SPAIN UNDER PHILIP II.
By MARTIN HUME, of the Royal Spanish Academy.
Philip II's inheritance of Charles V's policy and methods 475
Philip's position in Italy . 476
Abdication of the Spanish throne by Charles, 15S6. Philips relations with England and France 477
Treaty of Cateau-Cambre'sis 478
Spain during Philip's absence 479
His return to Spain .,.- . 480
Financial and industrial condition of Spain 481
Philip at Valladolid, 1559. Spanish policy towards England and France . 482
Philip's marriage with Elizabeth of France . 483
Plans of Catharine de' Medici .484
The Spanish system of government .-. 485
Spain and the Turkish power in the Mediterranean . 486
New political problems in Europe. The Inquisition in Spain. . 487
Philip's financial difficulties. His persistency . 488
Conference of Bayonne, 1565. Troubles in Naples and in the Mediterranean 489
Death of Don Carlos, 1568 . . 490
Enmity between England and Spain . 491
Harrying of Spanish maritime trade .492
English aid to the Huguenots and the Revolt of the Netherlands. 493
Rebellion of the Moriscos of Granada crushed . 494
Victory of Lepanto, 1571. Recall of Alva from the Netherlands, 1573 . 495
Evils of Spanish finance . 496
Financial needs of Requesens and Don John of Austria . 497
Don John in Flanders. The Antwerp catastrophe . 498
Failure and death of Don John, 1578. Philip II claims the succession to Portugal . 499
Don Antonio. Philip takes possession of Portugal . 500
Francis of Anjou Duke of Brabant. Philip resolves to master England . 502
The birth of the Armada. 503
The raising of the Armada. Delays . 504
The Armada sails, 1588. The voyage . 506
The catastrophe and its effects . 507
Philip pauses . 509
Spain and France . 510
Murders of Guise and of Henry III. Philip and the League. Parma in France . 511
Castile on the brink of financial ruin . 512
Demands of Aragon . 513
Philip's government. The Council of Three . 514
Flight of Antonio Ferez . 515
Revolt of Aragon and its suppression . 516
War of the League. Death of Parma, 1592 . 517
Results of Philip's rule . 518
His last days. Archduke Ernest in Flanders . 519
of the extreme Catholic party in England . 520
Enterprises against England and the English supremacy in Ireland . 521
Surprise of Cadiz, 1596 . 522
Peace of Vervins, 1598 . 523
Isabel and Albert assume the sovereignty of Flanders . 524
Death of Philip II, 1598 . 525
SPAIN UNDER PHILIP II.
THE impossible task undertaken by the Emperor Charles V in his youth had worn him out, mentally and bodily, at an age when most men are in their prime. From the beginning he had proceeded on the assumption that he and his were the chosen instruments by means of which God's cause must finally triumph over impious rebellion. Popes, kings, and peoples, the institution of the Church itself, were but pawns to be used according to his inspired direction. The idea of a Christendom religiously unified, with a Spanish Caesar politically supreme, was the end aimed at; and the Emperor recognised quite early in the struggle that the life of one man was too short to see the fruition of the dream. His only son Philip had from his birth been schooled in the cynical distrust and wary patience which formed his father's system, and in the belief in his divine selection to succeed the Emperor in his great task. Philip inherited both the policy and the methods, neither of which he could have changed, even if he had desired to do so. The policy thus inherited was in the main Aragonese in its immediate political purpose. The dream of a Romance empire on the Gulf of Lyons under the King of Aragon had been destroyed by the advance of France southward to the Mediterranean ; but the prevention of French extension eastward, which had always been the object of Aragonese policy, had become of vital importance to Spain when Charles had succeeded to the Empire and the Burgundian heritage, as well as to the championship of religious unity. Spain provided the bulk of the men and money required ; and the hold of the Spanish Caesar over Italy had to be complete, in order to secure a passage for troops from one part of his dominions to another, and to prevent the Papacy from thwarting him by uniting France and Italy against him. This necessity imposed upon the Emperor and his successor the maintenance of a close friendship with England, and the preservation of contentment in the Emperor's Flemish dominions; the first, in order to hold France in check at sea, and the second, to render her innocuous on her northern land frontier. This was the position to which Philip succeeded. It was recognised, after much discussion, in 1551 that Philip's desire to succeed to the Empire must be postponed;
The vacant duchy of Milan had been conferred upon Philip in 1546, and he had been proclaimed King of Naples when he married Mary Tudor in 1554. Shortly afterwards his father granted to him the vicariate of the republic of Siena, when it should be conquered-as it was in 1555. The tentacles of Spain thus reached over Italy. The Farnesi, long estranged, were lured by the bait of Parma and Piacenza, whilst Genoa and Mantua remained as ever in the Emperor's pay.
While yet in England, Philip assumed the control of Italy. His position there was difficult and anomalous. The Emperor's viceroys had grown independent and resented interference ; the duchy of Milan was a tief of the Empire ; Naples and Sicily were independent kingdoms, except for a repudiated claim for papal homage ; and in Siena Philip was his father's substitute, claiming suzerainty over the republic by virtue of force. Philip, when in England, took the bold course of sending the Duke of Alva to Italy as his representative, much to the Emperor's dissatisfaction. Alva's methods and his vast ambition for Philip and for himself were well known; but those around the King in England, especially his favourite Ruy Gomez, whose influence was in favour of peace, were anxious at any cost to get Alva away from England and Flanders, where he could have done most harm ; and he was sent to Italy to hold it in his grip for its new master, and to humble Pope Paul IV (Caraffa), who hated Charles, Philip, and the Spaniards with true Neapolitan rancour.
When Philip left England on August 26, 1555, he knew that the master-stroke of policy which was to tie England to Spain for ever had failed, and that new devices must be adopted to hold that outpost of his fortress when his English wife should die. For the moment more pressing claims called him to his father's side. The Emperor could wait no longer for his rest. Philip was twenty-eight years of age, but prudent and experienced beyond his years. Thanks to the influence of Ruy Gomez he had freed himself from Alva's plans for the Imperial succession. With a burden thus lightened he dreamed that he might succeed better than his father had done in the main object of his life. He was never light-hearted, and he did not disguise from himself the difficulties of his task. An absolute and crushing want of means dogged him from the first; Italy was in a state of turmoil, and the Flemings were already frowning on their new Prince. But Philip shouldered his burden with a dull, plodding determination to do his best, and to sacrifice everything to his view of duty. There was no enthusiasm ; only the conviction of inevitable destiny, that doomed him to labour patiently
On January 16, 1556, three months after the transfer of the Flemish sovereignty, the memorable assembly of Spanish grandees in Brussels witnessed the surrender to Philip of the historic Crowns of Spain, the Emperor retaining his Imperial title yet for a time at the prayer of his brother Ferdinand. But, though Charles might thus accede to Ferdinand's wish for delay, he was determined that nothing should stand between Spain and the dominion over Italy ; and by two secret documents, now at Simancas, Philip's protectorate over Siena was confirmed, and all future Kings of Spain were authorised to exercise the Imperial suzerainty over Italy. Philip now stood alone. He was conscientious, clement, and well-meaning, and he loved peace ; but his outlook was limited on all sides by his conception of his mission ; and dissent from his will was impious blasphemy. Human suffering and earthly sacrifice were as nothing, if the divine cause triumphed and the sovereign appointed as its champion was acknowledged supreme amongst the sons of men.
Slowly and reluctantly, Philip was forced to understand after Mary Tudor's death in November, 1558, that England was slipping through his fingers. Politic always, but determined not to be patronised, the new Queen of England played and paltered with all the approaches which he made to her. Philip's English adherents promptly changed their colours; and the Spanish ambassador, Feria, could only tire his master's ears with the one theme, that England should be conquered by fire and sword before it was consolidated under the new dispensation. But Philip was slow, and hated violence ; Ruy Gomez and the churchman Granvelle were by his side in Flanders; Alva was far away in Italy; and a new policy which commended itself to the peace party was adopted by Philip-a policy which, though it had been tried again and again and had failed, this time for a few short months looked as if it might bring to Spain the triumph upon which now depended almost its national existence. In his peace-negotiations with France Philip for some time stood out on the question of the restitution of Calais to England ; but when it became clear to him that Elizabeth was not to be cajoled or coerced into accepting his protection, the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed (April 2, 1559), and England's ancient foothold in France was lost. As had been the case with his father Francis I in the Peace of Crépy, Henry II was mainly moved in his desire for peace with Spain by the growing strength of the Reformation in France, and a desire to join the other great Catholic Power in its suppression. So long as any hope whatever remained to Philip of retaining his hold on England he had listened courteously, but coolly, to the French advances ; but when the French King's fears had become acute and England was drifting ever further away, Philip made such a bargain as seemed, for the time at least, to promise a rich compensation
Philip in the meanwhile was impatient to get back to Spain, the country of his heart. He had no sympathy with the habits and traditions of the Netherlanders and Flemings whom his father had loved so well. He spoke French badly, and Flemish not at all : the outspoken roughness and the independence of his subjects in the Low Countries galled him, accustomed as he had been to an almost complete autocracy in Castile, where the parliamentary institutions, once so vigorous, had been fatally weakened forty years before when the Commons were beaten at Villalar. Above and before all money was needed for the work he had been set to do ; and in his realms of Castile alone could money be had at his behest. Other reasons, beside his homesickness and his poverty, drew him at this time towards his own people so irresistibly as to make Feria, one of his closest friends, exclaim in July, 1559, "It is of no use saying anything more about the voyage to Spain ; for if the world itself were to crumble there would be no change in that."
The main tie that bound together the various autonomous territories of which Spain consisted was the spiritual pride and religious exaltation cunningly promoted by Ferdinand the Catholic of Aragon and his wife the Queen of Castile as a means of unity. The activity of the Inquisition for seventy years since then (1490) had been popular with the majority of the people; for it had flattered their intensely individualistic pride to feel that they were of the elect, and that in the
Philip had been absent from Spain since June, 1554, and for these five years the country had nominally been governed by a gloomy widowed woman, his sister Juana, whose great sorrow had deepened the shadow of madness that had befallen her, as it had most of her kindred. In these circumstances it was natural that the Council of State should have exercised a more decided initiative in international relations than had previously been the case. The members of the Council were, so to speak, consultative ministers appointed by the favour of the King, and, as is usual in such cases, were more jealous of his prerogative than the sovereign himself. The traditional policy of Castile had been for many years to increase the hold of the Kings upon the patronage and temporalities of the Church in Spain, and to weaken the papal power even over ecclesiastical affairs. The struggles of Charles to this end against successive Popes had been bitter and almost continuous ; but as he had usually been able to hold out rewards or threats, he had, especially with Clement VII (Medici) and Paul III (Farnese), on the whole been successful in his policy. With Paul IV (Caraffa) in the papal chair, and Alva and his troops thundering at the gates of Borne (1557), the persistence of the Council in their policy of encroachment upon the power exercised over the Spanish Church by the Papacy greatly strained the relations of the latter with the State; and they remained out of harmony until the death of Paul IV (August 15, 1559), when Philip was about to return to Spain.
But in the meantime ecclesiastical affairs had been seriously disorganised by the spectacle of the Council of State suspending the papal Bulls, and refusing permission to the Spanish Bishops to obey the Pope's summons to Rome; by the order given in the name of the Regent Juana for the Pope's messenger to Spain to be captured and punished ; and by several other irritating measures which finally led to the excommunication of both Charles and Philip. The cloistered clergy and high dignitaries were scandalously corrupt ; and the general tone of religion, notwithstanding the slavish obedience to ritual and lip service to the Church, was loose
The situation which he was leaving behind him in the Netherlands was also ominous in the extreme. His gravity and known Spanish sympathies had produced a bad effect upon his new Flemish subjects. In the Belgic Provinces, at least, the people were strongly Catholic; but the whole country, which had grown rich and prosperous under its various autonomous local institutions, dreaded the centralising Castilian system and the inquisitorial methods which Philip was known to favour. His measures, however well meant, were therefore regarded with suspicion ; especially when it was known that, against the Flemish constitutions, he intended to retain under arms in the Provinces 4000 Spanish infantry. The indignant Flemings presented a strongly signed remonstrance, to which the King was obliged to give a temporising answer: but, before he stepped upon his great galleon at Antwerp (August, 1559), he knew that some of the highest heads in Flanders must be humbled before he could have his way in the heritage of his Burgundian forefathers.
On every side of him, therefore, the prospect was gloomy when at length Philip landed in Spain (September 8, 1559). He had left his half-sister the Duchess of Parma as Regent of his Flemish dominions, with Granvelle as her principal minister, a man almost as unpopular as his master ; and it was evident to all men that a storm was brewing there.
The Treaty of Peace signed with France had left Philip's Mediterranean coasts still harassed by the Turkish and Barbary corsair fleets which had joined the French coalition against Spain during the late war ; and unless the commerce of Spain in the inland sea was to be destroyed, and her authority utterly humbled, a great effort must be made by Philip in this direction also. Called on to meet all these responsibilities, the new King had to face the fact that his country was beggared and his treasury empty. The vicious system of Spanish finance and the constant need for ready money had during the whole of the Emperor's reign led to the collection of revenue from the sources of prosperity rather than from its results. The great metallic wealth which came annually from America was in most cases forestalled, the King's portion being pledged to Genoese or German bankers, the merchants' share being hidden or surreptitiously sent abroad to avoid frequent seizures and other extortions. The greater part of the land of Spain was owned by the ecclesiastical corporations and the nobles, who were exempt from the regular taxation, but were fleeced intermittently and irregularly. The main revenue of the Castilian kingdoms was derived from the alcabaJa, a 10 per cent, tax upon all sales. Thus every time a commodity changed hands its value was raised by 10 per cent., which hampered business to such an extent that in the course of time Spanish manufactures could only be used at or near the places of their production, especially as the local tolls levied by each township through which the commodity passed added to its cost. This suicidal tax finally destroyed Spanish industry altogether^although many attempts were made to mitigate its rigour by fixing quotas for townships, to be raised and paid by local authorities and by other devices. In addition to this constantly decreasing source of revenue, the King received his royalty on the bullion sent from America, import and export duties on merchandise, an excise (subsequently called the " millions ") on' the principal articles of food, the proceeds of the sale of offices and titles, the dues arising from the sale of indulgences (originally for the support of the wars against the infidels), the State monopoly of salt, and the revenues of the royal patrimony. These taxes were difficult and costly to collect, in addition to being unwise in principle. The mistaken idea that industries handicapped by the akabala and excise, with the addition of municipal tolls, could be protected by prohibiting the introduction of merchandise from abroad, and the export of bullion from Spain to pay for it, was persisted in for a century and a half. At a time when Spanish America with her abounding new
Philip struck the keynote of his reign on the occasion of his first public appearance as King by presiding over one of the most splendid So far, however, as the lights of Philip and his subjects allowed them to judge, his reign in his own land seemed to open propitiously. He had cleared Italy of the French by treaty; his old enemy Paul IV had just died of rage and grief at the crimes of his infamous nephews; the placid Pius IV was, on the whole, favourable to Spain; and, what no doubt appeared to Philip of the highest importance, he himself had his finger on the pulse of French policy for the first time in his life. Henry II had been quite sincere in his eagerness to commence a crusade against heresy and to attack Geneva as its centre Philip had no intention of going so far as that, for religion was only one branch of his policy ; but his new father-in-law's honest zeal had been a valuable guarantee that, strike at heresy wherever Philip might, and with whatever object he pleased, he had nothing to fear from French opposition. The accidental death of Henry II at the tournament in celebration
of the peace (June, 1559), while it had rendered French interference in favour of Protestantism even more improbable than before, owing to the now complete ascendancy of the Guise kinsmen of the Queen-Consort, had nevertheless increased the need for Philip's firmness in restraining active Catholic aggression on the part of his French allies, because such aggression would have now inevitably assumed the form of an attack upon England in the interests of Mary Stewart. While, therefore, Philip's diplomatic triumph was for the moment complete, and he was more free than his father had been for many years to strive for his ultimate objects, the utmost vigilance and patience were demanded to prevent the control of European events from passing into other hands than his own. In the first place, it was of the utmost importance to him that England should not fall under French influence, or on the other hand be driven to make common cause with the Protestants in general against Catholicism. Even before he left the Netherlands, he had made up his mind that the free-spoken Flemings must be taught a stern lesson of obedience, of which the primary principle was religious conformity. If the ambition and political levity of the Guises forced Elizabeth to look to the extreme Protestant elements for her support, it was obvious that she, or her people by her connivance, would do battle overtly or covertly on behalf of the Protestant Netherlanders in the hour of their trial. Philip's present policy was to prevent this, and to effect the isolation of England by joint French and Spanish action, while behind the back of his allies he was striving to persuade Elizabeth that he, and not France, was her real friend.
So far, however, as the lights of Philip and his subjects allowed them to judge, his reign in his own land seemed to open propitiously. He had cleared Italy of the French by treaty; his old enemy Paul IV had just died of rage and grief at the crimes of his infamous nephews; the placid Pius IV was, on the whole, favourable to Spain; and, what no doubt appeared to Philip of the highest importance, he himself had his finger on the pulse of French policy for the first time in his life. Henry II had been quite sincere in his eagerness to commence a crusade against heresy and to attack Geneva as its centre Philip had no intention of going so far as that, for religion was only one branch of his policy ; but his new father-in-law's honest zeal had been a valuable guarantee that, strike at heresy wherever Philip might, and with whatever object he pleased, he had nothing to fear from French opposition. The accidental death of Henry II at the tournament in celebration
The accession of Francis II to the throne and the Guises to power in France was promptly followed by the assertion of the right of Mary Stewart to the Crown of England; and in the consequent English attack upon the French and Scottish forces in Leith (early in 1560), Philip's strenuous efforts to bring about peace, notwithstanding Guise's prayers for his aid, are a clear indication of his intention not to allow the secret anti-Protestant part of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis to be used for the benefit of any policy but his own. For him it meant that he was to have a free hand with his own Flemish Protestants, not that England should be crushed in the interests of the French Guises. This was the state of affairs when at the end of January, 1560, Philip travelled to Guadalajara to meet the child Elizabeth of France, whom in June Alva had wedded as his proxy in Paris with incredible splendour. The death of her father, and the almost endless political and ceremonial exigencies of Philip's agents in Paris, had delayed the new Queen's long winter journey to her future home ; but when she came at length through the Pyrenean snows to meet her prematurely aged husband of thirty-two years, the child consciously bore within her sweet and dainty personality the springs of a secret diplomacy intended to change the balance of power in Europe and transfer the poise to the hands of her mother.
The death of Francis II (December, 1560) relieved Philip of the danger that French national resources would be employed against England in the interests of Mary Stewart ; and thenceforward for many years the three main factors in European politics were Philip, Catharine de' Medici, and Elizabeth of England. The frequent mutations of their relations towards each other, and towards the secondary factors, were ruled by the desire of each one of them to get the better of the other two. Philip's astute, though slow and over-cautious foreign policy, was only one of the means necessary for the attainment of his supreme end. His determination to establish unquestioned authority in his own dominions by the extirpation of religious dissent, and subsequently to secure Spanish supremacy in Europe by uniting the Catholic elements under his leadership, had primarily to depend for its execution upon the resources, and unflinching orthodoxy, of Spain itself. His presence at
The ancient institutions of Spain had grown out of locally diverse conditions in the various realms. The Castilian Parliaments had been the outcome of a system of privileged autonomous towns strong enough to supplant a turbulent, but weak, disunited, and corrupt feudalism. The Cortes of Aragon and Catalonia, on the other hand, had originally sprung, like the Parliament of England, from a strong feudalism, to which the landed gentry and the burghers had rallied as a defence against the encroachments of the Crown. In Castile the removal of the nobles from the Parliament, and the reduction to eighteen of the number of towns sending members ; the weakening of municipal institutions, upon which representation rested, by the introduction of royal patronage into the town councils ; and finally, the crushing by force of arms of parliamentary resistance to the financial encroachment of Charles V, had before Philip's accession rendered the Cortes in a great measure effete as a financial safeguard: and under the fixed policy, which was that of both the Emperor and his son, to establish a complete autocracy the decadence of the Cortes of Castile continued, until they flickered out in 1812. The Cortes of Aragon and Catalonia, consisting of representatives of three Estates and secure in the possession of binding charters, were able to resist all attempts at encroachment until early in the eighteenth century ; and from them Philip could obtain but a fixed vote at regular intervals, often at the cost of much wrangling and humiliation. Upon the Castilian kingdoms therefore-that is to say from Spain, exclusive of the Basque provinces, Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia-the main burden of the cost of Philip's ambitions fell. The government theoretically consisted of a Council of State, selected by the King to advise him upon foreign affairs ; a Council of Castile, to administer the interior government and the judicature ; and councils of war, finance and so forth : though in practice, even the pettiest item in every branch of administration was submitted to Philip personally before and after exhaustive discussion and rediscussion by the respective Councils. With these the King usually communicated through his Secretaries of State, of whom there were several, each in charge of a particular department, and who were invariably persons of obscure birth. Legislation was usually initiated by petitions from the Cortes to the sovereign, asking that decrees should be issued remedying the grievances recited ; but the assembly had lost the strength necessary for the refusal of supply until its grievances were amended ; and Philip habitually disregarded the presentments of the Castilian Parliaments.
There was, however, one petition presented to him by his first Parliament in Toledo to which he was ready enough to listen. The
The almost simultaneous accession to power of Elizabeth of England, Philip of Spain, and Catharine de' Medici, Queen Mother of France, radically changed the problems of European politics. The religious divisions in France and Catharine's balancing methods removed for the first time for centuries the danger to Spain of French aggression in Italy, and the danger to England of French interference in Scotland. The severance of the Empire from the Spanish Crown relieved Philip of a crushing burden, though it rendered more difficult than ever the task to which his life was pledged, since his own kinsmen on the Imperial throne had been forced to recognise the rights of the Princes of the Empire in the matter of religious toleration. Central European politics therefore no longer turned on the enduring territorial rivalry between the House of Aragon-Austria and that of France, in which England and Scotland
The net of the Inquisition was cast wide over Spain, to begin with. Rich and poor, great ecclesiastics and nobles, gentle ladies, professional men, craftsmen and tillers of Moorish or Jewish descent, were swept in by thousands, and paid in life or estate for the mere suspicion of heterodoxy. When Philip opened the Cortes of Madrid in 1563, he thanked God that "so much had been done, and such careful and minute intervention effected in religious affairs by the Holy Office, whose ministers had been so actively aided and favoured, that not only had the evil (of heresy) which had begun to spread been utterly extirpated, but such precautions had been taken that, with God's help, the country was now, and he hoped would remain...as pure, steadfast, and devout, as could be hoped." This reign of religious terror, popular as it was with the thoughtless masses, was not established even in Castile without some remonstrance. The Cortes, again and again, petitioned against the abuses and methods of the Holy Office, and especially against the enormous number of unpaid "familiars," who, in consequence of their nominal connexion with the institution, escaped civil jurisdiction and evaded civic responsibilities. Philip, however, paid but little attention to the petitions of the Castilian Cortes, for he extorted the regular vote
But if Spaniards were full of the exalted spiritual pride that made them accept with but slight opposition a system which increased the conviction of their own superiority at the expense of their independence, other subjects of Philip were equally proud of their local autonomy, of their enlightened institutions, and of the personal freedom which had rendered them prosperous and contented. The Flemings and Netherlander had, under Charles V and his Burgundian forefathers, enjoyed vast prosperity protected by their provincial constitutions : and the known Spanish and centralising sympathies of Philip had from the first aroused
That Philip's plans to rule his Flemings on the same system as he adopted in Spain had been long maturing in his mind, is evident from the persistent efforts of Alva to effect a new Catholic league through the Cardinal of Lorraine and Catharine de1 Medici, with the object of reviving the secret religious part of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. Philip's French wife was to meet her mother at Bayonne; and under the cover of a family reunion the Catholic Powers were to bind themselves anew to extirpate heresy throughout Europe. At the very hint of the negotiations heterodox Flemings fled across the North Sea to England by thousands; and Elizabeth, alarmed at the prospect and at the talk of Philip's coming to Flanders with his fleet, developed an intense affection for Spain, and an attachment to Catholic principles which had not been apparent for some time before. Some sort of agreement was ostensibly patched up at the Conference of Bayonne in the summer of 1565; but Alva's demands frightened Catharine, and she easily found means to avoid the fulfilment of the conditions, as she had no desire to destroy the balance of her own power by making Catholicism permanently supreme. But for a time it looked as if Protestantism was doomed in Europe; and the prospect for the first time gave a purely religious character to the Flemish revolt, a character which Philip doubtless from the beginning had intended it to assume when the final trial of strength should come.
Tribulation had, in the meanwhile, continued to follow the King in other portions of his dominions. His attempt to introduce the Spanish^ form of Inquisition into Naples, as a political instrument, had caused a revolt which threatened his domination ; and he had been forced to give way (1565). His struggle with the Muslim in the Mediterranean still drained his treasury, and well-nigh broke his heart. By a supreme effort of his Sicilian Viceroy, Garcia de Toledo, rather than of himself, he had succeeded in relieving Malta when the Knights were at their last gasp, besieged by a great force of Muslim (September, 1565) ; but the Turkish power remained unbroken, both on land and sea, and reduced Philip's pretensions to the supremacy of the Mediterranean to a dead letter. At home, too, his troubles gathered thick about him. His beloved young French wife had brought him two daughters, the elder of whom, the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia, was ever his best-beloved child ; but the heir to his crowns was his only son Don Carlos (born 1546), who was now approaching man's estate. We have seen that Catharine de' Medici dreamed of winning the lad for her younger daughter Margaret. The ideal marriage for him to suit his father's projects would have been with Mary Stewart after the death of her French husband ; and for a short
We have seen how, in order that Philip should be able to effect his first great object, namely the forcing of religious uniformity upon his Nether-land subjects, it was necessary for him to secure, at least, the neutrality of England and of the French Huguenots. The latter he could usually paralyse by intriguing with the Guises and Catharine de1 Medici ; but the Queen of England was more difficult to deal with. She was, it is true, desirous, as was her wisest minister, Burghley, to avoid a national war with Spain ; but it was evident to both the sovereign and people of England, that the extirpation of Protestantism in the Netherlands would only be the first step to the suppression of religious dissent from Rome throughout Christendom ; and that the unchecked supremacy of Catholicism, as represented by Philip and Alva, would mean the political supremacy of Spain throughout the world. From the first day of Elizabeth's accession Philip's ambassadors had exhausted all the resources of diplomacy to pledge her, either by means of marriage or by fear of her Catholic subjects, to a friendly neutrality towards Spain. The conservative nobles, with whom Burghley usually, though not invariably, acted, and the party of Leicester and the growing Puritan element, had alternately gained the upper hand in the English counsels, as Elizabeth's fears of Catholic solidarity waxed and waned ; but, with the arrival of Alva in the Netherlands and the strong religious feeling aroused in England by his severities, it became daily more difficult to maintain an appearance of friendship between Spain and England. There arose, moreover, concurrently another reason for enmity, which eventually proved more powerful even than the religious question. From the latter years of Henry VIII the piratical attacks of English shipping upon Spanish commerce had been a stock subject of complaint and remonstrance ; but during the religious war in France, and in the period following Alva's suppression of the first Netherlands rising, English seamen from the southern and eastern coasts had in large numbers eagerly seized the opportunity for plunder by preying upon Philip's subjects as privateers, authorised respectively by the Huguenot and Flemish Protestant leaders. Elizabeth, of course, disclaimed them, but she was fully aware that Philip could not afford to go to war with her while Flanders was simmering in revolt, and while the religious discord in France prevented the Catholics from wielding the national power at their will ; so that, though she continued to profess friendship, she took less care than ever before to propitiate Philip. The English depredations on Spanish shipping had naturally been met by increased interference on the part of the Inquisition with English merchants and sailors in Spanish ports ; and early in 1568 a crisis was reached when the English ambassador, Dr Man, was hampered in performing Divine service in the embassy according to the Reformed rites. In reply to a peremptory demand from Elizabeth that full liberty in this respect should be given, the English ambassador was expelled the country. The Catholic rising
The Spanish claim to commercial monopoly of the whole of America, although jealously enforced so far as was possible, had from the nature of the case become impracticable. The crushing of Spanish industry by an unwise fiscal policy had made it impossible for Spain itself to supply the growing needs of the settlers, whilst the galling restrictions imposed upon foreign sailors and vessels in Spanish ports had immensely hampered the importation into Seville, the centre of the whole transatlantic trade, of manufactures from abroad. The natural consequence was a widespread smuggling trade with America both from England and France. Sanguinary reprisals had been made, especially upon the attempted French settlement in Florida ; but the business had proved a profitable one, especially in conjunction with the importation into Spanish America and the West Indies of negro slaves captured on the African coast. An expedition led by John Hawkins and his nephew, Francis Drake, consisting of five small vessels from Plymouth, was caught in September, 1568, by a greatly superior Spanish force at San Juan de Lua on the Mexican coast, and overwhelmed, in violation, as it was asserted, of a compromise that had been arranged. Two of the smallest vessels alone escaped with Hawkins and Drake ; and thenceforward the latter devoted his great genius, skill and boldness, to harrying Spanish commerce from the seas. For the next thirty years the Spanish claim to a monopoly of transatlantic trade was laughed to scorn by the English sailors, whose ceaseless piratical depredations upon Spanish shipping increased a hundredfold the enmity between the nations which religious persecution had begun.
De Spes was known from his first arrival to be plotting with the English Catholics, and had endeavoured to frighten Elizabeth by threats of Alva's vengeance if she allowed the Huguenot and Flemish privateers to take shelter in her ports. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that, when chance threw into her way an opportunity of crippling Alva and spiting the officious ambassador, she should have seized it. Philip, as usual, was in dire straits for money, but he had contrived to borrow a large sum from Genoese bankers to meet Alva's pressing requirements,
Thus in the ten or eleven years that had passed since Philip arrived in Spain he had made practically no progress in the great objects of his policy. Far from securing religious uniformity in the Netherlands, Alva's cruelties had only made the reconciliation of the Protestants for ever impossible. The Huguenots in France, in close union with Elizabeth, were strong enough to paralyse any attempt of the Guises to join France with Spain for the suppression of Protestantism in general ; while the course of events in England and Scotland enabled Elizabeth practically to defy Spanish threats of vengeance for her aid to the Netherlands and the depredations of English sailors. The Turks and North Africans in the Mediterranean, moreover, were still unsubdued, and raided almost with impunity the south-east coast of Spain, being doubtless abetted by the descendants of those Moors of the kingdom of Granada who only seventy years before, when the Catholic Kings had conquered their lands, had been solemnly promised toleration for their faith. These Moriscos were a standing reproach to Philip's boast that in Spain, at least,
The young Prince was one of the handsomest and most chivalrous men of his time, the idol of his brother's subjects, and a soldier every inch of him. But the cruel work he had to do after he had finally vanquished the Moriscos in arms well-nigh broke his heart. Death or slavery were the only alternatives left to the conquered. Those Moriscos who escaped the bloodthirstiness of the Christians were driven forth, heavily chained, from their own fair land through the winter's snow to the bleak plains of Castile, to lifelong servitude; and by the end of 1570 the whole of Andalusia was cleared of those who bore the taint of Moorish blood or sympathised with the Muslim corsairs. This victory for the orthodox churchmen was not without political warrant ; but it was one stroke more at the dwindling industrial prosperity of Spain.
While Philip was celebrating in Seville his brother's victory over the Moriscos, there came to him an envoy of the Pope to urge him to a crowning effort to chase the Turks from the inland sea. A great Ottoman fleet was before Cyprus, which island, unaided, the Venetians were powerless to save. The loss of the island to Christendom would be irreparable, and the Pope exhorted Philip to join a league with Rome and Venice to crush the Muslim. Philip had no love for the temporising mercantile Venetians, but the occasion was pressing, and Don John was clamorous to fight again against unbelievers. Philip ultimately consented to make a supreme effort to clear the Mediterranean of the scourge, although
In the meanwhile affairs were going badly in Flanders. Trade there was ruined by the suspension of the English commerce, and the flight of craftsmen under Alva's persecution ; while the seizure by Elizabeth in December, 1568, of the Spanish remittances had driven the Duke to despair. In answer to Philip's statement that every national resource was pledged, and that he was absolutely without means to carry on his government, the Cortes of Castile protested (1570) that the people of the realms of Castile were sunk into so dire a poverty, as to make it impossible to raise a maravedi beyond the ordinary tribute. No money therefore could be sent to Alva from Spain ; and he was driven to adopt in Flanders the fatal tax that had ruined Spanish industry, namely, the alcabala or 10 per cent, upon all sales of commodities; a step which united the Flemings of all classes and creeds in resistance to the commercial and industrial ruin that threatened them. Ultimately, the peace party in Philip's councils brought about Alva's recall and the experiment of a conciliatory policy under the new Viceroy Requesens (September, 1573).
The curse of poverty lay upon all Philip's plans; and yet Spain was a by-word for riches throughout Europe. The reason for this is to be found in the administration rather than in the amount of revenue and expenditure. The Emperor's ruinous system had depended largely upon arbitrary impositions crippling the Spanish commercial and industrial classes, and upon the pledging of specific sources of revenue at extravagant interest to foreign bankers. During his early regency of
Requesens prayed ceaselessly for money. The troops, he said, unpaid, were turning bandits, sacking and plundering at large; and even the Catholic Flemings could endure it no longer. The credit of the "rebels" was good, he complained, while no one would trust him or Philip : and, such being the state of things in Flanders, Don John's clamours for aid for his visionary ambitions necessarily remained unheard. Philip did not openly contradict : that was not his way. Evasion and silence served as well, and while he was thus paltering, the Calabrian renegade Luch Ali had, within nine months of the battle of Lepanto, raised another force of 150 galleys. Don John was alternately prayerful and indignant at his brother's coolness; and all the summer of 1572 was wasted in and out of Messina. The autumn and winter passed. Don John's force fell away and decayed; the Venetians patched up a peace with the Turk, but still no money came from Spain. Not until October 7, 1573, could Don John sail to relieve the garrison he had left at La Goleta. That was his ostensible object, but his plans were larger ; for he made a sudden dash upon Tunis and captured it, in the hope of making it the base for the conquest of his new empire. Leaving there a garrison of 8000 men he sailed back to Sicily to summon all Christendom to his aid. Gregory XIII gave him his blessing and the golden rose, but Philip was aghast. The Prince's adviser, Soto, was recalled; and Don John was instructed to abandon and dismantle Tunis. He disobeyed these orders, and even asked Philip's permission to attack Constantinople. The reply was the stoppage of all supplies, both from Spain and from Naples. In vain Don John raved. No money and no help came; and, before a year had passed, Tunis and La Goleta fell into the hands of the Turks, and the soldiers who were to carve out Don John's new empire were massacred or made galley-slaves.
But Don John had tasted the sweets of victory, and his dreams of empire beguiled him still. A fresh adviser was sent to him of the strictest Ruy Gomez school, named Escobedo; but he too fell under the spell of the Prince's visions, and, like his master, entreated the Pope and the Christian Princes to subsidise the crusade. For three years longer Don John thus remained in Italy, his brother's resentful jealousy growing as his turbulent demands became more pressing, and his conduct more flighty and unstable. The Neapolitan nobility, indignant at Philip's treatment of Don John, established a league for the purpose of formulating for their country demands similar to those of the Flemish nobles, namely, provincial assemblies and the withdrawal of Spanish garrisons. Genoa, too, the now decadent Republic, which had always been the faithful servant of Philip and his father, rose in revolt against the Doria and Grimaldi, the Spanish King's henchmen, and threatened an
In this dangerous condition of things Requesens died in Flanders (March, 1576). The Catholic Flemings had continued to press for the withdrawal of the troops, which Requesens had promised again and again. But without money the troops would not budge; and Philip was at the end of his resources. Walcheren had been completely lost to the Spaniards ; the siege of Leyden had failed ; and at one time, in his despair, Philip had resolved either to drown or burn all Holland. Tired out at last of the hopeless contest, and of the ceaseless demands of the Catholic Flemings, Philip bent to the inevitable, and summoned Don John from his dissolute life in Naples, to carry to Flanders the message of peace, offering any terms, so long as Spain's suzerainty over the Low Countries were retained.
The humiliation, bitter for Philip, was more bitter still for his brother. Don John was ordered to travel post-haste to Flanders direct, to withdraw the mutinous troops at any sacrifice, and to conciliate the Belgic Provinces. The task was repulsive to him ; as he said, any old woman with a distaff could do it better than he ; but it seemed to offer him a chance of reaching an ambition even greater than that of his visionary Eastern empire. Either the Prince or his minister, Escobedo, conceived the rash idea that the cut-throats who were ravaging Flanders, instead of being marched overland to Italy, might be withdrawn by sea, and suddenly be thrown into England, where, in conjunction with a rising of Catholics in the north, they might liberate Mary Stewart. Don John would marry her; and they would reign over Great Britain as Catholic monarchs under the aegis of Spain. It was a wild and impracticable plan, but to Don John real enough to make him disobey orders, and rush to Spain to beg his brother's aid to it. Philip's heart hardened at the coming of Don John with plans that would have set all Europe in a blaze ; and with a cool, evasive answer to his prayer, he sent his brother in disguise through France to Flanders.
Before Don John arrived there the catastrophe had happened. Antwerp had been sacked and ruined by the revolted soldiery (November 4, 1576). There was no more hesitation. Flemings of all ranks and creeds made common cause to defend their homes and lives ; and, when Don John reached the frontier, he found that he could only enter upon his governorship on terms dictated by the States. News had reached Orange of the great plan against England ; and the first demand of the States was that the troops must be withdrawn by land and not by sea. Don John rebelled against his task. Wild prayers went to Spain that he might be allowed to fight the insolent rebels who thus defied their sovereign. But Philip knew better. He had no money, no credit ; and an unsuccessful attack upon England now would have meant ruin. He distrusted Don John too, for Perez was hourly poisoning his
In the meantime Philip followed in the wake of his army, to take possession of his new realm. On his way, at Badajoz, in October, 1580, to his inexpressible grief, he lost his fourth wife ; and soon afterwards two of the three children she had left followed her to the grave. Philip was a good husband and father, and after this there was no more pleasure for him in life. He had always been reticent and grave ; now he became a gloomy recluse, living but for his great task and for the love of his eldest daughter. In gathering sadness, but striving still to bear his troubles humbly and patiently, he went from town to town through his new kingdom to receive the oath of allegiance from the Portuguese Cortes at Thomar on April 1, 1581. Now, if ever, there seemed a chance of his being able to crush his enemies by mere force and wealth. All America, all Africa, vast, rich territories in Asia, the finest Atlantic ports in Europe, with trade and mineral wealth unbounded, were his; and the mere contemplation of the power thus acquired by him drove Elizabeth of England and Catharine de' Medici both into a panic.
The fugitive Don Antonio fled through France to England in July, 1581, and was received with royal honours, Elizabeth and Catharine vying with each other in their endeavours to secure the direction of so powerful an instrument to oppose Philip, or so valuable an asset for a transaction with him. Antonio at first decided to trust the English ; and the Puritan party, now led by Leicester and Walsingham, rose in influence with such a tool in their hands. Catharine de' Medici pretended to some sort of claim to the Portuguese throne herself, but it was not seriously pressed ; and, when Antonio found that Elizabeth and her
But both Catharine and Elizabeth took stronger measures than cherishing Don Antonio to retort upon Philip for his seizure of Portugal. When the Catholic Flemings had been driven to revolt by the outrages of the Spanish troops, some of the Catholic nobles had invited the Archduke Matthias to assume the sovereignty of Flanders. At the risk of offending his uncle Philip, Matthias consented; and the interests of the two branches of the House of Austria were thus separated; a diplomatic advantage which led Orange to accept with alacrity a subordinate position to the young Catholic Prince. But it soon became evident that another prince of stiffer material must be found by the Catholic Flemings, or Brabant and Flanders would have to choose between submission to the Protestants of Holland or to the Spanish tyranny. Before Don John's failure negotiations had taken place with the Catholic Flemings to place upon the throne of Brabant Elizabeth's young French suitor, Francis of Valois, now Duke of Anjou. Henry III, who had no desire to be drawn into a war with Spain in which his own Guises and extreme Catholics would not be likely to help him, was panic-stricken at the idea, and promptly put his brother under lock and key. Anjou escaped in February, 1578 ; and Huguenots and " malcontents " flocked to his standard to aid in the project of crippling Philip, by placing a Frenchman on the Belgic throne, with Hollanders and Protestants by his side, and perhaps with the support of England. Henry III and his mother were anxious not to be compromised with Spain; but the matter was much more serious for Elizabeth. Envoys were sent from England to Don John in his retreat at Namur, and to
It is not to be supposed that these French and English intrigues, carried on through a series of years to his detriment, were allowed by Philip to pass without retaliation. With every move of Anjou towards the Huguenots, the Guises drew nearer to Spain. In 1580 they gave Philip to understand that their niece Mary Stewart would thenceforward serve Spanish interests alone ; and from that period until the unfortunate Queen's death the conspiracies constantly formed in her favour, at first with Guise, and subsequently without him, were purely Spanish in object, and intended, by placing England in Catholic hands, to end a régime by which Spanish commerce had been well-nigh destroyed, and the Protestant revolt against Philip sustained. For twenty-five years open national war between England and Spain had been avoided, with the constant hope on Philip's part that he might be able alone to crush religious dissent in his own dominions, and thus be in a position to deal with England subsequently. But, as we have seen, his poverty and tardy methods, as well as the resource and agility of his opponents, had frustrated this plan. He lived for the object of unifying Christianity for the ultimate political benefit of Spain; and, after a quarter of a century of ceaseless struggle, he was further from the goal than ever. Not only were the depredations of Drake and his many imitators a standing humiliation to him, but the interference with his shipping, Spanish and Portuguese, hampered him financially to a ruinous degree. His mind was slow to move, and he detested war. Despite the oft-repeated prayers of his ambassadors and agents that he would make open war on England, he had not dared to face the cost and responsibility of this course. He had done his utmost, by encouraging Catholic revolt in favour of Mary Stewart and subsidising English religious discontent, even by listening to and aiding plans for Elizabeth's murder-though with little conviction, for repeated failure had taught him the efficacy of Walsingham's spies and the faithlessness of conspirators. Very slowly and reluctantly he was forced to recognise that he would have to begin by mastering England, or the rest of his task would be impossible. Santa Cruz had always been of that opinion, and after his victory over Don Antonio's second expedition off Terceira he wrote to the King (August 9, 1583), fervently begging him to allow him to conquer
England with his fleet. Philip coolly thanked the Admiral, but evaded the offer. The idea however germinated ; and, when Elizabeth accepted the supremacy over the Netherlands in 1585, the eventual adoption of the plan became inevitable. England, or rather Elizabeth's government, must be crushed, or Spain was doomed to decay. To this pass had Philip been brought by the march of circumstances and his own rigidity of method. His tactical mistake had been to refrain from dealing with England when she was weak, and so depriving the continental Protestants of their main support, misled by Elizabeth's clever juggle of an Austrian marriage and similar diplomatic pretences.
If, however, he was to be driven to the conquest of England, he was determined that the benefit must accrue to him alone. The plan of the Scottish, French, and Welsh Catholics and of the Vatican had always been to convert James Stewart, forcibly if necessary, and make him King of Britain-the end for which James himself ceaselessly worked. The English Jesuit party and Philip's English pensioners were violently opposed to such a solution, and indignantly scouted the idea of a Scottish King over England. Guise's plans had always included the invasion of Scotland in the Catholic interest simultaneously with that of England ; but Philip looked more and more askance both at James Stewart and his French kinsmen, and listened with increasing favour to the hints of the English Jesuits that after James, excluded for heresy, he, Philip, had a good claim to the English throne through his descent from John of Gaunt and the House of Portugal. There was no candidate outside his own House who could be trusted ; and with Mary Stewart's formal recognition of Philip as her heir (June, 1586), the policy of forcing a Spanish sovereign upon England was finally adopted. Thenceforward, if the plans of the Guises and the Scottish Catholics were smiled upon, it was done only in order to frustrate them.
In January, 1586, Santa Cruz again urged the King to adopt a strong naval policy. The English, he said, had since the previous August done damage to Spanish shipping to the extent of a million and a half ducats, and a national war would be less costly than that. Philip ordered the admiral to submit his plans and estimates for the invasion of England ; but when they were complete, the cost-3,800,000 ducats-was alarming, and the whole force was to be raised and sent from Spain. Philip knew that ruined Castile could not produce such an amount and that years would be needed to collect in Spain the material for such a force. But he recognised at last that his time was now or never. The Flemings had been cajoled or crushed by Farnese; the Dutch were in worse case than they had been in for years ; the English garrisons in the Netherlands towns were passing over to Farnese's side in a most alarming fashion; the Turk was busy at war with the Emperor; and France, divided by religious discord, was powerless to interfere. So the plunge was taken, though on a smaller scale, and on a less concentrated
The Cortes of Castile, when they met in the autumn of 1586, could only repeat in doleful tones their oft-told tale. The realm, they said, was going from bad to worse. Lands were untilled, and the former cultivators wandering tramps and homeless beggars at convent gates; trade was everywhere languishing or extinct, owing to taxation ; and the utmost that could be squeezed from the country of Castile was the usual triennial grant of 450 million maravedis. It was a mere drop in the ocean of Philip's needs. The clergy had to disburse handsomely for the crusade, and the nobles were half ruined by extortions : the Italian princes were made to understand that if they wished to be regarded as friends they must contribute ; and so, throughout the vast dominions of Spain, money was wrung from all classes in the name of Philip and the cause he championed; and the dockyards and arsenals throbbed with life.
It has been related elsewhere how the English seamen had taken the measure of the Spaniards, and how, on April 18, 1587, Drake and his fleet suddenly swept down upon Cadiz ; plundered, burned, and sank all the ships in harbour, destroyed the painfully collected stores, and sailed out again unmolested. Santa Cruz's main fleet was in the Tagus, but it had no artillery on board ; and, if Drake had burned it, as he might have done, the Armada could not have sailed. But Elizabeth's orders were precise. Drake had learnt that peace negotiations were in progress with Farnese as Philip's representative; and the ships in the Tagus were left unmolested. The peace negotiations in question were probably sincere on the part of the moderate Catholics and the Burghley party in England, who may have thought to separate Farnese from his uncle's interest by the bait of an independent sovereignty for himself in
Flanders. But, so far as Philip was concerned, the negotiations were insincere from first to last, though Farnese earnestly prayed for permission to make peace in reality.
Santa Cruz and Farnese urged ceaselessly the need for seizing a port of refuge in the North Sea ; and the admiral fretted over the change of plan that had been forced upon him. An army under Farnese was to be convoyed across the Channel, and on land Farnese was to be supreme. Santa Cruz's idea was that of a seaman : first defeat the English fleet and gain command of the sea, and then invade the land. Philip's plan was that of the landsmen : keep the English fleet at bay whilst Farnese's army was ferried across in barges. In September, 1587, Santa Cruz received his orders. He was to sail straight to the North Foreland and protect Farnese's passage across. He replied that the force was not ready and the season was too far advanced to sail without a port of refuge. Philip's soldier officers were scornful of such timid counsels; and Philip was impatient too, for he knew that Farnese's 30,000 men would melt away before another season came. So the only man who could have led the fleet to victory was driven to his death by the unmerited reproaches of his master, and Santa Cruz breathed his last in February, 1588.
The delay nearly ruined the whole project. Food went bad ; ships grew foul; men had to be fed; and money was ever harder to be come by. The Pope distrusted Philip and stood firm to his stipulation that he would pay nothing until the Spanish troops landed in England; and one more appeal was made to the Cortes of Castile (April, 1588). They were well-nigh effete now, but they protested that no such sum as that demanded (8,000,000 ducats) had ever been heard of in Spain before and could not be raised. The pulpit and the confessional were set to work throughout the country; the members of the Cortes were bribed and terrified into acquiescence; the town councils were similarly treated; and the vote was passed that led to the excise tax called the "Millions," which for the next two centuries burdened the simple food of the people.
Philip had several fine seamen in his service, but pride and jealousy reigned supreme amongst the officers at Lisbon. The soldier always assumed superiority ; the sailor was only a carrier to convey the fighting man to battle ; and Philip was obliged to choose a man to succeed Santa Cruz whose rank was high enough to command respect from all, soldiers and sailors alike. He was also guided in his choice by his fatal desire to command the Armada himself from his cell ; and a man of initiative and ability did not suit him. The man he chose was the greatest noble in Spain, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, head of the great House of Guzman, and admiral of the coast of Andalusia. He was a fool and a poltroon, and he knew it ; but it served the King's purpose to appoint him. In vain he protested his unfitness, he suffered from sea-sickness, he knew nothing of marine warfare, he was half ruined already by the preparation
Medina Sidonia found disorganisation, corruption, and jealousy rampant in Lisbon. Pestilence and famine were rife, the men and ships all unready, and the stores rotten. This gave the new chief an excuse for fresh and ever repeated delay in sailing. More men, more arms, more money, was his constant cry, until his own officers accused him of wilful procrastination and sent angry remonstrances to the King. Only at Philip's peremptory command did Medina Sidonia unwillingly sail from Lisbon (May 30, 1588, N. S.); and even then nothing short of a miracle could have made the expedition successful. The teachings of experience, the advice of experts, the most obvious precautions, had all been perversely neglected. Everyone knew that the English sailors had revolutionised tactics in the previous twenty years ; that their ships were stancher and handier, and could sail closer to the wind. The galley tradition still ruled in Spain ; and the first principle was to grapple and close so that soldiers and small arms could be utilised. Artillery was reckoned an ignoble arm, and its use amongst Spaniards was to disable rigging not to pierce hulls. Philip and his advisers knew to their cost that Drake had formed a new system, depending upon the power of the English craft to evade grappling and employ their superior artillery upon the enemy's hull; but all this knowledge was useless, for Philip's mind was impervious to new ideas. Similarly, his neglect of the best advice to seize a safe port on the English coast was neglected. To all remonstrance he had but one type of reply. The expedition was in God's service, and He might be trusted to bring it victory. So in Lisbon, before the fleet sailed, and throughout Spain, prayers and vows took the place of prudent mundane precaution. Sacred banners, holy water, crucifixes, blessed scapularies, priests and friars, and images of the Saints, made the great fleet like a cloister, and inflamed to religious ecstasy the crews and soldiers, who were told that they went on a saintly crusade to deliver a yearning people from the tyranny of the evil one. If exalted enthusiasm and religious zeal had sufficed, the Armada was sure of victory ; but its material, organisation, plan of campaign, and system of tactics, were such that it could only win by an almost impossible combination of entirely favourable circumstances.
Its unseaworthiness was proved almost as soon as it got clear of the Tagus. For the next three weeks the unwieldy ships were buffeted by a series of gales on the coasts of Portugal, Galicia, and Biscay ; some of the vessels reaching as far north as the Scilly Isles. With gaping seams and shattered spars they sought such shelter as they might, and those that were not entirely disabled were finally once more collected in Corunna. This foretaste of disaster increased the Duke's fears. On June 24 he wrote to the King solemnly urging him to abandon
Catastrophe, almost inevitable, therefore loomed ahead when on July 29, 1588, the Lizard was sighted from Medina Sidonia's flagship. The soldiers were confident ; but the sailors knew the conditions better and were assailed by doubts. How in a week's running fight up the Channel, and one awful battle off a lee shore near Gravelines, the sailors were justified and the soldiers lost faith in themselves and in the Divine patronage promised to them, is told in detail in another chapter ; but a few words must be said here with regard to the effects of the catastrophe upon Spaniards generally. A cry of despair and rage rang throughout the land. The Duke, abandoning everything, fled to the refuge of his palace at San Lucar, pursued by the curses of his countrymen. Farnese's
The immediate and personal effects of the catastrophe of the Armada were felt so poignantly, the culmination was so dramatic, the reaction both in Spain and England so violent, that the larger results were only very gradually understood. For the greater part of a century Spain had imposed herself upon the world to an extent entirely unwarranted by her native resources and the numbers of her population. She had during the period discovered, subjected, and organised a vast new continent : the commercial and mineral wealth of both East and West had been claimed as her monopoly; and throughout the world her assumption of the leadership of orthodox Christianity had been humbly accepted by all but a few. The accident of the accession of Charles V to Spain and Naples and the Empire with the added possession of the vast heritage of Burgundy, had given the appearance of strength necessary to maintain the pretence : but it was still only Castile, poor in herself, and her colonial possessions that bore the main burden of the expenditure demanded by the world-policy of the Emperor and his son.
The sentimental impetus such as must inspire a people for any great national advance came from Spain as a whole, though Castile had to provide most of the means. Yet there was no true Spanish nationality at all before the time of Ferdinand and Isabel, and to this day the nation is far from homogeneous. No purely political cooperation for national purposes was to be expected from the many divided peoples, with separate institutions, and antagonistic racial qualities, which constituted Spain. The bond of union had been sought in spiritual exclusiveness.
Under this influence the Spanish people had been used as a political instrument by its monarchs for a century. The religious pride thus engendered enabled the Spanish men-at-arms to dominate in Europe and America with a power that far surpassed the material resources behind it, and dazzled the eyes of the world for a century. The American treasure, which enriched other countries more than Spain, encouraged the deception ; and until the defeat of the Armada there were few to question the claims of Spaniards to overwhelming power, except the English sailors and the Beggars of the Sea. In their running fight up the Channel the Spanish mariners first raised the sinister cry wmng from their disillusioned hearts, " God has forsaken us ! " From that hour, though it lingered yet awhile, the source of Spain's ephemeral strength, the conviction of special divine protection, decayed ; and, as it waned, so waned the haughty tradition that had for so long cowed Europe. Spain's agony lasted for a hundred years longer ; and more than once in the period it suited other nations to revive the old pretence for their own ends : but the defeat of the Armada marked the commencement of the Spaniard's doubt of the destiny of his country.
But all this was hidden at first from those who witnessed the catastrophe. When the extent of the disaster became known, the unanimous cry of the Spanish people was for vengeance against the insolent islanders, who dared to claim a victory over Spain for what was really a visitation of Providence. The towns, half-ruined and depopulated as they were, came to Philip with offers of money for a new fleet ; the Cortes secretly offered to vote five million ducats to wipe out the stain ; the monasteries found that they still had some treasure left that might be employed for the holy cause ; and the sailors and merchants were clamorous that they should be allowed to fit out a new Armada. But Philip knew, as yet alone, how utterly ruined the calamity had left him both in credit and in coin. The promised papal subsidy was not forthcoming. He was deep in debt everywhere ; and, though he would have been willing to receive the money offered to him by his subjects, the offers were always clogged with conditions which he could not accept-that his organisation should be reformed, and that the contributing bodies should supervise the expenditure of their money. So he bade his people be patient, thanked them with evasive courtesy, and promised that he would act for the best when he judged opportune.
Other reasons gave him pause beside the lack of money. The Pope had been cajoled once into supporting a policy intended to make England a dependency of Spain ; but he would hardly be likely to be so compliant a second time. The Papacy, always deeply jealous of Spanish supremacy, and depending naturally much upon France and other Catholic Powers, had no intention of aiding the subjection of all Christendom to Philip. But a still more important element was the attitude of France. The strong Huguenot party had been thrown into
This was a danger more pressing even than that of England or Holland ; and the Spanish intrigues to avoid it were as crafty as they were unscrupulous. Already the Guises were hovering over the prey, a share of which they hoped to seize in due time by the help of Spain ; while Philip, fully alive to the peril, fomented their ambitious hopes with soft words and painfully wrung treasure, determined that, come what might, no Protestant should reign over France; and above all not the foe of his House, the popular, self-reliant Henry of Navarre. Approaches had been made to the latter more than once on Philip's behalf; and, if he had been content with Beam and Gascony, he might have had them for a kingdom without fighting. Philip's first idea had been to disintegrate France. He would give to his elder daughter, Isabel Clara Eugenia, the duchy of Britanny, to which she had a good right through her mother, Elizabeth of Valois: to his son-in-law, Duke Charles Emmanuel of Savoy he would cede the county of Provence ; while Guise should reign over central France, including Paris, under Spanish influence; and, most important of all, Picardy and French Flanders
The first impulse of the Catholics in Paris had been to proclaim Philip King of France; but this did not suit Mayenne, who did not wish to burden the cause of the League with the domination of the foreigner. The Dukes of Savoy and Lorraine, and Mayenne himself, were greedy for the dismemberment of France in order to partake of the spoils ; but Philip was determined that, if Spanish men and money conquered France, it must be for him and not for others. The successes gained by Henry IV over the League on his march from Normandy to Paris swept away for the time the Flemish-Spanish contingents under Egmont; and, when the great victory of Ivry had been won (March 14, 1590), it was clear that, unless the Huguenot was to carry all before him and Spain be ruined, Philip's cause must be championed, not by Flemings and Walloons, with commanders of the stamp of Egmont, but by Spanish national forces under Farnese and veteran Spanish officers. Farnese had been badly treated by his cousin. A half confidence was all that was vouchsafed him; his children's claim to the Portuguese Crown had been ignored ; his own hopes of the Flemish sovereignty had been set aside; and he yearned for the reconquest of the Netherlands above all things. His conditions were therefore precise and rigid, and the Spaniards again whispered of treason ; but at length, unwillingly and with a heavy heart, he accepted
Meanwhile, affairs in Spain grew more and more desperate. The King himself was sixty-five years old, suffering under the tortures of constant gout. The only son left to him was a dull, scrofulous weakling, fourteen years of age, in whom the vices of his origin were already too apparent. The dominions of Castile were now almost utterly ruined. The Cortes might be forced or persuaded to vote more money; but money could not be wrung from beggars. The well-meant, but financially unwise sumptuary laws, which followed each other from year to year, prohibiting, with increasing but ineffectual penalties, the expenditure of money upon superfluities, reduced still more the demand for labour: while the artificial attempt to reduce the prices of commodities by forbidding the export of manufactured articles, even to the American colonies, deprived Spanish industry of its best market, and strangled the trade upon which the revenue mainly depended. The constant ineffectual attempts to prevent the exportation of bullion encouraged almost universal contraband, while the arbitrary and illegal seizures, made by the government in moments of pressure, of the private property of merchants and bankers at the principal ports, especially Seville, sapped confidence and led to the concealment or surreptitious conveyance to foreign countries of much of the wealth drawn from remittances from America and the East. The constant accumulation in the hands of the Church of land consequently exempt from regular taxation; the continuous increase of a class really or ostensibly attached to the ecclesiastical institutions, and also exempt from taxation and the operation of the civil law ; and the drain of the best and strongest men in the nation for the American settlements-these causes had towards the end
Such being the inevitable results of Philip's fiscal and political system in the portions of his dominions where the weakening of parliamentary institutions had enabled that system to work without restraint, the kingdoms where the parliamentary check was still operative naturally looked with increasing jealousy upon any attempt to enforce in them the King's conceptions of the rights of sovereigns as against those of peoples. When the King, in imposing state, had carried his younger daughter Catharine and her husband the Duke of Savoy to embark on his galley at Barcelona for the voyage to her new home in 1585, the opportunity was taken for summoning the Cortes of Aragon to take the oath of allegiance to the heir to the Crowns, Prince Philip, then seven years old ; and on the King's return journey from the coast, a united sitting of the Cortes of the three Aragonese dominions (Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia) was called at Monzon for legislation and the voting of supplies. Philip was kept chafing in the unhealthy crowded provincial town for five months during the autumn of 1585 ; while the Aragonese deputies besieged him daily with claims and demands which he considered injurious to his prerogative. So strongly was he opposed to the assertion of popular rights, that he had entered Barcelona at dead of night in order to avoid a State reception in which the citizens would have had an opportunity of displaying their ancient privileges.
Aragon had at the time a judicial system which was unexampled in the rest of Europe and had always been a source of annoyance to Philip and his father The Chief Justice of Aragon, who was irremovable, and independent of the King, possessed the power of taking charge of any prisoner who claimed his protection, and lodging him in his own prison of the Manifestation, where he was judged by a legally constituted tribunal, defended by a qualified lawyer, and exempt from torture. Every person or authority, civil or seigniorial, was obliged to produce a prisoner in their hands and surrender him to the Chief Justice, if the demand was made ; and so soon as a person, of whatever nationality, set foot on Aragonese soil, he could claim the invaluable right of the Manifestation, ensuring him a trial in which the law of the land alone was the criterion of guilt. Thus it sufficed for any of Philip's subjects
Even the Inquisition in Aragon was not quite the pliant instrument that it was in Castile ; and during his long stay in Monzon in 1585 Philip found himself opposed by both the Chief Justice and the Inquisition in an attempt to appropriate the great fief of Ribagorza, as well as worried by the Cortes. The chagrin thus caused him, added to the insalubrity of the overcrowded place, threw him into an illness which threatened his life ; and when he returned to his daily round of work in Madrid in January, 1586, he was aged and broken almost beyond recognition His contemporaries were passing away ; Margaret of Parma and Cardinal de Granvelle died in 1586. Alva had died soon after his Portuguese campaign ; Ruy Gomez was gone ; and the ministers and secretaries who now surrounded the King were distinctly inferior in ability to those who had preceded them. Mateo Vasquez, the King's personal secretary, was a sly, servile scribe of obscure and doubtfully Christian birth, without the keen wit and vast ambition of the brilliant scoundrel Antonio Perez whom he had supplanted.
On the return of the King from Aragon, it was accordingly found that his infirmities would no longer allow him to deal as before with every detail of every paper ; and his methods of despatching affairs had necessarily to be changed. Instead, therefore, of each document being submitted to him with his secretary's annotations before it was sent to the particular Council which it concerned, a sort of intimate Privy Council was formed, consisting of three members-Don Juan de Idiaquez and Don Cristobal de Moura (the principal Secretaries of State), and the Count of Chinchon. This Council met every night in the palace-it was called the Council of Night in consequence-and considered the documents of the day before they were submitted to the King. Each of these ministers took charge of a special department of government, and was accorded an audience every day, in which the affairs of his department arising out of the documents of the previous night were submitted to the King ; and the execution of the policy decided upon was relegated to the various Secretaries of Councils.
The greatest loss to the bureaucratic part of Philip's government, aa well as one of the bitterest trials of his life, was the defection and escape of his chief secretary, Antonio Perez, which once more brought the King into antagonistic contact with the stubborn Aragonese and their judicial privileges. In the circumstances mentioned in an earlier page Perez had been commanded by the King to bring about the death of Escobedo, Don John's warlike secretary, killed during his visit to Spain in the summer of 1577, in order to prevent his return to Flanders, where
The knowledge of his betrayal by the man whom he had trusted turned Philip's heart to the bitterest hate of Perez. For years the ex-secretary lay in prison, while every wile and threat, even torture, was employed to wring a confession from him of his motive for the murder In vain he pleaded the King's authority. This was not what Philip wanted. Perez could not well be executed for a murder done by the King's command ; but, if he could be brought to confess that he did it to avenge the Princess' quarrel, he could be put to death for the divulging of State secrets to her. Philip dared not tell the world that he had purposely abandoned Don John because he had been persuaded by his false secretary that his brother was disloyal At length, by the self-sacrifice of his heroic wife, Perez escaped from prison and fled to Aragon,
But if Philip could not reach his enemy beyond the Pyrenees, his long-pent vengeance fell upon the Aragonese who had baulked him, and upon the institutions of which they were so proud. Anarchy had been the outcome of the popular ferment ; and, with the pretext of suppressing lawlessness, an army of 15,000 Castilians, led by Alonso de Vargas, one of the veterans of Alva's school, overran Aragon. In December, 1591, the Chief Justice was suddenly seized and beheaded ; and the net of the Inquisition was cast far and wide, sweeping into the dungeons all those, high or low, who were known to have favoured the defiance to the King. A small body of Béarnais troops crossed the pass of the Pyrenees; but the Aragonese themselves joined Philip's troops in expelling them. Out of the great number of persons condemned, only six were actually burnt alive in the great square of Saragossa ; but of the fourscore who were relieved of the death penalty by the King's
In the meantime the struggle in France went on. The country was utterly exhausted with the civil war; and even Catholics were saying that a Frenchman, though of doubtful Catholicism, might be a better ruler of his country than a Spanish nominee pledged to rigid intolerance. To have been defeated in his objects in France, as he had been in the case of England and Holland, would have been to Philip the crowning catastrophe of a long life of failure ; and a despairing effort had to be made. Farnese was again summoned from his fight with the Dutchmen, but came reluctantly. By a masterly march he raised the siege of Rouen in April, 1592 ; but he soon found that the Leaguers hated the Spaniards now as bitterly as the Huguenots, and that nearly all France was against him. Wounded and broken-hearted at the jealousy and distrust with which he was treated in France and Spain, Farnese with difficulty escaped suffering heavy loss. He died in Flanders in December, 1592, abandoned as Don John had been by the sovereign he had served too well. Philip saw now that, the utmost he could hope for in France was a compromise which should leave the kingdom officially Catholic. When the Estates met at the Louvre in January, 1593, Philip's ambassador Feria was instructed to revive the idea of the young Duke of Guise as King of France, with the Infanta as his wife. But Feria, who, like all Spaniards of his time, stiffly upheld the tradition of Spain's superiority, lost too much time in pressing the Infanta's own claims to the French Crown, claims really unacceptable now even by extreme Leaguers. When it was too late, and Henry IV outside the walls had made it understood that he was not obdurate about religion, Feria brought forward the Duke of Guise. If he had done this at first, compromise or a partition might have been possible ; but in July, 1593, Henry went to mass ; and, nine months after, he entered his capital as a Catholic King. The Spanish troops by agreement marched out of the city the day after Henry's entry, leaving little love or gratitude behind them.
Of Philip's design to make himself master of Ireland and thence menace Elizabeth's English throne some account will be given in the chapter dealing with the reign of his son, who prosecuted that design to its close. The war with the French and their English and Dutch allies in the north of France continued languidly for five years after the conversion of Henry IV, but with little or no expectation of an issue favourable to Spain. Nor were the social results of Philip's lifelong effort to rule Spain as if it had been a cloister more happy than his attempts to reduce the rest of the world to his own ritual. It is true that, by means of the ubiquitous Inquisition, with its army of informers,
While the King, in constant ill-health and impotent from gout, divided his time between exhausting devotions and office-work, his people, to whom he had become a mysterious abstraction, and his Court, which had to a great extent lost its dread of him, grew daily more undisciplined and dissolute in their ordinary conduct. The women of Spain, who had always been kept in almost oriental seclusion, had within the last twenty years scandalised propriety by their freedom of demeanour and speech. The stern decrees, so often issued, forbidding luxury, splendour, and ostentation, were constantly evaded or circumvented; and the privileged classes still lavished money corruptly obtained. Yet the streets even of the capital were unutterably filthy and almost impassable on foot ; and vagrancy and pauperism, encouraged by the convent doles, were almost universal. Of all this the recluse King probably knew or recked little. He was rarely brought into contact with realities, and saw things through the medium of documents alone. As he grew older, too, his ecclesiastical ministers became more insolent, even to him. Rodrigo Vasquez, the secretary, with his ally Friar Chaves the confessor, having between them ruined Antonio Perez, determined to depose from the most influential post in Spain, the Presidency of the Council of Castile, Count de Barajas, who had been at one time friendly with the former secretary. Vasquez coveted the great post himself, obscure upstart though he was; but Barajas was a great magnate, and Philip hesitated to dismiss him without cause. Chaves thereupon wrote to the King, saying that he would give him no absolution until he did. " For such is the command of God. I am certain that your Majesty is in a more perilous condition than any Catholic Christian living"; and, in answer to this insolence, the King humbly submitted, and disgraced Barajas, as he had been ordered to do. Such a spectacle as this made even lay grandees regardless of the King's authority ; and his attempts, constant as they were, to meddle in their private affairs were often treated with contempt. Justice was scandalously corrupt ; and murders and robbery, even in Madrid itself, were committed with perfect im-
Before the death of Farnese the King had sent to Flanders Count de Fuentes, who since the death of Alva had been his most efficient officer in Portugal. After a short interregnum, in which the aged Count Mansfeld and Fuentes with the assistance of Secretary Ibarra ruled the Belgic provinces, and Maurice of Nassau gained considerable successes against the Spanish forces, Philip turned again to his Austrian kinsmen to discover a figurehead for his government. His Savoyard grandsons were yet too young to be of use to him; and he had no other relatives to aid him, since he could not spare his dear elder daughter, his constant companion in his documentary labours. One of the Austrian Archdukes, Cardinal Albert, was his regent in Portugal, and had acted creditably during the abortive English invasion of 1589. His brother, Archduke Ernest, was the one chosen to succeed the great Farnese in Flanders. Albert, superior to any of his brothers, partook nevertheless of his eldest brother Rudolf's objections to marriage, which, however, as he was a churchman, was perhaps to be expected ; and Ernest, the vice-sovereign designate of Flanders, was frivolous and self-indulgent, and already, though a young man, in constant ill-health.
Instead of proceeding at once to his government Ernest spent some months in feasting and celebrations on the way, while Maurice of Nassau with his fine army was threatening Brabant. Ernest finally arrived at Brussels in January, 1594, to find the Italian regiments, unpaid as usual, in full revolt. The Archduke, expelled by these regiments from his capital, was forced to stand idly by, until his uncle could send him money from Spain to buy the reconciliation of the Italian ruffians, who had established a government of their own and were robbing and sacking without restraint. No sooner had the Archduke conciliated the mutineers than he succumbed to disease (February 20, 1595) ; and Mondragon, a fine old Spanish soldier of the school of the Emperor and Alva, stepped
The defeat of the Armada, though a most terrible blow to Spanish policy, had been succeeded so closely by the even, more immediate trouble of the course of events in France, that Philip had been obliged to postpone any idea of a direct attack upon England. But the English Jesuit and extreme Catholic party were loth to abandon all hope of restoring the Faith in their native land by Spanish assistance. The more moderate Catholics were, especially since the Armada, desirous of any reasonable arrangement which should provide them, at least, with toleration under a native or even a Scottish sovereign, rather than that the now detested Spaniard should hold sway in the country that had worsted him in fair fight. After the commencement of the war in France it was impossible any longer to doubt that Philip's aims were not, as he had always so loudly proclaimed, disinterestedly religious. His open intention of placing the Infanta on the throne of England by force if the Armada were successful, and his subsequent claim on her behalf to the Crown of France, had opened the eyes of the most infatuated Catholics to the fact that, notwithstanding Philip's real devotion, religion was with him only a means for the establishment of his political supremacy in Europe ; which, in its turn, would ensure the perpetuation of the particular form of Catholicism which he championed. But the English refugees and Jesuits, though they knew this, were content to accept even a Spanish domination of their country in exchange for the establishment of their doctrines as the only faith : and after the Armada, as before it, they were ceaseless in their petitions that the King should still work by any roads, straight or devious, to root out the heretic government of Elizabeth.
The lessons of the Armada had not been entirely lost upon Philip. The period of comparative tranquillity at sea after the abortive English attempt upon Portugal in 1589 had enabled him in two or three years to collect a smaller navy of more mobile type than he had previously possessed. The fast-sailing galley-zabras, built in Havana as armed treasure-ships, were found to be eminently quick and seaworthy, and were largely adopted. In Spanish and Portuguese dockyards English plans were used in the construction of ships and guns ; and even English designers and builders were employed; so that, by the end of 1592, the navy of Spain was once more a force to be reckoned with. The news of these
At length the Spanish naval armaments were too formidable to be ignored ; and in the English Parliament of 1593 a rousing appeal to patriotism was made in the Queen's Speech that funds should be provided to withstand the anticipated invasion. Balegh and the sailors, as usual, were for attacking the Spanish base in Britanny first of all ; and then to watch off the Spanish coast to intercept any invading fleet that might sail. As a matter of fact, there was at that time no intention or possibility of a Spanish invasion in force of England ; and Spain was much more alarmed and with better reason than Elizabeth or her ministers. Nothing was done on either side until the sending of large Spanish reinforcements to Britanny in the winter of 1593 ; and in the spring of 1594 the Spanish position at Brest was captured by the English. The favourite scheme now, indeed, both with the Spaniards for a time and with some of the English refugees, was to invade England from Scotland, in conjunction with a rising of the Scottish Catholics, many of whom at this period were ready to throw over their own King and accept a Spanish supremacy over all Britain. This phase, however, thanks mainly to the clever tergiversation of King James and the diplomacy of the Vatican, passed away. By far the most dangerous plan was that which developed through the intervention of the Munster Catholic refugees in Portugal, by means of whom Hugh O'Donnell, the chief of Tyrconnel, and at a later period his kinsman O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, enlisted the Spanish power in their attempt to throw off the English supremacy of Ireland.
The preparation of a small force in Spain to send to the aid of the Irish chiefs was magnified in England by Essex and the Puritan party, aided by Antonio Perez : and after much hesitation Elizabeth allowed a fleet to be sent to strike a decisive blow at the Spanish navy before it could sail to injure her dominions. With infinite trouble and unwillingness a force of English ships, royal and chartered, was got together, and reinforced by a Dutch contingent. The whole expedition sailed at the beginning of June, 1596, to strike a death-blow to all that was formidable of Philip's navy, then concentrated under the surf-beaten walls of Cadiz harbour. Philip lay ill in the centre of Spain ; his blighting system had destroyed all efficiency and initiative in his local administration; and the supreme authority on the Andalusian coast was the feeble Medina Sidonia, who had led the Armada to foredoomed disaster. The secret
Philip was almost moribund when the news of the disaster reached him, but in the despair that surrounded him he alone never lost faith. He had done his best, working all his life like a very slave, doing detail work which should have been delegated to others, centralising in his remote cell the springs of his vast empire. His own faith was immovable. He could not understand that the lessons of his youth, the maxims of his saints and sages, as well as the firm conviction of his heart, could be all wrong. It seemed impossible to him that his prayers, his fastings and self-denial, through a long life of voluntary suffering, could be quite fruitless. That this could be so was unintelligible to him, because his system was raised upon the unstable base of an assumption that he and his were in some sort partners with the higher powers for the final exaltation of the linked causes of God and Spain. But he was growing weary ; he had aged beyond his years ; and suffering had weakened him in body and mind. As in the case of his father, the taint of neurotic dementia in the blood of Castile had brought with it the morbid spiritual introspection, the yearning for relief from the things of the world, that had led the great Emperor to a cloister, and now made Philip long for his rest.
The war with Henry IV still lingered. The Béarnais was really King of France now ; even the League had made terms with him, and in January, 1595, he had felt strong enough to abandon the fiction of irregular hostilities and had declared a national war against Spain. For two years Spanish armies under Fuentes and Frias held with varying fortunes strong places in the north of France ; and, when by a stratagem Amiens fell into Spanish hands, it looked for a time as if the League might abandon Henry and rally to its early friend. At this juncture, when the balance of Europe seemed trembling, Archduke Albert marched with a strong force from Flanders to relieve the Spaniards besieged in Amiens. He failed, however, to raise the siege, was forced to retreat, and Amiens fell. It was Spain's last effort; her strength was exhausted. England could destroy her fleets, and Nassau could not only hold Holland, but take the offensive against the cities of Catholic Brabant; and, far from being able to force unity of faith upon Christendom, the only outcome of Philip's life-struggle had barely been to keep France from officially becoming Protestant.
Meanwhile, the poverty of Spain had progressively increased : the loss of treasure taken from her at sea, and more especially at Cadiz, had been a terrible blow ; and, whatever might be the result, it was impossible for the country to continue any longer the war against
France. Henry IV, on the other hand, was not less desirous of peace than Philip. France had suffered from many years of devastating war and was also exhausted : and the patriotic King saw that the first step to the consolidation of his position was to reconcile all classes of his subjects. The commissioners of the two sovereigns met at Vervins early in 1598; and Philip's main difficulty was not so much in being forced to surrender his base in Britanny (Blavet) and Calais, which his forces had seized by a clever coup de main, or even in having to abandon the Leaguers who still remained in arms against their King. All these would, it is true, be bitter humiliations, but as nothing in comparison with the conditions upon which the Dutch and English allies of France insisted before they would consent to Henry's making peace: namely, the surrender by Spain of the sovereignty over all Flanders and the Netherlands. Elizabeth had been fencing with Henry IV for some time as to the terms of a possible peace ; for his change of faith had destroyed her trust in him. But, when it became evident that as a last resource he was prepared to throw her and the Dutch over altogether and make a separate peace for himself, Burghley, almost on his death-bed, laid down as England's irreducible minimum demand that the United Provinces should be for ever secured against a Spanish attempt to subdue them. The Dutchmen themselves were equally emphatic in their demand that this should be guaranteed by the separation of the Belgic Provinces from the Crown of Spain. Essex, as usual, struggled against any compromise with Spain. The Puritan party was strong in England ; and, although Elizabeth's government acquiesced with a bad grace in the peace concluded between Henry IV and Archduke Albert (March, 1598), the state of war between England and Spain itself still nominally continued.
It was an impotent conclusion of the longest continuous war with a foreign Power in which Philip ever engaged ; but the result, tame as it was, relieved the life of the King from utter failure ; and maintained the tradition of Spain's greatness for yet another generation or thereabouts. The terrible sacrifices which had made Castile desolate, had at least secured that France would not on religious grounds join the Protestant coalition, and by adding strength to this entail a corresponding loss of prestige and power on the country which, to its own infinite misfortune, had been at once the champion and the scapegoat of an impracticable religious uniformity.
The demand of a renunciation by Spain of the sovereignty over the Belgic Provinces had been characteristically met by Philip's representatives with a suggestion that this sovereignty should pass to the King's daughter, the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia ; but as this was, of itself, unacceptable, a proposal was added to it that the sovereignty should be exercised jointly by the Austrian Archduke Albert and his cousin, the Infanta, whom he,should marry ; and that, in the event of no issue being born of the marriage, the Provinces should be reincorporated with the
The condition introduced at the instance of Spain into the Treaty of Vervins, by which Flanders would revert to the Spanish Crown in case the Archduke and the Infanta left no children, was therefore one that practically ensured the reversion to Philip's Spanish heirs within a generation. What the Infanta thought of the arrangement is not on record ; but she was a dutiful daughter, and, for the sake of the new sovereignty, accepted it without demur. The Archduke, on the other hand, was less assured. His episcopal preferment of Toledo was the richest in Christendom : he was already practically sovereign of Flanders ; and the ecclesiastical dignity gave him many advantages, all of which he would have to renounce if he contracted a marriage which he did not desire. But Philip usually had his way with his kinsmen ; and Albert reluctantly gave up his Cardinal's hat and mitre, and went home to Austria, to escort his young cousin Margaret to Spain to marry Philip's heir, while he himself wedded the Infanta and assumed the joint sovereignty of Flanders.
This was in the summer of 1598 ; and the man at whose bidding all these puppets danced, lay in his grim palace of granite on the Guadar-ramas, wearing out the last weeks of his life in a martyrdom of pain. From June to September he remained at the Escorial for fifty-three days dying, in circumstances so repulsive, in agony so horrible, as to move any heart to pity. Yet he bore all his humiliation and anguish without a plaint. His only words were those of resignation and assurance of Divine forgiveness. Night and day in the bare room where he lay, overhanging the high altar of the Cathedral, the propitiatory offices of the Church went on ; and through the dreary, hopeless hours, the eyes of the King were fixed in ecstasy on the saintly relics and emblems of the Divine passion that never left his sight. The papal blessing, plenary absolution, and extreme unction-all that the Church could do for poor
When the end seemed approaching he took his last farewell of his heir. "I should have wished," he said, "to save you this trial; but I want you to see how the monarchies of this earth end. Behold ! God has stripped me of all the glory and majesty of sovereignty that they may pass to you. In a few hours I shall be covered only with a poor shroud, and girded with a coarse rope. The kingly crown is already falling from my brows, and death will soon set it upon yours. Two things I especially commend to you : one is that you always keep faithful to the Holy Catholic Church, and the other is that you treat your subjects justly. The crown will one day fall from your head, as it now falls from mine. You are young, as I too have been. My day draws to a close ; the tale of yours God alone can see ; but it must end like mine." This was Philip's farewell to the world, for he concerned himself no more with things mundane. The future of his son alone gave him occasional apprehension. Philip, the heir, was only twenty years of age. He had been brought up even more rigidly than his father, and had seen nothing of the world but through the eyes of monks and priests. He was kindly and well-meaning ; but the piles of official papers, the endless procrastination and discussion, which formed part of his father's system, had confused his dull wits, and alarmed his pleasure-loving nature ; and already the King had foreseen with distress the danger that his son's indolence would lead to his becoming a tool of favourites. Philip's last legacy to his son was a carefully made copy of the exhortations of St Louis to his heir ; and, when he took a last farewell of young Philip and his half-sister, the Infanta, the only words he could murmur through his weakness, were one more prayer to them to keep inviolate the Catholic faith in the dominions under their sway.
So, patient to the end, in serene confidence and unshaken faith that his life had been well spent in God's service, Philip II passed from the world in the early dawn of September 13, 1598, while through the chamber rang the chant of morning mass in the Cathedral far below. Grasping in one hand the rough-hewn crucifix which he loved best, and in the other a sacred taper, Philip of Spain died as he had lived, in the firm conviction which no disappointment or misfortune could daunt that he and his were set apart from the rest of mortals to lead the host of the righteous in the fight against the powers of evil. The results of his policy had been to ruin his country in material resources, as it had enfeebled the faith that alone had made his people potent. He had terrorised his realm into a monkish theocracy, and in doing so had turned the majority of his subjects into ribald scoffers at the reality, while they were slaves to the symbols, of sacred things. Yet his people revered him as a saint, and still cherish his memory as a great King, not for what he did, but for what he dreamed.