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tion as I give up mine to you.” These observations were uttered with such peculiar dignity and tenderness, that the whole audience melted into tears; and the emperor being quite exhausted with the fatigue of the solemnity, was obliged to withdraw. A few weeks after this memo. rable transaction, Charles resigned the sovereignty of Spain and America; reserving nothing to himself out of all his vast possessions but an annual pension of one hundred thousand crowns.
Having thus disengaged himself from all the affairs of state, Charles ordered a small edifice to be erected near the monastery of St. Just; and in that peaceful retreat buried his grandeur, his ambition, and all those mighty projects which, during forty years, had alarmed and agitated all the powers of Europe,
From the Abdication of Charles I. to the Death of
Charles II. the last Monarch of Spain of the Ilouse of Austria.
DON PHILIP ascended the Spanish
A.D. throne,* in consequence of his fa.
1555. ther's resignation; and commenced his administration by concluding a truce with the
* Charles V.could not prevail ov'the Geriran princes to raise his son to the imperial dignity. They cheerfully passed their votes, however, in favor of tlie empesor's brother Ferdinand; and by that action divided the danger: ous power of the house of Austria into two branches.
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crown of France for five years: but the flames of war were soon rekindled by the intrigues of the Roman pontiff, and the new sovereign was compelled to take up arms at the very moment when most of the European states were rejoicing in the prospect of a durable repose.
After several fruitless negociations with his holiness, and a consultation with the Spanish ecclesiastics, Philip resolved to act with vigor against his inveterate enemy, and, accordingly, sent the duke of Aiva into the pope's dominions, with an army of ten thousand veterans. Paul, however, still remained inflexible, and, on the arrival of a French army in Italy, he banished all thoughts from his mind but those of war and vengeance.
Meanwhile Philip, perceiving that Henry of France had violated the truce, assembled a body of fifty thousand men in the Netherlands; drew over a powerful reinforcement from England; and gave
the command of his army to Emanuel Phillibert, duke of Savoy, one of the greatest generals of that warlike age; who soon damped the ardor of the French troops, by defeating them with prodigious slaughter, before St. Quintin, and taking the gallant Montmorency prisoner. The victorious duke now proposed to overlook all smaller considerations, and to march directly to the gates of Paris : but Philip was unwilling to hazard so bold an enterprise, and by that means saved France from utter devastation. He was, indeed, soon convinced of the absurdity of his conduct upon this occasion: but the reduction of St. Quintin, Horn, and Catelet, dissipated all his chagrin ; and, in the height of exultation, he vowed to build a church, a monas
tery, and a palace in honour of St. Lawrence, because the battle of St. Quintin had been fought on the day sacred to that martyr.
In consequence of the fatal blow which France had received at St. Quintin, the duke of Guise was recalled from Italy, and the arrogant pontiff, finding himself deserted by his best defend.
ers, was obliged to accommodate his behaviour to the exigency of his affairs, and to employ the mediation of the Venetians in order to obtain peace. His catholic majesty eagerly listened to the first proposals of this nature, and the duke of Alva repaired to Rome, in order to obtain absolution for having invaded the patrimony of the church.
But though this war was terminated without any detriment to the apostolic see, it produced effects of considerable importance in other parts of Italy. The city of Placentia, with its adjacent territory, was restored to Octavio Farnese, duke of Parma, in order to detach him from the French interest; the investiture of Sienna was granted as an equivalent for the sums due to Cosmo de Medici; and the balance of power among the Italian states was rendered more equable than it ever had been since the invasion of Charles VIII. From this time Italy ceased to be the theatre on which the monarchs of Spain, France, and Germany, contended for augmentation of fame or dominion. New objects attracted their attention, and their subsequent hostilities involved other states in the miseries of
The duke of Guise was received with acclamations on his return to France, and all ranks of people seemed to look up to him as the guar
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dian angel of their kingdom. He was appointed lieutenant-general, with a jurisdiction almost unlimited: and he soon justified his master's high opinion of him, by effecting the reduction of Calais, and the fortress of Thionville in the duchy of Luxembourg. This brilliant success, however, was counterbalanced by a signal de feat of the French near Gravelines;
and the duke was obliged to hasten toward the frontiers of Picardy, in order to oppose the progress of
The attention of all France was now fixed upon the duke of Guise, as the only person who seemed capable of surmounting every danger, and in whose conduct they might confide with pleasing security. His strength was nearly equal to the duke of Savoy's, each commanding about forty thousand men. Their encampments were fixed within a few leagues of each other; and, the French and Spanish monarchs having joined their respective armies, it was expected that a decisive battle would soon determine which of the competitors should obtain a future ascendency in the affairs of Europe. But both princes seemed inclined to stand on the defens sive; peace began to be mentioned in each càmp; and, after mature deliberation, the abbey of Cercramp was fixed on as the place of congresso A. D.
We must now turn our attention to
the monastery of St. Just, where Charles 1558.
V. about this time, received a summons to futurity. After resigning the reins, of gee vernment into other hands, and retiring, with only twelve domestics, to this peaceful retreat, he devoted his time entirely to acts of piety and innocent amusements. When his health pera
mitted him to quit his apartment, he rode on Borseback to a neighbouring wood, or cultivated the elegant productions of his garden; and when his infirmities precluded the enjoyment of these gratifications, he found relief in a select society of friends, or in studying the principles of mechanism. He was particularly curious with respect to the construction of watches, and on perceiving that he could never bring any two of them to go exactly alike, he reflected, with much regret, on his own folly in attempting to bring his subjects to a precise uniformity of sentiment concerning the mysterious doctrines of religion. He died on the twenty-first of September, with all exterior marks of piety and patience, in the fifty-ninth year of his age, after he had swayed the Castilian sceptre for near forty years, and passed two years in retirement.
The character of Charles V. is strongly marked by the peculiarity of his qualities, which not only distinguish him from his royal contemporaries, but also account for the superiority which he so long obtained over them. As his talents unfolded themselves by slow degrees, and were late in attaining maturity, he was cautious in forming his schemes, and, after hearing the opinions of his ministers, took his resolution with decisive firmness. His promptitude in execution was equally remarkable with his patience in deliberation; and he did not discover greater sagacity in his choice of measures, than fertility of expedient in rendering them successful. He possessed in a most eminent degree the art of adapting the employments of men to their talents'; and though he remained inactive du