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For AUGUST, 1769.
The Hiftory of the Reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, &c.
UR 1aft account of this work concluded with the inter views which Charles and Francis had with Henry the Eighth of England.This affiduity, with which the two greateft monarchs in Europe paid court to Henry, appeared to him a plain acknowledgment that he held the balance in his hands.
It is obferved by our Hiftorian, that almoft at the fame time that Charles was crowned, Solyman the Magnificent, one of the moft accomplished, enterprifing, and victorious of the Tur kish princes, a conftant and formidable rival to the Emperor, afcended the Ottoman throne. It was the peculiar glory of that period to produce monarchs the moft illuftrious that have at any one time appeared in Europe. Leo, Charles, Francis, Henry, and Solyman, were each of them pofleffed of talents which would have rendered any age in which they happened to flourish, confpicuous.
The first act of the Emperor's adminiftration was to appoint a diet of the empire to be held at Worms on the 6th of January, 1521 and, in his circular letters to the different princes, he informed them that he had called this affembly, in order to con 'cert with them the most proper measures for checking the progrefs of thofe new and dangerous opinions, which threatened to difturb the peace of Germany, and to overturn the religion of their ancestors.
This leads oar Hiftorian to a very important digreffion of near forty pages, wherein he traces the rife of the Reformation, and explains the caufes which contributed to its progrefs.
In this difquifition, it must be acknowledged, the Writer does not discover that bigotted, acrimonious, and intolerant fpirit, which has, perhaps, not always without reason, been imputed to ecclefiaftics. Nevertheless, had the Hiftorian been wholly divefted of his clerical character, he would probably have treated this part of the work in a more free and enlarged manner. The following paffage feems to be among those wherein the Author's facred function, may be supposed to have had some effect on his hiftorical judgment:
To overturn a fyftem of religious belief founded on ancient and deep-rooted prejudices, fupported by power, and defended with art and induftry; to establish in its room doctrines of the moft contrary genius and tendency; and to accomplish all this, not by external violence or the force of arms, are operations which hiftorians the leaft prone to credulity and fuperftition, muft afcribe to that Divine Providence which can, with infinite cafe, bring about events that to human fagacity appear impoffible. The interpofition of heaven in favour of the Chriftian religion at its first publication, was manifefted by miracles and prophecies wrought and uttered in confirmation of it: and tho' none of the reformers poffeffed, or pretended to poffefs, thefe fupernatural gifts, yet that wonderful preparation of circumftances which difpofed the minds of men for receiving their doctrines, that fingular combination of caufes which fecured their fuccefs, and enabled men deftitute of power and of policy to triumph over thofe who employed both against them, may be confidered as no flight proof that the fame hand which planted the Chriftian religion, protected the reformed faith, and reared it, from) beginnings extremely feeble, to an amazing degree of ftrength and maturity.'
Our Hiftorian gives an account of the proceedings of the diet at Worms, which produced a fevere edict against Luther, depriving him, as an obftinate and excommunicated criminal, of all the privileges he enjoyed as a fubject of the empire, forbidding any prince to harbour or protect him, and requiring all to concur in feizing his perfon as foon as the term specified in his fafe conduct was expired.
We pass over the account of the state of affairs between Charles and Francis, with their various battles and negociations, of which the Hiftorian gives a very fuccinct and perfpicuous detail; and proceed to what feems more interefting, namely, the civil war in Spain, where a junta had got poffeffion of Joanna, the king's mother, and had carried on the government in ber name.
The junta, relying on the unanimity with which the nation fubmitted to their authority, elated with the fuccefs which. hitherto
hitherto had accompanied all their undertakings, and feeing no military force collected to defeat or obftruct their defigns, aimed at a more thorough reformation of political abufes. They had been employed for fome time in preparing a remonftrance containing a large enumeration not only of the grievances, of which they craved redrefs, but of fuch new regulations as they thought neceffary for the fecurity of their liberties. This remonftrance, which is divided into many articles relating to all the different members of which the conftitution was compofed, as well as to the various departments in the administration of government, furnishes us with more authentic evidence concerning the intentions of the junta, than can be drawn from the testimony of the later Spanish hiftorians, who lived in times when it became fashionable and even neceffary to reprefent the conduct of the malecontents in the worft light, and as flowing from the worst motives. After a long preamble concerning the various calamities under which the nation groaned, and the errors and corruption in government to which these were to be imputed, they take notice of the exemplary patience wherewith the people had endured them, till felf-prefervation, and the duty which they owed to their country, had obliged them to affemble in order to provide in a legal manner for their own fafety, and that of the conftitution: for this purpose, they demanded that the king would be pleased to return to his Spanish dominions, and refide there, as all their former monarchs had done; that he would not marry but with confent of the Cortes; that if he fhould be obliged at any time to leave the kingdom, it shall not be lawful to appoint any foreigner to be regent; that the prefent nomination of Cardinal Adrian to that office fhall instantly be declared void; that he would not, at his return, bring along with him any Flemings or other ftrangers; that no foreign troops fhall, on any pretence whatever, be introduced into the Kingdom; that none but natives fhall be capable of holding any office or benefice either in church or ftate; that no foreigners shall be naturalized; that free quarters fhall not be granted to foldiers, nor to thofe of the king's houfhold for any longer time than fix days, and that only when the court is in a progrefs; that all the taxes fhall be reduced to the fame ftate they were in at the death of Queen Ifabella; that all alienations of the royal demeines or revenues fince that queen's death fhall be refumed; that all new offices created fince that period be abolished; that the fubfidy granted by the late Cortes in Galicia fhall not be exacted; that in all future Cortes each city shall fend one representative of the clergy, one of the gentry, and one of the commons, each to be elected by his own order; that the crown shall not influence or direct any city with regard to the choice of its reprefentatives; that no member of the Cortes fhall receive an
office or penfion from the king, either for himself or for any of his family, under pain of death, and confifcation of his goods; that each city or community fhall pay a competent falary to its repretentatives for his maintenance during his attendance on the Cortes; that the Cortes fhall affemble once in three years at leaft, whether fummoned by the king or not, and fhall then enquite into the obfervation of the articles now agreed upon, and deliberate concerning public affairs; that the rewards which have been given or promifed to any of the members of the Cortes in Galicia, fhall be revoked; that no gold, filver, or jewels, fhall, upon pain of death, be fent out of the kingdom; that judges fhall have fixed falaries affigned them, and fhall not receive any fhare of the fines and forfeitures of persons condemned by them; that no grant of the goods of perfons accused shall be valid, if given before fentence was pronounced against them; that all privileges which the nobles have at any time obtained, to the prejudice of the commons, fhall be revoked; that the government of cities or towns fhall not be put into the hands of the nobles; that the lands of the nobles fhall be subject to all public taxes in the fame manner as thofe of the commons; that an enquiry be made into the conduct of thofe who have been entrusted with the management of the royal patrimony fince the acceffion of Ferdinand; and if the king do not within thirty days appoint perfons properly qualified for that fervice, it fhall be lawful for the Cortes to nominate them; that indulgences fhall not be preached or dispersed in the kingdom until the cause of publishing them be examined and approved of by the Cortes; that all the money arifing from the fale of indulgences, fhall be faithfully employed in carrying on war against the infidels; that fuch prelates as do not refide in their dioceffes fix months in the year, fhall forfeit their revenues during the time they are abfent; that the ecclefiaftical judges and their officers fhall not exact greater fees than thofe which are paid in the fecular courts; that the prefent archbishop of Toledo, being a foreigner, be compelled to refign that dignity, which fhall be conferred upon a Caftilian; that the king fhall ratify and hold as good fervice done to him and to the kingdom all the proceedings of the Junta, and pardon any irregularities which the cities may have committed from an excess of zeal in a good caufe; that he fhall promife and fwear in the most folemn manner to observe all thefe articles, and on no occafion attempt either to elude, or to repeal them; and that he fhall never folicit the pope or any other prelate to grant him a difpenfation or abfolution from this oath and promile.'
It is curious to obferve, what a ftrong refemblance there is among the feveral remonftrances of grievances and complaints of violations of public liberty at different periods, and under
different governments. Whoever makes the comparison will find that the people have at all times concurred in expedients for obtaining and fecuring their liberties, which in fubftance are nearly the fame: and that the articles now under confideration, do not materially differ from thofe which compofe the great charter of our liberties, nor from the fpirited remonftrances in the time of our firft Charles.
The Emperor having fuppreffed thefe civil tumults, and reftored tranquility in Spain, he turned his thoughts against his rival Francis, who exerted himfelf vigorously in oppofition to the league which Charles had formed with the Italian ftates and the English against him. But the operations of Francis were fufpended by a confpiracy, the Author of which was Charles duke of Bourbon, lord high conftable, who, on the confpiracy's being discovered, made his escape and joined the Italians.
After various fortune, Francis was at length utterly defeated and taken prisoner at the famous battle of Pavia, of which our Hiftorian's account is extremely animated and interefling.
The imperial generals found the French fo ftrongly entrenched, that notwithstanding the powerful motives which urged them on, they hefitated long before they ventured to attack them; but at laft the neceffities of the befieged, and the murmurs of their own foldiers obliged them to put every thing to hazard. Never did armies engage with greater ardour, or with an higher opinion of the importance of the battle they were going to fight; never were troops more ftrongly animated with emulation, national antipathy, mutual refentment, and all the paffions which infpire obftinate bravery. On the one hand, a gallant young monarch, feconded by a generous nobility, and followed by fubjects to whose natural impetuofity, indignation at the oppofition they had encountered, added new force, contended for victory and honour. On the other fide, troops more completely difciplined, and conducted by generals of greater abilities, fought from neceffity, with courage heightened by defpair. The Imperialifts, however, were unable to refift the firft efforts of the French valour, and their firmeft battalions began to give way. But the fortune of the day was quickly changed. The Swifs in the fervice of France, unmindful of the reputation of their country for fidelity and martial glory, abandoned their poft in a cowardly manner. Leyva, with his garrifon, fallied out and attacked the rear of the French, during the heat of the action, with fuch fury as threw it into confufion; and Pefcara falling on their cavalry, with the Imperial horfe, among whom he had prudently intermingled a confiderable number of Spanish foot, armed with the heavy mufkets then in ufe, broke this formidable body by an unufual method of attack against which they were wholly unprovided. The rout