« ForrigeFortsett »
BOOK thetn, the spirit of negociation and the desire of
Th^clinHi- Maurice and the elector of Brandenburg acted as metionspre- diators between him and the emperor; and after all that theempi> tne former had vaunted of his influence, the conditions «ir. prescribed to the landgrave were extremely rigorous. The articles with regard to his renouncing the league of Smalkalde, acknowledging the emperor's authority, and submitting to the decrees of the imperial chamber, were the same which had been imposed on the elector of Saxony. Besides these, he was required to surrender his person and territories to the emperor; to implore for pardon on his knees; to pay an hundred and fifty thousand crowns towards defraying the expences of the war; to demolish the fortifications of all the towns in his dominions except one; to oblige the garrison, which he placed in it to take an oath of fidelity to the emperor; to allow a free passage through his territories to the imperial troops as often as it shall be demanded; to deliver up all his artillery and ammunition to the emperor; to set at liberty, without ransom, Henry of Brunswick, together with the qther prisoners whom he had taken during the war; and neither to take arms himself, nor to permit any of his subjects to serve against the emperor, or his allies, for the future'.
To which "^ie landgrave ratified these articles, though with the he submits, utmost reluctance, as they contained no stipulation with regard to the manner in which he was to be treated, and left him entirely at the emperor's mercy. Necessity, however, compelled him tpgive his assent to them. Charles, who had assumed the haughty and imperious tone of a conqueror, ever since the reduction of Saxony, insisted on unconditional submission, and would permit nothing 1o be added to the terms which he had prescribed, that could in any degree limit the fulness of his power, or restrain him from behaving as he saw meet towards a prince whom he regarded as absolutely at his disposal. Bat
'Sleid. 430. Thuan. 1. iv, 146.
though he would not vouchsafe to negociate with the B0ok landgrave on such a footing of equality as to suffer any article to be inserted among those which he had dictated '*47' to him, that could be considered as a formal stipulation for the security and freedom of his person; he, or his ministers in his name, gave the elector of lbandenburg and Maurice such full satisfaction, with regard to this point, that they assured the landgrave that Charles would behave to him in the same way as he had done to the duke of Wurlemberg, and would allow him, whenever he had made his submission, to return to his own territories. Upon finding the landgrave to be still possessed with hi* former suspicious of the emperor's intentions, and unwilling to trust verbal or ambiguous declarations, in a matter of such essential concern as his own liberty, they sent him a bond, signed by them both, containing the most solemn obligations, that if any violence whatsoever was offered to his person, during his interview with the emperor, they would instantly surrender themselves to his sons, and remain in their hands, to be treated by them in the same manner as the emperor should treat himm.
This, together with the indispensable obligation of per-lie repairs forming what was contained in the articles of which he^'Jj had accepted, removed his doubts and scruples, or made court, it necessary to get over them. He repaired, for that purpose,to the imperial camp at Hall, in Saxony, where a circumstance occurred which revived his suspicions, and increased his fears. Just as he was about to enter the chamber of presence, in order to make his public submission to the emperor, a copy of the articles, which he had approved of, was put into his hands, in order that he might ratify them anew. Upon perusing them, he perceived that the imperial ministers had added two new articles; one importing, that if any dispute should arise concerning the meaning of the former conditions, the emperor should have the right of putting what interpretation upon them he thought most reasonable; the other, that.
■ Du Moat. Corp* Diplom. it, p. U, SS6.
Book the landgrave was hound to submit implicitly to the de
-cisions of the council of Trent. This unworthy artifice, calculated to surprise him into an approbation of articlesto which he had not the most distant idea of assenting, by proposing them to him at a time when his mind was engrossed and disquieted with the thoughts of that humiliating ceremony which he had to perform, filled the landgrave with indignation, and made him break out into all those violent expressions of rage, to which his temper was prone. With some difficulty, the elector of Brandenburg and JVIaurice prevailed at length on the emperor's ministers to drop the former article as unjust, and to explain the latter in such a manner, that he could agree to it, without openly renouncing the Protestant religion. This obstacle being surmounted, the landgrave was ner m impatient to finish a ceremony which, how mortifying Iluperor soever, had been declared necessary towards his obtaining received pardon. The emperor was seated on a magnificent throne, with all the ensigns of his dignity, surrounded by a numerous train of the princes of the empire, among whom was Henry of Brunswick, lately the landgrave's prisoner, and now, by a sudden reverse of fortune, a spectator of his humiliation. The landgrave was introduced with great solemnity, and advancing towards the throne, fell upon his knees. His chancellor, who walked behind him, immediately read, by his master's command, a paper, which contained an humble confession of the crime whereof he had been guilty; an acknowledgment that he had merited, on that account, the most severe punishment; an absolute resignation of himself and his dominions, to be disposed of at the emperor's pleasure; a submissive petition tor pardon, his hopes of which were founded entirely on ll>e emperor's clemency; and it concluded with promisesof behaving, for the future, like a subject whose principles of loyalty and obedience would be confirmed, and would even derive new force, from the sentiments of gratitudewhich must hereafter till and animate his heart. While the chancellor was reading this abject declaration, the eye* oraIJ the spectators were fix,1 m th -itnforttnite 1 md- Book grave; few could behold a prince, so powerful, as well as ._ . ' '^a high-spirited, sueing for mercy, in the p stu e of a -u ipri- 'Si7' cant, without being touched with corumiseratioti, and perceiving serious reflections arise in their minds upon the instability and emptiness of human grandeur. The emperor viewed the whole transaction with an haughty, unfeeling, composure, and preserving a profound silence himself, made a sign to one of his secretaries to read his answer; thc tenor of which was, that though he might have justly inflicted on him the grievous punishment which his crimes deserved, yet, prompted by his own generosity, moved by the solicitations of several princes in behalf of the landgrave, and influenced by his penitential acknowledgments, be would not deal with him according to the rigour of justice, and would subject him to no penalty that was not specified in the articles which he had already subscribed. The moment the secretary had finished, Charles turned away abruptly, without deigning to give the unhappy suppliant any sign of compassion or reconcilement. H did not even desire him to rise from his knees; which the landgrave having ventured to do unbidden, advanced towards the emperor with an intention to kiss his hand, flattering himself, that his guilt being now fully expiated, he might presume to take that liberty. But the elector of iirandenburg, perceiving that this familiarity would be offensive to the emperor, interposed, and desired the landgrave to go along with him and Maurice to the duke of Alva's apartments in the castle.
He wus received and entertained by that noblemen with the respect and courtesy due to such a gux-it. Hut alter supper, while he was engaged in piny, tlie duke took the elector and Maurice aside, and communicated, to them the emperor's orders, that the landgrave must remain a pri-,T;'" wner in that place, under the custody of a Spanish guard. pr"j,,)lt.f. As they had not hitherto entertained the most distant suspicion of the emperor's sincerity or rectitude of intention, their surprise was excessive, and their indignation
Vol. vi. i I
BOOK not inferior to it, on discovering how greatly they had
-— been deceived themselves, and how infamously abused, in
'i47- having been made the instruments of deceiving and ruining their friend They had recourse to complaints, to arguments, and to entreaties, in order to save themselves from that disgrace, and to extricate him out of the wretched situation into which he had been betrayed by too great confidence in them. But the duke of Alva remained inflexible, and pleaded the necessity of executing the emperor's commands. By this time it grew late, and the landgrave, who knew nothing of what had passed, nor dreaded the snare in which he was entangled, prepared for departing, when the fatal orders were intimated to him. He was struck dumb, at first, with astonishment; but after being silent a few moments, he broke out into all the violent expressions which horror, at injustice accompanied with fraud, naturally suggests. He complained, he expostulated, he exclaimed; sometimes inveighing against the emperor's artifices, as unworthy of a great and generous prince; sometimes censuring the credulity of his friends in trusting to Charles's insidious promises; sometimes charging them with meanness, in stooping to lend their assistance towards the execution of such a perfidious and dishonourable scheme; and, in the end, he required them to remember their engagements to his children, and instantly to fulfil them. They, after giving way for a little to the torrent of his passion, solemnly asserted their own innocence and upright intention in the whole transaction, and encouraged him to hope, that, as Sooji as they saw the emperor, they would obtain redress of an injury which affected their own honour, no less than it did his liberty. At the same time, in order to sooth his page and impatience, Maurice, remained with him during the night, in the apartment where he was confined".
Next morning, the elector and Maurice applied jointly to the emperor, representing the infamy to which they would be exposed throughout Germany, if the landgrave
» Skid. 433. Thuan. 1. iv, 117. Struv. Corp. Hist. Germ, ii-I05g.