Изображения страниц
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

AMONG the many important subjects of inquiry which the history of the sixteenth century suggests, few are more striking It was not until almost the close of the than the sudden and prominent part taken fifteenth century that Spain first challenged by Spain in European politics. During a place in the councils of Europe. But, the long succession of the middle ages, under Charles V., mighty was her power nearly every other European state and and influence, and as mighty during the kingdom-Italy, France, Germany, Eng- reign of his son. Unlike his father, who, land, the free cities of Flanders, the flour- not content with the strifes of diplomacy, ishing towns on the shores of the Baltic, charged with his armies mounted on his even remoter kingdoms, Denmark, Poland, war-steed, and even when struck down by Hungary, by turns, or together, took part his "old enemy," and helpless as an infant, in the stirring drama of those times; while was borne on a litter at their head-Philip Spain, separated only by the chain of the withdrew from personal warfare; but then, Pyrenees, appeared as utterly cut off from in the privacy of his cabinet, he wove those the great European family as the regions intricate webs of state policy, and issued beyond the Caucasus. Indeed, from those those sanguinary mandates, which made half-mythic times, when the chronicler told the influence of the Escorial to be felt beof Charlemagne's paladins, and the fatal yond the uttermost bounds of Europe. pass of Rouncevalles, to the day when The history of this great Archimago of the Columbus laid a new world at her feet, Romish faith is, indeed, an important one Spain scarcely ever appears on the pages-not to be manufactured with scissors and of European history-scarcely even in paste; nor is it a theme for the superficial European legend and romance. Even historical student; for, along the whole their deadliest foemen, the Saracens, held course of his life, with how many kingdoms and peoples was he brought in contactwith the strife of her Reforma

* History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King tion and the rise of her proud nationality; of Spain. By WILLIAM H. PRESCOTT. 2 vols. Bentley.

Flanders, with its deadlier strife for religion



a far more prominent place in the popular mind than the Spaniard.

and freedom; Germany, with the feuds of] and Italian. Philip's proficiency in lanits princes, and the contests of its people; guages, however, never rivalled his father's, and France, with her fierce conflict of rival for, in conversation, he was rarely inclined parties, the treachery of the Guises and to venture beyond his own mother tongue. Catherine de Medicis, and that crowning He is said to have shown a more decided atrocity, the massacre of Saint Batholo- taste for science, especially the mathemamew. Even signal victories over the Turk tics, while to the arts, especially architect-the Cross, as of yore, triumphant over ure, he in after life paid much attention. the Crescent-cast a romantic splendor While the learned professor of Salamanca over that long reign. And all along there thus superintended Philip's literary educais the sullen countenance and cold, but tion, Don Juan de Zuñiga, commendador expressive features of Philip the Second mayor of Castile, was charged with his looking out upon us; and his dark sinister instruction in all those athletic and graceeye glares forth like that of some evil spi- ful exercises which were indispensable to rit, bent on the work of destruction, fearful the accomplished cavalier of the sixteenth indeed to contemplate, but from whence century. But little taste had Philip for shall eventually arise abiding good. We these accomplishments, in which in youth are gratified to find that Mr. Prescott has his father had delighted, and, far worse, still undertaken this important history. No less inclination had he to receive those one can be better qualified for the task lessons of lofty principle, of honor and than himself, both from his previous know- truthfulness, which his noble-hearted tutor ledge of the history of Spain, and his com- was well qualified to impart, and for which mand of hitherto unemployed materials, the wise father had warmly eulogized him. but, more than all, his skill and judgment As Philip "grew in years, and slowly unin using them. Only the two first volumes folded the peculiar qualities of his disposi are, as yet, before us, and to them we will tion," caution, reserve, suspicion, and an now proceed to direct the attention of the utter absence of generous feeling, became reader. strongly marked, and, together with the acuteness beyond his years, which he is said to have displayed, and his perfect self-possession, must, even in his boyhood, have indicated "what manner of man he should be." The loss of his mother ere he was twelve years old, his appointment to the regency, his marriage with his first cousin, Mary of Portugal, at the early age of sixteen, and the birth of his son, the illfated Don Carlos, with the consequent death of his young wife, within two years after, may be noticed as we pass on to the first important event of Philip's history, his visit to his father at Brussels, in the autumn of 1548.


This visit was arranged with the greatest magnificence, for the emperor was desirous that his son should make an appearance that would dazzle the imagination of the people among whom he passed," and should flatter his Flemish subjects, too, by the assumption of a state to which they had been accustomed by their Burgundian princes. Sailing from Rosas with a fleet of fifty-eight vessels, commanded by the illustrious Andrew Doria, Philip arrived at Genoa, and after a few days' festivity, during which, however, we find he made his first essay in kingcraft most successfully, the narrator informs us that, while his answer to the suppliant was exceedingly com

Philip the Second was born at Valladolid, on the 21st of May, 1527. Ere the festivities customary on the birth of an heir to the crown could be completed, tidings of the capture of Clement the Seventh and of the atrocious sack of Rome arrived, and the emperor, who, doubtless, shared the general indignation, although he cannot be altogether acquitted of participation in the earlier steps which led to these results, immediately gave orders that all public rejoicings should cease. The disappointed Spaniards obeyed this mandate most reluctantly, and, singularly enough, prophesied that the reign of the prince, who, in after years, became so uncompromising and unscrupulous a champion of the Church, would be injurious both to her and to Spain. Well had it been for that age had the augury proved true. Charles seems to have exercised a praiseworthy care in the education of his only son. The first seven years of the boy's life were passed with his mother, Isabella of Portugal, an excellent woman, worthy of her namesake ancestress, and then he was transferred to the superintendence of Juan Martinez Seliceo, a professor in the college of Salamanca, under whose teaching he became a tolerable Latin scholar, and also made some progress in French

plimentary, "it was sufficiently ambiguous | rich and elegant, but without any affectation of as to the essentials," he proceeded to Milan, and, crossing the Tyrol, took the road past Munich and Heidelberg towards Flanders.

Four months were occupied by this splendid progress; and, as the heir of the great Emperor rode slowly along, each village sent out its inhabitants to gaze, and each town and city reverently opened its gates, and welcomed him with thunders of artillery, with humblest addresses, and not unfrequently with silver goblets brimful of golden ducats. These last were received by Philip himself with gracious condescension. The reply to the addresses the taciturn prince delegated to the Duke of Alva, who, already high in favor, rode beside him. At length the gorgeous procession entered Flanders; and, as it drew near Brussels, the eager crowds rushed forth, greeting their future ruler with wild enthusiasm, and amid the roaring of cannon, the merry peals of myriad bells, and the shouts of heartiest welcome, Philip, with Alva at his bridle-rein, entered the festive city. Philip and Alva in Brussels! What would have been the greeting, could a prophet voice have foretold the unimaginable miseries these two should inflict on its inhabitants!

The meeting between the father and son was affectionate; it was nearly seven years since they had met, and Charles, ambitious and grasping as he was, was not deficient in natural affection. "He must have been pleased with the alteration which time had wrought in Philip's appearance," Mr. Prescott remarks, and we subjoin his full-length portrait:

"He was now twenty-one years of age, and was distinguished by a comeliness of person, remarked upon by more than one who had access to his presence. That report is confirmed by the portraits of him, from the pencil of Titian, taken before the freshness of youth had faded into the sallow hue of disease, and when care and anxiety had not yet given a sombre, perhaps sullen expression to his features. He had a fair, and even delicate complexion. His hair and beard were of a light yellow; his eyes blue, with the eyebrows somewhat too close together. His nose thin and aquiline. The principal blemish in his countenance was his thick Austrian lip; his lower jaw protruded even more than his father's. To his father, indeed, he bore a great resemblance in his lineaments, though those of Philip were of a less intellectual cast. In stature he was somewhat below the middle height, with a slight, symmetrical figure, and well-made limbs. He was attentive to his dress, which was

ornament. His demeanor was grave, with that ceremonious observance which marked the old Castilian, and which may be thought the natural result of Philip's slow and phlegmatic temperament."

But Philip, although resembling his father in some points, both in person and character, was, in many essential respects, widely different. Charles was far more Fleming than Spaniard; Philip far more Spaniard than Fleming-indeed, altogether Spanish in tastes and feeling. The free and frank deportment of the emperor, which, despite of his tyrannical measures, rendered him so popular with his Flemish and German subjects, contrasted strangely in their eyes with the cold, formal demeanor of his son. The love of athletic sports which Charles in his youth displayed, his taste for gorgeous ceremonial and a splendid court, even his love of good cheer-the potted capon and eel-pasties, for which he endured a penance far more severe than hair shirt or scourge could inflict-and his deep potations-the mighty goblet, containing a full quart of Rhenish, drained at a single draught, as Roger Ascham, who witnessed this feat of imperial excess, so wonderingly recordsall these endeared him to the wealthy, pomp-loving, luxurious burghers of Brussels, Ghent, and Antwerp, who could scarcely comprehend, far less admire, the prince who, although but just past twenty, rigidly adhered to one system of diet, who seldom took part in the tourney, scarcely ever hunted, but preferred to pass his hours in the privacy of his own apartment, in company with a favorite few, but talking of nothing and thinking of nothing but Spain. But however distasteful to Philip, he was compelled, in conformity with his father's will, to take part in the festivities in his honor; and in the great square of Brussels, opposite the palace, and arrayed in unaccustomed splendor of cloth of gold and violet velvet, he ran the first course against Count Mansfeldt, and received a brillant ruby as the prize. There is a mournful interest in the details of this tournament, so graphically and spiritedly described by Mr. Prescott. Count Hoorne, Count Egmont, with lance in rest, supportamong the challengers, and the gallant ing Philip; and Alva sitting among the judges, while the emperor, beneath the gorgeous canopy of crimson and gold, his sisters, the regent, and the dowager-queen

of France, on either hand, occupied almost | Metz, at length began to meditate that the very spot where, on that sad morning abdication which ere long was to startle twenty years after, the tolling bells, the Europe. Ere this step had been arranged black scaffold, and the headsman drew to--probably ere it was definitely decided gether a greater, but heart-broken crowd, upon-death, which, if it so often extinto witness the execution of those two gal- guishes ambitious hopes, so often, on the lant nobles, while Alva, drunk with blood, other hand, awakens or aids them, offered but with thirst yet unsatiated, watched a new prize to the still grasping emperor. behind the lattice the fall of their gory Young Edward of England had died, and heads. Mary, the cruelly-used daughter of Catharine of Arragon, the persecuted sister of the Protestant boy-king, the desolate princess, on whose behalf, and for the free exercise of whose faith, Charles, as her nearest maternal relative, had repeatedly interfered, was now actually queen, and unwedded! What a prize for his still widower son!

The history of Philip of Spain now links itself with that of England; and in entering upon it we shall refer to English affairs more largely than Mr. Prescott has done, since scarcely any portion of our annals requires so much to be re-written as those of the reign of Mary.

A residence of more than two years in Flanders, if insufficient to reconcile Philip to the habits of his Flemish subjects, was an amply sufficient space of time for Charles to initiate his son into that science of government which he understood so well. Every day Philip passed some time in his father's cabinet conversing on public affairs, or in attending the sittings of the council of state; and it is probable that Charles "found his son an apt and docile scholar." One thing was still wanting to his father's wishes; that in addition to the crown of Spain, the diadem of the Germanic empire should be secured to his son; and earnest was Charles with his Few kings' daughters, from their very brother Ferdinand to induce him to waive cradle up to womanhood, have been the his prospective claim in favor of his nephew. object of so many marriage treaties as But Ferdinand was unyielding; while to Mary Tudor. Giustinian has told us how the suggestion that Philip might at least Bonnivet placed the diminutive ring on become king of the Romans, the plea that the little child's finger as she stood on her this was in the gift of the electors was urg- mother's knee, thus betrothing her to the ed—a plea unanswerable, and at once fatal Dauphin, then a babe in his nurse's arms. to the claims of Philip of Spain; for, as (B. Q., No. XLII., page 462.) But the Sorriano remarks, while his manners had peace thus solemnly ratified between Henbeen "little pleasing to the Italians, and ry and Francis was ere long broken, and positively displeasing to the Flemings, then Charles V. sought a closer alliance they were altogether odious to the Ger- with his cousin, still the heir-presumptive mans." A kind of compromise was at of the English crown, although then but length entered into between the two broth- six years old, and by the treaty of Winders, and Philip prepared for his departure. sor stipulated that at the age of twelve He had now accomplished the object of she should be sent to Spain to complete his visit in regard to his Flemish subjects; her education. This treaty is very importbut even then "the symptoms of alienation ant, for we find that it was there stipulatbetween the future sovereign and his peo-ed that Mary should be brought up in the ple, which was afterwards to widen into a habits, the language, even the costume of permanent and irreparable breach, might Spain. "And who is so well qualified to be discovered," and when Philip again instruct her in all this as the queen, her visited Flanders, there was little of that mother?" said Henry.* wild enthusiasm which hailed his first appearance.

It was with no reluctant feelings, therefore, that Philip returned to Spain. In July, 1551, he re-landed at Barcelona, proceeding to Valladolid, and there quietly resumed the duties of the regency during the next three years; while his father, humiliated by his flight from Innspruck, and the disastrous results of the siege of

Charles, well acquainted with the inveterate nationality of his aunt, willingly ac

*For if her father shuld seke a maistresse for

hir to frame hir after the maner of Spayne, and of whom she myghte take example of vertue, he shulde not fynde in all Xtendome a more mete than she now hathe, the quene's grace, her mother, who is comen berith to the emperer will norish her, and bringe her of this house of Spayne, and who for th' affection she up, as may hereafter be to his most contentacion."Letter of the Ambassador's, July 8th, Cotton MSS.

quiesced, and thus the princess royal of England was educated as an alien in her own land! Up to the year 1525, this engagement was still considered binding; and an emerald ring, in token of constancy, was presented by the grave ambassadors to Charles, as a love-token from the little princess, which he as gravely received, saying "he wolde weare it for hir sayke." But Charles was now twenty-six years of age, and, naturally enough, his subjects desired to see him married without delay, rather than wait some years longer for his English cousin; so only two months later he wrote to the king and cardinal requesting their assent to his marriage with another first cousin of more suitable age, Isabella of Portugal, who became, as we have seen, mother of Philip II. Ere long Henry and Francis again made peace, and then Francis, now a widower, obligingly offered either himself or his second son. After many negotiations, the subject was dropped, and during the subsequent years the divorce of Catharine fully occupied Henry's mind, while, cast out from court favor and disgracefully branded with illegitimacy, few European princes would be likely to seek alliance with the portionless "Lady Mary." Soon after Catharine's death, however, we find Charles again interfering on behalf of his cousin, and proposing a marriage with his nephew the Infante of Portugal; but ere the arrangements were completed, Francis again came forward with a renewed offer of his second Soon after there were proposals from the Duke of Cleves, and then from the Duke of Urbino, both at the suggestion of Charles, who dreaded above all a French alliance, and to these a third was subsequently added, from Duke Philip of Bavaria. The latter visited England and presented Mary with a diamond cross; but all these negotiations, like the former ones, were broken off.


On the death of her father, with the exception of a proposal from the Marquess of Brandenburgh, Mary was allowed to remain in quiet obscurity, the emperor no longer proposing alliances, but keeping close watch over her interests, and, on the occasion of Edward's council arresting her chaplains for performing mass, directing his ambassador to threaten war unless her religious tenets were respected. This was in 1551, and as Edward was then a sickly youth, it is not improbable that Charles, far-sighted as he had always shown himself,

began to form his plans, should the premature death of the young king open the succession to Mary. At length, in July, 1553, Edward died-from natural causes there is little doubt, for most important to the maturing the projects of Northumberland would a few months, even a few days, have been. The story of the joy that pervaded England when Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen must be dismissed as a palpable falsehood. The poor girl, whose father was as despised as her mother, "the proud lady of Bradgate," was hated, who was raised to a fifteen days' royalty by that most detested of all the parvenu nobles of that age, Dudley, the upstart assumer of the proud title of the Percies - the murderer not the less so because "in course of law"-of Somerset, the king's uncle, and who was well known to sway the young king as a mere puppet-it was impossible that his daughter-in-law could ever have been the object of the people's choice, even had not the king's two sisters been living. But, then, can we believe that Mary's accession was hailed with rejoicings? Contemporary testimony, Protestant as well as Catholic, assures us it was so; and when we remember how much reason the people had to dread a disputed successionhow their fathers had suffered from that very cause in the wars of the Roses-how they themselves had suffered from the feuds of rival nobles-we can well believe that they would be content with any ruler who would set them free from the unbearable tyranny of the Somersets and Northumberlands of that day. We must remember, too, that among the Catholic nobility and their followers-then a large majority--the accession of the Catholic princess, who, through such cruel persecution, had stood firm to her faith, was indeed a triumph. Thus we think it will be found that Mary, notwithstanding her foreign habits, and the slight impression which, notwithstanding her wrongs, she had made upon the people, was yet welcomed by them. They had yet to learn how devoted she was to Spain, and how willing to lay their liberties at the feet of a foreign despot.

Edward died on the 6th of July; and however Northumberland might plot to keep his death secret, we find the wary emperor so quickly apprised of it, that in a letter dated from Brussels only five days afterwards, he gives his first directions to

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »