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Shortly after his return from the Es
A. D. curial, the king appointed Don Fran
1700. cisco de Moles, duke of Pareta, his ambassador to the court of Vienna, with the warmest assurances of affectionate attachment to the reigning family, from whence it was reported, that a new will had been made in favor of the archduke. About this time, the court was thrown into complete confusion by a monk, who affirmed that his majesty was bewitched, and that his ill health resulted from magical charms, and practices with evil spirits. This ridiculous assertion was readily believed, and the king was actually exorcised; but, as he received no sort of benefit, the eyes of the nobles were opened to their own folly, and the ecclesiastic was delivered into the hands of the inquisition. The king's confessor, who had adopted similar notions, was also disgraced, and sent prisoner to a monastery. • Upon hearing that the different powers of Europe had actually made a partition of his terri. tories, his catholic majesty wrote to the emperor, and requested him to send the archduke Charles privately into Spain. To this request, however, he received no immediate answer; and his mind became so distracted by the memorials of the allies, the misunderstandings among his cwn ministers, and his want of a faithful confi. dent, that he frequently traversed his apartment in the utmost perturbation, wringing his hands like one in despair, and exclaiming with all the vehemence of anxious inquietude, “ Where is my son? Where is Charles? Where is the arch. duke?" At length he understood that the emperor had refused to send him; and this intelligence, together with a menacing memorial from
the French minister, threw him into an agony which threatened his immediate dissolution. ?
After the first violence of his emotions had subsided, Charles seemed to recover strength ; and, at the instigation of cardinal Portocarrero, he made a new will in favour of Philip, duke of Anjou. He also wrote to the duke of Pareta, to acquaint him with the state of his health ; and his physicians began to entertain such sanguine hopes, that public rejoicings were made, at Madrid and Brussels, for his supposed recovery. But, on the 26th of the month, he relapsed with mortal symptoms, and, after languishing five days, he expired in the thirty-ninth year of his age, and the thirty-fifth of his reign. In this prince ended a branch of Austria, which had given five sovereigns to the Spanish nation,
From the Accession of Philip V. to the general
Peace of 1801. A
S the late king's testament received the sanc.
tion of Louis XIV. and the dauphin, Philip of Anjou was solemnly proclaimed on the 24th of November; on the fourth of the ensuing month he set out for his new dominions, where he was received with every possible mark of esteem and loyalty. There were, indeed, some few persons who entered a protest against the va lidity of Charles's will: but these were soon removed from the cabinet, and the new sovereign entered his capital amidst the acclamations of a prodigious concourse of spectators. His en
gaging manners and affable depertment, insensibly won the hearts of the populace ; his clemency and piety were equally pleasing to the grandees and ecclesiastics; and his marriage with à lovely and amiable princess of Savoy, operated as a fresh charm upon the whole nation. Phillip honored the city of Barcelona
A. D. with the celebration of his nuptials; and
1701. in an assembly of the states, convened at the same place, he gave a specimen of his wisdom and equity, which it would be unpardonable to pass over in silence.-- A son of the duke de Medina Sidonia, one of the most powerful and opulent noblemen in Spain, had insulted an officer of the revenue who attempted to search his equipage, and, in consequence of some altercation, shot him through the head. Cardinal Portocarrero immediately caused the young lord to be apprehended, and dispatched an account of the whole transaction to Barcelona, as being unwilling to take any steps without the royal command, in such an important affair. Philip, having read the cardinal's letter, called the duke de Medina into his cabinet, and demanded what punishment should be inflicted on the son of a grandee who had killed an officer of the revenue for doing his duty. The duke, after some consideration, replied, that the offence was of a very heinous nature; that the young man, let him be of what rank he might, should be sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, and that his father should be obliged to provide for the widow and family of the deceased. 6 You have spoken,” rejoined his majesty,“ upon this occasion like a king, and I must therefore speak to you as a father. The culprit is your own
son; send him to one of your castles, and detain him there till he becomes truly repentant for his fault. With respect to the unhappy family of my officer, I entirely approve of your judgment, and am persuaded that you will cheerfully allow them a handsome maintenance." The duke was deeply affected by this act of his sovereign's clemency; and, from that moment, adhered to his interests with unshaken fidelity.
The interests of Spain, with respect to foreign affairs, were now entirely managed by Louis XIV. who displayed equal spirit and prudence in contrivance; but, having outlived all the great ministers who had contributed to the elevation of his glory, he sometimes failed in execution. Though he probably outwitted the allies in adhering to the spirit rather than to the letter of the partition treaty, they took an equal advantage, by persevering in such a conduct as rendered it impossible for him to discern whether they had resolved upon peace or war.
His Britannic ma. jesty and the states of Holland acknowledged Philip upon his accession, and the latter, by this act of complaisance, recovered twenty-two bat. talions of veteran troops that were dispersed in the garrisons of the Low Countries; yet in the beginning of September the grand alliance was signed, which measure would, probably, have been prevented, if France had acted with her
In consequence of a recent insurrection among the Neapolitans, and some other unpleasant cir. cumstances, Philip was obliged to leave his new kingdom and consort, almost as soon as he had received them ; and to make a tour into Italy. He was also compelled to rely upon the coun.
sel and conduct of others; having, as yet, no military experience, and being too young to form such notions of men and things as were requisite in the government of a nation, distracted in councils, divided in affections, and in point of power and treasure almost exhausted. He had, how. ever, the consolation to witness the arrival of the plate-fleet, towards the close of the year, with a cargo of sixty millions; and he fortunately prevented the loss of Cadiz, by refusing admission to the fleet of the allies, which had craftily demanded entrance into the port without commencing hostilities. A.D.
Having made all the necessary ar1702. rangements, and obtained a subsidy of
one million from the Catalonians, his majesty embarked at Barcelona, on the 8th of April, and on the 15th of the same month landed in the bay of Naples. His entry into the city, on the next morning, seemed to tranquil. lize the minds of the people; and his subsequent remission of some heavy arrears, threw them into such a transport of joy, that when the nobility made him a free gift of three hundred thousand ducats, the commons voted him four hundred thousand. He then expressed his intention of passing over to Sicily ; but, on hearing that the late Spanish ministry had so cruelly impoverished the nobles of that island as to render it impossible for them to sustain the expence royal visit, he contented himself with issuing out orders for the recal of exiles, and the restoration of honours and estates to those persons who had been treated, during the reign of his predecessor, with unjust severity. Having granted an amnesty to all who had