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The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 by William H. Prescott

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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. (Teoría, 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 España, 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 España, 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 é
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 España, 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 fué el último armamento que salió 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 Chrónica del Gran Capitan, lib. 2, cap.
112-127.--Sismondi, Républiques 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.--Zuñiga, Annales
de Sevilla, año 1506.

[20] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 313, 316.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 206.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 66.--Carbajal,
Anales, MS., año 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 España, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 2.--Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 206.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 22.

[24] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 7, cap. 15.--Mariana, Hist. de España,
tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 1.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 317.--Zuñiga,
Annales de Sevilla, año 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 España,
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.--Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla,
año 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
Gaudía, 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
tranquillità 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 Católicos, 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
España, 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
_cortège_ 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 Ureña, 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 Ureña 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 España, 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 España, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 3.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1506.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, 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 España, 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.--Zuñiga, Annales
de Sevilla, año 1507.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, 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 Católicos, 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 Católicos, MS., cap. 208.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 71.--
Mariana, Hist. de España, 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 Católicos, 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.--Chrónica 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 è
stato più liberale verso di lui, tanto più, ne insospettisce la brigata,_
pensando che il Re abbi fatto per assicurarlo, e per poterne meglio
disporre sotto questa sicurtà." (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] Chrónica 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 Nápoles, nuestro muy charo y muy amado primo, y uno del
nuestro secreto Consejo," etc. (See the document, apud Quintana, Españoles
Célebres, 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 à la plûpart 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.--Chrónica 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 François,
mesmement de son frère, le gentil duc de Nemours." (Mémoires de Bayard,
chap. 27, apud Petitot, Collection des Mémoires, tom. xv.) See also
Fleurange, (Mémoires, chap. 19, apud Petitot, Collection des Mémoires,
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
Católicos, 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.--Chrónica 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 maestà eccellente della presenza sua, la
magnificenza delle parole, i gesti, e la maniera piena di gravità condita
di grazia: ma sopra tutti il Re di Francia," etc. Guicciardini, ubi supra.

[20] Brantôme, Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 6.--Chrónica del Gran
Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 4.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. pp. 77, 78.--
D'Auton, Hist. de Louys XII., ubi supra.--Quintana, Españoles Célebres,
tom. i. p. 319.--Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 27, apud Petitot, Collection
des Mémoires, tom. xv.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, 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 Católicos, 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, Délices 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 é señoríos justa é
razonable cosa fuera, é sería que fueramos llamados é certificados de
ello, porque yo é los otros caballeros grandes é las ciudades é alcaldes
mayores vieramos lo que debiamos hacer é consentir como vasallos é leales
servidores de la reina nuestra señora, porque la administration é
gobernacion destos reinos se diera é concediera á quien las leyes destos
reynos mandan que se den é encomienden en caso," etc. (MS. de la
Biblioteca de la Real Acad. de Hist., apud Marina, Teoría, 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. (Teoría, 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.--Chrónica 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
réputoit à grande chose, et triomphale ordonnance." Ubi supra.

[28] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, 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 Católicos, 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.,
año 1507.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 20, cap. 10.--Chrónica 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 Católicos, MS., cap. 210.--Giovio, Vitae Illust.
Virorum, ubi supra.--Chrónica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 5.

[33] Quintana errs in stating that Doña Elvira _married_ the constable.
(Españoles Célebres, tom. i. p. 321.) He had two wives, Doña Blanca de
Herrera, and Doña 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.--Chrónica 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, Españoles Célebres, tom. i. pp. 322-334.--Giovio, Vitae
Illust. Virorum, p. 286.--Chrónica 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 Alcalá.--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 Alcalá. 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 Alcalá 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 Alcalá, 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 Alcalá, 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 Alcalá 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 Alcalá. 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 Alcalá. 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 Católicos, MS.,
cap. 216, and Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, año 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 Alcalá. Archetypo, Apend. no. 15.

[3] "Ego tamen dum universas ejus actiones comparo," says Alvaro Gomez,
"magis ad bellica exercitia a naturâ 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 Alcalá; 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., año
1507.--Mariana, Hist. de España, 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 Católicos, MS.,
cap. 218--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 17.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 413.--Chrónica 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
Católicos, MS., cap. 218.

[9] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, 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 Católicos,
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 Católicos, MS.,
cap. 218.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 22.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
ubi supra.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 19.--Carbajal, Anales,

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