« ForrigeFortsett »
Book which Charles was no less eager to recover than impa
— t'tont to be revenged on him for aiding his malecontent
r*5** subjects. Though Henry had now retired from the banks of the Rhine, he had only varied the scene of hostilities, having invaded the Low Countries with all his forces. The Turks, roused by the solicitations of the French king, as well as stimulated by resentment against Ferdinand, for having violated the truce in Hungary, had prepared a powerful fleet to ravage the coasts of Naples and Sicily, which he had left almost defenceless, by calling thence the greatest part of the regular troops to join the army which he was now assembling. Ferdinand Ferdinand, who went in person to Villach, in order to
zealous to ]av before the emperor the result of the conferences at Paspromote an J ,'
accommu- sau, had likewise reasons peculiar to himself tor desiring dation. an accommodation. These prompted him to second, with the greatest earnestness, the arguments which the princes assembled there had employed in recommending it. He 'had observed, not without secret satisfaction, the fatal blow that had been given to the despotic power which his brother had usurped in the empire. He was extremely solicitous to prevent Charles from recovering his former superiority, as be foresaw that ambitious prince would immediately resume, with increased eagerness, and with a better.chance of success, his favourite scheme of transmitting that power to his son, by excluding his brother from the right of succession to the imperial throne. On this Recount he was willing to contribute towards circumscribing the imperial authority, in order to render his own possession of it certain. Besides, Solymao, exasperated at the loss of Transylvania, and still more at the fraudulent arts by which it had been seized, had ordered into the field an army of an hundred thousand men, which, having defeated a great body of Ferdinand's troops, and ta^en several places of importance, threatened not only to complete the conquest of the province, but to drive them out » of that part of Hungary which was still subject to hi* jurisdiction. He was unable to resist such a mighty eacmy; the emperor, while engaged in a domestic war, could B0.0K afford him no aid; and he could not even hope to draw ■' ,„ from Germany the contingent either of troops or money li5i' usually furnished to repel the invasions of the infidels. Maurice, having observed Ferdinand's perplexity with regard to this last point, had offered, if peace were reestablished on a secure foundation, that he would march in person with his troops into Hungary against the Turks. Such was the effect of this well-timed proposal, that Ferdinand, destitute of every other prospect of relief, became the most zealous advocate whom the confederates could have employed to urge their claims, and there was hardly any thing that they could have demanded which he would not have chosen to grant, rather than have retarded a pacification, to which he trusted as the only means of saving his Hungarian crown.
When so many causes conspired in rendering an cc-rirrumcommodation eligible, it might have been expected that it,'ant;*
°' o I which Pe
WOuld have taken place immediately; but the inflexibility |4rd it.
of the emperor's temper, together with his unwillingness at once to relinquish objects which he had long pursued with such earnestness and assiduity, counterbalanced, for some time, the force of all the motives which disposed him to peace, and not only put that event at a distance, but seemed to render it uncertain. When Maurice's demands, together with the letter of the mediators at Passau, were presented to him, he peremptorily refused to redress the grievances which were pointed out, nor would he agree to any stipulation for the immediate security of the Protestant religion, but proposed referring both these to the determination of a future diet. On his part, he required that instant reparation should be made to all who, during the present war, had suffered either by the licentiousness of the confederate troops, or the exactions of their leaders.
Maurice, who was well acquainted with the emperor's viitirice't arts, immediately concluded that he had nothing in view by these overtures but to amuse and deceive; and, there-fccilitm fore, without listening to Ferdinand's entreaties, he left"' Vol. vi. Y y
Book pasSau abruptly, and joining his troops, which were en~ - pamppH at Mergentheim, a city in Franconia, belonging 155*' to the knights of the Teutonic order, he put them in motion, and renewed hostilities. As three thousand men in the emperor's pay had thrown themselves into Frankfort on the Maine, and might from thence infest the neighbouring country of Hesse, he marched towards that city,
July 17. and laid siege to it in form. The briskness of this enterprise, and the vigour with which Maurice carried on his approaches against the town, gave such an alarm to the emperor, as disposed him to lend a more favourable ear to Ferdinand's arguments in behalf of an accommodation. Firm and haughty as his nature was, he found it necessary to bend, and signified his willingness to make concessions on his part, if Maurice, in return, would abate somewhat of the rigour of his demands. Ferdinand, as soon as he perceived fhat his brother began to yield, did not desist from his importunities, until he prevailed on him to declare what was the utmost that he would grant for the security of the confederates. Having gained this difficult point, he instantly dispatched a messenger to Maurice's camp, and imparting to him the emperor's final resolution, conjured him not to frustrate his endeavours for the re-establishment of peace; or, by an unseasonable obstinacy on his side, to disappoint the wishes of all Germany for that salutary event.
Maurice Maurice, notwithstanding the prosperous situation of
desirous of njs affairs, was strongly inclined to listen to this advice.
modation. The emperor, though over-reached and surprised, had now begun to assemble troops, and however slow his motions might be, while the first effects of his consternation remained, he was sensible that Charles must at last act with vigour proportional to the extent of his power and territories, and lead into Germany an army formidable by its numbers, and stifl more by the terror of his name, as well as the remembrance of his past victories. He could scarcely hope that a confederacy, composed of so many members, would continue to operate with union and perseverance sufficient to resist the consistent and welldirected efforts of an army at the absolute disposal of a BOOK leader accustomed to command and to conquer. He felt' already, although he had not hitherto experienced the ,Jj2' shock of any adverse event, that he himself was the head of a disjointed body. He saw, from the example of Albert of Brandenburg, how difficult it would be, with all his address and credit, to prevent any particular member from detaching himself from the whole, and how impossible to recal him to his proper rank and subordination. This filled him with apprehensions for the common cause. Another consideration gave him no less disquiet with regard to his own particular interests. By setting at liberty the degraded elector, and by repealing the act by which that prince was deprived of his hereditary honours and dominions, the emperor had it in his power to wound him in the most tender part. The efforts of a prince beloved by his ancient subjects, and revered by all the Protestant party, in order to recover what had been unjustly taken from him, could hardly have failed of exciting commotions in Saxony, which would endanger all that he had acquired at the expense of so much dissimulation and artifice. It was no less in the emperor's power to render vain all the solicitations of the confederates in behalf of the landgrave. He had only to add one act of violence more to the injustice and rigour with which he had already treated him; and he had accordingly threatened the sons of that unfortunate prince, that if they persisted in their present enterprise, instead of seeing their father restored to liberty, they should hear of his having suffered the punishment which bis rebellion had merited'.
Having deliberated upon all these points with his ass°-The peace ciates, Maurice thought it more proper to accept of the of religion conditions offered, though less advantageous than those jTM p^„d which he had proposed, than again to commit all to the doubtful issue of war*. He repaired forthwith to Passau, .
. . August 2.
and signed the treaty of peace; of which the chief articles were, that before the twelfth day of August, the confede
• Sleii 571. «Ibid. 563, 4c. Thuan. lib. x, 359, Ac.
rorvi raies sna]f |ay down their arms, and disband their forces; j=that on or before that day the landgrave shall be set at liberty, and conveyed in safety to his castle of Rheinfels; that a diet shall be held within six months, in order to deliberate concerning the most proper and effectual method of preventing, for the future, all disputes and dissensions about religion; that, in the mean time, neither the emperor, nor any other prince, shall, upon any pretext whatever, offer any injury or violence to such as adhered to the confession of Augsburg, but allow them to enjoy the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion; that, in return, the Protestants shall not molest the Catholics either in the exercise of their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, or in performing their religious ceremonies; that the imperial chamber shall administer justice impartially to persons of both parties, and Protestants be admitted indiscriminately with the Catholics to sit as judges in that court; that if the next diet should not be able to terminate the disputes with regard to religion, the stipulations in the present treaty in behalf of the Protestants shall continue for ever in full force and vigour; that none of the confederates shall be liable to any action on account of what had happened during the course of the war; that the consideration of those encroachments which had been made, as Maurice pretended, upon the constitution and liberties of the empire, shall be remitted to the approaching diet; that Albert of Brandenburg shall be comprehended in the treaty, provided he shall accede to it, and disband his forces before the twelfth of August". Reflections Such was the memorable treaty of Passau, that overpcace.'wi turned the vast fabric, in erecting which Charles had upon tbr employed so many years, and had exerted the utmost ef
coiirlnct of - , , . , ,. , 11 i ii ■ .
Muricc. forts of his power and policy; that annulled all his regulations with regard to religion; defeated all his hopes of rendering the imperial authority absolute and hereditary in his family; and established the protestant church, which had hitherto subsisted precariously in Germany,
• Recueil del Trailer, ii, Ml.