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XII.

1557.

seemed to be forgotten, while his former services, particu- BOOK larly his defence of Metz, were recounted with exaggerated praise ; and he was welcomed in every city through which he passed, as the restorer of public security, who, after having set bounds by his conduct and valour to the victorious arms of Charles V. returned now, at the call of his country, to check the formidable progress of Philip's power. The reception which he met with from Henry was no less cordial and honourable. New titles were invented, and new dignities created, in order to distinguish him. He was appointed lieutenant-general in chief both within and without the kingdom, with a jurisdiction almost unlimited, and hardly inferior to that which was possessed by the king himself. Thus, through the singular felicity which attended the Princes of Lorrain, the miscarriage of their own schemes contributed to aggrandize them. The calamities of his country, and the ill-conduct of his rival the Constable, exalted the Duke of Guise to a height of dignity and power, which he could not have expected to attain by the most fortunate and most complete success of his own ambitious projects.

The Duke of Guise, eager to perform something suitable Takes the

command to the high expectations of his countrymen, and that he might justify the extraordinary confidence which the King my. had reposed in him, ordered all the troops, which could be got together, to assemble at Compeigne. Though the winter was well advanced, and had set in with extreme severity, he placed himself at their head, and took the field. By Henry's activity and the zeal of his subjects, so many soldiers had been raised in the kingdom, and such considerable reinforcements had been drawn from Germany and Swisserland, as formed an army respectable even in the eyes of a victorious enemy. Philip, alarmed at seeing it put in motion at such an uncommon season, began to tremble for his new conquests, particularly St. Quintin, the fortifications of which were hitherto but imperfectly repaired.

But the Duke of Guise meditated a more important en- He invests

Calais. terprise ; and, after amusing the enemy with threatening

BO O K successively different towns on the frontiers of Flanders, he XII.

turned suddenly to the left, and invested Calais with his 1558.

whole army. Calais had been taken by the English under Jan. 1. Edward III. and was the fruit of that monarch's glori

ous victory at Crecy. Being the only place that they retained of their ancient and extensive territories in France, and which opened to them, at all times, an easy and secure passage into the heart of that kingdom, their keeping possession of it soothed the pride of the one nation as much as it mortified the vanity of the other. Its situation was naturally so strong, and its fortifications deemed so impregnable, that no monarch of France, how adventurous soever, had been bold enough to attack it. Even when the domestic strength of England was broken and exhausted by the bloody wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, and its attention entirely diverted from foreign objects, Calais had remained undisturbed and unthreatened. Mary and her council, composed chiefly of ecclesiastics, unacquainted with military affairs, and whose whole attention was turned towards extirpating heresy out of the kingdom, had not only neglected to take any precautions for the safety of this important place, but seemed to think that the reputation of its strength was alone sufficient for its security. Full of this opinion, they ventured, even after the declaration of war, to continue a practice which the low state of the Queen's finances had introduced in times of peace. As the country adjacent to Calais was overflowed during the winter, and the marshes around it became impassable, except by one avenue, which the forts at St. Agatha and Newnhambridge commanded, it had been the custom of the English

to dismiss the greater part of the garrison towards the end Its de of autumn, and to replace it in the spring. In vain did Lord

Wentworth, the Governor of Calais, remonstrate against this ill-timed parsimony, and represent the possibility of his being attacked suddenly, while he had not troops sufficient to man the works. The privy council treated these remonstrances with scorn, as if they had flowed from the timidity or the rapaciousness of the Governor; and some of them, with that confidence which is the companion of ignorance, boasted that they would defend Calais with their white rods

fenceless state.

1558.

against any enemy who should approach it during winter". BOOK

XII. In vain did Philip, who had passed through Calais as he returned from England to the Netherlands, warn the Queen of the danger to which it was exposed ; and acquainting her with what was necessary for its security, in vain did he offer to reinforce the garrison during winter with a detachment of his own troops. Mary's counsellors, though obsequious to her in all points wherein religion was concerned, distrusted as much as the rest of their countrymen, every proposition that came from her husband; and suspecting this to be an artifice of Philip's in order to gain the command of the town, they neglected his intelligence, declined his offer, and left Calais with less than a fourth part of the garrison requisite for its defence.

His knowledge of this encouraged the Duke of Guise to Guise venture on an enterprise, that surprised his own country- siege with

pushes the men no less than his enemies. As he knew that its success vigour. depended on conducting his operations with such rapidity as would afford the English no time for throwing relief into the town by sea, and prevent Philip from giving him any interruption by land, he pushed the attack with a degree of vigour little known in carrying on sieges during that age. He drove the English from fort St. Agatha at the first assault. He obliged them to abandon the fort of Newnham-bridge after defending it only three days. He took the castle which commanded the harbour by storm; and, on the eighth day after he appeared before Calais, compelled the governor to surrender, as his feeble garrison, which did not exceed five Takes the hundred men, was worn out with the fatigue of sustaining so many attacks, and defending such extensive works.

town,

The Duke of Guise, without allowing the English time and like.

wise Guisto recover from the consternation occasioned by this blow, nes and immediately invested Guisnes, the garrison of which, though Hames. more numerous, defended itself with less vigour, and after standing one brisk assault, gave up the town. The castle of Hames was abandoned by the troops posted there, without waiting the approach of the enemy.

r Carte, ii. 345.

BOOK Thus, in a few days, during the depth of winter, and at XII.

a time when the fatal battle of St. Quintin had so depressed 1558.

the sanguine spirit of the French, that their utmost aim was The splen- to protect their own country, without dreaming of making dour and effect of

conquests on the enemy, the enterprising valour of one man these con- drove the English out of Calais, after they had held it two quests.

hundred and ten years, and deprived them of every foot of land in a kingdom, where their dominions had been once very extensive. This exploit, at the same time that it gave an high idea of the power and resources of France to all Europe, set the Duke of Guise, in the opinion of his countrymen, far above all the generals of the age. They celebrated his conquests with immoderate transports of joy ; while the English gave vent to all the passions which animate a high spirited people, when any great national calamity is manifestly owing to the ill-conduct of their rulers. Mary and her ministers, formerly odious, were now contemptible

All the terrors of her severe and arbitrary administration could not restrain them from uttering execrations and threats against those, who, having wantonly involved the nation in a quarrel wherein it was nowise interested, had by their negligence or incapacity brought irreparable disgrace on their country, and lost the most valuable possession belonging to the English crown.

in their eyes.

The King of France imitated the conduct of its former conqueror, Edward III. with regard to Calais.

He commanded all the English inhabitants to quit the town, and giving their houses to his own subjects, whom he allured to settle there by granting them various immunities, he left a numerous garrison under an experienced governor for their defence. After this, his victorious army was conducted into quarters of refreshment, and the usual inaction of winter returned.

Feb. 24.

DURING these various operations, Ferdinand assembled Charles's resignation the college of Electors at Frankfort, in order to lay before of the Im- them the instrument whereby Charles V. had resigned the perial

Imperial crown, and transferred it to him. This he had hitherto delayed on account of some difficulties which had

crown.

XII.

1558,

occurred concerning the formalities requisite in supplying a BOOK vacancy occasioned by an event, to which there was no pa. rallel in the annals of the Empire. These being at length adjusted, the Prince of Orange executed the commission with which he had been intrusted by Charles ; the Electors accepted of his resignation ; declared Ferdinand his lawful successor ; and put him in possession of all the ensigns of the Imperial dignity.

re

But when the new Emperor sent Gusman his chancellor The pope

refuses to to acquaint the Pope with this transaction, to testify his

acknow. verence towards the Holy See, and to signify that, according ledge Fer

dinand as to form, he would soon dispatch an ambassador extraordi

'emperor. nary to treat with his Holiness concerning his coronation ; Paul, whom neither experience nor disappointments could teach to bring down his lofty ideas of the papal prerogative to such a moderate standard as suited the genius of the times, refused to admit the envoy into his presence, and declared all the proceedings at Frankfort irregular and invalid. He contended that the Pope, as the vicegerent of Christ, was intrusted with the keys both of spiritual and of civil government ; that from him the imperial jurisdiction was derived ; that though his predecessors had authorized the Electors to choose an Emperor whom the Holy See confirmed, this privilege was confined to those cases when a vacancy was occasioned by death; that the instrument of Charles's resignation had been presented in an improper court, as it belonged to the Pope alone to reject or to accept of it, and to nominate a person to fill the Imperial throne ; that, setting aside all these objections, Ferdinand's election laboured under two defects which alone were sufficient to render it void, for the Protestant Electors had been admitted to vote, though by their apostacy from the Catholic faith, they had forfeited that and every other privilege of the electoral of fice; and Ferdinand, by ratifying the concessions of several Diets in favour of heretics, had rendered himself unworthy of the Imperial dignity, which was instituted for the protection, not for the destruction of the church. But after thundering out these extravagant maxims, he added, with an appearance of condescension, that if Ferdinand would

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