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For JULY, 1769:
The Hiftory of the Reign of Charles the Fifth, &c. continued. See Review for April.
N our former article on this fubject, we attended the elegant and judicious Hiftorian to the clofe of the first fection, reprefenting the progrefs of fociety in Europe, with respect to interior government, laws, and manners. The fecond fection, now under confideration, affords a view of the progrefs of fociety in Europe, with refpect to the command of the national force, requifite in foreign operations.
The state of fociety, as our Historian remarks, though greatly improved at the beginning of the 15th century, was ftill defective with refpect to the command of the national force. The power of the feveral monarchs was very limited, their revenues fmall, and their armies unfit for conqueft.
Inftead of being able to employ troops trained to skill in arms, and to military fubordination, by regular difcipline, monarchs were obliged to depend on fuch forces as their vafials conducted to their ftandard in confequence of their military tenures. Thefe, as they were bound to remain under arms only for a fhort time, could not march far from their ufual place of refidence, and being more attached to the lord of whom they held, than to the fovereign whom they ferved, were often as much difpofed to counteract as to forward his fchemes. Nor were they, even if they had been more fubject to the command of the monarch, proper inftruments to carry into execution any great and arduous enterprize. The ftrength of an army formed either for conqueft or defence lies in infantry. To the stability and difcipline of their legions, confifting chiefly of infantry, the Romans during the times of the republic were indebted for all their victorie.; and when their defcendants, forgetting the infi tutions which had led them to univerfal dominion, fo far altered their military fyftem as to place their principal confidence in a numerous cavalry, the undifciplined impetuofity of the barbarous nations who fought mostly on foot, was fufficient, as I have already obferved, to overcome them. Thefe nations, foon after they fettled in their new conquefts, uninftructed by the fatal error of the Romans, relinquished
REV. Vol. XLI.
the cufloms of their ancestors, and converted the chief force of their armies into cavalry. Among the Romans this change was occafioned by the effeminacy of their troops, who could go endure the fatigues of fervice, which their more virtuous and hardy ancestors fuftained with eafe. Among the people who eftablified the new monarchies into which Europe was divided, this innovation in military difcipline feems to have flowed from the pride of the nobles who fcorning to mingle with perfons of inferior rank, ained at being diftinguished from them in the field as well as during peace. The inititution of chivalry, and the frequency of tournaments, in which knights, in complete armour, entered the lifts on horfeback with extraordinary fplendour, difplaying amazing *address, and force, and valour, brought cavalry into ftill greater efteem. The fondness for that fervice increased to fuch a degree, that, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the armies of Europe were compofed almost entirely of cavalry. No gentleman would appear in the field but on horfeback. To ferve in any other manner he would have deemed derogatory to his rank. The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called, The battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every action. The infantry, collected from the dregs and refufe of the people, ill armed and worfe difciplined, was of no account.'
Thefe circumstances, he obferves, rendered them incapable. of forming any general or extenfive plan of operation, or from giving attention to the fchemes and tranfactions of their neighbours, they being but little connected with each other.
The Hiftorian then traces the events during the 15th century, which rendered the efforts of nations more powerful and extenfive. The first he takes notice of was the depriving the English of their territories on the continent, which increafed the power of the French monarchy. But, befides the increase of power by the re-union of the provinces, he adds, that during the obftinate ftruggles between France and England, all the defects of the military fyftem under the feudal government were fenfibly felt which occafioned the introduction of standing armies, by means of which the monarchs of France were encouraged to extend their prerogative.
This appears to us as one of the most interefting events of this period, and we could with that the Hiftorian had not paffed it over fo flightly. It would have been a tafk worthy of his knowledge to have difcuffed the real merits of this important inftitution to have traced its effects on the liberties, on the property, and on the morals of the people among whom it has been introduced; and to have fhewn to what forms of government it is beft adapted, and to what extent it may fafely be admitted. . Having marked the fteps which Lewis the XIth took to introduce and augment this ftanding force, he obferves that other princes imitated his example: and then takes notice of the events which called the feveral monarchs to exert the new powers they had acquired.
The first he mentions was the marriage of the heiress of the houfe of Burgundy: the next was the invafion of Italy by Charles the VIIIth; which gave rife to the fyftem concerning the balance of power, and became the great object of policy, firft in Italy, and then in Europe.
Another important occurrence, as he obferves, was the league. of Cambray, the object of which was to humble the republic of Venice, and to divide its territories. The various negociations, he remarks, carried on during this bufy period, and the different combinations formed among powers till then little connected with each other, prepared them for the tranfactions of the 16th century; which leads to the fubject of the third fection, wherein a view is exhibited of the political conftitution of the principal ftates in Europe at the commencement of that century.
Our hiftorian obferves, that at this time there was a confiderable variety in the conftitution of the different nations in Europe, and he gives a very accurate explanation of each, for which we muft refer to the work itself; and, leaving this preliminary volume, proceed to the fecond and third, which contain the hiftory of Charles the fifth.
The fecond volume opens with the birth of Charles.
Charles V. was born at Ghent on the twenty-fourth day of February, in the year one thoufand five hundred. His father, Philip the Handfome, Archduke of Auftria, was the fon of the Emperor Maximilian, and of Mary, the only child of Charles the Bold, the laft prince of the houfe of Burgundy. His mother, Joanna, was the fecond daughter of Ferdinand and Ifabella, king and queen of Caftile and Aragon.
A long train of fortunate events had opened the way for this prince to the inheritance of more extenfive dominions, than any Euroyoung pean monarch, fince Charles the Great, had poffeffed. Each of his ancestors had acquired kingdoms or provinces, towards which their profpect of fucceffion was very remote. The rich poffeffions of Mary of Burgundy were deftined for another family, fhe having been contracted by her father to the only fon of Lewis XI. of France; but that capricious monarch, indulging his hatred to her family, chofe rather to ftrip ber of part of her territories by force, than to fecure the whole by marriage; and by this misconduct, fatal to his pofterity, threw all the Netherlands and Franche Compté into the hands of a rival. Ifabella, the daughter of John II. of Caftile, far from having any profpect of that noble inhertance which fhe tranfmitted to her grandfon, pafled the early part of her life in obfcurity and indigence; but the Caftilians, exafperated against her brother Henry IV. an ill-advised and vicious prince, publickly charged him with impotence, and his queen with adultery; and, upon his demife, rejecting Joanna, whom the king had uniformly, and even on his death-bed, owned to be his lawful daughter, and whom an affembly of the ftates had acknowledged to be the heir of his kingdom, they obliged her to retire into Portugal, and placed Ifabella on the throne of Caftile. Ferdinand owed the crown of Aragon to the unexpected death of his elder brother, and acquired the kingdoms of B 2
Naples and Sicily by violating the treaties, and difregarding the ties of blood. To all thefe kingdonis, Christopher Columbus, by an effort of genius and of intrepidity, the boldest and most fuccessful that is recorded in the annals of mankind, added a new world, the wealth of which was one confiderable fource of the power and grandeur of the Spanish monarchs.'.
On the death of Charles's father, and on his mother's incapacity for government, the being difordered in her mind, Ferdinand was appointed regent of Caftile. Being jealous of his grandson Charles, Ferdinand endeavoured, by his will, to exclude him from the Spanifh kindoms; but was at length perfuaded to alter that will; and, in the end, he left Charles fole heir of all his dominions. Ferdinand died foon after figning this will, on the 23d Jan. 1516.
Charles, to whom fuch a noble inheritance defcended by his death, was near the full age of fixteen. He had hitherio refided in the Low Countries, his paternal dominions. Margaret of Auftria, his aunt, and Margaret of York, the filter of Edward IV. of England, and widow of Charles the Bold, two princeffes of great virtue and abilities, had the care of forming his early youth. Upon the death of his father, Philip, the Flemings committed the government of the Low Countries to his grandfather, the Emperor Maximilian, with the name rather than the authority of regent. Maximilian made choice of William de Croy lord of Chievres to fuperintend the education of the young prince his grandfon. That nobleman poffeffed, in an eminent degree, the talents which fitted him for fuch an important office, and discharged the duties of it with great fidelity. Under Chievres, Adrian of Utrecht acted as preceptor. This preferment, which opened his way to the highest dignities an ecclefiaftic can attain, he owed not to his birth, for that was extremely mean; nor to his intereft, for he was a ftranger to the arts of a court; but to the opinion which his countrymen entertained of his learning. He was indeed no inconfiderable proficient in those frivolous fciences which, during feveral centuries, affumed the name of philofophy, and published a commentary, which was highly efleemed, upon The Mafter of the Sentences, a famous treatife of Petrus Lombardus, and confidered at that time, as the flandard fyftem of metaphyfical theology. But whatever admiration thefe procured him in an illiterate age, it was foon found that a man accustomed to the retirement of a college, unac quainted with the world, and without any tincture of taste or elegance, was by no means qualified for rendering (cience agreeable to a young prince. Charles, accordingly, difcovered an early averfion to learning. and an exceflive fondness for thofe violent and martial exercifes, to excel in which was, at that time, the chief pride, and almoft the only study of perfons of rank. Chievres encouraged this taste, either from a defire of gaining his pupil by indulgence, or from too flight an opinion of the advantage of literary accomplishments. He inftructed him, however, with great care in the arts of government; he made him itudy the history not only of his own kingdoms, but thofe with which they were connected; he accustomed him, from the time of his affuming the government of Flanders in the year one thousand five hundred and fifteen, to attend to bufinefs; he perfuaced him to perufe all papers relating to public affairs; to be prefent at the deliberations of his privycounfellors, and to propose to them himlelf thofe matters, concerning
which he required their opinion. From fuch an education, Charles contracted habits of gravity and recollection which fcarce fuited his time of life. The first openings of his genius did not indicate that fuperiority which his maturer age difplayed. He did not difcover in his youth that impetuofity of fpirit which commonly ushers in an active and enterprizing manhood. Nor did his early obfequioufnefs to Chievres, and his other favourites, promife that capacious and decifive judgment, which afterwards directed the affairs of one half of Europe. But his fubjects, dazzled with the external accomplishments of a graceful figure and manly addrefs, and viewing his character with that partiality which is always fhown to princes during their youth, entertained fanguine hopes of his adding luftre to thofe crowns which defcended to him by the death of Ferdinand.
In order to prevent the evils which might arife from the spirit of faction and difcontent to which the Spanish conftitution was prone, Ferdinand had in his laft will taken the prudent precaution of appointing cardinal Ximenes, archbishop of Toledo, to be fole regent of Caftile, till the arrival of his grandfon in Spain.
The fingular character of this man, and the extraordinary qualities. which marked him out for that office, at fuch a jun&ture, merit a particular defcription. He was defcended of an honourable, not of a wealthy family; and the circumstances of his parents, as well as his own inclinations, having determined him to enter into the church, he early obtained benefices of great value, and which placed him in the way of the highest preferment. All thefe, however, he renounced at once; and after undergoing a very fevere novicia e, affumed the habit of St. Francis in a monaftry of Obfervantine friars, one of the most rigid orders in the Ronifh church. There he foon became eminent for his uncommon aufterity of manners, and for thofe exceffs of fuperftitious devotion, which are the proper characteristics of the monaftic life. But notwithstanding thefe extravagancies, to which weak and enthufiaftic minds alone are ufually prone, his understanding, naturally penetrating and decifive, retained its full vigour, and acquired him fuch great autho rity among his own order, as raised him to be their provincial. His reputation for fanctity foon procured him the office of father confeffor to the queen, Ifabella, which he accepted with the utmost reluctance. He preferved in a court the fame aufterity of manners, which had diftinguished him in the cloiter. He continued to make all his journies on foot; he fubfifted only upon alms; his acts of mortification were as fevere as ever; and his pennances as rigorous. Ifabella, pleafed with her choice, conferred on him, not long after, the archbishoprick of Toledo, which, next to the papacy, is the richest dignity in the church of Rome. This honour he declined with a firmnefs, which nothing but the authoritative injunction of the pope was able to overcome. Nor did this height of promotion change his manners. Though obliged to dif play in public that magnificence which became his ftation, he himself retained his monaftic feverity. Under his pontifical robes he conftantly wore the coarfe frock of St. Francis, the rents in which he used to patch with his own hands. He at no time used linen; but was commonly clad in hair-cloth. He flept always in his habit, most frequently on the ground, or on boards, rabely He did not taste any of the