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OF THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR
PROGRESS OF SOCIETY IN EUROPE,
FROM THE SUBVERSION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE TO THE
BEGINNING OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
BY WILLIAM ROBERTSON, D. D.
and Member of the Royal Academy of History at Madrid,
FROM THE LATEST LONDON EDITION.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY E. AND E. HOSFORD.
OF THE REIGN OF THE EMPEROR
THE calamities which the emperor suffered in his unfor- BOOK tunate enterprise against Algiers were great; and the account of these, which augmented in proportion as it spread at a greater distance from the scene of his disasters, encouraged Renewal of Francis to begin hostilities, on which he had been for some by Francis, time resolved. But he did not think it prudent to produce, tives for it. as the motives of this resolution, either his ancient pretensions to the dutchy of Milan, or the emperor's disingenuity in violating his repeated promises with regard to the restitution of that country. The former might have been a good reason against concluding the truce of Nice, but was none for breaking it ; the latter could not be urged without exposing his own credulity as much as the emperor's want of integrity. A violent and unwarrantable action of one of the imperial generals furnished him with a reason to justify his taking arms, which was of greater weight than either of these, and such as would have roused him, if he had been as desirous of peace as he was eager for war. Francis, by signing the treaty of truce at Nice, without consulting Solyman, gave, as he foresaw, great offence to that haughty monarch, who considered an alliance with him as an honour of which a Christian prince had cause to be proud. The friendly interview of the French king with the emperor in Provence, followed by such extraordinary appearances of union and confidence which distinguished the recep
BOOK tion of Charles when he passed through the dominions of FranVII.
cis to the Low-Countries, induced the sultan to suspect that the two rivals had at last forgotten their ancient enmity, in order that they might form such a general confederacy against the Ottoman power as had been long wished for in Christendom, and often attempted in vain. Charles, with his usual art, endeavoured to confirm and strengthen these suspicions, by instructing his emissaries at Constantinople, as well as in those courts with which Solyman held any intelligence, to represent the concord between him and Francis to be so entire, that their sentiments, views, and pursuits, would be the same for the future. * It was not without difficulty that Francis effaced these impressions ; but the address of Rincon, the French ambassador at the Porte, together with the manifest advantage of carrying on hostilities against the house of Austria in concert with France, prevailed at length on the sultan not only to banish his suspicions, but to enter into a closer conjunction with Francis than ever. Rincon returned into France, in order to communicate to his master a scheme of the sultan's for gaining the concurrence of the Venetians in their operations against the common enemy. Solyman having lately concluded a peace with that republic, to which the mediation of Francis and the good offices of Rincon had greatly contributed, thought it not impossible to allure the senate by such advantages, as, together with the example of the French monarch, might overbalance any scruples arising either from decency or caution, that could operate on the other side. Francis, warmly approving of this measure, despatched Rincon back to Constantinople, and directing him to go by Venice along with Fregoso, a Genoese exile, whom he appointed his ambassador to that republic, empowered them to negotiate the matter with the senate, to whom Solyman had sent an envoy for the same purpose. The marquis del Guasto, governor of the Milanese, an officer of great abilities, but capable of attempting and executing the most atrocious actions, got intel.. ligence of the motions and destination of these ambassadors. As he knew how much his master wished to discover the in
* Mem. de. Ribier, tom. i. p. 502. † Hist. de Venet. de Paruta, iv. 125.
tentions of the French king, and of what consequence it was BOOK
VII. to retard the execution of his measures, he employed some soldiers belonging to the garrison of Pavia to lie in wait for Rincon and Fregoso as they sailed down the Po, who murder- The murder ed them and most of their attendants, and seized their papers. ambassa. Upon receiving an account of this barbarous outrage, commit- text for this, ted during the subsistence of a truce, against persons held sacred by the most uncivilized nations, Francis's grief for the unhappy fate of two servants whom he loved and trusted, his uneasiness at the interruption of his schemes by their death, and every other passion, were swallowed up and lost in the indignation which this insult on the honour of his crown excited. He exclaimed loudly against Guasto, who, having drawn upon himself all the infamy of assassination without making any discovery of importance, as the ambassadors had left their instructions and other papers of
consequence behind them, now boldly denied his being accessary in any wise to the crime. He sent an ambassador to the emperor, to demand suitable reparation for an indignity, which no prince, how inconsiderable or pusillanimous soever, could tamely endure: and when Charles, impatient at that time to set out on his African expedition, endeavoured to put him off with an evasive answer, he appealed to all the courts in Europe, setting forth the heinousness of the injury, the spirit of moderation with which he had applied for redress, and the iniquity of the emperor in disregarding this just request.
Notwithstanding the confidence with which Guasto asserted his own innocence, the accusations of the French gained greater credit than all his protestations; and Bellay, the French commander in Piedmont, procured at length, by his industry and address, such a minute detail of the transaction, with the testimony of so many of the parties concerned, as amounted almost to a legal proof of the marquis's guilt. In consequence of this opinion of the public, confirmed by such strong evidence, Francis's complaints were universally allowed to be well founded, and the steps which he took towards renewing hostilities, were ascribed not merely to' ambition or resent