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French, elated with their recent fortune, began to act offensively, both in Flanders and Italy; while their new ally, Solyman, made formidable preparations for attacking Naples and Sicily. Charles exerted himself with his usual ability, and expatiated so forcibly on the impropriety of a league between the French monarch and a Turkish sultan, that he not only obtained ample subsidies for the prosecution of the war, but also excited the general murmurs of Europe against his rival. Hostilities were carried on with various success, during the spring and part of the summer: but a truce for three months was con. cluded on the thirtieth of July; and in the course of the ensuing year, the sovereign pontiff negociated a fresh accommodation,
After the cessation of hostilities, and a personal interview with the king of France, Charles convened an assembly of the states at Toledo, and proposed to levy some necessary supplies by a general excise; but this measure was rejected in a determinate manner, and the nobles, in particular, inveighed with great vehemence against it, as an encroachment on the most distinguishing privilege of their order. After an ineffectual exertion of his eloquence, the emperor ordered the corte to be dismissed by the archbishop of Toledo; and from that period neither the nobles nor prelates have been called to the assemblies, under pretence that those who pay no public taxes can have no vote in imposing them.
Whilst the emperor's mind was enflamed by the opposition of a favorite project, he received intelligence that the citizens of Ghent had thrown off their allegiance, and mal-treated several imperial officers. Hereupon he demand
ed a passage through France, and landed in that kingdom with a small but splendid train of one hundred persons. The dauphin and the duke of Orleans met him with every token of respect, and offered to go, as hostages, into Spain, till he should reach his own dominions; but Charles replied, that the king's word was sufficient for his safety, and prosecuted his journey without any other security. At Paris he was entertained with the utmost magnificence, and the two young princes accompanied him to Valenciennes. The magistrates of all the cities through which he passed, also complimented him with the offer of their keys, and the utmost politeness was shown towards him through his whole journey.
The citizens of Ghent, alarmed at the apa proach of their offended emperor, who
A. D. was joined by his brother, the king of
1540. the Romans, and a powerful army, sent 'ambassadors to implore his mercy, and offered to throw open their gatés: but Charles only vouchsafed to reply, that he should appear among them as a sovereign and a judge, with the sceptre and the sword. Accordingly he entered the place of his nativity with a resolution of exhibiting an awful example of severity. Twenty-six of the principal citizens were dooned to expiate their crime by death; many of their friends were driven into exile; the city was de clared to have forfeited all its privileges; a new mode of administration was prescribed; and an annual tax was levied on the unfortunate inhabitants for the support of a garrison.
The baseness of his subsequent behaviour to Francis, laid the foundation of a new war with France; the rapid progress of the Turks in
Hungary excited a general alarm; and the unpleasant state of his own affairs in Spain, induced the emperor to make some considerable concessions to his protestant subjects in Germany, in order that he might obtain some need.' ful supplies both of men and money. He then hastened to execute a favorite enterprise which he had concerted against Algiers; but the wea. ther proved so unfavorable, and the defence of the place was so well conducted, that he was at length compelled to retire with prodigious loss.
The ill success of this expedition encouraged the king of France to commence hostilities; but Charles, by securing the fidelity of the protestant princes in Germany, and by engaging the Engfish monarch to espouse his cause, prevented him from gaining any signal advantage. The Imperialists were, indeed, defeated with considerable loss at the battle of Cerisoles; but the contending powers were mutually fatigued with such an useless war: and a treaty was concluded, after a short time, at Crespy, by which it was agreed, that all conquests made since the truce of Nice should be restored; that Charles should give his eldest daughter, with the sovereignty of the Low Countries, to the duke of Orleans; that the late claims upon certain territories should be renounced by each party; and that the French and imperial forces should unite in making war
Charles now resolved to humble the German princes, who seemedinclined to shake off, not only the papal but also the.imperial jurisdiction; and with this vicw he concluded a disadvantageous peace with the Turks, and entered into a solemn league with the pope for the extirpation of heresy:
upon the Turks.
But Providence frustrated hisintentions, and he was eventually obliged to make peace with the protestants on their own terms. A subsequent attack on the city of Metz proved totally fruitless; the citizens of Sienna renounced their allegiance, and put themselves under the protection of France; and the footing which the emperor had hitherto maintained in Tuscany was lost about the same time.
Exasperated by these successive disasters, Charles retired into the Low Countries, and effaced the stain which his military reputation had received before Metz, by reducing the cities of Terouane and Hesdin; but whilst he triumphed in these successes, his troops were defeated with great slaughter in Italy; part of Corsica was annexed to the French conquests; and the Austrian general was forced to abandon Transylvania to the Turks. The emperor, however, entertained hopes of counterbalancing all these losses by his own policy, and the nuptials of queen Mary with his son Philip inspired him with the expectation of annexing England to his other dominions. Whilst Italy and the Netherlands
A.D. groaned under the miseries of war, and
1555. the inhabitants of Germany were fully occupied by theological controversy, the emperor formed a resolution of resigning his hereditary dominions to his son Philip, and of -secking in the tranquillity of retirement that hap
piness which he had sought in vain amidst the tumults of war and the intrigues of a court.
In consequence of this design, Charles, who had already ceded to his son the kingdom of Naples and the duchy of Milan, assembled the VOL. XV.
states of the Netherlands at Brussels; and explained to his subjects the reasons of his resig. nation. He also recounted all the great actions which he had performed since the commencement of his administration.
6 From the seven. teenth year of my age (said he) I have devoted all my attention to public business, reserving no portion of my time for the indulgence of my ease, and but little for the enjoyment of private pleasure. I have, either in a hostile or pacific inanner, visited Germany nine times, Spain six times, France four times, Italy seven times, the Netherlands ten times, England twice, and Africa twice: and while my health enabled me to discharge the duty of a sovereign, I never shunned the most arduous office, nor repined *under the inconveniencies of fatigue; but now my health is broken, my constitution is exhausted by the rage of an incurable distemper, and my growing infirmities admonish me to place my sceptre in the hands of a prince who is already accustomed to govern, and who adds 'to the vigor of youth all the sagacity and attention of maturer years.” Then turning towards the prince, who fell on his knees and kissed his father's hand, “ It is in your power (resumed the emperor) to justify, by a virtuous administration, the extraordinary proof which I now give of my paternal affection. Preserve, I entreat you,
inviolable regard for the interests of religion, maintain the catholic faith in its purity, let the laws of your country and the rights of your people be sacred in your estimation; and, if
you should ever wish to retire from the government, may you have a son to whom
you can resign your sceptre with as much satisfac