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tion which it deserved. The Landgrave, in return to Mau- BOOK rice, taxed him with his treachery and ingratitude towards
VIII. a kinsman to whom he was so deeply indebted; he treated
1546. with contempt his affectation of executing the Imperial ban, which he could not but know to be altogether void by the unconstitutional and arbitrary manner in which it had been issued; he besought him, not to suffer himself to be so far blinded by ambition, as to forget the obligations of honour and friendship, or to betray the Protestant religion, the extirpation of which out of Germany, even by the acknowledgment of the Pope himself, was the great object of the pre. sent war,
But Maurice had proceeded too far to be diverted from He invades pursuing his plan by reproaches or arguments. Nothing ries of the now remained but to execute with vigour, what he had Elector of hitherto carried on by artifice and dissimulation. Nor was November. his boldness in action inferior to his subtlety in contrivance. Having assembled about twelve thousand men, he suddenly invaded one part of the electoral provinces, while Ferdia nand, with an army composed of Bohemians and Hun
ians, over-ran the other. Maurice, in two sharp encounters, defeated the troops which the Elector had left to guard his country; and improving these advantages to the utmost, made himself master of all the Electorate, except Wittemberg, Gotha, and Eisenach, which being places of considerable strength, and defended by sufficient garrisons, refused to open their gates. The news of these rapid conquests soon reached the Imperial and confederate camps. In the former, satisfaction with an event, which it was foreseen would be productive of the most important consequences, was expressed by every possible demonstration of joy. The latter was filled with astonishment and terror. of Maurice was mentioned with execration, as an apostate from religion, a betrayer of the German liberty, and a contemner of the most sacred and natural ties. Every thing that the rage or invention of the party could suggest, in order to blacken and render him odious ; invectives, satires,
I Sleid. 405, &c. Thuan. 85. Camerar. 484.
BOO K and lampoons, the furious declamations of their preachers,
together with the rude wit of their authors, were all employed against him. While he, confiding in the arts which he had so long practised, as if his actions could have admitted of any serious justification, published a manifesto, containing the same frivolous reasons for his conduct, which he had formerly alleged in the meeting of his states, and in his letter to the Landgravem.
The Elector upon the first intelligence of Maurice's mofederates make over- tions, proposed to return home with his troops for the detures of ac- fence of Saxony. But the deputies of the league, assembled commodation to the at Ulm, prevailed on him, at that time, to remain with the emperor;
army, and to prefer the success of the common cause before the security of his own dominions. At length the sufferings and complaints of his subjects increased so much, that he discovered the utmost impatience to set out in order to res cue them from the oppression of Maurice, and from the cruelty of the Hungarians, who, having been accustomed to that licentious and merciless species of war which was thought lawful against the Turks, committed, wherever they came, the wildest acts of rapine and violence. This desire of the Elector was so natural and so warmly urged, that the deputies at Ulm, though fully sensible of the unhappy consequences of dividing their army, durst not refuse their consent, how unwilling soever to grant it. In this perplexity, they repaired to the camp of the confederates at Giengen, on the Brenz, in order to consult their constituents. Nor were they less at a loss what to determine in this pressing emergence. But, after having considered seriously the open
desertion of some of their allies; the scandalous luke. warmness of others, who had hitherto contributed nothing towards the war ; the intolerable load which had fallen of consequence upon such members as were most zealous for the cause, or most faithful to their engagements; the ill success of all their endeavours to obtain foreign aid ; the unusual length of the campaign ; the rigour of the season ; together with the great number of soldiers, and even officers, who
m Sleid. 409, 410.
had quitted the service on that account; they concluded that BOOK
VIII. nothing could save them, but either the bringing the contest to the immediate decision of a battle, by attacking the Imperial army, or an accommodation of all their differences with Charles by a treaty. Such was the despondency and dejection which now oppressed the party, that of these two they chose what was most feeble and unmanly, empowering a minister of the Elector of Brandenburg to propound overtures of peace in their name to the Emperor.
No sooner did Charles perceive this haughty confedera. which he
rejects. cy, which had so lately threatened to drive him out of Germany, condescending to make the first advances towards an agreement, than concluding their spirit to be gone, or their union to be broken, he immediately assumed the tone of a conqueror ; and, as if they had been already at his mercy, would not hear of a negociation, but upon condition that the Elector of Saxony should previously give up himself and his dominions absolutely to his disposal". As nothing more intolerable or ignominious could have been prescribed, even in the worst situation of their affairs, it is no wonder that this proposition should be rejected by a party, which was rather humbled and disconcerted than subdued. But though they refused to submit tamely to the Emperor's will, they wanted spirit to pursue the only plan which could have preserved their independence ; and forgetting that it was the union of their troops in one body which had hitherto rendered the confederacy formidable, and had more than once obliged the Imperialists to think of quitting the field, they inconsiderately abandoned this advantage, which, in spite of the diversion in Saxony, would still have kept the Emperor in awe ; and yielding to the Elector's entreaties, of the con consented to his proposal of dividing the army. thousand men were left in the dutchy of Wurtemberg, in separate. order to protect that province, as well as the free cities of Upper Germany ; a considerable body marched with the Elector towards Saxony ; but the greater part returned with
Hortensius, ap. Scard. ii. 485.
BOO K their respective leaders into their own countries, and were VII.
1546. Almost all
The moment that the troops separated, the confederacy the mem- ceased to be the object of terror ; and the members of it, bers of it submit to who, while they composed part of a great body, had felt but the empe- little anxiety about their own security, began to tremble
when they reflected that they now stood exposed singly to the whole weight of the Emperor's vengeance. Charles did not allow them leisure to recover from their consternation, or to form any new schemes of union. As soon as the confederates began to retire, he put his army in motion, and though it was now the depth of winter, he resolved to keep the field, in order to make the most of that favourable juncture for which he had waited so long. Some small towns in which the Protestants had left garrisons, immediately opened their gates. Norlingen, Rotenberg, and Hall, Imperia! cities, submitted soon after. Though Charles could not prevent the Elector from levying, as he retreated, large contributions upon the Archbishop of Mentz, the abbot of Fulda, and other ecclesiastics P, this was more than balanced by the submision of Ulm, one of the chief cities of Suabia, highly distinguished by its zeal for the Smalkaldic league. As soon as an example was set of deserting the common cause, the rest of the members became instantly impatient to follow it, and seemed afraid lest others, by getting the start of them in returning to their duty, should, on that account, obtain more favourable terms. The Elector Palatine, a weak Prince, who, notwithstanding his professions of neutrality, had, very preposterously, sent to the confederates four hundred horse, a body so inconsiderable as to be scarcely any addition to their strength, but great enough to render him guilty in the eyes of the Emperor, made his acknowledgments in the most abject manner. The inhabitants of Augsburg, shaken by so many instances of apostacy, expelled the brave Schertel out of their city, and accepted such conditions as the Emperor was pleased to
o Sleid. 411.
p Thuận. 88.
The Duke of Wurtemberg, though among the first who BOOK had offered to submit, was obliged to sue for pardon on his knees; and even after this mortifying humiliation, obtained it with difficulty 9. Memmingen, and other free cities in the circle of Suabia, being now abandoned by all their former associates, found it necessary to provide for their own safety, by throwing themselves on the Emperor's mercy. Strasburg and Frankfort on the Maine, cities far remote from the seat of danger, discovered no greater steadiness than those which lay more exposed. Thus a confederacy, lately so powerful as to shake the Imperial throne, fell to pieces, and was dissolved in the space of a few weeks; hardly any member of that formidable combination now remaining in arms, but the Elector and Landgrave, to whom the Emperor, having from the beginning marked them out as victims of his vengeance, was at no pains to offer terms of reconciliation. Nor did he grant those who submitted to him a The rigorgenerous and unconditional pardon. Conscious of his own cinsim. superiority, he treated them both with haughtiness and ri- posed by gour. All the Princes in person, and the cities by their de. the empeputies, were compelled to implore mercy in the humble
posture of supplicants. As the Emperor laboured under great difficulties from the want of money, he imposed heavy fines upon them, which he levied with most rapacious exactness. The Duke of Wurtemberg paid three hundred thousand crowns; the city of Augsburg an hundred and fifty thousand ; Ulm an hundred thousand; Frankfort eighty thousand; Memmingen fifty thousand ; and the rest in proportion to their abi. lities, or their different degrees of guilt. They were obliged, besides, to renounce the league of Smalkalde; to furnish sistance, if required, towards executing the Imperial ban against the Elector and Landgrave; to give up their artillery and warlike 'stores to the Emperor ; to admit garrisons into their principal cities and places of strength; and in this disarmed and dependent situation, to expect the final award which the Emperor should think proper to pronounce when the war came to an issuer. But, amidst the great variety of articles
q Mem. de Ribier, tom. i. 589. s Sleid. 411, &c. Thuan. lib. iv. p. 125. Mem. de Ribier, tom. i. 606.