BO O Ķ gour as could not fail of securing success. Transported by

his zeal against heresy, Paul forgot all the prudent and cautious maxims of the Papal See, with regard to the danger of extending the Imperial authority beyond due bounds; and in order to crush the Lutherans, he was willing to contribute towards raising up a master that might one day prove formidable to himself as well as to the rest of Italy.

Concludes a truce with Solyman.

But, besides the certain expectation of assistance from the Pope, Charles was now secure from any danger of interruption to his designs by the Turkish arms. His negociations at the Porte, which he had carried on with great assiduity since the peace of Crespy, were on the point of being terminated in such a manner as he desired. Solyman, partly in compliance with the French King, who in order to avoid the disagreeable obligation of joining the Emperor against his ancient ally, laboured with great zeal to bring about an accommodation between them; and partly from its being necessary to turn his arms towards the east, where the Persians threatened to invade his dominions, consented without difficulty to a truce for five years. The chief article of it was, That each should retain possession of what he now held in Hungary; and Ferdinand, as a sacrifice to the pride of the Sultan, submitted to pay an annual tribute of fifty thousand crownsf.

Gains But it was upon the aid and concurrence of the Germans Maurice,

themselves that the Emperor relied with the greatest confiand other princes in dence. The Germanic body, he knew, was of such vast Germany. strength, as to be invincible if it were united, and that it

was only by employing its own force that he could hope to subdue it. Happily for him the union of the several members in this great system was so feeble, the whole frame was so loosely compacted, and its different parts tended so violently towards separation from each other, that it was almost impossible for it, on any important emergence, to join in a general or vigorous effort. In the present juncture, the sources of discord were as many, and as various, as had been known on any occasion. The Roman Catholics, animated with zeal in defence of their religion proportional to BOO

f Istuanhaffii Hist. Hun. 180. Mem. de Ribier, tom. i. 582.

VIII. the fierceness with which it had been attacked, were eager to second any attempt to humble those innovators, who had

1546. overturned it in many provinces, and endangered it in more. John and Albert of Brandenburg, as well as several other Princes, incensed at the haughtiness and rigour with which the Duke of Brunswick had been treated by the confederates of Smalkalde, were impatient to rescue him, and to be revenged on them. Charles observed, with satisfaction, the working of those passions in their minds, and counting on them as sure auxiliaries whenever he should think it

proper to act, he found it, in the mean time, more necessary to moderate than to inflame their rage. .

SUCĂ was the situation of affairs, such the discernment Holds a with which the Emperor foresaw and provided for every tisbon.

diet at Ra event, when the diet of the Empire met at Ratisbon. Many of the Roman Catholic members appeared there in person, but most of the confederates of Smalkalde, under pretence of being unable to bear the expense occasioned by the late unnecessary frequency of such assemblies, sent only deputies. Their jealousy of the Emperor, together with an apprehension that violence might, perhaps, be employed, in order to force their approbation of what he should propose in the diet, was the true cause of their absence. The speech with which the Emperor opened the diet was extremely artful. After professing, in common form, his regard for the prosperity of the Germanic body, and declaring, that, in order to bestow his whole attention upon the re-establishment of its order and tranquillity, he had at present abandoned all other cares, rejected the most pressing solicitations of his other subjects to reside among them, and postponed affairs of the greatest importance; he took notice, with some disapprobation, that his disinterested example had not been imitated; many members of chief consideration having neglected to attend an assembly to which he had repaired with such manifest inconvenience to himself. He then mentioned their unhappy dissentions about religion ; lamented the ill success of his past endeavours to compose them ; complained of the abrupt dissolution of the late conference, and


BOO K craved their advice with regard to the best and most effec,

tual method of restoring union to the churches of Germany,

together with that happy agreement in articles of faith, which 1546.

their ancestors had found to be of no less advantage to their civil interest, than becoming their Christian profession.

By this gracious and popular method of consulting the members of the diet, rather than of obtruding upon them any opinion of his own, besides the appearance of great moderation and the merit of paying much respect to their judgment, the Emperor dexterously avoided discovering his own sentiments, and reserved to himself, as his only part, that of carrying into execution what they should recommend. Nor was he less secure of such a decision as he wished to obtain, by referring it wholly to themselves. The Roman Chatholic members, prompted by their own zeal, or prepared by his intrigues, joined immediately in representing that the authority of the council now met at Trent ought to be supreme in all matters of controversy; that all Christians should submit to its decrees as the infallible rule of their faith ; and therefore they besought him to exert the power, with which he was invested by the Almighty, in protecting that assembly, and in compelling the Protestants to acquiesce in its determinations. The Protestants, on the other hand, presented a memorial, in which, after repeating their objections to the council of Trent, they proposed, as the only effectual method of deciding the points in dispute, that either a free general council should be assembled in Germany, or a national council of the Empire should be called, or a select number of divines should be appointed out of each party to examine and define articles of faith. They mentioned the recesses of several diets favourable to this proposition, and which had afforded them the prospect of terminating all their differences in this amicable manner; they now conjured the Emperor not to depart from his former plan, and by offering violence to their consciences, to bring calamities upon Germany, the very thought of which must fill every lover of his country with horror. The Emperor receiving this paper with a contemptuous smile, paid no farther regard to it. Having already taken his final resolution, and perceiving

that nothing but force could compel them to acquiesce in it, BOOK

VIII. he dispatched the Cardinal of Trent to Rome, in order to conclude an alliance with the Pope, the terms of which were

1546. already agreed on ; he commanded a body of troops, levied June 9. on purpose in the Low-Countries, to advance towards Ger. many; he gave commissions to several officers for raising men in different parts of the Empire ; he warned John and Albert of Brandenburg, that now was the proper time of exerting themselves, in order to rescue their ally, Henry of Brunswick, from captivity 8.

All these things could not be transacted without the ob- The Proservation and knowledge of the Protestants. The secret was


alarmed. now in many hands ; under whatever veil the Emperor still affected to conceal his designs, his officers kept no such mysterious reserve; and his allies and subjects spoke out his intentions plainly. Alarmed with reports of this kind from every quarter, as well as with the preparations for war which they could not but observe, the deputies of the confederates demanded audience of the Emperor, and in the name of their masters, required to know whether these military preparations were carried on by his command, and for what end, and against what enemy? To a question put in such a tone, and at a time when facts were become too notorious to be denied, it was necessary to give an explicit answer. Charles owned the orders which he had issued, and professing his purpose not to molest on account of religion those who should act as dutiful subjects ; declared that he had nothing in view but to maintain the rights and prerogatives of the Imperial dignity; and, by punishing some factious members, to preserve the ancient constitution of the Empire from being impaired or dissolved by their irregular and licentious conduct. Though the Emperor did not name the persons whom he charged with such high crimes, and destined to be the objects of his vengeance, it was obvious that he had the Elector of Saxony and Landgrave of Hesse in view. Their deputies considering what he had said, as a plain declaration of his hostile intentions, immediately retired from Ratisbon h.

g Sleid. 374. Seck. iii. 658.

h Sleid. 376.


THE Cardinal of Trent found it no difficult matter to treat VIII.

with the Pope, who having at length brought the Emperor

to adopt that plan which he had long recommended, assent1546. The empe. ed with eagerness to every article that he proposed. The ror's treaty league was signed a few days after the Cardinal's arrival at with the pope.

Rome. The pernicious heresies which abounded in Ger. July 26.

many, the obstinacy of the Protestants in rejecting the holy council assembled at Trent, and the necessity of maintaining sound doctrine, together with good order in the church, are mentioned as the motives of this union between the contracting parties. In order to check the growth of these evils, and to punish such as had impiously contributed to spread them, the Emperor, having long and without success made trial of gentler remedies, engaged instantly to take the field with a sufficient army, that he might compel all who disowned the council, or had apostatized from the religion of their forefathers, to return into the bosom of the church, and submit with due obedience to the Holy See. He likewise bound himself not to conclude a peace with them during six months without the Pope's consent, nor without assigning him his share in any conquests which should be made upon them; and that even after this period he should not agree to any accommodation which might be detrimental to the church, or to the interest of religion. On his part, the Pope stipulated to deposit a large sum in the bank of Venice towards defraying the expense of the war; to maintain, at his own charge, during the space of six months, twelve thousand foot, and five hundred horse ; to grant the Emperor, for one year, half of the ecclesiastical revenues throughout Spain ; to authorize him, by a bull, to alienate as much of the lands, belonging to religious houses in that country, as would amount to the sum of five hundred thou. sand crowns; and to employ not only spiritual censures, but military force, against any Prince who should attempt to interrupt or defeat the execution of this treaty i..

NOTWITHSTANDING the explicit terms in which the exvours still tirpation of heresy was declared to be the object of the war his inten. which was to follow upon this treaty, Charles still endea


i Sleid. 381. Pallav. 255. Dumont Corps Diplom. 11.

« VorigeDoorgaan »