invited him to supper, with both the Electors. After the meal Philip was taken into a separate room. The Electors complained. Maurice went further, became almost violent, and insisted, in spite of warnings, on spending the night with his father-in-law. But the Emperor stood to his rights. Perhaps he was recalling his own bitter experiences with another royal prisoner, King Francis. On the 21st he said openly to the Electors that he considered the Landgrave's own person as the only adequate hostage for the execution of the peace terms.

Charles had reached his goal, and that without further bloodshed. Accompanied by the two leaders of the Schmalkaldic League, both his prisoners, he went to the Diet at Augsburg. The Bishop of Arras wrote to tell Queen Mary that an attack on the towns of north Germany would not now be worth making, for the booty would hardly cover the pay of the troops. The Emperor was going another way to find money. He contemplated forming an Imperial League on the lines of the Swabian League. He had his eye on two Swabian towns for its nucleus, Ulm and Augsburg.


Charles had combined a universal and a particular theory into his idea of an Imperial League. He wished to strengthen his position on the military and the financial side, to develop the imperial constitution in the direction of autocracy.

Since the thirteenth century the imperial constitution had been breathlessly trying to keep pace with the development of urban and territorial states, Kings and Emperors made use of the same weapon as towns and princes -- the bond of a league or confederation in the interests of internal peace. The peace of the land was no longer threatened by some isolated criminal, but by individual princes who sought, by means of feuds and alliances, to build up their own power, or to defend themselves. The towns did the same. The Swabian League, which had existed in south Germany from 1487 until 1533, had been a tool of Hapsburg policy, of an imperial policy such as Charles himself understood.

Charles had grown up to this idea. He and his councillors rightly thought of the German constitution in terms of a League or confederation. But even then it needed some sort of an executive. Periodical Diets, owing to the incidence of the subsidies, led to division rather than unity. On the other hand an Imperial League with subsidies and payments made in the Emperor's name would at least guarantee general peace, since it would be a visible organ of imperial administration.

In the middle of the war, in that letter which he wrote to Ferdinand on January 9th, 1547, Charles laid bare this project. On June 13th he opened negotiations for its realization at Ulm. His commissioners were the Cardinal Bishop of Augsburg, Margrave Hans of Kustrin, Johann von Lierre and Heinrich Hass. The negotiations did not go smoothly. The Estates answered the imperial commissioner with counter-suggestions, and did not agree with them to any extent.

The whole question was next referred to the Diet at Augsburg. Charles returned from Saxony to open it in person. He was determined to draw every possible advantage from the stirring events in which he had taken part during the last year. But he could not disregard the very serious alterations beyond the German frontier and their probable repercussions. On January 28th, 1547, Henry VIII of England had died. The Vatican seriously believed that it could use the occasion to gather the Catholic states of Europe together against the English, but the death of Francis I on March 31st forced them to postpone the plan. Strange indeed were the changes in the policy of the aged Pope, a prey to jealousy and fear; he had first deserted the Emperor and then sought his help again, although at the same time opposing him at the council. Nothing more offensive or likely to annoy Charles could have been thought of, than the Pope's commission to the legates on February 17th, 1547, to move the transference of the council to Bologna. And when the legates obeyed his instructions, Paul wrote to Charles on March 11th, hypocritically stating that he had had nothing whatever to do with their action. Even Juan de Vega was stung to fury. At the imperial Court there was unmistakable tension. The nuncio was referred to Charles's ministers, for the Emperor was afraid that, if he saw him personally, he might give vent to angry phrases, which however true, would be most impolitic. Charles was no longer trying to check the ebullient temperament of youth, but a deep-seated irritation, the growth of many years, which he felt he could no longer control. On practical points he refused to give in. He told his ambassadors in Rome to protest solemnly against any act performed by the council at Bologna.

This was the situation on July 4th, 1547, when the legate, Cardinal Sfondrato, was received in audience by the Emperor at Bamberg. Charles had come up the Saale from Halle, on his way across Franconia to Augsburg. The Emperor refused to listen to the suggested plot against England. Germany was more important to him, and after his last experiences of the Pope's friendship, he had little or no desire to interfere in other people's business. To soothe him, the legate suggested that the council could be moved back to Trent, if the Germans would definitely undertake to submit to it. In the meantime the German bishops could go to Bologna. At this Charles fell into such a rage that Sfondrato timorously asked whether he had better withdraw. Charles retorted dryly that he could do as he pleased.

The results of Sfondrato's conversations with the Emperor and his ministers were startling. He fared as Cervino had done long before. The rage and righteous indignation of the Emperor, the unanimity of the Court in the same outlook, could not fail to make an impression on the legate. He advised the Pope to change his tactics. Since France showed no sign of supporting papal policy, the Cardinals urged the Pope to let the council return to Trent. But the obstinate old man refused, and on September 15th a solemn session was held in Bologna.

Mendoza thought of protesting. He spoke openly of his intention and was strengthened in it by the Emperor. Charles declared that unless the Pope changed his resolution, he would call a new council himself and begin on the reform of the Church.

In this mood Charles opened the Diet of Augsburg on September 1st, 1547. The ceremony was performed with that splendour which he had so often used as a cover for his inner weakness. The main subjects to be discussed were those which the Emperor had so often mentioned in his letters to his brother, the Reichskammergericht, the League, and the Church question.

The administration of justice, the first object of political rule, Charles wished to consolidate. It is true that he played small personal part in the details of its administration. For centuries to come the great criminal code which bears his name, the Carolina, was to be fundamental to German justice, but Charles himself had nothing to do with its individual provisions. All the same, justice was very near to his heart. By the reform of the Reichskammergericht he meant to secure the nomination of its members and to arrange for the Estates to pay its cost. This was not unfair for the Estates had an interest in it, if only to prevent cases of general importance passing from its jurisdiction to that of the Reichshofrat. 1 Besides which if the Reichskammergericht could be set in order, its rulings would form an important standard against which to measure the justice of every day.

Charles managed to have his way in nearly all these points. The Estates seemed willing to acquiesce on the judicial point, in order to be able to defend themselves the more strongly when Charles came to questions which touched their religious belief and their political privileges.

The Church question was further complicated by the complete severance of the bond which bound the Pope to the Emperor. On September 10th the Pope's son, Pier Luigi Farnese, had fallen a victim to conspiracy. Ferrante Gonzaga had been vehemently hostile to him, the Doria too had made common cause with other enemies of the Farense dynasty, and Pier Luigi had contributed to his own unpopularity by giving himself the airs of a great noble, upstart though he was. As a result of the conspiracy, Gonzaga resumed Piacenza, as a part of the duchy of Milan. The aged Pope was profoundly embittered. Meanwhile the confusion of spiritual and political values made the destruction of the Farnese dynasty also the destruction of the Church.

1 A Court of Justice consisting of imperial Councillors: approximately equivalent to the English Court of Star Chamber (TRANSLATOR'S note).

Paul III threw himself into the arms of France and sought the help of Venice to complete a League. All the ambitions for the liberation of Italy, which had come to so ignominious an end twenty years before, flourished again, and on the imperial side they were talking of occupying the papal states, as the Hohenstaufen had done, or as Charles himself had done in 1526.

In Augsburg on October 18th Charles issued a formal proclamation. He decreed that the council should go back to Trent, and called upon 'the estates who adhered to the Augustana to appear at the said council'. Last of all he asked the Diet to consider how 'the Estates were to live together in peace until they came to the said council'. In accordance with a demand originally made at another Diet a quarter of a century before, the princes now at last agreed to appear before the council. Only the towns raised objections, to which Charles had to give some consideration.

On November 6th, 1547, almost exactly eighteen months after his first mission, Madruzzo left Augsburg for Rome as the Emperor's messenger. On November 25th he saw the Pope, with Farnese and Mendoza. Paul received somewhat contradictory answers from them. Cardinal del Monte sharply defended the rights of the council. Mendoza offered to protest but at length it was decided that all decisions should be referred to the assembly at Bologna. This, when it came, was clear and consistent, but it repudiated all attempt to come to an understanding with the Germans.

Now the Emperor made ready to publish his long-prepared Protestation in Bologna and in Rome. On January 16th, 1548, his procurators Francisco Vargas and Doctor Velasco appeared before the assembled fathers of the council at Bologna in order to deliver their protest in all formality. They were allowed to come in as the fathers did not wish to appear to throw any obstacles in the way of free speech. They embarked at once on long and threatening speeches, ending with the words: 'We tell you explicitly, that our Emperor will defy all the attacks to which you and your Pope have exposed the Church; he will take the Church under his own protection and will do all that his imperial office, his rights and his duty dictate.' Cardinal Monte replied with unruffled dignity. But the fathers in general gained an uncomfortable feeling from what had passed, and felt inclined, within themselves, to revise their original proud decision against the Emperor's requests.

In Rome Diego Mendoza repeated the imperial Protestation to the assembled Cardinals. He did not spare the person of the Pope. Paul III fell back on written replies, and looked about him for advice. The world was to wait long for any concrete result. For the time being the council was quiescent.

This served as a preliminary for the Interim, or, more fully, the imperial 'Declaration of how things are to be managed in the Holy Roman Empire, touching the question of religion, until the general council can be held', which had been published with the recess of June 30th. The twenty-six articles of which this Declaration is composed reveal how profound was Charles's desire that his name should be coupled, if not with the actual return of Germany to the Catholic fold, then at least with its preliminaries, with the arrangement of a tolerable settlement. He had worked to no other end for the last seventeen years. Any attempt to settle the problem of German Protestantism by a piece of paper was bound to fail; Charles's attempt was further invalidated in that it arose partly at least from his anger at the utter failure of Pope and council. At such a time he needed all his courage and political flair; intrepidity and a fine sense of the political situation was necessary, and the declaration had little of either. Yet, inadequate as it was, Charles's policy was nobler, more conscientious, and in reality more practical than the painful dynastic policy of the Farnese, or the cold attitude of the Catholic theologians and canonists. These latter were prepared to risk the destruction of Christianity in the effort to subject one party, either by orders or by force. But the inadequacy of the compromise was clear. The Protestants would certainly not accept the re-establishment of the ancient Church, together with the doctrines which the council had all too lightly formulated. They would not accept saints, masses, images and the sacramental teaching of the Catholics. The bounds of the possible had been reached when a compromise had been made in 1539 over Transubstantiation, but now the Protestants were expected to agree to the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi. On the other hand the clergy regarded the tacit acceptance of the secularization of Church land with the utmost suspicion. Other provisions were a modified permission for the marriage of priests and provision for the administration of the communion, sometimes, in both kinds. These reforms, although they were later to be stormily demanded by the Bavarian and Austrian gentry, and even on occasion, by their governments, seemed at the moment to be infringements of the rights of the Catholic Estates. They evoked the bitterest opposition. As always, Eck, the implacable Chancellor of Bavaria, made the most serious difficulties with the Emperor. Only when Charles explained to the Catholics that these provisions were only alternatives to the habitual usage, introduced purely for the convenience of the Protestant Estates, were they at length calmed.

But Charles gained nothing by his Interim. The imprisoned Elector of Saxony soon showed him how valueless it was by rejecting it to his face. Farther afield, nobody honoured it with the slightest attention. The constitution of the Church was already too loose to be affected by such general commands.

At the moment, however, all Charles wished to obtain was a temporary arrangement. He still believed that he would be able to persuade the Diet and certain leading princes to submit to the council. He was therefore all the more anxious that the council should be called as soon as possible, in the form he had promised. Until that time he wished to impose doctrines and forms of worship in accordance with his own beliefs, as well as certain disciplinary measures for the reform of the clergy. This again was a project which he could not successfully carry out within the framework of that old order, which Charles himself respected. An organization like the Church, a living organism, could not be reformed from without. The movement must come from within.

Yet the effort which Charles made is memorable. He showed himself by this right but hopeless ambition to be in harmony with so many other loyal and devout Christians, in the centuries before his own, and in the time to come. He was one of those who, clinging to the Church with his whole soul, was all the more cruelly alive to the sordid materialism of its spiritual pastors, to the growing contradiction between its teaching and the living world. He was one of those who give themselves up to dreams and hopes, as though righteous indignation, loving anxiety and goodwill alone were enough to change the world.

The Emperor could not altogether believe that such success as he had, had been bought by force alone. He knew that he could not master spiritual things in such a manner. But he had long realized that force, not reason or contract, was the ultimate test of the validity of every act and every right. In conflicts lasting for more than thirty years he knew that force alone had kept his lands at peace, restored Spain and Italy to his control, kept the Turks at bay, preserved and enlarged the Netherlands, and last of all brought Germany -- or so he thought -- under his control.

He wished to confirm and prolong his power. Two ways seemed open to him. He could either develop the constitution to suit him or identify the Empire with his own dynasty. During the year 1547-8 his thoughts found this channel, and he imagined that he would best achieve his dynastic end by forming a League in the old traditional German fashion. When this failed, and only then, did he look about for some other way.

His councillors spared no pains to maintain and develop the League theory which had come into being at Ulm. But in the winter of 1547-8 at Augsburg, negotiations in the council chamber dragged wearily on, their course changing with the changing moods of the Diet, and their goal never apparently any nearer. Charles quite openly demanded a strong army under imperial control; this hardly reconciled the Estates to the proposed League, through whose help the Emperor hoped to obtain the means and the men. Charles's ministers thought that the idea was more popular among the smaller than among the greater Estates. But the dissemination of the League idea did little save cause illfeeling in the deliberations of the princes. Annoyed by the unfriendly behaviour of the Electors in the council of princes, in February 1548 Charles once again referred the solution of his problem to a mixed council. This action set the seal of failure on the whole attempt.

All that remained of the plan was a 'subsidy'. This was voted to Charles in answer to a demand made on May 19th; it took the form of a 'Roman month' 1 for the recruiting of imperial troops which was to be paid into his reserve of gold. If Charles V could not achieve constitutional reform along monarchic lines at the very height of his power, it is clear that the days for such reform

1 128,000 Gulden: so-called because it was supposed to be the cost of the imperial army for a month (TRANSLATOR'S note).

had gone by. Perhaps, as so often happens in the physical world, a process already alive and developing was merely speeded up when an attempt was made to arrest it. The territorial principalities had gained great power in the Empire through their struggles with towns, knights and peasants, and above all through the religious movement. Yet they only realized their true strength, when Charles's attempt to coerce them brought them face to face with the constitutional problem.

The constitutional problem remained unsolved, for the Emperor himself was a territorial prince, who, if the need arose, would use his individual force against the Empire. To secure the increase of dynastic power by the exploitation of the imperial constitution, and to develop the individual territory in despite of the confederation, was the embarrassing quandary in which every royal landowner found himself. And what could a ruler do who, like Ferdinand, had lands lying all in the same district, of which some did and some did not belong to the Empire, or belonged only in part to the Empire, like Bohemia? In the Netherlands the situation was even more complicated. The duchies of Burgundy, Flanders and Artois did not belong to the Empire; the other provinces were part of the Empire, but the Burgundian state had completely severed them from it in administration. Both Emperor and Empire needed more clarity on points like these.

Charles V now tried to find a solution which would please all parties. Queen Mary initiated the plan in the instructions she gave to the imperial councillor Viglius van Zwichem on August 28th, 1547. She took into account all the old differences of opinion, but admitted that some of the provinces did indeed belong to the Westphalian Circle although she was in no position to say 'what relation the Westphalian bore to the Burgundian Circle', or what lands belonged to the latter.

A Burgundian treaty, drawn up on June 26th, 1548, in agreement with the imperial Estates, settled this question, and laid down the privileges of the Netherlands and their duties to the Empire. Henceforward all the Netherlands were to be considered as belonging to the Burgundian Circle, but were to be exempted from the jurisdiction of the Reichskammergericht and the authority of the Diet. They were, however, to participate in the defence of the Empire against foreigners, were to provide such troops and money as the Emperor wanted, and twice as much as an ordinary Elector. If the danger which threatened was from the Turks, then the Netherlands were to give three times as much. Charles arrived at these decisions by discussion and debate. They followed out the general line of his imperial policy -- that of placing all the Hapsburg lands in the protection of the Empire, itself so rich a recruiting ground for armies, and arranging for them to pay for this privilege by supplying his brother with the money he so urgently needed in his wars on the Turk.

Unless we are much deceived these years form the climax of Charles's close relationship with Ferdinand. They co-operated both in politics and diplomacy, acted together in the Schmalkaldic war and finally reorganized their kingdoms to depend mutually upon each other.


In the preceding winter, on January 18th, 1548, Charles had once again taken up his pen to compose a testament for his son; 'because my weakness, and the dangers to my life which I have barely outlived,' he wrote, 'seem to indicate that I should give you some advice in case of my death'. In this testament Charles could not too often exhort Philip to keep on good terms with his highly revered brother Ferdinand, and with his sons.

In this testament Charles openly declared that, at Ferdinand's request he had decided on the marriage of his elder daughter Mary to Ferdinand's eldest son, Maximilian. He went on to command Prince Philip to seek his uncle's advice on all questions of international policy, whenever the need should arise. He added that he himself had always done this in order to strengthen his own imperial authority, and called the last war to witness to its success. Philip, who figures in this document solely as King of Spain, was further told not to give financial aid in a Turkish war, for this affected only Germany and the Netherlands. 'In Germany', Charles tells his son, 'you will always find good soldiers if you pay them enough. If you cannot get enough in Germany, you may turn to the Swiss, but you must handle this people generously in accordance with the traditions of the Burgundian dynasty.'

This testament bears witness yet again to Charles's old beliefs, the backbone of his policy. But this time he develops them into a comprehensive picture of the whole European situation, and even considers the provinces on the farther shore of the Atlantic.

Seeing that human affairs are beset with doubt, I can give you no general rules save to trust in Almighty God. You will show this best by defending the faith. After all our trouble and labour in bringing back the German heretics, I have come to the conclusion that a general council is the only way. Even the German Estates have agreed to submit to it. Have a care, therefore, that the council continues, in all reverence to the Holy See. But proceed cautiously against the abuses of the Vatican when they affect your own lands. Make choice of worthy and learned men for parishes and benefices, for the greater glory of the Church and the quiet of your own conscience; choose such as will stay in their cure and perform their duties. Preserve peace and avoid war, unless you are forced to it in your own defence, for warfare is a heavy burden on our hereditary lands, which I have left to you not diminished in anything, but increased. Unhappily I have from time to time been forced to cede certain of the privileges of the Crown; you can try to regain them.

Peace will depend not so much on your actions as on those of others. It will be a difficult task for you to preserve it, seeing that God has bestowed so many great kingdoms and principalities on you. I therefore suggest the following things for your consideration. You yourself know how unreliable Pope Paul III is in all his treaties, how sadly he lacks all zeal for Christendom, and how ill he has acted in this affair of the council above all. Nevertheless, honour his position. The Pope is old; therefore take careful heed to the instructions which I have given my ambassador in Rome in case of an election. There will always be trouble with the Pope, in Naples, in Sicily, and in Castile on account of the Pragmatica. 1 Look to it. Keep a good understanding with the Venetians. I have done much for the Duke of Florence and he is grateful; he is also our kinsman since he married into the family of Toledo. The Duke of Ferrara leans to France: handle him cautiously. The Duke of Mantua is to be trusted: cherish him for he has suffered much in the wars. Genoa is the most important of all

1 See supra, p. 496.

to us. Act shrewdly and skilfully in your dealings with it. Siena and Lucca, let us hope, will remain under the protection of the King of the Romans.

France has never kept faith and has always sought to do me hurt. The young King seems about to follow in his father's footsteps. But act cautiously and try to keep the peace for the weal of Christendom and your own subjects. The French will always be casting about for excuses to resume their royal claims on Naples, Flanders, Artois, Tournai and Milan. Never yield to them, not so much as an inch; they will take an ell. From the beginning of time these French Kings have been greedy for their neighbours' land. Defend Milan with good artillery, Naples with a good fleet, and remember that the French are discouraged if they do not immediately succeed in anything that they undertake. The Neapolitans are much given to revolt; let them be constantly reminded of how the French sacked their town. Apart from this, treat them with moderation. You can never manage without Spanish troops in Italy. Have a care to the maintenance of the border fortresses in Spain and Flanders, where the citadels of Ghent and Cambrai are the most important. In Franche Comté, whose neutrality has now been established against France, you will need the support of Switzerland and Austria. To preserve peace I have allowed my demands for our ancient hereditary land, for the duchy of Bourgogne, to drop. But do not altogether renounce your rights. Hesdin is not worth fighting for.

At the present time the French are emphatically refusing to give back to the Duke of Savoy the lands which they unjustly seized. I have always supported the Duke in his claim, not only because of the relationship of our two families, but for the better security of Italy. The French will use Piedmont as a base for raids on Italy, and will continue in their efforts to gain Milan and Naples. Do not let yourself be persuaded at any time to renounce Piedmont. The present situation, bad as it is, is better than a mistaken settlement. But if you give troops to the Duke to regain this land, do it with the utmost caution. Only if the French and English are fully engaged, and if you can get the help of the Swiss, will it be safe for you to send troops to Savoy. At the moment the troubles in Germany and the pacific policy of the regency in England make this impossible.

Charles went on to advise his son to maintain good relations with England through his present treaties, but not to take any part in the perennial disputes between England and France. So far as Scotland was concerned, the Emperor pointed out that the great thing was to be sure of freedom in trade. Philip's behaviour to Denmark had been defined by Charles's last treaties with that King. The Emperor dissuaded him from taking any part in the political schemes or distresses of the aged, imprisoned Christian II, although, for the sake of his daughter, he told him that he might seek to ease his captivity. It would be unwise, he added shrewdly, to have him set at liberty.

Next he particularly advised Philip to watch over his fleet. It was his best defence against pirates in the Mediterranean; it would keep the French from interfering in the Indies. Moreover, Philip should cultivate the friendship of Portugal for the same reasons. 'Do not cease to keep yourself well-informed of the state of these distant lands', Charles added, 'for the honour of God and the care of justice. Combat the abuses which have arisen in them.' Charles himself had but recently insisted on having a detailed report from the Viceroy, Antonio Mendoza.

Above all the Emperor urgently entreated his son to look about him for a new wife. 'You cannot be everywhere', he wrote, 'you must find good viceroys and such as will not overstep their instructions. You must not stoop to consider every complaint that is made against you, but you must not disregard them all. The best way is to hold your kingdoms together by making use of your own children. For this you will have to have more children and must contract a new marriage.' Charles went on to suggest the French King's daughter as a possible wife for Philip. She would be a living guarantee of peace and the treaties, and an instrument through whom the just rights of Savoy might be regained. If Philip could not have her, there was Jeanne d'Albret, always supposing that her family would abandon its claim to Navarre. Charles added that she was extremely attractive and very clever. A marriage with one of Ferdinand's daughters, or with Queen Eleonore's, would make no new friendship for the dynasty. As to the Infantas, the elder, Mary, must marry the Archduke Maximilian, the younger, Joanna, the King of Portugal.

It would be best for the Netherlands, Charles went on, if Queen Mary, who had proved herself so excellent a governor, both in peace and war, should keep them for the present. On the other hand, she herself was asking to be relieved of the task. In that case, it might be a good plan to hand over the provinces to Maximilian and the Infanta as regents. But, Charles added, such an arrangement would be dangerous, if Maximilian were to be chiefly concerned for his own interests. It had better not be done until Philip could himself make personal contact with the Netherlands, and with the young Archduke.

I commend to you most solemnly, [ Charles ended] the execution of my will and codicils, as also those of the late Empress. I beseech God to care for you and lead you in His ways, so that He may take you in the end to His eternal glory. You have my blessing.

This testament of the Emperor's breathes the mellow atmosphere of old age. That same atmosphere surrounds another document of a different kind, dating from this year -- the magnificent portrait, which Titian painted of the Emperor at Augsburg.

On a wooden chair covered with velvet, in front of a brocaded hanging, sits the Emperor. His pose is tired, he is relaxed, almost slumped into his chair. Yet his eyes are still alert. He sits in an open loggia, commanding a wide and strangely mournful landscape. This dreary prospect, with its grave and graceful lines, contrasting strongly with the bold, almost harsh composition of the foreground, evokes at once a feeling of awe, a sense as of something above the ordinary things of life. Here is the Emperor, the master of all the world; yet he sits before us in all simplicity, close to us, human, plainly dressed, simple, unposed. He is alone and sunk in thought. The face, the lips, the hands, whose action never alters in all his pictures, betray some narrowness, some indefinable rigidity of outlook. Yet everything about him bears witness to the self-possession, the inner intensity of his being. Years and cares have left their mark. It is hard to believe that this old and weary man is but forty-eight years old. Early he had learnt to think of the hour of his death; he had known shadows all his life -- the mother who had never been for him but as one dead, the wife who died young. Illness had tormented him more than most men. He was sensitive, easily moved to excitement, by little things as well as by great. He had striven honourably to control himself, to recognize his duties, to think out his measures carefully. Never for a moment had he forgotten his great responsibility towards God, towards his lands, towards the yet unborn princes of his transcendent line.


SAILING Up the Rhine in the summer of 1550, on his way to yet another Diet of Augsburg, Charles dictated on ship-board to his companion William van Male, the first pages of his life-story. Typically he began with a bald and direct statement of fact. 'After the death of King Philip there were several wars in the Netherlands in which the Emperor Maximilian, with his habitual courage, defeated the French.' With these words he opened his Vita Nuova, his autobiography, not because he personally had any recollection of those wars, but simply because it was undeniably a legal truth that his reign as a prince began at the moment of his father's death. On the journey, and later in Augsburg, he went on with these memoirs, piling year upon year, gradually enlarging the picture, forgetting nothing, no experience however homely or personal, which had had any meaning for him, no action, no grief, no joy, not even a journey or an attack of gout. He recorded all with the same pedantic accuracy. Yet as the story gradually drew near to the present time he became more and more engrossed in politics. His descriptions grew gradually more informative, more detailed, more critical. He described exhaustively, for instance, his more recent experiences, the settlement with Cleves, with France, with the Pope, with the German Protestants. It was as though in writing of them he became once more engrossed in what had happened. The wars of 1543, 1544, 1546, 1547 lived once again before his eyes. The memoirs became little more than a diary of the wars; he may even have had such a diary and used it as the basis of his autobiography. He lingered, but without prejudice, over the movements of the campaign, over councils of war and single engagements, over the errors of his opponents and of his own staff. Proudly he compiled this memorial of the brave days that were gone, a distant echo in words, of the actions which had been.

Charles's testament revealed all that was medieval in him -- his devotion to religion and the Church, his contemplation of himself in the mirror of his son. But in his memoirs he revealed that other facet of his character, the Renaissance side. He laid stress here on actual facts; his style was pragmatic and kept close to the theories and manner of the humanist historians, who themselves took Livy, Sallust and Caesar for their models. His attitude to the wars, too, was of the Renaissance, and above all his approach to fame. It was as though his early aristocratic pride, the pride of the Burgundian nobleman, the longing for honour and glory had been transfigured into the desire to achieve immortality through history. Not for nothing did Charles take with him everywhere his cosmographers, his chroniclers, his historiographers, his poets and his painters. He prized very highly that historian of the Schmalkaldic war, Luis d'Avila, who had idealized his actions. Yet all the same he suffered some discomfort in his conscience at this development of his character, for later he asked the Jesuit Francisco Borgia whether this preoccupation with his own life were not a sin.

In spite of his many contacts with Renaissance culture, he never became a true man of the Renaissance. In vain did van Male hope that he would be asked to translate the autobiography into Latin for publication. The Emperor kept the pages under lock and key, and sent them in 1552 to his son in Spain. He mentioned them again later, and a Portuguese translation was made of them, but then they disappeared. Only the Portuguese version has survived.

From these memoirs we draw Charles's own dry account of what took place at the Augsburg Diet of 1548, on the eve of which we last took leave of him.

Before the King of the Romans left, their Majesties arranged among themselves for the marriage of the Emperor's elder daughter to the eldest son of the King his brother, he that is at present styled King of Bohemia. It was the Emperor's intention to send for his son, the Prince of Spain, so that he might himself see his lands and become acquainted with his subjects; he accordingly asked his royal brother and his royal son-in-law, to be graciously pleased to let this latter go to Spain, celebrate his marriage there and remain there during the absence of the prince, to govern the Spanish kingdoms in the Emperor's name. They agreed to this. Thereupon the King of Bohemia departed from Augsburg to go by way of Italy, taking ship from Genoa, to Barcelona and thence by land to Valladolid, where the marriage was celebrated.

The King of the Romans left shortly after to attend to his own affairs. The Emperor stayed a few more days to set some outstanding problems in order. Then he too left. He placed. 2000 Spaniards in the fortresses of Warttemberg, but withdrew the troops from Augsburg itself. When everything had been arranged he took the road for Ulm, from which town also he withdrew the garrison in order to take some of it with him, and turned northwards to Speyer, thence down the Rhine to Cologne. This was the ninth time he had travelled down the Rhine and the eighth time he had come back to the Netherlands. He met his sister at Louvain, whence he proceeded to Brussels in order to devote himself to affairs of state, more especially to those touching the Netherlands.

The Emperor remained in Brussels from the end of September 1548 until May 1550, apart from one long tour of the Low Countries in the autumn of 1549. In June 1550 he came back to Germany. In the meantime his opinions on the future relationship between the two branches of the dynasty, if they had not fundamentally altered, had at last solidified in favour of one solution.


In the wills which Charles had drawn up in 1543 and 1544, he was still uncertain of his plan for permanently uniting the Netherlands with the Empire. Since that time he had reorganized the relations between them. He had first planned that Maximilian should be governor, and then rejected that scheme in favour of the rulership of Philip. In return for this, Maximilian and the Infanta Mary were proclaimed regents in Spain on September 29th, 1548. In Spain, meanwhile, Maximilian had married Charles's elder daughter. In spite of the political storms which were to pass over them, the two lived happily in their union until death dissolved it: they had fifteen children. Yet in spite of his marriage and his wife, Maximilian had no happy recollections of his visit to Spain. Later on, he felt his absence all the more keenly because of the advantage which was taken of it in the Empire by the imperial family.

Don Philip first handed over the government to his cousin, and then, obeying his father's command, fitted out for himself a suite in the traditional and sumptuous style of old Burgundy. It was a fact on which chroniclers commented with some amazement. Titles and ceremonies were meticulously rearranged to suit the Low Countries, Castilian tradition being for the time being utterly sacrificed. Later, the formality, for which the Spanish Court came to be famous throughout Europe, derived not from the manners of Castile, but from those of the ancient duchy of Burgundy.

Philip's journey lay across Italy, then by Trent, Munich and Augsburg to the Rhine and the Netherlands. It was a triumphal progress rather than a voyage. Superb triumphal arches, like those which had once been raised to do honour to the victor of Tunis, were now erected to welcome the unknown heir to Charles's many crowns. The delicate, unwarlike, conscientious and not very lively youth received all these acclamations with embarrassment, a certain stiffness and a general lack of grace. The popular opinion was that he was haughty.

He found the Low Countries recovering from the ghastly experiences of the forties. Their English friendship was reacting unfavourably on their commercial relations with Scotland, but apart from this drawback, they were by now developing their own fleet to protect themselves against piracy. At peace with France on the one hand, they were also enjoying the fruits of the Burgundian treaty with Germany. The Estates seemed willing to vote the Emperor very considerable sums. Charles meanwhile completed the pragmatic sanction by which he united all of the hereditary lands, and extended an honourable welcome to his sister Eleonore, who, as widow of King Francis, had just withdrawn from France in tragic circumstances. Charles had placed his prisoners in safe keeping, Philip of Hesse at Malines, whence lie soon made an abortive attempt at escape. The incident provoked wild political excitement, and induced Charles to avenge himself with the utmost rigour on all who had been concerned in it. About the same period Europe echoed to another political sensation, this time one which had no ultimate significance: the exiled Muley Hassan of Tunis made his appearance at Charles's Court.

Meanwhile the Duke of Arschot went out with a great following to meet the Prince of Spain at Bruchsal on the upper Rhine, and to accompany him on his entrance to the Netherlands. At Namur he was greeted by Philibert Emanuel of Savoy, a man who rejoiced in Charles's absolute confidence. At the Castle of Tervueren Queen Mary welcomed him, accompanied by the Duchess Christina of Lorraine. They entertained him with a review of troops, or more accurately with a mock-battle carried out in the convention of the time, with defiles, cannonades and processions. Philip entered Brussels riding between the Duke of Savoy and the Cardinal of Trent. Behind him came Alva, Arras, Egmont and Horn. Peacefully these four rode together behind the King and ruler who was to be. Little did they then foresee what the future held in store for them. In the next year William of Nassau, the youthful heir to the Prince of Orange, was to woo the daughter of Maximilian, Count of Buren. This was that celebrated Count of Buren who, on December 23rd, 1548, made ready to meet death with so many scenes of farewell, so many thanksgivings, such drinking of healths and general ceremony, that a whole generation of literature, sentimental and heroic, sprang from the event.

The Spanish prince presented a curious contrast to the richly clad, solid-looking Netherlanders. He had no natural gaiety, nothing of the freshness of youth. Wine made him sick and he fainted during a tournament. On the other hand he could not have his fill of religious ceremonies and walking in processions. Charles eyed his son with pride. He had already had him proclaimed his heir in Spain. On April 2nd, 1550, he repeated the ceremony for the Netherlands. But the Joyeuse Entrée of Prince Philip was to end in bitter tears. Charles's hope that his son might grow to understand the land and the people was not fulfilled. This did not prevent the Emperor from seeking to re-live his own life in his son, to make him the repository of his future. With such passionate love did he follow the young man's career that he laid the widest plans for him during these next years, and thought even of securing him the imperial throne.

Contemporaries even whispered into King Ferdinand's ears that Charles was trying to prevent his succession to the imperial throne, and perhaps would take from him his title as King of the Romans. But the substance of Charles's new plan, although original was not so unfair as this. Charles still intended Ferdinand to succeed him in the Empire; but he now wanted Philip to succeed Ferdinand, and Maximilian, Ferdinand's son, to succeed only on Philip's death. Charles justified this policy to himself by pretending that it would ensure dynastic unity and the universal power of the family. He felt that such unity could only be guaranteed by some kind of legal arrangement, as that the two branches of the family should hold the imperial title alternately. Yet before judging Charles's attitude too ungenerously, it is only fair to remember what he had already done to secure the unity of the dynasty, and to prevent too serious a division of the family inheritance. He had been ready to defy tradition and pass over his own son's claims, in order to secure to Ferdinand the title, King of the Romans. But this incident was now forgotten or taken for granted, and it was comprehensible enough that Ferdinand and his sons resented the idea that the imperial succession was to be taken from them and given back to Philip.

Charles's plan was the climax of his life-work. He felt that the world power of his family would rest on firm foundations, only if he could transfer the idea of inheritance from his territorial possessions to the imperial title itself. Then and only then would the scattered lands of the Hapsburg be united and sanctified under the holy mantle of Empire. On such foundations the building could rise, perfect in symmetry and strength, as kings and queens, princes and princesses, rulers and viceroys, all scions of the same illustrious line, were established in land after land, in province after province.

The theory that the imperial crown could be inherited had made intermittent and, spontaneous appearances in German history, as soon as any one dynasty became firmly established. But when, in an excess of zeal for his dynasty, an Emperor attempted to gain legal recognition for the almost accomplished fact, he unleashed the angry opposition of the princes. This was true above all if the Emperor called in foreign powers to his aid. Henry VI had striven to gain his end with the help of Naples and had failed. Charles V was now to make another attempt, with the help of Spain. But before Charles's plan could mature, before he could present it to the Electors, it had already withered. The Austrian branch would have none of it. Ferdinand and his sons, naturally enough, were unanimous in their disapproval. They were supported by all their councillors and servants, a race in whom the age-old traditional jealousies between Courts flourished. They cried out on the bitter humiliation which it would be to them to be shouldered out of the imperial succession. Maximilian, curiously enough, who was the chief obstacle and the main sufferer from Charles's scheme, was not only the object of his father's melancholy care, but gained, by his determined opposition to the plan, a considerable prestige among his adherents and throughout the Empire. Charles's behaviour, by making Maximilian popular, did much to ensure the heredity of the imperial crown in the dynasty, although not in the way he himself wanted.

Since the beginning of 1550 Charles, Ferdinand and Mary -- for the Queen proved to be indispensable in such family discussions -had been deliberating gravely. Mary believed profoundly in the dynastic principle and was devoted to the Emperor. On May 1st she employed every grace she had to win over Ferdinand, imploring him not to stand in the way of a legal guarantee of the unification of the whole family, by opposing the election of Philip as King of the Romans. Charles supported his own arguments by ably summing up the points in their favour as against the objections.

These discussions of the succession problem took an almost academic form, so that it is interesting to study a typical schedule of arguments concerning the future protection of the dynasty. The paper is undated, but probably belongs to a slightly later period in the argument than Mary's appeal to Ferdinand. Five questions were raised on this schedule, all were then answered by the dialectical method, and at the end a few rather lame conclusions were deduced. 'Is it necessary', thus ran the argument, 'to regulate the inheritance while the Emperor and King of the Romans are both alive?' The answer to this was not difficult: doubtless it was necessary, so that the danger of a double election should be avoided and no impotent or heretical person should ascend the throne. The next question was: 'What is to be expected of a successor?' Here the answer was somewhat longer. The successor must be a person with very considerable power of his own, as well as all the virtues proper to a king, for the Empire was not rich in resources and had many dangerous neighbours like the French and the Turks.'Where can such a prince be found?' the schedule next cogently inquired. The immediate answer to this was: only in the House of Hapsburg.

This contention was proved by a rapid review of all the other ruling houses of Germany. 'Is it essential', the questionnaire unrelentingly pursued, 'to keep the imperial dignity in that family?' Again the answer was an emphatic affirmative, in spite of all the burdens which the family must thereby take upon its own hereditary lands, and the gold which it must send from Spain to the Empire. Great as were these sacrifices, the Hapsburg dynasty had always shown itself ready to bear the burdens of Christendom at its own expense. Nor, the argument speciously proceeded, would the decretals against making the Empire heritable be violated by its continuance in the Hapsburg family; the election was always supposed to fall on the best man, and the members of the Hapsburg family alone had an inner vocation to the office. 'And who, in the last resort, is the better man, the future King of Bohemia and Hungary, or the King of Spain and the Netherlands?'

This was the crucial question, and the compiler of the schedule proceeded. to solve it with amazing candour. The first essential, he argued, was that the two princes should remain friends, so that, as the common saying goes, 'one hand can help to wash the other'. Maximilian's advantages were the proximity of his own hereditary lands, his friendship with the German princes, his knowledge of the language, and his experience in war and peace. Philip, on the contrary, held sway in remote countries, governed fortresses in Spain, the Indies, Italy and Africa, was unfamiliar both with the people and the language, and had grown unpopular, because the Spanish soldiers in the Empire were unpopular. Against this, it might of course be urged that Italy was the other hand of the Empire, the seat of the imperial throne and of the Papacy, which could only be adequately protected by a prince owning land in Italy. It might also be argued that France could not be checked save from Italy and the Netherlands. As for the general dislike of the Spanish soldiers, soldiers were seldom angels; Philip's education abroad and ignorance of German could be remedied, as the same defects had been remedied in Ferdinand, who had become a good German. Under the wise guidance of his father, Philip would learn how to govern his kingdoms in peace and freedom, the world over.

The schedule concluded with the statement that it would be useless to deceive oneself as to the difficulties of the plan, but just as many difficulties had been surmounted before Ferdinand had been elected King of the Romans. The essential factor was, and would always be, that their Majesties and their children should be united in love and harmony. just now these very qualities were conspicuously absent.

The two monarchs met at Augsburg several weeks before the Diet. The Emperor, who had brought Philip with him, tried to force the initiative on Ferdinand. Ferdinand evaded it. What he already knew of his brother's intentions, together with the removal of his own eldest son to Spain, made him obstinate and distrustful, and hindered his freedom of action. When Arras became insistent and Queen Mary added her entreaties by letter, Ferdinand even demanded that Maximilian be recalled from Spain. Nothing seemed to move him. Charles sent for Mary. She arrived on September 10th but could do nothing with Ferdinand. Maximilian kept his rights: the discussions were called off: the Queen withdrew.

This was Charles's first disappointment. He had imagined that things would be easier. The autumn days dragged drearily on. The Estates made answer on August 20th to the propositions of July 26th. In these Charles had brought forward the council, the Interim and the pacification of the Empire. But the opposition was stronger than it had been two years before. On August 27th Granvelle died, and, as men reported, the Emperor seemed to 'have lost his own soul'. The skilful Bishop of Arras had not his father's prestige. The Schmalkaldic war was not yet wholly quenched: round Bremen the troops of the Counts of Oldenburg and Mansfeld were still active; Magdeburg held out, provoking anger and astonishment from the imperial party. The city was a hot-bed of Protestant discontent, for it maintained itself against the Interim and against the attacks made on it by the surrounding principality. At the Diet no better solution could be suggested than that the Elector Maurice should execute the ban against Magdeburg. Money was to be granted to him which was later to be made good by a special vote in the Estates. The business was accomplished in the end, although not without ill-feeling and protests. In October Charles's troubles were once again aggravated by an attack of gout.

In November he sent the imperial Vice-chancellor, Seld, to speak seriously to the Estates. They gave in, but their distrust of the Spaniards was growing, and they were now learning to couple the black name of the Bishop of Arras with this party. In December they at length agreed, under pressure, that they would send representatives to the council which a new Pope was making ready to reassemble at Trent.

The election of Cardinal del Monte to the Papacy had amazed the world. The imperial party had tried to push the election of the Englishman, Reginald Pole, and had, as Mendoza's dispatches show, very nearly achieved their object. But the French turned the balance in favour of Cardinal del Monte, who became Pope as Julius III and proved, from the beginning, far more favourable to the Emperor than anyone had reason to hope. He sent Pedro de Toledo immediately to the imperial Court as nuncio, and later Pighino, Archbishop of Siponto. In the late summer this latter was already carrying on negotiations in Augsburg. They came to an agreement about the council, although the problem of Parma and Piacenza was still a source of anxiety, for the Farnese family clung to France for help.

Little by little the French government drifted back to its old position of hostility to the Emperor, in Germany, in Italy, at the Vatican, on the Flemish border and in the Mediterranean. They had in their agent, Marillac, an acute observer of all that happened both in the imperial surroundings at Augsburg, and in the Empire at large. Apart from a very occasional miscalculation, he kept the French King well posted of all that passed. The French government had once stood the friend of Chaireddin Barbarossa; it now extended its patronage to another sea-robber, no less bold. This was Dragut, who had himself once been a galley-slave; but he had been enfranchised, had risen to mastery himself, and now plagued the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily in his own ships, a bold and desperate leader. In this very autumn of 1550 on September 10th, the Viceroy Juan de Vega and Andrea Doria had launched a successful attack on his headquarters at Monastir and Mohadia south of Tunis, in the same latitude as Malta. The victories, greeted with wild enthusiasm, were unhappily wiped out in the following year.

Charles was thus again all but overwhelmed with the perennial cares of his immense dominions, when he at last decided to resume the family discussions for the arrangement of the succession. Their progress was hindered by Ferdinand's not unjustifiable desire to acquire Transylvania, which involved him in fresh troubles with the Turks, so that he had to make renewed demands for financial help. Charles saw in this merely an unwelcome diversion of those subsidies, which he had received to quell Magdeburg and his last opponents in the Lower Saxon Circle.

On December 10th Maximilian arrived at Augsburg. On his way from Spain, he had been sought out more than once by French embassies, making him every offer of friendship. At Augsburg he assumed an attitude of reserve towards the Emperor and his plans. He avoided Prince Philip altogether. He and his Austrian party believed in all good faith that they were defending rights which had been their own for many years. And Charles, charming as he could sometimes be, was not the man to smooth away family disagreements with an airy gesture. In the narrow rooms of the great gabled houses of Augsburg, the two groups of the divided family seemed to step warily round and round each other, without coming to an agreement or an issue. In the end they even began to discuss the business by letter rather than by word of mouth, a development which usually betokened the final stage of tension in an argument. Now that the estrangement of the princes was apparent, now that irrevocable words had actually been committed to paper, reconciliation seemed out of the question. The only hope left was that Mary would be able to resolve their differences.

On December 16th Charles wrote to her, a long and despairing letter, concluding with a postscript in his own hand. The very writing was tremulous with sorrow and anxiety. He had not written the body of the letter himself, not so much for fear of tiring his hand, as because the recapitulation of all these quarrels excited his nerves too much. He declared that he was ready to die of vexation. He had not in all his life had to face so much obstinacy, not from the late King of France, nor from the present one, nor from the Conndtable. And the worst of it was, he lamented, that Ferdinand did not appear to take things at all to heart. He hoped, Charles piously added, that God of His mercy would give his brother better thoughts and himself more patience; he besought Mary, if she could not help, at least to comfort him.

Mary answered the appeal by coming in person, and the wrangle began afresh. Like the earlier discussions, it took place in the house of the Fugger family. To crown all, the interminable argument over subsidies to fight the Turk had been tenfold embittered by tension in Württemberg. Ferdinand, as the liege lord of the old Duke Ulrich, had initiated a legal action against him for his part in the Schmalkaldic war. Before the cause could be decided, on November 6th, Duke Ulrich died. Charles himself now stepped forward on behalf of the heir, Duke Christopher, and protested that further occupation of the country was impossible owing to the great expense. Ferdinand was thus once again forced to relinquish Württemberg.

Of all these embittered discussions between the brothers, a little packet of documents has survived: notes, jottings, memoranda, heads of arguments. The greater number are in the hand of Queen Mary or King Ferdinand. The whole matter was argued in the closest secrecy. Try as they might to interpret an occasional hint, an unguarded gesture, neither councillors nor foreign ambassadors ever discovered anything to the point. Even now it is impossible to follow the quarrel through its every phase. We can but trace the main outline, and we know the ultimate result as it was written out by the brothers and sister in their own hands, on March 9th, 1551. In this document Ferdinand agreed that when he was Emperor he would use his influence with the Electors to have Philip made King of the Romans, provided Maximilian was chosen for Philip's successor at the same time. If this last stipulation were to hinder Philip's election, Ferdinand undertook not to press it. In the preliminary negotiations, Ferdinand had displayed a very different attitude, suggesting that the prospect of Maximilian's election must be used to calm the fears of the Electoral College.

Philip in his turn undertook to assist Ferdinand against all enemies and rebels in the hereditary lands, and promised to support him in calming the religious troubles. This might be effected through the council, always supposing it was still sitting. Ferdinand promised, when he was Emperor, to appoint his nephew governor of Italy, in return for a promise that Philip would fulfil his duties conscientiously; he was also to renounce his right of bestowing fiefs of the Empire, and to refrain from disposing of the great fiefs of Mantua, Montferrat, Piedmont, Florence and the imperial fief of Ferrara. After his election as King of the Romans, Philip was to marry a daughter of Ferdinand.

Even Mary realized that Maximilian could hardly be expected to enter into any agreement on these terms, and no written contract was required of him. They contented themselves by asking for his verbal consent, and one of Queen Mary's letters shows that he gave them all the satisfaction which could be expected.

On May 26th Prince Philip took leave of his father to go back to Spain. A popular joke declared that Charles tried to buy the tears of the people for his son's departure by generously distributing Indian gold. At Genoa, Philip met Maximilian who had gone to fetch his bride back to Germany. She, in the meantime, had become the mother of their first child, Anna, who was much later, as the fourth wife of Philip, himself her uncle, to be the mother of his only surviving son and heir.

The Emperor passed the rest of the summer at Augsburg, retiring to Innsbruck only at the end of August. Here he was visited by his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Maximilian, on their return from Spain.

But in the heart of Germany storm was gathering. It broke while Charles was at Innsbruck.


Charles was still at Augsburg when he heard of the success or failure of his first overtures to the German Electors. He had already approached them about the coming imperial election, although the fact itself was in the distant future. Charles had arranged to handle the Rhenish Electors, Ferdinand to canvass Saxony and Brandenburg. Each prince was to act in the name of his brother as well as his own. This was the means by which the German princes and their ministers came to know of the Hapsburg plan. Unhappily things went badly from the beginning. The proper ambassador for the business was Doctor Gienger, but he was ill and Ferdinand could not send him. Instead he worried Charles with so many meticulous inquiries as to whom he was to send instead, that the Emperor imagined that he was again trying to get out of the plan. The trouble was at length smoothed away and they sent Schlick to Joachim and Maurice, the Vicechancellor of the Empire, Seld, to Cologne and Mainz, Veltwyk to the Elector Palatine, and the lord of Lierre to Treves. But whatever the quality and skill of the ambassadors, the result was always the same. Courteously but firmly, the Electors rejected the proposal.

The aged Elector, Frederick of the Palatinate, took the opportunity to pour out a tale of past recollections, boasting to Veltwyk that he had been the great man at the election of Charles and Maximilian. But he did not forget to add his views on the irritation which the Spanish troops had evoked in the Empire, nor on the annoyance which Don Luis d'Avila had caused with his arrogant book about the Schmalkaldic war.

The Electors of Mainz and Treves were already on their way to Trent.

This at least had resulted from Charles's unrelenting obstinacy. The council had been called back to Trent and reopened on May 1st, 1551. Not only the leading German prelates went to it, but Protestant princes and towns sent representatives. On October 22nd the ambassadors of Württemberg arrived, on November 11th the historian of the Reformation, John Sleidan, appeared to represent Strasbourg and a group of other towns. On January 9th the plenipotentiary of the Elector Maurice himself made his appearance.

But what could the participation of a few Protestants achieve at this eleventh hour? The Vatican had loitered too long before applying the salve of a council to the sore; and at the last minute, in spite of Charles's entreaties, the Pope disregarded his intentions. The German Estates sought to satisfy their Emperor's demands, but the sending of delegates to the council, so far from showing that they were ready for reconciliation, was no more than a solemn demonstration of the now established breach.

At the thirteenth session, on October IIth, they confirmed the doctrine concerning the Blessed Sacrament, but at the express wish of the Emperor they postponed the question of communion for young children and of the cup for the laity. Decisions on confession and extreme unction followed. It was in the nature of things impossible to revise the fundamental decretals which had hitherto been issued. The only important move made by the Protestants at Trent was, typically enough -- a protest.

For long enough now the ultimate decision in this religious and political problem had lain with Germany. The Council of Trent was the servant of the Catholic Church and the Counter-Reformation. It was too late to stem the German Reformation. To use his own words, Charles's last hope was gone.

Meanwhile those ecclesiastical regulations which he had issued to establish peace in Germany, exacerbated the opposition. Charles's opponents whetted their anger on them almost daily. Everyone recognized that the Interim was an insufficient halfmeasure. The belief was not confined to theologians and pastors; it was expressed in the halls of the nobility, in the sitting-rooms of burghers, in the countryside among peasants and travellers. The Interim was the object of laughter and scorn, and of every ignominy which men could devise.

The popular mood bred resourcefulness and courage, but it did not bring forth any decision for the future. Opposition was rife in the Lower Saxon Circle, from Bremen to Magdeburg, in all the coastlands from Friesland to Prussia, but there was still nothing to give substance to the theory.

Maurice had agreed to carry out the ban against Magdeburg, if he might subsequently become the patron of the city. His mission gave him the excuse both to raise troops and to stay away from the Diet. To all appearances he was the Emperor's tool, and the opponents of Charles, the Margrave Hans of Küstrin, Duke Albert of Prussia, and Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg, who had formed themselves into a league on February 26th, 1550, regarded him as their chief enemy. They intended to relieve Magdeburg. When Maurice heard that they had begun to recruit in the Bishopric of Verden he set off as early as January, 1551, and with relentless resolution seized all of their troops whom he could use, and scattered the rest. Charles praised him warmly for his promptitude.

As early as February, Hans of Küstrin grasped the essential fact that Maurice, like himself, was fundamentally hostile to imperial policy; in the course of the next few months he realized the immense superiority in arms of this young, malleable and vigorous leader. Acting on broad principles, they entered into alliance. The bait with which Maurice was tempted, was the freeing of his father-in-law the Landgrave of Hesse. This too worked with the Hessian ministers. All alike were agreed in the necessity of throwing off this 'bestial, intolerable and continual servitude, like that of Spain'. Acting without the knowledge of the Landgrave and of his own initiative, Maurice contemplated a French alliance. Of the old anti-imperial league, there remained John Albert of Mecklenburg and Hans of Küstrin. To this nucleus another was soon added, Margrave Albert of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, a boisterous soldier whose name alone spread terror. He once again gave force to the old theory of Protestantism as a war on the landed prelates.

For many years, and more particularly since the attack on Württemberg, nothing had frightened Charles so much as a projected alliance between France and the princes. Their separation in 1543-4 had been the cause of his greatest victories; their alliance might endanger his very life. Even in history there are occasional examples of poetic justice. Such a one now came to pass. The Lochau heath had been the scene of Charles's great victory over John Frederick of Saxony on April 24th, 1547. Here, at the hunting box which was later called Annaburg, early in October 1551, the French King's ambassador Jean de Fresse, Bishop of Bayonne, signed a treaty with the German princes. This treaty brought Charles to his fate.

There is neither space nor necessity to enter into all the details of those negotiations. They were not always easy, for Margrave Hans was meticulous and circumspect, Maurice impulsive and unscrupulous. The Hessians, too, had cause for complaint. 'The Devil', they wrote home, 'has interfered not once but a thousand times.' After a heated scene, the Margrave left on the evening of October 3rd, but Maurice, the Hessian councillors and the Bishop stood fast by their terms.

They agreed that the King of France was to pay 70,000 crowns a month, and 240,000 crowns for the first three months so that troops could be raised. In return for this, the document stated, 'it is thought good that His Majesty of France shall have possession of those towns, which although they have belonged to the Empire for all time, are yet not of German speech. These are Cammerich, Toul in Lorraine, Metz, Verdun, and any others of the same kind. These he shall govern in his right as Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire, to which office we shall use our powers to appoint his majesty. The Empire shall nevertheless maintain whatever jurisdiction it has over those towns'.

There was no question of the bishoprics; even the towns were not to be separated from the Empire but merely ruled over by the King as imperial Vicar. Yet, however the cession was phrased, it was a sacrifice of imperial land. The princes saw no other means of carrying on the war without which they despaired of reaching their goal, and so fell back on the dangerous expedient of ceding to the French policy of expansion.

The strategic plan which underlay this alliance with Henry II was that of severing Charles's connection with the Netherlands, and forming themselves a united front down the Rhine; this would give them the inner lines, and a defensive position from which they would be more able to attack the Emperor. 'We will march on the Emperor himself', they agreed.

After they had signed their treaty at Lochau, the princes issued an apologia in which they revealed not only the strategic base of their political alliance with France, but indicated that the originator of the scheme was Maurice of Saxony. In this manifesto, the German princes issued a challenge. 'For important reasons', they wrote, 'we hold it for right and proper, nay we advise and do most sincerely entreat that His Majesty in his own person and with a great following should come to meet us. In the last resort our two armies must fight each other, calling on God to decide between us. The cup must be drunk to the dregs ere it can be flung down.'

By the treaty of Chambord, on July 15th, 1552, the French King ratified the decisions of Lochau. The King of France issued a manifesto on February 3rd. The document was published at Fontainebleau, but it had been printed at Marburg in Hesse. On February 14th, Maurice and William of Hesse completed their military plans at Friedewalde in Hesse. While William was executing these, he wrote to his brother-in-law Maurice on March 15th, saying that he had just received news direct from the French King. Henry calculated that he would be at Toul on the 20th. 'Thence', wrote William, 'he intends to march at once for the Rhine, in so far as the towns of Metz, Toul and Verdun throw no obstacles in His Majesty's way.' The towns were thus considered not as goals in themselves, but as mere obstacles on the way to the Rhine.

Henry himself had indeed expressed a different opinion when he declared that he 'had enough to do in Italy and the Netherlands'. But he came to the Rhine in response to the entreaties of the German princes, and it was then that he recognized the importance of the Lorraine bishoprics as stepping-stones. He occupied each of them in turn, by intimidation or treachery, swiftly and almost without loss.

But what was the Emperor doing to defend himself?

Charles at first refused to listen to all rumours of a movement against him. With an overconfidence, compact of self-will and contempt for the princes, he smilingly waved aside the warnings of his more observant brother and sister. As early as the beginning of October, when the princes were holding their meetings with the Bishop of Bayonne in the hunting box on the Lochau heath, Mary wrote to warn Charles that something was afoot between Maurice, the young Landgrave of Hesse and the King of France. Ferdinand and Christopher of Württemberg warned him by letter and by their ambassadors. But Charles was confident in his contempt for the elder generation of German princes, whose conduct had indeed given him cause enough for despising them for the whole of the last decade. He was confident, too, in what he took to be the devoted loyalty of the younger princes. Here, too, his view was supported by some, at least, of the facts, for the princes of the Brandenburg dynasty did one by one drift back to his side. He asked Maurice to come and talk matters over with him. And Charles really thought that Maurice would accept the offer. So trusting was he of the Elector's loyalty.

Maurice, meanwhile, had long been in possession of Magdeburg, but for specious reasons he still continued to keep on foot the army which had been originally raised to reduce the city in Charles's name. By November 17th, 1551, he had completed his negotiations with the German princes and the French King, and issued one last appeal to the Emperor on behalf of his father-in-law, the Landgrave Philip. Fate offered Charles one last opportunity. He rejected it.

On February 25th, Maurice's ambassadors excused their master for not coming to see the Emperor, on the grounds that the journey was dangerous, and repeated the request for Philip's release. Charles answered on March 4th that if Maurice would come, everything could be arranged. On March 17th Maurice again excused himself.

Gradually rumours took shape, facts emerged. Early in March the Elector of Mainz appealed to Queen Mary for help against the Hessians. But the warring princes did not march to the Rhine; they left the King of France, precariously perched, to keep watch on that. Turning away from Mainz, they headed southwards. In the second half of March matters moved speedily to an issue. On April 1st the princes were at Augsburg; on the 4th they entered the town. Ulm closed its gates. Now the army headed for Tyrol. At the eleventh hour, on April 6th, Charles tried to escape to the Netherlands. The Rhine was blocked by the French King. He fell back to Innsbruck, still apparently unable to grasp the fact that the rebellion was directed in bitter earnest against his own person.

Then the advance stopped. Maurice offered to treat.


As early as March 3rd Charles had sent one of his leading courtiers, Joachim de Rye, lord of Balançon, a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, to his brother Ferdinand with an instruction which the Bishop of Arras had drawn up. In face of the growing rumours of insurrection in Germany he asked for advice and help. He did not feel that he should allow the Margrave Albert's obvious designs on Würzburg and Bamberg to deceive him as to the more general purport of the rebellion. Bewildered, he was sure that it must have more adherents than the princes alone, for the burghers of Augsburg had not been willing to give him financial help. He implored Ferdinand to listen to no councillors who sought to divert his attentions to the Turkish menace; the insurrection in Germany was far more grave, for unless it could be stilled all hope of raising subsidies for war on the Turk would vanish. Money and troops could not be had; Charles implored Ferdinand to use every means at his disposal to persuade the rebels to peace. If Maurice and Albert complained of the Interim and the imperial attitude to religion, Charles advised Ferdinand to reply by reminding them of the benefits which they had received from the Emperor, and by pointing out how unreliable the French alliance had proved to the Duke of Cleves. He might also enlarge on the moderation with which Charles had always acted in the religious question. No one knew better than Ferdinand how little Charles contemplated so gross a violation of the Golden Bull as the establishment of a hereditary right to the imperial throne; still less did the Emperor contemplate any infringement of the German Liberties. As for the occasional extension of his own lands, Charles justified his every act: he had but asserted his own undeniable rights in Gelderland, he had often explained the engrossment of Utrecht, and he had paid a high price for Lingen. Charles went on to suggest that the Margrave Albert, a bankrupt at best, could be bought off. As for Maurice's complaints of the imprisonment of the Landgrave, they were wholly unjustified. The Landgrave was a man who could not but make further trouble if he were set free. Moreover, Charles added, had he not offered to discuss this very point with Maurice personally?

More intricate than this open instruction was the secret instruction which Charles sent with it. The secret instruction was based on a private fear that Ferdinand, who had never yet expressed the least sympathy for his brother in his present predicament, might himself be in some secret understanding with the rebels. Balançon was told to use his eyes, and if he saw the slightest indication of any such understanding, to urge Ferdinand most seriously to consider the absolute necessity of standing shoulder to shoulder with the Emperor. They were brothers and bound to one another: Ferdinand was making a grave error if he thought he could count on other people. Charles was not alone threatened; Ferdinand's position in the Empire, his right to the imperial throne were themselves at stake. Balançon was not to stop with Ferdinand, He was to seek out Maximilian and point out to him, too, how much this alliance between Maurice, the 'King of Saxony' and the French, threatened his own position. Maximilian might save the situation by intervening personally as a mediator, and thus win to himself great honour and reputation.

In spite of Ferdinand's growing discontent, Charles was unjustified in his suspicions. Far from betraying him, Ferdinand had written to Maurice on March 4th admonishing him to peace, and had later sent off the Chancellor of Bohemia, Heinrich Reuss von Plauen, to see him. On March 16th this latter joined Maurice at Leipzig and was able to arrange a conference at Linz for April 4th.

Maurice agreed to the meeting, but twice later asked for a postponement. With astonishing skill, he continued to play off each of the parties against the other. Having thoughtfully extracted a document from his Hessian allies, he displayed this shamelessly at Vienna, pretending to regret that his allies 'had gone somewhat too far with foreign princes'. But he contrived to maintain his reputation among his allies by his apparent reserve in dealing with Ferdinand's overtures, as well as by his subsequent actions.

On March 11th and 22nd the Emperor gave Balançon yet more instructions for the coming negotiations. Charles was ready to concede the release of the Landgrave, although only after the troops had been disbanded for a fortnight, and a guarantee given that they should not join the King of France. The religious settlement was to be that laid down in the last Diet. Charles added that no consideration in the world would induce him to act contrary to his conscience and duty. The whole instruction, down to the last details, filled a thick pamphlet.

Queen Mary now intervened from the Netherlands, sending her advice, together with a glowing appeal to King Ferdinand's loyalty. ' By God, Monseigneur', she wrote on April 9th, 'let bygones be bygones. I beseech you, Monseigneur, let your brother's troubles speak more eloquently to you than my words. Do not forget that His Majesty has never hesitated to come to your help whatever his own weakness. I implore you, Monseigneur, yet again and with all the strength I have, make haste to his help.'

Ferdinand indignantly repudiated the hints of his brother and sister against his own loyalty. The truth was that neither his present position nor his character, in this so unlike that of Charles, enabled him to attempt the impossible. Yet he did not neglect all obvious and reasonable steps to help his brother during the next months. He came to Linz from Pressburg, by way of Vienna, and on the way he sent his brother some more advice, this time for handling the Elector of Brandenburg and Hans of Kastrin. He also urged him to release John Frederick of Saxony. All this proves that although Ferdinand did not abandon his ancient alliance with his neighbour Maurice, he was busily trying to guarantee himself against him for the future.

On Easter Tuesday, April 19th, the negotiations opened at Linz. Ferdinand and his sons, the Elector Maurice, the Duke of Bavaria and the Bishop of Passau were all present. Charles's representatives were Rye and Lazarus von Schwendi. Maurice as usual stayed in the background, pushed his allies and the French into the foremost place, and amused himself by assuming, with more success than usual, his favourite role of mediator. He ingeniously suggested new demands to his own allies, so that, while apparently playing a moderate part himself, he would be sure of getting what he could out of the negotiations. In this way, demands which had begun modestly enough, were gradually heightened. Ferdinand did not feel that he could yield in Charles's name to all that the allies asked for the French King, for religion, for imperial government. Maurice, however, soon began to feel a sense of isolation, and asked for a larger meeting, in which lie hoped to gain more support. Charles was nothing loath; he was playing for time. After some correspondence had been exchanged between Linz and Innsbruck, a second meeting was fixed at Passau for May 26th. The assistance of the princes of southern and western Germany was called in.

Maurice had realized that the conditions under which Charles was prepared to release the Landgrave Philip could not be fulfilled. His allies would never agree to disband their army before it had gained any serious victory. Moreover the only guarantee which Charles would give in the religious question was that a Diet should decide 'by what peaceful means the schism in religion might be healed'. This was to give an easy victory to the Catholic majority in the Diet. It was no guarantee at all. The preliminaries signed at Linz on May 6th had not in fact advanced the argument in the slightest. Perhaps that was inevitable. The main thing was that both parties had gained time.

Maurice had not spent those two weeks in negotiations alone. No truce prevented him from carrying out his military plans, and he had been busily making all ready for his march on Innsbruck. He had also sent an embassy to the French King to secure his participation in the negotiations at Passau. He postponed the armistice.

It was strange in the circumstances that he should have sent that embassy to France about the Passau meeting, for this must surely have endangered the payment of any more subsidies from that direction; if he were to invade Tyrol he had sore need of the money. He does not seem to have thought the matter out, or if he did, the subtleties of his policy elude us. He may have decided that the real issue was to be tried at Passau, and that the neutral powers would help him, the Rhinelanders for instance, who feared the French. But he could not hope to eradicate all fear of the Emperor in Germany, nor to check the violence of the Emperor's soldiers, unless he put him altogether out of action.

The risk he took was immense. Apart from the greater resources of Charles, he had yet another lever with which to put pressure on Maurice -- the deposed Elector of Saxony. Maurice had to feel his way cautiously, step by step, between his ally France, whom he was double-crossing, and the Hapsburg princes, with whom he would have to reckon for a long time to come. His actions cannot all be explained on rational grounds. It is idle to attempt an explanation for every important decision in history, particularly in dealing with so complex a nature as Maurice. The logical explanation is not always the historic explanation. Yet the mainspring of Maurice's actions is sufficiently clear. Charles had made a firm stand at Linz, and it was accordingly necessary for Maurice to gain some visible success in order to strengthen his own position, and impress the weaker Estates. He therefore sent word to Margrave Albert to attack Nuremberg in May, and to enforce on Bamberg and Warzburg those notorious treaties by which the former disgorged 80,000 Gulden and let him occupy twenty villages, and the latter paid 220,000 Gulden. Maurice himself, with the rest of the army, turned across upper Swabia towards Fassen. Near Reutte they drove the imperial troops back into the gorges of Ehrenberg, surrounded and forced them to surrender. This was on May 19th. On the 23rd they entered Innsbruck.

The unprotected Court had fled over the Brenner. The Emperor marched from Eisack into the valley of the Rienz, thence over the watershed of Innichen into the valley of the Drave. On the 24th he was at Lienz, on the 27th at Villach, where he could turn either by way of Pontebba into Italy, or eastwards across Carniola into Styria. Bitter indeed to the aged Emperor, bred in all the traditions of chivalry and sovereignty, was this ignominious flight before his victorious enemies. But, as so often before in that long career, he collected his strength in this dark hour and took courage in remembering how great were still his resources. Letters and embassies went out over all Europe. Peace was made in Italy; 200,000 ducats came in from Naples; Anton Fugger, who accompanied the Court, offered 400,000 ducats and persuaded the Genoese to hold up their demands for repayment.

The preparations for war which had not been completed were now set on foot once again. Margrave Hans of Küstrin was still at Maurice's side, but he had received a visit from the imperial field-marshal Hans Böcklin, the father-in-law of Schwendi. Hans was already out of sympathy with Maurice, whom his allies were beginning to call the 'Kinglet'. Had Charles but taken the occasion which offered and made certain religious concessions, he could have forged a knife to strike Maurice in the back. Hans was indignant at the manifesto issued by the leaders of Maurice's party, above all by the French. 'The devil may trust in you, for I shall not,' he scribbled in the margin. He asserted that the princes 'cared nothing for religion and still less for the word of God'. His own wishes coincided with the Emperor's overtures. He set about a formal negotiation for an imperial pension. Meanwhile, Ferdinand, too, was arming. Spanish and Italian troops were to come across the Alps. The Duke of Alva had been sent for from Spain.

Did the Emperor wish to strike once again and prevent the meeting at Passau? Such an act would have been neither in his own, nor in Ferdinand's, interest. Charles still regarded the French, not the princes, as his chief enemy. But he had to be stronger before he could attack them. By his long delay he was, as much as anything, gaining time, and thereby freedom of action, for himself at Passau.

Once again the curtain goes up on one of the great scenes of history.

Maurice of Saxony was great enough for the gigantic task awaiting him at Passau, and the Emperor was not unequal to his rival. Charles sent off on June 4th, a personal letter to Ferdinand and full instructions for Rye. The Vice-chancellor, Seld, was sent to help the latter. Charles still reserved all final decisions for his personal consideration. His chief point was that the demobilization of the army should precede the release of the Landgrave by a full fortnight, that the princes should repudiate the intervention of the French, and that the religious and political question should be referred to a Diet. Time was on Charles's side.

Maurice's action now underwent a significant change. He stepped forward openly as the champion of the most urgent demands of his allies. He defended the claims of the Landgrave and the French, refused to yield over the demobilization of the army, and voiced the general complaints of the princes in questions of political and religious liberty. This step converted him from a mere ambitious dilettante into an historic figure. He it was who, standing forth at Passau, gave the final form to the Reformation settlement. He it was who laid down the preliminaries, which were to be permanently enshrined three years later in the Peace of Augsburg.

With many a melancholy shake of the head, Ferdinand objected to the coming of a French ambassador. But when he came he let the Estates hear him. This proved the best solution in the end, for as soon as Jean de Fresse had spoken, he withdrew from Passau of his own free will. The French Bishop, with his long thin pointed nose, had awakened little sympathy among the princes. After he left, the French question presented few further difficulties. As in 1544, the princes almost unanimously abandoned the French alliance.

The release of the Landgrave was a knottier problem. Many suggestions were made in opposition to the fourteen day limit for demobilization laid down by Charles. Maurice and the princes persisted in their demand that the release and the demobilization take place simultaneously.

Maurice insisted, meanwhile, that neither a Diet nor a council were of any avail in solving the religious question, because the majority in them was always Catholic. Maurice went back to the solution which had been suggested in 1525 -- a national gathering. If this gathering, too, proved incompetent to arrange a settlement, then Maurice demanded an 'outright, unconditional and perpetual peace'. Further discussion was put off to the coming Diet, but at Passau they reached the firm resolution that a definite peace must be made. As for the goods of the clergy, Maurice was ready to guarantee their property, so long as this referred only to the property they still possessed. By insisting on this Maurice all but wrecked the whole conference, but at length he allowed himself to be satisfied with a private promise from the King.

The neutral Estates, on the other hand, were unanimous on the political question. There was some hesitation about granting indemnity to all those who had participated in the last war, but there was no serious difference of opinion.

At the very end there was one more painful shock. Like the Emperor, the war-lords had withheld their final decision. Maurice did not make this clear until June 22nd, and then Ferdinand was forced to agree. The Elector left on the 24th to get the consent of his fellows in arms. In the interim he agreed to a truce. Secretly, Maurice had taken the precaution of asking Ferdinand to ask the Emperor not to liberate the deposed Elector of Saxony. It was a useless request for the old man had been freed some time before. He now followed in the imperial train of his own will.

The worst was yet to come. So far neither the Emperor nor Maurice's allies had recognized the terms.

Maurice made haste to the camp of his friends at Eichstätt. Margrave Albert burst out into one of his usual noisy rages and refused to listen to the terms. The Landgrave William of Hesse, though less noisy, was equally unreasonable, and Maurice had to waste time talking him over. John Albert of Mecklenburg wanted the French to be included. Maurice had therefore to make some reservations to the terms, although he felt that on the whole they would be accepted. On July 3rd Maurice returned to Passau to meet Ferdinand. He was told that Charles had unconditionally rejected the terms. Maurice was incensed, both in appearance and in fact. Charles's refusal did no good. The neutrals almost to a man sympathized with Maurice.

Ferdinand was in despair. Maurice had promised to help him against the Turks when the initial problem was settled, and the peril in that quarter grew from day to day. On the evening of the 8th Ferdinand hastened to Villach, and there implored Charles to give in. But to his brother's tears the Emperor opposed the strength of his unshaken convictions. Ferdinand might stand to lose his present and future safety: Charles stood to lose his immortal soul. In some points Charles was prepared to give in, but not in religion, and not over the government of the Empire. He would grant the Protestants unconditional peace only until the Diet met, and he reserved his judgment on the complaints made against imperial rule. The princes had no right to meddle in such matters. Ferdinand could do no more. In the pouring rain he took leave of his brother, to hurry across the hundred and twenty miles which divided him from Passau.

The onus of decision rested once again on Maurice and the war-lords. In the meantime they had been re-establishing their reputation in Germany by laying siege to Frankfort, garrisoned by the imperialists. To this town, therefore, on July 16th and 17th came the ambassadors of Ferdinand and the Estates.

The question was, would the princes accept the treaty now that Charles had taken the heart out of it? The princes had not been successful at Frankfort and their efforts to raise guns and ammunition in the neighbourhood had made them anything but popular. Yet at first the Landgrave William rejected the new terms. Later, however, he began to ask himself what was likely to become of his imprisoned father if he persisted in his refusal. Angry and disillusioned, Maurice nevertheless thought it better to accept. He had already severed his connection with France beyond recall, and engaged himself too far with the Hapsburg dynasty. In the meantime the Emperor was in arms and might at any moment unleash the deposed Elector to harry him. Maurice managed to talk over the young Landgrave. The others could be disregarded. On August 2nd Maurice and William gave their consent. On the 3rd Maurice struck the camp. The soldiers protested. Maurice incontinently had it set on fire. He himself marched southwards to join in the campaign against the Turks.

Now it was Charles's turn to have doubts. Only a minority of the rebels had accepted the terms, and dangers were still in the air. Ferdinand once more used all his persuasions on his brother, and this time not in vain. Charles ratified the treaty in the form in which Maurice and the Landgrave had accepted it at Munich on August 15th.


Absorbed in the great decisions which were being made in Germany, we have been forced to overlook events which were happening farther afield. Charles's relations with Pope Julius III remained good; they even contemplated an alliance. It was true that Charles thought it wisest not to attend the council, close at hand though it was, lest any should think that he was exerting an undue influence. And for the rest he considered the council totally ineffective. At the news that the army was marching on Trent, the delegates scattered. Charles did not live to see them meet again.

The struggle for Parma and Piacenza still played an important part in the relations of Pope and Emperor. The old alliance between the Farnese and Henry II of France was still in force. But the Pope deprived Ottavio of all his rights over the fief of Parma on May 22nd, 1551, and thus became involved in a war with him. Julius relied on Charles to help him. Both combatants suffered from lack of funds, and in the winter of 1551-2 the Pope was willing enough to have peace with Ottavio and the French government. On April 29th peace was concluded, and Charles joined in the treaty on May 10th. But all the efforts of Julius to make a general peace between the King of France and the Emperor came to nothing. Henry II fulfilled his obligations under the treaty of Chambord, marched on the Rhine and made himself fast in the episcopal cities of Lorraine; the pirate Dragut appeared before Naples, acting in conjunction with the French ambassador Aramont; Ferdinand was dragged into another Turkish war in defence of Hungary and Transylvania. To fill Charles's bitter cup to the brim, the Sienese, with French help, drove out the imperial garrison. Henry II took over the patronage of the town, acting through Cardinal d'Este, before the Viceroy of Naples had yet made up his mind to traverse the papal states and come to the rescue.

Charles was once again at war with France on every front. Even on the Flemish border the usual hostilities had broken out. Round Hesdin, Thérouanne, Renty, troops marched and countermarched. At Luxembourg, Yvoy, Damvillers and Montmédy trouble was rife.

For the future history of Europe by far the most important event was Henry II's seizure of Metz. This town, like nearly all the great episcopal cities of Germany, was proud to call itself a free city, but a free city of the Empire. It carried the imperial eagle in its coat of arms. The government of the city had long been narrowly aristocratic, confined to the few so-called 'Paraige' families. These great patricians had their magnificent, if middleclass, houses in the town -- such as the Hôtel St. Livier which stands to-day -- and their lordships and lands in the country round about. But in religion even these families were divided. One of the oldest families of all, the Heu, were half Protestant, half Catholic. The Protestants, no less than their opponent the Catholic imperial Bishop, Cardinal Lenoncourt, were anxious for their town to continue a part of the Empire. But conversely, the Bishop, like most of the Paraige families, was in sympathy with France. With such divisions in cultural, religious and political interests, the people of Metz set great store by their neutrality, in particular in all quarrels concerning the Netherlands. The Netherlands lay very close indeed to the lands of Metz; in those days it must not be forgotten that the Netherlands included the bulwark of Luxembourg, stretching as far to the south of Thionville as the village of Marange. As early as 1543 Charles had sent one of his ministers from the Low Countries, Boisot, to Metz to warn the burghers against Protestant tendencies, and to remind them of their duties to the Empire. In the Empire, Charles included the Netherlands. But now the territorial aggression of France had all but reached Metz from the south, spreading out across that divided frontier district, honeycombed with greater and lesser principalities, spiritual and temporal. When the French government claimed the lordship of Goin and the abbey of Gorze, its policy had brought it to the very gates of Metz. In April 1552 the Connétable of France marched across Lorraine, making himself master there in despite of the widowed Duchess Christina. The imperial garrison at Gorze resisted; he bombarded the place with his artillery, forced a surrender, marched in and slaughtered the garrison.

The decisive moment was yet to come. Marching on, the Connétable asked the terrified city of Metz to give quarters to his army of 38,000 men in the surrounding country, and to allow him and his suite to lodge within their walls. They agreed, but Montmorency marched in with 1500 of his best troops, instead of a handful of servants. This was a flat abuse of confidence and an exploitation of the city's weakness. The people would have done better to close their gates, as the burghers of Strasbourg had done. They had trusted to their neutrality and had not even armed themselves. Now it was too late. The garrison did not again leave the town. Shortly after the King himself followed in the wake of his army and appointed the Duke of Guise governor. Guise lost no time in converting the town into a fortress of considerable pretensions.

The town had long outgrown its walls, and Guise now made use of these, together with the suburbs which stretched out across the neighbouring high ground, to construct a modern fortress. His actions were characterized by barbarous ruthlessness, but he followed out an old French tradition in disguising his procedure under legal forms. He pulled down all the suburbs, more especially those which later became Montigny and Sablon, the districts where the celebrated abbeys of St. Arnulf, St. Symphorian, St. Peter, and St. Clement lay in the open country-side. At the ancient monastery of St. Arnulf, Charlemagne's wife, Hildegard, lay buried, with his son Lewis the Pious and fifteen other members of his dynasty. These were carried away to be buried with great pomp in the new monastery of St. Arnulf within the city. Guise thus contrived to flatter the pride of the citizens and divert their attention.

The inner citadel was strengthened, as the outlying houses were razed. All the buildings which had sprung up against or near the walls were destroyed; the fortifications were completed and modernized, and stores of building materials, with wood, planks, sacks and poles were laid in. Queen Mary heard of all these things through her generals and spies. Later, when she gave advice to Charles, she relied much on this foreknowledge.

The Emperor meanwhile had marched as far as Strasbourg. On his way he had gone through Munich, Augsburg and Ulm, and traversed Alsace, showing himself everywhere friendly, gracious and grateful for the loyalty of his people. In Lower Alsace he was joined by fresh troops, and he was now hesitating, wondering what step to take next. Years before, in the late summer of 1541, he had insisted on attacking Algiers although the season was too far advanced, because he had not been able to face disbanding his great armaments unused. So at this time he felt impelled to deliver a counter-attack, however late the season, against those who had struck so shrewd a blow at him.

From Weissenburg, on September 23rd, he wrote to the Queen. The letter, which has but recently come to light, gives a clear picture of his situation. Charles thanked her for her answer to his previous questions. He had heard in the meantime from Count Egmont, who was commanding the army in Luxembourg, that the Margrave Albert, who had been harrying the Rhenish bishoprics, Treves in particular, for some months past, had now marched on Metz. He took this to be the decisive moment in the campaign. The great question which he was asking himself, and which he now laid before his sister, was whether or not he should pursue the Margrave. Metz was a town of immense importance to the French, and he might try to take it 'by sapping and storm. From this city they (the French) will have a clear road to the Rhine and so will be able to cut off my communications from south Germany to the Netherlands, besides which they can threaten Thionville and the whole province of Luxembourg. From Metz, too, they can tamper with the communications between the Netherlands and Franche Comté. Their fortifications cannot yet be finished so that we might have good hope of taking the town'.

In marching on Metz, Charles was considering above all the interests of his dynastic lands -- south Germany, Franche Comté, the Netherlands.

On September 28th Mary decisively dissuaded any attack on Metz. She very sensibly proposed that the troops should go into winter quarters in Treves and Lorraine, while the campaign was postponed until the coming spring. Charles would not listen to her advice. He preferred that of his own chief military adviser, the Duke of Alva, who had hastened from Spain to join him. Fatal decision! Alva was strengthened in his scheme for attacking Metz by a new and unexpected incident.

Charles had marched out to meet the last enemies who were still in arms against him. The treaty concluded at Passau left only the Margrave Albert Alcibiades and the King of France. The Margrave Albert Alcibiades and his army were to the immediate military situation as Metz was to the political future: both blocked Charles's communications from south to north, both threatened Luxembourg.

What a victory would it not be, if Charles could turn this dangerous enemy, the Margrave, into a political friend! The power of Charles's opponents would thus be halved, his own doubled. This was the tempting prospect which now opened before the Duke of Alva. By October 8th certain offers had been made to him through an intermediary, the Duke of NassauSaarbracken. On October 15th Alva sent Arras to urge the Emperor to conciliate the Margrave. It would have been rash indeed to march on Metz with Albert Alcibiades ready to fall on his flank, and it would have been difficult to arrange for forces in the Netherlands or the great bishoprics to keep watch on him. But, so Alva thought -- if the Margrave could but be won over -Charles might gain a peace from France on terms more favourable 'than ever prince was granted up to this present'.

The Margrave set his price very high. He demanded that the notorious treaties which he had forced on Würzburg and Bamberg in May should be confirmed. Charles had of course previously cancelled them. The Emperor could not conceal from himself that to grant such a confirmation would be to fail in his duty and perhaps to commit a grave political error. But he may well have calculated that if he could prevent the Margrave from doing any more harm at the moment, he could deal with his pretensions effectively after the reduction of Metz, and his own final victory. In any case he gave in to the temptation, and on October 24th confirmed the treaty. On November 10th Schwendi brought his negotiations with the Margrave to a successful conclusion; Albert Alcibiades marched over to the imperial side with 15,000 men.

The Emperor was not comfortable about it. He had to exercise some self control, and force himself to give the Margrave his hand at their first meeting. His conscience gave him little rest. In a moving letter to Queen Mary on November 13th, he poured out his troubles. 'We were all very much discouraged', he said, 'even the Duke of Alva who was always in favour of making every effort for an understanding. I gave in because I saw that the only alternative was to disband my army, which would have meant that all my expense had been in vain. May God send a blessing on us. If we fail now it will be serious indeed.' Alva meanwhile had spoken to Bassompierre, the French governor of Lorraine, and had derived the impression that, after the capture of the Duke of Aumâle by the Margrave, the French were inclined to peace. 'God knows', Charles went on, 'what thoughts go through my head since I was forced into this agreement with the Margrave, but needs must when the devil drives, necessité n'a point de loi.'

And so the Emperor advanced on Metz. The Margrave remained on the left bank of the Moselle, acting as a loose auxiliary force. The imperial army was in the south-east and the troops of the Duke of Egmont, de Boussu and others in the northeast.

On its narrow tongue of land, protected by steep banks, between the rivers Moselle and Seille, Metz was a fortress not difficult to defend. It was not easy to storm it from the north and west, across the broad arm of the Moselle, nor from the east up the steep banks of the Sille. A reconnoitring party attempted to attack it on the side of the Porte Sainte-Barbe, but this too was found to be impracticable. The army from the Netherlands therefore camped on the right banks of the Seille and Moselle, at St. Julien. The main army crossed the Seille by the bridge at Magny and tried to attack Metz from the flat ground in the south. The fortifications in this quarter, stretching from the high corner which was later to be the citadel, across the Moselle and down to the so-called Deutsche Tor on the Seille, were relatively weak. But the Duke of Guise had long devoted himself to them, placed his own lodging in this part of the town, and given a good example to his workmen by himself wielding pick and shovel among them. The outworks of the fortifications stretched well beyond the walls, so that it was long before Charles's men were in close range of the walls. For weeks the fighting was mostly in the exposed country round about.

The imperialists tried to reach the fortifications by digging parallel saps, under cover of a bombardment from their wellentrenched batteries. On November 20th, a cold, clear day, Charles himself, who had been held back by illness at Thionville, at length joined his troops. Mounted on a white palfrey, he reviewed the army. He could be clearly distinguished from the town, where the besieged garrison kept a careful diary of each day's events. The last stage of the siege was now at hand. On November 23rd Charles directed all his guns on that part of the wall just west of the Porte Champenoise. On the 24th his thirtysix cannon fired no less than 1448 shots into the town -- or so the besieged calculated. They even recognized in the artillery the workmanship of Juan Manrique.

But Charles was still unsuccessful. Twenty feet of the corner bulwark of the Tour d'Enfer collapsed because a cannon ball hit it at its weakest point, the chimney. Great parts of the city wall were shattered and the Emperor's men rushed on the breaches with loud cries. But as soon as the dust and smoke cleared they saw that behind the broken ramparts was an inner wall, stronger than the outer and newly built.

The weather was bad, with rain, snow and bitter cold. The soldiers who came from the south suffered all the more terribly because their quarters in the ruined suburbs were miserable indeed. The besieged had comfortable lodgings and plenty to eat within the town, for all useless mouths had been ruthlessly expelled.

For the first half of December the imperialists did not slacken in their efforts to storm the shattered walls. In vain. Only one alternative presented itself. The defences could be mined. Here and there the besieging army was fairly close to the walls. Underneath the Tour d'Enfer the besieged could already hear that faint ominous tapping which is so familiar to every man who has attempted to counter-mine in a war of sieges. But although mine and counter-mine were laid, the town did not fall.

The Duke of Guise did not confine his defence to mere military technicalities. He was a magnificent leader in the moral sense. He encouraged and organized his men. But the weather, too, was his ally. On Charles's side every heart was sinking. Charles himself was lodged at the castle of La Horgne, the remains of which are to this day used as a farm-house. He was anxious about the condition of the Netherlands, and as, unhappily, there was no shortage in his diet, his health was plaguing him as usual. The damp, cold and continual exertions increased his ailments. His highly educated chamberlain, van Male, complained bitterly in a letter to de Praet. Charles's doctors, he said, were hopelessly weak-minded, Queen Mary spoiled him, and he himself was so uncontrolled that even in the early morning he would be quaffing iced beer. He himself had often argued with him, telling him that men of the hardiest constitutions could not digest the stuff, but all to no avail.

Gradually at Charles's headquarters all hope of success vanished. 'The Emperor is thinking of abandoning everything and going back to Spain,' wrote the Bishop of Arras to Queen Mary on December 17th. But on Christmas Day there seemed to be a ray of hope. 'So often the Emperor has had strokes of luck in his moments of worst danger, and when they were least expected. God grant it now.'

The miracle did not happen. Instead depression and mutiny spread in the imperial forces. They cried out on the Duke of Alva who had led them to this hopeless and murderous siege. Charles, as always, remained resigned and calm, but saw in the early days of January 1553, that he must raise the siege. He struck camp without further trouble. He himself remained at Thionville until January 13th. On February 6th he was again in Brussels.


At Innsbruck the storm had first broken over Charles. At Metz it overwhelmed him. He had with difficulty recovered from the shock of his flight from Innsbruck. He could not recover from the shock of his defeat at Metz. Once again the traditional policy of Burgundy, the seizure of Lorraine, had failed. Charles V had failed before Metz, like his ancestor Charles the Bold, before Nancy. Imperial policy collapsed. The Emperor even lost confidence in himself. It was as though Heaven had deserted him. When he signed the Treaty of Passau he had already felt that, in certain individual matters, both spiritual and temporal, he had gone further than he should in granting concessions. The confirmation of the Margrave's treaty with Bamberg and Würzburg, which he had previously annulled, robbed him of his rest. During the next months he went so far as to dictate to the Vicechancellor, Seld, his revocation of the treaties of Metz and Passau. The document in which he did this reflects his own views of the events of the year 1552.

Charles began with the statement that he already knew of the private understanding between Maurice, Albert and France at the time of their siege of Magdeburg in 1551. But, the Emperor continued, although he had faced rebellion before, he had never faced so much deceit. The princes had hitherto suited their words to their deeds. As things went on Charles heard more of Maurice's complaints about the Landgrave's imprisonment, about religion and the council, although 'many people said that for the Duke's own person neither religion was of any importance. We for our part were only furthering the council so as to restore unity to our beloved Christian faith'.

The document goes on to explain that Maurice offered to come to see Charles, but then gave up the visit for a trivial excuse. Instead he recruited troops and published the most inflammatory manifestos. Negotiations at Linz and Passau followed, while, in spite of the truce, Maurice invaded Tyrol, and plundered the imperial baggage. The French attacked at the same time and the Turks advanced, boasting that they had an understanding with the French.

Maurice did not make it clear until he had been at Passau for some time that he was not acting for all the rebels. Charles had been compelled to accept the treaty because of the urgent entreaty of King Ferdinand, himself threatened by the Turks, and of the loyal Estates, 'who showed themselves lacking in courage and hope'. He had, however, excepted two clauses which affected his conscience and his rights as a sovereign, 'thereupon Duke Maurice, for his part agreed to disband all his troops or to let them join the King our brother'. But at an outside estimate, Charles continued, not more than half had joined the King. The rest stayed 'with the Margrave, who with their help horribly wasted the bishoprics of Mainz, Treves and Speyer'. Others joined the French or the gentry of Brunswick. In such circumstances it would have been only reasonable not to have importuned the Emperor at Passau for indemnity for all these.

On his way to Metz, Charles went on, he had news that the Margrave was threatening the peaceful Estates of the Empire, and this left him no choice save to negotiate with him. It was the lesser of two evils.

The treaties of Passau and Metz were a tissue of injustices which only force had compelled him to accept. He hoped now with the help of the imperial Estates to make all these things good again. But should he die first, or should he achieve nothing in his deliberations with the Estates, then, he continued, 'we wish once again to ratify and confirm anything in the above-mentioned treaties which may reasonably and justly be confirmed, our own interests and the interests of our posterity notwithstanding. But apart from these clauses, we hereby protest and declare before God and all the world, that whatever there may be in either of these treaties against God, against justice, against the decrees and laws of the Holy Roman Empire or of ourselves, and against common justice, was got from us by force and the machinations of the wicked and shall be utterly cancelled, withdrawn and wiped out'.

At Ferdinand's request this proclamation was never published. It bears no date. Rumours circulated at the imperial Court that Charles intended to annul the Treaty of Passau, but on December 29th, 1553, Ferdinand reaffirmed his own part therein, and hinted that he expected some further recognition for the part he had played and the sacrifices he had made. He added the traditional postscript to his letter: 'God knows I have no other desire save to serve Your Majesty in all obedience.' Yet Charles himself came very near to publishing his renunciation of the treaty, for his agreement with the Margrave had aroused so much ill-feeling in Germany. The Estates of both religions, and the Austrian councillor John Ulrich Zasius in particular, regarded all that Charles had done since the treaty with resentment and displeasure. How did Charles reconcile his great preparations for war with his leniency first to one prince or town of the Empire and then to another? Suspicion was rife. No one could seriously believe that at fifty-three Charles was a man broken in body and spirit. He had often been ill, and had now been ill for a long time, but he had so often before made unexpected and swift recoveries that they regarded nothing as impossible.

Maurice in particular, the most restless and observant spectator of Charles's political actions, took note of everything. The deposed Elector John Frederick and his sons, seemed to Maurice's anxious eyes to be gaining a suspicious self-confidence. Was Charles planning to make use of them? Or was the Spanish succession to be forcibly imposed as soon as the Emperor had recovered from the shock of Metz? Why, after so criminally restoring the Margrave to a favoured position, did he let him recruit troops and rage across Franconia? Maurice watched the princes of south and western Germany move gradually into union, until they formed in March the League of Heidelberg for mutual defence. He himself, on March 24th, entered into alliance with Henry of Wolfenbüttel; on May 6th he formed the League of Eger with Bohemia and some of its neighbour states. These were preparations against something; but against what? Were they arming against the growing uncertainty, against the disturbers of the peace, or against the Emperor himself? Yet in reliable documents there is no trace of any plan of the Emperor's to use the Margrave against his old enemies, or to enforce the Spanish succession. Nor is there any reason to suppose that Maurice had any more glorious ambition than the preservation of his own rights.

Yet events moved towards a decision of universal significance. The German Estates grasped the essential fact that they must stand together if they wished to preserve the territorial power which they had acquired during the last thirty years. For years they had been quarrelling, on paper or in arms. The Catholics from the first had urged Charles to war, without themselves having the least intention of helping him. The Emperor, on the other hand, partly from necessity, partly from inclination, had long sought to obtain his ends by peaceful means. His failure had been an object lesson to them all. The way to the peace of Augsburg lay open.

Maurice had himself thought of the formula -- 'an unconditional and perpetual peace'. Since Passau his political stature seemed to have grown. He knew very well what he was about when he helped Ferdinand against the Turks. Yet his actions were not based on statecraft alone. He had no doubts as to the motive of his own action when, with Henry of Brunswick, he turned his arms at last against the 'mad Margrave', well-knowing the Margrave to be the Emperor's ally. Maurice felt that he was fighting and subduing in the Margrave Albert the destructive forces of that worn-out and venal canaille of German society, the robber-barons. The class had grown intolerable in the temporal principalities of the Reformation. On July 11th, 1553, he broke the Margrave at Sievershausen. Merciful fate took him in the hour of his greatest victory. He died in the shadow of the Margrave's captured banners. All the sins of his life were atoned by this heroic death. It was the climax of his career. The future could have held no more for him.

The Emperor, too, threw open the road to religious peace. He did not yet abdicate, but he withdrew altogether from German affairs and left them to his brother. He invited the Pope to the Diet, but he himself issued his memorable refusal to attend on June 8th, 1554. His refusal, as he himself asserted, was made in all good faith, 'as is seemly between brothers, and with the additional plea that you pry out no hidden reason for my conduct. My reason is only this question of religion, in regard to which I have an unconquerable scruple, which I have already told you by word of mouth at Villach when we were together'. Charles added that he did not doubt Ferdinand's unwillingness to enter into any concession to which he, as a Christian prince, could not agree in all conscience. To prove that he had not lost interest he drew up a schedule of all the articles which might be of importance to the Diet.

Like the reflections on the treaties of Passau and Metz, this document has survived, in the handwriting of the Vice-chancellor, George Sigismund Seld, himself a man of Augsburg. After long service abroad he had entered Bavarian service, but on the death of Naves he had become indispensable in the imperial chancellery, and during the last years had grown personally very dear to Charles. This schedule illuminates for us once again, in a manner which is sympathetic to, and yet not wholly uncritical of, imperial policy, the attitude in which Charles approached his Empire and its problems, above all the religious question. It serves the purpose of a political testament for Germany, of an epilogue to the reign.

The Catholic princes were characterized, as they had been in 1530, as purely self-seeking. The spiritual princes, according to this document, hated the thought of reform, and doubtless that had been the reason for which God had smitten them in the last war. The Pope, the cardinals, and their superficially conducted council came in for much sharp criticism. The old tendency to come as far as possible to meet the Protestants by discussions on a basis of parity is still obvious in this document. It was thought to be the best way towards unity and peace. In 1530, Seld argued on this point, thirteen clauses had remained in doubt between the two parties. But in 1541 at Worms and Regensburg, not more than five or six remained unsolved. This was but an outward sign, he admitted, but it was typical. The history of all heresies proved, he went on to say, that they lost strength with time. Witness the Arian and Utraquist heresies. The Interim had been a failure -Seld admitted as much -- the reform of the clergy would be an. excellent thing. Naturally Charles could hardly 'drag the resisting prelates by the hair' to agree to it. The Lutherans, Seld continued, would not agree to a council like that at Trent. Many devout men thought that the council had never been truly free. Foreign powers would not send delegates, and therefore the imperialists -- by which term in this context Seld meant the Protestants -- felt that they lacked support. On the other hand a national council would have no canonical validity, and provincial synods were able to deal with disciplinary matters only. Diets had never yet done anything except postpone the decision.

Of temporal things Seld declared that the authority of the Estates had increased, that of the Emperor dwindled. His power rested on the hereditary lands, but these were attacked and threatened on all sides by Turks, French and Moors. Neither the imperial ban nor the action of individual circles had the least effect in preserving peace. 'The subsidy voted in 1548 was rich enough, but owing to the impertinence of Maurice it was wasted in the reduction of Magdeburg.' The Swabian League had been in itself a good thing, but many leagues in Germany would be but a further element of unrest. As for Charles's treatment of the Margrave, the Emperor's critics failed to realize how difficult the position had been, because of the revolt of the princes. It would be best, Seld advised, to arrange the disposition of land as it was in 1552.

Last of all the document discussed the complaints of the Estates against the imperial government -- the employment of foreigners, the introduction of foreign soldiers and the delay in public business. Seld admitted that Charles had often delayed. But for the rest, he pointed out that Charles had always had German vice-chancellors, while it would be absurd to suggest that he should exclude the most eminent ministers of his other lands from discussion of German affairs. Possibly Charles had alienated imperial lands by bestowing the fiefs of Milan and Siena on his son, but he had increased the Empire by adding Genoa, Florence and Piacenza. The complaints of the princes that their privileges have been attacked were, he asserted, groundless. The Emperor had no intention of making the imperial throne hereditary. He had given much time and thought to settling internal conflict between the Estates, such as the disagreement between Wtirttemberg and Austria, and the quarrel between Hesse and Nassau which he had been trying to resolve for many years. If the Emperor had acted harshly towards the Landgrave, he had paid for his mistake.

This schedule was to serve as a guide to Charles's representatives at the Diet. Their chief office was to support Ferdinand, and they had to know beforehand what points were likely to be raised. They had no responsibility for the direction of affairs. Charles once again assured Ferdinand that he trusted that implicitly to him. In April 1555 he wrote once more, explaining that for his own person he must register a formal protest against anything which 'could infringe, hurt, weaken or burden our ancient, true, Christian and Catholic faith'. He referred Ferdinand to their conversation at Villach and subsequent correspondence. He asked that he should be consulted, or even furnished with a list of preliminaries for the settlement of the religious problem.

Only at Ferdinand's urgent entreaty did Charles continue to carry the imperial title for so long. Ferdinand himself felt the need of having some ultimate authority to which he could appeal in a crisis. This was the only reason that the final imperial recognition of equal rights for the adherents of the Confession of Augsburg went out under the name of the Emperor Charles V.

In fact he had nothing to do with the recognition of two parallel religions in Germany, nor with anything else decided at Augsburg in 1555. The religious settlement was not the last act in the reign of Charles V. It was the first in the reign of Ferdinand I.


When Maximilian and his wife Mary left Spain, Prince Philip once more took over the regency in the usual form, acting on imperial instructions of June 23rd, 1551. Philip stayed in the country for the next three years. He was then called away to play his part in a great historic drama. This time, acting in his own name, he appointed as his representative in Spain his sister Joanna, widow of the Infant of Portugal, and mother of the heir, Don Sebastian. Thus, each in turn, Charles's three children had governed Spain.

On the day following the issue of his instructions to Joanna, Philip set off to England to solemnize his marriage to the Queen. Mary, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII and the cousin of the Emperor, had succeeded to the throne on the death of her halfbrother Edward VI on July 6th, 1553. She needed the support of a strong foreign power to protect her against potential opposition in the country. The Emperor's agent, Simon Renard, had promised her every assistance. The help which he had previously given in establishing her legitimacy and in upholding the old Church encouraged her to rely on him. Above all, as soon as Philip had given his agreement, he was anxious to marry her to his son. On October 30th the Queen's betrothal to the absent Infant of Spain took place with the greatest solemnity. The ceremony was performed in the Privy Council and the host was elevated in the presence of the imperial ambassador. Mary's Spanish and Catholic blood may have stirred within her, recognizing in the heir to Spain the husband chosen for her by God.

Ferdinand was at the same time trying to secure her hand for his own second son. But once again his children had to give place to his brother's. The event did not altogether sweeten Ferdinand's views. Yet the King of the Romans admitted himself willing to withdraw and he may have had some consolation in Charles's assurance that he would regard Philip's English marriage as a substitute for his succession in the Empire. As things now stood, the Electors would never agree to Philip's succession in Germany. Ferdinand's elder son lamented his father's docility in a letter to his brother-in-law, Albert of Bavaria. 'God grant', he wrote, 'that His Majesty will one day stand up to His Imperial Majesty and not always show himself so chicken-hearted as he has hitherto. I am perpetually astonished at the blindness of His Majesty; he will not see how unfraternally and how falsely His Imperial Majesty is treating us.'

The Emperor had long considered Margaret of France for Philip's second wife. Later the negotiations for his marriage to Eleonore's daughter, Mary of Portugal, had gone some distance, but were broken off because of the great prospects which opened before the imperial family in England. Philip sailed for England with seventy ships and the Duke of Alva as master of his household. Charles had recently had him proclaimed King of Naples so that he too, like his wife, should bear a royal title. On July 25th, 1554, Philip and Mary were betrothed at Winchester. Great prospects of expansion unrolled themselves before the Hapsburg dynasty.

The event decided Charles to rearrange the inheritance of the dynastic lands. He did this in his fifth and last Testament, dated June 6th, 1554. It was followed later only by a series of lesser codicils. The Testament was conceived in the grandiose and melancholy style of Charles's closing years, the mood in which he was to withdraw from the world to seek his last rest. He could not go until he had seen his dynasty confirmed in the new and splendid possessions which he had given it. He began by commending his soul to God, and asked that he might be buried at the side of his wife at Granada. He ordered 30,000 masses for his soul and the distribution of 30,000 ducats in alms. He commanded his heirs to execute his will as well as those of his grandparents Maximilian and Mary, and to pay all the debts which had accumulated, out of the revenues of the three great knightly orders of Spain. For the quiet of his conscience he ordered an inquiry into his rights over Piacenza and Navarre.

He charged Philip to remember his duty to God and Holy Church, to further the Inquisition, to care for justice, to look after his people and to protect the humble and weak against powerful nobles and grandees. Other ideas which had early engaged Charles's attention emerge again. The Inquisitors, he suggested, should be given canonicates so that they did not have to live on the confiscation of goods from the accused. The domain rights of the Crown should be won back wherever possible.

He advised Philip to establish primogeniture in the male line for Spain and to appoint regents for Don Carlos, who had lost his mother at birth. The children of Philip's marriage with Mary were to rule in England, with certain modifications if they should have only a daughter.

The Testament reckoned on the new and boundless prospects of the dynasty. If England and the Netherlands were united under one hand, and strongly supported by Spain and the Empire, France could be strangled out of existence. These plans of the Hapsburg dynasty were the true explanation of the war-lust of Henry II of France and his generals, and of the still more violent opposition of Pope Paul IV, of the Neapolitan family of Caraffa. He followed Julius III on June 23rd, 1555, after the brief pontificate of Marcellus. Paul IV saw that the papal states would soon be shut in on all sides by Hapsburg power, while no other monarch could be called in to redress the balance.

Meanwhile Charles's overwhelming desire for rest, his melancholy thoughts of death, urged him onwards to complete a plan which he had long had in mind. This was to divest himself of all his powers of government, to remove himself from all temporal authority. Dangers on all sides postponed his decision month after month.

French troops crossed the frontiers in several places and took Marienburg, Bouvines, Dinant. Philibert Emanuel of Savoy, now commander-in-chief of the imperial forces, moved against them. The Emperor himself followed in his litter and took part in the relief of Renty. At the same time grave news came from Italy. The Marquis of Marignano and Duke Cosimo of Florence were forced to take arms against the French and their old enemy Pietro Strozzi. They drove back the French as far as Siena which was defended by Blaise de Montluc. After many anxious months they at length won a great victory, and on April 2nd, 1555, Siena fell. But this did not alter the hostile attitude of France.

The Queen of England attempted to mediate between the Emperor and the French King at Gravelines, but without success. The French ambassador, copying the technique of his predecessor on a like occasion forty years earlier, at once abandoned all talk of the immediate present and took refuge in generalities. He wanted not only Piedmont and Savoy but Asti and Milan for the young Duke of Orleans. This was the third generation of princes bearing this title for whom such demands had been made. He wanted Navarre for the Duke of Vendôme, Antoine de Bourbon. The imperialists, on the other hand, suggested that the question of Savoy and Piedmont should be settled by a marriage between Philibert Emanuel and a sister of Henry II. In return Don Carlos was to keep Milan and marry Elisabeth of France. All the negotiations led to nothing and after a brief truce the war broke out afresh.

Meanwhile in Italy Paul IV arose like a latter-day Gregory VII or Innocent III. He was a harsh, ascetic, passionate man, a man of great words, intoxicated by his new position as prince of the Church. In his attitude to reform and to politics, he was a radical. He belonged to the group of Italian thinkers who still believed that their land might be set free, and for the last time in the century we find these ideas filling the political world of Italy. But he never succeeded in rising above the private feuds of his own family, nor yet did he find means to liberate himself from the Spaniards, save by calling in the French. He declared that the Spaniards were nothing but the spawn of Jews and Moors, and when he was told that the imperial ambassador Bernardino Mendoza was a brother of the well-known Diego Mendoza, he said that he wished to know no more about his character: that was enough. Blindly and determinedly he trusted in the French; at Naples, he regarded them as naturalized Italians. He wanted to liberate Florence: he hated the Colonna and the Medici, tried to elevate the Sforza and Santa Fiore. He extended a warm welcome to the French ambassadors, Lansac and the Cardinal of Lorraine. His policy reached a climax in his secret treaty with this latter, signed on December 15th, 1555, by which Naples was to be ceded to a son of the French King. Sicily was to be given to Venice at the same time, for by Italy the Pope understood the four states only, Milan, Venice, Naples and the Papacy.

Charles, too, was now in earnest. He sent the Duke of Alva to Italy and published to all the world that if the Pope did not make an end of his follies, he too would consider himself free to act as he chose, before God and man. Once again, as they had done thirty years before, the imperial forces threatened the papal states and Rome.

In the midst of these quarrels, which seemed like a return to the first struggling years of his reign, Charles decided to abdicate. Many events worked to the same end: his mother had died on April 13th, 1555; Philip's wife, the English Queen, proved barren, and thus condemned the whole of his northern scheme to collapse. This latter failure may have had some effect in securing the peace of Augsburg. All increased Charles's resolution to withdraw.

On October 22nd, 1555, he began by resigning his sovereignty of the Order of the Golden Fleece. On the 25th he abdicated his rulership of the Netherlands to Philip in the great hall of the castle at Brussels. All the great men of the land were solemnly assembled when Charles made his entrance, leaning on the shoulder of Prince William of Orange. He was surrounded by the knights of the Golden Fleece, the councillors and ministers of the Netherlands, the provincial governors, Philibert Emanuel of Savoy, Christina of Lorraine, the young Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, King Philip, Queen Eleonore and Queen Mary.

The councillor, Philibert of Brussels, announced the imperial intention of abdicating and thus gave the sign for the solemn ceremony to begin. Charles himself rose to his feet. He held a few notes in his hand, and, consulting these from time to time in his habitual manner, delivered a brief summary of his life. Forty years before, in this same room, he reminded them he had been declared of age. Later he had been called upon to succeed his grandfather Ferdinand in Spain, his grandfather Maximilian in the Empire. He had found Christendom torn in pieces and beset with foes, against whom he had fought for the greater part of his life. Nine times he had visited Germany, six times Spain, four times France, twice Africa, and twice England. Now he was preparing to make his last journey, to Spain. He was deeply grieved to think that he could not leave his people in peace as he had always wished. He had set all on this hope, his life, his repose, and every resource at his disposal. But his forces were failing, his health was gone. Even before he made his last journey to the Empire, he had known that he was at the end of his strength. Yet the unceasing anxiety and unrest of Christendom had driven him on to risk all that he had in the game. After the King of France and several of the German princes had failed in their attack on him, he had tried to regain Metz, but it was too late in the winter and the cold, wet and snow had brought the enterprise to nothing. It was in God's hand to give or to withhold success. He thanked God that He had so often helped him. At this present hour he was tired even to death and desired only to give his own lands to King Philip, the Empire to Ferdinand.

Next followed the last scene of all, a scene so moving that all present wept. Charles exhorted his son to stand fast in the faith of his fathers, to care for peace and justice. He himself had often erred, out of youth, out of self-will, out of weakness. But he had never wilfully wronged any man. If he had done so unwittingly he asked forgiveness.

White and exhausted, the Emperor sank down into his chair.

Nothing was heard in the great hall but the stifled sobbing of the audience. Tears coursed down the cheeks of the noble ladies and down the Emperor's own. Philip threw himself on his knees in front of his father, and took the oath which the aged Emperor had asked. Charles raised him to his feet and tenderly embraced him. Then the prince turned to the assembly, apologized for his inability to speak their language fluently, and asked the Bishop of Arras to read out his speech. Queen Mary next spoke, taking her leave of the lands over which she had ruled. She had decided to follow her brother and Queen Eleonore to Spain. The two Queens were both exhausted after long and weary lives in the heat and glare of the state. Mary above all had worn herself out in her brother's service. The Emperor thanked her for all she had done in a voice laden with emotion.

We may search the annals of history in vain for such another scene, for such another generation of princes as these of the Hapsburg dynasty, who were ready of their own free will to retire from the scene of their sovereignty. The splendid radiance of the High Renaissance seems to shine even through the events of history. At what other time, in what other continent, was so great a scene so greatly played?

After his abdication from the Netherlands, Charles abdicated his sovereignty over Castile, Aragon, Sicily and the Indies on January 16th, 1556. Recently the account of these proceedings has come to light. This time the scene was played out not in the great hall but in Charles's private apartments. The circle was smaller, the atmosphere the same. Charles spoke again of the abdication which he had performed on October 25th, but this time he laid greater emphasis on his wish to live wholly in the service of God. Once again he bore witness to the fact that he belonged essentially to an age now dead, an age which felt that God was to bserved best not in affairs of state, but in solitude and contemplation. The old Emperor entrusted to his son a casket containing his will and codicils, and spoke of this document with an explicit reference to the instructions he had given Philip in 1543, when he had forbidden him to ransom him if he should be taken prisoner. For the rest, he added that although he was neither letrado nor jurist, he remembered that he had read in St. Augustine that wills were only valid on the death of the testator. Only a few more months were left to him, and he wished to spend them atoning for his sins and clearing his conscience.

His formal abdication of the crowns of Castile, Leon and the Indies were next read out from written documents by notaries, using the Spanish language. Vargas read out the abdication of Aragon, the Islands and Sicily, in Latin. When he gave up the Netherlands, he had laid down his presidency of the Golden Fleece; now, on resigning Spain, he laid down his mastership of the three great orders, Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcantara -all in favour of Philip.

During these days of abdication, Charles occupied, for quiet, an elegant little house in the park of his castle. Perhaps there was something symbolic even in this. Here, too, he lived when he signed the truce of Vaucelles with France, and until it was ratified. Here, too, he received the new ambassador, Admiral Coligny and read his credentials. Charles's fingers were so badly swollen with gout that he could with difficulty untie the string which tied the document. Making light of his now vanishing strength, he laughingly told Coligny that he too had once been a gallant cavalier and vain of his person. He recalled how proudly he had ridden into Naples in 1536.

Now and again in history chance brings about a dramatic juxtaposition. Coligny was to be the dominant figure of the Huguenot revolt in France, the Prince of Orange was to be the champion of the Protestant Netherlands. Both were with the great Catholic Emperor during his last days in the Low Countries. Both played a part in the closing scenes of his political life, in the passing of the greatest figure of the older generation.

Maximilian and Charles's daughter Mary came to say goodbye. Charles had longed for their coming and often spoke of it. He wanted to see his brother Ferdinand once again. But this could not be. Instead he had to send the Prince of Orange on September 12th, 1556, with a letter, in which he gave the imperial throne to his brother. He assured him that his fraternal love remained unaltered, and left to him the choice of a decisive moment to make the change public. Not until February 1558, did the Electors agree to Charles's abdication and accept the elevation of Ferdinand. Another stout document had been drawn up to settle the Spanish succession and prepare a warm alliance between Ferdinand and Philip. But it seems that there was no further serious discussion of this point, nor any attempt to reintroduce the idea of Philip's succession to the imperial throne.

In Spain, meantime, the new King had been proclaimed. Banners were hung out and proclamations read. The first grandee of the land, the child Don Carlos, did homage to his absent father. Standing before the royal standard, unfurled above him, he cried out, 'Castilla, Castilla, por el rey Don Felipe!'

Charles left Brussels on August 8th, 1556. Philip went with him as far as Ghent. On August 28th they parted, never again to meet. As so often before Charles sailed from the coast of Zeeland, and twenty-six ships followed him, bearing the two Queens and a great train of Spaniards. The imperial ship was richly fitted with everything needful to his comfort. On September 28th they disembarked at Laredo, a small port to the cast of Santander. From here they went by way of Burgos to Valladolid. Charles would attend no formal receptions. Only at Carbezon, not far from Valladolid, his grandchild Don Carlos was allowed to see him. In spite of his wish to avoid solemnities, the people of Burgos rang the bells and set lights in their windows. The Constable of Castile came out to meet him. In Valladolid itself Charles received the regent, his younger daughter Joanna. Then he hurried southwards over the pass of Tornavacas, over the precipitous mountain paths to the province of Estremadura, the basin of the river Tagus west of Toledo.

The Court settled down at first in the Vera de Plasencia, the slopes of those hills which lie open to the southern sun and are sheltered from the north by the Sierra de Gredos; they lived at Jarandilla, a castle belonging to Don Garcia Alvarez de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. It was a fine autumn and Charles paid visits to Seville and Granada, recalling perhaps the times he had spent there as a young man, soon after his wedding. He took infinite pleasure in looking out from the windows and balconies of his rooms on the flowers and fruit below him in the mellow sunshine. On November 21st he paid his first visit to the monastery of San Jeronimo de Yuste, next to which his own imperial villa was to be built.


Once only in all his latter years had Charles visited the south, Seville, Cordova, Granada. Once he had landed at Cartagena coming back from Algiers. Then he had travelled to Madrid by way of Murcia, Albacete and Ocaña. Once he had visited Valencia to receive homage. But much of the country was still unknown to him. He had spent the greater part of his time in old Castile, in the country surrounding Valladolid where the Cortes met, at Tordesillas, Palencia, Tudela and Burgos. Hence he had sometimes travelled up the Douro by way of Aranda, Catalayud, to Saragossa and farther on to the Cortes in Monzon, or by way of Montserrat to the ports of Barcelona and Palamos. Often too he had stayed in the Tagus valley and near Madrid, whence too he had travelled the roads to Saragossa, Catalayud and Siguenza. He was well known to the people of the towns of Alcala and Aranjuez on the Tagus, and he had been often seen farther down the river at Toledo, Talavera and Oropesa. From Oropesa a road, which he had traversed, went south by way of Sierra to the chief cloister of the Jeromites, Santa Maria of Guadaloupe. Westwards from Oropesa and comparatively close to this chief province of Old Castile, lay Jarandilla and the monastery of San Jeronimo de Yuste. Charles had come, therefore, to no uncharted wilderness, but to a quiet backwater but a little way from paths which he and his Court had often trod, not far from the country where his dear Empress had lived and died.

The order of St. Jerome belongs essentially to Spain. Yet it had close connections with many other monastic orders, followed the rule of St. Augustine in the main, and was predominantly contemplative. It was one of the richest orders in the kingdoms, and kept watch over many celebrated relics, like those at Guadaloupe. Many Spanish Kings lay buried in its monastic churches.

These considerations may have partly influenced Charles's decision to build himself a residence next to San Jeronimo. The monastery could be seen from the windows and terraces of Jarandilla, and the courtiers, who did not look forward to the retirement, noticed with anxiety that even in fine weather the mists hung about the towers and buildings of the monastery, which was almost blotted out when the heavy rains from the south smote against the mountain wall. But when Charles traced out the foundations of his villa on November 25th, they were relieved to find the site more sunny and pleasant than they had anticipated. It seemed that San Jeronimo would be after all a beautiful and quiet spot, retired from the world.

On February 5th, 1557, the Court moved into its new residence.

Judging by the spacious standards of the late Renaissance Charles's villa was as modest as it could well be. Four well-lit rooms occupied each of its two floors. The abbey church was situated just behind the villa, a little higher up the slope of the hill, so that one of the upper rooms of the villa could open into it. Charles could thus pass straight into the church, and from his room he could even see the south side of the high altar. On the east and west pleasant terraces were built to catch the sun, and here Charles used often to sit in the open air. On the south, between a plantation of trees, and a small wood, a wide prospect met the eyes. The plaisance was closed about by walls, and the grounds were enlivened with tiny brooks and cascades, which refreshed plants and men alike.

The interior of the villa was rich with costly hangings, tapestries from the Netherlands, embroidered scenes and paintings in oils, statues and curious jewels, clocks and scientific instruments, beautiful and luxurious furniture. Charles had no intention of leading the life of an ascetic and a monk. Nor had he any external connection with the monastery, although everything was arranged to suit the Emperor's great need for quiet, and the sense of repose and contemplation for which his age cried out.

The great train of courtiers and servants were lodged either in a wing of the monastery or in the neighbouring village of Quacos. As well as the master of the household, Don Luis Mendez de Quijada, lord of Villa Garcia, Charles kept with him his secretary Martin de Gaztelu, his physician, Doctor Mathys of Bruges, and his old companion William van Male. He had also many servants, readers, assistants and priests. All these men were ardent letterwriters, and of all Charles's life we have not so much detailed knowledge as we have of this one short period. His physical condition, his daily activities, the letters he wrote and the visits he received, all are known to us.

Several monks, brought from other monasteries on account of their beautiful voices or other gifts, served the Emperor as well as his own suite. But he kept his own confessor, Juan de Regla, with whom he often spent many hours in religious discussion. His library was small, but he did not deny himself worldly literature as well as more serious works like Boethius and St. Augustine. He had brought his astronomical books, his maps and his Caesar with him, as well as the Deeds of Charles the Bold by the Burgundian Olivier de la Marche, and his own personal notebooks and journals of his travels. He had persuaded the Inquisition to give him permission to read a French translation of the Bible, as its study in the vernacular was otherwise not allowed.

The little Court of fifty people was able to live comfortably on its pension of 20,000 ducats a year, more especially as the Regent often sent presents when she was in the neighbourhood. Certain domestic animals were kept also, and the larder could be filled from time to time by hunting. Guests had to stay in Quacos or at Jarandilla. Only when the two Queens, to Charles's joy, paid him a visit, did he make an exception and give them a room in his villa.

The monastic peace of Yuste was not utterly undisturbed. Philip, Joanna, and the Emperor's old servants, were all too much in the habit of taking his advice not to honour him with continual reports of all that had happened, and to storm him with letters and requests for good counsel. Like the distant rumble of a cannonade, the sound of the great world without echoed, now loud, now soft, in the cars of the old Emperor. He had lived too long and too passionately in the world itself to be altogether unmoved by such noises.

Now and again an urgent embassy or message would persuade him to intervene personally once more. But he obstinately refused to take up the reins of government either in Spain or elsewhere.

The French broke the truce of Vaucelles: Paul IV openly opposed all Charles's adherents in the Cardinals' College and throughout Italy: the Duke of Alva invaded the papal states to protect Spain's interests and Spain's friends. Soon after these events Charles expressed his vehement disapproval of a truce which he felt had been too rashly signed, and which was likely to drive Paul IV and his family only the more towards the French alliance. He urged Joanna, the Queen-regent of Spain, to defend the frontier and gave her advice as to how to do it.

His fears came true. The alliance of the Pope and the French King proved a serious danger to the young Philip, and Charles again impatiently intervened. At the end of March 1557 Philip's councillor and confidant, Ruy Gomez, later Duke of Eboli, appeared at the Emperor's Court for help and advice. Charles was angry at the delay and dishonesty shown by the Casa de Contratacion in raising money for his son, and began to turn about him with such vigour that he had soon raised many hundreds of thousands of ducats. These resources, with the success of Alva and the attitude of Cosimo de' Medici, turned the balance in Italy against the French party, lead by Guise, Brissac and the Duke of Ferrara. Philibert Emanuel and Count Egmont, meanwhile, on August 10th, 1557, won the most celebrated tactical victory of the century at St. Quentin on the Flemish frontier. There was nothing of the monk in Charles's passionate participation in all these events.

Next a family conflict broke out in Portugal. It was doubtful whether Charles's sister Katherine, the widow of the last King, John III, was to be regent, or Charles's daughter Joanna, the mother of the young heir. Charles gave his judgment in favour of Katherine, partly no doubt because he felt that while Philip was away Joanna could not be spared from Spain.

Charles also took care to provide for the possibility of the little King's death. If Don Sebastian of Portugal did not grow up, only two members of the Portuguese dynasty would be left, the CardinalInfant Henry, and the Infanta Mary, Eleonore's daughter by her first husband. Charles sent as ambassador to Portugal, Father Francisco Borgia. He had once been marshal of the Court to the Empress, and had then been known as Duke of Gandia, but he had abandoned all his titles when he entered the Society of Jesus. This ambassador was to obtain from Queen Katherine her consent to the accession of Don Carlos, should Don Sebastian die. The little Don Carlos of Spain was in fact the heir to Portugal, after the present King, for both his mother and grandmother had been Princesses of that land. Feeling in Portugal was such as to give Queen Katherine the excuse to withhold her consent. But whether he succeeded or not, it was interesting that Charles, in his anxiety for the future of the peninsula, should have formulated the Pan-Iberian idea. His son Philip was to bring the dream to pass, and to gain with the Portuguese throne, all her colonies the world over.

We need not linger over events at Yuste itself. They have been recorded in countless writings of monks and courtiers. Queen Eleonore, who had lived to see her daughter Mary once again, her darling wish, died at Talaveruela in February 1558. Queen Mary, more than ever alone, visited her brother once again and stayed until March 16th. At Philip's wish Charles had declared that he would let Mary be regent in the Netherlands once more, and as his own health grew worse he was greatly rejoiced to find that she was willing to go. But her health too prevented her from ever again taking over the reins of government. Charles's anxiety for the Netherlands came to an end when on July 13th, Egmont's great victory over the French under de Thermes at Gravelines, prevented them from breaking through from Dunkirk to Calais. Now at last peace over all Europe was in sight. In the following year the Peace of Câteau Cambrensis was to set the seal on the long struggle, and bring about the temporary cessation of war between France and Spain.

Quijada lived part of the time away from Yuste with his wife Magdalena Ulloa at Villagarcia. In their house the little son of Barbara Blomberg was growing up. He had been entrusted at first to the musician Massi to look after, and at this time he was still called Jeronimo. Magdalena followed her husband to Quacos in the summer of 1558. The boy came with her. He was still not recognized as Charles's son, but when he appeared about the Court, performing the duties of a page, his lively blue eyes and fresh fair complexion filled his father with a new joy. He wrote a special codicil ensuring his future and leaving a legacy to his mother.

In the summer Charles contracted a serious cold, complicated by a severe general attack of gout. It may have been caused by his habitual neglect of diet, or by his casual disregard of all necessary precaution against the treacherously cold winds of the early morning. The last painful weeks dragged by, and reports from Yuste grew melancholy. At one time Charles celebrated a requiem mass for his father and grandfather, an act which gave rise to the legend that he had arranged and watched his own funeral obsequies.

Charles suffered so much from his gout that he would have no more visits. He even refused to see the regent Joanna. His old friend Don Luis d'Avila happened to be in the neighbourhood and was allowed to come to him. He was now the Grand Controller of the order of Alcantara. By chance, too, a messenger from Philip turned out to be a preacher whom Charles had once known, Carranza, now Archbishop of Toledo. He appeared at Yuste when Charles was already dying. Power of attorney had been rapidly made out in favour of the secretary Gaztelu, and in the next days a codicil was drawn up giving Charles's last wishes for the payment of his servants and the disposition of his personal effects. The Emperor wished to be buried under the high altar at San Jeronimo itself, with the Empress beside him. But he left the final arrangement to Philip. He admonished Philip and Joanna to proceed sternly against the Lutherans, of whom two dangerous nests had just been smoked out at Seville and Valladolid.

Both these had been founded by theologians whom Charles had once cherished, and whom he had taken with him to Germany, Constantin Ponce de Leon and Augustin Cazalla. Almost to his last breath Charles was busied with this, the worst problem of all his life, the rock on which he had foundered in Germany.

The letters of Doctor Mathys give a day to day account of Charles's illness. He was delighted with a plate of fresh fruit, but if this was not to be had he continued, to the physicians' despair, to indulge himself with whatever took his fancy. Towards the middle of September they gave up all hope of his recovery. They began to talk of extreme unction. The faithful Quijada objected to it for as long as he dared. But when Charles became so weak, that he was expected to die at any hour, he had to yield to the inevitable. Charles listened with passionate devotion to the whole series of services which the Catholic Church has prepared for the consolation of the dying. Following an old tradition, he had consecrated tapers from Montserrat ready to take in his hand at the last, and the little crucifix which the Empress had held in her dying hand. The Archbishop of Toledo pressed it between his fingers, reminding the Emperor at the same moment that Christ's death was the only source of mercy for sinners. The Catholic d'Avila, overhearing, thought this a very Protestant sentiment, and the Archbishop was to be reminded of it later when he stood his trial by the Inquisition. One of the monks from the monastery found a word more in sympathy with the orthodoxy of those who watched at Charles's bedside. It was Saint Matthew's Day, and he connected this with the Emperor's own birthday, the feast of that saint's brother-apostle, Saint Matthias. In the protection of these two apostles, he said, Charles could go with confidence into the everlasting. On September 21st the Emperor died.

He had gone to his end borne up by his faith and confident in his God. Until the last he had shown himself to be essentially imbued with that medieval spirit of devotion, the spirit to which his life had borne witness. He gave himself up to all the austere and lesser works of atonement, and was anxious to secure through the intercession of his monks and through his charity to the poor of the country, through masses for his soul and all the other provisions of his will, the rich salvation which the Church had laid up for her sons. In his last codicil he ordered that Titian's great 'Gloria', the magnificent picture of the Trinity which had been painted to his order, and which was one of the most valuable of his treasures, should be given to the High Altar of the monastic Church of San Jeronimo. No other act bears such startling witness to the grandeur and profundity of the Emperor's devotion. The great canvas depicts the Holy Trinity enthroned in the heights of heaven. At their side stands the Mother of God. About and before them crowd the heavenly hosts, angels, saints and blessed ones. Among these holy ones, already wrapt in contemplation of the God-head, the Emperor dared to have himself depicted. At his side kneels his wife. Both are accompanied by angels, both are shown as already in the state of ultimate blessedness. The imperial crown lies discarded at their feet. This was the proudest and yet the humblest expression of the idea which had guided Charles's life. He knew that he had been called by God's all-highest will. The picture and his whole career are like some stupendous vision of the great period of the Catholic Church, of the Trecento, to which the Counter-Reformation, in spite of the dividing gulf of the Renaissance, was yet inwardly very near.

Once again our thoughts go back to the Emperor's youth, to his Dutch teacher Adrian of Utrecht, who later became Pope, to the Chancellor Gattinara whose imperial theory was no other than that dreamed of by Dante -- a world-order with Pope and Emperor each in his sphere, each filled with a sense of profound responsibility towards all Christendom. According to his abilities, but with unflagging devotion, Charles had lived all his life in the pursuance of this idea. He was a man, with the daily weaknesses and caprices of his kind, yet in the permanent motives of his desire, in the courage of his convictions, something more than a man, a great figure in the history of the world.

Contemporary Europe felt that a great man had passed. They measured him by the breadth of his lands and the grandeur of his actions. Soon, too, they judged him by the wisdom of his political testament, for it was shortly after made known. For his son and successor, he became in course of time the object of almost idolatrous admiration. In the prime of his life, King Philip built the great monastery of the Escorial, dedicated to Saint Laurence, on whose day the battle of St. Quentin had been fought. He intended to use it as his chief residence. In this most magnificent of royal tombs he collected in the year 1574 the remains of all the princes of his family, of his own and the preceding generation. They lie there still, Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, close by Charles's mother Queen Joanna, their own infant children, Hernando and Juan, their daughter-in-law Mary of Portugal, and the two royal sisters, Eleonore of France and Mary of Hungary.

Genealogical Table of the Ruling Dynasties of France, Burgundy, Austria, Spain and England

[ Previous | Main Contents ]