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

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MS., año 1509.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos
V., tom. i. p. 15.

[13] "Sed tandem somnus ex labore et vino obortus eos oppressit, et
cruentis hostium cadaveribus tantâ securitate et fiduciâ indormierunt, ut
permulti in Oranis urbis plateis ad multam diem stertuerint." Gomez, De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 111.

[14] To accommodate the Christians, as the day was far advanced when the
action began, the sun was permitted to stand still several hours; there is
some discrepancy as to the precise number; most authorities, however, make
it four. There is no miracle in the whole Roman Catholic budget, better
vouched than this. It is recorded by four eye-witnesses, men of learning
and character. It is attested, moreover, by a cloud of witnesses, who
depose to have received it, some from tradition, others from direct
communication with their ancestors present in the action; and who all
agree that it was matter of public notoriety and belief at the time. See
the whole formidable array of evidence set forth by Quintanilla.
(Archetypo, pp. 236 et seq. and Apend. p. 103.) It was scarcely to have
been expected that so astounding a miracle should escape the notice of all
Europe, where it must have been as apparent as at Oran. This universal
silence may be thought, indeed, the greater miracle of the two.

[15] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 218.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez,
cap. 22.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 113.--Lanuza, Historias, tom. i.
lib. 1, cap. 22.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp.
Carlos V., tom. i. p. 15.

[16] Fléchier, Histoire de Ximenes, pp. 308, 309.--Abarca, Reyes de
Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 18.

[17] Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, p. 107.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 117.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 16.--"The worthy
brother," says Sandoval of the prelate, "thought his archbishopric worth
more than the good graces of a covetous old monarch."

[18] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 420.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
118.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 20.

[19] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 20.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 119, 120.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 8, cap. 30.--Robles, Vida de
Ximenez, cap. 22.

[20] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 9, cap. 1, 2, 4, 13.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 435-437.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 20.--
Mariana, Hist. de España, lib. 29, cap. 22.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol.
122-124.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 222.--Zurita gives at
length the capitulation with Algiers, lib. 9, cap. 13.

[21] Chénier, Recherches sur les Manures, tom. ii. pp. 355, 356.--It is
but just to state, that this disaster was imputable to Don Garcia de
Toledo, who had charge of the expedition, and who expiated his temerity
with his life. He was eldest son of the old duke of Alva, and father of
that nobleman, who subsequently acquired such gloomy celebrity by his
conquests and cruelties in the Netherlands. The tender poet, Garcilasso de
la Vega, offers sweet incense to the house of Toledo, in one of his
pastorals, in which he mourns over the disastrous day of Gelves;

"O patria lagrimosa, i como buelves
los ojos a los Gelves sospirando!"

The death of the young nobleman is veiled under a beautiful simile, which
challenges comparison with the great masters of Latin and Italian song,
from whom the Castilian bard derived it.

"Puso en el duro suelo la hermosa
cara, como la rosa matutina,
cuando ya el sol declina 'l medio dia;
que pierde su alegria, i marchitando
va la color mudando; o en el campo
cual queda el lirio blanco, qu' el arado
crudamente cortado al passar dexa;
del cual aun no s' alexa pressuroso
aquel color hermoso, o se destierra;
mas ya la madre tierra descuidada,
no l' administra nada de su aliento,
qu' era el sustentamiento i vigor suyo;
tal esta el rostro tuyo en el arena,
fresca rosa, acucena blanea i pura."
Garcilasso de la Vega, Obras, ed. de Herrera, pp. 507, 508.

[22] The reader may feel some curiosity respecting the fate of count Pedro
Navarro. He soon after this went to Italy, where he held a high command,
and maintained his reputation in the wars of that country, until he was
taken by the French in the great battle of Ravenna. Through the
carelessness or coldness of Ferdinand he was permitted to languish in
captivity, till he took his revenge by enlisting in the service of the
French monarch. Before doing this, however, he resigned his Neapolitan
estates, and formally renounced his allegiance to the Catholic king; of
whom, being a Navarese by birth, he was not a native subject. He
unfortunately fell into the hands of his own countrymen in one of the
subsequent actions in Italy, and was imprisoned at Naples, in Castel
Nuovo, which he had himself formerly gained from the French. Here he soon
after died; if we are to believe Brantôme, being privately despatched by
command of Charles V., or, as other writers intimate, by his own hand. His
remains, first deposited in an obscure corner of the church of Santa
Maria, were afterwards removed to the chapel of the great Gonsalvo, and a
superb mausoleum was erected over them by the prince of Sessa, grandson of
the hero. Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 124.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra,
tom. v. pp. 226, 289, 406.--Brantôme, Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 9.
--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, pp. 190-193.

[23] Ximenes continued to watch over the city which he had so valiantly
won, long after his death. He never failed to be present in seasons of
extraordinary peril. At least the gaunt, gigantic figure of a monk,
dressed in the robes of his order, and wearing a cardinal's hat, was seen,
sometimes stalking along the battlements at midnight, and, at others,
mounted on a white charger and brandishing a naked sword in the thick of
the fight. His last appearance was in 1643, when Oran was closely
beleaguered by the Algerines. A sentinel on duty saw a figure moving along
the parapet one clear, moonlight night, dressed in a Franciscan frock,
with a general's baton in his hand. As soon as it was hailed by the
terrified soldier, it called to him to "tell the garrison to be of good
heart, for the enemy should not prevail against them." Having uttered
these words, the apparition vanished without ceremony. It repeated its
visit in the same manner on the following night, and, a few days after,
its assurance was verified by the total discomfiture of the Algerines, in
a bloody battle under the walls. See the evidence of these various
apparitions, as collected, for the edification of the court of Rome, by
that prince of miracle-mongers, Quintanilla. (Archetypo, pp. 317, 335,
338, 340.) Bishop Fléchier appears to have no misgivings as to the truth
of these old wives' tales. (Histoire de Ximenés, liv. 6.)

Oran, after resisting repeated assaults by the Moors, was at length so
much damaged by an earthquake, in 1790, that it was abandoned, and its
Spanish garrison and population were transferred to the neighboring city
of Mazarquivir.

[24] The custom, familiar at the present day, of depositing coins and
other tokens, with inscriptions bearing the names of the architect and
founder and date of the building, under the corner-stone was observed on
this occasion, where it is noticed as of ancient usage, _more prisco_.
Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 28.

[25] Fléchier, Histoire de Ximenés, p. 597.

[26] Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 16.--
Quintanilla, Archetypo, p. 178.--Colmenar, Délices de l'Espagne, tom. ii.
pp. 308-310.--Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 7,--who notices particularly the
library, "piena di molti libri et Latini et Greci et Hebraici."

The good people accused the cardinal of too great a passion for building;
and punningly said, "The church of Toledo had never had a bishop of
greater _edification_, in every, sense than Ximenes." Fléchier, Histoire
de Ximenés, p. 597.

[27] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 79.

[28] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 82-84.

[29] Navagiero says, it was prescribed the lectures should be in Latin.
Viaggio, fol. 7.--Robles, Vida de Ximenez, cap. 16.

Of these professorships, six were appropriated to theology; six to canon
law; four to medicine; one to anatomy; one to surgery; eight to the arts,
as they were called, embracing logic, physics, and metaphysics; one to
ethics; one to mathematics; four to the ancient languages; four to
rhetoric; and six to grammar. One is struck with the disproportion of the
mathematical studies to the rest. Though an important part of general
education, and consequently of the course embraced in most universities,
it had too little reference to a religious one, to find much favor with
the cardinal.

[30] Lampillas, in his usual patriotic vein, stoutly maintains that the
chairs of the university were all supplied by native Spaniards. "Trovó in
Spagna," he says of the cardinal, "tutta quella scelta copia di grandi
uomini, quali richiedeva la grande impresa," etc. (Letteratura Spagnuola,
tom. i, part. 2, p. 160.) Alvaro Gomez, who flourished two centuries
earlier, and personally knew the professors, is the better authority. De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 80-82.

[31] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 13.

Alvaro Gomez knew several of these _savans_ whose scholarship (and he
was a competent judge) he notices with liberal panegyric. De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 80 et seq.

[32] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 17.

[33] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 86.

The reader will readily call to mind the familiar anecdote of King Charles
and Dr. Busby.

[34] "Alcalá de Henares," says Martyr in one of his early letters, "quae
dicitur esse Complutum. Sit, vel ne, nil mihi curae." (Opus Epist., epist.
254.) These irreverent doubts were uttered before it had gained its
literary celebrity. L. Marineo derives the name _Complutum_ from the
abundant fruitfulness of the soil,--"cumplumiento que tiene de cada cosa."
Cosas Memorables, fol. 13.

[35] Ximenes acknowledges his obligations to his Holiness, in particular
for the Greek MSS. "Atque ex ipsis [exemplaribus] quidem Graeca Sanctitati
tuae debemus; qui ex istâ Apostolicâ bibliothecâ antiquissimos tam Veteris
quam Novi codices perquam humane ad nos misisti." Biblia Polyglotta,
(Compluti, 1514-17,) Prólogo.

[36] "Maximam," says the cardinal in his Preface, "laboris nostri partem
in eo praecipue fuisse versatam; ut et virorum in linguarum cognitione
eminentissimorum operâ uteremur, et castigatissima omni ex parte
vetustissimaque exemplaria pro archetypis haberemus; quorum quidem, tam
Hebraeorum quam Graecorum ac Latinorum, multiplicem copiam, variis ex
locis, non sine summo labore conquisivimus." Biblia Polyglotta, Compluti,

[37] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 39.--Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3,
cap. 10.

[38] Martyr speaks of Ximenes, in one of his epistles, as "doctrinâ
singulari oppletum." (Opus Epist., epist. 108.) He speaks with more
distrust in another; "Aiunt esse virum, _si non literis_, morum taraen
sanctitate egregium." (Epist. 160.) This was written some years later,
when he had better knowledge of him.

[39] Quintanilla, Archetype, lib. 3, cap. lo.--Gomez, De Rebus Gestis,
fol. 38.

The scholars employed in the compilation were the venerable Lebrija, the
learned Nuñez, or Pinciano, of whom the reader has had some account, Lopez
de Zuñiga, a controversialist of Erasmus, Bartholomeo de Castro, the
famous Greek Demetrius Cretensis, and Juan de Vergara;--all thorough
linguists, especially in the Greek and Latin. To these were joined Paulo
Coronel, Alfonso a physician, and Alfonso Zamora, converted Jews, and
familiar with the Oriental languages. Zamora has the merit of the
philological compilations relative to the Hebrew and Chaldaic, in the last
volume, lidem auct. ut supra; et Suma de la Vida de Cisneros, MS.

[40] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 10.

[41] The work was originally put at the extremely low price of six ducats
and a half a copy. (Biblia Polyglotta Compluti, Praefix.) As only 600
copies, however, were struck off, it has become exceedingly rare and
valuable. According to Brunei, it has been sold as high as £63.

[42] "Industriâ et solertiâ honorabilis viri Arnaldi Guillelmi de
Brocario, artis impressoris Magistri. Anno Domini 1517. Julii die decimo."
Biblia Polyglotta Compluti. Postscript to 4th and last part of Vetus Test.

[43] Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 38. The part devoted to the Old
Testament contains the Hebrew original with the Latin Vulgate, the
Septuagint version, and the Chaldaic paraphrase, with Latin translations
by the Spanish scholars. The New Testament was printed in the original
Greek, with the Vulgate of Jerome. After the completion of this work, the
cardinal projected an edition of Aristotle on the same scale, which was
unfortunately defeated by his death. Ibid., fol. 39.

[44] The principal controversy on this subject was carried on in Germany
between Wetstein and Goeze; the former impugning, the latter defending the
Complutensian Bible. The cautious and candid Michaelis, whose
prepossessions appear to have been on the side of Goeze, decides
ultimately, after his own examination, in favor of Wetstein, as regards
the value of the MSS. employed; not however as relates to the grave charge
of wilfully accommodating the Greek text to the Vulgate. See the grounds
and merits of the controversy, apud Michaelis, Introduction to the New
Testament, translated by Marsh, vol. ii. part 1, chap. 12, sec. 1; part 2,

[45] Professor Moldenhauer, of Germany, visited Alcalá in 1784, for the
interesting purpose of examining the MSS. used in the Complutensian
Polyglot. He there learned that they had all been disposed of, as so much
waste paper, (_membranas inutiles_) by the librarian of that time to
a rocket-maker of the town, who soon worked them up in the regular way of
his vocation! He assigns no reason for doubting the truth of the story.
The name of the librarian, unfortunately, is not recorded. It would have
been as imperishable as that of Omar. Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. part l,
chap. 12, sec. 1, note.

[46] The celebrated text of "the three witnesses," formerly cited in the
Trinitarian controversy, and which Porson so completely overturned, rests
in part on what Gibbon calls "the honest bigotry of the Complutensian
editors." One of the three Greek manuscripts, in which that text is found,
is a forgery from the Polyglot of Alcalá, according to Mr. Norton, in his
recent work, "The Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels," (Boston,
1837, vol. i. Additional Notes, p. xxxix.),--a work which few can be fully
competent to criticize, but which no person can peruse without confessing
the acuteness and strength of its reasoning, the nice discrimination of
its criticism, and the precision and purity of its diction. Whatever
difference of opinion may be formed as to some of its conclusions, no one
will deny that the originality and importance of its views make it a
substantial accession to theological science; and that, within the range
permitted by the subject, it presents, on the whole, one of the noblest
specimens of scholarship, and elegance of composition, to be found in our
youthful literature.

[47] "Accedit," says the editors of the Polyglot, adverting to the
blunders of early transcribers, "ubicunque Latinorum codicum varietas est,
aut depravatae lectionis suspitio (id quod librariorum imperitiâ simul et
negligentiâ frequentissimè accidere videmus), ad primam Scriptunae
originem recurrendum est." Biblia Polyglotta, Compluti, Prólogo.

[48] Tiraboschi adduces a Psalter, published in four of the ancient
tongues, at Genoa, in 1516, as the first essay of a polyglot version.
(Letteratura Italiana, tom. viii. p. 191.) Lampillas does not fail to add
this enormity to the black catalogue which he has mustered against the
librarian of Modena. (Letteratura Spagnuola, tom. ii. part. 2, p. 290.)
The first three volumes of the Complutensian Bible were printed before
1516, although the whole work did not pass the press till the following

[49] Quintanilla, Archetypo, lib. 3, cap. 17.--Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS.,
dial. de Ximeni.

Ferdinand and Isabella conceded liberal grants and immunities to Alcalá on
more than one occasion. Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 43, 45.

[50] Erasmus, in a letter to his friend Vergara, in 1527, perpetrates a
Greek pun on the classic name of Alcalá, intimating the highest opinion of
the state of science there. "Gratulor tibi, ornatissime adolescens,
gratulor vestrae Hispaniae ad pristinam eruditionis laudem veluti
postliminio reflorescenti. Gratulor Compluto, quod duorum praesulum
Francisci et Alfonsi felicibus auspiciis sic efflorescit omni genere
studiorum, ut jure optimo _pamplouton_ appellare possimus." Epistolae, p.

[51] Quintanilla is for passing the sum total of the good works of these
worthies of Alcalá to the credit of its founder. They might serve as a
makeweight to turn the scale in favor of his beatification. Archetypo,
lib. 3, cap. 17.



League of Cambray.--Alarm of Ferdinand.--Holy League.--Battle of Ravenna.
--Death of Gaston de Foix.--Retreat of the French.--The Spaniards

The domestic history of Spain, after Ferdinand's resumption of the
regency, contains few remarkable events. Its foreign relations were more
important. Those with Africa have been already noticed, and we must now
turn to Italy and Navarre.

The possession of Naples necessarily brought Ferdinand within the sphere
of Italian politics. He showed little disposition, however, to avail
himself of it for the further extension of his conquests. Gonsalvo,
indeed, during his administration, meditated various schemes for the
overthrow of the French power in Italy, but with a view rather to the
preservation than enlargement of his present acquisitions. After the
treaty with Louis the Twelfth, even these designs were abandoned, and the
Catholic monarch seemed wholly occupied with the internal affairs of his
kingdom, and the establishment of his rising empire in Africa. [1]

The craving appetite of Louis the Twelfth, on the other hand, sharpened by
the loss of Naples, sought to indemnify itself by more ample acquisitions
in the north. As far back as 1504, he had arranged a plan with the
emperor, for the partition of the continental possessions of Venice,
introducing it into one of those abortive treaties at Blois for the
marriage of his daughter. [2] The scheme is said to have been communicated
to Ferdinand in the royal interview at Savona. No immediate action
followed, and it seems probable that the latter monarch, with his usual
circumspection, reserved his decision until he should be more clearly
satisfied of the advantages to himself. [3]

At length the projected partition was definitely settled by the celebrated
treaty of Cambray, December 10th, 1508, between Louis the Twelfth and the
emperor Maximilian, in which the pope, King Ferdinand, and all princes who
had any claims for spoliations by the Venetians, were invited to take
part. The share of the spoil assigned to the Catholic monarch was the five
Neapolitan cities, Trani, Brindisi, Gallipoli, Pulignano, and Otranto,
pledged to Venice for considerable sums advanced by her during the late
war. [4] The Spanish court, and, not long after, Julius the Second,
ratified the treaty, although it was in direct contravention of the avowed
purpose of the pontiff to chase the _barbarians_ from Italy. It was
his bold policy, however, to make use of them first for the aggrandizement
of the church, and then to trust to his augmented strength and more
favorable opportunities for eradicating them altogether.

Never was there a project more destitute of principle or sound policy.
There was not one of the contracting parties, who was not at that very
time in close alliance with the state, the dismemberment of which he was
plotting. As a matter of policy, it went to break down the principal
barrier, on which each of these powers could rely for keeping in check the
overweening ambition of its neighbors, and maintaining the balance of
Italy. [5] The alarm of Venice was quieted for a time by assurances from
the courts of France and Spain, that the league was solely directed
against the Turks, accompanied by the most hypocritical professions of
good-will, and amicable offers to the republic. [6]

The preamble of the treaty declares, that, it being the intention of the
allies to support the pope in a crusade against the infidel, they first
proposed to recover from Venice the territories of which she had despoiled
the church and other powers, to the manifest hindrance of these pious
designs. The more flagitious the meditated enterprise, the deeper was the
veil of hypocrisy thrown over it in this corrupt age. The true reasons for
the confederacy are to be found in a speech delivered at the German diet,
some time after, by the French minister Hélian. "We," he remarks, after
enumerating various enormities of the republic, "we wear no fine purple;
feast from no sumptuous services of plate; have no coffers overflowing
with gold. We are barbarians. Surely," he continues in another place, "if
it is derogatory to princes to act the part of merchants, it is unbecoming
in merchants to assume the state of princes." [7] This, then, was the true
key to the conspiracy against Venice; envy of her superior wealth and
magnificence, hatred engendered by her too arrogant bearing, and lastly
the evil eye, with which kings naturally regard the movements of an
active, aspiring republic. [8]

To secure the co-operation of Florence, the kings of France and Spain
agreed to withdraw their protection from Pisa, for a stipulated sum of
money. There is nothing in the whole history of the merchant princes of
Venice so mercenary and base, as this bartering away for gold the
independence, for which this little republic had been so nobly contending
for more than fourteen years. [9]

Early in April, 1509, Louis the Twelfth crossed the Alps at the head of a
force which bore down all opposition. City and castle fell before him, and
his demeanor to the vanquished, over whom he had no rights beyond the
ordinary ones of war, was that of an incensed master taking vengeance on
his rebellious vassals. In revenge for his detention before Peschiera, he
hung the Venetian governor and his son from the battlements. This was an
outrage on the laws of chivalry, which, however hard they bore on the
peasant, respected those of high degree. Louis's rank, and his heart it
seems, unhappily, raised him equally above sympathy with either class.

On the 14th of May was fought the bloody battle of Agnadel, which broke
the power of Venice, and at once decided the fate of the war. [11]
Ferdinand had contributed nothing to these operations, except by his
diversion on the side of Naples, where he possessed himself without
difficulty of the cities allotted to his share. They were the cheapest,
and if not the most valuable, were the most permanent acquisitions of the
war, being reincorporated in the monarchy of Naples.

Then followed the memorable decree, by which Venice released her
continental provinces from their allegiance, authorizing them to provide
in any way they could for their safety; a measure, which, whether
originating in panic or policy, was perfectly consonant with the latter.
[12] The confederates, who had remained united during the chase, soon
quarrelled over the division of the spoil. Ancient jealousies revived. The
republic, with cool and consummate diplomacy, availed herself of this
state of feeling.

Pope Julius, who had gained all that he had proposed, and was satisfied
with the humiliation of Venice, now felt all his former antipathies and
distrust of the French return in full force. The rising flame was
diligently fanned by the artful emissaries of the republic, who at length
effected a reconciliation on her behalf with the haughty pontiff. The
latter, having taken this direction, went forward in it with his usual
impetuosity. He planned a new coalition for the expulsion of the French,
calling on the other allies to take part in it. Louis retaliated by
summoning a council to inquire into the pope's conduct, and by marching
his troops into the territories of the church. [13]

The advance of the French, who had now got possession of Bologna, alarmed
Ferdinand. He had secured the objects for which he had entered into the
war, and was loath to be diverted from enterprises in which he was
interested nearer home, "I know not," writes Peter Martyr, at this time,
"on what the king will decide. He is intent on following up his African
conquests. He feels natural reluctance at breaking with his French ally.
But I do not well see how he can avoid supporting the pope and the church,
not only as the cause of religion, but of freedom. For if the French get
possession of Rome, the liberties of all Italy and of every state in
Europe are in peril." [14]

The Catholic king viewed it in this light, and sent repeated and earnest
remonstrances to Louis the Twelfth, against his aggressions on the church,
beseeching him not to interrupt the peace of Christendom, and his own
pious purpose, more particularly, of spreading the banners of the Cross
over the infidel regions of Africa. The very sweet and fraternal tone of
these communications filled the king of France, says Guicciardini, with
much distrust of his royal brother; and he was heard to say, in allusion
to the great preparations which the Spanish monarch was making by sea and
land, "I am the Saracen against whom they are directed." [14]

To secure Ferdinand more to his interests, the pope granted him the
investiture, so long withheld, of Naples, on the same easy terms on which
it was formerly held by the Aragonese line. His Holiness further released
him from the obligation of his marriage treaty, by which the moiety of
Naples was to revert to the French crown, in case of Germaine's dying
without issue. This dispensing power of the successors of St. Peter, so
convenient for princes in their good graces, is undoubtedly the severest
tax ever levied by superstition on human reason. [15]

On the 4th of October, 1511, a treaty was concluded between Julius the
Second, Ferdinand, and Venice, with the avowed object of protecting the
church,--in other words, driving the French out of Italy. [16] From the
pious purpose to which it was devoted, it was called the Holy League. The
quota to be furnished by the king of Aragon was twelve hundred heavy and
one thousand light cavalry, ten thousand foot, and a squadron of eleven
galleys, to act in concert with the Venetian fleet. The combined forces
were to be placed under the command of Hugo de Cardona, viceroy of Naples,
a person of polished and engaging address, but without the resolution or
experience requisite to military success. The rough old pope sarcastically
nicknamed him "Lady Cardona." It was an appointment, that would certainly
have never been made by Queen Isabella. Indeed, the favor shown this
nobleman on this and other occasions was so much beyond his deserts, as to
raise a suspicion in many, that he was more nearly allied by blood to
Ferdinand, than was usually imagined. [17]

Early in 1512, France, by great exertions, and without a single
confederate out of Italy, save the false and fluctuating emperor, got an
army into the field superior to that of the allies in point of numbers,
and still more so in the character of its commander. This was Gaston de
Foix, duke de Nemours, and brother of the queen of Aragon. Though a boy in
years, for he was but twenty-two, he was ripe in understanding, and
possessed consummate military talents. He introduced a severer discipline
into his army, and an entirely new system of tactics. He looked forward to
his results with stern indifference to the means by which they were to be
effected. He disregarded the difficulties of the roads, and the inclemency
of the season, which had hitherto put a check on military operations.
Through the midst of frightful morasses, or in the depth of winter snows,
he performed his marches with a celerity unknown in the warfare of that
age. In less than a fortnight after leaving Milan, he relieved Bologna,
then besieged by the allies, made a countermarch on Brescia, defeated a
detachment by the way, and the whole Venetian army under its walls; and,
on the same day with the last event, succeeded in carrying the place by
storm. After a few weeks' dissipation of the carnival, he again put
himself in motion, and, descending on Ravenna, succeeded in bringing the
allied army to a decisive action under its walls. Ferdinand, well
understanding the peculiar characters of the French and of the Spanish
soldier, had cautioned his general to adopt the Fabian policy of Gonsalvo,
and avoid a close encounter as long as possible. [18]

This battle, fought with the greatest numbers, was also the most
murderous, which had stained the fair soil of Italy for a century. No less
than eighteen or twenty thousand, according to authentic accounts, fell in
it, comprehending the best blood of France and Italy. [19] The viceroy
Cardona went off somewhat too early for his reputation. But the Spanish
infantry, under the count Pedro Navarro, behaved in a style worthy of the
school of Gonsalvo. During the early part of the day, they lay on the
ground, in a position which sheltered them from the deadly artillery of
Este, then the best mounted and best served of any in Europe. When at
length, as the tide of battle was going against them, they were brought
into the field, Navarro led them at once against a deep column of
landsknechts, who, armed with the long German pike, were bearing down all
before them. The Spaniards received the shock of this formidable weapon on
the mailed panoply with which their bodies were covered, and, dexterously
gliding into the hostile ranks, contrived with their short swords to do
such execution on the enemy, unprotected except by corselets in front, and
incapable of availing themselves of their long weapon, that they were
thrown into confusion, and totally discomfited. It was repeating the
experiment more than once made during these wars, but never on so great a
scale, and it fully established the superiority of the Spanish arms. [20]

The Italian infantry, which had fallen back before the landsknechts, now
rallied under cover of the Spanish charge; until at length the
overwhelming clouds of French gendarmerie, headed by Ives d'Allègre, who
lost his own life in the _mêlée_, compelled the allies to give ground. The
retreat of the Spaniards, however, was conducted with admirable order, and
they preserved their ranks unbroken, as they repeatedly turned to drive
back the tide of pursuit. At this crisis, Gaston de Foix, flushed with
success, was so exasperated by the sight of this valiant corps going off
in so cool and orderly a manner from the field, that he made a desperate
charge at the head of his chivalry, in hopes of breaking it.
Unfortunately, his wounded horse fell under him. It was in vain his
followers called out, "It is our viceroy, the brother of your queen!" The
words had no charm for a Spanish ear, and he was despatched with a
multitude of wounds. He received fourteen or fifteen in the face; good
proof, says the _loyal serviteur_, "that the gentle prince had never
turned his back." [21]

There are few instances in history, if indeed there be any, of so brief,
and at the same time so brilliant a military career, as that of Gaston de
Foix; and it well entitled him to the epithet his countrymen gave him of
the "thunderbolt of Italy." [22] He had not merely given extraordinary
promise, but in the course of a very few months had achieved such results,
as might well make the greatest powers of the peninsula tremble for their
possessions. His precocious military talents, the early age at which he
assumed the command of armies, as well as many peculiarities of his
discipline and tactics, suggest some resemblance to the beginning of
Napoleon's career.

Unhappily, his brilliant fame is sullied by a recklessness of human life,
the more odious in one too young to be steeled by familiarity with the
iron trade to which he was devoted. It may be fair, however, to charge
this on the age rather than on the individual, for surely never was there
one characterized by greater brutality, and more unsparing ferocity in its
wars. [23] So little had the progress of civilization done for humanity.
It is not until a recent period, that a more generous spirit has operated;
that a fellow-creature has been understood not to forfeit his rights as a
man, because he is an enemy; that conventional laws have been established,
tending greatly to mitigate the evils of a condition, which with every
alleviation is one of unspeakable misery; and that those who hold the
destinies of nations in their hands have been made to feel, that there is
less true glory, and far less profit, to be derived from war, than from
the wise prevention of it.

The defeat at Ravenna struck a panic into the confederates. The stout
heart of Julius the Second faltered, and it required all the assurances of
the Spanish and Venetian ministers to keep him staunch to his purpose.
King Ferdinand issued orders to the Great Captain to hold himself in
readiness for taking the command of forces to be instantly raised for
Naples. There could be no better proof of the royal consternation. [24]

The victory of Ravenna, however, was more fatal to the French than to
their foes. The uninterrupted successes of a commander are so far
unfortunate, that they incline his followers, by the brilliant illusion
they throw around his name, to rely less on their own resources, than on
him whom they have hitherto found invincible; and thus subject their own
destiny to all the casualties which attach to the fortunes of a single
individual. The death of Gaston de Foix seemed to dissolve the only bond
which held the French together. The officers became divided, the soldiers
disheartened, and, with the loss of their young hero, lost all interest in
the service. The allies, advised of this disorderly state of the army,
recovered confidence, and renewed their exertions. Through Ferdinand's
influence over his son-in-law, Henry the Eighth of England, the latter had
been induced openly to join the League in the beginning of the present
year. [25] The Catholic king had the address, moreover, just before the
battle to detach the emperor from France, by effecting a truce between him
and Venice. [26] The French, now menaced and pressed on every side, began
their retreat under the brave La Palice, and, to such an impotent state
were they reduced, that, in less than three months after the fatal
victory, they were at the foot of the Alps, having abandoned not only
their recent, but all their conquests in the north of Italy. [27]

The same results now took place as in the late war against Venice. The
confederates quarrelled over the division of the spoil. The republic, with
the largest claims, obtained the least concessions. She felt that she was
to be made to descend to an inferior rank in the scale of nations.
Ferdinand earnestly remonstrated with the pope, and subsequently, by means
of his Venetian minister, with Maximilian, on this mistaken policy. [28]
But the indifference of the one, and the cupidity of the other, were
closed against argument. The result was precisely what the prudent monarch
foresaw. Venice was driven into the arms of her perfidious ancient ally,
and on the 23d of March, 1513, a definitive treaty was arranged with
France for their mutual defence. [29] Thus the most efficient member was
alienated from the confederacy. All the recent advantages of the allies
were compromised. New combinations were to be formed, and new and
interminable prospects of hostility opened.

Ferdinand, relieved from immediate apprehensions of the French, took
comparatively little interest in Italian politics. He was too much
occupied with settling his conquests in Navarre. The army, indeed, under
Cardona still kept the field in the north of Italy. The viceroy, after
re-establishing the Medici in Florence, remained inactive. The French,
in the mean while, had again mustered in force, and crossing the mountains
encountered the Swiss in a bloody battle at Novara, where the former were
entirely routed. Cardona, then rousing from his lethargy, traversed the
Milanese without opposition, laying waste the ancient territories of
Venice, burning the palaces and pleasure-houses of its lordly inhabitants
on the beautiful banks of the Brenta, and approaching so near to the
"Queen of the Adriatic" as to throw a few impotent balls into the
monastery of San Secondo.

The indignation of the Venetians and of Alviano, the same general who had
fought so gallantly under Gonsalvo at the Garigliano, hurried them into an
engagement with the allies near La Motta, at two miles' distance from
Vicenza. Cardona, loaded with booty and entangled among the mountain
passes, was assailed under every disadvantage. The German allies gave way
before the impetuous charge of Alviano, but the Spanish infantry stood its
ground unshaken, and by extraordinary discipline and valor succeeded in
turning the fortunes of the day. More than four thousand of the enemy were
left on the field, and a large number of prisoners, including many of
rank, with all the baggage and artillery, fell into the hands of the
victors. [30]

Thus ended the campaign of 1513; the French driven again beyond the
mountains; Venice cooped up within her sea-girt fastnesses, and compelled
to enrol her artisans and common laborers in her defence,--but still
strong in resources, above all in the patriotism and unconquerable spirit
of her people. [31]

* * * * *

Count Daru has supplied the desideratum, so long standing, of a full,
authentic history of a state, whose institutions were the admiration of
earlier times, and whose long stability and success make them deservedly
an object of curiosity and interest to our own. The style of the work, at
once lively and condensed, is not that best suited to historic writing,
being of the piquant, epigrammatic kind, much affected by French writers.
The subject, too, of the revolutions of empire, does not afford room for
the dramatic interest, attaching to works which admit of more extended
biographical development. Abundant interest will be found, however, in the
dexterity with which he has disentangled the tortuous politics of the
republic; in the acute and always sensible reflections with which he
clothes the dry skeleton of fact; and in the novel stores of information
he has opened. The foreign policy of Venice excited too much interest
among friends and enemies in the day of her glory, not to occupy the pens
of the most intelligent writers. But no Italian chronicler, not even one
intrusted with the office by the government itself, has been able to
exhibit the interior workings of the complicated machinery so
satisfactorily as M. Daru has done, with the aid of those voluminous state
papers, which were as jealously guarded from inspection, until the
downfall of the republic, as the records of the Spanish Inquisition.


[1] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iii. lib. 5, p. 257, ed. Milano, 1803.--
Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 6, cap. 7, 9, et alibi.

[2] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 30.--Flassan,
Diplomatie Française, tom. i. pp. 282, 283.

[3] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 78.

[4] Flassan, Diplomatie Française, tom. i. lib. 2, p. 283.--Dumont, Corps
Diplomatique, tom. iv. part 1, no. 52.

[5] This argument, used by Machiavelli against Louis's rupture with
Venice, applies with more or less force to all the other allies. Opere, Il
Principe, cap. 3.

[6] Du Bos, Ligue de Cambray, tom. i. pp. 66, 67.--Ulloa, Vita di Carlo
V., fol. 36, 37. Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 141.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, tom. ii. lib. 7.

[7] See a liberal extract from this harangue, apud Daru, Hist. de Venise,
tom. iii. liv. 23,--also apud Du Bos, Ligue de Cambray, tom. i. p. 240 et
seq.--The old poet, Jean Marot, sums up the sins of the republic in the
following verse:

"Autre Dieu n'ont que l'or, c'est leur créance."

Oeuvres de Clément Marot, avec les Ouvrages de Jean Marot, (La Haye,
1731,) tom. v. p. 71.

[8] See the undisguised satisfaction, with which Martyr, a Milanese,
predicts (Opus Epist., epist. 410), and Guicciardini, a Florentine,
records the humiliation of Venice. (Istoria, lib. 4, p. 137.) The
arrogance of the rival republic does not escape the satirical lash of

"San Marco, impetuoso ed importuno,
Credendosi haver sempre il vento in poppa,
Non si curu di rovinare ognuno;
Ne vidde come la potenza troppa
Era nociva."
Dell' Asino d'Oro, cap. 5.

[9] Mariana, Hist. de España, lib. 29, cap. 15.--Ammirato, Istorie
Florentine, tom. iii. lib. 28, p. 286.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.

Louis XII. was in alliance with Florence, but insisted on 100,000 ducats
as the price of his acquiescence in her recovery of Pisa. Ferdinand, or
rather his general, Gonsalvo de Cordova, had taken Pisa under his
protection, and the king insisted on 50,000 ducats for his abandonment of
her. This honorable transaction resulted in the payment of the respective
amounts to the royal jobbers; the 50,000 excess of Louis's portion being
kept a profound secret from Ferdinand, who was made to believe by the
parties that his ally received only a like sum with himself. Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. iv. pp. 78, 80, 156, 157.

[10] Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 30.--Fleurange, Mémoires, chap. 8.--
Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 183.

Jean Marot describes the execution in the following cool and summary

"Ce chastelain de là, aussi le capitaine,
Pour la derrision et response vilaine
Qu'ils firent au hérault, furent pris et sanglez
Puis devant tout le monde pendus et estranglez."
Oeuvres, tom. v. p. 158.

[11] The fullest account, probably, of the action is in the "Voyage de
Venise" of Jean Marot. (Oeuvres, tom. v. pp. 124-139.) This pioneer of
French song, since eclipsed by his more polished son, accompanied his
master, Louis XII., on his Italian expedition, as his poet chronicler; and
the subject has elicited occasionally some sparks of poetic fire, though
struck out with a rude hand. The poem is so conscientious in its facts and
dates, that it is commended by a French critic as the most exact record of
the Italian campaign. Ibid. Remarques, p. 16.

[12] Foreign historians impute this measure to the former motive, the
Venetians to the latter. The cool and deliberate conduct of this
government, from which all passion, to use the language of the abbé Du
Bos, seems to have been banished, may authorize our acquiescence in the
statement most flattering to the national vanity. See the discussion apud
Ligue de Cambray, pp. 126 et seq.

[13] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 221.--Fleurange, Mémoires,
chap. 7.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 416.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. iv. pp. 178, 179, 190, 191; tom. v. pp. 71, 82-86.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, lib. 7, 9, 10.

[14] Opus Epist., epist. 465.-Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 46.--Fleurange,
Mémoires, chap. 26.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 225.

[14] Istoria, lib. 9, p. 135.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1511.--
Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 225.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
epist. 465.

Machiavelli's friend Vettori, in one of his letters, speaks of the
Catholic king as the principal author of the new coalition against France,
and notices three hundred lances which he furnished the pope in advance,
for this purpose. (Machiavelli, Opere, Lettere Famigliari, no. 8.) He does
not seem to understand that these lances were part of the services due for
the fief of Naples. The letter above quoted of Martyr, a more competent
and unsuspicious authority, shows Ferdinand's sincere aversion to a
rupture with Louis at the present juncture; and a subsequent passage of
the same epistle shows him too much in earnest in his dissuasives, to be
open to the charge of insincerity. "Ut mitibus verbis ipsum, Reginam ejus
uxorem, ut consiliarios omnes Cabanillas alloquatur, ut agant apud regem
suum de pace, dat in frequentibus mandatis." Peter Martyr, Opus Epist.,
ubi supra.--See further, epist. 454.

[15] Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., no. 441.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom.
ii. lib. 29, cap. 24.--Giovio, Vitae Illust. Virorum, p. 164.--Sandoval,
Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 18.

The act of investiture was dated July 3d, 1510. In the following August,
the pontiff remitted the feudal services for the annual tribute of a white
palfrey, and the aid of 300 lances when the estates of the church should
be invaded. (Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 9, cap. 11.) The pope had
hitherto refused the investiture, except on the most exorbitant terms;
which so much disgusted Ferdinand, that he passed by Ostia on his return
from Naples, without condescending to meet his Holiness, who was waiting
there for a personal interview with him. Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist.
353.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. iv. p. 73.

[16] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, p. 207.--Mariana, Hist. de
España, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap. 5.--Rymer, Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 305-308.

[17] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom., v. lib. 10, p. 208.--Bembo, Istoria
Viniziana, tom. ii. lib. 12.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. lib. 30,
cap. 5, 14.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 483.

Vettori, it seems, gave credence to the same suggestion. "Spagna ha sempre
amato assai questo suo Vicerè, e per errore che abbia fatto non l'ha
gustigato, ma più presto fatto più grande, e si può pensare, come molti
dicono, che _sia suo figlio, e che abbia in pensiero lasciarlo Re di
Napoli_." Machiavelli, Opere, let. di 16 Maggio, 1514.

According to Aleson, the king would have appointed Navarro to the post of
commander-in-chief, had not his low birth disqualified him for it in the
eyes of the allies. Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 12.

[18] Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 230, 231.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 260-272.--Giovio, Vita Leonis X., apud Vitae
Illust. Virorum, lib. 2, pp. 37, 38.--Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 48.--
Fleurange, Mémoires, chap. 26-28.

[19] Ariosto introduces the bloody rout of Ravenna among the visions of
Melissa; in which the courtly prophetess (or rather poet) predicts the
glories of the house of Este.

"Nuoteranno i destrier fino alla pancia
Nel sangue uman per tutta la campagna;
Ch' a seppellire il popol verrâ inanco
Tedesco, Ispano, Greco, Italo, e Franco."
Orlando Furioso, canto 3, st. 55.

[20] Brantôme, Vies des Hommes Illustres, disc. 6.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 290-305.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 231,
233.--Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 54.--Du Bellay, Mémoires, apud Petitot,
Collection des Mémoires, tom. xvii. p. 234.--Fleurange, Mémoires, chap.
29, 30.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana, tom. ii. lib. 12.

Machiavelli does justice to the gallantry of this valiant corps, whose
conduct on this occasion furnishes him with a pertinent illustration, in
estimating the comparative value of the Spanish, or rather Roman arms, and
the German. Opere, tom. iv., Arte della Guerra, lib. 2, p. 67.

[21] Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 54.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib.
10, pp. 306-309.--Peter Martyr, epist. 483.--Brantôme, Vies des Hommes
Illustres, disc. 24.

The best, that is, the most perspicuous and animated description of the
fight of Ravenna, among contemporary writers, will be found in
Guicciardini (ubi supra); among the modern, in Sismondi, (Républiques
Italiennes, tom. xiv. chap. 109,) an author, who has the rare merit of
combining profound philosophical analysis with the superficial and
picturesque graces of narrative.

[22] "Le foudre de l'Italie." (Gaillard, Rivalité, tom. iv. p. 391.)--
light authority, I acknowledge, even for a _sobriquet_.

[23] One example may suffice, occurring in the war of the League, in 1510.
When Vicenza was taken by the Imperialists, a number of the inhabitants,
amounting to one, or, according to some accounts, six thousand, took
refuge in a neighboring grotto, with their wives and children,
comprehending many of the principal families of the place. A French
officer, detecting their retreat, caused a heap of faggots to be piled up
at the mouth of the cavern and set on fire. Out of the whole number of
fugitives only one escaped with life; and the blackened and convulsed
appearance of the bodies showed too plainly the cruel agonies of
suffocation. (Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 40.--Bembo, Istoria Viniziana,
tom. ii. lib. 10.) Bayard executed two of the authors of this diabolical
act on the spot. But the "chevalier sans reproche" was an exception to,
rather than an example of, the prevalent spirit of the age.

[24] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 310-312, 322, 323.--
Chrónica del Gran Capitan, lib. 3, cap. 7.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom.
ii. lib. 30, cap. 9.--Giovio, Vita Magni Gonsalvi, lib. 3, p. 288.--
Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1512.--See also Lettera di Vettori, Maggio 16,
1514, apud Machiavelli, Opere.

[25] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. p. 137.

He had become a party to it as early as November 17, of the preceding
year; he deferred its publication, however, until he had received the last
instalment of a subsidy, that Louis XII. was to pay him for the
maintenance of peace. (Rymer, Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 311-323.--Sismondi,
Hist. des Français, tom. xv. p. 385.) Even the chivalrous Harry the Eighth
could not escape the trickish spirit of the age.

[26] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, p. 320.

[27] Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 55.--Fleurange, Mémoires, chap. 31.--
Ferreras, Hist. d'Espagne, tom. viii. pp. 380, 381.--Guicciardini,
Istoria, tom. v. lib. 10, pp. 335, 336.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi; lib. 10,
cap, 20.

[28] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 44-48.--Guicciardini, Istoria,
tom. vi. lib. 11, p. 52.

Martyr reports a conversation that he had with the Venetian minister in
Spain, touching this business. Opus Epist., epist. 520.

[29] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 86.

[30] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 11, pp. 101-138.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 523.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap.
21.--Fleurange, Mémoires, chap. 36, 37.--Also an original letter of King
Ferdinand to Archbishop Deza, apud Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap.

Alviano died a little more than a year after this defeat, at sixty years
of age. He was so much beloved by the soldiery, that they refused to be
separated from his remains, which were borne at the head of the army for
some weeks after his death. They were finally laid in the church of St.
Stephen in Venice; and the senate, with more gratitude than is usually
conceded to republics, settled an honorable pension on his family.

[31] Daru, Hist. de Venise, tom. iii. pp. 615, 616.




Sovereigns of Navarre.--Ferdinand Demands a Passage.--Invasion and
Conquest of Navarre.--Treaty of Orthès.--Ferdinand Settles his Conquests.
--His Conduct Examined.--Gross Abuse of the Victory.

While the Spaniards were thus winning barren laurels on the fields of
Italy, King Ferdinand was making a most important acquisition of territory
nearer home. The reader has already been made acquainted with the manner
in which the bloody sceptre of Navarre passed from the hands of Eleanor,
Ferdinand's sister, after a reign of a few brief days, into those of her
grandson Phoebus. A fatal destiny hung over the house of Foix; and the
latter prince lived to enjoy his crown only four years, when he was
succeeded by his sister Catharine.

It was not to be supposed, that Ferdinand and Isabella, so attentive to
enlarge their empire to the full extent of the geographical limits which
nature seemed to have assigned it, would lose the opportunity now
presented of incorporating into it the hitherto independent kingdom of
Navarre, by the marriage of their own heir with its sovereign. All their
efforts, however, were frustrated by the queen mother Magdaleine, sister
of Louis the Eleventh, who, sacrificing the interests of the nation to her
prejudices, evaded the proposed match, under various pretexts, and in the
end effected a union between her daughter and a French noble, Jean
d'Albret, heir to considerable estates in the neighborhood of Navarre.
This was a most fatal error. The independence of Navarre had hitherto been
maintained less through its own strength, than the weakness of its
neighbors. But, now that the petty states around her had been absorbed
into two great and powerful monarchies, it was not to be expected, that so
feeble a barrier would be longer respected, or that it would not be swept
away in the first collision of those formidable forces. But, although the
independence of the kingdom must be lost, the princes of Navarre might yet
maintain their station by a union with, the reigning family of France or
Spain. By the present connection with a mere private individual they lost
both the one and the other. [1]

Still the most friendly relations subsisted between the Catholic king and
his niece during the lifetime of Isabella. The sovereigns assisted her in
taking possession of her turbulent dominions, as well as in allaying the
deadly feuds of the Beaumonts and Agramonts, with which they were rent
asunder. They supported her with their arms in resisting her uncle Jean,
viscount of Narbonne, who claimed the crown on the groundless pretext of
its being limited to male heirs. [2] The alliance with Spain was drawn
still closer by the avowed purpose of Louis the Twelfth to support his
nephew, Gaston de Foix, in the claims of his deceased father. [3] The
death of the young hero, however, at Ravenna, wholly changed the relations
and feelings of the two countries. Navarre had nothing immediately to fear
from France. She felt distrust of Spain on more than one account,
especially for the protection afforded the Beaumontese exiles, at the head
of whom was the young count of Lerin, Ferdinand's nephew. [4]

France, too, standing alone, and at bay against the rest of Europe, found
the alliance of the little state of Navarre of importance to her,
especially at the present juncture, when the project of an expedition
against Guienne, by the combined armies of Spain and England, naturally
made Louis the Twelfth desirous to secure the good-will of a prince, who
might be said to wear the keys of the Pyrenees as the king of Sardinia did
those of the Alps, at his girdle. With these amicable dispositions, the
king and queen of Navarre despatched their plenipotentiaries to Blois,
early in May, soon after the battle of Ravenna, with full powers to
conclude a treaty of alliance and confederation with the French
government. [5]

In the mean time, June 8th, an English squadron arrived at Passage, in
Guipuscoa, having ten thousand men on board under Thomas Grey, marquis of
Dorset, [6] in order to cooperate with King Ferdinand's army in the
descent on Guienne. This latter force, consisting of two thousand five
hundred horse, light and heavy, six thousand foot, and twenty pieces of
artillery, was placed under Don Fadrique de Toledo, the old duke of Alva,
grandfather of the general, who wrote his name in indelible characters of
blood in the Netherlands, under Philip the Second. [7] Before making any
movement, however, Ferdinand, who knew the equivocal dispositions of the
Navarrese sovereigns, determined to secure himself from the annoyance
which their strong position enabled them to give him on whatever route he
adopted. He accordingly sent to request a free passage through their
dominions, with the demand, moreover, that they should intrust six of
their principal fortresses to such Navarrese as he should name, as a
guarantee for their neutrality during the expedition. He accompanied this
modest proposal with the alternative, that the sovereigns should become
parties to the Holy League, engaging in that case to restore certain
places in his possession, which they claimed, and pledging the whole
strength of the confederacy to protect them against any hostile attempts
of France. [8]

The situation of these unfortunate princes was in the highest degree
embarrassing. The neutrality they had so long and sedulously maintained
was now to be abandoned; and their choice, whichever party they espoused,
must compromise their possessions on one or the other side of the
Pyrenees, in exchange for an ally, whose friendship had proved by repeated
experience quite as disastrous as his enmity. In this dilemma they sent
ambassadors into Castile, to obtain some modification of the terms, or at
least to protract negotiations till some definitive arrangement should be
made with Louis the Twelfth. [9]

On the 17th of July, their plenipotentiaries signed a treaty with that
monarch at Blois, by which France and Navarre mutually agreed to defend
each other, in case of attack, against all enemies whatever. By another
provision, obviously directed against Spain, it was stipulated, that
neither nation should allow a passage to the enemies of the other through
its dominions. And, by a third, Navarre pledged herself to declare war on
the English now assembled in Guipuscoa, and all those co-operating with
them. [10]

Through a singular accident, Ferdinand was made acquainted with the
principal articles of this treaty before its signature. [11] His army had
remained inactive in its quarters around Victoria, ever since the landing
of the English. He now saw the hopelessness of further negotiation, and,
determining to anticipate the stroke prepared for him, commanded his
general to invade without delay, and occupy Navarre.

The duke of Alva crossed the borders on the 21st of July, proclaiming that
no harm should be offered to those who voluntarily submitted. On the 23d,
he arrived before Pampelona. King John, who all the while he had been thus
dallying with the lion, had made no provision for defence, had already
abandoned his capital, leaving it to make the best terms it could for
itself. On the following day, the city, having first obtained assurance of
respect for all its franchises and immunities, surrendered; "a
circumstance," devoutly exclaims King Ferdinand, "in which we truly
discern the hand of our blessed Lord, whose miraculous interposition has
been visible through all this enterprise, undertaken for the weal of the
church, and the extirpation of the accursed schism." [12]

The royal exile, in the mean while, had retreated to Lumbier, where he
solicited the assistance of the duke of Longueville, then encamped on the
northern frontier for the defence of Bayonne. The French commander,
however, stood too much in awe of the English, still lying in Guipuscoa,
to weaken himself by a detachment into Navarre; and the unfortunate
monarch, unsupported, either by his own subjects or his new ally, was
compelled to cross the mountains, and take refuge with his family in
France. [13]

The duke of Alva lost no time in pressing his advantage; opening the way
by a proclamation of the Catholic king, that it was intended only to hold
possession of the country as security for the pacific disposition of its
sovereigns, until the end of his present expedition against Guienne. From
whatever cause, the Spanish general experienced so little resistance, that
in less than a fortnight he overran and subdued nearly the whole of Upper
Navarre. So short a time sufficed for the subversion of a monarchy, which,
in defiance of storm and stratagem, had maintained its independence
unimpaired, with a few brief exceptions, for seven centuries. [14]

On reviewing these extraordinary events, we are led to distrust the
capacity and courage of a prince, who could so readily abandon his
kingdom, without so much as firing a shot in its defence. John had shown,
however, on more than one occasion, that he was destitute of neither. He
was not, it must be confessed, of the temper best suited to the fierce and
stirring times on which he was cast. He was of an amiable disposition,
social and fond of pleasure, and so little jealous of his royal dignity,
that he mixed freely in the dances and other entertainments of the
humblest of his subjects. His greatest defect was the facility with which
he reposed the cares of state on favorites, not always the most deserving.
His greatest merit was his love of letters. [15] Unfortunately, neither
his merits nor defects were of a kind best adapted to extricate him from
his present perilous situation, or enable him to cope with his wily and
resolute adversary. For this, however, more commanding talents might well
have failed. The period had arrived, when, in the regular progress of
events, Navarre must yield up her independence to the two great nations on
her borders; who, attracted by the strength of her natural position, and
her political weakness, would be sure, now that their own domestic
discords were healed, to claim each the moiety, which seemed naturally to
fall within its own territorial limits. Particular events might accelerate
or retard this result, but it was not in the power of human genius to
avert its final consummation.

King Ferdinand, who descried the storm now gathering on the side of
France, resolved to meet it promptly, and commanded his general to cross
the mountains, and occupy the districts of Lower Navarre. In this he
expected the co-operation of the English. But he was disappointed. The
marquis of Dorset alleged that the time consumed in the reduction of
Navarre made it too late for the expedition against Guienne, which was now
placed in a posture of defence. He loudly complained that his master had
been duped by the Catholic king, who had used his ally to make conquests
solely for himself; and, in spite of every remonstrance, he re-embarked
his whole force, without waiting for orders; "a proceeding," says
Ferdinand in one of his letters, "which touches me most deeply, from the
stain it leaves on the honor of the most serene king my son-in-law, and
the glory of the English nation, so distinguished in times past for high
and chivalrous emprize." [16]

The duke of Alva, thus unsupported, was no match for the French under
Longueville, strengthened, moreover, by the veteran corps returned from
Italy, with the brave La Palice. Indeed, he narrowly escaped being hemmed
in between the two armies, and only succeeded in anticipating by a few
hours the movements of La Palice, so as to make good his retreat through
the pass of Roncesvalles, and throw himself into Pampelona. [17] Hither he
was speedily followed by the French general, accompanied by Jean d'Albret.
On the 27th of November, the besiegers made a desperate though ineffectual
assault on the city, which was repeated with equal ill fortune on the two
following days. The beleaguering forces, in the mean time, were straitened
for provisions; and at length, after a siege of some weeks, on learning
the arrival of fresh reinforcements under the duke of Najara, [18] they
broke up their encampment, and withdrew across the mountains; and with
them faded the last ray of hope for the restoration of the unfortunate
monarch of Navarre. [19]

On the 1st of April, in the following year, 1513, Ferdinand effected a
truce with Louis the Twelfth, embracing their respective territories west
of the Alps. It continued a year, and at its expiration was renewed for a
similar time. [20] This arrangement, by which Louis sacrificed the
interests of his ally the king of Navarre, gave Ferdinand ample time for
settling and fortifying his new conquests; while it left the war open in a
quarter, where he well knew, others were more interested than himself to
prosecute it with vigor. The treaty must be allowed to be more defensible
on the score of policy, than of good faith. [21] The allies loudly
inveighed against the treachery of their confederate, who had so
unscrupulously sacrificed the common interest, by relieving France from
the powerful diversion he was engaged to make on her western borders. It
is no justification of wrong, that similar wrongs have been committed by
others; but those who commit them (and there was not one of the allies,
who could escape the imputation, amid the political profligacy of the
times,) certainly forfeit the privilege to complain. [22]

Ferdinand availed himself of the interval of repose, now secured, to
settle his new conquests. He had transferred his residence first to Burgos
and afterwards to Logroño, that he might be near the theatre of
operations. He was indefatigable in raising reinforcements and supplies,
and expressed his intention at one time, notwithstanding the declining
state of his health, to take the command in person. He showed his usual
sagacity in various regulations for improving the police, healing the
domestic feuds,--as fatal to Navarre as the arms of its enemies,--and
confirming and extending its municipal privileges and immunities, so as to
conciliate the affections of his new subjects. [23]

On the 23d of March, 1513, the estates of Navarre took the usual oaths of
allegiance to King Ferdinand. [24] On the 15th of June, 1515, the Catholic
monarch by a solemn act in cortes, held at Burgos, incorporated his new
conquests into the kingdom of Castile. [25] The event excited some
surprise, considering his more intimate relations with Aragon. But it was
to the arms of Castile that he was chiefly indebted for the conquest; and
it was on her superior wealth and resources that he relied for maintaining
it. With this was combined the politic consideration, that the Navarrese,
naturally turbulent and factious, would be held more easily in
subordination when associated with Castile, than with Aragon, where the
spirit of independence was higher, and often manifested itself in such
bold assertion of popular rights, as falls most unwelcome on a royal ear.
To all this must be added the despair of issue by his present marriage,
which had much abated his personal interest in enlarging the extent of his
patrimonial domains.

Foreign writers characterize the conquest of Navarre as a bold, unblushing
usurpation, rendered more odious by the mask of religious hypocrisy. The
national writers, on the other hand, have employed their pens
industriously to vindicate it; some endeavoring to rake a good claim for
Castile out of its ancient union with Navarre, almost as ancient, indeed,
as the Moorish conquest. Others resort to considerations of expediency,
relying on the mutual benefits of the connection to both kingdoms;
arguments which prove little else than the weakness of the cause. [26] All
lay more or less stress on the celebrated bull of Julius the Second, of
February 18th, 1512, by which he excommunicated the sovereigns of Navarre,
as heretics, schismatics, and enemies of the church, releasing their
subjects from their allegiance, laying their dominions under an interdict,
and delivering them over to any who should take, or had already taken,
possession of them. [27] Most, indeed, are content to rest on this, as the
true basis and original ground of the conquest. The total silence of the
Catholic king respecting this document, before the invasion, and the
omission of the national historians since to produce it, have caused much
skepticism as to its existence. And, although its recent publication puts
this beyond doubt, the instrument contains, in my judgment, strong
internal evidence for distrusting the accuracy of the date affixed to it,
which should have been posterior to the invasion; a circumstance
materially affecting the argument; and which makes the papal sentence, not
the original basis of the war, but only a sanction subsequently obtained
to cover its injustice, and authorize retaining the fruits of it. [28]

But, whatever authority such a sanction may have had in the sixteenth
century, it will find little respect in the present, at least beyond the
limits of the Pyrenees. The only way, in which the question can be fairly
tried, must be by those maxims of public law universally recognized as
settling the intercourse of civilized nations; a science, indeed,
imperfectly developed at that time, but in its general principles the same
as now, founded, as these are, on the immutable basis of morality and

We must go back a step beyond the war, to the proximate cause of it. This
was Ferdinand's demand of a free passage for his troops through Navarre.
The demand was perfectly fair, and in ordinary cases would doubtless have
been granted by a neutral nation. But that nation must, after all, be the
only judge of its propriety, and Navarre may find a justification for her
refusal on these grounds. First, that, in her weak and defenceless state,
it was attended with danger to herself. Secondly, that, as by a previous
and existing treaty with Spain, the validity of which was recognized in
her new one of July 17th with France, she had agreed to refuse the right
of passage to the latter nation, she consequently could not grant it to
Spain without a violation of her neutrality. [29] Thirdly, that the demand
of a passage, however just in itself, was coupled with another, the
surrender of the fortresses, which must compromise the independence of the
kingdom. [30]

But although, for these reasons, the sovereigns of Navarre were warranted
in refusing Ferdinand's request, they were not therefore authorized to
declare war against him, which they virtually did by entering into a
defensive alliance with his enemy Louis the Twelfth, and by pledging
themselves to make war on the English and their confederates; an article
pointedly directed at the Catholic king.

True, indeed, the treaty of Blois had not received the ratification of the
Navarrese sovereigns; but it was executed by their plenipotentiaries duly
authorized; and, considering the intimate intercourse between the two
nations, was undoubtedly made with their full knowledge and concurrence.
Under these circumstances, it was scarcely to be expected, that King
Ferdinand, when an accident had put him in possession of the result of
these negotiations, should wait for a formal declaration of hostilities,
and thus deprive himself of the advantage of anticipating the blow of his

The right of making war would seem to include that of disposing of its
fruits; subject, however, to those principles of natural equity, which
should regulate every action, whether of a public or private nature. No
principle can be clearer, for example, than that the penalty should be
proportioned to the offence. Now that inflicted on the sovereigns of
Navarre, which went so far as to dispossess them of their crown, and
annihilate the political existence of their kingdom, was such as nothing
but extraordinary aggressions on the part of the conquered nation, or the
self-preservation of the victors, could justify. As neither of these
contingencies existed in the present case, Ferdinand's conduct must be
regarded as a flagrant example of the abuse of the rights of conquest. We
have been but too familiar, indeed, with similar acts of political
injustice, and on a much larger scale, in the present civilized age. But,
although the number and splendor of the precedents may blunt our
sensibility to the atrocity of the act, they can never constitute a
legitimate warrant for its perpetration.

While thus freely condemning Ferdinand's conduct in this transaction, I
cannot go along with those, who, having inspected the subject less
minutely, are disposed to regard it as the result of a cool, premeditated
policy from the outset. The propositions originally made by him to Navarre
appear to have been conceived in perfect good faith. The requisition of
the fortresses, impudent as it may seem, was nothing more than had been
before made in Isabella's time, when it had been granted, and the security
subsequently restored, as soon as the emergency had passed away. [31] The
alternative proposed, of entering into the Holy League, presented many
points of view so favorable to Navarre, that Ferdinand, ignorant, as he
then was, of the precise footing on which she stood with France, might
have seen no improbability in her closing with it. Had either alternative
been embraced, there would have been no pretext for the invasion. Even
when hostilities had been precipitated by the impolitic conduct of
Navarre, Ferdinand (to judge, not from his public manifestoes only, but
from his private correspondence) would seem to have at first contemplated
holding the country only till the close of his French expedition. [32] But
the facility of retaining these conquests, when once acquired, was too
strong a temptation. It was easy to find some plausible pretext to justify
it, and obtain such a sanction from the highest authority, as should veil
the injustice of the transaction from the world,--and from his own eyes.
And that these were blinded is but too true, if, as an Aragonese historian
declares, he could remark on his death-bed, "that, independently of the
conquest having been undertaken at the instance of the sovereign pontiff,
for the extirpation of the schism, he felt his conscience as easy in
keeping it, as in keeping his crown of Aragon." [33]

* * * * *

I have made use of three authorities exclusively devoted to Navarre, in
the present History. 1. "L'Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, par un des
Secrétaires Interprettes de sa Maiesté" Paris, 1596, 8vo. This anonymous
work, from the pen of one of Henry IV.'s secretaries, is little else than
a meagre compilation of facts, and these deeply colored by the national
prejudices of the writer. It derives some value from this circumstance,
however, in the contrast it affords to the Spanish version of the same
transactions. 2. A tract entitled "Aelii Antonii Nebrissensis de Bello
Navariensi Libri Duo." It covers less than thirty pages folio, and is
chiefly occupied, as the title imports, with the military events of the
conquest by the duke of Alva. It was originally incorporated in the volume
containing its learned author's version, or rather paraphrase, of Pulgar's
Chronicle, with some other matters; and first appeared from the press of
the younger Lebrija, "apud inclytam Granatam, 1545." 3. But the great work
illustrating the history of Navarre is the "Annales del Reyno;" of which
the best edition is that in seven volumes, folio, from the press of
Ibañez, Pamplona, 1766. Its typographical execution would be creditable to
any country. The three first volumes were written by Moret, whose profound
acquaintance with the antiquities of his nation has made his book
indispensable to the student of this portion of its history. The fourth
and fifth are the continuation of his work by Francisco de Aleson, a
Jesuit who succeeded Moret as historiographer of Navarre. The two last
volumes are devoted to investigations illustrating the antiquities of
Navarre, from the pen of Moret, and are usually published separately from
his great historic work. Aleson's continuation, extending from 1350 to
1527, is a production of considerable merit. It shows extensive research
on the part of its author, who, however, has not always confined himself
to the most authentic and accredited sources of information. His
references exhibit a singular medley of original contemporary documents,
and apocryphal authorities of a very recent date. Though a Navarrese, he
has written with the impartiality of one in whom local prejudices were
extinguished in the more comprehensive national feelings of a Spaniard.


[1] See Part I. Chapters 10, 12.

[2] Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 567, 570.--Aleson, Annales de
Navarra, tom. v. lib. 34, cap. 1, fol.--Diccionario Geográfico-Histórico
de España, por la Real Academia de la Historia, (Madrid, 1802,) tom. ii.
p. 117.

[3] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 13.--Zurita, Anales,
tom. vi. lib. 9, cap. 54.--Sismondi, Hist. des Français, tom. xv. p. 500.

[4] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, ubi supra.

[5] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, p. 147.--See also the
king's letter to Deza, dated at Burgos, July 20th, 1512, apud Bernaldez,
Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 235.

[6] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. p. 245.--Herbert, Life and Raigne
of Henry VIII., (London, 1649,) p. 20.--Holinshed, Chronicles, p.568,
(London, 1810.)--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ix. p. 315.

His Valencian editors correct his text, by substituting marquis of

[7] The young poet, Garcilasso de la Vega, gives a brilliant sketch of
this stern old nobleman in his younger days, such as our imagination would
scarcely have formed of him at any period.

"Otro Marte 'n guerra, en corte Febo.
Mostravase mancebo en las señales
del rostro, qu' eran tales, qu' esperança
i cierta confiança claro davan
a cuantos le miravan; qu' el seria,
en quien s' informaria un ser divino."
Obras, ed. de Herrera, p. 505.

[8] Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 3.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi
lib. 10, cap. 4, 5.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap.
15.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 488.--Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos,
MS., ubi supra.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. ii. lib. 29, cap. 25.--Sandoval,
Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 25.

[9] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 7, 8.--Peter Martyr, Opus
Epist., epist. 487.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 25.

[10] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 69.--Carta del Rey
a D. Diego Deza, apud Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 235.

[11] A confidential secretary of King Jean of Navarre was murdered in his
sleep by his mistress. His papers, containing the heads of the proposed
treaty with France, fell into the hands of a priest of Pampelona, who was
induced by the hopes of a reward to betray them to Ferdinand. The story is
told by Martyr, in a letter dated July 18th, 1512. (Opus Epist., epist.
490.) Its truth is attested by the conformity of the proposed terms with
those of the actual treaty.

[12] Carta del Rey a D. Diego Deza, Burgos, July 26th, apud Bernaldez,
Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 236.--Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 620-
627.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.--Peter Martyr,
Opus Epist., epist. 495.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35,
cap. 15.

Bernaldez has incorporated into his chronicle several letters of King
Ferdinand, written during the progress of the war. It is singular, that,
coming from so high a source, they should not have been more freely
resorted to by the Spanish writers. They are addressed to his confessor,
Deza, archbishop of Seville, with whom Bernaldez, curate of a parish in
his diocese, was, as appears from other parts of his work, on terms of

[13] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 15.--Histoire du
Royaume de Navarre, p. 622.--Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap.
4.--"Jean d'Albret you were born," said Catharine to her unfortunate
husband, as they were flying from their kingdom, "and Jean d'Albret you
will die. Had I been king, and you queen, we had been reigning in Navarre
at this moment." (Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 26.) Father
Abarca treats the story as an old wife's tale, and Garibay as an old woman
for repeating it. Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.

[14] Manifiesto del Rey D. Fernando, July 30th, apud Bernaldez, Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 236.--Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 5.--
Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 26.

[15] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 2.--Histoire du
Royaume de Navarre, pp. 603, 604.

[16] 16 See the king's third letter to Deza, Logroño, November 12th, apud
Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 236.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom.
ii. lib. 30, cap. 12.--Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 7.--
Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 499.--Herbert, Life of Henry VIII., p.
24.--Holinshed, Chronicles, p. 571.

[17] Garcilasso de la Vega alludes to these military exploits of the duke,
in his second eclogue.

"Con mas ilustre nombre los arneses
de los fieros Franceses abollava."
Obras, ed. de Herrera, p. 505.

[18] Such was the power of the old duke of Najara, that he brought into
the field on this occasion 1100 horse and 3000 foot, raised and equipped
on his own estates. Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 507.

[19] Mémoires de Bayard, chap. 55, 56.--Fleurange, Mémoires, chap. 33.--
Lebrija, De Bello Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 8, 9.--Abarca, Reyes de Aragon,
tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.--Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1512.

Jean and Catharine d'Albret passed the remainder of their days in their
territories on the French side of the Pyrenees. They made one more faint
and fruitless attempt to recover their dominions during the regency of
Cardinal Ximenes. (Carbajal, Anales, MS., cap. 12.) Broken in spirits,
their health gradually declined, and neither of them long survived the
loss of their crown. Jean died June 23d, 1517, and Catharine followed on
the 12th of February of the next year;--happy, at least, that, as
misfortune had no power to divide them in life, so they were not long
separated by death. (Histoire du Royaume de Navarre, p. 643.--Aleson,
Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 20, 21.) Their bodies sleep side
by side in the cathedral church of Lescar, in their own dominions of
Bearne; and their fate is justly noticed by the Spanish historians as one
of the most striking examples of that stern decree, by which the sins of
the fathers are visited on the children to the third and fourth

[20] Flassan, Diplomatie Française, tom. i. p 296.--Rymer, Foedera, tom.
xiii. pp. 350-352.--Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 11, p82, lib. 12,
p. 168.--Mariana, Hist. de España, tom. ii. lib. 30, cap 22.--"Fu cosa
ridicola," says Guicciardini in relation to this truce, "che nei medesimi
giorni, che la si bandiva solennemente per tutta. Ja Spagna, venne en
araldo a significargli in nome del Re d'Ingbilterra gli apparati
potentissimi, che ei faceva per assaltare la Francia, e a sollecitare che
egli medesimamente movesse, secondo che aveva promesso, la guerra dalla
parte di Spagna." Istoria, tom. vi. lib. 12, p. 84.

[21] Francesco Vettori, the Florentine ambassador at the papal court,
writes to Machiavelli, that he lay awake two hours that night speculating
on the real motives of the Catholic king in making this truce, which,
regarded simply as a matter of policy, he condemns _in toto_. He
accompanies this with various predictions respecting the consequences
likely to result from it. These consequences never occurred, however; and
the failure of his predictions may be received as the best refutation of
his arguments. Machiavelli, Opere, Lett. Famigl. Aprile 21 1513.

[22] Guicciardini, Istoria, tom. vi. lib. II, pp. 81, 82.--Machiavelli,
Opere, ubi supra.--Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., epist. 538.

On the 5th of April a treaty was concluded at Mechlin, in the names of
Ferdinand, the king of England, the emperor, and the pope. (Rymer,
Foedera, tom. xiii. pp. 354-358.) The Castilian envoy, Don Luis Carroz,
was not present at Mechlin, but it was ratified and solemnly sworn to by
him, on behalf of his sovereign, in London, April 18th. (Ibid., tom. xiii.
p. 363.) By this treaty, Spain agreed to attack France in Guienne, while
the other powers were to cooperate by a descent on other quarters. (See
also Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no 79.) This was in
direct contradiction of the treaty signed only five days before at Orthès,
and if made with the privity of King Ferdinand, must be allowed to be a
gratuitous display of perfidy, not easily matched in that age. As such, of
course, it is stigmatized by the French historians, that is the later
ones, for I find no comment on it in contemporary writers. (See Rapin,
History of England, translated by Tindal, (London, 1785-9,) vol. ii. pp.
93, 94. Sismondi, Hist. des Français, tom. xv. p. 626.) Ferdinand, when
applied to by Henry VIII. to ratify the acts of his minister, in the
following summer, refused, on the ground that the latter had transcended
his powers. (Herbert, Life of Henry VIII., p. 29.) The Spanish writers are
silent. His assertion derives some probability from the tenor of one of
the articles, which provides, that in case he refuses to confirm the
treaty, it shall still be binding between England and the emperor;
language which, as it anticipates, may seem to authorize, such a

Public treaties have, for obvious reasons, been generally received as the
surest basis for history. One might well doubt this, who attempts to
reconcile the multifarious discrepancies and contradictions in those of
the period under review. The science of diplomacy, as then practised, was
a mere game of finesse and falsehood, in which the more solemn the
protestations of the parties, the more ground for distrusting their

[23] Carta del Rey a Don Diego Deza, Nov. 12th, 1512, apud Bernaldez,
Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 236.--Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib.
35, cap. 16.--Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 13, 36, 43.--
Carbajal, Anales, MS., año 1512.

[24] Hist. du Royaume de Navarre, pp. 629, 630.--Aleson, Annales de
Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 16.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 30,
cap. 1.

[25] Zurita, Anales, tom. vi. lib. 10, cap. 92.--Carbajal, Anales, MS.,
año 1515.--Garibay, Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 30, cap. 1.--Aleson, Annales
de Navarra, tom, v. lib. 35, cap. 7.--Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V.,
tom. i. p. 26.

[26] The honest canon Salazar de Mendoza, (taking the hint from Lebrija,
indeed,) finds abundant warrant for Ferdinand's treatment of Navarre in
the hard measure dealt by the Israelites of old to the people of Ephron,
and to Sihon, king of the Amorites. (Monarquía, tom. i. lib. 3, cap. 6.)
It might seem strange, that a Christian should look for authority in the
practices of the race he so much abominates, instead of the inspired
precepts of the Founder of his religion! But in truth your thoroughbred
casuist is apt to be very little of a Christian.

[27] See the original bull of Julius II., apud Mariana, Hist. de España,
tom. ix. Apend. no. 2, ed. Valencia, 1796.--"Joannem et Catharinam," says
the bull, in the usual conciliatory style of the Vatican, "perditionis
filios,--excommunicatos, anathemizatos, maledictos, aeterni supplicii
reos," etc., etc. "Our armies swore terribly in Flanders, cried my uncle
Toby,--but nothing to this. For my own part I could not have a heart to
curse my dog so."

[28] The ninth volume of the splendid Valencian edition of Mariana
contains in the Appendix the famous bull of Julius II. of Feb. 18th, 1512,
the original of which is to be found in the royal archives of Barcelona.
The editor, Don Francisco Ortiz y Sanz, has accompanied it with an
elaborate disquisition, in which he makes the apostolic sentence the great
authority for the conquest. It was a great triumph undoubtedly, to be able
to produce the document, to which the Spanish historians had been so long
challenged in vain by foreign writers, and the existence of which might
well be doubted, since no record of it appears on the papal register.
(Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.) Paris de Grassis,
_maître des cérémonies_ of the chapel of Julius II. and Leo X., makes
no mention of bull or excommunication, although very exact and particular
in reporting such facts. (Bréquigny, Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Roy,
tom. ii. p. 570.) There is no reason that I know for doubting the
genuineness of the present instrument. There are conclusive reasons to my
mind, however, for rejecting its date, and assigning it to some time
posterior to the conquest.

1st. The bull denounces John and Catharine as having openly joined
themselves to Louis XII., and borne arms with him against England, Spain,
and the church; a charge for which there was no pretence till five months
later.--2d. With this bull the editor has given another, dated Rome, July
21st, 1512, noticed by Peter Martyr. (Opus Epist., epist. 497.) This
latter is general in its import, being directed against all nations
whatever, engaged in alliance with France against the church. The
sovereigns of Navarre are not even mentioned, nor the nation itself, any
further than to warn it of the imminent danger in which it stood of
falling into the schism. Now it is obvious that this second bull, so
general in its import, would have been entirely superfluous in reference
to Navarre, after the publication of the first; while, on the other hand,
nothing could be more natural than that these general menaces and
warnings, having proved ineffectual, should be followed by the particular
sentence of excommunication contained in the bull of February.--3d. In
fact, the bull of February makes repeated allusion to a former one, in
such a manner as to leave no doubt that the bull of July 21st is intended;
since not only the sentiments, but the very form of expression, are
perfectly coincident in both for whole sentences together.--4th. Ferdinand
makes no mention of the papal excommunication, either in his private
correspondence, where he discusses the grounds of the war, or in his
manifesto to the Navarrese, where it would have served his purpose quite
as effectually as his arms. I say nothing of the negative evidence
afforded by the silence of contemporary writers, as Lebrija, Carbajal,
Bernaldez, and Martyr, who, while they allude to a sentence of
excommunication passed in the consistory, or to the publication of the
bull of July, give no intimation of the existence of that of February; a
silence altogether inexplicable. The inference from all this is, that the
date of the bull of February 18th, 1512, is erroneous; that it should be
placed at some period posterior to the conquest, and consequently could
not have served as the ground of it; but was probably obtained at the
instance of the Catholic king, in order, by the odium which it threw on
the sovereigns of Navarre, as excommunicate, to remove that under which he
lay himself, and at the same time secure what might be deemed a sufficient
warrant for retaining his acquisitions.

Readers in general may think more time has been spent on the discussion
than it is worth. But the important light, in which it is viewed by those
who entertain more deference for a papal decree, is sufficiently attested
by the length and number of disquisitions on it, down to the present

[29] Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, tom. iv. part. 1, no. 69.

[30] According to Galindez de Carbajal, only three fortresses were
originally demanded by Ferdinand. (Anales, MS., año 1512.) He may have
confounded the number with that said to have been finally conceded by the
king of Navarre; a concession, however, which amounted to little, since it
excluded by name two of the most important places required, and the
sincerity of which may well be doubted, if, as it would seem, it was not
made till after the negotiations with France had been adjusted. See
Zurita, Anales, lib. 10, cap. 7.

[31] Aleson, Annales de Navarra, tom. v. lib. 35, cap. 1, 3.--Garibay,
Compendio, tom. iii. lib. 29, cap. 13.

[32] See King Ferdinand's letter, July 20th, and his manifesto, July 30th,
1512, apud Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 235.--Lebrija, De Bello
Navariensi, lib. 1, cap. 7.

[33] Abarca, Reyes de Aragon, tom. ii. rey 30, cap. 21.




Gonsalvo Ordered to Italy.--General Enthusiasm.--The King's Distrust.--
Gonsalvo in Retirement.--Decline of his Health.--His Death and Noble
Character.--Ferdinand's Illness.--It Increases.--He Dies.--His Character.
--A Contrast to Isabella.--The Judgment of his Contemporaries.

Notwithstanding the good order which King Ferdinand maintained in Castile
by his energetic conduct, as well as by his policy of diverting the
effervescing spirits of the nation to foreign enterprise, he still
experienced annoyance from various causes. Among these were Maximilian's
pretensions to the regency, as paternal grandfather of the heir apparent.
The emperor, indeed, had more than once threatened to assert his
preposterous claims to Castile in person; and, although this Quixotic
monarch, who had been tilting against windmills all his life, failed to
excite any powerful sensation, either by his threats or his promises, it
furnished a plausible pretext for keeping alive a faction hostile to the
interests of the Catholic king.

In the winter of 1509, an arrangement was made with the emperor, through
the mediation of Louis the Twelfth, by which he finally relinquished his
pretensions to the regency of Castile, in consideration of the aid of
three hundred lances, and the transfer to him of the fifty thousand
ducats, which Ferdinand was to receive from Pisa. [1] No bribe was too
paltry for a prince, whose means were as narrow, as his projects were vast
and chimerical. Even after this pacification, the Austrian party contrived
to disquiet the king, by maintaining the archduke Charles's pretensions to
the government in the name of his unfortunate mother; until at length, the
Spanish monarch came to entertain not merely distrust, but positive
aversion, for his grandson; while the latter, as he advanced in years, was
taught to regard Ferdinand as one, who excluded him from his rightful
inheritance by a most flagrant act of usurpation. [2]

Ferdinand's suspicious temper found other grounds for uneasiness, where
there was less warrant for it, in his jealousy of his illustrious subject
Gonsalvo de Cordova. This was particularly the case, when circumstances
had disclosed the full extent of that general's popularity. After the
defeat of Ravenna, the pope and the other allies of Ferdinand urged him in
the most earnest manner to send the Great Captain into Italy, as the only
man capable of checking the French arms, and restoring the fortunes of the
league. The king, trembling for the immediate safety of his own dominions,
gave a reluctant assent, and ordered Gonsalvo to hold himself in readiness
to take command of an army to be instantly raised for Italy. [3]

These tidings were received with enthusiasm by the Castilians. Men of
every rank pressed forward to serve under a chief, whose service was
itself sufficient passport to fame. "It actually seemed," says Martyr, "as
if Spain were to be drained of all her noble and generous blood. Nothing
appeared impossible, or even difficult, under such a leader. Hardly a
cavalier in the land, but would have thought it a reproach to remain
behind. Truly marvellous," he adds, "is the authority which he has
acquired over all orders of men!" [4]

Such was the zeal with which men enlisted under his banner, that great
difficulty was found in completing the necessary levies for Navarre, then
menaced by the French. The king, alarmed at this, and relieved from
apprehensions of immediate danger to Naples, by subsequent advices from
that country, sent orders greatly reducing the number of forces to be
raised. But this had little effect, since every man, who had the means,
preferred acting as a volunteer under the Great Captain to any other
service, however gainful; and many a poor cavalier was there, who expended
his little all, or incurred a heavy debt, in order to appear in the field
in a style becoming the chivalry of Spain.

Ferdinand's former distrust of his general was now augmented tenfold by
this evidence of his unbounded popularity. He saw in imagination much more
danger to Naples from such a subject, than from any enemy, however
formidable. He had received intelligence, moreover, that the French were
in full retreat towards the north. He hesitated no longer, but sent
instructions to the Great Captain at Cordova, to disband his levies, as
the expedition would be postponed till after the present winter; at the
same time inviting such as chose to enlist in the service of Navarre. [5]

These tidings were received with indignant feelings by the whole army. The
officers refused, nearly to a man, to engage in the proposed service.
Gonsalvo, who understood the motives of this change in the royal purpose,
was deeply sensible to what he regarded as a personal affront. He,
however, enjoined on his troops implicit obedience to the king's commands.
Before dismissing them, as he knew that many had been drawn into expensive
preparations far beyond their means, he distributed largesses among them,
amounting to the immense sum, if we may credit his biographers, of one
hundred thousand ducats. "Never stint your hand," said he to his steward,
who remonstrated on the magnitude of the donative; "there is no mode of
enjoying one's property, like giving it away." He then wrote a letter to
the king, in which he gave free vent to his indignation, bitterly
complaining of the ungenerous requital of his services, and asking leave
to retire to his duchy of Terranova in Naples, since he could be no longer
useful in Spain. This request was not calculated to lull Ferdinand's
suspicions. He answered, however, "in the soft and pleasant style, which
he knew so well how to assume," says Zurita; and, after specifying his
motives for relinquishing, however reluctantly, the expedition, he
recommended Gonsalvo's return to Loja, at least until some more definite
arrangement could be made respecting the affairs of Italy.

Thus condemned to his former seclusion, the Great Captain resumed his late
habits of life, freely opening his mansion to persons of merit,
interesting himself in plans for ameliorating the condition of his
tenantry and neighbors, and in this quiet way winning a more
unquestionable title to human gratitude than when piling up the blood-
stained trophies of victory. Alas for humanity, that it should have deemed
otherwise! [6]

Another circumstance, which disquieted the Catholic king, was the failure
of issue by his present wife. The natural desire of offspring was further
stimulated by hatred of the house of Austria, which made him eager to
abridge the ample inheritance about to descend on his grandson Charles. It
must be confessed, that it reflects little credit on his heart or his
understanding, that he should have been so ready to sacrifice to personal
resentment those noble plans for the consolidation of the monarchy, which
had so worthily occupied the attention both of himself and of Isabella, in
his early life. His wishes had nearly been realized. Queen Germaine was
delivered of a son, March 3d, 1509. Providence, however, as if unwilling
to defeat the glorious consummation of the union of the Spanish kingdoms,
so long desired and nearly achieved, permitted the infant to live only a
few hours. [7]

Ferdinand repined at the blessing denied him, now more than ever. In order
to invigorate his constitution, he resorted to artificial means. [8] The
medicines which he took had the opposite effect. At least from this time,
the spring of 1513, he was afflicted with infirmities before unknown to
him. Instead of his habitual equanimity and cheerfulness, he became
impatient, irritable, and frequently a prey to morbid melancholy. He lost
all relish for business, and even for amusements, except field sports, to
which he devoted the greater part of his time. The fever which consumed
him made him impatient of long residence in any one place, and during
these last years of his life the court was in perpetual migration. The
unhappy monarch, alas! could not fly from disease, or from himself. [9]

In the summer of 1515, he was found one night by his attendants in a state
of insensibility, from which it was difficult to rouse him. He exhibited
flashes of his former energy after this, however. On one occasion he made
a journey to Aragon, in order to preside at the deliberations of the
cortes, and enforce the grant of supplies, to which the nobles, from
selfish considerations, made resistance. The king failed, indeed, to bend
their intractable tempers, but he displayed on the occasion all his wonted
address and resolution. [10]

On his return to Castile, which, perhaps from the greater refinement and
deference of the people, seems to have been always a more agreeable
residence to him than his own kingdom of Aragon, he received intelligence
very vexatious, in the irritable state of his mind. He learned that the
Great Captain was preparing to embark for Flanders, with his friend the
count of Ureña, the marquis of Priego his nephew, and his future son-in-
law, the count of Cabra. Some surmised that Gonsalvo designed to take
command of the papal army in Italy; others, to join himself with the
archduke Charles, and introduce him, if possible, into Castile. Ferdinand,
clinging to power more tenaciously as it was ready to slip of itself from
his grasp, had little doubt that the latter was his purpose. He sent
orders therefore to the south, to prevent the meditated embarkation, and,
if necessary, to seize Gonsalvo's person. But the latter was soon to
embark on a voyage, where no earthly arm could arrest him. [11]

In the autumn of 1515 he was attacked by a quartan fever. Its approaches
at first were mild. His constitution, naturally good, had been invigorated
by the severe training of a military life; and he had been so fortunate,
that, notwithstanding the free exposure of his person to danger, he had
never received a wound. But, although little alarm was occasioned at first
by his illness, he found it impossible to throw it off; and he removed to
his residence in Granada, in hopes of deriving benefit from its salubrious
climate. Every effort to rally the declining powers of nature proved
unavailing; and on the 2d of December, 1515, he expired in his own palace
at Granada, in the arms of his wife, and his beloved daughter Elvira. [12]

The death of this illustrious man diffused universal sorrow throughout the
nation. All envy and unworthy suspicion died with him. The king and the
whole court went into mourning. Funeral services were performed in his
honor, in the royal chapel and all the principal churches of the kingdom.
Ferdinand addressed a letter of consolation to his duchess, in which he
lamented the death of one, "who had rendered him inestimable services, and
to whom he had ever borne such sincere affection!" [13] His obsequies were
celebrated with great magnificence in the ancient Moorish capital, under
the superintendence of the count of Tendilla, the son and successor of
Gonsalvo's old friend, the late governor of Granada. [14] His remains,
first deposited in the Franciscan monastery, were afterwards removed and
laid beneath a sumptuous mausoleum in the church of San Geronimo; [15] and
more than a hundred banners and royal pennons, waving in melancholy pomp
around the walls of the chapel, proclaimed the glorious achievements of
the warrior who slept beneath. [16] His noble wife, Doña Maria Manrique,
survived him but a few days. His daughter Elvira inherited the princely
titles and estates of her father, which, by her marriage with her kinsman,
the count of Cabra, were perpetuated in the house of Cordova. [17]

Gonsalvo, or, as he is called in Castilian, Gonzalo Hernandez de Cordova,
was sixty-two years old at the time of his death. His countenance and
person are represented to have been extremely handsome; his manners,
elegant and attractive, were stamped with that lofty dignity, which so
often distinguishes his countrymen. "He still bears," says Martyr,
speaking of him in the last years of his life, "the same majestic port as
when in the height of his former authority; so that every one who visits
him acknowledges the influence of his noble presence, as fully as when, at
the head of armies, he gave laws to Italy." [18]

His splendid military successes, so gratifying to Castilian pride, have
made the name of Gonsalvo as familiar to his countrymen as that of the
Cid, which, floating down the stream of popular melody, has been treasured
up as a part of the national history. His shining qualities, even more
than his exploits, have been often made the theme of fiction; and fiction,
as usual, has dealt with them in a fashion to leave only confused and
erroneous conceptions of both. More is known of the Spanish hero, for
instance, to foreign readers from Florian's agreeable novel, than from any
authentic record of his actions. Yet Florian, by dwelling only on the
dazzling and popular traits of his hero, has depicted him as the very
personification of romantic chivalry. This certainly was not his
character, which might be said to have been formed after a riper period of
civilization than the age of chivalry. At least, it had none of the
nonsense of that age,--its fanciful vagaries, reckless adventure, and wild
romantic gallantry. [19] His characteristics were prudence, coolness,
steadiness of purpose, and intimate knowledge of man. He understood, above
all, the temper of his own countrymen. He may be said in some degree to
have formed their military character; their patience of severe training
and hardship, their unflinching obedience, their inflexible spirit under
reverses, and their decisive energy in the hour of action. It is certain
that the Spanish soldier under his hands assumed an entirely new aspect
from that which he had displayed in the romantic wars of the Peninsula.

Gonsalvo was untainted with the coarser vices characteristic of the time.
He discovered none of that griping avarice, too often the reproach of his
countrymen in these wars. His hand and heart were liberal as the day. He
betrayed none of the cruelty and licentiousness, which disgrace the age of
chivalry. On all occasions he was prompt to protect women from injury or
insult. Although his distinguished manners and rank gave him obvious
advantages with the sex, he never abused them; [20] and he has left a
character, unimpeached by any historian, of unblemished morality in his
domestic relations. This was a rare virtue in the sixteenth century.

Gonsalvo's fame rests on his military prowess; yet his character would
seem in many respects better suited to the calm and cultivated walks of
civil life. His government of Naples exhibited much discretion and sound
policy; [21] and there, as afterwards in his retirement, his polite and
liberal manners secured not merely the good-will, but the strong
attachment, of those around him. His early education, like that of most of
the noble cavaliers who came forward before the improvements introduced
under Isabella, was taken up with knightly exercises, more than
intellectual accomplishments. He was never taught Latin, and had no
pretensions to scholarship; but he honored and nobly recompensed it in
others. His solid sense and liberal taste supplied all deficiencies in
himself, and led him to select friends and companions from among the most
enlightened and virtuous of the community. [22]

On this fair character there remains one foul reproach. This is his breach
of faith in two memorable instances; first, to the young duke of Calabria,
and afterwards to Caesar Borgia, both of whom he betrayed into the hands
of King Ferdinand, their personal enemy; and in violation of his most
solemn pledges. [23] True, it was in obedience to his master's commands,
and not to serve his own purposes; and true also, this want of faith was
the besetting sin of the age. But history has no warrant to tamper with
right and wrong, or to brighten the character of its favorites by
diminishing one shade of the abhorrence which attaches to their vices.
They should rather be held up in their true deformity, as the more
conspicuous from the very greatness with which they are associated. It may
be remarked, however, that the reiterated and unsparing opprobrium with
which foreign writers, who have been little sensible to Gonsalvo's merits,
have visited these offences, affords tolerable evidence that they are the
only ones of any magnitude that can be charged on him. [24]

As to the imputation of disloyalty, we have elsewhere had occasion to
notice its apparent groundlessness. It would be strange, indeed, if the
ungenerous treatment which he had experienced ever since his return from
Naples had not provoked feelings of indignation in his bosom. Nor would it
be surprising, under these circumstances, if he had been led to regard the
archduke Charles's pretensions to the regency, as he came of age, with a
favorable eye. There is no evidence, however, of this, or of any act
unfriendly to Ferdinand's interests. His whole public life, on the
contrary, exhibited the truest loyalty; and the only stains that darken
his fame were incurred by too unhesitating devotion to the wishes of his
master. He is not the first nor the last statesman, who has reaped the
royal recompense of ingratitude, for serving his king with greater zeal
than he had served his Maker.

Ferdinand's health, in the mean time, had declined so sensibly, that it
was evident he could not long survive the object of his jealousy. [25] His
disease had now settled into a dropsy, accompanied with a distressing
affection of the heart. He found difficulty in breathing, complained that
he was stifled in the crowded cities, and passed most of his time, even
after the weather became cold, in the fields and forests, occupied, as far
as his strength permitted, with the fatiguing pleasures of the chase. As
the winter advanced, he bent his steps towards the south. He passed some
time, in December, at a country-seat of the duke of Alva, near Placentia,
where he hunted the stag. He then resumed his journey to Andalusia, but
fell so ill on the way, at the little village of Madrigalejo, near
Truxillo, that it was found impossible to advance further. [26]

The king seemed desirous of closing his eyes to the danger of his
situation as long as possible. He would not confess, nor even admit his
confessor into his chamber. [27] He showed similar jealousy of his
grandson's envoy, Adrian of Utrecht. This person, the preceptor of
Charles, and afterwards raised through his means to the papacy, had come
into Castile some weeks before, with the ostensible view of making some
permanent arrangement with Ferdinand in regard to the regency. The real
motive, as the powers which he brought with him subsequently proved, was,
that he might be on the spot when the king died, and assume the reins of
government. Ferdinand received the minister with cold civility, and an
agreement was entered into, by which the regency was guaranteed to the
monarch, not only during Joanna's life, but his own. Concessions to a
dying man cost nothing. Adrian, who was at Guadalupe at this time, no
sooner heard of Ferdinand's illness, than he hastened to Madrigalejo. The
king, however, suspected the motives of his visit. "He has come to see me
die," said he; and, refusing to admit him into his presence, ordered the
mortified envoy back again to Guadalupe. [28]

At length the medical attendants ventured to inform the king of his real
situation, conjuring him if he had any affairs of moment to settle, to do
it without delay. He listened to them with composure, and from that moment
seemed to recover all his customary fortitude and equanimity. After
receiving the sacrament, and attending to his spiritual concerns, he
called his attendants around his bed, to advise with them respecting the
disposition of the government. Among those present, at this time, were his
faithful followers, the duke of Alva, and the marquis of Denia, his
majordomo, with several bishops and members of his council. [29]

The king, it seems, had made several wills. By one, executed at Burgos, in
1512, he had committed the government of Castile and Aragon to the infante
Ferdinand during his brother Charles's absence. This young prince had been
educated in Spain under the eye of his grand-father, who entertained a
strong affection for him. The counsellors remonstrated in the plainest
terms against this disposition of the regency. Ferdinand, they said, was
too young to take the helm into his own hands. His appointment would be
sure to create new factions in Castile; it would raise him up to be in a
manner a rival of his brother, and kindle ambitious desires in his bosom,
which could not fail to end in his disappointment, and perhaps
destruction. [30]

The king, who would never have made such a devise in his better days, was
more easily turned from his purpose now, than he would once have been. "To
whom then," he asked, "shall I leave the regency?" "To Ximenes, archbishop
of Toledo," they replied. Ferdinand turned away his face, apparently in
displeasure; but after a few moments' silence rejoined, "It is well; he is
certainly a good man, with honest intentions. He has no importunate
friends or family to provide for. He owes everything to Queen Isabella and
myself; and, as he has always been true to the interests of our family, I
believe he will always remain so." [31]

He, however, could not so readily abandon the idea of some splendid
establishment for his favorite grandson; and he proposed to settle on him
the grand-masterships of the military orders. But to this his attendants
again objected, on the same grounds as before; adding, that this powerful
patronage was too great for any subject, and imploring him not to defeat
the object which the late queen had so much at heart, of incorporating it
with the crown. "Ferdinand will be left very poor then," exclaimed the
king, with tears in his eyes. "He will have the good-will of his brother,"
replied one of his honest counsellors, "the best legacy your Highness can
leave him." [32]

The testament, as finally arranged, settled the succession of Aragon and
Naples on his daughter Joanna and her heirs. The administration of Castile
during Charles's absence was intrusted to Ximenes, and that of Aragon to
the king's natural son, the archbishop of Saragossa, whose good sense and
popular manners made him acceptable to the people. He granted several
places in the kingdom of Naples to the infante Ferdinand, with an annual
stipend of fifty thousand ducats, chargeable on the public revenues. To
his queen Germaine he left the yearly income of thirty thousand gold
florins, stipulated by the marriage settlement, with five thousand a year
more during widowhood. [33] The will contained, besides, several
appropriations for pious and charitable purposes, but nothing worthy of
particular note. [34] Notwithstanding the simplicity of the various
provisions of the testament, it was so long, from the formalities and
periphrases with which it was encumbered, that there was scarce time to
transcribe it in season for the royal signature. On the evening of the 22d
of January, 1516, he executed the instrument; and a few hours later,
between one and two of the morning of the 23d, Ferdinand breathed his
last. [35] The scene of this event was a small house belonging to the
friars of Guadalupe. "In so wretched a tenement," exclaims Martyr, in his
usual moralizing vein, "did this lord of so many lands close his eyes upon
the world." [36]

Ferdinand was nearly sixty-four years old, of which forty-one had elapsed
since he first swayed the sceptre of Castile, and thirty-seven since he
held that of Aragon. A long reign; long enough, indeed, to see most of
those whom he had honored and trusted of his subjects gathered to the
dust, and a succession of contemporary monarchs come and disappear like
shadows. [37] He died deeply lamented by his native subjects, who
entertained a partiality natural towards their own hereditary sovereign.
The event was regarded with very different feelings by the Castilian
nobles, who calculated their gains on the transfer of the reins from such
old and steady hands into those of a young and inexperienced master. The
commons, however, who had felt the good effect of this curb on the
nobility, in their own personal security, held his memory in reverence as
that of a national benefactor. [38]

Ferdinand's remains were interred, agreeably to his orders, in Granada. A
few of his most faithful adherents accompanied them; the greater part
being deterred by a prudent caution of giving umbrage to Charles. [39] The
funeral train, however, was swelled by contributions from the various
towns through which it passed. At Cordova, especially, it is worthy of
note, that the marquis of Priego, who had slender obligations to
Ferdinand, came out with all his household to pay the last melancholy
honors to his remains. They were received with similar respect in Granada,
where the people, while they gazed on the sad spectacle, says Zurita, were

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