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THE EMPEROR CHARLES V.
THE Emperor's dread of the hostile intentions of the B O O K Pope and French King did not proceed from any imaginary or ill-grounded suspicion. Paul had already given the
1547. strongest proofs both of his jealousy and enmity. Charles Francis could not hope that Francis, after a rivalship of so long con- the empe
jealous of tinuance, would behold the great advantages which he had ror's powgained over the confederate Protestants, without feeling his er and suc. ancient emulation revive. He was not deceived in this conjecture. Francis had observed the rapid progress of his arms with deep concern, and though hitherto prevented, by circumgtances which have been mentioned, from interposing in order to check them, he was now convinced that if he did not make some extraordinary and timely effort, Charles must acquire such a degree of power as would enable him to give law to the rest of Europe. This apprehension, which did not take its rise from the jealousy of rivalship alone, but was entertained by the wisest politicians of the age, suggested various expedients which might serve to retard the course of the Emperor's victories, and to form by degrees such a combination against him as might put a stop to his dangerous career.
With this view Francis instructed his emissaries in Ger, Negociates
with the many to employ all their address in order to revive the Protestcourage of the confederates, and to prevent them from sub- ants ;
BO O K mitting to the Emperor. He made liberal offers of his asIX.
sistance to the Elector and Landgrave, whom he knew to be the most zealous as well as the most powerful of the whole body; he used every argument, and proposed every advantage, which could either confirm their dread of the Emperor's designs, or determine them not to imitate the inconsiderate credulity of their associates, in giving up their religion and liberties to his disposal. While he took this step towards continuing the civil war which raged in Germany,
he endeavoured likewise to stir up foreign enemies against with Soly. the Emperor. He solicited Solyman to seize this favourable
opportunity of invading Hungary, which had been drained of all the troops necessary for its defence, in order to form the army against the confederates of Smalkalde. He exhorted the Pope to repair, by a vigorous and seasonable effort, the error of which he had been guilty in contributing to
raise the Emperor to such a formidable height of power. with the
Finding Paul, both from the consciousness of his own misVenetians;
take, and his dread of its consequences, abundantly disposed to listen to what he suggested, he availed himself of this favourable disposition which the Pontiff began to discover, as an argument to gain the Venetians. He endeavoured to convince them that nothing could save Italy, and even Eu. rope, from oppression and servitude, but their joining with the Pope and him, in giving the first beginning to a general confederacy, in order to humble that ambitious potentate, whom they had all equal reason to dread.
with the HAVING set on foot these negociations in the southern kings of
courts, he turned his attention next towards those in the Denmark and Eng. north of Europe. As the King of Denmark had particular land.
reasons to be offended with the Emperor, Francis imagined that the object of the league which he had projected would be highly acceptable to him; and lest considerations of caution or prudence should restrain him from joining in it, he attempted to overcome these, by offering him the young Queen of Scots in marriage to his son a. As the ministers who governed England in the name of Edward VI. had openly declared themselves converts to the opinions of the
a Mem. de Ribier, i, 600. 606.
Reformers, as soon as it became safe upon Henry's death "BOOK to lay aside that disguise which his intolerant bigotry had forced them to assume, Francis flattered himself that their
1547 zeal would not allow them to remain inactive spectators of the overthrow and destruction of those who professed the same faith with themselves. He hoped, that notwithstanding the struggles of faction incident to a minority, and the prospect of an approaching rupture with the Scots, he mightprevail on them likewise to take part in the common cause b.
WHILE Francis employed such a variety of expedients, and exerted himself with such extraordinary activity, to rouse the different states of Europe against his rival, he did not neglect what depended on himself alone. He levied troops in all parts of his dominions; he collected military stores; he contracted with the Swiss cantons for a considerable body of men; he put his finances in admirable order; he remitted considerable sums to the Elector and Landgrave; and took all the other steps necessary towards commencing hostilities, on the shortest warning, and with the greatest vigour
OPERATIONS SO complicated, and which required the put- The empeting so many instruments in motion, did not escape the Em- For greatly peror's observation. He was early informed of Francis's intrigues in the several courts of Europe, as well as of his domestic preparations ; and sensible how fatal an interruption a foreign war would prove to his designs in Germany, he trembled at the prospect of that event. The danger, how ever, appeared to him as unavoidable as it was great. He knew the insatiable and well-directed ambition of Solyman, and that he always chose the season for beginning his military enterprises with prudence equal to the valour with which he conducted them. The Pope, as he had good reason to believe, wanted not pretexts to justify a rupture, nor inclination to begin hostilities. He had already made some discovery of his sentiments, by expressing a joy altogether un
c Ibid. 595.
b Mem. de Ribier, 635. VOL, JIL
BOO K becoming the head of the church, upon receiving an account IX.
of the advantage which the Elector of Saxony had gained over Albert of Brandenburg; and as he was now secure of finding, in the French King, an ally of sufficient power to support him, he was at no pains to conceal the violence and extent of his enmity 4. The Venetians, Charles was well assured, had long observed the growth of his power with jealousy, which, added to the solicitations and promises of France, might at last quicken their slow counsels, and overcome their natural caution. The Danes and English, it was evident, had both peculiar reason to be disgusted, as well as strong motives to act against him. But above all, he dreaded the active emulation of Francis himself, whom he considered as the soul and mover of any confederacy that could be formed against him; and, as that Monarch had afforded protection to Verina, who sailed directly to Marseilles
upon the miscarriage of Fiesco's conspiracy, Charles expected every moment to see the commencement of those hostile operations in Italy, of which he conceived the insurrection in Genoa to have been only the prelude.
Entertains But while he remained in this state of suspense and sohope from the declin. licitude, there was one circumstance which afforded him ing state of some prospect of escaping the danger. The French King's Francis's health.
health began to decline. A disease, which was the effect of his inconsiderate pursuit of pleasure, preyed gradually on his constitution. The preparations for war, as well as the
negociatians in the different courts, began to languish, togeMarch. ther with the Monarch who gave spirit to both. The Ge
noese, during that interval, reduced Montobbio, took Jerome Fiesco prisoner, and putting him to death, together with his chief adherents, extinguished all remains of the conspiracy. Several of the Imperial cities in Germany, despairing of timely assistance from France, submitted to the Emperor. Even the Landgrave seemed disposed to abandon the Elector, and to bring matters to a speedy accommodation, on such terms as he could obtain. In the mean time, Charles waited with impatience thre issue of a disteme
d Mem. de Ribier, tom. i. 637
per, which was to decide whether he must relinquish all B O O K other schemes, in order to prepare for resisting a combination of the greater part of Europe against him, or whether
1547. he might proceed to invade Saxony, without interruption or fear of danger.
The good fortune, so remarkably propitious to his family, that some historians have called it the Star of the House of Austria, did not desert him on this occasion. Francis died Death of at Rambouillet, on the last day of March, in the fifty-third and reflecyear of his age, and the thirty-third of his reign. During tions on his
character twenty-eight years of that time, an avowed rivalship subsisted between him and the Emperor, which involved not only ship with
Charles. their own dominions, but the greater part of Europe, in wars, which were prosecuted with more violent animosity, and drawn out to a greater length, than had been known in any former period. Many circumstances contributed to this. Their animosity was founded in opposition of interest, heightened by personal emulation, and exasperated not only by mutual injuries, but by reciprocal insults. At the same time, whatever advantage one seemed to possess towards gaining the ascendant, was wonderfully balanced by some favourable circumstance peculiar to the other. The Emperor's dominions were of greater extent, the French King's lay more compact; Francis governed his kingdom with absolute power; that of Charles was limited, but he supplied the want of authority by address: the troops of the former were more impetuous and enterprising ; those of the latter better disciplined, and more patient of fatigue. The talents and abilities of the two Monarchs, were as different as the advantages which they possessed, and contributed no less to prolong the contest between them. Francis took his resolutions suddenly, prosecuted them at first with warmth, and pushed them into execution with a most adventurous courage; but being destitute of the perseverance necessary to surmount difficulties, he often abandoned his designs, 'or relaxed the vigour of pursuit, from impatience, and sometimes from levity. Charles deliberated long and determined with coolness; but having once fixed his plan, he adhered to it with inflexible obstinacy, and neither danger nor dis