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BO O K to foreign affairs, and prevented Maurice's obtaining that
aid, which their zeal for the Reformation would have prompted them to grant him.
Demands once more that the
should be set at li.
MAURICE, however, having secured the protection of such
a powerful Monarch as Henry II. proceeded with great conLandgrave fidence, but with equal caution, to execute his plan. As he
judged it necessary to make one effort more, in order to obberty. tain the Emperor's consent that the Landgrave should be set December. at liberty, he sent a solemn embassy, in his own name, and
in that of the Elector of Brandenburg, to Inspruck. After resuming, at great length, all the facts and arguments upon which they founded their claim, and representing, in the strongest terms, the peculiar engagements which bound them to be so assiduous in their solicitations, they renewed the request in behalf of the unfortunate prisoner, which they had so often preferred in vain. The Elector Palatine, the Duke of Wurtemberg, the Dukes of Mecklenburg, the Duke of Deuxponts, the Marquis of Brandenburg Bareith, and the Marquis of Baden, by their ambassadors, concurred with them in their suit. Letters were likewise delivered to the same effect from the King of Denmark, the Duke of Bavaria, and the Dukes of Lunenburg. Even the King of the Romans joined in this application, being moved with compassion towards the Landgrave in his wretched situation, or influenced, perhaps, by a secret jealousy of his brother's power and designs, which, since his attempt to alter the order of succession in the Empire, he had come to view with other eyes than formerly, and dreaded to a great degree.
But Charles, constant to his own system, with regard to the Landgrave, eluded a demand urged by such powerful intercessors; and having declared that he would communicate his resolution concerning the matter to Maurice as soon as he arrived at Inspruck, where he was every day expected, he did not deign to descend into any more particular explication of his intentions d. This application, though of
c Burnet's Hist. of the Reform. vol. ii. Append. 37. d Sleid. 531. Thuan. lib. viii. 280.
no benefit to the Landgrave, was of great advantage to BOOK Maurice. It served to justify his subsequent proceedings, and to demonstrate the necessity of employing arms in order to extort that equitable concession, which his mediation or entreaty could not obtain. It was of use, too, to confirm the Emperor in his security, as both the solemnity of the application, and the solicitude with which so many Princes were drawn in to enforce it, led him to conclude that they placed all their hopes of restoring the Landgrave to liberty, in gaining his consent to dismiss him.
MAURICE employed artifices still more refined to conceal 1552. his machinations, to amuse the Emperor, and to gain time.
continues He affected to be more solicitous than ever to find out some to amuse expedient for removing the difficulties with regard to the the empesafe-conduct for the Protestant divines appointed to attend the council, so that they might repair thither without any apprehension of danger. His ambassadors at Trent had frequent conferences concerning this matter with the Imperial ambassadors in that city, and laid open their sentiments to them with the appearance of the most unreserved confidence. He was willing, at last, to have it believed, that he thought all differences with respect to this preliminary article were on the point of being adjusted ; and in order to give credit to this opinion, he commanded Melancthon, together with his brethren, to set out on their journey to Trent. At the same time, he held a close correspondence
with the Imperial court at Inspruck, and renewed on every & occasion his professions not only of fidelity but of attach
ment to the Emperor. He talked continually of his intention of going to Inspruck in person ; he gave orders to hire a house for him in that city, and to fit it up with the greatest dispatch for his reception.
But, profoundly skilled as Maurice was in the arts of de- The empeceit, and impenetrable as he thought the veil to be, under ror conwhich he concealed his designs, there were several things in his conduct which alarmed the Emperor amidst his security, picion con
ceives some sus
e Arnoldi yita Maurit. ap. Menken. ii. 1229.
BOO K and tempted him frequently to suspect that he was meditat
ing something extraordinary. As these suspicions took
their rise from circumstances inconsiderable in themselves, 1552. cerning his or of an ambiguous as well as uncertain nature, they were intentions. more than counterbalanced by Maurice's address; and the
Emperor would not, lightly, give up his confidence in a man, whom he had once trusted and loaded with favours. One particular alone seemed to be of such consequence, that he thought it necessary to demand an explanation with regard to it. The troops, which George of Mecklenburg had taken into pay after the capitulation of Magdeburg, having fixed their quarters in Thuringia, lived at discretion on the lands of the rich ecclesiastics in their neighbourhood. Their licence and rapaciousness were intolerable. Such as felt or dreaded their exactions, complained loudly to the Emperor, and represented them as a body of men kept in readiness for some desperate enterprise. But Maurice, partly by extenuating the enormities of which they had been guilty, partly by representing the impossibility of disbanding these troops, or of keeping them to regular discipline, unless the arrears still due to them by the Emperor were paid, either removed the apprehensions which this had occasioned, or, as Charles was not in a condition to satisfy the demands of these sol. diers, obliged him to be silent with regard to the matter f.
Maurice The time of action was now approaching. Maurice had For action. privately dispatched Albert of Brandenburg to Paris, in or.
der to confirm his league with Henry, and to hasten the march of the French army. He had taken measures to bring his own subjects together on the first summons; he had provided for the security of Saxony, while he should be absent with the army; and he held the troops in Thuringia, on which he chiefly depended, ready to advance on a moment's warning. All these complicated operations were carried on without being discovered by the court at Inspruck, and the Emperor remained there in perfect tranquillity, busied entirely in counteracting the intrigues of the Pope's legate at Trent, and in settling the conditions on which the Protestant divines should be admitted into the BOOK council, as if there had not been any transaction of greater moment in agitation.
f Sleid. 549. Thuan. 339.
This credulous security in a Prince, who, by his sagacity Circumin observing the conduct of all around him, was commonly which conled to an excess of distrust, may seem unaccountable, and tributed to
deceive the has been imputed to infatuation. But besides the exquisite
emperor, address with which Maurice concealed his intentions, two circumstances contributed to the delusion. The gout had returned upon Charles soon after his arrival at Inspruck, with an increase of violence; and his constitution being broken by such frequent attacks, he was seldom able to ex. ert his natural vigour of mind, or to consider affairs with his usual vigilance and penetration ; and Granvelle, bishop of Arras, his prime minister, though one of the most subtle statesmen of that or perhaps of any age, was on this occasion the dupe of his own craft. He entertained such an high opinion of his own abilities, and held the political talents of the Germans in such contempt, that he despised all the intimations given him concerning Maurice's secret machina- and his
ministers. tions, or the dangerous designs which he was carrying on. When the Duke of Alva, whose dark suspicious mind harboured many doubts concerning the Elector's sincerity, proposed calling him immediately to court to answer for his conduct, Granvelle replied with great scorn, That these apprehensions were groundless, and that a drunken German head was too gross to form any scheme which he could not easily penetrate and baffle. Nor did he assume this peremptory tone merely from confidence in his own discernment; he had bribed two of Maurice's ministers, and received from them frequent and minute information concerning all their master's motions. But through this very channel, by which he expected to gain access to all Maurice's counsels, and even to his thoughts, such intelligence was conveyed to him as completed his deception. Maurice fortunately discovered the correspondence of the two traitors with Granvelle, but instead of punishing them for their crime, he dexterously availed himself of their fraud, and turned his own arts. against the bishop. He affected to treat these ministers
BOOK with greater confidence than ever; he admitted them to his
consultations; he seemed to lay open his heart to them; and taking care all the while to let them be acquainted with nothing but what it was his interest should be known, they transmitted to Inspruck such accounts as possessed Granvelle with a firm belief of his sincerity as well as good intentions 8. The Emperor himself, in the fulness of security, was so little moved by a memorial, in name of the ecclesiastical Electors, admonishing him to be on his guard against Maurice, that he made light of this intelligence; and his answer to them abounds with declarations of his entire and confident reliance on the fidelity as well as attachment of that Prince b.
Maurice At last Maurice's preparations were completed, and he takes the field a
had the satisfaction to find that his intrigues and designs gainst the
were still unknown. But, though now ready to take the emperor.
field, he did not lay aside the arts which he had hitherto employed ; and by one piece of craft more he deceived his enemies a few days longer. He gave out, that he was about to begin that journey to Inspruck of which he had so often talked, and he took one of the ministers whom Granvelle had bribed, to attend him thither. After travelling post a few stages, he pretended to be indisposed by the fatigue of the journey, and dispatching the suspected minister to make his apology to the Emperor for this delay, and to assure him that he would be at Inspruck within a few
days ; he mounted on horseback, as soon as this spy on his March 18. actions was gone, rode full speed towards Thuringia, joined
his army, which amounted to twenty thousand foot and five thousand horse, and put it immediately in motion i.
Publishes a At the same time he published a manifesto, containing manifesto
his reasons for taking arms. These were three in number : justifying his conduct. g Melvil's Memoirs, fol. edit.
h Sleid. 535.