Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

BOOK hereditary in his family, and would of course establish Tin the empire an absolute dominion, to which elective l"0- princes could not have aspired with equal facility. They determined, therefore, to oppose the election of Ferdinand with the utmost vigour, and to rouse their countrymen, by their example and exhortations, to withstand this ent t eroachment on their liberties. The elector of Saxony, January j. accordingly, not only refused to be present at the electoral college, which the emperor summoned to meet at Cologne, but instructed his eldest son to appear there, and to protest against the election as informal, illegal, contrary to the articles of the golden bull, and subversive of He is the liberties of the empire. But the other electors, whom Charles had been at great pains to gain, without regarding either his absence or protest, chose Ferdinand king of the Romans, who, a few days after, was crowned at Aix-Ia-Chapelle

egrcia. When the Protestants, who were assembled a second nomoi the time at Smalkalde, received an account of this transaction,

ProcestantJ , , , , •

ith and heard, at the same time, that prosecutions were comance» menced in the imperial chamber against some of their number on account of their religious principles, they thought it necessary, not only to renew their former confederacy, but immediately to dispatch their ambassadors ,b into France and England. Francis had observed, with all the jealousy of a rival, the reputation which the emperor had acquired by his seeming disinterestedness and moderation in settling the affairs of Italy; and beheld, with great concern, the successful step which he had taken towards perpetuating and extending his authority in Germany by the election of a king of the Romans. Nothing, however, would have been more impolitic than to precipitate his kingdom into a new war when exhausted by extraordinary efforts, and discouraged by ill success, before it had got time to recruit its strength, or to forget past misfortunes. As no provocation had been

'Sleid, 112. Seek, iii, 1. P. Heuter, Rer. Austr. lib. x, c. 6, p. given by the emperor, and hardly a pretext for a rupture bOOK had been afforded him, he could not violate a treaty of

peace which be himself had so lately solicited, without '3' forfeiting the esteem of all Europe, and being detested as a prince void of probity and honour. He observed, with great joy, powerful factions beginning to form in the empire; he listened with the utmost eagerness to the complaints of the Protestant princes; and, without seeming to countenance their religious opinions, determined secretly to cherish those sparks of political discord which might be afterwards kindled into a flame. For this purpose, he sent William de Bellay, one of the ablest negociators in France, into Germany, who, visiting the court* of the malecontent princes, and heightening their ill humour by various arts, concluded an alliance between them and his master"', which, though concealed at that time, and productive of no immediate effects, laid the foundation of an union fatal on many occasions to Charles's ambitious projects, and shewed the discontented princes of Germany, where, for the future, they might find a protector no less able than willing to undertake their defence against the encroachments of the emperor.

The king of England, highly incensed against Charles, with Engin complaisance to whom the pope had long retarded,1""1and now openly opposed, his divorce, was no less disposed than Francis to strengthen a league which might be rendered so formidable to the emperor. But his favourite project of the divorce led him into such a labyrinth of schemes and negociations, and he was, at the same time, so intent on abolishing the papal jurisdiction in England, that he had no leisure for foreign affairs. This obliged him to rest satisfied with giving general promises, together with a small supply in money, to the confederates of SmalKalde °.

cauwhile, many circumstances convinced Charles Charles that this was not a juncture when the extirpation of heresy prort^.tIlc

■ Bellay, 129, a. 130, b. Sec. Ill, 1*. wntK * Herbert, 152, 154.

■ S

BOOK was to bu attempted by violence and rigour; that, iit - onmplinnw with the pope's inclinations, he had already IJJI' proceeded with imprudent precipation; and that it was more his interest to consolidate Germany into one united and vigorous body, than to divide and enfeeble it by a civil war. The Protestants, who were considerable, as well by their numbers as by t'uir zeal, had acquired additional weight and importance by their joining in that confederacy into which the rash steps taken at Augsburg had forced them. Having now discovered their own strength, they despised the decisions of the imperial chamber, and being secure of foreign protection, were ready to set the head of the empire at defiance. At the same time, the peace with France was precarious; the friendship of an irresolute and interested pontiff was not to be relied on; and Solyman, in order to repair the discredit and loss which his arms had sustained in the former campaign, was preparing to enter Austria with more numerous forces. On all these accounts, especially the last, a speedy accommodation with the malecontent princes became necessary, not only for the accomplishment of his future schemes, but for ensuring his present safety. Negotiations were, accordingly, carried on by his direction with the elector of Saxony and his associates. After many delays, occasioned by their jealousy of the emperor, and of each other; after innumerable difficulties, arising from the inflexible nature of religious tenets, which cannot admit of being altered, modified, or relinquished in i>nntt the same manner as points of political interest, terms of »our»Mc pacification were agreed upon at Nuremberg, and ratified term* solemnly in the diet at Ratisbou. In this treaty it was AugMt*3 st'Pu'ate*'» tnat universal peace be established in Germany, until the meeting of a general council, the convocation of which, within six months, the emperor shall endeavour to procure; that no person shall be molested on account of religion; that a stop shall be put to all processes begun by the imperial chamber against Protestants; and the sentences already passed to their detrimerit shall be declared void. On their part, the Pro- fiopK testants engaged to assist the emperor with all their forces ',— in resisting the invasion of the Turks0. Thus, by their firmness in adhering to their principles, by the unanimity with which they urged all their claims, and by their dexterity in availing themselves of the emperor's situation, the Protestants obtained terms which amounted almost to a toleration of their religion ; all the concessions were made by Charles, none by them; even the favourite point of their approving his brother's election was not mentioned; and the Protestants of Germany, who had hitherto been viewed only as a religious sect, came henceforth to be considered as a political body of no small consequence p.

The intelligence which Charles received of Solyman's campaign having entered Hungary at the head of three hundred'" Hun" thousand men, brought the deliberations of the diet at8'ry Ratisbon to a period ; the contingent both of troops and money, which each prince was to furnish tovv-ards the defence of the empire, having been already settled. The Protestants, as a testimony of their gratitude to the em- % peror, exerted themselves with extraordinary zeal, and brought into the field forces which exceeded in number the quota imposed on them; the Catholics, imitating their example, one of the greatest and best appointed armies that had ever been levied in Germany assembled near Vienna. Being joined by a body of Spanish and Italian veterans, under the marquis del Guasto, by some heavyarmed cavalry from the Low Countries, and by the troops which Ferdinand had raised in Bohemia, Austria,'and his other territories, it amounted in all to ninety thousand disciplined foot, and thirty thousand horse, besides a prodigious swarm of irregulars. Of this vast army, worthy the first prince in Christendom, the emperor took the command in person; and mankind waited in suspense the issue of a decisive battle between the two greatest mo

Db Mont Corps Diplomatique, torn, iv, part ii, 87, 89.

• Plcid. 149, &c. Seek, iii, 19.

Book narchs in the world. But each of them dreading t!i«

Y- other's power and good fortune, they both conducted

'532- their operations with such excessive caution, that a campaign, for which such immense preparations had been September made, ended without any memorable event. Solyman, and Ocio- finding it impossible to gain ground upon an enemy always attentive and on his guard, marched back to Constantinople towards the end of autumn i. It is remarkable, that in such a martial age, when every gentleman was a soldier and every prince a general, this was the first time that Charles, who had already carried on such extensive wars and gained so many victories, appeared at the head of his troops. In this first essay of his arms, to have opposed such a leader as Solyman was no small honour; to have obliged him to retreat merited very considerable praise. » Aug. '6. About the beginning of this campaign the elector of Saxony died, and was succeeded by his son John Frederic. The reformation rather gained than lost by that event; the new elector, no less attached than his predecessors to the opinions of Luther, occupied the station which they had held at the head of the Protestant party, and defended, w ith the boldness and zeal of youth, that cause which they had fostered and reared with the caution of more advanced age. The empe- Immediately after the retreat of the Turks, Charles, mr's inter- impatient to revisit Spain, set out on his way thither for

view vriih

the pope in Italy. As he was extremely desirous of an interview with g1 WJi the pope, they met a second time at Bologna, with the same external demonstrations of respect and friendship, but with little of that confidence which had subsisted between them during their late negociations there. Clement was much dissatisfied with the emperor's proceedings at Augsburg; his concessions with regard to the speedy convocation of a council having more than cancelled all the merit of the severe decree against the doctrines of the

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »