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ficent volume been distributed. The number of copies struck off was necessarily limited, and as it will probably remain for ever one of the rarest and most precious literary treasures of the present age, we gladly avail ourselves of the permission of the Editor to make known to the public that portion of its contents which can be appropriated by a Review. The volume itself, a splendid folio, emblazoned even on its covers with the black and gold of the Imperial escutcheon, and enriched with innumerable prints and devices, reproduced by modern ingenuity and science with entire precision and completeness, must, we fear, remain hid from the sight of mortals in the guarded libraries of the curious, and beyond measure rare even amongst them. But its literary and historical merits, though somewhat eclipsed by the gorgeous exterior and countless illustrations which surround them, are of no common importance and interest; and these at least we are at liberty to transfer in part to our own pages.
The author of the well-known volumes on * Art and Artists * in Spain ’and of the Cloister Life of Charles V.,'has left no insignificant mark in literature. To great accuracy of historical research and an extensive acquaintance with the elder writers of Spain and Italy, in the noblest age and style of those countries, Sir William Stirling Maxwell unites many of the most essential qualities of an original writer—a keen discernment of character, a quaint humour tinged with wit, and an exquisite refinement of style. Everything which we owe to his pen bears the stamp of exact knowledge and unwearied labour. The love of letters has not only been to him the recreation of an active life and the ornament of a great position, but it inspires him with higher objects than those of dilettanti authorship; and if circumstances had confined him more closely to the field of literature, we might have obtained from his assiduous culture a more abundant crop of judicious criticism or of historical inquiry. As it is, we hope that his long-promised life of Don John of Austria is not far distant from its completion, and that even his care will at last be satisfied that no further additions can be made to it. Meanwhile under the unassuming title of • Notes' to these triumphs and portraits of Charles V., he has given us what might be termed in other hands a series of chapters from the life of the great Emperor, and we are convinced that they will not lose their interest, if we venture to detach a portion of them from the highly-wrought frame in which it has pleased him to present them to his friends. We shall therefore in the course of this article borrow more largely than we are wont to do from books acces
sible to the public, and our principal object is to make our readers acquainted with some passages, at least, from a work of singular interest, which must be to most of them as little known as if it were still in manuscript.
The Triumphs or Victories of Charles V., by Martin Heemskerck (to which we shall presently refer) form but a small portion of the illustrations in this extraordinary collection. Every known engraving of Charles to which access could be procured, from the prints, books, medallions, seals or coins of the 16th century, has been reproduced in this volume in the original size and with scrupulous accuracy. The portraits of the Emperor alone are about forty in number, most of them being in the Keir collection. They commence with the graceful outline of the stripling of sixteen who, at that age, somewhat irregularly assumed the title of King of Castile, and they continue in a series of increasing interest until they reach the climax and paragon of the art of portraiture in a head by Van Kessel, taken from Titian's equestrian picture of Charles at Mühlberg --the Dux et Imperator-resplendent in arms, majestic as Hamlet's father, and breathing with imperishable life. In our judgment that portrait (at Madrid) ranks with the three or four finest things that painting has given to the world. These portraits
* Represent Charles in the various stages of life, as a boy, a lad, in the flower of his manhood, and in his premature old age, up to the date when
“ With age and care and maladies opprest.
He sought the haven of conventual rest." In most of these we find the expression of gravity and severity, tempered with gentleness, and as he advanced in life, the trace of pain and disappointment calmly endured, "the good face, the constant look," remarked by Ascham in 1551 as he stood by the Emperor's dinnertable and watched his progress from sod beef to capon. We have him both in his armour of parade and in his robes of state, and in the plain attire of his everyday life, which he frequently persisted in wearing when splendour would have been more appropriate ;—the little round felt hat and short cloth cloak in which he entered Paris on the 3rd of January, 1540, riding between the Dauphin in cloth of silver, and the Duke of Orleans in cloth of gold, to the great disappointment of the ladies; or the cloth cap and doublet which in the following year, when he made his entry into Milan, no less grieved the ladies of that city, who had expected to see him in embroidered mantle and jewelled crown. From the curious seal or medallion on the disruption of the League of Schmalkalden, we may infer that during the campaign of 1546-7 he commonly wore a round hat with his armour, and that this was probably the kind of headgear which at Naumburg he took off
during a shower, and sheltered under his cloak, preferring to sit bareheaded in the rain rather than to spoil a new hat.' * To them Sir William has added innumerable devices of an age pre-eminent in heraldic allusions as well as in art; and other likenesses of many of the persons alluded to in the text. The production and multiplication of such a book, costly and laborious as it even now is, would in any other age have been impossible. It is due to the ingenious application of photography to stones for engraving and to copper and zinc plates, chiefly under the direction of Mr. Stephen Ayling, and, in part, of Mr. James Ramage of Edinburgh. The printing of the plates was executed by Mr. Waterston of Edinburgh. To all these gentlemen the highest credit is due, for they have given us literal facsimiles of the original engravings and woodcuts, not distinguishable from the originals, except, perhaps, in the copies of the finest copper-plate engravings of Heemskerck himself.
Martin of Heemskerck, who took his name from the village near Haarlem, where he was born in 1498, was neither a great artist nor a very interesting person.
But the fate of the numerous engravings from his designs, and more especially of these · Victories,' has been extraordinary. It is probable that the first idea of them occurred to him at Rome in 1536, when he was employed to decorate with trophies of the African campaign a great arch which spanned a Roman street on the occasion of the visit of Charles V. to Pope Paul III., after the conquest of Tunis. But the Victories' themselves were first published by Jerome Cock of Antwerp in 1556 ; they went through five editions ; they were admired by Philip II., who caused them to be wrought in tapestry, and also to be copied on vellum with such a high degree of perfection that this work (now in the British Museum) was long ascribed to Giulio Clovio alone; they were engraved by Coornhert, one of the most interesting personages of that illustrious period of
* One of these prints deserves at least a passing notice; it is that executed in 1550 by Æneas Vico, of Parma, and described with care by Doni in his · Declaration 'made at Venice in the same year. It is the chef d'æuvre of the artist, who was considered the first engraver of copper-plates of his day. The plate was shown to Charles, who having taken it into his hand, and leaning against a window, expressed a wish that many prints on paper should be taken from it, which, the plate being already gilt, could not be done. Hence the great rarity of the work, which has been reproduced in this volume, and also in another work, a fac-simile of Doni's Declaration, printed for Sir William Stirling Maxwell in 1868.
Dutch history; and they have now, in our age, been reproduced in a manner which leaves nothing to be desired.
The history of the copies ascribed to Giulio Clovio is itself a romance. The precious volume was bought in 1815 by Mr. Woodburn in Paris from a dealer, who said he had obtained it from a French cavalry officer, who brought it from the Escorial. It passed into the Grenville Library, where it was hailed with rapture by the connoisseurs of the day, who at once declared that as it had no superior ’ it must be the work of Giulio Clovio. But the fact is, that the whole evidence of its origin and transmission is loose and uncertain. No such volume is mentioned by Los Santos, Ximenes, Ponz, or any writers on the collections of the Escorial. There is no proof that it ever was there at all. Vasari says nothing of these · Victories' in his life of Clovio. Dr. Dibdin himself remarked that the drawings ' partake too much of the Flemish
character; ' and, in short, Sir William Stirling Maxwell sums up the discussion by a judgment that, although these copies on vellum are admirable works, yet that they essentially belong to the art of the Netherlands, and cannot be ascribed to Giulio Clovio at all. However this may be, they undoubtedly prove that the highest honour was paid to Heemskerck's designs, from which they do not materially differ.
As we have already said, the engraving of the Victories' is the work of Coornhert—a man remarkable for his skill in art, and for his disciples, Goltzius, Galle, and Jacob de Gheyn (to the first of whom we owe the splendid print of his illustrious and venerable master)—but far more remarkable for the part he played or would have played in the age of the Reformation-a broad Churchman between contending creeds and catechisms, a man of peace and law in the days of Orange and Alva. Bayle, who had a genuine sympathy for freedom of thought and independence of character, has recorded almost all that is known of Coornhert in an article of his dictionary, but Sir William repeats the story from original sources with so much truth and force, that we must pause to borrow it.
Coornhert was born of a good family at Amsterdam in 1522. In his youth he travelled to Spain and Portugal, and on his return, marrying against his father's will
, he was compelled to obtain a livelihood by becoming steward to Renaud van Brederode, Baron of Vianen. Not liking this life, he settled in Haarlem and supported himself and his wife by his graver.
• The theological disputes which now disturbed the Netherlands engaging his attention, and exciting his interest, he taught himself, at his leisure hours and the age of thirty, Greek and Latin, for the purpose of reading the works of the Christian Fathers in the original; and he
afterwards executed several translations from the works of classical writers, with so much force and eloquence that he is considered as one of tire founders of the literature of the Low Countries. His religious researches and meditations led him to take up a middle position between the Church and her assailants. He stood almost alone in advocating perfect freedom of thought and speech, and in protesting against the dogmatism which pronounces oracular judgments on speculative questions, and seeks to enforce these judgments by pains and penalties. Holding himself aloof from all the sects of the day, he raised his voice against the monstrous assumptions, as well of Luther and Calvin as of Rome. He had arrived at the conclusion that no trustworthy interpretation of the Bible had yet been given ; and he therefore advised that Christians should unite in some provisional and very simple form of worship, in which the Scriptures should be read, but no authoritative code of doctrine set fortlı, in a reasonable Interim of the broadest and least dogmatic kind, to remain in force until it should please God to raise
up in his Church a new apostolic teaching, which all men might recognise. Admitting that the Protestant leaders had done good service by exposing and rebuking Popish errors, he maintained that each of them, in his own practice, lent his authority to the gravest error of all, the suppression of liberty of conscience; and, consciously or unconsciously, was bent on setting up a new papacy in favour of his own opinion. His words of wisdom met with the response that might be expected in an age of crass ignorance and fierce fanaticism. The new many-headed papists made haste to prove their affinity with the old, and to justify, by punishing, the strictures of Coornhert. He was soon engaged in a controversy, on the one hand with the Calvinist Beza, and on the other with Lipsius, during one of that learned man's periodical fits of Roman Catholicism. The reformers of Delft, hoarse with denouncing Granvelle and the Spanish Inquisition, raised their voices against Coornhert, and expelled him from their town. At Haarlem he was more justly appreciated, and was for some time secretary to its magistracy. He was frequently sent on official business to wait on the Prince of Orange, and gained the confidence of that great statesman and his chief partisans. In 1566 he was mainly concerned in drawing up the Remonstrance, presented to the Regent Duchess of Parma by Count Brederode in the name of the nobility of the Netherlands; and he wrote the first manifesto of Orange, entitled “ Advice to the Nether" lands." His religious and political principles bringing him within the grasp of the law, he was for a while imprisoned at the Hague, whence, on his release, he retired to Cleve, and lived there by the profits of his graver. When better times came, he returned to Holland, and was employed as secretary to the Estates of that province. But on endeavouring to obtain some mitigation of the insolence and exactions of the anti-royalist troops, he incurred so much odium as a favourer of papists, that he was again driven into exile at Emden. In 1581, being once more in Holland, when the exercise of the Catholic religion was forbidden, some of the leading adherents of the old faith at Haarlem induced him to prepare a petition to the Prince of Orange, setting forth their grievances. The petition was referred to the Estates. These