13 JULY 1850, Page 17


CORRESPONDENCE AND ITINERARY OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES V.* THIS volume can hardly lay claim to so comprehensive a title as Correspondence of Charles the Fifth, inasmuch as the letters in it form but a small portion of those which exist in the archives at Vienna, and much of what it does contain has appeared in the Archie fir Geographie, Historie, Stoats und Kriegskunst, under the superintendence of Baron Hormayr. The correspondence how- ever, s new to the -English public, and possesses some interest est to English readers, from its connexion with persons and events that oc- cupy a conspicuous place in English history. The first section re- lates to the efforts of Wolsey to obtain the Popedom on two occa- sions, after the deaths of Leo and Adrian : and Kr. Bradford, the editor, seems to think that the correspondence establishes the good faith of the Emperor. But we really cannot see it. His letters and instructions contain nothing but general expressions of hopes and good-will, of a cold and guarded character, and which, had they been much stronger, could easily have been neutralized by private instructions. The second section is longer, and refers to Bourbon's desertion of Francis his connexion with the Emperor, the battle of Pavia, the capture and imprisonment of the French. Xing, the manner in which Charles tried to make the most of him, and the final peace which he granted when Francis threatened to resign the crown. The third section consists of letters from Chapuys, the Capucius of Shakspere's Henry the Eighth, who was the Emperor's Ambassador at the Court of London. His commu- nications are upon the subject tof Wolsey's downfall, and the efforts both made on sides touching Queen Katherine's divorce ; they also contain sketches of persons remarkable and obscure, as well as 5limpses of manners and repetitions of that gossip of the day which the • Ambassador considered information. As far as the Correspondence is concerned, this section is the most attractive. Its subject has the greatest interest for Reglish readers; and Ca- pucius -writes in a better, closer, and more lively style, than the other ambassadors ; which last, again, write better than their mas- ter, who is very dry and cold. This news or gossip of 1550 about Wolsey is COPIOUS.

"Eight days ago the King ordered the Cardinal to be brought here ; on hearing which, the said Cardinal abstained from food for several days. It is said that he hoped rather to end his life in this manner than in a more ig- nominious and dishonourable one, of which he had some fears ; and in con- sequence of this abstinence he has been taken ill on the road, and is not yTt arrived. They say also, that a lodging is prepared for him in the Tower, in the same part that the Duke of Bueldngham occupied ; many reasons are as- signed for his arrest, but they are all mere conjectures. 'A gentleman told me that a short time ago, the King was complaining to his Council of sometlag that had ,not been according to his wish, and ex- claimed in great wrath, that the Cardinal was a very different man from any of thern, for conducting all things properly ; and having repeated the same twice over, he left them in displeasure. Since this time the Blake, the Ladv, [Anne Boleyn,' and the Father, have never ceased plotting against the said Cardinal , and the lady especially, who has wept and lamented over her lost time and honour, and threatened the King that she would go away. They Bay the King has had enough to do to quiet her; and even though he entreat, ed her most affectionately, and with tears in his eyes, not to leave him, nothing would satisfy her but the arrest of the Cardinal. The pretext given out was, that he had written to Rome to be reinstated labia possessions, and to Fiance for support and credit ; that he was beginning to resume his former splendid habits of living,• and that he was trying to corrupt the peoRle. Now, however, they have got the physician of the said Cardinal into their hands, and have discovered what they looked for. "The said physician, ever since the second day of his coming here, has been, and still is, treated as a prince in the house of the Duke of Norfolk ; which clearly shows that he has been singing to the right tune. "Johan Joequin would not say a word about it to the Pope's Nuncio_, who interrogated him very closely '; but he told the Venetian Ambassador, Maly the Doctor's own confession the Cardinal had solicited the Pope to excommu- nicate the King, and to lay an interdict on the kingdom if the King did not dismiss the Lady from court, and treat the Queen with proper respect. By this means he hoped, it is said, to cause a rising throughout the country against the Government, and in the confusion to seize upon the management of affairs again'himself."

This is the end of all his greatness.

"lure, the Cardinal of York died on St. Andrew's Day, about forty miles from hence, at the place where the last King Richard was defeated and killed : they are both buried in the same church, which people already begin to call the tyrant's sepulchre.' [Rather, "the burial-place of tyrants "—la sepulture de tyrans.]

"There are many different reports as to the cause of his death. On his =eat Im for several days refused to take any nourishment, and since then it is said that he either took or was given something to hasten his end. On Monday, the captain of the guard arrived to conduct hum hither ; and they sapped together with apparent relish. Very soon afterwards the Cardinal was taken so ill that they did not think he could have outlived the night. He lingered, however, till Wednesday, and prepared for his end like a good Christian. At the time of receiving the holy sacrament, he protested that he had, never undertaken anything to his sovereign's prejudice. Since his death the Colin has been very busy ; but his benefices have not yet been disposed of, and it is said that the King will retain them scene time longer for his own use."

Of these stories the abstinence is credible enough, whether from intention or failing appetite. The story. of the application to the Pope for an excommunication and an interdict as utterly Impro- bable: Wolsey knew his master too well to venture on such a use- less and deadly project. The report of poison was mere slanderous gossip ; there was enough in his age, his failing health, and his misfortunes, to have caused his death.

* Correspondence of the Emperor Charles V. and his Ambassadors at the Courts of England and France, from the Original Letters in the Imperial Family Archives at Vienna; with a connecting Narrative and Biographical Notices of the Emperor and some of the most distinguished Officers of his Army and Household ; tmeder With the Emperor's Itinerary from 1519-1551. Edited by William Bradford, MA., formerly Chaplain to the British Embassy at Vienna. Published by 13et`

"Grief aids disease, remembeed folly stings, And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings."

There are few men whom poetry and history have treaty so fully and so justly as Wolsey. It is singular to see in these letters of Capucius, how quickly the power of the press was acknowledged, and what implied deference- was paid even in those days to public opinion. Printing had not been generally known for more than fifty or sixty years, yet both sides were making more direct use of it than some ministers make even now, and in Germany the press might be freer than at present. The Ambassador thus writes to the Emperor in refer- ence to the divorce.

"It is said that every possible exertion is making to prepare this subject for the said Parliament, and that a book in favour of the King is to be printed, in order to gain the common people. " Eight days ago, the Dean of the Chapel, as King's attorney in this cause, appeared officially before the Archbishop of Canterbury's Chancellor, and pre- sented him with eight documents, 'which he required should be put into an authentic, juridical, and probative form. These were the decisions of the Universities respecting this matter of the divorce ; whereof two were from Pans, one from the Theological Faculty, and one from the Canonists; the others from the Universities of Toulouse, Orleans, _Burgos, Bologna, Padua, and Pavia. I think it more likely that they will publish these documents rather than any book, since they cannot be so easily answered, and the people will rely on their authority with more confidence. "In ease they do so, the best remedy would be, to get the attestation of those votes which were in favour of the Queen in Pans, and to publish the opinions of such Universities as decided against the King; also,. to circulate any of the best books which can be found, BB was done in Spam with the Bishop of Rochester's. [Fisher's.] Some people thought that the good Bishop would be annoyed about it, for fear of the King's displeasure ; 'but, seeing that it had been done without his own knowledge, he has proved per- fectly indifferent. I therefore conclude, that he will not be displeased if the two books which he has written since are printed also ; and I have commis- sioned M. May to get them done. It would be well to have several copies of them here, to be distributed as the ease may require, at the opening of the said Parliament."

The Correspondence of Charles the Fifth, -with connecting links by the editor, occupies little more than half the volume. The re- mainder consists of sketches of some of the more remarkable men and women of the day; a report addressed to the Doge and Senate of Venice, on the character of Charles, the state of his court, and his principal ministers and officers, by Navagiero, the Venetian Ambassador to the Emperor in the years 1544, 1545, and 1546; and the Itinerary of Charles the Fifth from 1519 to 1551, as kept by his private secretary, Vandenesse. The sketches of Charles and his contemporaries are pleasantly written, though without much a.eu- men or depth of thought. The Itinerary is rather dry, having too much the air of the court circular, but is of great value as an. his- torieal document. The report of the Venetian Ambassador, made as usual at the termination of his embassy, is a very able and curi- ous state paper; more so, indeed, than any report of the kind we have fallen in with. To justness of observation, accuracy in facts, and correctness in particulars, Navagiero adds powers of reflection, largeness of remark and neatness of style. The following is part of the sketch of Charles at forty-six; not greatly differing from another portrait by another Venetian Ambassador, but drawn with greater discrimination and delicacy.

"In his audiences, especially towards persona in official situations, he is extremely patient, and answers everything in detail ; but seldom or never comes to an immediate resolution on any subject. He always refers the matter, whether it be small or great, to Monsieur de Granvelle ; and after consulting with him he resolves on the course he has to take, but always slowly, for such is his nature.

"Some people find fault with this, and call him irresolute and tardy ; whilst others praise him for caution and discretion. "With regard to private audiences he used to be more diligent than he now is ; but even now he generally Ilea two or three every day after dinner. These private audiences are sometimes left to his ministers ; and they being few and the affairs many, no one can come to court for any matter, whether of importance or otherwise, without being detained much longer than is agreeable to them.

The Emperor dines in publio, almost always at the same hour, namely, twelve o'clock at noon. On first rising in the morning, which he does very /ate, he attends a private mass, said to be for the soul of the late Empress ; then, after having got over a few audiences, he proceeds to a public mass in the chapel, and immediately afterwards to dinner : so that it has become a proverb at court, Della messa alla mensa,' (from the mass to the mess.)

"The Emperor eats a great deal ; perhaps more than is good for his considering his constitution and habits of exercise ; and he eats a kind of food which produces gross and viscous humoura, whence arise the two indispositions which torment him, namely, the gout and the asthma. "He tries to mitigate these disorders by partial fasts in the evening; but the_phyaieians say it would be better if he were to divide the nourishment of the day into two regular meals. "When his Majesty is well he thinks he never can be ill, and takes very little notice of the advice of his physician ; but the moment he is ill again he will do anything towards his recovery. • * •

"He is consistent in keeping up the dignity of those whom he has once made. great; and whenever they get into difficulties, he trusts rather to his owniudgment in their case than to what is said of them by others. Hess a prince who will listen to all, and is willing to place the utmost confidence in his friends, but chooses to have always the °eating-voice himself; and when once persuaded in his own mind, it is rare indeed that any argument will change his opinion. His recreations consist chiefly in following the chase; sometimes accompanied by a few attendants, and sometimes quite alone, with an arguebuss in his hand. He is much pleased with a dwarf given to him by Ins Highness the King of Poland, which dwarf is very well made and quickwitted. The Emperor sometimes plays with him ; and he seems to afford him infinite amusement. There is also a jester lately come from Spain, who makes his Majesty laugh and causes a deal of merriment at court : his name is Perico ; and in order to please the Emperor, whenever Philip his son is named, he calla him Sol di Todo, (Lord of All.)" After having passed in review various ministers and commanders, and sketched the military qualities of the different nations in the Emperor's service, the Ambassador turns to the most important part of his business, the disposition of Charles towards the several

states and princes of Europe. In this he repeats the Scriptural maxim—" the king's heart is inscrutable,' and forestalls the remark of Thyden—"politicians neither love nor hate."

"To discover the genuine feelings of the Emperor towarda other crowned hew* is no easy task; for nothing in this world can be more hidden and ob- scure than the heart and mind of man generally, unless it be the heart and mind of an emperor, _which may be deemed all but impenetrable This much may be received as a general proposition, that kings and princes neither love nor hate anybody, except as they stand affected towards their own per- sonal advantage which truth may be perspicuously exemplified in the Ern- per,n_who has been both a friend and a foe to every one by tunui. He was at one time an enemy to the King of England, and afterwards entered into an alliance with him. He made war unceasingly upon the King of Prance for twenty years, and ended by concluding a friendly treaty and by giving im Milan to him. To the Lutherans he has appeared some- times in the fight of a friend, and sometimes in that of an enemy. Of the Pone he has aften said the very sharpest things, and yet after all has done as much for his advantage as even your Highness. With regard, to our own republic, one may fairly presume, that as long as he considers our alliance profitable he will retain it, but no longer. At the present time he is well aware that the friendship of Venice is serviceable, both for the preservation of his Italian states and for the purpose of keeping the Turks in check. He will therefore remain on good terms with your highness; of whom he has always spoken to me in a most affectionate and respectful manner. And le- affias, the resolution of your illustrious Council not to accept any of the various proposals made by the your Christian King, has been more grateful than. I can express, both to his Imperial Majesty and to all his friends. "The Emperor has discoursed not only to myself but to others who have repeated it to me of the great dependence he places on your Highness; and iaben I was taking my leave of him he spoke at such length on this subject, that r began to marvel when he would stop. He told me he was extremely well satiated with my services, inasmuch as he believed that I had don; and would do, everything in my power to keep alive the good feeling sub- sisting between you; and then turning to my secretary, he said that he hoped for no less on his part also. The Emperor believes that this illus- trious republic has no intention of ever turning against him; and it is quite possible he may be sincere in his wish of keeping on friendly terms with us. Yet I would not advise your Highness to trust implicitly to his professions, should any occasion offer when the contrary might become advantageous to

"AU princes are naturally opposed to republics, especially those princes who have most power and most ambition."

The Correspondence and the Itinerary of the Emperor have been translated from copies made, by Prince Ifetternich's permis- sion, from the Imperial Family Archives at Vienna, when Mr. Bradford was Chaplain to the British Embassy ; and in the ease of -the letters, the most important "arts of the original are printed at the foot of the page. The relation or report of Navagiero is taken from amongst "'the Italian MSS. formerly belonging to the Abbate Canonici of Venice, now in the possession of the Reverend Walter 'Sneyd of Denton, Oxon."