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

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favored by their important colonial acquisitions, the distance of which,
moreover, made it expedient to employ vessels of greater burden than those
hitherto used. The language of subsequent laws, as well as various
circumstances within our knowledge, attest the success of these
provisions. The number of vessels in the merchant service of Spain, at the
beginning of the sixteenth century, amounted to a thousand, according to
Campomanes. [63] We may infer the flourishing condition of their
commercial marine from their military, as shown in the armaments sent at
different times against the Turks, or the Barbary corsairs. [64] The
convoy which accompanied the infanta Joanna to Flanders, in 1496,
consisted of one hundred and thirty vessels, great and small, having a
force of more than twenty thousand men on board; a formidable equipment,
inferior only to that of the far-famed "Invincible Armada." [65]

A pragmatic was passed, in 1491, at the petition of the inhabitants of the
northern provinces, requiring English and other foreign traders to take
their returns in the fruits or merchandise of the country, and not in gold
or silver. This law seems to have been designed less to benefit the
manufacturer, than to preserve the precious metals in the country. [66] It
was the same in purport with other laws prohibiting the exportation of
these metals, whether in coin or bullion. They were not new in Spain, nor
indeed peculiar to her. [67] They proceeded on the principle that gold and
silver, independently of their value as a commercial medium, constituted,
in a peculiar sense, the wealth of a country. This error, common, as I
have said, to other European nations, was eminently fatal to Spain, since
the produce of its native mines before the discovery of America, [68] and
of those in that quarter afterwards, formed its great staple. As such,
these metals should have enjoyed every facility for transportation to
other countries, where their higher value would afford a corresponding
profit to the exporter.

The sumptuary laws of Ferdinand and Isabella are open, for the most part,
to the same objections with those just noticed. Such laws, prompted in a
great degree, no doubt, by the declamations of the clergy against the pomp
and vanities of the world, were familiar, in early times, to most European
states. There was ample scope for them in Spain, where the example of
their Moslem neighbors had done much to infect all classes with a fondness
for sumptuous apparel, and a showy magnificence of living. Ferdinand and
Isabella fell nothing short of the most zealous of their predecessors, in
their efforts to restrain this improvident luxury. They did, however, what
few princes on the like occasions have done--enforced the precept by their
own example. Some idea of their habitual economy, or rather frugality, may
be formed from a remonstrance presented by the commons to Charles the
Fifth, soon after his accession, which represents his daily household
expenses as amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand maravedies; while
those of the Catholic sovereigns were rarely fifteen thousand, or one-
tenth of that sum. [69]

They passed several salutary laws for restraining the ambitious
expenditure at weddings and funerals, as usual, most affected by those who
could least afford it. [70] In 1494, they issued a pragmatic, prohibiting
the importation or manufacture of brocades, or of gold or silver
embroidery, and also plating with these metals. The avowed object was to
check the growth of luxury and the waste of the precious metals. [71]

These provisions had the usual fate of laws of this kind. They gave an
artificial and still higher value to the prohibited article. Some evaded
them. Others indemnified themselves for the privation, by some other, and
scarcely less expensive variety of luxury. Such, for example, were the
costly silks, which came into more general use after the conquest of
Granada. But here the government, on remonstrance of the cortes, again
interposed its prohibition, restricting the privilege of wearing them to
certain specified classes. [72] Nothing, obviously, could be more
impolitic than these various provisions directed against manufactures,
which, under proper encouragement, or indeed without any, from the
peculiar advantages afforded by the country, might have formed an
important branch of industry, whether for the supply of foreign markets,
or for home consumption.

Notwithstanding these ordinances, we find one, in 1500, at the petition of
the silk-growers in Granada, against the introduction of silk thread from
the kingdom of Naples; [73] thus encouraging the production of the raw
material, while they interdicted the uses to which it could be applied.
Such are the inconsistencies into which a government is betrayed by an
over-zealous and impertinent spirit of legislation!

The chief exports of the country in this reign were the fruits and natural
products of the soil, the minerals, of which a great variety was deposited
in its bosom, and the simpler manufactures, as sugar, dressed skins, oil,
wine, steel, etc. [74] The breed of Spanish horses, celebrated in ancient
times, had been greatly improved by the cross with the Arabian. It had,
however, of late years fallen into neglect; until the government, by a
number of judicious laws, succeeded in restoring it to such repute, that
this noble animal became an extensive article of foreign trade. [75] But
the chief staple of the country was wool; which, since the introduction of
English sheep at the close of the fourteenth century, had reached a degree
of fineness and beauty that enabled it, under the present reign, to
compete with any other in Europe. [76]

To what extent the finer manufactures were carried, or made an article of
export, is uncertain. The vagueness of. statistical information in these
early times has given rise to much crude speculation and to extravagant
estimates of their resources, which have been met by a corresponding
skepticism in later and more scrutinizing critics. Capmany, the most acute
of these, has advanced the opinion, that these coarser cloths only were
manufactured in Castile, and those exclusively for home consumption. [77]
The royal ordinances, however, imply, in the character and minuteness of
their regulations, a very considerable proficiency in many of the mechanic
arts. [78] Similar testimony is borne by intelligent foreigners, visiting
or residing in the country at the beginning of the sixteenth century; who
notice the fine cloths and manufacture of arms in Segovia, [79] the silks
and velvets of Granada and Valencia, [80] the woollen and silk fabrics of
Toledo, which gave employment to ten thousand artisans, [81] and curiously
wrought plate of Valladolid, [82] and the fine cutlery and glass
manufactures of Barcelona, rivalling those of Venice. [83]

The recurrence of seasons of scarcity, and the fluctuation of prices,
might suggest a reasonable distrust of the excellence of the husbandry
under this reign. [84] The turbulent condition of the country may account
for this pretty fairly during the early part of it. Indeed, a neglect of
agriculture, to the extent implied by these circumstances, is wholly
irreconcilable with the general tenor of Ferdinand and Isabella's
legislation, which evidently relies on this as the main spring of national
prosperity. It is equally repugnant, moreover, to the reports of
foreigners, who could best compare the state of the country with that of
others at the same period. They extol the fruitfulness of a soil, which
yielded the products of the most opposite climes; the hills clothed with
vineyards and plantations of fruit trees, much more abundant, it would
seem, in the northern regions, than at the present day; the valleys and
delicious vegas, glowing with the ripe exuberance of southern vegetation;
extensive districts, now smitten with the curse of barrenness, where the
traveller scarce discerns the vestige of a road or of a human habitation,
but which then teemed with all that was requisite to the sustenance of the
populous cities in their neighborhood. [85]

The inhabitant of modern Spain or Italy, who wanders amid the ruins of
their stately cities, their grass-grown streets, their palaces and temples
crumbling into dust, their massive bridges choking up the streams they
once proudly traversed, the very streams themselves, which bore navies on
their bosoms, shrunk into too shallow a channel for the meanest craft to
navigate,--the modern Spaniard who surveys these vestiges of a giant race,
the tokens of his nation's present degeneracy, must turn for relief to the
prouder and earlier period of her history, when only such great works
could have been achieved; and it is no wonder that he should be led, in
his enthusiasm, to invest it with a romantic and exaggerated coloring.
[86] Such a period in Spain cannot be looked for in the last, still less
in the seventeenth century, for the nation had then reached the lowest ebb
of its fortunes; [87] nor in the close of the sixteenth, for the
desponding language of cortes shows that the work of decay and
depopulation had then already begun. [88] It can only be found in the
first half of that century, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and
that of their successor, Charles the Fifth; in which last, the state,
under the strong impulse it had received, was carried onward in the career
of prosperity, in spite of the ignorance and mismanagement of those who
guided it.

There is no country which has been guilty of such wild experiments, or has
showed, on the whole, such profound ignorance of the true principles of
economical science, as Spain under the sceptre of the family of Austria.
And, as it is not always easy to discriminate between their acts and those
of Ferdinand and Isabella, under whom the germs of much of the subsequent
legislation may be said to have been planted, this circumstance has
brought undeserved discredit on the government of the latter. Undeserved,
because laws, mischievous in their eventual operation, were not always so
at the time for which they were originally devised; not to add, that what
was intrinsically bad, has been aggravated ten fold under the blind
legislation of their successors. [89] It is also true, that many of the
most exceptionable laws sanctioned by their names, are to be charged on
their predecessors, who had ingrafted their principles into the system
long before; [90] and many others are to be vindicated by the general
practice of other nations, which authorized retaliation on the score of
self-defence. [91]

Nothing is easier than to parade abstract theorems,--true in the
abstract,--in political economy; nothing harder than to reduce them to
practice. That an individual will understand his own interests better than
the government can, or, what is the same thing, that trade, if let alone,
will find its way into the channels on the whole most advantageous to the
community, few will deny. But what is true of all together is not true of
any one singly; and no one nation can safely act on these principles, if
others do not. In point of fact, no nation has acted on them since the
formation of the present political communities of Europe.

All that a new state, or a new government in an old one, can now propose
to itself is, not to sacrifice its interests to a speculative abstraction,
but to accommodate its institutions to the great political system, of
which it is a member. On these principles, and on the higher obligation of
providing the means of national independence in its most extended sense,
much that was bad in the economical policy of Spain, at the period under
review, may be vindicated.

It would be unfair to direct our view to the restrictive measures of
Ferdinand and Isabella, without noticing also the liberal tenor of their
legislation in regard to a great variety of objects. Such, for example,
are the laws encouraging foreigners to settle in the country; [92] those
for facilitating communication by internal improvements, roads, bridges,
canals, on a scale of unprecedented magnitude; [93] for a similar
attention to the wants of navigation, by constructing moles, quays,
lighthouses along the coast, and deepening and extending the harbors, "to
accommodate," as the acts set forth, "the great increase of trade;" for
embellishing and adding in various ways to the accommodations of the
cities; [94] for relieving the subject from onerous tolls and oppressive
monopolies; [95] for establishing a uniform currency and standard of
weights and measures throughout the kingdom, [96] objects of unwearied
solicitude through this whole reign; for maintaining a police, which, from
the most disorderly and dangerous, raised Spain, in the language of
Martyr, to be the safest country in Christendom [97] for such equal
justice, as secured to every man the fruits of his own industry, inducing
him to embark his capital in useful enterprises; and, finally, for
enforcing fidelity to contracts, [98] of which the sovereigns gave such a
glorious example in their own administration, as effectually restored that
public credit, which is the true basis of public prosperity.

While these important reforms were going on in the interior of the
monarchy, it experienced a greater change in its external condition by the
immense augmentation of its territory. The most important of its foreign
acquisitions were those nearest home, Granada and Navarre; at least, they
were the ones most capable, from their position, of being brought under
control, and thoroughly and permanently identified with the Spanish
monarchy. Granada, as we have seen, was placed under the sceptre of
Castile, governed by the same laws, and represented in its cortes, being,
in the strictest sense, part and parcel of the kingdom. Navarre was also
united to the same crown. But its constitution, which bore considerable
analogy to that of Aragon, remained substantially the same as before. The
government, indeed, was administered by a viceroy; but Ferdinand made as
few changes as possible, permitting it to retain its own legislature, its
ancient courts of law, and its laws themselves. So the forms, if not the
spirit of independence, continued to survive its union with the victorious
state. [99]

The other possessions of Spain were scattered over the various quarters of
Europe, Africa, and America. Naples was the conquest of Aragon; or, at
least, made on behalf of that crown. The queen appears to have taken no
part in the conduct of that war, whether distrusting its equity, or its
expediency, in the belief that a distant possession in the heart of Europe
would probably cost more to maintain than it was worth. In fact, Spain is
the only nation, in modern times, which has been able to keep its hold on
such possessions for any very considerable period; a circumstance implying
more wisdom in her policy than is commonly conceded to her. The fate of
the acquisitions alluded to forms no exception to the remark; and Naples,
like Sicily, continued permanently ingrafted on the kingdom of Aragon.

A fundamental change in the institutions of Naples became requisite to
accommodate them to its new relations. Its great offices of state and its
legal tribunals were reorganized. Its jurisprudence, which, under the
Angevin race, and even the first Aragonese, had been adapted to French
usages, was now modelled on the Spanish. The various innovations were
conducted by the Catholic king with his usual prudence; and the reform in
the legislation is commended by a learned and impartial Italian civilian,
as breathing a spirit of moderation and wisdom. [100] He conceded many
privileges to the people, and to the capital especially, whose venerable
university he resuscitated from the decayed state into which it had
fallen, making liberal appropriations from the treasury for its endowment.
The support of a mercenary army, and the burdens incident to the war,
pressed heavily on the people during the first years of his reign. But the
Neapolitans, who, as already noticed, had been transferred too often from
one victor to another to be keenly sensible to the loss of political
independence, were gradually reconciled to his administration, and
testified their sense of its beneficent character by celebrating the
anniversary of his death, for more than two centuries, with public
solemnities, as a day of mourning throughout the kingdom. [101]

But far the most important of the distant acquisitions of Spain were those
secured to her by the genius of Columbus and the enlightened patronage of
Isabella. Imagination had ample range in the boundless perspective of
these unknown regions; but the results actually realized from the
discoveries, during the queen's life, were comparatively insignificant. In
a mere financial view, they had been a considerable charge on the crown.
This was, indeed, partly owing to the humanity of Isabella, who
interfered, as we have seen, to prevent the compulsory exaction of Indian
labor. This was subsequently, and immediately after her death indeed,
carried to such an extent, that nearly half a million of ounces of gold
were yearly drawn from the mines of Hispaniola alone. [102] The pearl
fisheries, [103] and the culture of the sugar-cane, introduced from the
Canaries, [104] yielded large returns under the same inhuman system.

Ferdinand, who enjoyed, by the queen's testament, half the amount of the
Indian revenues, was now fully awakened to their importance. It would be
unjust, however, to suppose his views limited to immediate pecuniary
profits; for the measures he pursued were, in many respects, well
contrived to promote the nobler ends of discovery and colonization. He
invited the persons most eminent for nautical science and enterprise, as
Pinzon, Solis, Vespucci, to his court, where they constituted a sort of
board of navigation, constructing charts, and tracing out new routes for
projected voyages. [105] The conduct of this department was intrusted to
the last-mentioned navigator, who had the glory, the greatest which
accident and caprice ever granted to man, of giving his name to the new

Fleets were now fitted out on a more extended scale, which might vie,
indeed, with the splendid equipments of the Portuguese, whose brilliant
successes in the east excited the envy of their Castilian rivals. The king
occasionally took a share in the voyage, independently of the interest
which of right belonged to the crown. [106.]

The government, however, realized less from these expensive enterprises
than individuals, many of whom, enriched by their official stations, or by
accidentally falling in with some hoard of treasure among the savages,
returned home to excite the envy and cupidity of their countrymen. [107]
But the spirit of adventure was too high among the Castilians to require
such incentive, especially when excluded from its usual field in Africa
and Europe. A striking proof of the facility, with which the romantic
cavaliers of that day could be directed to this new career of danger on
the ocean, was given at the time of the last-meditated expedition into
Italy under the Great Captain. A squadron of fifteen vessels, bound for
the New World, was then riding in the Guadalquivir. Its complement was
limited to one thousand two hundred men; but, on Ferdinand's
countermanding Gonsalvo's enterprise, more than three thousand volunteers,
many of them of noble family, equipped with unusual magnificence for the
Italian service, hastened to Seville, and pressed to be admitted into the
Indian armada. [108] Seville itself was in a manner depopulated by the
general fever of emigration, so that it actually seemed, says a
contemporary, to be tenanted only by women. [109]

In this universal excitement, the progress of discovery was pushed forward
with a success, inferior, indeed, to what might have been effected in the
present state of nautical skill and science, but extraordinary for the
times. The winding depths of the Gulf of Mexico were penetrated, as well
as the borders of the rich but rugged isthmus, which connects the American
continents. In 1512, Florida was discovered by a romantic old knight,
Ponce de Leon, who, instead of the magical fountain of health, found his
grave there. [110] Solis, another navigator, who had charge of an
expedition, projected by Ferdinand, [111] to reach the South Sea by the
circumnavigation of the continent, ran down the coast as far as the great
Rio de la Plata, where he also was cut off by the savages. In 1513, Vasco
Nunez de Balboa penetrated, with a handful of men, across the narrow part
of the Isthmus of Darien, and from the summit of the Cordilleras, the
first of Europeans, was greeted with the long-promised vision of the
southern ocean. [112] The intelligence of this event excited a sensation
in Spain, inferior only to that caused by the discovery of America. The
great object which had so long occupied the imagination of the nautical
men of Europe, and formed the purpose of Columbus's last voyage, the
discovery of a communication with these far western waters, was
accomplished. The famous spice islands, from which the Portuguese had
drawn such countless sums of wealth, were scattered over this sea; and the
Castilians, after a journey of a few leagues, might launch their barks on
its quiet bosom, and reach, and perhaps claim, the coveted possessions of
their rivals, as falling west of the papal line of demarkation. Such were
the dreams, and such the actual progress of discovery, at the close of
Ferdinand's reign.

Our admiration of the dauntless heroism displayed by the early Spanish
navigators, in their extraordinary career, is much qualified by a
consideration of the cruelties with which it was tarnished; too great to
be either palliated or passed over in silence by the historian. As long as
Isabella lived, the Indians found an efficient friend and protector; but
"her death," says the venerable Las Casas, "was the signal for their
destruction." [113] Immediately on that event, the system of
_repartimientos_, originally authorized, as we have seen, by Columbus, who
seems to have had no doubt, from the first, of the crown's absolute right
of property over the natives, [114] was carried to its full extent in the
colonies. [115] Every Spaniard, however humble, had his proportion of
slaves; and men, many of them not only incapable of estimating the awful
responsibility of the situation, but without the least touch of humanity
in their natures, were individually intrusted with the unlimited disposal
of the lives and destinies of their fellow-creatures. They abused this
trust in the grossest manner; tasking the unfortunate Indian far beyond
his strength, inflicting the most refined punishments on the indolent, and
hunting down those who resisted or escaped, like so many beasts of chase,
with ferocious bloodhounds. Every step of the white man's progress in the
New World, may be said to have been on the corpse of a native. Faith is
staggered by the recital of the number of victims immolated in these fair
regions within a very few years after the discovery; and the heart sickens
at the loathsome details of barbarities, recorded by one, who, if his
sympathies have led him sometimes to over-color, can never be suspected of
wilfully misstating facts, of which he was an eye-witness. [116] A selfish
indifference to the rights of the original occupants of the soil, is a sin
which lies at the door of most of the primitive European settlers, whether
papist or puritan, of the New World. But it is light, in comparison with
the fearful amount of crimes to be charged on the early Spanish colonists;
crimes that have, perhaps, in this world, brought down the retribution of
Heaven, which has seen fit to turn this fountain of inexhaustible wealth
and prosperity to the nation into the waters of bitterness.

It may seem strange, that no relief was afforded by the government to
these oppressed subjects. But Ferdinand, if we may credit Las Casas, was
never permitted to know the extent of the injuries done to them. [117] He
was surrounded by men in the management of the Indian department, whose
interest it was to keep him in ignorance. [118] The remonstrances of some
zealous missionaries led him, [119] in 1501, to refer the subject of the
repartimientos to a council of jurists and theologians. This body yielded
to the representations of the advocates of the system, that it was
indispensable for maintaining the colonies, since the European was
altogether unequal to labor in this tropical climate; and that it,
moreover, afforded the only chance for the conversion of the Indian, who,
unless compelled, could never be brought in contact with the white man.

On these grounds, Ferdinand openly assumed for himself and his ministers
the responsibility of maintaining this vicious institution; and
subsequently issued an ordinance to that effect, accompanied, however, by
a variety of humane and equitable regulations for restraining its abuse.
[121] The license was embraced in its full extent; the regulations were
openly disregarded. [122] Several years after, in 1515, Las Casas, moved
by the spectacle of human suffering, returned to Spain, and pleaded the
cause of the injured native, in tones which made the dying monarch tremble
on his throne. It was too late, however, for the king to execute the
remedial measures he contemplated. [123] The efficient interference of
Ximenes, who sent a commission for the purpose to Hispaniola, was attended
with no permanent results. And the indefatigable "protector of the
Indians" was left to sue for redress at the court of Charles, and to
furnish a splendid, if not a solitary example there, of a bosom penetrated
with the true spirit of Christian philanthropy. [124]

I have elsewhere examined the policy pursued by the Catholic sovereigns in
the government of their colonies. The supply of precious metals yielded by
them eventually proved far greater than had ever entered into the
conception of the most sanguine of the early discoverers. Their prolific
soil and genial climate, moreover, afforded an infinite variety of
vegetable products, which might have furnished an unlimited commerce with
the mother country. Under a judicious protection, their population and
productions, steadily increasing, would have enlarged to an incalculable
extent the general resources of the empire. Such, indeed, might have been
the result of a wise system of legislation.

But the true principles of colonial policy were sadly misunderstood in the
sixteenth century. The discovery of a world was estimated, like that of a
rich mine, by the value of its returns in gold and silver. Much of
Isabella's legislation, it is true, is of that comprehensive character,
which shows that she looked to higher and far nobler objects. But with
much that is good, there was mingled, as in most of her institutions, one
germ of evil, of little moment at the time, indeed, but which, under the
vicious culture of her successors, shot up to a height that overshadowed
and blighted all the rest. This was the spirit of restriction and
monopoly, aggravated by the subsequent laws of Ferdinand, and carried to
an extent under the Austrian dynasty, that paralyzed colonial trade.

Under their most ingeniously perverse system of laws, the interests of
both the parent country and the colonies were sacrificed. The latter,
condemned to look for supplies to an incompetent source, were miserably
dwarfed in their growth; while the former contrived to convert the
nutriment which she extorted from the colonies into a fatal poison. The
streams of wealth which flowed in from the silver quarries of Zacatecas
and Potosí, were jealously locked up within the limits of the Peninsula.
The great problem, proposed by the Spanish legislation of the sixteenth
century, was the reduction of prices in the kingdom to the same level as
in other European nations. Every law that was passed, however, tended, by
its restrictive character, to augment the evil. The golden tide, which,
permitted a free vent, would have fertilized the region through which it
poured, now buried the land under a deluge which blighted every green and
living thing. Agriculture, commerce, manufactures, every branch of
national industry and improvement, languished and fell to decay; and the
nation, like the Phrygian monarch, who turned all that he touched to gold,
cursed by the very consummation of its wishes, was poor in the midst of
its treasures.

From this sad picture, let us turn to that presented by the period of our
History, when, the clouds and darkness having passed away, a new morn
seemed to break upon the nation. Under the firm but temperate sway of
Ferdinand and Isabella, the great changes we have noticed were effected
without convulsion in the state. On the contrary, the elements of the
social system, which before jarred so discordantly, were brought into
harmonious action. The restless spirit of the nobles was turned from civil
faction to the honorable career of public service, whether in arms or
letters. The people at large, assured of the security of private rights,
were occupied with the different branches of productive labor. Trade, as
is abundantly shown by the legislation of the period, had not yet fallen
into the discredit which attached to it in later times. [125] The precious
metals, instead of flowing in so abundantly as to palsy the arm of
industry, served only to stimulate it. [126]

The foreign intercourse of the country was every day more widely extended.
Her agents and consuls were to be found in all the principal ports of the
Mediterranean and the Baltic. [127] The Spanish mariner, instead of
creeping along the beaten track of inland navigation, now struck boldly
across the great western ocean. The new discoveries had converted the land
trade with India into a sea trade; and the nations of the Peninsula, who
had hitherto lain remote from the great highways of commerce, now became
the factors and carriers of Europe.

The flourishing condition of the nation was seen in the wealth and
population of its cities, the revenues of which, augmented in all to a
surprising extent, had increased, in some, forty and even fifty fold
beyond what they were at the commencement of the reign; [128] the ancient
and lordly Toledo; Burgos, with its bustling, industrious traders; [129]
Valladolid, sending forth its thirty thousand warriors from its gates,
where the whole population now scarcely reaches two-thirds of that number;
[130] Cordova, in the south, and the magnificent Granada, naturalizing in
Europe the arts and luxuries of the east; Saragossa, "the abundant," as
she was called from her fruitful territory; Valencia, "the beautiful;"
Barcelona, rivalling in independence and maritime enterprise the proudest
of the Italian republics; [131] Medina del Campo, whose fairs were already
the great mart for the commercial exchanges of the Peninsula; [132] and
Seville, [133] the golden gate of the Indies, whose quays began to be
thronged with merchants from the most distant countries of Europe.

The resources of the inhabitants were displayed in the palaces and public
edifices, fountains, aqueducts, gardens, and other works of utility and
ornament. This lavish expenditure was directed by an improved taste.
Architecture was studied on purer principles than before, and, with the
sister arts of design, showed the influence of the new connection with
Italy in the first gleams of that excellence, which shed such lustre over
the Spanish school at the close of the century. [134] A still more decided
impulse was given to letters. More printing presses were probably at work
in Spain in the infancy of the art, than at the present day. [135] Ancient
seminaries were remodelled; new ones were created. Barcelona, Salamanca,
and Alcalá, whose cloistered solitudes are now the grave, rather than the
nursery of science, then swarmed with thousands of disciples, who, under
the generous patronage of the government, found letters the surest path to
preferment. [136] Even the lighter branches of literature felt the
revolutionary spirit of the times, and, after yielding the last fruits of
the ancient system, displayed new and more beautiful varieties, under the
influence of Italian culture. [137]

With this moral development of the nation, the public revenues, the sure
index, when unforced, of public prosperity, went on augmenting with
astonishing rapidity. In 1474, the year of Isabella's accession, the
ordinary rents of the Castilian crown amounted to 885,000 reals; [138] in
1477, to 2,390,078; in 1482, after the resumption of the royal grants, to
12,711,591; and finally in 1504, when the acquisition of Granada [139] and
the domestic tranquillity of the kingdom had encouraged the free expansion
of all its resources, to 26,283,334; or thirty times the amount received
at her accession. [140] All this, it will be remembered, was derived from
the customary established taxes, without the imposition of a single new
one. Indeed, the improvements in the mode of collection tended materially
to lighten the burdens on the people.

The accounts of the population at this early period are, for the most
part, vague and unsatisfactory. Spain, in particular, has been the subject
of the most absurd, though, as it seems, not incredible estimates,
sufficiently evincing the paucity of authentic data. [141] Fortunately,
however, we labor under no such embarrassment as regards Castile in
Isabella's reign. By an official report to the crown on the organization
of the militia, in 1492, it appears that the population of the kingdom
amounted to 1,500,000 _vecinos_ or householders; or, allowing four
and a half to a family (a moderate estimate), to 6,750,000 souls. [142]
This census, it will be observed, was limited to the provinces immediately
composing the crown of Castile, to the exclusion of Granada, Navarre, and
the Aragonese dominions. [143] It was taken, moreover, before the nation
had time to recruit from the long and exhausting struggle of the Moorish
war, and twenty-five years before the close of the reign, when the
population, under circumstances peculiarly favorable, must have swelled to
a much larger amount. Thus circumscribed, however, it was probably
considerably in advance of that of England at the same period. [144] How
have the destinies of the two countries since been reversed?

The territorial limits of the monarchy, in the mean time, went on
expanding beyond example;--Castile and Leon, brought under the same
sceptre with Aragon and its foreign dependencies, Sicily and Sardinia;
with the kingdoms of Granada, Navarre, and Naples; with the Canaries,
Oran, and the other settlements in Africa; and with the islands and vast
continents of America. To these broad domains, the comprehensive schemes
of the sovereigns would have added Portugal; and their arrangements for
this, although defeated for the present, opened the way to its eventual
completion under Philip the Second. [145]

The petty states, which had before swarmed over the Peninsula,
neutralizing each other's operations, and preventing any effective
movement abroad, were now amalgamated into one whole. Sectional jealousies
and antipathies, indeed, were too sturdily rooted to be wholly
extinguished; but they gradually subsided, under the influence of a common
government, and community of interests. A more enlarged sentiment was
infused into the people, who, in their foreign relations, at least,
assumed the attitude of one great nation. The names of Castilian and
Aragonese were merged in the comprehensive one of Spaniard; and Spain,
with an empire which stretched over three-quarters of the globe, and which
almost realized the proud boast that the sun never set within her borders,
now rose, not to the first class only, but to the first place, in the
scale of European powers.

The extraordinary circumstances of the country tended naturally to nourish
the lofty, romantic qualities, and the somewhat exaggerated tone of
sentiment, which always pervaded the national character. The age of
chivalry had not faded away in Spain, as in most other lands. [146] It was
fostered, in time of peace, by the tourneys, jousts, and other warlike
pageants, which graced the court of Isabella. [147] It gleamed out, as we
have seen, in the Italian campaigns under Gonsalvo de Cordova, and shone
forth in all its splendors in the war of Granada. "This was a right gentle
war," says Navagiero, in a passage too pertinent to be omitted, "in which,
as firearms were comparatively little used, each knight had the
opportunity of showing his personal prowess; and rare was it, that a day
passed without some feat of arms and valorous exploit. The nobility and
chivalry of the land all thronged there to gather renown. Queen Isabel,
who attended with her whole court, breathed courage into every heart.
There was scarce a cavalier, who was not enamoured of some one or other of
her ladies, the witness of his achievements, and who, as she presented him
his weapons, or some token of her favor, admonished him to bear himself
like a true knight, and show the strength of his passion by his valiant
deeds. [148] What knight so craven then," exclaims the chivalrous
Venetian, "that he would not have been more than a match for the stoutest
adversary; or who would not sooner have lost his life a thousand times,
than return dishonored to the lady of his love. In truth," he concludes,
"this conquest may be said to have been achieved by love, rather than by
arms." [149]

The Spaniard was a knight-errant, in its literal sense, [150] roving over
seas on which no bark had ever ventured, among islands and continents
where no civilized man had ever trodden, and which fancy peopled with all
the marvels and drear enchantments of romance; courting danger in every
form, combating everywhere, and everywhere victorious. The very odds
presented by the defenceless natives among whom he was cast, "a thousand
of whom," to quote the words of Columbus, "were not equal to three
Spaniards," was in itself typical of his profession; [151] and the
brilliant destinies to which the meanest adventurer was often called, now
carving out with his good sword some "El Dorado" more splendid than fancy
had dreamed of, and now overturning some old barbaric dynasty, were full
as extraordinary as the wildest chimeras which Ariosto ever sang, or
Cervantes satirized.

His countrymen who remained at home, feeding greedily on the reports of
his adventures, lived almost equally in an atmosphere of romance. A spirit
of chivalrous enthusiasm penetrated the very depths of the nation,
swelling the humblest individual with lofty aspirations, and a proud
consciousness of the dignity of his nature. "The princely disposition of
the Spaniards," says a foreigner of the time, "delighteth me much, as well
as the gentle nurture and noble conversation, not merely of those of high
degree, but of the citizen, peasant, and common laborer." [152] What
wonder that such sentiments should be found incompatible with sober,
methodical habits of business, or that the nation indulging them should be
seduced from the humble paths of domestic industry to a brilliant and
bolder career of adventure. Such consequences became too apparent in the
following reign. [153]

In noticing the circumstances that conspired to form the national
character, it would be unpardonable to omit the establishment of the
Inquisition, which contributed so largely to counterbalance the benefits
resulting from Isabella's government; an institution which has done more
than any other to stay the proud march of human reason; which, by imposing
uniformity of creed, has proved the fruitful parent of hypocrisy and
superstition; which has soured the sweet charities of human life, [154]
and, settling like a foul mist on the goodly promise of the land, closed
up the fair buds of science and civilization ere they were fully opened.
Alas, that such a blight should have fallen on so gallant and generous a
people! That it should have been brought on it too by one of such
unblemished patriotism and purity of motive, as Isabella! How must her
virtuous spirit, if it be permitted the departed good to look down on the
scene of their earthly labors, mourn over the misery and moral
degradation, entailed on her country by this one act! So true is it, that
the measures of this great queen have had a permanent influence, whether
for good or evil, on the destinies of her country.

The immediate injury inflicted on the nation by the spirit of bigotry in
the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, although greatly exaggerated, [155]
was doubtless serious enough. Under the otherwise beneficent operation of
their government, however, the healthful and expansive energies of the
state were sufficient to heal up these and deeper wounds, and still carry
it onward in the career of prosperity. With this impulse, indeed, the
nation continued to advance higher and higher, in spite of the system of
almost unmingled evil pursued in the following reigns. The glories of this
later period, of the age of Charles the Fifth, as it is called, must find
their true source in the measures of his illustrious predecessors. It was
in their court that Boscan, Garcilasso, Mendoza, and the other master-
spirits were trained, who moulded Castilian literature into the new and
more classical forms of later times. [156] It was under Gonsalvo de
Cordova, that Leyva, Pescara, and those great captains with their
invincible legions were formed, who enabled Charles the Fifth to dictate
laws to Europe for half a century. And it was Columbus, who not only led
the way, but animated the Spanish navigator with the spirit of discovery.
Scarcely was Ferdinand's reign brought to a close, before Magellan
completed, what that monarch had projected, the circumnavigation of the
southern continent; the victorious banners of Cortes had already
penetrated into the golden realms of Montezuma; and Pizarro, a very few
years later, following up the lead of Balboa, embarked on the enterprise
which ended in the downfall of the splendid dynasty of the Incas.

Thus it is, that the seed sown under a good system continues to yield
fruit in a bad one. The season of the most brilliant results, however, is
not always that of the greatest national prosperity. The splendors of
foreign conquest in the boasted reign of Charles the Fifth were dearly
purchased by the decline of industry at home, and the loss of liberty. The
patriot will see little to cheer him in this "golden age" of the national
history, whose outward show of glory will seem to his penetrating eye only
the hectic brilliancy of decay. He will turn to an earlier period, when
the nation, emerging from the sloth and license of a barbarous age, seemed
to renew its ancient energies, and to prepare like a giant to run its
course; and glancing over the long interval since elapsed, during the
first half of which the nation wasted itself on schemes of mad ambition,
and in the latter has sunk into a state of paralytic torpor, he will fix
his eye on the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, as the most glorious epoch
in the annals of his country.


[1] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6.

[2] Among the minor means for diminishing the consequence of the nobility,
may be mentioned the regulation respecting the "privilegios rodados";
instruments formerly requiring to be countersigned by the great lords and
prelates, but which, from the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, were
submitted for signature only, to officers especially appointed for the
purpose. Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, lib. 2, cap. 12.

[3] Ante, Introd. Sect. 1.

[4]A pertinent example of this policy of the sovereigns occurred in the
cortes of Madrigal, 1476; where, notwithstanding the important subjects of
legislation, none but the third estate were present. (Pulgar Reyes
Católicos, p. 94.) An equally apposite illustration is afforded by the
care to summon the great vassals to the cortes of Toledo, in 1480, when
matters nearly touching them, as the revocation of their honors and
estates, were under discussion, but not till then. Ibid., p. 165.

[5] The same principle made them equally vigilant in maintaining the
purity of those in office. Oviedo mentions, that in 1497 they removed a
number of jurists, on the charge of bribery and other malversation, from
their seats in the royal council. Quincuagenas, MS., dial. de Grizio.

[6] See a letter of the council to Charles V., commending the course
adopted by his grandparents in their promotions to office, apud Carbajal,
Anales, MS., año 1517, cap. 4.

[7] Yet strange instances of promotion are not wanting in Spanish history;
witness the adventurer Ripperda, in Philip V.'s time, and the Prince of
the Peace, in our own; men, who, owing their success less to their own
powers, than the imbecility of others, could lay no claim to the bold and
independent sway exercised by Ximenes.

[8] Ante, Part I., Chapter 19.--"No os parece á vos," says Oviedo, in one
of his Dialogues, "que es mejor ganado eso, que les dá su principe por sus
servicios, é lo que llevan justamente de sus oficios, que lo que se
adquiere robando capas agenas, é matando é vertiendo sangre de
Cristianos?" (Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.) The sentiment
would have been too enlightened for a Spanish cavalier of the fifteenth

[9] In the cortes of Calatayud, in 1515, the Aragonese nobles withheld the
supplies, with the design of compelling the crown to relinquish certain
rights of jurisdiction, which it assumed over their vassals. "Les
parecio," said the archbishop of Saragossa, in a speech on the occasion,
"que auian perdido mucho, en que el ceptro real cobrasse lo suyo, por su
industria. ***** Esto los otros estados del reyno lo atribuyeron a gran
virtud: y lo estimauan por beneficio inmortal." (Zurita, Anales, tom. vi.
lib. 10, cap. 93.) The other estates, in fact, saw their interests too
clearly, not to concur with the crown in this assertion of its ancient
prerogative. Blancas, Modo de Proceder, fol. 100.

[10] Such, for example, were those of great chancellor, of admiral, and of
constable of Castile. The first of these ancient offices was permanently
united by Isabella with that of archbishop of Toledo. The office of
admiral became hereditary, after Henry III., in the noble family of
Enriquez, and that of constable in the house of Velasco. Although of great
authority and importance in their origin, and, indeed, in the time of the
Catholic sovereigns, these posts gradually, after becoming hereditary,
declined into mere titular dignities. Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, lib.
2, cap. 8, 10; lib. 3, cap. 21.--L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 24.

[11] The duke of Infantado, head of the ancient house of Mendoza, whose
estates lay in Castile, and, indeed, in most of the provinces of the
kingdom, is described by Navagiero as living in great magnificence. He
maintained a body guard of 200 foot, besides men-at-arms; and could muster
more than 30,000 vassals. (Viaggio, fol. 6, 33.) Oviedo makes the same
statement. (Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1, dial. 8.) Lucio Marineo,
among other things in his curious _farrago_, has given an estimate of
the rents, "poco mas 6 menos," of the great nobility of Castile and
Aragon, whose whole amount he computes at one-third of those of the whole
kingdom. I will select a few of the names familiar to us in the present

Enriquez, admiral of Castile, 50,000 ducats income, equal to $440,000.
Velasco, constable of Castile, 60,000 ducats income, estates in Old
Toledo, duke of Alva, 50,000 ducats income, estates in Castile and
Mendoza, duke of Infantado, 50,000 ducats income, estates in Castile and
other provinces.
Guzman, duke of Medina Sidonia, 55,000 ducats income, estates in
Cerda, duke of Medina Celi, 30,000 ducats income, estates in Castile and
Ponce de Leon, duke of Arcos, 25,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia.
Pacheco, duke of Escalona (marquis of Villena), 60,000 ducats income,
estates in Castile.
Cordova, duke of Sessa, 60,000 ducats income, estates in Naples and
Aguilar, marquis of Priego, 40,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia and
Mendoza, count of Tendilla, 15,000 ducats income, estates in Castile.
Pimentel, count of Benavente, 60,000 ducats income, estates in Castile.
Giron, count of Ureña, 20,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia.
Silva, count of Cifuentes, 10,000 ducats income, estates in Andalusia.

(Cosas Memorables, fol. 24, 25.) The estimate is confirmed, with some
slight discrepancies, by Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 18, 33, et alibi. See
also Salazar de Mendoza, Dignidades, discurso 2.

[12] "En casa de aquellos Principes estaban las hijas de los principales
señores 6 cavalleros por damas de la Reyna 6 de las Infantas sus hijas, y
en la corte andaban todos los mayorazgos y hijos de grandes 4 los mas
heredados de sus reynos." Oviedo, Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 4,
dial 44.

[13] "Como quier que oia el parecer de _personal religiosas_ é de los
otros letrados que cerca della eran, pero la mayor parte seguia las cosas
por su arbitrio." Pulgar, Reyes Católicos, part 1, cap. 4.

[14] Lucio Marineo has collected many particulars respecting the great
wealth of the Spanish clergy in his time. There were four metropolitan
sees in Castile.

Toledo, income 80,000 ducats.
St. James, " 24,000 "
Seville, " 20,000 "
Granada, " 10,000 "

There were twenty-nine bishoprics, whose aggregate revenues, very
unequally apportioned, amounted to 251,000 ducats. The church livings in
Aragon were much fewer and leaner than in Castile. (Cosas Memorables, fol.
23.) The Venetian Navagiero, speaks of the metropolitan church of Toledo,
as "the wealthiest in Christendom;" its canons lived in stately palaces,
and its revenues, with those of the archbishopric, equalled those of the
whole city of Toledo. (Viaggio, fol. 9.) He notices also the great
opulence of the churches of Seville, Guadalupe, etc., fol. 11, 13.

[15] See Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 11, 140, 141, 171, et loc. al.--From
one of these ordinances, it appears the clergy were not backward in
remonstrating against what they deemed an infringement of their rights.
(Fol. 172.) The queen, however, while she guarded against their
usurpations, interfered more than once, with her usual sense of justice,
on their application, to shield them from the encroachments of the civil
tribunals. Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudito, tom. iii. pp. 98, 99.

[16] See Part I., Chapter 6, of this History.

[17] See examples of this in Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudito, tom.
iii. pp. 95-102.--Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 14.

[18] Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudite, tom. iii. p. 94.--L. Marineo,
Cosas Memorables, fol. 182.

[19] Oviedo bears emphatic testimony to this. "En nuestros tiempos há
habido en España de nuestra Nacion grandes varones Letrados, excelentes
Perlados y Religiosos y personas que por suos habilidades y sciencias hán
subido á las mas altas dignidades de Capelos é de Arzobispados y todo lo
que mas se puede alcanzar, en la Iglesia de Dios." Quincuagenas, MS.,
dial. de Talavera.--Col. de Cédulas, tom. i. p. 400.

[20] "Lo qne debe admirar es, que en el tiempo mismo que se contendia con
tanto ardor, obtuvieron los Reyes de la Santa Sede mas gracias y
privilegios que ninguno de sus sucesores; prueba de su felicidad y de su
prudentísima conducta." Riol, Informe, apud Semanario Erudito, tom. in. p.

[21] "Porque la igualidad de la justicia que los bienauenturados Principes
hazian era tal, que todos los hombres de qualquier condicion que fuessen:
aora nobles, y caualleros: aora plebeyos, y labradores, y riejos, o
pobres, flacos, o fuertes, señores, o sieruos en lo que a la justicia
tocaua todos fuessen iguales." Cosas Memorables, fol. 180.

[22] These beneficial changes were made with the advice, and through the
agency of Ximenes. (Gomez, De Rebus Gestis, fol. 24.--Quintanilla,
Archetypo, p. 181.) The _alcavala_, a tax of one-tenth on all transfers of
property, produced more than any other branch of the revenue. As it was
originally designed, more than a century before, to furnish funds for the
Moorish war, Isabella, as we have seen in her testament, entertained great
scruples as to the right to continue it, without the confirmation of the
people, after that was terminated. Ximenes recommended its abolition,
without any qualification, to Charles V., but in vain. (Idem auct., ubi
supra.) Whatever be thought of its legality, there can be no doubt it was
one of the most successful means ever devised by a government for
shackling the industry and enterprise of its subjects.

[23] A pragmatic was issued, September 18th, 1495, prescribing the weapons
and the seasons for a regular training of the militia. The preamble
declares, that it was made at the instance of the representatives of the
cities and the nobles, who complained, that, in consequence of the
tranquillity, which the kingdom, through the divine mercy had for some
years enjoyed, the people were very generally unprovided with arms,
offensive or defensive, having sold or suffered them to fall into decay,
insomuch that, in their present condition, they would be found wholly
unprepared to meet either domestic disturbance, or foreign invasion.
(Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 83.) What a tribute does this afford, in this
age of violence, to the mild, paternal character of the administration?

[24] The most important were those of Madrigal, in 1476, and of Toledo, in
1480, to which I have often had occasion to refer. "Las mas notables," say
Asso and Mannel, in reference to the latter, "y famosas de este Reynado,
en el qual podemos asegurar, que tuvo principio el mayor aumento, y
arreglo de nuestra Jurisprudencia." (Instituciones, Introd., p. 91.)
Marina notices this cortes with equal panegyric. (Teoría, tom. i. p. 75.)
See also Sempere, Hist. des Cortés, p. 197.

[25] See Part I. Chapters 10, 11, et alibi.

[26] At Valladolid, in 1506. The number of cities having right of
representation, "que acostumbran continuamente embiar procuradores á
cortes," according to Pulgar, was seventeen. (Reyes Católicos, cap. 95.)
This was before Granada was added. Martyr, writing some years after that
event, enumerates only sixteen, as enjoying the privilege. (Opus Epist.,
epist. 460.) Pulgar's estimate, however, is corroborated by the petition
of the cortes of Valladolid, which, with more than usual effrontery, would
limit the representation to eighteen cities, as prescribed "por algunas
leyes é inmemorial uso." Marina, Teoría, tom. i. p. 161.

[27] Many of these _pragmáticas_ purport, in their preambles, to be
made at the demand of cortes; many more at the petition of corporations or
individuals; and many from the good pleasure of the sovereigns, bound to
"remedy all grievances, and provide for the exigencies of the state."
These ordinances very frequently are stated to have been made with the
advice of the royal council. They were proclaimed in the public squares of
the city, in which they were executed, and afterwards in those of the
principal towns in the kingdom. The doctors Asso and Manuel divide
_pragmáticas_ into two classes; those made at the instance of cortes,
and those emanating from the "sovereign, as _supreme legislator_ of
the kingdom, moved by his anxiety for the common weal." "Muchos de este
género," they add, "contiene el libro raro intitulado _Pragmáticas del
Reyno_, que se imprimió la primera vez en Alcalá en 1528." (Instituciones,
Introd., p. 110.) This is an error;--see note 43, infra.

[28] "Por la presente premáticasencion," said John II., in one of his
ordinances, "lo cual todo é cada cosa dello é parte dello quiero é mando é
ordeno que se guarde é compla daqui adelante para siempre jámas en todas
las cibdades é villas é logares non embargante cualesquier leyes é fueros
é derechos é ordenamientos, constituciones é posesiones é premáticas-
senciones, é usos é costumbres, ca en cuanto á est oatañe yo los abrogo é
derogo." (Marina, Teoría, tom. ii. p. 216.) This was the very essence of
despotism, and John found it expedient to retract these expressions, on
the subsequent remonstrance of cortes.

[29] Indeed, it is worthy of remark, as evincing the progress of
civilization under this reign, that most of the criminal legislation is to
be referred to its commencement, while the laws of the subsequent period
chiefly concern the new relations which grow out of an increased domestic
industry. It is in the "Ordenanças Reales," and "Leyes de la Hermandad,"
both published by 1485, that we must look for the measures against
violence and rapine.

[30] Thus, for example, the important criminal laws of the Hermandad, and
the civil code called the "Laws of Toro," were made under the express
sanction of the commons. (Leyes de la Hermandad, fol. l.--Quaderno de las
Leyes y Nuevas Decisiones hechas y ordenadas en la Ciudad de Toro, (Medina
del Campo, 1555,) fol. 49.) Nearly all, if not all, the acts of the
Catholic sovereigns introduced into the famous code of the "Ordenanças
Reales," were passed in the cortes of Madrigal, in 1476, or Toledo, in

[31] It should be stated, however, that the cortes of Valladolid, in 1506,
two years after the queen's death, enjoined Philip and Joanna to make no
laws without the consent of cortes; remonstrating, at the same time,
against the existence of many royal _pragmáticas_, as an evil to be
redressed. "Y por esto se estableció lei que no hiciesen ni renovasen
leyes sino en cortes. ***** Y porque fuera de esta órden se han hecho
muchas premáticas de que estos vuestros reynos se tienen por agraviados,
manden que aquellas se revean y provean y remedien los agravios que las
tales premáticas tienen." (Marina, Teoría, tom. ii. p. 218.) Whether this
is to be understood of the ordinances of the reigning sovereigns, or their
predecessors, may be doubted. It is certain, that the nation, however it
may have acquiesced in the exercise of this power by the late queen, would
not have been content to resign it to such incompetent hands, as those of
Philip and his crazy wife.

[32] "Liberi patriis legibus, nil imperio Regis gubernantur." Opus Epist.,
epist. 438.

[33] Capmany, however, understates the number, when he limits it to four
sessions only during this whole reign. Práctica y Estilo, p. 62.

[34] See Part II., Chapter 12, note 7, of this History.--"Si quis
aliquid," says Martyr, speaking of a cortes general held at Monzon, by
Queen Germaine, "sibi contra jus illatum putat, aut a regiâ coronâ
quaequam deberi existimat, nunquam dissolvuntur conventus, donec
conquerenti satisfiat, neque Regibus parere in exigendis pecuniis, solent
aliter. Regina quotidie scribit, se vexari eorum petitionibus, nec
exsolvere se quire, quod se maxime optare ostendit. Rex imminentis
necessitatis bellicae vim proponit, ut in aliud tempus querelas differant,
per literas, per nuntios, per ministros, conventum praesidentesque
hortatur monetque, et summissis fere verbis rogare videtur." 1512. (Opus
Epist., epist. 493.) Blancas notices Ferdinand's astuteness, who, instead
of money granted by the Aragonese with difficulty and reservations,
usually applied for troops at once, which were furnished and paid by the
state. (Modo de Proceder, fol. 100, 101.) Zurita tells us, that both the
king and queen were averse to meetings of cortes in Castile oftener than
absolutely necessary, and both took care, on such occasions, to have their
own agents near the deputies, to influence their proceedings. "Todas las
vezes que en lo passado el Rey, y la Reyna doña Isabel llamauan à cortes
en Castilla, temian de las llamar: y despues de llamodos, y ayuntados los
procuradores, ponian tales personas de su parte, que continuamente se
juntassen con ellos; por escusar lo que podria resultar de aquellos
ayuntamientos: y tambien por darles à entender, que no tenian tanto poder,
quanto ellos se imaginauan." (Anales, tom. vi. fol. 96.) This course is as
repugnant to Isabella's character as it is in keeping with her husband's.
Under their joint administration, it is not always easy to discriminate
the part which belongs to each. Their respective characters, and political
conduct in affairs where they were separately concerned, furnish us a
pretty safe clue to our judgment in others.

[35] As, for example, both when he resigned, and resumed the regency. See
Part II., Chapters 17, 20.

[36] In the first cortes after Isabella's death, at Toro, in 1505,
Ferdinand introduced the practice, which has since obtained, of
administering an oath of secrecy to the deputies, as to the proceedings of
the session; a serious wound to popular representation. (Marina, Teoría,
tom. i. p. 273.) Capmany (Práctica y Estilo, p. 232.) errs in describing
this as "un arteficio Maquiavélico inventado por _la política Alemana_."
The German Machiavelism has quite sins enough in this way to answer for.

[37] The introductory law to the "Leyes de Toro" holds this strange
language; "Y porque al rey pertenesce y ha poder de hazer fueros y leyes,
y de las interpretar y emendar donde vieren que cumple," etc. (Leyes de
Toro, fol. 2.) What could John II., or any despot of the Austrian line,
claim more?

[38] See the address of the cortes, in Marina, Teoría, tom. p. 282.

[39] Among the writers repeatedly cited by me, it is enough to point out
the citizen Marina, who has derived more illustrations of his liberal
theory of the constitution from the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella than
from any other; and who loses no opportunity of panegyric on their
"paternal government," and of contrasting it with the tyrannical policy of
later times.

[40] Marina enumerates no less than nine separate codes of civil and
municipal law in Castile, by which the legal decisions were to be
regulated, in Ferdinand and Isabella's time. Ensayo Historico-Critico,
sobre la Antigua Legislacion de Castilla, (Madrid, 1808,) pp. 383-386.--
Asso y Manuel, Instituciones, Introd.

[41] See Part I., Chapter 6, of this History.

[42] "A collection," says senor Clemencin, "of the last importance, and
indispensable to a right understanding of the spirit of Isabella's
government, but, nevertheless, little known to Castilian writers, not
excepting the most learned of them." (Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.
Ilust. 9.) No edition of the _Pragmáticas_ has appeared since the
publication of Philip II.'s "Nueva Recopilacion," in 1567, in which a
large portion of them are embodied. The remainder having no further
authority, the work has gradually fallen into oblivion. But, whatever be
the cause, the fact is not very creditable to professional science in

[43] The earliest edition was at Alcalá de Henares, printed by Lanzalao
Polono, in 1503. It was revised and prepared for the press by Johan
Ramirez, secretary of the royal council, from whom the work is often
called "Pragmáticas de Ramirez." It passed through several editions by
1550. Clemencin (ubi supra) enumerates five, but his list is incomplete,
as the one in my possession, probably the second, has escaped his notice.
It is a fine old folio, in black letter, containing in addition some
ordinances of Joanna, and the "Laws of Toro," in 192 folios. On the last
is this notice by the printer. "Fue ympressa la presente obra en la muy
noble y muy leal cibdad de Senilla, por Juan Varela ympressor de libros.
Acabose a dos dias del mes de otubre de mill y quinientos y veynte años."
The first leaf after the table of contents exhibits the motives of its
publication. "E porqué como algunas de ellas (pragmáticas sanciones é
cartas) ha mucho tiempo que se dieron, é otras se hicieron en diversos
tiempos, estan derramadas por muchas partes, no se saben por todos, é aun
muchas de las dichas justicias no tienen comlida noticia de todas ellas,
paresciendo ser necesario é provechoso; mandamos fi los del nuestro
consejo que las hiciesen juntar é corregir é impremir," etc.

[44] "Leyes de Toro," say Asso and Manuel, "veneradas tanto desde
entonces, que se les dió el primer lugar de valimiento sobre todas las del
Reyno." Instituciones, Introd. p. 95.

[45] See the sensible memorial of Jovellanos, "Informe al Real y Supremo
Consejo en el Expediente de Ley Agraria." Madrid, 1795.

There have been several editions of this code, since the first of 1505.
(Marina, Ensayo, No. 450.) I have copies of two editions, in black letter,
neither of them known to Marina; one, above noticed, printed at Seville,
in 1520; and the other at Medina del Campo, in 1555, probably the latest.
The laws were subsequently incorporated in the "Nueva Recopilacion."

[46] "Esta ley," says Jovellanos, "que los jurisconsultos llaman a boca
llena injusta y barbara, lo es mucho mas por la extension quelos
pragmaticas le dieron en sus comentarios." (Informe, p. 76, nota.) The
edition of Medina del Campo, in 1555, is swelled by the commentaries of
Miguel de Cifuentes, till the text, in the language of bibliographers,
looks like "cymba in oceano."

[47] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6.

[48] Leyes del Quaderno Nuevo de las Rentas de las Alcavalas y Franquezas,
hecho en la Vega de Granada, (Salamanca, 1550); a little code of 37
folios, containing 147 laws for the regulation of the crown rents. It was
made in the Vega of Granada, December 10th, 1491. The greater part of
these laws, like so many others of this reign, have been admitted into the
"Nueva Recopilacion."

[49] the head of these, undoubtedly, must be placed Dr. Alfonso Diaz de
Montalvo, noticed more than once in the course of this History. He
illustrated three successive reigns by his labors, which he continued to
the close of a long life, and after he had become blind. The Catholic
sovereigns highly appreciated his services, and settled a pension on him
of 30,000 maravedies. Besides his celebrated compilation of the
"Ordenancas Reales," he wrote commentaries on the ancient code of the
"Fuero Real," and on the "Siete Partidas," printed for the first time
under his own eye, in 1491. (Mendez, Typographia Espanola, p. 183.) Marina
(Ensayo, p. 405) has bestowed a beautiful eulogium on this venerable
lawyer, who first gave to light the principal Spanish codes, and
introduced a spirit of criticism into the national jurisprudence.

[50] This gigantic work was committed, wholly or in part, to Dr. Lorenzo
Galindez de Carbajal. He labored many years on it, but the results of his
labors, as elsewhere noticed, have never been communicated to the public.
See Asso y Manuel, Instituciones, pp. 50, 99.--Marina, Ensayo, pp. 392,
406, and Clemencin, whose Ilust. 9 exhibits a most clear and satisfactory
view of the legal compilations under this reign.

[51] Lord Bacon's comment on Henry VII.'s laws, might apply with equal
force to these of Ferdinand and Isabella. "Certainly his times for good
commonwealth's laws did excel. ***** For his laws, whoso marks them well,
are deep, and not vulgar; not made upon the spur of a particular occasion
for the present, but out of providence of the future, to make the estate
of his people still more and more happy; after the manner of the
legislators in ancient and heroical times." Hist. of Henry VII., Works,
(ed. 1819,) vol. v. p. 60.

[52] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6.

[53] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 24, 30, 39.--Recop. de las Leyes, (ed.
1640,) tom. i. lib. 2, tit. 5, leyes 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 20; tit. 7, ley 1.--
Ordenanças Reales, lib. 2. tit. 4. The southern chancery, first opened at
Ciudad Real, in 1494, was subsequently transferred by the sovereigns to

[54] Ante, Part I., Chapter 7, note 39.

[55] Ante, Part I., Chapter 6, note 34.

[56] Riol, Informe, apud Seminario Erudito, tom. iii. p. 149.--It
consisted of a vice chancellor, as president, and six ministers, two from
each of the three provinces of the crown. It was consulted by the king on
all appointments and matters of government. The Italian department was
committed to a separate tribunal, called the council of Italy, in 1556.
Capmany (Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iv. Apend. 17) has explained at length
the functions and authority of this institution.

[57] See the nature and broad extent of these powers, in Recop. de Leyes
de las Indias, tom. i. lib. 2, tit. 2, leyes 1, 2.--Also Solorzano,
Politica Indiana, tom. ii. lib. 5, cap. 15; who goes no further back than
the remodelling of this tribunal under Charles V.--Riol, Informe, apud
Semanario Erudito, tom. iii. pp. 159, 160.

The third volume of the Semanario Erudito, pp. 73-233, contains a report,
drawn up, by command of Philip V., in 1726, by Don Santiago Augustin Riol,
on the organization and state of the various tribunals, civil and
ecclesiastical, under Ferdinand and Isabella; together with an account of
the papers contained in their archives. It is an able memorial, replete
with curious information. It is singular that this interesting and
authentic document should have been so little consulted, considering the
popular character of the collection in which it is preserved. I do not
recollect ever to have met with a reference to it in any author. It was by
mere accident, in the absence of a general index, that I stumbled on it in
the _mare magnum_ in which it is engulfed.

[58] "Pusieron los Reyes Católicos," says the penetrating Mendoza, "el
govierno de la justicia, i cosas públicas en manos de Letrados, gente
media entre los grandes i pequeños, sin ofensa de los linos ni de los
otros. Cuya profesion eran letras legales, comedimiento, secreto, verdad,
vida liana, i sin corrupcion de costumbres." Guerre de Granada, p. 15.

[59] Granada, September 3d, Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 135.--A pragmatic
of similar import was issued by Henry III. Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages,
tom, i., Introd. p. 46.

[60] Granada, August 11th, 1501. Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 137.

[61] Alfaro, November 10th, 1495. Ibid., fol. 136.

[62] See a number of these, collected by Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages,
Introd. pp. 43, 44.

[63] Cited by Robertson, History of America, vol. iii. p. 305.

[64] The fleet fitted out against the Turks, in 1482, consisted of seventy
sail, and that under Gonsalvo, in 1500, of sixty, large and small. (Ante,
Part I., Chapter 6: Part II., Chapter 10.) See other expeditions,
enumerated by Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. i. p. 50.

[65] Cura de los Palacios, MS., cap. 153; who, indeed, estimates the
complement of this fleet at 25,000 men; a round number, which must
certainly include persons of every description. The Invincible Armada
consisted, according to Dunham, of about 130 vessels, large and small,
20,000 soldiers, and 8,000 seamen. (History of Spain and Portugal, vol. v.
p. 59.) The estimate falls below that of most writers.

[66] En el real de la vega de Granada, December 20th. (Pragmáticas del
Reyno, fol. 133.) "Y les apercibays," enjoins the ordinance, "que los
marauedis porque los vendieren los ban de sacar de nuestros reynos en
mercadurias: y ni en oro ni en plata ni en moneda amonedada de manera que
no pueden pretender ygnorancia: y den fianças lianas y abonadas de lo
fazer y cumplir assi: y si fallaredes que sacan o lieuan oro o plata o
moneda contra el tenor y forma de las dichas leyes y desta nuestra carta
mandamos vos que gelo torneys: y sea perdido como las dichas leyes mandan,
y demas cayan y incurran en las penas en las leyes de nuestros reynos
contenidas contra los que sacan oro o plata o moneda fuera dellos sin
nuestra licencia y mandado: las quales executad en ellosy en sus

[67] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 92, 134.--These laws were as old as the
fourteenth century in Castile, and had been renewed by every succeeding
monarch, from the time of John I. (Ordenanças Reales, lib. 6, tit. 9,
leyes 17-22.) Similar ones were passed under the contemporary princes,
Henry VII. and Henry VIII. of England, James IV. of Scotland, etc.

[68]--"Balucis malleator Hispanae," says Martial, noticing the noise made
by the gold-beaters, hammering out the Spanish ore, as one of the chief
annoyances which drove him from the capital, (lib. 12, ep. 57.) See also
the precise statement of Pliny, cited Part I., Chapter 8, of this History.

[69] "Porque haciéndose ansí al modo é costumbre de los dichos senores
Reyes pasados, cesarán los inmensos gastos y sin provecho que la mesa é
casa de S. M. se hacen; pues el daño desto notoriamente paresce porque se
halla en el plato real y en los platos que se hacen á los privados é
criados de su casa gastarse cada mio dia ciento y cincuenta mil maravedís;
y los Católicos Reyes D. Hernando é Dona Isabel, seyendo tan excelentes y
tan poderosos, en su plato y en el plato del principe D. Joan que haya
glória, é de las señoras infantas con gran número y multitud de damas no
se gastar cada un dia, seyetido mui abastados como de tales Reyes, mas de
doce á quince mil maravedís." Peticion de la Junta de Tordesillas, October
20, 1520, apud Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 230.

[70] In 1493; repeated in 1501. Recop. de las Leyes, tom. ii. fol. 3.--In
1502. Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 139.

[71] At Segovia, September 2d; also in 1496 and 1498. Pragmáticas del
Reyno, fol. 123, 125, 126.

[72] At Granada, in 1499.--This on petition of cortes, in the year
preceding. Sempere, in his sensible "Historia del Luxo," has exhibited the
series of the manifold sumptuary laws in Castile. It is a history of the
impotent struggle of authority, against the indulgence of the innocent
propensities implanted in our nature, and naturally increasing with
increasing wealth and civilization.

[73] En la nombrada y gran ciudad de Granada, Agosto 20. Pragmáticas del
Reyno, fol. 135.

[74] Pragmáticas del Reyno, passim.--Diccionario Geográfico-Hist. de
España, tom. i. p. 333--Capmany, Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iii. part 3, cap.
2.--Mines of lead, copper, and silver were wrought extensively in
Guipuzcoa and Biscay.--Col. de Céd., tom. i. no. 25.

[75] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 127, 128.--Ante, Part II., Chapter 3,
note 12.--The cortes of Toledo, in 1525, complained, "que habia tantos
caballos Españoles en Francia como en Castilla." (Mem. de la Acad. de
Hist., tom. vi. p. 285.) The trade, however, was contraband; the laws
against the exportation of horses being as ancient as the time of Alfonso
XI. (See also Ordenanças Reales, fol. 85, 86.)

Laws can never permanently avail against national prejudices. Those in
favor of mules have been so strong in the Peninsula, and such the
consequent decay of the fine breed of horses, that the Spaniards have been
compelled to supply themselves with the latter from abroad. Bourgoanne
reckons that 20,000 were annually imported into the country from France,
at the close of the last century. Travels in Spain, tom. i. chap. 4.

[76] Hist. del Luxo, tom. i. p. 170.--"Tiene muchas ouejas," says Marineo,
"cuya lana estan singular, que no solamente se aprouechan della en España,
mas tambien se lleua en abundancia a otras partes." (Cosas Memorables,
fol. 3.) He notices especially the fine wool of Molina, in whose territory
400,000 sheep pastured, fol. 19.

[77] Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iii. pp. 338, 339.--"Or if ever exported," he
adds, "it was at some period long posterior to the discovery of America."

[78] Pragmáticas del Reyno, passim.--Many of them were designed to check
impositions, too often practised in the manufacture and sale of goods, and
to keep them up to a fair standard.

[79] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 11.

[80] Ibid., fol. 19.--Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 26.--The Venetian minister,
however, pronounces them inferior to the silks of his own country.

[81] "Proueyda," says Marineo, "de todos officios, y artes mecánicas que
en ella se exercitan mucho: y principalmente en lanor, y exercicio de
lanas, y sedas. Por las quales dos cosas biuen en esta ciudad mas de diez
mil personas. Es de mas desto la ciudad muy rica, por los grandes tratos
de mercadurias." Cosas Memorables, fol. 12.

[82] Ibid., fol. 15.--Navagiero, a more parsimonious eulogist, remarks,
nevertheless, "Sono in Valladolid assai artefici di ogni sorte, e se vi
lavora benessimo de tutte le arti, e sopra tutto d'Argenti, e vi son tanti
argenteri quanti non sono in due altre terre." Viaggio, fol. 35.

[83] Geron. Paulo, a writer at the close of the fifteenth century, cited
by Capmany, Mem. de Barcelona, tom. i. part. 3, p. 23.

[84] The twentieth Ilustracion of Señor Clemencin's invaluable compilation
contains a table of prices of grain, in different parts of the kingdom,
under Ferdinand and Isabella. Take, for example, those of Andalusia. In
1488, a. year of great abundance, the _fanega_ of wheat sold in Andalusia
for 50 maravedies; in 1489 it rose to 100; in 1505, a season of great
scarcity, to 375, and even 600; in 1508, it was at 306; and in 1509, it
had fallen to 85 maravedies. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. pp. 551,

[85] Compare, for example, the accounts of the environs of Toledo and
Madrid, the two most considerable cities in Castile, by ancient and modern
travellers. One of the most intelligent and recent of the latter, in his
journey between these two capitals, remarks, "There is sometimes a visible
track, and sometimes none; most commonly we passed over wide sands. The
country between Madrid and Toledo, I need scarcely say, is ill peopled and
ill cultivated; for it is all a part of the same arid plain, that
stretches on every side around the capital; and which is bounded on this
side by the Tagus. The whole of the way to Toledo, I passed through only
four inconsiderable villages; and saw two others at a distance. A great
part of the land is uncultivated, covered with furze and aromatic plants;
but here and there some corn land is to be seen." (Inglis, Spain in 1830,
vol. i. p. 366.) What a contrast does all this present to the language of
the Italians, Navagiero and Marineo, in whose time the country around
Toledo "surpassed all other districts of Spain, in the excellence and
fruitfulness of the soil;" which, "skilfully irrigated by the waters of
the Tagus, and minutely cultivated, furnished every variety of fruit and
vegetable produce to the neighboring city." While, instead of the sunburnt
plains around Madrid, it is described as situated "in the bosom of a fair
country, with an ample territory, yielding rich harvests of corn and wine,
and all the other aliments of life." Cosas Memorables, fol. 12, 13.--
Viaggio, fol. 7, 8.

[86] Capmany has well exposed some of these extravagances. (Mem. de
Barcelona, tom. in. part. 3, cap. 2.) The boldest of them, however, may
find a warrant in the declarations of the legislature itself. "En los
lugares de obrages de lanas," asserts the cortes of 1594, "donde se solian
labrar veinte y treinta mil arrobas, no se labran hoi seis, y donde habia
señores de ganado de grandísima cantidad, han disminuido en la misma y
mayor proporcion, acaeciendo lo mismo en todas las otras cosas del
comercio universal y particular. Lo cual hace que no haya ciudad de las
principales destos réinos ni lugar ninguno, de donde no falte notable
vecindad, como se echa bien de ver en la muchedumbre de casas que estan
cerradas y despobladas, y en la baja que han dado los arrendamientos de
las pocas que se arriendan y habitan." Apud Mem. de la Acad. de Hist, tom.
vi. p. 304.

[87] A point which most writers would probably agree in fixing at 1700,
the year of Charles II.'s death, the last and most imbecile of the
Austrian dynasty. The population of the kingdom at this time, had dwindled
to 6,000,000. See Laborde, (Itinéraire, tom. vi. pp. 125, 143, ed. 1830),
who seems to have better foundation for this census than for most of those
in his table.

[88] See the unequivocal language of cortes, under Philip II. (supra.)
With every allowance, it infers an alarming decline in the prosperity of
the nation.

[89] One has only to read, for an evidence of this, the lib. 6, tit. 18,
of the "Nueva Recopilacion," on "cosas prohibidas;" the laws on gilding
and plating, lib. 5, tit. 24; on apparel and luxury, lib. 7, tit. 12; on
woollen manufactures, lib. 7, tit. 14-17, et legas al. Perhaps no stronger
proof of the degeneracy of the subsequent legislation can be given, than
by contrasting it with that of Ferdinand and Isabella in two important
laws. 1. The sovereigns, in 1492, required foreign traders to take their
returns in the products and manufactures of the country. By a law of
Charles V., 1552, the exportation of numerous domestic manufactures was
prohibited, and the foreign trader, in exchange for domestic wool, was
required to import into the country a certain amount of linen and woollen
fabrics. 2. By an ordinance, in 1500, Ferdinand and Isabella prohibited
the importation of silk thread from Naples, to encourage its production at
home. This appears from the tenor of subsequent laws to have perfectly
succeeded. In 1552, however, a law was passed, interdicting the export of
manufactured silk, and admitting the importation of the raw material. By
this sagacious provision, both the culture of silk, and the manufacture
were speedily crushed in Castile.

[90] See examples of these, in the reigns of Henry III., and John II,
(Recop. de las Leyes, tom. ii. fol. 180, 181.) Such also were the numerous
tariffs fixing the prices of grain, the vexatious class of sumptuary laws,
those for the regulation of the various crafts, and, above, all, on the
exportation of the precious metals.

[91] The English Statute Book alone will furnish abundant proof of this,
in the exclusive regulations of trade and navigation existing at the close
of the fifteenth century. Mr. Sharon Turner has enumerated many, under
Henry VIII., of similar import with, and, indeed, more partial in their
operation than, those of Ferdinand and Isabella. History of England, vol.
iv. pp. 170 et seq.

[92] Ordenanças Reales, lib. 6, tit. 4, ley 6.

[93] Archivo de Simancas; in which most of these ordinances appear to be
registered. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 11.

[94] "Ennoblescense los cibdades é villas en tener casas grandes é bien
fechas en que fragan sus ayuntamientos é concejos," etc. (Ordenanças
Reales, lib. 7, tit. 1, ley 1.) Señor Clemencin has specified the nature
and great variety of these improvements, as collected from the archives of
the different cities of the kingdom. Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.
Ilustracion ll.--Col. de Cédulas, tom. iv. no. 9.

[95] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 63. 91, 93.--Recop. de las Leyes, lib. 5,
tit. 11, ley 12.--Among the acts for restricting monopolies may be
mentioned one, which prohibited the nobility and great landholders from
preventing their tenants' opening inns and houses of entertainment without
their especial license. (Pragmáticas del Reyno, 1492, fol. 96.) The same
abuse, however, is noticed by Mad. d'Aulnoy, in her "Voyage d'Espagne," as
still existing, to the great prejudice of travellers, in the seventeenth
century. Dunlop, Memoirs of Philip IV. and Charles II., vol. ii. chap. 11.

[96] Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 93-112.--Recop. de las Leyes, lib. 5,
tit. 21, 22.

[97] "Ut nulla unquam per se tuta regio, tutiorem se fuisse jactare
possit." Opus Epist., epist. 31.

[98] For various laws tending to secure this, and prevent frauds in trade,
see Ordenanças Reales, lib. 3, tit. 8, ley 5.--Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol.
45, 66, 67, et alibi.--Col. de Cédulas, tom. i. no. 63.

[99] The fullest, though a sufficiently meagre, account of the Navarrese
constitution, is to be found in Capmany's collection, "Práctica y Estilo,"
(pp. 250-258,) and in the "Diccionario Geográfico Hist, de España," (tom.
ii. pp. 140-143.) The historical and economical details in the latter are
more copious.

[100] "Queste furono," says Giannone, "le prime leggi che ci diedero gli
Spagnuoli: leggi tutte provvide e savie, nello stabilir delle quali furono
veramente gli Spagnuoli più d' ogni altra nazione avveduti, e più esatti
imitatori de' Romani." Istoria di Napoli, lib. 30, cap. 5.

[101] Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, lib. 29, cap. 4; lib. 30, cap. 1, 2,
5.--Signorelli, Coltura nelle Sicilie, tom. iv. p. 84.--Every one knows
the persecutions, the exile, and long imprisonment, which Giannone
suffered for the freedom with which he treated the clergy, in his
philosophical history. The generous conduct of Charles of Bourbon to his
heirs is not so well known. Soon after his accession to the throne of
Naples, that prince settled a liberal pension on the son of the historian,
declaring, that "it did not comport with the honor and dignity of the
government, to permit an individual to languish in indigence, whose parent
had been the greatest man, the most useful to the state, and the most
unjustly persecuted, that the age had produced." Noble sentiments, giving
additional grace to the act which they accompanied. See the decree, cited
by Corniani, Secoli della Letteratura Italiana, (Brescia, 1804-1813,) tom.
ix. art. 15.

[102] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 6, cap. 18.--According to
Martyr, the two mints of Hispaniola yielded 300,000 lbs. of gold annually.
De Rebus Oceanicis, dec. 1, lib. 10.

[103] The pearl fisheries of Cuhagua were worth 75,000 ducats a year.
Herrera, Indian Occidentales, dec 1, lib 7, cap. 9.

[104] Oviedo, Historia Natural de las Indias, lib. 4, cap. 8.--Gomez, De
Rebus Gestis, fol. 165.

[105] Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. iii. documentos 1-13.--Herrera,
Indias Occidentales, dec. 1. lib. 7, cap. 1.

[106] Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages, tom. iii. pp. 48, 134.

[107] Bernardin de Santa Clara, treasurer of Hispaniola, amassed, during a
few years' residence there, 96,000 ounces of gold. This same _nouveau
riche_ used to serve gold dust, says Herrera, instead of salt, at his
entertainments. (Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 7, cap. 3.) Many
believed, according to the same author, that gold was so abundant, as to
be dragged up in nets from the beds of the rivers! Lib. 10, cap. 14.

[108] Ante, Part II., Chapter 24.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1,
lib. 10, cap. 6, 7.

[109] "Per esser Sevilla nel loco che è, vi vanno tanti di loro alle
Indie, che la città resta mal popolata, e quasi in man di donne."
(Navagiero, Viaggio, fol. 15.) Horace said, fifteen centuries before,

"_Impiger extremes curris mercator ad Indos,
Per mare pauperiem fugieus, per saxa, per ignes._"
_Epist. i. 1._

[110] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 10.--Almost all
the Spanish expeditions in the New World, whether on the northern or
southern continent, have a tinge of romance, beyond what is found in those
of other European nations. One of the most striking and least familiar of
them is that of Ferdinand de Soto, the ill-fated discoverer of the
Mississippi, whose bones bleach beneath its waters. His adventures are
told with uncommon spirit by Mr. Bancroft, vol. i. chap. 2, of his History
of the United States.

[111] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 2, lib. 1, cap. 7.

[112] The life of this daring cavalier forms one in the elegant series of
national biographies by Quintana, "Vidas de Espanoles Celebres," (tom. ii.
pp. 1-82), and is familiar to the English reader in Irving's "Companions
of Columbus." The third volume of Navarrete's laborious compilation is
devoted to the illustration of the minor Spanish voyagers, who followed up
the bold track of discovery, between Columbus and Cortes. Coleccion de

[113] Las Casas, Mémoires, Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 189.

[114] "Y crean (Vuestras Altezas) questa isla y todas las otras son asi
suyas corao Castilla, que aqui no falta salvo asiento y mandarles hacer lo
que quisieren." Primera Carta de Colon, apud Navarrete, Coleccion de
Viages, tom. i. p. 93.

[115] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 8, cap. 9.--Las Casas,
Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. pp. 228, 229.

[116] See the various Memorials of Las Casas, some of them expressly
prepared for the council of the Indies. He affirms, that more than
12,000,000 lives were wantonly destroyed in the New World, within thirty-
eight years after the discovery, and this in addition to those
exterminated in the conquest of the country. (Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente,
tom. i. p. 187.) Herrera admits that Hispaniola was reduced, in less than
twenty-five years, from 1,000,000 to 14,000 souls. (Indias Occidentales,
dec. 1. lib. 10, cap. 12.) The numerical estimates of a large savage
population, must, of course, be in a great degree hypothetical. That it
was large, however, in these fair regions, may readily be inferred from
the facilities of subsistence, and the temperate habits of the natives.
The minimum sum in the calculation, when the number had dwindled to a few
thousand, might be more easily ascertained.

[117] Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 228.

[118] One resident at the court, says the bishop of Chiapa, was proprietor
of 800, and another of 1100 Indians. (Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p.
238.) We learn their names from Herrera. The first was Bishop Fonseca, the
latter the comendador Conchillos, both prominent men in the Indian
department. (Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 14.) The last-named
person was the same individual sent by Ferdinand to his daughter in
Flanders, and imprisoned there by the archduke Philip. After that prince's
death, he experienced signal favors from the Catholic king, and amassed
great wealth as secretary of the Indian board. Oviedo has devoted one of
his dialogues to him. Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 3, dial. 9.

[119]The Dominican and other missionaries, to their credit be it told,
labored with unwearied zeal and courage for the conversion of the natives,
and the vindication of their natural rights. Yet these were the men, who
lighted the fires of the Inquisition in their own land. To such opposite
results may the same principle lead, under different circumstances!

[120] Las Casas concludes an elaborate memorial, prepared for the
government, in 1542, on the best means of arresting the destruction of the
aborigines, with two propositions. 1. That the Spaniards would still
continue to settle in America, though slavery were abolished, from the
superior advantages for acquiring riches it offered over the Old World. 2.
That if they would not, this would not justify slavery, since "_God
forbids us to do evil that good may come of it_." Rare maxim, from a
Spanish churchman of the sixteenth century! The whole argument, which
comprehends the sum of what has been since said more diffusely in defence
of abolition, is singularly acute and cogent. In its abstract principles
it is unanswerable, while it exposes and denounces the misconduct of his
countrymen, with a freedom which shows the good bishop knew no other fear
than that of his Maker.

[121] Recop. de Leyes de las Indias, August 14th, 1509, lib. 6, tit. 8,
ley l.--Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 1, lib. 9, cap. 14.

[122] The text expresses nearly enough the subsequent condition of things
in Spanish America. "No government," says Heeren, "has done so much for
the aborigines as the Spanish." (Modern History, Bancroft's trans., vol.
i. p. 77.) Whoever peruses its colonial codes, may find much ground for
the eulogium. But are not the very number and repetition of these humane
provisions sufficient proof of their inefficacy?

[123] Herrera, Indias Occidentales, dec. 2, lib. 2, cap. 3.--Las Casas,
Mémoire, apud Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente, tom. i. p. 239.

[124] In the remarkable discussion between the doctor Sepulveda and Las
Casas, before a commission named by Charles V., in 1550, the former
vindicated the persecution of the aborigines by the conduct of the
Israelites towards their idolatrous neighbors. But the Spanish Fenelon
replied, that "the behavior of the Jews was no precedent for Christians;
that the law of Moses was a law of rigor; but that of Jesus Christ, one of
grace, mercy, peace, good-will, and charity." (Oeuvres, ed. de Llorente,
tom. i. p. 374.) The Spaniard first persecuted the Jews, and then quoted
them as an authority for persecuting all other infidels.

[125] It is only necessary to notice the contemptuous language of Philip
II.'s laws, which designate the most useful mechanic arts, as those of
blacksmiths, shoemakers, leather-dressers, and the like, as "_oficios
viles y baxos_."

A whimsical distinction prevails in Castile, in reference to the more
humble occupations. A man of gentle blood may be a coachman, lacquey,
scullion, or any other menial, without disparaging his nobility, which is
said to _sleep_ in the mean while. But he fixes on it an indelible
stain, if he exercises any mechanical vocation. "Hence," says Capmany, "I
have often seen a village in this province, in which the vagabonds,
smugglers, and hangmen even, were natives, while the farrier, shoemaker,
etc., was a foreigner." (Mem. de Barcelona, tom. i. part. 3, p. 40; tom.
iii. part. 2, pp. 317, 318.) See also some sensible remarks on the
subject, by Blanco White, the ingenious author of Doblado's Letters from
Spain, p. 44.

[126] "The interval between the acquisition of money, and the rise of
prices," Hume observes," is the only time when increasing gold and silver
are favorable to industry." (Essays, part 2, essay 3.) An ordinance of
June 13th, 1497, complains of the scarcity of the precious metals, and
their insufficiency to the demands of trade. (Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol.
93.) It appears, however, from Zuñiga, that the importation of gold from
the New World began to have a sensible effect on the prices of
commodities, from that very year. Annales de Sevilla, p. 415.

[127] Mr. Turner has made several extracts from the Harleian MSS., showing
that the trade of Castile with England was very considerable in Isabella's
time. (History of England, vol. iv. p. 90.) A pragmatic of July 21st,
1494, for the erection of a consulate at Burgos, notices the commercial
establishments in England, France, Italy, and the Low Countries. This
tribunal, with other extensive privileges, was empowered to hear and
determine suits between merchants; "which," says the plain spoken
ordinance, "in the hands of lawyers are never brought to a close; porque
se presentauan escritos y libelos de letrados de manera que por mal pleyto
que fuesse le sostenian los letrados de manera que _los hazian
immortales_." (Pragmáticas del Reyno, fol. 146-148.) This institution
rose soon to be of the greatest importance in Castile.

[128] The sixth volume of the Memoirs of the Academy of History contains a
schedule of the respective revenues afforded by the cities of Castile, in
the years 1477, 1482, and 1504; embracing, of course, the commencement and
close of Isabella's reign. The original document exists in the archives of
Simancas. We may notice the large amount and great increase of taxes in
Toledo, particularly, and in Seville; the former thriving from its
manufactories, and the latter from the Indian trade. Seville, in 1504,
furnished near a tenth of the whole revenue. Ilustracion 5.

[129] "No ay en ella," says Marineo of the latter city, "gente ociosa, ni
baldia, sino que todos trabajan, ansi mugeres como hombres, y los chicos
como los grandes, buscando la vida con sus manos, y con sudores de sus
carnes. Unos exercitan las artes mecánicas: y otros las liberales. Los que
tratan las mercaderias, y hazen rica la ciudad, son muy fieles, y
liberales." (Cosas Memorables, fol. 16.) It will not be easy to meet, in
prose or verse, with a finer colored picture of departed glory, than Mr.
Slidell has given of the former city, the venerable Gothic capital, in his
"Year in Spain," chap. 12.

[130] Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., tom. i. p. 60.

[131] It was a common saying in Navagiero's time, "Barcelona la ricca,
Saragossa la barta, Valentia la hermosa." (Viaggio, fol. 5.) The grandeur
and commercial splendor of the first-named city, which forms the subject
of Capmany's elaborate work, have been sufficiently displayed in Part I.,
Chapter 2, of this History.

[132] "_Algunos suponen_," says Capmany, "que estas ferias eran ya
famosas en tiempo de los Reyes Católicos," etc. (Mem. de Barcelona, tom.
iii. p. 356.) A very cursory glance at the laws of this time, will show
the reasonableness of the supposition. See the Pragmáticas, fol. 146, and
the ordinances from the archives of Simancas, apud Mem. de Acad., tom. vi.
pp. 249, 252, providing for the erection of buildings and other
accommodations for the "great resort of traders." In 1520, four years
after Ferdinand's death, the city, in a petition to the regent,
represented the losses sustained by its merchants in the recent fire, as
more than the revenues of the crown would probably be able to meet for
several years. (Ibid., p. 264.) Navagiero, who visited Medina some six
years later, when it was rebuilt, bears unequivocal testimony to its
commercial importance. "Medina è buona terra, e piena di buone case,
abondante assai se non che le tante ferie che se vi fanno ogn' anno, e il
concorso grande che vi è di tutta Spagna, fanno pur che il tutto si paga
più di quel che si faria.... La feria è abondante certo di molte cose, ma
sopra tutto di speciarie assai, che vengono di Portogallo; ma le maggior
faccende che se vi facciano sono cambij." Viaggio, fol. 36.


"Quien no vió á Sevilla No vió maravilla."

The proverb, according to Zuñiga, is as old as the time of Alonso XI.
Annales de Sevilla, p. 183.

[134] The most eminent sculptors were, for the most part, foreigners;--as
Miguel Florentin, Pedro Torregiano, Felipe de Borgoña,--chiefly from
Italy, where the art was advancing rapidly to perfection in the school of
Michael Angelo. The most successful architectural achievement was the
cathedral of Granada, by Diego de Siloe. Pedraza, Antiguedad de Granada,
fol. 82.--Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 16.

[135] At least so says Clemencin, a competent judge. "Desde los mismos
principios de su establecimiento fue mas comun la imprenta en España que
lo es al cabo de trescientos años dentro ya del siglo décimonono." Elogio
de Doña Isabel, Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi.

[136] Ante, Introduction, Sect. 2; Part 1., Chapter 19; Part II., Chapter
21.--The "Pragmáticas del Reyno" comprises various ordinances, defining
the privileges of Salamanca and Valladolid, the manner of conferring
degrees, and of election to the chairs of the universities, so as to
obviate any undue influence or corruption. (Fol. 14-21.) "Porque," says
the liberal language of the last law, "los estudios generales donde las
ciencias se leen y aprenden effuerçan las leyes y fazen a los nuestros
subditos y naturales sabidores y honrrados y acrecientan virtudes: y
porque en el dar y assignar de las cátedras salariadas deue auer toda
libertad porque sean dadas á personas sabidores y cientes." (Taraçona,
October 5th, 1495.) If one would see the totally different principles on
which such elections have been conducted in modern times, let him read
Doblado's Letters from Spain, pp. 103-107. The university of Barcelona was
suppressed in the beginning of the last century. Laborde has taken a brief
survey of the present dilapidated condition of the others, at least as it
was in 1830, since which it can scarcely have mended. Itinéraire, tom. vi.
p. 144, et seq.

[137] See the concluding note to this chapter.

Erasmus, in a lively and elegant epistle to his friend, Francis Vergara,
Greek professor at Alcalá, in 1527, lavishes unbounded panegyric on the
science and literature of Spain, whose palmy state he attributes to
Isabella's patronage, and the co-operation of some of her enlightened
subjects. "----Hispaniae vestrae, tanto successu, priscam eruditionis
gloriam sibi postliminiò vindicanti. Quae quum semper et regionis
amoenitate fertilitaléque, semper ingeniorum eminentium ubere proventu,
semper bellicâ laude floruerit, quid desiderari poterat ad summam
felicitatem, nisi ut studiorum et religionis adjungeret ornamenta, quibus
aspirante Deo sic paucis annis effloruit ut caeteris regionibus quamlibet
hoc decorum genere praecellentibus vel invidiae queat esse vel exemplo....
Vos istam felicitatem secundum Deum debetis laudatissimae Reginarum
Elisabetae, Francisco Cardinali quondam, Alonso Fonsecae nunc
Archiepiscopo Toletano, et si qui sunt horum similes, quorum autoritas
tuetur, benignitas alit fovetque bonas artes." Epistolae, p. 978.

[138] The sums in the text express the _real de vellon_; to which
they have been reduced by Señor Clemencin, from the original amount in
_maravedis_, which varied very materially in value in different years.
Mem. de la Acad. de Hist., tom. vi. Ilust. 5.

[139] The kingdom of Granada appears to have contributed rather less than
one-eighth of the whole tax.

[140] In addition to the last-mentioned sum, the extraordinary service
voted by cortes, for the dowry of the infantas, and other matters, in
1504, amounted to 16,113,014 reals de vellon; making a sum total for that
year, of 42,396,348 reals. The bulk of the crown revenues was derived from
the _alcavalas_, and the _tercias_, or two-ninths of the ecclesiastical
tithes. These important statements were transcribed from the books of the
_escribanía mayor de rentas_, in the archives of Simancas. Ibid., ubi

[141] The pretended amount of population has been generally in the ratio
of the distance of the period taken, and, of course, of the difficulty of
refutation. A few random remarks of ancient writers have proved the basis
for the wildest hypotheses, raising the estimates to the total of what the
soil, under the highest possible cultivation, would be capable of
supporting. Even for so recent a period as Isabella's time, the estimate
commonly received does not fall below eighteen or twenty millions. The
official returns, cited in the text, of the most populous portion, of the
kingdom, fully expose the extravagance of preceding estimates.

[142] These interesting particulars are obtained from a memorial, prepared
by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, by their _contador_, Alonso de
Quintanilla, on the mode of enrolling and arming the militia, in 1492; as
a preliminary step to which, he procured a census of the actual population
of the kingdom. It is preserved in a volume entitled _Relaciones tocantes
a la junta de la Hernandad_, in that rich national repository, the
archives of Simancas. See a copious extract apud Mem. de la Acad. de
Hist., tom. vi. Apend. 12.

[143] I am acquainted with no sufficient and authentic data for computing
the population, at this time, of the crown of Aragon, always greatly below
that of the sister kingdom. I find as little to be relied on,
notwithstanding the numerous estimates, in one form or another, vouchsafed
by historians and travelers, of the population of Granada. Marineo
enumerates fourteen cities and ninety-seven towns (omitting, as he says,
many places of less note,) at the time of the conquest; a statement
obviously too vague for statistical purposes. (Cosas Memorables, fol.
179.) The capital, swelled by the influx from the country, contained,
according to him, 200,000 souls at the same period. (Fol. 177.) In 1506,
at the time of the forced conversions, we find the numbers in the city
dwindled to fifty, or at most, seventy thousand. (Comp. Bleda, Corónica,
lib. 5, cap. 23, and Bernaldez, Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 159.) Loose as
these estimates necessarily are, we have no better to guide us in
calculating the total amount of the population of the Moorish kingdom, or
of the losses sustained by the copious emigrations, during the first
fifteen years after the conquest; although there has been no lack of
confident assertion, as to both, in later writers. The desideratum, in
regard to Granada, will now probably not be supplied; the public offices
in the kingdom of Aragon, if searched with the same industry as those in
Castile, would doubtless afford the means for correcting the crude
estimates, so current respecting that country.

[144] Hallam, in his "Constitutional History of England," estimates the
population of the realm, in 1485, at 3,000,000, (vol. i. p. 10.) The
discrepancies, however, of the best historians on this subject, prove the
difficulty of arriving at even a probable result. Hume, on the authority
of Sir Edward Coke, puts the population of England (including people of
all sorts) a century later, in 1588, at only 900,000. The historian cites
Lodovico Guicciardini, however, for another estimate, as high as
2,000,000, for the same reign of Queen Elizabeth. History of England, vol.
vi. Append. 3.

[145] Philip II. claimed the Portuguese crown in right of his mother and
his wife, both descended from Maria, third daughter of Ferdinand and
Isabella, who, as the reader may remember, married King Emanuel.

[146] Old Caxton mourns over the little honor paid to the usages of
chivalry in his time; and it is sufficient evidence of its decay in
England, that Richard III. thought it necessary to issue an ordinance
requiring those possessed of the requisite £40 a year, to receive
knighthood. (Turner, History of England, vol. iii. pp. 391, 392.) The use
of artillery was fatal to chivalry; a consequence well understood, even at
the early period of our History. At least, so we may infer from the verses
of Ariosto, where Orlando throws Cimosco's gun into the sea.

"Lo tolse e disse: Acciò più non istea
Mai cavalier per te d'essere ardito;
Nè quanto il buono val, mai più si vanti
Il rio per te valer, qui giu rimanti."
Orlando Furioso, canto 9, st. 90.

[147] "Quien podrá, contar," exclaims the old Curate of Los Palacios, "la
grandeza, el concierto de su corte, la cavallería de los Nobles de toda
España, Duques, Maestres, Marqueses é Ricos homes; los Galanes, las Damas,
las Fiestas, los Torneos, la Moltitud de Poetas é trovadores," etc. Reyes
Católicos, MS., cap. 201.

[148] Oviedo notices the existence of a lady-love, even with cavaliers who
had passed their prime, as a thing of quite as imperative necessity in his
day, as it was afterwards regarded by the gallant knight of La Mancha.
"Costumbre es en España entre log señores de estado que venidos á la
corte, aunque nó estén enamorados ó que pasen de la mitad de la edad
fingir que aman por servir y favorescer á alguna dama, y gastar como quien
son en fiestas y otras cosas que se ofrescen de tales pasatiempos y
amores, sin que les dé pena Cupido." Quincuagenas, MS., bat. 1, quinc. 1,
dial. 28.

[149] Viaggio, fol. 27.

Andrea Navagiero, whose itinerary has been of such frequent reference in
these pages, was a noble Venetian, born in 1483. He became very early
distinguished, in his cultivated capital, for his scholarship, poetical
talents, and eloquence, of which he has left specimens, especially in
Latin verse, in the highest repute to this day with his countrymen. He was
not, however, exclusively devoted to letters, but was employed in several
foreign missions by the republic. It was on his visit to Spain, as
minister to Charles V., soon after that monarch's accession, that he wrote
his Travels; and he filled the same office at the court of Francis I.,
when he died, at the premature age of forty-six, in 1529. (Tiraboschi,
Letteratura Italiana, tom. vii. part. 3, p. 228, ed. 1785.) His death was
universally lamented by the good and the learned of his time, and is
commemorated by his friend, Cardinal Bembo, in two sonnets, breathing all
the sensibility of that tender and elegant poet. (Rime, Son. 109, 110.)
Navagiero becomes connected with Castilian literature by the circumstance
of Boscan's referring to his suggestion the innovation he so successfully
made in the forms of the national verse. Obras, fol. 20, ed. 1543.

[150] Fernando de Pulgar, after enumerating various cavaliers of his
acquaintance, who had journeyed to distant climes in quest of adventures
and honorable feats of arms, continues, "E oí decir de otros Castellanos
que con ánimo de Caballeros fueron por los Reynos estrafios á facer armas
con qualquier Caballero que quisiere facerlas con ellos, é por ellas
ganaron honra para sí, é fama de valientes y esforzados Caballeros para
los Fijosdalgos de Castilla." Claros Varones, tit. 17.

[151] "Son todos," says the Admiral, "de ningun ingenio en las armas, y
muy cobardes, que mil no aguadarian tres!" (Primer Viage de Colon.) What
could the bard of chivalry say more?

"Ma quel ch'al timor non diede albergo,
Estima la vil turba e l'arme tante
Quel che dentro alla mandra all' aer cupo,
Il numer dell' agnelle estimi il lupo."
Orlando Furioso, canto 12.

[152] L. Marineo, Cosas Memorables, fol. 30.

[153] "I Spagnoli," says the Venetian minister, "non solo in questo paese
di Granata, ma in tutto 'l resto della Spagna medesimamente, non sono
molto industriosi, ne piantano, ne lavorano volontieri la terra; ma se
danno ad altro, e più volontieri vanno alia guerra, o alle Indie ad
acquistarsi facultà, che per tal vie." (Viaggio, fol. 25.) Testimonies to
the same purport thicken, as the stream of history descends. See several
collected by Capmany (Mem. de Barcelona, tom. iii. pp. 358, et seq.), who
certainly cannot be charged with ministering to the vanity of his

[154] One may trace its immediate influence in the writings of a man like
the Curate of Los Palacios, naturally, as it would seem, of an amiable,
humane disposition; but who complacently remarks, "They (Ferdinand and
Isabella) lighted up the fires for the heretics, in which, with good
reason, they have burnt, and shall continue to burn, so long as a soul of
them remains"! (Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 7.) It becomes more perceptible
in the literature of later times, and, what is singular, most of all in
the lighter departments of poetry and fiction, which seem naturally
devoted to purposes of pleasure. No one can estimate the full influence of
the Inquisition in perverting moral sense, and infusing the deadly venom
of misanthropy into the heart, who has not perused the works of the great
Castilian poets, of Lope de Vega, Ercilla, above all Calderon, whose lips
seem to have been touched with fire from the very altars of this accursed

[155] The late secretary of the Inquisition has made an elaborate
computation of the number of its victims. According to him, 13,000 were
publicly burned by the several tribunals of Castile and Aragon, and
191,413 suffered other punishments, between 1481, the date of the
commencement of the modern institution, and 1518. (Hist. de l'Inquisition,
tom. iv. chap. 46.) Llorente appears to have come to these appalling
results by a very plausible process of calculation, and without any design
to exaggerate. Nevertheless, his data are exceedingly imperfect, and he
has himself, on a revision, considerably reduced, in his fourth volume,
the original estimates in the first. I find good grounds for reducing them
still further. 1. He quotes Mariana, for the fact, that 2000 suffered
martyrdom at Seville, in 1481, and makes this the basis of his
calculations for the other tribunals of the kingdom. Marineo, a
contemporary, on the other hand, states, that "in the course of a few
years they burned nearly 2000 heretics;" thus not only diffusing this
amount over a greater period of time, but embracing all the tribunals then
existing in the country. (Cosas Memorables, fol. 164.) 2. Bernaldez
states, that five-sixths of the Jews resided in the kingdom of Castile.
(Reyes Católicos, MS., cap. 110.) Llorente, however, has assigned an equal
amount of victims to each of the five tribunals of Aragon, with those of
the sister kingdom, excepting only Seville.

One might reasonably distrust Llorente's tables, from the facility with
which he receives the most improbable estimates in other matters, as, for
example, the number of banished Jews, which he puts at 800,000. (Hist. de
l'Inquisition, tom. i. p. 261.) I have shown, from contemporary sources,
that this number did not probably exceed 160,000, or, at most, 170,000.
(Part I., Chapter 17.) Indeed, the cautious Zurita, borrowing, probably,
from the same authorities, cites the latter number. (Anales, tom. v. fol.
9.) Mariana, who owes so much of his narrative to the Aragonese historian,
converting, as it would appear, these 170,000 individuals into families,
states the whole in round numbers, at 800,000 souls. (Hist. de España,
tom. ii. lib. 26, cap. 1.) Llorente, not content with this, swells the
amount still further, by that of the Moorish exiles, and by emigrants to
the New World, (on what authority?) to 2,000,000; and, going on with the
process, computes that this loss may fairly infer one of 8,000,000
inhabitants to Spain, at the present day! (Ibid., ubi supra.) Thus the
mischief imputed to the Catholic sovereigns goes on increasing in a sort
of arithmetical progression, with the duration of the monarchy.

Nothing is so striking to the imagination as numerical estimates; they
speak a volume in themselves, saving a world of periphrasis and argument;
nothing is so difficult to form with exactness, or even probability, when
they relate to an early period; and nothing more carelessly received, and
confidently circulated. The enormous statements of the Jewish exiles, and
the baseless ones of the Moorish, are not peculiar to Llorente, but have
been repeated, without the slightest qualification or distrust, by most
modern historians and travellers.

[156] In the two closing Chapters of Part I. of this History, I have
noticed the progress of letters in this reign; the last which displayed
the antique coloring and truly national characteristics of Castilian
poetry. There were many circumstances, which operated, at this period, to
work an important revolution, and subject the poetry of the Peninsula to a
foreign influence. The Italian Muse, after her long silence, since the age
of the _tricentisti_, had again revived, and poured forth such ravishing
strains, as made themselves heard and felt in every corner of Europe.
Spain, in particular, was open to their influence. Her language had an
intimate affinity with the Italian. The improved taste and culture of the
period led to a diligent study of foreign models. Many Spaniards, as we
have seen, went abroad to perfect themselves in the schools of Italy;
while Italian teachers filled some of the principal chairs in the Spanish
universities. Lastly, the acquisition of Naples, the land of Sannazaro and
of a host of kindred spirits, opened an obvious communication with the
literature of that country. With the nation thus prepared, it was not
difficult for a genius like that of Boscan, supported by the tender and
polished Garcilasso, and by Mendoza, whose stern spirit found relief in
images of pastoral tranquillity and ease, to recommend the more finished
forms of Italian versification to their countrymen. These poets were all
born in Isabella's reign. The first of them, the principal means of
effecting this literary revolution, singularly enough, was a Catalan,
whose compositions in the Castilian proved the ascendency which this
dialect had already obtained. The second, Garcilasso de la Vega, was son
of the distinguished statesman and diplomatist of that name, so often
noticed in our History; and Mendoza was a younger son of the amiable count
of Tendilla, the governor of Granada, whom he resembled in nothing but his
genius. Both the elder Garcilasso and Tendilla had represented their
sovereigns at the papal court, where they doubtless became tinctured with
that relish for the Italian, which produced such results in the education
of their children.

The new revolution penetrated far below the superficial forms of
versification; and the Castilian poet relinquished, with his _redondillas_
and artless _asonantes_, the homely, but heartful themes of the olden
time; or, if he dwelt on them, it was with an air of studied elegance and
precision, very remote from the Doric simplicity and freshness of the
romantic minstrelsy. If he aspired to some bolder theme, it was rarely
suggested by the stirring and patriotic recollections of his nation's
history. Thus, nature and the rude graces of a primitive age gave way to
superior refinement and lettered elegance; many popular blemishes were
softened down, a purer and nobler standard was attained, but the national
characteristics were effaced; beauty was everywhere, but it was the beauty
of art, not of nature. The change itself was perfectly natural. It
corresponded with the external circumstances of the nation, and its
transition from an insulated position to a component part of the great
European commonwealth, which subjected it to other influences and
principles of taste, and obliterated, to a certain extent, the peculiar
features of the national physiognomy.

How far the poetic literature of Castile was benefited by the change, has
been matter of long and hot debate between the critics of the country, in
which I shall not involve the reader. The revolution, however, was the
growth of circumstances, and was immediately effected by individuals,
belonging to the age of Ferdinand and Isabella. As such, I had originally
proposed to devote a separate chapter to its illustration. But I have been
deterred from it by the unexpected length, to which the work has already
extended, as well as by the consideration, on a nearer view, that these
results, though prepared under a preceding reign, properly fall under the
_domestic_ history of Charles V.; a history which still remains to be
written. But who will attempt a _pendant_ to the delineations of

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