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him in quiet possession of the greater part of the Duke of BOOK
XI. Savoy's dominions, together with the important conquests which he had made on the German frontier. But it was no easy matter to reconcile such a step with the engagements which he had come under to the Pope, in his late treaty with him. The Constable Montmorency, however, represented in such a striking light the imprudence of sacrificing the true interests of his kingdom to these rash obligations, and took such advantage of the absence of the Cardinal of Lorrain, who had seduced the King into his alliance with the Caraffas, that Henry, who was naturally fluctuating and unsteady, and apt to be influenced by the advice last given him, authorized his ambassadors to sign a treaty of truce 5th Feb. with the Emperor for five years, on the terms which had been proposed. But that he might not seem to have altogether forgotten his ally the Pope, who, he foresaw, would be highly exasperated, he, in order to sooth him, took care that he should be expressly included in the truce*.
THE Count of Lalain repaired to Blois, and the Admiral Ratified by Coligny to Brussels; the former to be present when the King of France, and the latter when the Emperor and his son, ratified the treaty and bound themselves by oath to observe it y. When an account of the conferences at Vaucel. The pope's
astonishles, and of the conditions of truce which had been proposed ment and
distress. there, were first carried to Rome, it gave the Pope no manner of disquiet. He trusted so much to the honour of the French monarch, that he would not allow himself to think that Henry could forget so soon, or violate so shamefully, all the stipulations in his league with him. He had such an high opinion of the Emperor's wisdom, that he made no doubt of his refusing his consent to a truce on such unequal terms; and on both these accounts he confidently pronounc
x Mem. de Ribier, ii. 626. Corps Diplom. tom. iv. App. 81.
y One of Admiral de Coligny's attendants, who wrote to the court of France an account of what happened while they resided at Brussels, takes notice, as an instance of Philip's unpoliteness, that he received the French ambassador in an apartment hung with tapestry, which represented the battle of Pavia, the manner in which Francis I. was taken prisoner, his voyage to Spain, with all the mortifying circumstances of his captivity and imprisonment at Madrid. Mem. de Ribier, ii. 634.
BOO K ed that this, like many preceding negociations, would terXI.
minate in nothing. But later and more certain intelligence
soon convinced him that no reasoning in political affairs is 1556.
more fallacious, than because an event is improbable, to conclude that it will not happen. The sudden and unexpected conclusion of the truce filled Paul with astonishment and terror. The Cardinal of Lorrain durst not encounter that storm of indignation, to which he knew that he should be exposed from the haughty Pontiff, who had so good reason to be incensed; but departing abruptly from Rome, he left to the Cardinal Tournon the difficult task of attempting to sooth Paul and his nephews. They were fully sensible of the perilous situation in which they now stood. By their engagements with France, which were no longer secret, they had highly irritated Philip. They dreaded the violence of his implacable temper. The Duke of Alva, a minister fitted, as well by his abilities as by the severity of his nature, for executing all Philip's rigorous schemes, had advanced from Milan to Naples, and began to assemble troops on the frontiers of the Ecclesiastical State.
While they, if deserted by France, must not only relinquish all the hopes of dominion and sovereignty to which their ambition aspired, but remain exposed to the resentment of the Spanish monarch, without one ally to protect them against an enemy with whom they were so little able to contend.
Under these circumstances, Paul had recourse to the arts of negociation and intrigue ; of which the Papal court knows well how to avail itself in order to ward off any calamity threatened by an enemy superior in power. He affected to approve highly of the truce, as an happy expedient for putting a stop to the effusion of Christian blood. He expressed his warmest wishes that it might prove the forerunner of a definite peace. He exhorted the rival Princes to embrace this favourable opportunity of setting on foot a ne. gociation for that purpose, and offered, as their common father, to be mediator between them.
Under this pretext, he appointed Cardinal Rebiba his nuncio to the court of Brussels, and his nephew Cardinal Caraffa to that of Paris. The public instructions given to them both were the same ;
that they should use their utmost endeavours to prevail with B O O K the two monarchs to accept of the Pope's mediation, that by means of it, peace might be re-established, and measures might be taken for assembling a general council. But under this specious appearance of zeal for attaining objects so desirable in themselves, and so becoming his sacred character to pursue, Paul concealed very different intentions. Caraffa, besides his public instructions, received a private commission to solicit the French King to renounce the treaty of truce, and to renew his engagements with the Holy See ; and he was empowered to spare neither entreaties, nor promises, nor bribes, in order to gain that point. This both the uncle and the nephew considered as the real end of the embassy ; while the other served to amuse the vulgar, or to deceive the Emperor and his son. The Car- 11th May. dinal, accordingly, set out instantly for Paris, and travelled with the greatest expedition, while Rebiba was detained some weeks at Rome ; and when it became necessary for him to begin his journey, he received secret orders to protract it as much as possible, that the issue of Caraffa's negociation might be known before he should reach Brussels, and according to that, proper directions might be given to him with regard to the tone which he should assume, in treating with the Emperor and his son a.
CARAFFA made his entry into Paris with extraordinary His negopomp; and having presented a consecrated sword to Henry, for that as the Protector, on whose aid the Pope relied in the pre- purpose. sent exigency, he besought him not to disregard the entreaties of a parent in distress, but to employ that weapon which he gave him in his defence. This he represented not only as a duty of filial piety, but as an act of justice. As the Pope, from confidence in the assistance and support which his late treaty with France entitled him to expect, had taken such steps as had irritated the King of Spain, he conjured Henry not to suffer Paul and his family to be crushed under the weight of that resentment, which they had drawn on themselves merely by their attachment to France. Together
z Pallav. lib. xiii. p. 169. Burnet Hist. of Reform. ii. App. 309.
BO O K with this argument addressed to his generosity, he employ
ed another which he hoped would work on his ambition.
ef. fect. July 31.
Every word Caraffa spoke made a deep impression on Henry; conscious, on the one hand, that the Pope had just cause to reproach him with having violated the laws not only of generosity but of decency, when he renounced his league with him, and had agreed to the truce of Vaucelles; and eager, on the other hand, not only to distinguish his reign by a conquest, which three former monarchs had attempted without success, but likewise to acquire an establishment of such dignity and value for one of his sons. Reverence, however, for the oath, by which he had so lately confirmed the truce of Yaucelles; the extreme old age of the Pope, whose death might occasion an entire revolution in the political system of Italy; together with the representations of Montmorency, who repeated all the arguments he had used against the first league with Paul, and pointed out the great and immediate advantages which France derived from the truce; kept Henry for some time in suspense, and might possibly have outweighed all Caraffa's arguments. But the Cardinal was not such a novice in the arts of intrigue and negociation,
as not to have expedients ready for removing or surmounting all these obstacles. To obviate the king's scruple with regard to his oath, he prodúced powers from the Pope to absolve him from the obligation of it. By way of security against any danger which he might apprehend from the Pope's death, he engaged that his uncle would make such a nomination of Cardinals, as should give Henry the absolute command of the next election, and enable him to place in the papal chair a person entirely devoted to his interest.
In order to counterbalance the effect of the Constable's opinion and influence, he employed not only the active talents of the Duke of Guise, and the eloquence of his brother the Cardinal of Lorrain, but the address of the Queen, aided by the more powerful arts of Diana of Poitiers, who, unfortunately for France, co-operated with Catharine in this point, though she took pleasure, on almost every other occasion, to thwart and mortify her. They, by their united solicitations, easily swayed the King, who leaned, of his own accord, to that side towards which they wished him to incline. All Montmorency's prudent remonstrances were disregarded; the nuncio absolved Henry from his oath; and he signed a new league with the Pope, which re-kindled the flames of war both in Italy and in the Low-Countries.
As soon as Paul was informed by his nephew that there July 31.“ was a fair prospect of his succeeding in this negociation, he The pope's
violent dispatched a messenger after the nuncio Rebiba, with orders
proceedto return to Rome, without proceeding to Brussels. As it ings a.
gainst Phi. was now no longer necessary to preserve that tone of mode
lip. ration, which suited the character of a mediator, and which he had affected to assume, or to put any
upon his resentment against Philip, he boldly threw off the mask, and took such violent steps as rendered a rupture unavoidable. He seized and imprisoned the Spanish envoy at his court.
He excommunicated the Colonnas ; and having deprived Mark Antonio, the head of that family, of the dukedom of Paliano, he granted that dignity, together with the territory annexed to it, to his nephew the Count of Montorio. He ordered a legal information to be presented