Infomotions, Inc.— Volume 3 / Prescott, William Hickling, 1796-1859

Author: Prescott, William Hickling, 1796-1859
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Title: The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3

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Louis XII.'s Designs on Italy.--Alarm of the Spanish Court.--Bold Conduct
of its Minister at Rome.--Celebrated Partition of Naples.--Gonsalvo Sails
against the Turks.--Success and Cruelties of the French.--Gonsalvo Invades
Calabria.--He Punishes a Mutiny.--His Munificent Spirit.--He Captures
Tarento.--Seizes the Duke of Calabria.

During the last four years of our narrative, in which the unsettled state
of the kingdom and the progress of foreign discovery appeared to demand
the whole attention of the sovereigns, a most important revolution was
going forward in the affairs of Italy. The death of Charles the Eighth
would seem to have dissolved the relations recently arisen between that
country and the rest of Europe, and to have restored it to its ancient
independence. It might naturally have been expected that France, under her
new monarch, who had reached a mature age, rendered still more mature by
the lessons he had received in the school of adversity, would feel the
folly of reviving ambitious schemes, which had cost so dear and ended so
disastrously. Italy, too, it might have been presumed, lacerated and still
bleeding at every pore, would have learned the fatal consequence of
invoking foreign aid in her domestic quarrels, and of throwing open the
gates to a torrent, sure to sweep down friend and foe indiscriminately in
its progress. But experience, alas! did not bring wisdom, and passion
triumphed as usual.

Louis the Twelfth, on ascending the throne, assumed the titles of Duke of
Milan and King of Naples, thus unequivocally announcing his intention of
asserting his claims, derived through the Visconti family, to the former,
and through the Angevin dynasty, to the latter state. His aspiring temper
was stimulated rather than satisfied by the martial renown he had acquired
in the Italian wars; and he was urged on by the great body of the French
chivalry, who, disgusted with a life of inaction, longed for a field where
they might win new laurels, and indulge in the joyous license of military

Unhappily, the court of France found ready instruments for its purpose in
the profligate politicians of Italy. The Roman pontiff, in particular,
Alexander the Sixth, whose criminal ambition assumes something respectable
by contrast with the low vices in which he was habitually steeped,
willingly lent himself to a monarch, who could so effectually serve his
selfish schemes of building up the fortunes of his family. The ancient
republic of Venice, departing from her usual sagacious policy, and
yielding to her hatred of Lodovico Sforza, and to the lust of territorial
acquisition, consented to unite her arms with those of France against
Milan, in consideration of a share (not the lion's share) of the spoils of
victory. Florence, and many other inferior powers, whether from fear or
weakness, or the short-sighted hope of assistance in their petty
international feuds, consented either to throw their weight into the same
scale, or to remain neutral. [1]

Having thus secured himself from molestation in Italy, Louis the Twelfth
entered into negotiations with such other European powers, as were most
likely to interfere with his designs. The emperor Maximilian, whose
relations with Milan would most naturally have demanded his interposition,
was deeply entangled in a war with the Swiss. The neutrality of Spain was
secured by the treaty of Marcoussis, August 5th, 1498, which settled all
the existing differences with that country. And a treaty with Savoy in the
following year guaranteed a free passage through her mountain passes to
the French army into Italy. [2]

Having completed these arrangements, Louis lost no time in mustering his
forces, which, descending like a torrent on the fair plains of Lombardy,
effected the conquest of the entire duchy in little more than a fortnight;
and, although the prize was snatched for a moment from his grasp, yet
French valor and Swiss perfidy soon restored it. The miserable Sforza, the
dupe of arts which he had so long practised, was transported into France,
where he lingered out the remainder of his days in doleful captivity. He
had first called the _barbarians_ into Italy, and it was a righteous
retribution which made him their earliest victim. [3]

By the conquest of Milan, France now took her place among the Italian
powers. A preponderating weight was thus thrown into the scale, which
disturbed the ancient political balance, and which, if the projects on
Naples should be realized, would wholly annihilate it. These consequences,
to which the Italian states seemed strangely insensible, had long been
foreseen by the sagacious eye of Ferdinand the Catholic, who watched the
movements of his powerful neighbor with the deepest anxiety. He had
endeavored, before the invasion of Milan, to awaken the different
governments in Italy to a sense of their danger, and to stir them up to
some efficient combination against it. [4] Both he and the queen had
beheld with disquietude the increasing corruptions of the papal court, and
that shameless cupidity and lust of power, which made it the convenient
tool of the French monarch.

By their orders, Garcilasso de la Vega, the Spanish ambassador, read a
letter from his sovereigns in the presence of his Holiness, commenting on
his scandalous immorality, his invasion of ecclesiastical rights
appertaining to the Spanish crown, his schemes of selfish aggrandizement,
and especially his avowed purpose of transferring his son Caesar Borgia,
from a sacred to a secular dignity; a circumstance that must necessarily
make him, from the manner in which it was to be conducted, the instrument
of Louis the Twelfth. [5]

This unsavory rebuke, which probably lost nothing of its pungency from the
tone in which it was delivered, so incensed the pope that he attempted to
seize the paper and tear it in pieces, giving vent at the same time to the
most indecent reproaches against the minister and his sovereigns.
Garcilasso coolly waited till the storm had subsided, and then replied
undauntedly, "That he had uttered no more than became a loyal subject of
Castile; that he should never shrink from declaring freely what his
sovereigns commanded, or what he conceived to be for the good of
Christendom; and, if his Holiness were displeased with it, he could
dismiss him from his court, where he was convinced, indeed, his residence
could be no longer useful." [6]

Ferdinand had no better fortune at Venice, where his negotiations were
conducted by Lorenzo Suarez de la Vega, an adroit diplomatist, brother of
Garcilasso. [7] These negotiations were resumed after the occupation of
Milan by the French, when the minister availed himself of the jealousy
occasioned by that event to excite a determined resistance to the proposed
aggression on Naples. But the republic was too sorely pressed by the
Turkish war,--which Sforza, in the hope of creating a diversion in his own
favor, had brought on his country,--to allow leisure for other operations.
Nor did the Spanish court succeed any better at this crisis with the
emperor Maximilian, whose magnificent pretensions were ridiculously
contrasted with his limited authority, and still more limited revenues, so
scanty, indeed, as to gain him the contemptuous epithet among the Italians
of _pochi denari_, or "the Moneyless." He had conceived himself, indeed,
greatly injured, both on the score of his imperial rights and his
connection with Sforza, by the conquest of Milan; but, with the levity and
cupidity essential to his character, he suffered himself, notwithstanding
the remonstrances of the Spanish court, to be bribed into a truce with
King Louis, which gave the latter full scope for his meditated enterprise
on Naples. [8]

Thus disembarrassed of the most formidable means of annoyance, the French
monarch went briskly forward with his preparations, the object of which he
did not affect to conceal. Frederic, the unfortunate king of Naples, saw
himself with dismay now menaced with the loss of empire, before he had
time to taste the sweets of it. He knew not where to turn for refuge, in
his desolate condition, from the impending storm. His treasury was
drained, and his kingdom wasted, by the late war. His subjects, although
attached to his person, were too familiar with revolutions to stake their
lives or fortunes on the cast. His countrymen, the Italians, were in the
interest of his enemy; and his nearest neighbor, the pope, had drawn from
personal pique motives for the most deadly hostility. [9] He had as little
reliance on the king of Spain, his natural ally and kinsman, who, he well
knew, had always regarded the crown of Naples as his own rightful
inheritance. He resolved, therefore, to apply at once to the French
monarch; and he endeavored to propitiate him by the most humiliating
concessions,--the offer of an annual tribute, and the surrender into his
hands of some of the principal fortresses in the kingdom. Finding these
advances coldly received, he invoked, in the extremity of his distress,
the aid of the Turkish sultan, Bajazet, the terror of Christendom,
requesting such supplies of troops as should enable him to make head
against their common foe. This desperate step produced no other result
than that of furnishing the enemies of the unhappy prince with a plausible
ground of accusation against him, of which they did not fail to make good
use. [10]

The Spanish government, in the mean time, made the most vivid
remonstrances through its resident minister, or agents expressly
accredited for the purpose, against the proposed expedition of Louis the
Twelfth. It even went so far as to guarantee the faithful discharge of the
tribute proffered by the king of Naples. [11] But the reckless ambition of
the French monarch, overleaping the barriers of prudence, and indeed of
common sense, disdained the fruits of conquest without the name.

Ferdinand now found himself apparently reduced to the alternative of
abandoning the prize at once to the French king, or of making battle with
him in defence of his royal kinsman. The first of these measures, which
would bring a restless and powerful rival on the borders of the Sicilian
dominions, was not to be thought of for a moment. The latter, which
pledged him a second time to the support of pretensions hostile to his
own, was scarcely more palatable. A third expedient suggested itself; the
partition of the kingdom, as hinted in the negotiations with Charles the
Eighth, [12] by which means the Spanish government, if it could not rescue
the whole prize from the grasp of Louis, would at least divide it with

Instructions were accordingly given to Gralla, the minister at the court
of Paris, to sound the government on this head, bringing it forward as his
own private suggestion. Care was taken at the same time to secure a party
in the French councils to the interests of Ferdinand. [13] The suggestions
of the Spanish envoy received additional weight from the report of a
considerable armament then equipping in the port of Malaga. Its ostensible
purpose was to co-operate with the Venetians in the defence of their
possessions in the Levant. Its main object, however, was to cover the
coasts of Sicily in any event from the French, and to afford means for
prompt action on any point where circumstances might require it. The fleet
consisted of about sixty sail, large and small, and carried forces
amounting to six hundred horse and four thousand foot, picked men, many of
them drawn from the hardy regions of the north, which had been taxed least
severely in the Moorish wars. [14]

The command of the whole was intrusted to the Great Captain, Gonsalvo of
Cordova, who since his return home had fully sustained the high
reputation, which his brilliant military talents had acquired for him
abroad. Numerous volunteers, comprehending the noblest of the young
chivalry of Spain, pressed forward to serve under the banner of this
accomplished and popular chieftain. Among them may be particularly noticed
Diego de Mendoza, son of the grand cardinal, Pedro de la Paz, [15] Gonzalo
Pizarro, father of the celebrated adventurer of Peru, and Diego de
Paredes, whose personal prowess and feats of extravagant daring furnished
many an incredible legend for chronicle and romance. With this gallant
armament the Great Captain weighed anchor in the port of Malaga, in May,
1500, designing to touch at Sicily before proceeding against the Turks.

Meanwhile, the negotiations between France and Spain, respecting Naples,
were brought to a close, by a treaty for the equal partition of that
kingdom between the two powers, ratified at Granada, November 11th, 1500.
This extraordinary document, after enlarging on the unmixed evils flowing
from war, and the obligation on all Christians to preserve inviolate the
blessed peace bequeathed them by the Saviour, proceeds to state that no
other prince, save the kings of France and Aragon, can pretend to a title
to the throne of Naples; and as King Frederic, its present occupant, has
seen fit to endanger the safety of all Christendom, by bringing on it its
bitterest enemy the Turks, the contracting parties, in order to rescue it
from this imminent peril, and preserve inviolate the bond of peace, agree
to take possession of his kingdom and divide it between them. It is then
provided that the northern portion, comprehending the Terra di Lavoro and
Abruzzo, be assigned to France, with the title of King of Naples and
Jerusalem, and the southern, consisting of Apulia and Calabria, with the
title of Duke of those provinces, to Spain. The _dogana_, an important
duty levied on the flocks of the Capitanate, was to be collected by the
officers of the Spanish government, and divided equally with France.
Lastly, any inequality between the respective territories was to be so
adjusted, that the revenues accruing to each of the parties should be
precisely equal. The treaty was to be kept profoundly secret, until
preparations were completed for the simultaneous occupation of the devoted
territory by the combined powers. [17]

Such were the terms of this celebrated compact, by which two European
potentates coolly carved out and divided between them the entire dominions
of a third, who had given no cause for umbrage, and with whom they were
both at that time in perfect peace and amity. Similar instances of
political robbery (to call it by the coarse name it merits) have occurred
in later times; but never one founded on more flimsy pretexts, or veiled
under a more detestable mask of hypocrisy. The principal odium of the
transaction has attached to Ferdinand, as the kinsman of the unfortunate
king of Naples. His conduct, however, admits of some palliatory
considerations, that cannot be claimed for Louis.

The Aragonese nation always regarded the bequest of Ferdinand's uncle,
Alfonso the Fifth, in favor of his natural offspring as an unwarrantable
and illegal act. The kingdom of Naples had been won by their own good
swords, and, as such, was the rightful inheritance of their own princes.
Nothing but the domestic troubles of his dominions had prevented John the
Second of Aragon, on the decease of his brother, from asserting his claim
by arms. His son, Ferdinand the Catholic, had hitherto acquiesced in the
usurpation of the bastard branch of his house only from similar causes. On
the accession of the present monarch, he had made some demonstrations of
vindicating his pretensions to Naples, which, however, the intelligence he
received from that kingdom induced him to defer to a more convenient
season. [18] But it was deferring, not relinquishing, his purpose. In the
mean time, he carefully avoided entering into such engagements, as should
compel him to a different policy by connecting his own interests with
those of Frederic; and with this view, no doubt, rejected the alliance,
strongly solicited by the latter, of the duke of Calabria, heir apparent
to the Neapolitan crown, with his third daughter, the infanta Maria.
Indeed, this disposition of Ferdinand, so far from being dissembled, was
well understood by the court of Naples, as is acknowledged by its own
historians. [19]

It may be thought, that the undisturbed succession of four princes to the
throne of Naples, each of whom had received the solemn recognition of the
people, might have healed any defects in their original title, however
glaring. But it may be remarked, in extenuation of both the French and
Spanish claims, that the principles of monarchical succession were but
imperfectly settled in that day; that oaths of allegiance were tendered
too lightly by the Neapolitans, to carry the same weight as in other
nations; and that the prescriptive right derived from possession,
necessarily indeterminate, was greatly weakened in this case by the
comparatively few years, not more than forty, during which the bastard
line of Aragon had occupied the throne,--a period much shorter than that
after which the house of York had in England, a few years before,
successfully contested the validity of the Lancastrian title. It should be
added, that Ferdinand's views appear to have perfectly corresponded with
those of the Spanish nation at large; not one writer of the time, whom I
have met with, intimating the slightest doubt of his title to Naples,
while not a few insist on it with unnecessary emphasis. [20] It is but
fair to state, however, that foreigners, who contemplated the transaction
with a more impartial eye, condemned it as inflicting a deep stain on the
characters of both potentates. Indeed, something like an apprehension of
this, in the parties themselves, may be inferred from their solicitude to
deprecate public censure by masking their designs under a pretended zeal
for religion.

Before the conferences respecting the treaty were brought to a close, the
Spanish armada under Gonsalvo, after a long detention in Sicily, where it
was reinforced by two thousand recruits, who had been serving as
mercenaries in Italy, held its course for the Morea. The Turkish squadron,
lying before Napoli di Romania, without waiting Gonsalvo's approach,
raised the siege, and retreated precipitately to Constantinople. The
Spanish general, then uniting his forces with the Venetians, stationed at
Corfu, proceeded at once against the fortified place of St. George, in
Cephalonia, which the Turks had lately wrested from the republic. [21]

The town stood high on a rock, in an impregnable position, and was
garrisoned by four hundred Turks, all veteran soldiers, prepared to die in
its defence. We have not room for the details of this siege, in which both
parties displayed unbounded courage and resources, and which was
protracted nearly two months under all the privations of famine, and the
inclemencies of a cold and stormy winter. [22]

At length, weary with this fatal procrastination, Gonsalvo and the
Venetian admiral, Pesaro, resolved on a simultaneous attack on separate
quarters of the town. The ramparts had been already shaken by the mining
operations of Pedro Navarro, who, in the Italian wars, acquired such
terrible celebrity in this department, till then little understood. The
Venetian cannon, larger and better served than that of the Spaniards, had
opened a practicable breach in the works, which the besieged repaired with
such temporary defences as they could. The signal being given at the
appointed hour, the two armies made a desperate assault on different
quarters of the town, under cover of a murderous fire of artillery. The
Turks sustained the attack with dauntless resolution, stopping up the
breach with the bodies of their dead and dying comrades, and pouring down
volleys of shot, arrows, burning oil and sulphur, and missiles of every
kind, on the heads of the assailants. But the desperate energy, as well as
numbers of the latter, proved too strong for them. Some forced the breach,
others scaled the ramparts; and, after a short and deadly struggle within
the walls, the brave garrison, four-fifths of whom with their commander
had fallen, were overpowered, and the victorious banners of St. Jago and
St. Mark were planted side by side triumphantly on the towers. [23]

The capture of this place, although accomplished at considerable loss, and
after a most gallant resistance by a mere handful of men, was of great
service to the Venetian cause; since it was the first cheek given to the
arms of Bajazet, who had filched one place after another from the
republic, menacing its whole colonial territory in the Levant. The
promptness and efficiency of King Ferdinand's succor to the Venetians
gained him high reputation throughout Europe, and precisely of the kind
which he most coveted, that of being the zealous defender of the faith;
while it formed a favorable contrast to the cold supineness of the other
powers of Christendom.

The capture of St. George restored to Venice the possession of Cephalonia;
and the Great Captain, having accomplished this important object, returned
in the beginning of the following year, 1501, to Sicily. Soon after his
arrival there, an embassy waited on him from the Venetian senate, to
express their grateful sense of his services; which they testified by
enrolling his name on the golden book, as a nobleman of Venice, and by a
magnificent present of plate, curious silks and velvets, and a stud of
beautiful Turkish horses. Gonsalvo courteously accepted the proffered
honors, but distributed the whole of the costly largess, with the
exception of a few pieces of plate, among his friends and soldiers. [24]

In the mean while, Louis the Twelfth having completed his preparations for
the invasion of Naples, an army, consisting of one thousand lances and ten
thousand Swiss and Gascon foot, crossed the Alps, and directed its march
towards the south. At the same time a powerful armament, under Philip de
Ravenstein, with six thousand five hundred additional troops on board,
quitted Genoa for the Neapolitan capital. The command of the land forces
was given to the Sire d'Aubigny, the same brave and experienced officer
who had formerly coped with Gonsalvo in the campaigns of Calabria. [25]

No sooner had D'Aubigny crossed the papal borders, than the French and
Spanish ambassadors announced to Alexander the Sixth and the college of
cardinals the existence of the treaty for the partition of the kingdom
between the sovereigns, their masters, requesting his Holiness to confirm
it, and grant them the investiture of their respective shares. In this
very reasonable petition his Holiness, well drilled in the part he was to
play, acquiesced without difficulty; declaring himself moved thereto
solely by his consideration of the pious intentions of the parties, and
the unworthiness of King Frederic, whose treachery to the Christian
commonwealth had forfeited all right (if he ever possessed any) to the
crown of Naples. [26]

From the moment that the French forces had descended into Lombardy, the
eyes of all Italy were turned with breathless expectation on Gonsalvo, and
his army in Sicily. The bustling preparations of the French monarch had
diffused the knowledge of his designs throughout Europe. Those of the king
of Spain, on the contrary, remained enveloped in profound secrecy. Few
doubted, that Ferdinand would step forward to shield his kinsman from the
invasion which menaced him, and, it might be, his own dominions in Sicily;
and they looked to the immediate junction of Gonsalvo with King Frederic,
in order that their combined strength might overpower the enemy before he
had gained a footing in the kingdom. Great was their astonishment, when
the scales dropped from their eyes, and they beheld the movements of Spain
in perfect accordance with those of France, and directed to crush their
common victim between them. They could scarcely credit, says Guicciardini,
that Louis the Twelfth could be so blind as to reject the proffered
vassalage and substantial sovereignty of Naples, in order to share it with
so artful and dangerous a rival as Ferdinand. [27]

The unfortunate Frederic, who had been advised for some time past of the
unfriendly dispositions of the Spanish government, [28] saw no refuge from
the dark tempest mustering against him on the opposite quarters of his
kingdom. He collected such troops as he could, however, in order to make
battle with the nearest enemy, before he should cross the threshold. On
the 28th of June, the French army resumed its march. Before quitting Rome,
a brawl arose between some French soldiers and Spaniards resident in the
capital; each party asserting the paramount right of its own sovereign to
the crown of Naples. From words they soon came to blows, and many lives
were lost before the fray could be quelled; a melancholy augury for the
permanence of the concord so unrighteously established between the two
governments. [29]

On the 8th of July, the French crossed the Neapolitan frontier. Frederic,
who had taken post at St. Germano, found himself so weak, that he was
compelled to give way on its approach, and retreat on his capital. The
invaders went forward, occupying one place after another with little
resistance till they came before Capua, where they received a temporary
check. During a parley for the surrender of that place, they burst into
the town, and, giving free scope to their fiendish passions, butchered
seven thousand citizens in the streets, and perpetrated outrages worse
than death on their defenceless wives and daughters. It was on this
occasion that Alexander the Sixth's son, the infamous Caesar Borgia,
selected forty of the most beautiful from the principal ladies of the
place, and sent them back to Rome to swell the complement of his seraglio.
The dreadful doom of Capua intimidated further resistance, but inspired
such detestation of the French throughout the country, as proved of
infinite prejudice to their cause in their subsequent struggle with the
Spaniards. [30]

King Frederic, shocked at bringing such calamities on his subjects,
resigned his capital without a blow in its defence, and, retreating to the
isle of Ischia, soon after embraced the counsel of the French admiral
Ravenstein, to accept a safe-conduct into France, and throw himself on the
generosity of Louis the Twelfth. The latter received him courteously, and
assigned him the duchy of Anjou with an ample revenue for his maintenance,
which, to the credit of the French king, was continued after he had lost
all hope of recovering the crown of Naples. [31] With this show of
magnanimity, however, he kept a jealous eye on his royal guest; under
pretence of paying him the greatest respect, he placed a guard over his
person, and thus detained him in a sort of honorable captivity to the day
of his death, which occurred soon after, in 1504.

Frederic was the last of the illegitimate branch of Aragon, who held the
Neapolitan sceptre; a line of princes, who, whatever might be their
characters in other respects, accorded that munificent patronage to
letters which sheds a ray of glory over the roughest and most turbulent
reign. It might have been expected, that an amiable and accomplished
prince, like Frederic, would have done still more towards the moral
development of his people, by healing the animosities which had so long
festered in their bosoms. His gentle character, however, was ill suited to
the evil times on which he had fallen; and it is not improbable, that he
found greater contentment in the calm and cultivated retirement of his
latter years, sweetened by the sympathies of friendship which adversity
had proved, [32] than when placed on the dazzling heights which attract
the admiration and envy of mankind. [33]

Early in March, Gonsalvo of Cordova had received his first official
intelligence of the partition treaty, and of his own appointment to the
post of lieutenant-general of Calabria and Apulia. He felt natural regret
at being called to act against a prince, whose character he esteemed, and
with whom he had once been placed in the most intimate and friendly
relations. In the true spirit of chivalry, he returned to Frederic, before
taking up arms against him, the duchy of St. Angel and the other large
domains, with which that monarch had requited his services in the late
war, requesting at the same time to be released from his obligations of
homage and fealty. The generous monarch readily complied with the latter
part of his request, but insisted on his retaining the grant, which he
declared an inadequate compensation, after all, for the benefits the Great
Captain had once rendered him. [34]

The levies assembled at Messina amounted to three hundred heavy-armed,
three hundred light horse, and three thousand eight hundred infantry,
together with a small body of Spanish veterans, which the Castilian
ambassador had collected in Italy. The number of the forces was
inconsiderable, but they were in excellent condition, well disciplined,
and seasoned to all the toils and difficulties of war. On the 5th of July,
the Great Captain landed at Tropea, and commenced the conquest of
Calabria, ordering the fleet to keep along the coast, in order to furnish
whatever supplies he might need. The ground was familiar to him, and his
progress was facilitated by the old relations he had formed there, as well
as by the important posts which the Spanish government had retained in its
hands, as an indemnification for the expenses of the late war.
Notwithstanding the opposition or coldness of the great Angevin lords who
resided in this quarter, the entire occupation of the two Calabrias, with
the exception of Tarento, was effected in less than a month. [35]

This city, remarkable in ancient times for its defence against Hannibal,
was of the last importance. King Frederic had sent thither his eldest son,
the duke of Calabria, a youth about fourteen years of age, under the care
of Juan de Guevara, count of Potenza, with a strong body of troops,
considering it the place of greatest security in his dominions.
Independently of the strength of its works, it was rendered nearly
inaccessible by its natural position; having no communication with the
main land except by two bridges, at opposite quarters of the town,
commanded by strong towers, while its exposure to the sea made it easily
open to supplies from abroad.

Gonsalvo saw that the only method of reducing the place must be by
blockade. Disagreeable as the delay was, he prepared to lay regular siege
to it, ordering the fleet to sail round the southern point of Calabria,
and blockade the port of Tarento, while he threw up works on the land
side, which commanded the passes to the town, and cut off its
communications with the neighboring country. The place, however, was well
victualled, and the garrison prepared to maintain it to the last.[36]

Nothing tries more severely the patience and discipline of the soldier,
than a life of sluggish inaction, unenlivened, as in the present instance,
by any of the rencontres, or feats of arms, which keep up military
excitement, and gratify the cupidity or ambition of the warrior. The
Spanish troops, cooped up within their intrenchments, and disgusted with
the languid monotony of their life, cast many a wistful glance to the
stirring scenes of war in the centre of Italy, where Caesar Borgia held
out magnificent promises of pay and plunder to all who embarked in his
adventurous enterprises. He courted the aid, in particular, of the Spanish
veterans, whose worth he well understood, for they had often served under
his banner, in his feuds with the Italian princes. In consequence of these
inducements, some of Gonsalvo's men were found to desert every day; while
those who remained were becoming hourly more discontented, from the large
arrears due from the government; for Ferdinand, as already remarked,
conducted his operations with a stinted economy, very different from the
prompt and liberal expenditure of the queen, always competent to its
object. [37]

A trivial incident, at this time, swelled the popular discontent into
mutiny. The French fleet, after the capture of Naples, was ordered to the
Levant to assist the Venetians against the Turks. Ravenstein, ambitious of
eclipsing the exploits of the Great Captain, turned his arms against
Mitilene, with the design of recovering it for the republic. He totally
failed in the attack, and his fleet was soon after scattered by a tempest,
and his own ship wrecked on the isle of Cerigo. He subsequently found his
way, with several of his principal officers, to the shores of Calabria,
where he landed in the most forlorn and desperate plight. Gonsalvo,
touched with his misfortunes, no sooner learned his necessities, than he
sent him abundant supplies of provisions, adding a service of plate, and a
variety of elegant apparel for himself and followers; consulting his own
munificent spirit in this, much more than the limited state of his
finances. [38]

This excessive liberality was very inopportune. The soldiers loudly
complained that their general found treasures to squander on foreigners,
while his own troops were defrauded of their pay. The Biscayans, a people
of whom Gonsalvo used to say, "he had rather be a lion-keeper than
undertake to govern them," took the lead in the tumult. It soon swelled
into open insurrection; and the men, forming themselves into regular
companies, marched to the general's quarters and demanded payment of their
arrears. One fellow, more insolent than the rest, levelled a pike at his
breast with the most angry and menacing looks. Gonsalvo, however,
retaining his self-possession, gently put it aside, saying, with a good-
natured smile, "Higher, you careless knave, lift your lance higher, or you
will run me through in your jesting." As he was reiterating his assurances
of the want of funds, and his confident expectation of speedily obtaining
them, a Biscayan captain called out, "Send your daughter to the brothel,
and that will soon put you in funds!" This, was a favorite daughter named
Elvira, whom Gonsalvo loved so tenderly, that he would not part with her,
even in his campaigns. Although stung to the heart by this audacious
taunt, he made no reply; but, without changing a muscle of his
countenance, continued, in the same tone as before, to expostulate with
the insurgents, who at length were prevailed on to draw off, and disperse
to their quarters. The next morning, the appalling spectacle of the
lifeless body of the Biscayan, hanging by the neck from a window of the
house in which he had been quartered, admonished the, army that there were
limits to the general's forbearance it was not prudent to overstep. [39]

An unexpected event, which took place at this juncture, contributed even
more than this monitory lesson to restore subordination to the army. This
was the capture of a Genoese galleon with a valuable freight, chiefly
iron, bound to some Turkish port, as it was said, in the Levant, which
Gonsalvo, moved no doubt by his zeal for the Christian cause, ordered to
be seized by the Spanish cruisers; and the cargo to be disposed of for the
satisfaction of his troops. Giovio charitably excuses this act of
hostility against a friendly power with the remark, that "when the Great
Captain did anything contrary to law, he was wont to say, 'A general must
secure the victory at all hazards, right or wrong; and, when he has done
this, he can compensate those whom he has injured with tenfold benefits.'"

The unexpected length of the siege of Tarento determined Gonsalvo, at
length, to adopt bolder measures for quickening its termination. The city,
whose insulated position has been noticed, was bounded on the north by a
lake, or rather arm of the sea, forming an excellent interior harbor,
about eighteen miles in circumference. The inhabitants, trusting to the
natural defences of this quarter, had omitted to protect it by
fortifications, and the houses rose abruptly from the margin of the basin.
Into this reservoir, the Spanish commander resolved to transport such of
his vessels then riding in the outer bay, as from their size could be
conveyed across the narrow isthmus, which divided it from the inner.

After incredible toil, twenty of the smallest craft were moved on huge
cars and rollers across the intervening land, and safely launched on the
bosom of the lake. The whole operation was performed amid the exciting
accompaniments of discharges of ordnance, strains of martial music, and
loud acclamations of the soldiery. The inhabitants of Tarento saw with
consternation the fleet so lately floating in the open ocean under their
impregnable walls, now quitting its native element, and moving, as it were
by magic, across the land, to assault them on the quarter where they were
the least defended. [41]

The Neapolitan commander perceived it would be impossible to hold out
longer, without compromising the personal safety of the young prince under
his care. He accordingly entered into negotiations for a truce with the
Great Captain, during which articles of capitulation were arranged,
guaranteeing to the duke of Calabria and his followers the right of
evacuating the place and going wherever they listed. The Spanish general,
in order to give greater solemnity to these engagements, bound himself to
observe them by an oath on the sacrament. [42]

On the 1st of March, 1502, the Spanish army took possession, according to
agreement, of the city of Tarento; and the duke of Calabria with his suite
was permitted to leave it, in order to rejoin his father in France. In the
mean time, advices were received from Ferdinand the Catholic, instructing
Gonsalvo on no account to suffer the young prince to escape from his
hands, as he was a pledge of too great importance for the Spanish
government to relinquish. The general in consequence sent after the duke,
who had proceeded in company with the count of Potenza as far as Bitonto,
on his way to the north, and commanded him to be arrested and brought back
to Tarento. Not long after, he caused him to be conveyed on board one of
the men-of-war in the harbor, and, in contempt of his solemn engagements,
sent a prisoner to Spain. [43]

The national writers have made many awkward attempts to varnish over this
atrocious act of perfidy in their favorite hero. Zurita vindicates it by a
letter from the Neapolitan prince to Gonsalvo, requesting the latter to
take this step, since he preferred a residence in Spain to one in France,
but could not with decency appear to act in opposition to his father's
wishes on the subject. If such a letter, however, were really obtained
from the prince, his tender years would entitle it to little weight, and
of course it would afford no substantial ground for justification. Another
explanation is offered by Paolo Giovio, who states that the Great Captain,
undetermined what course to adopt, took the opinion of certain learned
jurists. This sage body decided, that Gonsalvo was not bound by his oath,
since it was repugnant to his paramount obligations to his master; and
that the latter was not bound by it, since it was made without his
privity! [44] The man who trusts his honor to the tampering of casuists,
has parted with it already. [45]

The only palliation of the act must be sought in the prevalent laxity and
corruption of the period, which is rife with examples of the most flagrant
violation of both public and private faith. Had this been the act of a
Sforza, indeed, or a Borgia, it could not reasonably have excited
surprise. But coming from one of a noble, magnanimous nature, like
Gonsalvo, exemplary in his private life, and unstained with any of the
grosser vices of the age, it excited general astonishment and reprobation,
even among his contemporaries. It has left a reproach on his name, which
the historian may regret, but cannot wipe away.


[1] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 4, p. 214, ed. 1645.--Flassan,
Diplomatie Francaise, tom. i. pp. 275, 277.

[2] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iii. pp. 397-400.--Flassan,
Diplomatie Francaise, tom. i. p. 279.

[3] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 4, pp. 250-252.--Memoires de La Tremoille,
chap. 19, apud Petitot, Collection de Memoires, tom. xiv.--Buonaccorsi,
Diario de' Successi piu Importanti, (Fiorenza, 1568,) pp. 26-29.

[4] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 31.

Martyr, in a letter written soon after Sforza's recovery of his capital,
says that the Spanish sovereigns "could not conceal their joy at the
event, such was their jealousy of France." (Opus Epist., epist. 213.) The
same sagacious writer, the distance of whose residence from Italy removed
him from those political factions and prejudices which clouded the optics
of his countrymen, saw with deep regret their coalition with France, the
fatal consequences of which he predicted in a letter to a friend in
Venice, the former minister at the Spanish court. "The king of France,"
says he, "after he has dined with the duke of Milan, will come and sup
with you." (Epist. 207.) Daru, on the authority of Burchard, refers this
remarkable prediction, which time so fully verified, to Sforza, on his
quitting his capital. (Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p. 326, 2d ed.) Martyr's
letter, however, is dated some months previously to that event.

[5] Louis XII., for the good offices of the pope in the affair of his
divorce from the unfortunate Jeanne of France, promised the un-cardinalled
Caesar Borgia the duchy of Valence in Dauphiny, with a rent of 20,000
livres, and a considerable force to support him in his flagitious
enterprises against the princes of Romagna. Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i.
lib. 4, p. 207.--Sismondi, Hist. des Francais, tom. xv. p. 275.--Carta de
Garcilasso de la Vega, MS.

[6] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 33.

Garcilasso de la Vega seems to have possessed little of the courtly and
politic address of a diplomatist. In a subsequent audience, which the pope
gave him together with a special embassy from Castile, his blunt
expostulation so much exasperated his Holiness, that the latter hinted it
would not cost him much to have him thrown into the Tiber. The hold
bearing of the Castilian, however, appears to have had its effect; since
we find the pope soon after revoking an offensive ecclesiastical provision
he had made in Spain, taking occasion at the same time to eulogize the
character of the Catholic sovereigns in full consistory. Ibid., lib. 3,
cap. 33, 35.

[7] Oviedo has made this cavalier the subject of one of his dialogues.
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 44.

[8] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 38, 39.--Daru,
Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. pp. 336, 339, 347.--Muratori, Annali d'Italia,
(Milano, 1820,) tom. xiv. pp. 9, 10.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib.
5, p. 260.

[9] Alexander VI. had requested the hand of Carlotta, daughter of King
Frederic, for his son, Caesar Borgia; but this was a sacrifice, at which
pride and parental affection alike revolted. The slight was not to be
forgiven by the implacable Borgias. Comp. Giannone, Istoria di Napoli,
lib. 29, cap. 3.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 4, p. 223.--Zurita,
Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 22.

[10] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, pp. 265, 266.--Giannone,
Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 3.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom.
i. lib. 3, cap. 40.--Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 1, p. 229.--Daru,
Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p, 338.

[11] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., lib. 14, epist. 218.

[12] See Part II. Chapter 3, of this History.

[13] According to Zurita, Ferdinand secured the services of Guillaume de
Poictiers, lord of Clerieux and governor of Paris, by the promise of the
city of Cotron, mortgaged to him in Italy. (Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib.
3, cap. 40.) Comines calls the same nobleman "a good sort of a man, qui
aisement croit, et pour especial _tels personnages_," meaning King
Ferdinand. Comines, Memoires, liv. 8, chap. 23.

[14] Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. iii. lib. 5, p. 324.--Ulloa, Vita et
Fatti dell' Invitissimo Imperatore Carlo V., (Venetia, 1606,) fol. 2.--
Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 27, cap. 7.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, tom. i. p. 226.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4,
cap. 11.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 10, sec. 13.

[15] This cavalier, one of the most valiant captains in the army, was so
diminutive in size, that, when mounted, he seemed almost lost in the high
demipeak war-saddle then in vogue; which led a wag, according to Brantome,
when asked if he had seen Don Pedro de Paz pass that way, to answer, that
"he had seen his horse and saddle, but no rider." Oeuvres, tom. i. disc.

[16] Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 217.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 161.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 9.

[17] See the original treaty, apud Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iii.
pp. 445, 446.

[18] See Part II. Chapter 3, of this History.

[19] Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 19, cap. 3.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 32.

[20] See, in particular, the Doctor Salazar de Mendoza, who exhausts the
subject,--and the reader's patience,--in discussing the multifarious
grounds of the incontrovertible title of the house of Aragon to Naples.
Monarquia, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 12-15.

[21] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, tom. i. p. 226.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, cap. 9.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 19.

[22] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, ubi supra.--Chronica del Gran Capitan,
cap. 14.

[23] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, ubi supra.--Chronica del Gran Capitan,
cap. 10.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 25.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 167.

[24] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 167.--Quintana, Espanoles
Celebres, tom. i. p. 246.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 228.--Ulloa,
Vita di Carlo V., fol. 4.

[25] Jean d'Auton, Histoire de Louys XII., (Paris, 1622,) part. 1, chap.
44, 45, 48.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. p. 265.--Sainct Gelais,
Histoire de Louys XII., (Paris, 1622,) p. 163.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p.

[26] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 43.--Lanuza,
Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 14.

[27] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, p. 266.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 8.

[28] In the month of April the king of Naples received letters from his
envoys in Spain, written by command of King Ferdinand, informing him that
he had nothing to expect from that monarch in case of an invasion of his
territories by France. Frederic bitterly complained of the late hour at
which this intelligence was given, which effectually prevented an
accommodation he might otherwise have made with King Louis. Lanuza,
Historias, lib. 1, cap. 14.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib.
4, cap. 37.

[29] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 1, chap. 48.

[30] Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iii. lib. 6, cap. 4.--D'Auton, Hist.
de Louys XII., part. 1, chap. 51-54.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 8.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, pp. 268, 269.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 41.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29,
cap. 3.

[31] St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., p. 163.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys
XII., part. 1, ch. 56.--Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iii. p. 541.

[32] The reader will readily call to mind the Neapolitan poet Sannazaro,
whose fidelity to his royal master forms so beautiful a contrast with the
conduct of Pontano, and indeed of too many of his tribe, whose gratitude
is of that sort that will only rise above zero in the sunshine of a court.
His various poetical effusions afford a noble testimony to the virtues of
his unfortunate sovereign, the more unsuspicious as many of them were
produced in the days of his adversity.

[33] "Neque mala vel bona," says the philosophic Roman, "quae vulgus
putet; multos, qui conflictari udversis videantur, beatos; ac plerosque,
quamquam magnas per opes, miserrimos; si illi gravem fortunam constanter
tolerent, hi prospera inconsulte utantur." Tacitus, Annales, lib. 6, sect.

[34] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 35.--Giovio,
Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 230.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 21.--
Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 14.

[35] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 11, sec. 8.--Zurita,
Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 44.--Mariana, Hist. de
Espana, tom. ii. lib. 27, cap. 9.

[36] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 231.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V, fol.
9.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 3.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, cap. 31.

[37] Don Juan Mannel, the Spanish minister at Vienna, seems to hare been
fully sensible of this trait of his master. He told the emperor
Maximilian, who had requested the loan of 300,000 ducats from Spain, that
it was as much money as would suffice King Ferdinand for the conquest, not
merely of Italy, but Africa into the bargain. Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 42.

[38] Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. III. lib. 6, p. 368.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, p. 232.--D'Auton, part. 1, chap. 71, 72.

[39] Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 34.--Quintana, Espanoles Celebres,
tom. i. pp. 252, 253.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 232.--Carta de
Gonzalo, MS.

[40] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 1, p. 233.

[41] Gonsalvo took the hint for this, doubtless, from Hannibal's similar
expedient. See Polybius, lib. 8.

[42] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 52, 53.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, p. 270.--Giannone, Istoria di
Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 3.--Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xiv. p. 14.

The various authorities differ more irreconcilably than usual in the
details of the siege. I have followed Paolo Giovio, a contemporary, and
personally acquainted with the principal actors. All agree in the only
fact, in which one would willingly see some discrepancy, Gonsalvo's breach
of faith to the young duke of Calabria.

[43] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 56.--Abarca,
Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 11, sec. 10-12.--Ulloa, Vita di
Carlo V., fol. 9.--Lanuza, Historias, lib. 1, cap. 14.

Martyr, who was present on the young prince's arrival at court, where he
experienced the most honorable reception, speaks of him in the highest
terms. "Adolescens namque est et regno et regio sanguine dignus, mirae
indolis, forma egregius." (See Opus Epist., epist. 252.) He survived to
the year 1550, but without ever quitting Spain, contrary to the fond
prediction of his friend Sannazaro;

  "Nam mihl, nam tempus veniet, cum reddita sceptra
  Parthenopes, fractosque tua sub cuspide reges
  Ipse canam."
                    Opera Latina, Ecloga 4.

[44] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib. 4, cap. 58.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, lib. 1, p. 234.

Mariana coolly disposes of Gonsalvo's treachery with the remark, "No
parece se le guardo lo que tenian asentado. En la guerra quien hay que de
todo punto lo guarde?" (Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. p. 675.)

   ----"Dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?"

[45] In Gonsalvo's correspondence is a letter to the sovereigns written
soon after the occupation of Tarento, in which he mentions his efforts to
secure the duke of Calabria in the Spanish interests. The communication is
too brief to clear up the difficulties in this dark transaction. As coming
from Gonsalvo himself, it has great interest, and I will give it to the
reader in the curious orthography of the original. "Asi en la platica que
estava con el duque don fernando de ponerse al servicio y amparo de
vuestras altecas syn otro partido ny ofrecimiento demas de certificarle
que en todo tiempo seria libre para yr donde quisiese sy vuestras altezas
bien no le tratasen y que vuestras altecas le ternian el respeto que a tal
persona como el se deve. El conde de potenca e algunos de los que estan
ceerca del han trabajado por apartarle de este proposito e levarle a Iscla
asi yo por muchos modos he procurado de reducirle al servicio de vuestras
altecas y tengole en tal termino que puedo certificar a vuestras altecas
que este mozo no les saldra de la mano con consenso suyo del servicio de
vuestras altecas asta tanto que vuestras altecas me embien a mandar como
del he de disponer e de lo que con el se ha de facer y por las contrastes
que en esto han entrevenido no ha salido de taranto porque asi ha
convenido. El viernes que sera once de marzo saldra a castellaneta que es
quince millas de aqui con algunos destos suyos que le quieren seguir con
alguna buena parte de compania destos criados de vuestras altecas para
acompanarle y este mismo dia viernes entrar an las vanderas e gente de
vuestras altecas en el castillo de tarento con ayuda de nuestro Senor." De
Tarento, 10 de Marzo, 1502, MS.



1502, 1503.

Rupture between the French and Spaniards.--Gonsalvo Retires to Barleta.--
Chivalrous Character of the War.--Tourney near Trani.--Duel between Bayard
and Sotomayor.--Distress of Barleta.--Constancy of the Spaniards.
--Gonsalvo Storms and Takes Ruvo.--Prepares to Leave Barleta.

It was hardly to be expected that the partition treaty between France and
Spain, made so manifestly in contempt of all good faith, would be
maintained any longer than suited the convenience of the respective
parties. The French monarch, indeed, seems to have prepared, from the
first, to dispense with it, as soon as he had secured his own moiety of
the kingdom; [1] and sagacious men at the Spanish court inferred that King
Ferdinand would do as much, when he should be in a situation to assert his
claims with success. [2]

It was altogether improbable, whatever might be the good faith of the
parties, that an arrangement could long subsist, which so rudely rent
asunder the members of this ancient monarchy; or that a thousand points of
collision should not arise between rival hosts, lying as it were on their
arms within bowshot of each other, and in view of the rich spoil which
each regarded as its own. Such grounds for rupture did occur, sooner
probably than either party had foreseen, and certainly before the king of
Aragon was prepared to meet it.

The immediate cause was the extremely loose language of the partition
treaty, which assumed such a geographical division of the kingdom into
four provinces, as did not correspond with any ancient division, and still
less with the modern, by which the number was multiplied to twelve. [3]
The central portion, comprehending the Capitanate, the Basilicate, and the
Principality, became debatable ground between the parties, each of whom
insisted on these as forming an integral part of its own moiety. The
French had no ground whatever for contesting the possession of the
Capitanate, the first of these provinces, and by far the most important,
on account of the tolls paid by the numerous flocks which descended every
winter into its sheltered valleys from the snow-covered mountains of
Abruzzo. [4] There was more uncertainty to which of the parties the two
other provinces were meant to be assigned. It is scarcely possible that
language so loose, in a matter requiring mathematical precision, should
have been unintentional.

Before Gonsalvo de Cordova had completed the conquest of the southern
moiety of the kingdom, and while lying before Tarento, he received
intelligence of the occupation by the French of several places, both in
the Capitanate and Basilicate. He detached a body of troops for the
protection of these countries, and, after the surrender of Tarento,
marched towards the north to cover them with his whole army. As he was not
in a condition for immediate hostilities, however, he entered into
negotiations, which, if attended with no other advantage, would at least
gain him time. [5]

The pretensions of the two parties, as might have been expected, were too
irreconcilable to admit of compromise; and a personal conference between
the respective commanders-in-chief led to no better arrangement, than that
each should retain his present acquisitions, till explicit instructions
could be received from their respective courts.

But neither of the two monarchs had further instructions to give; and the
Catholic king contented himself with admonishing his general to postpone
an open rupture as long as possible, that the government might have time
to provide more effectually for his support, and strengthen itself by
alliance with other European powers. But, however pacific may have been
the disposition of the generals, they had no power to control the passions
of their soldiers, who, thus brought into immediate contact, glared on
each other with the ferocity of bloodhounds, ready to slip the leash which
held them in temporary check. Hostilities soon broke out along the lines
of the two armies, the blame of which each nation charged on its opponent.
There seems good ground, however, for imputing it to the French; since
they were altogether better prepared for war than the Spaniards, and
entered into it so heartily as not only to assail places in the debatable
ground, but in Apulia, which had been unequivocally assigned to their
rivals. [6]

In the mean while, the Spanish court fruitlessly endeavored to interest
the other powers of Europe in its cause. The emperor Maximilian, although
dissatisfied with the occupation of Milan by the French, appeared wholly
engrossed with the frivolous ambition of a Roman coronation. The pontiff
and his son, Caesar Borgia, were closely bound to King Louis by the
assistance which he had rendered them in their marauding enterprises
against the neighboring chiefs of Romagna. The other Italian princes,
although deeply incensed and disgusted by this infamous alliance, stood
too much in awe of the colossal power, which had planted its foot so
firmly on their territory, to offer any resistance. Venice alone,
surveying from her distant watch-tower, to borrow the words of Peter
Martyr, the whole extent of the political horizon, appeared to hesitate.
The French ambassadors loudly called on her to fulfil the terms of her
late treaty with their master, and support him in his approaching quarrel;
but that wily republic saw with distrust the encroaching ambition of her
powerful neighbor, and secretly wished that a counterpoise might be found
in the success of Aragon. Martyr, who stopped at Venice on his return from
Egypt, appeared before the senate, and employed all his eloquence in
supporting his master's cause in opposition to the French envoys; but his
pressing entreaties to the Spanish sovereigns to send thither some
competent person, as a resident minister, show his own conviction of the
critical position in which their affairs stood. [7]

The letters of the same intelligent individual, during his journey through
the Milanese, [8] are filled with the most gloomy forebodings of the
termination of a contest for which the Spaniards were so indifferently
provided; while the whole north of Italy was alive with the bustling
preparations of the French, who loudly vaunted their intention of driving
their enemy not merely out of Naples, but Sicily itself. [9]

Louis the Twelfth superintended these preparations in person, and, to be
near the theatre of operations, crossed the Alps, and took up his quarters
at Asti. At length, all being in readiness, he brought things to an
immediate issue, by commanding his general to proclaim war at once against
the Spaniards, unless they abandoned the Capitanate in four-and-twenty
hours. [10]

The French forces in Naples amounted, according to their own statements,
to one thousand men-at-arms, three thousand five hundred French and
Lombard, and three thousand Swiss infantry, in addition to the Neapolitan
levies raised by the Angevin lords throughout the kingdom. The command was
intrusted to the duke of Nemours, a brave and chivalrous young nobleman of
the ancient house of Armagnac, whom family connections more than talents
had raised to the perilous post of viceroy over the head of the veteran
D'Aubigny. The latter would have thrown up his commission in disgust, but
for the remonstrances of his sovereign, who prevailed on him to remain
where his counsels were more than ever necessary to supply the
inexperience of the young commander. The jealousy and wilfulness of the
latter, however, defeated these intentions; and the misunderstanding of
the chiefs, extending to their followers, led to a fatal want of concert
in their movements.

With these officers were united some of the best and bravest of the French
chivalry; among whom may be noticed Jacques de Chabannes, more commonly
known as the Sire de la Palice, a favorite of Louis the Twelfth, and well
entitled to be so by his deserts; Louis d'Ars; Ives d'Alegre, brother of
the Precy who gained so much renown in the wars of Charles the Eighth; and
Pierre de Bayard, the knight "sans peur et sans reproche," who was then
entering on the honorable career in which he seemed to realize all the
imaginary perfections of chivalry. [11]

Notwithstanding the small numbers of the French force, the Great Captain
was in no condition to cope with them. He had received no reinforcements
from home since he first landed in Calabria. His little corps of veterans
was destitute of proper clothing and equipments, and the large arrears due
them made the tenure of their obedience extremely precarious. [12] Since
affairs began to assume their present menacing aspect, he had been busily
occupied with drawing together the detachments posted in various parts of
Calabria, and concentrating them on the town of Atella in the Basilicate,
where he had established his own quarters. He had also opened a
correspondence with the barons of the Aragonese faction, who were most
numerous as well as most powerful in the northern section of the kingdom,
which had been assigned to the French. He was particularly fortunate in
gaining over the two Colonnas, whose authority, powerful connections, and
large military experience proved of inestimable value to him. [13]

With all the resources he could command, however, Gonsalvo found himself,
as before noticed, unequal to the contest, though it was impossible to
defer it, after the peremptory summons of the French viceroy to surrender
the Capitanate. To this he unhesitatingly answered, that "the Capitanate
belonged of right to his own master; and that, with the blessing of God,
he would make good its defence against the French king, or any other who
should invade it."

Notwithstanding the bold front put on his affairs, however, he did not
choose to abide the assault of the French in his present position. He
instantly drew off with the greater part of his force to Barleta, a
fortified seaport on the confines of Apulia, on the Adriatic, the
situation of which would enable him either to receive supplies from
abroad, or to effect a retreat, if necessary, on board the Spanish fleet,
which still kept the coast of Calabria. The remainder of his army he
distributed in Bari, Andria, Canosa, and other adjacent towns; where he
confidently hoped to maintain himself till the arrival of reinforcements,
which he solicited in the most pressing manner from Spain and Sicily,
should enable him to take the field on more equal terms against his
adversary. [14]

The French officers, in the mean time, were divided in opinion as to the
best mode of conducting the war. Some were for besieging Bari, held by the
illustrious and unfortunate Isabella of Aragon; [15] others, in a more
chivalrous spirit, opposed the attack of a place defended by a female, and
advised an immediate assault on Barleta itself, whose old and dilapidated
works might easily be forced, if it did not at once surrender. The duke of
Nemours, deciding on a middle course, determined to invest the last-
mentioned town; and, cutting off all communication with the surrounding
country, to reduce it by regular blockade. This plan was unquestionably
the least eligible of all, as it would allow time for the enthusiasm of
the French, the _furia Francese_, as it was called in Italy, which carried
them victorious over so many obstacles, to evaporate, while it brought
into play the stern resolve, the calm, unflinching endurance, which
distinguished the Spanish soldier. [16]

One of the first operations of the French viceroy was the siege of Canosa,
a strongly fortified place west of Barleta, garrisoned by six hundred
picked men under the engineer Pedro Navarro. The defence of the place
justified the reputation of this gallant soldier. He beat off two
successive assaults of the enemy, led on by Bayard, La Palice, and the
flower of their chivalry. He had prepared to sustain a third, resolved to
bury himself under the ruins of the town rather than surrender. But
Gonsalvo, unable to relieve it, commanded him to make the best terms he
could, saying, "the place was of far less value, than the lives of the
brave men who defended it." Navarro found no difficulty in obtaining an
honorable capitulation; and the little garrison, dwindled to one-third of
its original number, marched out through the enemy's camp, with colors
flying and music playing, as if in derision of the powerful force it had
so nobly kept at bay. [17]

After the capture of Canosa, D'Aubigny, whose misunderstanding with
Nemours still continued, was despatched with a small force into the south,
to overrun the two Calabrias. The viceroy, in the mean while, having
fruitlessly attempted the reduction of several strong places held by the
Spaniards in the neighborhood of Barleta, endeavored to straiten the
garrison there by desolating the surrounding country, and sweeping off the
flocks and herds which grazed in its fertile pastures. The Spaniards,
however, did not remain idle within their defences, but, sallying out in
small detachments, occasionally retrieved the spoil from the hands of the
enemy, or annoyed him with desultory attacks, ambuscades, and other
irregular movements of _guerrilla_ warfare, in which the French were
comparatively unpractised. [18]

The war now began to assume many of the romantic features of that of
Granada. The knights on both sides, not content with the usual military
rencontres, defied one another to jousts and tourneys, eager to establish
their prowess in the noble exercises of chivalry. One of the most
remarkable of these meetings took place between eleven Spanish and as many
French knights, in consequence of some disparaging remarks of the latter
on the cavalry of their enemies, which they affirmed inferior to their
own. The Venetians gave the parties a fair field of combat in the neutral
territory under their own walls of Trani. A gallant array of well-armed
knights of both nations guarded the lists, and maintained the order of the
fight. On the appointed day, the champions appeared in the field, armed at
all points, with horses richly caparisoned, and barbed or covered with
steel panoply like their masters. The roofs and battlements of Trani were
covered with spectators, while the lists were thronged with the French and
Spanish chivalry, each staking in some degree the national honor on the
issue of the contest. Among the Castilians were Diego de Paredes and Diego
de Vera, while the good knight Bayard was most conspicuous on the other

As the trumpets sounded the appointed signal, the hostile parties rushed
to the encounter. Three Spaniards were borne from their saddles by the
rudeness of the shock, and four of their antagonists' horses slain. The
fight, which began at ten in the morning, was not to be protracted beyond
sunset. Long before that hour, all the French save two, one of them the
chevalier Bayard, had been dismounted, and their horses, at which the
Spaniards had aimed more than at the riders, disabled or slain. The
Spaniards, seven of whom were still on horseback, pressed hard on their
adversaries, leaving little doubt of the fortune of the day. The latter,
however, intrenching themselves behind the carcasses of their dead horses,
made good their defence against the Spaniards, who in vain tried to spur
their terrified steeds over the barrier. In this way the fight was
protracted till sunset; and, as both parties continued to keep possession
of the field, the palm of victory was adjudged to neither, while both were
pronounced to have demeaned themselves like good and valiant knights. [19]

The tourney being ended, the combatants met in the centre of the lists,
and embraced each other in the true companionship of chivalry, "making
good cheer together," says an old chronicler, before they separated. The
Great Captain was not satisfied with the issue of the fight. "We have, at
least," said one of his champions, "disproved the taunt of the Frenchmen,
and shown ourselves as good horsemen as they." "I sent you for better,"
coldly retorted Gonsalvo. [20]

A more tragic termination befell a combat _a l'outrance_ between the
chevalier Bayard and a Spanish cavalier, named Alonso de Sotomayor, who
had accused the former of uncourteous treatment of him, while his
prisoner. Bayard denied the charge, and defied the Spaniard to prove it in
single fight, on horse or on foot, as he best liked. Sotomayor, aware of
his antagonist's uncommon horsemanship, preferred the latter alternative.

At the day and hour appointed, the two knights entered the lists, armed
with sword and dagger, and sheathed in complete harness; although, with a
degree of temerity unusual in these, combats, they wore their visors up.
Both combatants knelt down in silent prayer for a few moments, and then
rising and crossing themselves, advanced straight against each other; "the
good knight Bayard," says Brantome, "moving as light of step, as if he
were going to lead some fair lady down the dance."

The Spaniard was of a large and powerful frame, and endeavored to crush
his enemy by weight of blows, or to close with him and bring him to the
ground. The latter, naturally inferior in strength, was rendered still
weaker by a fever, from which he had not entirely recovered. He was more
light and agile than his adversary, however, and superior dexterity
enabled him not only to parry his enemy's strokes, but to deal him
occasionally one of his own, while he sorely distressed him by the
rapidity of his movements. At length, as the Spaniard was somewhat thrown
off his balance by an ill-directed blow, Bayard struck him so sharply on
the gorget, that it gave way, and the sword entered his throat. Furious
with the agony of the wound, Sotomayor collected all his strength for the
last struggle, and, grasping his antagonist in his arms, they both rolled
in the dust together. Before either could extricate himself, the quick-
eyed Bayard, who had retained his poniard in his left hand during the
whole combat, while the Spaniard's had remained in his belt, drove the
steel with such convulsive strength under his enemy's eye, that it pierced
quite through the brain. After the judges had awarded the honors of the
day to Bayard, the minstrels as usual began to pour forth triumphant
strains in praise of the victor; but the good knight commanded them to
desist, and, having first prostrated himself on his knees in gratitude for
his victory, walked slowly out of the lists, expressing a wish that the
combat had had a different termination, so that his honor had been saved.

In these jousts and tourneys, described with sufficient prolixity, but in
a truly heart-stirring tone, by the chroniclers of the day, we may discern
the last gleam of the light of chivalry, which illumined the darkness of
the Middle Ages; and, although rough in comparison with the pastimes of
more polished times, they called forth such displays of magnificence,
courtesy, and knightly honor, as throw something like the grace of
civilization over the ferocious features of the age.

While the Spaniards, cooped up within the old town of Barleta, sought to
vary the monotony of their existence by these chivalrous exercises, or an
occasional foray into the neighboring country, they suffered greatly from
the want of military stores, food, clothing, and the most common
necessaries of life. It seemed as if their master had abandoned them to
their fate on this forlorn outpost, without a struggle in their behalf.
[22] How different from the parental care with which Isabella watched over
the welfare of her soldiers in the long war of Granada! The queen appears
to have taken no part in the management of these wars, which,
notwithstanding the number of her own immediate subjects embarked in them,
she probably regarded, from the first, as appertaining to Aragon, as
exclusively as the conquests in the New World did to Castile. Indeed,
whatever degree of interest she may have felt in their success, the
declining state of her health at this period would not have allowed her to
take any part in the conduct of them.

Gonsalvo was not wanting to himself in this trying emergency, and his
noble spirit seemed to rise as all outward and visible resources failed.
He cheered his troops with promises of speedy relief, talking confidently
of the supplies of grain he expected from Sicily, and the men and money he
was to receive from Spain and Venice. He contrived, too, says Giovio, that
a report should get abroad, that a ponderous coffer lying in his apartment
was filled with gold, which he could draw upon in the last extremity. The
old campaigners, indeed, according to the same authority, shook their
heads at these and other agreeable fictions of their general, with a very
skeptical air. They derived some confirmation, however, from the arrival
soon after of a Sicilian bark, laden with corn, and another from Venice
with various serviceable stores and wearing apparel, which Gonsalvo bought
on his own credit and that of his principal officers, and distributed
gratuitously among his destitute soldiers. [23]

At this time he received the unwelcome tidings that a small force which
had been sent from Spain to his assistance, under Don Manuel de Benavides,
and which had effected a junction with one much larger from Sicily under
Hugo de Cardona, was surprised by D'Aubigny near Terranova, and totally
defeated. This disaster was followed by the reduction of all Calabria,
which the latter general, at the head of his French and Scottish
gendarmerie, rode over from one extremity to the other without opposition.

The prospect now grew darker and darker around the little garrison of
Barleta. The discomfiture of Benavides excluded hopes of relief in that
direction. The gradual occupation of most of the strong places in Apulia
by the duke of Nemours cut off all communication with the neighboring
country; and a French fleet cruising in the Adriatic rendered the arrival
of further stores and reinforcements extremely precarious. Gonsalvo,
however, maintained the same unruffled cheerfulness as before, and
endeavored to infuse it into the hearts of others. He perfectly understood
the character of his countrymen, knew all their resources, and tried to
rouse every latent principle of honor, loyalty, pride, and national
feeling; and such was the authority which he acquired over their minds,
and so deep the affection which he inspired, by the amenity of his manners
and the generosity of his disposition, that not a murmur or symptom of
insubordination escaped them during the whole of this long and painful
siege. But neither the excellence of his troops, nor the resources of his
own genius, would have been sufficient to extricate Gonsalvo from the
difficulties of his situation, without the most flagrant errors on the
part of his opponent. The Spanish general, who understood the character of
the French commander perfectly well, lay patiently awaiting his
opportunity, like a skilful fencer, ready to make a decisive thrust at the
first vulnerable point that should be presented. Such an occasion at
length offered itself early in the following year. [25]

The French, no less weary than their adversaries of their long inaction,
sallied out from Canosa, where the viceroy had established his
headquarters, and, crossing the Ofanto, marched up directly under the
walls of Barleta, with the intention of drawing out the garrison from the
"old den," as they called it, and deciding the quarrel in a pitched
battle. The duke of Nemours, accordingly, having taken up his position,
sent a trumpet into the place to defy the Great Captain to the encounter;
but the latter returned for answer, that "he was accustomed to choose his
own place and time for fighting, and would thank the French general to
wait till his men found time to shoe their horses, and burnish up their
arms." At length, Nemours, after remaining some days, and finding there
was no chance of decoying his wily foe from his defences, broke up his
camp and retired, satisfied with the empty honors of his gasconade.

No sooner had he fairly turned his back, than Gonsalvo, whose soldiers had
been restrained with difficulty from sallying out on their insolent foe,
ordered the whole strength of his cavalry under the command of Diego de
Mendoza, flanked by two corps of infantry, to issue forth and pursue the
French. Mendoza executed these orders so promptly that he brought up his
horse, which were somewhat in advance of the foot, on the rear-guard of
the French, before it had got many miles from Barleta. The latter
instantly halted to receive the charge of the Spaniards, and, after a
lively skirmish of no great duration, Mendoza retreated, followed by the
incautious enemy, who, in consequence of their irregular and straggling
march, were detached from the main body of their army. In the mean time,
the advancing columns of the Spanish infantry, which had now come up with
the retreating horse, unexpectedly closing on the enemy's flanks, threw
them into some disorder, which became complete when the flying cavalry of
the Spaniards, suddenly wheeling round in the rapid style of the Moorish
tactics, charged them boldly in front. All was now confusion. Some made
resistance, but most sought only to escape; a few effected it, but the
greater part of those who did not fall on the field were carried prisoners
to Barleta; where Mendoza found the Great Captain with his whole army
drawn up under the walls in order of battle, ready to support him in
person, if necessary. The whole affair passed so expeditiously, that the
viceroy, who, as has been said, conducted his retreat in a most disorderly
manner, and in fact had already dispersed several battalions of his
infantry to the different towns from which he had drawn them, knew nothing
of the rencontre, till his men were securely lodged within the walls of
Barleta. [26]

The arrival of a Venetian trader at this time, with a cargo of grain,
brought temporary relief to the pressing necessities of the garrison. [27]
This was followed by the welcome intelligence of the total discomfiture of
the French fleet under M. de Prejan by the Spanish admiral Lezcano, in an
action off Otranto, which consequently left the seas open for the supplies
daily expected from Sicily. Fortune seemed now in the giving vein; for in
a few days a convoy of seven transports from that island, laden with
grain, meat, and other stores, came safe into Barleta, and supplied
abundant means for recruiting the health and spirits of its famished
inmates. [28]

Thus restored, the Spaniards began to look forward with eager confidence
to the achievement of some new enterprise. The temerity of the viceroy
soon afforded an opportunity. The people of Castellaneta, a town near
Tarento, were driven by the insolent and licentious behavior of the French
garrison to betray the place into the hands of the Spaniards. The duke of
Nemours, enraged at this defection, prepared to march at once with his
whole force, and take signal vengeance on the devoted little town; and
this, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his officers against a step
which must inevitably expose the unprotected garrisons in the neighborhood
to the assault of their vigilant enemy in Barleta. The event justified
these apprehensions. [29]

No sooner had Gonsalvo learned the departure of Nemours on a distant
expedition, than he resolved at once to make an attack on the town of
Ruvo, about twelve miles distant, and defended by the brave La Palice,
with a corps of three hundred French lances, and as many foot. With his
usual promptness, the Spanish general quitted the walls of Barleta the
same night on which he received the news, taking with him his whole
effective force, amounting to about three thousand infantry and one
thousand light and heavy-armed horse. So few, indeed, remained to guard
the city, that he thought it prudent to take some of the principal
inhabitants as hostages to insure its fidelity in his absence.

At break of day, the little army arrived before Ruvo. Gonsalvo immediately
opened a lively cannonade on the old ramparts, which in less than four
hours effected a considerable breach. He then led his men to the assault,
taking charge himself of those who were to storm the breach, while another
division, armed with ladders for scaling the walls, was intrusted to the
adventurous cavalier Diego de Paredes.

The assailants experienced more resolute resistance than they had
anticipated from the inconsiderable number of the garrison. La Palice,
throwing himself into the breach with his iron band of dismounted
gendarmes, drove back the Spaniards as often as they attempted to set foot
on the broken ramparts; while the Gascon archery showered down volleys of
arrows thick as hail, from the battlements, on the exposed persons of the
assailants. The latter, however, soon rallied under the eye of their
general, and returned with fresh fury to the charge, until the
overwhelming tide of numbers bore down all opposition, and they poured in
through the breach and over the walls with irresistible fury. The brave
little garrison were driven before them; still, however, occasionally
making fight in the streets and houses. Their intrepid young commander, La
Palice, retreated facing the enemy, who pressed thick and close upon him,
till, his further progress being arrested by a wall, he placed his back
against it, and kept them at bay, making a wide circle around him with the
deadly sweep of his battle-axe. But the odds were too much for him; and at
length, after repeated wounds, having been brought to the ground by a deep
cut in the head, he was made prisoner; not, however, before he had flung
his sword far over the heads of the assailants, disdaining, in the true
spirit of a knight-errant, to yield it to the rabble around him. [30]

All resistance was now at an end. The women of the place had fled, like so
many frightened deer, to one of the principal churches; and Gonsalvo, with
more humanity than was usual in these barbarous wars, placed a guard over
their persons, which effectually secured them from the insults of the
soldiery. After a short time spent in gathering up the booty and securing
his prisoners, the Spanish general, having achieved the object of his
expedition, set out on his homeward march, and arrived without
interruption at Barleta.

The duke of Nemours had scarcely appeared before Castellaneta, before he
received tidings of the attack on Ruvo. He put himself, without losing a
moment, at the head of his gendarmes, supported by the Swiss pikemen,
hoping to reach the beleaguered town in time to raise the siege. Great was
his astonishment, therefore, on arriving before it, to find no trace of an
enemy, except the ensigns of Spain unfurled from the deserted battlements.
Mortified and dejected, be made no further attempt to recover
Castellaneta, but silently drew off to hide his chagrin in the walls of
Canosa. [31]

Among the prisoners were several persons of distinguished rank. Gonsalvo
treated them with his usual courtesy, and especially La Palice, whom he
provided with his own surgeon and all the appliances for rendering his
situation as comfortable as possible. For the common file, however, he
showed no such sympathy; but condemned them all to serve in the Spanish
admiral's galleys, where they continued to the close of the campaign. An
unfortunate misunderstanding had long subsisted between the French and
Spanish commanders respecting the ransom and exchange of prisoners; and
Gonsalvo was probably led to this severe measure, so different from his
usual clemency, by an unwillingness to encumber himself with a superfluous
population in the besieged city. [32] But, in truth, such a proceeding,
however offensive to humanity, was not at all repugnant to the haughty
spirit of chivalry, which, reserving its courtesies exclusively for those
of gentle blood and high degree, cared little for the inferior orders,
whether soldier or peasant, whom it abandoned without remorse to all the
caprices and cruelties of military license.

The capture of Ruvo was attended with important consequences to the
Spaniards. Besides the valuable booty of clothes, jewels, and money, they
brought back with them nearly a thousand horses, which furnished Gonsalvo
with the means of augmenting his cavalry, the small number of which had
hitherto materially crippled his operations. He accordingly selected seven
hundred of his best troops and mounted them on the French horses; thus
providing himself with a corps, burning with zeal to approve itself worthy
of the distinguished honor conferred on it. [33]

A few weeks after, the general received an important accession of strength
from the arrival of two thousand German mercenaries, which Don Juan
Manuel, the Spanish minister at the Austrian court, had been permitted to
raise in the emperor's dominions. This event determined the Great Captain
on a step which he had been some time meditating. The new levies placed
him in a condition for assuming the offensive. His stock of provisions,
moreover, already much reduced, would be obviously insufficient long to
maintain his increased numbers. He resolved, therefore, to sally out of
the old walls of Barleta, and, availing himself of the high spirits in
which the late successes had put his troops, to bring the enemy at once to
battle. [34]


[1] Peter Martyr, in a letter written from Venice, while detained there on
his way to Alexandria, speaks of the efforts made by the French emissaries
to induce the republic to break with Spain, and support their master in
his designs on Naples. "Adsunt namque a Ludovico rege Gallorum oratores,
qui omni nixu conantur a vobis Venetorum animos avertere. Fremere dentibus
aiunt oratorem primarium Gallum, quia nequeat per Venetorum suffragia
consequi, ut aperte vobis hostilitatem edicant, utque velint Gallis regno
Parthenopeo contra vestra praesidia ferre suppetias." The letter is dated
October 1st, 1501. Opus Epist., epist. 231.

[2] Martyr, after noticing the grounds of the partition treaty, comments
with his usual shrewdness on the politic views of the Spanish sovereigns.
"Facilius namque se sperant, eam partem, quam sibi Galli sortiti sunt,
habituros aliquando, quam si universum regnum occuparint." Opus Epist.,
epist. 218.

[3] The Italian historians, who have investigated the subject with some
parade of erudition, treat it so vaguely, as to leave it after all nearly
as perplexed as they found it. Giovio includes the Capitanate in Apulia,
according to the ancient division; Guicciardini, according to the modern;
and the Spanish historian Mariana, according to both. The last writer, it
may be observed, discusses the matter with equal learning and candor, and
more perspicuity than either of the preceding. He admits reasonable
grounds for doubt to which moiety of the kingdom the Basilicate and
Principalities should be assigned. Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. p.
670.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 5, pp. 274, 275.--Giovio, Vita
Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 1, pp. 234, 235.

[4] The provision of the partition treaty, that the Spaniards should
collect the tolls paid by the flocks on their descent from the French
district of Abruzzo into the Capitanate, is conclusive evidence of the
intention of the contracting parties to assign the latter to Spain. See
the treaty apud Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. in. pp. 445, 446.

[5] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom, i. lib. 4, cap. 52.--Mariana,
Hist. de Espana, tom. ii, lib. 27, cap. 12.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol.

[6] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 3-7.--Zurita, Hist. del
Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 60, 62, 64, 65.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, tom. i. p. 236.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.

Bernaldez states, that the Great Captain, finding his conference with the
French general ineffectual, proposed to the latter to decide the quarrel
between their respective nations by single combat. (Reyes Catolicos, MS.,
cap. 167.) We should require some other authority, however, than that of
the good Curate to vouch for this romantic flight, so entirely out of
keeping with the Spanish general's character, in which prudence was
probably the most conspicuous attribute.

[7] Daru, Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p. 345.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana,
tom. i. lib. 6.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 238, 240, 252.--This
may appear strange, considering that Lorenzo Suarez de la Vega was there,
a person of whom Gonzalo de Oviedo writes, "Fue gentil caballero, e sabio,
e de gran prudencia; ***** muy entendido e de mucho reposo e honesto e
afable e de linda conversarcion;" and again more explicitly, "Embaxador a
Venecia, en el qual oficio sirvio muy bien, e como prudente varon."
(Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 44.) Martyr admits his
prudence, but objects his ignorance of Latin, a deficiency, however
heinous in the worthy tutor's eyes, probably of no rare occurrence among
the elder Castilian nobles.

[8] Many of Martyr's letters were addressed to both Ferdinand and
Isabella. The former, however, was ignorant of the Latin language, in
which they were written. Martyr playfully alludes to this in one of his
epistles, reminding the queen of her promise to interpret them faithfully
to her husband. The unconstrained and familiar tone of his correspondence
affords a pleasing example of the personal intimacy to which the
sovereigns, so contrary to the usual stiffness of Spanish etiquette,
admitted men of learning and probity at their court, without distinction
of rank. Opus Epist., epist. 230.

[9] "Galli," says Martyr, in a letter more remarkable for strength of
expression than elegance of Latinity, "furunt, saeviunt, internecionem
nostris minantur, putantque id sibi fere facillimum. Regem eorum esse in
itinere, inquiunt, ut ipse cum duplicato exercitu Alpes trajiciat in
Italiam. Vestro nomini insurgunt. Cristas erigunt in vos superbissime.
Provinciam hanc, veluti rem humilem, parvique momenti, se aggressuros
praeconantur. Nihil esse negotii eradicare exterminareque vestra praesidia
ex utraque Sicilia blacterant. Insolenter nimis exspuendo insultant." Opus
Epist., epist. 241.

[10] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 8.--Giannone, Istoria di
Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, pp. 274, 275.--
Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 61.

[11] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, p. 265.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII.,
part. 1, chap. 57.--Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. pp. 221-233.--St. Gelais,
Hist. de Louys XII, p. 169.

Brantome has introduced sketches of most of the French captains mentioned
in the text into his admirable gallery of national portraits.--See Vies
des Hommes Illustres, Oeuvres, tom. ii. and iii.

[12] Martyr's epistles at this crisis are filled with expostulation,
argument, and entreaties to the sovereigns, begging them to rouse from
their apathy, and take measures to secure the wavering affections of
Venice, as well as to send more effectual aid to their Italian troops.
Ferdinand listened to the first of these suggestions; but showed a strange
insensibility to the last.

[13] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, lib. 4, cap. 62, 65.--Carta del Gran
Capitan, MS.

Prospero Colonna, in particular, was distinguished not only for his
military science, but his fondness for letters and the arts, of which he
is commemorated by Tiraboschi as a munificent patron. (Letteratura
Italians, tom. viii. p. 77.) Paolo Giovio has introduced his portrait
among the effigies of illustrious men, who, it must be confessed, are more
indebted in his work to the hand of the historian than the artist. Elogia
Virorum Bellica Virtute Illustrium, (Basiliae, 1578,) lib. 5.

[14] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 8.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 10.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 42.--Summonte, Hist. di
Napoli, tom. iii. p. 541.

[15] This beautiful and high-spirited lady, whose fate has led Boccalini,
in his whimsical satire of the "Ragguagli di Parnasso," to call her the
most unfortunate female on record, had seen her father, Alfonso II., and
her husband, Galeazzo Sforza, driven from their thrones by the French,
while her son still remained in captivity in their hands. No wonder they
revolted from accumulating new woes on her devoted head.

[16] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 237.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib.
5, pp. 282, 283.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 14.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 249.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap.

[17] Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 47.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando,
tom. i. lib. 4, cap. 69.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, tom. i. p. 241.--
D'Auton, part. 2, chap. 11.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 247.

Martyr says, that the Spaniards marched through the enemy's camp, shouting
"Espana, Espana, viva Espana!" (ubi supra.) Their gallantry in the defence
of Canosa elicits a hearty eulogium from Jean D'Auton, the loyal
historiographer of Louis XII. "Je ne veux donc par ma Chronique mettre les
biensfaicts des Espaignols en publy, mais dire que pour vertueuse defence,
doibuent auoir louange honorable." Hist. de Louys XII., chap. 11.

[18] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 169.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V.,
fol. 10.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 66.

[19] Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 53.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII.,
part. 2, chap. 26.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 238, 239.--Memoires
de Bayard par le Loyal Serviteur, chap. 23, apud Petitot, Collection des
Memoires, tom. xv.--Brantome, Oeuvres, tom. iii. disc. 77.

This celebrated tourney, its causes, and all the details of the action,
are told in as many different ways as there are narrators; and this,
notwithstanding it was fought in the presence of a crowd of witnesses, who
had nothing to do but look on, and note what passed before their eyes. The
only facts in which all agree, are, that there was such a tournament, and
that neither party gained the advantage. So much for history!

[20] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., ubi supra.--Quintana, Espanoles
Celebres, tom. ii. p. 263.

[21] Brantome, Oeuvres, tom. vi. Discours sur les Duels.--D'Auton, Hist.
de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 27.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 11.--
Memoires de Bayard, chap. 22, apud Collection des Memoires.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, p. 240.

[22] According to Martyr, the besieged had been so severely pressed by
famine for some time before this, that Gonsalvo entertained serious
thoughts of embarking the whole of his little garrison on board the fleet,
and abandoning the place to the enemy. "Barlettae inclusos fame pesteque
urgeri graviter aiunt. Vicina ipsorum omnia Galli occupant, et nostros
quotidie magis ac magis premunt. Ita obsessi undi que, de relinquenda
etiam Barletta saepius iniere consilium. Ut mari terga dent hostibus, ne
fame pesteque pereant, saepe cadit in deliberationem." Opus Epist., epist.

[23] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 242.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 4.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap.
167.--Guicciardini, Istoria, p. 283.

[24] Ibid., lib. 5, p. 294.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap.
22.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 63.

[25] Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 11.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum,
tom. i. p. 247.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 9.

[26] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 243, 244.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 11, 12. A dispute arose, soon after this affair, between a French
officer and some Italian gentlemen at Gonsalvo's table, in consequence of
certain injurious reflections made by the former on the bravery of the
Italian nation. The quarrel was settled by a combat _a l'outrance_ between
thirteen knights on each side, fought under the protection of the Great
Captain, who took a lively interest in the success of his allies. It
terminated in the discomfiture and capture of all the French. The tourney
covers more pages in the Italian historians than the longest battle, and
is told with pride and a swell of exultation which show that this insult
of the French cut more deeply than all the injuries inflicted by them.
Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 244-247.--Guicciardini, Istoria, pp.
296-298.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.--Summonte, Hist.
di Napoli, tom. iii. pp. 542-552.--et al.

[27]: This supply was owing to the avarice of the French general Alegre,
who, having got possession of a magazine of corn in Foggia, sold it to the
Venetian merchant, instead of reserving it, where it was most needed, for
his own army.

[28] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part, 1, chap. 72.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 254.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 242.

[29] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 5, p. 296.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII.,
part. 2, chap. 31.

[30] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 248, 249.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
p. 296.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 175.--D'Auton, Hist. de
Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 31.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 72.

The gallant behavior of La Palice, and indeed the whole siege of Ruvo, is
told by Jean D'Auton in a truly heart-stirring tone, quite worthy of the
chivalrous pen of old Froissart. There is an inexpressible charm imparted
to the French memoirs and chronicles of this ancient date, not only from
the picturesque character of the details, but from a gentle tinge of
romance shed over them, which calls to mind the doughty feats of

                    "prowest knights,
  Both Paynim and the peers of Charlemagne."

[31] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., ubi supra.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V.,
fol. 16.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 72.

[32] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., ubi supra.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, p. 249.--Quintana, Espanoles Celebres, tom. ii. p. 270.--Zurita,
Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 14.

[33] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 249.

[34] Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 15.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 16.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 17.




Birth of Charles V.--Philip and Joanna Visit Spain.--Treaty of Lyons.--The
Great Captain Refuses to Comply with it.--Encamps before Cerignola.--
Battle and Rout of the French.--Triumphant Entry of Gonsalvo into Naples.

Before accompanying the Great Captain further in his warlike operations,
it will be necessary to take a rapid glance at what was passing in the
French and Spanish courts, where negotiations were in train for putting a
stop to them altogether.

The reader has been made acquainted in a preceding chapter with the
marriage of the infanta Joanna, second daughter of the Catholic
sovereigns, with the archduke Philip, son of the emperor Maximilian, and
sovereign, in right of his mother, of the Low Countries. The first fruit
of this marriage was the celebrated Charles the Fifth, born at Ghent,
February 24th, 1500, whose birth was no sooner announced to Queen
Isabella, than she predicted that to this infant would one day descend the
rich inheritance of the Spanish monarchy. [1] The premature death of the
heir apparent, Prince Miguel, not long after, prepared the way for this
event by devolving the succession on Joanna, Charles's mother. From that
moment the sovereigns were pressing in their entreaties that the archduke
and his wife would visit Spain, that they might receive the customary
oaths of allegiance, and that the former might become acquainted with the
character and institutions of his future subjects. The giddy young prince,
however, thought too much of present pleasure to heed the call of ambition
or duty, and suffered more than a year to glide away, before he complied
with the summons of his royal parents.

In the latter part of 1501, Philip and Joanna, attended by a numerous
suite of Flemish courtiers, set out on their journey, proposing to take
their way through France. They were entertained with profuse magnificence
and hospitality at the French court, where the politic attentions of Louis
the Twelfth not only effaced the recollection of ancient injuries to the
house of Burgundy, [2] but left impressions of the most agreeable
character on the mind of the young prince. [3] After some weeks passed in
a succession of splendid _fetes_ and amusements at Blois, where the
archduke confirmed the treaty of Trent recently made between his father,
the emperor, and the French king, stipulating the marriage of Louis's
eldest daughter, the princess Claude, with Philip's son Charles, the royal
pair resumed their journey towards Spain, which they entered by the way of
Fontarabia, January 29th, 1502. [4]

Magnificent preparations had been made for their reception. The grand
constable of Castile, the duke of Naxara, and many other of the principal
grandees waited on the borders to receive them. Brilliant _fetes_ and
illuminations, and all the usual marks of public rejoicing, greeted their
progress through the principal cities of the north, and a _pragmatica_
relaxing the simplicity, or rather severity, of the sumptuary laws of the
period, so far as to allow the use of silks and various-colored apparel,
shows the attention of the sovereigns to every circumstance, however
trifling, which could affect the minds of the young princes agreeably, and
diffuse an air of cheerfulness over the scene. [5]

Ferdinand and Isabella, who were occupied with the affairs of Andalusia at
this period, no sooner heard of the arrival of Philip and Joanna, than
they hastened to the north. They reached Toledo towards the end of April,
and in a few days, the queen, who paid the usual penalties of royalty, in
seeing her children, one after another, removed far from her into distant
lands, had the satisfaction of again folding her beloved daughter in her

On the 22d of the ensuing month, the archduke and his wife received the
usual oaths of fealty from the cortes duly convoked for the purpose at
Toledo. [6] King Ferdinand, not long after, made a journey into Aragon, in
which the queen's feeble health would not permit her to accompany him, in
order to prepare the way for a similar recognition by the estates of that
realm. We are not informed what arguments the sagacious monarch made use
of to dispel the scruples formerly entertained by that independent body,
on a similar application in behalf of his daughter, the late queen of
Portugal. [7] They were completely successful, however; and Philip and
Joanna, having ascertained the favorable disposition of cortes, made their
entrance in great state into the ancient city of Saragossa, in the month
of October. On the 27th, having first made oath before the Justice, to
observe the laws and liberties of the realm, Joanna as future queen
proprietor, and Philip as her husband,--were solemnly recognized by the
four _arms_ of Aragon as successors to the crown, in default of male
issue of King Ferdinand. The circumstance is memorable, as affording the
first example of the parliamentary recognition of a female heir apparent
in Aragonese history. [8]

Amidst all the honors so liberally lavished on Philip, his bosom secretly
swelled with discontent, fomented still further by his followers, who
pressed him to hasten his return to Flanders, where the free and social
manners of the people were much more congenial to their tastes, than the
reserve and stately ceremonial of the Spanish court. The young prince
shared in these feelings, to which, indeed, the love of pleasure, and an
instinctive aversion to anything like serious occupation, naturally
disposed him. Ferdinand and Isabella saw with regret the frivolous
disposition of their son-in-law, who, in the indulgence of selfish and
effeminate ease, was willing to repose on others all the important duties
of government. They beheld with mortification his indifference to Joanna,
who could boast few personal attractions, [9] and who cooled the
affections of her husband by alternations of excessive fondness and
irritable jealousy, for which last the levity of his conduct gave her too
much occasion.

Shortly after the ceremony at Saragossa, the archduke announced his
intention of an immediate return to the Netherlands, by the way of France.
The sovereigns, astonished at this abrupt determination, used every
argument to dissuade him from it. They represented the ill effects it
might occasion the princess Joanna, then too far advanced in a state of
pregnancy to accompany him. They pointed out the impropriety, as well as
danger, of committing himself to the hands of the French king, with whom
they were now at open war; and they finally insisted on the importance of
Philip's remaining long enough in the kingdom to become familiar with the
usages, and establish himself in the affections of the people over whom he
would one day be called to reign.

All these arguments were ineffectual; the inflexible prince, turning a
deaf ear alike to the entreaties of his unhappy wife, and the
remonstrances of the Aragonese cortes, still in session, set out from
Madrid, with the whole of his Flemish suite, in the month of December. He
left Ferdinand and Isabella disgusted with the levity of his conduct, and
the queen, in particular, filled with mournful solicitude for the welfare
of the daughter with whom his destinies were united. [10]

Before his departure for France, Philip, anxious to re-establish harmony
between that country and Spain, offered his services to his father-in-law
in negotiating with Louis the Twelfth, if possible, a settlement of the
differences respecting Naples. Ferdinand showed some reluctance at
intrusting so delicate a commission to an envoy in whose discretion he
placed small reliance, which was not augmented by the known partiality
which Philip entertained for the French monarch. [11] Before the archduke
had crossed the frontier, however, he was overtaken by a Spanish
ecclesiastic named Bernaldo Boyl, abbot of St. Miguel de Cuxa, who brought
full powers to Philip from the king for concluding a treaty with France,
accompanied at the same time with private instructions of the most strict
and limited nature. He was enjoined, moreover, to take no step without the
advice of his reverend coadjutor, and to inform the Spanish court at once,
if different propositions were submitted from those contemplated by his
instructions. [12] Thus fortified, the archduke Philip made his appearance
at the French Court in Lyons, where he was received by Louis with the same
lively expressions of regard as before. With these amiable dispositions,
the negotiations were not long in resulting in a definitive treaty,
arranged to the mutual satisfaction of the parties, though in violation of
the private instructions of the archduke. In the progress of the
discussions, Ferdinand, according to the Spanish historians, received
advices from his envoy, the abate Boyl, that Philip was transcending his
commission; in consequence of which the king sent an express to France,
urging his son-in-law to adhere to the strict letter of his instructions.
Before the messenger reached Lyons, however, the treaty was executed. Such
is the Spanish account of this blind transaction. [13]

The treaty, which was signed at Lyons, April 5th, 1503, was arranged on
the basis of the marriage of Charles, the infant son of Philip, and
Claude, princess of France; a marriage, which, settled by three several
treaties, was destined never to take place. The royal infants were
immediately to assume the titles of King and Queen of Naples, and Duke and
Duchess of Calabria. Until the consummation of the marriage, the French
division of the kingdom was to be placed under the administration of some
suitable person named by Louis the Twelfth, and the Spanish under that of
the archduke Philip, or some other deputy appointed by Ferdinand. All
places unlawfully seized by either party were to be restored; and lastly
it was settled, with regard to the disputed province of the Capitanate,
that the portion held by the French should be governed by an agent of King
Louis, and the Spanish by the archduke Philip on behalf of Ferdinand. [14]

Such in substance was the treaty of Lyons; a treaty, which, while it
seemed to consult the interests of Ferdinand, by securing the throne of
Naples eventually to his posterity, was in fact far more accommodated to
those of Louis, by placing the immediate control of the Spanish moiety
under a prince over whom that monarch held entire influence. It is
impossible that so shrewd a statesman as Ferdinand could, from the mere
consideration of advantages so remote to himself and dependent on so
precarious a contingency as the marriage of two infants, then in their
cradles, have seriously contemplated an arrangement, which surrendered all
the actual power into the hands of his rival; and that too at the moment
when his large armament, so long preparing for Calabria, had reached that
country, and when the Great Captain, on the other quarter, had received
such accessions of strength as enabled him to assume the offensive, on at
least equal terms with the enemy.

No misgivings on this head, however, appeared to have entered the minds of
the signers of the treaty, which was celebrated by the court at Lyons with
every show of public rejoicing, and particularly with tourneys and tilts
of reeds, in imitation of the Spanish chivalry. At the same time, the
French king countermanded the embarkation of French troops on board a
fleet equipping at the port of Genoa for Naples, and sent orders to his
generals in Italy to desist from further operations. The archduke
forwarded similar instructions to Gonsalvo, accompanied with a copy of the
powers intrusted to him by Ferdinand. That prudent officer, however,
whether in obedience to previous directions from the king, as Spanish
writers affirm, or on his own responsibility, from a very natural sense of
duty, refused to comply with the ambassador's orders; declaring "he knew
no authority but that of his own sovereigns, and that he felt bound to
prosecute the war with all his ability, till he received their commands to
the contrary." [15]

Indeed, the archduke's despatches arrived at the very time when the
Spanish general, having strengthened himself by a reinforcement from the
neighboring garrison of Tarento under Pedro Navarro, was prepared to sally
forth, and try his fortune in battle with the enemy. Without further
delay, he put his purpose into execution, and on Friday, the 28th of
April, marched out with his whole army from the ancient walls of Barleta;
a spot ever memorable in history as the scene of the extraordinary
sufferings and indomitable constancy of the Spanish soldier.

The road lay across the field of Cannae, where, seventeen centuries
before, the pride of Rome had been humbled by the victorious arms of
Hannibal, [16] in a battle which, though fought with far greater numbers,
was not so decisive in its consequences as that which the same scenes were
to witness in a few hours. The coincidence is certainly singular; and one
might almost fancy that the actors in these fearful tragedies, unwilling
to deface the fair haunts of civilization, had purposely sought a more
fitting theatre in this obscure and sequestered region.

The weather, although only at the latter end of April, was extremely
sultry; the troops, notwithstanding Gonsalvo's orders on crossing the
river Ofanto, the ancient Aufidus, had failed to supply themselves with
sufficient water for the march; parched with heat and dust, they were soon
distressed by excessive thirst; and, as the burning rays of the noontide
sun beat fiercely on their heads, many of them, especially those cased in
heavy armor, sunk down on the road, fainting with exhaustion and fatigue.
Gonsalvo was seen in every quarter, administering to the necessities of
his men, and striving to reanimate their drooping spirits. At length, to
relieve them, he commanded that each trooper should take one of the
infantry on his crupper, setting the example himself by mounting a German
ensign behind him on his own horse.

In this way, the whole army arrived early in the afternoon before
Cerignola, a small town on an eminence about sixteen miles from Barleta,
where the nature of the ground afforded the Spanish general a favorable
position for his camp. The sloping sides of the hill were covered with
vineyards, and its base was protected by a ditch of considerable depth.
Gonsalvo saw at once the advantages of the ground. His men were jaded by
the march; but there was no time to lose, as the French, who, on his
departure from Barleta, had been drawn up under the walls of Canosa, were
now rapidly advancing. All hands were put in requisition, therefore, for
widening the trench, in which they planted sharp-pointed stakes; while the
earth which they excavated enabled them to throw up a parapet of
considerable height on the side next the town. On this rampart he mounted
his little train of artillery, consisting of thirteen guns, and behind it
drew up his forces in order of battle. [17]

Before these movements were completed in the Spanish camp, the bright arms
and banners of the French were seen glistening in the distance amid the
tall fennel and cane-brakes with which the country was thickly covered. As
soon as they had come in view of the Spanish encampment, they were brought
to a halt, while a council of war was called, to determine the expediency
of giving battle that evening. The duke of Nemours would have deferred it
till the following morning, as the day was already far spent, and allowed
no time for reconnoitring the position of his enemy. But Ives d'Allegre,
Chandieu, the commander of the Swiss, and some other officers, were for
immediate action, representing the importance of not balking the
impatience of the soldiers, who were all hot for the assault. In the
course of the debate, Allegre was so much heated as to throw out some rash
taunts on the courage of the viceroy, which the latter would have avenged
on the spot, had not his arm been arrested by Louis d'Ars. He had the
weakness, however, to suffer them to change his cooler purpose,
exclaiming, "We will fight to-night, then; and perhaps those who vaunt the
loudest will be found to trust more to their spurs, than their swords;" a
prediction bitterly justified by the event. [18]

While this dispute was going on, Gonsalvo gained time for making the
necessary disposition of his troops. In the centre he placed his German
auxiliaries, armed with their long pikes, and on each wing the Spanish
infantry under the command of Pedro Navarro, Diego de Paredes, Pizarro,
and other illustrious captains. The defence of the artillery was committed
to the left wing. A considerable body of men-at-arms, including those
recently equipped from the spoils of Ruvo, was drawn up within the
intrenchments, in a quarter affording a convenient opening for a sally,
and placed under the orders of Mendoza and Fabrizio Colonna, whose brother
Prospero and Pedro de la Paz took charge of the light cavalry, which was
posted without the lines to annoy the advance of the enemy, and act on any
point, as occasion might require. Having completed his preparations, the
Spanish general coolly waited the assault of the French.

The duke of Nemours had marshalled his forces in a very different order.
He distributed them into three battles or divisions, stationing his heavy
horse, composing altogether, as Gonsalvo declared, "the finest body of
cavalry seen for many years in Italy," under the command of Louis d'Ars,
on the right. The second and centre division, formed somewhat in the rear
of the right, was made up of the Swiss and Gascon infantry, headed by the
brave Chandieu; and his left, consisting chiefly of his light cavalry, and
drawn up, like the last, somewhat in the rear of the preceding, was
intrusted to Allegre. [19]

It was within half an hour of sunset when the duke de Nemours gave orders
for the attack, and, putting himself at the head of the gendarmerie on the
right, spurred at full gallop against the Spanish left. The hostile armies
were nearly equal, amounting to between six and seven thousand men each.
The French were superior in the number and condition of their cavalry,
rising to a third of their whole force; while Gonsalvo's strength lay
chiefly in his infantry, which had acquired a lesson of tactics under him,
that raised it to a level with the best in Europe.

As the French advanced, the guns on the Spanish left poured a lively fire
into their ranks, when, a spark accidentally communicating with the
magazine of powder, the whole blew up with a tremendous explosion. The
Spaniards were filled with consternation; but Gonsalvo, converting the
misfortune into a lucky omen, called out, "Courage, soldiers, these are
the beacon lights of victory! We have no need of our guns at close

In the mean time, the French van under Nemours, advancing rapidly under
the dark clouds of smoke, which rolled heavily over the field, were
unexpectedly brought up by the deep trench, of whose existence they were
unapprised. Some of the horse were precipitated into it, and all received
a sudden check, until Nemours, finding it impossible to force the works in
this quarter, rode along their front in search of some practicable
passage. In doing this, he necessarily exposed his flank to the fatal aim
of the Spanish arquebusiers. A shot from one of them took effect on the
unfortunate young nobleman, and he fell mortally wounded from his saddle.

At this juncture, the Swiss and Gascon infantry, briskly moving up to
second the attack of the now disordered horse, arrived before the
intrenchments. Undismayed by this formidable barrier, their commander,
Chandieu, made the most desperate attempts to force a passage; but the
loose earth freshly turned up afforded no hold to the feet, and his men
were compelled to recoil from the dense array of German pikes, which
bristled over the summit of the breastwork. Chandieu, their leader, made
every effort to rally and bring them back to the charge; but, in the act
of doing this, was hit by a ball, which stretched him lifeless in the
ditch; his burnished arms, and the snow-white plumes above his helmet,
making him a conspicuous mark for the enemy.

All was now confusion. The Spanish arquebusiers, screened by their
defences, poured a galling fire into the dense masses of the enemy, who
were mingled together indiscriminately, horse and foot, while, the leaders
being down, no one seemed capable of bringing them to order. At this
critical moment, Gonsalvo, whose eagle eye took in the whole operations of
the field, ordered a general charge along the line; and the Spaniards,
leaping their intrenchments, descended with the fury of an avalanche on
their foes, whose wavering columns, completely broken by the violence of
the shock, were seized with a panic, and fled, scarcely offering any
resistance. Louis d'Ars, at the head of such of the men-at-arms as could
follow him, went off in one direction, and Ives d'Allegre, with his light
cavalry, which had hardly come into action, in another; thus fully
verifying the ominous prediction of his commander. The slaughter fell most
heavily on the Swiss and Gascon foot, whom the cavalry under Mendoza and
Pedro de la Paz rode down and cut to pieces without sparing, till the
shades of evening shielded them at length from their pitiless pursuers.

Prospero Colonna pushed on to the French encampment, where he found the
tables in the duke's tent spread for his evening repast; of which the
Italian general and his followers did not fail to make good account. A
trifling incident, that well illustrates the sudden reverses of war.

The Great Captain passed the night on the field of battle, which, on the
following morning, presented a ghastly spectacle of the dying and the
dead. More than three thousand French are computed by the best accounts to
have fallen. The loss of the Spaniards, covered as they were by their
defences, was inconsiderable. [21] All the enemy's artillery, consisting
of thirteen pieces, his baggage, and most of his colors fell into their
hands. Never was there a more complete victory, achieved too within the
space of little more than an hour. The body of the unfortunate Nemours,
which was recognized by one of his pages from the rings on the fingers,
was found under a heap of slain, much disfigured. It appeared that he had
received three several wounds, disproving, if need were, by his honorable
death the injurious taunts of Allegre. Gonsalvo was affected even to tears
at beholding the mutilated remains of his young and gallant adversary,
who, whatever judgment may be formed of his capacity as a leader, was
allowed to have all the qualities which belong to a true knight. With him
perished the last scion of the illustrious house of Armagnac. Gonsalvo
ordered his remains to be conveyed to Barleta, where they were laid in the
cemetery of the convent of St. Francis, with all the honors due to his
high station. [22]

The Spanish commander lost no time in following up his blow, well aware
that it is quite as difficult to improve a victory as to win one. The
French had rushed into battle with too much precipitation to agree on any
plan of operations, or any point on which to rally in case of defeat. They
accordingly scattered in different directions, and Pedro de la Paz was
despatched in pursuit of Louis d'Ars, who threw himself into Venosa, [23]
where he kept the enemy at bay for many months longer. Paredes kept close
on the scent of Allegre, who, finding the gates shut against him wherever
he passed, at length took shelter in Gaeta on the extreme point of the
Neapolitan territory. There he endeavored to rally the scattered relics of
the field of Cerignola, and to establish a strong position, from which the
French, when strengthened by fresh supplies from home, might recommence
operations for the recovery of the kingdom.

The day after the battle of Cerignola the Spaniards received tidings of
another victory, scarcely less important, gained over the French in
Calabria, the preceding week. [24] The army sent out under Portocarrero
had reached that coast early in March; but, soon after its arrival, its
gallant commander fell ill and died. [25] The dying general named Don
Fernando de Andrada as his successor; and this officer, combining his
forces with those before in the country under Cardona and Benavides,
encountered the French commander D'Aubigny in a pitched battle, not far
from Seminara, on Friday, the 21st of April. It was near the same spot on
which the latter had twice beaten the Spaniards. But the star of France
was on the wane; and the gallant old officer had the mortification to see
his little corps of veterans completely routed after a sharp engagement of
less than an hour, while he himself was retrieved with difficulty from the
hands of the enemy by the valor of his Scottish guard. [26]

The Great Captain and his army, highly elated with the news of this
fortunate event, which annihilated the French power in Calabria, began
their march on Naples; Fabrizio Colonna having been first detached into
the Abruzzi to receive the submission of the people in that quarter. The
tidings of the victory had spread far and wide; and, as Gonsalvo's army
advanced, they beheld the ensigns of Aragon floating from the battlements
of the towns upon their route, while the inhabitants came forth to greet
the conqueror, eager to testify their devotion to the Spanish cause. The
army halted at Benevento; and the general sent his summons to the city of
Naples, inviting it in the most courteous terms to resume its ancient
allegiance to the legitimate branch of Aragon. It was hardly to be
expected, that the allegiance of a people, who had so long seen their
country set up as a mere stake for political gamesters, should sit very
closely upon them, or that they should care to peril their lives on the
transfer of a crown which had shifted on the heads of half a dozen
proprietors in as many successive years. [27] With the same ductile
enthusiasm, therefore, with which they greeted the accession of Charles
the Eighth or Louis the Twelfth, they now welcomed the restoration of the
ancient dynasty of Aragon; and deputies from the principal nobility and
citizens waited on the Great Captain at Acerra, where they tendered him
the keys of the city, and requested the confirmation of their rights and

Gonsalvo, having promised this in the name of his royal master, on the
following morning, the 14th of May, 1503, made his entrance in great state
into the capital, leaving his army without the walls. He was escorted by
the military of the city under a royal canopy borne by the deputies. The
streets were strewed with flowers, the edifices decorated with appropriate
emblems and devices, and wreathed with banners emblazoned with the united
arms of Aragon and Naples. As he passed along, the city rung with the
acclamations of countless multitudes who thronged the streets; while every
window and housetop was filled with spectators, eager to behold the man,
who, with scarcely any other resources than those of his own genius, had
so long defied, and at length completely foiled, the power of France.

On the following day a deputation of the nobility and people waited on the
Great Captain at his quarters, and tendered him the usual oaths of
allegiance for his master, King Ferdinand, whose accession finally closed
the series of revolutions which had so long agitated this unhappy country.

The city of Naples was commanded by two strong fortresses still held by
the French, which, being well victualled and supplied with ammunition,
showed no disposition to surrender. The Great Captain determined,
therefore, to reserve a small corps for their reduction, while he sent
forward the main body of his army to besiege Gaeta. But the Spanish
infantry refused to march until the heavy arrears, suffered to accumulate
through the negligence of the government, were discharged; and Gonsalvo,
afraid of awakening the mutinous spirit which he had once found it so
difficult to quell, was obliged to content himself with sending forward
his cavalry and German levies, and to permit the infantry to take up its
quarters in the capital, under strict orders to respect the persons and
property of the citizens.

He now lost no time in pressing the siege of the French fortresses, whose
impregnable situation might have derided the efforts of the most
formidable enemy in the ancient state of military science. But the
reduction of these places was intrusted to Pedro Navarro, the celebrated
engineer, whose improvements in the art of mining have gained him the
popular reputation of being its inventor, and who displayed such
unprecedented skill on this occasion, as makes it a memorable epoch in the
annals of war. [29]

Under his directions, the small tower of St. Vincenzo having been first
reduced by a furious cannonade, a mine was run under the outer defences of
the great fortress called Castel Nuovo. On the 21st of May, the mine was
sprung; a passage was opened over the prostrate ramparts, and the
assailants, rushing in with Gonsalvo and Navarro at their head, before the
garrison had time to secure the drawbridge, applied their ladders to the
walls of the castle, and succeeded in carrying the place by escalade,
after a desperate struggle, in which the greater part of the French were
slaughtered. An immense booty was found in the castle. The Angevin party
had made it a place of deposit for their most valuable effects, gold,
jewels, plate, and other treasures, which, together with its well-stored
magazines of grain and ammunition, became the indiscriminate spoil of the
victors. As some of these, however, complained of not getting their share
of the plunder, Gonsalvo, giving full scope in the exultation of the
moment to military license, called out gayly, "Make amends for it, then,
by what you can find in my quarters!" The words were not uttered to deaf
ears. The mob of soldiery rushed to the splendid palace of the Angevin
prince of Salerno, then occupied by the Great Captain, and in a moment its
sumptuous furniture, paintings, and other costly decorations, together
with the contents of its generous cellar, were seized and appropriated
without ceremony by the invaders, who thus indemnified themselves at their
general's expense for the remissness of government.

After some weeks of protracted operations, the remaining fortress, Castel
d'Uovo, as it was called, opened its gates to Navarro; and a French fleet,
coming into the harbor, had the mortification to find itself fired on from
the walls of the place it was intended to relieve. Before this event,
Gonsalvo, having obtained funds from Spain for paying off his men, quitted
the capital and directed his march on Gaeta. The important results of his
victories were now fully disclosed. D'Aubigny, with the wreck of the
forces escaped from Seminara, had surrendered. The two Abruzzi, the
Capitanate, all the Basilicate, except Venosa, still held by Louis d'Ars,
and indeed every considerable place in the kingdom, had tendered its
submission, with the exception of Gaeta. Summoning, therefore, to his aid
Andrada, Navarro, and his other officers, the Great Captain resolved to
concentrate all his strength on this point, designing to press the siege,
and thus exterminate at a blow the feeble remains of the French power in
Italy. The enterprise was attended with more difficulty than he had
anticipated. [30]


[1] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1500.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 2.

The queen expressed herself in the language of Scripture. "Sora cecidit
super Mathiam," in allusion to the circumstance of Charles being born on
that saint's day; a day which, if we are to believe Garibay, was fortunate
to him through the whole course of his life. Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19,
cap. 9.

[2] Charles VIII., Louis's predecessor, had contrived to secure the hand
of Anne of Bretagne, notwithstanding she was already married by proxy to
Philip's father, the emperor Maximilian; and this, too, in contempt of his
own engagements to Margaret, the emperor's daughter, to whom he had been
affianced from her infancy. This twofold insult, which sunk deep into the
heart of Maximilian, seems to have made no impression on the volatile
spirits of his son.

[3] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, lib. 27, cap. 11.--St. Gelais describes the
cordial reception of Philip and Joanna by the Court at Blois, where he was
probably present himself. The historian shows his own opinion of the
effect produced on their young minds by these flattering attentions, by
remarking, "Le roy leur monstra si tres grand semblant d'amour, que par
noblesse et honestete de coeur _il les obligeoit envers luy de leur en
souvenir toute leur vie_." Hist. de Louys. XII., pp. 164, 165.

In passing through Paris, Philip took his seat in parliament as peer of
France, and subsequently did homage to Louis XII., as his suzerain for his
estates in Flanders; an acknowledgment of inferiority not at all palatable
to the Spanish historians, who insist with much satisfaction on the
haughty refusal of his wife, the archduchess, to take part in the
ceremony. Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 4, cap. 55.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1502.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 13, sec. 1.--
Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, p. 17.

[4] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1501.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 5.

[5] Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 4, cap. 55.--Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne,
tom. viii. p. 220.

This extreme simplicity of attire, in which Zurita discerns "the modesty
of the times," was enforced by laws, the policy of which, whatever be
thought of their moral import, may well be doubted in an economical view.
I shall have occasion to draw the reader's attention to them hereafter.

[6] The writ is dated at Llerena, March 8. It was extracted by Marina from
the archives of Toledo, Teoria, tom. ii. p. 18.

[7] It is remarkable that the Aragonese writers, generally so inquisitive
on all points touching the constitutional history of their country, should
have omitted to notice the grounds on which the cortes thought proper to
reverse its former decision in the analogous case of the infanta Isabella.
There seems to have been even less reason for departing from ancient usage
in the present instance, since Joanna had a son, to whom the cortes might
lawfully have tendered its oath of recognition; for a female, although
excluded from the throne in her own person, was regarded as competent to
transmit the title unimpaired to her male heirs. Blancas suggests no
explanation of the affair, (Coronaciones, lib. 3, cap. 20, and
Commentarii, pp. 274, 511,) and Zurita quietly dismisses it with the
remark, that "there was some opposition raised, but _the king had managed
it so discreetly beforehand_, that there was not the same difficulty as
formerly." (Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 5.) It is curious
to see with what effrontery the prothonotary of the cortes, in the desire
to varnish over the departure from constitutional precedent, declares, in
the opening address, "the princess Joanna, true and lawful heir to the
crown, to whom, in default of male heirs, the usage and law of the land
require the oath of allegiance." Coronaciones, ubi supra.

[8] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1500.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii.
rey 30, cap. 12, sec. 6.--Robles, Vita de Ximenez, p. 126.--Garibay,
Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 14.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 5.

Petronilla, the only female who ever sat, in her own right, on the throne
of Aragon, never received the homage of cortes as heir apparent; the
custom not having been established at that time, the middle of the twelfth
century. (Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 5.) Blancas has described
the ceremony of Joanna's recognition with quite as much circumstantiality
as the novelty of the case could warrant. Coronaciones, lib. 3, cap. 20.

[9] "Simplex est foemina," says Martyr, speaking of Joanna, "licet a tanta
muliere progenita." Opus Epist., epist. 250.

[10] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., ubi supra.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib.
5, cap. 10.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 44.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano

[11] Such manifest partiality for the French court and manners was shown
by Philip and his Flemish followers, that the Spaniards very generally
believed the latter were in the pay of Louis XII. See Gomez, De Rebus
Gestis, fol. 44.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 23.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 253.--Lanuza, Historias, cap. 16.

[12] Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 10.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 13, sec. 2.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19,
cap. 15.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 1, chap. 32.

[13] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 23.--St. Gelais,
Hist. de Louys XII., pp. 170, 171.--Claude de Seyssel, Histoire de Louys
XII., (Paris, 1615,) p. 108.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30,
cap. 13, sec. 3.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. pp. 690, 691.--
Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. cap. 16.

Some of the French historians speak of two agents besides Philip employed
in the negotiations. Father Boyl is the only one named by the Spanish
writers, as regularly commissioned for the purpose, although it is not
improbable that Gralla, the resident minister at Louis's court, took part
in the discussions.

[14] See the treaty, apud Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. pp. 27-29.

[15] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 33, sec. 3.--Giannone,
Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., p.
171.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 75.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2,
chap. 32.

According to the Aragonese historians, Ferdinand, on the archduke's
departure, informed Gonsalvo of the intended negotiations with France,
cautioning the general at the same time not to heed any instructions of
the archduke till confirmed by him. This circumstance the French writers
regard as unequivocal proof of the king's insincerity in entering into the
negotiation. It wears this aspect at first, certainly; but, on a nearer
view, admits of a very different construction. Ferdinand had no confidence
in the discretion of his envoy, whom, if we are to believe the Spanish
writers, he employed in the affair more from accident than choice; and,
notwithstanding the full powers intrusted to him, he did not consider
himself bound to recognize the validity of any treaty which the other
should sign, until first ratified by himself. With these views, founded on
principles now universally recognized in European diplomacy, it was
natural to caution his general against any unauthorized interference on
the part of his envoy, which the rash and presumptuous character of the
latter, acting, moreover, under an undue influence of the French monarch,
gave him good reason to fear.

As to the Great Captain, who has borne a liberal share of censure on this
occasion, it is not easy to see how he could have acted otherwise than he
did, even in the event of no special instructions from Ferdinand. For he
would scarcely have been justified in abandoning a sure prospect of
advantage on the authority of one, the validity of whose powers he could
not determine, and which, in fact, do not appear to have warranted such
interference. The only authority he knew, was that from which he held his
commission, and to which he was responsible for the faithful discharge of

[16] Neither Polybius (lib. 3, sec. 24 et seq.) nor Livy, (Hist., lib. 22,
cap. 43-50,) who give the most circumstantial narratives of the battle,
are precise enough to enable us to ascertain the exact spot in which it
was fought. Strabo, in his topographical notices of this part of Italy,
briefly alludes to "the affair of Cannae" (_ta peri Kannas_), without
any description of the scene of action. (Geog., lib. 6, p. 285.) Cluverius
fixes the site of the ancient Cannae on the right bank of the Anfidus, the
modern Ofanto, between three and four miles below Canusium; and notices
the modern hamlet of nearly the same name, Canne, where common tradition
recognizes the ruins of the ancient town. (Italia Antiqua, lib. 4, cap.
12, sec. 8.) D'Anville makes no difficulty in identifying these two,
(Geographie Ancienne Abregee, tom. i. p. 208,) having laid down the
ancient town in his maps in the direct line, and about midway, between
Barleta and Cerignola.

[17] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 253-255.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
lib. 5, p. 303.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 75, 76.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 27.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 256.--Ulloa,
Vita di Carlo V., fol. 16, 17.

Giovio says, that he had heard Fabrizio Colonna remark more than once, in
allusion to the intrenchments at the base of the hill, "that the victory
was owing, not to the skill of the commander, nor the valor of the troops,
but to a mound and a ditch." This ancient mode of securing a position,
which had fallen into disuse, was revived after this, according to the
same author, and came into general practice among the best captains of the
age. Ubi supra.

[18] Brantome, Oeuvres, tom. ii. disc. 8.--Garnier, Histoire de France,
(Paris, 1783-8,) tom. v. pp. 395, 396.--Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. p.
244.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., p. 171.

[19] Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 76.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum,
fol. 253-255.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 17.

[20] Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 75.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom.
v. pp. 396, 397.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 5, apud Petitot, Collection
des Memoires, tom. xvi.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, ubi supra.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. pp. 303, 304.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys
XII., pp. 171, 172.--Brantome, Oeuvres, tom. ii. disc. 8.

[21] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 255.--Garibay, Compendio, tom.
ii. lib. 19, cap. 15.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 180.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 256.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 5.

No account, that I know of, places the French loss so low as 3000; Garibay
raises it to 4500, and the French marechal de Fleurange rates that of the
Swiss alone at 5000; a round exaggeration, not readily accounted for, as
he had undoubted access to the best means of information. The Spaniards
were too well screened to sustain much injury, and no estimate makes it
more than a hundred killed, and some considerable less. The odds are
indeed startling, but not impossible; as the Spaniards were not much
exposed by personal collision with the enemy, until the latter were thrown
into too much disorder to think of anything but escape. The more than
usual confusion and discrepancy in the various statements of the
particulars of this action may probably be attributed to the lateness of
the hour, and consequently imperfect light, in which it was fought.

[22] Quintana, Espanoles Celebres, tom i. p. 277.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, fol. 255.--Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. pp. 248, 249.--
Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 17.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap.

[23] It was to this same city of Venusium that the rash and unfortunate
Varro made his retreat, some seventeen centuries before, from the bloody
field of Cannae. Liv. Hist., lib. 22, cap. 49.

[24] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 255.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 256.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 80.

Friday, says Guicciardini, alluding no doubt to Columbus's discoveries, as
well as these two victories, was observed to be a lucky day to the
Spaniards; according to Gaillard, it was regarded from this time by the
French with more superstitious dread than ever. Istoria, tom. i. p. 301.--
Rivalite, tom. iv. p. 348.

[25] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 8, 24.--Giovio,
Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 250.

The reader may perhaps recollect the distinguished part played in the
Moorish war by Luis Portocarrero, lord of Palma. He was of noble Italian
origin, being descended from the ancient Genoese house of Boccanegra. The
Great Captain and he had married sisters; and this connection probably
recommended him, as much as his military talents, to the Calabrian
command, which it was highly important should be intrusted to one who
would maintain a good understanding with the commander-in-chief; a thing
not easy to secure among the haughty nobility of Castile.

[26] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 255.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 256.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 80.--Varillas, Histoire de
Louis XII. (Paris, 1688,) tom. i. pp. 289-292. See the account of
D'Aubigny's victories at Seminara, in Part II. Chapters 2 and 11, of this

[27] Since 1494 the sceptre of Naples had passed into the hands of no less
than seven princes, Ferdinand I., Alfonso II., Ferdinand II., Charles
VIII., Frederic III., Louis XII., Ferdinand the Catholic. No private
estate in the kingdom in the same time had probably changed masters half
so often. See Cartas del Gran Capitan, MS.

[28] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. p. 304.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli,
lib. 29, cap. 4.--Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 250.--Summonte,
Hist. di Napoli, tom. iii. pp. 552, 553.--Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom.
xiv. p. 40.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 81.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V.,
fol. 18.

[29] The Italians, in their admiration of Pedro Navarro, caused medals to
be struck, on which the invention of mines was ascribed to him. (Marini,
apud Daru, Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p. 351.) Although not actually the
inventor, his glory was scarcely less, since he was the first who
discovered the extensive and formidable uses to which they might be
applied in the science of destruction. See Part I. Chapter 13, note 23, of
this History.

[30] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 30, 31, 34, 35.
--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 255-257.--Garibay, Compendio, tom.
ii. lib. 19, cap. 15.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 183.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 6, pp. 307-309.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol.
18, 19.--Ammirato, Istorie Florentine, tom. iii. p. 271.-Summonte, Hist.
di Napoli, tom. iii. p. 554.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 84, 86, 87,
93, 95.--Sismondi, Hist. des Francais, tom. xv. pp. 407-409.




Ferdinand's Policy Examined.--First Symptoms of Joanna's Insanity.--
Isabella's Distress and Fortitude.--Efforts of France.--Siege of Salsas.--
Isabella's Levies.--Ferdinand's Successes.--Reflections on the Campaign.

The events noticed in the preceding chapter glided away as rapidly as the
flitting phantoms of a dream. Scarcely had Louis the Twelfth received the
unwelcome intelligence of Gonsalvo de Cordova's refusal to obey the
mandate of the archduke Philip, before he was astounded with the tidings
of the victory of Cerignola, the march on Naples, and the surrender of
that capital, as well as of the greater part of the kingdom, following one
another in breathless succession. It seemed as if the very means on which
the French king had so confidently relied for calming the tempest, had
been the signal for awakening all its fury, and bringing it on his devoted
head. Mortified and incensed at being made the dupe of what he deemed a
perfidious policy, he demanded an explanation of the archduke, who was
still in France. The latter, vehemently protesting his own innocence,
felt, or affected to feel, so sensibly the ridiculous and, as it appeared,
dishonorable part played by him in the transaction, that he was thrown
into a severe illness, which confined him to his bed for several days. [1]
Without delay, he wrote to the Spanish court in terms of bitter
expostulation, urging the immediate ratification of the treaty made
pursuant to its orders, and an indemnification to France for its
subsequent violation. Such is the account given by the French historians.

The Spanish writers, on the other hand, say, that before the news of
Gonsalvo's successes reached Spain, King Ferdinand refused to confirm the
treaty sent him by his son-in-law, until it had undergone certain material
modifications. If the Spanish monarch hesitated to approve the treaty in
the doubtful posture of his affairs, he was little likely to do so, when
he had the game entirely in his own hands. [2]

He postponed an answer to Philip's application, willing probably to gain
time for the Great Captain to strengthen himself firmly in his recent
acquisitions. At length, after a considerable interval, he despatched an
embassy to France, announcing his final determination never to ratify a
treaty made in contempt of his orders, and so clearly detrimental to his
interests. He endeavored, however, to gain further time by spinning out
the negotiation, holding up for this purpose the prospect of an ultimate
accommodation, and suggesting the re-establishment of his kinsman, the
unfortunate Frederic, on the Neapolitan throne, as the best means of
effecting it. The artifice, however, was too gross even for the credulous
Louis; who peremptorily demanded of the ambassadors the instant and
absolute ratification of the treaty, and, on their declaring it was beyond
their powers, ordered them at once to leave his court. "I had rather,"
said he, "suffer the loss of a kingdom, which may perhaps be retrieved,
than the loss of honor, which never can." A noble sentiment, but falling
with no particular grace from the lips of Louis the Twelfth. [3]

The whole of this blind transaction is stated in so irreconcilable a
manner by the historians of the different nations, that it is extremely
difficult to draw anything like a probable narrative out of them. The
Spanish writers assert that the public commission of the archduke was
controlled by strict private instructions; [4] while the French, on the
other hand, are either silent as to the latter, or represent them to have
been as broad and unlimited as his credentials. [5] If this be true, the
negotiations must be admitted to exhibit, on the part of Ferdinand, as
gross an example of political jugglery and falsehood, as ever disgraced
the annals of diplomacy. [6]

But it is altogether improbable, as I have before remarked, that a monarch
so astute and habitually cautious should have intrusted unlimited
authority, in so delicate a business, to a person whose discretion,
independent of his known partiality for the French monarch, he held so
lightly. It is much more likely that he limited, as is often done, the
full powers committed to him in public, by private instructions of the
most explicit character; and that the archduke was betrayed by his own
vanity, and perhaps ambition (for the treaty threw the immediate power
into his own hands), into arrangements unwarranted by the tenor of these
instructions. [7]

If this were the case, the propriety of Ferdinand's conduct in refusing
the ratification depends on the question how far a sovereign is bound by
the acts of a plenipotentiary who departs from his private instructions.
Formerly, the question would seem to have been unsettled. Indeed, some of
the most respectable writers on public law in the beginning of the
seventeenth century maintain, that such a departure would not justify the
prince in withholding his ratification; deciding thus, no doubt, on
principles of natural equity, which appear to require that a principal
should be held responsible for the acts of an agent, coming within the
scope of his powers, though at variance with his secret orders, with which
the other contracting party can have no acquaintance or concern. [8]

The inconvenience, however, arising from adopting a principle in political
negotiations, which must necessarily place the destinies of a whole nation
in the hands of a single individual, rash or incompetent, it may be,
without the power of interference or supervision on the part of the
government, has led to a different conclusion in practice; and it is now
generally admitted by European writers, not merely that the exchange of
ratifications is essential to the validity of a treaty, but that a
government is not bound to ratify the doings of a minister who has
transcended his private instructions. [9]

But, whatever be thought of Ferdinand's good faith in the early stages of
this business, there is no doubt that, at a later period, when his
position was changed by the success of his arms in Italy, he sought only
to amuse the French court with a show of negotiation, in order, as we have
already intimated, to paralyze its operations and gain time for securing
his conquests. The French writers inveigh loudly against this crafty and
treacherous policy; and Louis the Twelfth gave vent to his own indignation
in no very measured terms. But, however we may now regard it, it was in
perfect accordance with the trickish spirit of the age; and the French
king resigned all right of rebuking his antagonist on this score, when he
condescended to become a party with him to the infamous partition treaty,
and still more when he so grossly violated it. He had voluntarily engaged
with his Spanish rival in the game, and it afforded no good ground of
complaint, that he was the least adroit of the two.

While Ferdinand was thus triumphant in his schemes of foreign policy and
conquest, his domestic life was clouded with the deepest anxiety, in
consequence of the declining health of the queen, and the eccentric
conduct of his daughter, the infanta Joanna. We have already seen the
extravagant fondness with which that princess, notwithstanding her
occasional sallies of jealousy, doated on her young and handsome husband.
[10] From the hour of his departure she had been plunged in the deepest
dejection, sitting day and night with her eyes fixed on the ground, in
uninterrupted silence, or broken only by occasional expressions of
petulant discontent. She refused all consolation, thinking only of
rejoining her absent lord, and "equally regardless," says Martyr, who was
then at the court, "of herself, her future subjects, and her afflicted
parents." [11]

On the 10th of March, 1503, she was delivered of her second son, who
received the baptismal name of Ferdinand, in compliment to his
grandfather. [12] No change, however, took place in the mind of the
unfortunate mother, who from this time was wholly occupied with the
project of returning to Flanders. An invitation to that effect, which she
received from her husband in the month of November, determined her to
undertake the journey, at all hazards, notwithstanding the affectionate
remonstrances of the queen, who represented the impracticability of
traversing France, agitated, as it then was, with all the bustle of
war-like preparation, or of venturing by sea at this inclement and
stormy season.

One evening, while her mother was absent at Segovia, Joanna, whose
residence was at Medina del Campo, left her apartment in the castle, and
sallied out, though in dishabille, without announcing her purpose to any
of her attendants. They followed, however, and used every argument and
entreaty to prevail on her to return, at least for the night, but without
effect; until the bishop of Burgos, who had charge of her household,
finding every other means ineffectual, was compelled to close the castle
gates, in order to prevent her departure.

The princess, thus thwarted in her purpose, gave way to the most violent
indignation. She menaced the attendants with her utmost vengeance for
their disobedience, and, taking her station on the barrier, she
obstinately refused to re-enter the castle, or even to put on any
additional clothing, but remained cold and shivering on the spot till the
following morning. The good bishop, sorely embarrassed by the dilemma to
which he found himself reduced, of offending the queen by complying with
the mad humor of the princess, or the latter still more, by resisting it,
despatched an express in all haste to Isabella, acquainting her with the
affair, and begging instructions how to proceed.

The queen, who was staying, as has been said, at Segovia, about forty
miles distant, alarmed at the intelligence, sent the king's cousin, the
admiral Henriquez, together with the archbishop of Toledo, at once to
Medina, and prepared to follow as fast as the feeble state of her health
would permit. The efforts of these eminent persons, however, were not much
more successful than those of the bishop. All they could obtain from
Joanna was, that she would retire to a miserable kitchen in the
neighborhood, during the night; while she persisted in taking her station
on the barrier as soon as it was light, and continued there, immovable as
a statue, the whole day. In this deplorable state she was found by the
queen on her arrival; and it was not without great difficulty that the
latter, with all the deference habitually paid her by her daughter,
succeeded in persuading her to return to her own apartments in the castle.
These were the first unequivocal symptoms of that hereditary taint of
insanity which had clouded the latter days of Isabella's mother, and
which, with a few brief intervals, was to shed a deeper gloom over the
long-protracted existence of her unfortunate daughter. [13]

The conviction of this sad infirmity of the princess gave a shock to the
unhappy mother, scarcely less than that which she had formerly been called
to endure in the death of her children. The sorrows, over which time had
had so little power, were opened afresh by a calamity, which naturally
filled her with the most gloomy forebodings for the fate of her people,
whose welfare was to be committed to such incompetent hands. These
domestic griefs were still further swelled at this time by the death of
two of her ancient friends and counsellors, Juan Chacon, adelantado of
Murcia, [14] and Gutierre de Cardenas, grand commander of Leon. [15] They
had attached themselves to Isabella in the early part of her life, when
her fortunes were still under a cloud; and they afterwards reaped the
requital of their services in such ample honors and emoluments as royal
gratitude could bestow, and in the full enjoyment of her confidence, to
which their steady devotion to her interests well entitled them. [16]

But neither the domestic troubles which pressed so heavily on Isabella's
heart, nor the rapidly declining state of her own health, had power to
blunt the energies of her mind, or lessen the vigilance with which she
watched over the interests of her people. A remarkable proof of this was
given in the autumn of the present year, 1503, when the country was
menaced with an invasion from France.

The whole French nation had shared the indignation of Louis the Twelfth,
at the mortifying result of his enterprise against Naples; and it answered
his call for supplies so promptly and liberally, that, in a few months
after the defeat of Cerignola, he was able to resume operations, on a more
formidable scale than France had witnessed for centuries. Three large
armies were raised, one to retrieve affairs in Italy, a second to
penetrate into Spain, by the way of Fontarabia, and a third to cross into
Roussillon, and get possession of the strong post of Salsas, the key of
the mountain passes in that quarter. Two fleets were also equipped in the
ports of Genoa and Marseilles, the latter of which was to support the
invasion of Roussillon by a descent on the coast of Catalonia. These
various corps were intended to act in concert, and thus, by one grand,
simultaneous movement, Spain was to be assailed on three several points of
her territory. The results did not correspond with the magnificence of the
apparatus. [17]

The army destined to march on Fontarabia was placed under the command of
Alan d'Albret, father of the king of Navarre, along the frontiers of whose
dominions its route necessarily lay. Ferdinand had assured himself of the
favorable dispositions of this prince, the situation of whose kingdom,
more than its strength, made his friendship important; and the lord
d'Albret, whether from a direct understanding with the Spanish monarch, or
fearful of the consequences which might result to his son from the
hostility of the latter, detained the forces intrusted to him, so long
among the bleak and barren fastnesses of the mountains, that at length,
exhausted by fatigue and want of food, the army melted away without even
reaching the enemy's borders. [18]

The force directed against Roussillon was of a more formidable character.
It was commanded by the marechal de Rieux, a brave and experienced
officer, though much broken by age and bodily infirmities. It amounted to
more than twenty thousand men. Its strength, however, lay chiefly in its
numbers. It was, with the exception of a few thousand lansquenets under
William de la Marck, [19] made up of the arriere-ban of the kingdom, and
the undisciplined militia from the great towns of Languedoc. With this
numerous array the French marshal entered Roussillon without opposition,
and sat down before Salsas on the 16th of September, 1503.

The old castle of Salsas, which had been carried without much difficulty
by the French in the preceding war, had been put in a defensible condition
at the commencement of the present, under the superintendence of Pedro
Navarro, although the repairs were not yet wholly completed. Ferdinand, on
the approach of the enemy, had thrown a thousand picked men into the
place, which was well victualled and provided for a siege; while a corps
of six thousand was placed under his cousin, Don Frederic de Toledo, duke
of Alva, with orders to take up a position in the neighborhood, where he
might watch the movements of the enemy, and annoy him as far as possible
by cutting off his supplies. [20]

Ferdinand, in the mean while, lost no time in enforcing levies throughout
the kingdom, with which he might advance to the relief of the beleaguered
fortress. While thus occupied, he received such accounts of the queen's
indisposition as induced him to quit Aragon, where he then was, and hasten
by rapid journeys to Castile. The accounts were probably exaggerated; he
found no cause for immediate alarm on his arrival, and Isabella, ever
ready to sacrifice her own inclinations to the public weal, persuaded him
to return to the scene of operations, where his presence at this juncture
was so important. Forgetting her illness, she made the most unwearied
efforts for assembling troops without delay to support her husband. The
grand constable of Castile was commissioned to raise levies through every
part of the kingdom, and the principal nobility flocked in with their
retainers from the farthest provinces, all eager to obey the call of their
beloved mistress. Thus strengthened, Ferdinand, whose head-quarters were
established at Girona, saw himself in less than a month in possession of a
force, which, including the supplies of Aragon, amounted to ten or twelve
thousand horse, and three or four times that number of foot. He no longer
delayed his march, and about the middle of October put his army in motion,
proposing to effect a junction with the duke of Alva, then lying before
Perpignan, at a few leagues' distance from Salsas. [21] Isabella, who was
at Segovia, was made acquainted by regular expresses with every movement
of the army. She no sooner learned its departure from Gerona than she was
filled with disquietude at the prospect of a speedy encounter with the
enemy, whose defeat, whatever glory it might reflect on her own arms,
could be purchased only at the expense of Christian blood. She wrote in
earnest terms to her husband, requesting him not to drive his enemies to
despair by closing up their retreat to their own land, but to leave
vengeance to Him to whom alone it belonged. She passed her days, together
with her whole household, in fasting and continual prayer, and, in the
fervor of her pious zeal, personally visited the several religious houses
of the city, distributing alms among their holy inmates, and imploring
them humbly to supplicate the Almighty to avert the impending calamity.

The prayers of the devout queen and her court found favor with Heaven.
[23] King Ferdinand reached Perpignan on the 19th of October, and on that
same night the French marshal, finding himself unequal to the rencontre
with the combined forces of Spain, broke up his camp, and, setting fire to
his tents, began his retreat towards the frontier, having consumed nearly
six weeks since first opening trenches. Ferdinand pressed close on his
flying enemy, whose rear sustained some annoyance from the Spanish
_ginetes_, in its passage through the defiles of the sierras. The retreat,
however, was conducted in too good order to allow any material loss to be
inflicted on the French, who succeeded at length in sheltering themselves
under the cannon of Narbonne, up to which place they were pursued by their
victorious foe. Several places on the frontier, as Leocate, Palme, Sigean,
Roquefort, and others, were abandoned to the Spaniards, who pillaged them
of whatever was worth carrying off; without any violence, however, to the
persons of the inhabitants, whom, as a Christian population, if we are to
believe Martyr, Ferdinand refused even to make prisoners. [24]

The Spanish monarch made no attempt to retain these acquisitions; but,
having dismantled some of the towns, which offered most resistance,
returned loaded with the spoils of victory to his own dominions. "Had he
been as good a general as he was a statesman," says a Spanish historian,
"he might have penetrated to the centre of France." [25] Ferdinand,
however, was too prudent to attempt conquests which could only be
maintained, if maintained at all, at an infinite expense of blood and
treasure. He had sufficiently vindicated his honor by meeting his foe so
promptly, and driving him triumphantly over the border; and he preferred,
like a cautious prince, not to risk all he had gained by attempting more,
but to employ his present successes as a vantage-ground for entering on
negotiation, in which at all times he placed more reliance than on the

In this, his good star still further favored him. The armada, equipped at
so much cost by the French king at Marseilles, had no sooner put to sea,
than it was assailed by furious tempests, and so far crippled, that it was
obliged to return to port without even effecting a descent on the Spanish

These accumulated disasters so disheartened Louis the Twelfth, that he
consented to enter into negotiations for a suspension of hostilities; and
an armistice was finally arranged, through the mediation of his pensioner
Frederic, ex-king of Naples, between the hostile monarchs. It extended
only to their hereditary dominions; Italy and the circumjacent seas being
still left open as a common arena, on which the rival parties might meet,
and settle their respective titles by the sword. This truce, first
concluded for five months, was subsequently prolonged to three years. It
gave Ferdinand, what he most needed, leisure, and means to provide for the
security of his Italian possessions, on which the dark storm of war was
soon to burst with ten-fold fury. [26]

The unfortunate Frederic, who had been drawn from his obscurity to take
part in these negotiations, died in the following year. It is singular
that the last act of his political life should have been to mediate a
peace between the dominions of two monarchs, who had united to strip him
of his own.

The results of this campaign were as honorable to Spain, as they were
disastrous and humiliating to Louis the Twelfth, who had seen his arms
baffled on every point, and all his mighty apparatus of fleets and armies
dissolve, as if by enchantment, in less time than it had been preparing.
The immediate success of Spain may no doubt be ascribed in a considerable
degree to the improved organization and thorough discipline introduced by
the sovereigns into the national militia at the close of the Moorish war,
without which it would have been scarcely possible to concentrate so
promptly on a distant point such large masses of men, all well equipped
and trained for active service. So soon was the nation called to feel the
effect of these wise provisions.

But the results of the campaign are, after all, less worthy of notice as
indicating the resources of the country, than as evidence of a pervading
patriotic feeling, which could alone make these resources available.
Instead of the narrow local jealousies, which had so long estranged the
people of the separate provinces, and more especially those of the rival
states of Aragon and Castile, from one another, there had been gradually
raised up a common national sentiment like that knitting together the
constituent parts of one great commonwealth. At the first alarm of
invasion on the frontier of Aragon, the whole extent of the sister
kingdom, from the green, valleys of the Guadalquivir up to the rocky
fastnesses of the Asturias, responded to the call, as to that of a common
country, sending forth, as we have seen, its swarms of warriors, to repel
the foe, and roll back the tide of war upon his own land. What a contrast
did all this present to the cold and parsimonious hand with which the
nation, thirty years before, dealt out its supplies to King John the
Second, Ferdinand's father, when he was left to cope single-handed with
the whole power of France, in this very quarter of Roussillon. Such was
the consequence of the glorious _union_, which brought together the
petty and hitherto discordant tribes of the Peninsula under the same rule;
and, by creating common interests and an harmonious principle of action,
was silently preparing them for constituting one great nation,--one and
indivisible, as intended by nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those who have not themselves had occasion to pursue historical inquiries
will scarcely imagine on what loose grounds the greater part of the
narrative is to be built. With the exception of a few leading outlines,
there is such a mass of inconsistency and contradiction in the details,
even of contemporaries, that it seems almost as hopeless to seize the true
aspect of any particular age as it would be to transfer to the canvas a
faithful likeness of an individual from a description simply of his
prominent features.

Much of the difficulty might seem to be removed, now that we are on the
luminous and beaten track of Italian history; but, in fact, the vision is
rather dazzled than assisted by the numerous cross lights thrown over the
path, and the infinitely various points of view from which every object is
contemplated. Besides the local and party prejudices which we had to
encounter in the contemporary Spanish historians, we have now a host of
national prejudices, not less unfavorable to truth; while the remoteness
of the scene of action necessarily begets a thousand additional
inaccuracies in the gossipping and credulous chroniclers of France and

The mode in which public negotiations were conducted at this period,
interposes still further embarrassments in our search after truth. They
were regarded as the personal concerns of the sovereign, in which the
nation at large had no right to interfere. They were settled, like the
rest of his private affairs, under his own eye, without the participation
of any other branch of the government. They were shrouded, therefore,
under an impenetrable secrecy, which permitted such results only to emerge
into light as suited the monarch. Even these results cannot be relied on
as furnishing the true key to the intentions of the parties. The science
of the cabinet, as then practised, authorized such a system of artifice
and shameless duplicity, as greatly impaired the credit of those official
documents which we are accustomed to regard as the surest foundations of

The only records which we can receive with full confidence are the private
correspondence of contemporaries, which, from its very nature, is exempt
from most of the restraints and affectations incident more or less to
every work destined for the public eye. Such communications, indeed, come
like the voice of departed years; and when, as in Martyr's case, they
proceed from one whose acuteness is combined with singular opportunities
for observation, they are of inestimable value. Instead of exposing to us
only the results, they lay open the interior workings of the machinery,
and we enter into all the shifting doubts, passions, and purposes which
agitate the minds of the actors. Unfortunately, the chain of
correspondence here, as in similar cases, when not originally designed for
historical uses, necessarily suffers from occasional breaks and
interruptions. The scattered gleams which are thrown over the most
prominent points, however, shed so strong a light, as materially to aid us
in groping our way through the darker and more perplexed passages of the

The obscurity which hangs over the period has not been dispelled by those
modern writers, who, like Varillas, in his well-known work, _Politique
de Ferdinand le Catholique_, affect to treat the subject philosophically,
paying less attention to facts than to their causes and consequences.
These ingenious persons, seldom willing to take things as they find them,
seem to think that truth is only to be reached by delving deep below the
surface. In this search after more profound causes of action, they reject
whatever is natural and obvious. They are inexhaustible in conjectures and
fine-spun conclusions, inferring quite as much from what is not said or
done, as from what is. In short, they put the reader as completely in
possession of their hero's thoughts on all occasions, as any professed
romance-writer would venture to do. All this may be very agreeable, and,
to persons of easy faith, very satisfactory; but it is not history and may
well remind us of the astonishment somewhere expressed by Cardinal de Retz
at the assurance of those who, at a distance from the scene of action,
pretended to lay open all the secret springs of policy, of which he
himself, though a principal party, was ignorant.

No prince, on the whole, has suffered more from these unwarrantable
liberties than Ferdinand the Catholic. His reputation for shrewd policy
suggests a ready key to whatever is mysterious and otherwise inexplicable
in his government; while it puts writers like Gaillard and Varillas
constantly on the scent after the most secret and subtile sources of
action, as if there were always something more to be detected than readily
meets the eye. Instead of judging him by the general rules of human
conduct, everything is referred to deep-laid stratagem; no allowance is
made for the ordinary disturbing forces, the passions and casualties of
life; every action proceeds with the same wary calculation that regulates
the moves upon a chessboard; and thus a character of consummate artifice
is built up, not only unsupported by historical evidence, but in manifest
contradiction to the principles of our nature. The part of our subject
embraced in the present chapter has long been debatable ground between the
French and Spanish historians; and the obscurity which hangs over it has
furnished an ample range for speculation to the class of writers above
alluded to, which they have not failed to improve.


[1] St. Gelais seems willing to accept Philip's statement, and to consider
the whole affair of the negotiation as "one of Ferdinand's old tricks,"
"l'ancienne cantele de celuy qui en scavoit bien faire d'autres." Hist. de
Louys XII., p. 172.

[2] Idem, ubi supra.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. p. 410.--Gaillard,
Rivalite, tom. iv. pp. 238, 239.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap.
23.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 15.--Ferreras, Hist.
d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 233.

[3] Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. p. 388.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 13, sec. 3.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. p. 300,
ed. 1645.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 9.

It is amusing to see with what industry certain French writers, as
Gaillard and Varillas, are perpetually contrasting the _bonne foi_ of
Louis XII. with the _mechancete_ of Ferdinand, whose secret intentions,
even, are quoted in evidence of his hypocrisy, while the most
objectionable acts of his rival seem to be abundantly compensated by some
fine sentiment like that in the text.

[4] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 10.--Abarca,
Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 13, sec. 2.--Mariana, Hist. de
Espana, tom. ii. pp. 690, 691.--et al.

[5] Seyssel, Hist. de Louys XII., p. 61.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII.,
p. 171.--Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. p. 239.--Garnier, Hist. de France,
tom. v. p. 387.--D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 2, chap. 32.

[6] Varillas regards Philip's mission to France as a _coup de maitre_
on the part of Ferdinand, who thereby rid himself of a dangerous rival at
home, likely to contest his succession to Castile on Isabella's death,
while he employed that rival in outwitting Louis XII. by a treaty which he
meant to disavow. (Politique de Ferdinand, liv. 1, pp. 146-150.) The first
of these imputations is sufficiently disproved by the fact that Philip
quitted Spain in opposition to the pressing remonstrances of the king,
queen, and cortes, and to the general disgust of the whole nation, as is
repeatedly stated by Gomez, Martyr, and other contemporaries. The second
will be difficult to refute, and still harder to prove, as it rests on a
man's secret intentions, known only to himself. Such are the flimsy
cobwebs of which this political dreamer's theories are made. Truly
_chateaux en Espagne_.

[7] Martyr, whose copious correspondence furnishes the most valuable
commentary, unquestionably, on the proceedings of this reign, is
provokingly reserved in regard to this interesting matter. He contents
himself with remarking in one of his letters, that "the Spaniards derided
Philip's negotiations as of no consequence, and indeed altogether
preposterous, considering the attitude assumed by the nation at that very
time for maintaining its claims by the sword;" and he dismisses the
subject with a reflection, that seems to rest the merits of the case more
on might than right. "Exitus, qui judex est rerum aeternus, loquatur.
Nostri regno potiuntur majori ex parte." (Opus Epist., epist. 257.) This
reserve of Martyr might be construed unfavorably for Ferdinand, were it
not for the freedom with which he usually criticizes whatever appears
really objectionable to him in the measures of the government.

[8] Grotius, De Jure Belli et Pacis, lib. 2, cap. 11, sec. 12; lib. 3,
cap. 22, sec. 4.--Gentilis, De Jure Belli, lib. 3, cap. 14, apud
Bynkershoek, Quaest. Juris Publici, lib. 2, cap. 7.

[9] Bynkershoek, Quaest. Juris Publici, lib. 2, cap. 7.--Mably, Droit
Publique, chap. 1.--Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. 2, chap. 12.--Martens,
Law of Nations, trans., book 2, chap. 1.

Bynkershoek, the earliest of these writers, has discussed the question
with an amplitude, perspicuity, and fairness unsurpassed by any who have
followed him.

[10] Philip is known in history by the title of "the Handsome," implying
that he was, at least, quite as remarkable for his personal qualities, as
his mental.

[11] Opus Epist., epist. 253.--Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. pp.
235, 238.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 44.

[12] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1503.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 45,

He was born at Alcala de Henares. Ximenes availed himself of this
circumstance to obtain from Isabella a permanent exemption from taxes for
his favorite city, which his princely patronage was fast raising up to
contest the palm of literary precedence with Salamanca, the ancient
"Athens of Spain." The citizens of the place long preserved, and still
preserve, for aught I know, the cradle of the royal infant, in token of
their gratitude. Robles, Vida de Ximenez, p. 127.

[13] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 268.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 56.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 46.

[14] "Espejo de bondad," _mirror of virtue,_ as Oviedo styles this
cavalier. He was always much regarded by the sovereigns, and the lucrative
post of _contador mayor_, which he filled for many years, enabled him
to acquire an immense estate, 50,000 ducats a year, without imputation on
his honesty. Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 2.

[15] The name of this cavalier, as well as that of his cousin, Alonso de
Cardenas, grand master of St. James, have become familiar to us in the
Granadine war. If Don Gutierre made a less brilliant figure than the
latter, he acquired, by means of his intimacy with the sovereigns, and his
personal qualities, as great weight in the royal councils as any subject
in the kingdom. "Nothing of any importance," says Oviedo, "was done
without his advice." He was raised to the important posts of comendador de
Leon, and contador mayor, which last, in the words of the same author,
"made its possessor a second king over the public treasury." He left large
estates, and more than five thousand vassals. His eldest son was created
duke of Maqueda. Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 1.--Col. de
Ced., tom. v. no. 182.

[16] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 255.--Gomez, de Rebus Gestis, fol.
45.--For some further account of these individuals see Part I, Chapter 14,
note 10.

Martyr thus panegyrizes the queen's fortitude under her accumulated
sorrows. "Sentit, licet constantissima sit, et supra foeminam prudens, has
alapas fortunae saevientis regina, ita concussa fluctibus undique, veluti
vasta rupes, maris in medio." Opus Epist., loc. cit.

[17] Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 405, 406.--Ferreras, Hist.
d'Espagne, tom. viii. pp. 235-238.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. pp.
300, 301.--Memoires de la Tremoille, chap. 19, apud Petitot, Collection
des Memoires, tom. xiv.

[18] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. pp. 110-112.

The king of Navarre promised to oppose the passage of the French, if
attempted, through his dominions; and, in order to obviate any distrust on
the part of Ferdinand, sent his daughter Margaret to reside at the court
of Castile, as a pledge for his fidelity. Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom.
viii. p. 235.

[19] Younger brother of Robert, third duke of Bouillon. (D'Auton, Hist. de
Louys XII., part. 2, pp. 103, 186.) The reader will not confound him with
his namesake, the famous "boar of Ardennes,"--more familiar to us now in
the pages of romance than history,--who perished ignominiously some twenty
years before this period, in 1484, not in fight, but by the hands of the
common executioner at Utrecht. Duclos, Hist. de Louis XI., tom. ii. p.

[20] Gonzalo Ayora, Capitan de la Guardia Real, Cartas al Rey, Don
Fernando, (Madrid, 1794,) carta 9.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v.
pp. 112, 113.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. p. 407.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 51.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom, ii, rey 30, cap.
13, sec. 11.

[21] Gonzalo Ayora, Cartas, cap. 9.--Zurita, Anales, ubi supra.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 197, 198.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1503.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 8.--Col. de
Cedulas, tom. i. no. 97.

The most authentic account of the siege of Salsas is to be found in the
correspondence of Gonzalo Ayora, dated in the Spanish camp. This
individual, equally eminent in letters and arms, filled the dissimilar
posts of captain of the royal guard and historiographer of the crown. He
served in the army at this time, and was present at all its operations.
Pref. ad Cartas, de Ayora; and Nic. Antonio, Biliotheca Nova, tom. i. p.

[22] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist, epist. 263.

The loyal captain, Ayora, shows little of this Christian vein. He
concludes one of his letters with praying, no doubt most sincerely, "that
the Almighty would be pleased to infuse less benevolence into the hearts
of the sovereigns, and incite them to chastise and humble the proud
French, and strip them of their ill-gotten possessions, which, however
repugnant to their own godly inclinations, would tend greatly to replenish
their coffers, as well as those of their, faithful and loving subjects."
See this graceless petition in his Cartas, carta 9, p. 66.

[23] "Exaudivit igitur sancte reginee religiosorumque ac virginum preces
summus Altitonans." (Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 263.) The learned
Theban borrows an epithet more familiar to Greek and Roman than to
Christian ears.

[24] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 54.--Abarca,
Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 13, sec. 11.-Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 264.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1503.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 198.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 408,
409.--Gonzalo Ayora, Cartas, carta 11.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., dial.
de Deza.

Peter Martyr seems to have shared none of Isabella's scruples in regard to
bringing the enemy to battle. On the contrary, he indulges in a most
querulous strain of sarcasm against the Catholic king for his remissness
in this particular. "Quar elucescente die moniti nostri de Gallorum
discessu ad eos, at sero, concurrerunt. Rex Perpiniani agebat, ad millia
passuum sex non brevia, uti nosti. Propterea sero id actum, venit
concitato cursu, at sero. Ad hostes itur, at sero. Cernunt hostium acies,
at sero, at a longe. Distabant jam milliaria circiter duo. Ergo sero
Phryges sapuerunt. Cujus haec culpa, tu scrutator aliunde; mea est, si
nescis. Maximam dedit ea dies, quae est, si nescis, calendarum Novembrium
sexta, Hispanis ignominiam, et aliquando jacturam illis pariet
collachrymandam." Letter to the cardinal of Santa Cruz, epist. 262.

[25] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. p. 113.

Oviedo, who was present in this campaign, seems to have been of the same
opinion. At least he says, "If the king had pursued vigorously, not a
Frenchman would have lived to carry back the tidings of defeat to his own
land." If we are to believe him, Ferdinand desisted from the pursuit at
the earnest entreaty of Bishop Deza, his confessor. Quincuagenas, MS.

[26] Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 55.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 13, sec. 11.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
264.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. cap. 17.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii.
lib. 19, cap. 16.--Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 27.

Mons. Varillas notices as the weak side of Louis XII., "une demangeaison
de faire la paix a contre temps, dont il fut travaille durant toute sa
vie." (Politique de Ferdinand, liv. 1, p. 148.) A statesman shrewder than
Varillas, De Retz, furnishes, perhaps, the best key to this policy, in the
remark, "Les gens foibles ne plient jamais quand ils le doivent."




Melancholy State of Italy.--Great Preparations of Louis.--Gonsalvo
Repulsed before Gaeta.--Armies on the Garigliano.--Bloody Passage of the
Bridge.--Anxious Expectation of Italy.--Critical Situation of the
Spaniards.--Gonsalvo's Resolution.--Heroism of Paredes and Bayard.

We must now turn our eyes towards Italy, where the sounds of war, which
had lately died away, were again heard in wilder dissonance than ever. Our
attention, hitherto, has been too exclusively directed to mere military
manoeuvres to allow us to dwell much on the condition of this unhappy
land. The dreary progress of our story, over fields of blood and battle,
might naturally dispose the imagination to lay the scene of action in some
rude and savage age; an age, at best, of feudal heroism, when the energies
of the soul could be roused only by the fierce din of war.

Far otherwise, however; the tents of the hostile armies were now pitched
in the bosom of the most lovely and cultivated regions on the globe;
inhabited by a people who had carried the various arts of policy and
social life to a degree of excellence elsewhere unknown; whose natural
resources had been augmented by all the appliances of ingenuity and
industry; whose cities were crowded with magnificent and costly works of
public utility; into whose ports every wind that blew wafted the rich
freights of distant climes; whose thousand hills were covered to their
very tops with the golden labors of the husbandman; and whose intellectual
development showed itself, not only in a liberal scholarship far
outstripping that of their contemporaries, but in works of imagination,
and of elegant art more particularly, which rivalled the best days of
antiquity. The period before us, indeed, the commencement of the sixteenth
century, was that of their meridian splendor, when Italian genius,
breaking through the cloud which had temporarily obscured its early dawn,
shone out in full effulgence; for we are now touching on the age of
Machiavelli, Ariosto, and Michael Angelo,--the golden age of Leo the

It is impossible, even at this distance of time, to contemplate without
feelings of sadness the fate of such a country, thus suddenly converted
into an arena for the bloody exhibitions of the gladiators of Europe; to
behold her trodden under foot by the very nations on whom she had freely
poured the light of civilization; to see the fierce soldiery of Europe,
from the Danube to the Tagus, sweeping like an army of locusts over her
fields, defiling her pleasant places, and raising the shout of battle, or
of brutal triumph under the shadow of those monuments of genius, which
have been the delight and despair of succeeding ages. It was the old story
of the Goths and Vandals acted over again. Those more refined arts of the
cabinet, on which the Italians were accustomed to rely, much more than on
the sword, in their disputes with one another, were of no avail against
these rude invaders, whose strong arm easily broke through the subtile
webs of policy which entangled the movements of less formidable
adversaries. It was the triumph of brute force over civilization,--one of
the most humiliating lessons by which Providence has seen fit to rebuke
the pride of human intellect. [1]

The fate of Italy inculcates a most important lesson. With all this
outward show of prosperity, her political institutions had gradually lost
the vital principle, which could alone give them stability or real value.
The forms of freedom, indeed, in most instances, had sunk under the
usurpation of some aspiring chief. Everywhere patriotism was lost in the
most intense selfishness. Moral principle was at as low an ebb in private,
as in public life. The hands, which shed their liberal patronage over
genius and learning, were too often red with blood. The courtly precincts,
which seemed the favorite haunt of the Muses, were too often the Epicurean
sty of brutish sensuality; while the head of the church itself, whose
station, exalted over that of every worldly potentate, should have raised
him at least above their grosser vices, was sunk in the foulest
corruptions that debase poor human nature. Was it surprising, then, that
the tree, thus cankered at heart, with all the goodly show of blossoms on
its branches, should have fallen before the blast, which now descended in
such pitiless fury from the mountains?

Had there been an invigorating national feeling, any common principle of
coalition among the Italian states; had they, in short, been true to
themselves, they possessed abundant resources in their wealth, talent, and
superior science, to have shielded their soil from violation.
Unfortunately, while the other European states had been augmenting their
strength incalculably by the consolidation of their scattered fragments
into one whole, those of Italy, in the absence of some great central point
round which to rally, had grown more and more confirmed in their original
disunion. Thus, without concert in action, and destitute of the vivifying
impulse of patriotic sentiment, they were delivered up to be the spoil and
mockery of nations, whom in their proud language they still despised as
barbarians; an impressive example of the impotence of human genius, and of
the instability of human institutions, however excellent in themselves,
when unsustained by public and private virtue. [2]

The great powers, who had now entered the lists, created entirely new
interests in Italy, which broke up the old political combinations. The
conquest of Milan enabled France to assume a decided control over the
affairs of the country. Her recent reverses in Naples, however, had
greatly loosened this authority; although Florence and other neighboring
states, which lay under her colossal shadow, still remained true to her.
Venice, with her usual crafty policy, kept aloof, maintaining a position
of neutrality between the belligerents, each of whom made the most
pressing efforts to secure so formidable an 'ally. She had, however, long
since entertained a deep distrust of her French neighbor; and, although
she would enter into no public engagements, she gave the Spanish minister
every assurance of her friendly disposition towards his government. [3]
She intimated this still more unequivocally, by the supplies she had
allowed her citizens to carry into Barleta during the late campaign, and
by other indirect aid of a similar nature during the present; for all
which she was one day to be called to a heavy reckoning by her enemies.

The disposition of the papal court towards the French monarch was still
less favorable; and it took no pains to conceal this after his reverses in
Naples. Soon after the defeat of Cerignola, it entered into correspondence
with Gonsalvo de Cordova; and, although Alexander the Sixth refused to
break openly with France, and sign a treaty with the Spanish sovereigns,
he pledged himself to do so, on the reduction of Gaeta. In the mean time,
he freely allowed the Great Captain to raise such levies as he could in
Rome, before the very eyes of the French ambassador. So little had the
immense concessions of Louis, including those of principle and honor,
availed to secure the fidelity of this treacherous ally. [4]

With the emperor Maximilian, notwithstanding repeated treaties, he was on
scarcely better terms. That prince was connected with Spain by the
matrimonial alliances of his family, and no less averse to France from
personal feeling, which, with the majority of minds, operates more
powerfully than motives of state policy. He had, moreover, always regarded
the occupation of Milan by the latter as an infringement, in some measure,
of his imperial rights. The Spanish government, availing itself of these
feelings, endeavored through its minister, Don Juan Manuel, to stimulate
Maximilian to the invasion of Lombardy. As the emperor, however, demanded,
as usual, a liberal subsidy for carrying on the war, King Ferdinand, who
was seldom incommoded by a superfluity of funds, preferred reserving them
for his own enterprises, to hazarding them on the Quixotic schemes of his
ally. But, although the negotiations were attended with no result, the
amicable dispositions of the Austrian government were evinced by the
permission given to its subjects to serve under the banners of Gonsalvo,
where indeed, as we have already seen, they formed some of his best
troops. [5]

But while Louis the Twelfth drew so little assistance from abroad, the
heartiness with which the whole French people entered into his feelings at
this crisis, made him nearly independent of it, and, in an incredibly
short space of time, placed him in a condition for resuming operations on
a far more formidable scale than before. The preceding failures in Italy
he attributed in a great degree to an overweening confidence in the
superiority of his own troops, and his neglect to support them with the
necessary reinforcements and supplies. He now provided against this by
remitting large sums to Rome, and establishing ample magazines of grain
and military stores there, under the direction of commissaries for the
maintenance of the army. He equipped without loss of time a large armament
at Genoa, under the marquis of Saluzzo, for the relief of Gaeta, still
blockaded by the Spaniards. He obtained a small supply of men from his
Italian allies, and subsidized a corps of eight thousand Swiss, the
strength of his infantry; while the remainder of his army, comprehending a
fine body of cavalry, and the most complete train of artillery, probably,
in Europe, was drawn from his own dominions. Volunteers of the highest
rank pressed forward to serve in an expedition, to which they confidently
looked for the vindication of the national honor. The command was
intrusted to the marechal de la Tremouille, esteemed the best general in
France; and the whole amount of force, exclusive of that employed
permanently in the fleet, is variously computed from twenty to thirty
thousand men. [6]

In the month of July, the army was on its march across the broad plains of
Lombardy, but, on reaching Parma, the appointed place of rendezvous for
the Swiss and Italian mercenaries, was brought to a halt by tidings of an
unlooked-for event, the death of Pope Alexander the Sixth. He expired on
the 18th of August, 1503, at the age of seventy-two, the victim, there is
very little doubt, of poison he had prepared for others; thus closing an
infamous life by a death equally infamous. He was a man of undoubted
talent, and uncommon energy of character. But his powers were perverted to
the worst purposes, and his gross vices were unredeemed, if we are to
credit the report of his most respectable contemporaries, by a single
virtue. In him the papacy reached its lowest degradation. His pontificate,
however, was not without its use; since that Providence, which still
educes good from evil, made the scandal, which it occasioned to the
Christian world, a principal spring of the glorious Reformation. [7]

The death of this pontiff occasioned no particular disquietude at the
Spanish court, where his immoral life had been viewed with undisguised
reprobation, and made the subject of more than one pressing remonstrance,
as we have already seen. His public course had been as little to its
satisfaction; since, although a Spaniard by birth, being a native of
Valencia, he had placed himself almost wholly at the disposal of Louis the
Twelfth, in return for the countenance afforded by that monarch to the
iniquitous schemes of his son, Caesar Borgia.

The pope's death was attended with important consequences on the movements
of the French. Louis's favorite minister, Cardinal D'Amboise, had long
looked to this event as opening to him the succession to the tiara. He now
hastened to Italy, therefore, with his master's approbation, proposing to
enforce his pretensions by the presence of the French army, placed, as it
would seem, with this view at his disposal.

The army, accordingly, was ordered to advance towards Rome, and halt
within a few miles of its gates. The conclave of cardinals, then convened
to supply the vacancy in the pontificate, were filled with indignation at
this attempt to overawe their election; and the citizens beheld with
anxiety the encampment of this formidable force under their walls,
anticipating some counteracting movement on the part of the Great Captain,
which might involve their capital, already in a state of anarchy, in all
the horrors of war. Gonsalvo, indeed, had sent forward a detachment of
between two and three thousand men, under Mendoza and Fabrizio Colonna,
who posted themselves in the neighborhood of the city, where they could
observe the movements of the enemy. [8]

At length Cardinal D'Amboise, yielding to public feeling, and the
representations of pretended friends, consented to the removal of the
French forces from the neighborhood, and trusted for success to his
personal influence. He over-estimated its weight. It is foreign to our
purpose to detail the proceedings of the reverend body, thus convened to
supply the chair of St. Peter. They are displayed at full length by the
Italian writers, and must be allowed to form a most edifying chapter in
ecclesiastical history. [9] It is enough to state, that, on the departure
of the French, the suffrages of the conclave fell on an Italian, who
assumed the name of Pius the Third, and who justified the policy of the
choice by dying in less time than his best friends had anticipated;--
within a month after his elevation. [10]

The new vacancy was at once supplied by the election of Julius the Second,
the belligerent pontiff who made his tiara a helmet, and his crosier a
sword. It is remarkable, that, while his fierce, inexorable temper left
him with scarcely a personal friend, he came to the throne by the united
suffrages of each of the rival factions of France, Spain, and, above all,
Venice, whose ruin in return he made the great business of his restless
pontificate. [11]

No sooner had the game, into which Cardinal D'Amboise had entered with
such prospects of success, been snatched from his grasp by the superior
address of his Italian rivals, and the election of Pius the Third been
publicly announced, than the French army was permitted to resume its march
on Naples, after the loss,--an irreparable loss,--of more than a month. A
still greater misfortune had befallen it, in the mean time, in the illness
of Tremouille, its chief; which compelled him to resign the command into
the hands of the marquis of Mantua, an Italian nobleman, who held the
second station in the army. He was a man of some military experience,
having fought in the Venetian service, and led the allied forces, with
doubtful credit indeed, against Charles the Eighth at the battle of
Fornovo. His elevation was more acceptable to his own countrymen than to
the French; and in truth, however competent to ordinary exigencies, he was
altogether unequal to the present, in, which he was compelled to measure
his genius with that of the greatest captain of the age. [12]

The Spanish commander, in the mean while, was detained before the strong
post of Gaeta, into which Ives d'Allegre had thrown himself, as already
noticed, with the fugitives from the field of Cerignola, where he had been
subsequently reinforced by four thousand additional troops under the
marquis of Saluzzo. From these circumstances, as well as the great
strength of the place, Gonsalvo experienced an opposition, to which, of
late, he had been wholly unaccustomed. His exposed situation in the
plains, under the guns of the city, occasioned the loss of many of his
best men, and, among others, that of his friend Don Hugo de Cardona, one
of the late victors at Seminara, who was shot down at his side, while
conversing with him. At length, after a desperate but ineffectual attempt
to extricate himself from his perilous position by forcing the neighboring
eminence of Mount Orlando, he was compelled to retire to a greater
distance, and draw off his army to the adjacent village of Castellone,
which may call up more agreeable associations in the reader's mind, as the
site of the Villa Formiana of Cicero. [13] At this place he was still
occupied with the blockade of Gaeta, when he received intelligence that
the French had crossed the Tiber, and were in full march against him. [14]

While Gonsalvo lay before Gaeta, he had been intent on collecting such
reinforcements as he could from every quarter. The Neapolitan division
under Navarro had already joined him, as well as the victorious legions of
Andrada from Calabria. His strength was further augmented by the arrival
of between two and three thousand troops, Spanish, German, and Italian,
which the Castilian minister, Francisco de Roxas, had levied in Rome; and
he was in daily hopes of a more important accession from the same quarter,
through the good offices of the Venetian ambassador. Lastly, he had
obtained some additional recruits, and a remittance of a considerable sum
of money, in a fleet of Catalan ships lately arrived from Spain. With all
this, however, a heavy amount of arrears remained due to his troops. In
point of numbers he was still far inferior to the enemy; no computation
swelling them higher than three thousand horse, two of them light cavalry,
and nine thousand foot. The strength of his army lay in his Spanish
infantry, on whose thorough discipline, steady nerve, and strong
attachment to his person he felt he might confidently rely. In cavalry,
and still more in artillery, he was far below the French, which, together
with his great numerical inferiority, made it impossible for him to keep
the open country. His only resource was to get possession of some pass or
strong position, which lay in their route, where he might detain them,
till the arrival of further reinforcements should enable him to face them
on more equal terms. The deep stream of the Garigliano presented such a
line of defence as he wanted. [15]

On the 6th of October, therefore, the Great Captain broke up his camp at
Castellone, and, abandoning the whole region north of the Garigliano to
the enemy, struck into the interior of the country, and took post at San
Germano, a strong place on the other side of the river, covered by the two
fortresses of Monte Casino [16] and Rocca Secca. Into this last he threw a
body of determined men under Villalba, and waited calmly the approach of
the enemy.

It was not long before the columns of the latter were descried in full
march on Ponte Corvo, at a few miles' distance only on the opposite side
of the Garigliano. After a brief halt there, they traversed the bridge
before that place and advanced confidently forward in the expectation of
encountering little resistance from a foe so much their inferior. In this
they were mistaken; the garrison of Rocca Secca, against which they
directed their arms, handled them so roughly, that, after in vain
endeavoring to carry the place in two desperate assaults, the marquis of
Mantua resolved to abandon the attempt altogether, and, recrossing the
river, to seek a more practicable point for his purpose lower down. [17]

Keeping along the right bank, therefore, to the southeast of the mountains
of Fondi, he descended nearly to the mouth of the Garigliano, the site, as
commonly supposed, of the ancient Minturnae. [18] The place was covered by
a fortress called the Tower of the Garigliano, occupied by a small Spanish
garrison, who made some resistance, but surrendered on being permitted to
march out with the honors of war. On rejoining their countrymen under
Gonsalvo, the latter were so much incensed that the garrison should have
yielded on any terms, instead of dying on their posts, that, falling on
them with their pikes, they massacred them all to a man. Gonsalvo did not
think proper to punish this outrage, which, however shocking to his own
feelings, indicated a desperate tone of resolution, which he felt he
should have occasion to tax to the utmost in the present exigency. [19]

The ground now occupied by the armies was low and swampy, a character
which it possessed in ancient times; the marshes on the southern side
being supposed to be the same in which Marius concealed himself from his
enemies during his proscription. [20] Its natural humidity was greatly
increased, at this time, by the excessive rains, which began earlier and
with much more violence than usual. The French position was neither so low
nor so wet as that of the Spaniards. It had the advantage, moreover, of
being supported by a well-peopled and friendly country in the rear, where
lay the large towns of Fondi, Itri, and Gaeta; while their fleet, under
the admiral Prejan, which rode at anchor in the mouth of the Garigliano,
might be of essential service in the passage of the river.

In order to effect this, the marquis of Mantua prepared to throw a bridge
across, at a point not far from Trajetto. He succeeded in it,
notwithstanding the swollen and troubled condition of the waters, [20] in
a few days, under cover of the artillery, which he had planted on the bank
of the river, and which from its greater elevation entirely commanded the
opposite shore.

The bridge was constructed of boats belonging to the fleet, strongly
secured together and covered with planks. The work being completed, on the
6th of November the army advanced upon the bridge, supported by such a
lively cannonade from the batteries along the shore, as made all
resistance on the part of the Spaniards ineffectual. The impetuosity with
which the French rushed forward was such as to drive back the advanced
guard of their enemy, which, giving way in disorder, retreated on the main
body. Before the confusion could extend further, Gonsalvo, mounted _a la
gineta_, in the manner of the light cavalry, rode through the broken
ranks, and, rallying the fugitives, quickly brought them to order. Navarro
and Andrada, at the same time, led up the Spanish infantry, and the whole
column charging furiously against the French, compelled them to falter and
at length to fall back on the bridge.

The struggle now became desperate, officers and soldiers, horse and foot,
mingling together, and fighting hand to hand, with all the ferocity
kindled by close personal combat. Some were trodden under the feet of the
cavalry, many more were forced from the bridge, and the waters of the
Garigliano were covered with men and horses, borne down by the current,
and struggling in vain to gain the shore. It was a contest of mere bodily
strength and courage, in which skill and superior tactics were of little
avail. Among those who most distinguished themselves, the name of the
noble Italian, Fabrizio Colonna, is particularly mentioned. An heroic
action is recorded also of a person of inferior rank, a Spanish
_alferez_, or standard-bearer, named Illescas. The right hand of this
man was shot away by a cannon-ball. As a comrade was raising up the fallen
colors, the gallant ensign resolutely grasped them, exclaiming that "he
had one hand still left." At the same time, muffling a scarf round the
bleeding stump, he took his place in the ranks as before. This brave deed
did not go unrewarded, and a liberal pension was settled on him, at
Gonsalvo's instance.

During the heat of the _melee_, the guns on the French shore had been
entirely silent, since they could not be worked without doing as much
mischief to their own men as to the Spaniards, with whom they were closely
mingled. But, as the French gradually recoiled before their impetuous
adversaries, fresh bodies of the latter rushing forward to support their
advance necessarily exposed a considerable length of column to the range
of the French guns, which opened a galling fire on the further extremity
of the bridge. The Spaniards, notwithstanding "they threw themselves into
the face of the cannon," as the marquis of Mantua exclaimed, "with as much
unconcern as if their bodies had been made of air instead of flesh and
blood," found themselves so much distressed by this terrible fire, that
they were compelled to fall back; and the van, thus left without support,
at length retreated in turn, abandoning the bridge to the enemy. [21]

This action was one of the severest which occurred in these wars. Don Hugo
de Moncada, the veteran of many a fight by land and sea, told Paolo Giovio
that "he had never felt himself in such imminent peril in any of his
battles, as in this." [22] The French, notwithstanding they remained
masters of the contested bridge, had met with a resistance which greatly
discouraged them; and, instead of attempting to push their success
further, retired that same evening to their quarters on the other side of
the river. The tempestuous weather, which continued with unabated fury,
had now broken up the roads, and converted the soil into a morass, nearly
impracticable for the movements, of horse, and quite so for those of
artillery, on which the French chiefly relied; while it interposed
comparatively slight obstacles to the manoeuvres of infantry, which
constituted the strength of the Spaniards. From a consideration of these
circumstances, the French commander resolved not to resume active
operations till a change of weather, by restoring the roads, should enable
him to do so with advantage. Meanwhile he constructed a redoubt on the
Spanish extremity of the bridge, and threw a body of troops into it, in
order to command the pass whenever he should be disposed to use it. [23]

While the hostile armies thus lay facing each other, the eyes of all Italy
were turned to them, in anxious expectation of a battle which should
finally decide the fate of Naples. Expresses were daily despatched from
the French camp to Rome, whence the ministers of the different European
powers transmitted the tidings to their respective governments.
Machiavelli represented at that time the Florentine republic at the papal
court, and his correspondence teems with as many floating rumors and
speculations as a modern gazette. There were many French residents in the
city, with whom the minister was personally acquainted. He frequently
notices their opinions on the progress of the war, which they regarded
with the most sanguine confidence, as sure to result in the triumph of
their own arms, when once fairly brought into collision with the enemy.
The calmer and more penetrating eye of the Florentine discerns symptoms in
the condition of the two armies of quite a different tendency. [24]

It seemed now obvious, that victory must declare for that party which
could best endure the hardships and privations of its present situation.
The local position of the Spaniards was far more unfavorable than that of
the enemy. The Great Captain, soon after the affair of the bridge, had
drawn off his forces to a rising ground about a mile from the river, which
was crowned by the little hamlet of Cintura, and commanded the route to
Naples. In front of his camp he sunk a deep trench, which, in the
saturated soil, speedily filled with water; and he garnished it at each
extremity with a strong redoubt. Thus securely intrenched, he resolved
patiently to await the movements of the enemy.

The situation of the army, in the mean time, was indeed deplorable. Those
who occupied the lower level were up to their knees in mud and water; for
the excessive rains, and the inundation of the Garigliano, had converted
the whole country into a mere quagmire, or rather standing pool. The only
way in which the men could secure themselves was by covering the earth as
far as possible with boughs and bundles of twigs; and it was altogether
uncertain how long even this expedient would serve against the encroaching
element. Those on the higher grounds were scarcely in better plight. The
driving storms of sleet and rain, which had continued for several weeks
without intermission, found their way into every crevice of the flimsy
tents and crazy hovels, thatched only with branches of trees, which
afforded a temporary shelter to the troops. In addition to these evils,
the soldiers were badly fed, from the difficulty of finding resources in
the waste and depopulated regions in which they were quartered, [25] and
badly paid, from the negligence, or perhaps poverty, of King Ferdinand,
whose inadequate remittances to his general exposed him, among many other
embarrassments, to the imminent hazard of disaffection among the soldiery,
especially the foreign mercenaries, which nothing, indeed, but the most
delicate and judicious conduct on his part could have averted. [26]

In this difficult crisis, Gonsalvo de Cordova retained all his usual
equanimity, and even the cheerfulness, so indispensable in a leader who
would infuse heart into his followers. He entered freely into the
distresses and personal feelings of his men, and, instead of assuming any
exemption from fatigue or suffering on the score of his rank, took his
turn in the humblest tour of duty with the meanest of them, mounting guard
himself, it is said, on more than one occasion. Above all, he displayed
that inflexible constancy, which enables the strong mind in the hour of
darkness and peril to buoy up the sinking spirits around it. A remarkable
instance of this fixedness of purpose occurred at this time.

The forlorn condition of the army, and the indefinite prospect of its
continuance, raised a natural apprehension in many of the officers, that,
if it did not provoke some open act of mutiny, would in all probability
break down the spirits and constitution of the soldiers. Several of them,
therefore, among the rest Mendoza and the two Colonnas, waited on the
commander-in-chief, and, after stating their fears without reserve,
besought him to remove the camp to Capua, where the troops might find
healthy and commodious quarters, at least until the severity of the season
was mitigated; before which, they insisted, there was no reason to
anticipate any movement on the part of the French. But Gonsalvo felt too
deeply the importance of grappling with the enemy, before they should gain
the open country, to be willing to trust to any such precarious
contingency. Besides, he distrusted the effect of such a retrograde
movement on the spirits of his own troops. He had decided on his course
after the most mature deliberation; and, having patiently heard his
officers to the end, replied in these few but memorable words; "It is
indispensable to the public service to maintain our present position; and
be assured, I would sooner march forward two steps, though it should bring
me to my grave, than fall back one, to gain a hundred years." The decided
tone of the reply relieved him from further importunity. [27]

There is no act of Gonsalvo's life, which on the whole displays more
strikingly the strength of his character. When thus witnessing his
faithful followers drooping and dying around him, with the consciousness
that a word could relieve them from all their distresses, he yet refrained
from uttering it, in stern obedience to what he regarded as the call of
duty; and this too on his own responsibility, in opposition to the
remonstrances of those on whose judgment he most relied.

Gonsalvo confided in the prudence, sobriety, and excellent constitution of
the Spaniards, for resisting the bad effects of the climate. He relied too
on their tried discipline, and their devotion to himself, for carrying
them through any sacrifice he should demand of them. His experience at
Barleta led him to anticipate results of a very opposite character with
the French troops. The event justified his conclusions in both respects.

The French, as already noticed, occupied higher and more healthy ground,
on the other side of the Garigliano, than their rivals. They were
fortunate enough also to find more effectual protection from the weather
in the remains of a spacious amphitheatre, and some other edifices, which
still covered the site of Minturnae. With all this, however, they suffered
more severely from the inclement season than their robust adversaries.
Numbers daily sickened and died. They were much straitened, moreover, from
want of provisions, through the knavish peculations of the commissaries
who had charge of the magazines in Rome. Thus situated, the fiery spirits
of the French soldiery, eager for prompt and decisive action, and
impatient of delay, gradually sunk under the protracted miseries of a war,
where the elements were the principal enemy, and where they saw themselves
melting away like slaves in a prison-ship, without even the chance of
winning an honorable death on the field of battle. [28]

The discontent occasioned by these circumstances was further swelled by
the imperfect success, which had attended their efforts, when allowed to
measure weapons with the enemy.

At length the latent mass of disaffection found an object on which to vent
itself, in the person of their commander-in-chief, the marquis of Mantua,
never popular with the French soldiers. They now loudly taxed him with
imbecility, accused him of a secret understanding with the enemy, and
loaded him with the opprobrious epithets with which Trans-alpine insolence
was accustomed to stigmatize the Italians. In all this, they were secretly
supported by Ives d'Allegre, Sandricourt, and other French officers, who
had always regarded with dissatisfaction the elevation of the Italian
general; till at length the latter, finding that he had influence with
neither officers nor soldiers, and unwilling to retain command where he
had lost authority, availed himself of a temporary illness, under which he
was laboring, to throw up his commission, and withdrew abruptly to his own

He was succeeded by the marquis of Saluzzo, an Italian, indeed, by birth,
being a native of Piedmont, but who had long served under the French
banners, where he had been intrusted by Louis the Twelfth with very
important commands. He was not deficient in energy of character or
military science. But it required powers of a higher order than his to
bring the army under subordination, and renew its confidence under present
circumstances. The Italians, disgusted with the treatment of their former
chief, deserted in great numbers. The great body of the French chivalry,
impatient of their present unhealthy position, dispersed among the
adjacent cities of Fondi, Itri, and Gaeta, leaving the low country around
the Tower of the Garigliano to the care of the Swiss and German infantry.
Thus, while the whole Spanish army lay within a mile of the river, under
the immediate eye of their commander, prepared for instant service, the
French were scattered over a country more than ten miles in extent, where,
without regard to military discipline, they sought to relieve the dreary
monotony of a camp, by all the relaxations which such comfortable quarters
could afford. [29]

It must not be supposed that the repose of the two armies was never broken
by the sounds of war. More than one rencontre, on the contrary, with
various fortune, took place, and more than one display of personal prowess
by the knights of the two nations, as formerly at the siege of Barleta.
The Spaniards made two unsuccessful efforts to burn the enemy's bridge;
but they succeeded, on the other hand, in carrying the strong fortress of
Rocca Guglielma, garrisoned by the French. Among the feats of individual
heroism, the Castilian writers expatiate most complacently on that of
their favorite cavalier, Diego de Paredes, who descended alone on the
bridge against a body of French knights, all armed in proof, with a
desperate hardihood worthy of Don Quixote; and would most probably have
shared the usual fate of that renowned personage on such occasions, had he
not been rescued by a sally of his own countrymen. The French find a
counterpart to this adventure in that of the preux chevalier Bayard, who,
with his single arm, maintained the barriers of the bridge against two
hundred Spaniards, for an hour or more. [30]

Such feats, indeed, are more easily achieved with the pen than with the
sword. It would be injustice, however, to the honest chronicler of the day
to suppose that he did not himself fully

  "Believe the magic wonders that he sung."

Every heart confessed the influence of a romantic age,--the dying age,
indeed, of chivalry,--but when, with superior refinement, it had lost
nothing of the enthusiasm and exaltation of its prime. A shadowy twilight
of romance enveloped every object. Every day gave birth to such
extravagances, not merely of sentiment, but of action, as made it
difficult to discern the precise boundaries of fact and fiction. The
chronicler might innocently encroach sometimes on the province of the
poet, and the poet occasionally draw the theme of his visions from the
pages of the chronicler. Such, in fact, was the case; and the romantic
Muse of Italy, then coming forth in her glory, did little more than give a
brighter flush of color to the chimeras of real life. The characters of
living heroes, a Bayard, a Paredes, and a La Palice, readily supplied her
with the elements of those ideal combinations, in which she has so
gracefully embodied the perfections of chivalry. [31]


  "O pria si cara al ciel del mondo parte,
  Che l'acqua cigne, e 'l sasso orrido serra;
  O lieta sopra ogn' altra e dolce terra,
  Che 'l superbo Appennin segna e diparte;
  Che val omai se 'l buon popol di Marte
  Ti lascio del mar donna e de la terra?
  Le genti a te gia serve, or ti fan guerra,
  E pongon man ne le tue treccie sparte.
  Lasso ne manea de' tuoi figli ancora
  Chi le piu strane a te chiamando insieme
  La spada sua nel tuo bel corpo adopre.
  Or son queste simili a l' antich' opre?
  O pur cosi pietate e Dio a' onora?
  Ahi secol duro, ahi tralignato seme."
                        Bembo, rime Son. 108.

This exquisite little lyric, inferior to none other which had appeared on
the same subject since the "Italia mia" of Petrarch, was composed by Bembo
at the period of which we are treating.

[2] The philosophic Machiavelli discerned the true causes of the
calamities, in the corruptions of his country; which he has exposed, with
more than his usual boldness and bitterness of sarcasm, in the seventh
book of his "Arte della Guerra."

[3] Lorenzo Suarez de la Vega filled the post of minister at the republic
during the whole of the war. His long continuance in the office at so
critical a period, under so vigilant a sovereign as Ferdinand, is
sufficient warrant for his ability. Peter Martyr, while he admits his
talents, makes some objections to his appointment, on the ground of his
want of scholarship. "Nec placet quod hunc elegeritis hac tempestate.
Maluissem namque virum, qui Latinum calleret, vel salterm intelligeret,
linguam; hic tantum suam patriam vernaculam novit; prudentem esse alias,
atque inter ignaros literarum satis esse gnarum, Rex ipse mihi testatus
est. Cupissem tamen ego, quae dixi." (See the letter to the Catholic
queen, Opus Epist., epist. 246.) The objections have weight undoubtedly,
the Latin being the common medium of diplomatic intercourse at that time.
Martyr, who on his return through Venice from his Egyptian mission took
charge for the time of the interests of Spain, might probably have been
prevailed on to assume the difficulties of a diplomatic station there
himself. See also Part II. Chapter 11, note 7, of this History.

[4] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 38, 48.--Bembo,
Istoria Viniziana, tom. iii. lib. 6.--Daru, Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. p.
347.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 6, p. 311, ed. 1645.--
Buonaccorsi, Diario, pp. 77, 81.

[5] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 55.--Coxe,
History of the House of Austria, (London, 1807,) vol. i. chap. 23.

[6] Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 78.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., pp. 173,
174.--Varillas, Hist. de Louis XII., tom. i. pp. 386, 387.--Memoires de la
Tremoille, chap. 19, apud Petitot, Collection des Memoires, tom. xiv.--
Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xiv. anno 1503.--Carta de Gonzalo, MS.

Historians, as usual, differ widely in their estimates of the French
numbers. Guicciardini, whose moderate computation of 20,000 men is usually
followed, does not take the trouble to reconcile his sum total with the
various estimates given by him in detail, which considerably exceed that
amount. Istoria, pp. 308, 309, 312.

[7] Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 81.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, lib. 6.

The little ceremony with which Alexander's remains were treated, while yet
scarcely cold, is the best commentary on the general detestation in which
he was held. "Lorsque Alexandre," says the pope's _maitre des ceremonies_,
"rendit le dernier soupir, il n'y avait dans sa chambre que l'eveque de
Rieti, le dataire et quelques palefreniers. Cette chambre fut aussitot
pillee. La face du cadavre devint noire; la langue s'enfla au point
qu'elle remplissait la bouche qui resta ouverte. La biere dans laquelle il
fallait mettre le corps se trouva trop petite; on l'y enfonca a coups de
poings. Les restes du pape insultes par ses domestiques furent portes dans
l'eglise de St. Pierre, sans etre accompagnes de pretres ni de torches, et
on les placa en dedans de la grille du choeur pour les derober aux
outrages de la populace." Notice de Burchard, apud Brequigny, Notices
et Extraits des Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque du Roi, (Paris, 1787-1818,)
tom. i. p. 120.

[8] Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 82.--Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, Let.
1, 3, et al.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. iii. lib. 6.--Ammirato,
Istorie Fiorentine, tom. iii. lib. 28.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5,
cap. 47.

[9] Guicciardini, in particular, has related them with a circumstantiality
which could scarcely have been exceeded by one of the conclave itself.
Istoria, lib. 6, pp. 316-318.

[10] Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, lib. 6.--Ammirato, Istorie Fiorentine, tom.
iii. lib. 28.

The election of Pius was extremely grateful to Queen Isabella, who caused
Te Deums and thanksgivings to be celebrated in the churches, for the
appointment of "so worthy a pastor over the Christian fold." See Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 265.

[11] Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 6.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, lib. 7.

[12] Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 435-438.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, lib. 6, p. 316.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 83.--St. Gelais, Hist.
de Louys XII., p. 173.

[13] Cicero's country seat stood midway between Gaeta and Mola, the
ancient Formiae, about two miles and a half from each. (Cluverius, Ital.
Antiq., lib. 3, cap. 6.) The remains of his mansion and of his mausoleum
may still be discerned, on the borders of the old Appian way, by the
classical and credulous tourist.

[14] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 258, 259.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 95.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 19.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 261.

[15] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 38, 43, 44, 48,
57.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 258, 259.--Sismondi, Hist. des
Francais, tom. xv. p. 417.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap.
16.--Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. pp. 252-257.--Carta del Gran
Capitan, MS.

The Castilian writers do not state the sum total of the Spanish force,
which is to be inferred only from the scattered estimates, careless and
contradictory as usual, of the various detachments which joined it.

[16] The Spaniards carried Monte Casino by storm, and with sacrilegious
violence plundered the Benedictine monastery of all its costly plate. They
were compelled, however, to respect the bones of the martyrs, and other
saintly relics; a division of spoil probably not entirely satisfactory to
its reverend inmates. Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 262.

[17] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 102.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 21.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 6, pp. 326, 327.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 267.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap.

[18] The remains of this city, which stood about four miles above the
mouth of the Liris, are still to be seen on the right of the road. In
ancient days it was of sufficient magnitude to cover both sides of the
river. See Strabo, Geographia, lib. 5, p. 233, (Paris, 1629, with
Casaubon's notes,) p. 110.

[19] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 107.--Giovio, Vita Magni
Gonsalvi, fol. 263.

[20] The marshes of Minturnae lay between the city and the mouth of the
Liris. (Cluverius, Ital. Antiq., lib. 3, cap. 10, sec. 9.) The Spanish
army encamped, says Guicciardini, "in a place called by Livy, from its
vicinity to Sessa, _aquae Sinuessanae_, being perhaps the marshes in
which Marius hid himself." (Istoria, lib. 6.) The historian makes two
blunders in a breath. 1st. _Aquae Sinuessanae_, was a name derived not
from Sessa, the ancient Suessa Aurunca, but from the adjacent Sinuessa, a
town about ten miles southeast of Minturnae. (Comp. Livy, lib. 22, cap.
14, and Strabo, lib. 5, p. 233.) 2d. The name did not indicate marshes,
but natural hot springs, particularly noted for their salubrity.
"Salubritate harum aquarum," says Tacitus in allusion to them (Annales,
lib. 12); and Pliny notices their medicinal properties more explicitly.
Hist. Naturalis, lib. 31, cap. 2.

[20] This does not accord with Horace's character of the Garigliano, the
ancient Liris, as the "taciturnus amnis," (Carm., lib. i. 30,) and still
less with that of Silius Italicus,

  "Liris ... qui fonte quieto
  Dissimulat cursum, et _nullo mutabilis imbre_
  Perstringit tacitas gemmanti gurgite ripas."
                             Puncia, lib. 4.

Indeed, the stream exhibits at the present day the same soft and tranquil
aspect celebrated by the Roman poets. Its natural character, however, was
entirely changed at the period before us, in consequence of the unexampled
heaviness and duration of the autumnal rains.

[21] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 188.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 14.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 16.
--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 269.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum,
fol. 262-264.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 22.--Machiavelli, Legazione
Prima a Roma, let. 11, Nov. 10.--let. 16, Nov. 13.--let. 17.--Chronica del
Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 106.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp.
440, 441.

[22] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 264.

[23] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 6, pp. 327, 328.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, fol. 262.--Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 29.--
Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 443-445.

[24] Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 9, 10, 18.

The French showed the same confidence from the beginning of hostilities.
One of that nation having told Suarez, the Castilian minister at Venice,
that the marshal de la Tremouille said, "He would give 20,000 ducats, if
he could meet Gonsalvo de Cordova in the plains of Viterbo;" the Spaniard
smartly replied, "Nemours would have given twice as much not to have met
him at Cerignola." Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 36.

[25] This barren tract of uninhabited country must have been of very
limited extent; for it lay in the Campania Felix, in the neighborhood of
the cultivated plains of Sessa, the Massicau mountain, and Falernian
fields,--names, which call up associations, that must live while good
poetry and good wine shall be held in honor.

[26] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 5.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. i. lib. 6, p. 328.--Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma,
let. 44.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 22.--Chronica del Gran Capitan,
cap. 107, 108.--The Neapolitan conquests, it will be remembered, were
undertaken exclusively for the crown of Aragon, the revenues of which were
far more limited than those of Castile.

[27] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 188.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 108.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap,
16.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 6, p. 328.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib.
5, cap. 58.

[28] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 265.--Garnier, Hist. de France,
tom. v. p. 445.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 59.--Buonaccorsi,
Diario, fol. 85.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 22.--Varillas, Hist. de
Louis XII., tom. i. pp. 401, 402.

[29] Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 440-443.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, fol. 264, 265.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 6, p. 329.--
Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 44.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys
XII., pp. 173, 174.

[30] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 106.--Memoires de Bayard,
chap. 25, apud Petitot, Collection des Memoires, tom. xv.--Varillas, Hist.
de Louis XII., tom. i. p. 417.--Quintana, Espanoles Celebres, tom. i. pp.
288-290.--Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 39, 44.

[31] Compare the prose romances of D'Auton, of the "loyal serviteur" of
Bayard, and the no less loyal biographer of the Great Captain, with the
poetic ones of Ariosto, Berni, and the like.

  "Magnanima menzogna! or quando e il vero
  Si bello, che si possa a te preporre?"



1503, 1504.

Gonsalvo Crosses the River.--Consternation of the French.--Action near
Gaeta.--Hotly Contested.--The French Defeated.--Gaeta Surrenders.--Public
Enthusiasm.--Treaty with France.--Review of Gonsalvo's Military Conduct.--
Results of the Campaign.

Seven weeks had now elapsed, since the two armies had lain in sight of
each other without any decided movement on either side. During this time,
the Great Captain had made repeated efforts to strengthen himself, through
the intervention of the Spanish ambassador, Francisco de Rojas, [1] by
reinforcements from Rome. His negotiations were chiefly directed to secure
the alliance of the Orsini, a powerful family, long involved in a bitter
feud with the Colonnas, then in the Spanish service. A reconciliation
between these noble houses was at length happily effected; and Bartolomeo
d'Alviano, the head of the Orsini, agreed to enlist under the Spanish
commander with three thousand men. This arrangement was finally brought
about through the good offices of the Venetian minister at Rome, who even
advanced a considerable sum of money towards the payment of the new
levies. [2]

The appearance of this corps, with one of the most able and valiant of the
Italian captains at its head, revived the drooping spirits of the camp.
Soon after his arrival, Alviano strongly urged Gonsalvo to abandon his
original plan of operations, and avail himself of his augmented strength
to attack the enemy in his own quarters. The Spanish commander had
intended to confine himself wholly to the defensive, and, too unequal in
force to meet the French in the open field, as before noticed, had
intrenched himself in his present strong position, with the fixed purpose
of awaiting the enemy there. Circumstances had now greatly changed. The
original inequality was diminished by the arrival of the Italian levies,
and still further compensated by the present disorderly state of the
French army. He knew, moreover, that in the most perilous enterprises, the
assailing party gathers an enthusiasm and an impetus in its career, which
counterbalance large numerical odds; while the party taken by surprise is
proportionably disconcerted, and prepared, as it were, for defeat before a
blow is struck. From these considerations, the cautious general acquiesced
in Alviano's project to cross the Garigliano, by establishing a bridge at
a point opposite Suzio, a small place garrisoned by the French on the
right bank, about four miles above their head-quarters. The time for the
attack was fixed as soon as possible after the approaching Christmas, when
the French, occupied with the festivities of the season, might be thrown
off their guard. [3]

This day of general rejoicing to the Christian world at length arrived. It
brought little joy to the Spaniards, buried in the depths of these dreary
morasses, destitute of most of the necessaries of life, and with scarcely
any other means of resisting the climate, than those afforded by their
iron constitutions and invincible courage. They celebrated the day,
however, with all the devotional feeling, and the imposing solemnities,
with which it is commemorated by the Roman Catholic church; and the
exercises of religion, rendered more impressive by their situation, served
to exalt still higher the heroic constancy, which had sustained them under
such unparalleled sufferings.

In the mean while, the materials for the bridge were collected, and the
work went forward with such despatch, that on the 28th of December all was
in readiness for carrying the plan of attack into execution. The task of
laying the bridge across the river was intrusted to Alviano, who had
charge of the van. The central and main division of the army under
Gonsalvo was to cross at the same point; while Andrada at the head of the
rear-guard was to force a passage at the old bridge, lower down the
stream, opposite to the Tower of the Garigliano. [4]

The night was dark and stormy. Alviano performed the duty intrusted to him
with such silence and celerity, that the work was completed without
attracting the enemy's notice. He then crossed over with the van-guard,
consisting chiefly of cavalry, supported by Navarro, Paredes, and Pizarro;
and, falling on the sleeping garrison of Suzio, cut to pieces all who
offered resistance.

The report of the Spaniards having passed the river spread far and wide,
and soon reached the head-quarters of the marquis of Saluzzo, near the
Tower of the Garigliano. The French commander-in-chief, who believed that
the Spaniards were lying on the other side of the river, as torpid as the
snakes in their own marshes, was as much astounded by the event as if a
thunderbolt had burst over his head from a cloudless sky. He lost no time,
however, in rallying such of his scattered forces as he could assemble,
and in the mean while despatched Ives d'Allegre with a body of horse to
hold the enemy in check, till he could make good his own retreat on Gaeta.
His first step was to demolish the bridge near his own quarters, cutting
the moorings of the boats and turning them adrift down the river. He
abandoned his tents and baggage, together with nine of his heaviest
cannon; leaving even the sick and wounded to the mercy of the enemy,
rather than encumber himself with anything that should retard his march.
The remainder of the artillery he sent forward in the van. The infantry
followed next, and the rear, in which Saluzzo took his own station, was
brought up by the men-at-arms to cover the retreat.

Before Allegre could reach Suzio, the whole Spanish army had passed the
Garigliano, and formed on the right bank. Unable to face such superior
numbers, he fell back with precipitation, and joined himself to the main
body of the French, now in full retreat on Gaeta. [5]

Gonsalvo, afraid the French might escape him, sent forward Prospero
Colonna, with a corps of light horse, to annoy and retard their march
until he could come up. Keeping the right bank of the river with the main
body, he marched rapidly through the deserted camp of the enemy, leaving
little leisure for his men to glean the rich spoil, which lay tempting
them on every side. It was not long before he came up with the French,
whose movements were greatly retarded by the difficulty of dragging their
guns over the ground completely saturated with rain. The retreat was
conducted, however, in excellent order; they were eminently favored by the
narrowness of the road, which, allowing but a comparatively small body of
troops on either side to come into action, made success chiefly depend on
the relative merits of these. The French rear, as already stated, was made
up of their men-at-arms, including Bayard, Sandricourt, La Fayette, and
others of their bravest chivalry, who, armed at all points, found no great
difficulty in beating off the light troops which formed the advance of the
Spaniards. At every bridge, stream, and narrow pass, which afforded a
favorable position, the French cavalry closed their ranks, and made a
resolute stand to gain time for the columns in advance.

In this way, alternately halting and retreating, with perpetual
skirmishes, though without much loss on either side, they reached the
bridge before Mola di Gaeta. Here, some of the gun-carriages breaking down
or being overturned occasioned considerable delay and confusion. The
infantry, pressing on, became entangled with the artillery. The marquis of
Saluzzo endeavored to avail himself of the strong position afforded by the
bridge to restore order. A desperate struggle ensued. The French knights
dashed boldly into the Spanish ranks, driving back for a time the tide of
pursuit. The chevalier Bayard, who was seen as usual in the front of
danger, had three horses killed under him; and, at length, carried forward
by his ardor into the thickest of the enemy, was retrieved with difficulty
from their hands by a desperate charge of his friend Sandricourt. [6]

The Spaniards, shaken by the violence of the assault, seemed for a moment
to hesitate; but Gonsalvo had now time to bring up his men-at-arms, who
sustained the faltering columns, and renewed the combat on more equal
terms. He himself was in the hottest of the _melee_; and at one time
was exposed to imminent hazard by his horse's losing his footing on the
slippery soil, and coming with him to the ground. The general fortunately
experienced no injury, and, quickly recovering himself, continued to
animate his followers by his voice and intrepid bearing, as before.

The fight had now lasted two hours. The Spaniards, although still in
excellent heart, were faint with fatigue and want of food, having
travelled six leagues, without breaking their fast since the preceding
evening. It was, therefore, with no little anxiety, that Gonsalvo looked
for the coming up of his rear-guard, left, as the reader will remember,
under Andrada at the lower bridge, to decide the fortune of the day.

The welcome spectacle at length presented itself. The dark columns of the
Spaniards were seen, at first faint in the distance, by degrees growing
more and more distinct to the eye. Andrada had easily carried the French
redoubt on his side of the Garigliano; but it was not without difficulty
and delay, that he recovered the scattered boats which the French had set
adrift down the stream, and finally succeeded in re-establishing his
communications with the opposite bank. Having accomplished this, he
rapidly advanced by a more direct road, to the east of that lately
traversed by Gonsalvo along the sea-side, in pursuit of the French. The
latter beheld with dismay the arrival of this fresh body of troops, who
seemed to have dropped from the clouds on the field of battle. They
scarcely waited for the shock before they broke, and gave way in all
directions. The disabled carriages of the artillery, which clogged up the
avenues in the rear, increased the confusion among the fugitives, and the
foot were trampled down without mercy under the heels of their own
cavalry, in the eagerness of the latter to extricate themselves from their
perilous situation. The Spanish light horse followed up their advantage
with the alacrity of vengeance long delayed, inflicting bloody retribution
for all they had so long suffered in the marshes of Sessa.

At no great distance from the bridge the road takes two directions, the
one towards Itri, the other to Gaeta. The bewildered fugitives here
separated; by far the greater part keeping the latter route. Gonsalvo sent
forward a body of horse under Navarro and Pedro de la Paz by a short cut
across the country, to intercept their flight. A large number fell into
his hands in consequence of this manoeuvre; but the greater part of those
who escaped the sword succeeded in throwing themselves into Gaeta. [7]

The Great Captain took up his quarters that night in the neighboring
village of Castellone. His brave followers had great need of refreshment,
having fasted and fought through the whole day, and that under a driving
storm of rain which had not ceased for a moment. Thus terminated the
battle, or rout, as it is commonly called, of the Garigliano, the most
important in its results of all Gonsalvo's victories, and furnishing a
suitable close to his brilliant military career. [8] The loss of the
French is computed at from three to four thousand men, left dead on the
field, together with all their baggage, colors, and splendid train of
artillery. The Spaniards must have suffered severely during the sharp
conflict on the bridge; but no estimate of their loss is to be met with,
in any native or foreign writer. [9] It was observed that the 29th of
December, on which this battle was won, came on Friday, the same ominous
day of the week, which had so often proved auspicious to the Spaniards
under the present reign. [10]

The disparity of the forces actually engaged was probably not great, since
the extent of country over which the French were quartered prevented many
of them from coming up in time for action. Several corps, who succeeded in
reaching the field at the close of the fight, were seized with such a
panic as to throw down their arms without attempting resistance. [11] The
admirable artillery, on which the French placed chief reliance, was not
only of no service, but of infinite mischief to them, as we have seen. The
brunt of the battle fell on their chivalry, which bore itself throughout
the day with the spirit and gallantry worthy of its ancient renown; never
flinching, till the arrival of the Spanish rear-guard fresh in the field,
at so critical a juncture, turned the scale in their adversaries' favor.

Early on the following morning, Gonsalvo made preparations for storming
the heights of Mount Orlando, which overlooked the city of Gaeta. Such was
the despondency of its garrison, however, that this strong position, which
bade defiance a few months before to the most desperate efforts of Spanish
valor, was now surrendered without a struggle. The same feeling of
despondency had communicated itself to the garrison of Gaeta; and, before
Navarro could bring the batteries of Mount Orlando to bear upon the city,
a flag of truce arrived from the marquis of Saluzzo with proposals for

This was more than the Great Captain could have ventured to promise
himself. The French were in great force; the fortifications of the place
in excellent repair; it was well provided with artillery and ammunition,
and with provisions for ten days at least; while their fleet, riding in
the harbor, afforded the means of obtaining supplies from Leghorn, Genoa,
and other friendly ports. But the French had lost all heart; they were
sorely wasted by disease; their buoyant self-confidence was gone, and
their spirits broken by the series of reverses, which had followed without
interruption from the first hour of the campaign, to the last disastrous
affair of the Garigliano. The very elements seemed to have leagued against
them. Further efforts they deemed a fruitless struggle against destiny;
and they now looked with melancholy longing to their native land, eager
only to quit these ill-omened shores for ever.

The Great Captain made no difficulty in granting such terms, as, while
they had a show of liberality, secured him the most important fruits of
victory. This suited his cautious temper far better than pressing a
desperate foe to extremity. He was, moreover, with all his successes, in
no condition to do so; he was without funds, and, as usual, deeply in
arrears to his army; while there was scarcely a ration of bread, says an
Italian historian, in his whole camp. [12]

It was agreed by the terms of capitulation, January 1st, 1504, that the
French should evacuate Gaeta at once, and deliver it up to the Spaniards
with its artillery, munitions, and military stores of every description.
The prisoners on both sides, including those taken in the preceding
campaign, an arrangement greatly to the advantage of the enemy, were to be
restored; and the army in Gaeta was to be allowed a free passage by land
or sea, as they should prefer, to their own country. [13]

From the moment hostilities were brought to a close; Gonsalvo displayed
such generous sympathy for his late enemies, and such humanity in
relieving them, as to reflect more honor on his character than all his
victories. He scrupulously enforced the faithful performance of the
treaty, and severely punished any violence offered to the French by his
own men. His benign and courteous demeanor towards the vanquished, so
remote from the images of terror with which he had been, hitherto
associated in their minds, excited unqualified admiration; and they
testified their sense of his amiable qualities, by speaking of him as the
"gentil capitaine et gentil cavalier." [14]

The news of the rout of the Garigliano and the surrender of Gaeta diffused
general gloom and consternation over France. There was scarcely a family
of rank, says a writer of that country, that had not some one of its
members involved in these sad disasters. [15] The court went into
mourning. The king, mortified at the discomfiture of all his lofty
schemes, by the foe whom he despised, shut himself up in his palace,
refusing access to every one, until the agitation of his spirits threw him
into an illness, which had wellnigh proved fatal.

Meanwhile his exasperated feelings found an object on which to vent
themselves in the unfortunate garrison of Gaeta, who so pusillanimously
abandoned their post to return to their own country. He commanded them to
winter in Italy, and not to recross the Alps without further orders. He
sentenced Sandricourt and Allegre to banishment for insubordination to
their commander-in-chief; the latter, for his conduct, more particularly,
before the battle of Cerignola; and he hanged up the commissaries of the
army, whose infamous peculations had been a principal cause of its ruin.

But the impotent wrath of their monarch was not needed to fill the bitter
cup, which the French soldiers were now draining to the dregs. A large
number of those, who embarked for Genoa, died of the maladies contracted
during their long bivouac in the marshes of Minturnae. The rest recrossed
the Alps into France, too desperate to heed their master's prohibition.
Those who took their way by land suffered still more severely from the
Italian peasantry, who retaliated in full measure the barbarities they had
so long endured from the French. They were seen wandering like spectres
along the high roads and principal cities on the route, pining with cold
and famine; and all the hospitals in Rome, as well as the stables, sheds,
and every other place, however mean, affording shelter, were filled with
the wretched vagabonds, eager only to find some obscure retreat to die in.

The chiefs of the expedition fared little better. Among others, the
marquis of Saluzzo, soon after reaching Genoa, was carried off by a fever,
caused by his distress of mind. Sandricourt, too haughty to endure
disgrace, laid violent hands on himself. Allegre, more culpable, but more
courageous, survived to be reconciled with his sovereign, and to die a
soldier's death on the field of battle. [17]

Such are the dismal colors in which the French historians depict the last
struggle made by their monarch for the recovery of Naples. Few military
expeditions have commenced under more brilliant and imposing auspices; few
have been conducted in so ill-advised a manner through their whole
progress; and none attended in their close with more indiscriminate and
overwhelming ruin.

On the 3d of January, 1504, Gonsalvo made his entry into Gaeta; and the
thunders of his ordnance, now for the first time heard from its
battlements, announced that this strong key to the dominions of Naples had
passed into the hands of Aragon. After a short delay for the refreshment
of his troops, he set out for the capital. But, amidst the general jubilee
which greeted his return, he was seized with a fever, brought on by the
incessant fatigue and high mental excitement in which he had been kept for
the last four months. The attack was severe, and the event for some time
doubtful. During this state of suspense the public mind was in the deepest
agitation. The popular manners of Gonsalvo had won the hearts of the giddy
people of Naples, who transferred their affections, indeed, as readily as
their allegiance; and prayers and vows for his restoration, were offered
up in all the churches and monasteries of the city. His excellent
constitution at length got the better of his disease. As soon as this
favorable result was ascertained, the whole population, rushing to the
other extreme, abandoned itself to a delirium of joy; and, when he was
sufficiently recovered to give them audience, men of all ranks thronged to
Castel Nuovo to tender their congratulations, and obtain a sight of the
hero, who now returned to their capital, for the third time, with the
laurel of victory on his brow. Every tongue, says his enthusiastic
biographer, was eloquent in his praise; some dwelling on his noble port,
and the beauty of his countenance; others on the elegance and amenity of
his manners; and all dazzled by a spirit of munificence, which would have
become royalty itself. [18]

The tide of panegyric was swelled by more than one bard, who sought,
though with indifferent success, to catch inspiration from so glorious a
theme; trusting doubtless that his liberal hand would not stint the
recompense to the precise measure of desert. Amid this general burst of
adulation, the muse of Sannazaro, worth all his tribe, was alone silent;
for the trophies of the conqueror were raised on the ruins of that royal
house, under which the bard had been so long sheltered; and this silence,
so rare in his tuneful brethren, must be admitted to reflect more credit
on his name, than the best he ever sung. [19]

The first business of Gonsalvo was to call together the different orders
of the state, and receive their oaths of allegiance to King Ferdinand. He
next occupied himself with the necessary arrangements for the
reorganization of the government, and for reforming various abuses which
had crept into the administration of justice, more particularly. In these
attempts to introduce order, he was not a little thwarted, however, by the
insubordination of his own soldiery, They loudly clamored for the
discharge of the arrears, still shamefully protracted, till, their
discontents swelling to open mutiny, they forcibly seized on two of the
principal places in the kingdom as security for the payment. Gonsalvo
chastised their insolence by disbanding several of the most refractory
companies, and sending them home for punishment. He endeavored to relieve
them in part by raising contributions from the Neapolitans. But the
soldiers took the matter into their own hands, oppressing the unfortunate
people on whom they were quartered in a manner which rendered their
condition scarcely more tolerable, than when exposed to the horrors of
actual war. [20] This was the introduction, according to Guicciardini, of
those systematic military exactions in time of peace, which became so
common afterwards in Italy, adding an inconceivable amount to the long
catalogue of woes which afflicted that unhappy land. [21]

Amidst his manifold duties, Gonsalvo did not forget the gallant officers
who had borne with him the burdens of the war, and he requited their
services in a princely style, better suited to his feelings than his
interests, as subsequently appeared. Among them were Navarro, Mendoza,
Andrada, Benavides, Leyva, the Italians Alviano and the two Colonnas, most
of whom lived to display the lessons of tactics, which they learned under
this great commander, on a still wider theatre of glory, in the reign of
Charles the Fifth. He made them grants of cities, fortresses, and
extensive lands, according to their various claims, to be held as fiefs of
the crown. All this was done with the previous sanction of his royal
master, Ferdinand the Catholic. They did some violence, however, to his
more economical spirit, and he was heard somewhat peevishly to exclaim,
"It boots little for Gonsalvo de Cordova to have won a kingdom for me, if
he lavishes it all away before it comes into my hands." It began to be
perceived at court that the Great Captain was too powerful for a subject.

Meanwhile, Louis the Twelfth was filled with serious apprehensions for the
fate of his possessions in the north of Italy. His former allies, the
emperor Maximilian and the republic of Venice, the latter more especially,
had shown many indications, not merely of coldness to himself, but of a
secret understanding with his rival, the king of Spain. The restless pope,
Julius the Second, had schemes of his own, wholly independent of France.
The republics of Pisa and Genoa, the latter one of her avowed
dependencies, had entered into correspondence with the Great Captain, and
invited him to assume their protection; while several of the disaffected
party in Milan had assured him of their active support, in case he would
march with a sufficient force to overturn the existing government. Indeed,
not only France, but Europe in general, expected that the Spanish
commander would avail himself of the present crisis, to push his
victorious arms into upper Italy, revolutionize Tuscany in his way, and,
wresting Milan from the French, drive them, crippled and disheartened by
their late reverses, beyond the Alps. [23]

But Gonsalvo had occupation enough on his hands in settling the disordered
state of Naples. King Ferdinand, his sovereign, notwithstanding the
ambition of universal conquest absurdly imputed to him by the French
writers, had no design to extend his acquisitions beyond what he could
permanently maintain. His treasury, never overflowing, was too deeply
drained by the late heavy demands on it, for him so soon to embark on
another perilous enterprise, that must rouse anew the swarms of enemies,
who seemed willing to rest in quiet after their long and exhausting
struggle; nor is there any reason to suppose he sincerely contemplated
such a movement for a moment. [24]

The apprehension of it, however, answered Ferdinand's purpose, by
preparing the French monarch to arrange his differences with his rival, as
the latter now earnestly desired, by negotiation. Indeed, two Spanish
ministers had resided during the greater part of the war at the French
court, with the view of improving the first opening that should occur for
accomplishing this object; and by their agency a treaty was concluded, to
continue for three years, which guaranteed to Aragon the undisturbed
possession of her conquests during that period. The chief articles
provided for the immediate cessation of hostilities between the
belligerents, and the complete re-establishment of their commercial
relations and intercourse, with the exception of Naples, from which the
French were to be excluded. The Spanish crown was to have full power to
reduce all refractory places in that kingdom; and the contracting parties
solemnly pledged themselves, each to render no assistance, secretly or
openly, to the enemies of the other. The treaty, which was to run from the
25th of February, 1504, was signed by the French king and the Spanish
plenipotentiaries at Lyons, on the 11th of that month, and ratified by
Ferdinand and Isabella, at the convent of Santa Maria de la Mejorada, the
31st of March following. [25]

There was still a small spot in the heart of Naples, comprehending Venosa
and several adjoining towns, where Louis d'Ars and his brave associates
yet held out against the Spanish arms. Although cut off by the operation
of this treaty from the hope of further support from home, the French
knight disdained to surrender; but sallied out at the head of his little
troop of gallant veterans, and thus, armed at all points, says Brantome,
with lance in rest, took his way through Naples, and the centre of Italy.
He marched in battle array, levying contributions for his support on the
places through which he passed. In this manner he entered France, and
presented himself before the court at Blois. The king and queen, delighted
with his prowess, came forward to welcome him, and made good cheer, says
the old chronicler, for himself and his companions, whom they recompensed
with liberal largesses, proffering at the same time any boon to the brave
knight, which he should demand for himself. The latter in return simply
requested that his old comrade Ives d'Allegre should be recalled from
exile. This trait of magnanimity, when contrasted with the general
ferocity of the times, has something in it inexpressibly pleasing. It
shows, like others recorded of the French gentlemen of that period, that
the age of chivalry,--the chivalry of romance, indeed,--had not wholly
passed away. [26]

The pacification of Lyons sealed the fate of Naples; and, while it
terminated the wars in that kingdom, closed the military career of
Gonsalvo de Cordova. It is impossible to contemplate the magnitude of the
results, achieved with such slender resources, and in the face of such
overwhelming odds, without deep admiration for the genius of the man by
whom they were accomplished.

His success, it is true, is imputable in part to the signal errors of his
adversaries. The magnificent expedition of Charles the Eighth failed to
produce any permanent impression, chiefly in consequence of the
precipitation with which it had been entered into, without sufficient
concert with the Italian states, who became a formidable enemy when united
in his rear. He did not even avail himself of his temporary acquisition of
Naples to gather support from the attachment of his new subjects. Far from
incorporating with them, he was regarded as a foreigner and an enemy, and,
as such, expelled by the joint action of all Italy from its bosom, as soon
as it had recovered sufficient strength to rally.

Louis the Twelfth profited by the errors of his predecessor. His
acquisitions in the Milanese formed a basis for future operations; and by
negotiation and otherwise he secured the alliance and the interests of the
various Italian governments on his side. These preliminary arrangements
were followed by preparations every way commensurate with his object. He
failed in the first campaign, however, by intrusting the command to
incompetent hands, consulting birth rather than talent or experience.

In the succeeding campaigns, his failure, though partly chargeable on
himself, was less so than on circumstances beyond his control. The first
of these was the long detention of the army before Rome by Cardinal
D'Amboise, and its consequent exposure to the unexampled severity of the
ensuing winter. A second was the fraudulent conduct of the commissaries,
implying, no doubt, some degree of negligence in the person who appointed
them; and lastly, the want of a suitable commander-in-chief of the army.
La Tremouille being ill, and D'Aubigny a prisoner in the hands of the
enemy, there appeared no one among the French qualified to cope with the
Spanish general. The marquis of Mantua, independently of the disadvantage
of being a foreigner, was too timid in council, and dilatory in conduct,
to be any way competent to this difficult task.

If his enemies, however, committed great errors, it is altogether owing to
Gonsalvo that he was in a situation to take advantage of them. Nothing
could be more unpromising than his position on first entering Calabria.
Military operations had been conducted in Spain on principles totally
different from those which prevailed in the rest of Europe. This was the
case especially in the late Moorish wars, where the old tactics and the
character of the ground brought light cavalry chiefly into use. This,
indeed, constituted his principal strength at this period; for his
infantry, though accustomed to irregular service, was indifferently armed
and disciplined. An important revolution, however, had occurred in the
other parts of Europe. The infantry had there regained the superiority
which it maintained in the days of the Greeks and Romans. The experiment
had been made on more than one bloody field; and it was found that the
solid columns of Swiss and German pikes not only bore down all opposition
in their onward march, but presented an impregnable barrier, not to be
shaken by the most desperate charges of the best heavy-armed cavalry. It
was against these dreaded battalions that Gonsalvo was now called to
measure for the first time the bold but rudely armed and comparatively raw
recruits from Galicia and the Asturias.

He lost his first battle, into which it should be remembered he was
precipitated against his will. He proceeded afterwards with the greatest
caution, gradually familiarizing his men with the aspect and usages of the
enemy whom they held in such awe, before bringing them again to a direct
encounter. He put himself to school during this whole campaign, carefully
acquainting himself with the tactics, discipline, and novel arms of his
adversaries, and borrowing just so much as he could incorporate into the
ancient system of the Spaniards, without discarding the latter altogether.
Thus, while he retained the short sword and buckler of his countrymen, he
fortified his battalions with a large number of spearmen, after the German
fashion. The arrangement is highly commended by the sagacious Machiavelli,
who considers it as combining the advantages of both systems, since, while
the long spear served all the purposes of resistance, or even of attack on
level ground, the short swords and targets enabled their wearers, as
already noticed, to cut in under the dense array of hostile pikes, and
bring the enemy to close quarters, where his formidable weapon was of no
avail. [27]

While Gonsalvo made this innovation in the arms and tactics, he paid equal
attention to the formation of a suitable character in his soldiery. The
circumstances in which he was placed at Barleta, and on the Garigliano,
imperatively demanded this. Without food, clothes, or pay, without the
chance even of retrieving his desperate condition by venturing a blow at
the enemy, the Spanish soldier was required to remain passive. To do this
demanded, patience, abstinence, strict subordination, and a degree of
resolution far higher than that required to combat obstacles, however
formidable in themselves, where active exertion, which tasks the utmost
energies of the soldier, renews his spirits and raises them to a contempt
of danger. It was calling on him, in short, to begin with achieving that
most difficult of all victories, the victory over himself.

All this the Spanish commander effected. He infused into his men a portion
of his own invincible energy. He inspired a love of his person, which led
them to emulate his example, and a confidence in his genius and resources,
which supported them under all their privations by a firm reliance on a
fortunate issue. His manners were distinguished by a graceful courtesy,
less encumbered with etiquette than was usual with persons of his high
rank in Castile. He knew well the proud and independent feelings of the
Spanish soldier; and, far from annoying him by unnecessary restraints,
showed the most liberal indulgence at all times. But his kindness was
tempered with severity, which displayed itself, on such occasions as
required interposition, in a manner that rarely failed to repress
everything like insubordination. The reader will readily recall an example
of this in the mutiny before Tarento; and it was doubtless by the
assertion of similar power, that he was so long able to keep in check his
German mercenaries, distinguished above the troops of every other nation
by their habitual license and contempt of authority.

While Gonsalvo relied so freely on the hardy constitution and patient
habits of the Spaniards, he trusted no less to the deficiency of these
qualities in the French, who, possessing little of the artificial
character formed under the stern training of later times, resembled their
Gaulish ancestors in the facility with which they were discouraged by
unexpected obstacles, and the difficulty with which they could be brought
to rally. [28] In this he did not miscalculate. The French infantry, drawn
from the militia of the country, hastily collected and soon to be
disbanded, and the independent nobility and gentry who composed the
cavalry service, were alike difficult to be brought within the strict curb
of military rule. The severe trials, which steeled the souls, and gave
sinewy strength to the constitutions, of the Spanish soldiers, impaired
those of their enemies, introduced divisions into their councils, and
relaxed the whole tone of discipline. Gonsalvo watched the operation of
all this, and, coolly waiting the moment when his weary and disheartened
adversary should be thrown off his guard, collected all his strength for a
decisive blow, by which to terminate the action. Such was the history of
those memorable campaigns, which closed with the brilliant victories of
Cerignola and the Garigliano.

In a review of his military conduct, we must not overlook his politic
deportment towards the Italians, altogether the reverse of the careless
and insolent bearing of the French. He availed himself liberally of their
superior science, showing great deference, and confiding the most
important trusts, to their officers. [29] Far from the reserve usually
shown to foreigners, he appeared insensible to national distinctions, and
ardently embraced them as companions in arms, embarked in a common cause
with himself. In their tourney with the French before Barleta, to which
the whole nation attached such importance as a vindication of national
honor, they were entirely supported by Gonsalvo, who furnished them with
arms, secured a fair field of fight, and shared the triumph of the victors
as that of his own countrymen,--paying those delicate attentions, which
cost far less, indeed, but to an honorable mind are of greater value, than
more substantial benefits. He conciliated the good-will of the Italian
states by various important services; of the Venetians, by his gallant
defence of their possessions in the Levant; of the people of Rome, by
delivering them from the pirates of Ostia; while he succeeded,
notwithstanding the excesses of his soldiery, in captivating the giddy
Neapolitans to such a degree, by his affable manners and splendid style of
life, as seemed to efface from their minds every recollection of the last
and most popular of their monarchs, the unfortunate Frederic.

The distance of Gonsalvo's theatre of operations from his own country,
apparently most discouraging, proved extremely favorable to his purposes.
The troops, cut off from retreat by a wide sea and an impassable mountain
barrier, had no alternative but to conquer or to die. Their long
continuance in the field without disbanding gave them all the stern,
inflexible qualities of a standing army; and, as they served through so
many successive campaigns under the banner of the same leader, they were
drilled in a system of tactics far steadier and more uniform than could be
acquired under a variety of commanders, however able. Under these
circumstances, which so well fitted them for receiving impressions, the
Spanish army was gradually moulded into the form determined by the will of
its great chief.

When we look at the amount offered at the disposal of Gonsalvo, it appears
so paltry, especially compared with the gigantic apparatus of later wars,
that it may well suggest disparaging ideas of the whole contest. To judge
correctly, we must direct our eyes to the result. With this insignificant
force, we shall then see the kingdom of Naples conquered, and the best
generals and armies of France annihilated; an important innovation
effected in military science; the art of mining, if not invented, carried
to unprecedented perfection; a thorough reform introduced in the arms and
discipline of the Spanish soldier; and the organization completed of that
valiant infantry, which is honestly eulogized by a French writer, as
irresistible in attack, and impossible to rout; [30] and which carried the
banners of Spain victorious, for more than a century, over the most
distant parts of Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

The brilliant qualities and achievements of Gonzalo de Cordova have
naturally made him a popular theme both for history and romance. Various
biographies of him have appeared in the different European languages,
though none, I believe, hitherto in English. The authority of principal
reference in these pages is the Life which Paolo Giovio has incorporated
in his great work, "Vitae Illustrium Virorum," which I have elsewhere
noticed. This Life of Gonsalvo is not exempt from the prejudices, nor from
the minor inaccuracies, which may be charged on most of this author's
productions; but these are abundantly compensated by the stores of novel
and interesting details which Giovio's familiarity with the principal
actors of the time enabled him to throw into his work, and by the skilful
arrangement. of his narrative, so disposed as, without studied effort, to
bring into light the prominent qualities of his hero. Every page bears the
marks of that "golden pen," which the politic Italian reserved for his
favorites; and, while this obvious partiality may put the reader somewhat
on his guard, it gives an interest to the work, inferior to none other of
his agreeable compositions.

The most imposing of the Spanish memoirs of Gonsalvo, in bulk at least, is
the "Chronica del Gran Capitan," Alcala de Henares, 1584. Nic. Antonio
doubts whether the author were Pulgar, who wrote the "History of the
Catholic Kings," of such frequent reference in the Granadine wars', or
another Pulgar del Salar, as he is called, who received the honors of
knighthood from King Ferdinand for his valorous exploits against the
Moors. (See Bibliotheca Uova, tom. i. p. 387.) With regard to the first
Pulgar, there is no reason to suppose that he lived into the sixteenth
century; and, as to the second, the work composed by him, so far from
being the one in question, was a compendium, bearing the title of "Sumario
de los Hechos del Gran Capitan," printed as early as 1527, at Seville,
(See the editor's prologue to Pulgar's "Chronica de los Reyes Catolicos,"
ed Valencia, 1780.) Its author, therefore, remains in obscurity. He
sustains no great damage on the score of reputation, however, from this
circumstance; as his work is but an indifferent specimen of the rich old
Spanish chronicle, exhibiting most of its characteristic blemishes, with a
very small admixture of its beauties. The long and prosy narrative is
overloaded with the most frivolous details, trumpeted forth in a strain of
glorification, which sometimes disfigures more meritorious compositions in
the Castilian. Nothing like discrimination of character, of course, is to
be looked for in the unvarying swell of panegyric, which claims for its
subject all the extravagant flights of a hero of romance. With these
deductions, however, and a liberal allowance, consequently, for the
nationality of the work, it has considerable value as a record of events,
too recent in their occurrence to be seriously defaced by those deeper
stains of error, which are so apt to settle on the weather-beaten
monuments of antiquity. It has accordingly formed a principal source of
the "Vida del Gran Capitan," introduced by Quintana in the first volume of
his "Espanoles Celebres," printed at Madrid, in 1807. This memoir, in
which the incidents are selected with discernment, displays the usual
freedom and vivacity of its poetic author. It does not bring the general
politics of the period under review, but will not be found deficient in
particulars having immediate connection with the personal history of its
subject; and, on the whole, exhibits in an agreeable and compendious form
whatever is of most interest or importance for the general reader.

The French have also a "Histoire de Gonsalve de Cordoue," composed by
Father Duponcet, a Jesuit, in two vols. 12mo, Paris, 1714. Though an
ambitious, it is a bungling performance, most unskilfully put together,
and contains quite as much of what its hero did not do, as of what he did.
The prolixity of the narrative is not even relieved by the piquancy of
style, which forms something like a substitute for thought in many of the
lower order of French historians. It is less to history, however, than to
romance, that the French public is indebted for its conceptions of the
character of Gonsalvo de Cordova, as depicted by the gaudy pencil of
Florian, in that highly poetic coloring, which is more attractive to the
majority of readers than the cold and sober delineations of truth.

The contemporary French accounts of the Neapolitan wars of Louis XII. are
extremely meagre, and few in number. The most striking, on the whole, is
D'Auton's chronicle, composed in the true chivalrous vein of old
Froissart, but unfortunately terminating before the close of the first
campaign. St. Gelais and Claude Seyssel touch very lightly on this part of
their subject. History becomes in their hands, moreover, little better
than fulsome panegyric, carried to such a height, indeed, by the latter
writer, as brought on him the most severe strictures from his
contemporaries; so that he was compelled to take up the pen more than once
in his own vindication. The "Memoires de Bayard," Fleurange, and La
Tremouille, so diffuse in most military details, are nearly silent in
regard to those of the Neapolitan war. The truth is, the subject was too
ungrateful in itself, and presented too unbroken a series of calamities
and defeats, to invite the attention of the French historians, who
willingly turned to those brilliant passages in this reign, more soothing
to national vanity.

The blank has been filled up, or rather attempted to be so, by the
assiduity of their later writers. Among these, occasionally consulted by
me, are Varillas, whose "Histoire de Louis XII.," loose as it is, rests on
a somewhat more solid basis than his metaphysical reveries, assuming the
title of "Politique de Ferdinand," already repeatedly noticed; Garnier,
whose perspicuous narrative, if inferior to that of Gaillard in acuteness
and epigrammatic point, makes a much nearer approach to truth; and,
lastly, Sismondi, who, if he may be charged, in his "Histoire des
Francais," with some of the defect incident to indiscreet rapidity of
composition, succeeds by a few brief and animated touches in opening
deeper views into character and conduct than can be got from volumes of
ordinary writers.

The want of authentic materials for a perfect acquaintance with the reign
of Louis XII. is a subject of complaint with French writers themselves.
The memoirs of the period, occupied with the more dazzling military
transactions, make no attempt to instruct us in the interior organization
or policy of the government. One might imagine, that their authors lived a
century before Philippe de Comines, instead of coming after him, so
inferior are they, in all the great properties of historic composition, to
this eminent statesman. The French _savans_ have made slender
contributions to the stock of original documents collected more than two
centuries ago by Godefroy for the illustration of this reign. It can
scarcely be supposed, however, that the labors of this early antiquary
exhausted the department, in which the French are rich beyond all others,
and that those, who work the same mine hereafter, should not find valuable
materials for a broader foundation of this interesting portion of their

It is fortunate that the reserve of the French in regard to their
relations with Italy, at this time, has been abundantly compensated by the
labors of the most eminent contemporary writers of the latter country, as
Bembo, Machiavelli, Giovio, and the philosophic Guicciardini; whose
situation as Italians enabled them to maintain the balance of historic
truth undisturbed, at least by undue partiality for either of the two
great rival powers; whose high public stations introduced them to the
principal characters of the day, and to springs of action hidden from
vulgar eyes; and whose superior science, as well as genius, qualified them
for rising above the humble level of garrulous chronicle and memoir to the
classic dignity of history. It is with regret that we must now strike into
a track unillumined by the labors of these great masters of their art in
modern times.

Since the publication of this History, the Spanish Minister at Washington,
Don Angel Calderon de la Barca, did me the favor to send me a copy of the
biography above noticed as the "Sumario de los Hechos del Gran Capitan."
It is a recent reprint from the ancient edition of 1527, of which the
industrious editor, Don F. Martinez de la Rosa, was able to find but one
copy in Spain. In its new form, it covers about a hundred duodecimo pages.
It has positive value, as a contemporary document, and as such I gladly
avail myself of it. But the greater part is devoted to the early history
of Gonsalvo, over which my limits have compelled me to pass lightly; and,
for the rest, I am happy to find, on the perusal of it, nothing of moment,
which conflicts with the statements drawn from other sources. The able
editor has also combined an interesting notice of its author, Pulgar,
_El de las Hazanas_, one of those heroes whose doughty feats shed the
illusions of knight-errantry over the war of Granada.


[1] He succeeded Garcilasso de la Vega at the court of Rome. Oviedo says,
in reference to the illustrious house of Rojas, "En todas las historias de
Espana no se hallan tantos caballeros de un linage y nombre notados por
valerosos caballeros y valientes milites como deste nombre de Rojas."
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 8.

[2] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 5.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, lib. 6, pp. 319, 320.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 48,
57.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 14, sec. 4, 5.--Daru,
Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. pp. 364, 365.

[3] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 267, 268.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V.,
fol. 22.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 6, pp. 329, 330.--
Machiavelli, Legazione Prima a Roma, let. 36.

[4] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 110.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 189.--Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, fol. 266.
--Zurita, Historia del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 60.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 270.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 84.

[5] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 189.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V.,
fol. 22, 23.--Guicciardini, Istoria, p. 330.--Garnier, Hist. de France,
tom. v. pp. 448, 449.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 110.--
Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 14, sec. 6.--Zurita,
Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 60.--Senarega, apud Muratori, Rerum Ital.
Script., tom. xxiv. p. 579.

[6] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 6, pp. 330, 331.--Garnier, Hist. de
France, tom. v. pp. 449-451.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, ubi supra.--
Varillas, Hist. de Louis XII., tom. i. pp. 416-418.--Ammirato, Istorie
Florentine, tom. iii. lib. 28, p. 273.--Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom.
iii. p. 555.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, pp. 84, 85.--Giovio, Vitae Magni
Gonsalvi, fol. 268.

[8] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 190.--Garnier, Hist. de France,
tom. v. pp. 452, 453.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 23.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, lib. 6, p. 331.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 16.--
Chronica del Gran Capitan, ubi supra.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, pp. 84, 85.--
Ammirato, Istorie Fiorentine, ubi supra.--Varillas, Hist. de Louis XII.,
tom. i. pp. 416-418.

[8] Soon after the rout of the Garigliano, Bembo produced the following
sonnet, which most critics agree was intended, although no name appears in
it, for Gonsalvo de Cordova.

  "Ben devria farvi onor d' eterno esempio
  Napoli vostra, e 'n mezzo al suo bel monte
  Scolpirvi in lieta e ooronata fronte,
  Gir trionfando, e dar i voti al tempio:
  Poi che l' avete all' orgoglioso ed empio
  Stuolo ritolta, e pareggiate l' onte;
  Or ch' avea piu la voglia e le man pronte
  A far d' Italia tutta acerbo scempio.
  Torcestel voi, Signor, dal corso ardito,
  E foste tal, ch' ancora esser vorebbe
  A por di qua dall' Alpe nostra il piede.
  L' onda Tirrena del suo sangue crebbe,
  E di tronchi resto coperto il lito,
  E gli angelli ne fer secure prede."
                         Opere, tom. ii. p. 57.

[9] The Curate of Los Palacios sums up the loss of the French, from the
time of Gonsalvo's occupation of Barleta to the surrender of Gaeta, in the
following manner; 6000 prisoners, 14,000 killed in battle, a still greater
number by exposure and fatigue, besides a considerable body cut off by the
peasantry. To balance this bloody roll, he computes the Spanish loss at
two hundred slain in the field! Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 191.

[10] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 110.--Zurita, Anales, ubi
supra.--Garibay, Compendio, lib. 19, cap. 16.--Quintana, Espanoles
Celebres, tom. i. pp. 296, 97.

Guicciardini, who has been followed in this by the French writers, fixes
the date of the rout at the 28th of December. If, however, it occurred on
Friday, as he, and every authority, indeed, asserts, it must have been on
the 29th, as stated by the Spanish historians. Istoria, lib. 6, p. 330.

[11] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 268.

[12] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 268, 269.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 2, cap. 111.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 270.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 6, p. 331.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5,
cap. 61.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 454, 455.--Sismondi, Hist.
des Francais, tom. xv. cap. 29.

[13] Zurita, Hist. del Rey Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 61.--Garnier,
Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 454, 455.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS.,
cap. 190.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4.

No particular mention was made of the Italian allies in the capitulation.
It so happened that several of the great Angevin lords, who had been taken
in the preceding campaigns of Calabria, were found in arms in the place.
(Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 252, 253, 269.) Gonsalvo, in
consequence of this manifest breach of faith, refusing to regard them as
comprehended in the treaty, sent them all prisoners of state to the
dungeons of Castel Nuovo in Naples. This action has brought on him much
unmerited obloquy with the French writers. Indeed, before the treaty was
signed, if we are to credit the Italian historians, Gonsalvo peremptorily
refused to include the Neapolitan lords within it. Thus much is certain;
that, after having been taken and released, they were now found under the
French banners a second time. It seems not improbable, therefore, that the
French, however naturally desirous they may have been of protection for
their allies, finding themselves unable to enforce it, acquiesced in such
an equivocal silence with respect to them as, without apparently
compromising their own honor, left the whole affair to the discretion of
the Great Captain.

With regard to the sweeping charge made by certain modern French
historians against the Spanish general, of a similar severity to the other
Italians indiscriminately, found in the place, there is not the slightest
foundation for it in any contemporary authority. See Gaillard, Rivalite,
tom. iv. p. 254.--Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. p. 456.--Varillas,
Hist de Louis XII., tom. i. pp. 419, 420.

[14] Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 5, apud Petitot, Collection des Memoires,
tom. xvi.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 190.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, fol. 269, 270.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, cap. 111.

[15] Brantome, who visited the banks of the Garigliano, some fifty years
after this, beheld them in imagination thronged with the shades of the
illustrious dead, whose bones lay buried in its dreary and pestilent
marshes. There is a sombre coloring in the vision of the old chronicler,
not unpoetical. Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 6.

[16] Garnier, Hist. de France, tom. v. pp. 456-458.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, fol. 269, 270.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. i. lib. 6, pp. 332,
337.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., p. 173.

[17] Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 86.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 23.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 190.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum,
ubi supra.--Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. pp. 254-256.

[18] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, fol. 270, 271.--Quintana, Espanoles
Celebres, tom. i. p. 298.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 1.--
Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 359.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos,
MS., cap. 190, 191.

[19] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 271.

[20] "Per servir sempre, vincitrice o vinia."

The Italians began at this early period to feel the pressure of those
woes, which a century and a half later wrung out of Filicaja the beautiful
lament, which has lost something of its touching graces, even under the
hand of Lord Byron.

[21] Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 64.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib.
6, pp. 340, 341.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, ubi supra.--Carta del Gran
Capitan, MS.

[22] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, fol. 270, 271.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 8, cap. 1.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 24.

[23] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 6, p. 338.--Zurita, Hist. del Rey
Hernando, tom. i. lib. 5, cap. 64.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, rey 30, cap.
14.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, pp. 85, 86.

[24] Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 66.

The campaign against Louis XII. had cost the Spanish crown 331
_cuentos_ or millions of maravedies, equivalent to 9,268,000 dollars of
the present time. A moderate charge enough for the conquest of a kingdom;
and made still lighter to the Spaniards by one-fifth of the whole being
drawn from Naples itself. See Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. fol. 359.

[25] The treaty is to be found in Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. no.
26, pp. 51-53.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 64.--Machiavelli,
Legazione Seconda a Francia, let. 9, Feb. 11.

[26] Brantome, Oeuvres, tom. ii. disc. 11.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 5,
apud Petitot, Collection des Memoires, tom. xvi.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p.
85.--Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. pp. 255-260. See also Memoires de
Bayard, chap. 25; the good knight, "sans peur et sans reproche," made one
of this intrepid little band, having joined Louis d'Ars after the
capitulation of Gaeta.

[27] Machiavelli, Arte della Guerra. lib. 2.--Machiavelli considers the
victory over D'Aubigny at Seminara as imputable in a great degree to the
peculiar arms of the Spaniards, who, with their short swords and shields,
gliding in among the deep ranks of the Swiss spearmen, brought them to
close combat, where the former had the whole advantage. Another instance
of the kind occurred at the memorable battle of Ravenna some years later.
Ubi supra.

[28] "Prima," says Livy pithily, speaking of the Gauls in the time of the
Republic, "eorum proelia plus quam virorum, postrema minu quam
foeminarum." Lib. 10, cap. 28.

[29] Two of the most distinguished of these were the Colonnas, Prospero
and Fabrizio, of whom frequent mention has been made in our narrative. The
best commentary on the military reputation of the latter, is the fact,
that he is selected by Machiavelli as the principal interlocutor in his
Dialogues on the Art of War.

[30] See Dubos, Ligue de Cambray, dissert. prelim., p. 60.--This French
writer has shown himself superior to national distinctions, in the liberal
testimony which he bears to the character of these brave troops. See a
similar strain of panegyric from the chivalrous pen of old Brantome,
Oeuvres, tom. i. disc. 27.




Decline of the Queen's Health.--Alarm of the Nation.--Her Testament.--And
Codicil.--Her Resignation and Death.--Her Remains Transported to Granada.
--Isabella's Person.--Her Manners.--Her Character.--Parallel with Queen

The acquisition of an important kingdom in the heart of Europe, and of the
New World beyond the waters, which promised to pour into her lap all the
fabled treasures of the Indies, was rapidly raising Spain to the first
rank of European powers. But, in this noontide of her success, she was to
experience a fatal shock in the loss of that illustrious personage, who
had so long and so gloriously presided over her destinies. We have had
occasion to notice more than once the declining state of the queen's
health during the last few years. Her constitution had been greatly
impaired by incessant personal fatigue and exposure, and by the
unremitting activity of her mind. It had suffered far more severely,
however, from a series of heavy domestic calamities, which had fallen on
her with little intermission since the death of her mother in 1496. The
next year, she followed to the grave the remains of her only son, the heir
and hope of the monarchy, just entering on his prime; and in the
succeeding, was called on to render the same sad offices to the best
beloved of her daughters, the amiable queen of Portugal.

The severe illness occasioned by this last blow terminated in a dejection
of spirits, from which she never entirely recovered. Her surviving
children were removed far from her into distant lands; with the occasional
exception, indeed, of Joanna, who caused a still deeper pang to her
mother's affectionate heart, by exhibiting infirmities which justified the
most melancholy presages for the future.

Far from abandoning herself to weak and useless repining, however,
Isabella sought consolation, where it was best to be found, in the
exercises of piety, and in the earnest discharge of the duties attached to
her exalted station. Accordingly, we find her attentive as ever to the
minutest interests of her subjects; supporting her great minister Ximenes
in his schemes of reform, quickening the zeal for discovery in the west,
and, at the close of the year 1503, on the alarm of the French invasion,
rousing her dying energies, to kindle a spirit of resistance in her
people. These strong mental exertions, however, only accelerated the decay
of her bodily strength, which was gradually sinking under that sickness of
the heart, which admits of no cure, and scarcely of consolation.

In the beginning of that very year she had declined so visibly, that the
cortes of Castile, much alarmed, petitioned her to provide for the
government of the kingdom after her decease, in case of the absence or
incapacity of Joanna. [1] She seems to have rallied in some measure after
this, but it was only to relapse into a state of greater debility, as her
spirits sunk under the conviction, which now forced itself on her, of her
daughter's settled insanity.

Early in the spring of the following year, that unfortunate lady embarked
for Flanders, where, soon after her arrival, the inconstancy of her
husband, and her own ungovernable sensibilities, occasioned the most
scandalous scenes. Philip became openly enamoured of one of the ladies of
her suite, and his injured wife, in a paroxysm of jealousy, personally
assaulted her fair rival in the palace, and caused the beautiful locks,
which had excited the admiration of her fickle husband, to be shorn from
her head. This outrage so affected Philip, that he vented his indignation
against Joanna in the coarsest and most unmanly terms, and finally refused
to have any further intercourse with her. [2]

The account of this disgraceful scene reached Castile in the month of
June. It occasioned the deepest chagrin and mortification to the unhappy
parents. Ferdinand soon after fell ill of a fever, and the queen was
seized with the same disorder, accompanied by more alarming symptoms. Her
illness was exasperated by anxiety for her husband, and she refused to
credit the favorable reports of his physicians while he was detained from
her presence. His vigorous constitution, however, threw off the malady,
while hers gradually failed under it. Her tender heart was more keenly
sensible than his to the unhappy condition of their child, and to the
gloomy prospects which awaited her beloved Castile. [3]

Her faithful follower, Martyr, was with the court at this time in Medina
del Campo. In a letter to the count of Tendilla, dated October 7th, he
states that the most serious apprehensions were entertained by the
physicians for the queen's fate. "Her whole system," he says, "is pervaded
by a consuming fever. She loathes food of every kind, and is tormented
with incessant thirst, while the disorder has all the appearance of
terminating in a dropsy." [4]

In the mean while, Isabella lost nothing of her solicitude for the welfare
of her people, and the great concerns of government. While reclining, as
she was obliged to do a great part of the day, on her couch, she listened
to the recital or reading of whatever occurred of interest, at home or
abroad. She gave audience to distinguished foreigners, especially such
Italians as could acquaint her with particulars of the late war, and,
above all, in regard to Gonsalvo de Cordova, in whose fortunes she had
always taken the liveliest concern. [5] She received with pleasure, too,
such intelligent travellers, as her renown had attracted to the Castilian
court. She drew forth their stores of various information, and dismissed
them, says a writer of the age, penetrated with the deepest admiration of
that masculine strength of mind, which sustained her so nobly under the
weight of a mortal malady. [6]

This malady was now rapidly gaining ground. On the 15th of October we have
another epistle of Martyr, of the following melancholy tenor. "You ask me
respecting the state of the queen's health. We sit sorrowful in the palace
all day long, tremblingly waiting the hour, when religion and virtue shall
quit the earth with her. Let us pray that we may be permitted to follow
hereafter where she is soon to go. She so far transcends all human
excellence, that there is scarcely anything of mortality about her. She
can hardly be said to die, but to pass into a nobler existence, which
should rather excite our envy than our sorrow. She leaves the world filled
with her renown, and she goes to enjoy life eternal with her God in
heaven. I write this," he concludes, "between hope and fear, while the
breath is still fluttering within her." [7]

The deepest gloom now overspread the nation. Even Isabella's long illness
had failed to prepare the minds of her faithful people for the sad
catastrophe. They recalled several ominous circumstances which had before
escaped their attention. In the preceding spring, an earthquake,
accompanied by a tremendous hurricane, such as the oldest men did not
remember, had visited Andalusia, and especially Carmona, a place belonging
to the queen, and occasioned frightful desolation there. The superstitious
Spaniards now read in these portents the prophetic signs, by which Heaven
announces some great calamity. Prayers were put up in every temple;
processions and pilgrimages made in every part of the country for the
recovery of their beloved sovereign,--but in vain. [8]

Isabella, in the mean time, was deluded with no false hopes. She felt too
surely the decay of her bodily strength, and she resolved to perform what
temporal duties yet remained for her, while her faculties were still

On the 12th of October she executed that celebrated testament, which
reflects so clearly the peculiar qualities of her mind and character. She
begins with prescribing the arrangements for her burial. She orders her
remains to be transported to Granada, to the Franciscan monastery of Santa
Isabella in the Alhambra, and there deposited in a low and humble
sepulchre, without other memorial than a plain inscription on it. "But,"
she continues, "should the king, my lord, prefer a sepulchre in some other
place, then my will is that my body be there transported, and laid by his
side; that the union we have enjoyed in this world, and, through the mercy
of God, may hope again for our souls in heaven, may be represented by our
bodies in the earth." Then, desirous of correcting by her example, in this
last act of her life, the wasteful pomp of funeral obsequies to which the
Castilians were addicted, she commands that her own should be performed in
the plainest and most unostentatious manner, and that the sum saved by
this economy should be distributed in alms among the poor.

She next provides for several charities, assigning, among others, marriage
portions for poor maidens, and a considerable sum for the redemption of
Christian captives in Barbary. She enjoins the punctual discharge of all
her personal debts within a year; she retrenches superfluous offices in
the royal household, and revokes all such grants, whether in the forms of
lands or annuities, as she conceives to have been made without sufficient
warrant. She inculcates on her successors the importance of maintaining
the integrity of the royal domains, and, above all, of never divesting
themselves of their title to the important fortress of Gibraltar.

After this, she comes to the succession of the crown, which she settles on
the infanta Joanna, as "queen proprietor," and the archduke Philip as her
husband. She gives them much good counsel respecting their future
administration; enjoining them, as they would secure the love and
obedience of their subjects, to conform in all respects to the laws and
usages of the realm, to appoint no foreigner to office,-an error, into
which Philip's connections, she saw, would be very likely to betray them,
--and to make no laws or ordinances, "which necessarily require the
consent of cortes," during their absence from the kingdom. [9] She
recommends to them the same conjugal harmony which had ever subsisted
between her and her husband; she beseeches them to show the latter all
the deference and filial affection "due to him beyond every other parent,
for his eminent virtues;" and finally inculcates on them the most tender
regard for the liberties and welfare of their subjects.

She next comes to the great question proposed by the cortes of 1503,
respecting the government of the realm in the absence or incapacity of
Joanna. She declares that, after mature deliberation, and with the advice
of many of the prelates and nobles of the kingdom, she appoints King
Ferdinand her husband to be the sole regent of Castile, in that exigency,
until the majority of her grandson Charles; being led to this, she adds,
"by the consideration of the magnanimity and illustrious qualities of the
king, my lord, as well as his large experience, and the great profit which
will redound to the state from his wise and beneficent rule." She
expresses her sincere conviction that his past conduct affords a
sufficient guarantee for his faithful administration, but, in compliance
with established usage, requires the customary oath from him on entering
on the duties of the office.

She then makes a specific provision for her husband's personal
maintenance, which, "although less than she could wish, and far less than
he deserves, considering the eminent services he had rendered the state,"
she settles at one-half of all the net proceeds and profits accruing from
the newly discovered countries in the west; together with ten million
maravedies annually, assigned on the _alcavalas_ of the grand-masterships
of the military orders.

After some additional regulations, respecting the descent of the crown on
failure of Joanna's lineal heirs, she recommends in the kindest and most
emphatic terms to her successors the various members of her household, and
her personal friends, among whom we find the names of the marquis and
marchioness of Moya, (Beatrice de Bobadilla, the companion of her youth,)
and Garcilasso de la Vega, the accomplished minister at the papal court.

And, lastly, concluding in the same beautiful strain of conjugal
tenderness in which she began, she says, "I beseech the king my lord, that
he will accept all my jewels, or such as he shall select, so that, seeing
them, he may be reminded of the singular love I always bore him while
living, and that I am now waiting for him in a better world; by which
remembrance he may be encouraged to live the more justly and holily in

Six executors were named to the will. The two principal were the king and
the primate Ximenes, who had full powers to act in conjunction with any
one of the others. [10]

 I have dwelt the more minutely on the details of Isabella's testament,
from the evidence it affords of her constancy in her dying hour to the
principles which had governed her through life; of her expansive and
sagacious policy; her prophetic insight into the evils to result from her
death,--evils, alas! which no forecast could avert; her scrupulous
attention to all her personal obligations; and that warm attachment to her
friends, which could never falter while a pulse beat in her bosom.

After performing this duty, she daily grew weaker, the powers of her mind
seeming to brighten as those of her body declined. The concerns of her
government still occupied her thoughts; and several public measures, which
she had postponed through urgency of other business, or growing
infirmities, pressed so heavily on her heart, that she made them the
subject of a codicil to her former will. It was executed November 23d,
only three days before her death.

Three of the provisions contained in it are too remarkable to pass
unnoticed. The first concerns the codification of the laws. For this
purpose, the queen appoints a commission to make a new digest of the
statutes and _pragmaticas_, the contradictory tenor of which still
occasioned much embarrassment in Castilian jurisprudence. This was a
subject she always had much at heart; but no nearer approach had been made
to it, than the valuable, though insufficient work of Montalvo, in the
early part of her reign; and, notwithstanding her precautions, none more
effectual was destined to take place till the reign of Philip the Second.

The second item had reference to the natives of the New World. Gross
abuses had arisen there since the partial revival of the _repartimientos_,
although Las Casas says, "intelligence of this was carefully kept from the
ears of the queen." [12] Some vague apprehension of the truth, however,
appears to have forced itself on her; and she enjoins her successors, in
the most earnest manner, to quicken the good work of converting and
civilizing the poor Indians, to treat them with the greatest gentleness,
and redress any wrongs they may have suffered in their persons or

Lastly, she expresses her doubts as to the legality of the revenue drawn
from the _alcavalas_, constituting the principal income of the crown.
She directs a commission to ascertain whether it were originally intended
to be perpetual, and if this were done with the free consent of the
people; enjoining her heirs, in that event, to collect the tax so that it
should press least heavily on her subjects. Should it be found otherwise,
however, she directs that the legislature be summoned to devise proper
measures for supplying the wants of the crown,--"measures depending for
their validity on the good pleasure of the subjects of the realm." [13]

Such were the dying words of this admirable woman; displaying the same
respect for the rights and liberties of the nation, which she had shown
through life, and striving to secure the blessings of her benign
administration to the most distant and barbarous regions under her sway.
These two documents were a precious legacy bequeathed to her people, to
guide them when the light of her personal example should be withdrawn for

The queen's signature to the codicil, which still exists among the
manuscripts of the royal library at Madrid, shows, by its irregular and
scarcely legible characters, the feeble state to which she was then
reduced. [14] She had now adjusted all her worldly concerns, and she
prepared to devote herself, during the brief space which remained, to
those of a higher nature. It was but the last act of a life of
preparation. She had the misfortune, common to persons of her rank, to be
separated in her last moments from those whose filial tenderness might
have done so much to soften the bitterness of death. But she had the good
fortune, most rare, to have secured for this trying hour the solace of
disinterested friendship; for she beheld around her the friends of her
childhood, formed and proved in the dark season of adversity.

As she saw them bathed in tears around her bed, she calmly said, "Do not
weep for me, nor waste your time in fruitless prayers for my recovery, but
pray rather for the salvation of my soul." [15] On receiving the extreme
unction, she refused to have her feet exposed, as was usual on that
occasion; a circumstance, which, occurring at a time when there can be no
suspicion of affectation, is often noticed by Spanish writers, as a proof
of that sensitive delicacy and decorum, which distinguished her through
life. [16] At length, having received the sacraments, and performed all
the offices of a sincere and devout Christian, she gently expired a little
before noon, on Wednesday, November 26th, 1504, in the fifty-fourth year
of her age, and thirtieth of her reign. [17]

"My hand," says Peter Martyr, in a letter written on the same day to the
archbishop of Granada, "falls powerless by my side, for very sorrow. The
world has lost its noblest ornament; a loss to be deplored not only by
Spain, which she has so long carried forward in the career of glory, but
by every nation in Christendom; for she was the mirror of every virtue,
the shield of the innocent, and an avenging sword to the wicked. I know
none of her sex, in ancient or modern times, who in my judgment is at all
worthy to be named with this incomparable woman." [18]

No time was lost in making preparations for transporting the queen's body
unembalmed to Granada, in strict conformity to her orders. It was escorted
by a numerous _cortege_ of cavaliers and ecclesiastics, among whom
was the faithful Martyr. The procession began its mournful march the day
following her death, taking the route through Arevalo, Toledo, and Jaen.
Scarcely had it left Medina del Campo, when a tremendous tempest set in,
which continued with little interruption during the whole journey. The
roads were rendered nearly impassable; the bridges swept away, the small
streams swollen to the size of the Tagus, and the level country buried
under a deluge of water. Neither sun nor stars were seen during their
whole progress. The horses and mules were borne down by the torrents, and
the riders in several instances perished with them. "Never," exclaims
Martyr, "did I encounter such perils, in the whole of my hazardous
pilgrimage to Egypt." [19]

At length, on the 18th of December, the melancholy and way-worn cavalcade
reached the place of its destination; and, amidst the wild strife of the
elements, the peaceful remains of Isabella were laid, with simple
solemnities, in the Franciscan monastery of the Alhambra. Here, under the
shadow of those venerable Moslem towers, and in the heart of the capital
which her noble constancy had recovered for her country, they continued to
repose till after the death of Ferdinand, when they were removed to be
laid by his side, in the stately mausoleum of the cathedral church of
Granada. [20]

I shall defer the review of Queen Isabella's administration, until it can
be done in conjunction with that of Ferdinand; and shall confine myself at
present to such considerations on the prominent traits of her character,
as have been suggested by the preceding history of her life.

Her person, as mentioned in the early part of the narrative, was of the
middle height, and well proportioned. She had a clear, fresh complexion,
with light blue eyes and auburn hair,--a style of beauty exceedingly rare
in Spain. Her features were regular, and universally allowed to be
uncommonly handsome. [21] The illusion which attaches to rank, more
especially when united with engaging manners, might lead us to suspect
some exaggeration in the encomiums so liberally lavished on her. But they
would seem to be in a great measure justified by the portraits that remain
of her, which combine a faultless symmetry of features with singular
sweetness and intelligence of expression.

Her manners were most gracious and pleasing. They were marked by natural
dignity and modest reserve, tempered by an affability which flowed from
the kindliness of her disposition. She was the last person to be
approached with undue familiarity; yet the respect which she imposed was
mingled with the strongest feelings of devotion and love. She showed great
tact in accommodating herself to the peculiar situation and character of
those around her. She appeared in arms at the head of her troops, and
shrunk from none of the hardships of war. During the reforms introduced
into the religious houses, she visited the nunneries in person, taking her
needle-work with her, and passing the day in the society of the inmates.
When travelling in Galicia, she attired herself in the costume of the
country, borrowing for that purpose the jewels and other ornaments of the
ladies there, and returning them with liberal additions. [22] By this
condescending and captivating deportment, as well as by her higher
qualities, she gained an ascendency over her turbulent subjects, which no
king of Spain could ever boast.

She spoke the Castilian with much elegance and correctness. She had an
easy fluency of discourse, which, though generally of a serious
complexion, was occasionally seasoned with agreeable sallies, some of
which have passed into proverbs. [23] She was temperate even to
abstemiousness in her diet, seldom or never tasting wine; [24] and so
frugal in her table, that the daily expenses for herself and family did
not exceed the moderate sum of forty ducats. [25] She was equally simple
and economical in her apparel. On all public occasions, indeed, she
displayed a royal magnificence; [26] but she had no relish for it in
private, and she freely gave away her clothes [27] and jewels, [28] as
presents to her friends. Naturally of a sedate, though cheerful temper,
[29] she had little taste for the frivolous amusements which make up so
much of a court life; and, if she encouraged the presence of minstrels and
musicians in her palace, it was to wean her young nobility from the
coarser and less intellectual pleasures to which they were addicted. [30]

Among her moral qualities, the most conspicuous, perhaps, was her
magnanimity. She betrayed nothing little or selfish, in thought or action.
Her schemes were vast, and executed in the same noble spirit in which they
were conceived. She never employed doubtful agents or sinister measures,
but the most direct and open policy. [31.] She scorned to avail herself of
advantages offered by the perfidy of others. [32] Where she had once given
her confidence, she gave her hearty and steady support; and she was
scrupulous to redeem any pledge she had made to those who ventured in her
cause, however unpopular. She sustained Ximenes in all his obnoxious but
salutary reforms. She seconded Columbus in the prosecution of his arduous
enterprise, and shielded him from the calumny of his enemies. She did the
same good service to her favorite, Gonsalvo de Cordova; and the day of her
death was felt, and, as it proved, truly felt by both, as the last of
their good fortune. [33] Artifice and duplicity were so abhorrent to her
character, and so averse from her domestic policy, that when they appear
in the foreign relations of Spain, it is certainly not imputable to her.
She was incapable of harboring any petty distrust, or latent malice; and,
although stern in the execution and exaction of public justice, she made
the most generous allowance, and even sometimes advances, to those who had
personally injured her. [34]

But the principle, which gave a peculiar coloring to every feature of
Isabella's mind, was piety. It shone forth from the very depths of her
soul with a heavenly radiance, which illuminated her whole character.
Fortunately, her earliest years had been passed in the rugged school of
adversity, under the eye of a mother who implanted in her serious mind
such strong principles of religion as nothing in after life had power to
shake. At an early age, in the flower of youth and beauty, she was
introduced to her brother's court; but its blandishments, so dazzling to a
young imagination, had no power over hers; for she was surrounded by a
moral atmosphere of purity,

  "Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt." [35]

Such was the decorum of her manners, that, though encompassed by false
friends and open enemies, not the slightest reproach was breathed on her
fair name in this corrupt and calumnious court.

She gave a liberal portion of her time to private devotions, as well as to
the public exercises of religion. [36] She expended large sums in useful
charities, especially in the erection of hospitals and churches, and the
more doubtful endowments of monasteries. [37] Her piety was strikingly
exhibited in that unfeigned humility, which, although the very essence of
our faith, is so rarely found; and most rarely in those whose great powers
and exalted stations seem to raise them above the level of ordinary
mortals. A remarkable illustration of this is afforded in the queen's
correspondence with Talavera, in which her meek and docile spirit is
strikingly contrasted with the puritanical intolerance of her confessor.
[38] Yet Talavera, as we have seen, was sincere, and benevolent at heart.
Unfortunately, the royal conscience was at times committed to very
different keeping; and that humility which, as we have repeatedly had
occasion to notice, made her defer so reverentially to her ghostly
advisers, led, under the fanatic Torquemada, the confessor of her early
youth, to those deep blemishes on her administration, the establishment of
the Inquisition, and the exile of the Jews.

But, though blemishes of the deepest dye on her administration, they are
certainly not to be regarded as such on her moral character. It will be
difficult to condemn her, indeed, without condemning the age; for these
very acts are not only excused, but extolled by her contemporaries, as
constituting her strongest claims to renown, and to the gratitude of her
country. [39] They proceeded from the principle, openly avowed by the
court of Rome, that zeal for the purity of the faith could atone for every
crime. This immoral maxim, flowing from the head of the church, was echoed
in a thousand different forms by the subordinate clergy, and greedily
received by a superstitious people. [40] It was not to be expected, that a
solitary woman, filled with natural diffidence of her own capacity on such
subjects, should array herself against those venerated counsellors, whom
she had been taught from her cradle to look to as the guides and guardians
of her conscience.

However mischievous the operations of the Inquisition may have been in
Spain, its establishment, in point of principle, was not worse than many
other measures, which have passed with far less censure, though in a much
more advanced and civilized age. [41] Where, indeed, during the sixteenth,
and the greater part of the seventeenth century, was the principle of
persecution abandoned by the dominant party, whether Catholic or
Protestant? And where that of toleration asserted, except by the weaker?
It is true, to borrow Isabella's own expression, in her letter to
Talavera, the prevalence of a bad custom cannot constitute its apology.
But it should serve much to mitigate our condemnation of the queen, that
she fell into no greater error, in the imperfect light in which she lived,
than was common to the greatest minds in a later and far riper period.

Isabella's actions, indeed, were habitually based on principle. Whatever
errors of judgment be imputed to her, she most anxiously sought in all
situations to discern and discharge her duty. Faithful in the dispensation
of justice, no bribe was large enough to ward off the execution of the
law. [43] No motive, not even conjugal affection, could induce her to make
an unsuitable appointment to public office. [44] No reverence for the
ministers of religion could lead her to wink at their misconduct; [45] nor
could the deference she entertained for the head of the church, allow her
to tolerate his encroachments on the rights of her crown. [46] She seemed
to consider herself especially bound to preserve entire the peculiar
claims and privileges of Castile, after its union under the same sovereign
with Aragon. [47] And although, "while her own will was law," says Peter
Martyr, "she governed in such a manner that it might appear the joint
action of both Ferdinand and herself," yet she was careful never to
surrender into his hands one of those prerogatives which belonged to her
as queen proprietor of the kingdom. [48]

Isabella's measures were characterized by that practical good sense,
without which the most brilliant parts may work more to the woe than to
the weal of mankind. Though engaged all her life in reforms, she had none
of the failings so common in reformers. Her plans, though vast, were never
visionary. The best proof of this is, that she lived to see most of them

She was quick to discern objects of real utility. She saw the importance
of the new discovery of printing, and liberally patronized it from the
first moment it appeared. [49] She had none of the exclusive, local
prejudices, too common with her countrymen. She drew talent from the most
remote quarters to her dominions, by munificent rewards. She imported
foreign artisans for her manufactures; foreign engineers and officers for
the discipline of her army; and foreign scholars to imbue her martial
subjects with more cultivated tastes. She consulted the useful in all her
subordinate regulations; in her sumptuary laws, for instance, directed
against the fashionable extravagances of dress, and the ruinous
ostentation, so much affected by the Castilians in their weddings and
funerals. [50] Lastly, she showed the same perspicacity in the selection
of her agents; well knowing that the best measures become bad in
incompetent hands.

But, although the skilful selection of her agents was an obvious cause of
Isabella's success, yet another, even more important, is to be found in
her own vigilance and untiring exertions. During the first busy and
bustling years of her reign, these exertions were of incredible magnitude.
She was almost always in the saddle, for she made all her journeys on
horseback; and she travelled with a rapidity, which made her always
present on the spot where her presence was needed. She was never
intimidated by the weather, or the state of her own health; and this
reckless exposure undoubtedly contributed much to impair her excellent
constitution. [51]

She was equally indefatigable in her mental application. After assiduous
attention to business through the day, she was often known to sit up all
night, dictating despatches to her secretaries. [52] In the midst of these
overwhelming cares, she found time to supply the defects of her early
education by learning Latin, so as to understand it without difficulty,
whether written or spoken; and indeed, in the opinion of a competent
judge, to attain a critical accuracy in it. [53] As she had little turn
for light amusements, she sought relief from graver cares by some useful
occupation appropriate to her sex; and she left ample evidence of her
skill in this way, in the rich specimens of embroidery, wrought with her
own fair hands, with which she decorated the churches. She was careful to
instruct her daughters in these more humble departments of domestic duty;
for she thought nothing too humble to learn, which was useful. [54]

With all her high qualifications, Isabella would have been still unequal
to the achievement of her grand designs, without possessing a degree of
fortitude rare in either sex; not the courage, which implies contempt of
personal danger,--though of this she had a larger share than falls to most
men; [55] nor that which supports its possessor under the extremities of
bodily pain,--though of this she gave ample evidence, since she endured
the greatest suffering her sex is called to bear, without a groan; [56]
but that moral courage, which sustains the spirit in the dark hour of
adversity, and, gathering light from within to dispel the darkness,
imparts its own cheering influence to all around. This was shown
remarkably in the stormy season which ushered in her accession, as well as
through the whole of the Moorish war. It was her voice that decided never
to abandon Alhama. [57] Her remonstrances compelled the king and nobles to
return to the field, when they had quitted it, after an ineffectual
campaign. As dangers and difficulties multiplied, she multiplied resources
to meet them; and, when her soldiers lay drooping under the evils of some
protracted siege, she appeared in the midst, mounted on her war-horse,
with her delicate limbs cased in knightly mail; [58] and, riding through
their ranks, breathed new courage into their hearts by her own intrepid
bearing. To her personal efforts, indeed, as well as counsels, the success
of this glorious war may be mainly imputed; and the unsuspicious testimony
of the Venetian minister, Navagiero, a few years later, shows that the
nation so considered it. "Queen Isabel," says he, "by her singular genius,
masculine strength of mind, and other virtues most unusual in our own sex,
as well as hers, was not merely of great assistance in, but the chief
cause of the conquest of Granada. She was, indeed, a most rare and
virtuous lady, one of whom the Spaniards talk far more than of the king,
sagacious as he was, and uncommon for his time." [59]

Happily, these masculine qualities in Isabella did not extinguish the
softer ones which constitute the charm of her sex. Her heart overflowed
with affectionate sensibility to her family and friends. She watched over
the declining days of her aged mother, and ministered to her sad
infirmities with all the delicacy of filial tenderness. [60] We have seen
abundant proofs how fondly and faithfully she loved her husband to the
last, [61] though this love was not always as faithfully requited. [62]
For her children she lived more than for herself; and for them too she
died, for it was their loss and their afflictions which froze the current
of her blood, before age had time to chill it. Her exalted state did not
remove her above the sympathies of friendship. [63.] With her friends she
forgot the usual distinctions of rank, sharing in their joys, visiting and
consoling them in sorrow and sickness, and condescending in more than one
instance to assume the office of executrix on their decease. [64] Her
heart, indeed, was filled with benevolence to all mankind. In the most
fiery heat of war, she was engaged in devising means for mitigating its
horrors. She is said to have been the first to introduce the benevolent
institution of camp hospitals; and we have seen, more than once, her
lively solicitude to spare the effusion of blood even of her enemies. But
it is needless to multiply examples of this beautiful, but familiar trait
in her character. [65]

It is in these more amiable qualities of her sex, that Isabella's
superiority becomes most apparent over her illustrious namesake, Elizabeth
of England, [66] whose history presents some features parallel to her own.
Both were disciplined in early life by the teachings of that stern nurse
of wisdom, adversity. Both were made to experience the deepest humiliation
at the hands of their nearest relative, who should have cherished and
protected them. Both succeeded in establishing themselves on the throne
after the most precarious vicissitudes. Each conducted her kingdom,
through a long and triumphant reign, to a height of glory, which it had
never before reached. Both lived to see the vanity of all earthly
grandeur, and to fall the victims of an inconsolable melancholy; and both
left behind an illustrious name, unrivalled in the subsequent annals of
their country.

But, with these few circumstances of their history, the resemblance
ceases. Their characters afford scarcely a point of contact. Elizabeth,
inheriting a large share of the bold and bluff King Harry's temperament,
was haughty, arrogant, coarse, and irascible; while with these fiercer
qualities she mingled deep dissimulation and strange irresolution.
Isabella, on the other hand, tempered the dignity of royal station with
the most bland and courteous manners. Once resolved, she was constant in
her purposes, and her conduct in public and private life was characterized
by candor and integrity. Both may be said to have shown that magnanimity
which is implied by the accomplishment of great objects in the face of
great obstacles. But Elizabeth was desperately selfish; she was incapable
of forgiving, not merely a real injury, but the slightest affront to her
vanity; and she was merciless in exacting retribution. Isabella, on the
other hand, lived only for others,--was ready at all times to sacrifice
self to considerations of public duty; and, far from personal resentments,
showed the greatest condescension and kindness to those who had most
sensibly injured her; while her benevolent heart sought every means to
mitigate the authorized severities of the law, even towards the guilty.

Both possessed rare fortitude. Isabella, indeed, was placed in situations,
which demanded more frequent and higher displays of it than her rival; but
no one will doubt a full measure of this quality in the daughter of Henry
the Eighth. Elizabeth was better educated, and every way more highly
accomplished than Isabella. But the latter knew enough to maintain her
station with dignity; and she encouraged learning by a munificent
patronage. [68] The masculine powers and passions of Elizabeth seemed to
divorce her in a great measure from the peculiar attributes of her sex; at
least from those which constitute its peculiar charm; for she had
abundance of its foibles,--a coquetry and love of admiration, which age
could not chill; a levity, most careless, if not criminal; [69] and a
fondness for dress and tawdry magnificence of ornament, which was
ridiculous, or disgusting, according to the different periods of life in
which it was indulged. [70] Isabella, on the other hand, distinguished
through life for decorum of manners, and purity beyond the breath of
calumny, was content with the legitimate affection which she could inspire
within the range of her domestic circle. Far from a frivolous affectation
of ornament or dress, she was most simple in her own attire, and seemed to
set no value on her jewels, but as they could serve the necessities of the
state; [71] when they could be no longer useful in this way, she gave them
away, as we have seen, to her friends.

Both were uncommonly sagacious in the selection of their ministers; though
Elizabeth was drawn into some errors in this particular, by her levity,
[72] as was Isabella by religious feeling. It was this, combined with her
excessive humility, which led to the only grave errors in the
administration of the latter. Her rival fell into no such errors; and she
was a stranger to the amiable qualities which led to them. Her conduct was
certainly not controlled by religious principle; and, though the bulwark
of the Protestant faith, it might be difficult to say whether she were at
heart most a Protestant or a Catholic. She viewed religion in its
connection with the state, in other words, with herself; and she took
measures for enforcing conformity to her own views, not a whit less
despotic, and scarcely less sanguinary, than those countenanced for
conscience' sake by her more bigoted rival. [73]

This feature of bigotry, which has thrown a shade over Isabella's
otherwise beautiful character, might lead to a disparagement of her
intellectual power compared with that of the English queen. To estimate
this aright, we must contemplate the results of their respective reigns.
Elizabeth found all the materials of prosperity at hand, and availed
herself of them most ably to build up a solid fabric of national grandeur.
Isabella created these materials. She saw the faculties of her people
locked up in a deathlike lethargy, and she breathed into them the breath
of life for those great and heroic enterprises, which terminated in such
glorious consequences to the monarchy. It is when viewed from the
depressed position of her early days, that the achievements of her reign
seem scarcely less than miraculous. The masculine genius of the English
queen stands out relieved beyond its natural dimensions by its separation
from the softer qualities of her sex. While her rival's, like some vast
but symmetrical edifice, loses in appearance somewhat of its actual
grandeur from the perfect harmony of its proportions.

The circumstances of their deaths, which were somewhat similar, displayed
the great dissimilarity of their characters. Both pined amidst their royal
state, a prey to incurable despondency, rather than any marked bodily
distemper. In Elizabeth it sprung from wounded vanity, a sullen conviction
that she had outlived the admiration on which she had so long fed,--and
even the solace of friendship, and the attachment of her subjects. Nor did
she seek consolation, where alone it was to be found, in that sad hour.
Isabella, on the other hand, sunk under a too acute sensibility to the
sufferings of others. But, amidst the gloom which gathered around her, she
looked with the eye of faith to the brighter prospects which unfolded of
the future; and, when she resigned her last breath, it was amidst the
tears and universal lamentations of her people.

It is in this undying, unabated attachment of the nation, indeed, that we
see the most unequivocal testimony to the virtues of Isabella. In the
downward progress of things in Spain, some of the most ill-advised
measures of her administration have found favor and been perpetuated,
while the more salutary have been forgotten. This may lead to a
misconception of her real merits. In order to estimate these, we must
listen to the voice of her contemporaries, the eye-witnesses of the
condition in which she found the state, and in which she left it. We shall
then see but one judgment formed of her, whether by foreigners or natives.
The French and Italian writers equally join in celebrating the triumphant
glories of her reign, and her magnanimity, wisdom, and purity of
character. [74] Her own subjects extol her as "the most brilliant exemplar
of every virtue," and mourn over the day of her death as "the last of the
prosperity and happiness of their country." [75] While those who had
nearer access to her person are unbounded in their admiration of those
amiable qualities, whose full power is revealed only in the unrestrained
intimacies of domestic life. [76] The judgment of posterity has ratified
the sentence of her own age. The most enlightened Spaniards of the present
day, by no means insensible to the errors of her government, but more
capable of appreciating its merits than those of a less instructed age,
bear honorable testimony to her deserts; and, while they pass over the
bloated magnificence of succeeding monarchs, who arrest the popular eye,
dwell with enthusiasm on Isabella's character, as the most truly great in
their line of princes. [77]


[1] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 11.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 84.

[2] Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 16.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 271, 272.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 46.--Carbajal,
Anales, MS., ano 1504.

[3] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 46, 47.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 273.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1504.

[4] Opus Epist., epist. 274.

[5] A short time before her death, she received a visit from the
distinguished officer, Prospero Colonna. The Italian noble, on being
presented to King Ferdinand, told him, that "he had come to Castile to
behold the woman, who from her sick bed ruled the world;" "ver una senora
que desde la cama mandava al mundo." Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 8.--Carta de Gonzalo, MS.

[6] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 47.

Among the foreigners introduced to the queen at this time, was a
celebrated Venetian traveller, named Vianelli, who presented her with a
cross of pure gold set with precious stones, among which was a carbuncle
of inestimable value. The liberal Italian met with rather an uncourtly
rebuke from Ximenes, who told him, on leaving the presence, that "he had
rather have the money his diamonds cost, to spend in the service of the
church, than all the gems of the Indies." Ibid.

[7] Opus Epist., epist. 276.

[8] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 200, 201.--Carbajal, Anales,
MS., ano 1504.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 16.--Zuniga,
Annales de Sevilla, pp. 423, 424.

[9] "Ni fagan fnera de los dichos mis Reynos e Senorios, Leyes e
Prematicas, ni las otras cosas que en Cortes se deven hazer segand las
Leyes de ellos;" (Testamento, apud Dormer, Discursos Varios, p. 343;) an
honorable testimony to the legislative rights of the cortes, which
contrasts strongly with the despotic assumption of preceding and
succeeding princes.

[10] I have before me three copies of Isabella's testament; one in MS.,
apud Carbajal, Anales, ano 1504; a second printed in the beautiful
Valencia edition of Mariana, tom. ix. apend. no. 1; and a third published
in Dormer's Discursos Varios de Historia, pp. 314-388. I am not aware that
it has been printed elsewhere.

[11] The "Ordenanjas Reales de Castilla," published in 1484, and the
"Pragmaticas del Reyno," first printed in 1503, comprehend the general
legislation of this reign; a particular account of which the reader may
find in Part I. Chapter 6, and Part II. Chapter 26, of this History.

[12] Las Casas, who will not be suspected of sycophancy, remarks, in his
narrative of the destruction of the Indies, "Les plus grandes horreurs de
ces guerres et de cette boucherie commencerent aussitot qu'on sut en
Amerique que la reine Isabelle venait de mourir; car jusqu'alors il ne
s'etait pas commis autant de crimes dans l'ile Espagnole, et l'on avait
meme eu soin de les cacher a cette princesse, parce qu'elle ne cessait de
recommander de traiter les Indiens avec douceur, et de ne rien negliger
pour les rendre heureux: _j'ai vu, ainsi que beaucoup d'Espagnols, les
lettres qu'elle ecrivait a ce sujet, et les ordres qu'elle envoyait; ce
qui prouve que cette admirable reine aurait mis fin a tant de cruautes, si
elle avait pu les connaitre_." Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 21.

[13] The original codicil is still preserved among the manuscripts of the
Royal Library at Madrid. It is appended to the queen's testament in the
works before noticed.

[14] Clemencin has given a fac-simile of this last signature of the queen,
in the Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 21.

[15] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii.
lib. 19, cap. 16.

[16] Arevalo, Historia Palentina, MS., apud Mem. de la Acad. de Hist.,
tom. vi. p. 572.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187.--Garibay,
Compendio, ubi supra.

[17] Isabella was born April 22d, 1451, and ascended the throne December
12th, 1474.

[18] Opus Epist., epist. 279.

[19] Opus Epist., epist. 280.--The text does not exaggerate the language
of the epistle.

[20] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 201.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1504.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 16.--Zurita, tom. v.
lib. 5, cap. 84.--Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 23.

[21] The Curate of Los Palacios remarks of her, "Fue muger hermosa, de muy
gentil cuerpo, e gesto, e composicion." (Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 201.)
Pulgar, another contemporary, eulogizes "el mirar muy gracioso, y honesto,
las facciones del rostro bien puestas, la cara toda muy hermosa." (Reyes
Catolicos, part. 1, cap. 4.) L. Marineo says, "Todo lo que avia en el rey
de dignidad, se hallava en la reyna de graciosa hermosura, y en entrambos
se mostrava una majestad venerable, aunque a juyzio de muchos la reyna era
de mayor hermosura." (Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.) And Oviedo, who had
likewise frequent opportunities of personal observation, does not hesitate
to declare, "En hermosura puestas delante de S. A. todas las mugeres que
yo he visto, ninguna vi tan graciosa, ni tanto de ver como su persona."
Quincuagenas, MS.

[22] Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 8.

[23] Ibid., ubi supra.

[24] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.--Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos,
part. 1, cap, 4.

[25] Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. p. 323.

[26] Such occasions have rare charms, of course, for the gossipping
chroniclers of the period. See, among others, the gorgeous ceremonial of
the baptism and presentation of Prince John at Seville, 1478, as related
by the good Curate of Los Palacios. (Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 32, 33.)
"Isabella was surrounded and served," says Pulgar, "by grandees and lords
of the highest rank, so that it was said she maintained too great pomp;
_pompa demasiada_." Reyes Catolicos, part. 1, cap. 4.

[27] Florez quotes a passage from an original letter of the queen, written
soon after one of her progresses into Galicia, showing her habitual
liberality in this way. "Decid a dona Luisa, que porque vengo de Galicia
desecha de vestidos, no le envio para su hermana; que no tengo agora cosa
buena; mas yo ge los enviare presto buenos." Reynas Catholicas, tom. ii.
p. 839.

[28] See the magnificent inventory presented to her daughter-in-law,
Margaret of Austria, and to her daughter Maria, queen of Portugal, apud
Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 12.

[29] "Alegre," says the author of "Carro de las Donas," "de una alegria
honesta y mui mesurada." Ibid., p. 558.

[30] Among the retainers of the court, Bernaldez notices "la moltitud de
poetas, de trobadores, e musicos de todas partes." Reyes Catolicos, MS.,
cap. 201.

[31] "Queria que sus cartas e mandamientos fuesen complidos con
diligencia." Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos, part. 1, cap. 4

[32] See a remarkable instance of this, in her treatment of the faithless
Juan de Corral, noticed in Part I. Chapter 10, of this History.

[33] The melancholy tone of Columbus's correspondence after the queen's
death, shows too well the color of his fortunes and feelings. (Navarrete,
Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. pp. 341 et seq.) The sentiments of the Great
Captain were still more unequivocally expressed, according to Giovio. "Nec
multis inde diebus Regina fato concessit, incredibili cum dolore atque
jactura Consalvi; nam ab ea tanquam alumnus, ac in ejus regia educatus,
cuncta quae exoptari possent virtutis et dignitatis incrementa ademptum
fuisse fatebatur, rege ipso quanquam minus benigno parumque liberali
nunquam reginae voluntati reluctari anso. Id vero praeclare tanquam
verissimum apparuit elata regina." Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 275.

[34] The reader may recall a striking example of this, in the early part
of her reign, in her great tenderness and forbearance towards the humors
of Carillo, archbishop of Toledo, her quondam friend, but then her most
implacable foe.

[35] Isabella at her brother's court might well have sat for the whole of
Milton's beautiful portraiture.

  "So dear to heaven is saintly chastity,
  That, when a soul is found sincerely so,
  A thousand liveried angels lackey her.
  Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
  And, in clear dream and solemn vision.
  Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear,
  Till oft converse with heavenly habitants
  Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape,
  The unpolluted temple of the mind,
  And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,
  Till all be made immortal."

[36] "Era tanto," says L. Marineo, "el ardor y diligencia que tenia cerca
el culto divino, que aunque de dia y de noche estava muy ocupada en
grandes y arduos negocios de la governacion de muchos reynos y senorios,
parescia que _su vida era mas contemplativa que activa_. Porque siempre se
hallava presente a los divinos oficios y a la palabra de Dios. Era tanta
su atencion que si alguno de los que celebravan o cantavan los psalmos, o
otras cosas de la yglesia errava alguna dicion o syllaba, lo sintia y lo
notava, y despues como maestro a discipulo se lo emendava y corregia.
Acostumbrava cada dia dezir todas las horas canonicas demas de otras
muchas votivas y extraordinarias devociones que tenia." Cosas Memorables,
fol. 183.

[37] Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos, part. 1, cap. 4.--Lucio Marineo enumerates
many of these splendid charities.--(Cosas Memorables, fol. 165.) See also
the notices scattered over the Itinerary (Viaggio in Spagna) of Navagiero,
who travelled through the country a few years after.

[38] The archbishop's letters are little better than a homily on the sins
of dancing, feasting, dressing, and the like, garnished with scriptural
allusions, and conveyed in a tone of sour rebuke, that would have done
credit to the most canting Roundhead in Oliver Cromwell's court. The
queen, far from taking exception at it, vindicates herself from the grave
imputations with a degree of earnestness and simplicity, which may provoke
a smile in the reader. "I am aware," she concludes, "that custom cannot
make an action, bad in itself, good; but I wish your opinion, whether,
under all the circumstances, these can be considered bad; that, if so,
they may be discontinued in future." See this curious correspondence in
Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 13.

[39] Such encomiums become still more striking in writers of sound and
expansive views like Zurita and Blancas, who, although flourishing in a
better instructed age, do not scruple to pronounce the Inquisition "the
greatest evidence of her prudence and piety, whose uncommon utility, not
only Spain, but all Christendom, freely acknowledged!" Blancas,
Commentarii, p. 263.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 1, cap. 6.

[40] Sismondi displays the mischievous influence of these theological
dogmas in Italy, as well as Spain, under the pontificate of Alexander VI.
and his immediate predecessors, in the 90th chapter of his eloquent and
philosophical "Histoire des Republiques Italiennes."

[41] I borrow almost the words of Mr. Hallam, who, noticing the penal
statutes against Catholics under Elizabeth, says, "They established a
persecution, which fell not at all short in principle of that for which
the Inquisition had become so odious." (Constitutional History of England,
(Paris, 1827,) vol. i. chap. 3.) Even Lord Burleigh, commenting on the
mode of examination adopted in certain cases by the High Commission court,
does not hesitate to say, the interrogatories were "so curiously penned,
so full of branches and circumstances, as he thought the inquisitors of
Spain used not so many questions to comprehend and to trap their preys."
Ibid., chap. 4.

[42] Even Milton, in his essay on the "Liberty of Unlicensed Printing,"
the most splendid argument, perhaps, the world had then witnessed in
behalf of intellectual liberty, would exclude Popery from the benefits of
toleration, as a religion which the public good required at all events to
be extirpated. Such were the crude views of the rights of conscience
entertained in the latter half of the seventeenth century, by one of those
gifted minds, whose extraordinary elevation enabled it to catch and
reflect back the coming light of knowledge, long before it had fallen on
the rest of mankind.

[43] The most remarkable example of this, perhaps, occurred in the case of
the wealthy Galician knight, Yanez de Lugo, who endeavored to purchase a
pardon of the queen by the enormous bribe of 40,000 doblas of gold. The
attempt failed, though warmly supported by some of the royal counsellors.
The story is well vouched. Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos, part. 2, cap. 97.--L.
Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 180.

[44] The reader may recollect a pertinent illustration of this, on the
occasion of Ximenes's appointment to the primacy. See Part II. Chapter 5,
of this History.

[45] See, among other instances, her exemplary chastisement of the
ecclesiastics of Truxillo. Part I. Chapter 12, of this History.

[46] Ibid., Part I. Chapter 6, Part II. Chapter 10, et alibi. Indeed, this
independent attitude was shown, as I have more than once had occasion to
notice, not merely in shielding the rights of her own crown, but in the
boldest remonstrances against the corrupt practices and personal
immorality of those who filled the chair of St. Peter at this period.

[47] The public acts of this reign afford repeated evidence of the
pertinacity with which Isabella insisted on reserving the benefits of the
Moorish conquests and the American discoveries for her own subjects of
Castile, by whom and for whom they had been mainly achieved. The same
thing is reiterated in the most emphatic manner in her testament.

[48] Opus Epist., epist. 31.

[49] Mem. de la. Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. p. 49.

[50] The preamble of one of her _pragmaticas_ against this lavish
expenditure at funerals, contains some reflections worth quoting for the
evidence they afford of her practical good sense. "Nos deseando proveer e
remediar al tal gasto sin provecho, e considerando que esto no redunda en
sufragio e alivio de las animas de los defuntos," etc. "Pero los Catolicos
Christianos que creemos que hai otra vida despues desta, donde las animas
esperan folganza e vida perdurable, _desta habemos de curar e procurar
de la ganar por obras meritorias, e no por cosas transitorias e vanas como
son los lutos e gastos excesivos_," Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.
p. 318.

[51] Her exposure in this way on one occasion brought on a miscarriage.
According to Gomez, indeed, she finally died of a painful internal
disorder, occasioned by her long and laborious journeys. (De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 47.) Giovio adopts the same account. (Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 275.)
The authorities are good, certainly; but Martyr, who was in the palace,
with every opportunity of correct information, and with no reason for
concealment of the truth, in his private correspondence with Tendilla and
Talavera, makes no allusion whatever to such a complaint, in his
circumstantial account of the queen's illness.

[52] Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. vii. p. 411.--Mem. de la Acad. de
Hist., tom. vi. p. 29.

[53] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.--"Pronunciaba con primor el
latin, y era tan habil en la prosodia, que si erraban algun acento, luego
le corregia." Idem., apud Florez, Reynas Catholicas, tom. ii. pp. 834.

[54] If we are to believe Florez, the king wore no shirt but of the
queen's making. "Preciabase de no haverse puesto su marido camisa, que
elle no huviesse hilado y cosido." (Reynas Catholicas, tom. ii. p. 832.)
If this be taken literally, his wardrobe, considering the multitude of her
avocations, must have been indifferently furnished.

[55] Among many evidences of this, what other need be given than her
conduct at the famous riot at Segovia? Part I. Chapter 6, of this History.

[56] Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos, part. 1, cap. 4.--"No fue la Reyna," says L.
Marineo, "de animo menos fuerte para sufrir los dolores corporales. Porque
como yo fuy informado de las duenas que le servian en la camara, ni en los
dolores que padescia de sus enfermidades, ni en los del parto (que es cosa
de grande admiracion) nunca la vieron quexar se; antes con increyble y
maravillosa fortaleza los suffria y dissimulava." (Cosas Memorables, fol.
186.) To the same effect writes the anonymous author of the "Carro de las
Donas," apud Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. p. 559.

[57] "Era firme en sus propositos, de los quales se retraia con gran
dificultad." Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos, part. 1, cap. 4.

[58] The reader may refresh his recollection of Tasso's graceful sketch of
Erminia in similar warlike panoply.

  "Col durissimo acciar preme ed offende
  Il delicato collo e l'aurea chioma;
  E la tenera man lo scudo prende
  Pur troppo grave e insopportabil soma.
  Cosi tutta di ferro intorno splende,
  E in atto militar se stessa doma."
                 Gerusalemme Liberata, canto 6, stanza 92.

[59] Viaggio, fol. 27.

[60] We find one of the first articles in the marriage treaty with
Ferdinand enjoining him to cherish, and treat her mother with all
reverence, and to provide suitably for her royal maintenance. (Mem. de la
Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Apend. no. 1.) The author of the "Carro de las
Donas" thus notices her tender devotedness to her parent, at a later
period. "Y esto me dijo quien lo vido por sus proprios ojos, que la Reyna
Dona Isabel, nuestra senora, cuando estaba alli en Arevalo visitando a su
madre, ella misma por su persona servia a su misma madre. E aqui tomen
ejemplo los hijos como han de servir a sus padres, pues una Reina tan
poderosa y en negocios tan arduos puesta, todos los mas de los anos
(puesto todo aparte y pospuesto) iba a visitar a su madre y la servia
humilmente." Viaggio, p. 557.

[61] Among other little tokens of mutual affection, it may be mentioned
that not only the public coin, but their furniture, books, and other
articles of personal property, were stamped with their initials, F & I, or
emblazoned with their devices, his being a yoke, and hers a sheaf of
arrows. (Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 3.) It was
common, says Oviedo, for each party to take a device, whose initial
corresponded with that of the name of the other; as was the case here,
with _jugo_ and _flechas_.

[62] Marineo thus speaks of the queen's discreet and most amiable conduct
in these delicate matters. "Amava en tanta manera al Rey su marido, que
andava sobre aviso con celos a ver si el amava a otras. Y si sentia que
mirava a alguna dama o donzella de su casa con senal de amores, con mucha
prudencia buscava medios y maneras con que despedir aquella tal persona de
su casa, con su mucha honrra y provecho." (Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.)
There was unfortunately too much cause for this uneasiness. See Part II.
Chapter 24, of this History.

[63] The best beloved of her friends, probably, was the marchioness of
Moya, who, seldom separated from her royal mistress through life, had the
melancholy satisfaction of closing her eyes in death. Oviedo, who saw them
frequently together, says, that the queen never addressed this lady, even
in later life, with any other than the endearing title of _hija marquesa_,
"daughter marchioness." Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 23

[64] As was the case with Cardenas, the comendador mayor, and the grand
cardinal Mendoza, to whom, as we have already seen, she paid the kindest
attentions during their last illness. While in this way she indulged the
natural dictates of her heart, she was careful to render every outward
mark of respect to the memory of those whose rank or services entitled
them to such consideration. "Quando," says the author so often quoted,
"quiera que fallescia alguno de los grandes de su reyno, o algun principe
Christiano, luego embiavan varones sabios y religiosos para consolar a sus
heredores y deudos. Y demas desto se vestian de ropas de luto en
testimonio del dolor y sentimiento que hazian." L. Marineo, Cosas
Memorables, fol. 185.

[65] Her humanity was shown in her attempts to mitigate the ferocious
character of those national amusements, the bull-fights, the popularity of
which throughout the country was too great, as she intimates in one of her
letters, to admit of her abolishing them altogether. She was so much moved
at the sanguinary issue of one of these combats, which she witnessed at
Arevalo, says a contemporary, that she devised a plan, by guarding the
horns of the bulls, for preventing any serious injury to the men and
horses; and she never would attend another of these spectacles until this
precaution had been adopted. Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

[66] Isabella, the name of the Catholic queen, is correctly rendered into
English by that of Elizabeth.

[67] She gave evidence of this, in the commutation of the sentence she
obtained for the wretch who stabbed her husband, and whom her ferocious
nobles would have put to death, without the opportunity of confession and
absolution, that "his soul might perish with his body!" (See her letter to
Talavera.) She showed this merciful temper, so rare in that rough age, by
dispensing altogether with the preliminary barbarities, sometimes
prescribed by the law in capital executions. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist.,
tom. vi. Ilust. 13.

[68] Hume admits, that, "unhappily for literature, at least for the
learned of this age, Queen Elizabeth's vanity lay more in shining by her
own learning, than in encouraging men of genius by her liberality."

[69] Which of the two, the reader of the records of these times may be
somewhat puzzled to determine.--If one need be convinced how many faces
history can wear, and how difficult it is to get at the true one, he has
only to compare Dr. Lingard's account of this reign with Mr. Turner's.
Much obliquity was to be expected, indeed, from the avowed apologist of a
persecuted party, like the former writer. But it attaches, I fear, to the
latter in more than one instance,--as in the reign of Richard III., for
example. Does it proceed from the desire of saying something new on a
beaten topic, where the new cannot always be true? Or, as is most
probable, from that confiding benevolence, which throws somewhat of its
own light over the darkest shades of human character? The unprejudiced
reader may perhaps agree, that the balance of this great queen's good and
bad qualities is held with a more steady and impartial hand by Mr. Hallam
than any preceding writer.

[70] The unsuspicious testimony of her godson, Harrington, places these
foibles in the most ludicrous light. If the well-known story, repeated by
historians, of the three thousand dresses left in her wardrobe at her
decease, be true, or near truth, it affords a singular contrast with
Isabella's taste in these matters.

[71] The reader will remember how effectually they answered this purpose
in the Moorish war. See Part I. Chapter 14, of this History.

[72] It is scarcely necessary to mention the names of Hatton and
Leicester, both recommended to the first offices in the state chiefly by
their personal attractions, and the latter of whom continued to maintain
the highest place in his sovereign's favor for thirty years or more, in
despite of his total destitution of moral worth.

[73] Queen Elizabeth, indeed, in a declaration to her people, proclaims,
"We know not, nor have any meaning to allow, that any of our subjects
should be molested, either by examination or inquisition, in any matter of
faith, as long as they shall profess the Christian faith." (Turner's
Elizabeth, vol. ii. p. 241, note.) One is reminded of Parson Thwackum's
definition in "Tom Jones," "When I mention religion, I mean the Christian
religion; and not only the Christian religion, but the Protestant
religion; and not only the Protestant religion, but the church of
England." It would be difficult to say which fared worst, Puritans or
Catholics, under this system of toleration.

[74] "Quum generosi," says Paolo Giovio, speaking of her, "prudentisque
animi magnitudine, tum pudicitiae et pietatis laude antiquis heroidibus
comparanda." (Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 205.) Guicciardini eulogizes her
as "Donna di onestissimi costumi, e in concetto grandissimo nei Regni suoi
di magnanimita e prudenza." (Istoria, lib. 6.) The _loyal serviteur_
notices her death in the following chivalrous strain. "L'an 1506, une des
plus triumphantes e glorieuses dames qui puis mille ans ait este sur terre
alla de vie a trespas; ce fut la royne Ysabel de Castille, qui ayda, le
bras arme, a conquester le royaulme de Grenade sur les Mores. Je veux bien
asseurer aux lecteurs de ceste presente hystoire, que sa vie a este telle,
qu'elle a bien merite couronne de laurier apres sa mort." Memoires de
Bayard, chap. 26.--See also Comines, Memoires, chap. 23.--Navagiero,
Viaggio, fol. 27.--et al. auct.

[75] I borrow the words of one contemporary; "Quo quidem die omnis
Hispaniae felicitas, omne decus, omnium virtutum pulcherrimum specimen
interiit," (L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, lib. 21,)--and the sentiments of

[76] If the reader needs further testimony of this, he will find abundance
collected by the indefatigable Clemencin, in the 21st Ilust. of the Mem.
de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.

[77] It would be easy to cite the authority over and over again of such
writers as Marina, Sempere, Llorente, Navarrete, Quintana, and others, who
have done such honor to the literature of Spain in the present century. It
will be sufficient, however, to advert to the remarkable tribute paid to
Isabella's character by the Royal Spanish Academy of History; who in 1805
appointed their late secretary, Clemencin, to deliver a eulogy on that
illustrious theme; and who raised a still nobler monument to her memory,
by the publication, in 1821, of the various documents compiled by him for
the illustration of her reign, as a separate volume of their valuable




Ferdinand Regent.--Philip's Pretensions.--Ferdinand's Perplexities.--
Impolitic Treaty with France.--The King's Second Marriage.--Landing of
Philip and Joanna.--Unpopularity of Ferdinand.--His Interview with his
Son-in-law.--He resigns the Regency.

The death of Isabella gives a new complexion to our history, a principal
object of which has been the illustration of her personal character and
public administration. The latter part of the narrative, it is true, has
been chiefly occupied with the foreign relations of Spain, in which her
interference has been less obvious than in the domestic. But still we have
been made conscious of her presence and parental supervision, by the
maintenance of order, and the general prosperity of the nation. Her death
will make us more sensible of this influence; since it was the signal for
disorders which even the genius and authority of Ferdinand were unable to

While the queen's remains were yet scarcely cold, King Ferdinand took the
usual measures for announcing the succession. He resigned the crown of
Castile, which he had worn with so much glory for thirty years. From a
platform raised in the great square of Toledo, the heralds proclaimed,
with sound of trumpet, the accession of Philip and Joanna to the Castilian
throne, and the royal standard was unfurled by the duke of Alva, in honor
of the illustrious pair. The king of Aragon then publicly assumed the
title of administrator or governor of Castile, as provided by the queen's
testament, and received the obeisance of such of the nobles as were
present, in his new capacity. These proceedings took place on the evening
of the same day on which the queen expired. [1]

A circular letter was next addressed to the principal cities, requiring
them, after the customary celebration of the obsequies of their late
sovereign, to raise the royal banners in the name of Joanna; and writs
were immediately issued in her name, without mention of Philip's, for the
convocation of a cortes to ratify these proceedings. [2]

The assembly met at Toro, January 11th, 1505. The queen's will, or rather
such clauses of it as related to the succession, were read aloud, and
received the entire approbation of the commons, who, together with the
grandees and prelates present, took the oaths of allegiance to Joanna, as
queen and lady proprietor, and to Philip as her husband. They then
determined that the exigency, contemplated in the testament, of Joanna's
incapacity, actually existed, [3] and proceeded to tender their homage to
King Ferdinand, as the lawful governor of the realm in her name. The
latter in turn made the customary oath to respect the laws and liberties
of the kingdom, and the whole was terminated by an embassy from the
cortes, with a written account of its proceedings, to their new sovereigns
in Flanders. [4]

All seemed now done, that was demanded for giving a constitutional
sanction to Ferdinand's authority as regent. By the written law of the
land, the sovereign was empowered to nominate a regency, in case of the
minority or incapacity of the heir apparent. [5] This had been done in the
present instance by Isabella, and at the earnest solicitation of the
cortes, made two years previously to her death. It had received the
cordial approbation of that body, which had undeniable authority to
control such testamentary provisions. [6] Thus, from the first to the last
stage of the proceeding, the whole had gone on with a scrupulous attention
to constitutional forms. Yet the authority of the new regent was far from
being firmly seated; and it was the conviction of this, which had led him
to accelerate measures.

Many of the nobles were extremely dissatisfied with the queen's settlement
of the regency, which had taken air before her death; and they had even
gone so far as to send to Flanders before that event, and invite Philip to
assume the government himself, as the natural guardian of his wife. [7]
These discontented lords, if they did not refuse to join in the public
acts of acknowledgment to Ferdinand at Toro, at least were not reserved in
intimating their dissatisfaction. [8] Among the most prominent were the
marquis of Villena, who may be said to have been nursed to faction from
the cradle, and the duke of Najara, both potent nobles, whose broad
domains had been grievously clipped by the resumption of the crown lands
so scrupulously enforced by the late government, and who looked forward to
their speedy recovery under the careless rule of a young, inexperienced
prince like Philip. [9]

But the most efficient of his partisans was Don Juan Manuel, Ferdinand's
ambassador at the court of Maximilian. This nobleman, descended from one
of the most illustrious houses in Castile, was a person of uncommon parts;
restless and intriguing, plausible in his address, bold in his plans, but
exceedingly cautious, and even cunning, in the execution of them. He had
formerly insinuated himself into Philip's confidence, during his visit to
Spain, and, on receiving news of the queen's death, hastened without delay
to join him in the Netherlands.

Through his means, an extensive correspondence was soon opened with the
discontented Castilian lords; and Philip was persuaded, not only to assert
his pretensions to undivided supremacy in Castile, but to send a letter to
his royal father-in-law, requiring him to resign the government at once,
and retire into Aragon. [10] The demand was treated with some contempt by
Ferdinand, who admonished him of his incompetency to govern a nation like
the Spaniards, whom he understood so little, but urged him at the same
time to present himself before them with his wife, as soon as possible.

Ferdinand's situation, however, was far from comfortable. Philip's, or
rather Manuel's, emissaries were busily stirring up the embers of
disaffection. They dwelt on the advantages to be gained from the free and
lavish disposition of Philip, which they contrasted with the parsimonious
temper of the stern _old Catalan_, who had so long held them under
his yoke. [13] Ferdinand, whose policy it had been to crush the overgrown
power of the nobility, and who, as a foreigner, had none of the natural
claims to loyalty enjoyed by his late queen, was extremely odious to that
jealous and haughty body. The number of Philip's adherents increased in it
every day, and soon comprehended the most considerable names in the

The king, who watched these symptoms of disaffection with deep anxiety,
said little, says Martyr, but coolly scrutinized the minds of those around
him, dissembling as far as possible his own sentiments. [14] He received
further and more unequivocal evidence, at this time, of the alienation of
his son-in-law. An Aragonese gentleman, named Conchillos, whom he had
placed near the person of his daughter, obtained a letter from her, in
which she approved in the fullest manner of her father's retaining the
administration of the kingdom. The letter was betrayed to Philip; the
unfortunate secretary was seized and thrown into a dungeon, and Joanna was
placed under a rigorous confinement, which much aggravated her malady.

With this affront, the king received also the alarming intelligence, that
the emperor Maximilian and his son Philip were tampering with the fidelity
of the Great Captain; endeavoring to secure Naples in any event to the
archduke, who claimed it as the appurtenance of Castile, by whose armies
its conquest, in fact, had been achieved. There were not wanting persons
of high standing at Ferdinand's court, to infuse suspicions, however
unwarrantable, into the royal mind, of the loyalty of his viceroy, a
Castilian by birth, and who owed his elevation exclusively to the queen.

The king was still further annoyed by reports of the intimate relations
subsisting between his old enemy, Louis the Twelfth, and Philip, whose
children were affianced to each other. The French monarch, it was said,
was prepared to support his ally in an invasion of Castile, for the
recovery of his rights, by a diversion in his favor on the side of
Roussillon, as well as of Naples. [17]

The Catholic king felt sorely perplexed by these multiplied
embarrassments. During the brief period of his regency, he had endeavored
to recommend himself to the people by a strict and impartial
administration of the laws, and the maintenance of public order. The
people, indeed, appreciated the value of a government under which they had
been protected from the oppressions of the aristocracy more effectually
than at any former period. They had testified their good-will by the
alacrity with which they confirmed Isabella's testamentary dispositions,
at Toro. But all this served only to sharpen the aversion of the nobles.
Some of Ferdinand's counsellors would have persuaded him to carry measures
with a higher hand. They urged him to resume the title of King of Castile,
which he had so long possessed as husband of the late queen; [18] and
others even advised him to assemble an armed force, which should overawe
all opposition to his authority at home, and secure the country from
invasion. He had facilities for this in the disbanded levies lately
returned from Italy, as well as in a considerable body drawn from his
native dominions of Aragon, waiting his orders on the frontier. [19] Such
violent measures, however, were repugnant to his habitual policy,
temperate and cautious. He shrunk from a contest, in which even success
must bring unspeakable calamities on the country, [20] and, if he ever
seriously entertained such views, [21] he abandoned them, and employed his
levies on another destination in Africa. [22] His situation, however, grew
every hour more critical. Alarmed by rumors of Louis's military
preparations, for which liberal supplies were voted by the states general;
trembling for the fate of his Italian possessions; deserted and betrayed
by the great nobility at home; there seemed now no alternative left for
him but to maintain his ground by force, or to resign at once, as required
by Philip, and retire into Aragon. This latter course appears never to
have been contemplated by him. He resolved at all hazards to keep the
reins in his own grasp, influenced in part, probably, by the consciousness
of his rights, as well as by a sense of duty, which forbade him to resign
the trust he had voluntarily assumed into such incompetent hands as those
of Philip and his counsellors; and partly, no doubt, by natural reluctance
to relinquish the authority which he had enjoyed for so many years. To
keep it, he had recourse to an expedient, such as neither friend nor foe
could have anticipated.

He saw the only chance of maintaining his present position lay in
detaching France from the interests of Philip, and securing her to
himself. The great obstacle to this was their conflicting claims on
Naples. This he proposed to obviate by proposals of marriage to some
member of the royal family, in whose favor these claims, with the consent
of King Louis, might be resigned. He accordingly despatched a confidential
envoy privately into France, with ample instructions for arranging the
preliminaries. This person was Juan de Enguera, a Catalan monk of much
repute for his learning, and a member of the royal council. [23]

Louis the Twelfth had viewed with much satisfaction the growing
misunderstanding betwixt Philip and his father-in-law, and had cunningly
used his influence over the young prince to foment it. He felt the deepest
disquietude at the prospect of the enormous inheritance which was to
devolve on the former, comprehending Burgundy and Flanders, Austria, and
probably the Empire, together with the united crowns of Spain and their
rich dependencies. By the proposed marriage, a dismemberment might be made
at least of the Spanish monarchy; and the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon,
passing under different sceptres, might serve, as they had formerly done,
to neutralize each other. It was true, this would involve a rupture with
Philip, to whose son his own daughter was promised in marriage. But this
match, extremely distasteful to his subjects, gradually became so to
Louis, as every way prejudicial to the interests of France. [24]

Without much delay, therefore, preliminaries were arranged with the
Aragonese envoy, and immediately after, in the month of August, the count
of Cifuentes, and Thomas Malferit, regent of the royal chancery, were
publicly sent as plenipotentiaries on the part of King Ferdinand, to
conclude and execute the treaty.

It was agreed, as the basis of the alliance, that the Catholic king should
be married to Germaine, daughter of Jean de Foix, viscount of Narbonne,
and of one of the sisters of Louis the Twelfth, and granddaughter to
Leonora, queen of Navarre,--that guilty sister of King Ferdinand, whose
fate is recorded in the earlier part of our History. The princess
Germaine, it will be seen, therefore, was nearly related to both the
contracting parties. She was at this time eighteen years of age, and very
beautiful. [25] She had been educated in the palace of her royal uncle,
where she had imbibed the free and volatile manners of his gay, luxurious
court. To this lady Louis the Twelfth consented to resign his claims on
Naples, to be secured by way of dowry to her and her heirs, male or
female, in perpetuity. In case of her decease without issue, the moiety of
the kingdom recognized as his by the partition treaty with Spain was to
revert to him. It was further agreed, that Ferdinand should reimburse
Louis the Twelfth for the expenses of the Neapolitan war, by the payment
of one million gold ducats, in ten yearly instalments; and lastly, that a
complete amnesty should be granted by him to the lords of the Angevin or
French party in Naples, who should receive full restitution of their
confiscated honors and estates. A mutual treaty of alliance and commerce
was to subsist henceforth between France and Spain, and the two monarchs,
holding one another, to quote the words of the instrument, "as two souls,
in one and the same body," pledged themselves to the maintenance and
defence of their respective rights and kingdoms against every other power
whatever. This treaty was signed by the French king at Blois, October
12th, 1505, and ratified by Ferdinand the Catholic, at Segovia, on the
16th of the same month. [26]

Such were the disgraceful and most impolitic terms of this compact, by
which Ferdinand, in order to secure the brief possession of a barren
authority, and perhaps to gratify some unworthy feelings of revenge, was
content to barter away all those solid advantages, flowing from the union
of the Spanish monarchies, which had been the great and wise object of his
own and Isabella's policy. For, in the event of male issue,--and that he
should have issue was by no means improbable, considering he was not yet
fifty-four years of age,--Aragon and its dependencies must be totally
severed from Castile. [27] In the other alternative, the splendid Italian
conquests, which after such cost of toil and treasure he had finally
secured to himself, must be shared with his unsuccessful competitor. In
any event, he had pledged himself to such an indemnification of the
Angevin faction in Naples, as must create inextricable embarrassment, and
inflict great injury on his loyal partisans, into whose hands their
estates had already passed. And last, though not least, he dishonored by
this unsuitable and precipitate alliance his late illustrious queen, the
memory of whose transcendent excellence, if it had faded in any degree
from his own breast, was too deeply seated in those of her subjects, to
allow them to look on the present union otherwise than as a national

So, indeed, they did regard it; although the people of Aragon, in whom
late events had rekindled their ancient jealousy of Castile, viewed the
match with more complacency, as likely to restore them to that political
importance which had been somewhat impaired by the union with their more
powerful neighbor. [28]

The European nations could not comprehend an arrangement, so
irreconcilable with the usual sagacious policy of the Catholic king. The
petty Italian powers, who, since the introduction of France and Spain into
their political system, were controlled by them more or less in all their
movements, viewed this sinister conjunction as auspicious of no good to
their interests or independence. As for the archduke Philip, he could
scarcely credit the possibility of this desperate act, which struck off at
a blow so rich a portion of his inheritance. He soon received
confirmation, however, of its truth, by a prohibition from Louis the
Twelfth, to attempt a passage through his dominions into Spain, until he
should come to some amicable understanding with his father-in-law. [29]

Philip, or rather Manuel, who exercised unbounded influence over his
counsels, saw the necessity now of temporizing. The correspondence was
resumed with Ferdinand, and an arrangement was at length concluded between
the parties, known as the concord of Salamanca, November 24th, 1505. The
substance of it was, that Castile should be governed in the joint names of
Ferdinand, Philip, and Joanna, but that the first should be entitled, as
his share, to one-half of the public revenue. This treaty, executed in
good faith by the Catholic king, was only intended by Philip to lull the
suspicions of the former, until he could effect a landing in the kingdom,
where, he confidently believed, nothing but his presence was wanting to
insure success. He completed the perfidious proceeding by sending an
epistle, well garnished with soft and honeyed phrase, to his royal father-
in-law. These artifices had their effect, and completely imposed, not only
on Louis, but on the more shrewd and suspicious Ferdinand. [30]

On the 8th of January, 1506, Philip and Joanna embarked on board a
splendid and numerous armada, and set sail from a port in Zealand. A
furious tempest scattered the fleet soon after leaving the harbor;
Philip's ship, which took fire in the storm, narrowly escaped foundering;
and it was not without great difficulty that they succeeded in bringing
her, a miserable wreck, into the English port of Weymouth. [31] King Henry
the Seventh, on learning the misfortunes of Philip and his consort, was
prompt to show every mark of respect and consideration for the royal pair,
thus thrown upon his island. They were escorted in magnificent style to
Windsor, and detained with dubious hospitality for nearly three months.
During this time, Henry the Seventh availed himself of the situation and
inexperience of his young guest so far as to extort from him two treaties,
not altogether reconcilable, as far as the latter was concerned, with
sound policy or honor. [32] The respect which the English monarch
entertained for Ferdinand the Catholic, as well as their family
connection, led him to offer his services as a common mediator between the
father and son. He would have persuaded the latter, says Lord Bacon, "to
be ruled by the counsel of a prince, so prudent, so experienced, and so
fortunate as King Ferdinand;" to which the archduke replied, "If his
father-in-law would let him govern Castile, he should govern him." [33]

At length Philip, having reassembled his Flemish fleet at Weymouth,
embarked with Joanna and his numerous suite of courtiers and military
retainers, and reached Coruna, in the northwestern corner of Galicia,
after a prosperous voyage, on the 28th of April.

A short time previous to this event, the count of Cifuentes having passed
into France for the purpose, the betrothed bride of King Ferdinand quitted
that country under his escort, attended by a brilliant train of French and
Neapolitan lords. [34] On the borders, at Fontarabia, she was received by
the archbishop of Saragossa, Ferdinand's natural son, with a numerous
retinue, composed chiefly of Aragonese and Catalan nobility, and was
conducted with much solemnity to Duenas, where she was joined by the king.
In this place, where thirty years before he had been united to Isabella,
he now, as if to embitter still further the recollections of the past, led
to the altar her young and beautiful successor. "It seemed hard," says
Martyr, in his quiet way, "that these nuptials should take place so soon,
and that too in Isabella's own kingdom of Castile, where she had lived
without peer, and where her ashes are still held in as much veneration as
she enjoyed while living." [35]

It was less than six weeks after this that Philip and Joanna landed at
Coruna. Ferdinand, who had expected them at some nearer northern port,
prepared without loss of time to go forward and receive them. He sent on
an express to arrange the place of meeting with Philip, and advanced
himself as far as Leon. But Philip had no intention of such an interview
at present. He had purposely landed in a remote corner of the country, in
order to gain time for his partisans to come forward and declare
themselves. Missives had been despatched to the principal nobles and
cavaliers, and they were answered by great numbers of all ranks, who
pressed forward to welcome and pay court to the young monarch. [36] Among
them were the names of most of the considerable Castilian families, and
several, as Villena and Najara, were accompanied by large, well-appointed
retinues of armed followers. The archduke brought over with him a body of
three thousand German infantry, in complete order. He soon mustered an
additional force of six thousand native Spaniards, which, with the
chivalry who thronged to meet him, placed him in a condition to dictate
terms to his father-in-law; and he now openly proclaimed, that he had no
intention of abiding by the concord of Salamanca, and that he would never
consent to an arrangement prejudicing in any degree his and his wife's
exclusive possession of the crown of Castile. [37] It was in vain that
Ferdinand endeavored to gain Don Juan Manuel to his interests by the most
liberal offers. He could offer nothing to compete with the absolute
ascendency which the favorite held over his young sovereign. It was in
vain that Martyr, and afterwards Ximenes, were sent to the archduke, to
settle the grounds of accommodation, or at least the place of interview
with the king. Philip listened to them with courtesy, but would abate not
a jot of his pretensions; and Manuel did not care to expose his royal
master to the influence of Ferdinand's superior address and sagacity in a
personal interview. [38]

Martyr gives a picture, by no means unfavorable, of Philip at this time.
He had an agreeable person, a generous disposition, free and open manners,
with a certain nobleness of soul, although spurred on by a most craving
ambition. But he was so ignorant of affairs, that he became the dupe of
artful men, who played on him for their own purposes. [39]

Ferdinand, at length, finding that Philip, who had now left Coruna, was
advancing by a circuitous route into the interior, on purpose to avoid
him, and that all access to his daughter was absolutely refused, could no
longer repress his indignation; and he prepared a circular letter, to be
sent to the different parts of the country, calling on it to rise and aid
him in rescuing the queen, their sovereign, from her present shameful
captivity. [40] It does not appear that he sent it. He probably found that
the call would not be answered; for the French match had lost him even
that degree of favor, with which he had been regarded by the commons; so
the very expedient, on which he relied for perpetuating his authority in
Castile, was the chief cause of his losing it altogether.

He was doomed to experience still more mortifying indignities. By the
orders of the marquis of Astorga and the count of Benevente, he was
actually refused admittance into those cities; while proclamation was made
by the same arrogant lords, prohibiting any of their vassals from aiding
or harboring his Aragonese followers. "A sad spectacle, indeed," exclaims
the loyal Martyr, "to behold a monarch, yesterday almost omnipotent, thus
wandering a vagabond in his own kingdom, refused even the sight of his own
child!" [41]

Of all the gay tribe of courtiers who fluttered around him in his
prosperity, the only Castilians of note who now remained true were the
duke of Alva and the count of Cifuentes. [42] For even his son-in-law, the
constable of Castile, had deserted him. There were some, however, at a
distance from the scene of operations, as the good Talavera, for instance,
and the count of Tendilla, who saw with much concern the prospect of
changing the steady and well-tried hand, which had held the helm for more
than thirty years, for the capricious guidance of Philip and his
favorites. [43]

An end was at length put to this scandalous exhibition, and Manuel,
whether from increased confidence in his own resources, or the fear of
bringing public odium on himself, consented to trust his royal charge to
the peril of an interview. The place selected was an open plain near
Puebla de Senabria, on the borders of Leon and Galicia. But, even then,
the precautions taken were of a kind truly ludicrous, considering the
forlorn condition of King Ferdinand. The whole military apparatus of the
archduke was put in motion, as if he expected to win the crown by battle.
First came the well-appointed German spearmen, all in fighting order.
Then, the shining squadrons of the noble Castilian chivalry, and their
armed retainers. Next followed the

  "Ayer era Rey de Espana,
  oy no lo soy de una villa;
  ayer villas y castillos,
  oy ninguno posseya;
  ayer tenia criados," etc.

The lament of King Roderic, in this fine old ballad, would seem hardly too
extravagant in the mouth of his royal descendant. archduke, seated on his
war-horse and encompassed by his body-guard; while the rear was closed by
the long files of archers and light cavalry of the country. [44]

Ferdinand, on the other hand, came into the field attended by about two
hundred nobles and gentlemen, chiefly Aragonese and Italians, riding on
mules, and simply attired in the short black cloak and bonnet of the
country, with no other weapon than the sword usually worn. The king
trusted, says Zurita, to the majesty of his presence, and the reputation
he had acquired by his long and able administration.

The Castilian nobles, brought into contact with Ferdinand, could not well
avoid paying their obeisance to him. He received them in his usual
gracious and affable manner, making remarks, the good humor of which was
occasionally seasoned with something of a more pungent character. To the
duke of Najara, who was noted for being a vain-glorious person, and who
came forward with a gallant retinue in all the panoply of war, he
exclaimed, "So, duke, you are mindful as ever, I see, of the duties of a
great captain!" Among others, was Garcilasso de la Vega, Ferdinand's
minister formerly at Rome. Like many of the Castilian lords, he wore armor
under his dress, the better to guard against surprise. The king, embracing
him, felt the mail beneath, and, tapping him familiarly on the shoulder,
said, "I congratulate you, Garcilasso; you have grown wonderfully lusty
since we last met." The desertion, however, of one who had received so
many favors from him, touched him more nearly than all the rest.

As Philip drew near, it was observed he wore an anxious, embarrassed air,
while his father-in-law maintained the same serene and cheerful aspect as
usual. After exchanging salutations, the two monarchs alighted, and
entered a small hermitage in the neighborhood, attended only by Manuel and
Archbishop Ximenes. They had no sooner entered, than the latter,
addressing the favorite with an air of authority it was not easy to
resist, told him, "It was not meet to intrude on the private concerns of
their masters," and, taking his arm, led him out of the apartment and
coolly locked the door on him, saying at the same time, that "He would
serve as porter." The conference led to no result. Philip was well
schooled in his part, and remained, says Martyr, immovable as a rock. [45]
There was so little mutual confidence between the parties, that the name
of Joanna, whom Ferdinand desired so much to see, was not even mentioned
during the interview. [46]

But, however reluctant Ferdinand might be to admit it, he was no longer in
a condition to stand upon terms; and, in addition to the entire loss of
influence in Castile, he received such alarming accounts from Naples, as
made him determine on an immediate visit in person to that kingdom. He
resolved, therefore, to bow his head to the present storm, in hopes that a
brighter day was in reserve for him. He saw the jealousy hourly springing
up between the Flemish and Castilian courtiers, and he probably
anticipated such misrule as would afford an opening, perhaps with the
good-will of the nation, for him to resume the reins, so unceremoniously
snatched from his grasp. [47]

At any rate, should force be necessary, he would be better able to employ
it effectively, with the aid of his ally, the French king, after he had
adjusted the affairs of Naples. [48]

Whatever considerations may have influenced the prudent monarch, he
authorized the archbishop of Toledo, who kept near the person of the
archduke, to consent to an accommodation on the very grounds proposed by
the latter. On the 27th of June, he signed and solemnly swore to an
agreement, by which he surrendered the entire sovereignty of Castile to
Philip and Joanna, reserving to himself only the grand-masterships of the
military orders, and the revenues secured by Isabella's testament. [49]

On the following day, he executed another instrument of most singular
import, in which, after avowing in unequivocal terms his daughter's
incapacity, he engages to assist Philip in preventing any interference in
her behalf, and to maintain him, as far as in his power, in the sole,
exclusive authority. [50]

Before signing these papers, he privately made a protest, in the presence
of several witnesses, that what he was about to do was not of his own free
will, but from necessity, to extricate himself from his perilous
situation, and shield the country from the impending evils of a civil war.
He concluded with asserting, that, so far from relinquishing his claims to
the regency, it was his design to enforce them, as well as to rescue his
daughter from her captivity, as soon as he was in a condition to do so.
[51] Finally, he completed this chain of inconsistencies by addressing a
circular letter, dated July 1st, to the different parts of the kingdom,
announcing his resignation of the government into the hands of Philip and
Joanna, and declaring the act one which, notwithstanding his own right and
power to the contrary, he had previously determined on executing, so soon
as his children should set foot in Spain. [52]

It is not easy to reconcile this monstrous tissue of incongruity and
dissimulation with any motives of necessity or expediency. Why should he,
so soon after preparing to raise the kingdom in his daughter's cause, thus
publicly avow her imbecility, and deposit the whole authority in the hands
of Philip? Was it to bring odium on the head of the latter, by encouraging
him to a measure which he knew must disgust the Castilians? [53] But
Ferdinand by this very act shared the responsibility with him. Was it in
the expectation that uncontrolled and undivided power, in the hands of one
so rash and improvident, would the more speedily work his ruin? As to his
clandestine protest, its design was obviously to afford a plausible
pretext at some future time for reasserting his claims to the government,
on the ground, that his concessions had been the result of force. But
then, why neutralize the operation of this, by the declaration,
spontaneously made in his manifesto to the people, that his abdication was
not only a free, but most deliberate and premeditated act? He was led to
this last avowal, probably, by the desire of covering over the
mortification of his defeat; a thin varnish, which could impose on nobody.
The whole of the proceedings are of so ambiguous a character as to suggest
the inevitable inference, that they flowed from habits of dissimulation
too strong to be controlled, even when there was no occasion for its
exercise. We occasionally meet with examples of a similar fondness for
superfluous manoeuvring in the humbler concerns of private life.

After these events, one more interview took place between King Ferdinand
and Philip, in which the former prevailed on his son-in-law to pay such
attention to decorum, and exhibit such outward marks of a cordial
reconciliation, as, if they did not altogether impose on the public, might
at least throw a decent veil over the coming separation. Even at this last
meeting, however, such was the distrust and apprehension entertained of
him, that the unhappy father was not permitted to see and embrace his
daughter before his departure. [54]

Throughout the whole of these trying scenes, says his biographer, the king
maintained that propriety and entire self-possession, which comported with
the dignity of his station and character, and strikingly contrasted with
the conduct of his enemies. However much he may have been touched with the
desertion of a people, who had enjoyed the blessings of peace and security
under his government for more than thirty years, he manifested no outward
sign of discontent. On the contrary, he took leave of the assembled
grandees with many expressions of regard, noticing kindly their past
services to him, and studying to leave such an impression, as should
efface the recollection of recent differences. [55] The circumspect
monarch looked forward, no doubt, to the day of his return. The event did
not seem very improbable; and there were other sagacious persons besides
himself, who read in the dark signs of the times abundant augury of some
speedy revolution. [56]

       *       *       *       *       *

The principal authorities for the events in this Chapter, as the reader
may remark, are Martyr and Zurita. The former, not merely a spectator, but
actor in them, had undoubtedly the most intimate opportunities of
observation. He seems to have been sufficiently impartial too, and prompt
to do justice to what was really good in Philip's character; although that
of his royal master was of course calculated to impress the deepest
respect on a person of Martyr's uncommon penetration and sagacity. The
Aragonese chronicler, however, though removed to a somewhat further
distance as to time, was from that circumstance placed in a point of view
more favorable for embracing the whole field of action, than if he had
taken part and jostled in the crowd, as one of it. He has accordingly
given much wider scope to his survey, exhibiting full details of the
alleged grievances, pretensions, and policy of the opposite party; and,
although condemning them himself without reserve, has conveyed impressions
of Ferdinand's conduct less favorable, on the whole, than Martyr.

But neither the Aragonese historian, nor Martyr, nor any contemporary
writer, native or foreign, whom I have consulted, countenances the
extremely unfavorable portrait which Dr. Robertson has given of Ferdinand
in his transactions with Philip. It is difficult to account for the bias
which this eminent historian's mind has received in this matter, unless it
be that he has taken his impressions from the popular notions entertained
of the character of the parties, rather than from the circumstances of the
particular case under review; a mode of proceeding extremely objectionable
in the present instance, where Philip, however good his natural qualities,
was obviously a mere tool in the hands of corrupt and artful men, working
exclusively for their own selfish purposes.


[1] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 52.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
279.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 20, cap. 1.--Carbajal, Anales,
MS., ano 1504.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 9.

"Sapientiae alii," says Martyr, in allusion to those prompt proceedings,
"et summae bonitati adscribunt; alii, rem novam admirati, regem incusant,
remque arguunt non debuisse fieri." Ubi supra.

[2] Philip's name was omitted, as being a foreigner, until he should have
taken the customary oath to respect the laws of the realm, and especially
to confer office on none but native Castilians. Zurita, Anales, tom. v.
lib. 5, cap. 84.

[3] The maternal tenderness and delicacy, which had led Isabella to allude
to her daughter's infirmity only in very general terms, are well remarked
by the cortes. See the copy of the original act in Zurita, tom. vi. lib.
6, cap. 4.

[4] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 15, sec. 2.--Zurita,
Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 3.--Marina, Teoria, part. 2, cap. 4.--
Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 12.--Sandoval, Hist. del
Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 9.

[5] Siete Partidas, part. 2, tit. 15, ley 3.

Guicciardini, with the ignorance of the Spanish constitution natural
enough in a foreigner, disputes the queen's right to make any such
settlement. Istoria, lib. 7.

[6] See the whole subject of the powers of cortes in this particular, as
discussed very fully and satisfactorily by Marina, Teoria, part. 2, cap

[7] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 203.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 15, sec. 3.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 274,

[8] Zurita's assertion, that all the nobility present did homage to
Ferdinand, (Anales, tom. vi. cap. 3,) would seem to be contradicted by a
subsequent passage. Comp. cap. 4.

[9] Isabella in her will particularly enjoins on her successors never to
alienate or to restore the crown lands recovered from the marquisate of
Villena. Dormer, Discursos Varios, p. 331.

[10] "Nor was it sufficient," says Dr. Robertson, in allusion to Philip's
pretensions to the government, "to oppose to these just rights, and to the
inclination of the people of Castile, the authority of a testament, _the
genuineness of which was perhaps doubtful_, and its contents to him
appeared certainly to be iniquitous." (History of the Reign of the Emperor
Charles V., (London, 1796,) vol. ii. p. 7.) But who ever intimated a doubt
of its genuineness, before Dr. Robertson? Certainly no one living at that
time; for the will was produced before cortes, by the royal secretary, in
the session immediately following the queen's death; and Zurita has
preserved the address of that body, commenting on the part of its contents
relating to the succession. (Anales, tom. vi. cap. 4.) Dr. Carbajal, a
member of the royal council, and who was present, as he expressly
declares, at the approval of the testament, "a cuyo otorgamiento y aun
ordenacion me halle," has transcribed the whole of the document in his
Annals, with the signatures of the notary and the seven distinguished
persons who witnessed its execution. Dormer, the national historiographer
of Aragon, has published the instrument with the same minuteness in his
"Discursos Varios," "from authentic MSS. in his possession," "escrituras
autenticas en mi poder." Where the original is now to be found, or whether
it be in existence, I have no knowledge. The codicil, as we have seen,
with the queen's signature, is still extant in the Royal Library at

[12] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 282.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib.
6, cap. 1.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 53.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana,
tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 12.

[13] "Existimantes," says Giovio, "sub florentissimo juvene rege aliquanto
liberius atque licentius ipsorum potentia fruituros, quam sub austero et
parum liberali, ut aiebant, _sene Catalano_." Vitae Illust. Virorum, p.

[14] "Rex quaecunque versant atque ordiuntur, sentit, dissimulat et animos
omnium tacitus scrutatur." Opus Epist., epist. 289.

[15] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 15, sec. 4.--Lanuza,
Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 18.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
286.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 8.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.,
bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.--Oviedo had the story from Conchillos's

[16] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 275-277.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 6, cap. 5, 11.--Ulloa, Vita de Carlo V., fol. 25.--Abarca, Reyes de
Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 15, sec. 3.

[17] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 290.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 94.

[18] The vice-chancellor Alonso de la Caballeria, prepared an elaborate
argument in support of Ferdinand's pretensions to the regal authority and
title, less as husband of the late queen, than as the lawful guardian and
administrator of his daughter. See Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. cap. 14.

[19] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 5, 15.--Lanuza, Historias, tom.
i. lib. 1, cap. 18.

[20] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 291.

[21] Robertson speaks with confidence of Ferdinand's intention to "oppose
Philip's landing by force of arms," (History of Charles V., vol. ii. p.
13,) an imputation, which has brought a heavy judgment on the historian's
head from the clever author of the "History of Spain and Portugal."
(Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia.) "All this," says the latter, "is at
variance with both truth and probability; nor does Ferreras, the only
authority cited for this unjust declamation, afford the slightest ground
for it." (Vol. ii. p. 286, note.) Nevertheless, this is so stated by
Ferreras, (Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. p. 282,) who is supported by
Mariana, (Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 16,) and, in the most
unequivocal manner, by Zurita, (Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 21,) a much
higher authority than either. Martyr, it is true, whom Dr. Dunham does not
appear to have consulted on this occasion, declares that the king had no
design of resorting to force. See Opus Epist., epist. 291, 305.

[22] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 202.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1505.

[23] Before venturing on this step, it was currently reported, that
Ferdinand had offered his hand, though unsuccessfully, to Joanna
Beltraneja, Isabella's unfortunate competitor for the crown of Castile,
who still survived in Portugal. (Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap.
14.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. vi. lib. 28, cap. 13.--et al.) The
report originated, doubtless, in the malice of the Castilian nobles, who
wished in this way to discredit the king still more with the people. It
received, perhaps, some degree of credit from a silly story, in
circulation, of a testament of Henry IV. having lately come into
Ferdinand's possession, avowing Joanna to be his legitimate daughter. See
Carbajal, (Anales, MS., ano 1474,) the only authority for this last rumor.

Robertson has given an incautious credence to the first story, which has
brought Dr. Dunham's iron flail somewhat unmercifully on his shoulders
again; yet his easy faith in the matter may find some palliation, at least
sufficient to screen him from the charge of wilful misstatement, in the
fact, that Clemencin, a native historian, and a most patient and fair
inquirer after truth, has come to the same conclusion. (Mem. de la Acad.
de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 19.) Both writers rely on the authority of
Sandoval, an historian of the latter half of the sixteenth century, whose
naked assertion cannot be permitted to counterbalance the strong testimony
afforded by the silence of contemporaries and the general discredit of
succeeding writers. (Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 10.)

Sismondi, not content with this first offer of King Ferdinand, makes him
afterwards propose for a daughter of King Emanuel, or in other words, his
own granddaughter! Hist. des Francais, tom. xv. chap. 30.

[24] Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 15.--Seyssel, Hist. de Louys XII., pp.

[25] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 7, sec. 4.--Gomez,
De Rebus Gestis, fol. 58.--Salazar de Mendoza, Monarquia, tom. i. p. 410.

"Laquelle," says Fleurange, who had doubtless often seen the princess,
"etoit bonne et fort belle princesse, du moins elle n'avoit point perdu
son embonpoint." (Memoires, chap. 19.) It would be strange if she had at
the age of eighteen. Varillas gets over the discrepancy of age between the
parties very well, by making Ferdinand's at this time only thirty-seven
years! Hist. de Louis XII., tom. i. p. 457.

[26] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. no 40, pp. 72-74.

[27] These dependencies did not embrace, however, the half of Granada and
the West Indies, as supposed by Mons. Gaillard, who gravely assures us,
that "Les etats conquis par Ferdinand etoient conquetes de communaute,
dont la moitie appartenoit au mari, et la moitie aux enfans." (Rivalite,
tom. iv. p. 306.) Such are the gross misconceptions of fact, on which this
writer's _speculations_ rest!

[28] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 19.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana,
tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 16.

[29] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 15, sec. 8.--Zurita,
Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 21.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 7.

He received much more unequivocal intimation in a letter from Ferdinand,
curious as showing that the latter sensibly felt the nature and extent of
the sacrifices he was making. "You," says he to Philip, "by lending
yourself to be the easy dupe of France, have driven me most reluctantly
into a second marriage; have stripped me of the fair fruits of my
Neapolitan conquests," etc. He concludes with this appeal to him. "Sit
satis, fili, pervagatum; redi in te, si filius, non hostis accesseris; his
non obstantibus, mi filius, amplexabere. Magna est paternae vis naturae."
Philip may have thought his father-in-law's late conduct an indifferent
commentary on the "paternae vis naturae." See the king's letter quoted by
Peter Martyr in his correspondence with the count of Tendilla. Opus
Epist., epist 293.

[30] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1506.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6,
cap. 23.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap, 16.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 292.--Zurita has transcribed the whole of this
dutiful and most loving epistle. Ubi supra.

Guicciardini considers Philip as only practising the lessons he had
learned in Spain, "le arti Spagnuole." (Istoria, lib. 7.) The phrase would
seem to have been proverbial with the Italians, like the "Punica fides,"
which their Roman ancestors fastened on the character of their African
enemy;--perhaps with equal justice.

[31] Joanna, according to Sandoval, displayed much composure in her
alarming situation. When informed by Philip of their danger, she attired
herself in her richest dress, securing a considerable sum of money to her
person, that her body, if found, might be recognized, and receive the
obsequies suited to her rank. Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 10.

[32] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 204--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano
1506.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII., p. 186.--Bacon, Hist. of Henry
VII., Works, vol. v. pp. 177-179.--Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 7.--Rymer,
Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 123-132.

One was a commercial treaty with Flanders, so disastrous as to be known in
that country by the name of "malus intercursus;" the other involved the
surrender of the unfortunate duke of Suffolk.

[33] Bacon, Hist. of Henry VII., Works, vol. v. p. 179.

[34] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 36.--Memoires de
Bayard, chap. 26.

[35] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 300.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.,
bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 36.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1506.--Bernaldez,
Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 203.

"_Some affirmed_," says Zurita, "that Isabella, before appointing her
husband to the regency, exacted an oath from him, that he would not marry
a second time." (Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 84.) This improbable story,
so inconsistent with the queen's character, has been transcribed with more
or less qualification by succeeding historians from Mariana to Quintana.
Robertson repeats it without any qualification at all. See History of
Charles V., vol. ii. p. 6.

[36] "Quisque enim in spes suas pronus et expeditus, commodo serviendum,"
says Giovio, borrowing the familiar metaphor, "et orientem solem potius
quam occidentem adorandum esse dictitabat." Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 278.

[37] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 29, 30.--Gomez, De Rebus
Gestis, fol. 57.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 204.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 304, 305.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1506.--
Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 10.

[38] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 306, 308, 309.--Gomez, De Rebus
Gestis, fol. 59.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 278.

[39] "Nil benignius Philippo in terris, nullus inter orbis principes
animosior, inter juvenes pulchrior," etc. (Opus Epist., epist. 285.) In a
subsequent letter he thus describes the unhappy predicament of the young
prince; "Nescit hic juvenis, nescit quo se vertat, hinc avaris, illinc
ambitiosis, atque utrimque vafris hominibus circumseptus alienigena, bonae
naturae, apertique animi. Trahetur in diversa, perturbabitur ipse atque
obtundetur. Omnia confundentur. Utinam vana praedicem!" Epist. 308.

[40] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 2.

[41] Opus Epist., epist. 308.

  "Ipsae amicos res optimae pariunt, adversae probant."
                                 Pub. Syrus.

[43] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 306, 311.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez,
p. 143.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 19.--Lanuza,
Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 19.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 10.

[44] The only pretext for all this pomp of war was the rumor, that the
king was levying a considerable force, and the duke of Alva mustering his
followers in Leon;--rumors willingly circulated, no doubt, if not a sheer
device of the enemy. Zurita, Anales, lib. 7, cap. 2.

[45] "Durior Caucasia rupe, paternum nihil auscultavit." Opus Epist.,
epist. 310.

[46] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 43.--Robles, Vida
de Ximenez, pp. 146-149.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap.
20.---Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 5.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 61, 62.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 15.--
Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1506.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS, cap.

[47] Lord Bacon remarks, in allusion to Philip's premature death, "There
was an observation by the wisest of that court, that, if he had lived, his
father would have gained upon him in that sort, as he would have governed
his councils and designs, if not his affections." (Hist. of Henry VII.,
Works, vol. v. p. 180.) The prediction must have been suggested by the
general estimation of their respective characters; for the parties never
met again after Ferdinand withdrew to Aragon.

[48] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 8.

[49] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 204.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1506.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 7.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 210.

[50] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 8.

[51] Zurita, Anales, ubi supra.

[52] Idem, ubi supra.

Ferdinand's manifesto, as well as the instrument declaring his daughter's
incapacity, are given at length by Zurita. The secret protest rests on the
unsupported authority of the historian; and surely a better authority
cannot easily be found, considering his proximity to the period, his
resources as national historiographer, and the extreme caution and candor
with which he discriminates between fact and rumor. It is very remarkable,
however, that Peter Martyr, with every opportunity for information, as a
member of the royal household, apparently high in the king's confidence,
should have made no allusion to this secret protest in his correspondence
with Tendilla and Talavera, both attached to the royal party, and to whom
he appears to have communicated all matters of interest without reserve.

[53] This motive is charitably imputed to him by Gaillard. (Rivalite, tom.
iv. p. 311.) The same writer commends Ferdinand's _habilite_, in
extricating himself from his embarrassments by the treaty, "auquel _il
fit consentir_ Philippe dans leur entrevue"! p. 310.

[54] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 10.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana,
tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 21.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 64.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 210.

[55] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 10.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.,
bat. 1. quinc. 3, dial. 9.

[56] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 10.--See also the melancholy
vaticinations of Martyr, (Opus Epist., epist. 311,) who seems to echo back
the sentiments of his friends Tendilla and Talavera.




Return of Columbus from his Fourth Voyage.--His Illness.--Neglected by
Ferdinand.--His Death.--His Person.--And Character.

While the events were passing, which occupy the beginning of the preceding
chapter, Christopher Columbus returned from his fourth and last voyage. It
had been one unbroken series of disappointment and disaster. After
quitting Hispaniola, and being driven by storms nearly to the island of
Cuba, he traversed the Gulf of Honduras, and coasted along the margin of
the golden region, which had so long flitted before his fancy. The natives
invited him to strike into its western depths in vain, and he pressed
forward to the south, now solely occupied with the grand object of
discovering a passage into the Indian Ocean. At length, after having with
great difficulty advanced somewhat beyond the point of Nombre de Dios, he
was compelled by the fury of the elements, and the murmurs of his men, to
abandon the enterprise, and retrace his steps. He was subsequently
defeated in an attempt to establish a colony on terra firma, by the
ferocity of the natives; was wrecked on the island of Jamaica, where he
was permitted to linger more than a year, through the malice of Ovando,
the new governor of St. Domingo; and finally, having re-embarked with his
shattered crew in a vessel freighted at at his own expense, was driven by
a succession of terrible tempests across the ocean, until, on the 7th of
November, 1504, he anchored in the little port of St. Lucar, twelve
leagues from Seville. [1]

In this quiet haven, Columbus hoped to find the repose his broken
constitution and wounded spirit so much needed, and to obtain a speedy
restitution of his honors and emoluments from the hand of Isabella. But
here he was to experience his bitterest disappointment. At the time of his
arrival, the queen was on her death-bed; and in a very few days Columbus
received the afflicting intelligence, that the friend, on whose steady
support he had so confidently relied, was no more. It was a heavy blow to
his hopes, for "he had always experienced favor and protection from her,"
says his son Ferdinand, "while the king had not only been indifferent, but
positively unfriendly to his interests." [2] We may readily credit, that a
man of the cold and prudent character of the Spanish monarch would not be
very likely to comprehend one so ardent and aspiring as that of Columbus,
nor to make allowance for his extravagant sallies. And, if nothing has
hitherto met our eye to warrant the strong language of the son, yet we
have seen that the king, from the first, distrusted the admiral's
projects, as having something unsound and chimerical in them.

The affliction of the latter at the tidings of Isabella's death is
strongly depicted in a letter written immediately after to his son Diego.
"It is our chief duty," he says, "to commend to God most affectionately
and devoutly the soul of our deceased lady, the queen. Her life was always
Catholic and virtuous, and prompt to whatever could redound to His holy
service; wherefore, we may trust, she now rests in glory, far from all
concern for this rough and weary world." [3]

Columbus, at this time, was so much crippled by the gout, to which he had
been long subject, that he was unable to undertake a journey to Segovia,
where the court was, during the winter. He lost no time, however, in
laying his situation before the king through his son Diego, who was
attached to the royal household. He urged his past services, the original
terms of the capitulation made with him, their infringement in almost
every particular, and his own necessitous condition. But Ferdinand was too
busily occupied with his own concerns, at this crisis, to give much heed
to those of Columbus, who repeatedly complains of the inattention shown to
his application. [4] At length, on the approach of a milder season, the
admiral, having obtained a dispensation in his favor from the ordinance
prohibiting the use of mules, was able by easy journeys to reach Segovia,
and present himself before the monarch. [5]

He was received with all the outward marks of courtesy and regard by
Ferdinand, who assured him that "he fully estimated his important
services, and, far from stinting his recompense to the precise terms of
the capitulation, intended to confer more ample favors on him in Castile."

These fair words, however, were not seconded by actions. The king probably
had no serious thoughts of reinstating the admiral in his government. His
successor, Ovando, was high in the royal favor. His rule, however
objectionable as regards the Indians, was every way acceptable to the
Spanish colonists; [7] and even his oppression of the poor natives was so
far favorable to his cause, that it enabled him to pour much larger sums
into the royal coffers, than had been gleaned by his more humane
predecessor. [8]

The events of the last voyage, moreover, had probably not tended to dispel
any distrust, which the king previously entertained of the admiral's
capacity for government. His men had been in a state of perpetual
insubordination; while his letter to the sovereigns, written under
distressing circumstances, indeed, from Jamaica, exhibited such a deep
coloring of despondency, and occasionally such wild and visionary
projects, as might almost suggest the suspicion of a temporary alienation
of mind. [9]

But whatever reasons may have operated to postpone Columbus's restoration
to power, it was the grossest injustice to withhold from him the revenues
secured by the original contract with the crown. According to his own
statement, he was so far from receiving his share of the remittances made
by Ovando, that he was obliged to borrow money, and had actually incurred
a heavy debt for his necessary expenses. [10] The truth was, that, as the
resources of the new countries began to develop themselves more
abundantly, Ferdinand felt greater reluctance to comply with the letter of
the original capitulation; he now considered the compensation as too vast
and altogether disproportioned to the services of any subject; and at
length was so ungenerous as to propose that the admiral should relinquish
his claims, in consideration of other estates and dignities to be assigned
him in Castile. [11] It argued less knowledge of character, than the king
usually showed, that he should have thought the man, who had broken off
all negotiations on the threshold of a dubious enterprise, rather than
abate one tittle of his demands, would consent to such abatement when the
success of that enterprise was so gloriously established.

What assistance Columbus actually received from the crown at this time, or
whether he received any, does not appear. He continued to reside with the
court, and accompanied it in its removal to Valladolid. He no doubt
enjoyed the public consideration due to his high repute and extraordinary
achievements; though by the monarch he might be regarded in the unwelcome
light of a creditor, whose claims were too just to be disavowed, and too
large to be satisfied.

With spirits broken by this unthankful requital of his services, and with
a constitution impaired by a life of unmitigated hardship, Columbus's
health now rapidly sunk under the severe and reiterated attacks of his
disorder. On the arrival of Philip and Joanna, he addressed a letter to
them, through his brother Bartholomew, in which he lamented the
infirmities which prevented him from paying his respects in person, and
made a tender of his future services. The communication was graciously
received, but Columbus did not survive to behold the young sovereigns.

His mental vigor, however, was not impaired by the ravages of disease, and
on the 19th of May, 1506, he executed a codicil, confirming certain
testamentary dispositions formerly made, with special reference to the
entail of his estates and dignities, manifesting, in his latest act, the
same solicitude he had shown through life, to perpetuate an honorable
name. Having completed these arrangements with perfect composure, he
expired on the following day, being that of our Lord's ascension, with
little apparent suffering, and in the most Christian spirit of
resignation. [13] His remains, first deposited in the convent of St.
Francis at Valladolid, were, six years later, removed to the Carthusian
monastery of Las Cuevas at Seville, where a costly monument was raised
over them by King Ferdinand, with the memorable inscription,

  "A Castilla y a Leon
  Nuevo mundo dio Colon;"

"the like of which," says his son Ferdinand, with as much truth as
simplicity, "was never recorded of any man in ancient or modern times."
[14] From this spot his body was transported, in the year 1536, to the
island of St. Domingo, the proper theatre of his discoveries; and, on the
cession of that island to the French, in 1795, was again removed to Cuba,
where his ashes now quietly repose in the cathedral church of its capital.

There is considerable uncertainty as to Columbus's age, though it seems
probable it was not far from seventy at the time of his death. [16] His
person has been minutely described by his son. He was tall and well made,
his head large, with an aquiline nose, small light-blue or grayish eyes, a
fresh complexion and red hair, though incessant toil and exposure had
bronzed the former, and bleached the latter, before the age of thirty. He
had a majestic presence, with much dignity, and at the same time
affability of manner. He was fluent, even eloquent in discourse; generally
temperate in deportment, but sometimes hurried by a too lively sensibility
into a sally of passion. [17] He was abstemious in his diet, indulged
little in amusements of any kind, and, in truth, seemed too much absorbed
by the great cause to which he had consecrated his life, to allow scope
for the lower pursuits and pleasures, which engage ordinary men. Indeed,
his imagination, by feeding too exclusively on this lofty theme, acquired
an unnatural exaltation, which raised him too much above the sober
realities of existence, leading him to spurn at difficulties, which in the
end proved insurmountable, and to color the future with those rainbow
tints, which too often melted into air.

This exalted state of the imagination was the result in part, no doubt, of
the peculiar circumstances of his life. For the glorious enterprise which
he had achieved almost justified the conviction of his acting under the
influence of some higher inspiration than mere human reason, and led his
devout mind to discern intimations respecting himself in the dark and
mysterious annunciations of sacred prophecy. [18]

That the romantic coloring of his mind, however, was natural to him, and
not purely the growth of circumstances, is evident from the chimerical
speculations, in which he seriously indulged before the accomplishment of
his great discoveries. His scheme of a crusade for the recovery of the
Holy Sepulchre was most deliberately meditated, and strenuously avowed
from the very first date of his proposals to the Spanish government. His
enthusiastic communications on the subject must have provoked a smile from
a pontiff like Alexander the Sixth; [19] and may suggest some apology for
the tardiness, with which his more rational projects were accredited by
the Castilian government. But these visionary fancies never clouded his
judgment in matters relating to his great undertaking; and it is curious
to observe the prophetic accuracy, with which he discerned, not only the
existence, but the eventual resources of the western world; as is
sufficiently evinced by his precautions, to the very last, to secure the
full fruits of them, unimpaired, to his posterity.

Whatever were the defects of his mental constitution, the finger of the
historian will find it difficult to point to a single blemish in his moral
character. His correspondence breathes the sentiment of devoted loyalty to
his sovereigns. His conduct habitually displayed the utmost solicitude for
the interests of his followers. He expended almost his last maravedi in
restoring his unfortunate crew to their native land. His dealings were
regulated by the nicest principles of honor and justice. His last
communication to the sovereigns from the Indies remonstrates against the
use of violent measures in order to extract gold from the natives, as a
thing equally scandalous and impolitic. [20] The grand object to which he
dedicated himself seemed to expand his whole soul, and raised it above the
petty shifts and artifices, by which great ends are sometimes sought to be
compassed. There are some men, in whom rare virtues have been closely
allied, if not to positive vice, to degrading weakness. Columbus's
character presented no such humiliating incongruity. Whether we
contemplate it in its public or private relations, in all its features it
wears the same noble aspect. It was in perfect harmony with the grandeur
of his plans, and their results, more stupendous than those which Heaven
has permitted any other mortal to achieve. [21]


[1] Martyr, De Rebus Oceanicis, dec. 3, lib. 4.--Benzoni, Novi Orbis
Hist., lib. 1, cap. 14.--Fernando Colon, Hist. del Almirante, cap. 88-
108.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 5, cap. 2-12; lib. 6,
cap. 1-13.--Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. pp. 282-325.

The best authorities for the fourth voyage are the relations of Mendez and
Porras, both engaged in it; and above all the admiral's own letter to the
sovereigns from Jamaica. They are all collected in the first volume of
Navarrete. (Ubi supra.) Whatever cloud may be thrown over the early part
of Columbus's career, there is abundant light on every step of his path
after the commencement of his great enterprise.

[2] Hist. del Almirante, cap. 108.

[3] Cartas de Colon, apud Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. p. 341.

[4] See his interesting correspondence with his son Diego; now printed for
the first time by Senor Navarrete from the original MSS. in the duke of
Veragua's possession. Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. p. 338 et seq.

[5] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 6, cap. 14.--Fernando
Colon, Hist. del Almirante, cap. 108.

For an account of this ordinance see Part II. Chapter 3, note 12, of this

[6] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 6, cap. 14.

[7] Ibid., dec. 1, lib. 5, cap. 12.

[8] Ibid., dec. 1, lib. 5, cap. 12; lib. 6, cap. 16-18.--Garibay,
Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 19, cap. 14.

[9] This document exhibits a medley, in which sober narrative and sound
reasoning are strangely blended with crazy dreams, doleful lamentation,
and wild schemes for the recovery of Jerusalem, the conversion of the
Grand Khan, etc. Vagaries like these, which come occasionally like clouds
over his soul, to shut out the light of reason, cannot fail to fill the
mind of the reader, as they doubtless did those of the sovereigns at the
time, with mingled sentiments of wonder and compassion. See Cartas de
Colon, apud Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. p. 296.

[10] Ibid., p. 338.

[11] Fernando Colon, Hist. del Almirante, cap. 108.--Herrera, Indias
Occidentales, lib. 6, cap. 14.

[12] Navarrete has given the letter, Coleccion de Viages, tom. iii. p.
530.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, ubi supra.

[13] Zuniga, Annales de Sevilla, p. 429.--Fernando Colon, Hist. del
Almirante, cap. 108.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 131.--
Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom, ii., Doc. Dipl., 158.

[14] Hist. del Almirante, ubi supra.

The following eulogium of Paolo Giovio is a pleasing tribute to the
deserts of the great navigator, showing the high estimation in which he
was held, abroad as well as at home, by the enlightened of his own day.
"Incomparabilis Liguribus honos, eximium Italiae decus, et praefulgidum
jubar seculo nostro nasceretur, quod priscorum heroum, Herculis, et Liberi
patris famam obscuraret. Quorum memoriam grata olim mortalitas aeternis
literarum monumentis coelo consecrarit." Elogia Virorum Illust., lib. 4,
p. 123.

[15] Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. ii., Doc. Dipl., 177.

On the left of the grand altar of this stately edifice, is a bust of
Columbus, placed in a niche in the wall, and near it a silver urn,
containing all that now remains of the illustrious voyager. See Abbot's
"Letters from Cuba," a work of much interest and information, with the
requisite allowance for the inaccuracies of a posthumous publication.

[16] The various theories respecting the date of Columbus's birth cover a
range of twenty years, from 1436 to 1456. There are sturdy objections to
either of the hypotheses; and the historian will find it easier to cut the
knot than to unravel it. Comp. Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i.
Intr., sec. 54.--Munoz, Hist. del Nuevo-Mundo, lib. 2, sec. 12.--Spotorno,
Memorials of Columbus, pp. 12, 25.--Irving, Life of Columbus, vol. iv.
book 18, chap. 4.

[17] Fernando Colon, Hist. del Almirante, cap. 3.--Novi Orbis Hist., lib.
1, cap. 14.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 6, cap. 15.

[18] See the extracts from Columbus's book of Prophecies, (apud Navarrete,
Coleccion de Viages, tom, ii., Doc. Dipl., no. 140,) as still existing in
the Bibliotheca Colombina at Seville.

[19] See his epistle to the most selfish and sensual of the successors of
St. Peter, in Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom, ii., Doc. Dipl., no.

[20] "El oro, bien que segun informacion el sea mucho, no me parescio bien
ni servicio de vuestras Altezas de se le tomar por via de robo. La buena
orden evitara escandolo y mala fama," etc. Cartas de Colon, apud
Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. p. 310.

[21] Columbus left two sons, Fernando and Diego. The former, illegitimate,
inherited his father's genius, says a Castilian writer, and the latter,
his honors and estates. (Zuniga, Annales de Sevilla, ano 1506.) Fernando,
besides other works now lost, left a valuable memoir of his father, often
cited in this history. He was a person of rather uncommon literary
attainments, and amassed a library, in his extensive travels, of 20,000
volumes, perhaps the largest private collection in Europe at that day.
(Ibid., ano 1539.) Diego did not succeed to his father's dignities, till
he had obtained a judgment in his favor against the crown from the Council
of the Indies, an act highly honorable to that tribunal, and showing that
the independence of the courts of justice, the greatest bulwark of civil
liberty, was well maintained under King Ferdinand. (Navarrete, Coleccion
de Viages, tom. ii., Doc. Dipl., nos. 163, 164; tom. iii., Supl. Col.
Dipl., no. 69.) The young _admiral_ subsequently married a lady of the
great Toledo family, niece of the duke of Alva. (Oviedo, Quincuagenas,
MS., bat. 1, quinc. 2, dial. 8.) This alliance with one of the most
ancient branches of the haughty aristocracy of Castile, proves the
extraordinary consideration, which Columbus must have attained during his
own lifetime. A new opposition was made by Charles V. to the succession of
Diego's son; and the latter, discouraged by the prospect of this
interminable litigation with the crown, prudently consented to commute his
claims, too vast and indefinite for any subject to enforce, for specific
honors and revenues in Castile. The titles of Duke of Veragua and Marquis
of Jamaica, derived from the places visited by the admiral in his last
voyage, still distinguish the family, whose proudest title, above all that
monarchs can confer, is, to have descended from Columbus. Spotorno,
Memorials of Columbus, p. 123.




Philip and Joanna.--Their Reckless Administration.--Ferdinand Distrusts
Gonsalvo.--He Sails for Naples.--Philip's Death and Character.--The
Provisional Government.--Joanna's Condition.--Ferdinand's Entry into
Naples.--Discontent Caused by his Measures there.

King Ferdinand had no sooner concluded the arrangement with Philip, and
withdrawn into his hereditary dominions, than the archduke and his wife
proceeded towards Valladolid, to receive the homage of the estates
convened in that city. Joanna, oppressed with an habitual melancholy, and
clad in the sable habiliments better suited to a season of mourning than
rejoicing, refused the splendid ceremonial and festivities, with which the
city was prepared to welcome her. Her dissipated husband, who had long
since ceased to treat her not merely with affection, but even decency,
would fain have persuaded the cortes to authorize the confinement of his
wife, as disordered in intellect, and to devolve on him the whole charge
of the government. In this he was supported by the archbishop of Toledo,
and some of the principal nobility. But the thing was distasteful to the
commons, who could not brook such an indignity to their own "natural
sovereign;" and they were so stanchly supported by the admiral Enriquez, a
grandee of the highest authority from his connection with the crown, that
Philip was at length induced to abandon his purpose, and to content
himself with an act of recognition similar to that made at Toro. [1] No
notice whatever was taken of the Catholic king, or of his recent
arrangement transferring the regency to Philip. The usual oaths of
allegiance were tendered to Joanna as queen and lady proprietor of the
kingdom, and to Philip as her husband, and finally to their eldest son,
prince Charles, as heir apparent and lawful successor on the demise of his
mother. [2]

By the tenor of these acts the royal authority would seem to be virtually
vested in Joanna. From this moment, however, Philip assumed the government
into his own hands. The effects were soon visible in the thorough
revolution introduced into every department. Old incumbents in office were
ejected without ceremony, to make way for new favorites. The Flemings, in
particular, were placed in every considerable post, and the principal
fortresses of the kingdom intrusted to their keeping. No length or degree
of service was allowed to plead in behalf of the ancient occupant. The
marquis and marchioness of Moya, the personal friends of the late queen,
and who had been particularly recommended by her to her daughter's favor,
were forcibly expelled from Segovia, whose strong citadel was given to Don
Juan Manuel. There were no limits to the estates and honors lavished on
this crafty minion. [3]

The style of living at the court was on the most thoughtless scale of
wasteful expenditure. The public revenues, notwithstanding liberal
appropriations by the late cortes, were wholly unequal to it. To supply
the deficit, offices were sold to the highest bidder. The income drawn
from the silk manufactures of Granada, which had been appropriated to
defray King Ferdinand's pension, was assigned by Philip to one of the
royal treasurers. Fortunately, Ximenes obtained possession of the order
and had the boldness to tear it in pieces. He then waited on the young
monarch and remonstrated with him on the recklessness of measures which
must infallibly ruin his credit with the people. Philip yielded in this
instance; but, although he treated the archbishop with the greatest
outward deference, it is not easy to discern the habitual influence over
his counsels claimed for the prelate by his adulatory biographers. [4]

All this could not fail to excite disgust and disquietude throughout the
nation. The most alarming symptoms of insubordination began to appear in
different parts of the kingdom. In Andalusia, in particular, a
confederation of the nobles was organized, with the avowed purpose of
rescuing the queen from the duress, in which it was said she was held by
her husband. At the same time the most tumultuous scenes were exhibited in
Cordova, in consequence of the high hand with which the Inquisition was
carrying matters there. Members of many of the principal families,
including persons of both sexes, had been arrested on the charge of
heresy. This sweeping proscription provoked an insurrection, countenanced
by the marquis of Priego, in which the prisons were broken open, and
Lucero, an inquisitor who had made himself deservedly odious by his
cruelties, narrowly escaped falling into the hands of the infuriated
populace. [5] The grand inquisitor, Deza, archbishop of Seville, the
steady friend of Columbus, but whose name is unhappily registered on some
of the darkest pages of the tribunal, was so intimidated as to resign his
office. [6] The whole affair was referred to the royal council by Philip,
whose Flemish education had not predisposed him to any reverence for the
institution; a circumstance, which operated quite as much to his
prejudice, with the more bigoted part of the nation, as his really
exceptionable acts. [7]

The minds of the wise and the good were filled with sadness, as they
listened to the low murmurs of popular discontent, which seemed to be
gradually swelling into strength for some terrible convulsion; and they
looked back with fond regret to the halcyon days, which they had enjoyed
under the temperate rule of Ferdinand and Isabella.

The Catholic king, in the mean time, was pursuing his voyage to Naples. He
had been earnestly pressed by the Neapolitans to visit his new dominions,
soon after the conquest. [8] He now went, less, however, in compliance
with that request, than to relieve his own mind, by assuring himself of
the fidelity of his viceroy, Gonsalvo de Cordova. That illustrious man had
not escaped the usual lot of humanity; his brilliant successes had brought
on him a full measure of the envy, which seems to wait on merit like its
shadow. Even men like Rojas, the Castilian ambassador at Rome, and
Prospero Colonna, the distinguished Italian commander, condescended to
employ their influence at court to depreciate the Great Captain's
services, and raise suspicions of his loyalty. His courteous manners,
bountiful largesses, and magnificent style of living were represented as
politic arts, to seduce the affections of the soldiery and the people. His
services were in the market for the highest bidder. He had received the
most splendid offers from the king of France and the pope. He had carried
on a correspondence with Maximilian and Philip, who would purchase his
adhesion, if possible, to the latter, at any price; and, if he had not
hitherto committed himself by any overt act, it seemed probable he was
only waiting to be determined in his future course by the result of King
Ferdinand's struggle with his son-in-law. [9]

These suggestions, in which some truth, as usual, was mingled with a large
infusion of error, gradually excited more and more uneasiness in the
breast of the cautious and naturally distrustful Ferdinand. He at first
endeavored to abridge the powers of the Great Captain by recalling half
the troops in his service, notwithstanding the unsettled state of the
kingdom. [10] He then took the decisive step of ordering his return to
Castile, on pretence of employing him in affairs of great importance at
home. To allure him more effectually, he solemnly pledged himself by an
oath to transfer to him, on his landing in Spain, the grandmastership of
St. Jago, with all its princely dependencies and emoluments, the noblest
gift in the possession of the crown. Finding all this ineffectual, and
that Gonsalvo still procrastinated his return on various pretexts, the
king's uneasiness increased to such a degree, that he determined to press
his own departure for Naples, and bring back, if not too late, his too
powerful vassal. [11]

On the 4th of September, 1506, Ferdinand embarked at Barcelona, on board a
well-armed squadron of Catalan galleys, taking with him his young and
beautiful bride, and a numerous train of Aragonese nobles. On the 24th of
the month, after a boisterous and tedious passage, he reached the port of
Genoa. Here, to his astonishment, he was joined by the Great Captain, who,
advised of the king's movements, had come from Naples with a small fleet
to meet him. This frank conduct of his general, if it did not disarm
Ferdinand of his suspicions, showed him the policy of concealing them; and
he treated Gonsalvo with all the consideration and show of confidence,
which might impose, not merely on the public, but on the immediate subject
of them. [12]

The Italian writers of the time express their astonishment that the
Spanish general should have so blindly trusted himself into the hands of
his suspicious master. [13] But he, doubtless, felt strong in the
consciousness of his own integrity. There appears to have been no good
reason for impeaching this. His most equivocal act was his delay to obey
the royal summons. But much weight is reasonably due to his own
explanation, that he was deterred by the distracted state of the country,
arising from the proposed transfer of property to the Angevin barons, as
well as from the precipitate disbanding of the army, which it required all
his authority to prevent from breaking into open mutiny. [14] To these
motives may be probably added the natural, though perhaps unconscious
reluctance to relinquish the exalted station, little short of absolute
sovereignty, which he had so long and so gloriously filled.

He had, indeed, lorded it over his viceroyalty with most princely sway.
But he had assumed no powers to which he was not entitled by his services
and peculiar situation. His public operations in Italy had been uniformly
conducted for the advantage of his country, and, until the late final
treaty with France, were mainly directed to the expulsion of that power
beyond the Alps. [15] Since that event, he had busily occupied himself
with the internal affairs of Naples, for which he made many excellent
provisions, contriving by his consummate address to reconcile the most
conflicting interests and parties. Although the idol of the army and of
the people, there is not the slightest evidence of an attempt to pervert
his popularity to an unworthy purpose. There is no appearance of his
having been corrupted, or even dazzled, by the splendid offers repeatedly
made him by the different potentates of Europe. On the contrary, the proud
answer recorded of him, to Pope Julius the Second, breathes a spirit of
determined loyalty, perfectly irreconcilable with anything sinister or
selfish in his motives. [16] The Italian writers of the time, who affect
to speak of these motives with some distrust, were little accustomed to
such examples of steady devotion; [17] but the historian, who reviews all
the circumstances, must admit that there was nothing to justify such
distrust, and that the only exceptionable acts in Gonsalvo's
administration were performed not to advance his own interests, but those
of his master, and in too strict obedience to his commands. King Ferdinand
was the last person who had cause to complain of them.

After quitting Genoa, the royal squadron was driven by contrary winds into
the neighboring harbor of Portofino, where Ferdinand received
intelligence, which promised to change his destination altogether. This
was the death of his son-in-law, the young king of Castile.

This event, so unexpected and awfully sudden, was occasioned by a fever,
brought on by too violent exercise at a game of ball, at an entertainment
made for Philip by his favorite, Manuel, in Burgos, where the court was
then held. Through the unskilfulness of his physicians, as it was said,
who neglected to bleed him, the disorder rapidly gained ground, [18] and
on the sixth day after his attack, being the 25th of September, 1506, he
breathed his last. [19] He was but twenty-eight years old, of which brief
period he had enjoyed, or endured, the "golden cares" of sovereignty but
little more than two months, dating from his recognition by the cortes.
His body, after being embalmed, lay in state for two days, decorated with
the insignia,--the mockery of royalty, as it had proved to him,--and was
then deposited in the convent of Miraflores near Burgos, to await its
final removal to Granada, agreeably to his last request. [20]

Philip was of the middle height; he had a fair, florid complexion, regular
features, long flowing locks, and a well-made, symmetrical figure. Indeed,
he was so distinguished for comeliness both of person and countenance,
that he is designated on the roll of Spanish sovereigns as Felipe el
Hermoso, or the Handsome. [21] His mental endowments were not so
extraordinary. The father of Charles the Fifth possessed scarcely a single
quality in common with his remarkable son. He was rash and impetuous in
his temper, frank, and careless. He was born to great expectations, and
early accustomed to command, which seemed to fill him with a crude,
intemperate ambition, impatient alike of control or counsel. He was not
without generous, and even magnanimous sentiments; but he abandoned
himself to the impulse of the moment, whether for good or evil; and, as he
was naturally indolent and fond of pleasure, he willingly reposed the
burden of government on others, who, as usual, thought more of their own
interests than those of the public. His early education exempted him from
the bigotry characteristic of the Spaniards; and, had he lived, he might
have done much to mitigate the grievous abuses of the Inquisition. As it
was, his premature death deprived him of the opportunity of compensating,
by this single good act, the manifold mischiefs of his administration.

This event, too improbable to have formed any part of the calculations of
the most far-sighted politician, spread general consternation throughout
the country. The old adherents of Ferdinand, with Ximenes at their head,
now looked forward with confidence to his re-establishment in the regency.
Many others, however, like Garcilasso de la Vega, whose loyalty to their
old master had not been proof against the times, viewed this with some
apprehension. [22] Others, again, who had openly from the first linked
their fortunes to those of his rival, as the duke of Najara, the marquis
of Villena, and, above all, Don Juan Manuel, saw in it their certain ruin,
and turned their thoughts towards Maximilian, or the king of Portugal, or
any other monarch, whose connection with the royal family might afford a
plausible pretext for interference in the government. On Philip's Flemish
followers the tidings fell like a thunderbolt, and in their bewilderment
they seemed like so many famished birds of prey, still hovering round the
half-devoured carcass from which they had been unceremoniously scared.

The weight of talent and popular consideration was undoubtedly on the
king's side. The most formidable of the opposition, Manuel, had declined
greatly in credit with the nation during the short, disastrous period of
his administration; while the archbishop of Toledo, who might be
considered as the leader of Ferdinand's party, possessed talents, energy,
and reputed sanctity of character, which, combined with the authority of
his station, gave him unbounded influence over all classes of the
Castilians. It was fortunate for the land, in this emergency, that the
primacy was in such able hands. It justified the wisdom of Isabella's
choice, made in opposition, it may be remembered, to the wishes of
Ferdinand, who was now to reap the greatest benefit from it.

That prelate, foreseeing the anarchy likely to arise on Philip's death,
assembled the nobility present at the court, in his own palace, the day
before this event took place. It was there agreed to name a provisional
council, or regency, who should carry on the government, and provide for
the tranquillity of the kingdom. It consisted of seven members, with the
archbishop of Toledo at its head, the duke of Infantado, the grand
constable and the admiral of Castile, both connected with the royal
family, the duke of Najara, a principal leader of the opposite faction,
and two Flemish lords. No mention was made of Manuel. [24]

The nobles, in a subsequent convention on the 1st of October, ratified
these proceedings, and bound themselves not to carry on private war, or
attempt to possess themselves of the queen's person, and to employ all
their authority in supporting the provisional government, whose term was
limited to the end of December. [25]

A meeting of cortes was wanting to give validity to their acts, as well as
to express the popular will in reference to a permanent settlement of the
government. There was some difference of opinion, even among the king's
friends, as to the expediency of summoning that body at this crisis; but
the greatest impediment arose from the queen's refusal to sign the writs.

This unhappy lady's condition had become truly deplorable. During her
husband's illness, she had never left his bedside; but neither then, nor
since his death, had been seen to shed a tear. She remained in a state of
stupid insensibility, sitting in a darkened apartment, her head resting on
her hand, and her lips closed, as mute and immovable as a statue. When
applied to, for issuing the necessary summons for the cortes, or to make
appointments to office, or for any other pressing business, which required
her signature, she replied, "My father will attend to all this when he
returns; he is much more conversant with business than I am; I have no
other duties now, but to pray for the soul of my departed husband." The
only orders she was known to sign were for paying the salaries of her
Flemish musicians; for in her abject state she found some consolation in
music, of which she had been passionately fond from childhood. The few
remarks which she uttered were discreet and sensible, forming a singular
contrast with the general extravagance of her actions. On the whole,
however, her pertinacity in refusing to sign anything was attended with as
much good as evil, since it prevented her name from being used, as it
would undoubtedly have often been, in the existing state of things, for
pernicious and party purposes. [27]

Finding it impossible to obtain the queen's co-operation, the council at
length resolved to issue the writs of summons in their own name, as a
measure justified by necessity. The place of meeting was fixed at Burgos
in the ensuing month of November; and great pains were taken, that the
different cities should instruct their representatives in their views
respecting the ultimate disposition of the government. [28]

Long before this, indeed immediately after Philip's death, letters had
been despatched by Ximenes and his friends to the Catholic king,
acquainting him with the state of affairs, and urging his immediate return
to Castile. He received them at Portofino. He determined, however, to
continue his voyage, in which he had already advanced so far, to Naples.
The wary monarch perhaps thought, that the Castilians, whose attachment to
his own person he might with some reason distrust, would not be the less
inclined to his rule after having tasted the bitterness of anarchy. In his
reply, therefore, after briefly expressing a decent regret at the untimely
death of his son-in-law, and his uudoubting confidence in the loyalty of
the Castilians to their queen, his daughter, he prudently intimates that
he retains nothing but kindly recollections of his ancient subjects, and
promises to use all possible despatch in adjusting the affairs of Naples,
that he may again return to them. [29]

After this, the king resumed his voyage, and having touched at several
places on the coast, in all which he was received with great enthusiasm,
arrived before the capital of his new dominions in the latter part of
October. All were anxious, says the great Tuscan historian of the time, to
behold the prince who had acquired a mighty reputation throughout Europe
for his victories both over Christian and infidel; and whose name was
everywhere revered for the wisdom and equity with which he had ruled in
his own kingdom. They looked to his coming, therefore, as an event fraught
with importance, not merely to Naples, but to all Italy, where his
personal presence and authority might do so much to heal existing feuds,
and establish permanent tranquillity. [30] The Neapolitans, in particular,
were intoxicated with joy at his arrival. The most splendid preparations
were made for his reception. A fleet of twenty vessels of war came out to
meet him and conduct him into port; and, as he touched the shores of his
new dominions, the air was rent with acclamations of the people, and with
the thunders of artillery from the fortresses, which crowned the heights
of the city, and from the gallant navy which rode in her waters. [31]

The faithful chronicler of Los Palacios, who generally officiates as the
master of ceremonies on these occasions, dilates with great complacency on
all the circumstances of the celebration, even to the minutest details of
the costume worn by the king and his nobility. According to him, the
monarch was arrayed in a long, flowing mantle of crimson velvet, lined
with satin of the same color. On his head was a black velvet bonnet,
garnished with a resplendent ruby, and a pearl of inestimable price. He
rode a noble white charger, whose burnished caparisons dazzled the eye
with their splendor. By his side was his young queen, mounted on a milk-
white palfrey, and wearing a skirt or undergarment of rich brocade, and a
French robe, simply fastened with clasps or loops of fine wrought gold.

On the mole they were received by the Great Captain, who, surrounded by
his guard of halberdiers, and his silken array of pages wearing his
device, displayed all the pomp and magnificence of his household. After
passing under a triumphal arch, where Ferdinand swore to respect the
liberties and privileges of Naples, the royal pair moved forward under a
gorgeous canopy, borne by the members of the municipality, while the reins
of their steeds were held by some of the principal nobles. After them
followed the other lords and cavaliers of the kingdom, with the clergy,
and ambassadors assembled from every part of Italy and Europe, bearing
congratulations and presents from their respective courts. As the
procession halted in the various quarters of the city, it was greeted with
joyous bursts of music from a brilliant assemblage of knights and ladies,
who did homage by kneeling down and saluting the hands of their new
sovereigns. At length, after defiling through, the principal streets and
squares, it reached the great cathedral, where the day was devoutly closed
with solemn prayer and thanksgiving. [32]

Ferdinand was too severe an economist of time, to waste it willingly on
idle pomp and ceremonial. His heart swelled with satisfaction, however, as
he gazed on the magnificent capital thus laid at his feet, and pouring
forth the most lively expressions of a loyalty, which of late he had been
led to distrust. With all his impatience, therefore, he was not disposed
to rebuke this spirit by abridging the season of hilarity. But, after
allowing sufficient scope for its indulgence, he devoted himself
assiduously to the great purposes of his visit.

He summoned a parliament general of the kingdom, where, after his own
recognition, oaths of allegiance were tendered to his daughter Joanna and
her posterity, as his successors, without any allusion being made to the
rights of his wife. This was a clear evasion of the treaty with France.
But Ferdinand, though late, was too sensible of the folly of that
stipulation which secured the reversion of his wife's dower to the latter
crown, to allow it to receive any sanction from the Neapolitans. [33]

Another, and scarcely less disastrous provision of the treaty he complied
with in better faith. This was the reestablishment of the Angevin
proprietors in their ancient estates; the greater part of which, as
already noticed, had been parcelled out among his own followers, both
Spaniards and Italians. It was, of course, a work of extraordinary
difficulty and vexation. When any flaw or impediment could be raised in
the Angevin title, the transfer was evaded. When it could not, a grant of
other land or money was substituted, if possible. More frequently,
however, the equivalent, which probably was not very scrupulously meted
out, was obliged to be taken by the Aragonese proprietor. To accomplish
this the king was compelled to draw largely on the royal patrimony in
Naples, as well as to make liberal appropriations of land and rents in his
native dominions. As all this proved insufficient, he was driven to the
expedient of replenishing the exchequer by draughts on his new subjects.

The result, although effected without violence or disorder, was
unsatisfactory to all parties. The Angevins rarely received the full
extent of their demands. The loyal partisans of Aragon saw the fruits of
many a hard-fought battle snatched from their grasp, to be given back
again to their enemies. [35] Lastly, the wretched Neapolitans, instead of
the favors and immunities incident to a new reign, found themselves
burdened with additional imposts, which, in the exhausted state of the
country, were perfectly intolerable. So soon were the fair expectations
formed of Ferdinand's coming, like most other indefinite expectations,
clouded over by disappointment; and such were some of the bitter fruits of
the disgraceful treaty with Louis the Twelfth. [36]


[1] Marina tells an anecdote too long for insertion here, in relation to
this cortes, showing the sturdy stuff of which a Castilian commoner in
that day was made. (Teoria, part. 2, cap. 7.) It will scarcely gain credit
without a better voucher than the anonymous scribbler from whom he has
borrowed it.

[2] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 22.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 11.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap.

Joanna on this occasion was careful to inspect the powers of the deputies
herself, to see they were all regularly authenticated. Singular astuteness
for a mad woman!

[3] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 312.--Mariana, Hist. De Espana, tom.
ii. lib. 28, cap. 22.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 21.--Gomez,
De Rebus Gestis, fol. 65.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1,
dial. 23.

[4] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 17.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 65.--
Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, rey 30, cap. 16.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3,
cap. 14.

[5] Lucero (whom honest Martyr, with a sort of back-handed pun, usually
nicknames Tenebrero) resumed his inquisitorial functions on Philip's
death. Among his subsequent victims was the good archbishop Talavera,
whose last days were embittered by his persecution. His insane violence at
length provoked again the interference of government. His case was
referred to a special commission, with Ximenes at its head. Sentence was
pronounced against him. The prisons he had filled were emptied. His
judgments were reversed, as founded on insufficient and frivolous grounds.
But alas! what was this to the hundreds he had consigned to the stake, and
the thousands he had plunged in misery? He was in the end sentenced,--not
to be roasted alive,--but to retire to his own benefice, and confine
himself to the duties of a Christian minister! Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 77.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist, 333, 334, et al.--Llorente,
Hist. de l'Inquisition, tom. i. chap. 10, art. 3, 4.--Oviedo,
Quincuagenas, MS., dial, de Deza.

[6] Oviedo has given an ample notice of this prelate, Ferdinand's
confessor, in one of his dialogues. He mentions a singular taste, in one
respect, quite worthy of an inquisitor. The archbishop kept a tame lion in
his palace, which used to accompany him when he went abroad, and lie down
at his feet when he said mass in the church. The monster had been stripped
of his teeth and claws when young, but he was "espantable en su vista e
aspeto," says Oviedo, who records two or three of his gambols, lion's
play, at best. Quincuagenas, MS.

[7] Llorente, Hist. de l'Inquisition, tom. i. chap. 10, art. 3, 4.--
Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, rey 30, cap.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 333, 334, et al.

"Toda la gente," says Zurita, in reference to this affair, "noble y de
limpia sangre se avia escandalizado dello;" (Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap.
11;) and he plainly intimates his conviction, that Philip's profane
interference brought Heaven's vengeance on his head, in the shape of a
premature death. Zurita was secretary of the Holy Office in the early part
of the sixteenth century. Had he lived in the nineteenth, he might have
acted the part of a Llorente. He was certainly not born for a bigot.

[8] Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iv. lib. 6, cap. 5.

[9] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 276.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom.
ii. rey 30, cap. 16.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 5, 11, 17, 27,
31; lib. 7, cap, 14.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 123.--Gonsalvo, in a letter
to the king dated July 2, 1506, alludes bitterly to these unfounded
imputations on his honor. Cartas, MS.

[10] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, lib. 28, cap. 12.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 6, cap. 5.

[11] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 6.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom.
iv. p. 12, ed. di Milano, 1803.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30,
cap. 1.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 280.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas,
MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.

[12] Giannone, Istoria de Napoli, ubi supra.--Summonte, Hist. di Napoli,
tom. iv. lib. 6, cap. 5.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187.--
Buonaccorsi Diario, p. 123.--Capmany, Mem. de Barcelona, tom. i. p. 152.--
"Este," says Capmany of the squadron which bore the king from Barcelona,
"se puede decir fue el ultimo armamento que salio de aquella capital."

[13] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 30.--Machiavelli, Legazione
Seconda a Roma, let. 23.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 1.

[14] Zurita, Anales, lib. 6, cap. 31.

[15] My limits will not allow room for the complex politics and feuds of
Italy, into which Gonsalvo entered with all the freedom of an independent
potentate. See the details, apud Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap.
112-127.--Sismondi, Republiques Italiennes, tom. xiii. chap. 103.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iii. p. 235 et alibi.--Zurita, Anales, tom.
vi. lib. 6, cap. 7, 9.--Carta del Gran Capitan, MS.

[16] Zurita, Anales, lib. 6, cap. 11.

[17] "Il Gran Capitan," says Guicciardini, "conscio dei sospetti, i quali
il re _forse non vanamente_ aveva avuti di lui," etc. (Istoria, tom,
iv. p. 30.) This way of damning a character by surmise, is very common
with Italian writers of this age, who uniformly resort to the very worst
motive as the key of whatever is dubious or inexplicable in conduct. Not a
sudden death, for example, occurs, without at least a _sospetto_ of
poison from some hand or other. What a fearful commentary on the morals of
the land!

[18] Philip's disorder was lightly regarded at first by his Flemish
physicians; whose practice and predictions were alike condemned by their
coadjutor Lodovico Marliano, an Italian doctor, highly commended by
Martyr, as "inter philosophos et medicos lucida lampas." 'He was at least
the better prophet on this occasion. Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
313.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 14.

[19] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.--Fortunately
for Ferdinand's reputation, Philip's death was attended by too unequivocal
circumstances, and recorded by too many eyewitnesses, to admit the
suggestion of poison. It seems he drank freely of cold water while very
hot. The fever he brought on was an epidemic, which at that time afflicted
Castile. Machiavelli, Legazione Seconda a Roma, let. 29.--Zuniga, Annales
de Sevilla, ano 1506.

[20] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 313, 316.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 206.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 66.--Carbajal,
Anales, MS., ano 1506.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187.--Sandoval,
Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 11.

[21] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187, 188.--Sandoval, Hist. del
Emp. Carlos V., ubi supra.

Martyr, touched with the melancholy fate of his young sovereign, pays the
following not inelegant, and certainly not parsimonious tribute to his
memory, in a letter written a few days after his death, which, it may be
noticed, he makes a day earlier than other contemporary accounts. "Octavo
Calendas Octobris animam emisit ille juvenis, formosus, pulcher, elegans,
animo pollens et ingesio, procerae validaeque naturae, uti flos vernus
evanuit." Opus Epist., epist. 316.

[22] Garcilasso de la Vega appears to have been one of those dubious
politicians, who, to make use of a modern phrase, are always "on the
fence." The wags of his day applied to him a coarse saying of the old duke
of Alva in Henry IV.'s time, "Que era como el perro del ventero, que ladra
a los de fuera, y muerde a los de dentro." Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib.
7, cap. 39.

[23] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 2.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 206.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 22.

[24] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 15.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana,
tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 1.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 317.--Zuniga,
Annales de Sevilla, ano 1506.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 67.

[25] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 16.

I find no authority for the statement made by Alvaro Gomez (De Rebus
Gestis, fol. 68), and faithfully echoed by Robles (Vida de Ximenez, cap.
17) and Quintanilla (Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 14), that Ximenes filled the
office of sole regent at this juncture. It is not warranted by Martyr,
(Opus Epist., epist. 317,) and is contradicted by the words of the
original instrument cited as usual by Zurita, (ubi supra.) The
archbishop's biographers, one and all, claim as many merits and services
for their hero, as if, like Quintanilla, they were working expressly for
his beatification.

[26] The duke of Alva, the staunch supporter of King Ferdinand in all his
difficulties, objected to calling the cortes together, on the grounds,
that the summonses, not being by the proper authority, would be informal;
that many cities might consequently refuse to obey them, and the acts of
the remainder be open to objection, as not those of the nation; that,
after all, should cortes assemble, it was quite uncertain under what
influences it might be made to act, and whether it would pursue the course
most expedient for Ferdinand's interests; and finally, that if the
intention was to procure the appointment of a regency, this had already
been done by the nomination of King Ferdinand at Toro, in 1505; that to
start the question anew was unnecessarily to bring that act into doubt.
The duke does not seem to have considered that Ferdinand had forfeited his
original claim to the regency by his abdication; perhaps, on the ground,
that it had never been formally accepted by the commons. I shall have
occasion to return to this hereafter. See the discussion _in extenso_,
apud Zurita, Anales, lib. 7, cap. 26.

[27] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 318.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana,
tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 2.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 71-73.

[28] Zurita, Anales, lib. 7, cap. 22.

[29] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187.--Zuniga, Annales de Sevilla,
ano 1506.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 317.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 68, 69, 71.

Shall we wrong Ferdinand much by applying to him the pertinent verses of
Lucan, on a somewhat similar occasion?

                              "Tutumque putavit
  Jam bonus esse socer; lacrymas non sponte cadentes
  Effudit, gemitusque expressit pectore laeto,
  Non aliter manifesta putans abscondere mentis
  Gaudia, quam lacrymis."
                      Pharsalia, lib. 9.

[30] "Un re glorioso per tante vittorie avute contro gl' Infedeli, e
contro i Cristiani, venerabile per opinione di prudenza, e del quale
risonava fama Cristianissima, che avesse con singolare giustizia, e
tranquillita governato i reami suoi." Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p.
31.--Also Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 124.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib.
30, cap. 1.

[31] Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iv. lib. 6, cap. 5.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. iv. p. 31.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 278, 279.--
Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, lib. 7.

[32] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 210.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 7, cap. 20.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, ubi supra.--Garibay,
Compendio, lib. 20, cap. 9.

[33] Zurita, Anales, ubi supra.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. pp. 72,

[34] Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 1.--Summonte, Hist. di
Napoli, tom. iv. lib. 6, cap. 5.--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 129.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 71.

[35] Such, for example, was the fate of the doughty little cavalier, Pedro
de la Paz, the gallant Leyva, so celebrated in the subsequent wars of
Charles V., the ambassador Rojas, the Quixotic Paredes, and others. The
last of these adventurers, according to Mariana, endeavored to repair his
broken fortunes by driving the trade of a corsair in the Levant. Hist. de
Espana, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 4.

[36] If any one would see a perfect specimen of the triumph of style, let
him compare the interminable prolixities of Zurita with Mariana, who, in
this portion of his narrative, has embodied the facts and opinions of his
predecessor, with scarcely any alteration, save that of greater
condensation, in his own transparent and harmonious diction. It is quite
as great a miracle in its way as the _rifacimento_ of Berni.




Joanna's Mad Conduct.--She Changes her Ministers.--Disorders in Castile.--
Ferdinand's Politic Behavior.--He Leaves Naples.--His Brilliant Reception
by Louis XII.--Honors to Gonsalvo.--Ferdinand's Return to Castile.--His
Excessive Severity.--Neglect of the Great Captain.--His Honorable

While Ferdinand was thus occupied in Naples, the representatives of most
of the cities, summoned by the provisional government, had assembled in
Burgos. Before entering on business, they were desirous to obtain the
queen's sanction to their proceedings. A committee waited on her for that
purpose, but she obstinately refused to give them audience. [1]

She still continued plunged in moody melancholy, exhibiting, however,
occasionally the wildest freaks of insanity. Towards the latter end of
December, she determined to leave Burgos, and remove her husband's remains
to their final resting-place in Granada. She insisted on seeing them
herself, before her departure. The remonstrances of her counsellors, and
the holy men of the monastery of Miraflores, proved equally fruitless.
Opposition only roused her passions into frenzy, and they were obliged to
comply with her mad humors. The corpse was removed from the vault; the two
coffins of lead and wood were opened, and such as chose gazed on the
mouldering relics, which, notwithstanding their having been embalmed,
exhibited scarcely a trace of humanity. The queen was not satisfied till
she touched them with her own hand, which she did without shedding a tear,
or testifying the least emotion. The unfortunate lady, indeed, was said
never to have been seen to weep, since she detected her husband's intrigue
with the Flemish courtesan.

The body was then placed on a magnificent car, or hearse, drawn by four
horses. It was accompanied by a long train of ecclesiastics and nobles,
who, together with the queen, left the city on the night of the 20th of
December. She made her journeys by night, saying, that "a widow, who had
lost the sun of her own soul, should never expose herself to the light of
day." When she halted, the body was deposited in some church or monastery,
where the funeral services were performed, as if her husband had just
died; and a corps of armed men kept constant guard, chiefly, as it would
seem, with the view of preventing any female from profaning the place by
her presence. For Joanna still retained the same jealousy of her sex,
which she had unhappily so much cause to feel during Philip's lifetime.

In a subsequent journey, when at a short distance from Torquemada, she
ordered the corpse to be carried into the court-yard of a convent,
occupied, as she supposed, by monks. She was filled with horror, however,
on finding it a nunnery, and immediately commanded the body to be removed
into the open fields. Here she encamped with her whole party at dead of
night; not, however, until she had caused the coffins to be unsealed, that
she might satisfy herself of the safety of her husband's relics; although
it was very difficult to keep the torches, during the time, from being
extinguished by the violence of the wind, and leaving the company in total
darkness. [3]

These mad pranks, savoring of absolute idiocy, were occasionally checkered
by other acts of more intelligence, but not less startling. She had early
shown a disgust to her father's old counsellors, and especially to
Ximenes, who, she thought, interfered too authoritatively in her domestic
concerns. Before leaving Burgos, however, she electrified her husband's
adherents, by revoking all grants made by the crown since Isabella's
death. This, almost the only act she was ever known to sign, was a severe
blow to the courtly tribe of sycophants, on whom the golden favors of the
late reign had been so prodigally showered. At the same time she reformed
her privy council, by dismissing the present members, and reinstating
those appointed by her royal mother, sarcastically telling one of the
ejected counsellors, that, "he might go and complete his studies at
Salamanca." The remark had a biting edge to it, as the worthy jurist was
reputed somewhat low in his scholarship. [4]

These partial gleams of intelligence, directed in this peculiar way too,
led many to discern the secret influence of her father. She still,
however, pertinaciously refused to sanction any measures of cortes for his
recall; and, when pressed by that body on this and other matters, at an
audience which she granted before leaving Burgos, she plainly told them
"to return to their quarters, and not to meddle further in the public
business without her express commands." Not long after this, the
legislature was prorogued by the royal council for four months.

The term assigned for the provisional government expired in December, and
was not renewed. No other regency was appointed by the nobles; and the
kingdom, without even the shadow of protection afforded by its cortes, and
with no other guide but its crazy sovereign, was left to drift at random
amidst the winds and waves of faction. This was not slow in brewing in
every quarter, with the aid especially of the overgrown nobles, whose
license, on such occasions as this, proved too plainly, that public
tranquillity was not founded so much on the stability of law, as on the
personal character of the reigning sovereign. [5]

The king's enemies, in the mean time, were pressing their correspondence
with the emperor Maximilian, and urging his immediate presence in Spain.
Others devised schemes for marrying the poor queen to the young duke of
Calabria, or some other prince, whose years or incapacity might enable
them to act over again the farce of King Philip. To add to the troubles
occasioned by this mesh of intrigue and faction, the country, which of
late years had suffered from scarcity, was visited by a pestilence, that
fell most heavily on the south. In Seville alone, Bernaldez reports the
incredible number of thirty thousand persons to have fallen victims to it.

But, although the storm was thus darkening from every quarter, there was
no general explosion, to shake the state to its foundations, as in the
time of Henry the Fourth. Orderly habits, if not principles, had been
gradually formed. under the long reign of Isabella. The great mass of the
people had learned to respect the operation, and appreciate the benefits
of law; and notwithstanding the menacing attitude, the bustle, and
transitory ebullitions of the rival factions, there seemed a manifest
reluctance to break up the established order of things, and, by deeds of
violence and bloodshed, to renew the days of ancient anarchy.

Much of this good result was undoubtedly to be attributed to the vigorous
counsels and conduct of Ximenes, [7] who, together with the grand
constable and the duke of Alva, had received full powers from Ferdinand to
act in his name. Much is also to be ascribed to the politic conduct of the
king. Far from an intemperate zeal to resume the sceptre of Castile, he
had shown throughout a discreet forbearance. He used the most courteous
and condescending style, in his communications to the nobles and the
municipalities, expressing his entire confidence in their patriotism, and
their loyalty to the queen, his daughter. Through the archbishop, and
other important agents, he had taken effectual measures to soften the
opposition of the more considerable lords; until, at length, not only such
accommodating statesmen as Garcilasso de la Vega, but more sturdy
opponents, as Villena, Benavente, and Bejar, were brought to give in their
adhesion to their old master. Liberal promises, indeed, had been made by
the emperor, in the name of his grandson Charles, who had already been
made to assume the title of King of Castile. But the promises of the
imperial braggart passed lightly with the more considerate Castilians, who
knew how far they usually outstripped his performance, and who felt, on
the other hand, that their true interests were connected with those of a
prince, whose superior talents and personal relations all concurred to
recommend him to the seat, which he had once so honorably occupied. The
great mass of the common people, too, notwithstanding the temporary
alienation of their feelings from the Catholic king by his recent
marriage, were driven by the evils they actually suffered, and the vague
apprehension of greater, to participate in the same sentiments; so that,
in less than eight months from Philip's death, the whole nation may be
said to have returned to its allegiance to its ancient sovereign. The only
considerable exceptions were Don Juan Manuel and the duke of Najara. The
former had gone too far to recede, and the latter possessed too
chivalrous, or too stubborn, a temper to do so. [8]

At length, the Catholic monarch, having completed his arrangements at
Naples, and waited until the affairs of Castile were fully ripe for his
return, set sail from his Italian capital, June 4th, 1507. He proposed to
touch at the Genoese port of Savona, where an interview had been arranged
between him and Louis the Twelfth. During his residence in Naples, he had
assiduously devoted himself to the affairs of the kingdom. He had avoided
entering into the local politics of Italy, refusing all treaties and
alliances proposed to him by its various states, whether offensive or
defensive. He had evaded the importunate solicitations and remonstrances
of Maximilian in regard to the Castilian regency, and had declined,
moreover, a personal conference proposed to him by the emperor, during his
stay in Italy. After the great work of restoring the Angevins to their
estates, he had thoroughly reorganized the interior administration of the
kingdom; creating new offices, and entirely new departments. He made large
reforms, moreover, in the courts of law, and prepared the way for the new
system, demanded by its relations as a dependency of the Spanish monarchy.
Lastly, before leaving the city, he acceded to the request of the
inhabitants for the re-establishment of their ancient university. [9]

In all these sagacious measures, he had been ably assisted by his viceroy,
Gonsalvo de Cordova. Ferdinand's deportment towards the latter had been
studied, as I have said, to efface every uncomfortable impression from his
mind. On his first arrival, indeed, the king had condescended to listen to
complaints, made by certain officers of the exchequer, of Gonsalvo's waste
and misapplication of the public moneys. The general simply asked leave to
produce his own accounts in his defence. The first item, which he read
aloud, was two hundred thousand seven hundred and thirty-six ducats, given
in alms to the monasteries and the poor, to secure their prayers for the
success of the king's enterprise. The second was seven hundred thousand
four hundred and ninety-four ducats to the spies employed in his service.
Other charges equally preposterous followed; while some of the audience
stared incredulous, others laughed, and the king himself, ashamed of the
paltry part he was playing, dismissed the whole affair as a jest. The
common saying of _cuentas del Gran Capitan_, at this day, attests at
least the popular faith in the anecdote. [10]

From this moment, Ferdinand continued to show Gonsalvo unbounded marks of
confidence; advising with him on all important matters, and making him the
only channel of royal favor. He again renewed, in the most emphatic
manner, his promise to resign the grand-mastership of St. Jago in his
favor, on their return to Spain, and made formal application to the pope
to confirm it. [11] In addition to the princely honors already conferred
on the Great Captain, he granted him the noble duchy of Sessa, by an
instrument, which, after a pompous recapitulation of his stately titles
and manifold services, [12] declares that these latter were too great for
recompense. Unfortunately for both king and subject, this was too true.

Gonsalvo remained a day or two behind his royal master in Naples, to
settle his private affairs. In addition to the heavy debts incurred by his
own generous style of living, he had assumed those of many of his old
companions in arms, with whom the world had gone less prosperously than
with himself. The claims of his creditors, therefore, had swollen to such
an amount, that, in order to satisfy them fully, he was driven to
sacrifice part of the domains lately granted him. Having discharged all
the obligations of a man of honor, he prepared to quit the land, over
which he had ruled with so much splendor and renown for nearly four years.
The Neapolitans in a body followed him to the vessel; and nobles,
cavaliers, and even ladies of the highest rank lingered on the shore to
bid him a last adieu. Not a dry eye, says the historian, was to be seen.
So completely had he dazzled their imaginations, and captivated their
hearts, by his brilliant and popular manners, his munificent spirit, and
the equity of his administration,--qualities more useful, and probably
more rare in those turbulent times, than military talent. He was succeeded
in the office of grand constable of the kingdom by Prospero Colonna, and
in that of viceroy by the count of Ribagorza, Ferdinand's nephew. [14]

On the 28th of June, the royal fleet of Aragon entered the little port of
Savona, where the king of France had already been waiting for it several
days. The French navy was ordered out to receive the Catholic monarch, and
the vessels on either side, gayly decorated with the national flags and
ensigns, rivalled each other in the beauty and magnificence of their
equipments. King Ferdinand's galleys were spread with rich carpets and
awnings of yellow and scarlet, and every sailor in the fleet exhibited the
same gaudy-colored livery of the royal house of Aragon. Louis the Twelfth
came to welcome his illustrious guests, attended by a gallant train of his
nobility and chivalry; and, in order to reciprocate, as far as possible,
the confidence reposed in him by the monarch with whom he had been so
recently at deadly feud, immediately went on board the vessel of the
latter. [15] Horses and mules richly caparisoned awaited them at the
landing. The French king, mounting his steed, gallantly placed the young
queen of Aragon behind him. His cavaliers did the same with the ladies of
her suite, most of them French women, though attired, as an old chronicler
of the nation rather peevishly complains, after the Spanish fashion; and
the whole party, with the ladies _en croupe_, galloped off to the royal
quarters in Savona. [16]

Blithe and jocund were the revels, which rung through the halls of this
fair city, during the brief residence of its royal visitors. Abundance of
good cheer had been provided by Louis's orders, writes an old cavalier,
[17] who was there to profit by it; and the larders of Savona were filled
with the choicest game, and its cellars well stored with the delicious
wines of Corsica, Languedoc, and Provence. Among the followers of Louis
were the marquis of Mantua, the brave La Palice, the veteran D'Aubigny,
and many others of renown, who had so lately measured swords with the
Spaniards on the fields of Italy, and who now vied with each other in
rendering them these more grateful, and no less honorable, offices of
chivalry. [18]

As the gallant D'Aubigny was confined to his apartment by the gout,
Ferdinand, who had always held his talents and conduct in high esteem,
complimented him by a visit in person. But no one excited such general
interest and attention as Gonsalvo de Cordova, who was emphatically the
hero of the day. At least, such is the testimony of Guicciardini, who will
not be suspected of undue partiality. Many a Frenchman there had had
bitter experience of his military prowess. Many others had grown familiar
with his exploits in the exaggerated reports of their country-men. They
had been taught to regard him with mingled feelings of fear and hatred,
and could scarcely credit their senses, as they beheld the bugbear of
their imaginations distinguished above all others for "the majesty of his
presence, the polished elegance of his discourse, and manners in which
dignity was blended with grace." [19]

But none were so open in their admiration as King Louis. At his request,
Gonsalvo was admitted to sup at the same table with the Aragonese
sovereigns and himself. During the repast he surveyed his illustrious
guest with the deepest interest, asking him various particulars respecting
those memorable campaigns, which had proved so fatal to France. To all
these the Great Captain responded with becoming gravity, says the
chronicler; and the French monarch testified his satisfaction, at parting,
by taking a massive chain of exquisite workmanship from his own neck, and
throwing it round Gonsalvo's. The historians of the event appear to be
entirely overwhelmed with the magnitude of the honor conferred on the
Great Captain, by thus admitting him to the same table with three crowned
heads; and Guicciardini does not hesitate to pronounce it a more glorious
epoch in his life than even that of his triumphal entry into the capital
of Naples. [20]

During this interview, the monarchs held repeated conferences, at which
none were present but the papal envoy, and Louis's favorite minister,
D'Amboise. The subject of discussion can only be conjectured by the
subsequent proceedings, which make it probable that it related to Italy;
and that it was in this season of idle dalliance and festivity, that the
two princes, who held the destinies of that country in their hands,
matured the famous league of Cambray, so disastrous to Venice, and
reflecting little credit on its projectors, either on the score of good
faith or sound policy. But to this we shall have occasion to return
hereafter. [21]

At length, after enjoying for four days the splendid hospitality of their
royal entertainer, the king and queen of Aragon re-embarked, and reached
their own port of Valencia, after various detentions, on the 20th of July,
1507. Ferdinand, having rested a short time in his beautiful capital,
pressed forward to Castile, where his presence was eagerly expected. On
the borders, he was met by the dukes of Albuquerque and Medina Celi, his
faithful follower the count of Cifuentes, and many other nobles and
cavaliers. He was soon after joined by deputies from many of the principal
cities in the kingdom, and, thus escorted, made his entry into it by the
way of Monteagudo, on the 21st of August. How different from the forlorn
and outcast condition, in which he had quitted the country a short year
before! He intimated the change in his own circumstances, by the greater
state and show of authority which he now assumed. The residue of the old
Italian army, just arrived under the celebrated Pedro Navarro, count of
Oliveto, [22] preceded him on the march; and he was personally attended by
his alcaldes, alguazils, and kings-at-arms, with all the appropriate
insignia of royal supremacy. [23] At Tortoles he was met by the queen, his
daughter, accompanied by Archbishop Ximenes. The interview between them
had more of pain than pleasure in it. The king was greatly shocked by
Joanna's appearance; for her wild and haggard features, emaciated figure,
and the mean, squalid attire in which she was dressed, made it difficult
to recognize any trace of the daughter, from whom he had been so long
separated. She discovered more sensibility on seeing him, than she had
shown since her husband's death, and henceforth resigned herself to her
father's will with little opposition. She was soon after induced by him to
change her unsuitable residence for more commodious quarters at
Tordesillas. Her husband's remains were laid in the monastery of Santa
Clara, adjoining the palace, from whose windows she could behold his
sepulchre. From this period, although she survived forty-seven years, she
never quitted the walls of her habitation. And, although her name appeared
jointly with that of her son, Charles the Fifth, in all public acts, she
never afterwards could be induced to sign a paper, or take part in any
transactions of a public nature. She lingered out a half century of dreary
existence, as completely dead to the world, as the remains which slept in
the monastery of Santa Clara beside her. [24]

From this time the Catholic king exercised an authority nearly as
undisputed, and far less limited and defined than in the days of Isabella.
So firm did he feel in his seat, indeed, that he omitted to obtain the
constitutional warrant of cortes. He had greatly desired this at the late
irregular meeting of that body. But it broke up, as we have seen, without
effecting anything; and, indeed, the disaffection of Burgos and some other
principal cities at that time, must have made the success of such an
application very doubtful. But the general cordiality, with which
Ferdinand was greeted, gave no ground for apprehending such a result at

Many, indeed, of his partisans objected to any intervention of the
legislature in this matter, as superfluous; alleging that he held the
regency as natural guardian of his daughter, nominated, moreover, by the
queen's will, and confirmed by the cortes at Toro. These rights, they
argued, were not disturbed by his resignation, which was a compulsory act,
and had never received any express legislative sanction; and which, in any
event, must be considered as intended only for Philip's lifetime, and to
be necessarily determined with that.

But, however plausible these views, the irregularity of Ferdinand's
proceedings furnished an argument for disobedience on the part of
discontented nobles, who maintained, that they knew no supreme authority
but that of their queen, Joanna, till some other had been sanctioned by
the legislature. The whole affair was finally settled, with more attention
to constitutional forms, in the cortes held at Madrid, October 6th, 1510,
when the king took the regular oaths as administrator of the realm in his
daughter's name, and as guardian of her son. [25]

Ferdinand's deportment, on his first return, was distinguished by a most
gracious clemency, evinced not so much, indeed, by any excessive
remuneration of services, as by the politic oblivion of injuries. If he
ever alluded to these, it was in a sportive way, implying that there was
no rancor or ill-will at heart. "Who would have thought," he exclaimed one
day to a courtier near him, "that you could so easily abandon your old
master, for one so young and inexperienced?" "Who would have thought,"
replied the other with equal bluntness, "that my old master would have
outlived my young one?" [26]

With all this complaisance, however, the king did not neglect precautions
for placing his authority on a sure basis, and fencing it round so as to
screen it effectually from the insults to which it had been formerly
exposed. He retained in pay most of the old Italian levies, with the
ostensible purpose of an African expedition. He took good care that the
military orders should hold their troops in constant readiness, and that
the militia of the kingdom should be in condition for instant service. He
formed a body-guard to attend the royal person on all occasions. It
consisted at first of only two hundred men, armed and drilled after the
fashion of the Swiss ordonnance, and placed under the command of his
chronicler, Ayora, an experienced martinet, who made some figure at the
defence of Salsas. This institution probably was immediately suggested by
the _garde du corps_ of Louis the Twelfth, at Savona, which, altogether on
a more formidable scale, indeed, had excited his admiration by the
magnificence of its appointments and its thorough discipline. [27]

Notwithstanding the king's general popularity, there were still a few
considerable persons, who regarded his resumption of authority with an
evil eye. Of these Don Juan Manuel had fled the kingdom before his
approach, and taken refuge at the court of Maximilian, where the
counsellors of that monarch took good care that he should not acquire the
ascendency he had obtained over Philip. The duke of Najara, however, still
remained in Castile, shutting himself up in his fortresses, and refusing
all compromise or obedience. The king without hesitation commanded Navarro
to march against him with his whole force. Najara was persuaded by his
friends to tender his submission, without waiting the encounter; and he
surrendered his strong-holds to the king, who, after detaining them some
time in his keeping, delivered them over to the duke's eldest son. [28]

With another offender he dealt more sternly. This was Don Pedro de
Cordova, marquis of Priego, who, the reader may remember, when quite a
boy, narrowly escaped the bloody fate of his father, Alonso de Aguilar, in
the fatal slaughter of the Sierra Vermeja. This nobleman, in common with
some other Andalusian lords, had taken umbrage at the little estimation
and favor shown them, as they conceived, by Ferdinand, in comparison with
the nobles of the north; and his temerity went so far, as not only to
obstruct the proceedings of one of the royal officers, sent to Cordova to
inquire into recent disturbances there, but to imprison him in the
dungeons of his castle of Montilla.

This outrage on the person of his own servant exasperated the king beyond
all bounds. He resolved at once to make such an example of the offender,
as should strike terror into the disaffected nobles, and shield the royal
authority from the repetition of similar indignities. As the marquis was
one of the most potent and extensively allied grandees in the kingdom,
Ferdinand made his preparations on a formidable scale, ordering, in
addition to the regular troops, a levy of all between the ages of twenty
and seventy throughout Andalusia. Priego's friends, alarmed at these signs
of the gathering tempest, besought him to avert it, if possible, by
instant concession; and his uncle, the Great Captain, urged this most
emphatically, as the only way of escaping utter ruin.

The rash young man, finding himself likely to receive no support in the
unequal contest, accepted the counsel, and hastened to Toledo, to throw
himself at the king's feet. The indignant monarch, however, would not
admit him into his presence, but ordered him to deliver up his fortresses,
and to remove to the distance of five leagues from the court. The Great
Captain soon after sent the king an inventory of his nephew's castles and
estates, at the same time deprecating his wrath, in consideration of the
youth and inexperience of the offender.

Ferdinand, however, without heeding this, went on with his preparations,
and, having completed them, advanced rapidly to the south. When arrived at
Cordova, he ordered the imprisonment of the marquis. A formal process was
then instituted against him before the royal council, on the charge of
high treason. He made no defence, but threw himself on the mercy of his
sovereign. The court declared, that he had incurred the penalty of death,
but that the king, in consideration of his submission, was graciously
pleased to commute this for a fine of twenty millions of maravedies,
perpetual banishment from Cordova and its district, and the delivery of
his fortresses into the royal keeping, with the entire demolition of the
offending castle of Montilla. This last, famous as the birth-place of the
Great Captain, was one of the strongest and most beautiful buildings in
all Andalusia. [29] Sentence of death was at the same time pronounced
against several cavaliers, and other inferior persons concerned in the
affair, and was immediately executed.

The Castilian aristocracy, alarmed and disgusted by the severity of a
sentence, which struck down one of the most considerable of their order,
were open in their remonstrances to the king, beseeching him, if no other
consideration moved him in favor of the young nobleman, to grant something
to the distinguished services of his father and his uncle. The latter, as
well as the grand constable, Velasco, who enjoyed the highest
consideration at court, were equally pressing in their solicitations.
Ferdinand, however, was inexorable; and the sentence was executed. The
nobles chafed in vain; although the constable expostulated with the king
in a tone, which no subject in Europe but a Castilian grandee would have
ventured to assume. Gonsalvo coolly remarked, "It was crime enough in Don
Pedro to be related to me." [30]

This illustrious man had had good reason to feel, before this, that his
credit at court was on the wane. On his return to Spain, he was received
with unbounded enthusiasm by the nation. He was detained by illness a few
days behind the court, and his journey towards Burgos to rejoin it, on his
recovery, was a triumphal procession the whole way. The roads were
thronged with multitudes so numerous, that accommodations could scarcely
be found for them in the towns on the route. [31] For they came from the
remotest parts of the country, all eager to catch a glimpse of the hero,
whose name and exploits, the theme of story and of song, were familiar to
the meanest peasant in Castile. In this way he made his entry into Burgos,
amid the cheering acclamations of the people, and attended by a
_cortege_ of officers, who pompously displayed on their own persons,
and the caparisons of their steeds, the rich spoils of Italian conquests.
The old count of Urena, his friend, who, with the whole court, came out by
Ferdinand's orders to receive him, exclaimed with a prophetic sigh, as he
saw the splendid pageant come sweeping by, "This gallant ship, I fear,
will require deeper water to ride in than she will find in Castile!" [32]

Ferdinand showed his usual gracious manners in his reception of Gonsalvo.
It was not long, however, before the latter found that this was all he was
to expect. No allusion was made to the grand-mastership. When it was at
length brought before the king, and he was reminded of his promises, he
contrived to defer their performance under various pretexts; until, at
length, it became too apparent, that it was his intention to evade them

While the Great Captain and his friends were filled with an indignation,
at this duplicity, which they could ill suppress, a circumstance occurred
to increase the coldness arising in Ferdinand's mind towards his injured
subject. This was the proposed marriage (a marriage which, from whatever
cause, never took place [33]) of Gonsalvo's daughter Elvira, to his friend
the constable of Castile. [34] Ferdinand had designed to secure her large
inheritance to his own family, by an alliance with his grandson, Juan de
Aragon, son of the archbishop of Saragossa. His displeasure, at finding
himself crossed in this, was further sharpened by the petulant spirit of
his young queen. The constable, now a widower, had been formerly married
to a natural daughter of Ferdinand. Queen Germaine, adverting to his
intended union with the lady Elvira, unceremoniously asked him, "If he did
not feel it a degradation to accept the hand of a subject, after having
wedded the daughter of a king?" "How can I feel it so," he replied,
alluding to the king's marriage with her, "when so illustrious an example
has been set me!" Germaine, who certainly could not boast the magnanimity
of her predecessor, was so stung with the retort, that she not only never
forgave the constable, but extended her petty resentment to Gonsalvo, who
saw the duke of Alva from this time installed in the honors he had before
exclusively enjoyed, of immediate attendance on her royal person whenever
she appeared in public. [35]

However indifferent Gonsalvo may have been to the little mortifications
inflicted by female spleen, he could no longer endure his residence at a
court, where he had lost all consideration with the sovereign, and
experienced nothing but duplicity and base ingratitude. He obtained leave,
without difficulty, to withdraw to his own estates; where, not long after,
the king, as if to make some amends for the gross violation of his
promises, granted him the royal city of Loja, not many leagues from
Granada. It was given to him for life, and Ferdinand had the effrontery to
propose, as a condition of making the grant perpetual to his heirs, that
Gonsalvo should relinquish his claim to the grandmastership of St. Jago.
But the latter haughtily answered, "He would not give up the right of
complaining of the injustice done him, for the finest city in the king's
dominions." [36]

From this time he remained on his estates in the south, chiefly at Loja,
with an occasional residence in Granada, where he enjoyed the society of
his old friend and military instructor, the count of Tendilla. He found
abundant occupation in schemes for improving the condition of his
tenantry, and of the neighboring districts. He took great interest in the
fate of the unfortunate Moriscoes, numerous in this quarter, whom he
shielded as far as possible from the merciless grasp of the Inquisition,
while he supplied teachers and other enlightened means for converting
them, or confirming them in a pure faith. He displayed the same
magnificence and profuse hospitality in his living that he had always
done. His house was visited by such intelligent foreigners as came to
Spain, and by the most distinguished of his countrymen, especially the
younger nobility and cavaliers, who resorted to it, as the best school of
high-bred and knightly courtesy, He showed a lively curiosity in all that
was going on abroad, keeping up his information by an extensive
correspondence with agents, whom he regularly employed for the purpose in
the principal European courts. When the league of Cambray was adjusted,
the king of France and the pope were desirous of giving him the command of
the allied armies. But Ferdinand had injured him too sensibly, to care to
see him again at the head of a military force in Italy. He was as little
desirous of employing him in public affairs at home, and suffered the
remainder of his days to pass away in distant seclusion; a seclusion,
however, not unpleasing to himself, nor unprofitable to others. [37] The
world called it disgrace; and the old count of Urena exclaimed, "The good
ship is stranded at last, as I predicted!" "Not so," said Gonsalvo, to
whom the observation was reported; "she is still in excellent trim, and
waits only the rising of the tide, to bear away as bravely as ever." [38]


[1] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib, 29, cap. 2.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 29.

[2] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 324, 332, 339, 363.--Mariana, Hist.
de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 3.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1506.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 206.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap.

"Childish as was the affection," says Dr. Dunham, "of Joanna for her
husband, she did not, as Robertson relates, cause the body to be removed
from the sepulchre after it was buried, and brought to her apartment. She
once visited the sepulchre, and, after affectionately gazing on the
corpse, was persuaded to retire. Robertson seems not to have read, at
least not with care, the authorities for the reign of Fernando." (History
of Spain and Portugal, vol. ii. p. 287, note.) Whoever will take the
trouble to examine these authorities, will probably not find Dr. Dunham
much more accurate in the matter than his predecessor. Robertson, indeed,
draws largely from the Epistles of Peter Martyr, the best voucher for this
period, which his critic apparently has not consulted. In the very page
preceding that in which he thus taxes Robertson with inaccuracy, we find
him speaking of Charles VIII. as the reigning monarch of France; an error
not merely clerical, since it is repeated no less than three times. Such
mistakes would be too trivial for notice in any but an author, who has
made similar ones the ground for unsparing condemnation of others.

[3] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 339.

A foolish Carthusian monk, "laevi sicco folio levior," to borrow Martyr's
words, though more knave than fool probably, filled Joanna with absurd
hopes of her husband's returning to life, which, he assured her, had
happened, as he had read, to a certain prince, after he had been dead
fourteen years. As Philip was disembowelled, he was hardly in a condition
for such an auspicious event. The queen, however, seems to have been
caught with the idea. (Opus Epist., epist. 328.) Martyr loses all patience
at the inventions of this "blactero cucullatus," as he calls him in his
abominable Latin, as well as at the mad pranks of the queen, and the
ridiculous figure which he and the other grave personages of the court
were compelled to make on the occasion. It is impossible to read his
Jeremiads on the subject without a smile. See, in particular, his
whimsical epistle to his old friend, the archbishop of Granada. Opus
Epist., epist. 333.

[4] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 3.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 26, 38, 54.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 72.--
Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 11.

[5] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 16.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 346.--Zurita, Anales, lib. 7, cap. 36-38.--Zuniga, Annales
de Sevilla, ano 1507.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 206.

The duke of Medina Sidonia, son of the nobleman who bore so honorable a
part in the Granadine war, mustered a large force by land and sea for the
recovery of his ancient patrimony of Gibraltar.--Isabella's high-spirited
friend, the marchioness of Moya, put herself at the head of a body of
troops with better success, during her husband's illness, and
re-established herself in the strong fortress of Segovia, which Philip had
transferred to Manuel. (Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 343.--Bernaldez,
Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 207.) "No one lamented the circumstance," says
Oviedo. The marchioness closed her life not long after this, at about
sixty years of age. Her husband, though much older, survived her.
Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 23.

[6] Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 208.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 71.--
Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 2.

The worthy Curate of Los Palacios does not vouch for this exact amount
from his own knowledge. He states, however, that 170 died, out of his own
little parish of 500 persons, and he narrowly escaped with life himself,
after a severe attack. Ubi supra.

[7] Ximenes equipped and paid out of his own funds a strong corps, for the
ostensible purpose of protecting the queen's person, but quite as much to
enforce order by checking the turbulent spirit of the grandees; a stretch
of authority, which this haughty body could ill brook. (Robles, Vida de
Ximenez, cap. 17.) Zurita, indeed, who thinks the archbishop had a strong
relish for sovereign power, accuses him of being "at heart much more of a
king than a friar." (Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 29.) Gomez, on the
contrary, traces every political act of his to the purest patriotism. (De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 70, et alib.) In the mixed motives of action, Ximenes
might probably have been puzzled himself, to determine how much belonged
to the one principle, and how much to the other.

[8] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 351.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables,
fol. 187.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 21.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 19, 22, 25, 30, 39.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv.
p. 76, ed Milano, 1803.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 17.--Sandoval,
Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 12.

[9] Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 1-5.--Summonte, Hist. di
Napoli, tom. iv. lib. 6, cap. 5.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 187.
--Buonaccorsi, Diario, p. 129.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 210.
--Signorelli, Coltura nelle Sicilie, tom. iv. p. 84.

The learned Neapolitan civilian, Giannone, bears emphatic testimony to the
general excellence of the Spanish legislation for Naples. Ubi supra.

[10] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 102.--Chronica del Gran Capitan,
lib. 3.

[11] Machiavelli expresses his astonishment, that Gonsalvo should have
been the dupe of promises, the very magnitude of which made them
suspicious. "Ho sentito ragionare di questo accordo fra Consalvo e il Re,
e maravigliarsi ciascuno che Consalvo se ne fidi; _e quanto qual Re e
stato piu liberale verso di lui, tanto piu, ne insospettisce la brigata,_
pensando che il Re abbi fatto per assicurarlo, e per poterne meglio
disporre sotto questa sicurta." (Legazione Seconda a Roma, let. 23, Oct.
6.) But what alternative had he, unless indeed that of open rebellion, for
which he seems to have had no relish? And, if he had, it was too late
after Ferdinand was in Naples.

[12] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 3.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 7, cap. 6, 49.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 279.

"Vos el ilustre Don Gonzalo Hernandez de Cordoba," begins the instrument,
"Duque de Terra Nova, Marques de Santangelo y Vitonto, y mi Condestable
del reyno de Napoles, nuestro muy charo y muy amado primo, y uno del
nuestro secreto Consejo," etc. (See the document, apud Quintana, Espanoles
Celebres, tom. i. Apend. no. 1.) The revenues from his various estates
amounted to 40,000 ducats. Zurita speaks of another instrument, a public
manifesto of the Catholic king, proclaiming to the world his sense of his
general's exalted services and unimpeachable loyalty. (Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 8, cap. 3.) This sort of testimony seems to contain an implication
not very flattering, and on the whole is so improbable, that I cannot but
think the Aragonese historian has confounded it with the grant of Sessa,
bearing precisely the same date, February 25th, and containing also,
though incidentally, and as a thing of course, the most ample tribute to
the Great Captain.--Comp. also Pulgar, Sum., p. 138.

[13] Tacitus may explain why. "Beneficia eo usque laeta sunt, dum videntur
exsolvi posse; ubi multum antevenere, pro gratia odium redditur."
(Annales, lib. 4. sec. 18.) "Il n'est pas si dangereux," says
Rochefoucault, in a more caustic vein, "de faire du mal a la plupart des
hommes, que de leur faire trop de bien."

[14] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 280, 281.--Garibay, Compendio,
tom. ii. lib. 20, cap. 9.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 1.--
Summonte, Hist. di Napoli, tom. iv. lib. 6, cap 5.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. iv. p. 72.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 4.

[15] "Spettacolo certamente memorabile, vedere insieme due Re potentissimi
tra tutti i Principi Cristiani, stati poco innanzi si acerbissimi inimici,
non solo riconciliati, e congiunti di parentado, ma deposti i segni dell'
odio, e della memoria delle offese, commettere ciascuno di loro la vita
propria in arbitrio dell' altro con non minore confidenza, che se sempre
fossero stati concordissimi fratelli." (Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p.
75.) This astonishment of the Italian is an indifferent tribute to the
habitual good faith of the times.

[16] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 3, chap. 38.--Buonaccorsi,
Diario, p. 132.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys XII, p. 204.

 Germaine appears to have been no great favorite with the French
chroniclers. "Et y estoit sa femme Germaine de Fouez, _qui tenoit une
marveilleuse audace_. Elle fist peu de compte de tous les Francois,
mesmement de son frere, le gentil duc de Nemours." (Memoires de Bayard,
chap. 27, apud Petitot, Collection des Memoires, tom. xv.) See also
Fleurange, (Memoires, chap. 19, apud Petitot, Collection des Memoires,
tom. xvi.) who notices the same arrogant bearing.

[17] For fighting, and feasting, and all the generous pastimes of
chivalry, none of the old French chroniclers of this time rivals D'Auton.
He is the very Froissart of the sixteenth century. A part of his works
still remains in manuscript. That which is printed retains the same form,
I believe, in which it was given to the public by Godefroy, in the
beginning of the seventeenth century; while many an inferior chronicler
and memoirmonger has been published and republished, with all the lights
of editorial erudition.

[18] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 3, chap. 38.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., ubi supra.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, lib. 7.--St. Gelais,
Hist. de Louys XII., p. 201.

[19] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. pp. 76, 77.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, p. 282.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 4.

"Ma non dava minore materia ai ragionamenti il Gran Capitano, al quale non
erano meno volti gli occhi degli uomini per la fama del suo valore, e per
la memoria di tante vittorie, la quale faceva, che i Franzesi, ancora che
vinti tante volte di lui, e che solevano avere in sommo odio, e orrore il
suo nome, non si saziassero di contemplarlo e onorarlo. ***** E accresceva
l'ammirazione degli uomini la maesta eccellente della presenza sua, la
magnificenza delle parole, i gesti, e la maniera piena di gravita condita
di grazia: ma sopra tutti il Re di Francia," etc. Guicciardini, ubi supra.

[20] Brantome, Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 6.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 4.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. pp. 77, 78.--
D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., ubi supra.--Quintana, Espanoles Celebres,
tom. i. p. 319.--Memoires de Bayard, chap. 27, apud Petitot, Collection
des Memoires, tom. xv.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 210.--
Pulgar, Sumario, p. 195.

[21] D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., part. 3, chap. 38.--Buonaccorsi,
Diario, p. 133.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 36.

[22] King Ferdinand had granted him the title and territory of Oliveto in
the kingdom of Naples, in recompense for his eminent services in the
Italian wars. Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. p. 178.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, p. 190.

[23] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 210.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 8, cap. 4, 7.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 358.--Gomez, De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 74.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

[24] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 75.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
363.--Zurita, Anales, lib. 8, cap. 49.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos
V., tom. i. p. 13.

Philip's remains were afterwards removed to the cathedral church of
Granada; where they were deposited, together with those of his wife
Joanna, in a magnificent sepulchre erected by Charles V., near that of
Ferdinand and Isabella. Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3, cap. 7.--
Colmenar, Delices de l'Espagne et du Portugal, (Leide, 1715,) tom. iii. p.

[25] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 26, 34; lib. 9, cap. 20.

See the bold language of the protest of the marquis of Priego, against
this assumption of the regency by the Catholic king. "En caso tan grande,"
he says, "que se trata de gobernacion de grandes reinos e senorios justa e
razonable cosa fuera, e seria que fueramos llamados e certificados de
ello, porque yo e los otros caballeros grandes e las ciudades e alcaldes
mayores vieramos lo que debiamos hacer e consentir como vasallos e leales
servidores de la reina nuestra senora, porque la administration e
gobernacion destos reinos se diera e concediera a quien las leyes destos
reynos mandan que se den e encomienden en caso," etc. (MS. de la
Biblioteca de la Real Acad. de Hist., apud Marina, Teoria, tom. ii. part.
2, cap. 18.) Marina, however, is not justified in regarding Ferdinand's
subsequent convocation of cortes for this purpose, as a concession to the
demands of the nation. (Teoria, ubi supra.) It was the result of the
treaty of Blois, with Maximilian, guaranteed by Louis XII., the object of
which was to secure the succession to the archduke Charles. Zurita,
Anales, lib. 8, cap. 47.

[26] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 282.--Chronica del Gran Capitan,
lib. 3, cap. 4.

[27] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 8, cap. 10.--MSS. de Torres y de
Oviedo, apud Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 6.--D'Auton, Hist.
de Louys XII., part. 3, chap. 38.

The Catholic king was very minute in his inquiries, according to Auton,
"du faict et de l'estat des gardes du Roy, et de ses Gentilshommes, qu'il
reputoit a grande chose, et triomphale ordonnance." Ubi supra.

[28] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 210.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 363.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 75.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 8, cap. 15.

[29] "Montiliana," writes Peter Martyr, "illa atria, quae vidisti
aliquando, multo auro, multoque ebore compta ornataque, proh dolor!
funditus dirui sunt jussa." (Opus Epist., epist. 405.) He was well
acquainted with the lordly halls of Montilla, for he had been preceptor to
their young master, who was a favorite pupil, to judge from the bitter
wailings of the kind-hearted pedagogue over his fate. See epist. 404, 405.

[30] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 215.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 392, 393, 405.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 284.--
Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 8, cap. 20, 21, 22.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1507.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 20, cap. 10.--Chronica del
Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 6.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i.
p. 13.

[31] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p, 282.--Pulgar, Sumario, p. 197.

[32] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 210.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, ubi supra.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 5.

[33] Quintana errs in stating that Dona Elvira _married_ the constable.
(Espanoles Celebres, tom. i. p. 321.) He had two wives, Dona Blanca de
Herrera, and Dona Juana de Aragon, and at his death was laid by their side
in the church of Santa Clara de Medina del Pomar. (Salazar de Mendoza,
Dignidades, lib. 3, cap. 21.) Elvira married the count of Cabra. Ulloa,
Vita di Carlo V., fol. 42.

[34] Bernardino de Velasco, _grand_ constable of Castile, as he was
called, _par excellence_, succeeded in 1492 to that dignity, which
became hereditary in his family. He was third count of Haro, and was
created by the Catholic sovereigns, for his distinguished services, duke
of Frias. He had large estates, chiefly in Old Castile, with a yearly
revenue, according to L. Marineo, of 60,000 ducats. He appears to have
possessed many noble and brilliant qualities, accompanied, however, with a
haughtiness, which made him feared, rather than loved. He died in
February, 1512, after a few hours' illness, as appears by a letter of
Peter Martyr. Opus Epist., epist. 479.--Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades,
ubi supra.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 23.

[35] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, pp. 282, 283.

[36] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 284, 285.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 6.--Pulgar, Sumario, p. 208.

[37] The inscription on Guicciardini's monument might have been written on

  "Cujus negotium, an otium gloriosius incertum."

See Pignotti, Storia della Toscana, (Pisa, 1813,) tom. ix. p. 155.

[38] Quintana, Espanoles Celebres, tom. i. pp. 322-334.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, p. 286.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 7-9.--
Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 560.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv.
pp. 77, 78.




Enthusiasm of Ximenes.--His Warlike Preparations.--He Sends an Army to
Africa.--Storms Oran.--His Triumphant Entry.--The King's Distrust of Him.
--He Returns to Spain.--Navarro's African Conquests.--Magnificent
Endowments of Ximenes.--University of Alcala.--Complutensian Polyglot.

The high-handed measures of Ferdinand, in regard to the marquis of Priego
and some other nobles, excited general disgust among the jealous
aristocracy of Castile. But they appear to have found more favor with the
commons, who were probably not unwilling to see that haughty body humbled,
which had so often trampled on the rights of its inferiors. [1] As a
matter of policy, however, even with the nobles, this course does not seem
to have been miscalculated; since it showed, that the king, whose talents
they had always respected, was now possessed of power to enforce
obedience, and was fully resolved to exert it.

Indeed, notwithstanding a few deviations, it must be allowed that
Ferdinand's conduct on his return was extremely lenient and liberal; more
especially, considering the subjects of provocation he had sustained, in
the personal insults and desertion of those, on whom he had heaped so many
favors. History affords few examples of similar moderation on the
restoration of a banished prince, or party. In fact, a violent and
tyrannical course would not have been agreeable to his character, in which
passion, however strong by nature, was habitually subjected to reason. The
present, as it would seem, excessive acts of severity are to be regarded,
therefore, not as the sallies of personal resentment, but as the dictates
of a calculating policy, intended to strike terror into the turbulent
spirits, whom fear only could hold in check.

To this energetic course he was stimulated, as was said, by the counsels
of Ximenes. This eminent prelate had now reached the highest
ecclesiastical honors short of the papacy. Soon after Ferdinand's
restoration, he received a cardinal's hat from Pope Julius the Second; [2]
and this was followed by his appointment to the office of inquisitor
general of Castile, in the place of Deza, archbishop of Seville. The
important functions devolved on him by these offices, in conjunction with
the primacy of Spain, might be supposed to furnish abundant subject and
scope for his aspiring spirit. But his views, on the contrary, expanded
with every step of his elevation, and now fell little short of those of an
independent monarch. His zeal glowed fiercer than ever for the propagation
of the Catholic faith. Had he lived in the age of the crusades, he would
indubitably have headed one of those expeditions himself; for the spirit
of the soldier burned strong and bright under his monastic weeds. [3]
Indeed, like Columbus, he had formed plans for the recovery of the Holy
Sepulchre, even at this late day. [4] But his zeal found a better
direction in a crusade against the neighboring Moslems of Africa, who had
retaliated the wrongs of Granada by repeated descents on the southern
coasts of the Peninsula, calling in vain for the interference of
government. At the instigation and with the aid of Ximenes, an expedition
had been fitted out soon after Isabella's death, which resulted in the
capture of Mazarquivir, an important port, and formidable nest of pirates,
on the Barbary coast, nearly opposite Carthagena. He now meditated a more
difficult enterprise, the conquest of Oran. [5]

This place, situated about a league from the former, was one of the most
considerable of the Moslem possessions in the Mediterranean, being a
principal mart for the trade of the Levant. It contained about twenty
thousand inhabitants, was strongly fortified, and had acquired a degree of
opulence by its extensive commerce, which enabled it to maintain a swarm
of cruisers, that swept this inland sea, and made fearful depredations on
its populous borders. [6]

No sooner was Ferdinand quietly established again in the government, than
Ximenes urged him to undertake this new conquest. The king saw its
importance, but objected the want of funds. The cardinal, who was prepared
for this, replied, that "he was ready to lend whatever sums were
necessary, and to take sole charge of the expedition, leading it, if the
king pleased, in person." Ferdinand, who had no objection to this mode of
making acquisitions, more especially as it would open a vent for the
turbulent spirits of his subjects, readily acquiesced in the proposition.
The enterprise, however disproportionate it might seem to the resources of
a private individual, was not beyond those of the cardinal. He had been
carefully husbanding his revenues for some time past, with a view to this
object; although he had occasionally broken in upon his appropriations, to
redeem unfortunate Spaniards, who had been swept into slavery. He had
obtained accurate surveys of the Barbary coast from an Italian engineer
named Vianelli. He had advised, as to the best mode of conducting
operations, with his friend Gonsalvo de Cordova, to whom, if it had been
the king's pleasure, he would gladly have intrusted the conduct of the
expedition. At his suggestion, that post was now assigned to the
celebrated engineer, Count Pedro Navarro. [7]

No time was lost in completing the requisite preparations. Besides the
Italian veterans, levies were drawn from all quarters of the country,
especially from the cardinal's own diocese. The chapter of Toledo entered
heartily into his views, furnishing liberal supplies, and offering to
accompany the expedition in person. An ample train of ordnance was
procured, with provisions and military stores for the maintenance of an
army four months. Before the close of the spring, in 1509, all was in
readiness, and a fleet of ten galleys and eighty smaller vessels rode in
the harbor of Carthagena, having on board a force, amounting in all to
four thousand horse and ten thousand foot. Such were the resources,
activity, and energy, displayed by a man whose life, until within a very
few years, had been spent in cloistered solitudes, and in the quiet
practices of religion, and who now, oppressed with infirmities more than
usual, had passed the seventieth year of his age.

In accomplishing all this, the cardinal had experienced greater obstacles
than those arising from bodily infirmity or age. His plans had been
constantly discouraged and thwarted by the nobles, who derided the idea of
"a monk fighting the battles of Spain, while the Great Captain was left to
stay at home, and count his beads like a hermit." The soldiers, especially
those of Italy, as well as their commander Navarro, trained under the
banners of Gonsalvo, showed little inclination to serve under their
spiritual leader. The king himself was cooled by these various
manifestations of discontent. But the storm, which prostrates the weaker
spirit, serves only to root the stronger more firmly in its purpose; and
the genius of Ximenes, rising with the obstacles it had to encounter,
finally succeeded in triumphing over all, in reconciling the king,
disappointing the nobles, and restoring obedience and discipline to the
army. [8]

On the 16th of May, 1509, the fleet weighed anchor, and on the following
day reached the African port of Mazarquivir. No time was lost in
disembarking; for the fires on the hill-tops showed that the country was
already in alarm. It was proposed to direct the main attack against a
lofty height, or ridge of land, rising between Mazarquivir and Oran, so
near the latter as entirely to command it. At the same time, the fleet was
to drop down before the Moorish city, and by opening a brisk cannonade,
divert the attention of the inhabitants from the principal point of

As soon as the Spanish army had landed, and formed in order of battle,
Ximenes mounted his mule, and rode along the ranks. He was dressed in his
pontifical robes, with a belted sword at his side. A Franciscan friar rode
before him, bearing aloft the massive silver cross, the archiepiscopal
standard of Toledo. Around him were other brethren of the order, wearing
their monastic frocks, with scimitars hanging from their girdles. As the
ghostly cavalcade advanced, they raised the triumphant hymn of _Vexilla
regis_, until at length the cardinal, ascending a rising ground, imposed
silence, and made a brief but animated harangue to his soldiers. He
reminded them of the wrongs they had suffered from the Moslems, the
devastation of their coasts, and their brethren dragged into merciless
slavery. When he had sufficiently roused their resentment against the
enemies of their country and religion, he stimulated their cupidity by
dwelling on the golden spoil, which awaited them in the opulent city of
Oran; and he concluded his discourse by declaring, that he had come to
peril his own life in the good cause of the Cross, and to lead them on to
battle, as his predecessors had often done before him. [9]

The venerable aspect and heart-stirring eloquence of the primate kindled a
deep, reverential enthusiasm in the bosoms of his martial audience, which
showed itself by the profoundest silence. The officers, however, closed
around him at the conclusion of the address, and besought him not to
expose his sacred person to the hazard of the fight; reminding him, that
his presence would probably do more harm than good, by drawing off the
attention of the men to his personal safety. This last consideration moved
the cardinal, who, though reluctantly, consented to relinquish the command
to Navarro, and, after uttering his parting benediction over the prostrate
ranks, he withdrew to the neighboring fortress of Mazarquivir.

The day was now far spent, and dark clouds of the enemy were seen
gathering along the tops of the sierra, which it was proposed first to
attack. Navarro, seeing this post so strongly occupied, doubted whether
his men would be able to carry it before nightfall, if indeed at all,
without previous rest and refreshment, after the exhausting labors of the
day. He returned, therefore, to Mazarquivir, to take counsel of Ximenes.
The latter, whom he found at his devotions, besought him "not to falter at
this hour, but to go forward in God's name, since both the blessed Saviour
and the false prophet Mahomet conspired to deliver the enemy into his
hands." The soldier's scruples vanished before the intrepid bearing of the
prelate, and, returning to the army, he gave instant orders to advance.

Slowly and silently the Spanish troops began their ascent up the steep
sides of the sierra, under the friendly cover of a thick mist, which,
rolling heavily down the skirts of the hills, shielded them for a time
from the eye of the enemy. As soon as they emerged from it, however, they
were saluted with showers of balls, arrows, and other deadly missiles,
followed by the desperate charges of the Moors, who, rushing down,
endeavored to drive back the assailants. But they made no impression on
the long pikes and deep ranks of the latter, which remained unshaken as a
rock. Still the numbers of the enemy, fully equal to those of the
Spaniards, and the advantages of their position enabled them to dispute
the ground with fearful obstinacy. At length Navarro got a small battery
of heavy guns to operate on the flank of the Moors. The effect of this
movement was soon visible. The exposed sides of the Moslem column, finding
no shelter from the deadly volleys, were shaken and thrown into disorder.
The confusion extended to the leading files, which now, pressed heavily by
the iron array of spearmen in the Christian van, began to give ground.
Retreat was soon quickened into a disorderly flight. The Spaniards
pursued; many of them, especially the raw levies, breaking their ranks,
and following up the flying foe without the least regard to the commands
or menaces of their officers; a circumstance which might have proved
fatal, had the Moors had strength or discipline to rally. As it was, the
scattered numbers of the Christians, magnifying to the eye their real
force, served only to increase the panic, and accelerate the speed of the
fugitives. [11]

While this was going on, the fleet had anchored before the city, and
opened a very heavy cannonade, which was answered with equal spirit from
sixty pieces of artillery which garnished the fortifications. The troops
on board, however, made good their landing, and soon joined themselves to
their victorious countrymen, descending from the sierra. They then pushed
forward in all haste towards Oran, proposing to carry the place by
escalade. They were poorly provided with ladders, but the desperate energy
of the moment overleaped every obstacle; and planting their long pikes
against the walls, or thrusting them into the crevices of the stones, they
clambered up with incredible dexterity, although they were utterly unable
to repeat the feat the next day in cold blood. The first who gained the
summit was Sousa, captain of the cardinal's guard, who, shouting forth
"St. Jago and Ximenes," unfurled his colors, emblazoned with the primate's
arms on one side, and the Cross on the other, and planted them on the
battlements. Six other banners were soon seen streaming from the ramparts;
and the soldiers leaping into the town got possession of the gates, and
threw them open to their comrades. The whole army now rushed in, sweeping
everything before it. Some few of the Moors endeavored to make head
against the tide, but most fled into the houses and mosques for
protection. Resistance and flight were alike unavailing. No mercy was
shown; no respect for age or sex; and the soldiery abandoned themselves to
all the brutal license and ferocity, which seem to stain religious wars
above every other. It was in vain Navarro called them off. They returned
like bloodhounds to the slaughter, and never slackened, till at last,
wearied with butchery, and gorged with the food and wine found in the
houses, they sunk down to sleep promiscuously in the streets and public
squares. [12]

The sun, which on the preceding morning had shed its rays on Oran,
flourishing in all the pride of commercial opulence, and teeming with a
free and industrious population, next rose on it a captive city, with its
ferocious conquerors stretched in slumber on the heaps of their
slaughtered victims. [13] No less than four thousand Moors were said to
have fallen in the battle, and from five to eight thousand were made
prisoners. The loss of the Christians was inconsiderable. As soon as the
Spanish commander had taken the necessary measures for cleansing the place
from its foul and dismal impurities, he sent to the cardinal, and invited
him to take possession of it. The latter embarked on board his galley,
and, as he coasted along the margin of the city, and saw its gay pavilions
and sparkling minarets reflected in the waters, his soul swelled with
satisfaction at the glorious acquisition he had made for Christian Spain.
It seemed incredible, that a town so strongly manned and fortified, should
have been carried so easily.

As Ximenes landed and entered the gates, attended by his train of monkish
brethren, he was hailed with thundering acclamations by the army as the
true victor of Oran, in whose behalf Heaven had condescended to repeat the
stupendous miracle of Joshua, by stopping the sun in his career. [14] But
the cardinal, humbly disclaiming all merits of his own, was heard to
repeat aloud the sublime language of the Psalmist, "Non nobis, Domine, non
nobis," while he gave his benedictions to the soldiery. He was then
conducted to the alcazar, and the keys of the fortress were put into his
hand. The spoil of the captured city, amounting, as was said, to half a
million of gold ducats, the fruit of long successful trade and piracy, was
placed at his disposal for distribution. But that which gave most joy to
his heart was the liberation of three hundred Christian captives,
languishing in the dungeons of Oran. A few hours after the surrender, the
_mezuar_ of Tremecen arrived with a powerful reinforcement to its relief;
but instantly retreated on learning the tidings. Fortunate, indeed, was
it, that the battle had not been deferred to the succeeding day. This,
which must be wholly ascribed to Ximenes, was by most referred to direct
inspiration. Quite as probable an explanation may be found in the boldness
and impetuous enthusiasm of the cardinal's character. [15]

The conquest of Oran opened unbounded scope to the ambition of Ximenes;
who saw in imagination the banner of the Cross floating triumphant from
the walls of every Moslem city on the Mediterranean. He experienced,
however, serious impediments to his further progress. Navarro, accustomed
to an independent command, chafed in his present subordinate situation,
especially under a spiritual leader, whose military science he justly held
in contempt. He was a rude, unlettered soldier, and bluntly spoke his mind
to the primate. He told him, "his commission under him terminated with the
capture of Oran; that two generals were too many in one army; that the
cardinal should rest contented with the laurels he had already won, and,
instead of playing the king, go home to his flock, and leave fighting to
those to whom the trade belonged." [16]

But what troubled the prelate more than this insolence of his general, was
a letter which fell into his hands, addressed by the king to Count
Navarro, in which he requested him to be sure to find some pretence for
detaining the cardinal in Africa, as long as his presence could be made
any way serviceable. Ximenes had good reason before to feel that the royal
favor to him flowed from selfishness, rather than from any personal
regard. The king had always wished the archbishopric of Toledo for his
favorite, and natural son, Alfonso of Aragon. After his return from
Naples, he importuned Ximenes to resign his see, and exchange it for that
of Saragossa, held by Alfonso; till, at length, the indignant prelate
replied, "that he would never consent to barter away the dignities of the
church; that if his Highness pressed him any further, he would indeed
throw up the primacy, but it should be to bury himself in the friar's cell
from which the queen had originally called him." Ferdinand, who,
independently of the odium of such a proceeding, could ill afford to part
with so able a minister, knew his inflexible temper too well ever to
resume the subject. [17]

With some reason, therefore, for distrusting the good-will of his
sovereign, Ximenes put the worst possible construction on the expressions
in his letter. He saw himself a mere tool in Ferdinand's hands, to be used
so long as occasion might serve, with the utmost indifference to his own
interests or convenience. These humiliating suspicions, together with the
arrogant bearing of his general, disgusted him with the further
prosecution of the expedition; while he was confirmed in his purpose of
returning to Spain, and found an obvious apology for it in the state of
his own health, too infirm to encounter, with safety, the wasting heats of
an African summer.

Before his departure, he summoned Navarro and his officers about him, and,
after giving them much good counsel respecting the government and defence
of their new acquisitions, he placed at their disposal an ample supply of
funds and stores, for the maintenance of the army several months. He then
embarked, not with the pompous array and circumstance of a hero returning
from his conquests, but with a few domestics only, in an unarmed galley,
showing, as it were, by this very act, the good effects of his enterprise,
in the security which it brought to the before perilous navigation of
these inland seas. [18]

Splendid preparations were made for his reception in Spain, and he was
invited to visit the court at Valladolid, to receive the homage and public
testimonials due to his eminent services. But his ambition was of too
noble a kind to be dazzled by the false lights of an ephemeral popularity.
He had too much pride of character, indeed, to allow room for the
indulgence of vanity. He declined, these compliments, and hastened without
loss of time to his favorite city of Alcala. There, too, the citizens,
anxious to do him honor, turned out under arms to receive him, and made a
breach in the walls, that he might make his entry in a style worthy of a
conqueror. But this also he declined choosing to pass into the town by the
regular avenue, with no peculiar circumstances attending his entrance,
save only a small train of camels, led by African slaves, and laden with
gold and silver plate from the mosques of Oran, and a precious collection
of Arabian manuscripts, for the library of his infant university of

He showed similar modesty and simplicity in his deportment and
conversation. He made no allusion to the stirring scenes in which he had
been so gloriously engaged; and, if others made any, turned the discourse
into some other channel, particularly to the condition of his college, its
discipline, and literary progress, which, with the great project for the
publication of his famous Polyglot Bible, seemed now almost wholly to
absorb his attention. [19]

His first care, however, was to visit the families in his diocese, and
minister consolation and relief, which he did in the most benevolent
manner, to those who were suffering from the loss of friends, whether by
death or absence, in the late campaign. Nor did he in his academical
retreat lose sight of the great object which had so deeply interested him,
of extending the empire of the Cross over Africa. From time to time he
remitted supplies for the maintenance of Oran; and he lost no opportunity
of stimulating Ferdinand to prosecute his conquests.

The Catholic king, however, felt too sensibly the importance of his new
possessions to require such admonition; and Count Pedro Navarro was
furnished with ample resources of every kind, and, above all, with the
veterans formed under the eye of Gonsalvo de Cordova. Thus placed on an
independent field of conquest, the Spanish general was not slow in pushing
his advantages. His first enterprise was against Bugia, whose king, at the
head of a powerful army, he routed in two pitched battles, and got
possession of his flourishing capital. Algiers, Tennis, Tremecen, and
other cities on the Barbary coast, submitted one after another to the
Spanish arms. The inhabitants were received as vassals of the Catholic
king, engaging to pay the taxes usually imposed by their Moslem princes,
and to serve him in war, with the addition of the whimsical provision, so
often found in the old Granadine treaties, to attend him in cortes. They
guaranteed, moreover, the liberation of all Christian captives in their
dominions; for which the Algerines, however, took care to indemnify
themselves, by extorting the full ransom from their Jewish residents. It
was of little moment to the wretched Israelite which party won the day,
Christian or Mussulman; he was sure to be stripped in either case. [20]

On the 26th of July, 1510, the ancient city of Tripoli, after a most
bloody and desperate defence, surrendered to the arms of the victorious
general, whose name had now become terrible along the whole northern
borders of Africa. In the following month, however, he met with a serious
discomfiture in the island of Gelves, where four thousand of his men were
slain or made prisoners. [21] This check in the brilliant career of Count
Navarro put a final stop to the progress of the Castilian arms in Africa
under Ferdinand. [22]

The results already obtained, however, were of great importance, whether
we consider the value of the acquisitions, being some of the most opulent
marts on the Barbary coast, or the security gained for commerce, by
sweeping the Mediterranean of the pestilent hordes of marauders, which had
so long infested it. Most of the new conquests escaped from the Spanish
crown in later times, through the imbecility or indolence of Ferdinand's
successors. The conquests of Ximenes, however, were placed in so strong a
posture of defence, as to resist every attempt for their recovery by the
enemy, and to remain permanently incorporated with the Spanish empire.

This illustrious prelate, in the mean while, was busily occupied, in his
retirement at Alcala de Henares, with watching over the interests and
rapid development of his infant university. This institution was too
important in itself, and exercised too large an influence over the
intellectual progress of the country, to pass unnoticed in a history of
the present reign.

As far back as 1497, Ximenes had conceived the idea of establishing a
university in the ancient town of Alcala, where the salubrity of the air,
and the sober, tranquil complexion of the scenery, on the beautiful
borders of the Henares, seemed well suited to academic study and
meditation. He even went so far as to obtain plans at this time for his
buildings from a celebrated architect. Other engagements, however,
postponed the commencement of the work till 1500, when the cardinal
himself laid the cornerstone of the principal college, with a solemn
ceremonial, [24] and invocation of the blessing of Heaven on his designs.
From that hour, amidst all the engrossing cares of church and state, he
never lost sight of this great object. When at Alcala, he might be
frequently seen on the ground, with the rule in his hand, taking the
admeasurements of the buildings, and stimulating the industry of the
workmen by seasonable rewards. [25]

The plans were too extensive, however, to admit of being speedily
accomplished. Besides the principal college of San Ildefonso, named in
honor of the patron saint of Toledo, there were nine others, together with
an hospital for the reception of invalids at the university. These
edifices were built in the most substantial manner, and such parts as
admitted of it, as the libraries, refectories, and chapels, were finished
with elegance, and even splendor. The city of Alcala underwent many
important and expensive alterations, in order to render it more worthy of
being the seat of a great and flourishing university. The stagnant water
was carried off by drains, the streets were paved, old buildings removed,
and new and spacious avenues thrown open. [26]

At the expiration of eight years, the cardinal had the satisfaction of
seeing the whole of his vast design completed, and every apartment of the
spacious pile carefully furnished with all that was requisite for the
comfort and accommodation of the student. It was, indeed, a noble
enterprise, more particularly when viewed as the work of a private
individual. As such it raised the deepest admiration in Francis the First,
when he visited the spot, a few years after the cardinal's death. "Your
Ximenes," said he, "has executed more than I should have dared to
conceive; he has done, with his single hand, what in France it has cost a
line of kings to accomplish." [27]

The erection of the buildings, however, did not terminate the labors of
the primate, who now assumed the task of digesting a scheme of instruction
and discipline for his infant seminary. In doing this, he sought light
wherever it was to be found; and borrowed many useful hints from the
venerable university of Paris. His system was of the most enlightened
kind, being directed to call all the powers of the student into action,
and not to leave him a mere passive recipient in the hands of his
teachers. Besides daily recitations and lectures, he was required to take
part in public examinations and discussions, so conducted as to prove
effectually his talent and acquisitions. In these gladiatorial displays,
Ximenes took the deepest interest, and often encouraged the generous
emulation of the scholar by attending in person.

Two provisions may be noticed as characteristic of the man. One, that the
salary of a professor should be regulated by the number of his disciples.
Another, that every professor should be re-eligible at the expiration of
every four years. It was impossible, that any servant of Ximenes should
sleep on his post. [28]

Liberal foundations were made for indigent students, especially in
divinity. Indeed, theological studies, or rather such a general course of
study as should properly enter into the education of a Christian minister,
was the avowed object of the institution. For the Spanish clergy up to
this period, as before noticed, were too often deficient in the most
common elements of learning. But in this preparatory discipline, the
comprehensive mind of Ximenes embraced nearly the whole circle of sciences
taught in other universities. Out of the forty-two chairs, indeed, twelve
only were dedicated to divinity and the canon law; while fourteen were
appropriated to grammar, rhetoric, and the ancient classics; studies,
which probably found especial favor with the cardinal, as furnishing the
only keys to a correct criticism and interpretation of the Scriptures.

Having completed his arrangements, the cardinal sought the most competent
agents for carrying his plans into execution; and this indifferently from
abroad and at home. His mind was too lofty for narrow local prejudices,
and the tree of knowledge, he knew, bore fruit in every clime. [30] He
took especial care, that the emolument should be sufficient to tempt
talent from obscurity, and from quarters however remote, where it was to
be found. In this he was perfectly successful, and we find the university
catalogue at this time inscribed with the names of the most distinguished
scholars in their various departments, many of whom we are enabled to
appreciate by the enduring memorials of erudition, which they have
bequeathed to us. [31]

In July, 1508, the cardinal received the welcome intelligence, that his
academy was opened for the admission of pupils; and in the following month
the first lecture, being on Aristotle's Ethics, was publicly delivered.
Students soon flocked to the new university, attracted by the reputation
of its professors, its ample apparatus, its thorough system of
instruction, and, above all, its splendid patronage, and the high
character of its founder. We have no information of their number in
Ximenes's lifetime; but it must have been very considerable, since no less
than seven thousand came out to receive Francis the First on his visit to
the university, within twenty years after it was opened. [32]

Five years after this period, in 1513, King Ferdinand, in an excursion
made for the benefit of his declining health, paid a visit to Alcala. Ever
since his return from Oran, the cardinal, disgusted with public life, had
remained with a few brief exceptions in his own diocese, devoted solely to
his personal and professional duties. It was with proud satisfaction that
he now received his sovereign, and exhibited to him the noble testimony of
the great objects, to which his retirement had been consecrated. The king,
whose naturally inquisitive mind no illness could damp, visited every part
of the establishment, and attended the examinations, and listened to the
public disputations of the scholars with interest. With little learning of
his own, he had been made too often sensible, of his deficiencies not to
appreciate it in others. His acute perception readily discerned the
immense benefit to his kingdom, and the glory conferred on his reign by
the labors of his ancient minister, and he did ample justice to them in
the unqualified terms of his commendation.

It was on this occasion that the rector of San Ildefonso, the head of the
university, came out to receive the king, preceded by his usual train of
attendants, with their maces or wands of office. The royal guard, at this
exhibition, called out to them to lay aside these insignia, as unbecoming
any subject in the presence of his sovereign. "Not so," said Ferdinand,
who had the good sense to perceive that majesty could not be degraded by
its homage to letters; "not so; this is the seat of the Muses, and those,
who are initiated in their mysteries, have the best right to reign here."

In the midst of his pressing duties, Ximenes found time for the execution
of another work, which would alone have been sufficient to render his name
immortal in the republic of letters. This was his famous Bible, or
Complutensian Polyglot, as usually termed, from the place where it was
printed. [34] It was on the plan, first conceived by Origen, of exhibiting
in one view the Scriptures in their various ancient languages. It was a
work of surpassing difficulty, demanding an extensive and critical
acquaintance with the most ancient, and consequently the rarest,
manuscripts. The character and station of the cardinal afforded him, it is
true, uncommon facilities. The precious collection of the Vatican was
liberally thrown open to him, especially under Leo the Tenth, whose
munificent spirit delighted in the undertaking. [35] He obtained copies,
in like manner, of whatever was of value in the other libraries of Italy,
and, indeed, of Europe generally; and Spain supplied him with editions of
the Old Testament of great antiquity, which had been treasured up by the
banished Israelites. [36] Some idea may be formed of the lavish
expenditure in this way, from the fact that four thousand gold crowns were
paid for seven foreign manuscripts, which, however, came too late to be of
use in the compilation. [37]

The conduct of the work was entrusted to nine scholars, well skilled in
the ancient tongues, as most of them had evinced by works of critical
acuteness and erudition. After the labors of the day, these learned sages
were accustomed to meet, in order to settle the doubts and difficulties
which had arisen in the course of their researches, and, in short, to
compare the results of their observations. Ximenes, who, however limited
his attainments in general literature, [38] was an excellent biblical
critic, frequently presided, and took a prominent part in these
deliberations. "Lose no time, my friends," he would say, "in the
prosecution of our glorious work; lest, in the casualties of life, you
should lose your patron, or I have to lament the loss of those, whose
services are of more price in my eyes than wealth and worldly honors."

 The difficulties of the undertaking were sensibly increased by those of
the printing. The art was then in its infancy, and there were no types in
Spain, if indeed in any part of Europe, in the Oriental character.
Ximenes, however, careful to have the whole executed under his own eye,
imported artists from Germany, and had types cast in the various languages
required, in his foundries at Alcala. [40] The work when completed
occupied six volumes folio; [41] the first four devoted to the Old
Testament, the fifth to the New; the last containing a Hebrew and Chaldaic
vocabulary, with other elementary treatises of singular labor and
learning. It was not brought to an end till 1517, fifteen years after its
commencement, and a few months only before the death of its illustrious
projector. Alvaro Gomez relates, that he had often heard John Broccario,
the son of the printer, [42] say, that when the last sheet was struck off,
he, then a child, was dressed in his best attire, and sent with a copy to
the cardinal. The latter, as he took it, raised his eyes to Heaven, and
devoutly offered up his thanks, for being spared to the completion of this
good work. Then, turning to his friends who were present, he said, that
"of all the acts which distinguished his administration, there was none,
however arduous, better entitled to their congratulation than this." [43]

This is not the place, if I were competent, to discuss the merits of this
great work, the reputation of which is familiar to every scholar. Critics,
indeed, have disputed the antiquity of the manuscripts used in the
compilation, as well as the correctness and value of the emendations. [44]
Unfortunately, the destruction of the original manuscripts, in a manner
which forms one of the most whimsical anecdotes in literary history, makes
it impossible to settle the question satisfactorily. [45] Undoubtedly,
many blemishes may be charged on it, necessarily incident to an age when
the science of criticism was imperfectly understood, [46] and the stock of
materials much more limited, or at least more difficult of access, than at
the present day. [47] After every deduction, however, the cardinal's Bible
has the merit of being the first successful attempt at a polyglot version
of the Scriptures, and consequently of facilitating, even by its errors,
the execution of more perfect and later works of the kind. [48] Nor can we
look at it in connection with the age, and the auspices under which it was
accomplished, without regarding it as a noble monument of piety, learning,
and munificence, which entitles its author to the gratitude of the whole
Christian world.

Such were the gigantic projects which amused the leisure hours of this
great prelate. Though gigantic, they were neither beyond his strength to
execute, nor beyond the demands of his age and country. They were not like
those works, which, forced into being by whim, or transitory impulse,
perish with the breath that made them; but, taking deep root, were
cherished and invigorated by the national sentiment, so as to bear rich
fruit for posterity. This was particularly the case with the institution
at Alcala. It soon became the subject of royal and private benefaction.
Its founder bequeathed it, at his death, a clear revenue of fourteen
thousand ducats. By the middle of the seventeenth century, this had
increased to forty-two thousand, and the colleges had multiplied from ten
to thirty-five. [49]

The rising reputation of the new academy, which attracted students from
every quarter of the Peninsula to its halls, threatened to eclipse the
glories of the ancient seminary at Salamanca, and occasioned bitter
jealousies between them. The field of letters, however, was wide enough
for both, especially as the one was more immediately devoted to
theological preparation, to the entire exclusion of civil jurisprudence,
which formed a prominent branch of instruction at the other. In this state
of things, their rivalry, far from being productive of mischief, might be
regarded as salutary, by quickening literary ardor, too prone to languish
without the spur of competition. Side by side the sister universities went
forward, dividing the public patronage and estimation. As long as the good
era of letters lasted in Spain, the academy of Ximenes, under the
influence of its admirable discipline, maintained a reputation inferior to
none other in the Peninsula, [50] and continued to send forth its sons to
occupy the most exalted posts in church and state, and shed the light of
genius and science over their own and future ages. [51]


[1] On his return from Cordova, he experienced a most loyal and
enthusiastic reception from the ancient capital of Andalusia. The most
interesting part of the pageant was the troops of children, gayly dressed,
who came out to meet him, presenting the keys of the city and an imperial
crown, after which the whole procession moved under thirteen triumphal
arches, each inscribed with the name of one of his victories. For a
description of these civic honors, see Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS.,
cap. 216, and Zuniga, Annales de Sevilla, ano 1508.

[2] He obtained this dignity at the king's solicitation, during his visit
to Naples. See Ferdinand's letter, apud Quintanilla, copied from the
archives of Alcala. Archetypo, Apend. no. 15.

[3] "Ego tamen dum universas ejus actiones comparo," says Alvaro Gomez,
"magis ad bellica exercitia a natura effictum esse judico. Erat enim vir
animi invicti et sublimis, omniaque in melius asserere conantis." De Rebus
Gestis, fol. 95.

[4] From a letter of King Emanuel of Portugal, it appears that Ximenes had
endeavored to interest him, together with the kings of Aragon and England,
in a crusade to the Holy Land. There was much method in his madness, if we
may judge from the careful survey he had procured of the coast, as well as
his plan of operations. The Portuguese monarch praises in round terms the
edifying zeal of the primate, but wisely confined himself to his own
crusades in India, which were likely to make better returns, at least in
this world, than those to Palestine. The letter is still preserved in the
archives of Alcala; see a copy in Quintanilla, Archetype, Apend. no. 16.

[5] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 15.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 77.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 17.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano
1507.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 28, cap. 15; lib. 29, cap.

[6] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 418.

[7] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 96-100.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS.,
cap. 218--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 17.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 413.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 7.

[8] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 100-102.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, ubi
supra.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 19.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 218.

[9] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., ubi supra.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 8, cap. 30.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 108.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas,
MS., dial. de Ximenez.

[10] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 108-110.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib.
3, cap. 19.--Zurita, Anales, lib. 8, cap. 30.

[11] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 418.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos,
MS., cap. 218.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 110, 111.--Abarca, Reyes de
Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 18.

[12] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, ubi supra.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS.,
cap. 218.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 22.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
ubi supra.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 19.--Carbajal, Anales,
MS., ano 1509.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos
V., tom. i. p. 15.

[13] "Sed tandem somnus ex labore et vino obortus eos oppressit, et
cruentis hostium cadaveribus tanta securitate et fiducia indormierunt, ut
permulti in Oranis urbis plateis ad multam diem stertuerint." Gomez, De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 111.

[14] To accommodate the Christians, as the day was far advanced when the
action began, the sun was permitted to stand still several hours; there is
some discrepancy as to the precise number; most authorities, however, make
it four. There is no miracle in the whole Roman Catholic budget, better
vouched than this. It is recorded by four eye-witnesses, men of learning
and character. It is attested, moreover, by a cloud of witnesses, who
depose to have received it, some from tradition, others from direct
communication with their ancestors present in the action; and who all
agree that it was matter of public notoriety and belief at the time. See
the whole formidable array of evidence set forth by Quintanilla.
(Archetypo, pp. 236 et seq. and Apend. p. 103.) It was scarcely to have
been expected that so astounding a miracle should escape the notice of all
Europe, where it must have been as apparent as at Oran. This universal
silence may be thought, indeed, the greater miracle of the two.

[15] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 218.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez,
cap. 22.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 113.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i.
lib. 1, cap. 22.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp.
Carlos V., tom. i. p. 15.

[16] Flechier, Histoire de Ximenes, pp. 308, 309.--Abarca, Reyes de
Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 18.

[17] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, p. 107.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 117.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 16.--"The worthy
brother," says Sandoval of the prelate, "thought his archbishopric worth
more than the good graces of a covetous old monarch."

[18] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 420.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
118.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 20.

[19] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 20.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 119, 120.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 8, cap. 30.--Robles, Vida de
Ximenez, cap. 22.

[20] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 9, cap. 1, 2, 4, 13.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 435-437.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 20.--
Mariana, Hist. de Espana, lib. 29, cap. 22.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
122-124.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 222.--Zurita gives at
length the capitulation with Algiers, lib. 9, cap. 13.

[21] Chenier, Recherches sur les Manures, tom. ii. pp. 355, 356.--It is
but just to state, that this disaster was imputable to Don Garcia de
Toledo, who had charge of the expedition, and who expiated his temerity
with his life. He was eldest son of the old duke of Alva, and father of
that nobleman, who subsequently acquired such gloomy celebrity by his
conquests and cruelties in the Netherlands. The tender poet, Garcilasso de
la Vega, offers sweet incense to the house of Toledo, in one of his
pastorals, in which he mourns over the disastrous day of Gelves;

  "O patria lagrimosa, i como buelves
  los ojos a los Gelves sospirando!"

The death of the young nobleman is veiled under a beautiful simile, which
challenges comparison with the great masters of Latin and Italian song,
from whom the Castilian bard derived it.

  "Puso en el duro suelo la hermosa
  cara, como la rosa matutina,
  cuando ya el sol declina 'l medio dia;
  que pierde su alegria, i marchitando
  va la color mudando; o en el campo
  cual queda el lirio blanco, qu' el arado
  crudamente cortado al passar dexa;
  del cual aun no s' alexa pressuroso
  aquel color hermoso, o se destierra;
  mas ya la madre tierra descuidada,
  no l' administra nada de su aliento,
  qu' era el sustentamiento i vigor suyo;
  tal esta el rostro tuyo en el arena,
  fresca rosa, acucena blanea i pura."
             Garcilasso de la Vega, Obras, ed. de Herrera, pp. 507, 508.

[22] The reader may feel some curiosity respecting the fate of count Pedro
Navarro. He soon after this went to Italy, where he held a high command,
and maintained his reputation in the wars of that country, until he was
taken by the French in the great battle of Ravenna. Through the
carelessness or coldness of Ferdinand he was permitted to languish in
captivity, till he took his revenge by enlisting in the service of the
French monarch. Before doing this, however, he resigned his Neapolitan
estates, and formally renounced his allegiance to the Catholic king; of
whom, being a Navarese by birth, he was not a native subject. He
unfortunately fell into the hands of his own countrymen in one of the
subsequent actions in Italy, and was imprisoned at Naples, in Castel
Nuovo, which he had himself formerly gained from the French. Here he soon
after died; if we are to believe Brantome, being privately despatched by
command of Charles V., or, as other writers intimate, by his own hand. His
remains, first deposited in an obscure corner of the church of Santa
Maria, were afterwards removed to the chapel of the great Gonsalvo, and a
superb mausoleum was erected over them by the prince of Sessa, grandson of
the hero. Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 124.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra,
tom. v. pp. 226, 289, 406.--Brantome, Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 9.
--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 190-193.

[23] Ximenes continued to watch over the city which he had so valiantly
won, long after his death. He never failed to be present in seasons of
extraordinary peril. At least the gaunt, gigantic figure of a monk,
dressed in the robes of his order, and wearing a cardinal's hat, was seen,
sometimes stalking along the battlements at midnight, and, at others,
mounted on a white charger and brandishing a naked sword in the thick of
the fight. His last appearance was in 1643, when Oran was closely
beleaguered by the Algerines. A sentinel on duty saw a figure moving along
the parapet one clear, moonlight night, dressed in a Franciscan frock,
with a general's baton in his hand. As soon as it was hailed by the
terrified soldier, it called to him to "tell the garrison to be of good
heart, for the enemy should not prevail against them." Having uttered
these words, the apparition vanished without ceremony. It repeated its
visit in the same manner on the following night, and, a few days after,
its assurance was verified by the total discomfiture of the Algerines, in
a bloody battle under the walls. See the evidence of these various
apparitions, as collected, for the edification of the court of Rome, by
that prince of miracle-mongers, Quintanilla. (Archetypo, pp. 317, 335,
338, 340.) Bishop Flechier appears to have no misgivings as to the truth
of these old wives' tales. (Histoire de Ximenes, liv. 6.)

Oran, after resisting repeated assaults by the Moors, was at length so
much damaged by an earthquake, in 1790, that it was abandoned, and its
Spanish garrison and population were transferred to the neighboring city
of Mazarquivir.

[24] The custom, familiar at the present day, of depositing coins and
other tokens, with inscriptions bearing the names of the architect and
founder and date of the building, under the corner-stone was observed on
this occasion, where it is noticed as of ancient usage, _more prisco_.
Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 28.

[25] Flechier, Histoire de Ximenes, p. 597.

[26] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 16.--
Quintanilla, Archetypo, p. 178.--Colmenar, Delices de l'Espagne, tom. ii.
pp. 308-310.--Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 7,--who notices particularly the
library, "piena di molti libri et Latini et Greci et Hebraici."

The good people accused the cardinal of too great a passion for building;
and punningly said, "The church of Toledo had never had a bishop of
greater _edification_, in every, sense than Ximenes." Flechier, Histoire
de Ximenes, p. 597.

[27] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 79.

[28] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 82-84.

[29] Navagiero says, it was prescribed the lectures should be in Latin.
Viaggio, fol. 7.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 16.

Of these professorships, six were appropriated to theology; six to canon
law; four to medicine; one to anatomy; one to surgery; eight to the arts,
as they were called, embracing logic, physics, and metaphysics; one to
ethics; one to mathematics; four to the ancient languages; four to
rhetoric; and six to grammar. One is struck with the disproportion of the
mathematical studies to the rest. Though an important part of general
education, and consequently of the course embraced in most universities,
it had too little reference to a religious one, to find much favor with
the cardinal.

[30] Lampillas, in his usual patriotic vein, stoutly maintains that the
chairs of the university were all supplied by native Spaniards. "Trovo in
Spagna," he says of the cardinal, "tutta quella scelta copia di grandi
uomini, quali richiedeva la grande impresa," etc. (Letteratura Spagnuola,
tom. i, part. 2, p. 160.) Alvaro Gomez, who flourished two centuries
earlier, and personally knew the professors, is the better authority. De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 80-82.

[31] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 13.

Alvaro Gomez knew several of these _savans_ whose scholarship (and he
was a competent judge) he notices with liberal panegyric. De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 80 et seq.

[32] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 17.

[33] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 86.

The reader will readily call to mind the familiar anecdote of King Charles
and Dr. Busby.

[34] "Alcala de Henares," says Martyr in one of his early letters, "quae
dicitur esse Complutum. Sit, vel ne, nil mihi curae." (Opus Epist., epist.
254.) These irreverent doubts were uttered before it had gained its
literary celebrity. L. Marineo derives the name _Complutum_ from the
abundant fruitfulness of the soil,--"cumplumiento que tiene de cada cosa."
Cosas Memorables, fol. 13.

[35] Ximenes acknowledges his obligations to his Holiness, in particular
for the Greek MSS. "Atque ex ipsis [exemplaribus] quidem Graeca Sanctitati
tuae debemus; qui ex ista Apostolica bibliotheca antiquissimos tam Veteris
quam Novi codices perquam humane ad nos misisti." Biblia Polyglotta,
(Compluti, 1514-17,) Prologo.

[36] "Maximam," says the cardinal in his Preface, "laboris nostri partem
in eo praecipue fuisse versatam; ut et virorum in linguarum cognitione
eminentissimorum opera uteremur, et castigatissima omni ex parte
vetustissimaque exemplaria pro archetypis haberemus; quorum quidem, tam
Hebraeorum quam Graecorum ac Latinorum, multiplicem copiam, variis ex
locis, non sine summo labore conquisivimus." Biblia Polyglotta, Compluti,

[37] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 39.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3,
cap. 10.

[38] Martyr speaks of Ximenes, in one of his epistles, as "doctrina
singulari oppletum." (Opus Epist., epist. 108.) He speaks with more
distrust in another; "Aiunt esse virum, _si non literis_, morum taraen
sanctitate egregium." (Epist. 160.) This was written some years later,
when he had better knowledge of him.

[39] Quintanilla, Archetype, lib. 3, cap. lo.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 38.

The scholars employed in the compilation were the venerable Lebrija, the
learned Nunez, or Pinciano, of whom the reader has had some account, Lopez
de Zuniga, a controversialist of Erasmus, Bartholomeo de Castro, the
famous Greek Demetrius Cretensis, and Juan de Vergara;--all thorough
linguists, especially in the Greek and Latin. To these were joined Paulo
Coronel, Alfonso a physician, and Alfonso Zamora, converted Jews, and
familiar with the Oriental languages. Zamora has the merit of the
philological compilations relative to the Hebrew and Chaldaic, in the last
volume, lidem auct. ut supra; et Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.

[40] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 10.

[41] The work was originally put at the extremely low price of six ducats
and a half a copy. (Biblia Polyglotta Compluti, Praefix.) As only 600
copies, however, were struck off, it has become exceedingly rare and
valuable. According to Brunei, it has been sold as high as L63.

[42] "Industria et solertia honorabilis viri Arnaldi Guillelmi de
Brocario, artis impressoris Magistri. Anno Domini 1517. Julii die decimo."
Biblia Polyglotta Compluti. Postscript to 4th and last part of Vetus Test.

[43] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 38. The part devoted to the Old
Testament contains the Hebrew original with the Latin Vulgate, the
Septuagint version, and the Chaldaic paraphrase, with Latin translations
by the Spanish scholars. The New Testament was printed in the original
Greek, with the Vulgate of Jerome. After the completion of this work, the
cardinal projected an edition of Aristotle on the same scale, which was
unfortunately defeated by his death. Ibid., fol. 39.

[44] The principal controversy on this subject was carried on in Germany
between Wetstein and Goeze; the former impugning, the latter defending the
Complutensian Bible. The cautious and candid Michaelis, whose
prepossessions appear to have been on the side of Goeze, decides
ultimately, after his own examination, in favor of Wetstein, as regards
the value of the MSS. employed; not however as relates to the grave charge
of wilfully accommodating the Greek text to the Vulgate. See the grounds
and merits of the controversy, apud Michaelis, Introduction to the New
Testament, translated by Marsh, vol. ii. part 1, chap. 12, sec. 1; part 2,

[45] Professor Moldenhauer, of Germany, visited Alcala in 1784, for the
interesting purpose of examining the MSS. used in the Complutensian
Polyglot. He there learned that they had all been disposed of, as so much
waste paper, (_membranas inutiles_) by the librarian of that time to
a rocket-maker of the town, who soon worked them up in the regular way of
his vocation! He assigns no reason for doubting the truth of the story.
The name of the librarian, unfortunately, is not recorded. It would have
been as imperishable as that of Omar. Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. part l,
chap. 12, sec. 1, note.

[46] The celebrated text of "the three witnesses," formerly cited in the
Trinitarian controversy, and which Porson so completely overturned, rests
in part on what Gibbon calls "the honest bigotry of the Complutensian
editors." One of the three Greek manuscripts, in which that text is found,
is a forgery from the Polyglot of Alcala, according to Mr. Norton, in his
recent work, "The Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels," (Boston,
1837, vol. i. Additional Notes, p. xxxix.),--a work which few can be fully
competent to criticize, but which no person can peruse without confessing
the acuteness and strength of its reasoning, the nice discrimination of
its criticism, and the precision and purity of its diction. Whatever
difference of opinion may be formed as to some of its conclusions, no one
will deny that the originality and importance of its views make it a
substantial accession to theological science; and that, within the range
permitted by the subject, it presents, on the whole, one of the noblest
specimens of scholarship, and elegance of composition, to be found in our
youthful literature.

[47] "Accedit," says the editors of the Polyglot, adverting to the
blunders of early transcribers, "ubicunque Latinorum codicum varietas est,
aut depravatae lectionis suspitio (id quod librariorum imperitia simul et
negligentia frequentissime accidere videmus), ad primam Scriptunae
originem recurrendum est." Biblia Polyglotta, Compluti, Prologo.

[48] Tiraboschi adduces a Psalter, published in four of the ancient
tongues, at Genoa, in 1516, as the first essay of a polyglot version.
(Letteratura Italiana, tom. viii. p. 191.) Lampillas does not fail to add
this enormity to the black catalogue which he has mustered against the
librarian of Modena. (Letteratura Spagnuola, tom. ii. part. 2, p. 290.)
The first three volumes of the Complutensian Bible were printed before
1516, although the whole work did not pass the press till the following

[49] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 17.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.,
dial. de Ximeni.

Ferdinand and Isabella conceded liberal grants and immunities to Alcala on
more than one occasion. Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 43, 45.

[50] Erasmus, in a letter to his friend Vergara, in 1527, perpetrates a
Greek pun on the classic name of Alcala, intimating the highest opinion of
the state of science there. "Gratulor tibi, ornatissime adolescens,
gratulor vestrae Hispaniae ad pristinam eruditionis laudem veluti
postliminio reflorescenti. Gratulor Compluto, quod duorum praesulum
Francisci et Alfonsi felicibus auspiciis sic efflorescit omni genere
studiorum, ut jure optimo _pamplouton_ appellare possimus." Epistolae, p.

[51] Quintanilla is for passing the sum total of the good works of these
worthies of Alcala to the credit of its founder. They might serve as a
makeweight to turn the scale in favor of his beatification. Archetypo,
lib. 3, cap. 17.



League of Cambray.--Alarm of Ferdinand.--Holy League.--Battle of Ravenna.
--Death of Gaston de Foix.--Retreat of the French.--The Spaniards

The domestic history of Spain, after Ferdinand's resumption of the
regency, contains few remarkable events. Its foreign relations were more
important. Those with Africa have been already noticed, and we must now
turn to Italy and Navarre.

The possession of Naples necessarily brought Ferdinand within the sphere
of Italian politics. He showed little disposition, however, to avail
himself of it for the further extension of his conquests. Gonsalvo,
indeed, during his administration, meditated various schemes for the
overthrow of the French power in Italy, but with a view rather to the
preservation than enlargement of his present acquisitions. After the
treaty with Louis the Twelfth, even these designs were abandoned, and the
Catholic monarch seemed wholly occupied with the internal affairs of his
kingdom, and the establishment of his rising empire in Africa. [1]

The craving appetite of Louis the Twelfth, on the other hand, sharpened by
the loss of Naples, sought to indemnify itself by more ample acquisitions
in the north. As far back as 1504, he had arranged a plan with the
emperor, for the partition of the continental possessions of Venice,
introducing it into one of those abortive treaties at Blois for the
marriage of his daughter. [2] The scheme is said to have been communicated
to Ferdinand in the royal interview at Savona. No immediate action
followed, and it seems probable that the latter monarch, with his usual
circumspection, reserved his decision until he should be more clearly
satisfied of the advantages to himself. [3]

At length the projected partition was definitely settled by the celebrated
treaty of Cambray, December 10th, 1508, between Louis the Twelfth and the
emperor Maximilian, in which the pope, King Ferdinand, and all princes who
had any claims for spoliations by the Venetians, were invited to take
part. The share of the spoil assigned to the Catholic monarch was the five
Neapolitan cities, Trani, Brindisi, Gallipoli, Pulignano, and Otranto,
pledged to Venice for considerable sums advanced by her during the late
war. [4] The Spanish court, and, not long after, Julius the Second,
ratified the treaty, although it was in direct contravention of the avowed
purpose of the pontiff to chase the _barbarians_ from Italy. It was
his bold policy, however, to make use of them first for the aggrandizement
of the church, and then to trust to his augmented strength and more
favorable opportunities for eradicating them altogether.

Never was there a project more destitute of principle or sound policy.
There was not one of the contracting parties, who was not at that very
time in close alliance with the state, the dismemberment of which he was
plotting. As a matter of policy, it went to break down the principal
barrier, on which each of these powers could rely for keeping in check the
overweening ambition of its neighbors, and maintaining the balance of
Italy. [5] The alarm of Venice was quieted for a time by assurances from
the courts of France and Spain, that the league was solely directed
against the Turks, accompanied by the most hypocritical professions of
good-will, and amicable offers to the republic. [6]

The preamble of the treaty declares, that, it being the intention of the
allies to support the pope in a crusade against the infidel, they first
proposed to recover from Venice the territories of which she had despoiled
the church and other powers, to the manifest hindrance of these pious
designs. The more flagitious the meditated enterprise, the deeper was the
veil of hypocrisy thrown over it in this corrupt age. The true reasons for
the confederacy are to be found in a speech delivered at the German diet,
some time after, by the French minister Helian. "We," he remarks, after
enumerating various enormities of the republic, "we wear no fine purple;
feast from no sumptuous services of plate; have no coffers overflowing
with gold. We are barbarians. Surely," he continues in another place, "if
it is derogatory to princes to act the part of merchants, it is unbecoming
in merchants to assume the state of princes." [7] This, then, was the true
key to the conspiracy against Venice; envy of her superior wealth and
magnificence, hatred engendered by her too arrogant bearing, and lastly
the evil eye, with which kings naturally regard the movements of an
active, aspiring republic. [8]

To secure the co-operation of Florence, the kings of France and Spain
agreed to withdraw their protection from Pisa, for a stipulated sum of
money. There is nothing in the whole history of the merchant princes of
Venice so mercenary and base, as this bartering away for gold the
independence, for which this little republic had been so nobly contending
for more than fourteen years. [9]

Early in April, 1509, Louis the Twelfth crossed the Alps at the head of a
force which bore down all opposition. City and castle fell before him, and
his demeanor to the vanquished, over whom he had no rights beyond the
ordinary ones of war, was that of an incensed master taking vengeance on
his rebellious vassals. In revenge for his detention before Peschiera, he
hung the Venetian governor and his son from the battlements. This was an
outrage on the laws of chivalry, which, however hard they bore on the
peasant, respected those of high degree. Louis's rank, and his heart it
seems, unhappily, raised him equally above sympathy with either class.

On the 14th of May was fought the bloody battle of Agnadel, which broke
the power of Venice, and at once decided the fate of the war. [11]
Ferdinand had contributed nothing to these operations, except by his
diversion on the side of Naples, where he possessed himself without
difficulty of the cities allotted to his share. They were the cheapest,
and if not the most valuable, were the most permanent acquisitions of the
war, being reincorporated in the monarchy of Naples.

Then followed the memorable decree, by which Venice released her
continental provinces from their allegiance, authorizing them to provide
in any way they could for their safety; a measure, which, whether
originating in panic or policy, was perfectly consonant with the latter.
[12] The confederates, who had remained united during the chase, soon
quarrelled over the division of the spoil. Ancient jealousies revived. The
republic, with cool and consummate diplomacy, availed herself of this
state of feeling.

Pope Julius, who had gained all that he had proposed, and was satisfied
with the humiliation of Venice, now felt all his former antipathies and
distrust of the French return in full force. The rising flame was
diligently fanned by the artful emissaries of the republic, who at length
effected a reconciliation on her behalf with the haughty pontiff. The
latter, having taken this direction, went forward in it with his usual
impetuosity. He planned a new coalition for the expulsion of the French,
calling on the other allies to take part in it. Louis retaliated by
summoning a council to inquire into the pope's conduct, and by marching
his troops into the territories of the church. [13]

The advance of the French, who had now got possession of Bologna, alarmed
Ferdinand. He had secured the objects for which he had entered into the
war, and was loath to be diverted from enterprises in which he was
interested nearer home, "I know not," writes Peter Martyr, at this time,
"on what the king will decide. He is intent on following up his African
conquests. He feels natural reluctance at breaking with his French ally.
But I do not well see how he can avoid supporting the pope and the church,
not only as the cause of religion, but of freedom. For if the French get
possession of Rome, the liberties of all Italy and of every state in
Europe are in peril." [14]

The Catholic king viewed it in this light, and sent repeated and earnest
remonstrances to Louis the Twelfth, against his aggressions on the church,
beseeching him not to interrupt the peace of Christendom, and his own
pious purpose, more particularly, of spreading the banners of the Cross
over the infidel regions of Africa. The very sweet and fraternal tone of
these communications filled the king of France, says Guicciardini, with
much distrust of his royal brother; and he was heard to say, in allusion
to the great preparations which the Spanish monarch was making by sea and
land, "I am the Saracen against whom they are directed." [14]

To secure Ferdinand more to his interests, the pope granted him the
investiture, so long withheld, of Naples, on the same easy terms on which
it was formerly held by the Aragonese line. His Holiness further released
him from the obligation of his marriage treaty, by which the moiety of
Naples was to revert to the French crown, in case of Germaine's dying
without issue. This dispensing power of the successors of St. Peter, so
convenient for princes in their good graces, is undoubtedly the severest
tax ever levied by superstition on human reason. [15]

On the 4th of October, 1511, a treaty was concluded between Julius the
Second, Ferdinand, and Venice, with the avowed object of protecting the
church,--in other words, driving the French out of Italy. [16] From the
pious purpose to which it was devoted, it was called the Holy League. The
quota to be furnished by the king of Aragon was twelve hundred heavy and
one thousand light cavalry, ten thousand foot, and a squadron of eleven
galleys, to act in concert with the Venetian fleet. The combined forces
were to be placed under the command of Hugo de Cardona, viceroy of Naples,
a person of polished and engaging address, but without the resolution or
experience requisite to military success. The rough old pope sarcastically
nicknamed him "Lady Cardona." It was an appointment, that would certainly
have never been made by Queen Isabella. Indeed, the favor shown this
nobleman on this and other occasions was so much beyond his deserts, as to
raise a suspicion in many, that he was more nearly allied by blood to
Ferdinand, than was usually imagined. [17]

Early in 1512, France, by great exertions, and without a single
confederate out of Italy, save the false and fluctuating emperor, got an
army into the field superior to that of the allies in point of numbers,
and still more so in the character of its commander. This was Gaston de
Foix, duke de Nemours, and brother of the queen of Aragon. Though a boy in
years, for he was but twenty-two, he was ripe in understanding, and
possessed consummate military talents. He introduced a severer discipline
into his army, and an entirely new system of tactics. He looked forward to
his results with stern indifference to the means by which they were to be
effected. He disregarded the difficulties of the roads, and the inclemency
of the season, which had hitherto put a check on military operations.
Through the midst of frightful morasses, or in the depth of winter snows,
he performed his marches with a celerity unknown in the warfare of that
age. In less than a fortnight after leaving Milan, he relieved Bologna,
then besieged by the allies, made a countermarch on Brescia, defeated a
detachment by the way, and the whole Venetian army under its walls; and,
on the same day with the last event, succeeded in carrying the place by
storm. After a few weeks' dissipation of the carnival, he again put
himself in motion, and, descending on Ravenna, succeeded in bringing the
allied army to a decisive action under its walls. Ferdinand, well
understanding the peculiar characters of the French and of the Spanish
soldier, had cautioned his general to adopt the Fabian policy of Gonsalvo,
and avoid a close encounter as long as possible. [18]

This battle, fought with the greatest numbers, was also the most
murderous, which had stained the fair soil of Italy for a century. No less
than eighteen or twenty thousand, according to authentic accounts, fell in
it, comprehending the best blood of France and Italy. [19] The viceroy
Cardona went off somewhat too early for his reputation. But the Spanish
infantry, under the count Pedro Navarro, behaved in a style worthy of the
school of Gonsalvo. During the early part of the day, they lay on the
ground, in a position which sheltered them from the deadly artillery of
Este, then the best mounted and best served of any in Europe. When at
length, as the tide of battle was going against them, they were brought
into the field, Navarro led them at once against a deep column of
landsknechts, who, armed with the long German pike, were bearing down all
before them. The Spaniards received the shock of this formidable weapon on
the mailed panoply with which their bodies were covered, and, dexterously
gliding into the hostile ranks, contrived with their short swords to do
such execution on the enemy, unprotected except by corselets in front, and
incapable of availing themselves of their long weapon, that they were
thrown into confusion, and totally discomfited. It was repeating the
experiment more than once made during these wars, but never on so great a
scale, and it fully established the superiority of the Spanish arms. [20]

The Italian infantry, which had fallen back before the landsknechts, now
rallied under cover of the Spanish charge; until at length the
overwhelming clouds of French gendarmerie, headed by Ives d'Allegre, who
lost his own life in the _melee_, compelled the allies to give ground. The
retreat of the Spaniards, however, was conducted with admirable order, and
they preserved their ranks unbroken, as they repeatedly turned to drive
back the tide of pursuit. At this crisis, Gaston de Foix, flushed with
success, was so exasperated by the sight of this valiant corps going off
in so cool and orderly a manner from the field, that he made a desperate
charge at the head of his chivalry, in hopes of breaking it.
Unfortunately, his wounded horse fell under him. It was in vain his
followers called out, "It is our viceroy, the brother of your queen!" The
words had no charm for a Spanish ear, and he was despatched with a
multitude of wounds. He received fourteen or fifteen in the face; good
proof, says the _loyal serviteur_, "that the gentle prince had never
turned his back." [21]

There are few instances in history, if indeed there be any, of so brief,
and at the same time so brilliant a military career, as that of Gaston de
Foix; and it well entitled him to the epithet his countrymen gave him of
the "thunderbolt of Italy." [22] He had not merely given extraordinary
promise, but in the course of a very few months had achieved such results,
as might well make the greatest powers of the peninsula tremble for their
possessions. His precocious military talents, the early age at which he
assumed the command of armies, as well as many peculiarities of his
discipline and tactics, suggest some resemblance to the beginning of
Napoleon's career.

Unhappily, his brilliant fame is sullied by a recklessness of human life,
the more odious in one too young to be steeled by familiarity with the
iron trade to which he was devoted. It may be fair, however, to charge
this on the age rather than on the individual, for surely never was there
one characterized by greater brutality, and more unsparing ferocity in its
wars. [23] So little had the progress of civilization done for humanity.
It is not until a recent period, that a more generous spirit has operated;
that a fellow-creature has been understood not to forfeit his rights as a
man, because he is an enemy; that conventional laws have been established,
tending greatly to mitigate the evils of a condition, which with every
alleviation is one of unspeakable misery; and that those who hold the
destinies of nations in their hands have been made to feel, that there is
less true glory, and far less profit, to be derived from war, than from
the wise prevention of it.

The defeat at Ravenna struck a panic into the confederates. The stout
heart of Julius the Second faltered, and it required all the assurances of
the Spanish and Venetian ministers to keep him staunch to his purpose.
King Ferdinand issued orders to the Great Captain to hold himself in
readiness for taking the command of forces to be instantly raised for
Naples. There could be no better proof of the royal consternation. [24]

The victory of Ravenna, however, was more fatal to the French than to
their foes. The uninterrupted successes of a commander are so far
unfortunate, that they incline his followers, by the brilliant illusion
they throw around his name, to rely less on their own resources, than on
him whom they have hitherto found invincible; and thus subject their own
destiny to all the casualties which attach to the fortunes of a single
individual. The death of Gaston de Foix seemed to dissolve the only bond
which held the French together. The officers became divided, the soldiers
disheartened, and, with the loss of their young hero, lost all interest in
the service. The allies, advised of this disorderly state of the army,
recovered confidence, and renewed their exertions. Through Ferdinand's
influence over his son-in-law, Henry the Eighth of England, the latter had
been induced openly to join the League in the beginning of the present
year. [25] The Catholic king had the address, moreover, just before the
battle to detach the emperor from France, by effecting a truce between him
and Venice. [26] The French, now menaced and pressed on every side, began
their retreat under the brave La Palice, and, to such an impotent state
were they reduced, that, in less than three months after the fatal
victory, they were at the foot of the Alps, having abandoned not only
their recent, but all their conquests in the north of Italy. [27]

The same results now took place as in the late war against Venice. The
confederates quarrelled over the division of the spoil. The republic, with
the largest claims, obtained the least concessions. She felt that she was
to be made to descend to an inferior rank in the scale of nations.
Ferdinand earnestly remonstrated with the pope, and subsequently, by means
of his Venetian minister, with Maximilian, on this mistaken policy. [28]
But the indifference of the one, and the cupidity of the other, were
closed against argument. The result was precisely what the prudent monarch
foresaw. Venice was driven into the arms of her perfidious ancient ally,
and on the 23d of March, 1513, a definitive treaty was arranged with
France for their mutual defence. [29] Thus the most efficient member was
alienated from the confederacy. All the recent advantages of the allies
were compromised. New combinations were to be formed, and new and
interminable prospects of hostility opened.

Ferdinand, relieved from immediate apprehensions of the French, took
comparatively little interest in Italian politics. He was too much
occupied with settling his conquests in Navarre. The army, indeed, under
Cardona still kept the field in the north of Italy. The viceroy, after
re-establishing the Medici in Florence, remained inactive. The French,
in the mean while, had again mustered in force, and crossing the mountains
encountered the Swiss in a bloody battle at Novara, where the former were
entirely routed. Cardona, then rousing from his lethargy, traversed the
Milanese without opposition, laying waste the ancient territories of
Venice, burning the palaces and pleasure-houses of its lordly inhabitants
on the beautiful banks of the Brenta, and approaching so near to the
"Queen of the Adriatic" as to throw a few impotent balls into the
monastery of San Secondo.

The indignation of the Venetians and of Alviano, the same general who had
fought so gallantly under Gonsalvo at the Garigliano, hurried them into an
engagement with the allies near La Motta, at two miles' distance from
Vicenza. Cardona, loaded with booty and entangled among the mountain
passes, was assailed under every disadvantage. The German allies gave way
before the impetuous charge of Alviano, but the Spanish infantry stood its
ground unshaken, and by extraordinary discipline and valor succeeded in
turning the fortunes of the day. More than four thousand of the enemy were
left on the field, and a large number of prisoners, including many of
rank, with all the baggage and artillery, fell into the hands of the
victors. [30]

Thus ended the campaign of 1513; the French driven again beyond the
mountains; Venice cooped up within her sea-girt fastnesses, and compelled
to enrol her artisans and common laborers in her defence,--but still
strong in resources, above all in the patriotism and unconquerable spirit
of her people. [31]

       *       *       *       *       *

Count Daru has supplied the desideratum, so long standing, of a full,
authentic history of a state, whose institutions were the admiration of
earlier times, and whose long stability and success make them deservedly
an object of curiosity and interest to our own. The style of the work, at
once lively and condensed, is not that best suited to historic writing,
being of the piquant, epigrammatic kind, much affected by French writers.
The subject, too, of the revolutions of empire, does not afford room for
the dramatic interest, attaching to works which admit of more extended
biographical development. Abundant interest will be found, however, in the
dexterity with which he has disentangled the tortuous politics of the
republic; in the acute and always sensible reflections with which he
clothes the dry skeleton of fact; and in the novel stores of information
he has opened. The foreign policy of Venice excited too much interest
among friends and enemies in the day of her glory, not to occupy the pens
of the most intelligent writers. But no Italian chronicler, not even one
intrusted with the office by the government itself, has been able to
exhibit the interior workings of the complicated machinery so
satisfactorily as M. Daru has done, with the aid of those voluminous state
papers, which were as jealously guarded from inspection, until the
downfall of the republic, as the records of the Spanish Inquisition.


[1] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iii. lib. 5, p. 257, ed. Milano, 1803.--
Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 7, 9, et alibi.

[2] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 30.--Flassan,
Diplomatie Francaise, tom. i. pp. 282, 283.

[3] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 78.

[4] Flassan, Diplomatie Francaise, tom. i. lib. 2, p. 283.--Dumont, Corps
Diplomatique, tom. iv. part 1, no. 52.

[5] This argument, used by Machiavelli against Louis's rupture with
Venice, applies with more or less force to all the other allies. Opere, Il
Principe, cap. 3.

[6] Du Bos, Ligue de Cambray, tom. i. pp. 66, 67.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 36, 37. Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 141.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, tom. ii. lib. 7.

[7] See a liberal extract from this harangue, apud Daru, Hist. de Venise,
tom. iii. liv. 23,--also apud Du Bos, Ligue de Cambray, tom. i. p. 240 et
seq.--The old poet, Jean Marot, sums up the sins of the republic in the
following verse:

  "Autre Dieu n'ont que l'or, c'est leur creance."

Oeuvres de Clement Marot, avec les Ouvrages de Jean Marot, (La Haye,
1731,) tom. v. p. 71.

[8] See the undisguised satisfaction, with which Martyr, a Milanese,
predicts (Opus Epist., epist. 410), and Guicciardini, a Florentine,
records the humiliation of Venice. (Istoria, lib. 4, p. 137.) The
arrogance of the rival republic does not escape the satirical lash of

  "San Marco, impetuoso ed importuno,
  Credendosi haver sempre il vento in poppa,
  Non si curu di rovinare ognuno;
  Ne vidde come la potenza troppa
  Era nociva."
           Dell' Asino d'Oro, cap. 5.

[9] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, lib. 29, cap. 15.--Ammirato, Istorie
Florentine, tom. iii. lib. 28, p. 286.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.

Louis XII. was in alliance with Florence, but insisted on 100,000 ducats
as the price of his acquiescence in her recovery of Pisa. Ferdinand, or
rather his general, Gonsalvo de Cordova, had taken Pisa under his
protection, and the king insisted on 50,000 ducats for his abandonment of
her. This honorable transaction resulted in the payment of the respective
amounts to the royal jobbers; the 50,000 excess of Louis's portion being
kept a profound secret from Ferdinand, who was made to believe by the
parties that his ally received only a like sum with himself. Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. iv. pp. 78, 80, 156, 157.

[10] Memoires de Bayard, chap. 30.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 8.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 183.

Jean Marot describes the execution in the following cool and summary

  "Ce chastelain de la, aussi le capitaine,
  Pour la derrision et response vilaine
  Qu'ils firent au herault, furent pris et sanglez
  Puis devant tout le monde pendus et estranglez."
                        Oeuvres, tom. v. p. 158.

[11] The fullest account, probably, of the action is in the "Voyage de
Venise" of Jean Marot. (Oeuvres, tom. v. pp. 124-139.) This pioneer of
French song, since eclipsed by his more polished son, accompanied his
master, Louis XII., on his Italian expedition, as his poet chronicler; and
the subject has elicited occasionally some sparks of poetic fire, though
struck out with a rude hand. The poem is so conscientious in its facts and
dates, that it is commended by a French critic as the most exact record of
the Italian campaign. Ibid. Remarques, p. 16.

[12] Foreign historians impute this measure to the former motive, the
Venetians to the latter. The cool and deliberate conduct of this
government, from which all passion, to use the language of the abbe Du
Bos, seems to have been banished, may authorize our acquiescence in the
statement most flattering to the national vanity. See the discussion apud
Ligue de Cambray, pp. 126 et seq.

[13] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 221.--Fleurange, Memoires,
chap. 7.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 416.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. iv. pp. 178, 179, 190, 191; tom. v. pp. 71, 82-86.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, lib. 7, 9, 10.

[14] Opus Epist., epist. 465.-Memoires de Bayard, chap. 46.--Fleurange,
Memoires, chap. 26.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 225.

[14] Istoria, lib. 9, p. 135.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1511.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 225.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 465.

Machiavelli's friend Vettori, in one of his letters, speaks of the
Catholic king as the principal author of the new coalition against France,
and notices three hundred lances which he furnished the pope in advance,
for this purpose. (Machiavelli, Opere, Lettere Famigliari, no. 8.) He does
not seem to understand that these lances were part of the services due for
the fief of Naples. The letter above quoted of Martyr, a more competent
and unsuspicious authority, shows Ferdinand's sincere aversion to a
rupture with Louis at the present juncture; and a subsequent passage of
the same epistle shows him too much in earnest in his dissuasives, to be
open to the charge of insincerity. "Ut mitibus verbis ipsum, Reginam ejus
uxorem, ut consiliarios omnes Cabanillas alloquatur, ut agant apud regem
suum de pace, dat in frequentibus mandatis." Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
ubi supra.--See further, epist. 454.

[15] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., no. 441.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom.
ii. lib. 29, cap. 24.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 164.--Sandoval,
Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 18.

The act of investiture was dated July 3d, 1510. In the following August,
the pontiff remitted the feudal services for the annual tribute of a white
palfrey, and the aid of 300 lances when the estates of the church should
be invaded. (Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 9, cap. 11.) The pope had
hitherto refused the investiture, except on the most exorbitant terms;
which so much disgusted Ferdinand, that he passed by Ostia on his return
from Naples, without condescending to meet his Holiness, who was waiting
there for a personal interview with him. Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
353.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 73.

[16] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, p. 207.--Mariana, Hist. de
Espana, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap. 5.--Rymer, Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 305-308.

[17] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom., v. lib. 10, p. 208.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, tom. ii. lib. 12.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 30,
cap. 5, 14.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 483.

Vettori, it seems, gave credence to the same suggestion. "Spagna ha sempre
amato assai questo suo Vicere, e per errore che abbia fatto non l'ha
gustigato, ma piu presto fatto piu grande, e si puo pensare, come molti
dicono, che _sia suo figlio, e che abbia in pensiero lasciarlo Re di
Napoli_." Machiavelli, Opere, let. di 16 Maggio, 1514.

According to Aleson, the king would have appointed Navarro to the post of
commander-in-chief, had not his low birth disqualified him for it in the
eyes of the allies. Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 12.

[18] Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 230, 231.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 260-272.--Giovio, Vita Leonis X., apud Vitae
Illust. Virorum, lib. 2, pp. 37, 38.--Memoires de Bayard, chap. 48.--
Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 26-28.

[19] Ariosto introduces the bloody rout of Ravenna among the visions of
Melissa; in which the courtly prophetess (or rather poet) predicts the
glories of the house of Este.

  "Nuoteranno i destrier fino alla pancia
  Nel sangue uman per tutta la campagna;
  Ch' a seppellire il popol verra inanco
  Tedesco, Ispano, Greco, Italo, e Franco."
                         Orlando Furioso, canto 3, st. 55.

[20] Brantome, Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 6.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 290-305.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 231,
233.--Memoires de Bayard, chap. 54.--Du Bellay, Memoires, apud Petitot,
Collection des Memoires, tom. xvii. p. 234.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap.
29, 30.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. ii. lib. 12.

Machiavelli does justice to the gallantry of this valiant corps, whose
conduct on this occasion furnishes him with a pertinent illustration, in
estimating the comparative value of the Spanish, or rather Roman arms, and
the German. Opere, tom. iv., Arte della Guerra, lib. 2, p. 67.

[21] Memoires de Bayard, chap. 54.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib.
10, pp. 306-309.--Peter Martyr, epist. 483.--Brantome, Vies des Hommes
Illustres, disc. 24.

The best, that is, the most perspicuous and animated description of the
fight of Ravenna, among contemporary writers, will be found in
Guicciardini (ubi supra); among the modern, in Sismondi, (Republiques
Italiennes, tom. xiv. chap. 109,) an author, who has the rare merit of
combining profound philosophical analysis with the superficial and
picturesque graces of narrative.

[22] "Le foudre de l'Italie." (Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. p. 391.)--
light authority, I acknowledge, even for a _sobriquet_.

[23] One example may suffice, occurring in the war of the League, in 1510.
When Vicenza was taken by the Imperialists, a number of the inhabitants,
amounting to one, or, according to some accounts, six thousand, took
refuge in a neighboring grotto, with their wives and children,
comprehending many of the principal families of the place. A French
officer, detecting their retreat, caused a heap of faggots to be piled up
at the mouth of the cavern and set on fire. Out of the whole number of
fugitives only one escaped with life; and the blackened and convulsed
appearance of the bodies showed too plainly the cruel agonies of
suffocation. (Memoires de Bayard, chap. 40.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana,
tom. ii. lib. 10.) Bayard executed two of the authors of this diabolical
act on the spot. But the "chevalier sans reproche" was an exception to,
rather than an example of, the prevalent spirit of the age.

[24] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 310-312, 322, 323.--
Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 7.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom.
ii. lib. 30, cap. 9.--Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, p. 288.--
Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1512.--See also Lettera di Vettori, Maggio 16,
1514, apud Machiavelli, Opere.

[25] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. p. 137.

He had become a party to it as early as November 17, of the preceding
year; he deferred its publication, however, until he had received the last
instalment of a subsidy, that Louis XII. was to pay him for the
maintenance of peace. (Rymer, Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 311-323.--Sismondi,
Hist. des Francais, tom. xv. p. 385.) Even the chivalrous Harry the Eighth
could not escape the trickish spirit of the age.

[26] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, p. 320.

[27] Memoires de Bayard, chap. 55.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 31.--
Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. pp. 380, 381.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 335, 336.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi; lib. 10,
cap, 20.

[28] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 44-48.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. vi. lib. 11, p. 52.

Martyr reports a conversation that he had with the Venetian minister in
Spain, touching this business. Opus Epist., epist. 520.

[29] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 86.

[30] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 11, pp. 101-138.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 523.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap.
21.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 36, 37.--Also an original letter of King
Ferdinand to Archbishop Deza, apud Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap.

Alviano died a little more than a year after this defeat, at sixty years
of age. He was so much beloved by the soldiery, that they refused to be
separated from his remains, which were borne at the head of the army for
some weeks after his death. They were finally laid in the church of St.
Stephen in Venice; and the senate, with more gratitude than is usually
conceded to republics, settled an honorable pension on his family.

[31] Daru, Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. pp. 615, 616.




Sovereigns of Navarre.--Ferdinand Demands a Passage.--Invasion and
Conquest of Navarre.--Treaty of Orthes.--Ferdinand Settles his Conquests.
--His Conduct Examined.--Gross Abuse of the Victory.

While the Spaniards were thus winning barren laurels on the fields of
Italy, King Ferdinand was making a most important acquisition of territory
nearer home. The reader has already been made acquainted with the manner
in which the bloody sceptre of Navarre passed from the hands of Eleanor,
Ferdinand's sister, after a reign of a few brief days, into those of her
grandson Phoebus. A fatal destiny hung over the house of Foix; and the
latter prince lived to enjoy his crown only four years, when he was
succeeded by his sister Catharine.

It was not to be supposed, that Ferdinand and Isabella, so attentive to
enlarge their empire to the full extent of the geographical limits which
nature seemed to have assigned it, would lose the opportunity now
presented of incorporating into it the hitherto independent kingdom of
Navarre, by the marriage of their own heir with its sovereign. All their
efforts, however, were frustrated by the queen mother Magdaleine, sister
of Louis the Eleventh, who, sacrificing the interests of the nation to her
prejudices, evaded the proposed match, under various pretexts, and in the
end effected a union between her daughter and a French noble, Jean
d'Albret, heir to considerable estates in the neighborhood of Navarre.
This was a most fatal error. The independence of Navarre had hitherto been
maintained less through its own strength, than the weakness of its
neighbors. But, now that the petty states around her had been absorbed
into two great and powerful monarchies, it was not to be expected, that so
feeble a barrier would be longer respected, or that it would not be swept
away in the first collision of those formidable forces. But, although the
independence of the kingdom must be lost, the princes of Navarre might yet
maintain their station by a union with, the reigning family of France or
Spain. By the present connection with a mere private individual they lost
both the one and the other. [1]

Still the most friendly relations subsisted between the Catholic king and
his niece during the lifetime of Isabella. The sovereigns assisted her in
taking possession of her turbulent dominions, as well as in allaying the
deadly feuds of the Beaumonts and Agramonts, with which they were rent
asunder. They supported her with their arms in resisting her uncle Jean,
viscount of Narbonne, who claimed the crown on the groundless pretext of
its being limited to male heirs. [2] The alliance with Spain was drawn
still closer by the avowed purpose of Louis the Twelfth to support his
nephew, Gaston de Foix, in the claims of his deceased father. [3] The
death of the young hero, however, at Ravenna, wholly changed the relations
and feelings of the two countries. Navarre had nothing immediately to fear
from France. She felt distrust of Spain on more than one account,
especially for the protection afforded the Beaumontese exiles, at the head
of whom was the young count of Lerin, Ferdinand's nephew. [4]

France, too, standing alone, and at bay against the rest of Europe, found
the alliance of the little state of Navarre of importance to her,
especially at the present juncture, when the project of an expedition
against Guienne, by the combined armies of Spain and England, naturally
made Louis the Twelfth desirous to secure the good-will of a prince, who
might be said to wear the keys of the Pyrenees as the king of Sardinia did
those of the Alps, at his girdle. With these amicable dispositions, the
king and queen of Navarre despatched their plenipotentiaries to Blois,
early in May, soon after the battle of Ravenna, with full powers to
conclude a treaty of alliance and confederation with the French
government. [5]

In the mean time, June 8th, an English squadron arrived at Passage, in
Guipuscoa, having ten thousand men on board under Thomas Grey, marquis of
Dorset, [6] in order to cooperate with King Ferdinand's army in the
descent on Guienne. This latter force, consisting of two thousand five
hundred horse, light and heavy, six thousand foot, and twenty pieces of
artillery, was placed under Don Fadrique de Toledo, the old duke of Alva,
grandfather of the general, who wrote his name in indelible characters of
blood in the Netherlands, under Philip the Second. [7] Before making any
movement, however, Ferdinand, who knew the equivocal dispositions of the
Navarrese sovereigns, determined to secure himself from the annoyance
which their strong position enabled them to give him on whatever route he
adopted. He accordingly sent to request a free passage through their
dominions, with the demand, moreover, that they should intrust six of
their principal fortresses to such Navarrese as he should name, as a
guarantee for their neutrality during the expedition. He accompanied this
modest proposal with the alternative, that the sovereigns should become
parties to the Holy League, engaging in that case to restore certain
places in his possession, which they claimed, and pledging the whole
strength of the confederacy to protect them against any hostile attempts
of France. [8]

The situation of these unfortunate princes was in the highest degree
embarrassing. The neutrality they had so long and sedulously maintained
was now to be abandoned; and their choice, whichever party they espoused,
must compromise their possessions on one or the other side of the
Pyrenees, in exchange for an ally, whose friendship had proved by repeated
experience quite as disastrous as his enmity. In this dilemma they sent
ambassadors into Castile, to obtain some modification of the terms, or at
least to protract negotiations till some definitive arrangement should be
made with Louis the Twelfth. [9]

On the 17th of July, their plenipotentiaries signed a treaty with that
monarch at Blois, by which France and Navarre mutually agreed to defend
each other, in case of attack, against all enemies whatever. By another
provision, obviously directed against Spain, it was stipulated, that
neither nation should allow a passage to the enemies of the other through
its dominions. And, by a third, Navarre pledged herself to declare war on
the English now assembled in Guipuscoa, and all those co-operating with
them. [10]

Through a singular accident, Ferdinand was made acquainted with the
principal articles of this treaty before its signature. [11] His army had
remained inactive in its quarters around Victoria, ever since the landing
of the English. He now saw the hopelessness of further negotiation, and,
determining to anticipate the stroke prepared for him, commanded his
general to invade without delay, and occupy Navarre.

The duke of Alva crossed the borders on the 21st of July, proclaiming that
no harm should be offered to those who voluntarily submitted. On the 23d,
he arrived before Pampelona. King John, who all the while he had been thus
dallying with the lion, had made no provision for defence, had already
abandoned his capital, leaving it to make the best terms it could for
itself. On the following day, the city, having first obtained assurance of
respect for all its franchises and immunities, surrendered; "a
circumstance," devoutly exclaims King Ferdinand, "in which we truly
discern the hand of our blessed Lord, whose miraculous interposition has
been visible through all this enterprise, undertaken for the weal of the
church, and the extirpation of the accursed schism." [12]

The royal exile, in the mean while, had retreated to Lumbier, where he
solicited the assistance of the duke of Longueville, then encamped on the
northern frontier for the defence of Bayonne. The French commander,
however, stood too much in awe of the English, still lying in Guipuscoa,
to weaken himself by a detachment into Navarre; and the unfortunate
monarch, unsupported, either by his own subjects or his new ally, was
compelled to cross the mountains, and take refuge with his family in
France. [13]

The duke of Alva lost no time in pressing his advantage; opening the way
by a proclamation of the Catholic king, that it was intended only to hold
possession of the country as security for the pacific disposition of its
sovereigns, until the end of his present expedition against Guienne. From
whatever cause, the Spanish general experienced so little resistance, that
in less than a fortnight he overran and subdued nearly the whole of Upper
Navarre. So short a time sufficed for the subversion of a monarchy, which,
in defiance of storm and stratagem, had maintained its independence
unimpaired, with a few brief exceptions, for seven centuries. [14]

On reviewing these extraordinary events, we are led to distrust the
capacity and courage of a prince, who could so readily abandon his
kingdom, without so much as firing a shot in its defence. John had shown,
however, on more than one occasion, that he was destitute of neither. He
was not, it must be confessed, of the temper best suited to the fierce and
stirring times on which he was cast. He was of an amiable disposition,
social and fond of pleasure, and so little jealous of his royal dignity,
that he mixed freely in the dances and other entertainments of the
humblest of his subjects. His greatest defect was the facility with which
he reposed the cares of state on favorites, not always the most deserving.
His greatest merit was his love of letters. [15] Unfortunately, neither
his merits nor defects were of a kind best adapted to extricate him from
his present perilous situation, or enable him to cope with his wily and
resolute adversary. For this, however, more commanding talents might well
have failed. The period had arrived, when, in the regular progress of
events, Navarre must yield up her independence to the two great nations on
her borders; who, attracted by the strength of her natural position, and
her political weakness, would be sure, now that their own domestic
discords were healed, to claim each the moiety, which seemed naturally to
fall within its own territorial limits. Particular events might accelerate
or retard this result, but it was not in the power of human genius to
avert its final consummation.

King Ferdinand, who descried the storm now gathering on the side of
France, resolved to meet it promptly, and commanded his general to cross
the mountains, and occupy the districts of Lower Navarre. In this he
expected the co-operation of the English. But he was disappointed. The
marquis of Dorset alleged that the time consumed in the reduction of
Navarre made it too late for the expedition against Guienne, which was now
placed in a posture of defence. He loudly complained that his master had
been duped by the Catholic king, who had used his ally to make conquests
solely for himself; and, in spite of every remonstrance, he re-embarked
his whole force, without waiting for orders; "a proceeding," says
Ferdinand in one of his letters, "which touches me most deeply, from the
stain it leaves on the honor of the most serene king my son-in-law, and
the glory of the English nation, so distinguished in times past for high
and chivalrous emprize." [16]

The duke of Alva, thus unsupported, was no match for the French under
Longueville, strengthened, moreover, by the veteran corps returned from
Italy, with the brave La Palice. Indeed, he narrowly escaped being hemmed
in between the two armies, and only succeeded in anticipating by a few
hours the movements of La Palice, so as to make good his retreat through
the pass of Roncesvalles, and throw himself into Pampelona. [17] Hither he
was speedily followed by the French general, accompanied by Jean d'Albret.
On the 27th of November, the besiegers made a desperate though ineffectual
assault on the city, which was repeated with equal ill fortune on the two
following days. The beleaguering forces, in the mean time, were straitened
for provisions; and at length, after a siege of some weeks, on learning
the arrival of fresh reinforcements under the duke of Najara, [18] they
broke up their encampment, and withdrew across the mountains; and with
them faded the last ray of hope for the restoration of the unfortunate
monarch of Navarre. [19]

On the 1st of April, in the following year, 1513, Ferdinand effected a
truce with Louis the Twelfth, embracing their respective territories west
of the Alps. It continued a year, and at its expiration was renewed for a
similar time. [20] This arrangement, by which Louis sacrificed the
interests of his ally the king of Navarre, gave Ferdinand ample time for
settling and fortifying his new conquests; while it left the war open in a
quarter, where he well knew, others were more interested than himself to
prosecute it with vigor. The treaty must be allowed to be more defensible
on the score of policy, than of good faith. [21] The allies loudly
inveighed against the treachery of their confederate, who had so
unscrupulously sacrificed the common interest, by relieving France from
the powerful diversion he was engaged to make on her western borders. It
is no justification of wrong, that similar wrongs have been committed by
others; but those who commit them (and there was not one of the allies,
who could escape the imputation, amid the political profligacy of the
times,) certainly forfeit the privilege to complain. [22]

Ferdinand availed himself of the interval of repose, now secured, to
settle his new conquests. He had transferred his residence first to Burgos
and afterwards to Logrono, that he might be near the theatre of
operations. He was indefatigable in raising reinforcements and supplies,
and expressed his intention at one time, notwithstanding the declining
state of his health, to take the command in person. He showed his usual
sagacity in various regulations for improving the police, healing the
domestic feuds,--as fatal to Navarre as the arms of its enemies,--and
confirming and extending its municipal privileges and immunities, so as to
conciliate the affections of his new subjects. [23]

On the 23d of March, 1513, the estates of Navarre took the usual oaths of
allegiance to King Ferdinand. [24] On the 15th of June, 1515, the Catholic
monarch by a solemn act in cortes, held at Burgos, incorporated his new
conquests into the kingdom of Castile. [25] The event excited some
surprise, considering his more intimate relations with Aragon. But it was
to the arms of Castile that he was chiefly indebted for the conquest; and
it was on her superior wealth and resources that he relied for maintaining
it. With this was combined the politic consideration, that the Navarrese,
naturally turbulent and factious, would be held more easily in
subordination when associated with Castile, than with Aragon, where the
spirit of independence was higher, and often manifested itself in such
bold assertion of popular rights, as falls most unwelcome on a royal ear.
To all this must be added the despair of issue by his present marriage,
which had much abated his personal interest in enlarging the extent of his
patrimonial domains.

Foreign writers characterize the conquest of Navarre as a bold, unblushing
usurpation, rendered more odious by the mask of religious hypocrisy. The
national writers, on the other hand, have employed their pens
industriously to vindicate it; some endeavoring to rake a good claim for
Castile out of its ancient union with Navarre, almost as ancient, indeed,
as the Moorish conquest. Others resort to considerations of expediency,
relying on the mutual benefits of the connection to both kingdoms;
arguments which prove little else than the weakness of the cause. [26] All
lay more or less stress on the celebrated bull of Julius the Second, of
February 18th, 1512, by which he excommunicated the sovereigns of Navarre,
as heretics, schismatics, and enemies of the church, releasing their
subjects from their allegiance, laying their dominions under an interdict,
and delivering them over to any who should take, or had already taken,
possession of them. [27] Most, indeed, are content to rest on this, as the
true basis and original ground of the conquest. The total silence of the
Catholic king respecting this document, before the invasion, and the
omission of the national historians since to produce it, have caused much
skepticism as to its existence. And, although its recent publication puts
this beyond doubt, the instrument contains, in my judgment, strong
internal evidence for distrusting the accuracy of the date affixed to it,
which should have been posterior to the invasion; a circumstance
materially affecting the argument; and which makes the papal sentence, not
the original basis of the war, but only a sanction subsequently obtained
to cover its injustice, and authorize retaining the fruits of it. [28]

But, whatever authority such a sanction may have had in the sixteenth
century, it will find little respect in the present, at least beyond the
limits of the Pyrenees. The only way, in which the question can be fairly
tried, must be by those maxims of public law universally recognized as
settling the intercourse of civilized nations; a science, indeed,
imperfectly developed at that time, but in its general principles the same
as now, founded, as these are, on the immutable basis of morality and

We must go back a step beyond the war, to the proximate cause of it. This
was Ferdinand's demand of a free passage for his troops through Navarre.
The demand was perfectly fair, and in ordinary cases would doubtless have
been granted by a neutral nation. But that nation must, after all, be the
only judge of its propriety, and Navarre may find a justification for her
refusal on these grounds. First, that, in her weak and defenceless state,
it was attended with danger to herself. Secondly, that, as by a previous
and existing treaty with Spain, the validity of which was recognized in
her new one of July 17th with France, she had agreed to refuse the right
of passage to the latter nation, she consequently could not grant it to
Spain without a violation of her neutrality. [29] Thirdly, that the demand
of a passage, however just in itself, was coupled with another, the
surrender of the fortresses, which must compromise the independence of the
kingdom. [30]

But although, for these reasons, the sovereigns of Navarre were warranted
in refusing Ferdinand's request, they were not therefore authorized to
declare war against him, which they virtually did by entering into a
defensive alliance with his enemy Louis the Twelfth, and by pledging
themselves to make war on the English and their confederates; an article
pointedly directed at the Catholic king.

True, indeed, the treaty of Blois had not received the ratification of the
Navarrese sovereigns; but it was executed by their plenipotentiaries duly
authorized; and, considering the intimate intercourse between the two
nations, was undoubtedly made with their full knowledge and concurrence.
Under these circumstances, it was scarcely to be expected, that King
Ferdinand, when an accident had put him in possession of the result of
these negotiations, should wait for a formal declaration of hostilities,
and thus deprive himself of the advantage of anticipating the blow of his

The right of making war would seem to include that of disposing of its
fruits; subject, however, to those principles of natural equity, which
should regulate every action, whether of a public or private nature. No
principle can be clearer, for example, than that the penalty should be
proportioned to the offence. Now that inflicted on the sovereigns of
Navarre, which went so far as to dispossess them of their crown, and
annihilate the political existence of their kingdom, was such as nothing
but extraordinary aggressions on the part of the conquered nation, or the
self-preservation of the victors, could justify. As neither of these
contingencies existed in the present case, Ferdinand's conduct must be
regarded as a flagrant example of the abuse of the rights of conquest. We
have been but too familiar, indeed, with similar acts of political
injustice, and on a much larger scale, in the present civilized age. But,
although the number and splendor of the precedents may blunt our
sensibility to the atrocity of the act, they can never constitute a
legitimate warrant for its perpetration.

While thus freely condemning Ferdinand's conduct in this transaction, I
cannot go along with those, who, having inspected the subject less
minutely, are disposed to regard it as the result of a cool, premeditated
policy from the outset. The propositions originally made by him to Navarre
appear to have been conceived in perfect good faith. The requisition of
the fortresses, impudent as it may seem, was nothing more than had been
before made in Isabella's time, when it had been granted, and the security
subsequently restored, as soon as the emergency had passed away. [31] The
alternative proposed, of entering into the Holy League, presented many
points of view so favorable to Navarre, that Ferdinand, ignorant, as he
then was, of the precise footing on which she stood with France, might
have seen no improbability in her closing with it. Had either alternative
been embraced, there would have been no pretext for the invasion. Even
when hostilities had been precipitated by the impolitic conduct of
Navarre, Ferdinand (to judge, not from his public manifestoes only, but
from his private correspondence) would seem to have at first contemplated
holding the country only till the close of his French expedition. [32] But
the facility of retaining these conquests, when once acquired, was too
strong a temptation. It was easy to find some plausible pretext to justify
it, and obtain such a sanction from the highest authority, as should veil
the injustice of the transaction from the world,--and from his own eyes.
And that these were blinded is but too true, if, as an Aragonese historian
declares, he could remark on his death-bed, "that, independently of the
conquest having been undertaken at the instance of the sovereign pontiff,
for the extirpation of the schism, he felt his conscience as easy in
keeping it, as in keeping his crown of Aragon." [33]

       *       *       *       *       *

I have made use of three authorities exclusively devoted to Navarre, in
the present History. 1. "L'Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, par un des
Secretaires Interprettes de sa Maieste" Paris, 1596, 8vo. This anonymous
work, from the pen of one of Henry IV.'s secretaries, is little else than
a meagre compilation of facts, and these deeply colored by the national
prejudices of the writer. It derives some value from this circumstance,
however, in the contrast it affords to the Spanish version of the same
transactions. 2. A tract entitled "Aelii Antonii Nebrissensis de Bello
Navariensi Libri Duo." It covers less than thirty pages folio, and is
chiefly occupied, as the title imports, with the military events of the
conquest by the duke of Alva. It was originally incorporated in the volume
containing its learned author's version, or rather paraphrase, of Pulgar's
Chronicle, with some other matters; and first appeared from the press of
the younger Lebrija, "apud inclytam Granatam, 1545." 3. But the great work
illustrating the history of Navarre is the "Annales del Reyno;" of which
the best edition is that in seven volumes, folio, from the press of
Ibanez, Pamplona, 1766. Its typographical execution would be creditable to
any country. The three first volumes were written by Moret, whose profound
acquaintance with the antiquities of his nation has made his book
indispensable to the student of this portion of its history. The fourth
and fifth are the continuation of his work by Francisco de Aleson, a
Jesuit who succeeded Moret as historiographer of Navarre. The two last
volumes are devoted to investigations illustrating the antiquities of
Navarre, from the pen of Moret, and are usually published separately from
his great historic work. Aleson's continuation, extending from 1350 to
1527, is a production of considerable merit. It shows extensive research
on the part of its author, who, however, has not always confined himself
to the most authentic and accredited sources of information. His
references exhibit a singular medley of original contemporary documents,
and apocryphal authorities of a very recent date. Though a Navarrese, he
has written with the impartiality of one in whom local prejudices were
extinguished in the more comprehensive national feelings of a Spaniard.


[1] See Part I. Chapters 10, 12.

[2] Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 567, 570.--Aleson, Annales de
Navarra, tom. v. lib. 34, cap. 1, fol.--Diccionario Geografico-Historico
de Espana, por la Real Academia de la Historia, (Madrid, 1802,) tom. ii.
p. 117.

[3] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 13.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 9, cap. 54.--Sismondi, Hist. des Francais, tom. xv. p. 500.

[4] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, ubi supra.

[5] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, p. 147.--See also the
king's letter to Deza, dated at Burgos, July 20th, 1512, apud Bernaldez,
Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 235.

[6] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. p. 245.--Herbert, Life and Raigne
of Henry VIII., (London, 1649,) p. 20.--Holinshed, Chronicles, p.568,
(London, 1810.)--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ix. p. 315.

His Valencian editors correct his text, by substituting marquis of

[7] The young poet, Garcilasso de la Vega, gives a brilliant sketch of
this stern old nobleman in his younger days, such as our imagination would
scarcely have formed of him at any period.

  "Otro Marte 'n guerra, en corte Febo.
  Mostravase mancebo en las senales
  del rostro, qu' eran tales, qu' esperanca
  i cierta confianca claro davan
  a cuantos le miravan; qu' el seria,
  en quien s' informaria un ser divino."
                       Obras, ed. de Herrera, p. 505.

[8] Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 3.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi
lib. 10, cap. 4, 5.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap.
15.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 488.--Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos,
MS., ubi supra.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 25.--Sandoval,
Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 25.

[9] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 7, 8.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 487.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 25.

[10] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 69.--Carta del Rey
a D. Diego Deza, apud Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 235.

[11] A confidential secretary of King Jean of Navarre was murdered in his
sleep by his mistress. His papers, containing the heads of the proposed
treaty with France, fell into the hands of a priest of Pampelona, who was
induced by the hopes of a reward to betray them to Ferdinand. The story is
told by Martyr, in a letter dated July 18th, 1512. (Opus Epist., epist.
490.) Its truth is attested by the conformity of the proposed terms with
those of the actual treaty.

[12] Carta del Rey a D. Diego Deza, Burgos, July 26th, apud Bernaldez,
Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 236.--Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 620-
627.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 495.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35,
cap. 15.

Bernaldez has incorporated into his chronicle several letters of King
Ferdinand, written during the progress of the war. It is singular, that,
coming from so high a source, they should not have been more freely
resorted to by the Spanish writers. They are addressed to his confessor,
Deza, archbishop of Seville, with whom Bernaldez, curate of a parish in
his diocese, was, as appears from other parts of his work, on terms of

[13] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 15.--Histoire du
Royaume de Navarre, p. 622.--Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap.
4.--"Jean d'Albret you were born," said Catharine to her unfortunate
husband, as they were flying from their kingdom, "and Jean d'Albret you
will die. Had I been king, and you queen, we had been reigning in Navarre
at this moment." (Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 26.) Father
Abarca treats the story as an old wife's tale, and Garibay as an old woman
for repeating it. Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.

[14] Manifiesto del Rey D. Fernando, July 30th, apud Bernaldez, Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 236.--Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 5.--
Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 26.

[15] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 2.--Histoire du
Royaume de Navarre, pp. 603, 604.

[16] 16 See the king's third letter to Deza, Logrono, November 12th, apud
Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 236.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom.
ii. lib. 30, cap. 12.--Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 7.--
Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 499.--Herbert, Life of Henry VIII., p.
24.--Holinshed, Chronicles, p. 571.

[17] Garcilasso de la Vega alludes to these military exploits of the duke,
in his second eclogue.

  "Con mas ilustre nombre los arneses
  de los fieros Franceses abollava."
                   Obras, ed. de Herrera, p. 505.

[18] Such was the power of the old duke of Najara, that he brought into
the field on this occasion 1100 horse and 3000 foot, raised and equipped
on his own estates. Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 507.

[19] Memoires de Bayard, chap. 55, 56.--Fleurange, Memoires, chap. 33.--
Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 8, 9.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1512.

Jean and Catharine d'Albret passed the remainder of their days in their
territories on the French side of the Pyrenees. They made one more faint
and fruitless attempt to recover their dominions during the regency of
Cardinal Ximenes. (Carbajal, Anales, MS., cap. 12.) Broken in spirits,
their health gradually declined, and neither of them long survived the
loss of their crown. Jean died June 23d, 1517, and Catharine followed on
the 12th of February of the next year;--happy, at least, that, as
misfortune had no power to divide them in life, so they were not long
separated by death. (Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, p. 643.--Aleson,
Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 20, 21.) Their bodies sleep side
by side in the cathedral church of Lescar, in their own dominions of
Bearne; and their fate is justly noticed by the Spanish historians as one
of the most striking examples of that stern decree, by which the sins of
the fathers are visited on the children to the third and fourth

[20] Flassan, Diplomatie Francaise, tom. i. p 296.--Rymer, Foedera, tom.
xiii. pp. 350-352.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 11, p82, lib. 12,
p. 168.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap 22.--"Fu cosa
ridicola," says Guicciardini in relation to this truce, "che nei medesimi
giorni, che la si bandiva solennemente per tutta. Ja Spagna, venne en
araldo a significargli in nome del Re d'Ingbilterra gli apparati
potentissimi, che ei faceva per assaltare la Francia, e a sollecitare che
egli medesimamente movesse, secondo che aveva promesso, la guerra dalla
parte di Spagna." Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 12, p. 84.

[21] Francesco Vettori, the Florentine ambassador at the papal court,
writes to Machiavelli, that he lay awake two hours that night speculating
on the real motives of the Catholic king in making this truce, which,
regarded simply as a matter of policy, he condemns _in toto_. He
accompanies this with various predictions respecting the consequences
likely to result from it. These consequences never occurred, however; and
the failure of his predictions may be received as the best refutation of
his arguments. Machiavelli, Opere, Lett. Famigl. Aprile 21 1513.

[22] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. vi. lib. II, pp. 81, 82.--Machiavelli,
Opere, ubi supra.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 538.

On the 5th of April a treaty was concluded at Mechlin, in the names of
Ferdinand, the king of England, the emperor, and the pope. (Rymer,
Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 354-358.) The Castilian envoy, Don Luis Carroz,
was not present at Mechlin, but it was ratified and solemnly sworn to by
him, on behalf of his sovereign, in London, April 18th. (Ibid., tom. xiii.
p. 363.) By this treaty, Spain agreed to attack France in Guienne, while
the other powers were to cooperate by a descent on other quarters. (See
also Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no 79.) This was in
direct contradiction of the treaty signed only five days before at Orthes,
and if made with the privity of King Ferdinand, must be allowed to be a
gratuitous display of perfidy, not easily matched in that age. As such, of
course, it is stigmatized by the French historians, that is the later
ones, for I find no comment on it in contemporary writers. (See Rapin,
History of England, translated by Tindal, (London, 1785-9,) vol. ii. pp.
93, 94. Sismondi, Hist. des Francais, tom. xv. p. 626.) Ferdinand, when
applied to by Henry VIII. to ratify the acts of his minister, in the
following summer, refused, on the ground that the latter had transcended
his powers. (Herbert, Life of Henry VIII., p. 29.) The Spanish writers are
silent. His assertion derives some probability from the tenor of one of
the articles, which provides, that in case he refuses to confirm the
treaty, it shall still be binding between England and the emperor;
language which, as it anticipates, may seem to authorize, such a

Public treaties have, for obvious reasons, been generally received as the
surest basis for history. One might well doubt this, who attempts to
reconcile the multifarious discrepancies and contradictions in those of
the period under review. The science of diplomacy, as then practised, was
a mere game of finesse and falsehood, in which the more solemn the
protestations of the parties, the more ground for distrusting their

[23] Carta del Rey a Don Diego Deza, Nov. 12th, 1512, apud Bernaldez,
Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 236.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib.
35, cap. 16.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 13, 36, 43.--
Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1512.

[24] Hist. du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 629, 630.--Aleson, Annales de
Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 16.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 30,
cap. 1.

[25] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 92.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
ano 1515.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 30, cap. 1.--Aleson, Annales
de Navarra, tom, v. lib. 35, cap. 7.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 26.

[26] The honest canon Salazar de Mendoza, (taking the hint from Lebrija,
indeed,) finds abundant warrant for Ferdinand's treatment of Navarre in
the hard measure dealt by the Israelites of old to the people of Ephron,
and to Sihon, king of the Amorites. (Monarquia, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 6.)
It might seem strange, that a Christian should look for authority in the
practices of the race he so much abominates, instead of the inspired
precepts of the Founder of his religion! But in truth your thoroughbred
casuist is apt to be very little of a Christian.

[27] See the original bull of Julius II., apud Mariana, Hist. de Espana,
tom. ix. Apend. no. 2, ed. Valencia, 1796.--"Joannem et Catharinam," says
the bull, in the usual conciliatory style of the Vatican, "perditionis
filios,--excommunicatos, anathemizatos, maledictos, aeterni supplicii
reos," etc., etc. "Our armies swore terribly in Flanders, cried my uncle
Toby,--but nothing to this. For my own part I could not have a heart to
curse my dog so."

[28] The ninth volume of the splendid Valencian edition of Mariana
contains in the Appendix the famous bull of Julius II. of Feb. 18th, 1512,
the original of which is to be found in the royal archives of Barcelona.
The editor, Don Francisco Ortiz y Sanz, has accompanied it with an
elaborate disquisition, in which he makes the apostolic sentence the great
authority for the conquest. It was a great triumph undoubtedly, to be able
to produce the document, to which the Spanish historians had been so long
challenged in vain by foreign writers, and the existence of which might
well be doubted, since no record of it appears on the papal register.
(Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.) Paris de Grassis,
_maitre des ceremonies_ of the chapel of Julius II. and Leo X., makes
no mention of bull or excommunication, although very exact and particular
in reporting such facts. (Brequigny, Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque du Roy,
tom. ii. p. 570.) There is no reason that I know for doubting the
genuineness of the present instrument. There are conclusive reasons to my
mind, however, for rejecting its date, and assigning it to some time
posterior to the conquest.

1st. The bull denounces John and Catharine as having openly joined
themselves to Louis XII., and borne arms with him against England, Spain,
and the church; a charge for which there was no pretence till five months
later.--2d. With this bull the editor has given another, dated Rome, July
21st, 1512, noticed by Peter Martyr. (Opus Epist., epist. 497.) This
latter is general in its import, being directed against all nations
whatever, engaged in alliance with France against the church. The
sovereigns of Navarre are not even mentioned, nor the nation itself, any
further than to warn it of the imminent danger in which it stood of
falling into the schism. Now it is obvious that this second bull, so
general in its import, would have been entirely superfluous in reference
to Navarre, after the publication of the first; while, on the other hand,
nothing could be more natural than that these general menaces and
warnings, having proved ineffectual, should be followed by the particular
sentence of excommunication contained in the bull of February.--3d. In
fact, the bull of February makes repeated allusion to a former one, in
such a manner as to leave no doubt that the bull of July 21st is intended;
since not only the sentiments, but the very form of expression, are
perfectly coincident in both for whole sentences together.--4th. Ferdinand
makes no mention of the papal excommunication, either in his private
correspondence, where he discusses the grounds of the war, or in his
manifesto to the Navarrese, where it would have served his purpose quite
as effectually as his arms. I say nothing of the negative evidence
afforded by the silence of contemporary writers, as Lebrija, Carbajal,
Bernaldez, and Martyr, who, while they allude to a sentence of
excommunication passed in the consistory, or to the publication of the
bull of July, give no intimation of the existence of that of February; a
silence altogether inexplicable. The inference from all this is, that the
date of the bull of February 18th, 1512, is erroneous; that it should be
placed at some period posterior to the conquest, and consequently could
not have served as the ground of it; but was probably obtained at the
instance of the Catholic king, in order, by the odium which it threw on
the sovereigns of Navarre, as excommunicate, to remove that under which he
lay himself, and at the same time secure what might be deemed a sufficient
warrant for retaining his acquisitions.

Readers in general may think more time has been spent on the discussion
than it is worth. But the important light, in which it is viewed by those
who entertain more deference for a papal decree, is sufficiently attested
by the length and number of disquisitions on it, down to the present

[29] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 69.

[30] According to Galindez de Carbajal, only three fortresses were
originally demanded by Ferdinand. (Anales, MS., ano 1512.) He may have
confounded the number with that said to have been finally conceded by the
king of Navarre; a concession, however, which amounted to little, since it
excluded by name two of the most important places required, and the
sincerity of which may well be doubted, if, as it would seem, it was not
made till after the negotiations with France had been adjusted. See
Zurita, Anales, lib. 10, cap. 7.

[31] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 1, 3.--Garibay,
Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 13.

[32] See King Ferdinand's letter, July 20th, and his manifesto, July 30th,
1512, apud Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 235.--Lebrija, De Bello
Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 7.

[33] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.




Gonsalvo Ordered to Italy.--General Enthusiasm.--The King's Distrust.--
Gonsalvo in Retirement.--Decline of his Health.--His Death and Noble
Character.--Ferdinand's Illness.--It Increases.--He Dies.--His Character.
--A Contrast to Isabella.--The Judgment of his Contemporaries.

Notwithstanding the good order which King Ferdinand maintained in Castile
by his energetic conduct, as well as by his policy of diverting the
effervescing spirits of the nation to foreign enterprise, he still
experienced annoyance from various causes. Among these were Maximilian's
pretensions to the regency, as paternal grandfather of the heir apparent.
The emperor, indeed, had more than once threatened to assert his
preposterous claims to Castile in person; and, although this Quixotic
monarch, who had been tilting against windmills all his life, failed to
excite any powerful sensation, either by his threats or his promises, it
furnished a plausible pretext for keeping alive a faction hostile to the
interests of the Catholic king.

In the winter of 1509, an arrangement was made with the emperor, through
the mediation of Louis the Twelfth, by which he finally relinquished his
pretensions to the regency of Castile, in consideration of the aid of
three hundred lances, and the transfer to him of the fifty thousand
ducats, which Ferdinand was to receive from Pisa. [1] No bribe was too
paltry for a prince, whose means were as narrow, as his projects were vast
and chimerical. Even after this pacification, the Austrian party contrived
to disquiet the king, by maintaining the archduke Charles's pretensions to
the government in the name of his unfortunate mother; until at length, the
Spanish monarch came to entertain not merely distrust, but positive
aversion, for his grandson; while the latter, as he advanced in years, was
taught to regard Ferdinand as one, who excluded him from his rightful
inheritance by a most flagrant act of usurpation. [2]

Ferdinand's suspicious temper found other grounds for uneasiness, where
there was less warrant for it, in his jealousy of his illustrious subject
Gonsalvo de Cordova. This was particularly the case, when circumstances
had disclosed the full extent of that general's popularity. After the
defeat of Ravenna, the pope and the other allies of Ferdinand urged him in
the most earnest manner to send the Great Captain into Italy, as the only
man capable of checking the French arms, and restoring the fortunes of the
league. The king, trembling for the immediate safety of his own dominions,
gave a reluctant assent, and ordered Gonsalvo to hold himself in readiness
to take command of an army to be instantly raised for Italy. [3]

These tidings were received with enthusiasm by the Castilians. Men of
every rank pressed forward to serve under a chief, whose service was
itself sufficient passport to fame. "It actually seemed," says Martyr, "as
if Spain were to be drained of all her noble and generous blood. Nothing
appeared impossible, or even difficult, under such a leader. Hardly a
cavalier in the land, but would have thought it a reproach to remain
behind. Truly marvellous," he adds, "is the authority which he has
acquired over all orders of men!" [4]

Such was the zeal with which men enlisted under his banner, that great
difficulty was found in completing the necessary levies for Navarre, then
menaced by the French. The king, alarmed at this, and relieved from
apprehensions of immediate danger to Naples, by subsequent advices from
that country, sent orders greatly reducing the number of forces to be
raised. But this had little effect, since every man, who had the means,
preferred acting as a volunteer under the Great Captain to any other
service, however gainful; and many a poor cavalier was there, who expended
his little all, or incurred a heavy debt, in order to appear in the field
in a style becoming the chivalry of Spain.

Ferdinand's former distrust of his general was now augmented tenfold by
this evidence of his unbounded popularity. He saw in imagination much more
danger to Naples from such a subject, than from any enemy, however
formidable. He had received intelligence, moreover, that the French were
in full retreat towards the north. He hesitated no longer, but sent
instructions to the Great Captain at Cordova, to disband his levies, as
the expedition would be postponed till after the present winter; at the
same time inviting such as chose to enlist in the service of Navarre. [5]

These tidings were received with indignant feelings by the whole army. The
officers refused, nearly to a man, to engage in the proposed service.
Gonsalvo, who understood the motives of this change in the royal purpose,
was deeply sensible to what he regarded as a personal affront. He,
however, enjoined on his troops implicit obedience to the king's commands.
Before dismissing them, as he knew that many had been drawn into expensive
preparations far beyond their means, he distributed largesses among them,
amounting to the immense sum, if we may credit his biographers, of one
hundred thousand ducats. "Never stint your hand," said he to his steward,
who remonstrated on the magnitude of the donative; "there is no mode of
enjoying one's property, like giving it away." He then wrote a letter to
the king, in which he gave free vent to his indignation, bitterly
complaining of the ungenerous requital of his services, and asking leave
to retire to his duchy of Terranova in Naples, since he could be no longer
useful in Spain. This request was not calculated to lull Ferdinand's
suspicions. He answered, however, "in the soft and pleasant style, which
he knew so well how to assume," says Zurita; and, after specifying his
motives for relinquishing, however reluctantly, the expedition, he
recommended Gonsalvo's return to Loja, at least until some more definite
arrangement could be made respecting the affairs of Italy.

Thus condemned to his former seclusion, the Great Captain resumed his late
habits of life, freely opening his mansion to persons of merit,
interesting himself in plans for ameliorating the condition of his
tenantry and neighbors, and in this quiet way winning a more
unquestionable title to human gratitude than when piling up the blood-
stained trophies of victory. Alas for humanity, that it should have deemed
otherwise! [6]

Another circumstance, which disquieted the Catholic king, was the failure
of issue by his present wife. The natural desire of offspring was further
stimulated by hatred of the house of Austria, which made him eager to
abridge the ample inheritance about to descend on his grandson Charles. It
must be confessed, that it reflects little credit on his heart or his
understanding, that he should have been so ready to sacrifice to personal
resentment those noble plans for the consolidation of the monarchy, which
had so worthily occupied the attention both of himself and of Isabella, in
his early life. His wishes had nearly been realized. Queen Germaine was
delivered of a son, March 3d, 1509. Providence, however, as if unwilling
to defeat the glorious consummation of the union of the Spanish kingdoms,
so long desired and nearly achieved, permitted the infant to live only a
few hours. [7]

Ferdinand repined at the blessing denied him, now more than ever. In order
to invigorate his constitution, he resorted to artificial means. [8] The
medicines which he took had the opposite effect. At least from this time,
the spring of 1513, he was afflicted with infirmities before unknown to
him. Instead of his habitual equanimity and cheerfulness, he became
impatient, irritable, and frequently a prey to morbid melancholy. He lost
all relish for business, and even for amusements, except field sports, to
which he devoted the greater part of his time. The fever which consumed
him made him impatient of long residence in any one place, and during
these last years of his life the court was in perpetual migration. The
unhappy monarch, alas! could not fly from disease, or from himself. [9]

In the summer of 1515, he was found one night by his attendants in a state
of insensibility, from which it was difficult to rouse him. He exhibited
flashes of his former energy after this, however. On one occasion he made
a journey to Aragon, in order to preside at the deliberations of the
cortes, and enforce the grant of supplies, to which the nobles, from
selfish considerations, made resistance. The king failed, indeed, to bend
their intractable tempers, but he displayed on the occasion all his wonted
address and resolution. [10]

On his return to Castile, which, perhaps from the greater refinement and
deference of the people, seems to have been always a more agreeable
residence to him than his own kingdom of Aragon, he received intelligence
very vexatious, in the irritable state of his mind. He learned that the
Great Captain was preparing to embark for Flanders, with his friend the
count of Urena, the marquis of Priego his nephew, and his future son-in-
law, the count of Cabra. Some surmised that Gonsalvo designed to take
command of the papal army in Italy; others, to join himself with the
archduke Charles, and introduce him, if possible, into Castile. Ferdinand,
clinging to power more tenaciously as it was ready to slip of itself from
his grasp, had little doubt that the latter was his purpose. He sent
orders therefore to the south, to prevent the meditated embarkation, and,
if necessary, to seize Gonsalvo's person. But the latter was soon to
embark on a voyage, where no earthly arm could arrest him. [11]

In the autumn of 1515 he was attacked by a quartan fever. Its approaches
at first were mild. His constitution, naturally good, had been invigorated
by the severe training of a military life; and he had been so fortunate,
that, notwithstanding the free exposure of his person to danger, he had
never received a wound. But, although little alarm was occasioned at first
by his illness, he found it impossible to throw it off; and he removed to
his residence in Granada, in hopes of deriving benefit from its salubrious
climate. Every effort to rally the declining powers of nature proved
unavailing; and on the 2d of December, 1515, he expired in his own palace
at Granada, in the arms of his wife, and his beloved daughter Elvira. [12]

The death of this illustrious man diffused universal sorrow throughout the
nation. All envy and unworthy suspicion died with him. The king and the
whole court went into mourning. Funeral services were performed in his
honor, in the royal chapel and all the principal churches of the kingdom.
Ferdinand addressed a letter of consolation to his duchess, in which he
lamented the death of one, "who had rendered him inestimable services, and
to whom he had ever borne such sincere affection!" [13] His obsequies were
celebrated with great magnificence in the ancient Moorish capital, under
the superintendence of the count of Tendilla, the son and successor of
Gonsalvo's old friend, the late governor of Granada. [14] His remains,
first deposited in the Franciscan monastery, were afterwards removed and
laid beneath a sumptuous mausoleum in the church of San Geronimo; [15] and
more than a hundred banners and royal pennons, waving in melancholy pomp
around the walls of the chapel, proclaimed the glorious achievements of
the warrior who slept beneath. [16] His noble wife, Dona Maria Manrique,
survived him but a few days. His daughter Elvira inherited the princely
titles and estates of her father, which, by her marriage with her kinsman,
the count of Cabra, were perpetuated in the house of Cordova. [17]

Gonsalvo, or, as he is called in Castilian, Gonzalo Hernandez de Cordova,
was sixty-two years old at the time of his death. His countenance and
person are represented to have been extremely handsome; his manners,
elegant and attractive, were stamped with that lofty dignity, which so
often distinguishes his countrymen. "He still bears," says Martyr,
speaking of him in the last years of his life, "the same majestic port as
when in the height of his former authority; so that every one who visits
him acknowledges the influence of his noble presence, as fully as when, at
the head of armies, he gave laws to Italy." [18]

His splendid military successes, so gratifying to Castilian pride, have
made the name of Gonsalvo as familiar to his countrymen as that of the
Cid, which, floating down the stream of popular melody, has been treasured
up as a part of the national history. His shining qualities, even more
than his exploits, have been often made the theme of fiction; and fiction,
as usual, has dealt with them in a fashion to leave only confused and
erroneous conceptions of both. More is known of the Spanish hero, for
instance, to foreign readers from Florian's agreeable novel, than from any
authentic record of his actions. Yet Florian, by dwelling only on the
dazzling and popular traits of his hero, has depicted him as the very
personification of romantic chivalry. This certainly was not his
character, which might be said to have been formed after a riper period of
civilization than the age of chivalry. At least, it had none of the
nonsense of that age,--its fanciful vagaries, reckless adventure, and wild
romantic gallantry. [19] His characteristics were prudence, coolness,
steadiness of purpose, and intimate knowledge of man. He understood, above
all, the temper of his own countrymen. He may be said in some degree to
have formed their military character; their patience of severe training
and hardship, their unflinching obedience, their inflexible spirit under
reverses, and their decisive energy in the hour of action. It is certain
that the Spanish soldier under his hands assumed an entirely new aspect
from that which he had displayed in the romantic wars of the Peninsula.

Gonsalvo was untainted with the coarser vices characteristic of the time.
He discovered none of that griping avarice, too often the reproach of his
countrymen in these wars. His hand and heart were liberal as the day. He
betrayed none of the cruelty and licentiousness, which disgrace the age of
chivalry. On all occasions he was prompt to protect women from injury or
insult. Although his distinguished manners and rank gave him obvious
advantages with the sex, he never abused them; [20] and he has left a
character, unimpeached by any historian, of unblemished morality in his
domestic relations. This was a rare virtue in the sixteenth century.

Gonsalvo's fame rests on his military prowess; yet his character would
seem in many respects better suited to the calm and cultivated walks of
civil life. His government of Naples exhibited much discretion and sound
policy; [21] and there, as afterwards in his retirement, his polite and
liberal manners secured not merely the good-will, but the strong
attachment, of those around him. His early education, like that of most of
the noble cavaliers who came forward before the improvements introduced
under Isabella, was taken up with knightly exercises, more than
intellectual accomplishments. He was never taught Latin, and had no
pretensions to scholarship; but he honored and nobly recompensed it in
others. His solid sense and liberal taste supplied all deficiencies in
himself, and led him to select friends and companions from among the most
enlightened and virtuous of the community. [22]

On this fair character there remains one foul reproach. This is his breach
of faith in two memorable instances; first, to the young duke of Calabria,
and afterwards to Caesar Borgia, both of whom he betrayed into the hands
of King Ferdinand, their personal enemy; and in violation of his most
solemn pledges. [23] True, it was in obedience to his master's commands,
and not to serve his own purposes; and true also, this want of faith was
the besetting sin of the age. But history has no warrant to tamper with
right and wrong, or to brighten the character of its favorites by
diminishing one shade of the abhorrence which attaches to their vices.
They should rather be held up in their true deformity, as the more
conspicuous from the very greatness with which they are associated. It may
be remarked, however, that the reiterated and unsparing opprobrium with
which foreign writers, who have been little sensible to Gonsalvo's merits,
have visited these offences, affords tolerable evidence that they are the
only ones of any magnitude that can be charged on him. [24]

As to the imputation of disloyalty, we have elsewhere had occasion to
notice its apparent groundlessness. It would be strange, indeed, if the
ungenerous treatment which he had experienced ever since his return from
Naples had not provoked feelings of indignation in his bosom. Nor would it
be surprising, under these circumstances, if he had been led to regard the
archduke Charles's pretensions to the regency, as he came of age, with a
favorable eye. There is no evidence, however, of this, or of any act
unfriendly to Ferdinand's interests. His whole public life, on the
contrary, exhibited the truest loyalty; and the only stains that darken
his fame were incurred by too unhesitating devotion to the wishes of his
master. He is not the first nor the last statesman, who has reaped the
royal recompense of ingratitude, for serving his king with greater zeal
than he had served his Maker.

Ferdinand's health, in the mean time, had declined so sensibly, that it
was evident he could not long survive the object of his jealousy. [25] His
disease had now settled into a dropsy, accompanied with a distressing
affection of the heart. He found difficulty in breathing, complained that
he was stifled in the crowded cities, and passed most of his time, even
after the weather became cold, in the fields and forests, occupied, as far
as his strength permitted, with the fatiguing pleasures of the chase. As
the winter advanced, he bent his steps towards the south. He passed some
time, in December, at a country-seat of the duke of Alva, near Placentia,
where he hunted the stag. He then resumed his journey to Andalusia, but
fell so ill on the way, at the little village of Madrigalejo, near
Truxillo, that it was found impossible to advance further. [26]

The king seemed desirous of closing his eyes to the danger of his
situation as long as possible. He would not confess, nor even admit his
confessor into his chamber. [27] He showed similar jealousy of his
grandson's envoy, Adrian of Utrecht. This person, the preceptor of
Charles, and afterwards raised through his means to the papacy, had come
into Castile some weeks before, with the ostensible view of making some
permanent arrangement with Ferdinand in regard to the regency. The real
motive, as the powers which he brought with him subsequently proved, was,
that he might be on the spot when the king died, and assume the reins of
government. Ferdinand received the minister with cold civility, and an
agreement was entered into, by which the regency was guaranteed to the
monarch, not only during Joanna's life, but his own. Concessions to a
dying man cost nothing. Adrian, who was at Guadalupe at this time, no
sooner heard of Ferdinand's illness, than he hastened to Madrigalejo. The
king, however, suspected the motives of his visit. "He has come to see me
die," said he; and, refusing to admit him into his presence, ordered the
mortified envoy back again to Guadalupe. [28]

At length the medical attendants ventured to inform the king of his real
situation, conjuring him if he had any affairs of moment to settle, to do
it without delay. He listened to them with composure, and from that moment
seemed to recover all his customary fortitude and equanimity. After
receiving the sacrament, and attending to his spiritual concerns, he
called his attendants around his bed, to advise with them respecting the
disposition of the government. Among those present, at this time, were his
faithful followers, the duke of Alva, and the marquis of Denia, his
majordomo, with several bishops and members of his council. [29]

The king, it seems, had made several wills. By one, executed at Burgos, in
1512, he had committed the government of Castile and Aragon to the infante
Ferdinand during his brother Charles's absence. This young prince had been
educated in Spain under the eye of his grand-father, who entertained a
strong affection for him. The counsellors remonstrated in the plainest
terms against this disposition of the regency. Ferdinand, they said, was
too young to take the helm into his own hands. His appointment would be
sure to create new factions in Castile; it would raise him up to be in a
manner a rival of his brother, and kindle ambitious desires in his bosom,
which could not fail to end in his disappointment, and perhaps
destruction. [30]

The king, who would never have made such a devise in his better days, was
more easily turned from his purpose now, than he would once have been. "To
whom then," he asked, "shall I leave the regency?" "To Ximenes, archbishop
of Toledo," they replied. Ferdinand turned away his face, apparently in
displeasure; but after a few moments' silence rejoined, "It is well; he is
certainly a good man, with honest intentions. He has no importunate
friends or family to provide for. He owes everything to Queen Isabella and
myself; and, as he has always been true to the interests of our family, I
believe he will always remain so." [31]

He, however, could not so readily abandon the idea of some splendid
establishment for his favorite grandson; and he proposed to settle on him
the grand-masterships of the military orders. But to this his attendants
again objected, on the same grounds as before; adding, that this powerful
patronage was too great for any subject, and imploring him not to defeat
the object which the late queen had so much at heart, of incorporating it
with the crown. "Ferdinand will be left very poor then," exclaimed the
king, with tears in his eyes. "He will have the good-will of his brother,"
replied one of his honest counsellors, "the best legacy your Highness can
leave him." [32]

The testament, as finally arranged, settled the succession of Aragon and
Naples on his daughter Joanna and her heirs. The administration of Castile
during Charles's absence was intrusted to Ximenes, and that of Aragon to
the king's natural son, the archbishop of Saragossa, whose good sense and
popular manners made him acceptable to the people. He granted several
places in the kingdom of Naples to the infante Ferdinand, with an annual
stipend of fifty thousand ducats, chargeable on the public revenues. To
his queen Germaine he left the yearly income of thirty thousand gold
florins, stipulated by the marriage settlement, with five thousand a year
more during widowhood. [33] The will contained, besides, several
appropriations for pious and charitable purposes, but nothing worthy of
particular note. [34] Notwithstanding the simplicity of the various
provisions of the testament, it was so long, from the formalities and
periphrases with which it was encumbered, that there was scarce time to
transcribe it in season for the royal signature. On the evening of the 22d
of January, 1516, he executed the instrument; and a few hours later,
between one and two of the morning of the 23d, Ferdinand breathed his
last. [35] The scene of this event was a small house belonging to the
friars of Guadalupe. "In so wretched a tenement," exclaims Martyr, in his
usual moralizing vein, "did this lord of so many lands close his eyes upon
the world." [36]

Ferdinand was nearly sixty-four years old, of which forty-one had elapsed
since he first swayed the sceptre of Castile, and thirty-seven since he
held that of Aragon. A long reign; long enough, indeed, to see most of
those whom he had honored and trusted of his subjects gathered to the
dust, and a succession of contemporary monarchs come and disappear like
shadows. [37] He died deeply lamented by his native subjects, who
entertained a partiality natural towards their own hereditary sovereign.
The event was regarded with very different feelings by the Castilian
nobles, who calculated their gains on the transfer of the reins from such
old and steady hands into those of a young and inexperienced master. The
commons, however, who had felt the good effect of this curb on the
nobility, in their own personal security, held his memory in reverence as
that of a national benefactor. [38]

Ferdinand's remains were interred, agreeably to his orders, in Granada. A
few of his most faithful adherents accompanied them; the greater part
being deterred by a prudent caution of giving umbrage to Charles. [39] The
funeral train, however, was swelled by contributions from the various
towns through which it passed. At Cordova, especially, it is worthy of
note, that the marquis of Priego, who had slender obligations to
Ferdinand, came out with all his household to pay the last melancholy
honors to his remains. They were received with similar respect in Granada,
where the people, while they gazed on the sad spectacle, says Zurita, were
naturally affected as they called to mind the pomp and splendor of his
triumphal entry on the first occupation of the Moorish capital. [40]

By his dying injunctions, all unnecessary ostentation was interdicted at
his funeral. His body was laid by the side of Isabella's in the monastery
of the Alhambra; and the year following, [41] when the royal chapel of the
metropolitan church was completed, they were both transported thither. A
magnificent mausoleum of white marble was erected over them, by their
grandson, Charles the Fifth. It was executed in a style worthy of the age.
The sides were adorned with figures of angels and saints, richly
sculptured in bas-relief. On the top reposed the effigies of the
illustrious pair, whose titles and merits were commemorated in the
following brief, and not very felicitous inscription.


King Ferdinand's personal appearance has been elsewhere noticed. "He was
of the middle size," says a contemporary, who knew him well. "His
complexion was fresh; his eyes bright and animated; his nose and mouth
small and finely formed, and his teeth white; his forehead lofty and
serene; with flowing hair of a bright chestnut color. His manners were
courteous, and his countenance seldom clouded by anything like spleen or
melancholy. He was grave in speech and action, and had a marvellous
dignity of presence. His whole demeanor, in fine, was truly that of a
great king." For this flattering portrait Ferdinand must have sat at an
earlier and happier period of his life. [43]

His education, owing to the troubled state of the times, had been
neglected in his boyhood, though he was early instructed in all the
generous pastimes and exercises of chivalry. [44] He was esteemed one of
the most perfect horsemen of his court. He led an active life, and the
only kind of reading he appeared to relish was history. It was natural
that so busy an actor on the great political theatre should have found
peculiar interest and instruction in this study. [45]

He was naturally of an equable temper, and inclined to moderation in all
things. The only amusement for which he cared much was hunting, especially
falconry, and that he never carried to excess till his last years. [46] He
was indefatigable in application to business. He had no relish for the
pleasures of the table, and, like Isabella, was temperate even to
abstemiousness in his diet. [47] He was frugal in his domestic and
personal expenditure; partly, no doubt, from a willingness to rebuke the
opposite spirit of wastefulness and ostentation in his nobles. He lost no
good opportunity of doing this. On one occasion, it is said, he turned to
a gallant of the court noted for his extravagance in dress, and laying his
hand on his own doublet, exclaimed, "Excellent stuff this; it has lasted
me three pair of sleeves!" [48] This spirit of economy was carried so far
as to bring on him the reproach of parsimony. [49] And parsimony, though
not so pernicious on the whole as the opposite vice of prodigality, has
always found far less favor with the multitude, from the appearance of
disinterestedness, which the latter carries with it. Prodigality in a
king, however, who draws not on his own resources, but on the public,
forfeits even this equivocal claim to applause. But, in truth, Ferdinand
was rather frugal, than parsimonious. His income was moderate; his
enterprises numerous and vast. It was impossible that he could meet them
without husbanding his resources with the most careful economy. [50] No
one has accused him of attempting to enrich his exchequer by the venal
sale of office, like Louis the Twelfth, or by griping extortion, like
another royal contemporary, Henry the Seventh. He amassed no treasure,
[51] and indeed died so poor, that he left scarcely enough in his coffers
to defray the charges of his funeral. [52]

Ferdinand was devout; at least he was scrupulous in regard to the exterior
of religion. He was punctual in attendance on mass; careful to observe all
the ordinances and ceremonies of his church; and left many tokens of his
piety, after the fashion of the time, in sumptuous edifices and endowments
for religious purposes. Although not a superstitious man for the age, he
is certainly obnoxious to the reproach of bigotry; for he co-operated with
Isabella in all her exceptionable measures in Castile, and spared no
effort to fasten the odious yoke of the Inquisition on Aragon, and
subsequently, though happily with less success, on Naples. [53]

Ferdinand has incurred the more serious charge of hypocrisy. His Catholic
zeal was observed to be marvellously efficacious in furthering his
temporal interests. [54] His most objectionable enterprises, even, were
covered with a veil of religion. In this, however, he did not materially
differ from the practice of the age. Some of the most scandalous wars of
that period were ostensibly at the bidding of the church, or in defence of
Christendom against the infidel. This ostentation of a religious motive
was indeed very usual with the Spanish and Portuguese. The crusading
spirit, nourished by their struggle with the Moors, and subsequently by
their African and American expeditions, gave such a religious tone
habitually to their feelings, as shed an illusion over their actions and
enterprises, frequently disguising their true character, even from

It will not be so easy to acquit Ferdinand of the reproach of perfidy
which foreign writers have so deeply branded on his name, [55] and which
those of his own nation have sought rather to palliate than to deny. [56]
It is but fair to him, however, even here, to take a glance at the age. He
came forward when government was in a state of transition from the feudal
forms to those which it has assumed in modern times; when the superior
strength of the great vassals was circumvented by the superior policy of
the reigning princes. It was the dawn of the triumph of intellect over the
brute force, which had hitherto controlled the movements of nations, as of
individuals. The same policy which these monarchs had pursued in their own
domestic relations, they introduced into those with foreign states, when,
at the close of the fifteenth century, the barriers that had so long kept
them asunder were broken down. Italy was the first field, on which the
great powers were brought into anything like a general collision. It was
the country, too, in which this crafty policy had been first studied, and
reduced to a regular system. A single extract from the political manual of
that age [57] may serve as a key to the whole science, as then understood.
"A prudent prince," says Machiavelli, "will not, and ought not to observe
his engagements, when it would operate to his disadvantage, and the causes
no longer exist which induced him to make them." [58] Sufficient evidence
of the practical application of the maxim may be found in the manifold
treaties of the period, so contradictory, or, what is to the same purpose
for our present argument, so confirmatory of one another in their tenor,
as clearly to show the impotence of all engagements. There were no less
than four several treaties in the course of three years, solemnly
stipulating the marriage of the archduke Charles and Claude of France.
Louis the Twelfth violated his engagements, and the marriage after all
never took place. [59]

Such was the school in which Ferdinand was to make trial of his skill with
his brother monarchs. He had an able instructor in his father, John the
Second, of Aragon, and the result showed that the lessons were not lost on
him. "He was vigilant, wary, and subtile," writes a French contemporary,
"and few histories make mention of his being outwitted in the whole course
of his life." [60] He played the game with more adroitness than his
opponents, and he won it. Success, as usual, brought on him the reproaches
of the losers. This is particularly true of the French, whose master,
Louis the Twelfth, was more directly pitted against him. [61] Yet
Ferdinand does not appear to be a whit more obnoxious to the charge of
unfairness than his opponent. [62] If he deserted his allies when it
suited his convenience, he, at least, did not deliberately plot their
destruction, and betray them into the hands of their deadly enemy, as his
rival did with Venice, in the league of Cambray. [63] The partition of
Naples, the most scandalous transaction of the period, he shared equally
with Louis; and if the latter has escaped the reproach of the usurpation
of Navarre, it was because the premature death of his general deprived him
of the pretext and means for achieving it. Yet Louis the Twelfth, the
"father of his people," has gone down to posterity with a high and
honorable reputation. [64]

Ferdinand, unfortunately for his popularity, had nothing of the frank and
cordial temper, the genial expansion of the soul, which begets love. He
carried the same cautious and impenetrable frigidity into private life,
that he showed in public. "No one," says a writer of the time, "could read
his thoughts by any change of his countenance." [65] Calm and calculating,
even in trifles, it was too obvious that everything had exclusive
reference to self. He seemed to estimate his friends only by the amount of
services they could render him. He was not always mindful of these
services. Witness his ungenerous treatment of Columbus, the Great Captain,
Navarro, Ximenes,--the men who shed the brightest lustre, and the most
substantial benefits, on his reign. Witness also his insensibility to the
virtues and long attachment of Isabella, whose memory he could so soon
dishonor by a union with one every way unworthy to be her successor.

Ferdinand's connection with Isabella, while it reflected infinite glory on
his reign, suggests a contrast most unfavorable to his character. Hers was
all magnanimity, disinterestedness, and deep devotion to the interests of
her people. His was the spirit of egotism. The circle of his views might
be more or less expanded, but self was the steady, unchangeable centre.
Her heart beat with the generous sympathies of friendship, and the purest
constancy to the first, the only object of her love. We have seen the
measure of his sensibilities in other relations. They were not more
refined in this; and he proved himself unworthy of the admirable woman
with whom his destinies were united, by indulging in those vicious
gallantries, too generally sanctioned by the age. [66] Ferdinand, in fine,
a shrewd and politic prince, "surpassing," as a French writer, not his
friend, has remarked, "all the statesmen of his time in the science of the
cabinet," [67] may be taken as the representative of the peculiar genius
of the age. While Isabella, discarding all the petty artifices of state
policy, and pursuing the noblest ends by the noblest means, stands far
above her age.

In his illustrious consort Ferdinand may be said to have lost his good
genius. [68] From that time his fortunes were under a cloud. Not that
victory sat less constantly on his banner; but at home he had lost

  "All that should accompany old age,
  As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends."

His ill-advised marriage disgusted his Castilian subjects. He ruled over
them, indeed, but more in severity than in love. The beauty of his young
queen opened new sources of jealousy; [69] while the disparity of their
ages, and her fondness for frivolous pleasure, as little qualified her to
be his partner in prosperity, as his solace in declining years. [70] His
tenacity of power drew him into vulgar squabbles with those most nearly
allied to him by blood, which settled into a mortal aversion. Finally,
bodily infirmity broke the energies of his mind, sour suspicions corroded
his heart, and he had the misfortune to live, long after he had lost all
that could make life desirable.

Let us turn from this gloomy picture to the brighter season of the morning
and meridian of his life; when he sat with Isabella on the united thrones
of Castile and Aragon, strong in the love of his own subjects, and in the
fear and respect of his enemies. We shall then find much in his character
to admire; his impartial justice in the administration of the laws; his
watchful solicitude to shield the weak from the oppression of the strong;
his wise economy, which achieved great results without burdening his
people with oppressive taxes; his sobriety and moderation; the decorum,
and respect for religion, which he maintained among his subjects; the
industry he promoted by wholesome laws and his own example; his consummate
sagacity, which crowned all his enterprises with brilliant success, and
made him the oracle of the princes of the age.

Machiavelli, indeed, the most deeply read of his time in human character,
imputes Ferdinand's successes, in one of his letters, to "cunning and good
luck, rather than superior wisdom." [71] He was indeed fortunate; and the
"star of Austria," which rose as his declined, shone not with a brighter
or steadier lustre. But success through a long series of years
sufficiently, of itself, attests good conduct. "The winds and waves," says
Gibbon, truly enough, "are always on the side of the most skilful
mariner." The Florentine statesman has recorded a riper and more
deliberate judgment in the treatise, which he intended as a mirror for the
rulers of the time. "Nothing," says he, "gains estimation for a prince
like great enterprises. Our own age has furnished a splendid example of
this in Ferdinand of Aragon. We may call him a new king, since from a
feeble one he has made himself the most renowned and glorious monarch of
Christendom; and, if we ponder well his manifold achievements, we must
acknowledge all of them very great, and some truly extraordinary." [72]

Other eminent foreigners of the time join in this lofty strain of
panegyric. [73] The Castilians, mindful of the general security and
prosperity they had enjoyed under his reign, seem willing to bury his
frailties in his grave. [74] While his own hereditary subjects, exulting
with patriotic pride in the glory to which he had raised their petty
state, and touched with grateful recollections of his mild, paternal
government, deplore his loss in strains of national sorrow, as the last of
the revered line, who was to preside over the destinies of Aragon, as a
separate and independent kingdom. [75]


[1] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 21.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 8, cap. 45, 47. 834.

[2] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 55, 69.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 531.

[3] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 486.--Chronica del Gran Capitan,
lib. 3, cap. 7.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 2.--Giovio, Vita
Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, p. 288.

[4] Opus Epist., epist. 487.--Pulgar, Sumario, p. 201.

[5] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, p. 289.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 7, 8.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 38.--Peter
Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 498.--Pulgar, Sumario, p. 201.

[6] Mariana, Hist. de Espana, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap. 14.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, pp. 290, 291.--Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 7,
8, 9.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 28.--Quintana, Espanoles
Celebres, tom. i. pp. 328-332.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30,
cap. 20.--Pulgar, Sumario, pp. 201-208.

[7] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1509.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10,
cap. 55.

[8] They are detailed with such curious precision by Martyr,--who is much
too precise, indeed, for our pages,--as to leave little doubt of the fact.
Opus Epist., epist. 531.

[9] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1513, et seq.--L. Marineo, Cosas
Memorables, fol. 188.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 146.--Sandoval, Hist.
del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 27.

"Non idem est vultus," says Peter Martyr of the king in a letter dated in
October, 1513, "non eadem facultas in audiendo, non eadem lenitas. Tria
sunt illi, ne priores resumat vires, opposita: senilis aetas; secundum
namque agit et sexagesimum annum: uxor, quam a latere nunquam abigit: et
venatus coeloque vivendi cupiditas, quae illum in sylvis detinet, ultra
quam in juvenili aetate, citra salutem, fas esset." Opus Epist., epist.

[10] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 93, 94.--Carbajal, Anales MS.,
ano 1515.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 550.

[11] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 96.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 23.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 292.

[12] Giovio Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 271, 292.--Chronica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 9.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 560.--
Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1515.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 20,
cap. 23.--Pulgar, Sumario, p. 209.

[13] See a copy of the original letter in the Chronica del Gran Capitan,
(fol. 164.) It is dated Jan. 3d, 1516, only three weeks before Ferdinand's

[14] Peter Martyr notices the death of this estimable nobleman, full of
years and of honors, in a letter dated July 18th, 1515. It is addressed to
Tendilla's son, and breathes the consolation flowing from the mild and
philosophical spirit of its amiable author. The count was made marquis of
Mondejar by Ferdinand, a short time before his death. His various titles
and dignities, including the government of Granada, descended to his
eldest son, Don Luis, Martyr's early pupil; his genius was inherited in
full measure by a younger, the famous Diego Hurtado de Mendoza.

[15] The following inscription is placed over them.


  Qui propria virtute
  Magni Ducis nomen
  Proprium sibi fecit,
  Perpetuae tandem
  Luci restituenda,
  Huic interea tumulo
  Credita sunt;
  Gloria minime consepulta."

[16] Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 24.

On the top of the monument was seen the marble effigy of the Great
Captain, armed and kneeling. The banners and other military trophies,
which continued to garnish the walls of the chapel, according to Pedraza,
as late as 1600, had disappeared before the eighteenth century; at least
we may infer so from Colmenar's silence respecting them in his account of
the sepulchre. Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, fol. 114.--Colmenar,
Delices de l'Espagne, tom. iii p. 505.

[+-7] Chronica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 9.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, fol. 292.

Gonsalvo was created duke of Terra Nuova and Sessa, and marquis of
Bitonto, all in Italy, with estates of the value of 40,000 ducats rent. He
was also grand constable of Naples, and a nobleman of Venice. His princely
honors were transmitted by Dona Elvira to her son, Gonzalo Hernandez de
Cordova, who filled the posts, under Charles V., of governor of Milan, and
captain general of Italy. Under Philip II., his descendants were raised to
a Spanish dukedom, with the title of Dukes of Baena. L. Marineo, Cosas
Memorables, fol. 24.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 41.--Salazar de
Mendoza, Dignidades, p. 307.

[18] Opus Epist., epist. 498.--Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, p. 292.--
Pulgar, Sumario, p. 212.

[19] Gonsalvo assumed for his device a cross-bow moved by a pulley, with
the motto, "Ingenium superat vires." It was characteristic of a mind
trusting more to policy than force and daring exploit. Brantome, Oeuvres,
tom. i. p. 75.

[20] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 271.

[21] Ibid., p. 281.--Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 1, 5.

[22] Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 271.

  "Amigo de sus amigos,
  iQue Senor para criados
  Y parientes!
  iQue enemigo de enemigos!
  iQue maestro de esforzados
  Y valientes!
  iQue seso para discretos!
  iQue gracia para donosos!
  iQue razon!
  Muy benigno a los sugetos,
  Y a los bravos y danosos
  Un leon."
                            Coplas de Don Jorge Manrique.

[23] Borgia, after his father Alexander VI.'s death, escaped to Naples
under favor of a safe conduct signed by Gonsalvo. Here, however, his
intriguing spirit soon engaged him in schemes for troubling the peace of
Italy, and, indeed, for subverting the authority of the Spaniards there;
in consequence of which the Great Captain seized his person, and sent him
prisoner to Castile. Such, at least, is the Spanish version of the story,
and of course the one most favorable to Gonsalvo. Mariana dismisses it
with coolly remarking, that "the Great Captain seems to have consulted the
public good, in the affair, more than his own fame; a conduct well worthy
to be pondered and emulated by all princes and rulers!" Hist. de Espana,
lib. 28, cap. 8.--Zurita, Anales, tom. v. lib. 5, cap. 72.--Quintana,
Espanoles Celebres, pp. 302, 303.

[24] That but one other troubled him, appears from the fact (if it be a
fact) of Gonsalvo's declaring, on his death-bed, that "there were three
acts of his life which he deeply repented." Two of these were his
treatment of Borgia and the duke of Calabria. He was silent respecting the
third. "Some historians suppose," says Quintana, "that by this last he
meant his omission to possess himself of the crown of Naples when it was
in his power!" These historians, no doubt, like Fouche, considered a
blunder in politics as worse than a crime.

[25] The miraculous bell of Velilla, a little village in Aragon, nine
leagues from Saragossa, about this time gave one of those prophetic
tintinnabulations, which always boded some great calamity to the country.
The side on which the blows fell denoted the quarter where the disaster
was to happen. Its sound, says Dr. Dormer, caused dismay and contrition,
with dismal "fear of change," in the hearts of all who heard it. No arm
was strong enough to stop it on these occasions, as those found to their
cost who profanely attempted it. Its ill-omened voice was heard for the
twentieth and last time, in March, 1679. As no event of importance
followed, it probably tolled for its own funeral.--See the edifying
history, in Dr. Diego Dormer, of the miraculous powers and performances of
this celebrated bell, as duly authenticated by a host of witnesses.
Discursos Varios, pp. 198-244.

[26] Carbajal, Anales, MS., anos 1513-1516.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
146.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 542, 558, 561, 564. Zurita,
Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 99.

Carbajal states, that the king had been warned, by some soothsayer, to
beware of Madrigal, and that he had ever since avoided entering into the
town of that name in Old Castile. The name of the place he was now in was
not precisely that indicated, but corresponded near enough for a
prediction. The event proved, that the witches of Spain, like those of

  "Could keep the word of promise to the ear,
  And break it to the hope."

The story derives little confirmation from the character of Ferdinand. He
was not superstitious, at least while his faculties were in vigor.

[27] "A la verdad," says Carbajal, "le tento mucho el enemigo en aquel
paso con incredulidad que le ponia de no morir tan presto, para que ni
confesase ni recibiese los Sacramentos." According to the same writer,
Ferdinand was buoyed up by the prediction of an old sybil, "la beata del
Barco," that "he should not die till he had conquered Jerusalem." (Anales,
MS., cap. 2.) We are again reminded of Shakespeare,

  "It hath been prophesied to me many years
  I should not die but in Jerusalem."
                                   King Henry IV.

[28] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 1.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, ubi
supra.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 565.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp.
Carlos V., tom. i. p. 35.

[29] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 2.

Dr. Carbajal, who was a member of the royal council, was present with him
during the whole of his last illness; and his circumstantial and spirited
narrative of it forms an exception to the general character of his

[30] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 2.

[31] Ibid., ubi supra.

[32] Ibid., ubi supra.

[33] Ferdinand's gay widow did not long enjoy this latter pension. Soon
after his death, she gave her hand to the marquis of Brandenburg, and, he
dying, she again married the prince of Calabria, who had been detained in
a sort of honorable captivity in Spain, ever since the dethronement of his
father, King Frederic. (Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 4, dial.
44.) It was the second sterile match, says Guicciardini, which Charles V.,
for obvious politic reasons, provided for the rightful heir of Naples.
Istoria, tom. viii. lib. 15, p. 10.

[34] Ferdinand's testament is to be found in Carbajal, Anales, MS.--
Dormer, Discursos Varies, p. 393 et seq.--Mariana, Hist. de Espana, ed.
Valencia, tom. ix. Apend. no. 2.

[35] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.--The queen was
at Alcala de Henares, when she received tidings of her husband's illness.
She posted with all possible despatch to Madrigalejo, but, although she
reached it on the 20th, she was not admitted, says Gomez, notwithstanding
her tears, to a private interview with the king, till the testament was
executed, a few hours only before his death. De Rebus Gestis, fol. 147.

[36] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol.
188.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 148.

"Tot regnorum dominus, totque palmarum cumulis ornatus, Christianae
religionis amplificator et prostrator hostium, Rex in rusticana obiit
casa, et pauper contra hominum opinionem obiit." Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 588.--Brantome, (Vies des Hommes Illustres, Footnote: p.
72,) who speaks of Madrigalejo as a "meschant village," which he had seen.

[37] Since Ferdinand ascended the throne he had seen no less than four
kings of England, as many of France, and also of Naples, three of
Portugal, two German emperors, and half a dozen popes. As to his own
subjects, scarcely one of all those familiar to the reader in the course
of our history now survived, except, indeed, the Nestor of his time, the
octogenarian Ximenes.

[38] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 100.--Blancas, Commentarii, p.
275.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 1, cap. 25.

[39] Zurita, Anales, ubi supra.

The honest Martyr was one of the few who paid this last tribute of respect
to their ancient master. "Ego ut mortuo debitum praestem," says he, in a
letter to Prince Charles's physician, "corpus ejus exanime, Granatam,
sepulchro sedem destinatam, comitabor." Opus Epist., epist. 566.

[40] Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 100.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 572.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 24.--Carbajal,
Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 5.

[41] Mem de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Illust. 21. According to Pedraza,
this event did not take place till 1525. Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3,
cap. 7.

[42] Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada, lib. 3, cap. 7.--"Assai bello per
Spagna;" says Navagiero, who, as an Italian, had a right to be fastidious.
(Viaggio, fol. 23.) The artist, however, was not a Spaniard; at least
common tradition assigns the work to Philip of Burgundy, an eminent
sculptor of the period, who has left many specimens of his excellence in
Toledo and other parts of Spain. (Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. p.
577.) Laborde's magnificent work contains an engraving of the monuments of
the Catholic sovereigns and Philip and Joanna; "qui rappellent la
renaissance des arts en Italie, et sont, a la fois d'une belle execution
et d'une conception noble." Laborde, Voyage Pittoresque, tom. ii. p. 25.

[43] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.

Pulgar's portrait of the king, taken also in the morning of his life, the
close of which the writer did not live to see, is equally bright and
pleasing. "Habia," says he," una gracia singular, que qualquier con el
fablese, luego le amaba e le deseaba servir, porque tenia la communicacion
amigable." Reyes Catolicos, p. 36.

[44] "He tilted lightly," says Pulgar, "and with a dexterity not surpassed
by any man in the kingdom." Reyes Catolicos, ubi supra.

[45] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 153.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 24.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p.

[46] Pulgar, indeed, notices his fondness for chess, tennis, and other
games of skill, in early life. Reyes Catolicos, part. 2, cap. 3.

[47] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.--Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos,
part. 2, cap. 3.

"Stop and dine with us," he was known to say to his uncle, the grand
admiral Henriquez; "we are to have a chicken for dinner today." (Sempere,
Hist, del Luxo, tom. ii. p. 2, nota.) The royal _cuisine_ would have
afforded small scope for the talents of a Vatel or an Ude.

[48] Sempere, Hist. del Luxo, ubi supra.

[49] Machiavelli, by a single _coup de pinceau_, thus characterizes,
or caricatures, the princes of his time. "Un imperatore instabile e vario;
un re di Francia sdegnoso e pauroso; un re d'Inghilterra ricco, feroce, e
cupido di gloria; _un re di Spagna taccagno e avaro_; per gli altri
re, io no li conosco."

[50] The revenues of his own kingdom of Aragon were very limited. His
principal foreign expeditions were undertaken solely on account of that
crown; and this, notwithstanding the aid from Castile, may explain, and in
some degree excuse, his very scanty remittances to his troops.

[51] On one occasion, having obtained a liberal supply from the states of
Aragon, (a rare occurrence,) his counsellors advised him to lock it up
against a day of need. "Mas el Rey," says Zurita, "que siempre supo gastar
su dinero provechosamente, _y nunca fue escosso en despendello en las
cosas del estado_, tuvo mas aparejo para emplearlo, que para encerrarlo."
(Anales, tom. vi. fol. 225.) The historian, it must be allowed, lays quite
as much emphasis on his liberality as it will bear.

[52] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 24.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 100.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 566.

"Vix ad funeris pompam et paucis familiaribus praebendas vestes pullatas,
pecuniae apud eum, neqne alibi congestae repertae sunt; quod nemo unquam
de vivente judicavit." (Peter Martyr, ubi supra.) Guicciardini alludes to
the same fact, as evidence of the injustice of the imputations on
Ferdinand; "Ma accade," adds the historian, truly enough, "quasi sempre
per il giudizio corrotto degli uomini, che nei Re e piu lodata la
prodigalita, benche a quella sia annessa la rapacita, che la parsimonia
congiunta con l'astinenza dalla roba di altri." (Istoria, tom. vi. lib.
12, p. 273.)

The state of Ferdinand's coffers formed, indeed, a strong contrast to that
of his brother monarch's, Henry VII., "whose treasure of store," to borrow
the words of Bacon, "left at his death, under his own key and keeping,
amounted unto the sum of eighteen hundred thousand pounds sterling; a huge
mass of money, even for these times." (Hist. of Henry VII., Works, vol. v.
p. 183.) Sir Edward Coke swells this huge mass to "fifty and three hundred
thousand pounds"! Institutes, part 4, chap. 35.

[53] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 24.--L. Marineo, Cosas
Memorables, fol. 182.--Zurita, Anales, lib. 9, cap. 26.

Ferdinand's conduct in regard to the Inquisition in Aragon displayed
singular duplicity. In consequence of the remonstrance of cortes, in 1512,
in which that high-spirited body set forth the various usurpations of the
Holy Office, Ferdinand signed a compact, abridging its jurisdiction. He
repented of these concessions, however, and in the following year obtained
a dispensation from Rome from his engagements. This proceeding produced
such an alarming excitement in the kingdom, that the monarch found it
expedient to renounce the papal brief, and apply for another, confirming
his former compact. (Llorente, Hist. de l'Inquisition, tom. i. pp. 371 et
seq.) One may well doubt whether bigotry entered as largely, as less
pardonable motives of state policy, into this miserable juggling.

[54] "Disoit-on," says Brantome, "que la reyne Isabella de Castille estoit
une fort devote et religieuse princesse, et que luy, quel grand zele
qu'il y eust, n'estoit devotieux que par ypocrisie, couvrant ses actes et
ambitions par ce sainct zele de religion." (Oeuvres, tom. i. p. 70.)
"Copri," says Guicciardini, "quasi tutte le sue eupidita sotto colore di
onesto zelo della religione e di santa intenzione al bene comune."
(Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 12, p. 274.) The penetrating eye of Machiavelli
glances at the same trait. II Principe, cap. 21.

[55] Guicciardini, Istoria, lib. 12, p. 273.--Du Bellay, Memoires, apud
Petitot, Collection des Memoires, tom. xvii. p. 272.--Giovio, Hist. sui
Temporis, lib. 11, p. 160; lib. 16, p. 336.--Machiavelli, Opere, tom. ix.
Lett. Diverse, no. 6, ed. Milano, 1805.--Herbert, Life of Henry VIII., p.
63.--Sismondi, Republiques Italiennes, tom. xvi. cap. 112.--Voltaire sums
up Ferdinand's character in the following pithy sentence. "On l'appellait
en Espagne _le sage, le prudent_; en Italie _le pieux_; en France et a
Londres _le perfide_." Essai sur les Moeurs, chap. 114.

[56] "Home era de verdad," says Pulgar, "como quiera que _las necesidades
grandes_ en que le pusieron las guerras, le facian algunas veces variar."
(Reyes Catolicos, part. 2, cap. 3.) Zurita exposes and condemns this
blemish in his hero's character, with a candor which does him credit. "Fue
muy notado, no solo de los estrangeros, pero de sus naturales, que no
guardava la verdad, y fe que prometia; y que se anteponia siempre, y
sobrepujava el respeto de su propria utilidad, a lo que era justo y
honesto." Anales, tom. vi. fol. 406.

[57] Charles V., in particular, testified his respect for Machiavelli, by
having the "Principe" translated for his own use.

[58] Machiavelli, Opera, tom. vi.--Il Principe, cap. 18, ed. Genova, 1798.

[59] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, nos. 7, 11, 28, 29.--
Seyssel, Hist. de Louys XII., pp. 228-230.--St. Gelais, Hist. de Louys
XII., p. 184.

[60] Memoires de Bayard, chap. 61.--"This prince," says Lord Herbert, who
was not disposed to overrate the talents, any more than the virtues, of
Ferdinand, "was thought the most active and politique of his time. No man
knew better how to serve his turn on everybody, or to make their ends
conduce to his." Life of Henry VIII., p. 63.

[61] According to them, the Catholic king took no great pains to conceal
his treachery. "Quelqu'un disant un jour a Ferdinand, que Louis XII.
l'accusoit de l'avoir trompe trois fois, Ferdinand parut mecontent qn'il
lui ravit une partie de sa gloire; _Il en a bien menti, l'ivrogne_,
dit-il, avec toute la grossierete du temps, _je l'ai trompe plus de
dix_." (Gaillard, Rivalite, tom. iv. p. 240.) The anecdote has been
repeated by other modern writers, I know not on what authority. Ferdinand
was too shrewd a politician, to hazard his game by playing the braggart.

[62] Paolo Giovio strikes the balance of their respective merits in this
particular, in the following terms. "Ex horum enim longe maximorum nostrae
tempestatis regum ingeniis, et turn liquido et multum antea praclare
compertum est, nihil omnino sanctum et inviolabile, vel in rite conceptis
sancitisque foederibus reperiri, quod, in proferendis imperiis augendisque
opibus, apud eos nihil ad illustris famae decus interesset, dolone et
nusquam sine fallaciis, an fide integra veraque virtute niterentur." Hist.
sui Temporis, lib. 11, p. 160.

[63] An equally pertinent example occurs in the efficient support he gave
Caesar Borgia in his flagitious enterprises against some of the most
faithful allies of France. See Sismondi, Republiques Italiennes, tom.
xiii. cap. 101.

[64] Read the honeyed panegyrics of Seyssel, St. Gelais, Voltaire even, to
say nothing of Gaillard, Varillas, _e lulti quanti_, undiluted by
scarce a drop of censure. Rare indeed is it to find one so imbued with the
spirit of philosophy, as to raise himself above the local or national
prejudices which pass for patriotism with the vulgar. Sismondi is the only
writer in the French language, that has come under my notice, who has
weighed the deserts of Louis XII. in the historic balance with
impartiality and candor. And Sismondi is not a Frenchman.

[65] Giovio, Hist. sui Temporis, lib. 16, p. 335.

[66] Ferdinand left four natural children, one son and three daughters.
The former, Don Alonso de Aragon, was born of the viscountess of Eboli, a
Catalan lady. He was made archbishop of Saragossa when only six years old.
There was little of the religious profession, however, in his life. He
took an active part in the political and military movements of the period,
and seems to have been even less scrupulous in his gallantries than his
father. His manners in private life were attractive, and his public
conduct discreet. His father always regarded him with peculiar affection,
and intrusted him with the regency of Aragon, as we have seen, at his

Ferdinand had three daughters, also, by three different ladies, one of
them a noble Portuguese. The eldest child was named Dona Juana, and
married the grand constable of Castile. The others, each named Maria,
embraced the religious profession in a convent in Madrigal. L. Marineo,
Cosas Memorables, fol. 188.--Salazar de Mendoza, Monarquia, tom. i. p.

[67] "Enfin il surpassa tous les Princes de son siecle en la science du
Cabinet, et c'est a lui qu'on doit attribuer le premier et le souverain
usage de la politique moderne." Varillas, Politique de Ferdinand, liv. 3,
disc. 10.

[68] Brantome notices a _sobriquet_ which his countrymen had given to
Ferdinand. "Nos Francois appelloient ce roy Ferdinand Jehan Gipon, je ne
scay pour quelle derision; mais il nous cousta bon, et nous fist bien du
mal, et fust un grand roy et sage." Which his ancient editor thus
explains: "_Gipon_ de i'italien _giubone_, c'est que nous appellons
_jupon_ et _jupe_; voulant par la taxer ce prince de s'etre laisse
gouverner par Isabelle, reine de Castille, sa femme, dont il endossoit la
_jupe_, pour ainsi dire, pendant qu'elle portoit les _chausses_." (Vies
des Hommes Illustres, disc. 5.) There is more humor than truth in the
etymology. The _gipon_ was part of a man's attire, being, as Mr. Tyrwhitt
defines it, "a short cassock," and was worn under the armor. Thus Chaucer,
in the Prologue to his "Canterbury Tales," says of his knight's dress,

  "Of fustian he wered a gipon
  Alle besmotred with his habergeon."

Again, in his "Knighte's Tale,"

  "Som wol ben armed in an habergeon,
  And in a brest-plate, and in a gipon."

[69] When Ferdinand visited Aragon, in 1515, during his troubles with the
cortes, he imprisoned the vice-chancellor, Antonio Augustin; being moved
to this, according to Carbajal, by his jealousy of that minister's
attentions to his young queen. (Anales, MS., ano 1515.) It is possible.
Zurita, however, treats it as mere scandal, referring the imprisonment to
political offences exclusively. Anales, tom. vi. fol. 393.--See also
Dormer, Anales de la Corona de Aragon, (Zaragoza, 1697,) lib. 1, cap. 9.

[70] "Era poco hermosa," says Sandoval, who grudges her even this quality,
"algo coja, amiga mucho de holgarse, y andar en banquetes, huertos y
jardines, y en fiestas. Introduxo esta Senora en Castilla comidas
soberbias, siendo los Castellanos, y sun sus Reyes muy moderados en esto.
Pasabansele pocos dias que no convidase, 6 fuese convidada. La que mas
gastaba en fiestas y banquetes con ella, era mas su amiga." Hist. del Emp.
Carlos V., tom. i. p. 12.

[71] Opere, tom. ix. Lettere Diverse, no. 6, ed. Milano, 1805. His
correspondent, Vettori, is still more severe in his analysis of
Ferdinand's public conduct. (Let. di 16 Maggio, 1514.) These statesmen
were the friends of France, with whom Ferdinand was at war; and personal
enemies of the Medici, whom that prince re-established in the government.
As political antagonists therefore, every way, of the Catholic king, they
were not likely to be altogether unbiassed in their judgments of his
policy.--These views, however, find favor with Lord Herbert, who had
evidently read, though he does not refer to, this correspondence. Life of
Henry VIII., p. 63.

[72] Opere, tom. vi. II Principe, cap. 21, ed. Genova, 1798.

[73] Martyr, who had better opportunities than any other foreigner for
estimating the character of Ferdinand, affords the most honorable
testimony to his kingly qualities, in a letter written when the writer had
no motive for flattery, after that monarch's death, to Charles V.'s
physician. (Opus Epist., epist. 567.) Guicciardini, whose national
prejudices did not lie in this scale, comprehends nearly as much in one
brief sentence. "Re di eccellentissimo consiglio, e virtu, e nel quale, se
fosse stato constante nelle promesse, no potresti facilmente riprendere
cosa alcuna." (Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 12, p. 273.)

See also Brantome, (Oeuvres, tom. iv. disc. 5.)--Giovio, with scarcely
more qualification, Hist. sui Temporis, lib. 16, p. 336.--Navagiero,
Viaggio, fol. 27,--et alios.

[74] "Principe el mas senalado," says the prince of the Castilian
historians, in his pithy manner, "en valor y justicia y prudencia que en
muchos siglos Espana tuvo. Tachas a nadie pueden faltar sea por la
fragilidad propia, o por la malicia y envidia agena que combate
principalmente los altos lugares. Espejo sin duda por sus grandes virtudes
en que todos los Principes de Espana se deben mirar." (Mariana, Hist. de
Espana, tom. ix. p. 375, cap. ult.) See also a similar tribute to his
deserts, with greater amplification, in Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib.
20, cap. 24.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 148.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V.,
fol. 42.--Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. ix. p. 426 et seq.--et plurimis
auct. antiq. et recentibus.

[75] See the closing chapter of the great Aragonese annalist, who
terminates his historic labors with the death of Ferdinand the Catholic.
(Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 100.) I will cite only one extract
from the profuse panegyrics of the national writers; which attests the
veneration in which Ferdinand's memory was held in Aragon. It is from one,
whose penis never prostituted to parasitical or party purposes, and whose
judgment is usually as correct as the expression of it is candid. "Quo
plangore ac lamentatione universa civitas complebatur. Neque solum
homines, sed ipsa tecta, et parietes urbis videbantur acerbum illius, qui
omnibus charissimus erat, interitum lugere. Et merito. Erat enim, ut
scitis, exemplum prudentiae ac fortitudinis: summae in re domestica
continentiae: eximiae in publica dignitatis: humanitatis praeterea, ac
leporis admirabilis. ***** Neque eos solum, sed omnes certe tanta
amplectebatur benevolentia, ut interdum non nobis Rex, sed uniuscujusque
nostrum genitor ac parens videretur. Post ejus interitum omnis nostra
juventus languet, deliciis plus dedita quam deceret: nec perinde, ac
debuerat, in laudis et gloriae cupiditate versatur. ***** Quid plura?
nulla res fuit in usu bene regnandi posita, quae illius Regis scientiam
effugeret. ***** Fuit enim aeximia corporis venustate praeditus. Sed
pluris facere deberent consiliorum ac virtutum suarum, quam posteris
reliquit, effigiem: quibus denique factum videmus, ut ab eo usque ad hoc
tempus, non solum nobis, sed Hispaniae cunctae, diuturnitas pacis otium
confirmarit. Haec aliaque ejusmodi quotidie a nostris senibus de Catholici
Regis memoria enarrantur: quae a rei veritate nequaquam abhorrent."
Blancas, Commentarii, p. 276.



1516, 1517.

Ximenes Governor of Castile.--Charles Proclaimed King.--Ximenes's Domestic
Policy.--He Intimidates the Nobles.--Public Discontents.--Charles Lands in
Spain.--His Ingratitude to Ximenes.--The Cardinal's Illness and Death.--
His Extraordinary Character.

The personal history of Ferdinand the Catholic terminates, of course, with
the preceding chapter. In order to bring the history of his reign,
however, to a suitable close, it is necessary to continue the narrative
through the brief regency of Ximenes, to the period when the government
was delivered into the hands of Ferdinand's grandson and successor,
Charles the Fifth.

By the testament of the deceased monarch, as we have seen, Cardinal
Ximenez de Cisneros was appointed sole regent of Castile. He met with
opposition, however, from Adrian, the dean of Louvain, who produced powers
of similar purport from Prince Charles. Neither party could boast a
sufficient warrant for exercising this important trust; the one claiming
it by the appointment of an individual, who, acting merely as regent
himself, had certainly no right to name his successor; while the other had
only the sanction of a prince, who, at the time of giving it, had no
jurisdiction whatever in Castile. The misunderstanding which ensued, was
finally settled by an agreement of the parties to share the authority in
common, till further instructions should be received from Charles. [1]

It was not long before they arrived. They confirmed the cardinal's
authority in the fullest manner; while they spoke of Adrian only as an
ambassador, They intimated, however, the most entire confidence in the
latter; and the two prelates continued as before to administer the
government jointly. Ximenes sacrificed nothing by this arrangement; for
the tame and quiet temper of Adrian was too much overawed by the bold
genius of his partner, to raise any opposition to his measures. [2]

The first requisition of prince Charles, was one that taxed severely the
power and popularity of the new regent. This was to have himself
proclaimed king; a measure extremely distasteful to the Castilians, who
regarded it not only as contrary to established usage, during the lifetime
of his mother, but as ah indignity to her. It was in vain that Ximenes and
the council remonstrated on the impropriety and impolicy of the measure.
[3] Charles, fortified by his Flemish advisers, sturdily persisted in his
purpose. The cardinal, consequently, called a meeting of the prelates and
principal nobles in Madrid, to which he had transferred the seat of
government, and whose central position and other local advantages made it,
from this time forward, with little variation, the regular capital of the
kingdom. [4] The doctor Carbajal prepared a studied and plausible argument
in support of the measure. [5] As it failed, however, to produce
conviction in his audience, Ximenes, chafed by the opposition, and
probably distrusting its real motives, peremptorily declared, that those
who refused to acknowledge Charles as king, in the present state of
things, would refuse to obey him when he was so. "I will have him
proclaimed in Madrid to-morrow," said he, "and I doubt not every other
city in the kingdom will follow the example." He was as good as his word;
and the conduct of the capital was imitated, with little opposition, by
all the other cities in Castile. Not so in Aragon, whose people were too
much attached to their institutions to consent to it, till Charles first
made oath in person to respect the laws and liberties of the realm. [6]

The Castilian aristocracy, it may be believed, did not much relish the new
yoke imposed on them by their priestly regent. On one occasion, it is
said, they went in a body and demanded of Ximenes by what powers he held
the government so absolutely. He referred them for answer to Ferdinand's
testament and Charles's letter. As they objected to these, he led them to
a window of the apartment, and showed them a park of artillery below,
exclaiming, at the same time. "There are my credentials, then!" The story
is characteristic; but, though often repeated, must be admitted to stand
on slender authority. [7]

One of the regent's first acts was the famous ordinance, encouraging the
burgesses, by liberal rewards, to enroll themselves into companies, and
submit to regular military training, at stated seasons. The nobles saw the
operation of this measure too well, not to use all their efforts to
counteract it. In this they succeeded for a time, as the cardinal, with
his usual boldness, had ventured on it without waiting for Charles's
sanction, and in opposition to most of the council. The resolute spirit of
the minister, however, eventually triumphed over all resistance, and a
national corps was organized, competent, under proper guidance, to protect
the liberties of the people, but which, unfortunately, was ultimately
destined to be turned against them. [8]

Armed with this strong physical force, the cardinal now projected the
boldest schemes of reform, especially in the finances, which had fallen
into some disorder in the latter days of Ferdinand. He made a strict
inquisition into the funds of the military orders, in which there had been
much waste and misappropriation; he suppressed all superfluous offices in
the state, retrenched excessive salaries, and cut short the pensions
granted by Ferdinand and Isabella, which he contended should determine
with their lives. Unfortunately, the state was not materially benefited by
these economical arrangements, since the greater part of what was thus
saved was drawn off to supply the waste and cupidity of the Flemish court,
who dealt with Spain with all the merciless rapacity that could be shown
to a conquered province. [9]

The foreign administration of the regent displayed the same courage and
vigor. Arsenals were established in the southern maritime towns, and a
numerous fleet was equipped in the Mediterranean, against the Barbary
corsairs. A large force was sent into Navarre, which defeated an invading
army of French; and the cardinal followed up the blow by demolishing the
principal fortresses of the kingdom; a precautionary measure, to which, in
all probability, Spain owes the permanent preservation of her conquest.

The regent's eye penetrated to the farthest limits of the monarchy. He
sent a commission to Hispaniola, to inquire into, and ameliorate, the
condition of the natives. At the same time he earnestly opposed (though
without success, being overruled in this by the Flemish counsellors,) the
introduction of negro slaves into the colonies, which, he predicted, from
the character of the race, must ultimately result in a servile war. It is
needless to remark, how well the event has verified the prediction. [11]

It is with less satisfaction that we must contemplate his policy in regard
to the Inquisition. As head of that tribunal, he enforced its authority
and pretensions to the utmost. He extended a branch of it to Oran, and
also to the Canaries, and the New World. [12] In 1512, the _new
Christians_ had offered Ferdinand a large sum of money to carry on the
Navarrese war, if he would cause the trials before that tribunal to be
conducted in the same manner as in other courts, where the accuser and the
evidence were confronted openly with the defendant. To this reasonable
petition Ximenes objected, on the wretched plea, that, in that event, none
would be found willing to undertake the odious business of informer. He
backed his remonstrance with such a liberal donative from his own funds,
as supplied the king's immediate exigency, and effectually closed his
heart against the petitioners. The application was renewed in 1516, by the
unfortunate Israelites, who offered a liberal supply in like manner to
Charles, on similar terms. But the proposal, to which his Flemish
counsellors, who may be excused, at least, from the reproach of bigotry,
would have inclined the young monarch, was firmly rejected through the
interposition of Ximenes. [13]

The high-handed measures of the minister, while they disgusted the
aristocracy, gave great umbrage to the dean of Louvain, who saw himself
reduced to a mere cipher in the administration. In consequence of his
representations a second, and afterwards a third minister was sent to
Castile, with authority to divide the government with the cardinal. But
all this was of little avail. On one occasion, the co-regents ventured to
rebuke their haughty partner, and assert their own dignity, by subscribing
their names first to the despatches, and then sending them to him for his
signature. But Ximenes coolly ordered his secretary to tear the paper in
pieces, and make out a new one, which he signed, and sent out without the
participation of his brethren. And this course he continued during the
remainder of his administration. [14]

The cardinal not only assumed the sole responsibility of the most
important public acts, but, in the execution of them, seldom condescended
to calculate the obstacles or the odds arrayed against him. He was thus
brought into collision, at the same time, with three of the most powerful
grandees of Castile; the dukes of Alva and Infantado, and the count of
Urena. Don Pedro Giron, the son of the latter, with several other young
noblemen, had maltreated and resisted the royal officers, while in the
discharge of their duty. They then took refuge in the little town of
Villafrata, which they fortified and prepared for a defence. The cardinal
without hesitation mustered several thousand of the national militia, and,
investing the place, set it on fire, and deliberately razed it to the
ground. The refractory nobles, struck with consternation, submitted. Their
friends interceded for them in the most humble manner; and the cardinal,
whose lofty spirit disdained to trample on a fallen foe, showed his usual
clemency by soliciting their pardon from the king. [15]

But neither the talents nor authority of Ximenes, it was evident, could
much longer maintain subordination among the people, exasperated by the
shameless extortions of the Flemings, and the little interest shown for
them by their new sovereign. The most considerable offices in church and
state were put up to sale; and the kingdom was drained of its funds by the
large remittances continually made, on one pretext or another, to
Flanders. All this brought odium, undeserved indeed, on the cardinal's
government; [16] for there is abundant evidence, that both he and the
council remonstrated in the boldest manner on these enormities; while they
endeavored to inspire nobler sentiments in Charles's bosom, by recalling
the wise and patriotic administration of his grandparents. [17] The
people, in the mean while, outraged by these excesses, and despairing of
redress from a higher quarter, loudly clamored for a convocation of
cortes, that they might take the matter into their own hands. The cardinal
evaded this as long as possible. He was never a friend to popular
assemblies, much less in the present inflamed state of public feeling, and
in the absence of the sovereign. He was more anxious for his return than
any other individual, probably, in the kingdom. Braved by the aristocracy
at home, thwarted in every favorite measure by the Flemings abroad, with
an injured, indignant people to control, and oppressed, moreover, by
infirmities and years, even his stern, inflexible spirit could scarcely
sustain him under a burden too grievous, in these circumstances, for any
subject. [18]

At length, the young monarch, having made all preliminary arrangements,
prepared, though still in opposition to the wishes of his courtiers, to
embark for his Spanish dominions. Previously to this, on the 13th of
August, 1516, the French and Spanish plenipotentiaries signed a treaty of
peace at Noyon. The principal article stipulated the marriage of Charles
to the daughter of Francis the First, who was to cede, as her dowry, the
French claims on Naples. The marriage, indeed, never took place. But the
treaty itself may be considered as finally adjusting the hostile relations
which had subsisted, during so many years of Ferdinand's reign, with the
rival monarchy of France, and as closing the long series of wars, which
had grown out of the league of Cambray. [19]

On the 17th of September, 1517, Charles landed at Villaviciosa, in the
Asturias. Ximenes at this time lay ill at the Franciscan monastery of
Aguilera, near Aranda on the Douro. The good tidings of the royal landing
operated like a cordial on his spirits, and he instantly despatched
letters to the young monarch, filled with wholesome counsel as to the
conduct he should pursue, in order to conciliate the affections of the
people. He received at the same time messages from the king, couched in
the most gracious terms, and expressing the liveliest interest in his
restoration to health.

The Flemings in Charles's suite, however, looked with great apprehension
to his meeting with the cardinal. They had been content that the latter
should rule the state, when his arm was needed to curb the Castilian
aristocracy; but they dreaded the ascendency of his powerful mind over
their young sovereign, when brought into personal contact with him. They
retarded this event, by keeping Charles in the north as long as possible.
In the mean time, they endeavored to alienate his regards from the
minister by exaggerated reports of his arbitrary conduct and temper,
rendered more morose by the peevishness of age. Charles showed a facility
to be directed by those around him in early years, which gave little
augury of the greatness to which he afterwards rose. [20]

By the persuasions of his evil counsellors, he addressed that memorable
letter to Ximenes, which is unmatched, even in court annals, for cool and
base ingratitude. He thanked the regent for all his past services, named a
place for a personal interview with him, where he might obtain the benefit
of his counsels for his own conduct, and the government of the kingdom;
after which he would be allowed to retire to his diocese, and seek from
Heaven that reward, which Heaven alone could adequately bestow! [21]

Such was the tenor of this cold-blooded epistle, which, in the language of
more than one writer, killed the cardinal. This, however, is stating the
matter too strongly. The spirit of Ximenes was of too stern a stuff to be
so easily extinguished by the breath of royal displeasure. [22] He was,
indeed, deeply moved by the desertion of the sovereign whom he had served
so faithfully, and the excitement which it occasioned brought on a return
of his fever, according to Carbajal, in full force. But anxiety and
disease had already done its work upon his once hardy constitution; and
this ungrateful act could only serve to wean him more effectually from a
world that he was soon to part with. [23]

In order to be near the king, he had previously transferred his residence
to Roa. He now turned his thoughts to his approaching end. Death may be
supposed to have but little terrors for the statesman, who in his last
moments could aver, "that he had never intentionally wronged any man; but
had rendered to every one his due, without being swayed, as far as he was
conscious, by fear or affection." Yet Cardinal Richelieu on his death-bed
declared the same! [24]

As a last attempt, he began a letter to the king. His fingers refused,
however, to perform their office, and after tracing a few lines he gave it
up. The purport of these seems to have been, to recommend his university
at Alcala to the royal protection. He now became wholly occupied with his
devotions, and manifested such contrition for his errors, and such humble
confidence in the divine mercy, as deeply affected all present. In this
tranquil frame of mind, and in the perfect possession of his powers, he
breathed his last, November 8th, 1517, in the eighty-first year of his
age, and the twenty-second since his elevation to the primacy. The last
words that he uttered were those of the Psalmist, which he used frequently
to repeat in health, "In te, Domine, speravi,"--"In thee, Lord, have I

His body, arrayed in his pontifical robes, was seated in a chair of state,
and multitudes of all degrees thronged into the apartment to kiss the
hands and feet. It was afterwards transported to Alcala, and laid in the
chapel of the noble college of San Ildefonso, erected by himself. His
obsequies were celebrated with great pomp, contrary to his own orders, by,
all the religious and literary fraternities of the city; and his virtues
commemorated in a funeral discourse by a doctor of the university, who,
considering the death of the good a fitting occasion to lash the vices of
the living, made the most caustic allusion to the Flemish favorites of
Charles, and their pestilent influence on the country. [25]

Such was the end of this remarkable man; the most remarkable, in many
respects, of his time. His character was of that stern and lofty cast,
which seems to rise above the ordinary wants and weaknesses of humanity;
his genius of the severest order, like Dante's and Michael Angelo's in the
regions of fancy, impresses us with ideas of power, that excite admiration
akin to terror. His enterprises, as we have seen, were of the boldest
character. His execution of them equally bold. He disdained to woo fortune
by any of those soft and pliant arts, which are often the most effectual.
He pursued his ends by the most direct means. In this way he frequently
multiplied difficulties; but difficulties seemed to have a charm for him,
by the opportunity they afforded of displaying the energies of his soul.

With these qualities he combined a versatility of talent, usually found
only in softer and more flexible characters. Though bred in the cloister,
he distinguished himself both in the cabinet and the camp. For the latter,
indeed, so repugnant to his regular profession, he had a natural genius,
according to the testimony of his biographer; and he evinced his relish
for it, by declaring, that "the smell of gunpowder was more grateful to
him than the sweetest perfume of Arabia!" [26] In every situation,
however, he exhibited the stamp of his peculiar calling; and the stern
lineaments of the monk were never wholly concealed under the mask of the
statesman, or the visor of the warrior. He had a full measure of the
religious bigotry which belonged to the age; and he had melancholy scope
for displaying it, as chief of that dread tribunal, over which he presided
during the last ten years of his life. [27]

He carried the arbitrary ideas of his profession into political life. His
regency was conducted on the principles of a military despotism. It was
his maxim, that "a prince must rely mainly on his army for securing the
respect and obedience of his subjects." [28] It is true he had to deal
with a martial and factious nobility, and the end which he proposed was to
curb their licentiousness, and enforce the equitable administration of
justice; but, in accomplishing this, he showed little regard to the
constitution, or to private rights. His first act, the proclaiming of
Charles king, was in open contempt of the usages and rights of the nation.
He evaded the urgent demands of the Castilians for a convocation of
cortes; for it was his opinion, "that freedom of speech, especially in
regard to their own grievances, made the people insolent and irreverent to
their rulers." [29] The people, of course, had no voice in the measures
which involved their most important interests. His whole policy, indeed,
was to exalt the royal prerogative, at the expense of the inferior orders
of the state. [30] And his regency, short as it was, and highly beneficial
to the country in many respects, must be considered as opening the way to
that career of despotism, which the Austrian family followed up with such
hard-hearted constancy.

But, while we condemn the politics, we cannot but respect the principles
of the man. However erroneous his conduct in our eyes, he was guided by
his sense of duty. It was this, and the conviction of it in the minds of
others, which constituted the secret of his great power. It made him
reckless of difficulties, and fearless of all personal consequences. The
consciousness of the integrity of his purposes rendered him, indeed, too
unscrupulous as to the means of attaining them. He held his own life
cheap, in comparison with the great reforms that he had at heart. Was it
surprising, that he should hold as lightly the convenience and interests
of others, when they thwarted their execution?

His views were raised far above considerations of self. As a statesman, he
identified himself with the state; as a churchman, with the interests of
his religion. He severely punished every offence against these. He as
freely forgave every personal injury. He had many remarkable opportunities
of showing this. His administration provoked numerous lampoons and libels.
He despised them, as the miserable solace of spleen and discontent, and
never persecuted their authors. [31] In this he formed an honorable
contrast to Cardinal Richelieu, whose character and condition suggest many
points of resemblance with his own.

His disinterestedness was further shown by his mode of dispensing his
large revenues. It was among the poor, and on great public objects. He
built up no family. He had brothers and nephews; but he contented himself
with making their condition comfortable, without diverting to their
benefit the great trusts confided to him for the public. [32] The greater
part of the funds which he left at his death was settled on the university
of Alcala. [33]

He had, however, none of that pride, which would make him ashamed of his
poor and humble relatives. He had, indeed, a confidence in his own powers,
approaching to arrogance, which led him to undervalue the abilities of
others, and to look on them as his instruments rather than his equals. But
he had none of the vulgar pride founded on wealth or station. He
frequently alluded to his lowly condition in early life, with great
humility, thanking Heaven, with tears in his eyes, for its extraordinary
goodness to him. He not only remembered, but did many acts of kindness to
his early friends, of which more than one touching anecdote is related.
Such traits of sensibility, gleaming through the natural austerity and
sternness of a disposition like his, like light breaking through a dark
cloud, affect us the more sensibly by contrast.

He was irreproachable in his morals, and conformed literally to all the
rigid exactions of his severe order, in the court as faithfully as in the
cloister. He was sober, abstemious, chaste. In the latter particular, he
was careful that no suspicion of the license which so often soiled the
clergy of the period, should attach--to him. [34] On one occasion, while
on a journey, he was invited to pass the night at the house of the duchess
of Maqueda, being informed that she was absent. The duchess was at home,
however, and entered the apartment before he retired to rest. "You have
deceived me, lady," said Ximenes, rising in anger; "if you have any
business with me, you will find me tomorrow at the confessional." So
saying, he abruptly left the palace. [35]

He carried his austerities and mortifications so far, as to endanger his
health. There is a curious brief extant of Pope Leo the Tenth, dated the
last year of the cardinal's life, enjoining him to abate his severe
penance, to eat meat and eggs on the ordinary fasts, to take off his
Franciscan frock, and sleep in linen and on a bed. He would never consent,
however, to divest himself of his monastic weeds. "Even laymen," said he,
alluding to the custom of the Roman Catholics, "put these on when they are
dying; and shall I, who have worn them all my life, take them off at that
time!" [36]

Another anecdote is told in relation to his dress. Over his coarse woollen
frock, he wore the costly apparel suited to his rank. An impertinent
Franciscan preacher took occasion one day before him to launch out against
the luxuries of the time, especially in dress, obviously alluding to the
cardinal, who was attired in a superb suit of ermine, which had been
presented to him. He heard the sermon, patiently to the end, and after the
services were concluded, took the preacher into the sacristy, and, having
commended the general tenor of his discourse, showed under his furs and
fine linen the coarse frock of his order, next his skin. Some accounts
add, that the friar, on the other hand, wore fine linen under his monkish
frock. After the cardinal's death, a little box was found in his
apartment, containing the implements with which he used to mend the rents
of his threadbare garment, with his own hands. [37]

With so much to do, it may well be believed, that Ximenes was avaricious
of time. He seldom slept more than four, or at most four hours and a half.
He was shaved in the night, hearing at the same time some edifying
reading. He followed the same practice at his meals, or varied it with
listening to the arguments of some of his theological brethren, generally
on some subtile question of school divinity. This was his only recreation.
He had as little taste as time for lighter and more elegant amusements. He
spoke briefly, and always to the point. He was no friend of idle
ceremonies, and useless visits; though his situation exposed him more or
less to both. He frequently had a volume lying open on the table before
him, and when his visitor stayed too long, or took up his time with light
and frivolous conversation, he intimated his dissatisfaction by resuming
his reading. The cardinal's book must have been as fatal to a reputation
as Fontenelle's ear trumpet. [38]

I will close this sketch of Ximenes de Cisneros with a brief outline of
his person. His complexion was sallow; his countenance sharp and
emaciated; his nose aquiline; his upper lip projected far over the lower.
His eyes were small, deep-set in his head, dark, vivid, and penetrating.
His forehead ample, and, what was remarkable, without a wrinkle, though
the expression of his features was somewhat severe. [39] His voice was
clear, but not agreeable; his enunciation measured and precise. His
demeanor was grave, his carriage firm and erect; he was tall in stature,
and his whole presence commanding. His constitution, naturally robust, was
impaired by his severe austerities and severer cares; and, in the latter
years of his life, was so delicate as to be extremely sensible to the
vicissitudes and inclemency of the weather. [40]

I have noticed the resemblance which Ximenes bore to the great French
minister, Cardinal Richelieu. It was, after all, however, more in the
circumstances of situation, than in their characters; though the most
prominent traits of these were not dissimilar. [41] Both, though bred
ecclesiastics, reached the highest honors of the state, and indeed, may be
said to have directed the destinies of their countries. [42] Richelieu's
authority, however, was more absolute than that of Ximenes, for he was
screened by the shadow of royalty; while the latter was exposed, by his
insulated and unsheltered position, to the full blaze of envy, and, of
course, opposition. Both were ambitious of military glory, and showed
capacity for attaining it. Both achieved their great results by that rare
union of high mental endowments and great efficiency in action, which is
always irresistible.

The moral basis of their characters was entirely different. The French
cardinal's was selfishness, pure and unmitigated. His religion, politics,
his principles in short, in every sense, were subservient to this.
Offences against the state he could forgive; those against himself he
pursued with implacable rancor. His authority was literally cemented with
blood. His immense powers and patronage were perverted to the
aggrandizement of his family. Though bold to temerity in his plans, he
betrayed more than once a want of true courage in their execution. Though
violent and impetuous, he could stoop to be a dissembler. Though arrogant
in the extreme, he courted the soft incense of flattery. In his manners he
had the advantage over the Spanish prelate. He could be a courtier in
courts, and had a more refined and cultivated taste. In one respect, he
had the advantage over Ximenes in morals. He was not, like him, a bigot.
He had not the religious basis in his composition, which is the foundation
of bigotry.--Their deaths were typical of their characters. Richelieu
died, as he had lived, so deeply execrated, that the enraged populace
would scarcely allow his remains to be laid quietly in the grave. Ximenes,
on the contrary, was buried amid the tears and lamentations of the people;
his memory was honored even by his enemies, and his name is reverenced by
his countrymen, to this day, as that of a Saint.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Lorenzo Galindez de Carbajal, one of the best authorities for
transactions in the latter part of our History, was born of a respectable
family, at Placencia, in 1472. Little is gathered of his early life, but
that he was studious in his habits, devoting himself assiduously to the
acquisition of the civil and canon law. He filled the chair of professor
in this department, at Salamanca, for several years. His great attainments
and respectable character recommended him to the notice of the Catholic
queen, who gave him a place in the royal council. In this capacity, he was
constantly at the court, where he seems to have maintained himself in the
esteem of his royal mistress, and of Ferdinand after her death. The queen
testified her respect for Carbajal, by appointing him one of the
commissioners for preparing a digest of the Castilian law. He made
considerable progress in this arduous work; but how great is uncertain,
since, from whatever cause, (there appears to be a mystery about it,) the
fruits of his labor were made public; a circumstance deeply regretted by
the Castilian jurists. (Asso y Manuel, Instituciones, Introd. p. 99.)

Carbajal left behind him several historical works, according to Nic.
Antonio, whose catalogue, however, rests on very slender grounds.
(Bibliotheca Nova, tom. ii. p. 3.) The work by which he is best known to
Spanish scholars, is his "Anales del Rey Don Fernando el Catolico," which
still remains in manuscript. There is certainly no Christian country, for
which the invention of printing, so liberally patronized there at its
birth, has done so little as for Spain. Her libraries teem at this day
with manuscripts of the greatest interest for the illustration of every
stage of her history; but which, alas! in the present gloomy condition of
affairs, have less chance of coming to the light, than at the close of the
fifteenth century, when the art of printing was in its infancy.

Carbajal's Annals cover the whole ground of our narrative, from the
marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, to the coming of Charles V. into
Spain. They are plainly written, without ambition of rhetorical show or
refinement. The early part is little better than memoranda of the
principal events of the period, with particular notice of all the
migrations of the court. In the concluding portion of the work, however,
comprehending Ferdinand's death, and the regency of Ximenes, the author is
very full and circumstantial. As he had a conspicuous place in the
government, and was always with the court, his testimony in regard to this
important period is of the highest value as that of an eye-witness and an
actor, and, it may be added, a man of sagacity and sound principles. No
better commentary on the merit of his work need be required, than the
brief tribute of Alvaro Gomez, the accomplished biographer of Cardinal
Ximenes. "Porro Annales Laurentii Galendi Caravajali, quibus vir
gravissimus rerumque illarum cum primis particeps quinquaginta ferme
annorum memoriam complexus est, haud vulgariter meam operam juverunt." De
Rebus Gestis, Praefatio.


[1] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 8.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez,
cap. 18.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 150.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib.
4, cap. 5.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., dial. de Ximeni.

[2] Carbajal has given us Charles's epistle, which is subscribed "El
Principe." He did not venture on the title of king in his correspondence
with the Castilians, though he affected it abroad. Anales, MS., ano 1516,
cap. 10.

[3] The letter of the council is dated March 14th, 1516. It is recorded by
Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 10.

[4] It became permanently so in the following reign of Philip II.
Semanario Erudito, tom. iii. p. 79.

[5] Carbajal penetrates into the remotest depths of Spanish history for an
authority for Charles's claim. He can find none better, however, than the
examples of Alfonso VIII. and Ferdinand III.; the former of whom used
force, and the latter obtained the crown by the voluntary cession of his
mother. His argument, it is clear, rests much stronger on expediency, than
precedent. Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 11.

[6] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 151 et seq.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano
1516, cap. 9-11.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 2, cap. 2.--Dormer,
Anales de Aragon, lib. 1, cap. 1, 13.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
572, 590, 603.--Sandoval, Hist, del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 53.

[7] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 18.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 158.--
Lanuza, Historias, tom. i. lib. 2, cap. 4.

Alvaro Gomez finds no better authority than vulgar rumor for this story.
According to Robles, the cardinal, after this bravado, twirled his
cordelier's belt about his fingers, saying, "he wanted nothing better than
that to tame the pride of the Castilian nobles with!" But Ximenes was
neither a fool nor a madman; although his over-zealous biographers make
him sometimes one, and sometimes the other. Voltaire, who never lets the
opportunity slip of seizing a paradox in character or conduct, speaks of
Ximenes as one "qui, toujours vetu en cordelier, met son faste a fouler
sous ses sandales le faste Espagnol." Essai sur les Moeurs, chap. 121.

[8] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 13.--Quintanilla, Archetypo,
lib. 4, cap. 5.--Sempere, Hist. des Cortes, chap. 25.--Gomez, De Rebus
Gestis, fol. 159.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

[9] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 174 et seq.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez,
cap. 18.-Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 13.

[10] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1516, cap. 11.--Aleson, Annales de
Navarra, tom. v. p. 327.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 570.--
Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 4, cap. 5.

[11] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 164, 165.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales,
tom. i. p. 278.--Las Casas, Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 239.

Robertson states the ground of Ximenes's objection to have been, the
iniquity of reducing one set of men to slavery, in order to liberate
another. (History of America, vol. i. p. 285.) A very enlightened reason,
for which, however, I find not the least warrant in Herrera, (the
authority cited by the historian,) nor in Gomez, nor in any other writer.

[12] Llorente, Hist. de l'Inquisition, tom. i, chap. 10, art. 5.

[13] Paramo, De Origine Inquisitionis, lib. 2, tit. 2, cap. 5.--Llorente,
Hist. de l'Inquisition, tom. i. chap. 11, art. l.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 184, 185.

[14] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 2.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 189, 190.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 18.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 581.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.

"Ni properaveritis," says Martyr in a letter to Marliano, Prince Charles's
physician, "ruent omnia. Nescit Hispania parere non regibus, aut non
legitime regnaturis. _Nauseam inducit magnanimis viris hujus fratris_,
licet potentis et reipublicae amatoris, gubernatio. Est quippe grandis
animo, et ipse, ad aedificandum literatosqne viros fovendum natus magis
qnam ad imperandum, bellicis colloquiis et apparatibus gaudet." Opus
Epist., epist. 573.

[15] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 198-201.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 567, 584, 590.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 3, 6.--
Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p.

[16] In a letter to Marliano, Martyr speaks of the large sums, "ab hoc
gubernatore ad vos missae, sub parandae classis praetextu." (Opus Epist.,
epist. 576.) In a subsequent epistle to his Castilian correspondents, he
speaks in a more sarcastic tone. "_Bonus ille frater_ Ximenez Cardinalis
gubernator thesauros ad Belgas transmittendos coacervavit. ***** Glacialis
Oceani accolae ditabuntur, vestra expilabitur Castilla." (Epist. 606.)
From some cause or other, it is evident the cardinal's government was not
at all to honest Martyr's taste. Gomez suggests, as the reason, that his
salary was clipped off in the general retrenchment, which he admits was a
very hard case. (De Rebus Gestis, fol. 177.) Martyr, however, was never an
extravagant encomiast of the cardinal, and one may imagine much more
creditable reasons, than that assigned, for his disgust with him now.

[17] See a letter in Carbajal, containing this honest tribute to the
illustrious dead. (Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 4.) Charles might have
found an antidote to the poison of his Flemish sycophants in the faithful
counsels of his Castilian ministers.

[18] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 602.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
194.-Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 18.

Martyr, in a letter written just before the king's landing, notices the
cardinal's low state of health and spirits. "Cardinalis gubernator Matriti
febribus aegrotaverat; convaluerat; nunc recidivavit. ***** Breves fore
dies illius, medici automant. Est octogenario major; ipse regis adventum
affectu avidissimo desiderare videtur. Sentit sine rege non rite posse
corda Hispanorum moderari ac regi." Epist. 598.

[19] Flassan, Diplomatic Francais, tom. i. p. 313.--Dumont, Corps
Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 106.

[20] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 9.--Dormer, Anales de Aragon,
lib. 1. cap. 1.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo V., fol. 43.--Dolce, Vita di. Carlo
V., p. 12.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 212.--Sandoval, Hist, del Emp.
Carlos V., tom. i. p. 83.

[21] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ubi supra.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 215.
--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 84.

[22] "Cette terrible lettre qui fut la cause de sa mort," says Marsollier,
plumply; a writer who is sure either to misstate or overstate. (Ministere
du Card. Ximenez, p. 447.) Byron, alluding to the fate of a modern poet,
ridicules the idea of

  "The mind, that fiery particle,
  Being extinguished by an Article!"

The frown of a critic, however, might as well prove fatal as that of a
king. In both cases, I imagine, it would be hard to prove any closer
connection between the two events, than that of time.

[23] "Con aquel despedimiento," says Galindez de Carbajal, "con esto acabo
de tantos servicios luego que Ilego esta carta el Cardenal rescibio
alteracion y tomole recia calentnra que en pocos dias le des-pacho."
(Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 9.) Gomez tells a long story of poison
administered to the cardinal in a trout, (De Rebus Gestis, fol. 206.)
Others say, in a letter from Flanders, (see Moreri, Dictionnaire
Historique, _voce_ Ximenes.) Oviedo notices a rumor of his having been
poisoned by one of his secretaries; but vouches for the innocence of
the individual accused, whom he personally knew. (Quincuagenas, MS., dial,
de Xim.) Reports of this kind were too rife in these days, to deserve
credit, unless supported by very clear evidence. Martyr and Carbajal, both
with the court at the time, intimate no suspicion of foul play.

[24] Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 9.--Gomez, de Rebus Gestis,
fol. 213, 214.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 4, cap. 8.--Oviedo,
Quincuagenas, MS.

"'Voila mon juge, qui prononcera bientot ma sentence. Je le prie de tout
mon coeur de me condamner, si, dans mon ministere, je me suis propose
autre chose que le bien de la religion et celui de l'etat.' Le lendemain,
au point du jour, il voulut recevoir l'extreme onction." Jay, Histoire du
Ministere du Cardinal Richelieu, (Paris, 1816,) tom. ii. p. 217.

[25] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 18.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 215-
217.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 4, cap. 12-15; who quotes Marano, an
eye-witness.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 9, who dates the
cardinal's death December 8th, in which he is followed by Lanuza.

The following epitaph, of no great merit, was inscribed on his sepulchre,
composed by the learned John Vergara in his younger days.

  "Condideram musis Franciscus grande lyceum,
    Condor in exiguo nune ego sarcophago.
  Praelextam junxi saccho, galeamque galero,
    Frater, dux, praesul, cardineusque pater.
  Quin virtute reel junctum est diadema cucullo,
    Cum mibi regnanti paruit Hesperia."

[26] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 160.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 17.
--"And who can doubt," exclaimed Gonzalo de Oviedo, "that powder, against
the infidel, is incense to the Lord?" Quincuagenas, MS.

[27] During this period, Ximenes "_permit_ la condamnation," to use
the mild language of Llorente, of more than 2500 individuals to the stake,
and nearly 50,000 to other punishments! (Hist. de l'Inquisition, tom. i.
chap. 10, art. 5; tom. iv. chap. 46.) In order to do justice to what is
really good in the characters of this age, one must absolutely close his
eyes against that odious fanaticism, which enters more or less into all,
and into the best, unfortunately, most largely.

[28] "Persuasum haberet, non alia ratione animos humanos imperia aliorum
laturos, nisi vi facta aut adhibita. Quare pro certo affirmare solebat,
nullum unquam principem exteris populis formidini, aut suis reverentiae
fuisse, nisi comparato militum exercitu, atque omnibus belli instrumentis
ad manum paratis." (Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 95.) We may well apply to
the cardinal what Cato, or rather Lucan, applied to Pompey;

  "Praetulit arma togae; sed pacem armatus amavit."
                          Pharsalia, lib. 9.

[29] "Nulla enim re magis populos insolescere, et irreverentiam omnem
exhibere, quam cum libertatem loquendi nacti sunt, et pro libidine suas
vulgo jactant querimonias." Gomez quotes the language of Ximenes in his
correspondence with Charles. De Rebus Gestis, fol. 194.

[30] Oviedo makes a reflection, showing that he conceived the cardinal's
policy better than most of his biographers. He states, that the various
immunities, and the military organization, which he gave to the towns
enabled them to raise the insurrection, known as the war of the
"comunidades," at the beginning of Charles's reign. But he rightly
considers this as only an indirect consequence of his policy, which made
use of the popular arm only to break down the power of the nobles, and
establish the supremacy of the crown. Quincuagenas, MS., dial, de Xim.

[31] Quincuagenas, MS., ubi supra. Mr. Burke notices this noble trait, in
a splendid panegyric which he poured forth on the character of Ximenes, at
Sir Joshua Reynolds's table, as related by Madame d'Arblay, in the last,
and not least remarkable of her productions. (Memoirs of Dr. Burney, vol.
ii. pp. 231 et seq.) The orator, _if_ the lady reports him right, notices,
as two of the cardinal's characteristics, his freedom from bigotry and

[32] Their connection with so distinguished a person, however enabled most
of them to form high alliances; of which Oviedo gives some account.
Quincuagenas, MS.

[33] "Die, and endow a college or a cat!"

The verse is somewhat stale, but expresses, better than a page of prose
can, the credit due to such posthumous benefactions, when they set aside
the dearest natural ties for the mere indulgence of a selfish vanity,
which motives cannot be imputed to Ximenes. He had always conscientiously
abstained from appropriating his archi-episcopal revenues, as we have
seen, to himself or his family. His dying bequest, therefore, was only in
keeping with his whole life.

[34] The good father Quintanilla vindicates his hero's chastity, somewhat
at the expense of his breeding. "His purity was unexampled," says he. "He
shunned the sex, like so many evil spirits; _looking on every woman as a
devil_, let her be never so holy. Had it not been in the way of his
professional calling, it is not too much to say he would never have
suffered his eyes to light on one of them!" Archetypo, p. 80.

[35] Flechier, Histoire de Ximenes, liv. 6, p. 634.

[36] Quintanilla has given the brief of his Holiness _in extenso_, with
commentaries thereon, twice as long. See Archeotypo, lib. 4, cap. 10.

[37] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 219.--Quintanilla, Archetype, lib. 2,
cap. 4. The reader may find a pendant to this anecdote in a similar one
recorded of Ximenes's predecessor, the grand cardinal Mendoza, in Part II.
Chapter 5, of this History. The conduct of the two primates on the
occasion, was sufficiently characteristic.

[38] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, ubi supra.--
Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 13.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 2, cap. 5,
7, 8; who cites Dr. Vergara, the cardinal's friend. It is Baron Grimm, I
think, who tells us of Fontenelle's habit of dropping his trumpet when the
conversation did not pay him for the trouble of holding it up. The good-
natured Reynolds, according to Goldsmith, could "shift his trumpet" on
such an emergency also.

[39] Ximenes's head was examined some forty years after his interment, and
the skull was found to be without sutures. (Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
218.) Richelieu's was found to be perforated with little holes. The abbe
Richard deduces a theory from this, which may startle the physiologist
even more than the facts. "On ouvrit son Test, on y trouva 12 petits trous
par ou s'exhaloient les vapeurs de son cerveau, ce qui fit qu' il n'eut
jamais aucun mal de tete; au lieu que le Test de Ximenes etoit sans
suture, a quoi l'on attribua les effroyables douleurs de tete qu'il avoit
presque toujours." Parallele, p. 177.

[40] Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 18.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 218.

[41] A little treatise has been devoted to this very subject, entitled
"Parallele du Card. Ximenes et du Card. Richelieu, par Mons. l'Abbe
Richard; a Trevoux, 1705." 222 pp. 12mo. The author, with a candor rare
indeed, where national vanity is interested, strikes the balance without
hesitation in favor of the foreigner Ximenes.

[42] The catalogue of the various offices of Ximenes occupies near half a
page of Quintanilla. At the time of his death, the chief ones that he
filled were, those of archbishop of Toledo, and consequently primate of
Spain, grand chancellor of Castile, cardinal of the Roman church,
inquisitor-general of Castile, and regent.



Policy of the Crown.--Towards the Nobles.--The Clergy.--Consideration of
the Commons.--Advancement of Prerogative.--Legal Complications.--The Legal
Profession.--Trade.--Manufactures.--Agriculture.--Restrictive Policy.--
Revenues.--Progress of Discovery.--Colonial Administration.--General
Prosperity.--Increase of Population.--Chivalrous Spirit.--The Period of
National Glory.

We have now traversed that important period of history, comprehending the
latter part of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century; a
period when the convulsions, which shook to the ground, the ancient
political fabrics of Europe, roused the minds of its inhabitants from the
lethargy in which they had been buried for ages. Spain, as we have seen,
felt the general impulse. Under the glorious rule of Ferdinand and
Isabella, we have beheld her, emerging from chaos into a new existence;
unfolding, under the influence of institutions adapted to her genius,
energies of which she was before unconscious; enlarging her resources from
all the springs of domestic industry and commercial enterprise; and
insensibly losing the ferocious habits of a feudal age, in the refinements
of an intellectual and moral culture.

In the fulness of time, when her divided powers had been concentrated
under one head, and the system of internal economy completed, we have seen
her descend into the arena with the other nations of Europe, and in a very
few years achieve the most important acquisitions of territory, both in
that quarter and in Africa; and finally crowning the whole by the
discovery and occupation of a boundless empire beyond the waters. In the
progress of the action, we may have been too much occupied with its
details, to attend sufficiently to the principles which regulated them.
But now that we have reached the close, we may be permitted to cast a
parting glance over the field that we have traversed, and briefly survey
the principal steps by which the Spanish sovereigns, under Divine
Providence, led their nation up to such a height of prosperity and glory.

Ferdinand and Isabella, on their accession, saw at once that the chief
source of the distractions of the country lay in the overgrown powers, and
factious spirit, of the nobility. Their first efforts, therefore, were
directed to abate these as far as possible. A similar movement was going
forward, in the other European monarchies; but in none was it crowned with
so speedy and complete success as in Castile, by means of those bold and
decisive measures, which have been detailed in an early chapter of this
work. [1] The same policy was steadily pursued during the remainder of
their reign; less indeed by open assault than by indirect means. [2]

Among these, one of the most effectual was the omission, to summon the
privileged orders to cortes, in several of the most important sessions of
that body. This so far from being a new stretch of prerogative, was only
an exercise of the anomalous powers already familiar to the crown, as
elsewhere noticed. [3] Nor does it seem to have been viewed as a grievance
by the other party, who regarded these meetings with the more
indifference, since their aristocratic immunities exempted them from the
taxation, which was generally the prominent object of them. But, from
whatever cause proceeding, by this impolitic acquiescence they
surrendered, undoubtedly, the most valuable of their rights,--one which
has enabled the British aristocracy to maintain its political
consideration unimpaired, while that of the Castilian has faded away into
an empty pageant. [4]

Another practice steadily pursued by the sovereigns, was to raise men of
humble station to offices of the highest trust; not, however, like their
contemporary, Louis the Eleventh, because their station was humble, in
order to mortify the higher orders, but because they courted merit,
wherever it was to be found; [5]--a policy much and deservedly commended
by the sagacious observers of the time. [6] The history of Spain does not
probably afford another example of a person of the lowly condition of
Ximenes, attaining, not merely the highest offices in the kingdom, but
eventually its uncontrolled supremacy. [7] The multiplication of legal
tribunals, and other civil offices, afforded the sovereigns ample scope
for pursuing this policy, in the demand created for professional science.
The nobles, intrusted hitherto with the chief direction of affairs, now
saw it pass into the hands of persons, who had other qualifications than
martial prowess or hereditary rank. Such as courted distinction, were
compelled to seek it by the regular avenues of academic discipline. How
extensively the spirit operated, and with what brilliant success, we have
already seen. [8] But, whatever the aristocracy may have gained in
refinement of character, it resigned much of its prescriptive power, when
it condescended to enter the arena on terms of equal competition with its
inferiors for the prizes of talent and scholarship.

Ferdinand pursued a similar course in his own dominions of Aragon, where
he uniformly supported the commons, or may more properly be said to have
been supported by them, in the attempt to circumscribe the authority of
the great feudatories. Although he accomplished this, to a considerable
extent, their power was too firmly intrenched behind positive institutions
to be affected like that of the Castilian aristocracy, whose rights had
been swelled beyond their legitimate limits by every species of
usurpation. [9]

With all the privileges retrieved from this order, is still possessed a
disproportionate weight in the political balance. The great lords still
claimed some of the most considerable posts, both civil and military. [10]
Their revenues were immense, and their broad lands covered unbroken
leagues of extent in every quarter of the kingdom. [11] The queen, who
reared many of their children in the royal palace, under her own eye,
endeavored to draw her potent vassals to the court; [12] but many, still
cherishing the ancient spirit of independence, preferred to live in feudal
grandeur, surrounded by their retainers in their strong castles, and wait
there, in grim repose, the hour when they might sally forth and reassert
by arms their despoiled authority. Such a season occurred on Isabella's
death. The warlike nobles eagerly seized it; but the wily and resolute
Ferdinand, and afterwards the iron hand of Ximenes, kept them in check,
and prepared the way for the despotism of Charles the Fifth, round whom
the haughty aristocracy of Castile, shorn of substantial power, were
content to revolve as the satellites of a court, reflecting only the
borrowed splendors of royalty.

The Queen's government was equally vigilant in resisting ecclesiastical
encroachment. It may appear otherwise to one who casts a superficial
glance at her reign, and beholds her surrounded always by a troop of
ghostly advisers, and avowing religion as the great end of her principal
operations at home and abroad. [13]

It is certain, however, that, while in all her acts she confessed the
influence of religion, she took more effectual means than any of her
predecessors, to circumscribe the temporal powers of the clergy. [14] The
volume of her pragmaticas is filled with laws designed to limit their
jurisdiction, and restrain their encroachments on the secular authorities.
[15] Towards the Roman See, she maintained, as we have often had occasion
to notice, the same independent attitude. By the celebrated concordat made
with Sixtus the Fourth, in 1482, the pope conceded to the sovereigns the
right of nominating to the higher dignities of the church. [16] The Holy
See, however, still assumed the collation to inferior benefices, which
were too often lavished on non-residents, and otherwise unsuitable
persons. The queen sometimes extorted a papal indulgence granting the
right of presentation, for a limited time; on which occasions she showed
such alacrity, that she is known to have disposed, in a single day, of
more than twenty prebends and inferior dignities. At other times, when the
nomination made by his Holiness, as not unfrequently happened, was
distasteful to her, she would take care to defeat it, by forbidding the
bull to be published until laid before the privy council; at the same time
sequestrating the revenues of the vacant benefice, till her own
requisitions were complied with. [17]

She was equally solicitous in watching over the morals of the clergy,
inculcating on the higher prelates to hold frequent pastoral communication
with their suffragans, and to report to her such as were delinquent. [18]
By these vigilant measures, she succeeded in restoring the ancient
discipline of the church, and weeding out the sensuality and indolence,
which had so long defiled it; while she had the inexpressible satisfaction
to see the principal places, long before her death, occupied by prelates,
whose learning and religious principle gave the best assurance of the
stability of the reformation. [19] Few of the Castilian monarchs have been
brought more frequently into collision, or pursued a bolder policy, with
the court of Rome. Still fewer have extorted from it such important graces
and concessions; a circumstance, which can only be imputed, says a
Castilian writer, "to singular good fortune and consummate prudence;" [20]
to that deep conviction of the queen's integrity, we may also add, which
disarmed resistance, even in her enemies.

The condition of the commons under this reign was probably, on the whole,
more prosperous than in any other period of the Spanish history. New
avenues to wealth and honors were opened to them; and persons and property
were alike protected under the fearless and impartial administration of
the law. "Such was the justice dispensed to every one under this
auspicious reign," exclaims Marineo, "that nobles and cavaliers, citizens
and laborers, rich and poor, masters and servants, all equally partook of
it." [21] We find no complaints of arbitrary imprisonment, and no
attempts, so frequent both in earlier and later times, at illegal
taxation. In this particular, indeed, Isabella manifested the greatest
tenderness for her people. By her commutation of the capricious tax of the
_alcavala_ for a determinate one, and still more by transferring its
collection from the revenue officers to the citizens themselves, she
greatly relieved her subjects. [22]

Finally, notwithstanding the perpetual call for troops for the military
operations in which the government was constantly engaged, and
notwithstanding the example of neighboring countries, there was no attempt
to establish that iron bulwark of despotism, a standing army; at least,
none nearer than that of the voluntary levies of the hermandad, raised and
paid by the people. The queen never admitted the arbitrary maxims of
Ximenes in regard to the foundation of government. Hers was essentially
one of opinion, not force. [23] Had it rested on any other than the broad
basis of public opinion, it could not have withstood a day the violent
shocks, to which it was early exposed, nor have achieved the important
revolution that it finally did, both in the domestic and foreign concerns
of the country.

The condition of the kingdom, on Isabella's accession, necessarily gave
the commons unwonted consideration. In the tottering state of her affairs,
she was obliged to rest on their strong arm for support. It did not fail
her. Three sessions of the legislature, or rather the popular branch of
it, were held during the two first years of her reign. It was in these
early assemblies, that the commons bore an active part in concocting the
wholesome system of laws, which restored vitality and vigor to the
exhausted republic. [24]

After this good work was achieved, the sessions of that body became more
rare. There was less occasion for them, indeed, during the existence of
the hermandad, which was, of itself, an ample representation of the
Castilian commons, and which, by enforcing obedience to the law at home,
and by liberal supplies for foreign war, superseded, in a great degree,
the call for more regular meetings of cortes. [25] The habitual economy,
too, not to say frugality, which regulated the public, as well as private
expenditure of the sovereigns, enabled them, after this period, with
occasional exceptions, to dispense with other aid than that drawn from the
regular revenues of the crown.

There is every ground for believing that the political franchises of the
people, as then understood, were uniformly respected. The number of cities
summoned to cortes, which had so often varied according to the caprices of
princes, never fell short of that prescribed by long usage. On the
contrary, an addition was made by the conquest of Granada, and, in a
cortes held soon after the queen's death, we find a most narrow and
impolitic remonstrance of the legislature itself, against the alleged
unauthorized extension of the privilege of representation. [26]

In one remarkable particular, which may be thought to form a material
exception to the last observations, the conduct of the crown deserves to
be noticed. This was, the promulgation of _pragmaticas_, or royal
ordinances, and that to a greater extent, probably, than under any other
reign, before or since. This important prerogative was claimed and
exercised, more or less freely, by most European sovereigns in ancient
times. Nothing could be more natural, than that the prince should assume
such authority, or that the people, blind to the ultimate consequences,
and impatient of long or frequent sessions of the legislature, should
acquiesce in the temperate use of it. As far as these ordinances were of
an executive character, or designed as supplementary to parliamentary
enactments, or in obedience to previous suggestions of cortes, they appear
to lie open to no constitutional objections in Castile. [27] But it was
not likely that limits, somewhat loosely defined, would be very nicely
observed; and under preceding reigns this branch of prerogative had been
most intolerably abused. [28]

A large proportion of these laws are of an economical character, designed
to foster trade and manufactures, and to secure fairness in commercial
dealings. [29] Many are directed against the growing spirit of luxury, and
many more occupied with the organization of the public tribunals. Whatever
be thought of their wisdom in some cases, it will not be easy to detect
any attempt to innovate on the settled principles of criminal
jurisprudence, or on those regulating the transfer of property. When these
were to be discussed, the sovereigns were careful to call in the aid of
the legislature; an example which found little favor with their
successors. [30] It is good evidence of the public confidence in the
government, and the generally beneficial scope of these laws, that,
although of such unprecedented frequency, they should have escaped
parliamentary animadversion. [31] But, however patriotic the intentions of
the Catholic sovereigns, and however safe, or even salutary, the power
intrusted to such hands, it was a fatal precedent, and under the Austrian
dynasty became the most effectual lever for overturning the liberties of
the nation.

The preceding remarks on the policy observed towards the commons in this
reign must be further understood as applying with far less qualification
to the queen, than to her husband. The latter, owing perhaps to the
lessons which he had derived from his own subjects of Aragon, "who never
abated one jot of their constitutional rights," says Martyr, "at the
command of a king," [32] and whose meetings generally brought fewer
supplies to the royal coffers, than grievances to redress, seems to have
had little relish for popular assemblies. He convened them as rarely as
possible in Aragon, [33] and when he did, omitted no effort to influence
their deliberations. [34] He anticipated, perhaps, similar difficulties in
Castile, after his second marriage had lost him the affections of the
people. At any rate, he evaded calling them together on more than one
occasion imperiously demanded by the constitution; [35] and, when he did
so, he invaded their privileges, [36] and announced principles of
government, [37] which formed a discreditable, and, it must be admitted,
rare exception to the usual tenor of his administration. Indeed, the most
honorable testimony is borne to its general equity and patriotism, by a
cortes convened soon after the queen's death, when the tribute, as far as
she was concerned, still more unequivocally, must have been sincere. [38]
A similar testimony is afforded by the panegyrics and the practice of the
more liberal Castilian writers, who freely resort to this reign, as the
great fountain of constitutional precedent. [39]

The commons gained political consideration, no doubt, by the depression of
the nobles; but their chief gain lay in the inestimable blessings of
domestic tranquillity, and the security of private rights. The crown
absorbed the power, in whatever form, retrieved from the privileged
orders; the pensions and large domains, the numerous fortified places, the
rights of seigniorial jurisdiction, the command of the military orders,
and the like. Other circumstances conspired to raise the regal authority
still higher; as, for example, the international relations then opened
with the rest of Europe, which, whether friendly or hostile, were
conducted by the monarch alone, who, unless to obtain supplies, rarely
condescended to seek the intervention of the other estates; the
concentration of the dismembered provinces of the Peninsula under one
government; the immense acquisitions abroad, whether from discovery or
conquest, regarded in that day as the property of the crown, rather than
of the nation; and, finally, the consideration flowing from the personal
character, and long successful rule, of the Catholic sovereigns. Such were
the manifold causes, which, without the imputation of a criminal ambition,
or indifference to the rights of their subjects, in Ferdinand and
Isabella, all combined to swell the prerogative to an unprecedented height
under their reign.

This, indeed, was the direction in which all the governments of Europe, at
this period, were tending. The people, wisely preferring a single master
to a multitude, sustained the crown in its efforts to recover from the
aristocracy the enormous powers it so grossly abused. This was the
revolution of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The power thus
deposited in a single hand, was found in time equally incompatible with
the great ends of civil government; while it gradually accumulated to an
extent, which threatened to crush the monarchy by its own weight. But the
institutions derived from a Teutonic origin have been found to possess a
conservative principle, unknown to the fragile despotisms of the east. The
seeds of liberty, though dormant, lay deep in the heart of the nation,
waiting only the good time to germinate. That time has at length arrived.
Larger experience, and a wider moral culture, have taught men not only the
extent of their political rights, but the best way to secure them. And it
is the reassertion of these by the great body of the people, which now
constitutes the revolution going forward in most of the old communities of
Europe. The progress of liberal principles must be controlled, of course,
by the peculiar circumstances and character of the nation; but their
ultimate triumph, in every quarter, none can reasonably distrust. May it
not be abused.

The prosperity of the country, under Ferdinand and Isabella, its growing
trade and new internal relations, demanded new regulations, which, as
before noticed, were attempted to be supplied by the _pragmaticas_.
This was adding, however, to the embarrassments of a jurisprudence already
far too cumbrous. The Castilian lawyer might despair of a critical
acquaintance with the voluminous mass of legislation, which, in the form
of municipal charters, Roman codes, parliamentary statutes, and royal
ordinances, were received as authority in the courts. [40] The manifold
evils resulting from this unsettled and conflicting jurisprudence, had led
the legislature repeatedly to urge its digest into a more simple and
uniform system. Some approach was made towards this in the code of the
"Ordenancas Reales," compiled in the early part of the queen's reign. [41]
The great body of _Pragmaticas_, subsequently, issued, were also
collected into a separate volume by her command, [42] and printed the year
before her death. These two codes may therefore be regarded as embracing
the ordinary legislation of her reign. [43]

In 1505, the celebrated little code, called "Leyes de Tore," from the
place where the cortes was held, received the sanction of that body. [44]
Its laws, eighty-four in number, and designed as supplementary to those
already existing, are chiefly occupied with the rights of inheritance and
marriage. It is here that the ominous term "mayorazgo" may be said to have
been naturalized in Castilian jurisprudence. [45] The peculiar feature of
these laws, aggravated in no slight degree by the glosses of the
civilians, [46] is the facility which they give to entails; a fatal
facility, which, chiming in with the pride and indolence natural to the
Spanish character, ranks them among the most efficient agents of the decay
of husbandry and the general impoverishment of the country.

Besides these codes, there were the "Leyes de la Hermandad," [47] the
"Quaderno de Alcavalas," with others of less note for the regulation of
trade, made in this reign. [48] But still the great scheme of a uniform
digest of the municipal law of Castile, although it occupied the most
distinguished jurisconsults of the time, was unattained at the queen's
death. [49] How deeply it engaged her mind in that hour, is evinced by the
clause in her codicil, in which she bequeaths the consummation of the
work, as an imperative duty, to her successors. [50] It was not completed
till the reign of Philip the Second; and the large proportion of Ferdinand
and Isabella's laws, admitted into that famous compilation, shows the
prospective character of their legislation, and the uncommon discernment
with which it was accommodated to the peculiar genius and wants of the
nation. [51]

The immense increase of empire, and the corresponding development of the
national resources, not only demanded new laws, but a thorough
reorganization of every department of the administration. Laws may be
received as indicating the dispositions of the ruler, whether for good or
for evil; but it is in the conduct of the tribunals that we are to read
the true character of his government. It was the upright and vigilant
administration of these, which constituted the best claim of Ferdinand and
Isabella to the gratitude of their country. To facilitate the despatch of
business, it was distributed among a number of bureaus or councils, at the
head of which stood the "royal council," whose authority and functions I
have already noticed. [52] In order to leave this body more leisure for
its executive duties, a new audience, or chancery, as it was called, was
established at Valladolid, in 1480, whose judges were drawn from the
members of the king's council. A similar tribunal was instituted, after
the Moorish conquests, in the southern division of the monarchy; and both
had supreme jurisdiction over all civil causes, which were carried up to
them from the inferior audiences throughout the kingdom. [53]

The "council of the supreme" was placed over the Inquisition with a
special view to the interests of the crown; an end, however, which it very
imperfectly answered, as appears from its frequent collision with the
royal and secular jurisdictions. [54] The "council of the orders" had
charge, as the name imports, of the great military fraternities. [55] The
"council of Aragon" was intrusted with the general administration of that
kingdom and its dependencies, including Naples; and had besides extensive
jurisdiction as a court of appeal. [56] Lastly, the "council of the
Indies" was instituted by Ferdinand, in 1511, for the control of the
American department. Its powers, comprehensive as they were in its origin,
were so much enlarged under Charles the Fifth and his successors, that it
became the depository of all law, the fountain of all nominations, both
ecclesiastical and temporal, and the supreme tribunal, where all
questions, whether of government or trade in the colonies, were finally
adjudicated. [57]

Such were the forms, which the government assumed under the hands of
Ferdinand and Isabella. The great concerns of the empire were brought
under the control of a few departments, which looked to the crown as their
common head. The chief stations were occupied by lawyers, who were alone
competent to the duties; and the precincts of the court swarmed with a
loyal militia, who, as they owed their elevation to its patronage, were
not likely to interpret the law to the disparagement of prerogative. [58]

The greater portion of the laws of this reign are directed, in some form
or other, as might be expected, to commerce and domestic industry. Their
very large number, however, implies an extraordinary expansion of the
national energy and resources, as well as a most earnest disposition in
the government to foster them. The wisdom of these efforts, at all times,
is not equally certain. I will briefly enumerate a few of the most
characteristic and important provisions.

By a pragmatic of 1500, all persons, whether natives or foreigners, were
prohibited from shipping goods in foreign bottoms, from a port where a
Spanish ship could be obtained. [59] Another prohibited the sale of
vessels to foreigners. [60] Another offered a large premium on all vessels
of a certain tonnage and upwards; [61] and others held out protection and
various immunities to seamen. [62] The drift of the first of these laws,
like that of the famous English navigation act, so many years later, was,
as the preamble sets forth, to exclude foreigners from the carrying trade;
and the others were equally designed to build up a marine, for the
defence, as well as commerce of the country. In this, the sovereigns were
favored by their important colonial acquisitions, the distance of which,
moreover, made it expedient to employ vessels of greater burden than those
hitherto used. The language of subsequent laws, as well as various
circumstances within our knowledge, attest the success of these
provisions. The number of vessels in the merchant service of Spain, at the
beginning of the sixteenth century, amounted to a thousand, according to
Campomanes. [63] We may infer the flourishing condition of their
commercial marine from their military, as shown in the armaments sent at
different times against the Turks, or the Barbary corsairs. [64] The
convoy which accompanied the infanta Joanna to Flanders, in 1496,
consisted of one hundred and thirty vessels, great and small, having a
force of more than twenty thousand men on board; a formidable equipment,
inferior only to that of the far-famed "Invincible Armada." [65]

A pragmatic was passed, in 1491, at the petition of the inhabitants of the
northern provinces, requiring English and other foreign traders to take
their returns in the fruits or merchandise of the country, and not in gold
or silver. This law seems to have been designed less to benefit the
manufacturer, than to preserve the precious metals in the country. [66] It
was the same in purport with other laws prohibiting the exportation of
these metals, whether in coin or bullion. They were not new in Spain, nor
indeed peculiar to her. [67] They proceeded on the principle that gold and
silver, independently of their value as a commercial medium, constituted,
in a peculiar sense, the wealth of a country. This error, common, as I
have said, to other European nations, was eminently fatal to Spain, since
the produce of its native mines before the discovery of America, [68] and
of those in that quarter afterwards, formed its great staple. As such,
these metals should have enjoyed every facility for transportation to
other countries, where their higher value would afford a corresponding
profit to the exporter.

The sumptuary laws of Ferdinand and Isabella are open, for the most part,
to the same objections with those just noticed. Such laws, prompted in a
great degree, no doubt, by the declamations of the clergy against the pomp
and vanities of the world, were familiar, in early times, to most European
states. There was ample scope for them in Spain, where the example of
their Moslem neighbors had done much to infect all classes with a fondness
for sumptuous apparel, and a showy magnificence of living. Ferdinand and
Isabella fell nothing short of the most zealous of their predecessors, in
their efforts to restrain this improvident luxury. They did, however, what
few princes on the like occasions have done--enforced the precept by their
own example. Some idea of their habitual economy, or rather frugality, may
be formed from a remonstrance presented by the commons to Charles the
Fifth, soon after his accession, which represents his daily household
expenses as amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand maravedies; while
those of the Catholic sovereigns were rarely fifteen thousand, or one-
tenth of that sum. [69]

They passed several salutary laws for restraining the ambitious
expenditure at weddings and funerals, as usual, most affected by those who
could least afford it. [70] In 1494, they issued a pragmatic, prohibiting
the importation or manufacture of brocades, or of gold or silver
embroidery, and also plating with these metals. The avowed object was to
check the growth of luxury and the waste of the precious metals. [71]

These provisions had the usual fate of laws of this kind. They gave an
artificial and still higher value to the prohibited article. Some evaded
them. Others indemnified themselves for the privation, by some other, and
scarcely less expensive variety of luxury. Such, for example, were the
costly silks, which came into more general use after the conquest of
Granada. But here the government, on remonstrance of the cortes, again
interposed its prohibition, restricting the privilege of wearing them to
certain specified classes. [72] Nothing, obviously, could be more
impolitic than these various provisions directed against manufactures,
which, under proper encouragement, or indeed without any, from the
peculiar advantages afforded by the country, might have formed an
important branch of industry, whether for the supply of foreign markets,
or for home consumption.

Notwithstanding these ordinances, we find one, in 1500, at the petition of
the silk-growers in Granada, against the introduction of silk thread from
the kingdom of Naples; [73] thus encouraging the production of the raw
material, while they interdicted the uses to which it could be applied.
Such are the inconsistencies into which a government is betrayed by an
over-zealous and impertinent spirit of legislation!

The chief exports of the country in this reign were the fruits and natural
products of the soil, the minerals, of which a great variety was deposited
in its bosom, and the simpler manufactures, as sugar, dressed skins, oil,
wine, steel, etc. [74] The breed of Spanish horses, celebrated in ancient
times, had been greatly improved by the cross with the Arabian. It had,
however, of late years fallen into neglect; until the government, by a
number of judicious laws, succeeded in restoring it to such repute, that
this noble animal became an extensive article of foreign trade. [75] But
the chief staple of the country was wool; which, since the introduction of
English sheep at the close of the fourteenth century, had reached a degree
of fineness and beauty that enabled it, under the present reign, to
compete with any other in Europe. [76]

To what extent the finer manufactures were carried, or made an article of
export, is uncertain. The vagueness of. statistical information in these
early times has given rise to much crude speculation and to extravagant
estimates of their resources, which have been met by a corresponding
skepticism in later and more scrutinizing critics. Capmany, the most acute
of these, has advanced the opinion, that these coarser cloths only were
manufactured in Castile, and those exclusively for home consumption. [77]
The royal ordinances, however, imply, in the character and minuteness of
their regulations, a very considerable proficiency in many of the mechanic
arts. [78] Similar testimony is borne by intelligent foreigners, visiting
or residing in the country at the beginning of the sixteenth century; who
notice the fine cloths and manufacture of arms in Segovia, [79] the silks
and velvets of Granada and Valencia, [80] the woollen and silk fabrics of
Toledo, which gave employment to ten thousand artisans, [81] and curiously
wrought plate of Valladolid, [82] and the fine cutlery and glass
manufactures of Barcelona, rivalling those of Venice. [83]

The recurrence of seasons of scarcity, and the fluctuation of prices,
might suggest a reasonable distrust of the excellence of the husbandry
under this reign. [84] The turbulent condition of the country may account
for this pretty fairly during the early part of it. Indeed, a neglect of
agriculture, to the extent implied by these circumstances, is wholly
irreconcilable with the general tenor of Ferdinand and Isabella's
legislation, which evidently relies on this as the main spring of national
prosperity. It is equally repugnant, moreover, to the reports of
foreigners, who could best compare the state of the country with that of
others at the same period. They extol the fruitfulness of a soil, which
yielded the products of the most opposite climes; the hills clothed with
vineyards and plantations of fruit trees, much more abundant, it would
seem, in the northern regions, than at the present day; the valleys and
delicious vegas, glowing with the ripe exuberance of southern vegetation;
extensive districts, now smitten with the curse of barrenness, where the
traveller scarce discerns the vestige of a road or of a human habitation,
but which then teemed with all that was requisite to the sustenance of the
populous cities in their neighborhood. [85]

The inhabitant of modern Spain or Italy, who wanders amid the ruins of
their stately cities, their grass-grown streets, their palaces and temples
crumbling into dust, their massive bridges choking up the streams they
once proudly traversed, the very streams themselves, which bore navies on
their bosoms, shrunk into too shallow a channel for the meanest craft to
navigate,--the modern Spaniard who surveys these vestiges of a giant race,
the tokens of his nation's present degeneracy, must turn for relief to the
prouder and earlier period of her history, when only such great works
could have been achieved; and it is no wonder that he should be led, in
his enthusiasm, to invest it with a romantic and exaggerated coloring.
[86] Such a period in Spain cannot be looked for in the last, still less
in the seventeenth century, for the nation had then reached the lowest ebb
of its fortunes; [87] nor in the close of the sixteenth, for the
desponding language of cortes shows that the work of decay and
depopulation had then already begun. [88] It can only be found in the
first half of that century, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and
that of their successor, Charles the Fifth; in which last, the state,
under the strong impulse it had received, was carried onward in the career
of prosperity, in spite of the ignorance and mismanagement of those who
guided it.

There is no country which has been guilty of such wild experiments, or has
showed, on the whole, such profound ignorance of the true principles of
economical science, as Spain under the sceptre of the family of Austria.
And, as it is not always easy to discriminate between their acts and those
of Ferdinand and Isabella, under whom the germs of much of the subsequent
legislation may be said to have been planted, this circumstance has
brought undeserved discredit on the government of the latter. Undeserved,
because laws, mischievous in their eventual operation, were not always so
at the time for which they were originally devised; not to add, that what
was intrinsically bad, has been aggravated ten fold under the blind
legislation of their successors. [89] It is also true, that many of the
most exceptionable laws sanctioned by their names, are to be charged on
their predecessors, who had ingrafted their principles into the system
long before; [90] and many others are to be vindicated by the general
practice of other nations, which authorized retaliation on the score of
self-defence. [91]

Nothing is easier than to parade abstract theorems,--true in the
abstract,--in political economy; nothing harder than to reduce them to
practice. That an individual will understand his own interests better than
the government can, or, what is the same thing, that trade, if let alone,
will find its way into the channels on the whole most advantageous to the
community, few will deny. But what is true of all together is not true of
any one singly; and no one nation can safely act on these principles, if
others do not. In point of fact, no nation has acted on them since the
formation of the present political communities of Europe.

All that a new state, or a new government in an old one, can now propose
to itself is, not to sacrifice its interests to a speculative abstraction,
but to accommodate its institutions to the great political system, of
which it is a member. On these principles, and on the higher obligation of
providing the means of national independence in its most extended sense,
much that was bad in the economical policy of Spain, at the period under
review, may be vindicated.

It would be unfair to direct our view to the restrictive measures of
Ferdinand and Isabella, without noticing also the liberal tenor of their
legislation in regard to a great variety of objects. Such, for example,
are the laws encouraging foreigners to settle in the country; [92] those
for facilitating communication by internal improvements, roads, bridges,
canals, on a scale of unprecedented magnitude; [93] for a similar
attention to the wants of navigation, by constructing moles, quays,
lighthouses along the coast, and deepening and extending the harbors, "to
accommodate," as the acts set forth, "the great increase of trade;" for
embellishing and adding in various ways to the accommodations of the
cities; [94] for relieving the subject from onerous tolls and oppressive
monopolies; [95] for establishing a uniform currency and standard of
weights and measures throughout the kingdom, [96] objects of unwearied
solicitude through this whole reign; for maintaining a police, which, from
the most disorderly and dangerous, raised Spain, in the language of
Martyr, to be the safest country in Christendom [97] for such equal
justice, as secured to every man the fruits of his own industry, inducing
him to embark his capital in useful enterprises; and, finally, for
enforcing fidelity to contracts, [98] of which the sovereigns gave such a
glorious example in their own administration, as effectually restored that
public credit, which is the true basis of public prosperity.

While these important reforms were going on in the interior of the
monarchy, it experienced a greater change in its external condition by the
immense augmentation of its territory. The most important of its foreign
acquisitions were those nearest home, Granada and Navarre; at least, they
were the ones most capable, from their position, of being brought under
control, and thoroughly and permanently identified with the Spanish
monarchy. Granada, as we have seen, was placed under the sceptre of
Castile, governed by the same laws, and represented in its cortes, being,
in the strictest sense, part and parcel of the kingdom. Navarre was also
united to the same crown. But its constitution, which bore considerable
analogy to that of Aragon, remained substantially the same as before. The
government, indeed, was administered by a viceroy; but Ferdinand made as
few changes as possible, permitting it to retain its own legislature, its
ancient courts of law, and its laws themselves. So the forms, if not the
spirit of independence, continued to survive its union with the victorious
state. [99]

The other possessions of Spain were scattered over the various quarters of
Europe, Africa, and America. Naples was the conquest of Aragon; or, at
least, made on behalf of that crown. The queen appears to have taken no
part in the conduct of that war, whether distrusting its equity, or its
expediency, in the belief that a distant possession in the heart of Europe
would probably cost more to maintain than it was worth. In fact, Spain is
the only nation, in modern times, which has been able to keep its hold on
such possessions for any very considerable period; a circumstance implying
more wisdom in her policy than is commonly conceded to her. The fate of
the acquisitions alluded to forms no exception to the remark; and Naples,
like Sicily, continued permanently ingrafted on the kingdom of Aragon.

A fundamental change in the institutions of Naples became requisite to
accommodate them to its new relations. Its great offices of state and its
legal tribunals were reorganized. Its jurisprudence, which, under the
Angevin race, and even the first Aragonese, had been adapted to French
usages, was now modelled on the Spanish. The various innovations were
conducted by the Catholic king with his usual prudence; and the reform in
the legislation is commended by a learned and impartial Italian civilian,
as breathing a spirit of moderation and wisdom. [100] He conceded many
privileges to the people, and to the capital especially, whose venerable
university he resuscitated from the decayed state into which it had
fallen, making liberal appropriations from the treasury for its endowment.
The support of a mercenary army, and the burdens incident to the war,
pressed heavily on the people during the first years of his reign. But the
Neapolitans, who, as already noticed, had been transferred too often from
one victor to another to be keenly sensible to the loss of political
independence, were gradually reconciled to his administration, and
testified their sense of its beneficent character by celebrating the
anniversary of his death, for more than two centuries, with public
solemnities, as a day of mourning throughout the kingdom. [101]

But far the most important of the distant acquisitions of Spain were those
secured to her by the genius of Columbus and the enlightened patronage of
Isabella. Imagination had ample range in the boundless perspective of
these unknown regions; but the results actually realized from the
discoveries, during the queen's life, were comparatively insignificant. In
a mere financial view, they had been a considerable charge on the crown.
This was, indeed, partly owing to the humanity of Isabella, who
interfered, as we have seen, to prevent the compulsory exaction of Indian
labor. This was subsequently, and immediately after her death indeed,
carried to such an extent, that nearly half a million of ounces of gold
were yearly drawn from the mines of Hispaniola alone. [102] The pearl
fisheries, [103] and the culture of the sugar-cane, introduced from the
Canaries, [104] yielded large returns under the same inhuman system.

Ferdinand, who enjoyed, by the queen's testament, half the amount of the
Indian revenues, was now fully awakened to their importance. It would be
unjust, however, to suppose his views limited to immediate pecuniary
profits; for the measures he pursued were, in many respects, well
contrived to promote the nobler ends of discovery and colonization. He
invited the persons most eminent for nautical science and enterprise, as
Pinzon, Solis, Vespucci, to his court, where they constituted a sort of
board of navigation, constructing charts, and tracing out new routes for
projected voyages. [105] The conduct of this department was intrusted to
the last-mentioned navigator, who had the glory, the greatest which
accident and caprice ever granted to man, of giving his name to the new

Fleets were now fitted out on a more extended scale, which might vie,
indeed, with the splendid equipments of the Portuguese, whose brilliant
successes in the east excited the envy of their Castilian rivals. The king
occasionally took a share in the voyage, independently of the interest
which of right belonged to the crown. [106.]

The government, however, realized less from these expensive enterprises
than individuals, many of whom, enriched by their official stations, or by
accidentally falling in with some hoard of treasure among the savages,
returned home to excite the envy and cupidity of their countrymen. [107]
But the spirit of adventure was too high among the Castilians to require
such incentive, especially when excluded from its usual field in Africa
and Europe. A striking proof of the facility, with which the romantic
cavaliers of that day could be directed to this new career of danger on
the ocean, was given at the time of the last-meditated expedition into
Italy under the Great Captain. A squadron of fifteen vessels, bound for
the New World, was then riding in the Guadalquivir. Its complement was
limited to one thousand two hundred men; but, on Ferdinand's
countermanding Gonsalvo's enterprise, more than three thousand volunteers,
many of them of noble family, equipped with unusual magnificence for the
Italian service, hastened to Seville, and pressed to be admitted into the
Indian armada. [108] Seville itself was in a manner depopulated by the
general fever of emigration, so that it actually seemed, says a
contemporary, to be tenanted only by women. [109]

In this universal excitement, the progress of discovery was pushed forward
with a success, inferior, indeed, to what might have been effected in the
present state of nautical skill and science, but extraordinary for the
times. The winding depths of the Gulf of Mexico were penetrated, as well
as the borders of the rich but rugged isthmus, which connects the American
continents. In 1512, Florida was discovered by a romantic old knight,
Ponce de Leon, who, instead of the magical fountain of health, found his
grave there. [110] Solis, another navigator, who had charge of an
expedition, projected by Ferdinand, [111] to reach the South Sea by the
circumnavigation of the continent, ran down the coast as far as the great
Rio de la Plata, where he also was cut off by the savages. In 1513, Vasco
Nunez de Balboa penetrated, with a handful of men, across the narrow part
of the Isthmus of Darien, and from the summit of the Cordilleras, the
first of Europeans, was greeted with the long-promised vision of the
southern ocean. [112] The intelligence of this event excited a sensation
in Spain, inferior only to that caused by the discovery of America. The
great object which had so long occupied the imagination of the nautical
men of Europe, and formed the purpose of Columbus's last voyage, the
discovery of a communication with these far western waters, was
accomplished. The famous spice islands, from which the Portuguese had
drawn such countless sums of wealth, were scattered over this sea; and the
Castilians, after a journey of a few leagues, might launch their barks on
its quiet bosom, and reach, and perhaps claim, the coveted possessions of
their rivals, as falling west of the papal line of demarkation. Such were
the dreams, and such the actual progress of discovery, at the close of
Ferdinand's reign.

Our admiration of the dauntless heroism displayed by the early Spanish
navigators, in their extraordinary career, is much qualified by a
consideration of the cruelties with which it was tarnished; too great to
be either palliated or passed over in silence by the historian. As long as
Isabella lived, the Indians found an efficient friend and protector; but
"her death," says the venerable Las Casas, "was the signal for their
destruction." [113] Immediately on that event, the system of
_repartimientos_, originally authorized, as we have seen, by Columbus, who
seems to have had no doubt, from the first, of the crown's absolute right
of property over the natives, [114] was carried to its full extent in the
colonies. [115] Every Spaniard, however humble, had his proportion of
slaves; and men, many of them not only incapable of estimating the awful
responsibility of the situation, but without the least touch of humanity
in their natures, were individually intrusted with the unlimited disposal
of the lives and destinies of their fellow-creatures. They abused this
trust in the grossest manner; tasking the unfortunate Indian far beyond
his strength, inflicting the most refined punishments on the indolent, and
hunting down those who resisted or escaped, like so many beasts of chase,
with ferocious bloodhounds. Every step of the white man's progress in the
New World, may be said to have been on the corpse of a native. Faith is
staggered by the recital of the number of victims immolated in these fair
regions within a very few years after the discovery; and the heart sickens
at the loathsome details of barbarities, recorded by one, who, if his
sympathies have led him sometimes to over-color, can never be suspected of
wilfully misstating facts, of which he was an eye-witness. [116] A selfish
indifference to the rights of the original occupants of the soil, is a sin
which lies at the door of most of the primitive European settlers, whether
papist or puritan, of the New World. But it is light, in comparison with
the fearful amount of crimes to be charged on the early Spanish colonists;
crimes that have, perhaps, in this world, brought down the retribution of
Heaven, which has seen fit to turn this fountain of inexhaustible wealth
and prosperity to the nation into the waters of bitterness.

It may seem strange, that no relief was afforded by the government to
these oppressed subjects. But Ferdinand, if we may credit Las Casas, was
never permitted to know the extent of the injuries done to them. [117] He
was surrounded by men in the management of the Indian department, whose
interest it was to keep him in ignorance. [118] The remonstrances of some
zealous missionaries led him, [119] in 1501, to refer the subject of the
repartimientos to a council of jurists and theologians. This body yielded
to the representations of the advocates of the system, that it was
indispensable for maintaining the colonies, since the European was
altogether unequal to labor in this tropical climate; and that it,
moreover, afforded the only chance for the conversion of the Indian, who,
unless compelled, could never be brought in contact with the white man.

On these grounds, Ferdinand openly assumed for himself and his ministers
the responsibility of maintaining this vicious institution; and
subsequently issued an ordinance to that effect, accompanied, however, by
a variety of humane and equitable regulations for restraining its abuse.
[121] The license was embraced in its full extent; the regulations were
openly disregarded. [122] Several years after, in 1515, Las Casas, moved
by the spectacle of human suffering, returned to Spain, and pleaded the
cause of the injured native, in tones which made the dying monarch tremble
on his throne. It was too late, however, for the king to execute the
remedial measures he contemplated. [123] The efficient interference of
Ximenes, who sent a commission for the purpose to Hispaniola, was attended
with no permanent results. And the indefatigable "protector of the
Indians" was left to sue for redress at the court of Charles, and to
furnish a splendid, if not a solitary example there, of a bosom penetrated
with the true spirit of Christian philanthropy. [124]

I have elsewhere examined the policy pursued by the Catholic sovereigns in
the government of their colonies. The supply of precious metals yielded by
them eventually proved far greater than had ever entered into the
conception of the most sanguine of the early discoverers. Their prolific
soil and genial climate, moreover, afforded an infinite variety of
vegetable products, which might have furnished an unlimited commerce with
the mother country. Under a judicious protection, their population and
productions, steadily increasing, would have enlarged to an incalculable
extent the general resources of the empire. Such, indeed, might have been
the result of a wise system of legislation.

But the true principles of colonial policy were sadly misunderstood in the
sixteenth century. The discovery of a world was estimated, like that of a
rich mine, by the value of its returns in gold and silver. Much of
Isabella's legislation, it is true, is of that comprehensive character,
which shows that she looked to higher and far nobler objects. But with
much that is good, there was mingled, as in most of her institutions, one
germ of evil, of little moment at the time, indeed, but which, under the
vicious culture of her successors, shot up to a height that overshadowed
and blighted all the rest. This was the spirit of restriction and
monopoly, aggravated by the subsequent laws of Ferdinand, and carried to
an extent under the Austrian dynasty, that paralyzed colonial trade.

Under their most ingeniously perverse system of laws, the interests of
both the parent country and the colonies were sacrificed. The latter,
condemned to look for supplies to an incompetent source, were miserably
dwarfed in their growth; while the former contrived to convert the
nutriment which she extorted from the colonies into a fatal poison. The
streams of wealth which flowed in from the silver quarries of Zacatecas
and Potosi, were jealously locked up within the limits of the Peninsula.
The great problem, proposed by the Spanish legislation of the sixteenth
century, was the reduction of prices in the kingdom to the same level as
in other European nations. Every law that was passed, however, tended, by
its restrictive character, to augment the evil. The golden tide, which,
permitted a free vent, would have fertilized the region through which it
poured, now buried the land under a deluge which blighted every green and
living thing. Agriculture, commerce, manufactures, every branch of
national industry and improvement, languished and fell to decay; and the
nation, like the Phrygian monarch, who turned all that he touched to gold,
cursed by the very consummation of its wishes, was poor in the midst of
its treasures.

From this sad picture, let us turn to that presented by the period of our
History, when, the clouds and darkness having passed away, a new morn
seemed to break upon the nation. Under the firm but temperate sway of
Ferdinand and Isabella, the great changes we have noticed were effected
without convulsion in the state. On the contrary, the elements of the
social system, which before jarred so discordantly, were brought into
harmonious action. The restless spirit of the nobles was turned from civil
faction to the honorable career of public service, whether in arms or
letters. The people at large, assured of the security of private rights,
were occupied with the different branches of productive labor. Trade, as
is abundantly shown by the legislation of the period, had not yet fallen
into the discredit which attached to it in later times. [125] The precious
metals, instead of flowing in so abundantly as to palsy the arm of
industry, served only to stimulate it. [126]

The foreign intercourse of the country was every day more widely extended.
Her agents and consuls were to be found in all the principal ports of the
Mediterranean and the Baltic. [127] The Spanish mariner, instead of
creeping along the beaten track of inland navigation, now struck boldly
across the great western ocean. The new discoveries had converted the land
trade with India into a sea trade; and the nations of the Peninsula, who
had hitherto lain remote from the great highways of commerce, now became
the factors and carriers of Europe.

The flourishing condition of the nation was seen in the wealth and
population of its cities, the revenues of which, augmented in all to a
surprising extent, had increased, in some, forty and even fifty fold
beyond what they were at the commencement of the reign; [128] the ancient
and lordly Toledo; Burgos, with its bustling, industrious traders; [129]
Valladolid, sending forth its thirty thousand warriors from its gates,
where the whole population now scarcely reaches two-thirds of that number;
[130] Cordova, in the south, and the magnificent Granada, naturalizing in
Europe the arts and luxuries of the east; Saragossa, "the abundant," as
she was called from her fruitful territory; Valencia, "the beautiful;"
Barcelona, rivalling in independence and maritime enterprise the proudest
of the Italian republics; [131] Medina del Campo, whose fairs were already
the great mart for the commercial exchanges of the Peninsula; [132] and
Seville, [133] the golden gate of the Indies, whose quays began to be
thronged with merchants from the most distant countries of Europe.

The resources of the inhabitants were displayed in the palaces and public
edifices, fountains, aqueducts, gardens, and other works of utility and
ornament. This lavish expenditure was directed by an improved taste.
Architecture was studied on purer principles than before, and, with the
sister arts of design, showed the influence of the new connection with
Italy in the first gleams of that excellence, which shed such lustre over
the Spanish school at the close of the century. [134] A still more decided
impulse was given to letters. More printing presses were probably at work
in Spain in the infancy of the art, than at the present day. [135] Ancient
seminaries were remodelled; new ones were created. Barcelona, Salamanca,
and Alcala, whose cloistered solitudes are now the grave, rather than the
nursery of science, then swarmed with thousands of disciples, who, under
the generous patronage of the government, found letters the surest path to
preferment. [136] Even the lighter branches of literature felt the
revolutionary spirit of the times, and, after yielding the last fruits of
the ancient system, displayed new and more beautiful varieties, under the
influence of Italian culture. [137]

With this moral development of the nation, the public revenues, the sure
index, when unforced, of public prosperity, went on augmenting with
astonishing rapidity. In 1474, the year of Isabella's accession, the
ordinary rents of the Castilian crown amounted to 885,000 reals; [138] in
1477, to 2,390,078; in 1482, after the resumption of the royal grants, to
12,711,591; and finally in 1504, when the acquisition of Granada [139] and
the domestic tranquillity of the kingdom had encouraged the free expansion
of all its resources, to 26,283,334; or thirty times the amount received
at her accession. [140] All this, it will be remembered, was derived from
the customary established taxes, without the imposition of a single new
one. Indeed, the improvements in the mode of collection tended materially
to lighten the burdens on the people.

The accounts of the population at this early period are, for the most
part, vague and unsatisfactory. Spain, in particular, has been the subject
of the most absurd, though, as it seems, not incredible estimates,
sufficiently evincing the paucity of authentic data. [141] Fortunately,
however, we labor under no such embarrassment as regards Castile in
Isabella's reign. By an official report to the crown on the organization
of the militia, in 1492, it appears that the population of the kingdom
amounted to 1,500,000 _vecinos_ or householders; or, allowing four
and a half to a family (a moderate estimate), to 6,750,000 souls. [142]
This census, it will be observed, was limited to the provinces immediately
composing the crown of Castile, to the exclusion of Granada, Navarre, and
the Aragonese dominions. [143] It was taken, moreover, before the nation
had time to recruit from the long and exhausting struggle of the Moorish
war, and twenty-five years before the close of the reign, when the
population, under circumstances peculiarly favorable, must have swelled to
a much larger amount. Thus circumscribed, however, it was probably
considerably in advance of that of England at the same period. [144] How
have the destinies of the two countries since been reversed?

The territorial limits of the monarchy, in the mean time, went on
expanding beyond example;--Castile and Leon, brought under the same
sceptre with Aragon and its foreign dependencies, Sicily and Sardinia;
with the kingdoms of Granada, Navarre, and Naples; with the Canaries,
Oran, and the other settlements in Africa; and with the islands and vast
continents of America. To these broad domains, the comprehensive schemes
of the sovereigns would have added Portugal; and their arrangements for
this, although defeated for the present, opened the way to its eventual
completion under Philip the Second. [145]

The petty states, which had before swarmed over the Peninsula,
neutralizing each other's operations, and preventing any effective
movement abroad, were now amalgamated into one whole. Sectional jealousies
and antipathies, indeed, were too sturdily rooted to be wholly
extinguished; but they gradually subsided, under the influence of a common
government, and community of interests. A more enlarged sentiment was
infused into the people, who, in their foreign relations, at least,
assumed the attitude of one great nation. The names of Castilian and
Aragonese were merged in the comprehensive one of Spaniard; and Spain,
with an empire which stretched over three-quarters of the globe, and which
almost realized the proud boast that the sun never set within her borders,
now rose, not to the first class only, but to the first place, in the
scale of European powers.

The extraordinary circumstances of the country tended naturally to nourish
the lofty, romantic qualities, and the somewhat exaggerated tone of
sentiment, which always pervaded the national character. The age of
chivalry had not faded away in Spain, as in most other lands. [146] It was
fostered, in time of peace, by the tourneys, jousts, and other warlike
pageants, which graced the court of Isabella. [147] It gleamed out, as we
have seen, in the Italian campaigns under Gonsalvo de Cordova, and shone
forth in all its splendors in the war of Granada. "This was a right gentle
war," says Navagiero, in a passage too pertinent to be omitted, "in which,
as firearms were comparatively little used, each knight had the
opportunity of showing his personal prowess; and rare was it, that a day
passed without some feat of arms and valorous exploit. The nobility and
chivalry of the land all thronged there to gather renown. Queen Isabel,
who attended with her whole court, breathed courage into every heart.
There was scarce a cavalier, who was not enamoured of some one or other of
her ladies, the witness of his achievements, and who, as she presented him
his weapons, or some token of her favor, admonished him to bear himself
like a true knight, and show the strength of his passion by his valiant
deeds. [148] What knight so craven then," exclaims the chivalrous
Venetian, "that he would not have been more than a match for the stoutest
adversary; or who would not sooner have lost his life a thousand times,
than return dishonored to the lady of his love. In truth," he concludes,
"this conquest may be said to have been achieved by love, rather than by
arms." [149]

The Spaniard was a knight-errant, in its literal sense, [150] roving over
seas on which no bark had ever ventured, among islands and continents
where no civilized man had ever trodden, and which fancy peopled with all
the marvels and drear enchantments of romance; courting danger in every
form, combating everywhere, and everywhere victorious. The very odds
presented by the defenceless natives among whom he was cast, "a thousand
of whom," to quote the words of Columbus, "were not equal to three
Spaniards," was in itself typical of his profession; [151] and the
brilliant destinies to which the meanest adventurer was often called, now
carving out with his good sword some "El Dorado" more splendid than fancy
had dreamed of, and now overturning some old barbaric dynasty, were full
as extraordinary as the wildest chimeras which Ariosto ever sang, or
Cervantes satirized.

His countrymen who remained at home, feeding greedily on the reports of
his adventures, lived almost equally in an atmosphere of romance. A spirit
of chivalrous enthusiasm penetrated the very depths of the nation,
swelling the humblest individual with lofty aspirations, and a proud
consciousness of the dignity of his nature. "The princely disposition of
the Spaniards," says a foreigner of the time, "delighteth me much, as well
as the gentle nurture and noble conversation, not merely of those of high
degree, but of the citizen, peasant, and common laborer." [152] What
wonder that such sentiments should be found incompatible with sober,
methodical habits of business, or that the nation indulging them should be
seduced from the humble paths of domestic industry to a brilliant and
bolder career of adventure. Such consequences became too apparent in the
following reign. [153]

In noticing the circumstances that conspired to form the national
character, it would be unpardonable to omit the establishment of the
Inquisition, which contributed so largely to counterbalance the benefits
resulting from Isabella's government; an institution which has done more
than any other to stay the proud march of human reason; which, by imposing
uniformity of creed, has proved the fruitful parent of hypocrisy and
superstition; which has soured the sweet charities of human life, [154]
and, settling like a foul mist on the goodly promise of the land, closed
up the fair buds of science and civilization ere they were fully opened.
Alas, that such a blight should have fallen on so gallant and generous a
people! That it should have been brought on it too by one of such
unblemished patriotism and purity of motive, as Isabella! How must her
virtuous spirit, if it be permitted the departed good to look down on the
scene of their earthly labors, mourn over the misery and moral
degradation, entailed on her country by this one act! So true is it, that
the measures of this great queen have had a permanent influence, whether
for good or evil, on the destinies of her country.

The immediate injury inflicted on the nation by the spirit of bigotry in
the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, although greatly exaggerated, [155]
was doubtless serious enough. Under the otherwise beneficent operation of
their government, however, the healthful and expansive energies of the
state were sufficient to heal up these and deeper wounds, and still carry
it onward in the career of prosperity. With this impulse, indeed, the
nation continued to advance higher and higher, in spite of the system of
almost unmingled evil pursued in the following reigns. The glories of this
later period, of the age of Charles the Fifth, as it is called, must find
their true source in the measures of his illustrious predecessors. It was
in their court that Boscan, Garcilasso, Mendoza, and the other master-
spirits were trained, who moulded Castilian literature into the new and
more classical forms of later times. [156] It was under Gonsalvo de
Cordova, that Leyva, Pescara, and those great captains with their
invincible legions were formed, who enabled Charles the Fifth to dictate
laws to Europe for half a century. And it was Columbus, who not only led
the way, but animated the Spanish navigator with the spirit of discovery.
Scarcely was Ferdinand's reign brought to a close, before Magellan
completed, what that monarch had projected, the circumnavigation of the
southern continent; the victorious banners of Cortes had already
penetrated into the golden realms of Montezuma; and Pizarro, a very few
years later, following up the lead of Balboa, embarked on the enterprise
which ended in the downfall of the splendid dynasty of the Incas.

Thus it is, that the seed sown under a good system continues to yield
fruit in a bad one. The season of the most brilliant results, however, is
not always that of the greatest national prosperity. The splendors of
foreign conquest in the boasted reign of Charles the Fifth were dearly
purchased by the decline of industry at home, and the loss of liberty. The
patriot will see little to cheer him in this "golden age" of the national
history, whose outward show of glory will seem to his penetrating eye only
the hectic brilliancy of decay. He will turn to an earlier period, when
the nation, emerging from the sloth and license of a barbarous age, seemed
to renew its ancient energies, and to prepare like a giant to run its
course; and glancing over the long interval since elapsed, during the
first half of which the nation wasted itself on schemes of mad ambition,
and in the latter has sunk into a state of paralytic torpor, he will fix
his eye on the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, as the most glorious epoch
in the annals of his country.


[1] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6.

[2] Among the minor means for diminishing the consequence of the nobility,
may be mentioned the regulation respecting the "privilegios rodados";
instruments formerly requiring to be countersigned by the great lords and
prelates, but which, from the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, were
submitted for signature only, to officers especially appointed for the
purpose. Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, lib. 2, cap. 12.

[3] Ante, Introd. Sect. 1.

[4]A pertinent example of this policy of the sovereigns occurred in the
cortes of Madrigal, 1476; where, notwithstanding the important subjects of
legislation, none but the third estate were present. (Pulgar Reyes
Catolicos, p. 94.) An equally apposite illustration is afforded by the
care to summon the great vassals to the cortes of Toledo, in 1480, when
matters nearly touching them, as the revocation of their honors and
estates, were under discussion, but not till then. Ibid., p. 165.

[5] The same principle made them equally vigilant in maintaining the
purity of those in office. Oviedo mentions, that in 1497 they removed a
number of jurists, on the charge of bribery and other malversation, from
their seats in the royal council. Quincuagenas, MS., dial. de Grizio.

[6] See a letter of the council to Charles V., commending the course
adopted by his grandparents in their promotions to office, apud Carbajal,
Anales, MS., ano 1517, cap. 4.

[7] Yet strange instances of promotion are not wanting in Spanish history;
witness the adventurer Ripperda, in Philip V.'s time, and the Prince of
the Peace, in our own; men, who, owing their success less to their own
powers, than the imbecility of others, could lay no claim to the bold and
independent sway exercised by Ximenes.

[8] Ante, Part I., Chapter 19.--"No os parece a vos," says Oviedo, in one
of his Dialogues, "que es mejor ganado eso, que les da su principe por sus
servicios, e lo que llevan justamente de sus oficios, que lo que se
adquiere robando capas agenas, e matando e vertiendo sangre de
Cristianos?" (Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.) The sentiment
would have been too enlightened for a Spanish cavalier of the fifteenth

[9] In the cortes of Calatayud, in 1515, the Aragonese nobles withheld the
supplies, with the design of compelling the crown to relinquish certain
rights of jurisdiction, which it assumed over their vassals. "Les
parecio," said the archbishop of Saragossa, in a speech on the occasion,
"que auian perdido mucho, en que el ceptro real cobrasse lo suyo, por su
industria. ***** Esto los otros estados del reyno lo atribuyeron a gran
virtud: y lo estimauan por beneficio inmortal." (Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 10, cap. 93.) The other estates, in fact, saw their interests too
clearly, not to concur with the crown in this assertion of its ancient
prerogative. Blancas, Modo de Proceder, fol. 100.

[10] Such, for example, were those of great chancellor, of admiral, and of
constable of Castile. The first of these ancient offices was permanently
united by Isabella with that of archbishop of Toledo. The office of
admiral became hereditary, after Henry III., in the noble family of
Enriquez, and that of constable in the house of Velasco. Although of great
authority and importance in their origin, and, indeed, in the time of the
Catholic sovereigns, these posts gradually, after becoming hereditary,
declined into mere titular dignities. Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, lib.
2, cap. 8, 10; lib. 3, cap. 21.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 24.

[11] The duke of Infantado, head of the ancient house of Mendoza, whose
estates lay in Castile, and, indeed, in most of the provinces of the
kingdom, is described by Navagiero as living in great magnificence. He
maintained a body guard of 200 foot, besides men-at-arms; and could muster
more than 30,000 vassals. (Viaggio, fol. 6, 33.) Oviedo makes the same
statement. (Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 8.) Lucio Marineo,
among other things in his curious _farrago_, has given an estimate of
the rents, "poco mas 6 menos," of the great nobility of Castile and
Aragon, whose whole amount he computes at one-third of those of the whole
kingdom. I will select a few of the names familiar to us in the present

Enriquez, admiral of Castile, 50,000 ducats income, equal to $440,000.
Velasco, constable of Castile, 60,000 ducats income, estates in Old
Toledo, duke of Alva, 50,000 ducats income, estates in Castile and
Mendoza, duke of Infantado, 50,000 ducats income, estates in Castile and
other provinces.
Guzman, duke of Medina Sidonia, 55,000 ducats income, estates in
Cerda, duke of Medina Celi, 30,000 ducats income, estates in Castile and
Ponce de Leon, duke of Arcos, 25,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia.
Pacheco, duke of Escalona (marquis of Villena), 60,000 ducats income,
estates in Castile.
Cordova, duke of Sessa, 60,000 ducats income, estates in Naples and
Aguilar, marquis of Priego, 40,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia and
Mendoza, count of Tendilla, 15,000 ducats income, estates in Castile.
Pimentel, count of Benavente, 60,000 ducats income, estates in Castile.
Giron, count of Urena, 20,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia.
Silva, count of Cifuentes, 10,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia.

(Cosas Memorables, fol. 24, 25.) The estimate is confirmed, with some
slight discrepancies, by Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 18, 33, et alibi. See
also Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, discurso 2.

[12] "En casa de aquellos Principes estaban las hijas de los principales
senores 6 cavalleros por damas de la Reyna 6 de las Infantas sus hijas, y
en la corte andaban todos los mayorazgos y hijos de grandes 4 los mas
heredados de sus reynos." Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 4,
dial 44.

[13] "Como quier que oia el parecer de _personal religiosas_ e de los
otros letrados que cerca della eran, pero la mayor parte seguia las cosas
por su arbitrio." Pulgar, Reyes Catolicos, part 1, cap. 4.

[14] Lucio Marineo has collected many particulars respecting the great
wealth of the Spanish clergy in his time. There were four metropolitan
sees in Castile.

  Toledo, income 80,000 ducats.
  St. James, "   24,000   "
  Seville,   "   20,000   "
  Granada,   "   10,000   "

There were twenty-nine bishoprics, whose aggregate revenues, very
unequally apportioned, amounted to 251,000 ducats. The church livings in
Aragon were much fewer and leaner than in Castile. (Cosas Memorables, fol.
23.) The Venetian Navagiero, speaks of the metropolitan church of Toledo,
as "the wealthiest in Christendom;" its canons lived in stately palaces,
and its revenues, with those of the archbishopric, equalled those of the
whole city of Toledo. (Viaggio, fol. 9.) He notices also the great
opulence of the churches of Seville, Guadalupe, etc., fol. 11, 13.

[15] See Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 11, 140, 141, 171, et loc. al.--From
one of these ordinances, it appears the clergy were not backward in
remonstrating against what they deemed an infringement of their rights.
(Fol. 172.) The queen, however, while she guarded against their
usurpations, interfered more than once, with her usual sense of justice,
on their application, to shield them from the encroachments of the civil
tribunals. Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudito, tom. iii. pp. 98, 99.

[16] See Part I., Chapter 6, of this History.

[17] See examples of this in Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudito, tom.
iii. pp. 95-102.--Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 14.

[18] Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudite, tom. iii. p. 94.--L. Marineo,
Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.

[19] Oviedo bears emphatic testimony to this. "En nuestros tiempos ha
habido en Espana de nuestra Nacion grandes varones Letrados, excelentes
Perlados y Religiosos y personas que por suos habilidades y sciencias han
subido a las mas altas dignidades de Capelos e de Arzobispados y todo lo
que mas se puede alcanzar, en la Iglesia de Dios." Quincuagenas, MS.,
dial. de Talavera.--Col. de Cedulas, tom. i. p. 400.

[20] "Lo qne debe admirar es, que en el tiempo mismo que se contendia con
tanto ardor, obtuvieron los Reyes de la Santa Sede mas gracias y
privilegios que ninguno de sus sucesores; prueba de su felicidad y de su
prudentisima conducta." Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudito, tom. in. p.

[21] "Porque la igualidad de la justicia que los bienauenturados Principes
hazian era tal, que todos los hombres de qualquier condicion que fuessen:
aora nobles, y caualleros: aora plebeyos, y labradores, y riejos, o
pobres, flacos, o fuertes, senores, o sieruos en lo que a la justicia
tocaua todos fuessen iguales." Cosas Memorables, fol. 180.

[22] These beneficial changes were made with the advice, and through the
agency of Ximenes. (Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 24.--Quintanilla,
Archetypo, p. 181.) The _alcavala_, a tax of one-tenth on all transfers of
property, produced more than any other branch of the revenue. As it was
originally designed, more than a century before, to furnish funds for the
Moorish war, Isabella, as we have seen in her testament, entertained great
scruples as to the right to continue it, without the confirmation of the
people, after that was terminated. Ximenes recommended its abolition,
without any qualification, to Charles V., but in vain. (Idem auct., ubi
supra.) Whatever be thought of its legality, there can be no doubt it was
one of the most successful means ever devised by a government for
shackling the industry and enterprise of its subjects.

[23] A pragmatic was issued, September 18th, 1495, prescribing the weapons
and the seasons for a regular training of the militia. The preamble
declares, that it was made at the instance of the representatives of the
cities and the nobles, who complained, that, in consequence of the
tranquillity, which the kingdom, through the divine mercy had for some
years enjoyed, the people were very generally unprovided with arms,
offensive or defensive, having sold or suffered them to fall into decay,
insomuch that, in their present condition, they would be found wholly
unprepared to meet either domestic disturbance, or foreign invasion.
(Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 83.) What a tribute does this afford, in this
age of violence, to the mild, paternal character of the administration?

[24] The most important were those of Madrigal, in 1476, and of Toledo, in
1480, to which I have often had occasion to refer. "Las mas notables," say
Asso and Mannel, in reference to the latter, "y famosas de este Reynado,
en el qual podemos asegurar, que tuvo principio el mayor aumento, y
arreglo de nuestra Jurisprudencia." (Instituciones, Introd., p. 91.)
Marina notices this cortes with equal panegyric. (Teoria, tom. i. p. 75.)
See also Sempere, Hist. des Cortes, p. 197.

[25] See Part I. Chapters 10, 11, et alibi.

[26] At Valladolid, in 1506. The number of cities having right of
representation, "que acostumbran continuamente embiar procuradores a
cortes," according to Pulgar, was seventeen. (Reyes Catolicos, cap. 95.)
This was before Granada was added. Martyr, writing some years after that
event, enumerates only sixteen, as enjoying the privilege. (Opus Epist.,
epist. 460.) Pulgar's estimate, however, is corroborated by the petition
of the cortes of Valladolid, which, with more than usual effrontery, would
limit the representation to eighteen cities, as prescribed "por algunas
leyes e inmemorial uso." Marina, Teoria, tom. i. p. 161.

[27] Many of these _pragmaticas_ purport, in their preambles, to be
made at the demand of cortes; many more at the petition of corporations or
individuals; and many from the good pleasure of the sovereigns, bound to
"remedy all grievances, and provide for the exigencies of the state."
These ordinances very frequently are stated to have been made with the
advice of the royal council. They were proclaimed in the public squares of
the city, in which they were executed, and afterwards in those of the
principal towns in the kingdom. The doctors Asso and Manuel divide
_pragmaticas_ into two classes; those made at the instance of cortes,
and those emanating from the "sovereign, as _supreme legislator_ of
the kingdom, moved by his anxiety for the common weal." "Muchos de este
genero," they add, "contiene el libro raro intitulado _Pragmaticas del
Reyno_, que se imprimio la primera vez en Alcala en 1528." (Instituciones,
Introd., p. 110.) This is an error;--see note 43, infra.

[28] "Por la presente prematicasencion," said John II., in one of his
ordinances, "lo cual todo e cada cosa dello e parte dello quiero e mando e
ordeno que se guarde e compla daqui adelante para siempre jamas en todas
las cibdades e villas e logares non embargante cualesquier leyes e fueros
e derechos e ordenamientos, constituciones e posesiones e prematicas-
senciones, e usos e costumbres, ca en cuanto a est oatane yo los abrogo e
derogo." (Marina, Teoria, tom. ii. p. 216.) This was the very essence of
despotism, and John found it expedient to retract these expressions, on
the subsequent remonstrance of cortes.

[29] Indeed, it is worthy of remark, as evincing the progress of
civilization under this reign, that most of the criminal legislation is to
be referred to its commencement, while the laws of the subsequent period
chiefly concern the new relations which grow out of an increased domestic
industry. It is in the "Ordenancas Reales," and "Leyes de la Hermandad,"
both published by 1485, that we must look for the measures against
violence and rapine.

[30] Thus, for example, the important criminal laws of the Hermandad, and
the civil code called the "Laws of Toro," were made under the express
sanction of the commons. (Leyes de la Hermandad, fol. l.--Quaderno de las
Leyes y Nuevas Decisiones hechas y ordenadas en la Ciudad de Toro, (Medina
del Campo, 1555,) fol. 49.) Nearly all, if not all, the acts of the
Catholic sovereigns introduced into the famous code of the "Ordenancas
Reales," were passed in the cortes of Madrigal, in 1476, or Toledo, in

[31] It should be stated, however, that the cortes of Valladolid, in 1506,
two years after the queen's death, enjoined Philip and Joanna to make no
laws without the consent of cortes; remonstrating, at the same time,
against the existence of many royal _pragmaticas_, as an evil to be
redressed. "Y por esto se establecio lei que no hiciesen ni renovasen
leyes sino en cortes. ***** Y porque fuera de esta orden se han hecho
muchas prematicas de que estos vuestros reynos se tienen por agraviados,
manden que aquellas se revean y provean y remedien los agravios que las
tales prematicas tienen." (Marina, Teoria, tom. ii. p. 218.) Whether this
is to be understood of the ordinances of the reigning sovereigns, or their
predecessors, may be doubted. It is certain, that the nation, however it
may have acquiesced in the exercise of this power by the late queen, would
not have been content to resign it to such incompetent hands, as those of
Philip and his crazy wife.

[32] "Liberi patriis legibus, nil imperio Regis gubernantur." Opus Epist.,
epist. 438.

[33] Capmany, however, understates the number, when he limits it to four
sessions only during this whole reign. Practica y Estilo, p. 62.

[34] See Part II., Chapter 12, note 7, of this History.--"Si quis
aliquid," says Martyr, speaking of a cortes general held at Monzon, by
Queen Germaine, "sibi contra jus illatum putat, aut a regia corona
quaequam deberi existimat, nunquam dissolvuntur conventus, donec
conquerenti satisfiat, neque Regibus parere in exigendis pecuniis, solent
aliter. Regina quotidie scribit, se vexari eorum petitionibus, nec
exsolvere se quire, quod se maxime optare ostendit. Rex imminentis
necessitatis bellicae vim proponit, ut in aliud tempus querelas differant,
per literas, per nuntios, per ministros, conventum praesidentesque
hortatur monetque, et summissis fere verbis rogare videtur." 1512. (Opus
Epist., epist. 493.) Blancas notices Ferdinand's astuteness, who, instead
of money granted by the Aragonese with difficulty and reservations,
usually applied for troops at once, which were furnished and paid by the
state. (Modo de Proceder, fol. 100, 101.) Zurita tells us, that both the
king and queen were averse to meetings of cortes in Castile oftener than
absolutely necessary, and both took care, on such occasions, to have their
own agents near the deputies, to influence their proceedings. "Todas las
vezes que en lo passado el Rey, y la Reyna dona Isabel llamauan a cortes
en Castilla, temian de las llamar: y despues de llamodos, y ayuntados los
procuradores, ponian tales personas de su parte, que continuamente se
juntassen con ellos; por escusar lo que podria resultar de aquellos
ayuntamientos: y tambien por darles a entender, que no tenian tanto poder,
quanto ellos se imaginauan." (Anales, tom. vi. fol. 96.) This course is as
repugnant to Isabella's character as it is in keeping with her husband's.
Under their joint administration, it is not always easy to discriminate
the part which belongs to each. Their respective characters, and political
conduct in affairs where they were separately concerned, furnish us a
pretty safe clue to our judgment in others.

[35] As, for example, both when he resigned, and resumed the regency. See
Part II., Chapters 17, 20.

[36] In the first cortes after Isabella's death, at Toro, in 1505,
Ferdinand introduced the practice, which has since obtained, of
administering an oath of secrecy to the deputies, as to the proceedings of
the session; a serious wound to popular representation. (Marina, Teoria,
tom. i. p. 273.) Capmany (Practica y Estilo, p. 232.) errs in describing
this as "un arteficio Maquiavelico inventado por _la politica Alemana_."
The German Machiavelism has quite sins enough in this way to answer for.

[37] The introductory law to the "Leyes de Toro" holds this strange
language; "Y porque al rey pertenesce y ha poder de hazer fueros y leyes,
y de las interpretar y emendar donde vieren que cumple," etc. (Leyes de
Toro, fol. 2.) What could John II., or any despot of the Austrian line,
claim more?

[38] See the address of the cortes, in Marina, Teoria, tom. p. 282.

[39] Among the writers repeatedly cited by me, it is enough to point out
the citizen Marina, who has derived more illustrations of his liberal
theory of the constitution from the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella than
from any other; and who loses no opportunity of panegyric on their
"paternal government," and of contrasting it with the tyrannical policy of
later times.

[40] Marina enumerates no less than nine separate codes of civil and
municipal law in Castile, by which the legal decisions were to be
regulated, in Ferdinand and Isabella's time. Ensayo Historico-Critico,
sobre la Antigua Legislacion de Castilla, (Madrid, 1808,) pp. 383-386.--
Asso y Manuel, Instituciones, Introd.

[41] See Part I., Chapter 6, of this History.

[42] "A collection," says senor Clemencin, "of the last importance, and
indispensable to a right understanding of the spirit of Isabella's
government, but, nevertheless, little known to Castilian writers, not
excepting the most learned of them." (Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.
Ilust. 9.) No edition of the _Pragmaticas_ has appeared since the
publication of Philip II.'s "Nueva Recopilacion," in 1567, in which a
large portion of them are embodied. The remainder having no further
authority, the work has gradually fallen into oblivion. But, whatever be
the cause, the fact is not very creditable to professional science in

[43] The earliest edition was at Alcala de Henares, printed by Lanzalao
Polono, in 1503. It was revised and prepared for the press by Johan
Ramirez, secretary of the royal council, from whom the work is often
called "Pragmaticas de Ramirez." It passed through several editions by
1550. Clemencin (ubi supra) enumerates five, but his list is incomplete,
as the one in my possession, probably the second, has escaped his notice.
It is a fine old folio, in black letter, containing in addition some
ordinances of Joanna, and the "Laws of Toro," in 192 folios. On the last
is this notice by the printer. "Fue ympressa la presente obra en la muy
noble y muy leal cibdad de Senilla, por Juan Varela ympressor de libros.
Acabose a dos dias del mes de otubre de mill y quinientos y veynte anos."
The first leaf after the table of contents exhibits the motives of its
publication. "E porque como algunas de ellas (pragmaticas sanciones e
cartas) ha mucho tiempo que se dieron, e otras se hicieron en diversos
tiempos, estan derramadas por muchas partes, no se saben por todos, e aun
muchas de las dichas justicias no tienen comlida noticia de todas ellas,
paresciendo ser necesario e provechoso; mandamos fi los del nuestro
consejo que las hiciesen juntar e corregir e impremir," etc.

[44] "Leyes de Toro," say Asso and Manuel, "veneradas tanto desde
entonces, que se les dio el primer lugar de valimiento sobre todas las del
Reyno." Instituciones, Introd. p. 95.

[45] See the sensible memorial of Jovellanos, "Informe al Real y Supremo
Consejo en el Expediente de Ley Agraria." Madrid, 1795.

There have been several editions of this code, since the first of 1505.
(Marina, Ensayo, No. 450.) I have copies of two editions, in black letter,
neither of them known to Marina; one, above noticed, printed at Seville,
in 1520; and the other at Medina del Campo, in 1555, probably the latest.
The laws were subsequently incorporated in the "Nueva Recopilacion."

[46] "Esta ley," says Jovellanos, "que los jurisconsultos llaman a boca
llena injusta y barbara, lo es mucho mas por la extension quelos
pragmaticas le dieron en sus comentarios." (Informe, p. 76, nota.) The
edition of Medina del Campo, in 1555, is swelled by the commentaries of
Miguel de Cifuentes, till the text, in the language of bibliographers,
looks like "cymba in oceano."

[47] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6.

[48] Leyes del Quaderno Nuevo de las Rentas de las Alcavalas y Franquezas,
hecho en la Vega de Granada, (Salamanca, 1550); a little code of 37
folios, containing 147 laws for the regulation of the crown rents. It was
made in the Vega of Granada, December 10th, 1491. The greater part of
these laws, like so many others of this reign, have been admitted into the
"Nueva Recopilacion."

[49] the head of these, undoubtedly, must be placed Dr. Alfonso Diaz de
Montalvo, noticed more than once in the course of this History. He
illustrated three successive reigns by his labors, which he continued to
the close of a long life, and after he had become blind. The Catholic
sovereigns highly appreciated his services, and settled a pension on him
of 30,000 maravedies. Besides his celebrated compilation of the
"Ordenancas Reales," he wrote commentaries on the ancient code of the
"Fuero Real," and on the "Siete Partidas," printed for the first time
under his own eye, in 1491. (Mendez, Typographia Espanola, p. 183.) Marina
(Ensayo, p. 405) has bestowed a beautiful eulogium on this venerable
lawyer, who first gave to light the principal Spanish codes, and
introduced a spirit of criticism into the national jurisprudence.

[50] This gigantic work was committed, wholly or in part, to Dr. Lorenzo
Galindez de Carbajal. He labored many years on it, but the results of his
labors, as elsewhere noticed, have never been communicated to the public.
See Asso y Manuel, Instituciones, pp. 50, 99.--Marina, Ensayo, pp. 392,
406, and Clemencin, whose Ilust. 9 exhibits a most clear and satisfactory
view of the legal compilations under this reign.

[51] Lord Bacon's comment on Henry VII.'s laws, might apply with equal
force to these of Ferdinand and Isabella. "Certainly his times for good
commonwealth's laws did excel. ***** For his laws, whoso marks them well,
are deep, and not vulgar; not made upon the spur of a particular occasion
for the present, but out of providence of the future, to make the estate
of his people still more and more happy; after the manner of the
legislators in ancient and heroical times." Hist. of Henry VII., Works,
(ed. 1819,) vol. v. p. 60.

[52] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6.

[53] Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 24, 30, 39.--Recop. de las Leyes, (ed.
1640,) tom. i. lib. 2, tit. 5, leyes 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 20; tit. 7, ley 1.--
Ordenancas Reales, lib. 2. tit. 4. The southern chancery, first opened at
Ciudad Real, in 1494, was subsequently transferred by the sovereigns to

[54] Ante, Part I., Chapter 7, note 39.

[55] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6, note 34.

[56] Riol, Informe, apud Seminario Erudito, tom. iii. p. 149.--It
consisted of a vice chancellor, as president, and six ministers, two from
each of the three provinces of the crown. It was consulted by the king on
all appointments and matters of government. The Italian department was
committed to a separate tribunal, called the council of Italy, in 1556.
Capmany (Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iv. Apend. 17) has explained at length
the functions and authority of this institution.

[57] See the nature and broad extent of these powers, in Recop. de Leyes
de las Indias, tom. i. lib. 2, tit. 2, leyes 1, 2.--Also Solorzano,
Politica Indiana, tom. ii. lib. 5, cap. 15; who goes no further back than
the remodelling of this tribunal under Charles V.--Riol, Informe, apud
Semanario Erudito, tom. iii. pp. 159, 160.

The third volume of the Semanario Erudito, pp. 73-233, contains a report,
drawn up, by command of Philip V., in 1726, by Don Santiago Augustin Riol,
on the organization and state of the various tribunals, civil and
ecclesiastical, under Ferdinand and Isabella; together with an account of
the papers contained in their archives. It is an able memorial, replete
with curious information. It is singular that this interesting and
authentic document should have been so little consulted, considering the
popular character of the collection in which it is preserved. I do not
recollect ever to have met with a reference to it in any author. It was by
mere accident, in the absence of a general index, that I stumbled on it in
the _mare magnum_ in which it is engulfed.

[58] "Pusieron los Reyes Catolicos," says the penetrating Mendoza, "el
govierno de la justicia, i cosas publicas en manos de Letrados, gente
media entre los grandes i pequenos, sin ofensa de los linos ni de los
otros. Cuya profesion eran letras legales, comedimiento, secreto, verdad,
vida liana, i sin corrupcion de costumbres." Guerre de Granada, p. 15.

[59] Granada, September 3d, Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 135.--A pragmatic
of similar import was issued by Henry III. Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages,
tom, i., Introd. p. 46.

[60] Granada, August 11th, 1501. Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 137.

[61] Alfaro, November 10th, 1495. Ibid., fol. 136.

[62] See a number of these, collected by Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages,
Introd. pp. 43, 44.

[63] Cited by Robertson, History of America, vol. iii. p. 305.

[64] The fleet fitted out against the Turks, in 1482, consisted of seventy
sail, and that under Gonsalvo, in 1500, of sixty, large and small. (Ante,
Part I., Chapter 6: Part II., Chapter 10.) See other expeditions,
enumerated by Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. p. 50.

[65] Cura de los Palacios, MS., cap. 153; who, indeed, estimates the
complement of this fleet at 25,000 men; a round number, which must
certainly include persons of every description. The Invincible Armada
consisted, according to Dunham, of about 130 vessels, large and small,
20,000 soldiers, and 8,000 seamen. (History of Spain and Portugal, vol. v.
p. 59.) The estimate falls below that of most writers.

[66] En el real de la vega de Granada, December 20th. (Pragmaticas del
Reyno, fol. 133.) "Y les apercibays," enjoins the ordinance, "que los
marauedis porque los vendieren los ban de sacar de nuestros reynos en
mercadurias: y ni en oro ni en plata ni en moneda amonedada de manera que
no pueden pretender ygnorancia: y den fiancas lianas y abonadas de lo
fazer y cumplir assi: y si fallaredes que sacan o lieuan oro o plata o
moneda contra el tenor y forma de las dichas leyes y desta nuestra carta
mandamos vos que gelo torneys: y sea perdido como las dichas leyes mandan,
y demas cayan y incurran en las penas en las leyes de nuestros reynos
contenidas contra los que sacan oro o plata o moneda fuera dellos sin
nuestra licencia y mandado: las quales executad en ellosy en sus

[67] Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 92, 134.--These laws were as old as the
fourteenth century in Castile, and had been renewed by every succeeding
monarch, from the time of John I. (Ordenancas Reales, lib. 6, tit. 9,
leyes 17-22.) Similar ones were passed under the contemporary princes,
Henry VII. and Henry VIII. of England, James IV. of Scotland, etc.

[68]--"Balucis malleator Hispanae," says Martial, noticing the noise made
by the gold-beaters, hammering out the Spanish ore, as one of the chief
annoyances which drove him from the capital, (lib. 12, ep. 57.) See also
the precise statement of Pliny, cited Part I., Chapter 8, of this History.

[69] "Porque haciendose ansi al modo e costumbre de los dichos senores
Reyes pasados, cesaran los inmensos gastos y sin provecho que la mesa e
casa de S. M. se hacen; pues el dano desto notoriamente paresce porque se
halla en el plato real y en los platos que se hacen a los privados e
criados de su casa gastarse cada mio dia ciento y cincuenta mil maravedis;
y los Catolicos Reyes D. Hernando e Dona Isabel, seyendo tan excelentes y
tan poderosos, en su plato y en el plato del principe D. Joan que haya
gloria, e de las senoras infantas con gran numero y multitud de damas no
se gastar cada un dia, seyetido mui abastados como de tales Reyes, mas de
doce a quince mil maravedis." Peticion de la Junta de Tordesillas, October
20, 1520, apud Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 230.

[70] In 1493; repeated in 1501. Recop. de las Leyes, tom. ii. fol. 3.--In
1502. Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 139.

[71] At Segovia, September 2d; also in 1496 and 1498. Pragmaticas del
Reyno, fol. 123, 125, 126.

[72] At Granada, in 1499.--This on petition of cortes, in the year
preceding. Sempere, in his sensible "Historia del Luxo," has exhibited the
series of the manifold sumptuary laws in Castile. It is a history of the
impotent struggle of authority, against the indulgence of the innocent
propensities implanted in our nature, and naturally increasing with
increasing wealth and civilization.

[73] En la nombrada y gran ciudad de Granada, Agosto 20. Pragmaticas del
Reyno, fol. 135.

[74] Pragmaticas del Reyno, passim.--Diccionario Geografico-Hist. de
Espana, tom. i. p. 333--Capmany, Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iii. part 3, cap.
2.--Mines of lead, copper, and silver were wrought extensively in
Guipuzcoa and Biscay.--Col. de Ced., tom. i. no. 25.

[75] Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 127, 128.--Ante, Part II., Chapter 3,
note 12.--The cortes of Toledo, in 1525, complained, "que habia tantos
caballos Espanoles en Francia como en Castilla." (Mem. de la Acad. de
Hist., tom. vi. p. 285.) The trade, however, was contraband; the laws
against the exportation of horses being as ancient as the time of Alfonso
XI. (See also Ordenancas Reales, fol. 85, 86.)

Laws can never permanently avail against national prejudices. Those in
favor of mules have been so strong in the Peninsula, and such the
consequent decay of the fine breed of horses, that the Spaniards have been
compelled to supply themselves with the latter from abroad. Bourgoanne
reckons that 20,000 were annually imported into the country from France,
at the close of the last century. Travels in Spain, tom. i. chap. 4.

[76] Hist. del Luxo, tom. i. p. 170.--"Tiene muchas ouejas," says Marineo,
"cuya lana estan singular, que no solamente se aprouechan della en Espana,
mas tambien se lleua en abundancia a otras partes." (Cosas Memorables,
fol. 3.) He notices especially the fine wool of Molina, in whose territory
400,000 sheep pastured, fol. 19.

[77] Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iii. pp. 338, 339.--"Or if ever exported," he
adds, "it was at some period long posterior to the discovery of America."

[78] Pragmaticas del Reyno, passim.--Many of them were designed to check
impositions, too often practised in the manufacture and sale of goods, and
to keep them up to a fair standard.

[79] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 11.

[80] Ibid., fol. 19.--Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 26.--The Venetian minister,
however, pronounces them inferior to the silks of his own country.

[81] "Proueyda," says Marineo, "de todos officios, y artes mecanicas que
en ella se exercitan mucho: y principalmente en lanor, y exercicio de
lanas, y sedas. Por las quales dos cosas biuen en esta ciudad mas de diez
mil personas. Es de mas desto la ciudad muy rica, por los grandes tratos
de mercadurias." Cosas Memorables, fol. 12.

[82] Ibid., fol. 15.--Navagiero, a more parsimonious eulogist, remarks,
nevertheless, "Sono in Valladolid assai artefici di ogni sorte, e se vi
lavora benessimo de tutte le arti, e sopra tutto d'Argenti, e vi son tanti
argenteri quanti non sono in due altre terre." Viaggio, fol. 35.

[83] Geron. Paulo, a writer at the close of the fifteenth century, cited
by Capmany, Mem. de Barcelona, tom. i. part. 3, p. 23.

[84] The twentieth Ilustracion of Senor Clemencin's invaluable compilation
contains a table of prices of grain, in different parts of the kingdom,
under Ferdinand and Isabella. Take, for example, those of Andalusia. In
1488, a. year of great abundance, the _fanega_ of wheat sold in Andalusia
for 50 maravedies; in 1489 it rose to 100; in 1505, a season of great
scarcity, to 375, and even 600; in 1508, it was at 306; and in 1509, it
had fallen to 85 maravedies. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. pp. 551,

[85] Compare, for example, the accounts of the environs of Toledo and
Madrid, the two most considerable cities in Castile, by ancient and modern
travellers. One of the most intelligent and recent of the latter, in his
journey between these two capitals, remarks, "There is sometimes a visible
track, and sometimes none; most commonly we passed over wide sands. The
country between Madrid and Toledo, I need scarcely say, is ill peopled and
ill cultivated; for it is all a part of the same arid plain, that
stretches on every side around the capital; and which is bounded on this
side by the Tagus. The whole of the way to Toledo, I passed through only
four inconsiderable villages; and saw two others at a distance. A great
part of the land is uncultivated, covered with furze and aromatic plants;
but here and there some corn land is to be seen." (Inglis, Spain in 1830,
vol. i. p. 366.) What a contrast does all this present to the language of
the Italians, Navagiero and Marineo, in whose time the country around
Toledo "surpassed all other districts of Spain, in the excellence and
fruitfulness of the soil;" which, "skilfully irrigated by the waters of
the Tagus, and minutely cultivated, furnished every variety of fruit and
vegetable produce to the neighboring city." While, instead of the sunburnt
plains around Madrid, it is described as situated "in the bosom of a fair
country, with an ample territory, yielding rich harvests of corn and wine,
and all the other aliments of life." Cosas Memorables, fol. 12, 13.--
Viaggio, fol. 7, 8.

[86] Capmany has well exposed some of these extravagances. (Mem. de
Barcelona, tom. in. part. 3, cap. 2.) The boldest of them, however, may
find a warrant in the declarations of the legislature itself. "En los
lugares de obrages de lanas," asserts the cortes of 1594, "donde se solian
labrar veinte y treinta mil arrobas, no se labran hoi seis, y donde habia
senores de ganado de grandisima cantidad, han disminuido en la misma y
mayor proporcion, acaeciendo lo mismo en todas las otras cosas del
comercio universal y particular. Lo cual hace que no haya ciudad de las
principales destos reinos ni lugar ninguno, de donde no falte notable
vecindad, como se echa bien de ver en la muchedumbre de casas que estan
cerradas y despobladas, y en la baja que han dado los arrendamientos de
las pocas que se arriendan y habitan." Apud Mem. de la Acad. de Hist, tom.
vi. p. 304.

[87] A point which most writers would probably agree in fixing at 1700,
the year of Charles II.'s death, the last and most imbecile of the
Austrian dynasty. The population of the kingdom at this time, had dwindled
to 6,000,000. See Laborde, (Itineraire, tom. vi. pp. 125, 143, ed. 1830),
who seems to have better foundation for this census than for most of those
in his table.

[88] See the unequivocal language of cortes, under Philip II. (supra.)
With every allowance, it infers an alarming decline in the prosperity of
the nation.

[89] One has only to read, for an evidence of this, the lib. 6, tit. 18,
of the "Nueva Recopilacion," on "cosas prohibidas;" the laws on gilding
and plating, lib. 5, tit. 24; on apparel and luxury, lib. 7, tit. 12; on
woollen manufactures, lib. 7, tit. 14-17, et legas al. Perhaps no stronger
proof of the degeneracy of the subsequent legislation can be given, than
by contrasting it with that of Ferdinand and Isabella in two important
laws. 1. The sovereigns, in 1492, required foreign traders to take their
returns in the products and manufactures of the country. By a law of
Charles V., 1552, the exportation of numerous domestic manufactures was
prohibited, and the foreign trader, in exchange for domestic wool, was
required to import into the country a certain amount of linen and woollen
fabrics. 2. By an ordinance, in 1500, Ferdinand and Isabella prohibited
the importation of silk thread from Naples, to encourage its production at
home. This appears from the tenor of subsequent laws to have perfectly
succeeded. In 1552, however, a law was passed, interdicting the export of
manufactured silk, and admitting the importation of the raw material. By
this sagacious provision, both the culture of silk, and the manufacture
were speedily crushed in Castile.

[90] See examples of these, in the reigns of Henry III., and John II,
(Recop. de las Leyes, tom. ii. fol. 180, 181.) Such also were the numerous
tariffs fixing the prices of grain, the vexatious class of sumptuary laws,
those for the regulation of the various crafts, and, above, all, on the
exportation of the precious metals.

[91] The English Statute Book alone will furnish abundant proof of this,
in the exclusive regulations of trade and navigation existing at the close
of the fifteenth century. Mr. Sharon Turner has enumerated many, under
Henry VIII., of similar import with, and, indeed, more partial in their
operation than, those of Ferdinand and Isabella. History of England, vol.
iv. pp. 170 et seq.

[92] Ordenancas Reales, lib. 6, tit. 4, ley 6.

[93] Archivo de Simancas; in which most of these ordinances appear to be
registered. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 11.

[94] "Ennoblescense los cibdades e villas en tener casas grandes e bien
fechas en que fragan sus ayuntamientos e concejos," etc. (Ordenancas
Reales, lib. 7, tit. 1, ley 1.) Senor Clemencin has specified the nature
and great variety of these improvements, as collected from the archives of
the different cities of the kingdom. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.
Ilustracion ll.--Col. de Cedulas, tom. iv. no. 9.

[95] Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 63. 91, 93.--Recop. de las Leyes, lib. 5,
tit. 11, ley 12.--Among the acts for restricting monopolies may be
mentioned one, which prohibited the nobility and great landholders from
preventing their tenants' opening inns and houses of entertainment without
their especial license. (Pragmaticas del Reyno, 1492, fol. 96.) The same
abuse, however, is noticed by Mad. d'Aulnoy, in her "Voyage d'Espagne," as
still existing, to the great prejudice of travellers, in the seventeenth
century. Dunlop, Memoirs of Philip IV. and Charles II., vol. ii. chap. 11.

[96] Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 93-112.--Recop. de las Leyes, lib. 5,
tit. 21, 22.

[97] "Ut nulla unquam per se tuta regio, tutiorem se fuisse jactare
possit." Opus Epist., epist. 31.

[98] For various laws tending to secure this, and prevent frauds in trade,
see Ordenancas Reales, lib. 3, tit. 8, ley 5.--Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol.
45, 66, 67, et alibi.--Col. de Cedulas, tom. i. no. 63.

[99] The fullest, though a sufficiently meagre, account of the Navarrese
constitution, is to be found in Capmany's collection, "Practica y Estilo,"
(pp. 250-258,) and in the "Diccionario Geografico Hist, de Espana," (tom.
ii. pp. 140-143.) The historical and economical details in the latter are
more copious.

[100] "Queste furono," says Giannone, "le prime leggi che ci diedero gli
Spagnuoli: leggi tutte provvide e savie, nello stabilir delle quali furono
veramente gli Spagnuoli piu d' ogni altra nazione avveduti, e piu esatti
imitatori de' Romani." Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 5.

[101] Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4; lib. 30, cap. 1, 2,
5.--Signorelli, Coltura nelle Sicilie, tom. iv. p. 84.--Every one knows
the persecutions, the exile, and long imprisonment, which Giannone
suffered for the freedom with which he treated the clergy, in his
philosophical history. The generous conduct of Charles of Bourbon to his
heirs is not so well known. Soon after his accession to the throne of
Naples, that prince settled a liberal pension on the son of the historian,
declaring, that "it did not comport with the honor and dignity of the
government, to permit an individual to languish in indigence, whose parent
had been the greatest man, the most useful to the state, and the most
unjustly persecuted, that the age had produced." Noble sentiments, giving
additional grace to the act which they accompanied. See the decree, cited
by Corniani, Secoli della Letteratura Italiana, (Brescia, 1804-1813,) tom.
ix. art. 15.

[102] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 6, cap. 18.--According to
Martyr, the two mints of Hispaniola yielded 300,000 lbs. of gold annually.
De Rebus Oceanicis, dec. 1, lib. 10.

[103] The pearl fisheries of Cuhagua were worth 75,000 ducats a year.
Herrera, Indian Occidentales, dec 1, lib 7, cap. 9.

[104] Oviedo, Historia Natural de las Indias, lib. 4, cap. 8.--Gomez, De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 165.

[105] Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. iii. documentos 1-13.--Herrera,
Indias Occidentales, dec. 1. lib. 7, cap. 1.

[106] Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. iii. pp. 48, 134.

[107] Bernardin de Santa Clara, treasurer of Hispaniola, amassed, during a
few years' residence there, 96,000 ounces of gold. This same _nouveau
riche_ used to serve gold dust, says Herrera, instead of salt, at his
entertainments. (Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 7, cap. 3.) Many
believed, according to the same author, that gold was so abundant, as to
be dragged up in nets from the beds of the rivers! Lib. 10, cap. 14.

[108] Ante, Part II., Chapter 24.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1,
lib. 10, cap. 6, 7.

[109] "Per esser Sevilla nel loco che e, vi vanno tanti di loro alle
Indie, che la citta resta mal popolata, e quasi in man di donne."
(Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 15.) Horace said, fifteen centuries before,

  "_Impiger extremes curris mercator ad Indos,
  Per mare pauperiem fugieus, per saxa, per ignes._"
                                   _Epist. i. 1._

[110] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 10.--Almost all
the Spanish expeditions in the New World, whether on the northern or
southern continent, have a tinge of romance, beyond what is found in those
of other European nations. One of the most striking and least familiar of
them is that of Ferdinand de Soto, the ill-fated discoverer of the
Mississippi, whose bones bleach beneath its waters. His adventures are
told with uncommon spirit by Mr. Bancroft, vol. i. chap. 2, of his History
of the United States.

[111] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 2, lib. 1, cap. 7.

[112] The life of this daring cavalier forms one in the elegant series of
national biographies by Quintana, "Vidas de Espanoles Celebres," (tom. ii.
pp. 1-82), and is familiar to the English reader in Irving's "Companions
of Columbus." The third volume of Navarrete's laborious compilation is
devoted to the illustration of the minor Spanish voyagers, who followed up
the bold track of discovery, between Columbus and Cortes. Coleccion de

[113] Las Casas, Memoires, Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 189.

[114] "Y crean (Vuestras Altezas) questa isla y todas las otras son asi
suyas corao Castilla, que aqui no falta salvo asiento y mandarles hacer lo
que quisieren." Primera Carta de Colon, apud Navarrete, Coleccion de
Viages, tom. i. p. 93.

[115] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 8, cap. 9.--Las Casas,
Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. pp. 228, 229.

[116] See the various Memorials of Las Casas, some of them expressly
prepared for the council of the Indies. He affirms, that more than
12,000,000 lives were wantonly destroyed in the New World, within thirty-
eight years after the discovery, and this in addition to those
exterminated in the conquest of the country. (Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente,
tom. i. p. 187.) Herrera admits that Hispaniola was reduced, in less than
twenty-five years, from 1,000,000 to 14,000 souls. (Indias Occidentales,
dec. 1. lib. 10, cap. 12.) The numerical estimates of a large savage
population, must, of course, be in a great degree hypothetical. That it
was large, however, in these fair regions, may readily be inferred from
the facilities of subsistence, and the temperate habits of the natives.
The minimum sum in the calculation, when the number had dwindled to a few
thousand, might be more easily ascertained.

[117] Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 228.

[118] One resident at the court, says the bishop of Chiapa, was proprietor
of 800, and another of 1100 Indians. (Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p.
238.) We learn their names from Herrera. The first was Bishop Fonseca, the
latter the comendador Conchillos, both prominent men in the Indian
department. (Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 14.) The last-named
person was the same individual sent by Ferdinand to his daughter in
Flanders, and imprisoned there by the archduke Philip. After that prince's
death, he experienced signal favors from the Catholic king, and amassed
great wealth as secretary of the Indian board. Oviedo has devoted one of
his dialogues to him. Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.

[119]The Dominican and other missionaries, to their credit be it told,
labored with unwearied zeal and courage for the conversion of the natives,
and the vindication of their natural rights. Yet these were the men, who
lighted the fires of the Inquisition in their own land. To such opposite
results may the same principle lead, under different circumstances!

[120] Las Casas concludes an elaborate memorial, prepared for the
government, in 1542, on the best means of arresting the destruction of the
aborigines, with two propositions. 1. That the Spaniards would still
continue to settle in America, though slavery were abolished, from the
superior advantages for acquiring riches it offered over the Old World. 2.
That if they would not, this would not justify slavery, since "_God
forbids us to do evil that good may come of it_." Rare maxim, from a
Spanish churchman of the sixteenth century! The whole argument, which
comprehends the sum of what has been since said more diffusely in defence
of abolition, is singularly acute and cogent. In its abstract principles
it is unanswerable, while it exposes and denounces the misconduct of his
countrymen, with a freedom which shows the good bishop knew no other fear
than that of his Maker.

[121] Recop. de Leyes de las Indias, August 14th, 1509, lib. 6, tit. 8,
ley l.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 14.

[122] The text expresses nearly enough the subsequent condition of things
in Spanish America. "No government," says Heeren, "has done so much for
the aborigines as the Spanish." (Modern History, Bancroft's trans., vol.
i. p. 77.) Whoever peruses its colonial codes, may find much ground for
the eulogium. But are not the very number and repetition of these humane
provisions sufficient proof of their inefficacy?

[123] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 2, lib. 2, cap. 3.--Las Casas,
Memoire, apud Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 239.

[124] In the remarkable discussion between the doctor Sepulveda and Las
Casas, before a commission named by Charles V., in 1550, the former
vindicated the persecution of the aborigines by the conduct of the
Israelites towards their idolatrous neighbors. But the Spanish Fenelon
replied, that "the behavior of the Jews was no precedent for Christians;
that the law of Moses was a law of rigor; but that of Jesus Christ, one of
grace, mercy, peace, good-will, and charity." (Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente,
tom. i. p. 374.) The Spaniard first persecuted the Jews, and then quoted
them as an authority for persecuting all other infidels.

[125] It is only necessary to notice the contemptuous language of Philip
II.'s laws, which designate the most useful mechanic arts, as those of
blacksmiths, shoemakers, leather-dressers, and the like, as "_oficios
viles y baxos_."

A whimsical distinction prevails in Castile, in reference to the more
humble occupations. A man of gentle blood may be a coachman, lacquey,
scullion, or any other menial, without disparaging his nobility, which is
said to _sleep_ in the mean while. But he fixes on it an indelible
stain, if he exercises any mechanical vocation. "Hence," says Capmany, "I
have often seen a village in this province, in which the vagabonds,
smugglers, and hangmen even, were natives, while the farrier, shoemaker,
etc., was a foreigner." (Mem. de Barcelona, tom. i. part. 3, p. 40; tom.
iii. part. 2, pp. 317, 318.) See also some sensible remarks on the
subject, by Blanco White, the ingenious author of Doblado's Letters from
Spain, p. 44.

[126] "The interval between the acquisition of money, and the rise of
prices," Hume observes," is the only time when increasing gold and silver
are favorable to industry." (Essays, part 2, essay 3.) An ordinance of
June 13th, 1497, complains of the scarcity of the precious metals, and
their insufficiency to the demands of trade. (Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol.
93.) It appears, however, from Zuniga, that the importation of gold from
the New World began to have a sensible effect on the prices of
commodities, from that very year. Annales de Sevilla, p. 415.

[127] Mr. Turner has made several extracts from the Harleian MSS., showing
that the trade of Castile with England was very considerable in Isabella's
time. (History of England, vol. iv. p. 90.) A pragmatic of July 21st,
1494, for the erection of a consulate at Burgos, notices the commercial
establishments in England, France, Italy, and the Low Countries. This
tribunal, with other extensive privileges, was empowered to hear and
determine suits between merchants; "which," says the plain spoken
ordinance, "in the hands of lawyers are never brought to a close; porque
se presentauan escritos y libelos de letrados de manera que por mal pleyto
que fuesse le sostenian los letrados de manera que _los hazian
immortales_." (Pragmaticas del Reyno, fol. 146-148.) This institution
rose soon to be of the greatest importance in Castile.

[128] The sixth volume of the Memoirs of the Academy of History contains a
schedule of the respective revenues afforded by the cities of Castile, in
the years 1477, 1482, and 1504; embracing, of course, the commencement and
close of Isabella's reign. The original document exists in the archives of
Simancas. We may notice the large amount and great increase of taxes in
Toledo, particularly, and in Seville; the former thriving from its
manufactories, and the latter from the Indian trade. Seville, in 1504,
furnished near a tenth of the whole revenue. Ilustracion 5.

[129] "No ay en ella," says Marineo of the latter city, "gente ociosa, ni
baldia, sino que todos trabajan, ansi mugeres como hombres, y los chicos
como los grandes, buscando la vida con sus manos, y con sudores de sus
carnes. Unos exercitan las artes mecanicas: y otros las liberales. Los que
tratan las mercaderias, y hazen rica la ciudad, son muy fieles, y
liberales." (Cosas Memorables, fol. 16.) It will not be easy to meet, in
prose or verse, with a finer colored picture of departed glory, than Mr.
Slidell has given of the former city, the venerable Gothic capital, in his
"Year in Spain," chap. 12.

[130] Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 60.

[131] It was a common saying in Navagiero's time, "Barcelona la ricca,
Saragossa la barta, Valentia la hermosa." (Viaggio, fol. 5.) The grandeur
and commercial splendor of the first-named city, which forms the subject
of Capmany's elaborate work, have been sufficiently displayed in Part I.,
Chapter 2, of this History.

[132] "_Algunos suponen_," says Capmany, "que estas ferias eran ya
famosas en tiempo de los Reyes Catolicos," etc. (Mem. de Barcelona, tom.
iii. p. 356.) A very cursory glance at the laws of this time, will show
the reasonableness of the supposition. See the Pragmaticas, fol. 146, and
the ordinances from the archives of Simancas, apud Mem. de Acad., tom. vi.
pp. 249, 252, providing for the erection of buildings and other
accommodations for the "great resort of traders." In 1520, four years
after Ferdinand's death, the city, in a petition to the regent,
represented the losses sustained by its merchants in the recent fire, as
more than the revenues of the crown would probably be able to meet for
several years. (Ibid., p. 264.) Navagiero, who visited Medina some six
years later, when it was rebuilt, bears unequivocal testimony to its
commercial importance. "Medina e buona terra, e piena di buone case,
abondante assai se non che le tante ferie che se vi fanno ogn' anno, e il
concorso grande che vi e di tutta Spagna, fanno pur che il tutto si paga
piu di quel che si faria.... La feria e abondante certo di molte cose, ma
sopra tutto di speciarie assai, che vengono di Portogallo; ma le maggior
faccende che se vi facciano sono cambij." Viaggio, fol. 36.


  "Quien no vio a Sevilla   No vio maravilla."

The proverb, according to Zuniga, is as old as the time of Alonso XI.
Annales de Sevilla, p. 183.

[134] The most eminent sculptors were, for the most part, foreigners;--as
Miguel Florentin, Pedro Torregiano, Felipe de Borgona,--chiefly from
Italy, where the art was advancing rapidly to perfection in the school of
Michael Angelo. The most successful architectural achievement was the
cathedral of Granada, by Diego de Siloe. Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada,
fol. 82.--Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 16.

[135] At least so says Clemencin, a competent judge. "Desde los mismos
principios de su establecimiento fue mas comun la imprenta en Espana que
lo es al cabo de trescientos anos dentro ya del siglo decimonono." Elogio
de Dona Isabel, Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.

[136] Ante, Introduction, Sect. 2; Part 1., Chapter 19; Part II., Chapter
21.--The "Pragmaticas del Reyno" comprises various ordinances, defining
the privileges of Salamanca and Valladolid, the manner of conferring
degrees, and of election to the chairs of the universities, so as to
obviate any undue influence or corruption. (Fol. 14-21.) "Porque," says
the liberal language of the last law, "los estudios generales donde las
ciencias se leen y aprenden effuercan las leyes y fazen a los nuestros
subditos y naturales sabidores y honrrados y acrecientan virtudes: y
porque en el dar y assignar de las catedras salariadas deue auer toda
libertad porque sean dadas a personas sabidores y cientes." (Taracona,
October 5th, 1495.) If one would see the totally different principles on
which such elections have been conducted in modern times, let him read
Doblado's Letters from Spain, pp. 103-107. The university of Barcelona was
suppressed in the beginning of the last century. Laborde has taken a brief
survey of the present dilapidated condition of the others, at least as it
was in 1830, since which it can scarcely have mended. Itineraire, tom. vi.
p. 144, et seq.

[137] See the concluding note to this chapter.

Erasmus, in a lively and elegant epistle to his friend, Francis Vergara,
Greek professor at Alcala, in 1527, lavishes unbounded panegyric on the
science and literature of Spain, whose palmy state he attributes to
Isabella's patronage, and the co-operation of some of her enlightened
subjects. "----Hispaniae vestrae, tanto successu, priscam eruditionis
gloriam sibi postliminio vindicanti. Quae quum semper et regionis
amoenitate fertilitaleque, semper ingeniorum eminentium ubere proventu,
semper bellica laude floruerit, quid desiderari poterat ad summam
felicitatem, nisi ut studiorum et religionis adjungeret ornamenta, quibus
aspirante Deo sic paucis annis effloruit ut caeteris regionibus quamlibet
hoc decorum genere praecellentibus vel invidiae queat esse vel exemplo....
Vos istam felicitatem secundum Deum debetis laudatissimae Reginarum
Elisabetae, Francisco Cardinali quondam, Alonso Fonsecae nunc
Archiepiscopo Toletano, et si qui sunt horum similes, quorum autoritas
tuetur, benignitas alit fovetque bonas artes." Epistolae, p. 978.

[138] The sums in the text express the _real de vellon_; to which
they have been reduced by Senor Clemencin, from the original amount in
_maravedis_, which varied very materially in value in different years.
Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 5.

[139] The kingdom of Granada appears to have contributed rather less than
one-eighth of the whole tax.

[140] In addition to the last-mentioned sum, the extraordinary service
voted by cortes, for the dowry of the infantas, and other matters, in
1504, amounted to 16,113,014 reals de vellon; making a sum total for that
year, of 42,396,348 reals. The bulk of the crown revenues was derived from
the _alcavalas_, and the _tercias_, or two-ninths of the ecclesiastical
tithes. These important statements were transcribed from the books of the
_escribania mayor de rentas_, in the archives of Simancas. Ibid., ubi

[141] The pretended amount of population has been generally in the ratio
of the distance of the period taken, and, of course, of the difficulty of
refutation. A few random remarks of ancient writers have proved the basis
for the wildest hypotheses, raising the estimates to the total of what the
soil, under the highest possible cultivation, would be capable of
supporting. Even for so recent a period as Isabella's time, the estimate
commonly received does not fall below eighteen or twenty millions. The
official returns, cited in the text, of the most populous portion, of the
kingdom, fully expose the extravagance of preceding estimates.

[142] These interesting particulars are obtained from a memorial, prepared
by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, by their _contador_, Alonso de
Quintanilla, on the mode of enrolling and arming the militia, in 1492; as
a preliminary step to which, he procured a census of the actual population
of the kingdom. It is preserved in a volume entitled _Relaciones tocantes
a la junta de la Hernandad_, in that rich national repository, the
archives of Simancas. See a copious extract apud Mem. de la Acad. de
Hist., tom. vi. Apend. 12.

[143] I am acquainted with no sufficient and authentic data for computing
the population, at this time, of the crown of Aragon, always greatly below
that of the sister kingdom. I find as little to be relied on,
notwithstanding the numerous estimates, in one form or another, vouchsafed
by historians and travelers, of the population of Granada. Marineo
enumerates fourteen cities and ninety-seven towns (omitting, as he says,
many places of less note,) at the time of the conquest; a statement
obviously too vague for statistical purposes. (Cosas Memorables, fol.
179.) The capital, swelled by the influx from the country, contained,
according to him, 200,000 souls at the same period. (Fol. 177.) In 1506,
at the time of the forced conversions, we find the numbers in the city
dwindled to fifty, or at most, seventy thousand. (Comp. Bleda, Coronica,
lib. 5, cap. 23, and Bernaldez, Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 159.) Loose as
these estimates necessarily are, we have no better to guide us in
calculating the total amount of the population of the Moorish kingdom, or
of the losses sustained by the copious emigrations, during the first
fifteen years after the conquest; although there has been no lack of
confident assertion, as to both, in later writers. The desideratum, in
regard to Granada, will now probably not be supplied; the public offices
in the kingdom of Aragon, if searched with the same industry as those in
Castile, would doubtless afford the means for correcting the crude
estimates, so current respecting that country.

[144] Hallam, in his "Constitutional History of England," estimates the
population of the realm, in 1485, at 3,000,000, (vol. i. p. 10.) The
discrepancies, however, of the best historians on this subject, prove the
difficulty of arriving at even a probable result. Hume, on the authority
of Sir Edward Coke, puts the population of England (including people of
all sorts) a century later, in 1588, at only 900,000. The historian cites
Lodovico Guicciardini, however, for another estimate, as high as
2,000,000, for the same reign of Queen Elizabeth. History of England, vol.
vi. Append. 3.

[145] Philip II. claimed the Portuguese crown in right of his mother and
his wife, both descended from Maria, third daughter of Ferdinand and
Isabella, who, as the reader may remember, married King Emanuel.

[146] Old Caxton mourns over the little honor paid to the usages of
chivalry in his time; and it is sufficient evidence of its decay in
England, that Richard III. thought it necessary to issue an ordinance
requiring those possessed of the requisite L40 a year, to receive
knighthood. (Turner, History of England, vol. iii. pp. 391, 392.) The use
of artillery was fatal to chivalry; a consequence well understood, even at
the early period of our History. At least, so we may infer from the verses
of Ariosto, where Orlando throws Cimosco's gun into the sea.

  "Lo tolse e disse: Accio piu non istea
  Mai cavalier per te d'essere ardito;
  Ne quanto il buono val, mai piu si vanti
  Il rio per te valer, qui giu rimanti."
                               Orlando Furioso, canto 9, st. 90.

[147] "Quien podra, contar," exclaims the old Curate of Los Palacios, "la
grandeza, el concierto de su corte, la cavalleria de los Nobles de toda
Espana, Duques, Maestres, Marqueses e Ricos homes; los Galanes, las Damas,
las Fiestas, los Torneos, la Moltitud de Poetas e trovadores," etc. Reyes
Catolicos, MS., cap. 201.

[148] Oviedo notices the existence of a lady-love, even with cavaliers who
had passed their prime, as a thing of quite as imperative necessity in his
day, as it was afterwards regarded by the gallant knight of La Mancha.
"Costumbre es en Espana entre log senores de estado que venidos a la
corte, aunque no esten enamorados o que pasen de la mitad de la edad
fingir que aman por servir y favorescer a alguna dama, y gastar como quien
son en fiestas y otras cosas que se ofrescen de tales pasatiempos y
amores, sin que les de pena Cupido." Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1,
dial. 28.

[149] Viaggio, fol. 27.

Andrea Navagiero, whose itinerary has been of such frequent reference in
these pages, was a noble Venetian, born in 1483. He became very early
distinguished, in his cultivated capital, for his scholarship, poetical
talents, and eloquence, of which he has left specimens, especially in
Latin verse, in the highest repute to this day with his countrymen. He was
not, however, exclusively devoted to letters, but was employed in several
foreign missions by the republic. It was on his visit to Spain, as
minister to Charles V., soon after that monarch's accession, that he wrote
his Travels; and he filled the same office at the court of Francis I.,
when he died, at the premature age of forty-six, in 1529. (Tiraboschi,
Letteratura Italiana, tom. vii. part. 3, p. 228, ed. 1785.) His death was
universally lamented by the good and the learned of his time, and is
commemorated by his friend, Cardinal Bembo, in two sonnets, breathing all
the sensibility of that tender and elegant poet. (Rime, Son. 109, 110.)
Navagiero becomes connected with Castilian literature by the circumstance
of Boscan's referring to his suggestion the innovation he so successfully
made in the forms of the national verse. Obras, fol. 20, ed. 1543.

[150] Fernando de Pulgar, after enumerating various cavaliers of his
acquaintance, who had journeyed to distant climes in quest of adventures
and honorable feats of arms, continues, "E oi decir de otros Castellanos
que con animo de Caballeros fueron por los Reynos estrafios a facer armas
con qualquier Caballero que quisiere facerlas con ellos, e por ellas
ganaron honra para si, e fama de valientes y esforzados Caballeros para
los Fijosdalgos de Castilla." Claros Varones, tit. 17.

[151] "Son todos," says the Admiral, "de ningun ingenio en las armas, y
muy cobardes, que mil no aguadarian tres!" (Primer Viage de Colon.) What
could the bard of chivalry say more?

  "Ma quel ch'al timor non diede albergo,
  Estima la vil turba e l'arme tante
  Quel che dentro alla mandra all' aer cupo,
  Il numer dell' agnelle estimi il lupo."
                             Orlando Furioso, canto 12.

[152] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 30.

[153] "I Spagnoli," says the Venetian minister, "non solo in questo paese
di Granata, ma in tutto 'l resto della Spagna medesimamente, non sono
molto industriosi, ne piantano, ne lavorano volontieri la terra; ma se
danno ad altro, e piu volontieri vanno alia guerra, o alle Indie ad
acquistarsi faculta, che per tal vie." (Viaggio, fol. 25.) Testimonies to
the same purport thicken, as the stream of history descends. See several
collected by Capmany (Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iii. pp. 358, et seq.), who
certainly cannot be charged with ministering to the vanity of his

[154] One may trace its immediate influence in the writings of a man like
the Curate of Los Palacios, naturally, as it would seem, of an amiable,
humane disposition; but who complacently remarks, "They (Ferdinand and
Isabella) lighted up the fires for the heretics, in which, with good
reason, they have burnt, and shall continue to burn, so long as a soul of
them remains"! (Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 7.) It becomes more perceptible
in the literature of later times, and, what is singular, most of all in
the lighter departments of poetry and fiction, which seem naturally
devoted to purposes of pleasure. No one can estimate the full influence of
the Inquisition in perverting moral sense, and infusing the deadly venom
of misanthropy into the heart, who has not perused the works of the great
Castilian poets, of Lope de Vega, Ercilla, above all Calderon, whose lips
seem to have been touched with fire from the very altars of this accursed

[155] The late secretary of the Inquisition has made an elaborate
computation of the number of its victims. According to him, 13,000 were
publicly burned by the several tribunals of Castile and Aragon, and
191,413 suffered other punishments, between 1481, the date of the
commencement of the modern institution, and 1518. (Hist. de l'Inquisition,
tom. iv. chap. 46.) Llorente appears to have come to these appalling
results by a very plausible process of calculation, and without any design
to exaggerate. Nevertheless, his data are exceedingly imperfect, and he
has himself, on a revision, considerably reduced, in his fourth volume,
the original estimates in the first. I find good grounds for reducing them
still further. 1. He quotes Mariana, for the fact, that 2000 suffered
martyrdom at Seville, in 1481, and makes this the basis of his
calculations for the other tribunals of the kingdom. Marineo, a
contemporary, on the other hand, states, that "in the course of a few
years they burned nearly 2000 heretics;" thus not only diffusing this
amount over a greater period of time, but embracing all the tribunals then
existing in the country. (Cosas Memorables, fol. 164.) 2. Bernaldez
states, that five-sixths of the Jews resided in the kingdom of Castile.
(Reyes Catolicos, MS., cap. 110.) Llorente, however, has assigned an equal
amount of victims to each of the five tribunals of Aragon, with those of
the sister kingdom, excepting only Seville.

One might reasonably distrust Llorente's tables, from the facility with
which he receives the most improbable estimates in other matters, as, for
example, the number of banished Jews, which he puts at 800,000. (Hist. de
l'Inquisition, tom. i. p. 261.) I have shown, from contemporary sources,
that this number did not probably exceed 160,000, or, at most, 170,000.
(Part I., Chapter 17.) Indeed, the cautious Zurita, borrowing, probably,
from the same authorities, cites the latter number. (Anales, tom. v. fol.
9.) Mariana, who owes so much of his narrative to the Aragonese historian,
converting, as it would appear, these 170,000 individuals into families,
states the whole in round numbers, at 800,000 souls. (Hist. de Espana,
tom. ii. lib. 26, cap. 1.) Llorente, not content with this, swells the
amount still further, by that of the Moorish exiles, and by emigrants to
the New World, (on what authority?) to 2,000,000; and, going on with the
process, computes that this loss may fairly infer one of 8,000,000
inhabitants to Spain, at the present day! (Ibid., ubi supra.) Thus the
mischief imputed to the Catholic sovereigns goes on increasing in a sort
of arithmetical progression, with the duration of the monarchy.

Nothing is so striking to the imagination as numerical estimates; they
speak a volume in themselves, saving a world of periphrasis and argument;
nothing is so difficult to form with exactness, or even probability, when
they relate to an early period; and nothing more carelessly received, and
confidently circulated. The enormous statements of the Jewish exiles, and
the baseless ones of the Moorish, are not peculiar to Llorente, but have
been repeated, without the slightest qualification or distrust, by most
modern historians and travellers.

[156] In the two closing Chapters of Part I. of this History, I have
noticed the progress of letters in this reign; the last which displayed
the antique coloring and truly national characteristics of Castilian
poetry. There were many circumstances, which operated, at this period, to
work an important revolution, and subject the poetry of the Peninsula to a
foreign influence. The Italian Muse, after her long silence, since the age
of the _tricentisti_, had again revived, and poured forth such ravishing
strains, as made themselves heard and felt in every corner of Europe.
Spain, in particular, was open to their influence. Her language had an
intimate affinity with the Italian. The improved taste and culture of the
period led to a diligent study of foreign models. Many Spaniards, as we
have seen, went abroad to perfect themselves in the schools of Italy;
while Italian teachers filled some of the principal chairs in the Spanish
universities. Lastly, the acquisition of Naples, the land of Sannazaro and
of a host of kindred spirits, opened an obvious communication with the
literature of that country. With the nation thus prepared, it was not
difficult for a genius like that of Boscan, supported by the tender and
polished Garcilasso, and by Mendoza, whose stern spirit found relief in
images of pastoral tranquillity and ease, to recommend the more finished
forms of Italian versification to their countrymen. These poets were all
born in Isabella's reign. The first of them, the principal means of
effecting this literary revolution, singularly enough, was a Catalan,
whose compositions in the Castilian proved the ascendency which this
dialect had already obtained. The second, Garcilasso de la Vega, was son
of the distinguished statesman and diplomatist of that name, so often
noticed in our History; and Mendoza was a younger son of the amiable count
of Tendilla, the governor of Granada, whom he resembled in nothing but his
genius. Both the elder Garcilasso and Tendilla had represented their
sovereigns at the papal court, where they doubtless became tinctured with
that relish for the Italian, which produced such results in the education
of their children.

The new revolution penetrated far below the superficial forms of
versification; and the Castilian poet relinquished, with his _redondillas_
and artless _asonantes_, the homely, but heartful themes of the olden
time; or, if he dwelt on them, it was with an air of studied elegance and
precision, very remote from the Doric simplicity and freshness of the
romantic minstrelsy. If he aspired to some bolder theme, it was rarely
suggested by the stirring and patriotic recollections of his nation's
history. Thus, nature and the rude graces of a primitive age gave way to
superior refinement and lettered elegance; many popular blemishes were
softened down, a purer and nobler standard was attained, but the national
characteristics were effaced; beauty was everywhere, but it was the beauty
of art, not of nature. The change itself was perfectly natural. It
corresponded with the external circumstances of the nation, and its
transition from an insulated position to a component part of the great
European commonwealth, which subjected it to other influences and
principles of taste, and obliterated, to a certain extent, the peculiar
features of the national physiognomy.

How far the poetic literature of Castile was benefited by the change, has
been matter of long and hot debate between the critics of the country, in
which I shall not involve the reader. The revolution, however, was the
growth of circumstances, and was immediately effected by individuals,
belonging to the age of Ferdinand and Isabella. As such, I had originally
proposed to devote a separate chapter to its illustration. But I have been
deterred from it by the unexpected length, to which the work has already
extended, as well as by the consideration, on a nearer view, that these
results, though prepared under a preceding reign, properly fall under the
_domestic_ history of Charles V.; a history which still remains to be
written. But who will attempt a _pendant_ to the delineations of

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